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Scene III.-A State Room in the same. A Marc. My lord! magnificent Banquet.
Sfor. To doubt, Flourish. Enter TIBERIO, STEPHANO, FRAN
Is worse than to have lost; and to despair, CISCO, Ludovico SFORZA, MARCELIA, ISA- That must fall on us.
Is but to antedate those miseries BELLA, MARIANA, and Attendants.
The cause consider'd, Sfor. You are the mistress of the feast; sit Why should I fear? The French are bold bere,
and strong, O my soul's comfort !
Their numbers full, and in their councils wise; Let me glory in
But then, the baughty Spaniard is all fire,
Aside. For sure this present age yields not a woman Marc. Speak to him, Francisco. Apart. Worthy to be her second.
Fran. Excellent lady, Fran. Your excellence,
One gale of your sweet breath will easily Though I confess you give ber but her own, Disperse these clouds; and, but yourself, there's Forces her modestý to the defence Of a sweet blush.
That dare speak to him.
[Apart. Sfor. It need not, my Marcelia;
Marc. I will run the hazard. Apart
. When most I strive to praise thee, I appear My lord! A poor
detractor: for thou art, indeed, Sfor. Ha! pardon me, Marcelia, I am trouSo absolute in body and in mind
bled; That, but to speak the least part to the height, And stand uncertain, whether I am master Would ask an angel's tongue, and yet then end of aught that's worth the owning. In silent admiration!
Marc. I am yours, sir; Isa. You still court her
And I have heard you swear, I being safe, As if she were a mistress, not your wife. There was no loss could move you. This Sfor. A mistress, mother! she is more to me,
day, sir, And every day deserves more to be sued to. Is by your gift made mine. Can you revoke Marc. My worthiest lord!
A grant made to Marcelia ? your
Marcelia? My pride, my glory, in a word, my all! For whose love, nay, whose honour, gentle sir, Bear witness, heaven, that I esteem myself All deep desigr:s, and state affairs deferr'd, In nothing worthy of the meanest praise Be, as you purpos'd, merry. You can bestow, unless it be in this,
Sfor: Out of my sight!'. That in my heart I love you, and desire,
[Throws away the Letter, When you are sated with all earthly glories, And all thoughts that may strangle mirth, And age and honours make you fit for heaven,
forsake me. That one grave may receive us.
Fall what can fall, I dare the worst of fate : Sfor: 'Tis believ'd
Though the, foundation of the earth should Believ'd, my blest one.
shrink, Mari. How she winds herself
The glorious eye of heaven lose his splendour, Into his soul!
[ Aside. Supported thus, I'll stand upon the ruins, Sfor. Sit all. Lel others feed
And seek for new life here. Why are you sad? On those gross cates, while Sforza banquets Some music there! by heaven he's not niy with
friend, Immortal viands ta'en in at his eyes. That wears one furrow in his face. I could live ever thus.
Come, make me happy once again. I am rapi
'Tis not to-day, to-morrow, or the next, Enter a Courier.
But all my days and years' shall be employ's From whence?
To do thee honour.
[A Trumpet withou Cour. From Pavia, my dread lord. Another post! hang him— Sfor. Speak, is all lost?
I will not interrupi my present pleasures, • Cour. [Delivers a Letter] The letter will Although bis message should import my bea inform you.
[Exit. Marc. Nay, good' sir, I am pleas'd Fran. How his hand shakes,
Tò grant a
intermission to you: As he receives it!
[Aside. Who knows but he brings news we wish! Mari. This is some allay To his bot passion.
Aside. To béighten our delights. Sfor. Though it bring death, I'll read it. Sfor. As wise as fair!
Enter another Courier. May it please your excellence to understand ,' that the very hour I wrote From Gaspero ? this, I heard a bold defiance delivered by Cour. That was, my lord. a herald from the emperor, which was Sfor. How? dead ? cheerfully received by the king of France. Cour. [Delivers a Letter] VVith the de The battles being ready to join, and the
very of this, and prayers, van guard committed to my charge, en- To guard your excellency from certain dang forces me to end abruptly. Your high- lle ceased to be a man. [Music. Ed
ness's humble servant. GASPERO. Sfor. All that my fears Ready to join !—By this, then, I am nothing. Could fashion to me, or my enemies wish. Or my estale secure.
