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the Annotated Popular Edition of

 

 

 

 

 

LOVE’S SACRIFICE

by John Ford

1633

 

 

 

Annotations and notes © Copyright ElizabethanDrama.org, 2017
This annotated play may be freely copied and distributed.

 

 

 


 

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

INTRODUCTION TO THE PLAY

Philippo Caraffa, Duke of Pavia.

John Ford's sprawling epic Love's Sacrifice features not a love triangle, but a love pentagon. But don't worry, our annotations will help keep things clear regarding who loves (and who hates) who. Two things in particular are worthy of the reader's notice: (1) the large number of asides, indicating a good deal of dissembling in the play; and (2) the duke's slow but relentless mental deterioration: Ford's handling of the duke's descent into madness is more subtle than what is normally seen in plays of the period.

     Bianca, the Duchess.

     Fiormonda, the Duke's Sister.

     Roderico D'Avolos, Secretary to the Duke.

Fernando, Favourite of the Duke.

Ferentes, a wanton Courtier.

Roseilli, a young Nobleman.

Paulo Baglione, Abbot of Monaco, and Uncle of the     

     duchess.

NOTES ON THE TEXT

Petruchio, Counsellor of State, and uncle to Fernando.

     Colona, Daughter of Petruchio, and lady-in-waiting

The text of Love's Sacrifice is taken from John Ford,

                   to the duchess Bianca.

edited by Havelock Ellis, as part of The Mermaid Series,

cited at #3 below.

Nibrassa, Counsellor of State.

     Julia, Daughter of Nibrassa, and lady-in-waiting

FOOTNOTES

               to Fiormonda.

     References in the annotations to "Dyce"  refer to the

Mauruccio, an old Buffoon.

notes supplied by editor A. Dyce to Perkin Warbeck in his

     Giacopo, Servant to Mauruccio.

1869 collection of Ford's work, cited at #12 below.

     Footnotes in the text correspond as follows:

Morona, a Widow.

     1. Oxford English Dictionary (OED) online.

     2. Crystal, David and Ben. Shakespeare's Words.

Courtiers, Officers, Friars, Attendants, &c.

London; New York: Penguin, 2002.

     3. Ellis, Havelock, ed. The Best Plays of the Old

SCENE:

Dramatists: John Ford. London: Viztelly & Co., 1888.

Pavia.

     4. Taylor, Gary, and Lavagnino, ed.  Thomas Middleton,

The Collected Works. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2010.

     5. Dorius, R.J., ed. Shakespeare, William. Henry V.

New Haven: Yale University Press, 1918.

     6. Stagebeauty.net Website. Leading Ladies. Retrieved

7/11/2016: stagebeauty.net/ th-women.html#boys.

     7. Farmer, J. and Henley, W. A Dictionary of Slang

and Colloquial English. London: George Routledge &

Sons, 1912.

     8. Smith, W., ed. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman

Biography and Mythology. London: John Murray, 1849.

     9. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Encyclopedia Britannica (11th

ed.). Cambridge University Press, 1911.

     10. Murray, Alexander. Who's Who in Ancient

Mythology. New York: Crescent Books, 1988.

     11. The Encyclopedia Britannica. 11th edition. New

York: 1911.

     12. Dyce, Alexander. The Works of John Ford, Vol. II.

London: Robson and Son, 1869.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT I.

SCENE I.

A Room in the Palace.

Enter Roseilli and Roderico D’Avolos.

Entering Characters: Roseilli is a young nobleman. D'Avolos is secretary to the Duke of Pavia.

1

Ros.  Depart the court?

1: the play opens with Roseilli learning that the duke is

2

     sending him into exile.

D’Av.                          Such was the duke's command.

4

Ros.  You're secretary to the state and him,

6

Great in his counsels, wise, and, I think, honest.

Have you, in turning over old recórds,

8

Read but one name descended of the house

Of Lesui in his loyalty remiss?

= Roseilli's family name; confused, Roseilli asks if any

10

     member of his family has ever been disloyal to the court.

D’Av.  Never, my lord.

12

Ros.  Why, then, should I now, now when glorious peace

14

Triumphs in change of pleasures, be wiped off,

= exchange.

Like to a useless moth, from courtly ease? −

= suggesting a parasite.1

16

And whither must I go?

18

D’Av.  You have the open world before you.

20

Ros.  Why, then 'tis like I'm banished?

22

D’Av.  Not so: my warrant is only to command you

22ff: D'Avolos usually speaks in prose; this suggests a

from the court; within five hours to depart after notice

     defect in his character, which will become apparent.

24

taken, and not to live within thirty miles of it, until it

be thought meet by his excellence to call you back.

= ie. the duke

26

Now I have warned you, my lord, at your peril be it,

if you disobey. I shall inform the duke of your

28

discontent.

30

[Exit.]

32

Ros.  Do, politician, do! I scent the plot

= schemer.2

Of this disgrace; 'tis Fiormonda, she,

= ie. the duke's sister.

34

That glorious widow, whose commanding check

= rebuff 1; Roseilli has been wooing the recently widowed

Ruins my love: like foolish beasts, thus they

     Fiormonda, who is the sister of the duke; and assumes
     that she, in rejecting his advances, has convinced the
     duke to exile him.

