The Project Gutenberg EBook of Plays, vol. 1, by John Vanbrugh

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Title: Plays, vol. 1

Author: John Vanbrugh

Release Date: February 2, 2016 [EBook #51113]

Language: English

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[Pg 1]



Sir John Vanbrugh.


Volume the First.



Printed for J. Rivington, T. Longman, T. Lowndes, S. Caslon, C. Corbett, S. Bladon, W. Nicoll, T. Evans, and M. Waller.


[Pg 2]
[Pg 3]


Sir John Vanbrugh, an eminent dramatic Writer, Son of Mr. Giles Vanbrugh, of London, Merchant, was born in the Parish of St. Stephen's, Wallbrook, in 1666. The Family of Vanbrugh were for many Years Merchants of great Credit and Reputation, at Antwerp, and came into England in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, on account of the Persecution for Religion.

Sir John received a very liberal Education, and at the Age of nineteen, was sent by his Father to France, where he continued some[Pg 4] Years: He became very eminent for his Poetry, to which he discovered an early propension. And, pity it is, that this agreeable Writer had not discovered his Wit, without any Mixture of that Licentiousness, which, tho' it pleased, tended to corrupt the Audience.

The Relapse was the first Play our Author produced, but not the first he had written; for he had at that Time by him, all the Scenes of The Provok'd Wife; but being then doubtful whether he should ever trust it to the Stage, he flung it by, and thought no more of it: Why the last written Play was first acted, and for what Reason they were given to different Stages, what follows will explain.

Upon our Author's first Step into public Life, when he was but an Ensign in the Army, and had a Heart greatly above his Income, he happened somewhere at his Winter Quarters, upon a slender Acquaintance with Sir Thomas Skipwith, to receive a particular Obligation from him; and many Years afterwards, when Sir Thomas's Interest in a Theatrical Patent (which he had a large Share in, though he little concerned himself in the Conduct of it) was rising but very slowly, Sir John thought that to give it a lift by a new Comedy, might be the handsomest[Pg 5] Return he could make to those his former Favours; accordingly he soon after finished The Relapse, or, Virtue in Danger, which was acted at the Theatre in Drury-Lane, in 1696, with universal Applause.

Upon the Success of The Relapse, the late Lord Hallifax, who was a favourer of Betterton's Company, having formerly heard some Scenes of The Provok'd Wife read to him, engaged Sir John Vanbrugh to revise it, and give it to that Company. This was a Request not to be refused to so eminent a Patron of the Muses as Lord Hallifax, who was equally a Friend and Admirer of Sir John himself; nor was Sir Thomas Skipwith in the least disobliged by so reasonable a Compliance. The Provok'd Wife was accordingly acted at the Theatre in Lincoln's Inn-Fields in 1697, with great Success.

Tho' this Play met with so favourable a Reception, yet it was not without its Enemies: People of the graver Sort blamed the looseness of the Scenes, and the unguarded freedom of the Dialect; and indeed Sir John himself appears to have been sensible of the immorality of his Scenes; for in the Year 1725, when this Play was revived, he thought proper to substitute a new Scene in the fourth Act, in place of another, in which, in the[Pg 6] wantonness of his Wit, he had made a Rake talk like a Rake, in the Habit of a Clergyman; to avoid which Offence, he put the same Debauchee into the Undress of a Woman of Quality; by which means the Follies he exposed in the Petticoat, appeared to the Audience innocent and entertaining; which new Scene is now for the first Time printed at the End of the Play.

Soon after the Success of The Provok'd Wife, Sir John produced the Comedy of Esop, in two Parts, which was acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury Lane, in 1697. This was originally written in French by Mr. Boursaut, about six Years before; but the Scenes of Sir Polydorus Hogstye, the Players, and the Beau, were added by our Author. This Play contains a great deal of general Satire, and useful Morality; notwithstanding which, it met with but a cold Reception from the Audience, and its run ended in about nine Days. This seemed the more surprizing, as the French Comedy was played to crowded Audiences for a Month together. The little Success this Piece met with on the English Stage, cannot be better accounted for than in the Words of Mr. Cibber, who, speaking of this Play, makes the following Observation: "The Character that delivers Precepts of Wisdom, is in some sort severe upon the[Pg 7] Auditor, for shewing him one wiser than himself; but when Folly is his Object, he applauds himself for being wiser than the Coxcomb he laughs at; and who is not more pleased with an Occasion to commend, than to accuse himself?"

The next Play our Author wrote, was The False Friend, a Comedy, which was acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury Lane, in 1702.

In 1703, Sir John formed a Project of building a stately Theatre in the Haymarket, for which he had interest enough to get a Subscription of thirty Persons of Quality, at one hundred Pounds each, in consideration whereof, every Subscriber was for his own Life to be admitted to whatever Entertainments should be publicly performed there, without any farther Payment for Entrance.

In 1706, when this House was finished, Mr. Betterton and his Co-partners, who then acted at the Theatre in Lincoln's Inn-Fields, dissolved their Agreement, and put themselves under the direction of Sir John Vanbrugh and Mr. Congreve, imagining, perhaps, that the Conduct of two such eminent Authors might give a more prosperous turn to their Affairs; that the Plays it would now be their interest to write for them, would soon[Pg 8] recover the Town to a true Taste, and be an Advantage that no other Company could hope for; and that till such Plays could be written, the Grandeur of their House, as it was a new spectacle, might allure the Crowd to support them: But, if these were their Views, they soon found their Dependance upon them was too sanguine; for though Sir John was a very expeditious Writer, yet Mr. Congreve was too judicious to let any Thing come unfinished from his Pen. Besides, every proper Convenience of a good Theatre had been sacrificed to shew the Audience a vast triumphal Piece of Architecture, in which, by Means of the spaciousness of the Dome, plays could not be successfully represented, because the Actors could not be distinctly heard.

Not long before this Time, the Italian Opera began to steal into England, but in as rude a Disguise as possible: notwithstanding which, the new Monster pleased, though it had neither Grace, Melody, nor Action, to recommend it. To strike in therefore with the prevailing Fashion, Sir John and Mr. Congreve opened their New Theatre with a translated Opera, set to Italian Music, called The Triumph of Love; but it met with a very cool Reception, being performed only three Times—to thin Houses.

[Pg 9]

Immediately upon the Failure of this Opera, Sir John Vanbrugh brought on his Comedy, called The Confederacy, taken, but very greatly improved, from Les Bourgeoises à la Mode, of Monsieur D'Ancourt. The Success of this Play was not equal to its Merit; for it is written with an uncommon Vein of Wit and Humour; which plainly shews that the difficulty of hearing, distinctly, in that large Theatre, was no small Impediment to the Applause that might have followed the same Actors on any other Stage; and indeed every Play acted there before the House was altered, seemed to suffer greatly from the same Inconvenience; for what few could plainly hear, it was not likely many could applaud. In a Word, the Prospect of Profits from this Theatre was so very barren, that Mr. Congreve, in a few Months, gave up his Share in it wholly to Sir John Vanbrugh; who, as he had a happier Talent of throwing the English Spirit into his Translations, than any other Author who had borrowed from them, he in the same Season produced The Mistake, a Comedy, taken from Le D'epit Amoureux, of Moliere; and The Country House, a Farce, translated from The French, which has been acted at all the Theatres with general Applause.

[Pg 10]

Sir John soon afterwards, thoroughly tired of Theatrical Affairs, determined to get rid of his Patent on the best Terms he could; he accordingly made an Offer to Mr. Owen Swiney of his House, Clothes, and Scenes, with the Queen's Licence to employ them, upon Payment of the Rent of five Pounds upon every acting Day, and not to exceed 700 l. in the Year; with which Proposal Mr. Swiney soon complied, and managed that Stage for some Time after.

Sir John is not a little to be admired for his Spirit, and readiness in producing Plays so fast upon the Neck of one another; for, notwithstanding his quick Dispatch, there is a clear and lively Simplicity in his Wit, that neither wants the Ornaments of Learning, nor has the least Smell of the Lamp, as the Face of a fine Woman, with her Locks loose about her, may then be in its greatest Beauty; such were his Productions, only adorned by Nature. And there is, besides, something so catching to the Ear, and so easy to the Memory, in all he writ, that it has been observed by all the Actors of those Times, the Stile of no Author whatsoever gave their Memory less Trouble, than that of Sir John Vanbrugh. And indeed his Wit and Humour was so little laboured, that his most entertaining Scenes seem to be no more[Pg 11] than his common Conversation committed to Paper. As his Conceptions were so full of Life and Humour, it is not much to be wondered at, if his Muse should be sometimes too warm to wait the slow Pace of Judgment, or to endure the Drudgery of forming a regular Fable to them.

Besides the Plays already mentioned, Sir John left behind him Part of a Comedy, called A Journey to London, which has since been made an entire Play of by Mr. Cibber, and called The Provoked Husband, and was acted at the Theatre-Royal, in Drury Lane, in 1727, for twenty-eight Nights successively, with universal Applause.

In 1703, he was appointed Clarencieux King of Arms, and in 1706 was commissioned by Queen Anne to carry the Habit and Ensigns of the Order of the Garter to King George the First, then at Hanover; he was likewise Comptroller-General of the Board of Works, and Surveyor of the Gardens and Waters. In the Year 1714, he received the Order of Knighthood; and in 1719 he married Henrietta Maria, Daughter of Colonel Yarborough, of Haslington, near York, by whom he had three Children; Charles the eldest was killed at the Battle of Fontenoy, the other two died young.

[Pg 12]

Sir John died at his House in Scotland-Yard, the 26th of March, 1726, and is interred in the Family Vault, under the Church of St. Stephen's, Wallbrook.

[Pg i]


Being the Sequel of The Fool in Fashion.

[Pg ii]
[Pg iii]


To go about to excuse half the Defects this abortive Brat is come into the World with, would be to provoke the Town with a long useless Preface, when it is, I doubt, sufficiently soured already by a tedious Play.

I do therefore (with all the Humility of a repenting Sinner) confess, it wants every thing——but length; and in that, I hope, the severest Critick will be pleas'd to acknowledge I have not been wanting. But my Modesty will sure atone for every thing, when the World shall know it is so great, I am even to this Day insensible of those two shining Graces in the Play (which some part of the Town is pleas'd to compliment me with) Blasphemy and Bawdy.

For my part, I cannot find them out: If there were any obscene Expressions upon the Stage, here they are in the Print; for I have dealt fairly, I have not sunk a Syllable, that cou'd (though by racking of Mysteries) be rang'd under that Head; and yet I believe with a steady Faith, there is not one Woman of a real Reputation in Town, but[Pg iv] when she has read it impartially over in her Closet, will find it so innocent, she will think it no Affront to her Prayer-Book, to lay it upon the same Shelf. So to them (with all manner of Deference) I entirely refer my cause; and I am confident they will justify me against those Pretenders to Good-manners, who at the same time have so little Respect for the Ladies, they wou'd extract a bawdy Jest from an Ejaculation, to put them out of countenance. But I expect to have these well-bred Persons always my Enemies, since I am sure I shall never write any thing lewd enough to make them my Friends.

As for the Saints (your thorough-pac'd ones, I mean, with skrew'd Faces and wry Mouths) I despair of them; for they are Friends to nobody: They love nothing but their Altars and themselves; they have too much Zeal to have any Charity; they make Debauches in Piety, as Sinners do in Wine; and are as quarrelsome in their Religion, as other People are in their Drink: so I hope nobody will mind what they say. But if any Man (with flat plod Shoes, a little Band, greasy Hair, and a dirty Face, who is wiser than I, at the Expence of being forty Years older), happens to be offended at a Story of a Cock and a Bull, and a Priest and a Bull-dog, I beg his pardon with all my Heart; which, I hope, I shall obtain, by eating my Words, and making this publick Recantation. I do therefore, for his Satisfaction, acknowledge I lyed, when I said, they never quit their hold; for in that little time I have liv'd in the World, I thank God I have seen them forc'd to it more than once; but next time I will speak with more Caution and Truth, and only say, they have very good Teeth.

[Pg v]

If I have offended any honest Gentleman of the Town, whose Friendship or good Word is worth the having, I am very sorry for it; I hope they will correct me as gently as they can, when they consider I have had no other Design, in running a very great Risk, than to divert (if possible) some part of their Spleen, in spite of their Wives and their Taxes.

One Word more about the Bawdy, and I have done. I own the first Night this thing was acted, some Indecencies had like to have happened; but it was not my Fault.

The fine Gentleman of the Play, drinking his Mistress's Health in Nants Brandy, from six in the Morning to the time he waddled on upon the Stage in the Evening, had toasted himself up to such a pitch of Vigour, I confess I once gave Amanda for gone, and am since (with all due respect to Mrs. Rogers) very sorry she escaped; for I am confident a certain Lady (let no one take it to herself that is handsome) who highly blames the Play, for the Barrenness of the Conclusion, would then have allowed it a very natural Close.

[Pg vi]


Spoken by Miss Cross.

Ladies, this Play in too much haste was writ,
[Pg vii] To be o'ercharg'd with either Plot or Wit;
'Twas got, conceiv'd, and born in six Weeks Space,
And Wit, you know, 's as slow in Growth——as Grace.
Sure it can ne'er be ripen'd to your Taste;
I doubt 'twill prove our Author bred too fast:
For mark 'em well, who with the Muses marry,
They rarely do conceive, but they miscarry.
'Tis the hard Fate of those who are big with Rhyme,
Still to be brought-to-bed before their Time.
Of our late Poets, Nature few has made;
The greatest part——are only so by Trade.
Still want of something brings the scribbling Fit;
For want of Money some of 'em have writ,
And others do't, you see—for want of Wit.
Honour, they fancy, summons 'em to write,
So out they lug in resty Nature's spight,
As some of you spruce Beaux do—when you fight.
Yet let the Ebb of Wit be ne'er so low,
Some Glimpse of it a Man may hope to show,
Upon a Theme so ample——as a Beau.
So, howsoe'er true Courage may decay,
Perhaps there's not one Smock-Face here to-day,
But's bold as Cæsar—to attack a Play.
Nay, what's yet more, with an undaunted Face, }
To do the Thing with more heroick Grace, }
'Tis six to four y' attack the strongest Place. }
You are such Hotspurs in this kind of Venture,
Where there's no Breach, just there you needs must enter.
But be advis'd——
E'en give the Hero and the Critique o'er, }
For Nature sent you on another score; }
She formed her Beau, for nothing but her Whore. }

[Pg viii]

Dramatis Personæ.

Sir Novelty Fashion, newly created Lord Foppington, Mr. Cibber.
Young Fashion, his Brother, Mr. Kent.
Loveless, Husband to Amanda, Mr. Verbruggen.
Worthy, a Gentleman of the Town, Mr. Powel.
Sir Tunbelly Clumsey, a Country Gentleman, Mr. Bullock.
Sir John Friendly, his Neighbour, Mr. Mills.
Coupler, a Matchmaker, Mr. Johnson.
Bull, Chaplain to Sir Tunbelly, Mr. Simpson.
Syringe, a Surgeon, Mr. Haynes.
Lory, Servant to Young Fashion, Mr. Dogget.
Shoemaker, Taylor, Perriwig-maker, &c.
Amanda, Wife to Loveless, Mrs. Rogers.
Berinthia, her Cousin, a young Widow, Mrs. Verbruggen.
Miss Hoyden, a great Fortune, Daughter to Sir Tunbelly, Mrs. Cross.
Nurse, her Governant,Mrs. Powel.
[Pg 9]



Enter Loveless, reading.

How true is that Philosophy which says
Our Heaven is seated in our Minds!
Through all the roving Pleasures of my Youth,
(Where Nights and Days seem all consum'd in Joy,
Where the false Face of Luxury
Display'd such Charms,
As might have shaken the most holy Hermit,
And made him totter at his Altar)
I never knew one Moment's Peace like this.
Here—in this little soft Retreat,
My thoughts unbent from all the Cares of Life,
Content with Fortune,
Eas'd from the grating Duties of Dependence,
[Pg 10] From Envy free, Ambition under foot,
The raging Flame of wild destructive Lust
Reduc'd to a warm pleasing Fire of lawful Love,
My Life glides on, and all is well within.

Enter Amanda.

Lov. meeting her kindly.
How does the happy Cause of my Content, my dear Amanda?
You find me musing on my happy State,
And full of grateful Thoughts to Heaven, and you.
Aman. Those grateful Offerings Heaven can't receive
With more Delight than I do:
Would I cou'd share with it as well
The Dispensations of its Bliss,
That I might search its choicest Favours out,
And shower 'em on your Head for ever.
Lov. The largest Boons that Heaven thinks fit to grant
To Things it has decreed shall crawl on Earth,
Are in the Gift of Woman form'd like you.
Perhaps when Time shall be no more,
When the aspiring Soul shall take its Flight,
And drop this pond'rous Lump of Clay behind it,
It may have Appetites we know not of,
And Pleasures as refin'd as its Desires—
But till that Day of Knowledge shall instruct me,
The utmost Blessing that my Thought can reach,
[Taking her in his Arms.] Is folded in my Arms, and rooted in my Heart.
Aman. There let it grow for ever.
Lov. Well said, Amanda—let it be for ever.—
Wou'd Heaven grant that—
Aman. 'Twere all the Heaven I'd ask.
But we are clad in black Mortality,
And the dark Curtain of eternal Night
At last must drop between us.
Lov. It must: that mournful Separation we must see.
A bitter Pill it is to all; but doubles its ungrateful Taste,
When Lovers are to swallow it;
Aman. Perhaps that Pain may only be my Lot,
You possibly may be exempted from it;
[Pg 11] Men find out softer ways to quench their Fires.
Lov. Can you then doubt my Constancy, Amanda?
You'll find 'tis built upon a steady Basis——
The Rock of Reason now supports my Love,
On which it stands so fix'd,
The rudest Hurricane of wild Desire
Wou'd, like the Breath of a soft slumbering Babe,
Pass by, and never shake it.
Aman. Yet still 'tis safer to avoid the Storm;
The strongest Vessels, if they put to Sea,
May possibly be lost.
Wou'd I cou'd keep you here in this calm Port for ever!
Forgive the Weakness of a Woman,
I am uneasy at your going to stay so long in Town;
I know its false insinuating Pleasures;
I know the Force of its Delusions;
I know the Strength of its Attacks;
I know the weak Defence of Nature;
I know you are a Man—and I—a Wife.
Lov. You know then all that needs to give you Rest,
For Wife's the strongest Claim that you can urge.
When you would plead your Title to my Heart,
On this you may depend; therefore be calm,
Banish your Fears, for they are Traitors to your Peace:
Beware of them, they are insinuating busy Things
That gossip to and fro, and do a World of Mischief
Where they come: But you shall soon be Mistress of 'em all,
I'll aid you with such Arms for their Destruction,
They never shall erect their Heads again.
You know the Business is indispensible, that obliges
Me to go to London, and you have no Reason, that I
Know of, to believe that I'm glad of the Occasion:
For my honest Conscience is my Witness,
I have found a due Succession of such Charms
In my Retirement here with you,
I have never thrown one roving Thought that way;
But since, against my Will, I'm dragg'd once more
To that uneasy Theatre of Noise,
I am resolv'd to make such use on't,
[Pg 12] As shall convince you 'tis an old cast Mistress,
Who has been so lavish of her Favours,
She's now grown Bankrupt of her Charms,
And has not one Allurement left to move me.
Aman. Her Bow, I do believe, is grown so weak,
Her Arrows (at this distance) cannot hurt you,
But in approaching 'em you give 'em Strength:
The Dart that has not far to fly,
Will put the best of Armour to a dangerous Trial.
Lov. That Trial past, and y'are at ease for ever;
When you have seen the Helmet prov'd,
You'll apprehend no more for him that wears it:
Therefore to put a lasting Period to your Fears,
I am resolv'd, this once, to launch into Temptation.
I'll give you an Essay of all my Virtues;
My former boon Companions of the Bottle
Shall fairly try what Charms are left in Wine:
I'll take my Place amongst them,
They shall hem me in,
Sing Praises to their God, and drink his Glory;
Turn wild Enthusiasts for his sake,
And Beasts to do him Honour:
Whilst I, a stubborn Atheist,
Sullenly look on,
Without one reverend Glass to his Divinity.
That for my Temperance,
Then for my Constancy——
Aman. Ay, there take heed.
Lov. Indeed the Danger's small.
Aman. And yet my Fears are great.
Lov. Why are you so timorous?
Aman. Because you are so bold.
Lov. My Courage should disperse your Apprehensions.
Aman. My Apprehensions should alarm your Courage.
Lov. Fy, fy, Amanda, it is not kind thus to distrust me.
Aman. And yet my Fears are founded on my Love.
Lov. For if you can believe 'tis possible
I shou'd again relapse to my past Follies,
I must appear to you a thing
[Pg 13] Of such an undigested Composition,
That but to think of me with Inclination,
Wou'd be a Weakness in your Taste,
Your Virtue scarce cou'd answer.
Aman. 'Twou'd be a Weakness in my Tongue,
My Prudence cou'd not answer,
If I shou'd press you farther with my Fears;
I'll therefore trouble you no longer with 'em.
Lov. Nor shall they trouble you much longer,
A little time shall shew you they were groundless;
This Winter shall be the fiery Trial of my Virtue;
Which, when it once has past,
You'll be convinc'd 'twas of no false Allay,
There all your Cares will end—
Aman. Pray Heaven they may!

[Exeunt Hand in Hand.

SCENE, Whitehall.

Enter Young Fashion, Lory, and Waterman.

Young Fash. Come, pay the Waterman, and take the Pormanteau.

Lory. Faith, Sir, I think the Waterman had as good take the Portmanteau, and pay himself.

Young Fash. Why sure there's something left in't.

Lory. But a solitary old Waistcoat, upon my Honour, Sir.

Young Fash. Why, what's become of the blue Coat, Sirrah?

Lory. Sir, 'twas eaten at Gravesend; the Reckoning came to thirty Shillings, and your Privy-Purse was worth but two Half-Crowns.

Young Fash. 'Tis very well.

Wat. Pray, Master, will you please to dispatch me?

Young Fash. Ay, here a——Canst thou change me a Guinea?

Lory. [Aside.] Good.

[Pg 14]

Wat. Change a Guinea, Master! Ha, ha, your Honour's pleas'd to compliment.

Young Fash. I'gad I don't know how I shall pay thee then, for I have nothing but Gold about me.

Lory. [Aside.]—Hum, hum.

Young Fash. What dost thou expect, Friend?

Wat. Why, Master, so far against Wind and Tide, is richly worth half a Piece.

Young Fash. Why, faith, I think thou art a good conscionable Fellow. I'gad, I begin to have so good an Opinion of thy Honesty, I care not if I leave my Portmanteau with thee, till I send thee thy Money.

Wat. Ha! God bless your Honour; I should be as willing to trust you, Master, but that you are, as a Man may say, a Stranger to me, and these are nimble Times; there are a great many Sharpers stirring. [Taking up the Portmanteau.] Well, Master, when your Worship sends the Money, your Portmanteau shall be forthcoming. My Name's Tugg, my Wife keeps a Brandy-Shop in Drab-Ally at Wapping.

Young Fash. Very well; I'll send for't to-morrow.

[Exit Wat.

Lory. So—Now, Sir, I hope you'll own yourself a happy Man, you have outliv'd all your Cares.

Young Fash. How so, Sir?

Lory. Why you have nothing left to take care of.

Young Fash. Yes, Sirrah, I have myself and you to take care of still.

Lory. Sir, if you cou'd but prevail with somebody else to do that for you, I fancy we might both fare the better for't.

Young Fash. Why, if thou canst tell me where to apply myself, I have at present so little Money, and so much Humility about me, I don't know but I may follow a Fool's Advice.

Lory. Why then, Sir, your Fool advises you to lay aside all Animosity, and apply to Sir Novelty, your elder Brother.

Young Fash. Damn my elder Brother.

Lory. With all my heart; but get him to redeem your Annuity, however.

[Pg 15]

Young Fash. My Annuity! 'Sdeath, he's such a Dog, he would not give his Powder-Puff to redeem my Soul.

Lory. Look you, Sir, you must wheedle him, or you must starve.

Young Fash. Look you, Sir, I will neither wheedle him, nor starve.

Lory. Why? what will you do then?

Young Fash. I'll go into the Army.

Lory. You can't take the Oaths; you are a Jacobite.

Young Fash. Thou may'st as well say I can't take Orders because I'm an Atheist.

Lory. Sir, I ask your Pardon; I find I did not know the Strength of your Conscience, so well as I did the Weakness of your Purse.

Young Fash. Methinks, Sir, a Person of your Experience should have known, that the Strength of the Conscience proceeds from the Weakness of the Purse.

Lory. Sir, I am very glad to find you have a Conscience able to take care of us, let it proceed from what it will; but I desire you'll please to consider, that the Army alone will be but a scanty Maintenance for a Person of your Generosity (at least as Rents now are paid); I shall see you stand in damnable need of some auxiliary Guineas for your menu Plaisirs; I will therefore turn Fool once more for your Service, and advise you to go directly to your Brother.

Young Fash. Art thou then so impregnable a Blockhead, to believe he'll help me with a Farthing?

Lory. Not if you treat him, de haut en bas, as you use to do.

Young Fash. Why, how would'st have me treat him?

Lory. Like a Trout, tickle him.

Young Fash. I can't flatter——

Lory. Can you starve?

Young Fash. Yes——

Lory. I can't; Good-by t'ye, Sir—


Young Fash. Stay, thou wilt distract me. What would'st thou have me to say to him?

Lory. Say nothing to him, apply yourself to his Favourites; speak to his Perriwig, his Cravat, his Feather,[Pg 16] his Snuff-box, and when you are well with them——desire him to lend you a Thousand Pounds. I'll engage you prosper.

Young Fash. 'Sdeath and Furies! Why was that Coxcomb thrust into the World before me? O Fortune—Fortune—thou art a Bitch, by Gad——


SCENE, A Dressing-Room.

Enter Lord Foppington in his Night-Gown.

Lord Fop. Page——

[Enter Page.

Page. Sir.

Lord Fop. Sir! Pray, Sir, do me the Favour to teach your Tongue the Title the King has thought fit to honour me with.

Page. I ask your Lordship's Pardon, my Lord.

Lord Fop. O, you can pronounce the Word then——I thought it would have choak'd you——D'ye hear?

Page. My Lord.

Lord Fop. Call La Varole, I wou'd dress—

[Exit Page.


Well, 'tis an unspeakable Pleasure to be a Man of Quality——Strike me dumb——My Lord——Your Lordship——My Lord FoppingtonAh! c'est quelque chose de beau, que le Diable m'emporte——

Why the Ladies were ready to puke at me, whilst I had nothing but Sir Novelty to recommend me to 'em——Sure whilst I was but a Knight, I was a very nauseous Fellow——Well, 'tis Ten Thousand Pawnd well given——stap my Vitals——

Enter La Varole.

Me Lord, de Shoemaker, de Taylor, de Hosier, de Sempstress, de Peru, be all ready, if your Lordship please to dress.

Lord Fop. 'Tis well, admit 'em.

La Var. Hey, Messieurs, entrez.

[Pg 17]

Enter Taylor, &c.

Lord Fop. So, Gentlemen, I hope you have all taken pains to shew yourselves Masters in your Professions.

Tayl. I think I may presume to say, Sir——

La Var. My Lord——you Clawn you.

Tayl. Why, is he made a Lord?——My Lord, I ask your Lordship's Pardon; my Lord, I hope, my Lord, your Lordship will please to own, I have brought your Lordship as accomplish'd a Suit of Clothes, as ever Peer of England trode the Stage in, my Lord: Will your Lordship please to try 'em now?

Lord Fop. Ay, but let my People dispose the Glasses so, that I may see myself before and behind; for I love to see myself all raund——

[Whilst he puts on his Clothes, enter Young Fashion and Lory.

Young Fash. Hey-dey, what the Devil have we here? Sure my Gentleman's grown a Favourite at Court, he has got so many People at his Levee.

Lo. Sir, these People come in order to make him a Favourite at Court, they are to establish him with the Ladies.

Young Fash. Good God! to what an Ebb of Taste are Women fallen, that it shou'd be in the power of a lac'd Coat to recommend a Gallant to 'em——

Lo. Sir, Taylors and Perriwig-makers are now become the Bawds of the Nation, 'tis they debauch all the Women.

Young Fash. Thou sayest true; for there's that Fop now, has not by Nature wherewithal to move a Cook-maid, and by that time these Fellows have done with him, I'gad he shall melt down a Countess——But now for my Reception, I engage it shall be as cold a one, as a Courtier's to his Friend, who comes to put him in mind of his Promise.

Lord Fop. to his Taylor.] Death and eternal Tartures! Sir, I say the Packet's too high by a Foot.

Tayl. My Lord, if it had been an Inch lower, it would[Pg 18] not have held your Lordship's Pocket-Handkerchief.

Lord Fop. Rat my Packet-Handkerchief! Have not I a Page to carry it? You may make him a Packet up to his Chin a purpose for it; but I will not have mine come so near my Face.

Tayl. 'Tis not for me to dispute your Lordship's Fancy.

Young Fash. to Lory.] His Lordship! Lory, did you observe that?

Lo. Yes, Sir; I always thought 'twould end there. Now, I hope, you'll have a little more Respect for him.

Young Fash. Respect! Damn him for a Coxcomb; now has he ruin'd his Estate to buy a Title, that he may be a Fool of the first Rate: But let's accost him——

To Lord Fop.] Brother, I'm your Humble Servant.

Lord Fop. O Lard, Tam; I did not expect you in England: Brother, I am glad to see you——

Turning to his Taylor.] Look you, Sir. I shall never be reconcil'd to this nauseous Packet; therefore pray get me another Suit with all manner of Expedition, for this is my eternal Aversion. Mrs. Callicoe, are not you of my Mind?

Semp. O, directly, my Lord, it can never be too low—

Lord Fop. You are passitively in the right on't, for the Packet becomes no part of the Body but the Knee.

Semp. I hope your Lordship is pleas'd with your Steenkirk.

Lord Fop. In love with it, stap my Vitals. Bring your Bill, you shall be paid to-marrow—

Semp. I humbly thank your Honour—

[Exit Semp.

Lord Fop. Hark thee, Shoemaker, these Shoes a'n't ugly, but they don't fit me.

Shoe. My Lord, my thinks they fit you very well.

Lord Fop. They hurt me just below the Instep.

Shoe. [Feeling his Foot.] My Lord, they don't hurt you there.

Lord Fop. I tell thee, they pinch me execrably.

Shoe. My Lord, if they pinch you, I'll be bound to be hang'd, that's all.

Lord Fop. Why, wilt thou undertake to persuade me I cannot feel?

[Pg 19]

Shoe. Your Lordship may please to feel what you think fit; but that Shoe does not hurt you—I think I understand my Trade——

Lord Fop. Now by all that's great and powerful, thou art an incomprehensible Coxcomb; but thou makest good Shoes, and so I'll bear with thee.

Shoe. My Lord, I have work'd for half the People of Quality in Town these Twenty Years; and 'tis very hard I should not know when a Shoe hurts, and when it don't.

Lord Fop. Well, pr'ythee, begone about thy Business.

[Exit Shoe.

[To the Hosier.] Mr. Mend Legs, a Word with you; the Calves of the Stockings are thicken'd a little too much. They make my Legs look like a Chairman's——

Mend. My Lord, my thinks they look mighty well.

Lord Fop. Ay, but you are not so good a Judge of those things as I am, I have study'd them all my Life; therefore pray let the next be the thickness of a Crawn-piece less——[Aside.] If the Town takes notice my Legs are fallen away, 'twill be attributed to the Violence of some new Intrigue.

To the Perriwig-maker.] Come, Mr. Foretop, let me see what you have done, and then the Fatigue of the Morning will be over.

Foretop. My Lord, I have done what I defy any Prince in Europe to out-do; I have made you a Perriwig so long, and so full of Hair, it will serve you for a Hat and Cloak in all Weathers.

Lord Fop. Then thou hast made me thy Friend to Eternity: Come, comb it out.

Young Fash. Well, Lory, What do'st think on't? A very friendly Reception from a Brother after Three Years Absence!

Lory. Why, Sir, 'tis your own Fault; we seldom care for those that don't love what we love: if you wou'd creep into his Heart, you must enter into his Pleasures—Here you have stood ever since you came in, and have not commended any one thing that belongs to him.

Young Fash. Nor never shall, while they belong to a Coxcomb.

[Pg 20]

Lory. Then, Sir, you must be content to pick a hungry Bone.

Young Fash. No, Sir, I'll crack it, and get to the Marrow before I have done.

Lord Fop. Gad's Curse! Mr. Foretop, you don't intend to put this upon me for a full Perriwig?

Fore. Not a full one, my Lord! I don't know what your Lordship may please to call a full one, but I have cramm'd twenty Ounces of Hair into it.

Lord Fop. What it may be by Weight, Sir, I shall not dispute; but by Tale, there are not nine Hairs on a side.

Fore. O Lord! O Lord! O Lord! Why, as God shall judge me, your Honor's Side-Face is reduc'd to the Tip of your Nose.

Lord Fop. My Side-Face may be in an Eclipse for aught I know; but I'm sure my Full-Face is like the Full-moon.

Fore. Heaven bless my Eye-sight——[Rubbing his Eyes.] Sure I look thro' the wrong end of the Perspective; for by my Faith, an't please your Honour, the broadest place I see in your Face does not seem to me to be two Inches diameter.

Lord Fop. If it did, it would just be two Inches too broad; for a Perriwig to a Man, should be like a Mask to a Woman, nothing should be seen but his Eyes—

Fore. My Lord, I have done; if you please to have more Hair in your Wig, I'll put it in.

Lord Fop. Passitively, yes.

Fore. Shall I take it back now, my Lord?

Lord Fop. No: I'll wear it to-day, tho' it shew such a manstrous pair of Cheeks, stap my Vitals, I shall be taken for a Trumpeter.

[Exit Fore.

Young Fash. Now your People of Business are gone, Brother, I hope I may obtain a quarter of an Hour's Audience of you.

Lord Fop. Faith, Tam, I must beg you'll excuse me at this time, for I must away to the House of Lards immediately; my Lady Teaser's Case is to come on to-day, and I would not be absent for the Salvation of Mankind. Hey, Page! Is the Coach at the Door?

[Pg 21]

Page. Yes, my Lord.

Lord Fop. You'll excuse me, Brother.


Young Fash. Shall you be back at Dinner?

Lord Fop. As Gad shall jedge me, I can't tell; for 'tis passible I may dine with some of aur Hause at Lacket's.

Young Fash. Shall I meet you there? for I must needs talk with you.

Lord Fop. That, I'm afraid, mayn't be so praper; far the Lards I commonly eat with, are a People of a nice Conversation; and you know, Tam, your Education has been a little at large: but if you'll stay here, you'll find a Family Dinner. Hey, Fellow! What is there for Dinner? There's Beef: I suppose my Brother will eat Beef. Dear Tam, I'm glad to see thee in England, stap my Vitals.

[Exit, with his Equipage.

Young Fash. Hell and Furies, is this to be borne?

Lory. Faith, Sir, I cou'd almost have given him a knock o' th' Pate myself.

Young Fash. 'Tis enough, I will now shew you the excess of my Passion by being very calm: Come, Lory, lay your Loggerhead to mine, and in cool Blood let us contrive his Destruction.

Lory. Here comes a Head, Sir, would contrive it better than us both, if he wou'd but join in the Confederacy.

Enter Coupler.

Young Fash. By this Light, old Coupler alive still! Why, how now, Matchmaker, art thou here still to plague the World with Matrimony? You old Bawd, how have you the Impudence to be hobbling out of your Grave twenty Years after you are rotten!

Coup. When you begin to rot, Sirrah, you'll go off like a Pippin, one Winter will send you to the Devil. What Mischief brings you home again? Ha! You young lascivious Rogue, you: Let me put my Hand into your Bosom, Sirrah.

Young Fash. Stand off, old Sodom.

Coup. Nay, pr'ythee now don't be so coy.

Young Fash. Keep your Hands to yourself, you old Dog you, or I'll wring your Nose off.

[Pg 22]

Coup. Hast thou then been a Year in Italy, and brought home a Fool at last? By my Conscience, the young Fellows of this Age profit no more by their going abroad, than they do by their going to Church. Sirrah, Sirrah, if you are not hang'd before you come to my Years, you'll know a Cock from a Hen. But come, I'm still a Friend to thy Person, tho' I have a Contempt of thy Understanding; and therefore I would willingly know thy Condition, that I may see whether thou standest in need of my Assistance; for Widows swarm, my Boy, the Town's infested with 'em.

Young Fash. I stand in need of any body's Assistance, that will help me to cut my elder Brother's Throat, without the Risque of being hang'd for him.

Coup. I'gad, Sirrah, I cou'd help thee to do him almost as good a turn, without the danger of being burnt in the Hand for't.

Young Fash. Say'st thou so, old Satan? Shew me but that, and my Soul is thine.

Coup. Pox o'thy Soul! give me thy warm Body, Sirrah; I shall have a substantial Title to't when I tell thee my Project.

Young Fash. Out with it then, dear Dad, and take possession as soon as thou wilt.

Coup. Sayest thou so, my Hephestion? Why, then, thus lies the Scene: but hold; who's that? If we are heard we are undone.

Young Fash. What have you forgot Lory?

Coup. Who, trusty Lory, is it thee?

Lory. At your Service, Sir.

Coup. Give me thy Hand, old Boy; I'gad I did not know thee again; but I remember thy Honesty, tho' I did not thy Face; I think thou hadst like to have been hang'd once or twice for thy Master.

Lory. Sir, I was very near once having that Honour.

Coup. Well, live and hope; don't be discourag'd; eat with him, and drink with him, and do what he bids thee, and it may be thy Reward at last, as well as another's.

To Young Fash.] Well, Sir, you must know I have done you the Kindness to make up a Match for your Brother.

[Pg 23]

Young Fash. I am very much beholden to you, truly.

Coup. You may be, Sirrah, before the Wedding-day yet; the Lady is a great Heiress; fifteen hundred Pound a year, and a great Bag of Money; the Match is concluded, the Writings are drawn, and the Pipkin's to be crack'd in a Fortnight—Now you must know, Stripling (with Respect to your Mother), your Brother's the Son of a Whore.

Young Fash. Good.

Coup. He has given me a Bond of a Thousand Pounds for helping him to this Fortune, and has promis'd me as much more in ready Money upon the Day of Marriage; which, I understand by a Friend, he ne'er designs to pay me; if therefore you will be a generous young Dog, and secure me five thousand Pounds, I'll be a covetous old Rogue, and help you to the Lady.

Young Fash. I'gad, if thou can'st bring this about, I'll have thy Statue cast in Brass. But don't you doat, you old Pandar you, when you talk at this rate?

Coup. That your youthful Parts shall judge of: This plump Partridge, that I tell you of, lives in the Country, fifty Miles off, with her honoured Parents, in a lonely old House which nobody comes near; she never goes abroad, nor sees Company at home: To prevent all Misfortunes, she has her Breeding within Doors, the Parson of the Parish teaches her to play on the Bass-Viol, the Clerk to sing, her Nurse to dress, and her Father to dance: In short, nobody can give you admittance there but I; nor can I do it any other way, than by making you pass for your Brother.

Young Fash. And how the Devil wilt thou do that?

Coup. Without the Devil's Aid, I warrant thee. Thy Brother's Face not one of the Family ever saw; the whole Business has been manag'd by me, and all the Letters go thro' my Hands: The last that was writ to Sir Tunbelly Clumsey (for that's the old Gentleman's Name) was to tell him, his Lordship would be down in a Fortnight to consummate. Now you shall go away immediately; pretend you writ that letter only to have the romantick Pleasure of surprizing your Mistress; fall desperately in Love, as[Pg 24] soon as you see her; make that your Plea for marrying her immediately; and when the fatigue of the Wedding-night's over, you shall send me a swinging Purse of Gold, you Dog you.

Young Fash. I'gad, old Dad, I'll put my Hand in thy Bosom now——

Coup. Ah, you young hot lusty Thief, let me muzzle you——


Sirrah, let me muzzle you.

Young Fash. 'Psha, the old Letcher——


Coup. Well; I'll warrant thou hast not a Farthing of Money in thy Pocket now; no, one may see it in thy Face——

Young Fash. Not a Sous, by Jupiter.

Coup. Must I advance then?—Well, Sirrah, be at my Lodgings in half an Hour, and I'll see what may be done; we'll sign and seal, and eat a Pullet, and when I have given thee some farther Instructions, thou shalt hoist Sail and be gone——[Kissing.]——T'other Buss, and so adieu.

Young Fash. Um, 'psha.

Coup. Ah; you young warm Dog, you; what a delicious Night will the Bride have on't!

[Exit Coupler.

Young Fash. So, Lory; Providence, thou seest, at last takes care of Men of Merit: We are in a fair way to be great People.

Lo. Ay, Sir, if the Devil don't step between the Cup and the Lip, as he uses to do.

Young Fash. Why, faith, he has play'd me many a damn'd Trick to spoil my Fortune, and, I'gad, I'm almost afraid he's at work about it again now; but if I should tell thee how, thou'dst wonder at me.

Lo. Indeed, Sir, I shou'd not.

Young Fash. How dost know?

Lo. Because, Sir, I have wonder'd at you so often, I can wonder at you no more.

Young Fash. No! what wouldst thou say if a Qualm of Conscience should spoil my Design?

Lo. I wou'd eat my Words, and wonder more than ever.

Young Fash. Why, faith, Lory, tho' I am a young[Pg 25] Rake-hell, and have play'd many a Roguish Trick; this is so full grown a Cheat, I find I must take pains to come up to't; I have Scruples——

Lo. They are strong Symptoms of Death; if you find they increase, pray, Sir, make your Will.

Young Fash. No, my Conscience shan't starve me, neither. But thus far I'll hearken to it; before I execute this Project, I'll try my Brother to the bottom, I'll speak to him with the Temper of a Philosopher; my Reasons (tho' they press him home) shall yet be cloth'd with so much Modesty, not one of all the Truths they urge, shall be so naked to offend his Sight: if he has yet so much Humanity about him, as to assist me (tho' with a moderate Aid) I'll drop my Project at his Feet, and shew him how I can do for him, much more than what I ask he'd do for me. This one conclusive Trial of him I resolve to make—

Succeed or no, still Victory's my Lot; }
If I subdue his Heart, 'tis well; if not, }
I shall subdue my Conscience to my Plot. }



Enter Loveless and Amanda.

Lov. How do you like these Lodgings, my Dear? For my part, I am so well pleased with them, I shall hardly remove whilst we stay in Town, if you are satisfy'd.

Aman. I am satisfy'd with every thing that pleases you; else I had not come to Town at all.

Lov. O! a little of the Noise and Bustle of the World sweetens the Pleasures of Retreat: We shall find the Charms of our Retirement doubled, when we return to it.

Aman. That pleasing Prospect will be my chiefest Entertainment, whilst, much against my Will, I am obliged[Pg 26] to stand surrounded with these empty Pleasures, which 'tis so much the Fashion to be fond of.

Lov. I own most of them are indeed but empty; nay, so empty, that one would wonder by what Magick Power they act, when they induce us to be vicious for their sakes. Yet some there are we may speak kindlier of: There are Delights, of which a private Life is destitute, which may divert an honest Man, and be a harmless Entertainment to a virtuous Woman. The Conversation of the Town is one; and truly (with some small Allowances) the Plays, I think, may be esteem'd another.

Aman. The Plays, I must confess, have some small Charms; and wou'd have more, wou'd they restrain that loose obscene Encouragement to Vice, which shocks, if not the Virtue of some Women, at least the Modesty of all.

Lov. But till that Reformation can be made, I would not leave the wholesome Corn for some intruding Tares that grow among it. Doubtless the Moral of a well-wrought Scene is of prevailing Force——Last Night there happen'd one that mov'd me strangely.

Aman. Pray, what was that?

Lov. Why 'twas about—but 'tis not worth repeating.

Aman. Yes, pray let me know it.

Lov. No, I think 'tis as well let alone.

Aman. Nay, now you make me have a mind to know.

Lov. 'Twas a foolish thing: You'd perhaps grow jealous shou'd I tell it you, tho' without a Cause, Heaven knows.

Aman. I shall begin to think I have cause, if you persist in making it a Secret.

Lov. I'll then convince you you have none, by making it no longer so. Know then, I happen'd in the Play to find my very Character, only with the Addition of a Relapse; which struck me so, I put a sudden Stop to a most harmless Entertainment, which till then diverted me between the Acts. 'Twas to admire the Workmanship of Nature, in the Face of a young Lady that sat some distance from me, she was so exquisitely handsome——

[Pg 27]

Aman. So exquisitely handsome!

Lov. Why do you repeat my Words, my Dear?

Aman. Because you seem'd to speak them with such Pleasure, I thought I might oblige you with their Echo.

Lov. Then you are alarmed, Amanda?

Aman. It is my Duty to be so, when you are in danger.

Lov. You are too quick in apprehending for me; all will be well when you have heard me out. I do confess I gaz'd upon her, nay, eagerly I gaz'd upon her.

Aman. Eagerly! That's with Desire.

Lov. No, I desir'd her not: I view'd her with a World of Admiration, but not one Glance of Love.

Aman. Take heed of trusting to such nice Distinctions.

Lov. I did take heed; for observing in the Play, that he who seem'd to represent me there, was, by an Accident like this, unwarily surpriz'd into a Net, in which he lay a poor intangled Slave, and brought a Train of Mischiefs on his Head, I snatch'd my Eyes away; they pleaded hard for leave to look again, but I grew absolute, and they obey'd.

Aman. Were they the only things that were inquisitive? Had I been in your place, my Tongue, I fancy, had been curious too: I shou'd have ask'd her Name, and where she liv'd (yet still without Design:)—Who was she, pray?

Lov. Indeed I cannot tell.

Aman. You will not tell.

Lov. By all that's sacred, then, I did not ask.

Aman. Nor do you know what Company was with her?

Lov. I do not.

Aman. Then I am calm again.

Lov. Why, were you disturb'd?

Aman. Had I then no cause?

Lov. None certainly.

Aman. I thought I had.

Lov. But you thought wrong, Amanda; For turn the Case, and let it be your Story; Should you come home,[Pg 28] and tell me you had seen a handsome Man, shou'd I grow jealous because you had Eyes?

Aman. But shou'd I tell you he were exquisitely so; that I had gaz'd on him with Admiration; that I had look'd with eager Eyes upon him; shou'd you not think 'twere possible I might go one Step further, and enquire his Name?

Lov. [Aside.] She has Reason on her side, I have talk'd too much; but I must turn it off another way. [To Aman.] Will you then make no difference, Amanda, between the Language of our Sex and yours? There is a Modesty restrains your Tongues, which makes you speak by halves when you commend; but roving Flattery gives a loose to ours, which makes us still speak double what we think: You shou'd not therefore, in so strict a Sense, take what I said to her Advantage.

Aman. Those Flights of Flattery, Sir, are to our Faces only: When Women once are out of hearing, you are as modest in your Commendations as we are. But I shan't put you to the trouble of farther Excuses; if you please, this Business shall rest here. Only give me leave to wish, both for your Peace and mine, that you may never meet this Miracle of Beauty more.

Lov. I am content.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Madam, there's a young Lady at the door in a Chair, desires to know whether your Ladyship sees Company. I think her Name is Berinthia.

Aman. O dear! 'tis a Relation I have not seen this five Years. Pray her to walk in.

[Exit Servant.

To Lov.] Here's another Beauty for you. She was young when I saw her last; but I hear she's grown extremely handsome.

Lov. Don't you be jealous now, for I shall gaze upon her too.

Enter Berinthia.

Lov. [Aside.] Ha! By Heavens, the very Woman!

[Pg 29]

Ber. [Saluting Aman.] Dear Amanda, I did not expect to meet with you in Town.

Aman. Sweet Cousin, I'm overjoy'd to see you. [To Lov.] Mr. Loveless, here's a Relation and a Friend of mine, I desire you'll be better acquainted with.

Lov. [Saluting Ber.] If my Wife never desires a harder thing, Madam, her Request will be easily granted.

Ber. [To Aman.] I think, Madam, I ought to wish you Joy.

Aman. Joy! Upon what?

Ber. Upon your Marriage: You were a Widow when I saw you last.

Lov. You ought rather, Madam, to wish me Joy upon that, since I am the only Gainer.

Ber. If she has got so good a Husband as the World reports, she has gain'd enough to expect the Compliment of her Friends upon it.

Lov. If the World is so favourable to me, to allow I deserve that Title, I hope 'tis so just to my Wife, to own I derive it from her.

Ber. Sir, it is so just to you both, to own you are, and deserve to be, the happiest Pair that live in it.

Lov. I'm afraid we shall lose that Character, Madam, whenever you happen to change your Condition.

Enter Servant.

Ser. Sir, my Lord Foppington presents his humble Service to you, and desires to know how you do. He but just now heard you were in Town. He's at the next Door; and if it be not inconvenient, he'll come and wait upon you.

Lov. Lord Foppington!—I know him not.

Ber. Not his Dignity, perhaps, but you do his Person. 'Tis Sir Novelty; he has bought a Barony, in order to marry a great Fortune: His Patent has not been pass'd above eight-and-forty-Hours, and he has already sent How do-ye's to all the Town, to make 'em acquainted with his Title.

Lov. Give my Service to his Lordship, and let him know, I am proud of the Honour he intends me.

[Pg 30]


Ser. Sure this Addition of Quality must have so improv'd this Coxcomb, he can't but be very good Company for a quarter of an Hour.

Aman. Now it moves my Pity more than my Mirth, to see a Man whom Nature has made no Fool, be so very industrious to pass for an Ass.

Lov. No, there you are wrong, Amanda; you shou'd never bestow your Pity upon those who take pains for your Contempt; Pity those whom Nature abuses, but never those who abuse Nature.

Ber. Besides, the Town wou'd be robb'd of one of its chiefest Diversions, if it shou'd become a Crime to laugh at a Fool.

Aman. I could never yet perceive the Town inclin'd to part with any of its Diversions, for the sake of their being Crimes; but I have seen it very fond of some, I think, had little else to recommend 'em.

Ber. I doubt, Amanda, you are grown its Enemy, you speak with so much warmth against it.

Aman. I must confess I am not much its Friend.

Ber. Then give me leave to make you mine, by not engaging in its Quarrel.

Aman. You have many stronger Claims than that, Berinthia, whenever you think fit to plead your Title.

Lov. You have done well to engage a Second, my Dear; for here comes one will be apt to call you to an Account for your Country Principles.

Enter Lord Foppington.

Lord Fop. [To Lov.] Sir, I am your most humble Servant.

Lav. I wish you Joy, my Lord.

Lord Fop. O Laird, Sir——Madam, your Ladyship's welcome to Tawn.

Aman. I wish your Lordship Joy.

Lord Fop. O Heavens, Madam——

Lov. My Lord, this young Lady is a Relation of my Wife's.

Lord Fop. [Saluting her.] The beautifullest Race of People upon Earth, Rat me. Dear Loveless, I am overjoy'd to see you have brought your Family to Tawn again:[Pg 31] I am, stap my Vitals—[Aside.] For I design to lie with your Wife. [To Aman.] Far Gad's sake, Madam, haw has your Ladyship been able to subsist thus long, under the Fatigue of a Country Life?

Aman. My life has been very far from that, my Lord, it has been a very quiet one.

Lord Fop. Why that's the Fatigue I speak of, Madam: For 'tis impossible to be quiet, without thinking: Now thinking is to me the greatest Fatigue in the World.

Aman. Does not your Lordship love reading then?

Lord Fop. Oh, passionately, Madam——But I never think of what I read.

Ber. Why, can your Lordship read without thinking?

Lord Fop. O Lard——Can your Ladyship pray without Devotion——Madam?

Aman. Well, I must own I think Books the best Entertainment in the World.

Lord Fop. I am so much of your Ladyship's Mind, Madam, that I have a private Gallery, where I walk sometimes, is furnished with nothing but Books and Looking-glasses. Madam, I have gilded them, and rang'd 'em, so prettily, before Gad, it is the most entertaining thing in the World to walk and look upon 'em.

Aman. Nay, I love a neat Library too; but 'tis, I think, the inside of a Book shou'd recommend it most to us.

Lord Fop. That, I must confess, I am not altogether so fand of. Far to my mind the Inside of a Book, is to entertain one's self with the forc'd Product of another Man's Brain. Naw I think a Man of Quality and Breeding may be much diverted with the natural Sprauts of his own. But to say the truth, Madam, let a Man love reading never so well, when once he comes to know this Tawn, he finds so many better ways of passing away the Four-and-twenty Hours, that 'twere ten thousand Pities he shou'd consume his time in that. Far example, Madam, my Life; my Life, Madam, is a perpetual Stream of Pleasure, that glides thro' such a Variety of Entertainments, I believe the wisest of our Ancestors never had the least Conception of any of 'em.

[Pg 32]

I rise, Madam, about ten o'clock. I don't rise sooner, because 'tis the worst thing in the World for the Complection; nat that I pretend to be a Beau; but a Man must endeavour to look wholesome, lest he make to nauseous a Figure in the Side-bax, the Ladies shou'd be compell'd to turn their eyes upon the Play. So at Ten o'clock, I say, I rise. Naw, if I find it a good Day, I resalve to take a Turn in the Park, and see the fine Women; so huddle on my Clothes, and get dress'd by One. If it be nasty Weather, I take a Turn in the Chocolate-house; where, as you walk, Madam, you have the prettiest Prospect in the World; you have Looking-glasses all round you——But I'm afraid I tire the Company.

Ber. Not at all. Pray go on.

Lord Fop. Why then, Ladies, from thence I go to Dinner at Lacket's, and there you are so nicely and delicately serv'd, that, stap my Vitals, they can compose you a Dish, no bigger than a Saucer, shall come to fifty Shillings; between eating my Dinner, and washing my Mouth, Ladies, I spend my time, till I go to the Play; where, till Nine o'clock, I entertain myself with looking upon the Company; and usually dispose of one Hour more in leading them aut. So there's Twelve of the Four-and-Twenty pretty well over. The other Twelve, Madam, are disposed of in two Articles: In the first Four I toast myself drunk, and in t'other Eight I sleep myself sober again. Thus, Ladies, you see my Life is an eternal raund O of Delights.

Lov. 'Tis a heavenly one, indeed!

Aman. But, my Lord, you Beaux spend a great deal of your Time in Intrigues: You have given us no Account of them yet.

Lord Fop. [Aside.] Soh, she wou'd enquire into my Amours——That's Jealousy——She begins to be in love with me. [To Aman.] Why, Madam——as to time for my Intrigues, I usually make Detachments of it from my other Pleasures, according to the Exigency. Far your Ladyship may please to take notice, that those who intrigue with Women of Quality, have rarely occa[Pg 33]sion for above half an Hour at a time: People of that Rank being under those Decorums, they can seldom give you a larger View, than will justly serve to shoot 'em flying. So that the Course of my other Pleasures is not very much interrupted by my Amours.

Lov. But your Lordship now is become a Pillar of the State; you must attend the weighty Affairs of the Nation.

Lord Fop. Sir——as to weighty Affairs——I leave them to weighty Heads. I never intend mine shall be a Burden to my Body.

Lov. O, but you'll find the House will expect your Attendance.

Lord Fop. Sir, you'll find the House will compound for my Appearance.

Lov. But your Friends will take it ill if you don't attend their particular Causes.

Lord Fop. Not, Sir, if I come time enough to give 'em my particular Vote.

Ber. But pray, my Lord, how do you dispose of yourself on Sundays? for that, methinks, shou'd hang wretchedly on your hands.

Lord Fop. Why, faith, Madam——Sunday——is a vile day, I must confess; I intend to move for leave to bring in a Bill, That Players may work upon it, as well as the Hackney Coaches. Tho' this I must say for the Government, it leaves us the Churches to entertain us——But then again, they begin so abominable early, a Man must rise by Candle-light to get dress'd by the Psalm.

Ber. Pray which Church does your Lordship most oblige with your Presence?

Lord Fop. Oh, St. James's, Madam——There's much the best Company.

Aman. Is there good Preaching too?

Lord Fop. Why, faith, Madam——I can't tell. A Man must have very little to do there, that can give an Account of the Sermon.

Ber. You can give us an Account of the Ladies, at least.

[Pg 34]

Lord Fop. Or I deserve to be excommunicated—There is my Lady Tattle, my Lady Prate, my Lady Titter, my Lady Lear, my Lady Giggle, and my Lady Grin. These fit in the Front of the Boxes, and all Church-time are the prettiest Company in the World, stap my Vitals. [To Aman.] Mayn't we hope for the Honour to see your Ladyship added to our Society, Madam?

Aman. Alas, my Lord, I am the worst Company in the World at Church: I'm apt to mind the Prayers, or the Sermon, or——

Lord Fop. One is indeed strangely apt at Church to mind what one should not do. But I hope, Madam, at one time or other, I shall have the Honour to lead your Ladyship to your Coach there. [Aside.] Methinks she seems strangely pleas'd with every thing I say to her—'Tis a vast pleasure to receive Encouragement from a Woman before her Husband's Face——I have a good mind to pursue my Conquest, and speak the thing plainly to her at once—I'gad, I'll do't, and that in so Cavalier a manner, she shall be surpriz'd at it—Ladies, I'll take my Leave: I'am afraid I begin to grow troublesome with the length of my Visit.

Aman. Your Lordship is too entertaining to grow troublesome any where.

Lord Fop. [Aside.] That now was as much as if she had said——Pray lie with me. I'll let her see I'm quick of Apprehension. [To Aman.] O Lard, Madam, I had like to have forgot a Secret, I must needs tell your Ladyship. [To Lov.] Ned, you must not be so jealous now as to listen.

Lov. Not I, my Lord; I'm too fashionable a Husband to pry into the Secrets of my Wife.

Lord Fop. [To Aman. squeezing her Hand.] I am in love with you to Desperation, strike me speechless.

Aman. [Giving him a Box o' th' Ear.] Then thus I return your Passion——An impudent Fool!

Lord Fop. Gad's Curse, Madam, I'm a Peer of the Realm.

Lov. Hey; what the Devil, do you affront my Wife, Sir? Nay then—

[Pg 35]

[They draw and fight. The Women run shrieking for Help.

Aman. Ah! What has my Folly done? Help! Murder, help! Part 'em, for Heaven's sake.

Lord Fop. [Falling back, and leaning upon his Sword.] Ah——quite thro' the Body——Stap my Vitals.

Enter Servants.

Lov. [Running to him.] I hope I han't kill'd the Fool, however——Bear him up! Where's your Wound?

Lord Fop. Just thro' the Guts.

Lov. Call a Surgeon there: Unbutton him quickly.

Lord Fop. Ay, pray make haste.

Lov. This Mischief you may thank yourself for.

Lord Fop. I may so—Love's the Devil indeed, Ned.

Enter Syringe and Servant.

Serv. Here's Mr. Syringe, Sir, was just going by the Door.

Lord Fop. He's the welcomest Man alive.

Syr. Stand by, stand by, stand by. Pray, Gentlemen, stand by. Lord have mercy upon us! Did you never see a Man run thro' the Body before? Pray stand by.

Lord Fop. Ah, Mr. Syringe.——I'm a dead Man.

Syr. A dead Man, and I by——I shou'd laugh to see that, I'gad.

Lov. Pr'ythee don't stand prating, but look upon his Wound.

Syr. Why, what if I won't look upon his Wound this Hour, Sir?

Lov. Why then he'll bleed to Death, Sir.

Syr. Why, then I'll fetch him to life again, Sir.

Lov. 'Slife, he's run thro' the Guts, I tell thee.

Syr. Wou'd he were run thro' the Heart, I shou'd get the more Credit by his Cure. Now I hope you are satisfy'd?——Come, now let me come at him; now let me come at him. [Viewing his Wound.] Oons, what a Gash is here!—Why, Sir, a Man may drive a Coach and Six Horses into your Body.

Lord Fop. Ho——

Syr. Why, what the Devil, have you run the Gentleman thro' with a Scythe?——[Aside.] A little Prick between the Skin and the Ribs, that's all.

[Pg 36]

Lov. Let me see his Wound.

Syr. Then you shall dress it, Sir; for if any body looks upon it, I won't.

Lov. Why, thou art the veriest Coxcomb I ever saw.

Syr. Sir, I am not Matter of my Trade for nothing.

Lord Fop. Surgeon!

Syr. Well, Sir.

Lord Fop. Is there any Hopes?

Syr. Hopes!—--I can't tell——What are you willing to give for your Cure?

Lord Fop. Five hundred Paunds with Pleasure.

Syr. Why then perhaps there may be Hopes. But we must avoid further Delay. Here, help the Gentleman into a Chair, and carry him to my House presently, that's the properest place [Aside.] to bubble him out of his Money. Come, a Chair, a Chair quickly—There, in with him.

[They put him into a Chair.

Lord Fop. Dear Loveless——Adieu. If I die——I forgive thee; and if I live——I hope thou wilt do as much by me. I am very sorry you and I shou'd quarrel; but I hope here's an end on't, for if you are satisfy'd——I am.

Lov. I shall hardly think it worth my prosecuting any farther, so you may be at rest, Sir.

Lord Fop. Thou art a generous Fellow, strike me dumb. [Aside.] But thou hast an impertinent Wife, stap my Vitals.

Syr. So, carry him off, carry him off, we shall have him prate himself into a Fever by and by; carry him off.

[Ex. Serv. with L. Fop.

Aman. Now on my Knees, my Dear, let me ask your pardon for my Indiscretion, my own I never shall obtain.

Lov. Oh, there's no harm done: You serv'd him well.

Aman. He did indeed deserve it. But I tremble to think how dear my indiscreet Resentment might have cost you.

Lov. O, no matter; never trouble yourself about that.

Ber. For Heaven's sake, what was't he did to you?

Aman. O nothing; he only squeez'd me kindly by the Hand, and frankly offer'd me a Coxcomb's Heart.[Pg 37] I know I was to blame to resent it as I did, since nothing but a Quarrel could ensue. But the Fool so surpriz'd me with his Insolence, I was not Mistress of my Fingers.

Ber. Now I dare swear, he thinks you had 'em at great Command, they obey'd you so readily.

Enter Worthy.

Wor. Save you, save you, good People; I'm glad to find you all alive; I met a wounded Peer carrying off. For Heav'ns sake, what was the matter?

Lov. O, a Trifle: He would have lain with my Wife before my Face, so she oblig'd him with a Box o'the Ear, and I run him thro' the Body: That was all.

Wor. Bagatelle on all sides. But, pray, Madam, how long has this noble Lord been an humble Servant of yours?

Aman. This is the first I have heard on't. So I suppose 'tis his Quality, more than his Love, has brought him into this Adventure. He thinks his Title an authentick Passport to every Woman's Heart, below the Degree of a Peeress.

Wor. He's Coxcomb enough to think any thing. But I wou'd not have you brought into Trouble for him: I hope there's no Danger of his Life?

Lov. None at all: He's fallen into the Hands of a roguish Surgeon, who I perceive designs to frighten a little Money out of him. But I saw his Wound, 'tis nothing; he may go to the Play to-night, if he pleases.

Wor. I'm glad you have corrected him without farther Mischief. And now, Sir, if these Ladies have no farther Service for you, you'll oblige me if you can go to the Place I spoke to you of t'other Day.

Lov. With all my Heart. [Aside.] Tho' I cou'd wish, methinks, to stay and gaze a little longer on that Creature. Good God! How beautiful she is!—But what have I to do with Beauty? I have already had my Portion, and must not covet more. Come, Sir, when you please.

[To Wor.

Wor. Ladies, your Servant.[Pg 38] Aman. Mr. Loveless, pray one Word with you before you go.

Lov. to Wor.] I'll overtake you, Sir: What wou'd my Dear?

Aman. Only a Woman's foolish Question, How do you like my Cousin here?

Lov. Jealous already, Amanda?

Aman. Not at all; I ask you for another Reason.

Lov. Aside.] Whate'er her Reason be, I must not tell her true. [To Aman.] Why, I confess she's handsome. But you must not think I slight your Kinswoman, if I own to you, of all the Women who may claim that Character, she is the last wou'd triumph in my Heart.

Aman. I'm satisfy'd.

Lov. Now tell me why you ask'd?

Aman. At Night I will. Adieu.

Lov. I'm yours. [Kissing her.]

[Exit Lov.

Aman. [Aside.] I'm glad to find he does not like her; for I have a great mind to persuade her to come and live with me. [To Ber.] Now, dear Berinthia, let me enquire a little into your Affairs: for I do assure you, I am enough your Friend, to interest myself in every thing that concerns you.

Ber. You formerly have given me such Proofs on't, I shou'd be very much to blame to doubt it; I am sorry I have no Secrets to trust you with, that I might convince you how entire a Confidence I durst repose in you.

Aman. Why is it possible, that one so young and beautiful as you, shou'd live and have no Secrets?

Ber. What Secrets do you mean?

Aman. Lovers.

Ber. O Twenty; but not one secret one amongst 'em. Lovers in this Age have too much Honour to do any thing under-hand; they do all above-board.

Aman. That now, methinks, wou'd make me hate a Man.

Ber. But the Women of the Town are of another mind: For by this means a Lady may, with the Expence of a few Coquet Glances, lead twenty Fools about in a String, for two or three Years together. Whereas, if she[Pg 39] shou'd allow 'em greater Favours, and oblige 'em to Secrecy, she wou'd not keep one of 'em a Fortnight.

Aman. There's something indeed in That to satisfy the Vanity of a Woman, but I can't comprehend how the Men find their Account in it.

Ber. Their Entertainment, I must confess, is a Riddle to me. For there's very few of them ever get farther than a Bow and an Ogle. I have half a Score for my share, who follow me all over the Town; and at the Play, the Park, and the Church, do, with their Eyes, say the violent'st things to me——But I never hear any more of 'em.

Aman. What can be the Reason of that?

Ber. One Reason is, They don't know how to go farther. They have had so little Practice, they don't understand the Trade. But besides their Ignorance, you must know there is not one of my half-score Lovers but what follows half a score Mistresses. Now their Affections being divided amongst so many, are not strong enough for any one, to make 'em pursue her to the Purpose. Like a young Puppy in a Warren, they have a Flirt at all, and catch none.

Aman. Yet they seem to have a Torrent of Love to dispose of.

Ber. They have so: But 'tis like the River of a Modern Philosopher, whose Works, tho' a Woman, I have read: it sets out with a violent Stream, splits in a thousand Branches, and is all lost in the Sands.

Aman. But do you think this River of Love runs all its Course without doing any Mischief? Do you think it overflows nothing?

Ber. O yes; 'tis true, it never breaks into any body's Ground that has the least Fence about it; but it overflows all the Commons that lie in its way. And this is the utmost Achievement of those dreadful Champions in the Field of Love—the Beaux.

Aman. But pr'ythee, Berinthia, instruct me a little farther; for I am so great a Novice, I'm almost asham'd on't. My Husband's leaving me whilst I was young and[Pg 40] fond, threw me into that Depth of Discontent, that ever since I have led so private and recluse a Life, my Ignorance is scarce conceivable. I therefore fain would be instructed: Not, Heaven knows, that what you call Intrigues have any Charms for me: my Love and Principles are too well fix'd. The practick Part of all unlawful Love is——

Ber. O 'tis abominable: But for the Speculative—that we must all confess is entertaining. The Conversation of all the virtuous Women in the Town turns upon that and new Clothes.

Aman. Pray be so just then to me, to believe, 'tis with a World of Innocency I wou'd enquire, Whether you think those Women we call Women of Reputation, do really 'scape all other Men, as they do those Shadows of 'em, the Beaux.

Ber. O no, Amanda; there are a sort of Men make dreadful Work amongst 'em: Men that may be call'd The Beaux Antipathy; for they agree in nothing but walking upon two Legs.

These have Brains: The Beau has none.
These are in Love with their Mistress: The Beau with himself.
They take care of her Reputation: He's industrious to destroy it.
They are decent: He's a Fop.
They are sound: He's rotten.
They are Men: He's an Ass.

Aman. If this be their Character, I fancy we had here e'en now a Pattern of 'em both.

Ber. His Lordship and Mr. Worthy?

Aman. The same.

Ber. As for the Lord, he's eminently so; And for the other, I can assure you, there's not a Man in Town who has a better Interest with the Women, that are worth having an Interest with. But 'tis all private: He's like a Back-stair Minister at Court, who, whilst the reputed Favourites are sauntering in the Bed-chamber, is ruling the Roast in the Closet.

Aman. He answers then the Opinion I had ever of him.[Pg 41] Heavens! What a difference there is between a Man like him, and that vain nauseous Fop, Sir Novelty! [Taking her Hand.] I must acquaint you with a Secret, Cousin. 'Tis not that Fool alone has talked to me of Love, Worthy has been tampering too: 'Tis true, he has done it in vain: Not all his Charms or Art have power to shake me. My Love, my Duty, and my Virtue, are such faithful Guards, I need not fear my Heart shou'd e'er betray me. But what I wonder at is this: I find I did not start at his Proposal, as when it came from one whom I contemn'd. I therefore mention this Attempt, that I may learn from you whence it proceeds, that Vice, which cannot change its Nature, shou'd so far change at least its Shape, as that the self-same Crime propos'd from one shall seem a Monster gaping at your Ruin, when from another it shall look so kind, as tho' it were your Friend, and never meant to harm you. Whence think you, can this Difference proceed? For 'tis not Love, Heaven knows.

Ber. O no; I wou'd not for the World believe it were. But possibly, shou'd there a dreadful Sentence pass upon you, to undergo the Rage of both their Passions; the Pain you apprehend from one might seem so trivial to the other, the Danger wou'd not quite so much alarm you.

Aman. Fy, fy, Berinthia! you wou'd indeed alarm me, cou'd you incline me to a Thought, that all the Merit of Mankind combin'd, cou'd shake that tender Love I bear my Husband: No, he sits triumphant in my Heart, and nothing can dethrone him.

Ber. But shou'd he abdicate again, do you think you shou'd preserve the vacant Throne ten tedious Winters more, in hopes of his return?

Aman. Indeed I think I shou'd. Tho' I confess, after those Obligations he has to me, shou'd he abandon me once more, my Heart wou'd grow extremely urgent with me to root him thence, and cast him out for ever.

Ber. Were I that thing they call a slighted Wife, some Body shou'd run the risque of being that thing they call—a Husband.

Aman. O fy, Berinthia! No Revenge shou'd ever be[Pg 42] taken against a Husband: But to wrong his Bed is a Vengeance, which of all Vengeance——

Ber. Is the sweetest—ha, ha, ha! Don't I talk madly?

Aman. Madly indeed.

Ber. Yet I'm very innocent.

Aman. That I dare swear you are. I know how to make Allowances for your Humour: You were always very entertaining Company; but I find since Marriage and Widowhood have shewn you the World a little, you are very much improv'd.

Ber. [Aside.] Alack a-day, there has gone more than that to improve me, if she knew all.

Aman. For Heaven's sake, Berinthia, tell me what way I shall take to persuade you to come and live with me?

Ber. Why, one way in the World there is——and but one.

Aman. Pray which is that?

Ber. It is to assure me—I shall be very welcome.

Aman. If that be all, you shall e'en lie here to-night.

Ber. To-night?

Aman. Yes, to-night.

Ber. Why, the People where I lodge will think me mad.

Aman. Let 'em think what they please.

Ber. Say you so, Amanda? Why then they shall think what they please: For I'm a young Widow, and I care not what any body thinks. Ah, Amanda, it's a delicious thing to be a young Widow.

Aman. You'll hardly make me think so.

Ber. Phu, because you are in love with your Husband: but that is not every Woman's Case.

Aman. I hope 'twas yours, at least.

Ber. Mine, say ye? Now I have a great mind to tell you a Lye, but I shou'd do it so aukwardly, you'd find me out.

Aman. Then e'en speak the Truth.

Ber. Shall I?——Then after all, I did love him, Amanda——as a Nun does Penance.[Pg 43] Aman. Why did not you refuse to marry him, then?

Ber. Because my Mother wou'd have whipt me.

Aman. How did you live together?

Ber. Like Man and Wife—asunder;

He lov'd the Country, I the Town.
He Hawks and Hounds, I Coaches and Equipage.
He Eating and Drinking, I Carding and Playing.
He the Sound of a Horn, I the Squeak of a Fiddle.
We were dull Company at Table, worse a-bed.
Whenever we met, we gave one another the Spleen.
And never agreed but once, which was about lying alone.

Aman. But tell me one thing truly and sincerely.

Ber. What's that?

Aman. Notwithstanding all these Jars, did not his Death at last extremely trouble you?

Ber. O yes: Not that my present Pangs were so very violent, but the After-pains were intolerable. I was forc'd to wear a beastly Widow's Band a Twelvemonth for't.

Aman. Women, I find, have different Inclinations.

Ber. Women, I find, keep different Company. When your Husband ran away from you, if you had fallen into some of my Acquaintance, 'twou'd have sav'd you many a Tear. But you go and live with a Grandmother, a Bishop, and an old Nurse, which was enough to make any Woman break her Heart for her Husband. Pray, Amanda, if ever you are a Widow again, keep yourself so as I do.

