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Title: Plays, vol. 1
Author: Vanbrugh, John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Plays, vol. 1" ***

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[Illustration]



                                PLAYS,


                              WRITTEN BY

                         Sir =John Vanbrugh=.

                            IN TWO VOLUMES.

                         =Volume= the =First=.

                              CONTAINING,

  The =Relapse=; Or, =Virtue= in =Danger=.

  The =Provok'd Wife=, with a new Scene.

  =Æsop=, in two =Parts=.

  The =False Friend=.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                LONDON:

               Printed for =J. Rivington=, =T. Longman=,
               =T. Lowndes=, =S. Caslon=, =C. Corbett=,
                 =S. Bladon=, =W. Nicoll=, =T. Evans=,
                           and =M. Waller=.

                              MDCCLXXVI.



AN

ACCOUNT

OF THE

LIFE and WRITINGS

OF THE

AUTHOR.


Sir _John Vanbrugh_, an eminent dramatic Writer, Son of Mr. _Giles
Vanbrugh_, of _London_, Merchant, was born in the Parish of _St.
Stephen_'s, _Wallbrook_, in 1666. The Family of _Vanbrugh_ were for
many Years Merchants of great Credit and Reputation, at _Antwerp_, and
came into _England_ in the reign of Queen _Elizabeth_, on account of
the Persecution for Religion.

Sir _John_ received a very liberal Education, and at the Age of
nineteen, was sent by his Father to _France_, where he continued some
Years: He became very eminent for his Poetry, to which he discovered an
early propension. And, pity it is, that this agreeable Writer had not
discovered his Wit, without any Mixture of that Licentiousness, which,
tho' it pleased, tended to corrupt the Audience.

_The Relapse_ was the first Play our Author produced, but not the first
he had written; for he had at that Time by him, all the Scenes of _The
Provok'd Wife_; but being then doubtful whether he should ever trust it
to the Stage, he flung it by, and thought no more of it: Why the last
written Play was first acted, and for what Reason they were given to
different Stages, what follows will explain.

Upon our Author's first Step into public Life, when he was but an
Ensign in the Army, and had a Heart greatly above his Income, he
happened somewhere at his Winter Quarters, upon a slender Acquaintance
with Sir _Thomas Skipwith_, to receive a particular Obligation from
him; and many Years afterwards, when Sir _Thomas_'s Interest in a
Theatrical Patent (which he had a large Share in, though he little
concerned himself in the Conduct of it) was rising but very slowly,
Sir _John_ thought that to give it a lift by a new Comedy, might be
the handsomest Return he could make to those his former Favours;
accordingly he soon after finished _The Relapse, or, Virtue in Danger_,
which was acted at the Theatre in _Drury-Lane_, in 1696, with universal
Applause.

Upon the Success of _The Relapse_, the late Lord _Hallifax_, who was a
favourer of _Betterton_'s Company, having formerly heard some Scenes
of _The Provok'd Wife_ read to him, engaged Sir _John Vanbrugh_ to
revise it, and give it to that Company. This was a Request not to be
refused to so eminent a Patron of the Muses as Lord _Hallifax_, who was
equally a Friend and Admirer of Sir _John_ himself; nor was Sir _Thomas
Skipwith_ in the least disobliged by so reasonable a Compliance. _The
Provok'd Wife_ was accordingly acted at the Theatre in _Lincoln's
Inn-Fields_ in 1697, with great Success.

Tho' this Play met with so favourable a Reception, yet it was not
without its Enemies: People of the graver Sort blamed the looseness
of the Scenes, and the unguarded freedom of the Dialect; and indeed
Sir _John_ himself appears to have been sensible of the immorality
of his Scenes; for in the Year 1725, when this Play was revived, he
thought proper to substitute a new Scene in the fourth Act, in place of
another, in which, in the wantonness of his Wit, he had made a Rake
talk like a Rake, in the Habit of a Clergyman; to avoid which Offence,
he put the same Debauchee into the Undress of a Woman of Quality; by
which means the Follies he exposed in the Petticoat, appeared to the
Audience innocent and entertaining; which new Scene is now for the
first Time printed at the End of the Play.

Soon after the Success of _The Provok'd Wife_, Sir _John_ produced the
Comedy of _Esop_, in two Parts, which was acted at the Theatre-Royal in
_Drury Lane_, in 1697. This was originally written in _French_ by Mr.
_Boursaut_, about six Years before; but the Scenes of Sir _Polydorus
Hogstye_, the Players, and the Beau, were added by our Author. This
Play contains a great deal of general Satire, and useful Morality;
notwithstanding which, it met with but a cold Reception from the
Audience, and its run ended in about nine Days. This seemed the more
surprizing, as the _French_ Comedy was played to crowded Audiences
for a Month together. The little Success this Piece met with on the
_English_ Stage, cannot be better accounted for than in the Words
of Mr. _Cibber_, who, speaking of this Play, makes the following
Observation: "The Character that delivers Precepts of Wisdom, is in
some sort severe upon the Auditor, for shewing him one wiser than
himself; but when Folly is his Object, he applauds himself for being
wiser than the Coxcomb he laughs at; and who is not more pleased with
an Occasion to commend, than to accuse himself?"

The next Play our Author wrote, was _The False Friend_, a Comedy, which
was acted at the Theatre-Royal in _Drury Lane_, in 1702.

In 1703, Sir _John_ formed a Project of building a stately Theatre
in the _Haymarket_, for which he had interest enough to get a
Subscription of thirty Persons of Quality, at one hundred Pounds each,
in consideration whereof, every Subscriber was for his own Life to be
admitted to whatever Entertainments should be publicly performed there,
without any farther Payment for Entrance.

In 1706, when this House was finished, Mr. _Betterton_ and his
Co-partners, who then acted at the Theatre in _Lincoln's Inn-Fields_,
dissolved their Agreement, and put themselves under the direction
of Sir _John Vanbrugh_ and Mr. _Congreve_, imagining, perhaps, that
the Conduct of two such eminent Authors might give a more prosperous
turn to their Affairs; that the Plays it would now be their interest
to write for them, would soon recover the Town to a true Taste, and
be an Advantage that no other Company could hope for; and that till
such Plays could be written, the Grandeur of their House, as it was a
new spectacle, might allure the Crowd to support them: But, if these
were their Views, they soon found their Dependance upon them was too
sanguine; for though Sir _John_ was a very expeditious Writer, yet Mr.
_Congreve_ was too judicious to let any Thing come unfinished from
his Pen. Besides, every proper Convenience of a good Theatre had been
sacrificed to shew the Audience a vast triumphal Piece of Architecture,
in which, by Means of the spaciousness of the Dome, plays could not be
successfully represented, because the Actors could not be distinctly
heard.

Not long before this Time, the _Italian_ Opera began to steal into
_England_, but in as rude a Disguise as possible: notwithstanding
which, the new Monster pleased, though it had neither Grace, Melody,
nor Action, to recommend it. To strike in therefore with the prevailing
Fashion, Sir _John_ and Mr. _Congreve_ opened their New Theatre with a
translated Opera, set to _Italian_ Music, called _The Triumph of Love_;
but it met with a very cool Reception, being performed only three
Times--to thin Houses.

Immediately upon the Failure of this Opera, Sir _John Vanbrugh_ brought
on his Comedy, called _The Confederacy_, taken, but very greatly
improved, from _Les Bourgeoises à la Mode_, of Monsieur _D'Ancourt_.
The Success of this Play was not equal to its Merit; for it is written
with an uncommon Vein of Wit and Humour; which plainly shews that the
difficulty of hearing, distinctly, in that large Theatre, was no small
Impediment to the Applause that might have followed the same Actors on
any other Stage; and indeed every Play acted there before the House
was altered, seemed to suffer greatly from the same Inconvenience; for
what few could plainly hear, it was not likely many could applaud. In
a Word, the Prospect of Profits from this Theatre was so very barren,
that Mr. _Congreve_, in a few Months, gave up his Share in it wholly to
Sir _John Vanbrugh_; who, as he had a happier Talent of throwing the
_English_ Spirit into his Translations, than any other Author who had
borrowed from them, he in the same Season produced _The Mistake_, a
Comedy, taken from _Le D'epit Amoureux_, of _Moliere_; and _The Country
House_, a Farce, translated from _The French_, which has been acted at
all the Theatres with general Applause.

Sir _John_ soon afterwards, thoroughly tired of Theatrical Affairs,
determined to get rid of his Patent on the best Terms he could; he
accordingly made an Offer to Mr. _Owen Swiney_ of his House, Clothes,
and Scenes, with the Queen's Licence to employ them, upon Payment of
the Rent of five Pounds upon every acting Day, and not to exceed 700
_l._ in the Year; with which Proposal Mr. _Swiney_ soon complied, and
managed that Stage for some Time after.

Sir _John_ is not a little to be admired for his Spirit, and
readiness in producing Plays so fast upon the Neck of one another;
for, notwithstanding his quick Dispatch, there is a clear and lively
Simplicity in his Wit, that neither wants the Ornaments of Learning,
nor has the least Smell of the Lamp, as the Face of a fine Woman, with
her Locks loose about her, may then be in its greatest Beauty; such
were his Productions, only adorned by Nature. And there is, besides,
something so catching to the Ear, and so easy to the Memory, in all he
writ, that it has been observed by all the Actors of those Times, the
Stile of no Author whatsoever gave their Memory less Trouble, than that
of Sir _John Vanbrugh_. And indeed his Wit and Humour was so little
laboured, that his most entertaining Scenes seem to be no more than
his common Conversation committed to Paper. As his Conceptions were so
full of Life and Humour, it is not much to be wondered at, if his Muse
should be sometimes too warm to wait the slow Pace of Judgment, or to
endure the Drudgery of forming a regular Fable to them.

Besides the Plays already mentioned, Sir _John_ left behind him Part
of a Comedy, called _A Journey to London_, which has since been made
an entire Play of by Mr. _Cibber_, and called _The Provoked Husband_,
and was acted at the Theatre-Royal, in _Drury Lane_, in 1727, for
twenty-eight Nights successively, with universal Applause.

In 1703, he was appointed Clarencieux King of Arms, and in 1706 was
commissioned by Queen _Anne_ to carry the Habit and Ensigns of the
Order of the Garter to King _George_ the First, then at _Hanover_; he
was likewise Comptroller-General of the Board of Works, and Surveyor
of the Gardens and Waters. In the Year 1714, he received the Order
of Knighthood; and in 1719 he married _Henrietta Maria_, Daughter
of Colonel _Yarborough_, of _Haslington_, near _York_, by whom he
had three Children; _Charles_ the eldest was killed at the Battle of
_Fontenoy_, the other two died young.

Sir _John_ died at his House in _Scotland-Yard_, the 26th of _March_,
1726, and is interred in the Family Vault, under the Church of _St.
Stephen_'s, _Wallbrook_.

[Illustration]



THE

RELAPSE:

OR,

VIRTUE in DANGER:

A

COMEDY.


               Being the Sequel of _The Fool in Fashion_.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



THE

PREFACE.


To go about to excuse half the Defects this abortive Brat is come
into the World with, would be to provoke the Town with a long useless
Preface, when it is, I doubt, sufficiently soured already by a tedious
Play.

I do therefore (with all the Humility of a repenting Sinner) confess,
it wants every thing----but length; and in that, I hope, the severest
Critick will be pleas'd to acknowledge I have not been wanting. But
my Modesty will sure atone for every thing, when the World shall
know it is so great, I am even to this Day insensible of those two
shining Graces in the Play (which some part of the Town is pleas'd to
compliment me with) Blasphemy and Bawdy.

For my part, I cannot find them out: If there were any obscene
Expressions upon the Stage, here they are in the Print; for I have
dealt fairly, I have not sunk a Syllable, that cou'd (though by racking
of Mysteries) be rang'd under that Head; and yet I believe with a
steady Faith, there is not one Woman of a real Reputation in Town,
but when she has read it impartially over in her Closet, will find
it so innocent, she will think it no Affront to her Prayer-Book, to
lay it upon the same Shelf. So to them (with all manner of Deference)
I entirely refer my cause; and I am confident they will justify me
against those Pretenders to Good-manners, who at the same time have so
little Respect for the Ladies, they wou'd extract a bawdy Jest from an
Ejaculation, to put them out of countenance. But I expect to have these
well-bred Persons always my Enemies, since I am sure I shall never
write any thing lewd enough to make them my Friends.

As for the Saints (your thorough-pac'd ones, I mean, with skrew'd Faces
and wry Mouths) I despair of them; for they are Friends to nobody:
They love nothing but their Altars and themselves; they have too much
Zeal to have any Charity; they make Debauches in Piety, as Sinners do
in Wine; and are as quarrelsome in their Religion, as other People are
in their Drink: so I hope nobody will mind what they say. But if any
Man (with flat plod Shoes, a little Band, greasy Hair, and a dirty
Face, who is wiser than I, at the Expence of being forty Years older),
happens to be offended at a Story of a Cock and a Bull, and a Priest
and a Bull-dog, I beg his pardon with all my Heart; which, I hope, I
shall obtain, by eating my Words, and making this publick Recantation.
I do therefore, for his Satisfaction, acknowledge I lyed, when I said,
they never quit their hold; for in that little time I have liv'd in the
World, I thank God I have seen them forc'd to it more than once; but
next time I will speak with more Caution and Truth, and only say, they
have very good Teeth.

If I have offended any honest Gentleman of the Town, whose Friendship
or good Word is worth the having, I am very sorry for it; I hope they
will correct me as gently as they can, when they consider I have had
no other Design, in running a very great Risk, than to divert (if
possible) some part of their Spleen, in spite of their Wives and their
Taxes.

One Word more about the Bawdy, and I have done. I own the first Night
this thing was acted, some Indecencies had like to have happened; but
it was not my Fault.

The fine Gentleman of the Play, drinking his Mistress's Health in
_Nants_ Brandy, from six in the Morning to the time he waddled on
upon the Stage in the Evening, had toasted himself up to such a pitch
of Vigour, I confess I once gave _Amanda_ for gone, and am since
(with all due respect to Mrs. _Rogers_) very sorry she escaped; for
I am confident a certain Lady (let no one take it to herself that
is handsome) who highly blames the Play, for the Barrenness of the
Conclusion, would then have allowed it a very natural Close.

[Illustration]



PROLOGUE.


                       Spoken by _Miss_ =Cross=.

    _Ladies, this Play in too much haste was writ,
    To be o'ercharg'd with either Plot or Wit;
    'Twas got, conceiv'd, and born in six Weeks Space,
    And Wit, you know, 's as slow in Growth----as Grace.
    Sure it can ne'er be ripen'd to your Taste;
    I doubt 'twill prove our Author bred too fast:
    For mark 'em well, who with the Muses marry,
    They rarely do conceive, but they miscarry.
    'Tis the hard Fate of those who are big with Rhyme,
    Still to be brought-to-bed before their Time.
    Of our late Poets, Nature few has made;
    The greatest part----are only so by Trade.
    Still want of something brings the scribbling Fit;
    For want of Money some of 'em have writ,
    And others do't, you see--for want of Wit.
    Honour, they fancy, summons 'em to write,
    So out they lug in resty Nature's spight,
    As some of you spruce Beaux do--when you fight.
    Yet let the Ebb of Wit be ne'er so low,
    Some Glimpse of it a Man may hope to show,
    Upon a Theme so ample----as a ~Beau~.
    So, howsoe'er true Courage may decay,
    Perhaps there's not one Smock-Face here to-day,
    But's bold as ~Cæsar~--to attack a Play.
    Nay, what's yet more, with an undaunted Face,                      }
    To do the Thing with more heroick Grace,                           }
    'Tis six to four y' attack the strongest Place.                    }
    You are such Hotspurs in this kind of Venture,
    Where there's no Breach, just there you needs must enter.
    But be advis'd----
    E'en give the Hero and the Critique o'er,                          }
    For Nature sent you on another score;                              }
    She formed her ~Beau~, for nothing but her Whore._                 }

[Illustration]



Dramatis Personæ.


MEN.

  Sir _Novelty Fashion_, newly created       }
    Lord _Foppington_,                       }  Mr. _Cibber_.
  Young _Fashion_, his Brother,                 Mr. _Kent_.
  _Loveless_, Husband to _Amanda_,              Mr. _Verbruggen_.
  _Worthy_, a Gentleman of the Town,            Mr. _Powel_.
  Sir _Tunbelly Clumsey_, a Country Gentleman,  Mr. _Bullock_.
  Sir _John Friendly_, his Neighbour,           Mr. _Mills_.
  _Coupler_, a Matchmaker,                      Mr. _Johnson_.
  _Bull_, Chaplain to Sir _Tunbelly_,           Mr. _Simpson_.
  _Syringe_, a Surgeon,                         Mr. _Haynes_.
  _Lory_, Servant to Young _Fashion_,           Mr. _Dogget_.
  Shoemaker, Taylor, Perriwig-maker, &c.


WOMEN.

  _Amanda_, Wife to _Loveless_,                 Mrs. _Rogers_.
  _Berinthia_, her Cousin, a young Widow,       Mrs. _Verbruggen_.
  Miss _Hoyden_, a great Fortune, Daughter   }
    to Sir _Tunbelly_,                       }  Mrs. _Cross_.
  Nurse, her Governant,                         Mrs. _Powel_.

[Illustration]

                                  THE

                               RELAPSE;

                                  OR,

                           VIRTUE in DANGER.

[Illustration]



+ACT+ I. +SCENE+ I.


                      _Enter ~Loveless~, reading._

    How true is that Philosophy which says
    Our Heaven is seated in our Minds!
    Through all the roving Pleasures of my Youth,
    (Where Nights and Days seem all consum'd in Joy,
    Where the false Face of Luxury
    Display'd such Charms,
    As might have shaken the most holy Hermit,
    And made him totter at his Altar)
    I never knew one Moment's Peace like this.
    Here--in this little soft Retreat,
    My thoughts unbent from all the Cares of Life,
    Content with Fortune,
    Eas'd from the grating Duties of Dependence,
    From Envy free, Ambition under foot,
    The raging Flame of wild destructive Lust
    Reduc'd to a warm pleasing Fire of lawful Love,
    My Life glides on, and all is well within.

                           _Enter ~Amanda~._

    Lov. _meeting her kindly._

    How does the happy Cause of my Content, my dear _Amanda_?
    You find me musing on my happy State,
    And full of grateful Thoughts to Heaven, and you.

    _Aman._ Those grateful Offerings Heaven can't receive
    With more Delight than I do:
    Would I cou'd share with it as well
    The Dispensations of its Bliss,
    That I might search its choicest Favours out,
    And shower 'em on your Head for ever.

    _Lov._ The largest Boons that Heaven thinks fit to grant
    To Things it has decreed shall crawl on Earth,
    Are in the Gift of Woman form'd like you.
    Perhaps when Time shall be no more,
    When the aspiring Soul shall take its Flight,
    And drop this pond'rous Lump of Clay behind it,
    It may have Appetites we know not of,
    And Pleasures as refin'd as its Desires--
    But till that Day of Knowledge shall instruct me,
    The utmost Blessing that my Thought can reach,
    [_Taking her in his Arms._] Is folded in my Arms, and rooted in my
        Heart.

    _Aman._ There let it grow for ever.

    _Lov._ Well said, _Amanda_--let it be for ever.--
    Wou'd Heaven grant that--

    _Aman._ 'Twere all the Heaven I'd ask.
    But we are clad in black Mortality,
    And the dark Curtain of eternal Night
    At last must drop between us.

    _Lov._ It must: that mournful Separation we must see.
    A bitter Pill it is to all; but doubles its ungrateful Taste,
    When Lovers are to swallow it;

    _Aman._ Perhaps that Pain may only be my Lot,
    You possibly may be exempted from it;
    Men find out softer ways to quench their Fires.

    _Lov._ Can you then doubt my Constancy, _Amanda_?
    You'll find 'tis built upon a steady Basis----
    The Rock of Reason now supports my Love,
    On which it stands so fix'd,
    The rudest Hurricane of wild Desire
    Wou'd, like the Breath of a soft slumbering Babe,
    Pass by, and never shake it.

    _Aman._ Yet still 'tis safer to avoid the Storm;
    The strongest Vessels, if they put to Sea,
    May possibly be lost.
    Wou'd I cou'd keep you here in this calm Port for ever!
    Forgive the Weakness of a Woman,
    I am uneasy at your going to stay so long in Town;
    I know its false insinuating Pleasures;
    I know the Force of its Delusions;
    I know the Strength of its Attacks;
    I know the weak Defence of Nature;
    I know you are a Man--and I--a Wife.

    _Lov._ You know then all that needs to give you Rest,
    For Wife's the strongest Claim that you can urge.
    When you would plead your Title to my Heart,
    On this you may depend; therefore be calm,
    Banish your Fears, for they are Traitors to your Peace:
    Beware of them, they are insinuating busy Things
    That gossip to and fro, and do a World of Mischief
    Where they come: But you shall soon be Mistress of 'em all,
    I'll aid you with such Arms for their Destruction,
    They never shall erect their Heads again.
    You know the Business is indispensible, that obliges
    Me to go to _London_, and you have no Reason, that I
    Know of, to believe that I'm glad of the Occasion:
    For my honest Conscience is my Witness,
    I have found a due Succession of such Charms
    In my Retirement here with you,
    I have never thrown one roving Thought that way;
    But since, against my Will, I'm dragg'd once more
    To that uneasy Theatre of Noise,
    I am resolv'd to make such use on't,
    As shall convince you 'tis an old cast Mistress,
    Who has been so lavish of her Favours,
    She's now grown Bankrupt of her Charms,
    And has not one Allurement left to move me.

    _Aman._ Her Bow, I do believe, is grown so weak,
    Her Arrows (at this distance) cannot hurt you,
    But in approaching 'em you give 'em Strength:
    The Dart that has not far to fly,
    Will put the best of Armour to a dangerous Trial.

    _Lov._ That Trial past, and y'are at ease for ever;
    When you have seen the Helmet prov'd,
    You'll apprehend no more for him that wears it:
    Therefore to put a lasting Period to your Fears,
    I am resolv'd, this once, to launch into Temptation.
    I'll give you an Essay of all my Virtues;
    My former boon Companions of the Bottle
    Shall fairly try what Charms are left in Wine:
    I'll take my Place amongst them,
    They shall hem me in,
    Sing Praises to their God, and drink his Glory;
    Turn wild Enthusiasts for his sake,
    And Beasts to do him Honour:
    Whilst I, a stubborn Atheist,
    Sullenly look on,
    Without one reverend Glass to his Divinity.
    That for my Temperance,
    Then for my Constancy----

    _Aman._ Ay, there take heed.

    _Lov._ Indeed the Danger's small.

    _Aman._ And yet my Fears are great.

    _Lov._ Why are you so timorous?

    _Aman._ Because you are so bold.

    _Lov._ My Courage should disperse your Apprehensions.

    _Aman._ My Apprehensions should alarm your Courage.

    _Lov._ Fy, fy, _Amanda_, it is not kind thus to distrust me.

    _Aman._ And yet my Fears are founded on my Love.

    _Lov._ For if you can believe 'tis possible
    I shou'd again relapse to my past Follies,
    I must appear to you a thing
    Of such an undigested Composition,
    That but to think of me with Inclination,
    Wou'd be a Weakness in your Taste,
    Your Virtue scarce cou'd answer.

    _Aman._ 'Twou'd be a Weakness in my Tongue,
    My Prudence cou'd not answer,
    If I shou'd press you farther with my Fears;
    I'll therefore trouble you no longer with 'em.

    _Lov._ Nor shall they trouble you much longer,
    A little time shall shew you they were groundless;
    This Winter shall be the fiery Trial of my Virtue;
    Which, when it once has past,
    You'll be convinc'd 'twas of no false Allay,
    There all your Cares will end--

    _Aman._ Pray Heaven they may!

                                                 [_Exeunt Hand in Hand._


+SCENE+, _Whitehall._

            _Enter ~Young Fashion~, ~Lory~, and ~Waterman~._

_Young Fash._ Come, pay the Waterman, and take the Pormanteau.

_Lory._ Faith, Sir, I think the Waterman had as good take the
Portmanteau, and pay himself.

_Young Fash._ Why sure there's something left in't.

_Lory._ But a solitary old Waistcoat, upon my Honour, Sir.

_Young Fash._ Why, what's become of the blue Coat, Sirrah?

_Lory._ Sir, 'twas eaten at _Gravesend_; the Reckoning came to thirty
Shillings, and your Privy-Purse was worth but two Half-Crowns.

_Young Fash._ 'Tis very well.

_Wat._ Pray, Master, will you please to dispatch me?

_Young Fash._ Ay, here a----Canst thou change me a Guinea?

_Lory._ [_Aside._] Good.

_Wat._ Change a Guinea, Master! Ha, ha, your Honour's pleas'd to
compliment.

_Young Fash._ I'gad I don't know how I shall pay thee then, for I have
nothing but Gold about me.

_Lory._ [_Aside._]--Hum, hum.

_Young Fash._ What dost thou expect, Friend?

_Wat._ Why, Master, so far against Wind and Tide, is richly worth half
a Piece.

_Young Fash._ Why, faith, I think thou art a good conscionable Fellow.
I'gad, I begin to have so good an Opinion of thy Honesty, I care not if
I leave my Portmanteau with thee, till I send thee thy Money.

_Wat._ Ha! God bless your Honour; I should be as willing to trust you,
Master, but that you are, as a Man may say, a Stranger to me, and these
are nimble Times; there are a great many Sharpers stirring. [_Taking
up the Portmanteau._] Well, Master, when your Worship sends the Money,
your Portmanteau shall be forthcoming. My Name's _Tugg_, my Wife keeps
a Brandy-Shop in _Drab-Ally_ at _Wapping_.

_Young Fash._ Very well; I'll send for't to-morrow.

                                                            [_Exit Wat._

_Lory._ So--Now, Sir, I hope you'll own yourself a happy Man, you have
outliv'd all your Cares.

_Young Fash._ How so, Sir?

_Lory._ Why you have nothing left to take care of.

_Young Fash._ Yes, Sirrah, I have myself and you to take care of still.

_Lory._ Sir, if you cou'd but prevail with somebody else to do that for
you, I fancy we might both fare the better for't.

_Young Fash._ Why, if thou canst tell me where to apply myself, I have
at present so little Money, and so much Humility about me, I don't know
but I may follow a Fool's Advice.

_Lory._ Why then, Sir, your Fool advises you to lay aside all
Animosity, and apply to Sir _Novelty_, your elder Brother.

_Young Fash._ Damn my elder Brother.

_Lory._ With all my heart; but get him to redeem your Annuity, however.

_Young Fash._ My Annuity! 'Sdeath, he's such a Dog, he would not give
his Powder-Puff to redeem my Soul.

_Lory._ Look you, Sir, you must wheedle him, or you must starve.

_Young Fash._ Look you, Sir, I will neither wheedle him, nor starve.

_Lory._ Why? what will you do then?

_Young Fash._ I'll go into the Army.

_Lory._ You can't take the Oaths; you are a Jacobite.

_Young Fash._ Thou may'st as well say I can't take Orders because I'm
an Atheist.

_Lory._ Sir, I ask your Pardon; I find I did not know the Strength of
your Conscience, so well as I did the Weakness of your Purse.

_Young Fash._ Methinks, Sir, a Person of your Experience should have
known, that the Strength of the Conscience proceeds from the Weakness
of the Purse.

_Lory._ Sir, I am very glad to find you have a Conscience able to
take care of us, let it proceed from what it will; but I desire
you'll please to consider, that the Army alone will be but a scanty
Maintenance for a Person of your Generosity (at least as Rents now are
paid); I shall see you stand in damnable need of some auxiliary Guineas
for your _menu Plaisirs_; I will therefore turn Fool once more for your
Service, and advise you to go directly to your Brother.

_Young Fash._ Art thou then so impregnable a Blockhead, to believe
he'll help me with a Farthing?

_Lory._ Not if you treat him, _de haut en bas_, as you use to do.

_Young Fash._ Why, how would'st have me treat him?

_Lory._ Like a Trout, tickle him.

_Young Fash._ I can't flatter----

_Lory._ Can you starve?

_Young Fash._ Yes----

_Lory._ I can't; Good-by t'ye, Sir--

                                                               [_Going._

_Young Fash._ Stay, thou wilt distract me. What would'st thou have me
to say to him?

_Lory._ Say nothing to him, apply yourself to his Favourites; speak to
his Perriwig, his Cravat, his Feather, his Snuff-box, and when you are
well with them----desire him to lend you a Thousand Pounds. I'll engage
you prosper.

_Young Fash._ 'Sdeath and Furies! Why was that Coxcomb thrust into the
World before me? O Fortune--Fortune--thou art a Bitch, by Gad----

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _A Dressing-Room_.

              _Enter Lord ~Foppington~ in his Night-Gown._

_Lord Fop._ Page----

                                                          [_Enter Page._

_Page._ Sir.

_Lord Fop._ Sir! Pray, Sir, do me the Favour to teach your Tongue the
Title the King has thought fit to honour me with.

_Page._ I ask your Lordship's Pardon, my Lord.

_Lord Fop._ O, you can pronounce the Word then----I thought it would
have choak'd you----D'ye hear?

_Page._ My Lord.

_Lord Fop._ Call La Varole, I wou'd dress--

                                                           [_Exit Page._

                               _Solus._

Well, 'tis an unspeakable Pleasure to be a Man of Quality----Strike me
dumb----My Lord----Your Lordship----My Lord _Foppington_--_Ah! c'est
quelque chose de beau, que le Diable m'emporte_----

Why the Ladies were ready to puke at me, whilst I had nothing but Sir
_Novelty_ to recommend me to 'em----Sure whilst I was but a Knight,
I was a very nauseous Fellow----Well, 'tis Ten Thousand Pawnd well
given----stap my Vitals----

                          _Enter ~La Varole~._

Me Lord, de Shoemaker, de Taylor, de Hosier, de Sempstress, de Peru, be
all ready, if your Lordship please to dress.

_Lord Fop._ 'Tis well, admit 'em.

_La Var._ Hey, Messieurs, entrez.

                        _Enter ~Taylor~, ~&c.~_

_Lord Fop._ So, Gentlemen, I hope you have all taken pains to shew
yourselves Masters in your Professions.

_Tayl._ I think I may presume to say, Sir----

_La Var._ My Lord----you Clawn you.

_Tayl._ Why, is he made a Lord?----My Lord, I ask your Lordship's
Pardon; my Lord, I hope, my Lord, your Lordship will please to own,
I have brought your Lordship as accomplish'd a Suit of Clothes, as
ever Peer of _England_ trode the Stage in, my Lord: Will your Lordship
please to try 'em now?

_Lord Fop._ Ay, but let my People dispose the Glasses so, that I may
see myself before and behind; for I love to see myself all raund----

                  [_Whilst he puts on his Clothes, enter ~Young Fashion~
                                                            and ~Lory~._

_Young Fash._ Hey-dey, what the Devil have we here? Sure my Gentleman's
grown a Favourite at Court, he has got so many People at his Levee.

_Lo._ Sir, these People come in order to make him a Favourite at Court,
they are to establish him with the Ladies.

_Young Fash._ Good God! to what an Ebb of Taste are Women fallen, that
it shou'd be in the power of a lac'd Coat to recommend a Gallant to
'em----

_Lo._ Sir, Taylors and Perriwig-makers are now become the Bawds of the
Nation, 'tis they debauch all the Women.

_Young Fash._ Thou sayest true; for there's that Fop now, has not by
Nature wherewithal to move a Cook-maid, and by that time these Fellows
have done with him, I'gad he shall melt down a Countess----But now for
my Reception, I engage it shall be as cold a one, as a Courtier's to
his Friend, who comes to put him in mind of his Promise.

_Lord Fop._ _to his Taylor._] Death and eternal Tartures! Sir, I say
the Packet's too high by a Foot.

_Tayl._ My Lord, if it had been an Inch lower, it would not have held
your Lordship's Pocket-Handkerchief.

_Lord Fop._ Rat my Packet-Handkerchief! Have not I a Page to carry it?
You may make him a Packet up to his Chin a purpose for it; but I will
not have mine come so near my Face.

_Tayl._ 'Tis not for me to dispute your Lordship's Fancy.

_Young Fash. to Lory._] His Lordship! _Lory_, did you observe that?

_Lo._ Yes, Sir; I always thought 'twould end there. Now, I hope, you'll
have a little more Respect for him.

_Young Fash._ Respect! Damn him for a Coxcomb; now has he ruin'd his
Estate to buy a Title, that he may be a Fool of the first Rate: But
let's accost him----

_To Lord Fop._] Brother, I'm your Humble Servant.

_Lord Fop._ O Lard, _Tam_; I did not expect you in _England_: Brother,
I am glad to see you----

_Turning to his Taylor._] Look you, Sir. I shall never be reconcil'd
to this nauseous Packet; therefore pray get me another Suit with all
manner of Expedition, for this is my eternal Aversion. Mrs. _Callicoe_,
are not you of my Mind?

_Semp._ O, directly, my Lord, it can never be too low--

_Lord Fop._ You are passitively in the right on't, for the Packet
becomes no part of the Body but the Knee.

_Semp._ I hope your Lordship is pleas'd with your Steenkirk.

_Lord Fop._ In love with it, stap my Vitals. Bring your Bill, you shall
be paid to-marrow--

_Semp._ I humbly thank your Honour--

                                                           [_Exit Semp._

_Lord Fop._ Hark thee, Shoemaker, these Shoes a'n't ugly, but they
don't fit me.

_Shoe._ My Lord, my thinks they fit you very well.

_Lord Fop._ They hurt me just below the Instep.

_Shoe._ [_Feeling his Foot._] My Lord, they don't hurt you there.

_Lord Fop._ I tell thee, they pinch me execrably.

_Shoe._ My Lord, if they pinch you, I'll be bound to be hang'd, that's
all.

_Lord Fop._ Why, wilt thou undertake to persuade me I cannot feel?

_Shoe._ Your Lordship may please to feel what you think fit; but that
Shoe does not hurt you--I think I understand my Trade----

_Lord Fop._ Now by all that's great and powerful, thou art an
incomprehensible Coxcomb; but thou makest good Shoes, and so I'll bear
with thee.

_Shoe._ My Lord, I have work'd for half the People of Quality in Town
these Twenty Years; and 'tis very hard I should not know when a Shoe
hurts, and when it don't.

_Lord Fop._ Well, pr'ythee, begone about thy Business.

                                                           [_Exit Shoe._

[_To the Hosier._] Mr. _Mend Legs_, a Word with you; the Calves of the
Stockings are thicken'd a little too much. They make my Legs look like
a Chairman's----

_Mend._ My Lord, my thinks they look mighty well.

_Lord Fop._ Ay, but you are not so good a Judge of those things as I
am, I have study'd them all my Life; therefore pray let the next be the
thickness of a Crawn-piece less----[_Aside._] If the Town takes notice
my Legs are fallen away, 'twill be attributed to the Violence of some
new Intrigue.

_To the Perriwig-maker._] Come, Mr. _Foretop_, let me see what you have
done, and then the Fatigue of the Morning will be over.

_Foretop._ My Lord, I have done what I defy any Prince in _Europe_ to
out-do; I have made you a Perriwig so long, and so full of Hair, it
will serve you for a Hat and Cloak in all Weathers.

_Lord Fop._ Then thou hast made me thy Friend to Eternity: Come, comb
it out.

_Young Fash._ Well, _Lory_, What do'st think on't? A very friendly
Reception from a Brother after Three Years Absence!

_Lory._ Why, Sir, 'tis your own Fault; we seldom care for those that
don't love what we love: if you wou'd creep into his Heart, you must
enter into his Pleasures--Here you have stood ever since you came in,
and have not commended any one thing that belongs to him.

_Young Fash._ Nor never shall, while they belong to a Coxcomb.

_Lory._ Then, Sir, you must be content to pick a hungry Bone.

_Young Fash._ No, Sir, I'll crack it, and get to the Marrow before I
have done.

_Lord Fop._ Gad's Curse! Mr. _Foretop_, you don't intend to put this
upon me for a full Perriwig?

_Fore._ Not a full one, my Lord! I don't know what your Lordship may
please to call a full one, but I have cramm'd twenty Ounces of Hair
into it.

_Lord Fop._ What it may be by Weight, Sir, I shall not dispute; but by
Tale, there are not nine Hairs on a side.

_Fore._ O Lord! O Lord! O Lord! Why, as God shall judge me, your
Honor's Side-Face is reduc'd to the Tip of your Nose.

_Lord Fop._ My Side-Face may be in an Eclipse for aught I know; but I'm
sure my Full-Face is like the Full-moon.

_Fore._ Heaven bless my Eye-sight----[_Rubbing his Eyes._] Sure I look
thro' the wrong end of the Perspective; for by my Faith, an't please
your Honour, the broadest place I see in your Face does not seem to me
to be two Inches diameter.

_Lord Fop._ If it did, it would just be two Inches too broad; for a
Perriwig to a Man, should be like a Mask to a Woman, nothing should be
seen but his Eyes--

_Fore._ My Lord, I have done; if you please to have more Hair in your
Wig, I'll put it in.

_Lord Fop._ Passitively, yes.

_Fore._ Shall I take it back now, my Lord?

_Lord Fop._ No: I'll wear it to-day, tho' it shew such a manstrous pair
of Cheeks, stap my Vitals, I shall be taken for a Trumpeter.

                                                         [_Exit ~Fore~._

_Young Fash._ Now your People of Business are gone, Brother, I hope I
may obtain a quarter of an Hour's Audience of you.

_Lord Fop._ Faith, _Tam_, I must beg you'll excuse me at this time, for
I must away to the House of Lards immediately; my Lady _Teaser_'s Case
is to come on to-day, and I would not be absent for the Salvation of
Mankind. Hey, _Page_! Is the Coach at the Door?

_Page._ Yes, my Lord.

_Lord Fop._ You'll excuse me, Brother.

                                                               [_Going._

_Young Fash._ Shall you be back at Dinner?

_Lord Fop._ As Gad shall jedge me, I can't tell; for 'tis passible I
may dine with some of aur Hause at _Lacket_'s.

_Young Fash._ Shall I meet you there? for I must needs talk with you.

_Lord Fop._ That, I'm afraid, mayn't be so praper; far the Lards I
commonly eat with, are a People of a nice Conversation; and you know,
_Tam_, your Education has been a little at large: but if you'll stay
here, you'll find a Family Dinner. Hey, Fellow! What is there for
Dinner? There's Beef: I suppose my Brother will eat Beef. Dear _Tam_,
I'm glad to see thee in _England_, stap my Vitals.

                                             [_Exit, with his Equipage._

_Young Fash._ Hell and Furies, is this to be borne?

_Lory._ Faith, Sir, I cou'd almost have given him a knock o' th' Pate
myself.

_Young Fash._ 'Tis enough, I will now shew you the excess of my Passion
by being very calm: Come, _Lory_, lay your Loggerhead to mine, and in
cool Blood let us contrive his Destruction.

_Lory._ Here comes a Head, Sir, would contrive it better than us both,
if he wou'd but join in the Confederacy.

                           _Enter ~Coupler~._

_Young Fash._ By this Light, old _Coupler_ alive still! Why, how now,
Matchmaker, art thou here still to plague the World with Matrimony? You
old Bawd, how have you the Impudence to be hobbling out of your Grave
twenty Years after you are rotten!

_Coup._ When you begin to rot, Sirrah, you'll go off like a Pippin, one
Winter will send you to the Devil. What Mischief brings you home again?
Ha! You young lascivious Rogue, you: Let me put my Hand into your
Bosom, Sirrah.

_Young Fash._ Stand off, old _Sodom_.

_Coup._ Nay, pr'ythee now don't be so coy.

_Young Fash._ Keep your Hands to yourself, you old Dog you, or I'll
wring your Nose off.

_Coup._ Hast thou then been a Year in _Italy_, and brought home a Fool
at last? By my Conscience, the young Fellows of this Age profit no more
by their going abroad, than they do by their going to Church. Sirrah,
Sirrah, if you are not hang'd before you come to my Years, you'll know
a Cock from a Hen. But come, I'm still a Friend to thy Person, tho' I
have a Contempt of thy Understanding; and therefore I would willingly
know thy Condition, that I may see whether thou standest in need of my
Assistance; for Widows swarm, my Boy, the Town's infested with 'em.

_Young Fash._ I stand in need of any body's Assistance, that will help
me to cut my elder Brother's Throat, without the Risque of being hang'd
for him.

_Coup._ I'gad, Sirrah, I cou'd help thee to do him almost as good a
turn, without the danger of being burnt in the Hand for't.

_Young Fash._ Say'st thou so, old Satan? Shew me but that, and my Soul
is thine.

_Coup._ Pox o'thy Soul! give me thy warm Body, Sirrah; I shall have a
substantial Title to't when I tell thee my Project.

_Young Fash._ Out with it then, dear Dad, and take possession as soon
as thou wilt.

_Coup._ Sayest thou so, my _Hephestion_? Why, then, thus lies the
Scene: but hold; who's that? If we are heard we are undone.

_Young Fash._ What have you forgot _Lory_?

_Coup._ Who, trusty _Lory_, is it thee?

_Lory._ At your Service, Sir.

_Coup._ Give me thy Hand, old Boy; I'gad I did not know thee again; but
I remember thy Honesty, tho' I did not thy Face; I think thou hadst
like to have been hang'd once or twice for thy Master.

_Lory._ Sir, I was very near once having that Honour.

_Coup._ Well, live and hope; don't be discourag'd; eat with him, and
drink with him, and do what he bids thee, and it may be thy Reward at
last, as well as another's.

_To Young Fash._] Well, Sir, you must know I have done you the Kindness
to make up a Match for your Brother.

_Young Fash._ I am very much beholden to you, truly.

_Coup._ You may be, Sirrah, before the Wedding-day yet; the Lady is a
great Heiress; fifteen hundred Pound a year, and a great Bag of Money;
the Match is concluded, the Writings are drawn, and the Pipkin's to be
crack'd in a Fortnight--Now you must know, Stripling (with Respect to
your Mother), your Brother's the Son of a Whore.

_Young Fash._ Good.

_Coup._ He has given me a Bond of a Thousand Pounds for helping him to
this Fortune, and has promis'd me as much more in ready Money upon the
Day of Marriage; which, I understand by a Friend, he ne'er designs to
pay me; if therefore you will be a generous young Dog, and secure me
five thousand Pounds, I'll be a covetous old Rogue, and help you to the
Lady.

_Young Fash._ I'gad, if thou can'st bring this about, I'll have thy
Statue cast in Brass. But don't you doat, you old Pandar you, when you
talk at this rate?

_Coup._ That your youthful Parts shall judge of: This plump Partridge,
that I tell you of, lives in the Country, fifty Miles off, with her
honoured Parents, in a lonely old House which nobody comes near;
she never goes abroad, nor sees Company at home: To prevent all
Misfortunes, she has her Breeding within Doors, the Parson of the
Parish teaches her to play on the Bass-Viol, the Clerk to sing, her
Nurse to dress, and her Father to dance: In short, nobody can give you
admittance there but I; nor can I do it any other way, than by making
you pass for your Brother.

_Young Fash._ And how the Devil wilt thou do that?

_Coup._ Without the Devil's Aid, I warrant thee. Thy Brother's Face not
one of the Family ever saw; the whole Business has been manag'd by me,
and all the Letters go thro' my Hands: The last that was writ to Sir
_Tunbelly Clumsey_ (for that's the old Gentleman's Name) was to tell
him, his Lordship would be down in a Fortnight to consummate. Now you
shall go away immediately; pretend you writ that letter only to have
the romantick Pleasure of surprizing your Mistress; fall desperately
in Love, as soon as you see her; make that your Plea for marrying her
immediately; and when the fatigue of the Wedding-night's over, you
shall send me a swinging Purse of Gold, you Dog you.

_Young Fash._ I'gad, old Dad, I'll put my Hand in thy Bosom now----

_Coup._ Ah, you young hot lusty Thief, let me muzzle you----

                                                             [_Kissing._

Sirrah, let me muzzle you.

_Young Fash._ 'Psha, the old Letcher----

                                                                 [Aside.

_Coup._ Well; I'll warrant thou hast not a Farthing of Money in thy
Pocket now; no, one may see it in thy Face----

_Young Fash._ Not a Sous, by _Jupiter_.

_Coup._ Must I advance then?--Well, Sirrah, be at my Lodgings in half
an Hour, and I'll see what may be done; we'll sign and seal, and eat
a Pullet, and when I have given thee some farther Instructions, thou
shalt hoist Sail and be gone----[_Kissing._]----T'other Buss, and so
adieu.

_Young Fash._ Um, 'psha.

_Coup._ Ah; you young warm Dog, you; what a delicious Night will the
Bride have on't!

                                                        [_Exit Coupler._

_Young Fash._ So, _Lory_; Providence, thou seest, at last takes care of
Men of Merit: We are in a fair way to be great People.

_Lo._ Ay, Sir, if the Devil don't step between the Cup and the Lip, as
he uses to do.

_Young Fash._ Why, faith, he has play'd me many a damn'd Trick to spoil
my Fortune, and, I'gad, I'm almost afraid he's at work about it again
now; but if I should tell thee how, thou'dst wonder at me.

_Lo._ Indeed, Sir, I shou'd not.

_Young Fash._ How dost know?

_Lo._ Because, Sir, I have wonder'd at you so often, I can wonder at
you no more.

_Young Fash._ No! what wouldst thou say if a Qualm of Conscience should
spoil my Design?

_Lo._ I wou'd eat my Words, and wonder more than ever.

_Young Fash._ Why, faith, _Lory_, tho' I am a young Rake-hell, and
have play'd many a Roguish Trick; this is so full grown a Cheat, I find
I must take pains to come up to't; I have Scruples----

_Lo._ They are strong Symptoms of Death; if you find they increase,
pray, Sir, make your Will.

_Young Fash._ No, my Conscience shan't starve me, neither. But thus far
I'll hearken to it; before I execute this Project, I'll try my Brother
to the bottom, I'll speak to him with the Temper of a Philosopher;
my Reasons (tho' they press him home) shall yet be cloth'd with so
much Modesty, not one of all the Truths they urge, shall be so naked
to offend his Sight: if he has yet so much Humanity about him, as to
assist me (tho' with a moderate Aid) I'll drop my Project at his Feet,
and shew him how I can do for him, much more than what I ask he'd do
for me. This one conclusive Trial of him I resolve to make--

    _Succeed or no, still Victory's my Lot;_                           }
    _If I subdue his Heart, 'tis well; if not,_                        }
    _I shall subdue my Conscience to my Plot._                         }

                                                              [~Exeunt.~

[Illustration]



+ACT+ II. +SCENE+ I.


                    _Enter ~Loveless~ and ~Amanda~._

_Lov._ How do you like these Lodgings, my Dear? For my part, I am so
well pleased with them, I shall hardly remove whilst we stay in Town,
if you are satisfy'd.

_Aman._ I am satisfy'd with every thing that pleases you; else I had
not come to Town at all.

_Lov._ O! a little of the Noise and Bustle of the World sweetens the
Pleasures of Retreat: We shall find the Charms of our Retirement
doubled, when we return to it.

_Aman._ That pleasing Prospect will be my chiefest Entertainment,
whilst, much against my Will, I am obliged to stand surrounded with
these empty Pleasures, which 'tis so much the Fashion to be fond of.

_Lov._ I own most of them are indeed but empty; nay, so empty, that one
would wonder by what Magick Power they act, when they induce us to be
vicious for their sakes. Yet some there are we may speak kindlier of:
There are Delights, of which a private Life is destitute, which may
divert an honest Man, and be a harmless Entertainment to a virtuous
Woman. The Conversation of the Town is one; and truly (with some small
Allowances) the Plays, I think, may be esteem'd another.

_Aman._ The Plays, I must confess, have some small Charms; and wou'd
have more, wou'd they restrain that loose obscene Encouragement to
Vice, which shocks, if not the Virtue of some Women, at least the
Modesty of all.

_Lov._ But till that Reformation can be made, I would not leave the
wholesome Corn for some intruding Tares that grow among it. Doubtless
the Moral of a well-wrought Scene is of prevailing Force----Last Night
there happen'd one that mov'd me strangely.

_Aman._ Pray, what was that?

_Lov._ Why 'twas about--but 'tis not worth repeating.

_Aman._ Yes, pray let me know it.

_Lov._ No, I think 'tis as well let alone.

_Aman._ Nay, now you make me have a mind to know.

_Lov._ 'Twas a foolish thing: You'd perhaps grow jealous shou'd I tell
it you, tho' without a Cause, Heaven knows.

_Aman._ I shall begin to think I have cause, if you persist in making
it a Secret.

_Lov._ I'll then convince you you have none, by making it no longer
so. Know then, I happen'd in the Play to find my very Character, only
with the Addition of a Relapse; which struck me so, I put a sudden Stop
to a most harmless Entertainment, which till then diverted me between
the Acts. 'Twas to admire the Workmanship of Nature, in the Face of
a young Lady that sat some distance from me, she was so exquisitely
handsome----

_Aman._ So exquisitely handsome!

_Lov._ Why do you repeat my Words, my Dear?

_Aman._ Because you seem'd to speak them with such Pleasure, I thought
I might oblige you with their Echo.

_Lov._ Then you are alarmed, _Amanda_?

_Aman._ It is my Duty to be so, when you are in danger.

_Lov._ You are too quick in apprehending for me; all will be well when
you have heard me out. I do confess I gaz'd upon her, nay, eagerly I
gaz'd upon her.

_Aman._ Eagerly! That's with Desire.

_Lov._ No, I desir'd her not: I view'd her with a World of Admiration,
but not one Glance of Love.

_Aman._ Take heed of trusting to such nice Distinctions.

_Lov._ I did take heed; for observing in the Play, that he who seem'd
to represent me there, was, by an Accident like this, unwarily
surpriz'd into a Net, in which he lay a poor intangled Slave, and
brought a Train of Mischiefs on his Head, I snatch'd my Eyes away; they
pleaded hard for leave to look again, but I grew absolute, and they
obey'd.

_Aman._ Were they the only things that were inquisitive? Had I been in
your place, my Tongue, I fancy, had been curious too: I shou'd have
ask'd her Name, and where she liv'd (yet still without Design:)--Who
was she, pray?

_Lov._ Indeed I cannot tell.

_Aman._ You will not tell.

_Lov._ By all that's sacred, then, I did not ask.

_Aman._ Nor do you know what Company was with her?

_Lov._ I do not.

_Aman._ Then I am calm again.

_Lov._ Why, were you disturb'd?

_Aman._ Had I then no cause?

_Lov._ None certainly.

_Aman._ I thought I had.

_Lov._ But you thought wrong, _Amanda_; For turn the Case, and let
it be your Story; Should you come home, and tell me you had seen a
handsome Man, shou'd I grow jealous because you had Eyes?

_Aman._ But shou'd I tell you he were exquisitely so; that I had gaz'd
on him with Admiration; that I had look'd with eager Eyes upon him;
shou'd you not think 'twere possible I might go one Step further, and
enquire his Name?

_Lov._ [_Aside._] She has Reason on her side, I have talk'd too much;
but I must turn it off another way. [_To Aman._] Will you then make no
difference, _Amanda_, between the Language of our Sex and yours? There
is a Modesty restrains your Tongues, which makes you speak by halves
when you commend; but roving Flattery gives a loose to ours, which
makes us still speak double what we think: You shou'd not therefore, in
so strict a Sense, take what I said to her Advantage.

_Aman._ Those Flights of Flattery, Sir, are to our Faces only: When
Women once are out of hearing, you are as modest in your Commendations
as we are. But I shan't put you to the trouble of farther Excuses; if
you please, this Business shall rest here. Only give me leave to wish,
both for your Peace and mine, that you may never meet this Miracle of
Beauty more.

_Lov._ I am content.

                            _Enter Servant._

_Serv._ Madam, there's a young Lady at the door in a Chair, desires
to know whether your Ladyship sees Company. I think her Name is
_Berinthia_.

_Aman._ O dear! 'tis a Relation I have not seen this five Years. Pray
her to walk in.

                                                        [_Exit Servant._

_To Lov._] Here's another Beauty for you. She was young when I saw her
last; but I hear she's grown extremely handsome.

_Lov._ Don't you be jealous now, for I shall gaze upon her too.

                          _Enter ~Berinthia~._

_Lov._ [_Aside._] Ha! By Heavens, the very Woman!

_Ber._ [_Saluting Aman._] Dear _Amanda_, I did not expect to meet with
you in Town.

_Aman._ Sweet Cousin, I'm overjoy'd to see you. [_To Lov._] Mr.
_Loveless_, here's a Relation and a Friend of mine, I desire you'll be
better acquainted with.

_Lov._ [_Saluting Ber._] If my Wife never desires a harder thing,
Madam, her Request will be easily granted.

_Ber._ [_To Aman._] I think, Madam, I ought to wish you Joy.

_Aman._ Joy! Upon what?

_Ber._ Upon your Marriage: You were a Widow when I saw you last.

_Lov._ You ought rather, Madam, to wish me Joy upon that, since I am
the only Gainer.

_Ber._ If she has got so good a Husband as the World reports, she has
gain'd enough to expect the Compliment of her Friends upon it.

_Lov._ If the World is so favourable to me, to allow I deserve that
Title, I hope 'tis so just to my Wife, to own I derive it from her.

_Ber._ Sir, it is so just to you both, to own you are, and deserve to
be, the happiest Pair that live in it.

_Lov._ I'm afraid we shall lose that Character, Madam, whenever you
happen to change your Condition.

                            _Enter Servant._

_Ser._ Sir, my Lord _Foppington_ presents his humble Service to you,
and desires to know how you do. He but just now heard you were in Town.
He's at the next Door; and if it be not inconvenient, he'll come and
wait upon you.

_Lov._ Lord _Foppington_!--I know him not.

_Ber._ Not his Dignity, perhaps, but you do his Person. 'Tis Sir
_Novelty_; he has bought a Barony, in order to marry a great Fortune:
His Patent has not been pass'd above eight-and-forty-Hours, and he has
already sent How do-ye's to all the Town, to make 'em acquainted with
his Title.

_Lov._ Give my Service to his Lordship, and let him know, I am proud of
the Honour he intends me.

                                                                 [_Ex._.

_Ser._ Sure this Addition of Quality must have so improv'd this
Coxcomb, he can't but be very good Company for a quarter of an Hour.

_Aman._ Now it moves my Pity more than my Mirth, to see a Man whom
Nature has made no Fool, be so very industrious to pass for an Ass.

_Lov._ No, there you are wrong, _Amanda_; you shou'd never bestow your
Pity upon those who take pains for your Contempt; Pity those whom
Nature abuses, but never those who abuse Nature.

_Ber._ Besides, the Town wou'd be robb'd of one of its chiefest
Diversions, if it shou'd become a Crime to laugh at a Fool.

_Aman._ I could never yet perceive the Town inclin'd to part with any
of its Diversions, for the sake of their being Crimes; but I have seen
it very fond of some, I think, had little else to recommend 'em.

_Ber._ I doubt, _Amanda_, you are grown its Enemy, you speak with so
much warmth against it.

_Aman._ I must confess I am not much its Friend.

_Ber._ Then give me leave to make you mine, by not engaging in its
Quarrel.

_Aman._ You have many stronger Claims than that, _Berinthia_, whenever
you think fit to plead your Title.

_Lov._ You have done well to engage a Second, my Dear; for here comes
one will be apt to call you to an Account for your Country Principles.

                        _Enter Lord_ Foppington.

_Lord Fop._ [_To Lov._] Sir, I am your most humble Servant.

_Lav._ I wish you Joy, my Lord.

_Lord Fop._ O Laird, Sir----Madam, your Ladyship's welcome to Tawn.

_Aman._ I wish your Lordship Joy.

_Lord Fop._ O Heavens, Madam----

_Lov._ My Lord, this young Lady is a Relation of my Wife's.

_Lord Fop._ [_Saluting her._] The beautifullest Race of People upon
Earth, Rat me. Dear _Loveless_, I am overjoy'd to see you have brought
your Family to Tawn again: I am, stap my Vitals--[_Aside._] For I
design to lie with your Wife. [_To Aman._] Far Gad's sake, Madam, haw
has your Ladyship been able to subsist thus long, under the Fatigue of
a Country Life?

_Aman._ My life has been very far from that, my Lord, it has been a
very quiet one.

_Lord Fop._ Why that's the Fatigue I speak of, Madam: For 'tis
impossible to be quiet, without thinking: Now thinking is to me the
greatest Fatigue in the World.

_Aman._ Does not your Lordship love reading then?

_Lord Fop._ Oh, passionately, Madam----But I never think of what I read.

_Ber._ Why, can your Lordship read without thinking?

_Lord Fop._ O Lard----Can your Ladyship pray without Devotion----Madam?

_Aman._ Well, I must own I think Books the best Entertainment in the
World.

_Lord Fop._ I am so much of your Ladyship's Mind, Madam, that I have a
private Gallery, where I walk sometimes, is furnished with nothing but
Books and Looking-glasses. Madam, I have gilded them, and rang'd 'em,
so prettily, before Gad, it is the most entertaining thing in the World
to walk and look upon 'em.

_Aman._ Nay, I love a neat Library too; but 'tis, I think, the inside
of a Book shou'd recommend it most to us.

_Lord Fop._ That, I must confess, I am not altogether so fand of. Far
to my mind the Inside of a Book, is to entertain one's self with the
forc'd Product of another Man's Brain. Naw I think a Man of Quality
and Breeding may be much diverted with the natural Sprauts of his own.
But to say the truth, Madam, let a Man love reading never so well,
when once he comes to know this Tawn, he finds so many better ways of
passing away the Four-and-twenty Hours, that 'twere ten thousand Pities
he shou'd consume his time in that. Far example, Madam, my Life; my
Life, Madam, is a perpetual Stream of Pleasure, that glides thro' such
a Variety of Entertainments, I believe the wisest of our Ancestors
never had the least Conception of any of 'em.

I rise, Madam, about ten o'clock. I don't rise sooner, because 'tis the
worst thing in the World for the Complection; nat that I pretend to be
a Beau; but a Man must endeavour to look wholesome, lest he make to
nauseous a Figure in the Side-bax, the Ladies shou'd be compell'd to
turn their eyes upon the Play. So at Ten o'clock, I say, I rise. Naw,
if I find it a good Day, I resalve to take a Turn in the Park, and see
the fine Women; so huddle on my Clothes, and get dress'd by One. If it
be nasty Weather, I take a Turn in the Chocolate-house; where, as you
walk, Madam, you have the prettiest Prospect in the World; you have
Looking-glasses all round you----But I'm afraid I tire the Company.

_Ber._ Not at all. Pray go on.

_Lord Fop._ Why then, Ladies, from thence I go to Dinner at _Lacket_'s,
and there you are so nicely and delicately serv'd, that, stap my
Vitals, they can compose you a Dish, no bigger than a Saucer, shall
come to fifty Shillings; between eating my Dinner, and washing my
Mouth, Ladies, I spend my time, till I go to the Play; where, till Nine
o'clock, I entertain myself with looking upon the Company; and usually
dispose of one Hour more in leading them aut. So there's Twelve of the
Four-and-Twenty pretty well over. The other Twelve, Madam, are disposed
of in two Articles: In the first Four I toast myself drunk, and in
t'other Eight I sleep myself sober again. Thus, Ladies, you see my Life
is an eternal raund O of Delights.

_Lov._ 'Tis a heavenly one, indeed!

_Aman._ But, my Lord, you _Beaux_ spend a great deal of your Time in
Intrigues: You have given us no Account of them yet.

_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] Soh, she wou'd enquire into my Amours----That's
Jealousy----She begins to be in love with me. [_To Aman._] Why,
Madam----as to time for my Intrigues, I usually make Detachments of it
from my other Pleasures, according to the Exigency. Far your Ladyship
may please to take notice, that those who intrigue with Women of
Quality, have rarely occasion for above half an Hour at a time: People
of that Rank being under those Decorums, they can seldom give you a
larger View, than will justly serve to shoot 'em flying. So that the
Course of my other Pleasures is not very much interrupted by my Amours.

_Lov._ But your Lordship now is become a Pillar of the State; you must
attend the weighty Affairs of the Nation.

_Lord Fop._ Sir----as to weighty Affairs----I leave them to weighty
Heads. I never intend mine shall be a Burden to my Body.

_Lov._ O, but you'll find the House will expect your Attendance.

_Lord Fop._ Sir, you'll find the House will compound for my Appearance.

_Lov._ But your Friends will take it ill if you don't attend their
particular Causes.

_Lord Fop._ Not, Sir, if I come time enough to give 'em my particular
Vote.

_Ber._ But pray, my Lord, how do you dispose of yourself on _Sundays_?
for that, methinks, shou'd hang wretchedly on your hands.

_Lord Fop._ Why, faith, Madam----_Sunday_----is a vile day, I must
confess; I intend to move for leave to bring in a Bill, That Players
may work upon it, as well as the Hackney Coaches. Tho' this I must say
for the Government, it leaves us the Churches to entertain us----But
then again, they begin so abominable early, a Man must rise by
Candle-light to get dress'd by the Psalm.

_Ber._ Pray which Church does your Lordship most oblige with your
Presence?

_Lord Fop._ Oh, St. _James_'s, Madam----There's much the best Company.

_Aman._ Is there good Preaching too?

_Lord Fop._ Why, faith, Madam----I can't tell. A Man must have very
little to do there, that can give an Account of the Sermon.

_Ber._ You can give us an Account of the Ladies, at least.

_Lord Fop._ Or I deserve to be excommunicated--There is my Lady
_Tattle_, my Lady _Prate_, my Lady _Titter_, my Lady _Lear_, my Lady
_Giggle_, and my Lady _Grin_. These fit in the Front of the Boxes, and
all Church-time are the prettiest Company in the World, stap my Vitals.
[_To Aman._] Mayn't we hope for the Honour to see your Ladyship added
to our Society, Madam?

_Aman._ Alas, my Lord, I am the worst Company in the World at Church:
I'm apt to mind the Prayers, or the Sermon, or----

_Lord Fop._ One is indeed strangely apt at Church to mind what one
should not do. But I hope, Madam, at one time or other, I shall have
the Honour to lead your Ladyship to your Coach there. [_Aside._]
Methinks she seems strangely pleas'd with every thing I say to
her--'Tis a vast pleasure to receive Encouragement from a Woman before
her Husband's Face----I have a good mind to pursue my Conquest, and
speak the thing plainly to her at once--I'gad, I'll do't, and that in
so Cavalier a manner, she shall be surpriz'd at it--Ladies, I'll take
my Leave: I'am afraid I begin to grow troublesome with the length of my
Visit.

_Aman._ Your Lordship is too entertaining to grow troublesome any where.

_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] That now was as much as if she had said----Pray
lie with me. I'll let her see I'm quick of Apprehension. [_To Aman._] O
Lard, Madam, I had like to have forgot a Secret, I must needs tell your
Ladyship. [_To Lov._] Ned, you must not be so jealous now as to listen.

_Lov._ Not I, my Lord; I'm too fashionable a Husband to pry into the
Secrets of my Wife.

_Lord Fop._ [_To Aman. squeezing her Hand._] I am in love with you to
Desperation, strike me speechless.

_Aman._ [_Giving him a Box o' th' Ear._] Then thus I return your
Passion----An impudent Fool!

_Lord Fop._ Gad's Curse, Madam, I'm a Peer of the Realm.

_Lov._ Hey; what the Devil, do you affront my Wife, Sir? Nay then--

               [_They draw and fight. The Women run shrieking for Help._

_Aman._ Ah! What has my Folly done? Help! Murder, help! Part 'em, for
Heaven's sake.

_Lord Fop._ [_Falling back, and leaning upon his Sword._] Ah----quite
thro' the Body----Stap my Vitals.

                           _Enter Servants._

_Lov._ [_Running to him._] I hope I han't kill'd the Fool,
however----Bear him up! Where's your Wound?

_Lord Fop._ Just thro' the Guts.

_Lov._ Call a Surgeon there: Unbutton him quickly.

_Lord Fop._ Ay, pray make haste.

_Lov._ This Mischief you may thank yourself for.

_Lord Fop._ I may so--Love's the Devil indeed, _Ned_.

                     _Enter ~Syringe~ and Servant._

_Serv._ Here's Mr. _Syringe_, Sir, was just going by the Door.

_Lord Fop._ He's the welcomest Man alive.

_Syr._ Stand by, stand by, stand by. Pray, Gentlemen, stand by. Lord
have mercy upon us! Did you never see a Man run thro' the Body before?
Pray stand by.

_Lord Fop._ Ah, Mr. _Syringe_.----I'm a dead Man.

_Syr._ A dead Man, and I by----I shou'd laugh to see that, I'gad.

_Lov._ Pr'ythee don't stand prating, but look upon his Wound.

_Syr._ Why, what if I won't look upon his Wound this Hour, Sir?

_Lov._ Why then he'll bleed to Death, Sir.

_Syr._ Why, then I'll fetch him to life again, Sir.

_Lov._ 'Slife, he's run thro' the Guts, I tell thee.

_Syr._ Wou'd he were run thro' the Heart, I shou'd get the more Credit
by his Cure. Now I hope you are satisfy'd?----Come, now let me come at
him; now let me come at him. [_Viewing his Wound._] Oons, what a Gash
is here!--Why, Sir, a Man may drive a Coach and Six Horses into your
Body.

_Lord Fop._ Ho----

_Syr._ Why, what the Devil, have you run the Gentleman thro' with a
Scythe?----[_Aside._] A little Prick between the Skin and the Ribs,
that's all.

_Lov._ Let me see his Wound.

_Syr._ Then you shall dress it, Sir; for if any body looks upon it, I
won't.

_Lov._ Why, thou art the veriest Coxcomb I ever saw.

_Syr._ Sir, I am not Matter of my Trade for nothing.

_Lord Fop._ Surgeon!

_Syr._ Well, Sir.

_Lord Fop._ Is there any Hopes?

_Syr._ Hopes!----I can't tell----What are you willing to give for your
Cure?

_Lord Fop._ Five hundred Paunds with Pleasure.

_Syr._ Why then perhaps there may be Hopes. But we must avoid further
Delay. Here, help the Gentleman into a Chair, and carry him to my House
presently, that's the properest place [_Aside._] to bubble him out of
his Money. Come, a Chair, a Chair quickly--There, in with him.

                                           [_They put him into a Chair._

_Lord Fop._ Dear _Loveless_----Adieu. If I die----I forgive thee; and
if I live----I hope thou wilt do as much by me. I am very sorry you
and I shou'd quarrel; but I hope here's an end on't, for if you are
satisfy'd----I am.

_Lov._ I shall hardly think it worth my prosecuting any farther, so you
may be at rest, Sir.

_Lord Fop._ Thou art a generous Fellow, strike me dumb. [_Aside._] But
thou hast an impertinent Wife, stap my Vitals.

_Syr._ So, carry him off, carry him off, we shall have him prate
himself into a Fever by and by; carry him off.

                                           [_Ex. ~Serv.~ with ~L. Fop~._

_Aman._ Now on my Knees, my Dear, let me ask your pardon for my
Indiscretion, my own I never shall obtain.

_Lov._ Oh, there's no harm done: You serv'd him well.

_Aman._ He did indeed deserve it. But I tremble to think how dear my
indiscreet Resentment might have cost you.

_Lov._ O, no matter; never trouble yourself about that.

_Ber._ For Heaven's sake, what was't he did to you?

_Aman._ O nothing; he only squeez'd me kindly by the Hand, and frankly
offer'd me a Coxcomb's Heart. I know I was to blame to resent it as I
did, since nothing but a Quarrel could ensue. But the Fool so surpriz'd
me with his Insolence, I was not Mistress of my Fingers.

_Ber._ Now I dare swear, he thinks you had 'em at great Command, they
obey'd you so readily.

                           _Enter ~Worthy~._

_Wor._ Save you, save you, good People; I'm glad to find you all alive;
I met a wounded Peer carrying off. For Heav'ns sake, what was the
matter?

_Lov._ O, a Trifle: He would have lain with my Wife before my Face, so
she oblig'd him with a Box o'the Ear, and I run him thro' the Body:
That was all.

_Wor._ _Bagatelle_ on all sides. But, pray, Madam, how long has this
noble Lord been an humble Servant of yours?

_Aman._ This is the first I have heard on't. So I suppose 'tis his
Quality, more than his Love, has brought him into this Adventure. He
thinks his Title an authentick Passport to every Woman's Heart, below
the Degree of a Peeress.

_Wor._ He's Coxcomb enough to think any thing. But I wou'd not have you
brought into Trouble for him: I hope there's no Danger of his Life?

_Lov._ None at all: He's fallen into the Hands of a roguish Surgeon,
who I perceive designs to frighten a little Money out of him. But I saw
his Wound, 'tis nothing; he may go to the Play to-night, if he pleases.

_Wor._ I'm glad you have corrected him without farther Mischief. And
now, Sir, if these Ladies have no farther Service for you, you'll
oblige me if you can go to the Place I spoke to you of t'other Day.

_Lov._ With all my Heart. [_Aside._] Tho' I cou'd wish, methinks, to
stay and gaze a little longer on that Creature. Good God! How beautiful
she is!--But what have I to do with Beauty? I have already had my
Portion, and must not covet more. Come, Sir, when you please.

                                                              [_To_ Wor.

_Wor._ Ladies, your Servant. _Aman._ Mr. _Loveless_, pray one Word
with you before you go.

_Lov. ~to~ Wor._] I'll overtake you, Sir: What wou'd my Dear?

_Aman._ Only a Woman's foolish Question, How do you like my Cousin here?

_Lov._ Jealous already, _Amanda_?

_Aman._ Not at all; I ask you for another Reason.

_Lov._ _Aside._] Whate'er her Reason be, I must not tell her true. [_To
Aman._] Why, I confess she's handsome. But you must not think I slight
your Kinswoman, if I own to you, of all the Women who may claim that
Character, she is the last wou'd triumph in my Heart.

_Aman._ I'm satisfy'd.

_Lov._ Now tell me why you ask'd?

_Aman._ At Night I will. Adieu.

_Lov._ I'm yours. [_Kissing her._]

                                                            [_Exit Lov._

_Aman._ [_Aside._] I'm glad to find he does not like her; for I have a
great mind to persuade her to come and live with me. [_To Ber._] Now,
dear _Berinthia_, let me enquire a little into your Affairs: for I do
assure you, I am enough your Friend, to interest myself in every thing
that concerns you.

_Ber._ You formerly have given me such Proofs on't, I shou'd be very
much to blame to doubt it; I am sorry I have no Secrets to trust you
with, that I might convince you how entire a Confidence I durst repose
in you.

_Aman._ Why is it possible, that one so young and beautiful as you,
shou'd live and have no Secrets?

_Ber._ What Secrets do you mean?

_Aman._ Lovers.

_Ber._ O Twenty; but not one secret one amongst 'em. Lovers in this
Age have too much Honour to do any thing under-hand; they do all
above-board.

_Aman._ That now, methinks, wou'd make me hate a Man.

_Ber._ But the Women of the Town are of another mind: For by this means
a Lady may, with the Expence of a few Coquet Glances, lead twenty Fools
about in a String, for two or three Years together. Whereas, if she
shou'd allow 'em greater Favours, and oblige 'em to Secrecy, she wou'd
not keep one of 'em a Fortnight.

_Aman._ There's something indeed in That to satisfy the Vanity of a
Woman, but I can't comprehend how the Men find their Account in it.

_Ber._ Their Entertainment, I must confess, is a Riddle to me. For
there's very few of them ever get farther than a Bow and an Ogle. I
have half a Score for my share, who follow me all over the Town; and
at the Play, the Park, and the Church, do, with their Eyes, say the
violent'st things to me----But I never hear any more of 'em.

_Aman._ What can be the Reason of that?

_Ber._ One Reason is, They don't know how to go farther. They have
had so little Practice, they don't understand the Trade. But besides
their Ignorance, you must know there is not one of my half-score Lovers
but what follows half a score Mistresses. Now their Affections being
divided amongst so many, are not strong enough for any one, to make 'em
pursue her to the Purpose. Like a young Puppy in a Warren, they have a
Flirt at all, and catch none.

_Aman._ Yet they seem to have a Torrent of Love to dispose of.

_Ber._ They have so: But 'tis like the River of a Modern Philosopher,
whose Works, tho' a Woman, I have read: it sets out with a violent
Stream, splits in a thousand Branches, and is all lost in the Sands.

_Aman._ But do you think this River of Love runs all its Course without
doing any Mischief? Do you think it overflows nothing?

_Ber._ O yes; 'tis true, it never breaks into any body's Ground that
has the least Fence about it; but it overflows all the Commons that
lie in its way. And this is the utmost Achievement of those dreadful
Champions in the Field of Love--the Beaux.

_Aman._ But pr'ythee, _Berinthia_, instruct me a little farther; for I
am so great a Novice, I'm almost asham'd on't. My Husband's leaving me
whilst I was young and fond, threw me into that Depth of Discontent,
that ever since I have led so private and recluse a Life, my Ignorance
is scarce conceivable. I therefore fain would be instructed: Not,
Heaven knows, that what you call Intrigues have any Charms for me:
my Love and Principles are too well fix'd. The practick Part of all
unlawful Love is----

_Ber._ O 'tis abominable: But for the Speculative--that we must all
confess is entertaining. The Conversation of all the virtuous Women in
the Town turns upon that and new Clothes.

_Aman._ Pray be so just then to me, to believe, 'tis with a World of
Innocency I wou'd enquire, Whether you think those Women we call Women
of Reputation, do really 'scape all other Men, as they do those Shadows
of 'em, the Beaux.

_Ber._ O no, _Amanda_; there are a sort of Men make dreadful Work
amongst 'em: Men that may be call'd The Beaux Antipathy; for they agree
in nothing but walking upon two Legs.

    These have Brains: The Beau has none.
    These are in Love with their Mistress: The Beau with himself.
    They take care of her Reputation: He's industrious to destroy it.
    They are decent: He's a Fop.
    They are sound: He's rotten.
    They are Men: He's an Ass.

_Aman._ If this be their Character, I fancy we had here e'en now a
Pattern of 'em both.

_Ber._ His Lordship and Mr. _Worthy_?

_Aman._ The same.

_Ber._ As for the Lord, he's eminently so; And for the other, I can
assure you, there's not a Man in Town who has a better Interest with
the Women, that are worth having an Interest with. But 'tis all
private: He's like a Back-stair Minister at Court, who, whilst the
reputed Favourites are sauntering in the Bed-chamber, is ruling the
Roast in the Closet.

_Aman._ He answers then the Opinion I had ever of him. Heavens! What
a difference there is between a Man like him, and that vain nauseous
Fop, Sir _Novelty_! [_Taking her Hand._] I must acquaint you with a
Secret, Cousin. 'Tis not that Fool alone has talked to me of Love,
_Worthy_ has been tampering too: 'Tis true, he has done it in vain: Not
all his Charms or Art have power to shake me. My Love, my Duty, and
my Virtue, are such faithful Guards, I need not fear my Heart shou'd
e'er betray me. But what I wonder at is this: I find I did not start at
his Proposal, as when it came from one whom I contemn'd. I therefore
mention this Attempt, that I may learn from you whence it proceeds,
that Vice, which cannot change its Nature, shou'd so far change at
least its Shape, as that the self-same Crime propos'd from one shall
seem a Monster gaping at your Ruin, when from another it shall look so
kind, as tho' it were your Friend, and never meant to harm you. Whence
think you, can this Difference proceed? For 'tis not Love, Heaven knows.

_Ber._ O no; I wou'd not for the World believe it were. But possibly,
shou'd there a dreadful Sentence pass upon you, to undergo the Rage
of both their Passions; the Pain you apprehend from one might seem so
trivial to the other, the Danger wou'd not quite so much alarm you.

_Aman._ Fy, fy, _Berinthia_! you wou'd indeed alarm me, cou'd you
incline me to a Thought, that all the Merit of Mankind combin'd, cou'd
shake that tender Love I bear my Husband: No, he sits triumphant in my
Heart, and nothing can dethrone him.

_Ber._ But shou'd he abdicate again, do you think you shou'd preserve
the vacant Throne ten tedious Winters more, in hopes of his return?

_Aman._ Indeed I think I shou'd. Tho' I confess, after those
Obligations he has to me, shou'd he abandon me once more, my Heart
wou'd grow extremely urgent with me to root him thence, and cast him
out for ever.

_Ber._ Were I that thing they call a slighted Wife, some Body shou'd
run the risque of being that thing they call--a Husband.

_Aman._ O fy, _Berinthia_! No Revenge shou'd ever be taken against a
Husband: But to wrong his Bed is a Vengeance, which of all Vengeance----

_Ber._ Is the sweetest--ha, ha, ha! Don't I talk madly?

_Aman._ Madly indeed.

_Ber._ Yet I'm very innocent.

_Aman._ That I dare swear you are. I know how to make Allowances for
your Humour: You were always very entertaining Company; but I find
since Marriage and Widowhood have shewn you the World a little, you are
very much improv'd.

_Ber._ [_Aside._] Alack a-day, there has gone more than that to improve
me, if she knew all.

_Aman._ For Heaven's sake, _Berinthia_, tell me what way I shall take
to persuade you to come and live with me?

_Ber._ Why, one way in the World there is----and but one.

_Aman._ Pray which is that?

_Ber._ It is to assure me--I shall be very welcome.

_Aman._ If that be all, you shall e'en lie here to-night.

_Ber._ To-night?

_Aman._ Yes, to-night.

_Ber._ Why, the People where I lodge will think me mad.

_Aman._ Let 'em think what they please.

_Ber._ Say you so, _Amanda_? Why then they shall think what they
please: For I'm a young Widow, and I care not what any body thinks. Ah,
_Amanda_, it's a delicious thing to be a young Widow.

_Aman._ You'll hardly make me think so.

_Ber._ Phu, because you are in love with your Husband: but that is not
every Woman's Case.

_Aman._ I hope 'twas yours, at least.

_Ber._ Mine, say ye? Now I have a great mind to tell you a Lye, but I
shou'd do it so aukwardly, you'd find me out.

_Aman._ Then e'en speak the Truth.

_Ber._ Shall I?----Then after all, I did love him, _Amanda_----as a Nun
does Penance. _Aman._ Why did not you refuse to marry him, then?

_Ber._ Because my Mother wou'd have whipt me.

_Aman._ How did you live together?

_Ber._ Like Man and Wife--asunder;

    He lov'd the Country, I the Town.
    He Hawks and Hounds, I Coaches and Equipage.
    He Eating and Drinking, I Carding and Playing.
    He the Sound of a Horn, I the Squeak of a Fiddle.
    We were dull Company at Table, worse a-bed.
    Whenever we met, we gave one another the Spleen.
    And never agreed but once, which was about lying alone.

_Aman._ But tell me one thing truly and sincerely.

_Ber._ What's that?

_Aman._ Notwithstanding all these Jars, did not his Death at last
extremely trouble you?

_Ber._ O yes: Not that my present Pangs were so very violent, but the
After-pains were intolerable. I was forc'd to wear a beastly Widow's
Band a Twelvemonth for't.

_Aman._ Women, I find, have different Inclinations.

_Ber._ Women, I find, keep different Company. When your Husband ran
away from you, if you had fallen into some of my Acquaintance, 'twou'd
have sav'd you many a Tear. But you go and live with a Grandmother, a
Bishop, and an old Nurse, which was enough to make any Woman break her
Heart for her Husband. Pray, _Amanda_, if ever you are a Widow again,
keep yourself so as I do.

_Aman._ Why, do you then resolve you'll never marry?

_Ber._ O, no; I resolve I will.

_Aman._ How so?

_Ber._ That I never may.

_Aman._ You banter me.

_Ber._ Indeed I don't. But I consider I'm a Woman, and form my
Resolutions accordingly.

_Aman._ Well, my Opinion is, form what Resolution you will, Matrimony
will be the end on't.

_Ber._ Faith it won't.

_Aman._ How do you know?

_Ber._ I'm sure on't.

_Aman._ Why, do you think 'tis impossible for you to fall in love?

_Ber._ No.

