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JULIO DE VARANA, lord of Camerino.

, } attendants on JULIO. Fabricio, a merchant, Flavia's first husband.

CASTAMELA, sister to Livio.
Flavia, wife to JULIO.

SCENE, Sienna,





A Room in the House of Livio.

Enter ROMANELLO and CASTAMELA. Rom. Tell me you cannot love me.

Cast. You importune Too strict a resolution: as a gentleman, Of commendable parts, and fair deserts, In every sweet condition that becomes A hopeful expectation, I do honour Th' example of your youth; but, sir, our fortunes, Concluded on both sides in narrow bands, Move you to construe gently my forbearance, In argument of fit consideration.

Rom. Why, Castamela, I have shaped thy virtues, Even from our childish years, into a dowry Of richer estimation, than thy portion, Doubled a hundred times, can equal: now I clearly find, thy current of affection Labours to fall into the gulf of riot, Not the free ocean of a soft content. You'd marry pomp and plenty: 't is the idol, I must confess, that creatures of the time Bend their devotions to; but I have fashion'd Thoughts much more excellent of you.

Cast. Enjoy
Your own prosperity; I am resolv'd
Never, by any charge with me, to force
A poverty upon you.
I'll not be your undoing.

Rom. Sure some dotage
Of living stately, richly, lends a cunning
To eloquence. How is this piece of goodness
Changed to ambition! oh, you are most miserable
In your desires! the female curse has caught you.

Cast. Fy! fy! how ill this suits.

Rom. A devil of pride
Ranges in airy thoughts to catch a star,
While you grasp molehills.

Cast. Worse and worse, I vow.

Rom. But that some remnant of an honest sense
Ebbs a full tide of blood to shame, all women
Would prostitute all honour to the luxury
Of ease and titles.

Cast. Romanello, know
You have forgot the nobleness of truth,
And fix'd on scandal now.

Rom. A dog, a parrot,
A monkey, a caroch, a garded lackey,
A waiting-woman with her lips seal'd up,
Are pretty toys to please my mistress Wanton!

Cast. This is uncivil;
I am not, sir, your charge.

Rom. My grief you are ;
For all my services are lost and ruin'd.

Cast. So is my chief opinion of your worthiness,
When such distractions tempt you; you would prove
A cruel lord, who dare, being yet a servant,
As you profess, to bait my best respects
Of duty to your welfare; 't is a madness
I have not oft observed. Possess your freedom,
You have no right in me; let this suffice;
I wish your joys much comfort.

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An Apartment in Julio's House.
Enter Flavia, supported by Camillo, and VESPUCCI.

Flav. Not yet returned ?
Cam. Madam!

Flav. The lord our husband,
We mean.

Unkind! four hours are almost past (But twelve short minutes wanting by the glass), Since we broke company; was never, gentlemen, Poor princess us'd so!

Des. With your gracious favour,
Peers, great in rank and place, ought of necessity
To attend on state employments.

Cam. For such duties
Are all their toil and labour; but their pleasures
Flow in the beauties they enjoy, which conquers
All sense of other travail.

Flav. Trimly spoken.
When we were common, mortal, and a subject,
As other creatures of Heaven's making are
(The more the pity), bless us ! how we waited
For the huge play-day, when the pageant flutter'd
About the city ;' for we then were certain,
The madam-courtiers would vouchsafe to visit us,
And call us by our names, and eat our viands;
1 On the huge play-day, when the pageant flutter'd

About the city.) The huge play-day (for Ford's Sienna is only another name for London) was probably the lord-mayor's day, when the company to which he belonged exhibited, in honour of his installation, those rude but splendid pageantries and processions which, however they may now excite a smile, were then viewed with equal wonder and delight, and not altogether, perhaps, without profit, which is more than can be said of the tattered remnants of them that are annually dragged abroad to shame us. They were not, however, confined to one festival; but “fluttered about the city” dn every joyous occasion. There is truth as well as humour in Flavia's pleasant description of the condescension of the "madam-courtiers" on these huge play-days. The satire is not yet quite obsolete.-GIFFORD.

Nay, give us leave to sit at the upper end
Of our own tables, telling us how welcome
They'd make us when we came to court: full little
Dream'd I, at that time, of the wind that blew me
Up to the weathercock of the honours now
Are thrust upon me; but we'll bear the burthen,
Were't twice as much as 't is. The next great

We'll grace the city-wives, poor souls! and see
How they'll behave themselves before our presence;
You too shall wait on us.

Ves. With best observance,
And glory in our service.

Cam. We are creatures
Made proud in your commands.

Flav. Believe 't you are so;
And you shall find us readier in your pleasures,
Than you in your obedience.

Fab. Noblest lady

Ves. Rudeness!
Keep off, or I shall-saucy groom, learn manners

Flav. Let him stay;
The fellow I have seen, and now remember
His name, Fabricio.

Fab. Your poor creature, lady;
Out of your gentleness, please you to consider
The brief of this petition, which contains
All hope of my last fortunes.'

Flav. Give it from him.
Cam. Here, madam.-[Takes the paper from FAB.

and delivers it to Flav. who walks aside with it.]

-Mark, Vespucci, how the wittol Stares on his sometime wife!

1 All hope of my last fortunes.] Meaning probably (for the language is constrained) “my final hope, my last resource." The object of this request appears to be more money to enable him to expatriate himself. -GIFFORD.

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