La Nuche on a Couch in an Undress, Willmore at her Feet, on his Knees, all unbrac’d: his Hat, Sword, &c. on the Table, at which she is dressing her Head.
Willmore. Oh Gods! no more! I see a yielding in thy charming Eyes; The Blushes on thy Face, thy trembling Arms, Thy panting Breast, and short-breath’d Sighs confess, Thou wo’t be mine, in spite of all thy Art.
La Nuche. What need you urge my Tongue then to repeat What from my Eyes you can so well interpret? [Bowing down her Head to him and sighing.] — Or if it must — dispose me as you please —
Willmore. Heaven, I thank thee! [Rises with Joy.] Who wou’d not plough an Age in Winter Seas, Or wade full seven long Years in ruder Camps, To find out this Rest at last? — [Leans on, and kisses her Bosom.] Upon thy tender Bosom to repose; To gaze upon thy Eyes, and taste thy Balmy Kisses, [Kisses her.] — Sweeter than everlasting Groves of Spices, When the soft Winds display the opening Buds:— Come, haste, my Soul, to Bed —
La Nuche. You can be soft I find, when you wou’d conquer absolutely.
Willmore. Not infant Angels, not young sighing Cupids Can be more; this ravishing Joy that thou hast promis’d me, Has form’d my Soul to such a Calm of Love, It melts e’en at my Eyes.
La Nuche. What have I done? that Promise will undo me. — This Chamber was prepar’d, and I was drest, To give Admittance to another Lover.
Willmore. But Love and Fortune both were on my side — Come, come to Bed — consider nought but Love —
[They going out, one knocks.]
La Nuche. Hark!
Beaumond. (without.) By Heav’n I will have entrance.
La Nuche. ’Tis he whom I expect; as thou lov’st Life And me, retire a little into this Closet.
Willmore. Hah, retire!
La Nuche. He’s the most fiercely jealous of his Sex, And Disappointment will inrage him more.
Willmore. Death: let him rage whoe’er he be; dost think I’ll hide me from him, and leave thee to his Love? Shall I, pent up, thro the thin Wainscot hear Your Sighs, your amorous Words, and sound of Kisses? No, if thou canst cozen me, do’t, but discreetly, And I shall think thee true: I have thee now, and when I tamely part With the, may Cowards huff and bully me. [Knocks again.]
La Nuche. And must I be undone because I love ye? This is the Mine from whence I fetcht my Gold.
Willmore. Damn the base Trash: I’ll have thee poor, and mine; ’Tis nobler far, to starve with him thou lov’st Than gay without, and pining all within.
[Knocking, breaking the Door, Will. snatches up his Sword.]
La Nuche. Heavens, here will be murder done — he must not see him.
[As Beau. breaks open the Door, she runs away with the Candle, they are by dark, Beau. enters with his Sword drawn.]
Willmore. What art thou?
Beaumond. A Man. [They fight.]
Enter Petron. with Light, La Nuche following, Beau. runs to her. Oh thou false Woman, falser than thy
Which serve but to delude good-natur’d Man,
And when thou hast him fast, betray’st his Heart!
Beaumond. Willmore! Is it with thee I must tug for Empire? For I lay claim to all this World of Beauty. [Takes La Nuche, looking with scorn on Willmore.]
La Nuche. Heavens, how got this Ruffian in?
Willmore. Hold, hold, dear Harry, lay no Hands on her till thou can’st make thy Claim good.
Beaumond. She’s mine, by Bargain mine, and that’s sufficient.
Willmore. In Law perhaps, it may for ought I know, but ’tis not so in Love: but thou’rt my Friend, and I’ll therefore give thee fair Play — if thou canst win her take her: But a Sword and a Mistress are not to be lost, if a Man can keep ’em.
Beaumond. I cannot blame thee, thou but acts thy self — But thou fair Hypocrite, to whom I gave my Heart, And this exception made of all Mankind, Why would’st thou, as in Malice to my Love, Give it the only Wound that cou’d destroy it?
Willmore. Nay, if thou didst forbid her loving me, I have her sure.
Beaumond. I yield him many Charms; he’s nobly born, Has Wit, Youth, Courage, all that takes the Heart, And only wants what pleases Women’s Vanity, Estate, the only good that I can boast: And that I sacrifice to buy thy Smiles.
La Nuche. See, Sir — here’s a much fairer Chapman — you may be gone — [To Will.]
Willmore. Faith, and so there is, Child, for me, I carry all about me, and that by Heaven is thine: I’ll settle all upon thee, but my Sword, and that will buy us Bread. I’ve two led Horses too, one thou shalt manage, and follow me thro Dangers.
La Nuche. A very hopeful comfortable Life; No, I was made for better Exercises.
Willmore. Why, every thing in its turn, Child, yet a Man’s but a Man.
