« PreviousContinue »
Thou art in grey at worse, the
glass, only gives us a miserable knowledge of the small compass of our prison.
Dutch. Am not I thy Dutchess ?
Bos. Thou art some great woman sure, for riot begins to sit on thy forehead (clad in grey hairs) twenty years sooner, than on a merry milk-maid's. Thou sleep'st worse, than if a mouse should be forced to take up his lodging in a cat's ear: a little infant, that breeds it's teeth, should it lie with thee, would cry out as if thou wert the more unquiet bed-fellow.
Dutch. I am Dutchess of Malfy still.
Bos. That makes thy sleep so broken:
• Glories, like glow worms, afar off, shine bright,
But look'd too near, have neither heat or light.'
Dutch. Thou art very plain.
Bos. My trade is to flatter the dead, not the living.
I am a tomb-maker.
Dutch. And thou com'st to make my tomb?
Dutch. Let me be a little merry:
Of what stuff wilt thou make it?
Bos. Nay, resolve me first, of what fashiot
Dutch. Why, do we grow fantastical in our death-bed?
Do we affect fashion in the grave ?
Bos. Most ambitiously. Princes' images on their tombs,
Do not lie as they were wont, seeming to pray
Up to heaven; but with their hands under their cheeks,
As if they died of the tooth-ache; they are not carv'd
With their eyes fix'd upon the stars ; but, as their
Minds were wholly bent upon the world,
The self-same way they seem to turn their faces.
Dutch. Let me know fully therefore the effect
Of this thy dismal preparation,
This talk, fit for a charnel ?
Bos. Now, I shall :
Here is a present from your princely brothers.
[a coffin, cords, and a bell.
And may it arrive welcome, for it brings
Last benefit, last sorrow.
Dutch. Let me see it,
I have so much obedience in my blood,
I wish it in their veins, to do them good.
Bos. This is your last presence-chamber.
Cari. O, my sweet lady!
Dutch. Peace! it affrights not me.
Bos. I am the common bell-man
That usually is sent to condemn'd persons
The night before they suffer.
Dutch. Even now thou said'st
Thou wast a tomb-maker ?
Bos. 'Twas to bring you
By degrees to mortification. Listen.
Harke! now every thing is still :
The screetch-owl, and the whistler shrill,
Call upon our dame, aloud,
And bid her quickly don her shroud:
Much you had of land and rent,
Your length in clay 's now competent.
A long war disturb’d your mind,
Here your perfect peace is sign’d,
Of what is't fools make such vain keeping ?
Sin their conception, their birth weeping :
Their life a general mist of error,
Their death a hideous storm of terror,
Strew your hair with powders sweet :
Don clean linen, bathe your feet,
And (the foul fiend more to check)
A crucifix let bless your neck,
'Tis now full tide 'tween night and day,
End your groan, and.come away.
Cari. Hence villains, tyrants, murderers
alas! What will you do with my lady? Call for help. Dutch. To whom ? to our next neighbours? they are mad
In my last will I have not much to give,
A many hungry guests have fed on me ;
Thine will be a poor reversion.
Cari. I will die with her.
Dutch. I pray thee look thou giv’st my little boy
Some sirup for his cold, and let the girl
Say her prayers, ere she sleep. Now what you please;
Bos. Strangling; here are your executioners.
Dutch. I forgive them :
The apoplexy, catarrh, or cough o'th' lungs,
Would do as much as they do.
Bos. Does not death fright you?
Dutch. Who would be afraid on't, Knowing to meet such excellent company
In th' other world?
Bos. Yet, methinks,
The manner of your death should much afflict you;
This cord should terrify you?
Dutch. Not a whit :
What would it pleasure me, to have my throat cut
With diamonds ? or to be smothered
With cassia ? or to be shot to death with pearls ?
I know death hath ten thousand several doors
For men to take their exits, and 'tis found
They go on such strange geometrical hinges,
You may open them both ways; any way, (for heaven sake,)
So I were out of your whispering. Tell my brothers,
That I perceive death, (now I am well awake,)
Best gift ’tis, they can give, or I can take.
I would fain put off my last woman's fault,
I'd not be tedious to you.
Exec. We are ready.
