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A bull in ire, an ape in jealousy,
A wolf in greediness for blood.

ADRIANA.

No inore ? Am I to use no courtesies but these ?

CLARA.

No more? Yes, plentifully more! where was I ?
This for your mind's repute. Then for your person,
(Which for my own particular I love)
'Tis said that you are strangely ill to look at;
Your brow as bleak as winter, with a fringe
Of wither'd grass for bair, your nose oblique,
Pointing and slanting like a dial's hand.
They say the fish you had your eyes of laugh'd
To see how they were set, and that your mouth
Grows daily wider, bandying of big words.
All which imaginations, good my lord,
Grossly as they may counterfeit defect
Where worth abounds, are yet so noised abroad
That in despite of that so high esteem
In which I hold you, I'm constrain’d to say
I'd sooner wed your scullion than yourself.

ADRIANA.

Thanks for your counsel ; cunning is the maid
That can convert a lover to a friend,
And

you have imp'd me with a new device. But look! Is this—no, 'tis your

brother's

page.

CLARA.

All hail to him ! he is my daily sport.
Of all things under heaven that make me merry,

It makes me merriest to see a boy
That wants to be a man.

ADRIANA.

His want fulfill'd, He will not be the worse; 'tis well for them That have no faults but what they needs must leave.

Enter the Page.

CLARA,

How now, Sir Henry! whither away, brave knight?

PAGE.

I'm coming but to pay my duty here;
The Lady Adriana lets me come.

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Why, when our pages steal away our loves,
Tell gardeners to keep blackbirds. Look you here-
Seest thou this drooping melancholy maid ;
What hast thou done?

PAGE.

Who, I? it was not I.

CLARA.

Who was it then? Well— kissing goes by favour'-
So saith the proverb; truly, more's the pity !
Yet I commend your prudence, Adriana,
For favouring in place of men and monsters
This pure and pretty child. I'll learn from you;
And if, when I have kiss'd

my pug

and

parrot, I have the matter of a mouthful left, For fear of waste that's worse I'll spend them here.

PAGE.

I would advise you to be more discreet.

CLARA.

you are

Soho! and wherefore ? Oh! so old e !
Full fifteen summers elder than your beard,
And that was born last week before its time.
I told you, Adriana, did I not,
Of the untimely birth? It chanced o' Wednesday,
By reason of a fright he gave

his chin, Making its innocent down to stand on end With brandishivg of a most superfluous razor.

ADRIANA,
You told me no such tale ; and if you

had, I should not have believed

you;

for

your tongue
Was ever nimbler in the track of sport
Than fits for hunting in a leash with truth.
Heed her not, Henry, she is full of slanders.

CLARA.

Ay, no one marks me. I but jest and lie,
And so must go unheeded. Honest times !
Slanders and jests have lost the ear o' the World !
But do I slander him to

say
he's

young?

PAGE,

I am almost as old as you.

CLARA,

I grant thee; But we are women when boys are but boys. God gives us grace to ripen and grow wise Some six years earlier. I thank heaven for it ; We grow upon the sunny side o' the wall.

PAGE.

Methinks your wisdom grows o' the windy side,
And bears but little fruit.

CLARA.

6

What! malapert!
It bears more fruit than thou hast wit to steal,
Or stomach to digest. Were I thy tutor,
To teach thee wisdom, and beheld such store
Of goodly fruitage, I should say to thee,

Rob me this orchard.' Then wouldst thou reply,
Five feet three inches stand I in my shoes,
And yet I cannot reach to pluck these plums,
So loftily they flourish!' God ha' mercy,
Here comes the knight upon an ambling nag.
Now, Adriana !

ADRIANA.

I am sore perplex'd. What shall I say?

CLARA.

My counsel you have heard, And partly slighted, wherefore seek to better; Take we direction from our full-grown friend. Henry, a knight will presently be here

To ask our Adriana's hand in marriage :
What shall she answer ?

PAGE.

Let her say— My lord, You are the flower of Flemish chivalry, But I have vow'd to live and die a maid.'

CLARA.

A goodly vow! God give her grace to make it,
If it be not too troublesome to keep.
But he's no more the flower of Flemish knights,
Than thou the pearl of pages. Adriana,
Bethink

you

of

your answer and be ready, Lest he surprise you and you speak the truth.

ADRIANA.

Prithee, what truth? There's nothing to be hidden.

CLARA.

Except, except-yes, turn your face away,
That so informs against you. Here he comes.

Enter the LORD OF Occo.

OCCO.

Fairest of ladies ! an unworthy knight
Does homage to your beauty.

ADRIANA.

Good my lord,
I am beholden to your courtesy
That gives to this poor semblance such a name.
But here is one by whose associate charms
And kindly converse I am brighten'd ever,-
A daughter of the House of Artevelde.

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