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Bian. I'll tell you, if you needs would be re

solv'd; I held Fernando much the better man.

Duke. Shameless, intolerable harlot!

Bian. What ails
Can you imagine, sir, the name of duke
Could make a crooked leg, a scrambling foot, **
A tolerable face, a wearish hand,
A bloodless lip, or such an untrimm'd beard
As your's, fit for a lady's pleasure? no:
I wonder you could think 'twere possible,
When I had once but look'd on your Fernando,
I ever could love you again; fie, fie!
Now, by my life, I thought that long ago
You'd known it; and been glad you had a friend
Your wife did think so well of.

Duke. O my stars !
Here's impudence above all history
Why, thou detested reprobate in virtue,
Dar'st thou, without a blush, before mine eyes,
Speak such immodest language?

Bian. Dare? yes, 'faith,
You see I dare: I know what


say now;
You would fain tell me how exceeding much
I am beholding to you, that vouchsafed
Me, from a simple gentlewoman's place,
The honour of your bed: ’tis true you did;
But why? 'twas but because you thought I had
A spark of beauty more than


had seen. To answer this, my reason is the like;

• A scrambling foot.] i. e. a sprawling, shuffing foot: wearish is used by our old writers for wizened, withered,

decayed, &c. -GIFFORD.

The self-same appetite which led you on
To marry me, led me to love


O, he's a gallant man! if ever yet
Mine eyes beheld a miracle, composed
Of flesh and blood, Fernando has my voice.
I must confess, my lord, that, for a prince,
Handsome enough you are, -
But to compare yourself with him! trust me,
You are too much in fault.

Duke. Excellent, excellent! the pangs of death
Are music to this.-
Forgive me, my good Genius, I had thought
I match'd a woman, but I find she is
A devil, worser than the worst in hell.
Nay, nay, since we are in, e'en come, say on;
I mark you to a syllable.
Bian. Look, what I said, 'tis true; for, know it

I must confess I miss'd no means, no time,
To win him to my bosom; but so much,
So holily, with such religion,
He kept the laws of friendship, that my suit
Was held but in comparison a jest;
Nor did I ofter urge the violence

my affection, but as oft he urged The sacred vows of faith 'twixt friend and

Yet be assured, my lord, if ever language
Of cunning, servile flatteries, entreaties,
Or what in me is, could procure his love,
I would not blush to speak it.

Duke. Such another
As thou art, miserable creature, would
Sink the whole sex of women: yet confess

What witchcraft used the wretch to charm the

heart* Of the once spotless temple of thy mind? For without witchcraft it could ne'er be done.

Bian. Phew!-an you be in these tunes, sir, I'll

leave you;

You know the best, and worst, and all.

Duke. Nay, then
Thou tempt'st me to thy ruin. Come, black

Fair devil, in thy prayers reckon up
The sum in gross of all thyt veined follies;
There, amongst other, weep in tears of blood,
For one above the rest, adultery !
Adultery, Bianca ! such a guilt,
As, were the sluices of thine


Tears cannot wash it off: 'tis not the tide
Of trivial wantonness from youth to youth,
But thy abusing of thy lawful bed,
Thy husband's bed; his, in whose breast thou

His, that did prize thee more than all the trash
Which hoarding worldlings make an idol of.
Now turn thine

eyes into thy hovering soul,
And do not hope for life; would angels sing
A requiem at my hearse, but to dispense

my revenge on thee, 'twere all in vain: Prepare to die!

* To charm the heart.] This reading has been made out o the old copy, which has the art.” °I can think of no word nearer the traces of the original; and yet to “ charm the heart of the temple of the mind,” is an expression which will be as little admired as comprehended. — "GIFFORD. Perhaps we should read ark.

+ i. e. ingrained, as we say: follies that run in the blood.

Bian. (opens her bosom.) I do; and to the point Of thy sharp sword, with open breast, I'll run Half way thus naked; do not shrink, Caraffa, This daunts not me: but in the latter act Of thy revenge, 'tis all the suit I askAt my last

gasp, ---to spare thy noble friend; For life to me, without him, were a death.

Duke. Not this, I'll none of this ; 'tis not so fit.Why should I kill her? she may live and change, Or

[Throws down his sword. Fior. (above.) Dost thou halt? faint coward,

dost thou wish To blemish all thy glorious ancestors ? Is this thy courage ?

Duke. Ha! say you so too? Give me thy hand, Bianca.

Bian. Here.

Duke. Farewell;
Thus go in everlasting sleep to dwell;

[Draws his dagger, and stabs her. Here's blood for Just, and sacrifice for wrong. Bian. 'Tis bravely done ; thou hast struck home

at once : Live to repent too late. Commend my love To thy true friend, my love to him that* owes it; My tragedy tot thee ; my heart to-to-Fernando, Ooh!

[Dies. Duke. Sister, she's dead.

Fior. Then, while thy rage is warm, Pursue the causer of her trespasses.

* i. e. owns, possesses it.

+ My tragedy to thee.] Bianca alludes either to her husband, or to Fiormonda, who from the gallery had urged on her murder with such violence.--GIFFORD.

Duke. Good:
I'll slack no time whilst I am hot in blood.

[Takes up his sword and exit. Fior. Here's royal vengeance ! this becornes the

state Of his disgrace, and my unbounded hate. [Exit.

SCENE II.-An Apartment in the Palace.

FERNANDO : to him the Duke, a sword in one hand,

and a bloody dagger in the other.
Duke. Stand, and behold thy executioner,
Thou glorious traitor! I will keep no form
Of ceremonious law to try thy guilt:
Look here, 'tis written on my poniard's point,
The bloody evidence of thy untruth,
Wherein thy conscience, and the wrathful rod
Of heaven's scourge for lust, at once give up
The verdict of thy crying villainies.
I see thou art arm'd; prepare, I crave no odds
Greater than is the justice of my cause;
Fight, or I'll kill thee.

Fern. Duke, I fear thee not :
But first I charge thee, as thou art a prince,
Tell me, how hast thou used thy duchess ?

Duke. How?
To add affliction to thy trembling ghost,
Look on my dagger's crimson dye, and judge.

Fern. Not dead ?
Duke. Not dead ? yes, by my honour's truth :

why, fool,
Dost think I'll hug my injuries ? no, traitor !

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