« PreviousContinue »
Without or ground or witness: women's faults
Subject to punishments, and men's applauded,
Prescribe no laws in force.
Aurel. Are you so nimble ?
Mal. A soul sublimed from dross by competition,
Such as is mighty Auria's famed, descends
From its own sphere, when injuries, profound ones,
Yield to the combat of a scolding mastery,
Skirmish of words. Hath your wife lewdly ranged,
Adulterating the honour of your bed?
Withhold dispute; but execute your vengeance
With unresisted rage; we shall look on,
Allow the fact, and spurn her from our bloods :
Else, not detected, you have wrong?d her innocence
Unworthily and childishly, for which
I challenge satisfaction.
Cast. 'Tis a tyranny
Over an humble and obedient sweetness,
Ungently to insult.
Adur. That I make good,
And must without exception find admittance,
Fitting the party who hath herein interest.
Put case I was in fault, that fault stretch'd merely
To a misguided thought; and who in presence,
Except the pair of sisters, fair and matchless,
Can quit an imputation of like folly ?
Here I ask pardon, excellent Spinella,
Of only you; that granted, he among you,
Who calls an even reckoning, shall meet
An even accountant.
Aur. Baited by confederacy!
I must have right.
Spin. And I, my lord, my lord-
What stir and coil is here! you can suspect ?
So reconciliation then is needless :
Conclude the difference by revenge, or part,
And never more see one another. Sister,
Lend me thine arm; I have assumed a courage
Above my force, and can hold out no longer:
Auria, unkind, unkind !
Cast. She faints.
Aur. Spinella !
Regent of my affections, thou hast conquerd:
I find thy virtues as I left them, perfect,
Pure and unflaw'd; for instance, let me claim
Cast. Mine ?
Aur. Yours, to whose faith
I am a guardian, not by imposition,
But by you chosen. Look you, I have fitted
A husband for you, noble and deserving;
No shrinking back. Adurni, I present her,
A wife of worth.
Mal. How's that?
Adur. So great a blessing Crowns all desires of life. The motion, lady, To me, I can assure you, is not sudden: But welcomed and forethought; would you could
Aur. Castanna, do.-Speak, dearest,
It rectifies all crooked, vain surmises ;
I prithee speak.
Spin. The courtship's somewhat quick,
The match, it seems, agreed on; do not, sister,
Reject the use of fate.
Cast. I dare not question
The will of heaven.
Mal. Unthought of and unlook'd for!
Spin. My ever-honourd lord.
Aurel. This marriage frees
Each circumstance of jealousy.
Aur. Make no scruple, Castanna, of the choice; 't is firm and real: Why else have I so long with tameness nourish'd Report of wrongs, but that I fixed on issue
Ben. Not I, by all that's noble! A kiss—farewell, dear fate!
[Exit. Lev. Love is sharp-sighted, And can pierce through the cunning of disguises. False pleasures, I cashier ye; fair truth, welcome!
A Room in the House of Malfato.
Enter MALFATO and SPINELLA. Mal. Here you are safe, sad cousin; if you please, May over-say the circumstance of what You late discours'd: mine ears are gladly open, For I myself am in such hearty league With solitary thoughts, that pensive language Charms my attention.
Spin. But my husband's honours,
By how much more in him they sparkle clearly,
By so much more they tempt belief, to credit
The wreck and ruin of my injured name.
Mal. Why, cousin, should the earth cleave to the
The seas and heavens be mingled in disorder,
Your purity with unaffrighted eyes
Might wait the uproar; 't is the guilty trembles
At horrors, not the innocent! you are cruel
In censuring a liberty allow’d.
Speak freely, gentle cousin, was Adurni
Importunately wanton ?
Spin. In excess
Of entertainment, else not.
Mal. Not the boldness
Of an uncivil courtship ?
Spin. What that meant,
I never understood. I have at once
Set bars between my best of earthly joys,
Adur. Thy wife! I know not her, nor thee. Aur. Fear nothing. Lev. Yes, me you know. Heaven has a gentle mercy For penitent offenders: blessed ladies, Repute me not a castaway, though once I fell into some lapses, which our sex Are oft entangled by; yet what I have been Concerns me now no more, who am resolv'd On a new life. This gentleman, Benatzi, Disguised as you see, I have remarried. I knew you at first sight, and tender constantly Submission for all errors.
Mart. Nay, 't is true, sir.
Ben. I joy in the discovery, am thankfuli
Unto the change.
Aur. Let wonder henceforth cease,
For I am partner with Benatzi's counsels,
And in them was director: I have seen
The man do service in the wars late past,
Worthy an ample mention : but of that
Át large hereafter; repetitions now,
Of good or bad, would straiten time presented
For other use.
Mart. Welcome, and welcome ever.
Lev. Mine eyes, sir, never shall without a blush
Receive a look from yours : please to forget
All passages of rashness; such attempt
Was mine, and only mine.
Mal. You have found a way
To happiness; I honour the conversion.
1 I joy in the discovery, am thankful
Unto the change.) Benatzi takes the matter with all due composure. That his precious moiety should recognise him through his rags, his formidable mustachins, and his Pistol-like demeanour, is natural enough; the wonder is that Benatzi should not recollect her. She wore no disguise, she retains the name by which he married her, she still lived, as before, with her foolish uncle, and she confides to him a part of her history, in which he was a sharer. The author seems to have discovered all this when it was too late; and has just allowed us to surmise, from Auria's next speech, that the “remarried gentleman” might not be so complete a dupe as he appears.-GIFFORD,
Spin. An understanding dull'd by the infelicity
Of constant sorrow, is not apprehensive
In pregnant novelty; my ears receive
The words yod utter, cousin, but my thoughts
Are fasten'd on another subject.
Mal. Can you
Embrace, so like a darling, your own woes,
And play the tyrant with a partner in them?
Then I am thankful for th advantage; urg'd
By fatal and enjoin'd necessity,
To stand up in defence of injur'd virtue;
Will, against any, I except no quality,
Maintain all supposition misapplied,
Unhonest, false, and villanous.
Spin. Dear cousin,
As you're a gentleman-
Mal. I'll bless that hand,
Whose honourable pity seals the passport
For my incessant turmoils to their rest.
If I prevail, (which Heaven forbid !) these ages
Which shall inherit ours, may tell posterity
Spinella had Malfato for a kinsman,
By noble love made jealous of her fame.
Spin. No more; I dare not hear it.
Mal. All is said:
Henceforth shall never syllable proceed
From my unpleasant voice of amorous folly.
Cast. Your summons warn'd me hither; I am
Sister ! my sister, 't was an unkind part,
Not to take me along wi’ you.
Mal. Chide her for it;
Castanna, this house is as freely yours
As ever was your father's.
Cast. We conceive so,
Though your late strangeness hath bred marvel