THE LONDON CUCKOLDS. A COMEDY; As it is Acted at The Duke's Theatre.

By Edward Ravenscroft, Gent.

LONDON, Printed for Jos. Hindmarsh at the Sign of the Black-Bull near the Royal-Exchange in Cornhill, Anno Dom.1682.

PROLOGUE,

Spoken by Mrs. Barry.
WEll; Now's your time, (my Masters of the Pit)
You that delight in Women, Wine and Wit.
All things this Winter jump for your delight,
In Mirth to wear the day, in Love the Night.
Now Fop may dine with Half-wit ev'ry noon,
And reade by Satyr, or his worse Lampoon.
Julian's so furnish'd by these scribling Sparks
That be pays off old Scores, and keeps two Clarks.
My Lady, with her eldest Daughter, brings to town
Michaelmas Rent, and vows she'll not go down
So long as her Sir John is worth a Crown.
The Theatres are up, and, to their cost,
Must strive, by Victory, to please you most:
Both he's and she's must stretch, in hopes to gain,
Like your New market Racers on the Strain.
Faith, give us Iockey-law without deceit,
Mark the mens inches well before their beat,
And let the Women have their Horse-mans weight.
For, Gallants, many of your Nymphs are come
At last from their respective Travels home;
Good News for you that love a Boosy Life,
And hate the Lectures of a carefull Wife.
That jointur'd Monsion never gives content
Like the convenient modish Tenement
That's held by moderate Lease or yearly Rent.
But if with me Misses would counsel joyn,
We'd make the Tenant pay a swingeing Fine.
If Celia thoughtless in her Alcove sits,
With Indian Tables pleas'd and Cabinets,
Soon for her Fault, or else some Trick of State,
She proves the Turn of her uncertain Fate.
Then waking (like the Tinker in the Play)
She finds the golden Vision fled away.
But if you drain your Keeper till be's poor,
And have the wit to lay it up in store;
He marries you in hopes to mend his life,
And what he lost by th'Mistress, gains in th'Wife.
Actors Names.
Wiseacre, Doodle, Two Aldermen of London,
Mr. Vnderhill. Mr. Nokes.
Mr. Townly, A Gentleman of the times, careless of Women, but for­tunate,
Mr. Williams.
Mr. Ramble, A great Designer on Ladies, but unsuccessfull in his In­trigues,
Mr. Smith.
Mr. Loveday, A young Merchant, one that had formerly been a Lover of Eugenia,
Mr. Wilshire.
Eugenia, Wife to Dashwell, a Pretender to Wit,
Mrs. Coror.
Arabella, Wife to Doodle, a Hypocrite,
Mrs. Barry.
Peggy, Bride to Wiseacre, an Innocent, and Country-bred,
Mrs. Petty.
Aunt, Governess to Peggy,
Mrs. Norris.
Engine, Woman to Arabella,
Mrs. Leigh.
Iane, Eugenia's Maid,
Mrs. Osborn.
Roger, Tom, Two Footmen to Ramble and Townly.
Mr. Richards.
A Linkboy, Two Chimny-sweepers, Watchmen.
 

SCENE LONDON.

THE London Cuckolds.

Act I. Scene I.

Enter Alderman Wiseacres, and Doodle.
Wise.

WELL, Mr. Alderman Doodle, you promise to go along with me.

Dood.

Yes, I will dispence with business, since 'tis on this occasion; who else goes?

Wise.

Onely Mr. Dashwell, our City Attorney, your neighbor, who draws the writings for the Jointure.

Dood.

You'll be going as soon as Change is done?

Wise.

Yes. Well, you shall see the most simple innocent thing of a wife, I so hugg my self with the thoughts of her.

Dood.

What! Is she silly say you?

Wise.

A meer infant in her Intellects: But for her bigness You'd take her for a baby.

Dood.

How old is she?

Wise.

But fourteen.

Dood.

An Infant to you indeed: why, you are near fifty.

Wise.

What then?

Dood.

Marry a fool and a child too!

Wise.

Ay, to choose.

Dood.

But a discreet woman of thirty had been more sutable for you.

Wise.

But my intention is to marry a woman that will be young when I am old.

Dood.

Doubtless an old man will be very agreeable to a young woman.

Wise.

I have consider'd that point too, and am convinc'd that an old man can never love an old woman, that's for certain. Age is a sure decayer and [Page 2] renders men backward in their duty, therefore I marry a woman so young, that she may be a temptation to me when I am old. You may talk of Amber-cawdles, Chocolate, and Jelly-broths, but they are nothing comparable to youth and beauty, a young woman is the onely provocative for old age, I say.

Dood.

Oh, is that your drist?

Wise.

Brother Alderman, I have liv'd long a Batchelor, I begin late, and so would lengthen out my satisfaction as far as I can.

Dood.

I perceive that's as to her youth: but why do you marry one so silly? where's the satisfaction of that?

Wise.

There you are short of comprehension agen: why, a young wife that has wit would play the Devil with an old Husband. Why, you see a young one can hardly keep 'em from kicking backward in this age.

Dood.

Some such there are at the other end of the Town: but we have few of them here in the City.

Wise.

That I might be sure not to be troubled with a witty, wife, I made choice of a Girle of four years of age, one that had no signs of a pregnant wit, her father and mother were none of the wisest; they dying, left this child to the care of her Aunt, a good honest decay'd Gentlewoman, but a little soft too; her portion they recommended to my hands, to be improv'd for her use; I plac'd the Aunt and child in the Countrey, at a lone house, instructed her to breed her up in all honesty and simplicity immaginable; never to let her play amongst Boyes or Girles, or have any conversation with any body but her self, and now being bred to my own humour, and moulded to my turn, I am going to reap the fruits of my long care and trouble; for this is she I design for my wife.

Dood.

What need you to bestow all this pains to make a fool? were there not fools enough of Heavens making?

Wise.

Yes, but those fools, if not meer Idiots and Drivelers, grow wiser by experience, and by that time they come to twenty years of age are quite other things; this forward age ripens them apace; Girles now at sixteen are as knowing as Matrons were formerly at sixty, I tell you in these days they understand Aristotle's Problems at twelve years of age.

Dood.

'Tis true indeed, nothing in the nature of man or woman is a se­cret to them. I'll be sworn, Mr. Alderman, the other day I catcht two young wenches, the eldest not above twelve, reading the beastly, bawdy translated book called the Schoole of Women. O to say the truth 'tis a very forward knowing age.

Wise.

Why brother, I hear at that damn'd lewd other end of the Town there is a Bawd in a bib and apron not ten years old.

Dood.

They are no sooner out of the nurses arms, but they run into a man's.

Wise.

To secure my self against all this, I have been at the charge to breed up a fool, and will now marry her so young that I may make a fool of her all her life long, and I will keep her and order her so, as she shall never grow wiser.

Dood.
[Page 3]

But the chief end of a wife, is to be a comfort and a companion to a man, and what satisfaction can a husband have to converse with one so simple that she can scarce tell her right hand from her left?

Wise.

Ignorance is the mother of devotion, I can therefore make her doe what I will, whate'r I shall say she will believe, and whate'r I will have her doe, she will think it her duty, and obey for fear.

Dood.

Wou'd you have your wife a slave?

Wise.

O much rather than be a slave to a wife: A witty wife is the greatest plague upon earth, she will have so many tricks and inventions to deceive a man, and cloak her villany so cunningly, a husband must al­ways be upon the spy, watch when he should sleep, seem to sleep when he should be awake, to secure his honour against her inventions; of all which cares and troubles, he is freed that has married a wife who has not wit enough to offend.

Dood.

If my wife was a fool, I should always suspect her a whore, for 'tis want of wit that makes 'em believe the flatteries of men; she that has sense will discern their traps and snares and avoid 'em: I tell you, Mr. Al­derman, a woman without sense, is like a castle without souldiers, to be taken at every assault.

Wise.

But I say still, wit is a dangerous weapon in a woman, and sim­plicity is her best guard.

Dood.

I tell you, brother Wiseacres, you are in the wrong.

Wise.

I tell you, brother Doodle, I am in the right.

Dood.

A woman with wit will be cunning enough for men.

Wise.

Ay, and too cunning for her husband: you have a witty wife, much good may doe you with her.

Enter Dashwell.
Dood.

And much good may doe you with your fool.

Wise.

Better be a fool than a wanton.

Dood.

Better be a wanton than both.

Wise.

Your positiveness provokes me.

Dood.

And your want of reason provokes me.

Wise.

I hope you will allow that a witty wife may be a slut.

Dood.

But a foolish wife will certainly be one.

Dash.

What has rais'd this heat betwixt you?

Wise.

O Mr. Dashwell, in good time, you shall be judge now, we are in dispute here, whether 'tis best for a man to have a wife with wit, or one that's a fool; which is safest for a husband's reputation, to have a little, laughing, gigling, highty, tighty, pratling, tatling gossipping wife, such a one as he has married?

Dood.

Or a silly simple, peaking, sneaking bashfull, awkard, ill-bred, Coun­trey girle, that goes with her toes in, and can't say boah to a Goose, who can onely answer, I forsooth and no forsooth, and stands in aw of her Chamber­maid; [Page 4] such a one as my brother Alderman Wiseacres here, has taken pains to rear for his own proper use.

Wise.

Just such a silly, simple, bashfull thing I am for, I desire my wife should have neither wit nor money but what is in my keeping, what need my wife have wit to make her loud, talkative and impertinent, when I have enough for her and my self too?

Dood.

I am for the contrary, now Mr. Dashwell, which of us two do you think is in the right?

Dash.

In the right?

Dood.

Ay.

Dash.

Why, I think you both in the wrong.

Wise.

Both in the wrong!

Dood.

How can that be?

Dash.

Each wou'd be safe in a wife, as to his reputation, wou'd you not?

Wise.

Yes.

Dash.

Then let me tell you for both your comforts, a wife that has wit will out-wit her husband, and she that has no wit will be out witted by o­thers beside her husband, and so 'tis an equal lay, which makes the husband a Cuckold first or oftnest.

Wise.

You are a married man, Mr. Dashwell, what course have you taken?

Dood.

Ay, is yours wise or foolish? tell us that.

Dash.

Look you, the security lies not in the foolish wife, or in the witty wife, but in the godly wife, one that prays and goes often to Church, mind you me, the religious godly wife, and such a one have I.

Wise.

O, the godly wife.

Dood.

Meer hypocrites all, a godly woman! I wou'd not have my wife a Church zealot. How many Cuckolds must there needs be in a Pa­rish when the bell tolls out our wives twice a day to assignations?

Wise.

Nor do I like my wife should be catechised by a smooth fac'd Reader, or a Lecturer, I don't know what doctrine he may put into her.

Dood.

I had rather my wife shou'd have company and play at crosspur­poses, and questions and commands at home, than go to church to play at hide and seek in a pew; for my part, I am scandalized, there are many pews in the Church. I don't know but—well, I don't like it, and so much good may doe you with your good godly wife.

Dash.

Well, the world has never been of one mind since there was above one man in't, and ne'r will be again so long as there are two, so let there be an end of this discourse, and to our business, where shall I bring the writings to you, that you, that you may reade'em before we go?

Wise.

I'll be, in half an hour, at Garraway's Coffee house.

Dash.

I'll go and acquaint my wife I'm going out of Town, and meet you there.

[Exit.
Wise.

Mr. Alderman, I believe you percieve by my principles, that I in­tend my wife shall be no Gossiper, nor wife, of the times to visit and be visited, even by her own sex, therefore you need not acquaint your wife [Page 5] with any thing of my marriage, that she may not take it ill that I make her no invitation to my wife; I will marry her to morrow morning in private, and she shall live retir'd and private, as she has been bred.

Dood.

As you please for that.

Wise.

You'll meet us anon upon Change?

Dood.

I'll but tell 'em within I'm going out of Town, about business, and follow you.

Wise.

We'll expect.

[Wiseacres Exit.
Dood.

This is an od humour, I can't but laugh to think what sport the women will make with him, when they hear on't, my wife will make him mad.

Enter Arabella and Engine, Laughing.
Arab.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Engine.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Dood.

Thou art very merry, wife, this morning.

Arab.

Ha ha ha.

Dood.

Prithee what dost laugh at?

Arab.

Lord, husband! that your wife was but a fool; what a fine time wou'd you have on't?

Dood.

What, you over-heard our discourse?

Arab.

We have been listning at the door this half hour.

Engine.

Marry there's a fine project; marry a fool! sure he intends to keep her altogether in hanging sleeves.

Arab.

He had a fling at me in his discourse, but I'll be reveng'd if ever I can come to speak to his filly wife; I'll reade her a Chapter of Wisdome shall clear her understanding.

Engine.

I am deceiv'd if this Town do not teach her wit.

Arab.

I am affraid, he won't reap as he sowes; this is not an age for the multiplication of fools, in the female sex.

Dood.

He has taken great pains to make her one.

Engine.

How far off is this pattern of innocence?

Dood.

But few miles from London, he marries her to morrow morning, and brings her home.

Arab.

And you, husband, are to goe upon this piece of gallantry, to fetch the Lady?

Dood.

He desir'd, and I have promis'd.

Arab.

Are we to expect you home at dinner?

Dood.

No, we shall dine together about Change, there take Coach. Well, wife, you shall see me again to morrow, there's a kiss to remember me till my return. Adieu.

[Exit.
Arab.

Adieu, husband. A kiss! slender diet to live upon till to morrow this time: I have a months mind to greater dainties, to feast in his absence upon lustier fare than a dull City husband, as insipid and ill relisht as a [Page 6] Guild hall-dish on a Lord Mayor's day. Now, Engine, if I durst pursue my inclinations with the man you have so often heard me speak of.

Engine.

A little variety, Madam, wou'd be pleasant; always to feed up­on Alderman's flesh is enough to cloy your stomach.

Arab.

He's so sparing on't it can never surfeit me.

Engine.

Faith, Madam, they that have spare dyet at home may the better be allow'd to look abroad. Troth, Madam, ne'r lose your longing.

Arab.

But how, Engine, what contrivance to let him know it? to write to him wou'd not doe so well.

Engine.

Troth doe, Madam, write to him, a little Letter of rallery, that may look like a frolick as it were between Jest and Earnest.

Arab.

Writing wou'd show too great a forwardness.

Engine.

No matter; if a right Cavalier, he will make the more haste to relieve a Lady in distress.

Arab.

No, thou shalt go to him, thou hast a pretty good way of speaking; I'll give thee some general hints and leave it to thy management.

Engine.

I'll doe my part, I'll warrant you, Madam.

Arab.

Come, wee'll consider on't.

Engine.

There needs but little consideration in this case, if you like the Gentleman, I'll secure you, the Gentleman shall like you.

Arab.

Have a care how you turn Insurer, Love is a doubtfull voyage.

Engine.

Yes, if the venture be in a leaky rotten bottome, or such a slugg as your husband.—But in such a well built ship, so finely rig'd as that you speak of, you run no risk at all, I'll insure you for two in the hundred.

Arab.

Well then, thou shalt go see of what burthen my Lover is, and if he has stoage-room left for a heart, contract for mine; but tell him, what foul weather soever happens he shall preserve mine, though he throw all the rest over-board.

Engine.

That's not to be fear'd in such a tall stout ship, so rig'd and man'd, methinks I have him in ken already, bearing up briskly to you, spreading all sailes for haste, to clap you on board.— Methinks I see him lye cross your Haser already.

Arab.

Come, wench, thy tongue runs, and we lose time.

Engine.

I'll regain it in my expedition.

[Exeunt.
Enter Ramble and Townly, in Morning-gowns.
Town.

Prethee, Ned Ramble, what makes thee so early a riser after so late a debauch as we made last night?

Ram.

Business, Frank.

Town.

Business! what business can a Gentleman have to make him rise at ten, that went drunk to bed, at four in the morning?

Ram.

I am pursuing an intreague, a new Mistress, Frank.

Town.

An intreague! thou art alwaies upon intreagues; I never knew any of your intreagues come to any thing; there's no fellow in Town has [Page 7] been so bawk'd as thou hast, in all thy adventures; you see I never make it my business to look after women, and yet they fall in my way, and I am successfull, whereas thou art always coursing 'em about, and when you are at the very scut of 'em, thou losest 'em.

Ram.

The truth is, I have been unfortunate hitherto, I always meet with occasions, but never bring 'em to perfection; yet it is not my fault neither, for either my mistress jilts me, fortune jilts me, or the Devil pre­vents me, I can never bring it to a home-push; when I think I have over­come all difficulties and am as sure of a woman as a Hawk is of the prey he swoops at, Fortune turns her wheel, a whirlewind blows my Mistress into A­sia and I am tost into America.

Town.

Therefore prethee leave hunting, that difficult game, and learn of me to divert thy self with a bottle, leave enquiring where there's a pretty woman, and ask where the best wine is, take women as I do, when they come in thy way by accident; you will never be successfull so long as you make it your business; Love like riches comes more by fortune than indu­stry.

Ram.

Perseverance will overcome destiny; I shall have good luck in the end.

Town.

Never till you make drinking your chief diversion, O Ned, wine gives a certain elevation of spirit, quickens and enlivens the fancy to that degree, that a man half bowsy shall advance farther with a woman in one encounter, than a sober fellow as thou art in ten, there's a certain bold­ness and alacrity wanting which lets a womans fancy sink and grow lukewarm when she was just boyling o'r.

Ram.

If I shou'd keep company but one week with thee, Franck Townly, and drink as we did yesterday, I shou'd be fit neither for the company of women nor men, I am so squeamish and maukish to day.

Town.

Custome will overcome that; come lets goe and find out some honest fellows, and dine together, and drink away thy complaints.

Ram.

I'll have no more on't, I thank you, this month.

Town.

If I had thought this, I would have lain at my own Lodgings last night; I consented to lie with you, thinking to have been sure of you all this day, but since you will be stragling out of my clutches, cross sates and thy own fortune pursue thee.

Ram.

Every one in their own element; let me find pretty women, and take you the good wine, I envy you not.

Town.

As soon as e'r my business in Lumbard-street is done, I'll aban­don this sober end of the Town, Where a man can't reel into a Tavern, af­ter eleven a clock, for sawcy Constables and watchmen, that will wait on a man home against his will.

Ramb.

I find a great conveniency in a lodging here, I can be master of my own will▪ and free from all importunate Solicitors, that dun a man more to go to the Tavern than a Tradesman does for money.

[Page 8] Enter Roger with a Letter.
Roger,

A Porter, Sir, brought you this Letter.

Ramb.

A Womans Hand—augh!

Town.

A Bait to draw you into your old Snare; the Consequence will be unlucky.

Ramb.

No, I fear it not: Where is the Porter?

Rog.

He told me it requir'd no Answer.

Ram.

Lay my Cloaths ready that I may dress me.

Town.

What is this hastly Business?

[Exit Roger.
Ram.

A bold Challenger, and I'll not fail to meet the fair Inviter.

Town.

Pray tell me; is this a new Amour?

Ram.

A new one! I neither know her Name, nor where she Lives.

Town.

No better acquainted, and yet send you a Summons?

Ramb.

But we have converst together sometime; I have bow'd to her, kist my Hand to her, look'd Amorously on her, stood by her and Sight, Whisper'd her cross the Pew and stole Notes into her hand.

Town.

This is a Church Lady then, some old Countess, or Rich Wid­dow, with whom thou dost intend to drudg out a fortune, and with dry slavish Letchery raise thy self to the equipage of a Stalion.

Ram.

Have better thoughts of your Friend; No, she is neither Old nor Ugly, nor one whom Fortune has yet so much blest to put into the state of Widdowhood; she is a Wife, young, plump, pretty, and blooming as the Spring.

Town.

What is her Husband?

Ramb.

A Blockheaded City Attorney; a Trudging, Drudging, Cor­muging, Petitioning Citizen, that with a little Law and much Knavery has got a great Estate.

Town.

A Petitioner! Cuckold the Rogue for that very reason.

Ram.

By the Inducement of her Parents she Married him against her inclinations, and now nauseating her Husband's bed, rises every Morning by Five or Six with a pretence to hear Lectures and Sermons, and loath­ing his Company at home, pretends all day to be at Prayers, that she may be alone in her Chamber.

Town.

And that Billet is from her?

Ram.

From her Maid, from whom with a Bribe I learnt all this. You shall hear the Contents.

Reads the Letter.
SIR,

My Master is going out of Town, and I have workt upon my Mistres's Inclinations to admit you this night: Be at your Lodgings in the Evening, and expect me to come and be your Guide to the Happiness you wish for.

Yours in all Zeal, JANE.
Town.
[Page 9]

'Tis strange a man shoud find a Mistress at Church that never goes to one.

Ram.

'Tis true, till of late, I had never been at Church since my Fa­ther's Funeral, and I had not gone then, but to Conduct him as forward on his way as I coud, that he might not return to take the Estate again I got by his Death: Nor had I been near a Church since, but for a suddain shower of Rain that drove me into a Church-porch for shelter, and whilst I was standing there, came by this Miracle of a Woman and wrought my Conversion.

Town.

But as often as you have been there, you never said your Prayers?

Ram.

Only the Love Litany, and some amorous Ejaculations, as thou Dear Creature, Charming Excellence, Ravishing Beauty, Heavenly Wo­man, and such flights as these; I durst not pray against Temptation least Heaven shoud have taken me at my word, and have spoil'd my Intreague.

Town.

Spoke like a Cavalier, e'gad! if thy inclinations did but lye a little more to the Bottle, thou woudst be an admirable honest Fellow.

Enter Roger.
Roger.

Sir, here's a Gentlewoman desires to speak with you in private.

Ramb.

Is she a Lady?

Rog.

An ingenious Attendant I believe.

Ram.

Bring her up. Townly, let me beg your pardon, and desire you to step into the next room.

Town.

Another Love Ambassadress; I'll withdraw till you give her au­dience.

Enter Engine and Roger.
Roger.

There's my Master.

[Exit.
Ram.

A good morrow to you, Mistress:

Eng.

The like to you, Sir; My wish will be successfull since I bring you such good news.

Ram.

Pray come nearer; what is it I pray, and from whom?

Eng.

From a fair Lady, Sir. I hope we are private?

Ram.

Fear not; pray go on.

Eng.

Perhaps you will wonder, Sir, and think me Confident, when I shall tell you?

Ram.

Nothing can make me think amiss of one that has such auspicious signs in her countenance.

Eng.

You are pleas'd to flatter me; but pray wonder not, Sir, at my forwardness, since it is to do so worthy a person service, and a Gentleman of such extraordinary merits as your self.—

Ram.

Now you Compliment me, pray let me hear my Good-morrow from those pretty Lips.

Eng.

I protest, I blush at my undertaking. But since I am no waies [Page 10] concern'd on my own account, I can with better courage proceed.

