The Rover, by Aphra Behn

Act IV.

Scene I. A fine Room.

Discovers Belvile, as by Dark alone.

Belvile. When shall I be weary of railing on Fortune, who is resolv’d never to turn with Smiles upon me? — Two such Defeats in one Night — none but the Devil and that mad Rogue could have contriv’d to have plagued me with — I am here a Prisoner — but where? — Heaven knows — and if there be Murder done, I can soon decide the Fate of a Stranger in a Nation without Mercy — Yet this is nothing to the Torture my Soul bows with, when I think of losing my fair, my dear Florinda. — Hark — my Door opens — a Light — a Man — and seems of Quality — arm’d too. — Now shall I die like a Do, without defence.

Enter Antonio in a Night–Gown, with a Light; his Arm in a Scarf, and a Sword under his Arm: He sets the Candle on the Table.

Antonio. Sir, I come to know what Injuries I have done you, that could provoke you to so mean an Action, as to attack me basely, without allowing time for my Defence.

Belvile. Sir, for a Man in my Circumstances to plead Innocence, would look like Fear — but view me well, and you will find no marks of a Coward on me, nor any thing that betrays that Brutality you accuse me of.

Antonio. In vain, Sir, you impose upon my Sense, You are not only he who drew on me last Night, But yesterday before the same House, that of Angelica. Yet there is something in your Face and Mein —

Belvile. I own I fought to day in the defence of a Friend of mine, with whom you (if you’re the same) and your Party were first engag’d. Perhaps you think this Crime enough to kill me, But if you do, I cannot fear you’ll do it basely.

Antonio. No, Sir, I’ll make you fit for a Defence with this. [Gives him the Sword.]

Belvile. This Gallantry surprizes me — nor know I how to use this Present, Sir, against a Man so brave.

Antonio. You shall not need; For know, I come to snatch you from a Danger That is decreed against you; Perhaps your Life, or long Imprisonment: And ’twas with so much Courage you offended, I cannot see you punisht.

Belvile. How shall I pay this Generosity?

Antonio. It had been safer to have kill’d another, Than have attempted me: To shew your Danger, Sir, I’ll let you know my Quality; And ’tis the Vice–Roy’s Son whom you have wounded.

Belvile. The Vice–Roy’s Son! Death and Confusion! was this Plague reserved To compleat all the rest? — oblig’d by him! The Man of all the World I would destroy. [Aside.]

Antonio. You seem disorder’d, Sir.

Belvile. Yes, trust me, Sir, I am, and ’tis with pain That Man receives such Bounties, Who wants the pow’r to pay ’em back again.

Antonio. To gallant Spirits ’tis indeed uneasy; — But you may quickly over-pay me, Sir.

Belvile. Then I am well — kind Heaven! but set us even, That I may fight with him, and keep my Honour safe. [Aside.] — Oh, I’m impatient, Sir, to be discounting The mighty Debt I owe you; command me quickly —

Antonio. I have a Quarrel with a Rival, Sir, About the Maid we love.

Belvile. Death, tis Florinda he means — That Thought destroys my Reason, and I shall kill him — [Aside.]

Antonio. My Rival, Sir. Is one has all the Virtues Man can boast of.

Belvile. Death! who shou’d this be? [Aside.]

Antonio. He challeng’d me to meet him on the Molo, As soon as Day appear’d; but last Night’s quarrel Has made my Arm unfit to guide a Sword.

Belvile. I apprehend you, Sir, you’d have me kill the Man That lays a claim to the Maid you speak of. — I’ll do’t — I’ll fly to do it.

Antonio. Sir, do you know her?

Belvile. –No, Sir, but ’tis enough she is admired by you.

Antonio. Sir, I shall rob you of the Glory on’t, For you must fight under my Name and Dress.

Belvile. That Opinion must be strangely obliging that makes You think I can personate the brave Antonio, Whom I can but strive to imitate.

Antonio. You say too much to my Advantage. Come, Sir, the Day appears that calls you forth. Within, Sir, is the Habit. [Exit Antonio.]

Belvile. Fantastick Fortune, thou deceitful Light, That cheats the wearied Traveller by Night, Tho on a Precipice each step you tread, I am resolv’d to follow where you lead.

[Exit.]

Scene II. The Molo.

Enter Florinda and Callis in Masques, with Stephano.

Florinda. I’m dying with my fears; Belvile’s not coming, As I expected, underneath my Window, Makes me believe that all those Fears are true. [Aside.] — Canst thou not tell with whom my Brother fights?

Stephano. No, Madam, they were both in Masquerade, I was by when they challeng’d one another, and they had decided the Quarrel then, but were prevented by some Cavaliers; which made ’em put it off till now — but I am sure ’tis about you they fight.

Florinda. Nay then ’tis with Belvile, for what other Lover have I that dares fight for me, except Antonio? and he is too much in favour with my Brother — If it be he, for whom shall I direct my Prayers to Heaven? [Aside.]

Stephano. Madam, I must leave you; for if my Master see me, I shall be hang’d for being your Conductor. — I escap’d narrowly for the Excuse I made for you last night i’th’ Garden.

