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List Of Contents | Contents of The Duchess of Malfi, by John Webster
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And yet it shall not burn all men alike.
Lay him by.  How tedious is a guilty conscience!
When I look into the fish-ponds in my garden,
Methinks I see a thing arm'd with a rake,
That seems to strike at me.
     [Enter BOSOLA, and Servant bearing ANTONIO'S body]
                             Now, art thou come?
Thou look'st ghastly;
There sits in thy face some great determination
Mix'd with some fear.

BOSOLA.                Thus it lightens into action:
I am come to kill thee.

CARDINAL.                Ha!--Help! our guard!

BOSOLA.  Thou art deceiv'd; they are out of thy howling.

CARDINAL.  Hold; and I will faithfully divide
Revenues with thee.

BOSOLA.              Thy prayers and proffers
Are both unseasonable.

CARDINAL.               Raise the watch!
We are betray'd!

BOSOLA.           I have confin'd your flight:
I 'll suffer your retreat to Julia's chamber,
But no further.

CARDINAL.        Help! we are betray'd!



CARDINAL.  My dukedom for rescue!

RODERIGO.  Fie upon his counterfeiting!

MALATESTI.  Why, 'tis not the cardinal.

RODERIGO.  Yes, yes, 'tis he:
But, I 'll see him hang'd ere I 'll go down to him.

CARDINAL.  Here 's a plot upon me; I am assaulted!  I am lost,
Unless some rescue!

GRISOLAN.            He doth this pretty well;
But it will not serve to laugh me out of mine honour.

CARDINAL.  The sword's at my throat!

RODERIGO.                             You would not bawl so loud then.

Come, come, let 's go to bed:  he told us this much aforehand.

PESCARA.  He wish'd you should not come at him; but, believe 't,
The accent of the voice sounds not in jest:
I 'll down to him, howsoever, and with engines
Force ope the doors.
     [Exit above.]

RODERIGO.             Let 's follow him aloof,
And note how the cardinal will laugh at him.
     [Exeunt, above, MALATESTI, RODERIGO, and GRISOLAN.]

BOSOLA.  There 's for you first,
'Cause you shall not unbarricade the door
To let in rescue.
     Kills the Servant.

CARDINAL.  What cause hast thou to pursue my life?

BOSOLA.                                             Look there.

CARDINAL.  Antonio!

BOSOLA.              Slain by my hand unwittingly.
Pray, and be sudden.  When thou kill'd'st thy sister,
Thou took'st from Justice her most equal balance,
And left her naught but her sword.

CARDINAL.                           O, mercy!

BOSOLA.  Now it seems thy greatness was only outward;
For thou fall'st faster of thyself than calamity
Can drive thee.  I 'll not waste longer time; there!
     [Stabs him.]

CARDINAL.  Thou hast hurt me.

BOSOLA.                        Again!

CARDINAL.                              Shall I die like a leveret,
Without any resistance?--Help, help, help!
I am slain!

     [Enter FERDINAND]

FERDINAND.    Th' alarum!  Give me a fresh horse;
Rally the vaunt-guard, or the day is lost,
Yield, yield!  I give you the honour of arms
Shake my sword over you; will you yield?

CARDINAL.  Help me; I am your brother!

FERDINAND.                              The devil!
My brother fight upon the adverse party!
     He wounds the CARDINAL, and, in the scuffle, gives BOSOLA
     his death-wound.
There flies your ransom.

CARDINAL.  O justice!
I suffer now for what hath former bin:
Sorrow is held the eldest child of sin.

FERDINAND.  Now you 're brave fellows.  Caesar's fortune was harder
than Pompey's; Caesar died in the arms of prosperity, Pompey at the
feet of disgrace.  You both died in the field.  The pain 's nothing;
pain many times is taken away with the apprehension of greater,
as the tooth-ache with the sight of a barber that comes to pull
it out.  There 's philosophy for you.

