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In th' other world?

Bos. Yet, methinks,
The manner of your death should much afflict you;
This cord should terrify you?

Dutch. Not a whit :
What would it pleasure me,

to have

my

throat cut With diamonds ? or to be smothered With cassia ? or to be shot to death with pearls ? I know death hath ten thousand several doors For men to take their exits, and 'tis found They go on such strange geometrical hinges, You may open them both ways; any way, (for heaven sake,) So I were out of your whispering. Tell my brothers, That I perceive death, (now I am well awake,) Best gift ’tis, they can give, or I can take. I would fain put off my last woman's fault, I'd not be tedious to you.

Exec. We are ready.

Dutch. Dispose my breath, how please you, but my body Bestow upon my women,

will Exec. Yes.

Dutch. Pull, and pull strongly, for your able strength Must pull down heaven upon me: Yet stay, heaven's gates are not so highly arch'd As princely palaces, they that enter there Must go upon their knees : come, violent death, Serve for mandragora, to make me sleep: Go tell my brothers when I am laid out, They then may feed in quiet. (they strangle her, kneeling.

you ?

Fer. Is she dead?

Bos. She is what
You'd have her: but here begin your pity:

[shows the children strangled. Alas! how have these offended ?

Fer. The death
Of young wolves is never to be pitied.

Bos. Fix your eye there.
Fer. Constantly.

Bos. Do you not weep?
Other sins only speak; murder shrieks. out:
The element of water moistens the earth,
But blood flies upwards, and bedews the heavens.

Fer. Cover her face: mine

eyes

dazzle : she died young. Bos. I think not so: her infelicity Seem'd to have years too many.

Fer. She and I were twins :
And should I die this instant, I have liv'd
Her time to a minute.

Bos. It seems she was born first:
You have bloodily approv'd the ancient truth,
That kindred commonly do worse agree
Than remote strangers.

Fer. Let me see her face again;
Why didst not thou pity her? what an excellent
Honest man might'st thou have been,
If thou hadst borne her to some sanctuary?
Or (bold in a good cause) oppos’d thyself,
With thy advanced sword above thy head,
Between her innocency and my revenge?
I bade thee, when I was distracted of my wits,
Go kill my dearest friend, and thou hast done't.
For let me but examine well the cause;
What was the meanness of her match to me?
Only, I must confess, I had a hope
(Had she continu'd widow) to have gain'd
An infinite mass of treasure by her death :
And what was the main cause; her marriage,
That drew a stream of gall quite through my
Heart; for thee, (as we observe in tragedies,
That a good actor many times is curs’d
For playing a villain's part,) I hate thee for't:
(For my sake) say thou hast done much ill, well.

Bos. Let me quicken your memory; for I
Challenge the reward due to my service.

Fer. I'll tell thee.
Bos. Do.
Fer. I'll give thee a pardon for this murder.
Bos. Hah!

Fer. Yes; and 'tis
The largest bounty I can study to do thee.
By what authority didst thou execute
This bloody service ?

Bos. By yours.

Fer. Mine? was I her judge? Did

any ceremonial form of law Doom her to not-being? did a complete jury Deliver her conviction up i'th'court?

1

Where shalt thou find this judgement registered,
Unless in hell ? See: like a bloody fool,
Th' hast forfeited thy life, and thou shalt die fort.

Bos. The office of justice is perverted quite,
When one thief hangs another : who shall dare
To reveal this?

Fer. Oh, I'll tell thee;
The wolf shall find her grave, and scrape it up,
Not to devour the corpse, but to discover
The horrid murder.

Bos. You, not I, shall quake for't.
Fer. Leave me.
Bos. I will first receive my pension.
Fer. You are a villain.

Bos. When your ingratitude
Is judge, I am so.

Fer. O horror!
That not the fear of him which binds the devils,
Can prescribe man obedience.
Never look upon me more.

Bos. Why, fare thee well:
Your brother and yourself are worthy men;
You have a pair of hearts are hollow graves,
Rotten, and rotting others; and your vengeance,
(Like two chain'd bullets,) still goes arm in arm.
You may be brothers; for treason, like the plague,
Doth take much in a blood: I stand like one
That long haih ta'en a sweet and golden dream;
I'm angry with myself, now that I wake.

