Caesar Borgia; SON OF Pope Alexander THE SIXTH: A TRAGEDY Acted at the Duke's Theatre BY Their Royal Highnesses Servants. Written by NAT. LEE.

LONDON: Printed by R. E. for R. Bentley, and M. Magnes, in Russel-Street in Covent-Garden, near the Piazza. 1680.

To the Right Honourable PHILIP, Earl of PEM­BROKE, and MONTGOMERY, &c.

My Lord,

WHen an Universal Consternation spreads through the King­dom, and the Peace which every man enjoys, becomes dreadful to him; when Mens minds in this dead calm of State, are as busie, as 'tis fear'd, the hands of some wou'd be in the Tempest of a Battel, to see a Poet plotting in his Chamber quite another way, painting fast as vigorous Fancy can inspire him, drawing the past World, the present, and to come, in a narrow space, is an Image not unworthy a grave Man's Con­templation. It is the business of poor Poets to be the diversion of Mankind; pleasure is their being. I think I may call 'em the Mistresses of the World; which if granted, I am sure 'tis easie to prove their Gallants very brutish, for they generally loath them as soon as they are enjoy'd: The best of 'em come under the severest lash of the greatest Men; nay, the least will be shoot­ting their Bolts, and when the Mastiffs worry 'em, the little [...]urs will be barking; the whole World censures, and ev'ry da­ring Poet that comes forth, must expect to be like the Almanack Hero, all over wounds. For my own part, I have been so harsh­ly handl'd by some of 'em, that my Courage quite fail'd me; nor wou'd I now appear in Print, but under the Protection and Patronage of your Lordship. Your Illustrious Forefathers, and indeed all your Eminent Relations, have always been of the First-rate Nobility, Patrons of Wit and Arms, magnificently brave, true old-stampt Britains, and ever foremost in the Race of Glory. Not to unravel half your Honourable Records, I challenge all the Men of Fame, to show an Equal to the Immor­tal Sidney, ev'n when so many contemporary Worthies flourish'd, I mean Sir Philip, the Name still of your Lordship, true Rival of your Honour, one that cou'd match your Spirit, so most ex­travagantly great, that he refus'd to be a King. He was at once a Caesar and a Virgil, the leading Souldier, and the foremost Poet, all after this must fail: I have paid just Veneration to his Name, and methinks the Spirit of Shakespear push'd the Com­mendation.

[Page]That there are in your Lordship all these Excellent Grains which made this Perfect Man, I think my self bound by reason to tell the World, which to my particular observation and cer­tain knowledge has done you wrong. I must acknowledge, that your boiling Youth has made great Salleys; and so did Alexander, and our Great Fifth Henry: Your Spirit complains as Alexander's did, for Action, who grudg'd his Father's Con­quests, as if his Soul was pent, and wanted Elbow-room, re­solv'd to go Abroad o're Walls, if not through Doors; and Men of Sense laugh at your precise Fellow, your Cynick in a Tub, who thwarts the course of Nature, and is never pleas'd, but when he sees grey Heirs upon a young Head. If to be truly Va­liant, ev'n in cold Blood, Magnificent as the old Nobility, in­finitely Charitable, modest as Humility it self, the fastest Friend upon Earth, where your Lordship is pleas'd to fix the Honour; if these Ingredients can compound one admirable Man, then may your Lordship stand forth a Monument of lasting Honour. Perhaps for this I shall incur the notion of a Flatterer: Flattery indeed is a Catholick ill, it passes through the World, and suits with all Complexions: 'Tis an insinuating Poyson, a Iesui [...]'s Powder, which seems to intend the Cure of the Disease it pro­motes; I am confident, all those who have the honour of your Lordship's Acquaintance, will tell me I have said too little. Let it suffice, that I imitate the best of Poets in a short but hearty Acknowledgment of my Obligations to your Lordship.

Therefore I hope, as your Lordship's Great Uncle shone upon the mighty Ben. with a full Favour, (though my best Merits are not the ten thousand part of his smallest labours) your Lordship's infinite goodness will accept of my honest in­tentions, which to your Lordship's Service shall ever be hum­bly offer'd,

By, my Lord, Your Lordship's most Humble And Obedient Servant, NAT. LEE.


TH' unhappy man, who once has trail'd a Pen,
Lives not to please himself but other Men:
Is always drudging, wasts his Life and Blood,
Yet only eats and drinks what you think good:
What praise soe're the Poetry deserve,
Yet every Fool can bid the Poet starve:
That fumbling Lecher to revenge is bent,
Because he thinks himself or Whore is meant:
Name but a Cuckold, all the City swarms
From Leaden-hall to Ludgate is in Arms.
Were there no fear of Antichrist or France,
In the best times poor Poets live by chance.
Either you come not here, or as you grace
Some old acquaintance, drop into the place,
Careless and qualmish with a yawning Face.
You sleep o're Wit, and by my troth you may,
Most of your Talents lye another way.
You love to hear of some prodigious Tale,
The Bell that toll'd alone, or Irish Whale.
News is your Food, and you enough provide,
Both for your selves and [...]ll the World beside.
One Theatre there is of vast resort,
Which whilome of Requests was call'd the Court.
But now the great Exchange of News 'tis hight,
And full of hum and buzz from Noon till Night:
Vp Stairs and down you run as for a Race,
And each man wears three Nations in his Face.
So big you look, tho' Claret you retrench,
That arm'd with bottled Ale; you huff the French:
But all your Entertainment still is fed
By Villains, in our own dull Island bred:
Would you return to us, we dare engage
To show you better Rogues upon the Stage:
You know no Poison but plain Rats-bane here,
Death's more refin'd, and better bred elsewhere.
They have a civil way in Italy
By smelling a perfume to make you dye,
A Trick would make you lay your Snuff-box by.
Murder's a Trade—so known and practis'd there,
That 'tis Infallible as is the Chair—
But mark their Feasts, you shall behold such Prank [...],
The Pope says Grace, but 'tis the Devil gives Thanks.

Dramatis Personae

  • Sons of Alexander the Sixth.
    • Caesar Borgia,Mr. Betterton.
    • Palante, Duke of Gandia.Mr. Williams.
  • Machiavel, Secretary of Florence. Mr. Smith.
  • Paul Orsino, Head of the Factions against Borgia. Mr. Gillow.
  • Ascanio Sforza, A Buffoon Cardinal. Mr. Lee.
  • Vittellozzo, Chief of the Vitelli.Mr. Percival.
  • Enna,
  • Ange,
  • Cardinals, &c.
  • Bellamira, Daughter of Orsino.Mrs. Lee.
  • Adorna, Her Kinswoman and Confident.Mrs. Price.
  • Attendants, &c.

The Scene ROME.

[Page 1]Caesar Borgia.