Florinda. And I’ll reward thee for’t — prithee no more.

[Exit. Steph.]

Enter Don Pedro in his Masquing Habit.

Pedro. Antonio’s late to day, the place will fill, and we may be prevented. [Walks about.]

Florinda. Antonio! sure I heard amiss. [Aside.]

Pedro. But who would not excuse a happy Lover. When soft fair Arms comfine the yielding Neck; And the kind Whisper languishingly breathes, Must you be gone so soon? Sure I had dwelt for ever on her Bosom. — But stay, he’s here.

Enter Belvile drest in Antonio’s Clothes.

Florinda. ’Tis not Belvile, half my Fears are vanisht.

Pedro. Antonio! —

Belvile. This must be he. [Aside.] You’re early, Sir — I do not use to be out-done this way.

Pedro. The wretched, Sir, are watchful, and’ tis enough You have the advantage of me in Angelica.

Belvile. Angelica! Or I’ve mistook my Man! Or else Antonio, Can he forget his Interest in Florinda, And fight for common Prize? [Aside.]

Pedro. Come, Sir, you know our terms —

Belvile. By Heaven, not I. [Aside.] — No talking, I am ready, Sir.

[Offers to fight. Flor. runs in.]

Florinda. Oh, hold! whoe’er you be, I do conjure you bold. If you strike here — I die — [To Belv.]

Pedro. Florinda!

Belvile. Florinda imploring for my Rival!

Pedro. Away, this Kindness is unseasonable.

[Puts her by, they fight; she runs in just as Belv. disarms Pedro.]

Florinda. Who are you, Sir, that dare deny my Prayers?

Belvile. Thy Prayers destroy him; if thou wouldst preserve him. Do that thou’rt unacquainted with, and curse him. [She holds him.]

Florinda. By all you hold most dear, by her you love, I do conjure you, touch him not.

Belvile. By her I love! See — I obey — and at your Feet resign The useless Trophy of my Victory. [Lays his sword at her Feet.]

Pedro. Antonio, you’ve done enough to prove you love Florinda.

Belvile. Love Florinda! Does Heaven love Adoration, Pray’r, or Penitence? Love her! here Sir — your Sword again. [Snatches up the Sword, and gives it him.] Upon this Truth I’ll fight my Life away.

Pedro. No, you’ve redeem’d my Sister, and my Friendship.

Belvile. Don Pedro!

[He gives him Flor. and pulls off his Vizard to shew his Face, and puts it on again.]

Pedro. Can you resign your Claims to other Women, And give your Heart intirely to Florinda?

Belvile. Intire, as dying Saints Confessions are. I can delay my happiness no longer. This minute let me make Florinda mine:

Pedro. This minute let it be — no time so proper, This Night my Father will arrive from Rome, And possibly may hinder what we propose.

Florinda. Oh Heavens! this Minute!

[Enter Masqueraders, and pass over.]

Belvile. Oh, do not ruin me!

Pedro. The place begins to fill; and that we may not be observ’d, do you walk off to St. Peter’s Church, where I will meet you, and conclude your Happiness.

Belvile. I’ll meet you there — if there be no more Saints Churches in Naples. [Aside.]

Florinda. Oh stay, Sir, and recall your hasty Doom: Alas I have not yet prepar’d my Heart To entertain so strange a Guest.

Pedro. Away, this silly Modesty is assum’d too late.

Belvile. Heaven, Madam! what do you do?

Florinda. Do! despise the Man that lays a Tyrant’s Claim To what he ought to conquer by Submission.

Belvile. You do not know me — move a little this way. [Draws her aside.]

Florinda. Yes, you may even force me to the Altar, But not the holy Man that offers there Shall force me to be thine.

[Pedro talks to Callis this while.]

Belvile. Oh do not lose so blest an opportunity! See —’tis your Belvile — not Antonio, Whom your mistaken Scorn and Anger ruins. [Pulls off his Vizard.]

Florinda. Belvile! Where was my Soul it cou’d not meet thy Voice, And take this knowledge in?

[As they are talking, enter Willmore finely drest, and Frederick.]

Willmore. No Intelligence! no News of Belvile yet — well I am the most unlucky Rascal in Nature — ha! — am I deceiv’d — or is it he — look, Fred. —’tis he — my dear Belvile.

[Runs and embraces him. Belv. Vizard falls out on’s Hand.]

Belvile. Hell and Confusion seize thee!

Pedro. Ha! Belvile! I beg your Pardon, Sir.

[Takes Flor. from him.]

Belvile. Nay, touch her not, she’s mine by Conquest, Sir. I won her by my Sword.

Willmore. Did’st thou so — and egad, Child, we’ll keep her by the by the Sword.

[Draws on Pedro, Belv. goes between.]

Belvile. Stand off. Thou’rt so profanely leud, so curst by Heaven, All Quarrels thou espousest must be fatal.

Willmore. Nay, an you he so hot, my Valour’s coy, And shall be courted when you want it next. [Puts up his Sword.]