36

Find danger that prey too near the lions' den.

36: Dyce believes this line is corrupt (its meter is clearly
     off), and suggests it could read, "Find danger that too
     near the lions prey", creating a rhyming couplet.12

38

Enter Fernando and Petruchio.

Entering Characters: Petruchio is a Counselor of State, or advisor, to the duke; he is also the uncle of Fernando, who is the duke's favorite companion.

40

Ferna.  My noble lord, Roseilli!

42

Ros.                                         Sir, the joy

42-51: Roseilli and Fernando exchange lengthy formal

I should have welcomed you with is wrapt up

     courtesies before entering the substance of their

44

In clouds of my disgrace; yet, honoured sir,

     conversation.

Howsoe'er frowns of great ones cast me down,

46

My service shall pay tribute in my lowness

To your uprising virtues.

48

Ferna.                              Sir, I know

50

You are so well acquainted with your own,

= ie. "your own virtues"

You need not flatter mine: trust me, my lord,

52

I'll be a suitor for you.

= petitioner; Fernando promises to try to persuade the

     duke to reverse his decision to exile Roseilli.

54

Pet.                            And I'll second

My nephew's suit with importunity.

= persistent entreaty

56

Ros.  You are, my Lord Fernando, late returned

58

From travels; pray instruct me: − since the voice

Of most supreme authority commands

60

My absence, I determine to bestow

Some time in learning languages abroad;

62

Perhaps the change of air may change in me

62-63: change in me..wrongs = "help me to forget the

Remembrance of my wrongs at home: good sir,

     wrongs done to me"

64

Inform me; say I meant to live in Spain,

What benefit of knowledge might I treasure?

66

Ferna.  Troth, sir, I'll freely speak as I have found.

= in truth.

68

In Spain you lose experience; 'tis a climate

68-69: In Spain…arts: the extreme heat of the Spanish
     climate makes it difficult for one to maintain knowledge
     (experience) or develop scholarship (arts), and as a
     result knowledge is lost. Fernando's disparagement of
     Spain reflects the unpopularity of that country in
     England in the 1630's.3

Too hot to nourish arts; the nation proud,

70

And in their pride unsociable; the court

More pliable to glorify itself

= the sense seems to be "likely".

72

Than do a stranger grace: if you intend

= "do a foreigner (stranger) honor".

To traffic like a merchant, 'twere a place

74

Might better much your trade; but as for me,

I soon took surfeit on it.

= excess, ie. "I soon had more than enough"; but surfeit also suggests "to become ill from excessive consumption".1

76

Ros.                              What for France?

= about

78

Ferna.  France I more praise and love. You are, my lord,

80

Yourself for horsemanship much famed; and there

= the first of several references to Roseilli's superior
     horsemanship. The French themselves were noted for
     their superior riding skills, e.g. Hamlet: "…the French, /
     And they can well on horseback."12

You shall have many proofs to show your skill.

= ie. opportunities to prove.

82

The French are passing courtly, ripe of wit,

= exceedingly refined, with manners fit for court.1

Kind, but extreme dissemblers; you shall have

= deceivers or hypocrites1; Elizabethan authors rarely
    overlooked an opportunity to disparage the French.

84

A Frenchman ducking lower than your knee,

= bowing deeply with intended irony.

At the instant mocking even your very shoe-ties.

86

To give the country due, it is on earth

A paradise; and if you can neglect

= ignore.

88

Your own appropriaménts, but praising that

= ie. Roseilli's own particular skills; this is the only

In others wherein you excel yourself,

     citation of appropriaments in the OED, suggesting

90

You shall be much belovèd there.

     no other author has ever used it!

92

Ros.                                              Yet methought

I heard you and the duchess, two night since,

= ago

94

Discoursing of an island thereabouts,

Called − let me think − 'twas −

96

Ferna.                                     England?

97ff: the reason for this seemingly superfluous discussion

98

     now becomes clear: Ford will take a bit of time to flatter
     the home-crowd. Such digressions to praise the English
     to themselves while denigrating other nationalities
     appears with some frequency in Elizabethan drama.

Ros.                                                     That: pray, sir −

100

You have been there, methought I heard you praise it.

102

Ferna.  I'll tell you what I found there; men as neat,

= refined, elegant2; is there a bit of English insecurity behind
    Ford's need to point this out?

As courtly as the French, but in condition

= disposition.3

104

Quite opposite. Put case that you, my lord,

104-5: Put case…you are = the sense is, "suppose (put
     case
) that you were not as brilliantly skillful (rare =
     excellent) in horseback-riding as you are".

Could be more rare on horseback than you are,

106

If there − as there are many − one excelled

= if there was.  = read as "an Englishman who".

You in your art as much as you do others,

108

Yet will the English think their own is nothing

108-9: Yet will….with you = Fernando comments on the
     commendable modesty of the English.

Compared with you, a stranger; in their habits

= foreigner.  = fashion, dress.

