THE WORKS OF APHRA BEHN, VOL. III
EDITED BY MONTAGUE SUMMERS
THE TOWN-FOP; OR, SIR TIMOTHY TAWDREY THE FALSE COUNT THE LUCKY CHANCE; OR, AN ALDERMAN'S BARGAIN THE FORC'D MARRIAGE; OR, THE JEALOUS BRIDEGROOM THE EMPEROR OF THE MOON NOTES
THE TOWN-FOP; OR, SIR TIMOTHY TAWDREY.
Sir Timothy Tawdrey is by the wishes of his mother and the lady's father designed for Celinda, who loves Bellmour, nephew to Lord Plotwell. A coxcomb of the first water, Sir Timothy receives a sharp rebuff when he opens his suit, and accordingly he challenges Bellmour, but fails to appear at the place of meeting. Celinda's old nurse, at night, admits Bellmour to her mistress' chamber, where they are surprized by Friendlove, her brother, who is, however, favourable to the union, the more so as he is a friend of Bellmour, and they have but newly returned from travelling together in Italy. Lord Plotwell warmly welcomes his nephew home, and proceeds to unfold his design of giving him his niece Diana in marriage. When he demurs, the old lord threatens to deprive him of his estate, and he is compelled eventually to acquiesce in the matrimonial schemes of his guardian. Bellmour sends word to Celinda, who replies in a heart-broken letter; and at the wedding feast Friendlove, who himself is deeply enamoured of Diana, appears in disguise to observe the traitor. He is followed by his sister disguised as a boy, and upon Friendlove's drawing on Bellmour a scuffle ensues which, however, ends without harm. In the nuptial chamber Bellmour informs Diana that he cannot love her and she quits him maddened with rage and disappointment. Sir Timothy serenades the newly-mated pair and is threatened by Bellmour, whilst Celinda, who has been watching the house, attacks the fop and his fiddlers. During the brawl Diana issuing forth meets Celinda, and taking her for a boy leads her into the house and shortly makes advances of love. They are interrupted by Friendlove, disguised, and he receives Diana's commands to seek out and challenge Bellmour. At the same time he reveals his love as though he told the tale of another, but he is met with scorn and only bidden to fight the husband who has repulsed her. Bellmour, meantime, in despair and rage at his misery plunges into reckless debauchery, and in company with Sir Timothy visits a bagnio, where they meet Betty Flauntit, the knight's kept mistress, and other cyprians. Hither they are tracked by Charles, Bellmour's younger brother, and Trusty, Lord Plotwell's old steward. Sharp words pass, the brothers fight and Charles is slighted wounded. Their Uncle hears of this with much indignation, and at the same time receiving a letter from Diana begging for a divorce, he announces his intention to further her purpose, and to abandon wholly Charles and Phillis, his sister, in consequence of their elder brother's conduct. Sir Timothy, induced by old Trusty, begins a warm courtship of Phillis, and arranges with a parasite named Sham to deceive her by a mock marriage. Sham, however, procures a real parson, and Sir Timothy is for the moment afraid he has got a wife without a dowry or portion. Lord Plotwell eventually promises to provide for her, and at Diana's request, now she recognizes her mistake in trying to hold a man who does not love her, Bellmour is forgiven and allowed to wed Celinda as soon as the divorce has been pronounced, whilst Diana herself rewards Friendlove with her hand.
The Town-Fop; or, Sir Timothy Tawdrey is materially founded upon George Wilkins' popular play, The Miseries of Enforced Marriage (4to, 1607, 1611, 1629, 1637), reprinted in Dodsley. Sir Timothy himself is moulded to some extent upon Sir Francis Ilford, but, as Geneste aptly remarks, he may be considered a new character. In the older drama, Clare, the original of Celinda, dies tragically of a broken heart. It cannot be denied that Mrs. Behn has greatly improved Wilkins' scenes. The well-drawn character of Betty Flauntit is her own, and the realistically vivacious bagnio episodes of Act iv replace a not very interesting or lively tavern with a considerable accession to wit and humour, although perhaps not to strict propriety.
The Town-Fop; or, Sir Timothy Tawdrey was produced at the Duke's Theatre, Dorset Garden, in September, 1676. There is no record of its performance, and the actors' names are not given. It was a year of considerable changes in the company, and any attempt to supply these would be the merest surmise.
THE TOWN-FOP; or, Sir Timothy Tawdrey.
_As Country Squire, who yet had never known The long-expected Joy of being in Town; Whose careful Parents scarce permitted Heir To ride from home, unless to neighbouring Fair; At last by happy Chance is hither led, To purchase Clap with loss of Maidenhead; Turns wondrous gay, bedizen'd to Excess; Till he is all Burlesque in Mode and Dress: Learns to talk loud in Pit, grows wily too, That is to say, makes mighty Noise and Show.
So a young Poet, who had never been Dabling beyond the Height of Ballading; Who, in his brisk Essays, durst ne'er excel The lucky Flight of rhyming Doggerel, Sets up with this sufficient Stock on Stage, And has, perchance, the luck to please the Age. He draws you in, like cozening Citizen; Cares not how bad the Ware, so Shop be fine.
As tawdry Gown and Petticoat gain more (Tho on a dull diseas'd ill-favour'd Whore) Than prettier Frugal, tho on Holy-day, When every City-Spark has leave to play_, Damn her, she must be sound, she is so gay; _So let the Scenes be fine, you'll ne'er enquire For Sense, but lofty Flights in nimble Wire. What we present to Day is none of these, But we cou'd wish it were, for we wou'd please, And that you'll swear we hardly meant to do: Yet here's no Sense; Pox on't, but here's no Show; But a plain Story, that will give a Taste Of what your Grandsires lov'd i'th' Age that's past_.
Lord Plotwell. Bellmour, Nephew to the Lord Plotwell, contracted to Celinda. Charles, Brother to Bellmour. Friendlove, Brother to Celinda, in love with Diana. Sir Timothy Tawdrey, a Fop-Knight, design'd to marry Celinda. Sham, Hangers on to Sir Timothy. Sharp, Trusty, An old Steward to Bellmour's Family. Page to Bellmour. Page to Lord Plotwell. Sir Timothy's Page. Guests, Dancers, Fiddlers, and Servants.
The Lady Diana, Niece to the Lord Plotwell. Celinda, Sister to Friendlove, contracted to Bellmour. Phillis, Sister to Bellmour. Betty Flauntit, kept by Sir Timothy. Driver, A Bawd. Jenny, Two Whores Doll, Nurse, Ladies and Guests.
SCENE I. The Street.
Enter Sir Timothy Tawdrey, Sham, and Sharp.
Sir Tim. Hereabouts is the House wherein dwells the Mistress of my Heart; for she has Money, Boys, mind me, Money in abundance, or she were not for me—The Wench her self is good-natur'd, and inclin'd to be civil: but a Pox on't—she has a Brother, a conceited Fellow, whom the World mistakes for a fine Gentleman; for he has travell'd, talks Languages, bows with a bonne mine, and the rest; but, by Fortune, he shall entertain you with nothing but Words—
Sham. Nothing else!—
Sir Tim. No—He's no Country-Squire, Gentlemen, will not game, whore; nay, in my Conscience, you will hardly get your selves drunk in his Company—He treats A-la-mode, half Wine, half Water, and the rest—But to the Business, this Fellow loves his Sister dearly, and will not trust her in this leud Town, as he calls it, without him; and hither he has brought her to marry me.
Sham. A Pox upon him for his Pains—
Sir Tim. So say I—But my Comfort is, I shall be as weary of her, as the best Husband of 'em all. But there's Conveniency in it; besides, the Match being as good as made up by the old Folks in the Country, I must submit—The Wench I never saw yet, but they say she's handsom—But no matter for that, there's Money, my Boys.
Sharp. Well, Sir, we will follow you—but as dolefully as People do their Friends to the Grave, from whence they're never to return, at least not the same Substance; the thin airy Vision of a brave good Fellow, we may see thee hereafter, but that's the most.
Sir Tim. Your Pardon, sweet Sharp, my whole Design in it is to be Master of my self, and with part of her Portion to set up my Miss, Betty Flauntit; which, by the way, is the main end of my marrying; the rest you'll have your shares of—Now I am forc'd to take you up Suits at treble Prizes, have damn'd Wine and Meat put upon us, 'cause the Reckoning is to be book'd: But ready Money, ye Rogues! What Charms it has! makes the Waiters fly, Boys, and the Master with Cap in Hand—excuse what's amiss, Gentlemen—Your Worship shall command the best—and the rest—How briskly the Box and Dice dance, and the ready Money submits to the lucky Gamester, and the gay Wench consults with every Beauty to make her self agreeable to the Man with ready Money! In fine, dear Rogues, all things are sacrific'd to its Power; and no Mortal conceives the Joy of Argent Content. 'Tis this powerful God that makes me submit to the Devil, Matrimony; and then thou art assur'd of me, my stout Lads of brisk Debauch.
Sham. And is it possible you can be ty'd up to a Wife? Whilst here in London, and free, you have the whole World to range in, and like a wanton Heifer, eat of every Pasture.
Sir Tim. Why, dost think I'll be confin'd to my own dull Enclosure? No, I had rather feed coarsely upon the boundless Common; perhaps two or three days I may be in love, and remain constant, but that's the most.
Sharp. And in three Weeks, should you wed a Cynthia, you'd be a Monster.
Sir Tim. What, thou meanest a Cuckold, I warrant. God help thee! But a Monster is only so from its Rarity, and a Cuckold is no such strange thing in our Age.
Enter Bellmour and Friendlove.
But who comes here? Bellmour! Ah, my little dear Rogue! how dost thou? —Ned Friendlove too! Dear Lad, how dost thou too? Why, welcome to Town, i'faith, and I'm glad to see you both.
Friend. Sir Timothy Tawdrey!—
Sir Tim. The same, by Fortune, dear Ned: And how, and how, Man, how go Matters?
Friend. Between who, Sir?
Sir Tim. Why, any Body, Man; but, by Fortune, I'm overjoy'd to meet thee: But where dost think I was going?
Friend. Is't possible one shou'd divine?
Sir Tim. Is't possible you shou'd not, and meet me so near your Sister's Lodgings? Faith, I was coming to pay my Respects and Services, and the rest—Thou know'st my meaning—The old Business of the Silver-World, Ned; by Fortune, it's a mad Age we live in, Ned; and here be so many—wicked Rogues, about this damn'd leud Town, that, 'faith, I am fain to speak in the vulgar modish Style, in my own Defence, and railly Matrimony and the rest.
Friend. Matrimony!—I hope you are so exactly refin'd a Man of the Town, that you will not offer once to think of so dull a thing: let that alone for such cold Complexions as Bellmour here, and I, that have not attain'd to that most excellent faculty of Keeping yet, as you, Sir Timothy, have done; much to your Glory, I assure you.
Sir Tim. Who, I, Sir? You do me much Honour: I must confess I do not find the softer Sex cruel; I am received as well as another Man of my Parts.
Friend. Of your Money you mean, Sir.
Sir Tim. Why, 'faith, Ned, thou art i'th' right; I love to buy my Pleasure: for, by Fortune, there's as much pleasure in Vanity and Variety, as any Sins I know; What think'st thou, Ned?
Friend. I am not of your Mind, I love to love upon the square; and that I may be sure not to be cheated with false Ware, I present 'em nothing but my Heart.
Sir Tim. Yes, and have the Consolation of seeing your frugal huswifery Miss in the Pit, at a Play, in a long Scarf and Night-gown, for want of Points, and Garniture.
Friend. If she be clean, and pretty, and drest in Love, I can excuse the rest, and so will she.
Sir Tim. I vow to Fortune, Ned, thou must come to London, and be a little manag'd: 'slife, Man, shouldst thou talk so aloud in good Company, thou wouldst be counted a strange Fellow. Pretty—and drest with Love—a fine Figure, by Fortune: No, Ned, the painted Chariot gives a Lustre to every ordinary Face, and makes a Woman look like Quality; Ay, so like, by Fortune, that you shall not know one from t'other, till some scandalous, out-of-favour'd laid-aside Fellow of the Town, cry—Damn her for a Bitch—how scornfully the Whore regards me—She has forgot since Jack—such a one, and I, club'd for the keeping of her, when both our Stocks well manag'd wou'd not amount to above seven Shillings six Pence a week; besides now and then a Treat of a Breast of Mutton from the next Cook's.—Then the other laughs, and crys—Ay, rot her—and tells his Story too, and concludes with, Who manages the Jilt now; Why, faith, some dismal Coxcomb or other, you may be sure, replies the first. But, Ned, these are Rogues, and Rascals, that value no Man's Reputation, because they despise their own. But faith, I have laid aside all these Vanities, now I have thought of Matrimony; but I desire my Reformation may be a Secret, because, as you know, for a Man of my Address, and the rest—'tis not altogether so Jantee.
