A Love Triangle
Lacy's ResponseFor the next section we have to shift the perspective to the character of Lacy. Lacy is being threatened with a dagger by his old friend, a powerful prince, whom he has betrayed. He is in a situation of extreme jeopardy and his initial objective must be to save his own life. His principal obstacle is his old friend the prince and the fact he is being rightly accused of treachery. Now, let's take a look in the script at what Lacy says...
1 Truth all, my Lord, and thus I make reply:
At Harleston fair there2 courting for your grace,
When, as mine eye surveyed her curious shape
And drew the beautious glory of her looks
To dive into the centre of my heart,
3 Love taught me that4your honour did but jest,
That5 princes were in fancy but as men,
How that the lovely maid of Fressingfield
Was fitter to be Lacy's wedded wife
Than5 concubine unto the Prince of Wales.
1. Truth all
Lacy first admits his guilt. Is the prince surprised? Perhaps surprised enough to listen to Lacy's “reply?”
2. Good Intentions
Lacy establishes that he went with good intentions to woo Margaret on Edwards’ behalf.
3. Lacy Blames the Power of Love
Lacy says he then became subject to the power of Love, which removes some of the blame for his actions.
4. Lacy Questions the Prince’s Motives
The Prince's affection for Margaret was not sincere, but rather, a "jest" or game.
5. Lacy Appeals to his Prince’s Honour and Sense of Morality
Princes are just men and thus subject to the power of "fancy" or love. Just because they are royalty does not mean they always act honorably. Marrying the lovely maid of Fressingfield was the right thing to do when the alternative was to allow her to become a royal "concubine" or prostitute.
Lacy's speech is very clever. His action is to defend himself and justify his disobedience. By the end of the speech he has turned the table on the prince and accused him of dishonorable intentions. Although he is subject to the power of the prince he is still a powerful aristocrat and the king's power was absolute only in theory. Kings that behaved tyrannically as the prince is here risked provoking rebellion amongst their subjects. Lacy is fighting back. But what has the prince heard? The only way to deduce this is to look at what he says in response.