Belvile. You know I ought to claim a Victor’s Right, [To Pedro.] But you’re the Brother to divine Florinda, To whom I’m such a Slave — to purchase her, I durst not hurt the Man she holds so dear.

Pedro. ’Twas by Antonio’s, not by Belvile’s Sword, This Question should have been decided, Sir: I must confess much to your Bravery’s due, Both now, and when I met you last in Arms. But I am nicely punctual in my word, As Men of Honour ought, and beg your Pardon. — For this Mistake another Time shall clear. — This was some Plot between you and Belvile: But I’ll prevent you. [Aside to Flor. as they are going out.]

[Belv. looks after her, and begins to walk up and down in a Rage.]

Willmore. Do not be modest now, and lose the Woman: but if we shall fetch her back, so —

Belvile. Do not speak to me.

Willmore. Not speak to you! — Egad, I’ll speak to you, and will be answered too.

Belvile. Will you, Sir?

Willmore. I know I’ve done some mischief, but I’m so dull a Puppy, that I am the Son of a Whore, if I know how, or where — prithee inform my Understanding. —

Belvile. Leave me I say, and leave me instantly.

Willmore. I will not leave you in this humour, nor till I know my Crime.

Belvile. Death, I’ll tell you, Sir —

[Draws and runs at Will. he runs out; Belv. after him, Fred. interposes.]

Enter Angelica, Moretta, and Sebastian.

Angelica. Ha — Sebastian — Is not that Willmore? haste, haste and bring, him back.

Frederick. The Colonel’s mad — I never saw him thus before; I’ll after ’em, lest he do some mischief, for I am sure Willmore will not draw on him.

[Exit.]

Angelica. I am all Rage! my first desires defeated For one, for ought he knows, that has no Other Merit than her Quality — Her being Don Pedro’s Sister — He loves her: I know ’tis so — dull, dull, insensible — He will not see me now tho oft invited; And broke his Word last night — false perjur’d Man! — He that but yesterday fought for my Favours, And would have made his Life a Sacrifice To’ve gain’d one Night with me, Must now be hired and courted to my Arms.

Moretta. I told you what wou’d come on’t, but Moretta’s an old doating Fool — Why did you give him five hundred Crowns, but to set himself out for other Lovers? You shou’d have kept him poor, if you had meant to have had any good from him.

Angelica. Oh, name not such mean Trifles. — Had I given him all My Youth has earn’d from Sin, I had not lost a Thought nor Sigh upon’t. But I have give him my eternal Rest, My whole Repose, my future Joys, my Heart; My Virgin Heart. Moretta! oh ’tis gone!

Moretta. Curse on him, here he comes; How fine she has made him too!

Enter Willmore and Sebast. Ang. turns and walks away.

Willmore. How now, turn’d Shadow? Fly when I pursue, and follow when I fly!

Stay gentle Shadow of my Dove, [Sings.]

And tell me e’er I go,

Whether the Substance may not prove

A fleeting Thing like you. There’s a soft kind Look remaining yet. [As she turns she looks on him.]

Angelica. Well, Sir, you may be gay; all Happiness, all Joys pursue you still, Fortune’s your Slave, and gives you every hour choice of new Hearts and Beauties, till you are cloy’d with the repeated Bliss, which others vainly languish for — But know, false Man, that I shall be reveng’d. [Turns away in a Rage.]

Willmore. So, ’gad, there are of those faint-hearted Lovers, whom such a sharp Lesson next their Hearts would make as impotent as Fourscore — pox o’ this whining — my Bus’ness is to laugh and love — a pox on’t; I hate your sullen Lover, a Man shall lose as much time to put you in Humour now, as would serve to gain a new Woman.

Angelica. I scorn to cool that Fire I cannot raise, Or do the Drudgery of your virtuous Mistress.

Willmore. A virtuous Mistress! Death, what a thing thou hast found out for me! why what the Devil should I do with a virtuous Woman? — a fort of ill-natur’d Creatures, that take a Pride to torment a Lover. Virtue is but an Infirmity in Women, a Disease that renders even the handsom ungrateful; whilst the ill-favour’d, for want of Sollicitations and Address, only fancy themselves so. — I have lain with a Woman of Quality, who has all the while been railing at Whores.

Angelica. I will not answer for your Mistress’s Virtue, Tho she be young enough to know no Guilt: And I could wish you would persuade my Heart, ’Twas the two hundred thousand Crowns you courted.

Willmore. Two hundred thousand Crowns! what Story’s this? — what Trick? — what Woman? — ha.

Angelica. How strange you make it! have you forgot the Creature you entertain’d on the Piazza last night?

Willmore. Ha, my Gipsy worth two hundred thousand Crowns! — oh how I long to be with her — pox, I knew she was of Quality. [Aside.]

Angelica. False Man, I see my Ruin in thy Face. How many vows you breath’d upon my Bosom, Never to be unjust — have you forgot so soon?

Willmore. Faith no, I was just coming to repeat ’em — but here’s a Humour indeed — would make a Man a Saint — Wou’d she’d be angry enough to leave me, and command me not to wait on her. [Aside.]