Friend. Sir, I assure you, it shall be so great a Secret for me, that I will never ask you who the happy Woman is, that's chosen for this great Work of your Conversion.
Sir Tim. Ask me—No, you need not, because you know already.
Friend. Who, I? I protest, Sir Timothy—
Sir Tim. No Swearing, dear Ned, for 'tis not such a Secret, but I will trust my Intimates: these are my Friends, Ned; pray know them—This Mr. Sham, and this—by Fortune, a very honest Fellow [Bows to 'em] Mr. Sharp, and may be trusted with a Bus'ness that concerns you as well as me.
Friend. Me! What do you mean, Sir Timothy?
Sir Tim. Why, Sir, you know what I mean.
Friend. Not I, Sir.
Sir Tim. What, not that I am to marry your Sister Celinda?
Friend. Not at all.
Bel. O, this insufferable Sot! [Aside.
Friend. My Sister, Sir, is very nice.
Sir Tim. That's all one, Sir, the old People have adjusted the matter, and they are the most proper for a Negotiation of that kind, which saves us the trouble of a tedious Courtship.
Friend. That the old People have agreed the matter, is more than I know.
Sir Tim. Why, Lord, Sir, will you persuade me to that? Don't you know that your Father (according to the Method in such Cases, being certain of my Estate) came to me thus—Sir Timothy Tawdrey,—you are a young Gentleman, and a Knight, I knew your Father well, and my right worshipful Neighbour, our Estates lie together; therefore, Sir, I have a desire to have a near Relation with you—At which, I interrupted him, and cry'd—Oh Lord, Sir, I vow to Fortune, you do me the greatest Honour, Sir, and the rest—
Bel. I can endure no more; he marry fair Celinda!
Friend. Prithee let him alone. [Aside.
Sir Tim. To which he answer'd—I have a good Fortune—have but my Son Ned, and this Girl, call'd Celinda, whom I will make a Fortune, sutable to yours; your honoured Mother, the Lady Tawdrey, and I, have as good as concluded the Match already. To which I (who, though I say it, am well enough bred for a Knight) answered the Civility thus—I vow to Fortune, Sir—I did not swear, but cry'd—I protest, Sir, Celinda, deserves—no, no, I lye again, 'twas merits—Ay, Celinda—merits a much better Husband than I.
Friend. You speak more Truth than you are aware of. [Aside.] Well, Sir, I'll bring you to my Sister; and if she likes you, as well as My Father does, she's yours; otherwise, I have so much Tenderness for her, as to leave her Choice free.
Sir _Tim_. Oh, Sir, you compliment. _Alons, Entrons.
SCENE II. A Chamber.
Enter Celinda, and Nurse.
Cel. I wonder my Brother stays so long: sure Mr. Bellmour is not yet arriv'd, yet he sent us word he would be here to day. Lord, how impatient I grow!
Nur. Ay, so methinks; if I had the hopes of enjoying so sweet a Gentleman as Mr. Bellmour, I shou'd be so too—But I am past it—Well, I have had my Pantings, and Heavings, my Impatience, and Qualms, my Heats, and my Colds, and my I know not whats—But I thank my Stars, I have done with all those Fooleries.
Cel. Fooleries!— Is there any thing in Life but Love? Wou'dst thou praise Heaven for thy Being, Without that grateful part of it? For I confess I love.
Nur. You need not, your Sighs, and daily (nay, and nightly too) Disorders, plainly enough betray the Truth.
Cel. Thou speak'st as if it were a Sin: But if it be so, you your self help'd to make me wicked. For e'er I saw Mr. Bellmour, you spoke the kindest things of him, As would have mov'd the dullest Maid to love; And e'er I saw him, I was quite undone.
Nur. Quite undone! Now God forbid it; what, for loving? You said but now there was no Life without it.
Cel. But since my Brother came from Italy, And brought young Bellmour to our House, How very little thou hadst said of him! How much above thy Praise, I found the Youth!
Nur. Very pretty! You are grown a notable Proficient in Love—And you are resolv'd (if he please) to marry him?
Cel. Or I must die.
Nur. Ay, but you know the Lord Plotwell has the Possession of all his Estate, and if he marry without his liking, has Power to take away all his Fortune, and then I think it were not so good marrying him.
Cel. Not marrying him! Oh, canst thou think so poorly of me? Yes, I would marry him, though our scanty Fortune Cou'd only purchase us A lonely Cottage, in some silent Place, All cover'd o'er with Thatch, Defended from the Outrages of Storms By leafless Trees, in Winter; and from Heat, With Shades, which their kind Boughs wou'd bear anew; Under whose Covert we'd feed our gentle Flock, That shou'd in gratitude repay us Food, And mean and humble Clothing.
Nur. Very fine!
Cel. There we wou'd practise such degrees of Love, Such lasting, innocent, unheard of Joys, As all the busy World should wonder at, And, amidst all their Glories, find none such.
Nur. Good lack! how prettily Love teaches his Scholars to prattle.— But hear ye, fair Mrs. Celinda, you have forgot to what end and purpose you came to Town; not to marry Mr. Bellmour, as I take it—but Sir Timothy Tawdrey, that Spark of Men.
Cel. Oh, name him not—Let me not in one Moment Descend from Heaven to Hell— How came that wretched thing into thy Noddle?
Nur. Faith, Mistress, I took pity of thee, I saw you so elevated with Thoughts of Mr. Bellmour, I found it necessary to take you down a degree lower.
Cel. Why did not Heaven make all Men like lo Bellmour? So strangely sweet and charming!
Nur. Marry come up, you speak well for your self; Oh intolerable loving Creature! But here comes the utmost of your Wishes.
Cel. My Brother, and Bellmour! with strange Men!
Enter Friendlove, Bellmour, Sir Timothy, Sham, and Sharp.
Friend. Sister, I've brought you here a Lover, this is the worthy Person you have heard of, Sir Timothy Tawdrey.
Sir Tim. Yes, faith, Madam, I am Sir Timothy Tawdrey, at your Service—Pray are not you Mrs. Celinda Dresswell?
Cel. The same, but cannot return your Compliment.
Sir Tim. Oh Lord, oh Lord, not return a Compliment. Faith, Ned, thy Sister's quite spoil'd, for want of Town-Education; 'tis pity, for she's devilish pretty.
Friend. She's modest, Sir, before Company; therefore these Gentlemen and I will withdraw into the next Room.
Cel. Inhuman Brother! Will you leave me alone with this Sot?
Friend. Yes, and if you would be rid of the trouble of him, be not coy, nor witty; two things he hates.
Bel. 'Sdeath! Must she be blown upon by that Fool?
Friend. Patience, dear Frank, a little while.
[Exeunt Friend. Bell. Sham and Sharp.
[Sir Timothy walks about the Room, expecting when Celinda should speak.
Cel. Oh, dear Nurse, what shall I do?
Nur. I that ever help you at a dead Lift, will not fail you now.
Sir Tim. What a Pox, not a Word?
Cel. Sure this Fellow believes I'll begin.
Sir Tim. Not yet—sure she has spoke her last—
Nur. The Gentleman's good-natur'd, and has took pity on you, and will not trouble you, I think.
Sir Tim.—Hey day, here's Wooing indeed—Will she never begin, trow? —This some would call an excellent Quality in her Sex—But a pox on't, I do not like it—Well, I see I must break Silence at last—Madam—not answer me—'shaw, this is mere ill breeding—by Fortune—it can be nothing else—O' my Conscience, if I should kiss her, she would bid me stand off—I'll try—
Nur. Hold, Sir, you mistake your Mark.
Sir Tim. So I should, if I were to look in thy mouldy Chaps, good Matron—Can your Lady speak?
Nur. Try, Sir.
Sir Tim. Which way?
Nur. Why, speak to her first.
Sir Tim. I never knew a Woman want a Cue for that; but all that I Have met with were still before-hand with me in tittle tattle.
Nur. Likely those you have met with may, but this is no such Creature, Sir.
Sir Tim. I must confess, I am unus'd to this kind of Dialogue; and I am an Ass, if I know what to say to such a Creature. —But come, will you answer me to one Question?
Cel. If I can, Sir.
Sir Tim. But first I should ask you if you can speak? For that's a Question too.
Cel. And if I cannot, how will you be answer'd?
Sir Tim. Faith, that's right; why, then you must do't by signs.
Cel. But grant I can speak, what is't you'll ask me?
Sir Tim. Can you love?
Cel. Oh, yes, Sir, many things; I love my Meat, I love abundance of Adorers, I love choice of new Clothes, new Plays; and, like a right Woman, I love to have my Will.
Sir Tim. Spoke like a well-bred Person, by Fortune: I see there's hopes of thee, Celinda; thou wilt in time learn to make a very fashionable Wife, having so much Beauty too. I see Attracts, and Allurements, wanton Eyes, the languishing turn of the Head, and all That invites to Temptation.
Cel. Would that please you in a Wife?
Sir Tim. Please me! Why, Madam, what do you take me to be? a Sot?— a Fool?—or a dull Italian of the Humour of your Brother?—No, no, I can assure you, she that marries me, shall have Franchise—But, my pretty Miss, you must learn to talk a little more—
Cel. I have not Wit, and Sense enough, for that.
Sir Tim. Wit! Oh la, O la, Wit! as if there were any Wit requir'd in a Woman when she talks; no, no matter for Wit, or Sense: talk but loud, and a great deal to shew your white Teeth, and smile, and be very confident, and 'tis enough—Lord, what a Sight 'tis to see a pretty Woman Stand right up an end in the middle of a Room, playing with her Fan, for want of something to keep her in Countenance. No, she that is mine, I will teach to entertain at another rate.
Nur. How, Sir? Why, what do you take my young Mistress to be?
Sir Tim. A Woman—and a fine one, and so fine as she ought to permit her self to be seen, and be ador'd.
Nur. Out upon you, would you expose your Wife? by my troth, and I were she, I know what I wou'd do—
Sir Tim. Thou do—what thou wouldst have done sixty Years ago, thou meanest.
Nur. Marry come up, for a stinking Knight; worse than I have gone down with you, e'er now—Sixty Years ago, quoth ye—As old as I am— I live without Surgeons, wear my own Hair, am not in Debt to my Taylor, as thou art, and art fain to kiss his Wife, to persuade her Husband to be merciful to thee—who wakes thee every Morning with his Clamour and long Bills, at thy Chamber-door.
Sir Tim. Prithee, good Matron, Peace; I'll compound with thee.
Nur. 'Tis more than thou wilt do with thy Creditors, who, poor Souls, despair of a Groat in the Pound for all thou ow'st them, for Points, Lace, and Garniture—for all, in fine, that makes thee a complete Fop.
Sir Tim. Hold, hold thy eternal Clack.
Nur. And when none would trust thee farther, give Judgments for twice the Money thou borrowest, and swear thy self at Age; and lastly—to patch up your broken Fortune, you wou'd fain marry my sweet Mistress Celinda here—But, Faith, Sir, you're mistaken, her Fortune shall not go to the Maintenance of your Misses; which being once sure of, she, poor Soul, is sent down to the Country-house, to learn Housewifery, and live without Mankind, unless she can serve her self with the handsom Steward, or so—whilst you tear it away in Town, and live like Man and Wife with your Jilt, and are every Day seen in the Glass Coach, whilst your own natural Lady is hardly worth the Hire of a Hack.
Sir Tim. Why, thou damnable confounded Torment, wilt thou never cease?
Nur. No, not till you raise your Siege, and be gone; go march to your Lady of Love, and Debauch—go—You get no Celinda here.
Sir Tim. The Devil's in her Tongue.
Cel. Good gentle Nurse, have Mercy upon the poor Knight.
