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Was ever such a tatter'd rag of man's flesh,
Patch'd up for copesmate to my niece's daughter!
Lev. Sir, for my mother's name forbear this
If I have yoked myself beneath your wishes,
Yet is my choice a lawful one: and I
Will live as truly chaste unto his bosom,
As e'er my faith hath bound me.
Mart. Å sweet couple!
Ben. We are so: for mine own part, however my outside appear ungay, I have wrestled with death, signor Martino, to preserve your sleeps, and such as you are, untroubled. A soldier is in peace a mockery, a very town-bull for laughter; unthrifts, and landed babies are prey curmudgeons lay their baits for. Let the wars rattle about your ears once, and the security of a soldier is right honourable among ye then; that day may shine again. So to my business.
Mart. A soldier! thou a soldier!
A villanous poor banditti rather; one that
Can cant, pad for a cloak, and, in the dark,
Pistol a straggler for a quarter-ducat.
A soldier! yes,-he looks as if he had not
The spirit of a herring, or a tumbler.'
Ben. Let age and dotage rage together! Levidolche, thou art mine ; on what conditions, the world shall soon witness : yet since our hands join'd, I have not interessed? my possession of thy bed; nor till I have accounted to thy injunction, do I mean: kiss me quick, and resolute, so !-adieu, signor!
Lev. Dear, for love's sake, stay.
-or a tumbler.] A species of hound, a mongrel greyhound.
z Johnson considers this word as synonymous with interest, but in some of the examples which he gives, and in many others which might be produced, it seems to convey an idea of a more intimate connexion than is usually understood by that term; somewhat, for instance, like implicate, involve, inweave, &e.-GIFFORD.
Ben. Forbear entreaties.
[Exit. Mart. Ah, thou-but what? I know not how to
Fain would I smother grief, but out it must;
My heart is broke: thou hast for many a day
Been at a loss, and now art lost for ever;
Lost, lost, without recovery.
Lev. With pardon,
Let me restrain your sorrows.
Mart. 'Tis impossible;
Despair of rising up to honest fame
Turns all the courses wild, and this last action
Will roar thy infamy.—Then you are certainly
Married, forsooth, unto this new-come ?
And herein every hope is brought to life,
Which long hath lain in deadness; I have once
Wedded Benatzi, my divorced husband.
Mart. Benatzi ! this the man ?
Lev. No odd disguise
Could guard him from discovery, 't is he,
The choice of
Thankful for such a bounty! yet he dreams not
Of this deceit; but let me die in speaking,
If I repute not my success more happy
Than any earthly blessing. Oh! sweet uncle,
Rejoice with me; I am a faithful convert,
And will redeem the stains of a foul name,
By love and true obedience.
Mart. Force of passion
Shows me a child again. Do, Levidolche,
Perform thy resolutions; those perform’d,
I have been only steward for your welfare,
You shall have all between ye.
Lev. Join with me, sir;
Our plot requires much speed; we must be ear-
nest. I'll tell you what conditions threaten danger,
Unless you intermediate; let us hasten,
For fear we come too late.
Mart. As thou intendest
A virtuous honesty, I am thy second
To any office, Levidolche witty,
My niece, my witty niece.
Lev. Let's slack no time, sir.
An Apartment in 'TRELCATIO's House. Enter TRELCATIO, MALFATO, SPINELLA, and CASTANNA.
Trel. Kinsman and ladies, have a little patience. All will be as you wish: I'll be your warrant, Fear nothing; Auria is a noble fellow. I leave ye; but, be sure, I am in hearing: Take courage.
Mal. Courage! they who have no hearts,
Find none to lose; ours is as great as his,
Who defies danger most.-Sure, state and cere-
Inhabit here. Like strangers, we shall wait
Formality of entertainment. Cousin,
Let us return; 't is paltry.
Spin. Gentle sir,
Confine your passion; my attendance only
Commends a duty.
Cast. Now, for Heaven's sake, sister! He comes, your husband comes; take comfort, sister.
Enter AURIA and AURELIO.
Aur. Cousin, would mine arms,
In their embraces, might at once deliver
Affectionately what interest your merit
Holds in my estimation! I may chide
The coyness of this intercourse betwixt us,
Which a retired privacy on your part
Hath pleas'd to show: if aught of my endeavours
Can purchase kind opinion, I shall honour
The means and practice.
Mal. 'Tis your charity:
Aurel. Worthy Malfato!
Mal. Provident Aurelio!
Aur. Castanna, virtuous maid !
Cast. Your servant, brother.
Aur. But who's that other such a face mine
eyes Have been acquainted with; the sight resembles. Something which is not quite lost to remembrance.
[SPINELLA kneels. Why does the lady kneel? to whom? pray rise ; I shall forget civility of manners, Imagining you tender a false tribute, Or him to whom you tender it a counterfeit.
Mal. My lord, you use a borrow'd bravery,
Not suiting fair constructions : may your fortunes
Mount higher than can apprehension reach 'em!
Yet this waste kind of antic sovereignty
Unto a wife who equals every best
Of your deserts, achievements, or prosperity,
Bewrays a barrenness of noble nature:
Let upstarts exercise uncomely roughness,
Clear spirits to the humble will be humble.-
You know your wife, no doubt.
Aur. 'Cry ye mercy, gentleman !
Belike you come to tutor a od carriage,
Are expert in the nick on 't: we shall study
Instructions quaintly—“ wife," you said ? agreed.
Keep fair, and stand the trial.
Spen. Those words raise
A lively soul in her, who almost yielded
To faintness and stupidity; I thank ye:
Though prove what judge you will, till I can purge
Objections which require belief and conscience,
I have no kindred, sister, husband, friend,
Or pity for my plea.
Mal. Call ye this welcome ?
We are mistook, Castanna.
Cast. Oh! my lord,
Other respects were promised.
Aur. Said ye, lady,
“No kindred, sister, husband, friend ?"
Spin. Nor name;
With this addition-I disclaim all benefit
Of mercy from a charitable thought;
If one or all the subtleties of malice,
If any engineer of faithless discord,
If supposition for pretence in folly,
Can point out, without injury to goodness,
A likelihood of guilt in my behaviour,
Which may declare neglect in every duty,
Required, fit, or exacted.
Āur. High and peremptory!
The confidence is masculine.
Mal. Why not?
An honourable cause gives life to truth,
Spin. I can proceed; that tongue,
Whose venom, by traducing spotless honour,
Hath spread th’ infection, is not more mine enemy,
Than theirs, or his weak and besotted brains are,
On whom the poison of its canker'd falsehood
Hath wrought for credit to so foul a mischief.
Speak, sir, the churlish voice of this combustion,
Aurelio, speak; nor, gentle sir, forbear
Aught what you know, but roundly use your elo-
Against a mean defendant.
Mal. He's put to't;
It seems the challenge gravels him.
Aurel. My intelligence