The Rover, Part II, by Aphra Behn

Act I

SCENE I. A Street.

Enter Willmore, Blunt, Fetherfool, and Hunt, two more in Campain Dresses, Rag the Captain’s Boy.

Willmore. Stay, this is the English Ambassador’s. I’ll inquire if Beaumond be return’d from Paris.

Fetherfool. Prithee, dear Captain, no more Delays, unless thou thinkest he will invite us to Dinner; for this fine thin sharp Air of Madrid has a most notable Faculty of provoking an Appetite: Prithee let’s to the Ordinary.

Willmore. I will not stay —

[Knocks, enter a Porter.] — Friend, is the Ambassador’s Nephew, Mr. Beaumond, return’d to
Madrid yet? If he be, I would speak with him.

Porter. I’ll let him know so much.

[Goes in, shuts the door.]

Blunt. Why, how now, what’s the Door shut upon us?

Fetherfool. And reason, Ned, ’tis Dinner-time in the Ambassador’s Kitchen, and should they let the savoury Steam out, what a world of Castilians would there be at the Door feeding upon’t. — Oh there’s no living in Spain when the Pot’s uncover’d.

Blunt. Nay, ’tis a Nation of the finest clean Teeth —

Fetherfool. Teeth! Gad an they use their Swords no oftner, a Scabbard will last an Age.

Enter Shift from the House.

Willmore. Honest Lieutenant —

Shift. My noble Captain — Welcome to Madrid. What Mr. Blunt, and my honoured Friend Nicholas Fetherfool Esq.

Fetherfool. Thy Hand, honest Shift — [They embrace him.]

Willmore. And how, Lieutenant, how stand Affairs in this unsanctify’d Town? — How does Love’s great Artillery, the fair La Nuche, from whose bright Eyes the little wanton God throws Darts to wound Mankind?

Shift. Faith, she carries all before her still; undoes her Fellow — traders in Love’s Art: and amongst the Number, old Carlo de Minalta Segosa pays high for two Nights in a Week.

Willmore. Hah — Carlo! Death, what a greeting’s here! Carlo, the happy Man! a Dog! a Rascal, gain the bright La Nuche! Oh Fortune! Cursed blind mistaken Fortune! eternal Friend to Fools! Fortune! that takes the noble Rate from Man, to place it on her Idol Interest.

Shift. Why Faith, Captain, I should think her Heart might stand as fair for you as any, could you be less satirical — but by this Light, Captain, you return her Raillery a little too roughly.

Willmore. Her Raillery! By this Hand I had rather be handsomly abus’d than dully flatter’d; but when she touches on my Poverty, my honourable Poverty, she presses me too sensibly — for nothing is so nice as Poverty — But damn her, I’ll think of her no more: for she’s a Devil, tho her Form be Angel. Is Beaumond come from Paris yet?

Shift. He is, I came with him; he’s impatient of your Return: I’ll let him know you’re here.

[Exit. Shift.]

Fetherfool. Why, what a Pox ails the Captain o’th’ sudden? He looks as sullenly as a routed General, or a Lover after hard Service.

Blunt. Oh — something the Lieutenant has told him about a Wench; and when Cupid’s in his Breeches, the Devil’s ever in’s Head — how now — What a pox is the matter with you, you look so scurvily now? — What, is the Gentlewoman otherwise provided? has she cashier’d ye for want of Pay? or what other dire Mischance? — hah —

Willmore. Do not trouble me —

Blunt. Adsheartlikins, but I will, and beat thee too, but I’ll know the Cause. I heard Shift tell thee something about La Nuche, a Damsel I have often heard thee Fool enough to sigh for.

Willmore. Confound the mercenary Jilt!

Blunt. Nay, adsheartlikins they are all so; tho I thought you had been Whore-proof; ’tis enough for us Fools, Country Gentlemen, Esquires, and Cullies, to miscarry in their amorous Adventures, you Men of Wit weather all Storms you.

Willmore. Oh, Sir, you’re become a new Man, wise and wary, and can no more be cozen’d.

Blunt. Not by Woman-kind; and for Man I think my Sword will secure me. Pox, I thought a two Months absence and a Siege would have put such Trifles out of thy Head: You do not use to be such a Miracle of Constancy.

