Act 5, Scene V

Scene: An Apartment in the Palace with a Gallery.

Enter ARRIGO and ORIANA below; DUKE, VALORE, and GONDARINO above.

Oriana.
Sir, what may be the current of your business,
That thus you single out your time and place?
Arrigo.
Madam, the business now imposed upon me
Concerns you nearly;
I wish some worser man might finish it.
Oriana.
Why are you changed so? are you not well, sir?
Arrigo.
Yes, madam, I am well: 'Would you were so!
Oriana.
Why, sir, I feel myself in perfect health.
Arrigo.
And yet you cannot live long, madam.
Oriana.
Why, good Arrigo?
Arrigo.
Why, you must die.
Oriana.
I know I must;
But yet my fate calls not upon me.
Arrigo.
It does;
This hand the duke commands shall give you death.
Oriana.
Heaven, and the powers divine, guard well the innocent!
Arrigo.
Lady, your prayers may do your soul some good,
But sure your body cannot merit by 'em:
You must prepare to die.
Oriana.
What's my offence? What have these years committed,
That may be dangerous to the duke or state?
Have I conspired by poison? have I given up
My honour to some loose unsettled blood,
This may give action to my plots? dear sir,
Let me not die ignorant of my faults!
Arrigo.
You shall not:
Then, lady, you must know, you are held unhonest:
The duke, your brother, and your friends in court,
With too much grief condemn you; though to me,
The fault deserves not to be paid with death.
Oriana.
Who's my accuser?
Arrigo.
Lord Gondarino.
Oriana.
Arrigo, take these words, and bear them to the duke;
It is the last petition I shall ask thee:
Tell him, the child this present hour brought forth
To see world has not a soul more pure,
More white, more virgin, than I have; tell him,
Lord Gondarino's plot I suffer for,
And willingly; tell him, it had been
A greater honour to have saved than kill'd:
But I have done: strike! I am arm'd for Heaven.
Why stay you? is there any hope?
Arrigo.
I would not strike.
Oriana.
Have you the power to save?
Arrigo.
With hazard of my life, if it should be known.
Oriana.
You will not venture that?
Arrigo.
I will: Lady,
There is that means yet to escape your death,
If you can wisely apprehend it.
Oriana.
You dare not be so kind?
Arrigo.
I dare, and will, if you dare but deserve it.
Oriana.
If I should slight my life, I were to blame.
Arrigo.
Then, madam,
This is the means, or else you die: I love you.
Oriana.
I shall believe it if you save my life.
Arrigo.
And you must lie with me.
Oriana.
I dare not buy my life so.
Arrigo.
Come, you must resolve; say yea or no.
Oriana.
Then no! Nay, look not ruggedly upon me;
I am made up too strong to fear such looks:
Come do your butcher's part! before
I would wish life, with the dear loss of honour,
I dare find means to free myself.
Arrigo.
Speak, will you yield?
Oriana.
Villian, I will not! Murderer, do the worst
Thy base unnoble thoughts dare prompt thee to!
I am above thee, slave!
Arrigo.
Wilt thou not be drawn
To yeild by fair persuasions?
Oriana.
No; nor by——
Arrigo.
Peace! know your doom then: your ladyship must remember
You are not now at home, where you dare feast
All that come about you; but you are fallen
Under my mercy, which shall be but small,
If thou refuse to yield: hear what I have sworn
Unto myself; I will enjoy thee, though it be
Between the parting of thy soul and body;
Yield yet, and live!
Oriana.
I'll guard the one; let Heaven guard the other!
Arrigo.
Are you so resolute then?
Duke. [From above.]
Hold, hold, I say!
Oriana.
What, yet more terror to my tragedy?
Arrigo.
Lady, the scene of blood is done;
You are now as free from scandal as from death.

Enter below DUKE, VALORE, and GONDARINO.