Beaumond. No more, but if thou valuest her, Leave her to Ease and Plenty.
Willmore. Leave her to Love, my Dear; one hour of right-down Love, Is worth an Age of living dully on: What is’t to be adorn’d and shine with Gold, Drest like a God, but never know the Pleasure? — No, no, I have much finer things in store for thee. [Hugs her.]
La Nuche. What shall I do? Here’s powerful Interest prostrate at my Feet, [Pointing to Beau.] Glory, and all than Vanity can boast; — But there — Love unadorn’d, no covering but his Wings, [To Will.] No Wealth, but a full Quiver to do mischiefs, Laughs at those meaner Trifles —
Beaumond. Mute as thou art, are not these Minutes mine? But thou — ah false — hast dealt ’em out already, With all thy Charms of Love, to this unknown — Silence and guilty Blushes say thou hast: He all disorder’d too, loose and undrest, With Love and Pleasure dancing in his Eyes, Tell me too plainly how thou hast deceiv’d me.
La Nuche. Or if I have not, ’tis a Trick soon done, And this ungrateful Jealousy wou’d put it in my Head. [Angrily.]
Beaumond. Wou’d! by Heaven, thou hast — he is not to be fool’d, Or sooth’d into belief of distant Joys, As easy as I have been: I’ve lost so kind An Opportunity, where Night and Silence both Conspire with Love, had made him rage like Waves Blown up by Storms:— no more — I know he has — Oh what, La Nuche! robb’d me of all that I Have languish’d for —
La Nuche. If it were so, you should not dare believe it —
[Angrily turns away, he kneels and holds her.]
Beaumond. Forgive me; oh so very well I love, Did I not know that thou hadst been a Whore, I’d give thee the last proof of Love — and marry thee.
Willmore. The last indeed — for there’s an end of Loving; Do, marry him, and be curst by all his Family: Marry him, and ruin him, that he may curse thee too. — But hark ye, Friend, this is not fair; ’tis drawing Sharps on a Man that’s only arm’d with the defensive Cudgel, I’m for no such dead doing Arguments; if thou art for me, Child, it must be without the folly, for better for worse; there’s a kind of Nonsense in that Vow Fools only swallow.
La Nuche. But when I’ve worn out all my Youth and Beauty, and suffer’d every ill of Poverty, I shall be compell’d to begin the World again without a Stock to set up with. No faith, I’m for a substantial Merchant in Love, who can repay the loss of Time and Beauty; with whom to make one thriving Voyage sets me up for ever, and I need never put to Sea again. [Comes to Beau.]
Beaumond. Nor be expos’d to Storms of Poverty, the Indies shall come to thee — See here — this is the Merchandize my Love affords. [Gives her a Pearl, and Pendants of Diamond.]
La Nuche. Look ye, Sir, will not these Pearls do better round my Neck, than those kind Arms of yours? these Pendants in my Ears, than all the Tales of Love you can whisper there?
Willmore. So — I am deceiv’d — deal on for Trash — and barter all thy Joys of Life for Baubles — this Night presents me one Adventure more — I’ll try thee once again, inconstant Fortune; and if thou fail’st me then — I will forswear thee [Aside.] Death, hadst thou lov’d my Friend for his own Value, I had esteem’d thee; but when his Youth and Beauty cou’d not plead, to be the mercenary Conquest of his Presents, was poor, below thy Wit: I cou’d have conquer’d so, but I scorn thee at that rate — my Purse shall never be my Pimp — Farewel, Harry.
Beaumond. Thou’st sham’d me out of Folly — stay —
Willmore. Faith — I have an Assignation with a Woman — a Woman Friend! young as the infant-day, and sweet as Roses e’er the Morning Sun have kiss’d their Dew away. She will not ask me Money neither.
La Nuche. Hah! stay — [Holds him, and looks on him.]
Beaumond. She loves him, and her Eyes betray her Heart.
Willmore. I am not for your turn, Child — Death I shall lose my Mistress fooling here — I must be gone.
[She holds him, he shakes his Head and sings.] No, no, I will not hire your Bed,
Nor Tenant to your Favours be;
I will not farm your White and Red,
You shall not let your Love to me:
I court a Mistress — not a Landlady. [bis.]
Beaumond. He’s in the right; and shall I waste my Youth and powerful Fortune on one who all this while has jilted me, seeing I was a lavish loving Fool? — No — this Soul and Body shall not be divided — [Gives her to Will.]
Willmore. I am so much thy Friend, another time I might be drawn to take a bad Bargain off thy Hands — but I have other Business at present: wo’t do a kind thing, Harry — lend me thy Aid to carry off my Woman to night? ’tis hard by in the Piazza, perhaps we may find Resistance.
Beaumond. My self and Sword are yours. I have a Chair waits below too, may do you Service.
Willmore. I thank ye — Madam — your Servant.
