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My Last Duchess

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.

Lines 47-48

We’ll meet
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.

Lines 48-53

I repeat,
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.

Lines 53-54

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.

Lines 54-56

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.

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