THE Provok'd Wife, A COMEDY.

THE Provok'd Wife: A COMEDY, As it is Acted at the New Theatre, IN Little Lincolns-Inn-Fields.

By the Author of a New Comedy call'd the Relapse, or Virtue in Danger.

LONDON, Printed by I. O. for R. Wellington, at the Lute in St. Paul's Church Yard, and Sam. Briscoe in Covent-Garden 1697.

PROLOGUE To the Provok'd Wife, spoke by Mistress Bracegirdle.

SInce 'tis the Intent and Business of the Stag [...],
To Copy out the Follies of the Age;
To hold to every Man a Faithful Glass,
And shew him of what Species he's an Ass.
I hope the next that teaches in the School,
Will shew our Author he's a scribling Fool.
And that the Satyr may be sure to Bite,
Kind Heav'n! Inspire some venom'd Priest to Write,
And grant some Vgly Lady may Indite.
For I wou'd have him lash'd, by Heav'ns! I would,
Till his presumption swam away in Blood.
Three Plays at once proclaims a Face of Brass,
No matter what they are! That's not the Case,
To Write three Plays, ev'n that's to be an Ass.
But what I least forgive, he knows it too,
For to his Cost he lately has known you.
Experience shews, to many a Writers smart
You hold a Court where mercy ne're had part;
So much of the old Serpent's Sting you have,
You Love to Damn, as Heav'n Delights to Save.
In Foreign Parts, let a bold Voluntiere,
For publick Good upon the Stage appear,
He meets ten thousand Smiles to Dissipate his Fear.
All tickle on, th' adventuring young Beginner,
And only scourge th' incorragible Sinner;
They touch indeed his Faults, but with a hand
So gentle, that his Merit still may stand:
Kindly they Buoy the Follies of his Pen,
That he may shun 'em when he Writes again.
But 'tis not so, in this good natur'd Town,
All's one, an Ox, a P [...]et, or a Crown,
Old England's play was always knocking Down.

EPILOGUE, By another Hand.

Spoken by Lady Brute and Bellinda.
Lady B.
NO Epilogue!
Bell.
I Swear I know of none.
Lady.
Lord! How shall we excuse it to the Town?
Bell.
Why, we must e'en say something of our own.
Lady
Our own! Ay, that must needs be precious stuff.
Bell.
I'll lay my life they'll like it well enough.
Come Faith begin—
Lady
Excuse me, after you.
Bell.
Nay, pardon me for that, I know my Cue.
Lady
O for the World, I would not have Precedence.
Bell.
O Lord!
Lady
I Swear —
Bell.
O Fye!
Lady
I'm all Obedience.
First then, know all, before our Doom is fixt,
The Third day is for us —
Bell.
Nay, and the Sixt.
Lady
We speak not from the Poet now, nor is it
His Cause— (I want a Rhime)
Bell.
That we solicite.
Lady
Then sure you cannot have the hearts to be severe
And Damn us—
Bell.
Damn us! Let 'em if they Dare.
Lady
Why, if they should, what punishment Remains?
Bell.
Eternal Exile from behind our Scenes.
Lady
But if they're kind, that sentence we'll recal,
We can be grateful—
Bell.
And have wherewithall.
Lady
But at grand Treaties, hope not to be Trusted,
Before Preliminaries are adjusted.
Bell.
You know the Time, and we appoint this place;
Where, if you please, we'll meet and sign the Peace.

Drammatis Personae.

Constant.
Mr. Verbrugen.
Heartfree.
Mr. Hudson.
Sir Iohn Brute.
Mr. Betterton.
Treble, A Singing Master.
Mr. Bowman.
Rasor, Vallet de Chambre to Sir I. B.
Mr. Bowen.
Justice of the Peace.
Mr. Bright.
Lord Rake Companion to Sir, I. B.
Coll. Bully Companion to Sir, I. B.
Constable and Watch.
Lady Brute.
Mrs. Barry.
Bellinda her Neice.
Mrs. Bracegirdle.
Lady Fancyfull.
Mrs. Bowman.
Madamoiselle.
Mrs. Willis.
Cor. and Pipe, Servants to Lady Fancy.

THE Provok'd Wife.
ACT the First.

Scene Sir John Brute's House.
Enter Sir John, solus.

WHAT cloying meat is Love, — when Matri­mony's the Sauce to it. Two years Marriage has debaucht my five Senses. Every thing I see, every thing I hear, every thing I feel, every thing I smell, and every thing I taste—methinks has Wife in't.

No Boy was ever so weary of his Tutor; no Girl of her Bib; no Nun of doing Penance nor Old Maid of being Chast, as I am of being Married.

Sure there's a secret Curse entail'd upon the very Name of Wife. My Lady is a young Lady, a fine Lady, a Witty Lady, a Vir­tuous Lady — and yet I hate her. There is but one thing on Earth I loath beyond her: That's fighting. Wou'd my Courage come up but to a fourth part of my Ill Nature, I'd stand buff to her Relations, and thrust her out of Doors.

But Marriage has sunk me down to such an Ebb of Resolution, I dare not draw my Sword, tho even to get rid of my Wife. But here she comes.

[Page 2] Enter Lady Brute.
Lady.

Do you Dine at home to day, Sir Iohn?

Sir Ioh.

Why, do you expect I shou'd tell you, what I don't know my self?

Lady.

I thought there was no harm in asking you.

Sir Ioh.

If thinking wrong were an excuse for Impertinence, Wo­men might be justifi'd in most things they say or do.

Lady.

I'm sorry I have said any thing to displease you.

Sir Ioh.

Sorrow for things past, is of as little Importance to me, as my dining at home or a broad ought to be to you.

Lady B.

My Enquiry was only that I might have provided what you lik'd.

Sir Ioh.

Six to four you had been in the wrong there again, for what I lik'd yesterday I don't like to day, and what I like to day, 'tis odds I may'nt like to morrow.

Lady B.

But if I had ask'd you what you lik'd?

Sir Ioh.

Why then there would have been more asking about it, than the thing was worth.

Lady B.

I wish I did but know how I might please you.

Sir Ioh.

Ay, but that sort of knowledge is not a Wife's Talent.

Lady B.

What e'er my Talent is, I'm sure my Will has ever been to make you easie.

Sir Ioh.

If Women were to have their Wills, the World wou'd be finely govern'd.

Lady B.

What reason have I given you to use me as you do of late? It once was otherwise: You married me for Love.

Sir Ioh.

And you me for Money: So you have your Reward, and I have mine.

Lady B.

What is it that disturbs you?

Sir Ioh.

A Parson.

Lady B.

Why, what has he done to you?

Sir Ioh.

He has married me.

Exit Sir John.
Enter Lady Brute, sola.

The Devil's in the Fellow I think — I was told before I marri­ed him, that thus 'twou [...]d be; But I thought I had Charms enough to govern him; and that where there was an Estate, a Woman must needs be happy; so my Vanity has deceiv'd me, and my Ambition has made me uneasie. But some comfort still; if one wou'd be reveng [...]d of him, these are good times; a Woman may have a Gal­lant, and a separate maintenance too — The surly Puppy—yet [Page 3] he's a Fool for't: For hitherto he has been no Monster: But who knows how far he may provoke me. I never lov'd him, yet I have been ever true to him; and that, in spight of all the at­tacks of Art and Nature upon a poor weak Womans heart, in fa­vour of a Tempting Lover.

Methinks so Noble a Defence as I have made, shou'd be reward­ed with a better usage — Or who can tell — Perhaps a good part of what I suffer from my Husband may be a Judgment upon me for my cruelty to my Lover.—Lord with what pleasure cou'd I indulge that thought, were there but a possibility of finding Ar­guments to make it good. And how do I know but there may — Let me see — What opposes? — My Matrimonial Vow? — Why, what did I Vow: I think I promis'd to be true to my Husband.

Well; and he promis'd to be kind to me.

But he han't kept his Word —

Why then I'm absolv'd from mine—ay, that seems clear to me. The Arguments good between the King and the People, why not between the Husband and the Wife? O, but that Condition was not exprest.—No matter, 'twas understood.

Well, by all I see, If I argue the matter a little longer with my self, I shan't find so many Bug-bears in the way, as I thought I shou'd. Lord what fine notions of Virtue do we Women take up upon the Credit of old foolish Philosophers. Virtue's it's own reward, Virtue's this, Virtue's that; —Virtue's an Ass, and a Gallant's worth for­ty on't.

Enter Bellinda.
Lady.

Good morrow, Dear Cousin.

Bel.

Good morrow, Madam; you look pleas'd this morning.

Lady.

I am so.

Bel.

With what, pray?

Lady.

With my Husband.

Bel.

Drown Husbands; for your's is a provoking Fellow: As he went out just now, I pray'd him to tell me what time of day 'twas: And he ask'd me if I took him for the Church Clock, that was Oblig'd to tell all the Parish.

Lady B.

He has been saying some good obliging things to me too. In short, Bellinda, he has us'd me so barbarously of late, that I cou'd almost resolve to play the down-right Wife, — and Cuck­old him.

Bel.

That wou'd be down-right indeed.

Lady B.
[Page 4]

Why, after all, there's more to be said for't than you'd Imagine, Child. I know according to the strict Statute Law of Religion, I shou [...]d do wrong: But if there were a Court of Chance­ry in Heaven, I'm sure I shou'd cast him.

Bel.

If there were a House of Lords you might.

Lady B.
In either I shou'd infallibly carry my Cause.
Why, he is the first Agressor. Not I.
Bel.

Ay, but you know, we must return Good for Evil.

Lady B.

That may be a mistake in the Translation—

Prethee be of my opinion, Bellinda; for I'm positive I'm in the right; and if you'll keep up the Prerogative of a Woman, yo [...]ll likewise be positive you are in the right, when ever you do any thing you have a mind to. But I shall play the fool, and jest on till I make you begin to think I'm in Earnest

Bel.

I sha'n't take the liberty, Madam, to think of any thing that you desire to keep a Secret from me.

Lady B.

Alas, my Dear, I have no Secrets. My heart cou'd never yet con [...]ine my Tongue.

Bel.

Your eyes you mean; for I am sure I have seen them gadding, when your Tongue has been lockt up safe enough.

Lady B.

My eyes gadding? Prethee after who, Child?

Bel.

Why, after one that thinks you hate him, as much as I know you love him.

Lady B.

Constant you mean.

Bel.

I do so.

Lady B.

Lord, what shou'd put such a thing into your head?

Bel.

That which puts things into most peoples Heads; Obser­vation.

Lady B.

Why, what have you observ'd, in the name of Wonder?

Bel.

I have observ'd you blush when you meet him; force your self away from him; and then be out of humour with every thing about you: In a word; never was poor Creature so spurr'd on by desire, and so rein'd in with fear!

Lady B.

How strong is Fancy!

Bel.

How weak is Woman

Lady B.

Prethee, Neice, have a better opinion of your Aunt's In­clinations.

Bel.

Dear Aunt, have a better opinion of your Neice's Under­standing.

Lady B.

You'll make me Angry.

Bel.

You'll make me Laugh.

Lady B.

Then you are resolv'd to persist?

Bel.

Positively.

Lady Bel.

And all I can say —

Bel.
[Page 5]

Will signifie nothing,

Lady B.

Tho' I shou'd swear 'twere false—

Bel.

I shou'd think it true.

Lady B.

Then let us both forgive

[kissing her]

for we have both offended. I in making a Secret, you in discovering it.

Bel.

Good nature may do much: But you have more reason to for­give one, than I have to pardon t'other.

Lady B.

'Tis true, Bellinda, you have given me so many proofs or your Friendship, that my reserve has been indeed a Crime: But that you may more easily forgive me, Remember, Child, that when our Nature prompts us to a thing, our Honour and Religion have for­bid us. We wou'd (were't possible) conceal even from the Soul it self, the knowledge of the Bodies weakness.

Bel.

Well, I hope, to make your Friend amends, you'll hide nothing from her for the future, tho' the Body shou'd still grow weaker and weaker.

Lady B.

No, from this moment I have no more reserve; and for a proof of my Repentance, I own, Bellinda, I'm in danger. Me­rit and Wit assault me from without: Nature and Love soli [...]ite me within; my Husbands barbarous usage piques me to revenge; and Sathan catching at the fair occasion, throws in my way that ven­geance, which of all Vengeance pleases Women best.

Bel.

'Tis well Constant don't know the weakness of the For­tifications; for o'my Conscience he'd soon come on to the Assault.

Lady B.

Ay, and I'm afraid carry the Town too. But whatever you may have observ'd, I have dissembled so well as to keep him Ig­norant. So you see I'm no Coquet, Bellinda: And if you'll follow my advice you'll never be one neither. 'Tis true, Coquettry is one of the main ingredients in the natural Composition of a Woman, and I as well as others, cou'd be well enough pleas'd to see a Crowd of young Fellows, Ogling and Glancing and Watching all occasions to do forty foolish officious things: nay shou'd some of 'em push on, even to Hanging or Drowning: Why — Faith— if I shou'd let pure Woman alone, I shou'd e'en be but too well pleas'd with't.

Bel.

I'll swear 'twou [...]d tickle me strangely.

Lady B.

But after all, 'tis a Vicious practice in us, to give the least encouragement but where we design to come to a Conclusion. For 'tis an unreasonable thing, to engage a Man in a Disease which we before-han [...] resolve we never will apply a Cure to.

Bel.

'Tis true; but then a Woman must abandon one of the su­pream Blessings of her Life. For I am fully convinc'd, no Man has half that pleasure in possessing a Mistress, as a Woman has in jilting a Gallant.

Lady B.
[Page 6]

The Happiest Woman then on Earth must be our Neighbour.

Bel.

O the Impertinent Composition; she has Vanity and Affe­ctation enough to make her a Ridiculous Original, in spight of all that Art and Nature ever furnisht to any of her Sex before her.

Lady B.

She concludes all Men her Captives; and whatever Course they take, it serves to confirm her in that opinion.

Bel.

If they shun her, she thinks 'tis modesty, and takes it for a proo [...] of their Passion.

Lady B.

And if they are rude to her, 'tis Conduct, and done to prevent Town talk.

Bel.

When her Folly makes 'em laugh, she thinks they are pleas'd with her Wit.

Lady B.

And when her impertinence makes 'em Dull, Concludes they are jealous of her favours.

Bel.

All their Actions and their Words, she takes for granted, aim at her.

Lady B.

And pities all other Women, because she thinks they envy her.

Bel.

Pray, out of pity to our selves, let us find a better Subject, for I am weary of this. Do you think your Husband inclin'd to Jealousie?

Lady B.

O, no; he do's not love me well enough for that.

Lord how wrong Men's Maxims are. They are seldom jealous of their Wives, unless they are very fond of 'em; whereas they ought to consider the Womans inclinations, for there depends their Fate.

Well, Men may talk; but they are not so Wise as we—that's certain.

Bel.

At least in our Affairs.

Lady B.

Nay, I believe we shou'd out do 'em in the business of the State too: For me thinks they Do and Undo, and make but mad work on't

Bel.

Why then don't we get into the Intrigues of Government as well as they?

Lady B.

Because we have Intrigues of our own, that make us more sport, Child. And so let's in and consider of 'em.

Exeunt.
[Page 7]SCENE. A Dressing Room.
Enter Lady Fancyfull, Madamoiselle and Cornet.
Lady Fan.

How do I look this morning?

Cor.

Your Ladyship looks very ill, truly.

Lady Fan.

Lard how ill-natur'd thou art, Cornet, to tell me so, tho the thing should be true. Don't you know that I have humility e­nough to be but too easily out of Conceit with my self. Hold the Glass; I dare swear that will have more manners than you have▪ Madamoiselle, let me have your opinion too.

Madam.

My opinion pe, Matam, dat your Ladyship never look so well in your Life.

Lady Fan.

Well, the French are the prettiest obliging People, they say the most acceptable, well manner'd things—and never flat­ter.

Madam.

Your Ladyship say great Justice inteed.

Lady Fan.

Nay every thing's Just in my House but Cornet. The ve­ry Looking-Glass gives her the Dementi. But I'm almost afraid it flatters me, it makes me look so very engaging.

Looking affected­ly in the Glass.
Madam.

Inteed, Matam, your Face pe hansomer den all de Look­ing-Glass in tee World, croyiez moy.

Lady Fan.

But is it possible my Eyes can be so languishing— and so very full of fire?

Madam.

Matam, if de Glass was burning Glass, I believe your Eyes set de fire in de House.

Lady Fan.

You may take that Night-Gown, Madamoiselle; get out of the Room Cornet; I can't endure you. This Wench methinks does look so unsufferably ugly.

Exit Cor.
Madam.

Every ting look ugly Matam, dat stand by your Lati­ship.

Lady Fan.

No really, Madamoiselle, methinks you look mighty pre­ty.

Madam.

Ah Matam; de Moon have [...]o Eclat, ven de Sun appear.

Lady Fan.

O pretty Expression. Have you ever been in Love, Madamoiselle?

Madam.
[Page 8]

Ouy, Matam.

sighing.
Lady Fan.

And were you, belov'd again?

Madam.

No Matam.

sighing
Lady Fan.

O ye Gods, What an Unfortunate Creature should I be in such a Case. But nature has made me Nice for my own defence; I'm Nice, strangely Nice, Madamoiselle; I believe were the merit of whole mankind bestow'd upon one single Person, I should still think the Fellow wanted something, to make it worth my while to take notice of him: And yet I could Love; nay fondly Love, were it possible to have a thing made on purpose for me: For I'm not cruel, Madamoiselle, I'm only Nice.

Madam.

Ah Matam, I wish I was fine Gentelman for your sake. I do all de ting in de World to get leetel way into your heart. I make Song, I make Verse, I give you de Serenade, I give great ma­ny Present to Madamoiselle, I no eat, I no sleep, I be lean, I be mad, I hang my self, I drown my self? Ah ma Chere Dame, Que je vous Aimerois.

Embracing her.
Lady Fan.

Well the French have strange obliging ways with 'em; you may take those two pair of Gloves Madamois [...]lle.

Madam.

Me humbly tanke my sweet Lady.

Enter Cornet.
Cor.

Madam here's a Letter for your Ladyship by the Penny­post.

Lady Fan.

Some new Conquest I'll warrant you. For without Vanity I look'd extreamly clear last night, when I went to the Park.

O agreeable. Here's a new Song made of me. And ready set too. O thou Welcome thing.

(Kissing it)

Call Pipe hither, she shall Sing it instantly.

Enter Pipe.

Here, Sing me this new Song, Pipe.

SONG.
I.
FLy, fly, you happy Shepherds, fly,
Avoid Philira's Charms;
The rigour of her heart denies
The Heaven that's in her Arms.
Ne'er hope to gaze and then retire,
Nor yielding, to be blest:
Nature who form'd her Eyes of Fire,
Of Ice Compos'd her Breast.
II.
Yet, lovely Maid, this once believe
A slave, whose Zeal you move:
The Gods Alas, your youth deceive;
Their Heaven consists in Love.
[Page 10]In spight of all the thanks you owe,
You may Reproach 'em this,
That where they did their Form bestow
They have deny'd their Bliss.
Lady Fan.

