The Rover, Part II, by Aphra Behn

Act III.

SCENE I. A House.

Enter Fetherfool and Blunt, staring about, after them Shift.

Shift. Well, Gentlemen, this is the Doctor’s House, and your fifty Pistoles has made him intirely yours; the Ladies too are here in safe Custody — Come, draw Lots who shall have the Dwarf, and who the Giant. [They draw.]

Fetherfool. I have the Giant.

Blunt. And I the little tiny Gentlewoman.

Shift. Well, you shall first see the Ladies, and then prepare for your Uncle Moses, the old Jew Guardian, before whom you must be very grave and sententious: You know the old Law was full of Ceremony.

Fetherfool. Well, I long to see the Ladies, and to have the first Onset over.

Shift. I’ll cause ’em to walk forth immediately. [Goes out.]

Fetherfool. My Heart begins to fail me plaguily — would I could see ’em a little at a Distance before they come slap dash upon a Man. [Peeping.] Hah! — Mercy upon us! — What’s yonder! — Ah, Ned my Monster is as big as the Whore of Babylon — Oh I’m in a cold Sweat — [Blunt pulls him to peep, and both do so.] Oh Lord! she’s as tall as the St. Christopher in Notre-dame at Paris, and the little one looks like the Christo upon his Shoulders — I shall ne’er be able to stand the first Brunt.

Blunt. ’Dsheartlikins, whither art going? [Pulls him back.]

Fetherfool. Why only — to — say my Prayers a little — I’ll be with thee presently. [Offers to go, he pulls him.]

Blunt. What a Pox, art thou afraid of a Woman —

Fetherfool. Not of a Woman, Ned, but of a She Gargantua, I am of a Hercules in Petticoats.

Blunt. The less Resemblance the better. ’Shartlikins, I’d rather mine were a Centaur than a Woman: No, since my Naples Adventure, I am clearly for your Monster.

Fetherfool. Prithee, Ned, there’s Reason in all things —

Blunt. But villainous Woman —’Dshartlikins, stand your Ground, or I’ll nail you to’t: Why, what a Pox are you so quezy stomach’d, a Monster won’t down with you, with a hundred thousand Pound to boot. [Pulling him.]

Fetherfool. Nay, Ned, that mollifies something; and I scorn it should be said of Nich. Fetherfool that he left his Friend in danger, or did an ill thing: therefore, as thou say’st, Ned, tho she were a Centaur, I’ll not budg an Inch.

Blunt. Why God a Mercy.

Enter the Giant and Dwarf, with them Shift as an Operator, and Harlequin attending.

Fetherfool. Oh — they come — Prithee, Ned, advance — [Puts him forward.]

Shift. Most beautiful Ladies.

Fetherfool. Why, what a flattering Son of a Whore’s this?

Shift. These are the illustrious Persons your Uncle designs your humble Servants, and who have so extraordinary a Passion for your Seignioraships.

Fetherfool. Oh yes, a most damnable one: Wou’d I were cleanlily off the Lay, and had my Money again.

Blunt. Think of a Million, Rogue, and do not hang an Arse thus.

Giant. What, does the Cavalier think I’ll devour him? [To Shift.]

Fetherfool. Something inclin’d to such a Fear.

Blunt. Go and salute her, or, Adsheartlikins, I’ll leave you to her Mercy.

Fetherfool. Oh, dear Ned, have pity on me — but as for saluting her, you speak of more than may be done, dear Heart, without a Scaling Ladder.

[Exit Shift.]

Dwarf. Sure, Seignior Harlequin, these Gentlemen are dumb.

Blunt. No, my little diminutive Mistress, my small Epitomy of Woman-kind, we can prattle when our Hands are in, but we are raw and bashful, young Beginners; for this is the first time we ever were in love: we are something aukard, or so, but we shall come on in time, and mend upon Incouragement.

