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The Duke of Gandia   By: (1837-1909)

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THE DUKE OF GANDIA

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

POPE ALEXANDER VI. FRANCESCO BORGIA, Duke of Gandia }his sons CAESAR BORGIA, Cardinal of Valencia } DON MICHELE COREGLIA, called MICHELOTTO, agent for Caesar 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 CAESAR and VANNOZZA

CAESAR

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

VANNOZZA

Not more.

CAESAR

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.

CAESAR

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?

CAESAR

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

VANNOZZA

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

CAESAR

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.

CAESAR

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?

CAESAR

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!

CAESAR

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!

CAESAR

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?

CAESAR

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... Continue reading book >>




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