Well, there may be faults, Madamoiselle, but the Design is so very obliging, 'twou'd be a matchless Ingratitude in me to dis­cover 'em.

Madam.

Ma foy Matam, I tink de Gentelman's Song tell you de trute. If you never Love, you never be Happy — Ah — que I' aime l' amour moy.

Enter Servant with another Letter.
Serv.

Madam here's another Letter for your Ladyship.

Lady Fan.

'Tis thus I am importun'd every morning, Madamoiselle. Pray how do the French Ladies when they are thus Accablées?

Madam.

Matam, dey never Complain. Au Contraire. When one Frense Laty have got hundred Lover—Den she do all she can— to get hundred more.

Lady Fan.

Well, strike me dead, I think they have Le gout bon. For 'tis an unutterable pleasure to be ador'd by all the Men, and en­vy'd by all the Women — Yet I'll swear I'm concerned at the Torture I give 'em. Lard, why was I form'd to make the whole Creation uneasy? But let me read my Letter.

Reads.

If you have a mind to hear of your faults, instead of being prai­sed for your Virtues, take the pains to walk in the Green walk in St. Iames's with your Woman an hour hence. You'll there meet one, who hates you for some things, as he cou'd love you for O­thers, and therefore is willing to endeavour your Reformation— If you come to the Place I mention, you'll know who I am; if you don't, you never shall, so take your Choice.

This is strangely Familiar, Madamoiselle; now have I a provoking Fan­cy to know who this Impudent fellow is.

Madam.
[Page 11]

Den take your Scarf and your Mask, and go to de Ren­dezvous De Frense Laty do iustement [...]omme sa.

Lady Fan.

Rendezvous! What, Rendezvous with a man; Mada­moiselle.

Madam

Eh, pourquoy non?

Lady Fan.

What? and a man perhaps I never saw in my Life

Madam.

Tant m [...]eux: c'est don [...] quelque chose de n [...]uveau.

Lady Fan.

Why, how do I know what designs he may have. He may intend to Ravish me for ought I know.

Madam.

Ravish? — Bagatelle. I would fain see one Impudent Rogue Ravish Madamoiselle; Ouy, je le voadrois.

Lady Fan.

O but my Reputation, Madamoiselle, my Reputation, a [...] ma Chere Reputation.

Madam.

Matam; — Quand on l' a une fois perdue — On n'en est plus embarassee.

Lady Fan.

Fe Madamoiselle, Fe: Reputation is a Jewel.

Madam.

Qui coute bien chere Matam.

Lady Fan.

Why sure you wou'd not Sacrifice your Honor to your Pleasure?

Madam

Je suis Philosophe.

Lady Fan.

Bless me how you talk. Why what if Honour be a burden, Madamoiselle, must it not be born?

Madam.

Chaque un a sa fason — quand quelque chose m' in­commode moy je m' en defais, Vite.

Lady Fan.

Get you gone you little naughty French woman you, I vow and swear I must turn you out of doors if you talk thus.

Madam.

Turn me out of doors?— turn your self out of doors and go see what de Gentelman have to say to you Tennez. Voila

[giving her her things hastily]

vostre Esharpe, Voila vostre Quoife, Voila vostre Masque, Voila tout.

Hey, Mercure, Coquin; Call one Chair for Matam, and one oder

(Calling within.)

for me, Va t'en Vite.

Turning to her Lady and helping her on ha­stily with her things.

Alons, Matam; depechez vous don [...]. Mon Dieu quelles scrupules.

Lady Fan.

Well, for once, Madamoiselle, I'll follow your Advice, out of the intemperate desire I have to know who this ill bred Fel­low is. But I have too much Delicatesse, to make a Practice on it.

Madam.

Belle chose Vraiment que la Delicatesse, lors qu' il s'agit dese devertir. — a za— Vous Voila equipée parto [...]ns. — He bien? — q' avez vous donc?

Lady Fan.
[Page 12]

I' ay peur.

Madam.

I' n'en ay point moy.

Lady Fan.

I dare not go.

Madam.

Demeurez donc.

Lady Fan.

Je suis Poltrone.

Madam.

Tant pis pour Vous

Lady Fan.

Curiosity's a wicked Devil.

Madam.

C'est une Charmante Sainte.

Lady Fan.

It ruin'd our first Parents.

Madam.

Elle a bien diverti leurs Enfants.

Lady Fan.

L' honneur est contre.

Madam.

Le plaisir est pour.

Lady Fan.

Must I then go?

Madam.

Must you go?—must you eat, must you drink, must you sleep, must you live? De nature bid you do one, de nature bid you do toder. Vous me ferez enrager.

Lady Fan.

But when reason corrects nature, Madamoiselle.

Madam.

Elle est donc bien Insolente C'est sa soeur aisnée.

Lady Fan.

Do you then prefer your nature to your reason, Mada­moiselle.

Madam.

Ouy da.

Lady Fan.

Pourquoy?

Madam.

Because my nature make me merry, my reason make me mad.

Lady Fan.

Ah la Mechante Fransoise.

Madam.

Ah la Belle Angloise,

forcing her Lady off.
The End of the first Act.

ACT the Second.

SCENE, St. James's Park.
Enter Lady Fanciful and Madamoiselle.
Lady Fanc.

WEll, I vow, Madamoiselle I'm strangely impatient to know who this confident Fellow is.

Enter Heartfree.

Look, there's Heartfree. But sure it can't be him, he's a profess'd Woman-hater. Yet who knows what my wicked Eyes may have done?

Madam.

Il nous approche, Madam.

Lady Fanc.

Yes, 'tis he: Now will he be most intolerably Cavalier, tho' he should be in love with me.

Heartf.

Madam, I'm your humble Servant: I perceive you have more Humility and Good-nature than I thought you had.

Lady Fanc.

What you attribute to Humility and Good-nature, Sir, may perhaps be only due to Curiosity. I had a mind to know who 'twas had ill manners enough to write that Letter.

Throwing him his Letter.
Heartf.

Well, and now, I hope, you are satisfied.

Lady Fanc.

I am so, Sir; good b'w [...]y to ye.

Heartf.

Nay, hold there; tho' you have done your Business, I han't done mine: By your Ladiship's leave, we must have one mo­ments prattle together. Have you a mind to be the prettiest Wo­man about Town, or not? How she stares upon me! What! this passes for an impertinent Question with you now, because you think you are so already.

Lady Fanc.

Pray Sir, let me ask you a Question in my turn: By what right do you pretend to examine me?

Heartf.

By the same right that the Strong govern the Weak, because I have you in my power; for you cannot get so quickly to [Page 14] your Coach, but I shall have time enough to make you hear every thing I have to say to you.

Lady Fanc.

These are strange Liberties you take, Mr. Heart­free.

Heartf.

They are so, Madam, but there's no help for it; for know, that I have a Design upon you.

Lady Fanc.

Upon me, Sir!

Heartfr.

Yes; and one that will turn to your Glory and my Comfort, if you will but be a little wiser than you use to be.

Lady Fanc.

Very well, Sir.

Heartfr.

Let me see, — Your Vanity, Madam, I take to be about some eight degrees higher than any Womans in the Town, let t [...]other be who she will; and my Indifference is naturally about the same pitch. Now, cou'd you find the way to turn this Indiffe­rence into Fire and Flames, methinks your Vanity ought to be satis­fied; and this, perhaps, you might bring about upon pretty reaso­nable terms.

Lady Fanc.

And pray at what rate would this Indifference be bought off, if one should have so deprav'd an Appetite to de­sire it?

Heartfr.

Why, Madam, to drive a Quaker's Bargain, and make but one word with you, if I do part with it,— you must lay me down — your Affectation.

Lady Fanc.

My Affectation, Sir!

Heartfr.

Why, I ask you nothing but what you may very well spare.

Lady Fanc.

You grow rude, Sir. Come, Madamoiselle, 'tis high time to be gone.

Madam.

Alons, alons, alons.

Heartfr.
(stopping 'em)

Nay, you may as well stand still for hear me, you shall, walk which way you please.

Lady Fanc.

What mean you, sir?

Heartfr.

I mean to tell you, that you are the most ungrateful Woman upon Earth.

Lady Fanc.

Ungrateful! To who?

Heartfr.

To Nature.

Lady Fanc.

Why, what has Nature done for me?

Heartfr.

What you have undone by Art. It made you handsom; it gave you Beauty to a Miracle, a Shape without a fault, Wit enough to make 'em relish, and so turn'd you loose to your own Discre­tion; which has made such Work with you, that you are become [Page 15] the Pity of our Sex, and the Jest of your own. There is not a Feature in your Face, but you have found the way to teach it some affected Convulsion; your Feet, your Hands, your very Fin­gers ends, are directed never to move without some ridiculous Air or other; and your Language is a suitable Trumpet, to draw Peo­ples Eyes upon the Raree-show.

Madam.
(aside)

Est ce qu'on fais l'amour en Angleterre com­me sa?

Lady Fanc.
(aside)

Now could I cry for madness, but that I know he'd laugh at me for it.

Heartfr.

Now do you hate me for telling you the Truth; but that's because you don't believe it is so: for were you once convinc'd of that, you'd reform for your own sake. But 'tis as hard to perswade a Woman to quit any thing that makes her ridi­culous, as 'tis to prevail with a Poet to see a Fault in his own Play.

Lady Fanc.

Every Circumstance of nice Breeding must needs appear ridiculous to one who has so natural an Antipathy to good Manners.

Heartfr.

But suppose I could find the means to convince you, That the whole World is of my Opinion, and that those who flat­ter and commend you, do it to no other intent, but to make you persevere in your Folly, that they may continue in their Mirth.

Lady Fanc.

Sir, tho' you and all that World you talk of, should be so impertinently officious, as to think to perswade me, I don't know how to behave my self, I should still have Charity enough for my own Understanding, to believe my self in the right, and all you in the wrong.

Madam.

Le voila mort.

Exeunt Lady Fanc. and Madamoiselle.
Heartfr.
(gazing after her)

There her single Clapper has publish'd the sense of the whole Sex.

Well, this once I have endeavour'd to wash the Blackamoor white; but henceforward I'll sooner undertake to teach Sincerity to a Courtier, Generosity to an Usurer, Honesty to a Lawyer, nay, Humility to a Divine, than Discretion to a Woman I see has once set her Heart upon playing the Fool.

[Page 16] Enter Constant.

'Morrow, Constant.

Const.

Good morrow, Iack; What are you doing here this morning?

Heartfr.

Doing! guess if thou canst.

Why, I have been endeavouring to perswade my Lady Fanciful, that she's the foolishest Woman about Town.

Const.

A pretty Endeavour truly.

Heartfr.

I have told her in as plain English as I could speak, both what the Town says of her, and what I think of her. In short, I have us'd her as an Absolute King would do Magna Charta.

Const.

And how does she take it?

Heartfr.

As Children do Pills; bite 'em, but can't swallow 'em.

Const.

But, prithee, what has put it in your Head, of all Mankind, to turn Reformer?

Heartfr.

Why, one thing was, the Morning hung upon my Hands, I did not know what to do with my self. And another was, That as little as I care for Women, I could not see with patience one that Heaven had taken such wondrous pains about, be so very in­dustrious, to make her self the Iack Pudding of the Creation.

Const.

Well, now could I almost wish to see my cruel Mistriss make the self-same use of what Heaven has done for her, that so I might be cur'd of a Disease that makes me so very uneasie; for Love, Love is the Devil, Heartfree.

Heartfr.

And why do you let the Devil govern you?

Const.

Because I have more Flesh and Blood than Grace and Self-denial. My dear, dear Mistriss, 'd [...]death! that so gent [...]el a Wo­man should be a Saint, when Religion's out of fashion!

Heartfr.

Nay, she's much in the wrong truly; but who knows [...]ow far Time and Good Example may prevail?

Const.

O! they have play'd their Parts in vain already: 'Tis now two Years since that damn'd fellow her Husband invited me to his Wedding; and there was the first time I saw that charming Woman, whom I have lov'd ever since, more than e'er a Martyr did his Soul; but she's cold, my Friend, still cold as the Northern Star.

Heartfr.

So are all Women by Nature, which makes 'em so wil­ling to be warm [...]d.

Const.
[Page 17]

O, don't prophane the [...]ex; prithee think 'em all Angels for her sake, for she's virtuous, even to a fault.

Heartfr.

A Lover's Head is a good accountable thing truly; he adores his Mistriss for being virtuous, and yet is very angry with her, because she won't be lewd.

Const.

Well, the only Relief I expect in my Misery, is to see thee some day or other as deeply engag'd as my self, which will force me to be merry in the midst of all my Misfortunes.

Heartfr.

That day will never come, be assur'd, Ned: Not but that I can pass a Night with a Woman, and for the time, perhaps, make my self as good sport as you can do. Nay, I can court a Wo­man too, call her Nymph, Angel, Goddess, what you please; but here's the Difference 'twixt you and I: I perswade a Woman she's an Angel; she perswades you she's one.

Prithee let me tell you how I avoid falling in love; that which serves me for Prevention, may chance to serve you for a Cure.

Const.

Well, use the Ladies moderately then, and I'll hear you.

Heartfr.

That using 'em moderately undoes us all; but I'll use 'em justly, and that you ought to be satisfied with.

I always consider a Woman, not as the Taylor, the Shoo-maker, the Tire-woman, the Sempstress, (and which is more than all that) the Poet makes her; but I consider her as pure Nature has contriv'd her, and that more strictly than I should have done our old Grandmother Eve, had I seen her naked in the Garden; for I consider her turn'd in­side out. Her Heart well examin'd, I find there Pride, Vanity, Co­vetousness, Indiscretion, but above all things, Malice; Plots eternal­ly aforging, to destroy one anothers Reputations, and as honestly to charge the Levity of Mens Tongues with the Scandal; hourly De­bates how to make poor Gentlemen in love with 'em, with no other intent, but to use 'em like Dogs when they have done; a constant Desire of doing more mischief, and an everlasting War, wag [...]d against Truth and Good-nature.

Const.

Very well, Sir, an admirable Composition truly.

Heartfr.

Then for her Outside, I consider it meerly as an Outside; She has a thin Tiffany covering over just such Stuff as you and I are made on.

As for her Motion, her Meen, her Airs, and all those Tricks, I know they affect you mightily. If you should see your Mistriss at a Coronation, dragging her Peacock's Train, with all her state and insolence about her, 'twould strike you with all the awful thoughts that Heaven it self could pretend to from you; whereas I turn the [Page 18] whole matter into a Jest, and suppose her strutting in the self-same stately manner, with nothing on but her Stays, and her under scanty [...] Petticoat.

Const.

Hold thy prophane Tongue, for I'll hear no more.

Heartfr.

What you'll love on then?

Const.

Yes, to Eternity.

Heartfr.

Yet you have no Hopes at all.

Const.

None.

Heartfr.

Nay, the Resolution may be discreet enough; perhaps you have found out some new Philosophy, That Love's like Virtue, its own Reward: so you and your Mistriss will be as well content at a distance, as others that have less Learning are in coming toge­ther.

Const.

No; but if she should prove kind at last, my dear Heart­free.

Embracing him.
Heartfr.

Nay, prithee don't take me for your Mistriss, for Lovers are very troublesome.

Const.

Well, who knows what Time may do?

Heartfr.

And just now he was sure Time could do nothing.

Const.

Yet not one kind Glance in Two Years, is somewhat strange.

Heartfr.

Not strange at all; she don't like you, that's all the busi­ness.

Const.

Prithee don't distract me.

Heartfr.

Nay, you are a good handsome young Fellow, she might use you better: Come, will you go see her? perhaps she may have chang'd her mind; there's some Hopes as long as she's a Wo­man.

Const.

O, 'tis in vain to visit her: sometimes to get a sight of her, I visit that Beast her Husband, but she certainly finds some Preten [...]e to quit the Room as soon as I enter.

Heartfr.

It's much she don't tell him you have made Love to her too, for that's another good-natur'd thing usual amongst Women, in which they have several Ends.

Sometimes 'tis to recommend their Virtue, that they may be lewd with the greater security.

Sometimes 'tis to make their Husbands fight in hopes they may be kill [...]d, when their Affairs require it should be so. But most com­monl [...] 'tis to engage two men in a Quarrel, that they may have the Credit of being fought for; and if the Lover's kill'd in the business, they cry, Poor Fellow! he had ill Luck. — And so they go to Cards.

Const.
[Page 19]

Thy Injuries to Women are not to be fo [...]rgiven. Lo [...]k to't if ever thou dost fall into their hands —

Heartfr.

They can't use me worse than they do you, that speak well of 'em.

Co [...]o! here comes the Knight.

Enter Sir John Brute.
Heartfr.

Your humble Servant, Sir Iohn.

Sir J.

Servant, Sir.

Heartfr.

How does all your Family?

Sir J.

Pox o' my Family.

Const.

How does your Lady? I han't seen her abroad a good while.

Sir J.

Do! I don't know how she does, not I; she was well enough yesterday: I ha'n't been at home to night.

Const.

What! were you out of Town!

Sir J.

Out of Town! no, I was drinking.

Const.

You are a true Englishman; Don't know your own Happiness? if I were married to such a Woman, I would not be from her a Night for all the Wine in France.

Sir J.

Not from her! — Oons, — what a time should a man have of that!

Heartfr.

Why, there's no Division, I hope?

Sir J.

No; but there's a Conjunction, and that's worse; a Pox o' the Parson.— Why the plague don't you two marry? I fansie I look like the Devil to you.

Heartfr.

Why, you don't think you have Horns, do you?

Sir J.

No; I believe my Wife's Religion will keep her honest.

Heartfr

And what will make her keep her Religion?

Sir J.

Persecution; and therefore she shall have it.

Heartfr.

Have a care Knight, Women are tender things.

Sir J.

And yet, methinks, 'tis a hard matter to break their Hearts.

Const.

Fie, fie; you have one of the best Wives in the World, and yet you seem the most uneasie Husband.

Sir J.

Best Wives! — the Woman's well enough, she has no Vice that I know of, but she's a Wife, and — damn a Wife; if I were married to a Hogshead of Claret, Matrimony would make me hate it.

Heartfr.

Why did you marry then? you were old enough to know your own mind.

Sir J.
[Page 20]

Why did I marry! I married because I had a mind to lie with her, and she would not let me.

Heartfr.

Why did not you ravish her?

Sir J.

Yes, and so have hedg'd my self into forty Quarrels with her Relations, besides buying my Pardon: But more than a [...] that, you must know, I was afraid of being damn'd in those days, for I kept sneaking cowardly Company, Fellows that went to Church, said Grace to their Meat, and had not the least Tincture of Quality a­bout 'em.

Heartfr.

But I think you are got into a better Gang now.

Sir J.

Zoons, Sir, my Lord Rake and I are Hand and Glove, I be­lieve we may get our Bones broke together to night; Have you a mind to share a Frolick?

Const.

