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The Duchess of Padua

There were state reasons.

Duchess

What state reasons are there
For breaking holy promises to a state?

Duke

There are wild boars at Pisa in a forest
Close to the city: when I promised Pisa
Unto your noble and most trusting father,
I had forgotten there was hunting there.
At Genoa they say,
Indeed I doubt them not, that the red mullet
Runs larger in the harbour of that town
Than anywhere in Italy.

[Turning to one of the Court.]

You, my lord,
Whose gluttonous appetite is your only god,
Could satisfy our Duchess on that point.

Duchess

And Orvieto?

Duke [yawning]

I cannot now recall
Why I did not surrender Orvieto
According to the word of my contract.
Maybe it was because I did not choose.

[Goes over to the Duchess.]

Why look you, Madam, you are here alone;
’Tis many a dusty league to your grey France,
And even there your father barely keeps
A hundred ragged squires for his Court.
What hope have you, I say?  Which of these lords
And noble gentlemen of Padua
Stands by your side.

Duchess

There is not one.

[Guido starts, but restrains himself.]

Duke

Nor shall be,
While I am Duke in Padua: listen, Madam,
Being mine own, you shall do as I will,
And if it be my will you keep the house,
Why then, this palace shall your prison be;
And if it be my will you walk abroad,
Why, you shall take the air from morn to night.

Duchess

Sir, by what right – ?

Duke

Madam, my second Duchess


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