The Duchess of Padua
Ay! I have come to my inheritance.
O bloody legacy! and O murderous dole!
Which, like the thrifty miser, must I hoard,
And to my own self keep; and so, I pray you,
Let us part here.
What, shall we never more
Sit hand in hand, as we were wont to sit,
Over some book of ancient chivalry
Stealing a truant holiday from school,
Follow the huntsmen through the autumn woods,
And watch the falcons burst their tasselled jesses,
When the hare breaks from covert.
Must I go hence without a word of love?
You must go hence, and may love go with you.
You are unknightly, and ungenerous.
Unknightly and ungenerous if you will.
Why should we waste more words about the matter
Let us part now.
Have you no message, Guido?
None; my whole past was but a schoolboy’s dream;
To-day my life begins. Farewell.
Farewell [exit slowly.]
Now are you satisfied? Have you not seen
My dearest friend, and my most loved companion,
Thrust from me like a common kitchen knave!
Oh, that I did it! Are you not satisfied?
Ay! I am satisfied. Now I go hence,
Do not forget the sign, your father’s dagger,
And do the business when I send it to you.
Be sure I shall. [Exit Lord Moranzone.]
O thou eternal heaven!
If there is aught of nature in my soul,
Of gentle pity, or fond kindliness,
Wither it up, blast it, bring it to nothing,
Or if thou wilt not, then will I myself
Cut pity with a sharp knife from my heart
And strangle mercy in her sleep at night
Lest she speak to me. Vengeance there I have it.
Be thou my comrade and my bedfellow,
Sit by my side, ride to the chase with me,
When I am weary sing me pretty songs,
When I am light o’ heart, make jest with me,
And when I dream, whisper into my ear
The dreadful secret of a father’s murder —
Did I say murder? [Draws his dagger.]
Listen, thou terrible God!
Thou God that punishest all broken oaths,
And bid some angel write this oath in fire,
That from this hour, till my dear father’s murder
In blood I have revenged, I do forswear
The noble ties of honourable friendship,
The noble joys of dear companionship,
Affection’s bonds, and loyal gratitude,
Ay, more, from this same hour I do forswear
All love of women, and the barren thing
Which men call beauty —
[The organ peals in the Cathedral, and under a canopy of cloth of silver tissue, borne by four pages in scarlet, the Duchess of Padua comes down the steps; as she passes across their eyes meet for a moment, and as she leaves the stage she looks back at Guido, and the dagger falls from his hand.]