Obrázky na stránke


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 supports her.

Beatrice. It is not true!-Dear lady,
pray look up.

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
was shown

Even in the manner of their deaths.
For Rocco

Was kneeling at the mass, with sixteen

When the church fell and crushed him

[blocks in formation]


And pledge with thee the mighty Devil in Hell,

Who, if a father's curses, as men say,
Climb with swift wings after their child-
ren's souls,

And drag them from the very throne of

Now triumphs in my triumph !—But
thou art

Superfluous; I have drunken deep of

And I will taste no other wine to-night.
Here, Andrea! Bear the bowl around.
A Guest (rising). Thou wretch!
Will none among this noble company
Check the abandoned villain?

For God's sake
Let me dismiss the guests! You are

Some ill will come of this.

Second Guest.
First Guest.
Third Guest.

Seize, silence him! I will!

And I?

[blocks in formation]

[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,

noble guests;

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,
Take us away!


(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

[blocks in formation]

Have excused much, doubted; and And that the flowers of this departed

[blocks in formation]

Remained, have sought by patience, Were fading on my grave! And that

[blocks in formation]

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

yet remain,

His wife remains and I, whom if ye save not,

Camillo. A bitter wish for one so

[blocks in formation]

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.
Good night, farewell; I will not make
you longer

Spectators of our dull domestic quarrels.
Another time.-

[Exeunt all but CENCI and BEATRICE.
My brain is swimming round;
Give me a bowl of wine!

[To BEATRICE. Thou painted viper!

Beast that thou art!


[blocks in formation]

I am not your true mother.

O more, more,
Than ever mother was to any child,
That have you been to me! Had he
not been

Fair and yet My father, do you think that I should

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

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

[blocks in formation]

As if one thought were over strong for What did your father do or say to you?

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

He stayed not after that accursed feast One moment in your chamber.--Speak

[blocks in formation]

What could I say? [Recovering herself. With sports, and delicate food, and the Ah! No, 'tis nothing new

fresh air.

The sufferings we all share have made O never think that I will leave you,

me wild:

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.
Alas! I am forgetful of my duty,
I should preserve my senses for your

Lucretia. Nay, Beatrice; have cour-
age my sweet girl,

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
Shall be remembered only as a dream,
Beatrice. Talk not to me, dear lady,

of a husband.

Did you not nurse me when my mother died?

[blocks in formation]

[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,

[blocks in formation]

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

[blocks in formation]


In some blithe place, like others of my To touch such mischief as I now con


« PredošláPokračovať »