[Enter] Gasparo the Duke, Doctor Benedict, [and] two Servants.
[To the Servants, who proceed to act as instructed.]
Give charge that none do enter; lock the doors.
310And, fellows, what your eyes and ears receive,
Upon your lives trust not the gadding air
To carry the least part of it. [To the Doctor] The glass,
The hour-glass.
Here, my lord.
[He produces an hour-glass.]
Ah, ʼtis near spent!
315But, Doctor Benedict, does your art speak truth?
Art sure the soporiferous stream will ebb,
And leave the crystal banks of her white body
Pure as they were at first, just at the hour?
Just at the hour, my lord.
[To Servants] Uncurtain her.
[Servants draw curtains. Infelice discovered on a bed.]
Softly! – See, doctor, what a coldish heat
Spreads over all her body.
Now it works:
The vital spirits that by a sleepy charm
325Were bound up fast, and threw an icy crust
On her exterior parts, now ʼgin to break.
Trouble her not, my lord.
[To Servants] Some stools.
[Servants set stools.]
You called
For music, did you not? [Music plays.] Oho, it speaks,
330It speaks! [To Servants] Watch, sirs, her waking: note those sands. –
Doctor, sit down.
[The Doctor and the Duke sit.]
A dukedom that should weigh
Mine own down twice, being put into one scale,
And that fond desperate boy Hippolito
Making the weight up, should not at my hands
335Buy her iʼthʼ tother, were her state more light
Than hers who makes a dowry up with alms.
Doctor, Iʼll starve her on the Apennine
Ere he shall marry her. I must confess
Hippolito is nobly born – a man,
340Did not mine enemiesʼ blood boil in his veins,
Whom I would court to be my son-in-law;
But princes, whose high spleens for empery swell,
Are not with easy art made parallel.
2 Servants
She wakes, my lord.
Look, Doctor Benedict!
345[To Servants] I charge you on your lives, maintain for truth
Whateʼer the doctor or myself aver,
For you shall bear her hence to Bergamo.
[Wakening] O God, what fearful dreams!
Why, Infelice, how isʼt now, ha? Speak.
Iʼm well. – What makes this doctor here? – Iʼm well.
Thou wert not so even now. Sicknessʼ pale hand
Laid hold on thee even in the midst of feasting,
355And when a cup crowned with thy loverʼs health
Had touched thy lips, a sensible cold dew
Stood on thy cheeks, as if that death had wept
To see such beauty alter.
I remember
360I sat at banquet, but felt no such change.
Thou hast forgot, then, how a messenger
Came wildly in, with this unsavoury news,
That he was dead?
What messenger? Whoʼs dead?
Hippolito. Alack, wring not thy hands.
I saw no messenger, heard no such news.
Trust me, you did, sweet lady.
La you now!
2 Servants
Yes indeed, madam.
La you now.
[Aside to Servants]
ʼTis well, good knaves.
You haʼ slain him, and now youʼll murder me.
Good Infelice, vex not thus thyself.
Of this bad the report before did strike
So coldly to thy heart that the swift currents
Of life were all frozen up –
It is untrue.
ʼTis most untrue, O most unnatural father!
And we had much to do by artʼs best cunning
To fetch life back again.
Most certain, lady.
Why, la you now, youʼll not believe me! [To Servants] Friends,
Sweat we not all? Had we not much to do?
2 Servants
Yes indeed, my lord, much.
Death drew such fearful pictures in thy face
That, were Hippolito alive again,
385Iʼd kneel and woo the noble gentleman
To be thy husband. Now I sore repent
My sharpness to him and his family.
Nay, do not weep for him; we all must die. –
Doctor, this place where she so oft hath seen
390His lively presence hurts her, does it not?
Doubtless, my lord, it does.
It does, it does.
Therefore, sweet girl, thou shalt to Bergamo.
Even where you will. In any place thereʼs woe.
A coach is ready. Bergamo doth stand
In a most wholesome air: sweet walks; thereʼs deer.
Ay, thou shalt hunt and send us venison,
Which like some goddess in the Cyprian groves
Thine own fair hand shall strike. – Sirs, you shall teach her
400To stand, and how to shoot; ay, she shall hunt. –
Cast off this sorrow. In, girl, and prepare
This night to ride away to Bergamo.
O most unhappy maid!
[To Servants] Follow her close.
405No words that she was buried, on your lives,
Or that her ghost walks now after sheʼs dead;
Iʼll hang you if you name a funeral.
1 Servant
Iʼll speak Greek, my lord, ere I speak that deadly word.
4102 Servant
And Iʼll speak Welsh, which is harder than Greek.
Away, look to her.
Exeunt [Servants].
Doctor Benedict,
Did you observe how her complexion altered
Upon his name and death? O, would ʼtwere true!
It may, my lord.
May? How? I wish his death.
And you may have your wish. Say but the word,
And ʼtis a strong spell to rip up his grave.
I have good knowledge with Hippolito;
He calls me friend. Iʼll creep into his bosom,
420And sting him there to death. Poison can doʼt.
Perform it; Iʼll create thee half mine heir.
It shall be done, although the fact be foul.
Greatness hides sin. The guilt upon my soul!