13 Aphra Behn and The Rover
Dr. Karen Palmer
Aphra Behn, the 17th-century poet, playwright and fiction writer, was hailed by Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own (1929) for having ‘earned [women] the right to speak their minds’.
Very little is known of Behn’s early life. She was born in 1640 during the lead-up to the English Civil Wars, possibly in Canterbury to a barber father (perhaps named Eaffrey or Bartholomew Johnson) and wet-nurse mother, though in adulthood she moved in aristocratic, courtly circles. Following the narrator’s account of her own life in Oroonoko (1688), some biographers think Behn travelled with her family to the English (later Dutch) colony of Surinam (in the Guianas of South America). There, she may have met an African slave leader who inspired her to write Oroonoko, which is regarded as one of the earliest English novels. Most biographers think Behn had returned to England by 1664, when she married a merchant named Johan Behn, though they separated soon after and by 1666 Johan had died. In any case, from 1664 she went by the name of ‘Mrs Behn’ professionally.
Behn’s politics were conservative and her sympathies were Royalist. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, which broke out in 1665, she is said to have acted as a spy in Bruges (her code name was Astrea) on behalf of the court of Charles II. Espionage was not a lucrative career, though, and Behn seems to have returned to London within the year. Some accounts have her serving time in debtors’ prison, although that (like much else about her life) is not officially documented.
Writing for the stage
Back in England, Behn turned her attention to writing. We know that she began working for the King’s Company and the Duke’s Company, two theatre companies authorized by Charles II after the Restoration, first as a scribe and then as a playwright. Her first few works in the early 1670s (The Force’d Marriage, The Amorous Prince, The Dutch Lover) were not commercial successes. 1677’s The Rover, however, was a critical and commercial victory, and from then on Behn had a steady career as a playwright (writing 19 plays in total and probably assisting in the composition of several more).
She also wrote novels, poems and literary translations up until her death in 1689 at the age of 49. She is buried in Westminster Abbey, though not in Poets’ Corner.
Much of Behn’s work was published anonymously during her own lifetime. Now, Behn is best known for her novels The Fair Jilt and Oroonoko – the latter of which, though not expressly anti-slavery, was unusual in its time for the respectful attention it pays to a non-white, non-English protagonist – and for her poetry. Her poetry is frequently frank about female sexual pleasure and humorous about male sexual dysfunction (as in ‘The Disappointment’), and some of it was originally attributed to her male contemporary, the famously bawdy Earl of Rochester.
Introduction to The Rover
Aphra Behn’s best-known play today, The Rover, was probably also the most successful in her own time. It was often revived and many times reprinted in the first half of the 18th century. Set at carnival time in Naples in 1656, the play presents its 1677 audience with the imagined exploits of a group of ‘banished Cavaliers’. Taking its audience back to the world of Royalist continental exile, the play would have sparked ever-ready memories of the civil wars of the 1640s, which had resulted in the execution of Charles I in 1649. At that time, many of the king’s supporters – the Cavaliers – had fled to continental Europe. Interwoven with this, the play explores the attempts of its heroines to exert some control over their destinies.
The Rover’s banished Cavaliers are spending time in Naples – an Italian city ruled by the Spanish, a place that therefore combined, in the English mind, the supposed lasciviousness of Italians with the intensely patriarchal family structures of Spain.
The play’s representative Italians are the ‘Jilting Wench’ Lucetta, who strips and robs Blunt and dumps him in the sewer, and the fabulously beautiful Angellica Bianca, a famous courtesan from the Venetian Republic who is much fought over. The men’s desire for these Italian women echoes a widespread Restoration libertine commitment to indulging the senses and rejecting marriage.
The Spanish sisters Florinda and Hellena (and their cousin Valeria) are dominated by their brother Pedro. Pedro is confident that he can force Florinda to marry his powerful friend Antonio, and save the cost of a dowry for Hellena by sending her back to her nunnery (1.1.5). Act 5 threatens to descend into a gang-rape: found to have the longest phallic symbol (his sword), the patriarchal Pedro’s near rape of his sister Florinda is only prevented by Valeria’s quick-thinking intervention (5.1.71).
Within this Naples framework, Behn explores the roles available to Restoration women and men, and the implications of the libertine idea that marriage was an outmoded institution. Here, the play’s most powerful voice is that of Angellica, who sees prostitution as a better choice than marriage. When the rakish Willmore remonstrates with her for charging for sex, she points out to him that men routinely have sex for money: when a man marries he gets his wife’s dowry. Financial advantage, not a woman’s personal characteristics, determines the choices men make:
When a Lady is propos’d to you for a Wife, you never ask, how fair – discreet – or virtuous she is; but what’s her Fortune? – which if but small, you cry – she will not do my business – and basely leave her, though she languish for you. (2.2.27)
In one of the play’s many densely patterned ironies, Angellica’s challenge to Willmore foresees what is to happen. Attracted to both Angellica and Hellena, the rake chooses the heiress when the courtesan unwittingly reveals to him that his attractive ‘gypsy’ is in fact fabulously wealthy:
… my Gipsie worth Two Hundred Thousand Crowns! – oh how I long to be with her. (4.2.54)
Under early modern marriage law, Hellena’s riches will become Willmore’s if she marries him – which, believing that she has won him through her wit, is what the nunnery-raised teenager agrees to do.
When Angellica draws a gun on Willmore as she embarks on vengeance ‘for the publick safety of our Sex’, asking him, ‘How many poor believing Fools’ he has ‘undone’ (5.1.74), she makes explicit a patterning that runs throughout The Rover, where one woman’s situation is always connected to that of others. This is striking, given that the lives of these women would have been categorized as quite different from one another in their culture. For instance, both the virtuous Florinda and the courtesan Angellica use their pictures to communicate with their lovers – Angellica allowing Willmore to keep one he steals (2.1.23), Florinda handing hers to Belvile to tell him who she is (3.1.37). Both virgin and whore also believe that they can stop men fighting over them, but they are ignored (2.1.23; 4.2.50).
In a similar parallel, Willmore calls both Angellica and Hellena ‘Angel’ (2.2.28; 3.1.37). But, as is emphasized in the text that follows, an ‘angel’ is not just a celestial being but also a gold coin. Both women prove a source of wealth to Willmore, and both derive their money from the same ‘Old General’ – the uncle who left Hellena her tremendous fortune as well as the deceased keeper of Angellica (5.1.75; 5.1.82; 2.1.15). Any reading or performance of the play will offer more echoings of this kind. It is clear that Behn crafted The Rover with considerable care, expecting us to see her female characters as variants on a single theme, not as competitors.
The setting of The Rover in the Carnival in Naples provides the perfect opportunity for Behn to create chaos and, quite literally, throw the roles of all the characters into question. Hellena, taking up the cause of both her sister and herself, uses the chaos of the Carnival to allow them both to make their own choices, rather than be ruled by their brother or their father. She says, “We’ll outwit twenty brothers if you’ll be ruled by me. Come, put off this dull humour with your clothes, and assume one as gay and as fantastic as the dress my cousin Valeria and I have provided, and let’s ramble.”
As the women literally take off one character and put on another, they give themselves permission to pursue their own desires—Hellena seeking to evade life as a nun, and Florinda hoping to marry her love. In her gypsy costume, Hellena is able to put off her ‘nice girl’ self and tease Willmore, saying that she would take some of his “world of love” off his hands “but for a foolish vow I am going to make to die a maid.” Later in the play, roles are even further subverted as Hellena and Florinda dress as men, spying on Willmore and Belvile to see if they have been true to them. Dressing as males allows them the privilege to participate in the male world in a way they would never be able to as females.
The chaos of the carnival also allows Behn to make a statement about the disturbing practice of allowing rape to go unpunished if the victim wasn’t high enough on the social ladder. As the audience waits to see if the innocent Florinda will be raped at multiple points in the play and as Blunt’s lady of quality, Lucetta, turns out to be anything but, the audience is forced to think about their perceptions of who is valued and who is not. It is the masks of the Carnival that help to make this point.
Casting The Rover in 1677
The 1677 edition of The Rover includes a list of the actors who played all of its main parts. Since playwrights often created roles with the known strengths of particular actors in mind and then worked with the cast during rehearsals, reflecting on casting can help us imagine the experience of The Rover’s first audience. The famous pairing of Thomas Betterton and William Smith as the friends Belvile and Willmore, for instance, repeats their starring roles in many Restoration plays.
Similarly, when Behn has Blunt refer to his ‘Shape and Size’ as features ‘not to be despis’d’, along with his ‘other inviting signs’, the playwright is making use of the height and girth of the great comedian Cave Underhill (2.1.18).
The virtuous Florinda, who is so determined to think well of ‘gentlemen’ and is wholly committed to her Belvile, was created specifically for Mary Betterton, wife of Belvile’s creator, Thomas Betterton, and perhaps the only Restoration actress never accused of sexual improprieties.
Significant too is Behn’s confidence in the emerging talents of the woman she cast as Hellena, Elizabeth Barry. Barry went on to be widely acknowledged as England’s first great actress, enjoying a career that lasted until 1713 and during which she switched to the tragic role of Angellica Bianca. The wit and beauty that attracts Willmore to both Hellena and Angellica were Barry’s trademarks, along with her facility for playing young men in ‘breeches roles’.
Reception of The Rover and Behn as the first professional female playwright
Behn’s career as a professional playwright was already well established when The Rover appeared. Her first play, The Forc’d Marriage, had had an unusually long first run (six consecutive nights) in 1670, and it had been followed by The Amorous Prince, The Dutch Lover, Abdelazer (her only tragedy) and The Town-Fopp, all with her name on their title pages. Two anonymous plays of this period, The Counterfeit Bridegroom and The Debauchee, are also often attributed to Behn. After the great success of The Rover, Behn continued to write regularly for the Duke’s Company, and she was one of the few playwrights still having new plays performed in the 1680s after London audiences fell off as political tensions rose. At the same time she also established herself as a respected poet, translator and author of prose fiction (her most famous work, Oroonoko, which tells of a slave uprising, was published in 1688).
That success was not without its gender-specific challenges. Behn’s postscript to The Rover suggests that it was partly because she was a woman that critics were quick to accuse her of stealing her play from Thomas Killigrew’s Thomaso:
I will only say the Plot and Bus’ness (not to boast on’t) is my own: as for the Words and Characters, I leave the Reader to judge and compare ʼem with Thomaso, to whom I recommend the great Entertainment of reading it; tho had this succeeded ill, I shou’d have had no need of imploring that Justice from the Criticks, who are naturally so kind to any that pretend to usurp their Dominion – especially of our Sex – they wou’d doubtless have given me the whole Honour on’t. (p. 85)
Four years earlier, her preface toThe Dutch Lover had associated that play’s poor reception with the views of a man sitting in the pit on its first night – ‘a long, lither, phlegmatick, white, ill-favour’d, wretched Fop’ – who had loudly advised the audience ‘that they were to expect a woful Play, God damn him, for it was a womans’ (The Dutch Lover, sig.A4v).
Despite such complaints, from its first known performance on Saturday 24 March 1677, The Rover was a hit. It was even performed at court in February 1680, and either it or its Second Part (1681, and dedicated to the Duke of York) was staged before a series of different monarchs on 22 January and 29 October 1685, in January 1687 and in November 1690. After 1700, performances in the public theatres were advertised in the newspapers, and from this we know that The Rover was revived at least once in every season from 1700 to 1743, with regular revivals continuing until 1760. Given that it had become a staple in the repertoire by the 18th century, we can assume that The Rover was regularly performed during the period 1678–99, too.
Of particular interest in this connection is the copy of the 1677 Rover in Senate House Library, London, which is a prompt-copy that was marked up for performances in the 1720s. This shows that although the 18th-century printed editions of the play barely changed, production might cut lines then thought improper, such as Hellena’s spirited defence of Florinda in Act 1, Scene 1, or Angellica’s getting the last word in her confrontation with Willmore in Act 4, Scene 2.
It is in keeping with these sorts of cuts that by 1760, The Rover had fallen out of fashion; we know of no further performances until the 20th century.
However much of a nuisance the ‘Report about the Town’ that Behn had stolen her play from Thomaso might have been, it could be that that concern also provided a convenient smokescreen for the ways in which The Rover might be interpreted as criticizing and mocking her Cavaliers – and, indeed, male culture more generally.
As you read, pay attention to the similarities and differences between The Rover and The Man of Mode. Do you see a different attitude toward women from a female author?
Watch the Play
Here are two versions of The Rover. Remember, reading along with the text as you watch the plays is a great way to better understand what’s happening in the play. If you have time to watch both versions, think about the different ways the director interprets the text.
Text of THE ROVER or, the Banish’d Cavaliers.
(Text of The Rover is in the Public Domain.)
Written by a Person of Quality.
WITS, like Physicians, never can agree,
When of a different Society;
And Rabel’s Drops were never more cry’d down
By all the Learned Doctors of the Town,
Than a new Play, whose Author is unknown:
Nor can those Doctors with more Malice sue
(And powerful Purses) the dissenting Few,
Than those with an insulting Pride do rail
At all who are not of their own Cabal.
If a Young Poet hit your Humour right,
You judge him then out of Revenge and Spite;
So amongst Men there are ridiculous Elves,
Who Monkeys hate for being too like themselves:
So that the Reason of the Grand Debate,
Why Wit so oft is damn’d, when good Plays take,
Is, that you censure as you love or hate.
Thus, like a learned Conclave, Poets sit
Catholick Judges both of Sense and Wit,
And damn or save, as they themselves think fit.
Yet those who to others Faults are so severe,
Are not so perfect, but themselves may err.
Some write correct indeed, but then the whole
(Bating their own dull Stuff i’th’ Play) is stole:
8 As Bees do suck from Flowers their Honey-dew,
So they rob others, striving to please you.
Some write their Characters genteel and fine,
But then they do so toil for every Line,
That what to you does easy seem, and plain,
Is the hard issue of their labouring Brain.
And some th’ Effects of all their Pains we see,
Is but to mimick good Extempore.
Others by long Converse about the Town,
Have Wit enough to write a leud Lampoon,
But their chief Skill lies in a Baudy Song.
In short, the only Wit that’s now in Fashion
Is but the Gleanings of good Conversation.
As for the Author of this coming Play,
I ask’d him what he thought fit I should say,
In thanks for your good Company to day:
He call’d me Fool, and said it was well known,
You came not here for our sakes, but your own.
New Plays are stuff’d with Wits, and with Debauches,
That croud and sweat like Cits in May-day Coaches.
|Don Antonio, the Vice-Roy’s Son,||Mr. Jevorne.|
|Don Pedro, a Noble Spaniard, his Friend,||Mr. Medburne.|
|Belvile, an English Colonel in love with Florinda,||Mr. Betterton.|
|Willmore, the ROVER,||Mr. Smith.|
|Frederick, an English Gentleman, and Friend to Belvile and Blunt,||Mr. Crosbie.|
|Blunt, an English Country Gentleman,||Mr. Underhill.|
|Stephano, Servant to Don Pedro,||Mr. Richards.|
|Philippo, Lucetta’s Gallant,||Mr. Percival.|
|Sancho, Pimp to Lucetta,||Mr. John Lee.|
|Risky and Sebastian, two Bravoes to Angelica.|
|Diego, Page to Don Antonio.|
|Page to Hellena.|
|Boy, Page to Belvile.|
|Officers and Soldiers.|
|Florinda, Sister to Don Pedro,||Mrs. Betterton.|
|Hellena, a gay young Woman design’d for a Nun, and Sister to Florinda,||Mrs. Barrey.|
|Valeria, a Kinswoman to Florinda,||Mrs. Hughes.|
|Angelica Bianca, a famous Curtezan,||Mrs. Gwin.|
|Moretta, her Woman,||Mrs. Leigh.|
|Callis, Governess to Florinda and Hellena,||Mrs. Norris.|
|Lucetta, a jilting Wench,||Mrs. Gillow.|
|Servants, other Masqueraders, Men and Women.|
SCENE Naples, in Carnival-time.
Scene I. A chamber.
Enter Florinda and Hellena.
Flor. What an impertinent thing is a young Girl bred in a Nunnery! How full of Questions! Prithee no more, Hellena; I have told thee more than thou understand’st already.
Hell. The more’s my Grief; I wou’d fain know as much as you, which makes me so inquisitive; nor is’t enough to know you’re a Lover, unless you tell me too, who ’tis you sigh for.
Flor. When you are a Lover, I’ll think you fit for a Secret of that nature.
Hell. ’Tis true, I was never a Lover yet— but I begin to have a shreud Guess, what ’tis to be so, and fancy it very pretty to sigh, and sing, and blush and wish, and dream and wish, and long and wish to see the Man; and when I do, look pale and tremble; just as you did when my Brother brought home the fine English Colonel to see you— what do you call him? Don Belvile.
Flor. Fie, Hellena.
Hell. That Blush betrays you—I am sure ’tis so—or is it Don Antonio the Vice-Roy’s Son?—or perhaps the rich old Don Vincentio, whom my father designs for your Husband?—Why do you blush again?
Flor. With Indignation; and how near soever my Father thinks I am to marrying that hated Object, I shall let him see I understand better what’s due to my Beauty, Birth and Fortune, and more to my Soul, than to obey those unjust Commands.
Hell. Now hang me, if I don’t love thee for that dear Disobedience. I love Mischief strangely, as most of our 11 Sex do, who are come to love nothing else—But tell me, dear Florinda, don’t you love that fine Anglese?—for I vow next to loving him my self, ’twill please me most that you do so, for he is so gay and so handsom.
Flor. Hellena, a Maid design’d for a Nun ought not to be so curious in a Discourse of Love.
Hell. And dost thou think that ever I’ll be a Nun? Or at least till I’m so old, I’m fit for nothing else. Faith no, Sister; and that which makes me long to know whether you love Belvile, is because I hope he has some mad Companion or other, that will spoil my Devotion; nay I’m resolv’d to provide my self this Carnival, if there be e’er a handsom Fellow of my Humour above Ground, tho I ask first.
Flor. Prithee be not so wild.
Hell. Now you have provided your self with a Man, you take no Care for poor me—Prithee tell me, what dost thou see about me that is unfit for Love—have not I a world of Youth? a Humour gay? a Beauty passable? a Vigour desirable? well shap’d? clean limb’d? sweet breath’d? and Sense enough to know how all these ought to be employ’d to the best Advantage: yes, I do and will. Therefore lay aside your Hopes of my Fortune, by my being a Devotee, and tell me how you came acquainted with this Belvile; for I perceive you knew him before he came to Naples.
Flor. Yes, I knew him at the Siege of Pampelona, he was then a Colonel of French Horse, who when the Town was ransack’d, nobly treated my Brother and my self, preserving us from all Insolencies; and I must own, (besides great Obligations) I have I know not what, that pleads kindly for him about my Heart, and will suffer no other to enter—But see my Brother.
Enter Don Pedro, Stephano, with a Masquing Habit, and Callis.
Pedro. Good morrow, Sister. Pray, when saw you your Lover Don Vincentio?
Flor. I know not, Sir—Callis, when was he here? for I consider it so little, I know not when it was.
Pedro. I have a Command from my Father here to tell you, you ought not to despise him, a Man of so vast a Fortune, and such a Passion for you—Stephano, my things— [Puts on his Masquing Habit.
Flor. A Passion for me! ’tis more than e’er I saw, or had a desire should be known—I hate Vincentio, and I would not have a Man so dear to me as my Brother follow the ill Customs of our Country, and make a Slave of his Sister—And Sir, my Father’s Will, I’m sure, you may divert.
Pedro. I know not how dear I am to you, but I wish only to be rank’d in your Esteem, equal with the English Colonel Belvile—Why do you frown and blush? Is there any Guilt belongs to the Name of that Cavalier?
Flor. I’ll not deny I value Belvile: when I was expos’d to such Dangers as the licens’d Lust of common Soldiers threatned, when Rage and Conquest flew thro the City—then Belvile, this Criminal for my sake, threw himself into all Dangers to save my Honour, and will you not allow him my Esteem?
Pedro. Yes, pay him what you will in Honour—but you must consider Don Vincentio’s Fortune, and the Jointure he’ll make you.
Flor. Let him consider my Youth, Beauty and Fortune; which ought not to be thrown away on his Age and Jointure.
Pedro. ’Tis true, he’s not so young and fine a Gentleman as that Belvile—but what Jewels will that Cavalier present you with? those of his Eyes and Heart?
Hell. And are not those better than any Don Vincentio has brought from the Indies?
Pedro. Why how now! Has your Nunnery-breeding taught you to understand the Value of Hearts and Eyes?
Hell. Better than to believe Vincentio deserves Value from any woman—He may perhaps encrease her Bags, but not her Family.
Pedro. This is fine—Go up to your Devotion, you are not design’d for the Conversation of Lovers.
Hell. Nor Saints yet a while I hope. [Aside.] Is’t not enough you make a Nun of me, but you must cast my Sister away too, exposing her to a worse confinement than a religious Life?
Pedro. The Girl’s mad—Is it a Confinement to be carry’d into the Country, to an antient Villa belonging to the Family of the Vincentio’s these five hundred Years, and have no other Prospect than that pleasing one of seeing all her own that meets her Eyes—a fine Air, large Fields and Gardens, where she may walk and gather Flowers?
Hell. When? By Moon-Light? For I’m sure she dares not encounter with the heat of the Sun; that were a Task only for Don Vincentio and his Indian Breeding, who loves it in the Dog-days—And if these be her daily Divertisements, what are those of the Night? to lie in a wide Moth-eaten Bed-Chamber with Furniture in Fashion in the Reign of King Sancho the First; the Bed that which his Forefathers liv’d and dy’d in.
Pedro. Very well.
Hell. This Apartment (new furbisht and fitted out for the young Wife) he (out of Freedom) makes his Dressing-room; and being a frugal and a jealous Coxcomb, instead of a Valet to uncase his feeble Carcase, he desires you to do that Office—Signs of Favour, I’ll assure you, and such as you must not hope for, unless your Woman be out of the way.
Pedro. Have you done yet?
Hell. That Honour being past, the Giant stretches it self, yawns and sighs a Belch or two as loud as a Musket, throws himself into Bed, and expects you in his foul Sheets, and e’er you can get your self undrest, calls you with a Snore or two— And are not these fine Blessings to a young Lady?