[Aside. Is fallen upon me. Silence that harsh mu
Tis now unseasonable: a tolling bell, Think, think, Marcelia, what a cursed thing As a sad harbinger lo tell me that
I were, beyond espression! This pamper'd lump of flesh must feast the Marc. Do not feed worms,
Those jealous thoughts; the only blessing that Is fitter for me: I am sick.
Heav'n hath bestow'd on us, more ihan on beasts, Marc. My lord!
Is, that 'tis in our pleasure when to die. Sfor. Sick to the death, Marcelia. Remove Besides, were I now in another's power, These signs of mirtb: they were ominous, and I would not live for one short minute his; but usher'd
I was born only yours, and I will die so. Sorrow and ruin.
Sfor. Angels reward the goodness of this Marc. Bless us, heaven!
All I can pay is nothing. Why, uncall'd for? Il bear alone the burden of my grief,
Fran. It is of weight, sir, that makes me And most admit no partner. I am yet Your prince, where's your obedience? Upon your privacies. "Your constant friend,
(E.ceunt Tiberio, Stephano, Fran- The marquis of Pescara, tir'd with haste,
cisco, Isabella, Mariana, and At- Hath business that concerns your life and fortendants.
tunes, Star. Marcelia;
And with speed to impart. I rámot be so greedy of a sorrow,
Sfor. Wait on him hither. (Excit Francisco, In which you must not share.
And, dearest, to thy closet. Let thy prayers Mart. Ånd cheerfully
Assist my councils.
, without you I am nothing. That dar'd the worst of fortune? where is Sforza,
Erit. To wbom all dangers that fright common men, Sfor. The marquis of Pescara! a great soldier; Aspear'd but panic terrors? why do you eye me, And though he serv'd upon the adverse party, With such fis'd looks ? Love, counsel, duly, Ever my constant friend.
service, Mas Cox from me, not danger.
Re-enter Francisco, with PESCARA. Sjar. O Marcelia!
Fran. Yonder he walks, It is for thee I sear; for thee, thy Sforza
Full of sad thoughts.
[-Apart. Shakes like a coward: for myself, unmor'd Pes. Blame him not, good Francisco, I could have heard my troops were cut in pieces, He hath much cause to grieve; would I might Vs general slain, and he, on whom my hopes Oftale, ol sute, of life, had their dependence, And not add this to fear!
[Ара: 1. The king of France, my greatest friend, made Sfor. My dear Pescara; prisoner
A miracle in these times! a friend, and happy, To so proud enemies.
Cleaves to a falling fortune! Harr. Then you have just cause
Pes. If it were To show you are a man.
As well in my weak power, in act, to raise it, for. All this were nothing,
As 'tis to bear : part of sorrow with you, cash I add to it, that I am assured, You then should have just cause to say, Pesar gising aid to this unfortunate king, te emperor, incens’d, lays bis command Look'd not upon your state, but on your virtues, (in his victorious army, flesh'd with spoil, When he made suit to be writ in the list
utbold of conquest, io march up against me, of those you favour'd. But my haste forbids sed seize on my estates: suppose that done too, All compliment; thus then, sir, io the purpose:
ats ta'en, the kennels running bloud, The cause that, unattended brought me hither, U srif bound' fast in chains, to grace their Was not to tell you of your loss or danger triumph;
(For fame hath many wings to bring ill tidings, I would be Sforza still. But when I think And I presume you've heard it), but to give 2.4 ms Marcelia, to whom all these
you e but as atoms to the greatest hill, Such friendly counsel, as, perhaps, may make 1. sutter in my cause, and for me suffer! Your sad disaster less. ? earthls torrents, nay, even those the damn'd Sfor. You are all goodness ; * = for in hell, are gentle strokes, compard And I give up myself to be dispos'd of, i. stat I feel, Marcelia.
think fit. Marr. Good sir, have patience:
Pes. Thus, then, sir; 2$ will partake your adverse fortune, To hope you can hold out against the emperor, I thus long have had an ample share Were flattery in yourself, to your undoing; Lour prosperity. 'Tis not in the power Therefore, the safest course that you can take,
te to alier me; for while I am, Is, to give up yourself to his discretion, E of it, I'm yours.
