Series Five: Drama No. 2
Henry Nevil Payne, The Fatal Jealousie (1673)
With an Introduction by Willard Thorp
The Augustan Reprint Society November, 1948 Price One Dollar
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RICHARD C. BOYS, University of Michigan EDWARD NILES HOOKER, University of California, Los Angeles H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., University of California, Los Angeles
W. EARL BRITTON, University of Michigan
EMMETT L. AVERY, State College of Washington BENJAMIN BOYCE, University of Nebraska LOUIS I. BREDVOLD, University of Michigan CLEANTH BROOKS, Yale University JAMES L. CLIFFORD, Columbia University ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, University of Chicago SAMUEL H. MONK, University of Minnesota ERNEST MOSSNER, University of Texas JAMES SUTHERLAND, Queen Mary College, London
Lithoprinted from copy supplied by author by Edwards Brothers, Inc. Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A. 1949
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None of Henry Nevil Payne's plays, The Fatal Jealousie (1673), The Morning Ramble (1673), The Siege of Constantinople (1675), bears his name on the title-page. Plenty of external evidence exists, however, to prove his claim to them. John Downes, in Roscius Anglicanus (1708), has this to say: "Loves Jealousy [i.e. The Fatal Jealousy], and The Morning Ramble. Written by Mr. Nevil Pain. Both were very well Acted, but after their first run, were laid aside, to make Room for others; the Company having then plenty of new Poets" (ed. Montague Summers, London, n.d., pp. 33-34). "After the Tempest, came the Siege of Constantinople, Wrote by Mr. Nevill Pain" (ibid., p. 35). Langbaine's An Account of the English Dramatick Poets (1691) gives no author for The Siege of Constantinople, but says of The Fatal Jealousy that it is "ascribed by some to Mr. Pane" (p. 531) and of The Morning Ramble that this "Play is said to be written by One Mr. Pane, and may be accounted a good Comedy" (p. 541).
We do not have to depend on the early historians of the English drama for certain knowledge that Payne was for a time a dramatist. Though his brief excursion into the theater must later have seemed to him a minor episode in his life, Payne's enemies were aware of the fact that he was a playwright and have written their knowledge into the record of his treasonable activities. For example, the author of a burlesque life of Payne, which contains, so far as I know, the only connected account of his activities, makes this useful remark: "Then [after his return from Ireland in 1672] he composes a Tragedy of a certain Emperour of Constantinople, whom he never knew; but in whose person he vilifies a certain Prince [Charles II], whom he very well knows" (Modesty Triumphing over Impudence ... 1680, pp. 18-19).
As an agent of the Catholic party, Payne had excellent reasons for wishing to keep his affairs well veiled. What we know of his life has had to be pieced together from information found in state papers, court records, and "histories" of the branches of the damnable Popish plots.* The date of his birth is not known, nor of his death, unless Summers was correct in giving it (without supporting evidence) as 1710 (The Works of Aphra Behn, 1915, V, 519).
[Footnote: For this biographical sketch of Payne I have drawn on my "Henry Nevil Payne, Dramatist and Jacobite Conspirator," published in The Parrott Presentation Volume, Princeton, 1935, pp. 347-381.]
Payne's first opportunity to serve the Catholic party came, apparently, in 1670, when he went to Ireland in the employ of Sir Elisha Leighton, who was private secretary to the new lord lieutenant, Lord Berkeley. By April 1672 Berkeley's pro-Catholic rule had so alienated the city council of Dublin that he was ordered to return to England and the Earl of Essex was sent out in his place. From Essex we learn that Payne was deeply involved in the machinations of Berkeley and that he continued to stir up trouble in Ireland even after his return to England.
Back in England, possibly by mid-May, 1672, Payne must have plunged at once into work for the theater. The Fatal Jealousy was performed at the Duke's Theatre in Dorset Garden in August 1672 and The Morning Ramble was shown at the same theater three months later. Both plays were performed before the King (Allerdyce Nicoll, A History of Restoration Drama, 1923, p. 309). Payne's third and last play, The Siege of Constantinople, which reached the stage in November 1674, is of particular interest in view of his long association with the cause of James, Duke of York. Payne found his plot in the General Historie of the Turkes by Knolles, but he altered history to produce a work which would compliment James. It is significant that there is no prototype in Knolles for Thomazo (James), the brother of the last Christian emperor of Constantinople (Charles). At the end of the play the Turks conquer the city (sc., the Dutch and London) and the Emperor is slain. Here was a warning to Englishmen of what would happen if their double-dealing "Lord Chancellor" (Shaftesbury)—the villain of the piece—were to succeed in alienating the two royal brothers.
During the years 1678-1680 Payne's name dodges in and out of the thousands of words written about the Popish plot. He was pretty certainly a friend of Edward Coleman (Secretary to the Duchess of York) who was executed for treason in December, 1678. After a hearing before the Privy Council, Payne was held over for trial and imprisoned in the King's Bench. Confinement did not in the least hinder him from giving aid to the Catholic party in organizing its counter-attack. According to Mr. Tho. Dangerfields Particular Narrative (1679) he was one of the chief devisers of the Presbyterian Plot and, as "chief Pen-man" for the Catholics, the author of several "scandalous books" about their enemies. Payne was again before the Privy Council in November 1679, but eventually all the principals in the Catholic plots to discredit the government were released.
After the accession of James II Payne kept more respectable company. References to him during these years say nothing about any work for the theater, but his pen was still busy—from 1685 to 1687 in the cause of religious toleration. In 1685 the Duke of Buckingham published A Short Discourse upon the Reasonableness of Men's having a Religion or Worship of God. A portion of this pamphlet had been written as a letter to Payne. When Buckingham's work brought on a pamphlet war, Payne (together with William Penn) rushed to his defence. The debate grew hotter when James made the first Declaration of Indulgence in April 1687. Payne was one of the chief controversialists in the war of words that followed. Another literary friend of these years, and an extravagant admirer of his devotion to the Stuarts, was Aphra Behn. She dedicated her Fair Jilt to Payne in 1688 in terms which suggest that he had favored her in tangible ways.
With the deposition of James, the years of Payne's greatest activity begin. The story of his life for the next twelve years is intricate and exciting, for he has now moved out of the company of writers into the dark world of secret agents and prison-guards. Though he was confined in the Fleet by January 1688/89, Payne went boldly ahead with plans for what would be the first Jacobite conspiracy, the Montgomery Plot. By some means he contrived to escape to Scotland, where his plans had, of course, more fertile soil in which to grow. Once more in custody, he was moved from one prison to another, but the Privy Council was incapable of persuading the Scottish authorities to "put the rogue to it." As more and more evidence came out showing how deeply involved Payne was in the Montgomery Plot, the Scottish Privy Council finally was prevailed upon to put Payne to the torture. On Dec. 10, 1690, he bore the pain of two hours under thumb and leg screws with such fortitude that some of the Councilors were "brangled" and believed that his denials must be the words of an honest man. The Earl of Crawford, one of the witnesses to this, the last occasion in Britain in which a political prisoner was tortured, was so moved that he reported to the Earl of Melville that such manly resolution could come only from a deep religious fervor: "[Payne] did conceive he was acting a thing not only generous towards his friends and accomplices, but likewise so meritorious, that he would thereby save his soule, and be canoniz'd among the saints" (Letters ... to George Earl of Melville, Bannatyne Club, 1843, pp. 582-3).
For nearly eleven years more Payne was moved from one Scottish prison to another, while the Scottish Privy Council sought to turn him over to the English and the Privy Council in London endeavored to force him to trial in Scotland. The truth is that Jacobitism was so rife in high places that they whose duty it would be to prosecute him feared what might happen if he were brought to the bar.
Finally, in February 1700/01, Payne was released. He made his way to the Stuart court at St. Germain, whose incorruptible secret agent he had been for twelve years. It was fitting that the last information we have of him during his life is derived from his "Brief memorial by way of preface to some proposals for your Majesty's service," a detailed letter of advice instructing the exiled king how he might yet recapture his throne (printed in Original Papers; containing the Secret History of Great Britain, 1775, I, 602-5). When last heard from, Payne had yet another conspiracy planned and ripened, to submit to his sovereign's approval.
Payne's Fatal Jealousy has intrinsic merit. If he had written more works for the theater, he might have been remembered with Southerne and possibly with Otway. But for the scholar this tragedy will be chiefly interesting for the Shakespearean influences to be found in it. Evidently Payne held Shakespeare in great reverence, and the result is that The Fatal Jealousy is one of the earliest examples of the return to the Shakespearean norm in tragedy after the interlude of the heroic play. Payne ridicules the love and honor theme in The Morning Ramble where he makes Rose say (p. 54):
Love and Honour are the two great Wheels, on which all business moves. The Tradesman cheats you upon his Honour, and like a Lord swears by that, but that he particularly loves you, you should not have it so. No Tragedy, Comedy, Farse, Demi-Farse, or Song nowadayes, but is full of Love and Honour: Your Coffee-drinking Crop-ear'd Little Banded-Secretary, that pretends not to know more of Honour than it's Name, will out of abundance of Love be still sighing and groaning for the Honour of the Nation.
The speaker of the Epilogue to The Fatal Jealousy pointedly reminds the audience that they have listened to a genuine tragedy and not to an heroic play. Its author has not relied on the "rules of art," but hopes he may have succeeded by some "Trick of Nature."
Most obvious of the Shakespearean influences is the jealousy theme in which Don Antonio is modelled on Othello, Caelia on Desdemona, and Jasper on Iago. My colleague, Professor E.L. Hubler, who has a vast deal of the Shakespearean text in his memory, finds twenty-two possible echoes or parallels. Of these we agree that at least fourteen are certain. The influences strike in most impressively from Othello, Hamlet, Much Ado, Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Tempest. Let me cite two or three unmistakable echoes. Jasper's manner of arousing Antonio's jealousy (pp. 17-19) and even his words recall Iago's mental torturing of the Moor in Othello, III, 3. Throughout Gerardo's soliloquy on death, at the opening of Act III, there is continuous reference to Hamlet's "To be or not to be." The antecedent of "madness methodiz'd" (p. 35) is easily spotted, as is the parallel between Flora's dream (p. 63) which will not leave her head and the song that will not go from Desdemona's mind. So far as I can discover, the seekers for Shakespearean allusions in seventeenth-century writing have not located this rich mine.