Fetherfool. Pox on him, what a delicate Speech has he made now —’Gad, I’d give a thousand Pounds a Year for Ned’s concise Wit, but not a Groat for his Judgment in Womankind.

Enter Shift with a Ladder, sets it against the Giant, and bows to Fetherfool.

Shift. Here, Seignior, Don, approach, mount, and salute the Lady.

Fetherfool. Mount! why, ’twould turn my Brains to look down from her Shoulders — But hang’t, ’Gad, I will be brave and venture. [Runs up the Ladder, salutes her, and runs down again.] And Egad this was an Adventure and a bold one — but since I am come off with a whole Skin, I am flesht for the next onset — Madam — has your Greatness any mind to marry?

[Goes to her, speaks, and runs back; Blunt claps him on the Back.]

Giant. What if have?

Fetherfool. Why then, Madam, without inchanted Sword or Buckler, I’m your Man.

Giant. My Man? my Mouse. I’ll marry none whose Person and Courage shall not bear some Proportion to mine.

Fetherfool. Your Mightiness I fear will die a Maid then.

Giant. I doubt you’ll scarce secure me from that Fear, who court my Fortune, not my Beauty.

Fetherfool. Hu, how scornful she is, I’ll warrant you — why I must confess, your Person is something heroical and masculine, but I protest to your Highness, I love and honour ye.

Dwarf. Prithee, Sister, be not so coy, I like my Lover well enough; and if Seignior Mountebank keep his Word in making us of reasonable Proportions, I think the Gentlemen may serve for Husbands.

Shift. Dissemble, or you betray your Love for us. [Aside to the Giant.]

Giant. And if he do keep his Word, I should make a better Choice, not that I would change this noble Frame of mine, cou’d I but meet my Match, and keep up the first Race of Man intire: But since this scanty World affords none such, I to be happy, must be new created, and then shall expect a wiser Lover.

Fetherfool. Why, what a peevish Titt’s this; nay? look ye, Madam, as for that matter, your Extraordinariness may do what you please — but ’tis not done like a Monster of Honour, when a Man has set his Heart upon you, to cast him off — Therefore I hope you’ll pity a despairing Lover, and cast down an Eye of Consolation upon me; for I vow, most Amazonian Princess, I love ye as if Heaven and Earth wou’d come together.

Dwarf. My Sister will do much, I’m sure, to save the Man that loves her so passionately — she has a Heart.

Fetherfool. And a swinger ’tis —’Sbud — she moves like the Royal Sovereign, and is as long a tacking about. [Aside.]

Giant. Then your Religion, Sir.

Fetherfool. Nay, as for that, Madam, we are English, a Nation I thank God, that stand as little upon Religion as any Nation under the Sun, unless it be in Contradiction; and at this time have so many amongst us, a Man knows not which to turn his Hand to — neither will I stand with your Hugeness for a small matter of Faith or so — Religion shall break no squares.

Dwarf. I hope, Sir, you are of your Friend’s Opinion.

Blunt. My little Spark of a Diamond, I am, I was born a Jew, with an Aversion to Swines Flesh.

Dwarf. Well, Sir, I shall hasten Seignior Doctor to compleat my Beauty, by some small Addition, to appear the more grateful to you.

Blunt. Lady, do not trouble yourself with transitory Parts, ’Dshartlikins thou’rt as handsom as needs be for a Wife.

Dwarf. A little taller, Seignior, wou’d not do amiss, my younger Sister has got so much the Start of me.

Blunt. In troth she has, and now I think on’t, a little taller wou’d do well for Propagation; I should be loth the Posterity of the antient Family of the Blunts of Essex should dwindle into Pigmies or Fairies.

Giant. Well, Seigniors, since you come with our Uncle’s liking, we give ye leave to hope, hope — and be happy —

[They go out with Harlequin.]

Fetherfool. Egad, and that’s great and gracious —

Enter Willmore and an Operator.

Willmore. Well, Gentlemen, and how like you the Ladies?

