— 5.2 —
Trelcatio, Malfato, Spinella, and Castanna met together in an apartment in Trelcatio’s house.
Trelcatio said, “Kinsman and ladies, have a little patience. All will be as you wish; I guarantee it. Fear nothing; Auria is a noble fellow. I leave you, but know that I will be within hearing distance. Take courage.”
“Courage!” an unhappy Malfato said. “They who have no hearts find no hearts and courage to lose; ours is as great as that of the man who defies danger most.
“Surely, state and ceremony inhabit here. Like strangers, we shall await a formal reception.”
They were close friends and relatives to Lord Auria and ought to be given a friendly, not a formal, reception.
Malfato said to Spinella, “Cousin, let us return to my house; this treatment of us is paltry.”
Spinella said, “Gentle sir, restrain your passion; only I have the duty to be here.”
Castanna said, “Now, for heaven’s sake, sister!”
Lord Auria and Aurelio entered the room.
Castanna said, “He comes — your husband comes. Take comfort, sister.”
“Malfato!” Lord Auria said.
“Auria!” Malfato said.
Lord Auria embraced Malfato and then replied, “Cousin, I wish that my arms in their embraces might at once deliver affectionately what interest your merit holds in my estimation!”
In other words, Lord Auria was telling Malfato that he regarded him highly.
“I may chide the shyness of this intercourse between us that a retired privacy on your part has pleased to show.”
In other words, Lord Auria was telling Malfato that he regretted that the two were not closer. Malfato had been keeping to himself rather than sometimes meeting with Lord Auria.
Most likely, the reason was that Lord Auria had married the woman Malfato loved.
Lord Auria added, “If I can do anything that would cause you to have a kind opinion of me, I shall honor the means and practice — I will do it.”
“That ‘anything’ is your charity and love,” Malfato said.
“Worthy Malfato!” Aurelio said.
“Provident Aurelio!” Malfato said.
“Castanna, virtuous maiden!” Lord Auria said.
“I am your servant, brother-in-law,” Castanna said.
Spinella knelt before Lord Auria.
Lord Auria asked, “But who’s that other?”
“That other” was his wife: Spinella. Lord Auria was asking this question because his wife was kneeling before him. He preferred a more equal relationship.
Lord Auria said, “Such a face my eyes have been acquainted with; the sight resembles something that is not quite lost to remembrance.
“Why does the lady kneel? To whom does she kneel?
“Please rise. I shall forget my civil manners because of imagining that you tender to me a false tribute, or because of imagining that the man to whom you tender it is a counterfeit — an imposter.”
How could Lord Auria be a counterfeit — an imposter? He was a loving husband, but he would not seem sometimes to be a loving husband during this “trial” of his wife. Yet all he was doing was done for the purpose of restoring his wife’s reputation.
Spinella’s kneeling to him could be a “false tribute” in that he would seem to be persecuting her at times although everything he did was intended to clear her name.
His wife rose.
Malfato objected to Lord Auria’s pretending not to know his own wife; of course, Lord Auria knew his own wife! Pretending not to know her seemed to be putting on a show of power over her.
Malfato said, “My lord, you use a borrowed bravery that does not lead to generous interpretations. May your fortunes mount higher than apprehension can reach them!”
Lord Auria did not seem to be acting intelligently, and so Malfato wished that his fortunes in life would prove to be better than his intelligence.
Malfato continued, “Yet this waste kind of antic sovereignty over a wife who equals the best of your deserts, achievements, or prosperity, reveals a barrenness of noble nature. Let upstarts exercise uncomely roughness and rudeness; clear spirits to the humble will be humble. You know your wife, no doubt.”
Of course, Malfato meant “know” in the sense of “recognize,” but the Biblical “know” means to “know sexually.”
Lord Auria used sexual puns in his answer to Malfato:
“I cry for your mercy, gentleman!
“Probably, you have come to tutor a good carriage, and are expert in the nick of it. We shall study your instructions quaintly.”
