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That never trod in a suspected path,
Subject to base construction? Be undaunted;
For now, as of a creature that is mine,
I rise up your protectress: all the grace
I hitherto have done you, was bestow'd
With a shut hand; it shall be now more free,
Open, and liberal. But let it not,
Though counterfeited to the life, teach you
To nourish saucy hopes.

Fran. May I be accurs'd,
When I prove such a monster!

Marc. I will stand then

Between you and all danger. He shall know, Suspicion overturns what confidence builds; And he that dares but doubt when there's no ground,

Is neither to himself nor others sound. [Exit. Fran. So, let it work! Her goodness, that denied

My service, branded with the name of lust,
Shall now destroy itself; and she shall find,
When he's a suitor, that brings cunning arm'd
With power to be his advocates, the denial
Is a disease as killing as the plague,
And chastity a clue that leads to death.
Hold but thy nature, duke, and be but rash
And violent enough, and then at leisure
Repent; I care not.

And let my plots produce this long'd-for birth,
In my revenge I have my heaven on earth.

[Exit.

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Of that which best affects you.

Sfor. Hold your prating.

Learn manners too; you are rude.

Pes. I must borrow

make

The privilege of a friend, and will; or else
I am, like these, a servant; or, what's worse,
A parasite to the sorrow Sforza worships
In spite of reason.

Sfor. Pray you, use your freedom;
And so far, if you please, allow me mine,
To hear you only; not to be compell'd
To take your moral potions. I am a man,
And, though philosophy, your mistress, rage
for't,

Now I have cause to grieve, I must be sad; And I dare show it.

Pes. Would it were bestow'd

Upon a worthier subject

Sfor. Take heed, friend.

You rub a sore, whose pain will make
mad;

And I shall then forget myself and you.
Lance it no further.

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This language in another were profane;
In you it is unmannerly. Her equal!
I tell you as a friend, and tell you plainly
(To all men else my sword should make reply
Her goodness does disdain comparison,
And, but herself, admits no parallel.

Pes. Well, sir, I'll not cross you,
Nor labour to diminish your esteem,
Hereafter, of her.

Enter TIBERIO and STEPHANO. Sfor. O! you are well return'd; Say, am I blest? hath she vouchsaf'd to he you?

Is there hope left that she may be appeas'd Tib. She, sir, yet is froward,

And desires respite, and some privacy. Steph. She was harsh at first; but, ere w parted, seem'd not

Implacable.

Sfor. There's comfort yet: I'll ply her Each hour with new ambassadors of mo honours,

Titles, and eminence: my second self,
Francisco, shall solicit her.

Steph. That a wise man, And what is more, a prince that may co mand,

Should sue thus poorly, and treat with his wi As she were a victorious enemy.

Sfor. What is that you mutter? I'll have thy thoughts.

Steph. You shall. You are too fond,

And feed a pride that's swoln too big alread And surfeits with observance.

Sfor. O my patience!

My vassal speak thus?

Steph. Let my head answer it,

If I offend. She, that you think a saint, I fear, may play the devil.

[Asia

Pes. Well said, old fellow. Steph. And he that hath so long engross your favours,

lo

Though to be nam'd with rev'rence,
Francisco,
Who, as you purpose, shall solicit for you,
I think's too near her.

[Sfor. lays his Hand on his Swor Pes. Hold, sir! this is madness. Steph. It may be they confer of joini lordships; I'm sure he's private with her.

Sfor. Let me go,

me I scorn to touch him; he deserves my pity,
And not my anger. Dotard! and to be of
Is thy protection, else thou durst not think
That love to my Marcelia hath left room
In my full heart for any jealous thought:
I could smile to think, what wretched thing

Pes. Have you stood the shock Of thousand enemies, and outfac'd the anger Of a great emperor, that vow'd your ruin, Though by a desperate, a glorious way, That had no precedent?

Ilave you given proof, to this hour of your life,

Prosperity, that searches the best temper,
Could never puff you up, nor adverse fate

they are, That dare be jealous.

Tib. This is a confidence Beyond example.

