Cornwall wonders why the messenger to Ragan is away so long. Gonorill suggests that Leir may be returning with him, but cannot get away as yet. The Ambassador from France arrives with a message for Leir, which he insists on delivering personally. Cornwall asks after Cordella, and in the ensuing exchange Gonorill expresses displeasure at every turn, but in ways the ambassador confuses. In an aside, she hopes to take a peek at the message and subvert it if she can.
Enter Cornwall and Gonorill.
CORNWALL: I wonder that the Messenger doth stay,
Whom we dispatched for Cambria so long since:
If that his answer do not please us well,
And he do show good reason for delay,
I’ll teach him how to dally with his King,
And to detain us in such long suspense.
GONORILL: My Lord, I think the reason may be this:
My father means to come along with him;
And thereafter tis his pleasure he shall stay,
For to attend upon him on the way. … [18.10]
CORNWALL: It may be so, and therefore till I know
The truth thereof, I will suspend my judgment. Enter Servant.
SERVANT: And’t like your Grace, there is an Ambassador
Arrived from Gallia, and craves admittance to your Majesty.
CORNWALL: From Gallia? what should his message
Hither import? is not your father happily
Gone thither? well, whatsoere it be,
Bid him come in, he shall have audience. Enter Ambassador.
What news from Gallia? speak Ambassador.
AMB: The noble King and Queen of Gallia first salutes, … [18.20]
By me, their honorable father, my Lord Leir:
Next, they commend them kindly to your Graces.
As those whose welfare they entirely wish.
Letters I have to deliver to my Lord Leir,
And presents too, if I might speak with him.
GONORILL: If you might speak with him? why, do you think,
We are afraid that you should speak with him?
AMB: Pardon me, Madam; for I think not so,
But say so only, ’cause he is not here.
CORNWALL: Indeed, my friend, upon some urgent cause, … [18.30]
He is at this time absent from the Court:
But if a day or two you here repose,
Tis very likely you shall have him here,
Or else have certain notice where he is.
GONORILL: Are not we worthy to receive your message?
AMB: I had in charge to do it to himself.
GONORILL: To herself. It may be then ’twill not be done in haste.
How doth my sister brook the air of France?
AMB: Exceeding well, and never sick one hour,
Since first she set her foot upon the shore. … [18.40]
GONORILL: I am the more sorry.
AMB: I hope, not so, Madam.
GONORILL: Didst thou not say, that she was ever sick,
Since the first hour that she arrived there?
AMB: No, Madam, I said quite contrary.
GONORILL: Then I mistook thee.
CORNWALL: Then she is merry, if she have her health.
AMB: Oh no, her grief exceeds, until the time,
That she be reconciled unto her father.
GONORILL: God continue it. … [18.50]
AMB: What, madam?
GONORILL: Why, her health.
AMB: Amen to that: but God release her grief,
And send her father in a better mind,
Than to continue always so unkind.
CORNWALL: I’ll be a mediator in her cause,
And seek all means to expiate his wrath.
AMB: Madam, I hope your Grace will do the like.
GONORILL: Should I be a mean to exasperate his wrath
Against my sister, whom I love so dear? no, no. … [18.60]
AMB: To expiate or mitigate his wrath:
For he hath misconveyed without a cause.
GONORILL: O, Aye, what else?
AMB: Tis pity it should be so, would it were otherwise.
GONORILL: It were great pity it should be otherwise.
AMB: Then how, Madam?
GONORILL: Then that they should be reconciled again.
AMB: It shows you bear an honorable mind.
GONORILL: It shows thy understanding to be blind,
[Speaks to herself.]
And that thou hadst need of an Interpreter: … [18.70]
Well, I will know thy message er’t be long,
And find a mean to cross it, if I can.
CORNWALL: Come in, my friend, and frolic in our Court,
Till certain notice of my father come. Exeunt.