Enter Hellena, drest in Man’s Clothes.

Hellena. This must be Angelica, I know it by her mumping Matron here — Ay, ay, ’tis she: my mad Captain’s with her too, for all his swearing — how this unconstant Humour makes me love him:— pray, good grave Gentlewoman, is not this Angelica?

Moretta. My too young Sir, it is — I hope ’tis one from Don Antonio.

[Goes to Angelica.]

Hellena. Well, something I’ll do to vex him for this. [Aside.]

Angelica. I will not speak with him; am I in humour to receive a Lover?

Willmore. Not speak with him! why I’ll be gone — and wait your idler minutes — Can I shew less Obedience to the thing I love so fondly? [Offers to go.]

Angelica. A fine Excuse this — stay —

Willmore. And hinder your Advantage: should I repay your Bounties so ungratefully?

Angelica. Come hither, Boy — that I may let you see How much above the Advantages you name I prize one Minute’s Joy with you.

Willmore. Oh, you destroy me with this Endearment. [Impatient to be gone.] — Death, how shall I get away? — Madam, ’twill not be fit I should be seen with you — besides, it will not be convenient and I’ve a Friend — that’s dangerously sick.

Angelica. I see you’re impatient — yet you shall stay.

Willmore. And miss my Assignation with my Gipsy. [Aside, and walks about impatiently.]

Hellena. Madam, [Moretta brings Hellena, who addresses] You’l hardly pardon my Intrusion, (her self to Angelica. When you shall know my Business; And I’m too young to tell my Tale with Art: But there must be a wolidrous store of Goodness Where so much Beauty dwells.

Angelica. A pretty Advocate, whoever sent thee, — Prithee proceed — Nay, Sir, you shall not go. [To Will. who is stealing off.]

Willmore. Then shall I lose my dear Gipsy for ever. — Pox on’t, she stays me out of spite. [Aside.]

Hellena. I am related to a Lady, Madam, Young, rich, and nobly born, but has the fate To be in love with a young English Gentleman. Strangely she loves him, at first sight she lov’d him, But did adore him when she heard him speak; For he, she said, had Charms in every word, That fail’d not to surprize, to wound, and conquer —

Willmore. Ha, Egad I hope this concerns me. [Aside]

Angelica. ’Tis my false Man, he means — wou’d he were gone. This Praise will raise his Pride and ruin me — Well, Since you are so impatient to be gone, I will release you, Sir. [To Will.]

Willmore. Nay, then I’m sure ’twas me he spoke of, this cannot be the Effects of Kindness in her. [Aside.] — No, Madam, I’ve consider’d better on’t, And will not give you cause of Jealousy.

Angelica. But, Sir, I’ve — business, that —

Willmore. This shall not do, I know ’tis but to try me.

Angelica. Well, to your Story, Boy — tho ’twill undo me. [Aside.]

Hellena. With this Addition to his other Beauties, He won her unresisting tender Heart, He vow’d and sigh’d, and swore he lov’d her dearly; And she believ’d the cunning Flatterer, And thought her self the happiest Maid alive: To day was the appointed time by both, To consummate their Bliss; The Virgin, Altar, and the Priest were drest, And whilst she languisht for the expected Bridegroom, She heard, he paid his broken Vows to you.

Willmore. So, this is some dear Rogue that’s in love with me, and this way lets me know it; or if it be not me, she means some one whose place I may supply. [Aside.]

Angelica. Now I perceive The cause of thy Impatience to be gone, And all the business of this glorious Dress.

Willmore. Damn the young Prater, I know not what he means.

Hellena. Madam, In your fair Eyes I read too much concern To tell my farther Business.

Angelica. Prithee, sweet youth, talk on, thou may’st perhaps Raise here a Storm that may undo my Passion, And then I’ll grant thee any thing.

Hellena. Madam, ’tis to intreat you, (oh unreasonable!) You wou’d not see this Stranger;; For if you do, she vows you are undone, Tho Nature never made a Man so excellent; And sure he’ad been a God, but for Inconstancy.

Willmore. Ah, Rogue, how finely he’s instructed! [Aside.] —’Tis plain some Woman that has seen me en passant.

Angelica. Oh, I shall burst with Jealousy! do you know the Man you speak of? —

Hellena. Yes, Madam, he us’d to be in Buff and Scarlet. Ang. Thou, false as Hell, what canst thou say to this? [To Will.]

Willmore. By Heaven —

Angelica. Hold, do not damn thy self —

Hellena. Nor hope to be believ’d. [He walks about, they follow.]

Angelica. Oh, perjur’d Man! Is’t thus you pay my generous Passion back?

Hellena. Why wou’d you, Sir, abuse my Lady’s Faith?

Angelica. And use me so inhumanly?

Hellena. A Maid so young so innocent —

Willmore. Ah, young Devil!

Angelica. Dost thou not know thy Life is in my Power?

Hellena. Or think my Lady cannot be reveng’d?