BOSOLA.  Now my revenge is perfect.--Sink, thou main cause
     Kills FERDINAND.
Of my undoing!--The last part of my life
Hath done me best service.

FERDINAND.  Give me some wet hay; I am broken-winded.
I do account this world but a dog-kennel:
I will vault credit and affect high pleasures
Beyond death.

BOSOLA.        He seems to come to himself,
Now he 's so near the bottom.

FERDINAND.  My sister, O my sister! there 's the cause on 't.
Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust,
Like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust.

CARDINAL.  Thou hast thy payment too.

BOSOLA.  Yes, I hold my weary soul in my teeth;
'Tis ready to part from me.  I do glory
That thou, which stood'st like a huge pyramid
Begun upon a large and ample base,
Shalt end in a little point, a kind of nothing.


PESCARA.  How now, my lord!

MALATESTI.                   O sad disaster!

RODERIGO.                                     How comes this?

BOSOLA.  Revenge for the Duchess of Malfi murdered
By the Arragonian brethren; for Antonio
Slain by this hand; for lustful Julia
Poison'd by this man; and lastly for myself,
That was an actor in the main of all
Much 'gainst mine own good nature, yet i' the end

PESCARA.    How now, my lord!

CARDINAL.                      Look to my brother:
He gave us these large wounds, as we were struggling
Here i' th' rushes.  And now, I pray, let me
Be laid by and never thought of.

PESCARA.  How fatally, it seems, he did withstand
His own rescue!

MALATESTI.       Thou wretched thing of blood,
How came Antonio by his death?

BOSOLA.  In a mist; I know not how:
Such a mistake as I have often seen
In a play.  O, I am gone!
We are only like dead walls or vaulted graves,
That, ruin'd, yield no echo.  Fare you well.
It may be pain, but no harm, to me to die
In so good a quarrel.  O, this gloomy world!
In what a shadow, or deep pit of darkness,
Doth womanish and fearful mankind live!
Let worthy minds ne'er stagger in distrust
To suffer death or shame for what is just:
Mine is another voyage.

PESCARA.  The noble Delio, as I came to th' palace,
Told me of Antonio's being here, and show'd me
A pretty gentleman, his son and heir.

     [Enter DELIO, and ANTONIO'S Son]

MALATESTI.  O sir, you come too late!

DELIO.                                 I heard so, and
Was arm'd for 't, ere I came.  Let us make noble use
Of this great ruin; and join all our force
To establish this young hopeful gentleman
In 's mother's right.  These wretched eminent things
Leave no more fame behind 'em, than should one
Fall in a frost, and leave his print in snow;
As soon as the sun shines, it ever melts,
Both form and matter.  I have ever thought
Nature doth nothing so great for great men
As when she 's pleas'd to make them lords of truth:
Integrity of life is fame's best friend,
Which nobly, beyond death, shall crown the end.

<1> Malfi.  The presence-chamber in the palace of the Duchess.

<2> Prevent.

<3> The same.

<4> The reference is to the knightly sport of riding at the ring.

<5> At the expense of.

<6> Rolls of lint used to dress wounds.

<7> Surgeons.

<8> A small horse.

<9> Ballasted.

<10> A lively dance.

<11> Throws into the shade.

<12> At the point of.

<13> Coaches.

<14> Spy.

<15> Cheats.

<16> Spy.

<17> Malfi.  Gallery in the Duchess' palace.

<18> Lustful.

<19> Genesis xxxi., 31-42.

<20> The net in which he caught Venus and Mars.

<21> Housekeepers.

<22> Produced.

<23> Qq. read STRANGE.

<24> Guess.

<25> The phrase used to indicate that accounts had been examined
and found correct.

<26> Using words of present time; i.e., "I take," not "I will take."

<27> Knot.

<28> More firmly.

<29> Of difficult disposition.

<30> Malfi.  An apartment in the palace of the Duchess.

<31> Chief part.

<32> Bullies (Hazlitt); lawyers (Vaughan).

