Page images
PDF
EPUB

Liv. Phew! anon
I shall instruct you at large.—We are prepared,
And easily entreated ;-—'tis good manners
Not to be troublesome.

Troy. Thou’rt perfect, Livio.
Cast. Whither-But-he's my brother. [Aside.

Troy. Fair, your arm;
I am your usher, lady.

Cast. As you please, sir.
Liv. I wait you to your coach. Some two hours

hence
I shall return again. (To Rom.)

[Exeunt all but Rom. Rom. Troylo-Savelli, Next heir unto the marquis! and the page too, The marquis's own page! Livio transform’d Into a sudden bravery,' and alter'd In nature, or I dream! Amongst the ladies, I not remember I have seen one face : There's cunning in these changes; I am resolute, Or to pursue the trick on't, or lose labour. [Exit.

3 Into a sudden bravery.) i. e. gallantry of attire, finery of dress:-freshly suited, as the margin says.

ACT II. SCENE I.

An Apartment in Julio's House.

Enter Flavia, supported by Camillo, and

VESPUCCI.

Flav. Not yet return'd?
Cam. Madam!

Flav. The lord our husband,
We mean.

Unkind! four hours are almost past, (But twelve short minutes wanting by the glass) Since we broke company; was never, gentlemen, Poor princess us’d so!

Ves. With your gracious favour, Peers, great in rank and place, ought of necessity To attend on state employments.

Cam. For such duties Are all their toil and labour; but their pleasures Flow in the beauties they enjoy, which conquers All sense of other travail.

Flav. Trimly spoken. When we were common, mortal, and a subject, As other creatures of Heaven's making are, (The more the pity) bless us! how we waited For the huge play-day, when the

the pageants flutter'd About the city;4 for we then were certain,

4 On the huge play-day when the pageants flutter'd

About the city.) The huge play-day (for Ford's Sienna is only another name for London) was probably the Lord-Mayor's day, when the company to which he belonged exhibited, in honour of

The madam courtiers would vouchsafe to visit us,
And call us by our names, and eat our viands;
Nay, give us leave to sit at the upper end
Of our own tables, telling us how welcome
They'd make us when we came to court: full

little
Dreamt I, at that time, of the wind that blew me
Up to the weathercock of the honours now
Are thrust upon me;--but we'll bear the burthen,
Were't twice as much as 'tis. The next great

feast, We'll

grace the city-wives, poor souls! and see How they'll behave themselves before our pre

sence; You two shall wait on us.

Ves. With best observance,
And glory in our service.

Cam. We are creatures
Made proud in your commands.

Flav. Believ't you are so;
And
you

shall find us readier in your pleasures, Than you in your obedience. Fie! methinks I have an excellent humour to be pettish;

his installation, those rude but splendid pageantries and processions, which, however they may now excite a smile, were then viewed with equal wonder and delight, and not altogether, perhaps, without profit, which is more than can be said of the tattered remnants of them, that are annually dragged abroad to shame us. They were not, however, confined to one festival; but “ Auttered about the city” on every joyous occasion. There is truth as well as humour in Flavia's pleasant description of the condescension of the “ madam courtiers” on these huge play-days. The satire is not yet quite obsolete.

A little toysome;—'tis a pretty sign
Of breeding, is't not, sirs? I could, indeed, la!
Long for some strange good things now.

Cam. Such news, madam,
Would overjoy my lord, your husband.

Ves. Cause
Bonfires and bell-ringings.

Flav. I must be with child, then,
An't be but for the public jollity;
Or lose my longings, which were mighty pity.

Cam. Sweet fates forbid it!

Enter FABRICIO. Fab. Noblest lady

Ves. Rudeness!
Keep off, or I shall-Sawcy groom, learn manners;
Go swab amongst your goblins.

Flav. Let him stay;
The fellow I have seen, and now remember
His name, Fabricio.

Fab. Your poor creature, lady;
Out of your gentleness, please you to consider
The brief of this petition, which contains
All hope of my last fortunes.

Flav. Give it from him.
Cam. Here, madam.—[Takes the paper from Fab.

and delivers it to Flav. who walks aside with
it.]—Mark, Vespucci, how the wittol

66

s All hope of my last fortunes.] Meaning probably (for the language is constrained) my final hope, my last resource. The object of this request appears to be more money to enable him to expatriate himself.

Stares on his sometime wife! sure, he imagines
To be a cuckold by consent, is purchase
Of approbation in a state.

Ves. Good reason:
The gain reprieved him from a bankrupt's statute,
And filed him in the charter of his freedom.
“ She had seen the fellow!" didst observe?

Cam. Most punctually: Could call him by his name too! why’tis possible, She has not yet forgot he was her husband. Ves. That were [most] strange: oh, 'tis a pre

cious trinket!
Was ever puppet so slipt up?

Cam. The tale.
Of Venus' cat, man, changed into a woman,
Was emblem but to this. She turns.

Ves. He stands
Just like Acteon in the painted cloth.

Cam. No more..
Flav. Friend, we have read, and weigh'd the

sum

Of what your scrivener (which, in effect,
Is meant your counsel learned) has drawn for ye:
'Tis a fair hand, in sooth, but the contents
Somewhat unseasonable; for, let us tell ye,
You have been a spender, a vain spender; wasted
Your stock of credit, and of wares, unthriftily.

6

He stands

Just like Acteon in the painted cloth.] i. e. in the act of gazing at Diana, in a posture of mingled awe and surprize. There is some humour in the expression. VOL. II.

M

« PreviousContinue »