110

They are not more fantastic than uncertain;

= ie. the English are more fickle (uncertain) than foppish
     (fantastic).1 The English predilection for borrowing
     the latest fashions from the continent is frequently
     commented on.

In short, their fair abundance, manhood, beauty,

112

No nation can disparage but itself.

114

Ros.  My lord, you have much eased me; I resolve.

116

Ferna.  And whither are you bent?

= to where

118

Ros.                                            My lord, for travel;

To speed or England.

= good fortune, success; the line is likely proverbial.

120

Ferna.                        No, my lord, you must not:

122

I have yet some private conference

= communication1

T' impart unto you for your good; at night

124

I'll meet you at my Lord Petruchio's house:

Till then be secret.

= hidden

126

Ros.                       Dares my cousin trust me?

= Roseilli appears to be a kinsman of Petruchio and Fernando; Roseilli does not want Fernando to get in trouble if he is caught with him when Roseilli is supposed to be out of the duchy.

128

Pet.  Dare I, my lord! yes, 'less your fact were greater

= unless.  = crime.2

130

Than a bold woman's spleen.

= hot temper or ill nature1; the spleen was considered the
     source of such emotions.

132

Ros.                                      The duke's at hand,

= nearby.

And I must hence: my service to your lordships.

= get away from here.

134

[Exit.]

136

Pet.  Now, nephew, as I told you, since the duke

138

Hath held the reins of state in his own hand,

Much altered from the man he was before, −

140

………

140: one or more lines have been lost; the sense of the missing line(s) is probably something like "He has fallen in with a bad crowd".4

As if he were transformèd in his mind,

 

142

To soothe him in his pleasures, amongst whom

= flatter.

Is fond Ferentes; one whose pride takes pride

= foolish; in the cast list, Ferentes is identified as a "wanton

144

In nothing more than to delight his lust;

     courtier", suggesting a lecherous and low character.

And he − with grief I speak it − hath, I fear,

146

Too much besotted my unhappy daughter,

My poor Colona; whom, for kindred's sake,

147-150: Petruchio asks his nephew Fernando to try to persuade his (Petruchio's) daughter Colona (Fernando's cousin) to give up her infatuation with Ferentes. Petruchio's request is based on three factors: (1) they are family (for kindred's sake), (2) Fernando is a nobleman, and (3) as Fernando is virtuous and admires virtue in others.

148

As you are noble, as you honour virtue,

Persuade to love herself: a word from you

149-150: a word…frowns = Petruchio expects that Colona
     will be more willing to listen to her cousin Fernando
     than her father.

150

May win her more than my entreaties or frowns.

= acts of pleading or begging.

152

Ferna.  Uncle, I'll do my best: meantime, pray tell me,

Whose mediation wrought the marriáge

= brought about.

154

Betwixt the duke and duchess, − who was agent.

153-4: Fernando's question reveals that the duke had
     married Bianca only just before our play began.

156

Pet.  His roving eye and her enchanting face,

156-168: Petruchio is not flattering in his description of the
     royal couple.

The only dower nature had ordained

157: the duchess brought no dowry with her other than
     her good looks.

158

T' advance her to her bride-bed. She was daughter

158-160: She was…court = Bianca, the daughter of a

Unto a gentleman of Milan − no better −

     gentleman (that is, she was well-born, but not of noble

160

Preferred to serve i' the Duke of Milan's court;

     lineage), was promoted (preferred) to serve, perhaps
     as a lady-in-waiting, in the court of the Duke of Milan.

Where for her beauty she was greatly famed:

162

And passing late from thence to Monaco

162-6: And passing…the deer = the Duke of Pavia, while
     hunting, came across the beautiful Bianca as she was
     traveling to Monaco to visit her uncle; geographically,
     this makes sense, as Pavia is between Milan and Monaco.

To visit there her uncle, Paul Baglione

164

The Abbot, Fortune − queen to such blind matches −

= Fortune is often personified.  = arbitrary, suggesting

Presents her to the duke's eye, on the way,

     "mismatched".

166

As he pursues the deer: in short, my lord,

He saw her, loved her, wooed her, won her, matched her;

= married

168

No counsel could divert him.

170

Ferna.                                     She is fair.

= attractive

172

Pet.  She is; and, to speak truth, I think right noble

In her conditions.

= disposition3

174

Ferna.                   If, when I should choose,

175-7: Fernando would not care what a potential wife's

176

Beauty and virtue were the fee proposed,

     background was, if she were beautiful and virtuous.

I should not pass for parentage.

= care about.3

178

Pet.                                           The duke

180

Doth come.

182

Ferna.        Let's break-off talk. − [Aside] If ever, now,

182-3: If ever…my truth = Fernando has some need to build

Good angel of my soul, protect my truth!

     up his courage for the upcoming encounter.

184

Enter the Duke, Bianca, Fiormonda, Nibrassa,

Entering Characters: Bianca is the new wife of the duke,

186

Ferentes, Julia, and D’Avolos.

and thus the new duchess; Fiormonda is the duke's sister, and recently widowed.
     Nibrassa is another Counselor of State, or advisor, and Julia his daughter; Julia serves as a lady-in-waiting for Fiormonda, a position of honour.
     D'Avolos, the secretary to the duke, we have met; Ferentes is the slime-ball described at line 143 above who seems to have wormed his way into the duke's friendship.