_Aman._ Nay, but to grow so passionately fond, that nothing but the Man
you love can give you rest?

_Ber._ Well, what then?

_Aman._ Why, then you'll marry him.

_Ber._ How do you know that?

_Aman._ Why, what can you do else?

_Ber._ Nothing--but sit and cry.

_Aman._ Psha.

_Ber._ Ah, poor _Amanda_, you have led a Country Life: But if you'll
consult the Widows of this Town, they'll tell you, you shou'd never
take a Lease of a House you can hire for a Quarter's Warning.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ III.


                 _Enter Lord ~Foppington~ and Servant._

_Lord Fop._ Hey, Fellow, let the Coach come to the Door.

_Serv._ Will your Lordship venture so soon to expose yourself to the
Weather?

_Lord Fop._ Sir, I will venture as soon as I can, to expose myself
to the Ladies: tho' give me my Cloke, however; for in that Side-bax,
what between the Air that comes in at the Door on one side, and the
intolerable Warmth of the Masks on t'other, a Man gets so many Heats
and Colds, 'twou'd destroy the Canstitution of a Harse.

_Ser._ [_Putting on his Cloke._] I wish your Lordship wou'd please
to keep House a little longer, I'm afraid your Honour does not well
consider your Wound.

_Lord Fop._ My Wound!----I wou'd not be in Eclipse another Day, tho' I
had as many Wounds in my Guts as I have had in my Heart.

                        _Enter ~Young Fashion~._

_Young Fash._ Brother, your Servant. How do you find yourself to-day?

_Lord Fop._ So well, that I have arder'd my Coach to the Door: So
there's no great Danger of Death this baut, _Tam_.

_Young Fash._ I'm very glad of it.

_Lord Fop._ _aside._] That I believe's a Lye. Pr'ythee, _Tam_, tell me
one thing: Did not your Heart cut a Caper up to your Mauth, when you
heard I was run thro' the Bady?

_Young Fash._ Why do you think it shou'd?

_Lord Fop._ Because I remember mine did so, when I heard my Father was
shat thro' the Head?

_Young Fash._ It then did very ill.

_Lord Fop._ Pr'ythee, why so?

_Young Fash._ Because he us'd you very well.

_Lord Fop._ Well?--naw strike me dumb, he starv'd me. He has let me
want a Thausand Women for want of a Thausand Paund.

_Young Fash._ Then he hindered you from making a great many ill
Bargains; for I think no Woman is worth Money, that will take Money.

_Lord Fop._ If I were a younger Brother, I shou'd think so too.

_Young Fash._ Why, is it possible you can value a Woman that's to be
bought?

_Lord Fop._ Pr'ythee, why not as well as a Pad-Nag?

_Young Fash._ Because a Woman has a Heart to dispose of; a Horse has
none.

_Lord Fop._ Look you, _Tam_, of all things that belang to a Woman, I
have an Aversion to her Heart; far when once a Woman has given you her
Heart----you can never get rid of the rest of her Bady.

_Young Fash._ This is strange Doctrine: But pray in your Amours how is
it with your own Heart?

_Lord Fop._ Why, my Heart in my Amours----is like----my Heart aut of
my Amours; _a la glace_. My Bady, _Tam_, is a Watch; and my Heart is
the Pendulum to it; whilst the Finger runs raund to every Hour in the
Circle, that still beats the same time.

_Young Fash._ Then you are seldom much in love?

_Lord Fop._ Never, Stap my Vitals.

_Young Fash._ Why then did you make all this Bustle about _Amanda_?

_Lord Fop._ Because she was a Woman of an insolent Virtue, and I
thought myself piqu'd in Honour to debauch her.

_Young Fash._ Very well. [_Aside._] Here's a rare Fellow for you,
to have the spending of Five Thousand Pounds a-year. But now for my
Business with him. [_To Lord Fop._] Brother, tho' I know to talk of
Business (especially of Money) is a Theme not quite so entertaining to
you as that of the Ladies, my Necessities are such, I hope you'll have
patience to hear me.

_Lord Fop._ The greatness of your Necessities, _Tam_, is the worst
Argument in the Warld far your being patiently heard. I do believe you
are going to make a very good Speech, but, strike me dumb, it has the
worst beginning of any Speech I have heard this Twelvemonth.

_Young Fash._ I'm very sorry you think so.

_Lord Fop._ I do believe thou art. But come, let's know thy Affair
quickly; for 'tis a new Play, and I shall be so rumpled and squeezed
with pressing thro' the Crawd, to get to my Servant, the Women will
think I have lain all Night in my Clothes.

_Young Fash._ Why then (that I may not be the Author of so great a
Misfortune) my Case in a Word is this: The necessary Expences of my
Travels have so much exceeded the wretched Income of my Annuity, that
I have been forced to mortgage it for Five Hundred Pounds, which is
spent; so that unless you are so kind to assist me in redeeming it, I
know no Remedy but to take a Purse.

_Lord Fop._ Why, Faith, _Tam_----to give you my Sense of the thing,
I do think taking a Purse the best Remedy in the Warld; for if you
succeed, you are reliev'd that way; if you are taken----you are
reliev'd t'other.

_Young Fash._ I'm glad to see you are in so pleasant a Humour, I hope I
shall find the Effects on't.

_Lord Fop._ Why, do you then really think it a reasonable thing I
should give you Five Hundred Paunds?

_Young Fash._ I do not ask it as a Due, Brother, I am willing to
receive it as a Favour.

_Lord Fop._ Thau art willing to receive it any haw, strike me
speechless. But these are damn'd times to give Money in: Taxes are so
great, Repairs so exorbitant, Tenants such Rogues, and Perriwigs so
dear, that the Devil take me, I'm reduc'd to that extremity in my Cash,
I have been farc'd to retrench in that one Article of sweet Pawder,
till I have braught it dawn to Five Guineas a Manth. Naw judge, _Tam_,
whether I can spare you Five hundred Paunds?

_Young Fash._ If you can't, I must starve, that's all, [_Aside._] Damn
him.

_Lord Fop._ All I can say is, you should have been a better Husband.

_Young Fash._ 'Oons, if you can't live upon five thousand a-year, how
do you think I should do't upon two hundred?

_Lord Fop._ Don't be in a Passion, _Tam_; far Passion is the most
unbecoming thing in the Warld----to the Face. Look you, I don't love to
say any thing to you to make you melancholy; but upon this occasion I
must take leave to put you in mind, that a Running Horse does require
more Attendance, than a Coach-Horse. Nature has made some difference
'twixt you and I.

_Young Fash._ Yes, she has made you older. [_Aside._] Pox take her.

_Lord Fop._ That is nat all. _Tam_.

_Young Fash._ Why, what is there else?

_Lord Fop._ [_Looking first upon himself, then upon his
Brother._]----Ask the Ladies.

_Young Fash._ Why, thou Essence Bottle, thou Musk-Cat, dost thou then
think thou hast any Advantage over me, but what Fortune has given thee?

_Lord Fop._ I do----stap my Vitals.

_Young Fash._ Now, by all that's great and powerful, thou art the
Prince of Coxcombs.

_Lord Fop._ Sir----I am praud of being at the Head of so prevailing a
Party.

_Young Fash._ Will nothing then provoke thee?--Draw, Coward.

_Lord Fop._ Look you, _Tam_, you know I have always taken you for a
mighty dull Fellow, and here is one of the foolishest Plats broke
out, that I have seen a long time. Your Paverty makes your Life so
burdensome to you, you would provoke me to a Quarrel, in hopes either
to slip thro' my Lungs into my Estate, or to get yourself run thro' the
Guts, to put an end to your Pain. But I will disappoint you in both
your Designs; far with the Temper of a Philasapher, and the Discretion
of a Statesman--I will go to the Play with my Sword in my Scabbard.

                                                     [_Exit ~Lord Fop~._

_Young Fash._ So! Farewel, Snuff-Box. And now, Conscience, I defy thee.
_Lory!_

                            _Enter ~Lory~._

_Lo._ Sir.

_Young Fash._ Here's rare News, _Lory_; his Lordship has given me a
Pill has purg'd off all my Scruples.

_Lo._ Then my Heart's at ease again: For I have been in a lamentable
Fright, Sir, ever since your Conscience had the Impudence to intrude
into your Company.

_Young Fash._ Be at peace, it will come there no more: My Brother has
given it a wring by the Nose, and I have kick'd it down Stairs. So run
away to the Inn; get the Horses ready quickly, and bring them to old
_Coupler_'s, without a Moment's Delay.

_Lo._ Then, Sir, you are going straight about the Fortune.

_Young Fash._ I am: away; fly, _Lory_.

_Lo._ The happiest Day I ever saw. I'm upon the Wing already.

                                                 [_Exeunt several ways._


+SCENE+, _A Garden_.

                    _Enter ~Loveless~ and Servant_.

_Lov._ Is my Wife within?

_Ser._ No, Sir, she has been gone out this Half-hour.

_Lov._ 'Tis well; leave me.

                                _Solus._

    Sure Fate has yet some Business to be done,
    Before _Amanda_'s Heart and mine must rest;
    Else, why amongst those Legions of her Sex,
    Which throng the World,
    Shou'd she pick out for her Companion
    The only one on Earth
    Whom Nature has endow'd for her undoing?
    Undoing was't, I said----Who shall undo her?
    Is not her Empire fix'd? Am I not hers?
    Did she not rescue me, a groveling Slave,
    When, chain'd and bound by that black Tyrant Vice,
    I labour'd in his vilest Drudgery?
    Did she not ransom me, and set me free?
    Nay, more:
    When by my Follies sunk
    To a poor tatter'd, despicable Beggar,
    Did she not lift me up to envy'd Fortune?
    Give me herself, and all that she possest?
    Without a Thought of more Return,
    Than what a poor repenting Heart might make her,
    Han't she done this? And if she has,
    Am I not strongly bound to love her for it?
    To love her--Why, do I not love her then?
    By Earth and Heaven, I do!
    Nay, I have Demonstration that I do:
    For I would sacrifice my Life to serve her.
    Yet hold----If laying down my Life
    Be Demonstration of my Love,
    What is't I feel in favour of _Berinthia_?
    For shou'd she be in danger, methinks, I cou'd incline
    To risk it for her Service too; and yet I do not love her.
    How then subsists my Proof?--
    --O, I have found it out.
    What I would do for one, is Demonstration of my Love;
    And if I'd do as much for t'other: it there is Demonstration
    of my Friendship----Ay----it must be so. I find
    I'm very much her Friend.--Yet let me ask myself one
    puzzling Question more:
      Whence springs this mighty Friendship all at once?
    For our Acquaintance is of a later Date. Now Friendship's
    said to be a Plant of tedious Growth, its Root
    compos'd of tender Fibres, nice in their Taste, cautious
    in spreading, check'd with the least Corruption in the
    Soil, long ere it take, and longer still ere it appear to
    do so; whilst mine is in a Moment shot so high, and fix'd
    so fast, it seems beyond the Power of Storms to shake it.
    I doubt it thrives too fast.

                                                              [_Musing._

                          _Enter ~Berinthia~._

    --Ah, she here!--Nay, then take heed, my Heart, for
    there are Dangers towards.

_Ber._ What makes you look so thoughtful, Sir? I hope you are not ill.

_Lov._ I was debating, Madam, whether I was so or not; and that was it
which made me look so thoughtful.

_Ber._ Is it then so hard a matter to decide? I thought all People had
been acquainted with their own Bodies, tho' few People know their own
Minds.

_Lov._ What if the Distemper, I suspect, be in the Mind?

_Ber._ Why then I'll undertake to prescribe you a Cure.

_Lov._ Alas, you undertake you know not what.

_Ber._ So far at least then allow me to be a Physician.

_Lov._ Nay, I'll allow you so yet farther: For I have reason to
believe, shou'd I put myself into your Hands, you wou'd increase my
Distemper.

_Ber._ Perhaps I might have Reasons from the College not to be too
quick in your Cure; but 'tis possible, I might find ways to give you
often Ease, Sir.

_Lov._ Were I but sure of that, I'd quickly lay my Case before you.

_Ber._ Whether you are sure of it or no, what Risk do you run in trying?

_Lov._ O, a very great one.

_Ber._ How?

_Lov._ You might betray my Distemper to my Wife.

_Ber._ And so lose all my Practice.

_Lov._ Will you then keep my Secret?

_Ber._ I will, if it don't burst me.

_Lov._ Swear.

_Ber._ I do.

_Lov._ By what?

_Ber._ By Woman.

_Lov._ That's swearing by my Deity. Do it by your own, or I shan't
believe you.

_Ber._ By Man then.

_Lov._ I'm satisfy'd. Now hear my Symptoms, and give me your Advice.
The first were these:

    When 'twas my Chance to see you at the Play,
    A random Glance you threw, at first alarm'd me,
    I cou'd not turn my Eyes from whence the Danger came:
    I gaz'd upon you, till you shot again,
    And then my Fears came on me.
    My Heart began to pant, my Limbs to tremble,
    My Blood grew thin, my Pulse beat quick,
    My Eyes grew hot and dim, and all the Frame of Nature
    Shook with Apprehension.
    'Tis true, some small Recruits of Resolution
    My Manhood brought to my Assistance,
    And by their Help I made a Stand a while,
    But found at last your Arrows flew so thick,
    They cou'd not fail to pierce me;
    So left the Field,
    And fled for shelter to _Amanda_'s Arms.
    What think you of these Symptoms, pray?

_Ber._ Feverish every one of 'em. But what Relief pray did your Wife
afford you?

_Lov._ Why, instantly she let me Blood, which for the present much
assuag'd my Flame. But when I saw you, out it burst again, and rag'd
with greater Fury than before. Nay, since you now appear, 'tis so
increas'd, that in a Moment, if you do not help me, I shall, whilst you
look on, consume to Ashes.

                                             [_Taking hold of her Hand._

_Ber._ [_Breaking from him._] O Lard, let me go: 'Tis the Plague, and
we shall all be infected.

_Lov._ [_Catching her in his Arms, and kissing her._] Then we'll die
together, my charming Angel.

_Ber._ O Ged----the Devil's in you. Lard, let me go, here's somebody
coming.

                            _Enter Servant._

_Serv._ Sir, my Lady's come home, and desires to speak with you: She's
in her Chamber.

_Lov._ Tell her I'm coming.

                                                           [_Exit Serv._

_To Ber._ But before I go, one Glass of Nectar more to drink her Health.

_Ber._ Stand off, or I shall hate you, by Heavens!

_Lov._ [_Kissing her._] In Matters of Love, a Woman's Oath is no more
to be minded than a Man's.

_Ber._ Um----

                           _Enter ~Worthy~._

_Wor._ Ha! What's here? my old Mistress, and so close, I'faith! I wou'd
not spoil her Sport for the Universe.

                                                          [_He retires._

_Ber._ O Ged----Now do I pray to Heaven, [_Exit ~Loveless~ running._]
with all my Heart and Soul, that the Devil in Hell may take me, if
ever----I was better pleas'd in my Life--This Man has bewitch'd
me, that's certain. [_Sighing._] Well, I am condemn'd, but, Thanks
to Heaven, I feel myself each Moment more and more prepar'd for my
Execution--Nay, to that degree, I don't perceive I have the least fear
of Dying. No, I find, let the Executioner be but a Man, and there's
nothing will suffer with more Resolution than a Woman. Well, I never
had but one Intrigue yet: But I confess I long to have another. Pray
Heaven it end as the first did tho', that we may both grow weary at a
time; for 'tis a melancholy thing for Lovers to outlive one another.

                           _Enter ~Worthy~._

_Wor._ [_Aside._] This Discovery's a lucky one, I hope to make a happy
use on't. That Gentlewoman there is no Fool; so I shall be able to make
her understand her Interest. [_To_ Ber.] Your Servant, Madam; I need
not ask you how you do, you have got so good a Colour.

_Ber._ No better than I us'd to have, I suppose.

_Wor._ A little more Blood in your Cheeks.

_Ber._ The Weather's hot.

_Wor._ If it were not, a Woman may have a Colour.

_Ber._ What do you mean by that?

_Wor._ Nothing.

_Ber._ Why do you smile then?

_Wor._ Because the Weather's hot.

_Ber._ You'll never leave roguing, I see that.

_Wor._ [_Putting his Finger to his Nose._] You'll never leave----I see
that.

_Ber._ Well, I can't imagine what you drive at. Pray tell me what you
mean?

_Wor._ Do you tell me, it's the same thing.

_Ber._ I can't.

_Wor._ Guess!

_Ber._ I shall guess wrong.

_Wor._ Indeed you won't.

_Ber._ Psha! either tell, or let it alone.

_Wor._ Nay, rather than let it alone, I will tell. But first I must put
you in mind that, after what has past 'twixt you and I, very few things
ought to be Secrets between us.

_Ber._ Why what Secrets do we hide? I know of none.

_Wor._ Yes, there are two; one I have hid from you, and t'other
you wou'd hide from me. You are fond of _Loveless_, which I have
discover'd; and I am fond of his Wife----

_Ber._ Which I have discover'd.

_Wor._ Very well; now I confess your Discovery to be true, what do you
say to mine?

_Ber._ Why, I confess----I wou'd swear 'twere false, if I thought you
were Fool enough to believe me.

_Wor._ Now am I almost in Love with you again. Nay, I don't know but
I might be quite so, had I made one short Campaign with _Amanda_.
Therefore, if you find 'twould tickle your Vanity, to bring me down
once more to your Lure, e'en help me quickly to dispatch her Business,
that I may have nothing else to do, but to apply myself to yours.

_Ber._ Do you then think, Sir, I am old enough to be a Bawd?

_Wor._ No, but I think you are wise enough to----

_Ber._ To do what?

_Wor._ To hoodwink _Amanda_ with a Gallant, that she mayn't see who is
her Husband's Mistress.

_Ber._ [_Aside._] He has reason: The Hint's a good one.

_Wor._ Well, Madam, what think you on't?

_Ber._ I think you are so much a deeper Politician in these Affairs
than I am, that I ought to have a very great regard to your Advice.

_Wor._ Then give me leave to put you in mind, that the most easy, safe,
and pleasant Situation for your own Amour, is the House in which you
now are; provided you keep _Amanda_ from any sort of Suspicion. That
the way to do that, is to engage her in an Intrigue of her own, making
yourself her Confidante. And the way to bring her to intrigue, is to
make her jealous of her Husband in a wrong place; which the more you
foment, the less you'll be suspected. This is my Scheme, in short;
which if you follow as you shou'd do, (my dear _Berinthia_) we may all
four pass the Winter very pleasantly.

_Ber._ Well, I could be glad to have nobody's Sins to answer for but my
own. But where there is a Necessity--

_Wor._ Right! as you say, where there is a Necessity, a Christian is
bound to help his Neighbour. So, good _Berinthia_, lose no time, but
let us begin the Dance as fast as we can.

_Ber._ Not till the Fiddles are in tune, pray, Sir. Your Lady's Strings
will be very apt to fly, I can tell you that, if they are wound up
too hastily. But if you'll have patience to skrew them to a pitch by
degrees, I don't doubt but she may endure to be play'd upon.

_Wor._ Ay, and will make admirable Musick too, or I'm mistaken; but
have you had no private Closet Discourse with her yet about Males and
Females, and so forth, which may give you hopes in her Constitution;
for I know her Morals are the Devil against us.

_Ber._ I have had so much Discourse with her, that I believe were she
once cur'd of her fondness to her Husband, the Fortress of her Virtue
wou'd not be so impregnable as she fancies.

_Wor._ What! she runs, I'll warrant you, into that common Mistake of
fond Wives, who conclude themselves virtuous, because they can refuse a
Man they don't like, when they have got one they do.

_Ber._ True, and there I think 'tis a presumptuous thing in a Woman
to assume the Name of Virtuous, till she has heartily hated her
Husband, and been soundly in love with somebody else. Whom if she has
withstood--then--much good may it do her!

_Wor._ Well, so much for her Virtue. Now, one word of her Inclinations,
and every one to their Post. What Opinion do you find she has of me?

_Ber._ What you cou'd wish; she thinks you handsome and discreet.

_Wor._ Good, that's thinking half Seas over. One Tide more brings us
into Port.

_Ber._ Perhaps it may, tho' still remember, there's a difficult Bar to
pass.

_Wor._ I know there is, but I don't question I shall get well over it,
by the help of such a Pilot.

_Ber._ You may depend upon your Pilot, she'll do the best she can; so
weigh Anchor, and be gone as soon as you please.

_Wor._ I'm under Sail already. Adieu.

                                                          [_Exit ~Wor~._

_Ber._ _Bon Voyage._

                                _Sola._

  So, here's fine Work. What a Business have I undertaken! I'm a
  very pretty Gentlewoman, truly; but there was no avoiding it: He'd
  have ruin'd me, if I had refus'd him. Besides, faith, I begin to
  fancy there may be as much pleasure in carrying on another body's
  Intrigue, as one's own. This at least is certain, it exercises
  almost all the entertaining Faculties of a Woman: For there's
  employment for Hypocrisy, Invention, Deceit, Flattery, Mischief,
  and Lying.

               _Enter ~Amanda~, her Woman following her._

_Wom._ If you please, Madam, only to say, whether you'll have me to buy
'em or not.

_Aman._ Yes, no, go fiddle; I care not what you do. Pr'ythee leave me.

_Wom._ I have done.

                                                            [_Exit Wom._

_Ber._ What in the Name of _Jove_'s the matter with you?

_Aman._ The matter, _Berinthia_! I'm almost mad, I'm plagu'd to death.

_Ber._ Who is it that plagues you?

_Aman._ Who do you think shou'd plague a Wife, but her Husband?

_Ber._ O ho, is it come to that? We shall have you wish yourself a
Widow by and by.

_Aman._ Wou'd I were any thing but what I am! A base ungrateful Man,
after what I have done for him, to use me thus!

_Ber._ What, he has been ogling now, I'll warrant you?

_Aman._ Yes, he has been ogling.

_Ber._ And so you are jealous? Is that all?

_Aman._ That all! Is jealousy then nothing?

_Ber._ It shou'd be nothing, if I were in your Case.

_Aman._ Why, what wou'd you do?

_Ber._ I'd cure myself.

_Aman._ How?

_Ber._ Let Blood in the fond Vein: Care as little for my Husband as he
did for me.

_Aman._ That would not stop his Course.

_Ber._ Nor nothing else, when the Wind's in the warm Corner. Look you,
_Amanda_, you may build Castles in the Air, and fume, and fret, and
grow thin and lean, and pale and ugly, if you please. But I tell you,
no Man worth having is true to his Wife, or can be true to his Wife, or
ever was, or ever will be so.

_Aman._ Do you then really think he's false to me? for I did but
suspect him.

_Ber._ Think so? I know he's so.

_Aman._ Is it possible? Pray tell me what you know.

_Ber._ Don't press me then to name Names; for that I have sworn I won't
do.

_Aman._ Well, I won't; but let me know all you can without Perjury.

_Ber._ I'll let you know enough to prevent any wise Woman's dying
of the Pip; and I hope you'll pluck up your Spirits, and shew, upon
occasion, you can be as good a Wife as the best of 'em.

_Aman._ Well, what a Woman, can do I'll endeavour.

_Ber._ O, a Woman can do a great deal, if once she sets her mind to it.
Therefore pray don't stand trifling any longer, and teasing yourself
with this and that, and your Love and your Virtue, and I know not what.
But resolve to hold up your Head, get a tiptoe, and look over them all;
for to my certain knowledge your husband is a pickering elsewhere.

_Aman._ You are sure on't?

_Ber._ Positively, he fell in love at the Play.

_Aman._ Right, the very same; do you know the ugly thing?

_Ber._ Yes, I know her well enough; but she's no such ugly thing,
neither.

_Aman._ Is she very handsome?

_Ber._ Truly I think so.

_Aman._ Hey-ho!

_Ber._ What do you sigh for now?

_Aman._ Oh my Heart!

_Ber._ [_Aside._] Only the Pangs of Nature! she's in Labour of her
Love; Heaven send her a quick Delivery! I'm sure she has a good Midwife.

_Aman._ I'm very ill, I must go to my Chamber; Dear _Berinthia_, don't
leave me a Moment.

_Ber._ No, don't fear. [_Aside._] I'll see you safe brought-to-bed,
I'll warrant you.

                           [_Exeunt, ~Amanda~ leaning upon ~Berinthia~._


+SCENE+, _A Country-House_.

                  _Enter ~Young~ Fashion and ~Lory~._

_Young Fash._ So, here's our Inheritance, _Lory_, if we can but get
into Possession. But, methinks, the Seat of our Family looks like
_Noah_'s Ark, as if the chief part on't were design'd for the Fowls of
the Air, and the Beasts of the Field.

_Lo._ Pray, Sir, don't let your Head run upon the Orders of Building
here; get but the Heiress, let the Devil take the House.

_Young Fash._ Get but the House, let the Devil take the Heiress, I say;
at least if she be as old _Coupler_ describes her. But come, we have
no time to squander. Knock at the Door. [Lory _knocks two or three
times._] What the Devil, have they got no Ears in this House? Knock
harder.

_Lo._ I'gad, Sir, this will prove some inchanted Castle; we shall have
the Giant come out by and by with his Club, and beat our Brains out.

                                                        [_Knocks again._

_Young Fash._ Hush! they come.

_From within._] Who is there?

_Lo._ Open the Door and see: Is that your Country Breeding?

_Within._ Ay, but two Words to a Bargain: _Tummus_, is the Blunderbuss
prim'd?

_Young Fash._ Oons, give 'em good Words, _Lory_; we shall be shot here
a Fortune-catching.

_Lo._ I'gad, Sir, I think y'are in the right on't. Ho, Mr. What
d'ye-call-um.--[_Servant appears at the Window with a Blunderbuss._]
Weal naw, what's yar Business?

_Young Fash._ Nothing, Sir, but to wait upon Sir _Tunbelly_, with your
leave.

_Ser._ To weat upon Sir _Tunbelly_? Why, you'll find that's just as Sir
_Tunbelly_ pleases.

_Young Fash._ But will you do me the Favour, Sir, to know whether Sir
_Tunbelly_ pleases or not?

_Ser._ Why, look you, do you see, with good Words, much may be done.
_Ralph_, go thy weas, and ask Sir _Tunbelly_ if he pleases to be
waited upon. And, do'st hear? call to Nurse, that she may lock up Miss
_Hoyden_ before the Gates open.

_Young Fash._ D'ye hear that, _Lory_?

_Lo._ Ay, Sir, I'm afraid we shall find a difficult Jobb on't. Pray
Heaven that old Rogue _Coupler_ han't sent us to fetch Milk out of the
Gunroom!

_Young Fash._ I'll warrant thee all will go well: See; the Door opens.

          _Enter Sir ~Tunbelly~, with his Servants arm'd with
                Guns, Clubs, Pitchforks, Scythes, ~&c.~_

_Lo._ [_Running behind his Master._] O Lord, O Lord, O Lord, we are
both dead Men!

_Young Fash._ Take heed, Fool, thy Fear will ruin us.

_Lo._ My Fear, Sir--'Sdeath, Sir, I fear nothing. [_Aside._] Wou'd I
were well up to the Chin in a Horse-Pond!

Sir _Tun._ Who is it here has any Business with me?

_Young Fash._ Sir, 'tis I, if your Name be Sir _Tunbelly Clumsey_.

Sir _Tun._ Sir, my Name is Sir _Tunbelly Clumsey_, whether you have any
Business with me or not. So you see I am not asham'd of my Name--nor my
Face--neither.

_Young Fash._ Sir, you have no cause, that I know of.

Sir _Tun._ Sir, if you have no cause neither, I desire to know who
you are; for till I know your Name, I shall not ask you to come into
my House; and when I know your Name--'tis six to four I don't ask you
neither.

_Young Fash._ [_Giving him a Letter._] Sir, I hope you'll find this
Letter an Authentick Passport.

Sir _Tun._ God's my life, I ask your Lordship's Pardon ten thousand
times. [_To his Servant._] Here, run in a-doors quickly: Get a
Scotch-Coal Fire in the great Parlour; set all the Turkey-work-Chairs
in their places; get the great Brass Candlesticks out; and be sure
stick the Sockets full of Laurel; run. [_Turning to ~Young Fash~._] My
Lord, I ask your Lordship's pardon. [_To other Servants._] And do you
hear, run away to Nurse, bid her let Miss _Hoyden_ loose again, and if
it was not shifting Day, let her put on a clean Tucker--quick!

                                          [_Exeunt Servants confusedly._

_To_ Young Fash.] I hope your Honour will excuse the disorder of my
Family; we are not us'd to receive Men of your Lordship's great Quality
every day; pray where are your Coaches and Servants, my Lord?

_Young Fash._ Sir, that I might give you and your fair Daughter a proof
how impatient I am to be nearer akin to you, I left my Equipage to
follow me, and came away Post with only one servant.

Sir _Tun._ Your Lordship does me too much Honour. It was exposing
your Person to too much Fatigue and Danger, I protest it was; but my
Daughter shall endeavour to make you what amends she can; and tho' I
say it, that shou'd not say it--_Hoyden_ has Charms.

_Young Fash._ Sir, I am not a Stranger to them, tho' I am to her.
Common Fame has done her Justice.

Sir _Tun._ My Lord, I am common Fame's very grateful humble Servant. My
Lord----my Girl's young: _Hoyden_ is young, my Lord; but this I must
say for her, what she wants in Art, she has by Nature; what she wants
in Experience, she has in Breeding; and what's wanting in her Age, is
made good in her Constitution. So pray, my Lord, walk in; pray, my
Lord, walk in.

_Young Fash._ Sir, I wait upon you.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

                         _Miss ~Hoyden~ sola._

Sure never no body was us'd as I am. I know well enough what other
Girls do, for all they think to make a Fool of me: It's well I have a
Husband a coming, or I'cod, I'd marry the Baker, I wou'd so. No body
can knock at the Gate, but presently I must be lockt up; and here's the
young Greyhound Bitch can run loose about the House all the day long,
she can; 'tis very well.

                  _Nurse ~without~, opening the Door._

            Miss _Hoyden_! Miss, Miss, Miss! Miss _Hoyden_!

                            _Enter ~Nurse~._

_Miss._ Well, what do you make such a Noise for, ha! What do you din a
body's Ears for? Can't one be at quiet for you?

_Nurse._ What do I din your Ears for? Here's one come will din your
Ears for you.

_Miss._ What care I who's come? I care not a Fig who comes, nor who
goes, as long as I shall be lockt up like the Ale-Cellar.

_Nurse._ That, Miss, is for fear you shou'd be drank before you are
ripe.

_Miss._ O, don't you trouble your Head about that; I'm as ripe as you,
tho' not so mellow.

_Nurse._ Very well; now I have a good mind to lock you up again, and
not let you see my Lord to-night.

_Miss._ My Lord! Why, is my Husband come?

_Nurse._ Yes, marry is he, and a goodly Person too.

_Miss._ [_Hugging Nurse._] O my dear _Nurse_, forgive, me this once,
and I'll never misuse you again; no, if I do, you shall give me three
thumps on the Back, and a great pinch by the Cheek.

_Nurse._ Ah the poor Thing, see how it melts; it's as full of
Good-Nature as an Egg's full of Meat.

_Miss._ But, my dear Nurse, don't lie now; is he come, by your troth?

_Nurse._ Yes, by my truly, is he.

_Miss._ O Lord! I'll go and put on my lac'd Smock, tho' I am whipt till
the Blood run down my Heels for't.

                                                        [_Exit running._

_Nurse._ Eh----the Lord succour thee, how thou art delighted!

                                                      [_Exit after her._

          _Enter Sir ~Tunbelly~ and ~Young Fashion~. A Servant
                              with Wine._

Sir _Tun._ My Lord, I'm proud of the Honour to see your Lordship within
my Doors: and I humbly crave leave to bid you welcome in a Cup of Sack
Wine.

_Young Fash._ Sir, to your Daughter's Health.

                                                              [_Drinks._

Sir _Tun._ Ah poor Girl, she'll be fear'd out of her Wits on her
Wedding Night; for, honestly speaking, she does not know a Man from a
Woman, but by his Beard, and his Breeches.

_Young Fash._ Sir, I don't doubt she has had a virtuous Education,
which, with the rest of her Merit, makes me long to see her mine. I
wish you wou'd dispense with the Canonical Hour, and let it be this
very Night.

Sir _Tun._ O not so soon, neither; that's shooting my Girl before you
bid her stand. No, give her fair warning, we'll sign and seal to-night
if you please; and this Day seven-night--let the Jade look to her
Quarters.

_Young Fash._ This Day seven-night----Why, what do you take me for a
Ghost, Sir? 'Slife, Sir, I'm made of Flesh and Blood, and Bones and
Sinews, and can no more live a Week without your Daughter--than I can
live a Month with her.

                                                               [_Aside._

Sir _Tun._ Oh, I'll warrant you, my Hero; young Men are hot, I know,
but they don't boil over at that rate, neither; besides, my Wench's
Wedding Gown is not come home yet.

_Young Fash._ O, no matter, Sir; I'll take her in her Shift. [_Aside._]
A Pox of this old Fellow, he'll delay the Business till my damn'd Star
finds me out, and discovers me. [_To Sir ~Tun.~_] Pray, Sir, let it be
done without Ceremony; 'twill save Money.

Sir _Tun._ Money----Save Money when _Hoyden_'s to be marry'd? Udswoons,
I'll give my Wench a Wedding-Dinner, tho' I go to Grass with the King
of _Assyria_ for't; and such a Dinner it shall be, as is not to be
cook'd in the poaching of an Egg. Therefore, my Noble Lord, have a
little Patience, we'll go and look over our Deeds and Settlements
immediately; and as for your Bride, tho' you may be sharp-set before
she's quite ready, I'll engage for my Girl, she stays your Stomach at
last.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ IV. +SCENE+ I.


                   _Enter Miss ~Hoyden~ and ~Nurse~._

_Nurse._ Well, Miss, how do you like your Husband that is to be?

_Miss._ O Lord, Nurse, I'm so overjoy'd, I can scarce contain myself.

_Nurse._ O, but you must have a care of being too fond; for Men now
a-days hate a Woman that loves 'em.

_Miss._ Love him! Why do you think I love him, Nurse? I'cod, I
would not care if he were hang'd, so I were but once married to
him----No----that which pleases me, is to think what Work I'll make
when I get to _London_; for when I am a Wife and a Lady both, Nurse,
I'cod, I'll flant it with the best of 'em.

_Nurse._ Look, look, if his Honour be not a coming to you; now if I
were sure you wou'd behave yourself handsomely, and not disgrace me
that have brought you up, I'd leave you alone together.

_Miss._ That's my best Nurse, do as you wou'd be done by; trust us
together this once; and if I don't shew my Breeding from the Head to
the Foot of me, may I be twice married, and die a Maid!

_Nurse._ Well, this once I'll venture you; but if you disparage me----

_Miss._ Never fear, I'll shew him my Parts, I'll warrant him.

                                                        [_Exit ~Nurse~._

                                _Sola._

These old Women are so wise when they get a poor Girl into their
Clutches; but ere it be long, I shall know what's what, as well as the
best of 'em.

                        _Enter ~Young Fashion~._

_Young Fash._ Your Servant, Madam, I'm glad to find you alone; for I
have something of Importance to speak to you about.

_Miss._ Sir, (my Lord, I meant) you may speak to me about what you
please, I shall give you a civil Answer.

_Young Fash._ You give me so obliging a one, it encourages me to tell
you in few Words, what I think both for your Interest and mine. Your
Father, I suppose you know, has resolv'd to make me happy in being your
Husband, and I hope I may depend upon your Consent, to perform what he
desires.

_Miss._ Sir, I never disobey my Father in any thing but eating of green
Gooseberries.

_Young Fash._ So good a Daughter must needs be an admirable Wife; I
am therefore impatient till you are mine, and hope you will so far
consider the Violence of my Love, that you won't have the Cruelty to
defer my Happiness so long as your Father designs it.

_Miss._ Pray, my Lord, how long is it?

_Young Fash._ Madam, a thousand Year----a whole Week.

_Miss._ A Week!----why, I shall be an old Woman by that time.

_Young Fash._ And I an old Man, which you'll find a greater Misfortune
than t'other.

_Miss._ Why I thought it was to be to-morrow Morning, as soon as I was
up; I'm sure Nurse told me so.

_Young Fash._ And it shall be to-morrow Morning still, if you'll
consent.

_Miss._ If I'll consent! Why I thought I was to obey you as my Husband.

_Young Fash._ That's when we are married; till then, I am to obey you.

_Miss._ Why then if we are to take it by turns, it's the same thing:
I'll obey you now, and when we are married, you shall obey me.

_Young Fash._ With all my heart; but I doubt we must get Nurse on our
side, or we shall hardly prevail with the Chaplain.

_Miss._ No more we shan't indeed, for he loves her better than he loves
his Pulpit, and wou'd always be a preaching to her, by his good Will.

_Young Fash._ Why then, my dear little Bedfellow, if you'll call her
hither, we'll try to persuade her presently.

_Miss._ O Lord, I can tell you a way how to persuade her to any thing.

_Young Fash._ How's that?

_Miss._ Why tell her she's a wholesome, comely Woman----and give her
Half a Crown.

_Young Fash._ Nay, if that will do, she shall have half a score of 'em.

_Miss._ O Gemini, for half that she'd marry you herself: I'll run and
call her.

                                                         [_Exit ~Miss~._

                        _~Young Fashion~ solus._

So, Matters go swimmingly; this is a rare Girl, i'faith; I shall have
a fine time of it with her at _London_. I'm much mistaken if she don't
prove a _March_ Hare all the Year round. What a scampering Chace will
she make on't, when me finds the whole Kennel of Beaux at her Tail! Hey
to the _Park_ and the Play, and the Church, and the Devil; she'll shew
them sport, I'll warrant 'em. But no matter, she brings an Estate will
afford me a separate Maintenance.

                      _Enter ~Miss~ and ~Nurse~._

_Young Fash._ How do you do, good Mistress Nurse? I desir'd your young
Lady would give me leave to see you, that I might thank you for your
extraordinary Care and Conduct in her Education; pray accept of this
small Acknowledgement for it at present, and depend upon my farther
Kindness, when I shall be that happy thing her Husband.

_Nurse._ [_Aside._] Gold by mackins! Your Honour's Goodness is too
great: alas! all I can boast of is, I gave her poor good Milk, and so
your Honour wou'd have said, an you had seen how the poor thing suck't
it----Eh, God's blessing on the sweet Face on't! how it us'd to hang
at this poor Teat, and suck and squeeze, and kick and sprawl it wou'd,
till the Belly on't was so full, it wou'd drop off like a Leech.

                         [_~Miss~ to ~Nurse~, taking her angrily aside._

Pray one word with you; pr'ythee, Nurse, don't stand ripping up old
Stories, to make one asham'd before one's Love: do you think such
a fine proper Gentleman as he is, cares for a fiddlecome Tale of a
draggle-tail'd Girl;, if you have a mind to make him have a good
Opinion of a Woman, don't tell him what one did then, tell him what
one can do now. [_To_ Young Fash.] I hope your Honour will excuse my
Mismanners to whisper before you, it was only to give some orders about
the Family.

_Young Fash._ O every thing, Madam, is to give way to Business;
besides, good Housewifery is a very commendable Quality in a young Lady.

_Miss._ Pray, Sir, are the young Ladies good Housewives at London Town?
Do they darn their own Linen?

_Young Fash._ O no, they study how to spend Money, not to save it.

_Miss._ I'cod, I don't know but that may be better Sport than t'other,
ha, Nurse!

_Young Fash._ Well, you shall have your Choice when you come there.

_Miss._ Shall I----then by my troth I'll get there as fast as I can.

_To Nurse._] His Honour desires you'll be so kind, as to let us be
marry'd to-morrow.

_Nurse._ To-morrow, my dear Madam?

_Young Fash._ Yes, to-morrow, sweet Nurse, privately; young Folks, you
know, are impatient, and Sir _Tunbelly_ wou'd make us stay a Week for
a Wedding-Dinner. Now all things being sign'd and seal'd, and agreed,
I fancy there cou'd be no great harm in practising a Scene or two of
Matrimony in private, if it were only to give us the better Assurance
when we come to play it in publick.

_Nurse._ Nay, I must confess stolen Pleasures are sweet; but if you
shou'd be married now, what will you do when Sir _Tunbelly_ calls for
you to be wedded?

_Miss._ Why then we will be married again.

_Nurse._ What, twice, my Child?

_Miss._ I'cod, I don't care how often I'm married, not I.

_Young Fash._ Pray, Nurse, don't you be against your young Lady's good;
for by this means she'll have the pleasure of two Wedding-Days.

_Miss to Nurse softly._] And of two Wedding-Nights too, Nurse.

_Nurse._ Well, I'm such a tender-hearted Fool, I find I can refuse you
nothing; so you shall e'en follow your own Inventions.

_Miss._ Shall I? [_Aside._] O Lord, I could leap over the Moon.

_Young Fash._ Dear Nurse, this Goodness of yours shan't go unrewarded;
but now you must employ your Power with Mr. _Bull_ the Chaplain, that
he may do his friendly Office too, and then we shall be all happy; do
you think you can prevail with him?

_Nurse._ Prevail with him----or he shall never prevail with me, I can
tell him that.

_Miss._ My Lord, she has had him upon the hip this seven Year.

_Young Fash._ I'm glad to hear it; however, to strengthen your Interest
with him, you may let him know I have several fat Livings in my Gift,
and that the first that falls shall be in your Disposal.

_Nurse._ Nay, then I'll make him marry more Folks, than one, I'll
promise him.

_Miss._ Faith, do, Nurse, make him marry you too; I'm sure he'll do't
for a fat Living; for he loves Eating more than he loves his _Bible_;
and I have often heard, him say, a fat Living was the best Meat in the
World.

_Nurse._ Ay, and I'll make him commend the Sauce too, or I'll bring his
Gown to a Cassock, I will so.

_Young Fash._ Well, Nurse, whilst you go and settle Matters with him,
your Lady and I will go and take a walk in the Garden.

_Nurse._ I'll do your Honour's Business in the catching up of a Garter.

                                                        [_Exit ~Nurse~._

_Young Fash._ [_Giving her his Hand._] Come, Madam, dare you venture
yourself alone with me?

_Miss._ O dear, yes, Sir; I don't think you'll do any thing to me I
need be afraid on.

                   _Enter ~Amanda~ and ~Berinthia~._

                  A SONG.

                      I.

    _I Smile at Love, and all its Arts,
        The Charming_ Cynthia _cry'd;
    Take heed, for Love has piercing Darts,
        A wounded Swain reply'd.
    Once free and blest as you are now,
      I trifled with his Charms;
    I pointed at his little Bow,
      And sported with his Arms;
    Till urg'd too far, Revenge he cries,
      A fated Shaft he drew;
    It took its passage thro your Eyes,
      And to my Heart it flew._

                        II.

    _To tear it thence I try'd in vain;
      To strive I quickly found
    Was only to increase the Pain,
      And to enlarge the Wound.
    Ah! much too well, I fear, you know
      What pain I'm to endure,
    Since what your Eyes alone cou'd do,
      Your Heart alone can cure.
    And That (grant Heaven I may mistake)
      I doubt is doom'd to bear
    A Burden for another's sake,
      Who ill rewards its Care._

_Aman._ Well, now, _Berinthia_, I'm at leisure to hear what 'twas you
had to say to me.

_Ber._ What I had to say, was only to echo the Sighs and Groans of a
dying Lover.

_Aman._ Phu, will you never learn to talk in earnest of any thing?

_Ber._ Why this shall be in earnest, if you please; for my part, I only
tell you Matter of Fact--you may take it which way you like best; but
if you'll follow the Women of the Town, you'll take it both ways; for
when a Man offers himself to one of them, first she takes him in jest,
and then she takes him in earnest.

_Aman._ I'm sure there's so much jest and earnest in what you say to
me, I scarce know how to take it; but I think you have bewitched me,
for I don't find it possible to be angry with you, say what you will.

_Ber._ I'm very glad to hear it, for I have no mind to quarrel with
you, for some Reasons that I'll not brag of; but quarrel or not, smile
or frown, I must tell you what I have suffer'd upon your account.

_Aman._ Upon my account!

_Ber._ Yes, upon yours; I have been forc'd to sit still and hear you
commended for two Hours together, without one Compliment to myself; now
don't you think a Woman has a blessed time of that?

_Aman._ Alas! I shou'd have been unconcern'd at it; I never knew where
the Pleasure lay of being prais'd by the Men: but pray who was this
that commended me so?

_Ber._ One you have a mortal Aversion to--Mr. _Worthy_: he us'd you
like a Text, he took you all to pieces, but spoke so learnedly upon
every Point, one might see the Spirit of the Church was in him: if you
are a Woman, you'd have been in an Extasy to have heard how feelingly
he handled your Hair, your Eyes, your Nose, your Mouth, your Teeth,
your Tongue, your Chin, your Neck, and so forth. Thus he preach'd for
an Hour; but when he came to use an Application, he observ'd that all
these, without a Gallant, were nothing--Now consider of what has been
said, and Heaven give you Grace to put it in practice!

_Aman._ Alas! _Berinthia_, did I incline to a Gallant, (which you
know I do not) do you think a Man so nice as he, cou'd have the least
concern for such a plain unpolish'd thing as I am? It is impossible!

_Ber._ Now have you a great mind to put me upon commending you.

_Aman._ Indeed that was not my Design.

_Ber._ Nay, if it were, it's all one, for I won't do't, I'll leave that
to your Looking-glass. But to shew you I have some Good-nature left,
I'll commend him, and may be that may do as well.

_Aman._ You have a great mind to persuade me I am in love with him.

_Ber._ I have a great mind to persuade you, you don't know what you are
in love with.

_Aman._ I am sure I am not in love with him, nor never shall be; so let
that pass: but you were saying something you wou'd commend him for.

_Ber._ O, you'd be glad to hear a good Character of him, however.

_Aman._ Psha.

_Ber._ Psha----Well, 'tis a foolish Undertaking for Women in these kind
of Matters, to pretend to deceive one another----Have not I been bred a
Woman as well as you?

_Aman._ What then?

_Ber._ Why then I understand my Trade so well, that whenever I am told
of a Man I like, I cry, Psha! But that I may spare you the pains of
putting me a second time in mind to commend him, I'll proceed, and give
you this account of him: That tho' 'tis possible he may have had Women
with as good Faces as your Ladyship's, (no Discredit to it neither)
yet you must know your cautious Behaviour, with that Reserve in your
Humour, has given him his Death's Wound; he mortally hates a Coquette;
he says 'tis impossible to love where he cannot esteem; and that no
Woman can be esteemed by a Man who has Sense, if she makes herself
cheap in the Eye of a Fool. That Pride to a Woman, is as necessary as
Humility to a Divine; and that far-fetch'd, and dear bought, is Meat
for Gentlemen, as well as for Ladies----In short, that every Woman who
has Beauty may set a price upon herself, and that by under-selling the
Market they ruin the Trade. This is his Doctrine, how do you like it?

_Aman._ So well that, since I never intend to have a Gallant for
myself, if I were to recommend one to a Friend, he shou'd be the Man.

                           _Enter ~Worthy~._

Bless me, he's here! pray Heaven he did not hear me!

_Ber._ If he did, it won't hurt your Reputation; your Thoughts are as
safe in his Heart as in your own.

_Wor._ I venture in at an unseasonable time of Night, Ladies; I hope if
I am troublesome, you'll use the same freedom in turning me out again.

_Aman._ I believe it can't be late, for Mr. _Loveless_ is not come home
yet, and he usually keeps good Hours.

_Wor._ Madam, I'm afraid he'll transgress a little to-night; for he
told me about half an Hour ago, he was going to sup with some Company,
he doubted would keep him out till three or four o'clock in the
Morning, and desir'd I would let my Servant acquaint you with it, that
you might not expect him: But my Fellow's a Blunder-head; so, lest he
should make some mistake, I thought it my Duty to deliver the Message
myself.

_Aman._ I'm very sorry he shou'd give you that trouble, Sir: But----

_Ber._ But since he has, will you give me leave, Madam, to keep him to
play at Ombre with us?

_Aman._ Cousin, you know you command my House.

_Wor. to Ber._] And, Madam, you know you command me, tho' I'm a very
wretched Gamester.

_Ber._ O you play well enough to lose your Money, and that's all the
Ladies require; so without any more Ceremony, let us go into the next
Room and call for the Cards.

_Aman._ With all my heart.

                                          [_Exit ~Wor~. leading ~Aman~._

_Ber. sola._ Well, how this Business will end, Heaven knows; but she
seems to me to be in as fair a way----as a Boy is to be a Rogue, when
he's put Clerk to an Attorney.

                                                    [_Exit ~Berinthia~._


+SCENE+, Berinthia's _Chamber_.

               _Enter ~Loveless~ cautiously in the dark._

_Lov._ So, thus for all's well. I'm got into her Bed-Chamber, and I
think nobody has perceiv'd me steal into the House; my Wife don't
expect me home till four o'Clock; so if _Berinthia_ comes to Bed by
eleven, I shall have a Chace of five Hours. Let me see, where shall I
hide myself? Under her Bed? No; we shall have her Maid searching there
for something or other; her Closet's a better place, and I have a
Master-Key will open it: I'll e'en in there, and attack her just when
she comes to her Prayers, that's the most like to prove her critical
Minute; for then the Devil will be there to assist me.

          [_He opens the Closet, goes in, and shuts the door after him._

             _Enter ~Berinthia~ with a Candle in her hand._

_Ber._ Well, sure I am the best-natur'd Woman in the World. I that love
Cards so well (there is but one thing upon the Earth I love better)
have pretended Letters to write, to give my Friends a _Tête-à-Tête_;
however, I'm innocent, for Picquet is the Game I set 'em to: at her
own peril be it, if she ventures to play with him at any other. But
now what shall I do with myself? I don't know how in the World to pass
my time; wou'd _Loveless_ were here to _badiner_ a little! Well, he's
a charming Fellow, I don't wonder his Wife's so fond of him. What if
I shou'd set down and think of him till I fall asleep, and dream of
the Lord knows what? O, but then if I shou'd dream we were married, I
shou'd be frighted out of my Wits. [_Seeing a Book._] What's this Book?
I think I had best go read. _O Splenetique!_ 'tis a Sermon. Well, I'll
go into my Closet, and read the _Plotting Sisters_. [_She opens the
Closet, sees ~Loveless~, and shrieks out._] O Lord, a Ghost, a Ghost, a
Ghost, a Ghost!

                   _Enter ~Loveless~ running to her._

_Lov._ Peace, my Dear; it's no Ghost, take it in your Arms, you'll find
'tis worth a hundred of 'em.

_Ber._ Run in again; here's somebody coming.

                             _Enter Maid._

_Maid._ O Lord, Madam, what's the matter?

_Ber._ O Heav'ns! I'm almost frighted out of my Wits. I thought verily
I had seen a Ghost, and 'twas nothing but the white Curtain, with
a black Hood pinn'd up against it; you may be gone again, I am the
fearfullest Fool.--

                                                           [_Exit Maid._

                         _Re-enter ~Loveless~._

_Lov._ Is the Coast clear?

_Ber._ The Coast clear! I suppose you are clear, you'd never play such
a Trick as this else.

_Lov._ I am very well pleas'd with my Trick thus far, and shall be so
till I have play'd it out, if it ben't your Fault: where's my Wife?

_Ber._ At Cards.

_Lov._ With whom?

_Ber._ With _Worthy_.

_Lov._ Then we are safe enough.

_Ber._ You are so! Some Husbands wou'd be of another mind, if he were
at Cards with their Wives.

_Lov._ And they'd be in the right on't too. But I dare trust
mine:----Besides, I know he's in love in another place, and he's not
one of those who court half a dozen at a time.

_Ber._ Nay, the truth on't is, you'd pity him if you saw how uneasy he
is at being engag'd with us; but 'twas my Malice. I fancy'd he was to
meet his Mistress some where else, so did it to have the pleasure of
seeing him fret.

_Lov._ What says _Amanda_ to my staying abroad so late?

_Ber._ Why she's as much out of Humour as he, I believe they wish one
another at the Devil.

_Lov._ Then I'm afraid they'll quarrel at Play, and soon throw up the
Cards: [_Offering in pull her into her Closet._] Therefore, my dear
charming Angel, let us make good use of our time.

_Ber._ Heavens! what do you mean?

_Lov._ Pray what do you think I mean?

_Ber._ I don't know.

_Lov._ I'll shew you.

_Ber._ You may as well tell me.

_Lov._ No, that wou'd make you blush worse than t'other.

_Ber._ Why, do you intend to make me blush?

_Lov._ Faith, I can't tell that; but if I do, it shall be in the dark.

                                                         [_Pulling her._

_Ber._ O Heavens! I wou'd not be in the dark with you for all the World.

_Lov._ I'll try that.

                                                [_Puts out the Candles._

_Ber._ O Lord! are you mad! What shall I do for Light?

_Lov._ You'll do as well without it.

_Ber._ Why, one can't find a Chair to sit down?

_Lov._ Come into the Closet, Madam, there's Moonshine upon the Couch.

_Ber._ Nay, never pull, for I will not go.

_Lov._ Then you must be carried.

                                                        [_Carrying her._

_Ber._ Help, help, I'm ravish'd, ruin'd, undone. O Lord, I shall never
be able to bear it.

                                                         [_Very softly._


+SCENE+, _Sir ~Tunbelly~'s House_.

       _Enter Miss ~Hoyden~, Nurse, ~Young Fashion~, and ~Bull~._

_Young Fash._ This quick dispatch of yours, Mr. _Bull_, I take so
kindly, it shall give you a claim to my Favour as long as I live, I do
assure you.

_Miss._ And to mine too, I promise you.

_Bull._ I most humbly thank your Honours; and I hope, since it has
been my Lot to join you in the holy Bands of Wedlock, you will so
well cultivate the Soil which I have crav'd a Blessing on, that your
Children may swarm about you like Bees about a Honey-Comb.

_Miss._ I'cod with all my Heart, the more the merrier, I say; ha, Nurse.

            _Enter ~Lory~, taking his Master hastily aside._

_Lo._ One Word with you, for Heaven's sake.

_Young Fash._ What the Devil's the matter?

_Lo._ Sir, your Fortune's ruin'd, and I don't think your Life's worth
a quarter of an Hour's Purchase: Yonder's your Brother arriv'd with
two Coaches and six Horses, twenty Footmen and Pages, a Coat worth
fourscore Pound, and a Perriwig down to his Knees: So judge what will
become of your Lady's Heart.

_Young Fash._ Death and Furies! 'tis impossible.

_Lo._ Fiends and Spectres! Sir, 'tis true.

_Young Fash._ Is he in the House yet?

_Lo._ No, they are capitulating with him at the Gate; the Porter tells
him, he's come to run away with _Miss Hoyden_, and has cock'd the
Blunderbuss at him; your Brother swears Gad Damme, they are a parcel
of Clawns, and he had a good mind to break off the Match; but they
have given the Word for Sir _Tunbelly_, so I doubt all will come out
presently. Pray, Sir, resolve what you'll do this Moment, for I'gad
they'll maul you.

_Young Fash._ Stay a little. [_To Miss._] My Dear, here's a troublesome
Business my Man tells me of; but don't be frighten'd, we shall be too
hard for the Rogue. Here's an impudent Fellow at the Gate (not knowing
I was come hither _incognito_) has taken my Name upon him, in hopes to
run away with you.

_Miss._ O the Brazen-fac'd Varlet, it's well we are married, or may be
we might never have been so.

_Young Fash._ [_Aside._] I'gad, like enough: Pr'ythee, dear Doctor, run
to Sir _Tunbelly_, and stop him from going to the Gate, before I speak
with him.

_Bull._ I fly, my good Lord----

                                                         [_Exit ~Bull~._

_Nurse._ An't please your Honour, my Lady and I had best lock ourselves
up till the Danger be over.

_Young Fash._ Ay, by all means.

_Miss._ Not so fast, I won't be lock'd up any more. I'm marry'd.

_Young Fash._ Yes, pray my Dear do, till we have seiz'd this Rascal.

_Miss._ Nay, if you pray me, I'll do any thing.

                                           [_Exeunt ~Miss~ and ~Nurse~._

_Young Fash._ O! here's Sir _Tunbelly_ coming. [_To_ Lo.] Hark you,
Sirrah, things are better than you imagine; the Wedding's over.

_Lo._ The Devil it is, Sir.

_Young Fash._ Not a Word, all's safe: But Sir _Tunbelly_ don't know it,
nor must not yet; so I am resolv'd to brazen the Business out, and have
the Pleasure of turning the Impostor upon his Lordship, which I believe
may easily be done.

         _Enter Sir ~Tunbelly~, ~Chap.~ and ~Servants~ arm'd._

_Young Fash._ Did you ever hear, Sir, of so impudent an Undertaking?

Sir _Tun._ Never, by the Mass, but we'll tickle him, I'll warrant him.

_Young Fash._ They tell me, Sir, he has a great many People with him
disguis'd like Servants.

Sir _Tun._ Ay, ay, Rogues enow; but I'll soon raise the Posse upon 'em.

_Young Fash._ Sir, if you'll take my Advice, we'll go a shorter way
to work; I find, whoever this Spark is, he knows nothing of my being
privately here; so if you pretend to receive him civilly, he'll enter
without Suspicion; and as soon as he is within the Gate, we'll whip up
the Drawbridge upon his Back, let fly the Blunderbuss to disperse the
Crew, and so commit him to Gaol.

Sir _Tun._ I'gad, your Lordship is an ingenious Person, and a very
great General; but shall we kill any of 'em, or not?

_Young Fash._ No, no, fire over their Heads only to fright them; I'll
warrant the Regiment scours when the Colonel's a Prisoner.

Sir _Tun._ Then come along, my Boys, and let your Courage be
great----for your Danger is but small.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _The Gate._

               _Enter Lord ~Foppington~ and ~Followers~._

_Lord Fop._ A Pax of these Bumkinly People, will they open the Gate, or
do they desire I shou'd grow at their Moat-side like a Willow? [_To the
Porter._] Hey, Fellow--Pr'ythee do me the Favour, in as few words as
thou canst find to express thyself, to tell me whether thy Master will
admit me or not, that I may turn about my Coach, and be gone.

_Por._ Here's my Master himself now at hand, he's of Age, he'll give
you his Answer.

               _Enter Sir ~Tunbelly~, and his Servants._

Sir _Tun._ My most noble Lord, I crave your pardon for making your
Honour wait so long; but my Orders to my servants have been to admit no
body without my Knowledge, for fear of some Attempts upon my Daughter,
the Times being full of Plots and Roguery.

_Lord Fop._ Much Caution, I must confess, is a Sign of great Wisdom:
But, stap my Vitals, I have got a Cold enough to destroy a Porter--He,
hem--

Sir _Tun._ I am very sorry for't, indeed, my Lord; but if your Lordship
please to walk in, we'll help you to some brown Sugar-Candy. My Lord,
I'll shew you the way.

_Lord Fop._ Sir, I follow you with pleasure.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

                      [_As Lord ~Foppington~'s Servants go to follow him
                            in, they clap the Door against ~La Varole~._

_Servants within._ Nay, hold you me there, Sir.

_La Var._ _Jernie, qu'est ce que veut dire ça?_

Sir _Tun._ [_Within._]----Fire, Porter.

_Porter fires._----Have among you, my Masters.

_La Var._ _Ah je suis mort_--

                                            [_The servants all run off._

_Port._ Not one Soldier left, by the Mass.


+SCENE+ _changes into a Hall._

       _Enter Sir ~Tunbelly~, the ~Chaplain~ and ~Servants~, with
                      Lord ~Foppington~ disarm'd._

Sir _Tun._ Come, bring him along, bring him along.

_Lord Fop._ What the Pax do you mean, Gentlemen, is it Fair time, that
you are all drunk before Dinner?

Sir _Tun._ Drunk, Sirrah! Here's an impudent Rogue for you! Drunk or
Sober, Bully, I'm a Justice of the Peace, and know how to deal with
Strolers.

_Lord Fop._ Strolers!

Sir _Tun._ Ay, Strolers; come, give an account of yourself; what's
your Name? where do you live? Do you pay Scot and Lot? Are you a
_Williamite_, or a _Jacobite_? Come.

_Lord Fop._ And why dost thou ask me so many impertinent Questions?

Sir _Tun._ Because I'll make you answer 'em before I have done with
you, you Rascal you.

_Lord Fop._ Before Gad, all the Answer I can make thee to 'em, is, that
thou art a very extraordinary old Fellow; stap my Vitals--

Sir _Tun._ Nay, if you are for joaking with Deputy-Lieutenants, we know
how to deal with you: Here, draw a Warrant for him immediately.

_Lord Fop._ A Warrant----what the Devil is't thou wou'dst be at, old
Gentleman?

Sir _Tun._ I wou'd be at you, Sirrah, (if my Hands were not ty'd as a
Magistrate) and with these two double Fists beat your Teeth down your
Throat, you Dog you.

_Lord Fop._ And why would'st thou spoil my Face at that rate?

Sir _Tun._ For your Design to rob me of my Daughter, Villain.

_Lord Fop._ Rab thee of thy Daughter----Now I do begin to believe I am
a-bed and a-sleep, and that all this is but a Dream--If it be, 'twill
be an agreeable Surprize enough, to waken by and by; and instead of the
impertinent Company of a nasty Country Justice, find my self perhaps in
the Arms of a Woman of Quality--[_To Sir ~Tun.~_] Pr'ythee, old Father,
wilt thou give me leave to ask thee one Question?

Sir _Tun._ I can't tell whether I will or not, till I know what it is.

_Lord Fop._ Why, then, it is, whether thou didst not write to my Lord
_Foppington_ to come down and marry thy Daughter?

Sir _Tun._ Yes, marry did I, and my Lord _Foppington_ is come down, and
shall marry my Daughter before she's a Day older.

_Lord Fop._ Now give me thy Hand, dear Dad, I thought we should
understand one another at last.

Sir _Tun._ This Fellow's mad----here bind him Hand and Foot.

                                                  [_They bind him down._

_Lord Fop._ Nay, pr'ythee, Knight, leave fooling, thy Jest begins to
grow dull.

Sir _Tun._ Bind him, I say, he's mad----Bread and Water, a dark Room,
and a Whip, may bring him to his Senses again.

_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] I'gad, if I don't waken quickly, by all that I
can see, this is like to prove one of the most impertinent Dreams that
ever I dreamt in my Life.

        _Enter ~Miss~ and ~Nurse~._ [_~Miss~ going up to him._]

_Miss._ Is this he that wou'd have run away with me? Fough, how
he stinks of sweets! Pray, Father, let him be dragg'd through the
Horse-Pond.

_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] This must be my Wife by her natural Inclination
to her Husband.

_Miss._ Pray, Father, what do you intend to do with him? hang him?

Sir _Tun._ That at least, Child.

_Nurse._ Ay, and it's e'en too good for him too.

_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] _Madame la Governante_, I presume, hitherto this
appears to me to be one of the most extraordinary Families that ever
Man of Quality match'd into.

Sir _Tun._ What's become of my Lord, Daughter?

_Miss._ He's just coming, Sir.

_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] My Lord----What does he mean by that now?

                  _Enter ~Young Fashion~ and ~Lory~._

_Seeing him._] Stap my Vitals, _Tam_, now the Dream's out.

_Young Fash._ Is this the Fellow, Sir, that design'd to trick me of
your Daughter?

Sir _Tun._ This is he, my Lord, how do you like him? Is not he a pretty
Fellow to get a Fortune?

_Young Fash._ I find by his Dress, he thought your Daughter might be
taken with a Beau.

_Miss._ O Gemini! Is this a Beau? let me see him again----ha! I find a
Beau is no such ugly thing neither.

_Young Fash._ I'gad, she'll be in love with him presently; I'll e'en
have him sent away to Gaol. [_To_ Lord Fop.] Sir, tho' your Undertaking
shews you are a Person of no extraordinary Modesty, I suppose you han't
Confidence enough to expect much Favour from me.

_Lord Fop._ Strike me dumb, _Tam_, thou art a very impudent Fellow.

_Nurse._ Look if the Varlet has not the Frontery to call his Lordship
plain _Thomas_.

_Bull._ The business is, he wou'd feign himself mad, to avoid going to
Gaol.

_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] That must be the Chaplain, by his unfolding of
Mysteries.

Sir _Tun._ Come, is the Warrant writ?

_Cler._ Yes, Sir.

Sir _Tun._ Give me the Pen, I'll sign it----So now, Constable, away
with him.

_Lord Fop._ Hold one Moment----Pray, Gentlemen; my Lord _Foppington_,
shall I beg one Word with your Lordship?

_Nurse._ O ho, it's my Lord with him now; see how Afflictions will
humble Folks.

_Miss._ Pray, my Lord, don't let him whisper too close, lest he bite
your Ear off.

_Lord Fop._. I am not altogether so hungry, as your Ladyship is pleased
to imagine. [_To_ Young Fash.] Look you, _Tam_, I am sensible I have
not been so kind to you as I ought, but I hope you'll forget what's
past, and accept of the five thousand Pounds I offer; thou may'st live
in extreme Splendor with it; stap my Vitals.

_Young Fash._ It's a much easier matter to prevent a Disease than to
cure it; a quarter of that Sum would have secur'd your Mistress; twice
as much won't redeem her.

                                                         [_Leaving him._

Sir _Tun._ Well, what says he?

_Young Fash._ Only the Rascal offer'd me a Bribe to let him go.

Sir _Tun._ Ay, he shall go, with a Pox to him: Lead on, Constable.

_Lord Fop._. One word more, and I've done.

Sir _Tun._ Before Gad, thou art an impudent Fellow, to trouble the
Court at this rate, after thou art condemned; but speak once for all.

_Lord Fop._ Why then once for all; I have at last luckily call'd to
mind, that there is a Gentleman of this Country, who I believe cannot
live far from this place, if he were here, would satisfy you, I am
_Novelty_, Baron of _Foppington_, with five thousand Pounds a year,
and that Fellow there a Rascal, not worth a Groat.

Sir _Tun._ Very well; now who is this honest Gentleman you are so well
acquainted with. [_To_ Young Fash.] Come, Sir, we shall hamper him.

_Lord Fop._ 'Tis Sir _John Friendly_.

Sir _Tun._ So, he lives within half a Mile, and came down into the
Country but last Night; this bold-fac'd Fellow thought he had been at
_London_ still, and so quoted him; now we shall display him in his
Colours: I'll send for Sir _John_ immediately. Here, Fellow, away
presently; and desire my Neighbour he'll do me the favour to step over,
upon an extraordinary Occasion; and in the mean while you had best
secure this Sharper in the _Gate-House_.

_Const._ An't please your Worship, he may chance to give us the Slip
thence: If I were worthy to advise, I think the Dog-kennel's a surer
Place.

Sir _Tun._ With all my heart, anywhere.

_Lord Fop._ Nay, for Heaven's sake, Sir, do me the favour to put me in
a clean Room, that I mayn't daub my Clothes.

Sir _Tun._ O when you have married my Daughter, her Estate will afford
you new ones: Away with him.

_Lord Fop._ A dirty Country Justice is a barbarous Magistrate, stap my
Vitals----

                               [_Exit Constable with Lord ~Foppington~._

_Young Fash._ [_Aside._] I gad I must prevent this Knight's coming, or
the House will grow soon too hot to hold me.

_To_ Sir _Tun._] Sir, I fancy 'tis not worth while to trouble Sir
_John_ upon this impertinent Fellow's Desire: I'll send and call the
Messenger back----

Sir _Tun._ Nay, with all my heart; for to be sure he thought he was far
enough off, or the Rogue wou'd never have nam'd him.

                            _Enter Servant._

_Serv._ Sir, I met Sir _John_ just lighting at the Gate; he's come to
wait upon you.

Sir _Tun._ Nay, then it happens as one cou'd wish.

_Young Fash._ [_Aside._] The Devil it does! _Lory_, you see how things
are, here will be a Discovery presently, and we shall have our Brains
beat out: For my Brother will be sure to swear he don't know me:
Therefore run into the Stable, take the two first Horses you can light
on, I'll slip out at the Back-Door, and we'll away immediately.

_Lo._ What, and leave your Lady, Sir?

_Young Fash._ There's no Danger in that, as long as I have taken
possession; I shall know how to treat with them well enough, if once I
am out of their reach. Away, I'll steal after thee.

                                       [_Exit ~Lory~, his Master follows
                  him out at one Door, as Sir ~John~ enters at t'other._

                          _Enter Sir ~John~._

Sir _Tun._ Sir _John_, you are the welcom'st Man alive; I had just
sent a Messenger to desire you'd step over, upon a very extraordinary
Occasion--we are all in Arms here.

Sir _John._ How so?

Sir _Tun._ Why, you must know----a sinical sort of a tawdry Fellow
here (I don't know who the Devil he is, not I) hearing, I suppose,
that the Match was concluded between my Lord _Foppington_ and my Girl
_Hoyden_, comes impudently to the Gate, and with a whole Pack of Rogues
in Liveries, wou'd have pass'd upon me for his Lordship: But what does
I? I comes up to him boldly at the Head of his Guards, takes him by the
Throat, strikes up his Heels, binds him Hand and Foot, dispatches a
Warrant, and commits him Prisoner to the Dog-kennel.

Sir _John._ So, but how do you know but this was my Lord? for I was
told he set out from _London_ the Day before me, with a very fine
Retinue, and intended to come directly hither.

Sir _Tun._ Why now to shew you how many Lies People raise in that
damn'd Town, he came two Nights ago Post, with only one Servant, and is
now in the House with me: But you don't know the Cream of the Jest yet;
this same Rogue, (that lies yonder Neck and Heels among the Hounds)
thinking you were out of the Country, quotes you for his Acquaintance,
and said, if you were here, you'd justify him to be Lord _Foppington_,
and I know not what.

Sir _John._ Pray will you let me see him?

Sir _Tun._ Ay, that you shall presently----here, fetch the Prisoner.

                                                        [_Exit Servant._

Sir _John._ I wish there ben't some Mistake in the Business, where's my
Lord? I know him very well.

Sir _Tun._ He was here just now; see for him, Doctor, tell him Sir
_John_ is here to wait upon him.

                                                        [_Ex. Chaplain._

Sir _John._ I hope, Sir _Tunbelly_, the young Lady is not married yet.

Sir _Tun._ No, things won't be ready this Week; but why do you say, you
hope she is not married?

Sir _John._ Some foolish Fancies only, perhaps I'm mistaken.

                          _Re-enter Chaplain._

_Bull._ Sir, his Lordship is just rid out to take the Air.

Sir _Tun._ To take the Air! Is that his _London_ Breeding, to go to
take the Air, when Gentlemen come to visit him?

Sir _John._ 'Tis possible he might want it, he might not be well, some
sudden Qualm perhaps.

            _Enter Constable, ~&c.~ with Lord ~Foppington~._

_Lord Fop._ Stap my Vitals, I'll have Satisfaction.

Sir _John._ [_Running to him._] My dear Lord _Foppington_!

_Lord Fop._ Dear _Friendly_, thou art come in the critical Minute,
strike me dumb.

Sir _John._ Why, I little thought to have found you in Fetters.

_Lord Fop._ Why truly the World must do me the justice to confess, I
do use to appear, a little more _degagé_: But this old Gentleman, not
liking the Freedom of my Air, has been pleased to skewer down my Arms
like a Rabbit.

Sir _Tun._ Is it then possible that this shou'd be the true Lord
_Foppington_ at last?

_Lord Fop._ Why what do you see in his Face to make you doubt of it?
Sir, without presuming to have any extraordinary Opinion of my Figure,
give me leave to tell you, if you had seen as many Lords as I have
done, you would not think it impossible a Person of a worse _Taille_
than mine, might be a modern Man of Quality.

Sir _Tun._ Unbind him, Slaves: my Lord, I'm struck dumb, I can only
beg Pardon by Signs; but if a Sacrifice will appease you, you shall
have it. Here, pursue this _Tartar_, bring him back----Away, I say, a
Dog, Oons----I'll cut off his Ears and his Tail, I'll draw out all his
Teeth, pull his skin over his Head----and----what shall I do more?

Sir _John._ He does indeed deserve to be made an Example of.

_Lord Fop._ He does deserve to be _chartrè_, stap my Vitals.

Sir _Tun._ May I then hope I have your Honour's Pardon?

_Lord Fop._ Sir, we Courtiers do nothing without a Bribe; that fair
young Lady might do Miracles.

Sir _Tun._ _Hoyden_, come hither, _Hoyden_.

_Lord Fop._ _Hoyden_ is her Name, Sir?

Sir _Tun._ Yes, my Lord.

_Lord Fop._ The prettiest Name for a Song I ever heard.

Sir _Tun._ My Lord----here's my Girl, she's yours, she has a wholesome
Body, and virtuous Mind; she's a Woman complete, both in Flesh and in
Spirit; she has a Bag of mill'd Crowns, as scarce as they are, and
fifteen hundred a-year flitch'd fast to her Tail: so go thy ways,
_Hoyden_.

_Lord Fop._ Sir, I do receive her like a Gentleman.

Sir _Tun._ Then I'm a happy Man, I bless Heaven, and if your Lordship
will give me leave, I will, like a good Christian at _Christmas_, be
very drunk by way of Thanksgiving. Come, my noble Peer, I believe
Dinner's ready; if your Honour pleases to follow me, I'll lead you on
to the Attack of a Venison Pasty.

                                                      [_Exit Sir ~Tun.~_

_Lord Fop._ Sir, I wait upon you: Will your Ladyship do me the favour
of your little Finger, Madam?

_Miss._ My Lord, I'll follow you presently. I have a little Business
with my Nurse.

_Lord Fop._ Your Ladyship's most humble Servant; come, Sir _John_, the
Ladies have _des Affaires_.

                                   [_Exeunt ~Lord Fop~. and Sir ~John~._

_Miss._ So, Nurse, we are finely brought to bed! What shall we do now?

_Nurse._ Ah, dear Miss, we are all undone! Mr. _Bull_, you were us'd to
help a Woman to a Remedy.

                                                              [_Crying._

_Bull._ A lack a-day, but it's past my Skill now, I can do nothing.

_Nurse._ Who wou'd have thought that ever your Invention shou'd have
been drain'd so dry?

_Miss._ Well, I have often thought old Folks Fools, and now I'm sure
they are so; I have found a way myself to secure us all.

_Nurse._ Dear Lady, what's that?

_Miss._ Why, if you two will be sure to hold your Tongues, and not say
a word of what's past, I'll e'en marry this Lord too.

_Nurse._ What! two Husbands, my Dear?

_Miss._ Why you had three, good Nurse, you may hold your Tongue.

_Nurse._ Ay, but not all together, sweet Child.

_Miss._ Psha, if you had, you'd ne'er thought much on't.

_Nurse._ O but 'tis a Sin--Sweeting.

_Bull._ Nay, that's my business to speak to, Nurse. I do confess, to
take two Husbands for the Satisfaction of the Flesh, is to commit the
Sin of Exorbitancy; but to do it for the Peace of the Spirit, is no
more than to be drunk by way of Physick: Besides, to prevent a Parent's
Wrath, is to avoid the Sin of Disobedience; for when the Parent's angry
the Child is froward. So that upon the whole Matter, I do think, tho'
Miss shou'd marry again, she may be sav'd.

_Miss._ I'cod, and I will marry again then, and so there is an end of
the Story.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ V. +SCENE+ _London_.


            _Enter ~Coupler~, ~Young Fashion~, and ~Lory~._

_Coup._ Well, and so Sir _John_ coming in--

_Young Fash._ And so Sir _John_ coming in, I thought it might be
Manners in me to go out, which I did, and getting on Horseback as fast
as I cou'd, rid away as if the Devil had been at the Rear of me; what
has happen'd since, Heav'n knows.

_Coup._ I'gad, Sirrah, I know as well as Heaven.

_Young Fash._ What do you know?

_Coup._ That you are a Cuckold.

_Young Fash._ The Devil I am! By who?

_Coup._ By your Brother.

_Young Fash._ My Brother! which way?

_Coup._ The old way, he has lain with your Wife.

_Young Fash._ Hell and Furies, what dost thou mean?

_Coup._ I mean plainly, I speak no Parable.

_Young Fash._ Plainly! Thou dost not speak common Sense, I cannot
understand one Word thou sayst.

_Coup._ You will do soon, Youngster. In short, you left your Wife a
Widow, and she married again.

_Young Fash._ It's a Lye.

_Coup._----I'cod, if I were a young Fellow, I'd break your Head, Sirrah.

_Young Fash._ Dear Dad, don't be angry, for I'm as mad as _Tom ~of~
Bedlam_.

_Coup._ When I had fitted you with a Wife, you shou'd have kept her.

_Young Fash._ But is it possible the young Strumpet cou'd play such a
Trick?

_Coup._ A young Strumpet, Sir----can play twenty Tricks.

_Young Fash._ But pr'ythee instruct me a little farther; whence comes
thy Intelligence!

_Coup._ From your Brother, in this Letter; there, you may read it.

                                               [_~Young Fashion~ reads._

  Dear _Coupler_,

[Pulling off his Hat,] _I Have only time to tell thee in three Lines,
or thereabouts, that here has been the Devil! That Rascal ~Tam~,
having stole the Letter thou hadst formerly writ for me to bring to
Sir ~Tunbelly~, form'd a damnable Design upon my Mistress, and was in
a fair way of Success when I arriv'd. But after having suffer'd some
Indignities (in which I have all daub'd my embroider'd Coat) I put him
to flight. I sent out a Party of Horse after him, in hopes to have made
him my Prisoner, which if I had done, I would have qualified him for
the Seraglio, stap my Vitals. The Danger I have thus narrowly 'scap'd,
has made me fortify myself against further Attempts, by entering
immediately into an Association with the young Lady, by which we engage
to stand by one another, as long as we both shall live. In short, the
Papers are seal'd, and the Contract is sign'd, so the Business of the
Lawyer is ~achevé~; but I defer the divine part of the thing till I
arrive at ~London~, not being willing to consummate in any other Bed
but my own._

  Postscript,

_'Tis possible I may be in the Tawn as soon as this Letter; for I find
the Lady is so violently in love with me, I have determin'd to make her
happy with all the Dispatch that is practicable, without disardering my
Coach Harses._

So, here's rare Work, I'faith!

_Lo._ I'gad, Miss _Hoyden_ has laid about her bravely.

_Coup._ I think my Country-Girl has play'd her part, as well as if she
had been born and bred in St. _James_'s Parish.

_Young Fash._----That Rogue the Chaplain.

_Lo._ And then that Jade the Nurse, Sir.

_Young Fash._ And then that drunken Sot, _Lory_, Sir; that cou'd not
keep himself sober to be a Witness to the Marriage.

_Lo._ Sir----with respect----I know very few drunken Sots that do keep
themselves sober.

_Young Fash._ Hold your prating, Sirrah, or I'll break your Head; dear
_Coupler_, what's to be done?

_Coup._ Nothing's to be done till the Bride and Bridegroom come to Town.

_Young Fash._ Bride and Bridegroom! Death and Furies! I can't bear that
thou shouldst call them so.

_Coup._ Why, what shall I call them, Dog and Cat?

_Young Fash._ Not for the World, that sounds more like Man and Wife
than t'other.

_Coup._ Well, if you'll hear of them in no Language, we'll leave them
for the Nurse and the Chaplain.

_Young Fash._ The Devil and the Witch.

_Coup._ When they come to Town----

_Lo._ We shall have stormy Weather.

_Coup._ Will you hold your tongues, Gentlemen, or not?

_Lo._ Mum.

_Coup._ I say when they, come, we must find what Stuff they are made
of, whether the Churchman be chiefly compos'd of the Flesh, or the
Spirit; I presume the former----For as Chaplains now go, 'tis probable
he eats three Pound of Beef to the reading one Chapter----This gives
him carnal Desires, he wants Money, Preferment, Wine, a Whore;
therefore we must invite him to Supper, give him fat Capons, Sack and
Sugar, a Purse of Gold, and a Plump Sister. Let this be done, and I'll
warrant thee, my Boy, he speaks Truth like an Oracle.

