AMORETTO. I know this was the readiest way to
chase away the scholar, by getting him into a subject
he cannot talk of for his life. [Aside.] Sir,
I will borrow so much time of you as to finish this
my begun story. Now, sir, after much travel we
singled a buck; I rode that same time upon a roan
gelding, and stood to intercept from the thicket; the
buck broke gallantly; my great swift being disadvantaged
in his slip was at the first behind; marry, presently
coted and outstripped them, when as the hart presently
descended to the river, and being in the water, proffered
and reproffered, and proffered again: and, at
last, he upstarted at the other side of the water,
which we call soil of the hart, and there other huntsmen
met him with an adauntreley; we followed in hard
chase for the space of eight hours; thrice our hounds
were at default, and then we cried A slain!
straight, So ho; through good reclaiming my
faulty hounds found their game again, and so went
through the wood with gallant noise of music, resembling
so many viols de gambo. At last the hart
laid him down, and the hounds seized upon him; he groaned,
and wept, and died. In good faith, it made me
weep too, to think of Actaeon’s fortune, which
my Ovid speaks of—
[He reads Ovid.
Militat omnis amans, et habet sua castra Cupido.
Sir, can you put me in any hope of obtaining my suit?
In good faith, sir, if I did not love you as my soul, I would not make
you acquainted with the mysteries of my art.
Nay, I will not die of a discourse yet, if I can choose.
AMORETTO. So, sir, when we had rewarded our dogs with the small guts, and the lights, and the blood, the huntsmen hallooed, So ho! Venue, a coupler; and so coupled the dogs, and then returned homeward. Another company of hounds, that lay at advantage, had their couples cast off, and we might hear the huntsmen cry, Horse, decouple, avant; but straight we heard him cry, Le amond, and by that I knew that they had the hare, and on foot; and by and by I might see sore and resore, prick and reprick. What, is he gone! ha, ha, ha, ha! these scholars are the simplest creatures!
ACTUS II., SCAENA 6.
Enter Amoretto’s PAGE.
PAGE. I wonder what is become of that Ovid de arte amandi. My master, he that for the practice of his discourse is wont to court his hobby abroad and at home, in his chamber makes a set speech to his greyhound, desiring that most fair and amiable dog to grace his company in a stately galliard; and if the dog, seeing him practise his lusty points, as his cross-point back-caper, chance to bewray the room, he presently doft’s his cap, most solemnly makes a low leg to his ladyship, taking it for the greatest favour in the world that she would vouchsafe to leave her civet-box or her sweet glove behind her.