5.1[1]      A scaffold.[2]            Enter Velasco and Lodovico


This is not kindly done, nor like a friend.


Keep your chamber then; what should owls and bats do abroad by daylight? Why, you are become so notoriously ridiculous that a craven[3] is reputed of nobler spirit amongst birds than Velasco among men.


Why, Lodovico, dost thou tempt my wrongs?

O friend, ’tis not an honour or a fame

Can be a gain to me, though I should dare

To entertain this combat. Say my fate

Did crown mine arm with conquest of the King;

Put case the cause add glory to the justice

Of my prevailing sword—what can I win?

Saving a pair of lives I lose a soul:

My rich soul, Lodovico. Does not yet

The heart even thrill[4] within thee? All thy spirits

Melt into passions? All thy manhood stagger

Like mine? Nay, canst thou choose but now confess

That this word ‘coward’ is a name of dignity? 


Faint hearts and strong tongues are the tokens of many a tall, prattling gossip—yet the truth is you have half-convinced me. But to what end will you be a looker on the tragedy of this she-beast?[5] It will but breed your greater vexation.


I hope not so; I look for comfort in’t.


Mass, that may be too—it cannot but make your melancholy a little merry to see the woodcock’s neck caught in a worse noose than she had set for you.[6]


That’s but a poor revenge. I’d rather weep

On her behalf, but that[7] I hope her courage

Will triumph over death.


                                         My lord, they come.[8]


Let me stand back unseen. Good angels guard her.

                                                                      Velasco muffles himself.

Enter executioner before Salassa, her hair loose; after her, Almado,[9] Collumello and officers.


’Tis a sad welcome

To bid you welcome to the stroke of death.

Yet you are come to’t, lady.


                                                And a curse

Throughout the land will be your general knell

For having been the wilful overthrow,

First of your country’s champion, next your Queen,

Your lawful sovereign, who this very day

Must act a part which you must act before,[10]

But with less guilt.


                                          Use no long speeches, lady,

The danger of the time calls us away;

We cannot listen to your farewells now.


I have few words to say, my heart is lodged

In yon same upper parliament. Yet now

If, ere I part[11] and shall be seen no more,

Some man of mercy could but truly speak

One word of pardon from the lord Velasco,

My peace were made in earth, and I should fly

With wings of speed to heaven.


                                                     Pish, here’s not any.


Not any? On then, why should I prolong

A minute more of life that live so late—

Where most I strive for love to purchase hate?

Bear witness, lords, I wish not to call back

My younger days in promise that I would

Redeem my fault and do Velasco right,

But, could I but reverse the doom of time,

I would with humblest suit make prayers to heaven

For his long flourishing welfare.


                                                      Dispatch, dispatch;[12]

You should have thought on this before; pray now

For your own health,[13] for you have need to pray.


Madam Salassa, I am bold to take leave of ye before your long journey. All the comfort that I can give you is that the weather is like to hold very fair, you need not take much care for either hood or cloak for the matter.


Are you come? Worthy sir, then I may hope

Your noble friend hath sent one gentle sigh

To grace my funeral. For virtue’s sake,

Give me a life in death: tell me, O tell me—

If he but seal my pardon, all is well.


Say ye so? Why then in a word, go merrily up the stairs; my lord Velasco desires heaven may as heartily forgive him as he does you.


Enough. I thank his bounty; on I go         Goes up the scaffold.

To smile on horror. So, so, I’m up,

Great in my lowness; and to witness further

My humbleness, here let me kneel and breathe

My penitence. O women, in my fall

Remember that your beauties, youth and pride

Are but gay tempters. ’Less you wisely shun

The errors of your frailties, let me ever

Be an example to all fickle dames,

That folly is no shrine for virtuous names.

Heaven pardon all my vanities and free

The lord Velasco,[14] whate’er come of me.

Bless, bless, the lord Velasco—Strike![15]

As [the executioner] is about to strike, Velasco steps out.


Villain, hold! Hold or thou diest, slave!