_Young Fash._ Thou art a profound Statesman, I allow it; but how shall
we gain the Nurse?

_Coup._ O never fear the Nurse, if once you have got the Priest, for
the Devil always rides the Hag. Well, there's nothing more to be said
of the Matter at this time, that I know of; so let us go and enquire,
if there's any News of our People yet, perhaps they may be come. But
let me tell you one thing by the way, Sirrah, I doubt you have been an
idle Fellow; if thou hadst behav'd thyself as thou shoud'st have done,
the Girl wou'd never have left thee.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _~Berinthia~'s Apartment._

      _Enter her ~Maid~, passing the Stage, follow'd by ~Worthy~._

_Wor._ Hem, Mrs. _Abigail_, is your Mistress to be spoken with?

_Ab._ By you, Sir, I believe she may.

_Wor._ Why 'tis by me I wou'd have her spoken with.

_Ab._ I'll acquaint her, Sir.

                                                           [_Exit ~Ab~._

                           _~Worthy~ solus._

One Lift more I must persuade her to give me, and then I'm mounted.
Well, a young Bawd, and a handsome one for my Money, 'tis they do the
Execution; I'll never go to an old one, but when I have occasion for a
Witch. Lewdness looks heavenly to a Woman, when an Angel appears in its
Cause; but when a Hag is Advocate, she thinks it comes from the Devil.
An old Woman has something so terrible in her Looks, that whilst she is
persuading your Mistress to forget she has a Soul, she stares Hell and
Damnation full in her Face.

                          _Enter ~Berinthia~._

_Ber._ Well, Sir, what News bring you?

_Wor._ No News, Madam, there's a Woman going to cuckold her Husband.

_Ber._ _Amanda_?

_Wor._ I hope so.

_Ber._ Speed her well.

_Wor._ Ay, but there must be a more than a God-speed, or your Charity
won't be worth a Farthing.

_Ber._ Why, han't I done enough already?

_Wor._ Not quite.

_Ber._ What's the matter?

_Wor._ The Lady has a Scruple still which you must remove.

_Ber._ What's that?

_Wor._ Her Virtue----she says.

_Ber._ And do you believe her?

_Wor._ No, but I believe it's what she takes for her Virtue; it's some
Relicks of lawful Love: she is not yet fully satisfy'd her Husband has
got another Mistress, which unless I can convince her of, I have opened
the Trenches in vain; for the Breach must be wider, before I dare storm
the Town.

_Ber._ And so I'm to be your Engineer!

_Wor._ I'm sure you know best how to manage the Battery.

_Ber._ What think you of springing a Mine? I have a Thought just now
come into my Head, how to blow her up at once.

_Wor._ That would be a Thought, indeed!

_Ber._----Faith, I'll do't, and thus the Execution of it shall be. We
are all invited to my Lord _Foppington_'s to-night to Supper, he's
come to Town with his Bride, and maketh a Ball, with an Entertainment
of Musick. Now you must know, my Undoer here, _Loveless_, says he
must needs meet me about some private Business (I don't know what
'tis) before we go to the Company. To which end he has told his Wife
one Lye, and I have told her another. But to make her amends, I'll go
immediately, and tell her a solemn Truth.

_Wor._ What's that?

_Ber._ Why, I'll tell her, that to my certain Knowledge her Husband
has a Rendezvous with his Mistress this Afternoon; and that if she'll
give me her Word, she will be satisfy'd with the Discovery, without
making any violent Inquiry after the Woman, I'll direct her to a Place,
where she shall see them meet.--Now, Friend, this I fancy may help you
to a critical Minute. For home she must go again to dress. You, with
your good-breeding, come to wait upon us to the Ball, find her all
alone, her Spirit enflam'd against her Husband for his Treason, and her
Flesh in a Heat from some Contemplations upon the Treachery, her Blood
on a Fire, her Conscience in ice; a Lover to draw, and the Devil to
drive----Ah, poor _Amanda_!

_Wor._ [_Kneeling._] Thou Angel of Light, let me fall down and adore
thee!

_Ber._ Thou Minister of Darkness, get up again, for I hate to see the
Devil at his Devotions.

_Wor._ Well, my incomparable _Berinthia_----How shall I requite you----

_Ber._ O ne'er trouble yourself about that: Virtue is its own Reward:
There's a Pleasure in doing good, which sufficiently pays itself. Adieu.

_Wor._ Farewel, thou best of Women.

                                                 [_Exeunt several ways._

                 _Enter ~Amanda~, meeting ~Berinthia~._

_Aman._ Who was that went from you?

_Ber._ A Friend of yours.

_Aman._ What does he want?

_Ber._ Something you might spare him, and be ne'er the poorer.

_Aman._ I can spare him nothing but my Friendship; my Love already's
all dispos'd of: Tho', I confess, to one ungrateful to my Bounty.

_Ber._ Why there's the Mystery! You have been so bountiful, you have
cloy'd him. Fond Wives do by their Husbands, as barren Wives do by
their Lap-Dogs; cram them with Sweetmeats till they spoil their
Stomachs.

_Aman._ Alas! Had you but seen how passionately fond he has been since
our last Reconciliation, you wou'd have thought it were impossible he
ever should have breath'd an Hour without me.

_Ber._ Ay but there you thought wrong again, _Amanda_; you shou'd
consider, that in Matters of Love Men's Eyes are always bigger than
their Bellies. They have violent Appetites, 'tis true, but they have
soon din'd.

_Aman._ Well; there's nothing upon Earth astonishes me more than Men's
Inconstancy.

_Ber._ Now there's nothing upon Earth astonishes me less, when I
consider what they and we are compos'd of. For Nature has made them
Children, and us Babies. Now, _Amanda_, how we us'd our Babies, you may
remember. We were mad to have them, as soon as we saw them; kiss'd them
to pieces, as soon as we got them; then pull'd off their Clothes, saw
them naked, and so threw them away.

_Aman._ But do you think all Men are of this Temper?

_Ber._ All but one.

_Aman._ Who's that?

_Ber._ _Worthy_.

_Aman._ Why, he's weary of his Wife too, you see.

_Ber._ Ay, that's no Proof.

_Aman._ What can be a greater?

_Ber._ Being weary of his Mistress.

_Aman._ Don't you think 'twere possible he might give you that too?

_Ber._ Perhaps he might, if he were my Gallant; not if he were your's.

_Aman._ Why do you think he shou'd be more constant to me, than he
wou'd to you? I'm sure I'm not so handsome.

_Ber._ Kissing goes by Favour; he likes you best.

_Aman._ Suppose he does; That's no Demonstration he wou'd be constant
to me.

_Ber._ No, that I'll grant you: But there are other Reasons to expect
it; for you must know after all, _Amanda_, the Inconstancy we commonly
see in Men of Brains, does not so much proceed from the Uncertainty
of their Temper, as from the Misfortunes of their Love. A Man sees,
perhaps, an hundred Women he likes well enough for an Intrigue, and
away; but possibly, thro' the whole Course of his Life, does not find
above one, who is exactly what he could wish her: now her, 'tis a
thousand to one, he never gets. Either she is not to be had at all
(tho' that seldom happens, you'll say) or he wants those Opportunities
that are necessary to gain her; either she likes somebody else much
better than him, or uses him like a Dog, because he likes no body so
well as her. Still something or other Fate claps in the way between
them and the Woman they are capable of being fond of. And this makes
them wander about from Mistress to Mistress, like a Pilgrim from Town
to Town, who every Night must have a fresh lodging, and 's in haste to
be gone in the Morning.

_Aman._ Tis possible there may be something in what you say; but what
do you infer from it, as to the Man we were talking of?

_Ber._ Why, I infer, that you being the Woman in the World the most to
his Humour, 'tis not likely he would quit you for one that is less.

_Aman._ That is not to be depended upon, for you see Mr. _Loveless_
does so.

_Ber._ What does Mr. _Loveless_ do?

_Aman._ Why, he runs after something for Variety, I'm sure he does not
like so well as he does me.

_Ber._ That's more than you know, Madam.

_Aman._ No, I'm sure on't: I am not very vain, _Berinthia_; and yet
I'll lay my Life, if I could look into his Heart, he thinks I deserve
to be prefer'd to a thousand of her.

_Ber._ Don't be too positive in that neither: A Million to one, but she
has the same Opinion of you. What wou'd you give to see her?

_Aman._ Hang her, dirty Trull; tho' I really believe she's so ugly,
she'd cure me of my Jealousy.

_Ber._ All the Men of Sense about Town say she's handsome.

_Aman._ They are as often out in those things as any People.

_Ber._ Then I'll give you further Proof----all the Women about Town
say, she's a Fool: Now I hope you are convinc'd?

_Aman._ Whate'er she be, I'm satisfy'd he does not like her well enough
to bestow any thing more than a little outward Gallantry upon her.

_Ber._ Outward Gallantry!----[_Aside._] I can't bear this. [_To
Aman._] Don't you think she's a Woman to be fobb'd off so. Come, I'm
too much your Friend, to suffer you should be thus grossly impos'd
upon, by a Man who does not deserve the least part about you, unless
he knew how to set a greater Value upon it. Therefore in one word, to
my certain knowledge, he is to meet her now, within a quarter of an
Hour, somewhere about that _Babylon_ of Wickedness, _Whitehall_. And if
you'll give me your Word that you'll be content with seeing her mask'd
in his Hand, without pulling her Headclothes off, I'll step immediately
to the Person, from whom I have my Intelligence, and send you word
whereabouts you may stand to see 'em meet. My Friend and I'll watch 'em
from another place, and dodge 'em to their private Lodging: But don't
you offer to follow 'em, lest you do it awkwardly, and spoil all. I'll
come home to you again, as soon as I have earth'd 'em, and give you an
account in what corner of the House the Scene of their Lewdness lies.

_Aman._ If you can do this, _Berinthia_, he's a Villain.

_Ber._ I can't help that, Men will be so.

_Aman._ Well! I'll follow your Directions; for I shall never rest till
I know the worst of this matter.

_Ber._ Pray, go immediately, and get yourself ready then. Put on some
of your Woman's Clothes, a great Scarf and a Mask, and you shall
presently receive Orders. [_Calls within._] Here, who's there? get me a
Chair quickly.

_Serv._ There are Chairs at the Door, Madam.

_Ber._ 'Tis well, I'm coming.

_Aman._ But pray, _Berinthia_, before you go, tell me how I may know
this filthy Thing, if she would be so forward (as I suppose she will)
to come to the Rendezvous first; for, methinks, I would fain view her a
little.

_Ber._ Why, she's about my heighth; and very well shap'd.

_Aman._ I thought she had been a little crooked?

_Ber._ O no, she's as straight as I am. But we lose time, come away.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

                _Enter ~Young Fashion~, meeting ~Lory~._

_Young Fash._ Well, will the Doctor come?

_Lo._ Sir, I sent a Porter to him as you order'd me. He found him with
a Pipe of Tobacco and a great Tankard of Ale, which he said he wou'd
dispatch while I cou'd tell three, and be here.

_Young Fash._ He does not suspect 'twas I that sent for him?

_Lo._ Not a Jot, Sir, he divines as little for himself, as he does for
other Folks.

_Young Fash._ Will he bring Nurse with him?

_Lo._ Yes.

_Young Fash._ That's well; where's _Coupler_?

_Lo._ He's half way up the Stairs taking Breath; he must play his
Bellows a little, before he can get to the top.

                           _Enter ~Coupler~._

_Young Fash._ O here he is. Well, old Phthisick, the Doctor's coming.

_Coup._ Wou'd the Pox had the Doctor----I'm quite out of Wind [_To
Lo._] Set me a Chair, Sirrah. Ah----[_Sits down._] [_To Young Fash._]
Why the Plague can'st not thou lodge upon the Ground-Floor?

_Young Fash._ Because I love to lie as near Heaven as I can.

_Coup._ Pr'ythee let Heaven alone; ne'er affect tending that way: Thy
Center's downwards.

_Young Fash_. That's impossible. I have too much ill Luck in this
World, to be damn'd in the next.

_Coup._ Thou art out in thy Logick. Thy Major is true, but thy Minor is
false; for thou art the luckiest Fellow in the Universe.

_Young Fash_. Make out that.

_Coup._ I'll do't: Last Night the Devil ran away with the Parson of
_Fat-goose_ Living.

_Young Fash._ If he had run away with the Parish too, what's that to me?

_Coup._ I'll tell thee what it's to thee. This Living is worth five
hundred Pound a-year, and the Presentation of it is thine, if thou
can'st prove thyself a lawful Husband to Miss _Hoyden_.

_Young Fash._ Say'st thou so, my Protector! then I'gad I shall have a
Brace of Evidences here presently.

_Coup._ The Nurse and the Doctor?

_Young Fash._ The same: The Devil himself won't have Interest enough to
make them withstand it.

_Coup._ That we shall see presently: Here they come.

     _Enter ~Nurse~ and ~Chaplain~; they start back, seeing ~Young
                               Fashion~._

_Nurse._ Ah Goodness, _Roger_, we are betray'd.

_Young Fash._ [_Laying hold on them._] Nay, nay, ne'er flinch for the
matter; for I have you safe. Come to your Trials immediately; I have no
time to give you Copies of your Indictment. There sits your Judge.--

_Both kneeling._ Pray, Sir, have Compassion on us.

_Nurse._ I hope, Sir, my Years will move your Pity; I am an aged Woman.

_Coup._ That is a moving Argument, indeed!

_Coup._ [_To Bull._] Are not you a rogue of Sanctity?

_Bull._ Sir, with respect to my Function, I do wear a Gown. I hope,
Sir, my Character will be consider'd; I am Heaven's Ambassador.

_Coup._ Did not you marry this vigorous young Fellow to a plump young
buxom Wench?

_Nurse._ [_To Bull._] Don't confess, _Roger_, unless you are hard put
to it, indeed?

_Coup._ Come, out with't--Now is he chewing the Cud of his Roguery, and
grinding a Lye between his Teeth.

_Bull._ Sir,----I cannot positively say----I say, Sir----positively I
cannot say----

_Coup._ Come, no Equivocation, no Roman Turns upon us. Consider thou
stand'st upon Protestant Ground, which will slip from under thee like
a _Tyburn_ Car; for in this Country we have always ten Hangmen for one
Jesuit.

_Bull._ [_To Young Fash._] Pray, Sir, then will you but permit me to
speak one word in private with Nurse?

_Young Fash._ Thou art always for doing something in private with Nurse.

_Coup._ But pray let his Betters be serv'd before him for once. I would
do something in private with her myself; _Lory_, take care of this
Reverend Gownman in the next Room a little. Retire, Priest. [_Exit
~Lo~. with ~Bull~._]--Now, Virgin, I must put the matter home to you a
little: Do you think it might not be possible to make you speak Truth?

_Nurse._ Alas! Sir, I don't know what you mean by Truth.

_Coup._ Nay,'tis possible thou may'st be a Stranger to it.

_Young Fash._ Come, Nurse, you and I were better Friends when we saw
one another last; and I still believe you are a very good Woman in
the bottom. I did deceive you and your young Lady, 'tis true, but I
always design'd to make a very good Husband to her, and to be a very
good Friend to you. And 'tis possible in the end, she might have found
herself happier and you richer, than ever my Brother will make you.

_Nurse._ Brother! Why is your Worship then his Lordship's Brother!

_Young Fash._ I am; which you should have known, if I durst have staid
to have told you; but I was forc'd to take Horse a little in haste, you
know.

_Nurse._ You were, indeed, Sir: poor young Man, how he was bound to
scaure for't. Now won't your Worship be angry, if I confess the Truth
to you; when I found you were a Cheat (with respect be it spoken) I
verily believ'd Miss had got some pitiful Skip-Jack Varlet or other to
her Husband, or I had ne'er let her think of marrying again.

_Coup._ But where was your Conscience all this while, Woman? Did not
that stare you in the Face with huge Saucer-eyes, and a great Horn upon
the Forehead? Did not you think you should be damn'd for such a Sin? Ha!

_Young Fash._ Well said, Divinity, press that home upon her.

_Nurse._ Why, in good truly, Sir, I had some fearful Thoughts on't,
and cou'd never be brought to consent, till Mr. _Bull_ said it was a
_Peckadilla_, and he'd secure my Soul for a Tythe-Pig.

_Young Fash._ There was a Rogue for you.

_Coup._ And he shall thrive accordingly: He shall have a good Living.
Come, honest _Nurse_, I see you have Butter in your Compound; you can
melt. Some Compassion you can have of this handsome young Fellow.

_Nurse._ I have, indeed, Sir.

_Young Fash._ Why, then, I'll tell you what you shall do for me. You
know what a warm Living here is fallen; and that it must be in the
Disposal of him who has the Disposal of Miss. Now if you and the Doctor
will agree to prove my Marriage, I'll present him to it, upon condition
he makes you his Bride.

_Nurse._ Naw the Blessing of the Lord follow your good Worship both by
Night and by Day! Let him be fetch'd in by the Ears; I'll soon bring
his Nose to the Grindstone.

_Coup._ [_Aside._] Well said, old Whit-Leather. Hey; bring in the
Prisoner there.

                      _Enter ~Lory~ with ~Bull~._

_Coup._ Come, advance, holy Man! Here's your Duck does not think fit to
retire with you into the Chancel at this time; but she has a Proposal
to make to you in the Face of the Congregation. Come, _Nurse_, speak
for yourself; you are of Age.

_Nurse._ _Roger_, are not you a wicked Man, _Roger_, to set your
Strength against a weak Woman, and persuade her it was no Sin to
conceal Miss's Nuptials? My Conscience flies in my Face for it, thou
Priest of _Baal_; and I find by woful Experience, thy Absolution is not
worth an old Cassock: therefore I am resolved to confess the Truth to
the whole World, tho' I die a Beggar for it. But his Worship overflows
with his Mercy, and his Bounty: He is not only pleas'd to forgive us
our Sins, but designs thou sha't squat thee down in _Fat-goose_ Living;
and, which is more than all, has prevail'd with me to become the Wife
of thy Bosom.

_Young Fash._ All this I intend for you, Doctor. What you are to do for
me, I need not tell you.

_Bull._ Your Worship's Goodness is unspeakable: Yet there is one thing
seems a Point of Conscience; and Conscience is a tender Babe. If I
shou'd bind myself, for the sake of this Living, to marry _Nurse_, and
maintain her afterwards, I doubt it might be look'd on as a kind of
Simony.

_Coup._ [_Rising up._] If it were Sacrilege, the Living's worth it:
Therefore no more Words, good Doctor: but with the [_Giving ~Nurse~ to
him._] Parish----here----take the Parsonage-house. 'Tis true, 'tis a
little out of Repair; some Dilapidations there are to be made good; the
Windows are broke, the Wainscot is warp'd, the Ceilings are peel'd, and
the Walls are crack'd; but a little Glasing, Painting, White-wash, and
Plaster, will make it last thy time.

_Bull._ Well, Sir, if it must be so, I shan't contend: What Providence
orders, I submit to.

_Nurse._ And so do I, with all Humility.

_Coup._ Why, that now was spoke like good People. Come, my
Turtle-Doves, let us go help this poor Pigeon to his wandering Mate
again: and after Institution and Induction, you shall all go a-cooing
together.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

         _Enter ~Amanda~, in a Scarf, &c. as just returned, her
                         Woman following her._

_Aman._ Pr'ythee, what care I who has been here?

_Wom._ Madam, 'twas my Lady _Bridle_, and my Lady _Tiptoe_.

_Aman._ My Lady _Fiddle_, and my Lady _Faddle_. What dost stand
troubling me with the Visits of a parcel of impertinent Women? When
they are well seam'd with the Small Pox, they won't be so fond of
shewing their Faces----There are more Coquettes about this Town--

_Wom._ Madam, I suppose, they only came to return your Ladyship's
Visit, according to the Custom of the World.

_Aman._ Wou'd the World were on Fire, and you in the middle on't! Be
gone: leave me.

                                                            [_Exit Wom._

                            _~Amanda~ sola._

    At last I am convinc'd. My Eyes are Testimonies of his Falshood.
    The base, ungrateful, perjur'd Villain----
    Good Gods--What slippery Stuff are Men compos'd of!
    Sure the Account of their Creation's false,
    And 'twas the Woman's Rib that they were form'd of.
    But why am I thus angry?
    This poor Relapse shou'd only move my Scorn.
    'Tis true, the roving Flights of his unfinish'd Youth
    Had strong Excuses from the Plea of Nature:
    Reason had thrown the Reins loose on his Neck,
    And slipt him to unlimited Desire.
    If therefore he went wrong, he had a Claim
    To my Forgiveness, and I did him right.
    But since the Years of Manhood rein him in,
    And Reason, well digested into Thought,
    Has pointed out the Course he ought to run;
    If now he strays,
    'Twou'd be as weak and mean in me to pardon,
    As it has been in him t' offend. But hold:
    'Tis an ill Cause indeed, where nothing's to be said for't.
    My Beauty possibly is in the Wain:
    Perhaps Sixteen has greater Charms for him:
    Yes, there's the Secret. But let him know,
    My Quiver's not entirely empty'd yet,
    I still have Darts, and I can shoot 'em too;
    They're not so blunt, but they can enter still;
    The Want's not in my Power, but in my Will.
    Virtue's his Friend; or, thro' another's Heart,
    I yet cou'd find the way to make his smart.

                                       [_Going off, she meets ~Worthy~._

Ha! He here? Protect me, Heaven, for this looks ominous.

_Wor._ You seem disorder'd, Madam; I hope there's no Misfortune
happen'd to you?

_Aman._ None that will long disorder me, I hope.

_Wor._ Whate'er it be disturbs you, I wou'd to Heaven 'twere in my
Power to bear the Pain, till I were able to remove the Cause.

_Aman._ I hope ere long it will remove itself. At least, I have given
it warning to be gone.

    _Wor._ Wou'd I durst ask, Where 'tis the Thorn torments you?
    Forgive me, if I grow inquisitive;
    'Tis only with desire to give you Ease.

_Aman._ Alas! 'tis in a tender Part. It can't be drawn without a World
of Pain: Yet out it must; for it begins to fester in my Heart.

_Wor._ If 'tis the Sting of unrequited Love, remove it instantly: I
have a Balm will quickly heal the Wound.

_Aman._ You'll find the Undertaking difficult: The Surgeon who already
has attempted it, has much tormented me.

_Wor._ I'll aid him with a gentler Hand--if you will give me leave.

_Aman._ How soft soe'er the Hand may be, there still is Terror in the
Operation.

_Wor._ Some few Preparatives would make it easy, could I persuade you
to apply 'em. Make Home Reflections, Madam, on your slighted Love:
Weigh well the Strength and Beauty of your Charms: Rouse up that Spirit
Women ought to bear, and slight your God, if he neglects his Angel.
With Arms of Ice receive his cold Embraces, and keep your Fire for
those who come in Flames. Behold a burning Lover at your Feet, his
Fever raging in his Veins. See how he trembles, how he pants! See how
he glows, how he consumes! Extend the Arms of Mercy to his Aid: his
Zeal may give him Title to your Pity, altho' his Merit cannot claim
your Love.

_Aman._ Of all my feeble Sex, sure I must be the weakest, shou'd I
again presume to think on Love. [_Sighing._]--Alas! my Heart has been
too roughly treated.

_Wor._ 'Twill find the greater Bliss in softer Usage.

_Aman._ But where's that Usage to be found?

_Wor._ 'Tis here, within this faithful Breast; which if you doubt, I'll
rip it up before your Eyes; lay all its Secrets open to your View; and
then you'll see 'twas sound.

_Aman._ With just such honest Words as these, the worst of Men deceiv'd
me.

_Wor._ He therefore merits all Revenge can do: his Fault is such, the
Extent and Stretch of Vengeance cannot reach it. O make me but your
Instrument of Justice; you'll find me execute it with such Zeal, as
shall convince you I abhor the Crime.

_Aman._ The Rigour of an Executioner has more the Face of Cruelty than
Justice: And he who puts the Cord about the Wretch's Neck, is seldom
known to exceed him in his Morals.

_Wor._ What Proof then can I give you of my Truth?

_Aman._ There is on Earth but one.

_Wor._ And is that in my Power?

_Aman._ It is: And one that would so thoroughly convince me, I should
be apt to rate your Heart so high, I possibly might purchase't with a
part of mine.

_Wor._ Then, Heav'n, thou art my Friend, and I am blest; for if 'tis
in my Power, my Will I'm sure will reach it. No matter what the Terms
may be, when such a Recompence is offer'd. O tell me quickly what this
Proof must be! What is it will convince you of my Love?

_Aman._ I shall believe you love me as you ought, if from this Moment,
you forbear to ask whatever is unfit for me to grant.----You pause upon
it, Sir----I doubt on such hard Terms, a Woman's Heart is scarcely
worth the having.

_Wor._ A Heart like yours, on any Terms is worth it; 'twas not on that
I paus'd: But I was thinking [_Drawing nearer to her._] whether some
things there may not be, which Women cannot grant without a Blush, and
yet which Men may take without Offence. [_Taking her Hand._] Your Hand
I fancy may be of the Number: O pardon me, if I commit a Rape upon it,
[_Kissing it eagerly._] and thus devour it with my Kisses!

_Aman._ O Heavens! let me go.

_Wor._ Never, whilst I have Strength to hold you here. [_Forcing her to
sit down on a Couch._] My Life, my Soul, my Goddess----O forgive me!

_Aman._ O whither am I going? Help, Heaven, or I am lost.

_Wor._ Stand neuter, Gods, this once I do invoke you.

_Aman._ Then, save me, Virtue, and the Glory's thine.

_Wor._ Nay, never strive.

_Aman._ I will; and conquer too. My Forces rally bravely to my Aid,
[_Breaking from him._] and thus I gain the Day.

_Wor._ Then mine as bravely double their Attack. [_Seizing her again._]
And thus I wrest it from you. Nay, struggle not; for all's in vain: On
Death or victory; I am determin'd.

_Aman._ And so am I. [_Rushing from him._] Now keep your distance, or
we part for ever.

_Wor._ [_Offering again._] For Heaven's sake----

_Aman._ [_Going._] Nay then, farewel.

_Wor._ [_Kneeling and holding by her Clothes._] O stay, and see the
Magick Force of Love: Behold this raging Lion at your Feet, struck
dead with Fear, and tame as Charms can make him. What must I do to be
forgiven by you?

_Aman._ Repent, and never more offend.

_Wor._ Repentance for past Crimes is just and easy; but sin no more's a
Task too hard for Mortals.

_Aman._ Yet those who hope for Heaven, must use their best Endeavours
to perform it.

_Wor._ Endeavours we may use, but Flesh and Blood are got in t'other
Scale; and they are pond'rous things.

_Aman._ Whate'er they are, there is a Weight in Resolution sufficient
for their Balance. The Soul, I do confess, is usually so careless of
its Charge, so soft, and so indulgent to Desire, it leaves the Reins
in the wild Hand of Nature, who, like a _Phaeton_, drives the fiery
Chariot, and sets the World on Flame. Yet still the Sovereignty is in
the Mind, whene'er it pleases to exert its Force. Perhaps you may not
think it worth your while to take such mighty pains for my Esteem; but
that I leave to you.

    You see the Price I set upon my Heart;                             }
    Perhaps 'tis dear: But spite of all your Art,                      }
    You'll find on cheaper Terms we ne'er shall part.                  }

                                                       [_Exit ~Amanda~._

                           _~Worthy~ solus_.

Sure there's Divinity about her; and she'as dispens'd some portion on't
to me. For what but now was the wild Flame of Love, or (to dissect that
specious Term) the vile, the gross Desires of Flesh and Blood, is in a
Moment turn'd to Adoration. The coarser Appetite of Nature's gone, and
'tis, methinks, the Food of Angels I require: how long this Influence
may last, Heaven knows. But in this Moment of my Purity, I cou'd on her
own Terms accept her Heart. Yes, lovely Woman, I can accept it. For now
'tis doubly worth my Care. Your Charms are much increas'd, since thus
adorn'd. When Truth's extorted from us, then we own the Robe of Virtue
is a graceful Habit.

    Cou'd Women but our secret Counsels scan,
    Cou'd they but reach the deep Reserves of Man,
    They'd wear it on, that That of Love might last;
    For when they throw off one, we soon the other cast.
    Their Sympathy is such----
    The Fate of one, the other scarce can fly--
    They live together, and together die.

                                                                [_Exit._

                      _Enter ~Miss~ and ~Nurse~._

_Miss._ But is it sure and certain, say you, he's my Lord's own Brother?

_Nurse._ As sure, as he's your lawful Husband.

_Miss._ I'cod, if I had known that in time, I don't know but I might
have kept him; For, between you and I, Nurse, he'd have made a Husband
worth two of this I have. But which do you think you shou'd fancy most,
Nurse?

_Nurse._ Why, truly, in my poor fancy, Madam, your first Husband is the
prettier Gentleman.

_Miss._ I don't like my Lord's Shapes, Nurse.

_Nurse._ Why in good truly, as a body may say, he is but a Slam.

_Miss._ What do you think now he puts me in mind of? Don't you remember
a long, loose, shambling sort of a Horse my Father call'd _Washy_?

_Nurse._ As like as two Twin-Brothers.

_Miss._ I'cod, I have thought so a hundred times: 'Faith, I'm tired of
him.

_Nurse._ Indeed, Madam, I think you had e'en as good stand to your
first Bargain.

_Miss._ O but, Nurse, we han't considered the main thing yet.
If I leave my Lord, I must leave my Lady too: and when I rattle
about the Streets in my Coach, they'll only say, there goes
Mistress----Mistress----Mistress what? What's this Man's Name, I have
married, Nurse?

_Nurse._ 'Squire _Fashion_.

_Miss._ 'Squire _Fashion_ is it?----Well, 'Squire, that's better than
nothing: Do you think one cou'd not get him made a Knight, Nurse?

_Nurse._ I don't know but one might, Madam, when the King's in a good
Humour.

_Miss._ I'cod, that wou'd do rarely. For then he'd be as good a Man as
my Father, you know.

_Nurse._ By'r Lady, and that's as good as the best of 'em.

_Miss._ So 'tis, faith; for then I shall be my Lady, and your Ladyship
at every Word, that's all I have to care for. Ha, Nurse! But hark you
me, one thing more, and then I have done. I'm afraid, if I change my
Husband again, I shan't have so much Money to throw about, Nurse.

_Nurse._ O, enough's as good as a Feast: Besides, Madam, one don't
know, but as much may fall to your share with the younger Brother, as
with the elder. For tho' these Lords have a power of Wealth, indeed;
yet as I have heard say, they give it all to their Sluts and their
Trulls, who joggle it about in their Coaches, with a Murrain to 'em,
whilst poor Madam sits sighing and wishing, and knotting and crying,
and has not a spare Half-Crown to buy her a _Practice of Piety_.

_Miss._ O, but for that, don't deceive yourself, Nurse. For this I must
[_Snapping her Fingers._] say for my Lord, and a----for him: He's as
free as an open House at _Christmas_. For this very Morning he told me,
I shou'd have two hundred a-year to buy Pins. Now, Nurse, if he gives
me two hundred a-year to buy Pins, what do you think he'll give me to
buy fine Petticoats?

_Nurse._ Ah, my Dearest, he deceives these faully, and he's no better
than a Rogue for his pains. These _Londoners_ have got a Gibberidge
with them, would confound a Gipsey. That which they call Pin-money, is
to buy their Wives every thing in the varsal World, down to their very
Shoe-tyes? Nay, I have heard Folks say, That some Ladies, if they will
have Gallants, as they call 'em, are forc'd to find them out of their
Pin-money too.

_Miss._ Has he serv'd me so, say ye?----Then I'll be his Wife no
longer, that's fixt. Look, here he comes, with all the fine Folks at
's heels. I'cod, Nurse, these _London_ Ladies will laugh till they
crack again, to see me slip my Collar, and run away from my Husband.
But, d'ye hear? Pray take care of one thing: When the Business comes to
break out, be sure you get between me and my Father, for you know his
Tricks; he'll knock me down.

_Nurse._ I'll mind him, ne'er fear, Madam.

       _Enter Lord ~Foppington~, ~Loveless~, ~Worthy~, ~Amanda~,
                           and ~Berinthia~._

_Lord Fop._ Ladies and Gentlemen, you are all welcome. [_To_ Lov.]
_Loveless_----That's my Wife; pr'ythee do me the favour to salute
her: And do'st hear, [_Aside to him._] if thau hast a mind to try thy
Fartune, to be reveng'd of me, I won't take it ill, stap my Vitals.

_Lov._ You need not fear, Sir, I'm too fond of my own Wife, to have the
least Inclination for yours.

                                                     [_All salute Miss._

_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] I'd give a thausand Paund he wou'd make Love to
her, that he may see she has sense enough to prefer me to him, tho' his
own Wife has not: [_Viewing him._]--He's a very beastly Fellow, in my
Opinion.

_Miss._ [_Aside._] What a Power of fine Men there are in this _London_!
He that kist me first, is a goodly Gentleman, I promise you: Sure those
Wives have a rare time on't, that live here always.

         _Enter Sir ~Tunbelly~, with Musicians, Dancers, ~&c.~_

Sir _Tun._ Come, come in, good People, come in; come, tune your
Fiddles, tune your Fiddles.

_To the Hautboys._] Bag-pipes, make ready there. Come, strike up.

                                                               [_Sings._

    _For this is ~Hoyden~'s Wedding-day;
    And therefore we keep Holy-day,
      And come to be merry._

Ha! there's my Wench, I'faith: Touch and take, I'll warrant her; she'll
breed like a tame Rabbit.

_Miss._ [_Aside._] I'cod, I think my Father's gotten drunk before
Supper.

Sir _Tun._ [_To ~Lov~. and ~Wor~._] Gentlemen, you are welcome.
[_Saluting ~Aman~. and ~Ber~._] Ladies, by your leave. Ha----They bill
like Turtles. Udsookers, they set my old Blood a-fire; I shall cuckold
some body before Morning.

_Lord Fop._ [_To Sir ~Tun~._] Sir, you being Master of the
Entertainment, will you desire the Company to sit?

Sir _Tun._ Oons, Sir,----I'm the happiest Man on this side the _Ganges_.

_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] This is a mighty unaccountable old Fellow. [_To
Sir ~Tun~._] I said, Sir, it wou'd be convenient to ask the Company to
sit.

Sir _Tun._ Sit----with all my heart: Come, take your places, Ladies;
take your places, Gentlemen: Come, sit down, sit down; a Pox of
Ceremony, take your places.

                                       [_They sit, and the Mask begins._

                 Dialogue between _Cupid_ and _Hymen_.

    Cupid.                        1.

    _Thou Bane to my Empire, thou Spring of Contest,
    Thou Source of all Discord, thou Period to Rest;
    Instruct me what Wretches in Bondage can see,
    That the Aim of their Life is still pointed to thee._

    Hymen.                        2.

    _Instruct me, thou little impertinent God,
    From whence all thy Subjects have taken the Mode
    To grow fond of a Change, to whatever it be,
    And I'll tell thee why those wou'd be bound, who are free._

                            Chorus.

    _For Change, we're for Change, to whatever it be,
    We are neither contented with Freedom nor Thee.
      Constancy's an empty Sound,
      Heaven, and Earth, and all go round,
      All the Works of Nature move,
      And the Joys of Life and Love
            Are in Variety._

    Cupid.                        3.

    _Were Love the Reward of a pains-taking Life,
    Had a Husband the Art to be fond of his Wife;
    Were Virtue so plenty, a Wife cou'd afford,
    These very hard Times, to be true to her Lord;
    Some specious Account might be given of those
    Who are ty'd by the Tail, to be led by the Nose._

                                  4.

    _But since 'tis the Fate of a Man and his Wife,
    To consume all their Days in Contention and Strife:
    Since whatever the Bounty of Heaven may create her,
    He's morally sure he shall heartily hate her;
    I think 'twere much wiser to ramble at large,
    And the Volleys of Love on the Herd to discharge._

    Hymen.                        5.

    _Some colour of Reason thy Counsel might bear,
    Cou'd a Man have no more than his Wife to his share;
    Or were I a Monarch so cruelly just,
    To oblige a poor Wife to be true to her Trust;
    But I have not pretended, for many Years past,
    By marrying of People, to make 'em grow chaste._

                                  6.

    _I therefore advise thee to let me go on,
    Thou'd find I'm the Strength and Support of thy Throne;
    For hadst thou but Eyes, thou wouldst quickly perceive it,
      How smoothly the Dart
      Slips into the Heart
      Of a Woman that's Wed;
      Whilst the shivering Maid
    Stands trembling, and wishing, but dare not receive it._

                            Chorus.

            _For Change,_ &c.

      _The Mask ended, enter ~Young Fash~, ~Coupler~, and ~Bull~._

Sir _Tun._ So, very fine, very fine, i'faith; this is something like a
Wedding; now if Supper were but ready, I'd say a short Grace; and if I
had such a Bedfellow as _Hoyden_ to night----I'd say as short Prayers.

_Seeing Young Fash._ How now----what have we got here? A Ghost? Nay, it
must be so; for his Flesh and Blood cou'd never have dar'd to appear
before me. [_To him._] Ah, Rogue----

_Lord Fop._ Stap my Vitals, _Tam_ again?

Sir _Tun._ My Lord, will you cut his Throat? Or shall I?

_Lord Fop._ Leave him to me, Sir, if you please. Pr'ythee, _Tam_, be so
ingenuous now, as to tell me what thy Business is here?

_Young Fash._ 'Tis with your Bride.

_Lord Fop._ Thau art the impudent'st Fellow that Nature has yet spawn'd
into the Warld, strike me speechless.

_Young Fash._ Why you know my Modesty wou'd have starv'd me; I sent it
a-begging to you, and you wou'd not give it a Groat.

_Lord Fop._ And dost thau expect by an excess of Assurance to extart a
Maintenance fram me?

_Young Fash._ [_Taking Miss by the Hand._] I do intend to extort your
Mistress from you, and that I hope will prove one.

_Lord Fop._ I ever thaught _Newgate_ or _Bedlam_ wou'd be his Fartune,
and naw his Fate's decided. Pr'ythee, _Loveless_, dost knaw of ever a
Mad Doctor hard by?

_Young Fash._ There's one at your Elbow will cure you presently.

_To Bull._ Pr'ythee, Doctor, take him in hand quickly.

_Lord Fop._ Shall I beg the Favour of you, Sir, to pull your Fingers
out of my Wife's Hand?

_Young Fash._ His Wife! Look you there; now I hope you are all
satisfy'd he's mad.

_Lord Fop._ Naw is it not impassible far me to penetrate what Species
of Fally it is thou art driving at?

_Sir Tun._ Here, here, here, let me beat out his Brains, and that will
decide all.

_Lord Fop._ No, pray, Sir, hold, we'll destray him presently according
to Law.

_Young Fash._ [_To_ Bull.] Nay, then advance, Doctor: come, you are a
Man of Conscience, answer boldly to the Questions I shall ask: Did not
you marry me to this young Lady, before ever that Gentleman there saw
her Face?

_Bull._ Since the Truth must out, I did.

_Young Fash._ Nurse, sweet Nurse, were not you a Witness to it?

_Nurse._ Since my Conscience bids me speak----I was.

_Young Fash._ [_To Miss._] Madam, am not I your lawful Husband?

_Miss._ Truly I can't tell, but you married me first.

_Young Fash._ Now I hope you are all satisfy'd?

Sir _Tun._ [_Offering to strike him, is held by ~Lov~. and ~Wor~._]
Oons and Thunder, you lye.

_Lord Fop._ Pray, Sir, be calm, the Battle is in Disarder, but requires
more Canduct than Courage to rally our Forces. Pray, Dactar, one word
with you.

_To_ Bull [_Aside._] Look you, Sir, tho' I will not presume to
calculate your Notions of Damnation, fram the Description you give
us of Hell, yet since there is at least a passibility you may have a
Pitchfark thrust in your Backside, methinks, it shou'd not be worth
your while to risk your Saul in the next Warld, for the sake of a
beggarly yaunger Brather, who is nat able to make your Bady happy in
this.

_Bull._ Alas! my Lord, I have no worldly Ends; I speak the Truth,
Heaven knows.

_Lord Fop._ Nay, pr'ythee, never engage Heaven in the matter; far, by
all I can see, 'tis like to prove a Business for the Devil.

_Young Fash._ Come, pray, Sir, all above-board, no corrupting of
Evidences; if you please, this young Lady is my lawful Wife, and I'll
justify it in all the Courts of _England_; so your Lordship (who always
had a Passion for Variety) may go seek a new Mistress, if you think fit.

_Lord Fop._ I am struck dumb with his Impudence, and cannot passitively
tell whether ever I shall speak again, or nat.

Sir _Tun._ Then let me come and examine the Business a little, I'll
jerk the Truth out of 'em presently; here, give me my Dog-Whip.

_Young Fash._ Look you, old Gentleman, 'tis in vain to make a Noise;
if you grow mutinous, I have some Friends within Call, have Swords by
their Sides, above four Foot long; therefore be calm, hear the Evidence
patiently, and when the Jury have given their Verdict, pass Sentence
according to Law: Here's honest _Coupler_ shall be Foreman, and ask as
many Questions as he pleases.

_Coup._ All I have to ask is, whether Nurse persists in her Evidence?
The Parson, I dare swear, will never flinch from his.

_Nurse._ [_To Sir ~Tun~. kneeling._] I hope in Heaven your Worship will
pardon me; I have served you long and faithfully, but in this thing I
was over-reach'd; your Worship, however, was deceiv'd as, well as I;
and if the Wedding-Dinner had been ready, you had put Madam to Bed with
him with your own Hands.

Sir _Tun._ But how durst you do this, without acquainting of me?

_Nurse._ Alas! if your Worship had seen how the poor Thing begg'd, and
pray'd, and clung, and twin'd about me, like Ivy to an old Wall, you
wou'd say, I who had suckled it, and swaddled it, and nurst it both wet
and dry, must have had a Heart of Adamant to refuse it.

Sir _Tun._ Very well.

_Young Fash._ Foreman, I expect your Verdict.

_Coup._ Ladies and Gentlemen, what's your Opinions?

_All._ A clear Case, a clear Case.

_Coup._ Then, my young Folks, I wish you Joy.

Sir _Tun._ [_To_ Young Fash.] Come hither, Stripling; if it be true,
then, that thou hast marry'd my Daughter, pr'ythee tell me who thou art?

_Young Fash._ Sir, the best of my Condition is, I am your Son-in-law;
and the worst of it is, I am Brother to that Noble Peer there.

Sir _Tun._ Art thou Brother to that Noble Peer----Why then, that Noble
Peer, and thee, and thy Wife, and the Nurse, and the Priest----may all
go and be damn'd together.

                                                      [_Exit Sir ~Tun~._

_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] Naw, for my part, I think the wisest thing a Man
can do with an aking Heart, is to put on a serene Countenance; for a
Philosaphical Air is the most becoming thing in the Warld to the Face
of a Person of Quality; I will therefore bear my Disgrace like a Great
Man, and let the People see I am above an Affrant. [_To_ Young Fash.]
Dear _Tam_, since Things are thus fallen aut, pr'ythee give me leave to
wish thee Jay. I do it _de bon Cœur_, strike me dumb: you have marry'd
a Woman beautiful in her Person, charming in her Airs, prudent in her
Canduct, canstant in her Inclinations, and of a nice Marality, split my
Wind-pipe.

_Young Fash._ Your Lardship may keep up your Spirits with your Grimace,
if you please; I shall support mine with this Lady, and two thousand
Pound a-year.

_Taking Miss._] Come, Madam:

    We once again, you see, are Man and Wife,
    And now, perhaps, the Bargain's struck for Life:
    If I mistake, and we shou'd part again.
    At least you see you may have choice of Men:
    Nay, shou'd the War at length such Havock make,
    That Lovers shou'd grow scarce, yet for your sake,
    Kind Heaven always will preserve a Beau--

  _Pointing to_ Lord Fop.] You'll find his Lordship ready to come to.  }
                                                                       }
  _Lord Fop._ Her Ladyship shall stap my Vitals, if I do.              }

[Illustration]



EPILOGUE,


                               Spoken by

                           Lord =Foppington=.

  Gentlemen and Ladies,

    _These People have regal'd you here to-day
    (In my Opinion) with a saucy Play;
    In which the Author does presume to shew,
    That Coxcomb,_ ab Origine--_was Beau.
    Truly I think the thing of so much weight,                         }
    That if some sharp Chastisement ben't his Fate,                    }
    Gad's Curse, it may in time destroy the State.                     }
    I hold no one its Friend, I must confess,
    Who wou'd discauntenance you Men of Dress.
    Far, give me leave t'abserve, good Clothes are Things
    Have ever been of great Support to Kings:
    All Treasons come fram Slovens; it is nat
    Within the reach of Gentle Beaux to plat;
    They have no Gall; no Spleen, no Teeth, no Stings,
    Of all Gad's Creatures, the most harmless Things.
    Thro' all Recard, no Prince was ever slain
    By one who had a Feather in his Brain,
    They're Men of too refin'd an Education,
    To squabble with a Court--for a vile dirty Nation.
    I'm very pasitive, you never saw
    A tho'ro' Republican a finish'd Beau.
    Nor truly shall you very often see
    A ~Jacobite~ much better drest than he:
    In short, thro' all the Courts that I have been in,
    Your Men of Mischief--still are in faul Linen.
    Did ever one yet dance the ~Tyburn~ Jigg,
    With a free Air, or a well pawder'd Wig?
    Did ever Highway-man yet bid you stand,
    With a sweet bawdy Snuff-Box in his Hand?
    Ar do you ever find they ask your Purse
    As Men of Breeding do?----Ladies, Gad's Curse,
    This Author is a Dag, and 'tis not fit
    You shou'd allow him e'en one Grain of Wit:
    To which, that his Pretence may ne'er be nam'd,
    My humble Motion is----he may be damn'd._

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



THE

PROVOK'D WIFE.

A

COMEDY.


[Illustration]

[Illustration]



PROLOGUE.


                     Spoken by Mrs. _Bracegirdle_.

    _Since 'tis th' Intent and Business of the Stage,
    To copy out the Follies of the Age;
    To hold to every Man a faithful Glass,
    And shew him of what Species he's an Ass:
    I hope the next that teaches in the School,
    Will shew our Author he's a scribbling Fool.
    And that the Satire may be sure to bite,                           }
    Kind Heav'n! inspire some venom'd Priest to write,                 }
    And grant some ugly Lady may indite.                               }
    For I wou'd have him lash'd, by Heavens! I wou'd,
    Till his Presumption swam away in Blood.
    Three Plays at once proclaim a Face of Brass,                      }
    No matter what they are; That's not the Case--                     }
    To write three Plays, e'en that's to be an Ass.                    }
    But what I least forgive, he knows it too,
    For to his Cost he lately has known you--
    Experience shews, to many a Writer's Smart,
    You hold a Court where Mercy ne'er had part;
    So much of the old Serpent's Sting you have,
    You love to Damn, as Heaven delights to Save.
    In foreign Parts, let a bold Volunteer,                            }
    For Public Good, upon the Stage appear,                            }
    He meets ten thousand Smiles to dissipate his Fear.                }
    All tickle on th' adventuring young Beginner,
    And only scourge th' incorrigible Sinner;
    They touch indeed his Faults, but with a Hand
    So gentle, that his Merit still may stand;
    Kindly they buoy the Follies of his Pen,
    That he may shun 'em when he writes again.
    But 'tis not so in this good-natur'd Town,                         }
    All's one, an Ox, a Poet, or a Crown;                              }
    Old ~England~'s Play was always knocking down._                    }



Dramatis Personæ.


MEN.

  _Constant_,                                     Mr. _Verbruggen_.
  _Heartfree_,                                    Mr. _Hudson_.
  Sir _John Brute_,                               Mr. _Betterton_.
  _Treble_, a Singing-Master,                     Mr. _Bowman_.
  _Rasor_, Valet de Chambre to Sir _John Brute_,  Mr. _Bowen_.
  Justice of the Peace,                           Mr. _Bright_.
  Lord _Rake_,                                 }  Companions to
  Col. _Bully_,                                }  Sir _John Brute_.
  Constable _and_ Watch.


WOMEN.

  Lady _Brute_,                       Mrs. _Barry_.
  _Belinda_, her Niece,               Mrs. _Bracegirdle_.
  Lady _Fancyfull_,                   Mrs. _Bowman_.
  _Madamoiselle_,                     Mrs. _Willis_.
  _Cornet_ and _Pipe_, Servants to Lady _Fancyfull_.

[Illustration]

                                  THE
                             PROVOK'D WIFE.

[Illustration]



+ACT+ I. +SCENE+ I.

                  +SCENE+, _Sir ~John Brute~'s House_.


                       _Enter Sir ~John~, solus._

What cloying Meat is Love--when Matrimony's the Sauce to it! Two Years
Marriage has debauch'd my five Senses. Every thing I see, every thing
I hear, every thing I feel, every thing I smell, and every thing I
taste--methinks has Wife in't. No Boy was ever so weary of his Tutor,
no Girl of her Bib, no Nun of doing Penance, or old Maid of being
chaste, as I am of being married. Sure there's a secret Curse entail'd
upon the very Name of Wife. My Lady is a young Lady, a fine Lady, a
witty Lady, a virtuous Lady,--and yet I hate her. There is but one
thing on Earth I loath beyond her: That's Fighting. Would my Courage
come up to a fourth part of my Ill-Nature, I'd stand buff to her
Relations, and thrust her out of doors. But Marriage has sunk me down
to such an Ebb of Resolution, I dare not draw my Sword, tho' even to
get rid of my Wife. But here she comes.

                         _Enter ~Lady Brute~._

_Lady Brute._ Do you dine at home to-day, Sir _John_?

_Sir John._ Why, do you expect I should tell you what I don't know
myself?

_Lady Brute._ I thought there was no harm in asking you.

_Sir John._ If thinking wrong were an excuse for Impertinence, Women
might be justify'd in most things they say or do.

_Lady Brute._ I'm sorry I have said any thing to displease you.

_Sir John._ Sorrow for things past is of as little importance to me, as
my dining at home or abroad ought to be to you.

_Lady Brute._ My Enquiry was only that I might have provided what you
lik'd.

_Sir John._ Six to four you had been in the wrong there again; for what
I lik'd yesterday I don't like to-day; and what I like to-day, 'tis
odds I mayn't like to-morrow.

_Lady Brute._ But if I had ask'd you what you lik'd?

_Sir John._ Why then there wou'd have been more asking about it than
the thing was worth.

_Lady Brute._ I wish I did but know how I might please you.

_Sir John._ Ay, but that sort of Knowledge is not a Wife's Talent.

_Lady Brute._ Whate'er my Talent is, I'm sure my Will has ever been to
make you easy.

_Sir John._ If Women were to have their Wills, the World wou'd be
finely govern'd.

_Lady Brute._ What reason have I given you to use me as you do of late?
It once was otherwise: You marry'd me for Love.

_Sir John._ And you me for Money: So you have your Reward, and I have
mine.

_Lady Brute._ What is it that disturbs you?

_Sir John._ A Parson.

_Lady Brute._ Why, what has he done to you?

_Sir John._ He has married me.

                                                     [_Exit Sir ~John~._

                          _Lady ~Brute~ sola._

The Devil's in the Fellow, I think----I was told before I married him,
that thus 'twou'd be: But I thought I had Charms enough to govern him;
and that where there was an Estate, a Woman must needs be happy; so
my Vanity has deceiv'd me, and my Ambition has made me uneasy. But
there's some Comfort still; if one wou'd be reveng'd of him, these are
good times; a Woman may have a Gallant, and a separate Maintenance
too--The surly Puppy--yet he's a Fool for't: for hitherto he has been
no Monster: But who knows how far he may provoke me? I never lov'd
him, yet I have been ever true to him; and that, in spite of all the
Attacks of Art and Nature upon a poor weak Woman's Heart, in favour of
a tempting Lover. Methinks so noble a Defence as I have made, shou'd
be rewarded with a better Usage--Or who can tell?----Perhaps a good
part of what I suffer from my Husband, may be a Judgment upon me for
my Cruelty to my Lover.----Lord, with what pleasure could I indulge
that Thought, were there but a Possibility of finding Arguments to
make it good!----And how do I know but there may?--Let me see----What
opposes?--My matrimonial Vow----Why, what did I vow? I think I promis'd
to be true to my Husband. Well; and he promis'd to be kind to me. But
he han't kept his Word----Why then I'm absolv'd from mine--Ay, that
seems clear to me. The Argument's good between the King and the People,
why not between the Husband and the Wife? O, but that Condition was not
exprest--No matter, 'twas understood. Well, by all I see, if I argue
the matter a little longer with myself, I shan't find so many Bug-bears
in the Way as I thought I shou'd. Lord, what fine Notions of Virtue do
we Women take up upon the Credit of old foolish Philosophers! Virtue's
its own Reward, Virtue's this, Virtue's that----Virtue's an Ass, and a
Gallant's worth forty on't.

                           _Enter ~Belinda~._

_Lady Brute._ Good-morrow, dear Cousin.

_Bel._ Good-morrow, Madam; you look pleas'd this Morning.

_Lady Brute._ I am so.

_Bel._ With what, pray?

_Lady Brute._ With my Husband.

_Bel._ Drown Husbands; for your's is a provoking Fellow: As he went out
just now, I pray'd him to tell me what time of Day 'twas; and he ask'd
me if I took him for the Church-Clock, that was oblig'd to tell all the
Parish.

_Lady Brute._ He has been saying some good obliging things to me too.
In short, _Belinda_, he has us'd me so barbarously of late, that I
cou'd almost resolve to play the downright Wife--and cuckold him.

_Bel._ That would be downright indeed.

_Lady Brute._ Why, after all, there's more to be said for't than
you'd imagine, Child. I know, according to the strict Statute-Law of
Religion, I shou'd do wrong: But if there were a Court of Chancery in
Heav'n, I'm sure I shou'd cast him.

_Bel._ If there were a House of Lords, you might.

_Lady Brute._ In either I should infallibly carry my Cause. Why, he is
the first Aggressor, not I.

_Bel._ Ay, but you know we must return Good for Evil.

_Lady Brute._ That may be a Mistake in the Translation--Pr'ythee be of
my Opinion, _Belinda_; for I'm positive I'm in the right; and if you'll
keep up the Prerogative of a Woman, you'll likewise be positive you
are in the right, whenever you do any thing you have a mind to. But I
shall play the Fool, and jest on, till I make you begin to think I'm in
earnest.

_Bel._ I shan't take the Liberty, Madam, to think of any thing that you
desire to keep a Secret from me.

_Lady Brute._ Alas, my Dear, I have no Secrets. My Heart cou'd never
yet confine my Tongue.

_Bel._ Your Eyes, you mean; for I'm sure I have seen them gadding, when
your Tongue has been lock'd up safe enough.

_Lady Brute._ My Eyes gadding! Pr'ythee after who, Child?

_Bel._ Why, after one that thinks you hate him, as much as I know you
love him.

_Lady Brute._ _Constant_ you mean.

_Bel._ I do so.

_Lady Brute._ Lord, what shou'd put such a thing into your Head?

_Bel._ That which puts things into most People's Heads, Observation.

_Lady Brute._ Why what have you observ'd, in the Name of Wonder?

_Bel._ I have observed you blush when you met him; force yourself away
from him; and then be out of humour with every thing about you: In a
Word, never was poor Creature so spurr'd on by Desire, and so rein'd in
with Fear.

_Lady Brute._ How strong is Fancy!

_Bel._ How weak is Woman!

_Lady Brute._ Pr'ythee, Niece, have a better Opinion of your Aunt's
Inclination.

_Bel._ Dear Aunt, have a better Opinion of your Niece's Understanding.

_Lady Brute._ You'll make me angry.

_Bel._ You'll make me laugh.

_Lady Brute._ Then you are resolv'd to persist?

_Bel._ Positively.

_Lady Brute._ And all I can say----

_Bel._ Will signify nothing.

_Lady Brute._ Tho' I should swear 'twere false--

_Bel._ I should think it true.

_Lady Brute._ Then let us both forgive; [_Kissing her._] for we have
both offended: I, in making a Secret; you, in discovering it.

_Bel._ Good Nature may do much: But you have more Reason to forgive
one, than I have to pardon t'other.

_Lady Brute._ 'Tis true, _Belinda_, you have given me so many Proofs
of your Friendship, that my Reserve has been indeed a Crime: But that
you may more easily forgive me, remember, Child, that when our Nature
prompts us to a thing our Honour and Religion have forbid us; we wou'd
(wer't possible) conceal even from the Soul itself, the Knowledge of
the Body's Weakness.

_Bel._ Well, I hope, to make your Friend amends, you'll hide nothing
from her for the future, tho' the Body shou'd still grow weaker and
weaker.

_Lady Brute._ No, from this Moment I have no more Reserve; and for a
Proof of my Repentance, I own, _Belinda_, I'm in danger. Merit and
Wit assault me from without; Nature and Love sollicit me within; my
Husband's barbarous Usage piques me to Revenge; and _Satan_, catching
at the fair Occasion, throws in my way that Vengeance, which of all
Vengeance pleases Women best.

_Bel._ 'Tis well _Constant_ don't know the Weakness of the
Fortification; for o' my Conscience he'd soon come on to the Assault.

_Lady Brute._ Ay, and I'm afraid carry the Town too. But whatever you
may have observ'd, I have dissembled so well as to keep him ignorant.
So you see I'm no Coquette, _Belinda_: And if you follow my Advice,
you'll never be one neither. 'Tis true, Coquetry is one of the main
Ingredients in the natural Composition of a Woman; and I, as well as
others, cou'd be well enough pleas'd to see a Crowd of young Fellows
ogling, and glancing, and watching all Occasions to do forty foolish
officious Things: Nay, shou'd some of 'em push on, even to hanging or
drowning, why--'faith--if I shou'd let pure Woman alone, I shou'd e'en
be but too well pleas'd with it.

_Bel._ I'll swear 'twould tickle me strangely.

_Lady Brute._ But after all, 'tis a vicious Practice in us, to give
the least Encouragement but where we design to come to a Conclusion.
For 'tis an unreasonable thing to engage a Man in a Disease, which we
beforehand resolve we never will apply a Cure to.

_Bel._ 'Tis true; but then a Woman must abandon one of the supreme
Blessings of her Life. For I am fully convinc'd, no Man has half that
Pleasure in possessing a Mistress, as a Woman has in jilting a Gallant.

_Lady Brute._ The happiest Woman then on Earth must be our Neighbour.

_Bel._ O the impertinent Composition! She has Vanity and Affectation
enough to make her a ridiculous Original, in spite of all that Art and
Nature ever furnish'd to any of her Sex before her.

_Lady Brute._ She concludes all Men her Captives; and whatever Course
they take, it serves to confirm her in that Opinion.

_Bel._ If they shun her, she thinks 'tis Modesty, and takes it for a
Proof of their Passion.

_Lady Brute._ And if they are rude to her, 'tis Conduct, and done to
prevent Town-talk.

_Bel._ When her Folly makes 'em laugh; she thinks they are pleased with
her Wit.

_Lady Brute._ And when her Impertinence makes 'em dull, concludes they
are jealous of her Favours.

_Bel._ All their Actions and their Words, she takes for granted, aim at
her.

_Lady Brute._ And pities all other Women, because she thinks they envy
her.

_Bel._ Pray, out of pity to ourselves, let us find a better Subject;
for I'm weary of this. Do you think your Husband inclined to Jealousy?

_Lady Brute._ O, no; he does not love me well enough for that. Lord,
how wrong Men's Maxims are! They are seldom jealous of their Wives,
unless they are very fond of 'em; whereas they ought to consider the
Women's Inclinations; for there depends their Fate. Well, Men may talk;
But they are not so wise as we----that's certain.

_Bel._ At least in our Affairs.

_Lady Brute._ Nay, I believe we shou'd out-do 'em in the Business of
the State too: For, methinks, they do and undo, and make but bad Work
on't.

_Bel._ Why then don't we get into the Intrigues of Government as well
as they?

_Lady Brute._ Because we have Intrigues of our own, that make us more
Sport, Child. And so let's in and consider of 'em.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _A Dressing-Room_.

        _Enter Lady ~Fancyfull~, ~Madamoiselle~, and ~Cornet~._

_Lady Fan._ How do I look this Morning?

_Cor._ Your Ladyship looks very ill, truly.

_Lady Fan._ Lard, how ill-natur'd thou art, _Cornet_, to tell me so,
tho' the thing shou'd be true! Don't you know that I have Humility
enough to be but too easily out of Conceit with myself? Hold the Glass;
I dare swear that will have more Manners than you have. _Madamoiselle_,
let me have your Opinion too.

_Madam._ My opinion pe, Matam, dat your Latyship never look so well in
your Life.

_Lady Fan._ Well, the _French_ are the prettiest, obliging People; they
say the most acceptable, well-manner'd things--and never flatter.

_Madam._ Your Latyship say great Justice inteed.

_Lady Fan._ Nay, every thing's just in my House but _Cornet_. The
very Looking-Glass gives her the _Dementi_. But I'm almost afraid it
flatters me, it makes me look so very engaging.

                                     [_Looking affectedly in the Glass._

_Madam._ Inteed, Matam, your face pe handsomer den all de Looking-Glass
in de World, _croyez moy_.

_Lady Fan._ But is it possible my Eyes can be so languishing--and so
very full of Fire?

_Madam._ Matam, if de Glass was Burning-Glass, I believe your Eyes set
de Fire in de House.

_Lady Fan._ You may take that Night-gown, _Madamoiselle_; get out of
the Room, _Cornet_; I can't endure you. This Wench, methinks, does look
so unsufferably ugly.

_Madam._ Every ting look ugly, Matam, dat stand by your Latyship.

_Lady Fan._ No really, _Madamoiselle_, methinks you look mighty pretty.

_Madam._ Ah Matam! de Moon have no Eclat ven de Sun appear.

_Lady Fan._ O pretty Expression! Have you ever been in Love,
_Madamoiselle_?

Madam. _Ouy_, Matame.

                                                             [_Sighing._

_Lady Fan._ And were you belov'd again?

Madam. _Non_, Matame.

_Lady Fan._ O ye Gods! What an unfortunate Creature shou'd I be in such
a Case! But Nature has made me nice, for my own Defence: I'm nice,
strangely nice, _Madamoiselle_; I believe were the Merit of whole
Mankind bestow'd upon one single Person, I shou'd still think the
Fellow wanted something to make it worth my while to take notice of
him; and yet I could love; nay, fondly love, were it possible to have
a thing made on purpose for me: For I'm not cruel, _Madamoiselle_; I'm
only nice.

_Madam._ Ah Matam, I wish I was fine Gentleman for your sake. I do
all de ting in de World to get leetel way into your Heart. I make
Song, I make Verse, I give you de Serenade, I give great many Present
to _Madamoiselle_; I no eat, I no sleep, I be lean, I be mad, I hang
myself, I drown myself. _Ah ma chere Dame, que je vous aimerois!_

                                                       [_Embracing her._

_Lady Fan._ Well, the _French_ have strange obliging ways with 'em; you
may take those two pair of Gloves, _Madamoiselle_.

_Madam._ Me humbly tanke my sweet Lady.

                           _Enter ~Cornet~._

_Cor._ Madam, here's a Letter for your Ladyship by the Penny Post.

_Lady Fan._ Some new Conquest, I'll warrant you. For without Vanity,
I look'd extremely clear last Night when I went to the Park.--O
agreeable! Here's a new Song made of me: And ready set too. O thou
welcome thing! [_Kissing it._] Call _Pipe_ hither, she shall sing it
instantly.

                            _Enter ~Pipe~._

Here, sing me this new Song, _Pipe_.

                  SONG.

                      I.

    _Fly, fly, you happy Shepherds, fly;
      Avoid ~Philira~'s Charms;
    The Rigour of her Heart denies
      The Heaven that's in her Arms.
    Ne'er hope to gaze, and then retire,
      Nor yielding, to be blest;
    Nature, who form'd her Eyes of Fire,
      Of Ice compos'd her Breast._

                        II.

    _Yet, lovely Maid, this once believe
      A Slave whose Zeal you move;
    The Gods, alas! your Youth deceive,
      Their Heav'n consists in Love.
    In spite of all the Thanks you owe,
      You may reproach 'em this;
    That where they did their Form bestow,
      They have deny'd their Bliss._

_Lady Fan._ Well, there may be Faults, _Madamoiselle_, but the Design
is so very obliging, 'twou'd be a matchless Ingratitude in me to
discover 'em.

Madam. _Ma foy, Madame_, I tink de Gentleman's Song tell you de Trute.
If you never love, you never be happy--Ah--_que l'aime l'amour moy_!

                  _Enter Servant with another Letter._

_Ser._ Madam, here's another Letter for your Ladyship.

_Lady Fan._ 'Tis this way I am importun'd every Morning,
_Madamoiselle_. Pray how do the _French_ Ladies when they are thus
_accablées_?

_Madam._ Matam, dey never complain. _Au contraire_, when one _Frense_
Laty have got hundred Lover--den she do all she can--to get a hundred
more.

_Lady Fan._ Well, strike me dead, I think they have _le Gout bon_. For
'tis an unutterable Pleasure to be ador'd by all the Men, and envy'd
by all the Women----Yet I'll swear I'm concern'd at the Torture I give
'em. Lard, why was I form'd to make the whole Creation uneasy! But let
me read my Letter. [_Reads._]

  "If you have a mind to hear of your Faults, instead of being
  prais'd for your Virtues, take the pains to walk in the Green-walk
  in St. _James_'s with your Woman an Hour hence. You'll there
  meet one, who hates you for some things, as he cou'd love
  you for others, and therefore is willing to endeavour your
  Reformation.----If you come to the Place I mention, you'll know who
  I am: If you don't, you never shall: so take your Choice."

This is strangely familiar, _Madamoiselle_; now have I a provoking
Fancy to know who this impudent Fellow is.

_Madam._ Den take your Scarf and your Mask, and go to de Rendezvous. De
_Frense_ Laty do _justement comme ça_.

_Lady Fan._ Rendezvous! What, rendezvous with a Man, _Madamoiselle_!

Madam. _Eh, pourquoy non?_

_Lady Fan._ What, and a Man perhaps I never saw in my Life?

Madam. _Tant mieux: c'est donc quelque chose de nouveau._

_Lady Fan._ Why, how do I know what Designs he may have? He may intend
to ravish me, for aught I know.

_Madam._ Ravish!--_Bagatelle_. I would fain see one impudent Rogue
ravish _Madamoiselle: Ouy, je le voudrois_.

_Lady Fan._.O, but my Reputation, _Madamoiselle!_ my Reputation! _Ah ma
chere Reputation!_

Madam. _Madame--Quand on la une fois perdue--On n'en est plus
embarassée._

_Lady Fan._ Fe, _Madamoiselle_, Fe! Reputation is a Jewel.

Madam. _Qui coute bien chere, Madame._

_Lady Fan._ Why sure you would not sacrifice your Honour to your
Pleasure?

Madam. _Je suis Philosophe._

_Lady Fan._ Bless me, how you talk! Why, what if Honour be a Burden,
_Madamoiselle_, must it not be borne?

Madam. _Chaqu'un a sa façon--Quand quelque chose m'incommode moy--je
m'en defais vite._

_Lady Fan._ Get you gone, you little naughty _French-woman_, you; I vow
and swear I must turn you out of doors, if you talk thus.

_Madam._ Turn me out of doors!----Turn yourself out of doors, and go
see what de Gentleman have to say to you--_Tenez_. _Voila_ [Giving
her her things hastily.] _vostre Esharpe_, _voila vostre Quoife_,
_voila vostre Masque_, _voila tout_. _Hey_, _Mercure_, _Coquin_: Call
one Chair for Matam, and one oder [_Calling within._] for me: _Va
t'en vite_. [Turning to her Lady, and helping her on hastily with
her things.] _Allons, Madame, depechez vous donc. Mon Dieu, quelles
Scrupules!_

_Lady Fan._ Well, for once, _Madamoiselle_, I'll follow your Advice,
out of the intemperate Desire I have to know who this ill-bred Fellow
is. But I have too much _Delicatesse_, to make a Practice on't.

Madam. _Belle chose vrayment que la Delicatesse, lors qu'il s'agit de
se devertir--à ça--Vous voila equipés, partons.--He bien!--qu'avez vous
donc?_

Lady Fan. _J'ay peur._

Madam. _Je n'en ay point moy._

_Lady Fan._ I dare not go.

Madam. _Demeurez donc._

Lady Fan. _Je suis poltrone._

Madam. _Tant pis pour vous._

_Lady Fan._ Curiosity's a wicked Devil.

Madam. _C'est une charmante Sainte._

_Lady Fan._ It ruined our first Parents.

Madam. _Elle a bien diverti leurs Enfans._

Lady Fan. _L'Honneur est contre._

Madam. _La Plaisir est pour._

_Lady Fan._ Must I then go?

_Madam._ Must you go?--Must you eat, must you drink, must you sleep,
must you live? De Nature bid you do one, de Nature bid you do toder.
_Vous me ferez enrager._

_Lady Fan._ But when Reason corrects Nature, _Madamoiselle_----

Madam. _Elle est donc bien insolente, c'est sa Sœur aisnée._

_Lady Fan._ Do you then prefer your Nature to your Reason,
_Madamoiselle_?

Madam. _Ouy da._

Lady Fan. _Pourquoy?_

_Madam._ Because my Nature make me merry, my Reason make me mad.

Lady Fan. _Ah la mechante Françoise!_

Madam. _Ah la belle Angloise!_

                                                [_Forcing her Lady off._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ II.


+SCENE+, _St. ~James~'s Park_.

               _Enter Lady ~Fancyfull and Madamoiselle~._

_Lady Fan._ Well, I vow, _Madamoiselle_, I'm strangely impatient to
know who this confident Fellow is.

                          _Enter ~Heartfree~._

Look, there's _Heartfree_. But sure it can't be him; he's a profess'd
Woman-hater. Yet who knows what my wicked Eyes may have done?

Madam. _Il nous approche, Madame._

_Lady Fan._ Yes, 'tis he: now will he be most intolerably cavalier,
tho' he should be in love with me.

_Heart._ Madam, I'm your humble Servant; I perceive you have more
Humility and Good-Nature than I thought you had.

_Lady Fan._ What you attribute to Humility and Good-Nature, Sir, may
perhaps be only due to Curiosity. I had a mind to know who 'twas had
ill manners enough to write that Letter.

                                             [_Throwing him his Letter._

_Heart._ Well, and now I hope you are satisfy'd.

_Lady Fan._ I am so, Sir: Good by t'ye.

_Heart._ Nay, hold there; tho' you have done your Business, I han't
done mine: By your Ladyship's leave, we must have one Moment's Prattle
together. Have you a mind to be the prettiest Woman about Town, or not?
How she stares upon me! What! this passes for an impertinent Question
with you now, because you think you are so already?

_Lady Fan._ Pray, Sir, let me ask you a Question in my Turn: By what
Right do you pretend to examine me?

_Heart._ By the same Right that the strong govern the weak, because I
have you in my power; for you cannot get so quickly to your Coach, but
I shall have time enough to make you hear every thing I have to say to
you.

_Lady Fan._ These are strange Liberties you take, Mr. _Heartfree_.

_Heart._ They are so, Madam, but there's no help for it; for know that
I have a Design upon you.

_Lady Fan._ Upon me, Sir!

_Heart._ Yes; and one that will turn to your Glory, and my Comfort, if
you will but be a little wiser than you use to be.

_Lady Fan._ Very well, Sir.

_Heart._ Let me see----Your Vanity, Madam, I take to be about some
eight Degrees higher than any Woman's in the Town, let t'other be who
she will; and my Indifference is naturally about the same Pitch. Now,
could you find the way to turn this Indifference into Fire and Flames,
methinks your Vanity ought to be satisfy'd; and this, perhaps, you
might bring about upon pretty reasonable Terms.

_Lady Fan._ And pray at what rate would this Indifference be bought
off, if one shou'd have so depraved an Appetite to desire it?

_Heart._ Why, Madam, to drive a Quaker's Bargain, and make but one word
with you, if I do part with it--you must lay me down--your Affectation.

_Lady Fan._ My Affectation, Sir!

_Heart._ Why, I ask you nothing but what you may very well spare.

_Lady Fan._ You grow rude, Sir. Come, _Madamoiselle_, 'tis high time to
be gone.

Madam. _Allons, allons, allons._

_Heart._ [_Stopping them._] Nay, you may as well stand still; for hear
me you shall, walk which way you please.

_Lady Fan._ What mean you, Sir?

_Heart._ I mean to tell you, that you are the most ungrateful Woman
upon Earth.

_Lady Fan._ Ungrateful! To whom?

_Heart._ To Nature.

_Lady Fan._ Why, what has Nature done for me?

_Heart._ What you have undone by Art! It made you handsome; it gave you
Beauty to a Miracle, a Shape without a Fault, Wit enough to make them
relish, and so turn'd you loose to your own Discretion; which has made
such work with you, that you are become the Pity of our Sex, and the
Jest of your own. There is not a Feature in your Face, but you have
found the way to teach it some affected Convulsion; your Feet, your
Hands, your very Fingers Ends are directed never to move without some
ridiculous Air or other; and your Language is a suitable Trumpet, to
draw people's Eyes upon the Raree-show.

_Madam._ [aside] _Est ce qu'on fait l'amour en Angleterre comme ça?_

_Lady Fan._ [_Aside._] Now cou'd I cry for Madness, but that I know
he'd laugh at me for it.

_Heart._ Now do you hate me for telling you the Truth, but that's
because you don't believe it is so; for were you once convinc'd of
that, you'd reform for your own sake. But 'tis as hard to persuade a
Woman to quit any thing that makes her ridiculous, as 'tis to prevail
with a Poet to see a Fault in his own Play.

_Lady Fan._ Every Circumstance of nice Breeding must needs appear
ridiculous to one who has so natural an Antipathy to Good-manners.

_Heart._ But suppose I could find the means to convince you, that the
whole World is of my Opinion, and that those who flatter and commend
you, do it to no other Intent, but to make you persevere in your Folly,
that they may continue in their Mirth.

_Lady Fan._ Sir, tho' you and all that World you talk of shou'd be
so impertinently officious, as to think to persuade me I don't know
how to behave myself; I shou'd still have Charity enough for my own
Understanding, to believe myself in the right, and all you in the wrong.

Madam. _Le voila mort._

                          [_Exeunt Lady ~Fancyfull~ and ~Madamoiselle~._

_Heart._ [_Gazing after her._] There her single Clapper has publish'd
the Sense of the whole Sex. Well, this once I have endeavour'd to wash
the Blackamoor white, but henceforward I'll sooner undertake to teach
Sincerity to a Courtier, Generosity to an Usurer, Honesty to a Lawyer,
nay, Humility to a Divine, than Discretion to a Woman I see has once
set her Heart upon playing the Fool.

                          _Enter ~Constant~._

'Morrow, _Constant_.

_Const._ Good-morrow, _Jack_! What are you doing here this Morning?

_Heart._ Doing! Guess, if thou canst.----Why I have been endeavouring
to persuade my Lady _Fancyfull_, that she's the foolishest Woman about
Town.

_Const._ A pretty Endeavour, truly!

_Heart._ I have told her in as plain _English_ as I could speak, both
what the Town says of her, and what I think of her. In short, I have
us'd her as an absolute King would do _Magna Charta_.

_Const._ And how does she take it?

_Heart._ As Children do Pills; bite them, but can't swallow them.

_Const._ But, pr'ythee, what has put it into your Head, of all Mankind,
to turn Reformer?

_Heart._ Why one thing was, the Morning hung upon my Hands, I did not
know what to do with myself; and another was, that as little as I care
for Women, I cou'd not see with Patience one that Heaven had taken
such wondrous Pains about, be so very industrious to make herself the
Jack-pudding of the Creation.

_Const._ Well, now could I almost wish to see my cruel Mistress make
the self-same Use of what Heaven has done for her, that so I might be
cur'd of a Disease that makes me so very uneasy; for Love, Love is the
Devil, _Heartfree_.

_Heart._ And why do you let the Devil govern you?

_Const._ Because I have more Flesh and Blood than Grace and
Self-denial. My dear, dear Mistress! 'S death! that so genteel a Woman
should be a Saint, when Religion's out of Fashion!

_Heart._ Nay, she's much in the wrong, truly; but who knows how far
Time and good Example may prevail?

_Const._ O! they have play'd their Parts in vain already: 'Tis now two
Years since that damned Fellow her Husband invited me to his Wedding;
and there was the first time I saw that charming Woman, whom I have
lov'd ever since, more than e'er a Martyr did his Soul; but she is
cold, my Friend, still cold as the Northern Star.

_Heart._ So are all Women by Nature, which makes them so willing to be
warm'd.

_Const._ O don't prophane the Sex! Pr'ythee, think them all Angels for
her sake; for she's virtuous even to a Fault.

_Heart._ A Lover's Head is a good accountable Thing truly; he adores
his Mistress for being virtuous, and yet is very angry with her because
she won't be lewd.

_Const._ Well, the only Relief I expect in my Misery, is to see thee
some Day or other as deeply engag'd as myself, which will force me to
be merry in the midst of all my Misfortunes.

_Heart._ That Day will never come, be assur'd, _Ned_. Not but that I
can pass a Night with a Woman, and for the time, perhaps; make myself
as good Sport as you can do. Nay, I can court a Woman too, call her
Nymph, Angel, Goddess, what you please: But here's the Difference
'twixt you and I; I persuade a Woman she's an Angel, and she persuades
you she's one. Pr'ythee, let me tell you how I avoid falling in Love;
that which serves me for Prevention, may chance to serve you for a Cure.

_Const._ Well, use the Ladies moderately then, and I'll hear you.

_Heart._ That using them moderately undoes us all; but I'll use them
justly, and that you ought to be satisfied with. I always consider
a Woman, not as the Taylor, the Shoemaker, the Tire-woman, the
Sempstress, and (which is more than all that) the Poet makes her; but I
consider her as pure Nature has contrived her, and that more strictly
than I shou'd have done our old Grandmother _Eve_, had I seen her naked
in the Garden; for I consider her turn'd inside out. Her Heart well
examin'd, I find there Pride, Vanity, Covetousness, Indiscretion, but
above all things, Malice; plots eternally a-forging to destroy one
another's Reputations, and as honestly to charge the Levity of Men's
Tongues with the Scandal; hourly Debates how to make poor Gentlemen
in love with them, with no other Intent but to use them like Dogs
when they have done; a constant Desire of doing more Mischief, and an
everlasting War wag'd against Truth and Good-Nature.

_Const._ Very well, Sir! An admirable Composition, truly!

_Heart._ Then for her Outside, I consider it merely as an Outside;
she has a thin Tiffany Covering over just such Stuff as you and I are
made on. As for her Motion, her Mien, her Airs, and all those Tricks,
I know they affect you mightily. If you should see your Mistress at
a Coronation dragging her Peacock's Train, with all her State and
Insolence about her, 'twou'd strike you with all the awful Thoughts
that Heav'n itself could pretend to from you; whereas I turn the whole
Matter into a Jest, and suppose her strutting in the self-same stately
Manner, with nothing on her but her Stays and her under scanty quilted
Petticoat.

_Const._ Hold thy profane Tongue; for I'll hear no more.

_Heart._ What, you'll love on, then?

_Const._ Yes, to Eternity.

_Heart._ Yet you have no hopes at all?

_Const._ None.

_Heart._ Nay, the Resolution may be discreet enough; perhaps you have
found out some new Philosophy, that Love, like Virtue, is its own
Reward: So you and your Mistress will be as well content at a Distance,
as others that have less Learning are in coming together.

_Const._ No; but if she should prove kind at last, my dear _Heartfree_--

                                                       [_Embracing him_.

_Heart._ Nay, pr'ythee, don't take me for your Mistress; for Lovers are
very troublesome.

_Const._ Well; who knows what Time may do?

_Heart._ And just now he was sure Time could do nothing.

_Const._ Yet not one kind Glance in two Years, is somewhat strange.