188

Duke.  Come, my Bianca, revel in mine arms;

Whiles I, wrapt in my admiration, view

190

Lilies and roses growing in thy cheeks. −

190: note that the long dash is commonly used to indicate
     a change in the speaker's addressee.

Fernando! O, thou half myself! no joy

= Elizabethan expression describing a best or most trusted

192

Could make my pleasure full without thy presence:

     friend.

I am a monarch of felicity,

= happiness or good fortune.1

194

Proud in a pair of jewèls, rich and beautiful, −

A perfect friend, a wife above compare.

196

Ferna.  Sir, if a man so low in rank may hope,

198

By loyal duty and devoted zeal,

To hold a correspondency in friendship

200

With one so mighty as the Duke of Pavy,

= the name used for Pavia throughout the play

My uttermost ambition is to climb

202

To those deserts may give the style of servant.

202: "to a level where I deserve the name or title (style) of your servant"

204

Duke.  Of partner in my dukedom, in my heart,

204: the duke, praising Fernando, corrects Fernando by
     replacing the last two words of his sentence.

As freely as the privilege of blood

205-6: As freely…mine = the duke would share (at least in
     spirit) his dukedom with Fernando in much the same
     way his birth made Pavia his own.

206

Hath made them mine; Philippo and Fernando

     

Shall be without distinction. − Look, Bianca,

= in introducing Bianca to his best friend Fernando, the

208

On this good man; in all respects to him

     duke further confirms he only just got married.

Be as to me: only the name of husband,

210

And reverent observance of our bed,

    

Shall differ us in person, else in soul

212

We are all one.

214

Bian.               I shall, in best of love,

Regard the bosom-partner of my lord.

216

Fiorm.  [Aside to Ferentes] Ferentes, −

218

Feren.  [Aside to Fiormonda] Madam?

220

Fiorm.  [Aside to Ferentes]  You are one loves courtship:

= proper behavior of one at court, but also the paying of
     acts of courtesy.1

222

He hath some change of words, 'twere no lost labour

= ie. Fernando "is a ready talker".3

To stuff your table-books; the man speaks wisely!

= "write this down in your note-book".4 Fiormonda is
     ironically suggesting that Ferentes could take lessons
     from Fernando in flattering courtly speech; she is really
     characterizing Fernando as a "mere man of words".12

224

Feren.  [Aside to Fiormonda]

226

I'm glad your highness is so pleasant.

= droll: "I can appreciate your dry humor."

228

Duke.                                               Sister, −

230

Fiorm.  My lord and brother?

232

Duke.                                          You are too silent,

Quicken your sad remembrance, though the loss

= give life to4; the duke encourages Fiormonda to get over

234

Of your dead husband be of more account

     her mourning.

Than slight neglect, yet 'tis a sin against

236

The state of princes to exceed a mean

= moderate level of emotion; a common refrain in the drama 

In mourning for the dead.

     of the period was to criticize those who could not temper
     their emotions.

238

Fiorm.                                Should form, my lord,

240

Prevail above affection? no, it cannot.

You have yourself here a right noble duchess,

242

Virtuous at least; and should your grace now pay −

242-3: should…nature = euphemism for "were you to
     suddenly die"

Which Heaven forbid! − the debt you owe to nature,

244

I dare presume she'd not so soon forget

244-5:  "I bet the duchess would not so quickly forget the

A prince that thus advanced her. − Madam, could you?

     husband to whom she owes so much for promoting her."

246

D’Av.  [Aside] Bitter and shrewd.

= malicious; D'Avolos recognizes the cattiness behind     Fiormonda's speech.

248

Bian.  Sister, I should too much bewray my weakness,

249: Sister = Bianca addresses Fiormonda, who is now her
         sister-in-law.
    bewray = reveal, betray.

250

To give a resolution on a passion

= speak decisively about.12  = emotion: Bianca specifically

I never felt nor feared.

     means ingratitude.4

252

Nib.                            A modest answer.

254

Ferna.  If credit may be given to a face,

256

My lord, I'll undertake on her behalf;

= affirm, be surety for;  Fernando flatteringly assures the

Her words are trusty heralds to her mind.

     others that Bianca should be believed.

258

Fiorm.  [Aside to D’Avolos]

260

Exceeding good; the man will "undertake"!

= Fiormonda continues to be critical of Fernando's gift for

Observe it, D'Avolos.

     flattering speech, this time to D'Avolos.

262

D’Av.  [Aside to Fiormonda] Lady, I do;

264

Tis a smooth praise.

= flattering, a "good show"2

266

Duke.  Friend, in thy judgment I approve thy love,

= "find proof of your love"

And love thee better for thy judging mine.

268

Though my gray-headed senate in the laws

268-270: the duke complains that his advisors wanted to restrict his choice of bride - presumably, they would have liked for him to marry a woman of status equal to his.

Of strict opinion and severe dispute

    

270

Would tie the limits of our free affects, −

= affection, desires.