Before you be compelled; for rest assurd, 10r. But should that will
A voluntary, yielding may find grace, t. 3o-forced, Marcelia; and I live And will admit defence, at least, excuse: so those eyes I prize above my own, But should you linger doubtful, till his powers
fasoars, though compell’d, upon another; Hlave seiz'd your person and estales perforce, • Lose sweet lips, yielding immortal nectar, You must expect extremes. ere's touch'd by any but myself;
Sfor. I understand you;
And I will put your counsel into act, That were before us; and such as succeed, And speedily. Lonly will take order Though taught in hell's black school, shall ne'er For some domestical affairs, that do
come near us. Concern me nearly, and with the next sun Art thou not shaken yet? Ride with you: in the mean time, my best Fran. I grant you move' me: friend,
But to a man confirm'dPray take your rest.
Sfor. I'll try your temper: Pes. Indeed, I have travell'd hard; What think you of my wife? And will embrace your counsel. [Exit. Fran. As a thing sacred ; Sfor. With all care
To whose fair name and memory I pay gladly Attend my noble friend. Stay you, Francisco. These signs of duty. You see how things stand with me!
Sfor. Is she not the abstract Fran. To my grief:
Of all that's rare, or to be wish'd in woman? And if the loss of my poor life could bo Fran. It were a kind of blasphemy to disA sacrifice to restore them as they were, I willingly would lay it down.
But to the purpose, sir. Sfor. I think so;
Sfor. Add too, her goodness, For I have ever found you true and thankful, Her tenderness of me, her care to please me, Which makes me love the building I have rais'd Her unsuspected chastity, ne'er equall'd; In your advancenient; and repent no grace Her innocence, ber honour-Oh, I am lost I have conferr'd upon you. And, believe me, In the ocean of her virtues and her graces, Though now I should repeat my favours to you, When I think of them! The titles I have given you, and the means Fran. Now I find the end Suitable to your honours; that I thought you of all your conjurations; there's some service Worthy my sister and my family,
To be done for this sweet lady. If she bave And in my dukedom made you next myself;
Her greatest enemy is her greatest lover;
Yet, in that hatred, ber idolater. And any shape that you would have me wear, One smile of hers would make a savage tame; I gladly will put on.
One accent of that tongue would calm the seas, Sfor. Thus, then, Francisco :
Though all the winds at once strove there for I now am to deliver to your trust
empire. A weigbty secret; of so strange a nature, Yet I, for whom she thinks all this too little, And 'will, I know, appear sò monstrous to you, Should I miscarry in this present journey, That you will tremble in the execution, From whence it is all number to a cipher, As much as I am tortur'd to command it: I ne'er return with honour, by thy hand For 'tis a decd so horrid, that, but to bear it, Must have her murder'd. Would strike into a ruffian flesh'd in murders, Fran. Murder'd!-She that loves so, Or an obdurate hangman, soft compassion; And so deserves to be belov'd again! And yet, Francisco, of all men the dearest, And I, who sometimes you were pleas'd to And from me most deserving, such my state
favour, And strange condition is, that thou alone Pick'd out the instrument! Must know the fatal service, and perform it. Sfor. Do not fly off. Fran. These preparations, sir, to work a What is decreed can never be recall'd. stranger,
'Tis more than love to her, that marks her out Or to one unacquainted with your bounties, A wish'd companion to me in both fortunes. Might appear useful; but to me they are And strong assurance of thy zealous faith, Needless impertinences: for 1 dare do That gives up to thy trust a secret, that Whate'er you dare command.