<33> Royal journey.

<34> Turning a boat on its side for repairs.

<35> Scabbed.

<36> Empty.

<37> Face-modeling (Sampson).  "There's a plain statement of your

<38> Blue like those of a woman with child.

<39> Scurf.

<40> Person of highest influence.

<41> Hysteria.

<42> This year.

<43> Clearly.

<44> Youngster.

<45> A hall in the same palace.

<46> Crossness.

<47> Always.

<48> The meaner servants.

<49> At once.

<50> Cast his horoscope.

<51> The court of the same palace.

<52> Making an astrological calculation.

<53> Going to the root of the matter.

<54> Write.

<55> i.e., on his handkerchief.

<56> Addressing the lantern.

<57> "The rest not considered."

<58> A piece of news.

<59> Cleverly contrived.

<60> Rome.  An apartment in the palace of the Cardinal.

<61> Religious recluse.

<62> Experienced.

<63> Sick.

<64> Medicinal.

<65> Strong broth.

<66> Another apartment in the same palace.

<67> The mandrake was supposed to give forth shrieks when uprooted,
which drove the hearer mad.

<68> Unchaste.

<69> Supposed to be a sign of folly.

<70> Throw the hammer.

<71> Boil to shreds.  (Dyce.) Qq, TO BOIL.

<72> Malfi.  An apartment in the palace of the Duchess.

<73> Wealth.

<74> Lampoons.

<75> Plowshares.

<76> Spying.

<77> Deceptions.

<78> Soothing.

<79> The bed-chamber of the Duchess in the same.

<80> Qq. read SLIGHT.

<81> Powder of orris-root.

<82> Wheels of craft.

<83> Certificate that the books were found correct.

<84> The badge of a steward.

<85> Spies.

<86> Lot.

<87> For Plutus.

<88> Quick steps.

<89> Miss.

<90> Remains.

<91> Profession.

<92> An apartment in the Cardinal's palace at Rome.

<93> A decorated horse-cloth, used only when the court is traveling.

<94> The first quarto has in the margin:  "The Author disclaims
this Ditty to be his."

<95> Near Loretto.

<96> Small birds.

<97> His vizard.

<98> Malfi.  An apartment in the palace of the Duchess.

<99> Curtain.

<100> The wife of Brutus, who died by swallowing fire.

<101> By artificial means.

<102> Profession.

<103> Spying.

<104> Another room in the lodging of the Duchess.

<105> Band.

<106> Bands.

<107> Boil.

<108> Punning on the two senses of "dye" and "corn."

<109> From exporting his grain.

<110> Optical glass.

<111> The Geneva Bible.

<112> Petticoat.

<113> Coach.

<114> A warm drink containing milk, wine, etc.

<115> Receptacle.

<116> A drug supposed to ooze from embalmed bodies.

<117> Curdled.

<118> Trial.

<119> An exclamation of impatience.

<120> Milan.  A public place.

<121> In escheat; here, in fee.

<122> Disbeliever.

<123> Fraught.

<124> A gallery in the residence of the Cardinal and Ferdinand.

<125> A dog which worries sheep.

<126> A fabulous serpent that killed by its glance.

<127> Cut a caper.

<128> Broth.

<129> Skeletons.

<130> So Dyce.  Qq. BROUGHT.

<131> Perfumed sweetmeats for the breath.

<132> Smoke.

<133> A fortification.

<134> Milan.  An apartment in the residence of the Cardinal
and Ferdinand.

<135> Reality.

<136> Mistake.

<137> i.e., the dead body.

<138> Another apartment in the same.

Comments on the preparation of this e-text:

All of the footnotes have been re-numbered, in the form .

A few punctuation marks have been added.  These are always set
off by angle brackets.  Eg. 

The names of the characters have been spelled out in full.

Leading blanks are reproduced from the printed text.  Eg.:

    FERDINAND.  Sister, I have a suit to you.
    DUCHESS.                                   To me, sir?

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