Act 4, Scene 3

Enter Francisco, Lodovico, Gasparo, and six Ambassadors

Fran. So, my lord, I commend your diligence.
  Guard well the conclave; and, as the order is,
  Let none have conference with the cardinals.

Lodo. I shall, my lord. Room for the ambassadors.

Gas. They 're wondrous brave to-day: why do they wear
  These several habits?

Lodo. Oh, sir, they 're knights
  Of several orders:
  That lord i' th' black cloak, with the silver cross,
  Is Knight of Rhodes; the next, Knight of St. Michael;
  That, of the Golden Fleece; the Frenchman, there,
  Knight of the Holy Ghost; my Lord of Savoy,
  Knight of th' Annunciation; the Englishman
  Is Knight of th' honour'd Garter, dedicated
  Unto their saint, St. George. I could describe to you
  Their several institutions, with the laws
  Annexed to their orders; but that time
  Permits not such discovery.

Fran. Where 's Count Lodowick?

Lodo. Here, my lord.

Fran. 'Tis o' th' point of dinner time;
  Marshal the cardinals' service.

Lodo. Sir, I shall. [Enter Servants, with several dishes covered.
  Stand, let me search your dish. Who 's this for?

Servant. For my Lord Cardinal Monticelso.

Lodo. Whose this?

Servant. For my Lord Cardinal of Bourbon.

Fr. Ambass. Why doth he search the dishes? to observe
  What meat is dressed?

Eng. Ambass. No, sir, but to prevent
  Lest any letters should be convey'd in,
  To bribe or to solicit the advancement
  Of any cardinal. When first they enter,
  'Tis lawful for the ambassadors of princes
  To enter with them, and to make their suit
  For any man their prince affecteth best;
  But after, till a general election,
  No man may speak with them.

Lodo. You that attend on the lord cardinals,
  Open the window, and receive their viands.

Card. [Within.] You must return the service: the lord cardinals
  Are busied 'bout electing of the Pope;
  They have given o'er scrutiny, and are fallen
  To admiration.

Lodo. Away, away.

Fran. I 'll lay a thousand ducats you hear news
  Of a Pope presently. Hark; sure he 's elected:
  Behold, my Lord of Arragon appears
  On the church battlements. [A Cardinal on the terrace.

Arragon. Denuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Reverendissimus Cardinalis
  Lorenzo de Monticelso electus est in sedem apostolicam, et elegit sibi
  nomen Paulum Quartum.

Omnes. Vivat Sanctus Pater Paulus Quartus!

Servant. Vittoria, my lord——

Fran. Well, what of her?

Servant. Is fled the city——

Fran. Ha!

Servant. With Duke Brachiano.

Fran. Fled! where 's the Prince Giovanni?

Servant. Gone with his father.

Fran. Let the Matrona of the Convertites
  Be apprehended. Fled? O damnable!
  How fortunate are my wishes! why, 'twas this
  I only labour'd: I did send the letter
  T' instruct him what to do. Thy fame, fond duke,
  I first have poison'd; directed thee the way
  To marry a whore; what can be worse? This follows:
  The hand must act to drown the passionate tongue,
  I scorn to wear a sword and prate of wrong.

Enter Monticelso in State

Mont. Concedimus vobis Apostolicam benedictionem, et remissionem
  My lord reports Vittoria Corombona
  Is stol'n from forth the House of Convertites
  By Brachiano, and they 're fled the city.
  Now, though this be the first day of our seat,
  We cannot better please the Divine Power,
  Than to sequester from the Holy Church
  These cursed persons. Make it therefore known,
  We do denounce excommunication
  Against them both: all that are theirs in Rome
  We likewise banish. Set on.
                                  [Exeunt all but Francisco and Lodovico.

Fran. Come, dear Lodovico;
  You have ta'en the sacrament to prosecute
  Th' intended murder?

Lodo. With all constancy.
  But, sir, I wonder you 'll engage yourself
  In person, being a great prince.