Like superstitious Jews, − to match with none

271-7: Ford engages in some particularly unpleasant, but

272

But in a tribe of princes like ourselves,

     unfortunately typical, stereotyping of Jews.

Gross-nurtured slaves, who force their wretched souls

274

To crouch to profit; nay, for trash and wealth

= bow down.2  274-5: for trash…form = Jews, he says,

Dote on some crooked or misshapen form;

     would marry even the ugliest person if it gained for them
     more wealth; trash is a disdainful word for money or
     possessions.

276

Hugging wise nature's lame deformity,

Begetting creatures ugly as themselves: −

278

But why should princes do so, that command

The storehouse of the earth's hid minerals? −

280

No, my Bianca, thou'rt to me as dear

As if thy portion had been Europe's riches;

= dowery2

282

Since in thine eyes lies more than these are worth.

Set on; they shall be strangers to my heart

= "Let us proceed."2

284

That envy thee thy fortunes. − Come, Fernando,

= show malice towards.2

My but divided self; what we have done

286

We are only debtor to Heaven for. − On!

288

Fiorm.  [Aside to D'Avolos]

Now take thy time, or never, D'Avolos;

290

Prevail, and I will raise thee high in grace.

290: if D'Avolos can successfully carry out the task Fiormonda has assigned to him, she will make sure he rises in favor at the court. Though D'Avolos is the duke's secretary, he regards Fiormonda as his patroness, and discreetly works to serve her interests.

292

D’Av.  [Aside to Fiormonda] Madam, I will omit no art.

= skill or cunning

294

[Exeunt all but D’Avolos, who recalls Fernando.]

296

My honoured Lord Fernando!

298

Ferna.                                     To me, sir?

300

D’Av.  Let me beseech your lordship to excuse me,

300ff: prose is easily discernible from verse: in verse, each

in the nobleness of your wisdom, if I exceed good

     new line is capitalized; prose is written in paragraphs,

302

manners: I am one, my lord, who in the admiration

     without capitalization at the beginning of each line.

of your perfect virtues do so truly honour and

304

reverence your deserts, that there is not a creature

= merits.

bears life shall more faithfully study to do you

= ie. who bears.  = strive.

306

service in all offices of duty and vows of due respect.

308

Ferna.  Good sir, you bind me to you: is this all?

310

D’Av.  I beseech your ear a little; good my lord, what

I have to speak concerns your reputation and best

312

fortune.

314

Ferna.  How's that! my reputation? lay aside

314-5: lay aside…ceremony = "skip the unnecessary

Superfluous ceremony; speak; what is't?

     formalities!"

316

D’Av.  I do repute myself the blessedest man alive,

318

that I shall be the first gives your lordship news of

your perpetual comfort.

320

Ferna.  As how?

322

D’Av.  If singular beauty, unimitable virtues, honour,

323-5: D'Avolos is describing Fiormonda.

324

youth, and absolute goodness be a fortune, all those

are at once offered to your particular choice.

326

Ferna.  Without delays, which way?

= "tell me who"

328

D’Av.  The great and gracious Lady Fiormonda loves

330

you, infinitely loves you. − But, my lord, as ever you

tendered a servant to your pleasures, let me not be

332

revealed that I gave you notice on't.

334

Ferna.  Sure, you are strangely out of tune, sir.

= not in harmony or proper working condition1; he wonders

     if D'Avolos knows what he is saying.

336

D’Av.  Please but to speak to her; be but courtly-

ceremonious with her, use once but the language of

338

affection, if I misreport aught besides my knowledge,

338: if I…knowledge = "if I am telling you anything (aught) which is outside of what I know to be true".

let me never have place in your good opinion. O, these

340

women, my lord, are as brittle metal as your glasses,

340: metal = probably mettle, meaning substance or
         character. 
     glasses = glass; see the note below at line 342.

as smooth, as slippery, − their very first substance 

342

was quicksands: let 'em look never so demurely, 

= possibly a reference to the discovery of glass by the
     Phoenicians when they set sand on fire.4

one fillip chokes them. My lord, she loves you; I know

= "one blow deprives them of breath or speech."1

344

it. − But I beseech your lordship not to discover me;

= "do not reveal I was the one who told you". D'Avolos is

I would not for the world she should know that you 

     making sure Fernando doesn't think Fiormonda sent him

346

know it by me.

     to tell Fernando this, as this would be immodest of
     Fiormonda.

348

Ferna.  I understand you, and to thank your care

Will study to requite it; and I vow

= endeavor.  = repay.  = Fernando takes an oath, which 

350

She never shall have notice of your news

     was considered more binding than a simple promise.

By me or by my means. And, worthy sir,

352

Let me alike enjoin you not to speak

A word of that I understand her love;

354

And as for me, my word shall be your surety

I'll not as much as give her cause to think

355-6: curiously, Fernando seems to suggest he intends

356

I ever heard it.

     not to respond to her affection.

358

D’Av.  Nay, my lord, whatsoever I infer, you may

358-362: D'Avolos' mission would be a failure if Fernando

break with her in it, if you please; for, rather than

     does not actually act on the revelation, so he encourages

360

silence should hinder you one step to such a

     him to do so.

fortune, I will expose myself to any rebuke for

362

your sake, my good lord.

