Act V, scene v

    The CARDINAL'S apartments
    Enter CARDINAL, with a book

CARDINAL: I am puzzled in a question about hell.
He says, in hell there's one material fire,
And yet it shall not burn all men alike.
Lay him by. How tedious is a guilty conscience!
When I look into the fish-ponds in my garden,
Methinks I see a thing arm'd with a rake,
That seems to strike at me.

    Enter BOSOLA and SERVANT

Now, art thou come? Thou look'st ghastly.
There sits in thy face some great determination, 
Mix'd with some fear.

BOSOLA: Thus it lightens into action.
I am come to kill thee.

CARDINAL: Ha! Help! Our guard!

BOSOLA: Thou art deceiv'd;
They are out of thy howling.

CARDINAL: Hold, and I will faithfully divide
Revenues with thee.

BOSOLA: Thy prayers and proffers
Are both unseasonable.

CARDINAL: Raise the watch. We are betray'd!

BOSOLA: I have confin'd your flight.
I'll suffer your retreat to Julia's chamber,
But no further.

CARDINAL: Help! We are betray'd!



CARDINAL: My dukedom for rescue!

RODERIGO: Fie upon his counterfeiting.

MALATESTE: Why, 'tis not the Cardinal.

RODERIGO: Yes, yes, 'tis he,
But I'll see him hang'd ere I'll go down to him.

CARDINAL: Here's a plot upon me; I am assaulted! I am lost
Unless some rescue!

GRISOLAN: He doth this pretty well;
But it will not serve to laugh me out of mine honor.

CARDINAL: The sword's at my throat!

RODERIGO: You would not bawl so loud then.

MALATESTE: Come, come, let's go to bed. He told us thus much aforehand.

PESCARA: He wish'd you should not come at him; but believe't,
The accent of the voice sounds not in jest.
I'll down to him, howsoever, and with engines
Force ope the doors.


RODERIGO: Let's follow him aloof,
And note how the Cardinal will laugh at him.

    Exit above, Malateste, Roderigo, and Grisolan

BOSOLA: There's for you first,
'Cause you shall not unbarricade the door
To let in rescue.

    He kills the servant

CARDINAL: What cause hast thou to pursue my life?

BOSOLA: Look there.

CARDINAL: Antonio!

BOSOLA: Slain by my hand unwittingly.
Pray, and be sudden. When thou kill'd'st thy sister,
Thou took'st from Justice her most equal balance,
And left her naught but her sword.

CARDINAL: O mercy!

BOSOLA: Now it seems thy greatness was only outward,
For thou fall'st faster of thyself than calamity
Can drive thee. I'll not waste longer time; there.

    Stabs him

CARDINAL: Thou hast hurt me.

BOSOLA: Again.

CARDINAL: Shall I die like a leveret,
Without any resistance? Help, help, help!
I am slain.


FERDINAND: Th' alarum! Give me a fresh horse;
Rally the vaunt-guard, or the day is lost.
Yield, yield! I give you the honors of arms,
Shake my sword over you; will you yield?

CARDINAL: Help me, I am your brother!

FERDINAND: The devil! My brother fight upon the adverse party?

    He wounds the CARDINAL, and (in the scuffle) 
    gives BOSOLA his death wound

There flies your ransom.

CARDINAL: O justice!
I suffer now for what hath former been:
Sorrow is held the eldest child of sin.

FERDINAND: Now you're brave fellows.
Caesar's fortune was harder than Pompey's;
Caesar died in the arms of prosperity,
Pompey at the feet of disgrace.
You both died in the field,
The pain's nothing. Pain many time is taken away with
The apprehension of greater, as the toothache with the sight
Of a barber that comes to pull it out; there's philosophy for you.

BOSOLA: Now my revenge is perfect. Sink, thou main cause
Of my undoing. The last part of my life
Hath done me best service.

    He stabs Ferdinand

FERDINAND: Give me some wet hay, I am broken-winded.
I do account this world but a dog-kennel.
I will vault credit and affect high pleasures
Beyond death.

BOSOLA: He seems to come to himself, now he's so near the bottom.

FERDINAND: My sister, O my sister! there's the cause on't.
Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust,
Like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust.


CARDINAL: Thou hast thy payment too.

BOSOLA: Yes, I hold my weary soul in my teeth;
'Tis ready to part from me. I do glory
That thou, which stood'st like a huge pyramid
Begun upon a large and ample base,
Shalt end in a little point, a kind of nothing.

    Enter PESCARA and the others

PESCARA: How now, my lord!

MALATESTE: O, sad disaster!

RODERIGO: How comes this?

BOSOLA: Revenge for the Duchess of Malfi, murder'd
By the Arragonian brethren; for Antonio,
Slain by this hand; for lustful Julia,
Poison'd by this man; and lastly for myself,
That was an actor in the main of all
Much 'gainst mine own good nature, yet i'th' end

PESCARA: How now, my lord?

CARDINAL: Look to my brother:
He gave us these large wounds, as we were struggling
Here i'th' rushes. And now, I pray, let me
Be laid by and never thought of.


PESCARA: How fatally, it seems, he did withstand
His own rescue!

MALATESTE: Thou wretched thing of blood,
How came Antonio by his death?

BOSOLA: In a mist; I know not how.
Such a mistake as I have often seen
In a play. O, I am gone!
We are only like dead walls, or vaulted graves,
That ruin'd, yield no echo. Fare you well.
It may be pain, but no harm to me to die
In so good a quarrel. O, this gloomy world!
In what a shadow, or deep pit of darkness,
Doth womanish and fearful mankind live!
Let worthy minds ne'er stagger in distrust
To suffer death or shame for what is just:
Mine is another voyage.


PESCARA: The noble Delio, as I came to th' palace,
Told me of Antonio's being here, and show'd me
A pretty gentleman, his son and heir.

    Enter DELIO, and Antonio's son

MALATESTE: O sir, you come too late!

DELIO: I heard so, and
Was arm'd for't ere I came. Let us make noble use
Of this great ruin, and join all our force
To establish this young hopeful gentleman
In's mother's right. These wretched eminent things
Leave no more fame behind 'em, than should one
Fall in a frost, and leave his print in snow:
As soon as the sun shines, it ever melts,
Both form and matter. I have ever thought
Nature doth nothing so great for great men,
As when she's pleas'd to make them lords of truth:
Integrity of life is fame's best friend,
Which nobly, beyond death, shall crown the end.



Commentary on Act V, scene v

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