The Rover, by Aphra Behn

Act V.

Scene I. Blunt’s Chamber.

After a great knocking as at his Chamber-door enter Blunt softly crossing the Stage in his Shirt and Drawers, as before. Ned, Ned Blunt, Ned Blunt. [Call within.]

Blunt. The Rogues are up in Arms, ’dsheartlikins, this villainous Frederick has betray’d me, they have heard of my blessed Fortune. Ned Blunt, Ned, Ned — [and knocking within.]

Belvile. Why, he’s dead, Sir, without dispute dead, he has not been seen to day; let’s break open the Door — here — Boy —

Blunt. Ha, break open the Door! ’dsheartlikins that mad Fellow will be as good as his word.

Belvile. Boy, bring something to force the Door.

[A great noise within at the Door again.]

Blunt. So, now must I speak in my own Defence, I’ll try what Rhetorick will do — hold — hold, what do you mean, Gentlemen, what do you mean?

Belvile. Oh Rogue, art alive? prithee open the Door, and convince us.

Blunt. Yes, I am alive, Gentlemen — but at present a little busy.

Belvile. How! Blunt grown a man of Business! come, come, open, and let’s see this Miracle. [within.]

Blunt. No, no, no, no, Gentlemen, ’tis no great Business — but — I am — at — my Devotion — ’dsheartlikins, will you not allow a man time to pray?

Belvile. Turn’d religious! a greater Wonder than the first, therefore open quickly, or we shall unhinge, we shall. [within.]

Blunt. This won’t do — Why, hark ye, Colonel; to tell you the plain Truth, I am about a necessary Affair of Life. — I have a Wench with me — you apprehend me? the Devil’s in’t if they be so uncivil as to disturb me now.

Willmore. How, a Wench! Nay, then we must enter and partake; no Resistance — unless it be your Lady of Quality, and then we’ll keep our distance.

Blunt. So, the Business is out.

Willmore. Come, come, lend more hands to the Door — now heave altogether — so, well done, my Boys — [Breaks open the Door.]

Enter Belvile, Willmore, Fred. Pedro and Belvile’s Page: Blunt looks simply, they all laugh at him, he lays his hand on his Sword, and comes up to Willmore.

Blunt. Hark ye, Sir, laugh out your laugh quickly, d’ye hear, and be gone, I shall spoil your sport else; ’dsheartlikins, Sir, I shall — the Jest has been carried on too long — a Plague upon my Taylor — [Aside.]

Willmore. ’Sdeath, how the Whore has drest him! Faith, Sir, I’m sorry.

Blunt. Are you so, Sir? keep’t to your self then, Sir, I advise you, d’ye hear? for I can as little endure your Pity as his Mirth. [Lays his Hand on’s Sword.]

Belvile. Indeed, Willmore, thou wert a little too rough with Ned Blunt’s Mistress; call a Person of Quality Whore, and one so young, so handsome, and so eloquent! — ha, ha, ha.

Blunt. Hark ye, Sir, you know me, and know I can be angry; have a care — for ’dsheartlikins I can fight too — I can, Sir — do you mark me — no more.

Belvile. Why so peevish, good Ned? some Disappointments, I’ll warrant — What! did the jealous Count her Husband return just in the nick?

Blunt. Or the Devil, Sir — d’ye laugh? [They laugh.] Look ye, settle me a good sober Countenance, and that quickly too, or you shall know Ned Blunt is not —

Belvile. Not every Body, we know that.

Blunt. Not an Ass, to be laught at, Sir.

Willmore. Unconscionable Sinner, to bring a Lover so near his Happiness, a vigorous passionate Lover, and then not only cheat him of his Moveables, but his Desires too.

Belvile. Ah, Sir, a Mistress is a Trifle with Blunt he’ll have a dozen the next time he looks abroad; his Eyes have Charms not to be resisted: There needs no more than to expose that taking Person to the view of the Fair, and he leads ’em all in Triumph.

Pedro. Sir, tho I’m a stranger to you, I’m ashamed at the rudeness of my Nation; and could you learn who did it, would assist you to make an Example of ’em.