It is to be regretted that when The Fatal Jealousy came to the stage the company had, as Downes says, "plenty of new poets," and so the play was laid aside after the first run. The performance must have been brilliant. The greatest of Restoration stage villains, Sandford, played Jasper. The parts of Caelia, Eugenia, and the Witch were taken by veteran actors. "Mr. Nath. Leigh" made his second appearance on the stage in this performance as Captain of the Watch. The lecherous Nurse to Caelia was played by the famous Nokes whose sobriquet of "Nurse Nokes" may have come to him with this role rather than from the part he took, seven years later, in Otway's Caius Marius.
The text of The Fatal Jealousy presents no special difficulties. Such slight variations as I have found among the eleven copies I have examined—chiefly dropped letters and the imperfect impression of some words—can be accounted for as accidents to be expected in the printing off of the sheets of a single edition. There seems to be no significance in the fact that the title-page in some copies shows an ornament placed between the second rule and the word London.
The copy of the play here reproduced is owned by the University of Michigan, and is reprinted by permission.
WILLARD THORP Princeton University
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The Fatal Jealousie.
Acted at the Duke's Theatre. Licensed Novemb. 22, 1672. Roger L'Estrange.
Printed for Thomas Dring, at the White Lyon, next Chancery-Lane end in Fleet-street. 1673.
The Actors Names.
Don Antonio. A Jealous Lord. Mr. Smith. Don Gerardo. Friend to Antonio. Mr. Medburn. Don Francisco. A Young Lord. Mr. Young. Don Sebastian. Friend to Francisco. Mr. Crosby. Jasper. A Villain. Servant to Antonio. Mr. Sandford. Pedro. Servant to Antonio. Mr. Burford. Servant To Gerardo. Mr. Norris. Captain of the Watch. Mr. Nath. Leigh. Souldiers.
Caelia. Wife to Antonio. Mrs. Shadwel. Eugenia. Sister to Caelia. Mrs. Betterton. Flora. Waiting Woman to Caelia. Mrs. Osborn. Nurse To Caelia. Mr. Nokes. Witch. Aunt to Jasper. Mrs. Norris. Spirits. Gipsies.
By Mr. Smith.
_To you, great Sovereign Wits, that have such sway, Without Controul to save, or damn a Play; That with a pish, my Anthony, or so, Can the best Rally'd sence at once or'e throw; And by this pow'r, that none must question now, Have made the most Rebellious Writers bow, Our Author, here his low Submission brings, Begging your pass, calls you the Stages Kings; He sayes, nay, on a Play-Book, swears it too, Your pox uppo'nt damn it, what's here to do? Your nods, your winks, nay, your least signs of Wit, Are truer Reason than e're Poet writ, And he observes do much more sway the Pit. For sitting there h' has seen the lesser gang Of Callow Criticks down their heads to bang; Lending long Ears to all that you should say, So understand, yet never hear the Play: Then in the Tavern swear their time they've lost, And Curse the Poet put e'm to that cost. And if one would their just Exceptions know, They heard such, such, or such a one say so; And thus in time by your dislikes they rise, To be thought Judges, though indeed but spyes. This is not fair your Subjects to betray To those that strive to Rival you in sway; That will in time by your expence of wit, Usurp or'e us, and your successors sit. These and some other dangers to remove, We beg that though this Play you disapprove, Say nothing of it here, and when you're gone, We give that leave you'le take to cry it down; Thus you preserve your pow'r, and we shall be From Fopps, and Demi-Criticks Censure free.
Subdu'd by force, we Tyrants thus obey, But Ladys, you like lawful Monarches sway, You Rule by Love, and Pardon faults with ease, In Subjects that do all they can to please. By faction they condemn, you by our Peers, And he is guilty sure such Trial fears: And though our Author pleads not guilty now. And to his Tryal stands, he hopes that you, Will not too strictly his accusers hear, For if this Play can draw from you a Tear, He'l slight the Wits, Half-Wits, and Criticks too; And Judge his strength by his well pleasing you_.
The Fatal Jealousie.
Act the First. Scene the First.
The Curtain drawn Discovers Don Antonio and Caelia in Morning-Gowns. Chamber and Bed.
Cael. My Lord, you well may blame my conduct of that bus'ness, Since it produc'd such dismal Accidents, As my heart trembles but to think upon; Yet for Don Lewis's Innocence and mine, In the contrivance of that Fatal Meeting; I must for ever, during Life, be Champion. And, as he with his dying breath protested, He ne're meant wrong to you; so am I ready To dye a Martyr to my Innocence.
Anto. Come, come, these are but wyles to Palliate things, Can you believe me stupid, or an Ass? To think my Wife should meet a Man i' th' Night; Nay, more; a Man that was my seeming Friend; Yet taken in at Window privately! Nay, which was most, stay with him two full hours, And in a Room made proper by a Bed, And yet not Cuckold me; the thing's too plain, I do not doubt the deed, which Iv'e Reveng'd In part, by killing him: No, I am mad, That you should think so meanly still of me, As to hope time may alter my belief; Which is by such unerring Reasons fixt: Or else that you suspect my Truth, when I have sworn By all things sacred; nay upon my Honour (Which I am so Jealous of) that if you would Relate the truth of your so close amours, I from my memory would blot it all, And look on you at worst, but as the Widdow Of your dead Couzen Lewis.
Cael. Good my Lord, Forbear to use these killing Arguments, Which every moment give me many Deaths, Rather be like your self, that's Gen'rous, And kill me once for all; torment me not By giving no belief, either to Vows Or Actions that have spoke my Innocence: Reflect (my Lord) on the unwearied pains Iv'e took to gain your pardon for his Death. Think with what patience I've suffer'd still Your often starts of Passion, which sometimes Have ne're produc'd th' effects of Cruelty. And without boast, my Lord, you well do know My Friends were much too strong for yours at Court, Then had I but made known your severe Carriage, Or suffer'd your surprizal—'tis too plain; Yoor Life had been a forfeit to the Law. And were I but the wanton Wife you think me, What wou'd more welcome be then that Revenge— Here on my knees I beg again, my Lord, You would perswade your self, that what I told you Was cause of that close meeting, was so truly, And no invention; and as this Day Began our Nuptial Joys, so let it end Our Marriage Discords; then shall I have cause To keep it Annually a Festival; In thanks to Heav'n for two such mighty Blessings.
Anto. Caelia, stand up, I will perswade my self. By this —— I will as much, as e're I can, [Kisses her. That thou art Innocent, for if thou bee'st not, What Woman in the World ought to be thought so? But prethee be discreet, mannage thy Actions With strictest Rules of Prudence, for if not, Like to a Bow or'e-bent, I shall start back, And break with passion on thee: wilt thou be careful?
Cael. Oh! I am paid for all my sufferings, This kindness does or'e-joy me, which, my Lord, Let me for ever lose when any Act Of mine, shall justly make a forfeit of it.
Flor. My Lord, here's Don Gerardo come to see you.
Anto. Admit him in.
Cael. I will retire, my Lord.
Anto. You need not, Caelia. [Enter Gerardo. Welcome, Gerardo, this is like a Friend, That name should know no Ceremonious Laws, Let them make formal Visits that maintain, As formal Friendships; ours is try'd and true.
Gerar. This, as I take it, was your Wedding-day, At which (your pardon, Madam, for a truth.) I was a Jealous waiter; your great worth Made me to fear I then had lost a Friend, And in that room should an acquaintance find.
Cael. But now, my Lord, you see how you mistook, I was a Rival to his Mistresses, But to his Friends, one to increase their number.
Ger. I find the truth so great, I wish you may Live long and happy to possess that place; Yet I'le confess I did not lose my fears, Till my dear Friend was pleas'd to use my Sword, As Second, in the Quarrel with your Kinsman, The Unfortunate Don Lewis; and I protest Such Joy I met to be employ'd by him, That I ne're sought to know what caus'd the quarrel.
Cael. My Lord, I beg your pardon, I have some little bus'ness in my Closet Which forces me retire.
Ger. Your Lady looks as if she were displeas'd.
Anto. That Kinsman whom I slew is never nam'd, But if she hears it she avoids the place.
Ger. I'm troubled much to be th' occasion now.
Anto. No matter, Friend, she only knows the cause, Why from such Friendship we grew Enemies, And there is reason why she should be griev'd.
Ger. That sudden and so secret Quarrel Did much amaze all Naples; And I (as Actor in it) often have been prest To tell the cause, which yet I never could.
Anto. No, Friend, nor never must: The Gen'rous Lewis; so I'le call him now, Since he so bravely dy'd, was alwayes just During that little time he breath'd this Air; After his mortal Wound, for he Related A Story of it fitted us for pardon: Yet never told that Secret, only known On Earth, to him, to Caelia and my self.
Ger. I'me not inquisitive, nor never was, There may be secrets fit for no Mans hearing. And 'tis an Act of Friendship full as great To tell a Friend I hide a secret from him, As to Relate it, since they both shew Candor—
Anto. Happy Antonio, in a Friend so just!
Ger. Happy Gerardo, rather, that can say He's sure he has a Friend, that dares employ him; For confidence in Friends makes Friendship sure.
Anto. And dearest Friend, I'le not doubt yours so much, To think you would not use this Life of mine, As 'twere your own in any thing concerns you.
Ger. Ne're doubt it, Friend, I soon shall find occasion Boldly to use the power, and to speak truth; My coming now was chiefly to that purpose; Though I intended to spend this day too In Recreation with you, and to see you Bedded, Like a new Bride and Bride-groom, Then wishing you long: long and lasting Joys, Retire, and wish to Copy out your Life.
Anto. Has Don Gerardo Service for Antonio, His own Antonio and yet defers to name it? Speak your Commands, that I as swift may flye To put 'em into Action as I did At first to meet those pleasures Lovers long for.
Ger. My fears perswade me I shall speak too soon, Yet dress your self, and come into the Garden, I with impatience there will wait to tell you.
Anto. Go then, you shall not long be silent. [Ex. Gerardo. Who waits there? [Enter Pedro, and Exit. Pedro, call my Wife— My Wife, said I! Gerardo, didst thou know The secret fears contain'd within this Bosome, Thou'dst sooner pitty me, than wish my Life: How can I think her story of the Jewels, And other matters 'bout her Fathers Will, Could have produc'd so scandalous a Meeting? And yet she still avows it! Oh, Jealousie! Where will these panting fears still hurry me? I hourly seek to find what I wou'd give, A thousand Worlds my heart would ne're believe; And yet for what do I thus vex my self? For that, which if 'twas gone, I cou'd not miss; No, would I could, for then I'de never fear, But when I found her Honour gone astray, I'd send her Life to fetch mine back again.
