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The Duchess of Malfi. John Webster. Act I | Act II | Act III | Act IV | Act V. Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text was transcribed by. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster. Adobe PDF icon. Download this document as caite.info: File size: MB What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to.
Let not the sun Shine on him till he 's dead ; let dogs and monkeys Only converse with him, and such dumb things To whom nature denies use to sound his name ; Do not keep a paraquito, lest she learn it ; 60 The Duchess of Malfi ACT in. Gentlemen, I would have this man be an example to you all ; So shall you hold my favour ; I pray, let him ; For h'as done that, alas, you would not think of, And, because I intend to be rid of him, I mean not to publish. The Duchess of Malfi That e'er will trust their honour in a bark Made of so slight weak bulrush as is woman, Apt every minute to sink it! True, my lord: Good Lord Silvio, Do us commend to all our noble friends At the leaguer. Sure, your own experience Will satisfy you no: Despite some medical authorities acknowledging lycanthropy as a clinical condition, werewolf beliefs were still very much grounded in superstition when involving the Church.
I have seen it Duch. In the presence? Why should not we bring up that fashion? Be you the example to the rest o' the court ; Put on your hat first. You must pardon me: I have a present for your grace. For me, sir? Apricocks, madam. O, sir, where are they? I have heard of none to-year. Indeed, I thank you: What an unskilful fellow is our gardener!
Will not your grace pare them? I know not: I forget to tell you, the knave gardener, Only to raise his profit by them the sooner, Did ripen them in horse-dung. O, you jest. Indeed, madam, I do not love the fruit. Sir, you are loth To rob us of our dainties: ACT ii. To make a pippin grow upon a crab, A damson on a black-thorn.
A whirlwind strike off these bawd farthingales I For, but for that and the loose-bodied gown, I should have discover'd apparently The young springal cutting a caper in her belly. I thank you, Bosola: How now, madam! This green fruit and my stomach are not friends: How they swell me! O, I am in an extreme cold sweat!
I am very sorry. Lights to my chamber! O good Antonio, I fear I am undone! Lights there, lights! Exit, on the other side, Bosola. O my most trusty Delio, we are lost! I fear she 's fall'n in labour ; and there 's left No time for her remove. Have you prepaid Those ladies to attend her? I have. Make use, then, of this forc'd occasion: Give out that Bosola hath poison'd her With these apricocks ; that will give some colour For her keeping close. Fie, fie, the physicians Will then flock to her.
For that you may pretend She '11 use some prepaid antidote of her own, Lest the physicians should re-poison her. I am lost in amazement: I know not what to think on't. Enter Bosola. So, so, there 's no question but her techiness and most vulturous eating of the apricocks are apparent signs of breeding.
I am in haste, sir. There was a young waiting-woman had a monstrous desire to see the glass-house Old Lady. Nay, pray, let me go. And it was only to know what strange instrument it was should swell up a glass to the fashion of a woman's belly.
The Duchess of Malfi Old Lady. I will hear no more of the glass-house. You are still abusing women? Who, I? The orange-tree bears ripe and green fruit and blossoms all together ; and some of you give entertainment for pure love, but more for more precious reward.
The lusty spring smells well ; but drooping autumn tastes well. If we have the same golden showers that rained in the time of Jupiter the thunderer, you have the same Danaes still, to hold up their laps to receive them. Didst thou never study the mathematics? What's that, sir? Why, to know the trick how to make a many lines meet in one centre.
Go, go, give your foster- daughters good counsel: Shut up the court-gates. Why, sir? I shall instantly. Who keeps the key o' the park-gate? Let him bring 't presently. Re-enter Grisolan with Servants. First Serv. O, gentleman o' the court, the foulest treason! There was taken even now a Switzer in the duchess' bed-chamber Second Serv. A Switzer! With a pistol in his great cod-piece.
The cod-piece was the case for't.
Second Serv. There was a cunning traitor: True, if he had kept out of the ladies' chambers: O wicked cannibal! To see what the devil can do! We are. Gentlemen, 35 ACT ii. The Duchess of Malfi We have lost much plate you know ; and but this evening Jewels, to the value of four thousand ducats, 60 Are missing in the duchess' cabinet.