Willmore. That Absence makes me think of her so much; and all the Passions thou find’st about me are to the Sex alone. Give me a Woman, Ned, a fine young amorous Wanton, who would allay this Fire that makes me rave thus, and thou shouldst find me no longer particular, but cold as Winter–Nights to this La Nuche: Yet since I lost my little charming Gipsey, nothing has gone so near my Heart as this.

Blunt. Ay, there was a Girl, the only she thing that could reconcile me to the Petticoats again after my Naples Adventure, when the Quean rob’d and stript me.

Willmore. Oh name not Hellena! She was a Saint to be ador’d on Holy-days.

Enter Beaumond.

Beaumond. Willmore! my careless wild inconstant — how is’t, my lucky Rover? [embracing.]

Willmore. My Life! my Soul! how glad am I to find thee in my Arms again — and well — When left you Paris? Paris, that City of Pottage and Crab–Wine swarming with Lacquies and Philies, whose Government is carried on by most Hands, not most Voices — And prithee how does Belvile and his Lady?

Beaumond. I left ’em both in Health at St. Germains.

Willmore. Faith, I have wisht my self with ye at the old Temple of Bacchus at St. Clou, to sacrifice a Bottle and a Damsel to his Deity.

Beaumond. My constant Place of Worship whilst there, tho for want of new Saints my Zeal grew something cold, which I was ever fain to supply with a Bottle, the old Remedy when Phyllis is sullen and absent.

Willmore. Now thou talk’st of Phillis, prithee, dear Harry, what Women hast in store?

Beaumond. I’ll tell thee; but first inform me whom these two Sparks are.

Willmore. Egad, and so they are, Child: Salute ’em — They are my Friends — True Blades, Hal. highly guilty of the royal Crime, poor and brave, loyal Fugitives.

Beaumond. I love and honour ’em, Sir, as such — [Bowing to Blunt.]

Blunt. Sir, there’s neither Love nor Honour lost.

Fetherfool. Sir, I scorn to be behind-hand in Civilities.

Beaumond. At first sight I find I am much yours, Sir. [To Feth.]

Fetherfool. Sir, I love and honour any Man that’s a Friend to Captain Willmore — and therefore I am yours —

Enter Shift. — Well, honest Lieutenant, how does thy Body? — When shall Ned,
and thou and I, crack a Bisket o’er a Glass of Wine, have a
Slice of Treason and settle the Nation, hah?

Shift. You know, Squire, I am devotedly yours.

[They talk aside.]

Beaumond. Prithee who are these?

Willmore. Why, the first you saluted is the same Ned Blunt you have often heard Belvile and I speak of: the other is a Rarity of another Nature, one Squire Fetherfool of Croydon, a tame Justice of Peace, who liv’d as innocently as Ale and Food could keep him, till for a mistaken Kindness to one of the Royal Party, he lost his Commission, and got the Reputation of a Sufferer: He’s rich, but covetous as an Alderman.

Beaumond. What a Pox do’st keep ’em Company for, who have neither Wit enough to divert thee, nor Good-nature enough to serve thee?

Willmore. Faith, Harry, ’tis true, and if there were no more Charity than Profit in’t, a Man would sooner keep a Cough o’th’ Lungs than be troubled with ’em: but the Rascals have a blind side as all conceited Coxcombs have, which when I’ve nothing else to do, I shall expose to advance our Mirth; the Rogues must be cozen’d, because they’re so positive they never can be so: but I am now for softer Joys, for Woman, for Woman in abundance — dear Hal. inform me where I may safely unlade my Heart.

Beaumond. The same Man still, wild and wanton!

Willmore. And would not change to be the Catholick King.

Beaumond. I perceive Marriage has not tam’d you, nor a Wife who had all the Charms of her Sex.

Willmore. Ay — she was too good for Mortals. [With a sham Sadness.]

Belvile. I think thou hadst her but a Month, prithee how dy’d she?

Willmore. Faith, e’en with a fit of Kindness, poor Soul — she would to Sea with me, and in a Storm — far from Land, she gave up the Ghost —’twas a Loss, but I must bear it with a christian Fortitude.

Beaumond. Short Happinesses vanish like to Dreams.

Willmore. Ay faith, and nothing remains with me but the sad Remembrance — not so much as the least Part of her hundred thousand Crowns; Brussels that inchanted Court has eas’d me of that Grief, where our Heroes act Tantalus better than ever Ovid describ’d him, condemn’d daily to see an Apparition of Meat, Food in Vision only. Faith, I had Bowels, was good-natur’d, and lent upon the publick Faith as far as ’twill go — But come, let’s leave this mortifying Discourse, and tell me how the price of Pleasure goes.