Cael. What's your Command, my Lord?
Anto. Prethee, my Dear, do not retire too much, But shew a merry freedom to our Friends, That they may think us happy, themselves welcome.
Cael. My Lord, I shall, and reason have to do it; But I desire you would dispence my absence, Only a little time, I being preparing A general Confession I shall make to Morrow.
Anto. You'l be too long about it.
Cael. No, my Lord, I take the shortest way In writing what my thoughts can re-collect.
Ant. You would not let me read it, when y'have done?
Cael. I do confess I should be loath, my Lord. But yet from any Sin concerns your self, I am as free as are the purer Angels, Or may I find no profit by my Prayers.
Anto. I will believe thee; go, make haste and do it. [Ex. Caelia. Yet, if't be possible, I'm resolv'd to see it; 'Twill Cure my fears, perhaps, or change their Natures, And make 'em certainties the lesser evil cause sooner Cur'd: For Jealousies with fear doth plague the mind, But that is Cur'd when certainties we find. [Ex. Anto.
The Scene changes, Discovers Jasper, as from Bed, Buttoning himself.
Jasp. Oh, plague o'this Old Bitch, she has kept me So awake with her Coughing all Night, that I Have quite out-slept my self. [Looks on's Watch. By Heav'n near Ten a Clock, and she not gone Yet—plague on her—she'l be catch'd, and I shall Be turn'd away—why Nurse—make haste, 'tis Ten a Clock and past, you will be wanting.
Nurse within. That cannot be, alas, the times but short That I've been with thee, my Dear.
Jasp. No, perhaps you think so; But let me ever want money to drink, If I have not thought the time longer Then her Life has been, and that began beyond the mem'ry Of man. What drudgery am I forc'd to undergo to Get a little money to support me—that I may Live to Watch all apted times for my Revenge on this whole Family, who Rise upon the Ruines of our House. This Nurse of Ninety never stayes with me but I'de as live have been Rid by a Night-Mare.
Nurse. What's that, Night-Mare? Am I a Night-Mare?
Jasp. No, Nurse, I said, I was troubl'd with a Night-Mare, And should be worse, were it not for thy Company.
Nurse. Nay, I am good Friend of thine every way.
Jasp. That's true; but Nurse make haste, for I am Damnably afraid Flora suspects us e're since She took me in your Chamber, and if she shou'd Take you here, and tell my Lady, I should be turn'd Away, for you know she loves me not e're since I Gave my Lord notice of her meeting Don Lewis, To give him the money and Jewels, her Father Left privately in her hands for him when he dy'd.
Nurse. I Chuck, but why didst thou do so?
Jasp. In hopes to have got some of the money for my Discovery, what made her tempt me with the Trust of money, and give me none to keep Counsel. But prethee Nurse be gone.
Nurse. I, give me but one buss, and I will. [Kisses him, and is going.
Jasp. What a belch was there to perfume it?
[She comes back.
Nurse. Sweet Rogue, I cannot go without the other kiss.
Jasp. Oh, Nurse! you will undo me; prethee no more.
Nurse. What, Rascal, slight my favours? you shall repent it.
Jasp. No, Nurse, think not so, but—
Flora within. Why, Nurse, Nurse, my Lady wants you; come away there, I know where you have been all Night.
Jasp. Why, there 'tis—this is what I fear'd, I am undone, A plague of Cubbard Love—step into the Closet.
Nurse. What's that you say, Cubbard Love?
Jasp. No, no, prethee no Arguments, but step into the Closet.
Flora within. Why, Nurse, I say! why don't you come away? My Lady wants you.
[Jasper goes to the Door.
Jasp. Flora, what's the matter with you? Nurse is not here; Do but come in and see.
Flor. Come, come, she must be here; for she was not in her own Bed to Night, and where should She be, but with you?
Jasp. With me! what the Devil should she do with me? Can't her Old Chopps mumble her Beads o're, but I Must keep count of her Pater Nosters: No, no, she's Gon on Pilgrimage to some Shrine, to beg Children For my Lady; 'tis a devout Old Woman.
Flor. Devout! I, her Devotion and yours are much alike, The Fit ne're took you but once in your Lives, and Then, 'tis true you wept at Prayers, that was, at your Own Christnings.
Jasp. Prethee more Charity, sweet dear Flora; come, let Me kiss thee.
Flor. Pray forbear, I'de sooner kiss a Horse.
Jasp. Why so scornful, dear Flora?
Flor. That's not my bus'ness; come, tell me, where's the Nurse?
Jasp. Prethee, why dost ask me for the Nurse? Dost think I am so hot to make Love to a Monument? Why, she's Old enough to be Mother of all Mankind; her skin's Turn'd to parchment, he that should enjoy her, had as Good lye with a bundle of Old Records. In truth, she's Fit for nothing now, but to be hang'd up amongst the Monsters in a 'Pothecaries Shop, where, with abuse to The Beast, she would be taken for a large Apes skin stufft With Hay. Ah, Flora, if she were as Young as thou art, then't might be likely, I might find her when she was lost.
Flor. Well, if she be not here now, I'm sure it was not for Nothing you once lost your way into her Chamber, And staid all Night.
Jasp. Meer Drunkenness, by this Light, Flora! Why, if it had Been a Vault full of Dead Carkasses, I should have slipt Into it in the pickle I was in—Nay, for ought I know, With more pleasure too.
Nurse. Now out upon you for a Rogue, There's no enduring this.
Jasp. Do but hear me, Nurse.
Flor. Ay, hear him, Nurse, he'l be sure to recant and Swear you're as sweet as—a—fogh—so sweet—
Nurse. What, Hussy, dare you abuse me—I that gave suck To my Lady before thou wast born—you Young Whore.
Flor. Young Whore! why not Old Whore, Nurse, as well as Young Whore?
Nurse. You damn'd Young Slut, I'le tear out your Eyes.
Flor. My Feet shall save my Eyes, except you can out-run Me to my Lady.
Jasp. Have not you made fine work now? I but dissembled To take off suspition—and you must shew your self, I'm sure I shall be turn'd away for your folly.
Nurse. But dissembled, said you? Marry, there's dissembling indeed.
Jasp. Nay, Nurse, consider, dost think I would have spoke so In thy hearing, had it been for any other thing? But Prethee kiss me—I protest thou'rt as sweet as Arsifettito.
Nurse. Arsifettito! What's that?
Jasp. A Rich perfume the Chymists make, and good against Fits o' th' Mother. But what shall I do now? I shall Be turn'd away.
Nurse. I'le warrant thee, I'le place thee with Eugenia, she Shall take care of thee for mine and a Friends sake Of hers.
Jasp. Ay, ay, that's Francisco; but you have promis'd me Often to tell me a secret concerns them; prethee Do't now, Nurse.
Nurse. But will you ne're speak on't? If you do, I shall Get no more money for thee, Jasper; that's the way, I get all, Chuck; no, no, no matter what's between them, Trust thou to me.
Jasp. Well, Nurse, I thought you had Lov'd me, but I see You do not; you know I can keep secrets.
Nurse. Ay, but this is such a one I dare not tell it; besides, It was not Eugenias fault at first—alas, poor Fool, she was in a sad taking, when she found Her Couzen Francisco in Bed with her.
Jasp. In Bed, sayst thou?
Nurse. Lord bless me! what have I done? If you should Tell now.
Jasp. Ne're fear it, tell me all: I would not for the World have mist this Story, it makes a full amends For all my Crosses; come, Nurse, prethee quickly Tell me all passages.
Nurse. I tell no more, my mind misgives me I've said Too much already.
Jasp. Not tell me more, Old Beldame? Speak it quickly, Or what I know shall soon unto my Lord.
Nurse. How now! Is this dissembling too?
Jasp. No, 'tis as great a truth as what you told me of, Don Francisco's Bedding with Eugenia; tell me the Rest, and by it save your Life.
Nurse. Dear Jasper, be not angry, and I will.
Jasp. Come, Nurse, do it, and then we'l kiss and be Friends. I shall have use of her. [Aside.
Nurse. Now thou shalt have my heart; and thus it is: Don Francisco doth often meet Eugenia i'th' Garden, who, to avoid suspition, after her Sisters In Bed, by my means gets her Night-Gown, and Puts it on so to avoid being known, shou'd any see her.
Jasp. Oh, Excellent! when do they meet again?
Nurse. I've promis'd him this Night, though she was loath, Till I told her he would but take his leave, for she's Grown a little backward, now she's to marry Don Gerardo.
Jasp. Is she to marry him, sayst thou?
Nurse. I, sure, for he makes Love to her, and she's so hot Upon't, that she vows after this Night never to meet Francisco any more; but I'le go Live with her, And so shalt thou.
Jasp. Ay, so I will—i'th' Garden, sayst thou, and in her Sisters Gown, no body with them!
Nurse Yes, the Lord Sebastian, he knows all, and alwayes Waits upon 'em.
Jasp. That's well, keep thou the secret close, and ne're fear me; But if my Lord should ask suspitiously questions About his Wife—name Pedro to him, say, when he's From Home, that Fellow stayes too long within her Chamber, and say, that Flora waits; leave me to prove It true.
Nurse. Why, 'tis not so, I dare not tell my Lord so damn'd a Lye.
Jasp. Why? Y'are a Fool, there shall no hurt come of it, Only we'l be Reveng'd of Pedro, and that Slut, for They're our Enemies; besides, if you won't, I'le swear You told me so, and moreover, let him know all the Rest y'have told me.
Nurse. Nay, don't be angry, and I'le do any thing.
Enter Caelia, Pedro, and Flora.
Cael. Oh, thou Old doting Fool! what, still remain here! What punishment is proper for thy Age? As for you, Sirrah, I believe my Lord will find a way quickly to Send you packing.
Jasp. It may be so, but 'tis without a cause.
Cael. Impudent Villain! how I do hate thy sight. Follow you me. [To Nurse.]
[Ex. Cael. Nurse, & Flora.
Ped. What, i'th' dumps, Seignior! all a mort for your Mistress, faith man, take it not so to heart, there are others I'th' World as Young, though few may be as handsome.
Jasp. Ay, Sir, 'tis to be suppos'd; you can boast it by Experience, There are Young Ladies for spruce Pedro's—Jasper— Must be content with their Nurses.
