The Cenci Palace is of great extent; and though in part modernized, there yet remains a vast and gloomy pile of feudal architecture in the same state as during the dreadful scenes which are the subject of this tragedy. The Palace is situated in an obscure corner of Rome, near the quarter of the Jews, and from the upper windows you see the immense ruins of Mount Palatine half hidden under their profuse overgrowth of trees. There is a court in one part of the Palace (perhaps that in which Cenci built the Chapel to St. Thomas), supported by granite columns and adorned with antique friezes of fine workmanship, and built up, according to the ancient Italian fashion, with balcony over balcony of open-work. One of the gates of the Palace formed of immense stones and leading through a passage, dark and lofty and opening into gloomy subterranean chambers, struck me particularly.
Of the Castle of Petrella, I could obtain no further information than that which is to be found in the manuscript.
COUNT FRANCESCO CENCI.
GIACOMO, BERNARDO, HIS SONS.
ORSINO, A PRELATE.
SAVELLA, THE POPE’S LEGATE.
OLIMPIO, MARZIO, ASSASSINS.
ANDREA, SERVANT TO CENCI.
NOBLES. JUDGES. GUARDS, SERVANTS.
LUCRETIA, WIFE OF CENCI AND STEP-MOTHER OF HIS CHILDREN.
BEATRICE, HIS DAUGHTER.
THE SCENE LIES PRINCIPALLY IN ROME, BUT CHANGES DURING
ACT TO PETRELLA, A CASTLE AMONG THE APULIAN APENNINES.
TIME. DURING THE PONTIFICATE OF CLEMENT VIII.
AN APARTMENT IN THE CENCI PALACE.
ENTER COUNT CENCI AND CARDINAL CAMILLO.
That matter of the murder is hushed up
If you consent to yield his Holiness
Your fief that lies beyond the Pincian gate.—
It needed all my interest in the conclave
To bend him to this point; he said that you 5
Bought perilous impunity with your gold;
That crimes like yours if once or twice compounded
Enriched the Church, and respited from hell
An erring soul which might repent and live: —
But that the glory and the interest 10
Of the high throne he fills, little consist
With making it a daily mart of guilt
As manifold and hideous as the deeds
Which you scarce hide from men’s revolted eyes.
The third of my possessions—let it go! 15
Ay, I once heard the nephew of the Pope
Had sent his architect to view the ground,
Meaning to build a villa on my vines
The next time I compounded with his uncle:
I little thought he should outwit me so! 20
Henceforth no witness—not the lamp—shall