PR SMC THE TEMPLE Webster's DUCHESS OF MALFI The text adopted is that of Dyce. It has been carefully collated with the copy of the first. John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi. About this free course. This free course is an adapted extract from the Open University course A Reading and studying . Following Queen Elizabeth I's reign, the new court of King James was beset by political instability and moral corruption. This atmosphere provided fertile ground .
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The Duchess of Malfi. John Webster. Act I | Act II | Act III | Act IV | Act V. Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text was transcribed by. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster. Adobe PDF icon. Download this document as soundofheaven.info: File size: MB What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to.
Do not think of them: I am of Pliny's opinion, I think he was begot by the wind ; he runs as if he were ballassed with quicksilver. I '11 go home To my husband. Enter Cardinal and Julia. Of the gracious love between wife and husband, of the constancy which lives unshaken through un- imaginable tortures 'I am Duchess of Malfi still' of the sweet care for her children that leaps to her lips in the very agony of death, of all this there is no hint in the Palace of Pleasure ; or, at best, what is so bald as to suggest nothing of what Webster has drawn from it.
The plot of The Duchess of Malfi was apparently drawn from Painter's Palace of Pleasure, a large collection of tales published in the early years of Elizabeth's reign, 3 and Painter, in his turn, drew from Belleforest's French 1 ' It was acted in so dull a time of winter, presented in so open and black a theatre that it wanted.
Tome n. It is the latter which contains The Duchess of Malfi. The Collection was re-edited by Mr. Jacobs in Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques was published in Thus the whole endeavour of Painter is to throw our sympathies against Antonio and the Duchess and to prove their misfortunes to be the natural nemesis of their 'notable folly. It was first printed in , in Vol. It is clear that neither Englishman nor Spaniard had seen the other's Play. The only scene in Lope, even distantly recalling Webster's Duchess, is that in which the Duchess makes asides of love to Antonio, while professing to dismiss him from her service.
The most striking part of the Play is the last Act, in which there is a genuine reconciliation between Antonio and his stepson and an apparent one between him and Julio, brother of the Duchess.
Julio then treacherously poisons Antonio and the children, and the Play closes with a burning denunciation from the Duchess. Throughout the Play as its name indicates it is on Antonio rather than the Duchess that the interest is centred. Si dimostra il folle amore di quanto male sia causa e la poca prudenza d'una donna negli eflfetti suoi in avilire per i carnali appetiti la sua nobilta.
Of the gracious love between wife and husband, of the constancy which lives unshaken through un- imaginable tortures 'I am Duchess of Malfi still' of the sweet care for her children that leaps to her lips in the very agony of death, of all this there is no hint in the Palace of Pleasure ; or, at best, what is so bald as to suggest nothing of what Webster has drawn from it.
The same coarseness of touch is seen in Painter's handling of the other characters. Antonio is little better than a pre- sumptuous upstart. Ferdinand and the Cardinal, the champions of family honour at the beginning of the tale, become vulgar assassins the Cardinal, in fact, is a sad example of the accom- plished villainy that good Protestants may expect to find in Papists at the close.
It is the old story. The ' source ' of a work of genius commonly counts for little or nothing ; and the study of it is only of value for the sake of showing what is not in it. Unity of the Play. On one of the additions made by Webster to his original, some question may arise. The whole 1 ' Behold here the noble fact of a Cardinal, and what savour it hath of Christian purity.
Is this the sweet observation of the Apostles, of whom they vaunt themselves to be the successors and followers? It is only fair to say that this is a faithful translation from Belleforest, t. Does it, or does it not, interfere with the unity of the piece? For strict purposes of dramatic effect the genius of the Play, to borrow Johnson's phrase, will probably be held to come in and go out with the Duchess.
And it may be doubted whether, in his instinctive sense of concentration, Shakespeare would not have ended the drama with her death. Certainly in none of his tragedies is the interest so divided as it is between the last Act and the preceding ones of Webster's Duchess.
But, on the other hand, who would have missed the ghastly inveteracy of Ferdinand's soul-stricken ravings, or the unequal combat of the Cardinal with avenging nemesis, or the unavailing yet intense remorse of Bosola?