Ped. Content, say you? I, Marry, if she content you not, the Devil can't; why, she's a Dish of variety, like a huge Olio; there's all Ages of Women in her. Thou art The happiest man in a Mistress, Jasper—faith, I envy thee.
Jasp. 'Tis very well.
Ped. Not too well neither.
Jasp. You may laugh; you stand on the top of Favour, Have a care of falling down, I may catch you One day.
Ped. No, never with an Old Woman; it's worse then Committing Incest; to Cuckold, for ought I know, a dozen Generations.
Jasp. Rest you merry, I can leave you.
Ped. But I'le not quit you so.
Enter Antonio and Gerardo Discoursing.
Ger. In this dear Friend, consists my happiness; Therefore deny me not—Why pause you, Sir? My fears are come about—
Anto. What, hath Eugenia given her consent?
Ger. I say not so, my Lord, but her denyals Were spoke so faintly, I Interpret well.
Anto. Dear Friend, I am afraid you do mistake The Object of your Joyes, let me perswade You to believe, there's not that happiness In Marriage-Beds, as single People guess, No, no, so far from that, that thousands be Flatter'd by hopes to endless misery. And where there's two obtain their hearts desire, Ten thousand miss it, and in grief expire.
Ger. Were these Positions true, there's no man, sure, If Widdowed once, could other Wives endure. And yet we see the first depriv'd of Life, There's few that seek not for a second Wife.
Anto. 'Tis true, though strange, but yet our minds are such, As alwayes find too little, or too much; Desire's a Monster, whose extended Maw Is never fill'd, tho' it doth all things draw: For we with envious Eyes do others see, Who want our ills, and think they happy be, Till we possessing what we wish'd before, Find our ills doubl'd, and so wish for more.
Ger. Suppose all true which you wou'd have me fear, Ills in possession still the greatest are: And my desires to such a height do rise, T' attain their ends, I shou'd all else despise.
Anto. Since y'are resolv'd, I'le not your ends deny, But pray my words prove false when e're you try; Though well they speak, who say the damned State, Chiefly consists in wishing things too late: Eugenia's Father left her to my care, Which trust to end so well I did despair: Then name the day of Marriage—
Ger. No delay My thoughts admit; I wish it were to day.
Anto. That cannot be, to Morrow I approve.
Ger. Time will flye slow, though Impt with wings of Love.
Enter Caelia and Eugenia.
Cael. My Lord, I beg your pardon for a short interruption.
Ger. Madam, 'tis I have cause to beg your pardon, Thus to detain your Lord, on's Wedding-day, A Day in Justice should be wholly yours.
Cael. My Lord is happy so to be detain'd And I am alwayes happy when he's so. But good, my Lord, your Ear—
Whispers Anto. he takes a paper privately out of her pocket.
Ger. Madam, if you repent not what y'have said, In answer to those Vows of my Affection, I then dare hope I may in time be happy.
Eugen. Tho' I ne're thought your words were further means, Then to pass time away in Raillery; Yet were my Answers such, as if you had Told me a real Story of your Love: And the same Answers I'le again renew; My Will's confin'd; my Fathers last Commands Left me no Choice but anothers will; If I were free, I then durst speak my thoughts: But I, in all, my Brother must obey.
Ger. He checks your Actions only, thoughts are free, Suppose him willing, would you favour me?
Eugen. But to suppose without his Will's a Crime, If I that supposition should declare.
Ger. I do confess I should be loath to own That Blessing which I rate above my Life, If 'twere bestow'd by any hands but yours; Therefore by all your hopes I do conjure you, If you dislike my Love, Command my silence.
Eugen. Interpret well my blushes, when I say I cannot find a thought for such Commands.
Ger. Then I am happy 'bove the reach of Envy; For I have his consent already granted, He nam'd the day of Marriage as you enter'd.
Eugen. You see, my Lord, that I had cause for fear, Since I'm bestow'd, and my consent ne're askt. Sure my dead Father ne're design'd it so?
Ger. Madam, I beg your pardon, for a truth Might well excuse your Brother in this matter; I urg'd to him I doubted not your favour, On which Condition he did grant me his.
Eugen. I shall hear further of it from himself, Till when, I beg your pardon. [Offers to go out.
Anto. Sister, pray stay, for I have bus'ness with you. I know, my Dear, you never Lov'd that Fellow, Which since you do not, though he serves me well, Yet I'm resolv'd for this to part with him, Tho' I could think a Pension for your Nurse, To keep her at a distance, were as well.
Cael. Though now her dotage makes her want discretion, Her Love to us was great.
Anto. Come, trouble not your self about it, he shall go.
Cael. My Lord, I'le trouble you no further.
Ger. I'le wait upon you, Madam.
[Ex. Gerar. and Cael.
Anto. Sister, you know your Father was my Friend, And was so confident that I was his, He trusted all your Fortunes in my hands, Though he had Brothers Living when he Dy'd, He told you too, and left it in his Will, That what you had was mine, if you did Marry Without my Approbation: Is't not true?
Eugen. Sir, 'tis a truth I'm glad of.
Anto. These things your Kindred though, did call contrivance, Which made their hatred rise so much against me, It makes a few'd betwixt our Families, Which soon would come to Blood, but for Respect They bear my Wife, their Cozen.
Eugen. Brother, I cannot answer for their Actions, My own Respects to you were never wanting.
Anto. I do not deny it, Sister; and to prove I never did, nor will deserve worse from you, If you are willing now to change your State, And know a man preferr'd in your Election, Let him have Blood and worth, you and your Fortune I freely will resign into his hands. Then truly speak your thoughts.
Eugen. Surely, my Lord, You'd scarcely think I should be worth your care, If I should choose before you nam'd one to me.
Anto. Sister, I see your Kindreds Jealousies Partly infects you too; but to remove them, What think you of Gerardo, for a Husband? My wishes meet with yours, if he's their Object; You know I'm no Dissembler.
Eugen. Nor shall you find me so; for I confess In this you prove your Kindness, Care, and Justice; And I must meet it with my greatest thanks.
Anto. I'm joyful for it; to morrow is the day, A private Wedding will prevent all Rumour, You'd best withdraw then to provide your self. [Ex. Eugen. What Paper's this I got out of her Pocket? Pray Heaven it be the right; it is the same, The very same —— what makes me tremble! Is't horror or desire, or both assault me? Be it what it will, 'tis Hell to live in doubt; But stay, my Conscience sayes 'tis Sacriledge— What's that? A word by cunning Priests invented To keep the Cheats they live by from our knowledge; As the AEgyptian did with Hieroglyfficks; But be it what it will, a Name, or thing, I'le read it, for't may Cure my Jealousie, And surely that exceeds Hells misery. But to my Closet, where no Eye can see, All are call'd Pious, who live scandal free. [Exit.
Enter Eugenia and Nurse.
Eugen. Since he has promis'd but to take his leave, And neither then, nor never urge more Sin, I am content to give him this last meeting.
Nurse. He'l be a glad man, I'm sure—but what shall poor Jasper do?
Eugen. If he will marry you, I'le keep you both.
Nurse. Thank you, Madam, I'le tell him your good will. [Exit.
Eugen. What by this cursed Sin am I reduc'd to? To be a Slave to Slaves; nay, worse, a Bawd, A Name so base, profest ones do detest it, And yet I'm one, this cursed Hellish Hagg has made me so. The first did sell, and then betray'd my Honour, Yet thinks she has oblig'd me by the Action. Nay, I am forc't to say so now to please her; Some heavenly Angel make me Chaste again, Or make me nothing, I am resolv'd to try, Before I'de still live Whore, I'de choose to dye.
Jasp. I'm come to thank your Lady-ship for the great care, Nurse sayes, you have of me; but faith, Madam, I Was ne're made to be Steel to a Tinder-Box; she's Meer Touch-wood; no, I'm not for Marrying great Grannums: But if your Lady-ship knows any Young Dame, that wants a strong back to do her drudgery, Though it be in her Lord's absence, I'm content.
Eugen. What, is the Fellow mad?
Jasp. No, Madam, not mad at all, but can as soberly keep Councel as the best Young Gallant of 'em all; and am As able to do the feat: Please your Lady-ship to try me, And praise me as you find; if you dislike my work, I'le lose my labour, and have nothing for my pains.
Eugen. Oh, strange, unheard-of Impudence! Out, Villain. [Ex.
Jasp. So scornful! Villain! Nay, if you call me so, 'tis time To be so; what a Devil ayls my face, that she contemns Me thus? May be my Nose is not long enough she thinks, Pox on her Pride, 'tis that or'e-comes her Leachery—I must Alter my Trade, for I was ne're born I see to thrive by Love; then I'le set up a shop of hatred, and the Wares I Vent shall be Revenge, that may hit; but hold, my Lord.
Anto. What have I got? Am I more satisfy'd By this same Paper then I was before? No, not at all; and yet why should I not? There's not a thought set down concerneth me— Yet that's her policy— She either fear'd that I should get the Paper, Or else on purpose did contrive I might; But how can I know that? This Jealousie, If it continue long, will make me mad.
Jasp. Well, the Devil has put him on this pin meerly To do me a kindness.
Anto. And yet it must continue, who can Cure it? Ay, there's it, who can Cure it? Then I must be mad! Nay, I'm mad already, stark mad!—
Jasp. My good Lord.
Anto. What's the matter? I fear he heard me. [Aside.
Jasp. I come to take leave of your Lordship, I have Enemies I hear have turn'd me going.
Anto. Is't not deservedly, thou Goat?
Jasp. Yes, yes, it may be so, since they will have it so; But if I had never seen, I had ne're been turn'd Away for doing: If I were as ready to make Mischief, as I am fear'd to be; Nurse and I had not Been only the Sufferers.
Anto. Explain your Riddle, Sirrah.
Jasp. Nay, let my Tongue come out e're I say any thing to Disquiet your Lordship, I love you better.
Anto. Disquiet me! What lyes within thy power to say that Can disquiet me?
Jasp. Nay, nothing it may be, my Lady is my Lady, and You are a kind Lord, that's all I know; so begging Your Lordships Discharge, I'm gone, and then their Fears are over.
Anto. Villain, thou'st given me poyson; my veins swell With it, produce the Antidote, or I'le dissect thy Soul To find it out; what is't you know that can disquiet me?
Jasp. I know little, my Lord, to' th' purpose, besides, it will But vex you, since there may be no harm in it.
Anto. Come, come, no going back, tell quickly what you know.