Blunt. Faith, well enough for the first Course, Sir.

Willmore. The Uncle, by my indeavour, is intirely yours — but whilst the Baths are preparing, ’twould be well if you would think of what Age, Shape, and Complexion you would have your Ladies form’d in.

Fetherfool. Why, may we chuse, Mr. Doctor?

Willmore. What Beauties you please.

Fetherfool. Then will I have my Giant, Ned, just such another Gentlewoman as I saw at Church to day — and about some fifteen.

Blunt. Hum, fifteen — I begin to have a plaguy Itch about me too, towards a handsome Damsel of fifteen; but first let’s marry, lest they should be boiled away in these Baths of Reformation.

Fetherfool. But, Doctor, can you do all this without the help of the Devil?

Willmore. Hum, some small Hand he has in the Business? we make an Exchange with him, give him the clippings of the Giant for so much of his Store as will serve to build the Dwarf.

Blunt. Why, then mine will be more than three Parts Devil, Mr. Doctor.

Willmore. Not so, the Stock is only Devil, the Graft is your own little Wife inoculated.

Blunt. Well, let the Devil and you agree about this matter as soon as you please.

Enter Shift as an Operator.

Shift. Sir, there is without a Person of an extraordinary Size wou’d speak with you.

Willmore. Admit him.

Enter Harlequin, ushers in Hunt as a Giant.

Fetherfool. Hah — some o’ergrown Rival, on my Life.

[Feth. gets from it.]

Willmore. What the Devil have we here? [Aside.]

Hunt. Bezolos mano’s, Seignior, I understand there is a Lady whose Beauty and Proportion can only merit me: I’ll say no more — but shall be grateful to you for your Assistance.

Fetherfool. ’Tis so.

Hunt. The Devil’s in’t if this does not fright ’em from a farther Courtship. [Aside.]

Willmore. Fear nothing, Seignior — Seignior, you may try your Chance, and visit the Ladies. [Talks to Hunt.]

Fetherfool. Why, where the Devil could this Monster conceal himself all this while, that we should neither see nor hear of him?

Blunt. Oh — he lay disguis’d; I have heard of an Army that has done so.

Fetherfool. Pox, no single House cou’d hold him.

Blunt. No — he dispos’d himself in several parcels up and down the Town, here a Leg, and there an Arm; and hearing of this proper Match for him, put himself together to court his fellow Monster.

Fetherfool. Good Lord! I wonder what Religion he’s of.

Blunt. Some heathen Papist, by his notable Plots and Contrivances.

Willmore. ’Tis Hunt, that Rogue — [Aside.] Sir, I confess there is great Power in Sympathy — Conduct him to the Ladies — [He tries to go in at the Door.] — I am sorry you cannot enter at that low Door, Seignior, I’ll have it broken down —

Hunt. No, Seignior, I can go in at twice.

Fetherfool. How, at twice! what a Pox can he mean?

Willmore. Oh, Sir, ’tis a frequent thing by way of Inchantment

[Hunt being all Doublet, leaps off from another Man who is all Breeches, and goes out; Breeches follows stalking.]

Fetherfool. Oh Pox, Mr. Doctor, this must be the Devil.

Willmore. Oh fie, Sir, the Devil! no ’tis all done inchanted Girdle — These damn’d Rascals will spoil all by too gross an Imposition on the Fools. [Aside.]

Fetherfool. This is the Devil, Ned, that’s certain — But hark ye, Mr. Doctor, I hope I shall not have my Mistress inchanted from me by this inchanted Rival, hah?

Willmore. Oh, no, Sir, the Inquisition will never let ’em marry, for fear of a Race of Giants, ’twill be worse than the Invasion of the Moors, or the French: but go — think of your Mistresses Names and Ages, here’s Company, and you would not be seen.

[Ex. Blunt and Feth.]

Enter La Nuche and Aurelia; Will. bows to her.