La Nuche. Left by both!
Beaumond. You see our Affairs are pressing.
[Bows, and smiles carelesly. Ex. Will. singing, and Beau.]
La Nuche. Gone! where’s all your Power, ye poor deluded Eyes? Curse on your feeble Fires, that cannot warm a Heart which every common Beauty kindles. Oh — he is gone for ever.
Petronella. Yes, he is gone, to your eternal Ruin: not all the Race of Men cou’d have produc’d so bountiful and credulous a Fool.
La Nuche. No, never; fetch him back, my Petronella: Bring me my wild Inconstant, or I die — [Puts her out.]
Petronella. The Devil fetch him back for Petronella, is’t he you mean? you’ve had too much of him; a Curse upon him, he’as ruin’d you.
La Nuche. He has, he shall, he must compleat my ruin.
Petronella. She raves, the Rogue has given her a Spanish Philtre.
La Nuche. My Coach, my Veil — or let ’em all alone; undrest thus loosely to the Winds commit me to darkness, and no Guide but pitying Cupid. [Going out, Pet. holds her.]
Petronella. What, are you mad?
La Nuche. As Winds let loose, or Storms when they rage high.
Petronella. She’s lost, and I’ll shift for my self, seize all her Money and Jewels, of which I have the Keys; and if Seignior Mountebank keeps his Word, be transform’d to Youth and Beauty again, and undo this La Nuche at her own Trade —
Enter Willmore, Beaumond, Chair following.
Willmore. Set down the Chair; you’re now within call, I’ll to the Garden–Door, and see if any Lady Bright appear — Dear Beaumond, stay here a minute, and if I find occasion, I’ll give you the Word.
Beaumond. ’Tis hard by my Lodgings; if you want Conveniences, I have the Key of the Back-way through the Garden, whither you may carry your Mistress.
Willmore. I thank thee — let me first secure my Woman.
Beaumond. I thought I’d lov’d this false, this jilting Fair, even above my Friendship; but I find I can forgive this Rogue, tho I am sure he has rob’d me of my Joys.
Enter Ariadne with a Casket of Jewels.
Ariadne. Not yet! a Devil on him, he’s Dear-hearting it with some other kind Damsel — Faith, ’tis most wickedly done of me to venture my Body with a mad unknown Fellow. Thus a little more Delay will put me into a serious Consideration, and I shall e’en go home again, sleep and be sober. [She walks about.]
Beaumond. Hah, a Woman! Perhaps the same he looks for — I’ll counterfeit his Voice and try my Chance — Fortune may set us even.
Ariadne. Hah, is not that a Man? Yes — and a Chair waiting. [She peeps.]
Beaumond. Who’s there?
Ariadne. A Maid.
Beaumond. A Miracle — Oh art thou come, Child?
Ariadne. ’Tis he, you are a civil Captain, are you not, to make a longing Maid expect thus? What Woman has detain’d you?
Beaumond. Faith, my Dear, tho Flesh and Blood be frail, yet the dear Hopes of thee has made me hold out with a Herculean Courage — Stay, where shall I carry her? not to my own Apartment; Ariadne may surprize me: I’ll to the Mountebank here i’th’ Piazza, he has a Cure for all things, even for longing Love, and for a Pistole or two will do Reason. — Hah, Company: Here, step into this Chair.
[She goes in, they go off just as Will. enters.]
Willmore. Hum, a Woman of Quality and jilt me — Egad, that’s strange now — Well, who shall a Man trust in this wicked World?
Enter La Nuche as before.
La Nuche. This should be he, he saunters about like an expecting Lover. [Will. peeping and approaching.]
Willmore. By this Light a Woman, if she be the right — but right or wrong so she be Feminine: harkye, Child, I fancy thee some kind thing that belongs to me.
La Nuche. Who are you? [In a low tone.]
Willmore. A wandering Lover that has lost his Heart, and I have shreud Guess ’tis in thy dear Bosom, Child.
La Nuche. Oh you’re a pretty Lover, a Woman’s like to have a sweet time on’t, if you’re always so tedious.
Willmore. By yon bright Star-light, Child, I walk’d here in short turns like a Centinel, all this live-long Evening, and was just going (Gad forgive me) to kill my self.
La Nuche. I rather think some Beauty has detain’d you: Have you not seen La Nuche?
Willmore. La Nuche! — Why, she’s a Whore — I hope you take me for a civiller Person, than to throw my self away on Whores — No, Child, I lie with none but honest Women I: but no disputing now, come — to my Lodging, my dear — here’s a Chair waits hard by.
Enter Harlequin with Fetherfool’s Clothes on his Shoulder, leading him halting by one Hand, Blunt (drunk) by the other in the dark; Fetherfool bloody, his Coat put over his Shoulders.
Fetherfool. Peano, Peano, Seignior, gently, good Edward — for I’ll not halt before a Cripple; I have lost a great part of my agil Faculties.
