Swetnam the Woman Hater – Act Four, scene one

 

Return to previous scene

Enter IAGO and SFORZA, severally.

SFORZA
Heath to your honour!

IAGO
Noble Sforza, thanks.

SFORZA
Have you not heard the news?

IAGO
Of what, my lord?

SFORZA
Lisandro and the princess.

IAGO
Not as yet.

SFORZA
The advocates both used their utmost skill,
To justify and quit the sex they stood for,
With arguments, and reasons so profound
On either side, that it was hard to say
Which way the scale of justice would incline.

IAGO
I joy to hear it. And to say the truth,
Both sexes equally should bear the blame,
For both offend alike. But pray, proceed.

SFORZA
At length, the advocate that stood for us,
Prevail’d so far, with his forc’d oratory,
The Lord Nicanor too, abetting him,
That maugre all the Amazonian’s wit,
Which was, indeed, beyond expression,
The sentence pass’d against the female sex,
And the poor princess is adjudg’d to death.

IAGO
The heavens forbid! The princess doom’d to die?

SFORZA
Too true, my lord. I hear the words pronounc’d.

IAGO
A sentence most unjust and tyrannous.
Where’s the detractor?

SFORZA
Crown’d with victory,
And entertain’d with triumph.

IAGO
That just heaven
Should suffer such an impious wretch to live!
I must go look the princess. When must she die?

SFORZA
Tomorrow’s sun beholds a daughter’s fall.

IAGO
A sun must rise tonight to dim that sun
From the beholding such a horrid deed.
‘Twas cruel in a king, fur such a fact;
But in a father, it is tyranny.

Enter MISOGYNOS.

SFORZA
Forbear, my lord, the times are dangerous.
See! Here’s the champion.

IAGO
Look how the slave glories in his conquest,
How insolent he stalks!
Shall we endure such saucy impudence?                                       [Offers to draw.

SFORZA
Put up, put up, my lord.
He is not worth our indignation.
Let us awhile observe him for some sport.                                      [They withdraw.

Enter SCANFARDO.

SCANFARDO
My noble fencer, I congratulate
Your brave achievements in the last day’s triumph.

MISOGYNOS
I thank you, scholar. Wast not bravely done?

SCANFARDO
Done like thyself: the spirits of Mantua
And old Diogenes doubled in thee.

MISOGYNOS
I think I have given
The female reputation such a wound,
Will not be cured in haste.

Enter two Gentlemen.

IAGO
[Aside.] Ha, ha, ha, ha! Pernicious slave!

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Worthy Misogynos!

SECOND GENTLEMAN
Noble champion,
We do applaud your merit in the report
Of your late conquest.

MISOGYNOS
Thank you, gentlemen.
Truth will prevail, you see. I speak not for myself
In my own quarrel, but the general good
Of all men in the world.

FIRST GENTLEMAN
We know it, sir.

IAGO
[Aside.] Degenerate monster! How he justifies
His slanderous forgeries!

MISOGYNOS
But, gentlemen,
How goes the rumour?
What does the multitude report of me?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Oh, sir, the men applaud you infinitely,
But the women—

MISOGYNOS
I respect not them.
Their curses are my prayers.

IAGO
[Aside.] Oh, damned rogue!

FIRST GENTLEMAN
If you’ll be rul’d by me, go show yourself
Amongst them all in public. Oh, ‘twill fret
Their very galls in pieces.

IAGO
[Aside.] That was well.
Somebody second that, and we shall see
Excellent pastime, for they’ll ne’er endure
His sight with any patience.

SCANFARDO
Do, i’faith,
That they may see you have conquer’d.

MISOGYNOS
And I will. But should they grow outrageous—

SECOND GENTLEMAN
Fear not that. We’ll along with ye.

MISOGYNOS
Will you conduct me save unto my school?

SCANFARDO
Ay, ay, we’ll be your guard.

[Exeunt MISOGYNOS, SCANFARDO and the two Gentlemen.

SFORZA
Oh, what a coward ‘tis!

IAGO
You do him wrong.
He fights not with his hands, but with his tongue.
Why do I trifle time? I’ll to the court.
This cruelty afflicts my very soul.
Good my lord, join with me. We’ll to the king,
And see if we can alter this decree.
Oh, ‘tis a royal princess, fair and chaste!

SFORZO
But her disdain, my lord, hath been the cause
Of many hopeful youths untimely end;
‘Tis that has harden’d both the commons hearts,
And many a noble peer’s.

IAGO
Why, what of that?
It is not fit affection should be forc’d.
Let’s kneel unto his grace for her release.
Justice, like lightening, every should appear
To few men’s ruin, but to all men’s fear.                                                       [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: