Page images
[ocr errors]

Received in dowry with you not one julio.
'Twas a hard pennyworth, the ware being so light.
I yet but draw the curtain, now to your picture :
You came from thence a most notorious strumpet,


have continued. Vit. My lord ! Mon. Nay, hear me,

You shall have time to prate. My lord Brachiano
Alas! I make but repetition,
Of what is ordinary and Rialto talk,
And ballated, and would be play'd o’the stage
But that vice many times finds such loud friends,
That preachers are charm’d silent.
Your public fault,
Join'd to the condition of the present time,
Takes from you all the fruits of noble pity,
Such a corrupted trial have you made
Both of your life and beauty, and been styled
No less an ominous fate, than blazing stars
To princes. Hear your sentence; you are confined

Unto a house of converts.
Vit. À house of converts ! what's that?
Mon. A house of penitent whores.
Vit. Do the noblemen in Rome

Erect it for their wives, that I am sent

To lodge there?
Fra. You must have patience.
Vit. I must first have

I fain would know if


By patent, that you proceed thus.
Mon. Away with her,

Take her hence.
Vit. A rape! a rape!
Mon. How ?
Vit. Yes, you have ravish'd justice;

Forced her to do your pleasure.
Mon. Fie, she's mad!
Vit. Die with those pills in

most cursed

Should bring you health! or while you sit o' the bench,

Let your own spittle choke you!
Mon. She's turn’d fury.
Vit. That the last day of judgment may so find you,

And leave you the same devil you were before!

Instruct me some good horse-leech to speak treason,
For since you cannot take my life for deeds,
Take it for words : 0, woman's poor revenge,
Which dwells but in the tongue! I will not weep.
No; I do scorn to call up one poor tear
To fawn on your injustice: bear me hence

Unto this house of what's your mitigating title ?
Mon. Of converts.
Vit. It shall not be a house of converts ;

My mind shall make it honester to me
Than the pope's palace, and more peaceable
Than thy soul, though thou art a cardinal.
Know this, and let it somewhat raise your spite,
Through darkness diamonds spread their richest light'.

MARCELLO and FLAMINEO, Sons to CORNELIA, having quarrelled ; FLAMINEO slays his Brother MARCELLO, their Mother being present.

CORNELIA. MARCELLO. Cor. I hear a whispering all about the court,

You are to fight : who is your opposite ?

What is the quarrel ?
Mar. 'Tis an idle rumour.
Cor. Will

you dissemble ? sure you do not well
To fright me thus : you never look thus pale,
But when you are most angry. I do charge you,
Upon my blessing; nay, I'll call the duke,

And he shall school you.
Mar. Publish not a fear,

Which would convert to laughter: 'tis not so.
Was not this crucifix


father's ? Cor. Yes.

1 This White Devil of Italy sets off a bad cause so speciously, and pleads with such an innocence-resembling boldness, that we seem to see that matchless beauty of her face which inspires such gay confidence into her ; and are ready to expect, when she has done her pleadings, that her very judges, her accusers, the grave ambassadors who sit as spectators, and all the court, will rise and make proffer to defend her in spite of the utmost conviction of her guilt ; as the shepherds in Don Quixote make proffer to follow the beautiful shepherdess Marcela" without reaping any profit out of her manifest resolution made there in their hearing."

So sweet and lovely does she make the shame,
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
Does spot the beauty of her budding name!

Mar. I have heard you say, giving my brother suck,

He took the crucifix between his hands,

And broke a limb off. Cor. Yes; but 'tis mended.

FLAMINEO enters. Fla. I have brought your weapon back.

[FLAMINEO runs MARCELLO through. Cor. Ha, O my horror! Mar. You have brought it home, indeed. Cor. Help, O he's murder'd ! Fla. Do you turn your gall up? I'll to sanctuary, And send a surgeon to you.

[Exit FLAM.
HORTENSIUS (an Officer) enters.
Hor. How, o' the ground?
Mar. O mother, now remember what I told

Of breaking off the crucifix. Farewell.
There are some sins, which Heaven doth duly punish
In a whole family. This it is to rise
By all dishonest means. Let all men know,
That tree shall long time keep a steady foot,

Whose branches spread no wider than the root.
Cor. O my perpetual sorrow!
Hor. Virtuous Marcello !