Pedro. Have you done yet?
Hell. And this man you must kiss, nay, you must kiss none but him too—and nuzle thro his Beard to find his Lips—and this you must submit to for threescore Years, and all for a Jointure.
Pedro. For all your Character of Don Vincentio, she is as like to marry him as she was before.
Hell. Marry Don Vincentio! hang me, such a Wedlock would be worse than Adultery with another Man: I had rather see her in the Hostel de Dieu, to waste her Youth there in Vows, and be a Handmaid to Lazers and Cripples, than to lose it in such a Marriage.
Pedro. You have consider’d, Sister, that Belvile has no Fortune to bring you to, is banisht his Country, despis’d at home, and pity’d abroad.
Hell. What then? the Vice-Roy’s Son is better than that Old Sir Fisty. Don Vincentio! Don Indian! he thinks he’s trading to Gambo still, and wou’d barter himself (that Bell and Bawble) for your Youth and Fortune.
Pedro. Callis, take her hence, and lock her up all this Carnival, and at Lent she shall begin her everlasting Penance in a Monastery.
Hell. I care not, I had rather be a Nun, than be oblig’d to marry as you wou’d have me, if I were design’d for’t.
Pedro. Do not fear the Blessing of that Choice—you shall be a Nun.
Hell. Shall I so? you may chance to be mistaken in my way of Devotion—A Nun! yes I am like to make a fine Nun! I have an excellent Humour for a Grate: No, I’ll have a Saint of my own to pray to shortly, if I like any that dares venture on me. [Aside.
Pedro. Callis, make it your Business to watch this wild Cat. As for you, Florinda, I’ve only try’d you all this while, and urg’d my Father’s Will; but mine is, that you would love Antonio, he is brave and young, and all that can compleat the Happiness of a gallant Maid—This Absence 15 of my Father will give us opportunity to free you from Vincentio, by marrying here, which you must do to morrow.
Flor. To morrow!
Pedro. To morrow, or ’twill be too late—’tis not my Friendship to Antonio, which makes me urge this, but Love to thee, and Hatred to Vincentio—therefore resolve upon’t to morrow.
Flor. Sir, I shall strive to do, as shall become your Sister.
Pedro. I’ll both believe and trust you—Adieu. [Ex. Ped. and Steph.
Hell. As become his Sister!—That is, to be as resolved your way, as he is his— [Hell. goes to Callis.
Flor. I ne’er till now perceiv’d my Ruin near,
I’ve no Defence against Antonio’s Love,
For he has all the Advantages of Nature,
The moving Arguments of Youth and Fortune.
Hell. But hark you, Callis, you will not be so cruel to lock me up indeed: will you?
Call. I must obey the Commands I hate—besides, do you consider what a Life you are going to lead?
Hell. Yes, Callis, that of a Nun: and till then I’ll be indebted a World of Prayers to you, if you let me now see, what I never did, the Divertisements of a Carnival.
Call. What, go in Masquerade? ’twill be a fine farewell to the World I take it—pray what wou’d you do there?
Hell. That which all the World does, as I am told, be as mad as the rest, and take all innocent Freedom—Sister, you’ll go too, will you not? come prithee be not sad—We’ll out-wit twenty Brothers, if you’ll be ruled by me—Come put off this dull Humour with your Clothes, and assume one as gay, and as fantastick as the Dress my Cousin Valeria and I have provided, and let’s ramble.
Flor. Callis, will you give us leave to go?
Call. I have a youthful Itch of going my self. [Aside.] —Madam, if I thought your Brother might not know it, and I might wait on you, for by my troth I’ll not trust young Girls alone.
Flor. Thou see’st my Brother’s gone already, and thou shalt attend and watch us.
Steph. Madam, the Habits are come, and your Cousin Valeria is drest, and stays for you.
Flor. ’Tis well—I’ll write a Note, and if I chance to see Belvile, and want an opportunity to speak to him, that shall let him know what I’ve resolv’d in favour of him.
Hell. Come, let’s in and dress us. [Exeunt.
Scene II. A Long Street.
Enter Belvile, melancholy, Blunt and Frederick.
Fred. Why, what the Devil ails the Colonel, in a time when all the World is gay, to look like mere Lent thus? Hadst thou been long enough in Naples to have been in love, I should have sworn some such Judgment had befall’n thee.
Belv. No, I have made no new Amours since I came to Naples.
Fred. You have left none behind you in Paris.
Fred. I can’t divine the Cause then; unless the old Cause, the want of Mony.
Blunt. And another old Cause, the want of a Wench— Wou’d not that revive you?
Belv. You’re mistaken, Ned.
Blunt Nay, ’Sheartlikins, then thou art past Cure.
Fred. I have found it out; thou hast renew’d thy Acquaintance with the Lady that cost thee so many Sighs at the Siege of Pampelona—pox on’t, what d’ye call her—her Brother’s a noble Spaniard—Nephew to the dead General—Florinda—ay, Florinda—And will nothing 17 serve thy turn but that damn’d virtuous Woman, whom on my thou lov’st in spite too, because thou seest little or no possibility of gaining her?
Belv. Thou art mistaken, I have Interest enough in that lovely Virgin’s Heart, to make me proud and vain, were it not abated by the Severity of a Brother, who perceiving my Happiness—
Fred. Has civilly forbid thee the House?
Belv. ’Tis so, to make way for a powerful Rival, the Vice-Roy’s Son, who has the advantage of me, in being a Man of Fortune, a Spaniard, and her Brother’s Friend; which gives him liberty to make his Court, whilst I have recourse only to Letters, and distant Looks from her Window, which are as soft and kind as those which Heav’n sends down on Penitents.
Blunt. Hey day! ’Sheartlikins, Simile! by this Light the Man is quite spoil’d—Frederick, what the Devil are we made of, that we cannot be thus concern’d for a Wench?—’Sheartlikins, our Cupids are like the Cooks of the Camp, they can roast or boil a Woman, but they have none of the fine Tricks to set ’em off, no Hogoes to make the Sauce pleasant, and the Stomach sharp.
Fred. I dare swear I have had a hundred as young, kind and handsom as this Florinda; and Dogs eat me, if they were not as troublesom to me i’th’ Morning as they were welcome o’er night.
Blunt. And yet, I warrant, he wou’d not touch another Woman, if he might have her for nothing.
Belv. That’s thy Joy, a cheap Whore.
Blunt. Why, ’dsheartlikins, I love a frank Soul—When did you ever hear of an honest Woman that took a Man’s Mony? I warrant ’em good ones—But, Gentlemen, you may be free, you have been kept so poor with Parliaments and Protectors, that the little Stock you have is not worth preserving—but I thank my Stars, I have more Grace than to forfeit my Estate by Cavaliering.
18Belv. Methinks only following the Court should be sufficient to entitle ’em to that.
Blunt. ’Sheartlikins, they know I follow it to do it no good, unless they pick a hole in my Coat for lending you Mony now and then; which is a greater Crime to my Conscience, Gentlemen, than to the Common-wealth.
Will. Ha! dear Belvile! noble Colonel!
Belv. Willmore! welcome ashore, my dear Rover!—what happy Wind blew us this good Fortune?
Will. Let me salute you my dear Fred, and then command me—How is’t honest Lad?
Fred. Faith, Sir, the old Complement, infinitely the better to see my dear mad Willmore again—Prithee why camest thou ashore? and where’s the Prince?
Will. He’s well, and reigns still Lord of the watery Element—I must aboard again within a Day or two, and my Business ashore was only to enjoy my self a little this Carnival.
Belv. Pray know our new Friend, Sir, he’s but bashful, a raw Traveller, but honest, stout, and one of us. [Embraces Blunt.
Will. That you esteem him, gives him an Interest here.
Blunt. Your Servant, Sir.
Will. But well— Faith I’m glad to meet you again in a warm Climate, where the kind Sun has its god-like Power still over the Wine and Woman.—Love and Mirth are my Business in Naples; and if I mistake not the Place, here’s an excellent Market for Chapmen of my Humour.
Belv. See here be those kind Merchants of Love you look for.
Enter several Men in masquing Habits, some playing on Musick, others dancing after; Women drest like Curtezans, with Papers pinn’d to their Breasts, and Baskets of Flowers in their Hands.
Blunt. ’Sheartlikins, what have we here!
Fred. Now the Game begins.
Will. Fine pretty Creatures! may a stranger have leave to look and love?—What’s here—Roses for every Month! [Reads the Paper.
Blunt. Roses for every Month! what means that?
Belv. They are, or wou’d have you think they’re Curtezans, who herein Naples are to be hir’d by the Month.
Will. Kind and obliging to inform us—Pray where do these Roses grow? I would fain plant some of ’em in a Bed of mine.
Wom. Beware such Roses, Sir.
Will. A Pox of fear: I’ll be bak’d with thee between a pair of Sheets, and that’s thy proper Still, so I might but strow such Roses over me and under me—Fair one, wou’d you wou’d give me leave to gather at your Bush this idle Month, I wou’d go near to make some Body smell of it all the Year after.
Belv. And thou hast need of such a Remedy, for thou stinkest of Tar and Rope-ends, like a Dock or Pesthouse.
[The Woman puts herself into the Hands of a Man, and Exit.
Will. Nay, nay, you shall not leave me so.
Belv. By all means use no Violence here.
Will. Death! just as I was going to be damnably in love, to have her led off! I could pluck that Rose out-of his Hand, and even kiss the Bed, the Bush it grew in.
Fred. No Friend to Love like a long Voyage at Sea.
Blunt. Except a Nunnery, Fred.
Will. Death! but will they not be kind, quickly be kind? Thou know’st I’m no tame Sigher, but a rampant Lion of the Forest.
Two Men drest all over with Horns of several sorts, making Grimaces at one another, with Papers pinn’d on their Backs, advance from the farther end of the Scene
Belv. Oh the fantastical Rogues, how they are dress’d! ’tis a Satir against the whole Sex.
Will. Is this a Fruit that grows in this warm Country?
Belv. Yes: ’Tis pretty to see these Italian start, swell, and stab at the Word Cuckold, and yet stumble at Horns on every Threshold.
Will. See what’s on their Back—Flowers for every Night. [Reads.
—Ah Rogue! And more sweet than Roses of ev’ry Month! This is a Gardiner of Adam’s own breeding. [They dance.
Belv. What think you of those grave People?—is a Wake in Essex half so mad or extravagant?
Will. I like their sober grave way, ’tis a kind of legal authoriz’d Fornication, where the Men are not chid for’t, nor the Women despis’d, as amongst our dull English; even the Monsieurs want that part of good Manners.
Belv. But here in Italy a Monsieur is the humblest best-bred Gentleman—Duels are so baffled by Bravo’s that an age shews not one, but between a Frenchman and a Hang-man, who is as much too hard for him on the Piazza, as they are for a Dutchman on the new Bridge— But see another Crew.
Enter Florinda, Hellena, and Valeria, drest like Gipsies; Callis and Stephano, Lucetta, Phillippo and Sancho in Masquerade.
Hell. Sister, there’s your Englishman, and with him a handsom proper Fellow—I’ll to him, and instead of telling him his Fortune, try my own.
Will. Gipsies, on my Life—Sure these will prattle if a Man cross their Hands. [Goes to Hellena] —Dear pretty (and I hope) young Devil, will you tell an amorous Stranger what Luck he’s like to have?
Hell. Have a care how you venture with me, Sir, lest I pick your Pocket, which will more vex your English Humour, than an Italian Fortune will please you
Will. How the Devil cam’st thou to know my Country and Humour?
Hell. The first I guess by a certain forward Impudence, which does not displease me at this time; and the Loss of your Money will vex you, because I hope you have but very little to lose.
Will. Egad Child, thou’rt i’th’ right; it is so little, I dare not offer it thee for a Kindness—But cannot you divine what other things of more value I have about me, that I would more willingly part with?
Hell. Indeed no, that’s the Business of a Witch, and I am but a Gipsy yet—Yet, without looking in your Hand, I have a parlous Guess, ’tis some foolish Heart you mean, an inconstant English Heart, as little worth stealing as your Purse.
Will. Nay, then thou dost deal with the Devil, that’s certain—Thou hast guess’d as right as if thou hadst been one of that Number it has languisht for—I find you’ll be better acquainted with it; nor can you take it in a better time, for I am come from Sea, Child; and Venus not being propitious to me in her own Element, I have a world of Love in store—Wou’d you would be good-natur’d, and take some on’t off my Hands.
Hell. Why—I could be inclin’d that way—but for a foolish Vow I am going to make—to die a Maid.
Will. Then thou art damn’d without Redemption; and as I am a good Christian, I ought in charity to divert so wicked a design—therefore prithee, dear Creature, let me know quickly when and where I shall begin to set a helping hand to so good a Work.
Hell. If you should prevail with my tender Heart (as I begin to fear you will, for you have horrible loving Eyes) there will be difficulty in’t that you’ll hardly undergo for my sake.
Will. Faith, Child, I have been bred in Dangers, and wear a Sword that has been employ’d in a worse Cause, 22 than for a handsom kind Woman—Name the Danger—let it be any thing but a long Siege, and I’ll undertake it.
Hell. Can you storm?
Will. Oh, most furiously.
Hell. What think you of a Nunnery-wall? for he that wins me, must gain that first.
Will. A Nun! Oh how I love thee for’t! there’s no Sinner like a young Saint—Nay, now there’s no denying me: the old Law had no Curse (to a Woman) like dying a Maid; witness Jephtha’s Daughter.
Hell. A very good Text this, if well handled; and I perceive, Father Captain, you would impose no severe Penance on her who was inclin’d to console her self before she took Orders.
Will. If she be young and handsom.
Hell. Ay, there’s it—but if she be not—
Will. By this Hand, Child, I have an implicit Faith, and dare venture on thee with all Faults—besides, ’tis more meritorious to leave the World when thou hast tasted and prov’d the Pleasure on’t; then ’twill be a Virtue in thee, which now will be pure Ignorance.
Hell. I perceive, good Father Captain, you design only to make me fit for Heaven—but if on the contrary you should quite divert me from it, and bring me back to the World again, I should have a new Man to seek I find; and what a grief that will be—for when I begin, I fancy I shall love like any thing: I never try’d yet.
Will. Egad, and that’s kind—Prithee, dear Creature, give me Credit for a Heart, for faith, I’m a very honest Fellow—Oh, I long to come first to the Banquet of Love; and such a swinging Appetite I bring—Oh, I’m impatient. Thy Lodging, Sweetheart, thy Lodging, or I’m a dead man.
Hell. Why must we be either guilty of Fornication or Murder, if we converse with you Men?—And is there no difference between leave to love me, and leave to lie with me?
Will. Faith, Child, they were made to go together.
Lucet. Are you sure this is the Man? [Pointing to Blunt.
Sancho. When did I mistake your Game?
Lucet. This is a stranger, I know by his gazing; if he be brisk he’ll venture to follow me; and then, if I understand my Trade, he’s mine: he’s English too, and they say that’s a sort of good natur’d loving People, and have generally so kind an opinion of themselves, that a Woman with any Wit may flatter ’em into any sort of Fool she pleases.
Blunt. ’Tis so—she is taken—I have Beauties which my false Glass at home did not discover.
[She often passes by Blunt and gazes on him; he struts, and cocks, and walks, and gazes on her.
Flor. This Woman watches me so, I shall get no Opportunity to discover my self to him, and so miss the intent of my coming—But as I was saying, Sir—by this Line you should be a Lover. [Looking in his Hand.
Belv. I thought how right you guess’d, all Men are in love, or pretend to be so—Come, let me go, I’m weary of this fooling. [Walks away.
Flor. I will not, till you have confess’d whether the Passion that you have vow’d Florinda be true or false. [She holds him, he strives to get from her.
Belv. Florinda! [Turns quick towards her.
Belv. Thou hast nam’d one will fix me here for ever.
Flor. She’ll be disappointed then, who expects you this Night at the Garden-gate, and if you’ll fail not—as let me see the other Hand—you will go near to do—she vows to die or make you happy. [Looks on Callis, who observes ’em.
Belv. What canst thou mean?
Flor. That which I say—Farewel. [Offers to go.
Belv. Oh charming Sybil, stay, complete that Joy, which, as it is, will turn into Distraction!—Where must I be? at the Garden-gate? I know it—at night you say— I’ll sooner forfeit Heaven than disobey.
Enter Don Pedro and other Masquers, and pass over the Stage.
Call. Madam, your Brother’s here.
Flor. Take this to instruct you farther. [Gives him a Letter, and goes off.
Fred. Have a care, Sir, what you promise; this may be a Trap laid by her Brother to ruin you.
Belv. Do not disturb my Happiness with Doubts. [Opens the Letter.
Will. My dear pretty Creature, a Thousand Blessings on thee; still in this Habit, you say, and after Dinner at this Place.
Hell. Yes, if you will swear to keep your Heart, and not bestow it between this time and that.
Will. By all the little Gods of Love I swear, I’ll leave it with you; and if you run away with it, those Deities of Justice will revenge me. [Ex. all the Women except Lucetta.
Fred. Do you know the Hand?
Belv. ’Tis Florinda’s. All Blessings fall upon the virtuous Maid.
Fred. Nay, no Idolatry, a sober Sacrifice I’ll allow you.
Belv. Oh Friends! the welcom’st News, the softest Letter!—nay, you shall see it; and could you now be serious, I might be made the happiest Man the Sun shines on.
Will. The Reason of this mighty Joy.
Belv. See how kindly she invites me to deliver her from the threaten’d Violence of her Brother—will you not assist me?
Will. I know not what thou mean’st, but I’ll make one at any Mischief where a Woman’s concerned—but she’ll be grateful to us for the Favour, will she not?
Belv. How mean you?
Will. How should I mean? Thou know’st there’s but one way for a Woman to oblige me.
Belv. Don’t prophane—the Maid is nicely virtuous.
Will. Who pox, then she’s fit for nothing but a Husband; let her e’en go, Colonel.
Fred. Peace, she’s the Colonel’s Mistress, Sir.
Will. Let her be the Devil; if she be thy Mistress, I’ll serve her—name the way.
Belv. Read here this . [Gives him a Letter.
Will. [Reads.] At Ten at night—at the Garden-Gate—of which, if I cannot get the Key, I will contrive a way over the Wall—come attended with a Friend or two.—Kind heart, if we three cannot weave a String to let her down a Garden-Wall,’twere pity but the Hangman wove one for us all.
Fred. Let her alone for that: your Woman’s Wit, your fair kind Woman, will out-trick a Brother or a Jew, and contrive like a Jesuit in Chains—but see, Ned Blunt is stoln out after the Lure of a Damsel. [Ex. Blunt and Lucet.
Belv. So he’ll scarce find his way home again, unless we get him cry’d by the Bell-man in the Market-place, and ’twou’d sound prettily—a lost English Boy of Thirty.
Fred. I hope ’tis some common crafty Sinner, one that will fit him; it may be she’ll sell him for Peru, the Rogue’s sturdy and would work well in a Mine; at least I hope she’ll dress him for our Mirth; cheat him of all, then have him well-favour’dly bang’d, and turn’d out naked at Midnight.
Will. Prithee what Humour is he of, that you wish him so well?
Belv. Why, of an English Elder Brother’s Humour, educated in a Nursery, with a Maid to tend him till Fifteen, and lies with his Grand-mother till he’s of Age; one that knows no Pleasure beyond riding to the next Fair, or going up to London with his right Worshipful Father in Parliament-time; wearing gay Clothes, or making honourable Love to his Lady Mother’s Landry-Maid; gets drunk at a Hunting-Match, and ten to one then gives some Proofs of his Prowess—A pox upon him, he’s our Banker, and has all our Cash about him, and if he fail we are all broke.
Fred. Oh let him alone for that matter, he’s of a damn’d stingy Quality, that will secure our Stock. I know not in what Danger it were indeed, if the Jilt should pretend she’s in love with him, for ’tis a kind believing Coxcomb; otherwise if he part with more than a Piece of Eight—geld him: for which offer he may chance to be beaten, if she be a Whore of the first Rank.
Belv. Nay the Rogue will not be easily beaten, he’s stout enough; perhaps if they talk beyond his Capacity, he may chance to exercise his Courage upon some of them; else I’m sure they’ll find it as difficult to beat as to please him.
Will. ’Tis a lucky Devil to light upon so kind a Wench!
Fred. Thou hadst a great deal of talk with thy little Gipsy, coud’st thou do no good upon her? for mine was hard-hearted.
Will. Hang her, she was some damn’d honest Person of Quality, I’m sure, she was so very free and witty. If her Face be but answerable to her Wit and Humour, I would be bound to Constancy this Month to gain her. In the mean time, have you made no kind Acquaintance since you came to Town?—You do not use to be honest so long, Gentlemen.
Fred. Faith Love has kept us honest, we have been all fir’d with a Beauty newly come to Town, the famous Paduana Angelica Bianca.
Will. What, the Mistress of the dead Spanish General?
Belv. Yes, she’s now the only ador’d Beauty of all the Youth in Naples, who put on all their Charms to appear lovely in her sight, their Coaches, Liveries, and themselves, all gay, as on a Monarch’s Birth-Day, to attract the Eyes of this fair Charmer, while she has the Pleasure to behold all languish for her that see her.
Fred. ’Tis pretty to see with how much Love the Men regard her, and how much Envy the Women
Will. What Gallant has she?
Belv. None, she’s exposed to Sale, and four Days in the Week she’s yours—for so much a Month.
Will. The very Thought of it quenches all manner of Fire in me—yet prithee let’s see her.
Belv. Let’s first to Dinner, and after that we’ll pass the Day as you please—but at Night ye must all be at my Devotion.
Will. I will not fail you. [Exeunt.
Scene I. The Long Street.
Enter Belvile and Frederick in Masquing-Habits, and Willmore in his own Clothes, with a Vizard in his Hand.
Will. But why thus disguis’d and muzzl’d?
Belv. Because whatever Extravagances we commit in these Faces, our own may not be oblig’d to answer ’em.