What means that countermand?


Hey-do! More news yet; you will not be valiant when ’tis too late, I trust?


Woman, come down. Who lends me now a sword?


Marry, that do I, sir, I am your first man. Here, here, here, take heed you do not hurt your fingers, ’twill cut plaguily—and what will you do with it?


Base woman, take thy life, thy cursèd life;

I set thee free, and for it pawn a soul,

But that I know heaven hath more store of mercy[16]

Than thou and all thy sex of sin and falsehood.

My lords, I now stand champion for the Queen—

Doth that discharge her?


                                        Bravest man, it doth.

Lady, y’are safe now. Officers away.

This is a blessed hour!

Ex[eunt] Officers, [and Salassa dismounts the scaffold].


                                     You shall for ever

Bind us your servants.


Aha! Why then, however things happen, let them fall as they fall. God-a-mercy,[17] my lord, at last.            Shout within.


Hark how the people ring a peal[18] of joy

For this good news. My lord, time steals away,

We may not linger now.


                                       You give me life;

Take it not, sir, away again. I see

Upon your troubled eyes such discontent

As frights my trembling heart. Dear sir—


                                                                  The gold

You hazarded your life for is your own;

You may receive it at your pleasure.



’Tis ready for you, lady.


                                         Gold? Let gold

And all the treasures of the earth besides

Perish like trash—I value nothing, sir,

But your assurèd love.


                                      My love? Vain woman,

Henceforth thus turn I from thee: never look

For apish dotage, for a smile, a how-d’ye,

A fare-ye-well, a thought from me. Let snakes

Live in my bosom and with murderous stings

Infect the vital warmth that lends them life,

If ever I remember thee or thine.

If I prevail, my services shall crave

But one reward, which shall be if that ever

Thou come but in my sight, the state will please

To banish thee the land—or else I vow

Myself to leave it.


                               My ill-purchased life!


Ill-purchased life, indeed, whose ransom craves[19]

A sadder price than price of bloodshed saves.

Go learn, bad woman, what it is, how foul,

By gaining of a life, to lose a soul.

The price of one soul[20] doth exceed as far

A life here[21] as the sun in light a star.

Here, though we live some threescore years or more,

Yet we must die at last, and quit[22] the score

We owe to nature. But the soul, once dying,

Dies ever, ever—no repurifying,

No earnest sighs or groans, no intercession,

No tears, no penance. No too-late confession

Can move the ear of justice, if it doom

A soul past cure to an infernal tomb.

Make use of this, Salassa.


Think upon that now, and take heed you look my lord no more in the face.[23]


Goodness protect him! Now my life so late[24]

I strove to save, which being saved I hate. 

                                                                                             Exeunt all.



[5.2]             Enter Alphonso armed all save the head, leading the Queen,

                         a herald going before; Muretto, Herophil [and] a guard.[25]


Are you resolved to die?


                                        When life is irksome

Death is a happiness.


                                   Yes, if the cause

Make it not infamous; but when a beauty

So most[26] incomparable as yours is blemished

With the dishonourable stamp of whoredom,

When your black-tainted name—which should have been,

Had you preserved it nobly, your best chronicle

Wherein you might have lived—when this is stained,

And justly too, then death doth but heap

Affliction on the dying. Yet you see

With what a sympathy of equal grief

I mourn your ruin.


                              Would you could as clearly

Perceive mine innocence, as I can clearly

Protest it.


                  Fie! To justify a sin

Is worse than to commit it—now y’are faulty.[27]


What a royal pair of excellent creatures are here both upon the castaway.[28] It were a saint-like mercy in you, my lord, to remit the memory of a past error. And in you, madam, if you be guilty of the supposed crime, to submit yourself to the King. I dare promise, his love to you is so unfeigned that it will relent in your humility. Pray do, good madam, do.


