Slike strani

When with as chaste a brow you promised fair
To another-You are no dissembling lady.
Duch. Would all your actions had no falser lights
About 'em-

Card. Ha!

[loud. Duch. The people would not talk and curse so Card. I'll have you chid into a blush for this. Duch. Begin at home, great man, there's cause You turn the wrong end of the perspective [enough. Upon your crimes to drive them to a far

And lesser sight; but let your eyes look right,
What giants would your pride and surfeit seem,
How gross your avarice, eating up whole families.
How vast are your corruptions and abuse
Of a king's ear, at which you hang a pendant,
Not to adorn, but ulcerate; whilst the honest
Nobility, like pictures in the arras,

Serve only for court-ornament: if they speak,
'Tis when you set their tongues, which you wind up
Like clocks to strike at the just hour you please.
Leave, leave, my lord, these usurpations,
And be what you were meant, a man to cure,
Not let in agues to religion.

Look on the church's wounds

Card. You dare presume,

In your rude spleen to me, to abuse the church?
Duch. Alas! you give false aim, my lord; 'tis your
Ambition and scarlet sins that rob
Her altar of the glory, and leave wounds
Upon her brow which fetches grief and paleness
Into her cheeks; making her troubled bosom
Pant with her groans, and shroud her holy blushes
Within your reverend purples.

Card. Will you now take breath?

Duch. In hope, my lord, you will behold yourself In a true glass, and see those unjust acts That so deform you, and by timely cure Prevent a shame before the short-hair'd men Do crowd and call for justice, I take leave. [Exit. Card. This woman has a spirit that may rise To tame the devil's,-there's no dealing with Her angry tongue,-'tis action and revenge Must calm her fury. Were Columbo here I could resolve,-but letters shall be sent To th' army, which may wake him into sense Of his rash folly, or direct his spirit Some way to snatch his honour from this flame; All great men know" the soul of life is fame."


The Duke of Florence being engaged to marry the sister of the King of Naples, is treacherously led to distrust her character, and on showing symptoms of his disregard is thus called to account by the King.

King. THERE's another

Whom though you can forget. My sister, sir, Deserves to be remember'd.

Duke. You are jealous That I visit this lady.

King. That were only

To doubt. I must be plain; Florence has not
Been kind to Naples to reward us with
Affront for love; and Theodosia must not
Be any prince's mockery.
Duke. I can

Take boldness too, and tell you, sir, it were
More for her honour she would mock no prince.
I am not lost to Florence yet, though I
Be Naples' guest; and I must tell him here,
I came to meet with fair and princely treaties
Of love, not to be made the tale of Italy,
The ground of scurril pasquils, or the mirth
Of any lady who shall pre-engage

Her heart to another's bosom, and then sneak
Off like a tame despised property
When her ends are advanced.

King. I understand not

This passion, yet it points at something

That may be dangerous; to conclude, Theodosia Is Naples' sister, and I must not see

Her lost to honour, though my kingdom bleed To rescue her.

Duke. Now you are passionate.

This must be repair'd, my name is wounded,
And my affection betray'd: your sister,
That looks like a fair star within love's sky,
Is fall'n, and by the scattering of her fires
Declares she has alliance with the earth,
Not heavenly nature.

King. Are my senses perfect? Be clearer, sir; teach me to understand This prodigy. You do not scorn our sister?

Duke. Not I! as she has title to your blood, She merits all ambition; she's a princess, Yet no stain to her invention, we are parallels, Equal, but never made to meet.

King. How's this?

Duke. Truth is my witness, I did mean

No ceremonious love until I found

Her heart was given from me, though your power Contract our bodies.

King. Stay, and be advised;

And if your doubts, by some malicious tongue
Framed to abuse my sister and yourself,
Have raised this mutiny in your thoughts, I have
A power to cure all.

Duke. Sir, you cannot.