Are the gates shut? She is very sick. At her pleasure. She entreats you take't not ill: Gentlemen o' the wood-yard, where 's your Switzer now? By this hand, 'twas credibly reported by one o' the black guard. How fares it with the duchess? She'sexpos'd Unto the worst of torture, pain and fear. Speak to her all happy comfort. How I do play the fool with mine own danger! You are this night, dear friend, to post to Rome: Do not doubt me. O, 'tis far from me: Believe it, 'Tis but the shadow of your fear, no more: How superstitiously we mind our evils 1 The throwing down salt, or crossing of a hare, Bleeding at nose, the stumbling of a horse, Or singing of a cricket, are of power 90 To daunt whole man in us.
Sir, fare you well: I wish you all the joys of a bless'd father ; And, for my faith, lay this unto your breast, Old friends, like old swords, still are trusted best. Enter Cariola. Sir, you are the happy father of a son: Your wife commends him to you.
Blessed comfort 1 For heaven' sake, tend her well: I '11 presently Go set a figure for 's nativity. Enter Bosola, with a dark lantern.
Sure I did hear a woman shriek: And the sound came, if I receiv'd it right, From the duchess' lodgings. There's some stratagem 37 ACT ii. The Duchess of Malfi In the confining all our courtiers To their several wards: I must have part of it ; My intelligence will freeze else.
List, again 1 It may be 'twas the melancholy bird, Best friend of silence and of solitariness, The owl, that screamed so. Ha 1 Antonio 1 Enter Antonio. I heard some noise. Who's there? Antonio, put not your face nor body To such a forc'd expression of fear: I am Bosola, your friend.
Heard you not A noise even now? From whence? From the duchess' lodging. Not I: I did, or else I dream'd. Let 's walk towards it. Very likely.
Methinks 'tis very cold, and yet you sweat: You look wildly. I have been setting a figure For the duchess' jewels. Ah, and how falls your question? Do you find it radical? What 's that to you? In sooth, I '11 tell you: Now all the court's asleep, I thought the devil Had least to do here ; I come to say my prayers ; And if it do offend you I do so, You are a fine courtier.
Pray heaven they were not poison'd 1 Bos. Traitors are ever confident Till they are discover'd. There were jewels stol'n too: In my conceit, none are to be suspected More than yourself. You are a false steward. Saucy slave, I '11 pull thee up by the roots. May be the ruin will crush you to pieces. You are an impudent snake indeed, sir: Are you scarce warm, and do you show your sting?
You libel well, sir. The Duchess of Malfi Bts. No, sir: One that were superstitious would count This ominous, when it merely comes by chance: Two letters, that are wrote here for my name, 60 Are drown'd in blood 1 Mere accident. For you, sir, I '11 take order F the morn you shall be safe -. I do not hold it fit that you come near The duchess' lodgings, till you have quit yourself. Antonio hereabout did drop a paper: Some of your help, false friend: O, here it is. What's here?
Anno Dom. Cater a non scrutantur? I have it to my wish! This is a parcel of intelligency Our courtiers were cas'd up for: If one could find the father now! Old Castruccio T the morning posts to Rome: This was a thrifty way. Though lust do mask in ne'er so strange disguise, She 's oft found witty, but is never wise.
An apartment in the palace of the Cardinal. Enter Cardinal and Julia. Prithee, tell me What trick didst thou invent to come to Rome Without thy husband? Why, my lord, I told him I came to visit an old anchorite Here for devotion.
Thou art a witty false one, I mean, to him. The Duchess of Malfi Julia. You have prevail'd with me Beyond my strongest thoughts: I would not now 10 Find you inconstant. Do not put thyself To such a voluntary torture, which proceeds Out of your own guilt. How, my lord 1 Card. You fear My constancy, because you have approv'd Those giddy and wild turnings in yourself. Did you e'er find them? Sooth, generally for women, 20 A man might strive to make glass malleable, Ere he should make them fixed.
So, my lord. We had need go borrow that fantastic glass Invented by Galileo the Florentine To view another spacious world i' the moon, And look to find a constant woman there. This is very well, my lord.
