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Vit. You have one virtue left,
You will not flatter me.

Fra. Who brought this letter?
Vit. I am not compell’d to tell you.

Mon. My lord duke sent to you a thousand ducats,
The twelfth of August.'

Vit. 'Twas to keep your cousin
From prison, I paid use for't.

Mon. I rather think,
'Twas interest for his lust.

Vit. Who says so but yourself? if you be my accuser,
Pray cease to be my judge; come from the bench,
Give in your evidence against me, and let these
Be moderators. My lord cardinal,
Were your intelligencing ears as loving,
As to my thoughts, had you an honest tongue,
I would not care though you proclaim'd them all.

Mon. Go to, go to.
After your goodly and vain-glorious banquet,
I'll give you a choak-pear.

Vit. Of your own grafting ?

Mon. You were born in Venice, honourably descended
From the Vittelli ; 'twas my cousin's fate,
Ill may I name the hour, to marry you;
He bought you of your father.

Vit. Ha!

Mon. He spent there in six months
Twelve thousand ducats, and (to my knowledge
Receiv'd in dowry with you not one julio.
'Twas a hard penny-worth, the ware being so light;
I yet but draw the curtain, now to your picture :
You came from thence a most notorious strumpet,
And so you 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 Ryalto talk,
And ballated, and would be play'd o’th' stage,
But that vice many times finds such loud friends,
That preachers are charm'd silent.
You gentlemen, Flamineo and Marcello,
The court hath nothing now to charge you with,
Only you must remain upon your sureties
For your appearance.

Fra. I stand for Marcello.
Fla. And my lord duke for me.

Mon. For you, Vittoria, your public fault,
Join'd to th' 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 styl'd
No less an ominous fate, than blazing stars
To princes. Hear your sentence; you are confin'd
Unto a house of converts, and your bawd

Fla. Who, I?
Mon. The Moor.
Fla. 0, I am a sound man again.
Vit. A house of converts ! what's that?
Mon. A house of penitent whores.

Vit. Do the noblemen in Rome
Erect them for their wives, that I am sent
To lodge there?

Fra. You must have patience.

Vit. I must first have vengeance.
I fain would know if you have your salvation
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;
Forc'd her to do your pleasure.

Mon. Fie, she's mad !

Vit. Die with those pills in your most cursed maw, Should bring you health! or while you sit o'th' bench, Let your own spittle choke you!

Mon. She's turn'd fury.

Vit. That the last day of judgement may so find you, And leave you the same devil you were before ! Instruct me some good horse-leach 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 spight,

Through darkness diamonds spread their richest light." Our author is not, in general, either felicitous or hearty in his legal pleadings ; indeed, nothing can be inore wretched than the stuff he puts into the mouths of his lawyers, both in this play and in The Devil's Law-Case. The preceding passage, however, is as fine a piece of ingenious pleading as the defence of that refined sophist, Eugene Aram. Vittoria is too much for the Cardinal, with all his cunning, and the advantage of his station to boot: yet, her answers are so pertinent, and her appeals so natural, that we never for a moment doubt the probability and consistency of the scene. She is truly “a woman of a most prodigious spirit.” Her confidence and fearlessness, her dextrous retreats, and ready ingenuity at every turn, spread over the whole a very lively and dramatic air.

In the last extract we shall make from this play, there is solemn grief—a wild pathos, which accords well with the subject. Flamineo having slain Marcello, his gallant and honourable brother, Cornelia, their mother, becomes distracted in mind.

“ Francisco de Medicis in disguise, and Flamineo.
Fra. I met even now with the most piteous sight.

Fla. Thou meet’st another here, a pitiful
Degraded courtier.

Fra. 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 over-charg’d with water.

Fla. I will see them.

Fra. 'Twere much uncharity in you: for your sight
Will add unto their tears.
Fla. I will see them,
They are behind the traverse. I'll discover

Their superstitious howling.
Cornelia, the Moor, and three other ludies discovered winding Marcello's

corse. A song.,
Cor. This rosemary is wither'd, pray get fresh;
I would have these herbs grow up in his grave,

When I am dead and rotten. Reach the bays;
I'll tie a garland here about his head :
'Twill keep my boy from lightning. This sheet
I have kept this twenty years, and every day
Hallow'd it with my prayers ; I did not think
He should have wore it.

Moor. Look you, who are yonder ?
Cor. O reach me the flowers.
Moor. Her ladyship's foolish.

Wom. Alas! her grief
Hath turn'd her child again.

Cor. You're very welcome.
There's rosemary for you, and rue for you.

[to Flam. Heart's-ease for you. I pray make much of it, . I have left none for myself.

Fra. Lady, who's this?
Cor. You are, I take it, the grave-maker.
Fla. So.
Moor. 'Tis Flamineo.

Cor. Will you make me such a fool ? here's a white hand :
Can blood so soon be wash'd out? let me see,
When screech-owls croak upon the chimney tops, .
And the strange cricket i'th' oven sings and hops,
When yellow spots do on your hands appear,
Be certain then you of a corpse shall hear.
Out upon't, how 'tis speckl’d! h’as handld a toad sure.
Cowslip water is good for the memory: pray buy me three ounces

Fla. I would I were from hence.

Cor. Do you hear, sir?
I'll give you a saying which my grandmother
Was wont, when she heard the bell, to sing o'er unto her lute.

Fla. Do and you will, do.
Cornelia doth this in several forms of distraction.

Cor. Call for the robin red-breast, and the wren,
Since o’er shady groves they hover,
And with leaves 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.”

The next of Webster's Plays in chronological order is The Devil's Law-Case, which is, upon the whole, a tolerable play, and would afford us a few extracts; but as they are not of the same rank or importance with those we shall make from his two remaining plays, and as, moreover, any extracts from it would carry us beyond the limit assigned to this article, we must pass on to The Dutchess of Malfy. There is not much of plot in the tragedy; the chief incidents in which are as follows: The widowed Dutchess of Malfy, eminent in beauty and excellent in virtue, secretly marries Antonio her steward, an accomplished and brave gentleman, by whom she has three children. Her brothers, Ferdinand and the Cardinal, who had, from motives of avarice and ambition, used both threats and persuasions to prevent her marrying again, are informed by Bosola, their creature, of the birth of the children; but he is unable to communicate to them the name of the father. The brothers resolve to punish the Dutchess for the pretended indignity done to their house, with the most ferocious vengeance. The Dutchess, apprehensive of injury from the well-known violence of Ferdinand, under pretence of a pilgrimage, flies to Ancona, where she is seized with two of her children by the followers of her brothers, and is brought back to Malfy; Antonio, at her request, having taken a different route with the remaining child. The first and chief scene in the drama, is the one in which the Dutchess is subjected to the most excruciating mental tortures; which commences thus :

“Ferdinand, Bosola, Dutchess, Cariola, Servants.

Fer. How doth our sister dutchess bear herself
In her imprisonment?

Bos. Nobly : I'll describe her:
She's sad as one us'd to't, and she seems
Rather to welcome the end of misery
Than shun it; a behaviour so noble,
As gives a majesty to adversity :
You may discern the shape of loveliness
More perfect in her tears, than in her smiles ;
She will muse for hours together; and her silence
(Methinks) expresseth more than if she spake.

Fer. Her melancholy seems to be fortified with a strange

· disdain.

Bos. 'Tis so; and this restraint
(Like English mastiffs that grow fierce with tying) .
Makes her too passionately apprehend those pleasures she's kept

Fer. Curse upon her!

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