« AnteriorContinuar »
Duke. [To Fred.] Do you know the company which came in last?
Fred. I cannot possibly imagine who they are.At least I will not tell you.
[Aside. Duke. There's something very uncommon in the air of one of them.
Fred. Please you, sir, I'll discourse with her, and see if I can satisfy your highness.
Duke. Stay, there's a dance beginning, and she seems as if she would make one.
BONG AND DANCE.
Come, gentle night, she said,
Now cold as ice I am, now hot as fire,
How sweet it is to love, when I discover
But if this night he be
Duke [After the dance.] My curiosity redoubles; I must needs hail that unknown vessel, and enquire whither she's bound, and what freight she carries.
Fred. She's not worth your trouble, sir : She'll either prove, some common courtezan in disguise, or, at best, some homely person of honour, that only dances well enough to invite a sight of herself, and would look ill enough to fright you.
Duke. That's maliciously said; all I see of her is charming, and I have reason to think her face is of the same piece; at least I'll try my fortune.
Fred. What an unlucky accident is this! If my father should discover her, she's ruined: If he does not, yet I have lost her conversation to-night.
Duke approaches LUCRETIK. Asca. "Tis the duke himself, who comes to court you.
Luc. Peace, I'll fit him; for I have been informed, to the least tittle, of his actions since he came to town.
Duke. [To Luc.] Madam, the duke of Mantua, whom you must needs imagine to be in this company, has sent me to you, to know what kind of face there is belonging to that excellent shape, and to those charming motions, which he observed so lately in your dancing. .
Luc. Tell his highness, if you please, that there is a face within the mask, so very deformed, that, if it were discovered, it would prove the worst visor of the two; and that, of all men, he ought not to desire it should be exposed, because then something would be found amiss in an entertainment, which he has made so splendid and magnificent.
Duke. The duke, I am sure, would be very proud of your compliment, but it would leave him more unsatisfied than before; for he will find in it so:
much of gallantry, as, being added to your other graces, will move him to a strange temptation of knowing you.
Luc. I should still have the same reason to refuse him; for 'twere a madness, when I had charmed him by my motion and converse, to hazard the loss of that conquest by my eyes.
Duke. I am on fire 'till I discover her. [ Aside.) At least, madam, tell me of what family you are. · Luc. Will you be satisfied, if I tell you I am of: the Colonne? You have seen Julia of that house ?
Duke. Then you are she.
Luc. But, by your favour, I have nothing of her shape; for, if I may be so vain to praise myself, she's a little thicker in the shoulders, and, besides, she moves ungracefully.
Duke. Then you are not she again.
Luc. No, not she: But you have forgotten Emilia of the Ursini, whom the duke saluted yesterday at her balcony, when he entered. Her air and motion
Duke. Are the very same with yours. Now I am sure I know you.
Luc. But there's too little of her to make a beauty: My stature is more advantageous.
Duke. You have cozened me again.
Luc. Well, I find at last I must confess myself: . What think you of Eugenia Beata ? The duke seemed to be infinitely pleased last night, when my brother presented me to him at the Belvidere. • Duke. Now I am certain you are she, for you have both her stature and her motion.
Luc. But, if you remember yourself a little better, there's some small difference in our wit; for
she has indeed the air and beauty of a Roman lady, but all the dulness of a Dutch woman.
Duke. I see, madam, you are resolved to conceal yourself, and I am as fully resolved to know you.
Luc. See which of our resolutions will take place.
Duke. I come from the duke, and can assure you, he is of an humour to be obeyed.
Luc. And I am of an humour not to obey him. But why should he be so curious ?
Duke. If you would have my opinion, I believe he is in love with you.
Luc. Without seeing me?
Duke. Without seeing all of you : Love is love, let it wound us from what part it please; and if he have enough from your shape and conversation, his business is done, the more compendiously, without the face.
Luc. But the duke cannot be taken with my conversation, for he never heard me speak.
Duke. [Aside.] 'Slife, I shall discover myself.-Yes, madam, he stood by incognito, and heard me speak with you : But
* Luc. I wish he had trusted to his own courtship, and spoke himself; for it gives us a bad impression of a prince’s wit, when we see fools in favour about his person.
Duke. Whatever I am, I have it in commission from him to tell you, he's in love with you.
Luc. The good old gentleman may dote, if he so pleases; but love, and fifty years old, are stark nonsense.
Duke, But some men, you know, are green at fifty.
Luc. Yes, in their understandings.
Duke. You speak with great contempt of a prince, who has some reputation in the world.
ACT III. Luc. No; 'tis you that speak with contempt of him, by saying he is in love at such an age.
Duke. Then, madam, 'tis necessary you should know him better for his reputation; and that shall be, though he violate the laws of masquerade, and force you.
Fred. I suspected this from his violent temper. [Aside.] Sir, the emperor's ambassador is here in masquerade, and I believe this to be his lady: It were well if you inquired of him, before you forced her to discover.
Duke. Which is the ambassador?
Fred. to Luc. Take your opportunity to escape, while his back is turned, or you are ruined. Ascanio, wait on her. Luc. I am so frighted, I cannot stay to thank
[Exeunt Luc. Asca, and Hip. Duke to Fred. 'Tis a mistake, the, ambassador knows nothing of her: I'm resolved I'll know it of herself, ere she shall depart.—Ha! Where is she? I left her here.
Fred. [Aside.] Out of your reach, father mine, I hope.
Duke. She has either shifted places, or else slipped out of the assembly.
Fred. I have looked round : She must be gone, .
· Duke. She must not be gone, sir. Search for her every where: I will have her.
Fred. Has she offended your highness ?
Duke. Peace, with your impertinent questions. Come hither, Valerio.
Duke. O, Valerio, I am desperately in love: That lady, with whom you saw me talking, has— But