Not I truly, my Talent lies to softer Exercises.

Sir J.
What? a Doune-bed and a Strumpet?
A Pox of Venery, I say.
Will you come and drink with me this Afternoon?
Const.

I can't drink to day, but we'll come and sit an hour with you if you will.

Sir J.
Phugh, Pox, sit an hour!
Why can't you drink?
Const.
Because I'm to see my Mistriss.
Sir J.
Who's that?
Const.
Why, do you use to tell?
Sir J.
Yes.
Const.
So won't I.
Sir J.
Why?
Const.
Because 'tis a Secret.
Sir J.
Wou'd my Wife knew it, 'twould be no Secret long.
Const.
Why, do you think she can't keep a Secret?
Sir J.
No more than she can keep Lent.
Heartfr.
Prithee tell it her to try, Constant.
Sir J.
No, prithee don't, that I mayn't be plagu'd with it.
Const.
I'll hold you a Guinea you don't make her tell it you:
Sir J.
I'll hold you a Guinea I do.
Const.
Which way?
Sir Ioh.
Why I'll beg her not to tell it me.
Heartfr.
Nay, if any thing do's it, that will.
Con.
But do you think, Sir? —
Sir Ioh.

Oons, Sir, I think a Woman and a Secret, are the two impertinentest Themes in the Universe. Therefore pray let's hear no more, of my Wife nor your Mistress. Damn 'em both with [Page 21] all my Heart, and every thing else that Daggles a Petticoat, ex­cept four Generous Whores, with Betty Sands at the head of 'em, who were drunk with my Lord Rake and I, ten times in a Fort­night.

Exit Sir John.
Con.

Here's a dainty fellow for you. And the veriest Coward too. But his usage of his Wife makes me ready to stab the Villain.

Heartfr.

Lovers are short sighted: All their Senses run into that of feeling. This proceeding of his is the only thing on Earth can make your Fortune. If any thing can prevail with her to accept of a Gallant 'tis his ill usage of her; for Women will do more for revenge than they'll do fo [...]r the Gospel.

Prethee take heart, I have great hopes for you, and since I can't bring you quite off of her, I'll endeavour to bring you quite on; for a whining [...]over, is the damn'd'st Companion upon Earth.

Cor.

My Dear Friend, flatter me a little more with these hopes: for whilst they prevail I have Heaven within me, and cou'd melt with joy.

Heart.

Pray no melting yet: let things go farther first. This afternoon perhaps we shall make some advance. In the mean while, let's go Dine at Locket's, and let hope get you a Stomach.

Exeunt▪
SCENE ▪ Lady Fancyful's House.
Enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.
Lady F.

Did you ever see any thing so Importune, Madamoiselle?

Madam.

Inteed Matam, to say de trute, he want leetel good breeding.

Lady F.

Good breeding? He wants to be cain'd, Madamoiselle: an Insolent Fellow.

And yet let me expose my Weakness, 'tis the only Man on earth I cou'd resolve to dispence my Favours on, were he but a fine Gen­tleman. Well; did Men but know how deep an Impression a fine Gentleman makes in a Lady's heart, they wou [...]d reduce all their stu­dies to that of good breeding alone.

Enter Cornet.
Cor.

Madam here's Mr. Treble. He has brought home the Verses your Ladyship made, and gave him to set.

Lady F.
O let him come in by all means.
Now, Madamoiselle, am I going to be unspeakably happy.
[Page 22] Enter Treble.
So Mr. Treble, you have set my little Dialogue?
Treb.

Yes, Madam, and I hope your Ladyship will be pleased with it.

Lady F.

O, no doubt on't; for really Mr. Treble, you set all things to a Wonder: But your Musick is in particular Heavenly, when you have my words to cloath in't.

Treb.

Your words themselves, Madam, have so much Musick in 'em they inspire me.

Lady F.

Nay, now you make me blush, Mr. Treble; but pray let's hear what you have done.

Treb.

You shall, Madam.

A Song to be Sung between a Man and a Woman.

M.
AH Lovely Nymph, the wor [...]'s on Fire:
Viel, Veil those cruel Eyes.
W.
The VVorld may then in Flames expire,
And boast that so it Dies.
M.
But when all Mortals are destroyd,
VVho then shall Sing your Praise?
W.
Those who are fit to be employ'd:
The Gods shall Altars raise.
Treb.

How do's your Ladship like it, Madam?

Lady F.

Rapture, Rapture, Mr. Treble, I'm all Rapture. O Wit and Art, what power you have when joyn'd. I must needs tell you the Birth of this Little Dialogue, Mr. Treble. It's Father was a Dream, and it's Mother was the Moon. I dreamt, that by an unani­mous Vote, I was chosen Queen of that Pale World. And that the first time I appear'd upon my Throne, — all my Subjects fell in Love with me. Just then I wak'd: and seeing Pen, Ink and Paper lie idle upon the Table, I slid into my Morning Gown, and writ this in promptu.

Treb.
[Page 23]

So I guess the Dialogue, Madam, is suppos'd to be between your Majesty and your first Minister of State.

Lady F.

Just: he as Minister advises me to trouble my head about the wellfare of my Subjects; which I as Soveraign, find a very imper­tinent proposal. But is the Town so Dull, Mr. Treble, it affords us never another New Song?

Treb.

Madam, I have one in my Pocket, came out but yesterday, if your Ladyship pleases to let Mrs. Pipe Sing it.

Lady F.

By all means. Here Pipe. Make what Musique you can of this Song, here.

SONG.
NOT an Angel dwells above
Half so fair as her I Love:
Heaven knows how she'll receive me:
If she smiles, I'm blest indeed
If she frowns, I'm quickly freed;
Heaven knows, she ne'er can grieve me.
II.
None can Love her more than I,
Yet she ne'er shall make me die.
If my flame can never warm her;
Lasting Beauty, I'll adore,
I shall never Love her more,
Cruel [...]y will so deform her.
Lady F.

Very well: This is Heartfree's Poetry without question.

Treb.

Won't your Ladiship please to sing your self this morning?

Lady F.

O Lord, Mr. Treble, my cold is still so Barbarous, to refuse me that pleasure; He he hem.

Treb.

I'm very sorry for it, Madam: Methinks all Mankind shou'd turn Physicians for the Cure on't.

Lady F.

Why truly to give mankind their due; There's few that know me, but have offer'd their Remedy.

Treb.

They have reason, Madam, for I know no body Sings so near a Cherubin as your Ladyship.

Lady F.
[Page 24]

What I do I owe chiefly to your skill and care, Mr. Tre­ble. People do [...]t [...]er me indeed, that I have a voice and a je ne scai quoy in the Conduct of it, that will make Musick of any thing. And truly I begin to believe so, since what happen'd t'other night: would you think it, Mr. Treble; walking pretty late in the Park, (for I of­ten walk late in the Park, Mr. Treble;) A whim took me to sing Chi­vy-Chase, and would you believe it? Next morning I had three Copies of Verses, and six B [...]llet-doux at my Levee upon it.

Treb.

And without all dispute you deserv'd as many more, Madam, are there any further Commands for your Ladyship [...]s humble Servant?

Lady F.

Nothing more at this time, Mr. Treble. But I shall expect you here every morning for this Month, to sing my little matter there to me. I'll reward you for your pains.

Treb.

O Lord, Madam —

Lady F.

Good morrow, sweet Mr. Treble.

Treb.

Your Ladyships most obedient Servant.

Exit Treb.
Enter Servant.
Serv.

Will your Ladyship please to dine yet?

Exit. Serv.
Lady F.

Yes: let 'em serve.

Sure this Heartfree has bewitch'd me, Madamoiselle.

You can't imagine how odly he mixt himself in my thoughts during my Rapture e'en now. I vow 'tis a thousand pities he is not more polish [...]d. Don't you think so?

Madam.

Matam. I tink it so great pity, dat if I was in your Ladyship place, I take him home in my House, I lock him up in my Closet, and I never let him go till I teach him every ting dat fine La­ty expect from fine Gentelman.

Lady F.

Why truly I believe, I shou'd soon subdue his Brutality; for without doubt, he has a strange penchant to grow fond of me, in spight of his Aversion to the Sex, else he wou'd ne'er have taken so much pains about me. Lord how proud wou'd some poor Crea­tures be of such a Conquest? But I alas, I don't know how to receive as a favour, what I take to be so infinitely my due But what shall I do to new mould him, Madamoiselle? for till then he's my utter aver­sion.

Madam.

Matam, you must laugh at him in all de place dat you meet him, and turn into de ridicule all he say and all he do.

Lady F.

Why truly Satyr has been ever of wonderous use, to re­form ill manners. Besides 'tis my particular Talent to ridicule folks. I can be severe; strangely severe, when I will, Madamoiselle. — Give me the Pen and Ink: —I find my self whimsicall —I'll write to him.

[Page 25]— or I ll let it alone, and be severe upon him that way.

Sitting down to write. Rising up again.

— Yet active severity is better than passive.

Sitting down.

— 'Tis as good let alone too, for every lash I give him, perhaps he'll take for a favour.

Rising

— Yet 'tis a thousand pities so much

Siting.

— Satyr should be lost.

Siting.

— But if it shou'd have a wrong ef­fect upon him 'twould distract me.

Rising.

— Well I must write tho' after all.

Siting.

— Or I'll let it alone which is the same thing.

Rising.
Madam.

La Voilá determinée.

Exeunt.
The End of the Second Act.

ACT the Third.

SCENE Opens. Sir Iohn, Lady Brute and Bellin­da rising from the Table.
Sir I.

HEre; take away the things: I expect Company. But first bring me a Pipe; I'll smoak.

to a Servant.
Lady B.

Lord, Sir Iohn, I wonder you won't leave that nasty Cu­stom.

Sir I.

Prithee don't be Impertinent.

Bel.
to Lady.

I wonder who those are he expects this afternoon.

Lady B.

I'd give the World to know: Perhaps 'tis Constant; he comes here sometimes; If it does prove him, I'm resolved I'll share the visit.

Bel.

We'll send for our Work and sit here.

Lady B

He'll choak us with his Tobacco.

Bel.

Nothing will choak us, when we are doing what we have a mind to.

Lovewell
[Page 26] Enter Lovewell.
Love.

Madam.

Lady B.

Here; bring my Cousin's work and mine hither

Exit Love. and Re-enters with their Work.
Sir I.

Whu; Pox, can't you work somewhere else?

[...]

We shall be carefull not to disturb you, Sir.

Bel.

Your Pipe would make you too thoughtfull, Unkle, if you were left alone; Our prittle prattle will Cure your Spleen.

Sir I.

Will it so, Mrs. Pert? Now I believe it will so increase it

sitting and smoaking.

I shall take my own House for a Paper-Mill.

Lady B.
to Bel. aside

Don't let's mind him; let him say what he will.

Sir I.

A Woman [...]s Tongue a cure for the Spleen—Oons—

aside.

If a Man had got the Headach, they'd be for applying the same Remedy.

Lady B.

You have done a great deal Bellinda since yesterday.

Bel.

Yes, I have work'd very hard; how do you like it?

Lady B.

O' 'tis the prettiest Fringe in the World. Well Cousin you have the happiest fancy. Prithee advice me about altering my Crimson Petticoat.

Sir I.

A Pox o' your Petticoat; here's such a prating a man can't digest his own thoughts for you.

Lady B.

Don't answer him.

Aside

Well, what do you advise me?

Bel.
Why really I would not alter it at all.
Methinks 'tis very pretty as it is.
Lady B.

Ay that [...]s true: But you know one grows weary of the prettiest things in the world, when one has had 'em long.

Sir I.

Yes, I have taught her that.

Bel.

Shall we provoke him a little?

Lady B.
With all my heart.
Bellinda, don't you long to be Married?
Bel.

Why there are some things in't I could like well enough.

Lady B.

What do you think you shou'd dislike?

Bel.

My Husband a hundred to one else.

Lady B.

O ye wicked wretch: Sure you don't speak as you think.

Bel.

Yes I do: Especially if he smoak'd Tobacco.

He looks ear­n [...]stly at 'em.
Lady B.

Why that many times takes off worse smells.

Bel.

Then he must smell very ill indeed.

Lady B.

So some Men will, to keep their Wives from coming near 'em.

Bel.

Then those Wives shou'd Cuckold 'em at a Distance.

[Page 27] He rises in a fury, throws his Pipe at 'em and drives 'em out. As they run off, Constant and Heartfree enter. Lady B. runs against Con­stant.
Sir I.

Oons get you gone up stairs you confederating Strumpets you, or I'll Cuckold you with a Vengeance.

Lady B.

O Lord he'll beat us, he'll beat us. Dear, Dear Mr. Con­stant save us.

Exeunt.
Sir I.

I'll Cuckold you with a Pox.

Const.

Heavens, Sir Iohn, what's the matter?

Sir I.

Sure if Woman had been ready created, the Devil, instead of being kick'd down into Hell, had been Married.

Heart.

Why what new plague have you found now?

Sir I.

Why these two Gentlewomen did but hear me say, I ex­pected you here this afternoon; upon which, they presently re­solved to take up the Roon, o' purpose to plague me and my Friends.

Const.

Was that all? why we shou'd have been glad of their Company.

Sir I.

Then I should have been weary of yours. For I can't re­lish both together. They found fault with my smoaking Tobacco too; and said Men stunk. But I have a good mind—to say something.

Const.

No, nothing against the Ladies pray.

Sir I.

Split the Ladies. Come, will you sit down? Give us some VVine, Fellow:

You won't smoak?

Const.

No nor drink neither at this time, I must ask your pardon.

Sir I.

What, this Mistress of yours runs in your head; I'll warrant it's some such squeamish Minx as my Wife, that's grown so dainty of late, she finds fault even with a Dirty shirt.

Heart.

That a woman may do, and not be very dainty neither.

Sir I.

Pox o' the women, let's drink. Come, you shall take one Glass, tho' I send for a Box of Lozenges to sweeten your mouth af­ter it.

Const.

Nay if one Glass will satisfy you I'll drink it without put­ting you to that expence.

Sir I.

Why that's honest. Fill some Wine, Sirrah: So, Here's to you Gentlemen—A VVife's the Devil. To your being both married

They drink
Heart.

O your most humble Servant, Sir.

Sir I.

VVell? how do you like my VVine?

Const.

'Tis very good indeed.

Heart.

'Tis Admirable.

Sir I.

Then give us t'other Glass.

Const.

No, pray excuse us now. VVe'll come another time, and [Page 28] then we won't spare it.

Sir I.

This one Glass and no more. Come: It shall be your Mi­stresses health: And that's a great Compliment from me, I assure you.

Const.

And 'tis a very obliging one to me: So give us the Glasses.

Sir I.

So: Let her live.

Sir John Coughs in the Glass.
Heart.

And be kind.

Const.

What's the matter? does't go the wrong way?

Sir I.

If I had love enough to be jealous, I shou'd take this for an ill Omen. For I never drank my VVives health in my life, but I puk'd in the Glass.

Const.

O she's too Virtuous to make a Reasonable man jealous.

Sir I.

Pox of her Virtue. If I could but catch her Adultera­ting I might be devorc'd from her by Law.

Heart.

And so pay her a yearly Pension, to be a distinguish'd Cuc­kold.

Enter Servant.

Sir, There's my Lord Rake, Colonel Bully, and some other Gentle­men at the Blew-Posts, desire your Company.

Sir I.

Cods so, we are to Consult about playing the Devil to night.

Heart.

VVell we won't hinder business.

Sir I.

Methinks I don't know how to leave you tho'. But for once I must make bold - Or look you: may be the Conference mayn't last long; so if you'll wait here half an hour, or an hour; if I don't come then, — why then — I won't come at all.

Heart.
to Const.

A good modest proposition truly:

Aside.
Const.

But let's accept on't however. VVho knows what may happen.

Heart.

VVell Sir, to shew you how fond we are of your Company we'll expect your return as long as we can.

Sir I.

Nay, may be I mayn't stay at all: But business you know must be done. So your Servant — Or hark you: If you have a mind to take a frisk with us, I have an interest with my Lord, I can easily introduce you.

Const.

VVe are much beholding to you, but for my part I'm en­gaged another way.

Sir I.

VVhat? To your Mistress I'll warrant. Prithee leave your nasty Punk to entertain her self with her own Lewd thoughts, and make one with us to Night.

Const.

Sir, 'tis business that is to employ me.

Heart.
[Page 29]

And me; and business must be done you know.

Sir I.

Ay; VVomens business, tho' the world were consum'd for't.

Exit. Sir I.
Const.

Farewell Beast: And now my Dear Friend, wou'd my Mi­stress be but as Complaisant as some mens Wives, who think it a piece of good breeding to receive the visits of their Husbands Friends in his absence.

Heart.

VVhy for your sake I could forgive her, tho' she should be so Complaisant to receive something else in his absence. But what way shall we invent to see her.

Const.

O ne'er hope it: Invention will prove as Vain as VVishes.

Enter Lady Brute and Bellinda.
Heart.

What do you think now, Friend?

Const.

I think I shall swoon.

Heart.

I'll speak first then, whilst you fetch breath.

Lady B.

We think our selves oblig'd Gentlemen, to come and re­turn you thanks for your Knight Errantry. We were just upon be­ing devour'd by the Fiery Dragon.

Bell.

Did not his fumes almost knock you down, Gentlemen?

Heart.

Truly Ladies, we did undergo some hardships, and should have done more, if some greater Hero's than our selves hard by had not diverted him.

Const.

Tho' I'm glad of the Service, you are pleased to say we have done you; yet I'm sorry we cou'd do it no other way, than by making our selves privy, to what you wou'd perhaps have kept a secret.

Lady B.

For Sir Iohn's part, I suppose be design'd it no s [...]cret since he made so much noise. And for my self, truly I am not much concern'd, since 'tis fallen only into this▪ Gentleman [...]s hands and yours; who I have many reasons to believe, will neither in­terpret nor report any thing to my disadvantage.

Const.

Your good opinion, Madam, was what I fear'd, I never cou'd have merited.

Lady B.

Your fears were vain then, Sir, for I am just to every bo­dy.

Heart.

Prithee, Constant, what is't you do to get the Ladies good Opinions; for I'm a Novice at it?

Bell.

Sir, will you give me leave to instruct you?

Heartfr.

Yes, that I will with all my Soul, Madam.

[...]ell.

Why then you must never be slovenly, never be out of hu­mor, fare well and cry Roast-meat; smoak Tobacco, nor drink but when you are a-dry.

Heartfr.
[Page 30]

That's hard.

Const.

Nay, if you take his Bottle from him, you break his Heart, Madam.

Bell.

Why, is it possible the Gentleman can love Drinking?

Heartfr.

Only by way of Antidote.

Bell.

Against what, p [...]ay?

Heartfr.

Against Love, Madam?

Lady Br.

Are you afraid of being in Love, Sir?

Heartfr.

I should, if there were any danger of it.

Lady Br.

Pray why so?

Heartfr.

Because I always had an aversion to being us'd like a Dog.

Bell.

Why truly, men in love are seldom us'd better.