To “tutor a good carriage” means to “teach good manners”; “carriage” can also refer to carrying a man’s weight in bed while in the missionary position, and “carriage” can refer to carrying a baby.
The work “nick” means “essential part,” and the word “quaintly” means “assiduously.”
The word “nick” can refer to the vulva, and the word “quaint” can also refer to the vulva.
Lord Auria continued, “You said, ‘Wife’? I agree to that. Continue to be fair, and attend the trial.”
This was the first time Spinella had heard the word “trial.” She could guess that it was she who was on trial, and this made her angry. What would be a good reason for a husband to put his wife on trial?
Spinella said, “Those words raise a lively soul in her who almost yielded to faintness and numbness. I thank you for that.
“Prove, though, what you will judge; until I can purge objections that require belief and conscience, I have no kindred, sister, husband, friend, or pity for my plea.”
Spinella wanted her husband to be a fair judge: one who looked at real evidence. She also knew that she needed to get rid of objections against her — serious objections that were held with belief and conscience. By doing so, she could make herself clean again.
To make clear that she wanted no special considerations during the trial, she said that she would have “no kindred, sister, husband, friend, or pity for my plea.”
Malfato said, not to Spinella, “Do you call this a welcome?”
He then said, “We have been mistaken in what we thought would happen here, Castanna.”
Castanna said, “Oh, my lord, other things were promised!”
Lord Auria said to his wife, “Lady, did you say, ‘No kindred, sister, husband, friend’?”
Spinella said, “Nor name.”
She would not have the name of “wife.” She would have no title that would come from being the wife of Lord Auria, who was now a lord.
The word “name” also meant “reputation.” She did not want her reputation, good or bad, to be used for or against her.
She continued, “With this addition — I disclaim all benefit of mercy from a charitable thought if one or all of the subtleties of malice, if any engineer of faithless discord, if supposition for pretense in folly can point out, without injury to goodness, a likelihood of guilt in my behavior that may declare neglect in every duty required, fit, or exacted.”
“The subtleties of malice” are “the tricks and schemes that come from the intention to do evil.”
“Any engineer of faithless discord” means “anyone who creates perfidious and disloyal disharmony between people” — in this case, between a husband and wife.
“Supposition for pretense in folly” means “assumption of a claim in foolishness” — that is, foolishly assuming something.
In other words, if she were found guilty for whatever reason — and those reasons would be unfair — then let no mercy be shown to her.
Lord Auria said about Spinella and her words, “High and peremptory! The confidence is masculine.”
“And why not?” Malfato said. “An honorable cause gives life to truth without control.”
“I can proceed,” Spinella said.
She had more to say.
She continued, “That tongue whose venom has spread the infection by traducing spotless honor, is not more my enemy than their, or his, weak and besotted brains are on whom the poison of its cankered falsehood has wrought to procure belief in so foul a mischief.”
Who were her enemies? One was Aurelio, whose tongue gave voice to words when he broke into the chamber in which Spinella and Lord Adurni were alone. Other enemies were the brains of those on whom Aurelio’s poison had worked to produce belief that she was unchaste. As far as she knew, those brains possibly included the brains of her husband, Lord Auria.
Spinella continued, “Speak, sir, you who are the churlish voice of this combustion, Aurelio, speak. And, gentle sir, don’t keep back anything that you know, but roundly use your eloquence against a mean defendant.”
The word “mean” can mean 1) abject, 2) inferior in rank, 3) inferior in quality, 4) inferior in ability, 5) poor, 6) badly off, and/or 7) debased.
Observing Aurelio, Malfato said, “He’s put to it. It seems the challenge gravels him.”
Aurelio was under strain and perplexed.
Aurelio said, “The information I gave came from my doubts and fears, not from any actual knowledge I had.”
This was an important admission: He had no actual knowledge that seduction or attempted seduction had occurred. He had given information based on surmise.
