First published in 1681.
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The University of Adelaide Library
University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005
IN vain we labour to reform the Stage,
Poets have caught too the Disease o’ th’ Age,
That Pest, of not being quiet when they’re well,
That restless Fever, in the Brethren, Zeal;
In publick Spirits call’d, Good o’th’ Commonweal.
Some for this Faction cry, others for that,
The pious Mobile for they know not what:
So tho by different ways the Fever seize,
In all ’tis one and the same mad Disease.
Our Author tool as all new Zealots do,
Full of Conceit and Contradiction too,
’Cause the first Project took, is now so vain,
T’ attempt to play the old Game o’er again:
The Scene is only chang’d; for who wou’d lay
A Plot, so hopeful, just the same dull way?
Poets, like Statesmen, with a little change,
Pass off old Politicks for new and strange;
Tho the few Men of Sense decry’t aloud,
The Cheat will pass with the unthinking Croud:
The Rabble ’tis we court, those powerful things,
Whose Voices can impose even Laws on Kings.
A Pox of Sense and Reason, or dull Rules,
Give us an Audience that declares for Fools;
Our Play will stand fair: we’ve Monsters too,
Which far exceed your City Pope for Show.
Almighty Rabble, ’tis to you this Day
Our humble Author dedicates the Play,
From those who in our lofty Tire sit,
Down to the dull Stage–Cullies of the Pit,
Who have much Money, and but little Wit:
Whose useful Purses, and whose empty Skulls
To private Int’rest make ye Publick Tools;
To work on Projects which the wiser frame,
And of fine Men of Business get the Name.
You who have left caballing here of late,
Imploy’d in matters of a mightier weight;
To you we make our humble Application,
You’d spare some time from your dear new Vocation,
Of drinking deep, then settling the Nation,
To countenance us, whom Commonwealths of old
Did the most politick Diversion hold.
Plays were so useful thought to Government,
That Laws were made for their Establishment;
Howe’er in Schools differing Opinions jar,
Yet all agree i’ th’ crouded Theatre,
Which none forsook in any Change or War.
That, like their Gods, unviolated stood,
Equally needful to the publick Good.
Throw then, Great Sirs, some vacant hours away,
And your Petitioners shall humbly pray, &c.
|Willmore, The Rover, in love with La Nuche,||Mr. Smith.|
|Beaumond, the English Ambassador’s Nephew, in love with La Nuche, contracted to Ariadne,||Mr. Williams.|
|Ned Blunt, an English Country Gentleman,||Mr. Underhill.|
|Nicholas Fetherfool, an English Squire, his Friend,||Mr. Nokes.|
|Shift, an English Lieutenant,||Mr. Wiltshire.|
|Friends and Officers to Willmore,||Mr. Richards.|
|Hunt, an Ensign,||Mr. Norris.|
|Harlequin, Willmore’s Man||Mr. Freeman.|
|Abevile, Page to Beaumond|
|Don Carlo, an old Grandee, in love with La Nuche,|
|Sancho, Bravo to La Nuche.|
|An old Jew, Guardian to the two Monsters,|
|Porter at the English Ambassador’s.|
|Rag, Boy to Willmore.|
|Ariadne, the English Ambassador’s Daughter-in-law, in love with Willmore,||Mrs. Corror.|
|Lucia, her Kinswoman, a Girl,||Mrs. Norris.|
|La Nuche, a Spanish Curtezan, in love with the Rover,||Mrs. Barry.|
|Petronella Elenora, her Baud,||Mrs. Norris.|
|Aurelia, her Woman,||Mrs. Crofts.|
|A Woman Giant.|
|A Dwarf, her Sister.|
|Footmen, Servants, Musicians, Operators and Spectators.|
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
Enter Fetherfool and Sancho, passing over the Stage; after them Willmore and Blunt, follow’d by Ariadne and Lucia.
Willmore. ’Tis so, by Heaven, he’s chaffering with her Pimp. I’ll spare my Curses on him for having her, he has a Plague beyond ’em. — Harkye, I’ll never love, nor lie with Women more, those Slaves to Lust, to Vanity and Interest.
Blunt. Ha, Captain! [Shaking his Head and smiling.]
Willmore. Come, let’s go drink Damnation to ’em all.
Blunt. Not all, good Captain.
Willmore. All, for I hate ’em all —
Ariadne. Heavens! if he should indeed! [Aside.]
Blunt. But, Robert, I have found you most inclined to a Damsel when you had a Bottle in your Head.
Willmore. Give me thy Hand, Ned — Curse me, despise me, point me out for Cowardice if e’er thou see’st me court a Woman more: Nay, when thou knowest I ask any of the Sex a civil Question again — a Plague upon ’em, how they’ve handled me — come, let’s go drink, I say — Confusion to the Race — A Woman! — no, I will be burnt with my own Fire to Cinders e’er any of the Brood shall lay my Flame —
Ariadne. He cannot be so wicked to keep this Resolution sure — [She passes by.] Faith, I must be resolv’d — you’ve made a pious Resolution, Sir, had you the Grace to keep it — [Passing on he pauses, and looks on her.]
Willmore. Hum — What’s that?
Blunt. That — O— nothing — but a Woman — come away.
Willmore. A Woman! Damn her, what Mischief made her cross my way just on the Point of Reformation!
Blunt. I find the Devil will not lose so hopeful a Sinner. Hold, hold, Captain, have you no Regard to your own Soul? ’dsheartlikins, ’tis a Woman, a very errant Woman.
Ariadne. Your Friend informs you right, Sir, I am a Woman.
Willmore. Ay, Child, or I were a lost Man — therefore, dear lovely Creature —
Ariadne. How can you tell, Sir?
Willmore. Oh, I have naturally a large Faith, Child, and thou’st promising Form, a tempting Motion, clean Limbs, well drest, and a most damnable inviting Air.
Ariadne. I am not to be sold, nor fond of Praise I merit not.
Willmore. How, not to be sold too! By this light, Child, thou speakest like a Cherubim, I have not heard so obliging a Sound from the Mouth of Woman-kind this many a Day — I find we must be better acquainted, my Dear.
Ariadne. Your Reason, good familiar Sir, I see no such Necessity.
Willmore. Child, you are mistaken, I am in great Necessity; for first I love thee — desperately — have I not damn’d my Soul already for thee, and wouldst thou be so wicked to refuse a little Consolation to my Body? Then secondly, I see thou art frank and good-natur’d, and wilt do Reason gratis.
Ariadne. How prove ye that, good Mr. Philospher?
Willmore. Thou say’st thou’rt not to be sold, and I’m sure thou’rt to be had — that lovely Body of so divine a Form, those soft smooth Arms and Hands, were made t’embrace as well as be embrac’d; that delicate white rising Bosom to be prest, and all thy other Charms to be enjoy’d.
Ariadne. By one that can esteem ’em to their worth, can set a Value and a Rate upon ’em.
Willmore. Name not those Words, they grate my Ears like Jointure, that dull conjugal Cant that frights the generous Lover. Rate — Death, let the old Dotards talk of Rates, and pay it t’atone for the Defects of Impotence. Let the sly Statesman, who jilts the Commonwealth with his grave Politicks, pay for the Sin, that he may doat in secret; let the brisk Fool inch out his scanted Sense with a large Purse more eloquent than he: But tell not me of Rates, who bring a Heart, Youth, Vigor, and a Tongue to sing the Praise of every single Pleasure thou shalt give me.
Ariadne. Then if I should be kind, I perceive you would not keep the Secret.
Willmore. Secrecy is a damn’d ungrateful Sin, Child, known only where Religion and Small-beer are current, despis’d where Apollo and the Vine bless the Country: you find none of Jove’s Mistresses hid in Roots and Plants, but fixt Stars in Heaven for all to gaze and wonder at — and tho I am no God, my Dear, I’ll do a Mortal’s Part, and generously tell the admiring World what hidden Charms thou hast: Come, lead me to some Place of Happiness —
Blunt. Prithee, honest Damsel, be not so full of Questions; will a Pistole or two do thee any hurt?
Lucia. None at all, Sir —
Blunt. Thou speak’st like a hearty Wench — and I believe hast not been one of Venus’ Hand-maids so long, but thou understand thy Trade — In short, fair Damsel, this honest Fellow here who is so termagant upon thy Lady, is my Friend, my particular Friend, and therefore I would have him handsomly, and well-favour’dly abus’d — you conceive me.
Lucia. Truly, Sir, a friendly Request — but in what Nature abus’d?
Blunt. Nature! — why any of your Tricks would serve — but if he could be conveniently strip’d and beaten, or tost in a Blanket, or any such trivial Business, thou wouldst do me a singular Kindness; as for Robbery he defies the Devil: an empty Pocket is an Antidote against that Ill.
Lucia. Your Money, Sir: and if he be not cozen’d, say a Spanish Woman has neither Wit nor Invention upon Occasion.
Blunt. Sheartlikins, how I shall love and honour thee for’t — here’s earnest — [Talks to her with Joy and Grimace.]
Ariadne. But who was that you entertain’d at Church but now?
Willmore. Faith, one, who for her Beauty merits that glorious Title she wears, it was — a Whore, Child.
Ariadne. That’s but a scurvy Name; yet, if I’m not mistaken, in those false Eyes of yours, they look with longing Love upon that — Whore, Child.
Willmore. Thou are i’th’ right, and by this hand, my Soul was full as wishing as my eyes: but a Pox on’t, you Women have all a certain Jargon, or Gibberish, peculiar to your selves; of Value, Rate, Present, Interest, Settlement, Advantage, Price, Maintenance, and the Devil and all of Fopperies, which in plain Terms signify ready Money, by way of Fine before Entrance; so that an honest well-meaning Merchant of Love finds no Credit amongst ye, without his Bill of Lading.
Ariadne. We are not all so cruel — but the Devil on’t is, your good — natur’d Heart is likely accompanied with an ill Face and worse Wit.
Willmore. Faith, Child, a ready Dish when a Man’s Stomach is up, is better than a tedious Feast. I never saw any Man yet cut my piece; some are for Beauty, some are for Wit, and some for the Secret, but I for all, so it be in a kind Girl: and for Wit in Woman, so she say pretty fond things, we understand; tho true or false, no matter.
Ariadne. Give the Devil his due, you are a very conscientious Lover: I love a Man that scorns to impose dull Truth and Constancy on a Mistress.
Willmore. Constancy, that current Coin with Fools! No, Child, Heaven keep that Curse from our Doors.
Ariadne. Hang it, it loses Time and Profit, new Lovers have new Vows and new Presents, whilst the old feed upon a dull repetition of what they did when they were Lovers; ’tis like eating the cold Meat ones self, after having given a Friend a Feast.
Willmore. Yes, that’s the thrifty Food for the Family when the Guests are gone. Faith, Child, thou hast made a neat and a hearty Speech: But prithee, my Dear, for the future, leave out that same Profit and Present, for I have a natural Aversion to hard words; and for matter of quick Dispatch in the Business — give me thy Hand, Child — let us but start fair, and if thou outstripst me, thou’rt a nimble Racer. [Lucia sees Shift.]
Lucia. Oh, Madam, let’s be gone: younder’s Lieutenant Shift, who, if he sees us, will certainly give an Account of it to Mr. Beaumond. Let’s get in thro the Garden, I have the Key.
Ariadne. Here’s Company coming, and for several reasons I would not be seen. [Offers to go.]
Willmore. Gad, Child, nor I; Reputation is tender — therefore prithee let’s retire. [Offers to go with her.]
Ariadne. You must not stir a step.
Willmore. Not stir! no Magick Circle can detain me if you go.
Ariadne. Follow me then at a distance, and observe where I enter; and at night (if your Passion lasts so long) return, and you shall find Admittance into the Garden. [Speaking hastily.] [He runs out after her.]
Shift. Well, Sir, the Mountebank’s come, and just going to begin in the Piazza; I have order’d Matters, that you shall have a Sight of the Monsters, and leave to court ’em, and when won, to give the Guardian a fourth part of the Portions.
Blunt. Good: But Mum — here’s the Captain, who must by no means know our good Fortune, till he see us in State.
Enter Willmore, Shift goes to him.
Shift. All things are ready, Sir, for our Design, the House prepar’d as you directed me, the Guardian wrought upon by the Persuasions of the two Monsters, to take a Lodging there, and try the Bath of Reformation: The Bank’s preparing, and the Operators and Musick all ready, and the impatient Town flockt together to behold the Man of Wonders, and nothing wanting but your Donship and a proper Speech.
