SCENE II. [The same ]



Delio. The presence 'gins to fill: you promis'd me

To make me the partaker of the natures

Of some of your great courtiers.

Ant. The lord cardinal's

And other strangers' that are now in court?

I shall.—Here comes the great Calabrian duke.

[Enter FERDINAND and Attendants]

Ferd. Who took the ring oftenest?〖The reference is to the knightly sport of riding at the ring.〗

Sil. Antonio Bologna, my lord.

Ferd. Our sister duchess' great-master of her household? Give him the jewel.—When shall we leave this sportive action, and fall to action indeed?

Cast. Methinks, my lord, you should not desire to go to war in person.

Ferd. Now for some gravity.—Why, my lord?

Cast. It is fitting a soldier arise to be a prince, but not necessary a prince descend to be a captain.

Ferd. No?

Cast. No, my lord; he were far better do it by a deputy.

Ferd. Why should he not as well sleep or eat by a deputy? This might take idle, offensive, and base office from him, whereas the other deprives him of honour.

Cast. Believe my experience, that realm is never long in quiet where the ruler is a soldier.

Ferd. Thou toldest me thy wife could not endure fighting.

Cast. True, my lord.

Ferd. And of a jest she broke of〖At the expense of〗 a captain she met full of wounds: I have forgot it.

Cast. She told him, my lord, he was a pitiful fellow, to lie, like the children of Ismael, all in tents.〖Rolls of lint used to dress wounds.〗

Ferd. Why, there's a wit were able to undo all the chirurgeons〖Surgeofns.〗 o' the city; for although gallants should quarrel, and had drawn their weapons, and were ready to go to it, yet her persuasions would make them put up.

Cast. That she would, my lord.—How do you like my Spanish gennet?〖A small horse.〗

Rod. He is all fire.

Ferd. I am of Pliny's opinion, I think he was begot by the wind; he runs as if he were ballass'd〖Ballasted.〗 with quicksilver.

Sil. True, my lord, he reels from the tilt often.

Rod. Gris. Ha, ha, ha!

Ferd. Why do you laugh? Methinks you that are courtiers should be my touch-wood, take fire when I give fire; that is, laugh when I laugh, were the subject never so witty.

Cast. True, my lord: I myself have heard a very good jest, and have scorn'd to seem to have so silly a wit as to understand it.

Ferd. But I can laugh at your fool, my lord.

Cast. He cannot speak, you know, but he makes faces; my lady cannot abide him.

Ferd. No?

Cast. Nor endure to be in merry company; for she says too much laughing, and too much company, fills her too full of the wrinkle.

Ferd. I would, then, have a mathematical instrument made for her face, that she might not laugh out of compass.—I shall shortly visit you at Milan, Lord Silvio.

Sil. Your grace shall arrive most welcome.

Ferd. You are a good horseman, Antonio; you have excellent riders in France: what do you think of good horsemanship?

Ant. Nobly, my lord: as out of the Grecian horse issued many famous princes, so out of brave horsemanship arise the first sparks of growing resolution, that raise the mind to noble action.

Ferd. You have bespoke it worthily.

Sil. Your brother, the lord cardinal, and sister duchess.


Card. Are the galleys come about?

Gris. They are, my lord.

Ferd. Here 's the Lord Silvio is come to take his leave.

Delio. Now, sir, your promise: what 's that cardinal?

I mean his temper? They say he 's a brave fellow,

Will play his five thousand crowns at tennis, dance,

Court ladies, and one that hath fought single combats.

Ant. Some such flashes superficially hang on him for form; but observe his inward character: he is a melancholy churchman. The spring in his face is nothing but the engend'ring of toads; where he is jealous of any man, he lays worse plots for them than ever was impos'd on Hercules, for he strews in his way flatterers, panders, intelligencers, atheists, and a thousand such political monsters. He should have been Pope; but instead of coming to it by the primitive decency of the church, he did bestow bribes so largely and so impudently as if he would have carried it away without heaven's knowledge. Some good he hath done——

Delio. You have given too much of him. What 's his brother?

Ant. The duke there? A most perverse and turbulent nature.

What appears in him mirth is merely outside;

If he laught heartily, it is to laugh

All honesty out of fashion.

Delio. Twins?

Ant. In quality.

He speaks with others' tongues, and hears men's suits

With others' ears; will seem to sleep o' the bench

Only to entrap offenders in their answers;

Dooms men to death by information;

Rewards by hearsay.

Delio. Then the law to him

Is like a foul, black cobweb to a spider,—

He makes it his dwelling and a prison

To entangle those shall feed him.

Ant. Most true:

He never pays debts unless they be shrewd turns,

And those he will confess that he doth owe.

Last, for this brother there, the cardinal,

They that do flatter him most say oracles

Hang at his lips; and verily I believe them,

For the devil speaks in them.

But for their sister, the right noble duchess,

You never fix'd your eye on three fair medals

Cast in one figure, of so different temper.