Why do you weep? Are tears your justification? Come, I '11 love you wisely, That 's jealously ; since I am very certain You cannot make me cuckold. I '11 go home To my husband. You may thank me, lady, I have taken you off your melancholy perch, Bore you upon my fist, and show'd you game, 40 And let you fly at it.
I pray thee, kiss me. When thou wast with thy husband, thou wast watched Like a tame elephant: Thou hadst only kisses from him and high feeding ; But what delight was that? You told me of a piteous wound i' the heart, And a sick liver, when you woo'd me first, And spake like one in physic. Who's that?
Enter Servant. Rest firm, for my affection to thee, Lightning moves slow to 't. Madam, a gentleman, That 's comes post from Malfi, desires to see you.
Let him enter: I '11 withdraw. He says Your husband, old Castruccio, is come to Rome, Most pitifully tir'd with riding post. The Duchess of Malfi Enter Delia. Julia, [aside. I was bold to come and see you. Sir, you are welcome. Do you lie here? Sure, your own experience Will satisfy you no: Very well: I have brought you no commendations from your husband, For I know none by him.
I hear he 's come to Rome. I never knew man and beast, of a horse and a knight, So weary of each other: Your laughter Is my pity. Lady, I know not whether You want money, but I have brought you some. From my husband? No, from mine own allowance. I must hear the condition, ere I be bound to take it.
Look on 't, 'tis gold: I have a bird more beautiful. Try the sound on 't. A lute-string far exceeds it: It hath no smell, like cassia or civet ; Nor is it physical, though some fond doctors Persuade us seethe 't in cullises. I '11 tell you, This is a creature bred by Re-enter Servant. Your husband's come, 90 Hath deliver'd a letter to the Duke of Calabria That, to my thinking, hath put him out of his wits. Sir, you hear: Pray, let me know your business and your suit As briefly as can be. With good speed: I would wish you, At such time as you are non-resident With your husband, my mistress.
Sir, I '11 go ask my husband if I shall, And straight return your answer. Very fine! I heard one say the duke was highly mov'd With a letter sent from Malfi. I do fear Antonio is betray'd: The Duchess of Malfi They pass through whirl-pools, and deep woes do shun, Who the event weigh ere the action's done.
Enter Cardinal and Ferdinand 'with a letter. I have this night digg'd up a mandrake.
Say you? And I am grown mad with 't. What 's the prodigy? Read there, a sister damn'd: Speak lower. Rogues do not whisper 't now, but seek to publish 't As servants do the bounty of their lords 10 Aloud ; and with a covetous searching eye, To mark who note them.
O, confusion seize her 1 She hath had most cunning bawds to serve her turn, And more secure conveyances for lust Than towns of garrison for service. Is't possible? Can this be certain? To purge this choler!
Why do you make yourself So wild a tempest? Would I could be one, That I might toss her palace 'bout her ears, Root up her goodly forests, blast her meads, And lay her general territory as waste As she hath done her honours. Shall our blood, 30 The royal blood of Arragon and Castile, Be thus attainted? Apply desperate physic: We must not now use balsamum, but fire, The smarting cupping-glass, for that 's the mean To purge infected blood, such blood as hers.
There is a kind of pity in mine eye, I '11 give it to my handkercher ; and now 'tis here, I '11 bequeath this to her bastard. What to do? Why, to make soft lint for his mother's wounds, When I have hew'd her to pieces. Cursed creature! Unequal nature, to place women's hearts So far upon the left side!
Foolish men, 47 ACT ii.
The Duchess of Malfi That e'er will trust their honour in a bark Made of so slight weak bulrush as is woman, Apt every minute to sink it! Thus 50 Ignorance, when it hath purchas'd honour, It cannot wield it. Methinks I see her laughing, Excellent hyena! Talk to me somewhat quickly, Or my imagination will carry me To see her in the shameful act of sin.
With whom? Happily with some strong-thigh'd bargeman, Or one o' the wood-yard that can quoit the sledge Or toss the bar, or else some lovely squire 60 That carries coals up to her privy lodgings. You fly beyond your reason. Go to, mistress! How idly shows this rage, which carries you, As men convey'd by witches through the air, On violent whirlwinds!
Have not you My palsy? Yes, [but] I can be angry Without this rupture: Chide yourself. You have divers men who never yet express'd Their strong desire of rest but by unrest, By vexing of themselves.
