The Duchess of Malfi

Act V

Scene 1

Rome, a few months later


ANTONIO: What think you of my hope of reconcilement To the Aragonian brethren?

DELIO: I misdoubt it; For though they have sent letter of safe conduct For your repair to Milan, they appear But nets to entrap you. The Marquis of Pescara, Under whom you hold certain land in cheat, Much 'gainst his noble nature hath been mov'd To seize those lands, and some of his dependents Are at this instant making it their suit To be invested in your revenues. I cannot think they mean well to your life, That do deprive you of your means of life, Your living.

ANTONIO: You are still an heretic To any safety I can shape myself.

DELIO: Here comes the Marquis: I will make myself Petitioner for some part of your land, To know whither it is flying.

ANTONIO: I pray do.


DELIO: Sir, I have a suit to you.


DELIO: An easy one: There is the citadel of St. Bennet, With some demesnes, of late in the possession Of Antonio Bologna; please you bestow them on me.

PESCARA: You are my friend; but this is such a suit, Nor fit for me to give, nor you to take.

DELIO: No, sir?

PESCARA: I will give you ample reason for't, Soon in private: here's the cardinal's mistress.


JULIA: My lord, I am grown your poor petitioner, And should be an ill beggar, had I not A great man's letter here, the cardinal's, To court you in my favor.

PESCARA: He entreats for you The citadel of St. Bennet, that belong'd To the banish'd Bologna.


PESCARA: I could not have thought of a friend I could rather Pleasure with it: 'tis yours.

JULIA: Sir, I thank you; And he shall know how doubly I am engag'd Both in your gift, and speediness of giving, Which makes your grant the greater.

She exits

ANTONIO: [aside] How they fortify Themselves with my ruin!

DELIO: Sir, I am Little bound to you.


DELIO: Because you denied this suit to me, and gave't To such a creature.

PESCARA: Do you know what it was? It was Antonio's land; not forfeited By course of law, but ravish'd from his throat By the cardinal's entreaty: it were not fit I should bestow so main a piece of wrong Upon my friend; 'tis a gratification Only due to a strumpet, for it is injustice. Shall I sprinkle the pure blood of innocents To make those followers I call my friends Look ruddier upon me? I am glad This land, ta'en from the owner by such a wrong, Returns again unto so foul an use, As salary for his lust. Learn, good Delio, To ask noble things of me, and you shall find I'll be a noble giver.

DELIO: You instruct me well.

ANTONIO: [aside] Why, here's a man now, would fright impudence From sauciest beggars.

PESCARA: Prince Ferdinand's come to Milan, Sick, as they give out, of an apoplexy; But some say, 'tis a frenzy: I am going To visit him.

He exits

ANTONIO: 'Tis a noble old fellow.

DELIO: What course do you mean to take, Antonio?

ANTONIO: This night I mean to venture all my fortune, Which is no more than a poor lingering life, To the cardinal's worst of malice. I have got Private access to his chamber; and intend To visit him about the mid of night, As once his brother did our noble duchess. It may be that the sudden apprehension Of danger, for I'll go in mine own shape, When he shall see it fraight with love and duty, May draw the poison out of him, and work A friendly reconcilement: if it fail, Yet is shall rid me of this infamous calling; For better fall once, than be ever falling.

DELIO: I'll second you in all danger, and, howe'er; My life keeps rank with yours.

ANTONIO: You are still my lov'd and best friend.

They exit

Scene 2

The CARDINAL'S palace in Rome


PESCARA: Now, doctor, may I visit your patient?

DOCTOR: If't please your lordship: but he's instantly To take the air here in the gallery By my direction.

PESCARA: Pray thee, what's his disease?

DOCTOR: A very pestilent disease, my lord, They call lycanthropia.

PESCARA: What's that? I need a dictionary to't.

DOCTOR: I'll tell you. In those that are possess'd with't there o'erflows Such melancholy humour, they imagine Themselves to be transformed into wolves; Steal forth to churchyards in the dead of night, And dig dead bodies up: as two nights since One met the Duke 'bout midnight in a lane Behind St. Mark's Church, with the leg of a man Upon his shoulder, and he howl'd fearfully; Said he was a wolf, only the difference Was, a wolf's skin was hairy on the outside, His on the inside; bade them take their swords, Rip up his flesh, and try: straight, I was sent for, And having minister'd unto him, found his grace Very well recover'd.

