The Rover, Part II, by Aphra Behn

Act IV.

SCENE I. The Street, or Backside of the Piazza dark.

Enter Willmore alone.

Willmore. A Pox upon this Woman that has jilted me, and I for being a fond believing Puppy to be in earnest with so great a Devil. Where be these Coxcombs too? this Blunt and Fetherfool? when a Man needs ’em not, they are plaguing him with their unseasonable Jests — could I but light on them, I would be very drunk to night — but first I’ll try my Fortune with this Woman — let me see — hereabouts is the Door. [Gropes about for the Door.]

Enter Beaumond, follow’d by La Nuche, and Sancho.

La Nuche. ’Tis he, I know it by his often and uneasy pauses —

Beaumond. And shall I home and sleep upon my injury, whilst this more happy Rover takes my right away? — no, damn me then for a cold senseless Coward. [Pauses and pulls out a Key.]

Willmore. This Damsel, by the part o’th’ Town she lives in, shou’d be of Quality, and therefore can have no dishonest design on me, it must be right down substantial Love, that’s certain.

Beaumond. Yet I’ll in and arm my self for the Encounter, for ’twill be rough between us, tho we’re Friends. [Groping about, finds the Door.]

Willmore. Oh, ’tis this I’m sure, because the Door is open.

Beaumond. Hah — who’s there? —

[Beau. advances to unlock the Door, runs against Will. draws.]

Willmore. That Voice is of Authority, some Husband, Lover, or a Brother, on my Life — this is a Nation of a word and a blow, therefore I’ll betake me to Toledo — [Draws.]

[Willmore in drawing hits his Sword against that of Beaumond, who turns and fights, La Nuche runs into the Garden frighted.]

Beaumond. Hah, are you there?

Sancho. I’ll draw in defence of the Captain —

[Sancho fights for Beau. and beats out Will.]

Willmore. Hah, two to one? [Turns and goes in.]

Beaumond. The Garden Door clapt to; sure he’s got in; nay, then I have him sure.

The Scene changes to a Garden, La Nuche in it; to her Beau. who takes hold of her sleeve.

La Nuche. Heavens, where am I?

Beaumond. Hah-a Woman! and by these Jewels — should be Ariadne. [feels.] ’Tis so! Death, are all Women false? [She struggles to get away, he holds her.] — Oh, tis in vain thou fly’st, thy Infamy will stay behind thee still.

La Nuche. Hah, ’tis Beaumond’s Voice! — Now for an Art to turn the trick upon him; I must not lose his Friendship. [Aside.]

Enter Willmore softly, peeping behind.

Willmore. What a Devil have we here, more Mischief yet; — hah — my Woman with a Man — I shall spoil all — I ever had an excellent knack of doing so.

Beaumond. Oh Modesty, where art thou? Is this the effect of all your put on Jealousy, that Mask to hide your own new falshood in? New! — by Heaven, I believe thou’rt old in cunning, that couldst contrive, so near thy Wedding-night, this, to deprive me of the Rites of Love.

La Nuche. Hah, what says he? [Aside.]

Willmore. How, a Maid, and young, and to be marry’d too! a rare Wench this to contrive Matters so conveniently: Oh, for some Mischief now to send him neatly off. [Aside.]

Beaumond. Now you are silent; but you could talk to day loudly of Virtue, and upbraid my Vice: oh how you hated a young keeping Husband, whom neither Beauty nor Honour in a Wife cou’d oblige to reason — oh, damn your Honour, ’tis that’s the sly pretence of all your domineering insolent Wives — Death — what thou see in me, should make thee think that I would be a tame contented Cuckold? [Going, she holds him.]

La Nuche. I must not lose this lavish loving Fool — [Aside.]

Willmore. So, I hope he will be civil and withdraw, and leave me in possession —

Beaumond. No, tho my Fortune should depend on thee; nay, all my hope of future happiness — by Heaven, I scorn to marry thee, unless thou couldst convince me thou wer’t honest — a Whore! — Death, how it cools my Blood —

Willmore. And fires mine extremely —

La Nuche. Nay, then I am provok’d tho I spoil all — [Aside.] And is a Whore a thing so much despis’d? Turn back, thou false forsworn — turn back, and blush at thy mistaken folly. [He stands amaz’d.]