The truth is that, being what he was, Webster could hardly have written otherwise than as he did. His imagination had supped full of horrors ; and it was precisely the horrors of an evil conscience, the most tragic of all horrors, that he best loved to portray.
In The White Devil, loosely as the play is built, this preoccupation with what may fairly be called a moral aim brought with it no sacrifice of dramatic unity ; for there the interest is centred throughout upon the criminals. The unity of action, no doubt, is lost ; but the unity of subject, and to some extent, notably in the case of Bosola, the unity of character, are preserved.
The sombre cast of imagination, the lingering on images of death and corruption, so noticeable in this play, reappears, as is well known, in all Webster's most characteristic work ; forcing its way significantly into ' the very temple of delight' where sensual passion is the one thought of the characters set before us by the dramatist.
The two most passionate scenes that he created are both mocked by emblems or counterfeits of death ; and the haunting shapes that gibber round the ' last presence-chamber ' of the Duchess are not more eloquent of his brooding melancholy than the 'filthy hag' who personates the mistress of the Earl in Westward Ho, or the yew-tree that frowns on the wanton dream of the White Devil.
On this point Lamb has written as no other critic could have done. His words have often been quoted, but they will bear quoting once again: As they are not like inflictions of this life, so her language seems not of this world. She has lived among horrors till she is become "native and endowed unto that element. What are "Luke's iron PREFACE The Duchess of Malfi crown," the brazen bull of Perillus, Procrustes' bed, to the waxen images which counterfeit death, to the wild masque of madmen, the tomb-maker, the bell -man, the living person's dirge, the mortification by degrees!
To move a horror skil- fully, to touch a soul to the quick, to lay upon fear as much as it can bear, to wean and weary a life till it is ready to drop and then step in with mortal instruments to take its last forfeit: Writers of an inferior genius may "upon horror's head horrors accumulate," but they cannot do this. They mistake quantity for quality, they "terrify babes with painted devils," but they know not how a soul is capable of being moved ; their terrors want dignity, their affrightments are without decorum.
This habit of dallying with thoughts of death, and his unapproached command of all the symbolism of mortality, caused a great critic of our own day to describe Webster's genius as ' macabre.
It implies a love of the grotesque, which is hardly to be found in him ; and it suggests a trickery and set purpose of ghastliness which is altogether alien to the noble simplicity of his nature. But if no more be meant than that his conceptions and his imagery alike are sombre, then an obvious truth is expressed ; and a truth which serves to illus- trate Webster's place in the development some would frankly say the decadence of the English Drama and his relation to some among the most famous of his contemporaries.
The pride of life, the readiness to follow passion wherever it may lead, which inspires every line of Tamburlairu or of Romeo and Juliet, has yielded to the spirit of weighing and questioning we may almost say, to a sense of hollowness in things such as meets us in Hamkt or in Lear.
In Webster, indeed, the gloom is far deeper and more settled than was possible to the well-poised and essentially buoyant soul of Shakespeare. It can hardly be denied that there is something morbid in his cast of thought.
And, though morbidness is not in itself decadence, we feel that, where the one is, the other can seldom be hi off. And that is the prevailing sense that we carry away from the Plays of Webster. Neither he nor Ford, who in many ways is like-minded with him, could have written except when dis- solution was at work around them. They themselves remain untainted ; and the elements of decay which we seem to re- cognise in their work are transformed into fresh shapes of living beauty by the potent fire of their genius.
Their work is more closely knit, both in thought and style, than that of Fletcher ; they are free from the straining for effect that we find even in the noblest work of Massinger. But the line that parts them from Massinger is sb'ghtly drawn. It is in the use of their materials, rather than in the nature of them, that the difference must be found. They live in the age of decadence, but they are not of it. And this is perhaps still more true of Webster than it is of Ford.
Enter Antonio and Delio. You are welcome to your country, dear Antonio ; You have been long in France, and you return A very formal Frenchman in your habit: How do you like the French court? I admire it: In seeking to reduce both state and people To a fix'd order, their judicious king Begins at home ; quits first his royal palace Of flattering sycophants, of dissolute And infamous persons, which he sweetly terms 10 His master's master-piece, the work of heaven ; Considering duly that a prince's court Is like a common fountain, whence should flow A I ACT i.
