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Of prejudice against my course or custom,
Aur. None does, sweet sister.
Cast. If they do, dear Heaven
Aur. Is 't not, friend,
Aurel. Deserves the best of fortunes;
Cast. With your leave,
Aur. Staid she not
Cast. 'Las, not she !-Aurelio Was passing rough.
Aur. Strange! nowhere to be found ?
Cast. Not yet; but on my life, ere many hours, I shall hear from her.
Aur. Shalt thou ? worthy maid,
Thou hast brought to my sick heart a cordial.
Ben. A mushroom, sprung up in a minute by the sunshine of your benevolent grace. Liberality and hospitable compassion, most magnificent beauty, have long since lain bedrid in the ashes of the old world, till now your illustrious charity hath raked up the dead embers, by giving life to a worm inevitably devoted yours, as you shall please to new-shape me.
Lev. A grateful man, it seems. Where gratitude Has harbour, other furniture, becoming Accomplished qualities, must needs inhabit. [Asidė. What country claims your birth ?
Ben. None; I was born at sea, as my mother was in passage from Cape Ludugory to Cape Cagliari, towards Afric, in Sardinia; was bred up in Aquilastro, and at years put myself in service under the Spanish viceroy, till I was taken prisoner by the Turks. I have tasted in my days handsome store of good and bad, and am thankful for both.
1 As my mother was in passage from Cape Ludugory to Cape Cagliari.) Benatzi is sufficiently correct in his geography. In our old maps of Sardinia, the northern division of the island is called Logudori, and the southern Cagliari.--GIFFORD.
Lev. Dare you be secret?
Lev. I use not many words, the time prevents A man of quality has robb'd mine honour.
Ben. Name him.
Ben. Yoke them in death.-
Lev. Propose it, and enjoy it.
Ben. Nothing else : deny me,
Lev. I do: despatch the task I have enjoined,
Ben. No such matter, pretty one, We'll marry first,-or-farewell.
[Going Lev. Stay: examine From my confession what a plague thou draw'st Into thy bosom: though I blush to say it, Know, I have, without sense of shame or honour, Forsook a lawful marriage-bed, to dally Between Adurni's arms.
Ben. This lord's ?
Lev. The same.
Am henceforth resolutely bent to print
Lev. Accept my hand; with this a faith as constant
Ben. Settle the time.
Lev. Meet here to-morrow night;
Ben. How is my new love called ?
-then change my life For some rare penance.) It might almost be conjectured from this passage, that the author really had some Italian story before him. It is The genuine mode of repentance in that country: “Let me only commit a few more crimes, despatch a few more enemies, and I will then do some rare penance, and amend my life for good and all."
It may seem somewhat extraordinary that Benatzi should not recognise his wife. She, it appears, had discovered him through all his disguises, his military rags and accoutrements, his false beard, &c., whereas he continues ignorant of her, though she meets him without any apparent effort at concealment, affects no change of language, or even of name, and resides with her uncle, with whom Benatzi must have been sufficiently familiar But there is the old plea-aliter non fit, Avite, liber! Otherwise, no plot.-GIFFORD. But was Benatzi really so ignorant as Mr. Gifford supposes him? Had not the author designed, for we can hardly say contrived, a double plot, by which the divorced pair should each have separate designs upon the other? What Levidolche's intentions were, are sufficiently apparent from her own language; and Benatzi's may without any great diffieulty be inferred. The disguise which he assumes (for a soldier, with the distinguished part imputed to him by a victorious commander, [Act v. scene 2), should not necessarily be in rags), and the situation in which he is first found, at the door of Levidolche's uncle's house, evidently imply a design of becoming a spy upon the actions of his divorced wife, and of shaping bis future course as circumstances might direct. A very few words put into the mouth of Benatzi, instead of the obscure intimation of Auria (p. 85), would with ease have made all this sufficiently clear: and these few words, we are almost persuaded, were to be found in the original draught of the drama; we say original draught, because so many obscurities pervade the printed copies, that we can scarcely believe them to have received the author's own personal correction and revision. See further the note at p. 85.
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!
ACT IV. SCENE I.
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,
Spin. In excess
Mal. Not the boldness
Spin. What that meant,