Page images

You measure what I say, the common nature
Of an officious curiosity,

Mal. Not I, sir.
-Aurel. Or that other private ends
Sift your retirements.

Mal. Neither.



Fut. Under favour,
Signor Malfato, I am sent to crave
Your leisure, for a word or two in private.

Mal. To me!-Your mind.
Fut. This letter will inform


[Gives him the letter.
Mal. Letter? how's this? what's here?
Fut. Speak you to me, sir?
Mal. Brave riddle! I'll endeavour to unfold it.
Aurel. How fares the Lord Adurni?
Fut. Sure in health, sir.

Aurel. He is a noble gentleman, withal
Happy in his endeavours: the general voice
Sounds him for courtesy, behaviour, language,

fair demeanor, an example; Titles of honour add not to his worth, Who is himself an honour to his titles.

Mal. You know from whence this comes ?
Fut. I do.

Mal. D'ye laugh!
But that I must consider such as spaniels
To those who feed and clothe them, I would print
Thy pandarism upon thy forehead :--there!

[Throws him the letter.

[ocr errors]

Bear back that paper to the hell from whence
It gave thee thy directions! tell this lord,
He ventured on a foolish policy,
In aiming at the scandal of my blood;
The trick is childish, base, -say base.

Fut. You wrong him.
Aurel. Be wise, Malfato.

Mal. Say, I know this whore.
She who sent this temptation, was wife
To his abused servant; and divorced
From poor Benatzi, senseless of the wrongs,

That madam Levidolche and Adurni
Might revel in their sports without controul,
Secure, uncheck'd.

Aurel. You range too wildly now,
Are too much inconsiderate.

Mal. I am
A gentleman free born, I never wore


any great man's looks, nor fed Upon their after-meals; I never crouch'd Unto the offal of an office promised, (Reward for long attendance,) and then miss’d. I read no difference between this huge, This monstrous big word lord, and gentleman, More than the title sounds; for aught I learn, The latter is as noble as the first, I am sure more ancient.

Aurel. Let me tell you then, You are too bitter, talk you know not what. Make all men equals, and confound all course Of order, and of nature! this is madness.

[blocks in formation]


Mal. 'Tis so; and I have reason to be mad,
Reason, Aurelio, by my truth and hopes.
This wit Futelli brings a suit of love
From Levidolche, one, however mask'd
In colourable privacy, is famed
The Lord Adurni's pensioner, at least.
Am I a husband pick'd out for a strumpet?
For a cast suit of bawdry ? Aurelio,
You are as I am,' you could ill digest
The trial of a patience so unfit.-
Begone, Futelli, do not mince one syllable
Of what you hear; another fetch like this
May tempt a peace to rage: so say; begone!
Fut. I shall report your answer.

Mal. What have I
Desery'd to be so used! In colder blood,
I do confess nobility requires
Duty and love; it is a badge of virtue,
By action first acquired, and next in rank
Unto anointed royalty.- Wherein
Have I neglected distance, or forgot
Observance to superiors? sure, my name
Was in the note mistook.

Aurel. We will consider The meaning of this mystery.

Mal. Not so; Let them fear bondage who are slaves to fear, The sweetest freedom is an honest heart. [Exeunt.


Aurelio, You are as I am, &c.] This expression, which is not uncommon in our old writers, means, suppose you were,”—or rather, "put yourself—in my place," &c.


A Street.

you draw

Fut. Dexterity and sufferance, brave Don,
Are engines the pure politic must work with.

Guz. We understand.

Fut. In subtleties of war,-I talk t'ye now in your own occupation, Your trade, or what you please,—unto a soldier, Surprisal of an enemy by stratagem, Or downright cutting throats is all one thing.

Guz. Most certain: on, proceed.

Fut. By way of parallel; You drill or exercise your company, (No matter which, for terms,) before Into the field; so in the feats of courtship, First, choice is made of thoughts, behaviour,

words, The set of looks, the posture of the beard, Beso las manos, cringes of the knee, The very hums and ha’s, thumps, and ah me's! Guz. We understand all these: advance.

Fut. Then next, Your enemy in face,-your mistress, mark it! Now you consult either to skirmish slightly, That's careless amours,—or to enter battle; Then fall to open treaty, or to work By secret spies or gold : here you corrupt The chambermaid, a fatal engine, or

Place there an ambuscado,—that's contract
With some of her near friends, for half her por-

tion; Or offer truce, and in the interim, Run upon slaughter, 'tis a noble treachery,That's swear and lie; steal her away, and to her Cast caps,

and cry victoria! the field's Thine own, my Don, she's thine.

Guz. We do vouchsafe her.
Fut. Hold her then fast.

Guz. As fast as can the arms
Of strong imagination hold her.

Fut. No, She has skipt your hold; my imagination's eyes Perceive, she not endures the touch or scent Of

your war over-worn habiliments, Which I forgot in my

To warn you of: therefore, my warlike Don,
Apparel speedily your imaginations
With a more courtly outside.

Guz. 'Tis soon done.
Fut. As soon as said ;-in all the clothes thou

hast, More than that walking wardrobe on thy back.

[Aside. Guz. Imagine first our rich mockado doublet, With our cut cloth-of-gold sleeves, and our

quellio, Our diamond-button'd callamanco hose,

2 Our rich mockado doublet,] i. e. an inferior kind of velvet, velveret : quellio, which occurs in the following line, is a ruff.

« PreviousContinue »