Come, put yourself 80 In tune. I could kill her now, In you, or in myself; for I do think It is some sin in us heaven doth revenge By her. Are you stark mad? I would have their bodies Burnt in a coal-pit with the ventage stopp'd, That their curs'd smoke might not ascend to' heaven ; 90 Or dip the sheets they lie in in pitch or sulphur, Wrap them in't, and then light them like a match ; Or else to-boil their bastard to a cullis, And give 't his lecherous father to renew The sin of his back.
Nay, I have done. The Duchess of Malfi And should have heard of this, it would have put me Into a cold sweat. In, in ; I '11 go sleep. That known, I '11 find scorpions to string my whips, And fix her in a general eclipse. An apartment in the palace of the Duchess Enter Antonio and Delio. Our noble friend, my most beloved Delio 1 O, you have been a stranger long at court: Came you along with the Lord Ferdinand? I did, sir: Right fortunately well: Methinks 'twas yesterday: You have not been in law, friend Delio, Nor in prison, nor a suitor at the court, Norjbegg'd the reversion of some great man's place, Nor troubled with an old wife, which doth make Your time so insensibly hasten.
The Duchess of Malfi Delio. Pray, sir, tell me, Hath not this news arriv'd yet to the ear Of the lord cardinal? I fear it hath: Pray, why? He is so quiet that he seems to sleep The tempest out, as dormice do in winter: Those houses that are haunted are most still Till the devil be up.
What say the common people? The common rabble do directly say She is a strumpet. And your graver heads Which would be politic, what censure they? They do observe I grow to infinite purchase, The left hand way ; and all suppose the duchess Would amend it, if she could ; for, say they, Great princes, though they grudge their officers Should have such large and unconfined means To get wealth under them, will not complain, Lest thereby they should make them odious.
Unto the people: The Lord Ferdinand Is going to bed. I '11 instantly to bed, For I am weary. I am to bespeak A husband for you. For me, sir! The great Count Malatesti. Fie upon him! When I choose A husband, I will marry for your honour. You shall do well in 't. How is 't, worthy Antonio? But, sir, I am to have private conference with you About a scandalous report is spread Touching mine honour. Let me be ever deaf to 't: One of Pasquil's paper-bullets, court-calumny, A pestilent air, which princes' palaces 60 Are seldom purg'd of.
Yet say that it were true, I pour it in your bosom, my fix'd love Would strongly excuse, extenuate, nay, deny Faults, were they apparent in you. Go, be safe In your own innocency. Duck, [aside], O bless'd comfort 1 This deadly air is purg'd. Her guilt treads on Hot-burning coulters. The Duchess of Malfi Enter Bosola. Now, Bosola, 70 How thrives our intelligence? Sir, uncertainly: Why, some Hold opinion all things are written there.
Yes, if we could find spectacles to read them. I do suspect there hath been some sorcery Us'd on the duchess. To make her dote on some desertless fellow She shames to acknowledge. Can your faith give way To think there 's power in potions or in charms, To make us love whether we will or no? Most certainly. Do you think that herbs or charms I Can force the will? The witch-craft lies in her rank blood. You had got, within these two days, a false key Into her bed-chamber.
As I would wish. What do you intend to do? Can you guess? Do not ask, then: He that can compass me, and know my drifts, May say he hath put a girdle 'bout the world, And sounded all her quick-sands. I do not Think so. What do you think, then, pray? That you are Your own chronicle too much, and grossly Flatter yourself. Give me thy hand ; I thank thee: I never gave pension but to flatterers, Till I entertained thee.
That friend a great man's ruin strongly checks, Who rails into his belief all his defects. Bring me the casket hither, and the glass. You get no lodging here to-night, my lord. Indeed, I must persuade one. Very good: I hope in time 'twill grow into a custom, That noblemen shall come with cap and knee To purchase a night's lodging of their wives.
I must lie here. Indeed, my rule is only in the night. To what use will you put me? We'll sleep together. Alas, What pleasure can two lovers find in sleep! My lord, I lie with her often ; and I know She '11 much disquiet you. See, you are complain'd of.