King. Not to court thee for her husband, wert possess'd

Of all o'er which our eagle shakes his wings,
But to set right her honour; and ere I challenge
Thee by thy birth, by all thy hopes and right
To fame to tell me what malicious breath
Has poison'd her, hear what my sister sends
By me so late, Time is not old in minutes,
The words yet warm with her own breath-Pray

The Duke, she says, although I know not from What root his discontents grow to devote him To Domitilla

Duke. How does she know that? [fancy; King. Whose beauty has more spell upon his

I did contract my heart when I thought his
Had been no stranger to his tongue, and can
Not find within it since what should divert
His princely thoughts from my first innocence,
Yet such is my stern fate I must still love him.
And though he frame his heart to unkind distance,
It hath embracing virtue upon mine,

And with his own remove draws my soul after him.
If he forget I am a princess, pray

Let Naples do so too, for my revenge
Shall be in prayers, that he may find my wrong,
And teach him soft repentance and more faith.

Duke. All this must not betray my freedom, sir.
King. You'll not accuse our sister of dishonour?
Duke. I would not grieve you, sir, to hear what I
Could say; and press me not for your own peace;
Fames must be gently touch'd.

King. As thou art Florence, speak.

Duke. I shall displease,

Yet I but tell her brother that doth press me;
Lucrece was chaste after the rape, but where
The blood consents there needs no ravisher.

King. I do grow faint with wonder.
To blast an apprehension, and shoot
A quaking through the valiant soul of man.
My sister's blood accused, and her fair name,
Late chaste as trembling snow, whose fleeces clothe
Our Alpine hills-sweet as the rose's spirit,
Or viclet's cheek, on which the morning leaves

Here's [enough

tear at parting,—now begins to wither

As it would haste to death and be forgotten.
This Florence is a prince that does accuse her,
And such men give not faith to every murmur
Or slight intelligence that wounds a lady

In her dear honour. But she is my sister;
Think of that too, credit not all, but ask
Of thy own veins what guilty flowings there
May tempt thee to believe this accusation.

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As you were gone, being alone, and full

Of melancholy thoughts,

Duke. I left her so.

Fosc. Willing to ease her head upon her couch,
Through silence and some friendship of the dark,
She fell asleep, and, in a short dream, thought
Some spirit told her softly in her ear,
You did but mock her with a smooth pretence
Of love.

Duke. Ha!

Fosc. More that you were fall'n from your honour,

Have taken impious flames into your bosom ;
That y' are a bird of prey, and while she hath
No household Lar to wait upon her threshold,
You would fly in and seize upon her honour.

Duke. I hope she hath no faith in dreams.
Fosc. And yet

Divinity hath oftentimes descended
Upon our slumbers, and the blessed troops
Have, in the calm and quiet of the soul,
Conversed with us, taught men and women happy
Ways to prevent a tyrant's rage and lust.

Duke. But this was some false, malicious spirit,
That would insinuate with her white soul:
There's danger if she cherish the infusion.
Fosc. She cannot tell. She hath some fears,

my lord.

Great men have left examples of their vice,
And yet no jealousy of you, but what
A miracle doth urge, if this be one.
If you but once more say you love Cleona,
And speak it unto me and to the angels,
Which in her prayers she hath invoked to hear you,
She will be confident, and tell her dream
She cannot be illuded.

Duke. Though I need not
Give an account to any but to Heaven

And her fair self, Foscari, thou shalt tell her,
I love her with chaste and noble fire; my in-

tents are

Fair as her brow: tell her, I dare proclaim it
In my devotions, at that minute when

I know a million of adoring spirits
Hover about the altar. I do love her.

Fosc. Enough-enough: my lord, be pleased to

What I have now to say. You have express'd
A brave and noble soul, but I must not
Carry this message to her; therefore take
Your own words back again. I love Cleona
With chaste and noble fire; my intents are
Fair as her brow: I dare proclaim it, sir,
In my devotions, at that minute when
I know a million of adoring spirits
Hover about the altar.

To affront us? you had better ha' been sleeping
In your cold urn, as fame late gave you out,
And mingled with the rude forgotten ashes,
Than live to move our anger.