Aman. Why, do you then resolve you'll never marry?

Ber. O, no; I resolve I will.

Aman. How so?

Ber. That I never may.

Aman. You banter me.

Ber. Indeed I don't. But I consider I'm a Woman, and form my Resolutions accordingly.

Aman. Well, my Opinion is, form what Resolution you will, Matrimony will be the end on't.

Ber. Faith it won't.

Aman. How do you know?

Ber. I'm sure on't.

[Pg 44]

Aman. Why, do you think 'tis impossible for you to fall in love?

Ber. No.

Aman. Nay, but to grow so passionately fond, that nothing but the Man you love can give you rest?

Ber. Well, what then?

Aman. Why, then you'll marry him.

Ber. How do you know that?

Aman. Why, what can you do else?

Ber. Nothing—but sit and cry.

Aman. Psha.

Ber. Ah, poor Amanda, you have led a Country Life: But if you'll consult the Widows of this Town, they'll tell you, you shou'd never take a Lease of a House you can hire for a Quarter's Warning.



Enter Lord Foppington and Servant.

Lord Fop. Hey, Fellow, let the Coach come to the Door.

Serv. Will your Lordship venture so soon to expose yourself to the Weather?

Lord Fop. Sir, I will venture as soon as I can, to expose myself to the Ladies: tho' give me my Cloke, however; for in that Side-bax, what between the Air that comes in at the Door on one side, and the intolerable Warmth of the Masks on t'other, a Man gets so many Heats and Colds, 'twou'd destroy the Canstitution of a Harse.

Ser. [Putting on his Cloke.] I wish your Lordship wou'd please to keep House a little longer, I'm afraid your Honour does not well consider your Wound.

Lord Fop. My Wound!—--I wou'd not be in Eclipse another Day, tho' I had as many Wounds in my Guts as I have had in my Heart.

[Pg 45]

Enter Young Fashion.

Young Fash. Brother, your Servant. How do you find yourself to-day?

Lord Fop. So well, that I have arder'd my Coach to the Door: So there's no great Danger of Death this baut, Tam.

Young Fash. I'm very glad of it.

Lord Fop. aside.] That I believe's a Lye. Pr'ythee, Tam, tell me one thing: Did not your Heart cut a Caper up to your Mauth, when you heard I was run thro' the Bady?

Young Fash. Why do you think it shou'd?

Lord Fop. Because I remember mine did so, when I heard my Father was shat thro' the Head?

Young Fash. It then did very ill.

Lord Fop. Pr'ythee, why so?

Young Fash. Because he us'd you very well.

Lord Fop. Well?—naw strike me dumb, he starv'd me. He has let me want a Thausand Women for want of a Thausand Paund.

Young Fash. Then he hindered you from making a great many ill Bargains; for I think no Woman is worth Money, that will take Money.

Lord Fop. If I were a younger Brother, I shou'd think so too.

Young Fash. Why, is it possible you can value a Woman that's to be bought?

Lord Fop. Pr'ythee, why not as well as a Pad-Nag?

Young Fash. Because a Woman has a Heart to dispose of; a Horse has none.

Lord Fop. Look you, Tam, of all things that belang to a Woman, I have an Aversion to her Heart; far when once a Woman has given you her Heart——you can never get rid of the rest of her Bady.

Young Fash. This is strange Doctrine: But pray in your Amours how is it with your own Heart?

Lord Fop. Why, my Heart in my Amours——is like——my Heart aut of my Amours; a la glace. My Bady, Tam, is a Watch; and my Heart is the Pendulum[Pg 46] to it; whilst the Finger runs raund to every Hour in the Circle, that still beats the same time.

Young Fash. Then you are seldom much in love?

Lord Fop. Never, Stap my Vitals.

Young Fash. Why then did you make all this Bustle about Amanda?

Lord Fop. Because she was a Woman of an insolent Virtue, and I thought myself piqu'd in Honour to debauch her.

Young Fash. Very well. [Aside.] Here's a rare Fellow for you, to have the spending of Five Thousand Pounds a-year. But now for my Business with him. [To Lord Fop.] Brother, tho' I know to talk of Business (especially of Money) is a Theme not quite so entertaining to you as that of the Ladies, my Necessities are such, I hope you'll have patience to hear me.

Lord Fop. The greatness of your Necessities, Tam, is the worst Argument in the Warld far your being patiently heard. I do believe you are going to make a very good Speech, but, strike me dumb, it has the worst beginning of any Speech I have heard this Twelvemonth.

Young Fash. I'm very sorry you think so.

Lord Fop. I do believe thou art. But come, let's know thy Affair quickly; for 'tis a new Play, and I shall be so rumpled and squeezed with pressing thro' the Crawd, to get to my Servant, the Women will think I have lain all Night in my Clothes.

Young Fash. Why then (that I may not be the Author of so great a Misfortune) my Case in a Word is this: The necessary Expences of my Travels have so much exceeded the wretched Income of my Annuity, that I have been forced to mortgage it for Five Hundred Pounds, which is spent; so that unless you are so kind to assist me in redeeming it, I know no Remedy but to take a Purse.

Lord Fop. Why, Faith, Tam——to give you my Sense of the thing, I do think taking a Purse the best Remedy in the Warld; for if you succeed, you are reliev'd that way; if you are taken——you are reliev'd t'other.

Young Fash. I'm glad to see you are in so pleasant a Humour, I hope I shall find the Effects on't.

[Pg 47]

Lord Fop. Why, do you then really think it a reasonable thing I should give you Five Hundred Paunds?

Young Fash. I do not ask it as a Due, Brother, I am willing to receive it as a Favour.

Lord Fop. Thau art willing to receive it any haw, strike me speechless. But these are damn'd times to give Money in: Taxes are so great, Repairs so exorbitant, Tenants such Rogues, and Perriwigs so dear, that the Devil take me, I'm reduc'd to that extremity in my Cash, I have been farc'd to retrench in that one Article of sweet Pawder, till I have braught it dawn to Five Guineas a Manth. Naw judge, Tam, whether I can spare you Five hundred Paunds?

Young Fash. If you can't, I must starve, that's all, [Aside.] Damn him.

Lord Fop. All I can say is, you should have been a better Husband.

Young Fash. 'Oons, if you can't live upon five thousand a-year, how do you think I should do't upon two hundred?

Lord Fop. Don't be in a Passion, Tam; far Passion is the most unbecoming thing in the Warld——to the Face. Look you, I don't love to say any thing to you to make you melancholy; but upon this occasion I must take leave to put you in mind, that a Running Horse does require more Attendance, than a Coach-Horse. Nature has made some difference 'twixt you and I.

Young Fash. Yes, she has made you older. [Aside.] Pox take her.

Lord Fop. That is nat all. Tam.

Young Fash. Why, what is there else?

Lord Fop. [Looking first upon himself, then upon his Brother.]——Ask the Ladies.

Young Fash. Why, thou Essence Bottle, thou Musk-Cat, dost thou then think thou hast any Advantage over me, but what Fortune has given thee?

Lord Fop. I do——stap my Vitals.

Young Fash. Now, by all that's great and powerful, thou art the Prince of Coxcombs.

Lord Fop. Sir——I am praud of being at the Head of so prevailing a Party.

[Pg 48]

Young Fash. Will nothing then provoke thee?—Draw, Coward.

Lord Fop. Look you, Tam, you know I have always taken you for a mighty dull Fellow, and here is one of the foolishest Plats broke out, that I have seen a long time. Your Paverty makes your Life so burdensome to you, you would provoke me to a Quarrel, in hopes either to slip thro' my Lungs into my Estate, or to get yourself run thro' the Guts, to put an end to your Pain. But I will disappoint you in both your Designs; far with the Temper of a Philasapher, and the Discretion of a Statesman—I will go to the Play with my Sword in my Scabbard.

[Exit Lord Fop.

Young Fash. So! Farewel, Snuff-Box. And now, Conscience, I defy thee. Lory!

Enter Lory.

Lo. Sir.

Young Fash. Here's rare News, Lory; his Lordship has given me a Pill has purg'd off all my Scruples.

Lo. Then my Heart's at ease again: For I have been in a lamentable Fright, Sir, ever since your Conscience had the Impudence to intrude into your Company.

Young Fash. Be at peace, it will come there no more: My Brother has given it a wring by the Nose, and I have kick'd it down Stairs. So run away to the Inn; get the Horses ready quickly, and bring them to old Coupler's, without a Moment's Delay.

Lo. Then, Sir, you are going straight about the Fortune.

Young Fash. I am: away; fly, Lory.

Lo. The happiest Day I ever saw. I'm upon the Wing already.

[Pg 49]

[Exeunt several ways.

SCENE, A Garden.

Enter Loveless and Servant.

Lov. Is my Wife within?

Ser. No, Sir, she has been gone out this Half-hour.

Lov. 'Tis well; leave me.


Sure Fate has yet some Business to be done,
Before Amanda's Heart and mine must rest;
Else, why amongst those Legions of her Sex,
Which throng the World,
Shou'd she pick out for her Companion
The only one on Earth
Whom Nature has endow'd for her undoing?
Undoing was't, I said——Who shall undo her?
Is not her Empire fix'd? Am I not hers?
Did she not rescue me, a groveling Slave,
When, chain'd and bound by that black Tyrant Vice,
I labour'd in his vilest Drudgery?
Did she not ransom me, and set me free?
Nay, more:
When by my Follies sunk
To a poor tatter'd, despicable Beggar,
Did she not lift me up to envy'd Fortune?
Give me herself, and all that she possest?
Without a Thought of more Return,
Than what a poor repenting Heart might make her,
Han't she done this? And if she has,
Am I not strongly bound to love her for it?
To love her—Why, do I not love her then?
By Earth and Heaven, I do!
Nay, I have Demonstration that I do:
For I would sacrifice my Life to serve her.
Yet hold——If laying down my Life
Be Demonstration of my Love,
[Pg 50] What is't I feel in favour of Berinthia?
For shou'd she be in danger, methinks, I cou'd incline
To risk it for her Service too; and yet I do not love her.
How then subsists my Proof?—
—O, I have found it out.
What I would do for one, is Demonstration of my Love;
And if I'd do as much for t'other: it there is Demonstration
of my Friendship——Ay——it must be so. I find
I'm very much her Friend.—Yet let me ask myself one
puzzling Question more:
Whence springs this mighty Friendship all at once?
For our Acquaintance is of a later Date. Now Friendship's
said to be a Plant of tedious Growth, its Root
compos'd of tender Fibres, nice in their Taste, cautious
in spreading, check'd with the least Corruption in the
Soil, long ere it take, and longer still ere it appear to
do so; whilst mine is in a Moment shot so high, and fix'd
so fast, it seems beyond the Power of Storms to shake it.
I doubt it thrives too fast.


Enter Berinthia.

—Ah, she here!—Nay, then take heed, my Heart, for
there are Dangers towards.

Ber. What makes you look so thoughtful, Sir? I hope you are not ill.

Lov. I was debating, Madam, whether I was so or not; and that was it which made me look so thoughtful.

Ber. Is it then so hard a matter to decide? I thought all People had been acquainted with their own Bodies, tho' few People know their own Minds.

Lov. What if the Distemper, I suspect, be in the Mind?

Ber. Why then I'll undertake to prescribe you a Cure.

Lov. Alas, you undertake you know not what.

Ber. So far at least then allow me to be a Physician.

Lov. Nay, I'll allow you so yet farther: For I have reason to believe, shou'd I put myself into your Hands, you wou'd increase my Distemper.

Ber. Perhaps I might have Reasons from the College not to be too quick in your Cure; but 'tis possible, I might find ways to give you often Ease, Sir.

[Pg 51]

Lov. Were I but sure of that, I'd quickly lay my Case before you.

Ber. Whether you are sure of it or no, what Risk do you run in trying?

Lov. O, a very great one.

Ber. How?

Lov. You might betray my Distemper to my Wife.

Ber. And so lose all my Practice.

Lov. Will you then keep my Secret?

Ber. I will, if it don't burst me.

Lov. Swear.

Ber. I do.

Lov. By what?

Ber. By Woman.

Lov. That's swearing by my Deity. Do it by your own, or I shan't believe you.

Ber. By Man then.

Lov. I'm satisfy'd. Now hear my Symptoms, and give me your Advice. The first were these:

When 'twas my Chance to see you at the Play,
A random Glance you threw, at first alarm'd me,
I cou'd not turn my Eyes from whence the Danger came:
I gaz'd upon you, till you shot again,
And then my Fears came on me.
My Heart began to pant, my Limbs to tremble,
My Blood grew thin, my Pulse beat quick,
My Eyes grew hot and dim, and all the Frame of Nature
Shook with Apprehension.
'Tis true, some small Recruits of Resolution
My Manhood brought to my Assistance,
And by their Help I made a Stand a while,
But found at last your Arrows flew so thick,
They cou'd not fail to pierce me;
So left the Field,
And fled for shelter to Amanda's Arms.
What think you of these Symptoms, pray?

Ber. Feverish every one of 'em. But what Relief pray did your Wife afford you?

Lov. Why, instantly she let me Blood, which for the present much assuag'd my Flame. But when I saw you,[Pg 52] out it burst again, and rag'd with greater Fury than before. Nay, since you now appear, 'tis so increas'd, that in a Moment, if you do not help me, I shall, whilst you look on, consume to Ashes.

[Taking hold of her Hand.

Ber. [Breaking from him.] O Lard, let me go: 'Tis the Plague, and we shall all be infected.

Lov. [Catching her in his Arms, and kissing her.] Then we'll die together, my charming Angel.

Ber. O Ged——the Devil's in you. Lard, let me go, here's somebody coming.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Sir, my Lady's come home, and desires to speak with you: She's in her Chamber.

Lov. Tell her I'm coming.

[Exit Serv.

To Ber. But before I go, one Glass of Nectar more to drink her Health.

Ber. Stand off, or I shall hate you, by Heavens!

Lov. [Kissing her.] In Matters of Love, a Woman's Oath is no more to be minded than a Man's.

Ber. Um——

Enter Worthy.

Wor. Ha! What's here? my old Mistress, and so close, I'faith! I wou'd not spoil her Sport for the Universe.

[He retires.

Ber. O Ged——Now do I pray to Heaven, [Exit Loveless running.] with all my Heart and Soul, that the Devil in Hell may take me, if ever——I was better pleas'd in my Life—This Man has bewitch'd me, that's certain. [Sighing.] Well, I am condemn'd, but, Thanks to Heaven, I feel myself each Moment more and more prepar'd for my Execution—Nay, to that degree, I don't perceive I have the least fear of Dying. No, I find, let the Executioner be but a Man, and there's nothing will suffer with more Resolution than a Woman. Well, I never had but one Intrigue yet: But I confess I long to have another. Pray Heaven it end as the first did tho', that we may both grow weary at a time; for 'tis a melancholy thing for Lovers to outlive one another.

[Pg 53]

Enter Worthy.

Wor. [Aside.] This Discovery's a lucky one, I hope to make a happy use on't. That Gentlewoman there is no Fool; so I shall be able to make her understand her Interest. [To Ber.] Your Servant, Madam; I need not ask you how you do, you have got so good a Colour.

Ber. No better than I us'd to have, I suppose.

Wor. A little more Blood in your Cheeks.

Ber. The Weather's hot.

Wor. If it were not, a Woman may have a Colour.

Ber. What do you mean by that?

Wor. Nothing.

Ber. Why do you smile then?

Wor. Because the Weather's hot.

Ber. You'll never leave roguing, I see that.

Wor. [Putting his Finger to his Nose.] You'll never leave——I see that.

Ber. Well, I can't imagine what you drive at. Pray tell me what you mean?

Wor. Do you tell me, it's the same thing.

Ber. I can't.

Wor. Guess!

Ber. I shall guess wrong.

Wor. Indeed you won't.

Ber. Psha! either tell, or let it alone.

Wor. Nay, rather than let it alone, I will tell. But first I must put you in mind that, after what has past 'twixt you and I, very few things ought to be Secrets between us.

Ber. Why what Secrets do we hide? I know of none.

Wor. Yes, there are two; one I have hid from you, and t'other you wou'd hide from me. You are fond of Loveless, which I have discover'd; and I am fond of his Wife——

Ber. Which I have discover'd.

Wor. Very well; now I confess your Discovery to be true, what do you say to mine?

Ber. Why, I confess——I wou'd swear 'twere false, if I thought you were Fool enough to believe me.

[Pg 54]

Wor. Now am I almost in Love with you again. Nay, I don't know but I might be quite so, had I made one short Campaign with Amanda. Therefore, if you find 'twould tickle your Vanity, to bring me down once more to your Lure, e'en help me quickly to dispatch her Business, that I may have nothing else to do, but to apply myself to yours.

Ber. Do you then think, Sir, I am old enough to be a Bawd?

Wor. No, but I think you are wise enough to——

Ber. To do what?

Wor. To hoodwink Amanda with a Gallant, that she mayn't see who is her Husband's Mistress.

Ber. [Aside.] He has reason: The Hint's a good one.

Wor. Well, Madam, what think you on't?

Ber. I think you are so much a deeper Politician in these Affairs than I am, that I ought to have a very great regard to your Advice.

Wor. Then give me leave to put you in mind, that the most easy, safe, and pleasant Situation for your own Amour, is the House in which you now are; provided you keep Amanda from any sort of Suspicion. That the way to do that, is to engage her in an Intrigue of her own, making yourself her Confidante. And the way to bring her to intrigue, is to make her jealous of her Husband in a wrong place; which the more you foment, the less you'll be suspected. This is my Scheme, in short; which if you follow as you shou'd do, (my dear Berinthia) we may all four pass the Winter very pleasantly.

Ber. Well, I could be glad to have nobody's Sins to answer for but my own. But where there is a Necessity—

Wor. Right! as you say, where there is a Necessity, a Christian is bound to help his Neighbour. So, good Berinthia, lose no time, but let us begin the Dance as fast as we can.

Ber. Not till the Fiddles are in tune, pray, Sir. Your Lady's Strings will be very apt to fly, I can tell you that, if they are wound up too hastily. But if you'll have patience to skrew them to a pitch by degrees, I don't doubt but she may endure to be play'd upon.

[Pg 55]

Wor. Ay, and will make admirable Musick too, or I'm mistaken; but have you had no private Closet Discourse with her yet about Males and Females, and so forth, which may give you hopes in her Constitution; for I know her Morals are the Devil against us.

Ber. I have had so much Discourse with her, that I believe were she once cur'd of her fondness to her Husband, the Fortress of her Virtue wou'd not be so impregnable as she fancies.

Wor. What! she runs, I'll warrant you, into that common Mistake of fond Wives, who conclude themselves virtuous, because they can refuse a Man they don't like, when they have got one they do.

Ber. True, and there I think 'tis a presumptuous thing in a Woman to assume the Name of Virtuous, till she has heartily hated her Husband, and been soundly in love with somebody else. Whom if she has withstood—then—much good may it do her!

Wor. Well, so much for her Virtue. Now, one word of her Inclinations, and every one to their Post. What Opinion do you find she has of me?

Ber. What you cou'd wish; she thinks you handsome and discreet.

Wor. Good, that's thinking half Seas over. One Tide more brings us into Port.

Ber. Perhaps it may, tho' still remember, there's a difficult Bar to pass.

Wor. I know there is, but I don't question I shall get well over it, by the help of such a Pilot.

Ber. You may depend upon your Pilot, she'll do the best she can; so weigh Anchor, and be gone as soon as you please.

Wor. I'm under Sail already. Adieu.

[Exit Wor.

Ber. Bon Voyage.


So, here's fine Work. What a Business have I undertaken! I'm a very pretty Gentlewoman, truly; but there was no avoiding it: He'd have ruin'd me, if I had refus'd him. Besides, faith, I begin to fancy there may be[Pg 56] as much pleasure in carrying on another body's Intrigue, as one's own. This at least is certain, it exercises almost all the entertaining Faculties of a Woman: For there's employment for Hypocrisy, Invention, Deceit, Flattery, Mischief, and Lying.

Enter Amanda, her Woman following her.

Wom. If you please, Madam, only to say, whether you'll have me to buy 'em or not.

Aman. Yes, no, go fiddle; I care not what you do. Pr'ythee leave me.

Wom. I have done.

[Exit Wom.

Ber. What in the Name of Jove's the matter with you?

Aman. The matter, Berinthia! I'm almost mad, I'm plagu'd to death.

Ber. Who is it that plagues you?

Aman. Who do you think shou'd plague a Wife, but her Husband?

Ber. O ho, is it come to that? We shall have you wish yourself a Widow by and by.

Aman. Wou'd I were any thing but what I am! A base ungrateful Man, after what I have done for him, to use me thus!

Ber. What, he has been ogling now, I'll warrant you?

Aman. Yes, he has been ogling.

Ber. And so you are jealous? Is that all?

Aman. That all! Is jealousy then nothing?

Ber. It shou'd be nothing, if I were in your Case.

Aman. Why, what wou'd you do?

Ber. I'd cure myself.

Aman. How?

Ber. Let Blood in the fond Vein: Care as little for my Husband as he did for me.

Aman. That would not stop his Course.

Ber. Nor nothing else, when the Wind's in the warm Corner. Look you, Amanda, you may build Castles in the Air, and fume, and fret, and grow thin and lean, and pale and ugly, if you please. But I tell you, no Man worth having is true to his Wife, or can be true to his Wife, or ever was, or ever will be so.

[Pg 57]

Aman. Do you then really think he's false to me? for I did but suspect him.

Ber. Think so? I know he's so.

Aman. Is it possible? Pray tell me what you know.

Ber. Don't press me then to name Names; for that I have sworn I won't do.

Aman. Well, I won't; but let me know all you can without Perjury.

Ber. I'll let you know enough to prevent any wise Woman's dying of the Pip; and I hope you'll pluck up your Spirits, and shew, upon occasion, you can be as good a Wife as the best of 'em.

Aman. Well, what a Woman, can do I'll endeavour.

Ber. O, a Woman can do a great deal, if once she sets her mind to it. Therefore pray don't stand trifling any longer, and teasing yourself with this and that, and your Love and your Virtue, and I know not what. But resolve to hold up your Head, get a tiptoe, and look over them all; for to my certain knowledge your husband is a pickering elsewhere.

Aman. You are sure on't?

Ber. Positively, he fell in love at the Play.

Aman. Right, the very same; do you know the ugly thing?

Ber. Yes, I know her well enough; but she's no such ugly thing, neither.

Aman. Is she very handsome?

Ber. Truly I think so.

Aman. Hey-ho!

Ber. What do you sigh for now?

Aman. Oh my Heart!

Ber. [Aside.] Only the Pangs of Nature! she's in Labour of her Love; Heaven send her a quick Delivery! I'm sure she has a good Midwife.

Aman. I'm very ill, I must go to my Chamber; Dear Berinthia, don't leave me a Moment.

Ber. No, don't fear. [Aside.] I'll see you safe brought-to-bed, I'll warrant you.

[Pg 58]

[Exeunt, Amanda leaning upon Berinthia.

SCENE, A Country-House.

Enter Young Fashion and Lory.

Young Fash. So, here's our Inheritance, Lory, if we can but get into Possession. But, methinks, the Seat of our Family looks like Noah's Ark, as if the chief part on't were design'd for the Fowls of the Air, and the Beasts of the Field.

Lo. Pray, Sir, don't let your Head run upon the Orders of Building here; get but the Heiress, let the Devil take the House.

Young Fash. Get but the House, let the Devil take the Heiress, I say; at least if she be as old Coupler describes her. But come, we have no time to squander. Knock at the Door. [Lory knocks two or three times.] What the Devil, have they got no Ears in this House? Knock harder.

Lo. I'gad, Sir, this will prove some inchanted Castle; we shall have the Giant come out by and by with his Club, and beat our Brains out.

[Knocks again.

Young Fash. Hush! they come.

From within.] Who is there?

Lo. Open the Door and see: Is that your Country Breeding?

Within. Ay, but two Words to a Bargain: Tummus, is the Blunderbuss prim'd?

Young Fash. Oons, give 'em good Words, Lory; we shall be shot here a Fortune-catching.

Lo. I'gad, Sir, I think y'are in the right on't. Ho, Mr. What d'ye-call-um.—[Servant appears at the Window with a Blunderbuss.] Weal naw, what's yar Business?

Young Fash. Nothing, Sir, but to wait upon Sir Tunbelly, with your leave.

Ser. To weat upon Sir Tunbelly? Why, you'll find that's just as Sir Tunbelly pleases.

Young Fash. But will you do me the Favour, Sir, to know whether Sir Tunbelly pleases or not?

Ser. Why, look you, do you see, with good Words, much may be done. Ralph, go thy weas, and ask Sir[Pg 59] Tunbelly if he pleases to be waited upon. And, do'st hear? call to Nurse, that she may lock up Miss Hoyden before the Gates open.

Young Fash. D'ye hear that, Lory?

Lo. Ay, Sir, I'm afraid we shall find a difficult Jobb on't. Pray Heaven that old Rogue Coupler han't sent us to fetch Milk out of the Gunroom!

Young Fash. I'll warrant thee all will go well: See; the Door opens.

Enter Sir Tunbelly, with his Servants arm'd with Guns, Clubs, Pitchforks, Scythes, &c.

Lo. [Running behind his Master.] O Lord, O Lord, O Lord, we are both dead Men!

Young Fash. Take heed, Fool, thy Fear will ruin us.

Lo. My Fear, Sir—'Sdeath, Sir, I fear nothing. [Aside.] Wou'd I were well up to the Chin in a Horse-Pond!

Sir Tun. Who is it here has any Business with me?

Young Fash. Sir, 'tis I, if your Name be Sir Tunbelly Clumsey.

Sir Tun. Sir, my Name is Sir Tunbelly Clumsey, whether you have any Business with me or not. So you see I am not asham'd of my Name—nor my Face—neither.

Young Fash. Sir, you have no cause, that I know of.

Sir Tun. Sir, if you have no cause neither, I desire to know who you are; for till I know your Name, I shall not ask you to come into my House; and when I know your Name—'tis six to four I don't ask you neither.

Young Fash. [Giving him a Letter.] Sir, I hope you'll find this Letter an Authentick Passport.

Sir Tun. God's my life, I ask your Lordship's Pardon ten thousand times. [To his Servant.] Here, run in a-doors quickly: Get a Scotch-Coal Fire in the great Parlour; set all the Turkey-work-Chairs in their places; get the great Brass Candlesticks out; and be sure stick the Sockets full of Laurel; run. [Turning to Young Fash.] My Lord, I ask your Lordship's pardon. [To other Servants.] And do you hear, run away to Nurse, bid her let Miss Hoyden loose again, and if it was not shifting Day, let her put on a clean Tucker—quick!

[Pg 60]

[Exeunt Servants confusedly.

To Young Fash.] I hope your Honour will excuse the disorder of my Family; we are not us'd to receive Men of your Lordship's great Quality every day; pray where are your Coaches and Servants, my Lord?

Young Fash. Sir, that I might give you and your fair Daughter a proof how impatient I am to be nearer akin to you, I left my Equipage to follow me, and came away Post with only one servant.

Sir Tun. Your Lordship does me too much Honour. It was exposing your Person to too much Fatigue and Danger, I protest it was; but my Daughter shall endeavour to make you what amends she can; and tho' I say it, that shou'd not say it—Hoyden has Charms.

Young Fash. Sir, I am not a Stranger to them, tho' I am to her. Common Fame has done her Justice.

Sir Tun. My Lord, I am common Fame's very grateful humble Servant. My Lord——my Girl's young: Hoyden is young, my Lord; but this I must say for her, what she wants in Art, she has by Nature; what she wants in Experience, she has in Breeding; and what's wanting in her Age, is made good in her Constitution. So pray, my Lord, walk in; pray, my Lord, walk in.

Young Fash. Sir, I wait upon you.


Miss Hoyden sola.

Sure never no body was us'd as I am. I know well enough what other Girls do, for all they think to make a Fool of me: It's well I have a Husband a coming, or I'cod, I'd marry the Baker, I wou'd so. No body can knock at the Gate, but presently I must be lockt up; and here's the young Greyhound Bitch can run loose about the House all the day long, she can; 'tis very well.

Nurse without, opening the Door.

Miss Hoyden! Miss, Miss, Miss! Miss Hoyden!

Enter Nurse.

Miss. Well, what do you make such a Noise for, ha! What do you din a body's Ears for? Can't one be at quiet for you?

[Pg 61]

Nurse. What do I din your Ears for? Here's one come will din your Ears for you.

Miss. What care I who's come? I care not a Fig who comes, nor who goes, as long as I shall be lockt up like the Ale-Cellar.

Nurse. That, Miss, is for fear you shou'd be drank before you are ripe.

Miss. O, don't you trouble your Head about that; I'm as ripe as you, tho' not so mellow.

Nurse. Very well; now I have a good mind to lock you up again, and not let you see my Lord to-night.

Miss. My Lord! Why, is my Husband come?

Nurse. Yes, marry is he, and a goodly Person too.

Miss. [Hugging Nurse.] O my dear Nurse, forgive, me this once, and I'll never misuse you again; no, if I do, you shall give me three thumps on the Back, and a great pinch by the Cheek.

Nurse. Ah the poor Thing, see how it melts; it's as full of Good-Nature as an Egg's full of Meat.

Miss. But, my dear Nurse, don't lie now; is he come, by your troth?

Nurse. Yes, by my truly, is he.

Miss. O Lord! I'll go and put on my lac'd Smock, tho' I am whipt till the Blood run down my Heels for't.

[Exit running.

Nurse. Eh——the Lord succour thee, how thou art delighted!

[Exit after her.

Enter Sir Tunbelly and Young Fashion. A Servant with Wine.

Sir Tun. My Lord, I'm proud of the Honour to see your Lordship within my Doors: and I humbly crave leave to bid you welcome in a Cup of Sack Wine.

Young Fash. Sir, to your Daughter's Health.


Sir Tun. Ah poor Girl, she'll be fear'd out of her Wits on her Wedding Night; for, honestly speaking, she does not know a Man from a Woman, but by his Beard, and his Breeches.

Young Fash. Sir, I don't doubt she has had a virtuous Education, which, with the rest of her Merit, makes[Pg 62] me long to see her mine. I wish you wou'd dispense with the Canonical Hour, and let it be this very Night.

Sir Tun. O not so soon, neither; that's shooting my Girl before you bid her stand. No, give her fair warning, we'll sign and seal to-night if you please; and this Day seven-night—let the Jade look to her Quarters.

Young Fash. This Day seven-night——Why, what do you take me for a Ghost, Sir? 'Slife, Sir, I'm made of Flesh and Blood, and Bones and Sinews, and can no more live a Week without your Daughter—than I can live a Month with her.


Sir Tun. Oh, I'll warrant you, my Hero; young Men are hot, I know, but they don't boil over at that rate, neither; besides, my Wench's Wedding Gown is not come home yet.

Young Fash. O, no matter, Sir; I'll take her in her Shift. [Aside.] A Pox of this old Fellow, he'll delay the Business till my damn'd Star finds me out, and discovers me. [To Sir Tun.] Pray, Sir, let it be done without Ceremony; 'twill save Money.

Sir Tun. Money——Save Money when Hoyden's to be marry'd? Udswoons, I'll give my Wench a Wedding-Dinner, tho' I go to Grass with the King of Assyria for't; and such a Dinner it shall be, as is not to be cook'd in the poaching of an Egg. Therefore, my Noble Lord, have a little Patience, we'll go and look over our Deeds and Settlements immediately; and as for your Bride, tho' you may be sharp-set before she's quite ready, I'll engage for my Girl, she stays your Stomach at last.



Enter Miss Hoyden and Nurse.

Nurse. Well, Miss, how do you like your Husband that is to be?

[Pg 63]

Miss. O Lord, Nurse, I'm so overjoy'd, I can scarce contain myself.

Nurse. O, but you must have a care of being too fond; for Men now a-days hate a Woman that loves 'em.

Miss. Love him! Why do you think I love him, Nurse? I'cod, I would not care if he were hang'd, so I were but once married to him——No——that which pleases me, is to think what Work I'll make when I get to London; for when I am a Wife and a Lady both, Nurse, I'cod, I'll flant it with the best of 'em.

Nurse. Look, look, if his Honour be not a coming to you; now if I were sure you wou'd behave yourself handsomely, and not disgrace me that have brought you up, I'd leave you alone together.

Miss. That's my best Nurse, do as you wou'd be done by; trust us together this once; and if I don't shew my Breeding from the Head to the Foot of me, may I be twice married, and die a Maid!

Nurse. Well, this once I'll venture you; but if you disparage me——

Miss. Never fear, I'll shew him my Parts, I'll warrant him.

[Exit Nurse.


These old Women are so wise when they get a poor Girl into their Clutches; but ere it be long, I shall know what's what, as well as the best of 'em.

Enter Young Fashion.

Young Fash. Your Servant, Madam, I'm glad to find you alone; for I have something of Importance to speak to you about.

Miss. Sir, (my Lord, I meant) you may speak to me about what you please, I shall give you a civil Answer.

Young Fash. You give me so obliging a one, it encourages me to tell you in few Words, what I think both for your Interest and mine. Your Father, I suppose you know, has resolv'd to make me happy in being your Husband, and I hope I may depend upon your Consent, to perform what he desires.

[Pg 64]

Miss. Sir, I never disobey my Father in any thing but eating of green Gooseberries.

Young Fash. So good a Daughter must needs be an admirable Wife; I am therefore impatient till you are mine, and hope you will so far consider the Violence of my Love, that you won't have the Cruelty to defer my Happiness so long as your Father designs it.

Miss. Pray, my Lord, how long is it?

Young Fash. Madam, a thousand Year——a whole Week.

Miss. A Week!—--why, I shall be an old Woman by that time.

Young Fash. And I an old Man, which you'll find a greater Misfortune than t'other.

Miss. Why I thought it was to be to-morrow Morning, as soon as I was up; I'm sure Nurse told me so.

Young Fash. And it shall be to-morrow Morning still, if you'll consent.

Miss. If I'll consent! Why I thought I was to obey you as my Husband.

Young Fash. That's when we are married; till then, I am to obey you.

Miss. Why then if we are to take it by turns, it's the same thing: I'll obey you now, and when we are married, you shall obey me.

Young Fash. With all my heart; but I doubt we must get Nurse on our side, or we shall hardly prevail with the Chaplain.

Miss. No more we shan't indeed, for he loves her better than he loves his Pulpit, and wou'd always be a preaching to her, by his good Will.

Young Fash. Why then, my dear little Bedfellow, if you'll call her hither, we'll try to persuade her presently.

Miss. O Lord, I can tell you a way how to persuade her to any thing.

Young Fash. How's that?

Miss. Why tell her she's a wholesome, comely Woman——and give her Half a Crown.

Young Fash. Nay, if that will do, she shall have half a score of 'em.

[Pg 65]

Miss. O Gemini, for half that she'd marry you herself: I'll run and call her.

[Exit Miss.

Young Fashion solus.

So, Matters go swimmingly; this is a rare Girl, i'faith; I shall have a fine time of it with her at London. I'm much mistaken if she don't prove a March Hare all the Year round. What a scampering Chace will she make on't, when me finds the whole Kennel of Beaux at her Tail! Hey to the Park and the Play, and the Church, and the Devil; she'll shew them sport, I'll warrant 'em. But no matter, she brings an Estate will afford me a separate Maintenance.

Enter Miss and Nurse.

Young Fash. How do you do, good Mistress Nurse? I desir'd your young Lady would give me leave to see you, that I might thank you for your extraordinary Care and Conduct in her Education; pray accept of this small Acknowledgement for it at present, and depend upon my farther Kindness, when I shall be that happy thing her Husband.

Nurse. [Aside.] Gold by mackins! Your Honour's Goodness is too great: alas! all I can boast of is, I gave her poor good Milk, and so your Honour wou'd have said, an you had seen how the poor thing suck't it——Eh, God's blessing on the sweet Face on't! how it us'd to hang at this poor Teat, and suck and squeeze, and kick and sprawl it wou'd, till the Belly on't was so full, it wou'd drop off like a Leech.

[Miss to Nurse, taking her angrily aside.

Pray one word with you; pr'ythee, Nurse, don't stand ripping up old Stories, to make one asham'd before one's Love: do you think such a fine proper Gentleman as he is, cares for a fiddlecome Tale of a draggle-tail'd Girl;, if you have a mind to make him have a good Opinion of a Woman, don't tell him what one did then, tell him what one can do now. [To Young Fash.] I hope your Honour will excuse my Mismanners to whisper before you, it was only to give some orders about the Family.

[Pg 66]

Young Fash. O every thing, Madam, is to give way to Business; besides, good Housewifery is a very commendable Quality in a young Lady.

Miss. Pray, Sir, are the young Ladies good Housewives at London Town? Do they darn their own Linen?

Young Fash. O no, they study how to spend Money, not to save it.

Miss. I'cod, I don't know but that may be better Sport than t'other, ha, Nurse!

Young Fash. Well, you shall have your Choice when you come there.

Miss. Shall I——then by my troth I'll get there as fast as I can.

To Nurse.] His Honour desires you'll be so kind, as to let us be marry'd to-morrow.

Nurse. To-morrow, my dear Madam?

Young Fash. Yes, to-morrow, sweet Nurse, privately; young Folks, you know, are impatient, and Sir Tunbelly wou'd make us stay a Week for a Wedding-Dinner. Now all things being sign'd and seal'd, and agreed, I fancy there cou'd be no great harm in practising a Scene or two of Matrimony in private, if it were only to give us the better Assurance when we come to play it in publick.

Nurse. Nay, I must confess stolen Pleasures are sweet; but if you shou'd be married now, what will you do when Sir Tunbelly calls for you to be wedded?

Miss. Why then we will be married again.

Nurse. What, twice, my Child?

Miss. I'cod, I don't care how often I'm married, not I.

Young Fash. Pray, Nurse, don't you be against your young Lady's good; for by this means she'll have the pleasure of two Wedding-Days.

Miss to Nurse softly.] And of two Wedding-Nights too, Nurse.

Nurse. Well, I'm such a tender-hearted Fool, I find I can refuse you nothing; so you shall e'en follow your own Inventions.

Miss. Shall I? [Aside.] O Lord, I could leap over the Moon.

[Pg 67]

Young Fash. Dear Nurse, this Goodness of yours shan't go unrewarded; but now you must employ your Power with Mr. Bull the Chaplain, that he may do his friendly Office too, and then we shall be all happy; do you think you can prevail with him?

Nurse. Prevail with him——or he shall never prevail with me, I can tell him that.

Miss. My Lord, she has had him upon the hip this seven Year.

Young Fash. I'm glad to hear it; however, to strengthen your Interest with him, you may let him know I have several fat Livings in my Gift, and that the first that falls shall be in your Disposal.

Nurse. Nay, then I'll make him marry more Folks, than one, I'll promise him.

Miss. Faith, do, Nurse, make him marry you too; I'm sure he'll do't for a fat Living; for he loves Eating more than he loves his Bible; and I have often heard, him say, a fat Living was the best Meat in the World.

Nurse. Ay, and I'll make him commend the Sauce too, or I'll bring his Gown to a Cassock, I will so.

Young Fash. Well, Nurse, whilst you go and settle Matters with him, your Lady and I will go and take a walk in the Garden.

Nurse. I'll do your Honour's Business in the catching up of a Garter.

[Exit Nurse.

Young Fash. [Giving her his Hand.] Come, Madam, dare you venture yourself alone with me?

Miss. O dear, yes, Sir; I don't think you'll do any thing to me I need be afraid on.

Enter Amanda and Berinthia.

I Smile at Love, and all its Arts,
The Charming Cynthia cry'd;
[Pg 68] Take heed, for Love has piercing Darts,
A wounded Swain reply'd.
Once free and blest as you are now,
I trifled with his Charms;
I pointed at his little Bow,
And sported with his Arms;
Till urg'd too far, Revenge he cries,
A fated Shaft he drew;
It took its passage thro your Eyes,
And to my Heart it flew.
To tear it thence I try'd in vain;
To strive I quickly found
Was only to increase the Pain,
And to enlarge the Wound.
Ah! much too well, I fear, you know
What pain I'm to endure,
Since what your Eyes alone cou'd do,
Your Heart alone can cure.
And That (grant Heaven I may mistake)
I doubt is doom'd to bear
A Burden for another's sake,
Who ill rewards its Care.

Aman. Well, now, Berinthia, I'm at leisure to hear what 'twas you had to say to me.

Ber. What I had to say, was only to echo the Sighs and Groans of a dying Lover.

Aman. Phu, will you never learn to talk in earnest of any thing?

Ber. Why this shall be in earnest, if you please; for my part, I only tell you Matter of Fact—you may take it which way you like best; but if you'll follow the Women of the Town, you'll take it both ways; for when a Man offers himself to one of them, first she takes him in jest, and then she takes him in earnest.

Aman. I'm sure there's so much jest and earnest in what you say to me, I scarce know how to take it; but I think you have bewitched me, for I don't find it possible to be angry with you, say what you will.

Ber. I'm very glad to hear it, for I have no mind to quarrel with you, for some Reasons that I'll not brag of;[Pg 69] but quarrel or not, smile or frown, I must tell you what I have suffer'd upon your account.

Aman. Upon my account!

Ber. Yes, upon yours; I have been forc'd to sit still and hear you commended for two Hours together, without one Compliment to myself; now don't you think a Woman has a blessed time of that?

Aman. Alas! I shou'd have been unconcern'd at it; I never knew where the Pleasure lay of being prais'd by the Men: but pray who was this that commended me so?

Ber. One you have a mortal Aversion to—Mr. Worthy: he us'd you like a Text, he took you all to pieces, but spoke so learnedly upon every Point, one might see the Spirit of the Church was in him: if you are a Woman, you'd have been in an Extasy to have heard how feelingly he handled your Hair, your Eyes, your Nose, your Mouth, your Teeth, your Tongue, your Chin, your Neck, and so forth. Thus he preach'd for an Hour; but when he came to use an Application, he observ'd that all these, without a Gallant, were nothing—Now consider of what has been said, and Heaven give you Grace to put it in practice!

Aman. Alas! Berinthia, did I incline to a Gallant, (which you know I do not) do you think a Man so nice as he, cou'd have the least concern for such a plain unpolish'd thing as I am? It is impossible!

Ber. Now have you a great mind to put me upon commending you.

Aman. Indeed that was not my Design.

Ber. Nay, if it were, it's all one, for I won't do't, I'll leave that to your Looking-glass. But to shew you I have some Good-nature left, I'll commend him, and may be that may do as well.

Aman. You have a great mind to persuade me I am in love with him.

Ber. I have a great mind to persuade you, you don't know what you are in love with.

Aman. I am sure I am not in love with him, nor never shall be; so let that pass: but you were saying something you wou'd commend him for.

[Pg 70]

Ber. O, you'd be glad to hear a good Character of him, however.

Aman. Psha.

Ber. Psha——Well, 'tis a foolish Undertaking for Women in these kind of Matters, to pretend to deceive one another——Have not I been bred a Woman as well as you?

Aman. What then?

Ber. Why then I understand my Trade so well, that whenever I am told of a Man I like, I cry, Psha! But that I may spare you the pains of putting me a second time in mind to commend him, I'll proceed, and give you this account of him: That tho' 'tis possible he may have had Women with as good Faces as your Ladyship's, (no Discredit to it neither) yet you must know your cautious Behaviour, with that Reserve in your Humour, has given him his Death's Wound; he mortally hates a Coquette; he says 'tis impossible to love where he cannot esteem; and that no Woman can be esteemed by a Man who has Sense, if she makes herself cheap in the Eye of a Fool. That Pride to a Woman, is as necessary as Humility to a Divine; and that far-fetch'd, and dear bought, is Meat for Gentlemen, as well as for Ladies——In short, that every Woman who has Beauty may set a price upon herself, and that by under-selling the Market they ruin the Trade. This is his Doctrine, how do you like it?

Aman. So well that, since I never intend to have a Gallant for myself, if I were to recommend one to a Friend, he shou'd be the Man.

Enter Worthy.

Bless me, he's here! pray Heaven he did not hear me!

Ber. If he did, it won't hurt your Reputation; your Thoughts are as safe in his Heart as in your own.

Wor. I venture in at an unseasonable time of Night, Ladies; I hope if I am troublesome, you'll use the same freedom in turning me out again.

Aman. I believe it can't be late, for Mr. Loveless is not come home yet, and he usually keeps good Hours.

Wor. Madam, I'm afraid he'll transgress a little to[Pg 71]-night; for he told me about half an Hour ago, he was going to sup with some Company, he doubted would keep him out till three or four o'clock in the Morning, and desir'd I would let my Servant acquaint you with it, that you might not expect him: But my Fellow's a Blunder-head; so, lest he should make some mistake, I thought it my Duty to deliver the Message myself.

Aman. I'm very sorry he shou'd give you that trouble, Sir: But——

Ber. But since he has, will you give me leave, Madam, to keep him to play at Ombre with us?

Aman. Cousin, you know you command my House.

Wor. to Ber.] And, Madam, you know you command me, tho' I'm a very wretched Gamester.

Ber. O you play well enough to lose your Money, and that's all the Ladies require; so without any more Ceremony, let us go into the next Room and call for the Cards.

Aman. With all my heart.

[Exit Wor. leading Aman.

Ber. sola. Well, how this Business will end, Heaven knows; but she seems to me to be in as fair a way——as a Boy is to be a Rogue, when he's put Clerk to an Attorney.

[Exit Berinthia.

SCENE, Berinthia's Chamber.

Enter Loveless cautiously in the dark.

Lov. So, thus for all's well. I'm got into her Bed-Chamber, and I think nobody has perceiv'd me steal into the House; my Wife don't expect me home till four o'Clock; so if Berinthia comes to Bed by eleven, I shall have a Chace of five Hours. Let me see, where shall I hide myself? Under her Bed? No; we shall have her Maid searching there for something or other; her Closet's a better place, and I have a Master-Key will open it: I'll e'en in there, and attack her just when she[Pg 72] comes to her Prayers, that's the most like to prove her critical Minute; for then the Devil will be there to assist me.

[He opens the Closet, goes in, and shuts the door after him.

Enter Berinthia with a Candle in her hand.

Ber. Well, sure I am the best-natur'd Woman in the World. I that love Cards so well (there is but one thing upon the Earth I love better) have pretended Letters to write, to give my Friends a Tête-à-Tête; however, I'm innocent, for Picquet is the Game I set 'em to: at her own peril be it, if she ventures to play with him at any other. But now what shall I do with myself? I don't know how in the World to pass my time; wou'd Loveless were here to badiner a little! Well, he's a charming Fellow, I don't wonder his Wife's so fond of him. What if I shou'd set down and think of him till I fall asleep, and dream of the Lord knows what? O, but then if I shou'd dream we were married, I shou'd be frighted out of my Wits. [Seeing a Book.] What's this Book? I think I had best go read. O Splenetique! 'tis a Sermon. Well, I'll go into my Closet, and read the Plotting Sisters. [She opens the Closet, sees Loveless, and shrieks out.] O Lord, a Ghost, a Ghost, a Ghost, a Ghost!

Enter Loveless running to her.

Lov. Peace, my Dear; it's no Ghost, take it in your Arms, you'll find 'tis worth a hundred of 'em.

Ber. Run in again; here's somebody coming.

Enter Maid.

Maid. O Lord, Madam, what's the matter?

Ber. O Heav'ns! I'm almost frighted out of my Wits. I thought verily I had seen a Ghost, and 'twas nothing but the white Curtain, with a black Hood pinn'd up against it; you may be gone again, I am the fearfullest Fool.—

[Exit Maid.

Re-enter Loveless.

Lov. Is the Coast clear?

Ber. The Coast clear! I suppose you are clear, you'd never play such a Trick as this else.

[Pg 73]

Lov. I am very well pleas'd with my Trick thus far, and shall be so till I have play'd it out, if it ben't your Fault: where's my Wife?

Ber. At Cards.

Lov. With whom?

Ber. With Worthy.

Lov. Then we are safe enough.

Ber. You are so! Some Husbands wou'd be of another mind, if he were at Cards with their Wives.

Lov. And they'd be in the right on't too. But I dare trust mine:——Besides, I know he's in love in another place, and he's not one of those who court half a dozen at a time.

Ber. Nay, the truth on't is, you'd pity him if you saw how uneasy he is at being engag'd with us; but 'twas my Malice. I fancy'd he was to meet his Mistress some where else, so did it to have the pleasure of seeing him fret.

Lov. What says Amanda to my staying abroad so late?

Ber. Why she's as much out of Humour as he, I believe they wish one another at the Devil.

Lov. Then I'm afraid they'll quarrel at Play, and soon throw up the Cards: [Offering in pull her into her Closet.] Therefore, my dear charming Angel, let us make good use of our time.

Ber. Heavens! what do you mean?

Lov. Pray what do you think I mean?

Ber. I don't know.

Lov. I'll shew you.

Ber. You may as well tell me.

Lov. No, that wou'd make you blush worse than t'other.

Ber. Why, do you intend to make me blush?

Lov. Faith, I can't tell that; but if I do, it shall be in the dark.

[Pulling her.

Ber. O Heavens! I wou'd not be in the dark with you for all the World.

Lov. I'll try that.

[Puts out the Candles.

Ber. O Lord! are you mad! What shall I do for Light?

Lov. You'll do as well without it.

Ber. Why, one can't find a Chair to sit down?

[Pg 74]

Lov. Come into the Closet, Madam, there's Moonshine upon the Couch.

Ber. Nay, never pull, for I will not go.

Lov. Then you must be carried.

[Carrying her.

Ber. Help, help, I'm ravish'd, ruin'd, undone. O Lord, I shall never be able to bear it.

[Very softly.

SCENE, Sir Tunbelly's House.

Enter Miss Hoyden, Nurse, Young Fashion, and Bull.

Young Fash. This quick dispatch of yours, Mr. Bull, I take so kindly, it shall give you a claim to my Favour as long as I live, I do assure you.

Miss. And to mine too, I promise you.

Bull. I most humbly thank your Honours; and I hope, since it has been my Lot to join you in the holy Bands of Wedlock, you will so well cultivate the Soil which I have crav'd a Blessing on, that your Children may swarm about you like Bees about a Honey-Comb.

Miss. I'cod with all my Heart, the more the merrier, I say; ha, Nurse.

Enter Lory, taking his Master hastily aside.

Lo. One Word with you, for Heaven's sake.

Young Fash. What the Devil's the matter?

Lo. Sir, your Fortune's ruin'd, and I don't think your Life's worth a quarter of an Hour's Purchase: Yonder's your Brother arriv'd with two Coaches and six Horses, twenty Footmen and Pages, a Coat worth fourscore Pound, and a Perriwig down to his Knees: So judge what will become of your Lady's Heart.

Young Fash. Death and Furies! 'tis impossible.

Lo. Fiends and Spectres! Sir, 'tis true.

Young Fash. Is he in the House yet?

Lo. No, they are capitulating with him at the Gate; the Porter tells him, he's come to run away with Miss Hoyden, and has cock'd the Blunderbuss at him; your[Pg 75] Brother swears Gad Damme, they are a parcel of Clawns, and he had a good mind to break off the Match; but they have given the Word for Sir Tunbelly, so I doubt all will come out presently. Pray, Sir, resolve what you'll do this Moment, for I'gad they'll maul you.

Young Fash. Stay a little. [To Miss.] My Dear, here's a troublesome Business my Man tells me of; but don't be frighten'd, we shall be too hard for the Rogue. Here's an impudent Fellow at the Gate (not knowing I was come hither incognito) has taken my Name upon him, in hopes to run away with you.

Miss. O the Brazen-fac'd Varlet, it's well we are married, or may be we might never have been so.

Young Fash. [Aside.] I'gad, like enough: Pr'ythee, dear Doctor, run to Sir Tunbelly, and stop him from going to the Gate, before I speak with him.

Bull. I fly, my good Lord——

[Exit Bull.

Nurse. An't please your Honour, my Lady and I had best lock ourselves up till the Danger be over.

Young Fash. Ay, by all means.

Miss. Not so fast, I won't be lock'd up any more. I'm marry'd.

Young Fash. Yes, pray my Dear do, till we have seiz'd this Rascal.

Miss. Nay, if you pray me, I'll do any thing.

[Exeunt Miss and Nurse.

Young Fash. O! here's Sir Tunbelly coming. [To Lo.] Hark you, Sirrah, things are better than you imagine; the Wedding's over.

Lo. The Devil it is, Sir.

Young Fash. Not a Word, all's safe: But Sir Tunbelly don't know it, nor must not yet; so I am resolv'd to brazen the Business out, and have the Pleasure of turning the Impostor upon his Lordship, which I believe may easily be done.

Enter Sir Tunbelly, Chap. and Servants arm'd.

Young Fash. Did you ever hear, Sir, of so impudent an Undertaking?

Sir Tun. Never, by the Mass, but we'll tickle him, I'll warrant him.

[Pg 76]

Young Fash. They tell me, Sir, he has a great many People with him disguis'd like Servants.

Sir Tun. Ay, ay, Rogues enow; but I'll soon raise the Posse upon 'em.

Young Fash. Sir, if you'll take my Advice, we'll go a shorter way to work; I find, whoever this Spark is, he knows nothing of my being privately here; so if you pretend to receive him civilly, he'll enter without Suspicion; and as soon as he is within the Gate, we'll whip up the Drawbridge upon his Back, let fly the Blunderbuss to disperse the Crew, and so commit him to Gaol.

Sir Tun. I'gad, your Lordship is an ingenious Person, and a very great General; but shall we kill any of 'em, or not?

Young Fash. No, no, fire over their Heads only to fright them; I'll warrant the Regiment scours when the Colonel's a Prisoner.

Sir Tun. Then come along, my Boys, and let your Courage be great——for your Danger is but small.


SCENE, The Gate.

Enter Lord Foppington and Followers.

Lord Fop. A Pax of these Bumkinly People, will they open the Gate, or do they desire I shou'd grow at their Moat-side like a Willow? [To the Porter.] Hey, Fellow—Pr'ythee do me the Favour, in as few words as thou canst find to express thyself, to tell me whether thy Master will admit me or not, that I may turn about my Coach, and be gone.

Por. Here's my Master himself now at hand, he's of Age, he'll give you his Answer.

Enter Sir Tunbelly, and his Servants.

Sir Tun. My most noble Lord, I crave your pardon for making your Honour wait so long; but my Orders to my servants have been to admit no body without my Knowledge, for fear of some Attempts upon my Daughter, the Times being full of Plots and Roguery.

[Pg 77]

Lord Fop. Much Caution, I must confess, is a Sign of great Wisdom: But, stap my Vitals, I have got a Cold enough to destroy a Porter—He, hem—

Sir Tun. I am very sorry for't, indeed, my Lord; but if your Lordship please to walk in, we'll help you to some brown Sugar-Candy. My Lord, I'll shew you the way.

Lord Fop. Sir, I follow you with pleasure.


[As Lord Foppington's Servants go to follow him in, they clap the Door against La Varole.

Servants within. Nay, hold you me there, Sir.

La Var. Jernie, qu'est ce que veut dire ça?

Sir Tun. [Within.]——Fire, Porter.

Porter fires.——Have among you, my Masters.

La Var. Ah je suis mort

[The servants all run off.

Port. Not one Soldier left, by the Mass.

SCENE changes into a Hall.

Enter Sir Tunbelly, the Chaplain and Servants, with Lord Foppington disarm'd.

Sir Tun. Come, bring him along, bring him along.

Lord Fop. What the Pax do you mean, Gentlemen, is it Fair time, that you are all drunk before Dinner?

Sir Tun. Drunk, Sirrah! Here's an impudent Rogue for you! Drunk or Sober, Bully, I'm a Justice of the Peace, and know how to deal with Strolers.

Lord Fop. Strolers!

Sir Tun. Ay, Strolers; come, give an account of yourself; what's your Name? where do you live? Do you pay Scot and Lot? Are you a Williamite, or a Jacobite? Come.

Lord Fop. And why dost thou ask me so many impertinent Questions?

Sir Tun. Because I'll make you answer 'em before I have done with you, you Rascal you.

[Pg 78]

Lord Fop. Before Gad, all the Answer I can make thee to 'em, is, that thou art a very extraordinary old Fellow; stap my Vitals—

Sir Tun. Nay, if you are for joaking with Deputy-Lieutenants, we know how to deal with you: Here, draw a Warrant for him immediately.

Lord Fop. A Warrant——what the Devil is't thou wou'dst be at, old Gentleman?

Sir Tun. I wou'd be at you, Sirrah, (if my Hands were not ty'd as a Magistrate) and with these two double Fists beat your Teeth down your Throat, you Dog you.

Lord Fop. And why would'st thou spoil my Face at that rate?

Sir Tun. For your Design to rob me of my Daughter, Villain.

Lord Fop. Rab thee of thy Daughter——Now I do begin to believe I am a-bed and a-sleep, and that all this is but a Dream—If it be, 'twill be an agreeable Surprize enough, to waken by and by; and instead of the impertinent Company of a nasty Country Justice, find my self perhaps in the Arms of a Woman of Quality—[To Sir Tun.] Pr'ythee, old Father, wilt thou give me leave to ask thee one Question?

Sir Tun. I can't tell whether I will or not, till I know what it is.

Lord Fop. Why, then, it is, whether thou didst not write to my Lord Foppington to come down and marry thy Daughter?

Sir Tun. Yes, marry did I, and my Lord Foppington is come down, and shall marry my Daughter before she's a Day older.

Lord Fop. Now give me thy Hand, dear Dad, I thought we should understand one another at last.

Sir Tun. This Fellow's mad——here bind him Hand and Foot.

[They bind him down.

Lord Fop. Nay, pr'ythee, Knight, leave fooling, thy Jest begins to grow dull.

Sir Tun. Bind him, I say, he's mad——Bread and Water, a dark Room, and a Whip, may bring him to his Senses again.

[Pg 79]

Lord Fop. [Aside.] I'gad, if I don't waken quickly, by all that I can see, this is like to prove one of the most impertinent Dreams that ever I dreamt in my Life.

Enter Miss and Nurse. [Miss going up to him.]

Miss. Is this he that wou'd have run away with me? Fough, how he stinks of sweets! Pray, Father, let him be dragg'd through the Horse-Pond.

Lord Fop. [Aside.] This must be my Wife by her natural Inclination to her Husband.

Miss. Pray, Father, what do you intend to do with him? hang him?

Sir Tun. That at least, Child.

Nurse. Ay, and it's e'en too good for him too.

Lord Fop. [Aside.] Madame la Governante, I presume, hitherto this appears to me to be one of the most extraordinary Families that ever Man of Quality match'd into.

Sir Tun. What's become of my Lord, Daughter?

Miss. He's just coming, Sir.

Lord Fop. [Aside.] My Lord——What does he mean by that now?

Enter Young Fashion and Lory.

Seeing him.] Stap my Vitals, Tam, now the Dream's out.

Young Fash. Is this the Fellow, Sir, that design'd to trick me of your Daughter?

Sir Tun. This is he, my Lord, how do you like him? Is not he a pretty Fellow to get a Fortune?

Young Fash. I find by his Dress, he thought your Daughter might be taken with a Beau.

Miss. O Gemini! Is this a Beau? let me see him again——ha! I find a Beau is no such ugly thing neither.

Young Fash. I'gad, she'll be in love with him presently; I'll e'en have him sent away to Gaol. [To Lord Fop.] Sir, tho' your Undertaking shews you are a Person of no extraordinary Modesty, I suppose you han't Confidence enough to expect much Favour from me.

Lord Fop. Strike me dumb, Tam, thou art a very impudent Fellow.

[Pg 80]

Nurse. Look if the Varlet has not the Frontery to call his Lordship plain Thomas.

Bull. The business is, he wou'd feign himself mad, to avoid going to Gaol.

Lord Fop. [Aside.] That must be the Chaplain, by his unfolding of Mysteries.

Sir Tun. Come, is the Warrant writ?

Cler. Yes, Sir.

Sir Tun. Give me the Pen, I'll sign it——So now, Constable, away with him.

Lord Fop. Hold one Moment——Pray, Gentlemen; my Lord Foppington, shall I beg one Word with your Lordship?

Nurse. O ho, it's my Lord with him now; see how Afflictions will humble Folks.

Miss. Pray, my Lord, don't let him whisper too close, lest he bite your Ear off.

Lord Fop.. I am not altogether so hungry, as your Ladyship is pleased to imagine. [To Young Fash.] Look you, Tam, I am sensible I have not been so kind to you as I ought, but I hope you'll forget what's past, and accept of the five thousand Pounds I offer; thou may'st live in extreme Splendor with it; stap my Vitals.

Young Fash. It's a much easier matter to prevent a Disease than to cure it; a quarter of that Sum would have secur'd your Mistress; twice as much won't redeem her.

[Leaving him.

Sir Tun. Well, what says he?

Young Fash. Only the Rascal offer'd me a Bribe to let him go.

Sir Tun. Ay, he shall go, with a Pox to him: Lead on, Constable.

Lord Fop.. One word more, and I've done.

Sir Tun. Before Gad, thou art an impudent Fellow, to trouble the Court at this rate, after thou art condemned; but speak once for all.

Lord Fop. Why then once for all; I have at last luckily call'd to mind, that there is a Gentleman of this Country, who I believe cannot live far from this place, if he were here, would satisfy you, I am Novelty,[Pg 81] Baron of Foppington, with five thousand Pounds a year, and that Fellow there a Rascal, not worth a Groat.

Sir Tun. Very well; now who is this honest Gentleman you are so well acquainted with. [To Young Fash.] Come, Sir, we shall hamper him.

Lord Fop. 'Tis Sir John Friendly.

Sir Tun. So, he lives within half a Mile, and came down into the Country but last Night; this bold-fac'd Fellow thought he had been at London still, and so quoted him; now we shall display him in his Colours: I'll send for Sir John immediately. Here, Fellow, away presently; and desire my Neighbour he'll do me the favour to step over, upon an extraordinary Occasion; and in the mean while you had best secure this Sharper in the Gate-House.

Const. An't please your Worship, he may chance to give us the Slip thence: If I were worthy to advise, I think the Dog-kennel's a surer Place.

Sir Tun. With all my heart, anywhere.

Lord Fop. Nay, for Heaven's sake, Sir, do me the favour to put me in a clean Room, that I mayn't daub my Clothes.

Sir Tun. O when you have married my Daughter, her Estate will afford you new ones: Away with him.

Lord Fop. A dirty Country Justice is a barbarous Magistrate, stap my Vitals——

[Exit Constable with Lord Foppington.

Young Fash. [Aside.] I gad I must prevent this Knight's coming, or the House will grow soon too hot to hold me.

To Sir Tun.] Sir, I fancy 'tis not worth while to trouble Sir John upon this impertinent Fellow's Desire: I'll send and call the Messenger back——

Sir Tun. Nay, with all my heart; for to be sure he thought he was far enough off, or the Rogue wou'd never have nam'd him.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Sir, I met Sir John just lighting at the Gate; he's come to wait upon you.

Sir Tun. Nay, then it happens as one cou'd wish.

[Pg 82]

Young Fash. [Aside.] The Devil it does! Lory, you see how things are, here will be a Discovery presently, and we shall have our Brains beat out: For my Brother will be sure to swear he don't know me: Therefore run into the Stable, take the two first Horses you can light on, I'll slip out at the Back-Door, and we'll away immediately.

Lo. What, and leave your Lady, Sir?

Young Fash. There's no Danger in that, as long as I have taken possession; I shall know how to treat with them well enough, if once I am out of their reach. Away, I'll steal after thee.

[Exit Lory, his Master follows him out at one Door, as Sir John enters at t'other.

Enter Sir John.

Sir Tun. Sir John, you are the welcom'st Man alive; I had just sent a Messenger to desire you'd step over, upon a very extraordinary Occasion—we are all in Arms here.

Sir John. How so?

Sir Tun. Why, you must know——a sinical sort of a tawdry Fellow here (I don't know who the Devil he is, not I) hearing, I suppose, that the Match was concluded between my Lord Foppington and my Girl Hoyden, comes impudently to the Gate, and with a whole Pack of Rogues in Liveries, wou'd have pass'd upon me for his Lordship: But what does I? I comes up to him boldly at the Head of his Guards, takes him by the Throat, strikes up his Heels, binds him Hand and Foot, dispatches a Warrant, and commits him Prisoner to the Dog-kennel.

Sir John. So, but how do you know but this was my Lord? for I was told he set out from London the Day before me, with a very fine Retinue, and intended to come directly hither.

Sir Tun. Why now to shew you how many Lies People raise in that damn'd Town, he came two Nights ago Post, with only one Servant, and is now in the House with me: But you don't know the Cream of the Jest yet; this same Rogue, (that lies yonder Neck and Heels among the Hounds) thinking you were out of the Country, quotes you for his Acquaintance, and said, if you[Pg 83] were here, you'd justify him to be Lord Foppington, and I know not what.

Sir John. Pray will you let me see him?

Sir Tun. Ay, that you shall presently——here, fetch the Prisoner.

[Exit Servant.

Sir John. I wish there ben't some Mistake in the Business, where's my Lord? I know him very well.

Sir Tun. He was here just now; see for him, Doctor, tell him Sir John is here to wait upon him.

[Ex. Chaplain.

Sir John. I hope, Sir Tunbelly, the young Lady is not married yet.

Sir Tun. No, things won't be ready this Week; but why do you say, you hope she is not married?

Sir John. Some foolish Fancies only, perhaps I'm mistaken.

Re-enter Chaplain.

Bull. Sir, his Lordship is just rid out to take the Air.

Sir Tun. To take the Air! Is that his London Breeding, to go to take the Air, when Gentlemen come to visit him?

Sir John. 'Tis possible he might want it, he might not be well, some sudden Qualm perhaps.

Enter Constable, &c. with Lord Foppington.

Lord Fop. Stap my Vitals, I'll have Satisfaction.

Sir John. [Running to him.] My dear Lord Foppington!

Lord Fop. Dear Friendly, thou art come in the critical Minute, strike me dumb.

Sir John. Why, I little thought to have found you in Fetters.

Lord Fop. Why truly the World must do me the justice to confess, I do use to appear, a little more degagé: But this old Gentleman, not liking the Freedom of my Air, has been pleased to skewer down my Arms like a Rabbit.

Sir Tun. Is it then possible that this shou'd be the true Lord Foppington at last?

Lord Fop. Why what do you see in his Face to make you doubt of it? Sir, without presuming to have any extraordinary Opinion of my Figure, give me leave to tell[Pg 84] you, if you had seen as many Lords as I have done, you would not think it impossible a Person of a worse Taille than mine, might be a modern Man of Quality.

Sir Tun. Unbind him, Slaves: my Lord, I'm struck dumb, I can only beg Pardon by Signs; but if a Sacrifice will appease you, you shall have it. Here, pursue this Tartar, bring him back——Away, I say, a Dog, Oons——I'll cut off his Ears and his Tail, I'll draw out all his Teeth, pull his skin over his Head——and——what shall I do more?

Sir John. He does indeed deserve to be made an Example of.

Lord Fop. He does deserve to be chartrè, stap my Vitals.

Sir Tun. May I then hope I have your Honour's Pardon?

Lord Fop. Sir, we Courtiers do nothing without a Bribe; that fair young Lady might do Miracles.

Sir Tun. Hoyden, come hither, Hoyden.

Lord Fop. Hoyden is her Name, Sir?

Sir Tun. Yes, my Lord.

Lord Fop. The prettiest Name for a Song I ever heard.

Sir Tun. My Lord——here's my Girl, she's yours, she has a wholesome Body, and virtuous Mind; she's a Woman complete, both in Flesh and in Spirit; she has a Bag of mill'd Crowns, as scarce as they are, and fifteen hundred a-year flitch'd fast to her Tail: so go thy ways, Hoyden.

Lord Fop. Sir, I do receive her like a Gentleman.

Sir Tun. Then I'm a happy Man, I bless Heaven, and if your Lordship will give me leave, I will, like a good Christian at Christmas, be very drunk by way of Thanksgiving. Come, my noble Peer, I believe Dinner's ready; if your Honour pleases to follow me, I'll lead you on to the Attack of a Venison Pasty.

[Exit Sir Tun.

Lord Fop. Sir, I wait upon you: Will your Ladyship do me the favour of your little Finger, Madam?

Miss. My Lord, I'll follow you presently. I have a little Business with my Nurse.

Lord Fop. Your Ladyship's most humble Servant; come, Sir John, the Ladies have des Affaires.

[Pg 85]

[Exeunt Lord Fop. and Sir John.

Miss. So, Nurse, we are finely brought to bed! What shall we do now?

Nurse. Ah, dear Miss, we are all undone! Mr. Bull, you were us'd to help a Woman to a Remedy.


Bull. A lack a-day, but it's past my Skill now, I can do nothing.

Nurse. Who wou'd have thought that ever your Invention shou'd have been drain'd so dry?

Miss. Well, I have often thought old Folks Fools, and now I'm sure they are so; I have found a way myself to secure us all.

Nurse. Dear Lady, what's that?

Miss. Why, if you two will be sure to hold your Tongues, and not say a word of what's past, I'll e'en marry this Lord too.

Nurse. What! two Husbands, my Dear?

Miss. Why you had three, good Nurse, you may hold your Tongue.

Nurse. Ay, but not all together, sweet Child.

Miss. Psha, if you had, you'd ne'er thought much on't.

Nurse. O but 'tis a Sin—Sweeting.

Bull. Nay, that's my business to speak to, Nurse. I do confess, to take two Husbands for the Satisfaction of the Flesh, is to commit the Sin of Exorbitancy; but to do it for the Peace of the Spirit, is no more than to be drunk by way of Physick: Besides, to prevent a Parent's Wrath, is to avoid the Sin of Disobedience; for when the Parent's angry the Child is froward. So that upon the whole Matter, I do think, tho' Miss shou'd marry again, she may be sav'd.

Miss. I'cod, and I will marry again then, and so there is an end of the Story.


[Pg 86]

ACT V. SCENE London.

Enter Coupler, Young Fashion, and Lory.

Coup. Well, and so Sir John coming in—

Young Fash. And so Sir John coming in, I thought it might be Manners in me to go out, which I did, and getting on Horseback as fast as I cou'd, rid away as if the Devil had been at the Rear of me; what has happen'd since, Heav'n knows.

Coup. I'gad, Sirrah, I know as well as Heaven.

Young Fash. What do you know?

Coup. That you are a Cuckold.

Young Fash. The Devil I am! By who?

Coup. By your Brother.

Young Fash. My Brother! which way?

Coup. The old way, he has lain with your Wife.

Young Fash. Hell and Furies, what dost thou mean?

Coup. I mean plainly, I speak no Parable.

Young Fash. Plainly! Thou dost not speak common Sense, I cannot understand one Word thou sayst.

Coup. You will do soon, Youngster. In short, you left your Wife a Widow, and she married again.

Young Fash. It's a Lye.

Coup.——I'cod, if I were a young Fellow, I'd break your Head, Sirrah.

Young Fash. Dear Dad, don't be angry, for I'm as mad as Tom of Bedlam.

Coup. When I had fitted you with a Wife, you shou'd have kept her.

Young Fash. But is it possible the young Strumpet cou'd play such a Trick?

Coup. A young Strumpet, Sir——can play twenty Tricks.

Young Fash. But pr'ythee instruct me a little farther; whence comes thy Intelligence!

[Pg 87]

Coup. From your Brother, in this Letter; there, you may read it.

[Young Fashion reads.

Dear Coupler,

[Pulling off his Hat,] I Have only time to tell thee in three Lines, or thereabouts, that here has been the Devil! That Rascal Tam, having stole the Letter thou hadst formerly writ for me to bring to Sir Tunbelly, form'd a damnable Design upon my Mistress, and was in a fair way of Success when I arriv'd. But after having suffer'd some Indignities (in which I have all daub'd my embroider'd Coat) I put him to flight. I sent out a Party of Horse after him, in hopes to have made him my Prisoner, which if I had done, I would have qualified him for the Seraglio, stap my Vitals. The Danger I have thus narrowly 'scap'd, has made me fortify myself against further Attempts, by entering immediately into an Association with the young Lady, by which we engage to stand by one another, as long as we both shall live. In short, the Papers are seal'd, and the Contract is sign'd, so the Business of the Lawyer is achevé; but I defer the divine part of the thing till I arrive at London, not being willing to consummate in any other Bed but my own.


'Tis possible I may be in the Tawn as soon as this Letter; for I find the Lady is so violently in love with me, I have determin'd to make her happy with all the Dispatch that is practicable, without disardering my Coach Harses.

So, here's rare Work, I'faith!

Lo. I'gad, Miss Hoyden has laid about her bravely.

Coup. I think my Country-Girl has play'd her part, as well as if she had been born and bred in St. James's Parish.

Young Fash.——That Rogue the Chaplain.

Lo. And then that Jade the Nurse, Sir.

Young Fash. And then that drunken Sot, Lory, Sir; that cou'd not keep himself sober to be a Witness to the Marriage.