Scene is a Chamber of State, a [...] distance are discovered little American Boys with Boxes of Iewels in their hands; on each side of the Stag [...], from the flat Scene to the Chamber, long Indian Screnes are spread at their full length.
Enter Alonzo, and Don Michael.
D. Mich.
ARE these the Presents, say'st thou, of the late
New Cardinal Ascanio Sforza?
They are; he offers thus to Machiavel,
And thinks that Gold may bribe him to betray
The Duke Valentinois. But, Michael, tell me
What does the World report of this Creation,
Does it not rail, and g [...]in, and bite the Pope?
D. Mich.
Has it not Reason? For, betwixt our selves,
Would any man in his high Dignity
So vilely sell the Glories of the Church?
Twelve Cardinals at once created!
Ascanio first, because he bids him most:
A fine effeminate Villain, bred in Brothels,
Senseless, illiterate, the Jear of Rome,
A blot to the whole See! One fitter far
For Hospitals, that paints and patches up
A wretched Carkass worried in the Stews.
But, see! the gaudy Pageant moves this way:
How spruce he looks! and with a Pocked Glass
Surveys the gloating Image.
All Luxury:
I heard, the night succeeding his Creation,
That he got drunk, and kiss'd the Prelates round
For joy—But, see he comes; retire and leave me.
Ex. D. Mich.
Enter Ascanio Sforza.
Well, Borgi [...], well! if I am not reveng'd!
Was there none else in Rome, but Bellamira?
[Page 2]Ah Bella, Bella, Bella, Bella, Bellamira!
I saw her first at Mass, as I remember;
Cherubin and Seraphin were nothing to her:
Oh such a skin full of alluring flesh!
Ah, such a ruddy, moist, and pouting Lip;
Such Dimples, and such Eyes! such melting Eyes,
Blacker than Sloes, and yet they sparkl'd fire,
Then such a way she had to roul 'em round;
As thus, and thus— a thousand amorous ways;
And wink and gloat, and turn 'em to the corners—
My Noble Lord!
My dear, my dear Alonz!
Nay, let me greet thee: 'twas the Father's Custom.
But tell me, lovely, dear Alonzo, tell me:
Thou hast the softest fine Complexion for
A Lover; best take heed of walking late:
Tell me I say, or I will pinch thy Cheek?
Moves he this way, or does he teem alone
With some state Birth? if so, I'll wait agen.
Whom does your Eminence intend?
Thy Lord:
Whom should I mean, intend, or think of else?
Thy Lord and mine. Well he's an Oracle! intend!
Why man, I dream of nothing else!
But Wenches.
O Machiavel! there, there's a word, a sound,
An Air, a blast, a Thunder-clap of wit,
To rouse our Foggy thick-scull'd Cardinals:
I'll say no more; Would he were Pop [...],
Head of the Christian World, and I his Engine,
His particular member, to bring, to cast,
To throw, disperse, convey the warmest
Sprinklings of his benediction.
My Lord, I humbly offer'd your Address,
While with an eye, swift as the Sun and piercing,
He ran your Letter o're: and sure it stirr'd him;
For strait he turn'd, and darting me, he ask'd
If the great Cardinal, meaning you, my Lord,
Which shews the deep respect he bears your Person,
Knew not that Borgia was his best of Friends.
Borgia, he cry'd again, to whom the Lords
Of Florence sent me their Ambassadour
With promis'd aid against the Rebel Orsins.
Has he receiv'd—stay, I say, has he? here,
Open thy Fist, now gripe me fast, and tell me.
[Page 3]
I durst not name your Presents;
But, bowing, soon retir'd, and plac'd em here,
That as he follows, he may view at once
All your Magnificence—if ought of Earth
His temper holds, this lightning will dissolve it:
But see! He comes; be pleas'd, Sir, to retire,
And you shall hear the Zeal with which I serve you.
Enter Machiavel.
Thus have I drawn the platform of their Fates;
As oft I have beheld, by Masters hands,
A Tale in painting admirably told;
Here a soft Dido stabb'd into the breast,
A Hero there thrown headlong from a Window,
To meet her Lover wrack'd upon the Shore:
So have I form'd in more than Brass or Marble,
The Deaths of those whom I intend to hush.
O, Caesar Borgia! such a Name and Nature!
That is my second self; a Machiavel!
A Prince! who, by the vigor of this brain,
Shall rise to the old height of Roman Tyrants.
He deeply thinks; nor dare I interrupt him,
Till he comes forward.
Peace, and give him way—Oh such a Head-piece [...]
In all my strict enquiries, all the Humours
Which I have drain'd with more than Chymists pains,
I have not found a temper so compleat
To finish forth a greatness as my Caesar's.
First; he's a Bastard, got in a fit of Nature!
She shook him from her Nerves in a Convulsion;
His Father stampt the Bullion in a heat,
And taking from the Mint the fiery ore,
His Image blest, and cry'd, it is my own.
Yet more, a Priest begot him, and 'tis thought
That Earth is more oblig'd to Priests for Bodies,
Than Heav'n for Souls! nay, and a young Priest too,
Perhaps in the Embraces of a Nun,
Who ventur'd life to clasp the lusty joy.
Oh, if a man could but hear him now! Brain, all brain;
Alas, Alonzo, we are stuff to him —
Meer Entrails, but the Guts of Government,
Nothing to him—hark—he goes on—
Why, what a start of Nature is this man
Whom by Ambition, not by Love I'll raise?
[Page 4]Therefore Ascanio's new golden World,
I gravely take, for ruine to the Bride,
To her old doting Father, Bro [...]hers, Uncles,
And the whole Race of Orsin and Vi [...]elli
Is sixt by Fate and me: No more! the flee [...]ing Air
May catch the sounds, and walls themselves have ears.
My Lord! the Cardinal Ascanio
coming [...] bowing.
Is planted to your order.
Let him hear us—
Urge me no more,—for [...]is impossible [...]
My Lord, he thinks not so:
He says your Voice is as the mouth of Heav'n,
Stiles you a God, and in the extravagance
Of his unbounded admiration, swears
Nothing to you can be impossible.
Extravagance indeed!
Yet such extravagance expresses love,
And merits all my th [...]nks: and had he mention'd
Ought but the ruine of my best Friends,
I would with all the Wings of expedition
Have shot through 1 [...]00 bars to do him service.
My Lord! he does not hint at Borgia's ruine.
Does he not wish that I should break the Nuptials?
'Tis sure the Marriage I at first dislik'd;
I pierc'd [...]he Charmer with a narrow eye,
And found how Wit and Beauty threatn'd in her,
With all the subtlest graces, that might [...]ull
Stubborn ambition to inglorious rest:
But love already had perform'd his part,
And laid the Warring Borgia at her Feet,
How then should I oppose his first Enjoyment,
Who was his Legate, and sollicited
The Parents of the beauteous Bellamira.
At least, Sir, for the future, lay some block
That may disturb the progress of their loves;
And since you have alledg'd 'tis for his glory
This Marriage were undone; since it is done,
Let it be hurtful in the consequence.
Thus I should prove indeed a Friend to Florence,
Who hate Orsino's Race: Nay, I should act
The truest Part of Friendship to my Borgia,
Snatching this Soft'ner from his War-like Bosom,
And turning him new bent, for Arms and Glory [...]
Ha! What new Scene of Gallantry is thi [...]?
Whence, and from whom comes this Magnificence?
[Page 5]And wherefore kneel these Offerers at my Feet?
They are the Children of the new-found World,
The Forms of Z [...]m [...]s, call'd the Indian Gods.
Away with 'em, and bid 'em tell their Lord,
Machiavel's Virtue never shall be brib'd;
And for their service give 'em twenty Crowns:
But if thou darest to rob 'em of a Spangle,
You know my humour,—never see me more.
Doubt not, my Lord, but I'll observe your humour.—
Come in, my Lord— I told you he would melt.
Sir, the great Cardinal. So,—now they cringe;
What, and embrace too! Oh thou damn'd, damn'd World!
These will be heard, and make your Statesman smile,
When Orphans, Widows, and the crippled Souldiers
Are Elbow'd off, and thrust away in frowns.
Exit, with the Boys [...]
My Lord, you make me wonder! Sure you've been
In love your self with old Orsino's Daughter!
Lov'd her, my Lord! witness these falling tears!
Why do you thaw my Nature with your Questions?
Witness bright Stars! witness you golden Planets [...]
And all ye Woods, and all ye purling Streams;
And Birds and Flocks, and Grots, and Rocks, and Flow'rs!
Nay, Sir, I tell you, she was mine betroth'd,
If I could cast my Coat, which had been done,
For nothing tickles the present Pope like Gold,
Daz [...]es him that he weeps Indulgences,
Forgives, absolves, all for Omnipotent Gold;
Dispenses Pardons sometimes in a fury,
He sends his Bulls abroad that roar like Thunder:
When strait a golden Calm
Comes o're their backs, and then they're still as Lambs;
Why should I hold you long amongst the rest,
That saw her Borgia, that unlucky Bastard,
Beheld and lov'd her.—I, my Lord, was ruin'd.
My Lord, I wish the Marriage may not prosper [...]
He's bent to enjoy her, and in that I sooth him:
For subtly offering once to bring him off,
I found pale anger in his Face like Death,
Whereon I feign'd compliance, and have wrought
The business to a head—But let time work,
And rest assur'd, that what so mean a man
As Machiavel with honour can perform,
To pay you perfect Service shall be done.
My Lord! farewel—when I protest and swear,
Ev'n by the Altar of fair Bellamira,
[Page 6]My life is yours: Believe I am your Servant,
Not a step further by my Robe! your Captive,
Your Eminence most humble Creature, Servant, Slave.
Ex. Ascanio.
I am ty'd for ever.
No dull Buffoon! thou walking lump of Lust;
Not to revenge thy ungor'd appetite
Shall Borgia kill her: But for his own Renown:
He is my Champion-prince, Italian Tyrant,
Not form'd to languish in a Womans Arms.
Oh—'tis a fault, were I so fram'd for greatness,
E're I would amble in a Female Court,
And cringe, and skip, and play the Ladies Cripple,
I would be Gibbetted i'th' Common-way,
For Crows and Daws to peck my Carrion Limbs.
But I must rouze him, and I'll do't by Death,
Ev'n by the bloody Death of her he doats on.
Enter Adorna.
Here's one Ingredient I must mix to make
The potion Death—The Wretch is deep in Love
With Borgia's Brother, the young Duke of Gandia,
That way I make her sure!
My Lord.
My dear Adorna,
How goes the marriage forward? and how treats
The gallant Borgia, great Valentinois,
Romania's Duke his fair and Virgin Bride?
The Rites are to be solemniz'd this morning;
Tho' Bellamira quite abhors the Marriage,
Who still when Borgia humbly sues for Love;
Answers him with her Tears, and pays his Vows
With Ominous weeping.
And how takes he that?
He walks and muses deeply, speaks to no man,
But Paul Orsino, whose most watchful wit
I fear descries where she has lockt her heart;
With a bent brow he eyes the Duke of Gandia,
Salutes him not of late: He came this morning
Into her Chamber; dreadful was his action,
Unworthy of my blood, he thundred out;
But if the generous Borgia is refus'd;
Think not of Gandia, but of blood and death.
What inauspicious Chance discovered to him
[Page 7]A secre [...], which I thought conceal [...]d from all,
But thee and me, and those unhappy Lovers?
I cannot guess; he paus'd a while, then sigh'd,
And starting up in fury charg'd her rise:
Receive, he cry'd, receive him as a Husband
Whom the selected vertues of thy Sex
Can ne're deserve, adorn thee like a Bride,
And meet him, tho thy Treacherous heart is Mortgag'd;
Meet him at least with well dissembled Love,
Or by my hopes, I'll wreke my anger on thee,
With all the Torments that Italian Fury
Could e're invent for an Adulterous Wretch [...]
He cry'd I will, and after make thee nothing.
Haste thee away! charm with thy utmost skill
The mourning Bellamira, to obey him:
The knot once ty'd, Gandia will soon despair.
Leave me to work him then: Millions to one
But I shall make him thine.
But did Duke of Gandia once protest?
Protest! He did protest, and swear, and vow.
Go go, and haste! for the day grows upon us.
Ex. Adorna [...]
His Brother too! this Duke of Gandia bleeds;
For he is grown of late the Romans darling,
Warm'd in the very Bosom of the Pope,
And dearer than my Borgia to his Sister,
The famous Lucrece, who can charm her Father
In all the heat of Excommunications,
When he throws Bulls, like Thunderbolts about him;
She like a Venus to his angry Iove
Moves with incestuou [...] Fires, folds her white arm
About his chafing Neck, strokes his black Beard,
And smooths his furrow'd Cheeks to dimpled smiles;
The Brothers too enjoy'd her. O Heav'n, and Earth [...]
Not the first day, after such infinite time
That Motion had th' irregular matter rowl'd,
When all the wandring Atoms hit at last
Into this beauteous form, even when our Sires
First mingled, was there such a loose of Nature,
Such a triumvirate of Lawless Lovers,
Such Rivals as out-do even Lucian's Gods!
Ha! the Orsini here! and the Vit [...]lli!
They move this way in murmuring Cabals;
Methinks Death darken [...] every Vis [...]ge there.
'Tis so—They are no more—Or this is true,
Or Machiavel knows nothing of Man-kind.
Ex. Mach.
[Page 8] Enter Orsino, Vi [...]ellozzo, Ascanio, Adrian, Enna, Ange, three Cardinals. Oliverotto, Gravina.
I say agen, I do not like the Marriage;
Were Bellamira mine, I'd sell her off
For Gold, I'd merchandize her tender beauty
With Infidels, and send her to the Turk,
Like an Andromada, to gorge the Monster,
Rather than to wed her to perfidious Borgia.
You are too violent.
I think not so:
A drowning man will grasp at any thing,
Nay, sink his Friend that leap'd among the Waves
To give him life: but yon tho in the gulph,
Ride on to ruine, tho your Friends call out.
Nay, though they point the Whirle-pool just before you,
That would devour us all.
Besides 'tis Impious,
Against all Right of Nature, Law of Reason,
To act the Tyrant o're a Daughters will.
She knows the Cruelties of Caesar Borgia [...]
Has heard his Rapes and Murders! Mercy on me [...]
How did he use the poor Vene [...]ian Lady?
He forc'd her in a Wood, nay in a Ditch,
As I am credibly inform'd by those
That heard her squeak, in a Dry-Ditch deflowr'd her!
Add yet to this, my Lords, How, when the French,
At sacking of a Town, broke open Nunne [...]ie [...],
He truss'd at least 40 the pretty'st Rogubs,
The tenderst quaking things! never broke up [...]
All spotless Maids, like [...] ne're blown upon,
Nor touch'd even with the tip of any Finger,
And kept 'em for [...]is Letchery.
Methinks my Lord Ascanio! my Lord of Millain,
Or my Lord Cardinal, more moderation
Would better fit a man of [...]our profession?
I would not come to th [...] [...] A [...]gument,
For then we clash: B [...]gia is now my Son;
Therefore I pray [...]ce more forbear to tax him;
The Theme is great and worthy that we mention,
Romania's Duke and Nephew to the Pope.
Prithee, old Paul: Prithee now ben't so hot:
Good Reverend Gray-beard: if you'l name his Greatness,
Pronounce him right, ev'n as his Holiness
[Page 9]Has own'd him to the World without a blush,
His natural Son, his Nephew, or his By blow, that is,
In short, old Paul, his down right Bastard.
Without a blush: should I stand up the Champion
Of absent Borgia, and unravel thee,
I tell thee, Priest; thou scandal to the Altar,
Thy Front, thy Eyes, thy Lips, each part of thee
Would blush with Scarlet deeper than thy Robe.
Peace Dotard, peace:
I say old stuttering Paul, thou'lt ha' [...]he worst on't:
Therefore peace, peace Dotard.
Forbear: my Lord, Remember!
How dares he thus provoke me?
Who knows, yet urges me knows in his heart
How I have pierc'd into his deepest thoughts,
Have had intelligence of all his Vices,
Ev'n of his closest, darkest Deeds of Lust,
And dar'st thou call me Dotard? Saucy Churchman [...]
Thou that gav'st Whores Indulgences fo [...] Sin;
So rank, that he frequents the Common Stews;
For a new Face would give his Scarlet Coat
To make the Strumpet fine.
My Lord, Consider where, to whom, of whom,
And what it is you utter?
Place me, some Power,
Upon Saint Peter's Vane, the very Ball,
And turn my Voice to Thunder, that I may
Lay open to the World the Hellish Acts
Of this Contagious Prelate.
Spit, spit thy Venom; nay, nay, let him out with't—
Mark how he shakes now; by my Holy [...]Dame
I have nettled him: Poor Paul—I Pitty the old Fool—
Then Priest, let me demand thee,
Is no [...] the Cupping-glass that burns thy Lust,
And draws thy rising Gall to such a Blister,
My Daughter's scorn, and loathing of thy person?
Ha! is't not that? I think I've stung you, Cardinal!
Worse than the Neapolitan Pox you gave
Our Roman Harlots—
Why how now, Paul, what dost thou grow foul
Mouth'd now? by my Holy-Dame, had I a Sword
I'd firk thee, Orsin— I'd so whip thee, Paul,
So flawg and scourge thee, thou should'st eat thy words.
The Pox! why, how now? ha! the Pox i'faith!
[Page 10]The Pox to me! let me come at him—hah!
Ha! wilt thou fight?
So forward Priest! by Heav'n I'll shave your Crown;
Stand back and let me mow this Poppy off;
This rank red Weed that spoils the Churches Corn.
Did ever fury run to such a height!
Why, my Lord Cardinal, know you this place,
And how 'tis priviledg'd?
My Lord, I am silenc'd.
An easie Man made up of patience, I!
No Gall in me! give me thy hand, Old Paul:
Henceforth w'are Friends, and as a Friend I'll tell thee,
Ev'n from my Heart, I'll tell thee what I think:
Thou art bewitch't, Old Paul, besotted, fool'd—
This Son-in-Law of thine has seal'd thine Eyes,
And shortly I shall see thee walk the Streets
With a Dog and a Bell—nay—prithee be not angry,
For 'tis in love: I'll tell thee of a Dotage,
And so your Servant noble Vitellazzo,
Anga and Enna yours—Farewell, my Lord,
And lastly thine whose Neck is in the Noose,
Old Woodcock, Orsin.
Exit Cardinal.
D. Gravin.
I am not us'd to fear,
But yet methought Ascanio's last words
Were dreadful to my Ears.
I have engag'd [...]
My Daughter, Life and Honour, and all my Fortunes
For the Duke's Faith, and the security [...]
Of every person here; why should we doubt him?
Have we not seen his Labour in this matter?
Four thousand Duckets, given us down in hand,
With an assurance of our former pay;
Nay more, he binds himself not to constrain
Any one of us to appear in person
Before him, but who pleases of himself:
Therefore let me intreat you clear your Brains,
Meet all this day together at the Marriage,
And pay him, as he merits faithful homage.
There's something here fore-bodes, in spite of
The Musick that he makes, a harsh Conclusion.
For shame no more! the very fears of Children,
Because he gives our Friends allowances,
And honours them with Charges, Governments,
Beyond their Qualities, we dread his Dealing,
And swear he means to draw our Faction from us.
[Page 11]
Henceforth say what you will, do what you please,
Since to your Interests I am link'd by Fate:
I will no more oppose your specious Reasons,
But instantly go wait upon the Duke.
This day to add new Honours to the Marriage,
Our Son-in-Law, the Duke Valantinois,
Receives the Rose before the Consistory,
A Grace which seldom is vouchsafed to Kings;
Indeed the greatest which the Sacred Head
Of the whole Christian World can give to Man,
The very highest Round of Humane Glory.
Scene draws, and shews the Consistory: Borgia come forward, with the Rose carri'd before him in great Pomp. His Son Se­raphino led by Alonzo, Machiavel, Attendants, Ascanio, and five Cardinals, &c.
O Machiavel! was [...]ver Pomp like this?
The Morning dawns with an unwonted Crimson;
The Flow'rs more od'rous seem, the Garden Birds
Sing louder, and the laughing Sun ascends
The gaudy Earth with an unusual brightness—
All Nature smiles, and the whole world is pleas'd,
Even all the World, but thy unhappy Borgia.
And why should he, who every Man concludes
The Darling of the Times, whom bounteous Heav'n
Has Crown'd with Glory in successful Wars,
Whom it now doubly Crowns with Beauty too,
The brightest of her Sex, why should he thwart
The whole Worlds Vogue, and think himself unhappy [...]
Yes Machiavel! thou worthi'st of Mankind,
To thee I'll strip my Heart, that secret Bed,
With Vices, Vertues, every naked thought,
And shew thee all the mixture of a Man.
We are observ'd—Think me not over-frail
Because I love: were Bellamira dearer,
Her Father bleeds, and all the Rebel-Race;
I'll first insnare the Fools: then preach Fate to 'em.
And let 'em know, just as the Cords are drawing,
None ought to offend his Prince, and after trust him.
My Lord Orsino! O forgive me, Heav'n!
Who have thus grosly fail'd to pay the Reverence
I owe the best of Fathers, best of Friends:
This day, this glorious day, for ever blest,
And never to be lost in Times dark Legend,
[Page 12]Crowns me your Son. Thus then I bend my knees [...]
Which are not us'd to kneel but at the Altar:
And O! permit me thus to kiss your Hand,
And pay the Eternal Vows of my Obedience.
O rise, my Lord, all Du [...]y is out done
Wi [...]h but one single bare Acknowledgment;
Y [...]t for a satisfaction to this Company,
Say, do you love my Daughter Bellamira?
B [...]rg.
Ha! what says my Father? do I live?
O Heaven? Why do you wound me with the Question?
Does the poor suff'ring Fair One Vertue love,
Who drinks the Brook, and ea [...]s what Nature yields,
Rather than feast in Courts wi [...]h loss of Honour?
Do those, who on the Rack for Heav'n expire,
Love Angels, and Eternal brightness there?
'Tis sure they do: And oh—'tis full as sure,
That Caesar Borgia dies for Bellamira.
No more; you Honour her and me too much [...]
Therefore this day I give her to your Arms
With all the pleasure of a proud old Father,
O'rejoy'd to see his Daughter match'd above him:
By Heav'n, my eyes grow full; here all our Discord
For ever end, all Jars betwixt the Orsins,
Vitelli, and the Duke of Valentinois,
Be bury'd ever in this strict Imbrace.
Since you will hav [...] it so, forgive my Duty [...]
Let me grow bold, and as a Fri [...]nd imbrace you—
See here, my Lord, for scarce can I distinguish,
Through the bright joy that dazles my weak sight,
Oliverotto, and the Duke Graviana,
When Vitellozzo come to grace your Nuptials:
All on their knees acknowledge you their Prince.
My Equals all: Nor shall this Homage be,
I swear it shall not: Rise my Lords; your Arms:
Let me imbrace you round: by all things sacred,
I swear that none of you have been too blame.
Were you Confederates against my Arms:
You were: but Borgia' [...] infinite Ambition
Forc'd you against your wills to let him know,
His head-strong Youth, like a young fiery Horse,
Unless you kindly stop him in hi [...] speed,
Would hurl him from some Precipice to ruine.
O [...]sin.
See Vitellozzo! how he takes our Crimes
Upon himself.
Behold this Child, my Son [...]
[Page 13]I know not any thing the World call [...] precious,
Which in the darkness of my heart can match him,
But Bellamira. Take him Vitellozzo,
Take the dear blood that trickles from my heart,
The very strings that wind about my life,
And let him for my part be Surety,
As beautious Bellamira is for yours.
Farewell, my Lord: with these Attendance here
I go to haste the Bride; and let my life
Be answer for the little Seraphino.
Ex. Orsin. Vitelli.
He has her now, that delicate bit of Beauty
Which I reserv'd for my own Letchery:
He drills her from her old deluded Sire,
Hell! and she melts; she melts into hi [...] mouth:
But by my Holy-Dame I'll be reveng'd
On every part of him: His little Bastard,
Because he doats on him, shall streight be mangled—
I'll do't I say: Yes by my Holy Dame,
I will revenge my loss of Letchery—
Ha! what a jerk was that? it grates my bones;
Pray Heav'n it ben't a Spice, a little Tang
Of the Neapolitan Itch, O my Holy-Dame.
Ex. with Cardinals.
Now Machiavel, prepare to hear my Soul,
Hear to what softness and effeminate mourning
All my dear Victories at last are melted:
For I will tell thee though thou'lt scarce believe,
Since first I saw the Charming B [...]llamira,
The very Image of Charlotta's scorn,
I have not had one hour of Free repose;
Ev'n when at last I have resolv'd to joyn
Our hands and trust her with my tender glory,
I've started from my Bed, at midnight rose,
And wande [...]'d by the Moon: Then laid me down
Upon some dewy bank, and slept till morn.
Therefore there must be some strange Circumstance
That first induc'd those fears, some dang'rou [...] hint
For your suspitions—
Yes Machiav [...]l,
There is, there is a cause for my suspitions.
Are you sure of it?
Most sure I am;
Sure a [...] reserv'dness does imply aversion:
Yet I, as if my flames were fire in Frost,
The more she cools, scorch, rage, and burns the more—
I gues [...] your meaning; like Charlotta, she
[Page 14]Has pawn'd her heart—but 'tis confess'd you know him—
Ha! did I know the name of him I dread?
What God in Arm [...] should save him from my Sword?
Here thou hast rouz'd the Lion in my heart,
Italian spite, revenge and blasting fury
Devou [...]s my Soul! all mildness sleeps like Death:
I boil like Drunkards Veins— Death! Hell and Vengeance!
Suppress this Fury—
C [...]me! come! my Lord—I find your are better skill'd
In Camps then Courts, and know not yet Loves World.
She is reserv'd you say, when you approach her;
Why, let her weep too: was it ever known
A subtle Pride laugh'd on her Wedding Day,
Or clasp'd her love in the eye o'th world?
I find you are unlearn'd! Sir— 'tis their Trade,
The very Nature, Soul, and Life-blood of 'em—
To whine [...] and cry, and turn their heads away,
When their hearts dote on what they seem to scorn!
If it were so!
Why it was always so,
Is so, and will be so to the worlds end!
Give me your hand, and take her on my word;
I have been bred in Courts; sounded the humours
Even of all Women-kind: Therefore advise you
Repair immediately to old Orsino,
Who with his Beauteous Daughter waits your Coming.
Could she be truly mine! the wings of Winds
Would be too slow to waft me to her arms!
Once more I say, she is and shall be yours,
Truly, religiously, devoutly yours—
Why all this thought and groundless Jealousy?
Let manly Confidence and Roman-Vertue
Master this Gothick Fury in your blood.
By Arms! by all the glories I have won!
Thou hast awak'd my Love, and Charm'd my fears.
Charlotta! O the very figure of her;
But sure the Beauteous Lines are softer here:
And now I find 'tis ruine to forgo her —
No more my Lord. 'Tis I that thus embark you [...]
And if some startin [...] Plank should fl [...]w the Vessel
To your destruction—I am ruin'd too —
Since all I have, or am, or ever would be,
Is to be yours; your sworn, unbyass'd friend.
Thou best of men:
Thou art my Oracle, my Heaven, my Genius,
And, as some God, shalt guide me through the World.
[Page 15]Let's go to Conquest, tho through Death we go;
Marriage and Death both new Experiments.
Methinks I see the Taper in the Window,
The Busie Nurse unveils the weeping Maid,
And I must naked pass through Seas to reach her.
O fatal Marriage! O thou dismal Gulph!
Which like the Hellespona do'st rore between
Me and my Joys: Is there no other way?
None, none, the Winds and the dash'd Rocks reply:
Why let 'm roar; and let the Billows swell;
Till the rack't Orbs be wi [...]h the Deluge drown'd.
'Tis fixt; I'll plunge, or perish, or enjoy her—
Justly resolv'd; nor let a few false Tears
Melt you again to an untimely mildness.
Charlotta thus deluded you in Fran [...]e,
Which render'd all your Court ridiculous:
Remember that, and lest the like disgrace
Should happen now, drag her if she refuses!
I will, my Machiavel,—O Arms! O Glory!
What an Eternal Rust would smear your Luster,
Did not this Spirit of Ambition fire me!
I'll tell her that the lives of all her race,
Are now within my power.
Nay, threaten her!
I will do more than threaten;
Think not the dreadful Caesar will be rows'd [...]
To threaten only; that's a sleeping Borgia,
A loving, dreaming, Conscientious Borgia;
But when I wake there's always Execution —
It has been so.
And shall I swear again;
No, Machiavel; she must be mine or dye;
Should she for refuge to the Temple flie!
I'd after her; there, if she scorns my flame,
To the dumb Sain [...] I will my Vows proclaim;
And in their view resolve the glorious game:
Upon the Golden Shrines I'll lay her head,
And ev'n the Altar make my Brid [...]l Bed—
Ex. Ambo.


