The Second Part of
THE FAIR MAID OF THE WEST,
A GIRL WORTH GOLD
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
Alcade is a bashaw (pasha) in service to Mullisheg, King of Morocco and Fez. Although he is charged to watch Spencer, he allows the Englishman outside the gate, allegedly to seek a prostitute. Alcade assumes that, by keeping Spencer out of the way while Mullisheg is supposedly having a dalliance with Bess, the King will be grateful.
Joffer is a bashaw (pasha) in service to Mullisheg, King of Morocco and Fez. Joffer arrests Spencer as he tries to escape, but because he admires the fight the Englishman has put up, he allows him to visit Bess aboard her ship The Negro in order to talk her out of committing suicide. Joffer does this knowing that, should Spencer not return as agreed, his own life will be forfeit. He makes this gesture in order to show the Englishman that Moors are capable of noble behavior. Later, Joffer is taken captive by the Florentines, and Spencer and his party offer all they have to ransom him. The Duke of Florence is so taken with this gesture that he frees the captive without ransom, and Joffer is so impressed with European honor and magnanimity that he determines to convert to Christianity.
Bess Bridges is the Fair Maid of the West. When she first appears in Part Two, Bess has been reunited with her beloved Spencer, and the two have been married. Mullisheg, the King of Fez and Morocco, resumes his carnal passion for her and attempts to have Captain Goodlack provide her for a tryst. The captain devises a "bed trick" to allow Bess and her companions to escape, but Spencer is taken captive, and after arranging a brief visit to convince her not to take her own life, he returns to face whatever awaits. Bess and her party then return en masse, and this display of courage, loyalty, and love convinces Mullisheg to grant them freedom, to bestow treasure on them, and to attempt to emulate the virtuous behavior he has seen. Sailing toward home, Bess's ship is attacked by a French pirate, and in the commotion of battle, both Spencer and Goodlack are swept away, only to wash ashore in Italy. Bess and her crew then find themselves shipwrecked and ashore in territory controlled by Florence. Attacked by local bandits, Bess is left alone with the Captain of the Banditti who is about to rape her when the Duke of Florence happens by and saves her. Smitten by her beauty, the Duke takes her to Florence, installs her in the palace with great wealth, and attempts to woo her. When by a series of coincidences Spencer and the rest of Bess's companions make their several ways to Florence, it appears the couple will be reunited. Unfortunately, Spencer has unwittingly agreed to be a messenger for the Duke to Bess and has sworn an oath to have nothing to do with the lady, making it a matter of honor that he appear not to know her. Because Bess assumes that there must be something with a terrible hold on Spencer for him to behave so, Bess arranges things to appear that he has stolen a jewel from her and receives permission from the Duke to sentence the felon herself. When she uses the occasion to reveal her relationship to Spencer and the love she bears him, the Duke releases Spencer from his oaths, and the couple are formally reunited amidst celebration and the promise of riches to come.
CAPTAIN OF THE BANDITTI
The Captain of the Banditti surprises Bess and her party after they arrive in Italy. When Bess's companions flee or are driven away, the Captain declares his intention to rape Bess but is interrupted by the fortuitous arrival of the Duke of Florence. Roughman later kills the Captain and takes his head to the Duke for the bounty upon it.
Between acts III and IV, the Chorus figure informs the audience of the attack upon Bess's ship by a French pirate, an assault during which Spencer and Goodlack find themselves aboard the pirate vessel and unable to return. He relates how they drift ashore on wreckage, Spencer landing in Ferrara, Goodlack in Mantua, at a time when the dukes of those places are at odds with one another. The Chorus next introduces a dumb show depicting how the two Englishmen, having been selected as champions by the dukes, manage to work a reconciliation, and how they then make their way to Florence. After the dumb show, the Chorus segues into the next action by describing how Bess and her crew have been shipwrecked, find themselves in the vicinity of Florence, and are now wandering in a countryside rife with dangerous bandits.
Clem is a clownish former tapster in service to Bess. He is separated from her when the bandits attack in Italy. Concluding that he has been left to his own devices, he drifts into Florence and seeks work in his old trade as a drawer. He is there reunited with Spencer, Goodlack, and Roughman, and he informs them of Bess's presence at the Florentine court.
DUKE OF FERRARA
The Duke of Ferrara employs Spencer as his champion in settling a dispute with the Duke of Mantua. When, in the dumb show, the Mantuan champion turns out to be Goodlack, the two Englishmen behave in such a way (not described in the text) as to work a reconciliation between the two dukes, who later travel to Florence to display their new-found amity.
DUKE OF FLORENCE
The Duke of Florence rescues Bess from the Captain of the Banditti. Smitten by her beauty and the good report of the Italian Merchant, he has her taken to his palace where she is set up in great style and is given ten thousand crowns. He later employs Spencer as a messenger to Bess after making the Englishman swear he will have nothing to do with the woman. Bess later makes the Duke promise that she will be allowed to sentence Spencer for seemingly having stolen one of her jewels, and she uses the occasion to reveal that she and Spencer are married. The Duke, moved by Bess's devotion to her husband, releases Spencer from his oaths, and when Spencer offers all he has to ransom the Bashaw Joffer, he grants release without ransom.
DUKE OF MANTUA
The Duke of Mantua, at odds with the Duke of Ferrara, uses the recently rescued Englishman Goodlack as his champion in the unspecified action of the dumb show. Whatever the action is that Spencer and Goodlack perform, it impresses the two dukes, who settle their differences and travel together to Florence to demonstrate the end of their feud.