[Pg 88]

Lo. Sir——with respect——I know very few drunken Sots that do keep themselves sober.

Young Fash. Hold your prating, Sirrah, or I'll break your Head; dear Coupler, what's to be done?

Coup. Nothing's to be done till the Bride and Bridegroom come to Town.

Young Fash. Bride and Bridegroom! Death and Furies! I can't bear that thou shouldst call them so.

Coup. Why, what shall I call them, Dog and Cat?

Young Fash. Not for the World, that sounds more like Man and Wife than t'other.

Coup. Well, if you'll hear of them in no Language, we'll leave them for the Nurse and the Chaplain.

Young Fash. The Devil and the Witch.

Coup. When they come to Town——

Lo. We shall have stormy Weather.

Coup. Will you hold your tongues, Gentlemen, or not?

Lo. Mum.

Coup. I say when they, come, we must find what Stuff they are made of, whether the Churchman be chiefly compos'd of the Flesh, or the Spirit; I presume the former——For as Chaplains now go, 'tis probable he eats three Pound of Beef to the reading one Chapter——This gives him carnal Desires, he wants Money, Preferment, Wine, a Whore; therefore we must invite him to Supper, give him fat Capons, Sack and Sugar, a Purse of Gold, and a Plump Sister. Let this be done, and I'll warrant thee, my Boy, he speaks Truth like an Oracle.

Young Fash. Thou art a profound Statesman, I allow it; but how shall we gain the Nurse?

Coup. O never fear the Nurse, if once you have got the Priest, for the Devil always rides the Hag. Well, there's nothing more to be said of the Matter at this time, that I know of; so let us go and enquire, if there's any News of our People yet, perhaps they may be come. But let me tell you one thing by the way, Sirrah, I doubt you have been an idle Fellow; if thou hadst behav'd thyself as thou shoud'st have done, the Girl wou'd never have left thee.

[Pg 89]


SCENE, Berinthia's Apartment.

Enter her Maid, passing the Stage, follow'd by Worthy.

Wor. Hem, Mrs. Abigail, is your Mistress to be spoken with?

Ab. By you, Sir, I believe she may.

Wor. Why 'tis by me I wou'd have her spoken with.

Ab. I'll acquaint her, Sir.

[Exit Ab.

Worthy solus.

One Lift more I must persuade her to give me, and then I'm mounted. Well, a young Bawd, and a handsome one for my Money, 'tis they do the Execution; I'll never go to an old one, but when I have occasion for a Witch. Lewdness looks heavenly to a Woman, when an Angel appears in its Cause; but when a Hag is Advocate, she thinks it comes from the Devil. An old Woman has something so terrible in her Looks, that whilst she is persuading your Mistress to forget she has a Soul, she stares Hell and Damnation full in her Face.

Enter Berinthia.

Ber. Well, Sir, what News bring you?

Wor. No News, Madam, there's a Woman going to cuckold her Husband.

Ber. Amanda?

Wor. I hope so.

Ber. Speed her well.

Wor. Ay, but there must be a more than a God-speed, or your Charity won't be worth a Farthing.

Ber. Why, han't I done enough already?

Wor. Not quite.

Ber. What's the matter?

Wor. The Lady has a Scruple still which you must remove.

Ber. What's that?

Wor. Her Virtue——she says.

Ber. And do you believe her?

[Pg 90]

Wor. No, but I believe it's what she takes for her Virtue; it's some Relicks of lawful Love: she is not yet fully satisfy'd her Husband has got another Mistress, which unless I can convince her of, I have opened the Trenches in vain; for the Breach must be wider, before I dare storm the Town.

Ber. And so I'm to be your Engineer!

Wor. I'm sure you know best how to manage the Battery.

Ber. What think you of springing a Mine? I have a Thought just now come into my Head, how to blow her up at once.

Wor. That would be a Thought, indeed!

Ber.——Faith, I'll do't, and thus the Execution of it shall be. We are all invited to my Lord Foppington's to-night to Supper, he's come to Town with his Bride, and maketh a Ball, with an Entertainment of Musick. Now you must know, my Undoer here, Loveless, says he must needs meet me about some private Business (I don't know what 'tis) before we go to the Company. To which end he has told his Wife one Lye, and I have told her another. But to make her amends, I'll go immediately, and tell her a solemn Truth.

Wor. What's that?

Ber. Why, I'll tell her, that to my certain Knowledge her Husband has a Rendezvous with his Mistress this Afternoon; and that if she'll give me her Word, she will be satisfy'd with the Discovery, without making any violent Inquiry after the Woman, I'll direct her to a Place, where she shall see them meet.—Now, Friend, this I fancy may help you to a critical Minute. For home she must go again to dress. You, with your good-breeding, come to wait upon us to the Ball, find her all alone, her Spirit enflam'd against her Husband for his Treason, and her Flesh in a Heat from some Contemplations upon the Treachery, her Blood on a Fire, her Conscience in ice; a Lover to draw, and the Devil to drive——Ah, poor Amanda!

Wor. [Kneeling.] Thou Angel of Light, let me fall down and adore thee!

[Pg 91]

Ber. Thou Minister of Darkness, get up again, for I hate to see the Devil at his Devotions.

Wor. Well, my incomparable Berinthia——How shall I requite you——

Ber. O ne'er trouble yourself about that: Virtue is its own Reward: There's a Pleasure in doing good, which sufficiently pays itself. Adieu.

Wor. Farewel, thou best of Women.

[Exeunt several ways.

Enter Amanda, meeting Berinthia.

Aman. Who was that went from you?

Ber. A Friend of yours.

Aman. What does he want?

Ber. Something you might spare him, and be ne'er the poorer.

Aman. I can spare him nothing but my Friendship; my Love already's all dispos'd of: Tho', I confess, to one ungrateful to my Bounty.

Ber. Why there's the Mystery! You have been so bountiful, you have cloy'd him. Fond Wives do by their Husbands, as barren Wives do by their Lap-Dogs; cram them with Sweetmeats till they spoil their Stomachs.

Aman. Alas! Had you but seen how passionately fond he has been since our last Reconciliation, you wou'd have thought it were impossible he ever should have breath'd an Hour without me.

Ber. Ay but there you thought wrong again, Amanda; you shou'd consider, that in Matters of Love Men's Eyes are always bigger than their Bellies. They have violent Appetites, 'tis true, but they have soon din'd.

Aman. Well; there's nothing upon Earth astonishes me more than Men's Inconstancy.

Ber. Now there's nothing upon Earth astonishes me less, when I consider what they and we are compos'd of. For Nature has made them Children, and us Babies. Now, Amanda, how we us'd our Babies, you may remember. We were mad to have them, as soon as we saw them; kiss'd them to pieces, as soon as we got them; then[Pg 92] pull'd off their Clothes, saw them naked, and so threw them away.

Aman. But do you think all Men are of this Temper?

Ber. All but one.

Aman. Who's that?

Ber. Worthy.

Aman. Why, he's weary of his Wife too, you see.

Ber. Ay, that's no Proof.

Aman. What can be a greater?

Ber. Being weary of his Mistress.

Aman. Don't you think 'twere possible he might give you that too?

Ber. Perhaps he might, if he were my Gallant; not if he were your's.

Aman. Why do you think he shou'd be more constant to me, than he wou'd to you? I'm sure I'm not so handsome.

Ber. Kissing goes by Favour; he likes you best.

Aman. Suppose he does; That's no Demonstration he wou'd be constant to me.

Ber. No, that I'll grant you: But there are other Reasons to expect it; for you must know after all, Amanda, the Inconstancy we commonly see in Men of Brains, does not so much proceed from the Uncertainty of their Temper, as from the Misfortunes of their Love. A Man sees, perhaps, an hundred Women he likes well enough for an Intrigue, and away; but possibly, thro' the whole Course of his Life, does not find above one, who is exactly what he could wish her: now her, 'tis a thousand to one, he never gets. Either she is not to be had at all (tho' that seldom happens, you'll say) or he wants those Opportunities that are necessary to gain her; either she likes somebody else much better than him, or uses him like a Dog, because he likes no body so well as her. Still something or other Fate claps in the way between them and the Woman they are capable of being fond of. And this makes them wander about from Mistress to Mistress, like a Pilgrim from Town to Town, who every Night must have a fresh lodging, and 's in haste to be gone in the Morning.

[Pg 93]

Aman. Tis possible there may be something in what you say; but what do you infer from it, as to the Man we were talking of?

Ber. Why, I infer, that you being the Woman in the World the most to his Humour, 'tis not likely he would quit you for one that is less.

Aman. That is not to be depended upon, for you see Mr. Loveless does so.

Ber. What does Mr. Loveless do?

Aman. Why, he runs after something for Variety, I'm sure he does not like so well as he does me.

Ber. That's more than you know, Madam.

Aman. No, I'm sure on't: I am not very vain, Berinthia; and yet I'll lay my Life, if I could look into his Heart, he thinks I deserve to be prefer'd to a thousand of her.

Ber. Don't be too positive in that neither: A Million to one, but she has the same Opinion of you. What wou'd you give to see her?

Aman. Hang her, dirty Trull; tho' I really believe she's so ugly, she'd cure me of my Jealousy.

Ber. All the Men of Sense about Town say she's handsome.

Aman. They are as often out in those things as any People.

Ber. Then I'll give you further Proof——all the Women about Town say, she's a Fool: Now I hope you are convinc'd?

Aman. Whate'er she be, I'm satisfy'd he does not like her well enough to bestow any thing more than a little outward Gallantry upon her.

Ber. Outward Gallantry!—--[Aside.] I can't bear this. [To Aman.] Don't you think she's a Woman to be fobb'd off so. Come, I'm too much your Friend, to suffer you should be thus grossly impos'd upon, by a Man who does not deserve the least part about you, unless he knew how to set a greater Value upon it. Therefore in one word, to my certain knowledge, he is to meet her now, within a quarter of an Hour, somewhere about that Babylon of Wickedness, Whitehall. And if you'll give[Pg 94] me your Word that you'll be content with seeing her mask'd in his Hand, without pulling her Headclothes off, I'll step immediately to the Person, from whom I have my Intelligence, and send you word whereabouts you may stand to see 'em meet. My Friend and I'll watch 'em from another place, and dodge 'em to their private Lodging: But don't you offer to follow 'em, lest you do it awkwardly, and spoil all. I'll come home to you again, as soon as I have earth'd 'em, and give you an account in what corner of the House the Scene of their Lewdness lies.

Aman. If you can do this, Berinthia, he's a Villain.

Ber. I can't help that, Men will be so.

Aman. Well! I'll follow your Directions; for I shall never rest till I know the worst of this matter.

Ber. Pray, go immediately, and get yourself ready then. Put on some of your Woman's Clothes, a great Scarf and a Mask, and you shall presently receive Orders. [Calls within.] Here, who's there? get me a Chair quickly.

Serv. There are Chairs at the Door, Madam.

Ber. 'Tis well, I'm coming.

Aman. But pray, Berinthia, before you go, tell me how I may know this filthy Thing, if she would be so forward (as I suppose she will) to come to the Rendezvous first; for, methinks, I would fain view her a little.

Ber. Why, she's about my heighth; and very well shap'd.

Aman. I thought she had been a little crooked?

Ber. O no, she's as straight as I am. But we lose time, come away.


Enter Young Fashion, meeting Lory.

Young Fash. Well, will the Doctor come?

Lo. Sir, I sent a Porter to him as you order'd me. He found him with a Pipe of Tobacco and a great Tankard of Ale, which he said he wou'd dispatch while I cou'd tell three, and be here.

Young Fash. He does not suspect 'twas I that sent for him?

[Pg 95]

Lo. Not a Jot, Sir, he divines as little for himself, as he does for other Folks.

Young Fash. Will he bring Nurse with him?

Lo. Yes.

Young Fash. That's well; where's Coupler?

Lo. He's half way up the Stairs taking Breath; he must play his Bellows a little, before he can get to the top.

Enter Coupler.

Young Fash. O here he is. Well, old Phthisick, the Doctor's coming.

Coup. Wou'd the Pox had the Doctor——I'm quite out of Wind [To Lo.] Set me a Chair, Sirrah. Ah——[Sits down.] [To Young Fash.] Why the Plague can'st not thou lodge upon the Ground-Floor?

Young Fash. Because I love to lie as near Heaven as I can.

Coup. Pr'ythee let Heaven alone; ne'er affect tending that way: Thy Center's downwards.

Young Fash. That's impossible. I have too much ill Luck in this World, to be damn'd in the next.

Coup. Thou art out in thy Logick. Thy Major is true, but thy Minor is false; for thou art the luckiest Fellow in the Universe.

Young Fash. Make out that.

Coup. I'll do't: Last Night the Devil ran away with the Parson of Fat-goose Living.

Young Fash. If he had run away with the Parish too, what's that to me?

Coup. I'll tell thee what it's to thee. This Living is worth five hundred Pound a-year, and the Presentation of it is thine, if thou can'st prove thyself a lawful Husband to Miss Hoyden.

Young Fash. Say'st thou so, my Protector! then I'gad I shall have a Brace of Evidences here presently.

Coup. The Nurse and the Doctor?

Young Fash. The same: The Devil himself won't have Interest enough to make them withstand it.

Coup. That we shall see presently: Here they come.

[Pg 96]

Enter Nurse and Chaplain; they start back, seeing Young Fashion.

Nurse. Ah Goodness, Roger, we are betray'd.

Young Fash. [Laying hold on them.] Nay, nay, ne'er flinch for the matter; for I have you safe. Come to your Trials immediately; I have no time to give you Copies of your Indictment. There sits your Judge.—

Both kneeling. Pray, Sir, have Compassion on us.

Nurse. I hope, Sir, my Years will move your Pity; I am an aged Woman.

Coup. That is a moving Argument, indeed!

Coup. [To Bull.] Are not you a rogue of Sanctity?

Bull. Sir, with respect to my Function, I do wear a Gown. I hope, Sir, my Character will be consider'd; I am Heaven's Ambassador.

Coup. Did not you marry this vigorous young Fellow to a plump young buxom Wench?

Nurse. [To Bull.] Don't confess, Roger, unless you are hard put to it, indeed?

Coup. Come, out with't—Now is he chewing the Cud of his Roguery, and grinding a Lye between his Teeth.

Bull. Sir,——I cannot positively say——I say, Sir——positively I cannot say——

Coup. Come, no Equivocation, no Roman Turns upon us. Consider thou stand'st upon Protestant Ground, which will slip from under thee like a Tyburn Car; for in this Country we have always ten Hangmen for one Jesuit.

Bull. [To Young Fash.] Pray, Sir, then will you but permit me to speak one word in private with Nurse?

Young Fash. Thou art always for doing something in private with Nurse.

Coup. But pray let his Betters be serv'd before him for once. I would do something in private with her myself; Lory, take care of this Reverend Gownman in the next Room a little. Retire, Priest. [Exit Lo. with Bull.]—Now, Virgin, I must put the matter home to you a little: Do you think it might not be possible to make you speak Truth?

[Pg 97]

Nurse. Alas! Sir, I don't know what you mean by Truth.

Coup. Nay,'tis possible thou may'st be a Stranger to it.

Young Fash. Come, Nurse, you and I were better Friends when we saw one another last; and I still believe you are a very good Woman in the bottom. I did deceive you and your young Lady, 'tis true, but I always design'd to make a very good Husband to her, and to be a very good Friend to you. And 'tis possible in the end, she might have found herself happier and you richer, than ever my Brother will make you.

Nurse. Brother! Why is your Worship then his Lordship's Brother!

Young Fash. I am; which you should have known, if I durst have staid to have told you; but I was forc'd to take Horse a little in haste, you know.

Nurse. You were, indeed, Sir: poor young Man, how he was bound to scaure for't. Now won't your Worship be angry, if I confess the Truth to you; when I found you were a Cheat (with respect be it spoken) I verily believ'd Miss had got some pitiful Skip-Jack Varlet or other to her Husband, or I had ne'er let her think of marrying again.

Coup. But where was your Conscience all this while, Woman? Did not that stare you in the Face with huge Saucer-eyes, and a great Horn upon the Forehead? Did not you think you should be damn'd for such a Sin? Ha!

Young Fash. Well said, Divinity, press that home upon her.

Nurse. Why, in good truly, Sir, I had some fearful Thoughts on't, and cou'd never be brought to consent, till Mr. Bull said it was a Peckadilla, and he'd secure my Soul for a Tythe-Pig.

Young Fash. There was a Rogue for you.

Coup. And he shall thrive accordingly: He shall have a good Living. Come, honest Nurse, I see you have Butter in your Compound; you can melt. Some Compassion you can have of this handsome young Fellow.

[Pg 98]

Nurse. I have, indeed, Sir.

Young Fash. Why, then, I'll tell you what you shall do for me. You know what a warm Living here is fallen; and that it must be in the Disposal of him who has the Disposal of Miss. Now if you and the Doctor will agree to prove my Marriage, I'll present him to it, upon condition he makes you his Bride.

Nurse. Naw the Blessing of the Lord follow your good Worship both by Night and by Day! Let him be fetch'd in by the Ears; I'll soon bring his Nose to the Grindstone.

Coup. [Aside.] Well said, old Whit-Leather. Hey; bring in the Prisoner there.

Enter Lory with Bull.

Coup. Come, advance, holy Man! Here's your Duck does not think fit to retire with you into the Chancel at this time; but she has a Proposal to make to you in the Face of the Congregation. Come, Nurse, speak for yourself; you are of Age.

Nurse. Roger, are not you a wicked Man, Roger, to set your Strength against a weak Woman, and persuade her it was no Sin to conceal Miss's Nuptials? My Conscience flies in my Face for it, thou Priest of Baal; and I find by woful Experience, thy Absolution is not worth an old Cassock: therefore I am resolved to confess the Truth to the whole World, tho' I die a Beggar for it. But his Worship overflows with his Mercy, and his Bounty: He is not only pleas'd to forgive us our Sins, but designs thou sha't squat thee down in Fat-goose Living; and, which is more than all, has prevail'd with me to become the Wife of thy Bosom.

Young Fash. All this I intend for you, Doctor. What you are to do for me, I need not tell you.

Bull. Your Worship's Goodness is unspeakable: Yet there is one thing seems a Point of Conscience; and Conscience is a tender Babe. If I shou'd bind myself, for the sake of this Living, to marry Nurse, and maintain her afterwards, I doubt it might be look'd on as a kind of Simony.

[Pg 99]

Coup. [Rising up.] If it were Sacrilege, the Living's worth it: Therefore no more Words, good Doctor: but with the [Giving Nurse to him.] Parish——here——take the Parsonage-house. 'Tis true, 'tis a little out of Repair; some Dilapidations there are to be made good; the Windows are broke, the Wainscot is warp'd, the Ceilings are peel'd, and the Walls are crack'd; but a little Glasing, Painting, White-wash, and Plaster, will make it last thy time.

Bull. Well, Sir, if it must be so, I shan't contend: What Providence orders, I submit to.

Nurse. And so do I, with all Humility.

Coup. Why, that now was spoke like good People. Come, my Turtle-Doves, let us go help this poor Pigeon to his wandering Mate again: and after Institution and Induction, you shall all go a-cooing together.


Enter Amanda, in a Scarf, &c. as just returned, her Woman following her.

Aman. Pr'ythee, what care I who has been here?

Wom. Madam, 'twas my Lady Bridle, and my Lady Tiptoe.

Aman. My Lady Fiddle, and my Lady Faddle. What dost stand troubling me with the Visits of a parcel of impertinent Women? When they are well seam'd with the Small Pox, they won't be so fond of shewing their Faces——There are more Coquettes about this Town—

Wom. Madam, I suppose, they only came to return your Ladyship's Visit, according to the Custom of the World.

Aman. Wou'd the World were on Fire, and you in the middle on't! Be gone: leave me.

[Exit Wom.

Amanda sola.

At last I am convinc'd. My Eyes are Testimonies of his Falshood.
The base, ungrateful, perjur'd Villain——
Good Gods—What slippery Stuff are Men compos'd of!
Sure the Account of their Creation's false,
And 'twas the Woman's Rib that they were form'd of.
[Pg 100] But why am I thus angry?
This poor Relapse shou'd only move my Scorn.
'Tis true, the roving Flights of his unfinish'd Youth
Had strong Excuses from the Plea of Nature:
Reason had thrown the Reins loose on his Neck,
And slipt him to unlimited Desire.
If therefore he went wrong, he had a Claim
To my Forgiveness, and I did him right.
But since the Years of Manhood rein him in,
And Reason, well digested into Thought,
Has pointed out the Course he ought to run;
If now he strays,
'Twou'd be as weak and mean in me to pardon,
As it has been in him t' offend. But hold:
'Tis an ill Cause indeed, where nothing's to be said for't.
My Beauty possibly is in the Wain:
Perhaps Sixteen has greater Charms for him:
Yes, there's the Secret. But let him know,
My Quiver's not entirely empty'd yet,
I still have Darts, and I can shoot 'em too;
They're not so blunt, but they can enter still;
The Want's not in my Power, but in my Will.
Virtue's his Friend; or, thro' another's Heart,
I yet cou'd find the way to make his smart.

[Going off, she meets Worthy.

Ha! He here? Protect me, Heaven, for this looks ominous.

Wor. You seem disorder'd, Madam; I hope there's no Misfortune happen'd to you?

Aman. None that will long disorder me, I hope.

Wor. Whate'er it be disturbs you, I wou'd to Heaven 'twere in my Power to bear the Pain, till I were able to remove the Cause.

Aman. I hope ere long it will remove itself. At least, I have given it warning to be gone.

Wor. Wou'd I durst ask, Where 'tis the Thorn torments you?
Forgive me, if I grow inquisitive;
'Tis only with desire to give you Ease.

Aman. Alas! 'tis in a tender Part. It can't be drawn[Pg 101] without a World of Pain: Yet out it must; for it begins to fester in my Heart.

Wor. If 'tis the Sting of unrequited Love, remove it instantly: I have a Balm will quickly heal the Wound.

Aman. You'll find the Undertaking difficult: The Surgeon who already has attempted it, has much tormented me.

Wor. I'll aid him with a gentler Hand—if you will give me leave.

Aman. How soft soe'er the Hand may be, there still is Terror in the Operation.

Wor. Some few Preparatives would make it easy, could I persuade you to apply 'em. Make Home Reflections, Madam, on your slighted Love: Weigh well the Strength and Beauty of your Charms: Rouse up that Spirit Women ought to bear, and slight your God, if he neglects his Angel. With Arms of Ice receive his cold Embraces, and keep your Fire for those who come in Flames. Behold a burning Lover at your Feet, his Fever raging in his Veins. See how he trembles, how he pants! See how he glows, how he consumes! Extend the Arms of Mercy to his Aid: his Zeal may give him Title to your Pity, altho' his Merit cannot claim your Love.

Aman. Of all my feeble Sex, sure I must be the weakest, shou'd I again presume to think on Love. [Sighing.]—Alas! my Heart has been too roughly treated.

Wor. 'Twill find the greater Bliss in softer Usage.

Aman. But where's that Usage to be found?

Wor. 'Tis here, within this faithful Breast; which if you doubt, I'll rip it up before your Eyes; lay all its Secrets open to your View; and then you'll see 'twas sound.

Aman. With just such honest Words as these, the worst of Men deceiv'd me.

Wor. He therefore merits all Revenge can do: his Fault is such, the Extent and Stretch of Vengeance cannot reach it. O make me but your Instrument of Jus[Pg 102]tice; you'll find me execute it with such Zeal, as shall convince you I abhor the Crime.

Aman. The Rigour of an Executioner has more the Face of Cruelty than Justice: And he who puts the Cord about the Wretch's Neck, is seldom known to exceed him in his Morals.

Wor. What Proof then can I give you of my Truth?

Aman. There is on Earth but one.

Wor. And is that in my Power?

Aman. It is: And one that would so thoroughly convince me, I should be apt to rate your Heart so high, I possibly might purchase't with a part of mine.

Wor. Then, Heav'n, thou art my Friend, and I am blest; for if 'tis in my Power, my Will I'm sure will reach it. No matter what the Terms may be, when such a Recompence is offer'd. O tell me quickly what this Proof must be! What is it will convince you of my Love?

Aman. I shall believe you love me as you ought, if from this Moment, you forbear to ask whatever is unfit for me to grant.——You pause upon it, Sir——I doubt on such hard Terms, a Woman's Heart is scarcely worth the having.

Wor. A Heart like yours, on any Terms is worth it; 'twas not on that I paus'd: But I was thinking [Drawing nearer to her.] whether some things there may not be, which Women cannot grant without a Blush, and yet which Men may take without Offence. [Taking her Hand.] Your Hand I fancy may be of the Number: O pardon me, if I commit a Rape upon it, [Kissing it eagerly.] and thus devour it with my Kisses!

Aman. O Heavens! let me go.

Wor. Never, whilst I have Strength to hold you here. [Forcing her to sit down on a Couch.] My Life, my Soul, my Goddess——O forgive me!

Aman. O whither am I going? Help, Heaven, or I am lost.

Wor. Stand neuter, Gods, this once I do invoke you.

Aman. Then, save me, Virtue, and the Glory's thine.

Wor. Nay, never strive.

[Pg 103]

Aman. I will; and conquer too. My Forces rally bravely to my Aid, [Breaking from him.] and thus I gain the Day.

Wor. Then mine as bravely double their Attack. [Seizing her again.] And thus I wrest it from you. Nay, struggle not; for all's in vain: On Death or victory; I am determin'd.

Aman. And so am I. [Rushing from him.] Now keep your distance, or we part for ever.

Wor. [Offering again.] For Heaven's sake——

Aman. [Going.] Nay then, farewel.

Wor. [Kneeling and holding by her Clothes.] O stay, and see the Magick Force of Love: Behold this raging Lion at your Feet, struck dead with Fear, and tame as Charms can make him. What must I do to be forgiven by you?

Aman. Repent, and never more offend.

Wor. Repentance for past Crimes is just and easy; but sin no more's a Task too hard for Mortals.

Aman. Yet those who hope for Heaven, must use their best Endeavours to perform it.

Wor. Endeavours we may use, but Flesh and Blood are got in t'other Scale; and they are pond'rous things.

Aman. Whate'er they are, there is a Weight in Resolution sufficient for their Balance. The Soul, I do confess, is usually so careless of its Charge, so soft, and so indulgent to Desire, it leaves the Reins in the wild Hand of Nature, who, like a Phaeton, drives the fiery Chariot, and sets the World on Flame. Yet still the Sovereignty is in the Mind, whene'er it pleases to exert its Force. Perhaps you may not think it worth your while to take such mighty pains for my Esteem; but that I leave to you.

You see the Price I set upon my Heart; }
Perhaps 'tis dear: But spite of all your Art, }
You'll find on cheaper Terms we ne'er shall part. }

[Pg 104]

[Exit Amanda.

Worthy solus.

Sure there's Divinity about her; and she'as dispens'd some portion on't to me. For what but now was the wild Flame of Love, or (to dissect that specious Term) the vile, the gross Desires of Flesh and Blood, is in a Moment turn'd to Adoration. The coarser Appetite of Nature's gone, and 'tis, methinks, the Food of Angels I require: how long this Influence may last, Heaven knows. But in this Moment of my Purity, I cou'd on her own Terms accept her Heart. Yes, lovely Woman, I can accept it. For now 'tis doubly worth my Care. Your Charms are much increas'd, since thus adorn'd. When Truth's extorted from us, then we own the Robe of Virtue is a graceful Habit.

Cou'd Women but our secret Counsels scan,
Cou'd they but reach the deep Reserves of Man,
They'd wear it on, that That of Love might last;
For when they throw off one, we soon the other cast.
Their Sympathy is such——
The Fate of one, the other scarce can fly—
They live together, and together die.


Enter Miss and Nurse.

Miss. But is it sure and certain, say you, he's my Lord's own Brother?

Nurse. As sure, as he's your lawful Husband.

Miss. I'cod, if I had known that in time, I don't know but I might have kept him; For, between you and I, Nurse, he'd have made a Husband worth two of this I have. But which do you think you shou'd fancy most, Nurse?

Nurse. Why, truly, in my poor fancy, Madam, your first Husband is the prettier Gentleman.

Miss. I don't like my Lord's Shapes, Nurse.

Nurse. Why in good truly, as a body may say, he is but a Slam.

Miss. What do you think now he puts me in mind of? Don't you remember a long, loose, shambling sort of a Horse my Father call'd Washy?

[Pg 105]

Nurse. As like as two Twin-Brothers.

Miss. I'cod, I have thought so a hundred times: 'Faith, I'm tired of him.

Nurse. Indeed, Madam, I think you had e'en as good stand to your first Bargain.

Miss. O but, Nurse, we han't considered the main thing yet. If I leave my Lord, I must leave my Lady too: and when I rattle about the Streets in my Coach, they'll only say, there goes Mistress——Mistress——Mistress what? What's this Man's Name, I have married, Nurse?

Nurse. 'Squire Fashion.

Miss. 'Squire Fashion is it?——Well, 'Squire, that's better than nothing: Do you think one cou'd not get him made a Knight, Nurse?

Nurse. I don't know but one might, Madam, when the King's in a good Humour.

Miss. I'cod, that wou'd do rarely. For then he'd be as good a Man as my Father, you know.

Nurse. By'r Lady, and that's as good as the best of 'em.

Miss. So 'tis, faith; for then I shall be my Lady, and your Ladyship at every Word, that's all I have to care for. Ha, Nurse! But hark you me, one thing more, and then I have done. I'm afraid, if I change my Husband again, I shan't have so much Money to throw about, Nurse.

Nurse. O, enough's as good as a Feast: Besides, Madam, one don't know, but as much may fall to your share with the younger Brother, as with the elder. For tho' these Lords have a power of Wealth, indeed; yet as I have heard say, they give it all to their Sluts and their Trulls, who joggle it about in their Coaches, with a Murrain to 'em, whilst poor Madam sits sighing and wishing, and knotting and crying, and has not a spare Half-Crown to buy her a Practice of Piety.

Miss. O, but for that, don't deceive yourself, Nurse. For this I must [Snapping her Fingers.] say for my Lord, and a——for him: He's as free as an open House at Christmas. For this very Morning he told me, I shou'd have two hundred a-year to buy Pins. Now, Nurse, if[Pg 106] he gives me two hundred a-year to buy Pins, what do you think he'll give me to buy fine Petticoats?

Nurse. Ah, my Dearest, he deceives these faully, and he's no better than a Rogue for his pains. These Londoners have got a Gibberidge with them, would confound a Gipsey. That which they call Pin-money, is to buy their Wives every thing in the varsal World, down to their very Shoe-tyes? Nay, I have heard Folks say, That some Ladies, if they will have Gallants, as they call 'em, are forc'd to find them out of their Pin-money too.

Miss. Has he serv'd me so, say ye?——Then I'll be his Wife no longer, that's fixt. Look, here he comes, with all the fine Folks at 's heels. I'cod, Nurse, these London Ladies will laugh till they crack again, to see me slip my Collar, and run away from my Husband. But, d'ye hear? Pray take care of one thing: When the Business comes to break out, be sure you get between me and my Father, for you know his Tricks; he'll knock me down.

Nurse. I'll mind him, ne'er fear, Madam.

Enter Lord Foppington, Loveless, Worthy, Amanda, and Berinthia.

Lord Fop. Ladies and Gentlemen, you are all welcome. [To Lov.] Loveless——That's my Wife; pr'ythee do me the favour to salute her: And do'st hear, [Aside to him.] if thau hast a mind to try thy Fartune, to be reveng'd of me, I won't take it ill, stap my Vitals.

Lov. You need not fear, Sir, I'm too fond of my own Wife, to have the least Inclination for yours.

[All salute Miss.

Lord Fop. [Aside.] I'd give a thausand Paund he wou'd make Love to her, that he may see she has sense enough to prefer me to him, tho' his own Wife has not: [Viewing him.]—He's a very beastly Fellow, in my Opinion.

Miss. [Aside.] What a Power of fine Men there are in this London! He that kist me first, is a goodly Gentleman, I promise you: Sure those Wives have a rare time on't, that live here always.

[Pg 107]

Enter Sir Tunbelly, with Musicians, Dancers, &c.

Sir Tun. Come, come in, good People, come in; come, tune your Fiddles, tune your Fiddles.

To the Hautboys.] Bag-pipes, make ready there. Come, strike up.


For this is Hoyden's Wedding-day;
And therefore we keep Holy-day,
And come to be merry.

Ha! there's my Wench, I'faith: Touch and take, I'll warrant her; she'll breed like a tame Rabbit.

Miss. [Aside.] I'cod, I think my Father's gotten drunk before Supper.

Sir Tun. [To Lov. and Wor.] Gentlemen, you are welcome. [Saluting Aman. and Ber.] Ladies, by your leave. Ha——They bill like Turtles. Udsookers, they set my old Blood a-fire; I shall cuckold some body before Morning.

Lord Fop. [To Sir Tun.] Sir, you being Master of the Entertainment, will you desire the Company to sit?

Sir Tun. Oons, Sir,——I'm the happiest Man on this side the Ganges.

Lord Fop. [Aside.] This is a mighty unaccountable old Fellow. [To Sir Tun.] I said, Sir, it wou'd be convenient to ask the Company to sit.

Sir Tun. Sit——with all my heart: Come, take your places, Ladies; take your places, Gentlemen: Come, sit down, sit down; a Pox of Ceremony, take your places.

[They sit, and the Mask begins.

Dialogue between Cupid and Hymen.

Cupid.                         1.
Thou Bane to my Empire, thou Spring of Contest,
Thou Source of all Discord, thou Period to Rest;
Instruct me what Wretches in Bondage can see,
That the Aim of their Life is still pointed to thee.
[Pg 108]
Hymen.                         2.
Instruct me, thou little impertinent God,
From whence all thy Subjects have taken the Mode
To grow fond of a Change, to whatever it be,
And I'll tell thee why those wou'd be bound, who are free.
For Change, we're for Change, to whatever it be,
We are neither contented with Freedom nor Thee.
Constancy's an empty Sound,
Heaven, and Earth, and all go round,
All the Works of Nature move,
And the Joys of Life and Love
Are in Variety.
Cupid.                         3.
Were Love the Reward of a pains-taking Life,
Had a Husband the Art to be fond of his Wife;
Were Virtue so plenty, a Wife cou'd afford,
These very hard Times, to be true to her Lord;
Some specious Account might be given of those
Who are ty'd by the Tail, to be led by the Nose.
But since 'tis the Fate of a Man and his Wife,
To consume all their Days in Contention and Strife:
Since whatever the Bounty of Heaven may create her,
He's morally sure he shall heartily hate her;
I think 'twere much wiser to ramble at large,
And the Volleys of Love on the Herd to discharge.
Hymen.                         5.
Some colour of Reason thy Counsel might bear,
Cou'd a Man have no more than his Wife to his share;
Or were I a Monarch so cruelly just,
To oblige a poor Wife to be true to her Trust;
But I have not pretended, for many Years past,
By marrying of People, to make 'em grow chaste.
I therefore advise thee to let me go on,
[Pg 109] Thou'd find I'm the Strength and Support of thy Throne;
For hadst thou but Eyes, thou wouldst quickly perceive it,
How smoothly the Dart
Slips into the Heart
Of a Woman that's Wed;
Whilst the shivering Maid
Stands trembling, and wishing, but dare not receive it.
For Change, &c.

The Mask ended, enter Young Fash, Coupler, and Bull.

Sir Tun. So, very fine, very fine, i'faith; this is something like a Wedding; now if Supper were but ready, I'd say a short Grace; and if I had such a Bedfellow as Hoyden to night——I'd say as short Prayers.

Seeing Young Fash. How now——what have we got here? A Ghost? Nay, it must be so; for his Flesh and Blood cou'd never have dar'd to appear before me. [To him.] Ah, Rogue——

Lord Fop. Stap my Vitals, Tam again?

Sir Tun. My Lord, will you cut his Throat? Or shall I?

Lord Fop. Leave him to me, Sir, if you please. Pr'ythee, Tam, be so ingenuous now, as to tell me what thy Business is here?

Young Fash. 'Tis with your Bride.

Lord Fop. Thau art the impudent'st Fellow that Nature has yet spawn'd into the Warld, strike me speechless.

Young Fash. Why you know my Modesty wou'd have starv'd me; I sent it a-begging to you, and you wou'd not give it a Groat.

Lord Fop. And dost thau expect by an excess of Assurance to extart a Maintenance fram me?

Young Fash. [Taking Miss by the Hand.] I do intend to extort your Mistress from you, and that I hope will prove one.

Lord Fop. I ever thaught Newgate or Bedlam wou'd be his Fartune, and naw his Fate's decided. Pr'ythee, Loveless, dost knaw of ever a Mad Doctor hard by?

Young Fash. There's one at your Elbow will cure you presently.

To Bull. Pr'ythee, Doctor, take him in hand quickly.

[Pg 110]

Lord Fop. Shall I beg the Favour of you, Sir, to pull your Fingers out of my Wife's Hand?

Young Fash. His Wife! Look you there; now I hope you are all satisfy'd he's mad.

Lord Fop. Naw is it not impassible far me to penetrate what Species of Fally it is thou art driving at?

Sir Tun. Here, here, here, let me beat out his Brains, and that will decide all.

Lord Fop. No, pray, Sir, hold, we'll destray him presently according to Law.

Young Fash. [To Bull.] Nay, then advance, Doctor: come, you are a Man of Conscience, answer boldly to the Questions I shall ask: Did not you marry me to this young Lady, before ever that Gentleman there saw her Face?

Bull. Since the Truth must out, I did.

Young Fash. Nurse, sweet Nurse, were not you a Witness to it?

Nurse. Since my Conscience bids me speak——I was.

Young Fash. [To Miss.] Madam, am not I your lawful Husband?

Miss. Truly I can't tell, but you married me first.

Young Fash. Now I hope you are all satisfy'd?

Sir Tun. [Offering to strike him, is held by Lov. and Wor.] Oons and Thunder, you lye.

Lord Fop. Pray, Sir, be calm, the Battle is in Disarder, but requires more Canduct than Courage to rally our Forces. Pray, Dactar, one word with you.

To Bull [Aside.] Look you, Sir, tho' I will not presume to calculate your Notions of Damnation, fram the Description you give us of Hell, yet since there is at least a passibility you may have a Pitchfark thrust in your Backside, methinks, it shou'd not be worth your while to risk your Saul in the next Warld, for the sake of a beggarly yaunger Brather, who is nat able to make your Bady happy in this.

Bull. Alas! my Lord, I have no worldly Ends; I speak the Truth, Heaven knows.

Lord Fop. Nay, pr'ythee, never engage Heaven in the matter; far, by all I can see, 'tis like to prove a Business for the Devil.

[Pg 111]

Young Fash. Come, pray, Sir, all above-board, no corrupting of Evidences; if you please, this young Lady is my lawful Wife, and I'll justify it in all the Courts of England; so your Lordship (who always had a Passion for Variety) may go seek a new Mistress, if you think fit.

Lord Fop. I am struck dumb with his Impudence, and cannot passitively tell whether ever I shall speak again, or nat.

Sir Tun. Then let me come and examine the Business a little, I'll jerk the Truth out of 'em presently; here, give me my Dog-Whip.

Young Fash. Look you, old Gentleman, 'tis in vain to make a Noise; if you grow mutinous, I have some Friends within Call, have Swords by their Sides, above four Foot long; therefore be calm, hear the Evidence patiently, and when the Jury have given their Verdict, pass Sentence according to Law: Here's honest Coupler shall be Foreman, and ask as many Questions as he pleases.

Coup. All I have to ask is, whether Nurse persists in her Evidence? The Parson, I dare swear, will never flinch from his.

Nurse. [To Sir Tun. kneeling.] I hope in Heaven your Worship will pardon me; I have served you long and faithfully, but in this thing I was over-reach'd; your Worship, however, was deceiv'd as, well as I; and if the Wedding-Dinner had been ready, you had put Madam to Bed with him with your own Hands.

Sir Tun. But how durst you do this, without acquainting of me?

Nurse. Alas! if your Worship had seen how the poor Thing begg'd, and pray'd, and clung, and twin'd about me, like Ivy to an old Wall, you wou'd say, I who had suckled it, and swaddled it, and nurst it both wet and dry, must have had a Heart of Adamant to refuse it.

Sir Tun. Very well.

Young Fash. Foreman, I expect your Verdict.

Coup. Ladies and Gentlemen, what's your Opinions?

All. A clear Case, a clear Case.

Coup. Then, my young Folks, I wish you Joy.

[Pg 112]

Sir Tun. [To Young Fash.] Come hither, Stripling; if it be true, then, that thou hast marry'd my Daughter, pr'ythee tell me who thou art?

Young Fash. Sir, the best of my Condition is, I am your Son-in-law; and the worst of it is, I am Brother to that Noble Peer there.

Sir Tun. Art thou Brother to that Noble Peer——Why then, that Noble Peer, and thee, and thy Wife, and the Nurse, and the Priest——may all go and be damn'd together.

[Exit Sir Tun.

Lord Fop. [Aside.] Naw, for my part, I think the wisest thing a Man can do with an aking Heart, is to put on a serene Countenance; for a Philosaphical Air is the most becoming thing in the Warld to the Face of a Person of Quality; I will therefore bear my Disgrace like a Great Man, and let the People see I am above an Affrant. [To Young Fash.] Dear Tam, since Things are thus fallen aut, pr'ythee give me leave to wish thee Jay. I do it de bon Cœur, strike me dumb: you have marry'd a Woman beautiful in her Person, charming in her Airs, prudent in her Canduct, canstant in her Inclinations, and of a nice Marality, split my Wind-pipe.

Young Fash. Your Lardship may keep up your Spirits with your Grimace, if you please; I shall support mine with this Lady, and two thousand Pound a-year.

Taking Miss.] Come, Madam:

We once again, you see, are Man and Wife,
And now, perhaps, the Bargain's struck for Life:
If I mistake, and we shou'd part again.
At least you see you may have choice of Men:
Nay, shou'd the War at length such Havock make,
That Lovers shou'd grow scarce, yet for your sake,
Kind Heaven always will preserve a Beau—

Pointing to Lord Fop.] You'll find his Lordship ready to come to.}
Lord Fop. Her Ladyship shall stap my Vitals, if I do. }

[Pg 113]


Spoken by

Lord Foppington.

Gentlemen and Ladies,

These People have regal'd you here to-day
(In my Opinion) with a saucy Play;
In which the Author does presume to shew,
That Coxcomb, ab Origine—was Beau.
[Pg 114] Truly I think the thing of so much weight, }
That if some sharp Chastisement ben't his Fate, }
Gad's Curse, it may in time destroy the State. }
I hold no one its Friend, I must confess,
Who wou'd discauntenance you Men of Dress.
Far, give me leave t'abserve, good Clothes are Things
Have ever been of great Support to Kings:
All Treasons come fram Slovens; it is nat
Within the reach of Gentle Beaux to plat;
They have no Gall; no Spleen, no Teeth, no Stings,
Of all Gad's Creatures, the most harmless Things.
Thro' all Recard, no Prince was ever slain
By one who had a Feather in his Brain,
They're Men of too refin'd an Education,
To squabble with a Court—for a vile dirty Nation.
I'm very pasitive, you never saw
A tho'ro' Republican a finish'd Beau.
Nor truly shall you very often see
A Jacobite much better drest than he:
In short, thro' all the Courts that I have been in,
Your Men of Mischief—still are in faul Linen.
Did ever one yet dance the Tyburn Jigg,
With a free Air, or a well pawder'd Wig?
Did ever Highway-man yet bid you stand,
With a sweet bawdy Snuff-Box in his Hand?
Ar do you ever find they ask your Purse
As Men of Breeding do?——Ladies, Gad's Curse,
This Author is a Dag, and 'tis not fit
You shou'd allow him e'en one Grain of Wit:
To which, that his Pretence may ne'er be nam'd,
My humble Motion is——he may be damn'd.

[Pg 115]


[Pg 116]
[Pg 117]


Spoken by Mrs. Bracegirdle.

Since 'tis th' Intent and Business of the Stage,
To copy out the Follies of the Age;
To hold to every Man a faithful Glass,
And shew him of what Species he's an Ass:
I hope the next that teaches in the School,
Will shew our Author he's a scribbling Fool.
And that the Satire may be sure to bite, }
Kind Heav'n! inspire some venom'd Priest to write, }
And grant some ugly Lady may indite. }
For I wou'd have him lash'd, by Heavens! I wou'd,
Till his Presumption swam away in Blood.
Three Plays at once proclaim a Face of Brass, }
No matter what they are; That's not the Case— }
To write three Plays, e'en that's to be an Ass. }
But what I least forgive, he knows it too,
For to his Cost he lately has known you—
Experience shews, to many a Writer's Smart,
You hold a Court where Mercy ne'er had part;
So much of the old Serpent's Sting you have,
You love to Damn, as Heaven delights to Save.
In foreign Parts, let a bold Volunteer, }
For Public Good, upon the Stage appear, }
He meets ten thousand Smiles to dissipate his Fear. }
All tickle on th' adventuring young Beginner,
And only scourge th' incorrigible Sinner;
They touch indeed his Faults, but with a Hand
So gentle, that his Merit still may stand;
Kindly they buoy the Follies of his Pen,
That he may shun 'em when he writes again.
But 'tis not so in this good-natur'd Town, }
All's one, an Ox, a Poet, or a Crown; }
Old England's Play was always knocking down. }

[Pg 118]

Dramatis Personæ.

Constant, Mr. Verbruggen.
Heartfree, Mr. Hudson.
Sir John Brute, Mr. Betterton.
Treble, a Singing-Master, Mr. Bowman.
Rasor, Valet de Chambre to Sir John Brute, Mr. Bowen.
Justice of the Peace, Mr. Bright.
Lord Rake, Companions to Sir John Brute.
Col. Bully,
Constable and Watch.
Lady Brute, Mrs. Barry.
Belinda, her Niece, Mrs. Bracegirdle.
Lady Fancyfull, Mrs. Bowman.
Madamoiselle, Mrs. Willis.
Cornet and Pipe, Servants to Lady Fancyfull.
[Pg 119]



SCENE, Sir John Brute's House.

Enter Sir John, solus.

What cloying Meat is Love—when Matrimony's the Sauce to it! Two Years Marriage has debauch'd my five Senses. Every thing I see, every thing I hear, every thing I feel, every thing I smell, and every thing I taste—methinks has Wife in't. No Boy was ever so weary of his Tutor, no Girl of her Bib, no Nun of doing Penance, or old Maid of being chaste, as I am of being married. Sure there's a secret Curse entail'd upon the very Name of Wife. My Lady is a young Lady, a fine Lady, a witty Lady, a virtuous Lady,—and yet I hate her. There is but one thing on Earth I loath beyond her: That's Fighting. Would my Courage come up to a fourth part of my Ill-Nature, I'd stand buff to her Relations, and thrust her out of doors. But Marriage has sunk me down to such an Ebb of Resolution, I dare not draw my Sword, tho' even to get rid of my Wife. But here she comes.

[Pg 120]

Enter Lady Brute.

Lady Brute. Do you dine at home to-day, Sir John?

Sir John. Why, do you expect I should tell you what I don't know myself?

Lady Brute. I thought there was no harm in asking you.

Sir John. If thinking wrong were an excuse for Impertinence, Women might be justify'd in most things they say or do.

Lady Brute. I'm sorry I have said any thing to displease you.

Sir John. Sorrow for things past is of as little importance to me, as my dining at home or abroad ought to be to you.

Lady Brute. My Enquiry was only that I might have provided what you lik'd.

Sir John. Six to four you had been in the wrong there again; for what I lik'd yesterday I don't like to-day; and what I like to-day, 'tis odds I mayn't like to-morrow.

Lady Brute. But if I had ask'd you what you lik'd?

Sir John. Why then there wou'd have been more asking about it than the thing was worth.

Lady Brute. I wish I did but know how I might please you.

Sir John. Ay, but that sort of Knowledge is not a Wife's Talent.

Lady Brute. Whate'er my Talent is, I'm sure my Will has ever been to make you easy.

Sir John. If Women were to have their Wills, the World wou'd be finely govern'd.

Lady Brute. What reason have I given you to use me as you do of late? It once was otherwise: You marry'd me for Love.

Sir John. And you me for Money: So you have your Reward, and I have mine.

Lady Brute. What is it that disturbs you?

Sir John. A Parson.

Lady Brute. Why, what has he done to you?

Sir John. He has married me.

[Pg 121]

[Exit Sir John.

Lady Brute sola.

The Devil's in the Fellow, I think——I was told before I married him, that thus 'twou'd be: But I thought I had Charms enough to govern him; and that where there was an Estate, a Woman must needs be happy; so my Vanity has deceiv'd me, and my Ambition has made me uneasy. But there's some Comfort still; if one wou'd be reveng'd of him, these are good times; a Woman may have a Gallant, and a separate Maintenance too—The surly Puppy—yet he's a Fool for't: for hitherto he has been no Monster: But who knows how far he may provoke me? I never lov'd him, yet I have been ever true to him; and that, in spite of all the Attacks of Art and Nature upon a poor weak Woman's Heart, in favour of a tempting Lover. Methinks so noble a Defence as I have made, shou'd be rewarded with a better Usage—Or who can tell?——Perhaps a good part of what I suffer from my Husband, may be a Judgment upon me for my Cruelty to my Lover.——Lord, with what pleasure could I indulge that Thought, were there but a Possibility of finding Arguments to make it good!—--And how do I know but there may?—Let me see——What opposes?—My matrimonial Vow——Why, what did I vow? I think I promis'd to be true to my Husband. Well; and he promis'd to be kind to me. But he han't kept his Word——Why then I'm absolv'd from mine—Ay, that seems clear to me. The Argument's good between the King and the People, why not between the Husband and the Wife? O, but that Condition was not exprest—No matter, 'twas understood. Well, by all I see, if I argue the matter a little longer with myself, I shan't find so many Bug-bears in the Way as I thought I shou'd. Lord, what fine Notions of Virtue do we Women take up upon the Credit of old foolish Philosophers! Virtue's its own Reward, Virtue's this, Virtue's that——Virtue's an Ass, and a Gallant's worth forty on't.

[Pg 122]

Enter Belinda.

Lady Brute. Good-morrow, dear Cousin.

Bel. Good-morrow, Madam; you look pleas'd this Morning.

Lady Brute. I am so.

Bel. With what, pray?

Lady Brute. With my Husband.

Bel. Drown Husbands; for your's is a provoking Fellow: As he went out just now, I pray'd him to tell me what time of Day 'twas; and he ask'd me if I took him for the Church-Clock, that was oblig'd to tell all the Parish.

Lady Brute. He has been saying some good obliging things to me too. In short, Belinda, he has us'd me so barbarously of late, that I cou'd almost resolve to play the downright Wife—and cuckold him.

Bel. That would be downright indeed.

Lady Brute. Why, after all, there's more to be said for't than you'd imagine, Child. I know, according to the strict Statute-Law of Religion, I shou'd do wrong: But if there were a Court of Chancery in Heav'n, I'm sure I shou'd cast him.

Bel. If there were a House of Lords, you might.

Lady Brute. In either I should infallibly carry my Cause. Why, he is the first Aggressor, not I.

Bel. Ay, but you know we must return Good for Evil.

Lady Brute. That may be a Mistake in the Translation—Pr'ythee be of my Opinion, Belinda; for I'm positive I'm in the right; and if you'll keep up the Prerogative of a Woman, you'll likewise be positive you are in the right, whenever you do any thing you have a mind to. But I shall play the Fool, and jest on, till I make you begin to think I'm in earnest.

Bel. I shan't take the Liberty, Madam, to think of any thing that you desire to keep a Secret from me.

Lady Brute. Alas, my Dear, I have no Secrets. My Heart cou'd never yet confine my Tongue.

[Pg 123]

Bel. Your Eyes, you mean; for I'm sure I have seen them gadding, when your Tongue has been lock'd up safe enough.

Lady Brute. My Eyes gadding! Pr'ythee after who, Child?

Bel. Why, after one that thinks you hate him, as much as I know you love him.

Lady Brute. Constant you mean.

Bel. I do so.

Lady Brute. Lord, what shou'd put such a thing into your Head?

Bel. That which puts things into most People's Heads, Observation.

Lady Brute. Why what have you observ'd, in the Name of Wonder?

Bel. I have observed you blush when you met him; force yourself away from him; and then be out of humour with every thing about you: In a Word, never was poor Creature so spurr'd on by Desire, and so rein'd in with Fear.

Lady Brute. How strong is Fancy!

Bel. How weak is Woman!

Lady Brute. Pr'ythee, Niece, have a better Opinion of your Aunt's Inclination.

Bel. Dear Aunt, have a better Opinion of your Niece's Understanding.

Lady Brute. You'll make me angry.

Bel. You'll make me laugh.

Lady Brute. Then you are resolv'd to persist?

Bel. Positively.

Lady Brute. And all I can say——

Bel. Will signify nothing.

Lady Brute. Tho' I should swear 'twere false—

Bel. I should think it true.

Lady Brute. Then let us both forgive; [Kissing her.] for we have both offended: I, in making a Secret; you, in discovering it.

Bel. Good Nature may do much: But you have more Reason to forgive one, than I have to pardon t'other.

[Pg 124]

Lady Brute. 'Tis true, Belinda, you have given me so many Proofs of your Friendship, that my Reserve has been indeed a Crime: But that you may more easily forgive me, remember, Child, that when our Nature prompts us to a thing our Honour and Religion have forbid us; we wou'd (wer't possible) conceal even from the Soul itself, the Knowledge of the Body's Weakness.

Bel. Well, I hope, to make your Friend amends, you'll hide nothing from her for the future, tho' the Body shou'd still grow weaker and weaker.

Lady Brute. No, from this Moment I have no more Reserve; and for a Proof of my Repentance, I own, Belinda, I'm in danger. Merit and Wit assault me from without; Nature and Love sollicit me within; my Husband's barbarous Usage piques me to Revenge; and Satan, catching at the fair Occasion, throws in my way that Vengeance, which of all Vengeance pleases Women best.

Bel. 'Tis well Constant don't know the Weakness of the Fortification; for o' my Conscience he'd soon come on to the Assault.

Lady Brute. Ay, and I'm afraid carry the Town too. But whatever you may have observ'd, I have dissembled so well as to keep him ignorant. So you see I'm no Coquette, Belinda: And if you follow my Advice, you'll never be one neither. 'Tis true, Coquetry is one of the main Ingredients in the natural Composition of a Woman; and I, as well as others, cou'd be well enough pleas'd to see a Crowd of young Fellows ogling, and glancing, and watching all Occasions to do forty foolish officious Things: Nay, shou'd some of 'em push on, even to hanging or drowning, why—'faith—if I shou'd let pure Woman alone, I shou'd e'en be but too well pleas'd with it.

Bel. I'll swear 'twould tickle me strangely.

Lady Brute. But after all, 'tis a vicious Practice in us, to give the least Encouragement but where we design to come to a Conclusion. For 'tis an unreasonable thing[Pg 125] to engage a Man in a Disease, which we beforehand resolve we never will apply a Cure to.

Bel. 'Tis true; but then a Woman must abandon one of the supreme Blessings of her Life. For I am fully convinc'd, no Man has half that Pleasure in possessing a Mistress, as a Woman has in jilting a Gallant.

Lady Brute. The happiest Woman then on Earth must be our Neighbour.

Bel. O the impertinent Composition! She has Vanity and Affectation enough to make her a ridiculous Original, in spite of all that Art and Nature ever furnish'd to any of her Sex before her.

Lady Brute. She concludes all Men her Captives; and whatever Course they take, it serves to confirm her in that Opinion.

Bel. If they shun her, she thinks 'tis Modesty, and takes it for a Proof of their Passion.

Lady Brute. And if they are rude to her, 'tis Conduct, and done to prevent Town-talk.

Bel. When her Folly makes 'em laugh; she thinks they are pleased with her Wit.

Lady Brute. And when her Impertinence makes 'em dull, concludes they are jealous of her Favours.

Bel. All their Actions and their Words, she takes for granted, aim at her.

Lady Brute. And pities all other Women, because she thinks they envy her.

Bel. Pray, out of pity to ourselves, let us find a better Subject; for I'm weary of this. Do you think your Husband inclined to Jealousy?

Lady Brute. O, no; he does not love me well enough for that. Lord, how wrong Men's Maxims are! They are seldom jealous of their Wives, unless they are very fond of 'em; whereas they ought to consider the Women's Inclinations; for there depends their Fate. Well, Men may talk; But they are not so wise as we——that's certain.

Bel. At least in our Affairs.

Lady Brute. Nay, I believe we shou'd out-do 'em in[Pg 126] the Business of the State too: For, methinks, they do and undo, and make but bad Work on't.

Bel. Why then don't we get into the Intrigues of Government as well as they?

Lady Brute. Because we have Intrigues of our own, that make us more Sport, Child. And so let's in and consider of 'em.


SCENE, A Dressing-Room.

Enter Lady Fancyfull, Madamoiselle, and Cornet.

Lady Fan. How do I look this Morning?

Cor. Your Ladyship looks very ill, truly.

Lady Fan. Lard, how ill-natur'd thou art, Cornet, to tell me so, tho' the thing shou'd be true! Don't you know that I have Humility enough to be but too easily out of Conceit with myself? Hold the Glass; I dare swear that will have more Manners than you have. Madamoiselle, let me have your Opinion too.

Madam. My opinion pe, Matam, dat your Latyship never look so well in your Life.

Lady Fan. Well, the French are the prettiest, obliging People; they say the most acceptable, well-manner'd things—and never flatter.

Madam. Your Latyship say great Justice inteed.

Lady Fan. Nay, every thing's just in my House but Cornet. The very Looking-Glass gives her the Dementi. But I'm almost afraid it flatters me, it makes me look so very engaging.

[Looking affectedly in the Glass.

Madam. Inteed, Matam, your face pe handsomer den all de Looking-Glass in de World, croyez moy.

Lady Fan. But is it possible my Eyes can be so languishing—and so very full of Fire?

Madam. Matam, if de Glass was Burning-Glass, I believe your Eyes set de Fire in de House.

[Pg 127]

Lady Fan. You may take that Night-gown, Madamoiselle; get out of the Room, Cornet; I can't endure you. This Wench, methinks, does look so unsufferably ugly.

Madam. Every ting look ugly, Matam, dat stand by your Latyship.

Lady Fan. No really, Madamoiselle, methinks you look mighty pretty.

Madam. Ah Matam! de Moon have no Eclat ven de Sun appear.

Lady Fan. O pretty Expression! Have you ever been in Love, Madamoiselle?

Madam. Ouy, Matame.


Lady Fan. And were you belov'd again?

Madam. Non, Matame.

Lady Fan. O ye Gods! What an unfortunate Creature shou'd I be in such a Case! But Nature has made me nice, for my own Defence: I'm nice, strangely nice, Madamoiselle; I believe were the Merit of whole Mankind bestow'd upon one single Person, I shou'd still think the Fellow wanted something to make it worth my while to take notice of him; and yet I could love; nay, fondly love, were it possible to have a thing made on purpose for me: For I'm not cruel, Madamoiselle; I'm only nice.

Madam. Ah Matam, I wish I was fine Gentleman for your sake. I do all de ting in de World to get leetel way into your Heart. I make Song, I make Verse, I give you de Serenade, I give great many Present to Madamoiselle; I no eat, I no sleep, I be lean, I be mad, I hang myself, I drown myself. Ah ma chere Dame, que je vous aimerois!

[Embracing her.

Lady Fan. Well, the French have strange obliging ways with 'em; you may take those two pair of Gloves, Madamoiselle.

Madam. Me humbly tanke my sweet Lady.

Enter Cornet.

Cor. Madam, here's a Letter for your Ladyship by the Penny Post.

[Pg 128]

Lady Fan. Some new Conquest, I'll warrant you. For without Vanity, I look'd extremely clear last Night when I went to the Park.—O agreeable! Here's a new Song made of me: And ready set too. O thou welcome thing! [Kissing it.] Call Pipe hither, she shall sing it instantly.

Enter Pipe.

Here, sing me this new Song, Pipe.

Fly, fly, you happy Shepherds, fly;
Avoid Philira's Charms;
The Rigour of her Heart denies
The Heaven that's in her Arms.
Ne'er hope to gaze, and then retire,
Nor yielding, to be blest;
Nature, who form'd her Eyes of Fire,
Of Ice compos'd her Breast.
Yet, lovely Maid, this once believe
A Slave whose Zeal you move;
The Gods, alas! your Youth deceive,
Their Heav'n consists in Love.
In spite of all the Thanks you owe,
You may reproach 'em this;
That where they did their Form bestow,
They have deny'd their Bliss.

Lady Fan. Well, there may be Faults, Madamoiselle, but the Design is so very obliging, 'twou'd be a matchless Ingratitude in me to discover 'em.

Madam. Ma foy, Madame, I tink de Gentleman's Song tell you de Trute. If you never love, you never be happy—Ah—que l'aime l'amour moy!

Enter Servant with another Letter.

Ser. Madam, here's another Letter for your Ladyship.

Lady Fan. 'Tis this way I am importun'd every Morn[Pg 129]ing, Madamoiselle. Pray how do the French Ladies when they are thus accablées?

Madam. Matam, dey never complain. Au contraire, when one Frense Laty have got hundred Lover—den she do all she can—to get a hundred more.

Lady Fan. Well, strike me dead, I think they have le Gout bon. For 'tis an unutterable Pleasure to be ador'd by all the Men, and envy'd by all the Women——Yet I'll swear I'm concern'd at the Torture I give 'em. Lard, why was I form'd to make the whole Creation uneasy! But let me read my Letter. [Reads.]

"If you have a mind to hear of your Faults, instead of being prais'd for your Virtues, take the pains to walk in the Green-walk in St. James's with your Woman an Hour hence. You'll there meet one, who hates you for some things, as he cou'd love you for others, and therefore is willing to endeavour your Reformation.——If you come to the Place I mention, you'll know who I am: If you don't, you never shall: so take your Choice."

This is strangely familiar, Madamoiselle; now have I a provoking Fancy to know who this impudent Fellow is.

Madam. Den take your Scarf and your Mask, and go to de Rendezvous. De Frense Laty do justement comme ça.

Lady Fan. Rendezvous! What, rendezvous with a Man, Madamoiselle!

Madam. Eh, pourquoy non?

Lady Fan. What, and a Man perhaps I never saw in my Life?

Madam. Tant mieux: c'est donc quelque chose de nouveau.

Lady Fan. Why, how do I know what Designs he may have? He may intend to ravish me, for aught I know.

Madam. Ravish!—Bagatelle. I would fain see one impudent Rogue ravish Madamoiselle: Ouy, je le voudrois.

Lady Fan..O, but my Reputation, Madamoiselle! my Reputation! Ah ma chere Reputation!

Madam. [Pg 130]Madame—Quand on la une fois perdue—On n'en est plus embarassée.

Lady Fan. Fe, Madamoiselle, Fe! Reputation is a Jewel.

Madam. Qui coute bien chere, Madame.

Lady Fan. Why sure you would not sacrifice your Honour to your Pleasure?

Madam. Je suis Philosophe.

Lady Fan. Bless me, how you talk! Why, what if Honour be a Burden, Madamoiselle, must it not be borne?

Madam. Chaqu'un a sa façon—Quand quelque chose m'incommode moy—je m'en defais vite.

Lady Fan. Get you gone, you little naughty French-woman, you; I vow and swear I must turn you out of doors, if you talk thus.

Madam. Turn me out of doors!—--Turn yourself out of doors, and go see what de Gentleman have to say to you—Tenez. Voila [Giving her her things hastily.] vostre Esharpe, voila vostre Quoife, voila vostre Masque, voila tout. Hey, Mercure, Coquin: Call one Chair for Matam, and one oder [Calling within.] for me: Va t'en vite. [Turning to her Lady, and helping her on hastily with her things.] Allons, Madame, depechez vous donc. Mon Dieu, quelles Scrupules!

Lady Fan. Well, for once, Madamoiselle, I'll follow your Advice, out of the intemperate Desire I have to know who this ill-bred Fellow is. But I have too much Delicatesse, to make a Practice on't.

Madam. Belle chose vrayment que la Delicatesse, lors qu'il s'agit de se devertir—à ça—Vous voila equipés, partons.—He bien!—qu'avez vous donc?

Lady Fan. J'ay peur.

Madam. Je n'en ay point moy.

Lady Fan. I dare not go.

Madam. Demeurez donc.

Lady Fan. Je suis poltrone.

Madam. Tant pis pour vous.

Lady Fan. Curiosity's a wicked Devil.

Madam. C'est une charmante Sainte.

Lady Fan. It ruined our first Parents.

Madam. Elle a bien diverti leurs Enfans.

Lady Fan. L'Honneur est contre.

[Pg 131]

Madam. La Plaisir est pour.

Lady Fan. Must I then go?

Madam. Must you go?—Must you eat, must you drink, must you sleep, must you live? De Nature bid you do one, de Nature bid you do toder. Vous me ferez enrager.

Lady Fan. But when Reason corrects Nature, Madamoiselle——

Madam. Elle est donc bien insolente, c'est sa Sœur aisnée.

Lady Fan. Do you then prefer your Nature to your Reason, Madamoiselle?

Madam. Ouy da.

Lady Fan. Pourquoy?

Madam. Because my Nature make me merry, my Reason make me mad.

Lady Fan. Ah la mechante Françoise!

Madam. Ah la belle Angloise!

[Forcing her Lady off.


SCENE, St. James's Park.

Enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.

Lady Fan. Well, I vow, Madamoiselle, I'm strangely impatient to know who this confident Fellow is.

Enter Heartfree.

Look, there's Heartfree. But sure it can't be him; he's a profess'd Woman-hater. Yet who knows what my wicked Eyes may have done?

Madam. Il nous approche, Madame.

Lady Fan. Yes, 'tis he: now will he be most intolerably cavalier, tho' he should be in love with me.

Heart. Madam, I'm your humble Servant; I per[Pg 132]ceive you have more Humility and Good-Nature than I thought you had.

Lady Fan. What you attribute to Humility and Good-Nature, Sir, may perhaps be only due to Curiosity. I had a mind to know who 'twas had ill manners enough to write that Letter.

[Throwing him his Letter.

Heart. Well, and now I hope you are satisfy'd.

Lady Fan. I am so, Sir: Good by t'ye.

Heart. Nay, hold there; tho' you have done your Business, I han't done mine: By your Ladyship's leave, we must have one Moment's Prattle together. Have you a mind to be the prettiest Woman about Town, or not? How she stares upon me! What! this passes for an impertinent Question with you now, because you think you are so already?

Lady Fan. Pray, Sir, let me ask you a Question in my Turn: By what Right do you pretend to examine me?

Heart. By the same Right that the strong govern the weak, because I have you in my power; for you cannot get so quickly to your Coach, but I shall have time enough to make you hear every thing I have to say to you.

Lady Fan. These are strange Liberties you take, Mr. Heartfree.

Heart. They are so, Madam, but there's no help for it; for know that I have a Design upon you.

Lady Fan. Upon me, Sir!

Heart. Yes; and one that will turn to your Glory, and my Comfort, if you will but be a little wiser than you use to be.

Lady Fan. Very well, Sir.

Heart. Let me see——Your Vanity, Madam, I take to be about some eight Degrees higher than any Woman's in the Town, let t'other be who she will; and my Indifference is naturally about the same Pitch. Now, could you find the way to turn this Indifference into Fire and Flames, methinks your Vanity ought to be satisfy'd; and this, perhaps, you might bring about upon pretty reasonable Terms.

[Pg 133]

Lady Fan. And pray at what rate would this Indifference be bought off, if one shou'd have so depraved an Appetite to desire it?

Heart. Why, Madam, to drive a Quaker's Bargain, and make but one word with you, if I do part with it—you must lay me down—your Affectation.

Lady Fan. My Affectation, Sir!

Heart. Why, I ask you nothing but what you may very well spare.

Lady Fan. You grow rude, Sir. Come, Madamoiselle, 'tis high time to be gone.

Madam. Allons, allons, allons.

Heart. [Stopping them.] Nay, you may as well stand still; for hear me you shall, walk which way you please.

Lady Fan. What mean you, Sir?

Heart. I mean to tell you, that you are the most ungrateful Woman upon Earth.

Lady Fan. Ungrateful! To whom?

Heart. To Nature.

Lady Fan. Why, what has Nature done for me?

Heart. What you have undone by Art! It made you handsome; it gave you Beauty to a Miracle, a Shape without a Fault, Wit enough to make them relish, and so turn'd you loose to your own Discretion; which has made such work with you, that you are become the Pity of our Sex, and the Jest of your own. There is not a Feature in your Face, but you have found the way to teach it some affected Convulsion; your Feet, your Hands, your very Fingers Ends are directed never to move without some ridiculous Air or other; and your Language is a suitable Trumpet, to draw people's Eyes upon the Raree-show.

Madam. [aside] Est ce qu'on fait l'amour en Angleterre comme ça?

Lady Fan. [Aside.] Now cou'd I cry for Madness, but that I know he'd laugh at me for it.

Heart. Now do you hate me for telling you the Truth, but that's because you don't believe it is so; for were you once convinc'd of that, you'd reform for your own sake. But 'tis as hard to persuade a Woman to quit any[Pg 134] thing that makes her ridiculous, as 'tis to prevail with a Poet to see a Fault in his own Play.

Lady Fan. Every Circumstance of nice Breeding must needs appear ridiculous to one who has so natural an Antipathy to Good-manners.

Heart. But suppose I could find the means to convince you, that the whole World is of my Opinion, and that those who flatter and commend you, do it to no other Intent, but to make you persevere in your Folly, that they may continue in their Mirth.

Lady Fan. Sir, tho' you and all that World you talk of shou'd be so impertinently officious, as to think to persuade me I don't know how to behave myself; I shou'd still have Charity enough for my own Understanding, to believe myself in the right, and all you in the wrong.

Madam. Le voila mort.

[Exeunt Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.

Heart. [Gazing after her.] There her single Clapper has publish'd the Sense of the whole Sex. Well, this once I have endeavour'd to wash the Blackamoor white, but henceforward I'll sooner undertake to teach Sincerity to a Courtier, Generosity to an Usurer, Honesty to a Lawyer, nay, Humility to a Divine, than Discretion to a Woman I see has once set her Heart upon playing the Fool.

Enter Constant.

'Morrow, Constant.

Const. Good-morrow, Jack! What are you doing here this Morning?

Heart. Doing! Guess, if thou canst.——Why I have been endeavouring to persuade my Lady Fancyfull, that she's the foolishest Woman about Town.

Const. A pretty Endeavour, truly!

Heart. I have told her in as plain English as I could speak, both what the Town says of her, and what I think of her. In short, I have us'd her as an absolute King would do Magna Charta.

Const. And how does she take it?

Heart. As Children do Pills; bite them, but can't swallow them.

[Pg 135]

Const. But, pr'ythee, what has put it into your Head, of all Mankind, to turn Reformer?

Heart. Why one thing was, the Morning hung upon my Hands, I did not know what to do with myself; and another was, that as little as I care for Women, I cou'd not see with Patience one that Heaven had taken such wondrous Pains about, be so very industrious to make herself the Jack-pudding of the Creation.

Const. Well, now could I almost wish to see my cruel Mistress make the self-same Use of what Heaven has done for her, that so I might be cur'd of a Disease that makes me so very uneasy; for Love, Love is the Devil, Heartfree.

Heart. And why do you let the Devil govern you?

Const. Because I have more Flesh and Blood than Grace and Self-denial. My dear, dear Mistress! 'S death! that so genteel a Woman should be a Saint, when Religion's out of Fashion!

Heart. Nay, she's much in the wrong, truly; but who knows how far Time and good Example may prevail?

Const. O! they have play'd their Parts in vain already: 'Tis now two Years since that damned Fellow her Husband invited me to his Wedding; and there was the first time I saw that charming Woman, whom I have lov'd ever since, more than e'er a Martyr did his Soul; but she is cold, my Friend, still cold as the Northern Star.

Heart. So are all Women by Nature, which makes them so willing to be warm'd.

Const. O don't prophane the Sex! Pr'ythee, think them all Angels for her sake; for she's virtuous even to a Fault.

Heart. A Lover's Head is a good accountable Thing truly; he adores his Mistress for being virtuous, and yet is very angry with her because she won't be lewd.

Const. Well, the only Relief I expect in my Misery, is to see thee some Day or other as deeply engag'd as myself, which will force me to be merry in the midst of all my Misfortunes.

Heart. That Day will never come, be assur'd, Ned. Not but that I can pass a Night with a Woman, and for[Pg 136] the time, perhaps; make myself as good Sport as you can do. Nay, I can court a Woman too, call her Nymph, Angel, Goddess, what you please: But here's the Difference 'twixt you and I; I persuade a Woman she's an Angel, and she persuades you she's one. Pr'ythee, let me tell you how I avoid falling in Love; that which serves me for Prevention, may chance to serve you for a Cure.

Const. Well, use the Ladies moderately then, and I'll hear you.