Will. I should have chang’d my Eternal Buff too: but no matter, my little Gipsy wou’d not have found me out then: for if she should change hers, it is impossible I should know her, unless I should hear her prattle—A Pox on’t, I cannot get her out of my Head: Pray Heaven, if ever I do see her again, she prove damnable ugly, that I may fortify my self against her Tongue.
Belv. Have a care of Love, for o’ my conscience she was not of a Quality to give thee any hopes.
Will. Pox on ’em, why do they draw a Man in then? She has play’d with my Heart so, that ’twill never lie still till I have met with some kind Wench, that will play the Game out with me—Oh for my Arms full of soft, white, kind—Woman! such as I fancy Angelica.
Belv. This is her House, if you were but in stock to get admittance; they have not din’d yet; I perceive the Picture is not out.
Will. I long to see the Shadow of the fair Substance, a Man may gaze on that for nothing.
Blunt. Colonel, thy Hand—and thine, Fred. I have been an Ass, a deluded Fool, a very Coxcomb from my Birth till this Hour, and heartily repent my little Faith.
Belv. What the Devil’s the matter with thee Ned?
Blunt. Oh such a Mistress, Fred, such a Girl!
Will. Ha! where?
Blunt. So fond, so amorous, so toying and fine! and all for sheer Love, ye Rogue! Oh how she lookt and kiss’d! and sooth’d my Heart from my Bosom. I cannot think I was awake, and yet methinks I see and feel her Charms still—Fred.—Try if she have not left the Taste of her balmy Kisses upon my Lips— [Kisses him.
Belv. Ha, ha, ha!
Death Man, where is she?
Blunt. What a Dog was I to stay in dull England so long—How have I laught at the Colonel when he sigh’d for Love! but now the little Archer has reveng’d him, and by his own Dart, I can guess at all his Joys, which then I took for Fancies, mere Dreams and Fables—Well, I’m resolved to sell all in Essex, and plant here for ever.
Belv. What a Blessing ’tis, thou hast a Mistress thou dar’st boast of; for I know thy Humour is rather to have a proclaim’d Clap, than a secret Amour.
Will. Dost know her Name?
Blunt. Her Name? No,’sheartlikins: what care I for Names?—
She’s fair, young, brisk and kind, even to ravishment: and what a Pox care I for knowing her by another Title?
Will. Didst give her anything?
Blunt. Give her!—Ha, ha, ha! why, she’s a Person of Quality—That’s a good one, give her! ’sheartlikins dost think such Creatures are to be bought? Or are we provided for such a Purchase? Give her, quoth ye? Why she presented me with this Bracelet, for the Toy of a Diamond I us’d to wear: No, Gentlemen, Ned Blunt is not every Body—She expects me again to night.
Will. Egad that’s well; we’ll all go.
Blunt. Not a Soul: No, Gentlemen, you are Wits; I am a dull Country Rogue, I.
Fred. Well, Sir, for all your Person of Quality, I shall be very glad to understand your Purse be secure; ’tis our whole Estate at present, which we are loth to hazard in one Bottom: come, Sir, unload.
Blunt. Take the necessary Trifle, useless now to me, that am belov’d by such a Gentlewoman—’sheartlikins Money! Here take mine too.
Fred. No, keep that to be cozen’d, that we may laugh.
Will. Cozen’d!—Death! wou’d I cou’d meet with one, that wou’d cozen me of all the Love I cou’d spare to night.
Fred. Pox ’tis some common Whore upon my Life.
Blunt. A Whore! yes with such Clothes! such Jewels! such a House! such Furniture, and so attended! a Whore!
Belv. Why yes, Sir, they are Whores, tho they’ll neither entertain you with Drinking, Swearing, or Baudy; are Whores in all those gay Clothes, and right Jewels; are Whores with great Houses richly furnisht with Velvet Beds, Store of Plate, handsome Attendance, and fine Coaches, are Whores and errant ones.
Will. Pox on’t, where do these fine Whores live?
Belv. Where no Rogue in Office yclep’d Constables dare give ’em laws, nor the Wine-inspired Bullies of the Town break their Windows; yet they are Whores, tho this Essex Calf believe them Persons of Quality.
Blunt. ’Sheartlikins, y’are all Fools, there are things about this Essex Calf, that shall take with the Ladies, beyond all your Wits and Parts—This Shape and Size, Gentlemen, are not to be despis’d; my Waste tolerably long, with other inviting Signs, that shall be nameless.
Will. Egad I believe he may have met with some Person of Quality that may be kind to him.
Belv. Dost thou perceive any such tempting things about him, should make a fine Woman, and of Quality, pick him out from all Mankind, to throw away her Youth and Beauty upon, nay, and her dear Heart too?—no, no, Angelica has rais’d the Price too high.
Will. May she languish for Mankind till she die, and be damn’d for that one Sin alone.
Enter two Bravoes, and hang up a great Picture of Angelica’s, against the Balcony, and two little ones at each side of the Door.
Belv. See there the fair Sign to the Inn, where a Man may lodge that’s Fool enough to give her Price. [Will. gazes on the Picture.
Blunt. ’Sheartlikins, Gentlemen, what’s this?
Belv. A famous Curtezan that’s to be sold.
Blunt.A How! to be sold! nay then I have nothing to say to her—sold! what Impudence is practis’d in this Country?—With Order and Decency Whoring’s established here by virtue of the Inquisition—Come let’s be gone, I’m sure we’re no Chapmen for this Commodity.
Fred. Thou art none, I’m sure, unless thou could’st have her in thy Bed at the Price of a Coach in the Street.
Will. How wondrous fair she is—a Thousand Crowns a Month—by Heaven as many Kingdoms were too little. A plague of this Poverty—of which I ne’er complain, but when it hinders my Approach to Beauty, which Virtue ne’er could purchase. [Turns from the Picture.
Blunt. What’s this?— [Reads] A Thousand Crowns a Month!
—’Sheartlikins, here’s a Sum! sure ’tis a mistake.
—Hark you, Friend, does she take or give so much by the Month!
Fred. A Thousand Crowns! Why, ’tis a Portion for the Infanta.
Blunt. Hark ye, Friends, won’t she trust?
Brav. This is a Trade, Sir, that cannot live by Credit.
Enter Don Pedro in Masquerade, follow’d Stephano.
Belv. See, here’s more Company, let’s walk off a while.
[Pedro Reads. [Exeunt English.
Enter Angelica and Moretta in the Balcony, and draw a Silk Curtain.
Ped. Fetch me a Thousand Crowns, I never wish to buy this Beauty at an easier Rate. [Passes off.
Ang. Prithee what said those Fellows to thee?
Brav. Madam, the first were Admirers of Beauty only, but no purchasers; they were merry with your Price and Picture, laught at the Sum, and so past off.
Ang. No matter, I’m not displeas’d with their rallying; their Wonder feeds my Vanity, and he that wishes to buy, gives me more Pride, than he that gives my Price can make me Pleasure.
Brav. Madam, the last I knew thro all his disguises to be Don Pedro, Nephew to the General, and who was with him in Pampelona.
Ang. Don Pedro! my old Gallant’s Nephew! When his Uncle dy’d, he left him a vast Sum of Money; it is he who was so in love with me at Padua, and who us’d to make the General so jealous.
Moret. Is this he that us’d to prance before our Window and take such care to shew himself an amorous Ass? if I am not mistaken, he is the likeliest Man to give your Price.
Ang. The Man is brave and generous, but of an Humour so uneasy and inconstant, that the victory over his Heart is as soon lost as won; a Slave that can add little to the Triumph of the Conqueror: but inconstancy’s the Sin of all Mankind, therefore I’m resolv’d that nothing but Gold shall charm my Heart.
Moret. I’m glad on’t; ’tis only interest that Women of our Profession ought to consider: tho I wonder what has kept you from that general Disease of our Sex so long, I mean that of being in love.
Ang. A kind, but sullen Star, under which I had the Happiness to be born; yet I have had no time for Love; the bravest and noblest of Mankind have purchas’d my Favours at so dear a Rate, as if no Coin but Gold were current with our Trade—But here’s Don Pedro again, fetch me my Lute—for ’tis for him or Don Antonio the Vice-Roy’s Son, that I have spread my Nets.
Enter at one Door Don Pedro, and Stephano; Don Antonio and Diego [his page], at the other Door, with People following him in Masquerade, antickly attir’d, some with Musick: they both go up to the Picture.
Ant. A thousand Crowns! had not the Painter flatter’d her, I should not think it dear.
Pedro. Flatter’d her! by Heaven he cannot. I have seen the Original, nor is there one Charm here more than adorns her Face and Eyes; all this soft and sweet, with a certain languishing Air, that no Artist can represent.
Ant. What I heard of her Beauty before had fir’d my Soul, but this confirmation of it has blown it into a flame.
Pag. Sir, I have known you throw away a Thousand Crowns on a worse Face, and tho y’ are near your Marriage, you may venture a little Love here; Florinda—will not miss it.
Pedro. Ha! Florinda! Sure ’tis Antonio. [
Ant. Florinda! name not those distant Joys, there’s not one thought of her will check my Passion here.
Pedro. Florinda scorn’d! and all my Hopes defeated of the Possession of Angelica! [A noise of a Lute above. Ant. gazes up.] Her Injuries by Heaven he shall not boast of. [Song to a Lute above.
When Damon first began to love,
He languisht in a soft Desire,
And knew not how the Gods to move,
To lessen or increase his Fire,
For Cælia in her charming Eyes
Wore all Love’s Sweet, and all his Cruelties.
But as beneath a Shade he lay,
Weaving of Flow’rs for Cælia’s Hair,
She chanc’d to lead her Flock that way,
And saw the am’rous Shepherd there.
She gaz’d around upon the Place,
And saw the Grove (resembling Night)
To all the Joys of Love invite,
Whilst guilty Smiles and Blushes drest her Face.
At this the bashful Youth all Transport grew,
And with kind Force he taught the Virgin how
To yield what all his Sighs cou’d never do.
Ant. By Heav’n she’s charming fair!
[Angelica throws open the Curtains, and bows to Antonio, who pulls off his Vizard, and bows and blows up Kisses. Pedro unseen looks in his Face.
Pedro. ’Tis he, the false Antonio!
Ant. Friend, where must I pay my offering of Love? [To the Bravo.] My Thousand Crowns I mean.
Pedro. That Offering I have design’d to make,
And yours will come too late.
Ant. Prithee be gone, I shall grow angry else,
And then thou art not safe.
Pedro. My Anger may be fatal, Sir, as yours;
And he that enters here may prove this Truth.
Ant. I know not who thou art, but I am sure thou’rt worth my killing, and aiming at Angelica. [They draw and fight.
Enter Willmore and Blunt, who draw and part ’em.
Blunt. ’Sheartlikins, here’s fine doings.
Will. Tilting for the Wench I’m sure—nay gad, if that wou’d win her, I have as good a Sword as the best of ye—Put up—put up, and take another time and place, for this is design’d for Lovers only. [They all put up.
Pedro. We are prevented; dare you meet me to morrow on the Molo?
For I’ve a Title to a better quarrel,
That of Florinda, in whose credulous Heart
Thou’st made an Int’rest, and destroy’d my Hopes.
I’ll meet thee there as early as the Day.
Pedro. We will come thus disguis’d, that whosoever chance to get the better, he may escape unknown.
Ant. It shall be so. [Ex. Pedro and Stephano.] Who shou’d this Rival be? unless the English Colonel, of whom I’ve often heard Don Pedro speak; it must be he, and time he were removed, who lays a Claim to all my Happiness.
[Willmore having gaz’d all this while on the Picture, pulls down a little one.
Will. This posture’s loose and negligent,
The sight on’t wou’d beget a warm desire
In Souls, whom Impotence and Age had chill’d.
—This must along with me.
Brav. What means this rudeness, Sir?—restore the Picture.
Ant. Ha! Rudeness committed to the fair Angelica!—Restore the Picture, Sir.
Will. Indeed I will not, Sir.
Ant. By Heav’n but you shall.
35Will. Nay, do not shew your Sword; if you do, by this dear Beauty—I will shew mine too.
Ant. What right can you pretend to’t?
Will. That of Possession which I will maintain—you perhaps have 1000 Crowns to give for the Original.
Ant. No matter, Sir, you shall restore the Picture.
Ang. Oh, Moretta! what’s the matter? [Ang. and Moret. above.
Ant. Or leave your Life behind.
Will. Death! you lye—I will do neither.
Ang. Hold, I command you, if for me you fight.
[They fight, the Spaniards join with Antonio, Blunt laying on like mad. They leave off and bow.
Will. How heavenly fair she is!—ah Plague of her Price.
Ang. You Sir in Buff, you that appear a Soldier, that first began this Insolence.
Will. ’Tis true, I did so, if you call it Insolence for a Man to preserve himself; I saw your charming Picture, and was wounded: quite thro my Soul each pointed Beauty ran; and wanting a Thousand Crowns to procure my Remedy, I laid this little Picture to my Bosom—which if you cannot allow me, I’ll resign.
Ang. No, you may keep the Trifle.
Ant. You shall first ask my leave, and this. [Fight again as before.
Enter Belv. and Fred. who join with the English.
Ang. Hold; will you ruin me?—Biskey, Sebastian, part them. [The Spaniards are beaten off.
Moret. Oh Madam, we’re undone, a pox upon that rude Fellow, he’s set on to ruin us: we shall never see good days, till all these fighting poor Rogues are sent to the Gallies.
Enter Belvile, Blunt and Willmore, with his shirt bloody.
Blunt. ’Sheartlikins, beat me at this Sport, and I’ll ne’er wear Sword more.
Belv. The Devil’s in thee for a mad Fellow, thou art always one at an unlucky Adventure.—Come, let’s be gone whilst we’re safe, and remember these are Spaniards, a sort of People that know how to revenge an Affront.
Fred. You bleed; I hope you are not wounded. [To Will.
Will. Not much:—a plague upon your Dons, if they fight no better they’ll ne’er recover Flanders.—What the Devil was’t to them that I took down the Picture?
Blunt. Took it! ’Sheartlikins, we’ll have the great one too; ’tis ours by Conquest.—Prithee, help me up, and I’ll pull it down.—
Ang. Stay, Sir, and e’er you affront me further, let me know how you durst commit this Outrage—To you I speak, Sir, for you appear like a Gentleman.
Will. To me, Madam?—Gentlemen, your Servant. [Belv. stays him.
Belv. Is the Devil in thee? Do’st know the danger of entring the house of an incens’d Curtezan?
Will. I thank you for your care—but there are other matters in hand, there are, tho we have no great Temptation.—Death! let me go.
Fred. Yes, to your Lodging, if you will, but not in here.—Damn these gay Harlots—by this Hand I’ll have as sound and handsome a Whore for a Patacoone.—Death, Man, she’ll murder thee.
Will. Oh! fear me not, shall I not venture where a Beauty calls? a lovely charming Beauty? for fear of danger! when by Heaven there’s none so great as to long for her, whilst I want Money to purchase her.
Fred. Therefore ’tis loss of time, unless you had the thousand Crowns to pay.
Will. It may be she may give a Favour, at least I shall have the pleasure of saluting her when I enter, and when I depart.
Belv. Pox, she’ll as soon lie with thee, as kiss thee, and sooner stab than do either—you shall not go.
37Ang. Fear not, Sir, all I have to wound with, is my Eyes.
Blunt. Let him go, ’Sheartlikins, I believe the Gentle-woman means well.
Belv. Well, take thy Fortune, we’ll expect you in the next Street.—Farewell Fool,—farewell—
Will. B’ye Colonel— [Goes in.
Fred. The Rogue’s stark mad for a Wench. [Exeunt.
Scene II. A Fine Chamber.
Enter Willmore, Angelica, and Moretta.
Ang. Insolent Sir, how durst you pull down my Picture?
Will. Rather, how durst you set it up, to tempt poor amorous Mortals with so much Excellence? which I find you have but too well consulted by the unmerciful price you set upon’t.—Is all this Heaven of Beauty shewn to move Despair in those that cannot buy? and can you think the effects of that Despair shou’d be less extravagant than I have shewn?
Ang. I sent for you to ask my Pardon, Sir, not to aggravate your Crime.—I thought I shou’d have seen you at my Feet imploring it.
Will. You are deceived, I came to rail at you, and talk such Truths, too, as shall let you see the Vanity of that Pride, which taught you how to set such a Price on Sin. For such it is, whilst that which is Love’s due is meanly barter’d for.
Ang. Ha, ha, ha, alas, good Captain, what pity ’tis your edifying Doctrine will do no good upon me—Moretta, fetch the Gentleman a Glass, and let him survey himself, to see what Charms he has,—and guess my Business. [Aside in a soft tone.
Moret. He knows himself of old, I believe those Breeches and he have been acquainted ever since he was beaten at Worcester.
Ang. Nay, do not abuse the poor Creature.—
Moret. Good Weather-beaten Corporal, will you march off? we have no need of your Doctrine, tho you have of our Charity; but at present we have no Scraps, we can afford no kindness for God’s sake; in fine, Sirrah, the Price is too high i’th’ Mouth for you, therefore troop, I say.
Will. Here, good Fore-Woman of the Shop, serve me, and I’ll be gone.
Moret. Keep it to pay your Landress, your Linen stinks of the Gun-Room; for here’s no selling by Retail.
Will. Thou hast sold plenty of thy stale Ware at a cheap Rate.
Moret. Ay, the more silly kind Heart I, but this is an Age wherein Beauty is at higher Rates.—In fine, you know the price of this.
Will. I grant you ’tis here set down a thousand Crowns a Month—Baud, take your black Lead and sum it up, that I may have a Pistole-worth of these vain gay things, and I’ll trouble you no more.
Moret. Pox on him, he’ll fret me to Death:—abominable Fellow, I tell thee, we only sell by the whole Piece.
Will. ’Tis very hard, the whole Cargo or nothing—Faith, Madam, my Stock will not reach it, I cannot be your Chapman.—Yet I have Countrymen, in Town, Merchants of Love, like me; I’ll see if they’l put for a share, we cannot lose much by it, and what we have no use for, we’ll sell upon the Friday’s Mart, at—Who gives more? I am studying, Madam, how to purchase you, tho at present I am unprovided of Money.
Ang. Sure, this from any other Man would anger me—nor shall he know the Conquest he has made—Poor angry Man, how I despise this railing.
Will. Yes, I am poor—but I’m a Gentleman,
And one that scorns this Baseness which you practise.
Poor as I am, I would not sell my self,
No, not to gain your charming high-priz’d Person.
Tho I admire you strangely for your Beauty,
Yet I contemn your Mind.
—And yet I wou’d at any rate enjoy you;
At your own rate—but cannot—See here
The only Sum I can command on Earth;
I know not where to eat when this is gone:
Yet such a Slave I am to Love and Beauty,
This last reserve I’ll sacrifice to enjoy you.
—Nay, do not frown, I know you are to be bought,
And wou’d be bought by me, by me,
For a mean trifling Sum, if I could pay it down.
Which happy knowledge I will still repeat,
And lay it to my Heart, it has a Virtue in’t,
And soon will cure those Wounds your Eyes have made.
—And yet—there’s something so divinely powerful there—
Nay, I will gaze—to let you see my Strength. [Holds her, looks on her, and pauses and sighs.
By Heaven, bright Creature—I would not for the World
Thy Fame were half so fair as is thy Face. [Turns her away from him.
Ang. His words go thro me to the very Soul. [Aside.] —If you have nothing else to say to me.
Will. Yes, you shall hear how infamous you are—
For which I do not hate thee:
But that secures my Heart, and all the Flames it feels
Are but so many Lusts,
I know it by their sudden bold intrusion.
The Fire’s impatient and betrays, ’tis false—
For had it been the purer Flame of Love,
I should have pin’d and languished at your Feet,
E’er found the Impudence to have discover’d it.
I now dare stand your Scorn, and your Denial.
Moret. Sure she’s bewitcht, that she can stand thus tamely, and hear his saucy railing.—Sirrah, will you be gone?
Ang. How dare you take this liberty?—Withdraw. [To Moret.] —Pray, tell me, Sir, are not you guilty of the same mercenary Crime? When a Lady is proposed to you for a Wife, you never ask, how fair, discreet, or virtuous she is; but what’s her Fortune—which if but small, you cry—She will not do my business—and basely leave her, tho she languish for you.—Say, is not this as poor?
Will. It is a barbarous Custom, which I will scorn to defend in our Sex, and do despise in yours.
Ang. Thou art a brave Fellow! put up thy Gold, and know,
That were thy Fortune large, as is thy Soul,
Thou shouldst not buy my Love,
Couldst thou forget those mean Effects of Vanity,
Which set me out to sale; and as a Lover, prize
My yielding Joys.
Canst thou believe they’l be entirely thine,
Without considering they were mercenary?
Will. I cannot tell, I must bethink me first—ha, Death, I’m going to believe her. [Aside.
Ang. Prithee, confirm that Faith—or if thou canst not—flatter me a little, ’twill please me from thy Mouth.
Will. Curse on thy charming Tongue! dost thou return
My feign’d Contempt with so much subtilty? [Aside.
Thou’st found the easiest way into my Heart,
Tho I yet know that all thou say’st is false. [Turning from her in a Rage.
Ang. By all that’s good ’tis real,
I never lov’d before, tho oft a Mistress.
—Shall my first Vows be slighted?
Will. What can she mean? [Aside.
Ang. I find you cannot credit me. [In an angry tone.
Will. I know you take me for an errant Ass,
An Ass that may be sooth’d into Belief,
And then be us’d at pleasure.
—But, Madam I have been so often cheated
By perjur’d, soft, deluding Hypocrites,
41That I’ve no Faith left for the cozening Sex,
Especially for Women of your Trade.
Ang. The low esteem you have of me, perhaps
May bring my Heart again:
For I have Pride that yet surmounts my Love. [She turns with Pride, he holds her.
Will. Throw off this Pride, this Enemy to Bliss,
And shew the Power of Love: ’tis with those Arms
I can be only vanquisht, made a Slave.
Ang. Is all my mighty Expectation vanisht?
—No, I will not hear thee talk,—thou hast a Charm
In every word, that draws my Heart away.
And all the thousand Trophies I design’d,
Thou hast undone—Why art thou soft?
Thy Looks are bravely rough, and meant for War.
Could thou not storm on still?