Enter Orsino and Bellami [...] in Mourning.
WHERE didst thou get the daring thus to move me? [...]
By thy dead Mothers shrowd, not the first Night,
[Page 16]When in my You [...]hful arms I grasp'd her to me,
Was I so hot with Love as now with rage,
Thou Young and Virgin Witch, thou new-found Fury?
Ah, Sir! for I [...]am afraid to call you Father,
Give me my Death: give to these trembling breasts
A thousand wounds; or cut me Limb from Limb;
But do not look so dread [...]ully upon me—
Nor blast me with such sounds. Oh pity me!
There's not one fa [...]al sentence, one dread VVord,
But runs like Iron through my freezing blood.
VVhat have I done? Ah, what is my offence?
And tell me how, which way I shall a [...]one you?
O, thou vile wretch! what is thy offence?
Dost thou not know it? Exquisite dissembler!
Thou leading Sorc'ress! Hecat of thy Sex!
Subtlest of all thy kind, that ever rowld
Their false deluding eyes, and in their Glasses
Conjur'd for looks to cheat the simple world!
But to take all evasion from thy guilt,
Did I not charge thee, as thou fear'st my curse,
This very Morning to adorn thy self
As one, whom the great Duke intends to honour
By maki [...]g thee his Bride?
Alas! you did;
And I am come, Oh Heaven! and all you Powers
That pity womans weakness, I am come
My Lord as you commanded; and have vow'd,
Tho Death atends my Nuptials, to obey you.
Thou ly'st even in thy heart, thou know'st thou ly'st,
Thou hast maliciously, most grosly fail'd
In this obedience: Say, declare, haste, [...]nswer,
Thou most ungrateful wretch; Ah, how unlike
Thy meek, thy Perfect bright and blessed Mother,
Is this a habit for a glorious Bride?
Dost thou thus meet the generous Borgia?
I know thy awkard Heart; thou meanst by this
To tell the VVorld, thou dost not like thy Husband,
And dash him at the Altar: but by Heav'n,
Whither thou, Murdress, now art sending m [...],
This shall not serve thy purpose: In this dress
That blasts my eyes and strikes my Soul with sadness,
I'll see the Priest for ever make you one.
Ah! how have I dese [...]v'd this cruel usag [...]?
Did ever Daughter yet obey like me?
Not she who in the Dungeon fed her Father
[Page 17]With her own Milk, and by her Piety
Sav'd him from Death, can match my rigorous Vertue;
For I have done much more: torn off my Breasts,
My Breasts, my very Heart, and flung it from me,
To feed the Tyrant Duty with my blood.
Call'st thou the lawful Imposition of
A careful Father, that intends thee honour,
Tyrannical and bloody? Rage resume me;
Here, seest thou this? O would the gallant Borgia
Could fling thee from his Soul, as I from mine,
For 'tis respect to him that saves thy life;
Else by the Feaver that quite burns me up,
I'd ponyard thee, till all thy Robes were Crimson:
Yet since thou hast the Impudence to brave me,
And c [...]ll thy Father Tyrant to his face,
I that have foster'd thee even from the Womb,
And bred thee in my Bosom, hear and tremble;
For I will curse thee till thy frighted Soul
Runs mad with horrour, till thy Mother starts
From her cold Monument, to beg me cease,
Though all in vain.
B [...]llam.
I cast me at your feet;
I'm all Obedience: See, Sir,—see me here
Grovelling upon the Earth.
Curs'd be the Night,
Ten thousand Curses on that fatal hour,
When my great Spirit trifled with thy Mother
For the Production of so false a Joy!
O horrid blasting breath!
When I am dead,
My troubled Ghost shall nightly haunt thy Dream [...].
Ah, hold—I kiss your feet, and hug your knee [...].
Though in thy Husbands Arms, I'll draw the Curtains [...]
And stare thee into Frenzy; and thy Lord
I'll Charm so fast, thy shrieks shall not awake him.
Yet Sir, forbear; tread on me, trample me.
And all the day, when other Spirits sleep,
I'll follow thee with groans, and curse thee still:
Nay, when thou seek'st for company to scape me,
I'll make thee scream. See there his Spirit stands.
Hear him not Heav'n!
After thy first imbrace,
May thy Lord loath thee; swear thou art no Virgin,
And cast thee off as a most leud Adulteress.
If there be Saints or Angels: Oh I charge you—
[Page 18]
Or if thy Husband should by chance retain thee,
Heart-burnings, Jealousies incite him still
To plague thee with a Thousand Hells on Earth,
And after end thee in some horrid manner.
Ponyard me as you promis'd Sir! Oh stab me!
Eternal Barrenness shut up thy Womb;
If ought that's humane chance to raise thy hope [...],
May it be monstrous at the curst Production,
An after birth, or some abhorr'd Conception.
Enter Duke of Gandia in Mourning.
Y'have said enough! my heart, my spirits fail me,
And I have now my wish without a Dagger.
What now? another Mourner? Hell and Furies!
They both have plotted to undo my Honour.
Well—Duke of Gandia—but I'll call the Bridegroom.
Ha! how's this? the beauteous Bellamira
Upon the Earth. Help, help— my Lord, she's cold,
Your Daughter Swoons.—
I care not, let her perish;
And thou, who hast seduc'd her, perish with her:
Swoon with her, sink with her: Die both, and both be damn'd.
Ex. Orsino.
Wake Bellamira from this sleep of Death:
Life of Palante's life! give me a word;
See thou art safe, clasp'd in thy Gandia's Arms,
Palant [...] holds thee. Say, what Murderer
Offer'd this cruelty, and I'll revenge thee!
Where am I? ha! loose, loose me from your arms;
Stand off; fly from me; fly, Palante, fly!
For we must never, never meet agen:
The Poles may sooner joyn: O I am lost,
By an inexorable Father ruin'd;
Cursed, blasted; and for thee, unhappy Prince,
Thou hast undone me, though not by thy will;
For sure thou lov'st the wretched Bellamira:
Yet by the consequence of this affection,
Thou hast destroy'd my peace of mind for ever:
Thou hast been ruinous and mortal to m [...]!
As Robbers, Ravishers, or Murderers!
Therefore be gone! fly from my Eyes for ever,
And never let me see Palante more.
I go for ever from you, a [...] you charge me,
And for that purpose I did hither come;
[Page 19]But little thought that you would drive me thus:
I hop'd at least, that when I parted from you,
And bid you everlastingly farewel,
I hop'd; but oh those flattering hopes were vain!
That gentle Bellamira should have sigh'd
Or dropt a tear, when I would take my leave
And never see her more.
O Cruelty!
You rend the Plaister from the bleeding wound.
An Elder Brother cal [...]s you to his Bed,
And you perhaps will not be r [...]vish'd [...]hi [...]her:
O Bellamira! I had once those Vows
Which thy frail hea [...]t does now resign to Borgia.
But I have staid too long: Fa [...]ewel [...]or ever;
When I am gone, and thou for many y [...]ars
Enjoy'st the Change thy Father forc'd thee to,
(For sure I cannot think it all thy doing!)
If happy Caesar Borgia chance to fold thee
More closely in his arms then was his Custom;
Say to thy heart with a relenting thought,
Thus, if your Fates had pleas'd, the wretched Gandia
Would thus have lov'd me. But no more farewel.
You're pleas'd to banish me — and—I'll obey.
Exitu [...]ns.
Come back! come back! you shall not leave me thus:
Let Fathers Curse, and Jealous Husbands Rage,
Love has a force that can surmount the World.
Enter Borgia.
If then 'tis destin'd that you must be gone,
And leave me to the Arms of C [...]uel Borgia
Ha! but observe: there may be more in this.
If we two Lovers, whom [...]or tenderness
The World can never m [...]tch, must part for ever—
O, that for ever!
I [...]'s Apparition all;
By Heav'n, a Dream; I swear, a v [...]ry Dream.
Yet take, O take this dying [...]arewel with thee:
And whomsoe're thy Pa [...]sion shall Espouse,
Remember! O Remember thi [...], and l [...]ave me:
No Man was ever so by Woman lov'd,
As thou Palante art by Bellamira.
Stop the [...]e; for to go on will give me Death.
O! thou hast utter'd Sounds o [...] such a strain
As Nature cannot bear: like utmost Musick,
[Page 20]Which while it charms the Sense, makes chill the Blood.
No more! for by my glimmering joys, I fear
Thou'lt sing my soul to Everlasting Sleep!
Then let me wake you,
O Heav'ns! we are undone!
Start not, nor weep not! beauteous Bellamira!
For there is nothing toward you, but well;
Fortune her self now smiles on your design,
And Heav'n and Earth conspire to make you happy:
These Mourning Habits on your Wedding Day,
Had chance not guided me to hear your Loves,
Would have betray'd the secret—
O Brother! what must I expect? I know not
Whether I ought to hope or fear.
Hope all:
For curst is he that parts whom Heav'n has joyn'd:
I stand convinc'd that Love has made you one;
And may those Chaster Fires that warm your hearts,
Vie with the Stars for Immortality—
Speak it again, again confirm this goodness,
For one so Noble sure this World contains not:
O! 'tis too little but to name him Noble,
For such a Soul aspires above the Clouds,
So great, Ethereal, and so God-like fram'd,
He must look down on Kings; such vast compassion,
Such an unheard magnificence of Mercy
As we must both adore: Kneel, Bellamira,
For 'tis a God we talk with.
O you must not.
Methinks fair Bellamira, who still answers
With the accustom'd Language of her Tears,
Methinks you should have told me all this while,
Your Beauties were not doom'd for Caesar Borgia.
'Tis true, I often fear'd by your reserv'dness,
Your Heart must be ingag'd—Or thou, Palente,
Had'st thou but told me when I woo'd her first,
How many sighs and sorrows hadst thou sav'd me!
I would not then have launch'd, but yielded up
The Noble Fraight, this more than Indian Treasure,
And given thee all my interest in her Father.
Alas! I fear'd!
I hold you Sir excus'd:
May you be happy as your Souls can wish;
But I must beg you from this place retire
For your own interest; Orsino here
[Page 21]Entreated me to wait him, and 'tis now
Upon this day, allotted for my Marriage,
Unfit to break the business of your Loves.
Yet doubt not, O most happy lovely Pair,
But Care and Time shall perfect all your Wishes.
Give me your Arms: I had design'd this Morning [...]
Made desperate with my griefs, t'acquaint your Ear
With all the progress of my ruin'd passion:
I thought that you would storm, and use me ill,
And had design'd I know not what to forfeit
My life, rather than lose my Bellamira:
But you have so prevented me—
No more.
How, fairest Bellamira! not one word?
Am I ordain'd the P [...]oxy of your Love,
Without the Breath of thanks?
The bounteous Heav'ns
Rain on your head whole Deluges of mercies,
For this great goodness! Hear me, oh ye Powers,
Hear me upon my knees; where-e're he goes,
Guard him with blessings! give him his own wishe [...]:
If to the Wars he pass, Renown attend him,
And growing Conquest dwell upon his Arms;
Let him attain by a long course of Valour,
And gallant acts, to the old Roman Greatness;
And when at last in Triumph he returns,
May all the sighing Virgins strow his way,
And with new Garlands Crown his coming Glory.
Ex. with Gandia.
Enter Machiavel.
Something's discover'd, and I guess the business!
My Lord, you're wanted, and the beauteous Bride.
I charge thee name her not upon thy life.
Here, tear, tear off these unbecoming Garments,
Get me my Horse, and bid my Arms be ready;
Yes, Machiavel, with to morrows dawn,
Thou shalt behold me in another Dress,
Breathing Defiance to these softer Wars.
But why, Sir! why? how comes this sudden change?
Why have you charg'd me that I should not speak
Of Bellamira?
Cruel Machiavel!
Why dost thou bring the fatal Charmer back,
Whom I would drive for ever from my Soul?
[Page 22]
This w [...]ndrous alteration of your humour,
Must sure arise from some as wondrous cause.
Have you discover'd ought?
All, all's discov [...]r'd;
And such [...]n over sight in thee [...] but where,
Whe [...]e now is thy profound Sagacity?
Where a [...]l thy D [...]posi [...]ions, Promises,
War [...]a [...]ts, Ing [...]g [...]ments th [...]t sh [...] should be mine;
Chastly, religiously, dev [...]u [...]ly mi [...]e?
Ma [...]h.
And i [...] she not?
By Heav'n qui [...]e opposi [...]e:
A [...]l that my boding heart presag'd to thee
B [...]fore, ha [...] h [...]ppen'd; happen'd in such manner,
As quite out went my own Imagination.
Who e're he is that has supplanted you,
By your just rage he was a s [...]cret Villain,
The closest Traytor that e're plotted mischief,
And justly has deserv'd the s [...]ab you gave him [...]
How, Machiavel? ha, didst thou talk of stabbing?
I neither think, nor know what's you [...] inten [...]ion,
But that's your Countries Custom in such cases:
Besides, Sir, when I did discourse you last,
You fell into Convulsions of Despair,
With mentioning the very name of Rival,
And thund [...]r'd out whole Volleys of revenge.
T [...]ue Machiavel: but could not think my Rival
Sh [...]uld prove my Brother.
Raise, raise me Heav'n,
Some other Man that dares to take her from me,
To snatch the only Beauty I can love,
And at the Altar too, from my imbraces;
If I not end him, though he were Imperial,
Ev'n in the middle of his Guards—
Your Brother!
And have you Confi [...]ma [...]ion that she loves him?
Why dost thou wonde [...]? I both saw and heard;
Hea [...]d all his Vows, and her most passionate Answers:
She loves him: Yes, these cursed Rem [...]mbrancers,
These eyes have seen it. O! she dotes on him,
Feeds on his looks—eyes him, as pregnant Women
Gaze at the precious thing their Souls are set on.
And you p [...]rhaps will bear it from a Brother
With all the meekness of an Anchorite,
A man of quite another World [...] you'd best
[Page 23]Go to the Wars, be shot, and leave this Brother
The Heir of all, sole Darling of the Pope.
'Tis certain, that I seem'd to all appearance
Mild and relenting; b [...]gg'd 'em leave me here,
That I might think—
Think! by your Holy Father,
You have no blood, no soul, nor spirit left!
The Genius of your House must blush at this;
A Brother! why, so much the more a Villain.
O Machiavel!
O Conscientious Borgia!
By all that's great, it is in him flat Incest;
There's [...]or your Conscience, if you will have Conscience,
She was betroth'd yours by her Father's Will,
Publish'd to the World, and what else makes a Marriage?
And for a Brother thus to undermine you,
And carry it too? Are you Italian born?
Begot by one? O, make it not a doubt,
I grieve, I groan, I am mad to see you thus!
What, to be made the talk, the jeer of Rome,
As once you were at Paris by Charlotta:
No—I'll revenge thee! cold as thou art and dead!
And may this Steel be sheath'd in Machiavel,
If that the treacherous Duke of Gandia scape me.
Come back, I say; for what is to be done,
I'll act my self. Where was I? or where am I?
No Machiavel, thou know'st 'tis not my Conscience
That lets the Villain live: I think thou hast heard
The fatal Jars w'have had about my Sister:
For I remember, being in her Bath,
And by her Women told we were at words,
She ran in haste half naked to the Pope,
Who came to part the fray; and swore in fury,
With horrid Imprecations, who-e're sell
By th'o [...]hers hand, he never would have mercy
On the Surviver. This, my Machiavel,
Is Borgia's Conscience—For to do a murd [...]r,
And not be safe, is Drunkards policy.
What then is your intent?
To follow Nature:
For so do Flames that burn, and Seas that drown;
Yes, Machiavel, and care not what comes on't:
So when security, and black occasion
Point me to death, I will be rough as those,
And blood him, till he changes to a Ghost:
[Page 24]Yet since my Fathers threats bar present murder,
I'll find a way to rack him.
Ha! you mean—
To take again your beauteous Prize; that is,
The lovely Bellamira still retains
Some holds about your heart.
O, 'tis confess'd;
And howsoe're my Tongue has plaid the Braggart,
She Reigns more fully in my Soul than ever:
She Garrisons my Breast, and Mans against me
Even my own Rebel thoughts, with thousand Graces,
Ten thousand Charms, and new discover'd Beauties.
O! hadst thou seen her when she lately blest me,
What tears, what looks, and languishings she darted;
Love ba [...]h'd himself in the distilling Balm:
And oh the subtle God has made his entrance
Qui [...]e through my heart; he shouts and triumphs too,
And all his Cry is Death, or B [...]llamira.
Why! this is like the Spirit of your Father,
You bring his grace [...]ul vigour just before me,
Just, just as first he wore the triple Crown,
Just so he walk'd, just with that fiery Movement;
So sparkled too his eyes! so glow'd his Cheeks.
Nor fear Palente, when she's in your Arms,
When she perceives the fervour of your passion
Panting upon her naked Breasts for Mercy.
Sighing, as if my very Soul would burst;
And gasping, Machiavel, as if Deaths pangs were on me.
Now stealing to her Lips, dissolv'd in Tears,
And pressing close, but softly to her side;
Whispering, O why, why, gentle Bellamira!
Then with a sudden start let loose your love;
Grasp her as if you could no longer bear it;
Clasp her all Night, and stifle her with Kisses:
O, there are Thousand ways!
Ten Thousand Thousand;
Millions, and infinite, yet add to those,
I'll try 'em all; nor shall a drop of mercy
Fall from my Eyes, though I beheld Palante
Dead at her Door. O expectation burns me!
O Bellamira! heart! how she does inflame me?
Then there's no need of warlike preparations?
Talk no more of War, for now my Theme's all Love:
The War like Winter vanishes; 'tis gone,
And Bellamira with eternal Spring,
[Page 25]Drest in blew Heavens, and breathing Vernal Sweets,
Drops like a Cherubin in smiles before me.
Oh, that the World could but behold you thus!
That Bellamira saw you in this height
Of dazling Passion, and becoming Fury!
Thus, to a glorious Coast, through Tempests hurl'd,
We sail like him who sought the Indian World.
'Tis more; 'tis Paradise I go to prove,
And Bellamira is the Land of Love:
I have her in my view; and hark, she talks,
And see, about, like the first Maid she walks:
Fair as the Day when first the World began;
And I am doom'd to be the happy man.