Beaumond. La Nuche!

Enter Aria. peeping, advancing cautiously undrest, Luc. following.

Ariadne. Oh, he is here — Lucia, attend me in the Orange-grove —

[Ex. Lucia.] Hah, a Woman with him!

Willmore. Hum — what have we here? another Damsel? — she’s gay too, and seems young and handsom — sure one of these will fall to my share; no matter which, so I am sure of one.

La Nuche. Who’s silent now? are you struck dumb with Guilt? thou shame to noble Love; thou scandal to all brave Debauchery, thou Fop of Fortune; thou slavish Heir to Estate and Wife, born rich and damn’d to Matrimony.

Willmore. Egad, a noble Wench — I am divided yet.

La Nuche. Thou formal Ass disguis’d in generous Leudness, see — when the Vizor’s off, how sneakingly that empty form appears — Nay ’tis thy own — Make much on’t, marry with it, and be damn’d. [Offers to go.]

Willmore. I hope she’ll beat him for suspecting her. [He holds her, she turns.]

Ariadne. Hah — who the Devil can these be?

La Nuche. What silly honest Fool did you mistake me for? what senseless modest thing? Death, am I grown so despicable? have I deserv’d no better from thy Love than to be taken for a virtuous Changeling?

Willmore. Egad, ’twas an Affront. [Aside.]

La Nuche. I’m glad I’ve found thee out to be an errant Coxcomb, one that esteems a Woman for being chaste forsooth! ’Sheart, I shall have thee call me pious shortly, a most — religious Matron!

Willmore. Egad, she has reason — [aside.]

Beaumond. Forgive me — for I took ye — for another. [Sighing.]

La Nuche. Oh did you so? it seems you keep fine Company the while — Death, that I should e’er be seen with such a vile Dissembler, with one so vain, so dull and so impertinent, as can be entertain’d by honest Women!

Willmore. A Heavenly Soul, and to my Wish, were I but sure of her.

Beaumond. Oh you do wondrous well t’accuse me first! yes, I am a Coxcomb — a confounded one, to doat upon so false a Prostitute; nay to love seriously, and tell it too: yet such an amorous Coxcomb I was born, to hate the Enjoyment of the loveliest Woman, without I have the Heart: the fond soft Prattle, and the lolling Dalliance, the Frowns, the little Quarrels, and the kind Degrees of making Peace again, are Joys which I prefer to all the sensual, whilst I endeavour to forget the Whore, and pay my Vows to Wit, to Youth and Beauty.

Ariadne. Now hang me, if it be not Beaumond.

Beaumond. Would any Devil less than common Woman have serv’d me as thou didst? say, was not this my Night? my paid for Night? my own by right of Bargain, and by Love? and hast not thou deceiv’d me for a Stranger?

Willmore. So — make me thankful, then she will be kind. [Hugs himself.]

Beaumond. –Was this done like a Whore of Honour think ye? and would not such an Injury make me forswear all Joys of Womankind, and marry in mere spite?

La Nuche. Why where had been the Crime had I been kind?

Beaumond. Thou dost confess it then.

La Nuche. Why not?

Beaumond. Those Bills of Love the oftner paid and drawn, make Women better Merchants than Lovers.

La Nuche. And ’tis the better Trade.

Willmore. Oh Pox, there she dasht all again. I find they calm upon’t, and will agree, therefore I’ll bear up to this small Frigate and lay her aboard. [Goes to Ariadne.]

La Nuche. However I’m glad the Vizor’s off; you might have fool’d me on, and sworn I was the only Conqueror of your Heart, had not Good-nature made me follow you, to undeceive your false Suspicions of me: How have you sworn never to marry? how rail’d at Wives, and satir’d Fools oblig’d to Wedlock? And now at last, to thy eternal Shame, thou hast betray’d thy self to be a most pernicious honourable Lover, a perjur’d — honest — nay, a very Husband. [Turns away, he holds her.]