_Heart._ Not strange at all; she don't like you, that's all the
Business.

_Const._ Pr'ythee, don't distract me.

_Heart._ Nay, you are a good handsome young Fellow, she might use you
better: Come, will you go see her? Perhaps she may have chang'd her
Mind; there's some Hopes as long as she's a Woman.

_Const._ O, 'tis in vain to visit her! Sometimes to get a Sight of her,
I visit that Beast her Husband; but she certainly finds some Pretence
to quit the Room as soon as I enter.

_Heart._ 'Tis much she don't tell him you have made Love to her too;
for that's another good-natur'd thing usual amongst Women, in which
they have several Ends. Sometimes 'tis to recommend their Virtue, that
they may be lewd with the greater Security. Sometimes 'tis to make
their Husbands fight, in hopes they may be kill'd, when their Affairs
require it should be so: but most commonly 'tis to engage two Men in
a Quarrel, that they may have the Credit of being fought for; and if
the Lover's kill'd in the Business, they cry, _Poor Fellow, he had ill
Luck_----and so they go to Cards.

_Const._ Thy Injuries to Women are not to be forgiven. Look to't, if
ever thou dost fall into their Hands----

_Heart._ They can't use me worse than they do you, that speak well of
'em. O ho! here comes the Knight.

                       _Enter Sir ~John Brute~._

_Heart._ Your humble Servant, Sir _John_.

_Sir John._ Servant, Sir.

_Heart._ How does all your Family?

_Sir John._ Pox o' my Family!

_Const._ How does your Lady? I han't seen her abroad a good while.

_Sir John._ Do! I don't know how she does, not I; she was well enough
Yesterday; I han't been at home to-night.

_Const._ What, were you out of Town?

_Sir John._ Out of Town! No, I was drinking.

_Const._ You are a true _Englishman_; don't know your own Happiness. If
I were married to such a Woman, I would not be from her a Night for all
the Wine in _France_.

_Sir John._ Not from her!----'Oons----what a time should a Man have of
that!

_Heart._ Why, there's no Division, I hope.

_Sir John._ No; but there's a Conjunction, and that's worse; a Pox of
the Parson----Why the plague don't you two marry? I fancy I look like
the Devil to you.

_Heart._ Why, you don't think you have Horns, do you?

_Sir John._ No, I believe my Wife's Religion will keep her honest.

_Heart._ And what will make her keep her Religion?

_Sir John._ Persecution; and therefore she shall have it.

_Heart._ Have a care, Knight! Women are tender things.

_Sir John._ And yet, methinks, 'tis a hard Matter to break their Hearts.

_Const._ Fy, fy! You have one of the best Wives in the World, and yet
you seem the most uneasy Husband.

_Sir John._ Best Wives! The Woman's well enough; she has no Vice that
I know of, but she's a Wife, and--damn a Wife! If I were married to a
Hogshead of Claret, Matrimony would make me hate it.

_Heart._ Why did you marry, then? You were old enough to know your own
Mind.

_Sir John._ Why did I marry? I married because I had a mind to lie with
her, and she would not let me.

_Heart._ Why did you not ravish her?

_Sir John._ Yes, and so have hedg'd myself into forty Quarrels with her
Relations, besides buying my pardon: But more than all that, you must
know, I was afraid of being damn'd in those days: For I kept sneaking,
cowardly Company, Fellows that went to Church, said Grace to their
Meat, and had not the least Tincture of Quality about them.

_Heart._ But I think you are got into a better Gang now?

_Sir John._ Zoons, Sir, my Lord _Rake_ and I are Hand and Glove: I
believe we may get our Bones broke together to-night; have you a mind
to share a Frolick?

_Const._ Not I, truly; my Talent lies to softer Exercises.

_Sir John._ What, a Down-Bed and a Strumpet? A pox of Venery, I say.
Will you come and drink with me this Afternoon?

_Const._ I can't drink to-day, but we'll come and sit an Hour with you,
if you will.

_Sir John._ Phugh, Pox, sit an Hour! Why can't you drink?

_Const._ Because I'm to see my Mistress.

_Sir John._ Who's that?

_Const._ Why, do you use to tell?

_Sir John._ Yes.

_Const._ So won't I.

_Sir John._ Why?

_Const._ Because 'tis a Secret.

_Sir John._ Would my Wife knew it, 'twould be no Secret long.

_Const._ Why, do you think she can't keep a Secret?

_Sir John._ No more than she can keep _Lent_.

_Heart._ Pr'ythee, tell it her to try, _Constant_.

_Sir John._ No, pr'ythee, don't, that I mayn't be plagu'd with it.

_Const._ I'll hold you a Guinea you don't make her tell it you.

_Sir John._ I'll hold you a Guinea I do.

_Const._ Which way?

_Sir John._ Why, I'll beg her not to tell it me.

_Heart._ Nay, if any thing does it, that will.

_Const._ But do you think, Sir----

_Sir John._ Oons, Sir, I think a Woman and a Secret are the two
impertinentest Themes in the Universe: Therefore pray let's hear no
more of my Wife, nor your Mistress. Damn 'em both with all my heart,
and every thing else that daggles a Petticoat, except four generous
Whores, with _Betty Sands_ at the Head of 'em, who are drunk with my
Lord _Rake_ and I ten times in a Fortnight.

                                                     [_Exit ~Sir John~._

_Const._ Here's a dainty Fellow for you! And the veriest Coward too.
But his Usage of his Wife makes me ready to stab the Villain.

_Heart._ Lovers are short-sighted: All their Senses run into that of
Feeling. This Proceeding of his is the only thing on Earth can make
your Fortune. If any thing can prevail with her to accept of a Gallant,
'tis his ill Usage of her; for Women will do more for Revenge, than
they'll do for the Gospel. Pr'ythee, take heart, I have great hopes for
you: And since I can't bring you quite off of her, I'll endeavour to
bring you quite on; for a whining Lover is the damn'dest Companion upon
Earth.

_Const._ My dear Friend, flatter me a little more with these Hopes; for
whilst they prevail, I have Heaven within me, and could melt with Joy.

_Heart._ Pray, no melting yet; let things go farther first. This
afternoon, perhaps, we shall make some advance. In the mean while,
let's go dine at _Locket_'s, and let Hope get you a Stomach.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _Lady_ Fancyfull's _House_.

              _Enter Lady ~Fancyfull~ and ~Madamoiselle~._

_Lady Fan._ Did you ever see any thing so _importune, Madamoiselle_?

_Madam._ Inteed, Matam, to say de trute, he want leetel Good-breeding.

_Lady Fan._ Good-breeding! He wants to be caned, _Madamoiselle_: an
insolent Fellow! And yet let me expose my Weakness, 'tis the only Man
on Earth I cou'd resolve to dispense my Favours on, were he but a
fine Gentleman. Well! did Men but know how deep an Impression a fine
Gentleman makes in a Lady's Heart, they would reduce all their Studies
to that of Good-breeding alone.

                           _Enter ~Cornet~._

_Cor._ Madam, here's Mr. _Treble_. He has brought home the Verses your
Ladyship made, and gave him to set.

_Lady Fan._ O let him come in by all means. Now _Madamoiselle_, am I
going to be unspeakably happy.

                           _Enter ~Treble~._

So, Mr. _Treble_, you have set my little Dialogue?

_Treb._ Yes, Madam, and I hope your Ladyship will be pleased with it.

_Lady Fan._ O, no doubt on't; for really, Mr. _Treble_, you set all
things to a wonder: But your Musick is in particular heavenly, when you
have my Words to clothe in't.

_Treb._ Your Words themselves, Madam, have so much Musick in 'em, they
inspire me.

_Lady Fan._ Nay, now you make me blush, Mr. _Treble_; but pray let's
hear what you have done.

_Treb._ You shall, Madam.

A SONG, to be sung between a Man and a Woman.

    M. _Ah lovely Nymph, the World's on fire;
            Veil, veil those cruel Eyes_:

    W. _The World may then in Flames expire,
            And boast that so it dies_.

    M. _But when all Mortals are destroy'd,
            Who then shall sing your Praise?_

    W. _Those who are fit to be employ'd:
            The Gods shall Altars raise_.

_Treb._ How does your Ladyship like it, Madam?

_Lady Fan._ Rapture, Rapture, Mr. _Treble_! I'm all Rapture! O Wit and
Art, what Power have you when join'd! I must needs tell you the Birth
of this little Dialogue, Mr. _Treble_. Its Father was a Dream, and its
Mother was the Moon. I dream'd that by an unanimous Vote, I was chosen
Queen of that pale World; and that the first time I appear'd upon my
Throne----all my Subjects fell in love with me. Just then I wak'd,
and seeing Pen, Ink and Paper lie idle upon the Table, I slid into my
Morning-Gown, and writ this _impromptu_.

_Treb._ So I guess the Dialogue, Madam, is suppos'd to be between your
Majesty and your first Minister of State.

_Lady Fan._ Just: He, as Minister, advises me to trouble my Head
about the Welfare of my Subjects; which I, as Sovereign, find a very
impertinent Proposal. But is the Town so dull, Mr. _Treble_, it affords
us never another new Song?

_Treb._ Madam, I have one in my Pocket, came out but Yesterday, if your
Ladyship pleases to let Mrs. _Pipe_ sing it.

_Lady Fan._ By all means. Here, _Pipe_, make what Musick you can of
this Song, here.

                SONG.

                    I.

    _Not an Angel dwells above,
    Half so fair as her I love.
    Heaven knows, how she'll receive me;
    If she smiles, I'm blest indeed;
    If she frowns, I'm quickly freed;
      Heaven knows she ne'er can grieve me._

                                II.

    _None can love her more than I,
    Yet she ne'er shall make me die.
      If my Flame can never warm her,
    Lasting Beauty I'll adore;
    I shall never love her more,
      Cruelty will so deform her._

_Lady Fan._ Very well: This is _Heartfree_'s Poetry without question.

_Treb._ Won't your Ladyship please to sing yourself this Morning?

_Lady Fan._ O Lord, Mr. _Treble_, my Cold is still so barbarous to
refuse me that Pleasure! He, he, hem.

_Treb._ I'm very sorry for it, Madam: Methinks all Mankind should turn
Physicians for the Cure on't.

_Lady Fan._ Why, truly, to give Mankind their due, there's few that
know me but have offer'd their Remedy.

_Treb._ They have reason, Madam; for I know no body sings so near a
Cherubim as your Ladyship.

_Lady Fan._ What I do, I owe chiefly to your Skill and Care, Mr.
_Treble_. People do flatter me, indeed, that I have a Voice, and a
_Je-ne-sçai-quoy_ in the Conduct of it, that will make Musick of any
thing. And truly I begin to believe so, since what happen'd t'other
Night: Wou'd you think it, Mr. _Treble_? Walking pretty late in the
Park, (for I often walk late in the Park, Mr _Treble_) a Whim took me
to sing _Chevy Chase_; and, wou'd you believe it? next Morning I had
three Copies of Verses, and six Billet-doux at my Levée upon it.

_Treb._ And without all dispute you deserv'd as many more, Madam. Are
there any further Commands for your Ladyship's humble Servant?

_Lady Fan._ Nothing more at this Time, Mr. _Treble_. But I shall expect
you here every Morning for this Month, to sing my little Matter there
to me. I'll reward you for your Pains.

_Treb._ O Lord, Madam----

_Lady Fan._ Good-morrow, sweet Mr. _Treble_.

_Treb._ Your Ladyship's most obedient Servant.

                                                         [_Exit ~Treb~._

                            _Enter Servant._

_Serv._ Will your Ladyship please to dine yet?

_Lady Fan._ Yes, let 'em serve. [_Exit Servant._] Sure this _Heartfree_
has bewitch'd me, _Madamoiselle_. You can't imagine how oddly he
mixt himself in my Thoughts during my Rapture e'en now. I vow 'tis a
thousand Pities he is not more polish'd: Don't you think so?

_Madam._ Matam, I tink it so great pity, dat if I was in your Ladyship
place, I take him home in my House, I lock him up in my Closet, and I
never let him go till I teach him every ting dat fine Laty expect from
fine Gentelman.

_Lady Fan._ Why, truly, I believe I shou'd soon subdue his Brutality;
for without doubt, he has a strange _Penchant_ to grow fond of me,
in spite of his Aversion to the Sex, else he wou'd ne'er have taken
so much Pains about me. Lord, how proud wou'd some poor Creatures be
of such a Conquest! But I, alas! I don't know how to receive as a
Favour what I take to be so infinitely my Due. But what shall I do to
new-mould him, _Madamoiselle_? for till then he's my utter Aversion.

_Madam._ Matam; you must laugh at him in all de place dat you meet him,
and turn into de reticule all he say, and all he do.

_Lady Fan._ Why, truly, Satire has ever been of wondrous use to reform
Ill-manners. Besides, 'tis my particular Talent to ridicule Folks. I
can be severe, strangely severe, when I will, _Madamoiselle_----Give me
the Pen and Ink----I find myself whimsical----I'll write to him----Or
I'll let it alone, and be severe upon him that way [_Sitting down to
write, rising up again._]--Yet Active Severity is better than Passive.
[_Sitting down._]----'Tis as good let it alone, too; for every Lash I
give him, perhaps, he'll take for a Favour. [_Rising._]----Yet 'tis
a thousand pities so much Satire should be lost. [_Sitting._]----
But if it shou'd have a wrong Effect upon him, 'twould distract me.
[_Rising._]----Well, I must write, tho', after all, [_Sitting._]----Or
I'll let it alone, which is the same thing. [_Rising._]

Madam. _La voilà determinée._

                                                              [_Exeunt._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ III.


+SCENE+ _opens; Sir ~John~, Lady ~Brute~ and ~Belinda~ rising from the
Table._

_Sir John._ Here, take away the Things; I expect Company. But first
bring me a Pipe; I'll smoak.

                                                        [_To a Servant._

_Lady Brute._ Lord, Sir _John_, I wonder you won't leave that nasty
Custom.

_Sir John._ Pr'ythee, don't be impertinent.

_Bel._ [_To Lady ~Brute~._] I wonder who those People are he expects
this Afternoon?

_Lady Brute._ I'd give the World to know: Perhaps 'tis _Constant_--he
comes here sometimes: if it does prove him, I'm resolv'd I'll share the
Visit.

_Bel._ We'll send for our Work, and sit here.

_Lady Brute._ He'll choak us with his Tobacco.

_Bel._ Nothing will choak us when we are doing what we have a mind to.
_Lovewell!_

                          _Enter ~Lovewell~._

_Lov._ Madam.

_Lady Brute._ Here; bring my Cousin's Work and mine hither.

             [_Exit ~Lov~. and re-enters with their Work._

_Sir John._ Whu! Pox, can't you work somewhere else?

_Lady Brute._ We shall be careful not to disturb you, Sir.

_Bel._ Your Pipe would make you too thoughtful, Uncle, if you were left
alone; our Prittle-prattle will cure your Spleen.

_Sir John._ Will it so, Mrs. Pert? Now I believe it will so increase
it, [_Sitting and smoaking._] I shall take my own House for a
Paper-mill.

_Lady Brute._ [_To ~Bel~. aside._] Don't let's mind him; let him say
what he will.

_Sir John._ A Woman's Tongue a Cure for the Spleen!--Oons--[_Aside._]
If a Man had got the Head-ach, they'd be for applying the same Remedy.

_Lady Brute._ You have done a great deal, _Belinda_, since yesterday.

_Bel._ Yes, I have work'd very hard; how do you like it?

_Lady Brute._ O, 'tis the prettiest Fringe in the World. Well, Cousin,
you have the happiest Fancy: Pr'ythee, advise me about altering my
Crimson Petticoat.

_Sir John._ A Pox o' your Petticoat! Here's such a Prating, a Man can't
digest his own Thoughts for you.

_Lady Brute._ Don't answer him. [_Aside._] Well, what do you advise me?

_Bel._ Why, really, I would not alter it at all. Methinks 'tis very
pretty as it is.

_Lady Brute._ Ay, that's, true: But you know one grows weary of the
prettiest things in the World, when one has had 'em long.

_Sir John._ Yes, I have taught her that.

_Bel._ Shall we provoke him a little?

_Lady Brute._ With all my Heart. _Belinda_, don't you long to be
marry'd?

_Bel._ Why, there are some things in it I could like well enough.

_Lady Brute._ What do you think you shou'd dislike?

_Bel._ My Husband, a hundred to one else.

_Lady Brute._ O ye wicked Wretch! Sure you don't speak as you think?

_Bel._ Yes, I do: especially if he smoak'd Tobacco.

                                           [_He looks earnestly at 'em._

_Lady Brute._ Why, that many times takes off worse Smells.

_Bel._ Then he must smell very ill indeed.

_Lady Brute._ So some Men will, to keep their Wives from coming near
'em.

_Bel._ Then those Wives shou'd cuckold 'em at a distance.

_He rises in a Fury, throws his Pipe at 'em, and drives 'em out. As
they run off, ~Constant~ and ~Heartfree~ enter. Lady ~Brute~ runs
against ~Constant~._

_Sir John._. 'Oons, get you gone up Stairs, you confederating Strumpets
you, o I'll cuckold you, with a Vengeance!

_Lady Brute._ O Lord, he'll beat us, he'll beat us. Dear, dear Mr.
_Constant_, save us!

                                                              [_Exeunt._

_Sir John._ I'll cuckold you, with a Pox.

_Const._ Heav'n! Sir _John_, what's the matter?

_Sir John._ Sure, if Women had been ready created, the Devil, instead
of being kick'd down into Hell, had been marry'd.

_Heart._ Why, what new Plague have you found now?

_Sir John._ Why, these two Gentlewomen did but hear me say, I expected
you here this Afternoon; upon which they presently resolv'd to take up
the Room, o' purpose to plague me and my Friends.

_Const._ Was that all? Why, we shou'd have been glad of their Company.

_Sir John._ Then I should have been weary of yours; for I can't relish
both together. They found fault with my smoaking Tobacco, too; and said
Men stunk. But I have a good mind--to say something.

_Const._ No, nothing against the Ladies, pray.

_Sir John._ Split the Ladies! Come, will you sit down? Give us some
Wine, Fellow: You won't smoak?

_Const._. No; nor drink, neither, at this time--I must ask your Pardon.

_Sir John._ What, this Mistress of yours runs in your Head! I'll
warrant it's some such squeamish Minx as my Wife, that's grown so
dainty of late, she finds fault even with a dirty Shirt.

_Heart._ That a Woman may do, and not be very dainty, neither.

_Sir John._ Pox o' the Women! let's drink. Come, you shall take one
Glass, tho' I send for a Box of Lozenges to sweeten your Mouth after it.

_Const._ Nay, if one Glass will satisfy you, I'll drink it, without
putting you to that Expence.

_Sir John._ Why, that's honest. Fill some Wine, Sirrah: So here's to
you, Gentlemen--A Wife's the Devil. To your being both married.

                                                          [_They drink._

_Heart._ O, your most humble Servant, Sir.

_Sir John._ Well, how do you like my Wine?

_Const._ 'Tis very good, indeed.

_Heart._ 'Tis admirable.

_Sir John._ Then give us t'other Glass.

_Const._ No, pray excuse us now: We'll come another time, and then we
won't spare it.

_Sir John._ This one Glass, and no more: Come, it shall be your
Mistress's Health: And that's a great Compliment from me, I assure you.

_Const._ And 'tis a very obliging one to me: So give us the Glasses.

_Sir John._ So: let her live--

                                      [_Sir ~John~ coughs in the Glass._

_Heart._ And be kind.

_Const._ What's the matter? Does it go the wrong way?

_Sir John._ If I had Love enough to be jealous, I shou'd take this for
an ill Omen: For I never drank my Wife's Health in my Life, but I puk'd
in the Glass.

_Const._ O, she's too virtuous to make a reasonable Man jealous.

_Sir John._ Pox of her Virtue! If I cou'd but catch her Adulterating, I
might be divorc'd from her by Law.

_Heart._ And so pay her a yearly Pension, to be a distinguish'd Cuckold.

                            _Enter Servant._

_Serv._ Sir, there's my Lord _Rake_, Colonel _Bully_, and some other
Gentlemen at the _Blue-Posts_, desire your Company.

_Sir John._ Cod's so, we are to consult about playing the Devil
to-night.

_Heart._ Well, we won't hinder Business.

_Sir John._ Methinks I don't know how to leave you, tho': But for once
I must make bold. Or look you; may be the Conference mayn't last long:
So, if you'll wait here half an hour, or an hour; if I don't come
then--why, then--I won't come at all.

_Heart._ [_To ~Const~._] A good modest Proposition, truly!

                                                               [_Aside._

_Const._ But let's accept on't, however. Who knows what may happen?

_Heart._ Well, Sir, to shew you how fond we are of your Company, we'll
expect your Return as long as we can.

_Sir John._ Nay, may be I mayn't stay at all. But Business, you know,
must be done. So your Servant--Or hark you, if you have a mind to
take a Frisk with us, I have an Interest with my Lord; I can easily
introduce you.

_Const._ We are much beholden to you; but for my part, I'm engag'd
another way.

_Sir John._ What! to your Mistress, I'll warrant. Pr'ythee, leave your
nasty Punk to entertain herself with her own lewd Thoughts, and make
one with us to-night.

_Const._ Sir, 'tis Business that is to employ me.

_Heart._ And me; and Business must be done, you know.

_Sir John._ Ay, Women's Business, tho' the World were consum'd for't.

                                                     [_Exit Sir ~John~._

_Const._ Farewel, Beast! And now, my dear Friend, would my Mistress
be but as complaisant as some Men's Wives, who think it a piece of
good Breeding to receive the Visits of their Husband's Friends in his
Absence!

_Heart._ Why, for your sake I could forgive her, tho' she should be
so complaisant to receive something else in his Absence. But what way
shall we invent to see her?

_Const._ O, ne'er hope it: Invention will prove as vain as Wishes.

                  _Enter Lady ~Brute~ and ~Belinda~._

_Heart._ What do you think now, Friend?

_Const._ I think I shall swoon.

_Heart._ I'll speak first, then, whilst you fetch breath.

_Lady Brute._ We think ourselves oblig'd, Gentlemen, to come and return
you thanks for your Knight-Errantry. We were just upon being devour'd
by the fiery Dragon.

_Bel._ Did not his Fumes almost knock you down, Gentlemen?

_Heart._ Truly, Ladies, we did undergo some Hardships; and should have
done more, if some greater Heroes than ourselves, hard by, had not
diverted him.

_Const._ Tho' I'm glad of the Service you are pleas'd to say we have
done you, yet I'm sorry we could do it in no other way, than by making
ourselves privy to what you would perhaps have kept a Secret.

_Lady Brute._ For Sir _John_'s part, I suppose he design'd it no
Secret, since he made so much Noise. And for myself, truly I'm not
much concern'd, since 'tis fallen only into this Gentleman's Hands and
yours; who, I have many Reasons to believe, will neither interpret nor
report any thing to my disadvantage.

_Const._ Your good Opinion, Madam, was what I fear'd I never could have
merited.

_Lady Brute._ Your Fears were vain, then, Sir; for I'm just to every
body.

_Heart._ Pr'ythee, _Constant_, what is't you do to get the Ladies good
Opinions? for I'm a Novice at it.

_Bel._ Sir, will you give me leave to instruct you?

_Heart._ Yes, that I will, with all my Soul, Madam.

_Bel._ Why, then, you must never be slovenly, never be out of humour,
fare well and cry Roast-meat, smoak Tobacco, nor drink but when you are
dry.

_Heart._ That's hard.

_Const._ Nay, if you take his Bottle from him, you break his Heart,
Madam.

_Bel._ Why, is it possible the Gentleman can love Drinking?

_Heart._ Only by way of Antidote.

_Bel._ Against what, pray?

_Heart._ Against Love, Madam.

_Lady Brute._ Are you afraid of being in Love, Sir?

_Heart._ I should, if there were any Danger of it.

_Lady Brute._ Pray why so?

_Heart._ Because I always had an Aversion to being us'd like a Dog.

_Bel._ Why, truly, Men in Love are seldom us'd better.

_Lady Brute._ But was you never in Love, Sir?

_Heart._ No, I thank Heav'n, Madam.

_Bel._ Pray, where got you your Learning, then?

_Heart._ From other People's Expence.

_Bel._ That's being a Spunger, Sir, which is scarce honest: If you'd
buy some Experience with your own Money, as 'twould be fairlier got, so
'twould stick longer by you.

                            _Enter Footman._

_Foot._ Madam, here's my Lady _Fancyfull_, to wait upon your Ladyship.

_Lady Brute._ Shield me, kind Heaven! What an Inundation of
Impertinence is here coming upon us!

        _Enter Lady ~Fancyfull~, who runs first to Lady ~Brute~,
                    then to ~Belinda~, kissing 'em._

_Lady Fan._ My dear Lady _Brute_, and sweet _Belinda_, methinks 'tis an
Age since I saw you.

_Lady Brute._ Yet 'tis but three Days; sure you have pass'd your time
very ill, it seems so long to you.

_Lady Fan._ Why, really, to confess the truth to you, I am so
everlastingly fatigu'd with the Addresses of unfortunate Gentlemen,
that, were it not for the Extravagancy of the Example, I shou'd e'en
tear out these wicked Eyes with my own Fingers, to make both myself and
Mankind easy. What think you on't, Mr. _Heartfree_, for I take you to
be my faithful Adviser?

_Heart._ Why, truly, Madam--I think--every Project that is for the good
of Mankind ought to be encourag'd.

_Lady Fan._ Then I have your Consent, Sir?

_Heart._ To do whatever you please, Madam.

_Lady Fan._ You had a much more limited Complaisance this Morning,
Sir. Would you believe it, Ladies? The Gentleman has been so exceeding
generous, to tell me of above fifty Faults, in less time than it was
well possible for me to commit two of 'em.

_Const._ Why, truly, Madam, my Friend there is apt to be something
familiar with the Ladies.

_Lady Fan._ He is, indeed, Sir; but he's wondrous charitable with
it: He has had the Goodness to design a Reformation, even down to my
Fingers-ends.----'Twas thus, I think, Sir, [_Opening her fingers in an
aukward manner._] you'd have had 'em stand--My Eyes, too, he did not
like: How was't you wou'd have directed 'em? Thus, I think. [_Staring
at him._]--Then there was something amiss in my Gait, too: I don't know
well how 'twas; but as I take it, he would have had me walk like him.
Pray, Sir, do me the Favour to take a turn or two about the Room, that
the Company may see you.--He's sullen, Ladies, and won't. But, to make
short, and give you as true an Idea as I can of the matter, I think
'twas much about this Figure, in general, he would have moulded me to:
But I was an obstinate Woman, and could not resolve to make myself
Mistress of his Heart, by growing as aukward as his Fancy.

             [_She walks aukwardly about, staring and looking ungainly,
                       then changes on a sudden to the Extremity of her
                                                    usual Affectation._

_Heart._. Just thus Women do, when they think we are in love with em,
or when they are so with us.

                [_Here ~Constant~ and Lady ~Brute~ talk together apart._

_Lady Fan._ 'Twould, however, be less Vanity for me to conclude the
former, than you the latter, Sir.

_Heart._. Madam, all I shall presume to conclude, is, That if I wer in
love, you'd find the means to make me soon weary on't.

_Lady Fan._ Not by Over-fondness, upon my Word, Sir. But pray let's
stop here; for you are so much govern'd by Instinct, I know you'll grow
brutish at last.

_Bel._ [_Aside._] Now am I sure she's fond of him: I'll try to make her
jealous. Well, for my part, I should be glad to find somebody would be
so free with me, that I might know my Faults, and mend 'em.

_Lady Fan._ Then pray let me recommend this Gentleman to you: I
have known him some time, and will be Surety for him, that upon a
very limited Encouragement on your side, you shall find an extended
Impudence on his.

_Heart._ I thank you, Madam, for your Recommendation: But hating
Idleness, I'm unwilling to enter into a Place where I believe there
would be nothing to do. I was fond of serving your Ladyship, because I
knew you'd find me constant Employment.

_Lady Fan._ I told you he'd be rude, _Belinda_.

_Bel._ O, a little Bluntness is a sign of Honesty, which makes me
always ready to pardon it. So, Sir, if you have no other Exceptions to
my Service, but the fear of being idle in it, you may venture to lift
yourself: I shall find you Work, I warrant you.

_Heart._ Upon those Terms I engage, Madam; and this (with your leave) I
take for Earnest.

                                           [_Offering to kiss her Hand._

_Bel._ Hold there, Sir; I'm none of your Earnest-givers. But if I'm
well serv'd, I give good Wages, and pay punctually.

            [_~Heartf~. and ~Bel~. seem to continue talking familiarly._

_Lady Fan._ [_Aside._] I don't like this jesting between 'em--Methinks
the Fool begins to look as if he were in earnest.----But then he must
be a Fool, indeed.----Lard, what a Difference there is between me and
her! [_Looking at ~Bel~. scornfully._] How I shou'd despise such a
Thing, if I were a Man!----What a Nose she has!--What a Chin----What
a Neck!----Then her Eyes----And the worst kissing Lips in the
Universe----No, no, he can never like her, that's positive----Yet I
can't suffer 'em together any longer. Mr. _Heartfree_, do you know that
you and I must have no Quarrel for all this? I can't forbear being a
little severe now and then: But Women, you know, may be allowed any
thing.

_Heart._ Up to a certain Age, Madam.

_Lady Fan._ Which I'm not yet past, I hope.

_Heart._ [_Aside._] Nor never will, I dare swear.

_Lady Fan._ [_To Lady ~Brute~._] Come, Madam, will your Ladyship be
Witness to our Reconciliation?

_Lady Brute._ You agree, then, at last?

_Heart._ [_Slightingly._] We forgive.

_Lady Fan._ [_Aside._] That was a cold, ill-natur'd Reply.

_Lady Brute._ Then there's no Challenges sent between you?

_Heart._ Not from me, I promise. [_Aside to ~Constant~._] But that's
more than I'll do for her; for I know she can as well be damn'd as
forbear writing to me.

_Const._ That I believe. But I think we had best be going, lest she
should suspect something, and be malicious.

_Heart._ With all my heart.

_Const._ Ladies, we are your humble Servants. I see Sir _John_ is quite
engag'd, 'twould be in vain to expect him. Come, _Heartfree_.

                                                                [_Exit._

_Heart._ Ladies, your Servant. [_To ~Belinda~._] I hope, Madam, you
won't forget our Bargain; I'm to say what I please to you.

                                                    [_Exit ~Heartfree~._

_Bel._ Liberty of Speech entire, Sir.

_Lady Fan._ [_Aside._] Very pretty truly--But how the Blockhead went
out--languishing at her, and not a Look toward me!--Well, Churchmen may
talk, but Miracles are not ceas'd. For 'tis more than natural, such
a rude Fellow as he, and such a little Impertinent as she, should be
capable of making a Woman of my Sphere uneasy. But I can bear her sight
no longer----methinks she's grown ten times uglier than _Cornet_. I
must home, and study Revenge. [_To Lady ~Brute~._] Madam, your humble
Servant; I must take my leave.

_Lady Brute._ What, going already, Madam?

_Lady Fan._ I must beg you'll excuse me this once; for really I have
eighteen Visits to return this Afternoon: So you see I'm importun'd by
the Women as well as the Men.

_Bel._ [_Aside._] And she's quits with them both.

_Lady Fan._ [_Going._] Nay, you shan't go one Step out of the Room.

_Lady Brute._ Indeed I'll wait upon you down.

_Lady Fan._ No, sweet Lady _Brute_, you know I swoon at Ceremony.

_Lady Brute._ Pray give me leave.

_Lady Fan._ You know I won't.

_Lady Brute._ Indeed I must.

_Lady Fan._ Indeed you shan't.

_Lady Brute._ Indeed I will.

_Lady Fan._. Indeed you shan't.

_Lady Brute._ Indeed I will.

_Lady Fan._ Indeed you shan't. Indeed, indeed, indeed you shan't.

                               [_Exit Lady ~Fan~. running; they follow._

                     _Re-enter Lady ~Brute~ sola._

This impertinent Woman has put me out of Humour for a Fortnight----What
an agreeable Moment has her foolish Visit interrupted! Lord, how like
a Torrent Love flows into the Heart, when once the Sluice of Desire is
open'd! Good Gods! What a Pleasure there is in doing what we should not
do!

                         _Re-enter ~Constant~._

Ha! here again?

_Const._ Tho' the renewing my Visit may seem a little irregular, I hope
I shall obtain your Pardon for it, Madam, when you know I only left the
Room, lest the Lady who was here should have been as malicious in her
Remarks as she's foolish in her Conduct.

_Lady Brute._ He who has Discretion enough to be tender of a Woman's
Reputation, carries a Virtue about him may atone for a great many
Faults.

_Const._ If it has a Title to atone for any, its Pretensions must needs
be strongest where the Crime is Love. I therefore hope I shall be
forgiven the Attempt I have made upon your Heart, since my Enterprize
has been a Secret to all the World but yourself.

_Lady Brute._ Secrecy, indeed, in Sins of this kind, is an Argument
of weight to lessen the Punishment; but nothing's a Plea for a Pardon
entire, without a sincere Repentance.

_Const._ If Sincerity in Repentance consists in Sorrow for offending,
no Cloyster ever inclos'd so true a Penitent as I should be. But I hope
it cannot be reckon'd an Offence to love where 'tis a Duty to adore.

_Lady Brute._ 'Tis an Offence, a great one, where it would rob a Woman
of all she ought to be ador'd for--her Virtue.

_Const._ Virtue?--Virtue, alas! is no more like the thing that's
call'd so, than 'tis like Vice itself. Virtue consists in Goodness,
Honour, Gratitude, Sincerity, and Pity; and not in peevish, snarling,
strait-lac'd Chastity. True Virtue, wheresoever it moves, still carries
an intrinsick Worth about it, and is in every Place, and in each Sex,
of equal Value. So is not Continence, you see: That Phantom of Honour,
which Men in every Age have so contemned, they have thrown it amongst
the Women to scrabble for.

_Lady Brute._ If it be a thing of so little Value, why do you so
earnestly recommend it to your Wives and Daughters?

_Const._ We recommend it to our Wives, Madam, because we wou'd keep 'em
to ourselves; and to our Daughters, because we wou'd dispose of 'em to
others.

_Lady Brute._ 'Tis then, of some Importance, it seems, since you can't
dispose of them without it.

_Const._ That Importance, Madam, lies in the Humour of the Country, not
in the Nature of the Thing.

_Lady Brute._ How do you prove that, Sir?

_Const._ From the Wisdom of a neighbouring Nation in a contrary
Practice. In Monarchies, things go by Whimsy; but Commonwealths weigh
all things in the Scale of Reason.

_Lady Brute._ I hope we are not so very light a People, to bring up
Fashions without some ground.

_Const._ Pray what does your Ladyship think of a powder'd Coat for deep
Mourning?

_Lady Brute._ I think, Sir, your Sophistry has all the effect that you
can reasonably expect it should have; it puzzles, but don't convince.

_Const._ I'm sorry for it.

_Lady Brute._ I'm sorry to hear you say so.

_Const._ Pray why?

_Lady Brute._ Because, if you expected more from it, you have a worse
Opinion of my Understanding than I desire you should have.

_Const._ [_Aside._] I comprehend her: She would have me set a Value
upon her Chastity, that I might think myself the more oblig'd to her
when she makes me a Present of it. [_To her._] I beg you will believe I
did but rally, Madam; I know you judge too well of Right and Wrong, to
be deceiv'd by Arguments like those. I hope you'll have so favourable
an Opinion of my Understanding too, to believe the thing call'd Virtue
has Worth enough with me, to pass for an eternal Obligation where'er
'tis sacrific'd.

_Lady Brute._ It is, I think, so great a one as nothing can repay.

_Const._ Yes; the making the Man you love your everlasting Debtor.

_Lady Brute._ When Debtors once have borrow'd all we have to lend, they
are very apt to grow shy of their Creditors' Company.

_Const._ That, Madam, is only when they are forc'd to borrow of
Usurers, and not of a generous Friend. Let us choose our Creditors, and
we are seldom so ungrateful to shun 'em.

_Lady Brute._ What think you of Sir _John_, Sir? I was his free Choice.

_Const._ I think he's married, Madam.

_Lady Brute._ Does Marriage, then, exclude Men from your Rule of
Constancy?

_Const._ It does. Constancy's a brave, free, haughty, generous Agent,
that cannot buckle to the Chains of Wedlock. There's a poor sordid
Slavery in Marriage, that turns the flowing Tide of Honour, and sinks
us to the lowest Ebb of Infamy. 'Tis a corrupted Soil: Ill-Nature,
Avarice, Sloth, Cowardice, and Dirt, are all its Product.

_Lady Brute._ Have you no Exceptions to this general Rule, as well as
to t'other?

_Const._ Yes; I would, after all, be an Exception to it myself, if you
were free in Power and Will to make me so.

_Lady Brute._ Compliments are well plac'd where 'tis impossible to lay
hold on 'em.

_Const._ I wou'd to Heaven 'twere possible for you to lay hold on mine,
that you might see it is no Compliment at all. But since you are
already dispos'd of, beyond Redemption, to one who does not know the
Value of the Jewel you have put into his Hands, I hope you wou'd not
think him greatly wrong'd, tho' it should sometimes be look'd on by a
Friend, who knows how to esteem it as he ought.

_Lady Brute._ If looking on't alone wou'd serve his turn, the Wrong,
perhaps, might not be very great.

_Const._ Why, what if he shou'd wear it now and then a Day, so he gave
good Security to bring it home again at Night?

_Lady Brute._ Small Security, I fancy, might serve for that. One might
venture to take his Word.

_Const._ Then, where's the Injury to the Owner?

_Lady Brute._ 'Tis an Injury to him, if he think it one. For if
Happiness be seated in the Mind, Unhappiness must be so too.

_Const._ Here I close with you, Madam, and draw my conclusive Argument
from your own Position: If the Injury lie in the Fancy, there needs
nothing but Secrecy to prevent the Wrong.

_Lady Brute._ [_Going._] A surer way to prevent it, is to hear no more
Arguments in its behalf.

_Const._ [_Following her._] But, Madam----

_Lady Brute._ But, Sir, 'tis my turn to be discreet now, and not suffer
too long a Visit.

_Const._ [_Catching her Hand._] By Heaven, you shall not stir, till you
give me hopes that I shall see you again at some more convenient Time
and Place!

_Lady Brute._ I give you just hopes enough----[_Breaking from him._] to
get loose from you: and that's all I can afford you at this time.

                                                        [_Exit running._

                          _~Constant~ solus._

Now, by all that's great and good, she is a charming Woman! In what
Extasy of Joy she has left me! For she gave me Hope, did she not say
she gave me Hope?--Hope! Ay: what Hope? Enough to make me let her
go--Why, that's enough in Conscience. Or, no matter how 'twas spoke:
Hope was the Word: it came from her, and it was said to me.

                          _Enter ~Heartfree~._

Ha, _Heartfree_! Thou hast done me noble Service in prattling to the
young Gentlewoman without there; come to my Arms, thou venerable Bawd,
and let me squeeze thee [_Embracing him eagerly._] as a new Pair of
Stays does a fat Country Girl, when she's carried to Court to stand for
a Maid of Honour.

_Heart._ Why, what the Devil's all this Rapture for?

_Const._ Rapture! There's ground for Rapture, Man; there's Hopes, my
_Heartfree_, Hopes, my Friend!

_Heart._ Hopes! of what?

_Const._ Why, Hopes that my Lady and I together (for 'tis more than one
Body's Work) should make Sir _John_ a Cuckold.

_Heart._ Pr'ythee, what did she say to thee?

_Const._ Say? What did she not say? She said that----says she--she
said--Zoons, I don't know what she said; but she look'd as if she said
every thing I'd have her. And so, if thou'lt go to the Tavern, I'll
treat thee with any thing that Gold can buy; I'll give all my Silver
amongst the Drawers, make a Bonfire before the Door; say the Plenipo's
have sign'd the Peace, and the Bank of _England_'s grown honest.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+ _opens; Lord ~Rake~, Sir ~John~, &c. at a Table, drinking._

_All._ Huzza!

_Lord Rake._ Come, Boys, charge again----So--Confusion to all Order!
Here's Liberty of Conscience.

_All._ Huzza!

_Lord Rake._ I'll sing you a Song I made this Morning to this purpose.

_Sir John._ 'Tis wicked, I hope.

_Col. Bully._ Don't my Lord tell you he made it?

_Sir John._ Well, then, let's ha't.

Lord _Rake_ Sings.

                     I.

      _What a Pother of late
      Have they kept in the State,
    About setting our Consciences free!
      A Bottle has more
      Dispensations in store,
    Than the King and the State can decree._

                        II.

      _When my Head's full of Wine,
      I o'erflow with Design,
    And know no ~Penal-Laws~ that can curb me:
      Whate'er I devise
      Seems good in my Eyes,
    And Religion ne'er dares to disturb me._

                        III.

      _No saucy Remorse
      Intrudes in my Course,
    Nor impertinent Notions of Evil;
      So there's Claret in store,
      In Peace I've my Whore,
    And in Peace I jog on to the Devil._

        All sing. _So there's Claret_, &c.

_Lord Rake._ [Rep.] _And in Peace I jog on to the Devil._ Well, how do
you like it, Gentlemen?

_All._ O, admirable!

_Sir John._ I would not give a Fig for a Song that is not full of Sin
and Impudence.

_Lord Rake._ Then my Muse is to your Taste. But drink away; the Night
steals upon us; we shall want Time to be lewd in. Hey, Page! Sally out,
Sirrah, and see what's doing in the Camp; we'll beat up their Quarters
presently.

_Page._ I'll bring your Lordship an exact Account.

                                                           [_Exit Page._

_Lord Rake._. Now let the Spirit of Clary go round. Fill me a Brimmer
Here's to our Forlorn Hope. Courage, Knight, Victory attends you.

_Sir John._ And Laurels shall crown me; drink away, and be damn'd.

_Lord Rake._ Again, Boys; t'other Glass, and damn Morality.

_Sir John._ [_Drunk._] Ay--damn Morality--and damn the Watch. And let
the Constable be married.

_All._ Huzza!

_Re-enter Page._

_Lord Rake._ How are the Streets inhabited, Sirrah?

_Page._ My Lord, 'tis Sunday-night; they are full of drunken Citizens.

_Lord Rake._ Along, then, Boys, we shall have a Feast.

_Col. Bully._ Along, noble Knight.

_Sir John._ Ay----along, _Bully_; and he that says Sir _John Brute_ is
not as drunk and as religious as the drunkenest Citizen of them all--is
a Liar, and the Son of a Whore.

_Col. Bully._ Why, that was bravely spoke, and like a free-born
_Englishman_.

_Sir John._ What's that to you, Sir, whether I am an _Englishman_ or a
_Frenchman_?

_Col. Bully._ Zoons, you are not angry, Sir?

_Sir John._ Zoons, I am angry, Sir----for if I'm a free-born
_Englishman_, what have you to do even to talk of my Privileges?

_Lord Rake._ Why, pr'ythee, Knight, don't quarrel here; leave private
Animosities to be decided by Day-light; let the Night be employ'd
against the publick Enemy.

_Sir John._ My Lord, I respect you because you are a Man of Quality.
But I'll make that Fellow know, I am within a Hair's breadth as
absolute by my Privileges, as the King of _France_ is by his
Prerogative. He by his Prerogative takes Money where it is not his
due; I by my Privilege refuse paying it where I owe it. Liberty and
Property, and _Old England_, Huzza!

_All._ Huzza!

                          [_Exit Sir ~John~ reeling, all following him._


+SCENE+, _A Bed-Chamber._

                  _Enter ~Lady Brute~ and ~Belinda~._

_Lady Brute._ Sure 'tis late, _Belinda_; I begin to be sleepy.

_Bel._ Yes, 'tis near Twelve. Will you go to Bed?

_Lady Brute._ To Bed, my Dear? And by that time I am fallen into a
sweet Sleep (or perhaps a sweet Dream, which is better and better) Sir
_John_ will come home roaring drunk, and be overjoy'd he finds me in a
Condition to be disturb'd.

_Bel._ O, you need not fear him; he's in for all Night. The Servants
say he's gone to drink with my Lord _Rake_.

_Lady Brute._ Nay, 'tis not very likely, indeed, such suitable Company
should part presently. What Hogs Men turn, _Belinda_, when they grow
weary of Women!

_Bel._ And what Owls they are, whilst they are fond of 'em!

_Lady Brute._ But That we may forgive well enough, because they are so
upon our accounts.

_Bel._ We ought to do so, indeed; but 'tis a hard matter. For when a
Man is really in love, he looks so unsufferably silly, that tho' a
Woman lik'd him well enough before, she has then much ado to endure
the Sight of him: And this I take to be the Reason why Lovers are so
generally ill-us'd.

_Lady Brute._ Well, I own, now, I'm well enough pleased to see a Man
look like an Ass for me.

_Bel._ Ay, I'm pleas'd he should look like an Ass, too;--that is, I'm
pleased with myself for making him look so.

_Lady Brute._ Nay, truly, I think if he'd find some other way to
express his Passion, 'twould be more to his advantage.

_Bel._ Yes; for then a Woman might like his Passion and him too.

_Lady Brute._ Yet, _Belinda_, after all, a Woman's Life would be but
a dull Business, if it were not for Men; and Men that can look like
Asses, too. We shou'd never blame Fate for the shortness of our Days;
our Time would hang wretchedly upon our Hands.

_Bel._ Why, truly, they do help us off with a good share on't: For
were there no Men in the World, o'my Conscience, I shou'd be no longer
a-dressing than I'm a-saying my Prayers; nay, tho' it were Sunday: For
you know that one may go to Church without Stays on.

_Lady Brute._ But don't you think Emulation might do something? For
every Woman you see desires to be finer than her Neighbour.

_Bel._ That's only that the Men may like her better than her Neighbour.
No, if there were no Men, adieu fine Petticoats, we should be weary of
wearing 'em.

_Lady Brute._ And adieu Plays, we should be weary of seeing 'em.

_Bel._ Adieu _Hyde Park_, the Dust would choak us.

_Lady Brute._ Adieu _St. James_'s, walking would tire us.

_Bel._ Adieu _London_, the Smoke would stifle us.

_Lady Brute._ And adieu going to Church, for Religion wou'd ne'er
prevail with us.

_Both._ Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

_Bel._ Our Confession is so very hearty, sure we merit Absolution.

_Lady Brute._ Not unless we go thro' with't, and confess all. So,
pr'ythee, for the Ease of our Consciences, let's hide nothing.

_Bel._ Agreed.

_Lady Brute._ Why, then, I confess, that I love to sit in the
Fore-front of a Box; for if one sits behind, there's two Acts gone,
perhaps, before one's found out. And when I am there, if I perceive the
Men whispering and looking upon me, you must know I cannot for my Life
forbear thinking they talk to my Advantage; and that sets a thousand
little tickling Vanities on foot----

_Bel._ Just my Case, for all the World; but go on.

_Lady Brute._ I watch with Impatience for the next Jest in the Play,
that I might laugh, and shew my white Teeth. If the Poet has been
dull, and the Jest be long a-coming, I pretend to whisper one to my
Friend, and from thence fall into a little small Discourse, in which I
take occasion to shew my Face in all Humours, brisk, pleas'd, serious,
melancholy, languishing----Not that what we say to one another causes
any of these alterations. But----

_Bel._ Don't trouble yourself to explain. For if I'm not mistaken, you
and I have had some of these necessary Dialogues before now with the
same Intention.

_Lady Brute._ Why, I swear, _Belinda_, some People do give strange
agreeable Airs to their Faces in speaking. Tell me true--Did you never
practise in the Glass?

_Bel._ Why, did you?

_Lady Brute._ Yes, 'faith, many a time.

_Bel._ And I too, I own it; both how to speak myself, and how to look
when others speak. But my Glass and I could never yet agree what Face I
should make when they come blunt out with a nasty thing in a Play: For
all the Men presently look upon the Women, that's certain: so laugh we
must not, tho' our Stays burst for't, because that's telling Truth, and
owning we understand the Jest. And to look serious is so dull, when the
whole House is a laughing--

_Lady Brute._ Besides, that looking serious does really betray our
Knowledge in the matter, as much as laughing with the Company would do:
For if we did not understand the thing, we shou'd naturally do like
other People.

_Bel._ For my part, I always take that occasion to blow my Nose.

_Lady Brute._ You must blow your Nose half off, then, at some Plays.

_Bel._ Why don't some Reformer or other be at the Poet for't?

_Lady Brute._ Because he is not so sure of our private Approbation,
as of our publick Thanks. Well, sure there is not upon Earth so
impertinent a thing as Women's Modesty.

_Bel._ Yes: Men's Fantasque, that obliges us to it. If we quit our
Modesty, they say we lose our Charms: and yet they know that very
Modesty is Affectation, and rail at our Hypocrisy.

_Lady Brute._ Thus, one would think 'twere a hard matter to please 'em,
Niece; yet our kind Mother Nature has given us something that makes
amends for all. Let our Weakness be what it will, Mankind will still
be weaker; and whilst there is a World, 'tis Woman that will govern
it. But, pr'ythee, one Word of poor _Constant_ before we go to bed, if
it be but to furnish matter for Dreams: I dare swear he's talking of
me now, or thinking of me at least, tho' it be in the middle of his
Prayers.

_Bel._ So he ought, I think; for you were pleas'd to make him a good
round Advance to-day, Madam.

_Lady Brute._ Why, I have e'en plagu'd him enough to satisfy any
reasonable Woman: He has besieg'd me these two Years, to no purpose.

_Bel._ And if he besieg'd you two Years more, he'd be well enough
pay'd, so he had the plundering of you at last.

_Lady Brute._ That may be; but I'm afraid the Town won't be able to
hold out much longer: for to confess the Truth to you, _Belinda_, the
Garrison begins to grow mutinous.

_Bel._ Then the sooner you capitulate, the better.

_Lady Brute._ Yet, methinks, I wou'd fain stay a little longer to see
you fix'd too, that we might start together, and see who cou'd love
longest. What think you, if _Heartfree_ shou'd have a Month's Mind to
you?

_Bel._ Why, 'faith, I cou'd almost be in love with him for despising
that foolish, affected Lady _Fancyfull_; but I'm afraid he's too cold
ever to warm himself by my Fire.

_Lady Brute._ Then he deserves to be froze to death. Wou'd I were a Man
for your sake, dear Rogue! [_Kissing her._]

_Bel._ You'd wish yourself a Woman again for your own, or the Men are
mistaken. But if I cou'd make a Conquest of this Son of _Bacchus_, and
rival his Bottle, what shou'd I do with him? He has no Fortune, I can't
marry him: and sure you wou'd not have me commit Fornication?

_Lady Brute._ Why, if you did, Child, 'twould be but a good friendly
part; if 'twere only to keep me in countenance whilst I commit--you
know what.

_Bel._ Well, if I can't resolve to serve you that way, I may perhaps
some other, as much to your Satisfaction. But pray how shall we
contrive to see these Blades again quickly?

_Lady Brute._ We must e'en have recourse to the old way; make 'em an
Appointment 'twixt Jest and Earnest; 'twill look like a Frolick, and
that you know 's a very good thing to save a Woman's Blushes.

_Bel._ You advise well; but where shall it be?

_Lady Brute._ In _Spring Garden_. But they shan't know their Women,
till their Women pull off their Masks; for a Surprize is the most
agreeable thing in the World: And I find myself in a very good Humour,
ready to do 'em any good turn I can think on.

_Bel._ Then pray write 'em the necessary Billet, without farther delay.

_Lady Brute._ Let's go into your Chamber, then, and whilst you say your
Prayers I'll do it, Child.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ IV.


+SCENE+, _Covent Garden_.

        _Enter Lord ~Rake~, Sir ~John~, &c. with Swords drawn._

_Lord Rake._ Is the Dog dead?

_Col. Bully._ No, damn him, I heard him wheeze.

_Lord Rake._ How the Witch his Wife howl'd!

_Col. Bully._ Ay, she'll alarm the Watch presently.

_Lord Rake._ Appear, Knight, then; come, you have a good Cause to fight
for--there's a Man murder'd.

_Sir John._ Is there? Then let his Ghost be satisfy'd; for I'll
sacrifice a Constable to it presently, and burn his Body upon his
wooden Chair.

             _Enter a Taylor, with a Bundle under his Arm._

_Col. Bully._ How now? What have we got here? A Thief.

_Taylor._ No, an't please you, I'm no Thief.

_Lord Rake._ That we'll see presently: Here, let the General examine
him.

_Sir John._ Ay, ay, let me examine him, and I'll lay a hundred Pound I
find him guilty, in spite of his Teeth--for he looks--like a--sneaking
Rascal. Come, Sirrah, without Equivocation or mental Reservation, tell
me of what Opinion you are, and what Calling; for by them----I shall
guess at your Morals.

_Taylor._ An't please you, I'm a Dissenting Journeyman Taylor.

_Sir John._ Then, Sirrah, you love Lying by your Religion, and Theft
by your Trade: And so, that your Punishment may be suitable to your
Crimes--I'll have you first gagg'd--and then hang'd.

_Tayl._ Pray, good worthy Gentlemen, don't abuse me: indeed I'm an
honest Man, and a good Workman, tho' I say it, that should not say it.

_Sir John._ No Words, Sirrah, but attend your Fate.

_Lord Rake._ Let me see what's in that Bundle.

_Tayl._ An't please you, it is the Doctor of the Parish's Gown.

_Lord Rake._ The Doctor's Gown!----Hark you, Knight, you won't stick at
abusing the Clergy, will you?

_Sir John._ No, I'm drunk, and I'll abuse any thing--but my Wife; and
her I name--with Reverence.

_Lord Rake._ Then you shall wear this Gown, whilst you charge the
Watch; that tho' the Blows fall upon you, the Scandal may light upon
the Church.

_Sir John._ A generous Design----by all the Gods----give it me.

                                      [_Takes the Gown, and puts it on._

_Tayl._ O dear Gentlemen, I shall be quite undone, if you take the Gown.

_Sir John._ Retire, Sirrah; and since you carry off your Skin--go home
and be happy.

_Tayl._ [_Pausing._] I think I had e'en as good follow the Gentleman's
friendly Advice; for if I dispute any longer, who knows but the Whim
may take him to case me? These Courtiers are fuller of Tricks than they
are of Money; they'll sooner cut a Man's Throat, than pay his Bill.

                                                       [_Exit ~Taylor~._

_Sir John._ So, how do you like my Shapes now?

_Lord Rake._ This will do to a Miracle; he looks like a Bishop going to
the Holy War. But to your Arms, Gentlemen, the Enemy appears.

                      _Enter Constable and Watch._

_Watch._ Stand! Who goes there? Come before the Constable.

_Sir John._ The Constable is a Rascal----and you are the Son of a Whore.

_Watch._ A good civil Answer for a Parson, truly!

_Constab._ Methinks, Sir, a Man of your Coat might set a better Example.

_Sir John._ Sirrah, I'll make you know----there are Men of my Coat can
set as bad Examples----as you can do, you Dog, you.

                [_Sir ~John~ strikes the Constable. They knock him down,
                    disarm him, and seize him. Lord Rake, &c. run away._

_Constab._ So, we have secur'd the Parson, however.

_Sir John._ Blood, and Blood----and Blood.

_Watch._ Lord have mercy upon us! How the wicked Wretch raves of Blood!
I'll warrant he has been murdering some body to-night.

_Sir John._ Sirrah, there's nothing got by Murder but a Halter: My
Talent lies towards Drunkenness and Simony.

_Watch._ Why, that now was spoke like a Man of Parts, Neighbours; 'tis
pity he shou'd be so disguised.

_Sir John._ You lye----I'm not disguis'd; for I am drunk barefac'd.

_Watch._ Look you there again--This is a mad Parson, Mr. _Constable_;
I'll lay a Pot of Ale upon 's Head, he's a good Preacher.

_Constab._ Come, Sir, out of respect to your Calling, I shan't put you
into the Round-house; but we must secure you in our Drawing-room till
Morning, that you may do no Mischief. So, come along.

_Sir John._ You may put me where you will, Sirrah, now you have
overcome me----But if I can't do Mischief, I'll think of Mischief--in
spite of your Teeth, you Dog, you.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _A Bed-Chamber._

                       _Enter ~Heartfree~ solus._

What the Plague ails me?----Love? No, I thank you for that, my
Heart's Rock still----Yet 'tis _Belinda_ that disturbs me; that's
positive----Well, what of all that? Must I love her for being
troublesome? At that rate I might love all the Women I meet, I'gad. But
hold!--Tho' I don't love her for disturbing me, yet she may disturb me,
because I love her----Ay, that may be, 'faith. I have dreamt of her,
that's certain----Well, so I have of my Mother; therefore what's that
to the purpose? Ay, but _Belinda_ runs in my Mind waking--and so does
many a damn'd thing that I don't care a Farthing for----Methinks, tho',
I would fain be talking to her, and yet I have no Business----Well, am
I the first Man that has had a Mind to do an impertinent thing?

                          _Enter ~Constant~._

_Const._ How now, _Heartfree_? What makes you up and dress'd so soon? I
thought none but Lovers quarrell'd with their Beds; I expected to have
found you snoring, as I us'd to do.

_Heart._ Why, 'faith, Friend, 'tis the Care I have of your Affairs,
that makes me so thoughtful; I have been studying all Night how to
bring your matter about with _Belinda_.

_Const._ With _Belinda_?

_Heart._ With my Lady, I mean: And, 'faith, I have mighty Hopes
on't. Sure you must be very well satisfied with her Behaviour to you
yesterday?

_Const._ So well, that nothing but a Lover's Fears can make me doubt of
Success. But what can this sudden Change proceed from?

_Heart._ Why, you saw her Husband beat her, did you not?

_Const._ That's true: A Husband is scarce to be borne upon any terms,
much less when he fights with his Wife. Methinks, she shou'd e'en have
cuckolded him upon the very spot, to shew that after the Battle she was
Master of the Field.

_Heart._ A Council of War of Women wou'd infallibly have advis'd her
to't. But, I confess, so agreeable a Woman as _Belinda_ deserves better
Usage.

_Const._ _Belinda_ again!

_Heart._ My Lady, I mean. What a Pox makes me blunder so to-day?
[_Aside._] A Plague of this treacherous Tongue!

_Const._ Pr'ythee, look upon me seriously, _Heartfree_--Now answer me
directly: Is it my Lady, or _Belinda_, employs your careful Thoughts
thus?

_Heart._ My Lady, or _Belinda_?

_Const._ In Love; by this Light, in Love.

_Heart._ In Love!

_Const._ Nay, ne'er deny it; for thou'lt do it so aukwardly, 'twill but
make the Jest sit heavier about thee. My dear Friend, I give thee much
Joy.

_Heart._ Why, pr'ythee, you won't persuade me to it, will you?

_Const._ That she's Mistress of your Tongue, that's plain; and I know
you are so honest a Fellow, your Tongue and Heart always go together.
But how, but how the Devil? Pha, ha, ha, ha--

_Heart._ Hey-dey! Why, sure you don't believe it in earnest?

_Const._ Yes, I do, because I see you deny it in jest.

_Heart._ Nay, but look you, _Ned_--a----deny in jest----a----gadzooks,
you know I say----a----when a Man denies a thing in jest--a--

_Const._ Pha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

_Heart._ Nay, then we shall have it: What, because a Man stumbles at a
Word: did you never make a Blunder?

_Const._ Yes; for I am in Love, I own it.

_Heart._ Then, so am I--Now laugh till thy Soul's glutted with Mirth.
[_Embracing him._] But, dear _Constant_, don't tell the Town on't.

_Const._ Nay, then, 'twere almost pity to laugh at thee, after so
honest a Confession. But tell us a little, _Jack_, by what new-invented
Arms has this mighty Stroke been given?

_Heart._ E'en by that unaccountable Weapon call'd _Je-ne-sçai-quoy_:
For every thing that can come within the Verge of Beauty, I have seen
it with indifference.

_Const._ So in few Words, then, the _Je-ne-sçai-quoy_ has been too hard
for the quilted Petticoat.

_Heart._ I'gad, I think the _Je-ne-sçai-quoy_ is in the quilted
Petticoat; at least 'tis certain, I ne'er think on't without----a----a
_Je-ne-sçai-quoy_ in every Part about me.

_Const._ Well, but have all your Remedies lost their Virtue? Have you
turn'd her inside out yet?

_Heart._ I dare not so much as think on't.

_Const._ But don't the two Years Fatigue I have had discourage you?

_Heart._ Yes: I dread what I foresee; yet cannot quit the Enterprize.
Like some Soldiers, whose Courage dwells more in their Honour, than
their Nature--on they go, tho' the Body trembles at what the Soul makes
it undertake.

_Const._ Nay, if you expect your Mistress will use you as your
Profanations against her Sex deserve, you tremble justly. But how do
you intend to proceed, Friend?

_Heart._ Thou know'st I'm but a Novice; be friendly, and advise me.

_Const._ Why, look you, then: I'd have you--Serenade and a----write
a Song----Go to Church; Look like a Fool----Be very officious; Ogle,
write and lead out: And who knows but in a Year or two's time you may
be----call'd a troublesome Puppy, and sent about your Business.

_Heart._ That's hard.

_Const._ Yet thus it oft falls out with Lovers, Sir.

_Heart._ Pox on me for making one of the Number!

_Const._ Have a care: Say no saucy things; 'twill but augment your
Crime; and if your Mistress hears on't, increase your Punishment.

_Heart._ Pr'ythee say something, then, to encourage me; you know I
help'd you in your Distress.

_Const._ Why, then, to encourage you to Perseverance, tho' you may be
thoroughly ill-us'd for your Offences; I'll put you in mind, that even
the coyest Ladies of 'em all are made up of Desires, as well as we; and
tho' they do hold out a long time, they will capitulate at last. For
that thundering Engineer, Nature, does make such havock in the Town,
they must surrender at long run, or perish in their own Flames.

                           _Enter a Footman._

_Foot._ Sir, there's a Porter without with a Letter; he desires to give
it into your own Hands.

_Const._ Call him in.

                            _Enter Porter._

_Const._ What, _Joe_! Is it thee?

_Porter._ An't please you, Sir, I was order'd to deliver this into your
own Hands by two well-shap'd Ladies, at the _New Exchange_. I was at
your Honour's Lodgings, and your Servants sent me hither.

_Const._ 'Tis well; are you to carry any Answer?

_Porter._ No, my noble Master. They gave me my Orders, and whip they
were gone, like a Maidenhead at Fifteen.

_Const._ Very well; there.

                                                     [_Gives him Money._

_Porter._ God bless your Honour!

                                                         [_Exit Porter._

_Const._ Now let's see what honest, trusty _Joe_ has brought us.

  _Reads._

  _If you and your Play-Fellow can spare time from your Business and
  Devotions, don't fail to be at ~Spring-Garden~ about Eight in the
  Evening. You'll find nothing there but Women, so you need bring no
  other Arms than what you usually carry about you._

So, Play-fellow: here's something to stay your Stomach till your
Mistress's Dish is ready for you.

_Heart._ Some of our old batter'd Acquaintance. I won't go, not I.

_Const._ Nay, that you can't avoid; there's Honour in the Case; 'tis a
Challenge, and I want a Second.

_Heart._ I doubt I shall be but a very useless one to you; for I'm so
dishearten'd by this Wound _Belinda_ has given me, I don't think I
shall have Courage enough to draw my Sword.

_Const._ O, if that be all, come along; I'll warrant you find Sword
enough for such Enemies as we have to deal withal.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _A Street_.

                _Enter Constable, &c. with Sir ~John~._

_Constab._ Come along, Sir; I thought to have let you slip this
Morning, because you were a Minister; but you are as drunk and as
abusive as ever. We'll see what the Justice of the Peace will say to
you.

_Sir John._ And you shall see what I'll say to the Justice of the
Peace, Sirrah.

                                              [_They knock at the Door._

                            _Enter Servant._

_Constab._ Pray, acquaint his Worship, we have got an unruly Parson
here: We are unwilling to expose him, but don't know what to do with
him.

_Serv._ I'll acquaint my Master.

                                                           [_Exit Serv._

_Sir John._ You----Constable--What damn'd Justice is this?

_Constab._ One that will take Care of you, I warrant you.

                            _Enter Justice._

_Just._ Well, Mr. Constable, what's the Disorder here?

_Constab._ An't please your Worship----

_Sir John._ Let me speak, and be damn'd: I'm a Divine, and can unfold
Mysteries better than you can do.

_Just._ Sadness, sadness! A Minister so overtaken! Pray, Sir, give the
Constable leave to speak, and I'll hear you very patiently: I assure
you, Sir, I will.

_Sir John._ Sir----You are a very civil Magistrate! Your most humble
Servant.

_Constab._ An't please your Worship, then, he has attempted to beat the
Watch to-night, and swore----

_Sir John._ You lye.

_Just._ Hold, pray, Sir, a little.

_Sir John._ Sir, your very humble Servant.

_Constab._ Indeed, Sir, he came at us without any Provocation, call'd
us Whores and Rogues, and laid us on with a great Quarter-staff. He was
in my Lord _Rake_'s Company: They have been playing the Devil to-night.

_Just._ Hem----Hem----Pray, Sir----may you be Chaplain to my Lord?

_Sir John._ Sir----I presume----I may if I will.

_Just._ My meaning, Sir, is----Are you so?

_Sir John._ Sir--You mean very well.

_Just._ He, hem----hem----Under Favour, Sir, pray answer me directly.

_Sir John._ Under Favour, Sir----Do you use to answer directly when you
are drunk?

_Just._ Good lack, good lack! Here's nothing to be got from him: Pray,
Sir, may I crave your Name?

_Sir John._ Sir----My Name's----[_He hiccups._] Hiccup, Sir.

_Just._ Hiccup? Doctor _Hiccup_, I have known a great many Country
Parsons of that Name, especially down in the _Fenns_. Pray where do you
live, Sir?

_Sir John._ Here----and there, Sir.

_Just._ Why, what a strange Man is this! Where do you preach, Sir? Have
you any Cure?

_Sir John._ Sir----I have----a very good Cure----for a Clap, at your
Service.

_Just._ Lord have mercy upon us!

_Sir John._ [_Aside._] This Fellow asks so many impertinent Questions,
I believe, I'gad, 'tis the Justice's Wife in the Justice's Clothes.

_Just._ Mr. Constable, I vow and protest, I don't know what to do with
him.

_Constab._ Truly, he has been but a troublesome Guest to us all Night.

_Just._ I think, I had e'en best let him go about his Business; for I'm
unwilling to expose him.

_Constab._ E'en what your Worship thinks fit.

_Sir John._ Sir----not to interrupt Mr. Constable, I have a small
Favour to ask.

_Just._ Sir, I open both my Ears to you.

_Sir John._ Sir, your very humble Servant. I have a little urgent
Business calls upon me; and therefore I desire the Favour of you to
bring Matters to a Conclusion.

_Just._ Sir, if I were sure that Business were not to commit more
Disorders, I wou'd release you.

_Sir John._ None----By my Priesthood!

_Just._ Then, Mr. Constable, you may discharge him.

_Sir John._ Sir, your very humble Servant. If you please to accept of a
Bottle--

_Just._ I thank you, kindly, Sir; but I never drink in a Morning.
Good-by t'ye, Sir, good-by t'ye.

_Sir John._ Good by t'ye, good Sir. [_Exit Justice._] So----now, Mr.
Constable, shall you and I go pick up a Whore together?

_Constab._ No, thank you, Sir; my Wife's enough to satisfy any
reasonable Man.

_Sir John._ [_Aside._] He, he, he, he--the Fool is married, then. Well,
you won't go?

_Constab._ Not I, truly.

_Sir John._ Then I'll go by myself; and you and your Wife may be
damn'd.

                                                     [_Exit Sir ~John~._

_Constable._ [_Gazing after him._] Why, God a-mercy, Parson?

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _Spring-Garden_.

     _~Constant~ and ~Heartfree~ cross the Stage. As they go off,
         enter Lady ~Fancyfull~ and ~Madamoiselle~ mask'd, and
                             dogging 'em._

_Const._ So; I think we are about the time appointed: let us walk up
this way.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

_Lady Fan._ Good: Thus far I have dogg'd 'em without being discover'd.
'Tis infallibly some Intrigue that brings them to _Spring-Garden_. How
my poor Heart is torn and rackt with Fear and Jealousy! Yet let it be
any thing but that Flirt _Belinda_, and I'll try to bear it. But if it
prove her, all that's Woman in me shall be employ'd to destroy her.

                             [_Exeunt after ~Constant~ and ~Heartfree~._

       _Re-enter ~Constant~ and ~Heartfree~, Lady ~Fancyfull~ and
             ~Madamoiselle~ still following at a Distance_.

_Const._ I see no Females yet, that have any thing to say to us. I'm
afraid we are banter'd.

_Heart._ I wish we were; for I'm in no Humour to make either them or
myself merry.

_Const._ Nay, I'm sure you'll make them merry enough, if I tell 'em why
you are dull. But pr'ythee why so heavy and sad before you begin to be
ill us'd?

_Heart._ For the same Reason, perhaps, that you are so brisk and
well pleas'd; because both Pains and Pleasures are generally more
considerable in Prospect, than when they come to pass.

     _Enter Lady ~Brute~ and ~Belinda~, mask'd and poorly dress'd._

_Const._ How now! who are these? Not our Game, I hope.

_Heart._ If they are, we are e'en well enough serv'd, to come a-hunting
here, when we had so much better Game in Chase elsewhere.

_Lady Fan._ [_To Madamoiselle._] So, those are their Ladies, without
doubt. But I'm afraid that _Doily_ Stuff is not worn for want of better
Clothes. They are the very Shape and Size of _Belinda_ and her Aunt.

_Madam._ So dey be inteed, Matam.

_Lady Fan._ We'll slip into this close Arbour, where we may hear all
they say.

                          [_Exeunt Lady ~Fancyfull~ and ~Madamoiselle~._

_Lady Brute._ What, are you afraid of us, Gentlemen?

_Heart._ Why, truly, I think we may, if Appearance don't lye.

_Bel._ Do you always find Women what they appear to be, Sir?

_Heart._ No, forsooth; but I seldom find 'em better than they appear to
be.

_Bel._ Then the Outside's best, you think?

_Heart._ 'Tis the honestest.

_Const._ Have a care, _Heartfree_; you are relapsing again.

_Lady Brute._ Why, does the Gentleman use to rail at Women?

_Const._ He has done formerly.

_Bel._ I suppose he had very good Cause for't. They did not use you so
well as you thought you deserv'd, Sir.

_Lady Brute._ They made themselves merry at your Expence, Sir.

_Bel._ Laugh'd when you sigh'd--

_Lady Brute._ Slept while you were waking--

_Bel._ Had your Porter beat--

_Lady Brute._ And threw your Billet-doux in the Fire.

_Heart._ Hey-day, I shall do more than rail presently.

_Bel._ Why, you won't beat us, will you?

_Heart._ I don't know but I may.

_Const._ What the Devil's coming here? Sir _John_ in a Gown----And
drunk, i'faith.

                          _Enter Sir ~John~._

_Sir John._ What a Pox----here's _Constant_, _Heartfree_--and two
Whores, I'gad----O you covetous Rogues! what, have you never a spare
Punk for your Friend?----But I'll share with you.

                                            [_He seizes both the Women._

_Heart._ Why, what the plague have you been doing, Knight?

_Sir John._ Why, I have been beating the Watch, and scandalizing the
Clergy.

_Heart._ A very good Account, truly.

_Sir John._ And what do you think I'll do next?

_Const._. Nay, that no Man can guess.

_Sir John._ Why, if you'll let me sup with you, I'll treat both your
Strumpets.

_Lady Brute._ [_Aside._] O Lord, we're undone!

_Heart._ No, we can't sup together, because we have some Affairs
elsewhere. But if you'll accept of these two Ladies, we'll be so
complaisant to you, to resign our Right in 'em.

_Bel._ [_Aside._] Lord, what shall we do?

_Sir John._ Let me see; their Clothes are such damn'd Clothes, they
won't pawn for the Reckoning.

_Heart._ _Sir John_, your Servant. Rapture attend you!

_Const._ Adieu, Ladies, make much of the Gentleman.

_Lady Brute._ Why, sure, you won't leave us in the Hands of a drunken
Fellow to abuse us.

_Sir John._ Who do you call a drunken Fellow, you Slut you? I'm a Man
of Quality; the King has made me a Knight.

                                                   [_~Heart.~ runs off._

_Heart._ Ay, ay, you are in good Hands! Adieu, Adieu!

_Lady Brute._ The Devil's Hands: Let me go, or I'll--For Heaven's sake,
protect us!

                [_She breaks from him, runs to ~Constant~, twitching off
                                    her Mask, and clapping it on again._

_Sir John._ I'll Devil you, you Jade you. I'll demolish your ugly Face.

_Const._ Hold a little, Knight, she swoons.

_Sir John._ I'll swoon her.

_Const._ Hey, _Heartfree_.

      _Re-enter ~Heartfree~. ~Belinda~ runs to him, and shews her
                                 Face._

_Heart._ O Heavens! My dear Creature, stand there a little.

_Const._ Pull him off, _Jack_.

_Heart._ Hold, mighty Man; look ye, Sir, we did but jest with you.
These are Ladies of our Acquaintance that we had a mind to frighten a
little, but now you must leave us.

_Sir John._ Oons, I won't leave you, not I.

_Heart._ Nay, but you must, though; and therefore make no Words on't.

_Sir John._ Then you are a couple of damned uncivil Fellows. And I hope
your Punks will give you Sauce to your Mutton.

                                                     [_Exit Sir ~John~._

_Lady Brute._ Oh, I shall never come to myself again, I'm so frightened.

_Const._ 'Twas a narrow 'Scape, indeed.

_Bel._ Women must have Frolicks, you see, whatever they cost them.

_Heart._ This might have proved a dear one, though.

_Lady Brute._ You are the more obliged to us for the Risk we run upon
your Accounts.

_Const._ And I hope you'll acknowledge something due to our
Knight-Errantry, Ladies. This is the second time we have delivered you.

_Lady Brute._ 'Tis true; and since we see Fate has designed you for our
Guardians, 'twill make us the more willing to trust ourselves in your
Hands. But you must not have the worse Opinion of us for our innocent
Frolick.

_Heart._ Ladies, you may command our Opinions in every thing that is to
your Advantage.

_Bel._ Then, Sir, I command you to be of Opinion, That Women are
sometimes better than they appear to be.

                              [_Lady ~Brute~ and ~Constant~ talk apart._

_Heart._ Madam, you have made a Convert of me in every thing. I'm grown
a Fool: I cou'd be fond of a Woman.

_Bel._ I thank you, Sir, in the Name of the whole Sex.

_Heart._ Which Sex nothing but yourself cou'd ever have aton'd for.

_Bel._ Now has my Vanity a devilish Itch, to know in what my Merit
consists.

_Heart._ In your Humility, Madam, that keeps you ignorant it consists
at all.

_Bel._ One other Compliment, with that serious Face, and I hate you for
ever after.

_Heart._ Some Women love to be abus'd: Is that it you wou'd be at?

_Bel._ No, not that, neither: But I'd have Men talk plainly what's fit
for Women to hear; without putting 'em either to a real or an affected
Blush.

_Heart._ Why, then, in as plain Terms as I can find to express myself,
I could love you even to--Matrimony itself a'most, I'gad.

_Bel._ Just as Sir _John_ did her Ladyship there.----What think you?
Don't you believe one Month's time might bring you down to the same
Indifference, only clad in a little better Manners, perhaps? Well, you
Men are unaccountable things, mad till you have your Mistresses, and
then stark mad till you are rid of 'em again. Tell me honestly, Is not
your Patience put to a much severer Trial after Possession than before?

_Heart._ With a great many I must confess it is, to our eternal
Scandal; but I----dear Creature, do but try me.

_Bel._ That's the surest way, indeed, to know, but not the safest. [_To
Lady ~Brute~._] Madam, are not you for taking a Turn in the Great Walk?
It's almost dark, no body will know us.

_Lady Brute._ Really I find myself something idle, _Belinda_: besides,
I doat upon this little odd private Corner. But don't let my lazy Fancy
confine you. [_Const. aside._] So, she wou'd be left alone with me;
that's well.

_Bel._ Well, we'll take one Turn, and come to you again. [_To
~Heart~._] Come, Sir, shall we go pry into the Secrets of the Garden?
Who knows what Discoveries we may make?

_Heart._ Madam, I'm at your Service.

_Const._ [_To ~Heart~. aside._] Don't make too much haste back; for,
d'ye hear?----I may be busy.

_Heart._ Enough.

                                    [_Exeunt ~Belinda~ and ~Heartfree~._

_Lady Brute._ Sure you think me scandalously free, Mr. _Constant_. I'm
afraid I shall lose your good Opinion of me.

_Const._ My good Opinion, Madam, is like your Cruelty----ne'er to be
remov'd.

_Lady Brute._ But if I should remove my Cruelty, then there's an end of
your good Opinion.

_Const._ There is not so strict an Alliance between 'em, neither. 'Tis
certain I shou'd love you then better (if that be possible) than I do
now; and where I love, I always esteem.

_Lady Brute._ Indeed, I doubt you much. Why, suppose you had a Wife,
and she should entertain a Gallant?

_Const._ If I gave her just Cause, how cou'd I justly condemn her?

_Lady Brute._ Ah! but you'd differ widely about just Causes.

_Const._ But Blows can bear no Dispute.

_Lady Brute._ Nor ill Manners much, truly.

_Const._ Then no Woman upon Earth has so just a Cause as you have.

_Lady Brute._ O, but a faithful Wife is a beautiful Character.

_Const._ To a deserving Husband, I confess it is.

_Lady Brute._ But can his Faults release my Duty?

_Const._ In Equity, without doubt. And where Laws dispense with Equity,
Equity should dispense with Laws.

_Lady Brute._ Pray let's leave this Dispute; for you Men have as much
Witchcraft in your Arguments, as Women have in their Eyes.

_Const._ But whilst you attack me with your Charms, 'tis but reasonable
I assault you with mine.

_Lady Brute._ The Case is not the same. What Mischief we do, we can't
help, and therefore are to be forgiven.

_Const._ Beauty soon obtains Pardon for the Pain that it gives, when
it applies the Balm of Compassion to the Wound: But a fine Face, and a
hard Heart, is almost as bad as an ugly Face and a soft one; both very
troublesome to many a poor Gentleman.

_Lady Brute._ Yes, and to many a poor Gentlewoman, too, I can assure
you. But pray, which of 'em is it that most afflicts you?

_Const._ Your Glass and Conscience will inform you, Madam. But for
Heaven's sake (for now I must be serious), if Pity, or if Gratitude can
move you; [_Taking her Hand._] if Constancy and Truth have power to
tempt you; if Love, if Adoration can affect you; give me at least some
Hopes, that Time may do what you perhaps mean never to perform; 'twill
ease my Sufferings, tho' not quench my Flame.

_Lady Brute._ Your Sufferings eas'd, your Flame wou'd soon abate: And
that I would preserve, not quench it, Sir.

_Const._ Wou'd you preserve it, nourish it with Favours; for that's the
Food it naturally requires.

_Lady Brute._ Yet on that natural Food 'twould surfeit soon, shou'd I
resolve to grant all you wou'd ask.

_Const._ And in refusing all, you starve it. Forgive me, therefore,
since my Hunger rages, if I at last grow wild, and in my frenzy force
at least this from you. [_Kissing her Hand._] Or if you'd have my Flame
soar higher still, then grant me this, and this, and Thousands more;
[_Kissing first her Hand, then her Neck._] [_Aside._] For now's the
time she melts into Compassion.

_Lady Brute._ [_Aside._] Poor Coward Virtue, how it shuns the Battle! O
Heavens! let me go.

_Const._ Ay, go, ay: Where shall we go, my charming Angel----into this
private Arbour----Nay, let's lose no time----Moments are precious.

_Lady Brute._ And Lovers wild. Pray let us stop here; at least for this
time.

_Const._ 'Tis impossible; he that has power over you, can have none
over himself.

