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ordinary vice or modern virtue were, to him, as light wine to a dram-drinker. His genius was a telescope, ill-adapted for neighbouring objects, but powerful to bring within the sphere of vision, what nature has wisely placed at an unsociable distance. Passion must be incestuous or adulterous, grief must be something more than martyrdom, before he could make them big enough to be seen. Unquestionably he displayed great power in these horrors, which was all he desired; but had he been “of the first order of poets,” he would have found and displayed superior power in "familiar matter of to-day,” in failings to which all are liable, virtues which all may practise, and sorrows for which all may be the better.'
After much consideration we have deemed The Lady': Trial most suitable for insertion in these pages.]
THE LADY'S TRIAL:
ACTED BY BOTH THEIR MAJESTIES' SERVANTS AT THE PRIVATE HOUSE
IN DRURY LANE.
TO MY DESERVINGLY HONOURED
JOHN WYRLEY, ESQUIRE,
AND TO THE VIRTUOUS AND RIGHT WORTHY GENTLEWOMAN
MRS. MARY WYRLEY, HIS WIFE,
The inequality of retribution turns to a pity, yet to you, most equal pair, must remain the when there is not ability suflicient for acknow- honour of that bounty. In presenting this issue ledgment. Your equal respects may yet admit of some less serious hours to your tuition, I the readiness of endeavour, though the very appeal from the severity of censure to the mercy hazard in it betray my defect. I have enjoyed of your judgments; and shall rate it at a higher freely acquaintance with the sweetness of your value than when it was mine own, if you only dispositions, and can justly account, from the allow it the favour of adoption. Thus, as your nobleness of them, an evident distinction be- happiness in the fruition of each other's love twixt friendship and friends. The latter (ac- proceeds to a constancy; so the truth of mine cording to the practice of compliment) are usually shall appear less unshaken, as you shall please to met with, and often without search ; the other, continue in your good opinions. many have searched for, I have found. For
JOHN FORD. which, though I partake a benefit of the fortune,
Dramatis Personæ. AURIA, a noble Genoese.
GUZMAN, a braggadocio Spaniard. ADURNI, a young Lord.
Fulgoso, an upstart Gallant.
BENATZI, Husband to LEVIDOLCHL.
SPINELLA, Wife to AURIA.
CASTANNA, her Sister.
AMORETTA, a fantastic Maid.
LEVIDOLCHE, a Wanton.
1 Fide Honor. An anagram on Ford's name, sometimes spelled Forde.
Will force our sleeps to steal upon our stories.
Cast. My sister shall to me stand an example
Aur. Gentle Castanna, thou’rt a branch of
PROLOGUE. LANGUAGE and matter, with a fit of mirth, A goodly approbation, which must bring That sharply savours more of air than earth, Fame with contempt, by such a deadly sting! Like midwives, bring a play to timely birth. The Muses chatter, who were wont to sing. But where's now such a one, in which these three
Your favours in what we present to-day; Are handsomely contriv'd ? or, if they be,
Our fearless author boldly bids me say, Are understood by all who hear to see ?
He tenders you no satire, but a play;
In which, if so he have not hit all right, Wit, wit's the word in fashion, that alone For wit, words, mirth, and matter, as he might
, Cries up the poet, which, though neatly shown, He wishes yet he had, for your delight. Is rather censured, oftentimes, than known.
MASTER BIRD! He who will venture on a jest, that can Rail on another's pain, or idly scan
1 Theophilus Bird was a celebrated actor, who edited Affairs of state, oh! he's the only man!
the plays of various dramatists.
Enter ADURNI and AURIA.
Adur. We wish thee, honour'd Auria, life and
Return crown'd with a victory, whose wreaths Enter PIERO and FUTELLI at opposite doors. Of triumph may advance thy country's glory,
Worthy your name and ancestors! Piero. Accomplished man of fashion !
Aur. My lord,
I shall not live to thrive in any action
Deserving memory, when I forget
Adurni's love and favour. forth! The newest news unvamp'd.