Nur. No more, Mistress, than he'll have on you, if Heaven had so abandon'd you, to put you into his Power—Mercy—quoth ye—no—, no more than his Mistress will have, when all his Money's gone.
Sir Tim. Will she never end?
Cel. Prithee forbear.
Nur. No more than the Usurer would, to whom he has mortgag'd the best part of his Estate, would forbear a Day after the promis'd Payment of the Money. Forbear!—
Sir Tim. Not yet end! Can I, Madam, give you a greater Proof of my Passion for you, than to endure this for your sake?
Nur. This—thou art so sorry a Creature, thou wilt endure any thing for the lucre of her Fortune; 'tis that thou hast a Passion for: not that thou carest for Money, but to sacrifice to thy Leudness, to purchase a Mistress, to purchase the Reputation of as errant a Fool as ever arriv'd at the Honour of keeping; to purchase a little Grandeur, as you call it; that is, to make every one look at thee, and consider what a Fool thou art, who else might pass unregarded amongst the common Croud.
Sir Tim. The Devil's in her Tongue, and so 'tis in most Women's of her Age; for when it has quitted the Tail, it repairs to her upper Tire.
Nur. Do not persuade me, Madam, I am resolv'd to make him weary of his Wooing.
Sir Tim. So, God be prais'd, the Storm is laid—And now, Mrs. Celinda, give me leave to ask you, if it be with your leave, this Affront is put on a Man of my Quality?
Nur. Thy Quality—
Sir Tim. Yes; I am a Gentleman, and a Knight.
Nur. Yes, Sir, Knight of the ill-favour'd Countenance is it?
Sir Tim. You are beholding to Don Quixot for that, and 'tis so many Ages since thou couldst see to read, I wonder thou hast not forgot all that ever belong'd to Books.
Nur. My Eye-sight is good enough to see thee in all thy Colours, thou Knight of the burning Pestle thou.
Sir Tim. Agen, that was out of a Play—Hark ye, Witch of Endor, hold your prating Tongue, or I shall most well-favour'dly cudgel ye.
Nur. As your Friend the Hostess has it in a Play too, I take it, Ends which you pick up behind the Scenes, when you go to be laught at even by the Player-Women.
Sir Tim. Wilt thou have done? By Fortune, I'll endure no more—
Nur. Murder, Murder!
Cel. Hold, hold.
Enter Friendlove, Bellmour, Sham and Sharp.
Friend. Read here the worst of News that can arrive, [Gives Bellm. a Letter. —What's the matter here? Why, how now, Sir Timothy, what, up in Arms with the Women?
Sir Tim. Oh, Ned, I'm glad thou'rt come—never was Tom Dove baited as I have been.
Friend. By whom? my Sister?
Sir Tim. No, no, that old Mastiff there—the young Whelp came not on, thanks be prais'd.
Bel. How, her Father here to morrow, and here he says, that shall be the last Moment, he will defer the Marriage of Celinda to this Sot— Oh God, I shall grow mad, and so undo 'em all—I'll kill the Villain at the Altar—By my lost hopes, I will—And yet there is some left—Could I but—speak to her—I must rely on Dresswell's Friendship—Oh God, to morrow—Can I endure that thought? Can I endure to see the Traytor there, who must to morrow rob me of my Heaven?—I'll own my Flame—and boldly tell this Fop, she must be mine—
Friend. I assure you, Sir Timothy, I am sorry, and will chastise her.
Sir Tim. Ay, Sir, I that am a Knight—a Man of Parts and Wit, and one that is to be your Brother, and design'd to be the Glory of marrying Celinda.
Bel. I can endure no more—How, Sir—You marry fair Celinda!
Sir Tim. Ay, Frank, ay—is she not a pretty little plump white Rogue, hah?
Sir Tim. Oh, I had forgot thou art a modest Rogue, and to thy eternal Shame, hadst never the Reputation of a Mistress—Lord, Lord, that I could see thee address thy self to a Lady—I fancy thee a very ridiculous Figure in that Posture, by Fortune.
Bel. Why, Sir, I can court a Lady—
Sir Tim. No, no, thou'rt modest; that is to say, a Country Gentleman; that is to say, ill-bred; that is to say, a Fool, by Fortune, as the World goes.
Bel. Neither, Sir—I can love—and tell it too—and that you may believe me—look on this Lady, Sir.
Sir Tim. Look on this Lady, Sir—Ha, ha, ha,—Well, Sir—Well, Sir— And what then?
Bel. Nay, view her well, Sir—
Sir. Tim. Pleasant this—Well, Frank, I do—And what then?
Bel. Is she not charming fair—fair to a wonder!
Sir Tim. Well, Sir, 'tis granted—
Bel. And canst thou think this Beauty meant for thee, for thee, dull common Man?
Sir Tim. Very well, what will he say next?
Bel. I say, let me no more see thee approach this Lady.
Sir Tim. How, Sir, how?
Bel. Not speak to her, not look on her—by Heaven—not think of her.
Sir Tim. How, Frank, art in earnest?
Bel. Try, if thou dar'st.
Sir Tim. Not think of her!—
Bel. No, not so much as in a Dream, could I divine it.
Sir Tim. Is he in earnest, Mr. Friendlove?
Friend. I doubt so, Sir Timothy.
Sir Tim. What, does he then pretend to your Sister?
Bel. Yes, and no Man else shall dare do so.
Sir Tim. Take notice I am affronted in your Lodgings—for you, Bellmour—You take me for an Ass—therefore meet me to morrow Morning about five, with your Sword in your Hand, behind Southampton House.
Bel. 'Tis well—there we will dispute our Title to Celinda. [Exit Sir Tim. Dull Animal! The Gods cou'd ne'er decree So bright a Maid shou'd be possest by thee.
SCENE I. A Palace.
Enter Nurse with a Light.
Nur. Well, 'tis an endless trouble to have the Tuition of a Maid in love, here is such Wishing and Longing.—And yet one must force them to what they most desire, before they will admit of it—Here am I sent out a Scout of the Forlorn Hope, to discover the Approach of the Enemy—Well —Mr. Bellmour, you are not to know, 'tis with the Consent of Celinda, that you come—I must bear all the blame, what Mischief soever comes of these Night-Works.
Oh, are you come—Your Hour was Twelve, and now 'tis almost Two.
Bel. I could not get from Friendlove—Thou hast not told Celinda of my coming?
Nur. No, no, e'en make Peace for me, and your self too.
Bel. I warrant thee, Nurse—Oh, how I hope and fear this Night's Success!
SCENE II. A Chamber.
Celinda in her Night-Attire, leaning on a Table. Enter to her Bellmour and Nurse.
Cel. Oh Heavens! Mr. Bellmour at this late Hour in my Chamber!
Bel. Yes, Madam; but will approach no nearer till you permit me; And sure you know my Soul too well to fear.
Cel. I do, Sir, and you may approach yet nearer, And let me know your Business.
Bel. Love is my bus'ness, that of all the World; Only my Flame as much surmounts the rest, As is the Object's Beauty I adore.
Cel. If this be all, to tell me of your Love, To morrow might have done as well.
Bel. Oh, no, to morrow would have been too late, Too late to make returns to all my Pain. —What disagreeing thing offends your Eyes? I've no Deformity about my Person; I'm young, and have a Fortune great as any That do pretend to serve you; And yet I find my Interest in your Heart, Below those happy ones that are my Rivals. Nay, every Fool that can but plead his Title, And the poor Interest that a Parent gives him, Can merit more than I. —What else, my lovely Maid, can give a freedom To that same talking, idle, knighted Fop?
Cel. Oh, if I am so wretched to be his, Surely I cannot live; For, Sir, I must confess I cannot love him.
Bel. But thou may'st do as bad, and marry him, And that's a Sin I cannot over-live; —No, hear my Vows—
Cel. But are you, Sir, in earnest?
Bel. In earnest? Yes, by all that's good, I am; I love you more than I do Life, or Heaven!
Cel. Oh, what a pleasure 'tis to hear him say so! [Aside. —But pray, how long, Sir, have you lov'd me so?
Bel. From the first moment that I saw your Eyes, Your charming killing Eyes, I did adore 'em; And ever since have languisht Day and Night.
Nur. Come, come, ne'er stand asking of Questions, But follow your Inclinations, and take him at his Word.
Bel. Celinda, take her Counsel, Perhaps this is the last opportunity; Nay, and, by Heaven, the last of all my Life, If you refuse me now— Say, will you never marry Man but me?
Cel. Pray give me till to morrow, Sir, to answer you; For I have yet some Fears about my Soul, That take away my Rest.
Bel. To morrow! You must then marry—Oh fatal Word! Another! a Beast, a Fool, that knows not how to value you.
Cel. Is't possible my Fate shou'd be so near?
Nur. Nay, then dispose of your self, I say, and leave dissembling; 'tis high time.
Bel. This Night the Letter came, the dreadful News Of thy being married, and to morrow too. Oh, answer me, or I shall die with Fear.
Cel. I must confess it, Sir, without a blush, (For 'tis no Sin to love) that I cou'd wish— Heaven and my Father were inclin'd my way: But I am all Obedience to their Wills.
Bel. That Sigh was kind, But e'er to morrow this time, You'll want this pitying Sense, and feel no Pantings, But those which Joys and Pleasures do create.
Cel. Alas, Sir! what is't you'd have me do?
Bel. Why—I wou'd have you love, and after that You need not be instructed what to do. Give me your Faith, give me your solemn Vow To be my Wife, and I shall be at Peace.
Cel. Have you consider'd, Sir, your own Condition? 'Tis in your Uncle's Power to take your Fortune, If in your Choice you disobey his Will. —And, Sir, you know that mine is much below you.
Bel. Oh, I shall calm his Rage, By urging so much Reason as thy Beauty, And my own Flame, on which my Life depends. —He now has kindly sent for me to London, I fear his Bus'ness— Yet if you'll yield to marry me, We'll keep it secret, till our kinder Stars Have made provision for the blest Discovery. Come, give me your Vows, or we must part for ever.
Cel. Part! Oh, 'tis a fatal Word! I will do any thing to save that Life, To which my own so nearly is ally'd.
Friend. So, forward Sister!
Bel. Ha, Friendlove!
Friend. Was it so kindly done, to gain my Sister Without my knowledge?
Bel. Ah, Friend! 'Twas from her self alone That I wou'd take the Blessing which I ask.
Friend. And I'll assist her, Sir, to give it you. Here, take him as an Honour, and be thankful.
Bel. I as a Blessing sent from Heaven receive her, And e'er I sleep will justify my Claim, And make her mine.
Friend. Be not so hasty, Friend: Endeavour first to reconcile your Uncle to't.
Bel. By such Delays we're lost: Hast thou forgot? To morrow she's design'd another's Bride!
Friend. For that let me alone t'evade.
Bel. If you must yet delay me, Give me leave not to interest such Wealth without Security. And I, Celinda, will instruct you how to satisfy my Fears. [Kneels, and takes her by the Hand. Bear witness to my Vows— May every Plague that Heaven inflicts on Sin, Fall down in Thunder on my Head, If e'er I marry any but Celinda Or if I do not marry thee, fair Maid.
Nur. Heartily sworn, as I vow.
Cel. And here I wish as solemnly the same: —May all arrive to me, If e'er I marry any Man but Bellmour!
Nur. We are Witnesses, as good as a thousand.
Friend. But now, my Friend, I'd have you take your leave; the day comes on apace, and you've not seen your Uncle since your Arrival.
Bel. 'Tis Death to part with thee, my fair Celinda; But our hard Fates impose this Separation: —Farewel—Remember thou'rt all mine.
Cel. What have I else of Joy to think upon? —Go—go—depart.
Bel. I will—but 'tis as Misers part with Gold, Or People full of Health depart from Life.
Friend. Go, Sister, to your Bed, and dream of him.
[Ex. Cel. and Nurse.
Bel. Whilst I prepare to meet this Fop to fight him.
Friend. Hang him, he'll ne'er meet thee; to beat a Watch, or kick a Drawer, or batter Windows, is the highest pitch of Valour he e'er arriv'd to.
Bel. However, I'll expect him, lest he be fool-hardy enough to keep his Word.
Friend. Shall I wait on thee?
Bel. No, no, there's no need of that—Good-morrow, my best Friend.