I then perhaps had been as free as thou.
Will. Death! how she throws her Fire about my Soul! [Aside.
—Take heed, fair Creature, how you raise my Hopes,
Which once assum’d pretend to all Dominion.
There’s not a Joy thou hast in store
I shall not then command:
For which I’ll pay thee back my Soul, my Life.
Come, let’s begin th’ account this happy minute.
Ang. And will you pay me then the Price I ask?
Will. Oh, why dost thou draw me from an awful Worship,
By shewing thou art no Divinity?
Conceal the Fiend, and shew me all the Angel;
Keep me but ignorant, and I’ll be devout,
And pay my Vows for ever at this Shrine. [Kneels, and kisses her Hand.
Ang. The Pay I mean is but thy Love for mine.
—Can you give that?
Will. Intirely—come, let’s withdraw: where I’ll renew 42 my Vows,—and breathe ’em with such Ardour, thou shall not doubt my Zeal.
Ang. Thou hast a Power too strong to be resisted. [Ex. Will. and Angelica.
Moret. Now my Curse go with you—Is all our Project fallen to this? to love the only Enemy to our Trade? Nay, to love such a Shameroon, a very Beggar; nay, a Pirate-Beggar, whose Business is to rifle and be gone, a No-Purchase, No-Pay Tatterdemalion, an English Piccaroon; a Rogue that fights for daily Drink, and takes a Pride in being loyally lousy—Oh, I could curse now, if I durst—This is the Fate of most Whores.
Trophies, which from believing Fops we win,
Are Spoils to those who cozen us again.
Scene I. A Street.
Enter Florinda, Valeria, Hellena, in Antick different Dresses from what they were in before, Callis attending.
Flor. I wonder what should make my Brother in so ill a Humour: I hope he has not found out our Ramble this Morning.
Hell. No, if he had, we should have heard on’t at both Ears, and have been mew’d up this Afternoon; which I would not for the World should have happen’d—Hey ho! I’m sad as a Lover’s Lute.
Val. Well, methinks we have learnt this Trade of Gipsies as readily as if we had been bred upon the Road to Loretto: and yet I did so fumble, when I told the Stranger his Fortune, that I was afraid I should have told my own and yours by mistake—But methinks Hellena has been very serious ever since.
Flor. I would give my Garters she were in love, to be reveng’d upon her, for abusing me—How is’t, Hellena?
Hell. Ah!—would I had never seen my mad Monsieur 43 —and yet for all your laughing I am not in love— and yet this small Acquaintance, o my Conscience, will never out of my Head.
Val. Ha, ha, ha—I laugh to think how thou art fitted with a Lover, a Fellow that, I warrant, loves every new Face he sees.
Hell. Hum—he has not kept his Word with me here—and may be taken up—that thought is not very pleasant to me—what the Duce should this be now that I feel?
Val. What is’t like?
Hell. Nay, the Lord knows—but if I should be hanged, I cannot chuse but be angry and afraid, when I think that mad Fellow should be in love with any Body but me—What to think of my self I know not—Would I could meet with some true damn’d Gipsy, that I might know my Fortune.
Val. Know it! why there’s nothing so easy; thou wilt love this wandring Inconstant till thou find’st thy self hanged about his Neck, and then be as mad to get free again.
Flor. Yes, Valeria; we shall see her bestride his Baggage-horse, and follow him to the Campaign.
Hell. So, so; now you are provided for, there’s no care taken of poor me—But since you have set my Heart a wishing, I am resolv’d to know for what. I will not die of the Pip, so I will not.
Flor. Art thou mad to talk so? Who will like thee well enough to have thee, that hears what a mad Wench thou art?
Hell. Like me! I don’t intend, every he that likes me shall have me, but he that I like: I shou’d have staid in the Nunnery still, if I had lik’d my Lady Abbess as well as she lik’d me. No, I came thence, not (as my wise Brother imagines) to take an eternal Farewel of the World, but to love and to be belov’d; and I will be belov’d or I’ll get one of your Men, so I will.
Val. Am I put into the Number of Lovers?
Hell. You! my Couz, I know thou art too good natur’d 44 to leave us in any Design: Thou wou’t venture a Cast, tho thou comest off a Loser, especially with such a Gamester—I observ’d your Man, and your willing Ears incline that way; and if you are not a Lover, ’tis an Art soon learnt—that I find. [Sighs.
Flor. I wonder how you learnt to love so easily, I had a thousand Charms to meet my Eyes and Ears, e’er I cou’d yield; and ’twas the knowledge of Belvile’s Merit, not the surprising Person, took my Soul—Thou art too rash to give a Heart at first sight.
Hell. Hang your considering Lover; I ne’er thought beyond the Fancy, that ’twas a very pretty, idle, silly kind of Pleasure to pass ones time with, to write little, soft, nonsensical Billets, and with great difficulty and danger receive Answers; in which I shall have my Beauty prais’d, my Wit admir’d (tho little or none) and have the Vanity and Power to know I am desirable; then I have the more Inclination that way, because I am to be a Nun, and so shall not be suspected to have any such earthly Thoughts about me—But when I walk thus—and sigh thus—they’ll think my Mind’s upon my Monastery, and cry, how happy ’tis she’s so resolv’d!—But not a Word of Man.
Flor. What a mad Creature’s this!
Hell. I’ll warrant, if my Brother hears either of you sigh, he cries (gravely)—I fear you have the Indiscretion to be in love, but take heed of the Honour of our House, and your own unspotted Fame; and so he conjures on till he has laid the soft-wing’d God in your Hearts, or broke the Birds-nest—But see here comes your Lover: but where’s my inconstant? let’s step aside, and we may learn something. [Go aside.
Enter Belvile, Fred. and Blunt.
Belv. What means this? the Picture’s taken in.
Blunt. It may be the Wench is good natur’d, and will be kind gratis. Your Friend’s a proper handsom Fellow.
45Belv. I rather think she has cut his Throat and is fled: I am mad he should throw himself into Dangers—Pox on’t, I shall want him to night—let’s knock and ask for him.
Hell. My heart goes a-pit a-pat, for fear ’tis my Man they talk of. [Knock, Moretta above.
More. What would you have?
Belv. Tell the Stranger that enter’d here about two Hours ago, that his Friends stay here for him.
Moret. A Curse upon him for Moretta, would he were at the Devil—but he’s coming to you. [Enter Wilmore.
Hell. I, I, ’tis he. Oh how this vexes me.
Belv. And how, and how, dear Lad, has Fortune smil’d? Are we to break her Windows, or raise up Altars to her! hah!
Will. Does not my Fortune sit triumphant on my Brow? dost not see the little wanton God there all gay and smiling? have I not an Air about my Face and Eyes, that distinguish me from the Croud of common Lovers? By Heav’n, Cupid’s Quiver has not half so many Darts as her Eyes—Oh such a Bona Rota, to sleep in her Arms is lying in Fresco, all perfum’d Air about me.
Hell. Here’s fine encouragement for me to fool on. [Aside.
Will. Hark ye, where didst thou purchase that rich Canary we drank to-day? Tell me, that I may adore the Spigot, and sacrifice to the Butt: the Juice was divine, into which I must dip my Rosary, and then bless all things that I would have bold or fortunate.
Belv. Well, Sir, let’s go take a Bottle, and hear the Story of your Success.
Fred. Would not French Wine do better?
Will. Damn the hungry Balderdash; cheerful Sack has a generous Virtue in’t, inspiring a successful Confidence, gives Eloquence to the Tongue, and Vigour to the Soul; and has in a few Hours compleated all my Hopes and Wishes. There’s nothing left to raise a new Desire in me—Come let’s be gay and wanton—and, Gentlemen, study, study what you want, for here are Friends,—that will 46 supply, Gentlemen,—hark! what a charming sound they make—’tis he and she Gold whilst here, shall beget new Pleasures every moment.
Blunt. But hark ye, Sir, you are not married, are you?
Will. All the Honey of Matrimony, but none of the Sting, Friend.
Blunt. ’Sheartlikins, thou’rt a fortunate Rogue.
Will. I am so, Sir, let these inform you.—Ha, how sweetly they chime! Pox of Poverty, it makes a Man a Slave, makes Wit and Honour sneak, my Soul grew lean and rusty for want of Credit.
Blunt. ’Sheartlikins, this I like well, it looks like my lucky Bargain! Oh how I long for the Approach of my Squire, that is to conduct me to her House again. Why! here’s two provided for.
Fred. By this light y’re happy Men.
Blunt. Fortune is pleased to smile on us, Gentlemen,—to smile on us.
Enter Sancho, and pulls Blunt by the Sleeve. They go aside.
Sancho. Sir, my Lady expects you—she has remov’d all that might oppose your Will and Pleasure—and is impatient till you come.
Blunt. Sir, I’ll attend you—Oh the happiest Rogue! I’ll take no leave, lest they either dog me, or stay me. [Ex. with Sancho.
Belv. But then the little Gipsy is forgot?
Will. A Mischief on thee for putting her into my thoughts; I had quite forgot her else, and this Night’s Debauch had drunk her quite down.
Hell. Had it so, good Captain? [Claps him on the Back.
Will. Ha! I hope she did not hear.
Hell. What, afraid of such a Champion!
Will. Oh! you’re a fine Lady of your word, are you not? to make a Man languish a whole day—
Hell. In tedious search of me.
Will. Egad, Child, thou’rt in the right, hadst thou seen what a melancholy Dog I have been ever since I was a Lover, how I have walkt the Streets like a Capuchin, with my Hands in my Sleeves—Faith, Sweetheart, thou wouldst pity me.
Hell. Now, if I should be hang’d, I can’t be angry with him, he dissembles so heartily—Alas, good Captain, what pains you have taken—Now were I ungrateful not to reward so true a Servant.
Will. Poor Soul! that’s kindly said, I see thou bearest a Conscience—come then for a beginning shew me thy dear Face.
Hell. I’m afraid, my small Acquaintance, you have been staying that swinging stomach you boasted of this morning; I remember then my little Collation would have gone down with you, without the Sauce of a handsom Face—Is your Stomach so quesy now?
Will. Faith long fasting, Child, spoils a Man’s Appetite—yet if you durst treat, I could so lay about me still.
Hell. And would you fall to, before a Priest says Grace?
Will. Oh fie, fie, what an old out-of-fashion’d thing hast thou nam’d? Thou could’st not dash me more out of Countenance, shouldst thou shew me an ugly Face.
Whilst he is seemingly courting Hellena, enter Angelica, Moretta, Biskey, and Sebastian, all in Masquerade: Ang. sees Will. and starts.
Ang. Heavens, is’t he? and passionately fond to see another Woman?
Moret. What cou’d you expect less from such a Swaggerer?
Ang. Expect! as much as I paid him, a Heart intire,
Which I had pride enough to think when e’er I gave
It would have rais’d the Man above the Vulgar,
Made him all Soul, and that all soft and constant.
Hell. You see, Captain, how willing I am to be Friends 48 with you, till Time and Ill-luck make us Lovers; and ask you the Question first, rather than put your Modesty to the blush, by asking me: for alas, I know you Captains are such strict Men, severe Observers of your Vows to Chastity, that ’twill be hard to prevail with your tender Conscience to marry a young willing Maid.
Will. Do not abuse me, for fear I should take thee at thy word, and marry thee indeed, which I’m sure will be Revenge sufficient.
Hell. O’ my Conscience, that will be our Destiny, because we are both of one humour; I am as inconstant as you, for I have considered, Captain, that a handsom Woman has a great deal to do whilst her Face is good, for then is our Harvest-time to gather Friends; and should I in these days of my Youth, catch a fit of foolish Constancy, I were undone; ’tis loitering by day-light in our great Journey: therefore declare, I’ll allow but one year for Love, one year for Indifference, and one year for Hate—and then—go hang your self—for I profess myself the gay, the kind, and the inconstant—the Devil’s in’t if this won’t please you.
Will. Oh most damnably!—I have a Heart with a hole quite thro it too, no Prison like mine to keep a Mistress in.
Ang. Perjur’d Man! how I believe thee now! [Aside.
Hell. Well, I see our Business as well as Humours are alike, yours to cozen as many Maids as will trust you, and I as many Men as have Faith—See if I have not as desperate a lying look, as you can have for the heart of you. [Pulls off her Vizard; he starts.
—How do you like it, Captain?
Will. Like it! by Heav’n, I never saw so much Beauty. Oh the Charms of those sprightly black Eyes, that strangely fair Face, full of Smiles and Dimples! those soft round melting cherry Lips! and small even white Teeth! not to be exprest, but silently adored!—Oh one Look more, and strike me dumb, or I shall repeat nothing else till I am mad. [He seems to court her to pull off her Vizard: she refuses.
Ang. I can endure no more—nor is it fit to interrupt him; for if I do, my Jealousy has so destroy’d my Reason,—I shall undo him—Therefore I’ll retire. And you Sebastian [To one of her Bravoes] follow that Woman, and learn who ’tis; while you tell the Fugitive, I would speak to him instantly. [To the other Bravo. [Exit.
[This while Flor. is talking to Belvile, who stands sullenly. Fred. courting Valeria.
Val. Prithee, dear Stranger, be not so sullen; for tho you have lost your Love, you see my Friend frankly offers you hers, to play with in the mean time.
Belv. Faith, Madam, I am sorry I can’t play at her Game.
Fred. Pray leave your Intercession, and mind your own Affair, they’ll better agree apart; he’s a model Sigher in Company, but alone no Woman escapes him.
Flor. Sure he does but rally—yet if it should be true—I’ll tempt him farther—Believe me, noble Stranger, I’m no common Mistress—and for a little proof on’t—wear this Jewel—nay, take it, Sir, ’tis right, and Bills of Exchange may sometimes miscarry.
Belv. Madam, why am I chose out of all Mankind to be the Object of your Bounty?
Val. There’s another civil Question askt.
Fred. Pox of’s Modesty, it spoils his own Markets, and hinders mine.
Flor. Sir, from my Window I have often seen you; and Women of Quality have so few opportunities for Love, that we ought to lose none.
Fred. Ay, this is something! here’s a Woman!—When shall I be blest with so much kindness from your fair Mouth?—Take the Jewel, Fool. [Aside to Belv.
Belv. You tempt me strangely, Madam, every way.
Flor. So, if I find him false, my whole Repose is gone. [Aside.
Belv. And but for a Vow I’ve made to a very fine Lady, this Goodness had subdu’d me.
Fred. Pox on’t be kind, in pity to me be kind, for I am to thrive here but as you treat her Friend.
Hell. Tell me what did you in yonder House, and I’ll unmasque.
Will. Yonder House—oh—I went to—a—to—why, there’s a Friend of mine lives there.
Hell. What a she, or a he Friend?
Will. A Man upon my Honour! a Man—A She Friend! no, no, Madam, you have done my Business, I thank you.
Hell. And was’t your Man Friend, that had more Darts in’s Eyes than Cupid carries in a whole Budget of Arrows?
Hell. Ah such a Bona Roba: to be in her Arms is lying in Fresco, all perfumed Air about me—Was this your Man Friend too?
Hell. That gave you the He, and the She—Gold, that begets young Pleasures.
Will. Well, well, Madam, then you see there are Ladies in the World, that will not be cruel—there are, Madam, there are—
Hell. And there be Men too as fine, wild, inconstant Fellows as your self, there be, Captain, there be, if you go to that now—therefore I’m resolv’d—
Hell. To see your Face no more—
Hell. Till to morrow.
Will. Egad you frighted me.
Hell. Nor then neither, unless you’l swear never to see that Lady more.
Will. See her!—why! never to think of Womankind again?
Hell. Kneel, and swear. [Kneels, she gives him her hand.
Hell. I do, never to think—to see—to love—nor lie with any but thy self.
Hell. Kiss the Book.
Will. Oh, most religiously. [Kisses her Hand.
Hell. Now what a wicked Creature am I, to damn a proper Fellow.
Call. Madam, I’ll stay no longer, ’tis e’en dark. [To Flor.
Flor. However, Sir, I’ll leave this with you—that when I’m gone, you may repent the opportunity you have lost by your modesty. [Gives him the Jewel, which is her Picture, and Ex. gazes after her.
Will. ’Twill be an Age till to morrow,—and till then I will most impatiently expect you—Adieu, my dear pretty Angel. [Ex. all the Women.
Belv. Ha! Florinda’s Picture! ’twas she her self—what a dull Dog was I? I would have given the World for one minute’s discourse with her.—
Fred. This comes of your Modesty,—ah pox on your Vow,’twas ten to one but we had lost the Jewel by’t.
Belv. Willmore! the blessed’st Opportunity lost!—Florinda, Friends, Florinda!
Will. Ah Rogue! such black Eyes, such a Face, such a Mouth, such Teeth,—and so much Wit!
Belv. All, all, and a thousand Charms besides.
Will. Why, dost thou know her?
Belv. Know her! ay, ay, and a Pox take me with all my Heart for being modest.
Will. But hark ye, Friend of mine, are you my Rival? and have I been only beating the Bush all this while?
Belv. I understand thee not—I’m mad—see here— [Shews the Picture.
Will. Ha! whose Picture is this?—’tis a fine Wench.
Fred. The Colonel’s Mistress, Sir.
Will. Oh, oh, here—I thought it had been another Prize—come, come, a Bottle will set thee right again. [Gives the Picture back.
Belv. I am content to try, and by that time ’twill be late enough for our Design.
Love does all day the Soul’s great Empire keep,
But Wine at night lulls the soft God asleep. [Exeunt.
Scene II. Lucetta’s House.
Enter Blunt and Lucetta with a Light.
Luc. Now we are safe and free, no fears of the coming home of my old jealous Husband, which made me a little thoughtful when you came in first—but now Love is all the business of my Soul.
Blunt. I am transported—Pox on’t, that I had but some fine things to say to her, such as Lovers use—I was a Fool not to learn of Fred, a little by Heart before I came—something I must say.— [Aside. ’Sheartlikins, sweet Soul, I am not us’d to complement, but I’m an honest Gentleman, and thy humble Servant.
Luc. I have nothing to pay for so great a Favour, but such a Love as cannot but be great, since at first sight of that sweet Face and Shape it made me your absolute Captive.
Blunt. Kind heart, how prettily she talks! Egad I’ll show her Husband a Spanish Trick; send him out of the World, and marry her: she’s damnably in love with me, and will ne’er mind Settlements, and so there’s that say’d. [Aside.
Luc. Well, Sir, I’ll go and undress me, and be with you instantly.
Blunt. Make haste then, for ’dsheartlikins, dear Soul, thou canst not guess at the pain of a longing Lover, when his Joys are drawn within the compass of a few minutes.
Luc. You speak my Sense, and I’ll make haste to provide it. [Exit.
Blunt. ’Tis a rare Girl, and this one night’s enjoyment with her will be worth all the days I ever past in Essex.—Would she’d go with me into England, tho to say truth, there’s plenty of Whores there already.—But a pox on ’em 53 they are such mercenary prodigal Whores, that they want such a one as this, that’s free and generous, to give ’em good Examples:—Why, what a House she has! how rich and fine!
Sancho. Sir, my Lady has sent me to conduct you to her Chamber.
Blunt. Sir, I shall be proud to follow—Here’s one of her Servants too: ’dsheartlikins, by his Garb and Gravity he might be a Justice of Peace in Essex, and is but a Pimp here. [Exeunt.
The Scene changes to a Chamber with an Alcove-Bed in it, a Table, &c. Lucetta in Bed. Enter Sancho and Blunt, who takes the Candle of Sancho at the Door.
Sanch. Sir, my Commission reaches no farther.
Blunt. Sir, I’ll excuse your Complement:—what, in Bed, my sweet Mistress?
Luc. You see, I still out-do you in kindness.
Blunt. And thou shall see what haste I’ll make to quit scores—oh the luckiest Rogue! [Undresses himself.
Luc. Shou’d you be false or cruel now!
Blunt. False, ’Sheartlikins, what dost thou take me for a Jew? an insensible Heathen,—A Pox of thy old jealous Husband: and he were dead, egad, sweet Soul, it shou’d be none of my fault, if I did not marry thee.
Luc. It never shou’d be mine.
Blunt. Good Soul, I’m the fortunatest Dog!
Luc. Are you not undrest yet?
Blunt. As much as my Impatience will permit. [Goes towards the Bed in his Shirt and Drawers.
Luc. Hold, Sir, put out the Light, it may betray us else.
Blunt. Any thing, I need no other Light but that of thine Eyes!—’sheartlikins, there I think I had it. [Aside. [Puts out the Candle, the Bed descends, he gropes about to find it.
—Why—why—where am I got? what, not yet?—where 54 are you sweetest?—ah, the Rogue’s silent now—a pretty Love-trick this—how she’ll laugh at me anon!—you need not, my dear Rogue! you need not! I’m all on a fire already—come, come, now call me in for pity—Sure I’m enchanted! I have been round the Chamber, and can find neither Woman, nor Bed—I lockt the Door, I’m sure she cannot go that way; or if she cou’d, the Bed cou’d not—Enough, enough, my pretty Wanton, do not carry the Jest too far—Ha, betray’d! Dogs! Rogues! Pimps! help! help! [Lights on a Trap, and is let down.
Enter Lucetta, Philippo, and Sancho with a Light.
Phil. Ha, ha, ha, he’s dispatcht finely.
Luc. Now, Sir, had I been coy, we had mist of this Booty.
Phil. Nay when I saw ’twas a substantial Fool, I was mollified; but when you doat upon a Serenading Coxcomb, upon a Face, fine Clothes, and a Lute, it makes me rage.
Luc. You know I never was guilty of that Folly, my dear Philippo, but with your self—But come let’s see what we have got by this.
Phil. A rich Coat!—Sword and Hat!—these Breeches too—are well lin’d!—see here a Gold Watch!—a Purse—ha! Gold!—at least two hundred Pistoles! a bunch of Diamond Rings; and one with the Family Arms!—a Gold Box!—with a Medal of his King! and his Lady Mother’s Picture!—these were sacred Reliques, believe me!—see, the Wasteband of his Breeches have a Mine of Gold!—Old Queen Bess’s. We have a Quarrel to her ever since Eighty Eight, and may therefore justify the Theft, the Inquisition might have committed it.