Piero. I present you Fut. I am no foot-post,
My service for a farewell; let few words
Excuse all arts of compliment.
Fut. For my own part,
Kill or be kill'd (for there's the short and long In certain kind a merchant of the staple
Call me your shadow's hench-boy.
Aur. Gentlemen, For wares of use and trade; a taker-up,
My business urging on a present haste, Rather indeed a knocker-down; the word
Enforceth short reply.
Adur. We dare not hinder
Your resolution wing'd with thoughts so constant Wedded and bedded to the fair Spinella,
Piero and Fut. Contents !
(Exeunt ADURNI, PIERO, and FUTELI. Aur. So leave the
winter'd people of the north, Of the great Duke of Florence. Piero. Does not carry
The minutes of their summer, when the sun His pretty thing along.
Departing leaves them in cold robes of ice,
As I leave Genoa.-
Enter TRELCATIO, SPINELLA, and CASTANNA
Now appears the object To run from such an armful of pleasures,
Of my apprenticed heart. Thou bring 'st, Spinella,
A welcome in a farewellsouls and bodies For gaining-what?-a bloody nose of honour.
Are sever'd for a time, a span of time,
To join again, without all separation,
In a confirmed unity for ever: Shameful and cowardly, I will maintain. Such will our next embraces be, for life;
Piero. Is all my signor's hospitality, Huge banquetings deep revels, costlý trappings, Will sweeten the remembrance of past dangers,
And then to take the wreck of our divisions, Shrunk to a cabin, and a single welcome Will fasten love in perpetuity, To beverage and biscuit ?
Fut. Hold thy peace, man; It makes for us. He comes ;' let's part demurely. Or night of fear or envy. To your charge [They take different sides. Trelcatio, our good uncle, and the comfort
Of my Spinella's sister, fair Castanna,
I do entrust this treasure. 1 untamp'd. I have not met with this singular word, Trel. I dare promise the word in the text, therefore, signifies uncovered, disclosed. Perhaps we should read unvamp't-i.e. disclose it.-WEBER.
Of pouring free devotions for your safety. ? trouls -- passes or goes round. The meaning is, What is the common talk?'
Grown on the selfsame stock with my Spinella. Aur. Done bravely,
[To Spin. One of earth's best I have foregone-
Enter AURELIO. Uncle, the best of peace enrich your family!
See, see! I take my leave.
Yet in another I am rich, a friend, Trel. Blessings and health preserve you! A perfect one, Aurelio.
[Exit. Aurel. Had I been Aur. Nay, nay, Castanna, you may hear our No stranger to your bosom, sir, ere now, counsels :
You might have sorted' me in your resolves, A while you are design'd your sister's hus- Companion of your fortunes. band.
Aur. So the wrongs
Spi. What friend have I left in your absence ? This present instant, I conceal'd the stealth
Of my adventures from thy counsels,-know, Thy virtues are such friends, they cannot fail My wants do drive me hence. thee;
Aurel. Wants ! so you said, Faith, purity of thoughts, and such a meekness And 'twas not friendly spoken. As would force scandal to a blush.
Aur. Hear me further. Spi. Admit, sir,
Aurel. Auria, take heed the covert of a folly The patent of your life should be call'd in; Willing to range, be not, without excuse, How am I then left to account with griefs, Discover'd in the coinage of untruths ; More slav'd to pity than a broken heart?
I use no harder language. Thou art near Auria, soul of my comforts, I let fall
Already on a shipwreck, in forsaking No eye on breach of fortune; I contemn
The holy land of friendship (and forbearing] No entertainment to divided hopes,
To talk your wants.-Fie!
Last issued from the temple where it dwelt, How easy 'tis (without impossibility)
I mean our friendship, I am sunk so low Never to see thee more, forgive me then,
In my estate, that, bid me live in Genoa If I conclude I may be miserable,
But six months longer, I survive the remnant Most miserable.
