Page images

Duke. My heart is split !

D'Av. Take courage, be a prince in resolution : I knew it would nettle you in the fire of your composition, and was loth to have given the first report of this more than ridiculous blemish to all patience or moderation : but, 0, my lord, what would not a subject do to approve his loyalty to his sovereign ? Yet, good sir, take it as quietly as you can : I must needs say 'tis a foul fault; but what man is he under the sun that is free from the career of his destiny? May be she will in time reclaim the errors of her youth; or 'twere a great happiness in you, if you could not believe it; that's the surest way, my lord, in my poor counsel.

Duke. The icy current of my frozen blood
Is kindled up in agonies as hot
As flames of burning sulphur. . O, my fate!
A cuckold ! had my dukedom's whole inheritance
Been rent, mine honours levelled in the dust,
So she, that wicked woman, might have slept
Chaste in my bosom, 't had been all a sport.
And he, that villain, viper to my heart,
That he should be the man ! death above utterance !
Take heed you prove this true.

My lord,

If not,
I'll tear thee joint by joint.--Phew! methinks
It should not be :-Bianca! why, I took her
From lower than a bondage :-hell of hells !
See that you make it good.

D'Av. As for that, 'would it were as good as I would make it! I can, if you will temper your distractions, but bring you where you shall see it; no more.

Duke. See it! ' D'Av. Ay, see it, if that be proof sufficient. I, for my part, will slack no service that may testify my simplicity.

Duke. Enough.


What news, Fernando ?

Sir, the abbot
Is now upon arrival; all your servants
Attend your presence.

We will give him welcome
As shall befit our love and his respect.
Come, mine own best. Fernando, my dear friend.

[Exit with FERNANDO. D'Av. Excellent! now for a horned moon. [Music within.] But I hear the preparation for the entertainment of this great abbot. Let him come and go, that matters nothing to this ; whiles he rides abroad in hope to purchase a purple hat, our duke shall as earnestly heat the pericranion of his noddle with a yellow hood at home. I hear 'em coming.

Loud music. Enter Servants with torches; then the Duke,

followed by FERNANDO, BIANCA, FIORMONDA, PETRUCHIO, and NIBRASSA, at one side ; two Friars, the Abbot and Attendants at the other. The Duke ana Abbot meet and salute; BIANCA and the rest salute, and are saluted; they rank themselves, and pass over

the stage ; the Choir singing. On to your victuals; some of ye, I know, feed upon wormwood.


SCENE IV.-Another Apartment in the Palace. Enter PETRUCHIO and NIBRASSA with napkins, as from

supper. Pet. The duke's on rising : are you ready? ho ! [Within.] All ready. Nib. Then, Petruchio, arm thyself with courage and resolution; and do not shrink from being stayed on thy own virtue.

Pet. I am resolved.-- Fresh lights !--I hear 'em coming.

Enter Attendants with lights, before the Duke, Abbot,

BIANCA, FIORMONDA, FERNANDO, and D'Avolos. Duke. Right reverend uncle, though our minds be

In giving welcome as our hearts would wish,
Yet we will strive to show how much we joy
Your presence with a courtly show of mirth.
Please you to sit.

Great duke, your worthy honours
To me shall still have place in my best thanks :
Since you in me so much respect the church,
Thus much I'll promise,—at my next return
His holiness shall grant you an indulgence
Both large and general.

Our humble duty !-
Seat you, my lords.-Now let the masquers enter.

Enter, in an antic fashion, FERENTES, ROSEILLI, and

MAURUCCIO at several doors; they dance a short time. Suddenly enter to them COLONA, JULIA, and MORONA in odd shapes, and dance: the men gaze at them, and are invited by the women to dance. They dance together sundry changes ; at last FERENTES is closed in, MAURUCCIO and ROSEILLI being shook off, stand at different ends of the stage gazing. The women join hands and dance round FERENTES with divers complimental offers of courtship; at length they suddenly fall upon him and stab him ; he falls, and they run out at several doors. The music ceases.

Feren. Uncase me; I am slain in jest. A pox upon your outlandish feminine antics ! pull off my visor; I shall bleed to death ere I have time to feel where I

am hurt.—Duke, I am slain : off with my visor; for
heaven's sake, off with my visor!
Duke. Slain !—Take his visor off [They unmask

FERENTES) :--we are betrayed :
Seize on them ! two are yonder : hold Ferentes :
Follow the rest : apparent treachery!

Abbot. Holy Saint Bennet, what a sight is this !
Re-enter TULIA, COLONA, and MORONA unmasked, each

with a child in her arms.
Jul. Be not amazed, great princes, but vouchsafe
Your audience : we are they have done this deed.
Look here, the pledges of this false man's lust,
Betrayed in our simplicities : he swore,
And pawned his truth, to marry each of us;
Abused us all ; unable to revenge
Our public shames but by his public fall,
Which thus we have contrived : nor do we blush
To call the glory of this murder ours;
We did it, and we'll justify the deed ;
For when in sad complaints we claimed his vows,
His answer was reproach :-Villain, is't true ?

Col. I was “ too quickly won,” you slave !
Mor. I was “too old," you dog!

Jul. I,—and I never shall forget the wrong,--
I was “not fair enough ; " not fair enough
For thee, thou monster !—let me cut his gall-
Not fair enough! (), scorn ! not fair enough!

[Stabs him. Feren. 0, 0, 0 !

Duke. Forbear, you monstrous women ! do not add Murder to lust: your lives shall pay this forfeit.

Feren. Pox upon all cod-piece extravagancy! I am peppered—0, 0, 0 !-Duke, forgive me !--Had I rid any tame beasts but Barbary wild colts, I had not been thus jerked out of the saddle. My forfeit was in my blood; and my life hath answered it. Vengeance on all wild

whores, I say !-0, 'tis true-farewell, generation of hackneys !-0!

. [Dies. Duke. He is dead. To prison with those monstrous strumpets !



I'll answer for my daughter.

And I for mine. —
O, well done, girls!

. I for yon gentlewoman, sir. Mau. Good my lord, I am an innocent in the business.

Duke. To prison with him! Bear the body hence.
Abbot. Here's fatal sad presages : but 'tis just
He dies by murder that hath lived in lust. [Exeunt.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »