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Title: The Duke of Gandia
Author: Swinburne, Algernon Charles
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Duke of Gandia" ***

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Transcribed from the 1908 Chatto and Windus edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org



                                   THE
                              DUKE OF GANDIA


                                    BY
                        ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE

                                * * * * *

                                  LONDON
                             CHATTO & WINDUS
                                   1908

                                * * * * *

                 Copyright, 1908, by Harper and Brothers
                        _Dramatic rights reserved_



                           PERSONS REPRESENTED.


POPE ALEXANDER VI.

FRANCESCO BORGIA, Duke of Gandia } his sons

CÆSAR BORGIA, Cardinal of Valencia }

DON MICHELE COREGLIA, called MICHELOTTO, agent for Cæsar Borgia.

GIORGIO SCHIAVONE, a Tiber waterman.

                                * * * * *

TWO ASSASSINS.

AN OFFICER of the Papal Household.

                                * * * * *

VANNOZZA CATANEI, surnamed LA ROSA, concubine to the Pope.

LUCREZIA BORGIA, daughter to Alexander and Vannozza.

                              _SCENE_: ROME.

                      _TIME_: JUNE 14–JULY 22, 1497.



SCENE I


                                _The Vatican_

                       _Enter_ CÆSAR _and_ VANNOZZA

                                  CÆSAR

   Now, mother, though thou love my brother more,
   Am I not more thy son than he?

                                 VANNOZZA

         Not more.

                                  CÆSAR

   Have I more Spaniard in me—less of thee?
   Did our Most Holiest father thrill thy womb
   With more Italian passion than brought forth
   Me?

                                 VANNOZZA

      Child, thine elder never was as thou—
   Spake never thus.

                                  CÆSAR

         I doubt it not.  But I,
   Mother, am not mine elder.  He desires
   And he enjoys the life God gives him—God,
   The Pope our father, and thy sacred self,
   Mother beloved and hallowed.  I desire
   More.

                                 VANNOZZA

      Thou wast ever sleepless as the wind—
   A child anhungered for thy time to be
   Man.  See thy purple about thee.  Art thou not
   Cardinal?

                                  CÆSAR

      Ay; my father’s eminence
   Set so the stamp on mine.  I will not die
   Cardinal.

                                 VANNOZZA

      Cæsar, wilt thou cleave my heart?
   Have I not loved thee?

                                  CÆSAR

         Ay, fair mother—ay.
   Thou hast loved my father likewise.  Dost thou love
   Giulia—the sweet Farnese—called the Fair
   In all the Roman streets that call thee Rose?
   And that bright babe Giovanni, whom our sire,
   Thy holy lord and hers, hath stamped at birth
   As duke of Nepi?

                                 VANNOZZA

         When thy sire begat
   Thee, sinful though he ever was—fierce, fell,
   Spaniard—I fear me, Jesus for his sins
   Bade Satan pass into him.

                                  CÆSAR

            And fill thee full,
   Sweet sinless mother.  Fear it not.  Thou hast
   Children more loved of him and thee than me—
   Our bright Francesco, born to smile and sway,
   And her whose face makes pale the sun in heaven,
   Whose eyes outlaugh the splendour of the sea,
   Whose hair has all noon’s wonders in its weft,
   Whose mouth is God’s and Italy’s one rose,
   Lucrezia.

                                 VANNOZZA

      Dost thou love them then?  My child,
   How should not I then love thee?

                                  CÆSAR

            God alone
   Knows.  Was not God—the God of love, who bade
   His son be man because he hated man,
   And saw him scourged and hanging, and at last
   Forgave the sin wherewith he had stamped us, seeing
   So fair a full atonement—was not God
   Bridesman when Christ’s crowned vicar took to bride
   My mother?

                                 VANNOZZA

         Speak not thou to me of God.
   I have sinned, I have sinned—I would I had died a nun,
   Cloistered!

                                  CÆSAR

      There too my sire had found thee.  Priests
   Make way where warriors dare not—save when war
   Sets wide the floodgates of the weirs of hell.
   And what hast thou to do with sin?  Hath he
   Whose sin was thine not given thee there and then
   God’s actual absolution?  Mary lived
   God’s virgin, and God’s mother: mine art thou,
   Who am Christlike even as thou art virginal.
   And if thou love me or love me not God knows,
   And God, who made me and my sire and thee,
   May take the charge upon him.  I am I.
   Somewhat I think to do before my day
   Pass from me.  Did I love thee not at all,
   I would not bid thee know it.

                                 VANNOZZA

            Alas, my son!

                                  CÆSAR

   Alas, my mother, sounds no sense for men—
   Rings but reverberate folly, whence resounds
   Returning laughter.  Weep or smile on me,
   Thy sunshine or thy rainbow softens not
   The mortal earth wherein thou hast clad me.  Nay,
   But rather would I see thee smile than weep,
   Mother.  Thou art lovelier, smiling.

                                 VANNOZZA

            What is this
   Thou hast at heart to do?  God’s judgment hangs
   Above us.  I that girdled thee in me
   As Mary girdled Jesus yet unborn
   —Thou dost believe it?  A creedless heretic
   Thou art not?

                                  CÆSAR

         I?  God’s vicar’s child?

                                 VANNOZZA

            Be God
   Praised!  I, then, I, thy mother, bid thee, pray,
   Pray thee but say what hungers in thy heart,
   And whither thou wouldst hurl the strenuous life
   That works within thee.

                                  CÆSAR

         Whither?  Am not I
   Hinge of the gate that opens heaven—that bids
   God open when my sire thrusts in the key—
   Cardinal?  Canst thou dream I had rather be
   Duke?

                            _Enter_ FRANCESCO

                                FRANCESCO

      Wilt thou take mine office, Cæsar mine?
   I heard thy laugh deride it.  Mother, whence
   Comes that sweet gift of grace from dawn to dawn
   That daily shows thee sweeter?

                                  CÆSAR

            Knowest thou none
   Lovelier?

                                 VANNOZZA

      My Cæsar finds me not so fair.
   Thou art over fond, Francesco.

                                  CÆSAR

            Nay, no whit.
   Our heavenly father on earth adores no less
   Our mother than our sister: and I hold
   His heart and eye, his spirit and his sense,
   Infallible.

                              Enter the POPE

                                ALEXANDER

         Jest not with God.  I heard
   A holy word, a hallowing epithet,
   Cardinal Cæsar, trip across thy tongue
   Lightly.

                                  CÆSAR

      Most holiest father, I desire
   Paternal absolution—when thy laugh
   Has waned from lip and eyelid.

                                ALEXANDER

            Take it now,
   And Christ preserve thee, Cæsar, as thou art,
   To serve him as I serve him.  Rose of mine,
   My rose of roses, whence has fallen this dew
   That dims the sweetest eyes love ever lit
   With light that mocks the morning?

                                 VANNOZZA

            Nay, my lord,
   I know not—nay, I knew not if I wept.

                                ALEXANDER

   Our sons and Christ’s and Peter’s whom we praise,
   Are they—are these—fallen out?

                                FRANCESCO

            Not I with him,
   Nor he, I think, with me.

                                  CÆSAR

         Forbid it, God!
   The God that set thee where thou art, and there
   Sustains thee, bids the love he kindles bind
   Brother to brother.

                                ALEXANDER

         God or no God, man
   Must live and let man live—while one man’s life
   Galls not another’s.  Fools and fiends are men
   Who play the fiend that is not.  Why shouldst thou,
   Girt with the girdle of the church, and given
   Power to preside on spirit and flesh—or thou,
   Clothed with the glad world’s glory—priest or prince,
   Turn on thy brother an evil eye, or deem
   Your father God hath dealt his doom amiss
   Toward either or toward any?  Hath not Rome,
   Hath not the Lord Christ’s kingdom, where his will
   Is done on earth, enough of all that man
   Thirsts, hungers, lusts for—pleasure, pride, and power—
   To sate you and to share between you?  Whence
   Should she, the godless heathen’s goddess once,
   Discord, heave up her hissing head again
   Between love’s Christian children—love’s?  Hath God
   Cut short the thrill that glorifies the flesh,
   Chilled the sharp rapturous pang that burns the blood,
   Because an hundred even as twain at once
   Partake it?  Boys, my boys, be wise, and rest,
   Whatever fire take hold upon your flesh,
   Whatever dream set all your life on fire,
   Friends.

                                  CÆSAR

      Friends?  Our father on earth, thy will be done.

                                FRANCESCO

   Christ’s body, Cæsar! dost thou mock?

                                  CÆSAR

            Not I.
   Hast thou fallen out with me, then, that thy tongue
   Disclaims its lingering utterance?

                                ALEXANDER

         Now, by nought,
   As nought abides to swear by, folly seen
   So plain and heard so loud might well nigh make
   Wise men believe in even the devil and God.
   What ails you?  Whence comes lightning in your eyes,
   With hissing hints of thunder on your lips?
   Fools! and the fools I thought to make for men
   Gods.  Is it love or hate divides you—turns
   Tooth, fang, or claw, when time provides them prey,
   To nip, rip, rend each other?

                                  CÆSAR

            Hate or love,
   Francesco?

                                FRANCESCO

         Why, I hate thee not—thou knowest
   I hate thee not, my Cæsar.

                                  CÆSAR

            I believe
   Thou dost not hate or love or envy me;
   Even as I know, and knowing believe, we all—
   Our father, thou and I—triune in heart—
   Hold loveliest of all living things to love
   This.

                             _Enter_ LUCREZIA

                                 LUCREZIA

   Mother!  What do tears and thou for once
   Together?  Rain in sunshine?

                                 VANNOZZA

            Ask thy sire,
   Am I not now the moon?  Saint Anna bore
   Saint Mary Virgin—did not God prefer
   The child, and thrust behind with scarce a smile
   The mother?

                                ALEXANDER

         Thrust not out thy thorns at heaven,
   Rose.

                                 LUCREZIA

      But what ailed her?  And she will not say.

                                  CÆSAR

   Sister, I sinned—sin must be mine.  A word
   Fell out askance between us, and she wept
   Because our father chid us.

                                 LUCREZIA

            How should strife
   Find here a tongue to hiss with?  Are not we,
   Brothers and sire and sister, sealed of God
   Lovers—made one in love?

                                ALEXANDER

            Deride not God,
   Lucrezia.

                                 LUCREZIA

      Father, dost thou fear him, then?

                                ALEXANDER

   I say not and I know not if I fear.

                                FRANCESCO

   Thou canst not.  Father, were he terrible,
   How long wouldst thou live—thou, his mask on earth?

                                ALEXANDER

   Boy, art thou all a child?  What knew they more,
   The men that loved and feared and died for God,
   Than I and thou who know him not?  We know
   This life is ours, and sweet, if shame and fear
   Make us not less than man: and less were they
   Who crawled and writhed and cowered and called on God
   To save them from him.  Here I stand as he,
   God, or God’s very figure wrought in flesh,
   More godlike than was Jesus.  Dare I fear
   Whipping and hanging?  Thou, my cardinal,
   Canst think not to be scourged and crucified—
   Ha?

                                  CÆSAR

      Nay: there lurks no God in me.  And thou,
   Father, dost thou fear?

                                ALEXANDER

         I?  Nought less than God.
   But if we take him lightly on our lips
   Too light his name will sound in all men’s ears
   Till earth and air, when man says God, respond
   Laughter.  Forbear him.

                                  CÆSAR

         Wisdom lives in thee,
   And cries not out along the streets as when
   None of God’s folk that heard regarded her,
   As all that hear thy word regard—or die,
   Being not outside God’s eyeshot.  Dost thou sleep
   Here in his special keeping—here—to-night,
   Brother?

                                FRANCESCO

      What bids thee care to know?

                                  CÆSAR

            They say
   These holy streets of heaven’s most holiest choice
   Lie dangerous now in darkness if a man
   Walk not on holiest errands.  Thou, they say,
   Wert scarce a Christlike sacrifice if slain.
   Too many dead flow down the Tiber’s flow
   Nightly.  They say it.

                                FRANCESCO

            I never called thee yet
   Fool.

                                  CÆSAR

      Ah, my lord and brother, didst thou now,
   Were this not thankless?  God—our father’s God—
   Guide thee!

                                                        [_Exit_ FRANCESCO.

      He goes, and thanks me not.  Our sire,
   What says the God that lives upon thy lips
   And withers in thy silence?

                                 LUCREZIA

         Vex him not,
   Cæsar.  Thou seest he is weary.

                                ALEXANDER

            Yea.  Come ye
   With me.  Bethink thee, Cæsar.  Vex me not.

              _Exeunt_ ALEXANDER, VANNOZZA, _and_ LUCREZIA.

                                  CÆSAR

   Thou wilt not bid me this, I think, again,
   Father.

                            _Enter_ MICHELOTTO

      Thou art swift of speed at need.  I bade thee
   Abide my bidding.

                                MICHELOTTO

         Till my lord were left
   Alone.

                                  CÆSAR

      Thou knewest it?