Duke.  
Thou woman, which wert born to teach men virtue,
Fair, sweet, and modest maid, forgive my thoughts;
My trespass was my love.
Seize Gondarino! Let him wait our dooms.
Gondarino.
I do begin a little to love this woman;
I could endure her already, twelve miles off.
Valore.
Sister,
I am glad you have brought your honour off so fairly,
Without loss you have done a work above your sex;
The duke admires it: give him fair encounter.
Duke.  
Best of all comforts, may I take this hand,
And call it mine?
Oriana.
I am your grace's handmaid!
Duke.  
'Would you had said myself: might it not be so, lady?
Valore.
Sister, say ay; I know you can afford it.
Oriana.
My lord, I am your subject; you may command me,
Provided still your thoughts be fair and good.
Duke.  
Here; I am yours; and when I cease to be so,
Let Heaven forget me! thus I make it good.
Oriana.
My lord, I am no more mine own.
Valore.
So! this bargain was well driven.
Gondarino.
Duke,
Thou hast sold away thyself to all perdition;
Thou art this present hour becoming cuckold:
Methinks I see thy gall grate through thy veins,
And jealousy seize on thee with her talons.
I know that woman's nose must be cut off;
She cannot 'scape it.
Duke.  
Sir, we have punishment for you.
Oriana.
I do beseech your lordship, for the wrongs
This man hath done me, let me pronounce his punishment!
Duke.  
Lady, I give it to you; he is your own.
Gondarino.
I do beseech your grace, let me be banish'd,
With all the speed that may be.
Valore.
Stay still! you shall attend her sentence.
Oriana.
Lord Gondarino, you have wrong'd me highly;
Yet since it sprung from no peculiar hate
To me, but from a general dislike
Unto all women, you shall thus suffer for it.—
Arrigo, call in some ladies to assist us.—
Will your grace take your state?
Gondarino.
My lord, I do
Beseech your grace for any punishment,
Saving this woman: let me be sent upon
Discovery of some island; I do desire
But a small gondola, with ten Holland cheeses,
And I'll undertake it.
Oriana.
Sir, you must be content.
Will you sit down? Nay, do it willingly.—
Arrigo, tie his arms close to the chair;
I dare not trust his patience.
Gondarino. [He is seized and bound in a chair.]
Mayst thou
Be quickly old and painted! may'st thou dote
Upon some sturdy yeoman of the wood-yard,
And he be honest! may'st thou be barred
The lawful lechery of thy couch, for want
Of instruments! and, last, be thy womb unopen'd
Duke.  
This fellow hath a pretty gall.
Valore.
My lord,
I hope to see him purged, ere he part.

Enter Ladies.