Willmore. ’Tis well, I’ll go fit my self with a Dress, and think of a Speech the while: In the mean time, go you and amuse the gaping Fools that expect my coming. [Goes out.]
Enter Fetherfool singing and dancing.
Fetherfool. Have you heard of a Spanish Lady, How she woo’d an English Man?
Blunt. Why, how now, Fetherfool?
Fetherfool. Garments gay, and rich as may be, Deckt with Jewels, had she on.
Blunt. Why, how now, Justice, what run mad out of Dog-days?
Fetherfool. Of a comely Countenance and Grace is she, A sweeter Creature in the World there could not be.
Shift. Why, what the Devil’s the matter, Sir?
Blunt. Stark mad, ’dshartlikins.
Fetherfool. Of a Comely Countenance — well, Lieutenant, the most heroick and illustrious Madona! Thou saw’st her, Ned: And of a comely Counte — The most Magnetick Face — well — I knew the Charms of these Eyes of mine were not made in vain: I was design’d for great things, that’s certain — And a sweeter Creature in the World there could not be. [Singing.]
Blunt. What then the two Lady Monsters are forgotten? the Design upon the Million of Money, the Coach and Six, and Patent for Right Worshipful, all drown’d in the Joy of this new Mistress? — But well, Lieutenant, since he is so well provided for, you may put in with me for a Monster; such a Jest, and such a Sum, is not to be lost.
Shift. Nor shall not, or I have lost my Aim. [Aside.]
Fetherfool. [Putting off his Hat.] Your Pardons, good Gentlemen; and tho I perceive I shall have no great need for so trifling a Sum as a hundred thousand Pound, or so, yet a Bargain’s a Bargain, Gentlemen.
Blunt. Nay, ’dsheartlikins, the Lieutenant scorns to do a foul thing, d’ye see, but we would not have the Monsters slighted.
Fetherfool. Slighted! no, Sir, I scorn your Words, I’d have ye to know, that I have as high a Respect for Madam Monster, as any Gentleman in Christendom, and so I desire she should understand.
Blunt. Why, this is that that’s handsom.
Shift. Well, the Mountebank’s come, Lodgings are taken at his House, and the Guardian prepar’d to receive you on the aforesaid Terms, and some fifty Pistoles to the Mountebank to stand your Friend, and the Business is done.
Fetherfool. Which shall be perform’d accordingly, I have it ready about me.
Blunt. And here’s mine, put ’em together, and let’s be speedy, lest some should bribe higher, and put in before us. [Feth. takes the Money, and looks pitiful on’t.]
Fetherfool. Tis a plaguy round Sum, Ned, pray God it turn to Account.
Blunt. Account, ’dsheartlikins, tis not in the Power of mortal Man to cozen ’me.
Shift. Oh fie, Sir, cozen you, Sir! — well, you’ll stay here and see the Mountebank, he’s coming forth.
[A Hollowing. Enter from the Front a Bank, a Pageant, which they fix on the Stage at one side, a little Pavilion on’t, Musick playing, and Operators round below, or Antickers.]
[Musick plays, and an Antick Dance.]
Enter Willmore like a Mountebank, with a Dagger in one Hand, and a Viol in the other, Harlequin and Scaramouche; Carlo with other Spaniards below, and Rabble; Ariadne and Lucia above in the Balcony, others on the other side, Fetherfool and Blunt below.
Willmore. (bowing) Behold this little Viol, which contains in its narrow Bounds what the whole Universe cannot purchase, if sold to its true Value; this admirable, this miraculous Elixir, drawn from the Hearts of Mandrakes, Phenix Livers, and Tongues of Maremaids, and distill’d by contracted Sun–Beams, has besides the unknown Virtue of curing all Distempers both of Mind and Body, that divine one of animating the Heart of Man to that Degree, that however remiss, cold and cowardly by Nature, he shall become vigorous and brave. Oh stupid and insensible Man, when Honour and secure Renown invites you, to treat it with Neglect, even when you need but passive Valour, to become the Heroes of the Age; receive a thousand Wounds, each of which wou’d let out fleeting Life: Here’s that can snatch the parting Soul in its full Career, and bring it back to its native Mansion; baffles grim Death, and disappoints even Fate.
Fetherfool. Oh Pox, an a Man were sure of that now —
Willmore. Behold, here’s Demonstration —
[Harlequin stabs himself, and falls as dead.]
Fetherfool. Hold, hold, why, what the Devil is the Fellow mad?
Blunt. Why, do’st think he has hurt himself?
Fetherfool. Hurt himself! why, he’s murder’d, Man; ’tis flat Felo de se, in any ground in England, if I understand Law, and I have been a Justice o’th’ Peace.
Willmore. See, Gentlemen, he’s dead —
Fetherfool. Look ye there now, I’ll be gone lest I be taken as an Accessary. [Going out.]
Willmore. Coffin him, inter him, yet after four and twenty Hours, as many Drops of this divine Elixir give him new Life again; this will recover whole Fields of slain, and all the Dead shall rise and fight again —’twas this that made the Roman Legions numerous, and now makes France so formidable, and this alone — may be the Occasion of the loss of Germany. [Pours in Harlequin’s Wound, he rises.]
Fetherfool. Why this Fellow’s the Devil, Ned, that’s for certain.
Blunt. Oh plague, a damn’d Conjurer, this —
Willmore. Come, buy this Coward’s Comfort, quickly buy; what Fop would be abus’d, mimick’d and scorn’d, for fear of Wounds can be so easily cured? Who is’t wou’d bear the Insolence and Pride of domineering great Men, proud Officers or Magistrates? or who wou’d cringe to Statesmen out of Fear? What Cully wou’d be cuckolded? What foolish Heir undone by cheating Gamesters? What Lord wou’d be lampoon’d? What Poet fear the Malice of his satirical Brother, or Atheist fear to fight for fear of Death? Come buy my Coward’s Comfort, quickly buy.
Fetherfool. Egad, Ned, a very excellent thing this; I’ll lay out ten Reals upon this Commodity.
[They buy, whilst another Part of the Dance is danc’d.]
Willmore. Behold this little Paper, which contains a Pouder, whose Value surmounts that of Rocks of Diamonds and Hills of Gold; ’twas this made Venus a Goddess, and was given her by Apollo, from her deriv’d to Helen, and in the Sack of Troy lost, till recover’d by me out of some Ruins of Asia. Come, buy it, Ladies, you that wou’d be fair and wear eternal Youth; and you in whom the amorous Fire remains, when all the Charms are fled: You that dress young and gay, and would be thought so, that patch and paint, to fill up sometimes old Furrows on your Brows, and set yourselves for Conquest, tho in vain; here’s that will give you aubern Hair, white Teeth, red Lips, and Dimples on your Cheeks: Come, buy it all you that are past bewitching, and wou’d have handsom, young and active Lovers.
Fetherfool. Another good thing, Ned.
Carlo. I’ll lay out a Pistole or two in this, if it have the same Effect on Men.
Willmore. Come, all you City Wives, that wou’d advance your Husbands to Lord Mayors, come, buy of me new Beauty; this will give it tho now decay’d, as are your Shop Commodities; this will retrieve your Customers, and vend your false and out of fashion’d Wares: cheat, lye, protest and cozen as you please, a handsom Wife makes all a lawful Gain. Come, City Wives, come, buy.
Fetherfool. A most prodigious Fellow!
[They buy, he sits, the other Part is danc’d.]
Willmore. But here, behold the Life and Soul of Man! this is the amorous Pouder, which Venus made and gave the God of Love, which made him first a Deity; you talk of Arrows, Bow, and killing Darts; Fables, poetical Fictions, and no more: ’tis this alone that wounds and fires the Heart, makes Women kind, and equals Men to Gods; ’tis this that makes your great Lady doat on the ill-favour’d Fop; your great Man be jilted by his little Mistress, the Judge cajol’d by his Semstress, and your Politican by his Comedian; your young lady doat on her decrepid Husband, your Chaplain on my Lady’s Waiting–Woman, and the young Squire on the Landry–Maid — In fine, Messieurs,
’Tis this that cures the Lover’s Pain,
And Celia of her cold Disdain.
Fetherfool. A most devilish Fellow this!
Blunt. Hold, shartlikins, Fetherfool, let’s have a Dose or two of this Pouder for quick Dispatch with our Monsters.
Fetherfool. Why Pox, Man, Jugg my Giant would swallow a whole Cart–Load before ’twould operate.
Blunt. No hurt in trying a Paper or two however.
Carlo. A most admirable Receit, I shall have need on’t.
Willmore. I need say nothing of my divine Baths of Reformation, nor the wonders of the old Oracle of the Box, which resolves all Questions, my Bills sufficiently declare their Virtue. [Sits down. They buy.]
Enter Petronella Elenora carried in a Chair, dress’d like a Girl of Fifteen.
Shift. Room there, Gentlemen, room for a Patient.
Blunt. Pray, Seignior, who may this be thus muzzl’d by old Gaffer Time?
Carlo. One Petronella Elenora, Sir, a famous outworn Curtezan.
Blunt. Elenora! she may be that of Troy for her Antiquity, tho fitter for God Priapus to ravish than Paris.
Shift. Hunt, a word; dost thou see that same formal Politician yonder, on the Jennet, the nobler Animal of the two?
Hunt. What of him?
Shift. ’Tis the same drew on the Captain this Morning, and I must revenge the Affront.
Hunt. Have a care of Revenges in Spain, upon Persons of his Quality.
Shift. Nay, I’ll only steal his Horse from under him.
Hunt. Steal it! thou may’st take it by force perhaps; but how safely is a Question.
Shift. I’ll warrant thee — shoulder you up one side of his great Saddle, I’ll do the like on t’other; then heaving him gently up, Harlequin shall lead the Horse from between his Worship’s Legs: All this in the Crowd will not be perceiv’d, where all Eyes are imploy’d on the Mountebank.
Hunt. I apprehend you now —
[Whilst they are lifting Petronella on the Mountebank’s Stage, they go into the Crowd, shoulder up Carlo’s Saddle. Harlequin leads the Horse forward, whilst Carlo is gazing, and turning up his Mustachios; they hold him up a little while, then let him drop: he rises and stares about for his Horse.]
Carlo. This is flat Conjuration.
Shift. What’s your Worship on foot?
Hunt. I never saw his Worship on foot before.
Carlo. Sirrah, none of your Jests, this must be by diabolical Art, and shall cost the Seignior dear — Men of my Garb affronted — my Jennet vanisht — most miraculous — by St. Jago, I’ll be revenged — hah, what’s here — La Nuche — [Surveys her at a distance.]
Enter La Nuche, Aurelia, Sancho.
La Nuche. We are pursu’d by Beaumond, who will certainly hinder our speaking to Willmore, should we have the good fortune to see him in this Crowd — and yet there’s no avoiding him.
Beaumond. ’Tis she, how carefully she shuns me!
Aurelia. I’m satisfied he knows us by the jealous Concern which appears in that prying Countenance of his.
Beaumond. Stay, Cruel, is it Love or Curiosity, that wings those nimble Feet? [Holds her.]
[Lucia above and Ariadne.]
Ariadne. Beaumond with a Woman!
Beaumond. Have you forgot this is the glorious Day that ushers in the Night shall make you mine? the happiest Night that ever favour’d Love!
La Nuche. Or if I have, I find you’ll take care to remember me.
Beaumond. Sooner I could forget the Aids of Life, sooner forget how first that Beauty charm’d me.
La Nuche. Well, since your Memory’s so good, I need not doubt your coming.
Beaumond. Still cold and unconcern’d! How have I doated, and how sacrific’d, regardless of my Fame, lain idling here, when all the Youth of Spain were gaining Honour, valuing one Smile of thine above their Laurels!
La Nuche. And in return, I do submit to yield, preferring you above those fighting Fools, who safe in Multitudes reap Honour cheaper.
Beaumond. Yet there is one — one of those fighting Fools which should’st thou see, I fear I were undone; brave, handsome, gay, and all that Women doat on, unfortunate in every good of Life, but that one Blessing of obtaining Women: Be wise, for if thou seest him thou art lost — Why dost thou blush?
La Nuche. Because you doubt my Heart —’tis Willmore that he means. [Aside.] We’ve Eyes upon us, Don Carlo may grow jealous, and he’s a powerful Rival — at night I shall expect ye.
Beaumond. Whilst I prepare my self for such a Blessing.
Carlo. Hah! a Cavalier in conference with La Nuche! and entertain’d without my knowledge! I must prevent this Lover, for he’s young — and this Night will surprise her. [Aside.]
