« PreviousContinue »
Was issue of my doubts, not of my knowledge.
A self-confession may crave assistance;
Let the lady's justice then impose the penance.
So, in the rules of friendship, as of love,
Suspicion is not seldom an improper
Advantage for the knitting faster joints
Of faithfullest affection, by the fevers
Of casualty unloos'd, where lastly error
Hath run into the toi).
Spin. Woful satisfaction
For a divorce of hearts !
Aur. So resolute ?
I shall touch nearer home: behold these hairs,
Great masters of a spirit,' yet they are not
By winter of old age quite hid in snow;
Some messengers of time, I must acknowledge,
Among them took up lodging: when we first
Exchang'd our faiths in wedlock, I was proud
I did prevail with one whose youth and beauty
Deserv'd a choice more suitable in both.
Advancement to a fortune could not court
Ambition, either on my side or hers:
Love drove the bargain, and the truth of love
Confirm'd it, I conceived. But disproportion
In years among the married is a reason
For change of pleasures: whereto I reply,
Our union was not forced, 't was by consent;
So then the breach in such a case appears
Unpardonable:-say your thoughts.
Spin. My thoughts
In that respect are as resolute as yours,
The same; yet herein evidence of frailty
Deserv'd not more a separation,
Than doth charge of disloyalty objected
-Behold these hairs,
Great masters of a spirit, &c.]
Lenit albescens animos capillus,
Litium et rixæ cupidos, &c.
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 whieh
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 sister's, 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
To say the like!
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!
in. 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
Of my desires ? Italians use not dalliance,
But execution: herein I degenerated
From custom of our nation;
(turns to Spinella.]—Yet in sooth,
My dearest, I might blame your causeless absence,
To whom my love and nature were no strangers :
But being in your kinsman's house, I honour
His hospitable friendship, and must thank it.
Now lasting truce on all hands.
Aurel. You will pardon
A rash and over-busy curiosity ?
Spin. It was to blame; but the success remits it.
Adur. Sir, what presumptions formerly have
Opinion of unfitting carriage to you,
On my part I shall faithfully acquit
At easy summons.
Mal. You prevent the nicety;
Use your own pleasure.
BENAtzi rushes in with his sword drawn, followed by
LEVIDOLCHE and MARTINO.
Aurle. What's the matter?
Ben. Adurni and Malfato found together!
Now for a glorious vengeance.
Lev. Hold, oh, hold him !
Aurel. This is no place for murder; yield thy
sword. Aur. Yield it, or force it ;-[Ben, is disarmed.set
you up your shambles Of slaughter in my presence ?
Adur. Let him come.
Mal. What can the ruffian mean?
Ben. I am prevented;
The temple or the chamber of the duke
Had else not proved a sanctuary. Lord,
Thou hast dishonourably wrong'd my wife.
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 thankful'
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
At 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
rough his rags, his formidable mustachios, 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. GUFORD,