Lady Br.

But was you never in love, Sir?

Heartfr.

No, I thank Heaven, Madam.

Bell.

Pray where got you your Learning then?

Heartfr.

From other Peoples Expence.

Bell.

That's being a Spunger, Sir, which is scarce honest; if you'd buy some Experience with your own Mony, as 'twould be fairlyer got, so 'twould stick longer by you.

Enter Footman
Footm.

Madam, here's my Lady Fancyful, to wait upon your Ladi­ship.

Lady Br.

Shield me, kind Heaven, what an inundation of Imperti­nence is here coming upon us!

Enter Lady Fancyful, who runs first to Lady Brute, then to Bel­linda, kissing 'em.
Lady Fanc.

My dear Lady Brute, and sweet Bellinda! methinks 'tis an Age since I saw you.

Lady Br.

Yet 'tis but three days; sure you have pass'd your time very ill, it seems so long to you.

Lady Fanc.

Why really, to confess the Truth to you, I am so ever­lastingly [...]atigu'd with the Addresses of Unfortunate Gentlemen, that were it not for the extravagancy of the Example, I should e'en tear out these wicked Eyes with my own Fingers, to make both my self and Mankind easie. What think you on't, Mr. Heartfree, for I take you to be my faithful Adviser?

Heartfr.

Why truly, Madam, — I think — every Pro­ject that is for the Good of Mankind, ought to be encourag'd.

Lady Fanc.

Then I have your Consent, Sir.

Heartfr.
[Page 31]

To do whatever you please, Madam.

Lady Fanc.

You had a much-more limited Complaisance this Mor­ning, Sir. Would you believe it, Ladies? The Gentleman has been so exceeding generous, to tell me of above fifty Faults, in less time than it was well possible for me to commit two of 'em.

Const.

Why truly, Madam, my Friend there is apt to be something familiar with the Ladies.

Lady Fanc.

He is indeed, Sir; but he's wondrous charitable with it; he has had the Goodness to design a Reformation, even down to my Fingers ends.

'Twas thus, I think, Sir, you would have

Opening her Fingers in an awkward manner.

had 'em stand. — My Eyes too he did not like: How was't you would have direct­ed 'em? Thus, I think.

Staring at him.

Then there was something amiss in my Gate too, I don't know well how 'twas; but as I take it, he would have had me walk like him. Pray, Sir, do me the Favour to take a turn or two about the Room, that the Company may see you. — He's sullen, Ladies, and wont: But, to make short, and give you as true an Idea as I can of the mat­ter, I think 'twas much about this Figure in general, he would have moulded me to: But I was an obstinate

She walks aukwardly about, [...] [...]ng and looking ungainly, [...]en changes on a sadden to the extremi­ty of her vsual Affectation.

Woman, and could not resolve to make my self Mistriss of his Heart, by grow­ing as aukward as his Fancy.

Heartfr.

Just thus Women do, when

Here Constant and Lady Brute talk together apart.

they think we are in love with 'em, or when they are so with us.

Lady Fanc.

'Twould however be less Vanity for me to conclude the former, than you the latter, Sir.

Heartfr.

Madam, all I shall presume to conclude, is, That if I were in Love, you [...]d find the means to make me soon weary on [...]t.

Lady Fanc.

Not by over-fondness, upon my word, Sir. But pray let [...]s stop here, for you are so much govern'd by Instinct, I know you'll grow brutish at last.

Bell.
(aside)

Now am I sure she's fond of him: I'll try to make her jealous.

Well, for my part, I should be glad to find some-body would be so free with me, that I might know my Faults, and mend 'em.

Lady Fanc.

Then pray let me recommend this Gentleman to you: I have known him some time, and will be Surety for him, That upon a very limited Encouragement on your side, you shall find an extend­ed Impudence on his.

Heart.

I thank you Madam, for your recommendation; But ha­ting idleness, I'm unwilling to enter into a place where I believe [Page 32] there would be nothing to do. I was fond of serving your Lady­ship, because I knew you'd find me constant imployment.

Lady Fanc.

I told you he'd be rude, Bellinda.

Bell.

O, a little Bluntness is a sign of honesty, which makes me always ready to pardon it. So, Sir, if you have no other exceptions to my service, but the fear of being idle in't, You may venture to list your self: I shall find you work I warrant you.

Heartfr.

Upon those terms I engage, Madam, and this (with your leave) I take for earnest.

Offering to kiss her hand.
Bell.

Hold there, Sir, I'm none of your earnest givers. But if I'm well serv'd, I give good wages and pay punctually.

Heart. and Bell. seem to continue talking famili­arly.
Lady Fanc.
(Aside)

I don't like this jesting be­tween 'em — methinks the Fool begins to look as if he were in earnest — but then he must be a Fool indeed.

[...]rd what a difference there is between me and her.

Looking at Bel. scornfully.

How I should despise such a thing if I were a man. — What a Nose she has — What a Chin— What a Neck— Then her Eyes — And the worst Kissing Lips in the Universe — No no, he can never like her that's positive — Yet I can't suf­fer 'em together any longer.

Mr. Heartfree, do you know that you and I must have no Quar­rel for all this. I can't forbear being a little severe now and then: But Women you know may be allowed any thing.

Heartfr.

Up to a certain age, Madam.

Lady Fanc.

Which I am not yet past I hope.

Heartfr.
(Aside)

Nor never will, I dare swear.

Lady Fan.
to Lady B.

Come Madam; Will your Ladyship be wit­ness to our Reconciliation?

Lady B.

You agree then at last.

Heartfr.
(slightingly)

We forgive.

Lady Fanc.
(Aside)

That was a cold ill-natur'd reply.

Lady B.

Then there's no Challenges sent between you?

Heartfr.

Not from me I promise.

(Aside to Constant)

But that's more than I'll do for her, for I know she can as well be damn'd as forbear writing to me.

Const.

That I believe. But I think we had best be going lest she should suspect something, and be maliciou.

Heartfr.

With all my my heart.

Const.

Ladies we are your humble Servants. I see Sir Iohn is quite engag'd, 'twould be in vain to expect him. Come Heart­free

Exit.
Heartfr.

Ladies your Servant.

(to Bellinda)

I hope Madam you [Page 33] won't forget our Bargain; I'm to say what I please to you

Exit Heartfree.
Bel.

Liberty of Speech entire, Sir.

Lady Fanc.
(Aside)

Very pretty truly — But how the Block head went out: Languishing at her; and not a look toward me. Well; Churchmen may talk, but Miracles are not ceas'd. For 'tis more than natural, such a Rude fellow as he, and such a little imperti­nent as she, shou [...]d be capac [...]ble of ma [...]ing a Woman of my sphere uneasy.

But I can bear her sight no longer — methinks she [...]s grown ten times uglier than Cornet.

I must go home, and study revenge.

(To Lady B.)

Madam your humble Servant, I must take my leave.

Lady B.

What going already Madam?

Lady Fanc.

I must beg you'l excuse me this once. For really I have eighteen visits to return this afternoon so you see I'm importun [...]d by the Women as well as the Men.

Bel.
(Aside.)

And she's quits with 'em both.

(Lady Fanc. going.)

Nay you sha'n't go one step out of the room.

Lady B.

Indeed I'll wait upon you down.

Lady Fanc.

No, sweet Lady Brute; you know I swoon at Cere­mony.

Lady B.

Pray give me leave.

Lady Fanc.

You know I won't.

Lady B.

Indeed I must.

Lady Fanc.

Indeed you sha'n't.

Lady B.

Indeed I will.

Lady Fanc.

Indeed you sha'n't.

Lady B.

Indeed I will.

Lady Fanc.

Indeed you sha'n't. Indeed Indeed Indeed you sha'n't.

Exit Lady Fanc. running. They follow.
Re-enter Lady Brute, sol [...].

This impertinent Woman, has put me out of humour for a Fort­night. — What an agreeable moment has her foolish v [...]sit inter­rupted — Lord how like a Torrent Love flows into the Heart when once the sluce of desire is open'd! Good Gods what a pleasure there is in doing what we shou'd not do!

Re-enter Constant.

Ha! here again?

Const.

Tho' the renewing my visit may seem a little irregular, [Page 34] I hope I shall obtain your pardon for it, Madam, when you know I on­ly left the Room, lest the Lady who was here shou'd have been as malicious in her Remarks, as she's foolish in her Conduct.

Lady B.

He who has discretion enough to be tender of a Womans Reputation, carries a Virtue about him may atone for a great ma­ny faults.

Const.

If it has a Title to atone for any, it's pretentions must needs be strongest, where the Crime is Love. I therefore hope I shall be forgiven the attempt I have made upon your Heart, since my Enterrprize has been a secret to all the World but your self.

Lady B.

Secrecy indeed in sins of this kind, is an Argument of weight to lessen the Punishment; but nothing's a Plea, for a Par­don entire, without a sincere Repentance.

Const.

If Sincerity in Repentance, consist in sorrow for offending: No Cloister ever enclosed, so true a Penitent as I should be. But I hope it cannot be reckon'd an offence to Love, where 'tis a duty to adore.

Lady B.

'Tis an offence, a great one, where it wou'd rob a Wo­man of all she ought to be ador'd for; her Virtue.

Const.

Virtue? —Virtue alas is no more like the thing that's call'd so, than 'tis like Vice it self. Virtue consists in Goodness, Honour, Gratitude, Sincerity and Pity; and not in Peevish, snarl­ing streightlac'd Chastity. True Virtue whereso'e'er it moves, still carries an intrinsique worth about it, and is in every place, and in each Sex of equal value. So is not Continence you see: That Phan­tome of Honour, which men in every Age have so contemn'd, they have thrown it amongst the Women to scrable for.

Lady B.

If it be a thing of so very little Value; Why do you so earnestly recommend it to your Wives and Daughters?

Const.

We recommend it to our Wives, Madam, because we wou'd keep 'em to our selves. And to our Daughters, because we wou'd dispose of 'em to others.

Lady B.

'Tis then of some Importance it seems, since you [...]an't dispose of 'em without it.

Const.

That importance, Madam, lies in the humour of the Coun­try, not in the nature of the thing.

Lady B.

How do you prove that, Sir?

Const.

From the Wisdom of a neighb'ring Nation in a Contrary Practice. In Monarchies things go by Whimsie, but Commonwealth's weigh all things in the Scale of Reason.

Lady B.

I hope we are not so very light a People to bring up fa­shions without some Ground.

Const.

Pray what do's your Ladiship think of a powder'd Coat [...] Dee [...] M [...]rning▪

Lady B.
[Page 35]

I think, Sir, your Sophistry has all the effect that you can reasonably expect it shou'd have: it puzzles, but don't convince

Const.

I'm sorry for it.

Lady B.

I'm sorry to hear you say so.

Const.

Pray why?

Lady B.

Because if you expected more from it, you have a worse opinion of my understanding than I desire you shou'd have.

Const.
aside.

I comprehend her: She wou'd have me set a value up­on her Chastity, that I may think my self the more oblig'd to her, when she makes me a present of it.

To her.

I beg you will believe I did but rally, Madam, I know you judge too well of Right and Wrong, to be deceiv'd by Argu­ments like those. I hope you'll have so favourable an opinion of my Understanding too, to believe the thing call'd Virtue has worth e­nough with me, to pass for an eternal Obligation where're 'tis sacrific'd.

Lady B.

It is I think so great a one, as nothing can repay.

Const.

Yes; the making the man you love your everlasting Debtor.

Lady B.

When Debtors once have borrow'd all we have to lend, they are very apt to grow very shy of their Creditors Company.

Const.

That, Madam, is only when they are forc'd to borrow of U­surers, and not of a Generous Friend. Let us choose our Creditors, and we are seldom so ungrateful to shun 'em.

Lady B.

What think you of Sir Iohn, Sir? I was his free choice.

Const.

I think he's marri'd, Madam.

Lady B.

Do's Marriage then exclude men from your Rule of Constancy.

Const.

It do's. Constancy's a Brave, free, haughty, generous A­gent, that cannot buckle to the Chains of Wedlock. There's a poor sordid slavery in Marriage, that turns the slowing Tyde of Honour, and sinks us to the lowest ebb of Infamy. 'Tis a corrupted Soil; I'll Nature, Avarice, Sloath, Cowardice and Dirt, are all its product.

Lady B.

Have you no exceptions to th [...]s General Rule▪ as well as to to'ther?

Const.

Yes: I wou'd (after all) [...]e an exception to it my self if you were free, in Power and Will to make me so.

Lady B.

Compliments are well plac'd, where 'tis impossible to lay hold on 'em.

Const.

I wou'd to Heaven 'twere possible for you to lay hold on mine, that you might see it is no Compliment at all. But since you are already dispos'd on beyond Redemption, to one who [...]os not know the value of the Jewel you have put into his hands: I hope you wou'd not think him greatly wrong'd, tho' it shou [...]d sometimes [Page 36] be look'd on by a Friend, who knows how to esteem it as he ought.

Lady B.

If looking on [...]t alone wou'd serve his turn, the wrong perhaps might not be very great.

Const.

Why, what if he shou'd wear it now and then a day, so he gave good Security to bring it home again at night?

Lady B.

Small Security I fansie might serve for that. One might venture to take his word.

Const.

Then where's the injury to the Owner?

Lady B.

'Tis an injury to him, if he think it one. For if Happi­ness be seated in the Mind, Unhappiness must be so t [...]o.

Const.

Here I close with you, Madam, and draw my conclusive Ar­gument from your own Position: If the injury lie in the fancy, there needs nothing but Secrecy to prevent the Wrong.

Lady B.
g [...]ing,

A surer way to prevent it, is to hear no more Ar­guments in it's behalf.

Const.
following her.

But, Madam —

Lady B.

But, Sir, 'tis my turn to be discreet now, and not suffer too long a Visit.

Const.
catching her Hand.

By Heaven you shall not stir, till you give me hopes that I shall see you again, at some more convenient Time and Place.

Lady B.

I give you just Hopes enough — (breaking from him) To get loose from you: And that's all I can afford you at this time.

Exit running.
Constant Solus.

Now by all that's Great and Good, she is a charming Woman. In what Extasie of Joy she has left me. For she gave me Hope; Did she not say she gave me Hope? Hope? Ay; what Hope? — enough to make me let her go — Why that's enough in Consci­ence. Or no matter how 'twas spoke; Hope was the word: It came from her, and it was said to me.

Enter Heartfree.

Ha, Heartfree: Thou hast done me Noble Service in pratling to the young Gentlewoman without there; come to my Arms, Thou Venera­ble Bawd, and let me squeeze thee (Embracing him eagerly) as a new pair of stayes do [...]s a Fat Country Girl, when she's carry'd to Court to stand for a Maid of Honour.

Heart.

Why what the Devil's all this Rapture for?

Const.

Rapture? There's ground for Rapture, man, there's hopes, [...], hopes, my Friend.

Heart.
[Page 37]

Hope's? of what?

Const.

Why hopes that my Lady and I together, (for 'tis more than one bodies work) should make Sir Iohn a Cuckold.

Heart.

Prithee what did she say to thee?

Const.

Say? what did she not say? she said that — says she — she said — Zoons I don't know what she said: But she look'd as if she said every thing I'd have her, and so if thou'lt go to the Ta­vern, I'll treat thee with any thing that Gold can buy; I'll give all my Silver amongst the Drawers, make a Bonfire before the Door, say the Plenipo's, have sign'd the Peace, and the Bank of England [...]s grown honest.

Exeunt.
SCENE opens. Lord Rake, Sir Iohn, &c. at a Table drinking.
All.

Huzza.

Lord R.

Come Boys. Charge again.—So—Confusion to all order. Here's Liberty of Conscience.

All.

Huzza.

Lord R.

I'll Sing you a Song I made this morning to this purpose.

Sir I.

'Tis wicked I hope.

Col. B.

Don't my Lord tell you he made it?

Sir I.

Well then let's ha't.

Lord R. Sings.
I.
WHat a Pother of Late
Have they kept in the State
About setting our Consciences free
A Bottle has more
Dispensation in Store,
Than the King and the State can decree.
II.
VVhen my Head's full of VVine,
I o'er flow with Design
And know no penal Laws that can curb me.
VVhat e'er I devise,
Seems good in my Eyes,
And Religion ne'er dares to disturb me
III.
No saucy remorse
Intrudes in my Course,
Nor Impertinent notions of Evil▪
So there's Claret in store,
In Peace I've my VVhore,
And in Peace I jog on to the Devil.
All Sing.
So there's Claret, &c.
Lord R. (Rep.)
And in Peace I jog on to the Devil.
Lord R.

Well, how do you like it, Gentlemen?

All.

O, Admirable.

Sir I.

I wou'd not give a fig for a Song, that is not full of Sin [...]nd Impudence.

Lord R.

Then my Muse is to your taste.

But drink away; The Night steals upon us, we shall want time to be Lewd in. Hey Page, sally out, Sirrah, and see what's doing in the Camp, we'll beat up their Quarters presently.

Page.

I'll bring your Lordship an Exact account.

Ex. Pag [...].
Lord R.
Now let the spirit of Clary go round.
Fill me a Brimmer. Here's to our forlorn-hope.
Courage Knight; Victory attends you.
Sir I.

And Lawrells shall Crown me. Drink away and be damn'd

Lord R.

Again Boys; to'ther Glass, and damn Morality.

Sir I.
(drunk)

Ay — damn Morality — and damn the Watch. [Page 39] And let the Constable be married.

All.

Huzza.

Re-enter Page.
Lady R.

How are the Streets inhabited, Sirrah?

Page.

My Lord it's Sunday night, they are full of Drunken Citizens.

Lord R.

Along then Boys, we shall have a feast.

Col. B.

Along Noble Knight.

Sir I.

Ay— along Bully; and he that says Sir Iohn Brute, is [...]ot as Drunk and as Religious, as the Drunkenest Citizen of 'em all — is a liar, and the Son of a Whore.

Col. Bul.

Why that was bravely spoke, and like a free-born Eng­lishman.

Sir I.

What's that to you, Sir, whether I am an English man or a French man?

Col. B.

Zoons, you are not angry, Sir?

Sir I.

Zoons I am angry, Sir, — for if I am a Free-born Eng­lish man, what have you to do, even to talk of my Privileges.

Lord R.

Why prithee Knight don't quarrel here, leave private Animosities to be decided by day light, let the night be imployed against the publick Enemy.

Sir I.

My Lord I respect you, because you are a man of Quality: But I'll make that fellow know I am within a hairs breadth as ab­solute by my Priveleges, as the King of France is by his prerogative. He by his prerogative takes money where it is not his due; I, by my Privelege refuse paying it, where I owe it. Liberty and Pro­perty and Old England, Huzza.

Exit Sir I. reeling, all following him.
All.

Huzza.

SCENE. A Bed-Chamber.
Enter Lady Brute and Bellinda.
Lady B.

Sure it's late, Bellinda? I begin to be sleepy.

Bell.

Yes 'tis near twelve. Will you go to Bed?

Lady B.