Beaumond. At the old Rates still; he that gives most is happiest, some few there are for Love!

Willmore. Ah, one of the last, dear Beaumond; and if a Heart or Sword can purchase her, I’ll bid as fair as the best. Damn it, I hate a Whore that asks me Mony.

Beaumond. Yet I have known thee venture all thy Stock for a new Woman.

Willmore. Ay, such a Fool I was in my dull Days of Constancy, but I am now for Change, (and should I pay as often, ’twould undo me)— for Change, my Dear, of Place, Clothes, Wine, and Women. Variety is the Soul of Pleasure, a Good unknown; and we want Faith to find it.

Beaumond. Thou wouldst renounce that fond Opinion, Willmore, didst thou see a Beauty here in Town, whose Charms have Power to fix inconstant Nature or Fortune were she tottering on her Wheel.

Willmore. Her Name, my Dear, her Name?

Beaumond. I would not breathe it even in my Complaints, lest amorous Winds should bear it o’er the World, and make Mankind her Slaves; But that it is a Name too cheaply known, And she that owns it may be as cheaply purchas’d.

Willmore. Hah! cheaply purchas’d too! I languish for her.

Beaumond. Ay, there’s the Devil on’t, she is — a Whore.

Willmore. Ah, what a charming Sound that mighty Word bears!

Beaumond. Damn her, she’ll be thine or any body’s.

Willmore. I die for her —

Beaumond. Then for her Qualities —

Willmore. No more-ye Gods, I ask no more, Be she but fair and much a Whore — Come let’s to her.

Beaumond. Perhaps to morrow you may see this Woman.

Willmore. Death, ’tis an Age.

Fetherfool. Oh, Captain, the strangest News, Captain.

Willmore. Prithee what?

Fetherfool. Why, Lieutenant Shift here tells us of two Monsters arriv’d from Mexico, Jews of vast Fortunes, with an old Jew Uncle their Guardian; they are worth a hundred thousand Pounds a piece — Marcy upon’s, why, ’tis a Sum able to purchase all Flanders again from his most christian Majesty.

Willmore. Ha, ha, ha, Monsters!

Beaumond. He tells you Truth, Willmore.

Blunt. But hark ye, Lieutenant, are you sure they are not married?

Beaumond. Who the Devil would venture on such formidable Ladies?

Fetherfool. How, venture on ’em! by the Lord Harry, and that would I, tho I’m a Justice of the Peace, and they be Jews, (which to a Christian is a thousand Reasons.)

Blunt. Is the Devil in you to declare our Designs? [Aside.]

Fetherfool. Mum, as close as a Jesuit.

Beaumond. I admire your Courage, Sir, but one of them is so little, and so deform’d, ’tis thought she is not capable of Marriage; and the other is so huge an overgrown Giant, no Man dares venture on her.

Willmore. Prithee let’s go see ’em; what do they pay for going in?

Fetherfool. Pay — I’d have you to know they are Monsters of Quality.

Shift. And not to be seen but by particular Favour of their Guardian, whom I am got acquainted with, from the Friendship I have with the Merchant where they lay. The Giant, Sir, is in love with me, the Dwarf with Ensign Hunt, and as we manage Matters we may prove lucky.

Beaumond. And didst thou see the Show? the Elephant and the Mouse.

Shift. Yes, and pleased them wondrously with News I brought ’em of a famous Mountebank who is coming to Madrid, here are his Bills — who amongst other his marvellous Cures, pretends to restore Mistakes in Nature, to new-mould a Face and Body tho never so misshapen, to exact Proportion and Beauty. This News has made me gracious to the Ladies, and I am to bring ’em word of the Arrival of this famous Empirick, and to negotiate the Business of their Reformation.

Willmore. And do they think to be restor’d to moderate sizes?

Shift. Much pleas’d with the Hope, and are resolv’d to try at any Rate.

Fetherfool. Mum, Lieutenant — not too much of their Transformation; we shall have the Captain put in for a Share, and the Devil would not have him his Rival: Ned and I are resolv’d to venture a Cast for ’em as they are — Hah, Ned.

[Will. and Beau. read the Bill.]

Blunt. Yes, if there were any Hopes of your keeping a Secret.