Oriana.
Your ladyships are welcome! I must desire your helps,
Though you are no physicians, to do a strange cure
Upon this gentleman.
Ladies.
In what we can assist you,
Madam, you may command us.
Gondarino.
Now do I
Sit like a conjuror within my circle,
And these the devils that are raised about me:
I'll pray that they may have no power upon me.
Oriana.
Ladies, fall off in couples;
Then, with a soft still march, with low demeanours,
Charge this gentleman: I'll be your leader.
Gondarino.
Let me be quarter'd, duke, quickly! I can endure it.
These women long for man's flesh; let them have it!
Duke.  
Count, have you ever seen so strange a passion?
What would this fellow do, if he should find himself
In bed with a young lady?
Valore.
'Faith, my lord,
If he could get a knife, sure he would cut her throat;
Or else he would do as Hercules did by Lycas,
Swing out her soul.
He has the true hate of a woman in him.
Oriana.
Low with your courtsies, ladies!
Gondarino.
Come not too near me! I have a breath will poison ye;
My lungs are rotten, and my stomach raw;
I am given much to belching: hold off, as you love sweet airs!
Ladies, by your first night's pleasure I conjure you,
As you would have your husbands proper men,
Strong backs, and little legs; as you would have 'em bate
Your waiting-women——
Oriana.
Sir, we must court you, till we have obtain'd
Some little favour from those gracious eyes;
'Tis but a kiss a-piece.
Gondarino.
I pronounce perdition to you all!
Ye are a parcel of that damned crew
That fell down with Lucifer, and here ye stay'd
On earth to plague poor men: Vanish, avaunt!
I am fortified against your charms.
Heaven grant me breath and patience!
1 Lady.
Shalt we not kiss, then?
Gondarino.
No I sear my lips with
Hot irons first, or stitch them up like a ferret's!
Oh, that this brunt were over!
2 Lady.
Come, come, little rogue, thou art too maidenly; by my troth I think I must box thee till thou be'st bolder; the more bold, the more welcome: I pr'ythee kiss me I be not afraid.
[She sits on his knee.
Gondarino.
If there be any here
That yet have so much of the fool left in them
As to love their mothers, let them [look] on her,
And loath them too!
2 Lady.
What a slovenly little villain art thou! why dost thou not stroke up thy hair? I think thou ne'er comb'st it; I must have it lie in better order: so, so, so! Let me see thy hands! are they wash'd?
Gondarino.
I would they were loose for thy sake!
Duke.  
She tortures him admirably.
Valore.
The best that ever was.
2 Lady.
Alas, how cold they are! Poor golls! why dost thee not get thee a muff?
Arrigo.
Madam, here's an old country gentlewoman at the door, that came nodding up for justice; she was with the lord Gondarino to-day, and would now again come to the speech of him, she says.
Oriana.
Let her in, for sport's sake, let her in!
Gondarino.
Mercy, oh duke! I do appeal to thee:
Plant cannons there, and discharge them
Against my breast rather! Nay, first
Let this she-fury sit still where she does,
And with her nimble fingers stroke my hair,
Play with my fingers' ends, or anything,
Until my panting heart have broke my breast
Duke.  
You must abide her censure.
The Lady rises from his knee.

Enter old Gentlewoman.

Gondarino.
I see her come!
Unbutton me, for she will speak.
Gentlewoman.
Where is he, sir.
Gondarino.
Save me! I hear her.
Arrigo.
There he is in state, to give you audience.
Gentlewoman.
How does your good lordship?
Gondarino.
Sick of the spleen.
Gentlewoman.
How?
Gondarino.
Sick.
Gentlewoman.
Will you chew a nutmeg? you shall not refuse it; 'tis very comfortable.
Gondarino.
Nay, now thou art come, I know it is
The devil's jubilee; hell is broke loose!
My lord, if ever I have done you service,
Or have deserved a favour of your grace,
Let me be turn'd upon some present action,
Where I may sooner die than languish thus!
Your grace hath her petition; grant it her,
And ease me now at last.
Duke.  
No, sir; you must endure.
Gentlewoman.
For my petition, I hope your lordship hath remembered me.
Oriana.
'Faith, I begin to pity him; Arrigo,
Take her off; bear her away; say her petition
Is granted.
Gentlewoman.
Whither do you draw me, sir? I know it is not my lord's pleasure I should be thus used, before my business be dispatched.
Arrigo.
You shall know more of that without
[She is led off.
Oriana.
Unbind him, ladies! But, before he go,
This he shall promise: For the love I bear
To our own sex, I would have them still
Hated by thee; and enjoin thee, as a punishment,
Never hereafter willingly to come
In the presence or sight of any woman,
Nor never to seek wrongfully the public
Disgrace of any.
Gondarino.
'Tis that I would have sworn, and do: when I meddle with them, for their good, or their bad, may time call back this day again! and when I come in their companies, may I catch the pox by their breath, and have no other pleasure for it!
Duke.  
You are too merciful.
Oriana.
My lord, I shewd my sex the better.
Valore.
All is over-blown. Sister, you are like to have a fair night of it, and a prince in your arms. Let's go, my lord.
Duke.  
Thus, through the doubtful streams of joy and grief,
True love doth wade, and finds at last relief.
[Exeunt.

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