But how if I be free?[29]


By any means, for your honour’s cause, do not yield then one jot. Let not the faint fear of death deject you before the royalty of an erected heart.[30] D’ye hear this, my lord? ’Tis a doubtful case, almost impossible to be decided. Look upon her well—as I hope to prosper, she hath a most virtuous, a most innocent countenance—never heed it. I know, my lord, your jealousy and your affections wrestle together within you for the mastery.[31] Mark her beauty thoroughly.[32] Now, by all the power of love, ’tis pity she should not be as fair within as without.


Could that be proved, I’d give my kingdom straight

And live a slave to her and her perfections.

Enter Almado, Collumello[33] [and] attendants.

Lords, welcome. See, thus arm-in-arm we pace

To the wide theatre of blood and shame,

My Queen and I. My Queen? Had she been still

As she was, mine, we might have lived too happ’ly

For either’s comfort. Here on this sweet model,

This plot of wonder, this fair face, stands fixed

My whole felicity on earth. In witness

Whereof, behold, my lords, those manly tears

Which her unkindness and my cruel fate

Force from their quiet springs. They speak aloud

To all this open air, these public eyes,[34]

That whether[35] I kill or die in this attempt

I shall in both be vanquished.


                                               ’Tis strange, my lord,

Your love should seem so mighty in your hatred.


Muretto, go, and guard Petruchi safe.                   Exit Muretto.

We must be stout now and give over whining.

He shall confess strange things, my lords, I warrant ye.

Comes not a champion yet?


                                              None dares, I hope.


The Queen, you know, hath bound us all by oath:

We must not undertake to combat you

Although the cause should prove apparent for her.


Must not? Why then, y’are cowards all, all base,

And fall off from your duties; but you know

Her follies are notorious—none dares stand

To justify a sin they see so plainly.


You are too hard a censurer.

Alphonso  [to the Queen]

Give me your hand. Farewell; thus from my joys

I part, I ever part. Yet, good my lords,

Place her on yonder throne, where she may sit

Just in mine eye, that so if strength should fail,

I might fetch double strength from her sweet beauty.

I’ll hear no answers.        [The Queen is escorted to the throne][36]


                                  Heaven be always guard

To noble actions.


                            Here’s a medley love[37]

That kills in courtesy.


Herald, sound a warning to all defendants.        Trumpet sounds.

What? Comes no-one forth? How like you this, my lords?[38]

Sirrah, sound again.                     [The trumpet sounds again.][39]

A trumpet within. Enter herald sounding, after him Velasco

armed all save the head, Lodovico and attendants.

Velasco? Ha! Art thou the man? Although

Thy cowardice hath published thee so base

As that it is an injury to honour

To fight with one that hath been baffled, scorned,

Yet I will bid thee welcome.


                                               Nobly spoken.

Past times can tell you, sir, I was no coward,

And now the justice of a gallant quarrel

Shall new revive my dullness. Yonder sits

A Queen as free from stain of your disgrace

As you are foul in urging it.


Thou talk’st courageously; I love thee for it

And, if thou canst make good what thou avouchest,

I’ll kneel to thee, as to another nature.[40]


We come not here to chide. My sword shall thunder

The right for which I strike.


                                             Traitor to loyalty!

Rash and unknown fool, what desperate lunacy

Hath led thee on to draw thy treacherous sword

Against thy King, upon a ground so giddy

That thou art but a stranger in the cause

Thou wouldst defend? By all my royal blood—

If thou prevail’st, thy head shall answer it.


Madam, you wrong his truth and your own fame.


You violate the liberty of arms.


Pish, listen not to her—’tis I’m your man.


Why, foolish lords, unsensible and false;

Can any drop of blood be drawn from him—

My lord, your King—which is not drawn from me?

Velasco, by the duty that thou ow’st me,

I charge thee to lay by thy arms.


                                                     I must not,

Unless this man, whom you call ‘King’, confess

That he hath wronged your honour.


                                                          Wilt thou fight, then,

When I command the contrary?


                                                     I will.


