« PreviousContinue »
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
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;
Aur. Staid she not
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,
SCENE IV.-A Street.
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. Name him.
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.
Ben. Yoke them in death.
Lev. Propose it, and enjoy it.
wife. Lev. Ha!
Ben. Nothing else: deny me,
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.
Lev. Right : Am henceforth resolutely bent to print My follies on their hearts ; then change my life
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;
Ben. How is my new love callid ?
Ben. Not I, by all that's noble !
[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 !