Blunt. Why, ay, there’s one speaks sense now, and handsomly; and let me tell you Gentlemen, I should not have shew’d my self like a Jack–Pudding, thus to have made you Mirth, but that I have revenge within my power; for know, I have got into my possession a Female, who had better have fallen under any Curse, than the Ruin I design her: ’dsheartlikins, she assaulted me here in my own Lodgings, and had doubtless committed a Rape upon me, had not this Sword defended me.

Frederick. I knew not that, but o’my Conscience thou hadst ravisht her, had she not redeem’d her self with a Ring — let’s see’t, Blunt.

[Blunt shews the Ring.]

Belvile. Hah! — the Ring I gave Florinda when we exchang’d our Vows! — hark ye, Blunt — [Goes to whisper to him.]

Willmore. No whispering, good Colonel there’s a Woman in the case, no whispering.

Belvile. Hark ye, Fool, be advis’d, and conceal both the Ring and the Story, for your Reputation’s sake; don’t let People know what despis’d Cullies we English are: to be cheated and abus’d by one Whore, and another rather bribe thee than be kind to thee, it is an Infamy to our Nation.

Willmore. Come, come, Where’s the Wench? we’ll see her, let her be what she will, we’ll see her.

Pedro. Ay, ay, let us see her, I can soon discover whether she be of Quality, or for your Diversion.

Blunt. She’s in Fred’s Custody.

Willmore. Come, come, the Key.

[To Fred. who gives him the Key, they are going.]

Belvile. Death! what shall I do? — stay, Gentlemen — yet if I hinder ’em, I shall discover all — hold, let’s go one at once — give me the Key.

Willmore. Nay, hold there, Colonel, I’ll go first.

Frederick. Nay, no Dispute, Ned and I have the property of her.

Willmore. Damn Property — then we’ll draw Cuts. [Belv. goes to whisper Will.] Nay, no Corruption, good Colonel: come, the longest Sword carries her. —

[They all draw, forgetting Don Pedro, being a Spaniard, had the longest.]

Blunt. I yield up my Interest to you Gentlemen, and that will be Revenge sufficient.

Willmore. The Wench is yours —(To Ped.) Pox of his Toledo, I had forgot that.

Frederick. Come, Sir, I’ll conduct you to the Lady

[Ex. Fred. and Ped.]

Belvile. To hinder him will certainly discover — [Aside.] Dost know, dull Beast, what Mischief thou hast done?

[Will. walking up and down out of Humour.]

Willmore. Ay, ay, to trust our Fortune to Lots, a Devil on’t, ’twas madness, that’s the Truth on’t.

Belvile. Oh intolerable Sot!

Enter Florinda, running masqu’d, Pedro after her, Will. gazing round her.

Florinda. Good Heaven, defend me from discovery. [Aside.]

Pedro. ’Tis but in vain to fly me, you are fallen to my Lot.

Belvile. Sure she is undiscover’d yet, but now I fear there is no way to bring her off.

Willmore. Why, what a Pox is not this my Woman, the same I follow’d but now?

[Ped. talking to Florinda, who walks up and down.]

Pedro. As if I did not know ye, and your Business here.

Florinda. Good Heaven! I fear he does indeed — [Aside.]

Pedro. Come, pray be kind, I know you meant to be so when you enter’d here, for these are proper Gentlemen.

Willmore. But, Sir — perhaps the Lady will not be impos’d upon, she’ll chuse her Man.

Pedro. I am better bred, than not to leave her Choice free.

Enter Valeria, and is surpriz’d at the Sight of Don Pedro.

Valeria. Don Pedro here! there’s no avoiding him. [Aside.]

Florinda. Valeria! then I’m undone — [Aside.]

Valeria. Oh! have I found you, Sir — [To Pedro, running to him.] — The strangest Accident — if I had breath — to tell it.

Pedro. Speak — is Florinda safe? Hellena well?

Valeria. Ay, ay, Sir — Florinda — is safe — from any fears of you.

Pedro. Why, where’s Florinda? — speak.

Valeria. Ay, where indeed, Sir? I wish I could inform you — But to hold you no longer in doubt —

Florinda. Oh, what will she say! [Aside.]