PESCARA: I am glad on't.

DOCTOR: Yet not without some fear Of a relapse. If he grow to his fit again, I'll go a nearer way to work with him Than ever Paracelsus dream'd of; if They'll give me leave, I'll buffet his madness out of him. Stand aside; he comes.


FERDINAND: Leave me.

MALATESTE: Why doth your lordship love this solitariness?

FERDINAND: Eagles commonly fly alone: they are crows, Daws, and starlings that flock together. Look, What's that follows me?

MALATESTE: Nothing, my lord.


MALATESTE: 'Tis your shadow.

FERDINAND: Stay it; let it not haunt me.

MALATESTE: Impossible, if you move, and the sun shine.

FERDINAND: I will throttle it.

MALATESTE: O, my lord, you are angry with nothing.

FERDINAND: You are a fool: How is't possible I should catch my shadow, Unless I fall upon't? When I go to hell, I mean to carry a bribe; for, look you, Good gifts evermore make way for the worst persons.

PESCARA: Rise, good my lord.

FERDINAND: I am studying the art of patience.

PESCARA: 'Tis a noble virtue.

FERDINAND: To drive six snails before me from this town To Moscow; neither use goad nor whip to them, But let them take their own time; (the patient'st man i'th' world Match me for an experiment) and I'll crawl After like a sheep-biter.

CARDINAL: Force him up.

FERDINAND: Use me well, you were best. What I have done, I have done: I'll confess nothing.

DOCTOR: Now let me come to him. Are you mad, My lord, are you out of your princely wits?

FERDINAND: What's he?

PESCARA: Your doctor.

FERDINAND: Let me have his beard saw'd off, And his eyebrows fil'd more civil.

DOCTOR: I must do mad tricks with him, for that's the only way on't.- I have brought your grace a salamander's skin, to keep you From sun-burning.

FERDINAND: I have cruel sore eyes.

DOCTOR: The white of a cockatrix's egg is present remedy.

FERDINAND: Let it be new-laid one, you were best. Hide me from him: physicians are like kings, They brook no contradiction.

DOCTOR: Now he begins to fear me: Now let me be alone with him.

FERDINAND tries to undress, but they seize him

CARDINAL: How now? Put off your gown?

DOCTOR: Let me have Some forty urinals filled with rose-water: He and I'll go pelt one another with them. Now he begins to fear me. Can you fetch a frisk, sir? Let him go, let him go upon my peril: I find by his eye he stands in awe of me; I'll make him as tame as a dormouse.

FERDINAND: Can you fetch your frisks, sir! I will stamp him Into a cullis, flay off his skin, to cover one of the anatomies This rogue hath set i'th' cold yonder in Barber-Chirugeon's-hall. Hence, hence! you are all of you like beasts for sacrifice: There's nothing left of you, but tongue and belly, Flattery and lechery.

FERDINAND runs off

PESCARA: Doctor, he did not fear you throughly.

DOCTOR: True; I was somewhat too forward.

BOSOLA: Mercy upon me, what a fatal judgement Hath fall'n upon this Ferdinand!

PESCARA: Knows your grace What accident hath brought unto the prince This strange distraction?

CARDINAL: [aside] I must feign somewhat--Thus they say it grew: You have heard it rumour'd for these many years, None of our family dies but there is seen The shape of an old woman, which is given By tradition to us to have been murder'd By her nephews, for her riches. Such a figure One night, as the prince sat up late at's book, Appear'd to him; when, crying out for help, The gentleman of's chamber, found his grace All on a cold sweat, alter'd much in face And language: since which apparition, He hath grown worse and worse, and I much fear He cannot live.

BOSOLA: Sit, I would speak with you.

PESCARA: We'll leave your grace, Wishing to the sick prince, our noble lord, All health of mind and body.

CARDINAL: You are most welcome.

Exit all but CARDINAL and BOSOLA

Are you come? so. [aside] This fellow must not know By any means I had intelligence In our duchess' death; for though I counsel'd it, The full of all th' engagement seem'd to grow From Ferdinand--Now, sir, how fares our sister? I do not think but sorrow makes her look Like to an oft-dy'd garment: she shall now Taste comfort from me. Why do you look so wildly? O, the fortune of your master here, the prince, Dejects you; but be you of happy comfort: If you'll do one thing for me, I'll entreat, Though he had a cold tombstone o'er his bones, I'd make you what you would be.