Velasco, hear me once more. Thou were wont

To be as pitiful[41] as thou wert valiant;

I will entreat thee, gentle kind Velasco,

A weeping Queen sues to thee—do not fight,

Velasco—every blow thou givest the King

Wounds me. Didst ever love? Velasco, hear me.


She must not be endured.


                                         Nor can she win me.

Blush you, my lord, at this.


                                             O, let me die

Rather than see my lord affronted thus.               She faints.[42]


Hold up the Queen, she swoons.


                                                     Madam, dear madam.


Can you see her and not be touched, my lord?

Was ever woman false that loved so truly?


’Tis all dissimulation.


                                    You dishonour her;

To prove it, I’ll fight both quarrels now.    [The Queen revives][43]

Enter a herald sounding a trumpet

 after him Petruchi [unrecognized] armed head and all.


Hey-do? Here comes more work for metal men.[44]


Another? Who should he be?


                                               Speak! What art thou?


One that am summoned from the Power above

To guard the innocence of that fair Queen;

Not more against the man that would accuse her

Than all the world besides.


                                            Th’art welcome too.


You come too late, friend, I am he alone

Stands[46] ready to defend that gracious beauty.

You may return.


                           There’s not a man alive

Hath interest in this quarrel but myself.

I out of mine own knowledge can avouch

Her accusation to be merely false

As hell itself.


                       What mortal man is he,

So wilful in his confidence, can swear

More than he knows?


                                   I swear but what I know.


Hast thou a name?


                                Yes—help my beaver[47] down.

                                                                  Lodovico removes the visor[48]

D’ye know me now?


                                   Petruchi! Death of manhood—

I am plainly bought and sold.[49] Why, where’s Muretto?[50]

Enter Muretto with a sword drawn.


Here, as ready to stand in defence of that miracle of chaste women as any man in this presence.


Are all conspired against me? What, thou too?

Now by my father’s ashes, by my life,

Thou art a villain, a gross ranc’rous villain.

Didst not thou only first enforce my thoughts

To jealousy?[51]


                    ’Tis true, I did.


                                               Nay more:

Didst not thou feed those thoughts with fresh supplies?

Named every circumstance?


                                              All this I grant.


Dost grant it, dog, slave, hellhound?


Will you hear me?


Hear him, good my lord, let us persuade ye.


What canst thou say, impostor? Speak and choke!


I have not deserved this, my lord, and you shall find it. ’Tis true, I must confess, that I was the only instrument to incense you to this distemperature and I am proud to say it, and say it again before this noble presence, that I was myself the only man.


Insufferable devil!


                              Pray, my lord.


Wonder not, my lords, but lend me your attentions. I saw with what violence he pursued his resolutions not more in detestation of the Queen in particular than of all her sex in general. That I may not weary your patience, I bent all my studies to devise which way I might do service to my country by reclaiming the distraction of his discontents. And having felt his disposition in every pulse, I found him most addicted to this pestilence of jealousy, with a strong persuasion of which, I, from time to time, ever fed him by degrees, till I brought the Queen and the noble Petruchi into the dangers they yet stand in. But withal—and herein I appeal to your majesty’s own approbation—I seasoned my words with such an intermixing the praises of the Queen’s beauty that from jealousy I drew the King into a serious examination of her perfections.


Thus far, I must acknowledge he speaks truth.


At length, having found him indeed surely affected, I perceived that nothing but the supposed blemish of her dishonour could work a second divorce between them.


True, truly fate’s own truth.


Now, my lords, to clear that imputation, I knew how easy it would be by the apparent certainty itself.[52] In all which, if I have erred, it is the error of a loyal service. Only I must ever acknowledge how justly I have deserved a punishment, in drawing so virtuous a princess’s honour into public question, and humbly refer myself to her gracious clemency, and your noble constructions.


But can—can this be so?[53]


Let me ever else be the subject of your rage, in the sufferance of any torture.


And is she chaste, Petruchi?


                                             Chaste by virtue

As is the new-born virgin, for aught I know.