For she 's the sprawling'st bedfellow. I shall like her the better for that. Sir, shall I ask you a question f 20 Ant. Ay, pray thee, Cariola. Wherefore still, when you lie with my lady, Do you rise so early? Labouring men Count the clock oftenest, Cariola, Are glad when their task 's ended.
I '11 stop your mouth. Nay, that 's but one ; Venus had two soft doves To draw her chariot ; I must have another. When wilt thou marry, Cariola? Never, my lord. O, fie upon this single life! We read how Daphne, for her peevish flight, Became a fruitless bay-tree ; Syrinx turn'd To the pale empty reed ; Anaxarete Was frozen into marble: This is a vain poetry: The Duchess of Malfi And they stark naked?
What is 't? I do wonder why hard-favour'd ladies, For the most part, keep worse-favour'd waiting- women To attend them, and cannot endure fair ones. O, that 's soon answer'd. Did you ever in your life know an ill painter Desire to have his dwelling next door to the shop Of an excellent picture-maker?
I prithee, When were we so merry? My hair tangles. Pray thee, Cariola, let 's steal forth the room, And let her talk to herself: I have divers times Serv'd her the like, when she hath chaf d extremely. I love to see her angry. Softly, Cariola. Doth not the colour of my hair 'gin to change? When I wax gray, I shall have all the court Powder their hair with arras, to be like me. You have cause to love me ; I enter'd you into my heart 70 Before you would vouchsafe to call for the keys. Enter Ferdinand behind.
We shall one day have my brothers take you napping: Methinks his presence, being now in court, Should make you keep your own bed ; but you'll say Love mix'd with fear is sweetest. I '11 assure you, You shall get no more children till my brothers Consent to be your gossips. H ave you lost your tongue? For know, whether I am doom'd to live or die, I can do both like a prince. Die, then, quickly! Virtue, where art thou hid?
Pray, sir, hear me. Or is it true thou art but a bare name, And no essential thing? Sir Ferd. Do not speak, Duck. I will plant my soul in mine ears, to hear you. O most imperfect light of human reason, That mak'st us so unhappy to foresee What we can least prevent!
Pursue thy wishes, And glory in them: I pray, sir, hear me: I am married. Happily, not to your liking: Yes, if I could change Eyes with a basilisk. Sure, you came hither By his confederacy. The howling of a wolf Is music to thee, screech-owl: Whate'er thou art that hast enjoyM my sister, For I am sure thou hear'st me, for thine own sake Let me not know thee.
I came hither prepaid 1 10 To work thy discovery ; yet am now persuaded It would beget such violent effects As would damn us both. I would not for ten millions I had beheld thee: And for thee, vile woman, If thou do wish thy lecher may grow old In thy embracements, I would have thee build Such a room for him as our anchorites To holier use inhabit.
Let not the sun Shine on him till he 's dead ; let dogs and monkeys Only converse with him, and such dumb things To whom nature denies use to sound his name ; Do not keep a paraquito, lest she learn it ; 60 The Duchess of Malfi ACT in. If thou do love him, cut out thine own tongue, Lest it bewray him.
Why might not I marry? I have not gone about in this to create Any new world or custom. Thou art undone ; And thou hast ta'en that massy sheet of lead That hid thy husband's bones, and folded it About my heart. Mine bleeds for 't Ferd. What should I name 't unless a hollow bullet Fill'd with unquenchable wild-fire? You are in this Too strict ; and were you not my princely brother, I would say, too wilful: Dost thou know what reputation is? I '11 tell thee, to small purpose, since the instruction Comes now too late.
Upon a time Reputation, Love, and Death, Would travel o'er the world ; and it was concluded That they should part, and take three several ways. Death told them, they should find him in great battles, Or cities plagu'd with plagues: Love gives them counsel To inquire for him 'mongst unambitious shepherds, Where dowries were not talk'd of, and sometimes 61 ACT in.
The Duchess of Malfi 'Mongst quiet kindred that had nothing left By their dead parents: You have shook hands with Reputation, And made him invisible. So, fare you well: I will never see you more. Why should only I, Of all the other princes of the world, Be cas'd up, like a holy relic? I have youth And a little beauty. So you have some virgins That are witches. I will never see thee more. You saw this apparition?
How came he hither? I should turn This to thee, for that. Pray, sir, do ; and when That you have cleft my heart, you shall read there Mine innocence. That gallery gave him entrance.
