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Fran. And while the duke did prize you to
your value,

I well might envy him; but durst not hope
To stop you in your full career of goodness:
But now I find that he's fall'n from his fortune,
And, howsoever he would appear doting,
Grown cold in his affection; I presume,
From his most barbarous neglect of you,
To offer my true service. Nor stand I bound
To look back on the courtesies of him
That, of all living men, is most unthankful.
Marc. Unheard-of arrogance!
Fran. You'll say I am modest
When I have told the story.
You think he loves you

With unexampl'd fervour; nay, dotes on you,
As there were something in you more than

woman:

When, on my knowledge, he long since hath wish'd

You were among the dead.

Marc. Bless me, good angels,

Or I am blasted! Lies so false and wicked,
And fashion'd to so damnable a purpose,
Cannot be spoken by a human tongue.
My husband hate me! give thyself the lie,
False and accurs'd! Thy soul, if thou hast any,
Can witness, never lady stood so bound
To the unfeign'd affections of her lord,
As I do to my Sforza. If thou wouldst work
I pon my weak credulity, tell me, rather,
There's peace between the lion and the lamb;
Or, that the ravenous eagle and the dove
Kerp in one aerie, and bring up their young;
Or any thing that is averse to nature;
And I will sooner credit it than that
My lord can think of me but as a jewel
He loves more than himself, and all the world.
Fran. O innocence abus'd! simplicity cozen'd!
It were a sin, for which we have no name,
To keep you longer in this wilful error.

Fran. But I am true,
And live to make you happy.
Marc. I prefer the hate

Of Sforza, though it mark me for the grave,
Before thy base affection. I am yet
Pure and unspotted in my true love to him;
Nor shall it be corrupted, though he's tainted;
Nor will I part with innocence, because
He is found guilty. For thyself, thou art
A thing, that, equal with the devil himself,
I do detest and scorn.

Fran. Thou, then, art nothing:

Thy life is in my power, disdainful woman!
Think on't, and tremble,

Marc. No, with my curses

Of horror to thy conscience in this life,
And pains in hell hereafter, I defy thee. [Exit.
Fran. I am lost

In the discovery of this fatal secret.
Curs'd hope, that flatter'd me, that wrongs
could make her

A stranger to her goodness! all my plots
Turn back upon myself; but I am in,
And must go on; and since I have put off
From the shore of innocence, guilt be now
my pilot!
[Exit.

ACT III.

SCENE I.—The Imperial Camp before PAVIA,
Enter MEDINA, HERNANDO, and ALPHONSO.
Med. The spoil, the spoil! 'tis that the sol-
dier fights for.

Our victory, as yet, affords us nothing
But wounds and empty honour.
Her. Hell put it in

The enemy's mind to be desperate, and hold
out!

Yieldings and compositions will undo us;
And what is that way given, for the most part,
Comes to the emperor: the poor soldier left

tead his affections here; [Gives her a Pa-To starve, or fill up hospitals.

per] and then observe

Frw dear he holds you! 'Tis his character,
Which cunning yet could never counterfeit.
Mare. Tis his hand, I'm resolv'd of it: I'll
try

Wat the inscription is.
Fran. Pray you do so.

Alph. But, when

We enter towns by force, and carve ourselves,
Pleasure with pillage-

Med. I long to be at it.
Her. My main hope is,

To begin the sport at Milan: there's enough,
And of all kinds of pleasure we can wish for,
To satisfy the most covetous,
Alph. Every day

Mare. [Reads] You know my pleasure,
and the hour of Marcelia's death, which
fail not to execute, as you will answer We look for a remove.
the contrary, not with your head alone, Med. For Lodowick Sforza,

but with the ruin of your whole family. The duke of Milan, I, on mine own knowledge,
And this, written with my own hand, Can say thus much: he is too much a soldier;
and signed with my privy signet, shall Too confident of his own worth; too rich too;
your sufficient warrant.-

LUDOVICO SFORZA.

obey it! every word's a poniard, reaches to my heart.

Fran. What have I done?