La Nuche. Sir, the Fame of your excellent Knowledge, and what you said to me this day; has given me a Curiosity to learn my Fate, at least that Fate you threatened.

Willmore. Madam, from the Oracle in the Box you may be resolved any Question — [Leads her to the Table, where stands a Box full of Balls; he stares on her.] — How lovely every absent minute makes her — Madam, be pleas’d to draw from out this Box what Ball you will. [She draws, he takes it, and gazes on her and on it.] Madam, upon this little Globe is character’d your Fate and Fortune; the History of your Life to come and past — first, Madam — you’re — a Whore.

La Nuche. A very plain beginning.

Willmore. My Art speaks simple Truth; the Moon is your Ascendent, that covetous Planet that borrows all her Light, and is in opposition still to Venus; and Interest more prevails with you than Love: yet here I find a cross — intruding Line — that does inform me — you have an Itch that way, but Interest still opposes: you are a slavish mercenary Prostitute.

La Nuche. Your Art is so, tho call’d divine, and all the Universe is sway’d by Interest: and would you wish this Beauty which adorns me, should be dispos’d about for Charity? Proceed and speak more Reason.

Willmore. But Venus here gets the Ascent again, and spite of — Interest, spite of all Aversion, will make you doat upon a Man — [Still looking on, and turning the Ball.] Wild, fickle, restless, faithless as the Winds! — a Man of Arms he is — and by this Line — a Captain — [Looking on her.] for Mars and Venus were in conjunction at his Birth — and Love and War’s his business.

La Nuche. There thou hast toucht my Heart, and spoke so true, that all thou say’st I shall receive as Oracle. Well, grant I love, that shall not make me yield.

Willmore. I must confess you’re ruin’d if you yield, and yet not all your Pride, not all your Vows, your Wit, your Resolution, or your Cunning, can hinder him from conquering absolutely: your Stars are fixt, and Fate irrevocable.

La Nuche. No — I will controul my Stars and Inclinations; and tho I love him more than Power or Interest, I will be Mistress of my fixt Resolves — One Question more — Does this same Captain, this wild happy Man love me?

Willmore. I do not — find — it here — only a possibility incourag’d by your Love — Oh that you cou’d resist — but you are destin’d his, and to be ruin’d. [Sighs, and looks on her, she grows in a Rage.]

La Nuche. Why do you tell me this? I am betray’d, and every caution blows my kindling Flame — hold — tell me no more — I might have guess’d my Fate, from my own Soul have guest it — but yet I will be brave, I will resist in spite of Inclinations, Stars, or Devils.

Willmore. Strive not, fair Creature, with the Net that holds you, you’ll but intangle more. Alas! you must submit and be undone.

La Nuche. Damn your false Art — had he but lov’d me too, it had excus’d the Malice of my Stars.

Willmore. Indeed, his Love is doubtful; for here — I trace him in a new pursuit — which if you can this Night prevent, perhaps you fix him.

La Nuche. Hah, pursuing a new Mistress! there thou hast met the little Resolution I had left, and dasht it into nothing — but I have vow’d Allegiance to my Interest — Curse on my Stars, they cou’d not give me Love where that might be advanc’d — I’ll hear no more. [Gives him Money. Enter Shift.]

Enter Shift.

Shift. Sir, there are several Strangers arriv’d, who talk of the old Oracle. How will you receive ’em?

Willmore. I’ve business now, and must be excus’d a while. — Thus far — I’m well; but I may tell my Tale so often o’er, till, like the Trick of Love, I spoil the pleasure by the repetition. — Now I’ll uncase, and see what Effects my Art has wrought on La Nuche, for she’s the promis’d Good, the Philosophick Treasure that terminates my Toil and Industry. Wait you here.

[Ex. Will.]

Enter Ariadne in Mens Clothes, with Lucia so drest, and other Strangers.

Ariadne. How now, Seignior Operator, where’s this renowned Man of Arts and Sciences, this Don of Wonders? — hah! may a Man have a Pistole’s Worth or two of his Tricks? will he shew, Seignor?