I would this terrible thing would come again, That, standing on my guard, I might relate My warrantable love. He left this with me. And it seems did wish You would use it on yourself. His action Seem'd to intend so much. This hath a handle to 't, As well as a point: How now 1 who knocks? I stand As if a mine beneath my feet were ready To be blown up. Awayl O misery! You must instantly part hence: I have fashion'd it already.
The duke your brother is ta'en up in a whirlwind ; Hath took horse, and 's rid post to Rome. So late? He told me, as he mounted into the saddle, You were undone.
Indeed, I am very near it. What 's the matter? Antonio, the master of our household, Hath dealt so falsely with me in 's accounts: My brother stood engag'd with me for money Ta'en up of certain Neapolitan Jews, And Antonio lets the bonds be forfeit.
And hereupon My brother's bills at Naples are protested Against. Call up our officers. Re-enter Antonio. The place that you must fly to is Ancona: Hire a house there ; I '11 send after you My treasure and my jewels. Our weak safety Runs upon enginous wheels: I must now accuse you Of such a feigned crime as Tasso calls Magnanima menzogna, a noble lie, 'Cause it must shield our honours. Will your grace hear me? I have got well by you ; you have yielded me A million of loss: I am like to inherit The people's curses for your stewardship.
Without help of the doctor. Gentlemen, I would have this man be an example to you all ; So shall you hold my favour ; I pray, let him ; For h'as done that, alas, you would not think of, And, because I intend to be rid of him, I mean not to publish. Use your fortune else- where. I am strongly arm'd to brook my overthrow, As commonly men bear with a hard year: I will not blame the cause on 't ; but do think The necessity of my malevolent star Procures this, not her humour.
O, the inconstant And rotten ground of service! We do confiscate, Towards the satisfying of your accounts, All that you have. I am all yours ; and 'tis very fit All mine should be so. So, sir, you have your pass. You may see, gentlemen, what 'tis to serve A prince with body and soul.
Here 's an example for extortion: I would know what are your opinions Of this Antonio. He could not abide to see a pig's head gaping: I thought your grace would find him a Jew. Third Off. I would you had been his officer, for your own sake. Fourth Off. You would have had more money. First Off. He stopped his ears with black wool, and to those came to him for money said he was thick of hearing. Some said he was an hermaphrodite, for he could not abide a woman. How scurvy proud he would look when the treasury was full!
Well, let him go. Yes, and the chippings of the buttery fly after him, to scour his gold chain. Leave us. What do you think of these? That these are rogues that in 's prosperity, But to have waited on his fortune, could have wish'd His dirty stirrup riveted through their noses, And folio w'd after 's mule, like a bear in a ring ; Would have prostituted their daughters to his lust , Made their first-born intelligencers ; thought none happy But such as were born under his blest planet, And wore his livery: Well, never look to have the like again: He hath left a sort of flattering rogues behind him ; Their doom must follow.
Princes pay flatterers In their own money: Alas, poor gentleman! Sure, he was too honest. Pluto, the god of riches, When he 's sent by Jupiter to any man, He goes limping, to signify that wealth That comes on God's name comes slowly ; but when he's sent On the devil's errand, he rides post and comes in by scuttles.
He was an ex- cellent Courtier and most faithful ; a soldier that thought it As beastly to know his own value too little As devilish to acknowledge it too much. Both his virtue and form deserv'd a far better fortune: His discourse rather delighted to judge itself than show itself: His breast was filled with all perfection, And yet it seemed a private whispering-room, It made so little noise oft. But he was basely descended.
The Duchess of Malfi Bos. Will you make yourself a mercenary herald, Rather to examine men's pedigrees than virtues? You shall want him: For know an honest statesman to a prince Is like a cedar planted by a spring ; The spring bathes the tree's root, the grateful tree Rewards it with his shadow: I would sooner swim to the Bennoothes on Two politicians' rotten bladders, tied Together with an intelligencer's heart-string, Than depend on so changeable a prince's favour.
Fare thee well, Antonio! O, you render me excellent music! This good one that you speak of is my husband. Do I not dream? Fortunate lady! For you have made your private nuptial bed The humble and fair seminary of peace.