Here comes Bosola, The only court-gall ; yet I observe his railing Is not for simple love of piety: Indeed, he rails at those things which he wants ; Would be as lecherous, covetous, or proud, Bloody, or envious, as any man, If he had means to be so.
Here 's the cardinal. Enter Cardinal and Bosola. I do haunt you still. I have done you better service than to be slighted thus. Miserable age, where only the reward of doing well is the doing of it! You enforce your merit too much. I fell into the galleys in your service ; where, for two years together, I wore two towels instead of a shirt, with a knot on the shoulder, after the fashion 2 The Duchess of Malfi ACT i.
Slighted thus! I will thrive some way: Would you could become honest! With all your divinity do but direct me the way to it. I have known many travel far for it, and yet return as arrant knaves as they went forth, because they carried themselves always along with them.
Some fellows, they say, are possessed with the devil, but this great fellow were able to possess the greatest devil, and make him worse. He hath denied thee some suit! He and his brother are like plum-trees that grow crooked over standing-pools ; they are rich and o'er- laden with fruit, but none but crows, pies, and cater- pillars feed on them.
Could I be one of their flattering panders, I would hang on their ears like a horseleech, till I were full, and then drop off. I pray, leave me. Who would rely upon these miser- able dependencies, in expectation to be advanced to-morrow? There are rewards for hawks and dogs when they have done us service ; but for a soldier that hazards his limbs in a battle, nothing but a kind of geometry is his last supportation.
The Duchess of Malfi Delia. Ay, to hang in a fair pair of slings, take his latter swing in the world upon an honourable pair of crutches, from hospital to hospital. Fare ye well, sir: I knew this fellow seven years in the galleys For a notorious murder ; and 'twas thought The cardinal suborn'd it: Tis great pity 80 He should be thus neglected: I have heard He's very valiant.
This foul melancholy Will poison all his goodness ; for, I '11 tell you, If too immoderate sleep be truly said To be an inward rust unto the soul, It then doth follow want of action Breeds all black malcontents ; and their close rearing, Like moths in cloth, do hurt for want of wearing. The presence 'gins to fill: The lord cardinal's And other strangers' that are now in court?
I shall. Here comes the great Calabrian duke. Who took the ring oftenest? SiL Antonio Bologna, my lord. Our sister duchess' great-master of her household? When shall we leave this sport- ive action, and fall to action indeed? Methinks, my lord, you should not desire to go to war in person. Now for some gravity: It is fitting a soldier arise to be a prince, but not necessary a prince descend to be a captain.
No, my lord ; he were far better do it by a deputy. Why should he not as well sleep or eat by a deputy? Believe my experience, that realm is never long in quiet where the ruler is a soldier. Thou toldest me thy wife could not endure fighting. True, my lord. And of a jest she broke of a captain she met full of wounds: I have forgot it. She told him, my lord, he was a pitiful fellow, to lie, like the children of Ismael, all in tents.
Why, there's a wit were able to undo all the 5 ACT i. The Duchess of Malfi chirurgeons o' the city ; for although gallants should quarrel, and had drawn their weapons, and were ready to go to it, yet her persuasions would make them put up. That she would, my lord. How do you like my Spanish gennet? He is all fire. I am of Pliny's opinion, I think he was begot by the wind ; he runs as if he were ballassed with quicksilver.
True, my lord, he reels from the tilt often. Ha, ha, ha! Why do you laugh? True, my lord: I myself have heard a very good jest, and have scorned to seem to have so silly a wit as to understand it. But I can laugh at your fool, my lord. He cannot speak, you know, but he makes faces: Nor endure to be in merry company ; for she says too much laughing, and too much company, fills her too full of the wrinkle.
I would, then, have a mathematical instrument made for herface, that she might not laugh out of com- pass. I shall shortly visit you at Milan, Lord Silvio. Your grace shall arrive most welcome. You are a good horseman, Antonio: Nobly, my lord: You have bespoke it worthily. SiL Your brother, the lord cardinal, and sister duchess. Re-enter Cardinal, with Duchess, Cariola, and Julia. Are the galleys come about? They are, my lord. Here 's the Lord Silvio is come to take his leave.