Enter ISABELLA, and MARIANA. Sfor. If you come

To bring me comfort, say that you have made Let them at once dispatch me.

My peace with my Marcelia.

Isa. I had rather

Wait on you to your funeral.

Sfor. You are my mother;

Or, by her life, you were dead else,
Mari. Would you were,

To your dishonour! Here your mother was
Committed by your servant (for I scorn
To call him husband), and myself, your sister,
If that you dare remember such a name,
Mew'd up, to make the way open and free
For the adultress; I am unwilling
To say, a part of Sforza.

Sfor. She hath blasphem'd, and by our law
must die.

La. Blasphem'd! for giving a false woman her true name.

Sfor. O hell, what do I suffer?

Mari. Or is it treason

For me, that an a subject, to endeavour
To save the honour of the duke, and that
He should not be a wittol on record?
Sfor. Some proof, vile creature!
Or thou hast spoke thy last.
Mari. The public fame,

Their hourly private meetings; and, e'en now,
When, under a pretence of grief or anger,
You are denied the joys due to a husband,
And made a stranger to her, at all times
The door stands open to him.

Sfor. O the malice

And envy of base women! Wretches! you have rais'd

A monumental trophy to her. I'm so far
From giving credit to you, this would teach me
More to admire and serve her. You are not
worthy

To fall as sacrifices to appease her;
And therefore live till your own envy burst

you.

Isa. All is in vain; he is not to be mov'd.
Mari. She has bewitch'd him.
Pes. Tis so past belief,

To me it shows a fable.

Fran. Draw your sword then,

And, as you wish your own peace, quickly

kill me;

Consider not, but do it.

Sfor. Art thou mad?

Fran. Would from my youth a loathsome

leprosy

Had run upon this face, or that my breath
Had been infectious, and so made me shunn'd
Of all societies! Curs'd be he that taught me
Discourse or manners, or lent any grace
That makes the owner pleasing in the eye
Of wanton woman!

Sfor. I am on 'the rack!
Dissolve this doubtful riddle.
Fran. That I alone,

Of all mankind, that stand most bound to love you,

And study your content, should be appointed,
Not by my will, but forc'd by cruel fate,
To be your greatest enemy! Not to hold you
In this amazement longer, in a word,
Your dutchess loves me.

Sfor. Loves thee!
Fran. Is mad for me-
Pursues me hourly.
Sfor. Oh!

Fran. And from hence grew
Her late neglect of you.

Sfor. O women! women!

Fran. 1 labour'd to divert her by persuasion, Then urg'd your much love to her, and the danger; Denied her and with scorn. Sfor. 'Twas like thyself.

Fran. But when I saw her smile, then heard her say,

Your love and extreme dotage, as a cloak,
Should cover our embraces, and your power
Fright others from suspicion; and all favours
That should preserve her in her innocence,
By lust inverted to be us'd as bawds;

I could not but in duty (though I know
That the relation kills in you all hope
Of peace hereafter, and in me 'twill show

Enter FRANCISCO, speaking to a Servant Roth base and poor to rise up her accuser)

within.

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I would impart,

Freely discover it.

Sfor. Eternal plagues

Pursue and overtake ber! But, like a village

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Please you to lend your ear, a weighty secret, Tiberio, and the rest! I will be sudden,

I am in labour to deliver to you.

Sfor. All leave the room.

[Exeunt Isa. and Mari.]

Excuse me, good Pescara,

E long I will wait on you.

Pes. You speak, sir,

The language I should use.

Sfor. Be within call,

Perhaps we may have use of you. Tib. We shall, sir.

[Exit.

[Exeunt Tiberio and Stephano. Sfor. Say on, my comfort!

Fran. Comfort! no, your torment, for so my fate appoints me. I could curse The hour that gave me being. Sfar. What new monsters misery stand ready to devour me?

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Fran. You are wise,

And know what's best to do: yet, if you please,
To prove her temper to the height, say only
That I am dead, and then observe how far
She'll be transported. I'll remove a little,
But be within your call. Now to the upshot!
Howe'er, I'll shift for one. [Aside, and exit.

