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Twenty times over, set it to her mouth,
Then gave it me, then snatch'd it back again,
Then cried, “ Oh, my poor heart !” and, in an instant,
“ Commend my truth and secrecy.” Such medley
Of passion yet I never saw in woman.
Adur. In woman? thou’rt deceiv'd; but that we
Had mothers, I could say how women are,
In their own natures, models of mere change;
of change of what is naught to what is worse.
She feed you liberally?
Fut. Twenty ducats
She forced on me ; vow'd, by the precious love
She bore the best of men (I use, my lord,
Her very words), the miracle of men,
Malfato,—then she sigh’d,--this mite of gold
Was only entrance to a farther bounty:
'Tis meant, my lord, belike press-money.
How durst she tempt thee [thus,] Futelli, knowing
Thy love to me?
Fut. There lies, my lord, her cunning,
Rather her craft; first she began, what pity
It was that men should differ in estates
Without proportion; some so strangely rich,
Others so miserable poor;
6 and yet,”
Quoth she, “ since 't is [in] very deed unfit
All should be equals, so I must confess,
It were good justice that the properest men
Should be preferrd to fortune, such as nature
Had mark'd with fair abilities; of which
Genoa, for aught I know, hath wondrous few,
Not two to boast of.”
I answer'd, she was happy then, whose choice
In you, my lord, was singular.
Adur. Well urg'd.
Fut. She smiled, and said, it might be so; and
yetThere stopp'd : then I closed with her, and concluded
The title of a lord was not enough,
For absolute perfection; I had seen
Persons of meaner quality, much more
Exact in fair endowments—but your lordship
Will pardon me, I hope.
Adur. And love thee for it.
Fut. “ Phew! let that pass,” quoth she, “and now
Of handsome gentlemen, in my opinion,
Malfato is a very pretty fellow;
Is he not, pray, sir?" I had then the truth
Of what I roved at, and with more than praise
Approv'd her judgment in so high a strain,
Without comparison, my honour'd lord,
That soon we both concluded of the man,
The match and business.
Adur. For delivering
A letter to Malfato ?
Fut. Whereto I
No sooner had consented, with protests
(I did protest, my lord)—of secrecy
And service, but she kiss'd me, as I live,
Of her own free accord,- I trust your lordship
Conceives not me amiss-pray rip the seal,
My lord, you 'll find sweet stuff
, I dare believe. Adur. [reads.] Present to the most accomplished of men, Malfato, with this love a service. Kind superscription! prithee, find him out, Deliver it with compliment; observe How ceremoniously he does receive it.
Fut. Will not your lordship peruse the contents ? Adur. Enough, I know too much; be just and
Much newer project labours in my brain,
Your friend! here's now the Gemini of wit :
What odd conceit is next on foot ? some cast
Of neat invention, ha, sirs?
Piero. Very fine,
I do protest, my lord.
Fut. Your lordship’s ear
Shall share i' the plot.
Adur. As how?
Piero. You know, my lord,
Young Amoretta, old Trelcatio's daughter;
An honest man, but poor.
Fut. And, my good lord,
He that is honest must be poor, my lord;
It is a common rule.
Pray, one at once-my knowledge is not much
Of her, instruct me.
Piero. Speak, Futelli.
Fut. Spare me.
Piero has the tongue more pregnant.
Piero. Nay, nay:
Adur. Well, keep your mirth, my dainty honeys;
Some two days hence, till when-
Piero. By any means,
Partake the sport, my lord; this thing of youth-
Fut. Handsome enough, good face, quick eye, well
Piero. Is yet possess'd so strangely-
Fut. With a humour
Of thinking she deserves-
Piero. A duke, a count,
At least a viscount, for her husband, that
Fut. She scorns all mention of a match be-
One of the foresaid nobles; will not ride
In a caroch without eight horses.
She may be drawn to; four-
Fut. Are for the poor :
But for two horses in a coach-
Piero. She says,
They're not for creatures of Heaven's making;
Fut. Fitter for litters to convey hounds in,
Than people Christian: yet herself
Walks evermore a-foot, and knows not whether
A coach doth trot or amble-
Fut. But by hearsay.
Adur. Stop, gentlemel, you run a gallop both ;
Are out of breath sure: 't is a kind of compli-
Scarce enter'd to the times; but certainly
You coin a humour; let me understand
Deliberately your fancy.
Piero. In plain troth,
My lord, the she whom we describe is such,
And lives here, here in Genoa, this city,
This very city, now, the
very now. Adur. Trelcatio's daughter ?
Fut. Has refused suitors
Of worthy rank, substantial and free parts,
Only for that they are not dukes, or counts;
Yet she herself, with all her father's store,
Can hardly weigh above foux hundred ducats.
Adur. Now, your design for sport?
Piero. Without prevention :
Guzman, the Spaniard late cashier'd, most gravely
Observes the full punctilios of his nation;
And him have we beleaguer'd to accost
This she-pièce, under a pretence of being
Grandee of Spain, and cousin to twelve princes.
Fut. For rival unto whom we have engaged
Fulgoso, the rich coxcomb lately started
A gentleman out of a sutler's hut,
In the late Flemish wars ; we have resolv'd
He is descended from Pantagruel,
Of famous memory, by the father's side,
And by the mother from dame Fusti-Bunga.
Adur. You must abuse the maid,'' Beyond amends.
Fut. But countenance the course,
My lord, and it may chance, besides the mirth,
To work a reformation on the maiden:
Her father's leave is granted, and thanks promised;
Our ends are harmless trials.
Adur. I betray
No secrets of such use.
Piero and Fut. Your lordship's humblest.
A Room in MALFATO's House.
Enter AURELIO and MALFATO.
Aurel. A melancholy, grounded, and resolv’d,
Received into a habit, argues love,
Or deep impression of strong discontents.
In cases of these rarities a friend,
Upon whose faith and confidence we may
Vent with security our grief, becomes
Ofttimes the best physician; for, admit
We find no remedy, we cannot miss
Advice instead of comfort; and believe,
It is an ease, Malfato, to disburthen
Our souls of secret clogs, where they may find
A rest in pity, though not in redress.
Mal. Let all this sense be yielded to.
You measure what I say the common nature
Of an officious curiosity.
Mal. Not I, sir.
1 You must abuse the maid.] If must be not an error of the press for much, it is used here in the sense of-it cannot be but you abuse the maid beyond, &c.GIFFORD.