Ram.

Pray do; you have rais'd me to a wonderfull expectation.

Eng.

And yet when you have consider'd how accomplish'd a person you are, and how worthily you attract the eyes of Ladies, you think it then no wonder at all that a Lady of as great wit and beauty as any the City affords, thinks you the most admirable person of your whole Sex. One that talks of you with so much delight and fervency, that I thought it injustice, even to you, as well as injurious to her, if I should not ac­quaint you.

Ram.

Be free with me—Pray who is this Lady whose thoughts are so favourable to me?

Eng.

A rich Alderman's young Wife, one that has been married above Six months. One so far from the City breeding—

Ram.

Good.

Eng.

She speaks so prettily in your praise, and has the tenderest senti­ments in her thoughts for you.

Ram.

Very good.

Eng.

And o'r whom you have such an Ascendancy that coud she be as­sur'd, you were one woud be secret, and with whom her reputation might be safe—

Ram.

She could Love me; is it so?

Eng.

It is indeed. And saies after such an assurance, it were no longer in her power to refuse you any favour coud be expected from a Woman.

Ramb.

Thou pourest harmony in my ears; the sweet sound strikes up­on my Heart-strings and makes it rebound with joy. Take this Gold to encourage thee; Say, where is this obliging Beauty, when shall I see her?

Eng.

Her Husband is this day gone out of Town, now is a convenient time to make your addresses.

Ram.

Conduct me to her, and let me fall before her with humble ado­ration.

Eng.

Not till night, that darkness may secure her reputation from the censure of prying Neighbours, Visitants of your Garb and noble Meen draw all eyes; be therefore prudent, and approach with caution and cir­cumspection as Misers do to the hoard of Wealth they are afraid to lose.

Ram.

I'll think her a Mine of Gold, myself the Indian that has disco­ver'd it, and imagine all the Citizens Spaniards that would rob me of't, so secretly I will approach—

Eng.

Such prudence will secure a lasting Joy, and long may you reap the spoils of Love and Beauty.

Ram.

But where, where my little Ang [...] Intelligencer, where is this blessing to be found? Which way shall I direct my uncertain steps? or by what title is she distinguish'd from other women, for yet I know her but by these excellencies, the fairest and the kindest of her Sex?

Eng.

These Tablets I took from her, in those you will find her name with Characters that will direct you to this beauty; but confine your cen­sures [Page 11] to just bounds, and interpret not that my officiousness proceeds from any command of hers.

Ram.

Not in the least.

Eng.

'Tis true, I know the secrets of her heart—and since I was sure it would not be displeasing to her, and you were a party so highly deser­ving, I took the Liberty without her knowledge to do you both this piece of service.

Ram.

I can never think amiss of her Love nor your Service, but must bless the means that conducts me to my happiness. Now pray favour me with some further knowledge of your Self, least wanting opportunity to oblige, I should appear ungratefull.

Eng.

My name is Engine, my inclinations to this fair person, lead me to be a Domestick in her family, and she is pleas'd to make me her Con­fident.

Ram.

I rejoice you are so nearly concern'd: Let my interest still be your care; and if such small acknowledgments as these can quit my Score, I hope not to dye your Debtor.

Eng.

Your merits bind me beyond your gift.

Ramb.

Dear Mistress Engine, Yours?

Eng.

Your Servant, Sir.

[Exit.
Ram.

Who's there, wait down. Now for her Name and place of habitation,—where!—

Looks in the book.

Oh here—Mrs. Arabella Wife to Alderman—

Enter Townly.
Town.

Ned, you must pardon my Curiosity, I coud not but listen, I heard all the business; if ever thou prove successfull in an Intreague, it will be this.

Ram.

That two appointments shoud happen so at the same time, one to prevent the other.

Town.

If you are doubtfull which to choose, e'n throw up Cross or Pile.

Ram.

No, I resolve to attempt the other first, because I know the per­son, I am sure she pleases me; what perfections this has, are yet un­known to me, therefore with more ease neglected.

Town.

Who is this Woman, what's her name?

Ram.

Excuse me there; It is not like a Gallant man to reveal a kind Lady's name: That and her place of habitation are here set down in fair Characters. Thus was the happy secret entrusted to me.

[Shows the Tablets.
Town.

Haw! let me but observe the outside.

Ram.

Look no longer, 'tis not of your acquaintance.

Town.

Not know it, 'twas mine once.

Ram.

No, no thou art deceiv'd: Thine!

Town.

Mine, I know it by the Clasps: pray look on the inside of the Cover, and see if there be not a Cupid drawn with a Red-lead Pen?

Ram.
[Page 12]

'Gad, Franck thou hast ghest right, here is.

Town.

'Tis then the same; the Woman I gave it to, is the person of all the World I most fancy.

Ram.

Was she very handsome?

Town.

I know not the charms of her Face, 'tis her Wit I admire.

Ram.

Has it been then a night Intreague and carried on in the dark?

Town.

No, I have seen her often in a Vizard at Playes, she has a delicate shape, and a pretty, pretty hand; she once show'd me that for a Sample, and if her skin all over be like that, Snow was never whiter, nor Alaba­ster half so sleek and Polished.

Ram.

Yet should her face not be answerable.

Town.

Oh, she has a Tongue would charm a man, she is all Air, Mirth and Wit,—but I had her own Word for't that her face was no disparage­ment to her body.

Ram.

But for all that, this may be some common Town Lady.

Town.

No, no she had Rings and Jewels too valuable to be one of those, she was Roguish but not Impudent, Witty but not Rampant; without doubt she has a husband that is proud of her, and takes delight to hear her talk, for I observ'd kind of City Elder always sit a little distant from her, who listen'd to her rallery with the Sparks, and seem'd pleas'd in his countenance when she was smart in her Repartees upon the little Cockerills of the Pit that came flirting at her with their sparring blows.

Ram.

And sitting at distance, might be on purpose to give her opportu­nity, to exercise her tallent.

Town.

Questionless 'twas so, for with this man she always went out when the Play was done.

Ram.

But how came she by your Tablets?

Town.

I was humming a new Song one day in the Pit, and she ask'd me if I could give it her. I had it written down there, I presented the book to her, but could hardly force it on her, because she thought it of some value.

Ram.

But took it at last?

Town.

Yes, upon condition I would accept the book back agen the next time we met in the Pit.

Ram.

I am glad to hear her Character, and now am more dissatisfi'd that one Intreague should cross the other.

Town.

Since it so falls out, give me the directions, and I will go in your place.

Ram.

Thank you for that—

Town.

You can secure but one to your self,—you'll certainly lose her you disappoint.

Ram.

No, no, I'll keep two strings to my Bow, if any accident cross one design, I have the other Lady in reserve; and now I think my self se­cure above the malice of Fortune, and laught at all her former spight.

Town.

I know thou art positive, ill natur'd and hard-hearted, and wouldst not part with one hadst thou twenty. But for punishment I wish thee the same curse I do to Misers that hoard up Gold, and woud not part [Page 13] with any to save a man from starving:—which is, that you may be rob'd of all, and after hang thy self with grief for the loss.

Ram.

Alas, Frank Townly, I thought you could not be in love with any thing but a bottle, what, would you leave all your merry Friends for a wo­man, they'd take it unkindly.

Town.

Evil Fates are boading o'r thy head, and so, Churle, Farewell.

Ram.

Spight of thy Prophecy, meet me to morrow morning, and I'll tell thee such pleasant stories of this nights joys, thou shalt for ever be con­verted from wine to women.

Women are Miracles the Gods have given,
That by their brightness we may ghess at Heaven.
[Exeunt.

THE SECOND ACT. SCENE I.

Enter Eugenia and Jane.
Iane.

MAdam, Mr. Ramble will be here presently.

Eug.

Well, Iane, though I love Mr. Ramble, yet are not my inclinations so much in fault as your counsells, for had not you perswaded me, I should never have consented to his coming to night in my husband's absence.

Iane.

I vow to you, Madam, it grieved me to see how the poor Gentle­man sigh'd and lookt pale, and watch'd all opportunities to see you, and how constantly he came to Church, where, but for your sake, I dare swear, he would as soon have been hang'd as come, and then what complaints did he make of your reservedness when I knew it was against your consci­ence to deny him, for I was sure you lov'd him.

Eug.

I did so, Iane, ah! were my husband but such a man, how happy a creature should I be? but I was forced to marry him to please my parents.

Iane.

'Tis then your turn to please your self now with a Gallant, to sup­ply the defects of a husband; when a man will press a woman to marry against her inclinations, he lays the foundation himself of being a Cuckold after: Troth Madam, think no more of your husband, but of your Gallant, the man you love, who is this night come to your embraces, I'll warrant you you'll not repent your self to morrow morning.

Eug.
[Page 14]

If unexpectedly my husband should return—

Iane.

No fear of that.

Eug.

Hark, some body knocks, run to the door.

SCENE II.

Enter Loveday, meanly habited, in black.
Iane.

Who would you speak with, Sir?

Love.

Is Mr. Dashwell within?

Iane.

He is out of Town, and returns not till to morrow.

Love.

Is his Lady at home?

Iane.

Yes—there she is.

Eug.

Your business, Sir.

Love.

I have Letters to him, from his brother at Hamburgh, the Mer­chant, in which he recommends me to him for a servant, or at least a short entertainment in his family, till I have dispatched some business he is plea­sed to imploy me in.

Eug.

Iane, this is unlucky, what shall we doe? his being in the house will put a restraint on our freedome to night.

Iane.

No, Madam, I'll dispatch him to bed, do but you give order, and then let me alone.

Eug.

My husband will be in Town to morrow, and then he will resolve you if he wants a servant, my house is not well provided of beds at present, you must be content with a lodging in the Garret; Iane, take care to see him lodged, I am sleepy and will go to my chamber, Iane, make haste, for I am not very well.

[Ex. Eugenia.
Iane.

Come, Sir, you have rid a long journey to day, and may be wea­ry, I'II Show you to your chamber, there's a bed ready made.

Love.

I came but from Canterbury to day.

Iane.

Because my Lady's not well, let me beg you to be content with a sack posset to night, which as soon as she's in bed, shall be brought up to you, to morrow we'll make you amends as soon as you please.

Love.

That shall suffice; but let me now request a glass of beer.

Iane.

Pray, Sir, sit down, you shall have that presently.

[Jane ex.
Love.

How fair Engenia look'd, her beauty's still fresh and blooming, with how much joy in this short interview have I beheld those eyes, whose wounds I have born so long, and felt their influence at so great a distance? I wish she had not been indispos'd.—Her husband out of Town and she alone.—This had been a time.—hah, what room's that, what's there, a Cloath laid, Knives, Napkins, Oranges and bread.—Late as it is here will be a supper, all this preparation cannot be for to morrow, some body is to come in the Husbands absence, Eugenia pretends to be gone to bed, her indisposition is feign'd, my company was unseasonable, to lodge me in the Garret was policy, but I'll venture to observe passages.

[Page 15] Enter Jane, with Beer.
Iane.

Sir, here's a glass of Drink.

Love.

I thank you, I was very dry.

Iane.

Now, Sir, if you please, I will light you to your chamber.

Love.

Withall my heart, for I am very weary; 'tis so, they relish not my company, and are for posting me supperless to bed, onely to remove me out of the way.

[Exeunt.
Enter Eugenia and Ramble.
Eug.

Come, Sir, now come in here.—Well, Mr. Ramble, you see what influence, you Gentlemen have over us weak women.

Ramb.

Oh my dear Life, my Joy, let me not answer thee but in this Language.

[Kiss.
Eug.

I ne'r thought I should condescend to admit you to my house in my husbands absence thus, what will you think of me?

Ram.

I'll think thee the kindest, lovingst, the dearest and the best of thy whole sex; come, let us reserve our thoughts till anon, till I have thee in bed in my arms, where darkness will privilege thee to tell thy thoughts without a blush freely, as I could now, were it not for loss of time, and that I should lose so many sweet kisses the while.

Eug.

Use your conquest with discretion, and put me not to my blushes, I confess I can deny you nothing, and 'tis too late now to retreat.

Ram.

Be not faint hearted nor ashamed, now Fortune has blessed us with the opportunity;—now let us be all rapture, all fire, kiss, hug and em­brace, and never have done.

Eug.

Hark.

Enter Jane.
Iane.

Madam, Supper is upon the Table.

Eug.

Draw the Table in here, this room is more private.

Ram.

Come, Madam, let us prepare our selves with meat and wine, yet make but a hasty meal of it that we may the sooner come to that more de­licious Banquet, the feast that Love has prepar'd for us, that feast of Soul and Senses, and of all at once.

Eug.

Have a care of feeding to heartily on Love, 'tis a surfeiting dyet, with which your Sex is soon cloy'd, and that is the reason you men seek variety so much.

[Jane draws the Table in.
Ram.

Fear not that now, for thou art a dish of all varieties, like a spa­nish Olio that contains the best of every thing; all the beauties of thy whole Sex, all their charms are here in this one composition.

Iane.

Madam, the meat will be cold.

Eug.

Come, Sir, now you have said grace, sit down.

[They sit down to Table. Ramb
Ram.
[Page 16]
Mrs. Iane, oblige me with a glass of Wine.
[Gives Wine.
Madam, this to your good Health:
Fill the glass, and bring't to me agen.
[She fills it, and he puts Gold into't.

I drank your Lady's health, Mrs Iane, you must pledge it; there are some ingredients to make the wine relish.

Eug.

Iane, have a care what you doe, Mr. Ramble is corrupting you to let him into my chamber after I am in bed anon.

Ram.

O sweet remembrance, wisht for hour!

Eug.

But be sure, Iane, you don't let him have the Key.

Iane.

No, Madam, I'll be sure to put that in my pocket, when you are both lock'd in.

Ram.

Thank you, Mrs. Iane.

Eug.

I see you have corrupted my servant already: Fie upon you.—Come, Sir, will you carve, or shall I.—

Ram.

You if you please, Madam, I am so ecstasy'd with the thoughts of approaching bliss.

[Knocking at the door.
Eug.

Iane, run to the door, and see who knocks.

Iane.

Who can it be thus late?

Eug.

Pray Heaven it be not my Husband.

Ram.

No no, Fortune will not be such an enemy to Love.

Eug.

Hark agen.

[Knocking without.
Iane.

Heavens, Madam, 'tis my Master.

Eug.

Iane, what shall we doe.

Ram.

Cursed spite, where shall I hide?

Eug.

Heavens, how he knocks.—

[Knocking.
Iane.

Go into the Closet, Sir, there, there.

[Ram. goes in.
Eug.

Thrust in Table and all, the Wine too:

Table and all is put into the Closet.

So, if it be my Husband, tell him I am at my pray­ers and would not be disturb'd:—get him to go up to bed.

Iane.

Yes, Madam,—He'll beat down the door.

[Knocking.
Eug.

Stay, where is my Prayer-book.

Iane.

In the Window, Madam.

[Jane Exit.
Eugenia settles her self to reade upon the Couch.
Enter Dashwell and Doodle.
Dash.

Is my Wife in the Parlor? we'll go in to her.

Iane.

She is at her Prayers and would not be disturb'd.

Dash.

Let her pray anon,—I have brought Mr. Alderman Doodle to see her.—Wife, come prethee, Wife, leave off praying, thou art always a praying, lay by thy Book.

Eug.

Oh me, Husband, are you come home, indeed I did not expect you to night. Mr. Alderman, your humble servant.

Dood.

Your servant, good Mrs. Dashwell.

Eug.

I hope your Wife's well.

Dood.

I left her well in the morning; she's not at her prayers, I'll war­rant you, e'n a little of that serves her.

Eug.
[Page 17]

Truly I think I cannot spend my time better.

Dash.

Well, wife, prithee what hast thou for our supper, we are very hungry, the fresh air has got us a stomach?

Eug.

Truly, husband, not expecting you home, I provided nothing, we made shift with what was left at dinner, there is nothing at all in the house.

Dood.

Well neighbour, now I have seen you home, I'll leave you.

Dash.

Nay nay, stay and drink a glass of Wine.

[Exit Jane.
Enter Loveday, a Letter.
Love.

This is a fit time for me to appear—I have observ'd all, and will startle'em.

Dash.

Who is this?

Eug.

O my dear, I had forgot to tell you, this young man comes from your Brother at Hambrough with recommendations to you.

Love.

Here's a Letter from him, Sir, I was just going to bed, but when I heard you come, I slip'd on my cloaths and made bold to trouble you to night to know your pleasure.

Dash.

Reach me the Candle, Iane, and fill some wine.

Enter Jane with wine.
Eug.

How did it happen pray, that you all return'd to night?

Dash. reads the Letter.
Dood.

My brother Alderman and I heard of a business upon Change to day in which we are both concern'd, that will require our presence there to morrow, therefore he resolv'd to bring his Bride to Town to night and be Married early in the morning.

Eug.

Is she come then?

Dood.

We left her and her Aunt at the Coach, he is come before to his house to provide for their reception.

Eug.

The Marriage I suppose will be private?—

Dood.

Yes, there will be only the Aunt, your husband, and my self, if I can be there. Mr. Wiseacres has the oddest humours, he will have her call him Uncle.

Eug.

She is very young I hear, and therefore—

Dash.

My Brother gives you a very good General Character, he speaks much of your fidelity and sober carriage, but names not any particular im­ployment that you are fit for; pray what are you capable of?

Love.

I have bin bred a Scholar, taken some degrees at the University— I can write and account well.

Dash.

Very good—I know not whether I shall have occasion of you as a Clerk under me for Law business, or whether I should recommend you to some friend amongst the Merchants to be imploy'd in his Counting-house —I'll consider against to morrow; for my Brother's sake I'll see to get you some imployment?

Love.

I humbly thank you, Sir. One thing more let me tell you of my [Page 18] abilities: Whilst I was a Scholar at Oxford, I studied a very mysterious Art, and spent much time in the contemplation of Magick, which the Vul­gar call the Black-Art; for this I was expell'd the University. I can perform something wonderfull, yet without danger, and to morrow or any time when you and your Lady are at leasure, I will show something of my skill for your diversion.

Eug.

Oh goodness Husband! I would not see Conjuring for all the World, it is a naughty wicked thing; I shant sleep to night for thinking there is one in the house that knows the Black-Art.—Iane, besure you lay my Prayer-book under my Pillow to night.

Love.

Fear not Lady, you shall have no hurt from me—it is very use­full —sometimes—I can by my Art discover private enemies, reveal Robbe­ries, help right Owners to goods stolen or lost; to Ships becalm'd, pro­cure a wind shall bring'em to the Port desir'd—and the like.

Dood.

I begg your pardon, I believe nothing of all this.

Dash.

I would you cou'd help us to a good Supper to night, for I am damnable hungry.

Dood.

Ay, and not stay the dressing of't—

Love.

That Sir,—I'll do't with all my heart.

Dash.

Canst thou—?

Love.

In a trice, the easiest thing of a hundred.

Dash.

Prithee do then.

Eug.

O Lord husband! what do you mean?

Dash.

Nay nay, ne'r fright your self, you'll see no such thing.

Love.

I'll warrant you a supper, Sir.

Dash.

Sayst thou so. But let it be hot.

Love.

Hot, Ay, Sir—

Dood.

It must needs be hot if it comes from the Devil.

Eug.

I hope he's not in earnest.

Love.

Fear not, Madam, but sit you down; and you, Sir, by your Lady, and you on the other hand—sweet heart, stand you behind your Lady's chair.

Iane.

What does this fellow mean?

Eug.

For heavens sake, husband, let me begon.

Dash.

No no, sit down; come begin.

Love.

Have patience, you shall see nothing to fright you. Silence I pray. Mephorbus, Mephorbus, Mephorbus: Thrice I have thee invoked my Familiar— be thou assistant straight to my desires, supply what e'r a hungry appetite requires. By all the powers of the Zodiack, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Can­cer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces. As­sist ye seven Planets to, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercury, Luna, Dragons Head and Dragons Tayl. Shed your auspicious influences, and to my Charm give efficacious strength.

Ian.

Oh the Devil is coming, I smell Brimstone already.

Dash.

Peace you Baggage, you have sup'd.

Dood.

I begin to sweat for't—would I were under the Table, that the Devil mayn't see me if he comes.

Love.
[Page 19]

Tacete—

After the charms stands with his head as listning to an invisible—
Dash.

That's hold your peace.

Love.

Arlom Gascodin Adelphon, Eu [...], Eusticon Olam Amemnos. Thanks Mephorbus. Now, Sir, you may prepare to fall to.

Dash.

Why, I see no meat—the Devil has fail'd you—

Dood.

I thought how he could Conjure.

Love.

Let your Servant open that door—and draw in the Table as it is furnished by the power of my Art.

[aside.
Ian.

Ha! was that his Conjuring.—

Jane opens the Closset, drawt out the Table.
Dash.

Wonderfull, a Table plentifully furnish'd! good meat and wine; this is excellent, Wife, Mr. Alderman, fall to.

Eug.

Eat of the Devil's food!

Dood.

I warrant you 'tis but a Vision, 'twill vanish if you touch it.

Love.

No, though it came by a supernatural means, yet it is no delusi­on, 'tis good substantial food, such as nature and the bounty of Heaven affords—to encourage you, see I will fall to and eat heartily.

Dash.

Excellent fare 'faith, wife; fill me some wine; Mr. Alderman my service to you; delicious wine too,—O rare Art; Sir, you are an excel­lent Caterer.

Eug.

I could not have believ'd there was such power in Art, if I had not seen't.

Ian.

Pray, Madam, fall to, the meat looks well, and delicately dress'd.

Eug.

I'll venture.

Dash.

I'll have it no longer said that the Devil sends Cooks; why a Prince might eat of his dressing.

Dood.

Pray heaven it digest well.

Love.

I warrant you, Sir.

Eug.

A witty Knave, Iane, he resolv'd not to go supperless to bed.

Dash.

Here, Sir, here's to you, and I thank you for our good cheer.

Love.

Your servant, Sir, I'll pledge you a full glass,— Come, Mr. Alderman, my service to you; the Founder's good health.

Dood.

Auh! what mean you, drink the Devils health?

Love.

Will you eat of his meat and not thank him?

Dood.

'Tis something uncivil I confess,—

Love.

If you eat with an Extortioner, the money that bought his meat was the price of Orphans tears, and so you may say it came from the Devil too, and yet we eat with him, drink his health, and thank him.

Dash.

Ay ay, it's not a pin matter, and so Neighbour you are welcome— and, Sir, I thank you for our good supper—

Dood.

If you can doe this all the year round, I'll take you to be my Book-keeper —

Love.

My Art serves me only in time of extremity, when hunger is strong and food absent, and difficult to be otherways attain'd. If done for Cove­tousness, my Invocations have no strength.

