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Full Online Book HomePlaysThe Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 4 - SCENE 4.2
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The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 4 - SCENE 4.2 Post by :esource Category :Plays Author :Percy Bysshe Shelley Date :May 2012 Read :2705

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The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 4 - SCENE 4.2

SCENE 4.2:
BEFORE THE CASTLE OF PETRELLA.
ENTER BEATRICE AND LUCRETIA ABOVE ON THE RAMPARTS.


BEATRICE:
They come not yet.


LUCRETIA:
'Tis scarce midnight.


BEATRICE:
How slow
Behind the course of thought, even sick with speed,
Lags leaden-footed time!


LUCRETIA:
The minutes pass...
If he should wake before the deed is done?


BEATRICE:
O, mother! He must never wake again. _5
What thou hast said persuades me that our act
Will but dislodge a spirit of deep hell
Out of a human form.


LUCRETIA:
'Tis true he spoke
Of death and judgement with strange confidence
For one so wicked; as a man believing _10
In God, yet recking not of good or ill.
And yet to die without confession!...


BEATRICE:
Oh!
Believe that Heaven is merciful and just,
And will not add our dread necessity
To the amount of his offences.


(ENTER OLIMPIO AND MARZIO BELOW.)


LUCRETIA:
See, _15
They come.


BEATRICE:
All mortal things must hasten thus
To their dark end. Let us go down.


(EXEUNT LUCRETIA AND BEATRICE FROM ABOVE.)


OLIMPIO:
How feel you to this work?


MARZIO:
As one who thinks
A thousand crowns excellent market price
For an old murderer's life. Your cheeks are pale. _20


OLIMPIO:
It is the white reflection of your own,
Which you call pale.


MARZIO:
Is that their natural hue?


OLIMPIO:
Or 'tis my hate and the deferred desire
To wreak it, which extinguishes their blood.


MARZIO:
You are inclined then to this business?


OLIMPIO:
Ay, _25
If one should bribe me with a thousand crowns
To kill a serpent which had stung my child,
I could not be more willing.
(ENTER BEATRICE AND LUCRETIA BELOW.)
Noble ladies!


BEATRICE:
Are ye resolved?


OLIMPIO:
Is he asleep?


MARZIO:
Is all
Quiet?


LUCRETIA:
I mixed an opiate with his drink: _30
He sleeps so soundly...


BEATRICE:
That his death will be
But as a change of sin-chastising dreams,
A dark continuance of the Hell within him,
Which God extinguish! But ye are resolved?
Ye know it is a high and holy deed? _35


OLIMPIO:
We are resolved.

 

MARZIO:
As to the how this act
Be warranted, it rests with you.


BEATRICE:
Well, follow!


OLIMPIO:
Hush! Hark! What noise is that?


MARZIO:
Ha! some one comes!

BEATRICE:
Ye conscience-stricken cravens, rock to rest
Your baby hearts. It is the iron gate, _40
Which ye left open, swinging to the wind,
That enters whistling as in scorn. Come, follow!
And be your steps like mine, light, quick and bold.


(EXEUNT.)

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