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THE NOBLE SPANISH SOLDIER by THOMAS DEKKER

ACT 2

[Introduction] [Act 2] [Act 1] [Act 3] [Act 4] [Act 5] [Endnotes]
     
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ACT 5 SCENE 1

 

Enter King, Cardinal with letters, [Valesco and Lopez].

 

KING

Commend us to Medina, say his letters

Right pleasing are, and that, except himself

Nothing could be more welcome. Counsel him,

To blot the opinion out of factious numbers,

Only to have his ordinary train

Waiting upon him. For, to quit all fears

Upon his side of us, our very court

Shall even but dimly shine with some few Dons,

Freely to prove our longings great to peace.

 

CARDINAL

The Constable expects some pawn from you,

That in this fairy circle shall rise up

No fury to confound his niece nor him.

 

KING

A Kingís word is engaged.

 

CARDINAL

It shall be taken.

 

KING

Valasco, call the Captain of our Guard,

Bid him attend us instantly.

 

VALASCO

I shall.

 

Exit Valasco.

 

KING

Lopez come hither. See,

Letters from Duke Medina, both in the name

Of him and all his faction, offering peace,

And our old love, his niece Onaelia

In marriage with her free and fair consent

To Cockadillio, a Don of Spain.

 

LOPEZ

Will you refuse this?

 

KING

My crown as soon. They feel their sinewy plots

Belike to shrink iíthe joints. And fearing ruin,

Have found this cement out to piece up all,

Which more endangers all.

 

LOPEZ

How sir? Endangers!

 

KING

Lions may hunted be into the snare,

But if they once break loose, woe be to him

That first seized on them. A poor prisoner scorns

To kiss his jailer. And shall a king be choked

With sweet-meats by false traitors! No, I will fawn

On them as they stroke me, till they are fast

But in this paw. And then...

 

LOPEZ

A brave revenge!

The Captain of your Guard.

 

Enter Alanzo, the Captain.

 

KING

Upon thy life

Double our guard this day. Let every man

Bear a charged pistol hid, and, at a watch-word

Given by a musket, when our self sees time,

Rush in, and, if Medinaís faction wrestle

Against your forces, kill, but if yield, save.

Be secret!

 

ALANZO

I am charmed, Sir.

 

Exit Alanzo.

 

KING

Watch Valasco.

If any wear a Cross, feather or glove,

Or such prodigious signs of a knit faction,

Table their names up. At our court-gate plant

Good strength to bar them out, if once they swarm.

Do this upon thy life.

 

VALASCO

Not death shall fright me.

 

Exit [Valasco and Lopez,] enter Balthazar.

 

BALTHAZAR

ĎTis done, Sir.

 

KING

Death! Whatís Done?

 

BALTHAZAR

Young cubís flayed, but the she-fox shifting her hole is fled. The little jackanapes, the boyís brained.

 

KING

Sebastian?

 

BALTHAZAR

He shall neír speak more Spanish.

 

KING

Thou teachest me to curse thee.

 

BALTHAZAR

For a bargain you set your hand to.

 

KING

Half my crown Iíd lose were it undone.

 

BALTHAZAR

But half a crown! Thatís nothing.

His brains stick in my conscience more than yours.

 

KING

How lost I the French doctor?

 

BALTHAZAR

As Frenchmen lose their hair. Here was too hot staying for him.

 

KING

Get thou from my sight, the Queen would see thee.

 

BALTHAZAR

Your gold, Sir.

 

KING

Go with Judas and repent.

 

BALTHAZAR

So men hate whores after lustís heat is spent.

Iím gone, Sir.

 

KING

Tell me true, is he dead?

 

BALTHAZAR

Dead.

 

KING

No matter. ĎTis but morning of revenge,

The sunset shall be red and tragical.

 

Exit King.

 

BALTHAZAR

Sin is a raven croaking <52> her own fall.

 

Exit Balthazar.

 

ACT 5 SCENE 2

 

Enter Medina , Daenia, Alba, Carlo and The Faction with Rosemary <53> in their hats.

 

MEDINA

Keep locked the door, and let none enter to us

But who shares our fortunes.