Luc. See, a Bracelet of bow’d Gold, these his Sister ty’d about his Arm at parting—but well—for all this, I fear his being a Stranger may make a noise, and hinder our Trade with them hereafter.
Phil. That’s our security; he is not only a Stranger to us, but to the Country too—the Common-Shore into which 55 he is descended, thou know’st, conducts him into another Street, which this Light will hinder him from ever finding again—he knows neither your Name, nor the Street where your House is, nay, nor the way to his own Lodgings.
Luc. And art not thou an unmerciful Rogue, not to afford him one Night for all this?—I should not have been such a Jew.
Phil. Blame me not, Lucetta, to keep as much of thee as I can to my self—come, that thought makes me wanton,—let’s to Bed,—Sancho, lock up these.
This is the Fleece which Fools do bear,
Design’d for witty Men to sheer. [Exeunt.
The Scene changes, and discovers Blunt, creeping out of a Common Shore, his Face, &c., all dirty.
Blunt. Oh Lord! [Climbing up.
I am got out at last, and (which is a Miracle) without a Clue—and now to Damning and Cursing,—but if that would ease me, where shall I begin? with my Fortune, my self, or the Quean that cozen’d me—What a dog was I to believe in Women! Oh Coxcomb—ignorant conceited Coxcomb! to fancy she cou’d be enamour’d with my Person, at the first sight enamour’d—Oh, I’m a cursed Puppy,’tis plain, Fool was writ upon my Forehead, she perceiv’d it,—saw the Essex Calf there—for what Allurements could there be in this Countenance? which I can indure, because I’m acquainted with it—Oh, dull silly Dog! to be thus sooth’d into a Cozening! Had I been drunk, I might fondly have credited the young Quean! but as I was in my right Wits, to be thus cheated, confirms I am a dull believing English Country Fop.—But my Comrades! Death and the Devil, there’s the worst of all—then a Ballad will be sung to Morrow on the Prado, to a lousy Tune of the enchanted Squire, and the annihilated Damsel—But Fred, that Rogue, and the Colonel, will abuse me beyond all Christian patience—had she left me my Clothes, I have a Bill of Exchange 56 at home wou’d have sav’d my Credit—but now all hope is taken from me—Well, I’ll home (if I can find the way) with this Consolation, that I am not the first kind believing Coxcomb; but there are, Gallants, many such good Natures amongst ye.
And tho you’ve better Arts to hide your Follies,
Adsheartlikins y’are all as errant Cullies.
Scene III. The Garden, in the Night.
Enter Florinda undres’d, with a Key, and a little Box.
Flor. Well, thus far I’m in my way to Happiness; I have got my self free from Callis; my Brother too, I find by yonder light, is gone into his Cabinet, and thinks not of me: I have by good Fortune got the Key of the Garden Back-door,—I’ll open it, to prevent Belvile’s knocking,—a little noise will now alarm my Brother. Now am I as fearful as a young Thief. [Unlocks the Door.] —Hark,—what noise is that?—Oh,’twas the Wind that plaid amongst the Boughs.—Belvile stays long, methinks—it’s time—stay—for fear of a surprize, I’ll hide these Jewels in yonder Jessamin. [She goes to lay down the Box.
Enter Willmore drunk.
Will. What the Devil is become of these Fellows, Belvile and Frederick? They promis’d to stay at the next corner for me, but who the Devil knows the corner of a full Moon?—Now—whereabouts am I?—hah—what have we here? a Garden!—a very convenient place to sleep in—hah—what has God sent us here?—a Female—by this light, a Woman; I’m a Dog if it be not a very Wench.—
Flor. He’s come!—hah—who’s there?
Will. Sweet Soul, let me salute thy Shoe-string.
Flor. ’Tis not my Belvile—good Heavens, I know him not.—Who are you, and from whence come you?
Will. Prithee—prithee, Child—not so many hard Questions—let it suffice I am here, Child—Come, come kiss me.
Flor. Good Gods! what luck is mine?
Will. Only good luck, Child, parlous good luck—Come hither,—’tis a delicate shining Wench,—by this Hand she’s perfum’d, and smells like any Nosegay.—Prithee, dear Soul, let’s not play the Fool, and lose time,—precious time—for as Gad shall save me, I’m as honest a Fellow as breathes, tho I am a little disguis’d at present.—Come, I say,—why, thou may’st be free with me, I’ll be very secret. I’ll not boast who ’twas oblig’d me, not I—for hang me if I know thy Name.
Flor. Heavens! what a filthy beast is this!
Will. I am so, and thou oughtst the sooner to lie with me for that reason,—for look you, Child, there will be no Sin in’t, because ’twas neither design’d nor premeditated; ’tis pure Accident on both sides—that’s a certain thing now—Indeed should I make love to you, and you vow Fidelity—and swear and lye till you believ’d and yielded—Thou art therefore (as thou art a good Christian) oblig’d in Conscience to deny me nothing. Now—come, be kind, without any more idle prating.
Flor. Oh, I am ruin’d—wicked Man, unhand me.
Will. Wicked! Egad, Child, a Judge, were he young and vigorous, and saw those Eyes of thine, would know ’twas they gave the first blow—the first provocation.—Come, prithee let’s lose no time, I say—this is a fine convenient place.
Flor. Sir, let me go, I conjure you, or I’ll call out.
Will. Ay, ay, you were best to call Witness to see how finely you treat me—do.—
Flor. I’ll cry Murder, Rape, or any thing, if you do not instantly let me go.
Will. A Rape! Come, come, you lye, you Baggage, you lye: What, I’ll warrant you would fain have the World believe now that you are not so forward as I. No, not you,—why at this time of Night was your Cobweb-door set open, dear Spider—but to catch Flies?—Hah come—or I shall be damnably angry.—Why what a Coil is here.—
Flor. Sir, can you think—
Will. That you’d do it for nothing? oh, oh, I find what you’d be at—look here, here’s a Pistole for you—here’s a work indeed—here—take it, I say.—
Flor. For Heaven’s sake, Sir, as you’re a Gentleman—
Will. So—now—she would be wheedling me for more—what, you will not take it then—you’re resolv’d you will not.—Come, come, take it, or I’ll put it up again; for, look ye, I never give more.—Why, how now, Mistress, are you so high i’th’ Mouth, a Pistole won’t down with you?—hah—why, what a work’s here—in good time—come, no struggling, be gone—But an y’are good at a dumb Wrestle, I’m for ye,—look ye,—I’m for ye.— [She struggles with him.
Enter Belvile and Frederick.
Bel. The Door is open, a Pox of this mad Fellow, I’m angry that we’ve lost him, I durst have sworn he had follow’d us.
Fred. But you were so hasty, Colonel, to be gone.
Flor. Help, help,—Murder!—help—oh, I’m ruin’d.
Belv. Ha, sure that’s Florinda’s Voice. [Comes up to them.
—A Man! Villain, let go that Lady.[A noise.
[Will. turns and draws, Fred. interposes.
Flor. Belvile! Heavens! my Brother too is coming, and ’twill be impossible to escape.—Belvile, I conjure you to walk under my Chamber-window, from whence I’ll give you some instructions what to do—This rude Man has undone us. [Exit.
Enter Pedro, Stephano, and other Servants with Lights.
Ped. I’m betray’d; run, Stephano, and see if Florinda be safe. [Exit Steph.
So whoe’er they be, all is not well, I’ll to Florinda’s Chamber. [They fight, and Pedro’s Party beats ’em out; going out, meets Stephano.
Steph. You need not, Sir, the poor Lady’s fast asleep, and thinks no harm: I wou’d not wake her, Sir, for fear of frightning her with your danger.
Ped. I’m glad she’s there—Rascals, how came the Garden-Door open?
Steph. That Question comes too late, Sir: some of my Fellow-Servants Masquerading I’ll warrant.
Ped. Masquerading! a leud Custom to debauch our Youth—there’s something more in this than I imagine. [Exeunt.
Scene IV. Changes to the Street.
Enter Belvile in Rage, Fred. holding him, and Willmore melancholy.
Will. Why, how the Devil shou’d I know Florinda?
Belv. Ah plague of your ignorance! if it had not been Florinda, must you be a Beast?—a Brute, a senseless Swine?
Will. Well, Sir, you see I am endu’d with Patience—I can bear—tho egad y’re very free with me methinks,—I was in good hopes the Quarrel wou’d have been on my side, for so uncivilly interrupting me.
Belv. Peace, Brute, whilst thou’rt safe—oh, I’m distracted.
Will. Nay, nay, I’m an unlucky Dog, that’s certain.
Belv. Ah curse upon the Star that rul’d my Birth! or whatsoever other Influence that makes me still so wretched.
Will. Thou break’st my Heart with these Complaints; there is no Star in fault, no Influence but Sack, the cursed Sack I drank.
Fred. Why, how the Devil came you so drunk?
Will. Why, how the Devil came you so sober?
Belv. A curse upon his thin Skull, he was always before-hand that way.
Fred. Prithee, dear Colonel, forgive him, he’s sorry for his fault.
Belv. He’s always so after he has done a mischief—a plague on all such Brutes.
Will. By this Light I took her for an errant Harlot.
Belv. Damn your debaucht Opinion: tell me, Sot, hadst thou so much sense and light about thee to distinguish her to be a Woman, and could’st not see something about her Face and Person, to strike an awful Reverence into thy Soul?
Will. Faith no, I consider’d her as mere a Woman as I could wish.
Belv. ’Sdeath I have no patience—draw, or I’ll kill you.
Will. Let that alone till to morrow, and if I set not all right again, use your Pleasure.
Belv. To morrow, damn it.
The spiteful Light will lead me to no happiness.
To morrow is Antonio’s, and perhaps
Guides him to my undoing;—oh that I could meet
This Rival, this powerful Fortunate.
Will. What then?
Belv. Let thy own Reason, or my Rage instruct thee.
Will. I shall be finely inform’d then, no doubt; hear me, Colonel—hear me—shew me the Man and I’ll do his Business.
Belv. I know him no more than thou, or if I did, I should not need thy aid.
Will. This you say is Angelica’s House, I promis’d the kind Baggage to lie with her to Night. [Offers to go in.
Enter Antonio and his Page. Ant. knocks on the Hilt of his Sword.
Ant. You paid the thousand Crowns I directed?
Page. To the Lady’s old Woman, Sir, I did.
Will. Who the Devil have we here?
Belv. I’ll now plant my self under Florinda’s Window, and if I find no comfort there, I’ll die. [Ex. Belv. and Fred.
Page. Here’s my Lord.
Will. How is this, a Piccaroon going to board my Frigate! here’s one Chase-Gun for you. [Drawing his Sword, justles Ant. who turns and draws. They fight, Ant. falls.
Moret. Oh, bless us, we are all undone! [Runs in, and shuts the Door.
Page. Help, Murder! [Belvile returns at the noise of fighting.
Belv. Ha, the mad Rogue’s engag’d in some unlucky Adventure again.
Enter two or three Masqueraders.
Masq. Ha, a Man kill’d!
Will. How! a Man kill’d! then I’ll go home to sleep. [Puts up, and reels out. Ex. Masquers another way.
Belv. Who shou’d it be! pray Heaven the Rogue is safe, for all my Quarrel to him. [As Belvile is groping about, enter an Officer and six Soldiers.
Sold. Who’s there?
Offic. So, here’s one dispatcht—secure the Murderer.
Belv. Do not mistake my Charity for Murder:
I came to his Assistance. [Soldiers seize on Belvile.
Offic. That shall be tried, Sir.—St. Jago, Swords drawn in the Carnival time! [Goes to Antonio.
Ant. Thy Hand prithee.
Offic. Ha, Don Antonio! look well to the Villain there.—How is’t, Sir?
Ant. I’m hurt.
Belv. Has my Humanity made me a Criminal?
Offic. Away with him.
Belv. What a curst Chance is this! [Ex. Soldiers with Belv.
Ant. This is the Man that has set upon me twice— 62 carry him to my Apartment till you have further Orders from me. [To the Officer. Ex. Ant. led.
Scene I. A fine Room.
Discovers Belvile, as by Dark alone.
Belv. When shall I be weary of railing on Fortune, who is resolv’d never to turn with Smiles upon me?—Two such Defeats in one Night—none but the Devil and that mad Rogue could have contriv’d to have plagued me with—I am here a Prisoner—but where?—Heaven knows—and if there be Murder done, I can soon decide the Fate of a Stranger in a Nation without Mercy—Yet this is nothing to the Torture my Soul bows with, when I think of losing my fair, my dear Florinda.—Hark—my Door opens—a Light—a Man—and seems of Quality—arm’d too.—Now shall I die like a Dog without defence.
Enter Antonio in a Night-Gown, with a Light; his Arm in a Scarf, and a Sword under his Arm: He sets the Candle on the Table.
Ant. Sir, I come to know what Injuries I have done you, that could provoke you to so mean an Action, as to attack me basely, without allowing time for my Defence.
Belv. Sir, for a Man in my Circumstances to plead Innocence, would look like Fear—but view me well, and you will find no marks of a Coward on me, nor any thing that betrays that Brutality you accuse me of.
Ant. In vain, Sir, you impose upon my Sense,
You are not only he who drew on me last Night,
But yesterday before the same House, that of Angelica.
Yet there is something in your Face and Mein—
Belv. I own I fought to day in the defence of a Friend of mine, with whom you (if you’re the same) and your Party were first engag’d.
Perhaps you think this Crime enough to kill me,
63But if you do, I cannot fear you’ll do it basely.
Ant. No, Sir, I’ll make you fit for a Defence with this. [Gives him the Sword.
Belv. This Gallantry surprizes me—nor know I how to use this Present, Sir, against a Man so brave.
Ant. You shall not need;
For know, I come to snatch you from a Danger
That is decreed against you;
Perhaps your Life, or long Imprisonment:
And ’twas with so much Courage you offended,
I cannot see you punisht.
Belv. How shall I pay this Generosity?
Ant. It had been safer to have kill’d another,
Than have attempted me:
To shew your Danger, Sir, I’ll let you know my Quality;
And ’tis the Vice-Roy’s Son whom you have wounded.
Belv. The Vice-Roy’s Son!
Death and Confusion! was this Plague reserved
To compleat all the rest?—oblig’d by him!
The Man of all the World I would destroy. [Aside.
Ant. You seem disorder’d, Sir.
Belv. Yes, trust me, Sir, I am, and ’tis with pain
That Man receives such Bounties,
Who wants the pow’r to pay ’em back again.
Ant. To gallant Spirits ’tis indeed uneasy;
—But you may quickly over-pay me, Sir.
Belv. Then I am well—kind Heaven! but set us even,
That I may fight with him, and keep my Honour safe. [Aside.
—Oh, I’m impatient, Sir, to be discounting
The mighty Debt I owe you; command me quickly—
Ant. I have a Quarrel with a Rival, Sir,
About the Maid we love.
Belv. Death,’tis Florinda he means—
That Thought destroys my Reason, and I shall kill him— [Aside.
Ant. My Rival, Sir.
Is one has all the Virtues Man can boast of.
Belv. Death! who shou’d this be? [Aside.
Ant. He challeng’d me to meet him on the Molo,
As soon as Day appear’d; but last Night’s quarrel
Has made my Arm unfit to guide a Sword.
Belv. I apprehend you, Sir, you’d have me kill the Man
That lays a claim to the Maid you speak of.
—I’ll do’t—I’ll fly to do it.
Ant. Sir, do you know her?
Belv. —No, Sir, but ’tis enough she is admired by you.
Ant. Sir, I shall rob you of the Glory on’t,
For you must fight under my Name and Dress.
Belv. That Opinion must be strangely obliging that makes
You think I can personate the brave Antonio,
Whom I can but strive to imitate.
Ant. You say too much to my Advantage.
Come, Sir, the Day appears that calls you forth.
Within, Sir, is the Habit. [Exit Antonio.
Belv. Fantastick Fortune, thou deceitful Light,
That cheats the wearied Traveller by Night,
Tho on a Precipice each step you tread,
I am resolv’d to follow where you lead. [Exit.
Scene II. The Molo.
Enter Florinda and Callis in Masques, with Stephano.
Flor. I’m dying with my fears; Belvile’s not coming,
As I expected, underneath my Window,
Makes me believe that all those Fears are true. [Aside.
—Canst thou not tell with whom my Brother fights?
Steph. No, Madam, they were both in Masquerade, I was by when they challeng’d one another, and they had decided the Quarrel then, but were prevented by some Cavaliers; which made ’em put it off till now—but I am sure ’tis about you they fight.
65Flor. Nay then ’tis with Belvile, for what other Lover have I that dares fight for me, except Antonio? and he is too much in favour with my Brother—If it be he, for whom shall I direct my Prayers to Heaven? [Aside.
Steph. Madam, I must leave you; for if my Master see me, I shall be hang’d for being your Conductor.—I escap’d narrowly for the Excuse I made for you last night i’th’ Garden.
Flor. And I’ll reward thee for’t—prithee no more. [Exit. Steph.
Enter Don Pedro in his Masquing Habit.
Pedro. Antonio’s late to day, the place will fill, and we may be prevented. [Walk about.
Flor. Antonio! sure I heard amiss. [Aside.
Pedro. But who would not excuse a happy Lover.
When soft fair Arms confine the yielding Neck;
And the kind Whisper languishingly breathes,
Must you be gone so soon?
Sure I had dwelt for ever on her Bosom.
—But stay, he’s here.
Enter Belvile drest in Antonio’s Clothes.
Flor. ’Tis not Belvile, half my Fears are vanisht.
Belv. This must be he. [Aside.] You’re early, Sir,—I do not use to be out-done this way.
Pedro. The wretched, Sir, are watchful, and ’tis enough
You have the advantage of me in Angelica.
Or I’ve mistook my Man! Or else Antonio,
Can he forget his Interest in Florinda,
And fight for common Prize? [Aside.
Pedro. Come, Sir, you know our terms—
Belv. By Heaven, not I. [Aside.] —No talking, I am ready, Sir.
[Offers to fight. Flor. runs in.
Flor. Oh, hold! whoe’er you be, I do conjure you hold.
If you strike here—I die— [To Belv.
Belv. Florinda imploring for my Rival!
Pedro. Away, this Kindness is unseasonable. [Puts her by, they fight; she runs in just as Belv. disarms Pedro.
Flor. Who are you, Sir, that dare deny my Prayers?
Belv. Thy Prayers destroy him; if thou wouldst preserve him.
Do that thou’rt unacquainted with, and curse him. [She holds him.
Flor. By all you hold most dear, by her you love,
I do conjure you, touch him not.
Belv. By her I love!
See—I obey—and at your Feet resign
The useless Trophy of my Victory. [Lays his sword at her Feet.
Pedro. Antonio, you’ve done enough to prove you love Florinda.
Belv. Love Florinda!
Does Heaven love Adoration, Pray’r, or Penitence?
Love her! here Sir,—your Sword again. [Snatches up the Sword, and gives it him.
Upon this Truth I’ll fight my Life away.
Pedro. No, you’ve redeem’d my Sister, and my Friendship.
Belv. Don Pedro!
[He gives him Flor. and pulls off his Vizard to shew his Face, and puts it on again.
Pedro. Can you resign your Claims to other Women,
And give your Heart intirely to Florinda?
Belv. Intire, as dying Saints Confessions are.
I can delay my happiness no longer.
This minute let me make Florinda mine:
Pedro. This minute let it be—no time so proper,
This Night my Father will arrive from Rome,
And possibly may hinder what we propose.
Flor. Oh Heavens! this Minute! [Enter Masqueraders, and pass over.
Belv. Oh, do not ruin me!
Pedro. The place begins to fill; and that we may not be observ’d, do you walk off to St. Peter’s Church, where I will meet you, and conclude your Happiness.
Belv. I’ll meet you there—if there be no more Saints Churches in Naples. [Aside.
Flor. Oh stay, Sir, and recall your hasty Doom:
Alas I have not yet prepar’d my Heart
To entertain so strange a Guest.
Pedro. Away, this silly Modesty is assum’d too late.
Belv. Heaven, Madam! what do you do?
Flor. Do! despise the Man that lays a Tyrant’s Claim
To what he ought to conquer by Submission.
Belv. You do not know me—move a little this way. [Draws her aside.
Flor. Yes, you may even force me to the Altar,
But not the holy Man that offers there
Shall force me to be thine. [Pedro talks to Callis this while.
Belv. Oh do not lose so blest an opportunity!
See—’tis your Belvile—not Antonio,
Whom your mistaken Scorn and Anger ruins. [Pulls off his Vizard.
Where was my Soul it cou’d not meet thy Voice,
And take this knowledge in?
[As they are talking, enter Willmore finely drest, and Frederick.
Will. No Intelligence! no News of Belvile yet—well I am the most unlucky Rascal in Nature—ha!—am I deceiv’d—or is it he—look, Fred.—’tis he—my dear Belvile.
[Runs and embraces him. Belv. Vizard falls out on’s Hand.
Belv. Hell and Confusion seize thee!
Pedro. Ha! Belvile! I beg your Pardon, Sir. [Takes Flor. from him.
Belv. Nay, touch her not, she’s mine by Conquest, Sir. I won her by my Sword.
Will. Did’st thou so—and egad, Child, we’ll keep her by the Sword. [Draws on Pedro, Belv. goes between.
Belv. Stand off.
Thou’rt so profanely leud, so curst by Heaven,
All Quarrels thou espousest must be fatal.
Will. Nay, an you be so hot, my Valour’s coy,
And shall be courted when you want it next. [Puts up his Sword.
Belv. You know I ought to claim a Victor’s Right, [To Pedro.
But you’re the Brother to divine Florinda,
To whom I’m such a Slave—to purchase her,
I durst not hurt the Man she holds so dear.
Pedro. ’Twas by Antonio’s, not by Belvile’s Sword,
This Question should have been decided, Sir:
I must confess much to your Bravery’s due,
Both now, and when I met you last in Arms.
But I am nicely punctual in my word,
As Men of Honour ought, and beg your Pardon.
—For this Mistake another Time shall clear.
—This was some Plot between you and Belvile:
But I’ll prevent you. [Aside to Flor. as they are going out.
[Belv. looks after her, and begins to walk up and down in a Rage.
