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PROLOGUE.

LANGUAGE and matter, with a fit of mirth, That sharply savours more of air than earth, !..ike midwives, bring a play to timely birth.

But where's now such a one, in which these three,
Are handsomely contriv'd ? or, if they be,
Are understood by all who hear or see?

Wit, wit 's the word in fashion, that alone'
Cries up the poet, which, though neatly shown,
Is rather censured, oftentimes, than known.

He who will venture on a jest, that can
Rail on another's pain, or idly scan
Affairs of state, oh! he's the only man!

A goodly approbation, which must bring
Fame with contempt, by such a deadly sting!
The Muses chatter, who were wont to sing.

Your favours in what we present to-day;
Our fearless author boldly bids me say,
He tenders you no satire, but a play ;
In which, if so he have not hit all right,
For wit, words, mirth, and matter as he might,
He wishes yet he had, for your delight.

MASTER BIRD.1

1 See the Dedication to the Sun's Darling.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

AURIA, a noble Genoese.
ADURNI, a young lord.
AURELIO, friend to Auria.
Malfato, a discontented lover.
TRELCATIO,
Martino,

} citizens of Genoa.
PIERO,
FUTELLI,

dependants on ADURNI. Guzman, a braggadocio Spaniard. Fulgoso, an upstart gallant. BENATZI, husband to LEVIDOLCHE.

SPINELLA, wife to Auria.
Castanna, her sister.
AMORETTA, a fantastic maid.
LEVIDOLCHE, a wanton.

SCENE, Genoa.

THE LADY'S TRIAL.

ACT I. SCENE I.

A Room in the House of AURIA.
Enter Piero and FUTELLI, at opposite doors.
Piero. ACCOMPLISHED man of fashion !

Fut. The times' wonder!
Gallant of gallants, Genoa's Piero !

Piero. Italy's darling, Europe's joy, and so forth! The newest news ? unvamp'd ?!

Fut. I am no footpost,
No pedler of avisos, no monopolist
Of forged corantos, monger of gazettes.

Piero. But, in pure earnest now, my fine Futelli, How trowls the common noise ?

Fut. Auria, who lately
Wedded and bedded to the fair Spinella,
Tired with the enjoyments of delights, is hasting
To cuff the Turkish pirates, in the service
Of the great duke of Florence.

Piero. Blockhead!
To run from such an armful of pleasures,
For gaining-what ?-a bloody nose of honour.
Most sottish and abominable !

Fut. Wicked,
Shameful, and cowardly, I will maintain.

I The newest news ? unvamp'd ?] i. e. fresh, genuine, not patched up -GIPFORD.

VOL. II.-2

Piero. Is all my signor's hospitality,
Huge banquetings, deep revels, costly trappings,
Shrunk to a cabin, and a single welcome
To beverage and biscuit ?

Fut. Hold thy peace, man;
It makes for us:-he comes, let's part demurely.

[They take different sides. Enter ADURNI and AURIA. Adur. We wish thee, honour'd Auria, life and

safety;
Return crown'd with a victory, whose wreath
Of triumph may advance thy country's glory,
Worthy your name and ancestors!

Aur. My lord,
I shall not live to thrive in any action
Deserving memory, when I forget
Adurni's love and favour.

Piero. I present you
My service for a farewell; let few words
Excuse all arts of compliment.

Fut. For my own part,
Kill or be kill'd (for there's the short and long on't),
Call me your shadow's hench-boy."

Aur. Gentlemen,
My business, urging on a present haste,
Enforceth short reply.

Adur. We dare not hinder
Your resolution wing'd with thoughts só constant.
All happiness!
Piero and Fut. Contents !

[Exeunt ADURNI, Piero, and FUTELLI. Aur. So leave the winter'd people of the north, The minutes of their summer, when the sun Departing leaves them in cold robes of ice, As I leave Genoa.

1 Call me your shadow's hench-boy.) A common expression in our old writers for a page; a state attendant on court or municipal officers. -GIFFORD.

Enter TRELCATIO, SPINELLA, and CASTANNA.

Now appears the object
Of my apprenticed heart: thou bring'st, Spinella,
A welcome in a farewell—souls and bodies
Are sever'd for a time, a span of time,
To join again, without all separation,
In a confirmed unity for ever:
Such will our next embraces be, for life;
And then to take the wreck of our divisions,'
Will sweeten the remembrance of past dangers,
Will fasten love in perpetuity,
Will force our sleeps to steal upon our stories.
These days must come, and shall, without a cloud,
Or night of fear, or envy. To your charge,
Trelcatio, our good uncle, and the comfort
Of my Spinella's sister, fair Castanna,
I do intrust this treasure.

Trel. I dare promise
My husbanding that trust with truth and care.

Cast. My sister shall to me stand an example,
Of pouring free devotions for your safety.

Aur. Gentle Castanna, thou 'rt a branch of goodness Grown on the self-same stock with my Spinella.But why, my dear, hast thou lock'd up thy speech

[To Spin. In so much silent sadness? Oh! at parting, Belike one private whisper must be sigh’d.Uncle, the best of peace enrich your family! I take my leave.

Trel. Blessings and health preserve you! [Exit.
Aur. Nay, nay, Castanna, you may hear our

counsels;
A while you are design'd your sister's husband.
Give me thy hand, Spinella : you did promise
To send me from you with more cheerful looks,
Without a grudge or tear; 'deed, love, you did.

1 And then to take the wreck of our divisions,] i. e. to enjoy the romQant of time which our separations have left us.-GIFFORD.

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