Cornari. Rise! with thy tears I kiss
Away thy tremblings. I suspect thy honour?
My heart will want faith to believe an angel,
That should traduce thy fair name; thou art chaste
As the white down of heaven, whose feathers play
Upon the wings of a cold winter's gale,
Trembling with fear to touch th' purer earth.
How are the roses frighted in thy cheeks
To paleness, weeping out transparent dew,
When a loose story is but named? thou art

Duke. Do you mock me?

Fosc. Pardon a truth, my lord: I have apparell'd The miracle of a chaste wife, from which fair My own sense with your language.

Original, drawn out by Heaven's own hand,
To have had one copy I had writ perfection.

Duke. Do you come

Fosc. Spare your frowns.

This earth weighs not my spirit down; a fear
Would dye the paleness of my father's dust
Into a blush. Sir, many are alive

Will swear I did not tremble at a cannon,
When it struck thunder in mine ear, and wrapt
My head in her blue mists. It is not breath
Can fright a noble truth, nor is there magic
I' the person of a king that plays the tyrant,
But a good sword can easily uncharm it.

Duke. You threaten us.

FROM THE GENTLEMAN OF VENICE." Claudiana, on receiving a proposition from her husband Cornari, which she supposes to arise from his suspicion of her infidelity.


Fosc. Heaven avert so black a thought!
Though in my honour's cause I can be flame,
My blood is frost to treason: make me not
Belie my heart, for I do love Cleona,
And, my blood tells me, above all

You can affect her with no birth or state
Can challenge a prerogative in love.
Nay, be not partial, and you shall ascribe
To mine love's victory, for though I admit
You value her above your dukedom-health;
That you would sacrifice your blood to avert
Any mishap should threaten that dear head,
All this is but above yourself; but I
Love her above herself. And while you can
But give your life, and all you have, to do
Cleona service, I can give away

Herself Cleona's self, in my love to her.
I see you are at loss-I'll reconcile
All-she is yours; this minute ends my claim.
Live and enjoy her happily; may you be
Famous in that beauteous empire, she
Blest in so great a lord!

Claudiana. LET me fall
Beneath that which sustains me, ere I take
In a belief that will destroy my peace;
Not in the apprehension of what
You frame t' accuse yourself, but in fear
My honour is betray'd to your suspicion.


Persons-FERDINAND in prison for asserting his right to the kingdom of Murcia. ROSANIA, his mistress, disguised like a Page.

Rosania. PRAY do not grieve for me. I have
a heart

That can for your sake suffer more; and when
The tyranny of your fate calls me to die,
I can as willingly resign my breath
As go to sleep.

Ferdinand. Can I hear this

Without a fresh wound, that thy love to me
Should be so ill rewarded? thou hast engaged
Thyself too much already; 'tis within
Thy will yet to be safe,-reveal thyself, [ness,
Throw off the cloud that doth eclipse that bright-
And they will court thy person, and be proud
With all becoming honour to receive thee;
No fear shall rob thy cheek of her chaste blood.
Oh, leave me to my own stars, and expect,
Whate'er become of wretched Ferdinand,
A happy fate.

Ros. Your counsel is unkind;
This language would become your charity
To a stranger, but my interest is more
In thee, than thus with words to be sent off.
Our vows have made us one, nor can the names
Of father, country, or what can be dear

In nature, bribe one thought to wish myself
In heaven without thy company: it were poor, then,
To leave thee here. Then, by thy faith I charge thee;
By this, the first and last seal of our love; [Kisses him.
By all our promises, when we did flatter
Ourselves, and in our fancy took the world
A pieces, and collected what did like
Us best, to make us a new Paradise ;

By that, the noblest ornament of thy soul, Thy honour, I conjure thee, let me still Be undiscover'd. What will it avail

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To leave me, whom thou lovest, and walk alone, Sad pilgrim, to another world? We will Converse in soul, and shoot like stars whose beams Are twisted, and make bright the sullen groves Of lovers, as we pass.

