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O, had I never
I have all prepared
Even to this gulph ? Thou art no liar ? No,
Put up your weapon.
That wish Now comes a day too late. Haste; fare thee well! Hear'st thou not steps along the corridor? (Exit GIACOMO.) I'm sorry for it; but the guards are waiting At his own gate, and such was my .contrivance That I might rid me both of him and them. I thought to act a solemn comedy Upon the painted scene of this new world, And to attain my own peculiar ends By some such plot of mingled good and ill As others weave; but there arose a Power Which graspt and snapped the threads of my device And turned it to a net of ruin ... Ha! (a shout is heard.) Is that my name I hear proclaimed abroad ? But I will pass, wrapt in a vile disguise; Rags on my back, and a false innocence VOL. I.
Upon my face, thro' the misdeeming crowd
A HALL OF JUSTICE. CAMILLO, JUDGES &c. ARE DISCOVERED
SEATED; MARZIO IS LED IN.
Away with him!
That you would bandy lover's talk with it
MARZIO. I strangled him in his sleep.
Who urged you to it?
Look upon this man;
We never saw him.
You know 'twas I Whom you did urge with menaces and bribes To kill your father. When the thing was done You clothed me in a robe of woven gold And bade me thrive : how I have thriven, you see, You, my Lord Giacomo, Lady Lucretia,
You know that what I speak is true. (BEATRICE advances towards him; he covers his face, and shrinks back.)
The terrible resentment of those eyes
Cardinal Camillo, You have a good repute for gentleness And wisdom: can it be that you sit here To countenance a wicked farce like this? When some obscure and trembling slave is dragged From sufferings which might shake the sternest heart And bade to answer, not as he believes, But as those may suspect or do desire Whose questions thence suggest their own reply: And that in peril of such hideous torments As merciful God spares even the damned. Speak now The thing you surely know, which is that you, If
your fine frame were stretched upon that wheel, And you were told : “Confess that you did poison Your little nephew; that fair blue-eyed child Who was the loadstar of your life:”—and though All see, since his most swift and piteous death, That day and night, and heaven and earth, and time, And all the things hoped for or done therein Are changed to you, through your exceeding grief, Yet you would say, “I confess any thing: And beg from your tormentors, like that slave, The refuge of dishonourable death, I pray thee, Cardinal, that thou assert My innocence.
CAMILLO (much moved).
What shall we think, my Lords? Shame on these tears ! I thought the heart was frozen Which is their fountain. I would pledge my soul That she is guiltless.