EPILOGUE AT COURT
The Epilogue spoken at court provides the flattery expected on such occasions by likening King Charles to the sun: both the monarch and the sun shine blessings upon all things beneath them.
Forset (or Fawcett) is a friend to both Bess and Spencer. He has no lines assigned to him in Part Two, but in act III, Bess inquires about him, implying that he has taken the long boat to fetch Spencer, and Clem reports seeing him as the boat approaches Bess's ship.
Goodlack is a close friend of Spencer's and the commander of Bess's ship. Having accompanied her to the Barbary Coast, he is approached by Mullisheg, the King of Morocco and Fez, who alternately offers bribes and threats in an attempt make Goodlack procure Bess for his lust. When he learns that Roughman has been approached by Tota, Mullisheg's queen, who desires a liaison with Spencer, Goodlack devises the "bed trick" that will bring the king and queen together under cover of darkness while the English party makes its escape. He later washes ashore in Italy, serves as champion for the Duke of Mantua, is reunited with Spencer, and joins the group in Florence where Bess and Spencer are reunited.
When Bess is rescued from the bandit Captain by the Duke of Florence, the Italian Merchant, a Florentine, is present and recognizes her as the Englishwoman whose influence with Mullisheg was so great that her servant Clem could prevail upon the king to spare members of the merchant's crew. The crew had been sentenced to the galleys. The Merchant then praises Bess to the duke and gives her one thousand pounds for the good she has done him.
Mullisheg, king of both Fez and Morocco, is unable to control his lust for the visiting Englishwoman Bess, and, alternately using threats and promises of reward, he makes Goodlack agree to arrange a tryst. He is tricked in bed when Goodlack replaced Bess with his own queen Tota. When it appears that Bess's party has escaped, he determines to execute Bashaw Joffer for having allowed Spencer to visit Bess on parole. Mullisheg is amazed when Spencer actually does keep his word and returns to face an almost certain death, and he is overwhelmed further when the whole party of English visitors come back to stand by their friend. This display of a loyalty and friendship that will hazard even death moves Mullisheg greatly. He decides to spare the Europeans, gives them great riches to take with them, and pronounces his intent to try to emulate the virtues Bess and her party have taught him.
Petro Deventuro is in charge of the Florentine naval force sent to deal with the Moroccan fleet, and he returns to Florence with Bashaw Joffer as his prisoner.
Roughman is a former "roarer" (Elizabethan swaggerer) who learns to be courageous from Bess in Part One and accompanies her to Morocco. When Tota, Mullisheg's queen, becomes angry over her husband's infatuation with Bess and decides to have her revenge by taking Spencer as her own lover, she approaches Roughman, with threats and promises, to make the arrangements for her. His revelation of this request to Goodlack, who has a similar commission from Mullisheg regarding Bess, prompts the captain to suggest the "bed trick" (bringing king and queen together) that should allow the English visitors time to escape from Morocco. In Italy, he is wounded in the bandit attack upon Bess, and, thinking her most likely to have been raped and murdered, he determines to take revenge upon the Captain of the Banditti. After killing the Captain, he takes the man's head to Florence, claims the reward the Duke has promised, and is happily reunited with Spencer and Goodlack.
Spencer is a gentleman, beloved of Bess, who has been reunited with her in Morocco after a series of adventures. The two are married at the conclusion of Part One. In Part Two, when Mullisheg, the King of Fez and Morocco, begins a plot to sleep with Bess, and Tota, Mullisheg's wife, attempts to arrange an affair with Spencer, Bess and Spencer flee while the king and queen fall victim to a "bed trick" arranged by Goodlack. Spencer is taken prisoner by Bashaw Joffer. Joffer, admiring the Englishman's courage in battle, allows him to visit Bess's ship in order to dissuade her from suicide. After visiting Bess, Spencer returns to the court as he had sworn he would. Just before he is to be sentenced to death, Bess and their companions arrive to stand with him. Their loyalty, devotion, and bravery so impresses Mullisheg that he spares the group, promises treasure, and commits himself to imitating the virtues he sees displayed by the Europeans. Attempting to return to England, Spencer and his party are attacked by a French pirate, and in the commotion of battle, he is swept away with his friend Goodlack. Washing ashore, he comes into service with the Duke of Ferrara who uses him as his champion in a dispute with the Duke of Mantua. When it turns out that the Mantuan champion is none other than Goodlack, the two Englishmen behave in such an impressive fashion that the two dukes patch up their differences, and the two Englishmen make their way to Florence. There, Spencer is reunited with Roughman and Clem, and there he also learns that Bess has been rescued from bandits and now resides in the ducal court. Before he can see her, however, he is employed as a messenger to Bess by the Duke, who makes him swear oaths that he will have nothing personally to do with the lady. Recognizing Bess, he honorably keeps his word, and she is baffled by his strange behavior. Eventually, she arranges to have Spencer charged with theft and for herself to have the power to sentence him. She then reveals to the duke her relationship to and love for Spencer. The duke releases Spencer from his oaths, and the two lovers are united at last.
Queen Tota is wife to Mullisheg, the King of Morocco and Fez. Disturbed by her husband's obvious infatuation with Bess, she decides to even the score by having an affair with Spencer. She thinks she has coerced Roughman to arrange a tryst, but matters take a new course when Roughman tells Goodlack about the planned liaison. Goodlack, having been similarly approached by Mullisheg to arrange an affair with Bess, hits upon the "bed trick" that will bring the royal couple together while the English visitors make their escape.