Dood.

Ah, that's a pity—my Book-keeper's a very honest fellow now I think on't.

Dash.
[Page 20]

No matter, I'll prefer him—for this you have engag'd me to speak wonderfull things of you—But pray tell me, by what means was all this meat brought hither, and the Table furnish'd; was it by the help of Spirits? I heard no noise.

Love.

It was done by a Familiar that I have command of—if you please I will show him you in humane shape.

Dash.

Pray do, Sir, that I may thank him.

Eug.

O, by no means, Sir,—what, husband, would you thank the Devil?

Dash.

Why, is't not the proverb, Give the Devil his due? fear not.

Love.

I warrant you, Lady, it shall be no harm to you; he is here abouts invisible already.

Eug.

It can be no ill Spirit sure—

Love,

Set the door wide open, that his passage may be free.

Dash.

Quick, Iane.

Love.

Mephorbus, that lurkest here, put on humane shape, appear visible to our sight, and come forth in the likeness of a Fine-well-dress'd-gentle­man, such as may please this Lady's eye.—Pass by, pay your reverence, and make your exit. Presto, I say. Vade—be gone.

Enter Ramble, crosses the Stage, bows and exit.
Eug.

Iane, step after him, and bid him not go far from the door—you shall call him when my husband is in bed. Go shut the door, Iane, for fear he should return.

Ian.

Lend me your Prayer-book, to keep him off if he should offer to turn upon me.

[Jane exit.
Love.

So, Madam, how did you like the Familiar?

Eug.

It had no frightfull shape—it look'd like a fine gentleman.

Love.

I knew a shape that one sees every day, would not affright.

Dood.

It was a mannerly Devil too, he bow'd as he pass'd by.

Dash.

But pray, why was the door open'd, could he not have vanish'd upwards or downwards, or gone through the Key-hole.

Love.

Yes, Sir, but then he would have carried away part of your house, for when Spirits appear in humane form and shape, they will be dealt with­all as really humane, or else are sullen and malicious; wherefore I bid the door be open'd least he should have bin mischeivous.

Enter Jane.
Dash.

I apprehend—

Dood.

Well, now I'll take my leave—I'll call as I go, and see if the Bride be come yet, and then go home to my wife, poor soul, I shall waken her out of her first sleep.—Well, Mr, Dashwell, good night▪—I thank you, and this Gentleman for my good supper.

Eug.

Iane, light out—

Dash.

Mr, Alderman, your servant.

Love.

So, my suspicions were not vain—and my curiosity of stealing down stairs to observe what pass'd to night, has procur'd a good supper, oblig'd the Lady, and diverted the husband; for which I have thanks on all hands, and shall be applauded for a man of parts.

Dashwell, Eug. Jane, return.
Eug.

Sir, now I thank you for this kindness, your [Page 21] Art has obliged me, and you shall find it.

Love.

I am glad, Madam, it was in my power to serve you.

Eug.

Iane, help the Gentleman to a Candle.

Iane.

Sir, will you please to take that?

Love.

Good night, Sir; good night, Madam.

Dash.

Good repose to you, Sir.

[Love. exit.

An admirable fellow this, wife.

Eug.

Ah fie! a wicked man, to conjure, and to raise a Spirit, was it not a Devil, Husband.

Dash.

A kind of Devil, a Familiar;—cou'd you have laid him, Wife?

Eug.

I have a prayer they say will make evil things flie from one, but I never said it yet, but I'll make use on't to night.

Dash.

No come, prethee lets go to bed now, 'tis gone far enough.

Eug.

I could no more sleep to night without saying my Prayers o'r agen— and I'll be sure to remember that Prayer above all.

Dash.

Nay, if it be thy fancy, I am sure thou wilt not sleep unless thou dost; I'll go to bed for my part—

Eug.

I'll say my prayers here below, because I won't disturb you.

Iane.

I pray doe, Madam, pray all the Devils out, or I shall be affraid ever to come alone into this Room.

Eug.
Iane, light your Master up.
Dash.

No, give me the Candle—and go lock fast the doors. Good night, Wife.

[Dashwell Exit.
Eug.

Good night; I'll come softly to bed, I'll not disturb you.

Iane,

will Mr. Ramble be hereabout?

Iane.

He'll hover near the door, till I give him notice—he begs you to contrive his admittance for one quarter of an hour.

Eug.

Go you up, and give me notice when your Master is in bed.

Iane.

Yes, Madam.

Eug.

Light into the next Room.

[Exeunt.
Enter Ramble in the Street.
Ram.

Well, here was one defeat of Fortune, but I would tempt her once more and see what luck I cou'd have with my other Mistress, if I cou'd find Roger, and I think here he comes: Roger.

Enter Roger.
Roger.

Here, Sir.

Ram.

Have you inquir'd as I gave you directions?

Roger.

Yes, Sir, Alderman Doodle lives but in the next street, just turn'd the corner there.

Ram.

But did you take good notice of the door, cou'd you find it again in the dark?

Roger.
[Page 22]

Very readily, Sir.

Ram.

Ha! who comes yonder? I discover a pretty face, run you and get directions which is the true door, I'll follow you.

[Exeunt.
Enter Ramble, Aunt, Peggy, Link-boy.
Ram.

La la la la la—&c. 'ygad a most pretty creature.

Peg.

Forsooth, Aunt, this is a most hugeous great place, here be a num­ber of houses, Aunt.

Aunt.

Ay, Peggy, and fine houses, when you see'em by day-light.

Peg.

Sha'n't I see'em all to morrow forsooth, Aunt.

Ram.

A young Countrey Girle, just come to Town.

Aunt.

O you can't see all London in a week.

Peg.

O Leminy! not in a week, Aunt; and does my Nuncle owe all this Town?

Aunt.

All, Peggy, no nor the King, God bless him, not half.

Ram.

She appears so simple, young and innocent, and is so pretty, I cannot forbear speaking to her.—By your leave, old Gentlewoman.—

Aunt.

How now, Sir, who are you?

Ram.

A Gentleman, and one that desires to be acquainted with you and this pretty little Lady here.

Aunt.

Stand off, come away, child, don't let him be near thee.

Ram.

Nay, I'll not part with this pretty hand yet.

Aunt.

Shove him away, Peggy.

Peg.

O, but forsooth Aunt, he's a Gentleman.

Aunt.

Ay, but a London Gentleman; come from him, or he'll bite thee.

Peg.

Deeds, Sir, will you bite me?

Ram.

Bite thee! not for a thousand Worlds, yet methinks I cou'd eat thee.

Aunt.

Stand off, I say, stand off, come away, child, or he'll devour thee.

Ram.

Believe her not, she's a lying envious old woman; I wou'd hugg thee, kiss thee, give thee Gold and Jewells, make thee a little Queen, if I had thee.

Peg.

O dear, Aunt! did you ever hear the like?

Aunt.

Believe him not, he's a lying, flattering London varlet.—he'll spirit thee away beyond Sea.

Peg.

Oh la, Oh la, Oh la! I won't go beyond Sea.—

Ram.

Thou shalt not, dear creature, be not affraid; good Gentlewo­man, do not fright a young innocent thing thus.—I intend her no harm.

Peg.

Law you there now, Aunt.

Ram.

I onely offer my service to wait on you to your Lodgings; say, pretty one, will you give me leave, which way go you?

Peg.

I don't know, not I.

Aunt.

No, Sir, pray go about your business, let go her hand, we have not so far home, but we can go with out your help.—get you gone I say or I protest—

Peg.
[Page 23]

Nay pray, Aunt, don't beat the Gentleman, he does me no hurt, he onely squeezes my hand a little.

Ram.

Thy Innocence has reach'd my heart.—oh!—

Peg.

Indeed I ha'n't done you no harm, not I.

Ram.

Thou art insensible of the wound thy eyes have made.

Peg.

Wound! Oh dear, why you don't bleed.

Ram.

Oh, 'tis in wardly!

Peg.

Aunt, I warrant you one of your pins has scratch'd him.

Aunt.

Break from him, or he'll bewitch thee.

Peg.

No no, forsooth Aunt, he's no old Woman.

Enter Wiseacres and Doodle.
Wise.

No pray don't leave me yet,—I wonder they are not come.

Dood.

Well, I'll stay a little.

Aunt.

Yonder comes your Uncle—ods me, he'll knock us all on the head.—Come away, come away.

Ram.

Hau, let me kiss thy hand first; to part from thee is death.

Wise.

Hau—what do I see?

Ram.

Adieu, sweet Innocence.

Wise.

Men already buzzing about her, how comes this?

Dood.

Where there is meat in summer, there will be flies.

Wise.

I say, how comes this?

Aunt.

A rude Royster here, would stop us in the street whether we would or no.

Ram.

O you old Crony

[Aside.
Peg.

Don't make my Nuncle angry, Aunt, he did but hold me by the hand.

Wise.

How, let a man touch you, O monstrous, monstrous! did not I warn you not to let a man speak to you?

Peg.

Oh, but he was a Gentleman, and my Aunt told me I must make a Curtesie to Gentle-folks, deeds Nuncle.

Dood.

Be not so passionate—she could not help it.

Wise.

I must seem angry to make her affraid for the future.

Ram.

I'll step aside, and watch where they go.

Peg.

I did not know but it might be the King, they say he is a fine man, Nuncle.

Wise.

This was a night-walker, a spy, a thief, a villain, he would have murther'd thee, and eat thee.

Peg.

Oh grievous! I am glad you came then, Nuncle, he said indeed he could eat me.

Aunt.

Ay, and so he would if I had not been here—at London they get young folks and bake'em in Pies.

Peg.

O sadness!—

Dood.

What will this come to? never did I see one so simple.

Wise.

Here, Link-man, here's six pence for you, put out your link and go your ways—put out your link.

Link.
[Page 24]

Yes, Master.

[Exit.
Wise.

What made you stay so long?

Aunt.

It was so late we could not get a Coach in Southwark, and were forc'd to come on foot.

Peg.

Oh, Nuncle, we came o'r a bridge where there's a huge Pond.

Wise.

Peggy, come, give me your hand, Peggy, and come your ways, or we shall have you eaten before we can get you in a doors—here—here— this way—so, so, get you in, get you in.

Exeunt, as into Wiseacre's house, he shuts the door
Ram.

A crafty old Fox, he put out the Link that I might not see where they went in—Well, now to find Roger.

[Exit.
Enter Townly.
Town.

Ha, the Light's gone, and I can see no body!—sure 'twas Ramble I saw from the Tavern window—he's upon the scent of some new intreague; if I could have met the Rogue, he should not have scapt from me till he had drunk his bottle—Hark, I hear a door open!— it may be him boulting out of some Cunny-burrough—

Enter Jane.
Iane.

Sir, Sir, where are you?

Town.

Somebody calls! what can this mean?

Iane.

Where are you?

Town.

'Tis a womans voice.—here—

Iane.

Where, give me your hand.

Town.

Here.

[Take hands.
Iane.

My Master, Sir, is in bed—and my Lady bid me bring you in—she sits upon the Couch in the dark, she'll have no light in the room for fear my Master should rise, and come down into the yard.

Town.

Well, well.

Iane.

She desires you would only whisper, for fear of being heard—

Town.

No, no.

Iane.

If any thing happens, step into the same Closset.

Town.

Yes, yes.

Iane.

You must not stay long, therefore what you doe, doe quickly.

Town.

Let me alone.

Iane.

Come, Sir, softly.

Town.

So, here's a blind bargain struck up, but there's a woman in the case, and I cannot resist the temptation.

[Exeunt, as into Dashwell's house.
[Page 25] Enter Ramble and Roger.
Ram.

Roger, you are sure you have not mistaken the house?

Rog.

Sure, ay Sir, I am sure that was Alderman Doodle's house. I ask'd three or four Shopkeepers—

Ram.

But are you certain you show'd me the right door?

Rog.

Ay Sir, there's ne'r a great Door but that. They all told me at the great Door.

Ram.

Stand there at distance till I step to that house, and if you see me go in, besure you stay here abouts expecting my coming forth.

Rog.

Yes, Sir.

[Ramble goes and feels out the door and turns back.
Ram.
The Door is shut, and all whist.
Will this fusty Alderman ne'r be in bed?
Let me see, are there any Lights above in the windows?

No; not a glimps, certainly they cannot be all gone to bed without giving me notice.—Roger, where are you?

Rog.

Here, Sir.

Ramb.

Roger, let it be your care, when I go from you, to buy a Link.

Rog.

I doubt 'tis too late, Sir, the Shops are shut.

Ram.

Give a Linkman six pence for a piece, there's money.

Rog.

I see one at yonder Tavern door, I'll step and buy that now, if you please.

Ramb.

Do,—and bring it with you lighted, for I have drop'd a piece of money.

[Roger exit.
Ramble walks about humming a tune, then feels at the door agen.
Ramb.

The door is fast still, I begin to fear something extraordinary has hapen'd,—to knock is not convenient, to expect is painfull, but a Lover must have patience, a little sufferance sweetens the delight and ren­ders the pleasure of enjoyment more valuable.

My trust is still in faithfull Iane,—I hear a noise—
Hark! the door opens, I'll advance.
Enter Townly, Eugenia—in the street, embracing. Jane half out, holding the door.
Town.

Dear, kind, sweet Creature.

Eug.

Go, you must not stay me any longer now, 'tis dangerous.

Ram.

I heard a man's voice.

Town.

When shall I be thus bless'd agen?

Eug.

Often, if you be discreet.

Ram.

Hau!

Town.

I could live an Age in thy arms, this was so very short

Eug.

E'r long, we'll find whole hours of pleasure.

Town.

But when, when—dear melting beauty—?

Eug.
[Page]

Very soon; go, pray go now, I'll send to you in the morning.

Ram.

Am I jilted then after all—I'll spoil to morrows assignation.— Light here—light.

Enter Roger, with a Link.
Eug.

Ha—who's there!—

Ram.

Have at the Traytor;—draw, and fight.

He draws, and runs at Townly.
Eug.

Ah, ah, ha—

Ian.

Ah, ah, ha—

Run in, and clap the door to.
Roger.

Hold, hold, Master, hold, 'tis Mr. Townly, 'tis Mr. Townly.

Ram.

Ha, Townly!

Town.

Ramble! What a plague did you mean?

Ram.

To have kill'd you, had you not been my very good friend.

Town.

Short warning, prethee next time give me leave to make my Will.

Ram.

How came you here?

Town.

By the wheel of fortune, I can scarcely tell thee. I guess, I am luckily fallen upon some of thy intreagues; prethee, who was this Wench, with whom I have had so sweet a satisfaction?

Ramb.

I perceive your innocence by your ignorance. Come this way, farther from the house. 'Twas one of my two intreagues. I beat the bush, but thou hast catch'd the bird.

Town.

I only shot flying—I did no great execution—next time she'll be your game.

Ram.

Curse on all ill luck.

Town.

I told you in the morning, Fortune would jilt you.

Ram.

She has in this—But I have another design in store— Come, walk off, and as we go, let me understand a little more of this accident.

Town.

As little as you please at present, for I have Company staying for me at the Tavern.

Ram.

I am in haste too.—Come—I find we can make no prospe­rous voyage in Love.

Till Fortune, like the Woman will be kind.
Woman's the Tide, but Fortune is the Wind.
[Exeunt.

THE THIRD ACT. SCENE I.

Enter Arabella, and Engine.
Arab.

WHere is he gone, Engine?

Eng.

But into the Garden, Madam.

Arab.

I am concern'd at this mistake, which was occasion'd by the Orange wench—she thought I had meant Ramble, when I ask'd her who Town­ly was—for they are constant Companions, and were then together at the Play.

Eng.

Such mistakes are often when people are in Company.

Arab.

Suppose I should tell him 'tis a mistake, and that he is not the per­son —I—

Eng.

O, Madam, by no means, left for revenge he should discover to your husband—

Arab.

Do you think he would do so ill a thing?

Eng.

I believe he is a person brave enough, but who knows how he may resent the disappointment; you are to suppose the worst; that would be such an affront—

Arab.

Nay, I have no aversion to his person, and if I had never seen that Townly, I should have lik'd him extreamly.

Engine.

E'n resolve to go forward now, you'll like him better to morrow morning, I warrant you, you'll not be mistaken in him, he is finely shap'd.

Arab.

Well, if he press very hard, and I find I cannot come handsome­ly off—

Engine.

Whist, he's coming, Madam.

Enter Ramble.
Ram.

What, Madam, not in bed yet?

Arab.

Is it late, Sir?

Ram.

Oh very late; sitting up is pernicious to beauty—

Arab.

I'll take care of mine from your kind admonition,—I have but little and should preserve it—in order thereunto, Sir, I beg your pardon, and take my leave.

Ram.
[Page]

Ay ay, to bed, to bed,—Mrs. Engine, pray help me to a cap or a napkin.—

Arab.

What mean you, Sir?

Ram.

Faith, to go to bed too.—

Arab.

You'll go home first?—

Ram.

Devil take me if I do.

Arab.

What mean you then?

Ram.

To stay and sleep with you.—

Arab.

With me?

Ram.

Even so.

Arab.

Whether I will or no?

Ram.

That's e'n as you please; if you are as willing as I, 'tis so much the better.

Arab.

Sure you are but in jest.

Ram.

'Gad in as good earnest as ever I was in my life.—Come, Madam, act not against your Conscience, I know how matters go; you are a fine, a young, brisk, handsome Lady, and have a dull dronish Husband without a sting, I am a young active fellow fit for imployment, and 'ygad I know your wants, and for once will throw my self upon you, therefore come, Madam, come, your night-dress becomes you so well, and you look so very tempting—I can hardly forbear you a minute longer.

Arab.

You are very sharp set—methinks—

Ram.

Therefore be mercifull to a half famished Lover, and let me fall too without farther ceremony; Dear creature, go to thy bed, and let me not lose a minute of this blessed opportunity, the nights are short.—

Arab.

Nay I confess, now my Husband is out of Town, I am almost af­fraid to lie alone.

Eng.

Truly, and well you may, for I think the house is a little haunted— would I had a bed-fellow too, but the best on't is, I lie but in the next Chamber within.

Arab.

If any Spright comes, call to me.

Eng.

I thank you, Madam, but if it be not an arrant Devil indeed, I shall make shift to lay him without help.

Ram.

I dare swear, she'll make nothing of a Spright, she'll conjure him down I warant you.

Arab.

Well, well, Mr. Ramble, will you be conjur'd home?

Ram.

Conjur'd home? no, Madam, the Devil, I am sure, will be on my side, and let me stay here.

Arab.

I could chide you severely now, for your ill opinion of me, but you'd not care for't, and to stay longer to give you good Counsell would be loss of time, for I percieve you are past reclaim.

Ram.

Oh leave not so good a work unfinish'd, keep me with you all night, take a little pains extraordinary, I am not so stiff-neck'd a sinner but I may be mollified e'r morning.

Arab.

No, I am very sleepy and must go to bed, therefore pray begone.

Ram.
[Page 27]

If I go to night, let me be canoniz'd; is't possible, think you, for a man of flesh and bloud, to overcome so sweet a temptation?

Arab.

Go, Sir, as you hope—

Ram.

Nay, as for Hope and all that, ne'r question it: I have both Faith, Hope and Charity; Faith to believe you dissemble. Hope that you love me, and Charity enough to supply your wants in your Husband's absence.

Arab.

Well, Sir, I find you intend to be troublesome, I'll leave you.

Ram.

But I shan't leave you.

Arab.

Why, what do you intend to do?

Ram.

To follow you.

Arab.

Whither?

Ram.

To your Chamber.

Arab.

For what?

Ram.

To hugg, kiss, and come to bed to you.

Arab.

You won't offer it—

Ram.

I will.

Arab.

Give me a Candle: since you are so resolute, I'll try.

Ram.

Perhaps you'll shut the door.

Arab.

I scorn't: I'll see what you dare doe.

Ram.

I'll dare if I die for't.

Arab.

Take notice then, thou desperate resolute man, that I now go to my chamber, where I'll undress me, go into my bed, and if you dare to follow me, kiss or come to bed to me; if all the strength and passion a pro­voked woman has, can do't, I'll lay thee breathless and panting, and so maul thee, thou shalt ever after be affraid to look a woman in the face.

Ram.

Stay and hear me now: Thou shalt no sooner be there but I'll be there; kiss you, hugg you, tumble you, tumble your bed, tumble into your bed, down with you, and as often as I down with you be sure to give you the rising blow, that if at last you do chance to maul me, 'Gad you shan't have much reason to brag in the morning, and so angry, threatning woman get thee gone and doe thy worst.

Arab.

And, Sir, doe you your best. Adieu.—

[Arab. exit.
Eng.

Well here is like to be fearfull doings—here's heavy threatning on both sides.

Ram.

I long till the skirmish begins.

Eng.

I'll go in and help her to bed, she has nothing but her night-gown to slip off.

Ram.

Best of all; I'd fain have her at my mercy.

Eng.

Oh, Sir, have no mercy on her, she'll not complain of hard usage, I warrant you.

Ram.

Go thy ways, bonny Girle.

[Eng. exit.

I had almost forgot my man, I must send him away—Roger, Roger.

[Page] Enter Roger.
Roger.

Here, Sir.

Ram.

I shall sit up at Cards here all night but you may go home; get up early in the morning, and come with a chair in sight of the back door— sit in it at a little distance, and wait till I come.

Roger.

Yes, Sir.

Ram.

Be sure you fail not to be here early.

[Ram. exit.
Roger.

I warrant you, Sir. Well, I suspect what game my Master plays at to night, there will be fine shufling and cutting and dealing—But I am glad I am not to stand sentinell all night, but can go home to bed and sleep in a whole skin—so good night to all and speed the Plough.

[Exit.
Enter Engine.
Eng.

Let me see, what has my pains taking brought me in since morning 1—2—3—and 4—Guinies—When should I have got so much honestly in one day?—well this is a profitable profession, and in us that wait on Ladys the scandal is hid under the name of Consident or Wo­man: I would sooner choose to be some rich Lady's woman than many a poor Lord's Wife. This imployment was formerly stil'd Bawding and Pimping—but our Age is more civiliz'd—and our Language much re­fin'd —it is now a modish piece of service onely, and said, being com­plaisant, or doing a friend a kind office. Whore—(oh filthy broad word!) is now prettily call'd Mistress;—Pimp, Friend;—Cuckold-ma­ker, Gallant: thus the terms being civiliz'd the thing becomes more practicable,—what Clowns they were in former Ages.—Hark!—

Enter Doodle.
Dood.

Where are you here?

Eng. runs to the Chamber door and seems to speak as rejoycing.
Eng.

Ha! my Master—O Lord, Ma­dam, here's my Master, here's my Master, here's my Master▪ my Master's come—

Dood.