Willmore. And you would be restor’d? [To Petro.]
Petronella. Yes, if there be that Divinity in your Baths of Reformation.
Willmore. There are.
New Flames shall sparkle in those Eyes;
And these grey Hairs flowing and bright shall rise:
These Cheeks fresh Buds of Roses wear,
And all your wither’d Limbs so smooth and clear,
As shall a general Wonder move,
And wound a thousand Hearts with Love.
Petronella. A Blessing on you, Sir, there’s fifty Pistoles for you, and as I earn it you shall have more. [They lift her down.]
[Exit Willmore bowing.]
Shift. Messieurs, ’tis late, and the Seignior’s Patients stay for him at his Laboratory, to morrow you shall see the conclusion of this Experiment, and so I humbly take my leave at this time.
Enter Willmore, below sees La Nuche, makes up to her, whilst the last part of the Dance is dancing.
La Nuche. What makes you follow me, Sir?
[She goes from him, he pursues.]
Willmore. Madam, I see something in that lovely Face of yours, which if not timely prevented will be your ruin: I’m now in haste, but I have more to say — [Goes off.]
La Nuche. Stay, Sir — he’s gone — and fill’d me with a curiosity that will not let me rest till it be satisfied: Follow me, Aurelia, for I must know my Destiny. [Goes out.]
[The Dance ended, the Bank removes, the People go off.]
Fetherfool. Come, Ned, now for our amorous Visit to the two Lady Monsters.
[Ex. Feth. and Blunt.]
Enter Ariadne and Lucia.
Ariadne. I’m thoughtful: Prithee, Cousin, sing some foolish Song —
Phillis, whose Heart was unconfin’d
And free as Flowers on Meads and Plains,
None boasted of her being kind,
’Mongst all the languishing and amorous Swains:
No Sighs nor Tears the Nymph could move [bis.]
To pity or return their Love.
Till on a time, the hapless Maid
Retir’d to shun the heat o’th’ Day,
Into a Grove, beneath whose Shade
Strephon, the careless Shepherd, sleeping lay:
But oh such Charms the Youth adorn, [bis.]
Love is reveng’d for all her Scorn.
Her Cheeks with Blushes covered were,
And tender Sighs her Bosom warm;
A softness in her Eyes appear,
Unusual Pains she feels from every Charm:
To Woods and Ecchoes now she cries, [bis.]
For Modesty to speak denies.
Ariadne. Come, help to undress me, for I’ll to this Mountebank, to know what success I shall have with my Cavalier. [Unpins her things before a great Glass that is fasten’d.]
Lucia. You are resolv’d then to give him admittance?
Ariadne. Where’s the danger of a handsom young Fellow?
Lucia. But you don’t know him, Madam.
Ariadne. But I desire to do, and time may bring it about without Miracle.
Lucia. Your Cousin Beaumond will forbid the Banes.
Ariadne. No, nor old Carlos neither, my Mother’s precious Choice, who is as sollicitous for the old Gentleman, as my Father-in–Law is for his Nephew. Therefore, Lucia, like a good and gracious Child, I’ll end the Dispute between my Father and Mother, and please my self in the choice of this Stranger, if he be to be had.
Lucia. I should as soon be enamour’d on the North Wind, a Tempest, or a Clap of Thunder. Bless me from such a Blast.
Ariadne. I’d have a Lover rough as Seas in Storms, upon occasion; I hate your dull temperate Lover, ’tis such a husbandly quality, like Beaumond’s Addresses to me, whom neither Joy nor Anger puts in motion; or if it do, ’tis visibly forc’d — I’m glad I saw him entertain a Woman to day, not that I care, but wou’d be fairly rid of him.
Lucia. You’ll hardly mend your self in this.
Ariadne. What, because he held Discourse with a Curtezan?
Lucia. Why, is there no danger in her Eyes, do ye think?
Ariadne. None that I fear, that Stranger’s not such a fool to give his Heart to a common Woman; and she that’s concern’d where her Lover bestows his Body, were I the Man, I should think she had a mind to’t her self.
Lucia. And reason, Madam: in a lawful way ’tis your due.
Ariadne. What all? unconscionable Lucia! I am more merciful; but be he what he will, I’ll to this cunning Man, to know whether ever any part of him shall be mine.
Lucia. Lord, Madam, sure he’s a Conjurer.
Ariadne. Let him be the Devil, I’ll try his Skill, and to that end will put on a Suit of my Cousin Endymion; there are two or three very pretty ones of his in the Wardrobe, go carry ’em to my Chamber, and we’ll fit our selves and away — Go haste whilst I undress.
[Ex. Lucia.] [Ariadne undressing before the Glass.]
Enter Beaumond tricking himself, and looks on himself.
Beaumond. Now for my charming Beauty, fair La Nuche — hah — Ariadne — damn the dull Property, how shall I free my self?
[She turns, sees him, and walks from the Glass, he takes no notice of her, but tricks himself the Glass, humming a Song.]
Ariadne. Beaumond! What Devil brought him hither to prevent me? I hate the formal matrimonial Fop. [He walks about and sings.]
Sommes nous pas trop heureux,
Belle Irise, que nous ensemble.
A Devil on him, he may chance to plague me till night, and
hinder my dear Assignation. [Sings again.]
La Nuit et le Sombre voiles Coverie nos desires ardentes;
Et l’ Amour et les Etoiles Sont nos secrets confidents.
Beaumond. Pox on’t, how dull am I at an excuse? [Sets his Wig in the Glass, and sings.]
A Pox of Love and Woman-kind,
And all the Fops adore ’em.
[Puts on his Hat, cocks it, and goes to her.]
How is’t, Cuz?
Ariadne. So, here’s the saucy freedom of a Husband Lover — a blest Invention this of marrying, whoe’er first found it out.
Beaumond. Damn this English Dog of a Perriwig-maker, what an ungainly Air it gives the Face, and for a Wedding Perriwig too — how dost thou like it, Ariadne? [Uneasy.]
Ariadne. As ill as the Man — I perceive you have taken more care for your Perriwig than your Bride.
Beaumond. And with reason, Ariadne, the Bride was never the care of the Lover, but the business of the Parents; ’tis a serious Affair, and ought to be manag’d by the grave and wise: Thy Mother and my Uncle have agreed the Matter, and would it not look very sillily in me now to whine a tedious Tale of Love in your Ear, when the business is at an end? ’tis like saying a Grace when a Man should give Thanks.
Ariadne. Why did you not begin sooner then?
Beaumond. Faith, Ariadne, because I know nothing of the Design in hand; had I had civil warning, thou shouldst have had as pretty smart Speeches from me, as any Coxcomb Lover of ’em all could have made thee.
Ariadne. I shall never marry like a Jew in my own Tribe; I’ll rather be possest by honest old doating Age, than by saucy conceited Youth, whose Inconstancy never leaves a Woman safe or quiet.
Beaumond. You know the Proverb of the half Loaf, Ariadne; a Husband that will deal thee some Love is better than one who can give thee none: you would have a blessed time on’t with old Father Carlo.
Ariadne. No matter, a Woman may with some lawful excuse cuckold him, and ’twould be scarce a Sin.
Beaumond. Not so much as lying with him, whose reverend Age wou’d make it look like Incest.
Ariadne. But to marry thee — would be a Tyranny from whence there’s no Appeal: A drinking whoring Husband! ’tis the Devil —
Beaumond. You are deceiv’d, if you think Don Carlo more chaste than I; only duller, and more a Miser, one that fears his Flesh more, and loves his Money better. — Then to be condemn’d to lie with him — oh, who would not rejoice to meet a Woollen–Waistcoat, and knit Night–Cap without a Lining, a Shirt so nasty, a cleanly Ghost would not appear in’t at the latter Day? then the compound of nasty Smells about him, stinking Breath, Mustachoes stuft with villainous snush, Tobacco, and hollow Teeth: thus prepar’d for Delight, you meet in Bed, where you may lie and sigh whole Nights away, he snores it out till Morning, and then rises to his sordid business.
Ariadne. All this frights me not: ’tis still much better than a keeping Husband, whom neither Beauty nor Honour in a Wife can oblige.
Beaumond. Oh, you know not the good-nature of a Man of Wit, at least I shall bear a Conscience, and do thee reason, which Heaven denies to old Carlo, were he willing.
Ariadne. Oh, he talks as high, and thinks as well of himself as any young Coxcomb of ye all.
Beaumond. He has reason, for if his Faith were no better than his Works, he’d be damn’d.
Ariadne. Death, who wou’d marry, who wou’d be chaffer’d thus, and sold to Slavery? I’d rather buy a Friend at any Price that I could love and trust.
Beaumond. Ay, could we but drive on such a Bargain.
Ariadne. You should not be the Man; You have a Mistress, Sir, that has your Heart, and all your softer Hours: I know’t, and if I were so wretched as to marry thee, must see my Fortune lavisht out on her; her Coaches, Dress, and Equipage exceed mine by far: Possess she all the day thy Hours of Mirth, good Humour and Expence, thy Smiles, thy Kisses, and thy Charms of Wit. Oh how you talk and look when in her Presence! but when with me,
A Pox of Love and Woman-kind, [Sings.]
And all the Fops adore ’em. How it’s, Cuz — then slap, on goes the Beaver, which being
cock’d, you bear up briskly, with the second Part to the same
Tune — Harkye, Sir, let me advise you to pack up your Trumpery
and be gone, your honourable Love, your matrimonial Foppery,
with your other Trinkets thereunto belonging; or I shall talk
aloud, and let your Uncle hear you.
Beaumond. Sure she cannot know I love La Nuche. [Aside.] The Devil take me, spoil’d! What Rascal has inveigled thee? What lying fawning coward has abus’d thee? When fell you into this Leudness? Pox, thou art hardly worth the loving now, that canst be such a Fool, to wish me chaste, or love me for that Virtue; or that wouldst have me a ceremonious help, one that makes handsom Legs to Knights without laughing, or with a sneaking modest Squirish Countenance; assure you, I have my Maidenhead. A Curse upon thee, the very thought of Wife has made thee formal.
Ariadne. I must dissemble, or he’ll stay all day to make his peace again — why, have you ne’er — a Mistress then?
Beaumond. A hundred, by this day, as many as I like, they are my Mirth, the business of my loose and wanton Hours; but thou art my Devotion, the grave, the solemn Pleasure of my Soul — Pox, would I were handsomly rid of thee too. [Aside.] — Come, I have business — send me pleas’d away.
Ariadne. Would to Heaven thou wert gone; [Aside.] You’re going to some Woman now.
Beaumond. Oh damn the Sex, I hate ’em all — but thee — farewell, my pretty jealous — sullen — Fool.
Ariadne. Farewel, believing Coxcomb.
Lucia. Madam, the Clothes are ready in your Chamber.
Ariadne. Let’s haste and put ’em on then. [Runs out.]
Enter Fetherfool and Blunt, staring about, after them Shift.
Shift. Well, Gentlemen, this is the Doctor’s House, and your fifty Pistoles has made him intirely yours; the Ladies too are here in safe Custody — Come, draw Lots who shall have the Dwarf, and who the Giant. [They draw.]
Fetherfool. I have the Giant.
Blunt. And I the little tiny Gentlewoman.
Shift. Well, you shall first see the Ladies, and then prepare for your Uncle Moses, the old Jew Guardian, before whom you must be very grave and sententious: You know the old Law was full of Ceremony.
Fetherfool. Well, I long to see the Ladies, and to have the first Onset over.
Shift. I’ll cause ’em to walk forth immediately. [Goes out.]
Fetherfool. My Heart begins to fail me plaguily — would I could see ’em a little at a Distance before they come slap dash upon a Man. [Peeping.] Hah! — Mercy upon us! — What’s yonder! — Ah, Ned my Monster is as big as the Whore of Babylon — Oh I’m in a cold Sweat — [Blunt pulls him to peep, and both do so.] Oh Lord! she’s as tall as the St. Christopher in Notre-dame at Paris, and the little one looks like the Christo upon his Shoulders — I shall ne’er be able to stand the first Brunt.
Blunt. ’Dsheartlikins, whither art going? [Pulls him back.]
Fetherfool. Why only — to — say my Prayers a little — I’ll be with thee presently. [Offers to go, he pulls him.]
Blunt. What a Pox, art thou afraid of a Woman —
Fetherfool. Not of a Woman, Ned, but of a She Gargantua, I am of a Hercules in Petticoats.