Of all my store. Cast. And such conclusion, sister,
Aurel. Umph! Argues effects of a distrust more voluntary,
Aur. In my country, friend, Than cause by likelihood.
Where I have sideda my superior, friend, Aur. 'Tis true, Castanna.
Sway'd opposition, friend; friend, here to fall
Aurel. You show
Command be proffer'd.
Aur. He who cannot merit
His throat unto the Turkish cruelty,
[Cast, walks aside. Or die, or live a slave without redemption ! Spi. Speak, good, speak.
Aurel. For that, so! but you have a wife, a Aur. The steps
young, Young ladies tread, left to their own discretion, A fair wife; she, though she could never claim However wisely printed, are observed,
Right in prosperity, was never tempted And construed as the lookers-on presume : By trial of extremes ; to youth and beauty Point out thy ways, then, in such even paths, Baits for dishonour, and a perish'd fame. As thine own jealousies from others' tongues Aur. Show me the man that lives, and to my May not intrude a guilt, though undeserv'd. Admit of visits as of physic forced,
Dare speak, scarce think, such tyranny against
He is my friend.
Who, late and early, often said, and truly,
Your marriage with Spinella would entangle Some widowed neglect of handsome value : As much the opinion due to your discretion, In recreations be both wise and free;
As your estate ; it hath done so to both. Live still at home, home to thyself, howe'er
Aur. I find it hath. Enrich'd with noble company: remember,
Aurel. He who prescribes no law, A woman's virtue, in her lifetime, writes No limits of condition to the objects The epitaph all covet on their tombs :
Of his affection, but will merely wed In short, I know thou never wilt forget
A face, because 'tis round, or limn'd by nature Whose wife thou art, or how upon thy lips In purest red and white; or, at the best, Thy busband at his parting seal'd this kiss.No more.
[hisses her. Spi. Dear heaven! go, sister, go.
1 sorted-chosen, allotter. [Exeunt SPINELLA and CASTANNA.
o sided-equalled, matched.-WEBER.
For that his mistress owes an excellence
She forced on me; vow'd, by the precious love Of qualities, knows when and how to speak, She bore the best of men (I 'use, my lord, Where to keep silence, with fit reasons why; Her very words), the miracle of men, Whose virtues are her only dower else i
Malfato,—then she sighed: --this mite of gold
Was only entrance to a farther bounty: In either kind, ought of himself to master 'Tis meant, my lord, belike, press-money. Such fortunes as add fuel to their loves;
Adur. Devil ! For otherwise—but herein I am idle, 2
How durst she tempt thee, Futelli, knowing Have fool'd to little purpose.
Thy love to me? Aur. She's my wife.
Fut. There lies, my lord, her cunning, Aurel. And being so, it is not manly done Rather her craft; first she began, what pits To leave her to the trial of her wits,
It was that men should differ in estates Hor modesty, her innocence, her vows:
Without proportion; some so strangely rich, This is the way that points her out an art Others so miserable poor; "and yet, Of wanton life.
Quoth she, since 'tis [in] very deed unfit Aur. Sir, said ye?
All should be equals, so I must confess, Aurel. You form reasons,
It were good justice that the properest men
Not two to boast of.'
Fut. I answer'd she was happy then, whes Which, if I live to triumph over friend,
choice And e'er come back in plenty, I pronounce In you, my lord, was sivgular. Aurelio heir of what I can bequeath ;
Adur. Well urg'd. Some fit deduction for a worthy widow
Fut. She smiled, and said, it might be so; and Allow'd, with caution she be like to prove so.
yet-Aurel. Who? I your heir ! your wife being There stoppd: then I closed with her, and conyet so young,
cluded In every probability so forward
The title of a lord was not enough To make you a father?-leave such thoughts. For absolute perfection; I had seen Aur. Believe it,
Persons of meaner quality, much more Without replies, Aurelio : keep this note,
Exact in fair endowments—but your lordship A warrant for receiving from Martino
"Vill pardon me, I hope. Two hundred ducats; as you find occasion
Adur. And love thee for it. Dispose them in my absence to Spinella :
Fut. “Phew, let that pass,' quoth she; *and I would not trust her uncle,-he, good man,
now we prattle Is at an ebb himself; another hundred
Of handsome gentlemen, in my opinion, I left with her, a fourth I carry with me.
