Page images

Your letters carry truth, but 'tis your guise
To fill your mouths with gross and impudent lies.

Servant. My Lord, your gown.

Bra. Thou liest, 'twas my stool. Bestow't upon thy master, that will challenge The rest oʻth' household-stuff, for Brachiano Was ne'er so beggarly to take a stool Out of another's lodging: let him make Vallance for his bed on't, or demy foot-cloth For his most reverend moile. Monticelso, nemo me inpune lacessit.

(Exit Brachiano. Mon. Your champion's gone. Vit. The wolf may prey the better.

Fra. My Lord, there's great suspicion of the murder, But no sound proof who did it. For my part, I do not think she hath a soul so black To act a deed so bloody: if she have, As in cold countries husband-men plant vines, And with warm blood manure them, even so One summer she will bear unsavory fruit, And e'er next spring wither both branch and root. The act of blood let pass, only descend To matter of incontinence.

Vit. I discern poison
Under your gilded pills.

Mon. Now the Duke's gone I will produce a letter,
Wherein 'twas plotted, he and you shall meet,
At an apothecary's summer-house,
Down by the river Tiber. View't, my Lords :
Where after wanton bathing and the heat
Of a lascivious banquet.-I pray read it.-
I shame to speak the rest.

Vit. Grant I was tempted;
Temptation proves not the act :
Casta est quam nemo rogavit.
You read his hot love to me, but you want
My frosty answer.
Mon. Frost i’th’ dog-days! strange!

Vit. Condemn you me for that the Duke did love me? So may you blame some fair and chrystal river For that some melancholic distracted man Hath drown'd himself in't. Mon. Truly drown'd, indeed.

Vit. Sum up my faults, I pray, and you shall find,
That beauty and gay clothes, a merry heart,
And a good stomach to feast, are all,
All the poor crimes that you can charge me with.
In faith, my Lord, you might go pistol flies,
The sport would be more noble.
Mon. Very good.
Vit. But take you your course, it seems you've

begged me first,
And now would fain undo me. I have houses,
Jewels, and a poor remnant of crusadoes ;
Would these would make you charitable.

Mon. If the devil
Did ever take good shape, behold his picture.

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

Fra. Who brought this letter ?
Vit. I am not compelld to tell you.
Mon. My Lord Duke sent to you a thousand ducats,
The twelfth of August.

Vit. 'Twas to keep your cousin 70
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.

70 Her husband Camillo, who was cousin to Monticelso.


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, honorably de-

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 plaid o'th' stage
But that vice many times finds such loud friends,
That preachers are charm’d silent.
Your public fault,
Joyn’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.

Vit. A house of converts ! what's that?

Mon. A house of penitent whorés.
· Vit. Do the Noblemen in Rome
Erect it for their wives, that I am sent
To lodge there?

Fra. You must have patience.
Pil. 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 choak you!
Mon. She's turn'd fury.

Vit. That the last day of judgment 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. 71

Marcello Marcello and Flamineo, Sons to Cornelia, having quarrelled;

71 This White Devil of Italy sets off a bad cause so speciously, and pleads with such an innocence-resembling boldness, that we seem to see that matchless beauty of her face which inspires such gay confidence into her; and are ready to expect, when she has done her pleadings, that her very judges, her accusers, the grave embassadors who sit as spectators, and all the court, will rise and make proffer to defend her in spite of the utmost conviction of her guilt; as the shepherds in Don Quixote make proffer to follow the

Flamineo slays his Brother Marcello, their Mother being present.

Cor. I hear a whispering all about the court,
You are to fight : who is your opposite?
What is the quarrel ?

Mar. 'Tis an idle rumour.

Cor. Will you dissemble ? sure you do not well
To fright me thus : you never look thus pale,
But when you are most angry. I do charge you, -
Upon my blessing; nay I'll call the Duke,
And he shall school you.

Mar. Publish not a fear,
Which would convert to laughter : 'tis not so.
Was not this crucifix my father's ?

Cor. Yes.

Mar. I have heard you say, giving my brother suck,
He took the crucifix between his hands,
And broke a limb off. i
Cor. Yes; but ’tis mended.

Flamineo enters.
Fla. I have brought your weapon back.

(Flamineo runs Marcello through.)
Cor. Ha, oh my horror!
Mar. You have brought it home, indeed.
Cor. Help, oh he's murder'd!

Fla. Do you turn your gall up ? I'll to sanctuary, And send a surgeon to you.

[Exit Flam. Hortensius (an Officer) enters. Hor. How, o'th' ground?

beautiful shepherdess Marcela “ without reaping any profit out of her manifest resolution made there in their hearing."

So sweet and lovely does she make the shame,
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
Does spot the beauty of her budding name!


« PreviousContinue »