Now, sir, r your promise: I mean his temper? Some such flashes superficially hang on him for form ; but observe his inward character: He should 7 ACT i. The Duchess of Malfi have been Pope ; but instead of coming to it by the! Some good he hath done Delio. You have given too much of him. What 's his brother? The duke there? In quality. He speaks with others' tongues, and hears men's suits With others' ears ; will seem to sleep o' the bench Only to entrap offenders in their answers ; Dooms men to death by information ; Rewards by hearsay.
Then the law to him Is like a foul, black cobweb to a spider, He makes it his dwelling and a prison To entangle those shall feed him. Most true: He never pays debts unless they be shrewd turns, And those he will confess that he doth owe. Hang at his lips ; and verily I believe them, For the devil speaks in them.
For her discourse, it is so full of rapture, You only will begin then to be sorry When she doth end her speech, and wish, in wonder, She held it less vain-glory to talk much, Than your penance to hear her: Her days are practis'd in such noble virtue, That sure her nights, nay, more, her very sleeps, Are more in heaven than other ladies' shrifts.
Let all sweet ladies break their flattering glasses, And dress themselves in her. Fie, Antonio, You play the wire-drawer with her commendations. I '11 case the picture up: You must attend my lady in the gallery, Some half an hour hence. The Duchess of Malfi Ant. Sister, I have a suit to you. To me, sir? A gentleman here, Daniel de Bosola, One that was in the galleys Duck.
Yes, I know him. A worthy fellow he is: Your knowledge of him Commends him and prefers him. Call him hither. We [are] now upon parting. Good Lord Silvio, Do us commend to all our noble friends At the leaguer. Sir, I shall. You are for Milan?
Bring the caroches. We '11 bring you down to the haven. Be sure you entertain that Bosola For your intelligence: I would not be seen in 't ; And therefore many times I have slighted him When he did court our furtherance, as this morning. Antonio, the great-master of her household, Had been far fitter. His nature is too honest for such business. He comes: I '11 leave you. Re-enter Bosola. I was lur'd to you. My brother, here, the cardinal could never Abide you.
Never since he was in my debt. May be some oblique character in your face Made him suspect you. Doth he study physiognomy?
There 's no more credit to be given to the face Than to a sick man's urine, which some call The physician's whore because she cozens him. He did suspect me wrongfully. For that You must give great men leave to take their times. Distrust doth cause us seldom be deceiv'd: You see the oft shaking of the cedar-tree Fastens it more at root.
Yet, take heed ; For to suspect a friend unworthily Instructs him the next way to suspect you, And prompts him to deceive you. There 's gold. What follows? The Duchess of Malfi Without thunderbolts i' the tail of them: Your inclination to shed blood rides post Before my occasion to use you. I give you that To live i' the court here, and observe the duchess ; To note all the particulars of her haviour, What suitors do solicit her for marriage, And whom she best affects.
She 's a young widow: I would not have her marry again. No, sir? Do not you ask the reason ; but be satisfied. I say I would not. It seems you would create me One of your familiars. Why, a very quaint invisible devil in flesh, An intelligencer.
Such a kind of thriving thing I would wish thee ; and ere long thou mayst arrive At a higher place by 't. Take your devils, Which hell calls angels: Sir, I'll take nothing from you that I have given: This morning, the provisorship o' the horse ; Have you heard on 't?
I would have you curse yourself now, that your bounty Which makes men truly noble e'er should make me A villain. O, that to avoid ingratitude For the good deed you have done me, I must do All the ill man can invent! Thus the devil Candies all sins o'er ; and what heaven terms vile, That names he complimental. Be yourself; Keep your old garb of melancholy ; 'twill express You envy those that stand above your reach, Yet strive not to come near 'em: As I have seen some Feed in a lord's dish, half asleep, not seeming To listen to any talk ; and yet these rogues Have cut his throat in a dream.
What 's my place? The provisorship o' the horse? I am your creature. Let good men, for good deeds, covet good fame, Since place and riches oft are bribes of shame: Sometimes the devil doth preach.
We are to part from you; and your own dis- cretion Must now be your director. You are a widower You know already what man is ; and therefore Let not youth, high promotion, eloquence Card.
No, Nor anything without the addition, honour, Sway your high blood. O, fie! Their livers are more spotted Than Laban's sheep. Diamonds are of most value, They say, that have pass'd through most jewellers' hands. Whores by that rule are precious.