To bed my Dear? And by that [...]me I'm fallen into a sweet sleep, (or perhaps a sweet Dream which is better and better) Sir Iohn will come home, roaring drunk, and be over-joy'd he finds me in a Condition to be disturb'd.

Bell.
[Page 40]

[...] in need [...]t [...]ear him, he's in for all night [...] The Ser­vant's in he's gone to drink with my Lord Rake?

Lady B.

Nay tis not very likely indeed, such suitable [...]ompany should part presently. What Hogs Men turn, Bellinda, when they grow [...] or Women.

Bell.

And what Owles they are whilst they are fond of 'em.

Lady B.

But that we may forgive well enough, because they are so upon our Accounts.

[...].

We ought to do s [...] indeed: But 'tis a hard matter.

For when a man is really in love he looks so u [...]sufferably silly that tho a Woman lik'd him well enough before, she has then [...]o, to endure the sight of him. And this I take to be the rea­son, why Lovers are so generally ill used.

Lady B.

Well [...]own now, I'm well enough pleased to see a man look like an Ass for me.

Bell.

Ay, I'm pleas'd he should look like an Ass too—That is I'm pleased with my self for making him look so.

Lady B.

Nay tr [...]y▪ I think it [...] find some other way to express his Passion, 'twould be more to his advantage.

Bell.

Yes; For then a Woman might like his Passion and him too.

Lady B.

Yet, Bellinda, after all, A Woman's life▪ would be but a dull business, if 'twere not for Men; And Men that can look like Asses to [...]. We shou'd never blame Fate, for the shortness of our days; our time wou'd hang wretchedly upon our hands.

Bel.

Why truly they do help us off with a good share on't. For were there no Men in the World, O' my Conscience I shou'd be no longer a dressing than I'm a saying my prayers; Nay tho it were Sunday: For you know that one may go to Church without Stays on.

Lady B.

But don't you think Emulation might do something; for every Woman you see desires to be finer than her Neighbour.

Bell.

That's only that the men may like her better than her Neighbour. No [...] if there were no men, adieu fine Petticoats, we shou'd be weary of wearing 'em.

Lady B.

And adieu Plays, we shou'd be weary of seeing 'em.

Bell.

Adieu Hide-Park, the Dust wou'd Choak us.

Lady B.

Adieu St. Iames's, Walking wou'd Tire us.

Bell.

Adieu London, the smoak wou [...]d stifle us.

Lady B.

And adieu going to Church, for Religion wou'd ne'er prevail with us.

Both.

Ha ha ha ha ha

Bell.

Our Confession is so very hearty, sure we merit Abs [...]lution.

Lady B.
[Page 41]

Not unless we go through with't, and confess all. So prithee, for the Ease of our Consciences, let's hide nothing.

Bel.

Agreed.

Lady B.

Why then I confess, That I love to sit in the Fore-front of a Box. For if one sits behind, there's two Acts gone perhaps, be­fore one's found out. And when I am there, if I perceive the Men whispering and looking upon me, you must know I cannot for my Life forbear thinking they talk to my Advantage. And that sets a Thou­sand little tickling Vanities on Foot. —

Bel.

Just my Case for all the World; but go on.

Lady B.

I watch with Impatience for the next Jest in the Play, that I may laugh and shew my white Teeth. If the Poet has been dull, and the Jest be long a coming, I pretend to whisper one to my Friend, and from thence fall into a little short Discourse, in which I take Oc­casion to shew my Face in all Humours, Brisk, Pleas'd, Serious, Me­lancholy, Languishing; — Not that what we say to one another causes any of these Alterations. But—

Bel.

Don't trouble your self to explain: For if I'm not mistaken, you and I have had some of these necessary Dialogues before now, with the same Intention.

Lady B.

Why I'll swear Bellinda, some People do give strange agree­able Airs to their Faces in speaking.

Tell me true!— Did you never practice in the Glass?

Bel.

Why, did you?

Lady B.

Yes Faith, many a time.

Bel.

And I too, I own it. Both how to speak my self, and how to look when others speak; But my Glass and I cou'd never yet agree what Face I shou'd make, when they come blurt out, with a nasty thing in a Play: For all the Men presently look upon the Women, that's certain; so laugh we must not, though our Stays burst for't, Because that's telling Truth, and owning we understand the Jest. And to look serious is so dull, when the whole House is a laughing.

Lady B.

Besides, that looking serious, do's really betray our Knowledge in the Matter, as much as laughing with the Company wou'd do. For if we did not understand the thing, we shou'd natu­rally do like other People.

Bel.

For my part I always take that Occasion to blow my Nose.

Lady B.

You must blow your Nose half off then at some Plays.

Bel.

Why don't some Reformer or other, beat the Poet for't?

Lady B.

Because he is not so sure of our private Approbation as of our publick Thanks. Well, sure there is not upon Earth, so imper­tinent a thing, as Womens Modesty.

Bel.

Yes; Mens Fantasque, that obliges us to it.

[Page 42]If we quit our Modesty, they say we lose our Charms, and yet they know that very Modesty is Affectation, and rail at our Hypocrisie.

Lady B.

Thus one wou'd think, 'twere a hard Matter to please 'em, Neice. Yet our kind Mother Nature has given us something, that makes amends for all. Let our Weakness be what it will, Mankind will still be weaker, and whilst there is a World, 'tis Woman that will govern it.

But prithee one word of poor Constant before we go to Bed; if it be but to furnish Matter for Dreams; I dare swear he's talking of me now, or thinking of me at least, tho' it be in the middle of his Prayers.

Bel.

So he ought I think; for you were pleas'd to make him a good round Advance to day, Madam.

Lady B.

Why, I have e'en plagu'd him enough to satisfie any reasonable Woman: He has besieg'd me these two Years to no Purpose.

Bel.

And if he besieg'd you two Years more, he'd be well enough paid, so he had the plundering of you at last.

Lady B.

That may be; but I'm afraid the Town won't be able to hold out much longer; for to confess the Truth to you, Bellinda, the Garrison begins to grow mutinous.

Bel.

Then the sooner you capitulate, the better.

Lady B.

Yet methinks I wou'd fain stay a little longer, to see you fix'd too, that we might start together, and see who cou'd love long­est. What think you if Heartfree shou'd have a Month's Mind to you?

Bel.

Why Faith I cou'd almost be in Love with him, for despising that foolish affected Lady Fancyfull, but I'm afraid he's too cold ever to warm himself by my Fire.

Lady B.

Then he deserves to be froze to Death. Wou'd I were a Man for your sake, my dear Rogue.

Kissing her.
Bel.

You'd wish your self a Woman again for your own, or the Men are mistaken.

But if I cou'd make a Conquest of this Son of Bacchus, and rival his Bottle: What shou'd I do with him, he has no Fortune; I can't marry him; and sure you wou'd not have me commit For­nication.

Lady B.

Why, if you did, Child, 'twou'd be but a good friendly part; if 'twere only to keep me in Countenance whilst I commit — You know what.

Bel.

Well, if I can't resolve to serve you that way, I may perhaps some other, as much to your Satisfaction. But pray how shall we contrive to see these Blades again quickly?

Lady B.
[Page 43]

We must e'en have Recourse to the old way; make 'em an Appointment 'twixt jest and earnest, 'twill look like a Frolick, and that you know's a very good thing to save a Woman's Blushes.

Bel.

You advise well; but where shall it be?

Lady B.

In Spring-Garden. But they shan't know their Women, till their Women pull off their Masques; for a Surprize is the most agreeable thing in the World: And I find my self in a very good Humour, ready to do 'em any good turn I can think on.

Bel.

Then pray write 'em the necessary Billet, without farther Delay.

Lady B.

Let's go into your Chamber then, and whilst you say your Prayers, I'll do it, Child.

Exeunt.
The End of the Third ACT.

ACT IV.

SCENE Covent-Garden.
Enter Lord Rake, Sir John, &c. with Swords drawn.
Lord R.

IS the Dog dead?

Bully.

No, damn him, I heard him wheeze.

Lord R.

How the Witch his Wife howl'd!

Bully.

Ay, she'll alarm the Watch presently.

Lord R.

Appear, Knight, then; come, you have a good Cause to fight for, there's a Man murder'd.

Sir. Iohn.

Is there? Then let his Ghost be satisfied: For I'll sacri­fice a Constable to it presently; and burn his Body upon his wooden Chair.

Enter a Taylor, with a Bundle under his Arm.
Bully.

How now? What have we got here? A Thief?

Taylor.

No an't please you; I'm no Thief.

Lord R.

That we'll see presently: Here, let the General examine him.

Sir Iohn.

Ay, Ay; Let me examine him; and I'll lay a Hundred Pound I find him guilty, in spight of his Teeth — for he looks — like a — sneaking Rascal.

Come Sirrah, without Equivocation, or mental Reservation, tell me of what Opinion you are, and what Calling; for by them — I shall guess at your Morals.

Taylor.

An't please you, I'm a Dissenting Journeyman Taylor.

Sir Iohn.

Then Sirra, you love Lying by your Religion, and Theft by your Trade. And so, that your Punishment may be suitable to your Crimes, — I'll have you firs [...] gagg'd, — and then hang'd.

Taylor.

Pray good worthy Gentlemen, don't abuse me; indeed I'm an honest Man, and a good Workman, tho' I say it, that shou'd not say it.

Sir Iohn.
[Page 45]

No Words, Sirrah, but attend your Fate.

Lord R.

Let me see what's in that Bundle.

Taylor.

An't please you, it's the Doctor of the Parish's Gown.

Lord R.

The Doctor's Gown! — Heark you, Knight, you won't stick at abusing the Clergy, will you?

Sir Iohn.

No, I'm drunk, and I'll abuse any thing — but my Wife▪ and her I name — with Reverence.

Lord R.

Then you shall wear this Gown, whilst you charge the Watch. That tho' the Blows fall upon you, the Scandal may light upon the Church.

Sir Iohn.

A generous Design — by all the Gods — give it me.

Takes the Gown and puts it on.
Taylor.

O dear Gentlemen, I shall be quite undone, if you take the Gown.

Sir Iohn.

Retire, Sirrah; and since you carry off your Skin — go home, and be happy.

Taylor.
[pausing]

I think I had e'en as good follow the Gentleman's friendly Advice. For if I dispute any longer, who knows but the whim may take him to Case me. These Courtiers are fuller of Tricks than they are of Money; they'll sooner cut a Man's Throat, than pay his Bill.

Exit Taylor.
Sir Iohn.

So, how d'ye like my Shapes now?

Lord R.

This Will do to a Miracle; he looks like a Bishop going to the Holy War. But to your Arms, Gentlemen, the Enemy appears.

Enter Constable and Watch.
Watchman.

Stand! Who goes there? Come before the Constable.

Sir Iohn.

The Constable's a Rascal — and you are the Son of a Whore.

Watchman.

A good civil Answer for a Parson, truly.

Constable.

Methinks Sir, a Man of your Coat, might set a better Example.

Sir Iohn.

Sirrah, I'll make you know — there are Men of my Coat can set as bad Examples — as you can do, you Dog you.

Sir John strikes the Constable. They knock him down, disarm him and seize him. Lord R. &c. run away.
Constable.

So, we have secur'd the Parson however.

Sir Ioh.

Blood and Blood — and Blood.

Watchman.
[Page 46]

Lord have Mercy upon us: How the wicked Wretch Raves of Blood. I'll warrant he has been murdering some body to, Night.

Sir Iohn.

Sirrah, There's nothing got by Murder but a Halter: My Talent lies towards Drunkenness and Simony.

Watchman.

Why that now was spoke like a Man of Parts, Neigh­bours: It's pity he shou'd be so Disguis'd.

Sir Iohn.

You Lye, — I am not Disguis'd; for I am Drunk bare­f [...]c'd.

Watchman.

Look you there again, — This is a mad Parson, Mr. Constable; I'll lay a Pot of Ale upon's Head, he's a good Preacher.

Constable.

Come Sir, out of Respect to your Calling, I shan't put you into the Round-house; but we must Secure you in our Drawing-Room till Morning, that you may do no Mischief. So, Come along.

Sir Iohn.

You may put me where you will, Sirrah, now you have overcome me; — But if I can't do Mischief, I'll think of Mischief — in spite of your Teeth, you Dog you.

Exeunt:
SCENE a Bed-Chamber.
Enter Heartfree, solus.

What the Plague Ail's me? — Love? No, I thank you for that; my heart's Rock still. —

Yet 'tis Bellinda that disturbs me; that's positive.

— Well, what of all that? Must I love her for being troublesome? at that rate, I might love all the Women I meet, I gad.

But hold? — tho' I don't love her for disturbing me, yet she may disturb me, because I love her—Ay, that may be, faith.

I have dream't of her, that's certain—

Well, so I have of my Mother; therefore what's that to the purpose?

Ay, but Bellinda runs in my Mind waking—

And so do's many a damn'd thing, that I don't care a Farthing for—

Methinks tho', I would fain be talking to her, and yet I have no Business. —

Well, am I the first Man, that has had a Mind to do an Impertinent thing?

[Page 47] Enter Constant.
Const.

How now, Heartfree? What makes you up and Dress'd so soon? I thought none but Lovers quarrell'd with their Beds; I expected to have found you snoaring, as I us'd to do.

Heart.

Why, faith Friend, 'tis the Care I have of your Affairs, that makes me so thoughtful; I have been studying all Night, how to bring your Matter about with Bellinda.

Const.

With Bellinda?

Heart.

With my Lady, I mean: And faith I have mighty hopes on't. Sure you must be very well satisfy'd with her Behaviour to you Ye­sterday?

Const.

So well; that nothing but a Lover's Fears, can make me doubt of Success. But what can this sudden Change proceed from?

Heart.

Why, you saw her Husband beat her, did you not?

Const.

That's true: A Husband is scarce to be born upon any terms, much less when he fights with his Wife. Methinks she shou'd e'en have Cuckolded him upon the very spot, to shew that after the Battel, she was Master of the Field.

Heart.

A Council of War of Women, would infallibly have advis'd her to't. But, I confess, so agreeable a Woman as Bellinda, deserves a better usage.

Const.

Bellinda again?

Heart.

My Lady, I mean: What a-pox makes me blunder so to day?

[aside]

A Plague of this treacherous Tongue.

Const.

Prithee look upon me seriously, Heartfree— Now answer me directly! Is it my Lady, or Bellinda, employs your careful Thoughts thus?

Heart.

My Lady, or Bellinda?

Const.

In Love, by this Light in Love.

Heart.

In Love?

Const.

Nay, ne'er deny it: for thou'lt do it so awkerdly, 'twill but make the Jest sit heavier about thee. My Dear Friend, I give thee much Joy▪

Heart.

Why prithee, you won't perswade me to it, will you?

Const.

That she's Mistress of your Tongue, that's plain, and I know you are so honest a Fellow, your Tongue and Heart always go together.

But how? but how the Devil? Pha, ha, ha, ha —

Heart.

Hey day: Why sure you don't believe it in earnest?

Const.

Yes, I do; because I see you deny it in jest.

Heart.
[Page 48]

Nay, but look you Ned,—a—deny in jest—a—gadzooks, you know I say—a—when a Man denies a thing in jest—a—

Const.

Pha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Heart.

Nay, then we shall have it: What, because a Man stumbles at a word: Did you never make a Blunder?

Const.

Yes, for I am in Love, I own it.

Heart.
Then; so am I.—
Now laugh till thy Soul's glutted with Mirth,
[Embracing him.]
But, dear Constant, don't tell the Town on't.
Const.

Nay, then 'twere almost pity to laugh at thee, after so ho­nest a Confession.

But tell us a little, Iack. By what new-invented Arms, has this mighty Stroak been given?

Heart.

E'en by that unaccountable Weapon, call'd, Ie ne sçai quoy; For every thing that can come within the Virge of Beauty, I have seen it with Indifference.

Const.

So in few words then; the, Ie ne sçai quoy, has been too hard for the Quilted Petticoat.

Heart.

I gad, I think the Ie ne sçai quoy, is in the Quilted Petticoat; at least, 'tis certain, I ne'er think on't without —a—a Ie ne sçai quoy in every Part about me.

Const.

Well, but have all your Remedies lost their Virtue, have you turn'd her In-side out yet?

Heart.

I dare not so much as think on't.

Const.

But don't the two Years Fatigue, I have had, discourage you?

Heart.

Yes: I dread what I foresee; yet cannot quit the Enterprize. Like some Soldiers; whose Courage dwells more in their Honour, than their Nature; On they go, tho' the Body trembles, at what the Soul makes it Undertake.

Const.

Nay, if you expect your Mistress will use you, as your Profa­nations against her Sex deserve, you tremble Justly.

But how do you intend to proceed, Friend?

Heart.

Thou know'st I'm but a Novice; be friendly and advise me.

Const.

Why look you then; I'd have you — Serenade and a— write a Song — Go to Church; Look like a Fool — Be very Offi­cious: Ogle, Write and Lead out; And who knows, but in a Year or two's time, you may be — call'd a troublesome Puppy, and sent about your Business.

Heart.

That's hard.

Const.

Yet thus it oft falls out with Lovers, Sir.

Heart.

Pox on me for making one of the Number.

Const.
[Page 49]

Have a Care: Say no Saucy things: 'twill but augment your Crime, and if your Mistress hears on't, encrease your Pu­nishment.

Heart.

Prithee say something then to encourage me, you know I help'd you in your Distress.

Const.

Why then to encourage you to Perseverance, that you may be thoroughly ill us'd for your Offences, I'll put you in Mind, That even the coyest Ladies of 'em all, are made up of Desires, as well as we; and tho' they do hold out a long time, they will Capitulate at last. For that thundering Engenier, Nature, do's make such havock in the Town, they must Surrender at long Run, or Perish in their own Flames.

Enter a Footman.

Sir, There's a Porter without with a Letter; he desires to give it into your own Hands.

Const.

Call him in.

Enter Porter.
Const.

What Io; Is it thee?

Porter.

An't please you Sir, I was Order'd to Deliver this into your own Hands, by two well-shap'd Ladies, at the New-Exchange. I was at your Honour's Lodgings, and your Servants sent me hither.

Const.

'Tis well, Are you to carry any Answer?

Porter.

No, my noble Master. They gave me my Orders, and whip, they were gone, like a Maiden-head at Fifteen.

Const.

Very well; there.

Gives him Money.
Porter.

God bless your Honour.

Exit Porter.
Const.

Now let's see, what honest trusty Io has brought us.

Reads.

If you and your Play-fellow, can spare time from your Busi­ness and Devotions, don't fail to be at Spring-Garden about Eight in the Evening. You'll find nothing there but Women, so you need bring no other Arms than what you usually carry about you.

So, Play-fellow: Here's something to stay your Stomach, till your Mistresses Dish is ready for you.

Heart.
[Page 50]

Some of our old Batter'd Acquaintance. I wont go, not I.

Const.

Nay, that you can't avoid: There's honour in the Case, 'tis a Challenge, and I want a Second.

Heart.

