1Actus primus, Scaena prima.
Enter William the Conqueror: Marques Lubeck, with a picture:
Mountney: Manuile: Valingford: and Duke Dirot.
Marques. WHat meanes faire Britaines mighty Conqueror
5So suddenly to cast away his staffe?
And all in passion to forsake the tilt.
D. Dirot. My Lord, this triumph we solemnise here,
Is of meere loue to your increasing ioyes:
Only expecting cheerefull lookes for all.
10What sudden pangs then moues your maiesty,
To dim the brightnesse of the day with frownes?
W.Conqueror. Ah, good my Lords, misconster not the cause:
At least, suspect not my displeased browes
I amorously do beare to your intent:
15For thanks and all that you can wish I yeeld.
But that which makes me blush and shame to tell,
Is cause why thus I turne my conquering eyes
To cowards lookes and beaten fantasies.
Mountney. Since we are guiltlesse, we the lesse dismay
20To see this sudden change possesse your cheere:
For if it issue from your owne conceits,
Bred by suggestion of some enuious thoughts:
Your highnesse wisdome may suppresse it straight.
Yet tell vs (good my Lord) what thought it is,
25That thus bereaues you of your late content,
That in aduise we may assist your Grace.
Or bend our forces to reuiue your spirits.
W. Con. Ah Marques Lubeck, in thy power it lyes
To rid my bosome of these thraled dumps:
30And therefore, good my Lords forbeare a while,
That we may parley of these priuate cares,
Whose strength subdues me more than all the world.
Valingford. We goe and wish thee priuate conference,
Publicke affects in this accustomed peace.
35Exit all but William and the Marques.
William. Now Marques must a Conqueror at armes
Disclose himselfe thrald to vnarmed thoughts,
And threatned of a shaddow, yeeld to lust:
No sooner had my sparkeling eyes beheld
40The flames of beautie blasing on this peece,
But suddenly a sence of myracle
Imagined on thy louely Maistres face,
Made mee abandon bodily regard,
And cast all pleasures on my wounded soule:
45Then gentle Marques tell me what she is,
That thus thou honourest on thy warlike shield:
And if thy loue and interest be such,
As iustly may giue place to mine,
That if it be: my soule with honors wings
50May fly into the bosome of my deare.
If not, close them and stoope into my graue.
Marques. If this be all renowned Conquero:
Aduance your drooping spirits, and reuiue
The wonted courage of your Conquering minde,
55For this faire picture painted on my shield
Is the true counterfeit of louelie Blanch
Princes and daughter to the King of Danes:
Whose beautie and excesse of ornaments
Deserues another manner of defence
60Pompe and high person to attend her state
Than Marques Lubeck any way presents:
Therefore her vertues I resigne ro thee,
Alreadie shrind in thy religious brest,
To be aduanced and honoured to the full.
65Nor beare I this an argument of loue:
But to renowne faire Blanch my Soueraignes Childe,
In euerie place where I by armes may doe it.
William. Ah Marques, thy words bring heauen vnto my soule,
And had I heauen to giue for thy reward,
70Thou shouldst be thronde in no vnworthy place.
But let my vttermost wealth suffice thy worth,
Which here I vowe, and to aspire the blisse
That hangs on quicke atchiuement of my loue,
Thy selfe and I will trauell in disguise,
75To bring this Ladie to our Brittaine Court
Marques. Let William but bethinke what may auayle,
And let mee die if I denie my ayde.
William. Then thus: The Duke Dirot and th'Earle Dimach
Will I leaue substitutes to rule my Realme,
80While mightie loue forbids my being here,
And in the name of Sir Robert of Windsor
Will goe with thee vnto the Danish Court.
Keepe Williams secrets Marques if thou loue him.
Bright Blaunch I come, sweet fortune fauour me,
85And I will laud thy name eternally.