A Soul’s Tragedy, Robert Browning
A Soul’s Tragedy
Robert Browning
1:04 h Novels Lvl 10
Robert Browning (7 May 1812 – 12 December 1889) was an English poet and playwright whose dramatic monologues put him high among the Victorian poets. He was noted for irony, characterization, dark humour, social commentary, historical settings and challenging vocabulary and syntax.

A Soul’s Tragedy

by
Robert Browning


Introduction

ACT FIRST, BEING WHAT WAS CALLED THE POETRY OF CHIAPPINO’S LIFE; AND ACT SECOND, ITS PROSE

This drama was first printed with Luria as the concluding number of Bells and Pomegranates in April, 1846.

PERSONS
Luitolfo and Eulalia, betrothed lovers.
Chiappino, their friend.
Ogniben, the Pope’s Legate.
Citizens of Faenza.

Time, 15—. Place, Faenza.


Act I

Inside Luitolfo’s house. Chiappino, Eulalia.

Eulalia. What is it keeps Luitolfo? Night’s fast falling,
And ‘t was scarce sunset … had the ave-bell
Sounded before he sought the Provost’s house?
I think not: all he had to say would take
Few minutes, such a very few, to say!
How do you think, Chiappino? If our lord
The Provost were less friendly to your friend
Than everybody here professes him,
I should begin to tremble — should not you?
Why are you silent when so many times
I turn and speak to you?

Chiappino. That’s good!

Eu. You laugh!

Ch. Yes. I had fancied nothing that bears price
In the whole world was left to call my own;
And, maybe, felt a little pride thereat.
Up to a single man’s or woman’s love,
Down to the right in my own flesh and blood,
There’s nothing mine, I fancied, — till you spoke:
— Counting, you see, as “nothing” the permission
To study this peculiar lot of mine
In silence: well, go silence with the rest
Of the world’s good! What can I say, shall serve?

Eu. This, — lest you, even more than needs, embitter
Our parting: say your wrongs have cast, for once,
A cloud across your spirit!

Ch. How a cloud?

Eu. No man nor woman loves you, did you say?

Ch. My God, were ‘t not for thee!

Eu. Ay, God remains,
Even did men forsake you.

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