[Swoons.

am! for heaven's sake, madam!-
har lady! —
gesuirs.

For the duke's sake! for Sforza's
sake-

Marc. Sforza's! stand off! though dead, I
will be his;

even my ashes shall abhor the touch any other. O unkind, and cruel!

m, women, learn to trust in one another;
e is no faith in man: Sforza is false,
to Marcelia!

And understands too well the emperor hates him,
To hope for composition.

Alph. On my life

We need not fear his coming in.

Her. On mine

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1

That he, that scorn'd our proffer'd amity

When he was sued to, should, ere he be Freely acknowledged, to give up the reasons

summon'd,

First kneel for mercy?

Med. When your majesty

Shall please to instruct us who it is, we may
Admire it with you.

Emp. C. Who, but the duke of Milan,
The right hand of the French! of all that stand
In our displeasure, whom necessity
Compels to seek our favour, I would have

sworn

Sforza had been the last.

Her. And should be writ so In the list of those you pardon. city

Would his Had rather held us out a siege, like Troy, Than, by a feign'd submission, he should cheat

you

Of a just revenge, or us of those fair glories
We have sweat blood to purchase!

Alph. The sack alone of Milan

Will pay the army.

Emp. C. I am not so weak,

To be wrought on as you fear; nor ignorant
That money is the sinew of the war:
Yet, for our glory, and to show him that
We've brought him on his knees, it is resolv'd
To hear him as a suppliant. Bring him in;
But let him see the effects of our just anger,
In the guard that you make for him.

[Exit Pescara.

Her. I am now
Familiar with the issue; all plagues on it!
He will appear in some dejected habit,
His countenance suitable, and for his order,
A rope about his neck; then kneel, and tell
Old stories what more worthy thing it is
To have power than to use it;

To make a king than kill one: which apply'd
To the emperor and himself, a pardon's granted
To him, an enemy; and we, his servants,
Condemn'd to beggary; [Apart to Medina.

Med. Yonder he comes;
But not as you expected.

My hate against thyself, and love to him
That made me so affected: in my wants
I ever found him faithful; had supplies
Of men and money from him; and my hopes
Quite sunk, were, by his grace, buoy'd up again;
I dare to speak his praise now, in as high
And loud a key, as when he was thy equal.
The benefits he sow'd in me met not
Unthankful ground, but yielded him his own.
With fair increase, and I still glory in it.
And though my fortunes

Are in thy fury burnt, let it be mention'd,
They serv'd but as small tapers to attend
The solemn flame at this great funeral:
And with them I will gladly waste myself,
Rather than undergo the imputation
Of being base, or unthankful.
Alph. Nobly spoken!
[Apart.
Her. I do begin, I know not why, to hate

Less than I did.

him

[Apart.

Sfor. If that, then, to be grateful
For courtesies receiv'd, or not to leave
A friend in his necessities, be a crime
Amongst you Spaniards, Sforza brings his head
To pay the forfeit. Nor come I as a slave,
Pinion'd and fetter'd, in a squalid weed,
Falling before thy feet, kneeling and howling
For a forestall'd remission; I ne'er fear'd to die,
More than I wish'd to live. When I had reach'd
My ends in being a duke, I wore these robes,
This crown upon my head, and to my side
This sword was girt; and witness, truth, that

now

Tis in another's power, when I shall part
With them and life together, I'm the same:
My veins then did not swell with pride; nor

now

Shrink they for fear. Know, sir, that Sforza
stands
Prepar'd for either fortune.
Her. As I live,

I do begin strangely to love this fellow.

Sfor. But, if example

Re-enter PESCARA, with LUDOVICO SFORZA, Of my fidelity to the French,

strongly guarded.

Alph. He looks as if

He would outface his dangers.

Her. I am cozen'd:

A suitor, in the devil's name!
Med. Hear him speak.
Sfor. I come not, emperor, to

mercy,

[Apart.

Has power to invite you to make him a friend,
That hath given evident proof he knows to love

[Apart. And to be thankful: this my crown, now yours

You may restore me.