Heart. That using them moderately undoes us all; but I'll use them justly, and that you ought to be satisfied with. I always consider a Woman, not as the Taylor, the Shoemaker, the Tire-woman, the Sempstress, and (which is more than all that) the Poet makes her; but I consider her as pure Nature has contrived her, and that more strictly than I shou'd have done our old Grandmother Eve, had I seen her naked in the Garden; for I consider her turn'd inside out. Her Heart well examin'd, I find there Pride, Vanity, Covetousness, Indiscretion, but above all things, Malice; plots eternally a-forging to destroy one another's Reputations, and as honestly to charge the Levity of Men's Tongues with the Scandal; hourly Debates how to make poor Gentlemen in love with them, with no other Intent but to use them like Dogs when they have done; a constant Desire of doing more Mischief, and an everlasting War wag'd against Truth and Good-Nature.

Const. Very well, Sir! An admirable Composition, truly!

Heart. Then for her Outside, I consider it merely as an Outside; she has a thin Tiffany Covering over just such Stuff as you and I are made on. As for her Motion, her Mien, her Airs, and all those Tricks, I know they affect you mightily. If you should see your Mistress at a Coronation dragging her Peacock's Train, with all her State and Insolence about her, 'twou'd strike you with all the awful Thoughts that Heav'n itself could pretend to from you; whereas I turn the whole Matter into a Jest, and suppose her strutting in the self-same stately Manner,[Pg 137] with nothing on her but her Stays and her under scanty quilted Petticoat.

Const. Hold thy profane Tongue; for I'll hear no more.

Heart. What, you'll love on, then?

Const. Yes, to Eternity.

Heart. Yet you have no hopes at all?

Const. None.

Heart. Nay, the Resolution may be discreet enough; perhaps you have found out some new Philosophy, that Love, like Virtue, is its own Reward: So you and your Mistress will be as well content at a Distance, as others that have less Learning are in coming together.

Const. No; but if she should prove kind at last, my dear Heartfree

[Embracing him.

Heart. Nay, pr'ythee, don't take me for your Mistress; for Lovers are very troublesome.

Const. Well; who knows what Time may do?

Heart. And just now he was sure Time could do nothing.

Const. Yet not one kind Glance in two Years, is somewhat strange.

Heart. Not strange at all; she don't like you, that's all the Business.

Const. Pr'ythee, don't distract me.

Heart. Nay, you are a good handsome young Fellow, she might use you better: Come, will you go see her? Perhaps she may have chang'd her Mind; there's some Hopes as long as she's a Woman.

Const. O, 'tis in vain to visit her! Sometimes to get a Sight of her, I visit that Beast her Husband; but she certainly finds some Pretence to quit the Room as soon as I enter.

Heart. 'Tis much she don't tell him you have made Love to her too; for that's another good-natur'd thing usual amongst Women, in which they have several Ends. Sometimes 'tis to recommend their Virtue, that they may be lewd with the greater Security. Sometimes 'tis to make their Husbands fight, in hopes they may be kill'd, when their Affairs require it should be so: but most com[Pg 138]monly 'tis to engage two Men in a Quarrel, that they may have the Credit of being fought for; and if the Lover's kill'd in the Business, they cry, Poor Fellow, he had ill Luck——and so they go to Cards.

Const. Thy Injuries to Women are not to be forgiven. Look to't, if ever thou dost fall into their Hands——

Heart. They can't use me worse than they do you, that speak well of 'em. O ho! here comes the Knight.

Enter Sir John Brute.

Heart. Your humble Servant, Sir John.

Sir John. Servant, Sir.

Heart. How does all your Family?

Sir John. Pox o' my Family!

Const. How does your Lady? I han't seen her abroad a good while.

Sir John. Do! I don't know how she does, not I; she was well enough Yesterday; I han't been at home to-night.

Const. What, were you out of Town?

Sir John. Out of Town! No, I was drinking.

Const. You are a true Englishman; don't know your own Happiness. If I were married to such a Woman, I would not be from her a Night for all the Wine in France.

Sir John. Not from her!—--'Oons——what a time should a Man have of that!

Heart. Why, there's no Division, I hope.

Sir John. No; but there's a Conjunction, and that's worse; a Pox of the Parson——Why the plague don't you two marry? I fancy I look like the Devil to you.

Heart. Why, you don't think you have Horns, do you?

Sir John. No, I believe my Wife's Religion will keep her honest.

Heart. And what will make her keep her Religion?

Sir John. Persecution; and therefore she shall have it.

Heart. Have a care, Knight! Women are tender things.

[Pg 139]

Sir John. And yet, methinks, 'tis a hard Matter to break their Hearts.

Const. Fy, fy! You have one of the best Wives in the World, and yet you seem the most uneasy Husband.

Sir John. Best Wives! The Woman's well enough; she has no Vice that I know of, but she's a Wife, and—damn a Wife! If I were married to a Hogshead of Claret, Matrimony would make me hate it.

Heart. Why did you marry, then? You were old enough to know your own Mind.

Sir John. Why did I marry? I married because I had a mind to lie with her, and she would not let me.

Heart. Why did you not ravish her?

Sir John. Yes, and so have hedg'd myself into forty Quarrels with her Relations, besides buying my pardon: But more than all that, you must know, I was afraid of being damn'd in those days: For I kept sneaking, cowardly Company, Fellows that went to Church, said Grace to their Meat, and had not the least Tincture of Quality about them.

Heart. But I think you are got into a better Gang now?

Sir John. Zoons, Sir, my Lord Rake and I are Hand and Glove: I believe we may get our Bones broke together to-night; have you a mind to share a Frolick?

Const. Not I, truly; my Talent lies to softer Exercises.

Sir John. What, a Down-Bed and a Strumpet? A pox of Venery, I say. Will you come and drink with me this Afternoon?

Const. I can't drink to-day, but we'll come and sit an Hour with you, if you will.

Sir John. Phugh, Pox, sit an Hour! Why can't you drink?

Const. Because I'm to see my Mistress.

Sir John. Who's that?

Const. Why, do you use to tell?

Sir John. Yes.

Const. So won't I.

Sir John. Why?

Const. Because 'tis a Secret.

Sir John. Would my Wife knew it, 'twould be no Secret long.

[Pg 140]

Const. Why, do you think she can't keep a Secret?

Sir John. No more than she can keep Lent.

Heart. Pr'ythee, tell it her to try, Constant.

Sir John. No, pr'ythee, don't, that I mayn't be plagu'd with it.

Const. I'll hold you a Guinea you don't make her tell it you.

Sir John. I'll hold you a Guinea I do.

Const. Which way?

Sir John. Why, I'll beg her not to tell it me.

Heart. Nay, if any thing does it, that will.

Const. But do you think, Sir——

Sir John. Oons, Sir, I think a Woman and a Secret are the two impertinentest Themes in the Universe: Therefore pray let's hear no more of my Wife, nor your Mistress. Damn 'em both with all my heart, and every thing else that daggles a Petticoat, except four generous Whores, with Betty Sands at the Head of 'em, who are drunk with my Lord Rake and I ten times in a Fortnight.

[Exit Sir John.

Const. Here's a dainty Fellow for you! And the veriest Coward too. But his Usage of his Wife makes me ready to stab the Villain.

Heart. Lovers are short-sighted: All their Senses run into that of Feeling. This Proceeding of his is the only thing on Earth can make your Fortune. If any thing can prevail with her to accept of a Gallant, 'tis his ill Usage of her; for Women will do more for Revenge, than they'll do for the Gospel. Pr'ythee, take heart, I have great hopes for you: And since I can't bring you quite off of her, I'll endeavour to bring you quite on; for a whining Lover is the damn'dest Companion upon Earth.

Const. My dear Friend, flatter me a little more with these Hopes; for whilst they prevail, I have Heaven within me, and could melt with Joy.

Heart. Pray, no melting yet; let things go farther first. This afternoon, perhaps, we shall make some advance. In the mean while, let's go dine at Locket's, and let Hope get you a Stomach.

[Pg 141]


SCENE, Lady Fancyfull's House.

Enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.

Lady Fan. Did you ever see any thing so importune, Madamoiselle?

Madam. Inteed, Matam, to say de trute, he want leetel Good-breeding.

Lady Fan. Good-breeding! He wants to be caned, Madamoiselle: an insolent Fellow! And yet let me expose my Weakness, 'tis the only Man on Earth I cou'd resolve to dispense my Favours on, were he but a fine Gentleman. Well! did Men but know how deep an Impression a fine Gentleman makes in a Lady's Heart, they would reduce all their Studies to that of Good-breeding alone.

Enter Cornet.

Cor. Madam, here's Mr. Treble. He has brought home the Verses your Ladyship made, and gave him to set.

Lady Fan. O let him come in by all means. Now Madamoiselle, am I going to be unspeakably happy.

Enter Treble.

So, Mr. Treble, you have set my little Dialogue?

Treb. Yes, Madam, and I hope your Ladyship will be pleased with it.

Lady Fan. O, no doubt on't; for really, Mr. Treble, you set all things to a wonder: But your Musick is in particular heavenly, when you have my Words to clothe in't.

Treb. Your Words themselves, Madam, have so much Musick in 'em, they inspire me.

Lady Fan. Nay, now you make me blush, Mr. Treble; but pray let's hear what you have done.

Treb. You shall, Madam.

[Pg 142]

A SONG, to be sung between a Man and a Woman.

M. Ah lovely Nymph, the World's on fire;
Veil, veil those cruel Eyes:
W. The World may then in Flames expire,
And boast that so it dies.
M. But when all Mortals are destroy'd,
Who then shall sing your Praise?
W. Those who are fit to be employ'd:
The Gods shall Altars raise.

Treb. How does your Ladyship like it, Madam?

Lady Fan. Rapture, Rapture, Mr. Treble! I'm all Rapture! O Wit and Art, what Power have you when join'd! I must needs tell you the Birth of this little Dialogue, Mr. Treble. Its Father was a Dream, and its Mother was the Moon. I dream'd that by an unanimous Vote, I was chosen Queen of that pale World; and that the first time I appear'd upon my Throne——all my Subjects fell in love with me. Just then I wak'd, and seeing Pen, Ink and Paper lie idle upon the Table, I slid into my Morning-Gown, and writ this impromptu.

Treb. So I guess the Dialogue, Madam, is suppos'd to be between your Majesty and your first Minister of State.

Lady Fan. Just: He, as Minister, advises me to trouble my Head about the Welfare of my Subjects; which I, as Sovereign, find a very impertinent Proposal. But is the Town so dull, Mr. Treble, it affords us never another new Song?

Treb. Madam, I have one in my Pocket, came out but Yesterday, if your Ladyship pleases to let Mrs. Pipe sing it.

Lady Fan. By all means. Here, Pipe, make what Musick you can of this Song, here.

Not an Angel dwells above,
[Pg 143] Half so fair as her I love.
Heaven knows, how she'll receive me;
If she smiles, I'm blest indeed;
If she frowns, I'm quickly freed;
Heaven knows she ne'er can grieve me.
None can love her more than I,
Yet she ne'er shall make me die.
If my Flame can never warm her,
Lasting Beauty I'll adore;
I shall never love her more,
Cruelty will so deform her.

Lady Fan. Very well: This is Heartfree's Poetry without question.

Treb. Won't your Ladyship please to sing yourself this Morning?

Lady Fan. O Lord, Mr. Treble, my Cold is still so barbarous to refuse me that Pleasure! He, he, hem.

Treb. I'm very sorry for it, Madam: Methinks all Mankind should turn Physicians for the Cure on't.

Lady Fan. Why, truly, to give Mankind their due, there's few that know me but have offer'd their Remedy.

Treb. They have reason, Madam; for I know no body sings so near a Cherubim as your Ladyship.

Lady Fan. What I do, I owe chiefly to your Skill and Care, Mr. Treble. People do flatter me, indeed, that I have a Voice, and a Je-ne-sçai-quoy in the Conduct of it, that will make Musick of any thing. And truly I begin to believe so, since what happen'd t'other Night: Wou'd you think it, Mr. Treble? Walking pretty late in the Park, (for I often walk late in the Park, Mr Treble) a Whim took me to sing Chevy Chase; and, wou'd you believe it? next Morning I had three Copies of Verses, and six Billet-doux at my Levée upon it.

Treb. And without all dispute you deserv'd as many more, Madam. Are there any further Commands for your Ladyship's humble Servant?

Lady Fan. Nothing more at this Time, Mr. Treble. But I shall expect you here every Morning for this Month, to sing my little Matter there to me. I'll reward you for your Pains.

[Pg 144]

Treb. O Lord, Madam——

Lady Fan. Good-morrow, sweet Mr. Treble.

Treb. Your Ladyship's most obedient Servant.

[Exit Treb.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Will your Ladyship please to dine yet?

Lady Fan. Yes, let 'em serve. [Exit Servant.] Sure this Heartfree has bewitch'd me, Madamoiselle. You can't imagine how oddly he mixt himself in my Thoughts during my Rapture e'en now. I vow 'tis a thousand Pities he is not more polish'd: Don't you think so?

Madam. Matam, I tink it so great pity, dat if I was in your Ladyship place, I take him home in my House, I lock him up in my Closet, and I never let him go till I teach him every ting dat fine Laty expect from fine Gentelman.

Lady Fan. Why, truly, I believe I shou'd soon subdue his Brutality; for without doubt, he has a strange Penchant to grow fond of me, in spite of his Aversion to the Sex, else he wou'd ne'er have taken so much Pains about me. Lord, how proud wou'd some poor Creatures be of such a Conquest! But I, alas! I don't know how to receive as a Favour what I take to be so infinitely my Due. But what shall I do to new-mould him, Madamoiselle? for till then he's my utter Aversion.

Madam. Matam; you must laugh at him in all de place dat you meet him, and turn into de reticule all he say, and all he do.

Lady Fan. Why, truly, Satire has ever been of wondrous use to reform Ill-manners. Besides, 'tis my particular Talent to ridicule Folks. I can be severe, strangely severe, when I will, Madamoiselle——Give me the Pen and Ink——I find myself whimsical——I'll write to him——Or I'll let it alone, and be severe upon him that way [Sitting down to write, rising up again.]—Yet Active Severity is better than Passive. [Sitting down.]——'Tis as good let it alone, too; for every Lash I give him, perhaps, he'll take for a Favour. [Rising.]——Yet 'tis a thousand pities so much Satire should be lost. [Sitting.[Pg 145]]—— But if it shou'd have a wrong Effect upon him, 'twould distract me. [Rising.]——Well, I must write, tho', after all, [Sitting.]——Or I'll let it alone, which is the same thing. [Rising.]

Madam. La voilà determinée.



SCENE opens; Sir John, Lady Brute and Belinda rising from the Table.

Sir John. Here, take away the Things; I expect Company. But first bring me a Pipe; I'll smoak.

[To a Servant.

Lady Brute. Lord, Sir John, I wonder you won't leave that nasty Custom.

Sir John. Pr'ythee, don't be impertinent.

Bel. [To Lady Brute.] I wonder who those People are he expects this Afternoon?

Lady Brute. I'd give the World to know: Perhaps 'tis Constant—he comes here sometimes: if it does prove him, I'm resolv'd I'll share the Visit.

Bel. We'll send for our Work, and sit here.

Lady Brute. He'll choak us with his Tobacco.

Bel. Nothing will choak us when we are doing what we have a mind to. Lovewell!

Enter Lovewell.

Lov. Madam.

Lady Brute. Here; bring my Cousin's Work and mine hither.

[Exit Lov. and re-enters with their Work.

Sir John. Whu! Pox, can't you work somewhere else?

Lady Brute. We shall be careful not to disturb you, Sir.

Bel. Your Pipe would make you too thoughtful, Uncle, if you were left alone; our Prittle-prattle will cure your Spleen.

[Pg 146]

Sir John. Will it so, Mrs. Pert? Now I believe it will so increase it, [Sitting and smoaking.] I shall take my own House for a Paper-mill.

Lady Brute. [To Bel. aside.] Don't let's mind him; let him say what he will.

Sir John. A Woman's Tongue a Cure for the Spleen!—Oons—[Aside.] If a Man had got the Head-ach, they'd be for applying the same Remedy.

Lady Brute. You have done a great deal, Belinda, since yesterday.

Bel. Yes, I have work'd very hard; how do you like it?

Lady Brute. O, 'tis the prettiest Fringe in the World. Well, Cousin, you have the happiest Fancy: Pr'ythee, advise me about altering my Crimson Petticoat.

Sir John. A Pox o' your Petticoat! Here's such a Prating, a Man can't digest his own Thoughts for you.

Lady Brute. Don't answer him. [Aside.] Well, what do you advise me?

Bel. Why, really, I would not alter it at all. Methinks 'tis very pretty as it is.

Lady Brute. Ay, that's, true: But you know one grows weary of the prettiest things in the World, when one has had 'em long.

Sir John. Yes, I have taught her that.

Bel. Shall we provoke him a little?

Lady Brute. With all my Heart. Belinda, don't you long to be marry'd?

Bel. Why, there are some things in it I could like well enough.

Lady Brute. What do you think you shou'd dislike?

Bel. My Husband, a hundred to one else.

Lady Brute. O ye wicked Wretch! Sure you don't speak as you think?

Bel. Yes, I do: especially if he smoak'd Tobacco.

[He looks earnestly at 'em.

Lady Brute. Why, that many times takes off worse Smells.

Bel. Then he must smell very ill indeed.

Lady Brute. So some Men will, to keep their Wives from coming near 'em.

[Pg 147]

Bel. Then those Wives shou'd cuckold 'em at a distance.

He rises in a Fury, throws his Pipe at 'em, and drives 'em out. As they run off, Constant and Heartfree enter. Lady Brute runs against Constant.

Sir John.. 'Oons, get you gone up Stairs, you confederating Strumpets you, o I'll cuckold you, with a Vengeance!

Lady Brute. O Lord, he'll beat us, he'll beat us. Dear, dear Mr. Constant, save us!


Sir John. I'll cuckold you, with a Pox.

Const. Heav'n! Sir John, what's the matter?

Sir John. Sure, if Women had been ready created, the Devil, instead of being kick'd down into Hell, had been marry'd.

Heart. Why, what new Plague have you found now?

Sir John. Why, these two Gentlewomen did but hear me say, I expected you here this Afternoon; upon which they presently resolv'd to take up the Room, o' purpose to plague me and my Friends.

Const. Was that all? Why, we shou'd have been glad of their Company.

Sir John. Then I should have been weary of yours; for I can't relish both together. They found fault with my smoaking Tobacco, too; and said Men stunk. But I have a good mind—to say something.

Const. No, nothing against the Ladies, pray.

Sir John. Split the Ladies! Come, will you sit down? Give us some Wine, Fellow: You won't smoak?

Const.. No; nor drink, neither, at this time—I must ask your Pardon.

Sir John. What, this Mistress of yours runs in your Head! I'll warrant it's some such squeamish Minx as my Wife, that's grown so dainty of late, she finds fault even with a dirty Shirt.

Heart. That a Woman may do, and not be very dainty, neither.

Sir John. Pox o' the Women! let's drink. Come, you[Pg 148] shall take one Glass, tho' I send for a Box of Lozenges to sweeten your Mouth after it.

Const. Nay, if one Glass will satisfy you, I'll drink it, without putting you to that Expence.

Sir John. Why, that's honest. Fill some Wine, Sirrah: So here's to you, Gentlemen—A Wife's the Devil. To your being both married.

[They drink.

Heart. O, your most humble Servant, Sir.

Sir John. Well, how do you like my Wine?

Const. 'Tis very good, indeed.

Heart. 'Tis admirable.

Sir John. Then give us t'other Glass.

Const. No, pray excuse us now: We'll come another time, and then we won't spare it.

Sir John. This one Glass, and no more: Come, it shall be your Mistress's Health: And that's a great Compliment from me, I assure you.

Const. And 'tis a very obliging one to me: So give us the Glasses.

Sir John. So: let her live—

[Sir John coughs in the Glass.

Heart. And be kind.

Const. What's the matter? Does it go the wrong way?

Sir John. If I had Love enough to be jealous, I shou'd take this for an ill Omen: For I never drank my Wife's Health in my Life, but I puk'd in the Glass.

Const. O, she's too virtuous to make a reasonable Man jealous.

Sir John. Pox of her Virtue! If I cou'd but catch her Adulterating, I might be divorc'd from her by Law.

Heart. And so pay her a yearly Pension, to be a distinguish'd Cuckold.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Sir, there's my Lord Rake, Colonel Bully, and some other Gentlemen at the Blue-Posts, desire your Company.

Sir John. Cod's so, we are to consult about playing the Devil to-night.

Heart. Well, we won't hinder Business.

[Pg 149]

Sir John. Methinks I don't know how to leave you, tho': But for once I must make bold. Or look you; may be the Conference mayn't last long: So, if you'll wait here half an hour, or an hour; if I don't come then—why, then—I won't come at all.

Heart. [To Const.] A good modest Proposition, truly!


Const. But let's accept on't, however. Who knows what may happen?

Heart. Well, Sir, to shew you how fond we are of your Company, we'll expect your Return as long as we can.

Sir John. Nay, may be I mayn't stay at all. But Business, you know, must be done. So your Servant—Or hark you, if you have a mind to take a Frisk with us, I have an Interest with my Lord; I can easily introduce you.

Const. We are much beholden to you; but for my part, I'm engag'd another way.

Sir John. What! to your Mistress, I'll warrant. Pr'ythee, leave your nasty Punk to entertain herself with her own lewd Thoughts, and make one with us to-night.

Const. Sir, 'tis Business that is to employ me.

Heart. And me; and Business must be done, you know.

Sir John. Ay, Women's Business, tho' the World were consum'd for't.

[Exit Sir John.

Const. Farewel, Beast! And now, my dear Friend, would my Mistress be but as complaisant as some Men's Wives, who think it a piece of good Breeding to receive the Visits of their Husband's Friends in his Absence!

Heart. Why, for your sake I could forgive her, tho' she should be so complaisant to receive something else in his Absence. But what way shall we invent to see her?

Const. O, ne'er hope it: Invention will prove as vain as Wishes.

Enter Lady Brute and Belinda.

Heart. What do you think now, Friend?

Const. I think I shall swoon.

[Pg 150]

Heart. I'll speak first, then, whilst you fetch breath.

Lady Brute. We think ourselves oblig'd, Gentlemen, to come and return you thanks for your Knight-Errantry. We were just upon being devour'd by the fiery Dragon.

Bel. Did not his Fumes almost knock you down, Gentlemen?

Heart. Truly, Ladies, we did undergo some Hardships; and should have done more, if some greater Heroes than ourselves, hard by, had not diverted him.

Const. Tho' I'm glad of the Service you are pleas'd to say we have done you, yet I'm sorry we could do it in no other way, than by making ourselves privy to what you would perhaps have kept a Secret.

Lady Brute. For Sir John's part, I suppose he design'd it no Secret, since he made so much Noise. And for myself, truly I'm not much concern'd, since 'tis fallen only into this Gentleman's Hands and yours; who, I have many Reasons to believe, will neither interpret nor report any thing to my disadvantage.

Const. Your good Opinion, Madam, was what I fear'd I never could have merited.

Lady Brute. Your Fears were vain, then, Sir; for I'm just to every body.

Heart. Pr'ythee, Constant, what is't you do to get the Ladies good Opinions? for I'm a Novice at it.

Bel. Sir, will you give me leave to instruct you?

Heart. Yes, that I will, with all my Soul, Madam.

Bel. Why, then, you must never be slovenly, never be out of humour, fare well and cry Roast-meat, smoak Tobacco, nor drink but when you are dry.

Heart. That's hard.

Const. Nay, if you take his Bottle from him, you break his Heart, Madam.

Bel. Why, is it possible the Gentleman can love Drinking?

Heart. Only by way of Antidote.

Bel. Against what, pray?

Heart. Against Love, Madam.

Lady Brute. Are you afraid of being in Love, Sir?

Heart. I should, if there were any Danger of it.

[Pg 151]

Lady Brute. Pray why so?

Heart. Because I always had an Aversion to being us'd like a Dog.

Bel. Why, truly, Men in Love are seldom us'd better.

Lady Brute. But was you never in Love, Sir?

Heart. No, I thank Heav'n, Madam.

Bel. Pray, where got you your Learning, then?

Heart. From other People's Expence.

Bel. That's being a Spunger, Sir, which is scarce honest: If you'd buy some Experience with your own Money, as 'twould be fairlier got, so 'twould stick longer by you.

Enter Footman.

Foot. Madam, here's my Lady Fancyfull, to wait upon your Ladyship.

Lady Brute. Shield me, kind Heaven! What an Inundation of Impertinence is here coming upon us!

Enter Lady Fancyfull, who runs first to Lady Brute, then to Belinda, kissing 'em.

Lady Fan. My dear Lady Brute, and sweet Belinda, methinks 'tis an Age since I saw you.

Lady Brute. Yet 'tis but three Days; sure you have pass'd your time very ill, it seems so long to you.

Lady Fan. Why, really, to confess the truth to you, I am so everlastingly fatigu'd with the Addresses of unfortunate Gentlemen, that, were it not for the Extravagancy of the Example, I shou'd e'en tear out these wicked Eyes with my own Fingers, to make both myself and Mankind easy. What think you on't, Mr. Heartfree, for I take you to be my faithful Adviser?

Heart. Why, truly, Madam—I think—every Project that is for the good of Mankind ought to be encourag'd.

Lady Fan. Then I have your Consent, Sir?

Heart. To do whatever you please, Madam.

Lady Fan. You had a much more limited Complaisance this Morning, Sir. Would you believe it, Ladies? The Gentleman has been so exceeding generous, to[Pg 152] tell me of above fifty Faults, in less time than it was well possible for me to commit two of 'em.

Const. Why, truly, Madam, my Friend there is apt to be something familiar with the Ladies.

Lady Fan. He is, indeed, Sir; but he's wondrous charitable with it: He has had the Goodness to design a Reformation, even down to my Fingers-ends.——'Twas thus, I think, Sir, [Opening her fingers in an aukward manner.] you'd have had 'em stand—My Eyes, too, he did not like: How was't you wou'd have directed 'em? Thus, I think. [Staring at him.]—Then there was something amiss in my Gait, too: I don't know well how 'twas; but as I take it, he would have had me walk like him. Pray, Sir, do me the Favour to take a turn or two about the Room, that the Company may see you.—He's sullen, Ladies, and won't. But, to make short, and give you as true an Idea as I can of the matter, I think 'twas much about this Figure, in general, he would have moulded me to: But I was an obstinate Woman, and could not resolve to make myself Mistress of his Heart, by growing as aukward as his Fancy.

[She walks aukwardly about, staring and looking ungainly, then changes on a sudden to the Extremity of her usual Affectation.

Heart.. Just thus Women do, when they think we are in love with em, or when they are so with us.

[Here Constant and Lady Brute talk together apart.

Lady Fan. 'Twould, however, be less Vanity for me to conclude the former, than you the latter, Sir.

Heart.. Madam, all I shall presume to conclude, is, That if I wer in love, you'd find the means to make me soon weary on't.

Lady Fan. Not by Over-fondness, upon my Word, Sir. But pray let's stop here; for you are so much govern'd by Instinct, I know you'll grow brutish at last.

Bel. [Aside.] Now am I sure she's fond of him: I'll try to make her jealous. Well, for my part, I should be glad to find somebody would be so free with me, that I might know my Faults, and mend 'em.

[Pg 153]

Lady Fan. Then pray let me recommend this Gentleman to you: I have known him some time, and will be Surety for him, that upon a very limited Encouragement on your side, you shall find an extended Impudence on his.

Heart. I thank you, Madam, for your Recommendation: But hating Idleness, I'm unwilling to enter into a Place where I believe there would be nothing to do. I was fond of serving your Ladyship, because I knew you'd find me constant Employment.

Lady Fan. I told you he'd be rude, Belinda.

Bel. O, a little Bluntness is a sign of Honesty, which makes me always ready to pardon it. So, Sir, if you have no other Exceptions to my Service, but the fear of being idle in it, you may venture to lift yourself: I shall find you Work, I warrant you.

Heart. Upon those Terms I engage, Madam; and this (with your leave) I take for Earnest.

[Offering to kiss her Hand.

Bel. Hold there, Sir; I'm none of your Earnest-givers. But if I'm well serv'd, I give good Wages, and pay punctually.

[Heartf. and Bel. seem to continue talking familiarly.

Lady Fan. [Aside.] I don't like this jesting between 'em—Methinks the Fool begins to look as if he were in earnest.——But then he must be a Fool, indeed.——Lard, what a Difference there is between me and her! [Looking at Bel. scornfully.] How I shou'd despise such a Thing, if I were a Man!—--What a Nose she has!—What a Chin——What a Neck!—--Then her Eyes——And the worst kissing Lips in the Universe——No, no, he can never like her, that's positive——Yet I can't suffer 'em together any longer. Mr. Heartfree, do you know that you and I must have no Quarrel for all this? I can't forbear being a little severe now and then: But Women, you know, may be allowed any thing.

Heart. Up to a certain Age, Madam.

Lady Fan. Which I'm not yet past, I hope.

Heart. [Aside.] Nor never will, I dare swear.

Lady Fan. [To Lady Brute.] Come, Madam, will your Ladyship be Witness to our Reconciliation?

[Pg 154]

Lady Brute. You agree, then, at last?

Heart. [Slightingly.] We forgive.

Lady Fan. [Aside.] That was a cold, ill-natur'd Reply.

Lady Brute. Then there's no Challenges sent between you?

Heart. Not from me, I promise. [Aside to Constant.] But that's more than I'll do for her; for I know she can as well be damn'd as forbear writing to me.

Const. That I believe. But I think we had best be going, lest she should suspect something, and be malicious.

Heart. With all my heart.

Const. Ladies, we are your humble Servants. I see Sir John is quite engag'd, 'twould be in vain to expect him. Come, Heartfree.


Heart. Ladies, your Servant. [To Belinda.] I hope, Madam, you won't forget our Bargain; I'm to say what I please to you.

[Exit Heartfree.

Bel. Liberty of Speech entire, Sir.

Lady Fan. [Aside.] Very pretty truly—But how the Blockhead went out—languishing at her, and not a Look toward me!—Well, Churchmen may talk, but Miracles are not ceas'd. For 'tis more than natural, such a rude Fellow as he, and such a little Impertinent as she, should be capable of making a Woman of my Sphere uneasy. But I can bear her sight no longer——methinks she's grown ten times uglier than Cornet. I must home, and study Revenge. [To Lady Brute.] Madam, your humble Servant; I must take my leave.

Lady Brute. What, going already, Madam?

Lady Fan. I must beg you'll excuse me this once; for really I have eighteen Visits to return this Afternoon: So you see I'm importun'd by the Women as well as the Men.

Bel. [Aside.] And she's quits with them both.

Lady Fan. [Going.] Nay, you shan't go one Step out of the Room.

Lady Brute. Indeed I'll wait upon you down.

Lady Fan. No, sweet Lady Brute, you know I swoon at Ceremony.

Lady Brute. Pray give me leave.

Lady Fan. You know I won't.

[Pg 155]

Lady Brute. Indeed I must.

Lady Fan. Indeed you shan't.

Lady Brute. Indeed I will.

Lady Fan.. Indeed you shan't.

Lady Brute. Indeed I will.

Lady Fan. Indeed you shan't. Indeed, indeed, indeed you shan't.

[Exit Lady Fan. running; they follow.

Re-enter Lady Brute sola.

This impertinent Woman has put me out of Humour for a Fortnight——What an agreeable Moment has her foolish Visit interrupted! Lord, how like a Torrent Love flows into the Heart, when once the Sluice of Desire is open'd! Good Gods! What a Pleasure there is in doing what we should not do!

Re-enter Constant.

Ha! here again?

Const. Tho' the renewing my Visit may seem a little irregular, I hope I shall obtain your Pardon for it, Madam, when you know I only left the Room, lest the Lady who was here should have been as malicious in her Remarks as she's foolish in her Conduct.

Lady Brute. He who has Discretion enough to be tender of a Woman's Reputation, carries a Virtue about him may atone for a great many Faults.

Const. If it has a Title to atone for any, its Pretensions must needs be strongest where the Crime is Love. I therefore hope I shall be forgiven the Attempt I have made upon your Heart, since my Enterprize has been a Secret to all the World but yourself.

Lady Brute. Secrecy, indeed, in Sins of this kind, is an Argument of weight to lessen the Punishment; but nothing's a Plea for a Pardon entire, without a sincere Repentance.

Const. If Sincerity in Repentance consists in Sorrow for offending, no Cloyster ever inclos'd so true a Penitent as I should be. But I hope it cannot be reckon'd an Offence to love where 'tis a Duty to adore.

Lady Brute. 'Tis an Offence, a great one, where it would rob a Woman of all she ought to be ador'd for—her Virtue.

[Pg 156]

Const. Virtue?—Virtue, alas! is no more like the thing that's call'd so, than 'tis like Vice itself. Virtue consists in Goodness, Honour, Gratitude, Sincerity, and Pity; and not in peevish, snarling, strait-lac'd Chastity. True Virtue, wheresoever it moves, still carries an intrinsick Worth about it, and is in every Place, and in each Sex, of equal Value. So is not Continence, you see: That Phantom of Honour, which Men in every Age have so contemned, they have thrown it amongst the Women to scrabble for.

Lady Brute. If it be a thing of so little Value, why do you so earnestly recommend it to your Wives and Daughters?

Const. We recommend it to our Wives, Madam, because we wou'd keep 'em to ourselves; and to our Daughters, because we wou'd dispose of 'em to others.

Lady Brute. 'Tis then, of some Importance, it seems, since you can't dispose of them without it.

Const. That Importance, Madam, lies in the Humour of the Country, not in the Nature of the Thing.

Lady Brute. How do you prove that, Sir?

Const. From the Wisdom of a neighbouring Nation in a contrary Practice. In Monarchies, things go by Whimsy; but Commonwealths weigh all things in the Scale of Reason.

Lady Brute. I hope we are not so very light a People, to bring up Fashions without some ground.

Const. Pray what does your Ladyship think of a powder'd Coat for deep Mourning?

Lady Brute. I think, Sir, your Sophistry has all the effect that you can reasonably expect it should have; it puzzles, but don't convince.

Const. I'm sorry for it.

Lady Brute. I'm sorry to hear you say so.

Const. Pray why?

Lady Brute. Because, if you expected more from it, you have a worse Opinion of my Understanding than I desire you should have.

Const. [Aside.] I comprehend her: She would have me set a Value upon her Chastity, that I might think my[Pg 157]self the more oblig'd to her when she makes me a Present of it. [To her.] I beg you will believe I did but rally, Madam; I know you judge too well of Right and Wrong, to be deceiv'd by Arguments like those. I hope you'll have so favourable an Opinion of my Understanding too, to believe the thing call'd Virtue has Worth enough with me, to pass for an eternal Obligation where'er 'tis sacrific'd.

Lady Brute. It is, I think, so great a one as nothing can repay.

Const. Yes; the making the Man you love your everlasting Debtor.

Lady Brute. When Debtors once have borrow'd all we have to lend, they are very apt to grow shy of their Creditors' Company.

Const. That, Madam, is only when they are forc'd to borrow of Usurers, and not of a generous Friend. Let us choose our Creditors, and we are seldom so ungrateful to shun 'em.

Lady Brute. What think you of Sir John, Sir? I was his free Choice.

Const. I think he's married, Madam.

Lady Brute. Does Marriage, then, exclude Men from your Rule of Constancy?

Const. It does. Constancy's a brave, free, haughty, generous Agent, that cannot buckle to the Chains of Wedlock. There's a poor sordid Slavery in Marriage, that turns the flowing Tide of Honour, and sinks us to the lowest Ebb of Infamy. 'Tis a corrupted Soil: Ill-Nature, Avarice, Sloth, Cowardice, and Dirt, are all its Product.

Lady Brute. Have you no Exceptions to this general Rule, as well as to t'other?

Const. Yes; I would, after all, be an Exception to it myself, if you were free in Power and Will to make me so.

Lady Brute. Compliments are well plac'd where 'tis impossible to lay hold on 'em.

Const. I wou'd to Heaven 'twere possible for you to lay hold on mine, that you might see it is no Compli[Pg 158]ment at all. But since you are already dispos'd of, beyond Redemption, to one who does not know the Value of the Jewel you have put into his Hands, I hope you wou'd not think him greatly wrong'd, tho' it should sometimes be look'd on by a Friend, who knows how to esteem it as he ought.

Lady Brute. If looking on't alone wou'd serve his turn, the Wrong, perhaps, might not be very great.

Const. Why, what if he shou'd wear it now and then a Day, so he gave good Security to bring it home again at Night?

Lady Brute. Small Security, I fancy, might serve for that. One might venture to take his Word.

Const. Then, where's the Injury to the Owner?

Lady Brute. 'Tis an Injury to him, if he think it one. For if Happiness be seated in the Mind, Unhappiness must be so too.

Const. Here I close with you, Madam, and draw my conclusive Argument from your own Position: If the Injury lie in the Fancy, there needs nothing but Secrecy to prevent the Wrong.

Lady Brute. [Going.] A surer way to prevent it, is to hear no more Arguments in its behalf.

Const. [Following her.] But, Madam——

Lady Brute. But, Sir, 'tis my turn to be discreet now, and not suffer too long a Visit.

Const. [Catching her Hand.] By Heaven, you shall not stir, till you give me hopes that I shall see you again at some more convenient Time and Place!

Lady Brute. I give you just hopes enough——[Breaking from him.] to get loose from you: and that's all I can afford you at this time.

[Exit running.

Constant solus.

Now, by all that's great and good, she is a charming Woman! In what Extasy of Joy she has left me! For she gave me Hope, did she not say she gave me Hope?—Hope! Ay: what Hope? Enough to make me let her go—Why, that's enough in Conscience. Or, no matter how 'twas spoke: Hope was the Word: it came from her, and it was said to me.

[Pg 159]

Enter Heartfree.

Ha, Heartfree! Thou hast done me noble Service in prattling to the young Gentlewoman without there; come to my Arms, thou venerable Bawd, and let me squeeze thee [Embracing him eagerly.] as a new Pair of Stays does a fat Country Girl, when she's carried to Court to stand for a Maid of Honour.

Heart. Why, what the Devil's all this Rapture for?

Const. Rapture! There's ground for Rapture, Man; there's Hopes, my Heartfree, Hopes, my Friend!

Heart. Hopes! of what?

Const. Why, Hopes that my Lady and I together (for 'tis more than one Body's Work) should make Sir John a Cuckold.

Heart. Pr'ythee, what did she say to thee?

Const. Say? What did she not say? She said that——says she—she said—Zoons, I don't know what she said; but she look'd as if she said every thing I'd have her. And so, if thou'lt go to the Tavern, I'll treat thee with any thing that Gold can buy; I'll give all my Silver amongst the Drawers, make a Bonfire before the Door; say the Plenipo's have sign'd the Peace, and the Bank of England's grown honest.


SCENE opens; Lord Rake, Sir John, &c. at a Table, drinking.

All. Huzza!

Lord Rake. Come, Boys, charge again——So—Confusion to all Order! Here's Liberty of Conscience.

All. Huzza!

Lord Rake. I'll sing you a Song I made this Morning to this purpose.

Sir John. 'Tis wicked, I hope.

Col. Bully. Don't my Lord tell you he made it?

Sir John. Well, then, let's ha't.

[Pg 160]

Lord Rake Sings.

What a Pother of late
Have they kept in the State,
About setting our Consciences free!
A Bottle has more
Dispensations in store,
Than the King and the State can decree.
When my Head's full of Wine,
I o'erflow with Design,
And know no Penal-Laws that can curb me:
Whate'er I devise
Seems good in my Eyes,
And Religion ne'er dares to disturb me.
No saucy Remorse
Intrudes in my Course,
Nor impertinent Notions of Evil;
So there's Claret in store,
In Peace I've my Whore,
And in Peace I jog on to the Devil.
All sing. So there's Claret, &c.

Lord Rake. [Rep.] And in Peace I jog on to the Devil. Well, how do you like it, Gentlemen?

All. O, admirable!

Sir John. I would not give a Fig for a Song that is not full of Sin and Impudence.

Lord Rake. Then my Muse is to your Taste. But drink away; the Night steals upon us; we shall want Time to be lewd in. Hey, Page! Sally out, Sirrah, and see what's doing in the Camp; we'll beat up their Quarters presently.

Page. I'll bring your Lordship an exact Account.

[Exit Page.

Lord Rake.. Now let the Spirit of Clary go round. Fill me a Brimmer Here's to our Forlorn Hope. Courage, Knight, Victory attends you.

[Pg 161]

Sir John. And Laurels shall crown me; drink away, and be damn'd.

Lord Rake. Again, Boys; t'other Glass, and damn Morality.

Sir John. [Drunk.] Ay—damn Morality—and damn the Watch. And let the Constable be married.

All. Huzza!

Re-enter Page.

Lord Rake. How are the Streets inhabited, Sirrah?

Page. My Lord, 'tis Sunday-night; they are full of drunken Citizens.

Lord Rake. Along, then, Boys, we shall have a Feast.

Col. Bully. Along, noble Knight.

Sir John. Ay——along, Bully; and he that says Sir John Brute is not as drunk and as religious as the drunkenest Citizen of them all—is a Liar, and the Son of a Whore.

Col. Bully. Why, that was bravely spoke, and like a free-born Englishman.

Sir John. What's that to you, Sir, whether I am an Englishman or a Frenchman?

Col. Bully. Zoons, you are not angry, Sir?

Sir John. Zoons, I am angry, Sir——for if I'm a free-born Englishman, what have you to do even to talk of my Privileges?

Lord Rake. Why, pr'ythee, Knight, don't quarrel here; leave private Animosities to be decided by Day-light; let the Night be employ'd against the publick Enemy.

Sir John. My Lord, I respect you because you are a Man of Quality. But I'll make that Fellow know, I am within a Hair's breadth as absolute by my Privileges, as the King of France is by his Prerogative. He by his Prerogative takes Money where it is not his due; I by my Privilege refuse paying it where I owe it. Liberty and Property, and Old England, Huzza!

All. Huzza!

[Pg 162]

[Exit Sir John reeling, all following him.

SCENE, A Bed-Chamber.

Enter Lady Brute and Belinda.

Lady Brute. Sure 'tis late, Belinda; I begin to be sleepy.

Bel. Yes, 'tis near Twelve. Will you go to Bed?

Lady Brute. To Bed, my Dear? And by that time I am fallen into a sweet Sleep (or perhaps a sweet Dream, which is better and better) Sir John will come home roaring drunk, and be overjoy'd he finds me in a Condition to be disturb'd.

Bel. O, you need not fear him; he's in for all Night. The Servants say he's gone to drink with my Lord Rake.

Lady Brute. Nay, 'tis not very likely, indeed, such suitable Company should part presently. What Hogs Men turn, Belinda, when they grow weary of Women!

Bel. And what Owls they are, whilst they are fond of 'em!

Lady Brute. But That we may forgive well enough, because they are so upon our accounts.

Bel. We ought to do so, indeed; but 'tis a hard matter. For when a Man is really in love, he looks so unsufferably silly, that tho' a Woman lik'd him well enough before, she has then much ado to endure the Sight of him: And this I take to be the Reason why Lovers are so generally ill-us'd.

Lady Brute. Well, I own, now, I'm well enough pleased to see a Man look like an Ass for me.

Bel. Ay, I'm pleas'd he should look like an Ass, too;—that is, I'm pleased with myself for making him look so.

Lady Brute. Nay, truly, I think if he'd find some other way to express his Passion, 'twould be more to his advantage.

Bel. Yes; for then a Woman might like his Passion and him too.

Lady Brute. Yet, Belinda, after all, a Woman's Life[Pg 163] would be but a dull Business, if it were not for Men; and Men that can look like Asses, too. We shou'd never blame Fate for the shortness of our Days; our Time would hang wretchedly upon our Hands.

Bel. Why, truly, they do help us off with a good share on't: For were there no Men in the World, o'my Conscience, I shou'd be no longer a-dressing than I'm a-saying my Prayers; nay, tho' it were Sunday: For you know that one may go to Church without Stays on.

Lady Brute. But don't you think Emulation might do something? For every Woman you see desires to be finer than her Neighbour.

Bel. That's only that the Men may like her better than her Neighbour. No, if there were no Men, adieu fine Petticoats, we should be weary of wearing 'em.

Lady Brute. And adieu Plays, we should be weary of seeing 'em.

Bel. Adieu Hyde Park, the Dust would choak us.

Lady Brute. Adieu St. James's, walking would tire us.

Bel. Adieu London, the Smoke would stifle us.

Lady Brute. And adieu going to Church, for Religion wou'd ne'er prevail with us.

Both. Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

Bel. Our Confession is so very hearty, sure we merit Absolution.

Lady Brute. Not unless we go thro' with't, and confess all. So, pr'ythee, for the Ease of our Consciences, let's hide nothing.

Bel. Agreed.

Lady Brute. Why, then, I confess, that I love to sit in the Fore-front of a Box; for if one sits behind, there's two Acts gone, perhaps, before one's found out. And when I am there, if I perceive the Men whispering and looking upon me, you must know I cannot for my Life forbear thinking they talk to my Advantage; and that sets a thousand little tickling Vanities on foot——

Bel. Just my Case, for all the World; but go on.

Lady Brute. I watch with Impatience for the next Jest in the Play, that I might laugh, and shew my white Teeth. If the Poet has been dull, and the Jest be long[Pg 164] a-coming, I pretend to whisper one to my Friend, and from thence fall into a little small Discourse, in which I take occasion to shew my Face in all Humours, brisk, pleas'd, serious, melancholy, languishing——Not that what we say to one another causes any of these alterations. But——

Bel. Don't trouble yourself to explain. For if I'm not mistaken, you and I have had some of these necessary Dialogues before now with the same Intention.

Lady Brute. Why, I swear, Belinda, some People do give strange agreeable Airs to their Faces in speaking. Tell me true—Did you never practise in the Glass?

Bel. Why, did you?

Lady Brute. Yes, 'faith, many a time.

Bel. And I too, I own it; both how to speak myself, and how to look when others speak. But my Glass and I could never yet agree what Face I should make when they come blunt out with a nasty thing in a Play: For all the Men presently look upon the Women, that's certain: so laugh we must not, tho' our Stays burst for't, because that's telling Truth, and owning we understand the Jest. And to look serious is so dull, when the whole House is a laughing—

Lady Brute. Besides, that looking serious does really betray our Knowledge in the matter, as much as laughing with the Company would do: For if we did not understand the thing, we shou'd naturally do like other People.

Bel. For my part, I always take that occasion to blow my Nose.

Lady Brute. You must blow your Nose half off, then, at some Plays.

Bel. Why don't some Reformer or other be at the Poet for't?

Lady Brute. Because he is not so sure of our private Approbation, as of our publick Thanks. Well, sure there is not upon Earth so impertinent a thing as Women's Modesty.

Bel. Yes: Men's Fantasque, that obliges us to it. If we quit our Modesty, they say we lose our Charms:[Pg 165] and yet they know that very Modesty is Affectation, and rail at our Hypocrisy.

Lady Brute. Thus, one would think 'twere a hard matter to please 'em, Niece; yet our kind Mother Nature has given us something that makes amends for all. Let our Weakness be what it will, Mankind will still be weaker; and whilst there is a World, 'tis Woman that will govern it. But, pr'ythee, one Word of poor Constant before we go to bed, if it be but to furnish matter for Dreams: I dare swear he's talking of me now, or thinking of me at least, tho' it be in the middle of his Prayers.

Bel. So he ought, I think; for you were pleas'd to make him a good round Advance to-day, Madam.

Lady Brute. Why, I have e'en plagu'd him enough to satisfy any reasonable Woman: He has besieg'd me these two Years, to no purpose.

Bel. And if he besieg'd you two Years more, he'd be well enough pay'd, so he had the plundering of you at last.

Lady Brute. That may be; but I'm afraid the Town won't be able to hold out much longer: for to confess the Truth to you, Belinda, the Garrison begins to grow mutinous.

Bel. Then the sooner you capitulate, the better.

Lady Brute. Yet, methinks, I wou'd fain stay a little longer to see you fix'd too, that we might start together, and see who cou'd love longest. What think you, if Heartfree shou'd have a Month's Mind to you?

Bel. Why, 'faith, I cou'd almost be in love with him for despising that foolish, affected Lady Fancyfull; but I'm afraid he's too cold ever to warm himself by my Fire.

Lady Brute. Then he deserves to be froze to death. Wou'd I were a Man for your sake, dear Rogue! [Kissing her.]

Bel. You'd wish yourself a Woman again for your own, or the Men are mistaken. But if I cou'd make a Conquest of this Son of Bacchus, and rival his Bottle, what shou'd I do with him? He has no Fortune, I can't marry him: and sure you wou'd not have me commit Fornication?

[Pg 166]

Lady Brute. Why, if you did, Child, 'twould be but a good friendly part; if 'twere only to keep me in countenance whilst I commit—you know what.

Bel. Well, if I can't resolve to serve you that way, I may perhaps some other, as much to your Satisfaction. But pray how shall we contrive to see these Blades again quickly?

Lady Brute. We must e'en have recourse to the old way; make 'em an Appointment 'twixt Jest and Earnest; 'twill look like a Frolick, and that you know 's a very good thing to save a Woman's Blushes.

Bel. You advise well; but where shall it be?

Lady Brute. In Spring Garden. But they shan't know their Women, till their Women pull off their Masks; for a Surprize is the most agreeable thing in the World: And I find myself in a very good Humour, ready to do 'em any good turn I can think on.

Bel. Then pray write 'em the necessary Billet, without farther delay.

Lady Brute. Let's go into your Chamber, then, and whilst you say your Prayers I'll do it, Child.



SCENE, Covent Garden.

Enter Lord Rake, Sir John, &c. with Swords drawn.

Lord Rake. Is the Dog dead?

Col. Bully. No, damn him, I heard him wheeze.

Lord Rake. How the Witch his Wife howl'd!

Col. Bully. Ay, she'll alarm the Watch presently.

Lord Rake. Appear, Knight, then; come, you have a good Cause to fight for—there's a Man murder'd.

Sir John. Is there? Then let his Ghost be satisfy'd;[Pg 167] for I'll sacrifice a Constable to it presently, and burn his Body upon his wooden Chair.

Enter a Taylor, with a Bundle under his Arm.

Col. Bully. How now? What have we got here? A Thief.

Taylor. No, an't please you, I'm no Thief.

Lord Rake. That we'll see presently: Here, let the General examine him.

Sir John. Ay, ay, let me examine him, and I'll lay a hundred Pound I find him guilty, in spite of his Teeth—for he looks—like a—sneaking Rascal. Come, Sirrah, without Equivocation or mental Reservation, tell me of what Opinion you are, and what Calling; for by them——I shall guess at your Morals.

Taylor. An't please you, I'm a Dissenting Journeyman Taylor.

Sir John. Then, Sirrah, you love Lying by your Religion, and Theft by your Trade: And so, that your Punishment may be suitable to your Crimes—I'll have you first gagg'd—and then hang'd.

Tayl. Pray, good worthy Gentlemen, don't abuse me: indeed I'm an honest Man, and a good Workman, tho' I say it, that should not say it.

Sir John. No Words, Sirrah, but attend your Fate.

Lord Rake. Let me see what's in that Bundle.

Tayl. An't please you, it is the Doctor of the Parish's Gown.

Lord Rake. The Doctor's Gown!—--Hark you, Knight, you won't stick at abusing the Clergy, will you?

Sir John. No, I'm drunk, and I'll abuse any thing—but my Wife; and her I name—with Reverence.

Lord Rake. Then you shall wear this Gown, whilst you charge the Watch; that tho' the Blows fall upon you, the Scandal may light upon the Church.

Sir John. A generous Design——by all the Gods——give it me.

[Takes the Gown, and puts it on.

Tayl. O dear Gentlemen, I shall be quite undone, if you take the Gown.

Sir John. Retire, Sirrah; and since you carry off your Skin—go home and be happy.

[Pg 168]

Tayl. [Pausing.] I think I had e'en as good follow the Gentleman's friendly Advice; for if I dispute any longer, who knows but the Whim may take him to case me? These Courtiers are fuller of Tricks than they are of Money; they'll sooner cut a Man's Throat, than pay his Bill.

[Exit Taylor.

Sir John. So, how do you like my Shapes now?

Lord Rake. This will do to a Miracle; he looks like a Bishop going to the Holy War. But to your Arms, Gentlemen, the Enemy appears.

Enter Constable and Watch.

Watch. Stand! Who goes there? Come before the Constable.

Sir John. The Constable is a Rascal——and you are the Son of a Whore.

Watch. A good civil Answer for a Parson, truly!

Constab. Methinks, Sir, a Man of your Coat might set a better Example.

Sir John. Sirrah, I'll make you know——there are Men of my Coat can set as bad Examples——as you can do, you Dog, you.

[Sir John strikes the Constable. They knock him down, disarm him, and seize him. Lord Rake, &c. run away.

Constab. So, we have secur'd the Parson, however.

Sir John. Blood, and Blood——and Blood.

Watch. Lord have mercy upon us! How the wicked Wretch raves of Blood! I'll warrant he has been murdering some body to-night.

Sir John. Sirrah, there's nothing got by Murder but a Halter: My Talent lies towards Drunkenness and Simony.

Watch. Why, that now was spoke like a Man of Parts, Neighbours; 'tis pity he shou'd be so disguised.

Sir John. You lye——I'm not disguis'd; for I am drunk barefac'd.

Watch. Look you there again—This is a mad Parson, Mr. Constable; I'll lay a Pot of Ale upon 's Head, he's a good Preacher.

Constab. Come, Sir, out of respect to your Calling, I[Pg 169] shan't put you into the Round-house; but we must secure you in our Drawing-room till Morning, that you may do no Mischief. So, come along.

Sir John. You may put me where you will, Sirrah, now you have overcome me——But if I can't do Mischief, I'll think of Mischief—in spite of your Teeth, you Dog, you.


SCENE, A Bed-Chamber.

Enter Heartfree solus.

What the Plague ails me?——Love? No, I thank you for that, my Heart's Rock still——Yet 'tis Belinda that disturbs me; that's positive——Well, what of all that? Must I love her for being troublesome? At that rate I might love all the Women I meet, I'gad. But hold!—Tho' I don't love her for disturbing me, yet she may disturb me, because I love her——Ay, that may be, 'faith. I have dreamt of her, that's certain——Well, so I have of my Mother; therefore what's that to the purpose? Ay, but Belinda runs in my Mind waking—and so does many a damn'd thing that I don't care a Farthing for——Methinks, tho', I would fain be talking to her, and yet I have no Business——Well, am I the first Man that has had a Mind to do an impertinent thing?

Enter Constant.

Const. How now, Heartfree? What makes you up and dress'd so soon? I thought none but Lovers quarrell'd with their Beds; I expected to have found you snoring, as I us'd to do.

Heart. Why, 'faith, Friend, 'tis the Care I have of your Affairs, that makes me so thoughtful; I have been studying all Night how to bring your matter about with Belinda.

Const. With Belinda?

[Pg 170]

Heart. With my Lady, I mean: And, 'faith, I have mighty Hopes on't. Sure you must be very well satisfied with her Behaviour to you yesterday?

Const. So well, that nothing but a Lover's Fears can make me doubt of Success. But what can this sudden Change proceed from?

Heart. Why, you saw her Husband beat her, did you not?

Const. That's true: A Husband is scarce to be borne upon any terms, much less when he fights with his Wife. Methinks, she shou'd e'en have cuckolded him upon the very spot, to shew that after the Battle she was Master of the Field.

Heart. A Council of War of Women wou'd infallibly have advis'd her to't. But, I confess, so agreeable a Woman as Belinda deserves better Usage.

Const. Belinda again!

Heart. My Lady, I mean. What a Pox makes me blunder so to-day? [Aside.] A Plague of this treacherous Tongue!

Const. Pr'ythee, look upon me seriously, Heartfree—Now answer me directly: Is it my Lady, or Belinda, employs your careful Thoughts thus?

Heart. My Lady, or Belinda?

Const. In Love; by this Light, in Love.

Heart. In Love!

Const. Nay, ne'er deny it; for thou'lt do it so aukwardly, 'twill but make the Jest sit heavier about thee. My dear Friend, I give thee much Joy.

Heart. Why, pr'ythee, you won't persuade me to it, will you?

Const. That she's Mistress of your Tongue, that's plain; and I know you are so honest a Fellow, your Tongue and Heart always go together. But how, but how the Devil? Pha, ha, ha, ha—

Heart. Hey-dey! Why, sure you don't believe it in earnest?

Const. Yes, I do, because I see you deny it in jest.

Heart. Nay, but look you, Ned—a——deny in jest——a——gadzooks, you know I say——a——when a Man denies a thing in jest—a—

[Pg 171]

Const. Pha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Heart. Nay, then we shall have it: What, because a Man stumbles at a Word: did you never make a Blunder?

Const. Yes; for I am in Love, I own it.

Heart. Then, so am I—Now laugh till thy Soul's glutted with Mirth. [Embracing him.] But, dear Constant, don't tell the Town on't.

Const. Nay, then, 'twere almost pity to laugh at thee, after so honest a Confession. But tell us a little, Jack, by what new-invented Arms has this mighty Stroke been given?

Heart. E'en by that unaccountable Weapon call'd Je-ne-sçai-quoy: For every thing that can come within the Verge of Beauty, I have seen it with indifference.

Const. So in few Words, then, the Je-ne-sçai-quoy has been too hard for the quilted Petticoat.

Heart. I'gad, I think the Je-ne-sçai-quoy is in the quilted Petticoat; at least 'tis certain, I ne'er think on't without——a——a Je-ne-sçai-quoy in every Part about me.

Const. Well, but have all your Remedies lost their Virtue? Have you turn'd her inside out yet?

Heart. I dare not so much as think on't.

Const. But don't the two Years Fatigue I have had discourage you?

Heart. Yes: I dread what I foresee; yet cannot quit the Enterprize. Like some Soldiers, whose Courage dwells more in their Honour, than their Nature—on they go, tho' the Body trembles at what the Soul makes it undertake.

Const. Nay, if you expect your Mistress will use you as your Profanations against her Sex deserve, you tremble justly. But how do you intend to proceed, Friend?

Heart. Thou know'st I'm but a Novice; be friendly, and advise me.

Const. Why, look you, then: I'd have you—Serenade and a——write a Song——Go to Church; Look like a Fool——Be very officious; Ogle, write and lead out: And who knows but in a Year or two's time you may[Pg 172] be——call'd a troublesome Puppy, and sent about your Business.

Heart. That's hard.

Const. Yet thus it oft falls out with Lovers, Sir.

Heart. Pox on me for making one of the Number!

Const. Have a care: Say no saucy things; 'twill but augment your Crime; and if your Mistress hears on't, increase your Punishment.

Heart. Pr'ythee say something, then, to encourage me; you know I help'd you in your Distress.

Const. Why, then, to encourage you to Perseverance, tho' you may be thoroughly ill-us'd for your Offences; I'll put you in mind, that even the coyest Ladies of 'em all are made up of Desires, as well as we; and tho' they do hold out a long time, they will capitulate at last. For that thundering Engineer, Nature, does make such havock in the Town, they must surrender at long run, or perish in their own Flames.

Enter a Footman.

Foot. Sir, there's a Porter without with a Letter; he desires to give it into your own Hands.

Const. Call him in.

Enter Porter.

Const. What, Joe! Is it thee?

Porter. An't please you, Sir, I was order'd to deliver this into your own Hands by two well-shap'd Ladies, at the New Exchange. I was at your Honour's Lodgings, and your Servants sent me hither.

Const. 'Tis well; are you to carry any Answer?

Porter. No, my noble Master. They gave me my Orders, and whip they were gone, like a Maidenhead at Fifteen.

Const. Very well; there.

[Gives him Money.

Porter. God bless your Honour!

[Exit Porter.

Const. Now let's see what honest, trusty Joe has brought us.

[Pg 173]


If you and your Play-Fellow can spare time from your Business and Devotions, don't fail to be at Spring-Garden about Eight in the Evening. You'll find nothing there but Women, so you need bring no other Arms than what you usually carry about you.

So, Play-fellow: here's something to stay your Stomach till your Mistress's Dish is ready for you.

Heart. Some of our old batter'd Acquaintance. I won't go, not I.

Const. Nay, that you can't avoid; there's Honour in the Case; 'tis a Challenge, and I want a Second.

Heart. I doubt I shall be but a very useless one to you; for I'm so dishearten'd by this Wound Belinda has given me, I don't think I shall have Courage enough to draw my Sword.

Const. O, if that be all, come along; I'll warrant you find Sword enough for such Enemies as we have to deal withal.


SCENE, A Street.

Enter Constable, &c. with Sir John.

Constab. Come along, Sir; I thought to have let you slip this Morning, because you were a Minister; but you are as drunk and as abusive as ever. We'll see what the Justice of the Peace will say to you.

Sir John. And you shall see what I'll say to the Justice of the Peace, Sirrah.

[They knock at the Door.

Enter Servant.

Constab. Pray, acquaint his Worship, we have got an unruly Parson here: We are unwilling to expose him, but don't know what to do with him.

Serv. I'll acquaint my Master.

[Pg 174]

[Exit Serv.

Sir John. You——Constable—What damn'd Justice is this?

Constab. One that will take Care of you, I warrant you.

Enter Justice.

Just. Well, Mr. Constable, what's the Disorder here?

Constab. An't please your Worship——

Sir John. Let me speak, and be damn'd: I'm a Divine, and can unfold Mysteries better than you can do.

Just. Sadness, sadness! A Minister so overtaken! Pray, Sir, give the Constable leave to speak, and I'll hear you very patiently: I assure you, Sir, I will.

Sir John. Sir——You are a very civil Magistrate! Your most humble Servant.

Constab. An't please your Worship, then, he has attempted to beat the Watch to-night, and swore——

Sir John. You lye.

Just. Hold, pray, Sir, a little.

Sir John. Sir, your very humble Servant.

Constab. Indeed, Sir, he came at us without any Provocation, call'd us Whores and Rogues, and laid us on with a great Quarter-staff. He was in my Lord Rake's Company: They have been playing the Devil to-night.

Just. Hem——Hem——Pray, Sir——may you be Chaplain to my Lord?

Sir John. Sir——I presume——I may if I will.

Just. My meaning, Sir, is——Are you so?

Sir John. Sir—You mean very well.

Just. He, hem——hem——Under Favour, Sir, pray answer me directly.

Sir John. Under Favour, Sir——Do you use to answer directly when you are drunk?

Just. Good lack, good lack! Here's nothing to be got from him: Pray, Sir, may I crave your Name?

Sir John. Sir——My Name's——[He hiccups.] Hiccup, Sir.

Just. Hiccup? Doctor Hiccup, I have known a great many Country Parsons of that Name, especially down in the Fenns. Pray where do you live, Sir?

[Pg 175]

Sir John. Here——and there, Sir.

Just. Why, what a strange Man is this! Where do you preach, Sir? Have you any Cure?

Sir John. Sir——I have——a very good Cure——for a Clap, at your Service.

Just. Lord have mercy upon us!

Sir John. [Aside.] This Fellow asks so many impertinent Questions, I believe, I'gad, 'tis the Justice's Wife in the Justice's Clothes.

Just. Mr. Constable, I vow and protest, I don't know what to do with him.

Constab. Truly, he has been but a troublesome Guest to us all Night.

Just. I think, I had e'en best let him go about his Business; for I'm unwilling to expose him.

Constab. E'en what your Worship thinks fit.

Sir John. Sir——not to interrupt Mr. Constable, I have a small Favour to ask.

Just. Sir, I open both my Ears to you.

Sir John. Sir, your very humble Servant. I have a little urgent Business calls upon me; and therefore I desire the Favour of you to bring Matters to a Conclusion.

Just. Sir, if I were sure that Business were not to commit more Disorders, I wou'd release you.

Sir John. None——By my Priesthood!

Just. Then, Mr. Constable, you may discharge him.

Sir John. Sir, your very humble Servant. If you please to accept of a Bottle—

Just. I thank you, kindly, Sir; but I never drink in a Morning. Good-by t'ye, Sir, good-by t'ye.

Sir John. Good by t'ye, good Sir. [Exit Justice.] So——now, Mr. Constable, shall you and I go pick up a Whore together?

Constab. No, thank you, Sir; my Wife's enough to satisfy any reasonable Man.

Sir John. [Aside.] He, he, he, he—the Fool is married, then. Well, you won't go?

Constab. Not I, truly.

Sir John. Then I'll go by myself; and you and your[Pg 176] Wife may be damn'd.

[Exit Sir John.

Constable. [Gazing after him.] Why, God a-mercy, Parson?


SCENE, Spring-Garden.

Constant and Heartfree cross the Stage. As they go off, enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle mask'd, and dogging 'em.

Const. So; I think we are about the time appointed: let us walk up this way.


Lady Fan. Good: Thus far I have dogg'd 'em without being discover'd. 'Tis infallibly some Intrigue that brings them to Spring-Garden. How my poor Heart is torn and rackt with Fear and Jealousy! Yet let it be any thing but that Flirt Belinda, and I'll try to bear it. But if it prove her, all that's Woman in me shall be employ'd to destroy her.

[Exeunt after Constant and Heartfree.

Re-enter Constant and Heartfree, Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle still following at a Distance.

Const. I see no Females yet, that have any thing to say to us. I'm afraid we are banter'd.

Heart. I wish we were; for I'm in no Humour to make either them or myself merry.

Const. Nay, I'm sure you'll make them merry enough, if I tell 'em why you are dull. But pr'ythee why so heavy and sad before you begin to be ill us'd?

Heart. For the same Reason, perhaps, that you are so brisk and well pleas'd; because both Pains and Pleasures are generally more considerable in Prospect, than when they come to pass.

Enter Lady Brute and Belinda, mask'd and poorly dress'd.

Const. How now! who are these? Not our Game, I hope.

[Pg 177]

Heart. If they are, we are e'en well enough serv'd, to come a-hunting here, when we had so much better Game in Chase elsewhere.

Lady Fan. [To Madamoiselle.] So, those are their Ladies, without doubt. But I'm afraid that Doily Stuff is not worn for want of better Clothes. They are the very Shape and Size of Belinda and her Aunt.

Madam. So dey be inteed, Matam.

Lady Fan. We'll slip into this close Arbour, where we may hear all they say.

[Exeunt Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.

Lady Brute. What, are you afraid of us, Gentlemen?

Heart. Why, truly, I think we may, if Appearance don't lye.

Bel. Do you always find Women what they appear to be, Sir?

Heart. No, forsooth; but I seldom find 'em better than they appear to be.

Bel. Then the Outside's best, you think?

Heart. 'Tis the honestest.

Const. Have a care, Heartfree; you are relapsing again.

Lady Brute. Why, does the Gentleman use to rail at Women?

Const. He has done formerly.

Bel. I suppose he had very good Cause for't. They did not use you so well as you thought you deserv'd, Sir.

Lady Brute. They made themselves merry at your Expence, Sir.

Bel. Laugh'd when you sigh'd—

Lady Brute. Slept while you were waking—

Bel. Had your Porter beat—

Lady Brute. And threw your Billet-doux in the Fire.

Heart. Hey-day, I shall do more than rail presently.

Bel. Why, you won't beat us, will you?

Heart. I don't know but I may.

Const. What the Devil's coming here? Sir John in a Gown——And drunk, i'faith.

Enter Sir John.

Sir John. What a Pox——here's Constant, Heartfree[Pg 178]and two Whores, I'gad——O you covetous Rogues! what, have you never a spare Punk for your Friend?——But I'll share with you.

[He seizes both the Women.

Heart. Why, what the plague have you been doing, Knight?

Sir John. Why, I have been beating the Watch, and scandalizing the Clergy.

Heart. A very good Account, truly.

Sir John. And what do you think I'll do next?

Const.. Nay, that no Man can guess.

Sir John. Why, if you'll let me sup with you, I'll treat both your Strumpets.

Lady Brute. [Aside.] O Lord, we're undone!

Heart. No, we can't sup together, because we have some Affairs elsewhere. But if you'll accept of these two Ladies, we'll be so complaisant to you, to resign our Right in 'em.

Bel. [Aside.] Lord, what shall we do?

Sir John. Let me see; their Clothes are such damn'd Clothes, they won't pawn for the Reckoning.

Heart. Sir John, your Servant. Rapture attend you!

Const. Adieu, Ladies, make much of the Gentleman.

Lady Brute. Why, sure, you won't leave us in the Hands of a drunken Fellow to abuse us.

Sir John. Who do you call a drunken Fellow, you Slut you? I'm a Man of Quality; the King has made me a Knight.

[Heart. runs off.

Heart. Ay, ay, you are in good Hands! Adieu, Adieu!

Lady Brute. The Devil's Hands: Let me go, or I'll—For Heaven's sake, protect us!

[She breaks from him, runs to Constant, twitching off her Mask, and clapping it on again.

Sir John. I'll Devil you, you Jade you. I'll demolish your ugly Face.

Const. Hold a little, Knight, she swoons.

Sir John. I'll swoon her.

Const. Hey, Heartfree.

[Pg 179]

Re-enter Heartfree. Belinda runs to him, and shews her Face.

Heart. O Heavens! My dear Creature, stand there a little.

Const. Pull him off, Jack.

Heart. Hold, mighty Man; look ye, Sir, we did but jest with you. These are Ladies of our Acquaintance that we had a mind to frighten a little, but now you must leave us.

Sir John. Oons, I won't leave you, not I.

Heart. Nay, but you must, though; and therefore make no Words on't.

Sir John. Then you are a couple of damned uncivil Fellows. And I hope your Punks will give you Sauce to your Mutton.

[Exit Sir John.

Lady Brute. Oh, I shall never come to myself again, I'm so frightened.

Const. 'Twas a narrow 'Scape, indeed.

Bel. Women must have Frolicks, you see, whatever they cost them.

Heart. This might have proved a dear one, though.

Lady Brute. You are the more obliged to us for the Risk we run upon your Accounts.

Const. And I hope you'll acknowledge something due to our Knight-Errantry, Ladies. This is the second time we have delivered you.

Lady Brute. 'Tis true; and since we see Fate has designed you for our Guardians, 'twill make us the more willing to trust ourselves in your Hands. But you must not have the worse Opinion of us for our innocent Frolick.

Heart. Ladies, you may command our Opinions in every thing that is to your Advantage.

Bel. Then, Sir, I command you to be of Opinion, That Women are sometimes better than they appear to be.

[Lady Brute and Constant talk apart.

Heart. Madam, you have made a Convert of me in every thing. I'm grown a Fool: I cou'd be fond of a Woman.

[Pg 180]

Bel. I thank you, Sir, in the Name of the whole Sex.

Heart. Which Sex nothing but yourself cou'd ever have aton'd for.

Bel. Now has my Vanity a devilish Itch, to know in what my Merit consists.

Heart. In your Humility, Madam, that keeps you ignorant it consists at all.

Bel. One other Compliment, with that serious Face, and I hate you for ever after.

Heart. Some Women love to be abus'd: Is that it you wou'd be at?

Bel. No, not that, neither: But I'd have Men talk plainly what's fit for Women to hear; without putting 'em either to a real or an affected Blush.

Heart. Why, then, in as plain Terms as I can find to express myself, I could love you even to—Matrimony itself a'most, I'gad.

Bel. Just as Sir John did her Ladyship there.——What think you? Don't you believe one Month's time might bring you down to the same Indifference, only clad in a little better Manners, perhaps? Well, you Men are unaccountable things, mad till you have your Mistresses, and then stark mad till you are rid of 'em again. Tell me honestly, Is not your Patience put to a much severer Trial after Possession than before?

Heart. With a great many I must confess it is, to our eternal Scandal; but I——dear Creature, do but try me.

Bel. That's the surest way, indeed, to know, but not the safest. [To Lady Brute.] Madam, are not you for taking a Turn in the Great Walk? It's almost dark, no body will know us.

Lady Brute. Really I find myself something idle, Belinda: besides, I doat upon this little odd private Corner. But don't let my lazy Fancy confine you. [Const. aside.] So, she wou'd be left alone with me; that's well.

Bel. Well, we'll take one Turn, and come to you again. [To Heart.] Come, Sir, shall we go pry into the Secrets of the Garden? Who knows what Discoveries we may make?

[Pg 181]

Heart. Madam, I'm at your Service.

Const. [To Heart. aside.] Don't make too much haste back; for, d'ye hear?——I may be busy.

Heart. Enough.

[Exeunt Belinda and Heartfree.

Lady Brute. Sure you think me scandalously free, Mr. Constant. I'm afraid I shall lose your good Opinion of me.

Const. My good Opinion, Madam, is like your Cruelty——ne'er to be remov'd.

Lady Brute. But if I should remove my Cruelty, then there's an end of your good Opinion.

Const. There is not so strict an Alliance between 'em, neither. 'Tis certain I shou'd love you then better (if that be possible) than I do now; and where I love, I always esteem.

Lady Brute. Indeed, I doubt you much. Why, suppose you had a Wife, and she should entertain a Gallant?

Const. If I gave her just Cause, how cou'd I justly condemn her?