Friend. But e'er you go, my dearest Friend and Brother, Now you are sure of all the Joys you wish From Heaven, do not forgetful grow of that great Trust I gave you of all mine; but, like a Friend, Assist me in my great Concern of Love With fair Diana, your lovely Cousin. You know how long I have ador'd that Maid; But still her haughty Pride repell'd my Flame, And all its fierce Efforts.
Bel. She has a Spirit equal to her Beauty, As mighty and tyrannick; yet she has Goodness, And I believe enough inclin'd to Love, When once her Pride's o'ercome. I have the Honour To be the Confident of all her Thoughts: And to augment thy Hopes, 'tis not long since She did with Sighs confess to me, she lov'd A Man, she said, scarce equal to her Fortune: But all my Interest could not learn the Object; But it must needs be you, by what she said. This I'll improve, and so to your Advantage—
Friend. I neither doubt thy Industry, nor Love; Go, and be careful of my Interest there, Whilst I preserve thine as intirely here.
SCENE III. Sir Timothy's House.
Enter Sir Timothy, Sham, Sharp, and Boy.
Sharp. Good morrow, Sir Timothy; what, not yet ready, and to meet Mr. Bellmour at Five? the time's past.
Sir Tim.—Ay, Pox on't—I han't slept to Night for thinking on't.
Sham. Well, Sir Timothy, I have most excellent News for you, that will do as well; I have found out—
Sir Tim. A new Wench, I warrant—But prithee, Sham, I have other matters in hand; 'Sheart, I am so mortify'd with this same thought of Fighting, that I shall hardly think of Womankind again.
Sharp. And you were so forward, Sir Timothy—
Sir Tim. Ay, Sharp, I am always so when I am angry; had I been but A little more provok'd then, that we might have gone to't when the heat was brisk, I had done well—but a Pox on't, this fighting in cool Blood I hate.
Sham. 'Shaw, Sir, 'tis nothing, a Man wou'd do't for Exercise in a Morning.
Sir Tim. Ay, if there were no more in't than Exercise; if a Man cou'd take a Breathing without breathing a Vein—but, Sham, this Wounds, and Blood, sounds terribly in my Ears; but since thou say'st 'tis nothing, prithee do thou meet Bellmour in my stead; thou art a poor Dog, and 'tis no matter if the World were well rid of thee.
Sham. I wou'd do't with all my Soul—but your Honour, Sir—
Sir Tim.—My Honour! 'tis but Custom that makes it honourable to fight Duels—I warrant you the wise Italian thinks himself a Man of Honour; and yet when did you hear of an Italian, that ever fought a Duel? Is't not enough, that I am affronted, have my Mistress taken away before my Face, hear my self call'd, dull, common Man, dull Animal, and the rest?—But I must after all give him leave to kill me too, if he can—And this is your damn'd Honourable English way of shewing a Man's Courage.
Sham. I must confess I am of your mind, and therefore have been studying a Revenge, sutable to the Affront: and if I can judge any thing, I have hit it.
Sir Tim. Hast thou? dear Sham, out with it.
Sham. Why, Sir—what think you of debauching his Sister?
Sir Tim. Why, is there such a thing in Nature?
Sham. You know he has a Sister, Sir.
Sir Tim. Yes, rich, and fair.
Sham. Both, or she were not worthy of your Revenge.
Sir Tim. Oh, how I love Revenge, that has a double Pleasure in it—and where—and where is this fine piece of Temptation?
Sham. In being, Sir—but Sharp here, and I, have been at some cost in finding her out.
Sir Tim. Ye shall be overpaid—there's Gold, my little Maquere—but she's very handsom?
Sharp. As a Goddess, Sir.
Sir Tim. And art thou sure she will be leud?
Sharp. Are we sure she's a Woman, Sir?—Sure, she's in her Teens, has Pride and Vanity—and two or three Sins more that I cou'd name, all which never fail to assist a Woman in Debauchery—But, Sir, there are certain People that belong to her, that must be consider'd too.
Sir Tim. Stay, Sir, e'er I part with more Money, I'll be certain what returns 'twill make me—that is, I'll see the Wench, not to inform my self, how well I like her, for that I shall do, because she is new, and Bellmour's Sister—but to find what possibility there is in gaining her.—I am us'd to these things, and can guess from a Look, or a Kiss, or a Touch of the Hand—but then I warrant, 'twill come to the knowledge of Betty Flauntit.
Sham. What, Sir, then it seems you doubt us?
Sir Tim. How do you mean, your Honesty or Judgment? I can assure you, I doubt both.
Sharp. How, Sir, doubt our Honesty!
Sir Tim. Yes—why, I hope neither of you pretend to either, do you?
Sham. Why, Sir, what, do you take us for Cheats?
Sir Tim. As errant, as any's in Christendom.
Sharp. How, Sir?
Sir Tim. Why, how now—what, fly in my Face? Are your Stomachs so queasy, that Cheat won't down with you?
Sham. Why, Sir, we are Gentlemen; and though our ill Fortunes have thrown us on your Bounty, we are not to be term'd—
Sir Tim. Why, you pair of Hectors—whence this Impudence?—Do ye know me, ye Raggamuffins?
Sham. Yes, but we knew not that you were a Coward before. You talkt big, and huft where-e'er you came, like an errant Bully; and so long we reverenc'd you—but now we find you have need of our Courage, we'll stand on our own Reputations.
Sir Tim. Courage and Reputation!—ha, ha, ha—why, you lousy Tatterdemallions—dare ye talk of Courage and Reputation?
Sharp. Why, Sir, who dares question either?
Sir Tim. He that dares try it. [Kicks 'em.
Sharp. Hold, Sir, hold.
Sham. Enough, enough, we are satisfy'd.
Sir Tim. So am not I, ye mangy Mungrels, till I have kickt Courage and Reputation out of ye.
Sham. Hold there, Sir, 'tis enough, we are satisfy'd, that you have Courage.
Sir Tim. Oh, are you so? then it seems I was not to be believ'd—I told you I had Courage when I was angry.
Sham. Ay, Sir, we have prov'd it, and will now swear it.—But we had an Inclination to try, Sir.
Sir Tim. And all you did, was but to try my Courage, hah!
Sharp. On our Honours, nothing else, Sir Timothy.
Sir Tim. Though I know ye to be cursed cowardly lying Rogues, yet because I have use of ye, I must forgive ye.—Here, kiss my Hand, and be forgiven.
Sham. 'Tis an Honour we are proud of, Sir.
Sir Tim. Oh, is it so, Rascallians? then I hope I am to see the Lady without Indentures.
Sharp. Oh Lord, Sir, any thing we can serve you in.
Sham. And I have brib'd her Maid to bring her this Morning into the Mall.
Sir Tim. Well, let's about it then; for I am for no fighting to day—D'ye hear, Boy—Let the Coach be got ready whilst I get my self drest.
Boy. The Coach, Sir! Why, you know Mr. Shatter has pawn'd the Horses.
Sir Tim. I had forgot it—A pox on't, this 'tis to have a Partner in A Coach; by Fortune, I must marry and set up a whole one.
SCENE IV. Lord Plotwell's House.
Enter Charles Bellmour, and Trusty.
Trusty. Mr. Charles, your Brother, my young Master Bellmour, is come.
Char. I'm glad on't; my Uncle began to be impatient that he came not, you saying you left him but a day's Journey behind you yesterday. My Uncle has something of importance to say to him, I fancy it may be about A Marriage between him and my Lady Diana—such a Whisper I heard—
Trusty. Ay, marry, Sir, that were a Match indeed, she being your Uncle's only Heir.
Char. Ay, but they are Sisters Children, and too near a-kin to be happy.
Trusty. 'Twere pity my young Master shou'd be unhappy in a Wife; for he is the sweetest-natur'd Gentleman—But one Comfort is, Mr. Charles, you, and your Sister Mrs. Phillis, will have your Portions assign'd you if he marry.
Char. Yes, that he can't deny us the very Day after his Marriage.
Trusty. I shall be glad to see you all dispos'd of well; but I was half afraid, your Brother would have married Mrs. Celinda Friendlove, to whom he made notable Love in Yorkshire I thought: not but she's a fine Lady; but her Fortune is below that of my young Master's, as much as my Lady Diana's is above his—But see, they come; let us retire, to give 'em leave to talk alone.
Enter Lord Plotwell, and Bellmour.
Lord. And well, Frank, how dost thou find thy self inclin'd? thou should'st begin to think of something more than Books. Do'st thou not wish to know the Joys that are to be found in a Woman, Frank? I well remember at thy Age I fancy'd a thousand fine things of that kind.
Bel. Ay, my Lord, a thousand more perhaps than are to be found.
Lord. Not so; but I confess, Frank, unless the Lady be fair, and there be some Love too, 'tis not altogether so well; therefore I, who am still busy for thy good, have fix'd upon a Lady—
Lord. What, dost start? Nay, I'll warrant thee she'll please; A Lady rich, and fair, and nobly born, and thou shalt marry her, Frank.
Bel. Marry her, my Lord—
Lord. Why, yes, marry her—I hope you are none of the fashionable Fops, that are always in Mutiny against Marriage, who never think themselves very witty, but when they rail against Heaven and a Wife— But, Frank, I have found better Principles in thee, and thou hast the Reputation of a sober young Gentleman; thou art, besides, a Man of great Fortune, Frank.
Bel. And therefore, Sir, ought the less to be a Slave.
Lord. But, Frank, we are made for one another; and ought, by the Laws of God, to communicate our Blessings.
Bel. Sir, there are Men enough, fitter much than I, to obey those Laws; nor do I think them made for every one.
Lord. But, Frank, you do not know what a Wife I have provided for you.
Bel. 'Tis enough I know she's a Woman, Sir.
Lord. A Woman! why, what should she be else?
Bel. An Angel, Sir, e'er she can be my Wife.
Lord. In good time: but this is a Mortal, Sir—and must serve your turn—but, Frank, she is the finest Mortal—
Bel. I humbly beg your Pardon, if I tell you, That had she Beauty such as Heav'n ne'er made, Nor meant again t'inrich a Woman with, It cou'd not take my Heart.
Lord. But, Sir, perhaps you do not guess the Lady.
Bel. Or cou'd I, Sir, it cou'd not change my Nature.
Lord. But, Sir, suppose it be my Niece Diana.
Bel. How, Sir, the fair Diana!
Lord. I thought thou'dst come about again; What think you now of Woman-kind, and Wedlock?
Bel. As I did before, my Lord.
Lord. What, thou canst not think I am in earnest; I confess, Frank, she is above thee in point of Fortune, she being my only Heir—but suppose 'tis she.
Bel. Oh, I'm undone!—Sir, I dare not suppose so greatly in favour of my self.
Lord. But, Frank, you must needs suppose—
Bel. Oh, I am ruin'd, lost, for ever lost.
Lord. What do you mean, Sir?
Bel. I mean, I cannot marry fair Diana.
Lord. Death! how's this?
Bel. She is a thing above my humble wishes—
Lord. Is that all? Take you no care for that; for she loves you already, and I have resolv'd it, which is better yet.
Bel. Love me, Sir! I know she cannot, And Heav'n forbid that I should injure her.
Lord. Sir, this is a Put-off: resolve quickly, or I'll compel you.
Bel. You wou'd not use Extremity; What is the Forfeit of my Disobedience?
Lord. The loss of all your Fortune, If you refuse the Wife I have provided— Especially a handsom Lady, as she is, Frank.
Bel. Oh me, unhappy! What cursed Laws provided this Severity?
Lord. Even those of your Father's Disposal, who seeing so many Examples in this leud Age, of the ruin of whole Families by imprudent Marriages, provided otherwise for you.
Bel. But, Sir, admit Diana be inclin'd, And I (by my unhappy Stars so curs'd) Should be unable to accept the Honour.
Lord. How, Sir! admit!—I can no more admit, Than you can suppose—therefore give me your final Answer.
Bel. Sir, can you think a Blessing e'er can fall Upon that Pair, whom Interest joins, not Love?
Lord. Why, what's in Diana, that you shou'd not love her?
Bel. I must confess she has a thousand Virtues, The least of which wou'd bless another Man; But, Sir, I hope, if I am so unhappy As not to love that Lady, you will pardon me.
Lord. Indeed, Sir, but I will not; love me this Lady, and marry me this Lady, or I will teach you what it is to refuse such a Lady.