Apart. Alph. By this light,
Apart. Tis a brave gentleman.

invade thy

By fawning on thy fortune; nor bring with me
Excuses or denials. I profess,

And with a good man's confidence, even this
instant

.

[Apari

Emp. C. Thou hast so far Outgone my expectation, noble Sforza, For such I hold thee; and true constancy, Rais'd on a brave foundation, bears such palr And privilege with it, that where we behold i Though in an enemy, it does command us That I am in thy power, I was thine enemy; To love and honour it. By my future hope Thy deadly and vow'd enemy; one that wish'd I am glad, for thy sake, that, in seeking favou Confusion to thy person and estates; Thou didst not borrow of vice her indirect, And with my utmost powers, and deepest Crooked, and abject means: and so far

counsels,

Had they been truly follow'd, further'd it.
Nor will I now, although my neck were under
The hangman's axe, with one poor syllable
Confess, but that I honour'd the French king
More than thyself, and all men.

Med. By saint Jaques,

This is no flattery.

Sfor. Now give me leave,

I am from robbing thee of the least honour
That with my hands, to make it sit the faste
I set thy crown once more upon thy head
And do not only style thee duke of Milan,
But vow to keep thee so. Yet, not to take
From others to give only to myself,

I will not hinder your magnificence
[Aside. To my commanders, neither will I urge it
But in that, as in all things else, I leave

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tains

Have little power in peace), may beget danger,
At least suspicion.

Sfor. Where true honour lives,
Doubt hath no being; I desire no pawn,
Beyond an emperor's word, for my assurance.
Besides, Pescara, to thyself, of all men,

I will confess my weakness: though my state
And crown's restor'd me, though I am in grace,
And that a little stay might be a step
To greater honours, I must hence. Alas,
I live not here; my wife, my wife, Pescara,
Being absent, I am dead. Pr'ythee excuse,
And do not chide, for friendship's sake, my
fondness;

But ride along with me: I'll give you reasons,
And strong ones, to plead for me.

Pes. Use your own pleasure;

bear you company.

Sfor. Farewell, grief! I am stored with
Two blessings most desired in human life,
A constant friend, an unsuspected wife.
[Exeunt.

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Yonder the proud slave is. How he looks now,
After his castigation!

Julio. Let's be merry with him.
Grac. How they stare at me! am
to an owl?

Enter FRANCISCO and a Servant,
Hell now inspire me! How, the lord protector!
Whither thus in private?
will not see him.

[Stands aside.

Fran. If I am sought for,
Say I am indispos'd, and will not hear
Or suits, or suitors.

Sero. But, sir, if the princess
Inquire, what shall I answer?
Fran. Say I am rid

Abroad to take the air; but by no means
Let her know I'm in court.
Serv. So I shall tell her.
Fran. Within there!

Enter a Gentlewoman.

[Exit.

Gentlew. My good lord, your pleasure?
Fran. Pr'ythee let me beg thy favour for

To the dutchess.

access

Gentlew. In good sooth, my lord, I dare not; She's very private.

Fran. Come, there's gold

Where is thy lady?

Gentlew. She's walking in the gallery.
Fran. Bring me to her.

[Exeunt Francisco and Gentlewoman.
Grac. A brave discovery beyond my hope,
A plot even offer'd to my hand to work on!
If I am dull now, may I live and die
The scorn of worms and slaves! Let me
consider;

My lady and her mother first committed,
In the favour of the dutchess; and I whipt!
And all his brib'd approaches to the dutchess
To be conceal'd! good, good. This to my lady
Deliver'd, as I'll order it, runs her mad.

[Exit.

SCENE III.-Another Room in the same.
Enter MARCELIA and FRANCISCO.
Marc. Believe thy tears or oaths! can it be
hop'd,

After a practice so abhorr'd and horrid,
Repentance e'er can find thee?
Fran. Dearest lady,

[Apart. I do confess, humbly confess my fault,
[Apart. To be beyond all pity; my attempt
turn'd So barbarously rude, that it would turn
A saint-like patience into savage fury.
Marc. Ist possible

The wonder, gentlemen?
Julio. I read this morning,
Mange stories of the passive fortitude
of men in former ages, which I thought
impossible, and not to be believed;

Bà now I look on you my wonder ceases.
Grac. The reason, sir?