Fetherfool. Nay, nay, Ned, the World knows I am a plaguy Fellow at your Secrets; that, and my Share of the Charge shall be my Part, for Shift says the Guardian must be brib’d for Consent: Now the other Moiety of the Mony and the Speeches shall be thy part, for thou hast a pretty Knack that way. Now Shift shall bring Matters neatly about, and we’ll pay him by the Day, or in gross, when we married — hah, Shift.

Shift. Sir, I shall be reasonable.

Willmore. I am sure Fetherfool and Blunt have some wise Design upon these two Monsters — it must be so — and this Bill has put an extravagant Thought into my Head — hark ye, Shift. [Whispers to him.]

Blunt. The Devil’s in’t if this will not redeem my Reputation with the Captain, and give him to understand that all the Wit does not lie in the Family of the Willmores, but that this Noddle of mine can be fruitful too upon Occasion.

Fetherfool. Ay, and Lord, how we’ll domineer, Ned, hah — over Willmore and the rest of the Renegado Officers, when we have married these Lady Monsters, hah, Ned.

Blunt. –Then to return back to Essex worth a Million.

Fetherfool. And I to Croyden —

Blunt. –Lolling in Coach and Six —

Fetherfool. –Be dub’d Right Worshipful —

Blunt. And stand for Knight of the Shire.

Willmore. Enough — I must have my Share of this Jest, and for divers and sundry Reasons thereunto belonging, must be this very Mountebank expected.

Shift. Faith, Sir, and that were no hard matter, for a day or two the Town will believe it, the same they look for: and the Bank, Operators and Musick are all ready.

Willmore. Well enough, add but a Harlequin and Scaramouch, and I shall mount in querpo.

Shift. Take no care for that, Sir, your Man, and Ensign Hunt, are excellent at those two; I saw ’em act ’em the other day to a Wonder, they’ll be glad of the Employment, my self will be an Operator.

Willmore. No more, get ’em ready, and give it out, the Man of Art’s arriv’d: Be diligent and secret, for these two politick Asses must be cozen’d.

Shift. I will about the Business instantly.

[Ex. Shift.]

Beaumond. This Fellow will do Feats if he keeps his Word.

Willmore. I’ll give you mine he shall — But, dear Beaumond, where shall we meet anon?

Beaumond. I thank ye for that —’Gad, ye shall dine with me.

Fetherfool. A good Motion —

Willmore. I beg your Pardon now, dear Beaumond — I having lately nothing else to do, took a Command of Horse from the General at the last Siege, from which I am just arriv’d, and my Baggage is behind, which I must take order for.

Fetherfool. Pox on’t now there’s a Dinner lost, ’twas ever an unlucky Rascal.

Beaumond. To tempt thee more, thou shalt see my Wife that is to be.

Willmore. Pox on’t, I am the leudest Company in Christendom with your honest Women — but — What, art thou to be noos’d then?

Beaumond. ’Tis so design’d by my Uncle, if an old Grandee my Rival prevent it not; the Wench is very pretty, young, and rich, and lives in the same House with me, for ’tis my Aunt’s Daughter.

Willmore. Much good may it dye, Harry, I pity you, but ’tis common Grievance of you happy Men of Fortune. [Goes towards the House-door with Beau.]

Enter La Nuche, Aurelia, Petronella, Sancho, Women veil’d a little.

Aurelia. Heavens, Madam, is not that the English Captain? [Looking on Will.]

La Nuche. ’Tis, and with him Don Henrick the Ambassador’s Nephew — how my Heart pants and heaves at sight of him! some Fire of the old Flames remaining, which I must strive to extinguish. For I’ll not bate a Ducat of this Price I’ve set upon my self, for all the Pleasures Youth or Love can bring me — for see Aurelia — the sad Memento of a dacay’d poor old forsaken Whore in Petronella; consider her, and then commend my Prudence.

Willmore. Hah, Women! —

Fetherfool. Egad, and fine ones too. I’ll tell you that.

Willmore. No matter, Kindness is better Sauce to Woman than Beauty! By this Hand she looks at me — Why dost hold me? [Feth. holds him.]

Fetherfool. Why, what a Devil, art mad?

Willmore. Raging, as vigorous Youth kept long from Beauty; wild for the charming Sex, eager for Woman, I long to give a Loose to Love and Pleasure.

Blunt. These are not Women, Sir, for you to ruffle —

Willmore. Have a care of your Persons of Quality, Ned. [Goes to La Nuche.] — Those lovely Eyes were never made to throw their Darts in vain.