      _As he is forcing her into the Arbour, Lady ~Fancyfull~ and
          ~Madamoiselle~ bolt out upon them, and run over the
                                Stage._

_Lady Brute._ Ah! I'm lost!

_Lady Fan._ Fe, fe, fe, fe, fe.

_Madam._ Fe, fe, fe, fe, fe.

_Const._ Death and Furies, who are these?

_Lady Brute._ O Heavens! I'm out of my Wits; if they knew me, I am
ruin'd.

_Const._ Don't be frightened: Ten thousand to one they are Strangers to
you.

_Lady Brute._ Whatever they are, I won't stay here a Moment longer.

_Const._ Whither will you go?

_Lady Brute._ Home, as if the Devil were in me. Lord, where's this
_Belinda_ now?

                   _Enter ~Belinda~ and ~Heartfree~._

O! 'tis well you are come: I'm so frightened, my Hair stands an end.
Let's be gone, for Heaven's sake!

_Bel._ Lord, what's the matter?

_Lady Brute._ The Devil's the Matter; we are discovered. Here's a
couple of Women have done the most impertinent thing. Away, away, away,
away, away.

                                                        [_Exit running._

            _Re-enter Lady ~Fancyfull~ and ~Madamoiselle~._

_Lady Fan._ Well, _Madamoiselle_, 'tis a prodigious thing how Women can
suffer filthy Fellows to grow so familiar with 'em.

Madam. _Ah Madame, il n'y a rien de si naturel._

_Lady Fan._ Fe, fe, fe! But, oh my Heart! O Jealousy! O Torture! I'm
upon the rack. What shall I do? My Lover's lost, I ne'er shall see
him mine. [_Pausing._]----But I may be reveng'd; and that's the same
thing. Ah sweet Revenge! Thou welcome Thought, thou healing Balsam to
my wounded Soul! Be but propitious on this one Occasion, I'll place my
Heaven in thee, for all my Life to come.

    To Woman how indulgent Nature's kind!
    No Blast of Fortune long disturbs her Mind:
    Compliance to her Fate supports her still;
    If Love won't make her happy--Mischief will.

                                                              [_Exeunt._



+ACT+ V.


+SCENE+, _Lady_ Fancyfull's _House_.

              _Enter Lady ~Fancyfull~ and ~Madamoiselle~._

_Lady Fan._ Well, _Madamoiselle_, did you dog the filthy Things?

Madam. _O que ouy, Madame._

_Lady Fan._ And where are they?

Madam. _Au Logis._

_Lady Fan._ What, Men and all?

Madam. _Tous ensemble._

_Lady Fan._ O Confidence! What, carry their Fellows to their own House?

Madam. _C'est que le Mari n'y est pas._

_Lady Fan._ No; so I believe, truly. But he shall be there, and quickly
too, if I can find him out. Well, 'tis a prodigious thing, to see when
Men and Women get together, how they fortify one another in their
Impudence. But if that drunken Fool, her Husband, he to be found in
e'er a Tavern in Town, I'll send him amongst 'em: I'll spoil their
sport.

Madam. _En verité, Madame, ce seroit domage._

_Lady Fan._ 'Tis in vain to oppose it, _Madamoiselle_; therefore never
go about it. For I am the steadiest Creature in the World--when I have
determin'd to do Mischief. So, come along.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _Sir ~John Brute~'s House_.

      _Enter ~Constant~, ~Heartfree~, Lady ~Brute~, ~Belinda~, and
                              ~Lovewell~._

_Lady Brute._ But are you sure you don't mistake, _Lovewell_?

_Lov._ Madam, I saw 'em all go into the Tavern together, and my Master
was so drunk he cou'd scarce stand.

_Lady Brute._ Then, Gentlemen, I believe we may venture to let you
stay, and play at Cards with us, an Hour or two: For they'll scarce
part till Morning.

_Bel._ I think 'tis pity they should ever part.

_Const._ The Company that's here, Madam.

_Lady Brute._ Then, Sir, the Company that's here must remember to part
itself in time.

_Const._ Madam, we don't intend to forfeit your future Favours by an
indiscreet Usage of this. The Moment you give us the Signal, we shan't
fail to make our Retreat.

_Lady Brute._ Upon those Conditions, then, let us sit down to Cards.

                          _Enter ~Lovewell~._

_Lov._ O Lord, Madam, here's my Master just staggering in upon you;
he has been quarrelsome yonder, and they have kick'd him out of the
Company.

_Lady Brute._ Into the Closet, Gentlemen, for Heaven's sake; I'll
wheedle him to Bed, if possible.

                           [_~Const.~ and ~Heart.~ run into the Closet._

                _Enter Sir ~John~, all dirt and bloody._

_Lady Brute._ Ah----Ah----he's all over Blood!

_Sir John._ What the plague does the Woman--squall for? Did you never
see a Man in Pickle before?

_Lady Brute._ Lord, where have you been?

_Sir John._ I have been at----Cuffs.

_Lady Brute._ I fear that is not all. I hope you are not wounded.

_Sir John._ Sound as a Roach, Wife.

_Lady Brute._ I'm mighty glad to hear it.

_Sir John._ You know--I think you lye.

_Lady Brute._ You do me wrong to think so. For Heaven's my Witness; I
had rather see my own Blood trickle down, than yours.

_Sir John._ Then will I be crucify'd.

_Lady Brute._ 'Tis a hard Fate, I shou'd not be believ'd.

_Sir John._ 'Tis a damn'd Atheistical Age, Wife.

_Lady Brute._ I am sure I have given you a thousand tender Proofs, how
great my Care is of you. But, spite of all your cruel Thoughts, I'll
still persist, and at this Moment, if I can, persuade you to lie down
and sleep a little.

_Sir John._ Why--do you think I am drunk--you Slut, you?

_Lady Brute._ Heaven forbid I shou'd! But I'm afraid you are feverish.
Pray let me feel your Pulse.

_Sir John._ Stand off, and be damn'd.

_Lady Brute._ Why, I see your Distemper in your very Eyes. You are all
on Fire. Pray, go to Bed; let me intreat you.

_Sir John._----Come, kiss me, then.

_Lady Brute._ [_Kissing him._] There: Now go. [_Aside._] He stinks like
Poison.

_Sir John._ I see it goes damnably against your Stomach--And
therefore--Kiss me again.

_Lady Brute._ Nay, now you fool me.

_Sir John._ Do't, I say.

_Lady Brute._ [_Aside._] Ah, Lord have mercy upon me! Well--there: now
will you go?

_Sir John._ Now, Wife, you shall see my Gratitude. You gave me two
Kisses--I'll give you--two hundred.

                                             [_Kisses, and tumbles her._

_Lady Brute._ O Lord! Pray, Sir John, be quiet. Heavens, what a Pickle
am I in!

_Bel._ [_Aside._] If I were in her Pickle, I'd call my Gallant out of
the Closet, and he shou'd cudgel him soundly.

_Sir John._ So, now you being as dirty and as nasty as myself, we may
go pig together. But first I must have a Cup of your cold Tea, Wife.

                                                 [_Going to the Closet._

_Lady Brute._ O I'm ruin'd! There's none there, my Dear.

_Sir John._ I'll warrant you I'll find some, my Dear.

_Lady Brute._ You can't open the Door, the Lock's spoil'd; I have been
turning and turning the Key this half Hour to no purpose. I'll send for
the Smith to-morrow.

_Sir John._ There's ne'er a Smith in _Europe_ can open a Door with
more Expedition than I can do----As for Example--Poh! [_He bursts
open the Door with his Foot._]----How now! What the Devil have we
got here?----_Constant_----_Heartfree_----And two Whores again,
I'gad----This is the worst cold Tea----that ever I met with in my
Life----

                  _Enter ~Constant~ and ~Heartfree~._

_Lady Brute._ [_Aside._] O Lord, what will become of us?

_Sir John._ Gentlemen----I am your very humble Servant--I give you many
Thanks----I see you take Care of my Family----I shall do all I can to
return the Obligation.

_Const._ Sir, how oddly soever this Business may appear to you, you
would have no cause to be uneasy, if you knew the Truth of all things;
your Lady is the most virtuous Woman in the World, and nothing has past
but an innocent Frolick.

_Heart._ Nothing else, upon my Honour, Sir.

_Sir John._ You are both very civil Gentlemen--And my Wife, there, is a
very civil Gentlewoman; therefore I don't doubt but many civil things
have past between you. Your very humble Servant.

_Lady Brute._ [_Aside to ~Const~._] Pray be gone: He's so drunk he
can't hurt us to-night, and to-morrow Morning you shall hear from us.

_Const._ I'll obey you, Madam. Sir, when you are cool, you'll
understand Reason better. So then I shall take the pains to inform
you. If not----I wear a Sword, Sir, and so good by t'ye. Come along,
_Heartfree_.

                                                                [_Exit._

_Sir John._ Wear a Sword, Sir--And what of all that, Sir? He comes to
my House; eats my Meat; lies with my Wife; dishonours my Family; gets
a Bastard to inherit my Estate----And when I ask a civil Account of
all this--Sir, says he, I wear a Sword--Wear a Sword, Sir? Yes, Sir,
says he, I wear a Sword----It may be a good Answer at Cross-purposes;
but 'tis a damn'd one to a Man in my whimsical Circumstance----Sir,
says he, I wear a Sword! [_To Lady ~Brute~._] And what do you wear now?
ha! tell me. [_Sitting down in a great Chair._] What, you are modest,
and can't--Why, then, I'll tell you, you Slut, you. You wear----an
impudent, lewd Face----A damn'd designing Heart----And a Tail----and a
Tail full of----[_He falls fast asleep, snoaring._]

_Lady Brute._ So; thanks to kind Heaven, he's fast for some Hours.

_Bel._ 'Tis well he is so, that we may have time to lay our Story
handsomely; for we must lye like the Devil, to bring ourselves off.

_Lady Brute._ What shall we say, _Belinda_?

_Bel._ [_Musing._]----I'll tell you: It must all light upon _Heartfree_
and I. We'll say he has courted me some time, but, for Reasons unknown
to us, has ever been very earnest the thing might be kept from Sir
_John_. That therefore hearing him upon the Stairs, he ran into the
Closet, tho' against our Will, and _Constant_ with him, to prevent
Jealousy. And to give this a good impudent Face of Truth, (that I may
deliver you from the trouble you are in) I'll e'en, if he pleases,
marry him.

_Lady Brute._ I'm beholden to you, Cousin; but that wou'd be carrying
the Jest a little too far for your own sake: You know he's a younger
Brother, and has nothing.

_Bel._ 'Tis true: But I like him, and have Fortune enough to keep above
Extremity: I can't say I would live with him in a Cell, upon Love and
Bread and Butter: But I had rather have the Man I love, and a middle
State of Life, than that Gentleman in the Chair there, and twice your
Ladyship's Splendour.

_Lady Brute._ In truth, Niece, you are in the right on't; for I am
very uneasy with my Ambition. But, perhaps, had I married as you'll do,
I might have been as ill us'd.

_Bel._ Some Risk, I do confess, there always is: But if a Man has the
least Spark either of Honour or Good-nature, he can never use a Woman
ill, that loves him, and makes his Fortune both. Yet I must own to
you, some little struggling I still have with this teazing Ambition
of ours; for Pride, you know, is as natural to a Woman, as 'tis to a
Saint. I can't help being fond of this Rogue; and yet it goes to my
Heart, to think I must never whisk to _Hyde-Park_ with above a Pair of
Horses; have no Coronet upon my Coach, nor a Page to carry up my Train.
But above all--that Business of Place--Well, taking place is a noble
Prerogative--

_Lady Brute._ Especially after a Quarrel--

_Bel._ Or of a Rival. But pray say no more on't, for fear I change my
Mind; for, o' my Conscience, wer't not for your Affair in the Balance,
I should go near to pick up some odious Man of Quality yet, and only
take poor _Heartfree_ for a Gallant.

_Lady Brute._ Then him you must have, however things go?

_Bel._ Yes.

_Lady Brute._ Why, we may pretend what we will: but 'tis a hard matter
to live without the Man we love.

_Bel._ Especially when we are married to the Man we hate. Pray tell me:
Do the Men of the Town ever believe us virtuous, when they see us do so?

_Lady Brute._ O, no: Nor indeed, hardly, let us do what we will. The
most of them think, there is no such thing as Virtue, consider'd in
the strictest Notions of it; and therefore when you hear 'em say,
such a one is a Woman of Reputation, they only mean she's a Woman of
Discretion. For they consider we have no more Religion than they have,
nor so much Morality; and between you and I, _Belinda_, I'm afraid the
want of Inclination seldom protects any of us.

_Bel._ But what think you of the Fear of being found out?

_Lady Brute._ I think That never kept any Woman virtuous long. We
are not such Cowards, neither. No: Let us once pass Fifteen, and we
have too good an Opinion of our own Cunning, to believe the World can
penetrate into what we would keep a Secret. And so, in short, we cannot
reasonably blame the Men for judging of us by themselves.

_Bel._ But sure we are not so wicked as they are, after all?

_Lady Brute._ We are as wicked, Child, but our Vice lies another way:
Men have more Courage than we, so they commit more bold, impudent Sins.
They quarrel, fight, swear, drink, blaspheme, and the like: Whereas
we, being Cowards, only backbite, tell Lyes, cheat at Cards, and so
forth. But 'tis late: Let's end our Discourse for to-night, and, out of
an excess of Charity, take a small Care of that nasty, drunken Thing
there----Do but look at him, _Belinda_!

_Bel._ Ah----'tis a savoury Dish.

_Lady Brute._ As savoury as 'tis, I'm cloy'd with't. Pr'ythee call the
Butler to take it away.

_Bel._ Call the Butler!----Call the Scavenger! [_To a Servant within._]
Who's there? Call _Rasor_! Let him take away his Master, scour him
clean with a little Sope and Sand, and so put him to Bed.

_Lady Brute._ Come, _Belinda_, I'll e'en lie with you to-night; and in
the Morning we'll send for our Gentlemen to set this Matter even.

_Bel._ With all my Heart.

_Lady Brute._ Good Night, my Dear.

                                   [_Making a low Curtsy to Sir ~John~._

[_Both._] Ha, ha, ha!

                                                              [_Exeunt._

                            _Enter ~Rasor~._

_Rasor._ My Lady there's a Wag--My Master there's a Cuckold. Marriage
is a slippery thing--Women have depraved Appetites.--My Lady's a Wag; I
have heard all; I have seen all; I understand all; and I'll tell all;
for my little _French-woman_ loves News dearly. This Story'll gain her
Heart, or nothing will. [_To his Master._] Come, Sir, your Head's too
full of Fumes at present, to make room for your Jealousy; but I reckon
we shall have rare work with you, when your Pate's empty. Come to your
Kennel, you cuckoldly, drunken Sot, you!

                                       [_Carries him out upon his Back._


+SCENE+, _Lady_ Fancyfull's _House_.

              _Enter Lady ~Fancyfull~ and ~Madamoiselle~._

_Lady Fan._ But, why did not you tell me before, _Madamoiselle_, that
_Rasor_ and you were fond?

_Madam._ De Modesty hinder me, Matam.

_Lady Fan._ Why, truly, Modesty does often hinder us from doing things
we have an extravagant mind to. But does he love you well enough yet,
to do any thing you bid him? Do you think, to oblige you, he wou'd
speak Scandal?

_Madam._ Matam, to oblige your Ladyship, he shall speak Blasphemy.

_Lady Fan._ Why, then, _Madamoiselle_, I'll tell you what you shall
do. You shall engage him to tell his Master all that past at _Spring
Garden_: I have a mind he shou'd know what a Wife and a Niece he has
got.

Madam. _Il le fera, Madame._

         _Enter a Footman, who speaks to ~Madamoiselle~ apart._

_Foot._ _Madamoiselle_, yonder's Mr. _Rasor_ desires to speak with you.

_Madam._ Tell him, I come presently. [_Exit Footman._] _Rasor_ be dare,
Matam.

_Lady Fan._ That's fortunate. Well, I'll leave you together. And if you
find him stubborn, _Madamoiselle_--hark you--don't refuse him a few
little reasonable Liberties to put him into Humour.

Madam. _Laissez moy faire._

                                               [_Exit ~Lady~ Fancyfull._

              [_~Rasor~ peeps in; and seeing Lady ~Fancyfull~ gone, runs
           to ~Madamoiselle~, takes her about the Neck, and kisses her._

_Madam._ How now, Confidence?

_Rasor._ How now, Modesty!

_Madam._ Who make you so familiar, Sirrah?

_Rasor._ My Impudence, Hussy.

_Madam._ Stand off, Rogue-Face.

_Rasor._ Ah----_Madamoiselle_----great News at our House.

_Madam._ Why, vat be de matter?

_Rasor._ The Matter?--Why, Uptails All's the Matter.

Madam. _Tu te mocque de moy._

_Rasor._ Now do you long to know the Particulars: The Time when--The
Place where--The Manner how. But I don't tell you a Word more.

_Madam._ Nay, den dou kill me, _Rasor_.

_Rasor._ Come, kiss me, then.

                                       [_Clapping his Hands behind him._

_Madam._ Nay, pridee tell me.

_Rasor._ Good by t' ye.

                                                               [_Going._

_Madam._ Hold, hold: I will kiss dee.

                                                         [_Kissing him._

_Rasor._ So, that's civil: Why, now, my pretty Poll, my Goldfinch, my
little Waterwagtail----you must know, that----Come, kiss me again.

_Madam._ I won't kiss de no more.

_Rasor._ Good by t' ye.

                                                               [_Going._

Madam. _Doucement! ~Derre~: es tu content?_

                                                         [_Kissing him._

_Rasor._ So: Now I'll tell thee all. Why, the News is, That Cuckoldom
in Folio is newly printed; and Matrimony in Quarto is just going into
the Press. Will you buy any Books, _Madamoiselle_?

Madam. _Tu parle comme un Libraire_; de Devil no understand dee.

_Rasor._ Why, then, that I may make myself intelligible to a
Waiting-Woman, I'll speak like a Valet de Chambre. My Lady has
cuckolded my Master.

Madam. _Bon._

_Rasor._ Which we take very ill from her Hands, I can tell her that. We
can't yet prove Matter of Fact upon her.

Madam. _N'importe._

_Rasor._ But we can prove, that Matter of Fact had like to have been
upon her.

Madam. _Ouy da._

_Rasor._ For we have such bloody Circumstances--

Madam. Sans doute.

_Rasor._ That any Man of Parts may draw tickling Conclusions from 'em.

Madam. _Fort bien._

_Rasor._ We found a couple of tight, well-built Gentlemen stufft into
her Ladyship's Closet.

Madam. _Le Diable!_

_Rasor._ And I, in my particular Person, have discovered a most
damnable Plot, how to persuade my poor Master, that all this Hide and
Seek, this _Will_ in the _Whisp_, has no other meaning than a Christian
Marriage for sweet Mrs. _Belinda_.

Madam. _Une Mariage?----Ah les Droles!_

_Rasor._ Don't you interrupt me, Hussy; 'tis agreed, I say. And my
innocent Lady, to wriggle herself out at the Back-door of the Business,
turns Marriage-Bawd to her Niece, and resolves to deliver up her fair
Body to be tumbled and mumbled by that young liquorish Whipster,
_Heartfree_. Now are you satisfy'd?

_Madam._ No.

_Rasor._ Right Woman; always gaping for more.

_Madam._ Dis be all, den, dat dou know?

_Rasor._ All? Aye, and a great deal, too, I think.

_Madam._ Dou be Fool, dou know noting. _Ecoute, mon pauvre_ Rasor. Dou
sees des two Eyes?--Des two Eyes have see de Devil.

_Rasor._ The Woman's mad.

_Madam._ In _Spring-Garden_, dat Rogue _Constant_ meet dy Lady.

Rasor. _Bon._

_Madam._----I'll tell dee no more.

_Rasor._ Nay, pr'ythee, my Swan.

_Madam._ Come, kiss me den.

                      [_Clapping her Hands behind her as he did before._

_Rasor._ I won't kiss you, not I.

_Madam._ Adieu.

                                                               [_Going._

_Rasor._ Hold----Now proceed.

                                             [_Gives her a hearty Kiss._

Madam. _A ça_----I hide myself in one cunning Place, where I hear all,
and see all. First, dy drunken Master come _mal a propos_; but de Sot
no know his own dear Wife, so he leave her to her Sport--Den de Game
begin. De Lover say soft ting: De Lady look upon de Ground. [_As she
speaks, ~Rasor~ still acts the Man, and she the Woman._] He take her by
de Hand: She turn her Head on oder Way. Den he squeeze very hard: Den
she pull----very softly. Den he take her in his Arm: Den she give him
leetel pat. Den he kiss her Tettons. Den she say--Pish, nay see. Den he
tremble: Den she--sigh. Den he pull her into de Arbour: Den she pinch
him.

_Rasor._ Aye, but not so hard, you Baggage, you.

_Madam._ Den he grow bold: She grow weak, he tro her down, _il tombe
dessu, le Diable assiste, il emport tout_. [_~Rasor~ struggles with
her, as if he would throw her down._] Stand off, Sirrah!

_Rasor._ You have set me a-fire, you Jade, you.

_Madam._ Den go to de River, and quench dy self.

_Rasor._ What an unnatural Harlot 'tis!

_Madam._ _Rasor._

                                        [_Looking languishingly on him._

_Rasor._ _Madamoiselle._

_Madam._ Dou no love me.

_Rasor._ Not love thee?--More than a _Frenchman_ does Soup.

_Madam._ Den dou will refuse nothing dat I bid dee?

_Rasor._ Don't bid me be damn'd, then.

_Madam._ No, only tell dy Master all I have tell dee of dy Laty.

_Rasor._ Why, you little, malicious Strumpet, you, shou'd you like to
be serv'd so?

_Madam._ Dou dispute den?--Adieu.

_Rasor._ Hold--But why wilt thou make me such a Rogue, my Dear?

Madam. _Voila un vrai Anglois! Il est amoureux, et cependant il veut
raisonner. Va t'en au Diable._

_Rasor._ Hold once more: In hopes thou'lt give me up thy Body, I resign
thee my Soul.

Madam. _Bon, ecoute donc_;----If dou fail me----I never see de
more----If dou obey me----_Je m'abandonne a toy._ [_She takes him about
the Neck, and gives him a smacking Kiss._]

                                                 [_Exit ~Madamoiselle~._

_Rasor._ [_Licking his Lips._] Not be a Rogue?----_Amor vincit Omnia._

                                                        [_Exit ~Rasor~._

              _Enter Lady ~Fancyfull~ and ~Madamoiselle~._

_Lady Fan._ Marry, say ye? Will the two Things marry?

Madam. _On le va faire, Madame._

_Lady Fan._ Look you, _Madamoiselle_--In short, I can't bear it----No;
I find I can't--If once I see 'em a-bed together, I shall have ten
thousand Thoughts in my Head will make me run distracted. Therefore
run and call _Rasor_ back immediately; for something must be done to
stop this impertinent Wedding. If I can but defer it four-and-twenty
Hours, I'll make such Work about Town, with that little pert Slut's
Reputation, he shall as soon marry a Witch.

Madam. [_Aside._] _La voilà bien intentionnée._

                                                                [Exeunt.


+SCENE+, _~Constant~'s Lodgings_.

                  _Enter ~Constant~ and ~Heartfree~._

_Const._ But what dost think will become of this Business?

_Heart._ 'Tis easier to think what will not come on't.

_Const._ What's that?

_Heart._ A Challenge. I know the Knight too well for that; his dear
Body will always prevail upon his noble Soul to be quiet.

_Const._ But tho' he dare not challenge me, perhaps he may venture to
challenge his Wife.

_Heart._ Not if you whisper him in the Ear, you won't have him do't;
and there's no other way left, that I see. For as drunk as he was,
he'll remember you and I were where we shou'd not be; and I don't think
him quite Blockhead enough yet to be persuaded we were got into his
Wife's Closet only to peep into her Prayer-Book.

                    _Enter a Servant with a Letter._

_Serv._ Sir, here's a Letter; a Porter brought it.

_Const._ O ho, here's Instructions for us.

_Reads:_

  _The Accident that has happen'd has touch'd our Invention to the
    quick. We wou'd fain come off, without your help; but find that's
    impossible. In a Word, the whole Business must be thrown upon a
    Matrimonial Intrigue between your Friend and mine. But if the
    Parties are not fond enough to go quite through with the matter,
    'tis sufficient for our Turn, they own the Design. We'll find
    Pretences enough to break the Match._

  Adieu.

----Well, Woman for Invention! How long wou'd my Block-Head have been
producing this!----Hey, _Heartfree_? What, musing, Man? Pr'ythee be
chearful. What say'st thou, Friend, to this matrimonial Remedy?

_Heart._ Why, I say, 'tis worse than the Disease.

_Const._ Here's a Fellow for you! There's Beauty and Money on her Side,
and Love up to the Ears on his: and yet----

_Heart._ And yet, I think, I may reasonably be allow'd to boggle at
marrying the Niece, in the very Moment that you are debauching the Aunt.

_Const._ Why, truly, there may be something in that. But have not you a
good Opinion enough of your own Parts, to believe you cou'd keep a Wife
to yourself?

_Heart._ I shou'd have, if I had a good Opinion enough of her's, to
believe she cou'd do as much by me. For to do 'em right, after all, the
Wife seldom rambles, till the Husband shews her the way.

_Const._ 'Tis true, a Man of real Worth scarce ever is a Cuckold, but
by his own Fault. Women are not naturally lewd; there must be something
to urge 'em to it. They'll cuckold a Churl, out of Revenge; a Fool,
because they despise him; a Beast, because they loath him. But when
they make bold with a Man they once had a well-grounded Value for, 'tis
because they first see themselves neglected by him.

_Heart._ Nay, were I well assured that I should never grow Sir _John_,
I ne'er shou'd fear _Belinda_, wou'd play my Lady. But our Weakness,
thou knowest, my Friend, consists in that very Change we so impudently
throw upon (indeed) a steadier and more generous Sex.

_Const._ Why, 'faith, we are a little impudent in that matter, that's
the truth on't. But this is wonderful, to see you grown so warm an
Advocate for those whom (but t'other Day) you took so much Pains to
abuse.

_Heart._ All Revolutions run into Extremes; the Bigot makes the boldest
Atheist; and the coyest Saint, the most extravagant Strumpet. But,
pr'ythee, advise me in this Good and Evil, this Life and Death, this
Blessing and Cursing, that's set before me. Shall I marry, or die a
Maid?

_Const._ Why, 'faith, _Heartfree_, Matrimony is like an Army going
to engage. Love's the forlorn Hope, which is soon cut off; the
Marriage-Knot is the main Body, which may stand buff a long, long time;
and Repentance is the Rear-Guard, which rarely gives ground as long as
the main Body has a Being.

_Heart._ Conclusion, then; you advise me to whore on, as you do.

_Const._ That's not concluded yet. For tho' Marriage be a Lottery, in
which there are a wondrous many Blanks; yet there is one inestimable
Lot, in which the only Heaven on Earth is written. Wou'd your kind
Fate but guide your Hand to that, tho' I were wrapt in all that Luxury
itself could clothe me with, I still shou'd envy you.

_Heart._ And justly, too; for to be capable of loving one, doubtless,
is better than to possess a thousand. But how far that Capacity's in
me, alas! I know not.

_Const._ But you wou'd know.

_Heart._ I wou'd so.

_Const._ Matrimony will inform you. Come, one Flight of Resolution
carries you to the Land of Experience; where, in a very moderate time,
you'll know the Capacity of your Soul and your Body both, or I'm
mistaken.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _Sir ~John Brute~'s House_.

                  _Enter Lady ~Brute~ and ~Belinda~._

_Bel._ Well, Madam, what Answer have you from 'em?

_Lady Brute._ That they'll be here this Moment. I fancy 'twill end in
a Wedding: I'm sure he's a Fool if it don't. Ten thousand Pounds, and
such a Lass as you are, is no contemptible Offer to a younger Brother.
But are not you under strange Agitations? Pr'ythee, how does your Pulse
beat?

_Bel._ High and low, I have much ado to be valiant: sure it must feel
very strange to go to Bed to a Man?

_Lady Brute._ Um----it does feel a little odd at first; but it will
soon grow easy to you.

                  _Enter ~Constant~ and ~Heartfree~._

_Lady Brute._ Good-morrow, Gentlemen: How have you slept after your
Adventure?

_Heart._ Some careful Thoughts, Ladies, on your accounts, have kept us
waking.

_Bel._ And some careful Thoughts on your own, I believe, have hindered
you from sleeping. Pray how does this matrimonial Project relish with
you?

_Heart._ Why, 'faith, e'en as storming Towns does with Soldiers, where
the Hope of delicious Plunder banishes the Fear of being knock'd on the
Head.

_Bel._ Is it then possible, after all, that you dare think of downright
lawful Wedlock?

_Heart._ Madam, you have made me so fool-hardy, I dare do any thing.

_Bel._ Then, Sir, I challenge you; and Matrimony's the Spot where I
expect you.

_Heart._ 'Tis enough; I'll not fail. [_Aside._] So, now, I am in for
_Hobbes_'s Voyage; a great Leap in the Dark.

_Lady Brute._ Well, Gentlemen, this Matter being concluded then, have
you got your Lessons ready? for Sir _John_ is grown such an Atheist of
late, he'll believe nothing upon easy Terms.

_Const._ We'll find ways to extend his Faith, Madam. But pray how do
you find him this Morning?

_Lady Brute._ Most lamentably morose, chewing the Cud after last
Night's Discovery, of which, however, he had but a confus'd Notion e'en
now. But I'm afraid the Valet de Chambre has told him all; for they
are very busy together at this Moment. When I told him of _Belinda_'s
Marriage, I had no other Answer but a Grunt: From which, you may draw
what Conclusions you think fit. But to your Notes, Gentlemen, he's here.

                    _Enter Sir ~John~ and ~Rasor~._

_Const._ Good-morrow, Sir.

_Heart._ Good-morrow, Sir _John_; I'm very sorry my Indiscretion shou'd
cause so much Disorder in your Family.

_Sir John._ Disorders generally come from Indiscretion, Sir; 'tis no
strange thing at all.

_Lady Brute._ I hope, my Dear, you are satisfied there was no wrong
intended you.

_Sir John._ None, my Dove.

_Bel._ If not, I hope my Consent to marry Mr. _Heartfree_ will convince
you. For as little as I know of Amours, Sir, I can assure you, one
Intrigue is enough to bring four People together, without further
Mischief.

_Sir John._ And I know too, that Intrigues tend to Procreation of more
kinds than one. One Intrigue will beget another, as soon as beget a Son
or a Daughter.

_Const._ I am very sorry, Sir, to see you still seem unsatisfy'd with a
Lady, whose more than common Virtue, I am sure were she my Wife, shou'd
meet a better Usage.

_Sir John._ Sir, if her Conduct has put a Trick upon her Virtue, her
Virtue's the Bubble, but her Husband's the Loser.

_Const._ Sir, you have receiv'd a sufficient Answer already, to justify
both her Conduct and mine. You'll pardon me for meddling in your
Family-affairs; but I perceive I am the Man you are jealous of, and
therefore it concerns me.

_Sir John._ Wou'd it did not concern me, and then I shou'd not care who
it concern'd.

_Const._ Well, Sir, if Truth and Reason won't content you, I know but
one way more, which, if you think fit, you may take.

_Sir John._ Lord, Sir, you are very hasty! If I had been found at
Prayers in your Wife's Closet, I should have allow'd you twice as much
time to come to yourself in.

_Const._ Nay, Sir, if Time be all you want, we have no Quarrel.

_Heart._ I told you how the Sword wou'd work upon him.

                                                    [_Sir ~John~ muses._

_Const._ Let him muse; however, I'll lay fifty Pound our Foreman brings
us in, Not Guilty.

_Sir John._ [_Aside._] 'Tis well----'tis very well----In spite of
that young Jade's matrimonial Intrigue, I am a downright stinking
Cuckold----Here they are----Boo----[_Putting his hand to his
Forehead._] Methinks, I could butt with a Bull. What the Plague did I
marry her for? I knew she did not like me; if she had, she wou'd have
lain with me; for I wou'd have done so, because I lik'd her; but that's
past, and I have her. And now, what shall I do with her?----If I put
my Horns into my Pocket, she'll grow insolent----if I don't, that Goat
there, that Stallion, is ready to whip me thro' the Guts.--The Debate
then is reduced to this: Shall I die a Hero, or live a Rascal?----Why,
wiser Men than I have long since concluded, that a living Dog is better
than a dead Lion.----[_To ~Const.~ and ~Heart.~_] Gentlemen, now my
Wine and my Passion are governable, I must own, I have never observ'd
any Thing in my Wife's Course of Life, to back me in my Jealousy of
her: But Jealousy's a Mark of Love; so she need not trouble her Head
about it, as long as I make no more Words on't.

     _Lady ~Fancyfull~ enters disguis'd, and addresses to ~Belinda~
                                apart._

_Const._ I'm glad to see your Reason rule at last. Give me your Hand: I
hope you'll look upon me as you are wont.

_Sir John._ Your humble Servant. [_Aside._] A wheedling Son of a Whore!

_Heart._ And that I may be sure you are Friends with me, too, pray give
me your Consent to wed your Niece.

_Sir John._ Sir, you have it with all my Heart: Damn me if you han't.
[_Aside._] 'Tis time to get rid of her: A young, pert Pimp; she'll make
an incomparable Bawd in a little time.

           _Enter a Servant, who gives ~Heartfree~ a Letter._

_Bel._ _Heartfree_ your Husband, say you? 'Tis impossible.

_Lady Fan._ Wou'd to kind Heaven it were! But 'tis too true; and in
the World there lives not such a Wretch. I'm young; and either I have
been flatter'd by my Friends, as well as Glass, or Nature has been
kind and generous to me. I had a Fortune, too, was greater far than he
could ever hope for; but with my Heart I am robb'd of all the rest.
I am slighted and I'm beggar'd both at once: I have scarce a bare
Subsistence from the Villain, yet dare complain to none; for he has
sworn if e'er 'tis known I'm his Wife, he'll murder me.

                                                             [_Weeping._

_Bel._ The Traitor!

_Lady Fan._ I accidentally was told he courted you: Charity soon
prevail'd upon me to prevent your Misery: And, as you see, I'm still so
generous even to him, as not to suffer he should do a thing for which
the Law might take away his Life.

                                                             [_Weeping._

_Bel._ Poor Creature! how I pity her!

                                         [_They continue talking aside._

_Heart._ [_Aside._] Death and Damnation!----Let me read it again.
[Reads.] _Tho' I have a particular reason not to let you know who I am
till I see you; yet you'll easily believe 'tis a faithful Friend that
gives you this Advice. I have lain with ~Belinda (Good!)~--I have a
Child by her ~(Better and better!)~ which is now at Nurse; ~(Heaven
be prais'd)~ and I think the Foundation laid for another: ~(Ha!--Old
Truepenny!)~--No Rack cou'd have tortur'd this Story from me; but
Friendship has done it. I heard of your Design to marry her, and cou'd
not see you abus'd. Make use of my Advice, but keep my Secret till I
ask you for't again. Adieu._

                                               [_Exit Lady ~Fancyfull~._

_Const._ [_To ~Bel~._] Come, Madam, shall we send for the Parson? I
doubt here's no Business for the Lawyer: Younger Brothers have nothing
to settle but their Hearts, and that I believe my Friend here has
already done very faithfully.

_Bel._ [_Scornfully._] Are you sure, Sir, there are no old Mortgages
upon it?

_Heart._ [_Coldly._] If you think there are, Madam, it mayn't be amiss
to defer the Marriage till you are sure they are paid off.

_Bel._ [_Aside._] How the gall'd Horse kicks!

[_To_ Heart.] We'll defer it as long as you please, Sir.

_Heart._ The more time we take to consider on't, Madam, the less apt we
shall be to commit Oversights; therefore, if you please, we will put it
off for just nine Months.

_Bel._ Guilty Consciences make Men Cowards; I don't wonder you want
time to resolve.

_Heart._ And they make Women desperate; I don't wonder you are so
quickly determin'd.

_Bel._ What does the Fellow mean?

_Heart._ What does the Lady mean?

_Sir John._ Zoons, what do you both mean?

                              [_~Heart.~ and ~Bel.~ walk chasing about._

_Rasor._ [_Aside._] Here is so much Sport going to be spoil'd, it makes
me ready to weep again. A Pox o' this impertinent Lady _Fancyfull_, and
her Plots, and her _French-woman_ too; she's a whimsical, ill-natur'd
Bitch, and when I have got my Bones broke in her Service, 'tis ten to
one but my Recompence is a Clap; I hear them tittering without still.
I'cod, I'll e'en go lug them both in by the Ears, and discover the
Plot, to secure my Pardon.

                                                        [_Exit ~Rasor~._

_Const._ Pr'ythee, explain, _Heartfree_.

_Heart._ A fair Deliverance; thank my Stars and my Friend.

_Bel._ 'Tis well it went no farther; a base Fellow!

_Lady Brute._ What can be the meaning of all this?

_Bel._ What's his Meaning, I don't know; but mine is, that if I had
married him----I had had no Husband.

_Heart._ And what's her Meaning I don't know; but mine is, that if I
had married her--I had had Wife enough.

_Sir John._ Your People of Wit have got such cramp ways of expressing
themselves, they seldom comprehend one another. Pox take you both, will
you speak that you may be understood!

        _Enter ~Rasor~ in Sackcloth, pulling in ~Lady Fancyfull~
                          and ~Madamoiselle~._

_Rasor._ If they won't, here comes an Interpreter.

_Lady Brute._ Heavens! what have we here?

_Rasor._ A Villain----but a repenting Villain. Stuff which Saints in
all Ages have been made of.

_All._ Rasor!

_Lady Brute._ What means this sudden Metamorphose?

_Rasor._ Nothing, without my Pardon.

_Lady Brute._ What Pardon do you want?

_Rasor._ _Imprimis_, Your Ladyship's; for a damnable Lie made upon
your spotless Virtue, and set to the Tune of _Spring-Garden_. [_To Sir
~John~._] Next, at my generous Master's Feet I bend, for interrupting
his more noble Thoughts with Phantoms of disgraceful Cuckoldom. [_To
~Const~._] Thirdly, I to this Gentleman apply, for making him the Hero
of my Romance. [_To ~Heart~._] Fourthly, your Pardon, noble Sir, I
ask, for clandestinely marrying you, without either bidding of Banns,
Bishop's Licence, Friends Consent----or your own Knowledge. [_To
~Bel~._] And, lastly, to my good young Lady's Clemency I come, for
pretending the Corn was sow'd in the Ground, before ever the Plough had
been in the Field.

_Sir John._ [_Aside._] So that, after all, 'tis a moot point, whether I
am a Cuckold or not.

_Bel._ Well, Sir, upon Condition you confess all, I'll pardon you
myself, and try to obtain as much from the rest of the Company. But I
must know, then, who 'tis has put you upon all this Mischief?

_Rasor._ Satan, and his Equipage; Woman tempted me, Lust weakened
me----and so the Devil over-came me; as fell _Adam_, so fell I.

_Bel._ Then pray, Mr. _Adam_, will you make us acquainted with your
_Eve_?

_Rasor._ [_To ~Madam~._] Unmask, for the Honour of _France_.

_All._ Madamoiselle!

_Madam._ Me ask ten tousand Pardon of all de good Company.

_Sir John._ Why, this Mystery thickens, instead of clearing up. [_To
~Rasor~._] You Son of a Whore, you, put us out of our Pain.

_Rasor._ One Moment brings Sunshine. [_Shewing ~Madam~._] 'Tis true,
this is the Woman that tempted me, but this is the Serpent that
tempted the Woman; and if my Prayers might be heard, her Punishment
for so doing shou'd be like the Serpent's of old--[_Pulls off Lady
~Fancyfull~'s Mask._] She should lie upon her Face all the Days of her
Life.

_All._ Lady _Fancyfull_!

_Bel._ Impertinent!

_Lady Brute._ Ridiculous!

_All._ Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

_Bel._ I hope your Ladyship will give me leave to wish you Joy, since
you have own'd your Marriage yourself--[_To ~Heart~._] I vow 'twas
strangely wicked in you to think of another Wife, when you had one
already so charming as her Ladyship.

_All._ Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

_Lady Fan._ [_Aside._] Confusion seize 'em, as it seizes me!

Madam. _Que le Diable e toute ce Mauraut de ~Rasor~._

_Bel._ Your Ladyship seems disorder'd: A breeding Qualm, perhaps, Mr.
_Heartfree_: Your Bottle of Hungary Water to your Lady. Why, Madam, he
stands as unconcern'd, as if he were your Husband in earnest.

_Lady Fan._ Your Mirth's as nauseous as yourself. _Belinda_, you think
you triumph over a Rival now: _Helas! ma pauvre fille._ Where'er I'm
Rival, there's no Cause for Mirth. No, my poor Wretch, 'tis from
another Principle I have acted. I knew that Thing there wou'd make
so perverse a Husband, and you so impertinent a Wife, that left your
mutual Plagues should make you both run mad, I charitably would have
broke the Match. He! he! he! he! he!

             [_Exit, laughing affectedly, ~Madamoiselle~ following her._

_Madam._ He! he! he! he! he!

_All._ Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

_Sir John._ [_Aside._] Why, now, this Woman will be married to
somebody, too.

_Bel._ Poor Creature! what a Passion she's in! But I forgive her.

_Heart._ Since you have so much Goodness for her, I hope you'll pardon
my Offence, too, Madam.

_Bel._ There will be no great Difficulty in that, since I am guilty of
an equal Fault.

_Heart._ Then Pardons being past on all sides, pray let's to Church to
conclude the Day's Work.

_Const._ But before you go, let me treat you, pray, with a Song a
new-married Lady made within this Week; it may be of use to you both.

              SONG.

                  I.

    _When yielding first to ~Damon's~ Flame,
      I sunk into his Arms;
    He swore he'd ever be the same,
      Then rifled all my Charms.
    But fond of what he'd long desir'd,
      Too greedy of his Prey,
    My Shepherd's Flame, alas! expir'd
      Before the Verge of Day._

                          II.

    _My Innocence in Lovers Wars
      Reproach'd his quick Defeat;
    Confus'd, asham'd, and bath'd in Tears,
      I mourn'd his cold Retreat.
    At length, Ah Shepherdess! cry'd he,
      Wou'd you my Fire renew,
    Alas, you must retreat like me,
      I'm lost if you pursue._

_Heart._ So, Madam; now had the Parson but done his Business----

_Bel._ You'd be half weary of your Bargain.

_Heart._ No, sure, I might dispense with one Night's Lodging.

_Bel._ I'm ready to try, Sir.

_Heart._ Then let's to Church: And if it be our Chance to disagree----

_Bel._ Take heed--the surly Husband's Fate you see.

                                                        [_Exeunt omnes._

[Illustration]



EPILOGUE,


                            By Another Hand.

                 Spoken by Lady =Brute= and =Belinda=.

    Lady Brute. _No Epilogue_!

    _Belinda._ _I swear I know of none._                               }
              _Lord! How shall we excuse it to the Town?_              }

    _Bel._ _Why, we must e'en say something of our own._               }

    Lady Brute. _Our own! Ay, that must needs be precious stuff._

    _Bel._ _I'll lay my Life, they'll like it well enough.
              Come, faith, begin----_

    Lady Brute. _Excuse me, after you._

    _Bel._ _Nay, pardon me for that, I know my Cue._

    Lady Brute. _O for the World, I would not have Precedence._

    _Bel._ _O Lord!_

    Lady Brute. _I swear----_

    _Bel._ _O fye!_

    Lady Brute. _I'm all Obedience.
                First then, know all, before our Doom is fixt,
                The Third Day is for us----_

    _Bel._ _Nay, and the Sixth._

    Lady Brute. _We speak not from the Poet now, nor is it
                His Cause--(I want a Rhyme)_

    _Bel._ _That we sollicit._

    Lady Brute. _Then sure you cannot have the Hearts to be severe
                And damn us----_

    _Bel._ _Damn us! Let 'em if they dare._

    Lady Brute. _Why, if they should, what Punishment remains?_

    _Bel._ _Eternal Exile from behind our Scenes._

    Lady Brute. _But if they're kind, that Sentence we'll recal.
                We can be grateful----_

    _Bel._ _And have wherewithal._

    Lady Brute. _But at Grand ~Treaties~ hope not to be trusted,
                Before ~Preliminaries~ are adjusted._

    _Bel._ _You know the Time, and we appoint the Place;
                Where, if you please, we'll meet and sign the Peace._

[Illustration]

  Upon the revival of this Play in 1725, Sir _John Vanbrugh_
    thought proper to write the two following Scenes, in the room of
    those printed Page 166,-168, 173, _&c. &c._



+ACT+ IV.


+SCENE+, _Covent-Garden_.

        _Enter Lord ~Rake~, Sir ~John~, &c. with Swords drawn._

_Lord Rake._ Is the Dog dead?

_Col. Bully._ No, damn him, I heard him wheeze.

_Lord Rake._ How the Witch his Wife howl'd?

_Col. Bully._ Aye, she'll alarm the Watch presently.

_Lord Rake._ Appear, Knight, then: Come, you have a good Cause to fight
for, there's a Man murder'd.

_Sir John._ Is there? Then let his Ghost be satisfy'd: for I'll
sacrifice a Constable to it presently, and burn his Body upon his
wooden Chair.

             _Enter a Taylor, with a Bundle under his Arm._

_Col. Bully._ How now! what have we got here? A Thief?

_Taylor._ No an't please you, I'm no Thief.

_Lord Rake._ That we'll see presently: Here! let the General examine
him.

_Sir John._ Ay, ay, let me examine him; and I'll lay a hundred
Pound I find him guilty in spite of his Teeth----for he looks--like
a----sneaking Rascal. Come, Sirrah, without Equivocation or mental
Reservation, tell me of what Opinion you are, and what Calling; for by
them----I shall guess at your Morals.

_Taylor._ An't please you, I'm a Dissenting Journeyman Woman's Taylor.

_Sir John._ Then, Sirrah, you love Lying by your Religion, and Theft
by your Trade: And so, that your Punishment may be suitable to your
Crimes----I'll have you first gagg'd----and then hang'd.

_Tayl._ Pray, good worthy Gentlemen, don't abuse me: Indeed I'm an
honest Man, and a good Workman, tho' I say it, that shou'd not say it.

_Sir John._ No Words, Sirrah, but attend your Fate.

_Lord Rake._ Let me see what's in that Bundle.

_Tayl._ An't please you, it's my Lady's short Cloak and Sack.

_Sir John._ What Lady, you Reptile, you?

_Tayl._ My Lady _Brute_, an't please your Honour.

_Sir John._ My Lady _Brute_! my Wife! the Robe of my Wife--with
Reverence let me approach it. The dear Angel is always taking Care of
me in Danger, and has sent me this Suit of Armour to protect me in this
Day of Battle; on they go.

_All._ O brave Knight!

_Lord Rake._ Live _Don Quixote_ the Second!

_Sir John._ _Sancho_, my 'Squire, help me on with my Armour.

_Tayl._ O dear Gentlemen! I shall be quite undone if you take the Sack.

_Sir John._ Retire, Sirrah! and since you carry off your Skin, go home
and be happy.

_Tayl._ I think I'd e'en as good follow the Gentleman's Advice, for
if I dispute any longer, who knows but the whim may take 'em to case
me--These Courtiers are fuller of Tricks than they are of Money:
they'll sooner break a Man's Bones, than pay his Bill.

                                                         [_Exit ~Tayl~._

_Sir John._ So! how d'ye like my shapes now?

_Lord Rake._ To a Miracle! He looks like a Queen of the _Amazons_--But
to your Arms! Gentlemen! The Enemy's upon their March--here's the
Watch--

_Sir John._ 'Oons! if it were _Alexander_ the Great, at the Head of
his Army, I would drive him into a Horse-Pond.

_All._ Huzza! O brave Knight!

                           _Enter Watchmen._

_Sir John._ See! Here he comes, with all his _Greeks_ about him--Follow
me, Boys.

_Watch._ Hey-dey! Who have we got here?--Stand.

_Sir John._ May-hap not!

_Watch._ What are you all doing here in the Streets at this time
o'night? And who are you, Madam, that seem to be at the Head of this
noble Crew?

_Sir John._ Sirrah, I am _Bonduca_, Queen of the _Welchmen_; and with a
Leek as long as my Pedigree, I will destroy your _Roman_ Legion in an
Instant--_Britons_, strike home.

                     [_They fight off. ~Watch.~ return with Sir ~John~._

_Watch._ So! We have got the Queen, however! We'll make her pay well
for her Ransom--Come, Madam, will your Majesty please to walk before
the Constable?

_Sir John._ The Constable's a Rascal! And you are a Son of a Whore!

_Watch._ A most noble Reply, truly! If this be her royal Style, I'll
warrant her Maids of Honour prattle prettily: But we'll teach you some
of our Court Dialect before we part with you, Princess--Away with her
to the Round-house.

_Sir John._ Hands off, you Ruffians! My Honour's dearer to me than my
Life; I hope you won't be uncivil.

_Watch._ Away with her.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _A Street_.

            _Enter Constable and Watchmen, with Sir ~John~._

_Constab._ Come, forsooth, come along, if you please! I once in
Compassion thought to have seen you safe home this Morning: But you
have been so rampant and abusive all Night, I shall see what the
Justice of Peace will say to you.

_Sir John._ And you shall see what I'll say to the Justice of Peace.

                                       [_~Watchman~ knocks at the Door._

                            _Enter Servant._

_Constab._ Is Mr. Justice at home?

_Serv._ Yes.

_Constab._ Pray acquaint his Worship we have got an unruly Woman here,
and desire to know what he'll please to have done with her.

_Serv._ I'll acquaint my Master.

                                                           [_Exit Serv._

_Sir John._ Hark you, Constable, what cuckoldly Justice is this?

_Const._ One that knows how to deal with such Romps as you are, I'll
warrant you.

                            _Enter Justice._

_Just._ Well, Mr. Constable, what is the matter there?

_Const._ An't please your Worship, this here comical sort of a
Gentlewoman has committed great Outrages to-night. She has been
frolicking with my Lord _Rake_ and his Gang; they attacked the Watch,
and I hear there has been a Man kill'd: I believe 'tis they have done
it.

_Sir John._ Sir, there may have been Murder, for aught I know; and 'tis
a great Mercy there has not been a Rape too--that Fellow wou'd have
ravish'd me.

_2d Watch._ Ravish! Ravish! O lud! O lud! O lud! Ravish her! Why,
please your Worship, I heard Mr. Constable say he believed she was
little better than a Maphrodite.

_Just._ Why, truly, she does seem a little masculine about the Mouth.

_2d Watch._ Yes, and about the Hands too, an't please your Worship;
I did but offer in mere civility to help her up the Steps into our
Apartment, and with her gripen Fist--ay, just so, Sir.

                                          [_Sir ~John~ knocks him down._

_Sir John._ I fell'd him to the Ground like an Ox.

_Just._ Out upon this boisterous Woman! Out upon her.

_Sir John._ Mr. Justice, he wou'd have been uncivil! It was in Defence
of my Honour, and I demand Satisfaction.

_2d Watch._ I hope your Worship will satisfy her Honour in Bridewell;
that Fist of hers will make an admirable Hemp-beater.

_Sir John._ Sir, I hope you will protect me against that libidinous
Rascal; I am a Woman of Quality and Virtue too, for all I am in an
Undress this Morning.

_Just._ Why, she has really the Air of a Sort of a Woman a little
something out of the common----Madam, if you expect I shou'd be
favourable to you, I desire I may know who you are.

_Sir John._ Sir, I am any body, at your Service.

_Just._ Lady, I desire to know your Name?

_Sir John._ Sir, my Name's _Mary_.

_Just._ Ay, but your Sur-name, Madam?

_Sir John._ Sir, my Sur-name's the very same with my Husband's.

_Just._ A strange Woman this! Who is your Husband, pray?

_Sir John._ Sir _John_.

_Just._ Sir _John_ who?

_Sir John._ Sir _John Brute_.

_Just._ Is it possible, Madam, you can be my Lady _Brute_?

_Sir John._ That happy Woman, Sir, am I; only a little in my Merriment
to-night.

_Just._ I am concern'd for Sir _John_.

_Sir John._ Truly, so am I.

_Just._ I have heard he's an honest Gentleman----

_Sir John._ As ever drank.

_Just._ Good lack! Indeed, Lady, I'm sorry he has such a Wife.

_Sir John._ I am sorry he has any Wife at all.

_Just._ And so perhaps may he----I doubt you have not given him a very
good Taste of Matrimony.

_Sir John._ Taste, Sir! Sir, I have scorn'd to stint him to a Taste, I
have given him a full Meal of it.

_Just._ Indeed I believe so! But pray, fair Lady, may he have given
you any Occasion for this extraordinary Conduct?--Does he not use you
well?

_Sir John._ A little upon the rough sometimes.

_Just._ Ay, any Man may be out of Humour now and then.

_Sir John._ Sir, I love Peace and Quiet, and when a Woman don't find
that at home, she's apt sometimes to comfort herself with a few
innocent Diversions abroad.

_Just._ I doubt he uses you but too well. Pray how does he as to that
weighty thing, Money? Does he allow you what is proper of that?

_Sir John._ Sir, I have generally enough to pay the reckoning, if this
Son of a Whore of a Drawer wou'd but bring his Bill.

_Just._ A strange Woman this--Does he spend a reasonable Portion of his
time at home, to the Comfort of his Wife and Children?

_Sir John._ He never gave his Wife cause to repine at his being abroad
in his Life.

_Just._ Pray, Madam, how may he be in the grand matrimonial Point----Is
he true to your Bed?

_Sir John._ Chaste! Oons! This Fellow asks so many impertinent
Questions! I'gad, I believe it is the Justice's Wife in the Justice's
Clothes.

_Just._ 'Tis a great pity he should have been thus disposed of--Pray,
Madam, (and then I've done) what may be your Ladyship's common Method
of Life, if I may presume so far?

_Sir John._ Why, Sir, much that of a Woman of Quality.

_Just._ Pray how may you generally pass your time, Madam? Your Morning,
for example.

_Sir John._ Sir, like a Woman of Quality----I wake about two o'Clock in
the Afternoon----I stretch--and make a sign for my Chocolate----When
I have drank three Cups--I slide down again upon my Back, with my
Arms over my Head, while my two Maids put on my Stockings----Then
hanging upon their Shoulders, I am trail'd to my great Chair, where I
sit----and yawn----for my Breakfast----If it don't come presently, I
lie down upon my Couch to say my Prayers, while my Maid reads me the
Play-bills.

_Just._ Very well, Madam.

_Sir John._ When the Tea is brought in, I drink twelve regular Dishes,
with eight Slices of Bread and Butter----And half an Hour after, I send
to the Cook to know if the Dinner is almost ready.

_Just._ So! Madam!

_Sir John._ By that time my Head is half drest, I hear my Husband
swearing himself into a State of Perdition, that the Meat's all cold
upon the Table; to amend which, I come down in an Hour more, and have
it sent back to the Kitchen, to be all drest over again.

_Just._ Poor Man!

_Sir John._ When I have din'd, and my idle Servants are presumptuously
set down at their Ease, to do so too, I call for my Coach, to go visit
fifty dear Friends, of whom I hope I shall never find one at home,
while I shall live.

_Just._ So! There's the Morning and Afternoon pretty well dispos'd
of--Pray, Madam, how do you pass your Evenings?

_Sir John._ Like a Woman of Spirit, Sir, a great Spirit. Give me a Box
and Dice--Seven's the main, Oons! Sir, I set you a hundred Pound! Why,
do you think Women are married now-a-Days, to sit at home and mend
Napkins? Sir, we have nobler ways of passing time.

_Just._ Mercy upon us, Mr. Constable, what will this Age come to?

_Constab._ What will it come to, indeed, if such Women as these are not
set in the Stocks?

_Sir John._ Sir, I have a little urgent Business calls upon me; and
therefore I desire the Favour of you to bring Matters to a Conclusion.

_Just._ Madam, if I were sure that Business were not to commit more
Disorders, I wou'd release you.

_Sir John._ None----by my virtue.

_Just._ Then, Mr. Constable, you may discharge her.

_Sir John._ Sir, your very humble Servant. If you please to accept of a
Bottle----

_Just._ I thank you, kindly, Madam; but I never drink in a Morning.
Good by t'ye.

_Sir John._ Good-by-t'ye, good Sir.

                                                        [_Exit Justice._

So----now, Mr. Constable, shall you and I go pick up a Whore together?

_Constab._ No, thank you, Madam; my Wife's enough to satisfy any
reasonable Man.

_Sir John._ [_Aside._] He, he, he, he, he----the Fool is married, then.
Well, you won't go?

_Constab._ Not I, truly.

_Sir John._ Then I'll go by myself; and you and your Wife may be damn'd.

                                                     [_Exit Sir ~John~._

_Constable._ _gazing after her._] Why, God-a-mercy, Lady.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



_ESOP_:

A

COMEDY.


[Illustration]

[Illustration]



PREFACE.


To speak for a Play, if it cannot speak for itself, is vain; and if it
can, it is needless. For one of these Reasons (I cannot yet tell which,
for it is now but the second Day of acting) I resolve to say nothing
for _Esop_, though I know he would be glad of Help; for let the best
happen that can, his Journey is up Hill, with a dead _English_ Weight
at the Tail of him.

At _Paris_, indeed, he scrambled up something faster (for it was
up Hill there, too) than I am afraid he will do here: The _French_
having more Mercury in their Heads, and less Beef and Pudding in their
Bellies. Our Solidity may set hard, what their Folly makes easy; for
Fools I own they are, you know we have found them so in the Conduct of
the War; I wish we may do so in the Management of the Peace; but that
is neither _Esop_'s Business nor mine.

This Play, Gentlemen (or one not much unlike it), was writ in _French_
about six Years since by one Monsieur _Boursaut_; it was play'd at
_Paris_ by the _French_ Comedians, and this was its Fate.

The first Day it appeared, it was routed (People seldom being fond of
what they do not understand, their own sweet Persons excepted). The
second (by the help of some bold Knights-Errant) it rallied; the third
it advanced; the fourth it gave a vigorous Attack; and the fifth
put all the Feathers in Town to the scamper, pursuing them on to the
fourteenth, and then they cried out Quarter.

It is not reasonable to expect _Esop_ should gain so great a Victory
here, since it is possible, by fooling with his Sword, I may have
turned the Edge on't. For I confess in the Translation I have not at
all stuck to the Original; nay, I have gone farther: I have wholly
added the fifth Act, and crouded a Country Gentleman into the fourth;
for which I ask Monsieur _Boursaut_'s Pardon with all my Heart, but
doubt I never shall obtain it for bringing him into such Company.
Though, after all, had I been so complaisant to have waited on his Play
Word for Word, it is possible, even that might not have ensured the
Success of it; for though it swam in _France_, it might have sunk in
_England_. Their Country abounds in Cork, ours in Lead.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



PROLOGUE.


    _Gallants, we never yet produc'd a Play
    With greater Fears than this we act to-day;
    Barren of all the Graces of the Stage,
    Barren of all that entertains this Age.
    No Hero, no Romance, no Plot, no Shew,
    No Rape, no Bawdy, no Intrigue, no Beau:
    There's nothing in't with which we use to please ye;
    With downright dull Instruction w'are to tease ye;
    The Stage turns Pulpit, and the World's so fickle,
    The Play-House in a Whim turns Conventicle.
    But Preaching here must prove a hungry Trade;
    The Patentees will find so, I'm afraid:
    For tho' with heavenly Zeal you all abound,
    As by your Lives and Morals may be found;
    Tho' every Female here o'erflows with Grace,
    And chaste ~Diana~'s written in her Face;
    Tho' Maids renounce the Sweets of Fornication,
    And one lewd Wife's not left in all the Nation;
    Tho' Men grow true, and the foul Fiend defy;
    Tho' Tradesmen cheat no more, nor Lawyers lye;
    Tho' not one Spot be found on ~Levi~'s Tribe,
    Nor one soft Courtier that will touch a Bribe;
    Yet in the midst of such religious Days,
    Sermons have never borne the Price of Plays._



Dramatis Personæ.


MEN.

  _Esop_,                               Mr. _Cibber_.
  _Learchus_, Governor of _Sysicus_,    Mr. _Dogget_.
  _Oronces_, in love with _Euphronia_,  Mr. _Harland_.


WOMEN.

  _Euphronia_, Daughter to _Learchus_, in  }  Mrs. _Temple_.
  love with _Oronces_,                     }
  _Doris_, her Nurse,                         Mrs. _Verbruggen_.

           People who come to _Esop_, upon several Occasions,
                      independent one of another.

  Two Country Tradesmen, }                Mr. _Pinkethman_ and
                         }                Mr. _Smeton_.
  _Roger_, a Country Bumpkin,             Mr. _Haynes_.
  _Quaint_, a Herald,                     Mr. _Pinkethman_.
  _Fruitful_, an Inn-keeper,              Mr. _Smeton_.
  A Country Gentleman,                    Mr. _Pinkethman_.
  A Priest, Musicians, &c.
  _Hortensia_, an affected learned Lady,  Mrs. _Kent_.
  _Aminta_, a lewd Mother,                Mrs. _Willis_.
  _Forge-Will_, a Scrivener's Widow,      Mrs. _Finch_.
  _Fruitful_, Wife to the Inn-keeper,     Mrs. _Powell_.

[Illustration]

                                _ESOP._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ I. +SCENE+ I.

                      +SCENE+, Learchus's _House_.


             _Enter ~Learchus~, ~Euphronia~, and ~Doris~._

_Lear._ At length I am blest with the sight of the World's Wonder, the
Delight of Mankind, the incomparable _Esop_. You had time to observe
him last Night, Daughter, as he sat at Supper with me. Tell me how you
like him, Child; is he not a charming Person?

_Euph._ Charming!

_Lear._ What say'st thou to him, _Doris_? Thou art a good Judge, a
Wench of a nice Palate.

_Dor._ You wou'd not have me flatter, Sir?

_Lear._ No, speak thy Thoughts boldly.

_Dor._ Boldly, you say?

_Lear._ Boldly, I say.

_Dor._ Why, then, Sir, my Opinion of the Gentleman is, that he's uglier
than an old Beau.

_Lear._ How! Impudence.

_Dor._ Nay, if you are angry, Sir, second Thoughts are best; he's as
proper as a Pikeman, holds up his Head like a Dancing-Master, has the
Shape of a Barb, the Face of an Angel, the Voice of a Cherubim, the
Smell of a Civet-Cat----

_Lear._ In short, thou art Fool enough not to be pleas'd with him.

_Dor._ Excuse me for that, Sir; I have Wit enough to make myself merry
with him----

_Lear._ If his Body's deform'd, his Soul is beautiful: Would to kind
Heaven, as he is, my Daughter cou'd but find the means to please him!

_Euph._ To what End, dear Father?

_Lear._ That he might be your Husband, dear Daughter.

_Euph._ My Husband! Shield me, kind Heaven----

_Dor._ Psha! he has a mind to make us laugh, that's all.

_Lear._ _Esop_, then, is not worth her Care, in thy Opinion?

_Dor._ Why, truly, Sir, I'm always for making suitable Matches, and
don't much approve of breeding Monsters. I wou'd have nothing marry a
Baboon, but what has been got by a Monkey.

_Lear._ How dar'st thou liken so incomparable a Man to so contemptible
a Beast?

_Dor._. Ah, the Inconstancy of this World! Out of sight, out f Mind.
Your little Monkey is scarce cold in his Grave, and you have already
forgot what you us'd so much to admire: Do but call him to remembrance,
Sir, in his red Coat, new Gloves, little Hat, and clean Linen; then
discharge your Conscience, utter the Truth from your Heart, and tell us
whether he was not the prettier Gentleman of the two--By my Virginity,
Sir, (tho' that's but a slippery Oath, you'll say) had they made love
to me together, _Esop_ should have worn the Willow.

_Lear._ Since nothing but an Animal will please thee, 'tis pity my
Monkey had not that Virginity thou hast sworn by. But I, whom Wisdom
charms even in the homeliest Dress, can never think the much-deserving
_Esop_ unworthy of my Daughter.

_Dor._ Now, in the Name of Wonder, what is't you so admire in him?

    _Lear._ Hark, and thou shalt know; but you, _Euphronia_,
    Be you more especially attentive.
    'Tis true he's plain; but that's, my Girl, a Trifle.
    All manly Beauty's seated in the Soul;
    And that of _Esop_, Envy's self must own,
    Outshines whate'er the World has yet produc'd.
    _Crœsus_, the prosperous Favourite of Heaven;
    _Crœsus_, the happiest Potentate on Earth;
    Whose Treasure (tho' immense) is the least Part
    Of what he holds from Providence's Care,
    Leans on his Shoulder as his grand Support,
    Admires his Wisdom, doats upon his Truth,
    And makes him Pilot to Imperial Sway.
    But in this elevated Post of Power,
    What's his Employ? Where does he point his Thoughts?
    To live in Splendour, Luxury, and Ease,
    Do endless Mischiefs, by neglecting Good,
    And build his Family on other's Ruins?
    No:
    He serves the Prince, and serves the People too;
    Is useful to the Rich, and helps the Poor;
    There's nothing stands neglected, but himself.
    With constant Pain, and yet with constant Joy,
    From Place to Place throughout the Realm he goes,
    With useful Lessons, form'd to every Rank:
    The People learn Obedience from his Tongue,
    The Magistrate is guided in Command,
    The Prince is minded of a Father's Care,
    The Subjects taught the Duty of a Child.
    And as 'tis dangerous to be bold with Truth,
    He often calls for Fable to his Aid,
    Where, under abject Names of Beasts and Birds,
    Virtue shines out, and Vice is cloath'd in Shame.
    And thus, by inoffensive Wisdom's Force,
    He conquers Folly wheresoe'er he moves:
    This is his Portrait.

_Dor._ A very good Picture of a very ill Face!

_Lear._ Well, Daughter; what, not a Word? Is it possible any thing
that I am Father of can be untouch'd with so much Merit?

_Euph._ My Duty may make all things possible: But _Esop_ is so ugly,
Sir--

_Lear._ His Soul has so much Beauty in't, your Reason ought to blind
your Eyes: Besides, my Interest is concern'd; his Power alarms me.
I know throughout the Kingdom he's the Scourge of evil Magistrates,
turns out Governors when they turn Tyrants; breaks Officers for false
Musters; excludes Judges from giving Sentence, when they have been
absent during the Trial; hangs Lawyers when they take Fees on both
Sides; forbids Physicians to take Money of those they don't cure. 'Tis
true, my Innocence ought to banish my Fears: But my Government, Child,
is too delicious a Morsel, not to set many a frail Mouth a-watering.
Who knows what Accusations Envy may produce? But all wou'd be secure,
if thou could'st touch the Heart of _Esop_. Let me blow up thy
Ambition, Girl; the Fire of that will make thy Eyes sparkle at him.
[_She sighs._]----What's that Sigh for, now? Ha! A young Husband, by
my Conscience: Ah Daughter, hadst thou a young Husband, he'd make thee
sigh indeed. I'll tell thee what he's compos'd of. He has a Wig full of
Pulvilio, a Pocket full of Dice, a Heart full of Treason, a Mouth full
of Lyes, a Belly full of Drink, a Carcase full of Plaisters, a Tail
full of Pox, and a Head full of----nothing. There's his Picture: wear
it at thy Heart, if thou can'st but here comes one of greater Worth.

                            _Enter ~Esop~._

_Lear._ Good Morning to my noble Lord; your Excellency----

_Esop._ Softly, good Governor: I'm a poor Wanderer from Place to
Place; too weak to train the Weight of Grandeur with me! The Name of
Excellency's not for me.

_Lear._ My noble Lord, 'tis due to your Imploy; your Predecessors
all----

_Esop._ My Predecessors all deserv'd it, Sir; they were great Men in
Wisdom, Birth and Service; whilst I, a poor, unknown, decrepid Wretch,
mounted aloft for Fortune's Pastime, expect each Moment to conclude the
Farce, by sinking to the Mud from whence I sprung.

_Lear._ Great _Crœsus_'s Gratitude will still support you; his Coffers
all are open to your Will, your future Fortune's wholly in your Power.

_Esop._ But 'tis a Power that I shall ne'er employ.

_Lear._ Why so, my Lord?

_Esop._ I'll tell you, Sir.

    _A hungry Goat, who had not eat
    Some Nights and Days----(for want of Meat)
    Was kindly brought at last,
    By Providence's Care,
    To better Cheer,
    After a more than penitential Fast.
      He found a Barn well stor'd with Grain:
    To enter in requir'd some Pain;
    But a delicious Bait
    Makes the Way easy, tho' the Pass is strait.
      Our Guest observing various Meats,
    He put on a good modish Face,
    He takes his Place,
    He ne'er says Grace,
      But where he likes, he there falls to and eats.
      At length, with jaded Teeth and Jaws,
    He made a Pause;
    And finding still some room,
    Fell to as he had done before,
    For time to come laid in his Store;
    And when his Guts cou'd hold no more,
      He thought of going home.
      But here he met the Glutton's Curse;
    He found his Belly grown so great,
    'Twas vain to think of a Retreat,
    Till he had render'd all he had eat,
      And well he far'd no worse._

To the Application, Governor.

_Lear._ 'Tis easy to be made, my Lord.

_Esop._ I'm glad on't, Truth can never be too clear. [_Seeing
~Euph~._] Is this young Damsel your fair Daughter, Sir?

_Lear._ 'Tis my Daughter, my good Lord: Fair too, if she appears such
in the Eyes of the unerring _Esop_.

_Esop._ [_Going up to salute her._] I never saw so beautiful a Creature.

_Lear._ [_Aside._] Now's the time; kiss soft, Girl, and fire him.

_Esop._ [_Gazing at her._] How partial's Nature 'twixt her Form and
mine!

_Lear._ [_Aside._] Look, look, look, how he gazes at her!----_Cupid_'s
hard at work, I see that already. Slap; there he hits him--if the Wench
would but do her Part. But see, see, how the perverse young Baggage
stands biting her Thumbs, and won't give him one kind Glance----Ah the
sullen Jade! Had it been a handsome strong Dog, of five-and-twenty,
she'd a fall'n a coquetting on't, with every Inch about her. But may be
'tis I that spoils Sport; I'll make a Pretence to leave them together.
Will your Lordship please to drink any Coffee this Morning?

_Esop._ With all my Heart, Governor.

_Lear._ Your Lordship will give me leave to go and order it myself; for
unless I am by, 'tis never perfect.

_Esop._ Provided you leave me this fair Maid in Hostage for your
Return, I consent.

_Lear._ My good Lord does my Daughter too much Honour. Ah that the
Wench wou'd but do her Part! [_Aside going off._]----Hark, you,
Hussy----[_Turning back to ~Euphronia~, aside._]----You can give
yourself Airs sometimes, you know you can. Do you remember what work
you made with yourself at Church t'other Day? Play your Tricks over
again, once more, for my Pleasure, and let me have a good Account of
this Statesman, or, d'ye hear?----You shall die a Maid; go chew upon
that; go.

                                                         [_Exit ~Lear~._

_Esop._ Here I am left, fair Damsel, too much expos'd to your Charms,
not to fall your Victim.

_Euph._ Your Fall will then be due to your own Weakness, Sir; for,
Heaven's my Witness, I neither endeavour nor wish to wound you.

_Esop._ I understand you, Lady; your Heart's already dispos'd of; 'tis
seldom otherways, at your Age.

_Euph._ My Heart dispos'd of!

_Dor._ Nay, never mince the Matter, Madam. The Gentleman looks like a
civil Gentleman, e'en confess the Truth to him: He has a good Interest
with your Father, and no Doubt will employ it to break the Heathenish
Match he proposes to you. [_To ~Esop~._] Yes, Sir, my young Lady has
been in love these two Years, and that with as pretty a Fellow as ever
entered a Virgin's Heart; tall, strait, young, vigorous, good Clothes,
long Perriwig, clean Linen; in brief, he has every thing that's
necessary to set a young Lady a-longing, and to stay it when he has
done: but her Father, whose Ambition makes him turn Fool in his old
Age, comes with a back Stroke upon us, and spoils all our Sport. Wou'd
you believe it, Sir? He has propos'd to her to-day the most confounded
ugly Fellow! Look, if the very Thoughts of him don't set the poor Thing
a-crying! And you, Sir, have so much Power with the old Gentleman, that
one Word from you would set us all right again. If he will have her a
Wife, in the Name of _Venus_, let him provide her a handsome Husband,
and not throw her into the Paws of a Thing, that Nature, in a merry
Humour, has made half Man, half Monkey.

_Esop._ Pray, what's this Monster's Name, Lady?

_Euph._ No matter for his Name, Sir; my Father will know what you mean,
at first Word.

_Esop._ But you shou'd not always chuse by the Outside alone: believe
me, fair Damsel, a fine Perriwig keeps many a Fool's Head from the
Weather: Have a Care of your young Gallant.

_Dor._ There's no Danger, I have examin'd him; his Inside's as good as
his out! I say, he has Wit, and I think I know.

_Euph._ Nay, she says true; he's even a Miracle of Wit and Beauty: Did
you but see him, you'd be yourself my Rival.

_Esop._ Then you are resolv'd against the Monster?

_Dor._ Fy, Sir, fy; I wonder you'll put her in Mind of that foul,
frightful Thing: We shall have her dream of nothing all Night but Bats
and Owls, and Toads and Hedge-hogs; and then we shall have such a
squeaking and squalling with her, the whole House will be in an Uproar:
Therefore, pray, Sir, name him no more, but use your Interest with her
Father, that she may never hear of him again.

_Esop._ But if I shou'd be so generous to save you from the old
Gallant, what shall I say for your young one?

_Euph._ O, Sir, you may venture to enlarge upon his Perfections; you
need not fear saying too much in his Praise.

_Dor._ And pray, Sir, be as copious upon the Defects of t'other; you
need not fear out-running the Text there, neither, say the worst you
can.

_Euph._ You may say, the first is the most graceful Man that _Asia_
ever brought forth.

_Dor._ And you may say the latter is the most deform'd Monster that
Copulation ever produc'd.

_Euph._ Tell him that _Oronces_ (for that is his dear Name) has all the
Virtues that compose a perfect Hero.

_Dor._ And tell him, that _Pigmy_ has all the Vices that go to equip an
Attorney.

_Euph._ That to one I cou'd be true to the last Moment of my Life.

_Dor._ That for t'other, she'd cuckold him the very Day of her
Marriage. This, Sir, in few Words, is the Theme you are desir'd to
preach upon.

_Esop._ I never yet had one that furnish'd me with more Matter.

                            _Enter Servant._

_Ser._ My Lord, there's a Lady below desires to speak with your Honour.

_Esop._ What Lady?

_Ser._ 'Tis my Lady--my Lady--[_To ~Doris~._] The Lady there, the
wise-Lady, the great Scholar, that Nobody can understand.

_Dor._ O ho, is it she? Pray let's withdraw, and oblige her, Madam;
she's ready to swoon at the insipid Sight of one of her own Sex.

_Euph._ You'll excuse us, Sir; we leave you to wiser Company.

                                            [_Exeunt ~Euph~. and ~Dor~._

                          _Enter ~Hortensia~._

_Hort._ The Deess, who from _Atropos_'s Breast preserves the Names of
Heroes and their Actions, proclaims your Fame throughout this mighty
Orb, and----

_Esop._ [_Aside._] Shield me, my Stars! What have you sent me here? For
Pity's Sake, good Lady, be more humane: My Capacity is too heavy, to
mount to your Style: If you wou'd have me know what you mean, please to
come down to my Understanding.

    _Hort._ I've something in my Nature soars too high
    For vulgar Flight, I own;
    But _Esop_'s Sphere must needs be within Call;
    _Esop_ and I may sure converse together:
    I know he's modest, but I likewise know
    His Intellects are categorical.

_Esop._ Now, by my Faith, Lady, I don't know what _Intellect_ is; and
methinks, _categorical_ sounds as if you call'd me Names. Pray, speak
that you may be understood: Language was design'd for it; indeed it was.

    _Hort._ Of vulgar Things in vulgar Phrase we talk;
    But when of _Esop_ we must speak,
    The Theme's too lofty for an humble Style:
    _Esop_ is sure no common Character.

_Esop._ No, truly; I am something particular. Yet if I am not mistaken,
what I have extraordinary about me, may be describ'd in very homely
Language. Here was a young Gentlewoman but just now pencil'd me out to
a Hair, I thought; and yet, I vow to God, the learned'st Word I heard
her make use of, was Monster.

    _Hort._ That was a Woman, Sir, a very Woman;
    Her Cogitations all were on the outward Man:
    But I strike deeper; 'tis the Mind I view.
    The Soul's the worthy Object of my Care;
    The Soul, that Sample of Divinity, that glorious
    Ray of heavenly Light. The Soul, that awful
    Throne of Thought, that sacred Seat of Contemplation.
    The Soul, that noble Source of Wisdom,
    That Fountain of Comfort,
    That Spring of Joy, that happy Token of eternal
    Life. The Soul, that----

_Esop._ Pray, Lady, are you married?

_Hort._ Why that Question, Sir?

_Esop._ Only that I might wait upon your Husband, to wish him Joy.

_Hort._ When People of my Composition would marry, they first find
something of their own Species to join with; I never could resolve
to take a Thing of common Fabric to my Bed, lest, when his brutish
Inclinations prompt him, he shou'd make me Mother to a Form like his
own.

_Esop._ Methinks, a Lady so extremely nice should be much at a Loss who
to converse with.

_Hort._ I keep my Chamber, and converse with myself; 'tis better being
alone, than to mis-ally one's Conversation: Men are scandalous, and
Women are insipid: Discourse without Figure makes me sick at my Soul:
O the Charms of a Metaphor! What Harmony there is in the Words of
Erudition! The Musick of them is inimaginable.

_Esop._ Will you hear a Fable, Lady?

_Hort._ Willingly, Sir; the Apologue pleases me, when the Application
of it is just.

_Esop._ It is, I'll answer for it.

    _Once on a Time a Nightingale,
      To Changes prone,
    Unconstant, fickle, whimsical,
      (A Female one)
    Who sung like others of her kind,
      Hearing a well-taught Linnet's Airs,
    Had other Matters in her Mind.
      To imitate him she prepares;
    Her Fancy strait was on the Wing:
        I fly, quoth she,
      As well as he;
      I don't know why
      I should not try
    As well as he to sing.
    From that Day forth she chang'd her Note,
    She spoil'd her Voice, she strain'd her Throat:
    She did, as learned Women do,
      Till every Thing
      That heard her sing
    Wou'd run away from her----as I from you._

                                               [_~Exit~ Esop ~running~._

                          _~Hortensia~ sola._

How grossly does this poor World suffer itself to be impos'd
upon!----_Esop_, a Man of Sense----Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! Alas, poor
Wretch! I shou'd not have known him but by his Deformity; his Soul's
as nauseous to my Understanding, as his odious Body to my Sense of
Feeling. Well,

    _'Mongst all the Wits that are allow'd to shine,
    Methinks there's nothing yet approaches mine:
    Sure I was sent the homely Age t'adorn;                            }
    What Star, I know not, rul'd when I was born,                      }
    But every Thing besides myself's my Scorn._                        }

                                                                  [Exit.

[Illustration]



+ACT+ II.


                    _Enter ~Euphronia~ and ~Doris~._

_Dor._ What, in the Name of _Jove_, 's the matter with you? Speak, for
Heaven's sake!

_Euph._ Oh! what shall I do? _Doris_, I'm undone.

_Dor._ What, ravish'd?

_Euph._ No, ten times worse! Ten times worse! Unlace me, or I shall
swoon.

_Dor._ Unlace you? Why, you are not thereabouts, I hope?

_Euph._ No no, worse still; worse than all that.

_Dor._ Nay, then 'tis bad, indeed.

                                                 [_~Doris~ unlaces her._

There: How d'ye do now?

_Euph._ So; 'tis going over.

_Dor._ Courage, pluck up your Spirits: Well, now what's the matter?