Fer. These are but dreams

Of happiness: be wise, Rosania,

Thy love is not a friend to make thee miserable ; Society in death, where we affect,

But multiplies our grief. Live thou, oh live!
And if thou hast a tear, when I am dead,
But drop it to my memory, it shall

More precious than embalming dwell upon me,
And keep my ashes pure; my spirit shall
h At the same instant, in some innocent shape,
Descend upon that earth thou hast bedew'd,
And, kissing the bright tribute of thine eye,
Shall after wait like thy good angel on thee.
There will be none to speak of Ferdinand
Without disdain if thou diest too. Oh, live
A little to defend me, or at least
To say I was no traitor to thy love;
And lay the shame on death and my false stars,
That would not let me live to be a king.

Ros. O Ferdinand!

Thou dost not love me now?

Fer. Not love, Rosania?

If wooing thee to live will not assure thee,
Command me then to die, and spare the cruelty
Of the fair queen. Not love, Rosania?
If thou wilt but delight to see me bleed,
I will at such a narrow passage let

Out life, it shall be many hours in ebbing;
And my soul, bathing in the crimson stream,
Take pleasure to be drown'd. I have small time
To love and be alive, but I will carry

So true a faith to woman hence as shall
Make poor the world, when I am gone to tell
The story yonder.—We are interrupted.

Enter Keeper.


Keeper. You must prepare yourself for present I have command t' attend you to the judges. [trial; That gentleman, and all that did adhere

To your conspiracy, are by the queen's

Most gracious mercy pardon'd.

Fer. In that word

Thou hast brought me more than life. I shall betray, And with my too much joy undo thee again. Heaven does command thee live, I must obey This summons. I shall see thee again, Tiberio, * Before I die.

Ros. I'll wait upon you, sir;

The queen will not deny me that poor office.

I know not how to leave you.

Fer. Death and I

Shall meet and be made friends; but when we part, The world shall find thy story in my heart.

*The assumed name of the page.


Persons, besides the Prisoner at the bar and his Page, are OLIVIA the supposed QUEEN OF MURCIA; Officers; ERNESTO, RODRIGUEZ, LEANDRO, and LEONARIO; Noblemen, Ladics, Gentlemen, and Guard.

Queen. Is that the prisoner at the bar?

Leon. He that pretended himself Ferdinand, Your uncle's son.

Queen. Proceed to his arraignment. My lord You know our pleasure. [Leandro, Leandro. Although the queen in her own royal power,

And without violating sacred justice, where
Treason comes to invade her and her crown
With open war, need not insist upon
The forms and circumstance of law, but use
Her sword in present execution,

Yet such is the sweet temper of her blood
And calmness of her nature, though provoked
Into a storm, unto the greatest offender
She shuts up no defence, willing to give
A satisfaction to the world how much
She doth delight in mercy. Ferdinand,
For so thou dost pretend thyself, thou art
Indicted of high treason to her majesty,
In that thou hast usurp'd relation to

Her blood, and, under name of being her kinsman,
Not only hast contrived to blast her honour
With neighbouring princes, but has gather'd arms
To wound the precious bosom of her country,
And tear the crown, which heaven and just suc-


Hath placed upon her royal head. What canst Thou answer to this treason?

Fer. Boldly thus:

As I was never, with the height of all
My expectations and the aid of friends,
Transported one degree above myself, [frown'd,
So must not Ferdinand, though his stars have
And the great eye of Providence seem to slumber
While your force thus compell'd and brought
me hither,

With mockery of my fate, to be arraign'd
For being a prince, have any thought beneath
The title I was born to. Yet I'll not call
This cruelty in you, nor in the queen,
(If I may name her so without injustice
To my own right); a kingdom is a garland
Worth all contention, and where right seals not
The true possession nature is forgotten,

And blood thought cheap to assure it. There is something

Within that excellent figure that restrains

A passion here, that else would forth like lightning:
'Tis not your shape, which yet hath so much sweet-
Some pale religious hermit might suspect [ness;
You are the blessed saint he pray'd to: no,
The magic's in our nature and our blood,
For both our veins, full of one precious purple,
Strike harmony in their motion; I am Ferdinand,
And you the fair Olivia, brother's children.