Will you hear me? I '11 never marry. So most widows say ; But commonly that motion lasts no longer Than the turning of an hour-glass: Now hear me: You live in a rank pasture, here, i' the court ; There is a kind of honey-dew that 's deadly ; 'Twill poison your fame ; look to 't: This is terrible good counsel.
Hypocrisy is woven of a fine small thread, Subtler than Vulcan's engine: You may flatter yourself, And take your own choice ; privately be married Under the eaves of night Ferd. Think 't the best voyage That e'er you made ; like the irregular crab, Which, though 't goes backward, thinks that it goes right Because it goes its own way: The marriage night Is the entrance into some prison. And those joys, Those lustful pleasures, are like heavy sleeps Which do fore-run man's mischief.
Fare you well. Wisdom begins at the end: The Duchess of Malfi Duch. I think this speech between you both was studied, It came so roundly off. You are my sister ; This was my father's poniard, do you see? I 'd be loth to see J t look rusty, 'cause 'twas his. I would have you give o'er these chargeable revels: A visor and a mask are whispering-rooms That were never built for goodness ; fare ye well ; And women like that part which, like the lamprey, Hath never a bone in 't.
Fie, sir! Nay, I mean the tongue ; variety of courtship: What cannot a neat knave with a smooth tale Make a woman believe? Farewell, lusty widow.
Shall this move me? If all my royal kindred Lay in my way unto this marriage, I 'd make them my low footsteps: Let old wives report I wink'd and chose a husband. Cariola, To thy known secrecy I have given up More than my life, my fame. Both shall be safe ; For I '11 conceal this secret from the world As warily as those that trade in poison Keep poison from their children.
Thy protestation Is ingenious and hearty: I believe it. Is Antonio come? He attends you. Good dear soul, Leave me ; but place thyself behind the arras, Where thou mayst overhear us.
Enter Antonio. I sent for you: What did I say? That I should write somewhat. O, I remember. After these triumphs and this large expense It 's fit, like thrifty husbands, we inquire What 's laid up for to-morrow. So please your beauteous excellence. I look young for your sake ; You have ta'en my cares upon you.
I '11 fetch your grace The particulars of your revenue and expense. O, you are An upright treasurer: In heaven. I am making my will as 'tis fit princes should, In perfect memory , and, I pray, sir, tell me, Were not one better make it smiling, thus, Than in deep groans and terrible ghastly looks, As if the gifts we parted with procured That violent distraction?
O, much better. If I had a husband now, this care were quit: But I intend to make you overseer. Begin with that first good deed began i' the world After man's creation, the sacrament of marriage: I 'd have you first provide for a good husband ; Give him all. Yes, your excellent self. In a winding-sheet? In a couple. Saint Winifred, that were a strange will!
What do you think of marriage? I take 't, as those that deny purgatory, It locally contains or heaven or hell ; There 's no third place in 't. How do you affect it? My banishment, feeding my melancholy, Would often reason thus. Pray, let 's hear it. Say a man never marry, nor have children, What takes that from him? Fie, fie, what 's all this? One of your eyes is blood-shot ; use my ring to ' They say 'tis very sovereign: You have parted with it now.
Yes, to help your eye-sight. You have made me stark blind. The Duchess of Malfi Duck. There is a saucy and ambitious devil Is dancing in this circle. Remove him. There needs small conjuration, when your finger May do it: What said you? Sir, This goodly roof of yours is too low built ; I cannot stand upright in 't nor discourse, Without I raise it higher: Ambition, madam, is a great man's madness, That is not kept in chains and close-pent rooms, But in fair lightsome lodgings, and is girt With the wild noise of prattling visitants, Which makes it lunatic beyond all cure.
Conceive not I am so stupid but I aim Whereto your favours tend: So, now the ground 's broke, You may discover what a wealthy mine I make you lord of. O my unworthiness! You were ill to sell yourself: This darkening of your worth is not like that Which tradesmen use i' the city ; their false lights Are to rid bad wares off: Were there nor heaven nor hell, I should be honest: I have long serv'd virtue, And ne'er ta'en wages of her.