Fer. Get thee into some unknown part o'th' world,
That I may never see thee.

Bos. Let me know
Wherefore I should be thus neglected, sir ?
I serv'd your tyranny; and rather strove
To satisfy yourself, than all the world;
And though I loath'd the evil, yet I lov'd
You that did counsel it; and rather sought
To appear a true servant, than a honest man.

Fer. I'll go hunt the badger by owl-light: 'Tis a deed of darkness.

[exit. Bos. He's much distracted. Off, my painted honour ! While with vain hopes our faculties we tire, We seem to sweat in ice, and freeze in fire: What would I do were this to do again? I would not change my peace of conscience

[she dies.

For all the wealth of Europe. She stirs ! here's life :
Return, fair soul, from darkness, and lead mine
Out of this sensible hell: she's warm; she breathes :
Upon thy pale lips I will melt my heart,
To store them with fresh colour: who's there?
Some cordial drink! Alas! I dare not call :
So pity would destroy pity: her eye opes,
And heaven, in it, seems to ope, (that late was shut,)
To take me up to mercy.

Dutch. Antonio.

Bos. Yes, (madam,) he is living;
The dead bodies you saw were but feign'd statues ;
He's reconcil'd to your brothers: the pope hath wrought
The atonement.

Dutch. Mercy

Bos. Oh, she's gone again : there the cords of life broke:
Oh, sacred innocence ! that sweetly sleeps
On turtle feathers; whilst a guilty conscience
Is a black register, wherein is writ
All our good deeds, and bad; a perspective
That shows us hell : that we cannot be suffer'd
To do good when we have a mind to it,
This is manly sorrow :
These tears, I am very certain, never grew
In my mother's milk. My estate is sunk
Below the degree of fear: where were
These penitent fountains while she was living?
Oh, they were frozen up: here is a sight
As direful to my soul, as is the sword
Upon a wretch hath slain his father. Come, I'll bear thee hence,
And execute thy will ; that is, deliver
Thy body to the reverend dispose
Of some good women; that the cruel tyrant
Shall not deny me: then I'll post to Milan,
Where somewhat I will speedily enact
Worth my dejection.”

The preceding passage needs no commentary to point out its fearful and terrible effect. It is one of the most laboured scenes which Webster has written, and in which he has shown the most consummate art. The measure is heaped up to the brim without being over full. The concluding dialogue between Ferdinand and Bosola, is an instance of that peculiar excellence of Webster which we have before mentioned. Nothing can be

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more beautifully natural than the first dawn of good feeling in Ferdinand,

“Cover her face: mine eyes dazzle: she died young;"

nor the intense anxiety of Bosola, when the Dutchess for a moment opens her eyes before she expires :

“ her

eye opes,
And heaven, in it, seems to ope, (that late was shut,)
To take me up to mercy.”

The whole of this part of the scene is most strikingly dramatic.

The ensuing dialogue between Antonio and Echo, which is introduced by some fine lines, is of a very singular kind, and is as skilfully managed, as it is singular in conception. The anxious and uncertain state of Antonio, as to the fate of the Dutchess, and the strange and awful responses of this airy nothing, notwithstanding the artificial nature of the dialogue, produce sensations thrilling and startling.

Antonio, Delio, Echo.
" Del. Yond's the cardinal's window: this fortification
Grew from the ruins of an ancient abbey :
And to yond side o'th' river lies a wall,
(Piece of a cloister,) which, in my opinion,
Gives the best echo that you ever heard ;
So hollow, and so dismal, and withall,
So plain in the distinction of our words,
That many have suppos'd it is a spirit
That answers.

Ant. I do love these ancient ruins;
We never tread upon them, but we set
Our foot upon some reverend history;
And, questionless, here in this open court,
(Which now lies naked to the injuries
Of stormy weather, some lie interr’d,
Lov'd the church so well, and gave so largely to't,
They thought it should have canopied their bones
Till doomsday: but all things have their end;
Churches and cities (which have diseases like to men)
Must have like death that we have.

Ec. Like death that we have.
Del. Now the echo hath caught you.

Ant. It groan'd (methought), and gave
A very deadly accent.

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