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Fernando, in short words, howe'er my tongue
Did often chide thy love, each word thou spak'st
Was music to my ear: was never poor,
Poor wretched woman lived that loved like me,
So truly, so unfeignedly.

Fern. Oh, madam!

Bian. Now hear me out.
When first Caraffa, Pavy's duke, my lord,
Saw me, he loved me; and without respect
Of dower, took me to his bed and bosom ;
Advanced me to the titles I possess,
Not mov'd by counsel, or removed by greatness;
Which to requite, betwixt my soul and heaven,
I vow'd a vow to live a constant wife:
I have done so: nor was there in the world
A man created could have broke that truth
For all the glories of the earth, but thou;
But thou, Fernando !-Do I love thee now?

Fern. Beyond imagination.

Bian. True, I do,
Beyond imagination! if no pledge
Of love can instance what I speak is true,
But loss of my best joys, here, Fernando,
Be satisfied and ruin me.

Fern. What do you mean?

Bian. If thou dost spoil me of this robe of shame,
By my best comforts, here I vow again,
To thee, to heaven, to the world, to time,
Ere yet the morning shall new-christen day,
I'll kill myself!

Fern. Come, come; how many women, pray,
Were ever heard or read of, granted love,
And did as you protest you will ?

Bian. Fernando,
Jest not at my calamity.-I kneel [Kneels.
By these dishevell'd hairs, these wretched tears,
By all that's good, if what I speak my heart
Vows not eternally, then think, my lord,
Was never man sued to me I denied ;

Think me a common and most cunning harlot,
And let my sins be written on my grave,
My name rest in reproof !—[Rises. -Do as you list.

Fern. I must believe you,-yet I hope, anon,
When you are parted from me, you will laugh
At my simplicity; say, wilt thou not ? -

Bian. No, by the faith I owe my bridal vows !
But ever hold thee much, much dearer far,
Than all my joys on earth, by this chaste kiss.

[Kisses him. Fern. You have prevail'd; and Heaven forbid

that I
Should by a wanton appetite profane
This sacred temple! 't is enough for me
You 'll please to call me servant.

Bian. Nay, be thine:
Command my power, my bosom; and I 'll write
This love within the tables of my heart.

Fern. Enough ; I'll master passion, and triumph
In being conquered; adding to it this,
In you my love, as it begun, shall end.

Bian. The latter I new-vow-but day comes on! What now we leave unfinish'd of content, Each hour shall perfect up: sweet, let us part.

Fern. This kiss,—best life, good rest! [Kisses her.

Bian. All mine to thee! Remember this, and think I speak thy words: “When I am dead, rip up my heart, and read With constant eyes, what now my tongue defines, Fernando's name carv'd out in bloody lines.” Once more good rest, sweet! Fern. Your most faithful servant.

[The scene closes.


A Room in the Palace.

Enter Duke and D'AVOLOS. Duke. Thou art a traitor: do not think the gloss Of smooth evasion, by your cunning jests, And coinage of your politician's brain, Shall jig me off; I 'll know 't, I vow I will. Did not I note your dark abrupted ends Of words half-spoke ? your wells, if all were

known ?" Your short, “ I like not that ?" your girds and" buts ?" Yes, sir, I did ; such broken language argues More matter than your subtlety shall hide! Tell me, what is 't ? by honour's self, I 'll know.

D’Av. What would you know, my lord ? I confess I owe my life and service to you, as to my prince; the one you have, the other you may take from me at your pleasure. Should I devise matter to feed your distrust, or suggest likelihoods without appearance ? what would you have me say? I know nothing.

Duke. Thou liest, dissembler; on thy brow I read Distracted horrors figured in thy looks. On thy allegiance, D'Avolos, as e'er Thou hop'st to live in grace with us, unfold What by the party-halting of thy speech Thy knowledge can discover. By the faith We bear to sacred justice, we protest, Be it or good or evil, thy reward Shall be our special thanks, and love unterm'd:11 Speak, on thy duty; we, thy prince, command.

D’Ad. Oh my disaster! my lord, I am so charmed by those powerful repetitions of love and duty, that I cannot conceal what I know of your dishonour. 1 And love unterm’d,) i. e. inexpressible; or rather, perhaps, intermi


Duke. “Dishonour !" then my soul is cleft with

fear: I half-presage my misery ; say on, Speak it at once, for I am great with grief.

D’Av. I trust your highness will pardon me; yet I will not deliver a syllable which shall be less innocent than truth itself.

Duke. By all our wish of joys, we pardon thee.

D’Av. Get from me, cowardly servility! my service is noble, and my loyalty an armour of brass : in short, my lord, and plain discovery,

Duke. Out with the word !

D'Av. Fernando is your rival, has stolen your dutchess's heart, murther'd friendship.

Duke. My heart is split.

D'Av. Take courage, be a prince in resolution: I knew it would nettle you in the fire of your composition, and was loath to have given the first report of this more than ridiculous blemish to all patience or moderation ; but oh, my lord, what would not a subject do to approve his loyalty to his sovereign ?

Duke. The icy current of my frozen blood Is kindled up in agonies as hot As flames of burning sulphur. Oh my fate! Dishonour'd! had my dukedom's whole inheritance Been rent, mine honours levell’d in the dust, So she, that wicked woman, might have slept Chaste in my bosom, 't had been all a sport.And he, that villain, viper to my heart, That he should be the man! death above utter

ance! Take heed you prove this true.

D'Av. My lord.

Duke. If not,
I'll tear thee joint by joint.--Phew! methinks
It should not be :-Bianca! why, I took her
From lower than a bondage ;-hell of hells !
See that you make it good.



An Apartment in the Palace.
Enter DUKE, FIORMONDA, and D'Avolos.
Fior. Art thou Caraffa ? is there in thy veins
One drop of bl that issued from the loins
Of Pavy's ancient dukes? or dost thou sit
On great Lorenzo's seat, our glorious father,
And canst not blush to be so far beneath
The spirit of heroic ancestors ?
Canst thou engross a slavish shame, which men,
Far, far below

the region of thy state,
Not more abhor, than study to revenge ?
Thou an Italian! I could burst with rage,
To think I have a brother so befool'd,
In giving patience to a harlot's lust.

Duke. Forbear; the ashy paleness of my cheek
Is scarleted in ruddy flakes of wrath ;
And like some bearded meteor shall suck up,
With swiftest terror, all those dusky mists
That overcloud compassion in our breast.
You have rous'd a sleeping lion, whom no art,
No fawning smoothness shall reclaim; but blood.
And, sister, thou, thou Roderico, thou,
Froin whom I take the surfeit of my bane,
Henceforth no more so eagerly pursue,
To whet my dulness : you shall see Caraffa
Equal his birth, and matchless in revenge.

Fior. Why, now I hear you speak in majesty.
D’Av. And it becomes my lord most princely.

Duke. Does it ? come hither, sister; thou art near
In nature, and as near to me in love.
I love thee, yes, by yon bright firmament,
I love thee dearly: but observe me well;
If any private grudge, or female spleen,
Malice or envy, or such woman's frailty,

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