No question but many an unbenefic'd scholar Shall pray for you for this deed, and rejoice That some preferment in the world can yet Arise from merit. The virgins of your land That have no dowries shall hope your example Will raise them to rich husbands. Should-'you want Soldiers, 'twould make the very Turks and Moors Turn Christians, and serve you for this act.
Last, the neglected poets of your time, In honour of this trophy of a man, Rais'd by that curious engine, your white hand, Shall thank you, in your grave, for 't ; and make that More reverend than all the cabinets Of living princes.
For Antonio, His fame shall likewise flow from many a pen, When heralds shall want coats to sell to men. As I taste comfort in this friendly speech, So would I find concealment. O, the secret of my prince. Which I will wear on the inside of my heart! You shall take charge of all my coin and jewels, And follow him ; for he retires himself To Ancona.
Whither, within few days, I mean to follow thee. Let me think: I would wish your grace to feign a pilgrimage 69 ACT in. The Duchess of Malfi To our Lady of Loretto, scarce seven leagues From fair Ancona ; so may you depart Your country with more honour, and your flight Will seem a princely progress, retaining Your usual train about you.
Sir, your direction Shall lead me by the hand. In my opinion, She were better progress to the baths at Lucca, Or go visit the Spa In Germany ; for, if you will believe me, I do not like this jesting with religion, This feigned pilgrimage. The contemporary evidence came from a Christian point of view as the clergy members were for the most part the only literate people in the Middle Ages in Western Europe. Henceforth, it is unsurprising to notice the inescapable connexion between werewolves and the devil demonic possession, witchcraft.
B Demonism and Witchcraft Unlike the Ancient interpretation of lycanthropy, the sixteenth and seventeenth-century authors combined the natural humoral model originated from Greek and Arabic medicine with supernatural beliefs related to the power of the Devil. It was seen how the Church admonished and refused to accept the idea of actual transformations from man to wolf, however demonology picked up where theology left off by discussing the operation of illusory change and by assimilating witchcraft.
The main characters are seen rejecting supernatural explanations for unusual events, tending to heap scorn on such explanations by dismissing them as mere superstitions.
Edited by Montague Summers and translated as Demonolatry in Courier Corporation 15 Ibid. Act III, Scene 1 l. Penguin Classics 17 Ibid. The word blood is also in concordance with the humoral teachings of Galen… However the roles are then inverted when Ferdinand approaches Bosola to ask him to spy on the Duchess for him in exchange for payment. It seems you would create me One of your familiars. What's that? An intelligencer.
His sheer cruelty is revealed from the fourth act onwards after having imprisoned his sister in a dark and grim cell. She immediately begs for light to which her brother complies and then exits leaving her alone. This episode stresses how Ferdinand is linked with the diabolical considering the numerous references to magic and witchcraft listed above.
This also suggests that witchcraft and demonism left very much their imprint on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century contemporaries as it is made clear that John Webster drew inspiration from real events and sources of the same historical period. It is through this indeterminacy that the tragic power of the play arises from.
The demonological tracts 27Raithby, John ed. The Statutes of the Realm. Retrieved from the Internet Archive https: Originally published in Edited by James Crossley, released on April 25, [eBook ] http: Act IV, Scene 1 l. Penguin Classics 30Boguet, Henri. Chez Romain de Beauuais BnF Gallica. The werewolf was no longer the product of a physical and demonic transformation but the victim of an unstable mind.
This paved the way for the discourses of demonology and medicine to intersect as they both ascribed lycanthropy to madness and melancholy. C The aetiology of lycanthropy Authors might employ metaphors of disease and illnesse to achieve a particular literary effect.
Courier Corporation, Early English Books Online: A Dialogue Concerning Witches and Witchcraftes p. Originally published in , reprinted from the edition of , London: Printed for the Percy Society !
They were regarded as dangerous neither to themselves nor to others, but would simply roam out at night mimicking the behaviour of wolves and linger by grave monuments until daybreak. This fairly harmless melancholic lycanthrope was typical of the Ancient medical tradition, however the depiction of the lycanthrope as a grave digger is more representative of the early modern werewolf traditions. In the early medical portrayals, the disease comes up under different names: This representation stands as a sharp contrast with the inoffensive melancholic characterised by late Antiquity.