Dutch. Dispose my breath, how please you, but my body Bestow upon my women, will you?
Dutch. Pull, and pull strongly, for your able strength Must pull down heaven upon me : Yet stay, heaven's gates are not so highly arch'd As princely palaces, they that enter there Must go upon their knees: come, violent death, Serve for mandragora, to make me sleep: Go tell my brothers when I am laid out, They then may feed in quiet. [they strangle her, kneeling.
Fer. Is she dead?"
Bos. She is what
You'd have her : but here begin your pity:
[shows the children strangled. Alas ! how have these offended ?
Fer. The death
Of young wolves is never to be pitied.
Bos. Fix your eye there.
Bos. Do you not weep?
Other sins only speak; murder shrieks out:
The element of water moistens the earth,
But blood flies upwards, and bedews the heavens.
beak; murens the earthe hea
Fer. Cover her face: mine eyes dazzle: she died young.
Bos. I think not so: her infelicity
Seem'd to have years too many.
Fer. She and I were twins:
And should I die this instant, I have liv'd
Her time to a minute.
Bos. It seems she was born first:
You have bloodily approv'd the ancient truth,
That kindred commonly do worse agree
Than remote strangers.
Fer. Let me see her face again;
Why didst not thou pity her? what an excellent
Honest man might'st thou have been,
If thou hadst borne her to some sanctuary?
Or (bold in a good cause) oppos’d thyself,
With thy advanced sword above thy head,
Between her innocency and my revenge ?
I bade thee, when I was distracted of my wits,
Go kill my dearest friend, and thou hast done't.
For let me but examine well the cause;
What was the meanness of her match to me?
Only, I must confess, I had a hope
(Had she continu'd widow) to have gain'd
An infinite mass of treasure by her death :
And what was the main cause; her marriage,
That drew a stream of gall quite through my
Heart; for thee, (as we observe in tragedies,
That a good actor many times is curs'd
For playing a villain's part,) I hate thee for’t:
(For my sake) say thou hast done much ill, well.
Bos. Let me quicken your memory; for I
Challenge the reward due to my service.
Fer. I'll tell thee.
Fer. I'll give thee a pardon for this murder.
Fer. Yes; and 'tis
The largest bounty I can study to do thee.
By what authority didst thou execute
This bloody service ?
Bos. By yours.
Fer. Mine? was I her judge?
Did any ceremonial form of law
Doom her to not-being? did a complete jury
Deliver her conviction up i'th'court?
Where shalt thou find this judgement registered,
Unless in hell? See: like a bloody fool, .
Th' hast forfeited thy life, and thou shalt die fort.
Bos. The office of justice is perverted quite,
When one thief hangs another: who shall dare
To reveal this?
Fer. Oh, I'll tell thee;
The wolf shall find her grave, and scrape it up,
Not to devour the corpse, but to discover
The horrid murder.
Bos. You, not I, shall quake for't.
Fer. Leave me.
Bos. I will first receive my pension.
Fer. You are a villain.
Bos. When your ingratitude
Is judge, I am so.
Fer. O horror!
That not the fear of him which binds the devils,
Can prescribe man obedience.
Never look upon me more.
Bos. Why, fare thee well: .
Your brother and yourself are worthy men ;
You have a pair of hearts are hollow graves,
Rotten, and rotting others; and your vengeance,
(Like two chain’d bullets,) still goes arm in arm.
You may be brothers; for treason, like the plague,
Doth take much in a blood : I stand like one
That long hath ta'en a sweet and golden dream;
I'm angry with myself, now that I wake.
Fer. Get thee into some unknown part o'th'world,
That I may never see thee.
Bos. Let me know
Wherefore I should be thus neglected, sir?
I serv'd your tyranny; and rather strove
To satisfy yourself, than all the world;
And though I loath'd the evil, yet I lov'd
You that did counsel it; and rather sought
To appear a true servant, than a honest man.
Fer. I'll go hunt the badger by owl-light: 'Tis a deed of darkness.
[exit. Bos. He's much distracted. Off, my painted honour ! While with vain hopes our faculties we tire, We seem to sweat in ice, and freeze in fire ; What would I do were this to do again? I would not change my peace of conscience