Re-enter TIBERIO, STEPHANO, and Guard,
with MARCELIA.

Marc. Where is this monster,
This walking tree of jealousy? Are you here?
Is it by your commandment or allowance,
I am thus basely us'd? Which of my virtues,
My labours, services, and cares to please you,
Invites this barbarous course? Dare you look

on me

Without a seal of shame?
Sfor. Impudence,

Indeed, the unkindness to be sentenc'd by you,
Before that I was guilty in a thought,
Made me put on a seeming anger towards you,
And now-behold the issue! As I do,
May heaven forgive you!

Sfor. Then I believe thee;
Believe thee innocent too.

Tib. Her sweet soul has left
Her beauteous prison.

Steph. Look to the duke; he stands
As if he wanted motion.
Tib. Grief hath stopp'd
The organ of his speech.
Sfor. O my heart-strings!

ACT V.

SCENE I.-The MILANESE.

[Dies.

[Exeunt.

A Room in EU

GENIA'S House.

Enter FRANCISCO and EUGENIA. Fran. Why, couldst thou think, Eugenia, that rewards,

Graces, or favours, though strew'd thick upon

me,

Could ever bribe me to forget mine honour?
Or that I tamely would set down, before

I had dried these eyes, still wet with showers
of tears

How ugly thou appear'st now! Thy intent
To be a wanton, leaves thee not blood enough
To make an honest blush: what had the act By the fire of my revenge? Look up, my
dearest!
For that proud fair, that thief-like, stepp'd

done? Marc. Return'd thee the dishonour thou

deserv'st.

Sfor. Your chosen favourite, your woo'd
Francisco,

Has dearly paid for't; for, wretch! know, he's
dead,

And by my hand.

Marc. Thou hast kill'd then,

A man I do profess I lov'd; a man

For whom a thousand queens might well be
rivals.

But he, I speak it to thy teeth, that dares be
A jealous fool, dares be a murderer,
And knows no end in mischief.

Sfor. I begin now

In this my justice.

[Stabs her.

Marc. Oh! I have fool'd myself
Into my grave, and only grieve for that
Which, when you know you've slain an in-

nocent,

You needs must suffer.

Sfor. An innocent! Let one
Call in Francisco; for he lives, vile creature,
[Exit Stephano.

To justify thy falsehood.
With wanton flatteries thou hast tempted him.

Re-enter STEPHANO.

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A grief that is beneath it; for, however
The credulous duke to me prov'd false and cruel,
It is impossible he could be wrought on
So to serve her.

Fran. Such indeed, I grant,

The stream of his affection was, and ran,
A constant course, till I, with cunning malice
(And yet I wrong my act, for it was justice)
Made it turn backward; and hate, in extreme:
(Love banish'd from his heart), to fill the room
In a word, know the fair Marcelia's dead.
Eug. Dead!

Fran. And by Sforza's hand. Does it no
move you?

How coldly you receive it! I expected
The mere relation of so great a blessing,
Borne proudly on the wings of sweet revenge
Would have call'd on a sacrifice of thanks.
You entertain it with a look, as if
You wish'd it were undone.
Eug. Indeed I do:

Steph. Seignior Francisco, sir, but even now For if my sorrows could receive addition,
Took horse without the ports.
Marc. We are both abus'd,

And both by him undone. Stay, death, a little,
Till I have clear'd me to my lord, and then
I willingly obey thee. O my Sforza!
Francisco was not tempted, but the tempter;
And, as be thought to win me, show'd the

warrant

That you sign'd for my death. But, being
contemn'd,

Upon his knees with tears he did beseech me,
Not to reveal it: I, soft-hearted fool,

Her sad fate would increase, not lessen the
She never injur'd me.

Fran. Have you then no gall,
Anger, or spleen, familiar to your sex?
Or is it possible that you could see
Another to possess what was your due,
And not grow pale with envy?

Eug. Yes, of him

That did deceive me. There's no passion,
A maid so injur'd ever could partake of,
But I have dearly suffer'd. These three ye
In my desire and labour of revenge,

Judging his penitence true, was won unto it: Trusted to you, I have endur'd the throes

Of teeming women; and will hazard all
Fate can inflict on me, but I will reach
Thy heart, false Sforza!