Bel. Sir, 'tis not in my power to obey you.
Lord. How! not in your pow'r?
Bel. No, Sir, I see my fatal Ruin in your Eyes, And know too well your Force, and my own Misery. —But, Sir—when I shall tell you who I've married—
Lord. Who you've married;—By all that's sacred, if that be true, thou art undone for ever.
Bel. O hear me, Sir! I came with Hopes to have found you merciful.
Lord. Expect none from me; no, thou shalt not have So much of thy Estate, as will afford thee Bread: By Heav'n, thou shalt not.
Bel. Oh, pity me, my Lord, pity my Youth; It is no Beggar, nor one basely born, That I have given my Heart to, but a Maid, Whose Birth, whose Beauty, and whose Education Merits the best of Men.
Lord. Very fine! where is the Priest that durst dispose of you without my Order? Sirrah, you are my Slave—at least your whole Estate is at my mercy—and besides, I'll charge you with an Action of 5000 pounds. For your ten Years Maintenance: Do you know that this in my power too?
Bel. Yes, Sir, and dread your Anger worse than Death.
Lord. Oh Villain! thus to dash my Expectation!
Bel. Sir, on my bended Knees, thus low I fall To beg your mercy.
Lord. Yes, Sir, I will have mercy; I'll give you Lodging—but in a Dungeon, Sir, Where you shall ask your Food of Passers by.
Bel. All this, I know, you have the Pow'r to do; But, Sir, were I thus cruel, this hard Usage Would give me Cause to execute it. I wear a Sword, and I dare right my self; And Heaven wou'd pardon it, if I should kill you: But Heav'n forbid I shou'd correct that Law, Which gives you Power, and orders me Obedience.
Lord. Very well, Sir, I shall tame that Courage, and punish that Harlot, whoe'er she be, that has seduc'd ye.
Bel. How, Harlot, Sir!—Death, such another Word, And through all Laws and Reason I will rush, And reach thy Soul, if mortal like thy Body. —No, Sir, she's chaste, as are the new-made Vows I breath'd upon her Lips, when last we parted.
Lord. Who waits there?
Enter Trusty and Servants.
—Shall I be murder'd in my own House? 'Tis time you were remov'd— Go, get an Action of 5000 pounds, enter'd against him, With Officers to arrest him.
Trusty. My Lord, 'tis my young Master Bellmour.
Lord. Ye all doat upon him, but he's not the Man you take him for.
Trusty. How, my Lord! not this Mr. Bellmour!
Lord. Dogs, obey me. [Offers to go.
Bel. Stay, Sir—oh, stay—what will become of me? 'Twere better that my Life were lost, than Fortune— For that being gone, Celinda must not love me. —But to die wretchedly— Poorly in Prison—whilst I can manage this— Is below him, that does adore Celinda. [Draws. I'll kill my self—but then—I kill Celinda. Shou'd I obey this Tyrant—then too she dies. Yes, Sir—You may be cruel—take the Law, And kill me quickly, 'twill become your Justice. [Weeps.
Lord. Was I call'd back for this? Yes, I shall take it, Sir; do not fear. [Offers to go.
Bel. Yet, stay, Sir—Have you lost all Humanity? Have you no Sense of Honour, nor of Horrors?
Lord. Away with him—go, be gone.
Bel. Stay, Sir. Oh, God! what is't you'd have me do? —Here—I resign my self unto your Will— But, Oh Celinda! what will become of thee? [Weeps. —Yes, I will marry—and Diana too.
Lord. 'Tis well you will; had I not been good-natur'd now, You had been undone, and miss'd Diana too.
Bel. But must I marry—needs marry, Sir? Or lose my Fortune, and my Liberty, Whilst all my Vows are given to another?
Lord. By all means, Sir—
Bel. If I must marry any but Celinda, I shall not, Sir, enjoy one moment's Bliss: I shall be quite unman'd, cruel and brutal; A Beast, unsafe for Woman to converse with. Besides, Sir, I have given my Heart and Faith, And my second Marriage is Adultery.
Lord. Heart and Faith, I am glad 'tis no worse; if the Ceremony of the Church has not past, 'tis well enough.
Bel. All, Sir, that Heaven and Love requires, is past.
Lord. Thou art a Fool, Frank, come—dry thy Eyes. And receive Diana—Trusty, call in my Niece.
Bel. Yet, Sir, relent, be kind, and save my Soul.
Lord. No more—by Heaven, if you resist my Will, I'll make a strange Example of thee, and of that Woman, whoe'er she be, that drew you to this Folly. Faith and Vows, quoth ye!
Bel. Then I obey.
Enter Trusty and Diana.
Lord. Look ye here, Frank; Is this a Lady to be dislik'd? Come hither, Frank—Trusty, haste for Dr. Tickletext, my Chaplain's not in Town; I'll have them instantly married—Come hither, Diana—will you marry your Cousin, Frank Bellmour?
Dia. Yes, if it be your pleasure; Heaven cou'd not let fall a greater Blessing. [Aside.
Lord. And you, Frank, will you marry my Niece Diana?
Bel. Since you will have it so.
Lord. Come, follow me then, and you shall be both pleas'd.
Bel. Oh my Celinda!—
To preserve thee, what is't I wou'd not do? Forfeit my Heaven, nay more, I forfeit you.
SCENE V. The Street.
Enter Sir Timothy Tawdrey, Sham and Sharp.
Sir Tim. Now, Sham, art not thou a damn'd lying Rogue, to make me saunter up and down the Mall all this Morning, after a Woman that thou know'st in thy Conscience was not likely to be there?
Sham. Why, Sir—if her Maid will be a jilting Whore, how can I help it?—Sharp, thou know'st we presented her handsomly, and she protested she'd do't.
Sharp. Ay, ay, Sir: But the Devil a Maid we saw. [Aside.
Sham. Sir, it may be Things have so fallen out, that she could not possibly come.
Sir Tim. Things! a Pox of your Tricks—Well, I see there's no trusting a poor Devil—Well, what Device will your Rogueship find out to cheat me next?
Sham. Prithee help me out at a dead lift, Sharp. [Aside.
Sharp. Cheat you, Sir!—if I ben't reveng'd on this She-Counsellor of the Patching and Painting, this Letter-in of Midnight Lovers, this Receiver of Bribes for stol'n Pleasures; may I be condemn'd never to make love to any thing of higher Quality.
Sir Tim. Nay, nay, no threatning, Sharp; it may be she's innocent yet—Give her t'other Bribe, and try what that will do. [Gives him Money.
Sham. No, Sir, I'll have no more to do with frail Woman, in this Case; I have a surer way to do your Business.
Enter Page with a Letter.
Sir Tim. Is not that Bellmour's Page?
Sharp. It is, Sir.
Sir Tim. By Fortune, the Rogue's looking for me; he has a Challenge in his hand too.
Sham. No matter, Sir, huff it out.
Sir Tim. Prithee do thee huff him, thou know'st the way on't.
Sham. What's your Bus'ness with Sir Timothy, Sir?
Page. Mine, Sir, I don't know the Gentleman; pray which is he?
Sir Tim. I, I, 'tis so—Pox on him.
Sharp. Well, Boy, I am he—What—Your Master.
Page. My Master, Sir—
Sharp. Are not you Bellmour's Page?
Page. Yes, Sir.
Sharp. Well, your News.
Page. News, Sir? I know of none, but of my Master's being this Morning—
Sir Tim. Ay, there it is—behind Southampton House.
Page. Married this Morning.
Sir Tim. How! Married! 'Slife, has he serv'd me so?
Sham. The Boy is drunk—Bellmour married!
Page. Yes, indeed, to the Lady Diana.
Sir Tim. Diana! Mad, by Fortune; what Diana?
Page. Niece to the Lord Plotwell.
Sir Tim. Come hither, Boy—Art thou sure of this?
Page. Sir, I am sure of it; and I am going to bespeak Musick for the Ball anon.
Sir Tim. What hast thou there—a Letter to the Divine Celinda? A dainty Boy—there's Money for to buy thee Nickers.
Page. I humbly thank you. [Exit.
Sharp. Well, Sir, if this be true, Celinda will be glad of you again.
Sir. Tim. Ay, but I will have none of her—For, look you, Sham, there is but two sorts of Love in this World—Now I am sure the Rogue did love her; and since it was not to marry her, it was for the thing you wot on, as appears by his writing to her now—But yet, I will not believe what this Boy said, till I see it.
Sham. Faith, Sir, I have thought of a thing, that may both clear your doubt, and give us a little Mirth.
Sir Tim. I conceive thee.
Sham. I know y'are quick of Apprehension, Sir Timothy.
Sir Tim. O, your Servant, dear Sham—But to let thee see, I am none of the dullest, we are to Jig it in Masquerade this Evening, hah.
Sham. Faith, Sir, you have it, and there you may have an Opportunity to court Bellmour's Sister.
Sir Tim. 'Tis a good Motion, and we will follow it; send to the Duke's House, and borrow some Habits presently.
Sham. I'll about it, Sir.
Sir Tim. Make haste to my Lodging—But hark ye—not a word of this to Betty Flauntit, she'll be up in Arms these two Days, if she go not with us; and though I think the fond Devil is true to me, yet it were worse than Wedlock, if I should be so to her too.
Tho Whores in all things else the Mastery get, In this alone, like Wives, they must submit.
SCENE I. A Room in Lord Plotwell's House.
Enter Lord Plotwell, Bellmour leading in Diana, follow'd by Charles Bellmour, Phillis, and other Ladies and Gentlemen. [Musick plays, till they are all seated.
Lord. Here, Nephew, I resign that Trust, which was repos'd in me by your dead Father; which was, that on your Wedding-Day I should thus— make you Master of your whole Fortune, you being married to my liking— And now, Charles, and you, my Niece Phillis, you may demand your Portions to morrow, if you please, for he is oblig'd to pay you the Day after that of his Marriage.
Phil. There's time enough, my Lord.
Lord. Come, come, Ladies, in troth you must take but little Rest to Night, in complaisance to the Bride and Bridegroom, who, I believe, will take but little—Frank—why, Frank—what, hast thou chang'd thy Humour with thy Condition? Thou wert not wont to hear the Musick play in vain.
Bel. My Lord, I cannot dance.
Dia. Indeed, you're wondrous sad, And I, methinks, do bear thee Company, I know not why; and yet excess of Joy Have had the same Effects with equal Grief.
Bel. 'Tis true, and I have now felt the Extremes of both.
Lord. Why, Nephew Charles—has your Breeding at the Academy instructed your Heels in no Motion?
Char. My Lord, I'll make one.
Phil. And I another, for Joy that my Brother's made happy in so fair a Bride.
Bel. Hell take your Ignorance, for thinking I am happy,— Wou'd Heaven wou'd strike me dead, That by the loss of a poor wretched Life I might preserve my Soul—But Oh, my Error! That has already damn'd it self, when it consented To break a Sacred Vow, and Marry here.
Lord. Come, come, begin, begin, Musick to your Office.
Bel. Why does not this hard Heart, this stubborn Fugitive, Break with this Load of Griefs? but like ill Spirits It promis'd fair, till it had drawn me in, And then betray'd me to Damnation.
Dia. There's something of disorder in his Soul, Which I'm on fire to know the meaning of.
Enter Sir Timothy, Sham, and Sharp, in Masquerade.
Sir Tim. The Rogue is married, and I am so pleas'd, I can forgive him our last Night's Quarrel. Prithee, Sharp, if thou canst learn that young Thing's Name, 'tis a pretty airy Rogue, whilst I go talk to her.
Sharp. I will, Sir, I will.
[One goes to take out a Lady.
Char. Nay, Madam, you must dance. [Dance.
Bel. I hope you will not call it Rudeness, Madam, if I refuse you here.
[The Lady that danced goes to take out the Bridegroom. After the Dance she takes out Sir Timothy, they walk to a Courant.
Am I still tame and patient with my Ills? Gods! what is Man, that he can live and bear, Yet know his Power to rid himself of Grief? I will not live; or if my Destiny Compel me to't, it shall be worse than dying.
Enter Page with a Table-Book.
Bel. What's this?
Page. The Answer of a Letter, Sir, you sent the divine Celinda; for so it was directed.