He continued, “A self-confession of one’s faults may ask for assistance.”
A person who confesses sins to a priest can ask for absolution. A person can ask another person for forgiveness.
He continued, “Let the lady’s justice impose the penance.”
A priest can impose penance in the form of such things as saying the Hail Mary prayer. A non-Catholic can impose a different kind of penance.
Aurelio continued, “So, in the rules of friendship as of love, suspicion is not seldom an improper advantage for knitting more firmly fixed joints of the most faithful affection, by the fevers of casualty unloosed, where lastly error has run into the toil.”
Suspicion can make relationships, whether of friendship or of love, stronger.
A casualty is an unfortunate occurrence.
Aurelio was saying that once the unfortunate occurrence of suspicion had caused trouble but had then run its course, with the error of unfounded suspicion being combatted and defeated, then relationships could become stronger.
Spinella said, “That is woeful satisfaction for a divorce of hearts!”
A future better relationship was small compensation for what she was going through now: a divorce between her heart and Lord Auria’s heart.
Lord Auria said, “Are you so resolute? I shall touch nearer home: Behold these hairs.”
His hair was beginning to grow white.
He continued, “They are great masters of a spirit.”
John Conington translated Horace’s Carmina, Book 3, Poem 14, lines 25-26 in this way:
“Soon palls the taste for noise and fray,
“When hair is white and leaves are sere:”
In other words, white hair has a calming effect on a man: The man no longer wishes for noise and fights.
To some extent, this was true of Lord Auria. He was willing to leave home and fight Turkish pirates, but he wanted quiet and peace at home.
Lord Auria continued speaking to Spinella, with the others listening, “Yet my few white hairs are not by the winter of old age quite hidden in snow, although I must acknowledge that some messengers of time took up lodging among black hairs.
“When we first exchanged our faiths in wedlock, I was proud I had prevailed with one whose youth and beauty deserved a choice more suitable in both.”
He was saying that Spinella deserved a husband who was both younger and better looking than he was.
Lord Auria continued, “Advancement to a fortune could not court ambition either on my side or hers.”
According to Lord Auria’s words, neither he nor his wife had married for money.
Lord Auria continued, “Love drove the bargain, and the truth of love confirmed it, I conceived.
“But disproportion in years among the married is a reason for change of pleasures. To this I reply that our union was not forced, it was by consent, and so then the breach in such a case appears unpardonable.”
If Spinella had sought a younger lover because of Lord Auria’s age, that would be unpardonable because their match had been a love match. Adultery would be more understandable if she had married him for his money — both knew that she had not done this because he had not been wealthy.
Lord Auria said to Spinella, “Say your thoughts.”
Spinella said, “My thoughts in that respect are as resolute as yours; they are the same.
“Yet herein evidence of frailty did not more greatly deserve a separation than does charge of disloyalty objected without either any ground or witness.”
The phrase “evidence of frailty” was ambiguous. It could mean 1) evidence that someone had been frail and weak — for example, in resisting the temptation to commit adultery, or 2) the evidence itself is frail and weak.
The “charge of disloyalty objected” was ambiguous. It could mean 1) the charge of objected — hated — disloyalty, 2) the charge of disloyalty objected to — rebuffed. In either case, the phrase “without either any ground or witness” applied.
Spinella’s next words referred to two possible faults: one concerning a woman, and one concerning a man. In this context, we can guess that she is referring to these specific faults: 1) a woman who has been accused of infidelity, and 2) a man who believes the accusation without any evidence.
Spinella said, “Women’s faults subject to punishments and men’s faults applauded prescribe no laws in force.”
In other words: No enacted laws prescribe that women’s faults be subject to punishments and that men’s faults be applauded.
Or: Women’s faults subject to punishments and men’s faults applauded decree no laws in force.
Any law that subjects women’s faults to punishment and men’s faults to applause is unfair.
Aurelio asked, “Are you so nimble?”
The word “nimble” can be positive or negative.
