« PreviousContinue »
Put. How do I know't ! am I at these years ignorant what the meanings of qualms and water-pangs be? of changing of colours, queasiness of stomachs, pukings, and another thing that I could name? Do not, for her and your credit's sake, spend the time in asking how, and which way, 'tis so: she is quick, upon my word : if you let a physician see her water, you're undone.
Gio. But in what case is she ?
Put. Prettily amended : 'twas but a fit, which I soon espied, and she must look for often henceforward.
Gio. Commend me to her, bid her take no care ; ?
Let not the doctor visit her, I charge you;
Make some excuse, till I return.-0, me!
I have a world of business in my head.
Do not discomfort her.-
How do these news perplex me !-If my father
Come to her, tell him she's recovered well;
Say 'twas but some ill diet-d'ye hear, woman?
Look you to't.
Put. I will, sir.
SCENE IV.-Another room in the same.
Enter FLORIO and RICHARDETTO.
Flo. And how d'ye find her, sir?
Indifferent well ;
I see no danger, scarce perceive she's sick,
But that she told me she had lately eaten
Melons, and, as she thought, those disagreed
With her young stomach.
Did you give her aught ?
Rich. An easy surfeit-water, nothing else.
You need not doubt her health : I rather think
Her sickness is a fulness of the blood,-
You understand me?
I do; you counsel well;
And once, within these few days, will so order 't
She shall be married ere she know the time.
Rich. Yet let not haste, sir, make unworthy choice ;
That were dishonour.
Master Doctor, no;
I will not do so neither: in plain words,
My Lord Soranzo is the man I mean.
Rich. A noble and a virtuous gentleman.
Flo. As any is in Parma. Not far hence
Dwells Father Bonaventure, a grave friar,
Once tutor to my son: now at his cell
l'll have 'em married.
. You have plotted wisely.
Flo. I'll send one straight to speak with him to-night.
Rich. Soranzo's wise ; he will delay no time.
Flo. It shall be so.
Enter Friar and GIOVANNI. Friar.
Good peace be here and love!
Flo. Welcome, religious friar; you are one
That still bring blessing to the place you come to.
Gio. Sir, with what speed I could, I did my best
To draw this holy man from forth his cell
To visit my sick sister; that with words
Of ghostly comfort, in this time of need,
He might absolve her, whether she live or die.
Flo. 'Twas well done, Giovanni ; thou herein
Hast showed a Christian's care, a brother's love.
Come, father, I'll conduct you to her chamber,
And one thing would entreat you.
Say on, sir.
Flo. I have a father's dear impression
And wish, before I fall into my grave,
That I might see her married, as 'tis fit:
A word from you, grave man, will win her more
Than all our best persuasions.
All this I'll say, that Heaven may prosper her. (Exeunt.
SCENE V.-A Room in RICHARDETTO's House.
Grim. Now if the doctor keep his word, Soranzo,
Twenty to one you miss your bride. I know
'Tis an unnoble act, and not becomes
A soldier's valour; but in terms of love,
Where merit cannot sway, policy must :
I am resolved, if this physician
Play not on both hands, then Soranzo falls.
Rich. You're come as I could wish; this very night
Soranzo, 'tis ordained, must be affied ?
To Annabella, and, for aught I know,
Rich.. Yet your patience :-
The place, 'tis Friar Bonaventure's cell.
Now I would wish you to bestow this night
In watching thereabouts ; ?tis but a night :
If you miss now, to-morrow I'll know all.
Grim. Have you the poison ?
Here 'tis, in this box : .
Doubt nothing, this will do't ; in any case,
As you respect your life, be quick and sure.
Grim. I'll speed him.
Do.--Away; for 'tis not safe
You should be seen much here. Ever my love !
Grim. And mine to you.
[Exit. Rich. So! if this hit, I'll laugh and hug revenge ; And they that now dream of a wedding-feast May chance to mourn the lusty bridegroom's ruin. But to my other business.—Niece Philotis !
Rich. My lovely niece ! You have bethought ye? Phi.
Yes,-and, as you counselled,
Fashioned my heart to love him ; but he swears
He will to-night be married : for he fears
His uncle else, if he should know the drift,
Will hinder all, and call his coz to shrift.
Rich. To-night! why, best of all: but, let me see-
Ay–ha ! yes, so it shall be-in disguise
We'll early to the friar's; I have thought on't.
Phi. Uncle, he comes.
Enter BERGETTO and Poggio.
Welcome, my worthy coz. Ber. Lass, pretty lass, come buss, lass ! -- A-ha, Poggio !
[Kisses her. Rich. [Aside.] There's hope of this yet.You shall have time enough; withdraw a little ; We must confer at large.
Ber. Have you not sweetmeats or dainty devices for me?
Phi. You shall have enough, sweetheart.
Ber. Sweetheart ! mark that, Poggio.-By my troth, I cannot choose but kiss thee once more for that word, “sweetheart.”—Poggio, I have a monstrous swelling about my stomach. whatsoever the matter be.
Pog. You shall have physic for’t, sir.
Rich. Time runs apace.
Ber. Time's a blockhead.
Rich. Be ruled : when we have done what's fit to do, Then you may kiss your fill, and bed her too. (Exeunt.
SCENE VI.-ANNABELLA'S Chamber. A table with wax lights ; ANNABELLA at confession before
the Friar; she weeps and wrings her hands. ' Friar. I'm glad to see this penance; for, believe me,
You have unripped a soul so foul and guilty,
As, I must tell you true, I marvel how
The earth hath borne you up : but weep, weep on,
These tears may do you good ; weep faster yet, i
Whiles I do read a lecture.
Wretched creature !
Friar. Ay, you are wretched, miserably wretched,
Almost condemned alive. There is a place,--
List, daughter !-in a black and hollow vault,
Where day is never seen ; there shines no sun,
But flaming horror of consuming fires,
A lightless sulphur, choked with smoky fogs
Of an infected darkness: in this place
Dwell many thousand thousand sundry sorts
Of never-dying deaths: there damned souls
Roar without pity; there are gluttons fed
With toads and adders ; there is burning oil
Poured down the drunkard's throat; the usurer
Is forced to sup whole draughts of molten gold;
There is the murderer for ever stabbed,
Yet can he never die; there lies the wanton
On racks of burning steel, whiles in his soul
He feels the torment of his raging lust.
Ann. Mercy! 0, mercy !
There stand these wretched things
Who have dreamed out whole years in lawless sheets
And secret incests, cursing one another.
Then you will wish each kiss your brother gave
Had been a dagger's point; then you shall hear
How he will cry, “O, would my wicked sister
Had first been damned, when she did yield to lust!”–
But soft, methinks I see repentance work
New motions in your heart : say, how is't with you ?
Ann. Is there no way left to redeem my miseries ?
Friar. There is, despair not; Heaven is merciful, And offers grace even now. 'Tis thus agreed : First, for your honour's safety, that you marry