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You like it? It is yours.
You do not mean it.
I am not a Spaniard, To say that it is yours and not to mean it. I have at Itri a whole armory Full of such weapons. When you paint the
portrait Of Barbarossa, it will be of use. You have not been rewarded as you should
be For painting the Gonzaga. Throw this bauble Into the scale, and make the balance equal. Till then suspend it in your studio; You artists like such trifles.
Fra Bastian, I am growing tired of Rome, The old dead city, with the old dead peo
ple; Priests everywhere, like shadows on a wall, And morning, noon, and night the ceaseless
sound Of convent bells. I must be
here; Though Ovid somewhere says that Rome is
worthy To be the dwelling-place of all the Gods, I must be gone from here. To-morrow morn
ing I start for Itri, and go thence by sea To join the Emperor, who is making war Upon the Algerines; perhaps to sink Some Turkish galleys, and bring back in
chains The famous corsair. Thus would I avenge The beautiful Gonzaga.
Dear Countess, If loyalty to friendship be a claim Upon your confidence, then I may claim it.
You must not go; First
sup with me. My seneschal, Giovan Andrea dal Borgo a San Sepolcro, I like to give the whole sonorous name, It sounds so like a verse of the Æneid, Has brought me eels fresh from the Lake of
Fondi, And Lucrine oysters cradled in their shells : These, with red Fondi wine, the Cæcuban That Horace speaks of, under a hundred keys Kept safe, until the heir of Posthumus Shall stain the pavement with it, make a feast Fit for Lucullus, or Fra Bastian even; So we will go to supper, and be merry.
JULIA. Then sit again, and listen unto things That nearer are to me than life itself.
In all things I am happy to obey you,
Beware! Remember that Bolsena's eels
JULIA. Laying aside all useless rhetoric, That is superfluous between us two, I come at once unto the point, and say, You know my outward life, my rank and for
tune; Countess of Fondi, Duchess of Trajetto, A widow rich and flattered, for whose hand In marriage princes ask, and ask it only To be rejected. All the world can offer Lies at my feet. If I remind you of it, It is not in the way of idle boasting, But only to the better understanding Of what comes after,
God hath given you also Beauty and intellect; and the signal grace To lead a spotless life amid temptations That others yield to.
JULIA GONZAGA, GIOVANNI VALDESSO.
Do not go yet.
The night is far advanced ; I fear to stay too late, and weary you With these discussions.
But the inward life, That you know not; 't is known but to my
self, And is to me a mystery and a pain. A soul disquieted, and ill at ease,
That is a task impossible, until
In part I do so; for to put a stop
How shall I do it? Point out to me the way of this perfection, And I will follow you; for you have made My soul enamored with it, and I cannot Rest satisfied until I find it out. But lead me privately, so that the world Hear not my steps; I would not give occa
sion For talk among the people.
It was then The fear of man, and not the love of God, That led you to this step. Why will you
not Give all your heart to God?
Now at last I understand you fully. Then, what need Is there for us to beat about the bush? I know what you desire of me.
Yes, in suits at law; Not in religion. With the human soul There is no compromise. By faith alone Can man be justified.
Hush, dear Valdesso ; That is a heresy. Do not, I pray you, Proclaim it from the house-top, but preserve
it As something precious, hidden in your heart, As I, who half believe and tremble at it.
You would be free From the vexatious thoughts that come and go Through your imagination, and would have me Point out some royal road and lady-like Which you may walk in, and not wound your
feet; You would attain to the divine perfection, And yet not turn your back upon the world; You would possess humility within, But not reveal it in your outward actions; You would have patience, but without the
rude Occasions that require its exercise; You would despise the world, but in such
fashion The world should not despise you in return; Would clothe the soul with all the Chris
I must proclaim the truth.
Enthusiast! Why must you? You imperil both yourself And friends by your imprudence. Pray, be
patient. You have occasion now to show that virtue Which you lay stress upon. Let us return To our lost pathway. Show me by what
steps I shall walk in it.
[Convent bells are heard.
Yet not despoil the body of its gauds;
Hark! the convent bells Are ringing; it is midnight; I must leave
you. And yet I linger. Pardon me, dear Count
ess, Since you to-night have made me your con
fessor, If I so far may venture, I will warn you Upon one point.
You have drawn The portrait of my inner self as truly As the most skilful painter ever painted A human face.
This warrants me in saying You think you can win heaven by compro
mise, And not by verdict.
What is it? Speak, I pray you, For I have no concealments in my conduct; All is as open as the light of day. What is it you would warn me of ?