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The oppressor and the oppressed-such pangs compel
Which I have suffered, and which he beheld;
All refuge, all revenge, all consequence,
But that which thou hast called my father's death?
If ye desire it thus, thus let it be.
And so an end of all. Now do your will;
No other pains shall force another word.
Judge. She is convicted, but has not confessed.
Be it enough. Until their final sentence
Let none have converse with them. You, young lord,
Beatr. O, tear him not away!
Judge. Guards do your duty.
Ber. [Embracing BEATRICE]. Oh! would ye divide body from soul?
Officer. That is the headsman's business."
[Exeunt all but LUCRETIA, BEATRICE, and GIACOMO.
Giac. Have I confessed? Is it all over now?
No hope! No refuge! O weak, wicked tongue,
Which hast destroyed me, would that thou hadst been
Cut out and thrown to dogs first? To have killed
My father first, and then betrayed my sister;
Lucr. O, my child!
[Covers his face, and weeps.
To what a dreadful end are we all come !
Why did I yield? Why did I not sustain
Those torments? Oh, that I were all dissolved
Which flow and feel not!
Beatr. What 'twas weak to do,
'Tis weaker to lament, once being done;
Take cheer! The God who knew my wrong, and made
Secms, and but seems to have abandoned us.
Let us not think that we shall die for this.
Till they almost forget they live: lie down !
So, that will do.
Have I forgot the words?
False friend, wilt thou smile or weep
Little cares for a smile or a tear,
What is this whispers low?
Sweet sleep, were death like to thee,
I would close these eyes of pain;
Listen to the passing bell!
It says, thou and I must part,
SCENE IV.-A Hall of the Prison.
Enter CAMILLO and BERNARDO.
[The scene closes
Cam. The Pope is stern; not to be moved or bent.
From aught that it inflicts; a marble form,
A rite, a law, a custom: not a man.
He frowned, as if to frown had been the trick
Of his machinery, on the advocates
Presenting the defences, which he tore
And threw behind, muttering with hoarse, harsh voice:
Killed in his sleep?" Then to another: "Thou
Dost this in virtue of thy place; 'tis well."
He turned to me then, looking deprecation,
And said these three words, coldly: "They must die."
Ber. And yet you left him not?
Cam. I urged him still;
Pleading, as I could guess, the devilish wrong
Which prompted your unnatural parent's death.
And he replied: "Paolo Santa Croce
Murdered his mother yester evening,
And he is fled. Parricide grows so rife,
That soon, for some just cause, no doubt, the young
Authority, and power, and hoary hair,
Are grown crimes capital. You are my nephew,
Here is their sentence; never see me more
Till, to the letter, it be all fulfilled."
Ber. O God, not so! I did believe indeed That all you said was but sad preparation
For happy news. O, there are words and looks
What think you if I seek him out, and bathe
He strike me with his pastoral cross, and trample
Cam. Alas! poor boy!
A wreck-devoted seaman thus might pray
Enter LUCRETIA, BEATRICE, and GIACOMO, guarded.
Beatr. I hardly dare to fear
That thou bring'st other news than a just pardon.
Cam. May God in heaven be less inexorable
To the Pope's prayers, than he has been to mine.
Beatr. [Wildly]. Oh,
My God! can it be possible I have
To die so suddenly? So young to go
Under the obscure, cold, rotting, wormy ground!
To be nailed down into a narrow place;
To see no more sweet sunshine; hear no more
Sweet Heaven, forgive weak thoughts! If there should be
His eyes on mine, and drag me down, down, down
On earth and ever present? Even though dead,
Lucr. Trust in God's sweet love,
The tender promises of Christ: ere night
Beatr. "Tis past!
Whatever comes, my heart shall sink no more.
And yet, I know not why, your words strike chill:
Have met with much injustice in this world;
I am cut off from the only world I know,
From light, and life, and love, in youth's sweet prime.
You do well telling me to trust in God:
I hope I do trust in him. In whom else
Can any trust? And yet my heart is cold.
[During the latter speeches GIACOMO has retired conversing with CAMILLO, who now goes out. GIACOMO advances],
Giac. Know you not, mother-sister, know you not? Bernardo even now is gone to implore
The Pope to grant our pardon.
Lucr. Child, perhaps
It will be granted. We may all then live
O, what a thought! It gushes to my heart
Beatr. Yet both will soon be cold.
O, trample out that thought! Worse than despair,
It is the only ill which can find place
Upon the giddy, sharp and narrow hour
Tottering beneath us.
Plead with the swift frost
That it should spare the eldest flower of spring:
And whilst our murderers live, and hard, cold men,
Were some strange joy for us. Come, obscure Death,
Like a fond mother hide me in thy bosom,
And rock me to the sleep from which none wake.
As we were once, who now
BERNARDO rushes in.
That tears, that looks, that hope poured forth in prayer,
Should all be vain! The ministers of death
Are waiting round the doors. I thought I saw
Who made all lovely thou didst look upon-
Whose love was a bond to all our loves
Dead! The sweet bond broken!
Enter CAMILLO and Guards.
They come! Let me
Kiss those warm lips before their crimson leaves
Beatr. Farewell, my tender brother. Think
And let mild pitying thoughts lighten for thee
Though wrapt in a strange cloud of crime and shame,
Ill tongues shall wound me, and our common name
Cam. O, Lady Beatrice!
Beatr. Give yourself no unnecessary pain,
And yours I see is coming down. How often