Shift. Whatever you dare see, Sir.

Ariadne. And I dare see the greatest Bug-bear he can conjure up, my Mistress’s Face in a Glass excepted.

Shift. That he can shew, Sir, but is now busied in weighty Affairs with a Grandee.

Ariadne. Pox, must we wait the Leisure of formal Grandees and Statesmen — ha, who’s this? — the lovely Conqueress of my Heart, La Nuche. [Goes to her, she is talking with Aurel.]

La Nuche. What foolish thing art thou?

Ariadne. Nay, do not frown, nor fly; for if you do, I must arrest you, fair one.

La Nuche. At whose Suit, pray?

Ariadne. At Love’s — you have stol’n a Heart of mine, and us’d it scurvily.

La Nuche. By what marks do you know the Toy, that I may be no longer troubled with it?

Ariadne. By a fresh Wound, which toucht by her that gave it bleeds anew, a Heart all over kind and amorous.

La Nuche. When was this pretty Robbery committed?

Ariadne. To day, most sacrilegiously, at Church, where you debauch’d my Zeal; and when I wou’d have pray’d, your Eyes had put the Change upon my Tongue, and made it utter Railings: Heav’n forgive ye!

La Nuche. You are the gayest thing without a Heart, I ever saw.

Ariadne. I scorn to flinch for a bare Wound or two; nor is he routed that has lost the day, he may again rally, renew the Fight, and vanquish.

La Nuche. You have a good opinion of that Beauty, which I find not so forcible, nor that fond Prattle uttered with such Confidence.

Ariadne. But I have Quality and Fortune too.

La Nuche. So had you need. I should have guest the first by your pertness; for your saucy thing of Quality acts the Man as impudently at fourteen, as another at thirty: nor is there any thing so hateful as to hear it talk of Love, Women and Drinking; nay, to see it marry too at that Age, and get itself a Play — fellow in its Son and Heir.

Ariadne. This Satyr on my Youth shall never put me out of countenance, or make me think you wish me one day older; and egad, I’ll warrant them that tries me, shall find me ne’er an hour too young.

La Nuche. You mistake my Humour, I hate the Person of a fair conceited Boy.

Enter Willmore drest, singing.

Willmore. Vole, vole dans cette Cage, Petite Oyseau dans cet bocage. — How now, Fool, where’s the Doctor?

Shift. A little busy, Sir.

Willmore. Call him, I am in haste, and come to cheapen the Price of Monster.

Shift. As how, Sir?

Willmore. In an honourable way, I will lawfully marry one of ’em, and have pitcht upon the Giant; I’ll bid as fair as any Man.

Shift. No doubt but you will speed, Sir: please you, Sir, to walk in.

Willmore. I’ll follow — Vole, vole dans cette Cage, &c.

Lucia. Why, ’tis the Captain, Madam — [Aside to Aria.]

La Nuche. Hah — marry — harkye, Sir — a word, pray.

[As he is going out she pulls him.]

Willmore. Your Servant, Madam, your Servant — Vole, vole, &c.

[Puts his Hat off carelesly, and walks by, going out.]

Lucia. And to be marry’d, mark that.

Ariadne. Then there’s one doubt over, I’m glad he is not married.

La Nuche. Come back — Death, I shall burst with Anger — this Coldness blows my Flame, which if once visible, makes him a Tyrant —

Willmore. Fool, what’s a Clock, fool? this noise hinders me from hearing it strike.

[Shakes his Pockets, and walks up and down.]

La Nuche. A blessed sound, if no Hue and Cry pursue it. — what — you are resolv’d then upon this notable Exploit?

Willmore. What Exploit, good Madam?

La Nuche. Why, marrying of a Monster, and an ugly Monster.