_Euph._ The matter! Thou shalt hear. Know that--that Cheat--_Esop_----

_Dor._ Like enough; speak: What has he done! That ugly ill-boding
Cyclops--

_Euph._ Why, instead of keeping his Promise, and speaking for
_Oronces_, he has not said one Word, but what has been for himself. And
by my Father's Order, before to-morrow Noon he's to marry me.

_Dor._ He marry you!

_Euph._ Am I in the wrong to be in this Despair? Tell me, _Doris_, if I
am to blame.

_Dor._ To blame? No, by my troth. That ugly, old, treacherous piece
of Vermin--that melancholy Mixture of Impotence and Desire--does his
Mouth stand to a young Partridge? Ah the old Goat! And your Father! He
downright doats at last, then.

_Euph._ Ah, _Doris_, what a Husband does he give me! And what a Lover
does he rob me of! Thou know'st 'em both; think of _Oronces_, and think
of _Esop_.

_Dor._ [_Spitting._] A foul Monster! And yet, now I think on't, I'm
almost as angry at t'other too: Methinks he makes but a slow Voyage
on't, for a Man in Love: 'Tis now above two Months since he went to
_Lesbos_, to pack up the old Bones of his dead Father; sure he might
have made a little more Haste.

                           _Enter ~Oronces~._

_Euph._ Oh! my Heart, what do I see?

_Dor._ Talk of the Devil, and he's at your Elbow.

_Oron._ My dear Soul!

                               [_~Euph.~ runs and leaps about his Neck._

_Euph._ Why wou'd you stay so long from me?

_Oron._ 'Twas not my Fault, indeed; the Winds----

_Dor._ The Winds! Will the Winds blow you your Mistress again? We
have had Winds too, and Waves into the Bargain; Storms and Tempests,
Sea-Monsters, and the Devil and all. She struggled as long as she
cou'd, but a Woman can do no more than she can do; when her Breath was
gone, down she sunk.

_Oron._ What's the meaning of all this?

_Dor._ There's meaning and mumping too: your Mistress is married:
that's all.

_Oron._ Death and Furies----

_Euph._ [_Clinging about him._] Don't you frighten him too much,
neither, _Doris_. No, my Dear, I'm not yet executed, tho' I'm condemn'd.

_Oron._ Condemn'd! To what? Speak! Quick!

_Dor._ To be married.

_Oron._ Married? When? How? Where? To what? To whom?

_Dor. Esop, Esop, Esop, Esop, Esop._

_Oron._ Fiends and Spectres! What! That piece of Deformity! That
Monster! That Crump!

_Dor._ The same, Sir, the same. I find he knows him. You might have
come home sooner.

_Oron._ Dear _Euphronia_, ease me from my Pain. Swear that you neither
have nor will consent. I know this comes from your ambitious Father;
But you're too generous, too true to leave me: Millions of Kingdoms
ne'er wou'd shake my Faith, And I believe your Constancy as firm.

_Euph._ You do me Justice, you shall find you do: For Racks and
Tortures, Crowns and Scepters join'd, shall neither fright me from my
Truth, nor tempt me to be false. On this you may depend.

_Dor._ Wou'd to the Lord you wou'd find some other Place to make your
fine Speeches in! Don't you know that your dear Friend _Esop_'s coming
to receive his Visits here? In this great downy Chair, your pretty
little Husband Elect is to sit and hear all the Complaints of the Town:
One of Wisdom's chief Recompences being to be constantly troubled with
the Business of Fools. Pray, Madam, will you take the Gentleman by the
Hand, and lead him into your Chamber; and when you are there, don't
lie whining, and crying, and sighing, and wishing----[_Aside._] If
he had not been more modest than wise, he might have set such a Mark
upon the Goods before now, that ne'er a Merchant of 'em all wou'd have
bought 'em out of his Hands. But young Fellows are always in the wrong:
Either so impudent they are nauseous, or so modest they are useless.
Go; pray get you gone together.

_Euph._ But if my Father catch us, we are ruin'd.

_Dor._ By my Conscience, this Love will make us all turn Fools. Before
your Father can open the Door, can't he slip down the Back-stairs? I'm
sure he may, if you don't hold him; but that's the old Trade. Ah--Well,
get you gone, however----Hark----I hear the old Baboon cough; away!
[_Ex. ~Oron.~ and ~Euph.~ running._] Here he comes, with his ugly Beak
before him. Ah--a luscious Bedfellow, by my troth!

                     _Enter ~Learchus~ and ~Esop~._

_Lear._ Well, _Doris_; what News from my Daughter? Is she prudent?

_Dor._ Yes, very prudent.

_Lear._ What says she? What does she do?

_Dor._ Do? What shou'd she do? Tears her Cornet; bites her Thumbs;
throws her Fan in the Fire; thinks 'tis dark Night at Noon-day; dreams
of Monsters and Hobgoblins; raves in her Sleep of forc'd Marriage
and Cuckoldom; cries, _Avaunt_ Deformity; then wakens on a sudden,
with fifty Arguments at her Fingers-ends to prove the Lawfulness of
Rebellion in a Child, when a Parent turns Tyrant.

_Lear._ Very fine! But all this shan't serve her turn. I have said the
Word, and will be obey'd----My Lord does her Honour.

_Dor._ [_Aside._] Yes, and that's all he can do to her. [_To ~Lear~._]
But I can't blame the Gentleman, after all; he loves my Mistress,
because she's handsome; and she hates him, because he's ugly. I never
saw two People more in the right in my Life. [_To ~Esop~._] You'll
pardon me, Sir, I'm somewhat free.

_Esop._ Why, a Ceremony wou'd but take up time. But, Governor, methinks
I have an admirable Advocate about your Daughter.

_Lear._ Out of the Room, Impudence: be gone, I say.

_Dor._ So I will: But you'll be as much in the wrong when I'm gone, as
when I'm here. And your Conscience, I hope, will talk as pertly to you
as I can do.

_Esop._ If she treats me thus before my face, I may conclude I'm finely
handled behind my Back.

_Dor._ I say the Truth here; and I can say no worse any where.

                                                        [_Exit ~Doris~._

_Lear._ I hope your Lordship won't be concern'd at what this prattling
Wench bleats out: my Daughter will be govern'd. She's bred up to
Obedience. There may be some small Difficulty in weaning her from her
young Lover: But 'twon't be the first time she has been wean'd from a
Breast, my Lord.

_Esop._ Does she love him fondly, Sir?

_Lear._ Foolishly, my Lord.

_Esop._ And he her?

_Lear._ The same.

_Esop._ Is he young?

_Lear._ Yes, and vigorous.

_Esop._ Rich?

_Lear._ So, so.

_Esop._ Well-born?

_Lear._ He has good Blood in his Veins.

_Esop._ Has he Wit?

_Lear._ He had, before he was in Love.

_Esop._ And handsome with all this?

_Lear._ Or else we shou'd not have half so much trouble with him.

_Esop._ Why do you, then, make her quit him for me? All the World knows
I am neither young, noble, nor rich: And as for my Beauty----Look you,
Governor, I'm honest. But when Children cry, they tell 'em _Esop_'s
a-coming. Pray, Sir, what is it makes you so earnest to force your
Daughter?

_Lear._ Am I, then, to count for nothing the favour you are in at
Court? Father-in-law to the great _Esop_! What may not I aspire to? My
foolish Daughter, perhaps, mayn't be so well pleas'd with it, but we
wise Parents usually weigh our Children's Happiness in the Scale of our
own Inclinations.

_Esop._ Well, Governor, let it be your Care, then, to make her consent.

_Lear._ This Moment, my Lord, I reduce her either to Obedience, or to
Dust and Ashes.

                                                         [_Exit ~Lear~._

_Esop._ Adieu. Now let in the People who come for Audience.

                         [_~Esop~ sits in his Chair, reading of Papers._

                    _Enter two ordinary Tradesmen._

_1 Tra._ There he is, Neighbour: Do but look at him.

_2 Tra._ Aye; one may know him: He's well mark'd. But do'st hear me?
What Title must we give him? for if we fail in that point, d'ye see me,
we shall never get our Business done. Courtiers love Titles almost as
well as they do Money, and that's a bold Word now.

_1 Tra._ Why, I think we had best call him, his Grandeur.

_2 Tra._ That will do; thou hast hit on't. Hold still, let me speak.
May it please your Grandeur----

_Esop._ There I interrupt you, Friend; I have a weak Body that will
ne'er be able to bear that Title.

_2 Tra._ D'ye hear that, Neighbour? What shall we call him now?

_1 Tra._ Why, call him, call him, his Excellency; try what that will do.

_2 Tra._ May it please your Excellency----

_Esop._ Excellency's a long Word, it takes up too much time in
Business: Tell me what you'd have in few Words.

_2 Tra._

    Neighbour, this Man will never give
    Ten thousand Pounds to be made a Lord.
    But what shall I say to him now?
    He puts me quite out of my play.

_1 Tra._ Why e'en talk to him as we do to one another.

_2 Tra._ Shall I? Why, so I will, then. Hem! Neighbour, we want a new
Governor, Neighbour.

_Esop._ A new Governor, Friend?

_2 Tra._ Aye, Friend.

_Esop._ Why, what's the matter with your old one?

_2 Tra._

    What's the matter!
    Why, he grows rich; that's the matter;
    And he that's rich can't be innocent; that's all.

_Esop._ Does he use any of you harshly? Or punish you without a Fault?

_2 Tra._ No, but he grows as rich as a Miser; his Purse is so cramm'd,
'tis ready to burst again.

_Esop._ When 'tis full, 'twill hold no more; a new Governor will have
an empty one.

_2 Tra._ 'Fore Gad, Neighbour, the little Gentleman's in the right on't.

_1 Tra._

    Why, truly, I don't know but he may:
    For now it comes in my Head,
    It cost me more Money to fat my Hog,
    Than to keep him fat when he was so.
    Pr'ythee tell him we'll keep our old Governor.

_2 Tra._ I'll do't. Why, look you, Sir, d'ye see me: Having seriously
consider'd of the matter, my Neighbour _Hobson_ and I here, we are
content to jog on a little longer with him we have: but if you'd do us
another Courtesy, you might.

_Esop._ What's that, Friend?

_2 Tra._ Why, that's this: Our King Crœsus is a very good Prince,
as a Man may say: But----a----but--Taxes are high, an't please you;
and----a----poor Men want Money, d'ye see me: 'Tis very hard, as we
think, that the Poor shou'd work to maintain the Rich. If there were no
Taxes, we shou'd do pretty well.

_1 Tra._ Taxes, indeed, are very burdensome.

_Esop._ I'll tell you a Story, Countrymen.

    _Once on a time, the Hands and Feet,
    As Mutineers, grew mighty great;
    They met, caball'd, and talk'd of Treason,
    They swore by ~Jove~ they knew no Reason
    The Belly shou'd have all the Meat--                               }
    It was a damn'd notorious Cheat                                    }
    They did the Work, and--Death and Hell, they'd eat.                }
      The Belly, who ador'd good Chear,
    Had like t'have dy'd away for Fear:
    Quoth he, Good Folks, you little know                              }
    What 'tis you are about to do;                                     }
    If I am starv'd, what will become of you?                          }
    We neither know nor care, cry'd they,
    But this we will be bound to say,
    We'll see you damn'd
    Before we'll work,
    And you receive the Pay.
      With that the Hands to Pocket went
    Full Wrist-band deep,
    The Legs and Feet fell fast asleep:
    Their Liberty they had redeem'd,
    And all, except the Belly, seem'd
    Extremely well content.
      But mark what follow'd; 'twas not long
    Before the right became the wrong;
    The Mutineers were grown so weak,
    They found 'twas more than time to squeak:
    They call for work, but 'twas too late.
      The Stomach (like an aged Maid,                                  }
    Shrunk up, for want of human Aid)                                  }
    The common Debt of Nature paid,                                    }
    And with its Destiny entrain'd their Fate._                        }

_Esop._ What think you of this Story, Friends, ha? Come, you look like
wise Men; I'm sure you understand what's for your good; in giving part
of what you have, you secure all the rest: If the King had no Money,
there cou'd be no Army; and if there were no Army, your Enemies would
be amongst you: One Day's Pillage wou'd be worse than twenty Years'
Taxes. What say ye? Is't not so?

_2 Tra._ By my troth, I think he's in the right on't, again. Who'd
think that little Hump-back of his Shou'd have so much Brains in't,
Neighbour?

_Esop._ Well, honest Men, is there any thing else that I can serve you
in?

_1 Tra._ D'ye hear that, _Humphry_?----Why, that was civil now. But
Courtiers seldom want Good-breeding; let's give the Devil his due. Why,
to tell you the truth, honest Gentlemen, we had a whole Budget full of
Grievances to complain of. But I think----a----Ha, Neighbour? We had
e'en as good let 'em alone.

_1 Tra._ Why good feath I think so too; for by all I can see, we are
like to make no great hond on't. Besides, between thee and me, I began
to daubt, whether aur Grievances do us such a plaguy deal of Mischief
as we fancy.

_2 Tra._ Or put the Case they did, _Humphry_; I'se afraid he that goes
to a Courtier, in hope to get fairly rid of 'em, may be said (in our
Country Dialect) to take the wrong Sow by the Ear. But here's Neighbour
_Roger_, he's a Wit, let's leave him to him.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

     _Enter ~Roger~, a Country Bumkin, looks seriously upon ~Esop~;
                      then bursts out a laughing._

_Rog._ Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Did ever Mon behold the like? Ha, ha, ha,
ha, ha!

_Esop._ Hast thou any business with me, Friend?

    _Rog._ Yes, by my troth, have I;
    But if _Roger_ were to be hang'd up for't,
    Look you now, he cou'd not hold laughing:
    What I have in my Mind, out it comes: But bar that;
    I'se on honest Lad as well as another.

_Esop._ My time's dearer to me than yours, Friend; have you any thing
to say to me?

_Rog._ Gadswookers, do People use to ask for Folks when they have
nothing to say to 'em: I'se tell you my Business.

_Esop._ Let's hear it.

_Rog._ I have, as you see, a little Wit.

_Esop._ True.

_Rog._ I live in a Village hard by, and I'se the best Man in it, tho'
I say it that should not say it. I have good Drink in my Cellar, and
good Corn in my Barn: I have Cows and Oxen, Hogs and Sheep, Cocks and
Hens, and Geese and Turkeys: But the Truth will out, and so let it
out. I'se e'en tired of being call'd plain _Roger_. I has a Leathern
Purse, and in that Purse there's many a fair Half-crown, with the
King's sweet Face upon it, God bless him; and with his Money, I have a
mind to bind myself 'Prentice to a Courtier: 'Tis a good Trade, as I
have heard say; there's Money stirring: Let a Lad be but diligent, and
do what he's bid, he shall be let into the Secret, and share Part of
the Profits; I have not lived to these Years for nothing: Those that
will swim must go into deep water: I'se get our Wife _Joan_ to be the
Queen's Chamber-maid; and then----Crack, says me I; and forget all
my Acquaintance. But to come to the Business. You who are the King's
great Favourite, I desire you'd be pleas'd to sell me some of your
Friendship, that I may get a Court-Place. Come, you shall chuse me one
yourself; you look like a shrewd Man; by the Mass, you do.

_Esop._ I chuse thee a Place!

_Rog._ Yes, I wou'd willingly have it such a sort of a Place, as wou'd
cost little, and bring in a great deal; in a Word, much Profit, and
nothing to do.

_Esop._ But you must name what Post you think wou'd suit your Humour.

_Rog._ Why I'se pratty indifferent as to that: Secretary of State, or
Butler; twenty Shillings more, or twenty Shillings less, is not the
thing I stand upon. I'se no Hagler, Godswookers; and he that says I
am--'Zbud he lies: There's my Humour now.

_Esop._ But hark you, Friend, you say you are well as you are, why then
do you desire to change?

_Rog._ Why what a Question now is there for a Man of your Parts? I'm
well, d'ye see me; and what of all that? I desire to be better: There's
an Answer for you. [_Aside._] Let _Roger_ alone with him.

_Esop._ Very well: This is reasoning; and I love a Man should reason
with me. But let us enquire a little whether your Reasons are good or
not. You say, at home you want for nothing?

_Rog._ Nothing, 'fore _George_.

_Esop._ You have good Drink?

_Rog._ 'Zbud, the best i'th' Parish. [_Singing._] And dawne it merrily
goes, my Lad, and dawne it merrily goes.

_Esop._ You eat heartily?

_Rog._ I have a noble Stomach.

_Esop._ You sleep well?

_Rog._ Just as I drink, till I can sleep no longer.

_Esop._ You have some honest Neighbours?

_Rog._ Honest! 'Zbud we are all so, the Tawne raund, we live like
Breether; when one can sarve another, he does it with all his Heart and
Guts; when we have any thing that's good, we eat it together, Holidays
and Sundays we play at Nine-pins, tumble upon the Grass with wholesome
young Maids, laugh till we split, daunce till we are weary, eat till we
burst, drink till we are sleepy, then swap into Bed, and snore till we
rise to Breakfast.

_Esop._ And all this thou wou'dst leave to go to Court? I'll tell thee
what once happen'd:

    _A Mouse, who long had liv'd at Court,                             }
    (Yet ne'er the better Christian for't)                             }
    Walking one Day to see some Country Sport,                         }
    He met a home-bred Village-Mouse;
    Who with an awkward Speech and Bow,                                }
    That savour'd much of Cart and Plow,                               }
    Made a shift, I know not how,                                      }
    T' invite him to his House.
    Quoth he, My Lord, I doubt you'll find
    Our Country Fare of homely kind;
    But by my troth, you're welcome to't,
    Y'ave that, and Bread and Cheese to boot:
    And so they sat and din'd._

    _Rog._ Very well.

    _Esop._ _The ~Courtier~ cou'd have eat at least
    As much as any Houshold Priest,
    But thought himself oblig'd in Feeding,
    To shew the difference of Town breeding;
    He pick'd and cull'd, and turn'd the Meat,
    He champt and chew'd, and cou'd not eat:
    No toothless Woman at Fourscore,
    Was ever seen to mumble more.
    He made a thousand ugly Faces,                                     }
    Which (as sometimes in Ladies cases)                               }
    Were all design'd for Airs and Graces._                            }

    _Rog._ Ha, ha!

    Esop. _At last he from the Table rose,
    He pick'd his Teeth and blow'd his Nose,
    And with an easy Negligence,
    As tho' he lately came from France,
    He made a careless sliding Bow:
    'Fore Gad, quoth he, I don't know how
    I shall return your friendly Treat;
    But if you'll take a bit of Meat
    In Town with me,
    You there shall see,
      How we poor Courtiers eat._

    _Rog._ Tit for tat; that was friendly.

    Esop. _There needed no more Invitation
    To e'er a Country 'Squire i'th' Nation:
    Exactly to the time he came,
    Punctual as Woman when she meets
    A Man between a pair of Sheets,
    As good a Stomach, and as little Shame._

    _Rog._ Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!

    Esop. _To say the Truth, he found good Chear,
    With Wine, instead of Ale and Beer:
    But just as they sat down to eat,
    Came bouncing in a hungry Cat._

    _Rog._ O Lord, O Lord, O Lord!

    Esop. _The nimble Courtier skipt from Table,
    The 'Squire leapt too, as he was able:
    It can't be said that they were beat,
    It was no more than a Retreat;
    Which when an Army, not to fight
    By Day-light, runs away by Night,
    Was ever judg'd a great and glorious Feat._

    _Rog._ Ever, ever, ever.

    Esop. _The Cat retir'd, our Guests return,
    The Danger past becomes their Scorn,
    They fall to eating as before,
    The Butler rumbles at the Door._

    _Rog._ Good Lord!

    Esop. _To Boot and Saddle again they sound._

    _Rog._ Ta ra, tan tan ta ra, ra ra tan ta ra.

    Esop. _They frown, as they wou'd stand their Ground,
    But (like some of our Friends) they found
    'Twas safer much to scour._

    _Rog._ Tantive, Tantive, Tantive, _&c._

    Esop. _At length the 'Squire, who hated Arms,
    Was so perplext with these Alarms,
    He rose up in a kind of Heat,
    Udswookers, quoth he, with all your Meat,
    I will maintain, a Dish of Pease,
    A Radish, and a Slice of Cheese,
    With a good Desert of Ease,
    Is much a better Treat.
    However,
    Since every Man shou'd have his due,
    I own, Sir, I'm oblig'd to you
    For your Intentions at your Board:
    But Pox upon your courtly Crew----_

_Rog._ _Amen_, I pray the Lord. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Now the De'el
cuckold me if this Story be not worth a Sermon. Give me your Hond,
Sir.----If it had na' been for your friendly Advice, I was going to be
Fool enough to be Secretary of State.

_Esop._ Well, go thy ways home, and be wiser for the future.

_Rog._ And so I will: For that same Mause, your Friend, was a witty
Person, gadsbudlikins! and so our Wife _Joan_ shall know: For between
you and I, 'tis she has put me upon going to Court. Sir, she has been
so praud, so saucy, so rampant, ever since I brought her home a lac'd
Pinner, and a pink-colour'd pair of Shoe-strings, from _Tickledowne_
Fair, the Parson o'th' Parish can't rule her; and that you'll say's
much. But so much for that. Naw I thank you for your good Counsel,
honest little Gentleman; and to shew you that I'se not ungrateful--give
me your Hond once more----If you'll take the pains but to walk dawne to
our Towne--a Word in your Ear----I'se send you so drunk whome again,
you shall remember friendly _Roger_ as long as you have Breath in your
Body.

                                                         [_Exit ~Roger~_

                            _Esop. ~solus~._

    Farewel, what I both envy and despise!
    Thy Happiness and Ignorance provoke me.
    How noble were the thing call'd Knowledge,
    Did it but lead us to a Bliss like thine!
    But there's a secret Curse in Wisdom's Train,                      }
    Which on its Pleasures stamps perpetual Pain,                      }
    And makes the wise Man Loser by his Gain.                          }

                                                                [_Exit._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ III.


                            _Enter ~Esop~._

_Esop._ Who waits there?

                                                       [_Enter Servant._

If there be any body that has Business with me, let 'em in.

_Serv._ Yes, Sir.

                                                           [_Exit Serv._

       _Enter ~Quaint~, who stands at a distance, making a great
                          many fawning Bows._

_Esop._ Well, Friend, who are you?

_Quaint._ My Name's _Quaint_, Sir, the profoundest of all your Honour's
humble Servants.

_Esop._ And what may your Business be with me, Sir?

_Quaint._ My Business, Sir, with every Man, is first of all to do him
Service.

_Esop._ And your next is, I suppose, to be paid for't twice as much as
'tis worth.

_Quaint._ Your Honour's most obedient humble Servant.

_Esop._ Well, Sir, but upon what Account am I going to be oblig'd to
you?

_Quaint._ Sir, I'm a Genealogist.

_Esop._ A Genealogist!

_Quaint._ At your Service, Sir.

_Esop._ So, Sir?

_Quaint._ Sir, I am inform'd from common Fame, as well as from some
little private familiar Intelligence, that your Wisdom is ent'ring into
Treaty with the _Primum Mobilè_ of Good and Evil, a fine Lady. I have
travell'd, Sir; I have read, Sir; I have consider'd, Sir; and I find,
Sir, that the Nature of a fine Lady is to be----a fine Lady, Sir; a
fine Lady's a fine Lady, Sir, all the World over;----she loves a fine
House, fine Furniture, fine Clothes, fine Liveries, fine Petticoats,
fine Smocks; and if she stops there--she's a fine Lady indeed, Sir.
But to come to my Point. It being the _Lydian_ Custom, that the fair
Bride should be presented on her Wedding-day with something that
may signify the Merit and the Worth of her dread Lord and Master, I
thought the noble _Esop_'s Pedigree might be the welcom'st Gift that he
could offer. If his Honour be of the same Opinion--I'll speak a bold
Word--there's ne'er a Herald in all _Asia_ shall put better Blood in
his Veins, than--Sir, your humble Servant, _Jacob Quaint_.

_Esop._ Dost thou then know my Father, Friend? For I protest to thee I
am a Stranger to him.

_Quaint._ Your Father, Sir? Ha, ha! I know every Man's Father, Sir; and
every Man's Grandfather, and every Man's Great Grandfather. Why, Sir,
I'm a Herald by Nature, my Mother was a _Welchwoman_.

_Esop._ A _Welchwoman_? Pr'ythee of what Country is that?

_Quaint._ That, Sir, is a Country in the World's Backside, where
every Man is born a Gentleman and a Genealogist. Sir, I cou'd tell my
Mother's Pedigree before I could speak plain; which, to shew you the
Depth of my Art, and the Strength of my Memory, I'll trundle you down
in an instant. _Noah_ had three Sons, _Shem_, _Ham_, and _Japhet_;
_Shem_----

_Esop._ Hold, I conjure thee, in the Name of all thy Ancestors.

_Quaint._ Sir, I cou'd take it higher, but I begin at Noah for
brevity's sake.

_Esop._ No more on't, I intreat thee.

_Quaint._ Your Honour's impatient, perhaps, to hear your own Descent.
_A Word to the wise is enough._ Hem, hem! _Solomon_, the wise King of
_Judea_----

_Esop._ Hold, once more!

_Quaint._ Ha, ha! Your Honour's modest, but----_Solomon_, the wise King
of _Judea_----

_Esop._ Was my Ancestor, was he not?

_Quaint._ He was, my Lord, which no one sure can doubt, who observes
how much of Prince there hangs about you.

_Esop._ What! Is't in my Mien?

_Quaint._ You have something----wondrous noble in your Air.

_Esop._ Personable too; view me well.

_Quaint._ N----not Tall; but Majestick.

_Esop._ My Shape?

_Quaint._ A World of Symmetry in it.

_Esop._ The Lump upon my Back?

_Quaint._ N----not regular; but agreeable.

_Esop._ Now by my Honesty thou art a Villain, Herald. But Flattery's a
Thrust I never fail to parry. 'Tis a Pass thou should'st reserve for
young Fencers; with Feints like those they're to be hit: I do not doubt
but thou hast found it so; hast not?

_Quaint._ I must confess, Sir, I have sometimes made 'em bleed by't.
But I hope your Honour will please to excuse me, since, to speak the
Truth, I get my Bread by't, and maintain my Wife and Children: And
Industry, you know, Sir, is a commendable Thing. Besides, Sir, I have
debated the Business a little with my Conscience; for I'm like the rest
of my Neighbours, I'd willingly get Money, and be sav'd too, if the
Thing may be done upon any reasonable Terms: And so, Sir, I say, to
quiet my Conscience, I have found out at last, that Flattery is a Duty.

_Esop._ A Duty!

_Quaint._ Ay, Sir, a Duty: For the Duty of all Men is to make one
another pass their time as pleasantly as they can. Now, Sir, here's
a young Lord, who has a great deal of Land, a great deal of Title, a
great deal of Meat, a great deal of Noise, a great many Servants, and
a great many Diseases. I find him very dull, very restless, tir'd with
Ease, cloy'd with Plenty, a Burden to himself, and a Plague to his
Family. I begin to flatter: He springs off of the Couch; turns himself
round in the Glass; finds all I say true; cuts a Caper a yard high; his
Blood trickles round his Veins; his Heart's as light as his Heels; and
before I leave him----his Purse is as empty as his Head. So we both are
content; for we part much happier than we met.

_Esop._ Admirable Rogue! What dost thou think of Murder and of Rape,
are not they Duties too? Wert not for such vile fawning Things as thou
art, young Nobles wou'd not long be what they are: They'd grow asham'd
of Luxury and Ease, and rouse up the old Spirit of their Fathers; leave
the pursuit of a poor frightned Hare, and make their Foes to tremble in
their stead; furnish their Heads with Sciences and Arts, and fill their
Hearts with Honour, Truth and Friendship; Be generous to some, and
just to all; drive home their Creditors with Bags of Gold, instead of
chasing 'em away with Swords and Staves; be faithful to their King and
Country both, and stab the Offerer of a Bribe from either; blush even
at a wandering Thought of Vice, and boldly own they durst be Friends to
Virtue; trembling at nothing but the Frowns of Heaven, and be no more
asham'd of Him that made 'em.

_Quaint._ [_Aside._] If I stand to hear this Crump preach a little
longer, I shall be Fool enough perhaps to be bubbled out of my
Livelyhood, and so lose a Bird in the Hand for two in the Bush. Sir,
since I have not been able to bring you to a good Opinion of yourself,
'tis very probable I shall scarce prevail with you to have one of
me. But if you please to do me the favour to forget me, I shall ever
acknowledge myself----Sir, your most obedient, faithful, humble Servant.

_Esop._ Hold; if I let thee go, and give thee nothing, thou'lt be apt
to grumble at me; and therefore----who waits there?

                            _Enter Servant._

_Quaint._ [_Aside._] I don't like his Looks, by Gad.

_Esop._ I'll present thee with a Token of my Love.

_Quaint._ A--another time, Sir, will do as well.

_Esop._ No; I love to be out of Debt, tho' 'tis being out of the
Fashion. So, d'ye hear! Give this honest Gentleman half a score good
Strokes on the Back with a Cudgel.

_Quaint._ By no means in the World, Sir.

_Esop._ Indeed, Sir, you shall take 'em.

_Quaint._ Sir, I don't merit half your Bounty.

_Esop._ O 'tis but a Trifle!

_Quaint._ Your Generosity makes me blush.

                                    [_Looking about to make his Escape._

_Esop._ That's your Modesty, Sir.

_Quaint._ Sir, you are pleased to compliment. But a----twenty Pedigrees
for a clear Coast.

                                  [_Running off, the Servant after him._

_Esop._ Wait upon him down Stairs, Fellow; I'd do't myself, were I but
nimble enough; but he makes haste, to avoid Ceremony.

                            _Enter Servant._

_Serv._ Sir, here's a Lady in great haste, desires to speak with you.

_Esop._ Let her come in.

                       _Enter ~Aminta~, weeping._

_Amin._ O Sir, if you don't help me, I'm undone.

_Esop._ What, what's the Matter, Lady?

_Amin._ My Daughter, Sir, my Daughter's run away with a filthy Fellow.

_Esop._ A slippery Trick indeed!

_Amin._ For Heaven's sake, Sir, send immediately to pursue 'em, and
seize 'em. But 'tis in vain, 'twill be too late, 'twill be too late;
I'll warrant at this very Moment they are got together in a Room with
a Couch in't; all's gone, all's gone; tho' 'twere made of Gold, 'tis
lost: Oh! my Honour, my Honour. A forward Girl she was always; I saw
it in her Eyes the very Day of her Birth.

_Esop._ That indeed was early; but how do you know she's gone with a
Fellow?

_Amin._ I have e'en her own insolent Hand-writing for't: Sir, take but
the pains to read what a Letter she has left me.

_Esop._ Reads.

  _I love and am belov'd, and that's the Reason I run away._

Short, but significant!----_I'm sure there's no Body knows better than
your Ladyship what Allowances are to be made to Flesh and Blood; I
therefore hope this from your Justice, that what you have done three
Times yourself, you'll pardon once in your Daughter._ _The Dickens!_

_Amin._ Now, Sir, what do you think of the Business?

_Esop._ Why truly, Lady, I think it one of the most natural Businesses
I have met with a great while. I'll tell you a Story.

    _A Crab-fish once her Daughter told,
    (In Terms that savour'd much of Scold)
    She cou'd not bear to see her go
    Sidle, sidle, to and fro:
    The Devil's in the Wench, quoth she,
    When so much Money has been paid
    To polish you like me,
    It makes me almost mad to see
    Y'are still so awkward, an ungainly Jade.
      Her Daughter smil'd, and look'd a-skew;                          }
    She answer'd (for to give her her due)                             }
    Pertly, as most Folks Daughters do:                                }
    Madam, your Ladyship, quoth she,
    Is pleas'd to blame in me
    What, on Enquiry, you may find,
    Admits a passable Excuse,
    From a Proverb much in use,
    ~That Cat will after kind~._

_Amin._ Sir, I took you to be a Man better bred, than to liken a Lady
to a Crab-fish.

_Esop._ What I want in Good-breeding, Lady, I have in Truth and
Honesty: As what you have wanted in Virtue, you have had in a good Face.

_Amin._ Have had, Sir! What I have had, I have still; and shall have a
great while, I hope. I'm no Grandmother, Sir.

_Esop._ But in a fair way for't, Madam.

_Amin._ Thanks to my Daughter's Forwardness then, not my Years. I'd
have you to know, Sir, I have never a Wrinkle in my Face. A young pert
Slut! Who'd think she shou'd know so much at her Age?

_Esop._ Good Masters make quick Scholars, Lady; she has learn'd her
Exercise from you.

_Amin._ But where's the Remedy, Sir?

_Esop._ In trying if a good Example will reclaim her, as an ill one has
debauch'd her. Live private, and avoid Scandal.

_Amin._ Never speak it; I can no more retire, than I can go to Church
twice on a Sunday.

_Esop._ What, your youthful Blood boils in your Veins, I'll warrant?

_Amin._ I have Warmth enough to endure the Air, old Gentleman. I need
not shut myself up in a House these twenty Years.

_Esop._ [_Aside._] She takes a long Lease of Lewdness: She'll be an
admirable Tenant to Lust.

_Amin._ [_Walking hastily to and fro._] People think when a Woman is
turn'd Forty, she's old enough to turn out of the World: But I say,
when a Woman is turn'd Forty, she's old enough to have more Wit. The
most can be said is, her Face is the worse for wearing: I'll answer
for all the rest of her Fabrick. The Men wou'd be to be pity'd, by my
troth, wou'd they, if we shou'd quit the Stage, and leave 'em nothing
but a parcel of young pert Sluts, that neither know how to speak
Sense, nor keep themselves clean. But, don't let 'em fear, we a'n't
going yet----[_~Esop~ stares upon her, and as she turns from him, runs
off the Stage._] How now! What left alone! An unmannerly Piece of
Deformity! Methinks he might have had Sense enough to have made Love
to me. But I have found Men strangely dull for the last ten or twelve
Years: Sure they'll mend in Time, or the World won't be worth living in.

    _For let Philosophers say all they can,
    The Source of Women's Joys is plac'd in Man._

                                                                  [Exit.

        _Enter ~Learchus~ and ~Euphronia~, ~Doris~ following at
                              a Distance._

_Lear._ [_To Euph._] I must tell you, Mistress, I'm too mild with you;
Parents shou'd never intreat their Children, nor will I hereafter.
Therefore, in a Word, let _Esop_ be lov'd, let _Oronces_ be hated; let
one be a Peacock, let t'other be a Bat: I'm Father, you are Daughter; I
command, and you shall obey.

_Euph._ I never yet did otherwise; nor shall I now, Sir; but pray let
Reason guide you.

_Lear._ So it does: But 'tis my own, not yours, Hussy.

_Dor._ Ah--Well, I'll say no more; but were I in her Place, by the
Mass, I'd have a tug for't.

_Lear._ Dæmon, born to distract me! Whence art thou, in the Name of
Fire and Brimstone? Have I not satisfy'd thee? Have I not paid thee
what's thy due? And have not I turn'd thee out of Doors, with Orders
never more to stride my Threshold, ha? Answer, abominable Spirit; what
is't that makes thee haunt me?

_Dor._ A foolish Passion to do you good, in spite of your Teeth: Pox on
me for my Zeal, I say.

_Lear._ And Pox on thee, and thy Zeal too, I say.

_Dor._ Now if it were not for her Sake more than for yours, I'd leave
all to your own Management, to be reveng'd of you. But rather than I'll
see that sweet Thing sacrificed--I'll play the Devil in your House.

_Lear._ Patience, I summon thee to my Aid.

_Dor._ Passion, I defy thee; to the last Drop of my Blood I'll maintain
my Ground. What have you to charge me with? Speak! I love your Child
better than you do, and you can't bear that, ha? Is't not so? Nay,
'tis well y'are asham'd on't; there's some Sign of Grace still. Look
you, Sir, in a few Words, you'll make me mad; and 'twere enough to
make any Body mad (who has Brains enough to be so) to see so much
Virtue shipwreck'd at the very Port. The World never saw a Virgin
better qualify'd; so witty, so discreet, so modest, so chaste: in a
Word, I brought her up myself, and 'twould be the Death of me to see
so virtuous a Maid become a lewd Wife; which is the usual Effect of
Parents Pride and Covetousness.

_Lear._ How, Strumpet! wou'd any Thing be able to debauch my Daughter?

_Dor._ Your Daughter! Yes, your Daughter, and myself into the Bargain:
A Woman's but a Woman; and I'll lay a hundred Pound on Nature's side.
Come, Sir, few Words dispatch Business. Let who will be the Wife of
_Esop_, she's a Fool, or he's a Cuckold. But you'll never have a true
Notion of this Matter, till you suppose yourself in your Daughter's
Place. As thus: You are a pretty, soft, warm, wishing young Lady: I'm a
straight, proper, handsome, vigorous, young Fellow. You have a peevish,
positive, covetous, old Father, and he forces you to marry a little,
lean, crooked, dry, sapless Husband. This Husband's gone abroad, you
are left at home. I make you a Visit; find you all alone: the Servant
pulls to the Door; the Devil comes in at the Window. I begin to
wheedle, you begin to melt: you like my Person, and therefore believe
all I say: so first I make you an Atheist, and then I make you a Whore.
Thus the World goes, Sir.

_Lear._ Pernicious Pestilence! Has not thy eternal Tongue run down its
Larum yet?

_Dor._ Yes.

_Lear._ Then go out of my House, Abomination.

_Dor._ I'll not stir a Foot.

_Lear._ Who waits there? Bring me my great Stick.

_Dor._ Bring you a Stick! Bring you a Head-piece: That you'd call for,
if you knew your own wants.

_Lear._ Death and Furies, the Devil and so forth! I shall run
distracted.

_Euph._ Pray, Sir, don't be so angry at her. I'm sure she means well,
tho' she may have an odd way of expressing herself.

_Lear._ What, you like her meaning? Who doubts it, Offspring of
_Venus_? But I'll make you stay your Stomach with Meat of my chusing,
you liquorish young Baggage you. In a Word, _Esop_'s the Man; and
to-morrow he shall be your Lord and Master. But since he can't be
satisfied unless he has your Heart, as well as all the rest of your
Trumpery, let me see you receive him in such a Manner that he may
think himself your Choice as well as mine; 'twill make him esteem your
Judgment: For we usually guess at other People's Understandings, by
their approving our Actions and liking our Faces. See here, the great
Man comes! [_To ~Dor~._] Follow me, Insolence; and leave 'em to express
their Passion to each other. [_To ~Euph~._] Remember my last Word to
you is, Obey.

_Dor._ [_To ~Euph.~ aside._] And remember my last Advice to you is,
Rebel.

                                   [_Exit ~Lear.~ ~Dor.~ following him._

_Euph._ Alas, I'm good-natured; the last Thing that's said to me
usually leaves the deepest Impression.

         _Enter ~Esop~; they stand some Time without speaking._

_Esop._--They say, That Lovers, for want of Words, have Eyes to speak
with. I'm afraid you do not understand the Language of mine, since
yours, I find, will make no Answer to 'em. But I must tell you, Lady,
there is a numerous Train of youthful Virgins, that are endow'd with
Wealth and Beauty too, who yet have thought it worth their Pains and
Care to point their Darts at _Esop_'s homely Breast; whilst you so much
contemn what they pursue, that a young senseless Fop's preferr'd before
me.

_Euph._ Did you but know that Fop you dare to term so, his very Looks
wou'd fright you into nothing.

_Esop._ A very Bauble.

_Euph._ How!

_Esop._ A Butterfly.

_Euph._ I can't bear it.

_Esop._ A Parroquet can prattle and look gaudy.

_Euph._ It may be so; but let me paint him and you in your proper
Colours, I'll do it exactly, and you shall judge which I ought to chuse.

_Esop._ No, hold; I'm naturally not over-curious; besides, 'tis Pride
makes People have their Pictures drawn.

_Euph._ Upon my Word, Sir, you may have yours taken a hundred times
before any Body will believe 'tis done upon that Account.

_Esop._ [_Aside._] How severe she is upon me! You are resolv'd then to
persist, and be fond of your Feather; sigh for a Perriwig, and die for
a Cravat string.

_Euph._ Methinks, Sir, you might treat with more respect what I've
thought fit to own I value; your Affronts to him are doubly such to me;
if you continue your provoking Language, you must expect my Tongue will
sally too; and if you are as wise as some would make you, you can't but
know I shou'd have Theme enough.

_Esop._ But is it possible you can love so much as you pretend?

_Euph._ Why do you question it?

_Esop._ Because Nobody loves so much as they pretend: But hark you,
young Lady: Marriage is to last a long, long Time; and where one Couple
bless the sacred Knot, a Train of Wretches curse the Institution. You
are in an Age where Hearts are young and tender; a pleasing Object gets
Admittance soon. But since to Marriage there's annexed this dreadful
Word, _For ever_, the following Example ought to move you:

    _A Peacock once, of splendid show,
    Gay, gaudy, foppish, vain----a Beau,
    Attack'd a fond young Pheasant's Heart
    With such Success,
    He pleas'd her, tho' he made her smart;
    He pierc'd her with so much Address,
    She smil'd the Moment that he fixt his Dart.
      A Cuckow in a neighbouring Tree,
    Rich, honest, ugly, old----like me,
    Lov'd her as he lov'd his Life:
    No pamper'd Priest e'er study'd more
    To make a virtuous Nun a Whore,
    Than he to get her for his Wife:
    But all his Offers still were vain,
    His Limbs were weak, his Face was plain;
    Beauty, Youth, and Vigour weigh'd
    With the warm desiring Maid:
    No Bird, she cry'd, wou'd serve her turn,
    But what cou'd quench as well as burn;
    She'd have a young Gallant: so one she had.
    But 'ere a Month was come and gone,                                }
    The Bride began to change her tone,                                }
    She found a young Gallant was an inconstant one.                   }
    She wander'd to a neighbouring Grove,
    Where after musing long on Love,
    She told her Confidant, she found,
    When for one's Life one must be bound,
    (Tho' Youth indeed was a delicious Bait)
    An aged Husband, rich, tho' plain,                                 }
    Wou'd give a slavish Wife less Pain;                               }
    And, what was more, was sooner slain,                              }
    Which was a Thing of Weight._

Behold, young Lady, here, the Cuckow of the Fable; I'm deform'd, 'tis
true, yet I have found the Means to make a Figure amongst Men, that
well has recompens'd the Wrongs of Nature; my Rival's Beauty promises
you much; perhaps my homely Form might yield you more; at least,
consider on't, 'tis worth your Thought.

    _Euph._ I must confess, my Fortune wou'd be greater;
    But what's a Fortune to a Heart like mine?
    'Tis true, I'm but a young Philosopher,
    Yet in that little Space my Glass has run,
    I've spent some Time in search of Happiness:
    The fond Pursuit I soon observ'd of Riches,
    Inclin'd me to enquire into their Worth:
    I found their Value was not in themselves,
    But in their Power to grant what we cou'd ask.
    I then proceeded to my own Desires,
    To know what State of Life wou'd suit with them:
    I found 'em moderate in their Demands,
    They neither ask'd for Title, State, or Power:
    They slighted the aspiring Post of Envy:
    'Tis true, they trembled at the Name Contempt;
    A general Esteem was all they wish'd;
    And that I did not doubt might be obtain'd,
    If furnish'd but with Virtue and Good-nature;
    My Fortune prov'd sufficient to afford me
    Conveniences of Life, and Independence.
    This, Sir, was the Result of my Enquiry;
    And by this Scheme of Happiness I build,
    When I prefer the Man I love to you.

_Esop._ How wise, how witty, and how cleanly, young Women grow, as soon
as ever they are in love!

_Euph._ How foppish, how impertinent, and how nauseous are old Men,
when they pretend to be so too!

_Esop._ How pert is Youth!

_Euph._ How dull is Age!

_Esop._ Why so sharp, young Lady?

_Euph._ Why so blunt, old Gentleman?

_Esop._ 'Tis enough; I'll to your Father, I know how to deal with
him, though I don't know how to deal with you. Before to-morrow Noon,
Damsel, Wife shall be written on your Brow.

                                                         [_Exit ~Esop~._

_Euph._ Then before to-morrow Night, Statesman, Husband shall be stampt
upon your Forehead.

                                                         [_Exit ~Euph~._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ IV.


                     _Enter ~Oronces~ and ~Doris~._

_Dor._ Patience, I beseech you.

_Oron._ Patience! What, and see that lovely Creature thrown into the
Arms of that pedantick Monster! 'Sdeath, I'd rather see the World
reduc'd to A'toms, Mankind turn'd into Crawfish, and myself an old
Woman.

_Dor._ So you think an old Woman a very unfortunate thing, I find;
but you are mistaken, Sir; she may plague other Folks, but she's as
entertaining to herself, as any one Part of the Creation.

_Oron._ [_Walking to and fro._] She's the Devil----and I'm one of the
damn'd, I think. But I'll make somebody howl for't; I will so.

_Dor._ You'll e'en do as all the young Fellows in the Town do, spoil
your own Sport: Ah----had young Mens Shoulders but old Courtiers Heads
upon 'em, what a delicious Time wou'd they have on't! For shame, be
wise; for your Mistress's sake at least use some Caution.

_Oron._ For her sake I'll respect, even like a Deity, her Father. He
shall strike me, he shall tread upon me, and find me humbler even
than a crawling Worm, for I'll not turn again; but for _Esop_, that
unfinish'd Lump, that Chaos of Humanity, I'll use him----nay, expect
it, for I'll do it----the first Moment that I'll see him, I'll----

_Dor._ Not challenge him, I hope----'Twould be a pretty sight, truly,
to see _Esop_ drawn up in Battalia! Fye for shame, be wise once in your
Life; think of gaining Time, by putting off the Marriage for a Day or
two, and not of waging War with a Pigmy. Yonder's the old Gentleman
walking by himself in the Gallery; go and wheedle him, you know his
weak side; he's good-natur'd in the bottom. Stir up his old fatherly
Bowels a little, I'll warrant you'll move him at last: go, get you
gone, and play your Part discreetly.

_Oron._ Well, I'll try; but if Words won't do with one, Blows shall
with t'other; by Heavens, they shall.

                                                        [_Exit. ~Oron~._

                            _Doris ~sola~._

Nay, I reckon we shall have rare work on't bye and bye. Shield us, kind
Heaven! what Things are Men in love? Now they are Stocks and Stones;
then they are Fire and Quick-silver; first whining and crying, then
swearing and damning: This Moment they are in Love, and next Moment
they are out of Love: Ah--cou'd we but live without 'em--but 'tis in
vain to think on't.

                                                               [_Exit._

       _Enter ~Esop~ at one side of the Stage, Mrs. ~Forge-will~
                              at t'other._

_Forg._ Sir, I'm your most devoted Servant! What I say is no
Compliment, I do assure you.

_Esop._ Madam, as far as you are really mine, I believe I may venture
to assure you, I am yours.

_Forg._ I suppose, Sir, you know that I'm a Widow.

_Esop._ Madam, I don't so much as know you are a Woman.

_Forg._ O surprizing! Why, I thought the whole Town had known it. Sir,
I have been a Widow this Twelvemonth.

_Esop._ If a Body may guess at your Heart by your Petticoat, Lady, you
don't design to be so a Twelvemonth more.

_Forg._ O bless me! Not a Twelvemonth! Why, my Husband has left me four
squalling Brats. Besides, Sir, I'm undone.

_Esop._ You seem as chearful an undone Lady as I have met with.

_Forg._ Alas, Sir, I have too great a Spirit ever to let Afflictions
spoil my Face. Sir, I'll tell you my Condition; and that will lead me
to my Business with you. Sir, my Husband was a Scriviner.

_Esop._ The deuce he was: I thought he had been a Count, at least.

_Forg._ Sir, it is not the first Time I have been taken for a Countess;
my Mother us'd to say, as I lay in my Cradle, I had the Air of a Woman
of Quality; and truly I have always liv'd like such. My Husband,
indeed, had something sneaking in him (as most Husbands have, you know,
Sir); but, from the Moment I set Foot in his House, bless me, what a
Change was there! His Pewter was turn'd into Silver, his Goloshoes into
a Glass Coach, and his little travelling Mare into a Pair of _Flanders_
Horses. Instead of a greasy Cook-maid to wait at Table, I had four tall
Footmen in clean Linen; all Things became new and fashionable, and
nothing look'd aukward in my Family. My Furniture was the Wonder of my
Neighbourhood, and my Clothes the Admiration of the whole Town; I had
a Necklace that was envy'd by the Queen, and a Pair of Pendants that
set a Dutchess a-crying. In a Word, I saw nothing I lik'd but I bought
it; and my Husband, good Man, durst ne'er refuse paying for't. Thus I
liv'd, and I flourish'd, till he sicken'd and dy'd: but ere he was cold
in his Grave, his Creditors plunder'd my House. But, what pity it was
to see Fellows with dirty Shoes come into my best Rooms, and touch my
Hangings with their filthy Fingers! You won't blame me, Sir, if, with
all my Courage, I weep at this sensible Part of my Misfortune.

_Esop._ A very sad Story, truly!

_Forg._ But now, Sir, to my Business. Having been inform'd this
Morning, That the King has appointed a great Sum of Money for the
Marriage of young Women who have liv'd well, and are fallen to decay,
I am come to acquaint you I have two strapping Daughters, just fit for
the Matter, and to desire you'll help 'em to Portions out of the King's
Bounty; that they mayn't whine and pine, and be eaten up with the
Green-sickness, as half the young Women in the Town are, or wou'd be,
if there were not more Helps for the Disease than one. This, Sir, is my
Business.

_Esop._ And this, Madam, is my Answer:

      _A crawling Toad, all speckled o'er,
    Vain, gaudy, painted, patch'd----a Whore,
    Seeing a well-fed Ox hard by,
    Regards him with an envious Eye,
    And (as the Poets tell)
    Ye Gods, I cannot bear't, quoth she,
    I'll burst, or be as big as he,
    And so began to swell.
      Her Friends and Kindred round her came,
    They shew'd her she was much to blame,
    The Thing was out of reach.
    She told 'em they were busy Folk,
    And when her Husband wou'd have spoke,
    She bid him kiss her Br----.
    With that they all e'en gave her o'er,
    And she persisted as before,
    Till with a deal of Strife
    She swell'd at last so much her Spleen,
    She burst like one that we have seen,
    Who was a Scrivener's Wife._

This, Widow, I take to be your Case, and that of a great many others;
for this is an Age where most People get Falls, by clambering too
high, to reach at what they should not do. The Shoemaker's Wife
reduces her Husband to a Cobler, by endeavouring to be as spruce as
the Taylor's: The Taylor's brings hers to a Botcher, by going as fine
as the Mercer's: The Mercer's lowers hers to a Foreman, by perking up
to the Merchant's: The Merchant's wears hers to a Broker, by strutting
up to Quality: And Quality bring theirs to nothing, by striving to
out-do one another. If Women were humbler, Men wou'd be honester. Pride
brings Want, Want makes Rogues, Rogues come to be hang'd, and the Devil
alone's the Gainer. Go your ways home, Woman; and as your Husband
maintain'd you by his Pen, maintain yourself by your Needle; put your
great Girls to service, Imployment will keep them honest; much Work and
plain Diet will cure the Green-Sickness as well as a Husband----

_Forg._ Why, you pityful Pigmy; preaching, canting, Pickthank; you
little, sorry, crooked, dry, wither'd Eunuch, do you know that----

_Esop._ I know that I'm so deform'd you han't Wit enough to describe
me: But I have this good Quality, That a foolish Woman can never make
me angry.

_Forg._ Can't she so? I'll try that, I will.

                                                             [_She falls
                         upon him, holds his Hands, and boxes his Ears._

_Esop._ Help, help, help.

            _Enter Servants. She runs off, they after her._

_Esop._ Nay, e'en let her go----let her go----don't bring her back
again----I'm for making a Bridge of Gold for my Enemy to retreat
upon----I'm quite out of Breath----A terrible Woman, I protest.

         _Enter a Country Gentleman drunk, in a hunting Dress,
         with a Huntsman, Groom, Falconer, and other Servants;
         one leading a couple of Hounds, another Grey-Hounds,
              a third a Spaniel, a fourth a Gun upon his
          Shoulder, the Falconer a Hawk upon his Fist, ~&c.~_

_Gent._ Haux, haux, haux, haux, haux! Joular, there Boy, Joular,
Joular, Tinker, Pedlar, Miss, Miss, Miss, Miss, Miss--Blood and Oons--O
there he is; that must be he, I have seen his Picture [_Reeling upon_
Esop].--Sir,--if your Name's _Esop_--I'm your humble Servant.

_Esop._ Sir, my Name is _Esop_, at your Service.

_Gent._ Why then, Sir--Compliments being past on both sides, with your
leave--we'll proceed to Business. Sir, I'm by Profession--a Gentleman
of--three thousand Pounds a Year--Sir, I keep a good Pack of Hounds,
a good Stable of Horses. [_To his Groom._] How many Horses have I,
Sirrah?--Sir, this is my Groom.

                                            [_Presenting him to ~Esop~._

_Groom._ Your Worship has six Coach-horses, (Cut and Long-Tail) two
Runners, half a dozen Hunters, four breeding Mares, and two blind
Stallions, besides Pads, Routs, and Dog-Horses.

_Gent._ Look you there, Sir, I scorn to tell a Lye. He that questions
my Honour--he's a Son of a Whore. But to Business--Having heard,
Sir, that you were come to this Town, I have taken the Pains to come
hither too, tho' I had a great deal of Business upon my Hands, for I
have appointed three _Justices of the Peace_ to hunt with 'em this
Morning----and be drunk with 'em in the Afternoon. But the main Chance
must be look'd to--and that's this----I desire, Sir, you'll tell the
King from me--I don't like these Taxes--in one Word, as well as in
twenty--I don't like these Taxes.

_Esop._ Pray, Sir, how high may you be tax'd?

_Gent._ How high may I be tax'd, Sir! Why I may be tax'd, Sir--four
Shillings in the Pound, Sir; one half I pay in Money--and t'other half
I pay in Perjury, Sir: Hey, Joular, Joular, Joular. Haux, haux, haux,
haux, haux. Hoo, hoo----Here's the best Hound-bitch in _Europe_----Oons
is she. And I had rather kiss her than kiss my Wife----Rot me if I had
not----But, Sir, I don't like these Taxes.

_Esop._ Why how wou'd you have the War carry'd on?

_Gent._ War carried on, Sir!----Why, I had rather have no War carried
on at all, Sir, than pay Taxes. I don't desire to be ruin'd, Sir.

_Esop._ Why you say, you have three thousand Pounds a Year.

_Gent._ And so I have, Sir----_Lett-Acre!_----Sir, this is my Steward.
How much Land have I, _Lett-Acre_?

_Lett-Acre._ Your Worship has three thausand Paunds a Year, as good
Lond as any's i'th' Caunty; and two thausand Paunds worth of Wood to
cut dawne at your Worship's Pleasure, and put the Money in your Pocket.

_Gent._ Look you there, Sir, what have you to say to that?

_Esop._ I have to say, Sir, that you may pay your Taxes in Money,
instead of Perjury, and still have a better Revenue than I'm afraid you
deserve. What Service do you do your King, Sir?

_Gent._ None at all, Sir--I'm above it.

_Esop._ What Service may you do your Country, pray?

_Gent._ I'm Justice of the Peace----and Captain of the Militia.

_Esop._ Of what use are you to your Kindred?

_Gent._ I'm the Head of the Family, and have all the Estate.

_Esop._ What Good do you do your Neighbours?

_Gent._ I give them their Bellies full of Beef every time they come to
see me; and make 'em so drunk, they spew it up again before they go
away.

_Esop._ How do you use your Tenants?

_Gent._ Why, I skrew up their Rents till they break and run away, and
if I catch 'em again, I let 'em rot in a Gaol.

_Esop._ How do you treat your Wife?

_Gent._ I treat her all Day with Ill-nature and Tobacco, and all Night
with snoring and a dirty Shirt.

_Esop._ How do you breed your Children?

_Gent._ I breed my eldest Son----a Fool; my youngest breed themselves,
and my Daughters----have no Breeding at all.

_Esop._ 'Tis very well, Sir; I shall be sure to speak to the King of
you; or if you think fit to remonstrate to him, by way of Petition or
Address, how reasonable it may be to let Men of your Importance go
Scot-free, in the Time of a necessary War, I'll deliver it in Council,
and speak to it as I ought.

_Gent._ Why, Sir, I don't disapprove your Advice, but my Clerk is not
here, and I can't spell well.

_Esop._ You may get it writ at your leisure, and send it me. But
because you are not much used to draw up Addresses, perhaps; I'll tell
you in general what kind of one this ought to be.

       *       *       *       *       *

_May it please your Majesty_----

_To the Gent._] You'll excuse me, if I don't know your Name and Title.

_Gent._ Sir _Polydorus Hogstye_, of _Beast-Hall_ in _Swine-County_.

_Esop._ Very well.

_May it please your Majesty; ~Polydorus Hogstye~, of ~Beast-hall~ in
~Swine-County~, most humbly represents, That he hates to pay Taxes,
the dreadful Consequences of 'em being inevitably these, That he must
retrench two Dishes in ten, where not above six of 'em are design'd for
Gluttony._

_Four Bottles out of twenty; where not above fifteen of 'em are for
Drunkenness._

_Six Horses out of thirty; of which not above twenty are kept for
State._

_And four Servants out of a Score; where one half do nothing but make
Work for t'other._

_To this deplorable Condition must your important Subject be reduc'd,
or forc'd to cut down his Timber, which he wou'd willingly persevere
against an ill run at Dice._

_And as to the Necessity of the War for the Security of the Kingdom,
he neither knows nor cares whether it be necessary or not._

_He concludes with his Prayers for your Majesty's Life, upon Condition
you will protect him and his Fox Hounds at Beast-Hall, without e'er a
Penny of Money._

_To the Gent._] This, Sir, I suppose, is much what you wou'd be at.

_Gent._ Exactly, Sir; I'll be sure to have one drawn up to the
self-same purpose: and next Fox-Hunting I'll engage half the Company
shall set their Hands to't. Sir, I am your----most devoted Servant; and
if you please to let me see you at _Beast-Hall_, here's my Huntsman,
_Houndsfoot_, will shew you a Fox shall lead you through so many Hedges
and Briars, you shall have no more Clothes on your Back in half an
Hour's Time--than you had----in the Womb of your Mother. Haux, haux,
haux, &c.

                                                       [_Exit shouting._

Esop. _O Tempora, O Mores!_

                  _Enter Mr. ~Fruitful~ and his Wife._

_Mr. Fruit._ Heavens preserve the noble _Esop_, grant him long Life and
happy Days.

_Mrs. Fruit._ And send him a fruitful Wife, with a hopeful Issue!

_Esop._ And what is it I'm to do for you, good People, to make you
amends for all these friendly Wishes?

_Mr. Fruit._ Sir, here's myself and my Wife--

_Mrs. Fruit._ Sir, here's I and my Husband--[_To her Husband._] Let
me speak in my turn, Goodman _Forward_. [_To ~Esop~._] Sir, here's I
and my Husband, I say, think we have as good Pretensions to the King's
Favour as ever a Lord in the Land.

_Esop._ If you have no better than some Lords in the Land, I hope you
won't expect much for your Service.

_Mr. Fruit._ An't please you, you shall be Judge yourself.

_Mrs. Fruit._ That's as he gives Sentence, Mr. _Littlewit_; who gave
you Power to come to a Reference? If he does not do us right, the
King himself shall; what's to be done here! [_To ~Esop~._] Sir, I'm
forc'd to correct my Husband a little; poor Man, he is not us'd to
Court-Business; but to give him his due, he's ready enough at some
Things: Sir, I have had twenty fine Children by him; fifteen of 'em are
alive, and alive like to be; five tall Daughters are wedded and bedded,
and ten proper Sons serve their King and their Country.

_Esop._ A goodly Company, upon my Word!

_Mrs. Fruit._ Would all Men take as much Pains for the peopling of the
Kingdom, we might tuck up our Aprons, and cry, A Fig for our Enemies;
but we have such a Parcel of Drones amongst us----Hold up your Head,
Husband----He's a little out of Countenance, Sir, because I chid
him; but the Man is a very good Man at the Bottom. But to come to my
Business, Sir, I hope his Majesty will think it reasonable to allow me
something for the Service I have done him; 'tis pity but Labour shou'd
be encourag'd, especially when what one has done, one has done't with a
Good-will.

_Esop._ What Profession are you of, good People?

_Mrs. Fruit._ My Husband's an Inn-keeper, Sir; he bears the Name, but I
govern the House.

_Esop._ And what Posts are your Sons in, in the Service?

_Mrs. Fruit._. Sir, there are four Monks.

_Mr. Fruit._ Three Attorneys.

_Mrs. Fruit._ Two Scriveners.

_Mr. Fruit._ And an Exciseman.

_Esop._ The deuce o'the Service; why, I thought they had been all in
the Army.

_Mrs. Fruit._ Not one, Sir.

_Esop._ No, so it seems, by my Troth: Ten Sons that serve their
Country, quotha! Monks, Attorneys, Scriveners and Excisemen, serve
their Country with a Vengeance: you deserve to be rewarded, truly; you
deserve to be hang'd, you wicked People, you. Get you gone out of my
sight: I never was so angry in my Life.

                                                         [_Exit ~Esop~._

_Mr. Fruit. to his Wife._] So; who's in the right now, you or I? I told
you what wou'd come on't; you must be always a Breeding, and Breeding,
and the King wou'd take Care of 'em, and the Queen wou'd take Care of
'em: And always some Pretence or other there was. But now we have got a
great Kennel of Whelps, and the Devil will take Care of 'em, for aught
I see. For your Sons are all Rogues, and your Daughters are all Whores;
you know they are.

_Mrs. Fruit._ What, you are a grudging of your Pains now, you lazy,
sluggish, flegmatick Drone. You have a Mind to die of a Lethargy, have
you? but I'll raise your Spirits for you, I will so. Get you gone home,
go; go home, you idle Sot, you; I'll raise your Spirits for you.

                                        [_Exit, pushing him before her._

                           _Re-enter ~Esop~._

_Esop. solus._] Monks, Attorneys, Scriveners, and Excisemen!

                           _Enter ~Oronces~._

_Oron._ O here he is. Sir, I have been searching for you, to say two
Words to you.

_Esop._ And now you have found me, Sir, what are they?

_Oron._ They are, Sir----that my Name's Oronces: You comprehend me.

_Esop._ I comprehend your Name.

_Oron._ And not my Business?

_Esop._ Not I, by my Troth.

_Oron._ Then I shall endeavour to teach it you, Monsieur _Esop_.

_Esop._ And I to learn it, Monsieur _Oronces_.

_Oron._ Know, Sir----that I admire _Euphronia_.

_Esop._ Know, Sir----that you are in the right on't.

_Oron._ But I pretend, Sir, that Nobody else shall admire her.

_Esop._ Then I pretend, Sir, she won't admire you.

_Oron._ Why so, Sir?

_Esop._ Because, Sir----

_Oron._ What, Sir?

_Esop._ She's a Woman, Sir.

_Oron._ What then, Sir?

_Esop._ Why, then, Sir, she desires to be admir'd by every Man she
meets.

_Oron._ Sir, you are too familiar.

_Esop._ Sir, you are too haughty; I must soften that harsh Tone of
yours: It don't become you, Sir; it makes a Gentleman appear a Porter,
Sir: And that you may know the Use of good Language, I'll tell you what
once happen'd. _Once an a Time_----

_Oron._ I'll have none of your old Wives Fables, Sir, I have no Time to
lose; therefore, in a Word----

_Esop._ In a Word, be mild: For nothing else will do you Service. Good
Manners and soft Words have brought many a difficult Thing to pass.
Therefore hear me patiently.

      _A Cook one Day, who had been drinking,
    (Only as many Times, you know,
    You spruce, young, witty Beaux will do,
    To avoid the dreadful Pain of thinking)
    Had Orders sent him to behead
    A Goose, like any Chaplain fed.
    He took such Pains to set his Knife right,
    'T had done one good t'have lost one's Life by't.
    But many Men have many Minds,
    There's various Tastes in various Kinds:
    A Swan (who by Mistake he seiz'd)
    With wretched Life was better pleas'd:
    For as he went to give the Blow,
    In tuneful Notes she let him know,
    She neither was a Goose, nor wish'd
    To make her ~Exit~ so.
      The Cook (who thought of nought but Blood,
    Except it were the Grease,
    For that you know's his Fees)
    To hear her sing, in great Amazement stood.
    Cod's fish! quoth he, 'twas well you spoke,
    For I was just upon the Stroke:
    Your Feathers have so much of Goose,
    A drunken Cook cou'd do no less
    Than think you one: That you'll confess:
    But y' have a Voice so soft, so sweet,
    That rather than you shall be eat,
    The House shall starve for want of Meat:
    And so he turn'd her loose._

_To ~Oron~._] Now, Sir, what say you? will you be the Swan, or the
Goose?

    _Oron._ The Choice can't, sure, be difficult to make;
    I hope you will excuse my youthful Heat,
    Young Men and Lovers have a Claim to Pardon:
    But since the Faults of Age have no such Plea,
    I hope you'll be more cautious of offending.
    The Flame that warms _Euphronia_'s Heart and mine,
    Has long, alas! been kindled in our Breasts:
    Even Years are past since our two Souls were wed,
    'Twou'd be Adultery but to wish to part 'em.
    And wou'd a Lump of Clay alone content you,
    A Mistress cold and senseless in your Arms,
    Without the least Remains or Signs of Life,
    Except her Sighs to mourn her absent Lover?
    Whilst you shou'd press her in your eager Arms,
    With fond Desire and Extasy of Love,
    Wou'd it not pierce you to the very Soul,
    To see her Tears run trickling down her Cheeks,
    And know their Fountain meant 'em all to me?
    Cou'd you bear this?
    Yet thus the Gods revenge themselves on those
    Who stop the happy Course of mutual Love.
    If you must be unfortunate one way,
    Choose that where Justice may support your Grief,
    And shun the weighty Curse of injur'd Lovers.

    _Esop._ Why, this is pleading like a Swan, indeed!
    Were any Thing at Stake but my _Euphronia_----

    _Oron._ Your _Euphronia_! Sir----

    _Esop._ The Goose----take heed----
    Were any Thing, I say, at Stake but her,
    Your Plea wou'd be too strong to be refus'd.
    But our Debate's about a Lady, Sir,
    That's young, that's beautiful, that's made for Love.
    ----So am not I, you'll say: But you're mistaken;
    I'm made to love, tho' not to be belov'd.
    I have a Heart like yours; I've Folly too:
    I've every Instrument of Love like others.

    _Oron._ But, Sir, you have not been so long a Lover;
    Your Passion's young and tender,
    'Tis easy for you to become its Master:
    Whilst I shou'd strive in vain; mine's old and fixt.

_Esop._ The older 'tis, the easier to be govern'd; Were mine of as long
a standing, 'twere possible I might get the better on't. Old Passions
are like old Men; weak, and soon jostled into the Kennel.

_Oron._ Yet Age sometimes is strong, even to the Verge of Life.

_Esop._ Ah, but there our Comparison don't hold.

_Oron._ You are too merry to be much in Love.

_Esop._ And you too sad to be so long.

_Oron._ My grief may end my Days, so quench my Flame, but nothing else
can e'er extinguish it.

_Esop._ Don't be discourag'd, Sir, I have seen many a Man outlive his
Passion twenty Years.

_Oron._ But I have sworn to die _Euphronia_'s Slave.

_Esop._ A decay'd Face always absolves a Lover's Oath.

_Oron._ Lovers whose Oaths are made to Faces, then; But 'tis
_Euphronia_'s Soul that I adore, which never can decay.

_Esop._ I wou'd fain see a young Fellow in love with a Soul of
Threescore.

    _Oron._ Quit but _Euphronia_ to me, and you shall;
    At least if Heaven's Bounty will afford us
    But Years, enow to prove my Constancy,
    And this is all I ask the Gods and you.

                                                         [_Exit ~Oron~._

                            _~Esop~ solus._

A good Pretence, however, to beg long Life. How grosly do the
Inclinations of the Flesh impose upon the Simplicity of the Spirit!
Had this young Fellow but study'd Anatomy, he'd have found the Source
of his Passion lay far from his Mistress's Soul. Alas! alas! Had Women
no more Charms in their Bodies, than what they have in their Minds, we
should see more wise Men in the World, and much fewer Lovers and Poets.

                                                                [_Exit._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ V.


                    _Enter ~Euphronia~ and ~Doris~._

_Euph._ Heavens! what is't you make me do, _Doris_? Apply myself to the
Man I loath; beg Favours from him I hate; seek a Reprieve from him I
abhor; 'tis low, 'tis mean, 'tis base in me.

_Dor._ Why, you hate the Devil as much as you do _Esop_, or within a
small Matter, and should you think it a Scandal to pray him to let you
alone a Day or two, if he were going to run away with you; ha?

_Euph._ I don't know what I think, nor what I say, nor what I do: But
sure thou'rt not my Friend thus to advise me.

_Dor._ I advise! I advise nothing; e'en follow your own way; marry him,
and make much of him. I have a mind to see some of his Breed; if you
like it, I like it: He shan't breed out of me only; that's all I have
to take Care of.

_Euph._ Pr'ythee don't distract me.

_Dor._ Why, to-morrow's the Day, fix'd and firm, you know it; much
Meat, little Order, great many Relations, few Friends, Horse-play,
Noise, and bawdy Stories; all's ready for a complete Wedding.

_Euph._ Oh! what shall I do?

_Dor._ Nay, I know this makes you tremble; and yet your tender
Conscience scruples to drop one hypocritical Curtsy, and say, Pray, Mr.
_Esop_, be so kind to defer it a few Days longer.

_Euph._ Thou know'st I cannot dissemble.

_Dor._ I know you can dissemble well enough, when you shou'd not do't.
Do you remember how you us'd to plague your poor _Oronces_; make him
believe you loath'd him, when you cou'd have kiss'd the Ground he went
on; affront him in all publick Places; ridicule him in all Company;
abuse him wherever you went And when you had reduc'd him within an Ace
of hanging or drowning, then come home with Tears in your Eyes, and
cry, Now, _Doris_, let's go lock ourselves up, and talk of my dear
_Oronces_: Is not this true?

_Euph._ Yes, yes, yes. But, pr'ythee, have some Compassion of me. Come,
I'll do any thing thou bid'st me----What shall I say to this Monster?
Tell me, and I'll obey thee.

_Dor._ Nay, then there's some hopes of you. Why, you must tell
him----'Tis natural to you to dislike Folks at first sight: That since
you have consider'd him better, you find your Aversion abated: That
tho' perhaps it may be a hard Matter for you ever to think him a Beau,
you don't despair, in Time, of finding out his _Je-ne-sçai-quoy_.
And that on t'other side, tho' you have hitherto thought (as most
young Women do) that nothing cou'd remove your first Affection, yet
you have very great Hopes in the natural Inconstancy of your Sex.
Tell him, 'tis not impossible, a Change may happen, provided he gives
you Time: But that if he goes to force you, there's another Piece of
Nature peculiar to Women, which may chance to spoil all, and that's
Contradiction. Ring that Argument well in his Ears: He's a Philosopher;
he knows it has Weight in it. In short, wheedle, whine, flatter, lye,
weep, spare nothing; 'tis a moist Age, Women have Tears enow; and when
you have melted him down, and gain'd more Time, we'll employ it in
Closet-debates, how to cheat him to the end of the Chapter.

_Euph._ But you don't consider, _Doris_, that by this Means I engage
myself to him; and can't afterwards with Honour retreat.

_Dor._ Madam, I know the World--Honour's a Jest, when Jilting's useful.
Besides, he that wou'd have you break your Oath with _Oronces_, can
never have the Impudence to blame you, for cracking your Word with
himself. But who knows what may happen between the Cup and the Lip? Let
either of the old Gentlemen die, and we ride triumphant. Wou'd I could
but see the Statesman sick a little, I'd recommend a Doctor to him,
a Cousin of mine, a Man of Conscience, a wise Physician; tip but the
Wink, he understands you.

_Euph._ Thou wicked Wench, wou'd'st poison him?

_Dor._ I don't know what I wou'd do; I think, I study, I invent, and
somehow I will get rid of him. I do more for you, I'm sure, than you
and your Knight-Errant do together for yourselves.

_Euph._ Alas, both he and I do all we can; thou know'st we do.

_Dor._ Nay, I know y' are willing enough to get together; but y' are a
couple of helpless Things, Heaven knows.

_Euph._ Our Stars, thou see'st, are bent to Opposition.

_Dor._ Stars!--I'd fain see the Stars hinder me from running away with
a Man I lik'd.

_Euph._ Ay, but thou know'st, should I disoblige my Father, he'd give
my Portion to my younger Sister.

_Dor._ Ay, there the Shoe pinches, there's the Love of the Age!
Ah!----to what an Ebb of Passion are Lovers sunk in these Days! Give
me a Woman that runs away with a Man, when his whole Estate's pack'd
up in his Knap-sack: That tucks up her Coats to her Knees; and thro'
thick and thro' thin, from Quarters to Camp, trudges heartily on; with
a Child at her Back, another in her Arms, and a Brace in her Belly:
There's Flame with a Witness, where this is the Effects on't. But we
must have Love in a Feather-bed: Forsooth, a Coach and six Horses,
clean Linen, and Cawdle! Fie for shame. O ho! here comes our Man. Now
shew yourself a Woman, if you are one.

                            _Enter ~Esop~._

_Esop._ I'm told, fair Virgin, you desire to speak with me. Lovers are
apt to flatter themselves; I take your Message for a Favour. I hope
'twas meant so.

_Euph._ Favours from Women are so cheap of late, Men may expect 'em
truly, without Vanity.

_Esop._ If the Women are so liberal, I think the Men are generous too,
on their Side: 'Tis a well-bred Age; thank Heaven; and a deal of
Civility there passes between the two Sexes. What Service is't that I
can do you, Lady?

_Euph._ Sir, I have a small Favour to intreat you.

_Esop._ What is't? I don't believe I shall refuse you.

_Euph._ What if you shou'd promise me you won't?

_Esop._ Why then I shou'd make a Divorce between my Good-breeding and
my Sense, which ought to be as sacred a Knot as that of Wedlock.

_Euph._ Dare you not trust then, Sir, the Thing you love?

_Esop._ Not when the Thing I love don't love me: Never.

_Dor._ Trust is sometimes the Way to be belov'd.

_Esop._ Ay, but 'tis oftener the way to be cheated.

_Euph._ Pray promise me you'll grant my Suit.

_Dor._ 'Tis a reasonable one, I'll give you my word for't.

_Esop._ If it be so, I do promise to grant it.

_Dor._ That's still leaving yourself Judge.

_Esop._ Why, who's more concern'd in the Trial?

_Dor._ But no Body ought to be Judge in their own Cause.

_Esop._ Yet he that is so, is sure to have no wrong done him.

_Dor._ But if he does wrong to others, that's worse.

_Esop._ Worse for them, but not for him.

_Dor._ True Politician, by my troth!

_Esop._ Men must be so, when they have to do with Sharpers.

_Euph._ If I shou'd tell you then there were a Possibility I might be
brought to love you, you'd scarce believe me.

_Esop._ I shou'd hope as a Lover, and suspect as a Statesman.

_Dor._ [_Aside._] Love and Wisdom! There's the Passion of the Age again.

_Euph._ You have liv'd long, Sir, and observ'd much: Did you never see
Time produce strange Changes?

_Esop._ Amongst Women, I must confess I have.

_Euph._ Why, I'm a Woman, Sir.

_Esop._ Why, truly, that gives me some Hopes.

_Euph._ I'll encrease 'em, Sir; I have already been in Love two Years.

_Dor._ And Time, you know, wears all things to tatters.

_Esop._ Well observ'd.

_Euph._ What, if you shou'd allow me some, to try what I can do?

_Esop._ Why, truly, I would have Patience a Day or two, if there was as
much Probability of my being your new Gallant, as perhaps there may be
of changing your old one.

_Dor._ She shall give you fair Play for't, Sir; Opportunity and Leave
to prattle, and that's what carries most Women in our Days. Nay, she
shall do more for you: You shall play with her Fan; squeeze her little
Finger; buckle her Shoe; read a Romance to her in the Arbour; and
saunter in the Woods on a Moonshiny Night. If this don't melt her,
she's no Woman, or you're no Man----

_Esop._ I'm not a Man to melt a Woman that Way: I know myself, and know
what they require. 'Tis thro' a Woman's Eye you pierce her Heart; and
I've no Darts can make their Entrance there.

_Dor._ You are a great Statesman, Sir; but I find you know little of
our Matters. A Woman's Heart is to be enter'd forty Ways. Every Sense
she has about her keeps a Door to it. With a Smock-face, and a Feather,
you get in at her Eyes. With powerful Nonsense, in soft Words, you
creep in at her Ears. An essenc'd Peruke, and a sweet Handkerchief,
lets you in at her Nose. With a Treat, and a Box full of Sweetmeats,
you slip in at her Mouth: And if you wou'd enter by her Sense of
Feeling, 'tis as beaten a Road as the rest. What think you now, Sir?
_There are more Ways to the Wood than one_, you see.

_Esop._ Why, you're an admirable Pilot; I don't doubt but you have
steer'd many a Ship safe to Harbour: But I'm an old stubborn Seaman; I
must sail by my own Compass still.

_Euph._ And by your Obstinacy lose your Vessel.

_Esop._ No: I'm just ent'ring into Port; we'll be married to-morrow.

_Euph._ For Heaven's sake defer it some Days longer; I cannot love you
yet; indeed, I cannot.

_Esop._ Nor never will, I dare swear.

_Euph._ Why then will you marry me?

_Esop._ Because I love you.

_Euph._ If you lov'd me, you wou'd never make me miserable.

_Esop._ Not if I lov'd you for your sake; but I love you for my own.

_Dor._ [_Aside._] There's an old Rogue for you.

_Euph._ [_Weeping._] Is there no way left? must I be wretched?

_Esop._ 'Tis but resolving to be pleas'd. You can't imagine the
Strength of Resolution. I have seen a Woman resolve to be in the Wrong
all the Days of her Life; and by the help of her Resolution, she has
kept her Word to a Tittle.

_Euph._ Methinks the Subject we're upon shou'd be of Weight enough to
make you serious.

_Esop._ Right: To-morrow Morning pray be ready; you'll find me so: I'm
serious. Now I hope you are pleas'd.

                                               [_Turning away from her._

_Euph._ [_Going off weeping, and leaning upon ~Doris~._] Break, Heart!
for if than hold'st, I'm miserable.

_Dor._ [_To ~Esop~._] Now may the Extravagance of a lewd Wife, with the
Insolence of a virtuous one, join hand in hand to bring thy grey Hairs
to the Grave.

                                      [_Exeunt ~Euphronia~ and ~Doris~._

_Esop._ My old Friend wishes me well to the last, I see.

           _Enter ~Learchus~ hastily, follow'd by ~Oronces~._

_Oron._ Pray hear me, Sir.

_Lear._ 'Tis in vain; I'm resolv'd, I tell you. Most noble _Esop_,
since you are pleas'd to accept of my poor Offspring for your Consort,
be so charitable to my old Age, to deliver me from the Impertinence
of Youth, by making her your Wife this Instant; for there's a Plot
against my Life; they have resolv'd to teaze me to Death to-night, that
they may break the Match to-morrow Morning. Marry her this instant, I
intreat you.

_Esop._ This instant, say you!

_Lear._ This instant; this very instant.

_Esop._ 'Tis enough; get all things ready; I'll be with you in a Moment.

                                                         [_Exit ~Esop~._

_Lear._ Now, what say you, Mr. _Flame-fire_? I shall have the Whip-hand
of you presently.

_Oron._ Defer it till to-morrow, Sir.

_Lear._ That you may run away with her to-night; ha?----Sir, your most
obedient humble Servant. Hey, who waits there? Call my Daughter to me:
Quick. I'll give her her Dispatches presently.

                          _Enter ~Euphronia~._

_Euph._ D'ye call, Sir.

