188.1[Scene 3]
Enter [Sueno], King of Denmark, with some attendants; Blanche, his 190daughter; Mariana; Marquis Lübeck; [and] William, disguised [as Sir Robert of Windsor].
Lord Marquis Lübeck, welcome home.
[To William] Welcome, brave knight, unto the Denmark king.
For William’s sake, the noble Norman duke,
195So famous for his fortunes and success
That graceth him with name of ‘Conqueror’,
Right double welcome must thou be to us.
And to my lord the king shall I recount
Your grace’s courteous entertainment
200That for his sake vouchsafe to honour me,
A simple knight attendant on his grace.
But say, Sir Knight, what may I call your name?
Robert Windsor, and like your majesty.
I tell thee, Robert, I so admire the man
205As that I count it heinous guilt in him
That honours not Duke William with his heart.
Blanche, bid this stranger welcome, good my girl.
Should I neglect your highness’ charge herein
It might be thought of base discourtesy.
210Welcome, Sir Knight, to Denmark heartily.
Thanks, gentle lady. [Aside to Lübeck] Lord Marquis, what is she?
That same is Blanche, daughter to the king,
The substance of the shadow that you saw.
[Aside] May this be she for whom I crossed the seas?
215I am ashamed to think I was so fond
In whom there’s nothing that contends my mind:
Ill head, worse featured, uncomely, nothing courtly,
Swart and ill-favoured, a collier’s sanguine skin.
I never saw a harder-favoured slut.
220Love her? For what? I can no whit abide her.
Mariana, I have this day received letters
From Swethia that lets me understand
Your ransom is collecting there with speed,
And shortly shall be hither sent to us.
225Not that I find occasion of mislike
My entertainment in your grace’s court,
But that I long to see my native home.
And reason have you, madam, for the same.
Lord Marquis, I commit unto your charge
230The entertainment of Sir Robert here.
Let him remain with you within the court,
To spend the time in solace and disport.
I thank your highness, whose bounden I remain.
Exit [Sueno], King of Denmark [and attendants].
235Blanche speaketh this secretly at one end of the stage.
Unhappy Blanche, what strange effects are these
That works within my thoughts confusedly,
That still methinks affection draws me on
To take, to like, nay more, to love this knight?
240[Aside] A modest countenance, no heavy, sullen look.
Not very fair, but richly decked with favour.
A sweet face, an exceeding dainty hand.
A body, were it framed of wax
By all the cunning artists of the world,
245It could not better be proportionèd.
How now, Sir Robert? In a study, man?
Here is no time for contemplation.
My lord, there is a certain odd conceit
Which on the sudden greatly troubles me.
250How like you Blanche? I partly do perceive
The little boy hath played the wag with you.
The more I look, the more I love to look.
Who says that Mariana is not fair?
I’ll gauge my gauntlet ’gainst the envious man
255That dares avow there liveth her compare.
Sir Robert, you mistake your counterfeit.
[Indicating Blanche] This is the lady which you came to see.
Yea, my lord, she is counterfeit indeed,
[Indicating Mariana] For there is the substance that best contents me.
260That is my love. Sir Robert, you do wrong me.
The better for you, sir, she is your love.
As for the wrong, I see not how it grows.
In seeking that which is another’s right.
As who should say your love were privileged,
265That none might look upon her but yourself?
These jars become not our familiarity,
Nor will I stand on terms to move your patience.
Why, my lord, am not I of flesh and blood
As well as you?
Then give me leave to love as well as you.
270To love, Sir Robert? But whom? Not she I love?
Nor stands it with the honour of my state
To brook corrivals with me in my love.
So, sir, we are thorough for that lady.
Ladies, farewell. Lord Marquis, will you go?
275[Aside] I will find a time to speak with her, I trow.
With all my heart. Come ladies, will you walk?