Enter Ascanio and Alonzo.
MY Lord, this is an Act so newly horrid,
So ghastly a contrivance of Revenge,
That Fiends themselves would start at the Proposal.
I to do this; I, who have bred him up!
Oh Seraphino [...] Nurs'd thee in my Bosom,
To gash thy Cheeks, and tear out both thy Eyes!
The sums of Gold are order'd to be paid;
Half on your bare consent: on Execution
The whole. Alonzo! thou hast no compassion
When Interest comes in play: Don't I know,
At the Command of Machiavel, or Borgia,
Thou would'st not stick to poyson ev'n the Pope?
Come, come, dissemble not thy Occupation,
Murder's thy Trade, and Death thy Livelihood;
Therefore perform this act of spritely Vengeance,
And I'll Create thee Noble—
'Tis sure, e're long, when I have serv'd their turn,
They will end me too, for fear of talking;
Therefore, my Lord, how-e're my Conscience stings me,
For 'tis most true, I love the Innocent Boy;
Send home the Gold—
Thou shalt along with me;
I will not send, but pay it thee in hand,
Full Twenty Thousand Crowns—Why, what a sum is that?
Full Twenty Thousand Crowns!
[Page 26]Why, I will tell thee, there are Rogu [...]s in Orde [...]s,
Monks, Fryers, Iesuites, that would kill their Fathers,
Ravish their Mothers, eat their Brothers and Sisters,
For half the sum: what, twenty thousand Crowns!
Away, away! Come, come, pull out his eyes,
And make a Cupid of the little Bastard.
I swear thou shalt; what, twenty thousand Crowns!
My Lord, I am Charm'd.
Enter Machiavel and Adorna.
My good Lord Machiavel.
My Noble Lord,
The humblest of your Servants.—
Now, my Adorna, now the time is coming,
When thou sh [...]lt Rival ev'n the Queen of Love;
For, by my life, a B [...]idegroom like Palante
Migh [...] match an Empre [...]s—But he's thine; no more.
I've sworn he's thine: This d [...]y, that gives his Brother
Thy beau [...]ious Cousin, is the Blest Fore-rnnner
Of my Adorna's certain happiness.
Heav'n only knows the issue of my Fa [...]e;
But did not love and languishing desire
Transport me from my self, I should endeavour
To help the poor desparing Bellamira.
Not many hours ago she ran upon me
With Extasies, even crying out [...]or joy,
In spite of Fate, Palante shall be mine;
Then told me all that you discou [...]st but now:
When on that minu [...]e cruel Borgia entr'd
With old Orsino, who commanded her,
I' [...]h' mid'st o [...] prayers and tears, and shrinking sorrows,
S [...]ra [...]t to attend her Husband to the Temple.
Excellent! And how bears Palante this?
So much the worse, because quite unexpected
And while I told it in most moving term [...],
H [...] struck his Breast, and cast his eyes [...]o Heav'n,
Enquir'd for you; then [...]alk [...] of blood, and vanish'd.
I have been ever since I came to Rome
A Confid [...]nt to both: I like the Me [...]hod,
The Machine m [...]ves exactly to my mind,
Sails like a Ship well ballast through the Air,
And ploughs the rising mischi [...]s clear before me.
I've heard thee often talk of pretty Letters
That past between Palan [...]e and thy Cousin.
I have 'em all in keeping, by her order.
Let me peruse 'em.
Will you be secret then?
Away, and fear not, they shall make thy Fortune:
Soon as the Marriage Rites are past, we'll meet.
Ex. Adorna.
But lo, they come! The Duke of Gandia frowns;
I fear my Caesar, and must watch their clashing.
Scene draws, and discovers the Progress of a stately Marriage; Ascanio, Adrian, Enna, Cardinals, going before, Orsino following: Bellamira supported by two Virgins in White: Borgia follow'd by Vitellozzo, Alonzo, &c.
Sir, I must speak with you.
'Tis inconvenient.
'Tis not our first of Jars. Remember Lucrece,
Our Sister Lucrece, and be then parswaded
Necessity requires yourea
Bo [...]g.
For what?
if you dare walk aside with me, I'll tell you.
After the Priest.—
No Sir—before the Priest—
Fate hovers near us; you shall give me hearing.
What Boy! how say'st thou; shall!—
Yes Sir, you shall.
No more; for fear we should be over-heard:
I'll instantly return upon my Honour:
Let me but wait Or [...]no to the Gate,
And I'll attend thee; on my word I will—
The Priest shall wait till thou have satisfaction.
Ex. all but Mach. and Gand.
What have you said, my Lo [...]d?
Forebear to know;
I think thou lov'st me, yet a proof were well;
And since occasion now demands a tryal,
Refuse not what my Friendship shall enjoyn thee.
'Tis granted, though the consequence be death.
Begon, [...]his moment leave me to my self,
I apprehend: Let me imbrace you.
Why shall I leave you? but my word's ingag'd;
Call all those pow'rful provoca [...]ions up [...]
Your wrongs, your most ignoble inju [...]ies,
To steel your a [...]m, and dye your Vic [...]ory
In blood: I go—because you grow impatient.
No more, but Conqu [...]st, Death, or Bellamira
[Page 28]Yet I must watch you hereabouts: For Borgia,
Though skill'd and gallant, yet may meet his Death,
And that I must prevent, for I'll allow no stroke
To Chance, though my undaunted Hero dares all
That Man can dare—
Ex. Mach.
Why comes he not?
I know he's brave, Renown'd in Foreign Wars,
And to his skill in Arms has such a Courage,
As makes a rash man run upon his ruine:
Yet in his height of fury I can dare him,
My blood defies him mortally to death.
Yes Machiavel, I'll take thy fatal counsel;
The word is Conquest, Death, or Bellamira.
Enter Borgia.
So Sir, you see I have obey'd your Summons;
You must be satisfi'd, though Beauty stays,
Though the Bride stays, though Bellamira stays:
That is, tho Heav'n with all its waiting glories
Stops at your call, and stands to give you hearing.
Y'have us'd me basely.
I say you have,
Without a provocation.
That were base
Indeed: when unprovok'd I do a wrong,
May I, when justly urg'd, want due revenge.
Y'have falsifi'd your word, betray'd me basely,
Betray'd a Brother: O my Stars, a Brother!
That would have burst through all the bars of death,
And yeilded all things to you, but his Love.
O, foolish eyes! but these are your last tears,
And I must mend your course with blood.
He weeps!
Was ever seen Hypocrisie like this?
O thou young impudent and blooming lyar,
Who, like our Curtezans. are early practis'd,
And in their Nonage taught the Arts of Vice.
But I forgo my temper—Is this all?
You know I am in haste, and cannot brook
A longer Conference.
I know you cannot,
But I shall force you: yes, thou Tyrant Brother,
Thou that art fallen from all the height of glory,
[Page 29]To the low practice of the worst of Slaves,
I will revenge the honour thou hast lost:
Nor shalt thou pass to Bellamira's Arms,
Till through my heart thou cutt'st thy horrid way.
Draw then—
I will not.
By Revenge and Fury
Thou shalt not pass but on my Rapiers point.
Think not, thou you [...]g Practitioner in Arms,
That all thy force, thou levell'd at me naked,
Should stop me, if I once resolv'd my way:
But I am calm; and wish thee, for thy safety,
To let me pass. Thou talk'st awhile ago
Of Lucrece—but no more of that —my Father,
O, fear'd I not his Thunder which so oft
Has menac'd me if e're I rose against thee,
Long, long e're this, had'st thou been dust; even now
For that abuse which late thou gav'st my ear,
For that abhorr'd Conception of my Sister,
For that damn'd mention, by the lowest Hell,
And by the burning Friends, thou should'st be Ashes.
Blush not, nor purse thy threatning Brow, but draw
And dare not to despise the weakest arm;
That trickles with Justice. Yes, upon thy breast
Elate, and haughty as thou carriest it,
I doubt not but my Sword shall write thee Traytor.
No more: O t [...]at I had
Some one Renown'd, and winter'd as my self,
T' encounter like an Oak the rooting Storm!
But thou art weak, and to the Earth wilt bend,
With my least blast thy Head of Blossoms down:
If by thy hand I fall (as who e're div'd
So deep in Fate, but sometimes was deceiv'd?)
I do bequeath thee more than all my Dukedoms,
Far more indeed than Worlds, my beauteous Bride;
But if I conquer thee, and shew thee mercy,
Never love more; nor after I am marri'd,
Dare for thy Soul to speak of Bellamira.
I thank thee, and accept the terms with Joy,
Which blood must ratifie [...] And here I swear,
If vanquish'd by thy Arm (though Death, I hope,
Will, more than Oath, confirm the fatal bargain)
For ev [...]r to renounce all Claim, and yield
By my E [...]ernal absence Bellamira.
Come on then: And let Love and Glory steell
[Page 30]Thy unflesh'd arm: think on this moment hangs
Thy whole life's Joy, or worse than Death, Despair;
I would no [...] win such Beauty without Blood:
But as the brave Gonsalvo, being shot,
Mov'd not at all, nor chang'd his mighty Look;
As if the Gallantry of such demeanour
Could charm coy Victory to raise the Seige:
So would I with my blood distilling down,
Answering her tears, lead Bellamira on,
And woo her at the Altar with my wounds.
No more.
Agreed. The word is Bellamira.
Fight, Gandia is wounded.
Hold, hold Palante, for thou bleedst.
A scratch.
My Father crys out, save him on thy life.
Fight again.
Guard well thy life.
Borgia is wounded on the Arm, but disarms Gandia.
Enter Machiavel.
What means this noise of Arms?
Why these Swords drawn? what now, my Lords,
Both wounded?
Borgia throws Gan­dia his Sword,
By Heav'n, I swear, you shall proceed no further.
'Tis now too late to tell thee how we quarrell'd,
Look to his wound: soon as the Cure's perform'd,
I'll serve the Duke of Gandia with my Fortune,
But far from Rome; for he has agreed
Never to see my Bellamira more.
For me—I'll to the Temple.
My Lord, you bleed.
The Skin's but rac'd:
Would it were deep in the most mortal part,
So Bellamira, when the blood gush'd forth,
Would sink upon my breast, and swear she lov'd me.
But that's too much to hope; what e're is doom'd,
I swear this night to grasp the conquer'd Prize:
Yes, yes, Palante, hear, and fly for ever;
All the white World of Bellamira's Beauty
This Night I'll travel o're, to feast my Love;
The Little Glutton shall be gorg'd with Revels,
He shall be drunk with spirits of delight;
With all that amorous wishes can inspire,
And all the Liberties of loose desire.
I'll after him, and at the Altar end him.
Wa [...]'t not enough to wound and vanquish me,
[Page 31]But he must triumph too? I rave and talk
I know not what; for he is generous,
And nobly merits what his valour won:
Yes, happy Borgia, I will keep my word;
And, since thus lost to all that I held dear,
Abandon this loath'd World.
You must retire.
I will devote the sad remains of life
To the blest Company of holy men!
Learn Contemplation, and the dregs of life
Purg'd off, taste clearer and more sprightly joys,
Partake their transports in the brightest Visions,
See opening Heav'ns, and the descending Gods:
Then as I view the dazling tracks of Angels,
Sigh to my heart, and cry, see there, and there,
In full perfection thousand Bellamira's.
My Lord, your wound bleeds fast.
O Machiavel!
When I am shut for ever from the World,
Thou tenderst hearted, gentlest, best of Friends,
Wilt visit me sometimes: I know thou wilt.
Why do you droop thus? lean upon my Arm:
All shall be well. Yes, I will find a way,
In spite of Fortune, yet to heal your sorrows,
And pour the Balm of Bellamira's tears
Upon your wound.
Could I but see her once
Be [...]ore I die!
Once, Twice, a Hundred times;
Doubt not, you shall; but haste to your Apartment.
Ex. Gandia.
Methinks if mischief had but this to vaunt,
That, like a God, none knows her but her self,
It were enough to mount her o're the World.
I love my self; and for my self, I love
Borgia my Prince: Who does not love himself?
Self-love's the Universal Beam of Nature,
The Axle-tree that darts through all its Frame:
And he's a Child in thought, who fears the sting
Of Conscience; and will rather lose himself,
Than make his Fortune by another's ruine!
Conscience, the Bug-bears roar, the Nurses howl,
Our Infant lash and whip of Education.
Enter Adorna [...]
My Genius, my Love, my little Angel,
[Page 32]Hast thou the Letters?
First, my Lord,
If I have breath to utter, let me tell you,
Never was Marriage solemniz'd like this.
Go on.
The Bride in Mourning Robes was led,
Or rather born like a pale Course along;
I saw her when she first approach'd the Temple,
How, rushing from the arms of those that held her,
She threw her Body on the Marble steps,
When stra [...]t the Bridegroom with a kindled Face
Draw near, and blushing, stretcht his bloody A [...]m,
Wrapt in a Scarf, and gave it to the Bride!
Then, bowing, wish'd the Priest perform his Duty.
What follow'd?
Urg'd, or rather brib'd before,
The Priest, at Old Orsino's Intercession,
Soon joyn'd their Hands: all from the Temple haste,
O [...]sino and his Son in deep Discourse,
And Bellamira blind with weeping, led
This way.
I am glad on't, for I wait to speak with her.
Prithee produce the Let [...]ers: Come, I know
Thou hast 'em: nay, 'tis thy own interest.
See Bellamira enters: stay some time,
And I'll discover to your own desire.
Enter Bellamira.
Madam, I would entreat a word in private.
Can misery, like mine, be worth discourse?
The dead are only happy, and the dying:
The dead are still, and lasting slumbers hold 'em;
He, who is near his Death, but turns about,
Shuffles a while to make his Pillow easie,
Then slips into his Shroud, and rests for ever.
My Mind presages, by the bloody hand
That seiz'd me at the Altar. —
In their Nonage
A Sympathy unusual joyn'd their loves;
They pair'd like Turtles, still together drank,
Together eat, nor quarrell'd for the choice:
Like Twining-streams both from one Fountain fell,
And as they ran, still mingled smiles and tears:
But oh, when Time had swell'd their Currents high,
[Page 33]This boundless World, this Ocean did divide 'em,
And now for ever they have lost each other.
For ever! Oh the horrour that invades me!
Thou seem'st to imitate some horrid act:
I charge thee speak, how fares the Duke of Gandia?
Not answer me! why dost thou shake [...]hy Head,
And cross thy arms, and turn thy eyes away?
Has there been ought betwixt my Lord and him?
There has, they fought.
The Cause, the Cursed Cause
Stands here, before thy eyes she stands to blast thee:
I know 'tis thus; Borgia for me was wounded;
And, oh my fears! by his relentless hand [...]
Perhaps that poor despairing lost Palante
Is miserably slain: If it be so,
Spite of my Father, I'll renounce my Vows,
Forgo, forswear all comforts in this life,
And fly the World.
Would I were out on't;
Nothing but fraud and cruelties reign here.
He is not slain: but, as his Surgeons bode,
I fear him much. Oh would you be so kind
To see the Wounds he suffers for your sake,
And charm his pains but with one parting view
Before your Lord return.—
Alas! I dare not!
He graspt me by the wrist, and weeping, vow'd
'Twould be a Heav'n, a Lightning in his Grave,
Where else he must for ever lye unpiti'd.
Now, on my Soul, you must, you ought to see him,
Who ballancing the Scales of doubtful life,
Lies in your way: a glance, one grain of favour
Turns him from Death. Come, come, you must have mercy:
Madam, I'll wait and intercept your Lord.
A Visit! just upon our Marriage too—
But 'tis the last that he shall e're receive;
Therefore I'll go; Nature, Compassion, Fate;
And Love, far more tyrannical than those,
Forces me on: I feel him here; he throbs,
And beats a Mournful March.
Fear not, away:
I'll guard the passage: look not back, but haste.
Ex. Bellamira.
If I remember story well, old Rome
Was free from all this weakness of the mind;
For Women! oh how slightly were they thought of,
[Page 34]When the great Cato gave his Friend his Wife,
To breed him his Heirs, because she was a Teemer
And after he was dead, again receiv'd her.
This was before the Vandals made us Slaves,
Who mingling with our Wives, begot a Race
That nothing holds of the old Lyon, Glory.
Enter Borgia.
But hush, more work, and now I am compos'd.
Welcom, my best of Friends, my Machiavel!
Let me unlade on thee my fraught of joy;
For Bellamira's mine, her Vows are mine;
Her Father gave her, and the Holy man
Has li [...]k'd our Hands: Fortune perhaps, e're long,
May joyn our hearts: However, dearly bought,
I say, she's mine.
However, dearly bought!
True Machiavel, most dearly; but alas,
He that would reach the Mine, must burst the Quarry,
And lab [...]ur to the Center—Ha—thou'rt cold;
S [...]art from this Lethargy, and tell me why,
Why dost thou shake my joys wi [...]h that stern look?
Speak, for to me thy Face is as the Heav'ns,
And, when thou smil'st, I cannot fear a Storm:
But now thy gather'd brows prognosticate
Ill weather: Lightning sparkles from thy Eyes
Speak too, though thunder follow.
On what conditions had the Prince his life?
It was agreed betwixt us solemnly,
And bound by Oath, that he was subdu'd
Should never speak to Bellamira more.
I am satisfi'd.—
O Machiavel! is this friendly,
To hide the Cause of thy disorder from me?
Thou said'st, I am satisfied; but at that moment
I saw two furies leap from thy red Eye [...],
That said thou'rt not, thou art not satisfi'd.
This coldness of thy Carriage! this dead stillness
Makes me more apprehend than all the noise
That mad-men raise: Speak then, but do not blast me,
Speak by degrees, let the Truth break away
In oblique sounds; for if it come directly,
I fall at once, split, ruin'd, dash'd for ever,
So little am I Master of my Passion.
[Page 35]
Therefore I dare not tell you.
Therefore 'tis horrid, ah!
Monstrous! 'tis so; therefore thou darst not tell me:
But speak; though trembling thu [...] from head to foot,
I will be calm, press down the rising sighs,
And stifle all the swellings in my heart:
I will be Master far as Nature can.
If that you knew such Fire was in your temper,
And thus would burn you up, why would you marry?
Because resistless Love! resistless B [...]auty
Hurry'd me on. But speak, thou sta [...]'st me off.
If thou hast Sense of Honour, tell me Machiavel!
Spe [...]k, I conjure thee, as thou ar [...] my Friend.
The fault's not great, and you may pardon it;
Yet 'twas a fault, I think: where did you leave
Your Bride?
Why dost thou ask? I know not where:
This way they led her; and as I perswaded`
Orsino, though unwilling, judg'd it fit
She should retire again to her Apartment,
That her full grie [...]s might have a time to waste.
She is retir'd, my Lord.
Ha! whither? speak:
She is retir'd where she should not retire!
'Tis true, most plain, most undeniable,
I know it by the fashion of thy Wit,
Thy accent swears it; mouth thy Tale no more,
But say distinctly whither she's retir'd:
I charge thee, pray thee, and conjure thee, speak,
For what, with whom, and on what new occasion?
you have a Brother.
O the prejur'd Traytor!
I have! what then?
She's with him now.
With whom?
Why with the Duke of Gandia; with your Brother
Palente, Son, or Nephew to the Pope.
What Bellamira with him? Ponyards! Daggers!
This way, but now, I saw her come in haste;
Whether she guss'd the matter by your Wound,
I know not, but with faultring speech she ask'd
How far'd Palante, if he were in being?
Whereon I nothing mu [...]'d, but in plain terms,
With moderation, told her what I knew;
But had you seen the starts and stops she made!
[Page 36]
No doubt she did; Ten Thousand Curses, oh —
Go on; for yet I am a fangless Lion.
Mac [...].
H [...]d you but heard when first his Wound I mention'd,
How she [...]h [...]ek'd ou [...]; how oft she forced me swear,
And swear, and swear again, it was not mortal!
B [...]rg.
Undone [...]or ever! O destruction seize her!
But when I told your hurt, she seem'd scarce griev'd,
And l [...]ssening sorrow yielded to attention;
I do not say she s [...]a [...]l [...] did rejoice.
But sure I am, she smil'd, and touch'd my Hand,
And begg'd me, if you came this way, to hold you
In talk, while to the sick she made a visit.
Thy Bosom be my Grave; bear me a while
Or I shall burst. O Bellamira! Oh!
Raise, raise your self. Ha, Prince! is this the Fire
We f [...]ar'd but now, that most transporting fury?
No more; 'tis gone: O Marriage! now I find thee;
Thou costly Feast, on which with fear we feed,
As if each Golden Dish we taste were poison'd;
Wh [...]re, by the fatal Tyranny of Custom,
Our Honour, like a Sword just pointing o're us,
Hangs by a Hair. Ha! but it comes, 'tis faln!
Like a forked Arrow stuck into my Skull.
No more: I am deaf as Adders, and as deadly:
Mercy! no more! thy Voice is quite uncharm'd;
All pi [...]y thus be dry'd from my weak Eyes:
Here will I look my Mothers softness off,
And gaze till Sou [...]hern Fury steels my Soul,
Till I am all my Father; till his Form,
All bloody o're from Head to Foot with slaughter,
Skims o're my pollish'd Blade, in frowns to haste me.
What mean you, Sir?
I know not what my self!
Off from my Arms; away. I [...]ve oftentimes heard
At Princes Murders, Monstrous Births forbode;
The Heav [...]ns themselves rain Blood: Why, let it rain!
If my Heart holds her purpose, with this hand
[...]ll swell the Purple Deluge. Vengeance! Death and Vengeance.
No, my brave Warrior! 'tis not gone so far:
These starts are but the hasty Harbingers
To the slow Murder that comes dragging on:
The Mischi [...]f's yet but young, an Infant Fury;
'Tis the first brawl of new-born Jealousie:
But I have M [...]chiavellian Magick here
Shall nurse this Brood of Hell to such perfection,
[Page 37]As shall e're long become the Devil's Manhood:
But hark! the Noise approaches, and the time
Put's me in mind of Bellamira's Letters—
Exi [...].
Enter Borgia, Bel [...]amira, Gandia.
Furies and Hell! yet e're thou dy'st, proud Villain,
Let me demand thee how thou dar'st abuse
My Mercy thus?
I give thee back the Title;
And have a heart so well assur'd of Death,
That I disdain to answer.
Dye then, Traytor!
Hold, Borgia, hold! Hear Bellamira speak.
Confusion! off: and play not thus with Thunder,
Lest it should blast thee too [...] Hence, off, I say:
Though thou deserv'st a Fate as sharp and sudden,
I will take leisure in thy death. Be gone.
Behold, I grasp the Dagger, draw it through
And gash my Veins, and tear my Arteries;
I'll fix my hand thus to the wounding Blade
While life will let me hold, and force thee hear me.
Say'st, ha! wilt thou? darst thou brave me thus?
Thus guilty too; once more forego my Ponyard.
No: draw it, Cruel; let thy Bloody Deeds
Be swifter than thy Threats: I fear thee not;
But thus will wound my self, or quite disarm thee.
Now you shall hear me.
Is this possible?
Ha! Borgia! where! where is thy Fury now [...]
Where thy Revenge? O Woman in perfection!
Thou dazling Mixture of Ten Thousand Circ [...]'s,
In one bright heap cast by some hudling God,
How dar'st thou venture thus? how dar'st thou do this?
Yet heave thy Breasts, pant, breathe, and think on m [...]rcy?
My Acts have shown the care indeed I take
To save my life: No, Prince, not for my own
I would be heard, but for your innocent Brother's,
Ha [...] Palante! Yes, I know thee,
There hangs thy Joy, thy Pulse, thy Breath and Motion,
Blood, Life and Soul, thy Darling-Blessing's here,
And more than all the joys of Heaven hereafter.
O World of Horror! O Contagion, on
The Day when first I saw thee.
[Page 38]
Would you but hear—
Bo [...]g.
Come off, I say! tear thy scarf'd wound tear't up,
With [...]hese di [...]lling drops; come glut thy Eyes,
Glut 'em with Blood; for Borgia's Blood's thy Joy;
For say—When at the Altar I stood bleeding,
Speak Tygress, barbarous Wretch, thou she Palante,
Did'st thou once ask the occasion of my Wound?
No— I r [...]member [...]hy uneasie Ca [...]riage,
H [...]w o [...]en thou look'st back with longing Eyes!
How of [...] in s [...]cret thou didst curse the Priest,
The tedious length of whose slow Ce [...]monies
Ke [...]t thee [...]rom flying to Palante's A [...]ms.
Farewel, my Lord; think Bellamira guiltless,
A [...]d you shall never see Palante more.
Stay [...] Sir [...] come back, I know your Wound's a trouble;
But the reward I m [...]n is worth your waiting.
Here, take him, Bellamira; clasp him;
I g [...]ve him thee, as our Physicians do.
P [...]escribe l [...]st Remedies, to save thy life?
I give him thee to save thy gasping Soul,
Which would be damn'd wi [...]hout him; yet observe
The [...]e is a Deed that must, that shall be done
Before you laugh and kiss. See here, my bosom,
Strike, and strike deep, deep as Palante burns thee;
For in thy Heart, hot in thy inmost Veins,
I know the curs [...]d, the too lov'd Traytor lies.
I do r [...]nounce thy name, and to the Giver
R [...]ort it with an equal Indignation!
R [...]tort it! what?
The name of Traytor.
P [...]ovoke me not, lest as I am, unarm'd,
I c [...]ush t [...]ee wi [...]h my Hand [...], and dash thee Dead.
Hold off, and hear me; noble Borgia, hear me!
Hear me, my Lo [...]d, my Husband, hear me kneeling;
T [...]ou, whom the Heav'ns have destin'd to my Arms,
T [...]e c [...]nstant Partner of my nicest thoughts,
Do [...]m'd to my Bed, whom I must learn to love,
A [...]d wil [...], unless you turn my Heart to Stone.
O! s [...]ch sweet wo [...]ds ne're f [...]ll [...]rom that fair mouth
B [...]f [...]e, nor can I trust 'em now!
Be [...]la.
If you call back
Th [...] Vengeance which your impious Vows let slip,
I sw [...]ar, thus sinking on your Feet, I swear
[Page 39]Never from this sad hour, never to see,
Nor speak, no, nor (if possible) to think
Of poor Palante more.
Go on; go on; I swear the Wind is turn'd,
And all those furious and outragious passions
Now bend another way.
I will hereafter,
With strictest duty, serve you as my Lord,
And give you signs of such most faithful love,
That it shall seem as if we languish'd long,
As if we had been us'd to mingle sighs
And from our Cradles interchang'd our Souls;
As if no breach had ever been betwixt us;
As if no cruel Father forc'd the Marriage;
I so resigning as if always yours,
And you so mild as if no other proof
But my dishonour e're could make you angry.
O my heart's joy! Rise, Bellamira, rise!
There's nothing left, nothing of rage to fright thee;
Thou hast new tun'd me, and the trembling strings
Of my touch'd heart dance to the Inspiration,
As if no harshness, nor no jars had been:
Had these sweet sounds but met my entrance here,
My ghastly fears and cloven jealousies,
With all the Monsters that made sick my Brain,
Had fled (so soft and artful are thy strains,)
Like fallen Fiends before the Prophets Charms.
I came, 'tis true, my Lord, to see Palante,
But thought him on his Death-bed.
O, no more!
I do intrest thee mention that no more;
All's well; and we have mutually forgiven!
I love thee, Bellamira; therefore pass
This Errour by; yes, for thy self I love thee!
To glu [...] my fancy with thy endless Charms.
And s [...]ch the pleasures of all Woman-kind:
Thy fair Repentance, and thy graceful Vows,
Have tu [...]'d the [...]gerness of sworn revenge
To furious Wishes for the promis'd Joy.
Enter Orsino.
O blasting sight! O death to all my hop [...]!
Life, thou art vile, and I will wait no [...]nger.
Ha! Traytor Prince—why, Borgia, does he live,
[Page 40]Who has himself broke all the tyes of blood?
Where is the leud Adult'ress too, my Daughter?
For I will stab 'em in each others Arms.
Hold! Orsino! for revenge is now
N [...] more; Thy Daughter is most innocent,
And melts into my Arms. O happy Night!
Not to the weary Pilgrim half so welcome,
When after many a weary bleeding step
With joyful looks he spies his long'd f [...]r Home.
See, see, my Lord, the effects of our Vexation!
Thus comes to the despairing Wretch, the glad
Rep [...]ieve: [...]Tis Mercy, Mercy at the Block:
Thus the toss'd Seaman, after boisterous Storms,
Lands on his Country's Breast; thus stands, and gazes,
And runs it o're with m [...]ny a greedy look;
Then shouts for joy, as I should do, and makes
The Ecchoing Hills and all the Shoars resound.
Now Blessings on thy Heart; more Blessings on thee,
Than, on thy Disobedience, Curses. Take him, Girl,
And lay him to thy heart; the warmest Gift
That Na [...]u [...]e, or thy Father, can bestow!—
Farewel, thrice happy Lover! never shall
This Wretch again disturb you [...] Bellamira,
O Bellamira
O farewell, for ever!
Why dost thou weep? and pour into my wounds
New Oyl to make 'em bl [...]ze?
I've done, my Lord;
Let me but dry my Ey [...]s, and I will wait you,
To Death, or to your Bed—
O ill compar'd!
Be constant Bellamira to thy Vows,
So shall we shine, as in the in-most Heav'n;
The fixt and brightest Stars with silent glory,
Where never Storm, nor Lightnings flash, nor stroak
Of Thunder comes; but if you fail in ought,
Then shall we fall like the cast Angels down,
Never to rise again: Therefore I warn thee—
Fear not, my Lord.
O! I must fear my temper;
But I will purge it off with resolution [...]
And with a confidence thou wilt be mine [...]
For shouldst thou not: Hence Gorgon Jealousie!
Cam'st thou uncall'd to set me on the Rack?
Be gone, I say, she's chaste, and I defie thee.
[Page 41]O plague me, Heaven [...] plague me with all the woe [...]
That man can suffer: root up my possessions,
Shipwrack my far-sought Ballast in the Haven;
Fire all my Cities, burn my Dukekoms down,
Let midnight Wolves howl in my Desart Chambers:
May the Earth yawn; shatter the frame of Nature;
Let the rack'd Orbs in Whirlwinds round me move,
But save me from the rage of jealous Love.


