« PreviousContinue »
Ves. “ She had seen the fellow !" didst ooserve?
Cam. Most punctually: Could call him by his name too! why't is possible, She has not yet forgot he was her husband. Ves. That were most strange: oh, 't is a precious
Was ever puppet so slipp'd up?
Cam. The tale
Of Venus' cat, man, changed into a woman,
Was emblem but to this. She turns.
Ves. He stands
Just like Acteon in the painted cloth.'
Cam. No more.
Flav. Friend, we have read, and weigh'd the sum
Of what your scrivener (which, in effect,
Is meant your counsel learned) has drawn for ye:
'Tis a fair hand, in sooth, but the contents
Somewhat unseasonable ; for, let us tell ye,
You have been a spender, a vain spender; wasted
Your stock of credit and of wares unthriftily.
You are a faulty man; and should we urge
Our lord as often for supplies, as shame
Or wants drive you to ask, it might be construed
An impudence, which we defy; an impudence,
Base in base women, but in noble sinful.
Are you not ashamed yet of yourself?
Fab. Great lady,
Of my misfortunes I'm ashamed.
Cam. So, so!
This jeer twangs roundly, does it not, Vespucci ?
[Aside to VES. Ves. Why, here's a lady worshipful !
Flav. Pray, gentlemen,
Retire a while ; this fellow shall resolve
Some doubts that stick about me.
1 He stands
Just like Acteon in the painted cloth,] i, e. in the act of gazing at Diana, in a posture of mingled awe and surprise. There is some humour in the expression.--GIYFORD.
Both. As you please. [Exeunt Ves. and CAM.
Flav. To thee, Fabricio,-oh, the change is
Since I find some small leisure, I must justify
Thou art unworthy of the name of man.
Those holy vows, which we, by bonds of faith,
Recorded in the register of truth,
Were kept by me unbroken; no assaults
Of gifts, of courtship, from the great and wanton,
No threats, nor sense of poverty, to which
Thy riots had betray'd me, could betray
My warrantable thoughts to impure folly.
Why wouldst thou force me miserable ?
Fab. The scorn
Of rumour is reward enough, to brand :
My lewder actions; 't was, I thought, impossible,
A beauty fresh as was your youth, could brook
The last of my decays.
Flav. Did I complain ?
My sleeps between thine arms were e'en as sound,
My dreams as harmless, my contents as free,
As when the best of plenty crown'd our bride-bed.
Among some of a mean, but quiet, fortune,
Distrust of what they call their own, or jealousy
Of those whom in their bosom they possess
Without control, begets a self-unworthiness;
For which through fear, or, what is worse, desire
Of paltry gain, they practise art, and labour
To pander their own wives; those wives, whose
Stranger to language, spoke obedience only;
And such a wife was Flavia to Fabricio.
Fab. My loss is irrecoverable.
Flav. Call not
Thy wickedness thy loss; without my knowledge
Thou sold'st me, and in open court protestedst
A precontráct unto another, falsely,
To justify a separation. Wherein
Could I offend, to be believed
In best sense an adulteress? so conceived
In all opinions, that I am shook off,
Ev'n from mine own blood, which, although I boast
Not noble, yet 't was not mean; for Romanello,
Mine only brother, shuns me, and abhors
To own me for his sister.
Fab. 'Tis confess'd,
I am the shame of mankind.
Flav. I live happy
In this great lord's love, now; but could his cunning
Have train'd me to dishonour, we had never
Been sunder'd by the temptation of his purchase.
In troth, Fabricio, I am little proud of
My unsought honours, and so far from triumph,
That I am not more fool to such as honour me,
Than to myself, who hate this antic carriage.'
Fab. You are an angel rather to be worshipp'd, Than grossly to be talk'd with.
Flav. [Gives him money.] Keep those ducats,
I shall provide you better:-'t were a bravery,
Could you forget the place wherein you've render'd
Your name for ever hateful.
Fab. I will do't,
Do’t, excellentest goodness, and conclude
My days in silent sadness.
Flav. You may prosper
In Spain, in France, or elsewhere, as in Italy.
Besides, you are a scholar bred, however
You interrupted study with commérce.
I'll think of your supplies; meantime, pray, storm
not At my behaviour to you; I have forgot Acquaintance with mine own-keep your first distance.
[He draws back. Camillo! who is near ? Vespucci!
-this antic carriage. This childish and ridiculous affectation of levity; which she assumed, partly to humour the count, but chiefly, as she afterward says, to defeat the “lascivious villanies" of her attendants, Camillo and Vespucci.--GIFTORD.
Enter Julio, CAMILLO, and VESPUCCI.
Our lady's last familiar?
Flav. Oh, I am sick, sick, sick-
I faint at heart-kiss me, nay, prithee, quickly,
[TO JUL. Or I shall swoon. You've staid a sweet while
from me. And this companion too—beshrew him!
Jul. Dearest, Thou art my health, my blessing:-turn the bankrupt Out of my doors !-sirrah, I'll have thee whipp'd, If thou com’st here again.
Cam. Hence, hence, you vermin! [Exit Fab. Jul. How is 't, my best of joys ?
Flav. Prettily mended,
Now we have our own lord here; I shall never
Endure to spare you long out of my sight.
See, what the thing presented. [Gíves him the paper.
Jul. A petition,
Belike, for some new charity ?
Flav. We must not
Be troubled with his needs; a wanting creature
Is monstrous, is as ominous—fy upon't!
Despatch the silly mushroom once for all,
And send him with some pittance out o'the country,
Where we may hear no more of him.
Jul. Thy will Shall stand a law, my matchless pleasure; No life is sweet without thee: in my heart Reign empress, and be styled thy Julio's sovereign, My only, precious dear.
An Apartment in Julio's House.
Enter VESPUCCI and CAMILLO.
Ves. Come, thou art caught, Camillo.
Cam. Away, away,
That were a jest indeed; I caught?
Ves. The lady
Does scatter glances, wheels her round, and smiles ;
Steals an occasion to ask how the minutes
Each hour have run in progress; then thou kissest
All thy four fingers, crouchest and sigh'st faintly,
“ Dear beauty, if my watch keep fair decorum,
Three-quarters have near past the figure X;"
Or as the time of day goes
Cam. So, Vespucci !
This will not do, I read it on thy forehead,
The grain of thy complexion is quite alter'd;
Once 'twas a comely brown, 't is now of late
A perfect green and yellow; sure prognosticates
Of th' overflux o' the gall, and melancholy,
Symptoms of love and jealousy.
Ves. She loves thee;
Dotes on thee; in my hearing told her lord
Camillo was the Pyramus and Thisbe
Of courtship, and of compliment :-ah, ah!
She nick'd it there!- I envy not thy fortunes;
For, to say truth, thou 'rt handsome, and deserv'st
her, Were she as great again as she is.
Cam. I handsome? Alas, alas, a creature of Heaven's making, There's all! But, sirrah, prithee, let's be sociable ; I do confess, I think the goody-madam May possibly be compass'd.
Ves. A pretty toy 't is.