_Lear._ Yes, I do, Minx. Go shift yourself, and put on your best
Clothes. You are to be marry'd.

_Euph._ Marry'd, Sir!

_Lear._ Yes, marry'd, Madam; and that this Instant too.

_Euph._ Dear Sir----

_Lear._ Not a Word: Obedience and a clean Smock; dispatch.

                                            [_Exit ~Euphronia~ weeping._

_~Learchus~ going off, turns to ~Oronces~._] Sir, your most obedient
humble Servant.

_Oron._ Yet hear what I've to say.

_Lear._ And what have you to say, Sir?

_Oron._ Alas! I know not what I have to say!

_Lear._ Very like so. That's a sure Sign he's in love now.

_Oron._ Have you no Bowels?

_Lear._ Ha, ha! Bowels in a Parent! Here's a young Fellow for you.
Hark thee, Stripling; being in a very merry Humour, I don't care if I
discover some paternal Secrets to thee. Know then, that how humoursome,
how whimsical soever we may appear, there's one fixt Principle that
runs thro' almost the whole Race of us; and that's to please ourselves.
Why do'st think I got my Daughter? Why, there was something in't that
pleased me. Why dost think I marry my Daughter? Why to please myself
still. And what is't that pleases me? Why, my Interest; what do'st
think it shou'd be? If _Esop_'s my Son-in-Law, he'll make me a Lord: If
thou art my Son-in-Law----thou'lt make me a Grandfather. Now I having
more Mind to be a Lord than a Grandfather, give my Daughter to him,
and not to thee.

_Oron._ Then shall her Happiness weigh nothing with you?

_Lear._ Not this.--If it did, I'd give her to thee, and not to him.

_Oron._ Do you think forc'd Marriage the Way to keep Women virtuous?

_Lear._ No; nor I don't Care whether Women are virtuous or not.

_Oron._ You know your Daughter loves me?

_Lear._ I do so.

_Oron._ What, if the Children that _Esop_ may happen to father, shou'd
chance to be begot by me?

_Lear._ Why, then _Esop_ wou'd be the Cuckold, not I.

_Oron._ Is that all your Care?

_Lear._ Yes: I speak as a Father.

_Oron._ What think you of your Child's Concern in t'other World?

_Lear._ Why, I think it my Child's Concern, not mine. I speak as a
Father.

_Oron._ Do you remember you once gave me your Consent to wed your
Daughter?

_Lear._ I did.

_Oron._ Why did you so?

_Lear._ Because you were the best Match that offer'd at that Time. I
did like a Father.

_Oron._ Why then, Sir, I'll do like a Lover. I'll make you keep your
Word, or cut your Throat.

_Lear._ Who waits there, ha?

                           _Enter Servants._

_Lear._ Seize me that Bully there. Carry him to Prison, and keep him
safe.

                                                      [_They seize him._

_Oron._ Why, you won't use me thus?

_Lear._ Yes, but I will tho': Away with him. Sir, your most humble
Servant: I wish you a good Night's Rest; and as far as a merry Dream
goes, my Daughter's at your Service.

_Oron._ Death and Furies!

                                            [_Exeunt Serv. with ~Oron~._

Lear. [singing.] _Dol, de tol dol, dol, de tol dol, Lilly Burleighre's
lodg'd in a Bough._

              _Enter a Troop of Musicians, Dancers, ~&c.~_

_Lear._ How now! What have we got here?

_Mus._ Sir, we are a Troop of trifling Fellows, Fiddlers and Dancers,
come to celebrate the Wedding of your fair Daughter, if your Honour
pleases to give us Leave.

_Lear._ With all my Heart: But who do you take me for, Sir; ha?

_1 Mus._ I take your Honour for our noble Governor of _Sysicus_.

_Lear._ Governor of _Sysicus_! Governor of a Cheese-Cake! I'm
Father-in-Law to the great _Esop_, Sirrah. [_All bow to him._]
[_Aside._]----I shall be a great Man. Come, tune your Fiddles;
shake your Legs; get all things ready. My Son-in-Law will be here
presently----I shall be a great Man!

                                                                [_Exit._

_1 Mus._ A great Marriage, Brother! What do'st think will be the End
on't?

_2 Mus._ Why, I believe we shall see three Turns upon't. This old
Fellow here will turn Fool; his Daughter will turn Strumpet; and his
Son-in-Law will turn 'em both out of Doors. But that's nothing to
thee nor me, so long as we are paid for our Fiddling. So tune away,
Gentlemen.

_1 Mus._ D'ye hear, Trumpets? When the Bride appears, salute her with
a melancholy Waft. 'Twill suit her Humour; for I guess she mayn't be
over-well pleas'd.

         _Enter ~Learchus~ with several Friends, and a Priest._

_Lear._ Gentlemen and Friends, y'are all welcome. I have sent to as
many of you as our short Time wou'd give me Leave, to desire you wou'd
be Witnesses of the Honour the great _Esop_ designs ourself and Family.
Hey; who attends there? Go let my Daughter know I wait for her. [_Exit
Servant._] 'Tis a vast Honour that is done me, Gentlemen!

_2 Gent._ It is, indeed, my Lord.

_Lear._ [_Aside._] Look you there; if they don't call me my Lord
already----I shall be a great Man!

       _Enter ~Euphronia~ weeping, and leaning upon ~Doris~, both
                           in deep Mourning._

_Lear._ How now! What's here! All in deep Mourning! Here's a provoking
Baggage for you!

             [_The Trumpets sound a melancholy Air till ~Esop~ appears;
             and then the Violins and Hautboys strike up a ~Lancashire~
                                                             Hornpipe._

       _Enter ~Esop~ in a gay foppish Dress, Long Peruke, &c. a
         gaudy Equipage of Pages and Footmen, all enter in an
                          airy brisk Manner._

_Esop._ _in an affected Tone to ~Euphronia~._] Gad take my Soul,
Ma'am, I hope I shall please you now----Gentlemen all, I'm your humble
Servant. I'm going to be a very happy Man, you see. [_To ~Euph~._]
When the Heat of the Ceremony's over, if your Ladyship pleases,
Ma'am, I'll wait upon you to take the Air in the Park. Hey, Page;
let there be a Coach and six Horses ready instantly. [_Observing
her Dress._]----I vow to Gad, Ma'am, I was so taken up with my good
Fortune, I did not observe the extreme Fancy of your Ladyship's
Wedding-Clothes----Infinitely pretty! as I hope to be sav'd; a World of
Variety, and not at all gaudy.----[_To ~Lear~._] My dear Father-in-Law,
embrace me.

_Lear._ Your Lordship does me too much Honour. [_Aside._]----I shall be
a great Man!

_Esop._ Come, Gentlemen, are all things ready? Where's the Priest?

_Priest._ Here, my noble Lord.

_Esop._ Most Reverend----will you please to say Grace that I may fall
to, for I am very hungry, and here's very good Meat. But where's my
Rival all this while? The least we can do, is to invite him to the
Wedding.

_Lear._ My Lord, he's in Prison.

_Esop._ In Prison! How so?

_Lear._ He wou'd have murder'd me.

_Esop._ A bloody Fellow! But let's see him, however. Send for him
quickly. Ha! Governor----that handsome Daughter of yours, I will so
mumble her----

_Lear._ I shall be a great Man!

                _Enter ~Oronces~ pinion'd and guarded._

_Esop._ O ho, here's my Rival! Then we have all we want. Advance, Sir,
if you please. I desire you'll do me the Favour to be a Witness to my
Marriage, lest one of these Days you shou'd take a fancy to dispute my
Wife with me.

_Oron._ Do you then send for me to insult me? 'Tis base in you.

_Esop._ I have no Time now to throw away upon Points of Generosity; I
have hotter Work upon my Hands. Come, Priest, advance.

_Lear._ Pray, hold him fast there; he has the Devil and all of Mischief
in's Eye.

_Esop._ [_To ~Euph~._] Will your Ladyship please, Ma'am, to give me
your fair Hand----Hey-dey!

                                                [_She refuses her Hand._

_Lear._ I'll give it you, my noble Lord, if she won't. [_Aside._] A
stubborn, self-will'd, stiff-neck'd Strumpet.

               [_~Learchus~ holds out her Hand to ~Esop~, who takes it;
                 ~Oronces~ stands on ~Esop~'s left Hand, and the Priest
                                                           before 'em._

_Esop._ Let my Rival stand next me: Of all Men, I'd have him be
satisfy'd.

_Oron._ Barbarous, inhuman Monster!

_Esop._ Now, Priest, do thy Office.

                                          [_Flourish with the Trumpets._

    _Priest._ Since the eternal Laws of Fate decreed,
    That he thy Husband, she thy Wife shou'd be,
    May Heaven take you to its Care,
    May _Jupiter_ look kindly down,                                    }
    Place on your Heads Contentment's Crown!                           }
    And may his Godhead never frown                                    }
    Upon this happy Pair.

                                          [_Flourish again of Trumpets._

        [_As the Priest pronounces the last Line, ~Esop~ joins ~Oronces~
                                               and ~Euphronia~'s Hands._

_Oron._ O happy Change! Blessings on Blessings wait on the generous
_Esop_!

    _Esop._ Happy, thrice happy, may you ever be,                      }
    And if you think there's something due to me,                      }
    Pay it in mutual Love and Constancy.                               }

    _Euph._ _to ~Esop~._] You'll pardon me, most generous Man,
    If in the present Transports of my Soul,
    Which you yourself have by your Bounty caus'd,
    My willing Tongue is ty'd from uttering
    The Thoughts that flow from a most grateful Heart.

    _Esop._ For what I've done, I merit little Thanks,
    Since what I've done, my Duty bound me to.
    I wou'd your Father had acquitted his:
    But he who's such a Tyrant o'er his Children,
    To sacrifice their Peace to his Ambition,
    Is fit to govern nothing but himself.

    _To ~Lear~._] And, therefore, Sir, at my return to Court,
    I shall take care this City may be sway'd
    By more Humanity than dwells in you.

    _Lear. aside._] I shall be a great man!

    _Euph. To ~Esop~._] Had I not Reason, from your constant Goodness,
    To judge your Bounty, Sir, is infinite,
    I shou'd not dare to sue for farther Favours:
    But pardon me, if imitating Heaven and you,
    I easily forgive my aged Father,
    And beg that _Esop_ would forgive him too.

                                                     [_Kneeling to him._

_Esop._ The Injury he wou'd have done to you was great indeed: But
'twas a Blessing he design'd for me. If, therefore, you can pardon him,
I may. [_To ~Lear~._] Your injur'd Daughter, Sir, has on her Knees
intreated for her cruel, barbarous Father; and by her Goodness has
obtain'd her Suit. If, in the Remnant of your Days, you can find out
some way to recompense her, do it, that Men and Gods may pardon you, as
she and I have done. But, let me see, I have one Quarrel still to make
up. Where's my old Friend _Doris_?

_Dor._ She's here, Sir, at your Service; and as much your Friend as
ever; true to her Principles, and firm to her Mistress. But she has a
much better Opinion of you now than she had half an Hour ago.

_Esop._ She has reason: For my Soul appear'd then as deform'd as
my Body. But I hope now, one may so far mediate for t'other, that,
provided I don't make Love, the Women won't quarrel with me; for they
are worse Enemies even than they are Friends. Come, Gentlemen, I'll
humour my Dress a little longer, and share with you in the Diversions
these boon Companions have prepar'd us. Let's take our Places, and see
how they can divert us.

  _~Esop~ leads the Bride to her Place. All being seated,
    there's a short Concert of Hautboys, Trumpets, &c. After which a
    Dance between an old Man and a young Woman, who shuns him still
    at he comes near her. At last he stops, and begins this Dialogue,
    which they sing together._

                        Old Man.

    _Why so cold, and why so coy?
    What I want in Youth and Fire,
    I have in Love and in Desire:
    To my Arms, my Love, my Joy!
    Why so cold, and why so coy?_

                        Woman.

    _'Tis Sympathy, perhaps, with you;
    You are cold, and I'm so too._.

                        Old Man.

    _My Years alone have froze my Blood;
    Youthful Heat in Female Charms,
    Glowing in my aged Arms,
    Wou'd melt it down once more into a Flood._

                        Woman.

    _Women, alas, like Flints, ne'er burn alone;
    To make a Virgin know
    There's Fire within the Stone,
    Some manly Steel must boldly strike the Blow._

                        Old Man.

    _Assist me only with your Charms,
    You'll find I'm Man, and still am bold;
    You'll find I still can strike, tho' old:
    I only want your Aid to raise my Arms._

             Enter a Youth, who seizes on the young Woman.

                        Youth.

    _Who talks of Charms, who talks of Aid?
    I bring an Arm
    That wants no Charm,
    To rouze the Fire that's in a flinty Maid.
    Retire, old Age:
            ----Winter, begone:
    Behold the youthful Spring comes gayly on.
    Here, here's a Torch to light a Virgin's Fire!
    To my Arms, my Love, my Joy;
    When Women have what they desire,
    They're neither cold nor coy._

                                             [She takes him in her Arms.

        _The Song and Dances ended, ~Esop~ takes ~Euphronia~ and
            ~Oronces~ by the Hands, leading them forwards._

_Esop._ By this Time, my young eager Couple, 'tis probable you wou'd
be glad to be alone; perhaps you'll have a Mind to go to Bed, even
without your Supper; for Brides and Bridegrooms eat little on their
Wedding-Night. But since, if Matrimony were worn as it ought to be, it
wou'd, perhaps, sit easier about us than it usually does, I'll give you
one Word of Counsel, and so I shall release you. When one is out of
Humour, let the other be dumb. Let your Diversions be such, as both may
have a Share in 'em. Never let Familiarity exclude Respect. Be clean in
your Clothes, but nicely so in your Persons. Eat at one Table, lie in
one Room, but sleep in two Beds: I'll tell the Ladies why:

                    Turning to the Boxes.

    _In the sprightly Month of May,                                    }
    When Males and Females sport and play,                             }
    And kiss and toy away the Day;                                     }
    An eager Sparrow and his Mate,                                     }
    Chirping on a Tree, were sat,                                      }
    Full of Love----and full of Prate.                                 }
    They talk'd of nothing but their Fires,
    Of raging Heats, and strong Desires,
    How true and faithful they wou'd be;
    Of eternal Constancy;
    Of this and that, and endless Joys,
    And a thousand more such Toys:
        Only Thing they apprehended,
    Was that their Lives wou'd be so short,
    They cou'd not finish half their Sport
    Before their Days were ended.
    But as from Bough to Bough they rove,
        They chanc'd at last
        In furious haste,
    On a Twig with Birdlime spread,
    (Want of a more downy Bed)
        To act a Scene of Love.
    Fatal it proved to both their Fires.
    For tho' at length they broke away,                                }
    And baulk'd the School-Boy of his Prey,                            }
    Which made him weep the live-long Day,                             }
    The Bridegroom, in the hasty strife,
    Was stuck so fast to his dear Wife,
    That tho' he us'd his utmost Art,
    He quickly found it was in vain,
    To put himself to further Pain,
    They never more must part.
    A gloomy Shade o'ercast his Brow;                                  }
    He found himself----I know not how:                                }
    He look'd as Husbands often do.                                    }
    Where-e'er he mov'd, he felt her still,
    She kiss'd him oft against his Will:
    Abroad, at Home, at Bed and Board,
    With favours she o'erwhelm'd her Lord.
    Oft he turn'd his Head away,                                       }
    And seldom had a Word to say,                                      }
    Which absolutely spoil'd her Play,                                 }
    For she was better stor'd.
    Howe'er, at length, her stock was spent,
    (For Female Fires sometimes may be
    Subject to Mortality;)
    So Back to Back they sit, and sullenly repent.
    But the mute Scene was quickly ended,
    The Lady, for her share, pretended
    The Want of Love lay at his Door;                                  }
    For her part, she had still in store                               }
    Enough for him and twenty more,                                    }
    Which cou'd not be contended.
    He answer'd her in homely Words,
    (For Sparrows are but ill-bred Birds)
    That he already had enjoy'd
    So much, that truly he was cloy'd.
    Which so provok'd her Spleen,
    That after some good hearty Prayers,                               }
    A Jostle, and some spiteful Tears,                                 }
    They fell together by the Ears,                                    }
    And ne'er were fond again._

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

                                _ESOP._



PART II.


                            _Enter Players._

_Esop._ Well, good People, who are all you?

_Omnes._ Sir, we are Players.

_Esop._ Players! What Players?

_Play._ Why, Sir, we are Stage-Players, that's our Calling: Tho' we
play upon other Things too; some of us play upon the Fiddle; some play
upon the Flute; we play upon one another; we play upon the Town; and we
play upon the Patentees.

_Esop._ Patentees! Pr'ythee, what are they?

_Play._ Why, they are, Sir----Sir, they are----'Cod I don't know
what they are----Fish or Flesh----Masters or Servants----Sometimes
one----Sometimes t'other, I think----Just as we are in the Mood.

_Esop._ Why, I thought they had a lawful Authority over you.

_Play._ Lawful Authority, Sir!----Sir, we are free-born _Englishmen_,
we care not for Law nor Authority neither, when we are out of Humour.

_Esop._ But I think they pretended at least to an Authority over you;
pray, upon what Foundation was it built?

_Play._ Upon a rotten one----if you'll believe us. Sir, I'll tell you
what the Projectors did: They imbark'd twenty thousand Pound upon a
leaky Vessel----She was built at _Whitehall_; I think they call'd
her----the Patent----ay, the Patent: Her Keel was made of a Broad
Seal----and the King gave 'em a white Staff for their Main-Mast. She
was a pretty light Frigate to look upon, indeed: They spar'd nothing
to set her off; they gilded her, and painted her, and rigg'd, and
gunn'd her: And so sent her a Privateering. But the first Storm that
blew, down went the Mast, ashore went the Ship--Crack, says the Keel;
Mercy, cry'd the Pilot; but the Wind was so high, his Pray'rs cou'd not
be heard--so they split upon a Rock----that lay hid under a Petticoat.

_Esop._ A very sad Story, this! But what became of the Ship's Company?

_Play._ Why, Sir, your humble Servants here, who were the Officers, and
the best of the Sailors----(little _Ben_ amongst the rest) seiz'd on a
small Bark that lay to our Hand, and away we put to Sea again. To say
the truth, we were better mann'd than rigg'd, and Ammunition was plaguy
scarce amongst us.----However, a cruising we went, and some petty
small Prizes we have made; but the Blessing of Heaven not being among
us----or how the Devil 'tis, I cannot tell; but we are not rich.

_Esop._ Well, but what became of the rest of the Crew?

_Play._ Why, Sir, as for the Scoundrels, they, poor Dogs, stuck by the
Wreck. The Captain gave them Bread and Cheese, and good Words----He
told them, if they wou'd patch her up, and venture t'other Cruise, he'd
prefer 'em all; so to work they went, and to Sea they got her.

_Esop._ I hope he kept his Word with 'em.

_Play._ That he did; he made the Boatswain's Mate Lieutenant; he made
the Cook Doctor: He was forc'd to be Purser and Pilot, and Gunner
himself; and the Swabber took Orders to be Chaplain.

_Esop._ But with such unskilful Officers, I'm afraid, they'll hardly
keep above Water long.

_Play._ Why truly, Sir, we care not how soon they are under: But curst
Folks thrive, I think. I know nothing else that makes 'em swim. I'm
sure, by the Rules of Navigation, they ought to have over-set long
since; for they carry a great deal of Sail, and have very little
Ballast.

_Esop._ I'm afraid you ruin one another. I fancy if you were all in a
Ship together again, you'd have less Work, and more Profit.

_Play._ Ah, Sir----we are resolv'd we'll never sail under Captain
Patentee again.

_Esop._ Pr'ythee, why so?

_Play._ Sir, he has us'd us like Dogs.

_Wom._----And Bitches too, Sir.

_Esop._ I'm sorry to hear that; pray, how was't he treated you?

_Play._ Sir, 'tis impossible to tell; he us'd us like the _English_ at
_Amboyna_----

_Esop._ But I wou'd know some Particulars: Tell me what 'twas he did to
you?

_Play._ What he did, Sir?----Why, he did in the first Place, Sir----In
the first Place, Sir, he did----I'cod I don't know what he did----Can
you tell, Wife?

_Wom._ Yes, marry can I; and a burning Shame it was too.

_Play._ O, I remember now, Sir, he wou'd not give us Plums enough in
our Pudding.

_Esop._ That indeed was very hard; but did he give you as many as he
promis'd you?

_Play._ Yes, and more; but what of all that? We had not as many as we
had a mind to----

_1 Wom._ Sir, my Husband tells you Truth--

_Esop._ I believe he may; but what other Wrongs did he do you?

_1 Wom._ Why, Sir, he did not treat me with Respect; 'twas not one Day
an three he would so much as bid me good-morrow--

_2 Wom._ Sir, he invited me to Dinner, and never drank my Health.

_1 Wom._ Then he cock'd his Hat at Mrs. _Pert_.

_2 Wom._ Yes, and told Mrs. _Slippery_ he had as good a Face as she had.

_Esop._ Why, these were insufferable Abuses--

_2 Play._ Then, Sir, I did but come to him one Day--and tell him I
wanted fifty Pound, and what do you think he did by me, Sir?--Sir, he
turn'd round upon his Heel like a Top--

_1 Play._ But that was nothing to the Affront he put upon me, Sir.
I came to him, and in very civil words, as I thought, desir'd him to
double my Pay: Sir, wou'd you believe it? He had the Barbarity to ask
me if I intended to double my Work; and because I told him no, Sir--he
did use me, good Lord, how he did use me!

_Esop._ Pr'ythee how?

_1 Play._ Why, he walk'd off, and answered me never a Word.

_Esop._ How had you Patience?

_1 Play._ Sir, I had not Patience. I sent him a Challenge; and what do
you think his answer was?--He sent me Word I was a scoundrel Son of a
Whore, and he wou'd only fight me by Proxy----

_Esop._ Very fine!

_1 Play._ At this rate, Sir, were we poor Dogs us'd--till one frosty
Morning down he comes amongst us--and very roundly tells us----That for
the future, no Purchase, no Pay. They that wou'd not work, shou'd not
eat----Sir, we at first ask'd him coolly and civilly----Why? His answer
was, Because the Town wanted Diversion, and he wanted Money----Our
Reply to this, Sir, was very short; but I think to the purpose.

_Esop._ What was it?

_1 Play._ It was, Sir, that so we wallow'd in Plenty and Ease----the
Town and he might be damn'd----This, Sir, is the true History of our
Separation----and we hope you'll stand our Friend----

_Esop._ I'll tell you what, Sirs----

      _I once a Pack of Beagles knew----
    That much resembled I know who;
    With a good Huntsman at their Tail,
    In full Command,
    With Whip in Hand,
    They'd run apace
    The chearful Chace,
    And of their Game were seldom known to fail.
    But being at length their chance to find
    A Huntsman of a gentler Kind,
    They soon perceiv'd the Rein was slack;
    The Word went quickly thro' the Pack----
    They one and all cry'd Liberty;
    This happy Moment we are free;
    We'll range the Woods,
    Like Nymphs and Gods,
    And spend our Mouths in Praise of Mutiny.
    With that, old ~Jowler~ trots away,
    And ~Bowman~ singles out his Prey;
    ~Thunder~ bellow'd thro' the Wood,
    And swore he'd burst his Guts with Blood;
    ~Venus~ tript it o'er the Plain,
    With boundless Hopes of boundless Gain;
    ----~Juno~, she slipt down the Hedge,
    But left her sacred Word for Pledge,
    That all she pickt up by the by----
    Shou'd to the public Treasury;
    And well they might rely upon her;
    For ~Juno~ was a Bitch of Honour.
    In short, they all had Hopes to see
    A heavenly Crop of Mutiny.
    And so to reaping fell.
    But in a little Time they found,
    It was the Devil had till'd the Ground,
    And brought the Seed from Hell.
    The Pack divided, nothing throve:
    Discord seiz'd the Throne of Love.
    Want and Misery all endure;
    All take pains, and all grow poor.
    When they had toil'd the live-long Day,
    And came at Night to view their Prey,
    Oft, alas, so ill they'd sped,
    That half went Supperless to Bed.
    At length they all in Council sate,
    Where at a very fair Debate,
    It was agreed at last,
    That Slavery with Ease and Plenty,
    When Hounds were something turn'd of twenty,
    Was much a better Fate,
    Than 'twas to work and fast._

_1 Play._ Well, Sir----and what did they do then?

_Esop._ Why they all went home to their Kennel again. If you think they
did wisely, you'll do well to follow their Example.

                                                         [_Exit ~Esop~._

_1 Play._ Well, Beagles, what think you of the little Gentleman's
Advice?

_2 Wom._ I think he's a little ugly Philosopher, and talks like a Fool.

_1 Play._ Ay, why there 'tis now! If he had been a tall Handsome
Blockhead, he had talk'd like a wise Man.

_2 Wom._ Why, do you think, Mr. _Jowler_, that we'll ever join again?

_1 Play._ I do think, sweet Mrs. _Juno_, that if we do not join again,
you must be a little freer of your Carcase than you are, or you must
bring down your Pride to a Serge Petticoat.

_1 Wom._ And do you think, Sir, after the Affronts I have receiv'd, the
Patent and I can ever be Friends?

_1 Play._ I do think, Madam, that if my interest had not been more
affronted than your Face, the Patent and you had never been Foes.

_1 Wom._ And so, Sir, then you have serious Thoughts of a
Reconciliation!

_1 Play._ Madam, I do believe I may.

_1 Wom._ Why then, Sir, give me Leave to tell you, that--make it my
Interest, and I'll have serious Thoughts on't too.

_2 Wom._ Nay, if you are thereabouts, I desire to come into the Treaty.

_3 Play._ And I.

_4 Play._ And I.

_1 Play._ And I. No separate Peace. None of your _Turin_ Play, I
beseech you.

_1 Play._ Why then, since you are all so Christianly dispos'd----I
think we had best adjourn immediately to our Council-Chamber, choose
some potent Prince for Mediator and Guarantee----fix upon the Place of
Treaty, dispatch our Plenipo's, and whip up the Peace like an Oyster.
For, under the Rose, my Confederates, here is such a damn'd Discount
upon our Bills, I'm afraid, if we stand it out another Campaign, we
must live upon slender Subsistence.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

          _Enter ~Esop~; and a Country Gentleman, who walks to
                 and fro, looking angrily upon ~Esop~._

_Esop._ Have you any Business with me, Sir?

_Gent._--I can't tell whether I have or not.

_Esop._ You seem disturb'd, Sir?

_Gent._ I'm always so at the Sight of a Courtier.

_Esop._ Pray what may it be, that gives you so great an Antipathy to
'em?

_Gent._ My Profession.

_Esop._ What's that?

_Gent._ Honesty.

_Esop._ 'Tis an honest Profession. I hope, Sir, for the general Good of
Mankind, you are in some public Employment?

_Gent._ So I am, Sir----no Thanks to the Court.

_Esop._ You are then, I suppose, employ'd by----

_Gent._ My Country.

_Esop._ Who have made you----

_Gent._ A Senator.

_Esop._ Sir, I reverence you.

                                                              [_Bowing._

_Gent._ Sir, you may reverence as low as you please; but I shall spare
none of you. Sir, I am intrusted by my Country with above ten Thousand
of their Grievances, and, in order to redress them, my Design is to
hang ten thousand Courtiers.

_Esop._ Why, 'tis making short Work, I must confess; but are you sure,
Sir, that wou'd do't?

_Gent._ Sure,----Ay, sure.

_Esop._ How do you know?

_Gent._ Why, the whole Country says so, and I at the Head of 'em. Now
let me see who dares say the contrary.

_Esop._ Not I, truly. But, Sir, if you won't take it ill, I'll ask you
a Question or two.

_Gent._ Sir, I shall take ill what I please. And if you, or e'er a
Courtier of you all pretend the contrary, I say, 'tis a Breach of
Privilege----Now put your Question, if you think fit.

_Esop._ Why then, Sir, with all due regard to your Character, and your
Privilege too, I wou'd be glad to know what you chiefly complain of?

    _Gent._ Why, Sir, I do chiefly complain, that we have
    A great many Ships, and very little Trade;
    A great many Tenants, and very little Money;
    A great many Soldiers, and very little fighting;
    A great many _Gazettes_, and little good News;
    A great many Statesmen, and very little Wisdom;
    A great many Parsons, and not an Ounce of Religion.

_Esop._ Why truly, Sir, I do confess these are Grievances very well
worth your redressing. And I perceive you are truly sensible of our
Diseases, but I'm afraid you are a little out in the Cure.

_Gent._ Sir, I perceive you take me for a Country-Physician: but
you shall find, Sir, that a Country-Doctor is able to deal with a
Court-Quack; and to shew you that I do understand something of the
State of the Body-Politic, I will tell you, Sir, that I have heard a
wise Man say, the Court is the Stomach of the Nation, in which, if
the Business be not thoroughly digested, the whole Carcase will be in
Disorder. Now, Sir, I do find by the Feebleness of the Members, and
the Vapours that fly into the Head, that this same Stomach is full of
indigestions, which must be remov'd: And therefore, Sir, I am come Post
to Town with my Head full of _Crocus Metallorum_, and design to give
the Court a Vomit.

_Esop._ Sir, the Physic you mention, tho' necessary sometimes, is of
too violent a Nature to be us'd without a great deal of Caution. I'm
afraid, you are a little too rash in your Prescriptions. Is it not
possible you may be mistaken in the Cause of the Distemper?

_Gent._ Sir, I do not think it possible I shou'd be mistaken in any
thing.

_Esop._ Have you been long a Senator?

_Gent._ No, Sir.

_Esop._ Have you been much about Town?

_Gent._ No, Sir.

_Esop._ Have you convers'd much with Men of Business?

_Gent._ No, Sir.

_Esop._ Have you made any serious Enquiry into the present Disorders of
the Nation?

_Gent._ No, Sir.

_Esop._ Have you ever heard what the Men now employ'd in Business have
to say for themselves?

_Gent._ No, Sir.

_Esop._ How then do you know they deserve to be punish'd for the
present Disorders in your Affairs?

_Gent._ I'll tell you how I know.

_Esop._ I would be glad to hear.

_Gent._ Why, I know by this----I know it, I say, by this----that I'm
sure on't----And to give you Demonstration that I'm sure on't, there is
not one Man in a good Post in the Nation--but I'd give my Vote to hang
him: Now I hope you are convinc'd.

_Esop._ As for Example: The first Minister of State, why wou'd you hang
him?

_Gent._ Because he gives bad Counsel.

_Esop._ How do you know?

_Gent._ Why, they say so.

_Esop._ And who would you put in his Room?

_Gent._ One that would give better.

_Esop._ Who's that?

_Gent._ Myself.

_Esop._ The Secretary of State, why wou'd you hang him?

_Gent._ Because he has not good Intelligence.

_Esop._ How do you know?

_Gent._ I have heard so.

_Esop._ And who would you put in his Place?

_Gent._ My Father.

_Esop._ The Treasurer, why would you hang him?

_Gent._ Because he does not understand his Business.

_Esop._ How do you know?

_Gent._ I dreamt so.

_Esop._ And who would you have succeed him?

_Gent._ My Uncle.

_Esop._ The Admiral, why would you hang him?

_Gent._ Because he has not destroy'd the Enemies Ships.

_Esop._ How do you know he could do it?

_Gent._ Why, I believe so.

_Esop._ And who would you have command in his Stead?

_Gent._ My Brother.

_Esop._ And the General, why would you hang him?

_Gent._ Because he took ne'er a Town last Campaign.

_Esop._ And how you do know it was in his Power?

_Gent._ Why, I don't care a Souss whether 'twas in his power or not.
But I have a Son at home, a brave chopping Lad; he has been Captain
in the Militia these twelve Months, and I'd be glad to see him in his
Place. What do ye stare for, Sir? Ha! I'gad I tell you he'd scour
all to the Devil. He's none of your Fencers, none of your sa-sa Men.
_Numps_ is downright, that's his Play. You may see his Courage in his
Face: He has a Pair of Cheeks like two Bladders, a Nose as flat as your
Hand, and a Forehead like a Bull.

_Esop._ In short, Sir, I find if you and your Family were provided for,
Things would soon grow better than they do.

_Gent._ And so they wou'd, Sir. Clap me at the Head of the State, and
_Numps_ at the Head of the Army: He with his Club-Musquet, and I with
my Club Head-Piece, we'd soon put an End to your Business.

_Esop._ I believe you wou'd indeed. And therefore, since I happen to be
acquainted with your extraordinary Abilities, I am resolv'd to give the
King an Account of you, and employ my Interest with him, that you and
your Son may have the Posts you desire.

_Gent._ Will you, by the Lord?--Give me your Fist, Sir--the only honest
Courtier that ever I met with in my Life.

_Esop._ But, Sir, when I have done you this mighty Piece of Service, I
shall have a small Request to beg of you, which I hope you won't refuse
me.

_Gent._ What's that?

_Esop._ Why, 'tis in behalf of the two Officers who are to be displac'd
to make Room for you and your Son.

_Gent._ The Secretary and the General?

_Esop._ The same. 'Tis pity they shou'd be quite out of Business: I
must therefore desire you'll let me recommend one of 'em to you for
your Bailiff, and t'other for your Huntsman.

_Gent._ My Bailiff and my Huntsman!----Sir, that's not to be granted.

_Esop._ Pray, why?

_Gent._ Why?----Because one wou'd ruin my Land, and t'other wou'd spoil
my Fox-Hounds.

_Esop._ Why do you think so?

_Gent._ Why do I think so!----These Courtiers will ask the strangest
Questions!----Why, Sir, do you think that Men bred up to the State or
the Army, can understand the Business of Ploughing and Hunting?

_Esop._ I did not know but they might.

_Gent._ How cou'd you think so?

_Esop._ Because I see Men bred up to Ploughing and Hunting, understand
the Business of the State and the Army.

_Gent._ I'm shot----I ha'n't one Word to say for myself----I never was
so caught in my Life.

_Esop._ I perceive, Sir, by your Looks, what I have said has made some
Impression upon you; and would, perhaps do more, if you wou'd give it
leave. [_Taking his Hand._] Come, Sir, tho' I am a Stranger to you, I
can be your Friend; my Favour at Court does not hinder me from being
a Lover of my Country. 'Tis my Nature, as well as Principle, to be
pleas'd with the Prosperity of Mankind. I wish all Things happy, and my
Study is to make them so.

The Distempers of the Government (which I own are great) have employ'd
the Stretch of my Understanding, and the deepest of my Thoughts,
to penetrate the Cause, and to find out the Remedy. But alas! All
the Product of my Study is this, That I find there is too near a
Resemblance between the Diseases of the State and those of the Body,
for the most expert Minister to become a greater Master in one than the
College is in t'other: And how far their Skill extends, you may see by
this Lump upon my Back. Allowances in all Professions there must be,
since 'tis weak Man that is the weak Professor. Believe me, Senator,
for I have seen the Proof on't. The longest Beard amongst us is a Fool.
Cou'd you but stand behind the Curtain, and there observe the secret
Springs of State, you'd see, in all the Good or Evil that attends it,
ten Ounces of Chance for one Grain either of Wisdom or Roguery.

You'd see, perhaps, a venerable Statesman sit fast asleep in a great
downy Chair; whilst, in that soft Vacation of his Thought, blind Chance
(or what at least we blindly call so) shall so dispose a thousand
secret Wheels, that when he awakes, he needs but write his Name, to
publish to the World some blest Event, for which his Statue shall be
rais'd in Brass.

Perhaps a Moment thence, you shall behold him torturing his Brain; his
Thoughts all stretcht upon the Rack for publick Service. The live-long
Night, when all the World's at rest, consum'd in Care, and watching for
their Safety, then by a Whirlwind in his Fate, in spight of him, some
Mischief shall befall 'em, for which a furious Sentence strait shall
pass, and they shall vote him to the Scaffold. Even thus uncertain are
Rewards and Punishments; and even thus little do the People know, when
'tis the Statesman merits one or t'other.

_Gent._ Now I do believe I am beginning to be a wise Man; for I never
till now perceived I was a Fool. But do you then really believe, Sir,
our Men in Business do the best they can?

_Esop._ Many of 'em do: Some perhaps do not. But this you may depend
upon; he that is out of Business is the worst Judge in the World of him
that is in: First, Because he seldom knows any Thing of the Matter:
And, Secondly, Because he always desires to get his Place.

_Gent._ And so, Sir, you turn the Tables upon the Plaintiff, and lay
the Fool and Knave at his Door.

_Esop._ If I do him wrong, I'm sorry for't. Let him examine himself,
he'll find whether I do or not.

                                                         [_Exit ~Esop~._

_Gent._----Examine!----I think I have had enough of that already.
There's nothing left, that I know of, but to give Sentence: And truly I
think, there's no great difficulty in that. A very pretty Fellow I am,
indeed! Here am I come bellowing and roaring two hundred Miles Post to
find myself an Ass; when, with one Quarter of an Hour's Consideration,
I might have made the self-same Discovery, without going over my
Threshold. Well! if ever they send me on their Errand to reform the
State again, I'll be damn'd. But this I'll do: I'll go home and reform
my Family if I can: Them I'm sure I know. There's my Father's a peevish
old Coxcomb: There's my Uncle's a drunken old Sot: There's my Brother's
a cowardly Bully: Son _Numps_ is a lubberly Whelp: I've a great ramping
Daughter, that stares like a Heifer: and a Wife that's a slatternly Sow.

                                                                [_Exit._

           _Enter a young, gay, airy Beau, who stands smiling
                       contemptibly upon ~Esop~._

_Esop._ Well, Sir, what are you?

_Beau._ A Fool.

_Esop._ That's impossible!----for if thou wert, thou'd'st think thyself
a wise Man.

_Beau._ So I do--This is my own Opinion----the t'other's my Neighbour's.

                                                [_Walking airily about._

_Esop. gazing after him._] Have you any Business with me, Sir?

_Beau._ Sir, I have Business with nobody, Pleasure's my Study.

_Esop._ [_Aside._] An odd Fellow this!----Pray, Sir, who are you?

_Beau._ I can't tell----

_Esop._----Do you know who I am?

_Beau._ No, Sir: I'm a Favourite at Court, and I neither know myself,
nor any body else.

_Esop._ Are you in any Employment?

_Beau._ Yes.

_Esop._ What is't?

_Beau._ I don't know the Name on't.

_Esop._ You know the Business on't, I hope?

_Beau._ That I do--the Business of it is----to----put in a Deputy and
receive the Money.

_Esop._----Pray, what may be your Name?

_Beau._ Empty.

_Esop._ Where do you live?

_Beau._ In the Side-Box.

_Esop._ What do you do there?

_Beau._ I ogle the Ladies.

_Esop._ To what Purpose?

_Beau._ To no Purpose.

_Esop._ Why then do you do it?

_Beau._ Because they like it, and I like it.

_Esop._ Wherein consists the Pleasure?

_Beau._ In playing the Fool.

_Esop._----Pray, Sir, what Age are you?

_Beau._ Five and twenty my Body; my Head's about fifteen.

_Esop._ Is your Father living?

_Beau._ Dead, thank God.

_Esop._ Has he been long so?

_Beau._ Positively, yes.

_Esop._ Where were you brought up?

_Beau._ At School.

_Esop._ What School?

_Beau._ The School of _Venus_.

_Esop._ Were you ever at the University?

_Beau._ Yes.

_Esop._ What Study did you follow there?

_Beau._ My Bed-maker.

_Esop._ How long did you stay?

_Beau._ Till I had lost my Maidenhead.

_Esop._ Why did you come away?

_Beau._ Because I was expell'd.

_Esop._ Where did you go then?

_Beau._ To Court.

_Esop._ Who took Care of your Education there?

_Beau._ A Whore and a Dancing-Master.

_Esop._ What did you gain by them?

_Beau._ A _Minuet_, and the _Pox_.

_Esop._ Have you an Estate?

_Beau._ I had.

_Esop._ What's become on't?

_Beau._ Spent.

_Esop._ In what?

_Beau._ In a Twelvemonth.

_Esop._ But how?

_Beau._ Why, in Dressing, Drinking, Whoring, Claps, Dice, and
Scriveners. What do you think of me now, old Gentleman?

_Esop._ Pray, what do you think of yourself?

_Beau._ I don't think at all: I know how to bestow my Time better.

_Esop._ Are you married?

_Beau._ No----have you ever a Daughter to bestow upon me?

_Esop._ She wou'd be well bestow'd.

_Beau._ Why, I'm a strong young Dog, you old Put, you: She may be worse
coupled----

_Esop._ Have you then a Mind to a Wife, Sir?

_Beau._ Yaw, _Mynheer_.

_Esop._ What wou'd you do with her?

_Beau._ Why, I'd take Care of her Affairs, rid her of all her Troubles,
her Maidenhead, and her Portion.

_Esop._ And, pray, what Sort of Wife wou'd you be willing to throw
yourself away upon?

_Beau._ Why, upon one that has Youth, Beauty, Quality, Virtue, Wit and
Money.

_Esop._ And how may you be qualified yourself, to back you in your
Pretensions to such a one?

_Beau._ Why, I am qualified with----a Perriwig----a Snuff-box--a
Feather----a----smooth Face----a Fool's Head----and a Patch.

_Esop._ But one Question more: What Settlements can you make?

_Beau._ Settlements!--Why, if she be a very great Heiress, indeed, I
believe I may settle----myself upon her for Life, and my Pox upon her
Children for ever.

_Esop._ 'Tis enough; you may expect I'll serve you, if it lies in my
Way. But I wou'd not have you rely too much upon your Success, because
People sometimes are mistaken----

As for Example----

    _An Ape there was of nimble Parts,
    A great Intruder into Hearts,
    As brisk, and gay, and full of Air,
    As you or I, or any here;
    Rich in his Dress, of splendid Shew,
    And with an Head like any Beau:
    Eternal Mirth was in his Face;
    Where'er he went,
    He was content,
    So Fortune had but kindly sent
    Some Ladies----and a Looking-glass.
    Encouragement they always gave him,
    Encouragement to play the Fool;
    For soon they found it was a Tool
    Wou'd hardly be so much in Love,
    But that the mumbling of a Glove,
    Or tearing of a Fan, wou'd save him.
      These Bounties he accepts as Proof
    Of Feats done by his Wit and Youth;
    He gives their Freedom gone for ever,
    Concludes each Female Heart undone,
    Except that very Happy One
    To which he'd please to do the Favour.
    In short, so smooth his Matters went,
    He guess'd, where'er his Thoughts were bent,
    The Lady he must carry:
    So put on a fine new Cravat,
    He comb'd his Wig, he cock'd his Hat,
    And gave it out he'd marry.
    But here, alas! he found to 's Cost,
    He had reckon'd long without his Host:
    For wheresoe'er he made th' Attack,
    Poor Pug with Shame was beaten back.
      The first fair She he had in Chace,
    Was a young Cat, extremely rich,
    Her Mother was a noted Witch;
    So, had the Daughter prov'd but civil,
    He'd been related to the Devil.
    But when he came
    To urge his Flame,
    She scratch'd him o'er the Face.
    With that he went among the Bitches,
    Such as had Beauty, Wit and Riches,
    And swore Miss Maulkin, to her Cost,
    Shou'd quickly see what she had lost:
    But the poor, unlucky Swain
    Miss'd his Shepherdess again;
    His Fate was to miscarry.
    It was his Destiny to find,
    That Cats and Dogs are of a Mind,
    When Monkies come to marry._

_Beau._ 'Tis very well;----'tis very well, old Spark; I say, 'tis very
well. Because I han't a Pair of plaid Shoes, and a dirty Shirt, you
think a Woman won't venture upon me for a Husband----Why, now to shew
you, old Father, how little you Philosophers know of the Ladies, I'll
tell you an Adventure of a Friend of mine.

    _A Band, a Bob-Wig, and a Feather,
    Attack'd a Lady's Heart together.
    The Band, in a most learned Plea,
    Made up of deep Philosophy,
    Told her, if she wou'd please to wed
    A Reverend Beard, and take, instead
    Of vigorous Youth,
    Old solemn Truth,
    With Books and Morals into Bed,
    How happy she wou'd be.
      The Bob, he talk'd of Management,
    What wondrous Blessings Heaven sent
    On Care, and Pains, and Industry;
    And, truly, he must be so free
    To own, he thought your airy Beaux,
    With powder'd Wigs, and dancing Shoes,
    Were good for nothing (mend his Soul!),
    But prate, and talk, and play the Fool.
      He said, 'twas Wealth gave Joy and Mirth;
    And that to be the dearest Wife
    Of one, who labour'd all his Life,
    To make a Mine of Gold his own,
    And not spend ~Sixpence~ when he'd done,
    Was Heaven upon Earth.
      When these two Blades had done, d' ye see,
    The Feather (as it might be me)
    Steps out, Sir, from behind the Skreen,
    With such an Air, and such a Mien,
    Look you, old Gentleman, in short,
    He quickly spoil'd the Statesman's Sport.
      It prov'd such Sunshine Weather,
    That you must know, at the first Beck
    The Lady leapt about his Neck,
      And off they went together._

_To ~Esop~._] There's a Tale for your Tale, old Dad, and
so----_Serviteur_.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

[Illustration]



THE

FALSE FRIEND.

A

COMEDY.


[Illustration]

[Illustration]



PROLOGUE.


                       Spoken by Capt. _Griffin_.

    _You dread Reformers of an impious Age,                            }
    You awful Cat-o'-nine Tails to the Stage,                          }
    This once be just, and in our Cause engage.                        }
    To gain your Favour, we your Rules obey,                           }
    And treat you with a moral Piece to-day;                           }
    So moral, we're afraid 'twill damn the Play.                       }
      For tho' y' ave long been leagu'd (as People tell)
    To reduce the Power exorbitant of Hell;
    No Troops you send, t' abate it in this Field,
    But leave us still expos'd, to starve or yield.
    Your Scouts, indeed, sometimes come stealing in,
    T' observe this formidable Camp of Sin,
    And whisper, if we'll piously declare,
    What Aids you then will send, to help us thro' the War.
      To this we answer, We're a feeble State,                         }
    And cannot well afford to love or hate,                            }
    So shou'd not meddle much in your Debate.                          }
    But, since your Cause is good, thus far we'll go,
    When ~Portugal~ declares, we'll do so too.
    Our Cases, as we think, are much alike,
    And on the same Conditions, we should strike;
    Send to their Aid a hundred Men of War,
    To ours, a hundred Squadrons of the Fair;
    Rig out your Wives and Daughters all around,
    (I mean, wh' are fit for Service, tight and sound)
    And, for a Proof our Meaning is sincere,                           }
    See but the Ships are good, and if you fear                        }
    A Want of Equipage, we'll mann them here.                          }
      These are the Terms on which you may engage
    The Poet's Fire, to batter from the Stage:
    Useful Ally! whose Friendship lets you in,
    Upon the weak and naked Side of Sin.
    Against your old Attack, the Foe's prepar'd,
    Well fortify'd, and always on his Guard;
    The sacred Shot you send are flung in vain;                        }
    By Impious Hands, with insolent Disdain,                           }
    They're gather'd up, and fir'd at you again.                       }
    Thro' baffled Toils, and unsuccessful Cares,                       }
    In Slaughter, Blood and Wounds, and pious Snares,                  }
    Y' ave made a ~Flanders~ War these fifteen hundred Years.          }
    Change then your Scheme, if you'll your Foe annoy,
    And the infernal ~Bajazet~ destroy;
    Our Aid accept,
    W' ave gentler Stratagems which may succeed;
    We'll tickle 'em where you'd make 'em bleed:
    In Sounds less harsh, we'll teach 'em to obey;                     }
    In softer Strains the evil Spirit lay,                             }
    And steal Immorality away._                                        }

[Illustration]



Dramatis Personæ.


MEN.

  Don _Felix_, a Gentleman of _Valencia_,  Capt. _Griffin_.
  Don _Pedro_,  }                       {  Mr. _Wilks_.
  Don _Guzman_, } Lovers of _Leonora_,  {  Mr. _Mills_.
  Don _John_,   }                       {  Mr. _Cibber_.
  _Lopez_, Servant to Don _John_,          Mr. _Pinkethman_.
  _Galindo_, Servant to Don _Guzman_,      Mr. _Bullock_.


WOMEN.

  _Leonora_, Daughter to Don _Felix_,       Mrs. _Rogers_.
  _Isabella_, her Friend, and Sister to  }
  _Guzman_,                              }  Mrs. _Kent_.
  _Jacinta_, Woman to _Leonora_,            Mrs. _Oldfield_.


                        +SCENE+, at _Valencia_.

[Illustration]

                                  THE
                             FALSE FRIEND.

[Illustration]



+ACT+ I. +SCENE+ I.

                   +SCENE+, _Don ~John~'s Lodgings._


                  _Enter Don ~John~ beating ~Lopez~._

_Lop._ Hold, Sir, hold; there's enough in all Conscience; I'm
reasonable, I ask no more; I'm content.

Don _John._ Then there's a double Content, you Dog, and a Brace of
Contents more into the Bargain. Now is't well?

                                            [_Striking again and again._

_Lop._ O, mighty well, Sir; you'll never mend it; pray leave it as 'tis.

Don _John._ Look you, you Jackanapes, if ever I hear an Offer at your
impertinent Advice again----

_Lop._ And why, Sir, will you stifle the most useful of my
Qualifications?

Don _John._ Either, Sirrah, I pass for a very great Blockhead with you,
or you are pleas'd to reckon much upon my Patience.

_Lop._ Your Patience, Sir, indeed is great: I feel at this Time forty
Proofs on't upon my Shoulders: But really, Sir, I wou'd advise you
to----

Don _John._ Again! I can bear thee no longer. Here, Pen and Ink,
I'll give thee thy Discharge: Did I take you for a Valet, or a
Privy-Counsellor, Sir?

_Lop._ 'Tis confess'd, Sir, you took me but for humble Employment; but
my Intention was agreeably to surprize you with some superior Gifts
of Nature, to your faithful Slave. I profess, my noble Master, a most
perfect Knowledge of Men and Manners. Yours, gracious Sir, (with all
Respect I speak it) are not irreprehensible. And I'm afraid in Time,
Sir, I am indeed, they'll riggle you into some ill-favour'd Affair,
whence, with all my Understanding, I shall be puzzled to bring you off.

Don _John._ Very well, Sir.

_Lop._ And therefore, Sir, it is, that I, poor _Lopez_ as I am,
sometimes take leave to maralize.

Don _John._ Go, go, moralize in the Market-place: I'm quite worn out.
Once more, march.

_Lop._ Is the Sentence definitive?

Don _John._ Positive.

_Lop._ Then, pray, let us come to account, and see what Wages are due.

Don _John._ Wages! Refund what you have had, you Rascal, you, for the
plague you have given me.

_Lop._ Nay, if I must lose my Money; then let me claim another Right:
Losers have leave to speak. Therefore, advance, my Tongue, and say thy
Pleausure; tell this Master of mine, he shou'd die with shame at the
Life he leads: So much unworthy of a Man of Honour: Tell him----

Don _John._ I'll hear no more.

_Lop._ You shall indeed, Sir.

Don _John._ Here, take thy Money, and begone.

_Lop._ Counters all; adieu, you glistring Spangles of the World;
farewel, ye Tempters of the Great, not me. Tell him----

Don _John._ Stay.

_Lop._ Go on; tell him he's worse among the Women than a Ferret among
the Rabbits; at one and all, from the Princess to the Tripe-Woman;
handsome, ugly, old Women and Children, all go down.

Don _John._ Very well.

_Lop._ It is, indeed, Sir, and so are the Stories you tell them to
bring them to your Matters. The Handsome, she's all Divinity, to be
sure; the Ugly, she's so agreeable, were it not for her Virtue, she'd
be over-run with Lovers; the light, airy, Flipflap, she kills him with
her Motions; the dull, heavy-tail'd Maukin melts him down with her
Modesty; the scragged, lean, pale Face has a Shape for Destruction;
the fat over-grown Sow has an Air of Importance; the tall aukward
Trapes with her Majesty wounds; the little, short Trundle-tail shoots a
_Je-ne-sçay-quoy_: In a Word, they have all something for him----and he
has something for them all.

Don _John._ And thus, you Fool, by a general Attack, I keep my Heart my
own; lie with them that like me, and care not Sixpence for them that
don't.

_Lop._ Well said, well said; a very pretty Amusement, truly! But, pray,
Sir, by your leave (Ceremony aside) since you are pleas'd to clear up
into Conversation, what mighty Matters do you expect from boarding a
Woman, you know, is already Heart and Soul engag'd to another?

Don _John._ Why, I expect her Heart and Soul shou'd disengage in a
Week. If you live a little longer with me, Sirrah, you'll know how to
instruct your next Master to the purpose; and therefore, that I may
charitably equip you for a new Service, now I'm turning you out of my
own, I'll let you know, that when a Woman loves a Man best, she's in
the most hopeful way of betraying him; for Love, like Fortune, turns
upon a Wheel, and is very much given to rising and falling.

_Lop._ Like enough: But as much upon the Weathercock as the Ladies are;
there are some the Wind must blow hard to fetch them about: When such a
sturdy Hussy falls in your Honour's way, what account may Things turn
to then, an't please ye?

Don _John._ They turn to a Bottle, you Puppy.

_Lop._ I find they'll always turn to something; but when you pursue a
poor Woman, only to make her Lover jealous, what Pleasure can you take
in that?

Don _John._ That Pleasure.

_Lop._ Look you there, again.

Don _John._ Why, Sirrah, d'ye think there's no Pleasure in spoiling
their Sport, when I can't make my own?

_Lop._ O! to a good-natur'd Man, be sure there must; but, suppose,
instead of 'fending and proving with his Mistress, he shou'd come
to----a----parrying and thrusting with you; what becomes of your Joy,
then, my noble Master?

Don _John._ Why, do you think I'm afraid to fight, you Rascal?

_Lop._ I thought we were talking of what we lov'd, not what we fear'd,
Sir.

Don _John._ Sir, I love every Thing that leads to what I love most.

_Lop._ I know, Sir, you have often fought upon these Occasions.

Don _John._ Therefore, that has been no stop to my Pleasures.

_Lop._ But you have never been kill'd once, Sir; and when that happens,
you will for ever lose the Pleasure of----

Don _John._ [_Striking him._] Breaking your Head, you Rascal, which
will afflict me heartily. See who knocks so hard.

                                                            [_Knocking._

_Lop._ Somebody that thinks I can hear no better than you think I can
feel.

                         _Enter Don ~Guzman~._

Don _Guz._ Don _John de Alvarada_, is he here?

_Lop._ There's the Man. Shew me such another, if you can find him.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Guz._ Don _John_, I desire to speak with you alone.

Don _John._ You may speak before this Fellow, Sir; he's trusty.

Don _Guz._ 'Tis an Affair of Honour, Sir.

Don _John._ Withdraw, _Lopez_.

_Lop._ Behind the Door I will, and no farther. [_Aside._] This Fellow
looks as if he came to save me a broken Head.

                                                     [_~Lopez~ retires._

Don _Guz._ I call myself _Don Guzman de Torrellas_; you know what
Blood I spring from; I am a Cadet, and by consequence, not rich; but I
am esteem'd by Men of Honour: I have been forward to expose myself in
Battles abroad, and I have met with Applause in our Feasts at home.

_Lop._ So much by way of Introduction.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _John._ I understand your Merit, Sir, and shou'd be glad to do as
much by your Business.

Don _Guz._ Give Attention, and you'll be instructed. I love _Leonora_,
and from my Youth have done so. Long she rejected my Sighs, and
despised my Tears, but my Constancy at last hath vanquish'd. I have
found the way to her Heart, and nothing is wanting to compleat my Joy,
but the Consent of her Father, whom I cannot yet convince, that the
Wants in my Fortune are recompens'd by the Merits of my Person.

_Lop._ He's a very dull Fellow, indeed.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Guz._ In the mean while, the Object of my Vows is a sharer in
my Grief, and the only Cordial we have is the Pleasure of a secret
Conversation, thro' a small Breach I have made in a thin Partition that
divides our Lodgings. I trust you, Don _John_, with this important
Secret; Friend or Enemy, you are noble, therefore keep it; I charge
your Honour with it.

_Lop._ You cou'd not put it in better Hands.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Guz._ But more; my Passion for this Lady is not hid; all
_Valencia_ is acquainted with my Wishes, and approves my Choice. You
alone, Don _John de Alvarada_, seeming ignorant of my Vows, dare
traverse my Amour.

Don _John._ Go on.

_Lop._ These Words import War; lie close, _Lopez_.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Guz._ You are the _Argus_ of our Street and the Spy of _Leonora_;
whether _Diana_ by her borrow'd Light supplies the Absence of the
_Astrea_ of Day, or that the Shades of Night cover the Earth with
impenetrable Darkness; you still attend till _Aurora_'s Return, under
the Balcony of that adorable Beauty.

Don _John._ So?

Don _Guz._ Wherever she moves, you still follow as her Shadow,
at Church, at Plays: Be her Business with Heaven or Earth, your
Importunity is such, you'll share it.

_Lop._ He is a forward Fellow, that's the Truth on't.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Guz._ But what's still farther, you take the Liberty to copy me;
my Words, my Actions, every Motion is no sooner mine, but your's. In
short, you ape me, Don; and to that point, I once design'd to stab
myself, and try if you wou'd follow me in that too.

_Lop._ No, there the Monkey wou'd have left you.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Guz._ But to conclude.

Don _John._ 'Tis Time.

Don _Guz._ My Patience, Don, is now no more; and I pronounce, that
if henceforth I find you under _Leonora_'s Window, who never wish'd,
fond Man, to see you there; I, by the ways of Honour, shall fix you in
another Station. I leave you to consider on't.----Farewel.

                                                      [_Exit ~Don~ Guz._

Don _John._ Hold, Sir, we had e'en as good do this honourable Deed now.

                          _Re-enter ~Lopez~._

_Lop._ No, pray, Sir, let him go, and maybe you mayn't have Occasion to
do it at all.

Don _John._ I thought at first the Coxcomb came upon another Subject,
which wou'd have embarrassed me much more.

_Lop._ Now this was a Subject wou'd have embarrass'd me enough in all
Conscience.

Don _John._ I was afraid he came to forbid me seeing his Sister,
_Isabella_, with whom I'm upon very good Terms.

_Lop._ Why, now, that's a hard Case, when you have got a Man's Sister,
you can't leave him his Mistress.

Don _John._ No, Changeling, I hate him enough, to love every Woman that
belongs to him: and the Fool has so provok'd me by this Threatning,
that I believe I shall have a Stroke at his Mother, before I think
myself even with him.

_Lop._ A most admirable way to make up Accounts, truly!

Don _John._ A Son of a Whore! s'death, I did not care Sixpence for the
Slut before, but now I'll have her Maidenhead in a Week, for fear the
Rogue shou'd marry her in ten Days.

_Lop._ Mum; here's her Father: I'll warrant this old Spark comes to
correct our Way of living too.

                          _Enter Don ~Felix~._

Don _Fel._ Don _John!_

Don _John._ Don _Felix!_ do I see you in my poor Dwelling? Pray, to
what lucky Accident do I owe this Honour?

Don _Fel._ That I may speak to you without Constraint, pray send away
your Servant.

_Lop._ What the Pox have I done to 'em, they are all so uneasy at my
Company?

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _John._ Give us Chairs, and leave the Room.

_Lop._ If this old Fellow comes to quarrel with us too, he'll at least
do us less harm.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ Won't you retire, Friend?

                                                      [_Looking behind._

Don _John._ Be gone, Sirrah.

_Lop. aside._] Pox take ye----you old Prig, you: But I shall be even
with you.

                                                 [_Lopez hides himself._

Don _Fel._ You know me, Sir?

Don _John._ I do, Sir.

Don _Fel._ That I call myself----

Don _John._ Don Felix.

Don _Fel._ That I am of the House of----

Don _John._ _Cabrera_, one of the first of _Valencia_.

Don _Fel._ That my Estate is----

Don _John._ Great.

Don _Fel._ You know that I have some Reputation in the World?

Don _John._ I know your Reputation equals your Birth.

Don _Fel._ And you are not ignorant, that Heaven, for the Consolation
of my grey Hairs, has given me an only Daughter, who is not deform'd?

Don _John._ Beauteous as Light.

Don _Fel._ Well shap'd, witty, and endow'd with--

Don _John._ All the good Qualities of Mind and Body.

Don _Fel._ Since you are satisfy'd with all this, hearken, I pray, with
Attention, to the Business that brings me hither.

Don _John._ I shall.

Don _Fel._ We all know, Don _John_, some by their own Experience, some
by that of others, how nice a Gentleman's Honour is, and how easily
tarnish'd; an _Eclaircissement_ manag'd with Prudence, often prevents
Misfortunes, that, perhaps, might be upon the Point of attending us. I
have thought it my Duty to acquaint you, that I have seen your Designs
upon my Daughter: You pass Nights entire under her Window, as if you
were searching an Opportunity to get into my House; there is nobody
in the Town but has taken Notice of your Proceedings; you give the
Publick a Subject for disadvantageous Discourse; and tho' in reality
_Leonora_'s Virtue receives no Prejudice by it, her Reputation daily
runs some Risque. My Years have taught me to judge right of Things; and
yet, I have not been able to decide what your End can be; you can't
regard my Daughter on a foot of Gallantry; you know her Virtue, and my
Birth too well; and for a Wife you seem to have no Thought, since you
have yet made no Demand to me: What then is your Intention? You have
heard, perhaps, I have hearken'd to a Gentleman of _Toledo_, a Man of
Merit. I own I have, and I expect him daily here; but, Don _John_, if
'tis that which hinders you from declaring in form, I'll ease you of a
great deal of Trouble, which the Customs of the World impose upon these
Occasions, and, in a Word, I'll break with him, and give you _Leonora_.

_Lop._ Good.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ You don't answer me! What is't that troubles you?

Don _John._ That I have been such a Sot, old Gentleman, to hear you
with so much Patience.

                                                              [_Rising._

Don _Fel._ How, Don! I'm more astonish'd at your Answer, than I was
with your Silence.

Don _John._ Astonish'd! Why han't you talk'd to me of Marriage? He asks
me to marry, and wonders what I complain of!

Don _Fel._ 'Tis well----'tis well, Don _John_, the Outrage is violent!
You insult me in your own House. But, know, Sir----

                                                              [_Rising._

Don _John._ But, know, Sir, there needs no Quarrel, if you please, Sir;
I like your Daughter very well; but for marrying her----_Serviteur_.

Don _Fel._ Don _Guzman de Torrellas_ has not less Merit than you, Don.

Don _John._ Agreed; what then?

Don _Fel._ And yet I have refus'd him my Daughter.

Don _John._ Why then, you have used him better than you have done me,
which I take very unkindly.

Don _Fel._ I have us'd you, Sir----

Don _John._ Us'd me, Sir? you have us'd me very ill, to come into my
own House to seduce me.

Don _Fel._ What Extravagance!

Don _John._ What Persecution!

Don _Fel._ Am I then to have no other Answer?

Don _John._ Methinks, you have enough in all Conscience.

Don _Fel._ Promise me, at least, you'll cease to love my Daughter.

Don _John._ I won't affront your Family so far, neither.

_Lop._ I'gad my Master shines to-day.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ Know, Don, that I can bear no more.

_Lop._ If he cou'd, I think there's no more to lay upon him.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ If I find you continue to importune _Leonora_, I shall find
a way to satisfy my offended Honour, and punish your Presumption.

Don _John._ You shall do what you please to me, provided you don't
marry me.

Don _Fel._ Know, _Alvarada_, there are ways to revenge such outrageous
Affronts as these.

Don _John._ I won't marry.

Don _Fel._ 'Tis enough.

                                                    [_Exit Don ~Felix~._

                          _Re-enter ~Lopez~._

_Lop._ So; the old Fellow's gone at last, and has carry'd great Content
along with him.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _John._ _Lopez_.

_Lop._ Sir----

Don _John._ What dost think? He wou'd have marry'd me!

_Lop._ Yes, he had found his Man. But you have been even with him.

Don _John._ What! thou hast heard us then?

_Lop._ Or I were no Valet: But, pray, what does your Honour intend to
do now? Will you continue the Siege of a Place, where, 'tis probable,
they will daily augment the Fortifications, when there are so many open
Towns you may march into, without the Trouble of opening the Trenches.

Don _John._ I am going, _Lopez_, to double my Attacks: I'll beat
up her Quarters six Times a-night; I am now downright in Love: the
Difficulties pique me to the Attempt, and I'll conquer or I'll die.

_Lop._ Why, to confess the Truth, Sir, I find you much upon my Taste in
this Matter: Difficulties are the Rocambole of Love; I never valu'd an
easy Conquest in my life. To rouse my Fire; the Lady must cry out, as
softly as ever she can, Have a Care, my Dear, my Mother has seen us: My
Brothers suspect me; my Husband may surprize us: O, dear Heart, have a
Care, I pray! Then, I play the Devil: But, when I come to a Fair-one,
where I may hang up my Cloak upon a Peg, get into my Gown and Slippers--

Don _John._ Impudent Rogue!

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lop._ See her stretch'd upon the Couch, in great Security, with--My
Dear, come kiss me, we have nothing to fear--I droop, I yawn, I sleep.

Don _John._ Well, Sir, whatever you do with your Fair-one, I am going
to be very busy with mine; I was e'en almost weary of her, but _Guzman_
and this old Fellow have reviv'd my dying Fire; and so, have at her.

_Lop._ 'Tis all mighty well, Sir; mighty well, Sir, as can be in the
World. But, if you wou'd have the Goodness to consider _en passant_, or
so, a little now and then about Swords and Daggers, and Rivals and old
Fellows, and Pistols and great Guns, and such like Baubles, only now
and then at leisure, Sir, not to interrupt Things of more Consequence.

Don _John._ Thou art a cowardly Rascal, I have often consider'd that.

_Lop._ Ay, that's true, Sir; and yet a Blunderbuss is presently
discharged out of a Garret-Window.

Don _John._ Come, no more Words, but follow me: How now! what
Impertinence have we here now, to stop me?

                          _Enter Don ~Pedro~._

_Lop._ 'Tis Don _Pedro_, or I'm a Dog.

Don _John._ Impossible! Don _Pedro_ return'd!

Don _Ped._ 'Tis I, my dearest Friend; I'm come to forget all the
Miseries of a long Absence in one happy Embrace.

                                                        [_They embrace._

Don _John._ I'm overjoy'd to see you.

Don _Ped._ Mine's not to be exprest. What, Friend _Lopez_ here still!
How dost do, _Lopez_? What, dost not know me?

_Lop._ As well as my Father's Seal, Sir, when he sends me a Bill of
Exchange.

Don _Ped._ Just as he was, I find, Galliard still.

_Lop._ I find it very unwholesome to be otherwise, Sir.

Don _John._ You have then quitted the Service in _Flanders_, I suppose.

Don _Ped._ I have so, Friend! I have left the Ensigns of _Mars_, and am
listing myself in a softer Militia.

Don _John._ Explain, pray.

Don _Ped._ Why, when your Father's Death oblig'd you to leave
_Brussels_, and return hither to the plentiful Fortune he left you;
I stay'd in _Flanders_, very trist for your Lost, and past three
Years in the Trade of War. About two Months since, my Father writ to
me from _Toledo_, that he was going to marry me very advantageously
at _Valencia_: He sent me the Picture of the Lady, and I was so well
pleased with it, that I immediately got my _Congé_ and embark'd at
_Dunkirk_; I had a quick Passage to the _Groyne_, from whence, by the
way of _Madrid_, I am come hither with all the Speed I cou'd. I have,
you must know, been two Days in Town, but I have lain _Incognito_, that
I might inform myself of the Lady's Conduct I'm to marry; and I have
discover'd, that she's serv'd by two Cavaliers of Birth and Merit. But
tho' they have both given many Proofs of a most violent Passion, I
have found, for the Quiet of my Honour, that this virtuous Lady, out
of Modesty or Prudence, has shewn a perfect Indifference to them and
their Gallantries; her Fortune is considerable, her Birth is high, her
Manners irreproachable, and her Beauty so great, that nothing but my
Love can equal it.

Don _John._ I have hearken'd to you, Don _Pedro_, with a great deal of
Attention, and Heaven's my Witness, I have a mighty Joy in seeing you;
but the Devil fetch me, it makes my Heart bleed, to hear you are going
to be married.

Don _Ped._ Say no more of that, I desire you; we have always been
Friends, and I earnestly beg we ever may be so; but I am not come to
ask Counsel about my Marriage; my Party is taken, and my Inquiries have
so much heightened my Desire, that nothing can henceforth abate it. I
must, therefore, expect from you, dear Friend, that you won't oppose
it, but that you'll aid me in hast'ning the Moment of my Happiness.

Don _John._ Since 'tis so impossible for you to resolve for your own
Good, I must submit to what you'll have me: But are not we to know the
Name of this Piece of Rarity, that is to do you this good Turn?

Don _Ped._ You'll know it presently; for I'm going to carry you to her
House.

Don _John._ You shall tell me, at least, who are her two Gallants.

Don _Ped._ One, they cou'd not tell me his Name; t' other is----But
before we talk any more of these Affairs, can you let me dispose of
_Lopez_, till the Return of a Servant, I sent three Days ago to----

Don _John._ Carry News of you to _Papa_, I suppose.

Don _Ped._ You are right; the good Man is thirty Leagues off, and I
have not seen him these six Years.

Don _John._ _Lopez_, do you wait upon Don _Pedro_.

_Lop._ With all my Heart. It's at least a Suspension of Boxes of the
Ear, and Kicks of the Backside.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Ped._ Then, honest _Lopez_, with your Master's Leave, go to the
New-Inn, the King of _France_ on Horseback, and see if my Servant's
return'd; I'll be there immediately, to charge thee with a Commission
of more Importance.

_Lop._ I shall perform your Orders, Sir, both to your Satisfaction, and
my own Reputation.

                                                        [_Exit ~Lopez~._

Don _John._ Very quaint. Well, old Acquaintance, you are going to be
married then? 'Tis resolved: Ha!

Don _Ped._ So says my Star.

Don _John._ The foolishest Star that has said any Thing a great while.

Don _Ped._ Still the same, I see! Or, more than ever, resolv'd to love
nothing.

Don _John._ Love nothing! Why, I'm in Love at this very Time.

Don _Ped._ With what?

Don _John._ A Woman.

Don _Ped._ Impossible!

Don _John._ True.

Don _Ped._ And how came you in love with her?

Don _John._ Why, I was ordered not to be in love with her.

Don _Ped._ Then, there's more Humour than Love in't.

Don _John._ There shall be what you please in't. But I shan't quit the
Gentlewoman, till I have convinced her there's something in't.

Don _Ped._ Mayn't I know her Name?

Don _John._ When you have let me into your conjugal Affection.

Don _Ped._ Pray, stay here but till I have sent _Lopez_ to my
Father-in-law; I'll come back, and carry you with me in a Moment.

Don _John._ I'll expect you.

Don _Ped._ Adieu, dear Friend! May I in earnest see you quickly in Love!

                                                    [_Exit Don ~Pedro~._

Don _John._ May I, without a Jest, see you quickly a Widower.

                          _Don ~John~ solus._

He comes, he says, to marry a Woman of Quality that has two
Lovers----If it should be _Leonora_----But, why she? There are many, I
hope, in that Condition in _Valencia_----I'm a little embarrass'd about
it, however----

    _Friendship, take heed; if Woman interfere,
    Be sure the Hour of thy Destruction's near._

                                                                  [Exit.

[Illustration]



+ACT+ II.


+SCENE+, _Leonora_'s Apartment.

             _Enter ~Leonora~, ~Isabella~, and ~Jacinta~._

_Leon._ Dear _Isabella_, come in: How I am plagu'd with this
troublesome Wretch! _Jacinta_, have you shut the outer Gates?

_Jacin._ I have, Madam.

_Leo._ Shut the Window too; we shall have him get in there, by and bye.

_Isab._ What's this you are in such Apprehensions of, pray?

_Leo._ Nothing worth naming.

_Isab._ You dissemble: Something of Love in the Case, I'll warrant you.

_Leo._ The Reverse on't; 'tis Aversion. My Impertinent Star has
furnish'd me with a Lover for my Guard, who is never from my Window; he
persecutes me to Distraction; I affront him fifty Times a day; which
he receives with a Bow down to the Ground: In short, all I can do, is
doing nothing at all: He still persists in loving me, as much as I hate
him.

_Isab._ Have a Care he don't get the better on't, for all that; for
when a Man loves a Woman well enough to persevere, 'tis odds but she
at last loves him well enough to make him give it over. But I think I
had as good take off my Scarf; for, since my Brother Don _Guzman_ knows
I'm with you, he won't quarrel at my return, for the Length of my Visit.

_Leo._ If he shou'd, I shou'd quarrel with him, which few Things else
wou'd make me do. But methinks, _Isabella_, you are a little melancholy.

_Isab._ And you a little thoughtful.

_Leo._ Pray, tell me your Affliction.

_Isab._ Pray don't conceal yours.

_Leo._ Why, truly, my Heart is not at ease.

_Isab._ Mine, I fear, never will.

_Leo._ My Father's marrying me against my Inclination.

_Isab._ My Brother is hind'ring me from marrying with mine.

_Leo._ You know I love your Brother, Don _Guzman_.

_Isab._ And you shall know, I'm uneasy for Don _John de Alvarada_.

_Leo._ Don _John_!

_Isab._ The same.

_Leo._ Have you any Reason to hope for a Return?

_Isab._ I think so.

_Leo._ I'm afraid, my Dear, you abuse yourself.

_Isab._ Why?

_Leo._ Because he is already in Love with----

_Isab._ Who?

_Leo._ Me.

_Isab._ I wou'd not have you too positive in that, Madam, for I am very
sure that----

_Leo._ Madam, I am very sure that he's the troublesome Guest I just now
complain'd of: And you may believe----

_Isab._ Madam, I can never believe he's troublesome to any Body.

_Leo._ O, dear Madam! But I'm sure I'm forc'd to keep my Windows shut,
till I'm almost dead with Heat; and that, I think, is troublesome.

_Isab._ This Mistake is easily set right, _Leonora_; our Houses join,
and when he looks at my Window, you fancy 'tis at your's.

_Leo._ But, when he attacks my Door, Madam, and almost breaks it down,
I don't know how in the World to fancy 'tis your's.

_Isab._ A Man may do that to disguise his real Inclination.

_Leo._ Nay, if you please, believe he's dying for you. I wish he were;
then I shou'd be troubled no more with him. Be sure, _Jacinta_, you
don't open a Window to-night.

_Isab._ Not while I'm here, at least; for if he knows that, he may
chance to press in.

_Leo._ Look you, _Isabella_, 'tis entirely alike to me, who he's fond
of; but I'm so much your Friend, I can't endure to see you deceiv'd.

_Isab._ And since I have the same Kindness for you, _Leonora_, know, in
short, that my Brother is so alarm'd at his Passion for me, that he has
forbid him the Street.

_Leo._ Bless my Soul! and don't you plainly see by that, he's jealous
of him upon my Account?

_Isa._ [_Smiling._] He's jealous of his Honour, Madam, lest he shou'd
debauch his Sister.

_Leo._ I say, he's jealous of his Love, lest he shou'd corrupt his
Mistress.

_Isab._ But why all this Heat? If you love my Brother, why are you
concern'd Don _John_ shou'd love me?

_Leo._ I'm not concern'd: I have no Designs upon him; I care not who he
loves.

_Isab._ Why then are you angry?

_Leo._ Why do you say he does not care for me!

_Isab._ Well, to content you then, I know nothing certain, but that I
love him.

_Leo._ And to content you; I know nothing so certain, as that I neither
love him, nor ever can love him: And so I hope we are Friends again.

_Isab._ Kiss me, then, and let us never be otherwise.

_Leo._ Agreed: [_They kiss._] And now, my Dear, as my Misfortune's
nearest, I am first to be pity'd; I am the most wretched Woman living.
My Father every Moment expects a Gentleman from _Flanders_, to whom he
has resolv'd to marry me. But neither Duty, nor Prudence, nor Danger,
nor Resolution, nor all I can summon to my Aid, can drive your Brother
from my Heart; but there he's fix'd to ruin me.

_Jacin._ Madam, here's Don _Guzman_ at the Chamber-Door; he begs so
passionately to come in, sure you can't refuse him.

_Leo._ Heav'ns! But does he consider to what he exposes me?

_Jacin._ Madam, he considers nothing; if he did, I'd say he were an
impudent Fellow, to pretend to be in Love with you.

_Leo._ Shall I venture, _Isabella_?

_Isab._ You know best.

                         _Enter Don ~Guzman~._

_Jacin._ Marry, methinks he knows best of us all, for here he comes.

Don _Guz._ Forgive me, lovely _Leonora_; 'tis the last Time, perhaps,
that I may beg your Pity. My Rival is not far off: Excess of Modesty is
now our Ruin. Break through it, for this Moment you have left, and own,
to your old Father, how you love. He once did so himself; our Scene of
Sorrow may, perhaps, recall some small Remembrance of his tender Years,
and melt him into Mercy.

_Leo._ Alas! Don _Guzman_----

_Jacin._ O Heavens! Madam----

_Leo._ What's the Matter?

_Jacin._ Y' are undone; here's your Father.

_Isab._ What an unlucky Accident!

_Leo._ Has he seen Don _Guzman_?

_Jacin._ Nay, the deuce knows.

_Isab._ Where shall he hide himself?

_Jacin._ In the Moon, if he can get thither.

                          _Enter Don ~Felix~._

Don _Guz._ I must e'en stand it now.

Don _Fel._ Good News, my Daughter, good News; I come to acquaint
you, that----How now? What's the Meaning of this? Don _Guzman_ in my
Daughter's Chamber!

Don _Guz._ I see your Surprize, Sir, but you need not be disturb'd;
'twas some sudden Business with my Sister brought me here.

Don _Fel._ 'Tis enough, Sir: I'm glad to find you here; you shall be a
Witness, that I know how to preserve the Honour of my Family.

Don _Guz._ What mean you, Sir?

Don _Fel._ To marry _Leonora_ this Moment.

Don _Guz._ How say you?

Don _Fel._ I say, you shall have nothing left to ask of me.

Don _Guz._ Is't possible? O Heavens! what Joy I feel!

Don _Fel._ _Leonora_, prepare your Hand and Heart.

_Leo._ They both are ready, Sir; and in giving me the Man I love, you
charge me with a Debt of Gratitude can never be repay'd.

Don _Guz._ [_Kneeling._] Upon my Knees, I thank the best of Men, for
blessing me with all that's blest in Woman.

_Isab._ How well that kind, that gentle Look becomes him!

_Jacin._ Now, methinks he looks like an old Rogue; I don't like his
Looks.

                                                               [_Aside._

                            _Enter ~Lopez~._

_Lop._ To all whom it may concern, greeting, Don _Pedro Osorio_,
acknowledging himself most unworthy of the Honour intended him, in
the Person of the fair _Leonora_, addresses himself, by me, his small
Ambassador, to the Generosity of Don _Felix_, for leave to walk in and
take Possession.

Don _Fel._ I had already given Order for his Entrance.

Don _Guz._ What is't I hear?

_Leo._ Support me.

_Isab._ She faints.

Don _Guz._ Look, Tyrant, here, and, if thou can'st, be cruel!

                                                         [_Holding her._

Don _Fel._ Bring in Don _Pedro_.

Don _Guz._ Barbarian!

_Jacin._ Look up, Madam, for Heaven's sake; since you must marry the
Fellow, e'en make the most on't.

_Leo._ Hoh----

                  _Enter Don ~Pedro~ and Don ~John~._

_Jacin._ So----How d'ye do now? Come, chear up. See, here he comes.
By my Troth, and a pretty turn'd Fellow. [_Aside._] He'll set all to
rights by to-morrow Morning, I'll answer for him.

Don _Fel._ Don _Pedro_, you are welcome; let me embrace you.

