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Lodged in the grave, I am not yet at home;
There rots but half of me, the other part
Sleeps, Heaven knows where: would she and I
I mean, but what, alas ! talk I of wife?
The woman-would we had together fed
On any out-cast parings, coarse and mouldy,
Not lived divided thus! I could have begg'd
For both; for't had been pity she should ever
Have felt so much extremity.
Aurel. This is not
Patience required in wrongs of such vile nature:
You pity her; think rather on revenge.
Aur. Revenge! for what, uncharitable friend ?
On whom? let's speak a little, pray, with reason.
You found Spinella in Adurni's house ;
'Tis like he gave her welcome-very likely;
Her sister and another with her; so!
Invited, nobly done; but he with her
Privately chamber'd :-he deserves no wife
Of worthy quality, who dares not trust
Her virtue in the proofs of any danger.
Aurel. But I broke ope the doors
the doors upon them.
It was a slovenly presumption,
And punishable by a sharp rebuke.
I tell you, sir, I, in my younger growth,
Have by the stealth of privacy enjoy'd
A lady's closet, where to have profaned
That shrine of chastity and innocence,
With one unhallow'd word, would have exiled
The freedom of such favour into scorn.
Had any he alive then ventured there,
With foul construction, I had stampt the justice
Of my unguilty truth upon his heart.
Aurel. Adurni might have done the like; but
The conscience of his fault, in coward blood,
Blush'd at the quick surprisal.
Aur. O fie, fie! How ill some argue, in their sour reproof, Against a party liable to law ! For had that lord offended with that creature, Her presence would have doubled every strength Of man in him, and justified the forfeit Of noble shame; else 'twas enough in both With a smile only to correct your rudeness. Aurel. 'Tis well you make such use of neigh
bours' courtesy : Some kind of beasts are tame, and hug their in
Such way leads to a fame too !
Aur. Not uncivilly,
Though violently, friend.'
Aurel. Wherefore, then, think you,
. Can she absent herself, if she be blameless? You grant, of course, your triumphs are pro
• Aur. That rests for answer
In you; now I come to you: we have exchanged
Bosoms, Aurelio, from our years of childhood;
Let me acknowledge with what pride I own
A man so faithful, honest, fast, my friend;
He whom, if I speak fully, never fail'd,
By teaching trust to me, to learn of mine:
I wish'd myself thine equal; if I aim'd
Awrong, 'twas in an envy of thy goodness;
So dearly (witness with me my integrity)
I laid thee up to heart, that, from my love,
My wife was but distinguish'd in her sex:
Give back that holy signature of friendship,
Cancell'd, defaced, pluck'd off, or I shall urge
Accounts, scored on the tally of my vengeance,
Without all former compliments.
Aurel. D’you imagine
I fawn upon your fortunes, or intrude
Upon the hope of bettering my estate,
That you cashier me at a minute's warning ?
No, Auria, I dare vie with your respects;
Put both into the balance, and the poise
Shall make a settled stand : perhaps the proffer,
So frankly vow'd at your departure first,
Of settling me a partner in your purchase,
Leads you into opinion of some ends
Of mercenary falsehood; yet such wrong
Least suits a noble soul.
Aur. By all my sorrows,
The mention is too coarse.
Aurel. Since then the occasion
Presents our discontinuance, use your liberty;
For my part, I am resolute to die
The same my life profess'd me.
Aur. Pish! your
Was never in suspicion; but consider,
Neither the lord, nor lady, nor the bawd,
Which shuffled them together, Opportunity,
Have fasten'd stain on my unquestion’d name;
My friend's rash indiscretion was the bellows
Which blew the coal, (now kindled to a flame,)
Will light his slander to all wandering eyes.
Some men in giddy zeal o'er-do that office
They catch at, of whose number is Aurelio:
For I am certain; certain, it had been
you stood wisely silent, But my Spinella, trembling on her knee, Would have accus'd her breach of truth, and
begg'd A speedy execution on her trespass; Then with a justice, lawful as the magistrate's, Might I have drawn my sword against Adurni, Which now is sheath'd and rusted in the scabbard, Good thanks to your cheap providence !-Once
I make demand-my wife !--you,--sir
[Draws his sword. Aurel. Roar louder, The noise affrights not me; threaten And prove a valiant tongue-man ;-how must
follow, By way of method, the exact condition Of rage which runs to mutiny in friendship.
Auria, come on, this weapon looks not pale
[Draws. At sight of that Again hear, and believe it, What I have done, was well done and well meant; Twenty times over, were it new to do, I'd do't and do't, and boast the pains religious; Yet since you shake me off, I slightly value Other severity.
Aur. Honour and duty
Stand my compurgators: never did passion
Purpose ungentle usage of my sword
Against Aurelio; let me rather want
My hands, nay, friend, a heart, than ever suffer
Such dotage enter here. If I must lose
Spinella, let me not proceed to misery,
By losing my Aurelio : we, through madness,
Frame strange conceits in our discoursing brains,
And prate of things as we pretend they were.
Join help to mine, good man, and let us listen
After this straying soul, and, till we find her,
Bear our discomfort quietly.
Aurel. So, doubtless,
She may be soon discover'd.
Aur. That's spoke cheerfully.
Why there's a friend now!--Auria and Aurelio
At odds! oh! it cannot be, must not, and shall
But look, Castanna's here!--welcome, fair figure