He's dead. Pray leave him, lady: come, you shall.
Cor. Alas! he is not dead; he's in a trance.

Why, here's no body shall get anything by his death

Let me call him again, for God's sake!
Hor. I would you were deceived.
Cor. O

abuse me, you
abuse me, you

abuse me!

gone away thus, for lack of 'tendance ! Rear up's head, rear up's head; his bleeding inward

will kill him. Hor. You see he is departed. Cor. Let me come to him ; give me him as he is ; if he be

turn’d to earth, let me but give him one hearty kiss,

shall put us both into one coffin. Fetch a looking-glass, see if his breath will not stain it; or pull out some feathers from my pillow, and lay them to his lips : will you lose him for a little pains

taking ? Hor. Your kindest office is to pray for him. Cor. Alas! I would not pray for him yet. He may live to

lay me i' the ground, and pray for me, if you 'll let me come to him.

The DUKE enters with FLAMINEO, and PAGE. Bra. Was this your handy-work? Fla. It was my misfortune. Cor. He lies, he lies; he did not kill him : these have kill'd

him, that would not let him be better look'd to.
Bra. Have comfort, my grieved mother.
Cor. O yon’ screech-owl! .
Hor. Forbear, good madam.
Cor. Let me go, let me go. [She runs to FLAMINEO with her

knife drawn, and coming to him, lets it fall.
The God of heaven forgive thee. Dost not wonder
I pray for thee? I'll tell thee what's the reason:
I have scarce breath to number twenty minutes ;
I'd not spend that in cursing. Fare thee well:
Half of thyself lies there: and mayst thou live
To fill an hour-glass with his moulder'd ashes,
To tell how thou shouldst spend the time to come

In blest repentance.
Bra. Mother, pray tell me

How came he by his death? what was the quarrel ? Cor. Indeed, my younger boy presumed too much

Upon his manhood, gave him bitter words,
Drew his sword first; and so, I know not how,
For I was out of my wits, he fell with 's head

Just in my bosom.
Page. This is not true, madam.
Cor. I prithee peace.

One arrow's grazed already: it were vain
To lose this, for that will ne'er be found again.

* * FRANCISCO describes to FLAMINEO the grief of CORNELIA at the funerai


Your reverend mother
Is grown a very old woman in two hours.
I found them winding of Marcello's corse :
And there is such a solemn melody,
'Tween doleful songs, tears, and sad elegies;
Such as old grandames, watching by the dead,
Were wont to outwear the nights with ; that, believe me,

I had no eyes to guide me forth the room,
They were so o'ercharged with water.
Funeral Dirge for MARCELLO.

[His MOTHER sings it.
Call for the robin-redbreast, and the wren,
Since o'er shady groves they hover,
And with ves and flowers do cover
The friendless bodies of unburied men.
Call unto his funeral dole
The ant, the field-mouse, and the mole,
To raise him hillocks that shall keep him warm,
And (when gay tombs are robb’d) sustain no harm;
But keep the wolf far thence, that's foe to men,
For with his nails he 'll dig them up again'.

Folded Thoughts.
Come, come, my lord, untie your folded thoughts,
And let them dangle loose as a bride's hair.
Your sister's poison'd.

Dying Princes.
To see what solitariness is about dying princes! As here-

tofore they have unpeopled towns, divorced friends,
and made great houses unhospitable! so now, O
justice! where are their flatterers now ? flatterers
are but the shadows of princes' bodies; the least
thick cloud makes them invisible.

Natural Death.
O, thou soft natural death! that art joint twin
To sweetest slumber!—no rough-bearded comet
Stares on thy mild departure; the dull owl
Beats not against thy casement; the hoarse wolf
Scents not thy carrion. Pity winds thy corse,
Whilst horror waits on princes'

Vow of Murder rebuked.

Miserable creature,
If thou persist in this, 'tis damnable.
Dost thou imagine thou canst slide on blood,

And not be tainted with a shameful fall ? 1 I never saw anything like this Dirge, except the Ditty which reminds Ferdinand of his drowned father in the Tempest. As that is of the water, watery; so this is of the earth, earthy. Both have that intenseness of feeling, which seems to resolve itself into the elements which it contemplates.

« PreviousContinue »