Why are the doors open at this time of night?

Eng.

My Master, Madam, my Master's come, O lemminy, my Master. my Master.

Dood.

Well, well, are you mad—I say why were the doors left open thus late?

Eng.

I was standing at the door, and my Lady call'd on a suddain.— I am so glad, Sir, you are come home, Sir,—Madam, here's my Master— here's my Master.

Dood.

Rogues might have come in and have rob'd the house.

Eng.
[Page 28]

My Mistress has been so wishing all the night you would come —Sir,—Madam, here's my Master.

Enter Arabella in Night-gown and Slippers, runs and huggs him about the Neck.
Arab.

Oh my dear—dear—dear—dear—art thou return'd?

Dood.

I have been come to Town a great while.

Arab.

Oh my dear—dear—dear—

Eng.

Hist.

Beckons to Mr. Ram. to slip by—he comes stea­ling out, Doodle turns and he slips back agen.
Dood.

I am so sleepy.

Arab.

Oh, you are a naughty hubby—you have been a great while in Town, and would not come home to me before—I won't love you now I think on't.

Dood.

Dear, I'll be going to bed.

Arab.

Ay, but you shall kiss me first, here 'tis your nown Wife.

Eng.

Hist, hist.

She huggs him agen, Eng. beckons to Ram. to come out and retreats.
Arab.

Kiss, kiss me heartily—Oh my hubby, dear, dear, dear hubby—

Eng.

Hem—em—ah—

[Comes out and retreats agen.
Dood.

So so, Wife, prethee be quiet—I am so weary, and thou stand'st hugging me—prethee let me go to bed.

Arab.

Engine, take the Candle and let us go see what's in the house for your Master to eat.

Dood.

I have supp'd already, Wife.

Arab.

It may be a great while since—come, Engine.

Dood.

No, just now—at Mr. Dashwell's.

Arab.

And what had my dear for supper—

Dood.

A Frigacie, and young Partridge.

Arab.

And how far went dear to day?

Dood.

A few Miles—

Arab.

And what time came you back?

Dood.

Two hours ago—

Arab.

And are you all come back together?

Dood.

Prethee, Wife, thou stand'st asking me so many questions.

Arab.

Untie your Masters shoes the while—

Dood.

No no, leave your fidling, give me my Cap and Night-gown.

Arab.

Engine, run into the Chamber and fetch 'em.

Dood.

No matter, we'll go in—

[Eng. exit.
Arab.

Well, Dear, Remember this, you are come home and won't make much of me—

[Sings.
I have a Husband, but what of that?
He neither loves me nor my little Cat;
The Cat gets a Mouse and with it does play,
But my Husband ne'r minds me all the long day—
Dood.
[Page]

Prethee wife, thou art so troublesome—

Arab.
There was a Lady lov'd a Swine, hunny quoth she.
Pig-hog wilt thou be mine—Hunh—quoth he—
Husband, you lov'd to see me merry formerly.
Dood.
Yes, wife, but I am so sleepy to night.
Enter Engine.
Eng.

Sir, there's none of your Gown—in the Chamber.

Dood.

Stay, now I think on't, 'tis in my Counting-house—Go to bed, wife, I'll undress me there, and come to you.

Arab.

Don't stay to look over any Letters—

Dood.

No, no, I'll come presently—

[Dood. exit.
Eng.

So, he's gone—

Arab.

Fox, Fox, come out of your hole.

Enter Ramble.
Ramb.

I am glad the enemy's drawn off a little—I was damnably af­fraid of his coming into the Chamber.

Arab.

I did all I could that you might slip by—

Ram.

I had best make haste out now—lest he return—

Eng.

Hark, Madam,—I heard my Master lock the door—and ten to one but he has taken the Key out?

Arab.

Run and see.

[Exit. Eng.
Ram.

If he has taken the Key, which way shall I get out.

Arab.

Ah—ha—ha—

Ram.

Is all this but a laughing matter?

Arab.

I laugh at your faint heart—

Enter Engine.
Eng.

Madam, I look'd down the Stair-case, and saw the Key in my Master's hand, he has carry'd it into his Counting-house—

Arab.

Nay, then you must abide by't now.

Eng.

What shall we doe, Madam?

Arab.

You must e'n carry Mr. Ramble, into your Chamber, and let him sleep in your bed—

Ram.

What, within there—the Chamber within yours?

Arab.

Even so, Sir,—and thank your Stars—

Ram.

'Gad, I sweat with the thoughts on't.

Eng.

And well you may, Sir,—for my Mistress is given to walk in her sleep—and if in the middle of the night she should chance to come to your bed-side-and take you betwixt sleeping and waking—

Ram.
[Page 29]

Thou hast put a very pleasing fancy in my head—say, Madam, will you be so kind—.

Eng.

That may easily be—my Master will soon be asleep, as you may know by his snoring.

Ram.

But, should he wake, and miss her—

Arab.

Must you be the first that starts the question?

Ram.

'Gad, Madam, I beg your pardon—

Arab.

To prevent that danger, when my husband snores, Engine, come you to my bed-side—softly, I'll rise, and you shall lye down in my place—

Eng.

So, now I have drawn my self into a premunire—But, Madam, should the Spirit move, and my Master wake and turn to me—

Arab.

Fool, he'll find thee a Woman, will he not?

Eng.

Nay, now I have your leave—and rather than spoil a good in­treague, I'll venture.

Ram.

An excellent device—

Engine.

Go, get you both in—you, into my Chamber, Sir, and you, Madam, slip into bed, and make as if you were fast asleep—you know my Master's custome, he's no sooner laid than a sleep, and then I'll come softly, and pinch you by the arm to rise—

Ram.

Rare wench—here will be an intreague.

Arab.

'Tis such an unlucky project, that I would not but venture for ne'r so much—I am pleas'd with the thoughts on't.

Engine.

Go, go, my Master's coming up,—softly—softly—

Ram.

And I am pleas'd, to think, when your husband's a snoring, how little he will dream of being a Cuckold—ha ha ha—

Arab. Ramb. exeunt.
Engine.

So, this business is retreiv'd again. I pity their case as it were my own, I hate to be bauk'd in my expectation; and of all things, disappointments in Love matters, are the greatest Curse. Here comes Mr. Alderman, who thinks nothing of all this—.

Enter Doodle, in a Cap and Night Gown.
Dood.

Is my wife in bed?

Engine.

Softly, Sir, she's a sleep.

Dood.

So, so, good night, make haste to bed.

Engine.

Go thy ways, Alderman, the Cuckoe sung o'r thy head as thou return'dst to Town to night. Oh the vain imaginations of a husband, who thinks himself secure of a wife, when he's in bed with her!—Oh were I but a wife, what ways would I invent to deceive a husband, and what pleasure I should take in the Roguery!—Well, I long to be marry'd, to show my wit. In the mean time, I am making Experiments at ano­ther's cost. But now I'll venture into my Chamber, and watch the Alaram of my Master's Nose; was it ever contriv'd before, that a husband himself should give his wife the Sign to make him a Cuckold.

[Goes to the door.
[Page] Re-enter Engine.
Eng.

My Master, snores already—and I hear my Mistress stirring, now must I to bed, and lye by a dull drowsy Animal; this, or nothing, will bring me to a Consumption.

Enter Arabella in her Night-gown.
Eng.

Hist, hist—Madam—

Arab.

Here—where are you—

Eng.

Here, Madam, give me your hand—

Arab.

Softly, wench, softly—

Eng.

I warrant you, Madam—he snores like a Turk.

Arab.

Where is the door—?

Eng.

There, there,—in—in—

Arab.

Have a care of waking my husband.

Eng.

Have you a care to make good use of your time, and don't stay too long.

Arab. exit.

So—thus far all goes well.—Now must I undergo the severe penance, to lye by a man in vain—and sweating for fear he should wake, and find me out in the Roguery—but I must venture now, let what will happen—So happy go lucky, and to bed gang I.

Rog.

without. Fire, fire, fire,

Eng.

Hark!

Knocking at the door.
Rog.

without, Fire, fire—fire—

Eng.

O heavens—we are undone—they cry Fire!—

Enter Arabella.
Arab.

O, Engine, don't you hear 'em knock, and cry fire!—

Rog.

without. Fire—fire—fire—

Knocking at the door,
Arab.

This will certainly waken him anon—Let us cry fire too, and say, I am just got up. Fire—fire—fire—

Rog.

without. Fire—fire—

Knocks hard.
Arab.

Get up, husband — or you'll be burnt—

Ram.

What must I do now—

Eng.

Don't stir out till my Master's gone—

Dood.

What's the matter, is the house on fire—

Eng.

Don't you hear 'em knock, and cry fire—

Dood.

Run down, and open the door.

Eng.

Give me the Key—

Dood.

'Tis below in my Counting house—come down—come down all. Oh, fire—fire—fire—

Arab. Eng. Doodle, exeunt.
[Page 30] Enter Ramble.
Ram.

What must I do now, venture to be discover'd, or stay here and dye a Martyr to save a Lady's honour? A pox of ill luck still. But here is no smell of burning, nor any smoak, sure the fire is not in this house—But I'll get to the Stair-head for fear, and watch my opportunity to escape unseen—'Tis well I did not undress me—

Enter Doodle, Arabella, below in the Street.
Dood.

Why, here's no fire, nor nothing like it—what could be the meaning of all this Out-cry and Knocking?

Arab.

I can't imagine.

Dood.

I heard them knock, and cry fire, as if they were mad, and yet when I open'd the door, here was no body!—

Arab.

It was a false Alaram—

Dood.

Where's Engine

Arab.

Striking fire within, to light a Candle—

Dood.

Come, wife—come in agen—this was the roguery of some Drunken fellows in their night froliques.

Arab.

I am glad it was no worse—

Dood.

Ha! who's there—who's there—

Going in, meets Ramble coming out.
Enter Ramble.
Ram.

A friend, Sir,—a friend—

Arab.

Oh heavens—Ramble there—

Dood.

A friend, Sir—how got you into my house—Engine, bring the Candle.

Ram.

I Lodge here, just by, and was going to bed, but hearing the Out-cry of fire, came running over just as your door open'd, and ran in to help you—But I believe 'tis some other house—there's no fire within, as I see—

Enter Engine, with a light.
Dood.

I see you are a Gentleman—Sir, your humble Servant, I thank you for your good will, but here's no need of help. All is safe.

Ram.

'Twas doubtless the Roguery of some unlucky Boys. Sir, your Servant, I wish you a good night—

Dood.

Your Servant, Sir—Come, wife—Engine—lock fast the doors—

Eng.

Yes, Sir—

Ram.

Now you have the Key—open the door agen by and by, and let me in, I'll be here abouts—

Eng.

Ah, you could not stay above—you a Lover!

Ram.
[Page]

Dear Mistress Engine, don't chide, but do what I request.

Eng.

Well, I'll acquaint my Lady—if she'll consent, I'll contrive to get you in agen—

Engin. exit. and locks the door.
Ram.
And Gold shall be thy reward.
Never was man, certainly, so cross'd in Love—
Surely, some evil charm or spell is upon me.
A false alarm of fire—Curse upon their tongues.
And I to be so unfortunate too, to come down Stairs—
Enter Roger.
Roger.

The door is shut, and all quiet—oh, here's my Master—

Ram.

Who's there—

Rog.

'Tis I, Sir, your man Roger.

Ram.

What do you doe here—did not I send you home to bed.

Roger.

If I had been in bed, where had you been, Sir—

Ram.

Why, Sirrah—

Roger.

I'll tell you, Sir—that you may know what a piece of service I have done you, and how fitly qualifi'd I am to be your Servant.

Ram.

Well, Sir, in what—

Ro.

I guess'd, Sir, by your sending me home, that your stay there all night, was to play at a better game than any upon the Cards—

Ram.

What, you imagin'd a Woman in the case—

Ro.

Troth I did, and 'twas a lucky thought—I was no sooner out of doors, but I met an acquaintance, and as I stood there talking, I perceiv'd a man come ploding a long—go in without knocking, and shut the door— This, thought I, is the Husband.

Ram.

So—

Ro.

Now thought I, may my Master, be in bed with this man's wife—

Ramb.

You had the impudence to think so—

Ro.

My Conscience was so wicked to tell me so at that time, Sir.

Ram.

Proceed.

Ro.

Now thought I, must my Master be cramb under the bed, or thrust into a Closset, or Woodhole, and remain in Purgatory all night to save a Lady's honour—unless I work his deliverance.

Ram.

Well, Sir.

Ro.

So, to get the door open'd, and put the people into confusion, I cry'd out Fire—and thunder'd, and knock'd as hard as I could, till I rais'd the house, that you might escape in the hurry—Now, Sir, if you will speak your Conscience, I do believe this piece of policy brought you off— your bare acknowledgment, Sir, will be to me above any reward—

Ram.

It was you then, that Knock'd, and cry'd out Fire—

Ro.

Yes, Sir—at your service.

Ram.

Lend me that stick in your hand.

Ro.

This stick, for what, Sir?

Ram.

Lend it me, I say—

Rog.
[Page 31]

Here, Sir, here.

Ram.

Now will I reward your excellent piece of service.

Rog.

Oh Sir—ô, what do you mean, Sir?

Ram.

To beat you till you have no invention left.

Rog.

Oh—ô ô ô, Sir, will you be ungratefull, Sir, will you be ungratefull?

Ram.

Was it you, you Dog, hinder'd me of the sweetest enjoyment man ever miss'd, just at the very minute I was to have been happy?

Rog.

Oh 'twas well meant, twas well meant indeed, Sir.

Ram.

Begon and come not near me this week, lest I beat thee to Mummy.

Rog.

What a cross Fate is here, I expected reward and applause, but meet with reproches and stripes—but I'll solace my self with the thoughts that the Wise are not always successfull.

Fortune's a Jilt and so often doth vary,
That Fools may succeed and Wise men miscarry.
Rog. ex.
Ram.

In two attempts I have been defeated already, enough to dis­hearten an ordinary Lover, but it was the spight and malice of Fortune, and not want of Love in the fair Arabella, therefore as long as she is willing I will be daring; I am so elivated with the thoughts of her that I cannot sleep, but will spend this night in buffeting with Fortune.

Engine at the Window.
Eng.

Sir,—Mr. Ramble.

Ram.

Here have you prevail'd shall I once more—

Eng.

My Lady is willing, she sits up reading and pretends she can't sleep —he is snoring in bed agen—and you have the rarest opportunity— but my Master took the Key agen after I had lock'd the door—and we don't know how to get you in.

Ram.

Is there no hole nor window to creep in at?

Eng.

Just there below, is a Cellar window with a bar out, the shutter on the inside is unpin'd, and will give way, try if you can get in there, if you can, I will go down and show you up.

Ram.

I have found it here—even with the ground.

Eng.

Try if it be wide enough to get through.

Ram.

I believe it is.

Eng.

I'll come down then and open the Cellar door.

Ram.

Doe doe—rare—

Eng. goes from the Window.

Now for a cleanly conveyance, that I could but pass and re-pass like a Jug­lers Boy, or were like an egg steep'd in Vineger to be drawn through the compass of a Thumb-ring—now for the Experiment, by this time she is come down on the other side to help me—I'll go heels forward be­cause I don't know how far it is to the bottome—so I am half through —hup—hup—it begins to grow strait—hup—hup—the reward of Lovers had need be sweet for which they endure so much—hup—hup—'tis damnable narrow now, but I'll give 'tother squeeze,—hup—hup—hup— O my guts—I can't get an Inch further—what a spight is this— I must e'n come out agen.

[Page] Engine above at the Window.
Eng.

Sir, Sir,—where are you?

Ram.

Where are you?

Eng.

Here, above—the Cook Maid has lock'd the Cellar door and taken out the Key—I can't find it to get down—and if you do get in you can't come up stairs.

Ram.

I am half in, but if the door were open, I could not get any farther: I must give o'r for this night, and think of a Stratagem against to morrow, —hup—hup—hup—I am stuck fast—I can neither get quite in nor out.—

Eng.

How, Sir?—

Ram.

Hup-a—hup-a—hup a—'tis so, I am fast,—there is some damn'd hook or staple on the inside has got hold of my cloaths.

Eng.

What will you doe now, Sir?

Ram.

A Pox of projects—here must I hang like a Monkey by the Loins.

Eng.

Ha ha ha—

Ram.

Hist hist, yonder comes company, now shall I be taken for a house­breaker —oh 'tis none but a Link-boy.

Lin.
Sauny was tall and of noble race
[Sings going along.
And lov'd me better than any ean,
Have a Light.
But now he ligs by another Lass,
Sings, and as he passes by Ram. knocks his link on his head as by chance and exit.
And Sauny will ne'r be my Love again.
Have a Light; will you have a Light?
Ram.

A son of a Whore knock'd his Link just in my face.

Eng.

Ha ha ha—excuse me, Sir, I can't forbear—ha ha ha—

Ram.

S'death, how it scalds!

Eng.

Hist, Sir, Hist.

Ram.

Hau! I hear a Casement open above—I fear your laughing has wa­ken'd some of the neighbours—

A Window opens above, and one throws a hamber-pot of water upon his head just as he looks up.
It's so dark I can't see—
Oh confound you—
Eng.

What's the matter, Sir.

Ram.

One Rogue set me on fire with a Link, and another has quench'd me with a stale Chamberpot: faugh how [...]t stinks.

Eng.

That roguish Prentice at the next house does so almost every night.

Ram.

Never was Lover in such a pickle.

Eng.

Truly, this is enough to cool any bodys courage: but is't not pos­sible for you to get out?

Ram.

Hup-a—hup-a—hup-a—all won't doe, I am as fast as if I were wedg'd in.

Eng.

Be silent, yonder comes some body, I hear 'em tread.

[Page 32] Enter Two Chimney-sweepers.
1 Ch.

Hold, Tom, stay, I am damnably grip'd in my Guts, I must slip a point.

2 Ch.

Make haste then.

Stands with his back just against Ramble's face going to untruss.
1 Ch.

Oh I am damnably full of wind.

Ram.

Faugh! out you stinking Cur.

1 2 Ch.

Who's there, who's there?

Ram,

A Friend.

1 Ch.

Who are you, what are you?

Ram.

A Gentleman.

2 Ch.

Oh a Gentleman.

Ramb.

Pray help me here, and lend me your hands.

2 Ch.

What, are you wounded, Sir?

Ramb.

No, no; coming late to my Lodging, and loth to disturb the house with knocking, because of a sick person within; I went to get in at the Cellar widow—and am stuck fast.

1 Ch.

And can't you get out, Sir?

Ramb.

No, lend me your help to pull me out.

2 Ch.

Stay, for ought we know you may be some Thief breaking into the house.

Ram.

No no, 'tis as I tell you.

1 Ch.

But how shall we know that?

Eng.

'Tis true, as he tells you, Friends, help the Gentleman out.

2 Ch.

Oh, nay then, Mistress, we'll do our best.

1 Ch.

Hark you, Tom—a rare opportunity—

Whisper.
2 Ch.

Ay ay, well thought on—but are you sure, Sir, you can't get out?

Ram.

No, I have been strugling this half hour.

1 Ch.

Come, Tom, help the Gentleman, take you hold of him by that arm—hold, Sir, we shall spoil your Hat and Periwig—

2 Ch.

Give me your sword, Sir, out of your hand—now, Tom

1 Ch.

Scoure and away.

They take his Hat and Periwig off, clap on one of their old sooty hats on his head and run away—his face is all black'd with them—
Ram.

Thieves, Thieves, Thieves!

Eng.

What have they done, Sir?

Ram.

The Rogues instead of hel­ping me, are run away with a new Bever hat, my Periwig and Sword.

Eng.

Oh the Rascals—Sir, Sir, your crying out has rais'd the Watch, what will you doe now?

Ram.

Now shall I be lodg'd in the Counter, and carried before a Magi­strate to morrow, and all the City will ring of me by noon; I shall be talk'd of in every Coffee-house, and Poor Robin will make me a jest o'r all the Nation.

Eng.

Give 'em good words, Sir—I'll withdraw—

Ram.

Hist hist,—I'll be silent, it may be they may pass by and not see me.

[Page] Enter Watchmen with Lanthorns.
1. W.

Here, this way they cry'd Theives, follow, follow.

2.

Ay, 'twas here abouts—

3.

Ha—here's one lies upon the ground.

1.

Are you kill'd, Sir, speak—?

2.

Ay, if you are dead, pray tell us.

Ramb.

No friends—I am not much hurt.

3.

Hau, Neighbours, he's half way in at the grates, this is some theif.

1.

Ay, ay, a Rogue, come to rob the house.

2.

Ay, ay, a Rogue, come to rob the house.

Ram.

Pray help me out friends, and I'll tell you the truth.

2.

Hold there—there may be more Rogues in the house—before we take him out, let us knock, and raise the house.

1.

Ay, knock hard—

Knock hard at the door.
2.

Rise—Thieves, here, thieves—thieves in your house—

Ram.

Now shall I be disgrac'd—

3.

Knock hard, knock hard—

[Knock agen.
Ram.

Now, what lye shall I invent to save my credit?

1.

What, don't they hear—let me knock.

Doodle—above at the Window.
Dood.

Hold—hold—are you mad—what's the matter there-friends?

3.

We have catch'd a Thief creeping in at your Cellar window.

Dood.

A Thief!

3.

We believe there are some of his Come-rogues in the house already— let the door be open'd, and we'll search—

Dood.

Honest watchmen, I thank you—I'll come down to you pre­sently.

Ram.

Pray, honest Watchmen, help me out, for I am in a great deal of pain.

1.

Come Neighbours, we may venture to pull him out now.

2.

Ay, come—pull you by that arm.—So—pluck, pluck hard—

Ram.

Oh—

3.

Nay, you must endure't—Come neighbours, away with't, all hands to work.

Ram.

Zounds, my Guts.

2.

So—'tis done—get up, Sir—

1.

See, the very Iron bars are bent.

Enter Doodle, in his Night gown, with Head-piece, and Bandileers, and a Musquet charg'd and cock'd.
Dood.

Come, where is this thief? where are these Rogues? I'll scoure among 'em.

2.
[Page 33]

Here's one we found sticking fast betwixt the Bars in the Cellar grates.

Dood.

Was he so, was he so, where are the rest?

3.

We suppose there are some in the Cellar, that got in before.

Dood.

Say you so, say you so, if they be there I'll send 'em out, have amongst you blind Harpers. Oh Neighbours, neighbours, ôh—

Doodle stoops down and shoots the Musquet off in the Cellar window, falls backward, as knock'd down, and lets it fall out of's hand.
1.

You han't hurt your self, Master, I hope?

Dood.

O Neighbours, I can't tell, pray see, pray see.

2.

No, Sir, I don't see any hurt you have.