BOSOLA: Anything, Give it me in a breath, and fly to't: They that think long, small expedition win, For musing much o'th' end, cannot begin.


JULIA: Sir, will you come in to supper?

CARDINAL: I am busy; leave me.

JULIA: [aside] What an excellent shape hath that fellow!


CARDINAL: 'Tis thus. Antonio lurks here in Milan: Enquire him out, and kill him. While he lives, Our sister cannot marry, and I have thought Of an excellent match for her. Do this, and style me Thy advancement.

BOSOLA: But by what means shall I find him out?

CARDINAL: There is a gentleman call'd Delio, Here in the camp, that hath been long approv'd His loyal friend. Set eye upon that fellow; Follow him to mass; maybe Antonio, Although he do account religion But a school-name, for fashion of the world May accompany him; or else go enquire out Delio's confessor, and see if you can bribe Him to reveal it. There are a thousand ways A man might find to trace him; as to know What fellows haunt the Jews, for taking up Great sums of money, for sure he's in want; Or else to go to th' picture-makers, and learn Who bought her picture lately: some of these Happily may take.

BOSOLA: Well, I'll not freeze i'th' business: I would see that wretched thing, Antonio, Above all sights i'th' world.

CARDINAL: Do, and be happy.


BOSOLA: This fellow doth breed basilisks in's eyes, He's nothing else but murder; yet he seems Not to have notice of the duchess' death. 'Tis his cunning: I must follow his example; There cannot be a surer way to trace Than that of an old fox.

Enter JULIA with a gun

JULIA: So, sir, you are well met.

BOSOLA: How now?

JULIA: Nay, the doors are fast enough: Now, sir, I will make you confess your treachery.

BOSOLA: Treachery!

JULIA: Yes, confess to me Which of my women 'twas you hired to put Love-powder into my drink?

BOSOLA: Love-powder?

JULIA: Yes, when I was at Malfi. Why should I fall in love with such a face else? I have already suffer'd for thee so much pain, The only remedy to do me good Is to kill my longing.

BOSOLA: Sure your pistol holds Nothing but perfumes, or kissing-comforts. Excellent lady! You have a pretty way on't to discover Your longing. Come, come, I'll disarm you, And arm you thus: yet this is wondrous strange.

JULIA: Compare thy form and my eyes together, You'll find my love no such great miracle. Now you'll say I am wanton: this nice modesty in ladies Is but a troublesome familiar That haunts them.

BOSOLA: Know you me, I am a blunt soldier.

JULIA: The better; Sure, there wants fire, where there are no lively sparks Of roughness.

BOSOLA: And I want compliment.

JULIA: Why, ignorance in courtship cannot make you do amiss, If you have a heart to do well.

BOSOLA: You are very fair.

JULIA: Nay, if you lay beauty to my charge, I must plead unguilty.

BOSOLA: Your bright eyes Carry a quiver of darts in them, sharper Than sun-beams.

JULIA: You will mar me with commendation, Put yourself to the charge of courting me, Whereas now I woo you.

BOSOLA: [aside] I have it; I will work upon this creature-- Let us grow most amorously familiar: If the great cardinal should see me thus, Would he not count me a villain?

JULIA: No, he might count me a wanton, Not lay a scruple of offence on you; For if I see, and steal a diamond, The fault is not i'th' stone, but in me the thief That purloins it. I am sudden with you: We that are great women of pleasure, use to cut off These uncertain wishes and unquiet longings, And in an instant join the sweet delight And the pretty excuse together. Had you been i'th' street, Under my chamber window, even there I should have courted you.

BOSOLA: O, you are an excellent lady!

JULIA: Bid me do somewhat for you presently, To express I love you.

BOSOLA: I will, and if you love me, Fail not to effect it. The cardinal is grown wondrous melancholy: Demand the cause, let him not put you off With feign'd excuse; discover the main ground on't.

JULIA: Why would you know this?

BOSOLA: I have depended on him, And I hear that he is fall'n in some disgrace With the emperor; if he be, like the mice That forsake falling houses, I would shift To other dependence.

JULIA: You shall not need follow the wars: I'll be your maintenance.

BOSOLA: And I your loyal servant; But I cannot leave my calling.

JULIA: Not leave An ungrateful general, for the love of a sweet lady? You are like some cannot sleep in feather-beds, But must have blocks for their pillows.

BOSOLA: Will you do this?

JULIA: Cunningly.

