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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!

From them I should learn somewhat I am sure

I never shall know here. I'll tell thee a miracle:

I am not mad yet, to my cause of sorrow.

Th' heaven o'er my head seems made of molten brass,

The earth of flaming sulphur, yet I am not mad:

I am acquainted with sad misery,

As the tanned galley-slave is with his oar;

Necessity makes me suffer constantly,

And custom makes it easy. Who do I look like now?

Car. Like to your picture in the gallery;

A deal of life in show, but none in practice :

Or rather, like some reverend monument
Whose ruins are even pitied.

Duch. Very proper:

And Fortune seems only to have her eyesight,
To behold my tragedy.-How now!

What noise is that?

A Servant enters.


Serv. I am come to tell
Your brother hath intended you some sport.
A great physician, when the pope was sick
Of a deep melancholy, presented him

With several sorts of madmen, which wild object
(Being full of change and sport) forced him to laugh,
And so th' imposthume broke: the self-same cure
The duke intends on you.

Duch. Let them come in.

Here follows a dance of madmen, with music answerable thereto; after which BosoLa (like an old man) enters. Duch. Is he mad too?

Bos. I am come to make thy tomb.

Duch. Ha! my tomb?

Thou speak'st as if I lay upon my death-bed,
Gasping for breath: dost thou perceive me sick?
Bos. Yes, and the more dangerously, since thy sickness
is insensible.

Duch. Thou art not mad, sure: dost know me?

Bos. Yes......

Duch. Let me know fully, therefore, the effect

Of this thy dismal preparation. ...

Bos. Now I shall. [A coffin, cords, and a bell, produced.

Here is a present from your princely brothers;
And may it arrive welcome, for it brings
Last benefit, last sorrow!

Duch. Let me see it;

I have so much obedience in my blood,

I wish it in their veins to do them good.
Bos. This is your last presence-chamber.
Car. O my sweet lady!

Duch. Peace!-it affrights not me.
Bos. I am the common bell-man,
That usually is sent to condemned persons
The night before they suffer.

Duch. Even now thou saidst,

Thou wast a tomb-maker.

Bos. "Twas to bring you
By degrees to mortification. Listen!


Hark! now every thing is still;

This screech-owl, and the whistler shrill,

Call upon our dame aloud,

And bid her quickly don her shroud.—
Much had of land and rent;
Your length in clay's now competent.
A long war disturbed your mind;
Here your perfect peace is signed.
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!

Car. Hence, villains, tyrants, murderers! Alas!

What will you do with my lady? Call for help! Duch. To whom? to our next neighbours? They are mad folks.

Farewell, Cariola !

I pray thee, look thou giv'st my little boy

Some sirup for his cold; and let the girl

Say her prayers ere she sleep.—Now what you please :
What death?

Bos. Strangling. Here are your executioners.
Duch. I forgive them.

The apoplexy, catarrh, or cough o' the lungs,
Would do as much as they do.

Bos. Doth not death fright you?
Duch. 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.

Duch. 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 'tis found

They go on such strange geometrical hinges,

You may open them both ways, any way (for Heaven's sake)

So I were out of your whispering.

Tell my brothers,
That I perceive, death (now I'm 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.

Pull, and pull strongly, for your able strength
Must pull down heaven upon me.

Yet stay heaven gates are not so highly arched
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 her, kneeling.


Ferd. Is she dead?

Bos. She is what you would have her.

Fix your eye here.

Ferd. Constantly.

Bos. Do you not weep?

Other sins only speak; murder shrieks out!

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