Will. Do not be modest now, and lose the Woman: but if we shall fetch her back, so—
Belv. Do not speak to me.
Will. Not speak to you!—Egad, I’ll speak to you, and will be answered too.
69Belv. Will you, Sir?
Will. I know I’ve done some mischief, but I’m so dull a Puppy, that I am the Son of a Whore, if I know how, or where—prithee inform my Understanding.—
Belv. Leave me I say, and leave me instantly.
Will. I will not leave you in this humour, nor till I know my Crime.
Belv. Death, I’ll tell you, Sir—
[Draws and runs at Will. he runs out; Belv. after him, Fred. interposes.
Enter Angelica, Moretta, and Sebastian.
Ang. Ha—Sebastian—Is not that Willmore? haste, haste, and bring him back.
Fred. The Colonel’s mad—I never saw him thus before; I’ll after ’em, lest he do some mischief, for I am sure Willmore will not draw on him. [Exit.
Ang. I am all Rage! my first desires defeated
For one, for ought he knows, that has no
Other Merit than her Quality,—
Her being Don Pedro’s Sister—He loves her:
I know ’tis so—dull, dull, insensible—
He will not see me now tho oft invited;
And broke his Word last night—false perjur’d Man!
—He that but yesterday fought for my Favours,
And would have made his Life a Sacrifice
To’ve gain’d one Night with me,
Must now be hired and courted to my Arms.
Moret. I told you what wou’d come on’t, but Moretta’s an old doating Fool—Why did you give him five hundred Crowns, but to set himself out for other Lovers? You shou’d have kept him poor, if you had meant to have had any good from him.
Ang. Oh, name not such mean Trifles.—Had I given him all
My Youth has earn’d from Sin,
I had not lost a Thought nor Sigh upon’t.
But I have given him my eternal Rest,
My whole Repose, my future Joys, my Heart;
My Virgin Heart. Moretta! oh ’tis gone!
Moret. Curse on him, here he comes;
How fine she has made him too!
Enter Willmore and Sebast. Ang. turns and walks away.
Will. How now, turn’d Shadow?
Fly when I pursue, and follow when I fly!
Stay gentle Shadow of my Dove, [Sings.
And tell me e’er I go,
Whether the Substance may not prove
A fleeting Thing like you.
There’s a soft kind Look remaining yet. [As she turns she looks on him.
Ang. Well, Sir, you may be gay; all Happiness, all Joys pursue you still, Fortune’s your Slave, and gives you every hour choice of new Hearts and Beauties, till you are cloy’d with the repeated Bliss, which others vainly languish for—But know, false Man, that I shall be reveng’d. [Turns away in a Rage.
Will. So, ’gad, there are of those faint-hearted Lovers, whom such a sharp Lesson next their Hearts would make as impotent as Fourscore—pox o’ this whining—my Bus’ness is to laugh and love—a pox on’t; I hate your sullen Lover, a Man shall lose as much time to put you in Humour now, as would serve to gain a new Woman.
Ang. I scorn to cool that Fire I cannot raise, Or do the Drudgery of your virtuous Mistress.
Will. A virtuous Mistress! Death, what a thing thou hast found out for me! why what the Devil should I do with a virtuous Woman?—a fort of ill-natur’d Creatures, that take a Pride to torment a Lover. Virtue is but an Infirmity in Women, a Disease that renders even the 71 handsom ungrateful; whilst the ill-favour’d, for want of Solicitations and Address, only fancy themselves so.—I have lain with a Woman of Quality, who has all the while been railing at Whores.
Ang. I will not answer for your Mistress’s Virtue,
Tho she be young enough to know no Guilt:
And I could wish you would persuade my Heart,
’Twas the two hundred thousand Crowns you courted.
Will. Two hundred thousand Crowns! what Story’s this?—what Trick?—what Woman?—ha.
Ang. How strange you make it! have you forgot the Creature you entertain’d on the Piazza last night?
Will. Ha, my Gipsy worth two hundred thousand Crowns!—oh how I long to be with her—pox, I knew she was of Quality. [Aside.
Ang. False Man, I see my Ruin in thy Face.
How many vows you breath’d upon my Bosom,
Never to be unjust—have you forgot so soon?
Will. Faith no, I was just coming to repeat ’em—but here’s a Humour indeed—would make a Man a Saint—Wou’d she’d be angry enough to leave me, and command me not to wait on her. [Aside.
Enter Hellena, drest in Man’s Clothes.
Hell. This must be Angelica, I know it by her mumping Matron here—Ay, ay,’tis she: my mad Captain’s with her too, for all his swearing—how this unconstant Humour makes me love him:—pray, good grave Gentlewoman, is not this Angelica?
Moret. My too young Sir, it is—I hope ’tis one from Don Antonio. [Goes to Angelica.
Hell. Well, something I’ll do to vex him for this. [Aside.
Ang. I will not speak with him; am I in humour to receive a Lover?
Will. Not speak with him! why I’ll be gone—and wait your idler minutes—Can I shew less Obedience to the thing I love so fondly? [Offers to go.
Ang. A fine Excuse this—stay—
Will. And hinder your Advantage: should I repay your Bounties so ungratefully?
Ang. Come hither, Boy,—that I may let you see
How much above the Advantages you name
I prize one Minute’s Joy with you.
Will. Oh, you destroy me with this Endearment. [Impatient to be gone.
—Death, how shall I get away?—Madam,’twill not be fit I should be seen with you—besides, it will not be convenient—and I’ve a Friend—that’s dangerously sick.
Ang. I see you’re impatient—yet you shall stay.
Will. And miss my Assignation with my Gipsy. [Aside, and walks about impatiently.
Hell. Madam, [Moretta brings Hellena, who addresses her self to Angelica.
You’l hardly pardon my Intrusion,
When you shall know my Business;
And I’m too young to tell my Tale with Art:
But there must be a wondrous store of Goodness
Where so much Beauty dwells.
Ang. A pretty Advocate, whoever sent thee,
—Prithee proceed—Nay, Sir, you shall not go. [To Will. who is stealing off.
Will. Then shall I lose my dear Gipsy for ever.
—Pox on’t, she stays me out of spite. [Aside.
Hell. I am related to a Lady, Madam,
Young, rich, and nobly born, but has the fate
To be in love with a young English Gentleman.
Strangely she loves him, at first sight she lov’d him,
But did adore him when she heard him speak;
For he, she said, had Charms in every word,
That fail’d not to surprize, to wound, and conquer—
Will. Ha, Egad I hope this concerns me. [Aside.
Ang. ’Tis my false Man, he means—wou’d he were gone.
This Praise will raise his Pride and ruin me—Well,
Since you are so impatient to be gone,
I will release you, Sir. [To Will.
Will. Nay, then I’m sure ’twas me he spoke of, this cannot be the Effects of Kindness in her. [Aside.
—No, Madam, I’ve consider’d better on’t,
And will not give you cause of Jealousy.
Ang. But, Sir, I’ve—business, that—
Will. This shall not do, I know ’tis but to try me.
Ang. Well, to your Story, Boy,—tho ’twill undo me. [Aside.
Hell. With this Addition to his other Beauties,
He won her unresisting tender Heart,
He vow’d and sigh’d, and swore he lov’d her dearly;
And she believ’d the cunning Flatterer,
And thought her self the happiest Maid alive:
To day was the appointed time by both,
To consummate their Bliss;
The Virgin, Altar, and the Priest were drest,
And whilst she languisht for the expected Bridegroom,
She heard, he paid his broken Vows to you.
Will. So, this is some dear Rogue that’s in love with me, and this way lets me know it; or if it be not me, she means some one whose place I may supply. [Aside.
Ang. Now I perceive
The cause of thy Impatience to be gone,
And all the business of this glorious Dress.
Will. Damn the young Prater, I know not what he means.
In your fair Eyes I read too much concern
To tell my farther Business.
Ang. Prithee, sweet Youth, talk on, thou may’st perhaps
Raise here a Storm that may undo my Passion,
And then I’ll grant thee any thing.
Hell. Madam,’tis to intreat you, (oh unreasonable!)
You wou’d not see this Stranger;
74For if you do, she vows you are undone,
Tho Nature never made a Man so excellent;
And sure he’ad been a God, but for Inconstancy.
Will. Ah, Rogue, how finely he’s instructed! [Aside.] —’Tis plain some Woman that has seen me en passant.
Ang. Oh, I shall burst with Jealousy! do you know the Man you speak of?—
Hell. Yes, Madam, he us’d to be in Buff and Scarlet.
Ang. Thou, false as Hell, what canst thou say to this? [To Will.
Will. By Heaven—
Ang. Hold, do not damn thy self—
Hell. Nor hope to be believ’d. [He walks about, they follow.
Ang. Oh, perjur’d Man!
Is’t thus you pay my generous Passion back?
Hell. Why wou’d you, Sir, abuse my Lady’s Faith?
Ang. And use me so inhumanly?
Hell. A Maid so young, so innocent—
Will. Ah, young Devil!
Ang. Dost thou not know thy Life is in my Power?
Hell. Or think my Lady cannot be reveng’d?
Will. So, so, the Storm comes finely on. [Aside.
Ang. Now thou art silent, Guilt has struck thee dumb.
Oh, hadst thou still been so, I’d liv’d in safety. [She turns away and weeps.
Will. Sweetheart, the Lady’s Name and House—quickly: I’m impatient to be with her.— [Aside to Hellena, looks towards Angel. to watch her turning; and as she comes towards them, he meets her.
Hell. So now is he for another Woman. [Aside.
Will. The impudent’st young thing in Nature!
I cannot persuade him out of his Error, Madam.
Ang. I know he’s in the right,—yet thou’st a Tongue
That wou’d persuade him to deny his Faith. [In Rage walks away.
75Will. Her Name, her Name, dear Boy— [Said softly to Hell.
Hell. Have you forgot it, Sir?
Will. Oh, I perceive he’s not to know I am a Stranger to his Lady. [Aside.
—Yes, yes, I do know—but—I have forgot the— [Angel. turns.
—By Heaven, such early confidence I never saw.
Ang. Did I not charge you with this Mistress, Sir?
Which you denied, tho I beheld your Perjury.
This little Generosity of thine has render’d back my Heart. [Walks away.
Will. So, you have made sweet work here, my little mischief;
Look your Lady be kind and good-natur’d now, or
I shall have but a cursed Bargain on’t. [Ang. turns towards them.
—The Rogue’s bred up to Mischief,
Art thou so great a Fool to credit him?
Ang. Yes, I do; and you in vain impose upon me.
—Come hither, Boy—Is not this he you speak of?
Hell. I think—it is; I cannot swear, but I vow he has just such another lying Lover’s look. [Hell. looks in his Face, he gazes on her.
Will. Hah! do not I know that Face?—
By Heaven, my little Gipsy! what a dull Dog was I?
Had I but lookt that way, I’d known her.
Are all my hopes of a new Woman banisht? [Aside.
—Egad, if I don’t fit thee for this, hang me.
—Madam, I have found out the Plot.
Hell. Oh Lord, what does he say? am I discover’d now?
Will. Do you see this young Spark here?
Hell. He’ll tell her who I am.
Will. Who do you think this is?
Hell. Ay, ay, he does know me.—Nay, dear Captain, I’m undone if you discover me.
Will. Nay, nay, no cogging; she shall know what a precious Mistress I have.
76Hell. Will you be such a Devil?
Will. Nay, nay, I’ll teach you to spoil sport you will not make.—This small Ambassador comes not from a Person of Quality, as you imagine, and he says; but from a very errant Gipsy, the talkingst, pratingst, cantingst little Animal thou ever saw’st.
Ang. What news you tell me! that’s the thing I mean.
Hell. Wou’d I were well off the place.—If ever I go a Captain-hunting again.— [Aside.
Will. Mean that thing? that Gipsy thing? thou may’st as well be jealous of thy Monkey, or Parrot as her: a German Motion were worth a dozen of her, and a Dream were a better Enjoyment, a Creature of Constitution fitter for Heaven than Man.
Hell. Tho I’m sure he lyes, yet this vexes me. [Aside.
Ang. You are mistaken, she’s a Spanish Woman
Made up of no such dull Materials.
Will. Materials! Egad, and she be made of any that will either dispense, or admit of Love, I’ll be bound to continence.
Hell. Unreasonable Man, do you think so? [Aside to him.
Will. You may Return, my little Brazen Head, and tell your Lady, that till she be handsom enough to be belov’d, or I dull enough to be religious, there will be small hopes of me.
Ang. Did you not promise then to marry her?
Will. Not I, by Heaven.
Ang. You cannot undeceive my fears and torments, till you have vow’d you will not marry her.
Hell. If he swears that, he’ll be reveng’d on me indeed for all my Rogueries.
Ang. I know what Arguments you’ll bring against me, Fortune and Honour.
Will. Honour! I tell you, I hate it in your Sex; and those that fancy themselves possest of that Foppery, are 77 the most impertinently troublesom of all Woman-kind, and will transgress nine Commandments to keep one: and to satisfy your Jealousy I swear—
Hell. Oh, no swearing, dear Captain— [Aside to him.
Will. If it were possible I should ever be inclin’d to marry, it should be some kind young Sinner, one that has Generosity enough to give a favour handsomely to one that can ask it discreetly, one that has Wit enough to manage an Intrigue of Love—oh, how civil such a Wench is, to a Man than does her the Honour to marry her.
Ang. By Heaven, there’s no Faith in any thing he says.
Sebast. Madam, Don Antonio—
Ang. Come hither.
Hell. Ha, Antonio! he may be coming hither, and he’ll certainly discover me, I’ll therefore retire without a Ceremony. [Exit Hellena.
Ang. I’ll see him, get my Coach ready.
Sebast. It waits you, Madam.
Will. This is lucky: what, Madam, now I may be gone and leave you to the enjoyment of my Rival?
Ang. Dull Man, that canst not see how ill, how poor
That false dissimulation looks—Be gone,
And never let me see thy cozening Face again,
Lest I relapse and kill thee.
Will. Yes, you can spare me now,—farewell till you are in a better Humour—I’m glad of this release—
Now for my Gipsy:
For tho to worse we change, yet still we find
New Joys, New Charms, in a new Miss that’s kind. [Ex. Will.
Ang. He’s gone, and in this Ague of My Soul
The shivering Fit returns;
Oh with what willing haste he took his leave,
As if the long’d for Minute were arriv’d,
Of some blest Assignation.
In vain I have consulted all my Charms,
In vain this Beauty priz’d, in vain believ’d
My eyes cou’d kindle any lasting Fires.
I had forgot my Name, my Infamy,
And the Reproach that Honour lays on those
That dare pretend a sober passion here.
Nice Reputation, tho it leave behind
More Virtues than inhabit where that dwells,
Yet that once gone, those virtues shine no more.
—Then since I am not fit to belov’d,
I am resolv’d to think on a Revenge
On him that sooth’d me thus to my undoing. [Exeunt.
Scene III. A Street.
Enter Florinda and Valeria in Habits different from what they have been seen in.
Flor. We’re happily escap’d, yet I tremble still.
Val. A Lover and fear! why, I am but half a one, and yet I have Courage for any Attempt. Would Hellena were here. I wou’d fain have had her as deep in this Mischief as we, she’ll fare but ill else I doubt.
Flor. She pretended a Visit to the Augustine Nuns, but I believe some other design carried her out, pray Heavens we light on her.
—Prithee what didst do with Callis?
Val. When I saw no Reason wou’d do good on her, I follow’d her into the Wardrobe, and as she was looking for something in a great Chest, I tumbled her in by the Heels, snatcht the Key of the Apartment where you were confin’d, lockt her in, and left her bauling for help.
Flor. ’Tis well you resolve to follow my Fortunes, for thou darest never appear at home again after such an Action.
Val. That’s according as the young Stranger and I shall agree—But to our business—I deliver’d your Letter, your 79 Note to Belvile, when I got out under pretence of going to Mass, I found him at his Lodging, and believe me it came seasonably; for never was Man in so desperate a Condition. I told him of your Resolution of making your escape to day, if your Brother would be absent long enough to permit you; if not, die rather than be Antonio’s.
Flor. Thou shou’dst have told him I was confin’d to my Chamber upon my Brother’s suspicion, that the Business on the Molo was a Plot laid between him and I.
Val. I said all this, and told him your Brother was now gone to his Devotion, and he resolves to visit every Church till he find him; and not only undeceive him in that, but caress him so as shall delay his return home.
Flor. Oh Heavens! he’s here, and Belvile with him too. [They put on their Vizards.
Enter Don Pedro, Belvile, Willmore; Belvile and Don Pedro seeming in serious Discourse.
Val. Walk boldly by them, I’ll come at a distance, lest he suspect us. [She walks by them, and looks back on them.
Will. Ha! A Woman! and of an excellent Mien!
Ped. She throws a kind look back on you.
Will. Death, tis a likely Wench, and that kind look shall not be cast away—I’ll follow her.
Belv. Prithee do not.
Will. Do not! By Heavens to the Antipodes, with such an Invitation. [She goes out, and Will. follows her.
Belv. ’Tis a mad Fellow for a Wench.
Fred. Oh Colonel, such News.
Belv. Prithee what?
Fred. News that will make you laugh in spite of Fortune.
Belv. What, Blunt has had some damn’d Trick put upon him, cheated, bang’d, or clapt?
Fred. Cheated, Sir, rarely cheated of all but his Shirt and Drawers; the unconscionable Whore too turn’d him 80 out before Consummation, so that traversing the Streets at Midnight, the Watch found him in this Fresco, and conducted him home: By Heaven ’tis such a slight, and yet I durst as well have been hang’d as laugh at him, or pity him; he beats all that do but ask him a Question, and is in such an Humour—
Ped. Who is’t has met with this ill usage, Sir?
Belv. A Friend of ours, whom you must see for Mirth’s sake. I’ll imploy him to give Florinda time for an escape. [Aside.
Ped. Who is he?
Belv. A young Countryman of ours, one that has been educated at so plentiful a rate, he yet ne’er knew the want of Money, and ’twill be a great Jest to see how simply he’ll look without it. For my part I’ll lend him none, and the Rogue knows not how to put on a borrowing Face, and ask first. I’ll let him see how good ’tis to play our parts whilst I play his—Prithee, Fred. do go home and keep him in that posture till we come. [Exeunt.
Enter Florinda from the farther end of the Scene, looking behind her.
Flor. I am follow’d still—hah—my Brother too advancing this way, good Heavens defend me from being seen by him. [She goes off.
Enter Willmore, and after him Valeria, at a little distance.
Will. Ah! There she sails, she looks back as she were willing to be boarded, I’ll warrant her Prize. [He goes out, Valeria following.
Enter Hellena, just as he goes out, with a Page.
Hell. Hah, is not that my Captain that has a Woman in chase?—’tis not Angelica. Boy, follow those People at a distance, and bring me an Account where they go in.—I’ll find his Haunts, and plague him every where.—ha—my Brother! [Exit Page.
[Bel. Wil. Ped. cross the Stage: Hell. runs off.
Scene changes to another Street. Enter Florinda.
Flor. What shall I do, my Brother now pursues me.
Will no kind Power protect me from his Tyranny?
—Hah, here’s a Door open, I’ll venture in, since nothing can be worse than to fall into his Hands, my Life and Honour are at stake, and my Necessity has no choice. [She goes in.
Enter Valeria, and Hellena’s Page peeping after Florinda.
Pag. Here she went in, I shall remember this House. [Exit Boy.
Val. This is Belvile’s Lodgings; she’s gone in as readily as if she knew it—hah—here’s that mad Fellow again, I dare not venture in—I’ll watch my Opportunity. [Goes aside.
Enter Willmore, gazing about him.
Will. I have lost her hereabouts—Pox on’t she must not scape me so. [Goes out.
Scene changes to Blunt’s Chamber, discovers him sitting on a Couch in his Shirt and Drawers, reading.
Blunt. So, now my Mind’s a little at Peace, since I have resolv’d Revenge—A Pox on this Taylor tho, for not bringing home the Clothes I bespoke; and a Pox of all poor Cavaliers, a Man can never keep a spare Suit for ’em; and I shall have these Rogues come in and find me naked; and then I’m undone; but I’m resolv’d to arm my self—the Rascals shall not insult over me too much. [Puts on an old rusty Sword and Buff-Belt.
—Now, how like a Morrice-Dancer I am equipt—a fine Lady-like Whore to cheat me thus, without affording me a Kindness for my Money, a Pox light on her, I shall never be reconciled to the Sex more, she has made me as faithless as a Physician, as uncharitable as a Churchman, and as ill-natur’d as a Poet. O how I’ll use all Women-kind hereafter! what wou’d I give to have one of ’em 82 within my reach now! any Mortal thing in Petticoats, kind Fortune, send me; and I’ll forgive thy last Night’s Malice—Here’s a cursed Book too, (a Warning to all young Travellers) that can instruct me how to prevent such Mischiefs now ’tis too late. Well ’tis a rare convenient thing to read a little now and then, as well as hawk and hunt. [Sits down again and reads.
Enter to him Florinda.
Flor. This House is haunted sure,’tis well furnisht and no living thing inhabits it—hah—a Man! Heavens how he’s attir’d! sure ’tis some Rope-dancer, or Fencing-Master; I tremble now for fear, and yet I must venture now to speak to him—Sir, if I may not interrupt your Meditations— [He starts up and gazes.
Blunt. Hah—what’s here? Are my wishes granted? and is not that a she Creature? Adsheartlikins ’tis! what wretched thing art thou—hah!
Flor. Charitable Sir, you’ve told your self already what I am; a very wretched Maid, forc’d by a strange unlucky Accident, to seek a safety here, and must be ruin’d, if you do not grant it.
Blunt. Ruin’d! Is there any Ruin so inevitable as that which now threatens thee? Dost thou know, miserable Woman, into what Den of Mischiefs thou art fall’n? what a Bliss of Confusion?—hah—dost not see something in my looks that frights thy guilty Soul, and makes thee wish to change that Shape of Woman for any humble Animal, or Devil? for those were safer for thee, and less mischievous.
Flor. Alas, what mean you, Sir? I must confess your Looks have something in ’em makes me fear; but I beseech you, as you seem a Gentleman, pity a harmless Virgin, that takes your House for Sanctuary.