3.

You don't bleed, Sir.

Dood.

Is my right arm on, is not my shoulder broke in pieces?

1.

Stir your arm, Sir, stir it. Do you feel any pain?

Dood.

No, not at all.

2.

Get up then, Master, there's no hurt done.

3.

Was it the recoil of the Musquet, beat you down?

Dood.

Ay, ay, it was always a damn'd obstinate Piece.—Come where is the Rogue? 'twas all long of him, let me talk with him.

1.

Whilst you examine him, we'll search below.

Dood.

Ay, pray do. Engine, go below with the Watchmen.

Enter Arabella, and Engine.
Eng.

You must perswade 'em to let him go.

[Exeunt one watch and Eng.
Arab.

What's the matter here, husband?

Dood.

We have catch'd a Thief, wife, breaking in at the Cellar window.

Arab.

My dear, this is the Gentleman that was so kind to come and offer his service to night, when Fire was cry'd out.

Dood.

Is't so, that cry of fire was his plot, to rob me, but that design failing, he has made this new attempt.

Ram.

Sir, I am a Gentleman, and one that scorns such base actions— I'll tell in short, Sir, how I came to be fastned in your window.

Dood.

Ay that, Sir.

Ram.

When I left you to night, I walk'd down the street for a little air, returning, I was dog'd by two or three Rogues, who came behind me in the dark, and knock'd me down, snatch'd away my Hat, Sword, and Per­riwig, and began to riflle my pockets—knowing I had this purse of Gold about me—I slid from 'em upon the ground as far as I could, and strugling with 'em, found my feet in at a Cellar window, and crowded my self as far in as I could to scape from 'em, or at least, to secure my pockets. Finding this, the Rogues let go their hands from my mouth (which till then was stop'd) to pull me out, that they might get at my money—But I cry'd Thieves, which the Watch presently hearing, away ran the Rogues, and so I sav'd my money.

Dood.

Then you cry'd out Thieves your self?

Ram.
[Page]

Yes,—'twas I—

Dood.

And have been rob'd of your Hat and Peruque—

Ram.

Yes—

Dood.

How came you so disguis'd, and your face black'd, and that Hat upon your head?

Ram.

The Rogues that took mine, clapt this on to muzzle me and stop my breath from calling out—this, and their hands black'd my face so— the Rogues were Chimny-sweepers, or some that went in that disguise to rob—that they might not be suspected for walking about—

Arab.

'Tis very likely husband—

Dood.

Ay, so 'tis, and if no body be found in my house, I'll release you.

Enter Engine, and Watchman.
Watch.

We can find no body, Sir.

Eng.

We have look'd so much as in the Oven, and the Cistern.

Dood.

Well, Sir, your Servant then—Watchmen, see the Gentleman home, and call to morrow, and I'll give you something to drink.

2.

Your Servant, Master.

3.

Your Servant, Master.

1.

What, must he go then?

2.

Ay, he's an honest Gentleman, and has been rob'd himself.

Ram.

Sir, good night to you, I am sory my misfortunes occasion'd this disturbance.

Arab.

Hark you, Sir, now the worst is pass'd, let me put in a word be­fore you go. Lord, Sir, that your Mistress was but here in my place to see you now.

Ram.

I should not be much sory if she were, I am not the first unfor­tunate Lover, I'de say it happen'd to me for her sake, coming to see her.

Arab.

She could not choose but love you for such a piece of Knight Er­rantry, and take you about the Neck, and kiss you.

Ram.

Not till I had wash'd my face, fair Lady.

Arab.

Oh, don't wash your face, by no means, before you see her, for now you are the Comliest black Gentleman, methinks.

Ram.

Well, well, Lady, insult o'r my misfortunes.

Arab.

At least, Sir, let your Picture be drawn in this posture, to present to her, and write underneath—The Wandering black-Knight.

Dood.

Dear, you are too bold with the Gentleman.

Ram.

I am glad my afflictions yield any divertisement, another time it may be my turn to laugh, I confess I am a little out of Countenance now.

Arab.

What, such a handsome proper Gentleman as you are, out of coun­tenance —? fy, fay, methinks a man of your Complexion should not blush at any thing.

Dood.

Pray excuse her, Sir,—my Wife's a merry prating wagg—

Ram.

I like her ne'r the worse—

Dood.

Good night Sir—good night neighbours—

Ram.
[Page 34]

Your Servant, Sir,—good night Mrs. Mag-Pye.

Arab.

Chimny sweep—Boh.

Dood.

Come wife, you were a little too severe with the Gentleman.

Arab.

What, should I have no revenge of him for disturbing us and raising us out of our beds?

Ram.

Come Gentlemen, forward to my Lodging—this way— stay, yonder's some body with a light, I would not be seen—

Enter Townly—and Tom.
Town.

Now, you Dog, am not I very merry, this 'tis to be drunk, you Dog.

[Townly, singing.
Tom.

Sir, don't make a noise, we are near the Watch.

Town.

Watch, show 'em me, that I may scower among 'em—I ne'r kill'd a watchman yet.

1.

Who goes there—

Town.

You are the Son of a Whore—

[Sings.
Ram.

'Tis Townly drunk—

2.

Knock him down—

Ram.

Be kind to him, 'tis a friend of mine—he's in drink.

Town.

Hold—a truce—a friend of thine? who the Devil art thou?

3.

Well, Master, for your sake—

Town.

For his sake! whats he, a Devil, or one of the Black-guard here upon Earth— No, in my Conscience, 'tis a Jesuite.

Tom.

By his Cloth, Sir, it should be Mr. Ramble.

Town.

Ramble—what a pox, I should know Ramble from a Black-sheep. Hold up your light—Ramble—what a pox dost thou doe thus like the Prince of Darkness, with these Hell-hounds about thee, and in this pickle?

Ram.

Misfortunes, Franck, misfortunes.

Town.

Thou art an unseasonable Blockhead, Ned, to go a Masquerading thus, when it has been so long out of fashion.

1.

The Gentleman has been knock'd down, and rob'd, Sir.

Town.

Ay neighbours, that comes of Whoring.

Ram.

Hold your tongue, you'll make a discovery—I confess, I was about the other intreague I told you of.

Town.

And the husband came, and you were forc'd to creep up the Chimny to get away.—This comes of your whoring still.—Hark you Friends, did you not catch this Gentleman Catter-wauling upon the ridge of a house?

3.

No, Sir, stuck fast in a Cellar grates, half in, and half out.

Town.

What, Burglary, Ned, Burglary—worse and worse, this comes of whoring still.

2.

No, Master, 'twas no Burglary—he crawl'd into the grates to save his money, he lost but his Hat, Perriwig and Sword.

Town.

This comes of your whoring still.—hereafter, Ned, be rul'd [Page] by me, leave lewd whoring, and fall to honest drinking; you see I am not turn'd Conjurer, nor look like one that had been studying the Black-art. Wine don't disguise a man half so much as whoring, Ned.

Ram.

Come, prethee go home—Watchmen, forward, this Gentle­man and I, lodge in the same house.

Town.

Look you, friends, I'll go home if you please, but for this Tar­tar here, e'n take a lodging for him at some great Inn—hang out his Picture, blow a Trumpet, and show him for Groats a piece. I warrant you, you'll raise a Patrimony,—be wise I say, and get money by him, you'll never have the opportunity of such another Monster.

1.

The Gentleman's dispos'd to be merry with you, Master.

Town.

Well; Ned, Fare thee well—to tell the truth, I am a little asham'd of your company at present—I am sory to leave my friend in affliction,—but this comes of whoring, Ned, this comes of your whoring.

3.

What, Master, are you gone?

[Exeunt Townly, and Tom.
Ram.

Hang him, let the Tyrant go—'twill be my turn to insult one of these daies.

[Exeunt.

THE FOURTH ACT. SCENE I.

Enter Townly and Ramble.
Town.

NEver was a more unfortunate adventure▪ the husband unexpected­ly to come home when you were going to bed to his wife, a false alarm of fire when she was coming to you, a third defeat by sticking fast in a window, there to be burnt with a link, drown'd with a chamber-pot rob'd of your cloths, taken by the watch, suspected to be a thief, the house alarm'd, the husband see you, your mistress jear you, your friend to come by and laugh at you, in all your afflictions how truly maiest thou sing Fortune my Foe.

Ramb.

But you were a little too unmercifull considering how my supper fell into your mouth but just before—that the Devil should send you there just in the critical minute.

Town.

Right, there was another fine turn of fortune, you started the hare, gave her the long course, I fell in by chance and took her at the half turn.

Ram.

I could curse my Stars.

Town.

'Tis in vain, they will still shed their malicious influence, you will have no luck at intreagues, I always told you so, therefore for the fu­ture make your Court to the Bottle, Ned, to the Bottle—

Ram.

I would take your counsel and forswear all woman kind, but for the hope I have to bring one of these two designs to perfection yet: my first Mistress err'd by mistake, the second jear'd me to blind her Husband.

Town.

Still wilt thou be misled by hopes; hope is yet more flattering far than women, and a greater jilt than Fortune; 'tis the grand bawd to all ill luck.

Enter Roger, a Letter.
Ro.

Her's a Letter, Sir, to be delivered to you with all speed.

Ram.

Ha—let me see't quickly—

Opens it and reads.

From Eugenia.

Town.

Ay the Devil's coming abroad again to hinder your conversion.

[Page] Ramble reads.
SIR,

My Husband will be from home all this morning, I am very desirous to be informed the particulars of last nights misfortune; curiosity forces me, in spight of blushes to give you this invitation.

Enter at the back-door without knocking, if you meet not Jane below come directly up stairs.—

Good.

Town.

Here's another springe laid to catch the Woodcock.

Ram.

Frank, is not here temptation now, is it to be resisted think you, can flesh and blood forbear going?

Town.

Truly here is a very fair appearance.

Ram.

What can hinder now?

Town.

The old Devil may dance again.

Ram.

Franck Townly, give me thy hand—If I fail now, I will, from this time, give over assignation and stratagems and be thy convert for ever—

Town.

Upon those tearms I consent to part with thee, adieu.

Ram.

Adieu. Now you shall see me return triumphant.

Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Enter Eugenia and Jane.
Eug.

Iane, have you sent my Letter?

Iane.

Yes, Madam, but the Messenger is not return'd.

Eug.

It was a very strange accident last night—I cannot but think on't. I would fain know the riddle—I can't imagine how it came about.

Iane.

Mr. Ramble, when he comes, will inform you all: I look'd out at window, and saw them both go away together—they were old ac­quaintance.

Eug.

I hope the Gentleman, who e're he was, had bravery enough to evade the acknowledgment of what pass'd—

Iane.

I fear Mr. Ramble over-heard too much—and that was the oc­casion he drew his Sword.

Eug.

Worst come to the worst—if I cannot cover it with denials, he must acknowledg it but a mistake; and himself in the fault.

Iane.

Ay, Madam, what made him absent?

Eug.

Iane, be you about the door below, and watch for the answer or his coming: I do not yet comprehend the meaning of this stranger,

[Jane ex.

What made him so curious to spy into secrets of the family the first night of his coming? there is a mystery too in that—here he comes— now I'll dive into that matter.

[Page 36] Enter Loveday.
Love.

Madam, good morrow to you, I have watch'd your Husband's going out to get an opportunity to speak with you in private. Nay, blush not, Madam, at any thing that pass'd last night; what knowledge I have ga­ther'd of your secrets, lyes bury'd in this breast, the frolique I play'd last night, was harmless, and for mirth-sake, and such, as I hope you can freely pardon.

Eug.

I hope you have honour enough to conceal a Womans failings, there was no ill intended by that Gentleman's being there, but your disco­very of the person might have prov'd dangerous, and given great cause of suspicion.

Love.

I had not proceeded so far, but to clear the house of a Rival.

Eug.

What mean you, Sir?

Love.

By a Rival, I mean an Intruder to your affections, one that in­vades my right.

Eug.

I understand you not, Sir.

Love.

Eugenia, Marriage has intitled you your Husbands, your duty and obedience are his, but if you have any Love to spare beside, I claim it as my due.

Eug.

As your due?—I confess you have plaid the Spy, and know my secrets, therefore may think to make me comply, and to keep me in aw by threatning to discover last nights transactions to my husband, but that is a poor design.

Love.

No, Lady, I scorn that, I have better pretensions and a Nobler claim—Look well on me, though in disguise, do you not know me?

Eug.

Know you!

Love.

Am I not like one that once lov'd you, and to whom you often kindly said, you could never love any other man? Is Loveday so lost in your remembrance? Have seven years so alter'd me, that I am in nothing, like the man I was?

Eug.

Loveday! is it you? forgive my excess of wonder; your growth and the small Pox have so alter'd you, that I scarce know you in any thing but your voice, and even that is alter'd too.

Love.

You see, Eugenia, how subject we are to change; but my heart is still the same, and I wish yours were so too.

Eug.

Be assur'd, Loveday, I can never hate the man I once lov'd so much.

Love.

How young and innocent were we in our first Loves—and all our vowes sincere—but time and absence has effus'd them quite, and your heart has taken new impressions. O, Eugenia, 'tis death to me to see you, and not to see you mine.

Eug.

Speak not too much, my Loveday, least you agen raise the flame which never was quite extinct, for still it lies hot and glowing at my heart. —But tell me, why came you in this disguise, and with pretence to be a Servant?

Love.
[Page]

When I return'd from travell, I heard the fatal news of your Marriage, but excuse you, because your friends deceiv'd you, and I was absent.

Eug.

Alas! they told me you were dead, and I heard it several times confirm'd.

Love.

That was our Parents plot to divide our affections. They writ the same to me of you.

Eug.

Had I known you were living—

Love.

Well, Eugenia, say no more of that. I come now to play an af­ter-game▪ though you are married, and your person is your husband's, I claim a share in your affections, since wholly I cannot enjoy you, allow me what part you can. I cannot live without your kindness, and since your inclinations to a Gallant, are partly privileg'd by the constraint of your marriage,—I claim that title.

Eug.

I confess I once lov'd you, nor had my affections ever abated, but from report of your death; the sight of you revives them agen— be you discreet, and I cannot be unkind.

Love.

Blessed Eugenia!

Eug.

But why came you in this disguise?

Love.

To get admittance into your house.

Eug.

How came you by that letter of Recommendation from my hus­band's brother?

Love.

I took it from a youngman that had been his servant at Hamborough, —He desirous to return to live in England, obtain'd it from his Master, to recommend him to your husband.—Coming in the same Ship together, I learn'd from his discourse he depended on Service, and what provision he had made for his reception here—I receiv'd him into mine, took this Letter from him with design to personate him here, which has succeeded so fortunately, as once more to introduce me to the presence of my dear-long-lov'd Eugenia.

Eug.

How shall I recompence this Constancy?

Love.

Love is the best reward of Love: I cannot long remain in this dis­guise, for I must appear to my friends, who expect my arrival every day; therefore let slip no opportunity may make us bless'd.

Eug.

My dear Loveday.

Love.

Now the hour is inviting; your husband abroad, no body to ob­serve or restrain our desires.—Say—shall we now? blush not, nor turn thy head into my bosome, but to thy Chamber, my dear.

Eug.

You have prevail'd—and I have power to refuse you nothing— retire in there, and expect my coming. I will only give some necessary or­ders to my Maid, and come to you presently.

Love.

My dear Soul, make haste, for Love has but a short time to reap the harvest of many years.

Love. Exit.
Eug.

I must contradict my orders to Iane, least I be surpriz'd by Master Ramble; his coming now is to be avoided as well as my husband's.— O, Iane, what news?

[Page 37] Enter Jane.
Iane.

Madam, Mr. Ramble was gone abroad, but his Man is run to look him, to give him your Letter.

Eug.

No matter for his coming now, I have alter'd my mind, I am glad he was not at home.

Iane.

Will you not see him then, if he comes?

Eug.

Not now▪—I will tell you my reasons another time.

Iane.

Well, Madam, 'tis ten to one whether his Man finds him.

Eug.

Whither are you going?

[Going away towards the Chamber.
Iane.

Into your Chamber, to make your bed.

Eug.

No no, stay, I ll go to bed agen for an hour.

Iane.

I'll lay it smooth then for you.

Eug.

Hold, don't go in, go down, and remain below 'till I call you, but watch my husband's coming, be as diligent to give me notice, as if Mr. Ramble were here.

[Eug. Exit.
Iane.

Yes, Madam. What can the meaning of this be? or is he in her Chamber already, and she would not have me know it—it must be so by her not letting me go in—he slipt up Stairs whilst I was absent—this is but a sudden fit of modesty in her—I shall know all anon.

[Jane exit.
Enter Loveday, and Eugenia—In the Bed-chamber—he unbutton'd, sitting upon the Bed-side.
Love.

Come to my armes, dear kind creature, and let me gaze upon thy Charms a while, before thy Curtains are drawn round us, and day is shut from our sight. Thus could I Look, and Kiss, and Hugg, for ever. O! I am in an ecstacy of Joy.

Eug.

Came you hither to talk, my dear?

Love.

O dear Soul! how kind was that rebuke? come, now to bed— to bed, that we may plunge in Bliss, and dive in the sweet Ocean of Delight.

Eug.

Some body knocks at the door—who's there?

Jane
without.

Madam, my Master is below, and just coming up to you.

Eug.

O, good wench, run down and stop him a little.

Iane.

He's coming up Stairs now.

Love.

Where shall I hide my self?

Eug.

Here, in the Maids Chamber, the door's lock'd, and the key out.

Love.

Ne'r a Closset in the room?

Eug.

No Sir, here, here, cover your self in the bed, I'll draw the Curtains round you.

She covers him in the bed, shuts the Cur­tains, and sits upon a Cushion by the bed­side, as reading.
Love.

O, any where.

Eug.

So, now for my Book, and a Cushion, and to my devotions—

[Page] Enter Dashwell and Jane.
Iane.

Pray, Sir, don't go in there, I am just going to make the bed.

Dash.

Well, I shan't stay—what is your Mistress doing?

Iane.

What she is alwaies doing, Sir, praying I think—

Dash.

Oh, yonder she is—come wife, pray thee lay by thy book, I did never see the like on thee, thou art alwaies reading one good book or ano­ther.

[exit. Jane.
Eug.

I had just done, husband, and was coming down—that Iane might clean the room. Come, will you go below.

Dash.

No, prethee stay a little, wife, I came only to see thee, and tell thee the news—the Bride and Bridegroom are come from Church—

Eug.

Where were they married—

Dash.

They would have no Licence, and so were married at the Mino­ryes, a place at liberty, because it was more private.—

Eug.

I would not have been married at one of those ungodly, unsancti­fied Chapels, methinks, for ne'r so much—'tis very unlucky they say—

Dash.

What luck Mr. Alderman will have, I know not; 'tis such a Match, methinks—the Bride is more fit to play with a Barthelomew-Baby than to have a Husband; Cuds-niggs, a Cock Sparrow would be too many for her.

Eug.

How you talk, husband—and who was there at the Wedding?

Dash.

Only his brother Alderman and my self, and an old woman the Bride calls Aunt.—Wife—come hither wife—prethee wife come—

Enter Jane.
Iane.

Madam, won't you please to go down?

Dash.

Iane, go down, and fetch up your Mistresses Caudle.

Iane.

Sir, my Mistress has eaten her breakfast already.

Dash.

Eh—pouh—fetch me a Candle, and my Tobacco box—

Iane.

Lord, Sir, you won't offer to take Tobacco here, in my Mistresses Chamber.

Dash.

Hark some-body knock's.

Iane.

No, Sir, no—

Dash.

Eh, pouh, pish—here, here, take the Key of my Counting­house and fetch the pacquet of Letters that lies in the window.

Iane.

You know, Sir, I could never open that scurvy door in my life.

Dash.

Pox of this dull wench—she has put me by, I shan't have such a mind again this month: well, wife, I'll leave thee, I must go and dine with 'em; I promis'd 'em not to stay, fare thee well, I'll come and see you before night.

[Dash. exit
Eug.

As you please, husband; Iane, go down and stay below.

Iane.
[Page 38]

Yes, Madam,—am I agen sent away, I can see no body— what can the matter be—I shall find it out.

[Jane exit.
Eug.

His absence never was more wish'd—are you not in a sweat, Sir?

Love.

I am almost smother'd with the cloaths, I lay so still I durst scarcely breathe; if he had proceeded in his kindness to you, there had been more sacks to th'mill—I should have had a fine time on't.

Eug.

Ianes coming was very lucky.

Love.

Would he not have been put off, think you?

Eug.

Yes, he's never very troublesome.

Love.

Is he quite gone, think you?

Eug.

Stay, lie still a little, I'll look out at window and see if he be gone forth.

Love.

Doe, let all be secure, and then, Eugenia, let us to bed with all the eager haste that ever Lovers made.

Eug.

Hark, I think I hear him coming up stairs again.

Love.

Then, like a Snail, I will draw in my hornes once more—

Eug.

Shut, shut the Curtain.

Enter Ramble followed by Jane.
Iane.

Hold, Sir, hold, you must not go in.

Ram.

You are mistaken, Mrs. Iane.

Iane.

My Mistress charg'd me to the contrary.

Ram.

I tell you, you are mistaken; I had a Letter from her, she sent for me—

Iane.

But, Sir, my Master—

Eug.

Who is that, Iane, Mr. Ramble?

Ram.

'Tis I, Madam, your humble servant—

Eug.

Leave us, Iane.

Ram.

I received your Letter, kiss'd it a thousand times, and made what haste I could to obey your summons.

Eug.

Things are alter'd since, my husband—

Ram.

He's safe, Madam, I saw him go out.

Eug.

He will be back again immediately.

Ram.

I heard him tell a servant as he went forth, that he should not re­turn till evening.

Eug.

He's gone but cross the street, I am sure he will not stay long, let me beg you therefore to shorten your visit.

Ram.

You seem to drive me hence, do you repent you sent for me?

Eug.

No, Sir, but I was so scar'd last night, that I dare not run too great a hazzard, it imports me, Sir, to be wary.

Ram.

Well that Conjuring Rascal was a witty fellow; when he first be­gan his frolique, he made me in a sweat with apprehension.

Eug.

I was in a sad trembling too.

Ram.

His calling me forth at last for a Devil, was an excellent piece of service.

Eug.

I fear'd that would have discover'd all.

Ram.

I had a Rheum tickled my throat, and if he had not by that [Page] device deliver'd me, my cough would have burst out—I had long be­fore much a doe to smother it.

Eug.

It was a fair scape indeed; therefore let us prevent the like acci­dents for the future; wherefore if you love me, or ever hope for my kind­ness, go away now for fear of a mischief.

Ram.

What, leave you already, when you sent for me?

Eug.

By that you see my kindness, were it convenient—therefore, pray go.