Fran. Still mine own, and dearer!
And yet in this you but pour oil on fire,
And offer your assistance where it needs not:
And that you may perceive I lay not fallow,
But had your wrongs stamp'd deeply on my
heart,

I did begin his tragedy in her death,
To which it serv'd as prologue, and will make
A memorable story of your fortunes
In my assur'd revenge: only, best sister,
Let us not lose ourselves in the performance,
By your rash undertaking: we will be
As sudden as you could wish.

Eug. Upon those terms

I yield myself and cause, to be dispos'd of
As you think fit.

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Speak, my oraculous Graccho.
Grac. I have heard, sir,

Of men in debt that, laid for by their creditors,
In all such places where it could be thought
They would take shelter, chose for sanctuary
Their lodgings underneath their creditors' noses;
Confident that there they never should be
sought for.

Fran. But what infer you from it?
Grac. This, my lord;

That since all ways of your escape are stopp'd,
In Milan only, or, what's more, in the court,
Whither it is presum'd you dare not come,
Conceal'd in some disguise, you may live safe.
Fran. And not to be discover'd?"
Grac. But by myself.

Fran. By thee? Alas! I know thee honest,
Graccho,

And I will put thy counsel into act,
And suddenly. Yet, not to be ungrateful
For all thy loving travail to preserve me,
What bloody end soe'er my stars appoint,
Thou shalt be safe, good Graccho.-Who's
within there?

Grac. In the devil's name, what means he?
[Aside.

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Appear to me as written in thy forehead, In plain and easy characters: and, but that and I scorn a slave's base blood should rust that sword

head rated at ten thousand ducats To him that brings it. Fran. Very good.

Grac. All passengers

Are intercepted, and your picture sent
To every state confederate with Milan:
It is impossible you should escape
Their curious search.

Eug. Why, let us then turn Romans,
And, falling by our own hands, mock their

threats.

Fran. Twould show nobly:

That from a prince expects a scarlet die,
Thou now wert dead. Away with him!
I will not hear a syllable.

[Exeunt Servants, with Graccho.
We must trust
Ourselves, Eugenia; and though we make

use of

The counsel of our servants, that oil spent,
Like snuffs that do offend, we tread them out.
But now to our last scene, which we'll so

carry,

That few shall understand how 'twas begun,
Till all, with half an eye, may see 'tis done.

[Exeunt.

But that the honour of our full revenge
Were lost in the rash action. No, Eugenia,
Graccho is wise; my friend too, not my SCENE II.-MILAN. A Room in the Castle.

servant;

And I dare trust him with my latest secret.
We would, and thou must help us to perform it,
First kill the duke-then, fall what can upon us!
For injuries are writ in brass, kind Graccho,
And not to be forgotten.

Grae. He instructs me What I should do.

Fran. What's that?

Grac. I labour with

Enter PESCARA, TIBERIO, and STEPHANO.
Pes. The like was never read of.
Steph. But that melancholy should work
So far upon a man, as to compel him
To court a thing that has nor sense nor being,
Is unto me a miracle.

[Aside. Pes. Troth, I'll tell you,

And briefly as I can, by what degrees
He fell into this madness. When, by the care

A strong desire to assist you with my service; Of his physicians, he was brought to life,

And now I am deliver'd of it,

Fran. I told you.

He call'd for fair Marcelia, and being told
That she was dead, he broke forth in extremes

(I would not say blasphem'd); then it came Into his fancy that she was accus'd

By his mother and his sister; thrice he curs'd them,

And thrice his desp'rate hand was on his sword
T'have kill'd them both; but they restrain'd him;
When wisely his physicians, looking on
The dutchess's wound, to stay his ready hand,
Cried out, it was not mortal.

Tib. 'Twas well thought on.

Pes. He, easily believing what he wish'd,
Fell prostrate at the doctors' feet, and swore,
Provided they recover'd her, he would live
A private man, and they should share his
dukedom.

Sfor. [Within] Support her gently.
Pes. Now be your own witnesses;

I am prevented.