Blunt. The less Resemblance the better. ’Shartlikins, I’d rather mine were a Centaur than a Woman: No, since my Naples Adventure, I am clearly for your Monster.
Fetherfool. Prithee, Ned, there’s Reason in all things —
Blunt. But villainous Woman —’Dshartlikins, stand your Ground, or I’ll nail you to’t: Why, what a Pox are you so quezy stomach’d, a Monster won’t down with you, with a hundred thousand Pound to boot. [Pulling him.]
Fetherfool. Nay, Ned, that mollifies something; and I scorn it should be said of Nich. Fetherfool that he left his Friend in danger, or did an ill thing: therefore, as thou say’st, Ned, tho she were a Centaur, I’ll not budg an Inch.
Blunt. Why God a Mercy.
Enter the Giant and Dwarf, with them Shift as an Operator, and Harlequin attending.
Fetherfool. Oh — they come — Prithee, Ned, advance — [Puts him forward.]
Shift. Most beautiful Ladies.
Fetherfool. Why, what a flattering Son of a Whore’s this?
Shift. These are the illustrious Persons your Uncle designs your humble Servants, and who have so extraordinary a Passion for your Seignioraships.
Fetherfool. Oh yes, a most damnable one: Wou’d I were cleanlily off the Lay, and had my Money again.
Blunt. Think of a Million, Rogue, and do not hang an Arse thus.
Giant. What, does the Cavalier think I’ll devour him? [To Shift.]
Fetherfool. Something inclin’d to such a Fear.
Blunt. Go and salute her, or, Adsheartlikins, I’ll leave you to her Mercy.
Fetherfool. Oh, dear Ned, have pity on me — but as for saluting her, you speak of more than may be done, dear Heart, without a Scaling Ladder.
Dwarf. Sure, Seignior Harlequin, these Gentlemen are dumb.
Blunt. No, my little diminutive Mistress, my small Epitomy of Woman-kind, we can prattle when our Hands are in, but we are raw and bashful, young Beginners; for this is the first time we ever were in love: we are something aukard, or so, but we shall come on in time, and mend upon Incouragement.
Fetherfool. Pox on him, what a delicate Speech has he made now —’Gad, I’d give a thousand Pounds a Year for Ned’s concise Wit, but not a Groat for his Judgment in Womankind.
Enter Shift with a Ladder, sets it against the Giant, and bows to Fetherfool.
Shift. Here, Seignior, Don, approach, mount, and salute the Lady.
Fetherfool. Mount! why, ’twould turn my Brains to look down from her Shoulders — But hang’t, ’Gad, I will be brave and venture. [Runs up the Ladder, salutes her, and runs down again.] And Egad this was an Adventure and a bold one — but since I am come off with a whole Skin, I am flesht for the next onset — Madam — has your Greatness any mind to marry?
[Goes to her, speaks, and runs back; Blunt claps him on the Back.]
Giant. What if have?
Fetherfool. Why then, Madam, without inchanted Sword or Buckler, I’m your Man.
Giant. My Man? my Mouse. I’ll marry none whose Person and Courage shall not bear some Proportion to mine.
Fetherfool. Your Mightiness I fear will die a Maid then.
Giant. I doubt you’ll scarce secure me from that Fear, who court my Fortune, not my Beauty.
Fetherfool. Hu, how scornful she is, I’ll warrant you — why I must confess, your Person is something heroical and masculine, but I protest to your Highness, I love and honour ye.
Dwarf. Prithee, Sister, be not so coy, I like my Lover well enough; and if Seignior Mountebank keep his Word in making us of reasonable Proportions, I think the Gentlemen may serve for Husbands.
Shift. Dissemble, or you betray your Love for us. [Aside to the Giant.]
Giant. And if he do keep his Word, I should make a better Choice, not that I would change this noble Frame of mine, cou’d I but meet my Match, and keep up the first Race of Man intire: But since this scanty World affords none such, I to be happy, must be new created, and then shall expect a wiser Lover.
Fetherfool. Why, what a peevish Titt’s this; nay? look ye, Madam, as for that matter, your Extraordinariness may do what you please — but ’tis not done like a Monster of Honour, when a Man has set his Heart upon you, to cast him off — Therefore I hope you’ll pity a despairing Lover, and cast down an Eye of Consolation upon me; for I vow, most Amazonian Princess, I love ye as if Heaven and Earth wou’d come together.
Dwarf. My Sister will do much, I’m sure, to save the Man that loves her so passionately — she has a Heart.
Fetherfool. And a swinger ’tis —’Sbud — she moves like the Royal Sovereign, and is as long a tacking about. [Aside.]
Giant. Then your Religion, Sir.
Fetherfool. Nay, as for that, Madam, we are English, a Nation I thank God, that stand as little upon Religion as any Nation under the Sun, unless it be in Contradiction; and at this time have so many amongst us, a Man knows not which to turn his Hand to — neither will I stand with your Hugeness for a small matter of Faith or so — Religion shall break no squares.
Dwarf. I hope, Sir, you are of your Friend’s Opinion.
Blunt. My little Spark of a Diamond, I am, I was born a Jew, with an Aversion to Swines Flesh.
Dwarf. Well, Sir, I shall hasten Seignior Doctor to compleat my Beauty, by some small Addition, to appear the more grateful to you.
Blunt. Lady, do not trouble yourself with transitory Parts, ’Dshartlikins thou’rt as handsom as needs be for a Wife.
Dwarf. A little taller, Seignior, wou’d not do amiss, my younger Sister has got so much the Start of me.
Blunt. In troth she has, and now I think on’t, a little taller wou’d do well for Propagation; I should be loth the Posterity of the antient Family of the Blunts of Essex should dwindle into Pigmies or Fairies.
Giant. Well, Seigniors, since you come with our Uncle’s liking, we give ye leave to hope, hope — and be happy —
[They go out with Harlequin.]
Fetherfool. Egad, and that’s great and gracious —
Enter Willmore and an Operator.
Willmore. Well, Gentlemen, and how like you the Ladies?
Blunt. Faith, well enough for the first Course, Sir.
Willmore. The Uncle, by my indeavour, is intirely yours — but whilst the Baths are preparing, ’twould be well if you would think of what Age, Shape, and Complexion you would have your Ladies form’d in.
Fetherfool. Why, may we chuse, Mr. Doctor?
Willmore. What Beauties you please.
Fetherfool. Then will I have my Giant, Ned, just such another Gentlewoman as I saw at Church to day — and about some fifteen.
Blunt. Hum, fifteen — I begin to have a plaguy Itch about me too, towards a handsome Damsel of fifteen; but first let’s marry, lest they should be boiled away in these Baths of Reformation.
Fetherfool. But, Doctor, can you do all this without the help of the Devil?
Willmore. Hum, some small Hand he has in the Business? we make an Exchange with him, give him the clippings of the Giant for so much of his Store as will serve to build the Dwarf.
Blunt. Why, then mine will be more than three Parts Devil, Mr. Doctor.
Willmore. Not so, the Stock is only Devil, the Graft is your own little Wife inoculated.
Blunt. Well, let the Devil and you agree about this matter as soon as you please.
Enter Shift as an Operator.
Shift. Sir, there is without a Person of an extraordinary Size wou’d speak with you.
Willmore. Admit him.
Enter Harlequin, ushers in Hunt as a Giant.
Fetherfool. Hah — some o’ergrown Rival, on my Life.
[Feth. gets from it.]
Willmore. What the Devil have we here? [Aside.]
Hunt. Bezolos mano’s, Seignior, I understand there is a Lady whose Beauty and Proportion can only merit me: I’ll say no more — but shall be grateful to you for your Assistance.
Fetherfool. ’Tis so.
Hunt. The Devil’s in’t if this does not fright ’em from a farther Courtship. [Aside.]
Willmore. Fear nothing, Seignior — Seignior, you may try your Chance, and visit the Ladies. [Talks to Hunt.]
Fetherfool. Why, where the Devil could this Monster conceal himself all this while, that we should neither see nor hear of him?
Blunt. Oh — he lay disguis’d; I have heard of an Army that has done so.
Fetherfool. Pox, no single House cou’d hold him.
Blunt. No — he dispos’d himself in several parcels up and down the Town, here a Leg, and there an Arm; and hearing of this proper Match for him, put himself together to court his fellow Monster.
Fetherfool. Good Lord! I wonder what Religion he’s of.
Blunt. Some heathen Papist, by his notable Plots and Contrivances.
Willmore. ’Tis Hunt, that Rogue — [Aside.] Sir, I confess there is great Power in Sympathy — Conduct him to the Ladies — [He tries to go in at the Door.] — I am sorry you cannot enter at that low Door, Seignior, I’ll have it broken down —
Hunt. No, Seignior, I can go in at twice.
Fetherfool. How, at twice! what a Pox can he mean?
Willmore. Oh, Sir, ’tis a frequent thing by way of Inchantment
[Hunt being all Doublet, leaps off from another Man who is all Breeches, and goes out; Breeches follows stalking.]
Fetherfool. Oh Pox, Mr. Doctor, this must be the Devil.
Willmore. Oh fie, Sir, the Devil! no ’tis all done inchanted Girdle — These damn’d Rascals will spoil all by too gross an Imposition on the Fools. [Aside.]
Fetherfool. This is the Devil, Ned, that’s certain — But hark ye, Mr. Doctor, I hope I shall not have my Mistress inchanted from me by this inchanted Rival, hah?
Willmore. Oh, no, Sir, the Inquisition will never let ’em marry, for fear of a Race of Giants, ’twill be worse than the Invasion of the Moors, or the French: but go — think of your Mistresses Names and Ages, here’s Company, and you would not be seen.
[Ex. Blunt and Feth.]
Enter La Nuche and Aurelia; Will. bows to her.
La Nuche. Sir, the Fame of your excellent Knowledge, and what you said to me this day; has given me a Curiosity to learn my Fate, at least that Fate you threatened.
Willmore. Madam, from the Oracle in the Box you may be resolved any Question — [Leads her to the Table, where stands a Box full of Balls; he stares on her.] — How lovely every absent minute makes her — Madam, be pleas’d to draw from out this Box what Ball you will. [She draws, he takes it, and gazes on her and on it.] Madam, upon this little Globe is character’d your Fate and Fortune; the History of your Life to come and past — first, Madam — you’re — a Whore.
La Nuche. A very plain beginning.
Willmore. My Art speaks simple Truth; the Moon is your Ascendent, that covetous Planet that borrows all her Light, and is in opposition still to Venus; and Interest more prevails with you than Love: yet here I find a cross — intruding Line — that does inform me — you have an Itch that way, but Interest still opposes: you are a slavish mercenary Prostitute.
La Nuche. Your Art is so, tho call’d divine, and all the Universe is sway’d by Interest: and would you wish this Beauty which adorns me, should be dispos’d about for Charity? Proceed and speak more Reason.
Willmore. But Venus here gets the Ascent again, and spite of — Interest, spite of all Aversion, will make you doat upon a Man — [Still looking on, and turning the Ball.] Wild, fickle, restless, faithless as the Winds! — a Man of Arms he is — and by this Line — a Captain — [Looking on her.] for Mars and Venus were in conjunction at his Birth — and Love and War’s his business.
La Nuche. There thou hast toucht my Heart, and spoke so true, that all thou say’st I shall receive as Oracle. Well, grant I love, that shall not make me yield.
Willmore. I must confess you’re ruin’d if you yield, and yet not all your Pride, not all your Vows, your Wit, your Resolution, or your Cunning, can hinder him from conquering absolutely: your Stars are fixt, and Fate irrevocable.
La Nuche. No — I will controul my Stars and Inclinations; and tho I love him more than Power or Interest, I will be Mistress of my fixt Resolves — One Question more — Does this same Captain, this wild happy Man love me?
Willmore. I do not — find — it here — only a possibility incourag’d by your Love — Oh that you cou’d resist — but you are destin’d his, and to be ruin’d. [Sighs, and looks on her, she grows in a Rage.]
La Nuche. Why do you tell me this? I am betray’d, and every caution blows my kindling Flame — hold — tell me no more — I might have guess’d my Fate, from my own Soul have guest it — but yet I will be brave, I will resist in spite of Inclinations, Stars, or Devils.
Willmore. Strive not, fair Creature, with the Net that holds you, you’ll but intangle more. Alas! you must submit and be undone.
La Nuche. Damn your false Art — had he but lov’d me too, it had excus’d the Malice of my Stars.
