This e-text comes in two forms: Latin-1 and ASCII-7. Use the one that works best on your text reader. In the Latin-1 version, French words like "etude" have accents and "ae" is a single letter. If you see any garbage in this paragraph and can't get it to display properly, use the ASCII-7 or rock-bottom version. All necessary text will still be there; it just won't be as pretty.
In the printed book, all notes were grouped at the end of the volume as "Notes on the Text" and "Notes: Critical and Explanatory". For this e-text, notes have been placed after their respective plays. The Notes as printed give only page and line numbers; act-and-scene designations shown between marks were added by the transcriber. Labels such as "Scene IIa" refer to points where the scene description changes without a new scene number.
The critical notes include a few cross-references to other volumes of the Complete Works. Where appropriate, these texts are quoted after each play's Notes, before the Errata. The "N.E.D." of the Notes is now generally known as the OED.
Except in the Errata lists, all brackets are in the original.
Typographic note: In the printed book, all references to plays give the Act in lower-case Roman numerals and the Scene in small capital Roman numerals; the two look identical except for the dots over the i's. For this plain-text version, the conventional "IV.iv" sequence was used instead.]
Edited by MONTAGUE SUMMERS
Sir Patient Fancy The Amorous Prince—The Widow Ranter The Younger Brother
LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN STRATFORD-ON-AVON: A. H. BULLEN MCMXV
Sir Patient Fancy 1 The Amorous Prince 117 The Widow Ranter 215 The Younger Brother; Or, The Amorous Jilt 311 Notes 401
SIR PATIENT FANCY.
Entrances and bracketed stage directions were printed in italics, with proper names in roman type. The overall italic markup has been omitted for readability.]
Sir Patient Fancy, a hypochondriacal old alderman, has taken a second wife, Lucia, a young and beautiful woman who, although feigning great affection and the strictest conjugal fidelity, intrigues with a gallant, Charles Wittmore, the only obstacle to their having long since married being mutual poverty. However, the jealousy and uxoriousness of the doting husband give the lovers few opportunities; on one occasion, indeed, as Lady Fancy is entertaining Wittmore in the garden they are surprised by Sir Patient, and she is obliged to pass her visitor off under the name of Fainlove as a suitor to her step-daughter, Isabella, in which role he is accepted by Sir Patient. But Isabella has betrothed herself to Lodwick, a son of the pedantic Lady Knowell: whilst Lucretia Knowell loves Leander, the alderman's nephew, in spite of the fact that she is promised by her mother to Sir Credulous Easy, a bumpkinly knight from Devonshire. Lodwick, who is a close friend of Leander, has been previously known to Sir Credulous, and resolving to trick and befool the coxcomb warmly welcomes him on his arrival in town. He persuades him, in fine, to give a ridiculous serenade, or, rather, a hideous hubbub, of noisy instruments under his mistress' window. A little before this Lady Knowell with a party of friends has visited Sir Patient, who is her next neighbour, and the loud laughter, talking, singing and foppery so enrage the precise old valetudinarian that he resolves to leave London immediately for his country house, a circumstance which would be fatal to his wife's amours. Wittmore and she, however, persuade him that he is very ill, and on being shown his face in a looking-glass that magnifies instead of in his ordinary mirror, he imagines that he is suddenly swollen and puffed with disease, and so is led lamenting to bed, leaving the coast clear for the nonce. Isabella, however, has made an assignation with Lodwick at the same time that her stepmother eagerly awaits her own gallant, and in the dark young Knowell is by mistake escorted to Lucia's chamber, whilst Wittmore encountering Isabella, and thinking her Lady Fancy, proceeds to act so amorously that the error is soon discovered and the girl flies from his ardour. In her hurry, however, she rushes blundering into Lucia's bedchamber, where she finds Knowell. It is just at this moment that Sir Credulous Easy's deafening fanfare re-echoes in the street, and Sir Patient, awakened and half-stunned by the pandemonium, is led grouty and bawling into his wife's