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The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 5 - SCENE 5.1 Post by :monstercovers Category :Plays Author :Percy Bysshe Shelley Date :May 2012 Read :1807

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The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 5 - SCENE 5.1

SCENE 5.1:

Do evil deeds thus quickly come to end?
O, that the vain remorse which must chastise
Crimes done, had but as loud a voice to warn
As its keen sting is mortal to avenge!
O, that the hour when present had cast off _5
The mantle of its mystery, and shown
The ghastly form with which it now returns
When its scared game is roused, cheering the hounds
Of conscience to their prey! Alas! Alas!
It was a wicked thought, a piteous deed, _10
To kill an old and hoary-headed father.

It has turned out unluckily, in truth.

To violate the sacred doors of sleep;
To cheat kind Nature of the placid death
Which she prepares for overwearied age; _15
To drag from Heaven an unrepentant soul
Which might have quenched in reconciling prayers
A life of burning crimes...

You cannot say
I urged you to the deed.

O, had I never
Found in thy smooth and ready countenance _20
The mirror of my darkest thoughts; hadst thou
Never with hints and questions made me look
Upon the monster of my thought, until
It grew familiar to desire...

'Tis thus
Men cast the blame of their unprosperous acts _25
Upon the abettors of their own resolve;
Or anything but their weak, guilty selves.
And yet, confess the truth, it is the peril
In which you stand that gives you this pale sickness
Of penitence; confess 'tis fear disguised _30
From its own shame that takes the mantle now
Of thin remorse. What if we yet were safe?

How can that be? Already Beatrice,
Lucretia and the murderer are in prison.
I doubt not officers are, whilst we speak, _35
Sent to arrest us.

I have all prepared
For instant flight. We can escape even now,
So we take fleet occasion by the hair.

Rather expire in tortures, as I may.
What! will you cast by self-accusing flight _40
Assured conviction upon Beatrice?
She, who alone in this unnatural work,
Stands like God's angel ministered upon
By fiends; avenging such a nameless wrong
As turns black parricide to piety; _45
Whilst we for basest ends...I fear, Orsino,
While I consider all your words and looks,
Comparing them with your proposal now,
That you must be a villain. For what end
Could you engage in such a perilous crime, _50
Training me on with hints, and signs, and smiles,
Even to this gulf? Thou art no liar? No,
Thou art a lie! Traitor and murderer!
Coward and slave! But no, defend thyself;
Let the sword speak what the indignant tongue _55
Disdains to brand thee with.

Put up your weapon.
Is it the desperation of your fear
Makes you thus rash and sudden with a friend,
Now ruined for your sake? If honest anger
Have moved you, know, that what I just proposed _60
Was but to try you. As for me, I think,
Thankless affection led me to this point,
From which, if my firm temper could repent,
I cannot now recede. Even whilst we speak
The ministers of justice wait below: _65
They grant me these brief moments. Now if you
Have any word of melancholy comfort
To speak to your pale wife, 'twere best to pass
Out at the postern, and avoid them so.

_58 a friend edition 1821; your friend edition 1839.

O, generous friend! How canst thou pardon me? _70
Would that my life could purchase thine!

That wish
Now comes a day too late. Haste; fare thee well!
Hear'st thou not steps along the corridor?
I'm sorry for it; but the guards are waiting
At his own gate, and such was my contrivance _75
That I might rid me both of him and them.
I thought to act a solemn comedy
Upon the painted scene of this new world,
And to attain my own peculiar ends
By some such plot of mingled good and ill _80
As others weave; but there arose a Power
Which grasped and snapped the threads of my device
And turned it to a net of ruin...Ha!
Is that my name I hear proclaimed abroad?
But I will pass, wrapped in a vile disguise; _85
Rags on my back, and a false innocence
Upon my face, through the misdeeming crowd
Which judges by what seems. 'Tis easy then
For a new name and for a country new,
And a new life, fashioned on old desires, _90
To change the honours of abandoned Rome.
And these must be the masks of that within,
Which must remain unaltered...Oh, I fear
That what is past will never let me rest!
Why, when none else is conscious, but myself, _95
Of my misdeeds, should my own heart's contempt
Trouble me? Have I not the power to fly
My own reproaches? Shall I be the slave
Of...what? A word? which those of this false world
Employ against each other, not themselves; _100
As men wear daggers not for self-offence.
But if I am mistaken, where shall I
Find the disguise to hide me from myself,
As now I skulk from every other eye?


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The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 5 - SCENE 5.2 The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 5 - SCENE 5.2

The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 5 - SCENE 5.2
SCENE 5.2:A HALL OF JUSTICE.CAMILLO, JUDGES, ETC., ARE DISCOVERED SEATED;MARZIO IS LED IN.FIRST JUDGE:Accused, do you persist in your denial?I ask you, are you innocent, or guilty?I demand who were the participatorsIn your offence? Speak truth, and the whole truth.MARZIO:My God! I did not kill him; I know nothing; _5Olimpio sold the robe to me from whichYou would infer my guilt.SECOND JUDGE:Away with him!FIRST JUDGE:Dare you, with lips yet white from the rack's kissSpeak false? Is it so soft a questioner,That you would bandy lover's talk with it

The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 4 - SCENE 4.4 The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 4 - SCENE 4.4

The Cenci: A Tragedy In Five Acts - ACT 4 - SCENE 4.4
SCENE 4.4:ANOTHER APARTMENT IN THE CASTLE.ENTER ON ONE SIDE THE LEGATE SAVELLA,INTRODUCED BY A SERVANT,AND ON THE OTHER LUCRETIA AND BERNARDO.SAVELLA:Lady, my duty to his HolinessBe my excuse that thus unseasonablyI break upon your rest. I must speak withCount Cenci; doth he sleep?LUCRETIA (IN A HURRIED AND CONFUSED MANNER):I think he sleeps;Yet, wake him not, I pray, spare me awhile, _5He is a wicked and a wrathful man;Should he be roused out of his sleep to-night,Which is, I know, a hell of angry dreams,It were not well; indeed it