A person can defend him- or herself fairly and rationally — or through seeking a loophole.
Malfato said, “A soul purged of dross by competition, such as mighty Auria’s soul is famed, descends from its own sphere, when injuries, profound ones, yield to the combat of a scolding mastery: a skirmish of words.
“Has your wife lewdly ranged, adulterating the honor of your bed? If so, then withhold dispute, but execute your vengeance with unresisted rage. We shall look on. Allow that the fact is true, and spurn her from our bloods.
“Otherwise, if proof of infidelity is not detected, you have wronged her innocence unworthily and childishly, for which I challenge satisfaction.”
Malfato was willing to fight a duel with Lord Auria on account of Spinella.
Castanna said about Lord Auria, “It is a tyranny to ungently insult a humble and obedient sweetness.”
As she talked, Lord Adurni entered the room. He could guess who was being insulted: Spinella.
Lord Adurni said, “That I will make good, and I must without exception find admittance fitting the party who has herein interest.”
He meant that he would turn aside that insult and replace it with good. In addition, he would fix things so that the party being insulted would find admittance into the hearts of everyone present.
Lord Adurni said, “Let’s assume I was in fault. If I were at fault, then that fault stretched merely to a misguided thought.”
If he were at fault, he had committed no faulty action; he had merely thought of actions that were faulty.
He continued, “And who in this room, except the pair of fair and matchless sisters, Spinella and Castanna, can clear themselves of an imputation of similar folly and foolishness?”
He had done nothing that no man present had not also done: He had sinned in his mind.
Lord Adurni continued, “Here I ask your pardon, excellent Spinella. I ask pardon of only you.
“Your pardon being granted to me, then any man among you who calls for an even reckoning shall meet an even accountant.”
He was asking for the pardon of Spinella only; once that pardon was granted, if any man still held anything against him, he would fight that man.
Lord Auria said, “Am I being tormented by a conspiracy of people? I must have my right.”
Spinella said to Lord Auria, “And I must have my right, my lord. My lord, what trouble and disturbance is here! You can suspect —”
Suspect whom? Spinella.
She continued speaking to her husband, “— and so reconciliation between us, then, is unwanted. Conclude the difference by taking revenge, or by parting, and we shall never more see one another.”
She then said, “Sister, lend me thine arm. I have assumed a courage above my power and ability, and I can hold out no longer.”
She had pretended to have a strength she did not possess.
She then said, “Auria, unkind! Unkind!”
“She faints,” Castanna said.
Lord Auria picked her up and put her on a couch.
She regained consciousness.
“Spinella!” he said. “Regent of my affections, thou have conquered in this trial. I find thy virtues as I left them, perfect, pure, and unflawed; for instance, let me claim Castanna’s promise.”
He would show how highly he regarded his wife, Spinella, by doing something good for her sister, Castanna.
“My promise?” Castanna asked.
Lord Auria replied, “Yours, to whose faith I am a guardian, but not by imposition. Instead, you chose me to be your guardian. Look, I have fitted a husband for you, noble and deserving.”
The word “fitted” could mean 1) made suitable and fitting, or 2) forced by fits. The word “fits” could mean “the process of fitting.”
Lord Auria had made Lord Adurni a suitable husband for Castanna, perhaps through force, or the force of persuasion.
Lord Auria said, “No shrinking back.”
Was he speaking to Lord Adurni or to Castanna or to both?
Lord Auria then said, “Lord Adurni, I present Castanna; she will be a wife of worth.”
“What’s that?” Malfato said.
Lord Adurni said to Lord Auria, “So great a blessing crowns all desires of life.”
He then said to Castanna, “This offer of marriage, lady, I can assure you, is not sudden to me; instead, it is welcomed and forethought. I wish that you could please to say the same!”
Lord Auria said, “Castanna, do. Speak, dearest. It rectifies all crooked vain surmises.”