Jasp. I know, why, I know that my Lady hates me, Because I told your Lordship the time she was to Deliver the Jewels and Money to Don Lewis, and Still she calls me false in being true to you—but—
Anto. But what?
Jasp. But if I should say all I know—well, but let That alone, good, my Lord, your Discharge.
Anto. Vile Dog, dost raise my Anger for to play with it? I'le vent it upon thee then. [Draws, and cuts at him.
Jasp. Hold, hold, my Lord, and I'le tell all I know.
Anto. Let's hear it.
Jasp. When you lay hid about Don Lewis's death, I've Often seen a Lady in the Night to meet two Men I'th' Garden, but am not sure it was your Lady.
Anto. What makes you name her then?
Jasp. Her Gown, I think it was her Gown.
Anto. Wa'st often, say you?
Jasp. Yes, every Night, except you lay at home, for I Took pains to watch, they never fail'd coming, But there was but one of them went into the House, Sir, and he neither would not stay above an hour At most: this is all.
Anto. All, quoth a! What Devil would have more, If 'twas my Lady.
Jasp. I can't say that, but yet I dare be sworn it was Her Gown, I do believe, I mean, I think it was.
Anto. Could you not guess the men?
Jasp. I think they were Francisco and Sebastian.
Anto. It must be they; a plague upon their Fewds; They can Revenge themselves upon my Wife: Go, call the Nurse, this she must needs conspire in; But keep all private from her. [Exit Jasper. Is she so bucksome? Has she more Kinsmen Stallions? I'le cleanse her Blood, or empty all her veins; Confessions calls she these! Betwixt Religion and her Leachery The Devil dances Barley-break—but hold—why May'nt the Rogue contrive this for Revenge? For if I reflect his pretending not to tell, did but Usher in the Story. I must be cautious of a too light belief.
Cael. My Lord, by Accident I've lost a Paper, which troubles me.
Anto. A Paper, say you? I took up one i'th' Garden, and I Think this is it.
Cael. It is, my Lord, and I rejoyce no other Person found it.
Anto. Why, what is it?
Cael. 'Tis the Confession that I told you of.
Anto. I might have read it then, and ne're askt you, had I but known it.
Cael. If your Lordship pleases you may read it.
Anto. No, no, I will not, but prethee keep it better.
Cael. My Lord, there are some Tenants, who desire to express Their Loves by Rural Recreations—
Anto. Bid e'm stay, their sports are more in season after Dinner. So willing now to have it read, and yet before so backward! [Ex. Cael. Why, this confirms me she is false, it was contriv'd On purpose for my sight. The Devil's not so cunning As a Woman. [Enter Nurse. Oh, Beldame, are you come? Tell me, you Bawd, Who Whores my Wife? For Whore I know she is, And you're her Bawd. Tell me, I say, the man, The place, the Circumstance, and very time, Or I will quarter thee, and throw thy flesh to'th' dogs.
Nurse. Alas, my Lord, I know nothing, but that when You're from Home, Pedro goes to her Chamber, and Stays there all Night, but what they do, I know Not, for none but Flora's with them.
Anto. Pedro! Oh monstrous, she would devour a Legion! Is't every Night, do you say?
Nurse. Yes, every Night; but I durst never tell you! Alas, she suckt these Breasts.
Anto. Shew me this Night Pedro, in Bed with her, Or I will cut thy Tongue out.
Nurse. 'Tis impossible when you are at home.
Anto. I will contrive a Journey out of Town, but will at Twelve return, then let me in; for if you fail I'le cut your Throat.
Nurse. I'le do my best. [Exit.
Anto. Pedro! What sordid Devil prompted her to that? Why, I am known to all the World a Cuckold; The very Boys i'th' street must point at me; But hold, this new Intelligence struck out the old, And made me quite forget about Francisco.
Oh, Jasper! I'm confirm'd my Wife's a Devil, And I will send her to the rest e're Morning; Go and contrive a Letter from Don John; Shall intimate he's sick, and wants my presence, Then I'le contrive the rest.
Jasp. Be not too rash, my Lord, might I advise You should be certain e're you Acted ought.
Anto. How can I be more certain then this Night, To be Eye-witness of her Lust my self, As Nurse has undertook I shall.
Jasp. Ay, Sir, but things may fail, and they not meet.
Anto. Name a more certain way then.
Jasp. My Lord, there lives a Woman in the Suburbs, Mighty in Science, who by Art can tell All that she pleases, I'de have you go to her.
Anto. Is she of your acquaintance?
Jasp. No, my Lord, she scorns such things as me, She's for the great ones; though for Charity, She sometimes helps poor people to their goods, I'me sure she'd serve your Lordship.
Anto. I fear she'l never trust us, lest we should betray Her to the Inquisition.
Jasp. No fear of that, she cannot be betray'd, She knows Mens bus'ness er'e they come unto her.
Anto. Well then, contrive my absence, I'le go thither, I'm sure to know whether she cheats or no, For if she names Don Lewis 'mongst the rest, I shall believe her. Well, about the Letter. [Exit.
Jasp. Are you there with your Beares; Don Lewis say you? Marry now I find 'twas Jealousie of his Wife; And not the matter of Money made him kill him, Whether he was guilty or no; I'le be sure he shan't Be forgot, for I'le before hand to my Aunt, and tell Her all; I hope, she is a Witch; the People say so, a Mighty Artist I am sure she is, for she has done Strange things, and all men fear her, besides I Know she loves me, and will strive all she can to Do me good, and hap what will my Lord will Think me honest; for Night will surely shew his Sister to him, drest in's Ladyes Gown, what though He kill her, the mistake will lye o'th' Night, and not On me, thus I make good the Villain that she call'd Me, in my Revenge on her; and if Nurse fails me Not, I'le have my Lady, and Pedro; finely firkt. When this is done, my Lord rewards my care, Let him the danger I'le the profit share. And since things Excellent commended be, 'Tshall be my Aym t'excell in Villany.
The End of the first Act.
Act the Second.
Enter Jasper and the Witch.
Jasp. This kindness, Aunt, I beg, your Art must do; For I have no way else to save my place.
Witch. Why, 'tis impossible; I've no such Art As People think, to call up Spirits to me; Nor know I any thing, but what is told me.
Jasp. Now you dissemble, Aunt, for han't you often Rais'd Storms, have rent up Trees, and shook strong Towers? Seeming to threaten Nature with it's end; And at such times have sent strange shaped Spirits, who have restored to owners stolen Goods. These things so many know, it is impossible For you to keep it private; but I find, Rather then trust me with your mighty secrets, Or help me with your Art, you'l see my Ruine.
Witch. These things you speak of, people think I do, And so I'de have e'm; for tis the only way I have to Live: The Vulgar People love to be deluded; And things the most unlikely they most dote on; A strange Disease in Cattle, Hogs or Pigs, Or any Accident in Cheese or Butter; Though't be but Natural, or a Sluts fault, Must strait be Witchcraft! Oh, the Witch was here! The Ears or Tail is burn'd, the Churn is burn'd; And this to hurt the Witch, when all the while They're likest Witches that believe such Cures; Could I do all that People think I can, I'de ne're take pains to find out stolen Goods, Or hold intelligence with Thieves to bring e'm, Meerly to get my Bread; no, I would make The Universe pay Tribute to my power, And all the Bug-bear Lords Inquisitors More tremble at my Name then I do now At theirs: Ah, Jasper, would I raise Storms when I would, blast Corn, turn Rivers backward Change shapes, mov'd where I pleas'd i'th' Air, And that so fast, as thought it self would Hardly overtake me: What is't I could not do? if all were true The Foolish People think, the Pope himself would Quickly lose Respect, And none be thought infallible but I.
Jasp. I'm sure I tremble for your want of power, More then I should to see Hells dreadfull'st shape, For I must flye the Town.
Witch. Jasper, not so; though I can raise no Devils, Yet I Confederate with Rogues and Juglers, Things that can shape themselves like Elves, And Goblins— And often do like Spirits haunt great Houses, Most times to steal, but many times for mirth; These I'le soon send for; arise, my Pincula.
Enter a little Devil, and tumbles the Summerset.
Jasp. Heav'ns bless me! save me, good Aunt.
Witch. From what? You Fool, 'tis but a little Boy, Which I instruct to carry on my Cheats: Come, leave your Fooling, I have bus'ness for you; Uncase your self, and quickly go and find Ranter, and Swash, Dive, Fob, Snap, Gilt, and Pick-lock, Those are my Archest Devils; as you go Call upon Dog'rell the Ballad-maker, and say I want him strait, bid them be sure To bring home half a dozen more with them, For I shall need their help, let e'm not fail, For money's to be got.
Devil. 'Tis that will make e'm come; I'le haste, forsooth. [Exit.
Jasp. I'm glad it's gone, for surely it was a Devil, What ever you pretend.
Witch. Thou'rt a Fool: It was a Boy, I tell thee, and no Devil; Nor am I a sorceress, though I could wish To do thee good I was: But 'tis no matter, Bring thou thy Lord, I'le practice well enough To make him think all true, that I shall shew him.
Jasp. You now Revive my Drooping Spirits, Aunt, and Make my hopes grow strong! Ah sweet Revenge, How my soul Dances but with thoughts of it; Assist me, Aunt, to get this mighty Blessing, and I Shall dye your slave.
Witch. O rare Boy! How I rejoyce to see this Spirit in thee, For 'tis the vertue of our Family To seek Revenge, not basely swallow wrongs: Don Sancho De Mensalvo, thy Grandsire Was for a while Vice-Admiral of Spain, But then disgrac'd turn'd Pyrate and Reveng'd With Fire and Sword on all Mankind, the wrongs He thought the Court had basely plac'd on him; At last he was betray'd and lost his head, Thy Father turn'd Bandetto, what he got I did dispose of for him; but his Fate Betray'd him too to Death by Execution: Since when I by these Arts do strive to live, And thou art forc'd to serve— That very Lord, who does those Lands Possess should have been thine.
Jasp. But will e're long mount to some higher sphere, Or dye in the attempt; this Plot, perhaps, may do, And I thereby obtain some part of my Estate Again; for if the plotted mischiefs shall succeed, I'le tell him whom I am, and my resolves, either To share his Fortunes or Reveal all. Then I will Rise Don Jasper De Monsalvo and Cheek by Jole, Ask how Antonio does. Then don't forget the names.
Witch. Not one of them: I know them very well.
Jasp. Farewell, Dear Aunt, but don't you seem to know me.
Witch. Out you great Fool! What become my Instructer? Be careful of your self, and fear not me. Farewel, boy.