I ever whispered so much in your ears, my lord, and told you that it was impossible such singular endowments by nature should yield to the corruption so much as of an unworthy thought. Did I not tell you so from time to time?


Lay by your arms, my lords, and join with me.

Let’s kneel to this, what shall I call her? Woman?

No, she’s an angel, glory of creation.                All kneel.

Can you forget my wickedness? Your peers,

Your senators, your bravest men, make suit

On my behalf. Why speak ye not, my lords?[54]

I am, I know, too vile to be remitted,

But she is merciful.


                                     Great sovereign lady—


Be not so low, my lord, in your own thoughts:

You are, as you were, sovereign of my heart;

And I must kneel to you.                           [She kneels][55]


                                        But will you love me?


’Tis my part to ask that—will you love me?


Ever, yours ever. Let this kiss new-marry us.    [They kiss]

What say?


                   It does; and heaven itself can tell

I never did, nor will, wrong our first loves.


Speak it no more, let’s rise. Now I am King

Of two rich kingdoms as the world affords—

The kingdom of thy beauty, and this land.

But what rests for Muretto?


I account my worthiest thanks his debt.


And he deserves all honour, all respect.


Thus my embraces              [Embraces Muretto][56]

Can witness how I truly am his friend.


And I, whilst I have life.       [He does likewise]


Nay, when I am dead I will appear again, clap thee on the shoulder and cry, “God-a-mercy, old Suresby!”[57]


I must ask pardon of him. Still I thought

His plot had aimed all at his own behoof,[58]

But I am sorry for that misconceit.


My lords, what I have been heretofore, I cannot altogether excuse; but I am sure my desires were always honest, however my low fortune kept me down—but now I find ’tis your honest man is your honest man still, howe’er the world go.


Muretto, whilst I live thou shalt be near me

As thou deservest—and, noble gentlemen,

I am in all your debts—henceforth, believe me,

I’ll strive to be a servant to the state.


Long live happy both.


But where are now my brace of new-made courtiers,

My scholar and my captain?


I cry guilty. There is a large story depends upon their exploits, my lord, for both—they thinking in such perilous times to be shifting every man for one—have took a passing provident course to live without help hereafter. The man in the moon, signor Pynto, for the raising of his fortune a planet higher, is by this time married to a kind of loose-bodied widow, called by surname a bawd—one that, if he follow wholesome instructions, will maintain him, there’s no question on’t. The captain, for his part, is somewhat more delicately resolved for as adventurous (though not as frail) a piece of service. For he, in hope to marry this lady attending on the Queen, granted Petruchi his liberty, and by this time hath received a sufficient quietus est.[59]


Are these my trusty servants? What a blindness was I led into!


If your highnesses both will in these days of mirth crown the comedy, first let me from the Queen’s royal gift be bold to receive Herophil for my wife. She and I are resolved of the business already.


With all my heart, I think her well bestowed

If she herself consents.


                                          My duty, madam,

Shall ever speak my thankfulness: in this

I reckon all my services rewarded.


Much comfort to you, friend.


All joy and peace.


My duty to my sovereigns; to all the rest at once, my heartiest, heartiest thanks. Now, lady, you are mine. Why so, here’s short work to begin with [they kiss]. If in the end we make long work, and beget a race of mad-caps, we shall but do as our fathers and mothers did, and they must be cared for.

Enter Pynto, Bufo, Mopas [wearing a woman’s head-dress],[60]

and Shaparoon.


Follow me not, bawd! My lord the King, my Jove, justice, justice![61]


Justice to me! I was like to have been married to these black mustachios[62] instead of that lady.    [Indicates Herophil]


I to this ugly bawd!




Hence, you ridiculous fools; I banish you

Forever from my presence. Sirrah, [to Mopas] to thee

I give the charge that they be forthwith stripped

And put into such rags they came to court in,

And so turned off.


Dost hear me, King?


King, hear me, I’m the wiser man.


No more, I say.


Come away, come away, for shame; you see what ’tis to be given to the flesh—the itch of lechery must be cured with the whip of correction. Away, away.

