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Must have denied all pardon. Not to hold
Dispute with reputations, why, before
This present instant, I conceald the stealth
Of my adventures from thy counsels,-know,
My wants do drive me hence.
Aurel. Wants ! so you said,
And 't was not friendly spoken.
Aur. Hear me further.
Aurel. Auria, take heed the covert of a folly
Willing to range, be not, without excuse,
Discover'd in the coinage of untruths;
I use no harder language. Thou art near
Already on a shipwreck, in forsaking
The holy land of friendship, [and forbearing]
To talk your wants.-Fy!
Aur. By that sacred thing
Last issued from the temple where it dwelt,
I mean our friendship, I am sunk so low
In my estate, that, bid me live in Genoa
But six months longer, I survive the remnant
Of all my store.
Aur. In my country, friend,
Where I have sided my superior, friend,
Sway'd opposition, friend; friend, here to fall
Subject to scorn, or rarely-found compassion,
Were more than man that hath a soul could bear,
A soul not stoop'd to servitude.
Aurel. You show
Nor certainty, nor weak assurance yet
Of reparation in this course, in case
Command be proffer'd.
Aur. He who cannot merit
Preferment by employments, let him bare
His throat unto the Turkish cruelty,
Or die, or live a slave without redemption !
Aurel. For that, so ! but you have a wife, a young, A fair wife; she, though she could never claim Right in prosperity, was never tempted
By trial of extremes; to youth and beauty
Baits for dishonour, and a perish'd fame.
Aur. Show me the man that lives, and to my face
Dares speak, scarce think, such tyranny against
Spinella's constancy, except Aurelio-
He is my friend.
Aurel. There lives not then a friend
Dares love you like Aurelio; that Aurelio,
Who, late and early, often said, and truly,
Your marriage with Spinella would entangle
As much the opinion due to your discretion,
As your estate; it hath done so to both.
Aur. I find it hath.
Aurel. He who prescribes no law,
No limits of condition to the objects
Of his affection, but will merely wed
A face, because 't is round, or limn'd by nature
In purest red and white; or, at the best,
For that his mistress owes' an excellence
Of qualities, knows when and how to speak,
Where to keep silence, with fit reasons why ;
Whose virtues are her only dower (else (none,]
In either kind), ought of himself to master
Such fortunes as add fuel to their loves ;
For otherwise—but herein I am idle,
Have fool'd to little purpose.
Aur. She's my wife.
Aurel. And being so, it is not manly done
To leave her to the trial of her wits,
Her modesty, her innocence, her vows:
This is the way that points her out an art
Of wanton life.
Aur. Sir, said ye?
Aurel. You form reasons,
Just ones, for your abandoning the storms
Which threaten your own ruin; but propose
No shelter for her honour: what my tongue
Hath utter'd, Auria, is but honest doubt,
And you are wise enough in the construction.
Aur. Necessity must arm my confidence,
Which, if I live to triumph over, friend,
And e'er come back in plenty, I pronounce
Aurelio heir of what I can bequeath;
Some fit deduction for a worthy widow
Allow'd, with caution she be like to prove so.
Aurel. Who? I your heir! your wife being yet so
young, In every probability so forward To make you a father ? leave such thoughts.
Aur. Believe it, Without replies, Aurelio: keep this note, A warrant for receiving from Martino Two hundred ducats: as you find occasion Dispose them in my absence to Spinella: I would not trust her uncle, he, good man, Is at an ebb himself; another hundred I left with her, a fourth I carry with me. Am I not poor, Aurelio, now ? Exchange Of more debates between us would undo My resolution; walk a little, prithee, Friends we are, and will embrace; but let's not speak Another word.
Aurel. I'll follow you to your horse. [Exeunt.
A Room in the House of ADURNI. Enter ADURNI, and FUTELLI, with a letter, which he pre
sents to ADURNI. Adur. With her own hand ?
Fut. She never used, my lord, .
A second means, but kiss'd the letter first,
O’erlook'd the superscription; then let fall
Some amorous drops, kiss'd it again, talk'd to it
Twenty times over, set it to her mouth,
Then gave it me, then snatch'd it back again,
Then cried, “Oh, my poor heart !” and, in an instant,
“ Commend my truth and secrecy.” Such medley
Of passion yet I never saw in woman.
Adur. In woman? thou 'rt deceiv'd; but that we
Had mothers, I could say how women are,
In their own natures, models of mere change;
Of change of what is naught to what is worse.
She feed you liberally?
Fut. Twenty ducats
She forced on me; vow'd, by the precious love
She bore the best of men (I use, my lord,
Her very words), the miracle of men,
Malfato,-then she sigh'd,--this mite of gold
Was only entrance to a farther bounty:
'Tis meant, my lord, belike press-money.
How durst she tempt thee (thus,] Futelli, knowing
Thy love to me?
Fut. There lies, my lord, her cunning,
Rather her craft; first she began, what pity
It was that men should differ in estates
Without proportion; some so strangely rich,
Others so miserable poor; “ and yet,”
Quoth she, “ since 't is [in] very deed unfit
All should be equals, so I must confess,
It were good justice that the properest men
Should be preferr'd to fortune, such as nature
Had mark'd with fair abilities; of which
Genoa, for aught I know, hath wondrous few,
Not two to boast of."
I answer'd, she was happy then, whose choice
In you, my lord, was singular.
Adur. Well urg'd.
Fut. She smiled, and said, it might be so; and
yetThere stopp'd: then I closed with her, and concluded
The title of a lord was not enough,
For absolute perfection; I had seen
Persons of meaner quality, much more
Exact in fair endowments—but your lordship
Will pardon me, I hope.
Adur. And love thee for it.
Fut. “ Phew! let that pass,” quoth she, “and now
Of handsome gentlemen, in my opinion,
Malfato is a very pretty fellow;
Is he not, pray, sir?" I had then the truth
Of what I roved at, and with more than praise
Approv'd her judgment in so high a strain,
Without comparison, my honour'd lord,
That soon we both concluded of the man,
The match and business.
Adur. For delivering
A letter to Malfato ?
Fut. Whereto I
No sooner had consented, with protests-
(I did protest, my lord)—of secrecy
And service, but she kiss'd me, as I live,
Of her own free accord,—I trust your lordship
Conceives not me amiss-pray rip the seal,
My lord, you 'll find sweet stuff, I dare believe.
Adur. [reads.] Present to the most accomplished
of men, Malfato, with this love a service.
Kind superscription ! prithee, find him out,
Deliver it with compliment; observe
How ceremoniously he does receive it.
Fut. Will not your lordship peruse the contents ? Adur. Enough, I know too much; be just and
Much newer project labours in my brain.
Your friend! here's now the Gemini of wit :
What odd conceit is next on foot ? some cast
Of neat invention, ha, sirs ?