BOSOLA: Tomorrow, I'll expect th'intelligence.

JULIA: Tomorrow? Get you into my cabinet; You shall have it with you. Do not delay me, No more than I do you: I am like one That is condemn'd; I have my pardon promis'd, But I would see it seal'd. Go, get you in: You shall see me wind my tongue about his heart, Like a skein of silk.

Exit Bosola


CARDINAL: Where are you?


CARDINAL: Let none, upon your lives Have conference with the prince Ferdinand, Unless I know it.

Exit servants

In this distraction, he may reveal the murder. Yond's my lingering consumption: I am weary of her, and by any means Would be quit of.

JULIA: How now, my lord, what ails you?

CARDINAL: Nothing.

JULIA: O, you are much alter'd! Come, I must be your secretary, and remove This lead from off your bosom: what's the matter?

CARDINAL: I may not tell you.

JULIA: Are you so far in love with sorrow You cannot part with part of it? or think you I cannot love your grace when you are sad As well as merry? or do you suspect I, that have been a secret to your heart These many winters, cannot be the same Unto your tongue?

CARDINAL: Satisfy thy longing: The only way to make thee keep my counsel Is not to tell thee.

JULIA: Tell your echo this, Or flatterers, that like echoes still report What they hear though most imperfect, and not me; For, if that you be true unto yourself, I'll know.

CARDINAL: Will you rack me?

JULIA: No, judgment shall Draw it from you: it is an equal fault, To tell one's secrets unto all or none.

CARDINAL: The first argues folly.

JULIA: But the last tyranny.

CARDINAL: Very well; why, imagine I have committed Some secret deed, which I desire the world May not hear of.

JULIA: Therefore may not I know it? You have conceal'd for me as great a sin As adultery. Sir, never was occasion For perfect trial of my constancy Till now: sir, I beseech you--

CARDINAL: You'll repent it.

JULIA: Never.

CARDINAL: It hurries thee to ruin: I'll not tell thee. Be well advis'd, and think what danger 'tis To receive a prince's secrets: they that do, Had need have their breasts hoop'd with adamant To contain them. I pray thee yet be satisfied; Examine thine own frailty; 'tis more easy To tie knots, than unloose them: 'tis a secret That, like a lingering poison, may chance lie Spread in thy veins, and kill thee seven year hence.

JULIA: Now you dally with me.

CARDINAL: No more, thou shalt know it. By my appointment, the great Duchess of Malfi, And two of her young children, four nights since, Were strangl'd.

JULIA: O heaven! sir, what have you done?

CARDINAL: How now! how settles this? think you Your bosom will be a grave dark and obscure enough For such a secret?

JULIA: You have undone yourself, sir.


JULIA: It lies not in me to conceal it.

CARDINAL: No! Come, I will swear you to't upon this book.

JULIA: Most religiously.

CARDINAL: Kiss it. Now you shall never utter it; thy curiosity Hath undone thee: thou art poison'd with that book; Because I knew thou couldst not keep my counsel, I have bound thee to't by death.


BOSOLA: For pity sake, hold!

CARDINAL: Ha, Bosola!

JULIA: I forgive you This equal piece of justice you have done; For I betray'd your counsel to that fellow: He overheard it; that was the cause I said It lay not in me to conceal it.

BOSOLA: O, foolish woman, Couldst not thou have poison'd him?

JULIA: 'Tis weakness, Too much to think what should have been done. I go, I know not whither.


CARDINAL: Wherefore com'st thou hither?

BOSOLA: That I might find a great man, like yourself, Not out of his wits, as the Lord Ferdinand, To remember my service.

CARDINAL: I'll have thee hew'd in pieces!

BOSOLA: Make not yourself such a promise of that life, Which is not yours to dispose of.

CARDINAL: Who plac'd thee here?

BOSOLA: Her lust, as she intended.

CARDINAL: Very well: now you know me For your fellow-murderer.

BOSOLA: And wherefore should you lay your fair marble colours Upon your rotten purposes to me? Unless you imitate some that do plot great treasons, And when they have done, go hide themselves i'th' graves Of those were actors in't?

CARDINAL: No more; There is a fortune attends thee.

BOSOLA: Shall I go sue to fortune any longer? 'Tis the fool's pilgrimage.

CARDINAL: I have honors in store for thee.

BOSOLA: There are a many ways that conduct to seeming Honor, and some of them very dirty ones.