I doubt I shall be but a very useless one to you; for I'm so dishearten'd by this Wound Bellinda has given me; I don't think I shall have Courage enough to draw my Sword.

Const.

O, if that be all, come along; I'll warrant you find Sword enough for such Enemies as we have to deal withal.

Exeunt.
Enter Constable, &c. with Sir John.
Constable.

Come along, Sir, I thought to have let you slip this Morning, because you were a Minister; but you are as Drunk and as Abusive as ever. We'll see what the Justice of the Peace will say to you.

Sir Iohn.

And you shall see what I'll say to the Justice of the Peace, Sirrah.

They Knock at the Door.
Enter Servant.
Constab.

Pray Acquaint his Worship, we have got an unruly Parson here: We are unwilling to expose him, but don't know what to do with him.

Servant.

I'll Acquaint my Master.

Exit Servant,
Sir Iohn.

You — Constable—What damn'd Justice is this?

Constab.

One that will take Care of you, I warrant you.

Enter Iustice.
Iustice.

Well, Mr. Constable; What's the Disorder here?

Constab.

An't Please your Worship—

Sir Iohn.

Let me speak and be damn'd: I'm a Divine, and can unfold Mysteries better than you can do.

Iustice.

Sadness, Sadness, a Minister so Over-taken. Pray Sir, Give the Constable leave to speak, and I'll hear you very patiently; I assure you Sir, I will.

Sir Iohn.

Sir,—You are a very Civil Magistrate. Your most hum­ble Servant.

Constab.
[Page 51]

An't Please your Worship then; he has attempted to beat the Watch to Night, and Swore—

Sir Iohn.

You Lye.

Iustice.

Hold, pray Sir, a little.

Sir Iohn.

Sir, your very humble Servant.

Constab.

Indeed Sir, he came at us without any Provocation, call'd us Whores and Rogues, and laid us on with a great Quarter-Staff. He was in my Lord Rake's Company. They have been playing the Devil to Night.

Iustice.

Hem—Hem—Pray Sir—May you be Chaplain to my Lord?

Sir Iohn.

Sir—I presume—I may if I will.

Iustice.

My meaning Sir, is—Are you so?

Sir Iohn.

Sir,—You mean very well.

Iustice.

He hem — hem — Under favour, Sir, Pray Answer me directly.

Sir Iohn.

Under favour, Sir—Do you use to Answer directly when you are Drunk?

Iustice.

Good lack, good lack: Here's nothing to be got from him. Pray Sir, may I crave your Name?

Sir Iohn.

Sir,—My Name's—

He Hycops.

Hyccop, Sir.

Iustice.

Hyccop? Doctor Hyccop. I have known a great many Coun­try Parsons of that Name, especially down in the Fenns. Pray where do you live, Sir?

Sir Iohn.

Here—and there, Sir.

Iustice.

Why, what a strange Man is this? Where do you Preach, Sir? Have you any Cure?

Sir Iohn.

Sir—I have—a very good Cure—for a Clap, at your Service.

Iustice.

Lord have mercy upon us.

Sir Iohn.
[Aside.]

This Fellow do's Ask so many Impertinent Questions, I believe I gad, 'tis the Justice's Wife, in the Justice's Clothes.

Iustice.

Mr. Constable, I Vow and Protest, I don't know what to do with him.

Constab.

Truly, he has been but a troublesom Guest to us all Night.

Iustice.

I think, I had e'en best let him go about his Business, for I'm unwilling to expose him.

Constab.

E'en what your Worship thinks fit.

Sir Iohn.

Sir,—not to interrupt Mr. Constable, I have a small Fa­vour to ask.

Iustice.

Sir, I open both my Ears to you.

Sir Iohn.
[Page 52]

Sir, your very humble Servant. I have a little Urgent Business calls upon me; And therefore I desire the Favour of you, to bring Matters to a Conclusion.

Iustice.

Sir, If I were sure that Business, were not to Commit more Disorders; I wou'd release you.

Sir Iohn.

None,—By my Priesthood.

Iust.

Then, Mr. Constable, you may Discharge him.

Sir Iohn.

Sir, your very humble Servant. If you please to Accept of a Bottle —

Iust.

I thank you kindly, Sir; but I never drink in a Morning. Good-buy to ye, Sir, good-buy to ye.

Sir Iohn.

Good-buy t'ye, good Sir.

Exit Iustice.

So—now, Mr. Constable, Shall you and I go pick up a Whore together.

Constab.

No, thank you, Sir; My Wife's enough to satisfie any rea­sonable Man.

Sir Iohn.
[Aside.]

He, he, he, he, he,—the Fool is Married then. Well, you won't go?

Constab.

Not I, truly.

Sir Iohn.

Then I'll go by my self; and you and your Wife may be Damn'd.

Exit Sir John.
Constable gazing after him.

Why God-a-marcy Parson.

Exeunt.
SCENE Spring-Garden.
Constant and Heartfree Cross the Stage. As they go off, Enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle, Mask'd and Dogging 'em.
Const.

So: I think we are about the time appointed; Let us walk up this w [...]y.

Exeunt.
Lady Fancy.

Good: Thus far I have Dogg'd 'em without being discover'd. 'Tis infallibly some Intrigue that brings them to Spring-Garden. How my poor Heart is torn and wrackt with Fear and Jea­lousie. Yet let it be any thing, but that Flirt Bellinda, and I'll try to hear it. But if it prove her, All that's Woman in me shall be employ'd to destroy her.

Exeunt after Constant and Heartfree.
[Page 53] Re-enter Constant and Heartfree. Lady Fancyfull and Mada­moiselle still following at a Distance.
Const.

I see no Females yet, that have any thing to say to us. I'm afraid we are banter'd.

Heart.

I wish we were; for I'm in no Humour to make either them or my self merry.

Const.

Nay, I'm sure you'll make them merry enough; if I tell 'em why you are dull. But prithee why so heavy and sad, before you begin to be ill us'd?

Heart.

For the same Reason, perhaps, that you are so brisk and well pleas'd; because both Pains and Pleasures are generally more con­siderable in Prospect, than when they come to pass.

Enter Lady B. and Bellinda, mask'd, and poorly dress'd.
Const.

How now, who are these? Not our Game I hope.

Heart.

If they are, we are e'en well enough serv'd, to come hunt­ing here, when we had so much better Game in Chase elsewhere.

Lady Fancy.
to Mademoiselle.

So, those are their Ladies without doubt. But I'm afraid that Doily Stuff is not worn for want of better Cloaths. They are the very Shape and Size of Bellinda and her Aunt.

Madamois.

So day be inteed, Matam.

Lady Fancy.

We'll slip into this close Arbor, where we may hear all they say.

Exeunt Lady Fancy. and Madamoiselle.
Lady B.

What, are you afraid of us, Gentlemen?

Heart.

Why truly I think we may, if Appearance don't lye.

Bel.

Do you always find Women what they appear to be, Sir?

Heart.

No Forsooth; but I seldom find 'em better than they appear to be.

Bel.

Then the Outside's best, you think?

Heart.

'Tis the honestest.

Const.

Have a care, Heartfree; you are relapsing again.

Lady B.

Why, does the Gentleman use to rail at Women?

Const.

He has done formerly.

Bel.
I suppose he had very good Cause for't:
They did not use you so well, as you thought you deserv'd, Sir.
Lady B.

They made themselves merry at your Expence, Sir.

Bel.

Laugh'd when you Sigh'd

Lady B.

Slept while you were waking.

Bel.
[Page 54]

Had your Porter beat.

Lady B

And threw your Billet doux in the Fire.

Heart.

Hey day, I shall do more than rail presently.

Bel.

Why you won't beat us, will you?

Heart.

I don't know but I may.

Const.

What the Devil's coming here? Sir Iohn in a Gown? — And drunk I'faith.

Enter Sir John.
Sir Iohn.

What a Pox—here's Constant, Heartfree, — and two Whores I gad: — O you covetous Rogues; what, have you never a spare Punk for you Friend? — But I'll share with you.

He seizes both the Women.
Heart.

Why, what the Plague have you been doing, Knight.

Sir Iohn.

Why, I have been beating the Watch, and scandalizing the Clergy.

Heart.

A very good Account, truly.

Sir Iohn.

And what do you think I'll do next?

Const.

Nay, that no Man can guess.

Sir Iohn.

Why, if you'll let me sup with you, I'll treat both your Strumpets.

Lady B.
[aside.]

O Lord, we are undone.

Heart.

No, we can't sup together, because we have some Affairs elsewhere. But if you'll accept of these two Ladies, we'll be so com­plaisant to you, to resign our Right in 'em.

Bel.
[aside.]

Lord, what shall we do?

Sir Iohn.

Let me see, their Cloaths are such damn'd Cloaths, they won't pawn for the Reckoning.

Heart.

Sir Iohn, your Servant. Rapture attend you.

Const.

Adieu Ladies, make much of the Gentleman.

Lady B.

Why sure, you won't leave us in the Hands of a drunken Fellow to abuse us.

Sir Iohn.

Who do you call a drunken Fellow, you Slut you? I'm a Man of Quality; the King has made me a Knight.

Heart. runs off.
Heart.

Ay, ay, you are in good Hands, Adieu, adieu.

Lady B.

The Devil's Hands: Let me go, or I'll — For Hea­ven's sake protect us.

She breaks from him, runs to Constant, twitching off her Mask and clapping it on again.
Sir Iohn.
[Page 55]

I'll Devil you, you Jade you. I'll demolish your ugly Face.

Const.

Hold a little, Knight, she swoons.

Sir Iohn.

I'll swoon her.

Const.

Hey, Heartfree.

Re-enter Heartfree. Bellinda runs to him and shews her Face.
Heart.

O Heavens! My dear Creature, stand there a little.

Const.

Pull him off, Iack.

Heart.

Hold, mighty Man; look you, Sir, we did but jest with you. These are Ladies of our Acquaintance, that we had a mind to frighten a little, but now you must leave us.

Sir Iohn.

Oons, I won't leave you, not I.

Heart.

Nay, but you must though; and therefore make no words on't.

Sir Iohn.

Then you are a couple of damn'd uncivil Fellows. And I hope your Punks will give you sauce to your Mutton.

Exit Sir John.
Lady B.

Oh, I shall never come to my self again, I'm so frightned.

Const.

'Twas a narrow scape, indeed.

Bel.

Women must have Frolicks, you see, whatever they cost 'em.

Heart.

This might have prov'd a dear one tho'.

Lady B.

You are the more oblig'd to us, for the Risque we run up­on your Accounts.

Const.

And I hope you'll acknowledge something due to our Knight Errantry, Ladies. This is the second time we have deliver'd you.

Lady B.

'Tis true; and since we see Fate has design'd you for our Guardians, 'twill make us the more willing to trust our selves in your Hands. But you must not have the worse Opinion of us for our In­nocent Frolick.

Heart.

Ladies, you may command our Opinions in every thing that is to your Advantage.

Bel.

Then, Sir, I command you to be of Opinion, That Women are sometimes better than they appear to be.

Lady Brute and Constant talk apart.
Heart.

Madam, you have made a Convert of me in every thing. I'm grown a Fool: I cou'd be fond of a Woman.

Bel.

I thank you, Sir, in the Name of the whole Sex.

Heart.

Which Sex nothing but your self, cou'd ever have aton'd for.

Bel.

Now has my Vanity a devilish Itch, to know in what my Me­rit consists.

Heart.
[Page 56]

In your Humility, Madam, that keeps you ignorant it con­sists at all.

Bel.

One other Compliment with that serious Face, and I hate you for ever after.

Heart.

Some Women love to be abus'd: Is that it you wou'd be at?

Bel.

No, not that neither: But I'd have Men talk plainly what's fit for Women to hear; without putting 'em either to a real, or an af­fected Blush.

Heart.

Why then, in as plain Terms as I can find to express my self: I cou'd love you even to — Matrimony it self a-most I-gad.

Bel.

Just as Sir Iohn did her Ladyship there.

What think you? Don't you believe one Month's time might bring you down to the same Indifference, only clad in a little better Manners, perhaps. Well, you Men are unaccountable things, mad till you have your Mistresses; and then stark mad till you are rid of 'em again. Tell me, honestly, is not your Patience put to a much severer Tryal after Possession, than before?

Heart.

With a great many, I must confess, it is, to our eternal Scandal; but I — dear Creature, do but try me.

Bel.

That's the surest way indeed, to know, but not the safest.

To Lady B.

Madam, are not you for taking a turn in the Great Walk: It's almost dark, no body will know us.

Lady B.

Really I find my self something idle, Bellinda, besides, I dote upon this little odd private Corner. But don't let my lazy Fancy con­fine you.

Const.
[aside.]

So, she wou'd be left alone with me, that's well.

Bel

Well, we'll take one turn, and come to you again.

To Heart.

Come, Sir, shall we go pry into the secrets of the Gar­den. Who knows what Discoveries we may make.

Heart.

Madam, I'm at your Service.

Const.
to Heart.

[aside.]

Don't make too much haste back; for, d'ye hear — I may be busie.

Heart.

Enough.

Exit Bellinda and Heartfree.
Lady B.

Sure you think me scandalously free, Mr. Constant. I'm afraid I shall lose your good Opinion of me.

Const.

My good Opinion, Madam, is like your Cruelty, never to be remov'd.

Lady B

But if I shou'd remove my Cruelty, then there's an end of your good Opinion.

Const.

There is not so strict an Alliance between 'em neither. 'Tis certain I shou'd love you then better (if that be possible) than I do now; and where I love, I always esteem.

Lady B.
[Page 57]
Indeed, I doubt you much:
Why suppose you had a Wife, and she shou'd entertain a Gal­lant.
Const.

If I gave her just Cause, how cou'd I justly condemn her?

Lady B.

Ah; but you'd differ widely about just Causes.

Const.

But blows can bear no Dispute.

Lady B.

Nor Ill Manners much, truly.

Const.

Then no Woman upon Earth, has so just a Cause as you have.

Lady B.

O, but a faithful Wife, is a beautiful Character.

Const.

To a deserving Husband, I confess it is.

Lady B.

But can his Faults Release my Duty?

Const.

In Equity without doubt. And where Laws dispense with Equity; Equity should dispense with Laws.

Lady B.

Pray let's leave this Dispute; for you Men have as much Witchcraft in your Arguments, as Women have in their Eyes.

Const.

But whil'st you Attack me with your Charms, 'tis but reaso­nable I Assault you with mine.

Lady B.

The Case is not the same. What Mischief we do, we can't help, and therefore are to be forgiven.

Const.

Beauty soon obtains Pardon, for the Pain that it gives, when it applies the Balm of Compassion to the Wound; But a fine Face, and a hard Heart, is almost as bad as an ugly Face and a soft one: both very troublesom to many a Poor Gentleman.

Lady B.

Yes, and to many a Poor Gentlewoman too, I can assure you. But pray which of 'em is it, that most afflicts you?

Const.

Your Glass and Conscience will inform you, Madam. But for Heaven's sake (for now I must be serious) if Pity or if Gratitude can move you,

Taking her hand.

If Constancy and Truth have Power to tempt you; If Love, if Ado­ration can affect you, give me at least some hopes, that time may do, what you perhaps mean never to perform; 'Twill ease my Suf­ferings, tho' not quench my Flame.

Lady B.

Your Sufferings eas'd, your Flame wou'd soon abate; And that I wou'd preserve, not quench it, Sir.

Const.

Wou'd you preserve it, nourish it with favours; for that's the Food, it naturally requires.

Lady B.

Yet on that Natural Food, 'twou'd Surfeit soon, shou'd I resolve to grant all that you wou'd ask.

Const.

And in refusing all, you starve it. Forgive me therefore, since my Hunger rages, if I at last grow Wild, and in my frenzy force at least, This from you.

Kissing her hand.

[Page 58] Or if you'd have my Flame, soar higher still, then grant me this, and this, and this, and Thousands more;

[Kissing first her hand, then her neck. Aside.]

for now's the time, She melts into Compassion.

Lady B.
[Aside.]

Poor Coward Vertue, how it shuns the Battle. O heavens! let me go.

Const.

Ay, go, ay: Where shall we go, my Charming Angel,— into this private Arbour.— Nay, let's lose no time—Moments are precious.

Lady B.

And Lovers wild. Pray let us stop here; at least for this time.

Const.

'Tis impossible: He that has Power over you, can have none over himself.

As he is forcing her into the Arbour, Lady Fancyful and Madamoiselle bolt out upon them, and Run over the Stage.
Lady B.

Ah; I'm lost.

Lady Fancy.

Fe, fe, fe, fe, fe.

Madamois.

Fe, fe, fe, fe, fe.

Const.

Death and Furies, who are these?

Lady B.

Oh heavens, I'm out of my Wits; if they knew me, I'm Ruin'd.

Const.

Don't be frightned; Ten thousand to One they are Strangers to you.

Lady B.

Whatever they are, I won't stay here a moment longer.

Const.

Whither will you go?

Lady B.

Home, as if the Devil were in me. Lord where's this Bellinda now?

Enter Bellinda and Heartfree.

O! it's well you are come: I'm so frightned my Hair stands an end.

Let's be gone for Heaven's sake.

Bell.

Lord, What's the Matter?

Lady B.

The Devil's the Matter, we are discover'd. Here's a Couple of Women have done the most impertinent thing. Away, Away, Away, Away, Away.

Exit running.
Re-enter Lady Fancyful and Madamoiselle.
Lady Fancy.

Well Madamoiselle, 'tis a Prodigious thing, how Women can suffer filthy Fellows, to grow so familiar with 'em.

Madamois.

Ah Matam, il n'y a rien desi Naturel.

Lady Fancy.
[Page 59]

Fe, fe, fe. But oh my Heart; O Jealousie, O Tor­ture, I'm upon the rack. What shall I do, my Lover's lost, I ne'er shall see him. Mine.

Pausing

But I may be reveng'd; and that's the same thing. Ah sweet Revenge. Thou welcome thought, thou healing Balsam, to my wounded Soul. Be but propitious on this one Occasion, I'll place my Heaven in thee, for all my Life to come.

To Woman how indulgent Nature's kind.
No Blast of Fortune long disturbs her Mind.
Compliance to her Fate supports her still,
If Love won't make her Happy—Mischief will.
Exeunt.
The End of the Fourth ACT.

ACT V.

SCENE Lady Fancyfull's House.
Enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.
Lady Fancy.

WEll, Madamoiselle; Did you Dogg the filthy things?

Madamois.

O que Ouy Matam.

Lady Fancy.

And where are they?

Madamois.

Au Logis.

Lady Fancy.

VVhat? Men and All?

Madamois.

Tous ensemble.

Lady Fancy.

O Confidence! VVhat, carry their Fellows to their own House?

Madamois.

C'est que le Mari n'y est pas.

Lady Fancy.

No, so I believe, truly. But he shall be there, and quickly too, if I can find him out.

Well, 'tis a Prodigious thing, to see when Men and VVomen get to­gether, how they fortifie one another in their Impudence. But if that Drunken Fool, her Husband, be to be found in e'er a Tavern in Town, I'll send him amongst 'em. I'll spoil their Sport.

