List Of Contents | Contents of The Duchess of Malfi, by John Webster
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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.
     Exit [with the body].

     Act V

     Scene I<120>

     [Enter] ANTONIO and DELIO

ANTONIO.  What think you of my hope of reconcilement
To the Arragonian brethren?

DELIO.                       I misdoubt it;
For though they have sent their letters of safe-conduct
For your repair to Milan, they appear
But nets to entrap you.  The Marquis of Pescara,
Under whom you hold certain land in cheat,<121>
Much 'gainst his noble nature hath been mov'd
To seize those lands; and some of his dependants
Are at this instant making it their suit
To be invested in your revenues.
I cannot think they mean well to your life
That do deprive you of your means of life,
Your living.

ANTONIO.      You are still an heretic<122>
To any safety I can shape myself.

DELIO.  Here comes the marquis:  I will make myself
Petitioner for some part of your land,
To know whither it is flying.

ANTONIO.                       I pray, do.

     [Enter PESCARA]
DELIO.  Sir, I have a suit to you.

PESCARA.                            To me?

DELIO.                                      An easy one:
There is the Citadel of Saint Bennet,
With some demesnes, of late in the possession
Of Antonio Bologna,--please you bestow them on me.

PESCARA.  You are my friend; but this is such a suit,
Nor fit for me to give, nor you to take.

DELIO.  No, sir?

PESCARA.          I will give you ample reason for 't
Soon in private:--here 's the cardinal's mistress.

     [Enter JULIA]

JULIA.  My lord, I am grown your poor petitioner,
And should be an ill beggar, had I not
A great man's letter here, the cardinal's,
To court you in my favour.
     [Gives a letter.]

PESCARA.                    He entreats for you
The Citadel of Saint Bennet, that belong'd
To the banish'd Bologna.

JULIA.                    Yes.

PESCARA.  I could not have thought of a friend I could rather
Pleasure with it:  'tis yours.

JULIA.                          Sir, I thank you;
And he shall know how doubly I am engag'd
Both in your gift, and speediness of giving
Which makes your grant the greater.

ANTONIO.                             How they fortify
Themselves with my ruin!

DELIO.                    Sir, I am
Little bound to you.

PESCARA.              Why?

DELIO.  Because you deni'd this suit to me, and gave 't
To such a creature.

PESCARA.             Do you know what it was?
It was Antonio's land; not forfeited
By course of law, but ravish'd from his throat
By the cardinal's entreaty.  It were not fit
I should bestow so main a piece of wrong
Upon my friend; 'tis a gratification
Only due to a strumpet, for it is injustice.
Shall I sprinkle the pure blood of innocents
To make those followers I call my friends
Look ruddier upon me?  I am glad
This land, ta'en from the owner by such wrong,
Returns again unto so foul an use
As salary for his lust.  Learn, good Delio,
To ask noble things of me, and you shall find
I 'll be a noble giver.

DELIO.                   You instruct me well.

ANTONIO.  Why, here 's a man now would fright impudence
>From sauciest beggars.

PESCARA.                Prince Ferdinand 's come to Milan,
Sick, as they give out, of an apoplexy;
But some say 'tis a frenzy:  I am going
To visit him.

ANTONIO.       'Tis a noble old fellow.

DELIO.  What course do you mean to take, Antonio?

ANTONIO.  This night I mean to venture all my fortune,
Which is no more than a poor ling'ring life,
To the cardinal's worst of malice.  I have got
Private access to his chamber; and intend
To visit him about the mid of night,
As once his brother did our noble duchess.
It may be that the sudden apprehension
Of danger,--for I 'll go in mine own shape,--
When he shall see it fraight<123> with love and duty,
May draw the poison out of him, and work
A friendly reconcilement.  If it fail,
Yet it shall rid me of this infamous calling;
For better fall once than be ever falling.

DELIO.  I 'll second you in all danger; and howe'er,
My life keeps rank with yours.

ANTONIO.  You are still my lov'd and best friend.

     Scene II<124>

     [Enter] PESCARA and DOCTOR

PESCARA.  Now, doctor, may I visit your patient?

DOCTOR.  If 't please your lordship; but he 's instantly
To take the air here in the gallery
By my direction.

PESCARA.          Pray thee, what 's his disease?

DOCTOR.  A very pestilent disease, my lord,
They call lycanthropia.

PESCARA.                 What 's that?
I need a dictionary to 't.

DOCTOR.                     I 'll tell you.
In those that are possess'd with 't there o'erflows
Such melancholy humour they imagine
Themselves to be transformed into wolves;
Steal forth to church-yards in the dead of night,
And dig dead bodies up:  as two nights since
One met the duke 'bout midnight in a lane
Behind Saint Mark's church, with the leg of a man
Upon his shoulder; and he howl'd fearfully;
Said he was a wolf, only the difference
Was, a wolf's skin was hairy on the outside,
His on the inside; bade them take their swords,
Rip up his flesh, and try.  Straight I was sent for,
And, having minister'd to him, found his grace
Very well recover'd.