For her discourse, it is so full of rapture,

You only will begin then to be sorry

When she doth end her speech, and wish, in wonder,

She held it less vain-glory to talk much,

Than your penance to hear her. Whilst she speaks,

She throws upon a man so sweet a look

That it were able to raise one to a galliard〖A lively dance.〗

That lay in a dead palsy, and to dote

On that sweet countenance; but in that look

There speaketh so divine a continence

As cuts off all lascivious and vain hope.

Her days are practis'd in such noble virtue,

That sure her nights, nay, more, her very sleeps,

Are more in heaven than other ladies' shrifts.

Let all sweet ladies break their flatt'ring glasses,

And dress themselves in her.

Delio. Fie, Antonio,

You play the wire-drawer with her commendations.

Ant. I'll case the picture up: only thus much;

All her particular worth grows to this sum,—

She stains〖Throws into the shade.〗 the time past, lights the time to come.

Cari. You must attend my lady in the gallery,

Some half and hour hence.

Ant. I shall. [Exeunt ANTONIO and DELIO.]

Ferd. Sister, I have a suit to you.

Duch. To me, sir?

Ferd. A gentleman here, Daniel de Bosola,

One that was in the galleys——

Duch. Yes, I know him.

Ferd. A worthy fellow he is: pray, let me entreat for

The provisorship of your horse.

Duch. Your knowledge of him

Commends him and prefers him.

Ferd. Call him hither. [Exit Attendant.]

We [are] now upon〖At the point of.〗 parting. Good Lord Silvio,

Do us commend to all our noble friends

At the leaguer.

Sil. Sir, I shall.

[Duch.] You are for Milan?

Sil. I am.

Duch. Bring the caroches.〖Coaches.〗—We'll bring you down

To the haven.



Card. Be sure you entertain that Bosola

For your intelligence.〖Spy.〗 I would not be seen in 't;

And therefore many times I have slighted him

When he did court our furtherance, as this morning.

Ferd. Antonio, the great-master of her household,

Had been far fitter.

Card. You are deceiv'd in him.

His nature is too honest for such business.—

He comes: I'll leave you. [Exit.]

[Re-enter BOSOLA]

Bos. I was lur'd to you.

Ferd. My brother, here, the cardinal, could never

Abide you.

Bos. Never since he was in my debt.

Ferd. May be some oblique character in your face

Made him suspect you.

Bos. Doth he study physiognomy?

There 's no more credit to be given to the face

Than to a sick man's urine, which some call

The physician's whore, because she cozens〖Cheats.〗 him.

He did suspect me wrongfully.

Ferd. For that

You must give great men leave to take their times.

Distrust doth cause us seldom be deceiv'd.

You see the oft shaking of the cedar-tree

Fastens it more at root.

Bos. Yet take heed;

For to suspect a friend unworthily

Instructs him the next way to suspect you,

And prompts him to deceive you.

Ferd. There 's gold.

Bos. So:

What follows? [Aside.] Never rain'd such showers at these

Without thunderbolts i' the tail of them.—Whose throat must I cut?

Ferd. Your inclination to shed blood rides post

Before my occasion to use you. I give you that

To live i' the court here, and observe the duchess;

To note all the particulars of her behaviour,

What suitors do solicit her for marriage,

And whom she best affects.〖Likes.〗 She 's a young widow:

I would not have her marry again.

Bos. No, sir?

Ferd. Do not you ask the reason; but be satisfied.

I say I would not.

Bos. It seems you would create me

One of your familiars.

Ferd. Familiar! What 's that?

Bos. Why, a very quaint invisible devil in flesh,—

An intelligencer.〖Spy.〗

Ferd. Such a kind of thriving thing

I would wish thee; and ere long thou mayst arrive

At a higher place by 't.

Bos. Take your devils,

Which hell calls angels! These curs'd gifts would make

You a corrupter, me an impudent traitor;

And should I take these, they'd take me [to] hell.

Ferd. Sir, I'll take nothing from you that I have given.

There is a place that I procur'd for you

This morning, the provisorship o' the horse;

Have you heard on 't?

Bos. No.

Ferd. 'Tis yours: is 't not worth thanks?

Bos. I would have you curse yourself now, that your bounty

(Which makes men truly noble) e'er should make me

A villain. O, that to avoid ingratitude

For the good deed you have done me, I must do

All the ill man can invent! Thus the devil

Candies all sins o'er; and what heaven terms vile,

That names he complimental.

Ferd. Be yourself;

Keep your old garb of melancholy; 'twill express

You envy those that stand above your reach,

Yet strive not to come near 'em. This will gain

Access to private lodgings, where yourself

May, like a politic dormouse——

Bos. As I have seen some

Feed in a lord's dish, half asleep, not seeming

To listen to any talk; and yet these rogues

Have cut his throat in a dream. What 's my place?

The provisorship o' the horse? Say, then, my corruption

Grew out of horse-dung: I am your creature.

Ferd. Away! [Exit.]

Bos. Let good men, for good deeds, covet good fame,

Since place and riches oft are bribes of shame.

Sometimes the devil doth preach. Exit.

All Directories