Blunt. Ah, see the Inconstancy of fickle Fortune, Nicholas — A Man to day, and beaten to morrow: but take comfort, there’s many a proper fellow has been robb’d and beaten on this Highway of whoring.
Fetherfool. Ay, Ned, thou speak’st by woful Experience — but that I should miscarry after thy wholesom Documents — but we are all mortal, as thou say’st, Ned — Would I had never crost the Ferry from Croydon; a few such Nights as these wou’d learn a Man Experience enough to be a Wizard, if he have but the ill luck to escape hanging.
Blunt. ’Dsheartlikins, I wonder in what Country our kinder Stars rule: In England plunder’d, sequester’d, imprison’d and banish’d; in France, starv’d, walking like the Sign of the naked Boy, with Plymouth Cloaks in our Hands; in Italy and Spain robb’d, beaten, and thrown out at Windows.
Fetherfool. Well, how happy am I, in having so true a Friend to condole me in Affliction — [Weeps.] I am oblig’d to Seignior Harlequin too, for bringing me hither to the Mountebank’s, where I shall not only conceal this Catastrophe from those fortunate Rogues our Comrades, but procure a little Album Graecum for my Backside. Come, Seignior, my Clothes — but, Seignior — un Portavera Poco palanea. [Dresses himself.]
Fetherfool. Entende vos Signoria Englesa?
Harlequin. Em Poco, em Poco, Seignior.
Fetherfool. Per quelq arts, did your Seigniorship escape Cudgeling?
Harlequin. La art de transformatio.
Fetherfool. Transformatio — Why, wert thou not born a Man?
Harlequin. No, Seignior, un vieule Femme.
Fetherfool. How, born an old Woman?
Blunt. Good Lord! born an old Woman! And so by transformation became invulnerable.
Fetherfool. Ay — in — invulnerable — what would I give to be invulnerable? and egad, I am almost weary of being a Man, and subject to beating: wou’d I were a Woman, a Man has but an ill time on’t: if he has a mind to a Wench, the making Love is so plaguy tedious — then paying is to my Soul insupportable. But to be a Woman, to be courted with Presents, and have both the Pleasure and the Profit — to be without a Beard, and sing a fine Treble — and squeak if the Men but kiss me —’twere fine — and what’s better, am sure never to be beaten again.
Blunt. Pox on’t, do not use an old Friend so scurvily; consider the Misery thou’lt indure to have the Heart and Mind of a jilting Whore possess thee: What a Fit of the Devil must he suffer who acts her Part from fourteen to fourscore! No, ’tis resolv’d thou remain Nicholas Fetherfool still, shalt marry the Monster, and laugh at Fortune.
Fetherfool. ’Tis true, should I turn Whore to the Disgrace of my Family — what would the World say? who wou’d have thought it, cries one? I cou’d never have believ’d it, cries another. No, as thou say’st, I’ll remain as I am — marry and live honestly.
Blunt. Well resolv’d, I’ll leave you, for I was just going to serenade my Fairy Queen, when I met thee at the Door — some Deeds of Gallantry must be perform’d, Seignior, Bonus Nochus.
Enter Shift with Light.
Fetherfool. Hah, a Light, undone!
Harlequin. Patientia, Patientia, Seignior.
Shift. Where the Devil can this Rogue Hunt be? Just now all things are ready for marrying these two Monsters; they wait, the House is husht, and in the lucky Minute to have him out of the way: sure the Devil owes me a spite. [Runs against Harlequin, puts out his Candle.]
Harlequin. Qui est la?
Shift. ’Tis Harlequin: Pox on’t, is’t you?
Harlequin. Peace, here’s Fetherfool, I’ll secure him, whilst you go about your Affair.
Fetherfool. Oh, I hear a Noise, dear Harlequin secure me; if I am discover’d I am undone — hold, hold — here’s a Door —
[They both go in.]
Scene changes to a Chamber, discovers the She–Giant asleep in a great Chair.
Enter Fetherfool and Harlequin.
Fetherfool. Hah — my Lady Monster! have I to avoid Scylla run upon Carybdis? — hah, she sleeps; now wou’d some magnanimous Lover make good Use of this Opportunity, take Fortune by the Fore — lock, put her to’t, and make sure Work — but Egad, he must have a better Heart, or a better Mistress than I.
Harlequin. Try your Strength, I’ll be civil and leave you. [In Italian he still speaks.]
Fetherfool. Excuse me, Seignior, I should crackle like a wicker Bottle in her Arms — no, Seignior, there’s no venturing without a Grate between us: the Devil wou’d not give her due Benevolence — No, when I’m marry’d, I’ll e’en show her a fair pair of Heels, her Portion will pay Postage — But what if the Giant should carry her? that’s to be fear’d, then I have cock’d and drest, and fed, and ventur’d all this while for nothing.
