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Maffio. She is adorable! Between ourselves, she begins to work upon my heart most furiously.

JEPPO. And her supper ?

Maffio. As perfect as orgie can be !

ЈЕРРО. .
The princess is a widow.

Maffio.
One sees that well enough by her gayety.

JEPPO. I hope that your fears of the supper are gone by this time?

MAFFI0. . I! how then ?-I was stupid.

Jeppo (to Gubetta.) Monsieur de Belverana, you would hardly think that Maffio was afraid of supping at the princess's ?

GUBETTA. Afraid !-why?

Jeppo.
Because the palace Negroni, forsooth, joins the palace
Borgia!

GUBETTA.
To the devil with the Borgia, and let's drink!

JePro (in a whisper to Maffio). What I like in this Belverana is, his thorough hatred of the Borgias.

MAFFio (in a whisper). True, he never misses an occasion of sending them to the devil with a most particular grace. Nevertheless, my dear Jeppo

JEPPO, Well.

Maffio. I have watched this pretended Spaniard from the beginning of the supper; he has drank nothing but water.

JEPPO. What! at your suspicion again, my good friend Maffio! The effect of your wine is strangely monotonous !

Maffio. Perhaps so; I am stupid. GUBETTA (retiring, and looking at Maffio from head to foot).

Do you know, Monsieur Maffio, that you are built to live ninety years, and that you are just like my grandfather, who did live to those years, and was called, like myself, Gil-Basilio-Fernen-Fernan-Ireneo-Felipe-Frascon Frasquito Comte de Belverana ?

JEPPO (in a whisper to Maffio). I hope you do not now doubt of his being a Spaniard - he has at least twenty Christian names!

What a litany, Monsieur de Belverana!

GUBETTA. Alas! our parents have the habit of giving us more names at our baptism than crowns at our marriage. But what are they laughing at down there ? (Aside.) Those women must have some pretext to get away ; what's to be done?

(He returns and sits down to table.)

OLOFERNO (drinking). By Hercules, I never passed a more delicious evening! Ladies, taste this wine ; it's softer than the wine of Lacryma Christi, more generous than the wine of Cy. prus! Here, this is the wine of Syracuse, my seigneurs !

GUBETTA (eating). Oloferno's drunk, it seems.

OLOFERNO. Ladies, I must tell you some verses that I have just made. I wish I were more of a poet than I am, in order that I might celebrate such admirable women!

*

GUBETTA. And I wish I were more rich than I am, in order to present my friends with just such other women.

OLOFERNO. Nothing is so agreeable as to sing the praise of a good supper and a beautiful woman!

GUBETTA.
Except to kiss the one and eat the other.

OLOFERNO. Yes, I wish I were a poet; I would raise myself to heaven-I wish I had two wings !

GUBETTA.
Of a pheasant in my plate.

OLOFERNO.
At all events, I'll tell you my sonnet.

GUBETTA. As I dispense the dogs from biting me, the pope from blessing me, and the people in the street from pelting me.

OLOFERNO. By God's head, I believe, little Spanish gentleman, that you mean to insult me!

GUBETTA. I don't insult you, colossus of an Italian; I don't choose to listen to your sonnet-nothing more. My throat thirsts more after the Syracusan wine than my ears after poetry.

OLOFERNO. Your ears, you Spanish rascal-I'll nail them to your heels!

GUBETTA. You are a foolish beast! Fy! did one ever hear of such a lout, to get drunk with Syracusan wine, and have the air of being sottish with beer!

OLOFERNO. I'll cut you into quarters, that will I ! * Rather singular language in a princess's palace, and addressed to her and her friends.

GUBETTA (still carving a pheasant). I won't say as much for you; I don't carve such big fowls. Ladies, let me offer you some pheasant.

OLOFERÑO (seizing a knife). Pardieu ! I'll cut the rascal's belly open, were he more of a gentleman than the emperor himself!

The Women (rising from the table.) Heavens! they are going to fight !

The Men. Come, come, Oloferno!

(They disarm Oloferno, who wishes to rush upon Gu

betta. While they are doing this, the Women disappear.)

OLOFERNO (struggling). By God's body

GUBETTA. Your rhymes are so rich with God, my dear poet, that you have put these ladies to flight. You are a terrible bungler!

JEPPO.
It's very true: where the devil are they gone to?

MAFFIO.
They were frightened: “steel drawn, woman gone."

ASCANIO. Bah! they'll come back again.

OLOFERNO (menacing Gubetta). I'll find you again to-morrow, my little devil Bellivedera !

GUBETTA.
To-morrow as much as you please.

(Oloferno seats himself, tottering with rage. Gubetta

bursts out laughing.) That idiot! to send away the prettiest women in Ferrara with a knife wrapped up in a sonnet! To quarrel about rhymes !- I believe indeed he has wings. It is not a man, it's a bird-it perches; it ought to sleep on one leg, that creature Oloferno.

JEPPO. There, there, gentlemen, let's have peace--you'll cut one another's throats gallantly to-morrow : by Jupiter!! you'll fight, at all events, like gentlemen-with swords, and not with knives !

ASCANIO.
Apropos! what have we done with our swords ?

Don APOSTOLO. You forget that they were taken from us in the antechamber.

GuberTA. And a good precaution too, or we should have been fighting before ladies, a vulgarity that would bring blushes into the cheek of a Fleming drunk with tobacco !

GENNARO. A good precaution, in sooth!

MAFFIO. Pardieu! brother Gennaro, those are the first words that have passed your lips since the beginning of the supper, and you don't drink! Are you thinking of Lucrèce Borgia, Gennaro ? Decidedly you have some little love affair with her-don't say "No."

GENNARO. Give me to drink, Maffio! I won't abandon my friends at the table any more than I would in the battle.

A black Page, with two flagons in his hand. My lords, the wine of Cyprus or of Syracuse ?

MAFFIO. Syracusan wine, that's the best.

(The black Page fills all the glasses.)

Jeppo. The plague seize thee, Oloferno! are those ladies not coming back again ?—(He goes successively to the two doors.)— The doors are fastened on the other side, gentlemen.

MAFFIO. Now, Jeppo, don't you in your turn be frightened; they don't wish we should follow them, nothing can be more simple than that.

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