Bel.—Hah—Celinda—in my Croud of Thoughts I had forgot I sent—come nearer, Boy— What did she say to thee?—Did she not smile? And use thee with Contempt and Scorn?—tell me.
Page. How scorn, Sir!
Bel. Or she was angry—call'd me perjur'd Villain, False, and forsworn—nay, tell me truth.
Page. How, Sir?
Bel. Thou dost delay me—say she did, and please me.
Bel. Again—tell me, what answer, Rascal, did she send me?
Page. You have it, Sir, there in the Table-Book.
Bel. Oh, I am mad, and know not what I do. —Prithee forgive me, Boy—take breath, my Soul, Before thou do'st begin; for this—perhaps, may be So cruel kind, To leave thee none when thou hast ended it. [Opens it, and reads.
I have took in the Poison which you sent, in those few fatal Words, "Forgive me, my Celinda, I am married"—'Twas thus you said—And I have only Life left to return, "Forgive me my sweet Bellmour, I am dead." CELINDA.
Can I hear this, and live?—I am a Villian! In my Creation destin'd for all Mischief, —To commit Rapes, and Murders, to break Vows, As fast as Fools do Jests. Come hither, Boy— And said the Lady nothing to thee?
Page. Yes, e'er she read the Letter, ask'd your Health, And Joy dispers'd it self in Blushes through her Cheeks.
Bel. Her Beauty makes the very Boy adore it.
Page. And having read it, She drew her Tablets from her Pocket, And trembling, writ what I have brought you, Sir.
Bel. Though I before had loaded up my Soul With Sins, that wou'd have weigh'd down any other, Yet this one more it bears, this Sin of Murder; And holds out still—What have I more to do, But being plung'd in Blood, to wade it through?
Enter Friendlove in Masquerade. A Jigg.
Friend. There stands the Traitor, with a guilty Look, That Traitor, who the easier to deceive me, Betray'd my Sister; yet till I came and saw The Perjury, I could not give a Faith to't. By Heaven, Diana loves him, nay, dotes on him, I find it in her Eyes; all languishing, They feed the Fire in his: arm'd with a double Rage, I know I shall go through with my Revenge.
Sir Tim. Fair Maid—
Phil. How do you know that, Sir?
Sir Tim. I see y'are fair, and I guess you're a Maid.
Phil. Your Guess is better than your Eye-sight, Sir.
Sir Tim. Whate'er you are, by Fortune, I wish you would permit me to love you with all your Faults.
Phil. You? Pray who are you?
Sir Tim. A Man, a Gentleman—and more, a Knight too, by Fortune.
Phil. Then 'twas not by Merit, Sir—But how shall I know you are either of these?
Sir Tim. That I'm a Man, the Effects of my vigorous Flame shall prove —a Gentleman, my Coat of Arms shall testify; and I have the King's Patent for my Title.
Phil. For the first you may thank your Youth, for the next your Father, and the last your Money.
Sir Tim. By Fortune, I love thee for thy Pertness.
Phil. Is it possible you can love at all?
Sir Tim. As much as I dare.
Phil. How do you mean?
Sir Tim. Not to be laught at; 'tis not the Mode to love much; A Platonick Fop I have heard of, but this is an Age of sheer Enjoyment, and little Love goes to that; we have found it incommode, and loss of time, to make long Addresses.
Enter Celinda like a Boy.
Phil. I find, Sir, you and I shall never agree upon this matter; But see, Sir, here's more Company.
Cel. Oh Heaven! 'tis true, these Eyes confirm my Fate. Yonder he is—and that fair splendid Thing, That gazes on him with such kind Desire, Is my blest Rival—Oh, he is married! —Gods! And yet you let him live; Live too with all his Charms, as fine and gay, As if you meant he shou'd undo all easy Maids, And kill 'em for their Sin of loving him. Wretched Celinda! But I must turn my Eyes from looking on The fatal Triumphs of my Death—Which of all these Is my Brother? Oh, that is he: I know him By the Habit he sent for to the Play-House. [Points to Sir Tim. And hither he's come in Masquerade, I know with some Design against my Bellmour, Whom though he kill me, I must still preserve: Whilst I, lost in despair, thus as a Boy Will seek a Death from any welcome Hand, Since I want Courage to perform the Sacrifice.
Enter one and dances an Entry, and a Jig at the end on't.
Lord. Enough, enough at this time, let's see the Bride to bed, the Bridegroom thinks it long.
Friend. Hell! Can I endure to hear all this with Patience? Shall he depart with Life to enjoy my Right, And to deprive my Sister of her due? —Stay, stay, and resign That Virgin.
Bel. Who art thou that dar'st lay a Claim to ought that's here?
Friend. This Sword shall answer ye. [Draws.
Bel. Though I could spare my Life, I'll not be robb'd of it. [Draws.
Dia. Oh, my dear Bellmour!
[_All draw on_ Bellmour's side_—Diana _holds_ Bellmour, Celinda _runs between their Swords, and defends_ Bellmour; _Sir_ Tim. Sham, _and_ Sharp _draw, and run into several Corners, with signs of Fear_.
Friend. Who art thou, that thus fondly guard'st his Heart? [To Celinda. —Be gone, and let me meet it.
Cel. That thou mayst do through mine, but no way else.
Friend. Here are too many to encounter, and I'll defer my Vengeance.
Char. Stay, Sir, we must not part so.
[Ex. Drawing at the same Door, that Sir Tim. is sneaking out at.
Come back I say. [Pulls in Sir Tim. Slave! Dost thou tremble?—
Sir Tim. Sir, I'm not the Man you look for— By Fortune, Sham, we're all undone: He has mistook me for the fighting Fellow.
Char. Villain, defend thy Life.
Sir Tim. Who, I, Sir? I have no quarrel to you, nor no man breathing, not I, by Fortune.
Cel. This Coward cannot be my Brother. [Aside.
Char. What made thee draw upon my Brother?
Sir Tim. Who, I, Sir? by Fortune, I love him—I draw upon him!
Char. I do not wonder thou canst lye, for thou'rt a Coward! Didst not thou draw upon him? Is not thy Sword yet out? Did I not see thee fierce, and active too, as if thou hadst dar'd?
Sir Tim. Why, he's gone, Sir; a Pox of all Mistakes and Masqueradings I say—this was your Plot, Sham.
Char. Coward! Shew then thy Face.
Sir Tim. I'll be hang'd first, by Fortune; for then 'twill be plain 'twas I, because I challeng'd Bellmour last Night, and broke my Assignation this Morning. [Aside.
Char. Shew thy Face without delay, or—
Sir Tim. My Face, Sir! I protest, by Fortune, 'tis not worth seeing.
Char. Then, Sirrah, you are worth a kicking—take that—and that— [Kicks him.
Sir Tim. How, Sir? how?
Char. So, Sir, so. [Kicks him again.
Sir Tim. Have a care, Sir—by Fortune, I shall fight with a little more.
Char. Take that to raise you. [Strikes him.
Sir Tim. Nay, then I am angry, and I dare fight.
[They fight out.
Lord. Go, Ladies, see the Bride to her Chamber.
Bel. The Knight, Sir Timothy Tawdrey; —The Rascal mist me at the appointed place, And comes to attack me here— [Turns to Cel. —Brave Youth, I know not how I came to merit this Relief from thee: Sure thou art a Stranger to me, thou'rt so kind.
Cel. Sir, I believe those happy ones that know you Had been far kinder, but I'm indeed a Stranger.
Bel. Mayst thou be ever so to one so wretched; I will not ask thy Name, lest knowing it, (I'm such a Monster) I should ruin thee.
Cel. Oh, how he melts my Soul! I cannot stay, Lest Grief, my Sex, my Bus'ness shou'd betray. [Aside. —Farewel, Sir— May you be happy in the Maid you love. [Exit Cel.
Bel. O, dost thou mock my Griefs? by Heaven, he did. —Stay, Sir, he's gone.
Enter Charles Bellmour.
Char. The Rogue took Courage, when he saw there was no Remedy; but there's no hurt done on either side.
Lord. 'Tis fit such as he shou'd be chastis'd, that do abuse Hospitality. Come, come, to Bed; the Lady, Sir, expects you.
Bel. Gentlemen, good Night.
SCENE II. A Bed Chamber.
Dia. I long to know the Cause of Bellmour's Disorder to Night, and here he comes.
Enter Bellmour, Lord, Charles, and the rest.
Char. Shan't we see you laid, Brother?
Bel. Yes, in my Grave, dear Charles; But I'll excuse that Ceremony here.
Char. Good Night, and no Rest to you, Brother.
[Ex. all but Bellmour and Diana.
Dia. Till now, my Bellmour, I wanted Opportunity To ask the Cause, why on a joyful Day, When Heav'n has join'd us by a sacred Tie, Thou droop'st like early Flowers with Winter-storms.
Bel. Thou art that Winter-storm that nips my Bud; All my young springing Hopes, my gay Desires, The prospect of approaching Joys of Love, Thou in a hapless Minute hast took from me, And in its room, Hast given me an eternal Desperation.
Dia. Have you then given me Vows ye can repent of?
Bel. I given ye Vows! be witness, ye just Pow'rs, How far I was from giving any Vows: No, no, Diana, I had none to give.
Dia. No Vows to give! What were they which unto the Holy Man Thou didst repeat, when I was made all thine?
Bel. The Effects of low Submission, such as Slaves Condemn'd to die, yield to the angry Judge.
Dia. Dost thou not love me then?
Bel. Love thee! No, by Heaven: yet wish I were so happy, For thou art wondrous fair and wondrous good.
Dia. Oh, what a Defeat is here! The only Man, who from all Nature's store I found most charming, fit for my Desires; And now after a thousand Expectations, Such as all Maids that love like me do hope, Just ready for the highest Joys of Love! Then to be met thus cold—nay, worse, with scorn. [Aside. —Why, since you could not love me, did you marry me?
Bel. Because I was a Beast, a very Villain! That stak'd a wretched Fortune to all my Joys of Life, And like a prodigal Gamester lost that all.
Dia. How durst you, Sir, knowing my Quality, Return me this false Pay, for Love so true? Was this a Beauty, Sir, to be neglected?
Bel. Fair angry Maid, frown on, frown till you kill, And I shall dying bless those Eyes that did so. For shou'd I live, I shou'd deprive the happier World Of Treasures, I'm too wretched to possess. And were't not pity that vast store of Beauty Shou'd, like rich Fruit, die on the yielding Boughs?
Dia. And are you then resolved to be a Stranger to me?
Bel. For ever! for a long Eternity!
Dia. O thou'st undone me then; hast thou found out A Maid more fair, more worthy of thy Love? Look on me well.
Bel. I have consider'd thee, And find no Blemish in thy Soul, or Form; Thou art all o'er Divine, yet I must hate thee, Since thou hast drawn me to a mortal Sin, That cannot be forgiven by Men, or Heaven. —Oh, thou hast made me break a Vow, Diana, A sacred solemn Vow; And made me wrong the sweetest Innocence, That ever blest the Earth.
Dia. Instead of cooling this augments my Fire; No Pain is like defeated new Desire. [Aside. 'Tis false, or but to try my Constancy. Your Mistress is not so divine as I, And shou'd I, 'gainst himself, believe the Man Who first inspir'd my Heart with Love's soft Flame?
Bel. What Bliss on me insensibly you throw! I'd rather hear thee swear, thou art my Foe, And like some noble and romantick Maid With Poniards wou'd my stubborn Heart invade; And whilst thou dost the faithful Relique tear, In every Vein thoud'st find Celinda there.
Dia. Come, Sir, you must forget Celinda's Charms, And reap Delights within my circling Arms, Delights that may your Errors undeceive, When you find Joys as great as she can give.
Bel. What do I hear?—is this the kind Relief Thou dost allow to my Despair and Grief? Is this the Comfort that thou dost impart To my all-wounded, bleeding, dying Heart? Were I so brutal, cou'd thy Love comply To serve it self with base Adultery? For cou'd I love thee, cou'd I love again, Our Lives wou'd be but one continu'd Sin: A Sin of that black dye, a Sin so foul, 'Twou'd leave no Hopes of Heav'n for either's Soul.
Dia. Dull Man! Dost think a feeble vain Excuse Shall satisfy me for this Night's abuse? No, since my Passion thou'st defeated thus, And robb'd me of my long-wish'd Happiness, I'll make thee know what a wrong'd Maid can do, Divided 'twixt her Love and Injuries too.