Harlequin. Faith, Seignior, if I were you, I wou’d make sure of something, see how rich she is in Gems.
Fetherfool. Right, as thou say’st, I ought to make sure of something, and she is rich in Gems: How amiable looks that Neck with that delicious row of Pearls about it.
Harlequin. She sleeps.
Fetherfool. Ay, she sleeps as ’twere her last. What if I made bold to unrig her? So if I miss the Lady, I have at least my Charges paid: what vigorous Lover can resist her Charms? — [Looks on her.] But shou’d she wake and miss it, and find it about me, I shou’d be hang’d — [Turns away.] — So then, I lose my Lady too — but Flesh and Blood cannot resist — What if I left the Town? then I lose my Lady still; and who wou’d lose a Hog for the rest of the Proverb? — And yet a Bird in Hand, Friend Nicholas — Yet sweet Meat may have sour Sauce — And yet refuse when Fortune offers — Yet Honesty’s a Jewel — But a Pox upon Pride, when Folks go naked —
Harlequin. Well said. [Incouraging him by Signs.]
Fetherfool. Ay — I’ll do’t — but what Remedy now against Discovery and Restitution?
Harlequin. Oh, Sir, take no care, you shall — swallow ’em.
Fetherfool. How, swallow ’em! I shall ne’er be able to do’t.
Harlequin. I’ll shew you, Seignior, ’tis easy.
Fetherfool. ’Gad that may be, ’twere excellent if I cou’d do’t; but first — by your leave.
[Unties the Necklace, breaks the String, and Harl. swallows one to shew him.]
Harlequin. Look ye, that’s all —
Fetherfool. Hold, hold, Seignior, an you be so nimble, I shall pay dear for my Learning — let me see — Friend Nicholas, thou hast swallow’d many a Pill for the Disease of the Body, let’s see what thou canst perform for that of the Purse. [Swallows ’em.] — so — a comfortable business this — three or four thousand pound in Cordial–Pearl: ’Sbud, Mark Anthony was never so treated by his Egyptian Crocodile — hah, what noise is that?
Harlequin. Operator, Operator, Seignior.
Fetherfool. How, an Operator! why, what the Devil makes he here? some Plot upon my Lady’s Chastity; were I given to be jealous now, Danger wou’d ensue — Oh, he’s entring, I would not be seen for all the World. Oh, some place of Refuge — [Looking about.]
Harlequin. I know of none.
Fetherfool. Hah, what’s this — a Clock Case?
Harlequin. Good, good — look you, Sir, do you do thus, and ’tis impossible to discover ye.
[Goes into the Case, and shews him how to stand; then Fetherfool goes in, pulls off his Periwig, his Head out, turning for the Minutes o’th’ top: his Hand out, and his Fingers pointing to a Figure.]
Enter Shift and Hunt.
Fetherfool. Oh Heaven, he’s here.
Shift. See where she sleeps; get you about your business, see your own little Marmoset and the Priest be ready, that we may marry and consummate before Day; and in the Morning our Friends shall see us abed together, give us the good morrow, and the Work’s done.
Fetherfool. Oh Traytor to my Bed, what a Hellish Plot’s here discover’d!
[Shift wakes the Giant.]
Giant. Oh, are you come, my Sweetest?
Fetherfool. Hah, the Mistress of my Bosom false too! ah, who wou’d trust faithless Beauty — oh that I durst speak.
Shift. Come let’s away, your Uncle and the rest of the House are fast asleep, let’s away e’er the two Fools, Blunt and Fetherfool, arrive.
Giant. Hang ’em, Pigeon-hearted Slaves —
Shift. A Clock — let’s see what hour ’tis — [Lifts up the Light to see, Feth. blows it out.] — How! betray’d — I’ll kill the Villain. [Draws.]
Fetherfool. Say you so, then ’tis time for me to uncase.
Shift. Have you your Lovers hid?
[Gets out, all groping in the dark, Feth. gets the Giant by the Hand.]
Giant. Softly, or we’re undone; give me your Hand, and be undeceiv’d.
Fetherfool. ’Tis she, now shall I be reveng’d. [Leads her out.]
Shift. What, gone! Death, has this Monster got the Arts of Woman?
[Harl. meets him in the dark, and plays tricks with him.]
Enter Willmore and La Nuche by dark.
Willmore. Now we are safe and free, let’s in, my Soul, and gratefully first sacrifice to Love, then to the Gods of Mirth and Wine, my Dear.
[Ex. passing over the Stage.]
Enter Blunt with Petronella, imbracing her, his Sword in his Hand, and a Box of Jewels.
Petronella. I was damnably afraid I was pursu’d. [Aside.]