                                MICHELOTTO

         Where my lord may be
   And what beseems his thrall to know of him
   I were not worthy, knew I not, to know.

                                  CÆSAR

   I do not ask thee where my brother sleeps.
   And where to-morrow sees him yet asleep—

                                MICHELOTTO

   Ask of the fishers’ nets on Tiber.

                                  CÆSAR

            Nay—
   Not I but Rome shall ask it.  Pass in peace.
   The benediction of my sire be thine.

                                                                [_Exeunt_.



SCENE II


                  _A narrow street opening on the Tiber_

                    _Enter_ MICHELOTTO _and_ ASSASSINS

                                MICHELOTTO

   Ye know the lordlier harlot’s house—there?

                              FIRST ASSASSIN

            Ay,
   Surely.

                                MICHELOTTO

      The first whose foot comes forth is he.

                             SECOND ASSASSIN

   How know we this?

                                MICHELOTTO

         I know it.  Ye need but slay.

                                                                  [_Exit_.

                            _Enter_ FRANCESCO

                          FRANCESCO (_singing_)

   Love and night are life and light;
      Sleep and wine and song
   Speed and slay the halting day
      Ere it live too long.

                              FIRST ASSASSIN

   That shalt not thou.  Sing, whosoe’er thou be,
   Thy next of songs to Satan.

                                                         [_They stab him_.

                                FRANCESCO

         Dogs!  Ye dare?
   God!  Pity me!  God!

                                                                  [_Dies_.

                             SECOND ASSASSIN

         God receive his soul!
   This was a Christian: many a man I have slain
   Died with all hell between his lips.

                              FIRST ASSASSIN

            Be thine
   Dumb.  Lift his feet as I the head.

                             SECOND ASSASSIN

            A boy!
   And fair of face as angels

                              FIRST ASSASSIN

            If the nets
   Snare not this fish betimes ere others feed,
   None that shall heave it airward for the sun
   To mock and mar shall say so.  Bring him down.
   Tiber hath fed on choicer fare than we
   May think to feed his throat with ere we die.

                                                  [_Exeunt with the body_.



SCENE III


                              _The Vatican_

                          ALEXANDER and LUCREZIA

                                ALEXANDER

   The day burns high.  Thou hast not seen them—thou?

                                 LUCREZIA

   My brethren, sire?  Nay, not since yesternight.

                                ALEXANDER

   The night is newly dead.  Since yestereven?

                                 LUCREZIA

   Nor then.  I saw them when we parted here
   Last.

                                ALEXANDER

      I believe thou liest not.  Girl, the day
   Looks pale before thy glory.  Brow, cheek, eye,
   Lips, throat, and bosom, thou dost overshine
   All womanhood man ever worshipped.  Once
   I held thy mother fairest born of all
   That ever turned old Rome to heaven.  Thou hast read
   Her golden Horace?

                                 LUCREZIA

         Else were I cast out
   From all their choir who serve the Muses.

                                ALEXANDER

            Ay.
   ‘Fair mother’s fairer daughter,’ dost thou deem
   That praise was ever merited as by thee?
   I cannot.

                                 LUCREZIA

      I concern myself no whit
   If so it were or were not.

                                ALEXANDER

            Thou dost well.
   Thou hast not seen, thou sayest, Francesco?

                                 LUCREZIA

            Nay—
   Give me some reliquary to swear it on—
   Some rosary—crucifix or amulet,
   Sorcerous or sacred.

                                ALEXANDER

         Never twins were born
   More like than thou and he—nor lovelier: yet
   No twins were ye.

                                 LUCREZIA

         What ails thy Holiness?

                                ALEXANDER

   I am ill at ease: my heart is sick.  Last night
   No revel here was held, and yet the day
   Strikes heavier on me wearier, body and soul,
   Than though we had rioted out with raging mirth
   The lifelong length of darkness.

                                 LUCREZIA

            Evil hours
   Fret somewhiles all folk living; none sees why:
   No child sleeps always all night long.

                                ALEXANDER

            Wast thou
   Wakeful?  No trouble clung about thee?  Nought
   Made the air of night heavier with presage felt
   As joy feels fear and withers?  I am not
   Afraid: methinks I am very fear itself.

                   _Enter an Officer of the household_

                                 OFFICER

   His holiness be gracious towards me.

                                ALEXANDER

            Speak.
   Thy face is death’s: let death upon thy lips
   Live.

