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The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 1 - SCENE 1.2 Post by :fxtrader Category :Plays Author :Percy Bysshe Shelley Date :May 2012 Read :3011

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The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 1 - SCENE 1.2

SCENE 1.2:

Pervert not truth,
Orsino. You remember where we held
That conversation;--nay, we see the spot
Even from this cypress;--two long years are past
Since, on an April midnight, underneath _5
The moonlight ruins of Mount Palatine,
I did confess to you my secret mind.

You said you loved me then.

You are a Priest.
Speak to me not of love.

I may obtain
The dispensation of the Pope to marry. _10
Because I am a Priest do you believe
Your image, as the hunter some struck deer,
Follows me not whether I wake or sleep?

As I have said, speak to me not of love;
Had you a dispensation I have not; _15
Nor will I leave this home of misery
Whilst my poor Bernard, and that gentle lady
To whom I owe life, and these virtuous thoughts,
Must suffer what I still have strength to share.
Alas, Orsino! All the love that once _20
I felt for you, is turned to bitter pain.
Ours was a youthful contract, which you first
Broke, by assuming vows no Pope will loose.
And thus I love you still, but holily,
Even as a sister or a spirit might; _25
And so I swear a cold fidelity.
And it is well perhaps we shall not marry.
You have a sly, equivocating vein
That suits me not.--Ah, wretched that I am!
Where shall I turn? Even now you look on me _30
As you were not my friend, and as if you
Discovered that I thought so, with false smiles
Making my true suspicion seem your wrong.
Ah, no! forgive me; sorrow makes me seem
Sterner than else my nature might have been; _35
I have a weight of melancholy thoughts,
And they forebode,--but what can they forebode
Worse than I now endure?

_24 And thus editions 1821, 1839; And yet edition 1819.

All will be well.
Is the petition yet prepared? You know
My zeal for all you wish, sweet Beatrice; _40
Doubt not but I will use my utmost skill
So that the Pope attend to your complaint.

Your zeal for all I wish;--Ah me, you are cold!
Your utmost skill...speak but one word...
Weak and deserted creature that I am, _45
Here I stand bickering with my only friend!
This night my father gives a sumptuous feast,
Orsino; he has heard some happy news
From Salamanca, from my brothers there,
And with this outward show of love he mocks _50
His inward hate. 'Tis bold hypocrisy,
For he would gladlier celebrate their deaths,
Which I have heard him pray for on his knees:
Great God! that such a father should be mine!
But there is mighty preparation made, _55
And all our kin, the Cenci, will be there,
And all the chief nobility of Rome.
And he has bidden me and my pale Mother
Attire ourselves in festival array.
Poor lady! She expects some happy change _60
In his dark spirit from this act; I none.
At supper I will give you the petition:
Till when--farewell.

I know the Pope
Will ne'er absolve me from my priestly vow
But by absolving me from the revenue _65
Of many a wealthy see; and, Beatrice,
I think to win thee at an easier rate.
Nor shall he read her eloquent petition:
He might bestow her on some poor relation
Of his sixth cousin, as he did her sister, _70
And I should be debarred from all access.
Then as to what she suffers from her father,
In all this there is much exaggeration:--
Old men are testy and will have their way;
A man may stab his enemy, or his vassal, _75
And live a free life as to wine or women,
And with a peevish temper may return
To a dull home, and rate his wife and children;
Daughters and wives call this foul tyranny.
I shall be well content if on my conscience _80
There rest no heavier sin than what they suffer
From the devices of my love--a net
From which he shall escape not. Yet I fear
Her subtle mind, her awe-inspiring gaze,
Whose beams anatomize me nerve by nerve _85
And lay me bare, and make me blush to see
My hidden thoughts.--Ah, no! A friendless girl
Who clings to me, as to her only hope:--
I were a fool, not less than if a panther
Were panic-stricken by the antelope's eye, _90
If she escape me.

_75 vassal edition 1821; slave edition 1819.


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The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 1 - SCENE 1.3 The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 1 - SCENE 1.3

The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 1 - SCENE 1.3
SCENE 1.3:A MAGNIFICENT HALL IN THE CENCI PALACE.A BANQUET.ENTER CENCI, LUCRETIA, BEATRICE, ORSINO, CAMILLO, NOBLES.CENCI:Welcome, my friends and kinsmen; welcome ye,Princes and Cardinals, pillars of the church,Whose presence honours our festivity.I have too long lived like an anchorite,And in my absence from your merry meetings _5An evil word is gone abroad of me;But I do hope that you, my noble friends,When you have shared the entertainment here,And heard the pious cause for which 'tis given,And we have pledged a health or two together,

The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 1 - SCENE 1.1 The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 1 - SCENE 1.1

The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 1 - SCENE 1.1
SCENE 1.1:AN APARTMENT IN THE CENCI PALACE.ENTER COUNT CENCI AND CARDINAL CAMILLO.CAMILLO:That matter of the murder is hushed upIf you consent to yield his HolinessYour fief that lies beyond the Pincian gate.--It needed all my interest in the conclaveTo bend him to this point; he said that you _5Bought perilous impunity with your gold;That crimes like yours if once or twice compoundedEnriched the Church, and respited from hellAn erring soul which might repent and live: --But that the glory and the interest