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liver whole histories in the Tangay tongue, you would swear there were not such a linguist breath'd again; and did I but perfectly understand his language, I would be confident, in less than two hours, to distinguish the meaning of bird, beast, or fish naturally, as I myself speak Italian, my lord.Well, he has rare qualities.
Duke. Now, prithee, question him, Mauruccio.
Tell me, rare scholar, which, in thy opinion,
onion ? Gia. Answer him, brother fool; do, do, speak thy mind, chuck, do.
Ros. Have bid seen all da fine knack, and de, e, naghtye tat-tle of da kna-ve dad la have so.
Duke. We understand him not.
Maur. Admirable, I protest, duke; mark, oh duke, mark! What did I ask him, Giacopo ?
Gia. What caused the strongest breath, garlic or onions, I take it, sir.
Maur. Right, right by Helicon! and his answer is, that a knave has a stronger breath than
of them : wisdom (or I am an ass) in the highest; a direct figure; put it down, Giacopo. Duke. How happy is that idiot, whose ambi
Bian. True, my lord, there's many
Who think themselves most wise, that are most
fools. D'Av. Bitter girds, if all were known;-butDuke. But what? speak out; plague on your
muttering, grumbling! I hear you, sir, what is't?
D'Av. Nothing, I protest, to your highness, pertinent to any moment. Duke. Well, sir, remember.-Friend, you pro
mised study. I am not well in temper; come, Bianca: Attend our friend, Ferentes.
[Exeunt all but Fern. Ros.
FER. and MAUR.
Fer. Come, my lord,
Fern. I'll stay the fool,
[Exeunt Fer. and Maur. Fern. How thrive your hopes now, cousin ?
8 Bitter girds.] i. e. sarcasms, strokes of satire. Ford has contrived, by several direct quotations from Sbakspeare, to put the reader in mind of Iago, to whom, for his misfortune, D'Avolos bears about the same degree of resemblance that the poor
Duke does to Othello. D'Avolos, in short, is a mere spy, a pandar to the bad passions of others, without one supportable quality to redeem the baseness of his sycophancy, or relieve the dull uniformity of his malice.
Ros. Are we safe? Then let me cast myself beneath thy foot, True, virtuous lord. Know then, sir, her proud
heart Is only fix'd on you in such extremes Of violence and passion, that I fear, Or she'll enjoy you, or she'll ruin you. Fern. Me, coz? by all the joys I wish to
Ros. I obsery'd
Fern. Pish! should he or hell.
Ros. I do admit you could; meantime, my lord, Be nearest to yourself; what I can learn,
9 A kind of dangerous pretence.] i.e. intent, design. Thus, in Macbeth:
Against the undivulged pretence I fight
Of treasonable malice.” Atomies, which occurs in the next speech, is frequently used by our old writers for atoms, motes, &c.
You shall be soon inform'd of: here is all
Another Room in the same.
Enter Duke and D'Avolos.
Duke. Thou art a traitor: do not think the gloss Of smooth evasion, by your cunning jests, And coinage of your politician's brain, Shall jig me off; I'll know't, I vow I will. Did not I note your dark abrupted ends Of words half spoke? your “ wells, if all were
known ?" Your short, “I like not that?” your girds and
<< buts ?"
D'Av. What would you know, my lord ? I confess I owe my life and service to you, as to my prince; the one you have, the other you may take from me at your pleasure. Should I devise matter to feed your distrust, or suggest likelihoods without appearance ?—what would you have me say? I know nothing
By privilege of coxcombs,] i.e. of fool-caps.
Duke. Thou liest, dissembler; on thy brow I
D'Av. Oh my disaster! my lord, I am so charmed by those powerful repetitions of love and duty, that I cannot conceal what I know of your dishonour. Duke. “Dishonour!" then my soul is cleft with
fear : I half presage my misery; say on, Speak it at once, for I am great with grief.
D'Av. I trust your highness will pardon me; yet I will not deliver a syllable which shall be less innocent than truth itself.
Duke. By all our wish of joys, we pardon thee.
D'Av. Get from me, cowardly servility! my service is noble, and my loyalty an armour of brass : in short, my lord, and plain discovery, you are a cuckold.
Duke. Keep in the word,-a cuckold?
? And love unterm d.] i.e. inexpressible; or rather, perhaps, interminable.