Lady Brute. Ah! but you'd differ widely about just Causes.

Const. But Blows can bear no Dispute.

Lady Brute. Nor ill Manners much, truly.

Const. Then no Woman upon Earth has so just a Cause as you have.

Lady Brute. O, but a faithful Wife is a beautiful Character.

Const. To a deserving Husband, I confess it is.

Lady Brute. But can his Faults release my Duty?

Const. In Equity, without doubt. And where Laws dispense with Equity, Equity should dispense with Laws.

Lady Brute. Pray let's leave this Dispute; for you Men have as much Witchcraft in your Arguments, as Women have in their Eyes.

Const. But whilst you attack me with your Charms, 'tis but reasonable I assault you with mine.

Lady Brute. The Case is not the same. What Mischief we do, we can't help, and therefore are to be forgiven.

Const. Beauty soon obtains Pardon for the Pain that[Pg 182] it gives, when it applies the Balm of Compassion to the Wound: But a fine Face, and a hard Heart, is almost as bad as an ugly Face and a soft one; both very troublesome to many a poor Gentleman.

Lady Brute. Yes, and to many a poor Gentlewoman, too, I can assure you. But pray, which of 'em is it that most afflicts you?

Const. Your Glass and Conscience will inform you, Madam. But for Heaven's sake (for now I must be serious), if Pity, or if Gratitude can move you; [Taking her Hand.] if Constancy and Truth have power to tempt you; if Love, if Adoration can affect you; give me at least some Hopes, that Time may do what you perhaps mean never to perform; 'twill ease my Sufferings, tho' not quench my Flame.

Lady Brute. Your Sufferings eas'd, your Flame wou'd soon abate: And that I would preserve, not quench it, Sir.

Const. Wou'd you preserve it, nourish it with Favours; for that's the Food it naturally requires.

Lady Brute. Yet on that natural Food 'twould surfeit soon, shou'd I resolve to grant all you wou'd ask.

Const. And in refusing all, you starve it. Forgive me, therefore, since my Hunger rages, if I at last grow wild, and in my frenzy force at least this from you. [Kissing her Hand.] Or if you'd have my Flame soar higher still, then grant me this, and this, and Thousands more; [Kissing first her Hand, then her Neck.] [Aside.] For now's the time she melts into Compassion.

Lady Brute. [Aside.] Poor Coward Virtue, how it shuns the Battle! O Heavens! let me go.

Const. Ay, go, ay: Where shall we go, my charming Angel——into this private Arbour——Nay, let's lose no time——Moments are precious.

Lady Brute. And Lovers wild. Pray let us stop here; at least for this time.

Const. 'Tis impossible; he that has power over you, can have none over himself.

As he is forcing her into the Arbour, Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle bolt out upon them, and run over the Stage.

[Pg 183]

Lady Brute. Ah! I'm lost!

Lady Fan. Fe, fe, fe, fe, fe.

Madam. Fe, fe, fe, fe, fe.

Const. Death and Furies, who are these?

Lady Brute. O Heavens! I'm out of my Wits; if they knew me, I am ruin'd.

Const. Don't be frightened: Ten thousand to one they are Strangers to you.

Lady Brute. Whatever they are, I won't stay here a Moment longer.

Const. Whither will you go?

Lady Brute. Home, as if the Devil were in me. Lord, where's this Belinda now?

Enter Belinda and Heartfree.

O! 'tis well you are come: I'm so frightened, my Hair stands an end. Let's be gone, for Heaven's sake!

Bel. Lord, what's the matter?

Lady Brute. The Devil's the Matter; we are discovered. Here's a couple of Women have done the most impertinent thing. Away, away, away, away, away.

[Exit running.

Re-enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.

Lady Fan. Well, Madamoiselle, 'tis a prodigious thing how Women can suffer filthy Fellows to grow so familiar with 'em.

Madam. Ah Madame, il n'y a rien de si naturel.

Lady Fan. Fe, fe, fe! But, oh my Heart! O Jealousy! O Torture! I'm upon the rack. What shall I do? My Lover's lost, I ne'er shall see him mine. [Pausing.]——But I may be reveng'd; and that's the same thing. Ah sweet Revenge! Thou welcome Thought, thou healing Balsam to my wounded Soul! Be but propitious on this one Occasion, I'll place my Heaven in thee, for all my Life to come.

To Woman how indulgent Nature's kind!
No Blast of Fortune long disturbs her Mind:
Compliance to her Fate supports her still;
If Love won't make her happy—Mischief will.


[Pg 184]


SCENE, Lady Fancyfull's House.

Enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.

Lady Fan. Well, Madamoiselle, did you dog the filthy Things?

Madam. O que ouy, Madame.

Lady Fan. And where are they?

Madam. Au Logis.

Lady Fan. What, Men and all?

Madam. Tous ensemble.

Lady Fan. O Confidence! What, carry their Fellows to their own House?

Madam. C'est que le Mari n'y est pas.

Lady Fan. No; so I believe, truly. But he shall be there, and quickly too, if I can find him out. Well, 'tis a prodigious thing, to see when Men and Women get together, how they fortify one another in their Impudence. But if that drunken Fool, her Husband, he to be found in e'er a Tavern in Town, I'll send him amongst 'em: I'll spoil their sport.

Madam. En verité, Madame, ce seroit domage.

Lady Fan. 'Tis in vain to oppose it, Madamoiselle; therefore never go about it. For I am the steadiest Creature in the World—when I have determin'd to do Mischief. So, come along.

[Pg 185]


SCENE, Sir John Brute's House.

Enter Constant, Heartfree, Lady Brute, Belinda, and Lovewell.

Lady Brute. But are you sure you don't mistake, Lovewell?

Lov. Madam, I saw 'em all go into the Tavern together, and my Master was so drunk he cou'd scarce stand.

Lady Brute. Then, Gentlemen, I believe we may venture to let you stay, and play at Cards with us, an Hour or two: For they'll scarce part till Morning.

Bel. I think 'tis pity they should ever part.

Const. The Company that's here, Madam.

Lady Brute. Then, Sir, the Company that's here must remember to part itself in time.

Const. Madam, we don't intend to forfeit your future Favours by an indiscreet Usage of this. The Moment you give us the Signal, we shan't fail to make our Retreat.

Lady Brute. Upon those Conditions, then, let us sit down to Cards.

Enter Lovewell.

Lov. O Lord, Madam, here's my Master just staggering in upon you; he has been quarrelsome yonder, and they have kick'd him out of the Company.

Lady Brute. Into the Closet, Gentlemen, for Heaven's sake; I'll wheedle him to Bed, if possible.

[Const. and Heart. run into the Closet.

Enter Sir John, all dirt and bloody.

Lady Brute. Ah——Ah——he's all over Blood!

Sir John. What the plague does the Woman—squall for? Did you never see a Man in Pickle before?

Lady Brute. Lord, where have you been?

Sir John. I have been at——Cuffs.

Lady Brute. I fear that is not all. I hope you are not wounded.

[Pg 186]

Sir John. Sound as a Roach, Wife.

Lady Brute. I'm mighty glad to hear it.

Sir John. You know—I think you lye.

Lady Brute. You do me wrong to think so. For Heaven's my Witness; I had rather see my own Blood trickle down, than yours.

Sir John. Then will I be crucify'd.

Lady Brute. 'Tis a hard Fate, I shou'd not be believ'd.

Sir John. 'Tis a damn'd Atheistical Age, Wife.

Lady Brute. I am sure I have given you a thousand tender Proofs, how great my Care is of you. But, spite of all your cruel Thoughts, I'll still persist, and at this Moment, if I can, persuade you to lie down and sleep a little.

Sir John. Why—do you think I am drunk—you Slut, you?

Lady Brute. Heaven forbid I shou'd! But I'm afraid you are feverish. Pray let me feel your Pulse.

Sir John. Stand off, and be damn'd.

Lady Brute. Why, I see your Distemper in your very Eyes. You are all on Fire. Pray, go to Bed; let me intreat you.

Sir John.——Come, kiss me, then.

Lady Brute. [Kissing him.] There: Now go. [Aside.] He stinks like Poison.

Sir John. I see it goes damnably against your Stomach—And therefore—Kiss me again.

Lady Brute. Nay, now you fool me.

Sir John. Do't, I say.

Lady Brute. [Aside.] Ah, Lord have mercy upon me! Well—there: now will you go?

Sir John. Now, Wife, you shall see my Gratitude. You gave me two Kisses—I'll give you—two hundred.

[Kisses, and tumbles her.

Lady Brute. O Lord! Pray, Sir John, be quiet. Heavens, what a Pickle am I in!

Bel. [Aside.] If I were in her Pickle, I'd call my Gallant out of the Closet, and he shou'd cudgel him soundly.

Sir John. So, now you being as dirty and as nasty as[Pg 187] myself, we may go pig together. But first I must have a Cup of your cold Tea, Wife.

[Going to the Closet.

Lady Brute. O I'm ruin'd! There's none there, my Dear.

Sir John. I'll warrant you I'll find some, my Dear.

Lady Brute. You can't open the Door, the Lock's spoil'd; I have been turning and turning the Key this half Hour to no purpose. I'll send for the Smith to-morrow.

Sir John. There's ne'er a Smith in Europe can open a Door with more Expedition than I can do——As for Example—Poh! [He bursts open the Door with his Foot.]——How now! What the Devil have we got here?——Constant——Heartfree——And two Whores again, I'gad——This is the worst cold Tea——that ever I met with in my Life——

Enter Constant and Heartfree.

Lady Brute. [Aside.] O Lord, what will become of us?

Sir John. Gentlemen——I am your very humble Servant—I give you many Thanks——I see you take Care of my Family——I shall do all I can to return the Obligation.

Const. Sir, how oddly soever this Business may appear to you, you would have no cause to be uneasy, if you knew the Truth of all things; your Lady is the most virtuous Woman in the World, and nothing has past but an innocent Frolick.

Heart. Nothing else, upon my Honour, Sir.

Sir John. You are both very civil Gentlemen—And my Wife, there, is a very civil Gentlewoman; therefore I don't doubt but many civil things have past between you. Your very humble Servant.

Lady Brute. [Aside to Const.] Pray be gone: He's so drunk he can't hurt us to-night, and to-morrow Morning you shall hear from us.

Const. I'll obey you, Madam. Sir, when you are cool, you'll understand Reason better. So then I shall take the pains to inform you. If not——I wear a Sword, Sir, and so good by t'ye. Come along, Heartfree.

[Pg 188]


Sir John. Wear a Sword, Sir—And what of all that, Sir? He comes to my House; eats my Meat; lies with my Wife; dishonours my Family; gets a Bastard to inherit my Estate——And when I ask a civil Account of all this—Sir, says he, I wear a Sword—Wear a Sword, Sir? Yes, Sir, says he, I wear a Sword——It may be a good Answer at Cross-purposes; but 'tis a damn'd one to a Man in my whimsical Circumstance——Sir, says he, I wear a Sword! [To Lady Brute.] And what do you wear now? ha! tell me. [Sitting down in a great Chair.] What, you are modest, and can't—Why, then, I'll tell you, you Slut, you. You wear——an impudent, lewd Face——A damn'd designing Heart——And a Tail——and a Tail full of——[He falls fast asleep, snoaring.]

Lady Brute. So; thanks to kind Heaven, he's fast for some Hours.

Bel. 'Tis well he is so, that we may have time to lay our Story handsomely; for we must lye like the Devil, to bring ourselves off.

Lady Brute. What shall we say, Belinda?

Bel. [Musing.]——I'll tell you: It must all light upon Heartfree and I. We'll say he has courted me some time, but, for Reasons unknown to us, has ever been very earnest the thing might be kept from Sir John. That therefore hearing him upon the Stairs, he ran into the Closet, tho' against our Will, and Constant with him, to prevent Jealousy. And to give this a good impudent Face of Truth, (that I may deliver you from the trouble you are in) I'll e'en, if he pleases, marry him.

Lady Brute. I'm beholden to you, Cousin; but that wou'd be carrying the Jest a little too far for your own sake: You know he's a younger Brother, and has nothing.

Bel. 'Tis true: But I like him, and have Fortune enough to keep above Extremity: I can't say I would live with him in a Cell, upon Love and Bread and Butter: But I had rather have the Man I love, and a middle State of Life, than that Gentleman in the Chair there, and twice your Ladyship's Splendour.

Lady Brute. In truth, Niece, you are in the right on't;[Pg 189] for I am very uneasy with my Ambition. But, perhaps, had I married as you'll do, I might have been as ill us'd.

Bel. Some Risk, I do confess, there always is: But if a Man has the least Spark either of Honour or Good-nature, he can never use a Woman ill, that loves him, and makes his Fortune both. Yet I must own to you, some little struggling I still have with this teazing Ambition of ours; for Pride, you know, is as natural to a Woman, as 'tis to a Saint. I can't help being fond of this Rogue; and yet it goes to my Heart, to think I must never whisk to Hyde-Park with above a Pair of Horses; have no Coronet upon my Coach, nor a Page to carry up my Train. But above all—that Business of Place—Well, taking place is a noble Prerogative—

Lady Brute. Especially after a Quarrel—

Bel. Or of a Rival. But pray say no more on't, for fear I change my Mind; for, o' my Conscience, wer't not for your Affair in the Balance, I should go near to pick up some odious Man of Quality yet, and only take poor Heartfree for a Gallant.

Lady Brute. Then him you must have, however things go?

Bel. Yes.

Lady Brute. Why, we may pretend what we will: but 'tis a hard matter to live without the Man we love.

Bel. Especially when we are married to the Man we hate. Pray tell me: Do the Men of the Town ever believe us virtuous, when they see us do so?

Lady Brute. O, no: Nor indeed, hardly, let us do what we will. The most of them think, there is no such thing as Virtue, consider'd in the strictest Notions of it; and therefore when you hear 'em say, such a one is a Woman of Reputation, they only mean she's a Woman of Discretion. For they consider we have no more Religion than they have, nor so much Morality; and between you and I, Belinda, I'm afraid the want of Inclination seldom protects any of us.

Bel. But what think you of the Fear of being found out?

Lady Brute. I think That never kept any Woman vir[Pg 190]tuous long. We are not such Cowards, neither. No: Let us once pass Fifteen, and we have too good an Opinion of our own Cunning, to believe the World can penetrate into what we would keep a Secret. And so, in short, we cannot reasonably blame the Men for judging of us by themselves.

Bel. But sure we are not so wicked as they are, after all?

Lady Brute. We are as wicked, Child, but our Vice lies another way: Men have more Courage than we, so they commit more bold, impudent Sins. They quarrel, fight, swear, drink, blaspheme, and the like: Whereas we, being Cowards, only backbite, tell Lyes, cheat at Cards, and so forth. But 'tis late: Let's end our Discourse for to-night, and, out of an excess of Charity, take a small Care of that nasty, drunken Thing there——Do but look at him, Belinda!

Bel. Ah——'tis a savoury Dish.

Lady Brute. As savoury as 'tis, I'm cloy'd with't. Pr'ythee call the Butler to take it away.

Bel. Call the Butler!—--Call the Scavenger! [To a Servant within.] Who's there? Call Rasor! Let him take away his Master, scour him clean with a little Sope and Sand, and so put him to Bed.

Lady Brute. Come, Belinda, I'll e'en lie with you to-night; and in the Morning we'll send for our Gentlemen to set this Matter even.

Bel. With all my Heart.

Lady Brute. Good Night, my Dear.

[Making a low Curtsy to Sir John.

[Both.] Ha, ha, ha!


Enter Rasor.

Rasor. My Lady there's a Wag—My Master there's a Cuckold. Marriage is a slippery thing—Women have depraved Appetites.—My Lady's a Wag; I have heard all; I have seen all; I understand all; and I'll tell all; for my little French-woman loves News dearly. This Story'll gain her Heart, or nothing will. [To his Master.] Come, Sir, your Head's too full of Fumes at present, to make room for your Jealousy; but I reckon we shall[Pg 191] have rare work with you, when your Pate's empty. Come to your Kennel, you cuckoldly, drunken Sot, you!

[Carries him out upon his Back.

SCENE, Lady Fancyfull's House.

Enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.

Lady Fan. But, why did not you tell me before, Madamoiselle, that Rasor and you were fond?

Madam. De Modesty hinder me, Matam.

Lady Fan. Why, truly, Modesty does often hinder us from doing things we have an extravagant mind to. But does he love you well enough yet, to do any thing you bid him? Do you think, to oblige you, he wou'd speak Scandal?

Madam. Matam, to oblige your Ladyship, he shall speak Blasphemy.

Lady Fan. Why, then, Madamoiselle, I'll tell you what you shall do. You shall engage him to tell his Master all that past at Spring Garden: I have a mind he shou'd know what a Wife and a Niece he has got.

Madam. Il le fera, Madame.

Enter a Footman, who speaks to Madamoiselle apart.

Foot. Madamoiselle, yonder's Mr. Rasor desires to speak with you.

Madam. Tell him, I come presently. [Exit Footman.] Rasor be dare, Matam.

Lady Fan. That's fortunate. Well, I'll leave you together. And if you find him stubborn, Madamoiselle—hark you—don't refuse him a few little reasonable Liberties to put him into Humour.

Madam. Laissez moy faire.

[Exit Lady Fancyfull.

[Rasor peeps in; and seeing Lady Fancyfull gone, runs to Madamoiselle, takes her about the Neck, and kisses her.

Madam. How now, Confidence?

[Pg 192]

Rasor. How now, Modesty!

Madam. Who make you so familiar, Sirrah?

Rasor. My Impudence, Hussy.

Madam. Stand off, Rogue-Face.

Rasor. Ah——Madamoiselle——great News at our House.

Madam. Why, vat be de matter?

Rasor. The Matter?—Why, Uptails All's the Matter.

Madam. Tu te mocque de moy.

Rasor. Now do you long to know the Particulars: The Time when—The Place where—The Manner how. But I don't tell you a Word more.

Madam. Nay, den dou kill me, Rasor.

Rasor. Come, kiss me, then.

[Clapping his Hands behind him.

Madam. Nay, pridee tell me.

Rasor. Good by t' ye.


Madam. Hold, hold: I will kiss dee.

[Kissing him.

Rasor. So, that's civil: Why, now, my pretty Poll, my Goldfinch, my little Waterwagtail——you must know, that——Come, kiss me again.

Madam. I won't kiss de no more.

Rasor. Good by t' ye.


Madam. Doucement! Derre: es tu content?

[Kissing him.

Rasor. So: Now I'll tell thee all. Why, the News is, That Cuckoldom in Folio is newly printed; and Matrimony in Quarto is just going into the Press. Will you buy any Books, Madamoiselle?

Madam. Tu parle comme un Libraire; de Devil no understand dee.

Rasor. Why, then, that I may make myself intelligible to a Waiting-Woman, I'll speak like a Valet de Chambre. My Lady has cuckolded my Master.

Madam. Bon.

Rasor. Which we take very ill from her Hands, I can tell her that. We can't yet prove Matter of Fact upon her.

Madam. N'importe.

Rasor. But we can prove, that Matter of Fact had like to have been upon her.

[Pg 193]

Madam. Ouy da.

Rasor. For we have such bloody Circumstances—

Madam. Sans doute.

Rasor. That any Man of Parts may draw tickling Conclusions from 'em.

Madam. Fort bien.

Rasor. We found a couple of tight, well-built Gentlemen stufft into her Ladyship's Closet.

Madam. Le Diable!

Rasor. And I, in my particular Person, have discovered a most damnable Plot, how to persuade my poor Master, that all this Hide and Seek, this Will in the Whisp, has no other meaning than a Christian Marriage for sweet Mrs. Belinda.

Madam. Une Mariage?——Ah les Droles!

Rasor. Don't you interrupt me, Hussy; 'tis agreed, I say. And my innocent Lady, to wriggle herself out at the Back-door of the Business, turns Marriage-Bawd to her Niece, and resolves to deliver up her fair Body to be tumbled and mumbled by that young liquorish Whipster, Heartfree. Now are you satisfy'd?

Madam. No.

Rasor. Right Woman; always gaping for more.

Madam. Dis be all, den, dat dou know?

Rasor. All? Aye, and a great deal, too, I think.

Madam. Dou be Fool, dou know noting. Ecoute, mon pauvre Rasor. Dou sees des two Eyes?—Des two Eyes have see de Devil.

Rasor. The Woman's mad.

Madam. In Spring-Garden, dat Rogue Constant meet dy Lady.

Rasor. Bon.

Madam.——I'll tell dee no more.

Rasor. Nay, pr'ythee, my Swan.

Madam. Come, kiss me den.

[Clapping her Hands behind her as he did before.

Rasor. I won't kiss you, not I.

Madam. Adieu.


Rasor. Hold——Now proceed.

[Pg 194]

[Gives her a hearty Kiss.

Madam. A ça——I hide myself in one cunning Place, where I hear all, and see all. First, dy drunken Master come mal a propos; but de Sot no know his own dear Wife, so he leave her to her Sport—Den de Game begin. De Lover say soft ting: De Lady look upon de Ground. [As she speaks, Rasor still acts the Man, and she the Woman.] He take her by de Hand: She turn her Head on oder Way. Den he squeeze very hard: Den she pull——very softly. Den he take her in his Arm: Den she give him leetel pat. Den he kiss her Tettons. Den she say—Pish, nay see. Den he tremble: Den she—sigh. Den he pull her into de Arbour: Den she pinch him.

Rasor. Aye, but not so hard, you Baggage, you.

Madam. Den he grow bold: She grow weak, he tro her down, il tombe dessu, le Diable assiste, il emport tout. [Rasor struggles with her, as if he would throw her down.] Stand off, Sirrah!

Rasor. You have set me a-fire, you Jade, you.

Madam. Den go to de River, and quench dy self.

Rasor. What an unnatural Harlot 'tis!

Madam. Rasor.

[Looking languishingly on him.

Rasor. Madamoiselle.

Madam. Dou no love me.

Rasor. Not love thee?—More than a Frenchman does Soup.

Madam. Den dou will refuse nothing dat I bid dee?

Rasor. Don't bid me be damn'd, then.

Madam. No, only tell dy Master all I have tell dee of dy Laty.

Rasor. Why, you little, malicious Strumpet, you, shou'd you like to be serv'd so?

Madam. Dou dispute den?—Adieu.

Rasor. Hold—But why wilt thou make me such a Rogue, my Dear?

Madam. Voila un vrai Anglois! Il est amoureux, et cependant il veut raisonner. Va t'en au Diable.

Rasor. Hold once more: In hopes thou'lt give me up thy Body, I resign thee my Soul.

Madam. Bon, ecoute donc;——If dou fail me——[Pg 195]I never see de more——If dou obey me——Je m'abandonne a toy. [She takes him about the Neck, and gives him a smacking Kiss.]

[Exit Madamoiselle.

Rasor. [Licking his Lips.] Not be a Rogue?——Amor vincit Omnia.

[Exit Rasor.

Enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.

Lady Fan. Marry, say ye? Will the two Things marry?

Madam. On le va faire, Madame.

Lady Fan. Look you, Madamoiselle—In short, I can't bear it——No; I find I can't—If once I see 'em a-bed together, I shall have ten thousand Thoughts in my Head will make me run distracted. Therefore run and call Rasor back immediately; for something must be done to stop this impertinent Wedding. If I can but defer it four-and-twenty Hours, I'll make such Work about Town, with that little pert Slut's Reputation, he shall as soon marry a Witch.

Madam. [Aside.] La voilà bien intentionnée.


SCENE, Constant's Lodgings.

Enter Constant and Heartfree.

Const. But what dost think will become of this Business?

Heart. 'Tis easier to think what will not come on't.

Const. What's that?

Heart. A Challenge. I know the Knight too well for that; his dear Body will always prevail upon his noble Soul to be quiet.

Const. But tho' he dare not challenge me, perhaps he may venture to challenge his Wife.

Heart. Not if you whisper him in the Ear, you won't have him do't; and there's no other way left, that I see. For as drunk as he was, he'll remember you and I were where we shou'd not be; and I don't think him quite Blockhead enough yet to be persuaded we were got into his Wife's Closet only to peep into her Prayer-Book.

[Pg 196]

Enter a Servant with a Letter.

Serv. Sir, here's a Letter; a Porter brought it.

Const. O ho, here's Instructions for us.


The Accident that has happen'd has touch'd our Invention to the quick. We wou'd fain come off, without your help; but find that's impossible. In a Word, the whole Business must be thrown upon a Matrimonial Intrigue between your Friend and mine. But if the Parties are not fond enough to go quite through with the matter, 'tis sufficient for our Turn, they own the Design. We'll find Pretences enough to break the Match.


----Well, Woman for Invention! How long wou'd my Block-Head have been producing this!—--Hey, Heartfree? What, musing, Man? Pr'ythee be chearful. What say'st thou, Friend, to this matrimonial Remedy?

Heart. Why, I say, 'tis worse than the Disease.

Const. Here's a Fellow for you! There's Beauty and Money on her Side, and Love up to the Ears on his: and yet——

Heart. And yet, I think, I may reasonably be allow'd to boggle at marrying the Niece, in the very Moment that you are debauching the Aunt.

Const. Why, truly, there may be something in that. But have not you a good Opinion enough of your own Parts, to believe you cou'd keep a Wife to yourself?

Heart. I shou'd have, if I had a good Opinion enough of her's, to believe she cou'd do as much by me. For to do 'em right, after all, the Wife seldom rambles, till the Husband shews her the way.

Const. 'Tis true, a Man of real Worth scarce ever is a Cuckold, but by his own Fault. Women are not naturally lewd; there must be something to urge 'em to it. They'll cuckold a Churl, out of Revenge; a Fool, because they despise him; a Beast, because they loath him. But when they make bold with a Man they once had a well-grounded Value for, 'tis because they first see themselves neglected by him.

[Pg 197]

Heart. Nay, were I well assured that I should never grow Sir John, I ne'er shou'd fear Belinda, wou'd play my Lady. But our Weakness, thou knowest, my Friend, consists in that very Change we so impudently throw upon (indeed) a steadier and more generous Sex.

Const. Why, 'faith, we are a little impudent in that matter, that's the truth on't. But this is wonderful, to see you grown so warm an Advocate for those whom (but t'other Day) you took so much Pains to abuse.

Heart. All Revolutions run into Extremes; the Bigot makes the boldest Atheist; and the coyest Saint, the most extravagant Strumpet. But, pr'ythee, advise me in this Good and Evil, this Life and Death, this Blessing and Cursing, that's set before me. Shall I marry, or die a Maid?

Const. Why, 'faith, Heartfree, Matrimony is like an Army going to engage. Love's the forlorn Hope, which is soon cut off; the Marriage-Knot is the main Body, which may stand buff a long, long time; and Repentance is the Rear-Guard, which rarely gives ground as long as the main Body has a Being.

Heart. Conclusion, then; you advise me to whore on, as you do.

Const. That's not concluded yet. For tho' Marriage be a Lottery, in which there are a wondrous many Blanks; yet there is one inestimable Lot, in which the only Heaven on Earth is written. Wou'd your kind Fate but guide your Hand to that, tho' I were wrapt in all that Luxury itself could clothe me with, I still shou'd envy you.

Heart. And justly, too; for to be capable of loving one, doubtless, is better than to possess a thousand. But how far that Capacity's in me, alas! I know not.

Const. But you wou'd know.

Heart. I wou'd so.

Const. Matrimony will inform you. Come, one Flight of Resolution carries you to the Land of Experience; where, in a very moderate time, you'll know the Capacity of your Soul and your Body both, or I'm mistaken.

[Pg 198]


SCENE, Sir John Brute's House.

Enter Lady Brute and Belinda.

Bel. Well, Madam, what Answer have you from 'em?

Lady Brute. That they'll be here this Moment. I fancy 'twill end in a Wedding: I'm sure he's a Fool if it don't. Ten thousand Pounds, and such a Lass as you are, is no contemptible Offer to a younger Brother. But are not you under strange Agitations? Pr'ythee, how does your Pulse beat?

Bel. High and low, I have much ado to be valiant: sure it must feel very strange to go to Bed to a Man?

Lady Brute. Um——it does feel a little odd at first; but it will soon grow easy to you.

Enter Constant and Heartfree.

Lady Brute. Good-morrow, Gentlemen: How have you slept after your Adventure?

Heart. Some careful Thoughts, Ladies, on your accounts, have kept us waking.

Bel. And some careful Thoughts on your own, I believe, have hindered you from sleeping. Pray how does this matrimonial Project relish with you?

Heart. Why, 'faith, e'en as storming Towns does with Soldiers, where the Hope of delicious Plunder banishes the Fear of being knock'd on the Head.

Bel. Is it then possible, after all, that you dare think of downright lawful Wedlock?

Heart. Madam, you have made me so fool-hardy, I dare do any thing.

Bel. Then, Sir, I challenge you; and Matrimony's the Spot where I expect you.

Heart. 'Tis enough; I'll not fail. [Aside.] So, now, I am in for Hobbes's Voyage; a great Leap in the Dark.

Lady Brute. Well, Gentlemen, this Matter being concluded then, have you got your Lessons ready? for Sir John is grown such an Atheist of late, he'll believe nothing upon easy Terms.

[Pg 199]

Const. We'll find ways to extend his Faith, Madam. But pray how do you find him this Morning?

Lady Brute. Most lamentably morose, chewing the Cud after last Night's Discovery, of which, however, he had but a confus'd Notion e'en now. But I'm afraid the Valet de Chambre has told him all; for they are very busy together at this Moment. When I told him of Belinda's Marriage, I had no other Answer but a Grunt: From which, you may draw what Conclusions you think fit. But to your Notes, Gentlemen, he's here.

Enter Sir John and Rasor.

Const. Good-morrow, Sir.

Heart. Good-morrow, Sir John; I'm very sorry my Indiscretion shou'd cause so much Disorder in your Family.

Sir John. Disorders generally come from Indiscretion, Sir; 'tis no strange thing at all.

Lady Brute. I hope, my Dear, you are satisfied there was no wrong intended you.

Sir John. None, my Dove.

Bel. If not, I hope my Consent to marry Mr. Heartfree will convince you. For as little as I know of Amours, Sir, I can assure you, one Intrigue is enough to bring four People together, without further Mischief.

Sir John. And I know too, that Intrigues tend to Procreation of more kinds than one. One Intrigue will beget another, as soon as beget a Son or a Daughter.

Const. I am very sorry, Sir, to see you still seem unsatisfy'd with a Lady, whose more than common Virtue, I am sure were she my Wife, shou'd meet a better Usage.

Sir John. Sir, if her Conduct has put a Trick upon her Virtue, her Virtue's the Bubble, but her Husband's the Loser.

Const. Sir, you have receiv'd a sufficient Answer already, to justify both her Conduct and mine. You'll pardon me for meddling in your Family-affairs; but I perceive I am the Man you are jealous of, and therefore it concerns me.

[Pg 200]

Sir John. Wou'd it did not concern me, and then I shou'd not care who it concern'd.

Const. Well, Sir, if Truth and Reason won't content you, I know but one way more, which, if you think fit, you may take.

Sir John. Lord, Sir, you are very hasty! If I had been found at Prayers in your Wife's Closet, I should have allow'd you twice as much time to come to yourself in.

Const. Nay, Sir, if Time be all you want, we have no Quarrel.

Heart. I told you how the Sword wou'd work upon him.

[Sir John muses.

Const. Let him muse; however, I'll lay fifty Pound our Foreman brings us in, Not Guilty.

Sir John. [Aside.] 'Tis well——'tis very well——In spite of that young Jade's matrimonial Intrigue, I am a downright stinking Cuckold——Here they are——Boo——[Putting his hand to his Forehead.] Methinks, I could butt with a Bull. What the Plague did I marry her for? I knew she did not like me; if she had, she wou'd have lain with me; for I wou'd have done so, because I lik'd her; but that's past, and I have her. And now, what shall I do with her?——If I put my Horns into my Pocket, she'll grow insolent——if I don't, that Goat there, that Stallion, is ready to whip me thro' the Guts.—The Debate then is reduced to this: Shall I die a Hero, or live a Rascal?——Why, wiser Men than I have long since concluded, that a living Dog is better than a dead Lion.——[To Const. and Heart.] Gentlemen, now my Wine and my Passion are governable, I must own, I have never observ'd any Thing in my Wife's Course of Life, to back me in my Jealousy of her: But Jealousy's a Mark of Love; so she need not trouble her Head about it, as long as I make no more Words on't.

Lady Fancyfull enters disguis'd, and addresses to Belinda apart.

Const. I'm glad to see your Reason rule at last. Give me your Hand: I hope you'll look upon me as you are wont.

Sir John. Your humble Servant. [Aside.] A wheedling Son of a Whore!

[Pg 201]

Heart. And that I may be sure you are Friends with me, too, pray give me your Consent to wed your Niece.

Sir John. Sir, you have it with all my Heart: Damn me if you han't. [Aside.] 'Tis time to get rid of her: A young, pert Pimp; she'll make an incomparable Bawd in a little time.

Enter a Servant, who gives Heartfree a Letter.

Bel. Heartfree your Husband, say you? 'Tis impossible.

Lady Fan. Wou'd to kind Heaven it were! But 'tis too true; and in the World there lives not such a Wretch. I'm young; and either I have been flatter'd by my Friends, as well as Glass, or Nature has been kind and generous to me. I had a Fortune, too, was greater far than he could ever hope for; but with my Heart I am robb'd of all the rest. I am slighted and I'm beggar'd both at once: I have scarce a bare Subsistence from the Villain, yet dare complain to none; for he has sworn if e'er 'tis known I'm his Wife, he'll murder me.


Bel. The Traitor!

Lady Fan. I accidentally was told he courted you: Charity soon prevail'd upon me to prevent your Misery: And, as you see, I'm still so generous even to him, as not to suffer he should do a thing for which the Law might take away his Life.


Bel. Poor Creature! how I pity her!

[They continue talking aside.

Heart. [Aside.] Death and Damnation!—--Let me read it again. [Reads.] Tho' I have a particular reason not to let you know who I am till I see you; yet you'll easily believe 'tis a faithful Friend that gives you this Advice. I have lain with Belinda (Good!)—I have a Child by her (Better and better!) which is now at Nurse; (Heaven be prais'd) and I think the Foundation laid for another: (Ha!—Old Truepenny!)—No Rack cou'd have tortur'd this Story from me; but Friendship has done it. I heard of your Design to marry her, and cou'd not see you abus'd. Make use of my Advice, but keep my Secret till I ask you for't again. Adieu.

[Pg 202]

[Exit Lady Fancyfull.

Const. [To Bel.] Come, Madam, shall we send for the Parson? I doubt here's no Business for the Lawyer: Younger Brothers have nothing to settle but their Hearts, and that I believe my Friend here has already done very faithfully.

Bel. [Scornfully.] Are you sure, Sir, there are no old Mortgages upon it?

Heart. [Coldly.] If you think there are, Madam, it mayn't be amiss to defer the Marriage till you are sure they are paid off.

Bel. [Aside.] How the gall'd Horse kicks!

[To Heart.] We'll defer it as long as you please, Sir.

Heart. The more time we take to consider on't, Madam, the less apt we shall be to commit Oversights; therefore, if you please, we will put it off for just nine Months.

Bel. Guilty Consciences make Men Cowards; I don't wonder you want time to resolve.

Heart. And they make Women desperate; I don't wonder you are so quickly determin'd.

Bel. What does the Fellow mean?

Heart. What does the Lady mean?

Sir John. Zoons, what do you both mean?

[Heart. and Bel. walk chasing about.

Rasor. [Aside.] Here is so much Sport going to be spoil'd, it makes me ready to weep again. A Pox o' this impertinent Lady Fancyfull, and her Plots, and her French-woman too; she's a whimsical, ill-natur'd Bitch, and when I have got my Bones broke in her Service, 'tis ten to one but my Recompence is a Clap; I hear them tittering without still. I'cod, I'll e'en go lug them both in by the Ears, and discover the Plot, to secure my Pardon.

[Exit Rasor.

Const. Pr'ythee, explain, Heartfree.

Heart. A fair Deliverance; thank my Stars and my Friend.

Bel. 'Tis well it went no farther; a base Fellow!

Lady Brute. What can be the meaning of all this?

Bel. What's his Meaning, I don't know; but mine is, that if I had married him——I had had no Husband.

[Pg 203]

Heart. And what's her Meaning I don't know; but mine is, that if I had married her—I had had Wife enough.

Sir John. Your People of Wit have got such cramp ways of expressing themselves, they seldom comprehend one another. Pox take you both, will you speak that you may be understood!

Enter Rasor in Sackcloth, pulling in Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.

Rasor. If they won't, here comes an Interpreter.

Lady Brute. Heavens! what have we here?

Rasor. A Villain——but a repenting Villain. Stuff which Saints in all Ages have been made of.

All. Rasor!

Lady Brute. What means this sudden Metamorphose?

Rasor. Nothing, without my Pardon.

Lady Brute. What Pardon do you want?

Rasor. Imprimis, Your Ladyship's; for a damnable Lie made upon your spotless Virtue, and set to the Tune of Spring-Garden. [To Sir John.] Next, at my generous Master's Feet I bend, for interrupting his more noble Thoughts with Phantoms of disgraceful Cuckoldom. [To Const.] Thirdly, I to this Gentleman apply, for making him the Hero of my Romance. [To Heart.] Fourthly, your Pardon, noble Sir, I ask, for clandestinely marrying you, without either bidding of Banns, Bishop's Licence, Friends Consent——or your own Knowledge. [To Bel.] And, lastly, to my good young Lady's Clemency I come, for pretending the Corn was sow'd in the Ground, before ever the Plough had been in the Field.

Sir John. [Aside.] So that, after all, 'tis a moot point, whether I am a Cuckold or not.

Bel. Well, Sir, upon Condition you confess all, I'll pardon you myself, and try to obtain as much from the rest of the Company. But I must know, then, who 'tis has put you upon all this Mischief?

Rasor. Satan, and his Equipage; Woman tempted me, Lust weakened me——and so the Devil over-came me; as fell Adam, so fell I.

Bel. Then pray, Mr. Adam, will you make us acquainted with your Eve?

[Pg 204]

Rasor. [To Madam.] Unmask, for the Honour of France.

All. Madamoiselle!

Madam. Me ask ten tousand Pardon of all de good Company.

Sir John. Why, this Mystery thickens, instead of clearing up. [To Rasor.] You Son of a Whore, you, put us out of our Pain.

Rasor. One Moment brings Sunshine. [Shewing Madam.] 'Tis true, this is the Woman that tempted me, but this is the Serpent that tempted the Woman; and if my Prayers might be heard, her Punishment for so doing shou'd be like the Serpent's of old—[Pulls off Lady Fancyfull's Mask.] She should lie upon her Face all the Days of her Life.

All. Lady Fancyfull!

Bel. Impertinent!

Lady Brute. Ridiculous!

All. Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

Bel. I hope your Ladyship will give me leave to wish you Joy, since you have own'd your Marriage yourself—[To Heart.] I vow 'twas strangely wicked in you to think of another Wife, when you had one already so charming as her Ladyship.

All. Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

Lady Fan. [Aside.] Confusion seize 'em, as it seizes me!

Madam. Que le Diable e toute ce Mauraut de Rasor.

Bel. Your Ladyship seems disorder'd: A breeding Qualm, perhaps, Mr. Heartfree: Your Bottle of Hungary Water to your Lady. Why, Madam, he stands as unconcern'd, as if he were your Husband in earnest.

Lady Fan. Your Mirth's as nauseous as yourself. Belinda, you think you triumph over a Rival now: Helas! ma pauvre fille. Where'er I'm Rival, there's no Cause for Mirth. No, my poor Wretch, 'tis from another Principle I have acted. I knew that Thing there wou'd make so perverse a Husband, and you so impertinent a Wife, that left your mutual Plagues should make you both run mad, I charitably would have broke the Match. He! he! he! he! he!

[Pg 205]

[Exit, laughing affectedly, Madamoiselle following her.

Madam. He! he! he! he! he!

All. Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

Sir John. [Aside.] Why, now, this Woman will be married to somebody, too.

Bel. Poor Creature! what a Passion she's in! But I forgive her.

Heart. Since you have so much Goodness for her, I hope you'll pardon my Offence, too, Madam.

Bel. There will be no great Difficulty in that, since I am guilty of an equal Fault.

Heart. Then Pardons being past on all sides, pray let's to Church to conclude the Day's Work.

Const. But before you go, let me treat you, pray, with a Song a new-married Lady made within this Week; it may be of use to you both.

When yielding first to Damon's Flame,
I sunk into his Arms;
He swore he'd ever be the same,
Then rifled all my Charms.
But fond of what he'd long desir'd,
Too greedy of his Prey,
My Shepherd's Flame, alas! expir'd
Before the Verge of Day.
My Innocence in Lovers Wars
Reproach'd his quick Defeat;
Confus'd, asham'd, and bath'd in Tears,
I mourn'd his cold Retreat.
At length, Ah Shepherdess! cry'd he,
Wou'd you my Fire renew,
Alas, you must retreat like me,
I'm lost if you pursue.

[Pg 206]

Heart. So, Madam; now had the Parson but done his Business——

Bel. You'd be half weary of your Bargain.

Heart. No, sure, I might dispense with one Night's Lodging.

Bel. I'm ready to try, Sir.

Heart. Then let's to Church: And if it be our Chance to disagree——

Bel. Take heed—the surly Husband's Fate you see.

[Exeunt omnes.

[Pg 207]


By Another Hand.

Spoken by Lady Brute and Belinda.

Lady Brute. No Epilogue!
Belinda. I swear I know of none. }
Lord! How shall we excuse it to the Town? }
Bel. Why, we must e'en say something of our own. }
Lady Brute. Our own! Ay, that must needs be precious stuff.
Bel. I'll lay my Life, they'll like it well enough.
Come, faith, begin——
Lady Brute. Excuse me, after you.
Bel. Nay, pardon me for that, I know my Cue.
Lady Brute. O for the World, I would not have Precedence.
Bel. O Lord!
Lady Brute. I swear——
Bel. O fye!
Lady Brute. I'm all Obedience.
First then, know all, before our Doom is fixt,
The Third Day is for us——
Bel. Nay, and the Sixth.
Lady Brute. We speak not from the Poet now, nor is it
His Cause—(I want a Rhyme)
Bel. That we sollicit.
Lady Brute. Then sure you cannot have the Hearts to be severe
And damn us——
Bel. Damn us! Let 'em if they dare.
Lady Brute. Why, if they should, what Punishment remains?
Bel. Eternal Exile from behind our Scenes.
Lady Brute. But if they're kind, that Sentence we'll recal.
We can be grateful——
Bel. And have wherewithal.
Lady Brute. But at Grand Treaties hope not to be trusted,
Before Preliminaries are adjusted.
Bel. You know the Time, and we appoint the Place;
Where, if you please, we'll meet and sign the Peace.

[Pg 208]

Upon the revival of this Play in 1725, Sir John Vanbrugh thought proper to write the two following Scenes, in the room of those printed Page 166,-168, 173, &c. &c.


SCENE, Covent-Garden.

Enter Lord Rake, Sir John, &c. with Swords drawn.

Lord Rake. Is the Dog dead?

Col. Bully. No, damn him, I heard him wheeze.

Lord Rake. How the Witch his Wife howl'd?

Col. Bully. Aye, she'll alarm the Watch presently.

Lord Rake. Appear, Knight, then: Come, you have a good Cause to fight for, there's a Man murder'd.

Sir John. Is there? Then let his Ghost be satisfy'd: for I'll sacrifice a Constable to it presently, and burn his Body upon his wooden Chair.

Enter a Taylor, with a Bundle under his Arm.

Col. Bully. How now! what have we got here? A Thief?

Taylor. No an't please you, I'm no Thief.

Lord Rake. That we'll see presently: Here! let the General examine him.

Sir John. Ay, ay, let me examine him; and I'll lay a hundred Pound I find him guilty in spite of his Teeth——for he looks—like a——sneaking Rascal. Come, Sirrah, without Equivocation or mental Reservation,[Pg 209] tell me of what Opinion you are, and what Calling; for by them——I shall guess at your Morals.

Taylor. An't please you, I'm a Dissenting Journeyman Woman's Taylor.

Sir John. Then, Sirrah, you love Lying by your Religion, and Theft by your Trade: And so, that your Punishment may be suitable to your Crimes——I'll have you first gagg'd——and then hang'd.

Tayl. Pray, good worthy Gentlemen, don't abuse me: Indeed I'm an honest Man, and a good Workman, tho' I say it, that shou'd not say it.

Sir John. No Words, Sirrah, but attend your Fate.

Lord Rake. Let me see what's in that Bundle.

Tayl. An't please you, it's my Lady's short Cloak and Sack.

Sir John. What Lady, you Reptile, you?

Tayl. My Lady Brute, an't please your Honour.

Sir John. My Lady Brute! my Wife! the Robe of my Wife—with Reverence let me approach it. The dear Angel is always taking Care of me in Danger, and has sent me this Suit of Armour to protect me in this Day of Battle; on they go.

All. O brave Knight!

Lord Rake. Live Don Quixote the Second!

Sir John. Sancho, my 'Squire, help me on with my Armour.

Tayl. O dear Gentlemen! I shall be quite undone if you take the Sack.

Sir John. Retire, Sirrah! and since you carry off your Skin, go home and be happy.

Tayl. I think I'd e'en as good follow the Gentleman's Advice, for if I dispute any longer, who knows but the whim may take 'em to case me—These Courtiers are fuller of Tricks than they are of Money: they'll sooner break a Man's Bones, than pay his Bill.

[Exit Tayl.

Sir John. So! how d'ye like my shapes now?

Lord Rake. To a Miracle! He looks like a Queen of the Amazons—But to your Arms! Gentlemen! The Enemy's upon their March—here's the Watch—

Sir John. 'Oons! if it were Alexander the Great, at[Pg 210] the Head of his Army, I would drive him into a Horse-Pond.

All. Huzza! O brave Knight!

Enter Watchmen.

Sir John. See! Here he comes, with all his Greeks about him—Follow me, Boys.

Watch. Hey-dey! Who have we got here?—Stand.

Sir John. May-hap not!

Watch. What are you all doing here in the Streets at this time o'night? And who are you, Madam, that seem to be at the Head of this noble Crew?

Sir John. Sirrah, I am Bonduca, Queen of the Welchmen; and with a Leek as long as my Pedigree, I will destroy your Roman Legion in an Instant—Britons, strike home.

[They fight off. Watch. return with Sir John.

Watch. So! We have got the Queen, however! We'll make her pay well for her Ransom—Come, Madam, will your Majesty please to walk before the Constable?

Sir John. The Constable's a Rascal! And you are a Son of a Whore!

Watch. A most noble Reply, truly! If this be her royal Style, I'll warrant her Maids of Honour prattle prettily: But we'll teach you some of our Court Dialect before we part with you, Princess—Away with her to the Round-house.

Sir John. Hands off, you Ruffians! My Honour's dearer to me than my Life; I hope you won't be uncivil.

Watch. Away with her.


SCENE, A Street.

Enter Constable and Watchmen, with Sir John.

Constab. Come, forsooth, come along, if you please! I once in Compassion thought to have seen you safe home this Morning: But you have been so ram[Pg 211]pant and abusive all Night, I shall see what the Justice of Peace will say to you.

Sir John. And you shall see what I'll say to the Justice of Peace.

[Watchman knocks at the Door.

Enter Servant.

Constab. Is Mr. Justice at home?

Serv. Yes.

Constab. Pray acquaint his Worship we have got an unruly Woman here, and desire to know what he'll please to have done with her.

Serv. I'll acquaint my Master.

[Exit Serv.

Sir John. Hark you, Constable, what cuckoldly Justice is this?

Const. One that knows how to deal with such Romps as you are, I'll warrant you.

Enter Justice.

Just. Well, Mr. Constable, what is the matter there?

Const. An't please your Worship, this here comical sort of a Gentlewoman has committed great Outrages to-night. She has been frolicking with my Lord Rake and his Gang; they attacked the Watch, and I hear there has been a Man kill'd: I believe 'tis they have done it.

Sir John. Sir, there may have been Murder, for aught I know; and 'tis a great Mercy there has not been a Rape too—that Fellow wou'd have ravish'd me.

2d Watch. Ravish! Ravish! O lud! O lud! O lud! Ravish her! Why, please your Worship, I heard Mr. Constable say he believed she was little better than a Maphrodite.

Just. Why, truly, she does seem a little masculine about the Mouth.

2d Watch. Yes, and about the Hands too, an't please your Worship; I did but offer in mere civility to help her up the Steps into our Apartment, and with her gripen Fist—ay, just so, Sir.

[Sir John knocks him down.

Sir John. I fell'd him to the Ground like an Ox.

Just. Out upon this boisterous Woman! Out upon her.

[Pg 212]

Sir John. Mr. Justice, he wou'd have been uncivil! It was in Defence of my Honour, and I demand Satisfaction.

2d Watch. I hope your Worship will satisfy her Honour in Bridewell; that Fist of hers will make an admirable Hemp-beater.

Sir John. Sir, I hope you will protect me against that libidinous Rascal; I am a Woman of Quality and Virtue too, for all I am in an Undress this Morning.

Just. Why, she has really the Air of a Sort of a Woman a little something out of the common——Madam, if you expect I shou'd be favourable to you, I desire I may know who you are.

Sir John. Sir, I am any body, at your Service.

Just. Lady, I desire to know your Name?

Sir John. Sir, my Name's Mary.

Just. Ay, but your Sur-name, Madam?

Sir John. Sir, my Sur-name's the very same with my Husband's.

Just. A strange Woman this! Who is your Husband, pray?

Sir John. Sir John.

Just. Sir John who?

Sir John. Sir John Brute.

Just. Is it possible, Madam, you can be my Lady Brute?

Sir John. That happy Woman, Sir, am I; only a little in my Merriment to-night.

Just. I am concern'd for Sir John.

Sir John. Truly, so am I.

Just. I have heard he's an honest Gentleman——

Sir John. As ever drank.

Just. Good lack! Indeed, Lady, I'm sorry he has such a Wife.

Sir John. I am sorry he has any Wife at all.

Just. And so perhaps may he——I doubt you have not given him a very good Taste of Matrimony.

Sir John. Taste, Sir! Sir, I have scorn'd to stint him to a Taste, I have given him a full Meal of it.

Just. Indeed I believe so! But pray, fair Lady, may[Pg 213] he have given you any Occasion for this extraordinary Conduct?—Does he not use you well?

Sir John. A little upon the rough sometimes.

Just. Ay, any Man may be out of Humour now and then.

Sir John. Sir, I love Peace and Quiet, and when a Woman don't find that at home, she's apt sometimes to comfort herself with a few innocent Diversions abroad.

Just. I doubt he uses you but too well. Pray how does he as to that weighty thing, Money? Does he allow you what is proper of that?

Sir John. Sir, I have generally enough to pay the reckoning, if this Son of a Whore of a Drawer wou'd but bring his Bill.

Just. A strange Woman this—Does he spend a reasonable Portion of his time at home, to the Comfort of his Wife and Children?

Sir John. He never gave his Wife cause to repine at his being abroad in his Life.

Just. Pray, Madam, how may he be in the grand matrimonial Point——Is he true to your Bed?

Sir John. Chaste! Oons! This Fellow asks so many impertinent Questions! I'gad, I believe it is the Justice's Wife in the Justice's Clothes.

Just. 'Tis a great pity he should have been thus disposed of—Pray, Madam, (and then I've done) what may be your Ladyship's common Method of Life, if I may presume so far?

Sir John. Why, Sir, much that of a Woman of Quality.

Just. Pray how may you generally pass your time, Madam? Your Morning, for example.

Sir John. Sir, like a Woman of Quality——I wake about two o'Clock in the Afternoon——I stretch—and make a sign for my Chocolate——When I have drank three Cups—I slide down again upon my Back, with my Arms over my Head, while my two Maids put on my Stockings——Then hanging upon their Shoulders, I am trail'd to my great Chair, where I sit——and yawn——for my Breakfast——If it don't come presently, I[Pg 214] lie down upon my Couch to say my Prayers, while my Maid reads me the Play-bills.

Just. Very well, Madam.

Sir John. When the Tea is brought in, I drink twelve regular Dishes, with eight Slices of Bread and Butter——And half an Hour after, I send to the Cook to know if the Dinner is almost ready.

Just. So! Madam!

Sir John. By that time my Head is half drest, I hear my Husband swearing himself into a State of Perdition, that the Meat's all cold upon the Table; to amend which, I come down in an Hour more, and have it sent back to the Kitchen, to be all drest over again.

Just. Poor Man!

Sir John. When I have din'd, and my idle Servants are presumptuously set down at their Ease, to do so too, I call for my Coach, to go visit fifty dear Friends, of whom I hope I shall never find one at home, while I shall live.

Just. So! There's the Morning and Afternoon pretty well dispos'd of—Pray, Madam, how do you pass your Evenings?

Sir John. Like a Woman of Spirit, Sir, a great Spirit. Give me a Box and Dice—Seven's the main, Oons! Sir, I set you a hundred Pound! Why, do you think Women are married now-a-Days, to sit at home and mend Napkins? Sir, we have nobler ways of passing time.

Just. Mercy upon us, Mr. Constable, what will this Age come to?

Constab. What will it come to, indeed, if such Women as these are not set in the Stocks?

Sir John. Sir, I have a little urgent Business calls upon me; and therefore I desire the Favour of you to bring Matters to a Conclusion.

Just. Madam, if I were sure that Business were not to commit more Disorders, I wou'd release you.

Sir John. None——by my virtue.

Just. Then, Mr. Constable, you may discharge her.

Sir John. Sir, your very humble Servant. If you please to accept of a Bottle——

[Pg 215]

Just. I thank you, kindly, Madam; but I never drink in a Morning. Good by t'ye.

Sir John. Good-by-t'ye, good Sir.

[Exit Justice.

So——now, Mr. Constable, shall you and I go pick up a Whore together?

Constab. No, thank you, Madam; my Wife's enough to satisfy any reasonable Man.

Sir John. [Aside.] He, he, he, he, he——the Fool is married, then. Well, you won't go?

Constab. Not I, truly.

Sir John. Then I'll go by myself; and you and your Wife may be damn'd.

[Exit Sir John.

Constable. gazing after her.] Why, God-a-mercy, Lady.


[Pg 216]
[Pg 217]


[Pg 218]
[Pg 219]


To speak for a Play, if it cannot speak for itself, is vain; and if it can, it is needless. For one of these Reasons (I cannot yet tell which, for it is now but the second Day of acting) I resolve to say nothing for Esop, though I know he would be glad of Help; for let the best happen that can, his Journey is up Hill, with a dead English Weight at the Tail of him.

At Paris, indeed, he scrambled up something faster (for it was up Hill there, too) than I am afraid he will do here: The French having more Mercury in their Heads, and less Beef and Pudding in their Bellies. Our Solidity may set hard, what their Folly makes easy; for Fools I own they are, you know we have found them so in the Conduct of the War; I wish we may do so in the Management of the Peace; but that is neither Esop's Business nor mine.

This Play, Gentlemen (or one not much unlike it), was writ in French about six Years since by one Monsieur Boursaut; it was play'd at Paris by the French Comedians, and this was its Fate.

The first Day it appeared, it was routed (People seldom being fond of what they do not understand, their own sweet Persons excepted). The second (by the help of some bold Knights-Errant) it rallied; the third it advanced; the fourth it gave a[Pg 220] vigorous Attack; and the fifth put all the Feathers in Town to the scamper, pursuing them on to the fourteenth, and then they cried out Quarter.

It is not reasonable to expect Esop should gain so great a Victory here, since it is possible, by fooling with his Sword, I may have turned the Edge on't. For I confess in the Translation I have not at all stuck to the Original; nay, I have gone farther: I have wholly added the fifth Act, and crouded a Country Gentleman into the fourth; for which I ask Monsieur Boursaut's Pardon with all my Heart, but doubt I never shall obtain it for bringing him into such Company. Though, after all, had I been so complaisant to have waited on his Play Word for Word, it is possible, even that might not have ensured the Success of it; for though it swam in France, it might have sunk in England. Their Country abounds in Cork, ours in Lead.

[Pg 221]


Gallants, we never yet produc'd a Play
With greater Fears than this we act to-day;
Barren of all the Graces of the Stage,
Barren of all that entertains this Age.
No Hero, no Romance, no Plot, no Shew,
No Rape, no Bawdy, no Intrigue, no Beau:
There's nothing in't with which we use to please ye;
With downright dull Instruction w'are to tease ye;
The Stage turns Pulpit, and the World's so fickle,
The Play-House in a Whim turns Conventicle.
But Preaching here must prove a hungry Trade;
The Patentees will find so, I'm afraid:
For tho' with heavenly Zeal you all abound,
As by your Lives and Morals may be found;
Tho' every Female here o'erflows with Grace,
And chaste Diana's written in her Face;
Tho' Maids renounce the Sweets of Fornication,
And one lewd Wife's not left in all the Nation;
Tho' Men grow true, and the foul Fiend defy;
Tho' Tradesmen cheat no more, nor Lawyers lye;
Tho' not one Spot be found on Levi's Tribe,
Nor one soft Courtier that will touch a Bribe;
Yet in the midst of such religious Days,
Sermons have never borne the Price of Plays.

[Pg 222]

Dramatis Personæ.

Esop, Mr. Cibber.
Learchus, Governor of Sysicus, Mr. Dogget.
Oronces, in love with Euphronia, Mr. Harland.
Euphronia, Daughter to Learchus, in love with Oronces, Mrs. Temple.
Doris, her Nurse, Mrs. Verbruggen.
People who come to Esop, upon several Occasions, independent one of another.
Two Country Tradesmen, Mr. Pinkethman and
Mr. Smeton.
Roger, a Country Bumpkin, Mr. Haynes.
Quaint, a Herald, Mr. Pinkethman.
Fruitful, an Inn-keeper, Mr. Smeton.
A Country Gentleman, Mr. Pinkethman.
A Priest, Musicians, &c.
Hortensia, an affected learned Lady, Mrs. Kent.
Aminta, a lewd Mother, Mrs. Willis.
Forge-Will, a Scrivener's Widow, Mrs. Finch.
Fruitful, Wife to the Inn-keeper, Mrs. Powell.
[Pg 223]



SCENE, Learchus's House.

Enter Learchus, Euphronia, and Doris.

Lear. At length I am blest with the sight of the World's Wonder, the Delight of Mankind, the incomparable Esop. You had time to observe him last Night, Daughter, as he sat at Supper with me. Tell me how you like him, Child; is he not a charming Person?

Euph. Charming!

Lear. What say'st thou to him, Doris? Thou art a good Judge, a Wench of a nice Palate.

Dor. You wou'd not have me flatter, Sir?

Lear. No, speak thy Thoughts boldly.

Dor. Boldly, you say?

Lear. Boldly, I say.

Dor. Why, then, Sir, my Opinion of the Gentleman is, that he's uglier than an old Beau.

Lear. How! Impudence.

Dor. Nay, if you are angry, Sir, second Thoughts are[Pg 224] best; he's as proper as a Pikeman, holds up his Head like a Dancing-Master, has the Shape of a Barb, the Face of an Angel, the Voice of a Cherubim, the Smell of a Civet-Cat——

Lear. In short, thou art Fool enough not to be pleas'd with him.

Dor. Excuse me for that, Sir; I have Wit enough to make myself merry with him——

Lear. If his Body's deform'd, his Soul is beautiful: Would to kind Heaven, as he is, my Daughter cou'd but find the means to please him!

Euph. To what End, dear Father?

Lear. That he might be your Husband, dear Daughter.

Euph. My Husband! Shield me, kind Heaven——

Dor. Psha! he has a mind to make us laugh, that's all.

Lear. Esop, then, is not worth her Care, in thy Opinion?

Dor. Why, truly, Sir, I'm always for making suitable Matches, and don't much approve of breeding Monsters. I wou'd have nothing marry a Baboon, but what has been got by a Monkey.

Lear. How dar'st thou liken so incomparable a Man to so contemptible a Beast?

Dor.. Ah, the Inconstancy of this World! Out of sight, out f Mind. Your little Monkey is scarce cold in his Grave, and you have already forgot what you us'd so much to admire: Do but call him to remembrance, Sir, in his red Coat, new Gloves, little Hat, and clean Linen; then discharge your Conscience, utter the Truth from your Heart, and tell us whether he was not the prettier Gentleman of the two—By my Virginity, Sir, (tho' that's but a slippery Oath, you'll say) had they made love to me together, Esop should have worn the Willow.

Lear. Since nothing but an Animal will please thee, 'tis pity my Monkey had not that Virginity thou hast sworn by. But I, whom Wisdom charms even in the homeliest Dress, can never think the much-deserving Esop unworthy of my Daughter.

[Pg 225]

Dor. Now, in the Name of Wonder, what is't you so admire in him?

Lear. Hark, and thou shalt know; but you, Euphronia,
Be you more especially attentive.
'Tis true he's plain; but that's, my Girl, a Trifle.
All manly Beauty's seated in the Soul;
And that of Esop, Envy's self must own,
Outshines whate'er the World has yet produc'd.
Crœsus, the prosperous Favourite of Heaven;
Crœsus, the happiest Potentate on Earth;
Whose Treasure (tho' immense) is the least Part
Of what he holds from Providence's Care,
Leans on his Shoulder as his grand Support,
Admires his Wisdom, doats upon his Truth,
And makes him Pilot to Imperial Sway.
But in this elevated Post of Power,
What's his Employ? Where does he point his Thoughts?
To live in Splendour, Luxury, and Ease,
Do endless Mischiefs, by neglecting Good,
And build his Family on other's Ruins?
He serves the Prince, and serves the People too;
Is useful to the Rich, and helps the Poor;
There's nothing stands neglected, but himself.
With constant Pain, and yet with constant Joy,
From Place to Place throughout the Realm he goes,
With useful Lessons, form'd to every Rank:
The People learn Obedience from his Tongue,
The Magistrate is guided in Command,
The Prince is minded of a Father's Care,
The Subjects taught the Duty of a Child.
And as 'tis dangerous to be bold with Truth,
He often calls for Fable to his Aid,
Where, under abject Names of Beasts and Birds,
Virtue shines out, and Vice is cloath'd in Shame.
And thus, by inoffensive Wisdom's Force,
He conquers Folly wheresoe'er he moves:
This is his Portrait.

Dor. A very good Picture of a very ill Face!

Lear. Well, Daughter; what, not a Word? Is it pos[Pg 226]sible any thing that I am Father of can be untouch'd with so much Merit?

Euph. My Duty may make all things possible: But Esop is so ugly, Sir—

Lear. His Soul has so much Beauty in't, your Reason ought to blind your Eyes: Besides, my Interest is concern'd; his Power alarms me. I know throughout the Kingdom he's the Scourge of evil Magistrates, turns out Governors when they turn Tyrants; breaks Officers for false Musters; excludes Judges from giving Sentence, when they have been absent during the Trial; hangs Lawyers when they take Fees on both Sides; forbids Physicians to take Money of those they don't cure. 'Tis true, my Innocence ought to banish my Fears: But my Government, Child, is too delicious a Morsel, not to set many a frail Mouth a-watering. Who knows what Accusations Envy may produce? But all wou'd be secure, if thou could'st touch the Heart of Esop. Let me blow up thy Ambition, Girl; the Fire of that will make thy Eyes sparkle at him. [She sighs.]——What's that Sigh for, now? Ha! A young Husband, by my Conscience: Ah Daughter, hadst thou a young Husband, he'd make thee sigh indeed. I'll tell thee what he's compos'd of. He has a Wig full of Pulvilio, a Pocket full of Dice, a Heart full of Treason, a Mouth full of Lyes, a Belly full of Drink, a Carcase full of Plaisters, a Tail full of Pox, and a Head full of——nothing. There's his Picture: wear it at thy Heart, if thou can'st but here comes one of greater Worth.

Enter Esop.

Lear. Good Morning to my noble Lord; your Excellency——

Esop. Softly, good Governor: I'm a poor Wanderer from Place to Place; too weak to train the Weight of Grandeur with me! The Name of Excellency's not for me.

Lear. My noble Lord, 'tis due to your Imploy; your Predecessors all——

Esop. My Predecessors all deserv'd it, Sir; they were[Pg 227] great Men in Wisdom, Birth and Service; whilst I, a poor, unknown, decrepid Wretch, mounted aloft for Fortune's Pastime, expect each Moment to conclude the Farce, by sinking to the Mud from whence I sprung.

Lear. Great Crœsus's Gratitude will still support you; his Coffers all are open to your Will, your future Fortune's wholly in your Power.

Esop. But 'tis a Power that I shall ne'er employ.

Lear. Why so, my Lord?

Esop. I'll tell you, Sir.

A hungry Goat, who had not eat
Some Nights and Days——(for want of Meat)
Was kindly brought at last,
By Providence's Care,
To better Cheer,
After a more than penitential Fast.
He found a Barn well stor'd with Grain:
To enter in requir'd some Pain;
But a delicious Bait
Makes the Way easy, tho' the Pass is strait.
Our Guest observing various Meats,
He put on a good modish Face,
He takes his Place,
He ne'er says Grace,
But where he likes, he there falls to and eats.
At length, with jaded Teeth and Jaws,
He made a Pause;
And finding still some room,
Fell to as he had done before,
For time to come laid in his Store;
And when his Guts cou'd hold no more,
He thought of going home.
But here he met the Glutton's Curse;
He found his Belly grown so great,
'Twas vain to think of a Retreat,
Till he had render'd all he had eat,
And well he far'd no worse.

To the Application, Governor.

Lear. 'Tis easy to be made, my Lord.

Esop. I'm glad on't, Truth can never be too clear.[Pg 228] [Seeing Euph.] Is this young Damsel your fair Daughter, Sir?

Lear. 'Tis my Daughter, my good Lord: Fair too, if she appears such in the Eyes of the unerring Esop.

Esop. [Going up to salute her.] I never saw so beautiful a Creature.

Lear. [Aside.] Now's the time; kiss soft, Girl, and fire him.

Esop. [Gazing at her.] How partial's Nature 'twixt her Form and mine!

Lear. [Aside.] Look, look, look, how he gazes at her!—--Cupid's hard at work, I see that already. Slap; there he hits him—if the Wench would but do her Part. But see, see, how the perverse young Baggage stands biting her Thumbs, and won't give him one kind Glance——Ah the sullen Jade! Had it been a handsome strong Dog, of five-and-twenty, she'd a fall'n a coquetting on't, with every Inch about her. But may be 'tis I that spoils Sport; I'll make a Pretence to leave them together. Will your Lordship please to drink any Coffee this Morning?

Esop. With all my Heart, Governor.

Lear. Your Lordship will give me leave to go and order it myself; for unless I am by, 'tis never perfect.

Esop. Provided you leave me this fair Maid in Hostage for your Return, I consent.

Lear. My good Lord does my Daughter too much Honour. Ah that the Wench wou'd but do her Part! [Aside going off.]——Hark, you, Hussy——[Turning back to Euphronia, aside.]——You can give yourself Airs sometimes, you know you can. Do you remember what work you made with yourself at Church t'other Day? Play your Tricks over again, once more, for my Pleasure, and let me have a good Account of this Statesman, or, d'ye hear?——You shall die a Maid; go chew upon that; go.

[Exit Lear.

Esop. Here I am left, fair Damsel, too much expos'd to your Charms, not to fall your Victim.

Euph. Your Fall will then be due to your own Weak[Pg 229]ness, Sir; for, Heaven's my Witness, I neither endeavour nor wish to wound you.

Esop. I understand you, Lady; your Heart's already dispos'd of; 'tis seldom otherways, at your Age.

Euph. My Heart dispos'd of!

Dor. Nay, never mince the Matter, Madam. The Gentleman looks like a civil Gentleman, e'en confess the Truth to him: He has a good Interest with your Father, and no Doubt will employ it to break the Heathenish Match he proposes to you. [To Esop.] Yes, Sir, my young Lady has been in love these two Years, and that with as pretty a Fellow as ever entered a Virgin's Heart; tall, strait, young, vigorous, good Clothes, long Perriwig, clean Linen; in brief, he has every thing that's necessary to set a young Lady a-longing, and to stay it when he has done: but her Father, whose Ambition makes him turn Fool in his old Age, comes with a back Stroke upon us, and spoils all our Sport. Wou'd you believe it, Sir? He has propos'd to her to-day the most confounded ugly Fellow! Look, if the very Thoughts of him don't set the poor Thing a-crying! And you, Sir, have so much Power with the old Gentleman, that one Word from you would set us all right again. If he will have her a Wife, in the Name of Venus, let him provide her a handsome Husband, and not throw her into the Paws of a Thing, that Nature, in a merry Humour, has made half Man, half Monkey.

Esop. Pray, what's this Monster's Name, Lady?

Euph. No matter for his Name, Sir; my Father will know what you mean, at first Word.

Esop. But you shou'd not always chuse by the Outside alone: believe me, fair Damsel, a fine Perriwig keeps many a Fool's Head from the Weather: Have a Care of your young Gallant.

Dor. There's no Danger, I have examin'd him; his Inside's as good as his out! I say, he has Wit, and I think I know.

Euph. Nay, she says true; he's even a Miracle of Wit and Beauty: Did you but see him, you'd be yourself my Rival.

[Pg 230]

Esop. Then you are resolv'd against the Monster?

Dor. Fy, Sir, fy; I wonder you'll put her in Mind of that foul, frightful Thing: We shall have her dream of nothing all Night but Bats and Owls, and Toads and Hedge-hogs; and then we shall have such a squeaking and squalling with her, the whole House will be in an Uproar: Therefore, pray, Sir, name him no more, but use your Interest with her Father, that she may never hear of him again.

Esop. But if I shou'd be so generous to save you from the old Gallant, what shall I say for your young one?

Euph. O, Sir, you may venture to enlarge upon his Perfections; you need not fear saying too much in his Praise.

Dor. And pray, Sir, be as copious upon the Defects of t'other; you need not fear out-running the Text there, neither, say the worst you can.

Euph. You may say, the first is the most graceful Man that Asia ever brought forth.

Dor. And you may say the latter is the most deform'd Monster that Copulation ever produc'd.

Euph. Tell him that Oronces (for that is his dear Name) has all the Virtues that compose a perfect Hero.

Dor. And tell him, that Pigmy has all the Vices that go to equip an Attorney.

Euph. That to one I cou'd be true to the last Moment of my Life.

Dor. That for t'other, she'd cuckold him the very Day of her Marriage. This, Sir, in few Words, is the Theme you are desir'd to preach upon.

Esop. I never yet had one that furnish'd me with more Matter.

Enter Servant.

Ser. My Lord, there's a Lady below desires to speak with your Honour.

Esop. What Lady?

Ser. 'Tis my Lady—my Lady—[To Doris.] The Lady there, the wise-Lady, the great Scholar, that Nobody can understand.

[Pg 231]

Dor. O ho, is it she? Pray let's withdraw, and oblige her, Madam; she's ready to swoon at the insipid Sight of one of her own Sex.

Euph. You'll excuse us, Sir; we leave you to wiser Company.

[Exeunt Euph. and Dor.

Enter Hortensia.

Hort. The Deess, who from Atropos's Breast preserves the Names of Heroes and their Actions, proclaims your Fame throughout this mighty Orb, and——

Esop. [Aside.] Shield me, my Stars! What have you sent me here? For Pity's Sake, good Lady, be more humane: My Capacity is too heavy, to mount to your Style: If you wou'd have me know what you mean, please to come down to my Understanding.

Hort. I've something in my Nature soars too high
For vulgar Flight, I own;
But Esop's Sphere must needs be within Call;
Esop and I may sure converse together:
I know he's modest, but I likewise know
His Intellects are categorical.

Esop. Now, by my Faith, Lady, I don't know what Intellect is; and methinks, categorical sounds as if you call'd me Names. Pray, speak that you may be understood: Language was design'd for it; indeed it was.

Hort. Of vulgar Things in vulgar Phrase we talk;
But when of Esop we must speak,
The Theme's too lofty for an humble Style:
Esop is sure no common Character.

Esop. No, truly; I am something particular. Yet if I am not mistaken, what I have extraordinary about me, may be describ'd in very homely Language. Here was a young Gentlewoman but just now pencil'd me out to a Hair, I thought; and yet, I vow to God, the learned'st Word I heard her make use of, was Monster.

Hort. That was a Woman, Sir, a very Woman;
Her Cogitations all were on the outward Man:
But I strike deeper; 'tis the Mind I view.
The Soul's the worthy Object of my Care;
The Soul, that Sample of Divinity, that glorious
[Pg 232] Ray of heavenly Light. The Soul, that awful
Throne of Thought, that sacred Seat of Contemplation.
The Soul, that noble Source of Wisdom,
That Fountain of Comfort,
That Spring of Joy, that happy Token of eternal
Life. The Soul, that——

Esop. Pray, Lady, are you married?

Hort. Why that Question, Sir?

Esop. Only that I might wait upon your Husband, to wish him Joy.

Hort. When People of my Composition would marry, they first find something of their own Species to join with; I never could resolve to take a Thing of common Fabric to my Bed, lest, when his brutish Inclinations prompt him, he shou'd make me Mother to a Form like his own.