Willmore. Indeed, his Love is doubtful; for here — I trace him in a new pursuit — which if you can this Night prevent, perhaps you fix him.
La Nuche. Hah, pursuing a new Mistress! there thou hast met the little Resolution I had left, and dasht it into nothing — but I have vow’d Allegiance to my Interest — Curse on my Stars, they cou’d not give me Love where that might be advanc’d — I’ll hear no more. [Gives him Money. Enter Shift.]
Shift. Sir, there are several Strangers arriv’d, who talk of the old Oracle. How will you receive ’em?
Willmore. I’ve business now, and must be excus’d a while. — Thus far — I’m well; but I may tell my Tale so often o’er, till, like the Trick of Love, I spoil the pleasure by the repetition. — Now I’ll uncase, and see what Effects my Art has wrought on La Nuche, for she’s the promis’d Good, the Philosophick Treasure that terminates my Toil and Industry. Wait you here.
Enter Ariadne in Mens Clothes, with Lucia so drest, and other Strangers.
Ariadne. How now, Seignior Operator, where’s this renowned Man of Arts and Sciences, this Don of Wonders? — hah! may a Man have a Pistole’s Worth or two of his Tricks? will he shew, Seignor?
Shift. Whatever you dare see, Sir.
Ariadne. And I dare see the greatest Bug-bear he can conjure up, my Mistress’s Face in a Glass excepted.
Shift. That he can shew, Sir, but is now busied in weighty Affairs with a Grandee.
Ariadne. Pox, must we wait the Leisure of formal Grandees and Statesmen — ha, who’s this? — the lovely Conqueress of my Heart, La Nuche. [Goes to her, she is talking with Aurel.]
La Nuche. What foolish thing art thou?
Ariadne. Nay, do not frown, nor fly; for if you do, I must arrest you, fair one.
La Nuche. At whose Suit, pray?
Ariadne. At Love’s — you have stol’n a Heart of mine, and us’d it scurvily.
La Nuche. By what marks do you know the Toy, that I may be no longer troubled with it?
Ariadne. By a fresh Wound, which toucht by her that gave it bleeds anew, a Heart all over kind and amorous.
La Nuche. When was this pretty Robbery committed?
Ariadne. To day, most sacrilegiously, at Church, where you debauch’d my Zeal; and when I wou’d have pray’d, your Eyes had put the Change upon my Tongue, and made it utter Railings: Heav’n forgive ye!
La Nuche. You are the gayest thing without a Heart, I ever saw.
Ariadne. I scorn to flinch for a bare Wound or two; nor is he routed that has lost the day, he may again rally, renew the Fight, and vanquish.
La Nuche. You have a good opinion of that Beauty, which I find not so forcible, nor that fond Prattle uttered with such Confidence.
Ariadne. But I have Quality and Fortune too.
La Nuche. So had you need. I should have guest the first by your pertness; for your saucy thing of Quality acts the Man as impudently at fourteen, as another at thirty: nor is there any thing so hateful as to hear it talk of Love, Women and Drinking; nay, to see it marry too at that Age, and get itself a Play — fellow in its Son and Heir.
Ariadne. This Satyr on my Youth shall never put me out of countenance, or make me think you wish me one day older; and egad, I’ll warrant them that tries me, shall find me ne’er an hour too young.
La Nuche. You mistake my Humour, I hate the Person of a fair conceited Boy.
Enter Willmore drest, singing.
Willmore. Vole, vole dans cette Cage, Petite Oyseau dans cet bocage. — How now, Fool, where’s the Doctor?
Shift. A little busy, Sir.
Willmore. Call him, I am in haste, and come to cheapen the Price of Monster.
Shift. As how, Sir?
Willmore. In an honourable way, I will lawfully marry one of ’em, and have pitcht upon the Giant; I’ll bid as fair as any Man.
Shift. No doubt but you will speed, Sir: please you, Sir, to walk in.
Willmore. I’ll follow — Vole, vole dans cette Cage, &c.
Lucia. Why, ’tis the Captain, Madam — [Aside to Aria.]
La Nuche. Hah — marry — harkye, Sir — a word, pray.
[As he is going out she pulls him.]
Willmore. Your Servant, Madam, your Servant — Vole, vole, &c.
[Puts his Hat off carelesly, and walks by, going out.]
Lucia. And to be marry’d, mark that.
Ariadne. Then there’s one doubt over, I’m glad he is not married.
La Nuche. Come back — Death, I shall burst with Anger — this Coldness blows my Flame, which if once visible, makes him a Tyrant —
Willmore. Fool, what’s a Clock, fool? this noise hinders me from hearing it strike.
[Shakes his Pockets, and walks up and down.]
La Nuche. A blessed sound, if no Hue and Cry pursue it. — what — you are resolv’d then upon this notable Exploit?
Willmore. What Exploit, good Madam?
La Nuche. Why, marrying of a Monster, and an ugly Monster.
Willmore. Yes faith, Child, here stands the bold Knight, that singly, and unarm’d, designs to enter the List with Thogogandiga the Giant; a good Sword will defend a worse cause than an ugly Wife. I know no danger worse than fighting for my Living, and I have don’t this dozen years for Bread.
La Nuche. This is the common trick of all Rogues, when they have done an ill thing to face it out.
Willmore. An ill thing — your Pardon, Sweet-heart, compare it but to Banishment, a frozen Sentry with brown George and Spanish Pay; and if it be not better to be Master of a Monster, than Slave to a damn’d Commonwealth — I submit — and since my Fortune has thrown this good in my way —
La Nuche. You’ll not be so ungrateful to refuse it; besides then you may hope to sleep again, without dreaming of Famine, or the Sword, two Plagues a Soldier of Fortune is subject to.
Willmore. Besides Cashiering, a third Plague.
La Nuche. Still unconcern’d! — you call me mercenary, but I would starve e’er suffer my self to be possest by a thing of Horror.
Willmore. You lye, you would by any thing of Horror: yet these things of Horror have Beauties too, Beauties thou canst not boast of, Beauties that will not fade; Diamonds to supply the lustre of their Eyes, and Gold the brightness of their Hair, a well-got Million to atone for Shape, and Orient Pearls, more white, more plump and smooth, than that fair Body Men so languish for, and thou hast set such Price on.
Ariadne. I like not this so well, ’tis a trick to make her jealous.
Willmore. Their Hands too have their Beauties, whose very mark finds credit and respect, their Bills are current o’er the Universe; besides these, you shall see waiting at my Door, four Footmen, a Velvet Coach, with Six Flanders Beauties more: And are not these most comely Virtues in a Soldier’s Wife, in this most wicked peaceable Age?
Lucia. He’s poor too, there’s another comfort. [Aside.]
Ariadne. The most incouraging one I have met with yet.
Willmore. Pox on’t, I grow weary of this virtuous Poverty. There goes a gallant Fellow, says one, but gives him not an Onion; the Women too, faith, ’tis a handsom Gentleman, but the Devil a Kiss he gets gratis.
Ariadne. Oh, how I long to undeceive him of that Error.
La Nuche. He speaks not of me; sure he knows me not. [Aside.]
Willmore. No, Child, Money speaks sense in a Language all Nations understand, ’tis Beauty, Wit, Courage, Honour, and undisputable Reason — see the virtue of a Wager, that new philosophical way lately found out of deciding all hard Questions — Socrates, without ready Money to lay down, must yield.
Ariadne. Well, I must have this gallant Fellow. [Aside.]
La Nuche. Sure he has forgot this trival thing.
Willmore. –Even thou — who seest me dying unregarded, wou’d then be fond and kind, and flatter me. [Soft tone.] By Heaven, I’ll hate thee then; nay, I will marry to be rich to hate thee: the worst of that, is but to suffer nine Days Wonderment. Is not that better than an Age of Scorn from a proud faithless Beauty?
La Nuche. Oh, there’s Resentment left — why, yes faith, such a Wedding would give the Town diversion: we should have a lamentable Ditty made on it, it, entitled, The Captain’s Wedding, with the doleful Relation of his being over-laid by an o’er-grown Monster.
Willmore. I’ll warrant ye I escape that as sure as cuckolding; for I would fain see that hardy Wight that dares attempt my Lady Bright, either by Force or Flattery.
La Nuche. So, then you intend to bed her?
Willmore. Yes faith, and beget a Race of Heroes, the Mother’s Form with all the Father’s Qualities.
La Nuche. Faith, such a Brood may prove a pretty Livelihood for a poor decay’d Officer; you may chance to get a Patent to shew ’em in England, that Nation of Change and Novelty.
Willmore. A provision old Carlo cannot make for you against the abandon’d day.
La Nuche. He can supply the want of Issue a better way; and tho he be not so fine a fellow as your self, he’s a better Friend, he can keep a Mistress: give me a Man can feed and clothe me, as well as hug and all to bekiss me, and tho his Sword be not so good as yours, his Bond’s worth a thousand Captains. This will not do, I’ll try what Jealousy will do. [Aside.] Your Servant, Captain — your Hand, Sir. [Takes Ariadne by the Hand.]
Willmore. Hah, what new Coxcomb’s that — hold, Sir — [Takes her from him.]
Ariadne. What would you, Sir, ought with this Lady?
Willmore. Yes, that which thy Youth will only let thee guess at — this — Child, is Man’s Meat; there are other Toys for Children. [Offers to lead her off.]
La Nuche. Oh insolent! and whither would’st thou lead me?
Willmore. Only out of harm’s way, Child, here are pretty near Conveniences within: the Doctor will be civil —’tis part of his Calling — Your Servant, Sir — [Going off with her.]
Ariadne. I must huff now, tho I may chance to be beaten — come back — or I have something here that will oblige ye to’t. [Laying his hand on his Sword.]
Willmore. Yes faith, thou’rt a pretty Youth; but at this time I’ve more occasion for a thing in Petticoats — go home, and do not walk the Streets so much; that tempting Face of thine will debauch the grave men of business, and make the Magistrates lust after Wickedness.
Ariadne. You are a scurvy Fellow, Sir. [Going to draw.]
Willmore. Keep in your Sword, for fear it cut your Fingers, Child.
Ariadne. So ’twill your Throat, Sir — here’s Company coming that will part us, and I’ll venture to draw. [Draws, Will. draws.]
Beaumond. Hold, hold — hah, Willmore! thou Man of constant mischief, what’s the matter?
La Nuche. Beaumond! undone!
Ariadne. –Beaumond! —
Willmore. Why, here’s a young Spark will take my Lady Bright from me; the unmanner’d Hot-spur would not have patience till I had finish’d my small Affair with her. [Puts up his Sword.]
Ariadne. Death, he’ll know me — Sir, you see we are prevented. [Draws him aside.] — or — [Seems to talk to him, Beau. gazes on La Nuche, who has pull’d down her Veil.]
Beaumond. ’Tis she! Madam, this Veil’s too thin to hide the perjur’d Beauty underneath. Oh, have I been searching thee, with all the diligence of impatient Love, and am I thus rewarded, to find thee here incompass’d round with Strangers, fighting, who first should take my right away? — Gods! take your Reason back, take all your Love; for easy Man’s unworthy of the Blessings.
Willmore. Harkye, Harry — the — Woman — the almighty Whore — thou told’st me of to day.
Beaumond. Death, do’st thou mock my Grief — unhand me strait, for tho I cannot blame thee, I must hate thee.
Willmore. What the Devil ails he?
Ariadne. You will be sure to come.
Willmore. At night in the Piazza; I have an Assignation with a Woman, that once dispatch’d, I will not fail ye, Sir.
Lucia. And will you leave him with her?
Ariadne. Oh, yes, he’ll be ne’er the worse for my use when he has done with her.
[Ex. Luc. and Aria. Will. looks with scorn on La Nuche.]
Willmore. Now you may go o’ertake him, lie with him — and ruin him: the Fool was made for such a Destiny — if he escapes my Sword. [He offers to go.]
La Nuche. I must prevent his visit to this Woman — but dare not tell him so. [Aside.] — I would not have ye meet this angry Youth.
Willmore. Oh, you would preserve him for a farther use.
La Nuche. Stay — you must not fight — by Heaven, I cannot see — that Bosom — wounded. [Turns and weeps.]
Willmore. Hah! weep’st thou? curse me when I refuse a faith to that obliging Language of thy Eyes — Oh give me one proof more, and after that, thou conquerest all my Soul; Thy Eyes speak Love — come, let us in, my Dear, e’er the bright Fire allays that warms my Heart. [Goes to lead her out.]
La Nuche. Your Love grows rude, and saucily demands it. [Flings away.]