room, where he discovers Knowell, whom Lucia has all this time taken for Wittmore; but her obvious confusion and dismay thereon are such that Sir Patient does not suspect the real happenings, which she glozes over with a tale concerning Isabella. Meantime the serenaders are dispersed and routed by a band of the alderman's servants and clerks. Sir Credulous courting Lucretia, who loathes him, meets Knowell bringing a tale of a jealous rival able to poison at a distance by means of some strangely subtle venom, upon which the Devonshire knight conceals himself in a basket, hoping to be conveyed away to his old uncle in Essex, whereas he is merely transported next door. Sir Patient, who surprises his lady writing a love-letter, which she turns off by appending Isabella's name thereto, is so overwhelmed with her seeming affection and care for his family that he presents her with eight thousand pounds in gold and silver, and resolves to marry his daughter to Fainlove (Wittmore) without any further delay. But whilst he is gone down to prayers and Lucia is entertaining her lover, the old nurse informs him that his little daughter Fanny has long been privy to an intrigue between Knowell and Isabella, whereupon, in great perturbation, he rushes upstairs again to consult with his wife, who hurries Wittmore under the bed. Sir Patient, however, warmed with cordials which he quaffs to revive his drooping spirits, does not offer to quit the chamber, but lies down on the bed, and the gallant is only enabled to slip out unobserved after several accidents each of which nearly betrays his presence. Upon the marriage morning Isabella in a private interview rejects her pseudo-suitor with scorn and contumely, whereat Knowell, who has of intent been listening, reveals to her that it is his friend Wittmore and no real lover who is seemingly courting her, and with his help, whilst Sir Patient is occupied with a consultation of doctors (amongst whom Sir Credulous appears disguised as a learned member of the faculty), Isabella and Knowell are securely married. Lady Knowell, who has feigned a liking for Leander, generously gives him to Lucretia, Sir Patient's attention being still engrossed by the physicians who assemble in great force. Soon after, at Leander's instigation, in order to test his wife, Sir Patient feigns to be dead of a sudden apoplexy, and for a few moments, whilst others are present, Lucia laments him with many plaints and tears, but immediately changes when she is left alone with Wittmore. The lovers' plans, however, are overheard by the husband, who promptly confronts his wife with her duplicity. Amazed and confounded indeed, he forgives Leander and his daughter for marrying contrary to his former wishes; and when Lucia coolly announces her intention to play the hypocrite and puritan no more, but simply to enjoy herself with the moneys he has settled on her without let or proviso, he humorously declares he will for his part also drop the prig and canter, and turn town gallant and spark.
In spite of Mrs. Behn's placid assertion in her address 'To the Reader' that she has only taken 'but a very bare hint' from a foreign source, Le Malade Imaginaire, the critics who cried out that Sir Patient Fancy 'was made out of at least four French plays' are patently right. Sir Patient is, of course, Argan throughout and in detail; moreover, in the scene where the old alderman feigns death, there is very copious and obvious borrowing from Act III of Le Malade Imaginaire. Some of the doctors' lingo also comes from the third and final interlude of Moliere's comedy, whilst the idea of the medical consultation is pilfered from L'Amour Medecin, Act II, ii. Sir Credulous Easy is Monsieur de Porceaugnac, but his first entrance is taken wholesale from Brome's The Damoiselle; or, The New Ordinary (8vo, 1653), Act II, i, where Amphilus and Trebasco discourse exactly as do Curry and his master. The pedantic Lady Knowell is a mixture of Philaminte and Belise from Les Femmes Savantes. The circumstance in Act IV, ii, when Lucia, to deceive her husband, appends Isabella's name to the love-letter she has herself just written, had already been used by Wycherley at the commencement of Act V of that masterpiece of comedy, The Country Wife (4to, 1675, produced in 1672), where Mrs. Pinchwife, by writing 'your slighted Alithea' as the subscription of a letter, completely befools her churlish spouse.