Esop. Methinks, a Lady so extremely nice should be much at a Loss who to converse with.

Hort. I keep my Chamber, and converse with myself; 'tis better being alone, than to mis-ally one's Conversation: Men are scandalous, and Women are insipid: Discourse without Figure makes me sick at my Soul: O the Charms of a Metaphor! What Harmony there is in the Words of Erudition! The Musick of them is inimaginable.

Esop. Will you hear a Fable, Lady?

Hort. Willingly, Sir; the Apologue pleases me, when the Application of it is just.

Esop. It is, I'll answer for it.

Once on a Time a Nightingale,
[Pg 233] To Changes prone,
Unconstant, fickle, whimsical,
(A Female one)
Who sung like others of her kind,
Hearing a well-taught Linnet's Airs,
Had other Matters in her Mind.
To imitate him she prepares;
Her Fancy strait was on the Wing:
I fly, quoth she,
As well as he;
I don't know why
I should not try
As well as he to sing.
From that Day forth she chang'd her Note,
She spoil'd her Voice, she strain'd her Throat:
She did, as learned Women do,
Till every Thing
That heard her sing
Wou'd run away from her——as I from you.

[Exit Esop running.

Hortensia sola.

How grossly does this poor World suffer itself to be impos'd upon!—--Esop, a Man of Sense——Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! Alas, poor Wretch! I shou'd not have known him but by his Deformity; his Soul's as nauseous to my Understanding, as his odious Body to my Sense of Feeling. Well,

'Mongst all the Wits that are allow'd to shine,
Methinks there's nothing yet approaches mine:
Sure I was sent the homely Age t'adorn; }
What Star, I know not, rul'd when I was born, }
But every Thing besides myself's my Scorn. }



Enter Euphronia and Doris.

Dor. What, in the Name of Jove, 's the matter with you? Speak, for Heaven's sake!

Euph. Oh! what shall I do? Doris, I'm undone.

Dor. What, ravish'd?

Euph. No, ten times worse! Ten times worse! Unlace me, or I shall swoon.

Dor. Unlace you? Why, you are not thereabouts, I hope?

[Pg 234]

Euph. No no, worse still; worse than all that.

Dor. Nay, then 'tis bad, indeed.

[Doris unlaces her.

There: How d'ye do now?

Euph. So; 'tis going over.

Dor. Courage, pluck up your Spirits: Well, now what's the matter?

Euph. The matter! Thou shalt hear. Know that—that Cheat—Esop——

Dor. Like enough; speak: What has he done! That ugly ill-boding Cyclops—

Euph. Why, instead of keeping his Promise, and speaking for Oronces, he has not said one Word, but what has been for himself. And by my Father's Order, before to-morrow Noon he's to marry me.

Dor. He marry you!

Euph. Am I in the wrong to be in this Despair? Tell me, Doris, if I am to blame.

Dor. To blame? No, by my troth. That ugly, old, treacherous piece of Vermin—that melancholy Mixture of Impotence and Desire—does his Mouth stand to a young Partridge? Ah the old Goat! And your Father! He downright doats at last, then.

Euph. Ah, Doris, what a Husband does he give me! And what a Lover does he rob me of! Thou know'st 'em both; think of Oronces, and think of Esop.

Dor. [Spitting.] A foul Monster! And yet, now I think on't, I'm almost as angry at t'other too: Methinks he makes but a slow Voyage on't, for a Man in Love: 'Tis now above two Months since he went to Lesbos, to pack up the old Bones of his dead Father; sure he might have made a little more Haste.

Enter Oronces.

Euph. Oh! my Heart, what do I see?

Dor. Talk of the Devil, and he's at your Elbow.

Oron. My dear Soul!

[Euph. runs and leaps about his Neck.

Euph. Why wou'd you stay so long from me?

Oron. 'Twas not my Fault, indeed; the Winds——

Dor. The Winds! Will the Winds blow you your[Pg 235] Mistress again? We have had Winds too, and Waves into the Bargain; Storms and Tempests, Sea-Monsters, and the Devil and all. She struggled as long as she cou'd, but a Woman can do no more than she can do; when her Breath was gone, down she sunk.

Oron. What's the meaning of all this?

Dor. There's meaning and mumping too: your Mistress is married: that's all.

Oron. Death and Furies——

Euph. [Clinging about him.] Don't you frighten him too much, neither, Doris. No, my Dear, I'm not yet executed, tho' I'm condemn'd.

Oron. Condemn'd! To what? Speak! Quick!

Dor. To be married.

Oron. Married? When? How? Where? To what? To whom?

Dor. Esop, Esop, Esop, Esop, Esop.

Oron. Fiends and Spectres! What! That piece of Deformity! That Monster! That Crump!

Dor. The same, Sir, the same. I find he knows him. You might have come home sooner.

Oron. Dear Euphronia, ease me from my Pain. Swear that you neither have nor will consent. I know this comes from your ambitious Father; But you're too generous, too true to leave me: Millions of Kingdoms ne'er wou'd shake my Faith, And I believe your Constancy as firm.

Euph. You do me Justice, you shall find you do: For Racks and Tortures, Crowns and Scepters join'd, shall neither fright me from my Truth, nor tempt me to be false. On this you may depend.

Dor. Wou'd to the Lord you wou'd find some other Place to make your fine Speeches in! Don't you know that your dear Friend Esop's coming to receive his Visits here? In this great downy Chair, your pretty little Husband Elect is to sit and hear all the Complaints of the Town: One of Wisdom's chief Recompences being to be constantly troubled with the Business of Fools. Pray, Madam, will you take the Gentleman by the Hand, and lead him into your Chamber; and when[Pg 236] you are there, don't lie whining, and crying, and sighing, and wishing——[Aside.] If he had not been more modest than wise, he might have set such a Mark upon the Goods before now, that ne'er a Merchant of 'em all wou'd have bought 'em out of his Hands. But young Fellows are always in the wrong: Either so impudent they are nauseous, or so modest they are useless. Go; pray get you gone together.

Euph. But if my Father catch us, we are ruin'd.

Dor. By my Conscience, this Love will make us all turn Fools. Before your Father can open the Door, can't he slip down the Back-stairs? I'm sure he may, if you don't hold him; but that's the old Trade. Ah—Well, get you gone, however——Hark——I hear the old Baboon cough; away! [Ex. Oron. and Euph. running.] Here he comes, with his ugly Beak before him. Ah—a luscious Bedfellow, by my troth!

Enter Learchus and Esop.

Lear. Well, Doris; what News from my Daughter? Is she prudent?

Dor. Yes, very prudent.

Lear. What says she? What does she do?

Dor. Do? What shou'd she do? Tears her Cornet; bites her Thumbs; throws her Fan in the Fire; thinks 'tis dark Night at Noon-day; dreams of Monsters and Hobgoblins; raves in her Sleep of forc'd Marriage and Cuckoldom; cries, Avaunt Deformity; then wakens on a sudden, with fifty Arguments at her Fingers-ends to prove the Lawfulness of Rebellion in a Child, when a Parent turns Tyrant.

Lear. Very fine! But all this shan't serve her turn. I have said the Word, and will be obey'd——My Lord does her Honour.

Dor. [Aside.] Yes, and that's all he can do to her. [To Lear.] But I can't blame the Gentleman, after all; he loves my Mistress, because she's handsome; and she hates him, because he's ugly. I never saw two People more in the right in my Life. [To Esop.] You'll pardon me, Sir, I'm somewhat free.

[Pg 237]

Esop. Why, a Ceremony wou'd but take up time. But, Governor, methinks I have an admirable Advocate about your Daughter.

Lear. Out of the Room, Impudence: be gone, I say.

Dor. So I will: But you'll be as much in the wrong when I'm gone, as when I'm here. And your Conscience, I hope, will talk as pertly to you as I can do.

Esop. If she treats me thus before my face, I may conclude I'm finely handled behind my Back.

Dor. I say the Truth here; and I can say no worse any where.

[Exit Doris.

Lear. I hope your Lordship won't be concern'd at what this prattling Wench bleats out: my Daughter will be govern'd. She's bred up to Obedience. There may be some small Difficulty in weaning her from her young Lover: But 'twon't be the first time she has been wean'd from a Breast, my Lord.

Esop. Does she love him fondly, Sir?

Lear. Foolishly, my Lord.

Esop. And he her?

Lear. The same.

Esop. Is he young?

Lear. Yes, and vigorous.

Esop. Rich?

Lear. So, so.

Esop. Well-born?

Lear. He has good Blood in his Veins.

Esop. Has he Wit?

Lear. He had, before he was in Love.

Esop. And handsome with all this?

Lear. Or else we shou'd not have half so much trouble with him.

Esop. Why do you, then, make her quit him for me? All the World knows I am neither young, noble, nor rich: And as for my Beauty——Look you, Governor, I'm honest. But when Children cry, they tell 'em Esop's a-coming. Pray, Sir, what is it makes you so earnest to force your Daughter?

Lear. Am I, then, to count for nothing the favour you are in at Court? Father-in-law to the great Esop! What[Pg 238] may not I aspire to? My foolish Daughter, perhaps, mayn't be so well pleas'd with it, but we wise Parents usually weigh our Children's Happiness in the Scale of our own Inclinations.

Esop. Well, Governor, let it be your Care, then, to make her consent.

Lear. This Moment, my Lord, I reduce her either to Obedience, or to Dust and Ashes.

[Exit Lear.

Esop. Adieu. Now let in the People who come for Audience.

[Esop sits in his Chair, reading of Papers.

Enter two ordinary Tradesmen.

1 Tra. There he is, Neighbour: Do but look at him.

2 Tra. Aye; one may know him: He's well mark'd. But do'st hear me? What Title must we give him? for if we fail in that point, d'ye see me, we shall never get our Business done. Courtiers love Titles almost as well as they do Money, and that's a bold Word now.

1 Tra. Why, I think we had best call him, his Grandeur.

2 Tra. That will do; thou hast hit on't. Hold still, let me speak. May it please your Grandeur——

Esop. There I interrupt you, Friend; I have a weak Body that will ne'er be able to bear that Title.

2 Tra. D'ye hear that, Neighbour? What shall we call him now?

1 Tra. Why, call him, call him, his Excellency; try what that will do.

2 Tra. May it please your Excellency——

Esop. Excellency's a long Word, it takes up too much time in Business: Tell me what you'd have in few Words.

2 Tra.

Neighbour, this Man will never give
Ten thousand Pounds to be made a Lord.
But what shall I say to him now?
He puts me quite out of my play.

1 Tra. Why e'en talk to him as we do to one another.

2 Tra. Shall I? Why, so I will, then. Hem! Neighbour, we want a new Governor, Neighbour.

Esop. A new Governor, Friend?

2 Tra. Aye, Friend.

[Pg 239]

Esop. Why, what's the matter with your old one?

2 Tra.

What's the matter!
Why, he grows rich; that's the matter;
And he that's rich can't be innocent; that's all.

Esop. Does he use any of you harshly? Or punish you without a Fault?

2 Tra. No, but he grows as rich as a Miser; his Purse is so cramm'd, 'tis ready to burst again.

Esop. When 'tis full, 'twill hold no more; a new Governor will have an empty one.

2 Tra. 'Fore Gad, Neighbour, the little Gentleman's in the right on't.

1 Tra.

Why, truly, I don't know but he may:
For now it comes in my Head,
It cost me more Money to fat my Hog,
Than to keep him fat when he was so.
Pr'ythee tell him we'll keep our old Governor.

2 Tra. I'll do't. Why, look you, Sir, d'ye see me: Having seriously consider'd of the matter, my Neighbour Hobson and I here, we are content to jog on a little longer with him we have: but if you'd do us another Courtesy, you might.

Esop. What's that, Friend?

2 Tra. Why, that's this: Our King Crœsus is a very good Prince, as a Man may say: But——a——but—Taxes are high, an't please you; and——a——poor Men want Money, d'ye see me: 'Tis very hard, as we think, that the Poor shou'd work to maintain the Rich. If there were no Taxes, we shou'd do pretty well.

1 Tra. Taxes, indeed, are very burdensome.

Esop. I'll tell you a Story, Countrymen.

Once on a time, the Hands and Feet,
[Pg 240] As Mutineers, grew mighty great;
They met, caball'd, and talk'd of Treason,
They swore by Jove they knew no Reason
The Belly shou'd have all the Meat— }
It was a damn'd notorious Cheat }
They did the Work, and—Death and Hell, they'd eat. }
The Belly, who ador'd good Chear,
Had like t'have dy'd away for Fear:
Quoth he, Good Folks, you little know }
What 'tis you are about to do; }
If I am starv'd, what will become of you? }
We neither know nor care, cry'd they,
But this we will be bound to say,
We'll see you damn'd
Before we'll work,
And you receive the Pay.
With that the Hands to Pocket went
Full Wrist-band deep,
The Legs and Feet fell fast asleep:
Their Liberty they had redeem'd,
And all, except the Belly, seem'd
Extremely well content.
But mark what follow'd; 'twas not long
Before the right became the wrong;
The Mutineers were grown so weak,
They found 'twas more than time to squeak:
They call for work, but 'twas too late.
The Stomach (like an aged Maid, }
Shrunk up, for want of human Aid) }
The common Debt of Nature paid, }
And with its Destiny entrain'd their Fate. }

Esop. What think you of this Story, Friends, ha? Come, you look like wise Men; I'm sure you understand what's for your good; in giving part of what you have, you secure all the rest: If the King had no Money, there cou'd be no Army; and if there were no Army, your Enemies would be amongst you: One Day's Pillage wou'd be worse than twenty Years' Taxes. What say ye? Is't not so?

2 Tra. By my troth, I think he's in the right on't, again. Who'd think that little Hump-back of his Shou'd have so much Brains in't, Neighbour?

Esop. Well, honest Men, is there any thing else that I can serve you in?

1 Tra. D'ye hear that, Humphry?——Why, that was[Pg 241] civil now. But Courtiers seldom want Good-breeding; let's give the Devil his due. Why, to tell you the truth, honest Gentlemen, we had a whole Budget full of Grievances to complain of. But I think——a——Ha, Neighbour? We had e'en as good let 'em alone.

1 Tra. Why good feath I think so too; for by all I can see, we are like to make no great hond on't. Besides, between thee and me, I began to daubt, whether aur Grievances do us such a plaguy deal of Mischief as we fancy.

2 Tra. Or put the Case they did, Humphry; I'se afraid he that goes to a Courtier, in hope to get fairly rid of 'em, may be said (in our Country Dialect) to take the wrong Sow by the Ear. But here's Neighbour Roger, he's a Wit, let's leave him to him.


Enter Roger, a Country Bumkin, looks seriously upon Esop; then bursts out a laughing.

Rog. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Did ever Mon behold the like? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Esop. Hast thou any business with me, Friend?

Rog. Yes, by my troth, have I;
But if Roger were to be hang'd up for't,
Look you now, he cou'd not hold laughing:
What I have in my Mind, out it comes: But bar that;
I'se on honest Lad as well as another.

Esop. My time's dearer to me than yours, Friend; have you any thing to say to me?

Rog. Gadswookers, do People use to ask for Folks when they have nothing to say to 'em: I'se tell you my Business.

Esop. Let's hear it.

Rog. I have, as you see, a little Wit.

Esop. True.

Rog. I live in a Village hard by, and I'se the best Man in it, tho' I say it that should not say it. I have good Drink in my Cellar, and good Corn in my Barn: I have Cows and Oxen, Hogs and Sheep, Cocks and Hens, and Geese and Turkeys: But the Truth will out, and so let it out. I'se e'en tired of being call'd plain Roger.[Pg 242] I has a Leathern Purse, and in that Purse there's many a fair Half-crown, with the King's sweet Face upon it, God bless him; and with his Money, I have a mind to bind myself 'Prentice to a Courtier: 'Tis a good Trade, as I have heard say; there's Money stirring: Let a Lad be but diligent, and do what he's bid, he shall be let into the Secret, and share Part of the Profits; I have not lived to these Years for nothing: Those that will swim must go into deep water: I'se get our Wife Joan to be the Queen's Chamber-maid; and then——Crack, says me I; and forget all my Acquaintance. But to come to the Business. You who are the King's great Favourite, I desire you'd be pleas'd to sell me some of your Friendship, that I may get a Court-Place. Come, you shall chuse me one yourself; you look like a shrewd Man; by the Mass, you do.

Esop. I chuse thee a Place!

Rog. Yes, I wou'd willingly have it such a sort of a Place, as wou'd cost little, and bring in a great deal; in a Word, much Profit, and nothing to do.

Esop. But you must name what Post you think wou'd suit your Humour.

Rog. Why I'se pratty indifferent as to that: Secretary of State, or Butler; twenty Shillings more, or twenty Shillings less, is not the thing I stand upon. I'se no Hagler, Godswookers; and he that says I am—'Zbud he lies: There's my Humour now.

Esop. But hark you, Friend, you say you are well as you are, why then do you desire to change?

Rog. Why what a Question now is there for a Man of your Parts? I'm well, d'ye see me; and what of all that? I desire to be better: There's an Answer for you. [Aside.] Let Roger alone with him.

Esop. Very well: This is reasoning; and I love a Man should reason with me. But let us enquire a little whether your Reasons are good or not. You say, at home you want for nothing?

Rog. Nothing, 'fore George.

Esop. You have good Drink?

Rog. 'Zbud, the best i'th' Parish. [Singing.] And[Pg 243] dawne it merrily goes, my Lad, and dawne it merrily goes.

Esop. You eat heartily?

Rog. I have a noble Stomach.

Esop. You sleep well?

Rog. Just as I drink, till I can sleep no longer.

Esop. You have some honest Neighbours?

Rog. Honest! 'Zbud we are all so, the Tawne raund, we live like Breether; when one can sarve another, he does it with all his Heart and Guts; when we have any thing that's good, we eat it together, Holidays and Sundays we play at Nine-pins, tumble upon the Grass with wholesome young Maids, laugh till we split, daunce till we are weary, eat till we burst, drink till we are sleepy, then swap into Bed, and snore till we rise to Breakfast.

Esop. And all this thou wou'dst leave to go to Court? I'll tell thee what once happen'd:

A Mouse, who long had liv'd at Court, }
(Yet ne'er the better Christian for't) }
Walking one Day to see some Country Sport, }
He met a home-bred Village-Mouse;
Who with an awkward Speech and Bow, }
That savour'd much of Cart and Plow, }
Made a shift, I know not how, }
T' invite him to his House.
Quoth he, My Lord, I doubt you'll find
Our Country Fare of homely kind;
But by my troth, you're welcome to't,
Y'ave that, and Bread and Cheese to boot:
And so they sat and din'd.
Rog. Very well.
Esop. The Courtier cou'd have eat at least
[Pg 244] As much as any Houshold Priest,
But thought himself oblig'd in Feeding,
To shew the difference of Town breeding;
He pick'd and cull'd, and turn'd the Meat,
He champt and chew'd, and cou'd not eat:
No toothless Woman at Fourscore,
Was ever seen to mumble more.
He made a thousand ugly Faces, }
Which (as sometimes in Ladies cases) }
Were all design'd for Airs and Graces. }
Rog. Ha, ha!
Esop. At last he from the Table rose,
He pick'd his Teeth and blow'd his Nose,
And with an easy Negligence,
As tho' he lately came from France,
He made a careless sliding Bow:
'Fore Gad, quoth he, I don't know how
I shall return your friendly Treat;
But if you'll take a bit of Meat
In Town with me,
You there shall see,
How we poor Courtiers eat.
Rog. Tit for tat; that was friendly.
Esop. There needed no more Invitation
To e'er a Country 'Squire i'th' Nation:
Exactly to the time he came,
Punctual as Woman when she meets
A Man between a pair of Sheets,
As good a Stomach, and as little Shame.
Rog. Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!
Esop. To say the Truth, he found good Chear,
With Wine, instead of Ale and Beer:
But just as they sat down to eat,
Came bouncing in a hungry Cat.
Rog. O Lord, O Lord, O Lord!
Esop. The nimble Courtier skipt from Table,
The 'Squire leapt too, as he was able:
It can't be said that they were beat,
It was no more than a Retreat;
Which when an Army, not to fight
By Day-light, runs away by Night,
Was ever judg'd a great and glorious Feat.
Rog. Ever, ever, ever.
Esop. The Cat retir'd, our Guests return,
The Danger past becomes their Scorn,
They fall to eating as before,
The Butler rumbles at the Door.
[Pg 245]
Rog. Good Lord!
Esop. To Boot and Saddle again they sound.
Rog. Ta ra, tan tan ta ra, ra ra tan ta ra.
Esop. They frown, as they wou'd stand their Ground,
But (like some of our Friends) they found
'Twas safer much to scour.
Rog. Tantive, Tantive, Tantive, &c.
Esop. At length the 'Squire, who hated Arms,
Was so perplext with these Alarms,
He rose up in a kind of Heat,
Udswookers, quoth he, with all your Meat,
I will maintain, a Dish of Pease,
A Radish, and a Slice of Cheese,
With a good Desert of Ease,
Is much a better Treat.
Since every Man shou'd have his due,
I own, Sir, I'm oblig'd to you
For your Intentions at your Board:
But Pox upon your courtly Crew——

Rog. Amen, I pray the Lord. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Now the De'el cuckold me if this Story be not worth a Sermon. Give me your Hond, Sir.——If it had na' been for your friendly Advice, I was going to be Fool enough to be Secretary of State.

Esop. Well, go thy ways home, and be wiser for the future.

Rog. And so I will: For that same Mause, your Friend, was a witty Person, gadsbudlikins! and so our Wife Joan shall know: For between you and I, 'tis she has put me upon going to Court. Sir, she has been so praud, so saucy, so rampant, ever since I brought her home a lac'd Pinner, and a pink-colour'd pair of Shoe-strings, from Tickledowne Fair, the Parson o'th' Parish can't rule her; and that you'll say's much. But so much for that. Naw I thank you for your good Counsel, honest little Gentleman; and to shew you that I'se not ungrateful—give me your Hond once more——If you'll take the pains but to walk dawne to our Towne—a Word in[Pg 246] your Ear——I'se send you so drunk whome again, you shall remember friendly Roger as long as you have Breath in your Body.

[Exit Roger

Esop. solus.

Farewel, what I both envy and despise!
Thy Happiness and Ignorance provoke me.
How noble were the thing call'd Knowledge,
Did it but lead us to a Bliss like thine!
But there's a secret Curse in Wisdom's Train, }
Which on its Pleasures stamps perpetual Pain, }
And makes the wise Man Loser by his Gain. }



Enter Esop.

Esop. Who waits there?

[Enter Servant.

If there be any body that has Business with me, let 'em in.

Serv. Yes, Sir.

[Exit Serv.

Enter Quaint, who stands at a distance, making a great many fawning Bows.

Esop. Well, Friend, who are you?

Quaint. My Name's Quaint, Sir, the profoundest of all your Honour's humble Servants.

Esop. And what may your Business be with me, Sir?

Quaint. My Business, Sir, with every Man, is first of all to do him Service.

Esop. And your next is, I suppose, to be paid for't twice as much as 'tis worth.

Quaint. Your Honour's most obedient humble Servant.

Esop. Well, Sir, but upon what Account am I going to be oblig'd to you?

[Pg 247]

Quaint. Sir, I'm a Genealogist.

Esop. A Genealogist!

Quaint. At your Service, Sir.

Esop. So, Sir?

Quaint. Sir, I am inform'd from common Fame, as well as from some little private familiar Intelligence, that your Wisdom is ent'ring into Treaty with the Primum Mobilè of Good and Evil, a fine Lady. I have travell'd, Sir; I have read, Sir; I have consider'd, Sir; and I find, Sir, that the Nature of a fine Lady is to be——a fine Lady, Sir; a fine Lady's a fine Lady, Sir, all the World over;——she loves a fine House, fine Furniture, fine Clothes, fine Liveries, fine Petticoats, fine Smocks; and if she stops there—she's a fine Lady indeed, Sir. But to come to my Point. It being the Lydian Custom, that the fair Bride should be presented on her Wedding-day with something that may signify the Merit and the Worth of her dread Lord and Master, I thought the noble Esop's Pedigree might be the welcom'st Gift that he could offer. If his Honour be of the same Opinion—I'll speak a bold Word—there's ne'er a Herald in all Asia shall put better Blood in his Veins, than—Sir, your humble Servant, Jacob Quaint.

Esop. Dost thou then know my Father, Friend? For I protest to thee I am a Stranger to him.

Quaint. Your Father, Sir? Ha, ha! I know every Man's Father, Sir; and every Man's Grandfather, and every Man's Great Grandfather. Why, Sir, I'm a Herald by Nature, my Mother was a Welchwoman.

Esop. A Welchwoman? Pr'ythee of what Country is that?

Quaint. That, Sir, is a Country in the World's Backside, where every Man is born a Gentleman and a Genealogist. Sir, I cou'd tell my Mother's Pedigree before I could speak plain; which, to shew you the Depth of my Art, and the Strength of my Memory, I'll trundle you down in an instant. Noah had three Sons, Shem, Ham, and Japhet; Shem——

Esop. Hold, I conjure thee, in the Name of all thy Ancestors.

[Pg 248]

Quaint. Sir, I cou'd take it higher, but I begin at Noah for brevity's sake.

Esop. No more on't, I intreat thee.

Quaint. Your Honour's impatient, perhaps, to hear your own Descent. A Word to the wise is enough. Hem, hem! Solomon, the wise King of Judea——

Esop. Hold, once more!

Quaint. Ha, ha! Your Honour's modest, but——Solomon, the wise King of Judea——

Esop. Was my Ancestor, was he not?

Quaint. He was, my Lord, which no one sure can doubt, who observes how much of Prince there hangs about you.

Esop. What! Is't in my Mien?

Quaint. You have something——wondrous noble in your Air.

Esop. Personable too; view me well.

Quaint. N——not Tall; but Majestick.

Esop. My Shape?

Quaint. A World of Symmetry in it.

Esop. The Lump upon my Back?

Quaint. N——not regular; but agreeable.

Esop. Now by my Honesty thou art a Villain, Herald. But Flattery's a Thrust I never fail to parry. 'Tis a Pass thou should'st reserve for young Fencers; with Feints like those they're to be hit: I do not doubt but thou hast found it so; hast not?

Quaint. I must confess, Sir, I have sometimes made 'em bleed by't. But I hope your Honour will please to excuse me, since, to speak the Truth, I get my Bread by't, and maintain my Wife and Children: And Industry, you know, Sir, is a commendable Thing. Besides, Sir, I have debated the Business a little with my Conscience; for I'm like the rest of my Neighbours, I'd willingly get Money, and be sav'd too, if the Thing may be done upon any reasonable Terms: And so, Sir, I say, to quiet my Conscience, I have found out at last, that Flattery is a Duty.

Esop. A Duty!

Quaint. Ay, Sir, a Duty: For the Duty of all Men[Pg 249] is to make one another pass their time as pleasantly as they can. Now, Sir, here's a young Lord, who has a great deal of Land, a great deal of Title, a great deal of Meat, a great deal of Noise, a great many Servants, and a great many Diseases. I find him very dull, very restless, tir'd with Ease, cloy'd with Plenty, a Burden to himself, and a Plague to his Family. I begin to flatter: He springs off of the Couch; turns himself round in the Glass; finds all I say true; cuts a Caper a yard high; his Blood trickles round his Veins; his Heart's as light as his Heels; and before I leave him——his Purse is as empty as his Head. So we both are content; for we part much happier than we met.

Esop. Admirable Rogue! What dost thou think of Murder and of Rape, are not they Duties too? Wert not for such vile fawning Things as thou art, young Nobles wou'd not long be what they are: They'd grow asham'd of Luxury and Ease, and rouse up the old Spirit of their Fathers; leave the pursuit of a poor frightned Hare, and make their Foes to tremble in their stead; furnish their Heads with Sciences and Arts, and fill their Hearts with Honour, Truth and Friendship; Be generous to some, and just to all; drive home their Creditors with Bags of Gold, instead of chasing 'em away with Swords and Staves; be faithful to their King and Country both, and stab the Offerer of a Bribe from either; blush even at a wandering Thought of Vice, and boldly own they durst be Friends to Virtue; trembling at nothing but the Frowns of Heaven, and be no more asham'd of Him that made 'em.

Quaint. [Aside.] If I stand to hear this Crump preach a little longer, I shall be Fool enough perhaps to be bubbled out of my Livelyhood, and so lose a Bird in the Hand for two in the Bush. Sir, since I have not been able to bring you to a good Opinion of yourself, 'tis very probable I shall scarce prevail with you to have one of me. But if you please to do me the favour to forget me, I shall ever acknowledge myself——Sir, your most obedient, faithful, humble Servant.

Esop. Hold; if I let thee go, and give thee nothing,[Pg 250] thou'lt be apt to grumble at me; and therefore——who waits there?

Enter Servant.

Quaint. [Aside.] I don't like his Looks, by Gad.

Esop. I'll present thee with a Token of my Love.

Quaint. A—another time, Sir, will do as well.

Esop. No; I love to be out of Debt, tho' 'tis being out of the Fashion. So, d'ye hear! Give this honest Gentleman half a score good Strokes on the Back with a Cudgel.

Quaint. By no means in the World, Sir.

Esop. Indeed, Sir, you shall take 'em.

Quaint. Sir, I don't merit half your Bounty.

Esop. O 'tis but a Trifle!

Quaint. Your Generosity makes me blush.

[Looking about to make his Escape.

Esop. That's your Modesty, Sir.

Quaint. Sir, you are pleased to compliment. But a——twenty Pedigrees for a clear Coast.

[Running off, the Servant after him.

Esop. Wait upon him down Stairs, Fellow; I'd do't myself, were I but nimble enough; but he makes haste, to avoid Ceremony.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Sir, here's a Lady in great haste, desires to speak with you.

Esop. Let her come in.

Enter Aminta, weeping.

Amin. O Sir, if you don't help me, I'm undone.

Esop. What, what's the Matter, Lady?

Amin. My Daughter, Sir, my Daughter's run away with a filthy Fellow.

Esop. A slippery Trick indeed!

Amin. For Heaven's sake, Sir, send immediately to pursue 'em, and seize 'em. But 'tis in vain, 'twill be too late, 'twill be too late; I'll warrant at this very Moment they are got together in a Room with a Couch in't; all's gone, all's gone; tho' 'twere made of Gold, 'tis lost:[Pg 251] Oh! my Honour, my Honour. A forward Girl she was always; I saw it in her Eyes the very Day of her Birth.

Esop. That indeed was early; but how do you know she's gone with a Fellow?

Amin. I have e'en her own insolent Hand-writing for't: Sir, take but the pains to read what a Letter she has left me.

Esop. Reads.

I love and am belov'd, and that's the Reason I run away.

Short, but significant!—--I'm sure there's no Body knows better than your Ladyship what Allowances are to be made to Flesh and Blood; I therefore hope this from your Justice, that what you have done three Times yourself, you'll pardon once in your Daughter. The Dickens!

Amin. Now, Sir, what do you think of the Business?

Esop. Why truly, Lady, I think it one of the most natural Businesses I have met with a great while. I'll tell you a Story.

A Crab-fish once her Daughter told,
(In Terms that savour'd much of Scold)
She cou'd not bear to see her go
Sidle, sidle, to and fro:
The Devil's in the Wench, quoth she,
When so much Money has been paid
To polish you like me,
It makes me almost mad to see
Y'are still so awkward, an ungainly Jade.
Her Daughter smil'd, and look'd a-skew; }
She answer'd (for to give her her due) }
Pertly, as most Folks Daughters do: }
Madam, your Ladyship, quoth she,
Is pleas'd to blame in me
What, on Enquiry, you may find,
Admits a passable Excuse,
From a Proverb much in use,
That Cat will after kind.

Amin. Sir, I took you to be a Man better bred, than to liken a Lady to a Crab-fish.

[Pg 252]

Esop. What I want in Good-breeding, Lady, I have in Truth and Honesty: As what you have wanted in Virtue, you have had in a good Face.

Amin. Have had, Sir! What I have had, I have still; and shall have a great while, I hope. I'm no Grandmother, Sir.

Esop. But in a fair way for't, Madam.

Amin. Thanks to my Daughter's Forwardness then, not my Years. I'd have you to know, Sir, I have never a Wrinkle in my Face. A young pert Slut! Who'd think she shou'd know so much at her Age?

Esop. Good Masters make quick Scholars, Lady; she has learn'd her Exercise from you.

Amin. But where's the Remedy, Sir?

Esop. In trying if a good Example will reclaim her, as an ill one has debauch'd her. Live private, and avoid Scandal.

Amin. Never speak it; I can no more retire, than I can go to Church twice on a Sunday.

Esop. What, your youthful Blood boils in your Veins, I'll warrant?

Amin. I have Warmth enough to endure the Air, old Gentleman. I need not shut myself up in a House these twenty Years.

Esop. [Aside.] She takes a long Lease of Lewdness: She'll be an admirable Tenant to Lust.

Amin. [Walking hastily to and fro.] People think when a Woman is turn'd Forty, she's old enough to turn out of the World: But I say, when a Woman is turn'd Forty, she's old enough to have more Wit. The most can be said is, her Face is the worse for wearing: I'll answer for all the rest of her Fabrick. The Men wou'd be to be pity'd, by my troth, wou'd they, if we shou'd quit the Stage, and leave 'em nothing but a parcel of young pert Sluts, that neither know how to speak Sense, nor keep themselves clean. But, don't let 'em fear, we a'n't going yet——[Esop stares upon her, and as she turns from him, runs off the Stage.] How now! What left alone! An unmannerly Piece of Deformity! Methinks he might have had Sense enough to have made Love to me. But[Pg 253] I have found Men strangely dull for the last ten or twelve Years: Sure they'll mend in Time, or the World won't be worth living in.

For let Philosophers say all they can,
The Source of Women's Joys is plac'd in Man.


Enter Learchus and Euphronia, Doris following at a Distance.

Lear. [To Euph.] I must tell you, Mistress, I'm too mild with you; Parents shou'd never intreat their Children, nor will I hereafter. Therefore, in a Word, let Esop be lov'd, let Oronces be hated; let one be a Peacock, let t'other be a Bat: I'm Father, you are Daughter; I command, and you shall obey.

Euph. I never yet did otherwise; nor shall I now, Sir; but pray let Reason guide you.

Lear. So it does: But 'tis my own, not yours, Hussy.

Dor. Ah—Well, I'll say no more; but were I in her Place, by the Mass, I'd have a tug for't.

Lear. Dæmon, born to distract me! Whence art thou, in the Name of Fire and Brimstone? Have I not satisfy'd thee? Have I not paid thee what's thy due? And have not I turn'd thee out of Doors, with Orders never more to stride my Threshold, ha? Answer, abominable Spirit; what is't that makes thee haunt me?

Dor. A foolish Passion to do you good, in spite of your Teeth: Pox on me for my Zeal, I say.

Lear. And Pox on thee, and thy Zeal too, I say.

Dor. Now if it were not for her Sake more than for yours, I'd leave all to your own Management, to be reveng'd of you. But rather than I'll see that sweet Thing sacrificed—I'll play the Devil in your House.

Lear. Patience, I summon thee to my Aid.

Dor. Passion, I defy thee; to the last Drop of my Blood I'll maintain my Ground. What have you to charge me with? Speak! I love your Child better than you do, and you can't bear that, ha? Is't not so? Nay, 'tis well y'are asham'd on't; there's some Sign of Grace still. Look you, Sir, in a few Words, you'll make me[Pg 254] mad; and 'twere enough to make any Body mad (who has Brains enough to be so) to see so much Virtue shipwreck'd at the very Port. The World never saw a Virgin better qualify'd; so witty, so discreet, so modest, so chaste: in a Word, I brought her up myself, and 'twould be the Death of me to see so virtuous a Maid become a lewd Wife; which is the usual Effect of Parents Pride and Covetousness.

Lear. How, Strumpet! wou'd any Thing be able to debauch my Daughter?

Dor. Your Daughter! Yes, your Daughter, and myself into the Bargain: A Woman's but a Woman; and I'll lay a hundred Pound on Nature's side. Come, Sir, few Words dispatch Business. Let who will be the Wife of Esop, she's a Fool, or he's a Cuckold. But you'll never have a true Notion of this Matter, till you suppose yourself in your Daughter's Place. As thus: You are a pretty, soft, warm, wishing young Lady: I'm a straight, proper, handsome, vigorous, young Fellow. You have a peevish, positive, covetous, old Father, and he forces you to marry a little, lean, crooked, dry, sapless Husband. This Husband's gone abroad, you are left at home. I make you a Visit; find you all alone: the Servant pulls to the Door; the Devil comes in at the Window. I begin to wheedle, you begin to melt: you like my Person, and therefore believe all I say: so first I make you an Atheist, and then I make you a Whore. Thus the World goes, Sir.

Lear. Pernicious Pestilence! Has not thy eternal Tongue run down its Larum yet?

Dor. Yes.

Lear. Then go out of my House, Abomination.

Dor. I'll not stir a Foot.

Lear. Who waits there? Bring me my great Stick.

Dor. Bring you a Stick! Bring you a Head-piece: That you'd call for, if you knew your own wants.

Lear. Death and Furies, the Devil and so forth! I shall run distracted.

Euph. Pray, Sir, don't be so angry at her. I'm sure she means well, tho' she may have an odd way of expressing herself.

[Pg 255]

Lear. What, you like her meaning? Who doubts it, Offspring of Venus? But I'll make you stay your Stomach with Meat of my chusing, you liquorish young Baggage you. In a Word, Esop's the Man; and to-morrow he shall be your Lord and Master. But since he can't be satisfied unless he has your Heart, as well as all the rest of your Trumpery, let me see you receive him in such a Manner that he may think himself your Choice as well as mine; 'twill make him esteem your Judgment: For we usually guess at other People's Understandings, by their approving our Actions and liking our Faces. See here, the great Man comes! [To Dor.] Follow me, Insolence; and leave 'em to express their Passion to each other. [To Euph.] Remember my last Word to you is, Obey.

Dor. [To Euph. aside.] And remember my last Advice to you is, Rebel.

[Exit Lear. Dor. following him.

Euph. Alas, I'm good-natured; the last Thing that's said to me usually leaves the deepest Impression.

Enter Esop; they stand some Time without speaking.

Esop.—They say, That Lovers, for want of Words, have Eyes to speak with. I'm afraid you do not understand the Language of mine, since yours, I find, will make no Answer to 'em. But I must tell you, Lady, there is a numerous Train of youthful Virgins, that are endow'd with Wealth and Beauty too, who yet have thought it worth their Pains and Care to point their Darts at Esop's homely Breast; whilst you so much contemn what they pursue, that a young senseless Fop's preferr'd before me.

Euph. Did you but know that Fop you dare to term so, his very Looks wou'd fright you into nothing.

Esop. A very Bauble.

Euph. How!

Esop. A Butterfly.

Euph. I can't bear it.

Esop. A Parroquet can prattle and look gaudy.

Euph. It may be so; but let me paint him and you[Pg 256] in your proper Colours, I'll do it exactly, and you shall judge which I ought to chuse.

Esop. No, hold; I'm naturally not over-curious; besides, 'tis Pride makes People have their Pictures drawn.

Euph. Upon my Word, Sir, you may have yours taken a hundred times before any Body will believe 'tis done upon that Account.

Esop. [Aside.] How severe she is upon me! You are resolv'd then to persist, and be fond of your Feather; sigh for a Perriwig, and die for a Cravat string.

Euph. Methinks, Sir, you might treat with more respect what I've thought fit to own I value; your Affronts to him are doubly such to me; if you continue your provoking Language, you must expect my Tongue will sally too; and if you are as wise as some would make you, you can't but know I shou'd have Theme enough.

Esop. But is it possible you can love so much as you pretend?

Euph. Why do you question it?

Esop. Because Nobody loves so much as they pretend: But hark you, young Lady: Marriage is to last a long, long Time; and where one Couple bless the sacred Knot, a Train of Wretches curse the Institution. You are in an Age where Hearts are young and tender; a pleasing Object gets Admittance soon. But since to Marriage there's annexed this dreadful Word, For ever, the following Example ought to move you:

A Peacock once, of splendid show,
[Pg 257] Gay, gaudy, foppish, vain——a Beau,
Attack'd a fond young Pheasant's Heart
With such Success,
He pleas'd her, tho' he made her smart;
He pierc'd her with so much Address,
She smil'd the Moment that he fixt his Dart.
A Cuckow in a neighbouring Tree,
Rich, honest, ugly, old——like me,
Lov'd her as he lov'd his Life:
No pamper'd Priest e'er study'd more
To make a virtuous Nun a Whore,
Than he to get her for his Wife:
But all his Offers still were vain,
His Limbs were weak, his Face was plain;
Beauty, Youth, and Vigour weigh'd
With the warm desiring Maid:
No Bird, she cry'd, wou'd serve her turn,
But what cou'd quench as well as burn;
She'd have a young Gallant: so one she had.
But 'ere a Month was come and gone, }
The Bride began to change her tone, }
She found a young Gallant was an inconstant one. }
She wander'd to a neighbouring Grove,
Where after musing long on Love,
She told her Confidant, she found,
When for one's Life one must be bound,
(Tho' Youth indeed was a delicious Bait)
An aged Husband, rich, tho' plain, }
Wou'd give a slavish Wife less Pain; }
And, what was more, was sooner slain, }
Which was a Thing of Weight.

Behold, young Lady, here, the Cuckow of the Fable; I'm deform'd, 'tis true, yet I have found the Means to make a Figure amongst Men, that well has recompens'd the Wrongs of Nature; my Rival's Beauty promises you much; perhaps my homely Form might yield you more; at least, consider on't, 'tis worth your Thought.

Euph. I must confess, my Fortune wou'd be greater;
But what's a Fortune to a Heart like mine?
'Tis true, I'm but a young Philosopher,
Yet in that little Space my Glass has run,
I've spent some Time in search of Happiness:
The fond Pursuit I soon observ'd of Riches,
Inclin'd me to enquire into their Worth:
I found their Value was not in themselves,
But in their Power to grant what we cou'd ask.
I then proceeded to my own Desires,
To know what State of Life wou'd suit with them:
I found 'em moderate in their Demands,
[Pg 258] They neither ask'd for Title, State, or Power:
They slighted the aspiring Post of Envy:
'Tis true, they trembled at the Name Contempt;
A general Esteem was all they wish'd;
And that I did not doubt might be obtain'd,
If furnish'd but with Virtue and Good-nature;
My Fortune prov'd sufficient to afford me
Conveniences of Life, and Independence.
This, Sir, was the Result of my Enquiry;
And by this Scheme of Happiness I build,
When I prefer the Man I love to you.

Esop. How wise, how witty, and how cleanly, young Women grow, as soon as ever they are in love!

Euph. How foppish, how impertinent, and how nauseous are old Men, when they pretend to be so too!

Esop. How pert is Youth!

Euph. How dull is Age!

Esop. Why so sharp, young Lady?

Euph. Why so blunt, old Gentleman?

Esop. 'Tis enough; I'll to your Father, I know how to deal with him, though I don't know how to deal with you. Before to-morrow Noon, Damsel, Wife shall be written on your Brow.

[Exit Esop.

Euph. Then before to-morrow Night, Statesman, Husband shall be stampt upon your Forehead.

[Exit Euph.


Enter Oronces and Doris.

Dor. Patience, I beseech you.

Oron. Patience! What, and see that lovely Creature thrown into the Arms of that pedantick Monster! 'Sdeath, I'd rather see the World reduc'd to A'toms, Mankind turn'd into Crawfish, and myself an old Woman.

[Pg 259]

Dor. So you think an old Woman a very unfortunate thing, I find; but you are mistaken, Sir; she may plague other Folks, but she's as entertaining to herself, as any one Part of the Creation.

Oron. [Walking to and fro.] She's the Devil——and I'm one of the damn'd, I think. But I'll make somebody howl for't; I will so.

Dor. You'll e'en do as all the young Fellows in the Town do, spoil your own Sport: Ah——had young Mens Shoulders but old Courtiers Heads upon 'em, what a delicious Time wou'd they have on't! For shame, be wise; for your Mistress's sake at least use some Caution.

Oron. For her sake I'll respect, even like a Deity, her Father. He shall strike me, he shall tread upon me, and find me humbler even than a crawling Worm, for I'll not turn again; but for Esop, that unfinish'd Lump, that Chaos of Humanity, I'll use him——nay, expect it, for I'll do it——the first Moment that I'll see him, I'll——

Dor. Not challenge him, I hope——'Twould be a pretty sight, truly, to see Esop drawn up in Battalia! Fye for shame, be wise once in your Life; think of gaining Time, by putting off the Marriage for a Day or two, and not of waging War with a Pigmy. Yonder's the old Gentleman walking by himself in the Gallery; go and wheedle him, you know his weak side; he's good-natur'd in the bottom. Stir up his old fatherly Bowels a little, I'll warrant you'll move him at last: go, get you gone, and play your Part discreetly.

Oron. Well, I'll try; but if Words won't do with one, Blows shall with t'other; by Heavens, they shall.

[Exit. Oron.

Doris sola.

Nay, I reckon we shall have rare work on't bye and bye. Shield us, kind Heaven! what Things are Men in love? Now they are Stocks and Stones; then they are Fire and Quick-silver; first whining and crying, then swearing and damning: This Moment they are in Love, and next Moment they are out of Love: Ah—cou'd we but live without 'em—but 'tis in vain to think on't.


[Pg 260]

Enter Esop at one side of the Stage, Mrs. Forge-will at t'other.

Forg. Sir, I'm your most devoted Servant! What I say is no Compliment, I do assure you.

Esop. Madam, as far as you are really mine, I believe I may venture to assure you, I am yours.

Forg. I suppose, Sir, you know that I'm a Widow.

Esop. Madam, I don't so much as know you are a Woman.

Forg. O surprizing! Why, I thought the whole Town had known it. Sir, I have been a Widow this Twelvemonth.

Esop. If a Body may guess at your Heart by your Petticoat, Lady, you don't design to be so a Twelvemonth more.

Forg. O bless me! Not a Twelvemonth! Why, my Husband has left me four squalling Brats. Besides, Sir, I'm undone.

Esop. You seem as chearful an undone Lady as I have met with.

Forg. Alas, Sir, I have too great a Spirit ever to let Afflictions spoil my Face. Sir, I'll tell you my Condition; and that will lead me to my Business with you. Sir, my Husband was a Scriviner.

Esop. The deuce he was: I thought he had been a Count, at least.

Forg. Sir, it is not the first Time I have been taken for a Countess; my Mother us'd to say, as I lay in my Cradle, I had the Air of a Woman of Quality; and truly I have always liv'd like such. My Husband, indeed, had something sneaking in him (as most Husbands have, you know, Sir); but, from the Moment I set Foot in his House, bless me, what a Change was there! His Pewter was turn'd into Silver, his Goloshoes into a Glass Coach, and his little travelling Mare into a Pair of Flanders Horses. Instead of a greasy Cook-maid to wait at Table, I had four tall Footmen in clean Linen; all Things became new and fashionable, and nothing look'd aukward in my Family. My Furniture[Pg 261] was the Wonder of my Neighbourhood, and my Clothes the Admiration of the whole Town; I had a Necklace that was envy'd by the Queen, and a Pair of Pendants that set a Dutchess a-crying. In a Word, I saw nothing I lik'd but I bought it; and my Husband, good Man, durst ne'er refuse paying for't. Thus I liv'd, and I flourish'd, till he sicken'd and dy'd: but ere he was cold in his Grave, his Creditors plunder'd my House. But, what pity it was to see Fellows with dirty Shoes come into my best Rooms, and touch my Hangings with their filthy Fingers! You won't blame me, Sir, if, with all my Courage, I weep at this sensible Part of my Misfortune.

Esop. A very sad Story, truly!

Forg. But now, Sir, to my Business. Having been inform'd this Morning, That the King has appointed a great Sum of Money for the Marriage of young Women who have liv'd well, and are fallen to decay, I am come to acquaint you I have two strapping Daughters, just fit for the Matter, and to desire you'll help 'em to Portions out of the King's Bounty; that they mayn't whine and pine, and be eaten up with the Green-sickness, as half the young Women in the Town are, or wou'd be, if there were not more Helps for the Disease than one. This, Sir, is my Business.

Esop. And this, Madam, is my Answer:

A crawling Toad, all speckled o'er,
[Pg 262] Vain, gaudy, painted, patch'd——a Whore,
Seeing a well-fed Ox hard by,
Regards him with an envious Eye,
And (as the Poets tell)
Ye Gods, I cannot bear't, quoth she,
I'll burst, or be as big as he,
And so began to swell.
Her Friends and Kindred round her came,
They shew'd her she was much to blame,
The Thing was out of reach.
She told 'em they were busy Folk,
And when her Husband wou'd have spoke,
She bid him kiss her Br——.
With that they all e'en gave her o'er,
And she persisted as before,
Till with a deal of Strife
She swell'd at last so much her Spleen,
She burst like one that we have seen,
Who was a Scrivener's Wife.

This, Widow, I take to be your Case, and that of a great many others; for this is an Age where most People get Falls, by clambering too high, to reach at what they should not do. The Shoemaker's Wife reduces her Husband to a Cobler, by endeavouring to be as spruce as the Taylor's: The Taylor's brings hers to a Botcher, by going as fine as the Mercer's: The Mercer's lowers hers to a Foreman, by perking up to the Merchant's: The Merchant's wears hers to a Broker, by strutting up to Quality: And Quality bring theirs to nothing, by striving to out-do one another. If Women were humbler, Men wou'd be honester. Pride brings Want, Want makes Rogues, Rogues come to be hang'd, and the Devil alone's the Gainer. Go your ways home, Woman; and as your Husband maintain'd you by his Pen, maintain yourself by your Needle; put your great Girls to service, Imployment will keep them honest; much Work and plain Diet will cure the Green-Sickness as well as a Husband——

Forg. Why, you pityful Pigmy; preaching, canting, Pickthank; you little, sorry, crooked, dry, wither'd Eunuch, do you know that——

Esop. I know that I'm so deform'd you han't Wit enough to describe me: But I have this good Quality, That a foolish Woman can never make me angry.

Forg. Can't she so? I'll try that, I will.

[She falls upon him, holds his Hands, and boxes his Ears.

Esop. Help, help, help.

Enter Servants. She runs off, they after her.

Esop. Nay, e'en let her go——let her go——don't bring her back again——I'm for making a Bridge of Gold for my Enemy to retreat upon——I'm quite out of Breath——A terrible Woman, I protest.

[Pg 263]

Enter a Country Gentleman drunk, in a hunting Dress, with a Huntsman, Groom, Falconer, and other Servants; one leading a couple of Hounds, another Grey-Hounds, a third a Spaniel, a fourth a Gun upon his Shoulder, the Falconer a Hawk upon his Fist, &c.

Gent. Haux, haux, haux, haux, haux! Joular, there Boy, Joular, Joular, Tinker, Pedlar, Miss, Miss, Miss, Miss, Miss—Blood and Oons—O there he is; that must be he, I have seen his Picture [Reeling upon Esop].—Sir,—if your Name's Esop—I'm your humble Servant.

Esop. Sir, my Name is Esop, at your Service.

Gent. Why then, Sir—Compliments being past on both sides, with your leave—we'll proceed to Business. Sir, I'm by Profession—a Gentleman of—three thousand Pounds a Year—Sir, I keep a good Pack of Hounds, a good Stable of Horses. [To his Groom.] How many Horses have I, Sirrah?—Sir, this is my Groom.

[Presenting him to Esop.

Groom. Your Worship has six Coach-horses, (Cut and Long-Tail) two Runners, half a dozen Hunters, four breeding Mares, and two blind Stallions, besides Pads, Routs, and Dog-Horses.

Gent. Look you there, Sir, I scorn to tell a Lye. He that questions my Honour—he's a Son of a Whore. But to Business—Having heard, Sir, that you were come to this Town, I have taken the Pains to come hither too, tho' I had a great deal of Business upon my Hands, for I have appointed three Justices of the Peace to hunt with 'em this Morning——and be drunk with 'em in the Afternoon. But the main Chance must be look'd to—and that's this——I desire, Sir, you'll tell the King from me—I don't like these Taxes—in one Word, as well as in twenty—I don't like these Taxes.

Esop. Pray, Sir, how high may you be tax'd?

Gent. How high may I be tax'd, Sir! Why I may be tax'd, Sir—four Shillings in the Pound, Sir; one half I pay in Money—and t'other half I pay in Perjury, Sir:[Pg 264] Hey, Joular, Joular, Joular. Haux, haux, haux, haux, haux. Hoo, hoo——Here's the best Hound-bitch in Europe——Oons is she. And I had rather kiss her than kiss my Wife——Rot me if I had not——But, Sir, I don't like these Taxes.

Esop. Why how wou'd you have the War carry'd on?

Gent. War carried on, Sir!—--Why, I had rather have no War carried on at all, Sir, than pay Taxes. I don't desire to be ruin'd, Sir.

Esop. Why you say, you have three thousand Pounds a Year.

Gent. And so I have, Sir——Lett-Acre!——Sir, this is my Steward. How much Land have I, Lett-Acre?

Lett-Acre. Your Worship has three thausand Paunds a Year, as good Lond as any's i'th' Caunty; and two thausand Paunds worth of Wood to cut dawne at your Worship's Pleasure, and put the Money in your Pocket.

Gent. Look you there, Sir, what have you to say to that?

Esop. I have to say, Sir, that you may pay your Taxes in Money, instead of Perjury, and still have a better Revenue than I'm afraid you deserve. What Service do you do your King, Sir?

Gent. None at all, Sir—I'm above it.

Esop. What Service may you do your Country, pray?

Gent. I'm Justice of the Peace——and Captain of the Militia.

Esop. Of what use are you to your Kindred?

Gent. I'm the Head of the Family, and have all the Estate.

Esop. What Good do you do your Neighbours?

Gent. I give them their Bellies full of Beef every time they come to see me; and make 'em so drunk, they spew it up again before they go away.

Esop. How do you use your Tenants?

Gent. Why, I skrew up their Rents till they break and run away, and if I catch 'em again, I let 'em rot in a Gaol.

Esop. How do you treat your Wife?

[Pg 265]

Gent. I treat her all Day with Ill-nature and Tobacco, and all Night with snoring and a dirty Shirt.

Esop. How do you breed your Children?

Gent. I breed my eldest Son——a Fool; my youngest breed themselves, and my Daughters——have no Breeding at all.

Esop. 'Tis very well, Sir; I shall be sure to speak to the King of you; or if you think fit to remonstrate to him, by way of Petition or Address, how reasonable it may be to let Men of your Importance go Scot-free, in the Time of a necessary War, I'll deliver it in Council, and speak to it as I ought.

Gent. Why, Sir, I don't disapprove your Advice, but my Clerk is not here, and I can't spell well.

Esop. You may get it writ at your leisure, and send it me. But because you are not much used to draw up Addresses, perhaps; I'll tell you in general what kind of one this ought to be.

May it please your Majesty——

To the Gent.] You'll excuse me, if I don't know your Name and Title.

Gent. Sir Polydorus Hogstye, of Beast-Hall in Swine-County.

Esop. Very well.

May it please your Majesty; Polydorus Hogstye, of Beast-hall in Swine-County, most humbly represents, That he hates to pay Taxes, the dreadful Consequences of 'em being inevitably these, That he must retrench two Dishes in ten, where not above six of 'em are design'd for Gluttony.

Four Bottles out of twenty; where not above fifteen of 'em are for Drunkenness.

Six Horses out of thirty; of which not above twenty are kept for State.

And four Servants out of a Score; where one half do nothing but make Work for t'other.

To this deplorable Condition must your important Subject be reduc'd, or forc'd to cut down his Timber, which he wou'd willingly persevere against an ill run at Dice.

[Pg 266]

And as to the Necessity of the War for the Security of the Kingdom, he neither knows nor cares whether it be necessary or not.

He concludes with his Prayers for your Majesty's Life, upon Condition you will protect him and his Fox Hounds at Beast-Hall, without e'er a Penny of Money.

To the Gent.] This, Sir, I suppose, is much what you wou'd be at.

Gent. Exactly, Sir; I'll be sure to have one drawn up to the self-same purpose: and next Fox-Hunting I'll engage half the Company shall set their Hands to't. Sir, I am your——most devoted Servant; and if you please to let me see you at Beast-Hall, here's my Huntsman, Houndsfoot, will shew you a Fox shall lead you through so many Hedges and Briars, you shall have no more Clothes on your Back in half an Hour's Time—than you had——in the Womb of your Mother. Haux, haux, haux, &c.

[Exit shouting.

Esop. O Tempora, O Mores!

Enter Mr. Fruitful and his Wife.

Mr. Fruit. Heavens preserve the noble Esop, grant him long Life and happy Days.

Mrs. Fruit. And send him a fruitful Wife, with a hopeful Issue!

Esop. And what is it I'm to do for you, good People, to make you amends for all these friendly Wishes?

Mr. Fruit. Sir, here's myself and my Wife—

Mrs. Fruit. Sir, here's I and my Husband—[To her Husband.] Let me speak in my turn, Goodman Forward. [To Esop.] Sir, here's I and my Husband, I say, think we have as good Pretensions to the King's Favour as ever a Lord in the Land.

Esop. If you have no better than some Lords in the Land, I hope you won't expect much for your Service.

Mr. Fruit. An't please you, you shall be Judge yourself.

Mrs. Fruit. That's as he gives Sentence, Mr. Littlewit; who gave you Power to come to a Reference? If he does not do us right, the King himself shall; what's to be done here! [To Esop.] Sir, I'm forc'd to correct[Pg 267] my Husband a little; poor Man, he is not us'd to Court-Business; but to give him his due, he's ready enough at some Things: Sir, I have had twenty fine Children by him; fifteen of 'em are alive, and alive like to be; five tall Daughters are wedded and bedded, and ten proper Sons serve their King and their Country.

Esop. A goodly Company, upon my Word!

Mrs. Fruit. Would all Men take as much Pains for the peopling of the Kingdom, we might tuck up our Aprons, and cry, A Fig for our Enemies; but we have such a Parcel of Drones amongst us——Hold up your Head, Husband——He's a little out of Countenance, Sir, because I chid him; but the Man is a very good Man at the Bottom. But to come to my Business, Sir, I hope his Majesty will think it reasonable to allow me something for the Service I have done him; 'tis pity but Labour shou'd be encourag'd, especially when what one has done, one has done't with a Good-will.

Esop. What Profession are you of, good People?

Mrs. Fruit. My Husband's an Inn-keeper, Sir; he bears the Name, but I govern the House.

Esop. And what Posts are your Sons in, in the Service?

Mrs. Fruit.. Sir, there are four Monks.

Mr. Fruit. Three Attorneys.

Mrs. Fruit. Two Scriveners.

Mr. Fruit. And an Exciseman.

Esop. The deuce o'the Service; why, I thought they had been all in the Army.

Mrs. Fruit. Not one, Sir.

Esop. No, so it seems, by my Troth: Ten Sons that serve their Country, quotha! Monks, Attorneys, Scriveners and Excisemen, serve their Country with a Vengeance: you deserve to be rewarded, truly; you deserve to be hang'd, you wicked People, you. Get you gone out of my sight: I never was so angry in my Life.

[Exit Esop.

Mr. Fruit. to his Wife.] So; who's in the right now, you or I? I told you what wou'd come on't; you must be always a Breeding, and Breeding, and the King wou'd[Pg 268] take Care of 'em, and the Queen wou'd take Care of 'em: And always some Pretence or other there was. But now we have got a great Kennel of Whelps, and the Devil will take Care of 'em, for aught I see. For your Sons are all Rogues, and your Daughters are all Whores; you know they are.

Mrs. Fruit. What, you are a grudging of your Pains now, you lazy, sluggish, flegmatick Drone. You have a Mind to die of a Lethargy, have you? but I'll raise your Spirits for you, I will so. Get you gone home, go; go home, you idle Sot, you; I'll raise your Spirits for you.

[Exit, pushing him before her.

Re-enter Esop.

Esop. solus.] Monks, Attorneys, Scriveners, and Excisemen!

Enter Oronces.

Oron. O here he is. Sir, I have been searching for you, to say two Words to you.

Esop. And now you have found me, Sir, what are they?

Oron. They are, Sir——that my Name's Oronces: You comprehend me.

Esop. I comprehend your Name.

Oron. And not my Business?

Esop. Not I, by my Troth.

Oron. Then I shall endeavour to teach it you, Monsieur Esop.

Esop. And I to learn it, Monsieur Oronces.

Oron. Know, Sir——that I admire Euphronia.

Esop. Know, Sir——that you are in the right on't.

Oron. But I pretend, Sir, that Nobody else shall admire her.

Esop. Then I pretend, Sir, she won't admire you.

Oron. Why so, Sir?

Esop. Because, Sir——

Oron. What, Sir?

Esop. She's a Woman, Sir.

Oron. What then, Sir?

[Pg 269]

Esop. Why, then, Sir, she desires to be admir'd by every Man she meets.

Oron. Sir, you are too familiar.

Esop. Sir, you are too haughty; I must soften that harsh Tone of yours: It don't become you, Sir; it makes a Gentleman appear a Porter, Sir: And that you may know the Use of good Language, I'll tell you what once happen'd. Once an a Time——

Oron. I'll have none of your old Wives Fables, Sir, I have no Time to lose; therefore, in a Word——

Esop. In a Word, be mild: For nothing else will do you Service. Good Manners and soft Words have brought many a difficult Thing to pass. Therefore hear me patiently.

A Cook one Day, who had been drinking,
[Pg 270] (Only as many Times, you know,
You spruce, young, witty Beaux will do,
To avoid the dreadful Pain of thinking)
Had Orders sent him to behead
A Goose, like any Chaplain fed.
He took such Pains to set his Knife right,
'T had done one good t'have lost one's Life by't.
But many Men have many Minds,
There's various Tastes in various Kinds:
A Swan (who by Mistake he seiz'd)
With wretched Life was better pleas'd:
For as he went to give the Blow,
In tuneful Notes she let him know,
She neither was a Goose, nor wish'd
To make her Exit so.
The Cook (who thought of nought but Blood,
Except it were the Grease,
For that you know's his Fees)
To hear her sing, in great Amazement stood.
Cod's fish! quoth he, 'twas well you spoke,
For I was just upon the Stroke:
Your Feathers have so much of Goose,
A drunken Cook cou'd do no less
Than think you one: That you'll confess:
But y' have a Voice so soft, so sweet,
That rather than you shall be eat,
The House shall starve for want of Meat:
And so he turn'd her loose.

To Oron.] Now, Sir, what say you? will you be the Swan, or the Goose?

Oron. The Choice can't, sure, be difficult to make;
I hope you will excuse my youthful Heat,
Young Men and Lovers have a Claim to Pardon:
But since the Faults of Age have no such Plea,
I hope you'll be more cautious of offending.
The Flame that warms Euphronia's Heart and mine,
Has long, alas! been kindled in our Breasts:
Even Years are past since our two Souls were wed,
'Twou'd be Adultery but to wish to part 'em.
And wou'd a Lump of Clay alone content you,
A Mistress cold and senseless in your Arms,
Without the least Remains or Signs of Life,
Except her Sighs to mourn her absent Lover?
Whilst you shou'd press her in your eager Arms,
With fond Desire and Extasy of Love,
Wou'd it not pierce you to the very Soul,
To see her Tears run trickling down her Cheeks,
And know their Fountain meant 'em all to me?
Cou'd you bear this?
Yet thus the Gods revenge themselves on those
Who stop the happy Course of mutual Love.
If you must be unfortunate one way,
Choose that where Justice may support your Grief,
And shun the weighty Curse of injur'd Lovers.
Esop. Why, this is pleading like a Swan, indeed!
Were any Thing at Stake but my Euphronia——
Oron. Your Euphronia! Sir——
Esop. The Goose——take heed——
Were any Thing, I say, at Stake but her,
Your Plea wou'd be too strong to be refus'd.
But our Debate's about a Lady, Sir,
That's young, that's beautiful, that's made for Love.
----So am not I, you'll say: But you're mistaken;
[Pg 271] I'm made to love, tho' not to be belov'd.
I have a Heart like yours; I've Folly too:
I've every Instrument of Love like others.
Oron. But, Sir, you have not been so long a Lover;
Your Passion's young and tender,
'Tis easy for you to become its Master:
Whilst I shou'd strive in vain; mine's old and fixt.

Esop. The older 'tis, the easier to be govern'd; Were mine of as long a standing, 'twere possible I might get the better on't. Old Passions are like old Men; weak, and soon jostled into the Kennel.

Oron. Yet Age sometimes is strong, even to the Verge of Life.

Esop. Ah, but there our Comparison don't hold.

Oron. You are too merry to be much in Love.

Esop. And you too sad to be so long.

Oron. My grief may end my Days, so quench my Flame, but nothing else can e'er extinguish it.

Esop. Don't be discourag'd, Sir, I have seen many a Man outlive his Passion twenty Years.

Oron. But I have sworn to die Euphronia's Slave.

Esop. A decay'd Face always absolves a Lover's Oath.

Oron. Lovers whose Oaths are made to Faces, then; But 'tis Euphronia's Soul that I adore, which never can decay.

Esop. I wou'd fain see a young Fellow in love with a Soul of Threescore.

Oron. Quit but Euphronia to me, and you shall;
At least if Heaven's Bounty will afford us
But Years, enow to prove my Constancy,
And this is all I ask the Gods and you.

[Exit Oron.

Esop solus.

A good Pretence, however, to beg long Life. How grosly do the Inclinations of the Flesh impose upon the Simplicity of the Spirit! Had this young Fellow but study'd Anatomy, he'd have found the Source of his Passion lay far from his Mistress's Soul. Alas! alas! Had Women no more Charms in their Bodies, than what they have in their Minds, we should see more wise Men in the World, and much fewer Lovers and Poets.

[Pg 272]



Enter Euphronia and Doris.

Euph. Heavens! what is't you make me do, Doris? Apply myself to the Man I loath; beg Favours from him I hate; seek a Reprieve from him I abhor; 'tis low, 'tis mean, 'tis base in me.

Dor. Why, you hate the Devil as much as you do Esop, or within a small Matter, and should you think it a Scandal to pray him to let you alone a Day or two, if he were going to run away with you; ha?

Euph. I don't know what I think, nor what I say, nor what I do: But sure thou'rt not my Friend thus to advise me.

Dor. I advise! I advise nothing; e'en follow your own way; marry him, and make much of him. I have a mind to see some of his Breed; if you like it, I like it: He shan't breed out of me only; that's all I have to take Care of.

Euph. Pr'ythee don't distract me.

Dor. Why, to-morrow's the Day, fix'd and firm, you know it; much Meat, little Order, great many Relations, few Friends, Horse-play, Noise, and bawdy Stories; all's ready for a complete Wedding.

Euph. Oh! what shall I do?

Dor. Nay, I know this makes you tremble; and yet your tender Conscience scruples to drop one hypocritical Curtsy, and say, Pray, Mr. Esop, be so kind to defer it a few Days longer.

Euph. Thou know'st I cannot dissemble.

Dor. I know you can dissemble well enough, when you shou'd not do't. Do you remember how you us'd to plague your poor Oronces; make him believe you loath'd him, when you cou'd have kiss'd the Ground he[Pg 273] went on; affront him in all publick Places; ridicule him in all Company; abuse him wherever you went And when you had reduc'd him within an Ace of hanging or drowning, then come home with Tears in your Eyes, and cry, Now, Doris, let's go lock ourselves up, and talk of my dear Oronces: Is not this true?

Euph. Yes, yes, yes. But, pr'ythee, have some Compassion of me. Come, I'll do any thing thou bid'st me——What shall I say to this Monster? Tell me, and I'll obey thee.

Dor. Nay, then there's some hopes of you. Why, you must tell him——'Tis natural to you to dislike Folks at first sight: That since you have consider'd him better, you find your Aversion abated: That tho' perhaps it may be a hard Matter for you ever to think him a Beau, you don't despair, in Time, of finding out his Je-ne-sçai-quoy. And that on t'other side, tho' you have hitherto thought (as most young Women do) that nothing cou'd remove your first Affection, yet you have very great Hopes in the natural Inconstancy of your Sex. Tell him, 'tis not impossible, a Change may happen, provided he gives you Time: But that if he goes to force you, there's another Piece of Nature peculiar to Women, which may chance to spoil all, and that's Contradiction. Ring that Argument well in his Ears: He's a Philosopher; he knows it has Weight in it. In short, wheedle, whine, flatter, lye, weep, spare nothing; 'tis a moist Age, Women have Tears enow; and when you have melted him down, and gain'd more Time, we'll employ it in Closet-debates, how to cheat him to the end of the Chapter.

Euph. But you don't consider, Doris, that by this Means I engage myself to him; and can't afterwards with Honour retreat.

Dor. Madam, I know the World—Honour's a Jest, when Jilting's useful. Besides, he that wou'd have you break your Oath with Oronces, can never have the Impudence to blame you, for cracking your Word with himself. But who knows what may happen between the Cup and the Lip? Let either of the old Gentlemen[Pg 274] die, and we ride triumphant. Wou'd I could but see the Statesman sick a little, I'd recommend a Doctor to him, a Cousin of mine, a Man of Conscience, a wise Physician; tip but the Wink, he understands you.

Euph. Thou wicked Wench, wou'd'st poison him?

Dor. I don't know what I wou'd do; I think, I study, I invent, and somehow I will get rid of him. I do more for you, I'm sure, than you and your Knight-Errant do together for yourselves.

Euph. Alas, both he and I do all we can; thou know'st we do.

Dor. Nay, I know y' are willing enough to get together; but y' are a couple of helpless Things, Heaven knows.

Euph. Our Stars, thou see'st, are bent to Opposition.

Dor. Stars!—I'd fain see the Stars hinder me from running away with a Man I lik'd.

Euph. Ay, but thou know'st, should I disoblige my Father, he'd give my Portion to my younger Sister.

Dor. Ay, there the Shoe pinches, there's the Love of the Age! Ah!—--to what an Ebb of Passion are Lovers sunk in these Days! Give me a Woman that runs away with a Man, when his whole Estate's pack'd up in his Knap-sack: That tucks up her Coats to her Knees; and thro' thick and thro' thin, from Quarters to Camp, trudges heartily on; with a Child at her Back, another in her Arms, and a Brace in her Belly: There's Flame with a Witness, where this is the Effects on't. But we must have Love in a Feather-bed: Forsooth, a Coach and six Horses, clean Linen, and Cawdle! Fie for shame. O ho! here comes our Man. Now shew yourself a Woman, if you are one.

Enter Esop.

Esop. I'm told, fair Virgin, you desire to speak with me. Lovers are apt to flatter themselves; I take your Message for a Favour. I hope 'twas meant so.

Euph. Favours from Women are so cheap of late, Men may expect 'em truly, without Vanity.

Esop. If the Women are so liberal, I think the Men are generous too, on their Side: 'Tis a well-bred Age;[Pg 275] thank Heaven; and a deal of Civility there passes between the two Sexes. What Service is't that I can do you, Lady?

Euph. Sir, I have a small Favour to intreat you.

Esop. What is't? I don't believe I shall refuse you.

Euph. What if you shou'd promise me you won't?

Esop. Why then I shou'd make a Divorce between my Good-breeding and my Sense, which ought to be as sacred a Knot as that of Wedlock.

Euph. Dare you not trust then, Sir, the Thing you love?

Esop. Not when the Thing I love don't love me: Never.

Dor. Trust is sometimes the Way to be belov'd.

Esop. Ay, but 'tis oftener the way to be cheated.

Euph. Pray promise me you'll grant my Suit.

Dor. 'Tis a reasonable one, I'll give you my word for't.

Esop. If it be so, I do promise to grant it.

Dor. That's still leaving yourself Judge.

Esop. Why, who's more concern'd in the Trial?

Dor. But no Body ought to be Judge in their own Cause.

Esop. Yet he that is so, is sure to have no wrong done him.

Dor. But if he does wrong to others, that's worse.

Esop. Worse for them, but not for him.

Dor. True Politician, by my troth!

Esop. Men must be so, when they have to do with Sharpers.

Euph. If I shou'd tell you then there were a Possibility I might be brought to love you, you'd scarce believe me.

Esop. I shou'd hope as a Lover, and suspect as a Statesman.

Dor. [Aside.] Love and Wisdom! There's the Passion of the Age again.

Euph. You have liv'd long, Sir, and observ'd much: Did you never see Time produce strange Changes?

Esop. Amongst Women, I must confess I have.

Euph. Why, I'm a Woman, Sir.

Esop. Why, truly, that gives me some Hopes.

Euph. I'll encrease 'em, Sir; I have already been in Love two Years.

Dor. And Time, you know, wears all things to tatters.

[Pg 276]

Esop. Well observ'd.

Euph. What, if you shou'd allow me some, to try what I can do?

Esop. Why, truly, I would have Patience a Day or two, if there was as much Probability of my being your new Gallant, as perhaps there may be of changing your old one.