Exeunt Bufo, Pynto, Mopas and Shaparoon.


What else remains

But to conclude this day in Hymen’s feasts?[63]

Enter Salassa, her hair loose, a white rod[64] in her hand,

[and] two or three [attendants] with bags of money.

To whom? For what?

Your meaning, name and errand?


                                                      At those feet

Lay down those sums of gold, the price of guilt,

Of shame, of horror.    [The gold is laid at the King’s feet.][65]


                                  What new riddle’s this?


My gracious lord.


I shall inform your highness.

                 Muretto whispers [to] the King, Collumello [to] the Queen.[66]


Woman of impudence!


                                      Your looks proclaim

My sentence: ‘banishment’; or, if you think

The word of banishment too hard to utter,

But turn away, my lord, and without accent

I’ll understand my doom. I’ll take my leave

And like a penitentiary walk

Many miles hence to a religious shrine

Of some chaste sainted nun, and wash my sin off

In tears of penance, to my last of breath.


You come to new-torment me.


I am gone, my lord; I go for ever.            She begins to leave.[67]


Faith, be merciful, the woman will prove a wife worth the having, I’ll pass my word.


E’en so. Stay, lady, I command you, stay.

Velasco, here’s occasion proffered now

For me to purchase some deserving favour

From Woman.[68] Honour me in my first suit—

Remit[69] and love that lady.


                                            Good my lord?


Nay, nay, I must not be denied, my Queen

Shall join with me to mediate for her.


Yes, I dare undertake—she that presents

Her penance in such sorrow, hearty sorrow,

Will know how to redeem the time with duty,

With love, obedience.


D’ye hear, my lord? All the ladies in Aragon, and my wife among the rest, will bait ye like so many wild cats if you should triumph over a poor yielding creature that does in a manner lie down to ye of her own accord. Come, I know you love her with all the very veins of your heart.


There’s more hope of one woman reclaimed, my lord, than of many conceited of their own innocence, which, indeed, they never have but in conceit.[70]


To strive against the ordinance of fate

I find is all in vain. Lady, your hand.

I must confess I love you, and I hope

Our faults shall be redeemed in being henceforth

True votaries to virtue and the faith

Our mutual vows shall to each other owe.

Say, are you mine? Resolved?


                                                  Why, that’s well said.


Yours, as[71] you please to have me.


                                                        Here then ends

All memory of any former strife—

He hath enough who hath a virtuous wife.


Long joy to both.


                              The money we return

Where it is due, and for Velasco’s merits

Will double it. Thus after storms a calm

Is ever welcomest. Now we have past

The worst, and all, I hope, is well at last.



[1] ‘Act V’ in Q, E4r.

[2] A scaffold, the only example in the play of a scene opening with a property or location indication.

[3] craven = a cock that ‘is not game’ (OED B2), ie: one that will not fight.

[4] thrill, ‘shrill’ in Q (E4r). The emendation was suggested by Bang.

[5] ie: Salassa.

[6] Lodovico mistakes (perhaps in jest) the form of comfort Velasco expects.

[7] but that = ‘except that’, as elsewhere; cf: 5.1.94 , below.

[8] Although Ludovico’s speeches are almost invariably in prose, he does on occasion complete another’s short verse-line in dialogue.

[9] Almada in Q, cf: 1.1.188 and Note.

[10] ie: the Queen, too, is due for execution today.

[11] Q’s punctuation is: “… yet now / If ere I part, and shall be seen no more,” (E4v). I have deleted the comma after ‘part’ and inserted one after ‘if’, thus making “ere I part and shall be seen no more” one independent clause, allowing ‘if’ to relate directly to “some man of mercy” in the following line, which I think gives the better sense.

[12] Dispatch, dispatch; The repetition appears to be extrametrical.

[13] ie: spiritual health.

[14] ie: free him from the oath to which he feels himself bound by heaven.