Valeria. She’s fled away in the Habit of one of her Pages, Sir — but Callis thinks you may retrieve her yet, if you make haste away; she’ll tell you, Sir, the rest — if you can find her out. [Aside.]

Pedro. Dishonourable Girl, she has undone my Aim — Sir — you see my necessity in leaving you, and I hope you’ll pardon it: my Sister, I know, will make her flight to you; and if she do, I shall expect she should be render’d back.

Belvile. I shall consult my Love and Honour, Sir.

[Ex Ped.]

Florinda. My dear Preserver let me embrace thee. [To Val.]

Willmore. What the Devil’s all this?

Blunt. Mystery by this Light.

Valeria. Come, come, make haste and get your selves married quickly, for your Brother will return again.

Belvile. I am so surpriz’d with Fears and Joys, so amaz’d to find you here in safety, I can scarce persuade my Heart into a Faith of what I see —

Willmore. Harkye, Colonel, is this that Mistress who has cost you so many Sighs, and me so many Quarrels with you?

Belvile. It is — Pray give him the Honour of your Hand. [To Flor.]

Willmore. Thus it must be receiv’d then. [Kneels and kisses her Hand.] And with give your Pardon too.

Florinda. The Friend to Belvile may command me anything.

Willmore. Death, wou’d I might, ’tis a surprizing Beauty. [Aside.]

Belvile. Boy, run and fetch a Father instantly.

[Ex. Boy.]

Frederick. So, now do I stand like a Dog, and have not a Syllable to plead my own Cause with: by this Hand, Madam, I was never thorowly confounded before, nor shall I ever more dare look up with Confidence, till you are pleased to pardon me.

Florinda. Sir, I’ll be reconcil’d to you on one Condition, that you’ll follow the Example of your Friend, in marrying, a Maid that does not hate you, and whose Fortune (I believe) will not be unwelcome to you.

Frederick. Madam, had I no Inclinations that way, I shou’d obey your kind Commands.

Belvile. Who, Fred. marry; he has so few Inclinations for Womankind, that had he been possest of Paradise, he might have continu’d there to this Day, if no Crime but Love cou’d have disinherited him.

Frederick. Oh, I do not use to boast of my Intrigues.

Belvile. Boast! why thou do’st nothing but boast; and I dare swear, wer’t thou as innocent from the Sin of the Grape, as thou art from the Apple, thou might’st yet claim that right in Eden which our first Parents lost by too much loving.

Frederick. I wish this Lady would think me so modest a Man.

Valeria. She shou’d be sorry then, and not like you half so well, and I shou’d be loth to break my Word with you; which was, That if your Friend and mine are agreed, it shou’d be a Match between you and I. [She gives him her Hand.]

Frederick. Bear witness, Colonel, ’tis a Bargain. [Kisses her Hand.]

Blunt. I have a Pardon to beg too; but adsheartlikins I am so out of Countenance, that I am a Dog if I can say any thing to purpose. [To Florinda.]

Florinda. Sir, I heartily forgive you all.

Blunt. That’s nobly said, sweet Lady — Belvile, prithee present her her Ring again, for I find I have not Courage to approach her my self. [Gives him the Ring, he gives it to Florinda.]

Enter Boy.

Boy. Sir, I have brought the Father that you sent for.

Belvile. ’Tis well, and now my dear Florinda, let’s fly to compleat that mighty Joy we have so long wish’d and sigh’d for. — Come, Fred. you’ll follow?

Frederick. Your Example, Sir, ’twas ever my Ambition in War, and must be so in Love.

Willmore. And must not I see this juggling Knot ty’d?

Belvile. No, thou shalt do us better Service, and be our Guard, lest Don Pedro’s sudden Return interrupt the Ceremony.

Willmore. Content; I’ll secure this Pass.

[Ex. Bel. Flor. Fred. and Val.]

Enter Boy.

Boy. Sir, there’s a Lady without wou’d speak to you. [To Will.]

Willmore. Conduct her in, I dare not quit my Post.

Boy. And, Sir, your Taylor waits you in your Chamber.