Soft Musick, with an Epithalamium to Borgia and Bellamira [...]
BLush no [...] redder than the Morning,
Though the Virgins gave you warning;
Sigh not at the chance befel ye,
Though they smile, and dare not tell ye.
Maids, like Tur [...]les, love th [...] Cooing,
Bill and murmur in their Wooing.
Thus like you, they start and tremble,
And their troubl'd joys dissemble.
Grasp the pleasure while 'tis coming,
Though your Beauties now are blooming;
Time at last your joys will sever,
And they'l part, they'll part for ever.
Enter Machiavel and Adorna.
SAy'st thou, so loving?
O! he has got ground
Beyond all expectation: Had you seen
His graceful manner, when the sighing Bride
Was last night by your Arms given to his Bed;
When after she was laid, quite drown'd in tears,
How, aw'd with trembling, he the Curtains drew,
[Page 42]And kneeling by h [...]r Bed side, took her fair hand,
With which she strove to hide her Blushes from him,
And sighing, swore upon't—if so she pleas'd,
If her cold heart refu [...]'d him utterly,
He would forgo his Joys, though death ensu'd.
You muse, my Lord.
This day attend my Motion:
Soon as my purpose hits, which you must watch,
I'll train the Bridegroom near Palante's Lodgings;
Whence, as you were before by me instructed,
You with this Letter (which from all the Pacquets
I chose, and notably suits our design)
Shall issue forth, an act as I inspir'd —
I fear this business,
Lest he should kill me: in this height of fu [...]y,
Murder his Brother, or his Innocent Lady.
I tell thee, though a Whirlwind drove him on,
I'll make him calm. The consequence of this
I [...] thine: He drives Palante from the Palace,
Who else may linger after Bellamira;
And then thou know'st—
I will about it streight.
If I get clear of this, use me no more,
For I have sworn to cease—
Prithee, be gone—
Use me no more: For she has sworn to cease,
Ex. Adorna.
To dip her Lady [...]inger in new mischief:
Yes—thou shalt cease to live when I have us'd thee,
Poor useless thing.—But see the Bridegrooms here.
Enter Borgia.
My Lord, I give you joy: your motion gives it
Your wondrous gallantry, and sprightly action.
But h [...]s she wholly yielded to your wishes,
Without the least reserve?
I cannot tell thee ought but this, I am happy
Above expression, blest beyond all hope;
And sure such perfect joy cannot last long,
Lest we be Gods. O thou great Chymist, Nature,
Who drawst one spirit so sublimely perfect,
Thou mak'st a Dreg of all the World beside.
Why, this at first I told you, but you fear'd,
And push'd the blessing from you with both hands.
[Page 43]I grant you that she lov'd your Brother first;
I know he's young, and handsom, has a Wit
Most suitable to Womans inclination,
A subtle Genius, soft and voluble,
That winds with their discourse, and hits the Vein:
'Tis true, you are not of this subtle Mould;
But if you have enjoy'd her, 'tis all one,
My life she loves you: so the Act's resolv'd,
Leave them to manage. O ye know 'em not:
Those subtle Creatures, when necessity
Forces compliance, in a case like yours,
Will make the best on't.
How Machiavel, the best on't! Ha! how mean'st thou?
Why thus; she may, ev'n Bellamira may,
Spight of her Fathers will, her Vows in Marriage,
And all her after-Oaths, even in your Arms
Bestow her self upon the Duke of Gandia.
I say not (pardon me!) she does, or will;
But to make good my former argument,
Affirm they may, they can, they will do thus.
As for example, though your Bellamira,
Compell'd as all Rome knows to this late Marriage,
Admits you to her Bed; you cannot think,
But her Palante had been much more welcome.
'Tis likely too her Fancy workt that way
I urg'd before, she took you for Palante:
'Tis dark, she sees you not; you are his Brother,
Form'd in one Womb, of the same flesh and blood;
Therefore she yields as to foreknown Embraces:
And as you gently draw with trembling arms
Her nice Beauties to your heaving Breasts;
She shuts her eyes with languishing delight,
And whispers to her heart, it is Palante.
Cease Machiavel; hold, as thou lov'st my life,
I charge thee hold: O, 'tis most true I swear!
Thou know'st the very depth of Woman-kind:
They are what thy Imagination paints 'em,
Charmers and Sorceresses. O, I'll tell thee,
When I the chastest, as I thought her then [...]
I am [...]ure the sweetest of the Earth, imbrac'd —
'Twas with complainings, Machiavel; such tremblings,
I could have sworn her cold as Winter [...]eams,
But oh the horrours thou hast conjur'd up [...]
[Page 44]Soon as soft sleep had seal'd her melting eyes,
I heard her sigh; for till the morn I wak'd,
Palante. Oh—what have we done, Palante?
By Heav'n, that was too much.
O much,—much more.
For stealing nearer me; her glowing arm,
Cast o're my C [...]eek, thrice prest me to her Breast;
Ev'n that coy arm, so nicely strange before,
Famili [...] grew, and circled in my Neck,
With all the freedom of acquainted Love:
And I too pi [...]i'd her, and thought that Nature
Work'd her imperfectly; but now I know,
I find, I see, it was her hearts design,
The black contrivance of her blotted Fancy:
Blood, Blood and Death; thus has she set me down,
Through the whole course of her polluted nights,
To be her Bawd, her most industrious Groom,
The Drudge of her damn'd Lust—Palante's stale—
Are you incens'd indeed? or do you, Sir,
Put on this jealous Fit to make you sport?
For if so small a Spark thus makes you glow,
A little more will blow you into Flame:
Therefore be serious in your Answer.
Thou know'st before my Marriage how I fear'd,
How when my Honour was ingag'd by Vows,
Like Flax my jealous temper caught the Flame,
And scarce could all her melting sorrows quench me!
I do remember well.
But now I have enjoy'd her; mark me, Machiavel,
If I was Flax before, I am Powder now,
And will fly up in general Conflagration:
For I would chuse to scramble at a Door,
Make my loath'd Meals out of the common Basket,
With Dungeon Villains, wallow in the Stews,
And get my Bread by poysoning my firm Limbs,
E' [...]e pass an hour with her I have Espous'd,
If but in thought consenting with another.
I am glad to find the Genius of your Climate
Inflames you thus; my Lord, give me your Hand:
Prepare your Soul, gather your Nobler Spirits,
And bid ' [...]m stand to Arm [...], like Towns besieg'd,
That must receive no Quarter.
Let me go:
So deep thou threaten'st, that I fe [...]r ev'n thee;
[Page 45]And from this moment, like the fearful Plant,
Shrink back my Arms from every Human touch:
But speak, I charge thee, slip the strugling Thunder,
And foil my Soul.
This Morning, just before you enter'd here,
I saw in haste Adorna cross the Garden,
And as she ran, a Note dropt from her Bosom,
Which I took up, and in it read these words;
Mourn not, my dear Palante, for the time
Draws on, [...]hen spite of this inhumane Borgia
We will be happy.
Yes, she shall, she shall;
I'll joyn 'em Breast to Bosom, stab 'em through,
And clinch my Dagger on the other side.
This, as I oft perus'd in great amazement,
I saw her who had miss'd the Note, come back,
And briefly let her know that I had read it;
With Menaces, unless she told me all,
Immediately to carry you the Letter.
Why should I rack you longer? your Chaste Wife
Has with the help of this her Kinswoman
Concluded, on the date of your first absence,
To admit your Brother.
'Tis impossible!
'Tis mountainous to Faith; I'll not believe it:
For Hell it self ne're teem'd with such a falshood.
Enter Adorna.
Ha—as I live, just from Palante now,
The private way from his Apartment, see
Their Emissary comes.
O thou vile Bawd!
Thou Midnight Hag; thou most Contagious Blast,
Which Bellamira with a Strumpets breath
Blows to Palante, and he back to her:
Whence com'st thou? speak! what bear'st thou? Ha, produce it,
Or I will tear thee Limb from Limb.
O Heav'ns!
I am betray'd, undone, for ever ruin'd; and I shall lose my life.
Thou shalt be safe, I swear thou shalt, if thou confess the truth:
But if thou hide ought from me, I will rack thee,
Till with thy horrid Groans thou wake the Dead.
O my Lord!
I do confess that Bellamira sent me [...]
[Page 64]But sure no har [...] was in the Letter.
None at all; Hell knows her Innocence:
But speak—
I have, my Lord, confess'd already
All that I know, to my Lord Machiavel.
Thou ly'st, damn'd Wretch! look here, and dare not urge me!
Show me the Answer to the Morning Message,
Or I will cut thee to Anatomy,
And s [...]arch through all thy Veins to find it out.
O, save my life! behold, my Lord, this Paper:
What it con [...]ains, I know not.
'Tis his hand.
Be gone; and on thy life no talk of this.—
Ex. Adorna.
Palante waits upon your motion. Death and Devils!
And when you call, he comes; or the long sleep
Shall hush him ever.
Daggers! Poyson! Fire.
Tears the Letter.
Woe, and ten thousand horrours on their Souls.
What now, my Lord?
Off—or I'll stab thee through!
Stab— I could mangle, tear up my own Breast,
Drag forth my heart that holds her bleeding Image,
And dash it in her face.
Talk no more on't; but do, Sir, do.
Yes, Machiavel, I will—I will do deed [...]
Grain'd as my wrongs: I will, I will be bloody
As Pyrrhus, daub'd in Murder at the Altar;
As Tullia, driving through her Fathers Bowels [...]
As Caesar Butchers in the Capitol;
As Nero b [...]thing in his Mothers Womb;
With all succeeding Tyrants down to ours.
Lords of the Inquisition, black Contrivers
Of Princes Deaths, and Heads of Massacres;
Orsino, Vitellozzo, Duke Gravina,
Oliverotto too; all, all at once,
Even the whole Race, a Hecatomb to Vengeance.
Hear me one word.
Bid the Sea listen, when the weeping Merchant,
To gorge its ravenous Jaws, hurls all his Wealth,
And stands himself upon the splitting Deck,
For the last plunge. No more! let's rush together;
For Death rides Post.
Though Death should meet me,
More horrid then you Name, I'd cross this fury,
[Page 47]This blind, ungovern'd rage: Sir you shall hear me.
Barr'st thou my Vengeance?
No— I'll further it:
You shall have proof so plain, the World shall say,
The Pope himself, dear as he loves your Brother,
Shall say the stroke was just. This Night I'll bring you
Into her Chamber, if with some pretence
You seem t'absent your self: my Lord, I'll bring you
With a false Key into the Bridal Lodging;
Where you shall see, even with those eyes behold,
And gaze upon their curst incestuous Loves.
Just reeking from my arms! O thou Adulteress!
Whose Name to mention, sure would rot my Lungs,
And blister up my Tongue; Insatiate Scylla!
Bark'st thou for more? then let the Furies seize thee,
Whose burning Lust damns to the lowest Hell,
Smoaks to the Heav'ns, and sullies all [...]he Stars.
Compose your looks, smooth down that starting hair,
And dry your eyes, with spi [...]e of this distraction,
I see are full, brim full of gushing tears.
Had she not fall'n thus, O ten thousand Worlds
Could not have balanc'd her, for Heav'n is in her,
And joys which I must never dream of more;
I weep, 'tis true: But, Machiavel, I swear,
They're Tears of Vengeance, drops of liquid fire:
So Marble weeps when Flames surround the Quarry,
And the pil'd Oaks spout forth such scalding Bubbles
Before the general blaze; for that she dies,
Though clinging to the Altar; Gu [...]rdian Gods,
Though starting from their Shrines, shall not redeem her.
Pretend to night, nor is it bare pretence;
For, as I hear, the Sinigallian Victors
Come on to wait you here: Pretend to her,
To Bellamira, you can scarce return
In forty hours.
I will do what I may.
Away then.
Ha! methinks thou dost not share
In my resentment, Machiavel, as thou ought'st:
If thou art my Friend, and art indeed concern'd,
Relieve my weari'd fury, beat my Vengeance,
Call up a friendly rage, and curse e'm, Machiavel,
Curse these Triumphers o're thy Borgia's ruine.
Diseases wait 'em: Wherefore should I curse 'em?
If that my Breath were sulph'rous as the Lightning
[Page 48]That murders wi [...]h a blast; or like the Vapours,
The choaking stench, which those that die of Plagues
S [...]nd with their parting groans, then I would curse [...]m
Wi [...]h Accents [...]hat should poyson fr [...]m my Tongue,
Deliver'd strongly through my gnashing Teeth;
More ha [...]sh, more horrible, [...]d mor [...] ou [...]ragious,
Than Envy in her Cave, or Mad-men in their Dens.
Excellent, Machiavel! more, more, to lull me.
My Tongue should stammer in my earnest word [...];
My eyes should spa [...]kle like the beaten Flint.
This hoary Hair should start, and stand an end,
And all thy shaking joynts should seem to curse 'em.
Nay, since you urge me, Sir, my heart will break,
Unless I curse 'em! Poyson be their drink.
Gall and Wormwood! Hemlock! Hemlock! quench 'em.
Their sweetest Shade, a Dell of du [...]kish Adders.
Their fairest Prospect, Fields of Basilisks:
Their softest touch, as smart as Vipers Teeth.
Their Musick horrid as the hiss of Dragons,
All the foul terrors of dark-seated Hell.
No more; thou art one piece with me my self:
And now I take a pride in my revenge.
You bid me ban, and will you bid me cease?
Now, by your wrongs that turn my heart to steel,
Well could I curse away a Winters night,
Though standing naked on a Mountains top,
And think it but a minute spent in sport.
Thou best of Friends! come to my Arms, my Brother:
But the time calls, and Venge [...]nce bids us part;
Henceforth, be thou the Mistress of my Heart.
Now it grows ripe; the Orsins, and Vitelli,
Are buri'd by my Wit without a no [...]se.
O! 'tis the safer course, for threats are dang'rous,
But there's no danger in the Execution;
For he tha [...]'s dead, ne're thinks upon revenge.
Wha [...], hoa—Alonzo!
Enter Alonzo.
Here, my Lord.
Are the Gloves brought I sent to the Perfumers?
They are.
Where is Adorna?
She waits without.
As you see her enter,
[Page 49]Bring me the Gloves: 'Twere easie strangling her,
But this is quainter.—O my bright Adorna!
Enter Adorna.
With confidence I swear the Duke is thine.
May I believe it?
Be judge, thy self, whether I have been idle!
These were a Present from the King of Spain,
To the Pope's Niece; of whom the fond young Duke
Begg'd 'em for thee.
Is't possible?
Stay Madam—we must change
One Present for another. Lend me the Key
To B [...]llamira's Chamber.
For what?
Nay, if we ba [...]ter words.
Here, here, my Lord.
Now give me the dear Present.
See, see, my Lord, they are emboss'd with Jewels,
And cast so rich an Odour, they o'recome me—
Help me—my Lord—O help me—lend your Arm—
The Earth turns round with me! O mercy, Heaven—
Dy [...]s [...]
Remove the Body—
Then haste, and find the Duke of Gandia out,
E're he removes, as he intends to night;
Having Commission from the Pope to lead
Th' Italian Armies; earnestly entreat him,
To honour me by making one last Visit,
Which equally imports him as his life.
Enter Borgia and Bellamira.
Upon the instant, Fairest, I must leave you;
The Lord of Firmo, with the Duke your Uncl [...],
Have taken Sinigallia by surprize:
What else, but meeting thy Victorious Kinsmen,
Should draw me from thy Arms? yet thus divided
But for a day or two, methinks I part,
As Souls are sever'd from their warmer Mansions,
To wander in the bleak and desart Air.
O Bellamira!
Why do you sigh, my Lord?
If 'tis your pleasure, let 'em wait you here;
Or if my Presence can dispel these Clouds
[Page 50]That make you say, I will attend you [...]hither;
For while life lasts I will be all obedience.
Could'st thou hold there, how might we laugh at Fate!
So kindled both by Love, and by Ambition,
How would I sweep, like Tempests, with a waste
Over all Italy, and Crown the Empress
Here in the Heart of Rome—my bright Angusta,
But 'tis impossible.
Then you conclude, my Lord, I am not true.
Why, art thou? Is there such a thing in Nature
As a true Wife? No, Bellamira no—
Thou would'st be monstrous then, ev'n to derision:
For the whole Flock of common Wives would whoot thee,
And drive thee, like a Bird, without one Feather
Of thy own kind.
Once more upon my knees,
In view of all the Hierarchy of Heav'n,
I here attend my spotless Innocence.
Still Machiavel, still let us keep to death;
Our Principle, that we are dust when dead;
For, were there any Hell, or any Devil
But hot enough to make an Exhortation,
Would he not fetch her now? would he not dam her?
I do believe thee guiltless: Therefore rise;
But since thou art so confidently clear,
Swear Bellamira, if I prove thee false,
What e're I threat, nay, though I put in act
Those Menaces, thou wilt not call me Tyrant.
I swear by Heav'n I will submit my life
To the severest stroke of your revenge.
If then I prove thee false, O Bellamira!
Not that Celestial Copy, ev'n thy Face,
Shall scape; but I will race the Draught, as if
It ne're had been the pattern of the Gods.
Act what you please; but speak no more, my Lord,
For every word's a bolt, and strikes me dead.
If thou art false, and if I prove thee so,
That skin of thine, that matchless West of Heav'n,
Which some more curious Angel cast about thee,
Will I tear off, though cleaving to the Shrine.
Speak to him, Machiavel! O fatal Marriage!
If thou dost play me false, think not of mercy;
Thy Father shall be burnt before thy eyes.
O horrid thought!
[Page 51]
Thy Uncles, Brothers, Sisters,
All that have any relish of thy blood,
I'll rack to death, and throw their Limbs before thee:
Therefore look to't; beware, if thou art false,
I'll take thee unprepar'd, and sink thy Soul:
Therefore, I say again, beware! I've warn'd thee;
Body and Soul, ev'n everlasting ruine;
For so may Heav'n have mercy upon mine
At my last gasp, as I'll have none on thine.—
O 'tis too plain! I am lost, undone for ever.
What, but one Night, ev'n the first Nuptial Night,
So sought, so courted, and so hardly won;
And the next day, nay, the succ [...]eding Mor [...]
To be us'd thus—Let me go, let me go,
For I'll proclaim him throu [...]h the streets of Rome
The T [...]aytor, Mo [...]ster—O, I could shake the world
With thundring forth my wrongs; Hollow his Name
To the resounding Hills? Borgia! Traytor Borgia!
Methinks that word, that spell, that horrid sound,
That groan of Air could cleave the neighbouring Rocks,
And scare the babling Ecchoes from their Dens.
Perhaps some busie Slave has whisper'd him
I know not what, that chafes his melancholy
Against your Honour.
That's impossible!
And I deni'd to admit him to my Bed,
Some seeming cause, some reason for distrust
Might then be given; but the bright Heav'ns know
I had resolv'd to take him for my Lord,
And love him too, or force my inclination,
So subtly had he wrought by deep dissembling
Upon my plain and undiscerning weakness:
But now he's gorg'd, the Monster shews himself,
Appears all Beast, and I must die, he cries.
Ah Cruelty! and all my wretched Race.
Madam, you know how near a Friendship grows
Betwixt the Duke of Gandia, and my self:
After this night you'll never see him more:
Yet, e're he goes, as he to night is order'd,
Hew ill unfold, if you permit him leave,
The only means to save your Father's life!
Nay, and the lives of all your Family.
O Machiavel! now, where is thy advice?
Had I not reason for my dreadful fears?
My Father dies; and by whose Hand but Borgia's?
[Page 52]What shall I do? where shall I go? and whither shall I run?
Ten thousand horrours! O, instruct me, Machiav [...]l,
For I grow desperate!
Admit the Duke of Gandia,
This night, for one last Conference: your Husband
Cannot return, unless he ride the Wind
In forty hour [...]
Here I am lost again:
Should [...]e return, and find Palante with me,
Whom I have sworn never to see, discourse,
Never to hear of, scarce to think of more,
What Mountains then should hide me from his fury?
Yet I see him not, my poor old Father,
With all his Children, Brothers, and Relations [...]
Top, Root and Branches, all must be cut down;
Hear, Heav'n, hear [...] I must kneel to thee fo [...] succour;
O aid my Vertue, and support my weakness:
Me [...]hinks I am inspir'd; some Guardian-Spirit
Whispers me, save, O save thy Father's life!
Bring him then, Machiavel, bring the Duke of Gandia:
Yet stay! methinks I see the Tyrant there!
My bloody Husband, with his Ponyard drawn,
Just at the Door: Stop, stop, the Duke of Gandia,
He shall not come: Why, [...]hen thy Father dies;
O horrid state! weep eyes, and bleed, O heart!
Let Nature burst with these unheard of suff'rings!
Forbid him, Machiavel; or let him come,
All have their Fate, and I'll ex [...]ect my Doom.—
Ex. severally.