Blunt. Talk on, talk on, and weep too, till my faith return. Do, flatter me out of my Senses again—a harmless 83 Virgin with a Pox, as much one as t’other, adsheartlikins. Why, what the Devil can I not be safe in my House for you? not in my Chamber? nay, even being naked too cannot secure me. This is an Impudence greater than has invaded me yet.—Come, no Resistance. [Pulls her rudely.
Flor. Dare you be so cruel?
Blunt. Cruel, adsheartlikins as a Gally-slave, or a Spanish Whore: Cruel, yes, I will kiss and beat thee all over; kiss, and see thee all over; thou shalt lie with me too, not that I care for the Injoyment, but to let you see I have ta’en deliberated Malice to thee, and will be revenged on one Whore for the Sins of another; I will smile and deceive thee, flatter thee, and beat thee, kiss and swear, and lye to thee, imbrace thee and rob thee, as she did me, fawn on thee, and strip thee stark naked, then hang thee out at my Window by the Heels, with a Paper of scurvey Verses fasten’d to thy Breast, in praise of damnable Women—Come, come along.
Flor. Alas, Sir, must I be sacrific’d for the Crimes of the most infamous of my Sex? I never understood the Sins you name.
Blunt. Do, persuade the Fool you love him, or that one of you can be just or honest; tell me I was not an easy Coxcomb, or any strange impossible Tale: it will be believ’d sooner than thy false Showers or Protestations. A Generation of damn’d Hypocrites, to flatter my very Clothes from my back! dissembling Witches! are these the Returns you make an honest Gentleman that trusts, believes, and loves you?—But if I be not even with you—Come along, or I shall— [Pulls her again.
Fred. Hah, what’s here to do?
Blunt. Adsheartlikins, Fred. I am glad thou art come, to be a Witness of my dire Revenge.
Fred. What’s this, a Person of Quality too, who is upon 84 the Ramble to supply the Defects of some grave impotent Husband?
Blunt. No, this has another Pretence, some very unfortunate Accident brought her hither, to save a Life pursued by I know not who, or why, and forc’d to take Sanctuary here at Fools Haven. Adsheartlikins to me of all Mankind for Protection? Is the Ass to be cajol’d again, think ye? No, young one, no Prayers or Tears shall mitigate my Rage; therefore prepare for both my Pleasure of Enjoyment and Revenge, for I am resolved to make up my Loss here on thy Body, I’ll take it out in kindness and in beating.
Fred. Now, Mistress of mine, what do you think of this?
Flor. I think he will not—dares not be so barbarous.
Fred. Have a care, Blunt, she fetch’d a deep Sigh, she is inamour’d with thy Shirt and Drawers, she’ll strip thee even of that. There are of her Calling such unconscionable Baggages, and such dexterous Thieves, they’ll flea a Man, and he shall ne’er miss his Skin, till he feels the Cold. There was a Country-man of ours robb’d of a Row of Teeth whilst he was sleeping, which the Jilt made him buy again when he wak’d—You see, Lady, how little Reason we have to trust you.
Blunt. ’Dsheartlikins, why, this is most abominable.
Flor. Some such Devils there may be, but by all that’s holy I am none such, I entered here to save a Life in danger.
Blunt. For no goodness I’ll warrant her.
Fred. Faith, Damsel, you had e’en confess the plain Truth, for we are Fellows not to be caught twice in the same Trap: Look on that Wreck, a tight Vessel when he set out of Haven, well trim’d and laden, and see how a Female Piccaroon of this Island of Rogues has shatter’d him, and canst thou hope for any Mercy?
Blunt. No, no, Gentlewoman, come along, adsheartlikins we must be better acquainted—we’ll both lie with her, and then let me alone to bang her.
Fred. I am ready to serve you in matters of Revenge, that has a double Pleasure in’t.
Blunt. Well said. You hear, little one, how you are condemn’d by publick Vote to the Bed within, there’s no resisting your Destiny, Sweetheart. [Pulls her.
Flor. Stay, Sir, I have seen you with Belvile, an English Cavalier, for his sake use me kindly; you know how, Sir.
Blunt. Belvile! why, yes, Sweeting, we do know Belvile, and wish he were with us now, he’s a Cormorant at Whore and Bacon, he’d have a Limb or two of thee, my Virgin Pullet: but ’tis no matter, we’ll leave him the Bones to pick.
Flor. Sir, if you have any Esteem for that Belvile, I conjure you to treat me with more Gentleness; he’ll thank you for the Justice.
Fred. Hark ye, Blunt, I doubt we are mistaken in this matter.
Flor. Sir, If you find me not worth Belvile’s Care, use me as you please; and that you may think I merit better treatment than you threaten—pray take this Present— [Gives him a Ring: He looks on it.
Blunt. Hum—A Diamond! why, ’tis a wonderful Virtue now that lies in this Ring, a mollifying Virtue; adsheartlikins there’s more persuasive Rhetorick in’t, than all her Sex can utter.
Fred. I begin to suspect something; and ’twou’d anger us vilely to be truss’d up for a Rape upon a Maid of Quality, when we only believe we ruffle a Harlot.
Blunt. Thou art a credulous Fellow, but adsheartlikins I have no Faith yet; why, my Saint prattled as parlously as this does, she gave me a Bracelet too, a Devil on her: but I sent my Man to sell it to day for Necessaries, and it prov’d as counterfeit as her Vows of Love.
Fred. However let it reprieve her till we see Belvile.
Blunt. That’s hard, yet I will grant it.
Enter a Servant.
Serv. Oh, Sir, the Colonel is just come with his new 86 Friend and a Spaniard of Quality, and talks of having you to Dinner with ’em.
Blunt. ’Dsheartlikins, I’m undon—I would not see ’em for the World: Harkye, Fred, lock up the Wench in your Chamber.
Fred. Fear nothing, Madam, whate’er he threatens, you’re safe whilst in my Hands. [Ex. Fred. and Flor.
Blunt. And, Sirrah—upon your Life, say—I am not at home—or that I am asleep—or—or any thing—away—I’ll, prevent them coming this way. [Locks the Door and Exeunt.
Scene I. Blunt’s Chamber.
After a great knocking as at his Chamber-door, enter Blunt softly, crossing the Stage in his Shirt and Drawers, as before.
Ned, Ned Blunt, Ned Blunt. [Call within.
Blunt. The Rogues are up in Arms, ’dsheartlikins, this villainous Frederick has betray’d me, they have heard of my blessed Fortune.
Ned Blunt, Ned, Ned— [and knocking within.
Belv. Why, he’s dead, Sir, without dispute dead, he has not been seen to day; let’s break open the Door—here—Boy—
Blunt. Ha, break open the Door! ’dsheartlikins that mad Fellow will be as good as his word.
Belv. Boy, bring something to force the Door. [A great noise within at the Door again.
Blunt. So, now must I speak in my own Defence, I’ll try what Rhetorick will do—hold—hold, what do you mean, Gentlemen, what do you mean?
Belv. Oh Rogue, art alive? prithee open the Door, and convince us.
Blunt. Yes, I am alive, Gentlemen—but at present a little busy.
Belv. How! Blunt grown a man of Business! come, come, open, and let’s see this Miracle. [within.
Blunt. No, no, no, no, Gentlemen, ’tis no great Business—but—I am—at—my Devotion,—’dsheartlikins, will you not allow a man time to pray?
Belv. Turn’d religious! a greater Wonder than the first, therefore open quickly, or we shall unhinge, we shall. [within.
Blunt. This won’t do—Why, hark ye, Colonel; to tell you the plain Truth, I am about a necessary Affair of Life.—I have a Wench with me—you apprehend me? the Devil’s in’t if they be so uncivil as to disturb me now.
Will. How, a Wench! Nay, then we must enter and partake; no Resistance,—unless it be your Lady of Quality, and then we’ll keep our distance.
Blunt. So, the Business is out.
Will. Come, come, lend more hands to the Door,—now heave altogether—so, well done, my Boys— [Breaks open the Door.
Enter Belvile, Willmore, Fred. Pedro and Belvile’s Page: Blunt looks simply, they all laugh at him, he lays his hand on his Sword, and conies up to Willmore.
Blunt. Hark ye, Sir, laugh out your laugh quickly, d’ye hear, and be gone, I shall spoil your sport else; ’dsheartlikins, Sir, I shall—the Jest has been carried on too long,—a Plague upon my Taylor— [Aside.
Will. ’Sdeath, how the Whore has drest him! Faith, Sir, I’m sorry.
Blunt. Are you so, Sir? keep’t to your self then, Sir, I advise you, d’ye hear? for I can as little endure your Pity as his Mirth. [Lays his Hand on’s Sword.
Belv. Indeed, Willmore, thou wert a little too rough with Ned Blunt’s Mistress; call a Person of Quality Whore, and one so young, so handsome, and so eloquent!—ha, ha, ha.
Blunt. Hark ye, Sir, you know me, and know I can be angry; have a care—for ’dsheartlikins I can fight too—I can, Sir,—do you mark me—no more.
Belv. Why so peevish, good Ned? some Disappointments, I’ll warrant—What! did the jealous Count her Husband return just in the nick?
Blunt. Or the Devil, Sir,—d’ye laugh? [They laugh.] Look ye, settle me a good sober Countenance, and that quickly too, or you shall know Ned Blunt is not—
Belv. Not every Body, we know that.
Blunt. Not an Ass, to be laught at, Sir.
Will. Unconscionable Sinner, to bring a Lover so near his Happiness, a vigorous passionate Lover, and then not only cheat him of his Moveables, but his Desires too.
Belv. Ah, Sir, a Mistress is a Trifle with Blunt, he’ll have a dozen the next time he looks abroad; his Eyes have Charms not to be resisted: There needs no more than to expose that taking Person to the view of the Fair, and he leads ’em all in Triumph.
Ped. Sir, tho I’m a stranger to you, I’m ashamed at the rudeness of my Nation; and could you learn who did it, would assist you to make an Example of ’em.
Blunt. Why, ay, there’s one speaks sense now, and handsomly; and let me tell you Gentlemen, I should not have shew’d my self like a Jack-Pudding, thus to have made you Mirth, but that I have revenge within my power; for know, I have got into my possession a Female, who had better have fallen under any Curse, than the Ruin I design her: ’dsheartlikins, she assaulted me here in my own Lodgings, and had doubtless committed a Rape upon me, had not this Sword defended me.
Fred. I knew not that, but o’ my Conscience thou hadst ravisht her, had she not redeem’d her self with a Ring—let’s see’t, Blunt. [Blunt shews the Ring.
Belv. Hah!—the Ring I gave Florinda when we exchang’d our Vows!—hark ye, Blunt— [Goes to whisper to him.
Will. No whispering, good Colonel, there’s a Woman in the case, no whispering.
Belv. Hark ye, Fool, be advis’d, and conceal both the Ring and the Story, for your Reputation’s sake; don’t let People know what despis’d Cullies we English are: to be cheated and abus’d by one Whore, and another rather bribe thee than be kind to thee, is an Infamy to our Nation.
Will. Come, come, where’s the Wench? we’ll see her, let her be what she will, we’ll see her.
Ped. Ay, ay, let us see her, I can soon discover whether she be of Quality, or for your Diversion.
Blunt. She’s in Fred’s Custody.
Will. Come, come, the Key. [To Fred. who gives him the Key, they are going.
Belv. Death! what shall I do?—stay, Gentlemen—yet if I hinder ’em, I shall discover all—hold, let’s go one at once—give me the Key.
Will. Nay, hold there, Colonel, I’ll go first.
Fred. Nay, no Dispute, Ned and I have the property of her.
Will. Damn Property—then we’ll draw Cuts. [Belv. goes to whisper Will.] Nay, no Corruption, good Colonel: come, the longest Sword carries her.— [They all draw, forgetting Don Pedro, being a Spaniard, had the longest.
Blunt. I yield up my Interest to you Gentlemen, and that will be Revenge sufficient.
Will. The Wench is yours— (To Ped.) Pox of his Toledo, I had forgot that.
Fred. Come, Sir, I’ll conduct you to the Lady. [Ex. Fred. and Ped.
Belv. To hinder him will certainly discover— [Aside.] Dost know, dull Beast, what Mischief thou hast done? [Will. walking up and down out of Humour.
Will. Ay, ay, to trust our Fortune to Lots, a Devil on’t, ’twas madness, that’s the Truth on’t.
Belv. Oh intolerable Sot!
Enter Florinda, running masqu’d, Pedro after her, Will. gazing round her.
Flor. Good Heaven, defend me from discovery. [Aside.
Pedro. ’Tis but in vain to fly me, you are fallen to my Lot.
Belv. Sure she is undiscover’d yet, but now I fear there is no way to bring her off.
Will. Why, what a Pox is not this my Woman, the same I follow’d but now?
[Ped. talking to Florinda, who walks up and down.
Ped. As if I did not know ye, and your Business here.
Flor. Good Heaven! I fear he does indeed— [Aside.
Ped. Come, pray be kind, I know you meant to be so when you enter’d here, for these are proper Gentlemen.
Will. But, Sir—perhaps the Lady will not be impos’d upon, she’ll chuse her Man.
Ped. I am better bred, than not to leave her Choice free.
Enter Valeria, and is surprized at the Sight of Don Pedro.
Val. Don Pedro here! there’s no avoiding him. [Aside.
Flor. Valeria! then I’m undone— [Aside.
Val. Oh! have I found you, Sir— [To Pedro, running to him.] —The strangest Accident—if I had breath—to tell it.
Ped. Speak—is Florinda safe? Hellena well?
Val. Ay, ay, Sir—Florinda—is safe—from any fears of you.
Ped. Why, where’s Florinda?—speak.
Val. Ay, where indeed, Sir? I wish I could inform you,—But to hold you no longer in doubt—
Flor. Oh, what will she say! [Aside.
Val. She’s fled away in the Habit of one of her Pages, Sir—but Callis thinks you may retrieve her yet, if you make haste away; she’ll tell you, Sir, the rest—if you can find her out. [Aside.
Ped. Dishonourable Girl, she has undone my Aim—Sir—you see my necessity of leaving you, and I hope you’ll pardon it: my Sister, I know, will make her flight to you; and if she do, I shall expect she should be render’d back.
Belv. I shall consult my Love and Honour, Sir. [Ex. Ped.
Flor. My dear Preserver, let me imbrace thee. [To Val.
Will. What the Devil’s all this?
Blunt. Mystery by this Light.
Val. Come, come, make haste and get your selves married quickly, for your Brother will return again.
Belv. I am so surpriz’d with Fears and Joys, so amaz’d to find you here in safety, I can scarce persuade my Heart into a Faith of what I see—
Will. Harkye, Colonel, is this that Mistress who has cost you so many Sighs, and me so many Quarrels with you?
Belv. It is—Pray give him the Honour of your Hand. [To Flor.
Will. Thus it must be receiv’d then. [Kneels and kisses her Hand.] And with it give your Pardon too.
Flor. The Friend to Belvile may command me anything.
Will. Death, wou’d I might, ’tis a surprizing Beauty. [Aside.
Belv. Boy, run and fetch a Father instantly. [Ex. Boy.
Fred. So, now do I stand like a Dog, and have not a Syllable to plead my own Cause with: by this Hand, Madam, I was never thorowly confounded before, nor shall I ever more dare look up with Confidence, till you are pleased to pardon me.
Flor. Sir, I’ll be reconcil’d to you on one Condition, that you’ll follow the Example of your Friend, in marrying a Maid that does not hate you, and whose Fortune (I believe) will not be unwelcome to you.
Fred. Madam, had I no Inclinations that way, I shou’d obey your kind Commands.
Belv. Who, Fred. marry; he has so few Inclinations for Womankind, that had he been possest of Paradise, he might have continu’d there to this Day, if no Crime but Love cou’d have disinherited him.
Fred. Oh, I do not use to boast of my Intrigues.
Belv. Boast! why thou do’st nothing but boast; and I dare swear, wer’t thou as innocent from the Sin of the Grape, as thou art from the Apple, thou might’st yet claim that right in Eden which our first Parents lost by too much loving.
Fred. I wish this Lady would think me so modest a Man.
Val. She shou’d be sorry then, and not like you half so well, and I shou’d be loth to break my Word with you; which was, That if your Friend and mine are agreed, it shou’d be a Match between you and I. [She gives him her Hand.
Fred. Bear witness, Colonel, ’tis a Bargain. [Kisses her Hand.
Blunt. I have a Pardon to beg too; but adsheartlikins I am so out of Countenance, that I am a Dog if I can say any thing to purpose. [To Florinda.
Flor. Sir, I heartily forgive you all.
Blunt. That’s nobly said, sweet Lady—Belvile, prithee present her her Ring again, for I find I have not Courage to approach her my self. [Gives him the Ring, he gives it to Florinda.
Boy. Sir, I have brought the Father that you sent for.
Belv. ’Tis well, and now my dear Florinda, let’s fly to compleat that mighty Joy we have so long wish’d and sigh’d for.—Come, Fred. you’ll follow?
Fred. Your Example, Sir,’twas ever my Ambition in War, and must be so in Love.
Will. And must not I see this juggling Knot ty’d?
Belv. No, thou shalt do us better Service, and be our 93 Guard, lest Don Pedro’s sudden Return interrupt the Ceremony.
Will. Content; I’ll secure this Pass. [Ex. Bel. Flor. Fred. and Val.
Boy. Sir, there’s a Lady without wou’d speak to you. [To Will.
Will. Conduct her in, I dare not quit my Post.
Boy. And, Sir, your Taylor waits you in your Chamber.
Blunt. Some comfort yet, I shall not dance naked at the Wedding. [Ex. Blunt and Boy.
Enter again the Boy, conducting in Angelica in a masquing Habit and a Vizard, Will. runs to her.
Will. This can be none but my pretty Gipsy—Oh, I see you can follow as well as fly—Come, confess thy self the most malicious Devil in Nature, you think you have done my Bus’ness with Angelica—
Ang. Stand off, base Villain— [She draws a Pistol and holds to his Breast.
Will. Hah, ’tis not she: who art thou? and what’s thy Business?
Ang. One thou hast injur’d, and who comes to kill thee for’t.
Will. What the Devil canst thou mean?
Ang. By all my Hopes to kill thee— [Holds still the Pistol to his Breast, he going back, she following still.
Will. Prithee on what Acquaintance? for I know thee not.
Ang. Behold this Face!—so lost to thy Remembrance!
And then call all thy Sins about thy Soul,
And let them die with thee. [Pulls off her Vizard.
Ang. Yes, Traitor.
Does not thy guilty Blood run shivering thro thy Veins?
Hast thou no Horrour at this Sight, that tells thee,
Thou hast not long to boast thy shameful Conquest?
Will. Faith, no Child, my Blood keeps its old Ebbs and Flows still, and that usual Heat too, that cou’d oblige thee with a Kindness, had I but opportunity.
Ang. Devil! dost wanton with my Pain—have at thy Heart.
Will. Hold, dear Virago! hold thy Hand a little,
I am not now at leisure to be kill’d—hold and hear me—Death, I think she’s in earnest. [Aside.
Ang. Oh if I take not heed,
My coward Heart will leave me to his Mercy. [Aside, turning from him.
—What have you, Sir, to say?—but should I hear thee,
Thoud’st talk away all that is brave about me: [Follows him with the Pistol to his Breast.
And I have vow’d thy Death, by all that’s sacred.
Will. Why, then there’s an end of a proper handsom Fellow, that might have liv’d to have done good Service yet:—That’s all I can say to’t.
Ang. Yet—I wou’d give thee—time for Penitence. [Pausingly.
Will. Faith, Child, I thank God, I have ever took care to lead a good, sober, hopeful Life, and am of a Religion that teaches me to believe, I shall depart in Peace.
Ang. So will the Devil: tell me
How many poor believing Fools thou hast undone;
How many Hearts thou hast betray’d to ruin!
— Yet these are little Mischiefs to the Ills
Thou’st taught mine to commit: thou’st taught it Love.
Will. Egad, ’twas shreudly hurt the while.
Ang. —Love, that has robb’d it of its Unconcern,
Of all that Pride that taught me how to value it,
And in its room a mean submissive Passion was convey’d,
That made me humbly bow, which I ne’er did
To any thing but Heaven.
—Thou, perjur’d Man, didst this, and with thy Oaths,
Which on thy Knees thou didst devoutly make,
Soften’d my yielding Heart—And then, I was a Slave—
Yet still had been content to’ve worn my Chains,
Worn ’em with Vanity and Joy for ever,
Hadst thou not broke those Vows that put them on.
—’Twas then I was undone. [All this while follows him with a Pistol to his Breast.
Will. Broke my Vows! why, where hast thou lived?
Amongst the Gods! For I never heard of mortal Man,
That has not broke a thousand Vows.
Ang. Oh, Impudence!
Will. Angelica! that Beauty has been too long tempting,
Not to have made a thousand Lovers languish,
Who in the amorous Favour, no doubt have sworn
Like me; did they all die in that Faith? still adoring?
I do not think they did.
Ang. No, faithless Man: had I repaid their Vows, as I did thine, I wou’d have kill’d the ungrateful that had abandon’d me.
Will. This old General has quite spoil’d thee, nothing makes a Woman so vain, as being flatter’d; your old Lover ever supplies the Defects of Age, with intolerable Dotage, vast Charge, and that which you call Constancy; and attributing all this to your own Merits, you domineer, and throw your Favours in’s Teeth, upbraiding him still with the Defects of Age, and cuckold him as often as he deceives your Expectations. But the gay, young, brisk Lover, that brings his equal Fires, and can give you Dart for Dart, he’ll be as nice as you sometimes.
Ang. All this thou’st made me know, for which I hate thee.
Had I remain’d in innocent Security,
I shou’d have thought all Men were born my Slaves;
And worn my Pow’r like Lightning in my Eyes,
To have destroy’d at Pleasure when offended.
—But when Love held the Mirror, the undeceiving Glass
Reflected all the Weakness of my Soul, and made me know,
My richest Treasure being lost, my Honour,
All the remaining Spoil cou’d not be worth
The Conqueror’s Care or Value.
—Oh how I fell like a long worship’d Idol,
Discovering all the Cheat!