Willmore. So, so, the Storm comes finely on. [Aside.]

Angelica. Now thou art silent, Guilt has struck thee dumb. Oh, hadst thou still been so, I’d liv’d in safety. [She turns away and weeps.]

Willmore. Sweetheart, the Lady’s Name and House — quickly: I’m impatient to be with her. —

[Aside to Hellena, looks towards Angel. to watch her turning; and as she comes towards them, he meets her.]

Hellena. So now is he for another Woman. [Aside.]

Willmore. The impudent’st young thing in Nature! I cannot persuade him out of his Error, Madam.

Angelica. I know he’s in the right — yet thou’st a Tongue That wou’d persuade him to deny his Faith. [In Rage walks away.]

Willmore. Her Name, her Name, dear Boy — [Said softly to Hell.]

Hellena. Have you forgot it, Sir?

Willmore. Oh, I perceive he’s not to know I am a Stranger to his Lady. [Aside.] — Yes, yes, I do know — but — I have forgot the — [Angel. turns.] — By Heaven, such early confidence I never saw.

Angelica. Did I not charge you with this Mistress, Sir? Which you denied, tho I beheld your Perjury. This little Generosity of thine has render’d back my Heart. [Walks away.]

Willmore. So, you have made sweet work here, my little mischief; Look your Lady be kind and good-natur’d now, or I shall have but a cursed Bargain on’t. [Ang. turns towards them.] — The Rogue’s bred up to Mischief, Art thou so great a Fool to credit him?

Angelica. Yes, I do; and you in vain impose upon me. — Come hither, Boy — Is not this he you speak of?

Hellena. I think — it is; I cannot swear, but I vow he has just such another lying Lover’s look.

[Hell. looks in his Face, he gazes on her.]

Willmore. Hah! do not I know that Face? — By Heaven, my little Gipsy! what a dull Dog was I? Had I but lookt that way, I’d known her. Are all my hopes of a new Woman banisht? [Aside.] — Egad, if I don’t fit thee for this, hang me. — Madam, I have found out the Plot.

Hellena. Oh Lord, what does he say? am I discover’d now?

Willmore. Do you see this young Spark here?

Hellena. He’ll tell her who I am.

Willmore. Who do you think this is?

Hellena. Ay, ay, he does know me. — Nay, dear Captain, I’m undone if you discover me.

Willmore. Nay, nay, no cogging; she shall know what a precious Mistress I have.

Hellena. Will you be such a Devil?

Willmore. Nay, nay, I’ll teach you to spoil sport you will not make. — This small Ambassador comes not from a Person of Quality, as you imagine, and he says; but from a very errant Gipsy, the talkingst, pratingst, cantingst little Animal thou ever saw’st.

Angelica. What news you tell me! that’s the thing I mean.

Hellena. Wou’d I were well off the place. — If ever I go a Captain — hunting again. — [Aside.]

Willmore. Mean that thing? that Gipsy thing? thou may’st as well be jealous of thy Monkey, or Parrot as her: a German Motion were worth a dozen of her, and a Dream were a better Enjoyment, a Creature of Constitution fitter for Heaven than Man.

Hellena. Tho I’m sure he lyes, yet this vexes me. [Aside.]

Angelica. You are mistaken, she’s a Spanish Woman Made up of no such dull Materials.

Willmore. Materials! Egad, and she be made of any that will either dispense, or admit of Love, I’ll be bound to countinence.

Hellena. Unreasonable Man, do you think so? [Aside to him.]

Willmore. You may Return, my little Brazen Head, and tell your Lady, that till she be handsom enough to be belov’d, or I dull enough to be religious, there will be small hopes of me.

Angelica. Did you not promise then to marry her?

Willmore. Not I, by Heaven.

Angelica. You cannot undeceive my fears and torments, till you have vow’d you will not marry her.

Hellena. If he swears that, he’ll be reveng’d on me indeed for all my Rogueries.

Angelica. I know what Arguments you’ll bring against me, Fortune and Honour.

Willmore. Honour! I tell you, I hate it in your Sex; and those that fancy themselves possest of that Foppery, are the most impertinently troublesom of all Woman-kind, and will transgress nine Commandments to keep one: and to satisfy your Jealousy I swear —

Hellena. Oh, no swearing, dear Captain — [Aside to him.]

Willmore. If it were possible I should ever be inclin’d to marry, it should be some kind young Sinner, one that has Generosity enough to give a favour handsomely to one that can ask it discreetly, one that has Wit enough to manage an Intrigue of Love — oh, how civil such a Wench is, to a Man than does her the Honour to marry her.

Angelica. By Heaven, there’s no Faith in any thing he says.

Enter Sebastian.

Sebastian. Madam, Don Antonio —

Angelica. Come hither.

Hellena. Ha, Antonio! he may be coming hither, and he’ll certainly discover me, I’ll therefore retire without a Ceremony.

[Exit Hellena.]

Angelica. I’ll see him, get my Coach ready.

Sebastian. It waits you, Madam.

Willmore. This is lucky: what, Madam, now I may be gone and leave you to the enjoyment of my Rival?