Blunt. Some comfort yet, I shall not dance naked at the Wedding.

[Ex. Blunt and Boy]

Enter again the Boy, conducting in Angelica in a masquing Habit and a Vizard, Will. runs to her.

Willmore. This can be none but my pretty Gipsy — Oh, I see you can follow as well as fly — Come, confess thy self the most malicious Devil in Nature, you think you have done my Bus’ness with Angelica —

Angelica. Stand off, base Villain — [She draws a Pistol and holds to his Breast.]

Willmore. Hah, ’tis not she: who art thou? and what’s thy Business?

Angelica. One thou hast injur’d, and who comes to kill thee for’t.

Willmore. What the Devil canst thou mean?

Angelica. By all my Hopes to kill thee —

[Holds still the Pistol to his Breast, he going back, she following still.]

Willmore. Prithee on what Acquaintance? for I know thee not.

Angelica. Behold this Face! — so lost to thy Remembrance! And then call all thy Sins about thy Soul, [Pulls off her Vizard.] And let them die with thee.

Willmore. Angelica!

Angelica. Yes, Traitor. Does not thy guilty Blood run shivering thro thy Veins? Hast thou no Horrour at this Sight, that tells thee, Thou hast not long to boast thy shameful Conquest?

Willmore. Faith, no Child, my Blood keeps its old Ebbs and Flows still, and that usual Heat too, that cou’d oblige thee with a Kindness, had I but opportunity.

Angelica. Devil! dost wanton with my Pain — have at thy Heart.

Willmore. Hold dear Virago! hold thy Hand a little, I am not now at leisure to be kill’d — hold and hear me — Death, I think she’s in earnest. [Aside.]

Angelica. Oh if I take not heed, My coward Heart will leave me to his Mercy. [Aside, turning from him.] — What have you, Sir, to say? — but should I hear thee, Thoud’st talk away all that is brave about me: [Follows him with the Pistol to his Breast.] And I have vow’d thy Death, by all that’s sacred.

Willmore. Why, then there’s an end of a proper handsom Fellow, that might have liv’d to have done good Service yet:— That’s all I can say to’t.

Angelica. Yet — I wou’d give thee time for Penitence. [Pausingly.]

Willmore. Faith, I thank God, I have ever took care to lead a good, sober, hopeful Life, and am of a Religion that teaches me to believe, I shall depart in Peace.

Angelica. So will the Devil: tell me How many poor believing Fools thou hast undone; How many Hearts thou hast betray’d to ruin! — Yet these are little Mischiefs to the Ills Thou’st taught mine to commit: thou’st taught it Love.

Willmore. Egad, ’twas shreudly hurt the while.

Angelica. –Love, that has robb’d it of its Unconcern, Of all that Pride that taught me how to value it, And in its room a mean submissive Passion was convey’d, That made me humbly bow, which I ne’er did To any thing but Heaven. — Thou, perjur’d Man, didst this, and with thy Oaths, Which on thy Knees thou didst devoutly make, Soften’d my yielding Heart — And then, I was a Slave — Yet still had been content to’ve worn my Chains, Worn ’em with Vanity and Joy for ever, Hadst thou not broke those Vows that put them on. —’Twas then I was undone. [All this while follows him with a Pistol to his Breast.]

Willmore. Broke my Vows! why, where hast thou lived? Amongst the Gods! For I never heard of mortal Man, That has not broke a thousand Vows.

Angelica. Oh, Impudence!

Willmore. Angelica! that Beauty has been too long tempting, Not to have made a thousand Lovers languish, Who in the amorous Favour, no doubt have sworn Like me; did they all die in that Faith? still adoring? I do not think they did.

Angelica. No, faithless Man: had I repaid their Vows, as I did thine, I wou’d have kill’d the ungrateful that had abandon’d me.

Willmore. This old General has quite spoil’d thee, nothing makes a Woman so vain, as being flatter’d; your old Lover ever supplies the Defects of Age, with intolerable Dotage, vast Charge, and that which you call Constancy; and attributing all this to your own Merits, you domineer, and throw your Favours in’s Teeth, upbraiding him still with the Defects of Age, and cuckold him as often as he deceives your Expectations. But the gay, young, brisk Lover, that brings his equal Fires, and can give you Dart for Dart, he’ll be as nice as you sometimes.