CARDINAL: Throw to the devil Thy melancholy. The fire burns well; What need we keep a stirring of't, and make A greater smother? Thou wilt kill Antonio?


CARDINAL: Take up that body.

BOSOLA: I think I shall Shortly grow the common bier for church-yards.

CARDINAL: I will allow thee some dozen of attendants, To aid thee in the murder.

BOSOLA: O, by no means. Physicians that apply horseleeches to any rank swelling, Use to cut off their tails, that the blood may run through them The faster: let me have no train when I go to shed blood, Lest it make me have a greater when I ride to the gallows.

CARDINAL: Come to me after midnight, to help to remove that body To her own lodging: I'll give out she died o'th' plague; 'Twill breed the less enquiry after her death.

BOSOLA: Where's Castruchio, her husband?

CARDINAL: He's rode to Naples, to take possession Of Antonio's citadel.

BOSOLA: Believe me, you have done a very happy turn.

CARDINAL: Fail not to come: there is the master-key Of our lodgings; and by that you may conceive What trust I plant in you.

BOSOLA: You shall find me ready.


O, poor, Antonio, though nothing be so needful To thy estate as pity, yet I find Nothing so dangerous! I must look to my footing: In such slippery ice-pavements, men had need To be frost-nail'd well, they may break their necks else. The precedent's here afore me. How this man Bears up in blood! seems fearless! why, 'tis well: Security some men call the suburbs of hell, Only a dead wall between. Well, good Antonio, I'll seek thee out; and all my cares shall be To put thee into safety from the reach Of these most cruel biters, that have got Some of thy blood already. It may be I'll join with thee in a most just revenge: The weakest arm is strong enough, that strikes With the sword of justice. Still methinks the duchess Haunts me: there, there! 'tis nothing but my melancholy. O Penitence, let me truly taste thy cup, That throws men down, only to raise them up!


Scene 3

A church graveyard


DELIO: Yond's the cardinal's window. This fortification Grew from the ruins of an ancient abbey; And to yond' side o'th' river lies a wall, Piece of a cloister, which in my opinion Gives the best echo that you ever heard, So hollow and so dismal, and withal So plain in the distinction of our words, That many have suppos'd it is a spirit That answers.

ANTONIO: I do love these ancient ruins. We never tread upon them, but we set Our foot upon some reverend history: And, questionless, here in this open court, Which now lies naked to the injuries Of stormy weather, some men lie interr'd Lov'd the church so well, and gave so largely to't, They thought it should have canopied their bones Till doomsday; but all things have their end: Churches and cities, which have diseases like to men, Must have like death that we have.

ECHO: [from the Duchess' grave] Like death that we have.

DELIO: Now the echo hath caught you.

ANTONIO: It groan'd, methought, and gave A very deadly accent.

ECHO: Deadly accent.

DELIO: I told you 'twas a pretty one: you may make it A huntsman, or a falconer, a musician, Or a thing of sorrow.

ECHO: A thing of sorrow.

ANTONIO: Ay sure, that suits it best.

ECHO: That suits it best.

ANTONIO: 'Tis very like my wife's voice.

ECHO: Ay, wife's voice.

DELIO: Come, let us walk farther from't. I would not have you go to th' cardinal's tonight: Do not.

ECHO: Do not.

DELIO: Wisdom doth not more moderate wasting sorrow, Than time: take time for't: be mindful of thy safety.

ECHO: Be mindful of thy safety.

ANTONIO: Necessity compels me. Make scrutiny throughout the passages Of your own life, you'll find it impossible To fly your fate.

ECHO: O fly your fate!

DELIO: Hark! the dead stones seem to have pity on you, And give you good counsel.

ANTONIO: Echo, I will not talk with thee, For thou art a dead thing.

ECHO: Thou art a dead thing.

ANTONIO: My duchess is asleep now, And her little ones, I hope sweetly: O heaven, Shall I never see her more?

ECHO: Never see her more.

ANTONIO: I mark'd not one repetition of the echo But that; and on the sudden, a clear light Presented me a face folded in sorrow.

DELIO: Your fancy merely.

ANTONIO: Come, I'll be out of this ague, For to live thus is not indeed to live; It is a mockery and abuse of life: I will not henceforth save myself by halves; Lose all, or nothing.