Ariadne. Hah, sure ’tis the Captain.

Willmore. Prithee, Child, let’s leave ’em to themselves, they’l agree matters I’ll warrant them when they are alone; and let us try how Love and Good-nature will provide for us.

Ariadne. Sure he cannot know me? — Us! — pray who are you, and who am I?

Willmore. Why look ye, Child, I am a very honest civil Fellow, for my part, and thou’rt a Woman for thine; and I desire to know no more at present.

Ariadne. ’Tis he, and knows not me to be the same he appointed to day — Sir, pursue that Path on your right Hand, that Grove of Orange — Trees, and I’ll follow you immediately.

Willmore. Kind and civil — prithee make haste, dear Child.

[Exit. Will.]

Beaumond. And did you come to call me back again? [Lovingly.]

La Nuche. No matter, you are to be marry’d, Sir —

Beaumond. No more, ’tis true, to please my Uncle, I have talk’d of some such thing; but I’ll pursue it no farther, so thou wilt yet be mine, and mine intirely — I hate this Ariadne — for a Wife — by Heaven I do.

Ariadne. A very plain Confession. [Claps him on the back.]

Beaumond. Ariadne!

La Nuche. I’m glad of this, now I shall be rid of him. [Aside.] — How is’t, Sir? I see you struggle hard ’twixt Love and Honour, and I’ll resign my Place — [Offers to go, Ariadne pulls her back.]

Ariadne. Hold, if she take him not away, I shall disappoint my Man — faith, I’ll not be out-done in Generosity. [Gives him to La Nuche.] Here — Love deserves him best — and I resign him — Pox on’t I’m honest, tho that’s no fault of mine; ’twas Fortune who has made a worse Exchange, and you and I should suit most damnably together. [To Beau.]

Beaumond. I am sure there’s something in the Wind, she being in the Garden, and the Door left open. [Aside.] — Yes, I believe you are willing enough to part with me, when you expect another you like better.

Ariadne. I’m glad I was before-hand with you then.

Beaumond. Very good, and the Door was left open to give admittance to a Lover.

Ariadne. ’Tis visible it was to let one in to you, false as you are.

La Nuche. Faith, Madam, you mistake my Constitution, my Beauty and my Business is only to be belov’d not to love; I leave that Slavery for you Women of Quality, who must invite, or die without the Blessing; for likely the Fool you make choice of wants Wit or Confidence to ask first; you are fain to whistle before the Dogs will fetch and carry, and then too they approach by stealth: and having done the Drudgery, the submissive Curs are turn’d out for fear of dirtying your Apartment, or that the Mungrils should scandalize ye; whilst all my Lovers of the noble kind throng to adore and fill my Presence daily, gay as if each were triumphing for Victory.

Ariadne. Ay this is something; what a poor sneaking thing an honest Woman is!

La Nuche. And if we chance to love still, there’s a difference, your Hours of Love are like the Deeds of Darkness, and mine like cheerful Birds in open Day.

Ariadne. You may, you have no Honour to lose.

La Nuche. Or if I had, why should I double the Sin by Hypocrisy?

[Lucia squeaks within, crying, help, help.]

Ariadne. Heavens, that’s Lucia’s Voice.

Beaumond. Hah, more caterwauling?

Enter Lucia in haste.

Lucia. Oh, Madam, we’re undone; and, Sir, for Heaven’s sake do you retire.

Beaumond. What’s the matter?

Lucia. Oh you have brought the most villainous mad Friend with you — he found me sitting on a Bank — and did so ruffle me.

Ariadne. Death, she takes Beaumond for the Stranger, and will ruin me.

Lucia. Nay, made love so loud, that my Lord your Father-in-law, who was in his Cabinet, heard us from the Orange–Grove, and has sent to search the Garden — and should he find a Stranger with you — do but you retire, Sir, and all’s well yet. [To Beaumond.]

Ariadne. The Devil’s in her Tongue. [Aside.]

Lucia. For if Mr. Beaumond be in the House, we shall have the Devil to do with his Jealousy.