Angelica. All this thou’st made me know, for which I hate thee. Had I remain’d in innocent Security, I shou’d have thought all Men were born my Slaves; And worn my Pow’r like Lightning in my Eyes, To have destroy’d at Pleasure when offended. — But when Love held the Mirror, the undeceiving Glass Reflected all the Weakness of my Soul, and made me know, My richest Treasure being lost, my Honour, All the remaining Spoil cou’d not be worth The Conqueror’s Care or Value. — Oh how I fell like a long worship’d Idol, Discovering all the Cheat! Wou’d not the Incense and rich Sacrifice, Which blind Devotion offer’d at my Altars, Have fall’n to thee? Why woud’st thou then destroy my fancy’d Power?

Willmore. By Heaven thou art brave, and I admire the strangely. I wish I were that dull, that constant thing, Which thou woud’st have, and Nature never meant me: I must, like chearful Birds, sing in all Groves, And perch on every Bough, Billing the next kind She that flies to meet me; Yet after all cou’d build my Nest with thee, Thither repairing when I’d lov’d my round, And still reserve a tributary Flame. — To gain your Credit, I’ll pay you back your Charity, And be oblig’d for nothing but for Love. [Offers her a Purse of Gold.]

Angelica. Oh that thou wert in earnest! So mean a Thought of me, Wou’d turn my Rage to Scorn, and I shou’d pity thee, And give thee leave to live; Which for the publick Safety of our Sex, And my own private Injuries, I dare not do. Prepare — [Follows still, as before.] — I will no more be tempted with Replies.

Willmore. Sure —

Angelica. Another Word will damn thee! I’ve heard thee talk too long. [She follows him with a Pistol ready to shoot: he retires still amaz’d.]

Enter Don Antonio, his Arm in a Scarf, and lays hold on the Pistol.

Antonio. Hah! Angelica!

Angelica. Antonio! What Devil brought thee hither?

Antonio. Love and Curiosity, seeing your Coach at Door. Let me disarm you of this unbecoming Instrument of Death. — [Takes away the Pistol.] Amongst the Number of your Slaves, was there not one worthy the Honour to have fought your Quarrel? — Who are you, Sir, that are so very wretched To merit Death from her?

Willmore. One, Sir, that cou’d have made a better End of an amorous Quarrel without you, than with you.

Antonio. Sure ’tis some Rival — hah — the very Man took down her Picture yesterday — the very same that set on me last night — Blest opportunity — [Offers to shoot him.]

Angelica. Hold, you’re mistaken, Sir.

Antonio. By Heaven the very same! — Sir, what pretensions have you to this Lady?

Willmore. Sir, I don’t use to be examin’d, and am ill at all Disputes but this — [Draws, Anton. offers to shoot.]

Angelica. Oh, hold! you see he’s arm’d with certain Death: [To Will.] — And you, Antonio, I command you hold, By all the Passion you’ve so lately vow’d me.

Enter Don Pedro, sees Antonio, and stays.

Pedro. Hah, Antonio! and Angelica! [Aside.]

Antonio. When I refuse Obedience to your Will, May you destroy me with your mortal Hate. By all that’s Holy I adore you so, That even my Rival, who has Charms enough To make him fall a Victim to my Jealousy, Shall live, nay, and have leave to love on still.

Pedro. What’s this I hear? [Aside.]

Angelica. Ah thus, ’twas thus he talk’d, and I believ’d. [Pointing to Will.] — Antonio, yesterday, I’d not have sold my Interest in his Heart For all the Sword has won and lost in Battle. — But now to show my utmost of Contempt, I give thee Life — which if thou would’st preserve, Live where my Eyes may never see thee more, Live to undo some one, whose Soul may prove So bravely constant to revenge my Love.

[Goes out, Ant. follows, but Ped. pulls him back.]

Pedro. Antonio — stay.