Bel. I dare thy worst; Shou'd Hell assist thy Aims, thou cou'dst not find, New Plagues, unless thou shou'dst continue kind, Hard Fate, Diana, when thy Love must be The greatest Curse that can arrive to me. —That Friendship which our Infant Years begun, And till this Day has still continued on, I will preserve; and my Respects shall be Profound, as what was ever paid by me: But for my Love, 'tis to Celinda due, And I can pay you none that's just and true.
Dia. The rest I'd have thee know I do despise, I better understand my conquering Eyes; Those Eyes that shall revenge my Love and Shame, I'll kill thy Reputation and thy Name. [Exit.
Bel. My Honour! and my Reputation, now! They both were forfeit, when I broke my Vow, Nor cou'd my Honour with thy Fame decline; Whoe'er profanes thee, injures nought of mine. This Night upon the Couch my self I'll lay, And like Franciscans, let th'ensuing Day Take care for all the Toils it brings with it; Whatever Fate arrives, I can submit.
SCENE III. A Street.
Enter Celinda, drest as before.
Cel. Not one kind Wound to send me to my Grave, And yet between their angry Swords I ran, Expecting it from Bellmour, or my Brother's: Oh, my hard Fate! that gave me so much Misery, And dealt no Courage to prevent the shock. —Why came I off alive, that fatal Place Where I beheld my Bellmour, in th'embrace Of my extremely fair, and lovely Rival? —With what kind Care she did prevent my Arm, Which (greedy of the last sad-parting twine) I wou'd have thrown about him, as if she knew To what intent I made the passionate Offer? —What have I next to do, but seek a Death Wherever I can meet it—Who comes here? [Goes aside.
Enter Sir Timothy, Sham and Sharp, with Fidlers and Boy.
Sir Tim. I believe this is the Bed-chamber Window where the Bride and Bridegroom lies.
Sham. Well, and what do you intend to do, if it be, Sir?
Sir Tim. Why, first sing a Baudy Song, and then break the Windows, in revenge for the Affront was put upon me to night.
Sharp. Faith, Sir, that's but a poor Revenge, and which every Footman may take of his Lady, who has turn'd him away for filching—You know, Sir, Windows are frail, and will yield to the lusty Brickbats; 'tis an Act below a Gentleman.
Sir Tim. That's all one, 'tis my Recreation; I serv'd a Woman so the other night, to whom my Mistress had a Pique.
Sham. Ay, Sir, 'tis a Revenge fit only for a Whore to take—And the Affront you receiv'd to Night, was by mistake.
Sir Tim. Mistake! how can that be?
Sham. Why, Sir, did you not mind, that he that drew upon Bellmour, was in the same Dress with you.
Sir Tim. How shou'd his be like mine?
Sham. Why, by the same Chance, that yours was like his—I suppose sending to the Play-house for them, as we did, they happened to send him such another Habit, for they have many such for dancing Shepherds.
Sir Tim. Well, I grant it a Mistake, and that shall reprieve the Windows.
Sharp. Then, Sir, you shew'd so much Courage, that you may bless the Minute that forc'd you to fight.
Sir Tim. Ay, but between you and I, 'twas well he kick'd me first, and made me angry, or I had been lustily swing'd, by Fortune—But thanks to my Spleen, that sav'd my Bones that bout—But then I did well—hah, came briskly off, and the rest.
Sham. With Honour, Sir, I protest.
Sir Tim. Come then, we'll serenade him. Come, Sirrah, tune your Pipes, and sing.
Boy. What shall I sing, Sir?
Sir Tim. Any thing sutable to the Time and Place.
The happy Minute's come, the Nymph is laid, Who means no more to rise a Maid. Blushing, and panting, she expects th'Approach Of Joys that kill with every touch: Nor can her native Modesty and Shame Conceal the Ardour of her Virgin Flame.
And now the amorous Youth is all undrest, Just ready for Love's mighty Feast; With vigorous haste the Veil aside he throws, That doth all Heaven at once disclose. Swift as Desire, into her naked Arms Himself he throws, and rifles all her Charms.
Good morrow, Mr. Bellmour, and to your lovely Bride, long may you live and love.
Enter Bellmour above.
Bel. Who is't has sent that Curse?
Sir Tim. What a Pox, is that Bellmour? The Rogue's in choler, the Bride has not pleas'd him.
Bel. Dogs! Do you upbraid me? I'll be with you presently.
Sir Tim. Will you so?—but I'll not stay your coming.
Cel. But you shall, Sir.
Bel. Turn, Villains!
[Sir Tim. &c. offers to go off, Celinda steps forth, and draws, they draw, and set upon her. Enter Bellmour behind them: They turn, and Celinda sides with Bellmour, and fights. Enter Diana, Bellmour fights 'em out, and leaves Celinda breathless, leaning on her Sword.
Dia. I'll ne'er demand the cause of this disorder, But take this opportunity to fly To the next hands will take me up—who's here?
Cel. Not yet, my sullen Heart!
Dia. Who's here? one wounded—alas—
Cel. 'Tis not so lucky—but who art thou That dost with so much pity ask?
Dia. He seems a Gentleman—handsome and young— [Aside. Pray ask no Questions, Sir; but if you are what you seem, Give a Protection to an unhappy Maid. —Do not reply, but let us haste away.
Cel. Hah—What do I hear! sure, 'tis Diana. —Madam, with haste, and joy, I'll serve you. —I'll carry her to my own Lodgings. Fortune, in this, has done my Sufferings right, My Rival's in my Power, upon her Wedding-Night. [Aside.
Enter Bellmour, Sir Tim. Sham, and Sharp.
Sir Tim. Lord, Lord, that you should not know your Friend and humble Servant, Tim. Tawdrey—But thou look'st as if thou hadst not been a-bed yet.
Bel. No more I have.
Sir Tim. Nay, then thou losest precious time, I'll not detain thee. [Offers to go.
Bel. Thou art mistaken, I hate all Woman-kind—
Sir Tim. How, how!
Bel, Above an Hour—hark ye, Knight—I am as leud, and as debaucht as thou art.
Sir Tim. What do you mean, Frank?
Bel. To tell a Truth, which yet I never did. —I whore, drink, game, swear, lye, cheat, rob, pimp, hector, all, all I do that's vitious.
Sir Tim. Bless me!
Bel. From such a Villian, hah!
Sir Tim. No, but that thou should'st hide it all this while.
Bel. Till I was married only, and now I can dissemble it no longer— come—let's to a Baudy-House.
Sir Tim. A Baudy-house! What, already! This is the very quintessence of Leudness. —Why, I thought that I was wicked, but, by Fortune, This dashes mine quite out of Countenance.
Bel. Oh, thou'rt a puny Sinner!—I'll teach thee Arts (so rare) of Sin, the least of them shall damn thee.
Sir Tim. By Fortune, Frank, I do not like these Arts.
Bel. Then thou'rt a Fool—I'll teach thee to be rich too.
Sir Tim. Ay, that I like.
Bel. Look here, my Boys! [Hold up his Writings, which he takes out of his Pockets. The Writings of 3000 pounds a Year: —All this I got by Perjury.
Sir Tim. By Fortune, a thriving Sin.
Bel. And we will live in Sin while this holds out. And then to my cold Home—Come let's be gone: Oh, that I ne'er might see the rising Sun.
SCENE I. Celinda's Chamber.
Discovers Celinda as before sitting in a Chair, Diana by her in another, who sings.
Celinda, who did Love disdain, For whom had languished many a Swain, Leading her bleating Flocks to drink, She spy'd upon the River's brink A Youth, whose Eyes did well declare How much he lov'd, but lov'd not her.
At first she laugh'd, but gaz'd the while, And soon it lessen'd to a Smile; Thence to surprize and wonder came, Her Breast to heave, her Heart to flame; Then cry'd she out, Ah, now I prove Thou art a God, Almighty Love.
She wou'd have spoke, but Shame deny'd, And bad her first consult her Pride; But soon she found that Aid was gone, For Love, alas, had left her none. Oh, how she burns, but 'tis too late, For in his Eyes she reads her Fate.
Cel. Oh, how numerous are her Charms —How shall I pay this generous Condescension? Fair lovely Maid—
Dia. Why do you flatter, Sir?
Cel. To say you're lovely, by your self I do not, I'm young, and have not much convers'd with Beauty: Yet I'll esteem my Judgment, since it knows Where my Devotions shou'd be justly paid. —But, Madam, may I not yet expect To hear the Story, you so lately promis'd me?
Dia. I owe much to your Goodness, Sir—but—
Cel. I am too young, you think, to hear a Secret; Can I want Sense to pity your Misfortunes, Or Passion to incite me to revenge 'em?
Dia. Oh, would he were in earnest!
Cel. She's fond of me, and I must blow that flame, Do any thing to make her hate my Bellmour. [Aside. —But, Madam, I'm impatient for your Story, That after that, you may expect my Service.
Dia. The Treatment you this night have given a distressed Maid, enough obliges me; nor need I tell you, I'm nobly born; something about my Dress, my Looks and Mien, will doubtless do me reason.
Dia. But in the Family where I was educated, a Youth of my own Age, a Kinsman too, I chanc'd to fall in love with, but with a Passion my Pride still got the better of; and he, I thought, repaid my young Desires. But Bashfulness on his part, did what Pride had done on mine, And kept his too conceal'd—At last my Uncle, who had the absolute Dominion of us both, thought good to marry us together.
Cel. Punish him, Heaven, for a Sin so great. —And are you married then?
Dia. Why is there Terror in that Word?
Cel. By all that's Sacred, 'tis a Word that kills me. Oh, say thou art not; And I thus low will fall, and pay thee Thanks. [Kneels.
Dia. You'll wish indeed I were not, when you know How very, very wretched it has made me.
Cel. Shou'd you be telling me a Tale all day, Such as would melt a Heart that ne'er could love, 'Twould not increase my Reason for the wish That I had dy'd e'er known you had been married.
Dia. So many soft Words from my Bellmour's mouth Had made me mad with Joy, and next to that I wish to hear 'em from this Youth; If they be real, how I shall be reveng'd! [Aside. —But why at my being married should you sigh?
Cel. Because I love, is that a Wonder, Madam? Have you not Charms sufficient at first sight To wound a Heart tender and young as mine? Are you not heavenly fair? Oh, there's my Grief— Since you must be another's.
Dia. Pray hear me out; and if you love me after, Perhaps you may not think your self unhappy. When Night was come, the long'd for Night, and all Retir'd to give us silent Room for Joy—
Cel. Oh, I can hear no more—by Heav'n, I cannot. —Here—stab me to the Heart—let out my Life, I cannot live, and hear what follow'd next.
Dia. Pray hear me, Sir—
Cel. Oh, you will tell me he was kind— Yes, yes—oh God—were not his balmy Kisses Sweeter than Incense offer'd up to Heaven? Did not his Arms, softer and whiter far Than those of Jove's transform'd to Wings of Swans, Greedily clasp thee round?—Oh, quickly speak, Whilst thy fair rising Bosom met with his; And then—Oh—then—
Dia. Alas, Sir! What's the matter?—sit down a while.
Cel. Now—I am well—pardon me, lovely Creature, If I betray a Passion, I'm too young To've learnt the Art of hiding; —I cannot hear you say that he was kind.
Dia. Kind! yes, as Blasts to Flow'rs, or early Fruit; All gay I met him full of youthful Heat: But like a Damp, he dasht my kindled Flame, And all his Reason was—he lov'd another, A Maid he call'd Celinda.
Cel. Oh blessed Man!
Dia. How, Sir?
Cel. To leave thee free, to leave thee yet a Virgin.
Dia. Yes, I have vow'd he never shall possess me.
Cel. Oh, how you bless me—but you still are married, And whilst you are so—I must languish—
Dia. Oh, how his Softness moves me! [Aside. —But can all this Disorder spring from Love?
Cel. Or may I still prove wretched.
Dia. And can you think there are no ways For me to gratify that Love? What ways am I constrain'd to use to work out my Revenge! [Aside.
Cel. How mean you, Madam?
Dia. Without a Miracle, look on my Eyes— And Beauty—which you say can kindle Fires; —She that can give, may too retain Desires.
Cel. She'll ravish me—let me not understand you.
