My Last Duchess
by Robert Browning
Section V (Lines 47-56) Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
The company below, then.
- The Duke invites his listener to get up and go back downstairs to the rest of the "company."
- As in line 5, this sounds like a polite invitation – but we can’t imagine anyone refusing.
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object.
- We finally learn why the Duke is talking to this guy: his listener is the servant of a Count, and the Duke is wooing the Count’s daughter.
- The Duke tells the servant that he knows about the Count’s wealth and generosity, or "munificence" (49), so he expects to get any reasonable dowry he asks for.
- But his main "object" (53) in the negotiations is the daughter herself, not more money.
Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir.
- The Duke’s listener seems to try to get away from him (we would try, too).
- The Duke stops him and insists that they stay together as they go back to meet everyone else downstairs.
Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!
- Before the Duke and his listener leave the gallery, the Duke points out one more of his art objects – a bronze statue of Neptune, the god of the sea, taming a sea-horse.
- The Duke mentions the name of the artist who cast this statue, Claus of Innsbruck, who made it specifically for him.