Willmore. Yes faith, Child, here stands the bold Knight, that singly, and unarm’d, designs to enter the List with Thogogandiga the Giant; a good Sword will defend a worse cause than an ugly Wife. I know no danger worse than fighting for my Living, and I have don’t this dozen years for Bread.

La Nuche. This is the common trick of all Rogues, when they have done an ill thing to face it out.

Willmore. An ill thing — your Pardon, Sweet-heart, compare it but to Banishment, a frozen Sentry with brown George and Spanish Pay; and if it be not better to be Master of a Monster, than Slave to a damn’d Commonwealth — I submit — and since my Fortune has thrown this good in my way —

La Nuche. You’ll not be so ungrateful to refuse it; besides then you may hope to sleep again, without dreaming of Famine, or the Sword, two Plagues a Soldier of Fortune is subject to.

Willmore. Besides Cashiering, a third Plague.

La Nuche. Still unconcern’d! — you call me mercenary, but I would starve e’er suffer my self to be possest by a thing of Horror.

Willmore. You lye, you would by any thing of Horror: yet these things of Horror have Beauties too, Beauties thou canst not boast of, Beauties that will not fade; Diamonds to supply the lustre of their Eyes, and Gold the brightness of their Hair, a well-got Million to atone for Shape, and Orient Pearls, more white, more plump and smooth, than that fair Body Men so languish for, and thou hast set such Price on.

Ariadne. I like not this so well, ’tis a trick to make her jealous.

Willmore. Their Hands too have their Beauties, whose very mark finds credit and respect, their Bills are current o’er the Universe; besides these, you shall see waiting at my Door, four Footmen, a Velvet Coach, with Six Flanders Beauties more: And are not these most comely Virtues in a Soldier’s Wife, in this most wicked peaceable Age?

Lucia. He’s poor too, there’s another comfort. [Aside.]

Ariadne. The most incouraging one I have met with yet.

Willmore. Pox on’t, I grow weary of this virtuous Poverty. There goes a gallant Fellow, says one, but gives him not an Onion; the Women too, faith, ’tis a handsom Gentleman, but the Devil a Kiss he gets gratis.

Ariadne. Oh, how I long to undeceive him of that Error.

La Nuche. He speaks not of me; sure he knows me not. [Aside.]

Willmore. No, Child, Money speaks sense in a Language all Nations understand, ’tis Beauty, Wit, Courage, Honour, and undisputable Reason — see the virtue of a Wager, that new philosophical way lately found out of deciding all hard Questions — Socrates, without ready Money to lay down, must yield.

Ariadne. Well, I must have this gallant Fellow. [Aside.]

La Nuche. Sure he has forgot this trival thing.

Willmore. –Even thou — who seest me dying unregarded, wou’d then be fond and kind, and flatter me. [Soft tone.] By Heaven, I’ll hate thee then; nay, I will marry to be rich to hate thee: the worst of that, is but to suffer nine Days Wonderment. Is not that better than an Age of Scorn from a proud faithless Beauty?

La Nuche. Oh, there’s Resentment left — why, yes faith, such a Wedding would give the Town diversion: we should have a lamentable Ditty made on it, it, entitled, The Captain’s Wedding, with the doleful Relation of his being over-laid by an o’er-grown Monster.

Willmore. I’ll warrant ye I escape that as sure as cuckolding; for I would fain see that hardy Wight that dares attempt my Lady Bright, either by Force or Flattery.

La Nuche. So, then you intend to bed her?

Willmore. Yes faith, and beget a Race of Heroes, the Mother’s Form with all the Father’s Qualities.

La Nuche. Faith, such a Brood may prove a pretty Livelihood for a poor decay’d Officer; you may chance to get a Patent to shew ’em in England, that Nation of Change and Novelty.

Willmore. A provision old Carlo cannot make for you against the abandon’d day.