Enter Antonio, Gerardo, Caelia, Eugenia, as to a Masque, and take their seats.
Ger. Have you heard, Madam, what they represent?
Caelia My Lord, I'm told they mean to play the Gipsies, And tell our fortunes to us.
Anto. I would they could.
Eugen. If all Man's life determin'd is before, I would not know my Destiny me-thinks, For good is best, when least it is Expected; And bad fore-seen is doubl'd by our fear Things certain no fore-knowledge can prevent Such knowledge only can bring discontent.
Ger. In this with you I perfectly agree.
Anto. Yet for all that I wish I could foresee.
Caelia. My Lord, what profit by it wou'd you gain?
Anto. 'Twould cure doubt to me the deadliest pain.
Ger. Doubt is th'effect of fear or Jealousie, Two Passions which to Reason give the Lye For fear torments, but never does assist, And Jealousie is love lost in a Mist. Both Hood-wink truth, then go to blind-mans buff, Cry here, then there, seem to direct enough: But all the while shift place making the mind As it goes out of breath despair to find. And if at last something it stumbles on, Perhaps it calls it false and then 'tis gone. If true, what's gain'd only just time to see A breachless Play a Game at Liberty; That has no other end then this, that men Run to be tyr'd just to set down agen.
Anto. This is a truth, and so for ought I know, To the same purpose tends all things we do: Life's a Disease, and yet we seldom say, That Man is sick whom we see laugh and play; And 'tis as well to bid the Bed-rid ride, As to bid Men in doubt be satisfy'd: For 'tis the mind's Disease, and Physick should Be proper to't, or else the Patient's fool'd. And there's no Drug in Nature doubt to Cure But only one, and that is to be sure.
Cael. Yes, Circumstance, my Lord, if well apply'd.
Anto. I've known that often fail, when it was try'd But they come—
Enter first Gipsie, and sings.
1. Gipsie. Come, come, away; follow, follow your Prince, I am King of the swarthy Complexions; Follow me that can lead you through Chimneys and Chinks To steal Bacon and Pease; Nay, sometimes with ease To a Feast of the choycest Confections. Come, follow me then, come away, come away.
Enter second Gipsie, and sings.
2. Gip. We know no Rebellion, but obey, but obey, To our King we are just, And true to our trust, Leaving discord to those, that their Princes oppose, When by the Spirit of Treason in Non-sence they pray.
Enter all the rest, and sing.
Chor. We know &c.
1. Gip. Come then, and follow, a prize, a prize, a prize..
2. Gip. Give the word then, and helloa.
All. A prize, a prize, a prize.
1. Gip. Here are Gallants and Ladies have fortunes to tell.
2. Gip. We'l tell e'm good Fortune if they give us a spell.
1. Gip. A hand crost with silver the Spirit infuses.
2. Gip. There's no Prophet lately that mettle refuses.
1. Gip. Men get Heaven now by Bargain and Sale.
Chor. Masses, Trentals and Dirges Are not had for no Charges, And a Vicar for nothing won't tell you a Tale.
All. Masses, &c.
1. Gip. All things are bought and sold.
2. Gip. Good Fortune goes with Gold.
1. Gip. Fall on to your Trading then.
Men Gip. W'are for the Ladies.
Wom. Gip. And we for the Men.
1. Gip. To Cael. Lady, you have lost a Lover, Cross my hand, I'le more discover.
2. Gip. To Anto. My Lord, I know you baseness scorn, And would be loath to wear a Horn.
1. Gip. To Eug. Lady, some do speak you fair, That hatred to your welfare bear.
2. Gip. To Ger. My Lord, you Love a handsom Lady, She Loves you as well it may be.
1. Gip. sings. Thus we seldom miss the matter, Things past we can tell, by these Generals well, And ne're stay to prove the truth of the latter.
All. Things past, &c.
1. To Cael. You shall Live long and happily, Lady.
2. To Anto. My Lord, I can tell you, good Fortunes your Friend.
1. To Eug. You shall e're long play with your own Baby.
2. To Ger. Your Love my Lord, will have good end.
1. Gip. sings. Thus we Live merrily, merrily, merrily, And thus to our Dancing we sing; Our Lands and our Livings Lye in others believings, When to all Men we tell the same thing: And thus to our Dancing we sing. Thus we, &c.
[An Antique of Gipsies, and Exeunt.
Anto. By this we see that all the Worlds a Cheat, Where truths and falshoods lye so intermixt, And are so like each other, that 'tis hard To find the difference; who would not think these People A real pack of such as we call Gipsies.
Ger. Things perfectly alike are but the same; And these were Gipsies, if we did not know How to consider them the contrary; So in Terrestial things there is not one But takes its Form and Nature from our fancy; Not its own being, and is what we do think it.
Anto. But truth is still it self.
Ger. No, not at all, as truth appears to us; For oftentimes That is a truth to me that's false to you, So 'twould not be if it was truly true.
Enter Pedro and a Servant, with a Letter to Antonio.
Serv. My Lord, Don John salutes you in that Letter.
Cael. How does my Couzen, Friend?
Serv. Madam, I fear he's drawing near his end.
Cael. 'Pray Heav'n divert it.
Anto. The Letter shews, that Death did guide his hand; It only says, Oh Friend, come now or never.
Ger. How did his Sickness take him?
Serv. Chacing the Buck too hard; he hot with Labour, Drunk of a cooling Spring too eagerly, And that has given him pains, the Doctors say, Will give him Death immediately.
Cael. Heav'n grant him help.
Anto. Return, and tell thy Lord, I'm at thy heels. Pedro, bring my Boots, and bid two Horses be made Ready.
Cael. Whom do you take, my Lord?
Anto. Pedro:—but hold, Jasper is not discharg'd, I'le ee'n take him.
Cael. Jasper, my Lord! Pray take not him.
Anto. Why not him, there are no Nurses there? [Enter Ped. with Boots. Where's Jasper Pedro?
Ped. He said he wou'd not dine, and went Abroad, yet I suppose he may be now in's Chamber.
Anto. Reach my Bootes, who has worn 'em lately? I do believe you get into my Bootes.
Ped. I, my Lord.
Anto. I, you, my Rogue! Go, see for Jasper. [Strikes Pedro with a Boot'top.
Cael. My Lord! Why do you thus disturb your self?
Anto. You see the blow don't maim him, you need Not be concern'd.
Caelia. What means my Lord?
Anto. As you hate Jasper, I hate whom I please.
Cael. His sight strikes terror to me!
Anto. Jasper, make ready, you must go with me.
Cael. Here on my knees I beg you would not take him: But if you be resolv'd, let me go too.
Anto. That cannot be: Don John's a Batchellor, And is not fitted to have Women guests.
Cael. I will dispence with any thing, my Lord, Then let me go, or do not take Jasper.
Anto. Come, I must break this Childish way of yours, Jasper shall go, and you shall stay at home, And so Farewell; make merry with our Friends.
Ger. Do not resolve, my Lord; see how she takes it.
Anto. This passion soon will over; farewell, Friend, I shall return to give Eugenia to you.
Ger. I ne're perceiv'd his will to reign before, Some sudden fancy makes him Obstinate.
Eug. So, give her Air, she comes to her self.
Cael. Where is my Lord! What gone! am I deluded? I Saw an Angel lead him back again.
Ger. Her fancy is disturb'd, make no answer:
Cael. Why Sister, where's my Lord?
Eug. Do not disturb your self, my Brother's well.
Cael. Get me a horse, for I will follow him.
Enter Antonio Bleeding.
Anto. Fetch me some water there.
Cael. My Dream was true, my Dearest Lord's return'd! What makes you Bleed?
Anto. As I was lifting up my Foot to the Stirrop, my Nose Gusht out a Bleeding.
Eugen. My Sister dreamt, an Angel led you back, And I believe it now.
Ger. Pray take some other with you, I, if you please Will keep you Company.
Ant. No, I'm resolv'd to stay, and send him word, I am Took ill my self; my Nose leaves Bleeding.
Cael. I am satisfy'd, my Lord, you do not go, and therefore Will Retire.
[Ex. all but Anto. and Gerar.
Anto. Do so, my Dear. Now I must tell my Friend, I dare not stay, Twould look but ill to say a Bleeding Nose Made Don Antonio slight his dying Friend.
Ger. If that was all, it would; but yet reflect There are more Prodigies forbid this Journey Then Caesar had t'avoyd the Senate-House.
Anto. Had Caesar not been slain, those Accidents We now call Prodigies, had been forgot; And so will these when I am safe return'd.
Ger. Consider but your Ladies high concern, Her suddain sounding, and recovery, On which she cry'd an Angel brings him back, Your Bleeding and Return speaks the dream't true, The stopping of it too was not the least, All these together force me to believe That you from heav'n these warnings did receive.
Anto. Surely, Gerardo, we must heav'n offend To think that it these Accidents should send. It is detraction to the Pow'rs above, To think they suffer what they don't approve, For if they did this to divert my ill, They go about, for they might change my will. But mine's more firm; nay, more, should I not go, The threaten'd ill I meet, for ought I know; For if their boads be certain, then I may Meet th' effects whether I go or stay.
Ger. Vainly we speak of heav'n, when vainly we By human Wit set Rules to heav'ns decree, The pow'r that made us gave us scope of will, Freely to take the good, or choose the ill: And though it can, it does not change that course, Only perswades to Act what it could force.
Anto. This you believe, but you must pardon me, If in this point I don't with you agree; For if to Man such a free-will be given, That damns all Praescience and so baffles heav'n: But I delay whilst Reason bids me go, And Reason 'tis, since it to me is so, Then pray divert my Wife, so farewell, Friend. [Exit.
Ger. Farewell: May all my fears to nothing tend; Yet still I fear what should the Reason be, That I shou'd fear, yet nothing fearful see, I am resolv'd to send some Servants out Shall wait him at a distance; In doing all I can, I do the best, I can no more, let heav'n do the rest. [Exit.
Enter Don Francisco and Nurse.
Fran. Well, 'tis so sweet a sin to Wench in danger, That I am like to lose the best part of my Recreation; But prethee Nurse, tell me, what causes this change?
Nurse. Now if I would be hang'd, I cannot forbear telling. Faith, my Lord, Gerardo's like to be the Man now, Though I am for your Lordship still, you're my best Friend.
Fran. By heav'n I'le be his Death, and hers to boot; Can she slight me for him, he Whore our Kindred! When did he first enjoy her?
