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The State-room in the Palace.


Duke. Roseilli will not come then! will not?

His pride shall ruin him.+-Our letters speak
The duchess' uncle will be here to-morrow;
To-morrow, D'Avolos.

D'Av. To-morrow night, my lord, but not to make more than one day's abode here; for his holiness has commanded him to be at Rome the tenth of this month, the conclave of cardinals not being resolved to sit till his coming.

Duke. Your uncle, sweetheart, at his next return,

Must be saluted cardinal. Ferentes,
Be it your charge to think on some device
To entertain the present' with delight.

4 Some months must have elapsed since the duke sent for Roseilli, whose pretended answer he now learns for the first time. Our author plays as many strange tricks with the unities, as they are called, as any of his contemporaries. In this, there may not, perhaps, be much to blame; but Ford's peculiar fault is, that he always appears unconscious, or, at least, careless of his want of congruity : the mention of Roseilli here, for instance, is altogether uncalled for, and merely adds one inconsistency more to the fable.

5 To entertain the present.] i. e. the present time. So, in the Tempest-" If you can work the peace of the present, we will not hand a rope more."

Fern. My lord, in honour to the court of Pavy, I'll join with you. Ferentes, not long since, I saw in Brussels, at my being there, The duke of Brabant welcome the archbishop Of Mentz with rare conceit, even on a sudden Perform'd by knights and ladies of his court, In nature of an antick;" which methought, (For that I ne'er before saw women-anticks) Was for the newness strange, and much commended.

Bian. Now good, my lord Fernando, further this

In any wise; it cannot but content.

Fior. If she entreat, 'tis ten to one the man Is won before hand.


Duke. Friend, thou honour'st me;
But can it be so speedily perform'd?

Fern. I'll undertake it, if the ladies please,
To exercise in person only that:
And we must have a fool, or such a one

As can with art well act him.

Fior. I shall fit ye;

I have a natural.

Fern. Best of all, madam;

• In nature of an antick.] i. e. of an Antimasque, in which the characters were always grotesque and extravagant. It will appear from the preparatory arrangements of this "Antick," (for otherwise it is impossible to account for them,) that Fernando had been made acquainted with the disgrace of his cousin Colona, and adopted her plans of revenge. It must be confessed, however, that he has fallen upon a very extraordinary mode of " entertaining the Abbot of Monaco."

Then, nothing wants: you must make one, Fe


Fer. With my best service and dexterity, My lord.

Pet. (Aside to NIB.) This falls out happily, Nibrassa.

Nib. We could not wish it better:

Heaven is an unbribed justice.

Duke. We'll meet our uncle in a solemn grace Of zealous presence, as becomes the church: See all the choir be ready, D'Avolos.

D'Av. I have already made your highness pleasure known to them.

Bian. Your lip, my lord!

Fern. Madam.

Bian. Perhaps your teeth have bled; wipe it with my handkerchief: give me, I'll do't myself— speak, shall I steal a kiss? believe me, my lord, I long. [Apart to FERN.

Fern. Not for the world.

Fior. Apparent impudence! D'Av. Beshrew my heart, but that's not so good.

Duke. Ha, what's that thou mislikest, D'Avolos? D'Av. Nothing, my lord ;-but I was hammering a conceit of mine own, which cannot, I find, in so short a time thrive, as a day's practice.

Fior. Well put off, secretary. [Aside. Duke. We are too sad; methinks, the life of


Should still be fed where we are; where's Mauruccio?

Fer. An't please your highness, he's of late grown so affectionately inward with my lady marquess's fool, that I presume he is confident there are few wise men worthy of his society, who are not as innocently harmless as that creature. It is almost impossible to separate them, and 'tis a question which of the two is the wiser man.

Duke. 'Would he were here! I have a kind of dulness

Hangs on me since my hunting, that I feel,
As 'twere, a disposition to be sick;
My head is ever aching.

D'Av. A shrewd ominous token; I like not that neither.

Duke. Again! what is't you like not?

D'Av. I beseech your highness excuse me; I am so busy with this frivolous project, and can bring it to no shape, that it almost confounds my capacity.

Bian. My lord, you were best to try to set a


I and your friend, to pass away the time,

Will undertake your highness and your sister.
Duke. The game's too tedious.

Fior. 'Tis a peevish play,"

7 'Tis a peevish play,

Your knave will heave your queen out.] This game (Maw) is treated with equal contempt, and nearly in the same terms, by Sir John Harrington

Your knave will heave the queen out, or your king; Besides, 'tis all on fortune.

Enter MAURUCCIO with ROSEILLI, and GIACOPO. Maur. Bless thee, most excellent Duke; I here present thee as worthy and learned a gentleman, as ever I (and yet I have lived threescore years) convers'd with. Take it from me, I have tried him, and [he] is worthy to be privy-counsellor to the greatest Turk in Christendom; of a most apparent and deep understanding, slow of speech, but speaks to the purpose. Come forward, sir, and appear before his highness in your own proper elements.

Ros. Will-tye-to da new toate sure la now. Gia. A very senseless gentleman, and, please your highness, one that has a great deal of little wit, as they say.

Maur. Oh, sir, had you heard him as I did, de

"Then thirdly follow'd hearing of the maw',

A game without civility or law;

An odious play, and yet in court oft seen,

A sawcy knave to trump both king and queen."

I can give the reader no account of this "peevish (pettish) play;" it bears apparently some resemblance to Reversi, a burlesque of Whist, which, though unknown in this country, is a favourite game with the lower orders in France. I have frequently looked on, and seen the players slide the quinola, the knave of trumps, under the king, or queen, (both its inferiors) and heave them respectively out of the circle. As the object is to lose as many tricks as possible, the game is sufficiently noisy and indecorous for a court. Ford adds, "Besides, 'tis all on fortune." This would apply very well to Reversi.

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