Ariadne. So, there ’tis out.

Beaumond. She takes me for another — I am jilted every where — what Friend? — I brought none with me. — Madam, do you retire — [To La Nuche.]

La Nuche. Glad of my Freedom too — [Goes out.]

[A clashing of Swords within. Enter Willm. fighting, prest back by three or four Men, and Abevile, Aria. and Luc. run out.]

Beaumond. Hah, set on by odds; hold, tho thou be’st my Rival, I will free thee, on condition thou wilt meet me to morrow morning in the Piazza by day break. [Puts himself between their Swords, and speaks to Will. aside.]

Willmore. By Heaven I’ll do it.

Beaumond. Retire in safety then, you have your pass.

Abevile. Fall on, fall on, the number is increas’d. [Fall on Beau.]

Beaumond. Rascals, do you not know me?


[Falls in with ’em and heats them back, and goes out with them.]

Willmore. Nay, and you be so well acquainted, I’ll leave you — unfortunate still I am; my own well meaning, but ill Management, is my eternal Foe: Plague on ’em, they have wounded me — yet not one drop of Blood’s departed from me that warm’d my Heart for Woman, and I’m not willing to quit this Fairy-ground till some kind Devil have been civil to me.

Enter Ariadne and Lucia.

Ariadne. I say, ’tis he: thou’st made so many dull Mistakes to Night, thou darest not trust thy Senses when they’re true — How do you, Sir?

Willmore. That Voice has Comfort in’t, for ’tis a Woman’s: hah, more Interruption?

Ariadne. A little this way, Sir.

[Ex. Aria. and Will. into the Garden.]

Enter Beaumond, Abevile in a submissive Posture.

Beaumond. No more excuses — By all these Circumstances, I know this Ariadne is a Gipsy. What difference then between a money-taking Mistress and her that gives her Love? only perhaps this sins the closer by’t, and talks of Honour more: What Fool wou’d be a Slave to empty Name, or value Woman for dissembling well? I’ll to La Nuche — the honester o’th’ two — Abevile — get me my Musick ready, and attend me at La Nuche’s.

[Ex. severally.]

Lucia. He’s gone, and to his Mistress too.

Enter Ariadne pursu’d by Willmore.

Willmore. My little Daphne, ’tis in vain to fly, unless like her, you cou’d be chang’d into a Tree: Apollo’s self pursu’d not with more eager Fire than I. [Holds her.]

Ariadne. Will you not grant a Parly e’er I yield?

Willmore. I’m better at a Storm.

Ariadne. Besides, you’re wounded too.

Willmore. Oh leave those Wounds of Honour to my Surgeon, thy Business is to cure those of Love. Your true bred Soldier ever fights with the more heat for a Wound or two.

Ariadne. Hardly in Venus’ Wars.

Willmore. Her self ne’er thought so when she snatcht her Joys between the rough Encounters of the God of War. Come, let’s pursue the Business we came for: See the kind Night invites, and all the ruffling Winds are husht and still, only the Zephirs spread their tender Wings, courting in gentle Murmurs the gay Boughs; ’twas in a Night like this, Diana taught the Mysteries of Love to the fair Boy Endymion. I am plaguy full of History and Simile tonight.

Ariadne. You see how well he far’d for being modest.

Willmore. He might be modest, but ’twas not over-civil to put her Goddessship to asking first; thou seest I’m better bred — Come let’s haste to silent Grots that attend us, dark Groves where none can see, and murmuring Fountains.

Ariadne. Stay, let me consider first, you are a Stranger, inconstant too as Island Winds, and every day are fighting for your Mistresses, of which you’ve had at least four since I saw you first, which is not a whole day.

Willmore. I grant ye, before I was a Lover I ran at random, but I’ll take up now, be a patient Man, and keep to one Woman a Month.

Ariadne. A Month!

Willmore. And a fair Reason, Child; time was, I wou’d have worn one Shirt, or one pair of Shoos so long as have let the Sun set twice upon the same Sin: but see the Power of Love; thou hast bewitched me, that’s certain.