 

DAENIA

Lock the doors.

 

ALBA

What entertainment did the King bestow

Upon your letters and the Cardinalís?

 

MEDINA

With a devouring eye he read them oíer,

Swallowing our offers into his empty bosom,

As gladly as the parched earth drinks healths

Out of the cup of heaven.

 

CARLO

Little suspecting

What dangers closely lie enambushed.

 

DAENIA
Let us not trust to that. Thereís in his breast

Both fox and lion, and both these beasts can bite.

We must not now behold the narrowest loop-hole,

But presently suspect a winged bullet

Flies whizzing by our ears.

 

MEDINA

For when I let

The plummet fall to sound his very soul

In his close-chamber, being French-Doctor like,

He to the Cardinalís ear sung sorcerous notes,

The burden of his song, to mine, was death,

Onaeliaís murder, and Sebastianís.

And think you his voice alters now? ĎTis strange,

To see how brave this tyrant shows in court,

Throned like a god. Great men are pretty stars,

When his rays shine, wonder fills up all eyes

By sight of him, let him but once check sin,

About him round all cry, oh excellent King!

Oh Saint-like man! But, let this King retire

Into his closet to put off his robes,

He like a player leaves his part too.

Open his breast, and with a sunbeam search it,

Thereís no such man. This King of gilded clay,

Within is ugliness, lust, treachery,

And a base soul, though reared Colossus-like.

 

Balthazar beats to come in.

 

DAENIA

None till he speaks, and that we know his voice.

Who are you?

 

BALTHAZAR (within)

An honest house-keeper in RosemaryLane<54> too, if you dwell in the same parish.

 

MEDINA

Oh Ďtis our honest soldier, give him entrance.

 

BALTHAZAR

Men show like coarses, for I meet few but are stuck with Rosemary. Every one asked me who was married today, and I told them Adultery and Repentance, and that Shame and a Hangman followed them to church.

 

MEDINA

Thereís but two parts to play, shame has done hers,

But execution must close up the scene,

And for that cause these sprigs are worn by all,

Bags of marriage, now of funeral,

For death this day turns courtier.

 

BALTHAZAR

Who must dance with him?

 

MEDINA

The King, and all that are our opposites.

That dart or this must fly into the court

Either to shoot this blazing star from Spain,

Or else so long to wrap him up in clouds,

Till all the fatal fires in him burn out,

Leaving his state and conscience clear from doubt

Of following uproars.

 

ALBA

Kill not, but surprise him.

 

CARLO

Thatís my voice still.

 

MEDINA

Thine, soldier?

 

BALTHAZAR

Oh, this colic of a kingdom, when the wind of treason gets amongst the small guts, what a rumbling and a roaring it keeps. And yet, make the best of it you can, it goes on stinking. Kill a King?

 

DAENIA

Why?

 

BALTHAZAR

If men should pull the sun out of heaven every time Ďtis eclipsed, not all the wax nor tallow in Spain would serve to make us candles for one year.

 

MEDINA

No way to purge

The sick state, but by opening a vein.

 

BALTHAZAR

Is that your French physic? If every one of us should be whipped according to our faults, to be lashed at a cartís tail would be held but a flea biting.

 

Enter Signor No.

 

MEDINA  whispers

What are you? Come from the King?

 

NO

No.

 

BALTHAZAR

No? More noís? I know him, let him enter.

 

MEDINA

Signor, I thank your kind intelligence,

The news long since was sent into our ears,

Yet we embrace your love, so fare you well.

 

CARLO

Will you smell to a sprig of rosemary?

 

NO

No.

 

BALTHAZAR

Will you be hanged?

 

NO

No.

 

BALTHAZAR

This is either Signor No, or no Signor.

 

MEDINA

He makes his love to us a warning piece

To arm ourselves against we come to court,

Because the guard is doubled.

 

ALL

Tush, we care not.

 

BALTHAZAR

If any here arms his hand to cut off the head, let him first pluck out my throat. In any noble act Iíll wade chin-deep with you. But to kill a King?

 

MEDINA

No hear me...