Nurse. Not so, my Lord, he's to Marry her.
Fran. Nay, if't be so; then I'm Reveng'd already, For's joyning with Antonio 'gainst our house, He's Antidated Cuckold, and by me! O rare Revenge! There's for thy News, Nurse. [Gives money to her. Were all my Enemies but serv'd the same; At a more full Revenge I'de never aim.
Nurse. Me-thinks you should not be so merry for losing my Lady; 'faith, had I known it, you should not have come Into the place you wot'on, by my means.
Fran. Nay, be not angry, Nurse, I find her drift. She loves our family, and studies to Revenge it. To make him Cuckold; how it pleases me! Poyson, nor Poniards is not half so well, Go, tell her; Nurse I'm glad she takes this way: I glory in her love! by Heaven I do, I'le find Sebastian out, and laugh with him, Till I e'en split my sides.
Nurse. Sir, you'le tell no body I hope.
Fran. No, none but him: To say as he goes by, there goes my Cuckold; And then to laugh, go Nurse, and tell her I'le be sure to meet— [Exit.
Nurse. Another double Pistoll for my Jasper! I'le have him one whole night for this. For to speak truth, I find the Rogue does not love me: Heavens! What a bad world is this, An Old Woman, though never so willing, Can scarce get a friend for ready money: When such as Eugenia can make the Gold fly about; But time will come she must be fain to turn tail, And pay for one as I do, or go without. But it pleases me, my Lady says, he shall be my husband, Then I shall need give money no longer: for faith if he Be negligent, I'le ring him a Peal to quicken him to his duty. Thus marry'd once, I'le doe like other wives That make their husbands drudge for quiet lives.
The End of the Second Act.
Act the Third.
Enter Don Gerardo with a Book in his Hand.
Some Happy Soul come down and tell What Joys are those with you do dwell? If it be Happiness like ours below, Which from our want of ills does only flow, Then 'tis plain that mighty theam Of Immortality is but a Dream.
'Tis Love, 'tis Love, for nothing can Give real Happiness to Man, But Joys like those that Lovers Souls enjoy, which here on Earth there's nothing can destroy; Ay, ay, 'tis Love only can be The Happy Souls endless felicity.
Ger. What a dull, heavy load hangs on my soul! Weighing me down to Earth, as if 'twould say 'Twas weary of its Burthen, and resolv'd To shake it off, and mix with its first matter; What is the thing, call'd Death, we mortals shun? Is't some real, or is't a fancy only? Like that imaginary point in Mathematicks; Not to be found only in definition: It is no more: Death, like your Childrens Bug-bears, Is fear'd by all, yet has no other Being Then what weak fancy gives it; 'tis a Line, But yet imaginary, drawn betwixt Time and that dreadful thing Eternity; I, that's the thing, 'tis fear'd; for now I find it: Eternity which puzzles all the World, To name the inhabitants that People it: Eternity, whose undiscover'd Countrey We Fools divide, before we come to see it; Making one part contain all happiness, The other misery, then unseen fight for't. Losing our certains for uncertainties; All Sects pretending to a Right of choyce; Yet none go willingly to take their part, For they all doubt what they pretend to know, And fear to mount, lest they should fall below: Be't as it will; my Actions shall be just, And for my future State I Heav'n will trust. Enter a Servant. Return'd already; what can be the cause?
Serv. Sir, Don Antonio likewise is return'd.
Ger. What reason had he for it, dost thou know?
Ser. My Lord, I do not; for we by your appointment Having took Horse, did with our greatest speed Pursue the Road should lead us to Don John's; When near a Thicket stands some two Miles off, I spy'd Antonio lying on the ground, And Jasper walking of the Horses by him, Fearing his seeing us, we took the Thicket, Where shelter'd from their Eyes, I left my Fellows. But I approach'd as near as possible, Hoping I did you Service, if I could By their Discourse gather their cause of stay.
Ger. 'Twas like thy self, both diligent and prudent.
Serv. But all my care did signifie but little, The Wind blew fresh, and rustling in the Wood, Wholly destroy'd their Voyces, so that few words Of what they said I heard; and those I did, Came so divided they had no connexion.
Ger. What sort of Actions did you then perceive?
Serv. My Lord, I saw Antonio much disturb'd; Sometimes he'd rise and walk a turn or two With eager pace, then stop as suddenly, Then stamp and tear his hair; then loudly cry. She's dead, she's dead! Oh, Caelia, Oh, Antonio! Then lye him down again, and rest a space: Sometimes call Jasper to him, talk a while, And soon again rise in another Passion; Seldom I heard a word, except a Curse! Or now and then a Name; as Lewis, Caelia, Pedro, Francisco, Flora; nay, my Lord, Sometimes I heard your Name, and then Eugenia's; Then suddenly holding his hands to Heav'n, He'd down again, and there a while would role.
Ger. These Actions sure did seem a perfect madness.
Serv. It seem'd indeed a madness methodiz'd, Like theirs who are Transported far with Passion.
Ger. But how perceiv'd you Jasper bear himself?
Serv. Quite in another manner, but as strange! For when his Lord look'd down, his looks would be As full of mirth, ready to burst in Laughter; That I perceiv'd he scarce contain'd himself: But if his Lord did look about to speak, Then was his Face demure, with hand on Breast, Turning his Eyes to Heav'n, and groaning sighs. As you have seen, my Lord, a Canting Preacher Aiming to cheat his Audience, wanting matter, Sigh to seem Holy, till he thought on something. So at that distance seem'd his Actions to me; But when his back was turn'd, the Rascal would Make Mouths, and point with signs of greatest scorn.
Ger. There is some Fatal Villany in this; Some Mystery beyond my Fathoming: But how long staid they thus?
Serv. About two hours, when mounting both their Horses, I took mine, and un-espy'd did dogg e'm to the City, And where they Hous'd I know not; for they enter'd Remote from Home, and I i'th' streets soon lost e'm.
Ger. Do both your Fellows know this?
Serv. No, my Lord, I did not think it would become my Duty To tell them any thing but what they saw.
Ger. I never knew thee yet mistake thy trust; Thy secrecy was well: Preserve it still, For I must use it further, therefore go, And Charge your Pistols, we must walk a Round About Antonio's House to watch their motion; For there the Scene must lye of this design; If there be mischief in't, thy courage now (If theirs occasion) must again be try'd. And well Rewarded too.
Serv. 'Tis so, my Lord, Above all other wayes in that you trust it. But I'le be gone, and Execute your Orders. [Exit.
Ger. A Faithful Servant is the best of Friends, Since he is nearest alwayes to assist us; But stay, I cannot guess from all I've heard, The cause that should disturb Antonio; Except 'tis Jealousie: Yet how can that be? If Caelia's vitious there's no vertuous Women. But now I think how much he rail'd at Marriage, And more our Arguments concerning doubt, These things perswade he's Jealous! But of whom? The more I think, the more I am confounded! How Clouded Man Doubts first, and from one doubt doth soon proceed A thousand more in solving of the first; Like Nighted Travellers we lose our way; Then every Ignis Fatuus makes us stray. By the false Lights of Reason led about, Till we arrive where we at first set out: "Nor shall we e're Truths perfect High-way see, Till dawns the Day-break of Eternity." [Exit.
Eug. I am amaz'd the Nurse should stay so long; My Anger makes each minute seem an hour: That Woman is a thing made up of mischief; Some Fatal Devil sure did guide the Choyce My Mother made, in choosing her our Nurse. She's Fool to th' height: And yet hath wit enough To tread all Labyrinths of Treachery; But that's no wonder: For who's Treacherous That wants not Eyes to see it's ugly Form? For now I fear, and I believe not vainly, That Villain, Jasper, knows all my concerns, Or what could prompt him to that Impudence He did express in his address today.
Thou fatal Hagg, thou Mother of all mischief, What Devil taught thy perjur'd Tongue the way To tell the shame which thou didst first occasion?
Nurse. Pray what ayls you, Madam, are you mad?
Eug. I wish I was, as I have cause enough, For then I should not know the shame attends me, In being Table-talk for every Rascal, As thou (Hell thank thee for it) now hast made me.
Nurse. I made you Table-talk! There's no such thing; I've been too faithful to you, that I have; Losing my sleep full oft to watch your pleasure. And is this all I get? It is no matter, I Shall be even with you.
Eug. Threaten on (for thou hast Acted all thy threats, Imp) In letting Jasper know my shame and folly.
Nurse. Jasper knows nothing, that he does not, from me, And I will ask him; fore your face, I will, If I e're said Francisco lay with you.
Eug. 'Tis plain, thy guilt transported thee to madness, Else thou wouldst never make thy Tongue a Herauld So loud, for to proclaim to all the House The Action you'd perswade me still is secret.
Nurse. If you talk lowd your self, why may not I? But I'le bring Jasper to you shall deny all.
Eug. What mischief upon mischief she designs? Dost think, like thine, my Modesty is gone? To have this argu'd out before my face And such a Villaine by?—
Nurse. A Villain, say you? No Villain neither, I wou'd have you know; No more then is Francisco: pick that bone, Or if you will, I'le bid Gerardo do it. Dee' think to rail at me? Is that my thanks?
Eug. My feares I see will force me to dissemble; Nurse, I but try'd thy patience; I believe Thou would'st not tell that secret for the world, No, tho' it were to Jasper.
Nurse. Jasper's an honest fellow, and no Villain; And did he know a secret, he could keep it.
Eug. But have you told it then?
Nurse. No matter what I've done, I will not tell you, Because you vext and rated at me so.
Eug. Well, Nurse, I did believe you lov'd me better. [Weeps. And wou'd trust me with any thing you did, But I perceive your kindness all for Jasper.
Nurse. I love Jasper well, and love you too, And you shall have no wrong I warrant you.
Eug. The thing is plain, I need not ask no further. But where's the remedy? Nurse, prethee tell me, What did Francisco say unto my message?
Nurse. I, there's a bus'ness now worth asking for. He sayes, he's glad you'l condescend to meet; Nay, he's a glad man, I'le tell you that, i' faith, He bid me say, you were a gallant Girle, So to Revenge his quarrel on Gerardo.
Eug. Gerardo, said you! O thy mouth's a Sieve! There's not a secret thou canst keep a moment; Did I not charge thee not to name Gerardo, Till I should speak of it myself to him? Nay, 'tis the greatest motive makes me meet him, For to prevent the mischiefs else may follow; Well, I am curst for sin, and thou art made The cause o' th' sin, and curse that does attend it.