Act V, Scene 2, l. Penguin Classics 36Metzger, Nadine. Indeed the melancholy humour in theatre is composed of the sad pensive melancholic or the intellectual , the antic disposition of melancholy, the malcontent the ambitious and frustrated political man , and the melancholic lover.
His lycanthropic delusions are triggered by an abundance of melancholy. Which word, some Physitions do translate Daemonium Lupinum, that is, a woolvish Demoniacke: The most representative medical diagnosis of lycanthropy can be found in Anatomy of Melancholy London, by Robert Burton Llewellyn Worldwide, 8 mars Google Books: Walker, J. Dialogicall discourses of spirits and divels declaring their proper essence, natures, dispositions, and operations, their possessions and dispossessions: Early Medieval Books online: The Displaying of supposed Witchcraft, Chapter V p.
Printed by J. Nevertheless, Burton distinguished the two on the basis of the degree of violence: Differing only in this from frenzy, that it is without a fever, and their memory is most part better. The publication of A Briefe Discourse of a Disease Called the Suffocation of the Mother London, written by English physician Edward Jorden proceeded with the effort to distinguish the spiritual from the natural, bewitchment from insanity. Gutenberg Ebook released in De Lupina Insania p.
Although witchcraft prosecutions continued in England throughout the seventeenth century, the trend to medicalise the behaviour of witches and the bewitched served to question the authority of the trials and the supernatural mentality that lied behind them.
Penguin Classics 45 Ibid, l. This distingues the notion that the lycanthrope is convinced he has been transformed and the notion that he has been transformed by the power of Satan. Albert H. According to the humoral theory, the body is made of four humours: Ferdinand does not appear as melancholic, but rather as choleric in temperament since he is passionate, intemperate, inclined to rashness and anger.
An excess of hot and dry choler 50Goulart, Simon. Translated from French to English by Edward Grimeston. Imprinted at London: It is impossible to determine whether his lycanthropia is the outcome of his melancholy or madness because of a lack of evidence from the text to make this distinction certain. Shortly after her assassination, Ferdinand attacks Bosola for killing her sister whereas he was the one to order such a cold-blooded command. He then tries to understand in vain his own motives for such an order, and eventually the nature of his impending folly is made explicit when he predicts his own fate: His delusion!
The malcontent Bosola, who is crossed with Ferdinand following his partial release from slavery, slips references to animal imagery, referring to some kind of bestiary, as they illustrate human monstrosity: This suggests that one is animal in being both of the body and with the power to decrease human status, since the animal diseases are feeding off the human that they also replace. However, Ferdinand stresses furthermore the connexion between human and wolf as he sees wolves everywhere letting his anxiety appears in his language.
University of Illinois Press, By qualifying her children as cubs, Ferdinand implies that the Duchess is a she-wolf. Although his language is realigned with that of the audience at the death of the Duchess when he drifts to an existential endeavour rambling: This belief implicitly suggests that Ferdinand has sinned which results in a divine punishment and retribution as it was commonly believed in the seventeenth!
This inevitably questions whether Ferdinand is to be held accountable for his own actions. Theologically speaking, the responsibility for sinful deeds rests upon the rational consent to commit the sin.
However, Ferdinand is far from being blameless and surely does not lack moral culpability in the earlier parts of the play. So when does the Duke actually become a lycanthrope? It is fair to regard the masque of madmen IV, 2, l.
Now that it is stated when Ferdinand becomes ill, it is essential to wonder what is it about the werewolf that sets it apart from the other conditions of the medical lore. Lycanthropy presents a key element that some other medical pathologies lack. This thus means that the lycanthrope blurs the lines between man and beast — a debate that has been discussed since Antiquity: This discussion was under increased scrutiny during the early modern period as well.
Subsequently, it is not surprising to read that the mad and colonised people are 52Hirsch, Brett D. The only distinction between man and beast is once again his ability to reason, it is solely on this basis that animals are said to be incapable of sin unlike humans. It also arises the question of salvation since the werewolf, as an animal, is excluded from divine judgement. But the subtle difference between a werewolf and a lycanthrope is that the latter only believes to have been transformed into a wolf but retains his human shape.