We are forc'd to woo, because none dare woo us ; And as a tyrant doubles with his words, And fearfully equivocates, so we Are forc'd to express our violent passions A In riddles and in dreams, and leave the path Of simple virtue, which was never made To seem the thing it is not.
Go, go brag You have left me heartless ; mine is in your bosom: I hope 'twill multiply love there. You do tremble: Make not your heart so dead a piece of flesh, To fear more than to love me. Sir, be confident: What is 't distracts you? This is flesh and blood, sir; 'Tis not the figure cut in alabaster Kneels at my husband's tomb.
Awake, awake, man 1 I do here put off all vain ceremony, And only do appear to you a young widow 21 ACT i. The Duchess of Malfi That claims you for her husband, and, like a widow, I use but half a blush in 't.
Truth speak for me ; I will remain the constant sanctuary Of your good name. I thank you, gentle love: And 'cause you shall not come to me in debt, Being now my steward, here upon your lips I sign your Quietus est. This you should have begg'd now: I have seen children oft eat sweetmeats thus, As fearful to devour them too soon.
But for your brothers? Do not think of them: All discord without this circumference Is only to be pitied, and not fear'd: Yet, should they know it, time will easily Scatter the tempest. These words should be mine, And all the parts you have spoke, if some part of it Would not have savour'd flattery. Be not amaz'd ; this woman 's of my counsel: I have heard lawyers say, a contract in a chamber Per verba presenti is absolute marriage.
Bless, heaven, this sacred gordian, which let violence Never untwine! And may our sweet affections, like the spheres, Be still in motion! Quickening, and make The like soft music! That we may imitate the loving palms, Best emblem of a peaceful marriage, That never bore fruit, divided! What can the church force more?
That fortune may not know an accident, Either of joy or sorrow, to divide Our fixed wishes! How can the church build faster? We now are man and wife, and 'tis the church That must but echo this.
Maid, stand apart: What 's your conceit in this? I would have you lead your fortune by the hand Unto your marriage-bed: You speak in me this, for we now are one: We '11 only lie, and talk together, and plot To appease my humorous kindred ; and if you please, Like the old tale in Alexander and Lodowick, Lay a naked sword between us, keep us chaste.
The Duchess of Malfi O, let me shrowd my blushes in your bosom, Since 'tis the treasury of all my secrets! Whether the spirit of greatness or of woman Reign most in her, I know not ; but it shows A fearful madness: I owe her much of pity. An apartment in the palace of the Duchess.
Enter Bosola and Castrucdo.
You say you would fain be taken for an eminent courtier? Let me see: I would have you learn to twirl the strings of your band with a good grace, and in a set speech, at the end of every sentence, to hum three or four times, or blow your nose till it smart again, to recover your memory. When you come to be a president in criminal causes, if you smile upon a prisoner, hang him ; but if you frown upon him and threaten him, let him be sure to 'scape the gallows. I would be a very merry president.
Do not sup o' nights ; 'twill beget you an admirable wit. The Duchess of Malfi Cast.
Rather it would make me have a good stomach to quarrel ; for they say, your roaring boys eat meat seldom, and that makes them so valiant. But how shall I know whether the people take me for an eminent fellow? I will teach a trick to know it: Enter an Old Lady.
You come from painting now. Old Lady. From what? Why, from your scurvy face-physic. To behold thee not painted inclines somewhat near a miracle: There was a lady inl France that, having had the small-pox, flayed the! Do you call this painting? No, no, but you call [it] careening of an old mor- phewed lady, to make her disembogue again: It seems you are well acquainted with my closet. I would sooner eat a dead pigeon taken from the soles of the feet of one sick of the plague, than kiss one of you fasting.
Here are two of you, whose sin of your youth is the very patri- mony of the physician ; makes him renew his foot- cloth with the spring, and change his high-priced courtezan with the fall of the leaf. I do wonder you do not loathe yourselves. Observe my meditation now.
We account it ominous, If nature do produce a colt, or lamb, A fawn, or goat, in any limb resembling A man, and fly from 't as a prodigy: Man stands amaz'd to see his deformity In any other creature but himself.
But in our own flesh though we bear diseases Which have their true names only ta'en from beasts, 60 As the most ulcerous wolf and swinish measle, Though we are eaten up of lice and worms, And though continually we bear about us A rotten and dead body, we delight To hide it in rich tissue: The Duchess of Malfi Your wife 's gone to Rome: I have other work on foot.