Ent [...]r Machiavel, and Alonzo.
Alo [...]z.
MY Lord, I have been diligent.
And always wer't my subtle Emissary;
My glance of Death, and Lanthorn to my mischiefs.
I met the Duke of Gan [...]ia at the Head
Of his new Force [...], and acquainted him
As you directed; and he'll streight attend you [...]
But as I whisper'd him, Duke Valentin [...]
With a vast Train came up to take his leave,
Being call'd (as Fame report [...]) to Sinig [...]lia:
[Page 53]But had you seen the Embraces, heard the Vows
Which Borgia swore should be inviolable,
And ratifi'd 'em with a parting Kiss.
'Tis my own Borgia; a very Limb of me;
And when he dies, thou'lt see me halt, Alonzo.
Enter Gandia.
My Lord, most welcom! Alonzo — hence — O Prince!—
Ex. Alonz.
Was ever Slave so careful for his Lord,
That watch'd his Nod, as I have been for you?
I must with shame to Death acknowledge it.
But didst thou know, or could'st thou guess, how near
The loss of Bellamira touches me,
Thou would'st forgive me.
I have excus'd you, Sir:
And for a witness of my faster Friendship,
This Night have sent the Duke to Sinigallia,
That you might take your last farewel of Love,
And Bellamira.
And has the Cruel Fair consented to it?
She has consented, rather by constraint,
Than her own will: I was forc'd to tell her,
How you had signifi'd to me, her Father
Was in great hazard; but if she vouchsaf'd
A Visit, you would satisfie her better.
Enter Alonzo:
Ha! what's this? a sudden fall of Spirit [...]
My Lord, he's in's Litter muffled up,
In a dark Avenue behind the Palace;
And bid me fly to tell you, Tarquin's Poppies
Are bound up all together in one Sheaf.
Haste thee, and make my Answer thus — The Time
Calls for their Heads. This Key, my Lord, admits you—
'Tis now no time for thanks; but if I live—
Why, this is true Italian! turning thus
A Key with Machiavellian slight of hand,
Two Families of the best South [...]rn Blood,
With the first Prince in Rome, are quite extinct:
What foggy Northern Brain would dream of this?
[Page 54]Borgia muffled in a Cloak.
My Machiavel!
My Prince, my God like Borgia!
Tell me my Bos [...]m-sin; am I awake?
Alive? and may I credit this thy Summons?
No sooner were you gone, but your Chaste Wife,
Whom I imagin'd dead with what you utter'd:
I say, this Wife, this heavenly Wife of yours [...]
Re [...]ring her Head, and wiping her dry Eyes,
Dropping her Chin to make h [...]r smile more scornful,
Cry'd out, Lord Machiavel, you see, you see,
What Things these Husbands are, and left the Room.
Racks, racks, and fire; Caldrons of molten Lead,
How shall I torture her?
Sreight, by her walking Pacquet,
She signifi'd her pleasure to the Duke,
Who soon approach'd, and with a matchless boldness
Desir'd my friendship in this private business:
I smil'd, and promis'd that I would not see,
Though I beheld Adorna let him in;
Whom since I poyson'd, lest she should betray
The secret of your coming.
By Death and Vengeance
I could turn Cannibal, and with my teeth
Tear her alive. But let us talk no more.
Enter D. Michael.
What Hoa, Don Michael! when I stamp my foot
Against the ground, bring forth the Prisoners,
And execute as I shall order.
Ex. Michael.
Pass the back way, my Lord [...] this Door is lock'd [...]
If that be shut too, force it open, while
I set a Guard on this: Millions to one,
But when she hears your voice, she'll hide the Duke,
And then deny him boldly to your Face.
'Tis like those subtle Creatures.
Dam 'em, Serpents!
What needs this aggravation? Revenge! away—
Now like a Grey-bound barking in the slips,
Death struggles for a loose; I m [...]st be gone,
And lurk in Shadows till the Murder's done.
Hark, 'tis doing, the Doors are thunder'd down!
[Page 55]O! for an Earth-quake now to swallow all,
All that oppose my Tyrant, to the Center—
Scene draws: Borgia, Bellamira, Duke of Gandia disarm'd: D. Michael, &c.
Slave, run you down, and bar the Palace Gates;
Let not a Souldier stir on pain of death,
Till I appoint. What's he you have disarm'd?
Haste, drag him forth, and put the Tapers near him:
Lightning and Thunder! Ha! the Duke of Gandia!
Rage burn me up; it is not possible:
Woman, O Woman!
O Heav'ns! O all ye Powers!
Is there not one, one Door for Mercy left?
Pull off his Robes, and bind him to a Chair;
Ply him with Fire and Wounds — Yes, Bellamira,
There is a Flood-gate—but it is of Blood;
A Gate for Mercy wide, as thou hast shown
For Honour, Chastity, and Bridal Vertue.
See here the Sluce I draw, through doors of wounds;
Thy Vows; this sulphurous stench thy Kisses.
Hold, hold, Tormentors!
Seize the Furies Arms,
And execute my Orders.
O unmerciful!
O Borgia: when, when shall my Torments end?
Ha! is it doing? Wretches, Villains, Dogs,
Miscreants, Sons of Hell, and Broods of Darkness!
Humanity can bear no more. My heart, strike there.
Be [...]a.
'Tis done; O the dark deed is done!
O l [...] me gather all the rage of Woman,
And tell this Tyrant to his Teeth, he is a Villain.
Mercy, gentle Borgia, mercy!
He gentle; then the Devils themselves have mercy,
O Monster, rocky Villain, Tyger, Hell-hound,
Seize him you Fiends, and Furies dam him, dam him,
May Hell have infinite stories, and this Devil
Be damn'd beneath the bo [...]tomless Foundation.
By Heav'n she weeps: here, dip her Handkerchief
Dip'd in his blood, and bid her dry her eyes.
O thou Eternal Mover of the Heav'ns,
Where are thy Bolts?
I go, O Bellamira!
Think [...]st [...]hou, alas, that we shall know each other
In the bright World; I fear we shall not— Oh!
[Page 56] Borgia farewel. Thy Bride is Innocent;
Let Bellamira live, and I forgive thee.—
He's gone; to Heav'n he's gone, as sure as thou
Shalt sink to Hell, thou Tyrant, double damn'd:
Nay, thou would'st have me rage, and I will rage,
And weep, and rage, and show thee to the world,
Thou Priest, Archbishop, Cardinal, and Duke,
Thou that hast run through all Religious Orders,
And with a form of Vertue cloak'd thy horrors!
Thou proper Son of that old cursed Serpent,
Who daubs the holy Chair with Blood and Murders:
But sure the Everlasting has a Chain
To bind yours Charm, and link you both together;
Hells Vicar, and his first begotten Devil,
Hotter than Lucifer in all his Flames.
Enter Alonzo.
What, hoa, Alonzo! strang [...]e the prisoners,
Orsino! Vitellozo: haste, I say,
Without reply.—
O spare him! spare my Father!
And I'll unsay, forswear all that I have said:
O, I have play'd the Woman now indeed,
A lying, foolish, vext, outragious Woman!
To set your Wrath against the Innocent;
There was a seeming cause for the Dukes Death
And mine; But, Oh! what has Orsino done?
Orsino loves you: Oh, tha [...] good old man!
Your Father—For so a thousand times
I've heard you call him, seen you kis [...], embr [...]ce him!
Therefore he must not, cannot dye!
My Lord!
Slave, I'll strangle thee
Strike [...] him.
With my own hands [...] if thou delay'st my Vengeance:
Say, Villain, what, not dead?
My Lord, they are:
And, if I live, you shall repent this blow—
Go, draw the Curtain; glut her eyes with Death,
And strangle her: my Veins are all on Fir [...],
And I could wade up to the eyes in blood.
Draw, draw the Curtain.
Orsin. Vitellez. D. Graviana, Oliverotto, appear disguised.
Gorgon, Medusa, Horror;
[Page 57]Yet I will shoot through Daggers, rush through flames
To clasp him in my arms, O wretched Paul,
O noble Orsin, what quite cold? pale, dead?
And you, dear Images, will you not give
One gasp of breath, one groan, one last farewel?
Horror! Confusion! and eternal shame
Light on thee for this deed: I tell thee, Borgia,
I see thee on thy Death-Bed, all on Fire,
As if some Hellish poison had inflam'd thee;
I see thee thrown ten Fathom in a Well,
Yet still come up, like Aetna's belching Flames.
I hope thou wilt go mad, and prophesie!
Yes, Tyrant, thus, thus to thy face I brave th [...]e,
And tell thee in despite of Threats, e're long
Thou and thy holy Father shall be seiz'd,
And carry'd to the Everlasting Goal;
From whence not all your Spanish Cardinals,
Your Bailiffs, in red Liverie [...], shall redeem you—
Dye in thy prophesie; Alonzo end her—
Thus, on my knees then— And for terror to thee,
Hear my last prayer, and mark my dying words.
If I in thought, in word, in private act
Have yielded up this Body to the Arms
Of ought that's Mortal, but inhuman Borgia!
Oh thou impartial and most awful Judge!
Shut, shut thy gates of bliss against my Soul;
But if my tortur'd vertue merits glory,
Pardon my frailties, see with what joy
I leave this life, and bring me to perfection.
She is strangled.
What, at her Death! she that believ'd a H [...]v'n,
And fear'd, a Hell, yet to depart a Lyar:
But how know I that she believ'd a Heav'n?
Or why with hopes that in the pangs of Death
I would reprieve her, might she not deny
Her Whoredom to the last? but that's unnatural!
What wouldst thou then? I will no more of this;
It clouds my brain: Hence, Alonzo, bear,
Bear the Duke of Gandia's Body to the Tib [...]r
In some close Chair, tye at his neck a Weight,
And plung him to the Bottom.
my Lord 'tis done.
Ex. Executioners with the Body.
I swear I have been cruel to my self,
For that I lov'd her, is as true, as she
[...] past the sense on't: she is cold al [...]eady—
[Page 58] Enter Machiavel.
Ha! this is stately Mischief! what, my four Foes
Of Florence! but they are dumb. Ha! gazing there,
I like not that—
Her lips are lovelyst ill;
The Buds, tho gather'd, keep their Damask Colour:
Yes, and there odour too! haste M [...]chiav [...]l,
Ru [...]h to my aid: I grow in Love with death.
She shall not dye! Run Slaves! fetch heither Spirits,
I will recover her again!
Again to plague?
To meet again another Duke of Gandia?
Death on that thought: no, let her dye, and rot;
The damn'd Adultress! perish the thoughts of her,
Ha, tell me, come: I will no more of her.
How sh [...]ll the bodies be dispos'd? I sent
My Brother to the Tyber.
That's a trouble,
I'll find an easier way for these, and her
That sleeps within my Closet. Go, Don Michael,
Bury 'em all together in quick Lime;
In some few hours the flesh will be consum'd:
Then burn the bones, and all is dust and ashes.
Draw here the Curtains on 'em.
I swear this body shall not be consum'd;
I'll have't embalm'd to stay a thousand years.
O Machiavel! I swear, I know not why,
But with a World of horror to my Sou [...],
With tremblings here, Convulsions of the heart;
As if I had some God thus whisper to me.
Thou ought'st to grieve for B [...]llamira's Death.
My Lord, a very fond and foolish Fancy.
I say, my Lord, your policy is out:
Furies and Hell! how should you judge of Love,
That never lov'd? Thou hast no taste of Love,
No sense. no rellish —why did I trust thee then?
Had any softness dwelt in that lean bosom [...]
My Bell [...]mira, now had been alive:
Tho I had cause to kill her, thou hadst none;
To set me on, but honour; jealous honour!
Oh the last night! I tell thee, Pollititian!
When I run o're the vast delight, I curse thee,
And curse my self; nay wish I had been found
[Page 59]Dead in her Arms; But take her, bear her hence:
And thou lov'st me, drive her from my Memory.
They remove her.
Tell me my Brothers Murder is discover'd;
That the four Ghosts are up again in arms:
Say any thing to make me mad, and lose
This Melancholly, which will else destroy me.
I here the Pope has sent to Sinigallia
To call you back.
By Heav'n, I had forgot,
And thou most opportunely has remembred:
You know twelve Cardinals were then created,
That solemn Morn that I receiv'd the Rose;
And I will tell thee, halfe those Fools are marrow,
That bought so high, shall veil their Caps for ever.
He mends apace; 'tis but another shrug,
And then this Love, this Ague Fit is lost.
I swear—I'll to the Wars, and ne're return
To Rome, till I have brav'd this haughty French-man,
That menac'd so of late.
Why, this is Borgia.
Come, come, you must not droop; look up, my Lord;
Methinks I see you Crown'd Rome's Emperour.
No doubt, Sir, but among your glorious Plunder,
You'll find some Woman—
Ha! no more, I charge thee.
I swear I was at ease, and had forgot her:
Why did'st thou wake me then, to turn me wild,
And rouze the slumbering Orders of my Soul?
To my charm'd Ears no more of Woman tell;
Name not a Woman, and I shall be well.
Like a poor Lunatick that makes his moan,
And for a time beguiles the lookers on;
He reasons well, his eyes their wildness lose,
And vows the Keepers his wrong'd sense abuse:
But if you hit the cause that hurt his Brain,
Then his teeth gnash, he foams, he shakes his Chain,
His Eye balls rowl, and he is mad again.
Enter one Executioner with a dark Lanthorn, follow'd by another at a distance; they part often, look up and down, and hem to the rest.
1. Exec.
The Coast is clear, and all the Guards are gone.
2. Exec.
Hark, hark; what noise was that?
1. Exec.
The Clock struck three.
2. Exec.
[Page 60]
See, the Moon shines; haste, and call our Fellows [...]
Hem to 'em; that's the Sign.
1. Exec.
They come, they come.
Enter Four Executioners more; Two carry the Body of the Duke of Gandia in a Chair; the others follow, and scout behind.
3. Exec.
So—set him down, and let 'em bea [...] their part,
For I am weary—
4. Exec.
And so am I: I sweat; but 'tis with fear.
1. Exec.
Make no more words on't; take him from the Chair.
2. Exec.
A ghastly sight. The Weight about his Neck
Has bent him almost double: I'll not touch him —
3. Exec.
Cowardly Villain— Come, my Princely Master,
The Fishes want their Break fast.
4. Exec.
Joyn all together,
And hurl him o're this Wall into the Tyber.
2. Exec.
Fly, fly—I hear a noise: The Guards, the Guards.
3. Exec.
He lies, he lies; the Coynage of his fears;
Once more, I say, joyn all your hands together.
Remember the Reward, two thousand Crowns
A Man: but for that Milk-sop, I suspect him;
Therefore let's watch our time, decoy him on;
And when this business is a little o're,
Strangle him in some Corner, lest he prate
Of what is done. Now, now's the time, away—
They joyn all together; take him by the Legs and Arms, and hurl him over the Wall into the Tyber: A noise is heard, as of a Body falling into the Water—They look about once more, then start, take [...]p the Chair, and run out—Scene shuts.


