« PreviousContinue »
*Fer. Excellent, as I would wish: she's plagued in art.
These presentations are but fram'd in wax,
By the curious master in that quality
Vincentio Lauriola, and she takes them
For true substantial bodies.
Bos. Why do you do this?
Ferd. To bring her to despair.
Bos. Faith, end here;
And go no further in your cruelty.
Send her a penitential garment to put on
Next to her delicate skin, and furnish her
With beads and prayer books.
Ferd. Damn her; that body of her's,
While that my blood ran pure in't, was more worth
Than that, which thou wouldst comfort, call'd a soul.
I'll send her masques of common courtezans,
Have her meat served up by bawds and ruffians,
And ('cause she'll need be mad) I am resolved
To remove forth the common hospital
All the mad folk, and place them near her lodging :
There let 'em practise together, sing, and dance,
And act their gambols to the full o' the moon.
She is kept waking with noises of Madmen : and, at last,
strangled by common Executioners.
DUCHESS. CARIOLA. . Duch. What hideous noise was that?
Car. Tis the wild consort
Of madmen, Lady; which your tyrant brother
Hath placed about your lodging: this tyranny
I think was never practis'd till this hour.
Duch. Indeed I thank him ; nothing but noise and
Can keep me in my right wits, whereas reason
And silence make me stark mad : sit down,
Discourse to me some dismal tragedy. -
Car. O 'twill increase your melancholy.
Duch. Thou art deceived.
To hear of greater grief would lessen mine.
This is a prison ?
Car. Yes: but thou shalt live
To shake this durance off.
Duch. Thou art a fool.
The Robin-red-breast and the Nightingale
Never live long in cages.
Car. Pray, dry your eyes.
What think you of, Madam?
Duch. Of nothing : When I muse thus, I sleep.
Car. Like a madman, with your eyes open ?
Duch. Dost thou think we shall know one another In the other world?
Car. Yes, out of question.
Duch. O that it were possible we might
But hold some two days conference with the dead,
From them I should learn somewhat I am sure
I never shall know here. I'll tell thee a miracle ;
I am not mad yet, to my cause of sorrow.
Th’ heaven o'er my head seems made of molten brass,
The earth of flaming sulphur, yet I am not mad :
I am acquainted with sad misery,
As the tann'd galley-slave is with his oar;
Necessity makes me suffer constantly,
And custom makes it easy. Who do I look like now?
Car. Like to your picture in the gallery ;
A deal of life in show, but none in practice :
Or rather, like some reverend monument
Whose ruins are even pitied.
Duch. Very proper :
And Fortune seems only to have her eyesight,
To behold my tragedy: how now,
What noise is that?
A Servant enters.
Serv. I am come to tell you,
Your brother hath intended you some sport.
A great physician, when the Pope was sick
Of a deep melancholy, presented him
With several sorts of madmen, which wild object
(Being full of change and sport) forc'd him to laugh,
And so th' imposthume broke : the selfsame cure
The duke intends on yon.
Duch. Let them come in.
Here follows a Dance of sundry sorts of Madmen, with
Music answerable thereto : after which Bosola (like un
old Man) enters.
Duch. Is he mad too?
Bos. I am come to make thy tomb.
Duch. Ha! my tomb ?
Thou speak’st as if I lay upon my deathbed ;
Gasping for breath : dost thou perceive me sick ?
Bos. Yes, and the more dangerously, since thy siek-
ness is insensible. Duch. Thou art not mad sure: dost know me? Bos. Yes. Duch. Who am I? Bos. Thou art a box of wormseed ; at best but a sal
vatory of green mummy. What's this flesh ? a little crudded milk, fantastical puff-paste. Our bodies are weaker than those paper-prisons boys use to keep flies in, more contemptible; since ours is to preserve earthworms. Didst thou ever see a lark in a cage? Such is the soul in the body : this world is like her little turf of grass ; and the heaven o'er our heads like her looking glass, only gives us a miserable know
ledge of the small compass of our prison, Duch. Am not I thy duchess ? 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 milkmaid's. Thou sleepest worse, than if a mouse should be forced to take up her lodging in a cat's ear : a little infant that breeds its teeth, should it lie with thee
would cry out, as if thou wert the more unquiet
bedfellow. Duch. I am Duchess of Malfy still.
Bos. That makes thy sleeps so broken :
Glories, like glow-worms, afar off shine bright;
But, look'd to near, have neither heat nor light.
Duch. Thou art very plain.
Bos. My trade is to flatter the dead, not the living. I
am a tomb-maker.
Duch. And thou comest to make my tomb ?
Duch. Let me be a little merry. Of what stuff-wilt thou make it?
Bos. Nay, resolve me first; of what fashion ?
Duch. 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 carved with their eyes fixed upon the stars; but, as their minds were wholly
bent upon the world, the self same way they
I seem to turn their faces.
Duch. Let me know fully therefore the effect
Of this thy dismal preparation,
This talk, fit for a charnel.
Bos. Now I shall.
A Coffin, Cords, and a Bell, produced.
Here is a present from your princely brothers;
And may it arrive welcome, for it brings
Last benefit, last sorrow.
Duch. 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.
Car. O my sweet lady.
Duch. 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.
Duch. Even now thou saidst,
Thou wast a tomb-maker.
Bos. Twas to bring you
By degrees to mortification : Listen.
Hark, now every thing is still ;
The screech-owl, and the whistler shrill,
Call upon our dame aloud,
And bid her quickly d'on 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 whát 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,
D'on 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.
Car. Hence, villains, tyrants, murderers : alas ! ,
What will you do with my lady? Call for help.
Duch. To whom ? to our next neighbours? They are
mad folks. Farewell, Cariola. I pray thee look thou giv'st my little boy Some syrop for his cold ; and let the girl Say her pray’rs ere she sleep.--Now, what you please; What death?
Bos. Strangling. Here are your executioners. · Duch. I forgive them