Moliere's comedies, which were so largely conveyed in Sir Patient Fancy, have been a gold mine for many of our dramatists. From Le Malade Imaginaire Miller took his Mother-in-Law; or, The Doctor the Disease, produced at the Haymarket, 12 February, 1734, and Isaac Bickerstaffe, Dr. Last in his Chariot, produced at the same theatre 25 August, 1769. In this farce Bickerstaffe further introduces the famous consultation scene from L'Amour Medecin, a play which had been made use of by Lacy, The Dumb Lady; or, The Farrier made a Physician (1672); by Owen Swiney, The Quacks; or, Love's the Physician, produced at Drury Lane, 18 March, 1705; by Miller, Art and Nature, produced at the same theatre 16 February, 1738; and in an anonymous one act piece, which is little more than a bare translation under the title Love is the Doctor, performed once only at Lincoln's Inn Fields, 4 April, 1734.
Monsieur de Pourceaugnac supplied Ravenscroft with material no less than three times. In Mamamouchi; or, The Citizen turn'd Gentleman, acted early in 1672, we have Sir Simon Softhead, who is Pourceaugnac in detail; in The Careless Lovers, produced at the Duke's House in 1673, and again in The Canterbury Guests; or, A Bargain Broken, played at the Theatre Royal in 1694, we have in extenso Act II, Scenes viii, ix, x, of the French comedy. Crowne's Sir Mannerley Shallow (The Country Wit, 1675) comes from the same source. Squire Trelooby, produced at Lincoln's Inn Fields, 20 March, 1704, and revived as The Cornish Squire at Drury Lane, 3 January, 1734, is ascribed to Vanbrugh, Congreve, and Walsh; but this, as well as a farce produced at Dublin in 1720 by Charles Shadwell and entitled The Plotting Lovers; or, The Dismal Squire, cannot claim to be anything but translations. Miller's Mother-in-Law, again, includes much of Monsieur de Pourceaugnac; and Thomas Sheridan's Captain O'Blunder; or, The Brave Irishman, produced at Goodman's Fields, 31 January, 1746, is a poor adaptation. Mrs. Parsons abbreviated Moliere to The Intrigues of a Morning, played at Covent Garden, 18 April, 1792, a jejune effort. Les Femmes Savantes was rather racily transformed by Thomas Wright into The Female Virtuosoes, and produced at Drury Lane in 1693. It was revived as No Fools like Wits at Lincoln's Inn Fields, 10 January, 1721, to anticipate Cibber's The Refusal; or, The Ladies' Philosophy, which had a run of six nights. Miller, in his The Man of Taste, once more had resource to Moliere. His play was produced at Drury Lane, 6 March, 1735. It has no value.
Of all these borrowers Mrs. Behn is infinitely the best. Sir Patient Fancy is, indeed, an excellent comedy, and had she used more leisure might have been improved to become quite first rate. Perhaps she plagiarized so largely owing to the haste with which her play was written and staged, but yet everything she touched has been invested with an irresistible humour. A glaring example of her hurry remains in the fact that the 'precise clerk' of Sir Patient has a double nomenclature. In Act III he appears as Abel; in Act IV, iii, he is referred to as Bartholomew, and under this last name has an exit marked in Act V. This character is only on the stage twice and is given but some three or four lines to speak. Obviously, when writing her fourth act, Aphra forgot she had already christened him.
Sir Patient Fancy was produced at the Duke's Theatre, Dorset Garden, in January, 1678, with an exceptionally strong cast which included both Betterton and his wife. It met with the great success it fully deserved. The critics, indeed, were not slow to detect Mrs. Behn's plagiarisms, but the only real opposition was negligible disapproval of a modest clique, who a few years later vainly tried to damn The Lucky Chance. After the death of the two famous comedians Antony Leigh and James Nokes in December, 1692, Sir Patient Fancy, owing to the inability of succeeding actors to sustain the two roles, Sir Patient and Sir Credulous, which had been created by this gifted pair, completely dropped out of the repertory of the theatre. It was not singular in its fate, for Cibber expressly tells us that D'Urfey's excellent comedy The Fond Husband, and Crowne's satirical City Politics, 'lived only by the extraordinary performance of Nokes and Leigh.'