La Nuche. The Conquest would be hardly worth the Pain.

Willmore. Hah, La Nuche! with what a proud Disdain she flung away — stay, I will not part so with you — [Holds her.]

Enter Ariadne and Lucia with Footmen.

Ariadne. Who are these before us, Lucia?

Lucia. I know not, Madam; but if you make not haste home, you’ll be troubled with Carlo your importunate Lover, who is just behind us.

Ariadne. Hang me, a lovely Man! what Lady’s that? stay.

Petronella. What Insolence is this! This Villain will spoil all —

Fetherfool. Why, Captain, are you quite distracted? — dost know where thou art? Prithee be civil —

Willmore. Go, proud and cruel! [Turns her from him.]

Enter Carlo, and two or three Spanish Servants following: Petronella goes to him.

Carlo. Hah, affronted by a drunken Islander, a saucy Tramontane! — Draw — [To his Servants whilst he takes La Nuche.] whilst I lead her off — fear not, Lady, you have the Honour of my Sword to guard ye.

Willmore. Hah, Carlo — ye lye — it cannot guard the boasting Fool that wears it — be gone — and look not back upon this Woman. [Snatches] her from him] One single Glance destroys thee —

[They draw and fight; Carlo getting hindmost of his Spaniards, the English beat ’em off. The Ladies run away, all but Ariadne and Lucia.]

Lucia. Heav’ns, Madam, why do ye stay?

Ariadne. To pray for that dear Stranger — And see, my Prayers are heard, and he’s return’d in safety — this Door shall shelter me to o’er-hear the Quarrel. [Steps aside.]

Enter Will. Blunt, Feth. looking big, and putting up his Sword.

Fetherfool. The noble Captain be affronted by a starch’d Ruff and Beard, a Coward in querpo, a walking Bunch of Garlick, a pickl’d Pilchard! abuse the noble Captain, and bear it off in State, like a Christmas Sweet-heart; these things must not be whilst Nicholas Fetherfool wears a Sword.

Blunt. Pox o’ these Women, I thought no good would come on’t: besides, where’s the Jest in affronting honest Women, if there be such a thing in the Nation?

Fetherfool. Hang’t, ’twas the Devil and all —

Willmore. Ha, ha, ha! Why, good honest homespun Country Gentlemen, who do you think those were?

Fetherfool. Were! why, Ladies of Quality going to their Devotion; who should they be?

Blunt. Why, faith, and so I thought too.

Willmore. Why, that very one Woman I spoke to is ten Whores in Surrey.

Fetherfool. Prithee speak softly, Man: ’Slife, we shall be poniarde for keeping thee company.

Willmore. Wise Mr. Justice, give me your Warrant, and if I do not prove ’em Whores, whip me.

Fetherfool. Prithee hold thy scandalous blasphemous Tongue, as if I did not know Whores from Persons of Quality.

Willmore. Will you believe me when you lie with her? for thou’rt a rich Ass, and may’st do it.

Fetherfool. Whores — ha, ha —

Willmore. ’Tis strange Logick now, because your Band is better that mine, I must not know a Whore better than you.

Blunt. If this be a Whore, as thou say’st, I understand nothing — by this Light such a Wench would pass for a Person of Quality in London.

Fetherfool. Few Ladies have I seen at a Sheriff’s Feast have better Faces, or worn so good Clothes; and by the Lord Harry, if these be of the gentle Craft, I’d not give a Real for an honest Women for my use.

Willmore. Come follow me into the Church, for thither I am sure they’re gone: And I will let you see what a wretched thing you had been had you lived seven Years longer in Surrey, stew’d in Ale and Beef-broth.

Fetherfool. O dear Willmore, name not those savory things, there’s no jesting with my Stomach; it sleeps now, but if it wakes, wo be to your Shares at the Ordinary.

Blunt. I’ll say that for Fetherfool, if his Heart were but half so good as his Stomach, he were a brave Fellow.

[Aside, Exeunt.]

Ariadne. I am resolv’d to follow — and learn, if possible, who ’tis has made this sudden Conquest o’er me.

[All go off.]

[Scene draws, and discovers a Church, a great many People at Devotion, soft Musick playing. Enter La Nuche, Aurelia, Petron. and Sancho: To them Willmore, Feth. Blunt; then Ariadne, Lucia; Feth. bows to La Nuche and Petronella.]

