Page images
PDF
EPUB

You are a faulty man; and should we urge
Our lord as often for supplies, as shame,
Or wants drive you to ask, it might be construed
An impudence, which we defy; an impudence,
Base in base women, but in noble sinful.
Are you not ashamed yet of yourself?

Fab. Great lady,
Of
my

misfortunes I'm ashamed. Cam. So, so! This jeer twangs roundly, does it not, Vespucci ?

[Aside to Ves. Ves. Why, here's a lady worshipful!

Flav. Pray, gentlemen,
Retire a while; this fellow shall resolve
Some doubts that stick about me.

Both. As you please. [Exeunt Ves. and Flav.
Flav. To thee, Fabricio,-oh, the change is

cruel
Since I find some small leisure, I must justify
Thou art unworthy of the name of man.
Those holy vows, which we, by bonds of faith,
Recorded in the register of truth,
Were kept by me unbroken; no assaults
Of gifts, of courtship, from the great and wanton,
No threats, nor sense of poverty, to which
Thy riots had betray'd me, could betray
My warrantable thoughts to impure folly.
Why would'st thou force me miserable?

Fab. The scorn Of rumour is reward enough, to brand My lewder actions; 'twas, I thought, impossible,

A beauty fresh as was your youth, could brook The last of my decays.

Flav. Did I complain? My sleeps between thine arms were ev'n as sound, My dreams as harmless, my contents as free, As when the best of plenty crown'd our bride-bed. Amongst some of a mean, but quiet, fortune, Distrust of what they call their own, or jealousy Of those whom in their bosoms they possess Without controul, begets a self-unworthiness; For which (through] fear, or, what is worse, desire Of paltry gain, they practise art, and labour To pandar their own wives; those wives, whose

innocence, Stranger to language, spoke obedience only; And such a wife was Flavia to Fabricio.

Fab. My loss is irrecoverable.

Flav. Call not
Thy wickedness thy loss; without my knowledge
Thou sold’st me, and in open court protested'st
A pre-contráct unto another, falsely,
To justify a separation. Wherein
Could I offend, to be believed thy strumpet,
In best sense an adultress? so conceived
In all opinions, that I am shook off,
Ev'n from mine own blood, which, although I boast
Not noble, yet 'twas not mean; for Romanello,
Mine only brother, shuns me, and abhors
To own me for his sister.

Fab. 'Tis confest,
I am the shame of mankind.

Flav. I live happy In this great lord's love, now; but could his cunning Have train'd me to dishonour, we had never Been sunder'd by the temptation of his purchase. In troth, Fabricio, I am little proud of My unsought honours, and so far from triumph, That I am not more fool to such as honour me, Than to myself, who hate this antick carriage.?

Fab. You are an angel rather to be worshipp'd, Than grossly to be talk'd with.

Flav. [Gives him money.] Keep those ducats,
I shall provide you better:—'twere a bravery,
Could you forget the place wherein you've render'd
Your name for ever hateful.

Fab. I will do't,
Do't, excellentest goodness, and conclude
My days in silent sadness.

Flav. You may prosper
In Spain, in France, or elsewhere, as in Italy.
Besides, you are a scholar bred, however
You interrupted study with commérce.
I'll think of your supplies; meantime, pray, storm

not At my behaviour to

you;

I have forgot

8

7

this antick carriage.] This childish and ridiculous affectation of levity, which she assumed, partly to humour the count, but chiefly, as she afterwards says, to defeat the “ lascivious villanies” of her attendants, Camillo and Vespucci.

8 My days in silent sadness.] The old copy has goodness, evidently repeated, by mistake, from the word immediately above it. Sadness is not given as the author's expression, but as conveying what might, perhaps, have been his meaning.

1 1

Acquaintance with mine own-keep your first distance.

[He draws back. Camillo! who is near? Vespucci!

Enter Julio, CAMILLO, and VESPUCCI.
Jul. What!
Our lady's cast familiar?

Flav. Oh, my stomach
Wambles, at sight of—sick, sick,-I am sick-
I faint at heart-kiss me, nay prithee quickly,

[To Jul. Or I shall swoon.

You've staid a sweet while from me. And this companion too-beshrew him!

Jul. Dearest, Thou art my health, my blessing :-turn the

bankrupt Out of my doors!-sirrah, I'll have thee whipt, If thou com’st here again.

Cam. Hence, hence, you vermin! [Exit Fab. Jul. How is’t, my best of joys?

Flav. Prettily mended,
Now we have our own lord here; I shall never
Endure to spare you long out of my sight.-
See, what the thing presented. [Gives him the paper.

Jul. A petition,
Belike, for some new charity ?

Flav. We must not
Be troubled with his needs; a wanting creature
Is monstrous, is as ominous—fie, upon't!
Dispatch the silly mushroom once for all,

And send him with some pittance out o'th' coun

try,
Where we may hear no more of him.

Jul. Thy will
Shall stand a law, my Flavia.

Flav. You have been
In private with our fellow peers now: shall not we
Know how the business stands? sure, in some

country, Ladies are privy-counsellors, I warrant ye; Are they not, think ye? there the land is, doubt

less, Most politicly govern'd; all the women Wear swords and breeches, I have heard most

certainly: Such sights were excellent.

Jul. Thou’rt a matchless pleasure; No life is sweet without thee: in

my

heart Reign empress, and be stiled thy Julio's sovereign, My only, precious dear.

Flav. We'll prove no less t'ye. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.

A Room in the Palace.

Enter TROYLO and LIVIO.

Troy. Sea-sick ashore still! thou could'st rarely

scape A calenture in a long voyage, Livio, Who in a short one, and at home, art subject

« PreviousContinue »