TO THE READER.
I Printed this Play with all the impatient haste one ought to do, who would be vindicated from the most unjust and silly aspersion, Woman could invent to cast on Woman; and which only my being a Woman has procured me; That it was Baudy, the least and most Excusable fault in the Men writers, to whose Plays they all crowd, as if they came to no other end than to hear what they condemn in this: but from a Woman it was unnaturall: but how so Cruell an unkindness came into their imaginations I can by no means guess; unless by those whose Lovers by long absence, or those whom Age or Ugliness have rendered a little distant from those things they would fain imagin here—But if such as these durst profane their Chast ears with hearing it over again, or taking it into their serious Consideration in their Cabinets; they would find nothing that the most innocent Virgins can have cause to blush at: but confess with me that no Play either Ancient or Modern has less of that Bug-bear Bawdry in it. Others to show their breeding (as Bays sayes) cryed it was made out of at least four French Plays, when I had but a very bare hint from one, the Malad Imagenere, which was given me translated by a Gentleman infinitely to advantage; but how much of the French is in this, I leave to those who do indeed understand it and have seen it at the Court. The play had no other Misfortune but that of coming out for a Womans: had it been owned by a Man, though the most Dull Unthinking Rascally Scribler in Town, it had been a most admirable Play. Nor does it's loss of Fame with the Ladies do it much hurt, though they ought to have had good Nature and justice enough to have attributed all its faults to the Authours unhappiness, who is forced to write for Bread and not ashamed to owne it, and consequently ought to write to please (if she can) an Age which has given severall proofs it was by this way of writing to be obliged, though it is a way too cheap for men of wit to pursue who write for Glory, and a way which even I despise as much below me.
SIR PATIENT FANCY.
Spoken by Mr. Betterton.
We write not now, as th' antient Poets writ, For your Applause of Nature, Sense and Wit; But, like good Tradesmen, what's in fashion vent, And cozen you, to give ye all content. True Comedy, writ even in Dryden's Style, Will hardly raise your Humours to a Smile. Long did his Sovereign Muse the Scepter sway, And long with Joy you did true Homage pay: But now, like happy States, luxurious grown, The Monarch Wit unjustly you dethrone, And a Tyrannick Commonwealth prefer, Where each small Wit starts up and claims his share; And all those Laurels are in pieces torn, Which did e'er while one sacred Head adorn. Nay, even the Women now pretend to reign; Defend us from a Poet Joan again! That Congregation's in a hopeful way To Heaven, where the Lay-Sisters teach and pray. Oh the great Blessing of a little Wit! I've seen an elevated Poet sit, And hear the Audience laugh and clap, yet say, Gad after all, 'tis a damn'd silly Play: He unconcern'd, cries only—Is it so? No matter, these unwitty things will do, When your fine fustian useless Eloquence Serves but to chime asleep a drousy Audience. Who at the vast expence of Wit would treat, That might so cheaply please the Appetite? Such homely Fare you're like to find to night: Our Author Knows better how to juggle than to write: Alas! a Poet's good for nothing now, Unless he have the knack of conjuring too; For 'tis beyond all natural Sense to guess How their strange Miracles are brought to pass. Your Presto Jack be gone, and come again, With all the Hocus Art of Legerdemain; Your dancing Tester, Nut-meg, and your Cups, Out-does your Heroes and your amorous Fops. And if this chance to please you, by that rule, He that writes Wit is much the greater Fool.