 

BALTHAZAR

You were better, my Lord, sail five hundred times to Bantam <55> in the West Indies , that once to Barathrum in the Low Countries . Itís hot going under the line there, the calenture <56> of the soul is a most miserable madness.

 

MEDINA

Turn then this wheel of fate from shedding blood

Till with her own hand Justice weighs all.

 

BALTHAZAR

Good.

 

Exeunt.

 

ACT 5 SCENE 3

 

Enter Queen, Malateste.

 

QUEEN

Must then his trul <57> be once more sphered in court

To triumph in my spoils, in my eclipses?

And I like moping Juno sit, whilst Jove

Varies his lust into five hundred shapes

To steal to his whoreís bed! No Malateste,

Italian fires of Jealousy burn my marrow.

For to delude my hopes, the lecherous king

Cuts out this robe of cunning marriage,

To cover his incontinence, which flames

Hot, as my fury, in his black desires.

I am swollen big with child of vengeance now,

And till delivered, feel the throws of hell.

 

MALATESTE

Just is your imagination, high and noble,

And the brave heat of a true Florentine:

For Spain trumpets abroad her interest

In the Kingís heart, and with a black coal draws

On every wall your scoffed at injuries,

As one that has the refuse of her sheets,

And the sick Autumn of the weakened King,

Where she drunk pleasures up in the full spring.

 

QUEEN

That, Malateste, that, that torrent wracks me.

But Hymenís torch, held downward, shall drop out,

And for it, the mad Furies swing their brands

About the bride-chamber.

 

MALATESTE

The priest that joins them,

Our twin born malediction.

 

QUEEN

Loud it may speak.

 

MALATESTE

The herbs and flowers to strew the wedding way,

Be cypress, eugh, cold colliquintida. <58>

 

QUEEN

Herbane and poppy, and that magical weed

Which hags at midnight watch to catch the seed. <59>

 

MALATESTE

To these our execrations, and what mischief

Hell can but hatch in a distracted brain,

Iíll be the executioner, though it look

So horrid it can fright even murder back.

 

QUEEN

Poison his whore today, for thou shalt wait

On the Kingís cup, and when heated with wine

He calls to drink the brideís health, marry her

Alive to a gaping grave.

 

MALATESTE

At board?

 

QUEEN

At board.

 

MALATESTE

When she being guarded round about with friends,

Like a fairy land, hemmed with rocks and seas,

What rescue shall I find?

 

QUEEN

Mine arms. Dost faint?

Stood all the Pyrenean hills that part

Spain and our country, on each others shoulders,

Burning with Aetnean flame, yet thou shouldíst on,

As being my steel of resolution,

First striking sparkles from my flinty breast.

Wert thou to catch the horses of the sun

Fast by their bridles, and to turn back day,

Wouldíst thou not do it, base coward, to make way

To the Italians second bliss, revenge?

 

MALATESTE

Were my bones threatened to the wheel of torture

Iíll do it.

 

Enter Lopez.

 

QUEEN

A ravenís voice, and it likes me well.

 

LOPEZ

The King expects your presence.

 

MALATESTE

So, so we come.

To turn this brideís day to a day of doom.

 

Exeunt.

 

ACT 5 SCENE 4

 

A banquet set out, cornets sounding; enter at one door, Lopez, Valasco, Alanzo, No. After them King, Cardinal, with Don Cockadillio, Bridegroom, Queen and Malateste after. At the other door, Alba, Carlo, Roderigo, Medina and Daenia leading Onaelia as bride, Cornego, and Juanna after, Balthazar alone. The Bride and Bridegroom kiss, and by the Cardinal are joined hand in hand. The King is very merry, hugging Medina very lovingly.

 

KING

For half Spainís weigh in ingots Iíd not lose

This little man today.

 

MEDINA

Not for so much

Twice told Sir, would I miss your Kingly presence.

Mine eyes have lost the acquaintance of your face

So long, and I so little late read oíer

That index of the royal book your mind,

That scarce, without your comment, can I tell

When in those leaves you turn oíer smiles or frowns.