Ram.

We have not yet tal [...]'d half enough—you have given me no ac­count of the mistake that happen'd after.

Eug.

The greatest mistake was in you at the door—there was else no harm in't.

Ram.

Nay, I ask'd not the question to raise blushes on your Cheeks, they were beautifull enough before, and you may spare 'em; nor can your words inform me much more than I know already, for that person was my intimate friend and acquaintance, and I have sworn him to secresie.

Eug.

I am apt to believe you thought more than was, and that he spoak more than he ought—this is not a time to come to a right understanding, therefore I beg you would leave me at present—for that young man is still in the house, and should he chance to see you again.

Ram.

If he should, I'll bribe him to secresie.

Eug.

I would not for the world he should see you agen, to know you, lest he should show you to my husband and spoil all commerce for the fu­ture, therefore as you hope for future kindness, and respect my quiet, begone.

Ram.

I dare refuse you nothing, but methinks so fair an opportunity should not be lost, your husband gone abroad, you undress'd, your bed there, I here—

Dash.
without.

Iane, Iane, where are you?

Eug.

Undone, that's my husband's voice, coming up stairs.

Ram.

I'll under the bed—

Eug.

You can't, its too low.

Ram.

I'll into't then.

Eug.

Hold, no no, my husband's come home to go to bed, he's not well.

Ram.

What shall I say?

Iane.
without.

Have a care, Sir, have a care—

Eug.

Draw your Sword, be angry, threaten, swear you'll kill—

Ram.

Who, your husband?

Eug.

Any body—no matter—hunt about as if you look'd for some body.

Enter Dashwell, Jane.
Iane.

I say have a care—have a care—

Dash.

Have a care of what, you silly baggage—? Wife, what makes you tremble—?

Eug.

O Lord, husband, I am so frighted—

Dash.

Hau! a drawn Sword—what's he there—? who are you, Sir? what would you have, Sir—?

Ramb.
[Page 39]

Have, Sir.—

Eug.

Indeed, Sir, he is not here—Pray be pacified—

Ramb.

I'll be the death of him; his blood shall pay for the affront.

Eug.

Indeed, Sir, he is not here.

Ramb.

Come, come, down on your knees all of you and confess.

Dash.

What means this, wife?

Ram.

Down on your knees, Sir.

Dash.

Knees, Sir?

Eug.

He is not here upon my word, Sir—

Dash.

He is not here indeed, Sir—who is't, Wife?

Ram.

He must be here, I follow'd him.

Iane.

Indeed, Sir, he went out again.

Ram.

No, he must be here abouts,

He counterfeits a rage, throws o­pen the Curtains, pulls off the bed­cloaths and discovers Loveday in the bed.

Eugenia soreaks—runs to Ram­ble, catches hold on his arm and swounds.

I'll not leave a corner unsearch'd— Hau—

Eug.

Ah!

Dash.

A man in my bed.

Iane.

Oh hold, Sir, for Heavens sake, my Mistress swounds, she'll die away, she's with child, you'll make her miscarry.

Ram.

Madam, be not frighted, I'll not meddle with him now for your sake.

Dash.

What means all this?

Ram.

Your house shall at present be his Sanctuary, and protect the man that hath done me such Injuries, but when I meet him abroad let him guard well his throat, had he twenty lives he should not live one hour after.

Dash.

Pray, Sir, let me know the meaning of this and how the young man has offended you.

Ram.

I cannot think on't without rage, let some of them tell you.

Dash.

What have you done to the Gentleman to provoke him?

Love.

Done to him, Sir—no great matter—done—a—

Eug.

I'll tell you, Husband—Jane being in the street and seeing this Gentleman pass by, was so foolish to shriek and cry out, the Devil, the Devil—the Gentleman following her and pressing to know the meaning, the told him that she saw the Devil in his shape last night; and how one in this house rais'd him in his likeness; upon this the Gentleman being incens'd rush'd into the house, ran into every room to look for the young man, and had like to have surpris'd him in his chamber, but fortunately hearing him threaten, slip'd down stairs and ran in here for shelter; and had not Iane and I hid him in my bed he had certainly been murther'd.

Ram.

Do you not think, Sir, I had reason to be angry?

Dash.

What a silly baggage were you?

Iane.

Truly, Sir, it was my fright, the Devil last night and this G [...] ­tleman were so like—

Dash.

Nay he was very like him, that's the truth on't.

Ram.
[Page]

Sir, now you know the reason, I hope you'l excuse my intruding into your house, and I beg your pardon, Madam, for frighting you—as for that Conjurer, let him beware how he stirs over your threshold; he may safer leave his Circle when he's raising the Devil than stir forth of these doors: let him look to't; so your servant, your servant, Oh false, damn'd false woman!

[Ram. exit.
Dash.

Iane, go down and lock the door after him; lest he should re­turn and surprise us.

Love.

Madam, I thank you; truly, Sir, under Heaven, I think your Lady has sav'd my life, for had it not been for her, he had certainly mur­ther'd me.

Dash.

He's a damn'd Cholerick fellow, I am glad you escaped; so well, Sir, keep close to day, to morrow I'll provide for you out of his reach; I have found a friend that will entertain you in a very good employment.

Love.

I thank you, Sir.

Eug.

How happen'd it that you return'd so luckily, Husband?

Dash.

By especial providence, I think—I was to have din'd where I told you, but all that's prevented, Mr. Alderman is not like to bed his Bride to night.

Eug.

How, is any thing happen'd amiss?

Dash.

Nothing of harm to either of 'em—But Alderman Doodle brought him news from Change that there is a Ship come up the River, in which they both have very great concerns—I cannot tell you the par­ticulars, but a messenger is come on purpose, from the master of the Ship, to desire 'em to take Boat and go down this Tide—I suppose some seisure of prohibited goods or the like, I did not enquire into the matter—but they must go.

Eug.

I am glad 'tis no worse—but 'tis some great business that can call him away from his Bride, the first night of his Marriage too—

Dash.

Nay they are in such haste they can't stay dinner— but that is because of the Tide, I suppose—

Eug.

And that is the reason, Husband, you are come back?

Dash.

Yes, their Wedding dinner is defer'd till their return; and I am glad it fell out so, since my coming sav'd a man's life, for ought I know.

Eug.

Indeed so am I, husband, what a sad thing it would have been, if a man had been kil'd in your house.

Dash.

No no, it's better as 'tis, come, lets have dinner in good time—

Eug.

Yes, presently, Husband, Ill go below and give order for't.

[Eug. exit.
Dash.

Come, Sir, whilst dinner is getting ready you and I will take a turn in the Garden, there we'll talk farther of your concerns, and I'll let you know how I intend to provide for you.

Love.

I'll attend you, Sir—I thank you for your generous care. Engenia, now I love thee more than ever—how handsomly she brought all off.

[Exeunt.
[Page 40] Enter Wiseacres and Doodle.
Wise.

Come, Brother, are you ready to go?

Dood.

I have sent for my wife to speak two or three words with her and I have done.—Methinks it is very unlucky that business should fall out thus on your Wedding day and force you to leave your Bride unbedded.

Wise.

'Tis so at present, but hereafter, I shall never be much concerned at any thing that calls me away, knowing what security I have of my wife in my absence from her simplicity, and I will now show you an example that shall confute all your arguments to the contrary, and convince you of your error.

Dood.

I shall not be converted without a Miracle.

Wise.

I read a very pretty passage in a waggish book when I was a Pren­tice, and it has run in my head ever since, and now I will practise it upon my Wife—you shall behold and wonder.

Dood.

Well, let's see.

Wise.

Ho, Wife—Peggy

Enter Aunt and Peggy.
Aunt.

Here, and please you is your Bride— Peggy, where's your Curtesie to your Nuncle and the Gentleman.

Wise.

There's my dainty Peggy.

Aunt.

There is a Gentlewoman without, your Wife, I humbly suppose enquires for you.

Wise.

Tell her he is about a little private business.

Dood.

And that I'll wait on her presently.

Wise.

Oh fie, wait upon your Wife!—that he'll come presently is enough.

Dood.

Well that, that I'll come presently.

[Aunt exit.
Wise.

And return to us again to take charge of Peggy, for I'll not have her see any London wife, especially no witty wife.

Dood.

Well, well, Mr. Alderman—come—to my conversion now, make haste or my wife won't stay.

Wise.

There 'tis now agen, won't stay—ther's a witty wife for you.

Dood.

Well, well, pray to the business.

Wise.

Now pray sit down and observe. Peggy, here, come to me, Peggy.

Peg.

Yes forsooth.

[Peg. makes two Curtefies.
Wise.

Your Curtefie—so, that's as I am your Uncle; another now as I am your husband—so, now stand before me—you know, Peggy, you are now my wife.

Peg.

Yes forsooth, so Naunt tells me.

Wise.

And that is a happiness for which you are to thank Heaven, that you have married a discreet sober person.

Peg.

Yes forsooth.

Enter Aunt.
Wise.

One that will keep and preserve you from all the mad roaring Bears, Bulls and Lyons in the Town, that would without him devour thee alive.

Peg.
[Page]

Oh, but forsooth, Nuncle-husband, you wont let 'em now, will you?

Wise.

No no, and for this, you are to observe my will and pleasure in all things, and to fear and tremble at offending me.

Peg.

Yes, forsooth.

Wise.

Now tell me, Peggy, do you know what Love is?

Peg.

Love, it is to give one fine things.

Wise.

How know you that, Peggy?

Peg.

Because, forsooth Nuncle-husband, Naunt said you lov'd me, and therefore that you gave me this Petticoat and Manto, and these Ribbonds and this and this.

Dood.

Oh very well, she'll learn in time—

Wise.

But now you are my wife, Peggy, and you are to love me, and the love of a wife to her husband, is to doe all things that he desires and commands.

Peg.

Yes, forsooth.

Wise.

But, beside the Love of a wife, Peggy, there is the duty of a wife, do you know what the duty of a wife is?

Peg.

Duty, Nuncle, what's that?

Wise.

I have not time to instruct you to night in the whole duty of a wife, because business calls me away—I will therefore onely inform you at present what the duty of a wife is to her huband, at night, which is to watch while he is a sleep, and be his guard whilst he takes his rest.

Peg.

Yes, forsooth.

Enter Arabella Looking in at the door, absconding.
Arab.

I have heard all so far, but now I'll venture to peep, and see a little.

Wise.

That duty, Peggy, is to be done in this manner; Here, put on this fine guilt cap and seather—so, now take this Lance in your hand—so, now let me see you wal [...] two or three turns about the Room—so—now this are you to doe most part of the night.

Peg.

Yes forsooth, Nuncle; Oh dear, Aunt, are not these very pretty things?

Arab.

The fool's pleas'd; Oh simplicity!

Wise.

And this respect must you show in my absence; for though I shall not be here present to night, yet upon my Pillow do I here leave my Night-cap, which is the Emblem of me, your Husband; and you must show all duty and reverence to that Night cap, as if it were my self.

Peg.

Yes forsooth.

Arab.

O Ridiculous.

Dood.

Can she be so very simple to believe this?

Wise.

Peace, let me alone.—And, Peggy, though you may not have been us'd to see this duty of a Wife practis'd in the Country, yet this is the duty of a Wife here in London when their Husbands are absent, and you must doe as they doe here in London.—So now, Wife, let me see you practise this lesson: begin your March—make your low Curtesie to my [Page] Night-cap—so—this likewise must you doe when you leave off at Break of day, as your Aunt will instruct you. And this, Peggy, you'll be sure to doe.

Peg.

O in deeds, Nuncle—yes.—

Wise.

So, now help to unharness her.

Arab.

I can hardly forbear any longer—.

Dood.

Well, never was there such a piece of simplicity as this seen before.

Wise.

Now will she be watching all night, and asleep all the day; so will she be always free from the impertinencies of the world, and I can have no dread upon me in my absence of her misbehaviour.

Dood.

'Tis strange she should be so impos'd on.

Wise.

What security like this can such as you have with your witty Wives, who with their gadding abroad, or staring out of Windows and Balconies at home, will draw all the fool-flyes in the Town Buzzing about 'em, till they are blown, and their reputations tainted.

Dood.

Well, you have your humour—I say no more, but I would fain see the first year of your Marriage over.

Wise.

Well, now I'll be taking my leave—I commit Peggy to your care—you see what task I have set her for all night: I think I shall return to morrow; but if any thing hinder—every night, whilst I am absent let her doe the same.—

Aunt.

Yes, yes.

Wise.

Keep you the Key of her Chamber—about break of day go in and put her to bed—let her sleep till Noon; then put her to bed in the afternoon agen, and let her sleep till evening. Keep my doors shut all day—and let her remain thus in Ignorance. So fare you all well till I see you agen.—Adieu my Peggy.

Peg.

Adieu forsooth, Nuncle-husband.

Wise.

There's my best Peggy. I wonder now what kind of Caution you give your wife; and what secu­rity you'll have of her behaviour in your absence.—

Arab.

A little better I hope than you have of your Mistress Ninny there.

Wise.

Is she here—?

Arab.

But I'll give her a lesson shall make her wiser.

Wise.

Go, withdraw—

Arab.

No, pray stay a little, I'll keep the door—Lye there stool—

Dood.

What frolick now, Wife?

Arab.

You are a going out of Town, Husband?

Dood.

Yes, Wife.

Arab.

Doe your duty then, and come and kiss me—

Dood.

Ay, with all my heart, wife.

Arab.

Nay, come not round—but over the stool—nay, jump, jump; come over for the King—here—

[Doodle jumps over and kisses her.
Dood.

So, there wife.

Arab.

So now back agen this way—for the Queen.

Dood.

So, thou art such a wagg, wife.

She goes round the stool, and be jumps back agen.
Arab.

There's a husband for you—Look you, [Page] little Gentlewoman, your husband has taught you your duty; now do you teach him his, and make him doe this every night and morning—you must learn your husband to come over and over, agen and agen, and make him glad to jump at a—I'll tell you another—

Wise.

She'll ruine all my design—here—good neighbour take your wife home.—

Arab.

You teach your wife to reverence your Night-cap—Look ye, Mistress Peggy, take his greasie Night-cap thus and throw it down Stairs, and him after it.

Wise.

Away, Peggy, away—this is a Mad-woman—see how she flings about—away, or she will tear thee to pieces.

Peg.

O La! Aunt—Aunt!

Aunt.

Ay, come away, Peggy—away—

Wise.

So, so; Lock her up in a Room till we are gone.

Dood.

So, so, enough, wife, thou had had thy frolick.

Arab.

You are a fine man indeed, marry a woman to make a fool of her— you shall learn her more wit, or every wife in the Parish shall be her School-Mistress.

Wise.

Well, your husband here may doe what he please with you—Let me alone to give my wife what instructions I think fit—I'de fain see what course he'll take with you now.

Dood.

Why look you, my wife has a good forward wit of her own, and needs but little admonition; but you shall hear now what I say to my wife—Well, dear, I sent for thee to let thee know I am going, and to take my leave of thee.

Arab.

Thank you, husband.

Dood.

Now, wife, I need give thee no instructions how to behave your self while I am gone—I trust all to thy own discretion.

Arab.

I warrant you, husband, I have wit enough not to doe my self any harm; and for any I doe you, I have wit enough not to let you know it—and there's an old saying, husband, What the eye sees not, the heart grieves not.

Dood.

Law you there, my wife will have her Jest, you see.

Wise.

And this, Brother, you call her waggery.

Dood.

Ay, ay.

Arab.

Therefore, husband, as business calls you from me, I think it my right to bid you make haste back agen; for though you carry the Key of your Treasure with you, yet you cannot be secure, since every man has a Key fitted to the same Wards.

Dood.

Well, wife, I durst trust thee among all the Picklocks in England— and I have only one thing to request of thee.

Arab.

What is that?

Dood.

Only this—That till my return, to all impertinent men, that ask you any questions, or talk to you, answer 'em all with No—Let 'em say what they please, let your answer still be, No, no.

Arab.

Well, husband, I guess at your meaning; and till I see you agen, I will be sure to Sing no other tune to any manner of man but, No,— [Page] all that I answer or say to 'em, shall be nothing but—No, no, no.

Dood.

You promise me?

Arab.

Yes—sincerely.

Dood.

What will you forfeit if you break your word?

Arab.

The Locket of Diamonds you promis'd to buy me.

Dood.

Good bear witness Mr. Alderman—I have done, wife.

Wise.

And is this all the surety you take?

Dood.

Yes. Arab. And a wiser course than you have taken, I hope, that leave your wife to walk about your Chamber all night in Armour, like an Enchanted Knight upon Fairie-ground.

Wise.

I wish he may find it so.

Dood.

Ay, ay, let us see who'll have reason to complain first—Now, wife, we'll be going to the water-side.

Wise.

We must make haste, or we shan't get things ready to go down this tide.—

Dood.

Wife, you remember your promise?

Arab.

Yes.

Dood.

Then wife, adieu.

Arab.

Da, da, husband. Well! No is the word. What can be made of this No?

Now let a Woman, if Circumstances hit,
Once try without her Tongue to show her Wit.
Exeunt.

THE FIFTH ACT. SCENE I.

Enter Townly, Ramble, Roger in the Street.
Ramb.

TO night, Frank, I am for a Bottle, or any thing, with thee; my own ill fortune and thy counsel have at last converted me.

Town.

Do you think you shall not relapse?

Ramb.

I have not the least inclination now to any intrigue, except it be with that foolish little innocent thing I told you I met last night; and the thoughts of her are transtory; one bottle will wash 'em from my remem­brance.

Town.

Now I have hopes of thee.

Ramb.

Henceforth I'll never make Love my business, if I find a Lady willing, and a fair opportunity present; I'll nick the critical minute, go my way and trust providence for such another.

Town.

Right, so much I allow.

Enter Arabella, Engine.
Arab.

This walk in Draper's Garden has done me good.

Eng.

'Twas a fine Evening, but is grown dark on the sudden.

Town.
[Page]

What women are yonder?

Ramb.

None that shall divert me from my resolution of going to the Tavern.

Eng.

If we had met Mr. Ramble in our Walks, Madam?

Arab.

I utterly declare against that unfortunate Gentleman—But if his friend Mr. Townly had come in my way.—

Eng.

You could not have diverted your self now I think on't; you are under an obligation to say nothing but No—▪

Arab.

You should have seen how I'de have mannag'd that No to the best advantage, to the confusion of my husband's stratagem—I hate to be out-witted, and long to try what I could make on't.

Enter Aunt, with a Candle.
Aunt within.

Fire, fire, fire.

Ramb.

Ha, fire! let's begone, I shall never love Fire since last night.

Aunt.

Fire, fire, fire.

Town.

Where? where, Mistress?

Aunt.

Alas a day! here, in this house, Fire, fire.

Arab.

Is not that Mr. Ramble?

Eng.

Yes, and the other Townly, the man you wish'd for.

Ramb.

This is the old Gentlewoman that was with that innocent little creature—I shall find her now.

Aunt.

Fire, fire.

Ramb.

Have patience, we'll all help you: Come Townly, Roger, here.

Ramb, Roger, Aunt Exeunt.
Town.

I'll follow you.

Aunt.

Oh I thank you Gentlemen—Ah, Fire, fire, fire.

Town.

So, let him be for the Fire—I'll be for the Lady—

Eng.

Madam, he comes this way.

Arab.

Run you in of doors, I'll follow you.

[Eng. Exit.
Town.

Madam, I am your most humble Servant.

Arab.

No.

Town.

Y' Gad but I am, and will if you please.

Arab.

No.

Town.

Will you not give me leave to wait on you?

Arab.

No.

Town.

Nor stand and talk with you a little, dear Rogue?

Arab.

No.

Town.

I am in love with you; will you be hard-hearted to a man that Loves you?

Arab. No.
Town.

By Iove I would kiss thee for that, but that I fear 'twould put you out of humour.

Arab.

No.

[Town. kisses her.
Town.

That was kindly said—there—Now shall I wait on you to your door?

Arab.

No.

Town.

Ah, that spoils all agen—Do carry me to your house—I ll steal in unseen and we'll discourse in private.

Arab.

No.

Town.

Do my little pretty dear Rogue.

Arab.

No.

Town.

Must I then begone and leave you?

Arab.

No.

Town.
[Page 41]

By her answering No to contrarys, I find she has taken a humour to say nothing else, I will fit her with Questions; now Lady answer me at your Peril. Beware you don't tell me a Lye: Are you a Maid?

Arab.

Ha, ha, ha!

Town.

She laughs at that.—A Widow then?

Arab.

No.—

Town.

A Wife!—She changes her Note now, and whistles at that to let me know she is, Is your Husband at home?

Arab. whistles at Wife.
Arab.

No.

Town.

Is he in Town?

Arab.

No.

Town.

Would you refuse a Bed-fellow in his room to Night if you lik'd the Man?

Arab.

No.

Town.

If I go home with you, will you thrust me out?

Arab.

No.—

Town.

Nor if I come to Bed to you?

Arab. Exit Laughing.
Arab.

No, no, no, no, no.—Ha, ha, ha.

Town.

Y' gad she's run in Laughing, I know not whether she be in Earnest or in Jest. But here's a fair opportunity for a Nights Diversi­on, we have concluded a Bargain in the Negative already. I'll in after, give her earnest of my Actions to bind her sure for the future—

Townly Ex.
Enter PEGGY.
The Scene Draws and discovers her walking in Armour by the Bed-side.
Roger and Ramble.
Ramb.

I have searched all the Rooms below and cannot find her,

Rog.

She must be above then unless she be frighted and run away:

Ramb.

We'll begin with this Room and search 'em all in order, ha, what Vision is this?

Rog.

Vision Sir! I am affraid the House is haunted.

Ramb.

'Tis she, the very she I look for, pretty dear Creature, will you stay to be Burn'd? the House is on Fire?

Peg.

Indeed! our House on Fire?

Ramb.

Why, did you not hear 'em cry Fire in the Street just now?

Peg.

Yes, but they cry a great many things here in London, I heard ' [...]m cry Oranges and Lemons and a great many things.

Ramb.

Oh! what innocence is here; they had forgot her in the fright and she might have been burnt alive.

Peg.

But indeed, Is our House on Fire?

Ramb.

I'll not fright her, I cannot tell, I think—something's—the—matter. [Page 42] Roger, Run down and see, bring us word how matters go below; pretty Creature what art thou doing at this time of Night?

Peg.

I am a Wife and't please you.

Ramb.

A Wife? What of that?

Peg.

And this is the Duty of a Wise here in London.

Ramb.

O Simplicity, what can be the meaning of this? And how long have you been Married pretty Miss?

Peg.

I was Married this Morning betimes.

Ramb.

And where is your Husband?

Peg.

He is gone a Journey about Business forsooth.

Ramb.

And when does he return?