Leon. What insolence is this?
Queen. Oh, my lord, let him
Be free to plead; for, if it be no dream,

His cause will want an orator. By my blood
He does talk bravely.

Deform'd and guilty, want no specious shapes
To gain their practice, friendship, and compassion;

Rodriq. These are flourishes.

Ern. Speak to the treason you are charged with, But he shall feel the punishment. D' you smile? And confess a guilt.

Leon. He justifies himself.

Fer. If it be treason to be born a prince,
To have my father's royal blood move here;
If it be treason in my infancy

Fer. A woman's anger is but worth it, madam;
And if I may have freedom, I must say,
Not in contempt of what you seem, nor help'd
By overcharge of passion, which but makes
A fruitless noise, I have a sense of what
I am to lose, a life; but I am so fortified
With valiant thoughts and innocence, I shall,
When my last breath is giving up to lose
Itself in the air, be so remote from fear,
That I will cast my face into a smile,
Which shall, when I am dead, acquit all trembling,
And be a story to the world how free

From paleness Ferdinand took leave of earth.

To have escaped by Divine Providence,
When my poor life should have been sacrificed
To please a cruel uncle, whose ambition
Surprised my crown, and after made Olivia,
His daughter, queen; if it be treason to
Have been a stranger thus long from my country,
Bred up with silence of my name and birth,
And not till now mature to own myself
Before a sunbeam; if it be treason,
After so long a banishment, to weep
A tear of joy upon my country's bosom
And call her mine, my just inheritance,
Unless you stain my blood with bastardy ;
If it be treason still to love this earth,
That knew so many of my race her kings,
Though late unkindly arm'd to kill her sovereign,
As if the effusion of my blood were left
To make her fertile; if to love Olivia,

My nearest pledge of blood, although her power
Hath chain'd her prince, and made her lord her
Who sits with expectation to hear [prisoner,
That sentence that must make the golden wreath
Secure upon her brow by blasting mine:
If this be treason, I am guilty. Ferdinand,
Your king's become a traitor, and must die
A black and most inglorious death.

Ern. You offer

Sure has some name: declare him, that he may
Thank you for his award, and lose his head for't.
Queen. We always see that men, in such high

At some defence, but come not home. By what
Engine were you translated hence, or whither
Convey'd ? There was some trust deceived
when you
Were carried forth to be preserved, and much
Care taken since in bringing of you up,
And giving secret fire to this ambition.

Fer. There wants no testimony here of what
Concerns the story of my birth and infancy,
If one dare speak and be an honest lord-

Leand. How's that?

Fer. Whose love and art secured me from all

Though here my funeral was believed; while I,
Sent to an honourable friend, his kinsman,
Grew safely to the knowledge of myself
At last, till fortune of the war betray'd me
To this captivity.

Leand. I blush at thee,

Young man, whose fall has made thee desperate,
And carest not what man's blood thou draw'st along,
As hateful as thy crimes.

Ern. That confederate

Ros. Alas! my lord, you forget me, that can Part with so much courage.

Fer. I forget indeed :

I thought of death with honour, but my love
Hath found a way to chide me. Oh, my boy!
I can weep now.

Leon. A sudden change: he weeps.

Queen. What boy is that?

Fer. I prithee take thyself away.

Queen. Your spirit does melt, it seems, and you begin to think

A life is worth preserving though with infamy.

Fer. Goodness, thy aid again, and tell this great,
Proud woman, I have a spirit scorns her pity.
Come hither, boy, and let me kiss thee: thus,
At parting with a good and pretty servant,
I can without my honour stain'd shed tears.

I took thee from thy friends to make thee mine-
Is it not truth, boy?-

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