PESCARA.  I am glad on 't.

DOCTOR.                     Yet not without some fear
Of a relapse.  If he grow to his fit again,
I 'll go a nearer way to work with him
Than ever Paracelsus dream'd of; if
They 'll give me leave, I 'll buffet his madness out of him.
Stand aside; he comes.


FERDINAND.  Leave me.

MALATESTI.  Why doth your lordship love this solitariness?

FERDINAND.  Eagles commonly fly alone:  they are crows, daws,
and starlings that flock together.  Look, what 's that follows me?

MALATESTI.  Nothing, my lord.


MALATESTI.  'Tis your shadow.

FERDINAND.  Stay it; let it not haunt me.

MALATESTI.  Impossible, if you move, and the sun shine.

FERDINAND.  I will throttle it.
     [Throws himself down on his shadow.]

MALATESTI.  O, my lord, you are angry with nothing.

FERDINAND.  You are a fool:  how is 't possible I should catch
my shadow, unless I fall upon 't?  When I go to hell, I mean
to carry a bribe; for, look you, good gifts evermore make way
for the worst persons.

PESCARA.  Rise, good my lord.

FERDINAND.  I am studying the art of patience.

PESCARA.  'Tis a noble virtue.

FERDINAND.  To drive six snails before me from this town to Moscow;
neither use goad nor whip to them, but let them take their own time;
--the patient'st man i' th' world match me for an experiment:--
an I 'll crawl after like a sheep-biter.<125>

CARDINAL.  Force him up.
     [They raise him.]

FERDINAND.  Use me well, you were best.  What I have done, I have
done:  I 'll confess nothing.

DOCTOR.  Now let me come to him.--Are you mad, my lord? are you out
of your princely wits?

FERDINAND.              What 's he?

PESCARA.                             Your doctor.

FERDINAND.  Let me have his beard saw'd off, and his eye-brows
fil'd more civil.

DOCTOR.  I must do mad tricks with him, for that 's the only way
on 't.--I have brought your grace a salamander's skin to keep
you from sun-burning.

FERDINAND.  I have cruel sore eyes.

DOCTOR.  The white of a cockatrix's<126> egg is present remedy.

FERDINAND.  Let it be a new-laid one, you were best.
Hide me from him:  physicians are like kings,--
They brook no contradiction.

DOCTOR.  Now he begins to fear me:  now let me alone with him.

CARDINAL.  How now! put off your gown!

DOCTOR.  Let me have some forty urinals filled with rosewater:
he and I 'll go pelt one another with them.--Now he begins to fear
me.--Can you fetch a frisk,<127> sir?--Let him go, let him go, upon
my peril:  I find by his eye he stands in awe of me; I 'll make him
as tame as a dormouse.

FERDINAND.  Can you fetch your frisks, sir!--I will stamp him into
a cullis,<128> flay off his skin to cover one of the anatomies<129>
this rogue hath set i' th' cold yonder in Barber-Chirurgeon's-hall.
--Hence, hence! you are all of you like beasts for sacrifice.
     [Throws the DOCTOR down and beats him.]
There 's nothing left of you but tongue and belly, flattery and

PESCARA.  Doctor, he did not fear you thoroughly.

DOCTOR.  True; I was somewhat too forward.

BOSOLA.  Mercy upon me, what a fatal judgment
Hath fall'n upon this Ferdinand!

PESCARA.                          Knows your grace
What accident hath brought unto the prince
This strange distraction?

CARDINAL.  [Aside.] I must feign somewhat.--Thus they say it grew.
You have heard it rumour'd, for these many years
None of our family dies but there is seen
The shape of an old woman, which is given
By tradition to us to have been murder'd
By her nephews for her riches.  Such a figure
One night, as the prince sat up late at 's book,
Appear'd to him; when crying out for help,
The gentleman of 's chamber found his grace
All on a cold sweat, alter'd much in face
And language:  since which apparition,
He hath grown worse and worse, and I much fear
He cannot live.

BOSOLA.          Sir, I would speak with you.

PESCARA.  We 'll leave your grace,
Wishing to the sick prince, our noble lord,
All health of mind and body.

CARDINAL.                     You are most welcome.
Are you come? so.--[Aside.] This fellow must not know
By any means I had intelligence
In our duchess' death; for, though I counsell'd it,
The full of all th' engagement seem'd to grow
>From Ferdinand.--Now, sir, how fares our sister?
I do not think but sorrow makes her look
Like to an oft-dy'd garment:  she shall now
Take comfort from me.  Why do you look so wildly?
O, the fortune of your master here the prince
Dejects you; but be you of happy comfort:
If you 'll do one thing for me I 'll entreat,
Though he had a cold tomb-stone o'er his bones,

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