Act 3, Scene 1

Enter Francisco de Medicis, and Monticelso, their Chancellor and Register

Fran. You have dealt discreetly, to obtain the presence
  Of all the great lieger ambassadors
  To hear Vittoria's trial.

Mont. 'Twas not ill;
  For, sir, you know we have naught but circumstances
  To charge her with, about her husband's death:
  Their approbation, therefore, to the proofs
  Of her black lust shall make her infamous
  To all our neighbouring kingdoms. I wonder
  If Brachiano will be here?

Fran. Oh, fie! 'Twere impudence too palpable. [Exeunt.

Enter Flamineo and Marcello guarded, and a Lawyer

Lawyer. What, are you in by the week? So—I will try now whether they
  wit be close prisoner—methinks none should sit upon thy sister, but
  old whore-masters——

Flam. Or cuckolds; for your cuckold is your most terrible tickler of
  lechery. Whore-masters would serve; for none are judges at tilting,
  but those that have been old tilters.

Lawyer. My lord duke and she have been very private.

Flam. You are a dull ass; 'tis threatened they have been very public.

Lawyer. If it can be proved they have but kissed one another——

Flam. What then?

Lawyer. My lord cardinal will ferret them.

Flam. A cardinal, I hope, will not catch conies.

Lawyer. For to sow kisses (mark what I say), to sow kisses is to reap
  lechery; and, I am sure, a woman that will endure kissing is half won.

Flam. True, her upper part, by that rule; if you will win her neither
  part too, you know what follows.

Lawyer. Hark! the ambassadors are 'lighted——

Flam. I do put on this feigned garb of mirth,
  To gull suspicion.

Marc. Oh, my unfortunate sister!
  I would my dagger-point had cleft her heart
  When she first saw Brachiano: you, 'tis said,
  Were made his engine, and his stalking horse,
  To undo my sister.

Flam. I am a kind of path
  To her and mine own preferment.

Marc. Your ruin.

Flam. Hum! thou art a soldier,
  Followest the great duke, feed'st his victories,
  As witches do their serviceable spirits,
  Even with thy prodigal blood: what hast got?
  But, like the wealth of captains, a poor handful,
  Which in thy palm thou bear'st, as men hold water;
  Seeking to grip it fast, the frail reward
  Steals through thy fingers.

Marc. Sir!

Flam. Thou hast scarce maintenance
  To keep thee in fresh chamois.

Marc. Brother!

Flam. Hear me:
  And thus, when we have even pour'd ourselves
  Into great fights, for their ambition,
  Or idle spleen, how shall we find reward?
  But as we seldom find the mistletoe,
  Sacred to physic, on the builder oak,
  Without a mandrake by it; so in our quest of gain,
  Alas, the poorest of their forc'd dislikes
  At a limb proffers, but at heart it strikes!
  This is lamented doctrine.

Marc. Come, come.

Flam. When age shall turn thee
  White as a blooming hawthorn——

Marc. I 'll interrupt you:
  For love of virtue bear an honest heart,
  And stride o'er every politic respect,
  Which, where they most advance, they most infect.
  Were I your father, as I am your brother,
  I should not be ambitious to leave you
  A better patrimony.

Flam. I 'll think on 't. [Enter Savoy Ambassador.
  The lord ambassadors.

[Here there is a passage of the Lieger Ambassadors over the stage

Enter French Ambassador

Lawyer. Oh, my sprightly Frenchman! Do you know him? he 's an admirable tilter.

Flam. I saw him at last tilting: he showed like a pewter candlestick fashioned like a man in armour, holding a tilting staff in his hand, little bigger than a candle of twelve i' th' pound.

Lawyer. Oh, but he's an excellent horseman!

Flam. A lame one in his lofty tricks; he sleeps a-horseback, like a poulterer.

Enter English and Spanish

Lawyer. Lo you, my Spaniard!

Flam. He carried his face in 's ruff, as I have seen a serving-man carry glasses in a cypress hatband, monstrous steady, for fear of breaking; he looks like the claw of a blackbird, first salted, and then broiled in a candle. [Exeunt.

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