364

Ferna.  You shall not indeed, sir; I am still your

friend, and will prove so. For the present I am

366

forced to attend the duke: good hours befall ye!

I must leave you.

368

[Exit.]

370

D’Av.  Gone already? 'sfoot, I ha' marred all! this is

371-380: D'Avolos is confused by Fernando's cold
         response to what he expected to be welcome news
         of Fiormonda's love for him. 
     'sfoot = God's foot, typical Elizabethan oath.

372

worse and worse; he's as cold as hemlock. If her

= Plato wrote that Socrates grew cold as he slowly
         succumbed to the hemlock which killed him. 
     372-4: If her…scurvily = D'Avolos worries how
         Fiormonda will respond to the failure of his mission.

highness knows how I have gone to work she'll thank

    

374

me scurvily: a pox of all dull brains! I took the clean

= on.  = stupid1, referring to his inability to either complete

contrary course. There is a mystery in this slight

     this simple task, or understand what Fernando is
     thinking.

376

carelessness of his; I must sift it, and I will find it.

Ud's me, fool myself out of my wit! well, I'll choose

= "my God".  In 1606, Parliament passed a statute banning
     the blasphemous use of God's name on stage, so that
     such implied blasphemies became the norm in drama.

378

some fitter opportunity to inveigle him, and till then

smooth her up that he is a man overjoyed with the

= flatter; D'Avolos will lie to Fiormonda about Fernando's

380

report.

     reaction.

382

[Exit.]

Our Story So Far: It may be helpful to review the complex and various story lines before continuing to the next scene:

     (1) Philippo Caraffa, the Duke of Pavia, has very recently married Bianca, who, while no peasant, is a relative nobody from Milan.

     (2) the duke has banished the young nobleman Roseilli from Pavia for some unknown reason; but Roseilli's kinsman Fernando encourages him to ignore his deadline for leaving the duchy so that Fernando can impart to him certain information that evening. Both Fernando and Fernando's uncle Petruchio promise to work on Roseilli's behalf to try to change the duke's mind about his exile.

     (3). Roseilli thinks the recently widowed sister of the duke, Fiormonda, whom he has made advances to, is ultimately responsible for recommending his exile.

     (4) though Fernando is the duke's best friend, the duke has fallen under the influence of the lecherous Ferentes, who is corrupting the duke's behavior.

     (5) Petruchio's daughter Colona is in love with Ferentes; Fernando has agreed to assist Petruchio in trying to talk some sense to the girl, his cousin.

     (6) though he is the duke's secretary, D'Avolos actually regards Fiormonda as his patroness, and works behind the scenes primarily to further her interests.

     (7) Fiormonda has sent D'Avolos on a mission to inform Fernando that she loves him; strangely, though, Fernando reacts rather passively to the news, to D'Avolos' discomfort and suspicion.

     And now, on with the show!

ACT I, SCENE II.

Another Room in the Palace.

Enter Ferentes and Colona.

Entering Characters: Colona, we remember, is Petruchio's daughter; she also serves as a lady-in-waiting, a position of honor, to the duchess Bianca.

1

Feren.  Madam, by this light I vow myself your servant;

1ff: Ferentes, lecherous and sleazy, speaks only in prose; 
     servant = lover, devotee.

2

only yours, inespecially yours. Time, like a turncoat,

= especially.1  = a reversible coat.1

may order and disorder the outward fashions of our

4

bodies, but shall never enforce a change on the

constancy of my mind. Sweet Colona, fair Colona,

6

young and sprightful lady, do not let me in the best

of my youth languish in my earnest affections.

8

Col.  Why should you seek, my lord, to purchase glory

10

By the disgrace of a silly maid.

= ie. the seduction.  = defenseless or vulnerable.2

12

Feren.  That I confess too. I am every way so unworthy

of the first-fruits of thy embraces, so far beneath

14

the riches of thy merit, that it can be no honour to thy

fame to rank me in the number of thy servants; yet

= reputation.

16

prove me how true, how firm I will stand to thy

= make a trial of.2

pleasures, to thy command; and, as time shall serve,

18

be ever thine. Now, prithee, dear Colona, −

= please

20

Col.  Well, well, my lord, I have no heart of flint;

Or if I had, you know by cunning words

22

How to outwear it: − but −

= overcome or outlast; but also "wear down", used with

     her heart of flint.1

24

Feren.  But what? do not pity thy own gentleness,

= ie. temperament, but also refers to her being born into

lovely Colona. Shall I? Speak, shall I? − say but ay,

     nobility.1

26

and our wishes are made up.

28

Col.  How shall I say ay, when my fears say no?

= ie. aye, yes

30

Feren.  You will not fail to meet me two hours hence,

sweet?

32

Col.  No;

34

Yes, yes, I would have said: how my tongue trips!

36

Feren.  I take that promise and that double "yes" as

an assurance of thy faith. In the grove; good sweet,

38

remember; in any case alone, − d'ye mark, love? –

not as much as your duchess' little dog; − you'll not

40

forget? − two hours hence − think on't, and miss

not: till then −

42

Col.  O, if you should prove false, and love another!

