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And do confess my weakness; if thou tempt'st
My bosom to thy pleasures, I will yield.
Fern. Perpetual happiness!

Bian. Now hear me out.

When first Caraffa, Pavy's duke, my lord,
Saw me, he loved me; and without respect
Of dower, took me to his bed and bosom ;
Advanced me to the titles I possess,

Not mov'd by counsel, or removed by greatness;
Which to requite, betwixt my soul and heaven,
I vow'd a vow to live a constant wife;

I have done so: nor was there in the world
A man created, could have broke that truth
For all the glories of the earth, but thou;
But thou, Fernando!-Do I love thee now?
Fern. Beyond imagination.

Bian. True, I do,

Beyond imagination: if no pledge

Of love can instance what I speak is true,

But loss of my best joys; here, here, Fernando, Be satisfied, and ruin me.

Fern. What do you mean?

Bian. To give my body up to thy embraces, A pleasure that I never wish'd to thrive in, Before this fatal minute: mark me now; If thou dost spoil me of this robe of shame, By my best comforts, here I vow again, To thee, to heaven, to the world, to time, Ere yet the morning shall new-christen day, I'll kill myself!

Fern. How, madam, how!

Bian. I will:

Do what thou wilt, 'tis in thy choice; what say


Fern. Pish! do you come to try me? tell me, first,

Will you but grant a kiss?

Bian. Yes, take it; that,

Or what thy heart can wish: I am all thine. [FERN. kisses her. Fern. Oh, me!-Come, come; how many women, pray,

Were ever heard or read of, granted love,

And did as you protest you will?

Bian. Fernando,


Jest not at my calamity.-I kneel--
By these dishevell❜d hairs, these wretched tears,
By all that's good, if what I speak, my heart
Vows not eternally, then think, my lord,
Was never man sued to me I denied ;

Think me a common and most cunning whore,
And let my sins be written on my grave,
My name rest in reproof!-[Rises.] Do as you list.
Fern. I must believe you,-yet I hope, anon,
When you are parted from me, you will say
I was a good, cold, easy-spirited man,
Nay, laugh at my simplicity; say, will you?

9 Yet I hope, anon, &c.] Hope is apparently used here for expect; in which sense it also occurs in Henry IV. where the Prince says


By how much better than my word I am,
By so much shall I falsify men's hopes."

Bian. No, by the faith I owe my bridal vows! But ever hold thee much, much dearer far, Than all my joys on earth, by this chaste kiss. [Kisses him. Fern. You have prevail'd; and Heaven forbid that I

Should by a wanton appetite profane
This sacred temple! 'tis enough for me
You'll please to call me servant.

Bian. Nay, be thine:

Command my power, my bosom; and I'll write This love within the tables of my heart.

Fern. Enough; I'll master passion, and triumph In being conquered; adding to it this, In you my love, as it begun, shall end.

Bian. The latter I new-vow-but day comes on; What now we leave unfinish'd of content, Each hour shall perfect up: Sweet, let us part. Fern. This kiss,-best life, good rest!

[Kisses her.

Bian. All mine to thee! Remember this, and think I speak thy words: "When I am dead, rip up my heart, and read With constant eyes, what now my tongue defines, Fernando's name carv'd out in bloody lines." Once more good rest, sweet!

Fern. Your most faithful servant.

[The scene closes.


An Apartment in the Palace.

Enter NIBRASSA, followed by JULIA, weeping.

Nib. Get from me, strumpet, infamous whore, leprosy of my blood! make thy moan to balladsingers and rhymers; they'll jig out thy wretchedness and abominations to new tunes: as for me, I renounce thee; thou'rt no daughter of mine, I disclaim the legitimation of thy birth, and curse the hour of thy nativity.

Jul. Pray, sir, vouchsafe me hearing.

Nib. With child! shame to my grave! Oh whore, wretched beyond utterance or reformation, what would'st say?

Jul. Sir, by the honour of my mother's hearse, He has protested marriage, pledg'd his faith; If vows have any force, I am his wife.

Nib. His faith? Why, thou fool, thou wickedly credulous. fool, canst thou imagine luxury is observant of religion?' no, no; it is with a frequent letcher as usual to forswear as to swear; their piety is in making idolatry a worship: their hearts and their tongues are as different as thou, thou whore! and a virgin.

1 Canst thou imagine luxury is observant of religion?] i. e. lust. One example for all: "To my journey's end I hasten, and descend to the second continent of Delicacy, which is Lust or Luxury."— Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, p. 157.

Jul. You are too violent; his truth will prove His constancy, and so excuse my fault.

Nib. Shameless woman! this belief will damn thee. How will thy lady marquess justly reprove me, for preferring to her service a monster of so lewd and impudent a life! look to't; if thy smooth devil leave thee to thine infamy, I will never pity thy mortal pangs, never lodge thee under my roof, never own thee for my child; mercy be my witness!

Enter PETRUCHIO, leading COLONA.

Pet. Hide not thy folly by unwise excuse,
Thou art undone, Colona; no entreaties,
No warning, no persuasion, could put off
The habit of thy dotage on that man
Of much deceit, Ferentes. Would thine eyes
Had seen me in my grave, ere I had known
The stain of this thine honour!

Col. Good, my lord,

Reclaim your incredulity; my fault
Proceeds from lawful composition

Of wedlock, he hath seal'd his oath to mine,
To be my husband.


Nib. Husband? hey-day! is't even so? then, we have partners in affliction; if my jolly gallant's long clapper have struck on both sides, all is well. Petruchio, thou art not wise enough to be a parator; come hither, man, come hither; speak softly, is thy daughter with child?


2 Thou art not wise enough to be a parator.] An inferior officer,


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