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Porzia   By: (1872-1943)

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First Page:

PORZIA

BY

CALE YOUNG RICE

AUTHOR OF

"A NIGHT IN AVIGNON," "YOLANDA OF CYPRUS," "CHARLES DI TOCCA," "DAVID," "MANY GODS," "NIRVANA DAYS," "FAR QUESTS," "THE IMMORTAL LURE," ETC.

GARDEN CITY

NEW YORK

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

MCMXIII

Copyright, 1913, by

CALE YOUNG RICE

All rights reserved, including that of translation into Foreign Languages, including the Scandinavian.

To

GILBERT MURRAY

Poet, Dramatist, and Master Interpreter of a great literature

PREFACE

Some years ago while writing "A Night In Avignon" the thought came to me of framing two other plays that should deal respectively with the Renaissance spirit at its height and decadence, as that play had dealt with it at its beginning. For the great human upheaval that came intoxicatingly to Italy during the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is so full of ├Žsthetic contrast and glamor as to be peculiarly suitable for the doubly exacting purposes of poetic drama.

"Giorgione," the second of these plays to be written, was published in 1911 with three other plays in a volume entitled "The Immortal Lure," and like "A Night In Avignon" was received with such kindness as to encourage me to write the third, here presented under the name of "Porzia."

This last play, whose period is that of "decadent Humanism," or as Symonds prefers to call it, of "The Catholic Reaction," is laid in Naples, where the passions of men, more than freed from the long domination of the Church and the Hereafter, seemed to reach in their grasp at this life almost incredible heights and depths of excess. And yet from amid this excess, as from a rank and unweeded garden, were springing into flower many seeds of modern intellectual enfranchisement, as the achievements of Bruno and his contemporaries witness.

I need only add that I have sought to use materials that would be true to the time of this final portrayal, and that I therefore trust it may be understood as an organic member of the group to which it belongs.

C. Y. R.

Louisville, Kentucky, June, 1912.

ACT I

CHARACTERS

RIZZIO DI ROSSI A young Leader of the Literati at Naples, suspected of heresy OSIO His Brother PORZIA His Wife ALOYSIUS Her Uncle, a Physician BIANCA Her Cousin, a Florentine, once betrothed to Osio GIORDANO BRUNO A young Dominican, also heretical MONSIGNOR QUERIO An Officer of the Inquisition TASSO A Poet MARINA A Sicilian serving Porzia MATTEO Serving Rizzio, later Osio Dancers from Capri, Musicians, Guards of the Inquisition, etc.

TIME About 1570

PORZIA

SCENE: A portion of the house, terrace and garden of Rizzio on his wedding day at Naples. It is so situated as to command a view of the city, the blue Bay with Capri set like a topaz in it, the Vesuvian coast, and the Mountain itself rising like a calm though unappeasable monitor against the land's too sensual enchantment.

The house, a white corner of which is visible along the right, has large doors toward the back giving upon the terrace. A vine clad terrace wall, several feet above the level of the terrace, but much above that of the street without, runs across the rear to a cypress set gate in the centre, and on into the lustrous Spring foliage of ilex, myrtle and orange.

A pedestaled image of the Virgin against the house, a statue of Pan before a bower opposite, and several stone seats forward, are decked with orange blossoms that glow in the light of late afternoon.

Music, reveling, and laughter are heard, muffled, within. Then amid a louder burst of them Osio strides angrily forth. He is followed in argumentative elation by Rizzio clothed in Greek raiment, a book in his hand and by Bruno... Continue reading book >>




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