Willmore. Love knows no Ceremony, no respect when once approacht so near the happy minute.
La Nuche. What desperate easiness have you seen in me, or what mistaken merit in your self, should make you so ridiculously vain, to think I’d give my self to such a Wretch, one fal’n even to the last degree of Poverty, whilst all the World is prostrate at my Feet, whence I might chuse the Brave, the Great, the Rich? [He stands spitefully gazing at her.] — Still as he fires, I find my Pride augment, and when he cools I burn. [Aside.]
Willmore. Death, thou’rt a — vain, conceited, taudry Jilt, who wou’st draw me in as Rooks their Cullies do, to make me venture all my stock of Love, and then you turn me out despis’d and poor — [Offers to go.]
La Nuche. You think you’re gone now —
Willmore. Not all thy Arts nor Charms shall hold me longer.
La Nuche. I must submit — and can you part thus from me? — [Pulls him.]
Willmore. I can — nay, by Heaven, I will not turn, nor look at thee. No, when I do, or trust that faithless Tongue again — may I be —
La Nuche. Oh do not swear —
Willmore. Ever curst — [Breaks from her, she holds him.]
La Nuche. You shall not go — Plague of this needles Pride. [Aside.] — stay — and I’ll follow all the dictates of my Love.
Willmore. Oh never hope to flatter me to faith again. [His back to her, she holding him.]
La Nuche. I must, I will; what wou’d you have me do?
Willmore. [turning softly to her.] Never — deceive me more, it may be fatal to wind me up to an impatient height, then dash my eager Hopes. [Sighing.] Forgive my roughness — and be kind, La Nuche, I know thou wo’t —
La Nuche. Will you then be ever kind and true?
Willmore. Ask thy own Charms, and to confirm thee more, yield and disarm me quite.
La Nuche. Will you not marry then? for tho you never can be mine that way, I cannot think that you should be another’s.
Willmore. No more delays, by Heaven, ’twas but a trick.
La Nuche. And will you never see that Woman neither, whom you’re this Night to visit?
Willmore. Damn all the rest of thy weak Sex, when thou look’st thus, and art so soft and charming. [Offers to lead her out.]
La Nuche. Sancho — my Coach. [Turns in scorn.]
Willmore. Take heed, what mean ye?
La Nuche. Not to be pointed at by all the envying Women of the Town, who’l laugh and cry, Is this the high-priz’d Lady, now fall’n so low, to doat upon a Captain? a poor disbanded Captain? defend me from that Infamy.
Willmore. Now all the Plagues — but yet I will not curse thee, ’tis lost on thee, for thou art destin’d damn’d. [Going out.]
La Nuche. Whither so fast?
Willmore. Why — I am so indifferent grown, that I can tell thee now — to a Woman, young, fair and honest; she’ll be kind and thankful — farewel, Jilt — now should’st thou die for one sight more of me, thou should’st not ha’t; nay, should’st thou sacrifice all thou hast couzen’d other Coxcombs of, to buy one single visit, I am so proud, by Heaven, thou shouldst not have it — To grieve thee more, see here, insatiate Woman [Shews her a Purse or hands full] of Gold] the Charm that makes me lovely in thine Eyes: it had all been thine hadst thou not basely bargain’d with me, now ’tis the Prize of some well-meaning Whore, whose Modesty will trust my Generosity.
La Nuche. Now I cou’d rave, t’have lost an opportunity which industry nor chance can give again — when on the yielding point, a cursed fit of Pride comes cross my Soul, and stops the kind Career — I’ll follow him, yes I’ll follow him, even to the Arms of her to whom he’s gone.
Aurelia. Madam, tis dark, and we may meet with Insolence.
La Nuche. No matter: Sancho, let the Coach go home, and do you follow me —
Women may boast their Honour and their Pride,
But Love soon lays those feebler Powr’s aside.
Enter Willmore alone.
Willmore. A Pox upon this Woman that has jilted me, and I for being a fond believing Puppy to be in earnest with so great a Devil. Where be these Coxcombs too? this Blunt and Fetherfool? when a Man needs ’em not, they are plaguing him with their unseasonable Jests — could I but light on them, I would be very drunk to night — but first I’ll try my Fortune with this Woman — let me see — hereabouts is the Door. [Gropes about for the Door.]
Enter Beaumond, follow’d by La Nuche, and Sancho.
La Nuche. ’Tis he, I know it by his often and uneasy pauses —
Beaumond. And shall I home and sleep upon my injury, whilst this more happy Rover takes my right away? — no, damn me then for a cold senseless Coward. [Pauses and pulls out a Key.]
Willmore. This Damsel, by the part o’th’ Town she lives in, shou’d be of Quality, and therefore can have no dishonest design on me, it must be right down substantial Love, that’s certain.
Beaumond. Yet I’ll in and arm my self for the Encounter, for ’twill be rough between us, tho we’re Friends. [Groping about, finds the Door.]
Willmore. Oh, ’tis this I’m sure, because the Door is open.
Beaumond. Hah — who’s there? —
[Beau. advances to unlock the Door, runs against Will. draws.]
Willmore. That Voice is of Authority, some Husband, Lover, or a Brother, on my Life — this is a Nation of a word and a blow, therefore I’ll betake me to Toledo — [Draws.]
[Willmore in drawing hits his Sword against that of Beaumond, who turns and fights, La Nuche runs into the Garden frighted.]
Beaumond. Hah, are you there?
Sancho. I’ll draw in defence of the Captain —
[Sancho fights for Beau. and beats out Will.]
Willmore. Hah, two to one? [Turns and goes in.]
Beaumond. The Garden Door clapt to; sure he’s got in; nay, then I have him sure.
The Scene changes to a Garden, La Nuche in it; to her Beau. who takes hold of her sleeve.
La Nuche. Heavens, where am I?
Beaumond. Hah-a Woman! and by these Jewels — should be Ariadne. [feels.] ’Tis so! Death, are all Women false? [She struggles to get away, he holds her.] — Oh, tis in vain thou fly’st, thy Infamy will stay behind thee still.
La Nuche. Hah, ’tis Beaumond’s Voice! — Now for an Art to turn the trick upon him; I must not lose his Friendship. [Aside.]
Enter Willmore softly, peeping behind.
Willmore. What a Devil have we here, more Mischief yet; — hah — my Woman with a Man — I shall spoil all — I ever had an excellent knack of doing so.
Beaumond. Oh Modesty, where art thou? Is this the effect of all your put on Jealousy, that Mask to hide your own new falshood in? New! — by Heaven, I believe thou’rt old in cunning, that couldst contrive, so near thy Wedding-night, this, to deprive me of the Rites of Love.
La Nuche. Hah, what says he? [Aside.]
Willmore. How, a Maid, and young, and to be marry’d too! a rare Wench this to contrive Matters so conveniently: Oh, for some Mischief now to send him neatly off. [Aside.]
Beaumond. Now you are silent; but you could talk to day loudly of Virtue, and upbraid my Vice: oh how you hated a young keeping Husband, whom neither Beauty nor Honour in a Wife cou’d oblige to reason — oh, damn your Honour, ’tis that’s the sly pretence of all your domineering insolent Wives — Death — what thou see in me, should make thee think that I would be a tame contented Cuckold? [Going, she holds him.]
La Nuche. I must not lose this lavish loving Fool — [Aside.]
Willmore. So, I hope he will be civil and withdraw, and leave me in possession —
Beaumond. No, tho my Fortune should depend on thee; nay, all my hope of future happiness — by Heaven, I scorn to marry thee, unless thou couldst convince me thou wer’t honest — a Whore! — Death, how it cools my Blood —
Willmore. And fires mine extremely —
La Nuche. Nay, then I am provok’d tho I spoil all — [Aside.] And is a Whore a thing so much despis’d? Turn back, thou false forsworn — turn back, and blush at thy mistaken folly. [He stands amaz’d.]
Beaumond. La Nuche!
Enter Aria. peeping, advancing cautiously undrest, Luc. following.
Ariadne. Oh, he is here — Lucia, attend me in the Orange-grove —
[Ex. Lucia.] Hah, a Woman with him!
Willmore. Hum — what have we here? another Damsel? — she’s gay too, and seems young and handsom — sure one of these will fall to my share; no matter which, so I am sure of one.
La Nuche. Who’s silent now? are you struck dumb with Guilt? thou shame to noble Love; thou scandal to all brave Debauchery, thou Fop of Fortune; thou slavish Heir to Estate and Wife, born rich and damn’d to Matrimony.
Willmore. Egad, a noble Wench — I am divided yet.
La Nuche. Thou formal Ass disguis’d in generous Leudness, see — when the Vizor’s off, how sneakingly that empty form appears — Nay ’tis thy own — Make much on’t, marry with it, and be damn’d. [Offers to go.]
Willmore. I hope she’ll beat him for suspecting her. [He holds her, she turns.]
Ariadne. Hah — who the Devil can these be?
La Nuche. What silly honest Fool did you mistake me for? what senseless modest thing? Death, am I grown so despicable? have I deserv’d no better from thy Love than to be taken for a virtuous Changeling?
Willmore. Egad, ’twas an Affront. [Aside.]
La Nuche. I’m glad I’ve found thee out to be an errant Coxcomb, one that esteems a Woman for being chaste forsooth! ’Sheart, I shall have thee call me pious shortly, a most — religious Matron!
Willmore. Egad, she has reason — [aside.]
Beaumond. Forgive me — for I took ye — for another. [Sighing.]
La Nuche. Oh did you so? it seems you keep fine Company the while — Death, that I should e’er be seen with such a vile Dissembler, with one so vain, so dull and so impertinent, as can be entertain’d by honest Women!
Willmore. A Heavenly Soul, and to my Wish, were I but sure of her.
Beaumond. Oh you do wondrous well t’accuse me first! yes, I am a Coxcomb — a confounded one, to doat upon so false a Prostitute; nay to love seriously, and tell it too: yet such an amorous Coxcomb I was born, to hate the Enjoyment of the loveliest Woman, without I have the Heart: the fond soft Prattle, and the lolling Dalliance, the Frowns, the little Quarrels, and the kind Degrees of making Peace again, are Joys which I prefer to all the sensual, whilst I endeavour to forget the Whore, and pay my Vows to Wit, to Youth and Beauty.
Ariadne. Now hang me, if it be not Beaumond.
Beaumond. Would any Devil less than common Woman have serv’d me as thou didst? say, was not this my Night? my paid for Night? my own by right of Bargain, and by Love? and hast not thou deceiv’d me for a Stranger?
Willmore. So — make me thankful, then she will be kind. [Hugs himself.]
Beaumond. –Was this done like a Whore of Honour think ye? and would not such an Injury make me forswear all Joys of Womankind, and marry in mere spite?
La Nuche. Why where had been the Crime had I been kind?
Beaumond. Thou dost confess it then.
La Nuche. Why not?
Beaumond. Those Bills of Love the oftner paid and drawn, make Women better Merchants than Lovers.
La Nuche. And ’tis the better Trade.
Willmore. Oh Pox, there she dasht all again. I find they calm upon’t, and will agree, therefore I’ll bear up to this small Frigate and lay her aboard. [Goes to Ariadne.]
La Nuche. However I’m glad the Vizor’s off; you might have fool’d me on, and sworn I was the only Conqueror of your Heart, had not Good-nature made me follow you, to undeceive your false Suspicions of me: How have you sworn never to marry? how rail’d at Wives, and satir’d Fools oblig’d to Wedlock? And now at last, to thy eternal Shame, thou hast betray’d thy self to be a most pernicious honourable Lover, a perjur’d — honest — nay, a very Husband. [Turns away, he holds her.]
Ariadne. Hah, sure ’tis the Captain.
Willmore. Prithee, Child, let’s leave ’em to themselves, they’l agree matters I’ll warrant them when they are alone; and let us try how Love and Good-nature will provide for us.
Ariadne. Sure he cannot know me? — Us! — pray who are you, and who am I?
Willmore. Why look ye, Child, I am a very honest civil Fellow, for my part, and thou’rt a Woman for thine; and I desire to know no more at present.
Ariadne. ’Tis he, and knows not me to be the same he appointed to day — Sir, pursue that Path on your right Hand, that Grove of Orange — Trees, and I’ll follow you immediately.
Willmore. Kind and civil — prithee make haste, dear Child.
Beaumond. And did you come to call me back again? [Lovingly.]