Fetherfool. Now as I hope to be sav’d, Blunt, she’s a most melodious Lady. Would I were worthy to purchase a Sin or so with her. Would not such a Beauty reconcile thy Quarrel to the Sex?

Blunt. No, were she an Angel in that Shape.

Fetherfool. Why, what a pox couldst not lie with her if she’d let thee? By the Lord Harry, as errant a Dog as I am, I’d fain see any of Cupid’s Cook-maids put me out of countenance with such a Shoulder of Mutton.

Ariadne. See how he gazes on her — Lucia, go nearer, and o’er-hear ’em. [Lucia listens.]

Willmore. Death, how the charming Hypocrite looks to day, with such a soft Devotion in her Eyes, as if even now she were praising Heav’n for all the Advantages it has blest her with.

Blunt. Look how Willmore eyes her, the Rogue’s smitten heart deep — Whores — Feth. Only a Trick to keep her to himself — he thought the Name of a Spanish Harlot would fight us from attempting — I must divert him — how is’t, Captain — Prithee mind this Musick — Is it not most Seraphical?

Willmore. Pox, let the Fidlers mind and tune their Pipes, I’ve higher Pleasures now.

Fetherfool. Oh, have ye so; what, with Whores, Captain? —’Tis a most delicious Gentlewoman. [Aside.]

Petronella. Pray, Madam, mind that Cavalier, who takes such pains to recommend himself to you.

La Nuche. Yes, for a fine conceited Fool —

Petronella. Catso, a Fool, what else?

La Nuche. Right, they are our noblest Chapmen; a Fool, and a rich Fool, and an English rich Fool —

Fetherfool. ’Sbud, she eyes me, Ned, I’ll set my self in order, it may take — hah — [Sets himself.]

Petronella. Let me alone to manage him, I’ll to him —

La Nuche. Or to the Devil, so I had one Minute’s time to speak to Willmore.

Petronella. And accosting him thus — tell him —

La Nuche. [in a hasty Tone.] — I am desperately in love with him, and am Daughter, Wife, or Mistress to some Grandee — bemoan the Condition of Women of Quality in Spain, who by too much Constraint are oblig’d to speak first — but were we blest like other Nations where Men and Women meet — [Speaking so fast, she offering to put in her word, is still prevented by t’other’s running on.]

Petronella. What Herds of Cuckolds would Spain breed —’Slife, I could find in my Heart to forswear your Service: Have I taught ye your Trade, to become my Instructor, how to cozen a dull phlegmatick greasy-brain’d Englishman? — go and expect your Wishes.

Willmore. So, she has sent her Matron to our Coxcomb; she saw he was a Cully fit for Game — who would not be a Rascal to be rich, a Dog, an Ass, a beaten, harden’d Coward — by Heaven, I will possess this gay Insensible, to make me hate her — most extremely curse her — See if she be not fallen to Pray’r again, from thence to Flattery, Jilting and Purse-taking, to make the Proverb good — My fair false Sybil, what Inspirations are you waiting for from Heaven, new Arts to cheat Mankind! — Tell me, with what Face canst thou be devout, or ask any thing from thence, who hast made so leud a use of what it has already lavish’d on thee?

La Nuche. Oh my careless Rover! I perceive all your hot Shot is not yet spent in Battel, you have a Volley in reserve for me still — Faith, Officer, the Town has wanted Mirth in your Absence.

Willmore. And so might all the wiser part for thee, who hast no Mirth, no Gaiety about thee, and when thou wouldst design some Coxcomb’s ruin; to all the rest, a Soul thou hast so dull, that neither Love nor Mirth, nor Wit or Wine can wake it to good Nature — thou’rt one who lazily work’st in thy Trade, and sell’st for ready Mony so much Kindness; a tame cold Sufferer only, and no more.

La Nuche. What, you would have a Mistress like a Squirrel in a Cage, always in Action — one who is as free of her Favours as I am sparing of mine — Well, Captain, I have known the time when La Nuche was such a Wit, such a Humour, such a Shape, and such a Voice, (tho to say Truth I sing but scurvily) ’twas Comedy to see and hear me.

