« AnteriorContinuar »
Inten. Strike me? Ah, so might a father chastise! I shall sleep soundly to-night at least, though the gallows await me to-morrow; for, what a life did I lead! Carlo of Cesena reminds me of his connivance, every time I pay his annuity; which happens commonly thrice a year. If I remonstrate, he will confess all to the good bishop-you!
Mon. I see through the trick, caitiff! I would you spoke truth for once. All shall be sifted, however— seven times sifted.
Inten. And how my absurd riches encumbered me! I dared not lay claim to above half my possessions. Let me but once unbosom myself, glorify Heaven, and die!
Sir, you are no brutal dastardly idiot like your brother I frightened to death: let us understand one another. Sir, I will make away with her for you—the girl-here close at hand; not the stupid obvious kind of killing; do not speak-know nothing of her nor of me! I see her every day-saw her this morning: of course there is to be no killing; but at Rome the courtesans perish off every three years, and I can entice her thither-have indeed begun operations already. There's a certain lusty blue-eyed florid-complexioned English knave, I and the Police employ occasionally. You assent, I perceive-no, that's not it -assent I do not say-but you will let me convert my present havings and holdings into cash, and give me time to cross the Alps? 'T is but a little blackeyed pretty singing Felippa, gay silk-winding girl. I have kept her out of harm's way up to this present; for I always intended to make your life a plague to
you with her. 'T is as well settled once and for ever. Some women I have procured will pass Bluphocks, my handsome scoundrel, off for somebody; and once Pippa entangled!—you conceive? Through her singing? Is it a bargain?
[From without is heard the voice of PIPPA, singingOverhead the tree-tops meet,
Flowers and grass spring 'neath one's feet;
-Ay, and of beasts, but words, our words,
The knowledge of that with my life begun.
Nay, I could all but understand
Wherefore through heaven the white moon ranges;
Mon. [Springing up.] My people-one and all— all-within there! Gag this villain-tie him hand and foot! He dares . . I know not half he dares-but remove him-quick! Miserere mei, Domine! Quick, I say!
PIPPA'S Chamber again. She enters it.
The bee with his comb,
The grub in its tomb,
Wile winter away;
But the fire-fly and hedge-shrew and lob-worm, I pray,
Ha, ha, thanks for your counsel, my Zanze!
No bidding me then to . . what did Zanze say?
How pert that girl was!—would I be those pert
It had done me,
However, surely no such mighty hurt
To learn his name who passed that jest upon me:
Came, as she says, a month since, to inspect
Of raw-silk-coloured hair, at all events.
Well, if old Luca keep his good intents,
We shall do better, see what next year brings!
More destitute than you perhaps next year!
But for Monsignor's people's sudden clatter
The pious man, the man devoid of blame, ah but-ah but, all the same,
No mere mortal has a right
To carry that exalted air;
Best people are not angels quite:
While not the worst of people's doings scare
For he passed just now in a traveller's trim,
And now what am I?-tired of fooling.
Even my lily's asleep, I vow:
Wake up-here's a friend I've plucked you!
Suppose there's a king of the flowers
"For she swilled Breganze wine
"Till her nose turned deep carmine;
""T was but white when wild she grew.
"And only by this Zanze's eyes
"Of which we could not change the size,
Oh what a drear dark close to my poor day!
To mavis, merle and throstle,
Bid them their betters jostle
From day and its delights!
But at night, brother howlet, over the woods,
Toll the world to thy chantry;
Sing to the bats' sleek sisterhoods
Full complines with gallantry:
Then, owls and bats,
Cowls and twats,
Monks and nuns, in a cloister's moods,
Adjourn to the oak-stump pantry!