Dor. She shall give you fair Play for't, Sir; Opportunity and Leave to prattle, and that's what carries most Women in our Days. Nay, she shall do more for you: You shall play with her Fan; squeeze her little Finger; buckle her Shoe; read a Romance to her in the Arbour; and saunter in the Woods on a Moonshiny Night. If this don't melt her, she's no Woman, or you're no Man——

Esop. I'm not a Man to melt a Woman that Way: I know myself, and know what they require. 'Tis thro' a Woman's Eye you pierce her Heart; and I've no Darts can make their Entrance there.

Dor. You are a great Statesman, Sir; but I find you know little of our Matters. A Woman's Heart is to be enter'd forty Ways. Every Sense she has about her keeps a Door to it. With a Smock-face, and a Feather, you get in at her Eyes. With powerful Nonsense, in soft Words, you creep in at her Ears. An essenc'd Peruke, and a sweet Handkerchief, lets you in at her Nose. With a Treat, and a Box full of Sweetmeats, you slip in at her Mouth: And if you wou'd enter by her Sense of Feeling, 'tis as beaten a Road as the rest. What think you now, Sir? There are more Ways to the Wood than one, you see.

Esop. Why, you're an admirable Pilot; I don't doubt but you have steer'd many a Ship safe to Harbour: But I'm an old stubborn Seaman; I must sail by my own Compass still.

Euph. And by your Obstinacy lose your Vessel.

Esop. No: I'm just ent'ring into Port; we'll be married to-morrow.

Euph. For Heaven's sake defer it some Days longer; I cannot love you yet; indeed, I cannot.

[Pg 277]

Esop. Nor never will, I dare swear.

Euph. Why then will you marry me?

Esop. Because I love you.

Euph. If you lov'd me, you wou'd never make me miserable.

Esop. Not if I lov'd you for your sake; but I love you for my own.

Dor. [Aside.] There's an old Rogue for you.

Euph. [Weeping.] Is there no way left? must I be wretched?

Esop. 'Tis but resolving to be pleas'd. You can't imagine the Strength of Resolution. I have seen a Woman resolve to be in the Wrong all the Days of her Life; and by the help of her Resolution, she has kept her Word to a Tittle.

Euph. Methinks the Subject we're upon shou'd be of Weight enough to make you serious.

Esop. Right: To-morrow Morning pray be ready; you'll find me so: I'm serious. Now I hope you are pleas'd.

[Turning away from her.

Euph. [Going off weeping, and leaning upon Doris.] Break, Heart! for if than hold'st, I'm miserable.

Dor. [To Esop.] Now may the Extravagance of a lewd Wife, with the Insolence of a virtuous one, join hand in hand to bring thy grey Hairs to the Grave.

[Exeunt Euphronia and Doris.

Esop. My old Friend wishes me well to the last, I see.

Enter Learchus hastily, follow'd by Oronces.

Oron. Pray hear me, Sir.

Lear. 'Tis in vain; I'm resolv'd, I tell you. Most noble Esop, since you are pleas'd to accept of my poor Offspring for your Consort, be so charitable to my old Age, to deliver me from the Impertinence of Youth, by making her your Wife this Instant; for there's a Plot against my Life; they have resolv'd to teaze me to Death to-night, that they may break the Match to-morrow Morning. Marry her this instant, I intreat you.

Esop. This instant, say you!

Lear. This instant; this very instant.

[Pg 278]

Esop. 'Tis enough; get all things ready; I'll be with you in a Moment.

[Exit Esop.

Lear. Now, what say you, Mr. Flame-fire? I shall have the Whip-hand of you presently.

Oron. Defer it till to-morrow, Sir.

Lear. That you may run away with her to-night; ha?——Sir, your most obedient humble Servant. Hey, who waits there? Call my Daughter to me: Quick. I'll give her her Dispatches presently.

Enter Euphronia.

Euph. D'ye call, Sir.

Lear. Yes, I do, Minx. Go shift yourself, and put on your best Clothes. You are to be marry'd.

Euph. Marry'd, Sir!

Lear. Yes, marry'd, Madam; and that this Instant too.

Euph. Dear Sir——

Lear. Not a Word: Obedience and a clean Smock; dispatch.

[Exit Euphronia weeping.

Learchus going off, turns to Oronces.] Sir, your most obedient humble Servant.

Oron. Yet hear what I've to say.

Lear. And what have you to say, Sir?

Oron. Alas! I know not what I have to say!

Lear. Very like so. That's a sure Sign he's in love now.

Oron. Have you no Bowels?

Lear. Ha, ha! Bowels in a Parent! Here's a young Fellow for you. Hark thee, Stripling; being in a very merry Humour, I don't care if I discover some paternal Secrets to thee. Know then, that how humoursome, how whimsical soever we may appear, there's one fixt Principle that runs thro' almost the whole Race of us; and that's to please ourselves. Why do'st think I got my Daughter? Why, there was something in't that pleased me. Why dost think I marry my Daughter? Why to please myself still. And what is't that pleases me? Why, my Interest; what do'st think it shou'd be? If Esop's my Son-in-Law, he'll make me a Lord: If thou art my Son-in-Law——thou'lt make me a Grandfather. Now I having more Mind to be a Lord than[Pg 279] a Grandfather, give my Daughter to him, and not to thee.

Oron. Then shall her Happiness weigh nothing with you?

Lear. Not this.—If it did, I'd give her to thee, and not to him.

Oron. Do you think forc'd Marriage the Way to keep Women virtuous?

Lear. No; nor I don't Care whether Women are virtuous or not.

Oron. You know your Daughter loves me?

Lear. I do so.

Oron. What, if the Children that Esop may happen to father, shou'd chance to be begot by me?

Lear. Why, then Esop wou'd be the Cuckold, not I.

Oron. Is that all your Care?

Lear. Yes: I speak as a Father.

Oron. What think you of your Child's Concern in t'other World?

Lear. Why, I think it my Child's Concern, not mine. I speak as a Father.

Oron. Do you remember you once gave me your Consent to wed your Daughter?

Lear. I did.

Oron. Why did you so?

Lear. Because you were the best Match that offer'd at that Time. I did like a Father.

Oron. Why then, Sir, I'll do like a Lover. I'll make you keep your Word, or cut your Throat.

Lear. Who waits there, ha?

Enter Servants.

Lear. Seize me that Bully there. Carry him to Prison, and keep him safe.

[They seize him.

Oron. Why, you won't use me thus?

Lear. Yes, but I will tho': Away with him. Sir, your most humble Servant: I wish you a good Night's Rest; and as far as a merry Dream goes, my Daughter's at your Service.

Oron. Death and Furies!

[Pg 280]

[Exeunt Serv. with Oron.

Lear. [singing.] Dol, de tol dol, dol, de tol dol, Lilly Burleighre's lodg'd in a Bough.

Enter a Troop of Musicians, Dancers, &c.

Lear. How now! What have we got here?

Mus. Sir, we are a Troop of trifling Fellows, Fiddlers and Dancers, come to celebrate the Wedding of your fair Daughter, if your Honour pleases to give us Leave.

Lear. With all my Heart: But who do you take me for, Sir; ha?

1 Mus. I take your Honour for our noble Governor of Sysicus.

Lear. Governor of Sysicus! Governor of a Cheese-Cake! I'm Father-in-Law to the great Esop, Sirrah. [All bow to him.] [Aside.]——I shall be a great Man. Come, tune your Fiddles; shake your Legs; get all things ready. My Son-in-Law will be here presently——I shall be a great Man!


1 Mus. A great Marriage, Brother! What do'st think will be the End on't?

2 Mus. Why, I believe we shall see three Turns upon't. This old Fellow here will turn Fool; his Daughter will turn Strumpet; and his Son-in-Law will turn 'em both out of Doors. But that's nothing to thee nor me, so long as we are paid for our Fiddling. So tune away, Gentlemen.

1 Mus. D'ye hear, Trumpets? When the Bride appears, salute her with a melancholy Waft. 'Twill suit her Humour; for I guess she mayn't be over-well pleas'd.

Enter Learchus with several Friends, and a Priest.

Lear. Gentlemen and Friends, y'are all welcome. I have sent to as many of you as our short Time wou'd give me Leave, to desire you wou'd be Witnesses of the Honour the great Esop designs ourself and Family. Hey; who attends there? Go let my Daughter know I wait for her. [Exit Servant.] 'Tis a vast Honour that is done me, Gentlemen!

2 Gent. It is, indeed, my Lord.

Lear. [Aside.] Look you there; if they don't call me my Lord already——I shall be a great Man!

[Pg 281]

Enter Euphronia weeping, and leaning upon Doris, both in deep Mourning.

Lear. How now! What's here! All in deep Mourning! Here's a provoking Baggage for you!

[The Trumpets sound a melancholy Air till Esop appears; and then the Violins and Hautboys strike up a Lancashire Hornpipe.

Enter Esop in a gay foppish Dress, Long Peruke, &c. a gaudy Equipage of Pages and Footmen, all enter in an airy brisk Manner.

Esop. in an affected Tone to Euphronia.] Gad take my Soul, Ma'am, I hope I shall please you now——Gentlemen all, I'm your humble Servant. I'm going to be a very happy Man, you see. [To Euph.] When the Heat of the Ceremony's over, if your Ladyship pleases, Ma'am, I'll wait upon you to take the Air in the Park. Hey, Page; let there be a Coach and six Horses ready instantly. [Observing her Dress.]——I vow to Gad, Ma'am, I was so taken up with my good Fortune, I did not observe the extreme Fancy of your Ladyship's Wedding-Clothes——Infinitely pretty! as I hope to be sav'd; a World of Variety, and not at all gaudy.——[To Lear.] My dear Father-in-Law, embrace me.

Lear. Your Lordship does me too much Honour. [Aside.]——I shall be a great Man!

Esop. Come, Gentlemen, are all things ready? Where's the Priest?

Priest. Here, my noble Lord.

Esop. Most Reverend——will you please to say Grace that I may fall to, for I am very hungry, and here's very good Meat. But where's my Rival all this while? The least we can do, is to invite him to the Wedding.

Lear. My Lord, he's in Prison.

Esop. In Prison! How so?

Lear. He wou'd have murder'd me.

Esop. A bloody Fellow! But let's see him, however. Send for him quickly. Ha! Governor——that handsome Daughter of yours, I will so mumble her——

Lear. I shall be a great Man!

[Pg 282]

Enter Oronces pinion'd and guarded.

Esop. O ho, here's my Rival! Then we have all we want. Advance, Sir, if you please. I desire you'll do me the Favour to be a Witness to my Marriage, lest one of these Days you shou'd take a fancy to dispute my Wife with me.

Oron. Do you then send for me to insult me? 'Tis base in you.

Esop. I have no Time now to throw away upon Points of Generosity; I have hotter Work upon my Hands. Come, Priest, advance.

Lear. Pray, hold him fast there; he has the Devil and all of Mischief in's Eye.

Esop. [To Euph.] Will your Ladyship please, Ma'am, to give me your fair Hand——Hey-dey!

[She refuses her Hand.

Lear. I'll give it you, my noble Lord, if she won't. [Aside.] A stubborn, self-will'd, stiff-neck'd Strumpet.

[Learchus holds out her Hand to Esop, who takes it; Oronces stands on Esop's left Hand, and the Priest before 'em.

Esop. Let my Rival stand next me: Of all Men, I'd have him be satisfy'd.

Oron. Barbarous, inhuman Monster!

Esop. Now, Priest, do thy Office.

[Flourish with the Trumpets.

Priest. Since the eternal Laws of Fate decreed,
That he thy Husband, she thy Wife shou'd be,
May Heaven take you to its Care,
May Jupiter look kindly down, }
Place on your Heads Contentment's Crown! }
And may his Godhead never frown }
Upon this happy Pair.

[Flourish again of Trumpets.

[As the Priest pronounces the last Line, Esop joins Oronces and Euphronia's Hands.

Oron. O happy Change! Blessings on Blessings wait on the generous Esop!

Esop. Happy, thrice happy, may you ever be, }
And if you think there's something due to me, }
Pay it in mutual Love and Constancy. }

[Pg 283]

Euph. to Esop.] You'll pardon me, most generous Man,
If in the present Transports of my Soul,
Which you yourself have by your Bounty caus'd,
My willing Tongue is ty'd from uttering
The Thoughts that flow from a most grateful Heart.
Esop. For what I've done, I merit little Thanks,
Since what I've done, my Duty bound me to.
I wou'd your Father had acquitted his:
But he who's such a Tyrant o'er his Children,
To sacrifice their Peace to his Ambition,
Is fit to govern nothing but himself.
To Lear.] And, therefore, Sir, at my return to Court,
I shall take care this City may be sway'd
By more Humanity than dwells in you.
Lear. aside.] I shall be a great man!
Euph. To Esop.] Had I not Reason, from your constant Goodness,
To judge your Bounty, Sir, is infinite,
I shou'd not dare to sue for farther Favours:
But pardon me, if imitating Heaven and you,
I easily forgive my aged Father,
And beg that Esop would forgive him too.

[Kneeling to him.

Esop. The Injury he wou'd have done to you was great indeed: But 'twas a Blessing he design'd for me. If, therefore, you can pardon him, I may. [To Lear.] Your injur'd Daughter, Sir, has on her Knees intreated for her cruel, barbarous Father; and by her Goodness has obtain'd her Suit. If, in the Remnant of your Days, you can find out some way to recompense her, do it, that Men and Gods may pardon you, as she and I have done. But, let me see, I have one Quarrel still to make up. Where's my old Friend Doris?

Dor. She's here, Sir, at your Service; and as much your Friend as ever; true to her Principles, and firm to her Mistress. But she has a much better Opinion of you now than she had half an Hour ago.

Esop. She has reason: For my Soul appear'd then as deform'd as my Body. But I hope now, one may so far mediate for t'other, that, provided I don't make Love,[Pg 284] the Women won't quarrel with me; for they are worse Enemies even than they are Friends. Come, Gentlemen, I'll humour my Dress a little longer, and share with you in the Diversions these boon Companions have prepar'd us. Let's take our Places, and see how they can divert us.

Esop leads the Bride to her Place. All being seated, there's a short Concert of Hautboys, Trumpets, &c. After which a Dance between an old Man and a young Woman, who shuns him still at he comes near her. At last he stops, and begins this Dialogue, which they sing together.

Old Man.
Why so cold, and why so coy?
What I want in Youth and Fire,
I have in Love and in Desire:
To my Arms, my Love, my Joy!
Why so cold, and why so coy?
'Tis Sympathy, perhaps, with you;
You are cold, and I'm so too..
Old Man.
My Years alone have froze my Blood;
Youthful Heat in Female Charms,
Glowing in my aged Arms,
Wou'd melt it down once more into a Flood.
Women, alas, like Flints, ne'er burn alone;
To make a Virgin know
There's Fire within the Stone,
Some manly Steel must boldly strike the Blow.
Old Man.
Assist me only with your Charms,
You'll find I'm Man, and still am bold;
You'll find I still can strike, tho' old:
I only want your Aid to raise my Arms.

Enter a Youth, who seizes on the young Woman. [Pg 285]

Who talks of Charms, who talks of Aid?
I bring an Arm
That wants no Charm,
To rouze the Fire that's in a flinty Maid.
Retire, old Age:
——Winter, begone:
Behold the youthful Spring comes gayly on.
Here, here's a Torch to light a Virgin's Fire!
To my Arms, my Love, my Joy;
When Women have what they desire,
They're neither cold nor coy.

[She takes him in her Arms.

The Song and Dances ended, Esop takes Euphronia and Oronces by the Hands, leading them forwards.

Esop. By this Time, my young eager Couple, 'tis probable you wou'd be glad to be alone; perhaps you'll have a Mind to go to Bed, even without your Supper; for Brides and Bridegrooms eat little on their Wedding-Night. But since, if Matrimony were worn as it ought to be, it wou'd, perhaps, sit easier about us than it usually does, I'll give you one Word of Counsel, and so I shall release you. When one is out of Humour, let the other be dumb. Let your Diversions be such, as both may have a Share in 'em. Never let Familiarity exclude Respect. Be clean in your Clothes, but nicely so in your Persons. Eat at one Table, lie in one Room, but sleep in two Beds: I'll tell the Ladies why:

Turning to the Boxes.
In the sprightly Month of May, }
[Pg 286]
[Pg 287]
When Males and Females sport and play, }
And kiss and toy away the Day; }
An eager Sparrow and his Mate, }
Chirping on a Tree, were sat, }
Full of Love——and full of Prate. }
They talk'd of nothing but their Fires,
Of raging Heats, and strong Desires,
How true and faithful they wou'd be;
Of eternal Constancy;
Of this and that, and endless Joys,
And a thousand more such Toys:
Only Thing they apprehended,
Was that their Lives wou'd be so short,
They cou'd not finish half their Sport
Before their Days were ended.
But as from Bough to Bough they rove,
They chanc'd at last
In furious haste,
On a Twig with Birdlime spread,
(Want of a more downy Bed)
To act a Scene of Love.
Fatal it proved to both their Fires.
For tho' at length they broke away, }
And baulk'd the School-Boy of his Prey, }
Which made him weep the live-long Day, }
The Bridegroom, in the hasty strife,
Was stuck so fast to his dear Wife,
That tho' he us'd his utmost Art,
He quickly found it was in vain,
To put himself to further Pain,
They never more must part.
A gloomy Shade o'ercast his Brow; }
He found himself——I know not how: }
He look'd as Husbands often do. }
Where-e'er he mov'd, he felt her still,
She kiss'd him oft against his Will:
Abroad, at Home, at Bed and Board,
With favours she o'erwhelm'd her Lord.
Oft he turn'd his Head away, }
And seldom had a Word to say, }
Which absolutely spoil'd her Play, }
For she was better stor'd.
Howe'er, at length, her stock was spent,
(For Female Fires sometimes may be
Subject to Mortality;)
So Back to Back they sit, and sullenly repent.
But the mute Scene was quickly ended,
The Lady, for her share, pretended
The Want of Love lay at his Door; }
For her part, she had still in store }
Enough for him and twenty more, }
Which cou'd not be contended.
He answer'd her in homely Words,
(For Sparrows are but ill-bred Birds)
That he already had enjoy'd
So much, that truly he was cloy'd.
Which so provok'd her Spleen,
That after some good hearty Prayers, }
A Jostle, and some spiteful Tears, }
They fell together by the Ears, }
And ne'er were fond again.

[Pg 288]



Enter Players.

Esop. Well, good People, who are all you?

Omnes. Sir, we are Players.

Esop. Players! What Players?

Play. Why, Sir, we are Stage-Players, that's our Calling: Tho' we play upon other Things too; some of us play upon the Fiddle; some play upon the Flute; we play upon one another; we play upon the Town; and we play upon the Patentees.

Esop. Patentees! Pr'ythee, what are they?

Play. Why, they are, Sir——Sir, they are——'Cod I don't know what they are——Fish or Flesh——Masters or Servants——Sometimes one——Sometimes t'other, I think——Just as we are in the Mood.

Esop. Why, I thought they had a lawful Authority over you.

Play. Lawful Authority, Sir!—--Sir, we are free-born Englishmen, we care not for Law nor Authority neither, when we are out of Humour.

Esop. But I think they pretended at least to an Authority over you; pray, upon what Foundation was it built?

Play. Upon a rotten one——if you'll believe us. Sir, I'll tell you what the Projectors did: They imbark'd twenty thousand Pound upon a leaky Vessel——She was built at Whitehall; I think they call'd her——the Patent——ay, the Patent: Her Keel was made of a Broad Seal——and the King gave 'em a white Staff for their Main-Mast. She was a pretty light Frigate to[Pg 289] look upon, indeed: They spar'd nothing to set her off; they gilded her, and painted her, and rigg'd, and gunn'd her: And so sent her a Privateering. But the first Storm that blew, down went the Mast, ashore went the Ship—Crack, says the Keel; Mercy, cry'd the Pilot; but the Wind was so high, his Pray'rs cou'd not be heard—so they split upon a Rock——that lay hid under a Petticoat.

Esop. A very sad Story, this! But what became of the Ship's Company?

Play. Why, Sir, your humble Servants here, who were the Officers, and the best of the Sailors——(little Ben amongst the rest) seiz'd on a small Bark that lay to our Hand, and away we put to Sea again. To say the truth, we were better mann'd than rigg'd, and Ammunition was plaguy scarce amongst us.——However, a cruising we went, and some petty small Prizes we have made; but the Blessing of Heaven not being among us——or how the Devil 'tis, I cannot tell; but we are not rich.

Esop. Well, but what became of the rest of the Crew?

Play. Why, Sir, as for the Scoundrels, they, poor Dogs, stuck by the Wreck. The Captain gave them Bread and Cheese, and good Words——He told them, if they wou'd patch her up, and venture t'other Cruise, he'd prefer 'em all; so to work they went, and to Sea they got her.

Esop. I hope he kept his Word with 'em.

Play. That he did; he made the Boatswain's Mate Lieutenant; he made the Cook Doctor: He was forc'd to be Purser and Pilot, and Gunner himself; and the Swabber took Orders to be Chaplain.

Esop. But with such unskilful Officers, I'm afraid, they'll hardly keep above Water long.

Play. Why truly, Sir, we care not how soon they are under: But curst Folks thrive, I think. I know nothing else that makes 'em swim. I'm sure, by the Rules of Navigation, they ought to have over-set long since; for they carry a great deal of Sail, and have very little Ballast.

Esop. I'm afraid you ruin one another. I fancy if you[Pg 290] were all in a Ship together again, you'd have less Work, and more Profit.

Play. Ah, Sir——we are resolv'd we'll never sail under Captain Patentee again.

Esop. Pr'ythee, why so?

Play. Sir, he has us'd us like Dogs.

Wom.——And Bitches too, Sir.

Esop. I'm sorry to hear that; pray, how was't he treated you?

Play. Sir, 'tis impossible to tell; he us'd us like the English at Amboyna——

Esop. But I wou'd know some Particulars: Tell me what 'twas he did to you?

Play. What he did, Sir?——Why, he did in the first Place, Sir——In the first Place, Sir, he did——I'cod I don't know what he did——Can you tell, Wife?

Wom. Yes, marry can I; and a burning Shame it was too.

Play. O, I remember now, Sir, he wou'd not give us Plums enough in our Pudding.

Esop. That indeed was very hard; but did he give you as many as he promis'd you?

Play. Yes, and more; but what of all that? We had not as many as we had a mind to——

1 Wom. Sir, my Husband tells you Truth—

Esop. I believe he may; but what other Wrongs did he do you?

1 Wom. Why, Sir, he did not treat me with Respect; 'twas not one Day an three he would so much as bid me good-morrow—

2 Wom. Sir, he invited me to Dinner, and never drank my Health.

1 Wom. Then he cock'd his Hat at Mrs. Pert.

2 Wom. Yes, and told Mrs. Slippery he had as good a Face as she had.

Esop. Why, these were insufferable Abuses—

2 Play. Then, Sir, I did but come to him one Day—and tell him I wanted fifty Pound, and what do you think he did by me, Sir?—Sir, he turn'd round upon his Heel like a Top—

1 Play. But that was nothing to the Affront he put[Pg 291] upon me, Sir. I came to him, and in very civil words, as I thought, desir'd him to double my Pay: Sir, wou'd you believe it? He had the Barbarity to ask me if I intended to double my Work; and because I told him no, Sir—he did use me, good Lord, how he did use me!

Esop. Pr'ythee how?

1 Play. Why, he walk'd off, and answered me never a Word.

Esop. How had you Patience?

1 Play. Sir, I had not Patience. I sent him a Challenge; and what do you think his answer was?—He sent me Word I was a scoundrel Son of a Whore, and he wou'd only fight me by Proxy——

Esop. Very fine!

1 Play. At this rate, Sir, were we poor Dogs us'd—till one frosty Morning down he comes amongst us—and very roundly tells us——That for the future, no Purchase, no Pay. They that wou'd not work, shou'd not eat——Sir, we at first ask'd him coolly and civilly——Why? His answer was, Because the Town wanted Diversion, and he wanted Money——Our Reply to this, Sir, was very short; but I think to the purpose.

Esop. What was it?

1 Play. It was, Sir, that so we wallow'd in Plenty and Ease——the Town and he might be damn'd——This, Sir, is the true History of our Separation——and we hope you'll stand our Friend——

Esop. I'll tell you what, Sirs——

I once a Pack of Beagles knew——
[Pg 292] That much resembled I know who;
With a good Huntsman at their Tail,
In full Command,
With Whip in Hand,
They'd run apace
The chearful Chace,
And of their Game were seldom known to fail.
But being at length their chance to find
A Huntsman of a gentler Kind,
They soon perceiv'd the Rein was slack;
The Word went quickly thro' the Pack——
They one and all cry'd Liberty;
This happy Moment we are free;
We'll range the Woods,
Like Nymphs and Gods,
And spend our Mouths in Praise of Mutiny.
With that, old Jowler trots away,
And Bowman singles out his Prey;
Thunder bellow'd thro' the Wood,
And swore he'd burst his Guts with Blood;
Venus tript it o'er the Plain,
With boundless Hopes of boundless Gain;
——Juno, she slipt down the Hedge,
But left her sacred Word for Pledge,
That all she pickt up by the by——
Shou'd to the public Treasury;
And well they might rely upon her;
For Juno was a Bitch of Honour.
In short, they all had Hopes to see
A heavenly Crop of Mutiny.
And so to reaping fell.
But in a little Time they found,
It was the Devil had till'd the Ground,
And brought the Seed from Hell.
The Pack divided, nothing throve:
Discord seiz'd the Throne of Love.
Want and Misery all endure;
All take pains, and all grow poor.
When they had toil'd the live-long Day,
And came at Night to view their Prey,
Oft, alas, so ill they'd sped,
That half went Supperless to Bed.
At length they all in Council sate,
Where at a very fair Debate,
It was agreed at last,
That Slavery with Ease and Plenty,
When Hounds were something turn'd of twenty,
Was much a better Fate,
Than 'twas to work and fast.

[Pg 293]

1 Play. Well, Sir——and what did they do then?

Esop. Why they all went home to their Kennel again. If you think they did wisely, you'll do well to follow their Example.

[Exit Esop.

1 Play. Well, Beagles, what think you of the little Gentleman's Advice?

2 Wom. I think he's a little ugly Philosopher, and talks like a Fool.

1 Play. Ay, why there 'tis now! If he had been a tall Handsome Blockhead, he had talk'd like a wise Man.

2 Wom. Why, do you think, Mr. Jowler, that we'll ever join again?

1 Play. I do think, sweet Mrs. Juno, that if we do not join again, you must be a little freer of your Carcase than you are, or you must bring down your Pride to a Serge Petticoat.

1 Wom. And do you think, Sir, after the Affronts I have receiv'd, the Patent and I can ever be Friends?

1 Play. I do think, Madam, that if my interest had not been more affronted than your Face, the Patent and you had never been Foes.

1 Wom. And so, Sir, then you have serious Thoughts of a Reconciliation!

1 Play. Madam, I do believe I may.

1 Wom. Why then, Sir, give me Leave to tell you, that—make it my Interest, and I'll have serious Thoughts on't too.

2 Wom. Nay, if you are thereabouts, I desire to come into the Treaty.

3 Play. And I.

4 Play. And I.

1 Play. And I. No separate Peace. None of your Turin Play, I beseech you.

1 Play. Why then, since you are all so Christianly dispos'd——I think we had best adjourn immediately to our Council-Chamber, choose some potent Prince for Mediator and Guarantee——fix upon the Place of Treaty, dispatch our Plenipo's, and whip up the Peace like an Oyster. For, under the Rose, my Confederates, here[Pg 294] is such a damn'd Discount upon our Bills, I'm afraid, if we stand it out another Campaign, we must live upon slender Subsistence.


Enter Esop; and a Country Gentleman, who walks to and fro, looking angrily upon Esop.

Esop. Have you any Business with me, Sir?

Gent.—I can't tell whether I have or not.

Esop. You seem disturb'd, Sir?

Gent. I'm always so at the Sight of a Courtier.

Esop. Pray what may it be, that gives you so great an Antipathy to 'em?

Gent. My Profession.

Esop. What's that?

Gent. Honesty.

Esop. 'Tis an honest Profession. I hope, Sir, for the general Good of Mankind, you are in some public Employment?

Gent. So I am, Sir——no Thanks to the Court.

Esop. You are then, I suppose, employ'd by——

Gent. My Country.

Esop. Who have made you——

Gent. A Senator.

Esop. Sir, I reverence you.


Gent. Sir, you may reverence as low as you please; but I shall spare none of you. Sir, I am intrusted by my Country with above ten Thousand of their Grievances, and, in order to redress them, my Design is to hang ten thousand Courtiers.

Esop. Why, 'tis making short Work, I must confess; but are you sure, Sir, that wou'd do't?

Gent. Sure,——Ay, sure.

Esop. How do you know?

Gent. Why, the whole Country says so, and I at the Head of 'em. Now let me see who dares say the contrary.

Esop. Not I, truly. But, Sir, if you won't take it ill, I'll ask you a Question or two.

[Pg 295]

Gent. Sir, I shall take ill what I please. And if you, or e'er a Courtier of you all pretend the contrary, I say, 'tis a Breach of Privilege——Now put your Question, if you think fit.

Esop. Why then, Sir, with all due regard to your Character, and your Privilege too, I wou'd be glad to know what you chiefly complain of?

Gent. Why, Sir, I do chiefly complain, that we have
A great many Ships, and very little Trade;
A great many Tenants, and very little Money;
A great many Soldiers, and very little fighting;
A great many Gazettes, and little good News;
A great many Statesmen, and very little Wisdom;
A great many Parsons, and not an Ounce of Religion.

Esop. Why truly, Sir, I do confess these are Grievances very well worth your redressing. And I perceive you are truly sensible of our Diseases, but I'm afraid you are a little out in the Cure.

Gent. Sir, I perceive you take me for a Country-Physician: but you shall find, Sir, that a Country-Doctor is able to deal with a Court-Quack; and to shew you that I do understand something of the State of the Body-Politic, I will tell you, Sir, that I have heard a wise Man say, the Court is the Stomach of the Nation, in which, if the Business be not thoroughly digested, the whole Carcase will be in Disorder. Now, Sir, I do find by the Feebleness of the Members, and the Vapours that fly into the Head, that this same Stomach is full of indigestions, which must be remov'd: And therefore, Sir, I am come Post to Town with my Head full of Crocus Metallorum, and design to give the Court a Vomit.

Esop. Sir, the Physic you mention, tho' necessary sometimes, is of too violent a Nature to be us'd without a great deal of Caution. I'm afraid, you are a little too rash in your Prescriptions. Is it not possible you may be mistaken in the Cause of the Distemper?

Gent. Sir, I do not think it possible I shou'd be mistaken in any thing.

Esop. Have you been long a Senator?

Gent. No, Sir.

[Pg 296]

Esop. Have you been much about Town?

Gent. No, Sir.

Esop. Have you convers'd much with Men of Business?

Gent. No, Sir.

Esop. Have you made any serious Enquiry into the present Disorders of the Nation?

Gent. No, Sir.

Esop. Have you ever heard what the Men now employ'd in Business have to say for themselves?

Gent. No, Sir.

Esop. How then do you know they deserve to be punish'd for the present Disorders in your Affairs?

Gent. I'll tell you how I know.

Esop. I would be glad to hear.

Gent. Why, I know by this——I know it, I say, by this——that I'm sure on't——And to give you Demonstration that I'm sure on't, there is not one Man in a good Post in the Nation—but I'd give my Vote to hang him: Now I hope you are convinc'd.

Esop. As for Example: The first Minister of State, why wou'd you hang him?

Gent. Because he gives bad Counsel.

Esop. How do you know?

Gent. Why, they say so.

Esop. And who would you put in his Room?

Gent. One that would give better.

Esop. Who's that?

Gent. Myself.

Esop. The Secretary of State, why wou'd you hang him?

Gent. Because he has not good Intelligence.

Esop. How do you know?

Gent. I have heard so.

Esop. And who would you put in his Place?

Gent. My Father.

Esop. The Treasurer, why would you hang him?

Gent. Because he does not understand his Business.

Esop. How do you know?

Gent. I dreamt so.

Esop. And who would you have succeed him?

[Pg 297]

Gent. My Uncle.

Esop. The Admiral, why would you hang him?

Gent. Because he has not destroy'd the Enemies Ships.

Esop. How do you know he could do it?

Gent. Why, I believe so.

Esop. And who would you have command in his Stead?

Gent. My Brother.

Esop. And the General, why would you hang him?

Gent. Because he took ne'er a Town last Campaign.

Esop. And how you do know it was in his Power?

Gent. Why, I don't care a Souss whether 'twas in his power or not. But I have a Son at home, a brave chopping Lad; he has been Captain in the Militia these twelve Months, and I'd be glad to see him in his Place. What do ye stare for, Sir? Ha! I'gad I tell you he'd scour all to the Devil. He's none of your Fencers, none of your sa-sa Men. Numps is downright, that's his Play. You may see his Courage in his Face: He has a Pair of Cheeks like two Bladders, a Nose as flat as your Hand, and a Forehead like a Bull.

Esop. In short, Sir, I find if you and your Family were provided for, Things would soon grow better than they do.

Gent. And so they wou'd, Sir. Clap me at the Head of the State, and Numps at the Head of the Army: He with his Club-Musquet, and I with my Club Head-Piece, we'd soon put an End to your Business.

Esop. I believe you wou'd indeed. And therefore, since I happen to be acquainted with your extraordinary Abilities, I am resolv'd to give the King an Account of you, and employ my Interest with him, that you and your Son may have the Posts you desire.

Gent. Will you, by the Lord?—Give me your Fist, Sir—the only honest Courtier that ever I met with in my Life.

Esop. But, Sir, when I have done you this mighty Piece of Service, I shall have a small Request to beg of you, which I hope you won't refuse me.

Gent. What's that?

Esop. Why, 'tis in behalf of the two Officers who are to be displac'd to make Room for you and your Son.

[Pg 298]

Gent. The Secretary and the General?

Esop. The same. 'Tis pity they shou'd be quite out of Business: I must therefore desire you'll let me recommend one of 'em to you for your Bailiff, and t'other for your Huntsman.

Gent. My Bailiff and my Huntsman!—--Sir, that's not to be granted.

Esop. Pray, why?

Gent. Why?——Because one wou'd ruin my Land, and t'other wou'd spoil my Fox-Hounds.

Esop. Why do you think so?

Gent. Why do I think so!—--These Courtiers will ask the strangest Questions!—--Why, Sir, do you think that Men bred up to the State or the Army, can understand the Business of Ploughing and Hunting?

Esop. I did not know but they might.

Gent. How cou'd you think so?

Esop. Because I see Men bred up to Ploughing and Hunting, understand the Business of the State and the Army.

Gent. I'm shot——I ha'n't one Word to say for myself——I never was so caught in my Life.

Esop. I perceive, Sir, by your Looks, what I have said has made some Impression upon you; and would, perhaps do more, if you wou'd give it leave. [Taking his Hand.] Come, Sir, tho' I am a Stranger to you, I can be your Friend; my Favour at Court does not hinder me from being a Lover of my Country. 'Tis my Nature, as well as Principle, to be pleas'd with the Prosperity of Mankind. I wish all Things happy, and my Study is to make them so.

The Distempers of the Government (which I own are great) have employ'd the Stretch of my Understanding, and the deepest of my Thoughts, to penetrate the Cause, and to find out the Remedy. But alas! All the Product of my Study is this, That I find there is too near a Resemblance between the Diseases of the State and those of the Body, for the most expert Minister to become a greater Master in one than the College is in t'other: And how far their Skill extends, you may see by this Lump upon my Back. Allowances in all Professions there must be,[Pg 299] since 'tis weak Man that is the weak Professor. Believe me, Senator, for I have seen the Proof on't. The longest Beard amongst us is a Fool. Cou'd you but stand behind the Curtain, and there observe the secret Springs of State, you'd see, in all the Good or Evil that attends it, ten Ounces of Chance for one Grain either of Wisdom or Roguery.

You'd see, perhaps, a venerable Statesman sit fast asleep in a great downy Chair; whilst, in that soft Vacation of his Thought, blind Chance (or what at least we blindly call so) shall so dispose a thousand secret Wheels, that when he awakes, he needs but write his Name, to publish to the World some blest Event, for which his Statue shall be rais'd in Brass.

Perhaps a Moment thence, you shall behold him torturing his Brain; his Thoughts all stretcht upon the Rack for publick Service. The live-long Night, when all the World's at rest, consum'd in Care, and watching for their Safety, then by a Whirlwind in his Fate, in spight of him, some Mischief shall befall 'em, for which a furious Sentence strait shall pass, and they shall vote him to the Scaffold. Even thus uncertain are Rewards and Punishments; and even thus little do the People know, when 'tis the Statesman merits one or t'other.

Gent. Now I do believe I am beginning to be a wise Man; for I never till now perceived I was a Fool. But do you then really believe, Sir, our Men in Business do the best they can?

Esop. Many of 'em do: Some perhaps do not. But this you may depend upon; he that is out of Business is the worst Judge in the World of him that is in: First, Because he seldom knows any Thing of the Matter: And, Secondly, Because he always desires to get his Place.

Gent. And so, Sir, you turn the Tables upon the Plaintiff, and lay the Fool and Knave at his Door.

Esop. If I do him wrong, I'm sorry for't. Let him examine himself, he'll find whether I do or not.

[Exit Esop.

Gent.——Examine!—--I think I have had enough of that already. There's nothing left, that I know of, but to give Sentence: And truly I think, there's no great[Pg 300] difficulty in that. A very pretty Fellow I am, indeed! Here am I come bellowing and roaring two hundred Miles Post to find myself an Ass; when, with one Quarter of an Hour's Consideration, I might have made the self-same Discovery, without going over my Threshold. Well! if ever they send me on their Errand to reform the State again, I'll be damn'd. But this I'll do: I'll go home and reform my Family if I can: Them I'm sure I know. There's my Father's a peevish old Coxcomb: There's my Uncle's a drunken old Sot: There's my Brother's a cowardly Bully: Son Numps is a lubberly Whelp: I've a great ramping Daughter, that stares like a Heifer: and a Wife that's a slatternly Sow.


Enter a young, gay, airy Beau, who stands smiling contemptibly upon Esop.

Esop. Well, Sir, what are you?

Beau. A Fool.

Esop. That's impossible!—--for if thou wert, thou'd'st think thyself a wise Man.

Beau. So I do—This is my own Opinion——the t'other's my Neighbour's.

[Walking airily about.

Esop. gazing after him.] Have you any Business with me, Sir?

Beau. Sir, I have Business with nobody, Pleasure's my Study.

Esop. [Aside.] An odd Fellow this!—--Pray, Sir, who are you?

Beau. I can't tell——

Esop.——Do you know who I am?

Beau. No, Sir: I'm a Favourite at Court, and I neither know myself, nor any body else.

Esop. Are you in any Employment?

Beau. Yes.

Esop. What is't?

Beau. I don't know the Name on't.

Esop. You know the Business on't, I hope?

Beau. That I do—the Business of it is——to——put in a Deputy and receive the Money.

Esop.——Pray, what may be your Name?

[Pg 301]

Beau. Empty.

Esop. Where do you live?

Beau. In the Side-Box.

Esop. What do you do there?

Beau. I ogle the Ladies.

Esop. To what Purpose?

Beau. To no Purpose.

Esop. Why then do you do it?

Beau. Because they like it, and I like it.

Esop. Wherein consists the Pleasure?

Beau. In playing the Fool.

Esop.——Pray, Sir, what Age are you?

Beau. Five and twenty my Body; my Head's about fifteen.

Esop. Is your Father living?

Beau. Dead, thank God.

Esop. Has he been long so?

Beau. Positively, yes.

Esop. Where were you brought up?

Beau. At School.

Esop. What School?

Beau. The School of Venus.

Esop. Were you ever at the University?

Beau. Yes.

Esop. What Study did you follow there?

Beau. My Bed-maker.

Esop. How long did you stay?

Beau. Till I had lost my Maidenhead.

Esop. Why did you come away?

Beau. Because I was expell'd.

Esop. Where did you go then?

Beau. To Court.

Esop. Who took Care of your Education there?

Beau. A Whore and a Dancing-Master.

Esop. What did you gain by them?

Beau. A Minuet, and the Pox.

Esop. Have you an Estate?

Beau. I had.

Esop. What's become on't?

Beau. Spent.

[Pg 302]

Esop. In what?

Beau. In a Twelvemonth.

Esop. But how?

Beau. Why, in Dressing, Drinking, Whoring, Claps, Dice, and Scriveners. What do you think of me now, old Gentleman?

Esop. Pray, what do you think of yourself?

Beau. I don't think at all: I know how to bestow my Time better.

Esop. Are you married?

Beau. No——have you ever a Daughter to bestow upon me?

Esop. She wou'd be well bestow'd.

Beau. Why, I'm a strong young Dog, you old Put, you: She may be worse coupled——

Esop. Have you then a Mind to a Wife, Sir?

Beau. Yaw, Mynheer.

Esop. What wou'd you do with her?

Beau. Why, I'd take Care of her Affairs, rid her of all her Troubles, her Maidenhead, and her Portion.

Esop. And, pray, what Sort of Wife wou'd you be willing to throw yourself away upon?

Beau. Why, upon one that has Youth, Beauty, Quality, Virtue, Wit and Money.

Esop. And how may you be qualified yourself, to back you in your Pretensions to such a one?

Beau. Why, I am qualified with——a Perriwig——a Snuff-box—a Feather——a——smooth Face——a Fool's Head——and a Patch.

Esop. But one Question more: What Settlements can you make?

Beau. Settlements!—Why, if she be a very great Heiress, indeed, I believe I may settle——myself upon her for Life, and my Pox upon her Children for ever.

Esop. 'Tis enough; you may expect I'll serve you, if it lies in my Way. But I wou'd not have you rely too much upon your Success, because People sometimes are mistaken——

As for Example——

[Pg 303]

An Ape there was of nimble Parts,
[Pg 304] A great Intruder into Hearts,
As brisk, and gay, and full of Air,
As you or I, or any here;
Rich in his Dress, of splendid Shew,
And with an Head like any Beau:
Eternal Mirth was in his Face;
Where'er he went,
He was content,
So Fortune had but kindly sent
Some Ladies——and a Looking-glass.
Encouragement they always gave him,
Encouragement to play the Fool;
For soon they found it was a Tool
Wou'd hardly be so much in Love,
But that the mumbling of a Glove,
Or tearing of a Fan, wou'd save him.
These Bounties he accepts as Proof
Of Feats done by his Wit and Youth;
He gives their Freedom gone for ever,
Concludes each Female Heart undone,
Except that very Happy One
To which he'd please to do the Favour.
In short, so smooth his Matters went,
He guess'd, where'er his Thoughts were bent,
The Lady he must carry:
So put on a fine new Cravat,
He comb'd his Wig, he cock'd his Hat,
And gave it out he'd marry.
But here, alas! he found to 's Cost,
He had reckon'd long without his Host:
For wheresoe'er he made th' Attack,
Poor Pug with Shame was beaten back.
The first fair She he had in Chace,
Was a young Cat, extremely rich,
Her Mother was a noted Witch;
So, had the Daughter prov'd but civil,
He'd been related to the Devil.
But when he came
To urge his Flame,
She scratch'd him o'er the Face.
With that he went among the Bitches,
Such as had Beauty, Wit and Riches,
And swore Miss Maulkin, to her Cost,
Shou'd quickly see what she had lost:
But the poor, unlucky Swain
Miss'd his Shepherdess again;
His Fate was to miscarry.
It was his Destiny to find,
That Cats and Dogs are of a Mind,
When Monkies come to marry.

Beau. 'Tis very well;——'tis very well, old Spark; I say, 'tis very well. Because I han't a Pair of plaid Shoes, and a dirty Shirt, you think a Woman won't venture upon me for a Husband——Why, now to shew you, old Father, how little you Philosophers know of the Ladies, I'll tell you an Adventure of a Friend of mine.

A Band, a Bob-Wig, and a Feather,
[Pg 305] Attack'd a Lady's Heart together.
The Band, in a most learned Plea,
Made up of deep Philosophy,
Told her, if she wou'd please to wed
A Reverend Beard, and take, instead
Of vigorous Youth,
Old solemn Truth,
With Books and Morals into Bed,
How happy she wou'd be.
The Bob, he talk'd of Management,
What wondrous Blessings Heaven sent
On Care, and Pains, and Industry;
And, truly, he must be so free
To own, he thought your airy Beaux,
With powder'd Wigs, and dancing Shoes,
Were good for nothing (mend his Soul!),
But prate, and talk, and play the Fool.
He said, 'twas Wealth gave Joy and Mirth;
And that to be the dearest Wife
Of one, who labour'd all his Life,
To make a Mine of Gold his own,
And not spend Sixpence when he'd done,
Was Heaven upon Earth.
When these two Blades had done, d' ye see,
The Feather (as it might be me)
Steps out, Sir, from behind the Skreen,
With such an Air, and such a Mien,
Look you, old Gentleman, in short,
He quickly spoil'd the Statesman's Sport.
It prov'd such Sunshine Weather,
That you must know, at the first Beck
The Lady leapt about his Neck,
And off they went together.

To Esop.] There's a Tale for your Tale, old Dad, and so——Serviteur.


[Pg 306]
[Pg 307]


[Pg 308]


Spoken by Capt. Griffin.

You dread Reformers of an impious Age, }
[Pg 309] You awful Cat-o'-nine Tails to the Stage, }
This once be just, and in our Cause engage. }
To gain your Favour, we your Rules obey, }
And treat you with a moral Piece to-day; }
So moral, we're afraid 'twill damn the Play. }
For tho' y' ave long been leagu'd (as People tell)
To reduce the Power exorbitant of Hell;
No Troops you send, t' abate it in this Field,
But leave us still expos'd, to starve or yield.
Your Scouts, indeed, sometimes come stealing in,
T' observe this formidable Camp of Sin,
And whisper, if we'll piously declare,
What Aids you then will send, to help us thro' the War.
To this we answer, We're a feeble State, }
And cannot well afford to love or hate, }
So shou'd not meddle much in your Debate. }
But, since your Cause is good, thus far we'll go,
When Portugal declares, we'll do so too.
Our Cases, as we think, are much alike,
And on the same Conditions, we should strike;
Send to their Aid a hundred Men of War,
To ours, a hundred Squadrons of the Fair;
Rig out your Wives and Daughters all around,
(I mean, wh' are fit for Service, tight and sound)
And, for a Proof our Meaning is sincere, }
See but the Ships are good, and if you fear }
A Want of Equipage, we'll mann them here. }
These are the Terms on which you may engage
The Poet's Fire, to batter from the Stage:
Useful Ally! whose Friendship lets you in,
Upon the weak and naked Side of Sin.
Against your old Attack, the Foe's prepar'd,
Well fortify'd, and always on his Guard;
The sacred Shot you send are flung in vain; }
By Impious Hands, with insolent Disdain, }
They're gather'd up, and fir'd at you again. }
Thro' baffled Toils, and unsuccessful Cares, }
In Slaughter, Blood and Wounds, and pious Snares, }
Y' ave made a Flanders War these fifteen hundred Years. }
Change then your Scheme, if you'll your Foe annoy,
And the infernal Bajazet destroy;
Our Aid accept,
W' ave gentler Stratagems which may succeed;
We'll tickle 'em where you'd make 'em bleed:
In Sounds less harsh, we'll teach 'em to obey; }
In softer Strains the evil Spirit lay, }
And steal Immorality away. }

[Pg 310]

Dramatis Personæ.

Don Felix, a Gentleman of Valencia, Capt. Griffin.
Don Pedro, Lovers of Leonora, Mr. Wilks.
Don Guzman, Mr. Mills.
Don John, Mr. Cibber.
Lopez, Servant to Don John, Mr. Pinkethman.
Galindo, Servant to Don Guzman, Mr. Bullock.
Leonora, Daughter to Don Felix, Mrs. Rogers.
Isabella, her Friend, and Sister to Guzman, Mrs. Kent.
Jacinta, Woman to Leonora, Mrs. Oldfield.

SCENE, at Valencia.

[Pg 311]



SCENE, Don John's Lodgings.

Enter Don John beating Lopez.

Lop. Hold, Sir, hold; there's enough in all Conscience; I'm reasonable, I ask no more; I'm content.

Don John. Then there's a double Content, you Dog, and a Brace of Contents more into the Bargain. Now is't well?

[Striking again and again.

Lop. O, mighty well, Sir; you'll never mend it; pray leave it as 'tis.

Don John. Look you, you Jackanapes, if ever I hear an Offer at your impertinent Advice again——

Lop. And why, Sir, will you stifle the most useful of my Qualifications?

Don John. Either, Sirrah, I pass for a very great Blockhead with you, or you are pleas'd to reckon much upon my Patience.

Lop. Your Patience, Sir, indeed is great: I feel at this Time forty Proofs on't upon my Shoulders: But really, Sir, I wou'd advise you to——

[Pg 312]

Don John. Again! I can bear thee no longer. Here, Pen and Ink, I'll give thee thy Discharge: Did I take you for a Valet, or a Privy-Counsellor, Sir?

Lop. 'Tis confess'd, Sir, you took me but for humble Employment; but my Intention was agreeably to surprize you with some superior Gifts of Nature, to your faithful Slave. I profess, my noble Master, a most perfect Knowledge of Men and Manners. Yours, gracious Sir, (with all Respect I speak it) are not irreprehensible. And I'm afraid in Time, Sir, I am indeed, they'll riggle you into some ill-favour'd Affair, whence, with all my Understanding, I shall be puzzled to bring you off.

Don John. Very well, Sir.

Lop. And therefore, Sir, it is, that I, poor Lopez as I am, sometimes take leave to maralize.

Don John. Go, go, moralize in the Market-place: I'm quite worn out. Once more, march.

Lop. Is the Sentence definitive?

Don John. Positive.

Lop. Then, pray, let us come to account, and see what Wages are due.

Don John. Wages! Refund what you have had, you Rascal, you, for the plague you have given me.

Lop. Nay, if I must lose my Money; then let me claim another Right: Losers have leave to speak. Therefore, advance, my Tongue, and say thy Pleausure; tell this Master of mine, he shou'd die with shame at the Life he leads: So much unworthy of a Man of Honour: Tell him——

Don John. I'll hear no more.

Lop. You shall indeed, Sir.

Don John. Here, take thy Money, and begone.

Lop. Counters all; adieu, you glistring Spangles of the World; farewel, ye Tempters of the Great, not me. Tell him——

Don John. Stay.

Lop. Go on; tell him he's worse among the Women than a Ferret among the Rabbits; at one and all, from the Princess to the Tripe-Woman; handsome, ugly, old Women and Children, all go down.

[Pg 313]

Don John. Very well.

Lop. It is, indeed, Sir, and so are the Stories you tell them to bring them to your Matters. The Handsome, she's all Divinity, to be sure; the Ugly, she's so agreeable, were it not for her Virtue, she'd be over-run with Lovers; the light, airy, Flipflap, she kills him with her Motions; the dull, heavy-tail'd Maukin melts him down with her Modesty; the scragged, lean, pale Face has a Shape for Destruction; the fat over-grown Sow has an Air of Importance; the tall aukward Trapes with her Majesty wounds; the little, short Trundle-tail shoots a Je-ne-sçay-quoy: In a Word, they have all something for him——and he has something for them all.

Don John. And thus, you Fool, by a general Attack, I keep my Heart my own; lie with them that like me, and care not Sixpence for them that don't.

Lop. Well said, well said; a very pretty Amusement, truly! But, pray, Sir, by your leave (Ceremony aside) since you are pleas'd to clear up into Conversation, what mighty Matters do you expect from boarding a Woman, you know, is already Heart and Soul engag'd to another?

Don John. Why, I expect her Heart and Soul shou'd disengage in a Week. If you live a little longer with me, Sirrah, you'll know how to instruct your next Master to the purpose; and therefore, that I may charitably equip you for a new Service, now I'm turning you out of my own, I'll let you know, that when a Woman loves a Man best, she's in the most hopeful way of betraying him; for Love, like Fortune, turns upon a Wheel, and is very much given to rising and falling.

Lop. Like enough: But as much upon the Weathercock as the Ladies are; there are some the Wind must blow hard to fetch them about: When such a sturdy Hussy falls in your Honour's way, what account may Things turn to then, an't please ye?

Don John. They turn to a Bottle, you Puppy.

Lop. I find they'll always turn to something; but when you pursue a poor Woman, only to make her Lover jealous, what Pleasure can you take in that?

Don John. That Pleasure.

[Pg 314]

Lop. Look you there, again.

Don John. Why, Sirrah, d'ye think there's no Pleasure in spoiling their Sport, when I can't make my own?

Lop. O! to a good-natur'd Man, be sure there must; but, suppose, instead of 'fending and proving with his Mistress, he shou'd come to——a——parrying and thrusting with you; what becomes of your Joy, then, my noble Master?

Don John. Why, do you think I'm afraid to fight, you Rascal?

Lop. I thought we were talking of what we lov'd, not what we fear'd, Sir.

Don John. Sir, I love every Thing that leads to what I love most.

Lop. I know, Sir, you have often fought upon these Occasions.

Don John. Therefore, that has been no stop to my Pleasures.

Lop. But you have never been kill'd once, Sir; and when that happens, you will for ever lose the Pleasure of——

Don John. [Striking him.] Breaking your Head, you Rascal, which will afflict me heartily. See who knocks so hard.


Lop. Somebody that thinks I can hear no better than you think I can feel.

Enter Don Guzman.

Don Guz. Don John de Alvarada, is he here?

Lop. There's the Man. Shew me such another, if you can find him.


Don Guz. Don John, I desire to speak with you alone.

Don John. You may speak before this Fellow, Sir; he's trusty.

Don Guz. 'Tis an Affair of Honour, Sir.

Don John. Withdraw, Lopez.

Lop. Behind the Door I will, and no farther. [Aside.] This Fellow looks as if he came to save me a broken Head.

[Lopez retires.

Don Guz. I call myself Don Guzman de Torrellas; you[Pg 315] know what Blood I spring from; I am a Cadet, and by consequence, not rich; but I am esteem'd by Men of Honour: I have been forward to expose myself in Battles abroad, and I have met with Applause in our Feasts at home.

Lop. So much by way of Introduction.


Don John. I understand your Merit, Sir, and shou'd be glad to do as much by your Business.

Don Guz. Give Attention, and you'll be instructed. I love Leonora, and from my Youth have done so. Long she rejected my Sighs, and despised my Tears, but my Constancy at last hath vanquish'd. I have found the way to her Heart, and nothing is wanting to compleat my Joy, but the Consent of her Father, whom I cannot yet convince, that the Wants in my Fortune are recompens'd by the Merits of my Person.

Lop. He's a very dull Fellow, indeed.


Don Guz. In the mean while, the Object of my Vows is a sharer in my Grief, and the only Cordial we have is the Pleasure of a secret Conversation, thro' a small Breach I have made in a thin Partition that divides our Lodgings. I trust you, Don John, with this important Secret; Friend or Enemy, you are noble, therefore keep it; I charge your Honour with it.

Lop. You cou'd not put it in better Hands.


Don Guz. But more; my Passion for this Lady is not hid; all Valencia is acquainted with my Wishes, and approves my Choice. You alone, Don John de Alvarada, seeming ignorant of my Vows, dare traverse my Amour.

Don John. Go on.

Lop. These Words import War; lie close, Lopez.


Don Guz. You are the Argus of our Street and the Spy of Leonora; whether Diana by her borrow'd Light supplies the Absence of the Astrea of Day, or that the Shades of Night cover the Earth with impenetrable Darkness; you still attend till Aurora's Return, under the Balcony of that adorable Beauty.

Don John. So?

Don Guz. Wherever she moves, you still follow as[Pg 316] her Shadow, at Church, at Plays: Be her Business with Heaven or Earth, your Importunity is such, you'll share it.

Lop. He is a forward Fellow, that's the Truth on't.


Don Guz. But what's still farther, you take the Liberty to copy me; my Words, my Actions, every Motion is no sooner mine, but your's. In short, you ape me, Don; and to that point, I once design'd to stab myself, and try if you wou'd follow me in that too.

Lop. No, there the Monkey wou'd have left you.


Don Guz. But to conclude.

Don John. 'Tis Time.

Don Guz. My Patience, Don, is now no more; and I pronounce, that if henceforth I find you under Leonora's Window, who never wish'd, fond Man, to see you there; I, by the ways of Honour, shall fix you in another Station. I leave you to consider on't.——Farewel.

[Exit Don Guz.

Don John. Hold, Sir, we had e'en as good do this honourable Deed now.

Re-enter Lopez.

Lop. No, pray, Sir, let him go, and maybe you mayn't have Occasion to do it at all.

Don John. I thought at first the Coxcomb came upon another Subject, which wou'd have embarrassed me much more.

Lop. Now this was a Subject wou'd have embarrass'd me enough in all Conscience.

Don John. I was afraid he came to forbid me seeing his Sister, Isabella, with whom I'm upon very good Terms.

Lop. Why, now, that's a hard Case, when you have got a Man's Sister, you can't leave him his Mistress.

Don John. No, Changeling, I hate him enough, to love every Woman that belongs to him: and the Fool has so provok'd me by this Threatning, that I believe I shall have a Stroke at his Mother, before I think myself even with him.

Lop. A most admirable way to make up Accounts, truly!

[Pg 317]

Don John. A Son of a Whore! s'death, I did not care Sixpence for the Slut before, but now I'll have her Maidenhead in a Week, for fear the Rogue shou'd marry her in ten Days.

Lop. Mum; here's her Father: I'll warrant this old Spark comes to correct our Way of living too.

Enter Don Felix.

Don Fel. Don John!

Don John. Don Felix! do I see you in my poor Dwelling? Pray, to what lucky Accident do I owe this Honour?

Don Fel. That I may speak to you without Constraint, pray send away your Servant.

Lop. What the Pox have I done to 'em, they are all so uneasy at my Company?


Don John. Give us Chairs, and leave the Room.

Lop. If this old Fellow comes to quarrel with us too, he'll at least do us less harm.


Don Fel. Won't you retire, Friend?

[Looking behind.

Don John. Be gone, Sirrah.

Lop. aside.] Pox take ye——you old Prig, you: But I shall be even with you.

[Lopez hides himself.

Don Fel. You know me, Sir?

Don John. I do, Sir.

Don Fel. That I call myself——

Don John. Don Felix.

Don Fel. That I am of the House of——

Don John. Cabrera, one of the first of Valencia.

Don Fel. That my Estate is——

Don John. Great.

Don Fel. You know that I have some Reputation in the World?

Don John. I know your Reputation equals your Birth.

Don Fel. And you are not ignorant, that Heaven, for the Consolation of my grey Hairs, has given me an only Daughter, who is not deform'd?

Don John. Beauteous as Light.

Don Fel. Well shap'd, witty, and endow'd with—

Don John. All the good Qualities of Mind and Body.

[Pg 318]

Don Fel. Since you are satisfy'd with all this, hearken, I pray, with Attention, to the Business that brings me hither.

Don John. I shall.

Don Fel. We all know, Don John, some by their own Experience, some by that of others, how nice a Gentleman's Honour is, and how easily tarnish'd; an Eclaircissement manag'd with Prudence, often prevents Misfortunes, that, perhaps, might be upon the Point of attending us. I have thought it my Duty to acquaint you, that I have seen your Designs upon my Daughter: You pass Nights entire under her Window, as if you were searching an Opportunity to get into my House; there is nobody in the Town but has taken Notice of your Proceedings; you give the Publick a Subject for disadvantageous Discourse; and tho' in reality Leonora's Virtue receives no Prejudice by it, her Reputation daily runs some Risque. My Years have taught me to judge right of Things; and yet, I have not been able to decide what your End can be; you can't regard my Daughter on a foot of Gallantry; you know her Virtue, and my Birth too well; and for a Wife you seem to have no Thought, since you have yet made no Demand to me: What then is your Intention? You have heard, perhaps, I have hearken'd to a Gentleman of Toledo, a Man of Merit. I own I have, and I expect him daily here; but, Don John, if 'tis that which hinders you from declaring in form, I'll ease you of a great deal of Trouble, which the Customs of the World impose upon these Occasions, and, in a Word, I'll break with him, and give you Leonora.

Lop. Good.


Don Fel. You don't answer me! What is't that troubles you?

Don John. That I have been such a Sot, old Gentleman, to hear you with so much Patience.


Don Fel. How, Don! I'm more astonish'd at your Answer, than I was with your Silence.

Don John. Astonish'd! Why han't you talk'd to me of Marriage? He asks me to marry, and wonders what I complain of!

[Pg 319]

Don Fel. 'Tis well——'tis well, Don John, the Outrage is violent! You insult me in your own House. But, know, Sir——


Don John. But, know, Sir, there needs no Quarrel, if you please, Sir; I like your Daughter very well; but for marrying her——Serviteur.

Don Fel. Don Guzman de Torrellas has not less Merit than you, Don.

Don John. Agreed; what then?

Don Fel. And yet I have refus'd him my Daughter.

Don John. Why then, you have used him better than you have done me, which I take very unkindly.

Don Fel. I have us'd you, Sir——

Don John. Us'd me, Sir? you have us'd me very ill, to come into my own House to seduce me.

Don Fel. What Extravagance!

Don John. What Persecution!

Don Fel. Am I then to have no other Answer?

Don John. Methinks, you have enough in all Conscience.

Don Fel. Promise me, at least, you'll cease to love my Daughter.

Don John. I won't affront your Family so far, neither.

Lop. I'gad my Master shines to-day.


Don Fel. Know, Don, that I can bear no more.

Lop. If he cou'd, I think there's no more to lay upon him.


Don Fel. If I find you continue to importune Leonora, I shall find a way to satisfy my offended Honour, and punish your Presumption.

Don John. You shall do what you please to me, provided you don't marry me.

Don Fel. Know, Alvarada, there are ways to revenge such outrageous Affronts as these.

Don John. I won't marry.

Don Fel. 'Tis enough.

[Exit Don Felix.

Re-enter Lopez.

Lop. So; the old Fellow's gone at last, and has carry'd great Content along with him.

[Pg 320]


Don John. Lopez.

Lop. Sir——

Don John. What dost think? He wou'd have marry'd me!

Lop. Yes, he had found his Man. But you have been even with him.

Don John. What! thou hast heard us then?

Lop. Or I were no Valet: But, pray, what does your Honour intend to do now? Will you continue the Siege of a Place, where, 'tis probable, they will daily augment the Fortifications, when there are so many open Towns you may march into, without the Trouble of opening the Trenches.

Don John. I am going, Lopez, to double my Attacks: I'll beat up her Quarters six Times a-night; I am now downright in Love: the Difficulties pique me to the Attempt, and I'll conquer or I'll die.

Lop. Why, to confess the Truth, Sir, I find you much upon my Taste in this Matter: Difficulties are the Rocambole of Love; I never valu'd an easy Conquest in my life. To rouse my Fire; the Lady must cry out, as softly as ever she can, Have a Care, my Dear, my Mother has seen us: My Brothers suspect me; my Husband may surprize us: O, dear Heart, have a Care, I pray! Then, I play the Devil: But, when I come to a Fair-one, where I may hang up my Cloak upon a Peg, get into my Gown and Slippers—

Don John. Impudent Rogue!


Lop. See her stretch'd upon the Couch, in great Security, with—My Dear, come kiss me, we have nothing to fear—I droop, I yawn, I sleep.

Don John. Well, Sir, whatever you do with your Fair-one, I am going to be very busy with mine; I was e'en almost weary of her, but Guzman and this old Fellow have reviv'd my dying Fire; and so, have at her.

Lop. 'Tis all mighty well, Sir; mighty well, Sir, as can be in the World. But, if you wou'd have the Goodness to consider en passant, or so, a little now and then about Swords and Daggers, and Rivals and old Fellows, and Pistols and great Guns, and such like Baubles, only[Pg 321] now and then at leisure, Sir, not to interrupt Things of more Consequence.

Don John. Thou art a cowardly Rascal, I have often consider'd that.

Lop. Ay, that's true, Sir; and yet a Blunderbuss is presently discharged out of a Garret-Window.

Don John. Come, no more Words, but follow me: How now! what Impertinence have we here now, to stop me?

Enter Don Pedro.

Lop. 'Tis Don Pedro, or I'm a Dog.

Don John. Impossible! Don Pedro return'd!

Don Ped. 'Tis I, my dearest Friend; I'm come to forget all the Miseries of a long Absence in one happy Embrace.

[They embrace.

Don John. I'm overjoy'd to see you.

Don Ped. Mine's not to be exprest. What, Friend Lopez here still! How dost do, Lopez? What, dost not know me?

Lop. As well as my Father's Seal, Sir, when he sends me a Bill of Exchange.

Don Ped. Just as he was, I find, Galliard still.

Lop. I find it very unwholesome to be otherwise, Sir.

Don John. You have then quitted the Service in Flanders, I suppose.

Don Ped. I have so, Friend! I have left the Ensigns of Mars, and am listing myself in a softer Militia.

Don John. Explain, pray.

Don Ped. Why, when your Father's Death oblig'd you to leave Brussels, and return hither to the plentiful Fortune he left you; I stay'd in Flanders, very trist for your Lost, and past three Years in the Trade of War. About two Months since, my Father writ to me from Toledo, that he was going to marry me very advantageously at Valencia: He sent me the Picture of the Lady, and I was so well pleased with it, that I immediately got my Congé and embark'd at Dunkirk; I had a quick Passage to the Groyne, from whence, by the way of Madrid, I am come hither with all the Speed I cou'd. I have,[Pg 322] you must know, been two Days in Town, but I have lain Incognito, that I might inform myself of the Lady's Conduct I'm to marry; and I have discover'd, that she's serv'd by two Cavaliers of Birth and Merit. But tho' they have both given many Proofs of a most violent Passion, I have found, for the Quiet of my Honour, that this virtuous Lady, out of Modesty or Prudence, has shewn a perfect Indifference to them and their Gallantries; her Fortune is considerable, her Birth is high, her Manners irreproachable, and her Beauty so great, that nothing but my Love can equal it.

Don John. I have hearken'd to you, Don Pedro, with a great deal of Attention, and Heaven's my Witness, I have a mighty Joy in seeing you; but the Devil fetch me, it makes my Heart bleed, to hear you are going to be married.

Don Ped. Say no more of that, I desire you; we have always been Friends, and I earnestly beg we ever may be so; but I am not come to ask Counsel about my Marriage; my Party is taken, and my Inquiries have so much heightened my Desire, that nothing can henceforth abate it. I must, therefore, expect from you, dear Friend, that you won't oppose it, but that you'll aid me in hast'ning the Moment of my Happiness.

Don John. Since 'tis so impossible for you to resolve for your own Good, I must submit to what you'll have me: But are not we to know the Name of this Piece of Rarity, that is to do you this good Turn?

Don Ped. You'll know it presently; for I'm going to carry you to her House.

Don John. You shall tell me, at least, who are her two Gallants.

Don Ped. One, they cou'd not tell me his Name; t' other is——But before we talk any more of these Affairs, can you let me dispose of Lopez, till the Return of a Servant, I sent three Days ago to——

Don John. Carry News of you to Papa, I suppose.

Don Ped. You are right; the good Man is thirty Leagues off, and I have not seen him these six Years.

Don John. Lopez, do you wait upon Don Pedro.

[Pg 323]

Lop. With all my Heart. It's at least a Suspension of Boxes of the Ear, and Kicks of the Backside.


Don Ped. Then, honest Lopez, with your Master's Leave, go to the New-Inn, the King of France on Horseback, and see if my Servant's return'd; I'll be there immediately, to charge thee with a Commission of more Importance.

Lop. I shall perform your Orders, Sir, both to your Satisfaction, and my own Reputation.

[Exit Lopez.

Don John. Very quaint. Well, old Acquaintance, you are going to be married then? 'Tis resolved: Ha!

Don Ped. So says my Star.

Don John. The foolishest Star that has said any Thing a great while.

Don Ped. Still the same, I see! Or, more than ever, resolv'd to love nothing.

Don John. Love nothing! Why, I'm in Love at this very Time.

Don Ped. With what?

Don John. A Woman.

Don Ped. Impossible!

Don John. True.

Don Ped. And how came you in love with her?

Don John. Why, I was ordered not to be in love with her.

Don Ped. Then, there's more Humour than Love in't.

Don John. There shall be what you please in't. But I shan't quit the Gentlewoman, till I have convinced her there's something in't.

Don Ped. Mayn't I know her Name?

Don John. When you have let me into your conjugal Affection.

Don Ped. Pray, stay here but till I have sent Lopez to my Father-in-law; I'll come back, and carry you with me in a Moment.

Don John. I'll expect you.

Don Ped. Adieu, dear Friend! May I in earnest see you quickly in Love!

[Exit Don Pedro.

Don John. May I, without a Jest, see you quickly a Widower.

[Pg 324]

Don John solus.

He comes, he says, to marry a Woman of Quality that has two Lovers——If it should be Leonora——But, why she? There are many, I hope, in that Condition in Valencia——I'm a little embarrass'd about it, however——

Friendship, take heed; if Woman interfere,
Be sure the Hour of thy Destruction's near.



SCENE, Leonora's Apartment.

Enter Leonora, Isabella, and Jacinta.

Leon. Dear Isabella, come in: How I am plagu'd with this troublesome Wretch! Jacinta, have you shut the outer Gates?

Jacin. I have, Madam.

Leo. Shut the Window too; we shall have him get in there, by and bye.

Isab. What's this you are in such Apprehensions of, pray?

Leo. Nothing worth naming.

Isab. You dissemble: Something of Love in the Case, I'll warrant you.

Leo. The Reverse on't; 'tis Aversion. My Impertinent Star has furnish'd me with a Lover for my Guard, who is never from my Window; he persecutes me to Distraction; I affront him fifty Times a day; which he receives with a Bow down to the Ground: In short, all I can do, is doing nothing at all: He still persists in loving me, as much as I hate him.

Isab. Have a Care he don't get the better on't, for all that; for when a Man loves a Woman well enough[Pg 325] to persevere, 'tis odds but she at last loves him well enough to make him give it over. But I think I had as good take off my Scarf; for, since my Brother Don Guzman knows I'm with you, he won't quarrel at my return, for the Length of my Visit.

Leo. If he shou'd, I shou'd quarrel with him, which few Things else wou'd make me do. But methinks, Isabella, you are a little melancholy.

Isab. And you a little thoughtful.

Leo. Pray, tell me your Affliction.

Isab. Pray don't conceal yours.

Leo. Why, truly, my Heart is not at ease.

Isab. Mine, I fear, never will.

Leo. My Father's marrying me against my Inclination.

Isab. My Brother is hind'ring me from marrying with mine.

Leo. You know I love your Brother, Don Guzman.

Isab. And you shall know, I'm uneasy for Don John de Alvarada.

Leo. Don John!

Isab. The same.

Leo. Have you any Reason to hope for a Return?

Isab. I think so.

Leo. I'm afraid, my Dear, you abuse yourself.

Isab. Why?

Leo. Because he is already in Love with——

Isab. Who?

Leo. Me.

Isab. I wou'd not have you too positive in that, Madam, for I am very sure that——

Leo. Madam, I am very sure that he's the troublesome Guest I just now complain'd of: And you may believe——

Isab. Madam, I can never believe he's troublesome to any Body.

Leo. O, dear Madam! But I'm sure I'm forc'd to keep my Windows shut, till I'm almost dead with Heat; and that, I think, is troublesome.

Isab. This Mistake is easily set right, Leonora; our[Pg 326] Houses join, and when he looks at my Window, you fancy 'tis at your's.

Leo. But, when he attacks my Door, Madam, and almost breaks it down, I don't know how in the World to fancy 'tis your's.

Isab. A Man may do that to disguise his real Inclination.

Leo. Nay, if you please, believe he's dying for you. I wish he were; then I shou'd be troubled no more with him. Be sure, Jacinta, you don't open a Window to-night.

Isab. Not while I'm here, at least; for if he knows that, he may chance to press in.

Leo. Look you, Isabella, 'tis entirely alike to me, who he's fond of; but I'm so much your Friend, I can't endure to see you deceiv'd.

Isab. And since I have the same Kindness for you, Leonora, know, in short, that my Brother is so alarm'd at his Passion for me, that he has forbid him the Street.

Leo. Bless my Soul! and don't you plainly see by that, he's jealous of him upon my Account?

Isa. [Smiling.] He's jealous of his Honour, Madam, lest he shou'd debauch his Sister.

Leo. I say, he's jealous of his Love, lest he shou'd corrupt his Mistress.

Isab. But why all this Heat? If you love my Brother, why are you concern'd Don John shou'd love me?

Leo. I'm not concern'd: I have no Designs upon him; I care not who he loves.

Isab. Why then are you angry?

Leo. Why do you say he does not care for me!

Isab. Well, to content you then, I know nothing certain, but that I love him.

Leo. And to content you; I know nothing so certain, as that I neither love him, nor ever can love him: And so I hope we are Friends again.

Isab. Kiss me, then, and let us never be otherwise.

