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The Duchess of Padua


I will come
When it is time; be ready.

Guido

Fear me not.

Moranzone

Here is your friend; see that you banish him
Both from your heart and Padua.

Guido

From Padua,
Not from my heart.

Moranzone

Nay, from thy heart as well,
I will not leave thee till I see thee do it.

Guido

Can I have no friend?

Moranzone

Revenge shall be thy friend;
Thou need’st no other.

Guido

Well, then be it so.

[Enter Ascanio Cristofano.]

Ascanio

Come, Guido, I have been beforehand with you in everything, for I have drunk a flagon of wine, eaten a pasty, and kissed the maid who served it. Why, you look as melancholy as a schoolboy who cannot buy apples, or a politician who cannot sell his vote. What news, Guido, what news?

Guido

Why, that we two must part, Ascanio.

Ascanio

That would be news indeed, but it is not true.

Guido

Too true it is, you must get hence, Ascanio,
And never look upon my face again.

Ascanio

No, no; indeed you do not know me, Guido;
’Tis true I am a common yeoman’s son,
Nor versed in fashions of much courtesy;
But, if you are nobly born, cannot I be
Your serving man?  I will tend you with more love
Than any hired servant.

Guido [clasping his hand]

Ascanio!

[Sees Moranzone looking at him and drops Ascanio’s hand.]

It cannot be.

Ascanio

What, is it so with you?
I thought the friendship of the antique world
Was not yet dead, but that the Roman type
Might even in this poor and common age
Find counterparts of love; then by this love
Which beats between us like a summer sea,
Whatever lot has fallen to your hand
May I not share it?

Guido

Share it?

Ascanio

Ay!

Guido

No, no.

Ascanio

Have you then come to some inheritance
Of lordly castle, or of stored-up gold?