La Nuche. No matter, you are to be marry’d, Sir —
Beaumond. No more, ’tis true, to please my Uncle, I have talk’d of some such thing; but I’ll pursue it no farther, so thou wilt yet be mine, and mine intirely — I hate this Ariadne — for a Wife — by Heaven I do.
Ariadne. A very plain Confession. [Claps him on the back.]
La Nuche. I’m glad of this, now I shall be rid of him. [Aside.] — How is’t, Sir? I see you struggle hard ’twixt Love and Honour, and I’ll resign my Place — [Offers to go, Ariadne pulls her back.]
Ariadne. Hold, if she take him not away, I shall disappoint my Man — faith, I’ll not be out-done in Generosity. [Gives him to La Nuche.] Here — Love deserves him best — and I resign him — Pox on’t I’m honest, tho that’s no fault of mine; ’twas Fortune who has made a worse Exchange, and you and I should suit most damnably together. [To Beau.]
Beaumond. I am sure there’s something in the Wind, she being in the Garden, and the Door left open. [Aside.] — Yes, I believe you are willing enough to part with me, when you expect another you like better.
Ariadne. I’m glad I was before-hand with you then.
Beaumond. Very good, and the Door was left open to give admittance to a Lover.
Ariadne. ’Tis visible it was to let one in to you, false as you are.
La Nuche. Faith, Madam, you mistake my Constitution, my Beauty and my Business is only to be belov’d not to love; I leave that Slavery for you Women of Quality, who must invite, or die without the Blessing; for likely the Fool you make choice of wants Wit or Confidence to ask first; you are fain to whistle before the Dogs will fetch and carry, and then too they approach by stealth: and having done the Drudgery, the submissive Curs are turn’d out for fear of dirtying your Apartment, or that the Mungrils should scandalize ye; whilst all my Lovers of the noble kind throng to adore and fill my Presence daily, gay as if each were triumphing for Victory.
Ariadne. Ay this is something; what a poor sneaking thing an honest Woman is!
La Nuche. And if we chance to love still, there’s a difference, your Hours of Love are like the Deeds of Darkness, and mine like cheerful Birds in open Day.
Ariadne. You may, you have no Honour to lose.
La Nuche. Or if I had, why should I double the Sin by Hypocrisy?
[Lucia squeaks within, crying, help, help.]
Ariadne. Heavens, that’s Lucia’s Voice.
Beaumond. Hah, more caterwauling?
Enter Lucia in haste.
Lucia. Oh, Madam, we’re undone; and, Sir, for Heaven’s sake do you retire.
Beaumond. What’s the matter?
Lucia. Oh you have brought the most villainous mad Friend with you — he found me sitting on a Bank — and did so ruffle me.
Ariadne. Death, she takes Beaumond for the Stranger, and will ruin me.
Lucia. Nay, made love so loud, that my Lord your Father-in-law, who was in his Cabinet, heard us from the Orange–Grove, and has sent to search the Garden — and should he find a Stranger with you — do but you retire, Sir, and all’s well yet. [To Beaumond.]
Ariadne. The Devil’s in her Tongue. [Aside.]
Lucia. For if Mr. Beaumond be in the House, we shall have the Devil to do with his Jealousy.
Ariadne. So, there ’tis out.
Beaumond. She takes me for another — I am jilted every where — what Friend? — I brought none with me. — Madam, do you retire — [To La Nuche.]
La Nuche. Glad of my Freedom too — [Goes out.]
[A clashing of Swords within. Enter Willm. fighting, prest back by three or four Men, and Abevile, Aria. and Luc. run out.]
Beaumond. Hah, set on by odds; hold, tho thou be’st my Rival, I will free thee, on condition thou wilt meet me to morrow morning in the Piazza by day break. [Puts himself between their Swords, and speaks to Will. aside.]
Willmore. By Heaven I’ll do it.
Beaumond. Retire in safety then, you have your pass.
Abevile. Fall on, fall on, the number is increas’d. [Fall on Beau.]
Beaumond. Rascals, do you not know me?
[Falls in with ’em and heats them back, and goes out with them.]
Willmore. Nay, and you be so well acquainted, I’ll leave you — unfortunate still I am; my own well meaning, but ill Management, is my eternal Foe: Plague on ’em, they have wounded me — yet not one drop of Blood’s departed from me that warm’d my Heart for Woman, and I’m not willing to quit this Fairy-ground till some kind Devil have been civil to me.
Enter Ariadne and Lucia.
Ariadne. I say, ’tis he: thou’st made so many dull Mistakes to Night, thou darest not trust thy Senses when they’re true — How do you, Sir?
Willmore. That Voice has Comfort in’t, for ’tis a Woman’s: hah, more Interruption?
Ariadne. A little this way, Sir.
[Ex. Aria. and Will. into the Garden.]
Enter Beaumond, Abevile in a submissive Posture.
Beaumond. No more excuses — By all these Circumstances, I know this Ariadne is a Gipsy. What difference then between a money-taking Mistress and her that gives her Love? only perhaps this sins the closer by’t, and talks of Honour more: What Fool wou’d be a Slave to empty Name, or value Woman for dissembling well? I’ll to La Nuche — the honester o’th’ two — Abevile — get me my Musick ready, and attend me at La Nuche’s.
Lucia. He’s gone, and to his Mistress too.
Enter Ariadne pursu’d by Willmore.
Willmore. My little Daphne, ’tis in vain to fly, unless like her, you cou’d be chang’d into a Tree: Apollo’s self pursu’d not with more eager Fire than I. [Holds her.]
Ariadne. Will you not grant a Parly e’er I yield?
Willmore. I’m better at a Storm.
Ariadne. Besides, you’re wounded too.
Willmore. Oh leave those Wounds of Honour to my Surgeon, thy Business is to cure those of Love. Your true bred Soldier ever fights with the more heat for a Wound or two.
Ariadne. Hardly in Venus’ Wars.
Willmore. Her self ne’er thought so when she snatcht her Joys between the rough Encounters of the God of War. Come, let’s pursue the Business we came for: See the kind Night invites, and all the ruffling Winds are husht and still, only the Zephirs spread their tender Wings, courting in gentle Murmurs the gay Boughs; ’twas in a Night like this, Diana taught the Mysteries of Love to the fair Boy Endymion. I am plaguy full of History and Simile tonight.
Ariadne. You see how well he far’d for being modest.
Willmore. He might be modest, but ’twas not over-civil to put her Goddessship to asking first; thou seest I’m better bred — Come let’s haste to silent Grots that attend us, dark Groves where none can see, and murmuring Fountains.
Ariadne. Stay, let me consider first, you are a Stranger, inconstant too as Island Winds, and every day are fighting for your Mistresses, of which you’ve had at least four since I saw you first, which is not a whole day.
Willmore. I grant ye, before I was a Lover I ran at random, but I’ll take up now, be a patient Man, and keep to one Woman a Month.
Ariadne. A Month!
Willmore. And a fair Reason, Child; time was, I wou’d have worn one Shirt, or one pair of Shoos so long as have let the Sun set twice upon the same Sin: but see the Power of Love; thou hast bewitched me, that’s certain.
Ariadne. Have a care of giving me the ascendent over ye, for fear I make ye marry me.
Willmore. Hold, I bar that cast, Child; no, I’m none of those Spirits that can be conjur’d into a Wedding-ring, and dance in the dull matrimonial Circle all my Days.
Ariadne. But what think you of a hundred thousand Crowns, and a Beauty of sixteen?
Willmore. As of most admirable Blessings: but harkye, Child, I am plaguily afraid thou’rt, some scurvy honest thing of Quality by these odd Questions of thine, and hast some wicked Design upon my Body.
Ariadne. What, to have and to hold I’ll warrant. — No Faith, Sir, Maids of my Quality expect better Jointures than a Buff-coat, Scarf and Feather: such Portions as mine are better Ornaments in a Family than a Captain and his Commission.
Willmore. Why well said, now thou hast explain’d thy self like a Woman of Honour — Come, come, let’s away.
Ariadne. Explain my self! How mean ye?
Willmore. –Thou say’st I am not fit to marry thee — and I believe this Assignation was not made to tell me so, nor yet to hear me whistle to the Birds.
Ariadne. Faith no. I saw you, lik’d ye, and had a mind to ye.
Willmore. Ay, Child —
Ariadne. In short, I took ye for a Man of Honour.
Willmore. Nay, if I tell the Devil take me.
Ariadne. I am a Virgin in Distress.
Willmore. Poor Heart.
Ariadne. To be marry’d within a Day or two to one I like not.
Willmore. Hum — and therefore wouldst dispose of a small Virgin Treasure (too good for silly Husbands) in a Friend’s Hands: faith, Child — I was ever a good religious charitable Christian, and shall acquit my self as honestly and piously in this Affair as becomes a Gentleman.
Enter Abevile with Musick.
Abevile. Come away, are ye all arm’d for the Business?
Ariadne. Hah, arm’d! we are surpriz’d again.
Willmore. Fear not. [Draws.]
Ariadne. Oh God, Sir, haste away, you are already wounded: but I conjure you, as a Man of Honour, be here at the Garden Gate to night again, and bring a Friend, in case of Danger, with you; and if possible I’ll put my self into your Hands, for this Night’s Work has ruin’d me —
[Speaking quick, and pushing him forwards runs off.]
Abevile. My Master sure not gone yet — [Peeping advancing.]
Willmore. Rascals, tho you are odds, you’ll find hot Work in vanquishing. [Falls on ’em.]
Abevile. Hold, Sir, I am your Page. Do you not know me? and these the Musick you commanded — shall I carry em where you order’d, Sir?
Willmore. They take me for some other, this was lucky. [Aside.] O, aye —’tis well — I’ll follow — but whither? — Plague of my dull Mistakes, the Woman’s gone — yet stay — [Calls ’em.] For now I think on’t, this Mistake may help me to another — stay — I must dispose of this mad Fire about me, which all these Disappointments cannot lay — Oh for some young kind Sinner in the nick — How I cou’d souse upon her like a Bird of Prey, and worry her with Kindness. [Aside.–] Go on, I follow.
Scene changes to La Nuche’s House.
Enter Petronella and Aurelia with Light.
Aurelia. Well, the Stranger is in Bed, and most impatiently expects our Patrona, who is not yet returned.
Petronella. Curse of this Love! I know she’s in pursuit of this Rover, this English Piece of Impudence; Pox on ’em, I know nothing good in the whole Race of ’em, but giving all to their Shirts when they’re drunk. What shall we do, Aurelia? This Stranger must not be put off, nor Carlo neither, who has fin’d again as if for a new Maidenhead.
Aurelia. You are so covetous, you might have put ’em off, but now ’tis too late.
Petronella. Put off! Are these Fools to be put off think ye? a fine Fop Englishman, and an old doating Grandee? — No, I cou’d put the old trick on ’em still, had she been here but to have entertain’d ’em: but hark, one knocks, ’tis Carlo on my Life —
Enter Carlo, gives Petronella Gold.
Carlo. Let this plead for me.
Petronella. Sweet Don, you are the most eloquent Person.
Carlo. I would regale to night — I know it is not mine, but I’ve sent five hundred Crowns to purchase it, because I saw another bargaining for’t; and Persons of my Quality must not be refus’d: you apprehend me.
Petronella. Most rightly — that was the Reason then she came so out of Humour home — and is gone to Bed in such a sullen Fit.
Carlo. To Bed, and all alone! I would surprize her there. Oh how it pleases me to think of stealing into her Arms like a fine Dream, Wench, hah.
Aurelia. ’Twill be a pleasant one, no doubt.
Petronella. He lays the way out how he’ll be cozen’d. [Aside.] — The Seigniora perhaps may be angry, Sir, but I’ll venture that to accommodate you; and that you may surprize her the more readily, be pleased to stay in my Chamber, till you think she may be asleep.
Carlo. Thou art a perfect Mistress of thy Trade.
Petronella. So, now will I to the Seigniora’s Bed my self, drest and perfum’d, and finish two good Works at once; earn five hundred Crowns, and keep up the Honour of the House. [Aside.] — Softly, sweet Don. [Lights him out.]
Aurelia. And I will do two more good things, and disappoint your Expectations; jilt the young English Fool, and have old Carlo well bang’d, if t’other have any Courage.
Enter La Nuche in Rage, and Sancho.
La Nuche. Aurelia, help, help me to be reveng’d upon this wretched unconsidering Heart.
Aurelia. Heavens, have you made the Rover happy, Madam?