I observe our duchess Is sick a-days, she pukes, her stomach seethes, The fins of her eye-lids look most teeming blue, She wanes i' the cheek, and waxes fat i' the flank, And, contrary to our Italian fashion, Wears a loose-bodied gown: I have a trick may chance discover it, A pretty one ; I have bought some apricocks, The first our spring yields.
And so long since married? Let me seal your lips for ever: For, did I think that anything but the air Could carry these words from you, I should wish You had no breath at all. Now, sir, in your con- templation? You are studying to become a great wise fellow. O, sir, the opinion of wisdom is a foul tetter that runs all over a man's body: I do understand your inside.
Do you so? Because you would not seem to appear to the world Puff 'd up with your preferment, you continue This out-of-fashion melancholy: Give me leave to be honest in any phrase, in any compliment whatsoever.
Shall I confess myself to you? I look no higher than I can reach: A lawyer's mule of a slow pace will both suit my disposition and business ; for, mark me, when a man's mind rides faster than his horse can gallop, they quickly both tire. You would look up to heaven, but I think The devil, that rules i' the air, stands in your light.
O, sir, you are lord of the ascendant, chief man with the duchess: Say you were lineally descended from King Pepin, or he himself, what of this?
Some would think the souls of princes were brought forth by some more weighty cause than those of meaner persons: Your arm, Antonio: I am exceeding short-winded. Bosola, I would have you, sir, provide for me a litter ; Such a one as the Duchess of Florence rode in. The duchess us'd one when she was great with child. I think she did.
Come hither, mend my ruff: Here, when? Shall I swoon under thy ringers? I am So troubled with the mother! I have heard you say that the French courtiers Wear their hats on 'fore the king. I have seen it Duch. In the presence? Why should not we bring up that fashion? Be you the example to the rest o' the court ; Put on your hat first. You must pardon me: I have a present for your grace. For me, sir? Apricocks, madam. O, sir, where are they? I have heard of none to-year.
Indeed, I thank you: What an unskilful fellow is our gardener! Will not your grace pare them? I know not: I forget to tell you, the knave gardener, Only to raise his profit by them the sooner, Did ripen them in horse-dung.
O, you jest. Indeed, madam, I do not love the fruit. Sir, you are loth To rob us of our dainties: ACT ii. To make a pippin grow upon a crab, A damson on a black-thorn. A whirlwind strike off these bawd farthingales I For, but for that and the loose-bodied gown, I should have discover'd apparently The young springal cutting a caper in her belly. I thank you, Bosola: How now, madam!
This green fruit and my stomach are not friends: How they swell me! O, I am in an extreme cold sweat! I am very sorry. Lights to my chamber!
O good Antonio, I fear I am undone! Lights there, lights! Exit, on the other side, Bosola. O my most trusty Delio, we are lost! I fear she 's fall'n in labour ; and there 's left No time for her remove. Have you prepaid Those ladies to attend her? I have. Make use, then, of this forc'd occasion: Give out that Bosola hath poison'd her With these apricocks ; that will give some colour For her keeping close. Fie, fie, the physicians Will then flock to her.
For that you may pretend She '11 use some prepaid antidote of her own, Lest the physicians should re-poison her. I am lost in amazement: I know not what to think on't. Enter Bosola.
So, so, there 's no question but her techiness and most vulturous eating of the apricocks are apparent signs of breeding. I am in haste, sir.
There was a young waiting-woman had a monstrous desire to see the glass-house Old Lady. Nay, pray, let me go. And it was only to know what strange instrument it was should swell up a glass to the fashion of a woman's belly. The Duchess of Malfi Old Lady. I will hear no more of the glass-house. You are still abusing women? Who, I? The orange-tree bears ripe and green fruit and blossoms all together ; and some of you give entertainment for pure love, but more for more precious reward.
The lusty spring smells well ; but drooping autumn tastes well. If we have the same golden showers that rained in the time of Jupiter the thunderer, you have the same Danaes still, to hold up their laps to receive them. Didst thou never study the mathematics? What's that, sir? Why, to know the trick how to make a many lines meet in one centre. Go, go, give your foster- daughters good counsel: Shut up the court-gates. Why, sir? I shall instantly.
