1 Honest Whore – Act Four, Scene Four

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Enter DUKE, DOCTOR, FLUELLO, CASTRUCHIO, and PIORATTO.

DUKE
Give us a little leave.      [Exeunt FLUELLO, CASTRUCHIO, and PIORATTO.
Doctor, your news.

DOCTOR
I sent for him, my lord.  At last he came,
And did receive all speech that went from me
As gilded pills made to prolong his health:
My credit with him wrought it, for some men
Swallow even empty hooks, like fools that fear
No drowning where ’tis deepest ’cause ’tis clear.
In th’end we sat and ate: a health I drank
To Infelice’s sweet departed soul;
This train I knew would take.

DUKE
‘Twas excellent.

DOCTOR
He fell with such devotion on his knees
To pledge the same—

DUKE
Fond, superstitious fool!

DOCTOR
That had he been inflam’d with zeal of prayer,
He could not power’t out with more reverence.
About my neck he hung, wept on my cheek,
Kiss’d it, and swore he would adore my lips
Because they brought forth Infelice’s name.

DUKE
Ha, ha! Alack, alack!

DOCTOR
The cup he lifts up high, and thus he said,
“Here, noble maid,” drinks, and was poisoned.

DUKE
And died?

DOCTOR
And died, my lord.

DUKE
Thou in that word
Hast piec’d mine aged hours out with more years
Than thou hast taken from Hippolito.
A noble youth he was, but lesser branches
Hind’ring the greater’s growth must be lopp’d off
And feed the fire.  Doctor, w’are now all thine,
And use us so.  Be bold.

DOCTOR
Thanks, gracious lord.
My honoured lord—

DUKE
Hmh?

DOCTOR
I do beseech your grace to bury deep
This bloody act of mine.

DUKE
Nay, nay, for that,
Doctor, look you to’t.  Me it shall not move;
They’re curs’d that ill do, not that ill do love.

DOCTOR
You throw an angry forehead on my face,
But be you pleas’d, backward thus for to look,
That for your good this evil I undertook—

DUKE
Ay, ay, we conster so.

DOCTOR
And only for your love—

DUKE
Confess’d, ’tis true.

DOCTOR
Nor let it stand against me as a bar
To thrust me from your presence, nor believe,
As princes have quick thoughts, that now my finger
Being deep’d in blood I will not spare the hand,
But that for gold, as what can gold not do,
I may be hir’d to work the like on you.

DUKE
Which to prevent—

DOCTOR
‘Tis from my heart as far—

DUKE
No matter, doctor, ’cause I’ll fearless sleep;
And that you shall stand clear of that suspicion
I banish thee forever from my court.
This principle is old but true as fate:
Kings may love treason, but the traitor hate.                                                 [Exit.

DOCTOR
Is’t so?  Nay then, duke, your stale principle
With one as stale the doctor thus shall quit:
He falls himself that digs another’s pit.
How now!

Enter the Doctor’s Man.

Where is he? Will he meet me?

DOCTOR’S MAN
Meet you, sir!  He might have met with three fencers in this time and have received less hurt than by meeting one doctor of physic!  Why, sir, h’as walk’d under the old abbey wall yonder this hour till he’s more cold than a citizen’s country house in January; you may smell him behind, sir.  La you, yonder he comes.

DOCTOR
Leave me.

Enter HIPPOLITO.

DOCTOR’S MAN
I’th’lurch, if you will.                                                                                       [Exit.

DOCTOR
Oh, my most noble friend!

HIPPOLITO
Few but yourself
Could have intic’d me thus to trust the air
With my close sighs. You send for me. What news?

DOCTOR
Come, you must doff this black, dye that pale cheek
Into his own colour; go. Attire yourself
Fresh as a bridegroom when he meets his bride.
The duke has done much treason to thy love;
‘Tis now revealed, ’tis now to be reveng’d.
Be merry, honour’d friend: thy lady lives.

HIPPOLITO
What lady?

DOCTOR
Infelice. She’s reviv’d.
Reviv’d!  Alack!  Death never had the heart
To take breath from her.

HIPPOLITO
Umh, I thank you, sir.
Physic prolongs life when it cannot save:
This helps not my hopes; mine are in their grave.
You do some wrong to mock me.

DOCTOR
By that love
Which I have ever borne you, what I speak
Is truth: the maiden lives. That funeral,
Duke’s tears, the mourning was all counterfeit:
A sleepy draught cozen’d the world and you;
I was his minister and then chamb’red up
To stop discovery.

HIPPOLITO
Oh, treacherous duke!

DOCTOR
He cannot hope so certainly for bliss,
As he believes that I have poison’d you.
He woo’d me to’t, I yielded, and confirm’d him
In his most bloody thoughts.

HIPPOLITO
A very devil!

DOCTOR
Her did he closely coach to Bergamo,
And thither—

HIPPOLITO
Will I ride! Stood Bergamo
In the low countries of black hell, I’ll to her.

DOCTOR
You shall to her, but not to Bergamo.
How passion makes you fly beyond yourself!
Much of that weary journey I ha’ cut off,
For she by letters hath intelligence
Of your supposed death, her own interment,
And all those plots, which that false duke her father
Has wrought against you. And she’ll meet you.

HIPPOLITO
Oh, when?

DOCTOR
Nay, see how covetous are your desires;
Early tomorrow morn.

HIPPOLITO
Oh, where, good father?

DOCTOR
At Beth’lem Monastery.  Are you pleas’d now?

HIPPOLITO
At Beth’lem monastery.  The place well fits:
It is the school where those that lose their wits
Practise again to get them.  I am sick
Of that disease; all love is lunatic.

DOCTOR
We’ll steal away this night in some disguise;
Father Anselmo, a most reverend friar,
Expects our coming, before whom we’ll lay
Reasons so strong that he shall yield in bands
Of holy wedlock to tie both your hands.

HIPPOLITO
This is such happiness
That to believe it ’tis impossible!

DOCTOR
Let all your joys then die in misbelief;
I will reveal no more.

HIPPOLITO
Oh, yes, good father,
I am so well acquainted with despair,
I know not how to hope: I believe all.

DOCTOR
We’ll hence this night; much must be done, much said,
But if the doctor fail not in his charms,
Your lady shall ere morning fill these arms.

HIPPOLITO
Heavenly physician, far thy fame shall spread,
That mak’st two lovers speak when they be dead.                                        [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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