Lord Auria was overstating this. True, marriage to Castanna could help rectify things. If Lord Adurni had wanted to marry Castanna for a while, then perhaps his behavior when alone with Spinella had been misunderstood.
Trying to seduce a woman’s sister does not facilitate romance with that woman.
Lord Auria said again to Castanna, “I ask you to please speak.”
Spinella said, “The courtship’s somewhat quick, and the match seems agreed on.”
The people who had agreed that Lord Adurni should marry Castanna were Lord Auria and Lord Adurni.
Spinella continued, “Do not, sister, reject the use of fate.”
Castanna said, “I dare not question the will of Heaven.”
Malfato said about the upcoming marriage, “Unthought-of and unlooked-for!”
“My ever-honored lord!” Spinella said to her husband.
Aurelio said, “This marriage frees each circumstance of jealousy.”
Aurelio was overstating this. True, if Lord Adurni were to marry Castanna, then since he had a wife at home, a wife who was Spinella’s sister, he would be less likely to lust after Spinella. Still, though it is rare, some men commit adultery with their wife’s sister.
Lord Auria said, “Make no scruple, Castanna, about the choice of Lord Adurni as a husband. It is firm and real.
“Why else have I so long with tameness nourished report of wrongs, except that I fixed on issue of my desires?”
He had nourished gossip by not taking action such as fighting a duel, but he had not taken action because he wanted better outcomes: Spinella’s name cleared, and friendship restored among all the people now present.
A marriage alliance between Lord Auria and Lord Adurni would help maintain peace. They would be brothers-in-law.
Lord Auria continued, “Italians use not dalliance, but execution.”
Italians are quick to fight.
He continued, “Herein I degenerated from the custom of our nation.”
“Degenerate” is a stronger, more negative word than “deviate.”
He had not acted the way many Italians would have acted. Why not?
He continued, “Because the virtues of my Spinella are rooted in my soul. Not rooted in my soul is the common form of matrimonial compliments, which are short-lived, as are their pleasures.”
The common form of matrimonial compliments, whatever they are, is superficial. These compliments and their pleasures are short-lived. Possibly, these are the matrimonial compliments that are given between husband and wife when a marriage takes place because the husband has money and the wife has beauty.
Lord Auria said to Spinella, “Yet, truly, my dearest, I might blame your needless absence. My love and nature were no strangers to you.
“But since you were in the house of Malfato, your kinsman, I honor his hospitable friendship, and I must thank it.
“May we now have a lasting truce on all hands.”
Aurelio said to Spinella, “You will pardon a rash and over-busy curiosity and nosiness.”
He was admitting that he was at fault, and he was asking for her forgiveness.
Spinella said, “That was to blame, but the successful and happy outcome we see here pardons it.”
Lord Adurni said to Malfato, “Sir, what presumptions formerly have grounded opinion of unfitting carriage to you, on my part I shall faithfully acquit at easy summons.”
He was using legal terminology to say that he hoped Malfato would change his opinion of him, which formerly had been unfavorable. He knew that Malfato loved Spinella and blamed him for what at least seemed to be an attempt to seduce her.
Malfato said, “You act early and so forestall the need for any fancy apologies. Use your own pleasure.”
This meant: Do what you want to do.
Malfato had seemed shocked when Lord Auria had given Castanna to be Lord Adurni’s wife. Possibly, Malfato had been interested in her. Possibly, Lord Adurni knew that.
Benazzi rushed in with his sword drawn, followed by Levidolce and Martino.
“What’s the matter?” Aurelio asked.
“Matter?” Lord Auria asked.
“Lord Adurni and Malfato found together!” Benazzi said. “Now for a glorious vengeance.”
“Hold him! Oh, hold him!” Levidolce said.
Apparently, Levidolce’s plan had been to have Benazzi kill Lord Adurni and Malfato. If so, she may have changed her mind just as her plan seemed to be playing out. But was this reformation, if it was one, genuine, or was it a “reformation”? And had Martino agreed to assist in a plot to murder Lord Adurni and Malfato? That seems unlikely.