DELIO: Your own virtue save you. I'll fetch your eldest son, and second you: It may be that the sight of his own blood Spread in so sweet a figure, may beget The more compassion. However, fare you well. Though in our miseries fortune have a part, Yet in our noble sufferings she hath none; Contempt of pain, that we may call our own.

They exit

Scene 4

The CARDINAL'S palace


CARDINAL: You shall not watch tonight by the sick prince; His grace is very well recover'd.

MALATESTE: Good, my lord, suffer us.

CARDINAL: 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.

PESCARA: So, sir; we shall not.

CARDINAL: Nay, I must have you promise Upon your honors, for I was enjoin'd to't By himself; and he seem'd to urge it sensibly.

PESCARA: Let our honors bind this trifle.

CARDINAL: Nor any of your followers.


CARDINAL: 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.

MALATESTE: If your throat were cutting, I'd not come at you, now I have protested against it.

CARDINAL: Why, I thank you. [he withdraws to one side]

GRISOLAN: 'Twas a foul storm tonight.

RODERIGO: The Lord Ferdinand's chamber shook like an osier.

MALATESTE: 'Twas nothing but pure kindness in the devil, To rock his own child.

Exit all but the Cardinal

CARDINAL: 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 served my turn, He dies.


BOSOLA: Ha! 'twas the cardinal's voice; I heard him name Bosola, and my death: listen, I hear one's footing.


FERDINAND: Strangling is a very quiet death.

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

FERDINAND: 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.


BOSOLA: 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.


SERVANT: Here stay, sir, and be confident, I pray: I'll fetch you a dark lantern.


ANTONIO: Could I take him at his prayers, There were hope of pardon.

BOSOLA: [stabs him in the dark] Fall right my sword: I'll not give thee so much leisure as to pray.

ANTONIO: O, I am gone! Thou hast ended a long suit In a minute.

BOSOLA: What art thou?

ANTONIO: A most wretched thing, That only have the benefit in death, To appear myself.

Enter SERVANT with a light

SERVANT: Where are you, sir?

ANTONIO: Very near my home. Bosola?

SERVANT: O, misfortune!

BOSOLA: 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 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--

ANTONIO: Their very names Kindle a little life in me.

BOSOLA: --are murder'd.

ANTONIO: Some men have wish'd to die At the hearing of sad tidings; I am glad That I shall do't in sadness. 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.

BOSOLA: Break, heart!

ANTONIO: And let my son fly the courts of princes.


BOSOLA: Thou seem'st to have lov'd Antonio?

SERVANT: I brought him hither, To have reconcil'd him to the Cardinal.

BOSOLA: I do not ask thee that: Take him up, if thou tender thy own life, And bear him where the lady Julia Was want 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! 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.

They exit with the body

Scene 5

The CARDINAL'S apartments

Enter CARDINAL, with a book

CARDINAL: I am puzzled in a question about hell: He says, in hell there's one material fire, And yet it shall not burn all men alike. Lay him by. How tedious is a guilty conscience! When I look into the fish-ponds in my garden, Methinks I see a thing arm'd with a rake, That seems to strike at me.


Now, art thou come? thou look'st ghastly; There sits in thy face some great determination,

Mix'd with some fear.

BOSOLA: Thus it lightens into action: I am come to kill thee.

CARDINAL: Ha! help! our guard!

BOSOLA: Thou art deceiv'd; They are out of thy howling.

CARDINAL: Hold; and I will faithfully divide Revenues with thee.

BOSOLA: Thy prayers and proffers Are both unseasonable.

CARDINAL: Raise the watch: we are betray'd!

BOSOLA: I have confin'd your flight: I'll suffer your retreat to Julia's chamber, But no further.

CARDINAL: Help! we are betray'd!



CARDINAL: My dukedom for rescue!

RODERIGO: Fie upon his counterfeiting.

MALATESTE: Why, 'tis not the Cardinal.

RODERIGO: Yes, yes, 'tis he: But I'll see him hang'd ere I'll go down to him.

CARDINAL: Here's a plot upon me; I am assaulted! I am lost Unless some rescue!

GRISOLAN: He doth this pretty well; But it will not serve to laugh me out of mine honor.

CARDINAL: The sword's at my throat!

RODERIGO: You would not bawl so loud then.

MALATESTE: Come, come, let's go to bed: he told us thus much aforehand.

PESCARA: He wish'd you should not come at him; but believe't, The accent of the voice sounds not in jest: I'll down to him, howsoever, and with engines Force ope the doors.