Blunt. Something in the Fray I’ve got, pray Heaven it prove a Prize, after my cursed ill luck of losing my Lady Dwarf: Why do you tremble, fair one? — you’re in the Hands of an honest Gentleman, Adshartlikins.
Petronella. Alas, Sir, just as I approacht Seignior Doctor’s Door, to have my self surrounded with naked Weapons, then to drop with the fear my Casket of Jewels, which had not you by chance stumbled on and taken up, I had lost a hundred thousand Crowns with it.
Blunt. Ha um — a hundred thousand Crowns — a pretty trifling Sum — I’ll marry her out of hand. [Aside.]
Petronella. This is an Englishman, of a dull honest Nation, and might be manag’d to advantage, were but I transform’d now. [Aside.] I hope you are a Man of Honour; Sir, I am a Virgin, fled from the rage of an incens’d Brother; cou’d you but secure me with my Treasure, I wou’d be devoted yours.
Blunt. Secure thee! by this Light, sweet Soul, I’ll marry thee; — Beivile’s Lady ran just so away with him — this must be a Prize — [Aside.] But hark — prithee, my Dear, step in a little, I’ll keep my good Fortune to my self.
Petronella. See what trust I repose in your Hands, those Jewels, Sir.
Blunt. So — there can be no jilting here, I am secur’d from being cozen’d however. [Ex. Pet.]
Fetherfool. A Pox on all Fools, I say, and a double Pox on all fighting Fools; just when I had miraculously got my Monster by a mistake in the dark, convey’d her out, and within a moment of marrying her, to have my Friend set upon me, and occasion my losing her, was a Catastrophe which none but thy termagant Courage (which never did any Man good) cou’d have procur’d.
Blunt. ’Dshartlikins, I cou’d kill my self.
Fetherfool. To fight away a couple of such hopeful Monsters, and two Millions —’owns, was ever Valour so improvident?
Blunt. Your fighting made me mistake: for who the Pox wou’d have look’d for Nicholas Fetherfool in the person of a Hero?
Fetherfool. Fight, ’Sbud, a Million of Money wou’d have provok’d a Bully; besides, I took you for the damn’d Rogue my Rival.
Blunt. Just as I had finish’d my Serenade, and had put up my Pipes to be gone, out stalk’d me your two-handed Lady, with a Man at her Girdle like a bunch of Keys, whom I taking for nothing less than some one who had some foul design upon the Gentlewoman, like a true Knight–Errant, did my best to rescue her.
Fetherfool. Yes, yes, I feel you did, a Pox of your heavy hand.
Blunt. So whilst we two were lovingly cuffing each other, comes the Rival, I suppose, and carries off the Prize.
Fetherfool. Who must be Seignior Lucifer himself, he cou’d never have vanisht with that Celerity else with such a Carriage — But come, all we have to do is to raise the Mountebank and the Guardian, pursue the Rogues, have ’em hang’d by Law, for a Rape, and Theft, and then we stand fair again.
Blunt. Faith, you may, if you please, but Fortune has provided otherwise for me. [Aside.]
[Ex. Blu. and Feth.]
Enter Beaumond and Ariadne.
Beaumond. Sure none lives here, or Thieves are broken in, the Doors are all left open.
Ariadne. Pray Heaven this Stranger prove but honest now. [Aside.]
Beaumond. Now, my dear Creature, every thing conspires to make us happy, let us not defer it.
Ariadne. Hold, dear Captain, I yield but on Conditions, which are these — I give you up a Maid of Youth and Beauty, ten thousand Pound in ready Jewels here — three times the value in Estate to come, of which here be the Writings, you delivering me a handsom proper fellow, Heart-whole and sound, that’s all — your Name I ask not till the Priest declare it, who is to seal the Bargain. I cannot deceive, for I let you know I am Daughter-in-law to the English Ambassador.
Beaumond. Ariadne! — How vain is all Man’s Industry and Care To make himself accomplish’d; When the gay fluttering Fool, or the half-witted rough unmanner’d Brute, Who in plain terms comes right down to the business, Out-rivals him in all his Love and Fortunes. [Aside.]
Ariadne. Methinks you cool upon’t, Captain.
Beaumond. Yes, Ariadne.
Beaumond. Oh what a World of Time have I mispent for want of being a Blockhead —’Sdeath and Hell, Wou’d I had been some brawny ruffling Fool, Some forward impudent unthinking Sloven, A Woman’s Tool; for all besides unmanageable. Come, swear that all this while you thought ’twas I. The Devil has taught ye Tricks to bring your Falshood off.
Ariadne. Know ’twas you! no, Faith, I took you for as errant a right — down Captain as ever Woman wisht for; and ’twas uncivil egad, to undeceive me, I tell you that now.
Enter Willmore and La Nuche by dark.
