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Re-enter D'Avolos behind.
D’Av. At it already! admirable haste.
Bian. Am I again betray'd ? bad man.-

Fern. Keep in,
Bright angel, that severer breath, to cool
That heat of cruelty, which sways the temple
Of your too stony breast: you cannot urge
One reason to rebuke my trembling plea,
Which I have not, with many nights' expense,
Examined; but, oh, madam, still I find
No physic strong to cure a tortured mind,
But freedom from the torture it sustains.

D'Av. Not kissing yet? still on your knees? O for a plump bed and clean sheets, to comfort the aching of his shins! we shall have them clip anon, and lisp kisses; here's ceremony, with a vengeance! Bian. Rise up, we charge you, rise : [he rises]

look on our face. What see you there that may persuade a hope Of lawless love? Know, most unworthy man, So much we hate the baseness of thy lust, As, were none living of thy sex but thee, We had much rather prostitute our blood To some envenom'd serpent, than admit Thy bestial dalliance. Couldst thou dare to speak Again, when we forbade ? no, wretched thing, Take this for answer: if thou henceforth ope Thy leprous mouth to tempt our ear again, We shall not only certify our lord Of thy disease in friendship, but revenge

Thy boldness with the forfeit of thy life.
Think on't.

D'Av. Now,'now, now the game's a-foot! your gray jennet with the white face is curried, forsooth;—please your lordship leap up into the saddle, forsooth?—Poor duke, how must thy head ach now! Fern. Stay, go not hence in choler, blessed wo

man! You have school'd me; lend me hearing: though

the float Of infinite desires swell to a tide Too high so soon to ebb, yet by this hand,

[Kisses her hand. This glorious, gracious hand of your's—

D'Av. Aye, marry, the match is made; clap hands and to't, ho!

Fern. I swear,
Henceforth I never will as much in word,
In letter, or in syllable, presume
To make a repetition of my griefs.
Good night t'ye! if, when I am dead, you rip
This coffin of my heart, there shall you

read
With constant eyes, what now my tongue defines,
Bianca's name carv'd out in bloody lines.
For ever, lady, now good night!

Bian. Good night!
Rest in your goodness; lights there.

[Enter Attendants with lights.] Sir, good night.

[Exeunt sundry ways. D'Av. So, via !---To be cuckold (mercy and

providence) is as natural to a married man as to eat, sleep, or wear a nightcap. Friends!—I will rather trust mine arm in the throat of a lion, my purse with a courtezan, my neck with the chance on a dye, or my religion in a synagogue of Jews, than my wife with a friend. Wherein do princes exceed the poorest peasant that ever was yoked to a sixpenny strumpet, but that the horns of the one are mounted some two inches higher by a choppine? than the other ? Oh Acteon! the goodliest headed beast of the forest amongst wild cattle is a stag; and the goodliest beast amongst tame fools in a corporation is a cuckold.

Re-enter FIORMONDA.
Fior. Speak, D'Avolos, how thrives intelligence?

D'Av. Above the prevention of fate, madam. I saw him kneel, make pitiful faces, kiss hands and forefingers, rise, and by this time he is

up, Doubtless the youth aims to be duke, for he is gotten into the duke's seat an hour ago.

up, madam.

7

By a choppine, &c.] i. e. clogs or pattens of cork, or light frame work, covered with leather, and worn under the shoe. The practice never prevailed in this country, but seems to have been fashionable at Venice, and places where walking was not required, for which choppines were totally unfit, as no woman could drag them after her; at least, if we may trust Lessels, who says that he has often seen them of

full half yard high.” Ford's choppines, however, are of a very moderate description, and do not reach the altitude of the high-heeled shoes which were fashionable in this country about half a century ago. They derive their origin, as well as their name, from Spain, the region of cork; but our poets generally draw their examples from Italy. See Jonson v. ii. p. 258.

a

Fior. Is't true?

D'Av. Oracle, oracle! siege was laid, parley admitted, composition offered, and the fort entered; there's no interruption. The duke will be at home to-morrow, gentle animal !-what do you resolve ?

Fior. To stir up tragedies as black as brave, And send the letcher panting to his grave.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV.

A Bed-chamber in the same. Enter Bianca, her hair loose, in her night-mantle.

She draws a curtain, FERNANDO is discovered in bed, sleeping. She sets down the candle, and goes to the bed-side. Bian. Resolve, and do; 'tis done.—What! are

those eyes,

Which lately were so overdrown'd in tears,
So easy to take rest? Oh happy man!
How sweetly sleep hath seald up sorrows here!
But I will call him.—What, my lord, my lord,
My lord Fernando!

Fern. Who calls me?

Bian. My lord, Sleeping or waking ?

Fern. Ha! who is't ?

Bian. 'Tis I:
Have you forgot my voice? or is your ear
But useful to your eye?

Fern. Madam, the duchess!

Bian. She, 'tis she; sit up,
Sit up and wonder, whiles my sorrows swell :
The nights are short, and I have much to say.

Fern. Is't possible 'tis you?

Bian. 'Tis possible :
Why do you think I come?

Fern. Why? to crown joys,
And make me master of my best desires.
Bian. 'Tis true, you guess aright; sit up, and

listen.
With shame and passion now I must confess,
Since first mine

eyes
beheld

you,

in
my

heart
You have been only king; if there can be
A violence in love, then I have felt
That tyranny: be record to my soul,
The justice which I for this folly fear!
Fernando, in short words, howe'er my tongue
Did often chide thy love, each word thou spak'st
Was music to my ear; was never poor,
Poor wretched woman lived, that loved like me,
So truly, so unfeignedly.

Fern. Oh, madam!
Bian. To witness that I speak is truth,-look

here!
Thus singlys I adventure to thy bed,

8 Thus singly I adventure, &c.] By singly, this paragon of modesty does not, I believe, mean alone, without attendants ; but thus lightly clad, or rather thus undressed : she had, in short, but one garment, a robe of shame," as she calls it, of which she bids him take note" look here !" &c.

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