                                 OFFICER

      Sire, the humblest hireling knave in Rome—
   A waterman that plies his craft all night—
   Craves audience even of thee.

                                ALEXANDER

         A Roman?

                                 OFFICER

            Nay.
   Some outlander—some Greek—they call the knave
   George the Slavonian.

                                ALEXANDER

      They?

                                 OFFICER

            The fisherfolk
   On Tiber.

                                ALEXANDER

      Bid him in: bid God himself
   Come in with doom upon me.

                                                          [_Exit Officer_.

            Hear’st thou, child—
   Daughter?

                                 LUCREZIA

      What horror hangs on thee?

                                ALEXANDER

            Abide,
   And thou shalt know as I know.

                        _Enter_ GIORGIO SCHIAVONE

            Speak.  I say,
   Speak.  What thou art I know: and what I am
   Thou knowest—and yet thou knowest not.

                                 GIORGIO

         Holiest sire,
   Last night I kept my boat on Tiber—Sire,
   The thing I saw was nothing of my deed—
   It shook me out of sleep to see it—Lord,
   Have mercy: look not so upon me.

                                ALEXANDER

            Dog,
   Speak, while thy tongue is thine.

                                 GIORGIO

         Two men came down
   And peered along the water-side: and two
   Came after—men whose eyes raked all the night,
   Searching the shore—I lay beneath my boat—
   Beside it on the darkling side—and saw.
   Then came a horseman—Sire, his horse was white—
   The moonshine made his mane like dull white fire—
   And on his crupper heavily hung a corpse,
   Arms held from swaying on this side, legs on that,
   I know not which on either—but the men
   Held fast that held: and hard on Tiber side
   They swung the crupper towards the water—sharp
   And swift as man may steer a horse—and caught
   And slung their dead into the stream: and he
   Drifted, and caught the moon across his face
   That shone like life against it: and the chief
   Till then sat silent as the moon at watch,
   And then bade hurl stones on the drifting dead
   And sink him out of sight; and seeing this done,
   Rode thence, and they strode after.

                                ALEXANDER

            Man, and thou—
   Thou?

                                 GIORGIO

      Sire, I set my heart again to sleep:
   I turned and slept under my boatside.

                                ALEXANDER

            Man—
   Dog—devil, if this be truth, and if my fear
   Lie not—how hadst thou heart to hold thy peace?
   How comes it that the warders of the shore
   Knew not of thee, while yet the crime was hot,
   What crime had made night hell?

                                 GIORGIO

         A thousand times
   I have seen such sights, but never till this hour
   Seen him who cared to hear of them.

                                ALEXANDER

            Till now,
   Never.  He looks in God’s mute face and mine,
   And says it.  God be good to me!  But God
   Will not—or is not.  Where is then thy dead,
   Devil, called of God from hell to smite—to scourge—
   Me?

                                 GIORGIO

      Sire, at hand I left him.

                                ALEXANDER

            Stir not.  Bid
   Thy fellows bring my dead before me.

                                                          [_Exit Officer_.

               Nay,
   But mine it is not yet—it may not be
   Mine—while it may not be, it is not.  Child,
   It shall not be thy brother.  Pray no prayer.
   Prayer never yet brought profit.  Be not pale.
   Fear strikes more deep into the fearful heart
   The wound it heals not.

                Enter Officers with the body of FRANCESCO

         What is he they bring?
   O God!  Thou livest!  And my child is dead!

                                                                 [_Falls_.



SCENE IV


                              _The Vatican_

                          ALEXANDER _and_ CÆSAR

                                ALEXANDER

   Thou hast done this deed.

                                  CÆSAR

      Thou hast said it.

                                ALEXANDER

         Dost thou think
   To live, and look upon me?

                                  CÆSAR

            Some while yet.

                                ALEXANDER

   I would there were a God—that he might hear.

                                  CÆSAR

   ’Tis pity there should be—for thy sake—none.

                                ALEXANDER

   Wilt thou slay me?

                                  CÆSAR

      Why?

                                ALEXANDER

            Am not I thy sire?

                                  CÆSAR

   And Christendom’s to boot.

                                ALEXANDER

            I pray thee, man,
   Slay me.

                                  CÆSAR

         And then myself?  Thou art crazed, but I
   Sane.

                                ALEXANDER

      Art thou very flesh and blood?

                                  CÆSAR

               They say,
   Thine.

                                ALEXANDER

      If the heaven stand still and smite thee not,
   There is no God indeed.

