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Towards her chamber,-let your echoes talk
of my imperious step, scorning surprise,
But not of my intent !- Andrea !
Andr, My Lord!
Cen, Bid Beatrice attend me in her chamber This evening :-no, at midnight, and alone,
A Garden of the Cenci Palace, Enter BEATRICE and
ORSINO, as in conversation.
Beatr. Pervert not truth,
Orsino. You remember where we held
That conversation ;-nay, we see the spot
Even from this cypress ;-two long years are past
Since, on an April midnight, underneath
The moonlight ruins of mount Palatine,
- rischiarato dalla I did confess to you my secret mind.
luna Ors. You said you loved me then.
Beatr. You are a priest,
Speak to me not of love.
Ors. I may obtain
The dispensation of the Pope to marry.
Because I am a priest do you believe
Your image, (as the hunter some struck deer,) daino
Follows me not whether I wake or sleep?
Beatr. As I have said, speak to me not of love.
Had you a dispensation, I have not;
Nor will I leave this home of misery
Whilst my poor Bernard, and that gentle lady
To whom I owe life and these virtuous thoughts,
Must suffer what I still have strength to share,
Alas, Orsino ! all the love that once
I felt for you is turned to bitter pain.
Qur's was a youthful contract, which you first
Broke, by assuming vows no Pope will loose
And thus I love you still, but holily,
Even as a sister or a spirit might;
And so I swear a cold fidelity:
And it is well perhaps we should not marry.
You have a sly equivocating vein
That suits me not. Ah, wretched that I am!
Where shall I turn ? E'en now you look on me
As you were not my friend, and as if you
Discovered that I thought so, with false smises
Making my true suspicion seem your wrong.
Ah!-No, forgive me; sorrow makes me seem
Sterner than else my nature might have been ;
I have a weight of melancholy thoughts, mesang isa nad they forhode, —but what van they forbode
Worse than I now endure ?
Ors. All will be well.
Is the petition yet prepared ? You know
My zeal for all you wish, sweet Beatrice;
Doubt not but I will use my utmost skill,
So that the Pope attend to your complaint.
Beatr. Your zeal for all I wish.--Ahme, you are cold!
Your utmost skill speak but one word-
(Aside) Alas! Weak and deserted creature that I am, werefowo. Here I stand bickering with my only friend ! (To Orsino)
This night my father gives a sumptuous feast,
Orsino; he has heard some happy news
From Salamanca, from my brothers there,
And with this outward show of love he mocks
His inward hate. 'Tis bold hypocrisy.
For he would gladlier celebrate their deaths.
Which I have heard him pray for on his knees:
Great God! that such a father should be mine.
But there is mighty preparation made,
And all our kin, the Cenci, will be there,
And all the chief nobility of Rome.
And he has bidden me and my pale mother
Attire ourselves in festival array.
Poor lady! she expects some happy change
In his dark spirit from this act; I none.
At supper I will give you the petition:
I know the Pope
Will ne'er absolve me from my priestly vow
But by absolving me from the revenue
Of many a wealthy see ; and, Beatrice,
I think to win thee at an easier rate.
Nor shall he read her eloquent petition;
He might bestow her on some poor relation
of his sixth cousin, as he did her sister,
And I should be debarred from all access,
Then, as to what she suffers from her father,
In all this there is much exaggeration :
Old men are testy, and will have their way;
A man may stab his enemy, or his vassal,
And live a free life as to wine or women,
Ooi coltiva tano
And with a peevish tepper may return
To a dull home, and rate his wife and children;
Daughters and wives call this foul tyranny.
I shall be well content, if on my conscience
There rest no heavier sin than what they suffer
re From the devices of my love-A net From which she shall escape not. Yet I fear Her subtle mind, her awe-inspiring gaze, Whose beams anatomize me, nerve by nerve, And lay me bare, and make me blush to see My hidden thoughts.—Ah, no! A friendless gir Who clings to me as to her only hope : I were a fool, not less than if a panther Were panic-stricken by the antelope's eye, If she escapes me.
A magnificent Hall in the Cenci Palace. A Banquet.
Enter CENCI, LUCRETIA, BEATRICE, ORSINO, CAMILLO,
Cen. Welcome, my friends and kinsmen; welcome, ya
Princes and Cardinals, pillars of the church
Whose presence honours our festivity.
I have too long lived like an anchorite,
And, in my absence from your merry meetings,
An evil word is gone abroad of me,
But I hope that you my noble friends,
When you have shared the entertainment here,
And heard the pious cause for which 'tis given,
And we have pledged a health or two together,
Will think me flesh and blood as well as you;
Sinful, indeed, for Adam made all so,
But tender-hearted, meek, and pitiful.
(heart 1. Guest. In truth, my Lord, you seem too light u Too sprightly and companionable a man, To act the deeds that rumour pins on you.
(To his companion.) I never saw such blithe and open cheer In any eye!
2. Guest. Some most desired event,
In which we all demand a common joy,
Has "ought us hither ; let us hear it, Count.
Ces Lis indeed a most desired event:
If, when a parent, from a parent's heart,
Lifts from this earth to the great Father of all
A prayer, both when he lays him down to sleep
And when he rises up from dreaming it;
One supplication, one desire, one hope,
That he would grant a wish for his two sons,
Even all that he demands in their regard-
And suddenly, beyond his dearest hope,
It is accomplished, -he should then rejoice,
And call his friends and kinsmen to a feast,
And task their love to grace his merriment.
Beatr. (to Lucretia) Great God! how horrible!
Some dreadful ill
Must have befallen my brothers.
Lucr. Fear not, child ; He speaks too frankly.
Beatr. Ah! my blood runs cold. I fear that wicked laughter round his eye, Which wrinkles up the skin even to the hair. Lego Cen. Here are the letters brought from Salamanca ,
Beatrice, read them to your mother. God,
I thank thee! In one night didst thou perform,
By ways inscrutable, the thing I sought.
My disobedient and rebellious sons
Are dead !-Why, dead! - What means this change of
You hear me not :- I tell you they are dead :
And they will need no food nor raiment more: vestiario
The tapers that did light them the dark way
Are their last cost. The Pope, I think, will not
Expect I should maintain them in their coffins.
Rejoice with me, my heart is wondrous glad.
Beatr. (Lucretia sinks half fainting; Beatrice sup
It is not true-Dear lady, pray look up.
Had it been true, there is a God in Heaven,
He would not live to boast of such a boon favore
Unnatural man, thou knowest that it is false.
Cen. Ay, as the word of God; whom here I call
To witness that I speak the sober truth:
And whose most favouring Providence was shown
Even in the manner of their deaths. For Rocco
Was kneeling at the mass, with sixteen others,
When the church fell and crushed him to a mummy,
The rest escaped unhurt. Christofano
Was stabbed in error hy a jealous man,
Whilst she he loved was sleeping with his rival;
All in the self-same hour of the same night;
Which shows that Heaven has special care of me.
I beg those friends who love me, that they mark
The day a feast upon their calendars.
It was the twenty-seventh of December :
Ay, read the letters if you doubt my oath.
(The assembly appears confused ; several of the guests rise.)
1. Guest. Õh, horrible! I will depart. 2. Guest. And I.
3. Guest. No, stay! I do believe it is some jest ; though, faith, "Tis mocking us somewhat too solemniy. I think his son nas married the Infanta, Or found a mine of gold in El Dorado: 'Tis but to season some such news ; stay, stay!