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SCENE I.-An Apartment in the Palace.
Enter Duke, FIORMONDA, and D'Avolos.

IOR. Art thou Caraffa ? is there in thy

veins One drop of blood that issued from the

loins Of Pavy's ancient dukes? or dost thou



On great Lorenzo's seat, our glorious father,
And canst not blush to be so far beneath
The spirit of heroic ancestors ?
Canst thou engrossà a slavish shame, which men
Far, far below the region of thy state
Not more abhor than study to revenge?
Thou an Italian ! I could burst with rage
To think I have a brother so befooled
In giving patience to a harlot's lust.

D'Av. One, my lord, that doth so palpably, so apparently make her adulteries a trophy, whiles the potingstick? to her unsatiate and more than goatish abomination jeers at and flouts your sleepish, and more than sleepish, security.

Fior. What is she but the sallow-coloured brat
Of some unlanded bankrupt, taught to catch
The easy fancies of young prodigal bloods

1 Possess.

2 Or poking-stick, a slender rod of bone or steel, for setting the plaits of ruffs, cuffs, &c., after starching.

In springes of her stew-instructed art ?-
Here's your most virtuous duchess ! your rare piece!

D'Av. More base in the infiniteness of her sensuality than corruption can infect :- to clip and inveigle your friend too! O, unsufferable !—a friend ! how of all men are you most unfortunate !—to pour out your soul into the bosom of such a creature aş holds it religion to make your own trust a key to open the passage to your own wife's womb, to be drunk in the privacies of your bed ! think upon that, sir..

Duke. Be gentle in your tortures, e'en for pity;
For pity's cause I beg it.

Be a prince !
Th’adst better, duke, thou hadst, been born a peasant...
Now boys will sing thy scandal in the streets,
Tune ballads to thy infamy, get money
By making pageants of thee, and invent
Some strangely-shaped man-beast, that may for horns
Resemble thee, and call it Pavy's Duke.

Duke. Endless immortal plague !

D'Av. There's the mischief, sir : in the meantime you shall be sure to have a bastard-of whom you did not so much as beget a little toe, a left ear, or half the further side of an upper lip-inherit both your throne and name: this would kill the soul of very patience itself.

Duke. Forbear; the ashy paleness of my cheek
Is scarleted in ruddy flakes of wrath ;
And like some bearded meteor shall suck up,
With swiftest terror, all those dusky mists
That overcloud compassion in our breast.
You've roused a sleeping lion, whom no art,
No fawning smoothness shall reclaim, but blood.
And sister thou, thou, Roderico, thou,
From whom I take the surfeit of my bane,
Henceforth no more so eagerly pursue
To whet my dulness : you shall see Caraffa
Equal his birth, and matchless in revenge.

Fior. Why, now I hear you speak in majesty.
D'Av. And it becomes my lord most princely.

Duke. Does it?--Come hither, sister. Thou art near
In nature, and as near to me in love :
I love thee, yes, by yon bright firmament,
I love thee dearly. But observe me well :
If any private grudge or female spleen,
Malice or envy, or such woman's frailty,
Have spurred thee on to set my soul on fire
Without apparent certainty,-I vow,
And vow again, by all our princely blood,
Hadst thou a double soul, or were the lives
Of fathers, mothers, children, or the hearts
Of all our tribe in thine, I would unrip
That womb of bloody mischief with these nails
Where such a cursèd plot as this was hatched. -
But, D'Avolos, for thee—no more; to work
A yet more strong impression in my brain
You must produce an instance to mine eye
Both present and apparent—nay, you shall-or-

Fior. Or what? you will be mad ? be rather wise;
Think on Ferentes first, and think by whom
The harmless youth was slaughtered: had he lived,
He would have told you tales : Fernando feared it;
And to prevent him,-under show, forsooth,
Of rare device,-most trimly cut him off.
Have you yet eyes, duke ?

Shrewdly urged,-—'tis piercing.
Fior. For looking on a sight shall split your soul,
You shall not care : I'll undertake myself
To do't some two days hence; for need, to-night,
But that you are in court.

D'Av. Right. Would you desire, my lord, to see them exchange kisses, sucking one another's lips, nay, begetting an heir to the dukedom, or practising more than the very act of adultery itself? Give but a little way by a feigned absence, and you shall find 'em-I

blush to speak doing what: I am mad to think on't; you are most shamefully, most sinfully, most scornfully cornuted.

Duke. D’ye play upon me? as I am your prince, There's some shall roar for this! Why, what was I, Both to be thought or made so vile a thing ? Stay, madam marquess,-ho, Roderico, you, sir, -Bear witness that if ever I neglect One day, one hour, one minute, to wear out With toil of plot or practice of conceit My busy skull, till I have found a death More horrid than the bull of Phalaris, Or all the fabling poets' dreaming whips; If ever I take rest, or force a smile Which is not borrowed from a royal vengeance, Before I know which way to satisfy Fury and wrong,—nay, kneel down [They kneel],- let

me die More wretched than despair, reproach, contempt, Laughter, and poverty itself can make me ! Let's rise on all sides friends [They rise] :--now all's

agreed : If the moon serve, some that are safe shall bleed."

Bian. My lord the duke,

Bianca ! ha, how is't ?
How is't, Bianca ?—What, Fernando !—come,
Shall's shake hands, sirs ?—'faith, this is kindly done.
Here's three as one : welcome, dear wire, sweet friend !

D'Av. [Aside to FIORMONDA] I do not like this now; it shows scurvily to me.

Bian. My lord, we have a suit; your friend and IDuke. [Aside] She puts my friend before, most kindly


i Certain states of the moon were considered especially favourable for the operation of bleeding.

Bian. Must join-

What, "must"?

My lord !

Must join, you sayBian. That you will please to set Mauruccio At liberty ; this gentlewoman here Hath, by agreement made betwixt them two, Obtained him for her husband: good my lord, Let me entreat; I dare engage mine honour He's innocent in any wilful fault.

Duke. Your honour, madam ! now beshrew you for’t, T'engage your honour on so slight a ground : Honour's a precious jewel, I can tell you; Nay, 'tis, Bianca ; go to !--D'Avolos, Bring us Mauruccio hither. D'Av. I shall, my lord.

[Exit. Mor.

I humbly thank your grace, Fern. And, royal sir, since Julia and Colona, Chief actors in Ferentes' tragic end, Were, through their ladies' mediation, Freed by your gracious pardon; I, in .pity, Tendered this widow's friendless misery; For whose reprieve I shall, in humblest duty, Be ever thankful.

Re-enter D'Avolos with MAURUCCIO in rags, and

GIACOPO weeping. Mau. Come you, my learned counsel, do not roar; If I must hang, why, then, lament therefore : You may rejoice, and both, no doubt, be great To serve your prince, when I am turned worms'-meat. I fear my lands and all I have is begged ;? Else, woe is me, why should I be so ragged ?

D'Av. Come on, sir; the duke stays for you. Mau. O, how my stomach doth begin to puke, When I do hear that only word, the duke!

11, e. As a condemned person.

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