SCENE IV. [Milan. An apartment in the residence of the Cardinal_ACT V_THE DUCHESS OF MALFI_ELIZABETHAN DRAMA

SCENE IV. [Milan. An apartment in the residence of the Cardinal

and Ferdinand. ]



Card. You shall not watch to-night by the sick prince;

His grace is very well recover'd.

Mal. Good my lord, suffer us.

Card. O, by no means;

The noise, and change of object in his eye,

Doth more distract him. I pray, all to bed;

And though you hear him in his violent fit,

Do not rise, I entreat you.

Pes. So, sir; we shall not.

Card. Nay, I must have you promise

Upon your honours, for I was enjoin'd to 't

By himself; and he seem'd to urge it sensibly.

Pes. Let our honours bind this trifle.

Card. Nor any of your followers.

Mal. Neither.

Card. It may be, to make trial of your promise,

When he's asleep, myself will rise and feign

Some of his mad tricks, and cry out for help,

And feign myself in danger.

Mal. If your throat were cutting,

I'd not come at you, now I have protested against it.

Card. Why, I thank you.

Gris. 'Twas a foul storm to-night.

Rod. The Lord Ferdinand's chamber shook like an osier.

Mal. 'Twas nothing put pure kindness in the devil

To rock his own child. Exeunt [all except the CARDINAL].

Card. The reason why I would not suffer these

About my brother, is, because at midnight

I may with better privacy convey

Julia's body to her own lodging. O, my conscience!

I would pray now; but the devil takes away my heart

For having any confidence in prayer.

About this hour I appointed Bosola

To fetch the body. When he hath serv'd my turn,

He dies. Exit.

[Enter BOSOLA]

Bos. Ha! 'twas the cardinal's voice; I heard him name Bosola and my death. Listen; I hear one's footing.


Ferd. Strangling is a very quiet death.

Bos. [aside.] Nay, then, I see I must stand upon my guard.

Ferd. What say to that? Whisper softly: do you agree to 't? So; it must be done i' th' dark; the cardinal would not for a thousand pounds the doctor should see it. Exit.

Bos. My death is plotted; here 's the consequence of murder.

We value not desert nor Christian breath,

When we know black deeds must be cur'd with death.

[Enter ANTONIO and Servant]

Serv. Here stay, sir, and be confident, I pray;

I'll fetch you a dark lantern. Exit.

Ant. Could I take him at his prayers,

There were hope of pardon.

Bos. Fall right, my sword!— [Stabs him.]

I'll not give thee so much leisure as to pray.

Ant. O, I am gone! Thou hast ended a long suit

In a minute.

Bos. What art thou?

Ant. A most wretched thing,

That only have thy benefit in death,

To appear myself.

[Re-enter Servant with a lantern]

Serv. Where are you, sir?

Ant. Very near my home.—Bosola!

Serv. O, misfortune!

Bos. Smother thy pity, thou art dead else.—Antonio!

The man I would have sav'd 'bove mine own life!

We are merely the stars' tennis-balls, struck and banded〖Bandied.〗

Which way please them.—O good Antonio,

I'll whisper one thing in thy dying ear

Shall make thy heart break quickly! Thy fair duchess

And two sweet children——

Ant. Their very names

Kindle a little life in me.

Bos. Are murder'd.

Ant. Some men have wish'd to die

At the hearing of sad tidings; I am glad

That I shall do 't in sadness.〖Reality.〗 I would not now

Wish my wounds balm'd nor heal'd, for I have no use

To put my life to. In all our quest of greatness,

Like wanton boys whose pastime is their care,

We follow after bubbles blown in th' air.

Pleasure of life, what is 't? Only the good hours

Of an ague; merely a preparative to rest,

To endure vexation. I do not ask

The process of my death; only commend me

To Delio.

Bos. Break, heart!

Ant. And let my son fly the courts to princes. [Dies.]

Bos. Thou seem'st to have lov'd Antonio.

Serv. I brought him hither,

To have reconcil'd him to the cardinal.

Bos. I do not ask thee that.

Take him up, if thou tender thine own life,

And bear him where the lady Julia

Was wont to lodge.—O, my fate moves swift!

I have this cardinal in the forge already;

Now I'll bring him to th' hammer. O direful misprision!〖Mistake.〗

I will not imitate things glorious.

No more than base; I'll be mine own example.—

On, on, and look thou represent, for silence,

The thing thou bear'st.〖I. e., the dead body.〗 Exeunt.

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