Jalio. Why, sir, you have been whipt; Wipt, seignior Graccho; and the whip, take it,

I to a gentleman, the greatest trial
it may be of his patience.
Grac. Sir, I'll call you

To a strict account for this.

Gio. I'll not deal with you,

mless I have a beadle for my second;

And then I'll answer you.

Julio. Farewell, poor Graccho.

This can be cunning?

Fran. But, if no submission,

[Aside.

Nor prayers can appease you, that you may

know

'Tis not the fear of death that makes me sue

thus,

I will not wait the sentence of the duke;

I But I myself will do a fearful justice on myself,
No witness by but you.

Yet, before I do it,

For I perceive in you no signs of mercy,

I will disclose a secret, which, dying with mc,
May prove your ruin.

Marc. Speak it; it will take from

The burden of thy conscience.

Fran. Thus, then, madam:

The warrant, by my lord sign'd for your death,

[Exeunt Julio and Giovanni. Was but conditional; but you must swear, Grac. Better and better still. If ever wrongs By your unspotted truth, not to reveal it, d teach a wretch to find the way to Or I end here abruptly.

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Of joys hereafter. On.

Fran. Nor was it hate

That forc'd him to it, but excess of love.
"And if I ne'er return (so said great Sforza),
No living man deserving to enjoy
My best Marcelia, with the first news
That I am dead (for no man after me
Must e'er enjoy her), fail not to kill her.
But till certain proof

Assure thee I am lost (these were his words),
Observe and honour her, as if the soul
Of woman's goodness only dwelt in hers."
This trust I have abus'd, and basely wrong'd;
And if the excelling pity of your mind
Cannot forgive it, as I dare not hope it,
Rather than look on my offended lord,
I stand resolv'd to punish it.

[Draws his Sword.

Marc. Hold! 'tis forgiven, And by me freely pardon'd. In thy fair life Hereafter, study to deserve this bounty: But that my lord, my Sforza, should esteem My life fit only as a page, to wait on The various course of his uncertain fortunes; Or cherish in himself that sensual hope, In death to know me as a wife, afflicts me. I will slack the ardour that I had to see him Return in safety.

Fran. But if your entertainment Should give the least ground to his jealousy, To raise up an opinion I am false, You then destroy your mercy.

vouchsafe,

Therefore

In company, to do me those fair graces
And favours, which your innocence and honour
May safely warrant: it would to the duke,
I being to your best self alone known guilty,
Make me appear most innocent.

Marc. Have your wishes;

And something I may do to try his temper, At least to make him know a constant wife Is not so slaved to her husband's doting hu

mours,

Her fate appointing it.

Fran. It is enough,

Nay, all I could desire; and will make way To my revenge, which shall disperse itself On him, on her, and all.

[Aside, and exit. Shout, and flourish. Marc. What noise is that?

Enter TIBERIO and STEPHANO. Tib. All happiness to the dutchess, that may flow

From the duke's new and wish'd return!
Marc. He's welcome.
Steph. How coldly she receives it! [Apart.
Tib. Observe the encounter. [Apart.
Flourish. Enter LUDOVICO SFORZA, PESCARA,

and Attendants.

Sfor. I have stood Silent thus long, Marcelia, expecting When, with more than a greedy haste, thou wouldst

Have flown into my arms, and on my lips Have printed a deep welcome. My desires To glass myself in these fair eyes, have borne

me

With more than human speed: nor durst I stay In any temple, or to any saint,

To pay my vows and thanks for my return,

Till I had seen thee.

Marc. Sir, I am most happy
To look upon you safe, and would express
My love and duty in a modest fashion,
Such as might suit with the behaviour
Of one that knows herself a wife, and how
To temper her desires; nor can it wrong me
To love discreetly.

Sfor. How! why, can there be
A mean in your affections to Sforza?
My passions to you are in extremes,
And know no bounds.-Come, kiss me.
Marc. I obey you.

