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A long war disturb'd your mind;
Here your perfect peace is sign'd.
Of what 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,
Don 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.
Cariola. Hence, villains, tyrants, murderers! alas !
What will you do with my lady ?-Call for help.

Duchess. To whom, to our next neighbours ? they are mad-folks.
Bos. Remove that noise.

Duchess. Farewell, Cariola.
In my last will, I have not much to give :
A many hungry guests have fed upon me;
Thine will be a poor reversion.

Cariola. I will die with her.

Duchess. I pray thee, look thou giv'st my little boy
Some syrup for his cold, and let the girl
Say her prayers ere she sleep.--Now what you please :

[Cariola is forced out. What death?

Bos. Strangling; here are your executioners.

Duchess. I forgive them :
The apoplexy, catarrh, or cough o'th' lungs,
Would do as much as they do.

Bos. Doth not death fright you?

Duchess. Who would be afraid on 't,
Knowing to meet such excellent company
In th' other world ?

Bos. Yet, methinks,
The manner of your death should much afflict you;
This cord should terrify you.

Duchess. Not a whit:

What would it pleasure me to have my throat cut
With diamonds ? or to be smothered
With cassia ? or to be shot to death with pearls ?
I know death hath ten thousand several doors
For men to take their exits; and 't is found
They go on such strange geometrical hinges,
You may open them both ways : any way, for Heaven sake,
So I were out of your whispering. Tell my brothers,
That I perceive death, now I am well awake,
Best gift is they can give, or I can take.
I would fain put off my last woman's fault,
I'd not be tedious to you.

Execut. We are ready.

Duchess. Dispose my breath how please you, but my body Bestow upon my women, will you?

Execut. Yes.

Duchess. Pull, and pull strongly, for your able strength
Must pull down heaven upon me:
Yet stay, heaven-gates are not so highly arch'd
As princes' palaces; they that enter there,
Must go upon their knees. Come, violent death,
Serve for mandragora to make me sleep.
Go, tell my brothers, when I am laid out,
They then may feed in quiet.

[They strangle the Duchess. Bos. Where is the waiting woman?

SCENE IV. The faithful waiting-maid and the children undergo the same terrible death. The bloody Ferdinand comes to see his work.

Enter Ferdinand.
Ferd. Is she dead ?

Bos. She is what
You'd have her. But here begin your pity:

[Shews the children strangled. Alas! how have these offended ?


Ferd. The death.
Of young wolves is never to be pitied.

Bos. Fix your eye here.
Ferd. Constantly.

Bos. Do you not weep?
Other sins only speak; murther shrieks out:
The element of water moistens the earth,
But blood flies upwards and bedews the heavens.

Ferd. Cover her face; mine eyes dazzle: she died young.

Bos. I think not so ; her infelicity
Seem'd to have years too many.

Ferd. She and I were twins;
And should I die this instant, I had liv'd
Her time to a minute.

Bos. It seems she was born first:
You have bloodily approv'd the ancient truth,
That kindred commonly do worse agree
Than remote strangers.

Ferd. Let me see her face
Again. Why didst not thou pity her? What
An excellent honest man might'st thou have been
If thou hadst borne her to some sanctuary;
Or, bold in a good cause, oppos’d thyself,
With thy advanced sword above thy head,
Between her innocence and my revenge.
I bade thee, when I was distracted of my wits,
Go kill my dearest friend, and thou hast done 't.
For let me but examine well the cause ;
What was the meanness of her match to me?
Only I must confess I had a hope,
Had she continu'd widow, to have gain'd
An infinite mass of treasure by her death;
And what was the main cause ? her marriage,
That drew a stream of gall quite through my heart.
For thee, as we observe in tragedies
That a good actor many times is curs'd
For playing a villain's part, I hate thee for 't,
And for my sake say thou hast done much ill, well.

Bos. Let me quicken your memory, for I perceive
You are falling into ingratitude; I challenge
The reward due to my service.

Ferd. I'll tell thee what I'll give thee.
Bos. Do.
Ferd. I'll give thee a pardon for this murther.
Bos. Ha!

Ferd. Yes, and 't is.
The largest bounty I can study to do thee.
By what authority didst thou execute
This bloody sentence?

Bos. By yours.

Ferd. Mine! Was I her judge ?
Did any ceremonial form of law
Doom her to not-being ? Did a complete jury
Deliver her conviction up i 'th' court ?
Where shalt thou find this judgment register'd,
Unless in Hell? See, like a bloody fool,
Th’hast forfeited thy life, and thou shalt die for 't.

Bos. The office of justice is perverted quite,
When one thief hangs another. Who shall dare
To reveal this?

Ferd. O, I 'll tell thee;
The wolf shall find her grave and scrape it up,
Not to devour the corpse, but to discover
The horrid murther.

CONCLUSION. The ruffian Bosola, who is commissioned to murder Antonio, detertermines to spare him ; for Bosola has discovered that the Prince and the Cardinal have determined to make away with him, their guilty in. strument. In revenge he resolves to take away their lives, which he finally accomplishes ; but in the execution of his project he accidentally slays Antonio, and is killed himself. The eldest son of the Duchess and Antonio becomes Duke of Malfi. The catastrophe suggests these reflections to one of the inferior characters :

These wretched eminent things
Leave no more fame behind 'em, than should one

Fall in a frost, and leave his print in snow;
As soon as the sun shines, it ever melts,
Both form and matter. I have ever thought
Nature doth nothing so great for great men,
As when she's pleas'd to make them lords of truth:
Integrity of life is fame's best friend,
Which nobly, beyond death, shall crown the end.


MONTAIGNE. [The Essays of Michel, Lord of Montaigne, offer a signal example of the power of genius to convert what belongs to the individual into matters of universal and lasting interest. It is nearly three hundred years ago that these Essays were written. This author was a gentleman living in the retirement of a remote province of France, while the violent feuds of Catholic and Protestant were going on all around him. Letters were little cultivated; the language was scarcely formed. Yet he produced a book which can never be antiquated, because it reflects, not the conventional opinions of his own semi-barbarous times, but the frank and genuine thoughts of his own mind upon large questions which affect humanity in every country and every age. There are things in Montaigne's writings that a good man would rather not read, but their general tendency is to cherish a sound practical philosophy, and to cultivate benevolent feelings. There is a capital English translation of Montaigne by Cotton, the friend of Isaac Walton; and an earlier one by Florio, an Italian, who lived in England at the end of the sixteenth century. Montaigne was born in 1533, and died in 1592.]

Since we cannot attain unto it, let us revenge ourselves by railing at it; and yet it is not absolutely railing against any thing to proclaim its defects, because they are in all things to be found, how beautiful or how much to be coveted soever. It has in general this manifest advantage, that it can grow less when it pleases, and has very near the absolute choice of both the one and the other condition. For a man does not fall from all heights ; there are several from which one may descend without falling down. It does indeed appear to me that we value it at too high a rate, and also over-value the resolution of those whom we have either seen or heard have contemned it, or displaced them

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