Antonio. Don Pedro —

Pedro. What Coward Fear was that prevented thee From meeting me this Morning on the Molo?

Antonio. Meet thee?

Pedro. Yes me; I was the Man that dar’d thee to’t.

Antonio. Hast thou so often seen me fight in War, To find no better Cause to excuse my Absence? — I sent my Sword and one to do thee Right, Finding my self uncapable to use a Sword.

Pedro. But ’twas Florinda’s Quarrel that we fought, And you to shew how little you esteem’d her, Sent me your Rival, giving him your Interest. — But I have found the Cause of this Affront, But when I meet you fit for the Dispute, — I’ll tell you my Resentment.

Antonio. I shall be ready, Sir, e’er long to do you Reason.

[Exit Ant.]

Pedro. If I cou’d find Florinda, now whilst my Anger’s high, I think I shou’d be kind, and give her to Belvile in Revenge.

Willmore. Faith, Sir, I know not what you wou’d do, but I believe the Priest within has been so kind.

Pedro. How! my Sister married?

Willmore. I hope by this time she is, and bedded too, or he has not my longings about him.

Pedro. Dares he do thus? Does he not fear my Pow’r?

Willmore. Faith not at all. If you will go in, and thank him for the Favour he has done your Sister, so; if not, Sir, my Power’s greater in this House than yours; I have a damn’d surly Crew here, that will keep you till the next Tide, and then clap you an board my Prize; my Ship lies but a League off the Molo, and we shall show your Donship a damn’d Tramontana Rover’s Trick.

Enter Belvile.

Belvile. This Rogue’s in some new Mischief — hah, Pedro return’d!

Pedro. Colonel Belvile, I hear you have married my Sister.

Belvile. You have heard truth then, Sir.

Pedro. Have I so? then, Sir, I wish you joy.

Belvile. How!

Pedro. By this Embrace I do, and I glad on’t.

Belvile. Are you in earnest?

Pedro. By our long Friendship and my Obligations to thee, I am. The sudden Change I’ll give you Reasons for anon. Come lead me into my Sister, that she may know I now approve her Choice.

[Exit Bel. with Ped.]

[Will. goes to follow them. Enter Hellena as before in Boy’s Clothes, and pulls him back.]

Willmore. Ha! my Gipsy — Now a thousand Blessings on thee for this Kindness. Egad, Child, I was e’en in despair of ever seeing thee again; my Friends are all provided for within, each Man his kind Woman.

Hellena. Hah! I thought they had serv’d me some such Trick.

Willmore. And I was e’en resolv’d to go aboard, condemn my self to my lone Cabin, and the Thoughts of thee.

Hellena. And cou’d you have left me behind? wou’d you have been so ill-natur’d?

Willmore. Why, ’twou’d have broke my Heart, Child — but since we are met again, I defy foul Weather to part us.

Hellena. And wou’d you be a faithful Friend now, if a Maid shou’d trust you?

Willmore. For a Friend I cannot promise, thou art of a Form so excellent, a Face and Humour too good for cold dull Friendship; I am parlously afraid of being in love, Child, and you have not forgot how severely you have us’d me.

Hellena. That’s all one, such Usage you must still look for, to find out all your Haunts, to rail at you to all that love you, till I have made you love only me in your own Defence, because no body else will love.

Willmore. But hast thou no better Quality to recommend thy self by?

Hellena. Faith none, Captain — Why, ’twill be the greater Charity to take me for thy Mistress, I am a lone Child, a kind of Orphan Lover; and why I shou’d die a Maid, and in a Captain’s Hands too, I do not understand.

Willmore. Egad, I was never claw’d away with Broad–Sides from any Female before, thou hast one Virtue I adore, good–Nature; I hate a coy demure Mistress, she’s as troublesom as a Colt, I’ll break none; no, give me a mad Mistress when mew’d, and in flying one I dare trust upon the Wing, that whilst she’s kind will come to the Lure.

Hellena. Nay, as kind as you will, good Captain, whilst it lasts, but let’s lose no time.