RODERIGO: Let's follow him aloof, And note how the Cardinal will laugh at him.

Exit above, Malateste, Roderigo, and Grisolan

BOSOLA: There's for you first, 'Cause you shall not unbarricade the door To let in rescue.

He kills the servant

CARDINAL: What cause hast thou to pursue my life?

BOSOLA: Look there.

CARDINAL: Antonio!

BOSOLA: Slain by my hand unwittingly: Pray, and be sudden: when thou kill'd'st thy sister, Thou took'st from Justice her most equal balance, And left her naught but her sword.

CARDINAL: O mercy!

BOSOLA: Now it seems thy greatness was only outward; For thou fall'st faster of thyself than calamity Can drive thee: I'll not waste longer time; there.

Stabs him

CARDINAL: Thou hast hurt me.

BOSOLA: Again.

CARDINAL: Shall I die like a leveret, Without any resistance? Help, help, help! I am slain.


FERDINAND: Th' alarum! give me a fresh horse; Rally the vaunt-guard, or the day is lost. Yield, yield: I give you the honors of arms, Shake my sword over you; will you yield?

CARDINAL: Help me, I am your brother!

FERDINAND: The devil! My brother fight upon the adverse party?

He wounds the CARDINAL, and (in the scuffle)

gives BOSOLA his death wound

There flies your ransom.

CARDINAL: O justice! I suffer now for what hath former been: Sorrow is held the eldest child of sin.

FERDINAND: Now you're brave fellows. Caesar's fortune was harder than Pompey's; Caesar died in the arms of prosperity, Pompey at the feet of disgrace. You both died in the field, The pain's nothing. Pain many time is taken away with The apprehension of greater, as the toothache with the sight Of a barber that comes to pull it out: there's philosophy for you.

BOSOLA: Now my revenge is perfect. Sink, thou main cause Of my undoing. The last part of my life Hath done me best service.

He stabs Ferdinand

FERDINAND: Give me some wet hay, I am broken-winded. I do account this world but a dog-kennel: I will vault credit and affect high pleasures Beyond death.

BOSOLA: He seems to come to himself, now he's so near the bottom.

FERDINAND: My sister, O my sister! there's the cause on't. Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, Like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust.


CARDINAL: Thou hast thy payment too.

BOSOLA: Yes, I hold my weary soul in my teeth; 'Tis ready to part from me. I do glory That thou, which stood'st like a huge pyramid Begun upon a large and ample base, Shalt end in a little point, a kind of nothing.

Enter PESCARA and the others

PESCARA: How now, my lord!

MALATESTE: O, sad disaster!

RODERIGO: How comes this?

BOSOLA: Revenge for the Duchess of Malfi, murder'd By the Arragonian brethren; for Antonio, Slain by this hand; for lustful Julia, Poison'd by this man; and lastly for myself, That was an actor in the main of all Much 'gainst mine own good nature, yet i'th' end Neglected.

PESCARA: How now, my lord?

CARDINAL: Look to my brother: He gave us these large wounds, as we were struggling Here i'th' rushes. And now, I pray, let me Be laid by and never thought of.


PESCARA: How fatally, it seems, he did withstand His own rescue!

MALATESTE: Thou wretched thing of blood, How came Antonio by his death?

BOSOLA: In a mist: I know not how: Such a mistake as I have often seen In a play. O, I am gone! We are only like dead walls, or vaulted graves, That ruin'd, yield no echo. Fare you well. It may be pain, but no harm to me to die In so good a quarrel. O, this gloomy world! In what a shadow, or deep pit of darkness, Doth womanish and fearful mankind live! Let worthy minds ne'er stagger in distrust To suffer death or shame for what is just: Mine is another voyage.


PESCARA: The noble Delio, as I came to th' palace, Told me of Antonio's being here, and show'd me A pretty gentleman, his son and heir.

Enter DELIO, and Antonio's son

MALATESTE: O sir, you come too late!

DELIO: I heard so, and Was arm'd for't ere I came. Let us make noble use Of this great ruin; and join all our force To establish this young hopeful gentleman In's mother's right. These wretched eminent things Leave no more fame behind 'em, than should one Fall in a frost, and leave his print in snow: As soon as the sun shines, it ever melts, Both form and matter. I have ever thought Nature doth nothing so great for great men, As when she's pleas'd to make them lords of truth: Integrity of life is fame's best friend, Which nobly, beyond death, shall crown the end.