Wou’d not the Incense and rich Sacrifice,
Which blind Devotion offer’d at my Altars,
Have fall’n to thee?
Why woud’st thou then destroy my fancy’d Power?
Will. By Heaven thou art brave, and I admire thee strangely.
I wish I were that dull, that constant thing,
Which thou woud’st have, and Nature never meant me:
I must, like chearful Birds, sing in all Groves,
And perch on every Bough,
Billing the next kind She that flies to meet me;
Yet after all cou’d build my Nest with thee,
Thither repairing when I’d lov’d my round,
And still reserve a tributary Flame.
—To gain your Credit, I’ll pay you back your Charity,
And be oblig’d for nothing but for Love. [Offers her a Purse of Gold.
Ang. Oh that thou wert in earnest!
So mean a Thought of me,
Wou’d turn my Rage to Scorn, and I shou’d pity thee,
And give thee leave to live;
Which for the publick Safety of our Sex,
And my own private Injuries, I dare not do.
Prepare— [Follows still, as before.
—I will no more be tempted with Replies.
Ang. Another Word will damn thee! I’ve heard thee talk too long. [She follows him with a Pistol ready to shoot: he retires still amaz’d.
Enter Don Antonio, his Arm in a Scarf, and lays hold on the Pistol.
Ant. Hah! Angelica!
Ang. Antonio! What Devil brought thee hither?
Ant. Love and Curiosity, seeing your Coach at Door. Let me disarm you of this unbecoming Instrument of Death.— [Takes away the Pistol.] Amongst the Number of your Slaves, was there not one worthy the Honour to have fought your Quarrel?
—Who are you, Sir, that are so very wretched
To merit Death from her?
Will. One, Sir, that cou’d have made a better End of an amorous Quarrel without you, than with you.
Ant. Sure ’tis some Rival—hah—the very Man took down her Picture yesterday—the very same that set on me last night—Blest opportunity— [Offers to shoot him.
Ang. Hold, you’re mistaken, Sir.
Ant. By Heaven the very same!
—Sir, what pretensions have you to this Lady?
Will. Sir, I don’t use to be examin’d, and am ill at all Disputes but this— [Draws, Anton. offers to shoot.
Ang. Oh, hold! you see he’s arm’d with certain Death: [To Will.
—And you, Antonio, I command you hold,
By all the Passion you’ve so lately vow’d me.
Enter Don Pedro, sees Antonio, and stays.
Ped. Hah, Antonio! and Angelica! [Aside.
Ant. When I refuse Obedience to your Will,
May you destroy me with your mortal Hate.
By all that’s Holy I adore you so,
That even my Rival, who has Charms enough
To make him fall a Victim to my Jealousy,
Shall live, nay, and have leave to love on still.
Ped. What’s this I hear? [Aside.
Ang. Ah thus, ’twas thus he talk’d, and I believ’d. [Pointing to Will.
I’d not have sold my Interest in his Heart,
For all the Sword has won and lost in Battle.
—But now to show my utmost of Contempt,
I give thee Life—which if thou would’st preserve,
Live where my Eyes may never see thee more,
Live to undo some one, whose Soul may prove
So bravely constant to revenge my Love. [Goes out, Ant. follows, but Ped. pulls him back.
Ant. Don Pedro—
Ped. What Coward Fear was that prevented thee
From meeting me this Morning on the Molo?
Ant. Meet thee?
Ped. Yes me; I was the Man that dar’d thee to’t.
Ant. Hast thou so often seen me fight in War,
To find no better Cause to excuse my Absence?
—I sent my Sword and one to do thee Right,
Finding my self uncapable to use a Sword.
Ped. But ’twas Florinda’s Quarrel that we fought,
And you to shew how little you esteem’d her,
Sent me your Rival, giving him your Interest.
—But I have found the Cause of this Affront,
But when I meet you fit for the Dispute,
—I’ll tell you my Resentment.
Ant. I shall be ready, Sir, e’er long to do you Reason. [Exit Ant.
Ped. If I cou’d find Florinda, now whilst my Anger’s high, I think I shou’d be kind, and give her to Belvile in Revenge.
Will. Faith, Sir, I know not what you wou’d do, but I believe the Priest within has been so kind.
Ped. How! my Sister married?
Will. I hope by this time she is, and bedded too, or he has not my longings about him.
Ped. Dares he do thus? Does he not fear my Pow’r?
Will. Faith not at all. If you will go in, and thank him for the Favour he has done your Sister, so; if not, Sir, my Power’s greater in this House than yours; I have a damn’d surly Crew here, that will keep you till the next Tide, and then clap you an board my Prize; my Ship lies but a League off the Molo, and we shall show your Donship a damn’d Tramontana Rover’s Trick.
Belv. This Rogue’s in some new Mischief—hah, Pedro return’d!
Ped. Colonel Belvile, I hear you have married my Sister.
Belv. You have heard truth then, Sir.
Ped. Have I so? then, Sir, I wish you Joy.
Ped. By this Embrace I do, and I glad on’t.
Belv. Are you in earnest?
Ped. By our long Friendship and my Obligations to thee, I am. The sudden Change I’ll give you Reasons for anon. Come lead me into my Sister, that she may know I now approve her Choice. [Exit Bel. with Ped.
[Will. goes to follow them. Enter Hellena as before in Boy’s Clothes, and pulls him back.
Will. Ha! my Gipsy—Now a thousand Blessings on thee for this Kindness. Egad, Child, I was e’en in despair of ever seeing thee again; my Friends are all provided for within, each Man his kind Woman.
Hell. Hah! I thought they had serv’d me some such Trick.
Will. And I was e’en resolv’d to go aboard, condemn my self to my lone Cabin, and the Thoughts of thee.
Hell. And cou’d you have left me behind? wou’d you have been so ill-natur’d?
Will. Why, ’twou’d have broke my Heart, Child—but since we are met again, I defy foul Weather to part us.
Hell. And wou’d you be a faithful Friend now, if a Maid shou’d trust you?
Will. For a Friend I cannot promise, thou art of a Form so excellent, a Face and Humour too good for cold dull Friendship; I am parlously afraid of being in love, Child, and you have not forgot how severely you have us’d me.
Hell. That’s all one, such Usage you must still look for, to find out all your Haunts, to rail at you to all that love you, till I have made you love only me in your own Defence, because no body else will love.
Will. But hast thou no better Quality to recommend thy self by?
Hell. Faith none, Captain—Why, ’twill be the greater Charity to take me for thy Mistress, I am a lone Child, a kind of Orphan Lover; and why I shou’d die a Maid, and in a Captain’s Hands too, I do not understand.
Will. Egad, I was never claw’d away with Broad-Sides from any Female before, thou hast one Virtue I adore, good-Nature; I hate a coy demure Mistress, she’s as troublesome as a Colt, I’ll break none; no, give me a mad Mistress when mew’d, and in flying on[e] I dare trust upon the Wing, that whilst she’s kind will come to the Lure.
Hell. Nay, as kind as you will, good Captain, whilst it lasts, but let’s lose no time.
Will. My time’s as precious to me, as thine can be; therefore, dear Creature, since we are so well agreed, let’s retire to my Chamber, and if ever thou were treated with such savory Love—Come—My Bed’s prepar’d for such a Guest, all clean and sweet as thy fair self; I love to steal a Dish and a Bottle with a Friend, and hate long Graces—Come, let’s retire and fall to.
Hell. ’Tis but getting my Consent, and the Business is soon done; let but old Gaffer Hymen and his Priest say Amen to’t, and I dare lay my Mother’s Daughter by as proper a Fellow as your Father’s Son, without fear or blushing.
Will. Hold, hold, no Bugg Words, Child, Priest and Hymen: prithee add Hangman to ’em to make up the Consort—No, no, we’ll have no Vows but Love, Child, 101 nor Witness but the Lover; the kind Diety injoins naught but love and enjoy. Hymen and Priest wait still upon Portion, and Joynture; Love and Beauty have their own Ceremonies. Marriage is as certain a Bane to Love, as lending Money is to Friendship: I’ll neither ask nor give a Vow, tho I could be content to turn Gipsy, and become a Left-hand Bridegroom, to have the Pleasure of working that great Miracle of making a Maid a Mother, if you durst venture; ’tis upse Gipsy that, and if I miss, I’ll lose my Labour.
Hell. And if you do not lose, what shall I get? A Cradle full of Noise and Mischief, with a Pack of Repentance at my Back? Can you teach me to weave Incle to pass my time with? ’Tis upse Gipsy that too.
Will. I can teach thee to weave a true Love’s Knot better.
Hell. So can my Dog.
Will. Well, I see we are both upon our Guard, and I see there’s no way to conquer good Nature, but by yielding—here—give me thy Hand—one Kiss and I am thine—
Hell. One Kiss! How like my Page he speaks; I am resolv’d you shall have none, for asking such a sneaking Sum—He that will be satisfied with one Kiss, will never die of that Longing; good Friend single-Kiss, is all your talking come to this? A Kiss, a Caudle! farewel, Captain single-Kiss. [Going out he stays her.
Will. Nay, if we part so, let me die like a Bird upon a Bough, at the Sheriff’s Charge. By Heaven, both the Indies shall not buy thee from me. I adore thy Humour and will marry thee, and we are so of one Humour, it must be a Bargain—give me thy Hand— [Kisses her hand.]
And now let the blind ones (Love and Fortune) do their worst.
Hell. Why, God-a-mercy, Captain!
Will. But harkye—The Bargain is now made; but is it not fit we should know each other’s Names? That when 102 we have Reason to curse one another hereafter, and People ask me who ’tis I give to the Devil, I may at least be able to tell what Family you came of.
Hell. Good reason, Captain; and where I have cause, (as I doubt not but I shall have plentiful) that I may know at whom to throw my—Blessings—I beseech ye your Name.
Will. I am call’d Robert the Constant.
Hell. A very fine Name! pray was it your Faulkner or Butler that christen’d you? Do they not use to whistle when then call you?
Will. I hope you have a better, that a Man may name without crossing himself, you are so merry with mine.
Hell. I am call’d Hellena the Inconstant.
Enter Pedro, Belvile, Florinda, Fred. Valeria.
Ped. Hah! Hellena!
Hell. The very same—hah my Brother! now, Captain, shew your Love and Courage; stand to your Arms, and defend me bravely, or I am lost for ever.
Ped. What’s this I hear? false Girl, how came you hither, and what’s your Business? Speak. [Goes roughly to her.
Will. Hold off, Sir, you have leave to parly only. [Puts himself between.
Hell. I had e’en as good tell it, as you guess it. Faith, Brother, my Business is the same with all living Creatures of my Age, to love, and be loved, and here’s the Man.
Ped. Perfidious Maid, hast thou deceiv’d me too, deceiv’d thy self and Heaven?
Hell. ’Tis time enough to make my Peace with that: Be you but kind, let me alone with Heaven.
Ped. Belvile, I did not expect this false Play from you; was’t not enough you’d gain Florinda (which I pardon’d) but your leud Friends too must be inrich’d with the Spoils of a noble Family?
Belv. Faith, Sir, I am as much surpriz’d at this as you can be: Yet, Sir, my Friends are Gentlemen, and ought to be esteem’d for their Misfortunes, since they have the Glory to suffer with the best of Men and Kings; ’tis true, he’s a Rover of Fortune, yet a Prince aboard his little wooden World.
Ped. What’s this to the maintenance of a Woman or her Birth and Quality?
Will. Faith, Sir, I can boast of nothing but a Sword which does me Right where-e’er I come, and has defended a worse Cause than a Woman’s: and since I lov’d her before I either knew her Birth or Name, I must pursue my Resolution, and marry her.
Ped. And is all your holy Intent of becoming a Nun debauch’d into a Desire of Man?
Hell. Why—I have consider’d the matter, Brother, and find the Three hundred thousand Crowns my Uncle left me (and you cannot keep from me) will be better laid out in Love than in Religion, and turn to as good an Account—let most Voices carry it, for Heaven or the Captain?
All cry, a Captain, a Captain.
Hell. Look ye, Sir,’tis a clear Case.
Ped. Oh I am mad—if I refuse, my Life’s in Danger— [Aside.] —Come—There’s one motive induces me—take her—I shall now be free from the fear of her Honour; guard it you now, if you can, I have been a Slave to’t long enough. [Gives her to him.
Will. Faith, Sir, I am of a Nation, that are of opinion a Woman’s Honour is not worth guarding when she has a mind to part with it.
Hell. Well said, Captain.
Ped. This was your Plot, Mistress, but I hope you have married one that will revenge my Quarrel to you— [To Valeria.
Val. There’s no altering Destiny, Sir.
104Ped. Sooner than a Woman’s Will, therefore I forgive you all—and wish you may get my Father’s Pardon as easily; which I fear.
Enter Blunt drest in a Spanish Habit, looking very ridiculously; his Man adjusting his Band.
Man. ’Tis very well, Sir.
Blunt. Well, Sir, ’dsheartlikins I tell you ’tis damnable ill, Sir—a Spanish Habit, good Lord! cou’d the Devil and my Taylor devise no other Punishment for me, but the Mode of a Nation I abominate?
Belv. What’s the matter, Ned?
Blunt. Pray view me round, and judge— [Turns round.
Belv. I must confess thou art a kind of an odd Figure.
Blunt. In a Spanish Habit with a Vengeance! I had rather be in the Inquisition for Judaism, than in this Doublet and Breeches; a Pillory were an easy Collar to this, three Handfuls high; and these Shoes too are worse than the Stocks, with the Sole an Inch shorter than my Foot: In fine, Gentlemen, methinks I look altogether like a Bag of Bays stuff’d full of Fools Flesh.
Belv. Methinks ’tis well, and makes thee look en Cavalier: Come, Sir, settle your Face, and salute our Friends, Lady—
Blunt. Hah! Say’st thou so, my little Rover? [To Hell.] Lady—(if you be one) give me leave to kiss your Hand, and tell you, adsheartlikins, for all I look so, I am your humble Servant—A Pox of my Spanish Habit.
Will. Hark—what’s this? [Musick is heard to Play.
Boy. Sir, as the Custom is, the gay People in Masquerade, who make every Man’s House their own, are coming up.
Enter several Men and Women in masquing Habits, with Musick, they put themselves in order and dance.
Blunt. Adsheartlikins, wou’d ’twere lawful to pull off their false Faces, that I might see if my Doxy were not amongst ’em.
Belv. Ladies and Gentlemen, since you are come so a propos, you must take a small Collation with us. [To the Masquers.
Will. Whilst we’ll to the Good Man within, who stays to give us a Cast of his Office. [To Hell.
—Have you no trembling at the near approach?
Hell. No more than you have in an Engagement or a Tempest.
Will. Egad, thou’rt a brave Girl, and I admire thy Love and Courage.
Lead on, no other Dangers they can dread,
Who venture in the Storms o’th’ Marriage-Bed. [Exeunt.
The banisht Cavaliers! a Roving Blade!
A popish Carnival! a Masquerade!
The Devil’s in’t if this will please the Nation,
In these our blessed Times of Reformation,
When Conventicling is so much in Fashion.
That mutinous Tribe less Factions do beget,
Than your continual differing in Wit;
Your Judgment’s (as your Passions) a Disease:
Nor Muse nor Miss your Appetite can please;
You’re grown as nice as queasy Consciences,
Whose each Convulsion, when the Spirit moves,
Damns every thing that Maggot disapproves.
With canting Rule you wou’d the Stage refine,
And to dull Method all our Sense confine.
With th’ Insolence of Common-wealths you rule,
Where each gay Fop, and politick brave Fool,
On Monarch Wit impose without controul.
As for the last who seldom sees a Play,
Unless it be the old Black-Fryers way,
106Shaking his empty Noddle o’er Bamboo,
He crys—Good Faith, these Plays will never do.
—Ah, Sir, in my young days, what lofty Wit,
What high-strain’d Scenes of Fighting there were writ:
These are slight airy Toys. But tell me, pray,
What has the House of Commons done to day?
Then shews his Politicks, to let you see
Of State Affairs he’ll judge as notably,
As he can do of Wit and Poetry.
The younger Sparks, who hither do resort,
Pox o’ your gentle things, give us more Sport;
—Damn me, I’m sure ’twill never please the Court.
Such Fops are never pleas’d, unless the Play
Be stuff’d with Fools, as brisk and dull as they:
Such might the Half-Crown spare, and in a Glass
At home behold a more accomplisht Ass,
Where they may set their Cravats, Wigs and Faces,
And practice all their Buffoonry Grimaces;
See how this—Huff becomes—this Dammy—flare—
Which they at home may act, because they dare,
But—must with prudent Caution do elsewhere.
Oh that our Nokes, or Tony Lee could show
A Fop but half so much to th’ Life as you.
THIS Play had been sooner in Print, but for a Report about the Town (made by some either very Malitious or very Ignorant) that ’twas Thomaso altered; which made the Book-sellers fear some trouble from the Proprietor of that Admirable Play, which indeed has Wit enough to stock a Poet, and is not to be piec’t or mended by any but the Excellent Author himself; That I have stol’n some hints from it may be a proof, that I valu’d it more than to pretend to alter it: had I had the Dexterity of some Poets who are not more expert in stealing than in the Art of Concealing, and who even that way out-do the Spartan-Boys I might have appropriated all to myself, but I, vainly proud of my Judgment hang out the Sign of Angelica (the only Stol’n Object) to give Notice where a great part of the Wit dwelt; though if the Play of the Novella were as well worth remembring as Thomaso, they might (bating the Name) have as well said, I took it from thence: I will only say the Plot and Bus’ness (not to boast on’t) is my own: as for the Words and Characters, I leave the Reader to judge and compare ’em with Thomaso, to whom I recommend the great Entertainment of reading it, tho’ had this succeeded ill, I shou’d have had no need of imploring that Justice from the Critics, who are naturally so kind to any that pretend to usurp their Dominion, they wou’d doubtless have given me the whole Honour on’t. Therefore I will only say in English what the famous Virgil does in Latin: I make Verses and others have the Fame.
TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE DUKE, &c.
I dread to appear in this Humble Dedication to Your Royal Highness, as one of those Insolent and Saucy Offenders who take occasion by Your absence to commit ill-mannered indecencies, unpardonable to a Prince of your Illustrious Birth and God-like Goodness, but that in spight of Seditious Scandal You can forgive; and all the World knows You can suffer with a Divine Patience: the proofs You have early and late given of this, have been such, as if Heaven design’d ’em only to give the World an undeniable Testimony of Your Noble Vertues, Your Loyalty and True Obedience (if I may presume to say so,) both to Your Sacred Brother, and the never satisfied People, when either one Commanded, or t’other repin’d, With how chearful and intire a submission You Obey’d? And tho the Royal Son of a Glorious Father who was render’d unfortunate by the unexemplary ingratitude of his worst of Subjects; and sacrific’d to the insatiate and cruel Villany of a seeming sanctifi’d Faction, who cou’d never hope to expiate for the unparallell’d sin, but by an intire submission to the Gracious Off-spring of this Royal Martyr: yet You, Great Sir, denying Yourself the Rights and Priviledges the meanest Subject Claims, with a Fortitude worthy Your Adorable Vertues, put Yourself upon a voluntary Exile to appease the causeless murmurs of this again gathering Faction, who make their needless and self-created fears, an occasion to Play the old Game o’re again; whil’st the Politick self-interested and malitious few betray the unconsidering Rest, with the delicious sounds of Liberty and Publick Good; that lucky Cant which so few years since so miserably reduc’d all the Noble, Brave and Honest, to the Obedience of the ill-gotten Power, and worse-acted Greatness of the Rabble; so that whil’st they most unjustly cry’d down the oppression of one of the best of Monarchs, and all Kingly Government: all England found itself deplorably inslav’d by the Arbitrary of many Pageant Kings. Oh that we shou’d so far forget with what greatness of mind You then shar’d the common Fate, as now and again to force Your Royal Person to new Perils, and new Exiles; but such ingratitude we are punisht with, and You still suffer for, and still forgive it.
This more than Human Goodness, with the incouragement Your Royal Highness was pleas’d to give the Rover at his first appearance, and the concern You were pleas’d to have for his second, makes me presume to lay him at Your feet; he is a wanderer too, distrest; belov’d, the unfortunate, 114 and ever conscent to Loyalty; were he Legions he should follow and suffer still with so Excellent a Prince and Master. Your Infant worth he knew, and all Your growing Glories; has seen you like young Cesar in the Field, when yet a Youth, exchanging Death for Laurels, and wondred at a Bravery so early, which still made double Conquest, not only by Your Sword, but by Your Vertues, Some of Oliver’s Commanders at Dunkirk which taught even Your Enemies so intire an Obedience, that asham’d of their Rebel Gallantry, they have resign’d their guilty Commissions, and Vow’d never to Draw Sword more but in the Royal Cause; which Vow Religiously they kept: a noble Example for the busie and hot Mutineers of this Age misled by Youth, false Ambition and falser Council.
How careless since Your Glorious Restauration You have been, of Your Life for the service of Your mistaken Country, the whole World knows, and all brave men admire.
Pardon me then, Great Sir, if I presume to present my faithful Soldier, (which no Storms of Fate can ever draw from his Obedience) to so great a General: allow him, Royal Sir, a shelter and protection, who was driven from his Native Country with You, forc’d as You were, to fight for his Bread in a Strange Land, and suffer’d with You all the Ills of Poverty, War and Banishment; and still pursues Your Fortunes; and though he cannot serve Your Highness, he may possibly have the Honour of diverting You a few moments: which tho Your Highness cannot want in a place where all Hearts and Knees are justly bow’d in Adoration, where all conspire, as all the Earth (who have the blessing of Your presence) ought to entertain, serve and please You; yet this humble Tribute of a most Zealous and Devout Heart, may find amongst Your busier hours of greater moment, some one wherein it may have the Glory of Your regard, and be capable in some small degree of unbending Your great mind from Royal Cares, the weightiest Cares of all; which if it be so fortunate as to do, I have my end, and the Glory I design, a sufficient reward for her who does and will eternally pray for the Life, Health and Safety of Your Royal Highness, as in Duty all the World is bound to do, but more especially,
Your Highnesses most Humble,
most Faithful, and
most Obedient Servant,