“This is no place for murder,” Aurelio said to Benazzi. “Yield thy sword.”
“Yield it, or I will force it,” Lord Auria said.
Lord Auria disarmed Benazzi and then asked him, “Do you set up your shambles of slaughter in my presence?”
A shambles is a slaughterhouse.
“Let him come at me,” Lord Adurni said.
“What can the ruffian mean?” Malfato asked.
“I have been prevented from getting my vengeance,” Benazzi said. “If I had not been, then the temple or the chamber of the Duke would not have proved to be a sanctuary.
“Lord Adurni, thou have dishonorably wronged my wife.”
“Thy wife!” Lord Adurni said. “I don’t know her, and I don’t know thee.”
He did not recognize Benazzi and so he did not know to whom Benazzi was married.
“Fear nothing,” Lord Auria said.
To whom was he speaking? Spinella and Castanna? Levidolce? If Levidolce, he was saying this: Don’t be afraid to speak up.
Levidolce said to Lord Adurni, “Yes, you know me. Heaven has a gentle mercy for penitent offenders.”
She then said, “Blessed ladies, don’t regard me as a cast-off reprobate, although once I fell into some lapses that our sex are often entangled by, yet what I have been concerns me now no more, for I am resolved to lead a new life.
“This gentleman, Benazzi, disguised as you see, I have remarried.”
She said to Benazzi, “I knew you at first sight, and now I offer my constant submission to you on account of all my errors.”
Martino said to Lord Adurni, “It is true, sir.”
Benazzi said, “I take joy in this revelation that Levidolce recognized me, and I am thankful for the change in Levidolce.”
Lord Auria said, “Let wonder henceforth cease, for I am partner with Benazzi’s counsels, and in them I was the director.”
Lord Auria was saying that he had planned with Benazzi some of Benazzi’s actions, probably including pretending to want to kill Lord Adurni and Malfato. He may have done that as a test of Levidolce’s character: Would she object when the murders seemed about to occur?
Or he was lying because he had recognized Benazzi as a man who had performed good service for him and whom he would like to rescue from severe and perhaps capital punishment.
He continued, “I have seen the man do service in the wars recently past that were worthy of an ample mention — but more about that hereafter; repetitions now of good or bad would constrict time, time for which we have other uses.”
Martino said to Benazzi, “Welcome, and welcome forever!”
Levidolce said to Benazzi, “My eyes, sir, shall never receive a look from yours without a blush.”
She said to all present, “Please forget all these rash actions; such actions were mine, and only mine.”
Much forgiveness was taking place, and Malfato joined in.
“You’ve found a way to happiness,” Malfato said to Lord Adurni. “I honor your conversion.”
“Then I am freed,” Lord Adurni said to Malfato.
Malfato replied, “You may call me your friend and your servant.”
He had forgiven Lord Adurni.
Martino said, “Now all that’s mine is theirs.”
He welcomed Benazzi as the husband of his great-niece, both of whom would inherit his wealth.
Lord Adurni said, “But let me add an offering to the altar of this peace.”
He gave Benazzi and Levidolce money.
Lord Auria asked, “How does Spinella like this? This holiday — special day — of ours deserves to be remembered in the calendar.”
Spinella said, “This reformed gentlewoman — Levidolce — must live fair and worthy in my thoughts.”
She said to Levidolce, “And indeed you shall.”
Castanna said to Levidolce, “And you will live fair and worthy in my thoughts; your reformation requires a friendly love.”
Levidolce said to the two sisters, “You’re kind and bountiful.”
Trelcatio, Futelli, Amoretta, and Piero entered the room, driving in Fulgoso and Guzman.
Trelcatio said, “By your leaves, lords and ladies, I will increase your jollities by bringing mine, too.
“Here’s a youngster whom I call my son-in-law, for so my daughter will have it.”
He presented Futelli to the group.