Enter LUDOVICO SFORZA, ISABELLA, MARIANA, Doctors, and Servants, with the Body of MARCELIA.

Sfor. Carefully, I beseech you. How

pale and wan she looks! O pardon me, That I presume, dyed o'er with bloody guilt, To touch this snow-white hand. How cold it is!

This once was Cupid's fire-brand, and still
'Tis so to me. How slow her pulses beat too!
Yet in this temper she is all perfection.
Mari. Is not this strange?

Isa Oh! cross him not, dear daughter.

Enter a Servant, and whispers PESCARA.

Pes. With me? What is he? Serv. He has a strange aspect; A Jew by birth, and a physician By his profession, as he says; who, hearing Of the duke's frenzy, on the forfeit of His life, will undertake to render him Perfect in every part.

[Apart.

Pes. Bring me to him.

As I find cause, I'll do.

[Apart. Exeunt Pescara and Servants.

Sfor. How sound she sleeps!

Bite your tongues, vile creatures,
And let your inward horror fright your souls,
For having belied that pureness.
And for that dog, Francisco, that seduc'd me,
I'll follow him to hell, but I will find him,
And there live a fourth fury to torment him.
Then, for this cursed hand and arm, that
guided

The wicked steel, I'll have them, joint by joint,
With burning irons sear'd off, which I will eat,
I being a vulture fit to taste such carrion.
Lastly-

1 Doc. You are too loud, sir; you disturb Her sweet repose.

Sfor. I am hush'd.

1 Doc. He's past hope: we can no longer cover the imposture.

Re-enter PESCARA, with FRANCISCO, as a Jew
Doctor, and EUGENIA, disguised.
Fran. I am no god, sir,

To give a new life to her; yet I'll hazard
My head, I'll work the senseless trunk t'appear
To him as it had got a second being.
Pes. Do but this,

Till we use means to win upon his passions, T'endure to hear she's dead with some small patience,

And make thy own reward.
Fran. The art I use

Admits no looker on: I only ask

The fourth part of an hour, to perfect that
I boldly undertake. Therefore command,
That instantly my pupil and myself
Have leave to make a trial of our skill
Alone and undisturb'd.

Pes. About it straight. [Exit Eugenia.
Sfor. What stranger's this?
Pes. Look up sir, cheerfully;
Comfort in him flows strongly to you.
Sfor. Comfort! from whence came that
sound?

Pes. He is a man that can do wonders. [Beckons Francisco. Exit Francisco. Do not hinder

Heaven keep her from a lethargy! How long The dutchess's wish'd recovery, to inquire (But answer me with comfort, I beseech you) Or what he is, or to give thanks; but leave him Does your judgment tell you that her sleep To work this miracle.

will last?

1 Doc. We have given her, sir,

A sleepy potion, that will hold her long;
That she may be less sensible of the torment
The searching of her wound will put her to.
Sfor. I am patient.

You see I do not rage, but wait your pleasure. What do you think she dreams of now? for sure,

Although her body's organs are bound fast, Her fancy cannot slumber.

1 Doc. That, sir, looks on

Sfor. Sure 'tis my good angel.

I do obey in all things. Be it death
For any to disturb him, or come near,
Till he be pleas'd to call us. O be prosperous,
And make a duke thy bondman.

[Exeunt

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Your sorrow for your late rash act, and pre-Is
pares

To meet the free confession of your guilt
With a glad pardon.

Sfor. She was ever kind.

Let her behold me in a pleasing dream

[Kneels.
Thus, on my knees before her (yet that duty
In me is not sufficient); let her see me
Compel my mother, from whom I took life,
And this my sister, partner of my being,
To bow thus low unto her:

Fran. Come we for revenge, And can we think on pity? If to enjoy The wish'd-for sacrifice to thy. lost honour, Be in thy wavering thought a benefit, Now art thou blest.

Eug. Ah me! what follows now?

Fran. What, but a full conclusion of o

wishes!

Look on this flow'r, Eugenia-such a thing As yonder corpse, whose fatal robe you we Must the pale wretch be summon'd to app

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