I dare not, Lady.
I pray that you prepare yourselves for Rome: 155
There the Pope’s further pleasure will be known.
O, not to Rome! O, take us not to Rome!
Why not to Rome, dear mother? There as here
Our innocence is as an armed heel
To trample accusation. God is there 160
As here, and with His shadow ever clothes
The innocent, the injured and the weak;
And such are we. Cheer up, dear Lady, lean
On me; collect your wandering thoughts. My Lord,
As soon as you have taken some refreshment, 165
And had all such examinations made
Upon the spot, as may be necessary
To the full understanding of this matter,
We shall be ready. Mother; will you come?
Ha! they will bind us to the rack, and wrest 170
Self-accusation from our agony!
Will Giacomo be there? Orsino? Marzio?
All present; all confronted; all demanding
Each from the other’s countenance the thing
Which is in every heart! O, misery! 175
[SHE FAINTS, AND IS BORNE OUT.]
She faints: an ill appearance this.
She knows not yet the uses of the world.
She fears that power is as a beast which grasps
And loosens not: a snake whose look transmutes
All things to guilt which is its nutriment. 180
She cannot know how well the supine slaves
Of blind authority read the truth of things
When written on a brow of guilelessness:
She sees not yet triumphant Innocence
Stand at the judgement-seat of mortal man, 185
A judge and an accuser of the wrong
Which drags it there. Prepare yourself, my Lord;
Our suite will join yours in the court below.
END OF ACT 4.
AN APARTMENT IN ORSINO’S PALACE.
ENTER ORSINO AND GIACOMO.
Do evil deeds thus quickly come to end?
O, that the vain remorse which must chastise
Crimes done, had but as loud a voice to warn
As its keen sting is mortal to avenge!
O, that the hour when present had cast off 5
The mantle of its mystery, and shown
The ghastly form with which it now returns
When its scared game is roused, cheering the hounds
Of conscience to their prey! Alas! Alas!
It was a wicked thought, a piteous deed, 10
To kill an old and hoary-headed father.
It has turned out unluckily, in truth.
To violate the sacred doors of sleep;
To cheat kind Nature of the placid death
Which she prepares for overwearied age; 15
To drag from Heaven an unrepentant soul
Which might have quenched in reconciling prayers
A life of burning crimes...