Madamois.

En Verite Matam, ce seroit domage.

Lady Fancy.

'Tis in Vain to Oppose it, Madamoiselle; therefore never go about it. For I am the steadiest Creature in the VVorld— when I have determin'd to do Mischief. So, Come along.

Exeunt.
SCENE Sir John Brute's House.
Enter Constant, Heartfree, Lady Brute, Bellinda, and Lovewell.
Lady B.

But are you sure you don't Mistake, Lovewell?

Love.

Madam, I saw 'em all go into the Tavern together, and my Master was so drunk he cou'd scarce stand.

Lady B.

Then, Gentlemen, I believe we may Venture to let you Stay and Play at Cards with us an Hour or two; for they'll scarce part till Morning.

Bell.

I think 'tis pity they shou'd ever part.

Const.

The Company that's here, Madam.

Lady B.

Then, Sir, the Company that's here, must remember to part it self, in time.

Const.

Madam, we dont intend to forfeit your future Favours, by an indiscreet Usage of this. The moment you give us the Signal, we sha'n't fail to make our Retreat.

Lady B.

Upon those Conditions then, Let us sit down to Cards.

Enter Lovewell.

O Lord, Madam, here's my Master just staggering in upon you; He has been Quarrelsom yonder, and they have kick'd him out of the Company.

Lady B.

Into the Closet, Gentlemen, for Heaven's [...]ake; I'll wheedle him to Bed, if possible.

Const. and Heart. run into the Closet.
Enter Sir John, all Dirt and Bloody.
Lady B.

Ah—ah—he's all over Blood.

Sir Iohn.

What the Plague, do's the Woman — Squall for? Did you never see a Man in Pickle before?

Lady B.

Lord, where have you been?

Sir Iohn.

I have been at—Cuffs.

Lady B.

I fear that is not all. I hope you are not wounded.

Sir Iohn.

Sound as a Roche, Wife.

Lady B.

I'm mighty glad to hear it.

Sir I.
[Page 62]

You know—I think you Lye.

Lady B.

I know you do me wrong to think so, then. For Heaven's my Witness, I had rather see my own Blood trickle down, than yours.

Sir Iohn.

Then will I be Crucify'd.

Lady B.

'Tis a hard Fate, I shou'd not be believ'd.

Sir Iohn.

'Tis a damn'd Atheistical Age, Wife.

Lady B.

I am sure I have given you a Thousand tender Proofs, how great my Care is of you.

Nay, spite of all your Cruel Thoughts, I'll still persist, and at this moment, if I can, perswade you to lie down, and Sleep a little.

Sir Iohn.

Why, —do you think I am drunk — you Slut, you?

Lady B.

Heaven forbid, I shou'd: But I'm afraid you are Feaverish. Pray let me feel your Pulse.

Sir Iohn.

Stand off and be damn'd.

Lady B.

Why, I see your Distemper in your very Eyes. You are all on fire. Pray go to Bed; Let me intreat you.

Sir Iohn.

—Come kiss me, then.

Lady B.
[Kissing him.]

There: Now go

[Aside.]

He stinks like Poison.

Sir Iohn.
I see it go's damnably against your Stomach—
And therefore— Kiss me again.
Lady B.

Nay, now you fool me.

Sir Iohn.

Do't, I say.

Lady B.
[Aside.]
Ah Lord have mercy upon me.
Well; There; Now will you go?
Sir Iohn.

Now Wife, you shall see my Gratitude. You give me two Kisses, I'll give you—two Hundred.

Kisses and tumbles her.
Lady B.
O Lord: Pray, Sir Iohn, be quiet.
Heavens, what a Pickle am I in.
Bell
[Aside.]

If I were in her Pickle, I'd call my Gallant out of the [...]oset, and he shou'd Cudgel him soundly.

Sir Iohn.

So; Now, you being as dirty and as nasty as my self, We may go Pig together. But first, I must have a Cup of your Cold Tea, Wife.

Going to the Closet.
Lady B.

O, I'm ruin'd.

[...] there, my Dear.

[...] I'll warrant you, I'll find some, my Dear.

[...] Open the Door, the Lock's spoil'd. I have been [...] the Key this half hour to no purpose. I'll send for [...] Morrow.

Sir Iohn.
[Page 63]

There's ne'er a Smith in Europe can Open a Door with more Expedition than I can do.—As for Example, — Pou.

He bursts Open the Door with his foot.

— How now?—

What the Devil have we got here?—

Constant—Heartfree—And two VVhores again, I gad.— —This is the worst Cold Tea—that ever I met with in my Life. —

Enter Constant and Heartfree.
Lady B.
[aside.]

O Lord, what will become of us?

Sir Iohn.

Gentlemen — I am your very humble Servant — I give you many Thanks — I see you take Care of my Family — I shall do all I can to return the Obligation.

Const.

Sir, how odly soever this Business may appear to you, you wou'd have no Cause to be uneasie, if you knew the Truth of all things; your Lady is the most virtuous Woman in the World, and nothing has past, but an Innocent Frolick.

Heart.

Nothing else, upon my Honour, Sir.

Sir Iohn.

You are both very Civil Gentlemen — And my Wife, there, is a very Civil Gentlewoman; therefore I don't doubt but many Civil things have past between you. Your very humble Ser­vant.

L. B.
[Aside to Const.]

Pray be gone; He's so drunk he can't hurt us to Night, and to Morrow Morning you shall hear from us.

Const.

I'll Obey you, Madam.

Sir, when you are Cool, you'll understand Reason better. So then I shall take the Pains to Inform you.

If not — I wear a Sword, Sir, and so good-b'uy to you.

Come along, Heartfree.

Sir Iohn.

— Wear a Sword, Sir: — And what of all that, Sir?— He comes to my House; Eats my Meat; Lies with my Wife; Disho­nours my Family; Gets a Bastard to Inherit my Estate. — And when I ask a Civil Account of all this — Sir, says, he, I wear a Sword. — Wear a Sword, Sir? Yes Sir, says he; I wear a Sword—It may be a good Answer at Cross-Purposes; But 'tis a Damn'd One to a Man in my Whimsical Circumstance — Sir, says he, I wear a Sword.

To Lady B.

And what do you wear now? ha? tell me.

Sitting down in a great Chair.

What? you are Modest and cant?—

[Page 64]Why then I'll tell you, you Slut you.

You wear—an Impudent Lewd Face.—

A Damn'd Designing Heart — And a Tail — and a Tail full of—

He falls fast asleep, snoaring.
Lady B.

So; Thanks to Kind Heaven, he's fast for some Hours.

Bell.

'Tis well he is so, that we may have time to lay our Story handsomly; for we must Lie like the Devil to bring our selves off.

Lady B.

What shall we say, Bellinda?

Bell.
[Musing.]

— I'll tell you: It must all light upon Heartfree and I. We'll say he has Courted me some time, but for Reasons un­known to us, has ever been very earnest the thing might be kept from Sir Iohn. That therefore hearing him upon the Stairs, he run into the Closet, tho' against our Will, and Constant with him, to prevent Jealousie. And to give this a good Impudent face of Truth (that I may deliver you from the Trouble you are in:) I'll e'en (if he pleases) Marry him.

Lady B.

I'm beholding to you, Cousin; but that wou'd be carrying the Jest a little too far for your Own sake: You know he's a younger Brother, and has Nothing.

Bell.

'Tis true; But I like him, and have Fortune enough to keep above Extremity: I can't say, I wou'd live with him in a Cell upon Love and Bread and Butter. But I had rather have the Man I love, and a Middle State of Life, Than that Gentleman in the Chair there, and twice your Ladiship's Splendour.

Lady B.

In truth, Niece, you are in the Right on't: for I am very Uneasie with my Ambition. But perhaps, had I married as you'll do, I might have been as Ill us'd.

Bel.

Some Risque, I do confess, there always is; But if a Man has the least spark, either of Honour or good Nature, he can never use a Woman Ill, that loves him and makes his Fortune both. Yet I must own to you, some little Struggling I still have, with this teazing Ambi­tion of ours. For Pride, you know, is as Natural to a Woman, as 'tis to a Saint. I can't help being fond of this Rogue; and yet it go's to my Heart to think I must never Whisk to Hide-Park, with above a Pair of Horses; Have no Coronet upon my Coach, nor a Page to carry up my Train. But above all — that business of Place — Well; Taking Place, is a Noble Prerogative.

Lady B.

Especially after a Quarrel.

Bell.

Or of a Rival. But pray say no more on't, for fear I change my Mind. For o' my Conscience, were't not for your Affair in the ballance, I shou'd go near to pick up some Odious Man of Quality yet, and only take poor Heartfree for a Gallant.

Lady B.
[Page 65]

Then him you must have, however things go?

Bel.

Yes.

Lady B.

Why we may pretend what we will; but 'tis a hard matter to Live without the Man we Love.

Bel.

Especially when we are Married to the Man we hate. Pray tell me? Do the Men of the Town ever believe us Virtuous, when they see us do so?

Lady B.

O, no: Nor indeed hardly, let us do what we will. They most of 'em think, there is no such thing as Virtue consider'd in the strictest notions of it: And therefore when you hear 'em say, Such a one is a Woman of Reputation, They only mean she's a Woman of Discretion. For they consider, we have no more Religion than they have, nor so much Morality; and between you and I, Bellinda, I'm afraid the want of Inclination seldom protects any of us.

Bel.

But what think you of the fear of being found out.

Lady B.

I think that never kept any Woman virtuous long. We are not such Cowards neither. No: Let us once pass Fifteen, and we have too good an Opinion of our own Cunning, to believe the World can penetrate, into what we wou'd keep a Secret. And so in short, We cannot reasonably blame the Men for judging of us by them­selves.

Bel.

But sure we are not so Wicked as they are, after all.

Lady B.

We are as Wicked, Child, but our Vice lies another way: Men have more Courage than we, so they commit more Bold, Impu­dent Sins. They Quarrel, Fight, Swear, Drink, Blaspheme, and the like. Whereas we, being Cowards, only Backbite, tell Lyes, Cheat at Cards and so forth. But 'tis late. Let's end our Discourse for to Night, and out of an excess of Charity, take a small Care, of that nasty drunken thing there—Do but look at him, Bellinda.

Bel.

Ah—'tis a Savoury Dish.

Lady B.

As savoury as 'tis, I'm cloy'd with't. Prithee Call the Butler to take away.

Bel.

Call the Butler? — Call the Scavenger.

To a Servant within.

Who's there? Call Rasor! Let him take away his Master, Scower him clean with a little Soap and Sand, and so put him to Bed.

Lady B.

Come Bellinda, I'll e'en lie with you to Night; and in the Morning we'll send for our Gentlemen to set this Matter even:

Bel.

Withal my Heart.

Lady B.

Good Night, my Dear.

Making a low Curtsy.
Both.

Ha, ha, ha.

Exeunt.
[Page 66] Enter Rasor.

My Lady there's a Wag—My Master there's a Cuckold. Mar­riage is a slippery thing— Women have deprav'd Appetites:— My Lady's a Wag, I have heard all: I have seen all: I understand all, and I'll tell all; for my little French-woman loves News dearly. This Story'll gain her Heart or nothing will.

To his Master.

Come, Sir, Your Head's too full of Fumes at present, to make Room for your Jealousie; but I reckon we shall have Rare work with you, when your Pate's empty. Come; to your Kennel, you Cuckoldly drunken Sot you.

Carries him out upon his Back.
SCENE Lady Fancyfull's House.
Enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.
Lady Fancy.

But, why did not you tell me before, Madamoiselle, that Rasor and you were fond?

Madamois.

De Modesty hinder me, Matam.

Lady Fancy.

Why truly Modesty do's often hinder us from doing things we have an Extravagant Mind to. But do's he love you well enough yet, to do any thing you bid him? Do you think to Oblige you he wo [...]'d speak Scandal?

Madamois.

Matam, to Oblige your Ladiship, he shall speak Blasphemy.

Lady Fancy.

Why then, Madamoiselle, I'll tell you what you shall do. You shall engage him to tell his Master, all that past at Spring-Garden. I have a Mind he shou'd know what a Wife and a Neice he has got.

Madamois.

Il le fera, Matam.

Enter a Footman, who speaks to Madamoiselle apart.
Foot.

Madamoiselle; Yonder's Mr. Rasor desires to speak with you.

Madamois.

Tell him, I come presently.

Exit Footman.

Rasor be dare, Matam.

Lady Fancy.

That's Fortunate: Well, I'll leave you together. And if you find him stubborn, Madamoiselle, — heark you — don't refuse him a few little reasonable Liberties, to put him into humour.

Madamois.

Laisez moy faire.

Exit Lady Fancyfull.
Rasor peeps in; and seeing Lady Fancyfull gone, runs to Madamoiselle, takes her about the Neck and kisses her.
Madamois.
[Page 67]

How now, Confidence.

Ras.

How now, Modesty.

Madamois.

Who make you so familiar, Sirrah?

Ras.

My Impudence, Hussy.

Madamois.

Stand off, Rogue-face.

Ras.

Ah—Madamoiselle— great News at our House.

Madamois.

Wy wat be de matter?

Ras.

The Matter? —why, Uptails All's the Matter.

Madamois.

Tu te mocque de moy.

Ras.
Now do you long to know the particulars:
The time when: The place where: The manner how;
But I won't tell you a Word more.
Madamois.

Nay, den dou Kill me, Rasor.

Ras.

Come, Kiss me, then.

Clapping his hands behind him.
Madamois.

Nay, pridee tell me.

Ras.

Good b'wy to ye.

Going.
Mademois.

Hold, hold: I will Kiss dee.

Kissing him.
Ras.

So: that's Civil: Why now, my pretty Pall; My Goldfinch; My little Waterwagtail — you must know that — Come, Kiss me again.

Madamois.

I won't Kiss dee no more.

Ras.

Good b'wy to ye.

Madamois.

Doucement: Dare: es tu content?

Kissing him.
Ras.

So: Now I'll tell thee all. Why the News is, That Cuckoldom in Folio, is newly Printed; and Matrimony in Quarto, is just going into the Press. Will you Buy any Books, Madamoiselle?

Madamois.

Tu Parle comme un Librair, de Devil no Understand dee.

Ras.

Why then, that I may make my self intelligible to a Waiting-woman, I'll speak like a Vallet de Chamber. My Lady has Cuckol­ded my Master.

Madamois.

Bon.

Ras.

Which we take very ill from her hands, I can tell her that. We can't yet prove Matter of Fact upon her.

Madamois.

N'importe.

Ras.

But we can prove, that Matter of Fact had like to have been upon her.

Madamois.

Ouy da.

Ras.

For we have such bloody Circumstances.

Madamois.

Sans Doute.

Ras.

That any Man of Parts, may draw tickling Conclusions from 'em.

Madamois.

Fort bien.

Ras.
[Page 68]

We have found a couple of tight well-built Gentlemen, stuft into her Ladiships Closet.

Madamois.

Le Diable

Ras.

And I, in my particular Person, have discover'd a most Dam­nable Plot, how to perswade my poor Master, that all this Hide and Seek, this Will in the Wisp, has no other meaning than a Christian Marriage for sweet Mrs. Bellinda.

Madamois.

Une Marriage? — Ah les Droless.

Ras.

Don't you interrupt me, Hussy; 'tis Agreed, I say. And my Innocent Lady, to Riggle her self out at the Back-door of the Business, turns Marriage-Bawd to her Neice, and resolves to deliver up her fair Body, to be tumbled and mumbled, by that young Liquorish Whipster, Heartfree. Now are you satisfy'd?

Madamois.

No.

Ras.

Right Woman; Always gaping for more.

Madamois.

Dis be all den, dat dou know?

Ras.

All? Ay, and a great deal too, I think.

Madamois.
Dou be fool, dou know noting.
Ecoute mon pa [...]vre Rasor.
Dou see des two Eyes? — Des two Eyes have see de Devil.
Ras.

The Woman's Mad.

Madamois.

In Spring-Garden, dat Rogue Constant, meet dy Lady.

Ras.

Bon.

Madamois.

—I'll tell dee no more.

Ras.

Nay, prithee, my Swan.

Madamois.

Come, Kiss me den▪

Clapping her hands behind her, as he had done before.
Ras.

I won't Kiss you, not I.

Madamois.

Adieu.

Ras.

Hold: — Now proceed.

Gives her a hearty Kiss.
Madamois.

A ça —I hide my self in one Cunning place, where I hear all, and see all. First dy drunken Master come mal a propos; But de Sot no know his own dear Wife, so he leave her to her Sport—

Den de game begin.

De Lover say soft ting.

As she speaks, Rasor still acts the Man, and she the Woman.

De Lady look upon de Ground

He take her by de Hand.

She turn her Head, one oder way.

Den he squeez very hard.

Den she pull—very softly.

Den he take her in his Arm.

Den she give him, Leetel pat.

Den he Kiss her Tettons.

[Page 69]Den she say—Pish, nay see.

Den he tremble,

Den she — Sigh.

Den he pull her into de Arbour,

Den she pinch him

Ras.

Ay, but not so hard, you Baggage you.

Mademois.

Den he grow Bold.

She grow Weak.

He tro her down

Il tombe dessu,

Le Diable assist,

Rasor struggles with her, as if he wou'd throw her down.

Il emport tout:

Stand off, Sirrah.

Ras.

You have set me a fire, you Jade you.

Madamois.

Den go to de River and quench dy self.

Ras.

What an unnatural Harlot 'tis.

Madamois.

Rasor.

Looking languishingly on him.
Ras.

Madamoiselle.

Madamois.

Dou no love me.

Ras.

Not love thee! — More than a French-man do's Soupe.

Madamois.

Den dou will refuse noting dat I bid dee?

Ras.

Don't bid me be damn'd then:

Madamois.

No, only tell dy Master, all I have tell dee of dy Laty.

Ras.

Why you little malicious Strumpet, you; shou'd you like to be serv'd so?

Madamois.

Dou dispute den?— Adieu.

Ras.

Hold — But why wilt thou make me be such a Rogue, my Dear?

Madamois.

Voilà un Vrai Anglois: il est Amoureux, et cependant il veut raisoner. Vat 'en au Diable.

Ras.

Hold once more: In hopes thou'lt give me up thy Body, I re­sign thee up my Soul.

Madamois.

Bon: eccute done: — if dou fail me — I never see dee more—

She takes him about the Neck, and gives him a smacking Kiss.

if dou obey me —

Ie m'abandonne à toy.

Exit Madamoiselle.
Ras. licking his Lips.

Not be a Rogue? — Amor Vineit omnia.

Exit Rasor.
[Page 70] Enter Lady Fancyfull and Madamoiselle.
Lady Fancy.

Marry, say ye? Will the two things marry?

Madamois.

On le va faire, Matam.

Lady Fancy.

Look you, Madamo selle, in short, I can't bear it — — No; I find I can't— If once I see 'em a-bed together, I shall have ten thousand Thoughts in my Head will make me run distracted. Therefore run and call Rasor back immediately, for something must be done to stop this Impertinent Wedding. If I can but deferr it four and twenty Hours, I'll make such work about Town, with that little pert Sluts Reputation. He shall as soon marry a Witch.