Enter Borgia and Machiavel.
Though Orsini, the Vitelli, and Colonni
Are hush'd; the Spaniard, and the French, no doubt,
Would buy your Friendship at the dearest rate.
Nay, more; I yield you Lord of Tuscany,
And Master of such Forces as might march
Against the haughtiest Power of Christendom:
But Prince, forgive me, if I am too free,
Do you remember whence this glory comes,
And how this Golden Fortune is deriv'd?
[Page 61]The Pope— from that rich scource these Currents rowl;
And when another Pope succeeds, who knows
But he may strip you bare of all those Honours
Which this has given, and turn you to the World.
No, Machiav [...]l, I am prepar'd for Fate,
Though Alexander should expire to night.
First, who is left of all the Families
I have defac'd, if a new Pope were made,
To say I wrong'd 'em; none that I remember:
'Tis not my way to lop; for then the Tree
May sprout again; but root him, and he lies
Never to bluster. But I will tell thee,
Quite to unhinge that hold, no Pope shall e're
Be fix'd in Rome, while Borgia is alive,
But by this hand. The Gentry are all mine
For ever, gain'd by Presents and Preferments:
The Spanish Cardinals are mine devoted,
With all that are conspicuous in the College:
What then can Fortune do? I laugh at her;
Spurn all those Shrines and Altars, which weak Wretches,
Hero's and Fools, devoutly raise to gain her.
Yet hear me, Bo [...]gia, hear the oddest story
That ever Melancholly told the World:
This morning, being early in the Vatican,
Far in the Library, at the upper end,
Methought I saw two stately Humane Forms,
Lying at a distance, wrapt in Linen Shrouds:
Approaching nearer with a stedfast gaze,
As now I look upon the Prince I honour,
I saw the Figure of the Pope your Father
Stretcht on the Floor, pale, ghastly, cold and dead;
And by his side, with horrour upon horrour,
And double tremblings, saw my Lord, your self,
My very Caesar, like a new-laid Ghost,
Swoln black, and bloated, while your inclos'd eyes,
All blood-shot, fixt on mine their dreadful beams.
Fumes, fumes, my Machiavel, the effects of phlegm;
Gross humors, fumes, which from thy thicker blood
Stream up like Vapours from a foggy pool.
I am apt to think it but a leap of fancy,
A jading of the mind, which, quite tired out
With thoughts eternal toil, strikes from the road:
Yet, as you prize your life, let me conjure you,
Beware Ascanio, his long red Coat
Hides a most mortal and inveterate Foe.
[Page 62]
I know him Machiavel, and sooth him on,
As he would me. But Borgia does assure thee,
That he, that scarlet poisonous Luxury,
With his adherent Brothers, shall this night,
Even in the midst of Kisses, Oaths, Embraces,
Bu [...]st in the Vatican, and shed their Venom.
Your Fath [...]r is a Master of his breast,
The occasion gives new life, fresh vigour to him,
Even at the very verge of bottomless death,
He stands and smiles as careless and undaunted,
As wanton swimmers on a Rivers brink
Laugh at the rapid stream.
Therefore my Friend,
Let us despise this Torrent of the World,
Fortune, I mean, and dam her up with Fences,
Banks, Bulworks, all the Fortresses, which Vertue,
Resolv'd and man'd like ours, can raise against her;
That if she does o're-flow, she may at least
B [...]ing but half Ruine to our great designs:
T [...]at being at last asham'd o [...] her own weakness,
Like a low [...]bated flood, she may retire
To her own bounds, and we with pride o're-look her.
Enter Don Michael, and the Butler.
D. Mich.
My Lord, your Servant waits as you appointed.
Are my Provisions come?
They are, my Lord.
Do you r [...]member what I gave in charge?
That none should touch the gilded flask of wine.
I charge thee none, but such as I shall order.
Don Michael, is my Father yet arriv'd?
D. Mich.
He is, my Lord, and gone.
S [...]y'st thou?
D. Mich.
When first he enter'd, quite o' [...]ecome with heat;
Thirsting, and faint with the hot seasons rage,
He call'd for wine, and tho disswaded from it,
Drank largely, mingled with the Cardinals,
And walk'd, and laugh'd, play'd with Columbus Boys,
Hea [...]d their rude Musick, and beheld 'em dance;
When on a sudden starting up, he ask'd
For you, my Lord; bow'd, as his Custom is,
With deep humility to all, desir'd 'em
To sit, and so went out—but with a promise
Of a most quick return—
[Page 63] Scene draws, and discovers a Chair of state under a Canopy, a large Table, with a rich Banquet—and many Candles on't.
Enter Ascanio, Adrian, Enna, Ange, two Cardinals more.
My Lord, the Vatican Society,
Who were oblig'd to sacrifice this night,
As every looser Genius should inspire,
To Air, and Wine, and warmer Conversation,
Grow dull for want of you: His Holiness
Himselfs retir'd —Therefore let us entreat you—
O my good Lord Ascanio, I am born.
To be at your Command—My Lords, I wait you.
Sirrah, remember him—I charge thee fill
Of the gilt Flask to him—
My Lord—I shall.
This Wine is sure the richest of the World,
B [...]cause he charges me so strictly of it:
That Cardinal's a Friend, and he must taste it.
Lord Machiavel, you have been charitable, I thank your love;
N [...]y, with my life, I thank you—
My Lord — I wish you would explain your self.
It needs not, Sir, for this the meanest know,
The Rabble, base Mechanicks talk of murders:
I saw a sweating Weaver in his Shirt,
Ran puffing with his Shuttle in his hand,
To ask a Neighbour Butcher of the news,
Who with his Knife in's mou [...]h abruptly tells
Orsino's death; yes, and his Daughters too:
Then comes a Taylor with his hair tuck'd back,
Behind his ears, on tiptoes, in his Slippers,
And crys in haste, the Duke of Gandia's murder'd:
Then spits upon his Iron, cast up his eyes,
Th [...]eads through the company, as 'twere a Needle,
And vanishes; no more, my Lord, I thank you.
Nay, by my life, but for the Company,
I'd kiss the bottom of your Robe; your Lordships ever:
Your Highness servant: My Lord, let's drink a Health to
His Holiness— But in my heart, I say, the Devil take him.
Lord Machiavel, you are my Guest to night:
Were [...]he Society made up of Gods,
As sure it is of Saints, Spirits above
The common Elevation; yet this man,
I say, my Lords, this Human Prodigy,
[Page 64]Would not be set to wait, but fix'd among 'em,
To dazle with the brightest being here.
Wine there!—My Lord Ascanio Sforza,
Health to all here, and to the general joy—
Fine work, my Lords, fine work, I say, look to't,
The Duke of Gandia's murder'd.
'Tis the common rumour.
The Pope this morning in the Consistory,
When first he heard the News, leap'd from his Throne.
Crossing his Breast, and looking up to Heav'n,
He vow'd hereafter most severe amendment,
As from this time to fast for Forty hours.
And all his life wear next his humble flesh,
A Shirt of Hair.
A Shirt of Hair, bating Lucretian nights:
She'll not endur't; look you, her skin's too tender:
A Shirt of Hair, a very prickling Penance.
Now, by my Holy-dame, meer Letchery:
Don't I know him? Slave, more Wine, I say;
Fill up my Glass: Come, come, my Lords, 'tis time
To look about us, and reform the Church—
Prune it, I say; or else like Babylon,
Like Babel's Whore, 'twill run up all to seed.
Hark you, Lord Ange.
My Lord.
My Lord of Enna too; we four are
As one Soul: This Pope's a very leud
And wicked Head;—he's never well, but
When he's plotting Murders. Why, look you, Sirs,
If a Man cannot speak his mind of
State Affairs,—but he must streight be
Dogg'd by Hell-hounds, Blood-suckers, Decoyers,
Rascals, that watch to throttle him in some
By-corner, then quoit him like a Cat into
The River, 'tis very fine: Now, by my Holy-dame,
It may be our turn next—by the Mass it may;
I say, my Lord, it may—
The Indian Boys dance.
Ha, my Lords, how do you
Like the motion? Very pretty, very fine.
O brave Columbus! More Wine there; a bigger
Glass: I'll drink Columbus's health—Now, by my
Holy-dame, I am frolicksome, and will be active.
Ha, my Lords, ha, I learnt at Paris, when I was
A Stripling; yet these are pretty Children, very fine Boys.—
[Page 65] Enter D. Michael.
D. Mich.
My Lord, I g [...]ieve to bring you Mortal News,
Which were I silent, yet in some few Minutes
Must wound your Ears; your Father's dead.
Hence, Raven,
Thou Boder of the blackest deed of Death!
My Lords, this Villain says the Pope's dead;
Went he not hence but now, sound, firm, and healthful,
And promis'd to return?
D. Mich.
My Lord, he did:
But 'tis most certain, e're he went from hence,
As all our best Physitians give an Oath,
He was by some pernicious Traytor poyson'd.
O Machiav [...]l, where is our forecast now?
My heart misgives me, and my bosom's hot.
Who ministred? who gave my Father Wine?
D. Mich.
Your Servant: for when first your Father enter'd,
His own Provisions were not come.
O Confusion!
Answer me, Villain! ha! fill'd you his Wine?
My Lord, I did.
What, from the gilded Flask? why dost thou tremble?
Horrour consume thee, gnaw thee, burn thy Entrails,
Wilt thou not speak?
My Lord, by your strict Charge,
That none should taste those Flasks but whom you order'd,
I judg'd the Wine most Excellent, and gave
Part of it to your Father —
O damn'd Dolt!
Curst, sensless Dog! Now, Machiavel, where are we?
Ha! by the Furies that invade my Breast,
And crumble all my Bowels into dust,
I am caught my self! Speak, tell me, horrid Villain,
Or I will have thee dragg'd in Thousand Pieces;
Torn by mad Horses like the flesh of Dogs:
Thou gav'st me Wine too from the gilded Flasks! ha, Traytor [...]
Come, double damn thy self, and swear thou did'st not.
My Lord—I must confess I gave the same
To you, that was directed for your Friend,
My Lord Ascanio.
Take thy reward then, which the Devil thou pour'st
Into my Breast, thus gives thee back again!
O Machiav [...]l, O do not look upon me;
[Page 66]I am below thy scorn, thus vile caught,
O basely, basely sold by my own wild.
Oh, oh, oh — I have my share on't too, the Devil
Thank you—Fire, fire, fire! oh my Guts—brimstone
And fire—haste there—fly for Antidotes.
None, none on Earth,
I [...]ell thee, Priest, can save thy rotten Carkass;
No Cardinal, lye down, lye down, and roar,
Think on thy Scarlet sins, and fear Damnation.
Legions of Furies here, Hell is broke loose,
And all the Devils are quarter'd in my Bowels.
Run Slave! and for a last revenge, produce
His mangled Bastard— [...]hat's some pleasure yet.
O Machiavel, thy hand, I am all flames;
Yet thou shalt hear no noise: sit down, my Friend,
Upon the Earth— for there's my Mansion now,
Dust, and no more—and yet methinks 'twas hard
That this Elaborate Scheme of mighty Man,
This Parchment, where the Lines of Roman greatness
By thee so well were drawn, should by the hand
Of scribling Chance be blotted thus for ever.
I burn, I burn, I toste, I roste, and my Guts fry,
They blaze, they snap, they bounce like Squibs
And Crackers: I am all fire—
Is't possible that you can bear the pangs
Of violent poyson, thus unmov'd?
'Tis little
To one resolv'd: No, let the Coward Statesman,
Women, and Priests, whine at the thoughts of death;
For me, whose mind was ever fierce and active,
Death is unwelcom, only for this reason,
Because 'tis an Eternal laziness—
Enter Alonzo, leading in Seraphino, with his Eyes out, and Face cut.
I must confess my mind, by what I saw
This morning, and by what has happen'd since,
Is deeply shockt, even from her own Foundation.
Bear the blind Bastard to his Father, go,
And bid him laugh—oh!
Horrour! new horrour!
My Lord, your Son, by that most bloody Cardinal,
Mangled and blind.
[Page 67]
Why dost thou wonder at it?
'Tis all the work of Chance, and trick of Fortune?
Yet this methinks is horrible indeed.
Come hither Boy—
Alas, I hear your Voice,
And cannot find the way;
But am like one benighted in a Wood.
A Wood indeed;
But oh the Brambles there have us'd thee vilely.
O Father, you are arm'd, and have a Sword;
Will you not, for your Seraphino's sake,
Cut down those Thorns that prick'd out both my eyes?
I know you will; for you were always kind
And tender of me: oft-times have you held me
Fast in your Arms, and smil'd, and plaid with me;
Though you're a Prince, a very busie Prince,
And call'd me little Eyes, little indeed,
For now they're out, and all my Face is cut:
Nay, they have starv'd me too.
Death and horrour!
Why do you press me thus between your Arms,
As if you lov'd me still? I am sure you cannot.
Pray let me hide my Face within your Bosom;
For if you look upon me I shall fright you.
O! I've a pain here just about my heart!
When, you my Lord, a long time after me
Shall dye, will you not lay my little Bones
By yours? Alas! my pain encreases —Oh—
Di [...]s
Revenge thee, Boy! I ask but that from Fate:
And see 'tis given me: Through a thousand Wounds,
Thus, horrid Priest! purge out thy lustful blood,
Stabs Asc [...].
And Vomit thy black Soul—
Oh! Devil! Devil! Devil—
Di [...]s [...]
No, Machiavel, 'tis now fit time to rave;
For I am now enrag'd to that degree,
That I will live even in despight of Fortune,
Stars! Fates! and all the Juggles of a Heaven.
Hence, bear me, Slaves, and plunge me into Tyber,
Deep as I sunk the Duke of Gandia down!
Till I have quench't this Hell within my bowels;
Then sl [...]y me an Oxe-hide, and swadle me,
Like Hercules in the Nemean-skin.
'Till all my poison'd flesh like bark pill [...] off,
And my bare Trunck stands every brushing wind!
[Page 68]
Where are our Guards? My Lords, I judge it fit
That Machiavel and Borgia should be seiz'd.
Seize me! what sawcy Pri [...]st durst start that motion?
Am I not Tyrant here? The Lord of Rome?
Does not France dread my Frown? and Spain adore me?
Who then dares talk of seizing me? what, he?
This wag tail Priest, with the black picked Beard,
That scowrs the Country round for freckled Wenches [...]
Or was it y [...]u my Lord of Enna? Ha!
Death, where's my Majesty, o [...] vail your Caps,
Or I will trample you beneath my Feet?
You, Ange! that c [...]uld prosti [...]u [...]e your Sister
To gain a Hat? lye there Lord of St. Peter:
You Cardinal ad Vincula, you pack of Hell-hounds,
That trace me by th [...] blood. On, on I say,
On to the brink of Hell: Thence plunge together,
Where, on his Throne, behold the Master Devil
With a great pair of glowing Horns red hot
To gore you for your lives incontinence,
You Ravishers, you Virgin pioners,
You Cuckold-makers of the forked World.
Where are your Guards?
Hark, I hear 'em coming:
Or is it Dooms day? Ha—by Hell it is:
And see, the Heav'ns, and Earth, and Air are all
On fire: the very Seas, like Moulten-glass,
Rowl their b [...]ight Waves, and from the smoky deep
Cast up the glaring Dead: The Trumpet sounds,
And the swift Angels skim about the Globe
To summon all Mankind. Rome, Rome is call'd.
Work, work for Hell. Hoa, Satan! Belzebub!
Belial, and Baal—Whence this Thunderclap?
They've blown us up with Wild-fire in the Air;
And look how the ball'd Fry [...]rs in Russet-gowns
Croak like old Vultures, how the flutt'ring Iesuits,
In bl [...]ck and white, chatter about the Heav'ns!
Capuchins Monks, with the whole Tribe of Knaves!
Th [...]n let me burst my spleen! Look how the Tassels,
Caps, H [...]ts and Cardinals Coats, and Cowls and Hoods
Are tost about—the sport, the sport of Winds—
Indulgences, Dispences, Pard [...]ns, Bulls, see yonder!
Priest, they sly—they're whirld aloft. They fly,
They fly or'e the backside o'th' world,
Into a Limbo large, and broad, since call'd the Paradise
Of Fools.
[Page 69]
'Tis just we give him way! this fit of rage
Has wasted him to Death, see he breaths short,
The Taper's spent, and this is his last Blaze.
Ha! Breath I short? Prelate, thou ly'st: my pulse
Beats with a constant fire, and spritely motion;
The strings of my tough Heart as strong as ever:
No—I will live; in spight of Fate I'll live
To be the scourge of Rome: I'll live to act
New mischiefs, and create new wicked Popes,
To ponyard Heretick Princes that refuse
To lay their N [...]cks beneath the holy Slipper.
Murder successively two Kings of France;
Britain attempt, though her most watchful Angel
Saves the Lov'd Monarch of that happy Isle,
And turns upon our selves the plotted Wound,
That sinks me to the Earth: yet still we'll on,
And hatch new d [...]eds of darkness: O Hell, and Furies!
Why should we not, since the great Head himself
Will back my Plots, joyn me in blood and horror,
And after give me Bond for my Salvation:
I swear I will—I'll have it—nay, Sir, you shall —
Or I will thunder to your Holiness:
But hark he whispers, what a little Gold—
With all my heart: thus Devils buy souls for trash—
I'll fee your itching palm for Absolution.
Gold for my pardon, hey—'tis seal'd and given!
And for a Ducat thus I purchase Heav'n—
The mighty soul there forc'd her furious passage,
And plunges now in deep Eternity—
I see, my Lords, you have resolv'd to guard me,
And I submit to strict Examination:
By you to be acquitted or condemned?
Yet this I must avow before you all,
Though you should cast me to the Inquisition,
Skill'd as I am in all Affairs of Earth,
Known both to Popes and Kings, and often honour'd
With Cabinet Councils of Imperial Heads;
I here resolve on this, as my last Judgment;
No Power is safe, nor no Religion good,
Whose Principles of growth are laid in Blood.