44

Feren.  Defy me, then! I'll be all thine, and a servant

46

only to thee, only to thee.

48

[Exit Colona.]

50

− Very passing good! three honest women in our

= chaste; Ferentes has seduced, or is in the process of
     seducing, three separate women.
50-55: he does not think highly of the gentler sex in Italy,
     who are always so easily won over.

courts here of Italy are enough to discredit a whole

 

52

nation of that sex. He that is not a cuckold or a

= a husband whose wife is cheating on him

bastard is a strangely happy man; for a chaste wife,

54

or a mother that never stepped awry, are wonders,

wonders in Italy. 'Slife! I have got the feat on't, and

= God's life.  = knack for it.1

56

am every day more active in my trade: 'tis a sweet

= busy.1

sin, this slip of mortality, and I have tasted enough

= moral fault.1

58

for one passion of my senses. − Here comes more

work for me.

60

Enter Julia.

Entering Character: Julia, we remember, is the daughter of Nibrassa, and she serves as lady-in-waiting for Fiormonda.

62

And how does my own Julia? Mew upon this sadness!

= expressing derision, as in "curses on this sadness!"1

64

what's the matter you are melancholy? − Whither

= the Elizabethans used the term melancholy to describe
     what we call depression.

away, wench?

= a term of endearment for a lover.1

66

Jul.  Tis well; the time has been when your smooth tongue

68

Would not have mocked my griefs; and had I been

More chary of mine honour, you had still

70

Been lowly as you were.

72

Feren.  Lowly! why, I am sure I cannot be much more

lowly than I am to thee; thou bringest me on my

74

bare knees, wench, twice in every four-and-twenty

hours, besides half-turns instead of bevers. What must

75: besides = in addition to.1
     half-turns = military metaphor for sex.1 
     bevers = midday snacks.1  Ferentes is commenting on Julia's sexual insatiability.

76

we next do, sweetheart?

    

78

Jul.  Break vows on your side; I expect no other,

But every day look when some newer choice

80

May violate your honour and my trust.

82

Feren.  Indeed, forsooth! how say ye by that, la? I

= in truth.  = "what do you mean by that".12  = truly.2

hope I neglect no opportunity to your nunquam satis,

= colloquial for lady's genitals1; from the Latin, meaning
     never enough.

84

to be called in question for. Go, thou art as fretting

= rubbing, chafing.1

as an old grogram: by this hand, I love thee for't;

85: grogram = a garment made of grogram, a coarse fabric.1
     by this hand = it was common for Elizabethan characters

86

it becomes thee so prettily to be angry. Well, if thou

         to take vows on body parts.

shouldst die, farewell all love with me for ever! go;

88

I'll meet thee soon in thy lady's back-lobby, I will,

wench; look for me.

90

Jul.  But shall I be resolved you will be mine?

= assured3

92

Feren.  All thine; I will reserve my best ability, my

94

heart, my honour only to thee, only to thee. Pity of my

blood, away! I hear company coming on: remember,

96

soon I am all thine, I will live perpetually only to thee:

away!

98

[Exit Julia.]

100

Sfoot! I wonder about what time of the year I was

= God's foot;  101-3: typical Elizabethan astrological
     imagery; it was believed by some that the arrangement
     of the heavenly bodies at one's birth affected one's fate
     in life.

102

begot; sure, it was when the moon was in conjunction,

= properly speaking, two heavenly bodies were required
     to be located within the same sign of the zodiac to be
     described as in conjunction.1

and all the other planets drunk at a morris-dance:

= traditional English dance, performed on May Day, etc.,
     usually accompanied by one dressed as a foolish charac-
     ter, often in a hobby horse (a figure of a horse worn
     about the waist).1

104

I am haunted above patience; my mind is not as

104-5: my mind…doing = something like "I have more   

infinite to do as my occasions are proffered of doing.

     opportunities (occasions) for seduction offered
     (proffered) to me than my brain is capable of dealing
     with or comprehending."

106

Chastity! I am an eunuch if I think there be any

such thing; or if there be, 'tis amongst us men, for I

108

never found it in a woman thoroughly tempted yet. I

have a shrewd hard task coming on; but let it pass. −

110

Who comes now? My lord, the duke's friend! I will

strive to be inward with him.

= (more) intimate1

112

Enter Fernando.

114

My noble Lord Fernando! −

116

Ferna.  My Lord Ferentes, I should change some words

= exchange

118

Of consequence with you; but since I am,

For this time, busied in more serious thoughts,

120

I'll pick some fitter opportunity.

122

Feren.  I will wait your pleasure, my lord. Good-day

to your lordship.

124

[Exit.]

126

Ferna.  Traitor to friendship, whither shall I run,

= Fernando is speaking to, and referring to, himself. While
     the widow Fiormonda is in love with him, he is in love
     with Bianca, the duke's wife, which causes him agony,
     as he recognizes how disloyal this is to his friend the
     duke.

128

That, lost to reason, cannot sway the float

= control the flood or rising tide.1

Of the unruly faction in my blood?