Ariadne. Have a care of giving me the ascendent over ye, for fear I make ye marry me.

Willmore. Hold, I bar that cast, Child; no, I’m none of those Spirits that can be conjur’d into a Wedding-ring, and dance in the dull matrimonial Circle all my Days.

Ariadne. But what think you of a hundred thousand Crowns, and a Beauty of sixteen?

Willmore. As of most admirable Blessings: but harkye, Child, I am plaguily afraid thou’rt, some scurvy honest thing of Quality by these odd Questions of thine, and hast some wicked Design upon my Body.

Ariadne. What, to have and to hold I’ll warrant. — No Faith, Sir, Maids of my Quality expect better Jointures than a Buff-coat, Scarf and Feather: such Portions as mine are better Ornaments in a Family than a Captain and his Commission.

Willmore. Why well said, now thou hast explain’d thy self like a Woman of Honour — Come, come, let’s away.

Ariadne. Explain my self! How mean ye?

Willmore. –Thou say’st I am not fit to marry thee — and I believe this Assignation was not made to tell me so, nor yet to hear me whistle to the Birds.

Ariadne. Faith no. I saw you, lik’d ye, and had a mind to ye.

Willmore. Ay, Child —

Ariadne. In short, I took ye for a Man of Honour.

Willmore. Nay, if I tell the Devil take me.

Ariadne. I am a Virgin in Distress.

Willmore. Poor Heart.

Ariadne. To be marry’d within a Day or two to one I like not.

Willmore. Hum — and therefore wouldst dispose of a small Virgin Treasure (too good for silly Husbands) in a Friend’s Hands: faith, Child — I was ever a good religious charitable Christian, and shall acquit my self as honestly and piously in this Affair as becomes a Gentleman.

Enter Abevile with Musick.

Abevile. Come away, are ye all arm’d for the Business?

Ariadne. Hah, arm’d! we are surpriz’d again.

Willmore. Fear not. [Draws.]

Ariadne. Oh God, Sir, haste away, you are already wounded: but I conjure you, as a Man of Honour, be here at the Garden Gate to night again, and bring a Friend, in case of Danger, with you; and if possible I’ll put my self into your Hands, for this Night’s Work has ruin’d me —

[Speaking quick, and pushing him forwards runs off.]

Abevile. My Master sure not gone yet — [Peeping advancing.]

Willmore. Rascals, tho you are odds, you’ll find hot Work in vanquishing. [Falls on ’em.]

Abevile. Hold, Sir, I am your Page. Do you not know me? and these the Musick you commanded — shall I carry em where you order’d, Sir?

Willmore. They take me for some other, this was lucky. [Aside.] O, aye —’tis well — I’ll follow — but whither? — Plague of my dull Mistakes, the Woman’s gone — yet stay — [Calls ’em.] For now I think on’t, this Mistake may help me to another — stay — I must dispose of this mad Fire about me, which all these Disappointments cannot lay — Oh for some young kind Sinner in the nick — How I cou’d souse upon her like a Bird of Prey, and worry her with Kindness. [Aside.–] Go on, I follow.

[Exeunt.]

Scene changes to La Nuche’s House.

Enter Petronella and Aurelia with Light.

Aurelia. Well, the Stranger is in Bed, and most impatiently expects our Patrona, who is not yet returned.

Petronella. Curse of this Love! I know she’s in pursuit of this Rover, this English Piece of Impudence; Pox on ’em, I know nothing good in the whole Race of ’em, but giving all to their Shirts when they’re drunk. What shall we do, Aurelia? This Stranger must not be put off, nor Carlo neither, who has fin’d again as if for a new Maidenhead.

Aurelia. You are so covetous, you might have put ’em off, but now ’tis too late.

Petronella. Put off! Are these Fools to be put off think ye? a fine Fop Englishman, and an old doating Grandee? — No, I cou’d put the old trick on ’em still, had she been here but to have entertain’d ’em: but hark, one knocks, ’tis Carlo on my Life —

Enter Carlo, gives Petronella Gold.

Carlo. Let this plead for me.

Petronella. Sweet Don, you are the most eloquent Person.

