A house near London.
ELIZABETH, STEWARD OF THE HOUSEHOLD, ATTENDANTS.
There’s half an angel wrong’d in your account;
Methinks I am all angel, that I bear it
Without more ruffling. Cast it o’er again.
I were whole devil if I wrong’d you, Madam.
The Count de Feria, from the King of Spain.
Ay!—let him enter. Nay, you need not go:
[To her LADIES.
Remain within the chamber, but apart.
We’ll have no private conference. Welcome to England!
Fair island star!
I shine! What else, Sir Count?
As far as France, and into Philip’s heart.
My King would know if you be fairly served,
And lodged, and treated.
You see the lodging, sir,
I am well-served, and am in everything
Most loyal and most grateful to the Queen.
You should be grateful to my master, too.
He spoke of this; and unto him you owe
That Mary hath acknowledged you her heir.
No, not to her nor him; but to the people,
Who know my right, and love me, as I love
The people! whom God aid!
You will be Queen,
And, were I Philip—
Wherefore pause you—what?
Nay, but I speak from mine own self, not him;
Your royal sister cannot last; your hand
Will be much coveted! What a delicate one!
Our Spanish ladies have none such—and there,
Were you in Spain, this fine fair gossamer gold—
Like sun-gilt breathings on a frosty dawn—
That hovers round your shoulder—
Is it so fine?
Troth, some have said so.
—would be deemed a miracle.
Your Philip hath gold hair and golden beard;
There must be ladies many with hair like mine.
Some few of Gothic blood have golden hair,
But none like yours.
I am happy you approve it.
But as to Philip and your Grace—consider,
If such a one as you should match with Spain,
What hinders but that Spain and England join’d,
Should make the mightiest empire earth has known.
Spain would be England on her seas, and England
Mistress of the Indies.
It may chance, that England
Will be the Mistress of the Indies yet,
Without the help of Spain.
Except you put Spain down.
Wide of the mark ev’n for a madman’s dream.
Perhaps; but we have seamen.
Count de Feria,
I take it that the King hath spoken to you;
But is Don Carlos such a goodly match?
Don Carlos, Madam, is but twelve years old.
Ay, tell the King that I will muse upon it;
He is my good friend, and I would keep him so;
But—he would have me Catholic of Rome,
And that I scarce can be; and, sir, till now
My sister’s marriage, and my father’s marriages,
Make me full fain to live and die a maid.
But I am much beholden to your King.
Have you aught else to tell me?
Save that methought I gather’d from the Queen
That she would see your Grace before she—died.
God’s death! and wherefore spake you not before?
We dally with our lazy moments here,
And hers are number’d. Horses there, without!
I am much beholden to the King, your master.
Why did you keep me prating? Horses, there!
[Exit Elizabeth, etc.
So from a clear sky falls the thunderbolt!
Don Carlos? Madam, if you marry Philip,
Then I and he will snaffle your ‘God’s death,’
And break your paces in, and make you tame;
God’s death, forsooth—you do not know King Philip.