Angelica. Dull Man, that callst not see how ill, how poor That false dissimulation looks — Be gone, And never let me see thy cozening Face again, Lest I relapse and kill thee.

Willmore. Yes, you can spare me now — farewell till you are in a better Humour — I’m glad of this release — Now for my Gipsy: For tho to worse we change, yet still we find New Joys, New Charms, in a new Miss that’s kind.

[Ex. Will.]

Angelica. He’s gone, and in this Ague of My Soul The shivering Fit returns; Oh with what willing haste he took his leave, As if the long’d for Minute were arriv’d, Of some blest Assignation. In vain I have consulted all my Charms, In vain this Beauty priz’d, in vain believ’d My eyes cou’d kindle any lasting Fires. I had forgot my Name, my Infamy, And the Reproach that Honour lays on those That dare pretend a sober passion here. Nice Reputation, tho it leave behind More Virtues than inhabit where that dwells, Yet that once gone, those virtues shine no more. — Then since I am not fit to belov’d, I am resolv’d to think on a Revenge On him that sooth’d me thus to my undoing. [Exeunt.]

Scene III. A Street.

Enter Florinda and Valeria in Habits different from what they have been seen in.

Florinda. We’re happily escap’d, yet I tremble still.

Valeria. A Lover and fear! why, I am but half a one, and yet I have Courage for any Attempt. Would Hellena were here. I wou’d fain have had her as deep in this Mischief as we, she’ll fare but ill else I doubt.

Florinda. She pretended a Visit to the Augustine Nuns, but I believe some other design carried her out, pray Heavens we light on her. — Prithee what didst do with Callis?

Valeria. When I saw no Reason wou’d do good on her, I follow’d her into the Wardrobe, and as she was looking for something in a great Chest, I tumbled her in by the Heels, snatcht the Key of the Apartment where you were confin’d, lockt her in, and left her bauling for help.

Florinda. ’Tis well you resolve to follow my Fortunes, for thou darest never appear at home again after such an Action.

Valeria. That’s according as the young Stranger and I shall agree — But to our business — I deliver’d your Letter, your Note to Belvile, when I got out under pretence of going to Mass, I found him at his Lodging, and believe me it came seasonably; for never was Man in so desperate a Condition. I told him of your Resolution of making your escape to day, if your Brother would be absent long enough to permit you; if not, die rather than be Antonio’s.

Florinda. Thou shou’dst have told him I was confin’d to my Chamber upon my Brother’s suspicion, that the Business on the Molo was a Plot laid between him and I.

Valeria. I said all this, and told him your Brother was now gone to his Devotion and he resolves to visit every Church till he find him; and not only undeceive him in that, but caress him so as shall delay his return home.

Florinda. Oh Heavens! he’s here, and Belvile with him too.

[They put on their Vizards.]

Enter Don Pedro, Belvile, Willmore; Belvile and Don Pedro seeming in serious Discourse.

Valeria. Walk boldly by them, I’ll come at a distance, lest he suspect us. [She walks by them, and looks back on them.]

Willmore. Ha! A Woman! and of an excellent Mien!

Pedro. She throws a kind look back on you.

Willmore. Death, tis a likely Wench, and that kind look shall not be cast away — I’ll follow her.

Belvile. Prithee do not.

Willmore. Do not! By Heavens to the Antipodes, with such an Invitation.

[She goes out, and Will. follows her.]

Belvile. ’Tis a mad Fellow for a Wench.

Enter Fred.

Frederick. Oh Colonel, such News.

Belvile. Prithee what?

Frederick. News that will make you laugh in spite of Fortune.

Belvile. What, Blunt has had some damn’d Trick put upon him, cheated, bang’d, or clapt?

Frederick. Cheated, Sir, rarely cheated of all but his Shirt and Drawers; the unconscionable Whore too turn’d Him out before Consummation, so that traversing, the Streets at Midnight, the Watch found him in this Fresco, and conducted him home: By Heaven ’tis such a slight, and yet I durst as well have been hang’d as laugh at him, or pity him; he beats all that do but ask him a Question, and is in such an Humour —

Pedro. Who is’t has met with this ill usage, Sir?

Belvile. A Friend of ours, whom you must see for Mirth’s sake. I’ll imploy him to give Florinda time for an escape. [Aside.]

Pedro. Who is he?

Belvile. A young Countryman of ours, one that has been educated at so plentiful a rate, he yet ne’er knew the want of Money, and ’twill be a great Jest to see how simply he’ll look without it. For my part I’ll lend him none, and the Rogue knows not how to put on a borrowing Face, and ask first. I’ll let him see how good ’tis to play our parts whilst I play his — Prithee, Fred. do go home and keep him in that posture till we come.

[Exeunt.]

Enter Florinda from the farther end of the Scene, looking behind her.

Florinda. I am follow’d still — hah — my Brother too advancing this way, good Heavens defend me from being seen by him.

[She goes off.]

Enter Willmore, and after him Valeria, at a little distance.