Nur. What, are you got to railing again for nothing? Pray who has most discretion to tell a bus'ness, You, or I? But you, forsooth, are grown so proud of late Because you hope to Marry Don Gerardo; That there's no speaking to you: Marry gip. 'Faith I shall spoil your Market. [Exit.
Eug. Do thy worst (for I am resolv'd to suffer once for all) Death would be better then this Slavery, And that's the worst can happen Should she tell my Brother, or Gerardo, my whole story; That's dying once, but I by fear thus fool'd, Do hourly dye, since still I Death behold. [Exit.
Enter Jasper and Antonio.
Jasp. My Lord, I'm confident this is the House, Wherein the Woman Lives I told you of.
Anto. Knock then; and if she comes, do you speak to her, I'le stand aloof a while, and hear you talk.
Enter Witch with a block Rod, which she turns over her Head, whilst Jasper makes a private sign of his Lord's being there.
Jasp. Hail, Reverend Mother; I suppose you are That famous Artist who Commands this House, Which if you be, with confidence I beg, You would resolve some Questions I should ask; Which if you please to do, my gratitude Shall be proportion'd to the kindness done.
Witch. What prating Fellow's here? Your Lord Antonio Need not to doubt my Art, or if he did, He might have sent some wiser Man to try me. Come, come, my Lord, I am no Cheating Chymist, that requires A Faith in Fools to make his work successful. No, no, my Power is boundless, I can search The secrets of your Soul, and when I've done Solve all the doubts that there possess your mind; That Women should be Women, is no wonder.
Anto. But that Women should turn Devils, is.
Witch. No, no, my Lord, I am no Devil neither.
Anto. Mother! I meant not you, when I said so.
Witch. Son, Son, excuse it not, you have no cause To love us Women much, and I'm not angry At what you said, though I know what you meant.
Ant. Then, Mother, by these Powers you practice by, I do Conjure you, shew me all the truth Of what you know concerns my coming hither.
Witch. Come, enter in, my Lord, and nothing fear; There's not a doubt of yours but shall be clear. I've sent a Spirit out, who will e're long, Bring all the Names of those have done you wrong.
[Ex. and return.
Enter Antonio, Jasper, and Witch, as in the House; in the Scenes a Chair, by which Jasper stands, and Witch goes round.
Witch. Sit in this Chair, my Lord, whilst I do draw A Sacred Line, which shall the Spirits aw. About, about, I tread a Round, Where I tread is Sacred Ground. Thus and thus the Air I charm, To keep my Circle free from harm; Thus I sprinkle Water pure, And by it all the Charm secure; The Spirits that fiery are dare not come near us, Earth, Air, and Water do make e'm to fear us. Then boldly sit, boldly see, boldly despise What Spirits soever do happen to rise.
Witch sings. Rise, arise, arise, rise and come away, My little pretty Spirit Puncula: What, not appear at thy Mistresses call, I'le surely torment thee; thou shalt not suck at all. Arise then, I say—
[Spirit within sings. Spir. I come, I come away, The Wind it blows hard, and forces me astray.
Witch. Let's wait a little, he'l appear, my Lord.
Anto. Fear seizes me so fast, that all my Spirits Retire, and leave an Ague in my Joynts.
Enter a Spirit.
Witch. Come, have you done What I gave you in charge, If you have, I command you to tell it at large.
Spirit sings. As you bid, I did go to the Caverns below Where the Spirits Inhabit that Govern the Wind. And though in their motions they be, And see Far, far quicker than we, Yet no Intelligence there I could find. From thence, like Lightning, I shot to the Pole, Where at a hole I glided to the Region of the Air: But the Spirits above Do Mankind so love, That they drove me from them with despair. From thence, in a moment, to AEtna I came, Where the Spirits of fire that Inhabit that flame: Told me, all that I sought for they knew; Though to Spirits of Earth, As I am by Birth; They'd not tell it; yet hither they flew. And hereabouts they stay, till you pray, And attone them with Offerings to tell your desire; For these from of Old Have been Lovers of Gold, The Mettles being Govern'd by Spirits of fire. [Exit.
Witch. It's necessary, Son, you throw them something, For o're these Spirits I have no Command.
Anto. Oh, any thing; take this and throw it them; But do release me of the fear I'm in, And quickly solve my doubts, take all I have.
Witch. There is Gold, there is Gold to you Spirits of fire; He does willingly offer what you do desire.
Enter first Spirit, second Spirit Ascends. After some flashes of fire they sing.
1. Spir. What Spirit did Lewis attend?
2. Spir. It was I.
1. Spir. Declare to that Lord what you know.
2. Spir. I need not, the cause he did dye Was that truth to him known long ago.
Chor. He's dead, he's dead, he's dead, and now For hot desires, In endless fires Must Live, must now forever Live with us below.
Chor. He's dead, he's dead, &c.
Anto. Horrid and wonderful.
1. Spir. Who all Caelia's Crimes does know?
2. Spir. It is I, but must not shew All her ill, For I will
[Third Spirit Ascends.
Fit her better e're she go To her Paramour below.
3. Spir. But I that Francisco attend, Can declare, That he as a Friend To Don Lewis doth share I'th' stolen Embraces of Caelia's sweet Arms; They kiss and lye down, Then Lewis bemoan, Thus with thoughts of Revenge they double Loves charms.
Chor. They kiss and lye, &c.
Anto. Thus I have warm'd a Viper in my bosom, That wanted only heat enough to sting me, And give me Death it self.
1. Spir. After him can Pedro stay til't be day; Thus they sport the Night away, Flora watching whilst they do Laugh at you, Saying, where's the Cuckold now?
1. Spir. They sport.
2. Spir. They laugh.
3. Spir. They kiss and play, Till your return, doth make e'm mourn, And spoils their Holy~day.
Chor. Thus they will do untill they dye, When we in Hell, shall think it well To have their pleasant Company.
Anto. And that shall be this Night; make ready then Fires that may fit so brave a pack of Letchers; If you delight in Offerings; and for Gold Can but increase their Torments, I will sell All my Estate to turn it into that, Daily to add more fewel to their flames. Let Fools that spend their Wealth on Priests for Prayers, Be Cheated still, I'le take a surer way, Torments for Souls are penny-worths I'le buy, And there is Reason in it; for 'tis likely Hell may take Bribes, when surely Heav'n won't. Oh Excellent project! Is't not a good one, Jasper? By Hell it self, this Night Hell hath e'm all.
Witch. Your Lordship's much disturb'd, I by my Art Will cause the Air to give a Melody, So to compose your Spirits to themselves.
[She waves her stick. Musick and an Antick Dance of Devils handing the Purse (Antonio threw) to one another, toward the Close of which a noise without makes both Musick and Dance stop: But beginning again, a noise within makes e'm flye. The Witch trembles.
Within. Break op'e the doors, nay, sure enough they're here.
Anto. By Heav'n some Cheat, for these can be no Devils. I'le follow e'm, and see— [Draws his Sword.
Jasp. It is some trick to draw you from the Circle. [Jasp. holds him.
Anto. Be what it will, Death cannot make me worse; Unhand me then, or I will sheath this in you. [Exit.
Witch. O, we're undone, the Officers will enter, [Noise continues. And my Lord will see the holes they creep into, And so discover them, then we shall all be hang'd. I'le tell my Lord the truth of all the Cheat, And that way save my Life.
Jasp. What's that? No stratagem to help it? Have you no hole near us, Aunt?
Witch. Yes, here is one, but should we go into't, The other taken once, will soon betray us.
Jasp. I'le hazzard that, rather then certain Death. And therefore to save one, I'le hide you there. [Kills her.
Witch. O thou ungrateful Dog, dost kill me for my Love?
Jasp. No muttering, Aunt, dye quietly, and lye as Quietly; 'tis the greatest kindness you can Do me; So, now a ready lye clears all I hope. [Runs her through often, then throws her into the hole, she shun'd him, then lyes down and trembles.
Anto. The Officers entring, they all vanish'd.
Jasp. The last is well.
Anto. Where's the Witch? What makes you tremble so?
Jasp. O, do not take me too, good Devil, do not.
Anto. What ayls the Fellow? Jasper, don't you know me?
Jasp. Alas, is't you, my Lord?
Anto. Ay, where's the Witch?
Jasp. She got upon a fiery Dragons back, And mounted like a Rocket through the Air, Leaving me half distracted.
Anto. 'Tis strange and wonderful.
[Enter Captain and Watch.
1. Watch. Here's two of them.
Capt. My Lord Antonio! 'Tis strange to meet you thus In a suspitious House so late in the Evening.
Anto. Riding by the River side to take the Air, My Horse threw me, which made me see For some convenient House to rest a while, And met with this, wherein I have slept this hour, And I believe had done so longer yet, Had not your noise awak'd me.
Capt. My Lord, I've no Commission to enquire, Into Persons bus'ness of your eminent Rank; It is for other Men that I search now, Some half a score the most notorious Rogues About the Town were seen to enter here. Saw you none such, my Lord?
Anto. No, on my Honour; For since I enter'd here, no human shape Was seen by me, but one Old wither'd Woman; And where she's gone, I know not.
Capt. My Lord, that Woman is the greatest Cheat About the Town; the simple think her a Witch; But I can witness for her she is none; My Lord, you'l pardon me, if I search for her.
Anto. With all my heart: Pray find her if you can; 'Twas my misfortune doubled to light here.
Capt. It might have prov'd so: Search the House. [Exit Watch. I'le tell your Lordship what I know of her. Walking my Round one Night, who should I meet, But (as I thought) two Devils, by their shapes; An Old one, and a Young one, so they seem'd: At first the sight amaz'd me, but at last My Reason telling me, if they were Spirits, The mischief they intended they might do, Though I should run away: I bid my Guard Stand, whilst my self advanc'd near these shapes, Which as I did, the little Devil fled, th' other seem'd To turn it's Eyes to fire, and glare upon me; I still advanc'd, Arm'd with my former thoughts, And as I nearer came, the fire grew duller, Yet still it stood, for truly it could not run, Proving, when I laid hold on't, this Old Woman, Cas'd in a Leopard's skin; the fiery Eyes Prov'd but two Lobster-shells: So she confessing, That for a Living she did use these Cheats, Helping poor People to their stolen Goods, In Devils shapes to countenance the Trade. And that the other was a little Boy, Train'd up as her Familiar, whom she producing, I only threaten'd them, and let them go.