Fran. Divert me not.
  Most of his court are of my faction,
  And some are of my council. Noble friend,
  Our danger shall be like in this design:
  Give leave part of the glory may be mine. [Exit Francisco.

Enter Monticelso

Mont. Why did the Duke of Florence with such care
  Labour your pardon? say.

Lodo. Italian beggars will resolve you that,
  Who, begging of alms, bid those they beg of,
  Do good for their own sakes; or 't may be,
  He spreads his bounty with a sowing hand,
  Like kings, who many times give out of measure,
  Not for desert so much, as for their pleasure.

Mont. I know you 're cunning. Come, what devil was that
  That you were raising?

Lodo. Devil, my lord?

Mont. I ask you,
  How doth the duke employ you, that his bonnet
  Fell with such compliment unto his knee,
  When he departed from you?

Lodo. Why, my lord,
  He told me of a resty Barbary horse
  Which he would fain have brought to the career,
  The sault, and the ring galliard: now, my lord,
  I have a rare French rider.

Mont. Take your heed,
  Lest the jade break your neck. Do you put me off
  With your wild horse-tricks? Sirrah, you do lie.
  Oh, thou 'rt a foul black cloud, and thou dost threat
  A violent storm!

Lodo. Storms are i' th' air, my lord;
  I am too low to storm.

Mont. Wretched creature!
  I know that thou art fashion'd for all ill,
  Like dogs, that once get blood, they 'll ever kill.
  About some murder, was 't not?

Lodo. I 'll not tell you:
  And yet I care not greatly if I do;
  Marry, with this preparation. Holy father,
  I come not to you as an intelligencer,
  But as a penitent sinner: what I utter
  Is in confession merely; which, you know,
  Must never be reveal'd.

Mont. You have o'erta'en me.

Lodo. Sir, I did love Brachiano's duchess dearly,
  Or rather I pursued her with hot lust,
  Though she ne'er knew on 't. She was poison'd;
  Upon my soul she was: for which I have sworn
  T' avenge her murder.

Mont. To the Duke of Florence?

Lodo. To him I have.

Mont. Miserable creature!
  If thou persist in this, 'tis damnable.
  Dost thou imagine, thou canst slide on blood,
  And not be tainted with a shameful fall?
  Or, like the black and melancholic yew-tree,
  Dost think to root thyself in dead men's graves,
  And yet to prosper? Instruction to thee
  Comes like sweet showers to o'er-harden'd ground;
  They wet, but pierce not deep. And so I leave thee,
  With all the furies hanging 'bout thy neck,
  Till by thy penitence thou remove this evil,
  In conjuring from thy breast that cruel devil. [Exit.

Lodo. I 'll give it o'er; he says 'tis damnable:
  Besides I did expect his suffrage,
  By reason of Camillo's death.

Enter Servant and Francisco

Fran. Do you know that count?

Servant. Yes, my lord.

Fran. Bear him these thousand ducats to his lodging.
  Tell him the Pope hath sent them. Happily
  That will confirm more than all the rest. [Exit.

Servant. Sir.

Lodo. To me, sir?

Servant. His Holiness hath sent you a thousand crowns,
  And wills you, if you travel, to make him
  Your patron for intelligence.

Lodo. His creature ever to be commanded.—
  Why now 'tis come about. He rail'd upon me;
  And yet these crowns were told out, and laid ready,
  Before he knew my voyage. Oh, the art,
  The modest form of greatness! that do sit,
  Like brides at wedding-dinners, with their looks turn'd
  From the least wanton jests, their puling stomach
  Sick from the modesty, when their thoughts are loose,
  Even acting of those hot and lustful sports
  Are to ensue about midnight: such his cunning!
  He sounds my depth thus with a golden plummet.
  I am doubly arm'd now. Now to th' act of blood,
  There 's but three furies found in spacious hell,
  But in a great man's breast three thousand dwell. [Exit.

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