Peg.

I do not know.

Ramb.

And who dressed you thus prettily?

Peg.

My Uncle-Husband shew'd my Aunt to dress me so.

Ramb.

Your Uncle-Husband?

Peg.

Yes, my Uncle-Husband.

Ramb.

What is the meaning of that? Now I think on't she call'd the old Man Uncle that took her from me last night, he has Married her, find­ing her simple they have put some trick on her. And to what end did they dress you thus?

Peg.

Why, don't you know the Duty of a Wife and live here in London?

Ramb.

Of a Wife! Yes; But what is it say you?

Peg.

It is to Watch whilst her Husband Sleeps, and to walk thus by him all Night.

Ramb.

Ridiculous! But your Husband you say is out of Town?

Peg.

Yes, but there is his Night-cap forsooth, and that's all one.

Ramb.

She's meerly Impos'd upon, and is this all you know of the Du­ty of a Wife?

Peg.

This is as far as I have learned yet, but Uncle will teach me more when he comes back.

Ramb.

'Tis so, this is some trick of the Jealous old Fool that has Marri­ed her. Would you not thank a Man pretty Pegg, that would teach you your Lesson perfect before he comes?

Peg.

Oh! Yes.

Ramb.

Don't you think you could learn as well from me as from him?

Peg.

Yes, but they told me that such a one as you last night would eat me.

Ramb.

But no Body shall eat you whilst I am with you, and I will stay with you to night and take pains to instruct you in the whole Duty of a Wife.

Peg.

Will you indeed?

Ramb.

Lord, Lord, She's willing too, she has more wit than I thought for▪ Yes indeed will I, and now Mrs. Peggy, you must lay by this Lance and these things and go to your Bed.

Peg.

But my Uncle-Husband said I was not to go to Bed till Morning [Page 43] that Aunt came to me, and that I was to do so all night, and he will be an­gry, and Aunt told me God won't Bless me if I anger my Husband.

Ramb.

Never was there such a little Fool as this. But your Uncle Husband came to me and told me he was mistaken, and bid me come to you and teach you the right Duty, and bid me tell you, that you must go to Bed and do as I'de have you.

Peg.

O then indeed I'll go to Bed and you'll come and teach me.

Ramb.

Ay! Ay! do dear pretty Peggy, and make hast.

[Exit Peggy▪
Enter Roger.
Roger.

Sir the Fire is quenched, 'twas only a Basket or two that took fire and blaz'd in the Kitchin Chimney and catch'd hold of the Mantle-tree, 'tis all out now.

Ramb.

Where's the old Gentlewoman?

Rog.

She's seeing the House clear of the People that came in to help.

Ramb.

Steal down then and slip out among the rest, take no notice of any thing, I'll be at home two or three hours hence, or early in the Morning.

Rog.

Ay, Ay, Sir I'll not disturb you with crying Fire again if you don't.

[Exit Roger.
Ramb.

I must not venture into Bed, the Aunt will be here in the Morning. Let me see, how shall I get out, there's a Bal [...]cony in the great Room, a little before. Day I'll make my escape there, now I'll bolt the Chamber door and secure my self from a Surprize on that side. Now to my little sweet dear piece of Innocence, that little pretty simple foolish thing. What Pleasure shall I have to teach her her first Love-Lesson. I am almost out of my Senses with Joy. How I will Mouse her and Touse her and Tumble her till Morning, but little dreams the Bride-groom he is to be horning.

[Ex.
Enter Loveday, and Eugenia.
Lovd.

Must I be gon then to morrow Morning?

Eug.

So my Husband has resolved, he is afraid you should be killed if you stay here in Town, and therefore is writing to a Correspondent of his at Bristol to entertain you, he has provided for your Journey and says you must go very Early.

Lovd.

O unlucky Accident, how he cuts off all my hopes! I cannot think of parting from you.

Eug.

What will you do? you must go from hence.

Lovd.

To be defeated after I had wrought my self into his Family, not to gain one hours privacy, one minutes enjoyment of my Love, both to be resolved and willing and yet disappointed! hard Fate, I wish I were now a Conjurer indeed, that could deceive him with a false Creation of your likeness in his Bed, whilst you were in my Arms and I panting on your Bosom. Dear Eugenia, I am almost mad, cannot you now once play the Con­jurer for me?

Eug.

I will try my Art in spight of Fortune, Love shall yet play out the [Page 44] game, the Cards are now in my hand and I'll deal about once more in hopes of better Fortune.

Lovd.

Kind, dear Woman.

Enter Iane.
Eug.

Iane, has your Master almost done his Letter?

Iane.

Yes Madam he is coming down.

Eug.

I hear him, step you into the next Room, listen at the door, but make no noise.—away—

[Loveday Exit.
Enter Dashwell.
Dash.

Where, where, is Valentine not come down yet?

Eug.

Yes Husband, but I have sent him up to Bed again.

Dash.

How so, I must give him my Letter that he may be gone early in the Morning.

Eug.

But I assure you I think it not convenient you should recommend him to any Friend or entertain him your self. He is not the person you take him for.

Dash.

What mean you?

Eug.

And has Qualities such as you won't like when I shall give you a far­ther Account?

Dash.

Speak plain Wife, what is't you mean?

Eug.

I Mean, he is a very Impudent Rascal, and only fit to be kick'd out of doors.

Dash.

What has he done?

Eug.

I know not whether he made a false construction of my extraordi­nary care to hide him in my Bed to day when he was in danger to be kill'd, and Interprets it Kindness and Love to him in a more particular manner. But he had the Impudence er'e now when you were gone to Write your Letter, to tell me that his coming here was for my sake, and that it would break his heart to leave the House till he had accomplished his Design.

Dash.

Meaning a Design on you?

Eug.

Yes.

Dash.

A Rogue.

Eug.

Or that he should be miserable all his life after, and hop'd, that since time allowed him not further Opportunities of Courtship, I would without Ceremony consent to steal out of Bed from you when you were fast asleep, and slipping on my Night-gown, meet him under the Summer-House in the Garden.

Dash.

So, So.

Eug.

If, says he, your Husband chance to awake and misses you, say in excuse you were hot and could not sleep, and went down to cool you and dispose you to Rest, or that you went to Prayers.

Dash.
[Page 45]

Very dainty Rogue, was this his Business?

Eug.

You never heard a man so confident and so urging, sure Madam, said he, since I have adventured so much for your sake, you will not be so unkind to let me lose my labour and go unrewarded: No, Sir, said I, I will be kinder then so, you shall not go unrewarded, I will meet you as you desire.

Dash.

What mean you by that, Wife?

Eug.

To be Revenged of him for his Insolence; now that he may not lose his Reward—I would have you dress your self in a Night-gown and Pinners, and go down in the dark, take a good Cudgel in your hand and stay in the Summer-house till he comes, and drub him soundly, then turn him out of doors.—You may let Iane be with you to help you.

Dash.

I am glad you have discovered the Rogue,—that shall be his pu­nishment; I would not for a 100 l. I had sent him where I intended, an Insolent Dog,—lose his Labour, I'll give him the fruits of his Labour.— Iane.

Iane.

Sir.

Dash.

Get me a couple of good Cudgles quickly, and meet me below in the Garden.—

Iane.

Yes Sir.

Eug.

Husband you had best have something white about your Head.— Iane, help him to some Pinners and a white hood, and put him on your Night Gown,

Dash.

Ay! do so,—here, here,—let me put them on quickly.

Eug.

No, no, go down into the Garden and dress your there, that you may be in the way when he comes.

Dash.

Iane, bring 'em below then. Wife, go you to your Rest, I'll bring you the News as soon as er'e I have met with him,—I'll bauk him for assignations,—a Rogue, Cuckold an Alderman.

Eug.

Ay do Husband—I'll pray for your good success.

Dash.

Cuckold an Alderman.—

[Iane, and Dash. Ex.
Eug.

Iane, Make hast down to him, and when you go out, Spring lock the Garden door that he cannot get in again, and be as long in dressing of him as you can.

Iane.

Yes, Yes, Madam.

Eug.

Come Sir, come from your Post.

Enter Loveday
Lovd.

Dear Creature—Witty Rogue.

Eug.

How do you like my Invention?

Lovd.

Y'gad you puzz'ld me at first,—when you told him I was not the Person he took me for, I began to—to—

Eug.

An hour is our own by this Invention,

Lovd.

Let us retire Eugenia, and make the best use on't we can.

Eug.

But do you think how to come off at last?

Lovd.
[Page 46]

I'll think of nothing but thee at present, and the Heaven I am going to enjoy.

Eug.

But let me tell you, that's a necessary consideration.

Lovd.

Love claims our present thoughts. We'll make those Reflections in our breathing Intervals.

Eug.

I'll tell it you anon in a word.

Lovd.

Ay ay anon, let it be anon, I am now eager as Racers in view of the Post, methinks I am flying to't.—Now I will plunge in Bliss and be all Rapture, all Extasie, already I am all on Fire, my Soul is in a Blaze, and while we talk I burn in vain.

Eug.

And vain is talk when opportunity requires performance.

Lovd.

Come then.—And let our Joyes no Moderation find, Whilst Love has Power, and Beauty can be kind.

[Exeunt.
Enter Wiseaker and Doodle.
Dood.

It was very well the Master of the Ship came up as he did, for if our Boat had put off at the beginning of the Tyde, we had mist him and gone down on a Fools Errand, and it would have vexed you to have lost the first nights Lodging with your Bride for a cold Voyage to no purpose.

Wise.

I am well pleased it fell out so luckily. Now will I to my little Wife, whom I shall find upon Duty, taking short turns by my Beside.— Well Brother I am mightily pleased with my Invention.

Wise. knocks at the Door.
Dood.

'Tis a strange one in my Opinion.

Wise.

Yes, But a safe one, keep a Woman from sleep at night, and you secure her from Temptation all day, for then she'll be drousie and lying up­on the Bed, whilst others are gadding about, and giving occasion, if not seeking 'em themselves.

Dood.

I think it a great deal of Cruelty in you so to torment a poor In­nocent, I am glad for her sake our Voyage was so luckily prevented, that she may go to Bed and receive better Instructions, what will she say when she finds you have deceived her?

[Wise. knocks again.
Wise.

I have a salvo for that. I'll tell her that was the Duty of a Wife to a Husband in his absence, and still keep her in Ignorance, that I may have her at a sure Lock, whenever I have an occasion to go a Journey here­after.

Dood.

Well! and I will go home to my Wife, and uncharm her Mouth and set her Tongue at Liberty, I can't but think how pleasant a Scene it would have been if any of the Courting Fops of the Times had accidentally met my Wife a Walking and gone to Pick her up, to hear the Fools run on and cry, Madam shall I wait on you? will you accept of my Service? you are very pretty, and a hundred such foolish sayings, and she still answering nothing but No, No, how they'd a been puzl'd and the have laugh'd the while.

Wise.

Ay Brother—No Body hears yet.

[Wise. knocks.
Dood.

Knock harder.

Within. Aunt.

Who's there?

Wise.
[Page 47]

'Tis I, open the door.

Within. Aunt.

I come Sir, I come.

Dood.

Now I'll bid you good-night,

Wise.

No, you shall stay and go in with me, and see how obedient my Wife is; and then be Judge how much better my Security is than yours.

Dood.

But what pleases you don't please another, I like my own way still.

Enter Aunt.
Aunt.

Indeed I did not expect you back to night,

Wise.

VVe met with News that prevented our Voyage to Gravesend. But what smell is this about the Door?

Dood.

Here's a smell of Soot and burning.

Aunt.

Alas! after you went the Kitchin Chimney was on Fire. I was frighted out of my Wits, we had the House full of People.

Wise.

How, Fire!

Aunt.

Thank Providence it was quickly out, it did no great harm, all is safe.

Wise.

How do's Peggy, was not she frighted?

Aunt.

She poor thing is upon Duty as you directed,—she was close in her Chamber and knew nothing of the Fire; I would not tell her for fear of frighting her, unless I had seen a great deal of danger indeed.

Wise.

Call her down, let us see her in her new night gears.

Aunt.

I'll tell her you are come—

Ex. Aunt.
VVise.

Come pray walk in a little,

[Doodle drops a Glove.
Dood.

Well to satisfie you I'll just step in and see her.

[Exeunt.
Enter Ramble above in the Balcony.
Ramb.

A Pox of ill Luck still say I, this must be the Husband by his hard knocking, that a man cannot lye in quiet for Cuckolds, he has broke the sweetest nights enjoyment. But I am glad I have overcome Fortune so far at last, to get a snap at least to stay my Stomach, though she won't yet al­low me a full meal.—I hear some body coming up Stairs.—Which way shall I get down? I must venture to hang by my hands and then drop from the Balcony.

Doodle Re-enters.
Dood.

Where have I dropp'd my Glove?— It must be hereabouts. O! 'tis here— ô, ô, ô! Murder, Murder, Thieves, Thieves.—

As Ramble is getting down Doodle enters to look for his Glove, Ramb. drops up­on him & beats him down.
Ramb.

You lye Sirrah, hold your Bawling or I'll slit your Gullet.

[Ramb. Exit.
Dood.

Auh—ah—ah, He is gone, now if I did lye and he is no Thief then is the business yet worse. He dropp'd from the Balcony, was all unbut­ton'd, he has been dabling with the Bride,—ay, ay, 'tis so.

[Page 48] Wifeaker Re-entere
Wise.

What made you cry out Murder and Thieves? was you set upon? or did you see any Body about my House?

Dood.

Returning to look for my Glove,—I did see some body, but I believe I was mistaken, it was no Thief.

Wise.

What then?

Dood.

Some body that came to relieve your Wife from that odd Duty you put her upon, I believe she is out of her War-like gears by this.

Wise.

Pray unriddle—

Dood.

Nay, methink it is no riddle, when a man in the night all unbut­ton'd shall drop from your Wives Bal-cony and run away.

Wise.

How? a man drop from the Balcony?—

Dood.

Even so; I suppose your knocking at the door allarm'd him, and just as I came forth to look my Glove, he jump'd down upon me, beat me all along and ran away—

Wise.

'Twas some Rogue that lurk'd in my house, e're since the Fire with design to Rob—and our knocking scar'd him.

Dood.

Such a thing may be indeed,—but the Rogue was very fine, he look'd more like a thief that would steal away your Honour, rather than your Money.

Re-enter Aunt.
Aunt.

Ah! Sir, I fear you will be very angry.

VVise.

Why, what's the matter, I am not rob'd?

Aunt.

No—But Peggy,

Wise.

What of Peggy—ha—

Aunt.

Without my knowledg, and contrary to your orders, was going to Bed.

Dood.

Now Brother.

VVise.

To Bed, into Bed?

Aunt.

Yes, into Bed indeed.

VVise.

Into Bed in Contempt of my Order and Commands, Monstrous!

Dood.

Now where's your caution?

Aunt.

Nay, I told her you would be very angry,

VVise.

And what said she to that?

Aunt.

She said no, you would not be angry; I bid her slip on her night gown and come down to you and acknoledge her fault.

VVise.

Send her down to me quickly.

Aunt.

She is coming; Being her first offence you may forgive her, and let it be a warning,

VVise.

It shall be no warning to you, I'll turn you out of doors for this, and for such another I'll turn her after you.

Dood.

Nay, Nay, hear the business before you are so angry.

VVise.

Go call her down to me.

Aunt.

Yes an't please ye Sir,

VVise.
[Page 49]

Leave your ducking and dopping, and tell her quickly.

Aunt.

She is here an't please you.

Enter Peggy.
VVise.

Go, get you in a while, and stay till I call you; and let me desire that favour of you.

Aunt.

Yes, Yes.

Dood.

Ay, Ay, come.

[Aunt and Doodle Ex.
VVise.

Peggy come hither, how durst you neglect your Duty to me your Husband, and go to Bed?

Peg.

But I did not neglect my Duty.

VVise.

Went you not to Bed—hau?

Peg.

Yes, but I went to Bed to learn my Duty.

VVise.

Did not I teach you what you were to do?

Peg.

But he taught me a better Duty than that you shewed me a great deal.

VVise.

He, what He? this is some trick, I am abus'd: what he is this?

Peg.

He that you sent to be my Master to teach me, that came when the Fire was, and asked me why I walked so, and when I told him you bid me, he said that was but the first Duty, but he'd shew me all the rest, and teach me every nights Duty, and that you had sent him so to do.

Wise.

To do how?

Peg.

Nay but I can't tell you how, but I have learn'd a great deal of him, and if I were in Bed I could shew you.

VVise.

You are a baggage.

Peg.

Indeed Uncle I had forgot you told me I must call you Husband, and now Uncle-Husband, it was ten times a better Duty than that you taught me.

VVise.

Very pleasant,

Peg.

Yes, Yes, so pleasant I could do such duty all night long.

VVise.

Her Simplicity makes me mad; well, and where is this Master? when went this Instructor from you?

Peg.

I don't know, but after he had taught me my Lesson two or three times;—I fell fast asleep I don't know how, and when I waked with the knocking at the door I could not find him upon the Bed, but I thought I heard some-body in the next Room.

VVise.

Ay, then was he getting open the Balcony; and what kind of Man was he?

Peg.

He was such a fine handsome Gentleman methought!

VVise.

Ay, Ay, you only thought so, 'twas all but your thought. There was no fine Genleman, nor no body that taught you anything.

Peg.

But there was though—

VVise.

No, no, there was not.

Peg.

But indeed, and indeed uncle-Husband there was, now.

VVise.

Peace, I tell you there was not? 'twas all but a dream. I spoke [Page 50] to a Conjurer before I went, to Conjure up something before your eyes on purpose to make you think so, and to Conjure you asleep, and make you dream so, I tell you it was all but a dream, and the Conjurers doing.

Peg.

Then Uncle-Husband speak to him to Conjure up such a thing eve­ry night, and to make me dream always when I am asleep.

VVise.

How she torments me?

Peg.

Indeed Husband-Uncle it seemed to me just for all the World as if I had been awake,—and I should have thought so if you had not told me what you do.

VVise.

No, No, I tell you 'twas all a Dream; go, go, get you into Bed.

Peg.

Yes.-But won't the Conjurer Conjure so again?—

VVise.

—No, No, he has taught me now; (a pox of his Instructi­ons;) I'll come and Conjure my self.

Peg.

But can you Conjure as well as he did?

VVise.

Never was Innocence in a Woman a Plague before. Yes, Yes, I'll come and Conjure as he did.

Peg.

Do quickly then, but don't Conjure no fire, I should be frighted at that.

Wise.

Well, well, there shall be no Fire, go, get you in.— How the VVasp has stung me?—Here, where are you? you may come in.

[Ex. Peg.
Enter Aunt and Doodle.
Aunt.

I hope she has satisfi'd you?

Wise.

Yes, Yes, But do you hear? if she talk to you of any Fire that was to night, be sure you tell her there was none, and perswade her out on't; for she has been frighted at the disturbance and talks strangely of Conjuring, and has had odd Dreams, therefore be sure you say there was no Fire.

Aunt.

Alas-a-day,—and being frighten'd was the reason I warrant you that she went to Bed?

Wise.

Yes, yes, go, go, not a word of any Fire.

Aunt.

No, no, not for the VVorld; alass-a-day, alass-a-day.

[Exit.
Dood..

Now I hope you see the effect of having a Fool to your VVife?

Wise.

VVell! You may think as you please of the man's jumping from the Balcony, and make false conjectures, but you are mistaken; 'twas only a Rogue that would have Robb'd me.

Dood.

You do well to submit with patience to your misfortune, and give it the best construction, since it befell you by your own want of Judg­ment; I doubt not but you are convinced of your errour though you won't acknowledge it to me.

Wise.

By your leave; I am not yet convinced I was in the wrong, and have found no reason yet to change my opinion.

Dood.

Nay, if your VVives going to Bed, contrary to your Orders, and a man's tumbling out of her Chamber-VVindow are no Arguments; I find you are invincibly stupid, or wilfully resolved to maintain your Error, and so good-night to you.

Wise.

The like to you.

Dood.
[Page 51]

But ere I go Brother Alderman, let me counsel you to go in and teach your Wife a better Lesson, or she'll turn over a new leaf with you, if she have not already—ha, ha, ha—a Wife that's a Fool—ha, ha, ha.—

Wise.

Fare you well, fare you well.

[Dood. Ex.

To have the breeding of a Woman to my own humour, yet no sooner Married but a Cuckold—Nay to have her very flower of Innocence snatched from me, how spitefully has Fortune frustrated my design? But I will resolve to go in and go to Bed to her, dissemble my grief and seem content—though it will be a sharp corrosive to my mind..., ha! here comes a Gentleman, It may be my Wife's Instructor—I'll stand by and observe if he hanckers about my House or leers up at the Window, that I may know him another time.

Enter Townly.
Townley.

Ha, ha, ha—No, no, no, Hau! what's here?

Wise.

Who is that Mr. Townley?

Town.

The same Sir. Is it you Mr. Alderman Wiseakers?

Wise.

Yes Sir—you are in a merry humour, where are you going so late?

Town.

I was going to the Tavern to a Friend to tell him the pleasantest adventure I ever met with.

Wise.

This may be concerning my Wife—

[Aside.

Pray what was it Sir? if it be no secret, sure it was very pleasant you are so merry after it.

Town.

Going along the Street to night, it was my Fortune to offer my Service to a Lady.

Wise.

Ay, ay, a handsome Lady cannot escape you Gentlemen.

Town.

Handsome or not I don't know, for she was muffled up in her hoods, and I could not see her face. But I have had three or four hours of the sweetest enjoyment Man ever had with Woman.

Wise.

That was pleasant indeed Sir—This was the Man.

Town.

This Lady had taken up an odd humour to say nothing but no, no.

Wise.

No Sir, hau!—

Town.

Yes Sir, to what ever I said she would answer nothing but No,— not a Word could I get from her but No, no, no.—

Wise,

Hau Brother Alderman—this was his Wife. Now will I go and stop his mouth,—he will be prating else on't: do you know who this Lady was Sir.—

Town.

—Not I.—

Wise.

—Nor you don't know her again if you should meet her?

Town.

—Not I.

Wise.

—A Witty Woman y'faith,—Are you obliged Sir to go to the Tavern you were speaking of?

Town.

—Why do you ask?

VVise.
[Page 52]

Because I have a great Curiosity to hear this Story at large, and if you are not engaged, I would desire your good Company at a Neigh­bours house where I am going to drink a glass of Wine, and as we go you may tell it me with all the circumstances,—it must needs be very pleasant, and worth hearing.

Town.

—Well Sir, I'll wait on you, and as we go you shall hear it all.

VVise.

Come Sir, 'tis but just by here.

[Exeunt.
Enter Doodle, Arabella, and Engine, in the Garden.
Dood.