 

KING

ĎTis dimness of your sight, no fault iíthe letter. 

Medina, you shall find that free from erratas,

And for a proof, if I could breathe my heart

In welcome forth, this hall should ring naught else.

Welcome Medina, Good Marquis Daenia,

Dons of Spain all welcome.

My dearest love and Queen, be it your place

To entertain the bride, and do her grace.

 

QUEEN

With all the love I can, whose fire is such,

To give her heat, I cannot burn too much.

 

KING

Contracted bride, and bridegroom sit,

Sweet flowers not plucked in season lose their scent,

So will our pleasures. Father Cardinal,

Methinks this morning new begins our reign.

 

CARDINAL

Peace had her Sabbath neír till now in Spain .

 

KING

Where is our noble soldier Balthazar?

So close in conference with that Signor?

 

NO

No.

 

KING

What thinkíst thou of this great day Balthazar?

 

BALTHAZAR

Of this day? Why as of a new play, if it ends well, allís well. All but men are but actors, now if you being the King should be out of your part, or the Queen out of hers, or your Dons out if theirs, hereís No will never be out of his.

 

NO

No.

 

BALTHAZAR

ĎTwere a lamentable piece of stuff to see great statesmen have vile exits, but I hope there are nothing but plaudities in all your eyes.

 

KING

Mine I protest are free.

 

QUEEN

And mine by heaven.

 

MALATESTE [Aside]

Free from one good look till the blow be given.

 

KING

Wine. A full cup crowned to Medinaís health.

 

MEDINA

Your highness this day so much honours me,

That I to pay you what I truly owe,

My life shall venture for it.

 

DAENIA

So shall mine.

 

KING

Onaelia, you are sad. Why frowns your brow?

 

ONAELIA

A foolish memory of my past ills

Folds up my look in furrows of old care,

But my heartís merry, Sir.

 

KING

Which mirth to heighten,

Your bridegroom and yourself first pledge this health

Which we begin to our High Constable.

 

Three cups filled, one to the King, the second to the Bridegroom and the third to Onaelia, with whom the King compliments.

 

QUEEN

Isít speeding?

 

MALATESTE

As all our Spanish figs are.

 

KING

Hereís to Medinaís heart with all my heart.

 

MEDINA

My heart shall pledge your heart iíth deepest draught

That ever Spaniard drank.

 

KING

Medina mocks me,

Because I wrong her with the largest bowl.

Iíll change with thee Onaelia.

 

Malateste rages.

 

QUEEN

Sir, you shall not!

 

KING

Fear you I cannot fetch it off?

 

QUEEN

Malateste!

 

KING

This is your scorn to her, because I am doing

This poorest honour to her. Music sound,

It goes were it ten fathoms to the ground.

 

Cornets play. King drinks, Queen and Malateste storm.

 

MALATESTE

Fate strikes with the wrong weapon.

 

QUEEN

Sweet Royal Sir no more, it is too deep.

 

MALATESTE

Twill hurt your health sir.

 

KING

Interrupt me in my drink? ĎTis off.

 

MALATESTE

Alas Sir.

You have drunk your last, that poisoned bowl I filled

Not to be put in your hand, but hers.

 

KING

Poisoned?

 

ALL

Descend black speckled soul to hell!

 

[The faction turn on Malateste and wound him.]

 

MALATESTE

The Queen has sent me thither.

 

Malateste dies.

 

CARDINAL

What new fury shakes now with her snakeís locks?

 

QUEEN

I, I, Ďtis I

Whose soul is torn in pieces, till I send

This harlot home.

 

CARDINAL

More murders! Save the Lady.

 

BALTHAZAR

Rampant? Let the Constable make a mittimus <60>.

 

MEDINA

Keep them asunder.

 

CARDINAL
How is it royal son?

 

KING

I feel no poison yet, only mine eyes

Are putting out their lights. Me thinks I feel

Deathís icy fingers stroking down my face.

And now Iím in a mortal cold sweat.

 

QUEEN

Dear my Lord.

 

KING

Hence, call in my physicians.

 

MEDINA

Thy physician tyrant,

Dwells yonder, call on him or none.