Carlo. I would regale to night — I know it is not mine, but I’ve sent five hundred Crowns to purchase it, because I saw another bargaining for’t; and Persons of my Quality must not be refus’d: you apprehend me.

Petronella. Most rightly — that was the Reason then she came so out of Humour home — and is gone to Bed in such a sullen Fit.

Carlo. To Bed, and all alone! I would surprize her there. Oh how it pleases me to think of stealing into her Arms like a fine Dream, Wench, hah.

Aurelia. ’Twill be a pleasant one, no doubt.

Petronella. He lays the way out how he’ll be cozen’d. [Aside.] — The Seigniora perhaps may be angry, Sir, but I’ll venture that to accommodate you; and that you may surprize her the more readily, be pleased to stay in my Chamber, till you think she may be asleep.

Carlo. Thou art a perfect Mistress of thy Trade.

Petronella. So, now will I to the Seigniora’s Bed my self, drest and perfum’d, and finish two good Works at once; earn five hundred Crowns, and keep up the Honour of the House. [Aside.] — Softly, sweet Don. [Lights him out.]

Aurelia. And I will do two more good things, and disappoint your Expectations; jilt the young English Fool, and have old Carlo well bang’d, if t’other have any Courage.

Enter La Nuche in Rage, and Sancho.

La Nuche. Aurelia, help, help me to be reveng’d upon this wretched unconsidering Heart.

Aurelia. Heavens, have you made the Rover happy, Madam?

La Nuche. Oh wou’d I had! or that or any Sin wou’d change this Rage into some easier Passion: Sickness and Poverty, Disgrace and Pity, all met iii one, were kinder than this Love, this raging Fire of a proud amorous Heart.

Enter Petronella.

Petronella. Heavens, what’s the matter?

Aurelia. Here’s Petronella, dissemble but your Rage a little.

La Nuche. Damn all dissembling now, it is too late — The Tyrant Love reigns absolute within, And I am lost, Aurelia.

Petronella. How, Love! forbid it Heaven! will Love maintain ye?

La Nuche. Curse on your Maxims, will they ease my Heart? Can your wise Counsel fetch me back my Rover?

Petronella. Hah, your Rover, a Pox upon him.

La Nuche. He’s gone — gone to the Arms of some gay generous Maid, who nobly follows Love’s diviner Dictates, whilst I ’gainst Nature studying thy dull Precepts, and to be base and infamously rich, have barter’d all the Joys of human Life — Oh give me Love: I will be poor and love.

Petronella. She’s lost — but hear me —

La Nuche. I won’t, from Childhood thou hast trained me up in Cunning, read Lectures to me of the use of Man, but kept me from the knowledge of the Right; taught me to jilt, to flatter and deceive: and hard it was to learn th’ ungrateful Lessons. But oh how soon plain Nature taught me Love, and shew’d me all the cheat of thy false Tenents — No — give me Love with any other Curse.

Petronella. But who will give you that when you are poor? when you are wretchedly despis’d and poor?

La Nuche. Hah!

Petronella. Do you not daily see fine Clothes, rich Furniture, Jewels and Plate are more inviting than Beauty unadorn’d? be old, diseas’d, deform’d, be any thing, so you be rich and splendidly attended, you’ll find your self lov’d and ador’d by all — But I’m an old fool still — Well, Petronella, had’st thou been half as industrious in thy Youth as in thy Age — thou hadst not come to this. [Weeps.]

La Nuche. She’s in the right.

Petronella. What can this mad poor Captain do for you, love you whilst you can buy him Breeches, and then leave you? A Woman has a sweet time on’t with any Soldier–Lover of ’em all, with their Iron Minds, and Buff Hearts; feather’d Inamorato’s have nothing that belongs to Love but his Wings, the Devil clip ’em for Petronella.

La Nuche. True — he can ne’er be constant. [Pausing.]

Petronella. Heaven forbid he should! No, if you are so unhappy as that you must have him, give him a Night or two and pay him for’t, and send him to feed again: But for your Heart, ’Sdeath, I would as soon part with my Beauty, or Youth, and as necessary a Tool ’tis for your Trade — A Curtezan and love! but all my Counsel’s thrown away upon ye. [Weeps.]