[15] The line lacks a foot, allowing a dramatic beat; possibly indicated in Q’s punctuation: “…the lord Velasco.---Strike.”

[16] ie: His ‘pawned’ soul is not at risk because of heaven’s infinite mercy. but that = ‘except that’, as 5.1.28, above.

[17] God-a-mercy, God a’ mercy in Q (F1r) = ‘Thank God’, cf: Troilus and Cresida 5.4.30.

[18] a peal, ‘apeal’ in Q.

[19] This is the only extended example of rhymed verse in the play. The appearance of this Roman Catholic interpretation of the price of mortal sin in a play of the 1620s (albeit set in Catholic Aragon) is noteworthy.

[20] soul, ‘oul’ in Q.

[21] A life here, ie: a mortal, bodily life, in comparison to the life of the immortal soul.

[22] quit = clear, pay in full.

[23] Set as verse (“… you look / My lord …”) in Q, unusually for Lodovico, and it leaves a short line hanging.

[24] so late; Bang queries ‘so’, suggesting an error for ‘too’. However, ‘late’ presumably = ‘recently’, which makes more than adequate sense.

[25] armed all save the head = in full armour apart from the helmet.

[26] most here seems both tautological and extrametrical—the result of the setting of a word intended for deletion in MS?

[27] faulty = culpable, guilty; cf: 2Hen VI 3.2.202, “I am faulty in Duke Humphrey’s death.”

[28] upon the castaway = intent on throwing away their happiness[?]. This may be intended as an aside, but with Muretto playing so confusingly with Alphonso’s emotions in this scene, it is difficult to know for sure.

[29] free = guiltless; cf: WT 2.3.30 (in a similar context, a king’s jealous accusation against his queen) “a gracious innocent soul / More free than he is jealous.”

[30] an erected heart = unbending. The phrase also occurs in John Ford’s philosophical pamphlet, A Line of Life (1620), p 33 (C5): “What infinite inticers hath a man as he is a meere man, to withdraw him from an erected heart?” See discussion of this pamphlet in Section 6 of the introduction.

[31] the mastery, ‘them astery’ in Q (F1v).

[32] thoroughly, ‘throughly’ in Q. I retained the early-modern form at 3.1.3, above (see Note), because of its metrical significance in a verse line; I have modernized here in a prose passage, although this may be seen as inconsistent.

[33]Almada, Columello’ in Q.

[34] these public eyes, ‘their publick eyes’ in Q. The meaning is clearly ‘in public view’ but ‘their’ would refer to Alphonso’s tears, not to those who witness his weeping. I am assuming an error for ‘these’, possibly through eye-slip due to ‘their quiet springs’ in the preceding line.

[35] whether, ‘whither’ in Q.

[36] SD reads ‘place the Queen.’ in Q, where it comes after the Queen’s half-line (“To noble actions”).

[37] medley love, ‘medley’ has a number of connotations that could feed into this phrase. The primary sense is ‘combat, conflict, fighting’ (OED A1) creating an oxymoron. The sense of ‘mixture’ (A2) is also present (love and hate intermingling), as is, perhaps, ‘musical composition’ (A5), pointing to the Queen’s completion of Alphonso’s verse line (just as Collumello here completes that of the Queen).

[38] These two questions are set as separate lines in Q (F1v), but the SD ‘trumpet sounds’ restricts the column width available to the compositor.

[39] SD = ‘Second sound.’ in Q.

[40] another nature = a higher order of being, more-than human. Bang comments that ‘nature’ (along with ‘honour’ and ‘truth’) held an important place in Ford’s dictionary (“Forde’s Wörterbuch”). He notes two other Fordian uses of ‘another nature’:

Mistery there, like to another nature,
Confects the substance of the choisest fruits;  (The Sun’s Darling 4.283)


Oh Sir,
Create me what you please of yours, doe this,
You are another Nature;  (The Fancies 1.87)

[41] pitiful = compassionate.

[42] She faints, ‘Queen falls into a sound’ in Q (F2r); ‘sound’ an error for ‘swound’, presumably.

