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Crier. A reward of one thousand ducats--one half to be paid on the fact being proved, and the other after release.
BAL. (Aside.) One thousand ducats--mercy on me, one thousand ducats !
Crier. “ The countess, at the time of her being 66 carried off, had on a blue silk gown, several valu66 able rings, and a diamond necklace.”
Bal. Mercy on me, what does he say? a diamond necklace? My dear friend, do repeat that part of the proclamation, tho’ I am not a Catholic-Did you say the countess had on a diamond necklace ?
Crier. A blue gold — Psha! I wish you would not put me out.- A blue silk gown, several valuable rings, and a diamond necklace. [Exit, with the people.
BALTHAZAR solus. Mercy on me, what is this ? The countess carried off and had on a diamond necklace? Then my dear friend Nicolino is a rogue ! Caught it in his net! If this necklace should be the countess's, and it should be found upon me, the excellence of my character would hardly save my neck. I will go for the officers of justice-But then if I should bring my dear friend to the gallows? It would go against my conscience to hang my friend—but to hang myself, that would be suicide. Oh! that would go more against my conscience. If one of us must be exalted, it is but common politeness to give the preference to my friend, which, in such a case, I am sure he would give to me.-I will go for the officers of justice.
And my pretty Balthazar, said he,
lend, For the world is a scramble for pelf. And tho' you should now and then think of a friend,
You must always remember yourself. So I look'd something roguish, but made no reply, Yet my father was pleas’d with the turn of my eye,
And my dear mother said,
As she patted my head, I think that Balthazar will do bye and bye. (Exit.
Scene 1st - Justice STEPHANO'S.
STEPHANO followed by Rosano.. Ros. I will have justice, sir, speedy justice..
Steph. Well, sir, you shall have justice-havn't I quickened her pace with a reward. Don't I know the efficacy of a bribe ? Am I ignorant of my office ? Advertize a rogue without a reward, what's every body's business is nobody's business-offer a thousand ducats for apprehending him, what's nobody's business becomes every body's business immediately. Well, sir.
Enter SERVANT. Serv. Nicolino the fisherman is without, charged by Balthazar the Jew with having been concerned in carrying off the Countess of Modena.
Steph. Bring them before me. (Exit SERVANT.) There, sir ! you see justice does not quite limp upon crutches. I knew your public-spirited men would bestir themselves the moment they heard of the reward.
Enter NicoLINO, BALTHAZAR, 86.
Bal. You must know, as I was going my rounds this morning to see if I could pick up any thing in my way of business, any pearls, or shells, or trinkets, for you know it is my business to buy the shells, and the pearls, and the trinkets
Ros. Well, well!
Steph. Silence ! To the point, Signor Balthazar, if you please.
· Bal. So you see I went into the house of my friend Nicolino, for he is one of the oldest of all my friends
Ros. Psha ! to the point, sir !
Steph. Again signor ! (To RosaNO.) You'either forget yourself, or don't remember who I am proceed!
Bal. So I asked him if he had any thing to dispose of in my way, and he put his hand in his pocket and pulled out this necklace. (Produces the necklace.)
Ros. By heav'n, 'tis hers ; she had it on at parting !
Nic. Chrystals ! As I am a Christian he swore they were only chrystals, and gave me twenty ducats for it-Didn't you tell me they were only chrystals.
Bal. Yesh, yesh, I told him they were only chrystals, I confess I told him they were chrystals. If I had said they were diamonds he would never have parted with them, and then there would have been no proof of the fact you know.
Nic. As I live he swore they were only chrystals !
Steph. That doesn't signify. Is this the necklace you sold him ?
Nic. It is the same.
Steph. Proceed, Balthazar, proceed· Bal. So finding they were diamonds, and suspeeting he had got them dishonestly, I pretended to buy them for myself, and hearing the countess was carried off, I have apprehended him: for tho' he is my friend, yet, thank heaven, I can sacrifice my friend to the good of my country, and here I have brought him, and I hope he will be able to give a good account of himself.
Steph. You have done well, and your country is obliged to you. And now, sir ! Don't be frighten'd, young man ! Where did you get this necklace?