Wise, I am glad to find you up, But am sorry thou art in pain.

Arab.

I was so extremely troubled with the Tooth-ach that I could not sleep, and therefore got up to take a walk here in the Garden, thinking I might rest better afterwards—.

Dood.

Come Wife, a glass of Sack will do thee no harm, I must drink a glass or two before I go to Bed, to take the rawness off my Stomach— and 'twill do thy Teeth good too—

Arab.

Nay the pain is pretty well abated now.

Dood.

Come let us sit down in the Arbour then—

Arab.

Mrs. Engin, Run up and smooth the Bed, and lay the Pillows to rights.

Eng.

Yes, Yes—.

[Exit Engine.
Dood.

Arabella, here's to thee—

Arab.

Thank you Husband—

Dood.

If I had happen'd to have stay'd a Week away, how wouldst thou have long'd to have had thy Tongue at Liberty?

Arab.

No, I should have done well enough.

Dood.

But Silence is very burdensome to a Woman.

Arab.

I confess the Tongue is our unruly Member,—but you had no security in that, if I had had a mind to do you know what,—Silence you know gives Consent.

Dood.

But if any of the fluttering Sparks had come buzzing about thee, thy Tongue wou'd have so itched to have been at them, I have known thee so smart upon 'em at the Plays—

Arab.

Oh! I never do that but when you are there to defend me, for sometimes they'l be Rude and Abuse a Woman if they see her alone.

Dood.

O, rare Sparks of Chivalry, when they have not wit enough to talk to a Woman, have Courage enough to beat her and tear her Hood and Scarf.

Arab.

Husband here's to you, you are welcome home—

Dood.

Hark, somebody knocks,—who can it be at this time of night?

Arab.

Pray Heaven my Spark han't found the way back again—

Enter Townly, Wiseakers, Engine.
VVise.

So when she led you out blindfolded she gave you the slip?

Town.

Yes.

Wise.
[Page 53]

Cunning Baggage.

Engine.

Here is Mr. Alderman Wiseakers come to see you.

Dood.

How!

Arab.

And Townly with him—what can the meaning be of his coming again, and with him?—

Wise.

Just as you parted from me—something came in my head that I had a mind to speak to you about,—and meeting this Gentleman of my acquaintance, I brought him along with me to drink a glass of your Wine, Mr. Alderman.

Dood.

The Gentleman is welcome, I just call'd for a Bottle. Sir my Service to you—

Town.

Your Servant Sir.—Madam my humble Service to you—

Arab.

Your Servant.—I am in amaze!

Dood.

Now pray tell me what business brought you to—

Wise.

Pray ask Qu [...]stions anon,—and have patience to hear one of the pleasantest Stories from this Gentleman that ever you heard: Sir will you do me the favour but to tell that Story again?

Town.

With all my heart Sir.

Arab.

Sure he has not told him what pass'd, I am mistaken if he could know me again.

Wise.

Come Sir begin.

Town.

Going along the Street this Evening when it was dark, it was my Fortune to meet with a Lady, to whom I began to make some little Courtships, but to everything I said, she answered nothing but No.

Arab.

Ha—!

Town.

Nothing but No still? what er'e I ask'd her was no.

Dood.

Hum—so Sir.

Town.

I asked her if I should be her Servant, she said no, if she would let me wait on her home, she said no, no still. At last perceiving she was resolved to make no other Answer: I studied to ask such questions, and say such things to her that if she answered no, it would please me well.

Dood.

Very good Sir;

Arab.

I shall be discovered—what shall I do?

Wise.

Pray mind Sister.

Arab.

Ay, I do, Sir.

Dood.

—Well Sir, and how then?

Town.

—I asked her then if she would not be angry if I went home wit her, she said no.

Wise.

No, Brother.

Town.

If she would not shut the door against me?—No.

Wise.

No, said she again.

Town.

If she would Lye alone to night—she said no.—

Wise.

No.

Town.

If she would be angry if I came to Bed to her? no

Wise.

No, no, she said no, Brother.

Dood.

Well, well, I observe—Humh—

Arab.

I shall be undone if he goes forward.

Wise.
[Page 54]

Pray sit still Sister, and mind this Story out.

Arab.

Ay, I do—

Wise.

Well Sir go on, you'll hear anon Brother.

Dood.

Yes, pray go on.

Town.

So Sir.

Arabella drinks, and whilst Townly and she both offer to fill the Glass, she drops a Ruby Ring into the Glass—Townly takes the Glass, and talks o're it.
Arab.

Sir my Service to you first.

Town.

Pray Madam give me leave to fill.

Arab.

Excuse me Sir, you shan't indeed.

Town.

your Servant Madam. So I'll tell you Gentlemen, upon this I saluted the Lady, and being now just come to her very Door—

Arab.

Pray drink Sir.

Wise.

By and by Sister, pray let him go on.

Town.

In ran she,—in ran I, up Stairs went she—up went I after her,—she into her Chamber,—I followed her,—she locks the door,—very glad was I,—throws her self upon her Bed,—down throws I my self by her,—or upon her as you may guess.

Arab.

What shall I do!

Wise.

And not a word but no, said the Lady all this while, no, was the word Brother.

Dood.

Ay, Yes, yes,—I observe,—I observe.

Arab.

Come Sir, pray begin this Lady's good health, you can't but drink her Health for her Kindness, that's the least you can do.

Town.

Madam, I'll drink it as long as I live for her sake.

Arab.

Come then, pray begin it to me.

Town.

With all my heart Madam.

Wis.

Lord Sister you are so full of Interruptions! can't you let the Gen­tleman go on with his story?

Arab.

I thought there had been an end when he was got to Bed to her.

VVise.

—No, no, there's more yet.

Arab.

Well, but the Gentleman may drink first, the Wine will die.

Town.

Then Madam my Service to you, here's a health to the Negative Lady.

Arab.

Off with it every drop in honour of the Lady—

Town.

Ha, a Ring in my mouth,—and the Ring—Mum—

Arab.

Come I'll pledge the Lady No's health.—

Town.

Well, to make my Story short—

VVise.

Ay Sir, the rest of the Story—

Town.

I had the happiness to tumble this Lady's Bed some hours, behav'd my self like a Man,—found her brisk and active, but on a sudden she rises from me, plucks me by the elbow to get up, then blind, me with her hand­kerchief, leads me out of doors a good way from her house, gives me a turn round, and slips away from me;—when I perceiv'd her gone, I pluck'd off her handkerchief, thinking to see where she went in, that I might be so happy to find this kind person another time,—and turning back methought I had a glimps of her, but running after her stumbled against a great Stone, fell down, and so lost sight of her.—

Dood.
[Page 55]

Then you did not see where she went in?—

Town.

No, for with the fall I wak'd out of my Dream.

Dood.

Why then all this is but a Dream.

Town.

Yes Sir.

VVise.

How! a Dream.

Town.

Ay Sir, a Dream.

VVise.

VVhy you did not tell me it was a Dream.

Town.

No Sir, that may be, for we arrived here just as we came to that part of the story, which prevented me from telling you how I awak'd.

VVise.

You told me you came then from the Lady, and was going home to your Lodging.

Town.

Yes Sir, For when I waken'd, I was so pleased with my Dream, and so possessed with the Fancy, that immediately I got up and went to the place where I dream'd I fell, to see if there was any such stone as I tumbled at, and if I found such a stone, to look if there were any such House there­abouts as methoughts I saw her slip into just as I fell.

Dood.

And found you any such stone, Sir?

Town.

Yes, I found just such a stone.

VVise.

But would a Man rise out of his Bed for this?—

Town.

I have great Faith in Dreams.—

Wise.

By your leave Sir, you told me that you put a Ring upon the La­dys Finger when you were upon the Bed with her.—

Town.

I did so; now it work'd strongly in my Fancy, that if I went a­broad and could find any such stone, or a house like that, some good luck or other would befall me thereabouts.

Dood.

And pray did any thing extraordinary happen?

Town.

Yes, looking for the Stone I found this Ring, and tis exactly such a Ring as I dream'd I put upon the Ladies Finger.

Dood.

This is wonderful.

Town.

Stranger things than this have happen'd to me upon account of Dreams.—

Dood.

Now Sir, I'll tell you, there's more in this than you are aware of.— —I was this night to have gone to Gravesend,—and as I was taking leave of my Wife, a Frolique took me in the head to make her promise that if any Gentleman should talk to her during my absence, or ask her any questi­ons, she should to all they said answer nothing but No, and there's your Dream out.—

Town.

How Sir! Is this true?—

Dood.

Ay indeed Sir, here's my Wife, and here's Mr. Alderman too can witness the same

Arab.

I will assure you Sir, this is true.

Wise.

Ay Sir, it is true.—

Arab.

He has brought all clear off.—

Town.

Well Sir, if the Person that answered me was your Wife here, I must beg your Pardon if I have made you a Cuckold.—

Dood.

How Sir I pray?—

Town.
[Page 56]

'Twas in a Dream Sir, but so sweet a Dream, I could wish to Dream't a thousand times or'e, O Madam! are you my Lady No?

Arab.

Truly Sir, knowing what my Husband has told you of my Pro­mise: I much wondred all the while where the Story would end,—I per­ceived he was uneasie, and I was as much surprized.—It was so pat to our purpose.

Dood.

Truly Wife I could not tell what to think on't, till I heard it was but a Dream.

Town.

Well Mr. Alderman. I thank you for bringing me to the sight of the Lady I dream'd of, whose Face was the only thing in the World I de­sired to see.—I can't almost fancy but that I am in a Dream still; methinks this looks more like a Dream than the other,

Wise.

Ay ay Sir, this is more like a Dream behalf.

Arab.

Have a care Sir the next time you have a fair Lady in view, you make no such stumbles to lose sight of her, that you may know where to find her without shewing.

Town.

And let Ladies have a care of leading me forth to Blind-man's Buff.—

Wise.

And I say let Husbands have a better stratagem hereafter to secure their Wives, than learning them to say nothing but No.

Dood.

You think then there is more in this than a Dream?—

Wise.

Yes, and I brought this Gentleman on purpose to let you see what is become of your No; there's a fine business indeed, No.

Dood.

Hark you Brother Alderman,—carry him home to your own house, and let him see what's be [...]ome of the Lady upon Duty,—and the Gentleman that dropp'd down from the Balcony;—and what becomes of your No, then?

Wise.

You know not what you say, you are in a Dream; ha, ha, ha.—

Dood.

And I think your Wife w [...]s in a fine Dream.— What think you of a fool for a Wife now?—

Wise.

As well as of a No witty Wife. ha, ha, ha—

Town.

What's the meaning of all this Madam?

Arab.

—They don't know themselves.

Dashwel and Jane upon a Mount, looking over a Wall that parts the two Gardens.
Iane.

Speak to 'em Sir, or their noise will spoil your design.

Dash.

Hark you Mr. Alderman, and Mr. Alderman there.

Town.

Heaven! What foul Fiend is that?

Arab.

Neighbour Dashwell!

Dood.

Turn'd Cotquean!

Wise.

What means this?

Dash.

You'll see anon. But pray in the interim leave your disputes of a witty Wife or a foolish Wife: and learn by an example presently, that [Page 57] you are both in the wrong, as I told you before; and now be convin­ced what 'tis to have a zealous Wife.

Wise.

Why I pray what has't to say as to that matter?

Dash.

A Villain has tempted my Wife to meet him in the Garden, here at this Summer-house when I am in Bed; to commit his Fellonious purpose against my Honour. ... She has proved her self a Virtuous, good Woman, and acquainted me with the wicked Machinations, and has advised me to dress my self up thus, and to give him entertainment here in the dark in her room, and see how I am prepared to welcome him.

Iane.

Hark Sir? the Garden door unlocks. The Traitor is coming.

Dash.

Hist! then be silent all I pray. Put out your Candle, and go softly to the dore there that opens out of your Garden into mine. I have unbolted it on this side: VVhen you hear a noise, come in, but do not help the Rogue though hecry out never so: For I will so Caresse him.

Dood.

No, no, lay him on—

Wise.

Lay him on soundly.

Dood.

Come follow me, and I'll lead you all to the dore.

Town.

Now if all this should be Artifice betwixt the Wife and her Gallant?

Arab.

Follow, follow. VVe shall be able to guess anon.

[Exeunt.
Enter Loveday in the Garden with a Hunting Whip in his hand. Dashwel and Jane at a Distance.
Dash.

Iane, I hear him come—Stand close, be ready.

Iane.

I warrant you Sir.

Lovd.

Oh that Heaven of Beauty I have lest, that the sweet enjoy­ment might have for Ages lasted! I'd be content to give a Year of coming [...] for every hour of Bliss. But I must a while respite the memory of that happiness; and employ my thoughts how to come off with the Husband, for that is my present Task.

Dash,

Hem. Hem.

Lovd.

The Cuckold Hems! Little thinks he how he is counter-plotted; hist where are you?

Dash.

Hem, Here.

Lovd.

Where?

Dash.

Hist Here, here; hist.

Lovd.

Oh my Dear! art thou here? Let me prepare my Arms to em­brace thee, and give thee the sweet enjoyment of my Love! receive it then in this kind, hearty Salutation.—

[Whips Dashwel.
Dash.

Hold, hold, hold.

Lovd.

I'll take down your Courage.

Dash.

Hold, help, help.

Lovd.

Make appointments in the dark!

Iane.

Wrong my Lady.

[She beats him behind
Dood.

They swinge him bravely.

VVise,
[Page 58]

That we cou'd but see now!

Town.

Yonder comes a Light.

Enter Eugenia with a Light.
Dash.

Oh! Murder! Murder! Murder. Oh! oh! oh!

Lovd.

D [...]d you think it cou'd be my intention ever to wrong so worthy a Gentleman as your Husband?

Dash.

Oh! hold, hold, y'are deceived—

Lovd.

No, Lewd Woman, 'tis you are deceived in your expectation; Now I will go to your Husband, and acquaint him what a Chaste good Wife you are.

Dash.

Here, here, bring the Candle; I say you are deceived.—

Eug.

Well Husband, have you met with him handsomely?—

Lovd.

Ha! Madam Eugenia; who have I been handling then all this while?

Dash.

Oh Wife! I have been lash'd and beat here most unmercifully.

Lovd.

O Lord Sir! Is it you?

Eug.

How! have you been beaten? Sirrah, I'll have you hang'd; first tempt me, and then beat my Husband.

Dash.

Nay, nay, Wife—'twas a mistake.

Lovd.

Oh misfortune! have I been injuring you Sir, all this while?

Dash.

Nay, Nay; I am convinc'd it was well meant.

Eug.

I acquainted my Husband with your Intentions, and sent him in my place to be revenged of you for your Insolence.

Wise.

Mr. Dashwell, you have paid him off; ha, ha, ha, ha.

Dood.

Indeed Neighbour you have cool'd his Courage for him: Do not your Arms ake? ha, ha, ha.

Dash.

Well, well; talk no more of it, he did it but to try my Wife for my sake; he meant no hurt.

Town.

I find how the Cards have been dealt.

Wise.

Hark you Neighbour Dashwell; Now if your Zealous Wife should have put a Pious Cheat upon you?

Dood.

'Tis very suspicious: What should make him a Stranger so zea­lous to try your Wife for you?

Wise.

I am affraid he has try'd her for you-Neighbour.

Dash.

Well, well, censure as you please: But this misfortune is a great satisfaction to me; I heard your Story e'ne now in the Garden, and I would not yet change my VVife for her that a man leapt from her VVindow, nor for the Lady No, of whom that Gentleman Dream'd such a fine Dream there; ha, ha, ha.

[Page 59] Enter Aunt, Ramble, Watchmen.
Aunt.

Come friend, bring him along.

Town.

How? Ramble here?

Arab.

My unlucky Lover!

VVatch.

An't please you Mr. Alderman there was a cry of Thieves at your door, as we were coming from the Stand to you, we met this Gentle­man here, running along in a very suspitious manner.

VVise.

It was Mr. Alderman Doodle there that cry'd out Thieves; but it was a mistake; you may let the Gentleman go,

Dood.

But I dare take it upon my corporal Oath this is the Gentleman that leapt down from the Balcony.

Enter Engine and Pegg.
Peg.

Oh pray now shew him me quickly, pray now!

Eng.

Look you, they are all here.

Peg.

Oh Uncle Husband!

VVise.

What come you for?

Peg.

Indeeds Husband Uncle my Aunt told me this Gentleman was car­ried away for a Thief, and that he had robb'd you, and must be hang'd.

VVise.

And how then?

Peg.

And so I come to tell you he stole nothing that I saw. He did no­thing but teach me the Duty of a Wife, did you Sir?

Ramb.

No, no, pretty one.

VVise.

Go, go, you are in a dream still.

Peg.

Oh but it was no dream though! Now I see the Gentleman, I am sure he taught me my Lesson.

Dood.

Ha, ha, ha. There's Simplicity for you Brother.

VVise.

Take her hence.

Peg.

Deeds Nuncle Husband I had not come here but for sake o'the Gen­tleman.

VVise.

Take her away or I'll break your bones.

Aunt.

Ah woe is me! we shall be all hang'd, all hang'd.

[Exeunt.
Eug.

Mr. Alderman, much good d'ye with your Foolish Innocent Wife.

Arab.

Pray Sir what think you? is she so very Innocent?

Ramb.

Faith Madam I think she has good Natural Parts.

Arab.

But for a Woman to kiss and tell; Oh la!

Dash.

Now Mr. Alderman you see the effects of having a silly Wife: And now I hope at last you are convinced?

VVise.

No, no, ne're a whit, and so pray concern you your self with you zealous Wife there, who was above at her Devotions. And when the zealou fit was over, sent that Gentleman there to chastise you in the Garden for your folly.

Dash.

Well, well, ha, ha, ha.

VVise.
[Page 60]

And you Brother Alderman, concern your self with your no, Stratagem, and your no, witty Wife—for she has done No—thing. And you are No—Cuckold; good night to you.

Omnes.

Ha, ha, ha.

VVise.

Hence-forth I'll keep her under Lock and Key, and n'er more trust a Wifes simplicity.

[Exit.
Arab.

Sir, I find you are the Charitable man that has instructed the Ignorant.

Town.

Yes, yes, he has taught her more Wit.

Dash.

Now Sir; give me leave to make peace with you for this friend of mine, and forgive him his Conjuring.

Ramb.

How! Valentine Loveday my Friend; were you the Conjurer then? How long have you been come from Hamborough?

Dash.

How! Valentine Loveday, and from Hamborough!

Lovd.

I am discovered.

Dash.

My Wives former Servant, nay then I fear there's something more in this business than I yet apprehend.

Town.

You have made Mischief, Ned.

Dash.

Pray Sir how came you to use this trick to get into my Service? I wondred at my Brother to send Letters.

Lovd.

How I came by his Letters I'll acquaint you hereafter. Some Friends of mine at Hamborough, who went lately from England told me since she was Married to you, she had forfeited my good Opinion, and lost her virtuous inclinations—as they supposed, disgusted with her Marriage.

The truth of this I resolved to know, purposing never to Marry, nor put trust in woman-kind if she was false; But now I am assured of her Vertue, I will pursue my intentions of coming over, and Marry with speed.

Arab.

He has a quick invention.

Eug.

I am neither beholden to them for their Opinion, nor you for your Belief.

Lovd.

And now Sir I hope you are satisfied, and give me your pardon

Dash.

Ay! Yes, but not so well satisfied neither.

Dood.

Ay, ay, Mr. Dashwel; you may well scratch your Head, for all your Wives Vertue you'll see the fruits of her Zeal upon your fore-head ere long.

Dash.

I would not yet change my Wives Vertue for your Wives Wit, Mr. Alderman.

Dood.

But Neighbour I think, Consideratis Considerandis, the Witty Wife is yet the best of the Three.

Dash.

To that I answer in your Wives own Dialect; No.

Dood.

VVell, well, go in and noint your back Neighbour, you have been finely slaugh'd, ha, ha, ha; Sir you are an excellent Flaugher, ha, ha, ha.

Town.

How our Cuckolds laugh at one another?

Ramb.
[Page 61]

Now I find how I lost both my Mistresses; Eugenia repulsed me for you, Loveday, and you Townly leap'd into that Lady's Saddle before me.— But I am sure of my pretty Fool when ere I can come at her.

Arab.

Eugenia I now spy the Hypocrite under the Veil of Devotion. I always had too good an opinion of your wit, to believe you were in Earnest; now we know one another better, let us meet to morrow; Each confess the whole truth, and laugh heartily at the folly of our Husbands.

Eug.

With mine you see how smoothly matters went, He is a Cuckold, Cudgell'd, and Content.

Exit Omnes.

EPILOGUE.

Ramble.
ROuze up ye drouzie Cuckolds of our Isle,
We see your aking hearts through your forc'd smile.
Haste hence like Bees, unto your City Hives,
And drive away the Hornets from your Wives.
Rouze, Rouze I say as do the Nobler Deer;
In Parks, when they the noise of Hunters hear,
Ioyn in a herd for their defence, and there
Erect their large Brow-Antlers in the Air.
A vision like to that methinks i'th' Pit
I see, and every Cuckold is a Cit.
But what provok'd the Poet to this Fury,
Perhaps he's piqu'd at by the Ignoramus Iury,
And therefore thus Arraigns the noble City,
No, There are many Honest Loyal Witty,
And be it spoke to their eternal Glory's,
There's not one Cuckold amongst all the Tory's.
Yet still he'l rail, and all the world will blame us,
'Till Billa Vera conquers Ignoramus;
'Till you, the Bully's of a Common-wealth,
Leave breaking Windows for a Loyal Health.
No, no, the Cloven Foreheads are the Whigs, who send
Their Wives a Bulling to their Morefields friend.
The Doctrine put into 'em do's so tickle
They'r pleas'd with nothing like a Conventicle.
Mrs. Dashwell.
In me the effects of zealous Wives you see,
What say the London Wiseakers to me.
Mr. Dashwell.
[Page]
You Wives of the last zealous Reformation
On Husbands Foreheads to your Reputation,
Do fix the Mark of their Predestination.
Your zeal's all counterfeit and nothing worth,
Although you have such able Holders-forth.
Mrs. Doodle.
What say you friends unto a Wife that's Witty?
Have you such Wives as I am in the City?
Ald. Doodle.
Yes, yes by my troth; but the more's the pity.
They'l never be content with our dull sport
So long as Tory's visit 'em from Court.
Ald.
Wise'akers. Take warning too by me (dear City Friends)
A wife like mine will make ye all amends,
A pox upon't! mine was a Country Cheat;
The sillyest of 'em all find out that Feat.
Mrs.
Wise'akers. Yes, yes let him that does desire a Fool
To's Wife, make hast and send her here to School.
FINIS.

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