Don _Ped._ In what Terms, Sir, shall I express what I owe you for the
Honour you do me? And with what Prospect of Return can I receive this
inestimable Present? Your Picture, Madam, made what Impression Art
cou'd stamp, but Nature has done more. What Wounds your Sex can give,
or ours receive, I feel.

Don _Fel._ Come, Son, (for I'm in haste to call you so)----But what's
this I see? ~Alvarada~ here! Whence, Sir, this Insolence; to come
within my Doors, after you know what has past? Who brought you here?

Don _Ped._ 'Twas I, Sir.

Don _Fel._ But do you know that he----

Don _Ped._ Sir, he's the best of my Friends.

Don _Fel._ But do you know, I say, that he wou'd----

Don _Ped._ Hinder this Marriage, 'tis true.

Don _Fel._ Yes, because he design'd----

Don _Ped._ I know his Design, Sir; 'tis to hinder all his Friends from
marrying. Pray forgive him.

Don _Fel._ Then to prevent for ever his Designs here, come hither,
_Leonora_, and give Don _Pedro_ your Hand.

Don _John._ Keep down, my kindling Jealousy: I've something tortures me
I never felt but now.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Ped._ [_To ~Leo~._] Why this Backwardness, Madam? Where a Father
chooses, a Daughter may with Modesty approve. Pray, give me your Hand.

Don _Guz._ I cannot see it.

                                                    [_Turning from 'em._

Don _Fel._ [_To ~Leo.~ aside._] Are you distracted? Will you let him
know your Folly? Give him your Hand, for Shame.

_Leo._ Hoh! Don _Guzman_, I am yours.

                              [_Sighing, and giving carelesly her Hand._

Don _Guz._ Madam!

                                                             [_Turning._

Don _Fel._ What a fatal Slip!

                                                               [_Aside._

_Leo._ 'Twas not to you I spoke, Sir.

Don _Ped._ But him it was she nam'd, and thought on too, I fear. I'm
much alarm'd.

Don _Fel._ [_To ~Leo~._] Repair what you have done, and look more
chearful on him.

_Leo._ Repair what you have done, and kill me.

Don _Fel._ Fool.

_Leo._ Tyrant.

_Jacin._ A very hum-drum Marriage this.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Guz._ Pray, Sister, let's retire; for I can bear this Sight no
longer.

_Isab._ My Dear, farewel; I pity you, indeed.

_Leo._ I am indeed an Object of your Pity.

                                          [_Exit Don ~Guz.~ and ~Isab.~_

Don _Fel._ Come, Daughter, come, my Son, let's to the Church, and tie
this happy Knot.

Don _Ped._ I'll wait upon you, Sir.

                                       [_Exit Don ~Fel.~ leading ~Leo.~_

Don _John._ I love her, and I'll love her still. Fate do thy worst,
I'll on.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Ped._ To name another Man, in giving me her Hand!

Don _John._ [_Aside._] How am I rackt and torn with Jealousy?

Don _Ped._ 'Tis doubtless so, Don Guzman has her Heart.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _John._ [_Aside._] The Bridegroom's thoughtful. The Lady's Trip has
furnish'd him with some Matrimonial Reflections: They'll agree with
him at this Time perhaps, better than my Company. I'll leave him. Don
_Pedro_, adieu, we shall meet again at Night.

Don _Ped._ Pray stay: I have need of a Friend's Counsel.

Don _John._ What, already!

Don _Ped._ Already.

Don _John._ That's to say, you have already enough of Matrimony.

Don _Ped._ I scarce know what I have, nor am I sure of what I am.

                            _Enter ~Lopez~._

_Lop._ An't please your Honour, yonder's your Man _Bertrand_ just
arriv'd; his Horse and he are so tired of one another, that they both
came down upon the Pavement at the Stable-Door.

Don _Ped._ [_To Don ~John~._] He brings News from my Father.

_Lop._ I believe he does, and hasty News too; but if you stay till he
brings it hither, I believe it will come but slowly. But here's his
Packet; I suppose that will do as well as his Company.

                                                      [_Gives a Letter._

Don _Ped._ [_Reads to himself._] My dear friend, here's ill News.

Don _John._ What's the Matter?

Don _Ped._ My poor old Father's dying.

Don _John._ I'm mighty sorry for't; 'tis a weighty Stroke I must
confess; the Burden of his Estate will almost bear you down. But we
must submit to Heaven's good Will.

Don _Ped._ You talk, _Alvarada_, like a perfect Stranger to that
Tenderness methinks every Son shou'd feel for a good Father: For my
part, I've receiv'd such repeated Proofs of an uncommon Affection from
mine, that the Loss of a Mistress could scarce touch me nearer. You'll
believe me, when you see me leave _Leonora_ a Virgin, till I have seen
the good old Man.

Don _John._ That will be a Proof, indeed; Heaven's Blessing must needs
fall upon so dutiful a Son; but I don't know how its Judgments may deal
with so indifferent a Lover.

Don _Ped._ O! I shall have Time enough to repair this seeming small
Neglect: But before I go, pray a Word or two with you alone. _Lopez_,
wait without. [_Exit ~Lop~._] You see, my dearest Friend, I am engag'd
with _Leonora_; perhaps I have done wrong; but 'tis gone too far, to
talk or think of a Retreat; I shall I go directly from this Place to
the Altar, and there seal the eternal Contract. That done, I'll take
Post to see my Father, if I can, before he dies. I leave then here
a young and beauteous Bride; but that which touches every String of
Thought, I fear, I leave her wishing I were _Guzman_. If it be so, no
doubt he knows it well; and he that knows he's lov'd by _Leonora_,
can let no fair Occasion pass to gain her; my Absence is his Friend,
but you are mine, and so the Danger's balanc'd. Into your Hands, my
Dear, my faithful _Alvarada_, [_Embracing him._] I put my Honour, I
put my Life; for both depend on _Leonora_'s Truth. Observe her Lover,
and----neglect not her. You are wise, you are active, you are brave and
true. You have all the Qualities that Man shou'd have for such a Trust;
and I by consequence have all the Assurance Man can have, you'll, as
you ought, discharge it.

Don _John._ A very hopeful Business you wou'd have me undertake, keep
a Woman honest!--'Sdeath, I'd as soon undertake to keep _Portocarero_
honest. Look you, we are Friends, intimate Friends; you must not be
angry if I talk freely. Women are naturally bent to Mischief, and their
Actions run in one continued Torrent till they die. But the less a
Torrent's check'd, the less Mischief it does; let it alone, perhaps
'twill only kiss the Banks and pass; but stop it, 'tis insatiable.

Don _Ped._ I wou'd not stop it; but cou'd I gently turn its Course
where it might run, and vent itself with Innocence, I wou'd. _Leonora_
of herself is virtuous; her Birth, Religion, Modesty and Sense, will
guide her Wishes where they ought to point. But yet, let Guards be what
they Will, that Place is safest that is ne'er attack'd.

Don _John._ As far as I can serve you, in hind'ring _Guzman_'s
Approaches, you may command me.

Don _Ped._ That's all I ask.

Don _John._ Then all you ask is granted.

Don _Ped._ I am at ease, farewel.

Don _John._ Heaven bring you safe to us again.

                                                      [_Exit Don ~Ped~._

                          _Don ~John~ solus._

Yes, I shall observe her, doubt it not. I wish no body may observe me,
for I find I'm no more Master of myself. Don _Guzman_'s Passion for her
adds to mine; but when I think on what Don _Pedro_ will reap, I'm Fire
and Flame. Something must be done: What, let Love direct, for I have
nothing else to guide me.

                            _Enter ~Lopez~._

_Lop._ [_Aside._] Don _Pedro_ is mounting for his Journey, and
leaves a young, warm, liquorish Hussy with a watry Mouth, behind
him----Hum--If she falls handsomely in my Master's Way, let her look to
her----hist--there he is. Doing what? Thinking? That's new. And if any
Good comes on't, that will be newer still.

Don _John._ [_Aside._] How! Abuse the Trust a Friend reposes in me? And
while he thinks me waking for his Peace, employ the stretch of Thought
to make him wretched?

_Lop._ Not to interrupt your pious Meditations, Sir, pray have you
seen----Seen what, Fool? Why he can't see thee. I'gad, I believe the
little blind Bastard has whipt him through the Heart in earnest.

Don _John._ [_Aside._] _Pedro_ wou'd never have done this by me----How
do I know that?----Why----he swore he was my Friend----Well; and I
swore I was his----Why then if I find I can break my Oath, why should
not I conclude he will do as much by his?

_Lop._ [_Aside._] His Countenance begins to clear up: I suppose Things
may be drawing to a Conclusion.

Don _John._ [_Aside._] Ay, 'tis just so: And I don't believe he wou'd
have debated the Matter half so long as I have done: I'gad I think I
have put myself to a great Expence of Morality about it. I'm sure, at
least, my Stock's out. But I have a Fund of Love, I hope may last a
little longer. O, are you there, Sir!

                                                        [_Seeing ~Lop~._

_Lop._ I think so, Sir; I won't be positive in any thing.

Don _John._ Follow me: I have some Business to employ you in, you'll
like.

                                                     [_Exit Don ~John~._

_Lop._ I won't be positive in that neither. I guess what you are
going about--There's Roguery a-foot: This is at _Leonora_, who I know
hates him; nothing under a Rape will do't----He'll be hang'd----And
then, what becomes of thee, my little _Lopez_?----Why, the Honour to
a----dingle dangle by him. Which he'll have the Good-nature to be
mighty sorry for. But I may chance to be beforehand with him: If we
are not taken in the Fact, they'll perhaps do him the Honour to set a
Reward upon his Head. Which if they do, Don, I shall go near to follow
your moral Example, secure my Pardon, make my Fortune, and hang you up
for the Good of your Country.

                                                                [_Exit._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ III.


+SCENE+, _Don_ Felix's _House_.

      _Enter Don ~Felix~, Don ~Pedro~, ~Leonora~, and ~Jacinta~._

Don _Fel._ How, Son! oblig'd to leave us immediately, say you?

Don _Ped._ My ill Fortune, Sir, will have it so.

_Leo._ [_Aside._] What can this be?

Don _Fel._ Pray, what's the Matter? You surprise me.

Don _Ped._ This Letter, Sir, will inform you.

Don _Fel._ [Reads.] _My dear Son, ~Bertrand~ has brought me the welcome
News of your Return, and has given me your Letter; which has in some
Sort reviv'd my Spirits in the Extremity I am in. I daily expect my
Exit from this World. 'Tis now six Years since I have seen you; I
shou'd be glad to do it once again before I die: If you will give me
that Satisfaction, you must be speedy. Heaven preserve you._

[_~To Don~ Ped._] 'Tis enough: The Occasion I'm sorry for, but since
the Ties of Blood and Gratitude oblige you, far be it from me to hinder
you. Farewel, my Son, may you have a happy Journey; and if it be
Heaven's Will, may the sight of so good a Son revive so kind a Father.
I leave you to bid your Wife adieu.

                                                      [_Exit ~Don~ Fel._

Don _Ped._ I must leave you, my lovely Bride; but 'tis with bitter
Pangs of Separation. Had I your Heart to chear me on my Way, I might
with such a Cordial run my Course: But that Support you want the Power
to give me.

_Leo._ Who tells you so?

Don _Ped._ My Eyes and Ears, and all the Pains I bear.

_Leo._ When Eyes and Ears are much indulg'd, like favourite Servants
they are apt to abuse the too much Trust their Master places in 'em.

Don _Ped._ If I'm abus'd, assist me with some fair Interpretation of
all that present Trouble and Disquiet, which is not in my Power to
overlook, nor yours to hide.

_Leo._ You might methinks have spar'd my Modesty; and without forcing
me to name your Absence, have laid my Trouble there.

Don _Ped._ No, no, my Fair Deluder, that's a Veil too thin to cover
what's so hard to hide; my Presence not my Absence is the Cause. Your
cold Reception at my first Approach, prepar'd me for the Stroke; and
'twas not long before your Mouth confirmed my Doom: Don _Guzman_, I am
yours.

_Leo._ Is't then possible the Mouth shou'd utter one Name for another?

Don _Ped._ Not at all, when it follows the Dictates of the Heart.----

_Leo._ Were it even so, what Wrong is from that Heart receiv'd, where
Duty and where Virtue are its Rulers?

Don _Ped._ Where they preside, our Honour may be safe, yet our Minds be
on the Rack.

_Leo._ This Discourse will scarce produce a Remedy; we'll end it,
therefore, if you please, and leave the rest to Time: Besides, the
Occasion of your Journey presses you.

Don _Ped._ The Occasion of my Delay presses you, I fear, much more; you
count the tedious Minutes I am with you, and are reduc'd to mind me of
my Duty, to free yourself from my Sight.

_Leo._ You urge this thing too far, and do me wrong. The Sentiments I
have for you are much more favourable than your Jealousy suffers 'em
to appear. But if my Heart has seem'd to lean another way, before you
had a Title to it, you ought not to conclude I shall suffer it to do so
long.

Don _Ped._ I know you have Virtue, Gratitude and Truth; and therefore
'tis I love you to my Ruin. Cou'd I believe you false, Contempt would
soon release me from my Chains, which yet I can't but wish to wear for
ever: therefore indulge at least your Pity to your Slave; 'tis the soft
Path in which we tread to Love. I leave behind a tortur'd Heart to move
you:

    _Weigh well its Pains, think on its Passion too,                   }
    Remember all its Torments spring from you;                         }
    And if you cannot love, at least be true._                         }

                                                    [_Exit Don ~Pedro~._

_Jacin._ Now by my troth, Madam, I'm ready to cry. He's a pretty
Fellow, and deserves better Luck.

_Leo._ I own he does: And his Behaviour wou'd engage any thing that
were unengag'd. But, alas! I want his Pity more than he does mine.

_Jacin._ You do! Now I'm of another Mind. The Moment he sees your
Picture, he's in love with you; the Moment he's in love with you, he
imbarks; and, like Lightning, in a Moment more, he's here: Where you
are pleas'd to receive him with a Don _Guzman, I am yours_. Ah----poor
Man!

_Leo._ I own, _Jacinta_, he's unfortunate, but still I say my Fate is
harder yet. The irresistible Passion I have for _Guzman_, renders Don
_Pedro_, with all his Merit, odious to me; yet I must in his favour,
make eternal War against the Strength of Inclination and the Man I love.

_Jac._ [_Aside._] Um----If I were in her Case, I cou'd find an
Expedient for all this Matter. But she makes such a Bustle with her
Virtue, I dare not propose it to her.

_Leo._ Besides, Don _Pedro_ possesses what he loves, but I must never
think on poor Don _Guzman_ more.

                                                             [_Weeping._

_Jac._ Poor Don _Guzman_, indeed! We han't said a Word of the Pickle
he's in yet. Hark! somebody knocks----at the old Rendezvous. It's he,
on my Conscience.

_Leo._ Let's be gone; I must think of him no more.

_Jac._ Yes, let's be gone; but let's know whether 'tis he or not, first.

_Leo._ No, _Jacinta_; I must not speak with him any more. [_Sighing._]
I'm married to another.

_Jac._ Married to another! Well, Married to another; why, if one were
married to twenty others, one may give a civil Gentleman an Answer.

_Leo._ Alas! what would'st thou have me to say to him?

_Jac._ Say to him! Why, one may find twenty Things to say to a Man:
Say, that 'tis true you are married to another, and that 'twould be
a--Sin to think of any Body but your Husband; and that----you are
of a timorous Nature, and afraid of being damn'd; and that a----You
wou'd not have him die neither: That a----Folks are mortal, and Things
sometimes come strangely about, and a Widow's a Widow, and----

_Leo._ Peace, Levity [_Sighing._] But see who 'tis knocks.

_Jac._ Who's there?

_Isa._ [_Behind the Scenes._] 'Tis I, _Isabella_.

_Leo._ _Isabella!_ What do you want, my Dear?

_Isa._ Your Succour, for Heaven's sake, _Leonora_. My Brother will
destroy himself.

_Leo._ Alas! it is not in my power to save him.

_Isa._ Permit him but to speak to you; that possibly may do.

_Leo._ Why have not I the Force to refuse him?

Don _Guz._ [_Behind the Scenes._] Is it you I hear, my poor lost
Mistress? Am I so happy, once more to meet you, where I so often have
been blest!

_Jac._ Courage, Madam, say a little something to him.

Don _Guz._ Not one kind Word to a distracted Lover? No Pity for a
Wretch, you have made so miserable?

_Leo._ The only Way to end that Misery, is to forget we ever thought of
Happiness!

Don _Guz._ And is that in your Power? Ah, _Leonora_, you ne'er lov'd
like me.

_Leo._ How I have lov'd, to Heaven I appeal! But Heaven does now permit
that Love no more.

Don _Guz._ Why does it then permit us Life and Thought? Are we deceiv'd
in its Omnipotence? Is it reduc'd to find its Pleasures in its
Creatures Pain?

_Leo._ In what, or where, the Joys of Heaven consist, lies deeper than
a Woman's Line can fathom; but this we know, a Wife must in her Husband
seek for hers, and, therefore, I must think of you no more.----Farewel.

                                                          [_Exit ~Leo~._

Don _Guz._ Yet hear me, cruel _Leonora_.

_Jac._ It must be another Time, then, for she's whipt off now. All the
Comfort I can give you, is, that I see she durst not trust herself any
longer in your Company. But hush, I hear a Noise, get you gone; we
shall be catch'd.

_Leo._ [_Within._] _Jacinta!_

_Jac._ I come, I come, Madam.

                                                          [_Exit ~Jac~._

                            _Enter ~Lopez~._

_Lop._ If I mistake not, there are a Brace of Lovers intend to take
some Pains about Madam, in her Husband's Absence. Poor Don _Pedro_!
Well; methinks a Man's in a very merry Mood, that marries a handsome
Wife: When I dispose of my Person, it shall be to an ugly one. They
take it so kindly, and are so full of Acknowledgment; watch you, wait
upon you, nurse you, humour you, are so fond, and so chaste. Or, if the
Hussy has Presumption enough to think of being otherwise, away with
her into the Mountains, fifty Leagues off; no Body opposes. If she's
mutinous, give her Discipline; every Body approves on't. Hang her, says
one, he's kinder than she deserves: Damn her, says another, why does
not he starve her? But, if she's handsome, Ah, the Brute, cries one: Ah
the _Turk_, cries t'other: Why don't she cuckold him, says this Fellow?
Why does not she poison him, says that? and away comes a Pacquet of
Epistles, to advise her to't. Ah poor Don _Pedro_! But enough: 'Tis
now Night, all's hush and still: every Body's a-bed, and what am I to
do? Why, as other trusty Domesticks, sit up to let the Thief in. But I
suppose he won't be here yet; with the help of a small Nap beforehand,
I shall be in a better Condition to perform the Duty of a Centinel,
when I go to my Post. This Corner will just fit me: Come, _Lopez_, lie
thee down, short Prayers, and to sleep.

                                                        [_He lies down._

              _Enter ~Jacinta~ with a Candle in her Hand._

_Jac._ So, I have put my poor Lady to Bed, with nothing but Sobs,
Tears, Sighs, Wishes, and a Pillow to mumble, instead of a Bridegroom,
poor Heart.----I pity her; but every Body has their Afflictions, and
by the Beads of my Grandmother, I have mine. Tell me, kind Gentlemen,
if I have not something to excite you? Methinks I have a rogueish Eye,
I'm sure I have a melting Heart. I'm soft, and warm, and sound, may
it please ye. Whence comes it then, this Rascal _Lopez_, who now has
been two Hours in the Family, has not yet thought it worth his while,
to make one Motion towards me? Not that the Blockhead's Charms have
moved me, but I'm angry mine han't been able to move him. I doubt, I
must begin with the Lubber: my Reputation's at stake upon't, and I must
rouze the Drone, somehow.

               _~Lopez~ rubbing his Eyes, and coming on._

_Lop._ What a damn'd Condition is that of a Valet! No sooner do I, in
comfortable Slumber, close my Eyes, but methinks my Master's upon me,
with fifty Slaps o' th' Back, for making him wait in the Street. I have
his Orders to let him in here to-night, and so I had e'en----Who's
that?----_Jacinta!_----Yes, a-caterwauling!--like enough.

_Jac._ The Fellow's there; I had best not lose the Occasion.

_Lop._ The Slut's handsome. I begin to kindle: But if my master shou'd
be at the Door----Why there let him be, till the Matter's over.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Jac._ Shall I advance?

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lop._ Shall I venture?

                                                               [_Aside._

_Jac._ How severe a Look he has!

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lop._ She seems very reserv'd.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Jac._ If he shou'd put the Negative upon me.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lop._ She seems a Woman of great Discretion; I tremble.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Jac._ Hang it, I must venture.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lop._ Faint Heart never won fair Lady.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Jac._ _Lopez_!

_Lop._ _Jacinta_!

_Jac._ O dear Heart! Is't you?

_Lop._ Charming _Jacinta_, fear me not.

_Jac._ O ho! he begins to talk soft----then let us take upon us again.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lop._ Cruel _Jacinta_, whose Mouth (small as it is) has made but one
Morsel of my Heart.

_Jac._ It's well he prevents me. I was going to leap about the Rascal's
Neck.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lop._ Barbare _Jacinta_, cast your Eyes On your poor _Lopez_, ere he
dies.

_Jac._ Poetry too! Nay then I have done his Business.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lop._ Feel how I burn with hot desire, Ah! pity me, and quench my
Fire. Deaf, my fair Tyrant, deaf to my Woes! Nay, then, Barbarian, in
it goes.

                                                     [_Drawing a Knife._

_Jac._ Why, how now, Jack Sauce? why, how now, Presumption? What
Encouragement have I given you, Jack-a-lent, to attack me with your
Tenders? I cou'd tear your Eyes out, Sirrah, for thinking I'm such a
one. What Indecency have you seen in my Behaviour, Impudence, that you
shou'd think me for your beastly Turn, you Goat, you?

_Lop._ Patience, my much offended Goddess, 'tis honourably I wou'd
share your Bed.

_Jac._ Peace, I say--Mr. _Liquorish_. I, for whom the most successful
Cavaliers employ their Sighs in vain, shall I look down upon a crawling
Worm? Pha--See that Crop Ear there, that Vermin that wants to eat at a
Table, would set his Master's Mouth a-watering.

_Lop._ May I presume to make an humble Meal upon what savoury Remnants
he may leave?

_Jac._ No.

_Lop._ 'Tis hard! 'tis wondrous hard!

_Jac._ Leave me.

_Lop._ 'Tis pitiful, 'tis wondrous pitiful!

_Jac._ Begone, I say. Thus, Ladies 'tis, perhaps, sometimes with you;
With Scorn you fly the Thing, which you pursue.

                                                          [_Exit ~Jac~._

_Lop._ [_Solus._] 'Tis very well, Mrs. Flipflap, 'tis very well;
but do you hear----Tawdry, you are not so alluring as you think you
are----Comb-brush, nor I so much in love----your Maidenhead may chance
to grow mouldy with your Airs--the Pox be your Bedfellow; there's that
for you. Come, let's think no more on't. Sailors must meet with Storms;
my Master's going to Sea, too. He may chance to fare no better with the
Lady, than I have done with her _Abigail_: There may be foul Weather
there, too. I reckon, at present, he may be lying by under a Mizen,
at the Street-Door; I think it rains too, for his Comfort. What if I
shou'd leave him there an Hour or two, in fresco, and try to work off
the Amour that Way? No; People will be physick'd their own Way. But,
perhaps, I might save his Life by't----yes, and have my Bones broke,
for being so officious; therefore, if you are at the Door, Don John,
walk in, and take your Fortune.

                                                      [_Opens the Door._

                          _Enter Don ~John~._

Don _John._ Hist! hist!

_Lop._ Hist! hist!

Don _John._ _Lopez_!

_Lop._ [_Aside._] The Devil--Tread softly.

Don _John._ Are they all asleep?

_Lop._ Dead.

Don _John._ Enough; shut the Door.

_Lop._ 'Tis done.

Don _John._ Now, begone.

_Lop._ What! Shut the Door first, and then begone! Now, methinks, I
might as well have gone first, and then shut the Door.

Don _John._ I bid you begone, you Dog, you, do you find the way.

_Lop._ [_Aside._] Stark mad, and always so when a Woman's in chace.
But, Sir, will you keep your chief Minister out of the Secrets of your
State? Pray, let me know what this Night's Work is to be.

Don _John._ No Questions, but march.

                                  [Lop. _goes to the Door, and returns_.

_Lop._ Very well----But, Sir, shall I stay for you in the Street?

Don _John._ No, nor stir out of the House.

_Lop._ So: well, Sir, I'll do just as you have order'd me; I'll be
gone, and I'll stay; and I'll march, and I won't stir, and--just as you
say, Sir.

Don _John._ I see you are afraid, you Rascal, you.

_Lop._ Possibly.

Don _John_. Well, be it so; but you shan't leave the House, Sir;
therefore, begone to your Hogstye, and wait further Orders.

_Lop._ [_Aside._] But, first, I'll know how you intend to dispose of
yourself.

                                        [_~Lop.~ hides behind the Door._

                          _Don ~John~ solus._

Don _John._ All's hush and still; and I am at the Point of being
a happy----Villain. That Thought comes uninvited----Then, like an
uninvited Guest, let it be treated: Begone, Intruder. _Leonora_'s
Charms turn Vice to Virtue, Treason into Truth; Nature, who has made
her the supreme Object of our Desires, must needs have designed her the
Regulator of our Morals. Whatever points at her, is pointed right. We
are all her due, Mankind's the Dower which Heaven has settled on her;
and he's the Villain that would rob her of her Tribute. I, therefore,
as in Duty bound, will in, and pay her mine.

_Lop._ [_Aside._] There he goes, i'faith; he seem'd as if he had a
Qualm just now; but he never goes without a Dram of Conscience-Water
about him, to set Matters right again.

Don _John._ [_Aside._] This is her Door, 'tis lock'd; but I have a
Smith about me will make her Staple fly.

                           [_Pulls out some Irons, and forces the Lock._

_Lop._ [_Aside._] Hark! hark! if he is not equipt for a Housebreaker,
too. Very well, he has provided two Strings to his Bow; if he 'scapes
the Rape, he may be hang'd upon the Burglary.

Don _John._ [_Aside._] There, 'tis done, so: No Watch-Light burning?
[_Peeping into her Chamber._] All in darkness? So much the better,
'twill save a great deal of blushing on both Sides. Methinks I feel
myself mighty modest, I tremble too; that's not proper at this Time. Be
firm, my Courage, I have Business for thee--So--How am I now? Pretty
well. Then by your Leave, Don _Pedro_, I must supply your Neglect.
You should not have married till you were ready for Consummation;
a Maidenhead ought no more to lie upon a handsome Bride, than an
Impeachment upon an innocent Minister.

                                       [_~Don~ John enters the Chamber._

_Lop._ [_Coming forwards._] Well done, well done; God-a-mercy, my
little _Judas_. Unfortunate Don _Pedro_! thou hast left thy Purse in
the Hands of a Robber; and while thou art galloping to pay the last
Duty to thy Father, he's at least upon the Trot to pay the first to
thy Wife. Ah the Traitor! What a _Capilotade_ of Damnation will there
be cook'd up for him! But softly: Let's lay our Ear to the Door, and
pick up some Curiosities----I hear no Noise----There's no Light; we
shall have him blunder where he should not do, by and by----commit a
Rape upon her Tea-Table, perhaps, break all her China, and then she'll
be sure to hang him. But hark--now I hear--nothing; she does not say a
Word; she sleeps curiously. How if she shou'd take it all for a Dream,
now? Or her Virtue shou'd be fallen into an Apoplexy? Where the Pox
will all this end?

_Leo._ [_Within._] _Jacinta_! _Beatrix_! _Fernandez_! Murder! Murder!
help! help! help!

_Lop._ Now the Play begins, it opens finely.

_Leo._ [_Within._] Father! _Alphonso!_ Save me, O save me!

_Lop._ Comedy or Tragedy, for a Ducat! for fear of the latter, decamp
_Lopez_.

                                                        [_Exit ~Lopez~._


+SCENE+ _changes to ~Leonora~'s Bed-Chamber; discovers ~Leonora~ in a
Gown, holding Don ~John~ by the Sleeve._

_Leo._ Whoever you are, Villain, you shan't escape me; and tho' your
Efforts have been in vain, you shan't fail to receive the Recompence of
your Attempt: Help, ho, help there! help!

                 [_Don ~John~ breaks from her, but can't find the Door._

Don _John._ [_Aside._] S'death, I shall be undone! Where is this damn'd
Door?

_Leo._ He'll get away: a Light there, quickly.

               _Enter Don ~Guzman~ with his Sword drawn._

Don _Guz._ Where are you, fair Angel? I come to lose my Life in your
Defence.

Don _John._ [_Aside._] That's _Guzman_'s Voice? The Devil has sent him:
But we are still in the dark; I have one _Tour_ yet--Impudence, be
my Aid. Light there, ho! Where is the Villain that durst attempt the
virtuous _Leonora_.

Don _Guz._ His Life shall make her Satisfaction.

Don _John._ Or mine shall fall in his pursuit.

Don _Guz._ 'Tis by my Hands that she shall see him die.

Don _John._ My Sword shall lay him bleeding at her Feet.

_Leo._ [_Aside._] What can this mean? But here's Light at last, thank
the just bounteous Heaven.

Don _John._ Enter with the Light there; but secure the Door, lest the
Traitor 'scape my Vengeance.

      _Enter Don ~Pedro~, with a Light, he finds ~Leonora~ between
                    them; both their Swords drawn._

_Leo._ O Heavens! what is't I see?

Don _John._ Don _Pedro_ here!

Don _Ped._ What monstrous Scene is this?

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Guz._ What Accident has brought him here?

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _John._ How I'm intrigu'd, indeed.

                                                               [_Aside._

                           [_Don ~Pedro~ steps back and shuts the Door._

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] This Mystery must unfold before we part. What
Torments has my Fate provided me? Is this the Comfort I'm to reap, to
dry my Tears, for my poor Father's death? [_To ~Leo~._] Ah _Leonora_!

_Leo._ [_Aside._] Alas! where will this end!

                                                [_Falling into a Chair._

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] Naked! and thus attended at the dead of Night! My
Soul is froze at what I see. Confusion sits in all their Faces, and in
large Characters I read the Ruin of my Honour and my Love.

[_To the Men._] Speak, Statues, if you yet have Power to speak, why at
this Time of Night you are found with _Leonora_?----None speak! Don
_John_, it is from you I ought to know.

Don _John._ My Silence may inform you.

Don _Ped._ Your Silence does inform me of my Shame, but I must have
some Information more; explain the whole.

Don _John._ I shall. You remember, Don _Pedro_----

Don _Ped._ Be quick.

Don _John._ You remember you charged me before you went----

Don _Ped._ I remember well; go on.

Don _John._ With the Care of your Honour.

Don _Ped._ I did; dispatch.

Don _John._ Very well; you see Don _Guzman_ in this Apartment, you see
your Wife naked, and you see me, my Sword in my Hand;--that's all.

Don _Ped._ [_Drawing upon Don ~Guz~._] 'Tis here, then, I am to revenge
my Wrongs.

Don _Guz._ Hold.

Don _Ped._ Villain, defend thyself.

_Leo._ O Heaven!

Don _Guz._ Yet hear me.

Don _Ped._ What canst thou say?

Don _Guz._ The Truth, as holy Heaven itself is Truth! I heard the
Shrieks and Cries of _Leonora_; what the Occasion was I knew not;
but she repeated them with so much Vehemence, I found, whatever her
Distress might be, her Succour must be sudden; so leapt the Wall that
parts our Houses, and flew to her Assistance. Don _John_ can, if he
please, inform you more.

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] Mankind's a Villain, and this may be true; yet
'tis too monstrous for a quick Conception. I shou'd be cautious how
I wrong Don _John_. Sure 'tis not right to balance. I yet have but
their Words against their Words; I know Don _John_ for my Friend, and
_Guzman_ for my Rival. What can be clearer? Yet hold! If _Leonora_'s
innocent, she may untangle all. Madam, I shou'd be glad to know (if I
have so much Interest left) which Way your Evidence will point my Sword.

_Leo._ My Lord, I'm in the same Perplexity with you: All I can say
is this; one of them came to force me, t'other to save me: but the
Night confounding the Villainy of the Guilty with the Generosity of
the Innocent, I still am ignorant to which I owe my Gratitude, or my
Resentment.

Don _Guz._ But, Madam, did you not hear me cry, I came to help you?

_Leo._ I own it.

Don _John._ And did you not hear me threaten to destroy the Author of
your Fears?

_Leo._ I can't deny it.

Don _Guz._ What can there be more to clear me?

Don _John._ Or me?

Don _Ped._ Yet one's a Villain still.

[_Aside._] My Confusion but increases; yet why confus'd? It is, it must
be _Guzman_. But how came Don _John_ here? Right. _Guzman_ has said how
he came to her Aid, but _Alvarada_ cou'd not enter but by Treason.
Then perish----

Don _Guz._. Who?

Don _John._ Who?

Don _Ped._ Just Gods, instruct me who!

                         _Don. ~Felix~ knocks._

Don _Fel._ [_Within._] Let me in, open the Door.

_Leo._ 'Tis my Father.

Don _Ped._ No Matter; keep the Door fast. [_Aside._] I'll have this
Matter go no further, till I can reach the Depth on't. Don _Guzman_,
leave the House; I must suspend my Vengeance for a Time.

Don _Guz._ I obey you; but I'll lose my Life, or shew my Innocence.

                                                      [_Exit Don ~Guz~._

Don _Fel._ [_Within._] Open the Door; why am I kept out?

Don _Ped._ Don _John_, follow me by this back Way. And you, _Leonora_,
retire.

                                                      [_Exit ~Leonora~._

Don _John._ [_Aside, following Don ~Ped~._] If Don _Guzman_'s Throat
were cut, would not this Bustle end?--Yes----Why then, if his Throat be
not cut, may this Bustle end me!

[Illustration]



+ACT+ IV.


+SCENE+, _Don_ Guzman's _House_.

                  _Enter Don ~Guzman~, and ~Galindo~._

Don _Guz._ _Galindo!_

                                                              [_Musing._

_Gal._ Sir.

Don _Guz._ Try if you can see _Jacinta_, let her privately know I wou'd
fain speak with her.

_Gal._ It shall be done, Sir.

                                                         [_Exit. ~Gal~._

                         _Don ~Guzman~ solus._

Sure Villainy and Impudence were never on the Stretch before! This
Traitor has racked them till they crack. To what a Plunge the
Villain's _Tour_ has brought me. _Pedro_'s Resentment must at last be
pointed here: But that's a Trifle; had he not ruin'd me with _Leonora_,
I easily had pass'd him by the rest.----What's to be done? Which Way
shall I convince her of my Innocence? The Blood of him who has dar'd
declare me Guilty, may satisfy my Vengeance, but not aid my Love. No;
I'm lost with her for ever----

                           _Enter ~Jacinta~._

Speak: is't not so, _Jacinta_? Am I not ruin'd with the virtuous
_Leonora_?

_Jacin._ One of you, I suppose, is.

Don _Guz._ Which dost thou think?

_Jacin._ Why he that came to spoil all; who shou'd it be?

Don _Guz._ Pr'ythee be serious with me if thou can'st, for one small
Moment, and advise me which Way I shall take to convince her of my
Innocence, that it was I that came to do her Service.

_Jacin._ Why, you both came to do her Service, did not you?

Don _Guz._ Still trifling.

_Jacin._ No, by my Troth, not I.

Don _Guz._ Then turn thy Thoughts to ease me in my Torment, and be my
faithful Witness to her, that Heaven and Hell and all their Wrath I
imprecate, if ever once I knew one fleeting Thought that durst propose
to me so impious an Attempt. No, _Jacinta_, I love her well; but love
with that Humility, whatever Misery I feel, my Torture ne'er shall urge
me on to seize more than her Bounty gives me leave to take.

_Jacin._ And the Murrain take such a Lover, and his Humility both, say
I. Why, sure, Sir, you are not in earnest in this Story; are you?

Don _Guz._ Why dost thou question it?

_Jacin._ Because I really and seriously thought you innocent.

Don _Guz._ Innocent! What dost thou mean?

_Jacin._ Mean! Why, what shou'd I mean? I mean that I concluded you
lov'd my Lady to that Degree, you cou'd not live without her: And that
the Thought of her being given up to another, made your Passion flame
out like Mount _Etna_: That upon this your Love got the Bridle in his
Teeth, and ran away with you into her Chamber, where that impertinent
Spy upon her and you, Don _John_, follow'd, and prevented farther
Proofs of your Affection.

Don _Guz._ Why, sure----

_Jacin._ Why, sure, thus I thought it was, and thus she thinks it is.
If you have a Mind in the Depth of your Discretion, to convince her of
your Innocence--May your Innocence be your Reward! I'm sure were I in
her Place, you shou'd never have any other from me.

Don _Guz._ Was there then no Merit in flying to her Assistance when I
heard her Cries?

_Jacin._ As much as the Constable and the Watch might have pretended
to--something to drink.

Don _Guz._ This is all Raillery; 'tis, impossible she can be pleas'd
with such an Attempt.

_Jacin._ 'Tis impossible she can be pleas'd with being reduc'd to make
the Attempt upon you.

Don _Guz._ But was this a proper Way to save her Blushes?

_Jacin._ 'Twas in the dark; that's one Way.

Don _Guz._ But it must look like downright Violation.

_Jacin._ If it did not feel like it, what did that signify? Come, Sir,
Waggery apart: You know I'm your Servant; I have given you Proofs on't.
Therefore, don't distrust me now, if I tell you, this Quarrel may be
made up with the Wife, tho' perhaps not with the Husband. In short, she
thinks you were first in her Chamber, and has not the worse Opinion of
you for it; she makes Allowance for your Sufferings, and has still Love
enough for you, not to be displeas'd with the utmost Proofs you can
give, that you have still a warm Remain for her.

Don _Guz._ If this be true, and that she thought 'twas me, why did me
cry out to expose me?

_Jacin._ Because at this Time she did not think 'twas you. Will that
content you? And now she does think 'twas you, your Business is to
let her think so on; for, in a Word, I can see she's concern'd at the
Danger she has brought you into, and, I believe, wou'd be heartily glad
to see you well out on't.

Don _Guz._----'Tis impossible she can forgive me.

_Jacin._ Oons--Now Heaven forgive me, for I had a great Oath upon the
very Tip of my Tongue; you'd make one mad with your Impossibles, and
your Innocence, and your Humilities. 'Sdeath, Sir, do you think a Woman
makes no Distinction between the Assaults of a Man she likes and one
she don't? My Lady hates Don _John_, and if she thought 'twas he had
done this Job, she'd hang him for't in her own Garters; she likes you,
and if you shou'd do such another, you might still die in your Bed like
a Bishop, for her.

Don _Guz._ Well, I'll dispute no farther. I put myself into thy Hands.
What am I to do next?

_Jacin._ Why, do as she bids you; be in the Way at the old Rendezvous,
she'll take the first Occasion she can to speak to you; and when you
meet, do as I bid you, and instead of your Innocent and Humble, be
Guilty and Resolute. Your Mistress is now marry'd, Sir; consider that.
She has chang'd her Situation, and so must you your Battery. Attack a
Maid gently, a Wife warmly, and be as rugged with a Widow as you can.
Good bye t'ye, Sir.

                                                 [_Exeunt several Ways._


+SCENE+, _Don_ Felix's _House_.

                       _Enter Don ~Pedro~ solus._

In what Distraction have I past this Night! Sure I shall never close my
Eyes again! No Rack can equal what I feel. Wounded in both my Honour
and my Love; they have pierc'd me in two tender Parts. Yet cou'd I take
my just Revenge, it wou'd in some Degree assuage my Smart. O! guide me
Heaven to that Cordial drop.----Hold! A Glance of Light I think begins
to----Yes----Right. When Yesterday I brought Don _John_ hither, was not
Don _Felix_ much disturb'd?----He was; and why?----That may be worth
enquiring. But something more occurs. At my Arrival in this City, was
I not told that two Cavaliers were warm in the Pursuit of _Leonora_?
One I remember well, they nam'd, 'twas _Guzman_: The other, I am yet a
Stranger to. I fear I shall not be so long----'Tis _Alvarada_! O the
Traitor! yet I may wrong him much. I have _Guzman_'s own Confession
that he past the Wall to come to _Leonora_----O! but 'twas to her
Assistance----And so it might, and he a Villain still.--There are
Assistances of various Sorts----What were her Wants?--That's dark--But
whatsoe'er they were, he came to her Assistance. Death be his Portion,
for his ready Service.

                          _Enter Don ~Felix~._

Don _Fel._ You avoid me, Don _Pedro_; 'tis not well. Am I not your
Father, have you not Reason to believe I am your Friend?

Don _Ped._ I have.

Don _Fel._ Why do you not then treat me like a Father and a Friend? The
Mystery you make to me of last Night's Disturbance, I take unkindly
from you.--Come, tell me your Grief, that if I can I may assuage it.

Don _Ped._ Nothing but Vengeance can give me ease.

Don _Fel._ If I desire to know your Wrongs, 'tis to assist you in
revenging 'em.

Don _Ped._ Know then, that last Night in this Apartment I found Don
_Guzman_ and Don _John_.

Don _Fel._ _Guzman_ and _Alvarada_?

Don _Ped._ Yes; and _Leonora_ almost naked between them, crying out for
Aid.

Don _Fel._ Were they both guilty?

Don _Ped._ One was come to force her, t'other to rescue her.

Don _Fel._ Which was the Criminal?

Don _Ped._ Of that I am yet ignorant. They accuse each other.

Don _Fel._ Can't your Wife determine it?

Don _Ped._ The Darkness of the Night put it out of her Power.

Don _Fel._ But I perhaps may bring some Light to aid you. I have Part
in the Affront: And tho' my Arm's too old and weak to serve you, my
Counsel may be useful to your Vengeance. Know then, that Don _Guzman_
has a long Time pursu'd my Daughter; and I as resolutely refus'd his
Suit; which, however, has not hindered him from searching all Occasions
to see and speak to her. Don _John_, on his Side----

Don _Ped._ Don _John_'s my Friend, and I am confident----

Don _Fel._ That Confidence destroys you. Hear my Charge, and be
yourself his Judge. He too has been a pressing Suitor to my Daughter.

Don _Ped._ Impossible!

Don _Fel._ To me myself, he has own'd his Love to her.

Don _Ped._. Good Gods! Yet still this leaves the Mystery where it was;
this Charge is equal.

Don _Fel._ 'Tis true; but yonder's one (if you can make her speak) I
have Reason, to believe can tell us more.----Ho, _Jacinta_!

                           _Enter ~Jacinta~._

_Jacin._ Do you call me, Sir?

Don _Fel._ Yes; Don _Pedro_ wou'd speak with you. [_To Don ~Pedro~
aside._] I'll leave you with her; press her; press her both by Threats
and Promises, and if you find your Wife in Fault, old as I am, her
Father too, I'll raise my Arm to plunge this Dagger in her Breast, and
by that Firmness convince the world, my Honour's dearer to me than my
Child.

                                                      [_Exit Don ~Fel~._

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] Heaven grant me Power to stifle my Rage, till
'tis Time to let my Vengeance fly. _Jacinta_, come near: I have some
Business with you.

_Jacin._ [_Aside._] His Business with me at this Time can be good for
nothing, I doubt.

_Jacin._ [_To Don ~Ped~._] What Commands have you, Sir, for me? I'm not
very well.

Don _Ped._ What's your Disorder?

_Jacin._ A little Sort of a something towards an Ague, I think.

Don _Ped._ You don't seem so ill, but you may tell me--

_Jacin._ O, I can tell you nothing, Sir, I assure you.

Don _Ped._ You answer me before yon hear my Question. That looks as if
you knew----

_Jacin._ I know that what you are going to ask me, is a Secret I'm out
at.

Don _Ped._ [_Offering her a Purse._] Then this shall let thee into it.

_Jacin._ I know nothing of the Matter.

Don _Ped._ Come, tell me all, and take thy Reward.

_Jacin._ I know nothing of the Matter, I say.

Don _Ped._ [_Drawing his Sword._] Speak; or by all the Flame and Fire
of Hell Eternal--

_Jacin._ O Lard, O Lard, O Lard!

Don _Ped._ Speak, or th'art dead.

_Jacin._ But if I do speak, shan't I be dead for all that?

Don _Ped._ Speak, and thou art safe.

_Jacin._ Well--O Lard--I'm so frighted--But if I must speak then--O
dear Heart--give me the Purse.

Don _Ped._ There.

_Jacin._ Why truly, between a Purse in one's Hand--and--a Sword in
one's Guts, I think there's little room left for Debate.

Don _Ped._ Come begin, I'm impatient.

_Jacin._ Begin! let me see, where shall I begin? At Don _Guzman_, I
think.

Don _Ped._ What of him?

_Jacin._ Why he has been in love with my Lady these six Years.

Don _Ped._ I know it; but how has she received him?

_Jacin._ Receive him! Why--as young Maids use to receive handsome
Fellows; at first ill, afterwards better.

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] Furies! Did they ever meet?

_Jacin._ A little.

Don _Ped._ By Day or Night?

_Jacin._ Both.

Don _Ped._ Distraction! Where was their Rendezvous?

_Jacin._ Where they cou'd not do one another much good.

Don _Ped._ As how?

_Jacin._ As through a Hole in a Wall.

Don _Ped._ The Strumpet banters me: Be serious, Insolence, or I shall
spoil your Gaiety; I'm not dispos'd to Mirth.

_Jacin._ Why I am serious, if you like my Story the better for't.

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] How miserable a Wretch am I!

_Jacin._ I tell you there's a Wall parts their two Houses, and in that
Wall there's a Hole. How the Wall came by the Hole, I can't tell;
mayhap by chance, mayhap by no chance; but there 'tis, and there they
use to prattle.

Don _Ped._ And this is Truth?

_Jacin._ I can't bate you a Word on't, Sir.

Don _Ped._ When did they meet there last?

_Jacin._ Yesterday; I suppose 'twas only to bid one another adieu.

Don _Ped._ Ah, _Jacinta_, thou hast pierced my Soul!

_Jacin._ [_Aside._] And yet I han't told you half I cou'd tell you, my
Don.

Don _Ped._ Where is this Place you speak of?

_Jacin._ There 'tis, if you are curious.

Don _Ped._ When they wou'd speak with one another; what's the Call?

_Jacin._ Tinkle, Tinkle.

Don _Ped._ A Bell?

_Jacin._ It is.

Don _Ped._ Ring.

_Jacin._ What do you mean, Sir?

Don _Ped._ [_Hastily._] Ring.

_Jacin._ 'Tis done.

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] I'll make use of her to examine him. Does he come?

_Jacin._ Not yet.

Don _Ped._ Pull again.

_Jacin._ You must give him Time, Sir: My Lady always does so.

Don _Ped._ I hear something.

_Jacin._ 'Tis he.

Don _Guz._ [_Within._] Who's there?

Don _Ped._.. [_Softly._] Say you are _Leonora_.

                   [_Dumb Shew of her Unwillingness and his Threatning._

_Jacin._ [_Softly._] 'Tis _Leonora_.

Don _Guz._ What are your Commands, Madam? Is it possible so unfortunate
a Wretch as I can be capable of serving you?

                 [_~Don~ Ped. whispers ~Jacinta~, who seems backwards to
                                                                 speak._

_Jacin._ I come to ask you, how cou'd you so far forget that infinite
Regard you have professed, as to make an Attempt so dangerous both to
yourself and me; and which, with all the Esteem and Love I have ever
borne you, you scarce cou'd hope I ever shou'd forgive you.

Don _Guz._ Alas! my Hopes and Fears were vanish'd too. My Counsel was
my Love and my Despair. If they advis'd me wrong, of them complain, for
it was you who made 'em my Directors.

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] The Villain owns the Fact. It seems he thinks he
has not so much to fear from her Resentment.----O Torture!

                           _Enter ~Leonora~._

_Jacin._ [_Aside._] So, she's here; that's as I expected: now we are
blown up.

_Leo._ [_Aside, not seeing them._] If I don't mistake, I heard Don
_Guzman_'s Call. I can't refuse to answer it. Forgive me, Gods, and let
my Woman's Weakness plead my Cause.--How! my Husband here! Nay then----

Don _Ped._ You seem disorder'd, Madam; pray, what may be the Cause?

_Leo._ [_Confus'd._] I don't know, really; I'm not----I don't know
that----

Don _Ped._ You did not know that I was here, I guess?

_Leo._ Yes, I did, and----came to speak with you.

Don _Ped._ I'm not at present in a talking Humour, but if your Tongue
is set to Conversation, there's one behind the Wall will entertain you.

Don _Guz._ But is it possible, fair _Leonora_, that you can pardon my
Attempt?

Don _Ped._ [_To Leo._] You hear him, Madam; he dares own it to you.

_Leo._ [_Aside._] _Jacinta_ winks; I guess what Scene they have been
acting here. My Part is now to play.

[_To Don ~Ped~._] I see, Sir, he dares own it: Nor is he the first
lover has pressum'd beyond the Countenance he ever has receiv'd. Pray
draw near, and hear what he has more to say: It is my Interest you
shou'd know the Depth of all has ever passed between us.

_Leo._ [_To Don ~Guz~._] I fain wou'd know, Don _Guzman_, whether in
the whole Conduct of my Life, you have known one step, that cou'd
encourage you to hope I ever cou'd be yours, but on the Terms of Honour
which you sought me?

Don _Guz._ Not one.

_Leo._ Why then should you believe I cou'd forgive the taking that by
Force, which you already were convinc'd I valu'd more the keeping, than
my Life?

Don _Guz._ Had my Love been as temperate as yours, I with your Reason
had perhaps debated. But not in Reason, but in Flames, I flew to
_Leonora_.

_Leo._ If strong Temptation be allow'd a Plea, Vice, in the worst
of Shapes, has much to urge:--No, cou'd any Thing have shaken me in
Virtue, it must have been the Strength of it in you. Had you shone
bright enough to dazzle me, I blindly might have missed the Path
I meant to tread: But now you have clear'd my Sight for ever. If,
therefore, from this Moment more you dare to let me know one Thought of
Love, though in the humblest Stile, expect to be a Sacrifice to him you
attempt to wrong.----Farewel!

                                                [_She retires from him._

Don _Guz._ O stay and hear me!--I have wrong'd myself; I'm
innocent!----By all that's sacred, just and good, I'm innocent!

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] What does he mean?

Don _Guz._ I have own'd a Fact I am not guilty of! _Jacinta_ can inform
you; she knows I never----

_Jacin._ I know! The Man's mad: Pray, begone, Sir, my Lady will hear no
more; I'll shut him out, Madam, shan't I?

                                                  [_She shuts the Hole._

_Leo._ I have no farther Business with him.

                      _Enter ~Isabella~ hastily._

_Isab._ O Heavens, _Leonora_, where are you? Don _Pedro_, you can
assist me better.

_Leo._ What's the Matter?

Don _Ped._ What is it, Madam, I can serve you in?

_Isab._ In what the Peace of my whole Life consists; the Safety of my
Brother! Don _John_'s Servant has this Moment left me a Letter for him,
which I have open'd, knowing there is an Animosity of some Time between
'em.

Don _Ped._ Well, Madam!

_Isab._ O dear, it is a Challenge, and what to do I know not; if I
shew it my Brother, he'll immediately fly to the Place appointed; and
if I don't, he'll be accus'd of Cowardice. One way I risque his Life,
t'other I ruin his Honour.

Don _Ped._ What wou'd you have me do, Madam?

_Isab._ I'll tell you, Sir: I only beg you'll go to the Place where
Don _John_ expects him; tell him I have intercepted his Letter, and
make him promise you he'll send no more: By this generous Charity you
may hinder two Men (whose, Piques are on a frivolous Occasion) from
murdering one another! And by this good Office, you'll repay the small
Debt you owe my Brother, for flying last Night to _Leonora_'s Succour;
and doubly pay the Obligation you have to me, upon the same Occasion.

Don _Ped._ What Obligation, Madam? I am ignorant; pray inform me.

_Isab._ 'Twas I, Sir, that first heard _Leonora_'s Cries, and rais'd my
Brother to her Aid. Pray let me receive the same Assistance from your
Prudence, which you have had from my Care, and my Brother's Generosity.
But, pray lose no Time. Don _John_ is perhaps already on the Spot, and
not meeting my Brother, may send a second Message, which may be fatal.

Don _Ped._ Madam, be at rest; you shall be satisfy'd, I'll go this
Moment. I'll only ask you first whether you are sure you heard my Wife
call out for Succour, before your Brother past the Wall?

_Isab._ I did; why do you ask that Question?

Don _Ped._ I have a Reason, you may be sure. [_Aside._] Just Heaven,
I adore thee! The Truth at last shines clear, and by that Villain
_Alvarada_ I'm betray'd. But enough; I'll make Use of this Occasion for
my Vengeance. [_To ~Isab~._] Where, Madam, is it, Don _John_ is waiting?

_Isab._ But here, in a small Field, behind the Garden.

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] His Blood shall do me Reason for his Treachery.

_Isab._ Will you go there directly?

Don _Ped._ I will. Be satisfy'd.

                                                       [_Ex. ~Don Ped~._

_Leo._ You weep, _Isabella_?

_Isab._ You see my Trouble for a Brother for whom I wou'd die, and a
Lover for whom I wou'd live. They both are Authors of my Grief.

_Leo._ They both are Instruments of my Misfortune.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

[Illustration]



+ACT+ V.


                            _Enter ~Lopez~._

Oho! my good Signior Don _John_, you are mistaken in your Man; I am
your humble Valet, 'tis true, and I am to obey you; but when you have
got the Devil in your Body, and are upon your Rantipole Adventures, you
shall _Quixote_ it by yourself, for _Lopez_. Yonder he is, waiting for
poor _Guzman_, with a Sword of a Fathom and a Half; a Dagger for close
engagement; and (if I don't mistake) a Pocket-pistol for extraordinary
Occasions. I think I am not in the wrong to keep a little out of the
Way: These Matters will end in a Court of Justice, or I'm wrong in my
Foresight: Now that being a Place where I am pretty well known, and not
over-much reputed, I believe 'tis best, neither to come in for Prisoner
nor Evidence. But hold; yonder comes another _Toledo_! Don _Guzman_ I
presume, but I presume wrong, it is--who is it? Don _Pedro_, by all the
Powers! What the Pox does he here, or what the Pox do I here? I'm sure
as Matters stand, I ought to fly him like a Creditor; but he sees me,
'tis too late to slip him.

                          _Enter Don ~Pedro~._

Don _Ped._ How now, _Lopez_; where are you going?

_Lop._ I'm going, Sir, I----I'm going--if you please----I'm going about
my Business.

Don _Ped._ From whence do you come?

_Lop._ Only, only, Sir, from--taking the Air a little, I'm mightily
muddled with a Whur----round about in my Head, for this Day or two; I'm
going home to be let Blood, as fast as I can, Sir.

Don _Ped._ Hold, Sir; I'll let you Blood here.

This Rascal may have borne some Part in this late Adventure: He's a
Coward; I'll try to frighten it out of him.

                  [_Seizing him by the Collar, and drawing his Poniard._

You Traitor, you, y' are dead.

_Lop._ Mercy, Don _Pedro_!

Don _Ped._ Are you not a Villain?

                                                     [_~Lop.~ kneeling._

_Lop._ Yes; if you please.

Don _Ped._ Is there so great a one upon Earth?

_Lop._ With respect to my Master----No.

Don _Ped._ Prepare then to die!

_Lop._ Give me but Time, and I will. But, noble Don _Pedro_, just Don
_Pedro_, generous Don _Pedro_, what is it I have done?

Don _Ped._ What, if thou dar'st deny, I'll plunge this Dagger deep into
thy Throat, and drive the Falsehood to thy Heart again. Therefore, take
heed, and on thy Life declare, didst thou not this last night open my
Doors to let Don _Guzman_ in?

_Lop._ Don _Guzman_!

Don _Ped._ Don _Guzman_! Yes, Don _Guzman_, Traitor; him.

_Lop._ Now may the Sky crush me, if I let in Don _Guzman_.

Don _Ped._ Who did let you in then? It was not your Master, sure! If it
was him, you did your Duty; I have no more to say.

_Lop._ Why then, if I let in any Body else, I'm a Son of a Whore.

                                                              [_Rising._

Don _Ped._ Did he order you beforehand, or did you do it upon his
knocking?

_Lop._ Why he--I'll tell you, Sir, he----pray put up that Brilliant, it
sparkles so in my Eyes, it almost blinds me--thank you, Sir.

                                               [_Don ~Ped.~ puts it up._

Why, Sir, I'll tell you just how the Matter was, but I hope you won't
consider me as a Party.

Don _Ped._ Go on; thou art safe.

_Lop._ Why then, Sir, when (for our Sins) you had left us, says my
Master to me, _Lopez_, says he, go and stay at old Don _Felix_'s House,
till Don _Pedro_ returns; they'll pass thee for his Servant, and think
he has order'd thee to stay there. And then, says he, dost hear, open
me the Door by _Leonora_'s Apartment to-night, for I have a little
Business, says he, to do there.

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] Perfidious Wretch!

_Lop._ Indeed, I was at first a little resty, and stood off; being
suspicious (for I knew the Man) that there might be some ill
Intentions. But he knew me too, takes me upon the weak Side, whips out
a long Sword, and by the same Means makes me do the Thing, as you have
made me discover it.--[_Aside._] There's neither Liberty nor Property
in this Land, since the Blood of the _Bourbons_ came amongst us.

Don _Ped._ Then you let him in, as he bid you?

_Lop._ I did: If I had not, I had never lived to tell you the Story.
Yes, I let him in.

Don _Ped._ And what follow'd?

_Lop._ Why, he follow'd.

Don _Ped._ What?

_Lop._ His Inclinations.

Don _Ped._ Which Way?

_Lop._ The old Way:--To a Woman.

Don _Ped._. Confound him!

_Lop._ In short, he got to Madam's Chamber, and before he had been
there long, (tho' you know, Sir, a little Time goes a great Way in some
Matters) I heard such a clutter of small Shot, Murder, Murder, Murder,
Rape, Fire, Help, and so forth--But hold, here he comes himself, and
can give you a more circumstantial Account of the Skirmish.

_Don Ped._ I thank thee, Heaven, at last, for having pointed me to the
Victim I am to sacrifice.

                                                           [_Ex. ~Lop.~_

                          _Enter Don ~John~._

[_Drawing._] Villain, defend thyself.

Don _John._ What do you mean?

Don _Ped._ To punish a Traitor.

Don _John._ Where is he?

Don _Ped._ In the Heart of a sworn Friend.

Don _John._ [_Aside._] I saw _Lopez_, go from him, without doubt he has
told him all.

                                                        [_To Don ~Ped~._

Of what am I suspected?

Don _Ped._ Of betraying the greatest Trust that Man cou'd place in Man.

Don _John._ And by whom am I accus'd?

Don _Ped._ By me: Have at thy Traitor's Heart!

Don _John._ Hold! And be not quite a Madman.--_Pedro_, you know me
well: You know I am not backward upon these Occasions, nor shall I
refuse you any Satisfaction you'll demand; but first, I will be heard,
and tell you, That for a Man of Sense, you are pleas'd to make very odd
Conclusions.

Don _Ped._ Why, what is it possible thou canst invent to clear thyself?

Don _John._ To clear myself! Of what? I'm to be thank'd for what I
have done, and not reproach'd. I find I have been an Ass, and push'd
my Friendship to that Point, you find not Virtue in yourself enough to
conceive it in another. But henceforward, I shall be a better Husband
of it.

_Don Ped._ I shou'd be loth to find Ingratitude cou'd e'er be justly
charg'd upon me: But after what your Servant has confess'd----

Don _John._ My Servant! Right, my Servant! The very Thing I guess'd.
Fye, fye, Don _Pedro_; is it from a Servant's Mouth a Friend condemns
a Friend? Or can Servants always judge at what their Master's outward
Actions point? But some Allowances I shou'd make for the wild
Agitation you must needs be in. I'm therefore calm, and thus far pass
all by.

Don _Ped._ If you are innocent, Heaven be my Aid, that I may find you
so. But still----

Don _John._ But still you wrong me, if you still suspect. Hear then,
in short, my part of this Adventure. In order to acquit myself of the
Charge you laid upon me in your Absence, I went last night, just as
'twas dark, to view the several Approaches of the House where you had
left your Wife; and I observ'd not far from one of the back Doors, two
Persons in close eager Conference: I was disguis'd, so ventur'd to
pass near 'em, and by a Word or two I heard, I found 'twas _Guzman_
talking to _Jacinta_. My Concern for your Honour, made me at first
resolve to call him to an immediate Account. But then reflecting that
I might possibly over-hear some Part of their Discourse, and by that
judge of _Leonora_'s Thoughts, I rein'd my Passion in; and by the help
of an advancing Buttress, which kept me from their Sight, I learnt the
black Conspiracy. Don _Guzman_ said, he had great Complaint to make;
and since his honourable Love had been so ill return'd, he could with
ease forgive himself, if by some rougher Means he should procure, what
Prayers and Tears and Sighs had urg'd in vain.

Don _Ped._ Go on.

Don _John._ His kind Assistant clos'd smoothly with him, and inform'd
him with what ease that very Night she'd introduce him to her Chamber.
At last, they parted, with this Agreement, that at some Overture in a
Wall, he should expect her to inform him when _Leonora_ was in Bed, and
all the Coast was clear.

Don _Ped._ Dispatch the rest--Is't possible after all he should be
innocent!

Don _John._ I must confess the Resolution taken, made me tremble
for you: How to prevent it now and for ever, was my next Care. I
immediately order'd _Lopez_ to go lie at Don _Felix_'s, and to open me
the Door when all the Family were in Bed. He did as I directed him.
I enter'd, and in the dark found my way to _Leonora_'s Apartment. I
found the Door open, at which I was surpriz'd. I thought I heard some
stirring in her Chamber, and in an Instant heard her cry for Aid. At
this I drew, and rush'd into the Room, which _Guzman_, alarm'd at,
cry'd out to her Assistance. His ready Impudence, I must confess, at
first quite struck me speechless; but in a Moment I regain'd my Tongue,
and loud proclaim'd the Traitor.

Don _Ped._ Is't possible?

Don _John._ Yet more: your Arrival hindring me at that Time from taking
Vengeance for your Wrong, I at this Instant expect him here, to punish
him (with Heaven's righteous Aid) for daring to attempt my Ruin with
the Man, whose Friendship I prefer to all the Blessings Heaven and
Earth dispense. And now, Don _Pedro_, I have told you this, if still
you have a Mind to take my Life, I shall defend it with the self-same
Warmth I intended to expose it in your Service.

                                                               [_Draws._

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] If I did not know he was in love with _Leonora_,
I could be easily surpriz'd with what he has told me. But--But yet 'tis
certain he has destroyed the Proofs against him; and if I only hold him
guilty as a Lover; why must Don _Guzman_ pass for innocent? Good Gods,
I am again returning to my Doubts!

Don _John._ [_Aside._] I have at last reduc'd him to a Balance, but one
Lye more tost in, will turn the Scale.

_To Don ~Ped.~_] One Obligation more, my Friend, you owe me; I thought
to have let it pass, but it shall out. Know then, I lov'd, like you,
the beauteous _Leonora_; but from the Moment I observ'd how deep her
Dart had pierc'd you, tore my Passion from my bleeding Heart, and
sacrific'd my Happiness to yours. Now, I have no more to plead; if
still you think your Vengeance is my due, come pay it me.

Don _Ped._ Rather ten thousand Poignards strike me dead! O _Alvarada_!
can you forgive a wild distracted Friend? Gods! Whither was my jealous
Frenzy leading me? Can you forget this barbarous Injury?

Don _John._ I can: No more. But for the future, think me what I am, a
faithful and a zealous Friend.--Retire, and leave me here. In a few
Moments I hope to bring you further Proofs on't. _Guzman_ I instantly
expect, leave me to do you Justice on him.

Don _Ped._ That must not be. My Revenge can ne'er be satisfy'd by any
other Hand but this.

Don _John._ Then let That do't. You'll in a Moment have an Opportunity.

Don _Ped._ You mistake; he won't be here.

Don _John._ How so?

Don _Ped._ He has not had your Challenge. His Sister intercepted it,
and desired I wou'd come to prevent the Quarrel.

Don _John._ What then is to be done?

Don _Ped._ I'll go and find him out immediately.

Don _John._ Very well: Or hold----[_Aside._] I must hinder 'em from
talking. Gossiping may discover me. Yes: let's go and find him: Or, let
me see----Aye,----'twill do better.

Don _Ped._ What?

Don _John._ Why----That the Punishment should suit the Crime.

Don _Ped._ Explain.

Don _John._ Attack him by his own Laws of War--'Twas in the Night he
would have had your Honour, and in the Night you ought to have his Life.

Don _Ped._ His Treason cannot take the Guilt from mine.

Don _John._ There is no Guilt in fair Retaliation. When 'tis a Point
of Honour sounds the Quarrel, the Laws of Sword-Men must be kept, 'tis
true: But if a Thief glides in to seize my Treasure, methinks I may
return the Favour on my Dagger's Point, as well as with my Sword of
Ceremony six Times as long.

Don _Ped._ Yet still the nobler Method I wou'd choose; it better
satisfies the Vengeance of a Man of Honour.

Don _John._ I own it, were you sure you shou'd succeed: But the Events
of Combats are uncertain. Your Enemy may 'scape you: You perhaps may
only wound him; you may be parted. Believe me, _Pedro_, the Injury's
too great for a Punctilio Satisfaction.

Don _Ped._ Well, guide me as you please, so you direct me quickly to my
Vengeance. What do you propose?

Don _John._ That which is as easy, as 'tis just to execute. The Wall he
passed, to attempt your Wife, let us get over to prevent his doing so
any more. 'Twill let us into a private Apartment by his Garden, where
every Evening in his amorous Solitudes he spends some Time alone, and
where I guess his late fair Scheme was drawn. The Deed done, we can
retreat the Way we enter'd; let me be your Pilot, 'tis now e'en dark,
and the most proper Time.

Don _Ped._ Lead on; I'll follow you.

Don _John._ [_Aside._] How many Villanies I'm forc'd to act, to keep
one secret!

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _Don. ~Guzman~'s Apartments._

                     _Don ~Guzman~, sitting solus._

With what Rigour does this unfaithful Woman treat me! Is't possible it
can be me, who appeared to love me with so much Tenderness? How little
stress is to be laid upon a Woman's Heart! Sure they're not worth
those anxious Cares they give. [_Rising._] Then burst my Chains, and
give me Room to search for nobler Pleasures. I feel my Heart begin to
mutiny for Liberty; there is a Spirit in it yet, will struggle hard for
Freedom: but Solitude's the worst of Seconds. Ho! _Sancho_, _Galindo_,
who waits there? Bring some Lights.--Where are you?

            _Enter ~Galindo~, rubbing his Eyes, and drunk._

_Galin._ I can't well tell. Do you want me, Sir?

Don _Guz._ Yes, Sir, I want you. Why am I left in the dark? What were
you doing?

_Gal._ Doing, Sir! I was doing----what one does when one sleeps, Sir.

Don _Guz._ Have you no Light without?

_Galin._ [_Yawning._] Light!----No, Sir,----I have no Light. I'm us'd
to Hardship, I can sleep in the dark.

Don _Guz._ You have been drinking, you Rascal, you are drunk.

_Gal._ I have been drinking, Sir, 'tis true, but I am not drunk. Every
Man that is drunk, has been drinking, confess'd. But every Man that has
been drinking, is not drunk.----Confess that too.

Don _Guz._ Who is't has put you in this Condition, you Sot?

_Galin._ A very honest Fellow: Madam _Leonora_'s Coachman, nobody else.
I have been making a little debauch with Madam _Leonora_'s Coachman;
yes.

Don _Guz._ How came you to drink with him, Beast?

_Gal._ Only _per_ Complaisance, Sir. The Coachman was to be drunk upon
Madam's Wedding; and I being a Friend, was desired to take Part.

Don _Guz._ And so, you Villain, you can make yourself merry, with what
renders me miserable.

_Galin._ No, Sir, no; 'twas the Coachman was merry; I drank with Tears
in my Eyes. The remembrance of your Misfortunes made me so sad, so sad,
that every Cup I swallow'd was like a Cup of Poison to me.

Don _Guz._ Without doubt.

_Galin._ Yes; and to mortify myself upon melancholy Matters, I believe
I took down fifty; yes.

Don _Guz._ Go fetch some Lights, you drunken Sot, you.

_Galin._ I will, if I can find the [_Feeling for the Door and running
against it._] Door, that's so say----The Devil's in the Door; I think
'tis grown too little for me----Shrunk this wet Weather, I presume.

                                                         [_Ex. ~Galin~._

                         _Don ~Guzman~ alone._

Absence, the old Remedy for Love, must e'en be mine: to stay and brave
the Danger, were Presumption: Farewel _Valencia_, then, and farewel,
_Leonora_. And if thou can'st, my Heart, redeem thy Liberty, secure it
by a Farewel eternal to her Sex.

         _Re-enter ~Galindo~ with a Candle, he falls, and puts
                                it out._

_Galin._ Here's light, Sir----So,----

Don _Guz._ Well done. You sottish [_Passing angrily into another
Chamber._] Rascal, come no more in my Sight.

                                                       [_Ex. Don ~Guz~._

_Galin._ These Boards are so uneven----You shall see now I shall
neither find [_Rising and feeling about for the Candle._] the
Candle----nor the Candlestick; It shan't be for want of searching,
however.

----O ho, have I got you? Enough, I'll look for your Companion
to-morrow.

                  _Enter Don ~Pedro~ and Don ~John~._

Don _Ped._ Where are we now?

Don _John._ We are in the Apartment I told you of----Softly----I hear
something stir----Ten to one but 'tis he.

_Galin._ Don't I hear, somewhat?----No----when one has Wine in one's
Head, one has such a bustle in one's Ears.

Don _Pedro._ [_To Don ~John~._] Who is that is talking to himself?

Don _John._ 'Tis his Servant, I know his Voice, keep still.

_Galin._ Well; since my Master has banished me his Sight, I'll redeem
by my Obedience, what I have lost by my Debauch. I'll go sleep twelve
Hours in some melancholy Hole where the Devil Shan't find me; yes.

                                                      [_Exit ~Galindo~._

Don _John._ He's gone; but hush, I hear somebody coming.

Don _Guz._ Ho there! will nobody bring Light?

                                                    [_Behind the Scene._

Don _Ped._ 'Tis _Guzman_.

Don _John._ 'Tis so, prepare.

Don _Ped._ Shall I own my Weakness? I feel an inward Check; I wish this
could be done some other way.

Don _John._ Distraction all! Is this a Time to balance? Think on the
Injury he would have done you, 'twill fortify your Arm, and guide your
Dagger to his Heart.

Don _Ped._ Enough, I'll hesitate no more; be satisfy'd; hark! he's
coming.

                    _Don ~Guzman~ passes the Stage._

Don _Guz._ I think these Rogues are resolved to leave me in the dark
all Night.

                                                      [_Exit Don ~Guz~._

Don _John._ Now's your Time, follow him and strike home.

Don _Ped._ To his Heart, if my Dagger will reach it.

                                             [_Don ~Pedro~ follows him._

Don _John._ [_Aside._] If one be kill'd, I'm satisfy'd; 'tis no great
Matter which.

           _Re-enter Don ~Guzman~, Don ~Pedro~ following him,
                   with his Dagger ready to strike._

Don _Guz._ [_Aside._] My Chamber Door's lock'd, and I think I hear
somebody tread----Who's there?----Nobody answers. But still I hear
something stir. Hola there! _Sancho_, are you all drunk? Some Lights
here, quickly.

                                                                [_Exit._

      _Don ~Guzman~ passes by the Corner where ~Don John~ stands,
        and goes of the Stage; Dan ~Pedro~ following him, stabs
                             Don ~John~._

Don _Ped._ [_Aside._] I think I'm near him now:----Traitor, take that,
my Wife has sent it thee.

Don _John._ Ah, I'm dead!

Don _Ped._ Then thou hast thy Due.

Don _John._ I have, indeed; 'tis I that have betray'd thee.

Don _Ped._ And 'tis I that am reveng'd on thee for doing it.

Don _John._ I wou'd have forc'd thy Wife.

Don _Ped._ Die then with the Regret to have fail'd in thy Attempt.

Don _John._ Farewel, if thou can'st forgive me--

                                                                [_Dies._

Don _Ped._ I have done the Deed, there's nothing left but to make our
Escape. Don _John_, where are you? Let's begone, I hear the Servants
coming.

                   _~Lopez~ knocks hard at the Door._

_Lop._ Open there quickly, open the Door.

Don _Ped._ That's _Lopez_, we shall be discover'd. But 'tis no great
Matter, the Crime will justify the Execution; but where's Don _John_?
Don _John_, where are you?

                        _~Lopez~ knocks again._

_Lop._ Open the Door there, quickly. Madam, I saw 'em both pass the
Wall; the Devil's in't if any good comes on't.

_Leo._ I am frightened out of my Senses: ho, _Isabella_!

Don _Ped._ 'Tis _Leonora_. She's welcome. With her own Eyes let her see
her _Guzman_ dead.

       _Enter Don ~Guzman~, ~Leonora~, ~Isabella~, ~Jacinta~ and
                         ~Lopez~, with Lights._

Don _Ped._ Ha! what is't I see? _Guzman_ alive? Then who art thou?

                                               [_Looking on Don ~John~._

Don _Guz._ _Guzman_ alive! Yes, _Pedro_, _Guzman_ is alive.

Don _Ped._ Then Heaven is just, and there's a Traitor dead.

_Isabella weeps._] Alas, Don _John_!

_Lop._ [_Looking upon Don ~John~._] _Bonus Nocius._

Don _Guz._ What has produced this bloody Scene?

Don _Ped._ 'Tis I have been the Actor in't;----my Poignard, _Guzman_,
I intended in your Heart.----I thought your Crime deserv'd it: but I
did you wrong, and my Hand in searching the Innocent, has by Heaven's
justice been directed to the Guilty. Don _John_, with his last Breath,
confess'd himself the Offender.--Thus my Revenge is satisfied, and you
are clear'd.

Don _Guz._ Good Heaven, how equitable are thy Judgments!

Don _Ped._ [_To ~Leo~._] Come, Madam, my Honour now is satisfied, and
if you please my Love may be so too.

_Leo._ If it is not,

    _You to yourself alone shall owe your Smart,
    For where I've given my Hand, I'll give my Heart._

[Illustration]



EPILOGUE,


                       Spoken by Mrs. _Oldfield_.

    _What say you, Sirs, d'ye think my Lady'll 'scape?
    'Tis dev'lish hard to stand a Fav'rite's Rape.
    Shou'd ~Guzman~, like Don ~John~, break in upon her,
    For all her Virtue, Heaven have Mercy on her:
    Her Strength, I doubt, 's in his Irresolution,
    There's wond'rous Charms in vig'rous Execution.
    Indeed you Men are Fools, you won't believe
    What dreadful Things we Women can forgive:
    I know but one we never do pass by,
    And that you plague us with eternally;
    When in your courtly Fears to disoblige,
    You won't attack the Town which you beseige:
    Your Guns are light, and planted out of Reach:
    D'ye think with Billet-doux to make a Breach?
    'Tis Small-Shot all, and not a Stone will fly:
    Walls fall by Cannon, and by firing nigh:
    In sluggish dull Blockades you keep the Field,
    And starve us ere we can with Honour yield.
    In short----
    We can't receive those Terms you gently tender,
    But storm, and we can answer our Surrender._

                       =END of the FIRST VOLUME=

                   +PLAYS+ printed for =T. Lowndes=,
                              at 6d. each.

  A Bramule, by Dr. Trapp
  Adventures of Half an Hour
  Albion and Albanius, by Dryden
  Alchymist, by Ben Johnson
  Alcibiades, by Otway
  All for Love, by Dryden
  Ambitious Step-mother, by Rowe
  Amboyna, by Dryden
  Amphitryon, by Dryden
  Anatomist, by Ravenscroft
  Anna Bullen, by Bankes
  As You Like It, by Shakespeare
  Artful Husband, by Taverner
  Athaliah, by Mr. Duncomb
  Aurengzebe, by Dryden

  Bartholomew Fair, by Ben Johnson
  Baffet Table, by Centlivre
  Beaux Stratagem, by Farquhar
  Beggar's Opera, by Gay
  Biter, by Rowe
  Bold Stroke for a Wife
  British Enchanters, by Lansdown
  Busiris, by Dr. Young
  Busy Body, by Centlivre

  Caius Marius, by Otway
  Careless Husband, by Cibber
  Catiline, by Ben Johnson
  Cato, by Addison
  Chances, by D. Buckingham
  Chaplet, by Mr. Mendez
  Cleomenes, by Dryden
  Cobler of Preston
  Comedy of Errors, by Shakespeare
  Conscious Lovers, by Cibber
  Committee, by Sir R. Howard
  Confederacy, by Vanbrugh
  Conscious Lovers, by Steele
  Constant Couple, by Farquhar
  Contrivances, by Carey
  Country Lasses, by B. Johnson
  Country Wife, by Wycherly
  Cymbeline, altered by Mr. Garrick

  Damon and Phillida, by Mr. Dibdin
  Devil of a Wife
  Devil to Pay, by Coffey
  Distressed Mother, by Am. Philips
  Don Carlos, by Otway
  Double Dealer, by Congreve
  Double Gallant, by Cibber
  Dragon of Wantley
  Drummer, by Addison
  Duke and no Duke, by Sir A. Cockain
  Duke of Guise, by Dryden

  Earl of Essex, by Bankes
  Every Man in his Humour

  Fair Penitent, by Rowe
  Fair Quaker of Deal, by C. Shadwell
  False Friend
  Fatal Curiosity
  Fatal Secret, by Theobald
  Fiora, or Hob in the Well
  Fox, by Ben Johnson
  Friendship in Fashion, by Otway
  Funeral, by Sir R. Steele

  Gamesier, by Mrs. Centlivre
  Gentle Shepherd
  George Barnwell, by Lillo
  Gloriana
  Greenwich Park

  Hamlet, by Shakespeare
  Henry IV. 2 Parts, by ditto
  Henry V. by ditto
  Henry VI. 3 Parts, by ditto
  Henry VIII. by ditto
  Henry V. by Aaron Hill
  Honest Yorkshireman

  Jane Gray, by Rowe
  Jane Shore, by Rowe
  Inconstant, by Farquhar

  King John, by Shakespeare
  King Lear, by ditto
  King Lear, by Tate

  Limberham, by Dryden
  Love for Love, by Congreve
  Love in a Mist
  Love in a Tub, by Etherege
  Love makes a Man, by C. Cibber
  Love's Last shift, by Cibber
  Lying Lover, by Steele

  Macbeth, by Shakespeare
  Man of Mode, by Etherege
  Marianne, by Fenton
  Measure for Measure, by Shakespeare
  Merchant of Venice, by Shakespeare
  Mistake, by Vanbrugh
  Mourning Bride, by Congreve
  Much ado about Nothing
  Mustapha, by Lord Orrery

  Nonjurer, by C. Cibber

  Oedipus, by Dryden
  Old Bachelor, by Congreve
  Oroonoko, by Southern
  Orphan, by Otway
  Othello, by Shakespeare

  Perjured Husband
  Perolla and Isidora, by C. Cibber
  Phædra and Hippolitus, by Smith
  Pilgrim, by Beaumont and Fletcher
  Polly, by Mr. Gay
  Prophetess, by Beaumont
  Provok'd Husband, by C. Cibber
  Provok'd Wife, by Vanbrugh

  Recruiting Officer, by Farquhar
  Refusal, by Cibber
  Rehearsal, by of Buck.
  Relapse, by Vanbrugh.
  Revenge, by Dr. Young.
  Richard III. by C. Cibber.

[Illustration]



  TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES


  Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
  errors.

  Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.

  Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

  Enclosed unitalicized font in ~tildes~.

  Enclosed unitalicized small cap font in =equals=.

  Enclosed letter-spaced characters in +plus signs+.





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