WELL, then be you his Iudges; what pretence
Made them roar out, this Play would give offence?
Had he the Pope's Effigies meant to burn,
And kept for sport his Ashes in an Vrn?
To try if Reliques would perform at Home
But ha [...]f those Miracles they do at Rome:
More could not have been said, nor more been done,
To damn this Play about the Court and Town;
Not if he had shown their Philters, Charms and Rage,
Nay [...]onjur'd up Pope Jone to please the Age,
And had her Breeches search'd upon the Stage.
First, then he brings a scandal on the Gown [...]
And makes a Priest both Leacher and Buffoon:
Why, was no Fool, yet ever made a Flamen,
But duln [...]ss quite entail'd upon the Lay men;
Or was it ever heard in Rome before,
That any Priest was qu [...]st [...]on'd for his Whore?
Yet more, the horrid Chair, the Mid night show—
He says 'twas done two hundred Years ago:
He only points their ways of murdering then;
If you must damn, spare the Historian's Pen,
And damn those Rogues that act 'em o [...]re again.
But Dominicks, Franciscans, Hermits, Fryars,
Shall breed no more a Race of Zealous Lyars;
Villains, who for Religion's Propagation,
Come here disguis'd in ev'ry mean Vocation,
And sit in Stalls to spy upon the Nation.
Old Emissar [...]es shall their Trade forbear,
Spread no more Savoy Reliques, Bones and Hair,
Shall sell no more like Baubles in a Fair:
Monks under ground shall cease to earth like Mo [...]es,
And Father Lewis leave his lurking-holes;
Get no more Thirty P [...]unds for a blind Story,
Of ficeing a Welch Soul from Purgatory.
Iesuits in Rome shall quite forswear their Function,
And not for Gold give Whores the Ex [...]reme Unction:
High English Whores, that have all Vices past,
Shall cease to turn true Catholicks at last,
When Poets write, tho by exactest Rules,
And are not judg'd by Knaves, and damn'd by Fools.

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