Willmore. My time’s as precious to me, as thine can be; therefore, dear Creature, since we are so well agreed, let’s retire to my Chamber, and if ever thou were treated with such savory Love — Come — My Bed’s prepar’d for such a Guest, all clean and sweet as thy fair self; I love to steal a Dish and a Bottle with a Friend, and hate long Graces — Come, let’s retire and fall to

Hellena. ’Tis but getting my Consent, and the Business is soon done; let but old Gaffer Hymen and his Priest say Amen to’t, and I dare lay my Mother’s Daughter by as proper a Fellow as your Father’s Son, without fear or blushing.

Willmore. Hold, hold, no Bugg Words, Child, Priest and Hymen: prithee add Hangman to ’em to make up the Consort — No, no, we’ll have no Vows but Love, Child, nor Witness but the Lover; the kind Diety injoins naught but love and enjoy. Hymen and Priest wait still upon Portion, and Joynture; Love and Beauty have their own Ceremonies. Marriage is as certain a Bane to Love, as lending Money is to Friendship: I’ll neither ask nor give a Vow, tho I could be content to turn Gipsy, and become a Left-hand Bridegroom, to have the Pleasure of working that great Miracle of making a Maid a Mother, if you durst venture; ’tis upse Gipsy that, and if I miss, I’ll lose my Labour.

Hellena. And if you do not lose, what shall I get? A Cradle full of Noise and Mischief, with a Pack of Repentance at my Back? Can you teach me to weave Incle to pass my time with? ’Tis upse Gipsy that too.

Willmore. I can teach thee to weave a true Love’s Knot better.

Hellena. So can my Dog.

Willmore. Well, I see we are both upon our Guard, and I see there’s no way to conquer good Nature, but by yielding — here — give me thy Hand — one Kiss and I am thine —

Hellena. One Kiss! How like my Page he speaks; I am resolv’d you shall have none, for asking such a sneaking Sum — He that will be satisfied with one Kiss, will never die of that Longing; good Friend single–Kiss, is all your talking come to this? A Kiss, a Caudle! farewel, Captain single–Kiss.

[Going out he stays her.]

Willmore. Nay, if we part so, let me die like a Bird upon a Bough, at the Sheriff’s Charge. By Heaven, both the Indies shall not buy thee from me. I adore thy Humour and will marry thee, and we are so of one Humour, it must be a Bargain — give me thy Hand — [Kisses her hand.] And now let the blind ones (Love and Fortune) do their worst.

Hellena. Why, God-a-mercy, Captain!

Willmore. But harkye — The Bargain is now made; but is it not fit we should know each other’s Names? That when we have Reason to curse one another hereafter, and People ask me who ’tis I give to the Devil, I may at least be able to tell what Family you came of.

Hellena. Good reason, Captain; and where I have cause, (as I doubt not but I shall have plentiful) that I may know at whom to throw my — Blessings — I beseech ye your Name.

Willmore. I am call’d Robert the Constant.

Hellena. A very fine Name! pray was it your Faulkner or Butler that christen’d you? Do they not use to whistle when then call you?

Willmore. I hope you have a better, that a Man may name without crossing himself, you are so merry with mine.

Hellena. I am call’d Hellena the Inconstant.

Enter Pedro, Belvile, Florinda, Fred. Valeria.

Pedro. Hah! Hellena!

Florinda. Hellena!

Hellena. The very same — hah my Brother! now, Captain, shew your Love and Courage; stand to your Arms, and defend me bravely, or I am lost for ever.

Pedro. What’s this I bear? false Girl, how came you hither, and what’s your Business? Speak. [Goes roughly to her.]

Willmore. Hold off, Sir, you have leave to parly only. [Puts himself between.]

Hellena. I had e’en as good tell it, as you guess it. Faith, Brother, my Business is the same with all living Creatures of my Age, to love, and be loved, and here’s the Man.

Pedro. Perfidious Maid, hast thou deceiv’d me too, deceiv’d thy self and Heaven?

Hellena. ’Tis time enough to make my Peace with that: Be you but kind, let me alone with Heaven.

Pedro. Belvile, I did not expect this false Play from you; was’t not enough you’d gain Florinda (which I pardon’d) but your leud Friends too must be inrich’d with the Spoils of a noble Family?