La Nuche. No more, I will be rul’d — I will be wise, be rich; and since I must yield somewhere, and some time, Beaumond shall be the Man, and this the Night; he’s handsom, young, and lavishly profuse: This Night he comes, and I’ll submit to Interest. Let the gilded Apartment be made ready, and strew it o’er with Flowers, adorn my Bed of State; let all be fine; perfume my Chamber like the Phoenix’s Nest, I’ll be luxurious in my Pride to Night, and make the amorous prodigal Youth my Slave.

Petronella. Nobly resolv’d! and for these other two who wait your coming, let me alone to manage. [Goes out.]

Scene changes to a Chamber, discovers Fetherfool in Bed.

Fetherfool. This Gentlewoman is plaguy long in coming:— some Nicety now, some perfum’d Smock, or Point Night–Clothes to make her more lovely in my Eyes: Well, these Women are right City Cooks, they stay so long to garnish the Dish, till the Meat be cold — but hark, the Door opens.

Enter Carlo softly, half undrest.

Carlo. This Wench stays long, and Love’s impatient; this is the Chamber of La Nuche, I take it: If she be awake, I’ll let her know who I am; if not, I’ll steal a Joy before she thinks of it.

Fetherfool. Sure ’tis she, pretty modest Rogue, she comes i’th’ dark to hide her Blushes — hum, I’m plaguy eloquent o’th’ sudden — who’s there? [Whispering.]

Carlo. ’Tis I, my Love.

Fetherfool. Hah, sweet Soul, make haste. — There ’twas again.

Carlo. So kind, sure she takes me for some other, or has some inkling of my Design — [To himself.] Where are you, Sweetest?

Fetherfool. Here, my Love, give me your Hand —

[Puts out his Hand; Carlo kneels and kisses it.]

Carlo. Here let me worship the fair Shrine before I dare approach so fair a Saint. [Kisses the Hand.]

Fetherfool. Hah, what a Pox have we here? — wou’d I were well out o’ t’other side — perhaps ’tis her Husband, and then I’m a dead Man, if I’m discover’d.

[Removes to t’other side, Carlo holds his Hand.]

Carlo. Nay, do not fly — I know you took me for some happier Person.

[Feth. struggles, Car. rises and takes him in his Arms, and kisses him.]

Fetherfool. What, will you ravish me? [In a shrill Voice.]

Carlo. Hah, that Voice is not La Nuche’s — Lights there, Lights.

Fetherfool. Nay, I can hold a bearded Venus, Sir, as well as any Man. [Holds Carlo.]

Carlo. What art thou, Rogue, Villain, Slave?

[They fall to Cuffs, and fight till they are bloody, fall from the Bed and fight on the Floor.]

Enter Petronella, Sancho, and Aurelia.

Petronella. Heaven, what noise is this? — we are undone, part ’em, Sancho.

[They part ’em.]

Fetherfool. Give me my Sword; nay, give me but a Knife, that I may cut yon Fellow’s Throat —

Carlo. Sirrah, I’m a Grandee, and a Spaniard, and will be reveng’d.

Fetherfool. And I’m an English-man, and a Justice, and will have Law, Sir.

Petronella. Say ’tis her Husband, or any thing to get him hence. [Aside to Sancho, who whispers him.] These English, Sir, are Devils, and on my Life ’tis unknown to the Seigniora that he’s i’th’ House. [To Carlo aside.] Car. Come, I’m abus’d but I must put it up for fear of my Honour; a Statesman’s Reputation is a tender thing: Convey me out the back way. I’ll be reveng’d. [Goes out.]

Fetherfool. [Aurelia whispers to him aside.] How, her Husband! Prithee convey me out; my Clothes, my Clothes, quickly —

Aurelia. Out, Sir! he has lock’d the Door, and designs to have ye murder’d.

Fetherfool. Oh, gentle Soul — take pity on me — where, oh what shall I do? — my Clothes, my Sword and Money.