Willmore. Why, yes Faith for once thou wert, and for once mayst be again, till thou know’st thy Man, and knowest him to be poor. At first you lik’d me too, you saw me gay, no marks of Poverty dwelt in my Face or Dress, and then I was the dearest loveliest Man — all this was to my outside; Death, you made love to my Breeches, caress’d my Garniture and Feather, and English Fool of Quality you thought me —’Sheart, I have known a Woman doat on Quality, tho he has stunk thro all his Perfumes; one who never went all to Bed to her, but left his Teeth, an Eye, false Back and Breast, sometimes his Palate too upon her Toilet, whilst her fair Arms hug’d the dismember’d Carcase, and swore him all Perfection, because of Quality.

La Nuche. But he was rich, good Captain, was he not?

Willmore. Oh most damnably, and a confounded Blockhead, two certain Remedies against your Pride and Scorn.

La Nuche. Have you done, Sir?

Willmore. With thee and all thy Sex, of which I’ve try’d an hundred, and found none true or honest.

La Nuche. Oh, I doubt not the number: for you are one of those healthy-stomacht Lovers, that can digest a Mistress in a Night, and hunger again next Morning: a Pox of your whining consumptive Constitution, who are only constant for want of Appetite: you have a swinging Stomach to Variety, and Want having set an edge upon your Invention, (with which you cut thro all Difficulties) you grow more impudent by Success.

Willmore. I am not always scorn’d then.

La Nuche. I have known you as confidently put your Hands into your Pockets for Money in a Morning, as if the Devil had been your Banker, when you knew you put ’em off at Night as empty as your Gloves.

Willmore. And it may be found Money there too.

La Nuche. Then with this Poverty so proud you are, you will not give the Wall to the Catholick King, unless his Picture hung upon’t. No Servants, no Money, no Meat, always on foot, and yet undaunted still.

Willmore. Allow me that, Child.

La Nuche. I wonder what the Devil makes you so termagant on our Sex, ’tis not your high feeding, for your Grandees only dine, and that but when Fortune pleases — For your parts, who are the poor dependent, brown Bread and old Adam’s Ale is only current amongst ye; yet if little Eve walk in the Garden, the starv’d lean Rogues neigh after her, as if they were in Paradise.

Willmore. Still true to Love you see —

La Nuche. I heard an English Capuchin swear, that if the King’s Followers could be brought to pray as well as fast, there would be more Saints among ’em than the Church has ever canoniz’d.

Willmore. All this with Pride I own, since ’tis a royal Cause I suffer for; go pursue your Business your own way, insnare the Fool — I saw the Toils you set, and how that Face was ordered for the Conquest, your Eyes brimful of dying lying Love; and now and then a wishing Glance or Sigh thrown as by chance; which when the happy Coxcomb caught — you feign’d a Blush, as angry and asham’d of the Discovery: and all this Cunning’s for a little mercenary Gain — fine Clothes, perhaps some Jewels too, whilst all the Finery cannot hide the Whore!

La Nuche. There’s your eternal Quarrel to our Sex, ’twere a fine Trade indeed to keep a Shop and give your Ware for Love: would it turn to account think ye, Captain, to trick and dress, to receive all wou’d enter? faith, Captain, try the Trade.

Petronella. What in Discourse with this Railer! — come away; Poverty’s catching. [Returns from Discourse with Feth. speaks to San.]

Willmore. So is the Pox, good Matron, of which you can afford good Penniworths.

La Nuche. He charms me even with his angry Looks, and will undo me yet.

Petronella. Let’s leave this Place, I’ll tell you my Success as we go.

[Ex. all, some one way, some another, the Forepart of the Church shuts over, except Will. Blunt, Aria. and Lucia.]

Willmore. She’s gone, and all the Plagues of Pride go with her.

Blunt. Heartlikins, follow her — Pox on’t, an I’d but as good a Hand at this Game as thou hast, I’ll venture upon any Chance —

Willmore. Damn her, come, let’s to Dinner. Where’s Fetherfool?

Blunt. Follow’d a good Woodman, who gave him the Sign: he’ll lodge the Deer e’er night.

Willmore. Follow’d her — he durst not, the Fool wants Confidence enough to look on her.

Blunt. Oh you know not how a Country Justice may be improved by Travel; the Rogue was hedg’d in at home with the Fear of his Neighbours and the Penal Statutes, now he’s broke loose, he runs neighing like a Stone–Horse upon the Common.

Willmore. However, I’ll not believe this — let’s follow ’em.

[Ex. Will. and Blunt.]

Ariadne. He is in love, but with a Courtezan — some Comfort that. We’ll after him —’Tis a faint-hearted Lover, Who for the first Discouragement gives over.

[Ex. Ariadne and Lucia.]

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