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Gia. Thus high, sir?
Most excellent Marquèsse, most fair lu-uy,
Let not old age, or hairs that are sil-vér, Disparage my desire; for it may be
I am than other green youth nimblè-er: Since I am your gra-ce's servànt so true, Great lady, then, love me for my ver-tue.
Oh, Giacopo! Petrarch was a dunce, Dante a jigmaker, Sanazzar a goose, and Ariosto a puck-fist, to me. I tell thee, Giacopo, I am rapt with fury; and have been for these six nights together drunk with the pure liquor of Helicon.
Gia. I think no less, sir; for you look as wild, and talk as idly, as if you had not slept these nine years.
Duke. What' think you of this language, sister?
Fior. Sir, I think, in prince's courts, no age nor greatness But must admit the fool; in me 'twere folly, To scorn what greater states than I have been.
Bian. O, but you are too general
Fior. A fool! I thank your highness; many a woman's wit, Have thought themselves much better, was much
8 Ariosto a puck-fist.] i. e. an empty boaster. The word is common, in our old writers, for any thing vile or worthless. The fungus, so called, better known to our villagers by the name of puff-ball.
Bian. You still mistake me.
Maur. God-a’-mercy, brains! Giacopo, I have it.
Gia. What, my lord?
Maur. A conceit, Giacopo, and a fine onedown on thy knees, Giacopo, and worship my wit. Give me both thy ears. Thus it is; I will have my picture drawn most composituously, in a square table of some two foot long, from the crown of the head to the waste downward; no further.
Gia. Then you'll look like a dwarf, sir, being cut off by the middle.
Maur. Speak not thou, but wonder at the conceit that follows. In my bosom, on my left side, I will have a leaf of blood-red crimson velvet (as it were part of my doublet) open; which being opened, Giacopo,
Giacopo, - now mark!—I will have a clear and most transparent crystal in the form of a heart. -- Singular admirable!- When I have framed this, I will, as some rare outlandish piece of workmanship, bestow it on the most fair and illustrious Fiormonda.
Gia. But now, sir, for the conceit.
Maur. Simplicity and ignorance, prate no more! blockhead, dost not understand yet? Why, this being to her instead of a looking-glass, she shall no oftener powder her hair, surfell her cheeks,
9 Surfell her cheeks.] Thus Broome : “ Her eye artificially spirited, her cheek surfelled, ber teeth blanched, her lips painted, &c."-City Wit. To surphule or surfel the cheeks is to wash them
cleanse her teeth, or conform the hairs of her
eyebrows, but having occasion to use this glass, (which for the rareness and richness of it she will hourly do,) but she shall as often gaze on my picture, remember me, and behold the excellence of her excellency's beauty, in the prospective and mirror, as it were, in my
heart. Gia. Aye, marry, sir, this is something. All above. Ha, ha, ha!
[Exit Fior. Bian. My sister's gone
anger. Maur. Who's that laughs? search with thine eyes, Giacopo.
Gia. Oh, my lord, my lord, you have gotten an everlasting fame; the duke's grace, and the duchess' grace, and my lord Fernando's grace, with all the rabble of courtiers, have heard every word; look where they stand! Now, you shall be made a count for your wit, and I lord for my counsel.
Duke. Beshrew the chance! we are discovered. Maur. Pity-oh my wisdom! I must speak
to them.O! duke most great, and most renowned duchess! Excuse my apprehension, which not much-is; 'Tis love, my lord, that's all the hurt you see; Angelica herself [doth] plead for me.
with mercurial or sulphur water, as it was called, one of those pernicious compounds which, under the name of cosmetics, found their way to the ladies' toilets. They were generally applied, that is, rubbed in, with Spanish wool, or a piece of scarlet cloth. The word itself is very common, as indeed was the practice in Ford's time, which, in the variety of those deleterious washes, yields in nothing to ours. In that interminable old drama, The Spanish Bawd, there are more lotions and cosmetics enumerated than our miodern Gowlands, perhaps, ever dreamed of.
Duke. We pardon you, most wise and learned
Maur. Giacopo, help me; his grace has put me out [of] my own bias, and I know not what to answer in form.
Gia. Ud's me; tell him you'll come.
will. Duke. We take your word, and wish your ho
nour health. Away then; come, Bianca, we have found A salve for melancholy;—mirth and ease.
[Exit the Duke, followed by all but BIANCA
Maur. Are they gone?
Gia. The duke has a smackering towards you, and you shall clap up with his sister, the widow, suddenly
wisdom's company to-day To grace our table with your grave discourse.] The old
reads to grace our talk,” which renders the metre as imperfect as the sense. I flatter myself that the text is restored to its genuine state.
Maur. She is mine, Giacopo, she is mine! Advance the glass, Giacopo, that I may practise, as I pass, to walk a portly grace like a marquis, to which degree I am now a-climbing. Thus do we march to honour's haven of bliss, To ride in triumph through Persepolis.
[Exit Giacopo, going backward with the glass,
followed by Mavruccio complimenting? Bian. Now, as I live, here's laughter Worthy our presence! I'll not lose him so.
[Going Fern. Madam. Bian. To me, my lord!
Fern. Please but to hear
Bian. My lord, the time--
Fern. The time! yet hear me speak,
Bian. Forbear, or I shall
Fern. Yet, as you honour virtue, do not freeze My hopes to more discomfort, than, as yet,
2 Mauruccio complimenting.) i. e. practising the airs of a courtier.