Willmore. Thou art all Charms, a Heaven of Sweets all over, plump smooth round Limbs, small rising Breasts, a Bosom soft and panting — I long to wound each Sense. Lights there — who waits? — there yet remains a Pleasure unpossest, the sight of that dear Face — Lights there — where are my Vermin?
Ariadne. My Captain with a Woman — and is it so —
Enter Will. with Lights, sees Aria. and goes to her.
Willmore. By Heaven, a glorious Beauty! now a Blessing on thee for shewing me so dear a Face — Come, Child, let’s retire and begin where we left off.
La Nuche. A Woman!
Ariadne. Where we left off! pray, where was that, good Captain?
Willmore. Within upon the Bed, Child — come — I’ll show thee.
Beaumond. Hold, Sir.
Willmore. Beaumond! come fit to celebrate my Happiness; ah such a Woman-friend!
Beaumond. Do ye know her?
Willmore. All o’er, to be the softest sweetest Creature —
Beaumond. I mean, do ye know who she is?
Willmore. Nor care; ’tis the last Question I ever ask a fine Woman.
Beaumond. And you are sure you are thus well acquainted.
Willmore. I cannot boast of much acquaintance — but I have pluckt a Rose from her Bosom — or so — and given it her again — we’ve past the hour of the Berjere together, that’s all —
Beaumond. And do you know — this Lady is my — Wife? [Draw.]
Willmore. Hah! hum, hum, hum, hum —
[Turns and sings, sees La Nuche, and returns quick with an uneasy Grimace.]
Beaumond. Did you not hear me? Draw.
Willmore. Draw, Sir — what on my Friend?
Beaumond. On your Cuckold, Sir, for so you’ve doubly made me: Draw, or I’ll kill thee —
[Passes at him, he fences with his Hat, La Nu. holds Beau.]
Willmore. Hold, prithee hold.
La Nuche. Put up your Sword, this Lady’s innocent, at least in what concerns this Evening’s business; I own — with Pride I own I am the Woman that pleas’d so well to Night.
Willmore. La Nuche! kind Soul to bring me off with so handsom a lye: How lucky ’twas she happen’d to be here!
Beaumond. False as thou art, why shou’d I credit thee?
La Nuche. By Heaven, ’tis true, I will not lose the glory on’t.
Willmore. Oh the dear perjur’d Creature, how I love thee for this dear lying Virtue — Harkye, Child, hast thou nothing to say for thy self, to help us out withal? — [To Aria. aside.]
Ariadne. I! I renounce ye — false Man.
Beaumond. Yes, yes, I know she’s innocent of this, for which I owe no thanks to either of you, but to my self who mistook her in the dark.
La Nuche. And you it seems mistook me for this Lady; I favour’d your Design to gain your Heart, for I was told, that if this Night I lost you, I shou’d never regain you: now I am yours, and o’er the habitable World will follow you, and live and starve by turns, as Fortune pleases.
Willmore. Nay, by this Light, Child, I knew when once thou’dst try’d me, thou’dst ne’er part with me — give me thy Hand, no Poverty shall part us. [Kisses her.] — so — now here’s a Bargain made without the formal Foppery of Marriage.
La Nuche. Nay, faith Captain, she that will not take thy word as soon as the Parson’s of the Parish, deserves not the Blessing.
Willmore. Thou art reform’d, and I adore the Change.
Enter the Guardian, Blunt, and Fetherfool.
Guard. My Nieces stol’n, and by a couple of the Seignior’s Men! the Seignior fled too! undone, undone!
Willmore. Hah, now’s my Cue, I must finish this Jest. [Goes out.]
Enter Shift and Giant, Hunt and Dwarf.
Guard. Oh impudence, my Nieces, and the Villains with ’em! I charge ye, Gentlemen, to lay hold on ’em.
Dwarf. For what, good Uncle, for being so courageous to marry us?
Guard. How, married to Rogues, Rascals, John Potages!
Blunt. Who the Devil wou’d have look’d for jilting in such Hobgoblins?
Fetherfool. And hast thou deceiv’d me, thou foul filthy Synagogue?
Enter Willmore like a Mountebank as before.
Blunt. The Mountebank! oh thou cheating Quack, thou sophisticated adulterated Villain.
Fetherfool. Thou cozening, lying, Fortune-telling, Fee-taking Rascal.
Blunt. Thou jugling, conjuring, canting Rogue!
Willmore. What’s the matter, Gentlemen?
Blunt. Hast thou the Impudence to ask, who took my Money to marry me to this ill-favour’d Baboon?
Fetherfool. And me to this foul filthy o’ergrown Chronicle?
Blunt. And hast suffered Rogues, thy Servants, to marry ’em: Sirrah, I will beat thee past Cure of all thy hard-nam’d Drugs, thy Guzman Medicines.
Fetherfool. Nay, I’ll peach him in the Inquisition for a Wizard, and have him hang’d for a Witch.