Amoretta lisped, “Yeth, in sooth, thee will.”
Futelli and she would be married.
Trelcatio said, “Futelli has weaned her from this pair: Fulgoso and Guzman.”
Piero said, “Stand forth, resolute lovers.”
Futelli and Amoretta stood forth.
Trelcatio said, “They are a top and top-gallant pair — and for his pains she will have him or none. He’s not the richest in the parish; but he is a wit: I say ‘Amen’ because I cannot help it.”
Why couldn’t he help it? Possibly: 1) he was so happy that he could not help saying it, or 2) he was so unhappy that he could not help saying it.
Chances are, he did not especially want Futelli for a son-in-law, but because he could not prevent the marriage, he accepted it.
Amoretta said, “Tith no matter.”
Lord Auria said, “We’ll remedy the penury of fortune. Futelli and Amoretta shall go with us to Corsica. Our cousin Amoretta must not despair of means, since it is believed that Futelli can deserve a place of trust.”
Is there evidence that Futelli can deserve a place of trust? Futelli had won Amoretta’s love, and he had stopped her excessive interest in princes and the number of horses pulling their carriages. Still, he had done this as a result of what seemed like a cruel practical joke.
Futelli said to Lord Auria, “You are in all unfellowed.”
He meant, “You are in everything without an equal.”
Or, if he had not heard the good news of Lord Auria and Spinella’s reconciliation, and if he suspected that Lord Auria was being sarcastic, he meant, “You are in everything without a marriage partner.”
Amoretta lisped, “Withely thpoken.”
Piero said to Lord Auria, “Think about Piero, sir.”
It seemed that Lord Auria was giving Futelli a chance to advance; Piero also wanted a chance to advance.
Lord Auria said, “Piero, yes.”
He then asked about Fulgoso and Guzman, “But what about these two pretty ones?”
Fulgoso the Parvenu said, “I’ll follow the ladies, play at cards, entertain myself, and whistle.”
He was not one to follow a military leader.
He continued, “My wealth shall carry me throughout my life: A lazy life is scurvy and debauched.”
He was OK with living a lazy, scurvy, and debauched life.
Fulgoso continued, “You go ahead and fight abroad. We’ll be gaming at home while you fight. However the dice fall — high or low — here is a brain that can do it.”
Do what? Seek entertainment every day.
He then said, “But for my martial brother Don Guzman, please make him a — what do you call it — a setting dog? No, a sentinel. I’ll mend his weekly pay by adding to it.”
Guzman the Spaniard said, “He shall deserve it.”
“He” referred to himself: He was now humbler than when he used the majestic plural, and he was saying that he would do good work and so he would earn the increased salary.
He then said to Lord Auria, “Vouchsafe to me honorable employment.”
Fulgoso the Parvenu said to Lord Auria, “By the Virgin Mary, the Don’s a generous Don.”
Lord Auria said, “It would be unfitting to lose him.”
Yes, he would give Guzman a job.
He then said to all present, “The duties of command limit us to enjoy only a short time for revels. We must be thrifty in enjoying the revels and not waste the time allotted for them.
“No one, I trust, is discontent at these delights; they’re free and harmless.
“After distress at sea, the dangers over, safety and welcomes taste better ashore.”
The court’s on rising; it is too late
To wish the lady in her fate
Of trial now more fortunate.
A verdict in the jury’s breast
Will be given up anon [soon] at least;
Till then it is fit we hope the best.
Else if there can be any stay,
Next sitting without more delay,
We will expect a gentle day.
One trial has taken place: the trial of Spinella. The outcome was extremely good for Spinella and everyone else involved in the trial.
But another trial is taking place — in the theater. The play has ended, and so the evidence has been given in the form of acting and directing and producing. Now the jury — the audience — must judge whether the play is good or bad. They will render their decision in the form of applause (or in some cases, lack of it). The actor performing the epilogue hopes for “a gentle day” — a successful play.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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JOHN FORD: 8 PLAYS