Racks should not have forc'd from me. Oh Sfor. But you must swear it;
Francisco! And put into the oath all joys or torments There is no heaven without her, nor a hell That fright the wicked, or confirm the good; Where she resides. I ask from her but justice Not to conceal it only-that is nothing- And what I would have paid to her, had sicknes But, whensoe'er my 'will shall speak, “Strike Or any other accident, divorc'd
Fler purer soul from her unspotted body. To fall upon't like thunder.
Express a ready purpose to perform Fran. Minister
What I command, or, by Marcelia's soul, The oath in any way or form you please, This is thy latest minute. I stand resolv'd to take it.
Fran. 'Tis not fear Sfor. Thou must do, then,
of death, but love to you, makes me embra What no malevolent star will dare to look on,
it; It is so wicked: for which men will curse thee But for mine own security, when 'tis dono For being the instrument; and the blest angels What warrant have I? If you please to Forsake me at my need, for being the author:
one, For 'tis a deed of night, of night, Francisco! I shall, though with unwillingness and hori In which the memory of all good actions Perform your dreadful charge. We can prelend to, shall be buried quick: Sfor. I will, Francisco: Or, if we be remember'd, it shall be But still remember that a prince's secrets To fright posterity by our example, Are balm, conceald; but poison, if discov. That bave outgone all precedents of villains (I may come back; theu this is but a trial
To purchase thee, if it were possible, And have access at all times to her closet;
lordships Fran. 'Tis a character
Are masters of the modesty to attend I will not part with.
Three hours, nay, sometimes four; and thep Sfor. I may live to reward it.
Upon her the next morning.
[Apart. SCENE 1-The same. An open Space be
Tib. Pray you, what news is stirring? You
know all, fore the Castle.
Grac. Who, I? alas! I've no intelligence Enter TIBERIO and STEPAANO, At home nor abroad; I only sometimes guess Steph. How! left the court?
The change of the times: I should ask of You never beard the motives that iaduc'd him
your lordships To this strange course?
Who are to keep their honours, who to lose Tix. No, those are cabinet councils,
them; And not to be communicated, but
Who the dutchess smild on last, or on whom To such as are bis own, and sure. Alas!
frown'd; We fill up empty places, and in public You only can resolve me; and could you tell Are taught to give our suffrages to that Which was before determin'd; and are safe so. What point of state 'tis that I am commanded Seignior Francisco (upon whom alone To muster up this music, on mine honesty, His absolute power is
, with all strength con- You should much befriend me.
Steph. Sirrah, you grow saucy.
Without a special warrant." Look to your Is on the sudden strangely rais’d.
own stakes; Tib. O sir,
Were I committed, here come those would He took the thriving course: he had a sister, A fair one too, with whom, as it is rumour'd, Perhaps we might change places too. The duke was too familiar; but she, cast off, Cpon the sight of this, forsook the court,
Enter ISABELLA and MARIANA. GRACCHO And since was never seen.
whispers the latter. Steph. But how is
Tib. The princess! His absence borne by the dutchess ?
We must be patient.
Steph. There is no contending. Apart For since he left the court,
Tib. See the informing rogue! [-Apart. For the most part she hath kept her private, Steph. That we should stoop chamber, To such a mushroom!
[Apart. No visitants admitted. But on the other side, Mari. Thou dost mistake; they dursi not The darling of his mother, Mariana,
Use the least word of scorn, although provok’d, As there were an antipathy between To any thing of mine.-Go, get you home, Her and the dutchess's passions; and as And to your servants, friends, and flatt'rers, Seeid no dependance on her brother's fortune,
number Ste ne'er appear'd so full of mirth.
descents you're noble.
[Exeunt Tiberio and Stephano.
Grac. Your excellence bath the best gist to Enter GRACCHO, with Musicians.
I ever read of.
That brings us hither? Is it to bestow
A visit an this woman? kius. But if we should offend,
Mari. If to vex her
She shall have many of them.
My brother, being not by now to protect her, But I am one in power; and, for the dutchess, I am her equal. But yesterday we were merry for her pleasure ; Play, any thing Well now be for my lady's.