 

KING

Bloody Medina, stabíst thou Brutus too?

 

DAENIA

As he is, so are we all.

 

KING

I burn,

My brains boil in a cauldron, oh one drop

Of water now to cool me.

 

ONAELIA

Oh, let him have physicians.

 

MEDINA

Keep her back.

 

KING

Physicians for my soul, I need none else.

Youíll not deny me those. Oh holy father,

Is there no mercy hovering in a cloud

For me a miserable King so drenched

In perjury and murder?

 

CARDINAL

Oh Sir, great store.

 

KING

Come down, come quickly down.

 

CARDINAL

Iíll forthwith send

For a grave Friar to be your confessor.

 

KING

Do, do.

 

CARDINAL

And he shall cure your wounded soul.

Fetch him good soldier.

 

BALTHAZAR

So good a work, Iíll hasten.

 

[Exit Balthazar.]

 

KING

Onaelia! Oh she's drowned in tears! Onaelia,

Let me not die unpardoned at thy hands.

 

Enter Balthazar, Sebastian as a Friar with others.

 

CARDINAL

Here comes a better surgeon.

 

SEBASTIAN

Hail my good son

I come to be thy ghostly father.

 

KING

Ha?

My child! ĎTis my Sebastian, or some spirit

Sent in his shape to fright me.

 

BALTHAZAR

ĎTis no goblin, Sir, feel. Your own flesh and blood, and much younger than you though he be bald, and calls you son. Had I been as ready to have cut his sheepís throat, as you were to send him to the shambles <61>, he had bleated no more. Thereís less chalk upon your score of sins by these round Oíes <62>.

 

KING

Oh my dull soul look up, thou art somewhat lighter.

Noble Medina, see Sebastian lives.

Onaelia cease to weep, Sebastian lives.

Fetch me my crown. My sweetest pretty Friar

Can my hands doít, Iíll raise thee one step higher.

Thouíst been in heavenís house all this while sweet boy?

 

SEBASTIAN

I had but coarse cheer.

 

KING

Thou couldíst níer fare better.

Religious houses are those hives where bees

Make honey for menís souls. I tell thee boy,

A Friary is a cube, which strongly stands,

Fashioned by men, supported by heavenís hands.

Orders of holy priesthood are as high

Iíth eyes of Angels, as a Kingís dignity.

Both these unto a Crown give the full weight,

And both are thine. You that our contract know,

See how I seal it with this marriage.

My blessing and Spainís kingdom both be thine.

 

ALL

Long live Sebastian.

 

ONAELIA

Doff that Friarís coarse grey.

And since heís crowned a King, clothe him like one.

 

KING

Oh no. Those are right sovereign ornaments.

Had I been clothed so, I had never filled

Spainís chronicle with my black calumny.

My work is almost finished. Whereís my Queen?

 

QUEEN

Here piecemeal, torn by Furies.

 

KING

Onaelia!

Your hand Paulina too, Onaelia yours.

This hand, the pledge of my twice broken faith,

By you usurped is her inheritance.

My love is turned, see as my fate is turned,

Thus they today laugh, yesterday which mourned.

I pardon thee my death. Let her be sent

Back into Florence with a trebled dowry.

Death comes, oh now I see what late I feared!

A contract broke, though pieced up neír so well,

Heaven sees, earth suffers, but it ends in hell.

 

King Dies.

 

ONAELIA

Oh, I could die with him.

 

QUEEN

Since the bright sphere

I moved in falls, alas what make I here?

 

Exit Queen.

 

MEDINA

The hammers of black mischief now cease beating,

Yet some irons still are heating. You Sir Bridegroom,

Set all this while up as a mark to shoot at,

We here discharge you of your bedfellow,

She loves no barberís washing <63>.

 

COCKADILLIO

My balls are saved then.

 

MEDINA

Be it your charge, so please you reverend Sir,

To see the late Queen safely to Florence.

My niece Onaelia, and that trusty soldier,

We do appoint to guard the infant King.

Other distractions, time must reconcile.

The State is poisoned like a crocodile.

 

FINIS