                                  CÆSAR

            Nor thou nor I
   Know.

                                ALEXANDER

      I could pray to God that God might be,
   Were I but mad.  Thou sayest I am mad: thou liest:
   I do not pray.

                                  CÆSAR

         Most holiest father, no.
   Thy brain is not so sick yet.  Thou and God
   Friends?  Man, how long would God have let thee live—
   Thee?

                                ALEXANDER

      Long enough he hath kept me, to behold
   His face as fire—if his it be—and earth
   As hell—and thee, begotten of my loins,
   Satan.

                                  CÆSAR

         The firstfruits of thy fatherhood
   Were something less than Satan.  Man of God,
   Vaunt not thyself.

                                ALEXANDER

            I would I had died in the womb.

                                  CÆSAR

   Thou shalt do better, dying in Peter’s chair:
   Thou shalt die famous.

                                ALEXANDER

         Ay: no screen from that,
   No shelter, no forgetfulness on earth.
   We shall be famed for ever.  Hell and night,
   Cover me!

                                  CÆSAR

      Hast thou heard that prayers are heard?
   Or hast thou known earth, for a man’s cry’s sake,
   Cleave, and devour him?

                                ALEXANDER

            I have done this thing.
   Thou hast not done it: thy deed is none of thine:
   Upon my hand, upon my head, the blood
   Rests.

                                  CÆSAR

      Wilt thou sleep the worse for this next year?

                                ALEXANDER

   I will not live a seven days’ space beyond
   This.

                                  CÆSAR

      Thou hast lived thy seven days’ space in hell,
   Father: they say thou hast fasted even from sleep.

                                ALEXANDER

   Ay.

                                  CÆSAR

      What they say and what thou sayest I hold
   False.  Though thou hast wept as woman, howled as wolf,
   Above our dead, thou art hale and whole.  And now
   Behoves thee rise again as Christ our God,
   Vicarious Christ, and cast as flesh away
   This grief from off thy godhead.  I and thou,
   One, will set hand as never God hath set
   To the empire and the steerage of the world.
   Do thou forget but him who is dead, and was
   Nought, and bethink thee what a world to wield
   The eternal God hath given into thine hands
   Which daily mould him out of bread, and give
   His kneaded flesh to feed on.  Thou and I
   Will make this rent and ruinous Italy
   One.  Ours it shall be, body and soul, and great
   Above all power and glory given of God
   To them that died to set thee where thou art—
   Throned on the dust of Cæsar and of Christ,
   Imperial.  Earth shall quail again, and rise
   Again the higher because she trembled.  Rome
   So bade it be: it was, and shall be.

                                ALEXANDER

               Son,
   Art thou my son?

                                  CÆSAR

         Whom should thy radiant Rose
   Have found so fit to ingraff with, and bring forth
   So strong a scion as I am?

                                ALEXANDER

            By my faith—
   Wherein, I know not—by my soul, if that
   Be—I believe it.  God forgot his doom
   When he thou hast slain drew breath before thee

                                  CÆSAR

               God
   Must needs forget—if God remember.  Now
   This thing thou hast loved, and I that swept him hence
   Held never fit for hate of mine, is dead,
   Wilt thou be one with me—one God?  No less,
   Lord Christ of Rome, thou wilt be.

                                ALEXANDER

            Ay?  The Dove?

                                  CÆSAR

   What dove, though lovelier than the swan that lured
   Leda to love of God on earth, might match
   Lucrezia?

                                ALEXANDER

      None.  Thou art subtle of soul and strong.
   I would thou hadst spared him—couldst have spared him.

                                  CÆSAR

         Sire,
   I would so too.  Our sire, his sire and mine,
   I slew not him for lust of slaying, or hate,
   Or aught less like thy wiser spirit and mine.

                                ALEXANDER

   Not for the dove’s sake?

                                  CÆSAR

         Not for hate or love.
   Death was the lot God bade him draw, if God
   Be more than what we make him.

                                ALEXANDER

               Bread and wine
   Could hardly turn so bitter.  Canst thou sleep?

                                  CÆSAR

   Dost thou not?  Flesh must sleep to live.  Am I
   No son of thine?

                                ALEXANDER

            I would I saw thine end,
   And mine: and yet I would not.

                                  CÆSAR

               Sire, good night.

                                                                 [_Exeunt_

                                * * * * *

                                PRINTED BY
               SPOTTISWOODE AND CO. LTD., NEW-STREET SQUARE
                                  LONDON





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