Page images

Mighty in means and power, and withal liberal;
A wanton in his wishes, but else,-farther,
He cannot-cause-he cannot-

Cast. Cannot? prithee

Be plainer; I begin to like thee strangely;
What cannot?

Mor. You urge timely, and to purpose:

He cannot do, the truth is truth,-do any thing, As one should say,-that's any thing; put caseI do but put the case, forsooth, he find

[ocr errors]

you. Cast. My stars, I thank ye, for being ignorant, Of what this old-in-mischief can intend!- [Aside. And so we might be merry, bravely merry? Mor. You hit it-what else!-she is cunning [Aside.]-look ye,

Pray lend your hand, forsooth,

Cast. Why, prithee, take it.

Mor. You have a delicate moist palm-umph -can ye

Relish that tickle, there?

Cast. And laugh, if need were.

Mor. And laugh! why now you have it; what

hurt pray

Perceive ye? there's all, all; go to, you want tutoring,

Are an apt scholar; I'll neglect no pains


your instruction.

Cast. Do not:-but his lordship,

What may his lordship be?

Mor. No worse man

Than marquis of Sienna, the great master



Of this small family: your brother found him
A bounteous benefactor," has advanced him
The gentleman o' the horse; in a short time
He means to visit you himself in person,
As kind, as loving an old man!

Cast. We'll meet him

With a full flame of welcome. Is't the marquis? No worse?

Mor. No worse, I can assure your ladyship; The only free maintainer of the Fancies. Cast. Fancies? how mean you that? Mor. The pretty souls

Who are companions in the house; all daughters To honest virtuous parents, and right worshipful; A kind of chaste collapsed ladies.

Cast. Chaste too,

And yet collapsed?

Mor. Only in their fortunes.

Cast. Sure, I must be a Fancy in the number. Mor. A Fancy principal; I hope you'll fashion Your entertainment, when the marquis courts you, As that I may stand blameless.

Cast. Free suspicion.

My brother's raiser?

Mor. Merely.

Cast. My supporter ?

Mor. Undoubtedly.

Cast. An old man and a lover?

your brother found him

A bounteous benefactor.] For brother the quarto reads master; an evident misprint, from the compositor's eye being caught by the word immediately above it.

Mor. True, there's the music, the content, the


Cast. And I myself a Fancy?

Mor. You are pregnant.'

Cast. The chance is thrown; I now am fortune's

[blocks in formation]

Rom. Prosper me now, my fate; some better Genius,

Than such a one as waits on troubled passions,
Direct my courses to a noble issue!

My thoughts have wander'd in a labyrinth;
But if the clue I have laid hold on fail not,
I shall tread out the toil of these dark paths,
In spite of politic reaches. I am punish'd
In mine own hopes, by her unlucky fortunes,
Whose fame is ruin'd; Flavia, my lost sister!
Lost to report by her unworthy husband,
Though heighten'd by a greatness, in whose mix-

I hate to claim a part.—

3 You are pregnant.] i. e. intelligent, shrewd, quick at guessing; in other words, you are fully possessed of the case.


Oh welcome, welcome,

Dear boy! thou keep'st time with my expectations,
As justly as the promise of my bounties
Shall reckon with thy service.

Nit. I have fashion'd

The means of your admittance.

Rom. Precious Nitido!

Nit. More, have bethought me of a shape, a quaint one,

You may appear in, safe and unsuspected.
Rom. Thou'rt an ingenious boy.

Nit. Beyond all this,

Have so contrived the feat, that, at first sight,
Troylo himself shall court your entertainment,
Nay, force you to vouchsafe it.

Rom. Thou hast out-done

All counsel, and all cunning.

Nit. True, I have, sir,

Fadged nimbly in my practices; but surely, There are some certain clogs, some roguish stag


Some-what shall I call 'em ?-in the business. Rom. Nitido,

What, faint now! dear heart, bear up: what stag


What clogs? let me remove them.

Nit. Am I honest

In this discovery?

Rom. Honest! pish, is that all?

[Gives him a purse.

By this rich purse, and by the twenty ducats
Which line it, I will answer for thy honesty
Against all Italy, and prove it perfect :
Besides, remember I am bound to secrecy;
Thou'lt not betray thyself?

Nit. All fears are clear'd then;

But if

Rom. If what? out with't.

Nit. If we are discover'd,

You'll answer, I am honest still?

Rom. Dost doubt it?

Nit. Not much; I have your purse in pawn for it. Now, to the shape.+ You know the wit in Florence, Who, in the great duke's court, buffoons his compliment,

According to the change of meats in season,
At every free lord's table-

Rom. Or free meetings

In taverns; there he sits at the upper end,
And eats, and prates, he cares not how nor what:
The very quack of fashions,' the very he that
Wears a stiletto on his chin?"

Nit. You have him.

4 Now, to the shape.] The quaint dress or disguise which he has just mentioned. For you know, in this line, the old copy reads and know.

The very quack of fashions.] So I read: i. e. a loud and boastful pretender to eminence in them. The 4to has "the very quaik," of which I can make nothing. I observe that Mr. Nares has placed a quere at this word: but he does not attempt to explain it.

A stiletto on his chin.] One of the many fantastical fashions of wearing the beard. It was sharp and pointed, as its name implies. It frequently occurs in our old writers, under the name of spade (lance) or dagger beard, and appears to have been chiefly affected by soldiers and bravoes.

« PreviousContinue »