Sfor. By all the joys of love, she does sa

lute me

As if I were her father! What witch,
With cursed spells, hath quench'd the amo-
rous heat

That liv'd upon these lips? Tell me, Marcelia,
And truly tell me, is't a fault of mine
That hath begot this coldness, or neglect
Of others in my absence?

Marc. Neither, sir:

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For her commitment in her brother's absence;
And by her mother's anger is spurr'd on
To make discovery of it.

Fran. I thank thy care, and will deserve
this secret,

SCENE II.-Another Apartment in the Castle.
Enter MARCELIA, TIBERIO, STEPHANO, and
Gentlewoman.

Marc. Command me from his sight, and
with such scorn

As he would rate his slave!
Tib. 'Twas in his fury..

Steph. And he repents it, madam.
Marc. Was I born

In making thee acquainted with a greater,
And of more moment. I delight in change
And sweet variety; that's my heaven on earth,
For which I love life only. I confess,
My wife pleas'd me a day; the dutches, two
(And yet I must not say I have enjoy'd her);
But now I care for neither: therefore, Grac-Of his offence, I'm sure, with such a sorrow,

cho,

So far I am from stopping Mariana

In making her complaint, that I desire thee
To urge her to it.

Grac. That may prove your ruin:
The duke already being, as 'tis reported,
Doubtful she hath play'd false.

Fran. There thou art cozen'd;

flis dotage, like an ague, keeps his course,
And now 'tis strongly on him. But I lose
time;

And therefore know, whether thou wilt or no,
Thou art to be my instrument; and, in spite
Of the old saw, that says, "It is not safe
On any terms to trust a man that's wrong'd,"
I dare thee to be false.

Grac. This is a language,

My lord, I understand not.
Fran. You thought, sirrah,

To put a trick on me, for the relation

what I knew before; and, having won Some weighty secret from me, in revenge To play the traitor. Know, thou wretched thing, day

Be my command thou wert whipt; and every

I bave thee freshly tortur'd, if thou miss
In the least charge that I impose upon thee.
Though what I speak, for the most part, is

true;

To observe his humours? or, because he dotes,
Must I run mad?

Tib. He hath paid the forfeit

As if it had been greater, would deserve
A full remission.

Marc. Why, perhaps, he hath it;
And I stand more afflicted for his absence,
Than he can be for mine: so, pray you, tell

him.

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Enter FRANCISCO.

Steph. Here he comes.
Is this her privacy!
This may go to the duke.

[Exeunt Tib. and Steph.

Marc. Your face is full
Of fears and doubts: the reason!
Fran. O, best madam,

They are not counterfeit. The duke, the duke,
I more than fear, hath found that I am guilty.
Marc. By my unspotted honour, not from me;
Nor have I with him chang'd one syllable,
Since his return, but what you heard.
Fran. Yet malice

Is eagle-ey'd, and would see that which is not;
And jealousy's too apt to build upon
Unsure foundations.

Marc. Jealousy!

Fran. It takes.

[Aside.

Marc. Who dares but only think I can be

tainted?

Nav, grant thou hadst a thousand witnesses To be depos'd they heard it, 'tis in me, Wcb one word, such is Sforza's confidence fidelity not to be shaken, make all void, and ruin my accusers. refore look to't; bring my wife hotly on But for him, though almost on certain proof, arruse me to the duke-I have an end in't-To give it hearing, not belief, deserves think what 'tis makes man most miserable, My hate for ever. And that shall fall upon thee. Thou wert a fool

1

Te hoge, by being acquainted with my courses,
1 curb and awe me; or that I should live
save, as thou didst saucily divine:
prying in my counsels, still live mine.
[Exit.
Grec. I am caught on both sides. . This 'tis
for a puisne

Fran. Whether grounded on

Your noble, yet chaste favours, shewn unto

me;

Or her imprisonment, for her contempt
To you, by my command, my frantic wife
Hath put it in his head.

Marc. Have I then liv'd

So long, now to be doubted? Are my favours
The themes of her discourse? or what I do,

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