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Art thou made guilty of my death ? Oh, no,
For thou thyself art poison; take me hence,
For Innocence shall murder Innocence.
Ter Hold, hold! thou shalt not die, my
O stop that speedy messenger of Death!
O let him not run down that narrow path
Which leads unto thy heart, nor carry news
To thy removing soul that thou must die.
Cæl. 'Tis done already !- the spiritual court
Is breaking up; all offices discharged,
My soul removes from this weak standing-house
Of frail mortality.-Dear father, bless
Me now and ever!-Dearer man, farewell !
I jointly take my leave of thee and life:
Go tell the King thou hast a constant wife !
Fath. Smiles on my cheeks arise,
To see how sweetly a true virgin dies.
Thomas Decker and John Webster.
Pleasure the General Pursuit.
Sweet Pleasure !
Delicious Pleasure ! earth's supremest good,
The spring of blood, though it dry up our blood !
Rob me of that (though to be drunk with pleasure,
As rank excess even in best things is bad,
Turns man into a beast), yet, that being gone,
A horse, and this (the goodliest shape), all one.
We feed; wear rich attires; and strive to cleave
The stars with marble towers; fight battles ; spend
Our blood to buy us names; and in iron hold
Will we eat roots to imprison fugitive gold :
But to do thus what spell can us excite?
This—the strong magic of our appetite :
To feast which richly, life itself undoes.
Who'd not die thus ?
Why, even those that starve in voluntary wants,
And, to advance the mind, keep the flesh poor,
The world enjoying them, they not the world;
Would they do this, but that they are proud to suck
A sweetness from such sourness ? ....
The Duchess of Malfy marries her Steward; the Marriage being dis
covered by her Brother Ferdinand, he shuts her up in a Prison, and torments her with various Trials of studied Cruelty. By his Command, Bosola, the Instrument of his Devices, shows her the Bodies of her Husband and Children, counterfeited in Wax, as dead.
Bos. He doth present you this sad spectacle,
That now you know directly they are dead,
Hereafter you may wisely cease to grieve
For that which cannot be recovered.
Duch. There is not between heaven and earth one wish
I stay for after this : it wastes me more
Than were't my picture fashioned out of wax,
Stuck with a magical needle, and then buried
In some foul dunghill; and yond's an excellent property
For a tyrant, which I would account mercy.
Bos. What's that?
Duch. If they would bind me to that lifeless trunk, And let me freeze to death.
Bos. Come, you must live.
Leave this vain sorrow.
Things being at the worst, begin to mend.
When he hath shot his sting into your hand,
May then play with your eyelid.
Duch. Good comfortable fellow,
Persuade a wretch that's broke upon the wheel
To have all his bones new set; entreat him live
To be executed again! Who must dispatch me?
I account this world a tedious theatre,
For I do play a part in’t 'gainst my will.
Bos. Come, be of comfort; I will save your life.
Duch. Indeed, I have not leisure to attend
So small a business.
I will go pray.-No, I'll go curse !
Bos. Oh, fie!
Duch. I could curse the stars.
Bos. Oh, fearful !
Duch. And those three smiling seasons of the year
Into a Russian winter; nay, the world
To its first chaos.
Plagues (that make lanes through largest families)
Consume them !*
Let them, like tyrants,
Ne'er be remembered but for the ill they've done.
Let all the zealous prayers of mortified
Churchmen forget them.
Let Heaven a little while cease crowning martyrs,
To punish them! Go, howl them this; and say, I long
to bleed: It is some mercy when men kill with speed. [Exit.
Ferd. Excellent, I would wish! she's plagued in art.
These presentations cie but framed in wax,
By the curious master in that quality,
Vincentio Lauriola, and she takes them
For true substantial bodies.
Bos. Why do you do this ?
Ferd. To bring her to despair.
Bos. Faith, end here;
And go no further in your cruelty.
Send her a penitential garment to put on
Next to her delicate skin, and furnish her
With beads and prayer-books.
Ferd. Damn her! that body of hers,
While that my blood ran pure in't, was more worth
Than that, which thou wouldst comfort, called a soul.
I'll send her masques of common courtezans,
Have her meat served up by bawds and ruffians,
And ('cause she'll need be mad) I am resolved
To remove forth the common hospital
All the mad folk, and place them near her lodging :
There let 'em practise together, sing, and dance,
And act their gambols to the full o’the moon.
She is kept waking with noises of Madmen; and, at last, is strangled
by common Executioners.
Duch. What hideous noise was that?
Car. 'Tis the wild consort
Of madmen, Lady, which your tyrant brother
Hath placed about your lodging: this tyranny
I think was never practised till this hour.
Duch. Indeed, I thank him; nothing but noise and folly
Can keep me in my right wits, whereas reason
And silence make me stark mad.
Sit down; Discourse to me some dismal tragedy.
Car. Oh, 'twill increase your melancholy !
Duch. Thou art deceived.
To hear of greater grief would lessen mine.
This is a prison ?
Car. Yes : but thou shalt live
To shake this durance off.
Duch. Thou art a fool.
The robin red-breast and the nightingale
Never live long in cages.
Car. Pray, dry your eyes.
What think you of, Madam ?
Duch. Of nothing : When I muse thus, I sleep.
Car. Like a madman, with your eyes open ?
Duch. Dost thou think we shall know one another In the other world?
Car. Yes, out of question.
Duch. Oh, that it were possible we might
But hold some two days' conference with the dead !