Malfato is a very pretty fellow; Am I not poor, Aurelio, now? Exchange Is he not, pray, sir?' I had then the truth Of more debates between us, would undo
Of what I roved' at, and with more than praise My resolution; walk a little, pr’ythee,
Approv'd her judgment in so high a strain, Friends we are, and will embrace; but let's not Without comparison, my honour'd lord, speak
That soon we both concluded of the man, Another word.
The match and business. durel. I'll follow you to your horse. [Exeunt. Adur. For delivering
A letter to Malfato ?
Fut. Whereto I
No sooner had consented, with protests
(I did protest, my lord)-of secrecy A Room in the House of ADURNI.
And service, but she kiss'd me, as I live,
Of her own free accord—I trust your lordship Enter ADURNI, and FUTELLI with a letter,
Conceives not me amiss---pray rip the seal, which he presents to ADURNI.
My lord, you'll find sweet stuff, I dare believe. Adur. With her own hand ?
Adur. (reads.] Present to the most accomplished Fut. She never used, my lord,
of men, Malfata, with this lore a service. A second means, but kiss'd the letter first, Kind superscription ! pr’ythee, find him out, O'erlook'd the superscription; then let fall Deliver it with compliment; observe Some amorous drops, kiss'd it again, talk'd to it How ceremoniously he does receive it. Twenty times over, set it to her mouth,
Fut. Will not your lordship peruse the couThen gave it me, then snatch'd it back again,
tents? Then cry'd, 'Oh, my poor heart!' and, in an Adur. Enough, I know too much; be just and instant,
cunning; "Commend my truth and secrecy. Such medley
A wanton mistress is a common sewer, Of passion yet I never saw in woman.
Much newer project labours in my brain.
What odd conceit is next on foot ? some cast Of change of what is naught to what is worse.
Of neat invention, ha, sirs? She fee'd you liberally?
Piero. Very fine, Fut. Twenty ducats
I do protest, my lord.
else, &c. There is apparently some defect here. ? idle-foolish, weak, -WEBER.
1 rored-aimed, a term in archery.
Fut. Your lordsbip's ear
He is descended from Pantagruel,
Of famous memory, by the father's side,
And by the mother from dame Fusti-Bunga,
Who, troubled long time with a strangury,
As drown'd the land 'twixt Zirick-see and Vere,
Where steeples' tops are only seen. He casts
In spite of Don.
Adur. You must abuse the maid,
Fut. But countenance the course,
My lord, and it may chance, beside the mirth,
To work a reformation on the maiden:
Her father's leave is granted, and thanks pro-
Our ends are harmless trials.
Adur. I betray
No secrets of such use.
Piero. By any means,
ACT I.-SCENE III.
A Room in MALFATO's House.
Enter AURELIO and MALFATO.
Aurel. A melancholy, grounded, and resolv'd,
Received into a babit, argues love,
Or deep impression of strong discontents.
Upon whose faith and confidence we may
Vent with security our grief, becomes
Oft-times the best physician; for, adinit
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
Mal. Let all this sense be yielded to.
You measure what I say, the common nature
Of an officious curiosity.
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?
Fut. Sure in health, sir.
Happy in his endeavours: the general voice
Sounds him for courtesy, behaviour, language,
Titles of honour add not to his worth,
Mal. You know from whence this comes ?
Fut. I do.
Fut. For rival unto whom we have enraged But that I must consider such as spaniels
To those who feed and clothe them, I would
[Throws him the letter.
Bear back that paper to the hell from whence ? resolu'd satisfied, convinced.
It gave thee thy directions! tell this lord,