Shift. Sir, we are Gentlemen, and you shall have the thirds of their Portion, what wou’d you more? [Aside to the Guar.] Look ye, Sir. [Pulls off their Disguise.]
Fetherfool. Shift! We are betray’d: all will out to the captain.
Willmore. He shall know no more of it than he does already for me, Gentlemen. [Pulls off his Disguise.]
Fetherfool. Ay, ay, ’tis he.
Blunt. Draw, Sir — you know me —
Willmore. –For one that ’tis impossible to cozen. [All laugh.]
Beaumond. Have a care, Sir, we are all for the Captain.
Fetherfool. As for that, Sir, we fear ye not, d’ye see, were you Hercules and all his Myrmidons. [Draws, but gets behind.]
Willmore. Fools, put up your Swords, Fools, and do not publish the Jest; your Money you shall have again, on condition you never pretend to be wiser than your other Men, but modestly believe you may be cozen’d as well as your Neighbours.
[The Guardian talking with Hunt and Shift and Giant this while.]
Fetherfool. La you, Ned, why shou’d Friends fall out?
Blunt. Cozen’d! it may be not, Sir; the Essex Fool, the cozen’d dull Rogue can shew Moveables or so — nay, they are right too — [Shews his Jewels.] This is no Naples Adventure, Gentlemen, no Copper Chains; all substantial Diamonds, Pearls and Rubies —
[Will. takes the Casket, and looks in it.]
La Nuche. Hah, do not I know that Casket, and those Jewels!
Fetherfool. How the Pox came this Rogue by these?
Willmore. Hum, Edward, I confess you have redeem’d your Reputation, and shall hereafter pass for a Wit — by what good fortune came you by this Treasure? — what Lady —
Blunt. Lady, Sir! alas no, I’m a Fool, a Country Fop, an Ass, I; but that you may perceive your selves mistaken, Gentlemen, this is but an earnest of what’s to come, a small token of remembrance, or so — and yet I have no Charms, I; the fine Captain has all the Wit and Beauty — but thou’rt my Friend, and I’ll impart. [Brings out Petronella veil’d.]
Enter Aurelia and Sancho.
Aurelia. Hither we trac’d her, and see she’s yonder.
Sancho. Sir, in the King’s Name lay hold of this old Cheat, she has this Night robb’d our Patrona of a hundred thousand Crowns in Money and Jewels.
Blunt. Hah! [Gets from her.]
La Nuche. You are mistaken, Friend Sancho, she only seiz’d ’em for my use, and has deliver’d ’em in trust to my Friend the Captain.
Petronella. Hah, La Nuche!
Blunt. How! cozen’d again!
Willmore. Look ye, Sir, she’s so beautiful, you need no Portion, that alone’s sufficient for Wit.
Fetherfool. Much good may do you with your rich Lady, Edward.
Blunt. Death, this Fool laugh at me too — well, I am an errant right-down Loggerhead, a dull conceited cozen’d silly Fool; and he that ever takes me for any other, ’Dshartlikins, I’ll beat him. I forgive you all, and will henceforth be good-natur’d; wo’t borrow any Money? Pox on’t, I’ll lend as far as e’er ’twill go, for I am now reclaim’d.
Guard. Here is a Necklace of Pearl lost, which, Sir, I lay to your Charge. [To Fetherfool.]
Fetherfool. Hum, I was bewitcht I did not rub off with it when it was mine — who, I? if e’er I saw a Necklace of Pearl, I wish ’twere in my Belly.
Blunt. How a Necklace! unconscionable Rogue, not to let me share: well, there is no Friendship in the World; I hope they’l hang him.
Shift. He’ll ne’er confess without the Rack — come, we’ll toss him in a Blanket.
Fetherfool. Hah, toss me in a Blanket, that will turn my Stomach most villainously, and I shall disimbogue and discover all.
Shift. Come, come, the Blanket. [They lay hold on him.]
Fetherfool. Hold, hold, I do confess, I do confess —
Shift. Restore, and have your Pardon.
Fetherfool. That is not in Nature at present, for Gentlemen, I have eat ’em.
Shift. ’Sdeath, I’ll dissect ye. [Goes to draw.]
Willmore. Let me redeem him; here Boy, take him to my Chamber, and let the Doctor glyster him soundly, and I’ll warrant you your Pearl again.
Fetherfool. If this be the end of travelling, I’ll e’en to old England again, take the Covenant, get a Sequestrator’s Place, grow rich, and defy all Cavaliering.
Beaumond. ’Tis Morning, let’s home, Ariadne, and try, if possible, to love so well to be content to marry; if we find that amendment in our Hearts, to say we dare believe and trust each other, then let it be a Match.
Ariadne. With all my Heart.
Willmore. You have a hankering after Marriage still, but I am for Love and Gallantry. So tho by several ways we gain our End, Love still, like Death, does to one Center tend,
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:48