Being once perfected how to grant suits,
How to deny them, who t' advance, and who
To trash for over-topping; new created
The creatures that were mine, I say, or chang'd 'em,
Or else new form'd 'em: having both the key
Of officer and office, set all hearts i' th' state
To what tune pleas'd his ear: that now he was
The ivy which had hid my princely trunk,
And suck'd my verdure out on't. — Thou attend'st not.
O, good sir! I do.
I pray thee, mark me.
I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
To closeness and the bettering of my mind
With that, which, but by being so retir'd,
O'er-priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother
Awak'd an evil nature; and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him
A falsehood, in its contrary as great
As my trust was; which had indeed no limit,
A confidence sans bound. He being thus lorded,
Not only with what my revenue yielded,
But what my power might else exact, — like one
Who having, into truth, by telling of it,
Made such a sinner of his memory,
To credit his own lie, — he did believe
He was indeed the Duke; out o' the substitution,
And executing th' outward face of royalty,
With all prerogative. — Hence his ambition growing —
Dost thou hear?
Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.
To have no screen between this part he play'd
And him he play'd it for, he needs will be
Absolute Milan. Me, poor man — my library
Was dukedom large enough: of temporal royalties
He thinks me now incapable; confederates, —
So dry he was for sway, — wi' th' King of Naples
To give him annual tribute, do him homage;
Subject his coronet to his crown, and bend
The dukedom, yet unbow'd — alas, poor Milan! —
To most ignoble stooping.
O the heavens!
Mark his condition, and the event; then tell me
If this might be a brother.
I should sin
To think but nobly of my grandmother:
Good wombs have borne bad sons.
Now the condition.
This King of Naples, being an enemy
To me inveterate, hearkens my brother's suit;
Which was, that he, in lieu o' the premises
Of homage and I know not how much tribute,
Should presently extirpate me and mine
Out of the dukedom, and confer fair Milan,
With all the honours on my brother: whereon,
A treacherous army levied, one midnight
Fated to the purpose, did Antonio open
The gates of Milan; and, i' th' dead of darkness,
The ministers for th' purpose hurried thence
Me and thy crying self.
Alack, for pity!
I, not rememb'ring how I cried out then,
Will cry it o'er again: it is a hint
That wrings mine eyes to't.
Hear a little further,
And then I'll bring thee to the present business
Which now's upon us; without the which this story
Were most impertinent.
Wherefore did they not
That hour destroy us?
Well demanded, wench:
My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not,
So dear the love my people bore me, nor set
A mark so bloody on the business; but
With colours fairer painted their foul ends.
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark,
Bore us some leagues to sea, where they prepared
A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast: the very rats
Instinctively have quit it. There they hoist us,
To cry to th' sea, that roar'd to us: to sigh
To th' winds, whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.
Alack! what trouble
Was I then to you!
O, a cherubin
Thou wast that did preserve me! Thou didst smile,
Infused with a fortitude from heaven,
When I have deck'd the sea with drops full salt,
Under my burden groan'd: which rais'd in me
An undergoing stomach, to bear up
Against what should ensue.
How came we ashore?
By Providence divine.
Some food we had and some fresh water that
A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,
Out of his charity, — who being then appointed
Master of this design, — did give us, with
Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries,
Which since have steaded much: so, of his gentleness,
Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me,
From mine own library with volumes that
I prize above my dukedom.
Would I might
But ever see that man!
Now I arise: —
[Resumes his mantle]
Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow.
Here in this island we arriv'd: and here
Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more profit
Than other princes can, that have more time
For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful.
Heavens thank you for't! And now, I pray you, sir, —
For still 'tis beating in my mind, — your reason
For raising this sea-storm?