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A little toysome;— tis a pretty sign
Of breeding, is't not, sirs? I could, indeed, la!
Long for some strange good things now.

Cam. Such news, madam,
Would overjoy my lord, your husband.

Ves. Cause
Bonfires and bell-ringings.

Flav. I must be with child, then,
An't be but for the public jollity;
Or lose my longings, which were mighty pity.

Cam. Sweet fates forbid it!

Enter FABRICIO. Fab. Noblest lady

Ves. Rudeness!
Keep off, or I shall--Sawcy groom, learn manners;
Go swab amongst your goblins.

Flav. Let him stay;
The fellow I have seen, and now remember
His name, Fabricio.

Fab. Your poor creature, lady;
Out of

your gentleness, please you to consider
The brief of this petition, which contains
All hope of my last fortunes.

Flav. Give it from him.
Cam. Here, madam.-- [Takes the paper from Fab.
Stares on his sometime wife! sure, he imagines
To be a cuckold by consent, is purchase
Of approbation in a state.

and delivers it to FLAV. who walks aside with

it.]—Mark, Vespucci, how the wittol 5 All hope of my last fortunes.] Meaning probably (for the language is constrained) “ my final hope, my last resource.' The object of this request appears to be more money to enable him to expatriate himself.

Ves. Good reason:
The gain reprieved him from a bankrupt's statute,
And filed him in the charter of his freedom.
“ She had seen the fellow!” didst observe?

Cam. Most punctually: Could call him by his name too! why 'tis possible, She has not yet forgot he was her husband. Ves. That were [most] strange: oh, 'tis a pre

cious trinket!
Was ever puppet so slipt up?

Cam. The tale
Of Venus' cat, man, changed into a woman,
Was emblem but to this. She turns.

Ves. He stands
Just like Acteon in the painted cloth.

Cam. No more.
Flav. Friend, we have read, and weigh'd the

sum

Of what your scrivener (which, in effect,
Is meant your counsel learned) has drawn for ye:
'Tis a fair hand, in sooth, but the contents
Somewhat unseasonable; for, let us tell ye,
You have been a spender, a vain spender; wasted
Your stock of credit, and of wares, unthriftily.

6 He stands

Just like Acteon in the painted cloth.] i.e. in the act of gazing at Diana, in a posture of mingled awe and surprize. There is some humour in the expression. VOL. II.

M

You are a faulty man; and should we urge
Our lord as often for supplies, as shame,
Or wants drive you to ask, it might be construed
An impudence, which we defy; an impudence,
Base in base women, but in noble sinful.
Are you not ashamed yet of yourself?

Fab. Great lady,
Of my misfortunes I'm ashamed.

Cam. So, so!
This jeer twangs roundly, does it not, Vespucci ?

[Aside to Ves. Ves. Why, here's a lady worshipful!

Flav. Pray, gentlemen,
Retire a while; this fellow shall resolve
Some doubts that stick about me.

Both. As you please. [Exeunt Ves. and Flav.
Flav. To thee, Fabricio,-oh, the change is

cruel Since I find some small leisure, I must justify Thou art unworthy of the name of man. Those holy vows, which we, by bonds of faith, Recorded in the register of truth, Were kept by me unbroken; no assaults Of gifts, of courtship, from the great and wanton, No threats, nor sense of poverty, to which Thy riots had betray'd me, could betray My warrantable thoughts to impure folly. Why would'st thou force me miserable?

Fab. The scorn Of rumour is reward enough, to brand My lewder actions; 'twas, I thought, impossible, A beauty fresh as was your youth, could brook The last of my decays.

Flav. Did I complain? My sleeps between thine arms were ev'n as sound, My dreams as harmless, my contents as free, As when the best of plenty crown'd our bride-bed. Amongst some of a mean, but quiet, fortune, Distrust of what they call their own, or jealousy Of those whom in their bosoms they possess Without controul, begets a self-unworthiness; For which (through] fear, or, what is worse, desire Of paltry gain, they practise art, and labour To pandar their own wives; those wives, whose

innocence, Stranger to language, spoke obedience only; And such a wife was Flavia to Fabricio.

Fab. My loss is irrecoverable.

Flav. Call not
Thy wickedness thy loss; without my knowledge
Thou sold'st me, and in open court protested'st
A pre-contráct unto another, falsely,
To justify a separation. Wherein
Could I offend, to be believed thy strumpet,
In best sense an adultress? so conceived
In all opinions, that I am shook off,
Ev’n from mine own blood, which, although I boast
Not noble, yet 'twas not mean; for Romanello,
Mine only brother, shuns me, and abhors
To own me for his sister.

Fab. 'Tis confest,
I am the shame of mankind.

Flav. I live happy
In this great lord's love, now; but could his cunning
Have train’d me to dishonour, we had never
Been sunder'd by the temptation of his purchase.
In troth, Fabricio, I am little proud of
My unsought honours, and so far from triumph,
That I am not more fool to such as honour me,
Than to myself, who hate this antick carriage.?

Fab. You are an angel rather to be worshipp'd,
Than grossly to be talk'd with.

Flav. [Gives him money.] Keep those ducats,
I shall provide you better:-'twere a bravery,
Could you forget the place wherein you've render'd
Your name for ever hateful.

Fab. I will do't,
Do't, excellentest goodness, and conclude
My days in silent sadness.

Flav. You may prosper
In Spain, in France, or elsewhere, as in Italy.
Besides, you are a scholar bred, however
You interrupted study with commerce.
I'll think of your supplies; meantime, pray, storm

not
At my behaviour to you; I have forgot

8

1

7

this antick carriage.] This childish and ridiculous affectation of levity, which she assumed, partly to humour the count, but chiefly, as she afterwards says, to defeat the “ lascivious villanies” of her attendants, Camillo and Vespucci.

8 My days in silent sadness.] The old copy has goodness, evidently repeated, by mistake, from the word immediately above it. Sadness is not given as the author's expression, but as conveying what might, perhaps, have been his meaning.

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