Who keeps the key o' the park-gate? Let him bring 't presently. Re-enter Grisolan with Servants. First Serv. O, gentleman o' the court, the foulest treason! There was taken even now a Switzer in the duchess' bed-chamber Second Serv. A Switzer! With a pistol in his great cod-piece. The cod-piece was the case for't. Second Serv. There was a cunning traitor: True, if he had kept out of the ladies' chambers: O wicked cannibal! To see what the devil can do!
We are. Gentlemen, 35 ACT ii. The Duchess of Malfi We have lost much plate you know ; and but this evening Jewels, to the value of four thousand ducats, 60 Are missing in the duchess' cabinet. Are the gates shut? She is very sick. At her pleasure. She entreats you take't not ill: Gentlemen o' the wood-yard, where 's your Switzer now?
By this hand, 'twas credibly reported by one o' the black guard. How fares it with the duchess? She'sexpos'd Unto the worst of torture, pain and fear. Speak to her all happy comfort. How I do play the fool with mine own danger! You are this night, dear friend, to post to Rome: Do not doubt me. O, 'tis far from me: Believe it, 'Tis but the shadow of your fear, no more: How superstitiously we mind our evils 1 The throwing down salt, or crossing of a hare, Bleeding at nose, the stumbling of a horse, Or singing of a cricket, are of power 90 To daunt whole man in us.
Sir, fare you well: I wish you all the joys of a bless'd father ; And, for my faith, lay this unto your breast, Old friends, like old swords, still are trusted best. Enter Cariola. Sir, you are the happy father of a son: Your wife commends him to you. Blessed comfort 1 For heaven' sake, tend her well: I '11 presently Go set a figure for 's nativity. However, the answer, which the text provides, is un- ambiguous, the brothers want her to remain faithful to her first husband's memory7 so that she may not be regarded by people as a woman wanting in self- restraint.
The fact that they regard her having married the second time as her hav- ing violated her fidelity to her first husband is evident from Ferdinand's telling her: Thou art undone; And thou hast ta' en that massy sheet of lead That hid thy husband's bones, and folded it About my heart. The brothers think she can maintain her reputation as a faithful wife only if she succeeds in resisting the tempta- tion of marrying the second time, and that when she has re- married she has lost her reputation as a faithful wife.
Ferdinand suggests this to her when he says to her: Dost thou know what reputation is And so for you You have shook hands with Reputation, And made him invisible. So fare you well: But such considerations would have little significance in the event of her openly contracting a marriage, and he has no particular reasons to fear a secret union, unless perhaps he feels that her knowledge of his objection to a second mar- riage under any circumstances may incite her to such a un- ion.
In order to find the meaning of the term let us move from the occurrence to the concept since by marrying the second time the Duchess has lost her name for fidelity to her late first husband the term is to be taken to mean good name for fidel- ity to one's first husband whether alive or dead'. When the Duchess says to her brother: Why should only I Of all the other princesses of the world Be cas'd up, like a holy relic?
I have youth And a little beauty. TDOMWl, li, She is arguing for the recognition of the needs of her body, though when in the opening scene she promised to Ferdinand: The brothers, as a matter of fact, voice the views of the group to which they belong and when the Cardinal says: So most widows say: But commonly that motion lasts no longer Then the turning of an hour- glass: He expresses the opinion in unequivocal terms when he tells his sister.
Frederick Allen London: Lucas Lon- don: Chatto and Windus, , p. Hogarth, , p. The fact becomes evident when we read the passage in which he compares the picture of his fa- ther with that of Claudius to the former's advantage Look here upon this picture, and on this, This counterfeit presentment of two brothers See, what a grace was seated on this brow, Hyperion's curls, the front of Jove himself; An eye like Mars, to threaten and command: A station like the herald Mercury New- lighted on a heaven- kissing hill; A combination and a form indeed, Where every god did seem to act his seal, To give the world assurance of a man.
This was your husband. Look you now, what follows: Here is your husband; like a mildew'd ear, Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes9 Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed. Like Niobe ail tears: Related Papers. By Jill Ingram. The Duchess of Malfi - Teachers' Pack.