Dia. Look on my Wrongs— Wrongs that would melt a frozen Chastity, That a religious Vow had made to Heaven: —And next survey thy own Perfections.
Dia. Art thou so young, thou canst not apprehend me? Fair bashful Boy, hast thou the Power to move, And yet not know the Bus'ness of thy Love?
Cel. How in an instant thou hast chill'd my Blood, And made me know no Woman can be good? 'Tis Sin enough to yield—but thus to sue Heav'n—'tis my Business—and not meant for you.
Dia. How little Love is understood by thee, 'Tis Custom, and not Passion you pursue; Because Enjoyment first was nam'd by me, It does destroy what shou'd your Flame renew: My easy yielding does your Fire abate, And mine as much your tedious Courtship hate. Tell Heaven—you will hereafter sacrifice, —And see how that will please the Deities. The ready Victim is the noblest way, Your Zeal and Obligations too to pay.
Cel. I think the Gods wou'd hardly be ador'd, If they their Blessings shou'd, unask'd, afford; And I that Beauty can no more admire, Who ere I sue, can yield to my Desire.
Dia. Dull Youth, farewel: For since 'tis my Revenge that I pursue Less Beauty and more Man as well may do. [Offers to go.
Enter Friendlove disguised, as one from a Camp.
Cel. Madam, you must not go with this Mistake. [Holds her.
Friend. Celinda has inform'd me true—'tis she— Good morrow, Brother, what, so early at your Devotions?
Cel. O, my Brother's come, and luckily relieves me. [Aside.
Friend. Your Orizons are made to a fair Saint. —Pray, Sir, what Lady's that? —Or is it blasphemy to repeat her Name? —By my bright Arms, she's fair—With what a charming Fierceness, she charges through my Body to my Heart. —Death! how her glittering Eyes give Fire, and wound! And have already pierc'd my very Soul! —May I approach her, Brother?
Cel. Yes, if you dare, there's danger in it though, She has Charms that will bewitch you: —I dare not stand their Mischief. [Exit.
Friend. Lady, I am a Soldier—yet in my gentlest Terms I humbly beg to kiss your lovely Hands— Death! there's Magick in the Touch. By Heaven, you carry an Artillery in every part.
Dia. This is a Man indeed fit for my purpose. [Aside.
Friend. Nay, do not view me, I am no lovely Object; I am a Man bred up to Noise and War, And know not how to dress my Looks in Smiles; Yet trust me, fair one, I can love and serve As well as an Endymion, or Adonis. Wou'd you were willing to permit that Service!
Dia. Why, Sir?—What cou'd you do?
Friend. Why—I cou'd die for you.
Dia. I need the Service of the living, Sir. But do you love me, Sir?
Friend. Or let me perish, flying from a single Enemy. I am a Gentleman, and may pretend to love you; And what you can command, I can perform.
Dia. Take heed, Sir, what you say, for I'm in earnest.
Friend. Command me any thing that's just and brave; And, by my Eyes, 'tis done.
Dia. I know not what you call just or brave; But those whom I do the Honour to command, Must not capitulate.
Friend. Let him be blasted with the Name of Coward, That dares dispute your Orders.
Dia. Dare you fight for me?
Friend. With a whole Army; 'tis my Trade to fight.
Dia. Nay, 'tis but a single Man.
Friend. Name him.
Friend. Of Yorkshire? Companion to young Friendlove, that came lately from Italy?
Dia. Yes, do you know him?
Friend. I do, who has oft spoke of Bellmour; We travel'd into Italy together—But since, I hear, He fell in love with a fair cruel Maid, For whom he languishes.
Dia. Heard you her Name?
Friend. Diana, rich in Beauty, as in Fortune. —Wou'd she had less of both, and more of Pity; And that I knew not how to wish, till now That I became a Lover, perhaps as unsuccessful. [Aside.
Dia. I knew my Beauty had a thousand Darts, But knew not they cou'd strike so quick and home. [Aside. Let your good Wishes for your Friend alone, Lest he being happy, you shou'd be undone. For he and you cannot be blest at once.
Friend. How, Madam!
Dia. I am that Maid he loves, and who hates him.
Friend. Hate him!
Dia. To Death.
Friend. Oh, me unhappy! [Aside.
Dia. He sighs and turns away—am I again defeated? Surely I am not fair, or Man's insensible.
Friend. She knows me not— And 'twas discreetly done to change my Shape: For Woman is a strange fantastick Creature; And where before, I cou'd not gain a Smile, Thus I may win her Heart. [Aside. —Say, Madam, can you love a Man that dies for you?
Dia. The way to gain me, is to fight with Bellmour. Tell him from me you come, the wrong'd Diana; Tell him you have an Interest in my Heart, Equal to that which I have made in yours.
Friend. I'll do't; I will not ask your Reason, but obey. Swear e'er I go, that when I have perform'd it, You'll render me Possession of your Heart.
Dia. By all the Vows that Heaven ties Hearts together with, I'll be entirely yours.
Friend. And I'll not be that conscientious Fool, To stop at Blessings 'cause they are not lawful; But take 'em up, when Heaven has thrown 'em down, Without the leave of a Religious Ceremony. [Aside. Madam, this House, which I am Master of, You shall command; whilst I go seek this Bellmour.
Dia. But e'er you go, I must inform you why I do pursue him with my just Revenge.
Friend. I will attend, and hear impatiently.
SCENE II. A Baudy House.
Enter Mrs. Driver and Betty Flauntit.
Flaunt. Driver, prithee call for a Glass, that I may set my self in order, before I go up; for really my Knight has not been at home all this Night, and I am so confus'd—
Enter one with a Glass, and two Wenches, Jenny and Doll.
Lord, Mrs. Driver, I wonder you shou'd send for me, when other Women are in Company; you know of all things in the World, I hate Whores, they are the pratingst leudest poor Creatures in Nature; and I wou'd not, for any thing, Sir Timothy shou'd know that I keep Company, 'twere enough to lose him.
Mrs. Driv. Truly, Mrs. Flauntit, this young Squire that you were Sent to for, has two or three Persons more with him that must be accommodated too.
Flaunt. Driver, though I do recreate my self a little sometimes, yet you know I value my Reputation and Honour.
Jenny. Mrs. Driver, why shou'd you send for us where Flauntit is? a stinking proud Flirt, who because she has a tawdry Petticoat, I warrant you, will think her self so much above us, when if she were set out in her own natural Colours, and her original Garments, wou'd be much below us in Beauty.
Mrs. Driv. Look ye, Mrs. Jenny, I know you, and I know Mrs. Flauntit; but 'tis not Beauty or Wit that takes now-a-days; the Age is altered since I took upon me this genteel Occupation: but 'tis a fine Petticoat, right Points, and clean Garnitures, that does me Credit, and takes the Gallant, though on a stale Woman. And again, Mrs. Jenny, she's kept, and Men love as much for Malice, as for Lechery, as they call it. Oh, 'tis a great Mover to Joy, as they say, to have a Woman that's kept.
Jen. Well! Be it so, we may arrive to that excellent Degree of Cracking, to be kept too one day.
Mrs. Driv. Well, well, get your selves in order to go up to the Gentlemen.
Flaunt. Driver, what art thou talking to those poor Creatures? Lord, how they stink of Paint and Pox, faugh—
Mrs. Driv. They were only complaining that you that were kept, shou'd intrude upon the Privileges of the Commoners.
Flaunt. Lord, they think there are such Joys in Keeping, when I vow, Driver, after a while, a Miss has as painful a Life as a Wife; our Men drink, stay out late, and whore, like any Husbands.
Driv. But I hope in the Lord, Mrs. Flauntit, yours is no such Man; I never saw him, but I have heard he's under decent Correction.
Flaunt. Thou art mistaken, Driver, I can keep him within no moderate Bounds without Blows; but for his filthy Custom of Wenching, I have almost broke him of that—but prithee, Driver, who are these Gentlemen?
Driv. Truly, I know not; but they are young, and fine as Princes: two of 'em were disguis'd in masking Habits last Night, but they have sent 'em away this Morning, and they are free as Emperors—One of 'em has lost a Thousand Pound at Play, and never repin'd at it; one's a Knight, and I believe his Courage is cool'd, for he has ferreted my Maids over and over to Night—But 'tis the fine, young, handsom Squire that I design you for.
Flaunt. No matter for his Handsomness, let me have him that has most Money.
SCENE III. Another Chamber in the Brothel, a Table with Box and Dice.
Enter Bellmour, Sir Timothy, Sham and Sharp.
Bel. Damn it, give us more Wine. [Drinks. Where stands the Box and Dice?—Why, Sham.
Sham. Faith, Sir, Your Luck's so bad, I han't the Conscience to play longer—Sir Timothy and you play off a hundred Guineas, and see if Luck will turn.
Bel. Do you take me for a Country Squire, whose Reputation will be crackt at the loss of a petty Thousand? You have my Note for it to my Goldsmith.
Sham. 'Tis sufficient if it were for ten thousand.
Bel. Why, Sir Timothy—Pox on't, thou'rt dull, we are not half debauch'd and leud enough, give us more Wine.
Sir Tim. Faith, Frank, I'm a little maukish with sitting up all Night, and want a small refreshment this Morning—Did we not send for Whores?
Bel. No, I am not in humour for a Wench— By Heaven, I hate the Sex. All but divine Celinda, Appear strange Monsters to my Eyes and Thoughts.
Sir Tim. What, art Italianiz'd, and lovest thy own Sex?
Bel. I'm for any thing that's out of the common Road of Sin; I love a Man that will be damn'd for something: to creep by slow degrees to Hell, as if he were afraid the World shou'd see which way he went, I scorn it, 'tis like a Conventicler—No, give me a Man, who to be certain of's Damnation, will break a solemn Vow to a contracted Maid.
Sir Tim. Ha, ha, ha, I thought thou would'st have said at least—had murder'd his Father, or ravish'd his Mother—Break a Vow, quoth ye—by Fortune, I have broke a thousand.
Bel. Well said, my Boy! A Man of Honour! And will be ready whene'er the Devil calls for thee—So—ho—more Wine, more Wine, and Dice.
Enter a Servant with Dice and Wine.
Come, Sir, let me— [Throws and loses.
Sir Tim. What will you set me, Sir?
Bel. Cater-tray—a hundred Guineas—oh, damn the Dice—'tis mine—come, a full Glass—Damnation to my Uncle.
Sir Tim. By Fortune, I'll do thee reason—give me the Glass, and, Sham, to thee—Confusion to the musty Lord.
Bel. So—now I'm like my self, profanely wicked. A little room for Life—but such a Life As Hell it self shall wonder at—I'll have a care To do no one good deed in the whole course on't, Lest that shou'd save my Soul in spite of Vow-breach. —I will not die—that Peace my Sins deserve not. I'll live and let my Tyrant Uncle see The sad effects of Perjury, and forc'd Marriage. —Surely the Pow'rs above envy'd my Bliss; Marrying Celinda, I had been an Angel, So truly blest, and good. [Weeps.
Sir Tim. Why, how now, Frank—by Fortune, the Rogue is Maudlin—So, ho, ho, so ho.
Bel. The matter?
Sir Tim. Oh, art awake—What a Devil ail'st thou, Frank?
Bel. A Wench, or any thing—come, let's drink a round.
Sham. They're come as wisht for.
Enter Flauntit, Driver, Doll and Jenny mask'd.
Bel. Oh, damn 'em! What shall I do? Yet it would look like Virtue to avoid 'em. No, I must venture on—Ladies, y'are welcome.
Sir Tim. How, the Women?—Hold, hold, Bellmour, let me choose too— Come, come, unmask, and shew your pretty Faces.
Flaunt. How, Sir Timothy! What Devil ow'd me a spite. [Aside.
Sir Tim. Come, unmask, I say: a willing Wench would have shew'd all in half this time.
Flaunt. Wou'd she so, Impudence! [Pulls off her Mask.
Sir Tim. How, my Betty!
Flaunt. This is the Trade you drive, you eternal Fop, when I sit at home expecting you Night after Night.
Sir Tim. Nay, dear Betty!
Flaunt. 'Tis here you spend that which shou'd buy me Points and Petticoats, whilst I go like no body's Mistress; I'd as live be your Wife at this rate, so I had: and I'm in no small danger of getting the foul Disease by your Leudness.