Willmore. Ah! There she sails, she looks back as she were willing to be boarded, I’ll warrant her Prize.

[He goes out, Valeria following.]

Enter Hellena, just as he goes out, with a Page.

Hellena. Hah, is not that my Captain that has a Woman in chase? —’tis not Angelica. Boy, follow those People at a distance, and bring me an Account where they go in. — I’ll find his Haunts, and plague him every where. — ha — my Brother!

[Exit Page.] [Bel. Wil. Ped. cross the Stage: Hell. runs off.]

Scene changes to another Street. Enter Florinda.

Florinda. What shall I do, my Brother now pursues me. Will no kind Power protect me from his Tyranny? — Hah, here’s a Door open, I’ll venture in, since nothing can be worse than to fall into his Hands, my Life and Honour are at stake, and my Necessity has no choice. [She goes in.]

Enter Valeria, and Hellena’s Page Peeping after Florinda.

Page. Here she went in, I shall remember this House. [Exit Boy.]

Valeria. This is Belvile’s Lodgings; she’s gone in as readily as if she knew it — hah — here’s that mad Fellow again, I dare not venture in — I’ll watch my Opportunity. [Goes aside.]

Enter Willmore, gazing about him.

Willmore. I have lost her hereabouts — Pox on’t she must not scape me so.

[Goes out.]

Scene changes to Blunt’s Chamber, discovers him sitting on a Couch in his Shirt and Drawers, reading.

Blunt. So, now my Mind’s a little at Peace, since I have resolv’d Revenge — A Pox on this Taylor tho, for not bringing home the Clothes I bespoke; and a Pox of all poor Cavaliers, a Man can never keep a spare Suit for ’em; and I shall have these Rogues come in and find me naked; and then I’m undone; but I’m resolv’d to arm my self — the Rascals shall not insult over me too much. [Puts on an old rusty Sword and Buff–Belt.] — Now, how like a Morrice–Dancer I am equipt — a fine Lady-like Whore to cheat me thus, without affording me a Kindness for my Money, a Pox light on her, I shall never be reconciled to the Sex more, she has made me as faithless as a Physician, as uncharitable as a Churchman, and as ill-natur’d as a Poet. O how I’ll use all Women-kind hereafter! what wou’d I give to have one of ’em within my reach now! any Mortal thing in Petticoats, kind Fortune, send me; and I’ll forgive thy last Night’s Malice — Here’s a cursed Book too, (a Warning to all young Travellers) that can instruct me how to prevent such Mischiefs now ’tis too late. Well ’tis a rare convenient thing to read a little now and then, as well as hawk and hunt. [Sits down again and reads.]

Enter to him Florinda.

Florinda. This House is haunted sure ’tis is well furnisht and no living thing inhabits it — hah — a Man! Heavens how he’s attir’d! sure ’tis some Rope-dancer, or Fencing–Master; I tremble now for fear, and yet I must venture now to speak to him — Sir, if I may not interrupt your Meditations — [He starts up and gazes.]

Blunt. Hah — what’s here? Are my wishes granted? and is not that a she Creature? Adsheartlikins ’tis! what wretched thing art thou — hah!

Florinda. Charitable Sir, you’ve told your self already what I am; a very wretched Maid, forc’d by a strange unlucky Accident, to seek a safety here, and must be ruin’d, if you do not grant it.

Blunt. Ruin’d! Is there any Ruin so inevitable as that which now threatens thee? Dost thou, know, miserable Woman, into what Den of Mischiefs thou art fall’n? what a Bliss of Confusion? — hah — dost not see something in my looks that frights thy guilty Soul, and makes thee wish to change that Shape of Woman for any humble Animal or Devil? for those were safer for thee, and less mischievous.

Florinda. Alas, what mean you, Sir? I must confess your Looks have something in ’em makes me fear; but I beseech you, as you seem a Gentleman, pity a harmless Virgin, that takes your House for Sanctuary.

Blunt. Talk on, talk on, and weep too, till my faith return. Do flatter me out of my Senses again — a harmless Virgin with a Pox, as much one as t’other, adsheartlikins. Why, what the Devil can I not be safe in my house for you? not in my Chamber? nay, even being naked too cannot secure me. This is an Impudence greater than has invaded me yet. — Come, no Resistance. [Pulls her rudely.]

Florinda. Dare you be so cruel?

Blunt. Cruel, adsheartlikins as a Gally-slave, or a Spanish Whore: Cruel, yes, I will kiss and beat thee all over; kiss, and see thee all over; thou shalt lie with me too, not that I care for the Injoyment, but to let you see I have ta’en deliberated Malice to thee, and will be revenged on one Whore for the Sins of another; I will smile and deceive thee, flatter thee, and beat thee, kiss and swear, and lye to thee, imbrace thee and rob thee, as she did me, fawn on thee, and strip thee stark naked, then hang thee out at my Window by the Heels, with a Paper of scurvey Verses fasten’d to thy Breast, in praise of damnable Women — Come, come along.

Florinda. Alas, Sir, must I be sacrific’d for the Crimes of the most infamous of my Sex? I never understood the Sins you name.