Leo. Agreed: [They kiss.] And now, my Dear, as my Misfortune's nearest, I am first to be pity'd; I am the most wretched Woman living. My Father every Mo[Pg 327]ment expects a Gentleman from Flanders, to whom he has resolv'd to marry me. But neither Duty, nor Prudence, nor Danger, nor Resolution, nor all I can summon to my Aid, can drive your Brother from my Heart; but there he's fix'd to ruin me.

Jacin. Madam, here's Don Guzman at the Chamber-Door; he begs so passionately to come in, sure you can't refuse him.

Leo. Heav'ns! But does he consider to what he exposes me?

Jacin. Madam, he considers nothing; if he did, I'd say he were an impudent Fellow, to pretend to be in Love with you.

Leo. Shall I venture, Isabella?

Isab. You know best.

Enter Don Guzman.

Jacin. Marry, methinks he knows best of us all, for here he comes.

Don Guz. Forgive me, lovely Leonora; 'tis the last Time, perhaps, that I may beg your Pity. My Rival is not far off: Excess of Modesty is now our Ruin. Break through it, for this Moment you have left, and own, to your old Father, how you love. He once did so himself; our Scene of Sorrow may, perhaps, recall some small Remembrance of his tender Years, and melt him into Mercy.

Leo. Alas! Don Guzman——

Jacin. O Heavens! Madam——

Leo. What's the Matter?

Jacin. Y' are undone; here's your Father.

Isab. What an unlucky Accident!

Leo. Has he seen Don Guzman?

Jacin. Nay, the deuce knows.

Isab. Where shall he hide himself?

Jacin. In the Moon, if he can get thither.

Enter Don Felix.

Don Guz. I must e'en stand it now.

Don Fel. Good News, my Daughter, good News;[Pg 328] I come to acquaint you, that——How now? What's the Meaning of this? Don Guzman in my Daughter's Chamber!

Don Guz. I see your Surprize, Sir, but you need not be disturb'd; 'twas some sudden Business with my Sister brought me here.

Don Fel. 'Tis enough, Sir: I'm glad to find you here; you shall be a Witness, that I know how to preserve the Honour of my Family.

Don Guz. What mean you, Sir?

Don Fel. To marry Leonora this Moment.

Don Guz. How say you?

Don Fel. I say, you shall have nothing left to ask of me.

Don Guz. Is't possible? O Heavens! what Joy I feel!

Don Fel. Leonora, prepare your Hand and Heart.

Leo. They both are ready, Sir; and in giving me the Man I love, you charge me with a Debt of Gratitude can never be repay'd.

Don Guz. [Kneeling.] Upon my Knees, I thank the best of Men, for blessing me with all that's blest in Woman.

Isab. How well that kind, that gentle Look becomes him!

Jacin. Now, methinks he looks like an old Rogue; I don't like his Looks.


Enter Lopez.

Lop. To all whom it may concern, greeting, Don Pedro Osorio, acknowledging himself most unworthy of the Honour intended him, in the Person of the fair Leonora, addresses himself, by me, his small Ambassador, to the Generosity of Don Felix, for leave to walk in and take Possession.

Don Fel. I had already given Order for his Entrance.

Don Guz. What is't I hear?

Leo. Support me.

Isab. She faints.

Don Guz. Look, Tyrant, here, and, if thou can'st, be cruel!

[Holding her.

Don Fel. Bring in Don Pedro.

[Pg 329]

Don Guz. Barbarian!

Jacin. Look up, Madam, for Heaven's sake; since you must marry the Fellow, e'en make the most on't.

Leo. Hoh——

Enter Don Pedro and Don John.

Jacin. So——How d'ye do now? Come, chear up. See, here he comes. By my Troth, and a pretty turn'd Fellow. [Aside.] He'll set all to rights by to-morrow Morning, I'll answer for him.

Don Fel. Don Pedro, you are welcome; let me embrace you.

Don Ped. In what Terms, Sir, shall I express what I owe you for the Honour you do me? And with what Prospect of Return can I receive this inestimable Present? Your Picture, Madam, made what Impression Art cou'd stamp, but Nature has done more. What Wounds your Sex can give, or ours receive, I feel.

Don Fel. Come, Son, (for I'm in haste to call you so)——But what's this I see? Alvarada here! Whence, Sir, this Insolence; to come within my Doors, after you know what has past? Who brought you here?

Don Ped. 'Twas I, Sir.

Don Fel. But do you know that he——

Don Ped. Sir, he's the best of my Friends.

Don Fel. But do you know, I say, that he wou'd——

Don Ped. Hinder this Marriage, 'tis true.

Don Fel. Yes, because he design'd——

Don Ped. I know his Design, Sir; 'tis to hinder all his Friends from marrying. Pray forgive him.

Don Fel. Then to prevent for ever his Designs here, come hither, Leonora, and give Don Pedro your Hand.

Don John. Keep down, my kindling Jealousy: I've something tortures me I never felt but now.


Don Ped. [To Leo.] Why this Backwardness, Madam? Where a Father chooses, a Daughter may with Modesty approve. Pray, give me your Hand.

Don Guz. I cannot see it.

[Turning from 'em.

Don Fel. [To Leo. aside.] Are you distracted? Will you let him know your Folly? Give him your Hand, for Shame.

[Pg 330]

Leo. Hoh! Don Guzman, I am yours.

[Sighing, and giving carelesly her Hand.

Don Guz. Madam!


Don Fel. What a fatal Slip!


Leo. 'Twas not to you I spoke, Sir.

Don Ped. But him it was she nam'd, and thought on too, I fear. I'm much alarm'd.

Don Fel. [To Leo.] Repair what you have done, and look more chearful on him.

Leo. Repair what you have done, and kill me.

Don Fel. Fool.

Leo. Tyrant.

Jacin. A very hum-drum Marriage this.


Don Guz. Pray, Sister, let's retire; for I can bear this Sight no longer.

Isab. My Dear, farewel; I pity you, indeed.

Leo. I am indeed an Object of your Pity.

[Exit Don Guz. and Isab.

Don Fel. Come, Daughter, come, my Son, let's to the Church, and tie this happy Knot.

Don Ped. I'll wait upon you, Sir.

[Exit Don Fel. leading Leo.

Don John. I love her, and I'll love her still. Fate do thy worst, I'll on.


Don Ped. To name another Man, in giving me her Hand!

Don John. [Aside.] How am I rackt and torn with Jealousy?

Don Ped. 'Tis doubtless so, Don Guzman has her Heart.


Don John. [Aside.] The Bridegroom's thoughtful. The Lady's Trip has furnish'd him with some Matrimonial Reflections: They'll agree with him at this Time perhaps, better than my Company. I'll leave him. Don Pedro, adieu, we shall meet again at Night.

Don Ped. Pray stay: I have need of a Friend's Counsel.

Don John. What, already!

Don Ped. Already.

Don John. That's to say, you have already enough of Matrimony.

[Pg 331]

Don Ped. I scarce know what I have, nor am I sure of what I am.

Enter Lopez.

Lop. An't please your Honour, yonder's your Man Bertrand just arriv'd; his Horse and he are so tired of one another, that they both came down upon the Pavement at the Stable-Door.

Don Ped. [To Don John.] He brings News from my Father.

Lop. I believe he does, and hasty News too; but if you stay till he brings it hither, I believe it will come but slowly. But here's his Packet; I suppose that will do as well as his Company.

[Gives a Letter.

Don Ped. [Reads to himself.] My dear friend, here's ill News.

Don John. What's the Matter?

Don Ped. My poor old Father's dying.

Don John. I'm mighty sorry for't; 'tis a weighty Stroke I must confess; the Burden of his Estate will almost bear you down. But we must submit to Heaven's good Will.

Don Ped. You talk, Alvarada, like a perfect Stranger to that Tenderness methinks every Son shou'd feel for a good Father: For my part, I've receiv'd such repeated Proofs of an uncommon Affection from mine, that the Loss of a Mistress could scarce touch me nearer. You'll believe me, when you see me leave Leonora a Virgin, till I have seen the good old Man.

Don John. That will be a Proof, indeed; Heaven's Blessing must needs fall upon so dutiful a Son; but I don't know how its Judgments may deal with so indifferent a Lover.

Don Ped. O! I shall have Time enough to repair this seeming small Neglect: But before I go, pray a Word or two with you alone. Lopez, wait without. [Exit Lop.] You see, my dearest Friend, I am engag'd with Leonora; perhaps I have done wrong; but 'tis gone too far, to talk or think of a Retreat; I shall I go directly from this Place to the Altar, and there seal the eternal Contract.[Pg 332] That done, I'll take Post to see my Father, if I can, before he dies. I leave then here a young and beauteous Bride; but that which touches every String of Thought, I fear, I leave her wishing I were Guzman. If it be so, no doubt he knows it well; and he that knows he's lov'd by Leonora, can let no fair Occasion pass to gain her; my Absence is his Friend, but you are mine, and so the Danger's balanc'd. Into your Hands, my Dear, my faithful Alvarada, [Embracing him.] I put my Honour, I put my Life; for both depend on Leonora's Truth. Observe her Lover, and——neglect not her. You are wise, you are active, you are brave and true. You have all the Qualities that Man shou'd have for such a Trust; and I by consequence have all the Assurance Man can have, you'll, as you ought, discharge it.

Don John. A very hopeful Business you wou'd have me undertake, keep a Woman honest!—'Sdeath, I'd as soon undertake to keep Portocarero honest. Look you, we are Friends, intimate Friends; you must not be angry if I talk freely. Women are naturally bent to Mischief, and their Actions run in one continued Torrent till they die. But the less a Torrent's check'd, the less Mischief it does; let it alone, perhaps 'twill only kiss the Banks and pass; but stop it, 'tis insatiable.

Don Ped. I wou'd not stop it; but cou'd I gently turn its Course where it might run, and vent itself with Innocence, I wou'd. Leonora of herself is virtuous; her Birth, Religion, Modesty and Sense, will guide her Wishes where they ought to point. But yet, let Guards be what they Will, that Place is safest that is ne'er attack'd.

Don John. As far as I can serve you, in hind'ring Guzman's Approaches, you may command me.

Don Ped. That's all I ask.

Don John. Then all you ask is granted.

Don Ped. I am at ease, farewel.

Don John. Heaven bring you safe to us again.

[Pg 333]

[Exit Don Ped.

Don John solus.

Yes, I shall observe her, doubt it not. I wish no body may observe me, for I find I'm no more Master of myself. Don Guzman's Passion for her adds to mine; but when I think on what Don Pedro will reap, I'm Fire and Flame. Something must be done: What, let Love direct, for I have nothing else to guide me.

Enter Lopez.

Lop. [Aside.] Don Pedro is mounting for his Journey, and leaves a young, warm, liquorish Hussy with a watry Mouth, behind him——Hum—If she falls handsomely in my Master's Way, let her look to her——hist—there he is. Doing what? Thinking? That's new. And if any Good comes on't, that will be newer still.

Don John. [Aside.] How! Abuse the Trust a Friend reposes in me? And while he thinks me waking for his Peace, employ the stretch of Thought to make him wretched?

Lop. Not to interrupt your pious Meditations, Sir, pray have you seen——Seen what, Fool? Why he can't see thee. I'gad, I believe the little blind Bastard has whipt him through the Heart in earnest.

Don John. [Aside.] Pedro wou'd never have done this by me——How do I know that?——Why——he swore he was my Friend——Well; and I swore I was his——Why then if I find I can break my Oath, why should not I conclude he will do as much by his?

Lop. [Aside.] His Countenance begins to clear up: I suppose Things may be drawing to a Conclusion.

Don John. [Aside.] Ay, 'tis just so: And I don't believe he wou'd have debated the Matter half so long as I have done: I'gad I think I have put myself to a great Expence of Morality about it. I'm sure, at least, my Stock's out. But I have a Fund of Love, I hope may last a little longer. O, are you there, Sir!

[Seeing Lop.

Lop. I think so, Sir; I won't be positive in any thing.

Don John. Follow me: I have some Business to employ you in, you'll like.

[Pg 334]

[Exit Don John.

Lop. I won't be positive in that neither. I guess what you are going about—There's Roguery a-foot: This is at Leonora, who I know hates him; nothing under a Rape will do't——He'll be hang'd——And then, what becomes of thee, my little Lopez?——Why, the Honour to a——dingle dangle by him. Which he'll have the Good-nature to be mighty sorry for. But I may chance to be beforehand with him: If we are not taken in the Fact, they'll perhaps do him the Honour to set a Reward upon his Head. Which if they do, Don, I shall go near to follow your moral Example, secure my Pardon, make my Fortune, and hang you up for the Good of your Country.



SCENE, Don Felix's House.

Enter Don Felix, Don Pedro, Leonora, and Jacinta.

Don Fel. How, Son! oblig'd to leave us immediately, say you?

Don Ped. My ill Fortune, Sir, will have it so.

Leo. [Aside.] What can this be?

Don Fel. Pray, what's the Matter? You surprise me.

Don Ped. This Letter, Sir, will inform you.

Don Fel. [Reads.] My dear Son, Bertrand has brought me the welcome News of your Return, and has given me your Letter; which has in some Sort reviv'd my Spirits in the Extremity I am in. I daily expect my Exit from this World. 'Tis now six Years since I have seen you; I shou'd be glad to do it once again before I die: If you will give me that Satisfaction, you must be speedy. Heaven preserve you.

[To Don Ped.] 'Tis enough: The Occasion I'm sorry[Pg 335] for, but since the Ties of Blood and Gratitude oblige you, far be it from me to hinder you. Farewel, my Son, may you have a happy Journey; and if it be Heaven's Will, may the sight of so good a Son revive so kind a Father. I leave you to bid your Wife adieu.

[Exit Don Fel.

Don Ped. I must leave you, my lovely Bride; but 'tis with bitter Pangs of Separation. Had I your Heart to chear me on my Way, I might with such a Cordial run my Course: But that Support you want the Power to give me.

Leo. Who tells you so?

Don Ped. My Eyes and Ears, and all the Pains I bear.

Leo. When Eyes and Ears are much indulg'd, like favourite Servants they are apt to abuse the too much Trust their Master places in 'em.

Don Ped. If I'm abus'd, assist me with some fair Interpretation of all that present Trouble and Disquiet, which is not in my Power to overlook, nor yours to hide.

Leo. You might methinks have spar'd my Modesty; and without forcing me to name your Absence, have laid my Trouble there.

Don Ped. No, no, my Fair Deluder, that's a Veil too thin to cover what's so hard to hide; my Presence not my Absence is the Cause. Your cold Reception at my first Approach, prepar'd me for the Stroke; and 'twas not long before your Mouth confirmed my Doom: Don Guzman, I am yours.

Leo. Is't then possible the Mouth shou'd utter one Name for another?

Don Ped. Not at all, when it follows the Dictates of the Heart.——

Leo. Were it even so, what Wrong is from that Heart receiv'd, where Duty and where Virtue are its Rulers?

Don Ped. Where they preside, our Honour may be safe, yet our Minds be on the Rack.

Leo. This Discourse will scarce produce a Remedy; we'll end it, therefore, if you please, and leave the rest to Time: Besides, the Occasion of your Journey presses you.

[Pg 336]

Don Ped. The Occasion of my Delay presses you, I fear, much more; you count the tedious Minutes I am with you, and are reduc'd to mind me of my Duty, to free yourself from my Sight.

Leo. You urge this thing too far, and do me wrong. The Sentiments I have for you are much more favourable than your Jealousy suffers 'em to appear. But if my Heart has seem'd to lean another way, before you had a Title to it, you ought not to conclude I shall suffer it to do so long.

Don Ped. I know you have Virtue, Gratitude and Truth; and therefore 'tis I love you to my Ruin. Cou'd I believe you false, Contempt would soon release me from my Chains, which yet I can't but wish to wear for ever: therefore indulge at least your Pity to your Slave; 'tis the soft Path in which we tread to Love. I leave behind a tortur'd Heart to move you:

Weigh well its Pains, think on its Passion too, }
Remember all its Torments spring from you; }
And if you cannot love, at least be true. }

[Exit Don Pedro.

Jacin. Now by my troth, Madam, I'm ready to cry. He's a pretty Fellow, and deserves better Luck.

Leo. I own he does: And his Behaviour wou'd engage any thing that were unengag'd. But, alas! I want his Pity more than he does mine.

Jacin. You do! Now I'm of another Mind. The Moment he sees your Picture, he's in love with you; the Moment he's in love with you, he imbarks; and, like Lightning, in a Moment more, he's here: Where you are pleas'd to receive him with a Don Guzman, I am yours. Ah——poor Man!

Leo. I own, Jacinta, he's unfortunate, but still I say my Fate is harder yet. The irresistible Passion I have for Guzman, renders Don Pedro, with all his Merit, odious to me; yet I must in his favour, make eternal War against the Strength of Inclination and the Man I love.

Jac. [Aside.] Um——If I were in her Case, I cou'd find an Expedient for all this Matter. But she makes such a Bustle with her Virtue, I dare not propose it to her.

[Pg 337]

Leo. Besides, Don Pedro possesses what he loves, but I must never think on poor Don Guzman more.


Jac. Poor Don Guzman, indeed! We han't said a Word of the Pickle he's in yet. Hark! somebody knocks——at the old Rendezvous. It's he, on my Conscience.

Leo. Let's be gone; I must think of him no more.

Jac. Yes, let's be gone; but let's know whether 'tis he or not, first.

Leo. No, Jacinta; I must not speak with him any more. [Sighing.] I'm married to another.

Jac. Married to another! Well, Married to another; why, if one were married to twenty others, one may give a civil Gentleman an Answer.

Leo. Alas! what would'st thou have me to say to him?

Jac. Say to him! Why, one may find twenty Things to say to a Man: Say, that 'tis true you are married to another, and that 'twould be a—Sin to think of any Body but your Husband; and that——you are of a timorous Nature, and afraid of being damn'd; and that a——You wou'd not have him die neither: That a——Folks are mortal, and Things sometimes come strangely about, and a Widow's a Widow, and——

Leo. Peace, Levity [Sighing.] But see who 'tis knocks.

Jac. Who's there?

Isa. [Behind the Scenes.] 'Tis I, Isabella.

Leo. Isabella! What do you want, my Dear?

Isa. Your Succour, for Heaven's sake, Leonora. My Brother will destroy himself.

Leo. Alas! it is not in my power to save him.

Isa. Permit him but to speak to you; that possibly may do.

Leo. Why have not I the Force to refuse him?

Don Guz. [Behind the Scenes.] Is it you I hear, my poor lost Mistress? Am I so happy, once more to meet you, where I so often have been blest!

Jac. Courage, Madam, say a little something to him.

Don Guz. Not one kind Word to a distracted Lover? No Pity for a Wretch, you have made so miserable?

[Pg 338]

Leo. The only Way to end that Misery, is to forget we ever thought of Happiness!

Don Guz. And is that in your Power? Ah, Leonora, you ne'er lov'd like me.

Leo. How I have lov'd, to Heaven I appeal! But Heaven does now permit that Love no more.

Don Guz. Why does it then permit us Life and Thought? Are we deceiv'd in its Omnipotence? Is it reduc'd to find its Pleasures in its Creatures Pain?

Leo. In what, or where, the Joys of Heaven consist, lies deeper than a Woman's Line can fathom; but this we know, a Wife must in her Husband seek for hers, and, therefore, I must think of you no more.——Farewel.

[Exit Leo.

Don Guz. Yet hear me, cruel Leonora.

Jac. It must be another Time, then, for she's whipt off now. All the Comfort I can give you, is, that I see she durst not trust herself any longer in your Company. But hush, I hear a Noise, get you gone; we shall be catch'd.

Leo. [Within.] Jacinta!

Jac. I come, I come, Madam.

[Exit Jac.

Enter Lopez.

Lop. If I mistake not, there are a Brace of Lovers intend to take some Pains about Madam, in her Husband's Absence. Poor Don Pedro! Well; methinks a Man's in a very merry Mood, that marries a handsome Wife: When I dispose of my Person, it shall be to an ugly one. They take it so kindly, and are so full of Acknowledgment; watch you, wait upon you, nurse you, humour you, are so fond, and so chaste. Or, if the Hussy has Presumption enough to think of being otherwise, away with her into the Mountains, fifty Leagues off; no Body opposes. If she's mutinous, give her Discipline; every Body approves on't. Hang her, says one, he's kinder than she deserves: Damn her, says another, why does not he starve her? But, if she's handsome, Ah, the Brute, cries one: Ah the Turk, cries t'other: Why don't she cuckold him, says this Fellow? Why[Pg 339] does not she poison him, says that? and away comes a Pacquet of Epistles, to advise her to't. Ah poor Don Pedro! But enough: 'Tis now Night, all's hush and still: every Body's a-bed, and what am I to do? Why, as other trusty Domesticks, sit up to let the Thief in. But I suppose he won't be here yet; with the help of a small Nap beforehand, I shall be in a better Condition to perform the Duty of a Centinel, when I go to my Post. This Corner will just fit me: Come, Lopez, lie thee down, short Prayers, and to sleep.

[He lies down.

Enter Jacinta with a Candle in her Hand.

Jac. So, I have put my poor Lady to Bed, with nothing but Sobs, Tears, Sighs, Wishes, and a Pillow to mumble, instead of a Bridegroom, poor Heart.——I pity her; but every Body has their Afflictions, and by the Beads of my Grandmother, I have mine. Tell me, kind Gentlemen, if I have not something to excite you? Methinks I have a rogueish Eye, I'm sure I have a melting Heart. I'm soft, and warm, and sound, may it please ye. Whence comes it then, this Rascal Lopez, who now has been two Hours in the Family, has not yet thought it worth his while, to make one Motion towards me? Not that the Blockhead's Charms have moved me, but I'm angry mine han't been able to move him. I doubt, I must begin with the Lubber: my Reputation's at stake upon't, and I must rouze the Drone, somehow.

Lopez rubbing his Eyes, and coming on.

Lop. What a damn'd Condition is that of a Valet! No sooner do I, in comfortable Slumber, close my Eyes, but methinks my Master's upon me, with fifty Slaps o' th' Back, for making him wait in the Street. I have his Orders to let him in here to-night, and so I had e'en——Who's that?——Jacinta!——Yes, a-caterwauling!—like enough.

Jac. The Fellow's there; I had best not lose the Occasion.

Lop. The Slut's handsome. I begin to kindle: But if my master shou'd be at the Door——Why there let him be, till the Matter's over.

[Pg 340]


Jac. Shall I advance?


Lop. Shall I venture?


Jac. How severe a Look he has!


Lop. She seems very reserv'd.


Jac. If he shou'd put the Negative upon me.


Lop. She seems a Woman of great Discretion; I tremble.


Jac. Hang it, I must venture.


Lop. Faint Heart never won fair Lady.


Jac. Lopez!

Lop. Jacinta!

Jac. O dear Heart! Is't you?

Lop. Charming Jacinta, fear me not.

Jac. O ho! he begins to talk soft——then let us take upon us again.


Lop. Cruel Jacinta, whose Mouth (small as it is) has made but one Morsel of my Heart.

Jac. It's well he prevents me. I was going to leap about the Rascal's Neck.


Lop. Barbare Jacinta, cast your Eyes On your poor Lopez, ere he dies.

Jac. Poetry too! Nay then I have done his Business.


Lop. Feel how I burn with hot desire, Ah! pity me, and quench my Fire. Deaf, my fair Tyrant, deaf to my Woes! Nay, then, Barbarian, in it goes.

[Drawing a Knife.

Jac. Why, how now, Jack Sauce? why, how now, Presumption? What Encouragement have I given you, Jack-a-lent, to attack me with your Tenders? I cou'd tear your Eyes out, Sirrah, for thinking I'm such a one. What Indecency have you seen in my Behaviour, Impudence, that you shou'd think me for your beastly Turn, you Goat, you?

Lop. Patience, my much offended Goddess, 'tis honourably I wou'd share your Bed.

Jac. Peace, I say—Mr. Liquorish. I, for whom the most successful Cavaliers employ their Sighs in vain, shall I look down upon a crawling Worm? Pha—See[Pg 341] that Crop Ear there, that Vermin that wants to eat at a Table, would set his Master's Mouth a-watering.

Lop. May I presume to make an humble Meal upon what savoury Remnants he may leave?

Jac. No.

Lop. 'Tis hard! 'tis wondrous hard!

Jac. Leave me.

Lop. 'Tis pitiful, 'tis wondrous pitiful!

Jac. Begone, I say. Thus, Ladies 'tis, perhaps, sometimes with you; With Scorn you fly the Thing, which you pursue.

[Exit Jac.

Lop. [Solus.] 'Tis very well, Mrs. Flipflap, 'tis very well; but do you hear——Tawdry, you are not so alluring as you think you are——Comb-brush, nor I so much in love——your Maidenhead may chance to grow mouldy with your Airs—the Pox be your Bedfellow; there's that for you. Come, let's think no more on't. Sailors must meet with Storms; my Master's going to Sea, too. He may chance to fare no better with the Lady, than I have done with her Abigail: There may be foul Weather there, too. I reckon, at present, he may be lying by under a Mizen, at the Street-Door; I think it rains too, for his Comfort. What if I shou'd leave him there an Hour or two, in fresco, and try to work off the Amour that Way? No; People will be physick'd their own Way. But, perhaps, I might save his Life by't——yes, and have my Bones broke, for being so officious; therefore, if you are at the Door, Don John, walk in, and take your Fortune.

[Opens the Door.

Enter Don John.

Don John. Hist! hist!

Lop. Hist! hist!

Don John. Lopez!

Lop. [Aside.] The Devil—Tread softly.

Don John. Are they all asleep?

Lop. Dead.

Don John. Enough; shut the Door.

Lop. 'Tis done.

[Pg 342]

Don John. Now, begone.

Lop. What! Shut the Door first, and then begone! Now, methinks, I might as well have gone first, and then shut the Door.

Don John. I bid you begone, you Dog, you, do you find the way.

Lop. [Aside.] Stark mad, and always so when a Woman's in chace. But, Sir, will you keep your chief Minister out of the Secrets of your State? Pray, let me know what this Night's Work is to be.

Don John. No Questions, but march.

[Lop. goes to the Door, and returns.

Lop. Very well—— But, Sir, shall I stay for you in the Street?

Don John. No, nor stir out of the House.

Lop. So: well, Sir, I'll do just as you have order'd me; I'll be gone, and I'll stay; and I'll march, and I won't stir, and—just as you say, Sir.

Don John. I see you are afraid, you Rascal, you.

Lop. Possibly.

Don John. Well, be it so; but you shan't leave the House, Sir; therefore, begone to your Hogstye, and wait further Orders.

Lop. [Aside.] But, first, I'll know how you intend to dispose of yourself.

[Lop. hides behind the Door.

Don John solus.

Don John. All's hush and still; and I am at the Point of being a happy——Villain. That Thought comes uninvited——Then, like an uninvited Guest, let it be treated: Begone, Intruder. Leonora's Charms turn Vice to Virtue, Treason into Truth; Nature, who has made her the supreme Object of our Desires, must needs have designed her the Regulator of our Morals. Whatever points at her, is pointed right. We are all her due, Mankind's the Dower which Heaven has settled on her; and he's the Villain that would rob her of her Tribute. I, therefore, as in Duty bound, will in, and pay her mine.

Lop. [Aside.] There he goes, i'faith; he seem'd as[Pg 343] if he had a Qualm just now; but he never goes without a Dram of Conscience-Water about him, to set Matters right again.

Don John. [Aside.] This is her Door, 'tis lock'd; but I have a Smith about me will make her Staple fly.

[Pulls out some Irons, and forces the Lock.

Lop. [Aside.] Hark! hark! if he is not equipt for a Housebreaker, too. Very well, he has provided two Strings to his Bow; if he 'scapes the Rape, he may be hang'd upon the Burglary.

Don John. [Aside.] There, 'tis done, so: No Watch-Light burning? [Peeping into her Chamber.] All in darkness? So much the better, 'twill save a great deal of blushing on both Sides. Methinks I feel myself mighty modest, I tremble too; that's not proper at this Time. Be firm, my Courage, I have Business for thee—So—How am I now? Pretty well. Then by your Leave, Don Pedro, I must supply your Neglect. You should not have married till you were ready for Consummation; a Maidenhead ought no more to lie upon a handsome Bride, than an Impeachment upon an innocent Minister.

[Don John enters the Chamber.

Lop. [Coming forwards.] Well done, well done; God-a-mercy, my little Judas. Unfortunate Don Pedro! thou hast left thy Purse in the Hands of a Robber; and while thou art galloping to pay the last Duty to thy Father, he's at least upon the Trot to pay the first to thy Wife. Ah the Traitor! What a Capilotade of Damnation will there be cook'd up for him! But softly: Let's lay our Ear to the Door, and pick up some Curiosities——I hear no Noise——There's no Light; we shall have him blunder where he should not do, by and by——commit a Rape upon her Tea-Table, perhaps, break all her China, and then she'll be sure to hang him. But hark—now I hear—nothing; she does not say a Word; she sleeps curiously. How if she shou'd take it all for a Dream, now? Or her Virtue shou'd be fallen into an Apoplexy? Where the Pox will all this end?

[Pg 344]

Leo. [Within.] Jacinta! Beatrix! Fernandez! Murder! Murder! help! help! help!

Lop. Now the Play begins, it opens finely.

Leo. [Within.] Father! Alphonso! Save me, O save me!

Lop. Comedy or Tragedy, for a Ducat! for fear of the latter, decamp Lopez.

[Exit Lopez.

SCENE changes to Leonora's Bed-Chamber; discovers Leonora in a Gown, holding Don John by the Sleeve.

Leo. Whoever you are, Villain, you shan't escape me; and tho' your Efforts have been in vain, you shan't fail to receive the Recompence of your Attempt: Help, ho, help there! help!

[Don John breaks from her, but can't find the Door.

Don John. [Aside.] S'death, I shall be undone! Where is this damn'd Door?

Leo. He'll get away: a Light there, quickly.

Enter Don Guzman with his Sword drawn.

Don Guz. Where are you, fair Angel? I come to lose my Life in your Defence.

Don John. [Aside.] That's Guzman's Voice? The Devil has sent him: But we are still in the dark; I have one Tour yet—Impudence, be my Aid. Light there, ho! Where is the Villain that durst attempt the virtuous Leonora.

Don Guz. His Life shall make her Satisfaction.

Don John. Or mine shall fall in his pursuit.

Don Guz. 'Tis by my Hands that she shall see him die.

Don John. My Sword shall lay him bleeding at her Feet.

Leo. [Aside.] What can this mean? But here's Light at last, thank the just bounteous Heaven.

Don John. Enter with the Light there; but secure the Door, lest the Traitor 'scape my Vengeance.

[Pg 345]

Enter Don Pedro, with a Light, he finds Leonora between them; both their Swords drawn.

Leo. O Heavens! what is't I see?

Don John. Don Pedro here!

Don Ped. What monstrous Scene is this?


Don Guz. What Accident has brought him here?


Don John. How I'm intrigu'd, indeed.


[Don Pedro steps back and shuts the Door.

Don Ped. [Aside.] This Mystery must unfold before we part. What Torments has my Fate provided me? Is this the Comfort I'm to reap, to dry my Tears, for my poor Father's death? [To Leo.] Ah Leonora!

Leo. [Aside.] Alas! where will this end!

[Falling into a Chair.

Don Ped. [Aside.] Naked! and thus attended at the dead of Night! My Soul is froze at what I see. Confusion sits in all their Faces, and in large Characters I read the Ruin of my Honour and my Love.

[To the Men.] Speak, Statues, if you yet have Power to speak, why at this Time of Night you are found with Leonora?——None speak! Don John, it is from you I ought to know.

Don John. My Silence may inform you.

Don Ped. Your Silence does inform me of my Shame, but I must have some Information more; explain the whole.

Don John. I shall. You remember, Don Pedro——

Don Ped. Be quick.

Don John. You remember you charged me before you went——

Don Ped. I remember well; go on.

Don John. With the Care of your Honour.

Don Ped. I did; dispatch.

Don John. Very well; you see Don Guzman in this Apartment, you see your Wife naked, and you see me, my Sword in my Hand;—that's all.

Don Ped. [Drawing upon Don Guz.] 'Tis here, then, I am to revenge my Wrongs.

[Pg 346]

Don Guz. Hold.

Don Ped. Villain, defend thyself.

Leo. O Heaven!

Don Guz. Yet hear me.

Don Ped. What canst thou say?

Don Guz. The Truth, as holy Heaven itself is Truth! I heard the Shrieks and Cries of Leonora; what the Occasion was I knew not; but she repeated them with so much Vehemence, I found, whatever her Distress might be, her Succour must be sudden; so leapt the Wall that parts our Houses, and flew to her Assistance. Don John can, if he please, inform you more.

Don Ped. [Aside.] Mankind's a Villain, and this may be true; yet 'tis too monstrous for a quick Conception. I shou'd be cautious how I wrong Don John. Sure 'tis not right to balance. I yet have but their Words against their Words; I know Don John for my Friend, and Guzman for my Rival. What can be clearer? Yet hold! If Leonora's innocent, she may untangle all. Madam, I shou'd be glad to know (if I have so much Interest left) which Way your Evidence will point my Sword.

Leo. My Lord, I'm in the same Perplexity with you: All I can say is this; one of them came to force me, t'other to save me: but the Night confounding the Villainy of the Guilty with the Generosity of the Innocent, I still am ignorant to which I owe my Gratitude, or my Resentment.

Don Guz. But, Madam, did you not hear me cry, I came to help you?

Leo. I own it.

Don John. And did you not hear me threaten to destroy the Author of your Fears?

Leo. I can't deny it.

Don Guz. What can there be more to clear me?

Don John. Or me?

Don Ped. Yet one's a Villain still.

[Aside.] My Confusion but increases; yet why confus'd? It is, it must be Guzman. But how came Don John here? Right. Guzman has said how he came to[Pg 347] her Aid, but Alvarada cou'd not enter but by Treason. Then perish——

Don Guz.. Who?

Don John. Who?

Don Ped. Just Gods, instruct me who!

Don. Felix knocks.

Don Fel. [Within.] Let me in, open the Door.

Leo. 'Tis my Father.

Don Ped. No Matter; keep the Door fast. [Aside.] I'll have this Matter go no further, till I can reach the Depth on't. Don Guzman, leave the House; I must suspend my Vengeance for a Time.

Don Guz. I obey you; but I'll lose my Life, or shew my Innocence.

[Exit Don Guz.

Don Fel. [Within.] Open the Door; why am I kept out?

Don Ped. Don John, follow me by this back Way. And you, Leonora, retire.

[Exit Leonora.

Don John. [Aside, following Don Ped.] If Don Guzman's Throat were cut, would not this Bustle end?—Yes——Why then, if his Throat be not cut, may this Bustle end me!


SCENE, Don Guzman's House.

Enter Don Guzman, and Galindo.

Don Guz. Galindo!


Gal. Sir.

Don Guz. Try if you can see Jacinta, let her privately know I wou'd fain speak with her.

Gal. It shall be done, Sir.

[Exit. Gal.

Don Guzman solus.

Sure Villainy and Impudence were never on the Stretch before! This Traitor has racked them till[Pg 348] they crack. To what a Plunge the Villain's Tour has brought me. Pedro's Resentment must at last be pointed here: But that's a Trifle; had he not ruin'd me with Leonora, I easily had pass'd him by the rest.——What's to be done? Which Way shall I convince her of my Innocence? The Blood of him who has dar'd declare me Guilty, may satisfy my Vengeance, but not aid my Love. No; I'm lost with her for ever——

Enter Jacinta.

Speak: is't not so, Jacinta? Am I not ruin'd with the virtuous Leonora?

Jacin. One of you, I suppose, is.

Don Guz. Which dost thou think?

Jacin. Why he that came to spoil all; who shou'd it be?

Don Guz. Pr'ythee be serious with me if thou can'st, for one small Moment, and advise me which Way I shall take to convince her of my Innocence, that it was I that came to do her Service.

Jacin. Why, you both came to do her Service, did not you?

Don Guz. Still trifling.

Jacin. No, by my Troth, not I.

Don Guz. Then turn thy Thoughts to ease me in my Torment, and be my faithful Witness to her, that Heaven and Hell and all their Wrath I imprecate, if ever once I knew one fleeting Thought that durst propose to me so impious an Attempt. No, Jacinta, I love her well; but love with that Humility, whatever Misery I feel, my Torture ne'er shall urge me on to seize more than her Bounty gives me leave to take.

Jacin. And the Murrain take such a Lover, and his Humility both, say I. Why, sure, Sir, you are not in earnest in this Story; are you?

Don Guz. Why dost thou question it?

Jacin. Because I really and seriously thought you innocent.

Don Guz. Innocent! What dost thou mean?

Jacin. Mean! Why, what shou'd I mean? I mean that I concluded you lov'd my Lady to that Degree,[Pg 349] you cou'd not live without her: And that the Thought of her being given up to another, made your Passion flame out like Mount Etna: That upon this your Love got the Bridle in his Teeth, and ran away with you into her Chamber, where that impertinent Spy upon her and you, Don John, follow'd, and prevented farther Proofs of your Affection.

Don Guz. Why, sure——

Jacin. Why, sure, thus I thought it was, and thus she thinks it is. If you have a Mind in the Depth of your Discretion, to convince her of your Innocence—May your Innocence be your Reward! I'm sure were I in her Place, you shou'd never have any other from me.

Don Guz. Was there then no Merit in flying to her Assistance when I heard her Cries?

Jacin. As much as the Constable and the Watch might have pretended to—something to drink.

Don Guz. This is all Raillery; 'tis, impossible she can be pleas'd with such an Attempt.

Jacin. 'Tis impossible she can be pleas'd with being reduc'd to make the Attempt upon you.

Don Guz. But was this a proper Way to save her Blushes?

Jacin. 'Twas in the dark; that's one Way.

Don Guz. But it must look like downright Violation.

Jacin. If it did not feel like it, what did that signify? Come, Sir, Waggery apart: You know I'm your Servant; I have given you Proofs on't. Therefore, don't distrust me now, if I tell you, this Quarrel may be made up with the Wife, tho' perhaps not with the Husband. In short, she thinks you were first in her Chamber, and has not the worse Opinion of you for it; she makes Allowance for your Sufferings, and has still Love enough for you, not to be displeas'd with the utmost Proofs you can give, that you have still a warm Remain for her.

Don Guz. If this be true, and that she thought 'twas me, why did me cry out to expose me?

Jacin. Because at this Time she did not think 'twas you. Will that content you? And now she does think[Pg 350] 'twas you, your Business is to let her think so on; for, in a Word, I can see she's concern'd at the Danger she has brought you into, and, I believe, wou'd be heartily glad to see you well out on't.

Don Guz.——'Tis impossible she can forgive me.

Jacin. Oons—Now Heaven forgive me, for I had a great Oath upon the very Tip of my Tongue; you'd make one mad with your Impossibles, and your Innocence, and your Humilities. 'Sdeath, Sir, do you think a Woman makes no Distinction between the Assaults of a Man she likes and one she don't? My Lady hates Don John, and if she thought 'twas he had done this Job, she'd hang him for't in her own Garters; she likes you, and if you shou'd do such another, you might still die in your Bed like a Bishop, for her.

Don Guz. Well, I'll dispute no farther. I put myself into thy Hands. What am I to do next?

Jacin. Why, do as she bids you; be in the Way at the old Rendezvous, she'll take the first Occasion she can to speak to you; and when you meet, do as I bid you, and instead of your Innocent and Humble, be Guilty and Resolute. Your Mistress is now marry'd, Sir; consider that. She has chang'd her Situation, and so must you your Battery. Attack a Maid gently, a Wife warmly, and be as rugged with a Widow as you can. Good bye t'ye, Sir.

[Exeunt several Ways.

SCENE, Don Felix's House.

Enter Don Pedro solus.

In what Distraction have I past this Night! Sure I shall never close my Eyes again! No Rack can equal what I feel. Wounded in both my Honour and my Love; they have pierc'd me in two tender Parts. Yet cou'd I take my just Revenge, it wou'd in some Degree assuage my Smart. O! guide me Heaven to that Cordial drop.——Hold! A Glance of Light I think begins to——Yes——Right. When Yesterday I brought Don John hither, was not Don Felix much disturb'd?——He was; and why?——That may be worth enquiring. But something more occurs. At my Arrival in this City, was I not told that two Cavaliers[Pg 351] were warm in the Pursuit of Leonora? One I remember well, they nam'd, 'twas Guzman: The other, I am yet a Stranger to. I fear I shall not be so long——'Tis Alvarada! O the Traitor! yet I may wrong him much. I have Guzman's own Confession that he past the Wall to come to Leonora——O! but 'twas to her Assistance——And so it might, and he a Villain still.—There are Assistances of various Sorts——What were her Wants?—That's dark—But whatsoe'er they were, he came to her Assistance. Death be his Portion, for his ready Service.

Enter Don Felix.

Don Fel. You avoid me, Don Pedro; 'tis not well. Am I not your Father, have you not Reason to believe I am your Friend?

Don Ped. I have.

Don Fel. Why do you not then treat me like a Father and a Friend? The Mystery you make to me of last Night's Disturbance, I take unkindly from you.—Come, tell me your Grief, that if I can I may assuage it.

Don Ped. Nothing but Vengeance can give me ease.

Don Fel. If I desire to know your Wrongs, 'tis to assist you in revenging 'em.

Don Ped. Know then, that last Night in this Apartment I found Don Guzman and Don John.

Don Fel. Guzman and Alvarada?

Don Ped. Yes; and Leonora almost naked between them, crying out for Aid.

Don Fel. Were they both guilty?

Don Ped. One was come to force her, t'other to rescue her.

Don Fel. Which was the Criminal?

Don Ped. Of that I am yet ignorant. They accuse each other.

Don Fel. Can't your Wife determine it?

Don Ped. The Darkness of the Night put it out of her Power.

Don Fel. But I perhaps may bring some Light to aid you. I have Part in the Affront: And tho' my Arm's too old and weak to serve you, my Counsel may be use[Pg 352]ful to your Vengeance. Know then, that Don Guzman has a long Time pursu'd my Daughter; and I as resolutely refus'd his Suit; which, however, has not hindered him from searching all Occasions to see and speak to her. Don John, on his Side——

Don Ped. Don John's my Friend, and I am confident——

Don Fel. That Confidence destroys you. Hear my Charge, and be yourself his Judge. He too has been a pressing Suitor to my Daughter.

Don Ped. Impossible!

Don Fel. To me myself, he has own'd his Love to her.

Don Ped.. Good Gods! Yet still this leaves the Mystery where it was; this Charge is equal.

Don Fel. 'Tis true; but yonder's one (if you can make her speak) I have Reason, to believe can tell us more.——Ho, Jacinta!

Enter Jacinta.

Jacin. Do you call me, Sir?

Don Fel. Yes; Don Pedro wou'd speak with you. [To Don Pedro aside.] I'll leave you with her; press her; press her both by Threats and Promises, and if you find your Wife in Fault, old as I am, her Father too, I'll raise my Arm to plunge this Dagger in her Breast, and by that Firmness convince the world, my Honour's dearer to me than my Child.

[Exit Don Fel.

Don Ped. [Aside.] Heaven grant me Power to stifle my Rage, till 'tis Time to let my Vengeance fly. Jacinta, come near: I have some Business with you.

Jacin. [Aside.] His Business with me at this Time can be good for nothing, I doubt.

Jacin. [To Don Ped.] What Commands have you, Sir, for me? I'm not very well.

Don Ped. What's your Disorder?

Jacin. A little Sort of a something towards an Ague, I think.

Don Ped. You don't seem so ill, but you may tell me—

Jacin. O, I can tell you nothing, Sir, I assure you.

[Pg 353]

Don Ped. You answer me before yon hear my Question. That looks as if you knew——

Jacin. I know that what you are going to ask me, is a Secret I'm out at.

Don Ped. [Offering her a Purse.] Then this shall let thee into it.

Jacin. I know nothing of the Matter.

Don Ped. Come, tell me all, and take thy Reward.

Jacin. I know nothing of the Matter, I say.

Don Ped. [Drawing his Sword.] Speak; or by all the Flame and Fire of Hell Eternal—

Jacin. O Lard, O Lard, O Lard!

Don Ped. Speak, or th'art dead.

Jacin. But if I do speak, shan't I be dead for all that?

Don Ped. Speak, and thou art safe.

Jacin. Well—O Lard—I'm so frighted—But if I must speak then—O dear Heart—give me the Purse.

Don Ped. There.

Jacin. Why truly, between a Purse in one's Hand—and—a Sword in one's Guts, I think there's little room left for Debate.

Don Ped. Come begin, I'm impatient.

Jacin. Begin! let me see, where shall I begin? At Don Guzman, I think.

Don Ped. What of him?

Jacin. Why he has been in love with my Lady these six Years.

Don Ped. I know it; but how has she received him?

Jacin. Receive him! Why—as young Maids use to receive handsome Fellows; at first ill, afterwards better.

Don Ped. [Aside.] Furies! Did they ever meet?

Jacin. A little.

Don Ped. By Day or Night?

Jacin. Both.

Don Ped. Distraction! Where was their Rendezvous?

Jacin. Where they cou'd not do one another much good.

Don Ped. As how?

Jacin. As through a Hole in a Wall.

[Pg 354]

Don Ped. The Strumpet banters me: Be serious, Insolence, or I shall spoil your Gaiety; I'm not dispos'd to Mirth.

Jacin. Why I am serious, if you like my Story the better for't.

Don Ped. [Aside.] How miserable a Wretch am I!

Jacin. I tell you there's a Wall parts their two Houses, and in that Wall there's a Hole. How the Wall came by the Hole, I can't tell; mayhap by chance, mayhap by no chance; but there 'tis, and there they use to prattle.

Don Ped. And this is Truth?

Jacin. I can't bate you a Word on't, Sir.

Don Ped. When did they meet there last?

Jacin. Yesterday; I suppose 'twas only to bid one another adieu.

Don Ped. Ah, Jacinta, thou hast pierced my Soul!

Jacin. [Aside.] And yet I han't told you half I cou'd tell you, my Don.

Don Ped. Where is this Place you speak of?

Jacin. There 'tis, if you are curious.

Don Ped. When they wou'd speak with one another; what's the Call?

Jacin. Tinkle, Tinkle.

Don Ped. A Bell?

Jacin. It is.

Don Ped. Ring.

Jacin. What do you mean, Sir?

Don Ped. [Hastily.] Ring.

Jacin. 'Tis done.

Don Ped. [Aside.] I'll make use of her to examine him. Does he come?

Jacin. Not yet.

Don Ped. Pull again.

Jacin. You must give him Time, Sir: My Lady always does so.

Don Ped. I hear something.

Jacin. 'Tis he.

Don Guz. [Within.] Who's there?

Don Ped... [Softly.] Say you are Leonora.

[Pg 355]

[Dumb Shew of her Unwillingness and his Threatning.

Jacin. [Softly.] 'Tis Leonora.

Don Guz. What are your Commands, Madam? Is it possible so unfortunate a Wretch as I can be capable of serving you?

[Don Ped. whispers Jacinta, who seems backwards to speak.

Jacin. I come to ask you, how cou'd you so far forget that infinite Regard you have professed, as to make an Attempt so dangerous both to yourself and me; and which, with all the Esteem and Love I have ever borne you, you scarce cou'd hope I ever shou'd forgive you.

Don Guz. Alas! my Hopes and Fears were vanish'd too. My Counsel was my Love and my Despair. If they advis'd me wrong, of them complain, for it was you who made 'em my Directors.

Don Ped. [Aside.] The Villain owns the Fact. It seems he thinks he has not so much to fear from her Resentment.——O Torture!

Enter Leonora.

Jacin. [Aside.] So, she's here; that's as I expected: now we are blown up.

Leo. [Aside, not seeing them.] If I don't mistake, I heard Don Guzman's Call. I can't refuse to answer it. Forgive me, Gods, and let my Woman's Weakness plead my Cause.—How! my Husband here! Nay then——

Don Ped. You seem disorder'd, Madam; pray, what may be the Cause?

Leo. [Confus'd.] I don't know, really; I'm not——I don't know that——

Don Ped. You did not know that I was here, I guess?

Leo. Yes, I did, and——came to speak with you.

Don Ped. I'm not at present in a talking Humour, but if your Tongue is set to Conversation, there's one behind the Wall will entertain you.

Don Guz. But is it possible, fair Leonora, that you can pardon my Attempt?

Don Ped. [To Leo.] You hear him, Madam; he dares own it to you.

[Pg 356]

Leo. [Aside.] Jacinta winks; I guess what Scene they have been acting here. My Part is now to play.

[To Don Ped.] I see, Sir, he dares own it: Nor is he the first lover has pressum'd beyond the Countenance he ever has receiv'd. Pray draw near, and hear what he has more to say: It is my Interest you shou'd know the Depth of all has ever passed between us.

Leo. [To Don Guz.] I fain wou'd know, Don Guzman, whether in the whole Conduct of my Life, you have known one step, that cou'd encourage you to hope I ever cou'd be yours, but on the Terms of Honour which you sought me?

Don Guz. Not one.

Leo. Why then should you believe I cou'd forgive the taking that by Force, which you already were convinc'd I valu'd more the keeping, than my Life?

Don Guz. Had my Love been as temperate as yours, I with your Reason had perhaps debated. But not in Reason, but in Flames, I flew to Leonora.

Leo. If strong Temptation be allow'd a Plea, Vice, in the worst of Shapes, has much to urge:—No, cou'd any Thing have shaken me in Virtue, it must have been the Strength of it in you. Had you shone bright enough to dazzle me, I blindly might have missed the Path I meant to tread: But now you have clear'd my Sight for ever. If, therefore, from this Moment more you dare to let me know one Thought of Love, though in the humblest Stile, expect to be a Sacrifice to him you attempt to wrong.——Farewel!

[She retires from him.

Don Guz. O stay and hear me!—I have wrong'd myself; I'm innocent!—--By all that's sacred, just and good, I'm innocent!

Don Ped. [Aside.] What does he mean?

Don Guz. I have own'd a Fact I am not guilty of! Jacinta can inform you; she knows I never——

Jacin. I know! The Man's mad: Pray, begone, Sir, my Lady will hear no more; I'll shut him out, Madam, shan't I?

[She shuts the Hole.

Leo. I have no farther Business with him.

[Pg 357]

Enter Isabella hastily.

Isab. O Heavens, Leonora, where are you? Don Pedro, you can assist me better.

Leo. What's the Matter?

Don Ped. What is it, Madam, I can serve you in?

Isab. In what the Peace of my whole Life consists; the Safety of my Brother! Don John's Servant has this Moment left me a Letter for him, which I have open'd, knowing there is an Animosity of some Time between 'em.

Don Ped. Well, Madam!

Isab. O dear, it is a Challenge, and what to do I know not; if I shew it my Brother, he'll immediately fly to the Place appointed; and if I don't, he'll be accus'd of Cowardice. One way I risque his Life, t'other I ruin his Honour.

Don Ped. What wou'd you have me do, Madam?

Isab. I'll tell you, Sir: I only beg you'll go to the Place where Don John expects him; tell him I have intercepted his Letter, and make him promise you he'll send no more: By this generous Charity you may hinder two Men (whose, Piques are on a frivolous Occasion) from murdering one another! And by this good Office, you'll repay the small Debt you owe my Brother, for flying last Night to Leonora's Succour; and doubly pay the Obligation you have to me, upon the same Occasion.

Don Ped. What Obligation, Madam? I am ignorant; pray inform me.

Isab. 'Twas I, Sir, that first heard Leonora's Cries, and rais'd my Brother to her Aid. Pray let me receive the same Assistance from your Prudence, which you have had from my Care, and my Brother's Generosity. But, pray lose no Time. Don John is perhaps already on the Spot, and not meeting my Brother, may send a second Message, which may be fatal.

Don Ped. Madam, be at rest; you shall be satisfy'd, I'll go this Moment. I'll only ask you first whether you are sure you heard my Wife call out for Succour, before your Brother past the Wall?

Isab. I did; why do you ask that Question?

[Pg 358]

Don Ped. I have a Reason, you may be sure. [Aside.] Just Heaven, I adore thee! The Truth at last shines clear, and by that Villain Alvarada I'm betray'd. But enough; I'll make Use of this Occasion for my Vengeance. [To Isab.] Where, Madam, is it, Don John is waiting?

Isab. But here, in a small Field, behind the Garden.

Don Ped. [Aside.] His Blood shall do me Reason for his Treachery.

Isab. Will you go there directly?

Don Ped. I will. Be satisfy'd.

[Ex. Don Ped.

Leo. You weep, Isabella?

Isab. You see my Trouble for a Brother for whom I wou'd die, and a Lover for whom I wou'd live. They both are Authors of my Grief.

Leo. They both are Instruments of my Misfortune.



Enter Lopez.

Oho! my good Signior Don John, you are mistaken in your Man; I am your humble Valet, 'tis true, and I am to obey you; but when you have got the Devil in your Body, and are upon your Rantipole Adventures, you shall Quixote it by yourself, for Lopez. Yonder he is, waiting for poor Guzman, with a Sword of a Fathom and a Half; a Dagger for close engagement; and (if I don't mistake) a Pocket-pistol for extraordinary Occasions. I think I am not in the wrong to keep a little out of the Way: These Matters will end in a Court of Justice, or I'm wrong in my Foresight: Now that being a Place where I am pretty well known, and not over-much reputed, I believe 'tis best, neither to come in for Prisoner nor Evidence. But hold; yonder comes another Toledo! Don Guzman I presume, but I presume wrong, it is—who is it? Don Pedro, by all the Powers! What the Pox does he here, or what the Pox do I here? I'm sure as Matters stand, I[Pg 359] ought to fly him like a Creditor; but he sees me, 'tis too late to slip him.

Enter Don Pedro.

Don Ped. How now, Lopez; where are you going?

Lop. I'm going, Sir, I——I'm going—if you please——I'm going about my Business.

Don Ped. From whence do you come?

Lop. Only, only, Sir, from—taking the Air a little, I'm mightily muddled with a Whur——round about in my Head, for this Day or two; I'm going home to be let Blood, as fast as I can, Sir.

Don Ped. Hold, Sir; I'll let you Blood here.

This Rascal may have borne some Part in this late Adventure: He's a Coward; I'll try to frighten it out of him.

[Seizing him by the Collar, and drawing his Poniard.

You Traitor, you, y' are dead.

Lop. Mercy, Don Pedro!

Don Ped. Are you not a Villain?

[Lop. kneeling.

Lop. Yes; if you please.

Don Ped. Is there so great a one upon Earth?

Lop. With respect to my Master——No.

Don Ped. Prepare then to die!

Lop. Give me but Time, and I will. But, noble Don Pedro, just Don Pedro, generous Don Pedro, what is it I have done?

Don Ped. What, if thou dar'st deny, I'll plunge this Dagger deep into thy Throat, and drive the Falsehood to thy Heart again. Therefore, take heed, and on thy Life declare, didst thou not this last night open my Doors to let Don Guzman in?

Lop. Don Guzman!

Don Ped. Don Guzman! Yes, Don Guzman, Traitor; him.

Lop. Now may the Sky crush me, if I let in Don Guzman.

Don Ped. Who did let you in then? It was not your Master, sure! If it was him, you did your Duty; I have no more to say.

Lop. Why then, if I let in any Body else, I'm a Son of a Whore.

[Pg 360]


Don Ped. Did he order you beforehand, or did you do it upon his knocking?

Lop. Why he—I'll tell you, Sir, he——pray put up that Brilliant, it sparkles so in my Eyes, it almost blinds me—thank you, Sir.

[Don Ped. puts it up.

Why, Sir, I'll tell you just how the Matter was, but I hope you won't consider me as a Party.

Don Ped. Go on; thou art safe.

Lop. Why then, Sir, when (for our Sins) you had left us, says my Master to me, Lopez, says he, go and stay at old Don Felix's House, till Don Pedro returns; they'll pass thee for his Servant, and think he has order'd thee to stay there. And then, says he, dost hear, open me the Door by Leonora's Apartment to-night, for I have a little Business, says he, to do there.

Don Ped. [Aside.] Perfidious Wretch!

Lop. Indeed, I was at first a little resty, and stood off; being suspicious (for I knew the Man) that there might be some ill Intentions. But he knew me too, takes me upon the weak Side, whips out a long Sword, and by the same Means makes me do the Thing, as you have made me discover it.—[Aside.] There's neither Liberty nor Property in this Land, since the Blood of the Bourbons came amongst us.

Don Ped. Then you let him in, as he bid you?

Lop. I did: If I had not, I had never lived to tell you the Story. Yes, I let him in.

Don Ped. And what follow'd?

Lop. Why, he follow'd.

Don Ped. What?

Lop. His Inclinations.

Don Ped. Which Way?

Lop. The old Way:—To a Woman.

Don Ped.. Confound him!

Lop. In short, he got to Madam's Chamber, and before he had been there long, (tho' you know, Sir, a little Time goes a great Way in some Matters) I heard such a clutter of small Shot, Murder, Murder, Murder, Rape, Fire, Help, and so forth—But hold, here he comes[Pg 361] himself, and can give you a more circumstantial Account of the Skirmish.

Don Ped. I thank thee, Heaven, at last, for having pointed me to the Victim I am to sacrifice.

[Ex. Lop.

Enter Don John.

[Drawing.] Villain, defend thyself.

Don John. What do you mean?

Don Ped. To punish a Traitor.

Don John. Where is he?

Don Ped. In the Heart of a sworn Friend.

Don John. [Aside.] I saw Lopez, go from him, without doubt he has told him all.

[To Don Ped.

Of what am I suspected?

Don Ped. Of betraying the greatest Trust that Man cou'd place in Man.

Don John. And by whom am I accus'd?

Don Ped. By me: Have at thy Traitor's Heart!

Don John. Hold! And be not quite a Madman.—Pedro, you know me well: You know I am not backward upon these Occasions, nor shall I refuse you any Satisfaction you'll demand; but first, I will be heard, and tell you, That for a Man of Sense, you are pleas'd to make very odd Conclusions.

Don Ped. Why, what is it possible thou canst invent to clear thyself?

Don John. To clear myself! Of what? I'm to be thank'd for what I have done, and not reproach'd. I find I have been an Ass, and push'd my Friendship to that Point, you find not Virtue in yourself enough to conceive it in another. But henceforward, I shall be a better Husband of it.

Don Ped. I shou'd be loth to find Ingratitude cou'd e'er be justly charg'd upon me: But after what your Servant has confess'd——

Don John. My Servant! Right, my Servant! The very Thing I guess'd. Fye, fye, Don Pedro; is it from a Servant's Mouth a Friend condemns a Friend? Or can Servants always judge at what their Master's outward Actions point? But some Allowances I shou'd[Pg 362] make for the wild Agitation you must needs be in. I'm therefore calm, and thus far pass all by.

Don Ped. If you are innocent, Heaven be my Aid, that I may find you so. But still——

Don John. But still you wrong me, if you still suspect. Hear then, in short, my part of this Adventure. In order to acquit myself of the Charge you laid upon me in your Absence, I went last night, just as 'twas dark, to view the several Approaches of the House where you had left your Wife; and I observ'd not far from one of the back Doors, two Persons in close eager Conference: I was disguis'd, so ventur'd to pass near 'em, and by a Word or two I heard, I found 'twas Guzman talking to Jacinta. My Concern for your Honour, made me at first resolve to call him to an immediate Account. But then reflecting that I might possibly over-hear some Part of their Discourse, and by that judge of Leonora's Thoughts, I rein'd my Passion in; and by the help of an advancing Buttress, which kept me from their Sight, I learnt the black Conspiracy. Don Guzman said, he had great Complaint to make; and since his honourable Love had been so ill return'd, he could with ease forgive himself, if by some rougher Means he should procure, what Prayers and Tears and Sighs had urg'd in vain.

Don Ped. Go on.

Don John. His kind Assistant clos'd smoothly with him, and inform'd him with what ease that very Night she'd introduce him to her Chamber. At last, they parted, with this Agreement, that at some Overture in a Wall, he should expect her to inform him when Leonora was in Bed, and all the Coast was clear.

Don Ped. Dispatch the rest—Is't possible after all he should be innocent!

Don John. I must confess the Resolution taken, made me tremble for you: How to prevent it now and for ever, was my next Care. I immediately order'd Lopez to go lie at Don Felix's, and to open me the Door when all the Family were in Bed. He did as I directed him. I enter'd, and in the dark found my way to Leonora's[Pg 363] Apartment. I found the Door open, at which I was surpriz'd. I thought I heard some stirring in her Chamber, and in an Instant heard her cry for Aid. At this I drew, and rush'd into the Room, which Guzman, alarm'd at, cry'd out to her Assistance. His ready Impudence, I must confess, at first quite struck me speechless; but in a Moment I regain'd my Tongue, and loud proclaim'd the Traitor.

Don Ped. Is't possible?

Don John. Yet more: your Arrival hindring me at that Time from taking Vengeance for your Wrong, I at this Instant expect him here, to punish him (with Heaven's righteous Aid) for daring to attempt my Ruin with the Man, whose Friendship I prefer to all the Blessings Heaven and Earth dispense. And now, Don Pedro, I have told you this, if still you have a Mind to take my Life, I shall defend it with the self-same Warmth I intended to expose it in your Service.


Don Ped. [Aside.] If I did not know he was in love with Leonora, I could be easily surpriz'd with what he has told me. But—But yet 'tis certain he has destroyed the Proofs against him; and if I only hold him guilty as a Lover; why must Don Guzman pass for innocent? Good Gods, I am again returning to my Doubts!

Don John. [Aside.] I have at last reduc'd him to a Balance, but one Lye more tost in, will turn the Scale.

To Don Ped.] One Obligation more, my Friend, you owe me; I thought to have let it pass, but it shall out. Know then, I lov'd, like you, the beauteous Leonora; but from the Moment I observ'd how deep her Dart had pierc'd you, tore my Passion from my bleeding Heart, and sacrific'd my Happiness to yours. Now, I have no more to plead; if still you think your Vengeance is my due, come pay it me.

Don Ped. Rather ten thousand Poignards strike me dead! O Alvarada! can you forgive a wild distracted Friend? Gods! Whither was my jealous Frenzy leading me? Can you forget this barbarous Injury?

Don John. I can: No more. But for the future, think me what I am, a faithful and a zealous Friend.—[Pg 364]Retire, and leave me here. In a few Moments I hope to bring you further Proofs on't. Guzman I instantly expect, leave me to do you Justice on him.

Don Ped. That must not be. My Revenge can ne'er be satisfy'd by any other Hand but this.

Don John. Then let That do't. You'll in a Moment have an Opportunity.

Don Ped. You mistake; he won't be here.

Don John. How so?

Don Ped. He has not had your Challenge. His Sister intercepted it, and desired I wou'd come to prevent the Quarrel.

Don John. What then is to be done?

Don Ped. I'll go and find him out immediately.

Don John. Very well: Or hold——[Aside.] I must hinder 'em from talking. Gossiping may discover me. Yes: let's go and find him: Or, let me see——Aye,——'twill do better.

Don Ped. What?

Don John. Why——That the Punishment should suit the Crime.

Don Ped. Explain.

Don John. Attack him by his own Laws of War— 'Twas in the Night he would have had your Honour, and in the Night you ought to have his Life.

Don Ped. His Treason cannot take the Guilt from mine.

Don John. There is no Guilt in fair Retaliation. When 'tis a Point of Honour sounds the Quarrel, the Laws of Sword-Men must be kept, 'tis true: But if a Thief glides in to seize my Treasure, methinks I may return the Favour on my Dagger's Point, as well as with my Sword of Ceremony six Times as long.

Don Ped. Yet still the nobler Method I wou'd choose; it better satisfies the Vengeance of a Man of Honour.

Don John. I own it, were you sure you shou'd succeed: But the Events of Combats are uncertain. Your Enemy may 'scape you: You perhaps may only wound him; you may be parted. Believe me, Pedro, the Injury's too great for a Punctilio Satisfaction.

[Pg 365]

Don Ped. Well, guide me as you please, so you direct me quickly to my Vengeance. What do you propose?

Don John. That which is as easy, as 'tis just to execute. The Wall he passed, to attempt your Wife, let us get over to prevent his doing so any more. 'Twill let us into a private Apartment by his Garden, where every Evening in his amorous Solitudes he spends some Time alone, and where I guess his late fair Scheme was drawn. The Deed done, we can retreat the Way we enter'd; let me be your Pilot, 'tis now e'en dark, and the most proper Time.

Don Ped. Lead on; I'll follow you.

Don John. [Aside.] How many Villanies I'm forc'd to act, to keep one secret!


SCENE, Don. Guzman's Apartments.

Don Guzman, sitting solus.

With what Rigour does this unfaithful Woman treat me! Is't possible it can be me, who appeared to love me with so much Tenderness? How little stress is to be laid upon a Woman's Heart! Sure they're not worth those anxious Cares they give. [Rising.] Then burst my Chains, and give me Room to search for nobler Pleasures. I feel my Heart begin to mutiny for Liberty; there is a Spirit in it yet, will struggle hard for Freedom: but Solitude's the worst of Seconds. Ho! Sancho, Galindo, who waits there? Bring some Lights.—Where are you?

Enter Galindo, rubbing his Eyes, and drunk.

Galin. I can't well tell. Do you want me, Sir?

Don Guz. Yes, Sir, I want you. Why am I left in the dark? What were you doing?

Gal. Doing, Sir! I was doing——what one does when one sleeps, Sir.

Don Guz. Have you no Light without?

Galin. [Yawning.] Light!—--No, Sir,——I have no Light. I'm us'd to Hardship, I can sleep in the dark.

[Pg 366]

Don Guz. You have been drinking, you Rascal, you are drunk.

Gal. I have been drinking, Sir, 'tis true, but I am not drunk. Every Man that is drunk, has been drinking, confess'd. But every Man that has been drinking, is not drunk.——Confess that too.

Don Guz. Who is't has put you in this Condition, you Sot?

Galin. A very honest Fellow: Madam Leonora's Coachman, nobody else. I have been making a little debauch with Madam Leonora's Coachman; yes.

Don Guz. How came you to drink with him, Beast?

Gal. Only per Complaisance, Sir. The Coachman was to be drunk upon Madam's Wedding; and I being a Friend, was desired to take Part.

Don Guz. And so, you Villain, you can make yourself merry, with what renders me miserable.

Galin. No, Sir, no; 'twas the Coachman was merry; I drank with Tears in my Eyes. The remembrance of your Misfortunes made me so sad, so sad, that every Cup I swallow'd was like a Cup of Poison to me.

Don Guz. Without doubt.

Galin. Yes; and to mortify myself upon melancholy Matters, I believe I took down fifty; yes.

Don Guz. Go fetch some Lights, you drunken Sot, you.

Galin. I will, if I can find the [Feeling for the Door and running against it.] Door, that's so say——The Devil's in the Door; I think 'tis grown too little for me——Shrunk this wet Weather, I presume.

[Ex. Galin.

Don Guzman alone.

Absence, the old Remedy for Love, must e'en be mine: to stay and brave the Danger, were Presumption: Farewel Valencia, then, and farewel, Leonora. And if thou can'st, my Heart, redeem thy Liberty, secure it by a Farewel eternal to her Sex.

[Pg 367]

Re-enter Galindo with a Candle, he falls, and puts it out.

Galin. Here's light, Sir——So,——

Don Guz. Well done. You sottish [Passing angrily into another Chamber.] Rascal, come no more in my Sight.

[Ex. Don Guz.

Galin. These Boards are so uneven—— You shall see now I shall neither find [Rising and feeling about for the Candle.] the Candle——nor the Candlestick; It shan't be for want of searching, however.

----O ho, have I got you? Enough, I'll look for your Companion to-morrow.

Enter Don Pedro and Don John.

Don Ped. Where are we now?

Don John. We are in the Apartment I told you of——Softly——I hear something stir——Ten to one but 'tis he.

Galin. Don't I hear, somewhat?——No——when one has Wine in one's Head, one has such a bustle in one's Ears.

Don Pedro. [To Don John.] Who is that is talking to himself?

Don John. 'Tis his Servant, I know his Voice, keep still.

Galin. Well; since my Master has banished me his Sight, I'll redeem by my Obedience, what I have lost by my Debauch. I'll go sleep twelve Hours in some melancholy Hole where the Devil Shan't find me; yes.

[Exit Galindo.

Don John. He's gone; but hush, I hear somebody coming.

Don Guz. Ho there! will nobody bring Light?

[Behind the Scene.

Don Ped. 'Tis Guzman.

Don John. 'Tis so, prepare.

Don Ped. Shall I own my Weakness? I feel an inward Check; I wish this could be done some other way.

[Pg 368]

Don John. Distraction all! Is this a Time to balance? Think on the Injury he would have done you, 'twill fortify your Arm, and guide your Dagger to his Heart.

Don Ped. Enough, I'll hesitate no more; be satisfy'd; hark! he's coming.

Don Guzman passes the Stage.

Don Guz. I think these Rogues are resolved to leave me in the dark all Night.

[Exit Don Guz.

Don John. Now's your Time, follow him and strike home.

Don Ped. To his Heart, if my Dagger will reach it.

[Don Pedro follows him.

Don John. [Aside.] If one be kill'd, I'm satisfy'd; 'tis no great Matter which.

Re-enter Don Guzman, Don Pedro following him, with his Dagger ready to strike.

Don Guz. [Aside.] My Chamber Door's lock'd, and I think I hear somebody tread——Who's there?——Nobody answers. But still I hear something stir. Hola there! Sancho, are you all drunk? Some Lights here, quickly.


Don Guzman passes by the Corner where Don John stands, and goes of the Stage; Dan Pedro following him, stabs Don John.

Don Ped. [Aside.] I think I'm near him now:——Traitor, take that, my Wife has sent it thee.

Don John. Ah, I'm dead!

Don Ped. Then thou hast thy Due.

Don John. I have, indeed; 'tis I that have betray'd thee.

Don Ped. And 'tis I that am reveng'd on thee for doing it.

Don John. I wou'd have forc'd thy Wife.

Don Ped. Die then with the Regret to have fail'd in thy Attempt.

Don John. Farewel, if thou can'st forgive me—


Don Ped. I have done the Deed, there's nothing left but to make our Escape. Don John, where are you? Let's begone, I hear the Servants coming.

[Pg 369]

Lopez knocks hard at the Door.

Lop. Open there quickly, open the Door.

Don Ped. That's Lopez, we shall be discover'd. But 'tis no great Matter, the Crime will justify the Execution; but where's Don John? Don John, where are you?

Lopez knocks again.

Lop. Open the Door there, quickly. Madam, I saw 'em both pass the Wall; the Devil's in't if any good comes on't.

Leo. I am frightened out of my Senses: ho, Isabella!

Don Ped. 'Tis Leonora. She's welcome. With her own Eyes let her see her Guzman dead.

Enter Don Guzman, Leonora, Isabella, Jacinta and Lopez, with Lights.

Don Ped. Ha! what is't I see? Guzman alive? Then who art thou?

[Looking on Don John.

Don Guz. Guzman alive! Yes, Pedro, Guzman is alive.

Don Ped. Then Heaven is just, and there's a Traitor dead.

Isabella weeps.] Alas, Don John!

Lop. [Looking upon Don John.] Bonus Nocius.

Don Guz. What has produced this bloody Scene?

Don Ped. 'Tis I have been the Actor in't;——my Poignard, Guzman, I intended in your Heart.——I thought your Crime deserv'd it: but I did you wrong, and my Hand in searching the Innocent, has by Heaven's justice been directed to the Guilty. Don John, with his last Breath, confess'd himself the Offender.—Thus my Revenge is satisfied, and you are clear'd.

Don Guz. Good Heaven, how equitable are thy Judgments!

Don Ped. [To Leo.] Come, Madam, my Honour now is satisfied, and if you please my Love may be so too.

Leo. If it is not,

You to yourself alone shall owe your Smart,
For where I've given my Hand, I'll give my Heart.

[Pg 370]


Spoken by Mrs. Oldfield.

What say you, Sirs, d'ye think my Lady'll 'scape?
'Tis dev'lish hard to stand a Fav'rite's Rape.
Shou'd Guzman, like Don John, break in upon her,
For all her Virtue, Heaven have Mercy on her:
Her Strength, I doubt, 's in his Irresolution,
There's wond'rous Charms in vig'rous Execution.
Indeed you Men are Fools, you won't believe
What dreadful Things we Women can forgive:
I know but one we never do pass by,
And that you plague us with eternally;
When in your courtly Fears to disoblige,
You won't attack the Town which you beseige:
Your Guns are light, and planted out of Reach:
D'ye think with Billet-doux to make a Breach?
'Tis Small-Shot all, and not a Stone will fly:
Walls fall by Cannon, and by firing nigh:
In sluggish dull Blockades you keep the Field,
And starve us ere we can with Honour yield.
In short——
We can't receive those Terms you gently tender,
But storm, and we can answer our Surrender.


[Pg 371]

PLAYS printed for T. Lowndes, at 6d. each.


Drop caps began most of the Scene beginnings in volume 1. However, did not use drop caps for any scene beginnings in volume 1 to conform to standard used in volume 2.

Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical errors.

Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Plays, vol. 1, by John Vanbrugh


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