La Nuche. He can supply the want of Issue a better way; and tho he be not so fine a fellow as your self, he’s a better Friend, he can keep a Mistress: give me a Man can feed and clothe me, as well as hug and all to bekiss me, and tho his Sword be not so good as yours, his Bond’s worth a thousand Captains. This will not do, I’ll try what Jealousy will do. [Aside.] Your Servant, Captain — your Hand, Sir. [Takes Ariadne by the Hand.]

Willmore. Hah, what new Coxcomb’s that — hold, Sir — [Takes her from him.]

Ariadne. What would you, Sir, ought with this Lady?

Willmore. Yes, that which thy Youth will only let thee guess at — this — Child, is Man’s Meat; there are other Toys for Children. [Offers to lead her off.]

La Nuche. Oh insolent! and whither would’st thou lead me?

Willmore. Only out of harm’s way, Child, here are pretty near Conveniences within: the Doctor will be civil —’tis part of his Calling — Your Servant, Sir — [Going off with her.]

Ariadne. I must huff now, tho I may chance to be beaten — come back — or I have something here that will oblige ye to’t. [Laying his hand on his Sword.]

Willmore. Yes faith, thou’rt a pretty Youth; but at this time I’ve more occasion for a thing in Petticoats — go home, and do not walk the Streets so much; that tempting Face of thine will debauch the grave men of business, and make the Magistrates lust after Wickedness.

Ariadne. You are a scurvy Fellow, Sir. [Going to draw.]

Willmore. Keep in your Sword, for fear it cut your Fingers, Child.

Ariadne. So ’twill your Throat, Sir — here’s Company coming that will part us, and I’ll venture to draw. [Draws, Will. draws.]

Enter Beaumond.

Beaumond. Hold, hold — hah, Willmore! thou Man of constant mischief, what’s the matter?

La Nuche. Beaumond! undone!

Ariadne. –Beaumond! —

Willmore. Why, here’s a young Spark will take my Lady Bright from me; the unmanner’d Hot-spur would not have patience till I had finish’d my small Affair with her. [Puts up his Sword.]

Ariadne. Death, he’ll know me — Sir, you see we are prevented. [Draws him aside.] — or — [Seems to talk to him, Beau. gazes on La Nuche, who has pull’d down her Veil.]

Beaumond. ’Tis she! Madam, this Veil’s too thin to hide the perjur’d Beauty underneath. Oh, have I been searching thee, with all the diligence of impatient Love, and am I thus rewarded, to find thee here incompass’d round with Strangers, fighting, who first should take my right away? — Gods! take your Reason back, take all your Love; for easy Man’s unworthy of the Blessings.

Willmore. Harkye, Harry — the — Woman — the almighty Whore — thou told’st me of to day.

Beaumond. Death, do’st thou mock my Grief — unhand me strait, for tho I cannot blame thee, I must hate thee.

[Goes out.]

Willmore. What the Devil ails he?

Ariadne. You will be sure to come.

Willmore. At night in the Piazza; I have an Assignation with a Woman, that once dispatch’d, I will not fail ye, Sir.

Lucia. And will you leave him with her?

Ariadne. Oh, yes, he’ll be ne’er the worse for my use when he has done with her.

[Ex. Luc. and Aria. Will. looks with scorn on La Nuche.]

Willmore. Now you may go o’ertake him, lie with him — and ruin him: the Fool was made for such a Destiny — if he escapes my Sword. [He offers to go.]

La Nuche. I must prevent his visit to this Woman — but dare not tell him so. [Aside.] — I would not have ye meet this angry Youth.

Willmore. Oh, you would preserve him for a farther use.

La Nuche. Stay — you must not fight — by Heaven, I cannot see — that Bosom — wounded. [Turns and weeps.]

Willmore. Hah! weep’st thou? curse me when I refuse a faith to that obliging Language of thy Eyes — Oh give me one proof more, and after that, thou conquerest all my Soul; Thy Eyes speak Love — come, let us in, my Dear, e’er the bright Fire allays that warms my Heart. [Goes to lead her out.]

La Nuche. Your Love grows rude, and saucily demands it. [Flings away.]

