« PreviousContinue »
Aurel. Or that other private ends
Sift your retirements.
Fut. Under favour,
Signor Malfato, I am sent to crave
Your leisure, for a word or two in private.
Mal. To me !-Your mind.
Fut. This letter will inform ye.
[Gives him the letter.
Mal. Letter ? how 's this? what's here?
Fut. Speak you to me, sir ?
Mal. Brave riddle! I'll endeavour to unfold it.
Aurel. How fares the lord Adurni ?
Fut. Sure in health, sir.
Aurel. He is a noble gentleman, withal
Happy in his endeavours : the general voice
Sounds him for courtesy, behaviour, language,
And every fair demeanour, an example ;
Titles of honour add not to his worth,
Who is himself an honour to his titles.
Mal. You know from whence this comes ?
Fut. I do.
Mal. D’ye laugh!
But that I must consider such as spaniels
To those who feed and clothe them, I would print
Upon thy forehead thy foul errand :-there!
[Throws'him the letter.
Bear back that paper to the hell from whence
It gave thee thy directions ! tell this lord,
He ventured on a foolish policy,
In aiming at the scandal of my blood;
The trick is childish, base,-say base.
Fut. You wrong him.
Aurel. Be wise, Malfato.
Mal. Say, I know this false one.
She who sent this temptation was wife
To his abused servant; and divorced
From poor Benatzi, senseless of the wrong3,
That madam Levidolche and Adurni
Might revel in their sports without control,
Aurel. You range too wildly now,
Are too much inconsiderate.
Mal. I am
A gentleman free born, I never wore
The rags of any great man's looks, nor fed
Upon their after-meals; I never crouch'd
Unto the offal of an office promised
(Reward for long attendance), and then miss’d.
I read no difference between this huge,
This monstrous big word lord, and gentleman,
More than the title sounds; for aught I learn,
The latter is as noble as the first,
I am sure more apcient.
Aurel. Let me tell you, then,
You are too bitter, talk you know not what.
Make all men equals, and confound all course
Of order, and of nature ! this is madness.
Mal. 'Tis so'; and I have reason to be mad,
Reason, Aurelio, by my truth and hopes.
This wit Futelli brings a suit of love
From Levidolche, one, however mask'd
In colourable privacy, is famed
The lord Adurni's pensioner, at least.
Am I a husband pick'd out for a strumpet ?
For a cast suit of harlotry? Aurelio,
You are as I am,' you could ill digest
The trial of a patience so unfit.-
Begone, Futelli, do not mince one syllable
Of what you hear; another fetch like this
May tempt a peace to rage: so say; begone!
Fut. I shall report your answer.
Aurelio, You are as I am, &o.] This expression, which is not uncommon in our old writers, means,“ suppose you were,"—or rather, “put yourself -in my place," &c.-GIFFORD.
Mal. What have I
Deserv'd to be so used! In colder blood,
I do confess nobility requires
Duty and love; it is a badge of virtue,
By action first acquired, and next in rank
Unto anointed royalty.—Wherein
Have I neglected distance, or forgot
Observance to superiors ? sure, my name
Was in the note mistook.
Aurel. We will consider
The meaning of this mystery.
Mal. Not so ; Let them fear bondage who are slaves to fear, The sweetest freedom is an honest heart. [Exeunt.
Enter FUTELLI and GUZMAN.
Fut. Dexterity and sufferance, brave don,
Are engines the pure politic must work with.
Guz. We understand.
Fut. In subtleties of war,-
I talk t'ye now in your own occupation,
Your trade, or what you please, -unto a soldier,
Surprisal of an enemy by stratagem,
Or downright cutting throats, is all one thing.
Guz. Most certain: on, proceed.
Fut. By way of parallel ; You drill or exercise your company (No matter which, for terms), before you draw Into the field; so in feats of courtship, First, choice is made of thoughts, behaviour, words, The set of looks, the posture of the beard, Beso las manos, cringes of the knee, The very hums and ha's, thumps, and ah me's !
Guz. We understand all these : advance.
Fut. Then next, Your
enemy in face,—your mistress, mark it! -
Now you consult either to skirmish slightly,-
That's careless amours,-or to enter battle;
Then fall to open treaty, or to work
By secret spies or gold: here you corrupt
The chambermaid, a fatal engine ; or
Place there an ambuscado,—that's contract
With some of her near friends for half her portion;
Or offer truce, and in the interim,
Run upon slaughter, 't is a noble treachery,-
That's swear and lie; steal her away, and to her
Cast caps, and cry victoria! the field's
Thine own, my don, she's thine.
Guz. We do vouchsafe her.
Fut. Hold her then fast.
Guz. As fast as can the arms
Of strong imagination hold her.
She has skipp'd your hold; my imagination's eyes
Perceive, she not endures the touch or scent
Of your war overworn habiliments,
Which I forgot in my instructions
To warn you of: therefore, 'my warlike don,
Apparel speedily your imaginations
With a more courtly outside.
Guz. 'Tis soon done.
Fut. As soon as said ;-in all the clothes thou
More than that walking wardrobe on thy back.
[Aside. Guz. Imagine first our rich mockado' doublet, With our cut cloth-of-gold sleeves, and our quellio, Our diamond-button'd callamanco hose, Our plume of ostrich, with the embroider'd scarf, The dutchess Infantasgo roll'd our arm in.
1 Our rich mockado doublet,] i. e. an inferior kind of velvet, velveret: quellio, which occurs in the following line, is a ruff.-GIFFORD.
Fut. Ay, this is brave indeed !
Guz. Our cloak, whose cape is
Larded with peärls, which the Indian cacique
Presented to our countryman De Cortez,
For ransom of his life ; rated in value
At thirteen thousand pistolets; the guerdon
Of our achievement, when we rescued
The infanta from the boar, in single duel,
Near to the Austrian forest, with his rapier,
This only, very, naked, single rapier.
Fut. Top and top-gallant brave!
Guz. We will appear,
Before our Amoretta, like the issue
Of our progenitors.
Fut. Imagine so,
And that this rich suit of imagination
Is on already now:-here stands your Amoretta,
Make your approach and court her.
Guz. Lustre of beauty,
Not to affright your tender soul with horror,
We may descend to tales of peace and love,
Soft whispers fitting ladies' closets ; for
Thunder of cannon, roaring smoke and fire,
As if hell's maw had vomited confusion,
The clash of steel, the neighs of barbed steeds,
Wounds spouting blood, towns capering in the air,
Castles push'd down, and cities plough'd with
swords, Become great Guzman's oratory best, Who, though victorious (and during life Must be), yet now grants parley to thy smiles. Fut. 'Sfoot, don, you talk too big, you make her
tremble; Do you not see 't imaginarily ? I do, as plainly as you saw the death Of the Austrian boar; she rather hears Of feasting than of fighting ; take her that way. Guz. Yes, we will feast;-my queen, my empress,