La Nuche. Oh wou’d I had! or that or any Sin wou’d change this Rage into some easier Passion: Sickness and Poverty, Disgrace and Pity, all met iii one, were kinder than this Love, this raging Fire of a proud amorous Heart.
Petronella. Heavens, what’s the matter?
Aurelia. Here’s Petronella, dissemble but your Rage a little.
La Nuche. Damn all dissembling now, it is too late — The Tyrant Love reigns absolute within, And I am lost, Aurelia.
Petronella. How, Love! forbid it Heaven! will Love maintain ye?
La Nuche. Curse on your Maxims, will they ease my Heart? Can your wise Counsel fetch me back my Rover?
Petronella. Hah, your Rover, a Pox upon him.
La Nuche. He’s gone — gone to the Arms of some gay generous Maid, who nobly follows Love’s diviner Dictates, whilst I ’gainst Nature studying thy dull Precepts, and to be base and infamously rich, have barter’d all the Joys of human Life — Oh give me Love: I will be poor and love.
Petronella. She’s lost — but hear me —
La Nuche. I won’t, from Childhood thou hast trained me up in Cunning, read Lectures to me of the use of Man, but kept me from the knowledge of the Right; taught me to jilt, to flatter and deceive: and hard it was to learn th’ ungrateful Lessons. But oh how soon plain Nature taught me Love, and shew’d me all the cheat of thy false Tenents — No — give me Love with any other Curse.
Petronella. But who will give you that when you are poor? when you are wretchedly despis’d and poor?
La Nuche. Hah!
Petronella. Do you not daily see fine Clothes, rich Furniture, Jewels and Plate are more inviting than Beauty unadorn’d? be old, diseas’d, deform’d, be any thing, so you be rich and splendidly attended, you’ll find your self lov’d and ador’d by all — But I’m an old fool still — Well, Petronella, had’st thou been half as industrious in thy Youth as in thy Age — thou hadst not come to this. [Weeps.]
La Nuche. She’s in the right.
Petronella. What can this mad poor Captain do for you, love you whilst you can buy him Breeches, and then leave you? A Woman has a sweet time on’t with any Soldier–Lover of ’em all, with their Iron Minds, and Buff Hearts; feather’d Inamorato’s have nothing that belongs to Love but his Wings, the Devil clip ’em for Petronella.
La Nuche. True — he can ne’er be constant. [Pausing.]
Petronella. Heaven forbid he should! No, if you are so unhappy as that you must have him, give him a Night or two and pay him for’t, and send him to feed again: But for your Heart, ’Sdeath, I would as soon part with my Beauty, or Youth, and as necessary a Tool ’tis for your Trade — A Curtezan and love! but all my Counsel’s thrown away upon ye. [Weeps.]
La Nuche. No more, I will be rul’d — I will be wise, be rich; and since I must yield somewhere, and some time, Beaumond shall be the Man, and this the Night; he’s handsom, young, and lavishly profuse: This Night he comes, and I’ll submit to Interest. Let the gilded Apartment be made ready, and strew it o’er with Flowers, adorn my Bed of State; let all be fine; perfume my Chamber like the Phoenix’s Nest, I’ll be luxurious in my Pride to Night, and make the amorous prodigal Youth my Slave.
Petronella. Nobly resolv’d! and for these other two who wait your coming, let me alone to manage. [Goes out.]
Scene changes to a Chamber, discovers Fetherfool in Bed.
Fetherfool. This Gentlewoman is plaguy long in coming:— some Nicety now, some perfum’d Smock, or Point Night–Clothes to make her more lovely in my Eyes: Well, these Women are right City Cooks, they stay so long to garnish the Dish, till the Meat be cold — but hark, the Door opens.
Enter Carlo softly, half undrest.
Carlo. This Wench stays long, and Love’s impatient; this is the Chamber of La Nuche, I take it: If she be awake, I’ll let her know who I am; if not, I’ll steal a Joy before she thinks of it.
Fetherfool. Sure ’tis she, pretty modest Rogue, she comes i’th’ dark to hide her Blushes — hum, I’m plaguy eloquent o’th’ sudden — who’s there? [Whispering.]
Carlo. ’Tis I, my Love.
Fetherfool. Hah, sweet Soul, make haste. — There ’twas again.
Carlo. So kind, sure she takes me for some other, or has some inkling of my Design — [To himself.] Where are you, Sweetest?
Fetherfool. Here, my Love, give me your Hand —
[Puts out his Hand; Carlo kneels and kisses it.]
Carlo. Here let me worship the fair Shrine before I dare approach so fair a Saint. [Kisses the Hand.]
Fetherfool. Hah, what a Pox have we here? — wou’d I were well out o’ t’other side — perhaps ’tis her Husband, and then I’m a dead Man, if I’m discover’d.
[Removes to t’other side, Carlo holds his Hand.]
Carlo. Nay, do not fly — I know you took me for some happier Person.
[Feth. struggles, Car. rises and takes him in his Arms, and kisses him.]
Fetherfool. What, will you ravish me? [In a shrill Voice.]
Carlo. Hah, that Voice is not La Nuche’s — Lights there, Lights.
Fetherfool. Nay, I can hold a bearded Venus, Sir, as well as any Man. [Holds Carlo.]
Carlo. What art thou, Rogue, Villain, Slave?
[They fall to Cuffs, and fight till they are bloody, fall from the Bed and fight on the Floor.]
Enter Petronella, Sancho, and Aurelia.
Petronella. Heaven, what noise is this? — we are undone, part ’em, Sancho.
[They part ’em.]
Fetherfool. Give me my Sword; nay, give me but a Knife, that I may cut yon Fellow’s Throat —
Carlo. Sirrah, I’m a Grandee, and a Spaniard, and will be reveng’d.
Fetherfool. And I’m an English-man, and a Justice, and will have Law, Sir.
Petronella. Say ’tis her Husband, or any thing to get him hence. [Aside to Sancho, who whispers him.] These English, Sir, are Devils, and on my Life ’tis unknown to the Seigniora that he’s i’th’ House. [To Carlo aside.] Car. Come, I’m abus’d but I must put it up for fear of my Honour; a Statesman’s Reputation is a tender thing: Convey me out the back way. I’ll be reveng’d. [Goes out.]
Fetherfool. [Aurelia whispers to him aside.] How, her Husband! Prithee convey me out; my Clothes, my Clothes, quickly —
Aurelia. Out, Sir! he has lock’d the Door, and designs to have ye murder’d.
Fetherfool. Oh, gentle Soul — take pity on me — where, oh what shall I do? — my Clothes, my Sword and Money.
Aurelia. Quickly, Sancho, tie a Sheet to the Window, and let him slide down by that — Be speedy, and we’ll throw your Clothes out after ye. Here, follow me to the Window.
Fetherfool. Oh, any whither, any whither. That I could not be warn’d from whoring in a strange Country, by my Friend Ned Blunt’s Example — if I can but keep it secret now, I care not.
Scene, the Street, a Sheet ty’d to the Balcony, and Feth. sitting cross to slide down.
Fetherfool. So — now your Neck, or your Throat, chuse ye either, wise Mr. Nicholas Fetherfool — But stay, I hear Company. Now dare not I budg an Inch.
Enter Beaumond alone.
Beaumond. Where can this Rascal, my Page, be all this while? I waited in the Piazza so long, that I believed he had mistook my Order, and gone directly to La Nuche’s House — but here’s no sign of him —
Fetherfool. Hah — I hear no noise, I’ll venture down. [Goes halfway down and stops.]
Enter Abevile, Harlequin, Musick and Willmore.
Willmore. Whither will this Boy conduct me? — but since to a Woman, no matter whither ’tis.
Fetherfool. Hah, more Company; now dare not I stir up nor down, they may be Bravoes to cut my Throat.
Beaumond. Oh sure these are they —
Willmore. Come, my Heart, lose no time, but tune your Pipes.
[Harlequin plays on his Guittar, and sings.]
Beaumond. How, sure this is some Rival. [Goes near and listens.]
Willmore. Harkye, Child, hast thou ne’er an amorous Ditty, short and sweet, hah —
Abevile. Shall I not sing that you gave me, Sir?
Willmore. I shall spoil all with hard Questions — Ay, Child — that.
[Abev. sings, Beau. listens, and seems angry the while.]
A Pox upon this needless Scorn!
Silvia, for shame the Cheat give o’er;
The end to which the fair are born,
Is not to keep their Charms in store,
But lavishly dispose in haste,
Of Joys which none but Youth improve;
Joys which decay when Beauty’s past:
And who when Beauty’s past will love?
When Age those Glories shall deface,
Revenging all your cold Disdain,
And Silvia shall neglected pass,
By every once admiring Swain;
And we can only Pity pay,
When you in vain too late shall burn:
If Love increase, and Youth delay,
Ah, Silvia, who will make return?
Then haste, my Silvia, to the Grove,
Where all the Sweets of May conspire,
To teach us every Art of Love,
And raise our Charms of Pleasure higher;
Where, whilst imbracing we should lie
Loosely in Shades, on Banks of Flowers:
The duller World whilst we defy,
Years will be Minutes, Ages Hours.
Beaumond. ’Sdeath, that’s my Page’s Voice: Who the Devil is’t that ploughs with my Heifer!
Aurelia. Don Henrick, Don Henrick —
[The Door opens, Beau. goes up to’t; Will. puts him by, and offers to go in, he pulls him back.]
Willmore. How now, what intruding Slave art thou?
Beaumond. What Thief art thou that basely, and by dark, rob’st me of all my Rights?
[Strikes him, they fight, and Blows light on Fetherfool who hangs down.]
[Sancho throws Fetherfool’s Clothes out, Harlequin takes ’em up in confusion; they fight out Beaumond, all go off, but Will. gets into the House: Harlequin and Feth. remain. Feth. gets down, runs against Harlequin in the dark, both seem frighted.]
Harlequin. Que questo.
Fetherfool. Ay, un pouer dead Home, murder’d, kill’d.
Harlequin. [In Italian.] You are the first dead Man I ever saw walk.
Fetherfool. Hah, Seignior Harlequin!
Harlequin. Seignior Nicholas!
Fetherfool. A Pox Nicholas ye, I have been mall’d and beaten within doors, and hang’d and bastinado’d without doors, lost my Clothes, my Money, and all my Moveables; but this is nothing to the Secret taking Air. Ah, dear Seignior, convey me to the Mountebanks, there I may have Recruit and Cure under one.
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,
POETS are Kings of Wit, and you appear
A Parliament, by Play–Bill, summon’d here;
When e’er in want, to you for aid they fly,
And a new Play’s the Speech that begs supply:
The scanted Tribute is so slowly paid,
Our Poets must find out another Trade;
They’ve tried all ways th’ insatiate Clan to please,
Have parted with their old Prerogatives,
Their Birth-right Satiring, and their just pretence
Of judging even their own Wit and Sense;
And write against their Consciences, to show
How dull they can he to comply with you.
They’ve flatter’d all the Mutineers i’th’ Nation,
Grosser than e’er was done in Dedication;
Pleas’d your sick Palates with Fantastick Wit,
Such as was ne’er a treat before to th’ Pit;
Giants, fat Cardinals, Pope Joans and Fryers,
To entertain Right Worshipfuls and Squires:
Who laugh and cry Ads Nigs, ’tis woundy good,
When the fuger’s all the Jest that’s understood.
And yet you’ll come but once, unless by stealth,
Except the Author be for Commonwealth;
Then half Crown more you nobly throw away,
And tho my Lady seldom see a Play,
She, with her eldest Daughter, shall be boxt that day.
Then Prologue comes, Ads-lightikins, crys Sir John,
You shall hear notable Conceits anon:
How neatly, Sir, he’ll bob the Court and French King,
And tickle away — you know who — for Wenching.
All this won’t do, they e’en may spare their Speeches,
For all their greasing will not buy ’em Britches;
To get a penny new found ways must take,
As forming Popes, and Squibs and Crackers make.
In Coffee–Houses some their talent vent,
Rail for the Cause against the Government,
And make a pretty thriving living on’t,
For who would let a useful Member want.
Things being brought to this distressed Estate,
’Twere fit you took the matter in Debate.
There was a time, when Loyally by you,
True Wit and Sense received Allegiance due,
Our King of Poets had his Tribute pay’d,
His Peers secur’d beneath his Laurel’s shade.
What Crimes have they committed, they must be
Driven to the last and worst Extremity?
Oh, let it not be said of English Men,
Who have to Wit so just and noble been,
They should their Loyal Principles recant,
And let the glorious Monarch of it want.
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The University of Adelaide Library
University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005