130

The duchess, O, the duchess! in her smiles

Are all my joys abstracted. − Death to my thoughts!

= epitomized or embodied1

132

My other plague comes to me.

134

Enter Fiormonda and Julia.

136

Fiorm.  My Lord Fernando, what, so hard at study!

= reflection, musing.2  Fiormonda, we remember, was

You are a kind companion to yourself,

     likely informed by D'Avolos that Fernando had a

138

That love to be alone so.

     positive reaction to the news that she was in love
     with him.

140

Ferna.                             Madam, no;

140-5: Fernando dreads having to face Fiormonda, whom

I rather chose this leisure to admire

     he is not interested in, and will try to deflect her

142

The glories of this little world, the court,

     advances with his clever and smooth talk.

Where, like so many stars, on several thrones

144

Beauty and greatness shine in proper orbs;

Sweet matter for my meditatión.

146

Fiorm.  So, so, sir! − Leave us, Julia

= Julia, we remember, is a lady-in-waiting serving

148

Fiormonda.

[Exit Julia.]

150

                                                      − your own proof,

= experience1

152

By travel and prompt observatión,

Instructs you how to place the use of speech. −

153: she refers again to Fernando's ability to speak smoothly.

154

But since you are at leisure, pray let's sit:

We'll pass the time a little in discourse.

156

What have you seen abroad?

158

Ferna.                                    No wonders, lady,

Like these I see at home.

160

Fiorm.                               At home! as how?

162

Ferna.  Your pardon, if my tongue, the voice of truth,

164

Report but what is warranted by sight.

166

Fiorm.  What sight?

168

Ferna.                  Look in your glass, and you shall see

= mirror

A miracle.

170

Fiorm.        What miracle?

172

Ferna.                           Your beauty,

174

So far above all beauties else abroad

As you are in your own superlative.

175: something like "you even surpass yourself"

176

Fiorm.  Fie, fie! your wit hath too much edge.

177: Fiormonda chides Fernando for overdoing the flattery; we must remember that both parties are aware of Fiormonda's love for him, but neither speaks of it; 
     fie! = for shame!2

178

Ferna.                                                       Would that,

= ie. his wit.  179-182: "I wish my wit were great enough to
     fully express my desire to serve Fiormonda".

180

Or any thing that I could challenge mine,

= rightly demand as.

Were but of value to express how much

182

I serve in love the sister of my prince!

182: Fernando is not exactly saying he loves her.

184

Fiorm.  Tis for your prince's sake, then, not for mine?

184: Fiormonda recognizes that Fernando is not speaking in quite the manner of a genuine suitor, and so she deliberately misunderstands his comments.

186

Ferna.  For you in him, and much for him in you.

I must acknowledge, madam, I observe

188

In your affects a thing to me most strange,

= affections3

Which makes me so much honour you the more.

190

Fiorm.  Pray, tell it.

192

Ferna.                 Gladly, lady:

194

I see how opposite to youth and custom

194-8: Fernando explains how much he admires Fiormonda
     for properly honoring her deceased husband by
     observing an appropriate period of mourning, a custom,
     he says, which few observe any longer. He is desperately
     trying to avoid an uncomfortable discussion of her love
     for him.

You set before you, in the tablature

= a tablet on which something is written or engraved.

196

Of your remembrance, the becoming griefs

Of a most loyal lady for the loss

198

Of so renowned a prince as was your lord.

200

Fiorm.  Now, good my lord, no more of him.

202

Ferna.                                                           Of him!

202f: Fernando, perhaps awkwardly, continues to keep the

I know it is a needless task in me

     conversation focused on her dead husband.

204

To set him forth in his deservèd praise;

You better can record it; for you find

206

How much more he exceeded other men

In most heroic virtues of account,

208

So much more was your loss in losing him.

Of him! his praise should be a field too large,

209-211: "I am not a powerful enough speaker to praise your

210

Too spacious, for so mean an orator

       husband to the extent he deserves."

As I to range in.

= roam about in, referring to the field.

212

Fiorm.                 Sir, enough: 'tis true

213-9: Fiormonda cleverly turns the direction of the

214

He well deserved your labour. On his deathbed

     discussion; since Fernando is not responding to her as

This ring he gave me, bade me never part

     she hoped he would, she decides to take the initiative.

216

With this but to the man I loved as dearly

As I loved him: yet since you know which way

218

To blaze his worth so rightly, in return

= describe or celebrate1

To your deserts wear this for him and me.

220

[Offers him the ring.]

222

Ferna.  Madam!

224

Fiorm.            ‘Tis yours,

226

Ferna.                     Methought you said he charged you

228

Not to impart it but to him you loved

As dearly as you loved him.

230

Fiorm.                                   True, I said so,

232

Ferna.  O, then, far be it my unhallowed hand

234

With any rude intrusion should annul

A testament enacted by the dead!

236

Fiorm.  Why, man, that testament is disannulled

238

And cancelled quite by us that live. Look here,

My blood is not yet freezed; for better instance,

= congealed1

240

Be judge yourself; experience is no danger −

Cold are my sighs; but, feel, my lips are warm.

242