That's light and loud enough but to torment [Tiberio and Stephano come forward,
[Music Tið. Seignior Graccho. Grac. A poor man, sir, a servant to the
Enter MARCELJA. princess;
Isa. She frowns, as if Bet you, great lords and counsellors of state, Her looks could fright us.
[-4part. Whom I stand bound to reverence.
Mari. May it please your greatness, one we know
smile, I pray you, On your poor servants.
[Apart. I bear my fortunes patiently ; serve the prin- Mari. Mistress of all hearis:
[-A part, cess,
Isa. 'Tis wormwood, and it works. Apart.
Tib. Sadly, it seems;
Steph. Tis strange.
To rour report: .
Repine who dares.
Stand by to hear us.
Marc. If doting age could let you but Than in a paradise al ber entreaty.
And for you, upstart-
will answer it.
[Exeunt all but Francisco and Put on the desp'rate boldness to disturb
Marcelia. The least of my retirements.
Fran. Let them first know themselves, and Mari. Note her now.
how you are Marc. For both shall understand, though To be serv'd and honour'd; which, when they the one presume
confess, Upon the privilege due to a mother; You may again receive them to your favour; The duke stands now on his own legs, and And then it will show nobly. needs
Marc. With my thanks, No nurse to lead him.
The duke shall pay you bis, if he return Isa. How, a nurse!
To bless us with his presence. Marc. But I am merciful.
Fran. Any service done to so much sweetAnd dotage signs your pardon.
ness, Isa. I defy thee!
In your favour finds Thee and thy pardons, proud one!
A wish'd and glorious end. Marc. For you,
Marc. From you I take this From this hour learn to serve me, or you'll feel As loyal duty; but in any other, I must make use of my authority,
It would appear gross flattery. And, as a princess, punish it.
Fran. Flattery, madam! Isa. A princess!
You are so rare and excellent in all things, Mari. I'had rather be a slave unto a Moor, And rais'd so high upon a rock of goodness
, Than know thee for my equal.
As that vice cannot reach you: who but looks on
This temple, built by nature to perfection,
But must bow to it; and out of that zeal,
Fran. Pardon, therefore, madam, Mari. Do you hear, sir?
If an excess in me of humble duty, Right me on this monster, or ne'er look to Teach me to hope my piety and love have
May find reward. A quiet hour with me.
Marc. You have it in my thanks; Isa. If my son were here,
And, on my hand, I am pleas'd that you shall And would endure this, may a mother's curse
take Pursue and overtake him !
A full possession of it: but take heed
fix here, and feed no hope beyond it; In me he's present, both in power and will; If you do, it will prove fatal. And, madam, much grieve that, in his ab- Fran. Be it death, sence,
And death with torments tyrants ne'er found There should arise the least distaste to move
Yet I must say I love you.
Fran. Farewell circumstance!
me, Fran. And therefore I beseech you, gentle But by a plain and usual form of speech, madam,
All superstitious reverence laid by, Name those that have offended you. I love you as a man. Why do you start? Isa. I am one.
I am no monster, and you but a woman; Mari. And I will justify it.
A woman made to yield, and by example Fran. Remember she's the dutchess. Told it is lawful. Marc. But usd with more contempt than Marc. Keep off! O, you powers! if I were
Are all the princely bounties, favours, honour A peasant's daughter.
Which, with some prejudice to his own wisdon Fran. Think not then I speak
Thy lord and raiser hath conferr'd upon the (For I stand bound to honour, and to serve you); In three days absence, buried? And is this, But that the duke, that lives in this great lady, This impudent attempt to taint mine honou For the contempt of him in her, commands you The fair return of both our ventur'd favour: To be close prisoners.
Fran. Hear my excuse. Isa. Mari, Prisoners!
Marc. Read my life, Fran. Bear them hence,
And find one act of mine so loosely carried Marc. I am not cruel,
That could invite a most self-loving fool, But pleas'd they may have liberty.
Set off with all that fortune could throw Isa. Pleas'd, with a mischief!
him, Mari. I'll rather live in any loathsome dungeon, To the least hope to find way to my favou