St. Paul’s Cross
FATHER BOURNE in the pulpit. A CROWD. MARCHIONESS OF EXETER,
COURTENAY. The SIEUR DE NOAILLES and his man ROGER in front
of the stage. Hubbub.
Hast thou let fall those papers in the palace?
‘There will be no peace for Mary till
Elizabeth lose her head.’
And the other, ‘Long live Elizabeth the Queen!’
Ay, sir; she needs must tread upon them.
These beastly swine make such a grunting here,
I cannot catch what Father Bourne is saying.
Quiet a moment, my masters; hear what the shaveling has to say for himself.
—and so this unhappy land, long divided in itself, and sever’d from the faith, will return into the one true fold, seeing that our gracious Virgin Queen hath——
No pope! no pope!
ROGER (to those about him, mimicking BOURNE).
—hath sent for the holy legate of the holy father the Pope, Cardinal Pole, to give us all that holy absolution which——
Old Bourne to the life!
Holy absolution! holy Inquisition!
Down with the Papist!
—and now that your good bishop, Bonner, who hath lain so long under bonds for the faith—
Friend Roger, steal thou in among the crowd,
And get the swine to shout Elizabeth.
Yon gray old Gospeller, sour as midwinter,
Begin with him.
By the mass, old friend, we’ll have no pope here while the Lady Elizabeth lives.
Art thou of the true faith, fellow, that swearest by the
Ay, that am I, new converted, but the old leaven sticks to my
He says right; by the mass we’ll have no mass here.
VOICES OF THE CROWD.
Peace! hear him; let his own words damn the
Papist. From thine own mouth I judge thee—tear him down!
—and since our Gracious Queen, let me call her our second
Virgin Mary, hath begun to re-edify the true temple——,
Virgin Mary! we’ll have no virgins here—we’ll have the
[Swords are drawn, a knife is hurled and sticks in the pulpit. The mob throng to the pulpit stairs.
MARCHIONESS OF EXETER.
Son Courtenay, wilt thou see the holy father
Murdered before thy face? up, son, and save him!
They love thee, and thou canst not come to harm.
COURTENAY (in the pulpit).
Shame, shame, my masters! are you
English-born, And set yourselves by hundreds against one?
A Courtenay! a Courtenay!
[A train of Spanish servants crosses at the back of the stage.
These birds of passage come before their time:
Stave off the crowd upon the Spaniard there.
My masters, yonder’s fatter game for you
Than this old gaping gurgoyle: look you there—
The Prince of Spain coming to wed our Queen!
After him, boys! and pelt him from the city.
[They seize stones and follow the Spaniards. Exeunt on the other side Marchioness of Exeter and Attendants.
NOAILLES (to ROGER).
Stand from me. If Elizabeth lose her head—
That makes for France.
And if her people, anger’d thereupon,
Arise against her and dethrone the Queen—
That makes for France.
And if I breed confusion anyway—
That makes for France.
Good-day, my Lord of Devon;
A bold heart yours to beard that raging mob!
My mother said, Go up; and up I went.
I knew they would not do me any wrong,
For I am mighty popular with them, Noailles.
You look’d a king.
Why not? I am king’s blood.
And in the whirl of change may come to be one.
But does your gracious Queen entreat you kinglike?
’Fore God, I think she entreats me like a child.
You’ve but a dull life in this maiden court, I fear, my Lord?
A life of nods and yawns.
So you would honour my poor house to-night,
We might enliven you. Divers honest fellows,
The Duke of Suffolk lately freed from prison,
Sir Peter Carew and Sir Thomas Wyatt,
Sir Thomas Stafford, and some more—we play.
The Game of Chess.
The Game of Chess!
I can play well, and I shall beat you there.
Ay, but we play with Henry, King of France,
And certain of his court.
His Highness makes his moves across the Channel,
We answer him with ours, and there are messengers
That go between us.
Why, such a game, sir, were whole years a playing.
Nay; not so long I trust. That all depends
Upon the skill and swiftness of the players.
The King is skilful at it?
Very, my Lord.
And the stakes high?
But not beyond your means.
Well, I’m the first of players, I shall win.
With our advice and in our company,
And so you well attend to the king’s moves,
I think you may.
When do you meet?
I will be there; the fellow’s at his tricks—
Deep—I shall fathom him. (Aloud) Good morning,
Good-day, my Lord. Strange game of chess! a King
That with her own pawns plays against a Queen,
Whose play is all to find herself a King.
Ay; but this fine blue-blooded Courtenay seems
Too princely for a pawn. Call him a Knight,
That, with an ass’s, not a horse’s head,
Skips every way, from levity or from fear.
Well, we shall use him somehow, so that Gardiner
And Simon Renard spy not out our game
Too early. Roger, thinkest thou that anyone
Suspected thee to be my man?
Not one, sir.
No! the disguise was perfect. Let’s away.