Aurelia. Quickly, Sancho, tie a Sheet to the Window, and let him slide down by that — Be speedy, and we’ll throw your Clothes out after ye. Here, follow me to the Window.

Fetherfool. Oh, any whither, any whither. That I could not be warn’d from whoring in a strange Country, by my Friend Ned Blunt’s Example — if I can but keep it secret now, I care not.

[Exeunt.]


Scene, the Street, a Sheet ty’d to the Balcony, and Feth. sitting cross to slide down.

Fetherfool. So — now your Neck, or your Throat, chuse ye either, wise Mr. Nicholas Fetherfool — But stay, I hear Company. Now dare not I budg an Inch.

Enter Beaumond alone.

Beaumond. Where can this Rascal, my Page, be all this while? I waited in the Piazza so long, that I believed he had mistook my Order, and gone directly to La Nuche’s House — but here’s no sign of him —

Fetherfool. Hah — I hear no noise, I’ll venture down. [Goes halfway down and stops.]

Enter Abevile, Harlequin, Musick and Willmore.

Willmore. Whither will this Boy conduct me? — but since to a Woman, no matter whither ’tis.

Fetherfool. Hah, more Company; now dare not I stir up nor down, they may be Bravoes to cut my Throat.

Beaumond. Oh sure these are they —

Willmore. Come, my Heart, lose no time, but tune your Pipes.

[Harlequin plays on his Guittar, and sings.]

Beaumond. How, sure this is some Rival. [Goes near and listens.]

Willmore. Harkye, Child, hast thou ne’er an amorous Ditty, short and sweet, hah —

Abevile. Shall I not sing that you gave me, Sir?

Willmore. I shall spoil all with hard Questions — Ay, Child — that.

[Abev. sings, Beau. listens, and seems angry the while.]

Song.

A Pox upon this needless Scorn!

Silvia, for shame the Cheat give o’er;

The end to which the fair are born,

Is not to keep their Charms in store,

But lavishly dispose in haste,

Of Joys which none but Youth improve;

Joys which decay when Beauty’s past:

And who when Beauty’s past will love?

When Age those Glories shall deface,

Revenging all your cold Disdain,

And Silvia shall neglected pass,

By every once admiring Swain;

And we can only Pity pay,

When you in vain too late shall burn:

If Love increase, and Youth delay,

Ah, Silvia, who will make return?

Then haste, my Silvia, to the Grove,

Where all the Sweets of May conspire,

To teach us every Art of Love,

And raise our Charms of Pleasure higher;

Where, whilst imbracing we should lie

Loosely in Shades, on Banks of Flowers:

The duller World whilst we defy,

Years will be Minutes, Ages Hours.

Beaumond. ’Sdeath, that’s my Page’s Voice: Who the Devil is’t that ploughs with my Heifer!

Aurelia. Don Henrick, Don Henrick —

[The Door opens, Beau. goes up to’t; Will. puts him by, and offers to go in, he pulls him back.]

Willmore. How now, what intruding Slave art thou?

Beaumond. What Thief art thou that basely, and by dark, rob’st me of all my Rights?

[Strikes him, they fight, and Blows light on Fetherfool who hangs down.]

[Sancho throws Fetherfool’s Clothes out, Harlequin takes ’em up in confusion; they fight out Beaumond, all go off, but Will. gets into the House: Harlequin and Feth. remain. Feth. gets down, runs against Harlequin in the dark, both seem frighted.]

Harlequin. Que questo.

Fetherfool. Ay, un pouer dead Home, murder’d, kill’d.

Harlequin. [In Italian.] You are the first dead Man I ever saw walk.

Fetherfool. Hah, Seignior Harlequin!

Harlequin. Seignior Nicholas!

Fetherfool. A Pox Nicholas ye, I have been mall’d and beaten within doors, and hang’d and bastinado’d without doors, lost my Clothes, my Money, and all my Moveables; but this is nothing to the Secret taking Air. Ah, dear Seignior, convey me to the Mountebanks, there I may have Recruit and Cure under one.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/behn/aphra/b42r2/act4.html

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