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Expect I should maintain them in their Or found a mine of gold in El dorado; 'Tis but to season some such news; stay, stay!
Rejoice with me-my heart is wondrous
[LUCRETIA sinks, half-fainting;
Beatrice. It is not true!-Dear lady,
I see 'tis only raillery by his smile. Cenci (filling a bowl of wine, and lifting it up). Oh, thou bright wine whose purple splendour leaps
Had it been true, there is a God in And bubbles gaily in this golden bowl
He would not live to boast of such a
Under the lamp-light, as my spirits
To hear the death of my accursed sons! Unnatural man, thou knowest that it is Could I believe thou wert their mingled
Cenci. Ay, as the word of God; Then would I taste thee like a sacrawhom here I call
To witness that I speak the sober truth;
And whose most favouring Providence
Even in the manner of their deaths.
Was kneeling at the mass, with sixteen
When the church fell and crushed him
And pledge with thee the mighty Devil in Hell,
Who, if a father's curses, as men say,
And drag them from the very throne of
Now triumphs in my triumph !—But
Superfluous; I have drunken deep of
And I will taste no other wine to-night.
Some ill will come of this.
Seize, silence him! I will!
[The Banquet is broken up; several Ye may soon share such merriment again of the Guests are departing. As fathers make over their children's Beatrice. I do entreat you, go not,
What, although tyranny and impious hate
Stand sheltered by a father's hoary hair? What, if 'tis he who clothed us in these limbs
Who tortures them, and triumphs? What, if we,
The desolate and the dead, were his own
His children and his wife, whom he is bound
O Prince Colonna, thou art our near kinsman,
Cardinal, thou art the Pope's chamberlain,
Camillo, thou art chief justiciary,
(He has been conversing with CAMILLO during the first part of BEATRICE's speech; he hears the conclusion, and now aivances). I hope my good friends here
To love and shelter? Shall we there- Will think of their own daughters-or
Have excused much, doubted; and And that the flowers of this departed
Remained, have sought by patience, Were fading on my grave! And that
To soften him, and when this could not Were celebrating now one feast for all!
I have knelt down through the long sleepless nights
And lifted up to God, the father of all, Passionate prayers: and when these were not heard
I have still borne,-until I meet you here,
Princes and kinsmen, at this hideous feast
Given at my brothers' deaths. Two
His wife remains and I, whom if ye save not,
Camillo. A bitter wish for one so
Who art a torturer? Father, never dream
Though thou mayst overbear this company,
But ill must come of ill.-Frown not on me!
Haste, hide thyself, lest with avenging looks
My brothers' ghosts should hunt thee from thy seat!
Cover thy face from every living eye, And start if thou but hear a human step:
Seek out some dark and silent corner,
Bow thy white head before offended
And we will kneel around, and fervently Pray that he pity both ourselves, and thee.
Cenci. My friends, I do lament this insane girl
Has spoilt the mirth of our festivity.
Spectators of our dull domestic quarrels.
[Exeunt all but CENCI and BEATRICE.
[To BEATRICE. Thou painted viper!
Beast that thou art!
I am not your true mother.
O more, more,
Fair and yet My father, do you think that I should
The door is opening now; I see his Checked his unnatural pride; and I face; could see He frowns on others, but he smiles on The devil was rebuked that lives in him. Until this hour thus have you ever stood
Even as he did after the feast last Between us and your father's moody
As if one thought were over strong for What did your father do or say to you?
He stayed not after that accursed feast One moment in your chamber.--Speak
What could I say? [Recovering herself. With sports, and delicate food, and the Ah! No, 'tis nothing new
The sufferings we all share have made O never think that I will leave you,
He only struck and cursed me as he passed;
He said, he looked, he did;-nothing at all
Beyond his wont, yet it disordered me.
Lucretia. Nay, Beatrice; have cour-
If any one despairs it should be I Who loved him once, and now must live with him
Till God in pity call for him or me. For you may, like your sister, find some husband,
And smile, years hence, with children round your knees;
Whilst I, then dead, and all this hideous
of a husband.
Did you not nurse me when my mother died?
[She shrinks back, and covers her face. Nay, hide not your face, 'tis fair; Look up! Why, yesternight you dared to look
With disobedient insolence upon me, Bending a stern and an inquiring brow On what I meant; whilst I then sought to hide
That which I came to tell you—but in vain.
Beatrice (wildly, staggering towards
the door). O that the earth would gape! Hide me, O God! Cenci. Then it was I whose inarticulate words
Fell from my lips, and who with tottering steps
from your presence, as you now from mine.
Stay, I command you-from this day and hour
Did you not shield me and that dearest Never again, I think, with fearless eye,
I would not leave you in this wretched- (Aside.) So much has past between us
as must make
Even though the Pope should make me Me bold, her fearful.-'Tis an awful
In some blithe place, like others of my To touch such mischief as I now con