Blunt. Do, persuade the Fool you love him, or that one of you can be just or honest; tell me I was not an easy Coxcomb, or any strange impossible Tale: it will be believ’d sooner than thy false Showers or Protestations. A Generation of damn’d Hypocrites, to flatter my very Clothes from my back! dissembling Witches! are these the Returns you make an honest Gentleman that trusts, believes, and loves you? — But if I be not even with you — Come along, or I shall — [Pulls her again.]

Enter Frederick.

Frederick. Hah, what’s here to do?

Blunt. Adsheartlikins, Fred. I am glad thou art come, to be a Witness of my dire Revenge.

Frederick. What’s this, a Person of Quality too, who is upon the Ramble to supply the Defects of some grave impotent Husband?

Blunt. No, this has another Pretence, some very unfortunate Accident brought her hither, to save a Life pursued by I know not who, or why, and forc’d to take Sanctuary here at Fools Haven. Adsheartlikins to me of all Mankind for Protection? Is the Ass to be cajol’d again, think ye? No, young one, no Prayers or Tears shall mitigate my Rage; therefore prepare for both my Pleasure of Enjoyment and Revenge, for I am resolved to make up my Loss here on thy Body, I’ll take it out in kindness and in beating.

Frederick. Now, Mistress of mine, what do you think of this?

Florinda. I think he will not — dares not be so barbarous.

Frederick. Have a care, Blunt, she fetch’d a deep Sigh, she is inamour’d with thy Shirt and Drawers, she’ll strip thee even of that. There are of her Calling such unconscionable Baggages, and such dexterous Thieves, they’ll flea a Man, and he shall ne’er miss his Skin, till he feels the Cold. There was a Country-man of ours robb’d of a Row off Teeth whilst he was sleeping, which the Jilt made him buy again when he wak’d — You see, Lady, how little Reason we have to trust you.

Blunt. ’Dsheartlikins, why, this is most abominable.

Florinda. Some such Devils there may be, but by all that’s holy I am none such, I entered here to save a Life in danger.

Blunt. For no goodness I’ll warrant her.

Frederick. Faith, Damsel, you had e’en confess the plain Truth, for we are Fellows not to be caught twice in the same Trap: Look on that Wreck, a tight Vessel when he set out of Haven, well trim’d and laden, and see how a Female Piccaroon of this Island of Rogues has shatter’d him, and canst thou hope for any Mercy?

Blunt. No, no, Gentlewoman, come along, adsheartlikins we must be better acquainted — we’ll both lie with her, and then let me alone to bang her.

Frederick. I am ready to serve you in matters of Revenge, that has a double Pleasure in’t.

Blunt. Well said. You hear, little one, how you are condemn’d by publick Vote to the Bed within, there’s no resisting your Destiny, Sweetheart. [Pulls her.]

Florinda. Stay, Sir, I have seen you with Belvile, an English Cavalier, for his sake use me kindly; you know how, Sir.

Blunt. Belvile! why, yes, Sweeting, we do know Belvile, and wish he were with us now, he’s a Cormorant at Whore and Bacon, he’d have a Limb or two of thee, my Virgin Pullet: but ’tis no matter, we’ll leave him the Bones to pick.

Florinda. Sir, if you have any Esteem for that Belvile, I conjure you to treat me with more Gentleness; he’ll thank you for the Justice.

Frederick. Hark ye, Blunt, I doubt we are mistaken in this matter.

Florinda. Sir, If you find me not worth Belvile’s Care, use me as you please; and that you may think I merit better treatment than you threaten — pray take this Present — [Gives him a Ring: He looks on it.]

Blunt. Hum — A Diamond! why, ’tis a wonderful Virtue now that lies in this Ring, a mollifying Virtue; adsheartlikins there’s more persuasive Rhetorick in’t, than all her Sex can utter.

Frederick. I begin to suspect something; and ’twou’d anger us vilely to be truss’d up for a Rape upon a Maid of Quality, when we only believe we ruffle a Harlot.

Blunt. Thou art a credulous Fellow, but adsheartlikins I have no Faith yet; why, my Saint prattled as parlously as this does, she gave me a Bracelet too, a Devil on her: but I sent my Man to sell it to day for Necessaries, and it prov’d as counterfeit as her Vows of Love.

Frederick. However let it reprieve her till we see Belvile.

Blunt. That’s hard, yet I will grant it.

Enter a Servant.

Servant. Oh, Sir, the Colonel is just come with his new Friend and a Spaniard of Quality, and talks of having you to Dinner with ’em.

Blunt. ’Dsheartlikins, I’m undone — I would not see ’em for the World: Harkye, Fred. lock up the Wench in your Chamber.

Frederick. Fear nothing, Madam, whate’er he threatens, you’re safe whilst in my Hands.

[Ex. Fred. and Flor.]

Blunt. And, Sirrah — upon your Life, say — I am not at home — or that I am asleep — or — or anything — away — I’ll prevent them comming this way.

[Locks the Door and Exeunt.]

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Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31