Madamois.
[aside.]

La Voilà bien intentionée.

Exeunt.
SCENE Constant's Lodgings.
Enter Constant and Heartfree.
Const.

But what dost think will come of this Business?

Heart.

'Tis easier to think what will not come on't.

Const.

What's that?

Heart.

A Challenge. I know the Knight too well for that. His dear Body will always prevail upon his noble Soul to be quiet.

Const.

But tho' he dare not challenge me, perhaps he may venture to challenge his Wife.

Heart.

Not if you whisper him in the Ear, you won't have him do't, and there's no other way left that I see. For as drunk as he was, he'll remember you and I were where we shou'd not be; and I don't think him quite Blockhead enough yet, to be perswaded we were got into his Wife's Closet, only to peep in her Prayer-book.

Enter Servant, with a Letter.
Servant.

Sir, Here's a Letter, a Porter brought it.

Const.

O ho, here's Instructions for us.

Reads.

The Accident that has happen'd has touch'd our Invention to the quick. We wou'd fain come off, without your help; but find that's impossible. In a word, the whole Business must be thrown upon a Matrimonial Intrigue, between your Friend [Page 71] and mine. But if the Parties are not fond enough, to go quite through with the Matter; 'tis sufficient for our turn, they own the Design. We'll find Pretences enough, to break the Match. Adieu.

— Well, Woman for Invention: How long wou'd my Blockhead have been a producing this.

— Hey, Heartfree; what, musing Man? Prithee be chearful. What say'st thou, Friend, to this Matrimonial Remedy?

Heart.

Why I say, it's worse than the Disease.

Const.

Here's a Fellow for you: There's Beauty and Money on her Side, and Love up to the Ears on his; and yet —

Heart.

And yet, I think, I may reasonably be allow'd to boggle at marrying the Neice, in the very Moment that you are a debauching the Aunt.

Const.

Why truly, there may be something in that. But have not you a good Opinion enough of your own Parts, to believe you cou'd keep a Wife to your self?

Heart.

I shou'd have, if I had a good Opinion enough of hers, to believe she cou'd do as much by me. For to do 'em Right, after all, the Wife seldom rambles, till the Husband shews her the way.

Const.

'Tis true; a Man of real Worth, scarce ever is a Cuckold, but by his own Fault▪ Women are not naturally lewd, there must be something to urge 'em to it. They'll cuckold a Churle, out of Revenge; A Fool, because they despise him; a Beast because they loath him. But when they make bold with a Man they once had a well grounded Va­lue for, 'tis because they first see themselves neglected by him.

Heart.

Nay, were I well assur'd, that I shou'd never grow Sir Iohn. I ne'er shou'd fear Bellinda [...]d play my Lady. But our Weakness, thou know'st, my Friend, consists in that very Change, we so impudently throw upon (indeed) a steadier and more generous Sex.

Const.

Why Faith we are a little Impudent in that Matter that's the Truth on't. But this is wonderful, to see you grown so warm an Advocate for those (but t'other Day) you took so much pains to abuse.

Heart.

All Revolutions run into Extreams, the Bigot makes the boldest Atheist; and the coyest Saint, the most extravagant Strumpet. But Prithee advise me in this good and Evil; this Life and Death, this Blessing and Cursing, that is set before me. Shall I marry — or die a Maid?

Const.

Why Faith, Heartfree, Matrimony is like an Army going to engage. Love's the forlorn Hope, which is soon cut off; the Marriage-Knot is the main Body, which may stand Buff a long long time; and [Page 72] Repentance is the Rear-Guard, which rarely gives ground, as long as the main Battle has a Being.

Heart.

Conclusion then; you advise me to whore on, as you do.

Const.

That's not concluded yet. For tho' Marriage be a Lottery in which there are a wondrous many Blanks; yet there is one inestimable Lot, in which the only Heaven on Earth is written. Wou'd your kind Fate but guide your Hand to that, though I were wrapt in all that Luxury it self cou'd cloath me with, I still shou'd envy you.

Heart.

And justly too: For to be capable of loving one, doubtless is better than to possess a Thousand. But how far that Capacity's in me, alas I know not.

Const.

But you wou'd know?

Heart.

I wou'd so.

Const.

Matrimony will inform you.

Come, one Flight of Resolution carries you to the Land of Experience; where, in a very moderate time, you'll know the Capacity of your Soul, and your Body both, or I'm mistaken.

Exeunt.
SCENE Sir John Brute's House.
Enter Lady Brute and Bellinda.
Bel.

Well, Madam, what Answer have you from 'em?

Lady B.

That they'll be here this Moment. I fansie 'twill end in a Wedding. I'm sure he's a Fool if it don't. Ten Thousand Pound, and such a Lass as you are, is no contemptible Offer to a younger Bro­ther. But are not you under strange Agitations? Prithee how do's your Pulse beat?

Bel.

High and low, I have much ado to be Valiant, feel very strange to go to Bed to a Man?

Lady B.

Um — it do's feel a little odd at first, but it will soon grow easy to you.

Enter Constant and Heartfree.
Lady B.

Good Morrow Gentlemen: How have you slept after your Adventure?

Heart.

Some careful Thoughts, Ladies, on your Accounts have kept us waking.

Bel.

And some careful Thoughts on your own, I believe, have hin­dred you from sleeping. Pray how do's this Matrimonial Project relish with you.

Heart.
[Page 73]

Why Faith e'en as storming Towns does with Soldiers, where the Hopes of delicious Plunder banishes the Fear of being knock'd on the Head.

Bel.

Is it then possible after all, That you dare think of down­right lawful Wedlock?

Heart.

Madam, you have made me so Fool-hardy, I dare do any thing.

Bel.

Then Sir, I challenge you; and Matrimony's the Spot where I expect you.

Heart.

'Tis enough; I'll not fail.

[Aside.]

So, Now I am in for Hobs's Voyage; a great Leap in the Dark.

Lady B.

Well, Gentlemen, this Matter being concluded then, have you got your Lessons ready? For Sir Iohn is grown such an Atheist of late, he'll believe nothing upon easie Terms.

Const.

We'll find ways to extend his Faith, Madam. But pray how do you find him this Morning?

Lady B.

Most lamentably morose, chewing the Cud after last Night's Discovery; of which however he had but a confus'd Notion e'en now. But I'm afraid his Vallet de Chamber has told him all, for they are very busie together at this Moment. When I told him of Bellinda's Marriage, I had no other Answer but a Grunt: From which, you may draw what Conclusions you think fit.

But to your Notes, Gentlemen, He's here.

Enter Sir John and Rasor.
Const.

Good Morrow, Sir.

Heart.

Good Morrow, Sir Iohn. I'm very sorry my Indiscretion shou'd cause so much Disorder in your Family.

Const.

Disorders generally come from Indiscretions, Sir, 'tis no strange thing at all.

Lady B.

I hope, my Dear, you are satisfied there was no wrong in­tended you.

Sir Iohn.

None, my Dove.

Bel.

If not, I hope my Consent to marry Mr. Heartfree will convince you. For as little as I know of Amours, Sir, I can assure you, one In­trigue is enough to bring four People together, without further mischief.

Sir Iohn.

And I know too, that Intrigues tends to Procreation of more kinds than one. One Intrigue will beget another as soon as beget a Son or a Daughter.

Const.

I am very sorry, Sir, to see you still seem unsatisfy'd with a Lady, whose more than common Vertue, I am sure, were she my Wife, shou'd meet a better Usage.

Sir Iohn.
[Page 74]

Sir, If her Conduct has put a trick upon her Vertue, her Vertue's the Bubble, but her Husband's the Loser.

Const.

Sir, You have receiv'd a sufficient Answer already, to justifie both her Conduct and mine. You'll pardon me for medling in your Family Affairs; but I perceive I am the Man you are jealous of, and therefore it concerns me.

Sir Iohn.

Wou'd it did not concern me, and then I shou'd not care who it concern'd.

Const.

Well, Sir, if Truth and Reason won't content you; I know but one way more, which, if you think fit, you may take.

Sir Iohn.

Lord, Sir, you are very hasty: If I had been found at Prayers in your Wife's Closet, I shou'd have allow'd you twice as much time to come to your self in.

Const.

Nay, Sir, if Time be all you want. We have no Quarrel.

Heart.

I told you how the Sword wou'd work

Sir John muzes.

upon him.

Const.

Let him muze; however, I'll lay Fifty Pound our Foreman brings us in, Not Guilty.

Sir Iohn.
[Aside.]

'Tis well — 'tis very well — In spight of that young Jade's Matrimonial Intrigue, I am a downright stinking Cuckold— Here they are — Boo —

Putting his Hand to his Forehead.

Methinks I could Butt with a Bull.

What the plague did I marry her for? I knew she did not like me; if she had, she wou'd have lain with me; for I wou'd have done so, because I lik'd her: But that's past, and I have her. And now, what shall I do with her — If I put my Horns in my Pocket, she'll grow Insolent. — If I don't; that Goat there, that Stallion, is ready to whip me through the Guts. — The Debate then is reduc'd to this; Shall I die a Heroe? or live a Rascal? — Why, Wiser Men than I, have long since concluded, that a living Dog is better than a dead Lion. —

[To Const. and Heart.]

Gentlemen, now my Wine and my Passion are governable, I must own, I have never observ'd any thing in my Wife's Course of Life, to back me in my Jealousie of her: but Jealousie's a mark of Love; so she need not trouble her head about it, as long as I [...]ake no more words on't.

Lady Fancyf. enters Disguis'd, and Addresses to Bellinda apart.
Const.

I am glad to see your Reason rule at last. Give me your Hand: I hope you'll look upon me as you are wont.

Sir Iohn.

Your humble Servant.

[Aside,]

A wheedling Son of a Whore.

Heart.

And that I may be sure you are Friends with me too, pray give me your Consent to wed your Niece.

Sir Iohn.

Sir, you have it with all my Heart: Damn me if you han't.

[Aside.]

'Tis time to get rid of her; A young Pert Pimp; She'll make an incomparable Bawd in a little time.

[Page 75] Enter a Servant, who gives Heartfree a Letter.
Bel.

Heartfree your Husband, say you? 'tis impossible.

Lady Fancy.

Wou'd to kind Heaven it were: but 'tis too true; and in the World there lives not such a Wretch. I'm young; and either I have been flatter'd by my Friends, as well as Glass, or Nature has been kind and generous to me. I had a Fortune too, was greater far than he could ever hope for. But with my Heart, I am robb'd of all the rest. I'm Slighted and I'm Beggar'd both at once. I have scarce a bare Subsistence from the Villain, yet dare complain to none; for he has sworn, if e'er 'tis known I am his Wife, he'll murder me.

Weeping.
Bel.

The Traytor.

Lady Fancy.

I accidentally was told he Courted you; Charity soon prevail'd upon me to prevent your Misery: And as you see, I'm still so generous even to him, as not to suffer he should do a thing, for which the Law might take away his Life.

Weeping.
Bel.

Poor Creature; how I pity her!

They continue talking aside.
Heart.
[Aside,]

Death and Damnation! — Let me read it again.

[Reads.]

Though I have a particular Reason, not to let you know who I am till I see you; yet you'll easily believe 'tis a faithful Friend that gives you this Advice. — I have lain with Bellinda. (Good.) — I have a Child by her, (Better and Better.) which is now at Nurse; (Heav'n be prais'd.) and I think the Foundation laid for another: (Ha! — Old Trupenny!) — No Rack could have tortur'd this Story from me; but Friendship has done it. I heard of your design to Marry her, and cou'd not see you Abus'd. Make use of my Advice, but keep my Secret till I ask you for't again. Adieu.

Exit Lady Fancyfull.
Const.
to B.

Come, Madam; Shall we send for the Parson? I doubt here's no business for the Lawyer: Younger Brothers have nothing to settle but their Hearts, and that I believe my Friend here has already done, very faithfully.

Bel.
[scornfully.]

Are you sure, Sir, there are no old Mortgages upon it.

Heart.
[coldly.]

If you think there are, Madam, it mayn't be amiss to deferr the Marriage till you are sure they are paid off.

Bel.
[Aside.]

How the Gall'd Horse Kicks!

[To Heart.]

We'll deferr it as long as you please, Sir.

Heart.

The more Time we take to consider on't, Madam, the less apt we shall be to commit Oversights; Therefore, if you please, we'll put it off, for just Nine Months.

Bell.

Guilty Consciences make Men Cowards: I don't wonder you want Time to Resolve.

Heart.

And they make Women Desperate: I don't wonder you were so quickly Determin'd.

Bel.

What does the Fellow mean?

Heart.
[Page 76]

What do's the Lady mean?

Sir Iohn.

Zoons, what do you both mean?

Heart. and Bel. walk chasing about.
Ras.
[Aside.]

Here is so much Sport going to be spoil'd, it makes me ready to weep again. A Pox o' this Impertinent Lady Fancyfull, and her Plots, and her French-woman too. She's a Whimsical, Ill-natur'd Bitch, and when I have got my Bones broke in her Service, 'tis Ten to One but my Recompence is a Clap; I hear 'em tittering without still. I Cod I'll e'en go lug 'em both in by the Ears, and Discover the Plot, to secure my Pardon.

Exit. Ras.
Const.

Prithee explain, Heartfree.

Heart.

A fair Deliverance; thank my Stars and my Friend.

Bel.

'Tis well it went no farther. A Base Fellow.

Lady B.

What can be the meaning of all this?

Bel.

What's his meaning, I don't know. But mine is; That if I had Married him—I had had no Husband.

Heart.

And what's her meaning, I don't know. But mine is; That if I had Married her—I had had Wife enough.

Sir Iohn.

Your People of Wit, have got such Cramp ways of expres­sing themselves, they seldom comprehend one another. Pox take you both, will you speak that you may be Understood.

Enter Rasor in Sackcloth, pulling in Lady Fancyf. and Madamois.
Ras.

If they won't, here comes an Interpreter.

Lady B.

Heavens, what have we here?

Ras.

A Villain, — but a Repenting Villain. Stuff which Saints in all Ages have been made of.

All.

Rasor.

Lady B.

What means this suddain Metamorphose?

Ras.

Nothing: without my Pardon.

Lady B.

What Pardon do you want?

Ras.

Imprimis, Your Ladiships; For a Damnable Lye made upon your Spotless Virtue, and set to the Tune of Spring-Garden.

[To Sir Iohn]

Next, At my Generous Master's Feet I bend, for Inter­rupting his more Noble Thoughts with Phantomes of Disgraceful Cuckoldom.

[To Const.]

Thirdly, I to this Gentleman apply, for making him the Hero of my Romance.

[To Heartf.]

Fourthly, Your Pardon, Noble Sir, I ask, for Clandestinely Marrying you, without either bidding of Banns; Bishop's Licence, Friends Consent — or your own Knowledge.

[To Bel.]

And lastly, to my good young Ladies Clemency I come, for pretending the Corn was sow'd in the Ground, before ever the Plough had been in the Field.

Sir Iohn.
[Page 77]
[aside.]

So that after all, 'tis a Moot Point, whether I am a Cuckold or not.

Bel.

Well Sir, upon Condition you confess all, I'll Pardon you my self, and try to obtain as much from the rest of the Company. But I must know then, who 'tis has put you upon all this Mischief?

Ras.

Sathan, and his Equipage. Woman tempted me, Lust weaken'd me;—And so the Devil overcame me: As fell Adam, so fell I.

Bel.

Then pray, Mr. Adam, will you make us acquainted with your Eve.

Ras.
to Madam.

Unmask, for the honour of France.

All.

Madamoiselle?

Madamois.

Me ask ten tousand Pardon of all de good Company.

Sir Iohn.

Why this Mystery thickens instead of clearing up.

[To Ras.]

You Son of a Whore you, put us out of our pain.

Ras.

One moment brings Sun-shine.

Shewing Madamois.

'Tis true; This is the Woman, that tempted me. But this is the Serpent, that tempted the Woman; And if my Prayers might be heard, her Punishment for so doing, shou'd be like the Ser­pent's of Old.

Pulls off Lady F's Mask.

She should lie upon her Face, all the days of her Life.

All.

Lady Fancyfull.

Bel.

Impertinent.

Lady B.

Ridiculous.

All.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Bel.

I hope your Ladiship will give me leave to wish you Joy, since you have own'd your Marriage your self.

Mr. Heartfree: I vow 'twas strangely wicked in you, to think of another VVife, when you had one already so Charming as her Ladiship.

All.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Lady F.
aside

Confusion seize 'em as it seizes me.

Madamois.

Que le Diable e toute ce Maraut de Rasor.

Bel.

Your Ladiship seems disorder'd: A Breeding Qualm, perhaps. Mr. Heartfree: Your Bottle of Hungry VVater to your Lady. Why Madam, he stands as Unconcern'd, as if he were your Husband in earnest

Lady Fancy.

Your Mirth's as nauseous as your self Bellinda.

You think you triumph o'er a Rival now.

Helas ma pauvre fill [...]. Where e'er I'm Rival, there's no cause for Mirth. No, my poor Wretch; 'tis from another Principle I have acted. I knew that thing there wou'd make so perverse a Husband, and you so impertinent a Wife; that left your mutual Plagues shou'd make you both run Mad, I charitably wou'd have broke the Match. He, he, he, he, he.

Exit laughing affectedly. Madamoiselle following her.
Madamois.
[Page 78]

He, he, he, he, he.

All.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Sir Iohn.
[aside.]

Why now this Woman will be married to some­body too.

Bel.

Poor Creature, what a Passion she's in: But I forgive her.

Heart.

Since you have so much goodness for her, I hope you'll Par­don my Offence too, Madam.

Bel.

There will be no great difficulty in that, since I am guilty of an equal Fault.

Heart.

Then Pardons being past on all Sides, Pray let's to Church to conclude the Day's Work.

Const.

But before you go, let me treat you pray with a Song, a new married Lady made within this Week; it may be of use to you both.

SONG.
1.
WHen yeilding first to Damon's flame
I sunk into his Arms,
He swore he'd ever be the same,
Then rif [...]'d all my Charms.
But fond of what h'ad long desir'd,
Too greedy of his Prey,
My Shepherds flame, alas, expir'd
Before the Virge of Day.
2.
My Innocence in Lovers Wars,
Reproach'd his quick defeat.
Confus'd, Asham'd, and Bath'd in Tears,
I mourn'd his Cold Retreat.
At length, Ah Shepherdess, cry'd he,
Wou'd you my Fire renew,
Alas you must retreat like me,
I'm lost if you pursue.
Heart.

So Madam; Now had the Parson but done his Business—

Bel.

You'd be half weary of your Bargain.

Heart.

No sure, I might dispense with one Night's Lodging.

Bel.

I'm ready to try, Sir.

Heart.
Then Let's to Church:
And if it be our Chance, to disagree, —
Bel.

Take heed:—The surly Husband's Fate you see.

FINIS.

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