Page images
PDF
EPUB

Of a choice jewel, lock'd up

in a cabinet, More precious than the public view should sully.

Cast. Sir, how you are inform’d, or on what terms Of prejudice against my course or custom, Opinion sways your confidence, I know not. Much anger, if my fears persuade not falsely, Sits on this gentleman's stern brow; yet, sir, If an unhappy maid's word may find credit, As I wish harm to nobody on earth, So would all good folks may wish none to me!

Aur. None does, sweet sister.

Cast. If they do, dear Heaven
Forgive them, is my prayer; but, perhaps,
You might conceive (and yet methinks you

should
not)
How I am faulty in my sister's absence:
Indeed 'tis nothing so, nor was I knowing
Of any private speech my lord intended,
Save civil entertainment: pray, what hurt
Can fall out in discourse, if it be modest?
Sure noblemen will show that they are such
With those of their own rank ;-and that was all
My sister can be charged with.

Aur. Is't not, friend, An excellent maid ?

Aurel. Deserves the best of fortunes ; I ever spoke her virtuous.

Cast. With your leave, You used most cruel language to my sister, Enough to fright her wits; not very kind To me myself; she sigh'd when you were gone,

Desired no creature else should follow her;
And in good truth, I was so full of weeping,
I mark'd not well which way she went.

Aur. Staid she not
Within the house then?

Cast. 'Las, not she!-- Aurelio Was passing rough.

Aur. Strange! nowhere to be found ?

Cast. Not yet; but on my life, ere many hours, I shall hear from her.

Aur. Shalt thou? worthy maid,
Thou hast brought to my sick heart a cordial.-

Friend,
Good news !--Most sweet Castanna!
Aurel. May it prove so.

[Exeunt.

you named.

SCENE IV.-A Street.

Enter BENATZI.
Ben. The paper in the purse

for
my

directions appointed this the place, the time now; here dance I attendance--she is come already.

Enter LEVIDOLCHE. Lev. Parado! so I overheard

Ben. A mushroom, sprung up in a minute by the sunshine of your benevolent grace. Liberality, and hospitable compassion, most magnificent beauty, have long since lain bed-rid in the ashes of the old world, till now your illustrious charity hath raked up the dead embers, by giving life to a worm inevitably devoted yours, as you shall please to new-shape me.

Lev. A grateful man, it seems. Where gratitude Has harbour, other furniture, becoming Accomplish'd qualities, must needs inhabit. [ Aside. What country claims your birth?

Ben. None; I was born at sea, as my mother was in passage from Cape Ludugory to Cape Cagliari,' toward Africk, in Sardinia; was bred up in Aquilastro, and, at years, put myself in service under the Spanish viceroy, till I was taken prisoner by the Turks. I have tasted in my days handsome store of good and bad, and am thankful for both.

Lev. You seem the issue, then, of honest parents.

Ben. Reputed no less: many children oftentimes inherit their lands who peradventure never begot them. My mother's husband was a very old man at my birth; but no man is too old to father his wife's child: your servant, I am sure, I will ever prove myself entirely.

Lev. Dare you be secret?
Ben. Yes.
Lev. And sudden?
Ben. Yes,
Lev. But, withal, sure of hand and spirit?
Ben. Yes, yes, yes.
Lev. I use not many words, the time prevents

'em :
A man of quality has robb’d mine honour.

Ben. Name him.
Lev. Adurni.

[ocr errors]

As my mother was in passage from Cape Ludugory to Cape Cagliari.] Benatzi is sufficiently correct in his geography. In our old maps of Sardinia, the northern division of the island is called Logudori, and the southern Cagliari.

Ben. He shall bleed.

Lev. Malfato
Contemn’d my proffer'd love.

Ben. Yoke them in death.
What's my reward ?

Lev. Propose it, and enjoy it.
Ben. You for

my

wife. Lev. Ha!

Ben. Nothing else: deny me,
And I'll betray your counsels to your ruin ;
Else, do the feat courageously.- Consider.

Lev. I do: dispatch the task I have enjoin'd, Then claim my promise.

Ben. No such matter, pretty one, We'll marry first,-or-farewell. [Going

Lev. Stay: examine From my confession what a plague thou draw'st Into thy bosom; though I blush to say it, Know, I have, without sense of shame or ho

nour, Forsook à lawful marriage-bed, to dally Between Adurni's arms.

Ben. This lord's?

Lev. The same.
More; not content with him, I courted
A newer pleasure, but was there refused
By him I named so late.

Ben. Malfato?

Lev. Right : Am henceforth resolutely bent to print My follies on their hearts ; then change my life

[ocr errors]

For some rare penance.*

Canst thou love me now? Ben. Better; I do believe 'tis possible you may mend : All this breaks off no bargain.

Lev. Accept my hand; with this a faith as constant As vows can urge; nor shall my haste prevent This contract, which death only must divorce.

Ben. Settle the time.

Lev. Meet here to-morrow night;
We will determine further, as behoves us.

Ben. How is my new love callid ?

Lev. Levidolche.
Be confident, I bring a worthy portion.--
But you'll fly off.

Ben. Not I, by all that's noble !
A kiss—farewell, dear fate!

[Exit. Lev. Love is sharp-sighted, And can pierce through the cunning of disguises. False pleasures I cashier ye; fair truth welcome!

[Exit. then change my life For some rare penance.] It might almost be conjectured from this passage, that the author really had some Italian story before him. It is the genuine mode of repentance in that country. only comm a few more crimes, dispatch a few more enemies, and I will then do some rare penance, and amend my life for good and all."

It may seem somewhat extraordinary that Benatzi should not recognize his wife. She, it appears, had discovered him through all bis disguises, his military rags and accoutrements, his false beard, &c., whereas he continues ignorant of her, though she meets him without any apparent effort at concealment, affects no change of language, or even of name, and resides with her uncle, with whom Benatzi must bave been sufficiently familiar. But there is the old plea- aliter non fit, Avite, liber! Otherwise, no plot !

Let me

« PreviousContinue »