Belvile. Faith, Sir, I am as much surpriz’d at this as you can be: Yet, Sir, my Friends are Gentlemen, and ought to be esteem’d for their Misfortunes, since they have the Glory to suffer with the best of Men and Kings; ’tis true, he’s a Rover of Fortune, yet a Prince aboard his little wooden World.

Pedro. What’s this to the maintenance of a Woman or her Birth and Quality?

Willmore. Faith, Sir, I can boast of nothing but a Sword which does me Right where-e’er I come, and has defended a worse Cause than a Woman’s: and since I lov’d her before I either knew her Birth or Name, I must pursue my Resolution, and marry her.

Pedro. And is all your holy Intent of becoming a Nun debauch’d into a Desire of Man?

Hellena. Why — I have consider’d the matter, Brother, and find the Three hundred thousand Crowns my Uncle left me (and you cannot keep from me) will be better laid out in Love than in Religion, and turn to as good an Account — let most Voices carry it, for Heaven or the Captain?

All cry, a Captain, a Captain.

Hellena. Look ye, Sir, ’tis a clear Case.

Pedro. Oh I am mad — if I refuse, my Life’s in Danger [Aside.] — Come — There’s one motive induces me — take her — I shall now be free from the fear of her Honour; guard it you now, if you can, I have been a Slave to’t long enough. [Gives her to him.]

Willmore. Faith, Sir, I am of a Nation, that are of opinion a Woman’s Honour is not worth guarding when she has a mind to part with it.

Hellena. Well said, Captain.

Pedro. This was your Plot, Mistress, but I hope you have married one that will revenge my Quarrel to you — [To Valeria.]

Valeria. There’s no altering Destiny, Sir.

Pedro. Sooner than a Woman’s Will, therefore I forgive you all — and wish you may get my Father’s Pardon as easily; which I fear.

Enter Blunt drest in a Spanish Habit, looking very ridiculously; his Man adjusting his Band.

Man. ’Tis very well, Sir.

Blunt. Well, Sir, ’dsheartlikins I tell you ’tis damnable ill, Sir — a Spanish Habit, good Lord! cou’d the Devil and my Taylor devise no other Punishment for me, but the Mode of a Nation I abominate?

Belvile. What’s the matter, Ned?

Blunt. Pray view me round, and judge — [Turns round.]

Belvile. I must confess thou art a kind of an odd Figure.

Blunt. In a Spanish Habit with a Vengeance! I had rather be in the inquisition for Judaism, than in this Doublet and Breeches; a Pillory were an easy Collar to this, three Handfuls high; and these Shoes too are worse than the Stocks, with the Sole an Inch shorter than my Foot: In fine, Gentlemen, methinks I look altogether like a Bag of Bays stuff’d full of Fools Flesh.

Belvile. Methinks ’tis well, and makes thee look en Cavalier: Come, Sir, settle your Face, and salute our Friends, Lady —

Blunt. Hah! Say’st thou so, my little Rover? [To Hell.] Lady —(if you be one) give me leave to kiss your Hand, and tell you, adsheartlikins, for all I look so, I am your humble Servant — A Pox of my Spanish Habit.

Willmore. Hark — what’s this?

[Musick is heard to Play.]

Enter Boy.

Boy. Sir, as the Custom is, the gay People in Masquerade, who make every Man’s House their own, are coming up.

Enter several Men and Women in masquing Habits, with Musick, they put themselves in order and dance.

Blunt. Adsheartlikins, wou’d ’twere lawful to pull off their false Faces, that I might see if my Doxy were not amongst ’em.

Belvile. Ladies and Gentlemen, since you are come so a propos, you must take a small Collation with us. [To the Masquers.]

Willmore. Whilst we’ll to the Good Man within, who stays to give us a Cast of his Office. [To Hell.] — Have you no trembling at the near approach?

Hellena. No more than you have in an Engagement or a Tempest.

Willmore. Egad, thou’rt a brave Girl, and I admire thy Love and Courage.

Lead on, no other Dangers they can dread,

Who venture in the Storms o’th’ Marriage–Bed.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:51