Willmore. Love knows no Ceremony, no respect when once approacht so near the happy minute.

La Nuche. What desperate easiness have you seen in me, or what mistaken merit in your self, should make you so ridiculously vain, to think I’d give my self to such a Wretch, one fal’n even to the last degree of Poverty, whilst all the World is prostrate at my Feet, whence I might chuse the Brave, the Great, the Rich? [He stands spitefully gazing at her.] — Still as he fires, I find my Pride augment, and when he cools I burn. [Aside.]

Willmore. Death, thou’rt a — vain, conceited, taudry Jilt, who wou’st draw me in as Rooks their Cullies do, to make me venture all my stock of Love, and then you turn me out despis’d and poor — [Offers to go.]

La Nuche. You think you’re gone now —

Willmore. Not all thy Arts nor Charms shall hold me longer.

La Nuche. I must submit — and can you part thus from me? — [Pulls him.]

Willmore. I can — nay, by Heaven, I will not turn, nor look at thee. No, when I do, or trust that faithless Tongue again — may I be —

La Nuche. Oh do not swear —

Willmore. Ever curst — [Breaks from her, she holds him.]

La Nuche. You shall not go — Plague of this needles Pride. [Aside.] — stay — and I’ll follow all the dictates of my Love.

Willmore. Oh never hope to flatter me to faith again. [His back to her, she holding him.]

La Nuche. I must, I will; what wou’d you have me do?

Willmore. [turning softly to her.] Never — deceive me more, it may be fatal to wind me up to an impatient height, then dash my eager Hopes. [Sighing.] Forgive my roughness — and be kind, La Nuche, I know thou wo’t —

La Nuche. Will you then be ever kind and true?

Willmore. Ask thy own Charms, and to confirm thee more, yield and disarm me quite.

La Nuche. Will you not marry then? for tho you never can be mine that way, I cannot think that you should be another’s.

Willmore. No more delays, by Heaven, ’twas but a trick.

La Nuche. And will you never see that Woman neither, whom you’re this Night to visit?

Willmore. Damn all the rest of thy weak Sex, when thou look’st thus, and art so soft and charming. [Offers to lead her out.]

La Nuche. Sancho — my Coach. [Turns in scorn.]

Willmore. Take heed, what mean ye?

La Nuche. Not to be pointed at by all the envying Women of the Town, who’l laugh and cry, Is this the high-priz’d Lady, now fall’n so low, to doat upon a Captain? a poor disbanded Captain? defend me from that Infamy.

Willmore. Now all the Plagues — but yet I will not curse thee, ’tis lost on thee, for thou art destin’d damn’d. [Going out.]

La Nuche. Whither so fast?

Willmore. Why — I am so indifferent grown, that I can tell thee now — to a Woman, young, fair and honest; she’ll be kind and thankful — farewel, Jilt — now should’st thou die for one sight more of me, thou should’st not ha’t; nay, should’st thou sacrifice all thou hast couzen’d other Coxcombs of, to buy one single visit, I am so proud, by Heaven, thou shouldst not have it — To grieve thee more, see here, insatiate Woman [Shews her a Purse or hands full] of Gold] the Charm that makes me lovely in thine Eyes: it had all been thine hadst thou not basely bargain’d with me, now ’tis the Prize of some well-meaning Whore, whose Modesty will trust my Generosity.

[Goes out.]

La Nuche. Now I cou’d rave, t’have lost an opportunity which industry nor chance can give again — when on the yielding point, a cursed fit of Pride comes cross my Soul, and stops the kind Career — I’ll follow him, yes I’ll follow him, even to the Arms of her to whom he’s gone.

Aurelia. Madam, tis dark, and we may meet with Insolence.

La Nuche. No matter: Sancho, let the Coach go home, and do you follow me —

Women may boast their Honour and their Pride,

But Love soon lays those feebler Powr’s aside.

[Exeunt.]

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Last updated Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 11:59