[43] No direction is given for the Queen’s recovery, but it must occur before her next speech, and preferably before the trumpet heralding Petruchi’s entrance to avoid unintentional comedy.

[44] metal men = armourers.

[45] [Alphonso]. The short line in Q (F2r) “Th’art welcome too,” appears at the end of Petruchi’s speech but would be a non sequitur if spoken by him. I can only conjecture that a speech prefix is missing. Since Petruchi is challenging Alphonso, it seems most likely that it is Alphonso who welcomes him.

[46] stands, ‘stand’ in Q.

[47] beaver = the visor of a full-face helmet.

[48] Lodovico removes the visor, Ludovico discovers him’ in Q.

[49] bought and sold (‘bought & sold’ in Q, F2v) = betrayed. Bang notes the appearance of the phrase in Love’s Sacrifice, 4.2.95.

[50] where’s Muretto? Alphonso had ordered Muretto to “guard Petruchi safe,” at line 47, above; although it emerges that it was not Muretto who freed him, cf: line 234, below.

[51] No line break at ‘thoughts [/ T]o jealousy?’ in Q, making an unusually long line. Muretto, normally a prose-speaker, seems to take up the enraged Alphonso’s short verse lines here and below.

[52] apparent certainty = evident inescapable fact (Crystal, separate entries), ie: to clear the Queen from false accusations would be easy because she would be so self-evidently innocent.

[53] can—can, (‘can, can’ in Q, F2v) the repetition in Q seems to express Alphonso’s incredulity.

[54] This and the previous line are run together in Q with no initial capital for ‘on’.

[55] She kneels. It is evident that the Queen does kneel from Alphonso’s “let’s rise” at line 200.

[56] First Collumello and then Velasco embrace Muretto, perhaps these actions account for their short verse lines.

[57] old Suresby, one upon whom one can rely, be sure of. Cf: ‘Rudesby’, Twelfth Night, 4.1.50, used, in anger, by Olivia addressing Toby. Such constructions, says the OED (‘-by suffix’ 2) were especially frequent in the 17th century.

[58] behoof = benefit, advantage (Crystal).

[59] quietus est, ‘he is quit’, ie: he has received what he is due.

[60] wearing a woman’s head-dress, “with a tire upon his head” in Q.

[61] Set as two lines in Q with a line break at ‘the King / My Jove’.

[62] mustachios, ‘muschatoes’ in Q.

[63] Hymen’s feasts, Hymen (Hymenæus) was believed (incorrectly) to be the Greek god of marriage; ‘Hymen’s feasts’ thus denote weddings.

[64] a white rod, evidently a symbol of penitence.

[65] No SD in Q. I assume ‘those feet’ are Alphonso’s, in part because of his quasi-sacramental rôle as king, but also because it is he who returns the gold, line 319, below.

[66] A rather awkward device used to inform the King and Queen of the Salassa / Velasco subplot. How Muretto has come to know anything of these events is unexplained.

[67] SD reads ‘Going out’ in Q.

[68] Woman, the initial capitalization is mine, not in Q. I am assuming that the lack of a determiner indicates that Alphonso is thinking of the sex in general. If a determiner were present, it would be extrametrical so I doubt that the lack is due to compositorial error.

[69] Remit = both ‘forgive’ (OED 1) and ‘give up’ (2); but cf: ‘remitted’ at line 191 above, where the sense appears to be ‘forgiven’ only.

[70] conceited […] conceit, the words can have neutral connotations, eg: ‘minded […] imagination’ (although in this context the result is hardly neutral: “many believe in their own innocence but they are innocent only in their imagination,”), but more negative (approaching the modern) connotations were also current (when used as a contraction of ‘self-conceit’).

[71] as = if (Crystal 4, not in Abbot), but also, and still more tellingly, a standard sense could be present: “I am yours, on whatever terms you wish.”

[72] Below ‘exeunt’, Q has ‘FINIS’ in large font across both columns (F4r).