Sir Patient Fancy, an old rich Alderman, and one that fancies himself always sick, Mr. Anthony Leigh. Leander Fancy, his Nephew, in love with Lucretia, Mr. Crosby. Wittmore, Gallant to the Lady Fancy, a wild young Fellow of a small Fortune, Mr. Betterton. Lodwick Knowell, Son to the Lady Knowell, in love with Isabella, Mr. Smith. Sir Credulous Easy, a foolish Devonshire Knight, design'd to marry Lucretia, Mr. Nokes. Curry, his Groom, Mr. Richards. Roger, Footman to the Lady Fancy. Abel (Bartholomew), Clerk to Sir Patient Fancy. Brunswick, a friend to Lodwick Knowell. Monsieur Turboon, a French Doctor. A Fat Doctor. An Amsterdam Doctor. A Leyden Doctor. Page to the Lady Knowell.
Guests, Six Servants to Sir Patient, Ballad-Singers and Serenaders.
The Lady Fancy, Young Wife to Sir Patient, Mrs. Currer. The Lady Knowell, an affected learned Woman, Mother to Lodwick and Lucretia, Mrs. Gwin. Lucretia, Daughter to the L. Knowell, Mrs. Price. Isabella, Daughter to Sir Patient Fancy, Mrs. Betterton. Fanny, a Child of seven Years old, Daughter to Sir Patient Fancy. Maundy, the Lady Fancy's Woman, Mrs. Gibbs. Betty, Waiting-woman to Isabella. Antic, Waiting-woman to Lucretia. Nurse.
SCENE London, in two Houses.
SCENE I. A Room in Lady Knowell's House.
Enter Lucretia with Isabella.
Isab. 'Tis much I owe to Fortune, my dear Lucretia, for being so kind to make us Neighbours, where with Ease we may continually exchange our Souls and Thoughts without the attendance of a Coach, and those other little Formalities that make a Business of a Visit; it looks so like a Journey, I hate it.
Lucr. Attendance is that Curse to Greatness that confines the Soul, and spoils good Humour; we are free whilst thus alone, and can laugh at the abominable Fopperies of this Town.
Isab. And lament the numberless Impertinences wherewith they continually plague all young Women of Quality.
Lucr. Yet these are the precious things our grave Parents still chuse out to make us happy with, and all for a filthy Jointure, the undeniable argument for our Slavery to Fools.
Isab. Custom is unkind to our Sex, not to allow us free Choice; but we above all Creatures must be forced to endure the formal Recommendations of a Parent, and the more insupportable Addresses of an odious Fop; whilst the Obedient Daughter stands—thus—with her Hands pinn'd before her, a set Look, few Words, and a Mein that cries—Come marry me: out upon't.
Lucr. I perceive then, whatever your Father designs, you are resolv'd to love your own way.
Isab. Thou mayst lay thy Maidenhead upon't, and be sure of the Misfortune to win.
Lucr. My Brother Lodwick's like to be a happy Man then.
Isab. Faith, my dear Lodwick or no body in my heart, and I hope thou art as well resolv'd for my Cousin Leander.
Lucr. Here's my Hand upon't, I am; yet there's something sticks upon my stomach, which you must know.
Isab. Spare the Relation, for I have observ'd of late your Mother to have order'd her Eyes with some softness, her Mouth endeavouring to sweeten it self into Smiles and Dimples, as if she meant to recal Fifteen again, and gave it all to Leander, for at him she throws her Darts.
Lucr. Is't possible thou should'st have perceived it already?
Isab. Long since.
Lucr. And now I begin to love him, 'twould vex me to see my Mother marry him—well, I shall never call him Father.
Isab. He'll take care to give himself a better Title.
Lucr. This Devonshire Knight too, who is recommended to my Mother as a fit Husband for me, I shall be so tormented with—My Brother swears he's the pertest, most unsufferable Fool he ever saw; when he was at my Uncle's last Summer, he made all his Diversion.
Isab. Prithee let him make ours now, for of all Fops your Country Fop is the most tolerable Animal; those of the Town are the most unmanagable Beasts in Nature.
Lucr. And are the most noisy, keeping Fops.
Isab. Keeping begins to be as ridiculous as Matrimony, and is a greater Imposition upon the Liberty of Man; the Insolence and Expence of their Mistresses has almost tir'd out all but the Old and Doting part of Mankind: The rest begin to know their value, and set a price upon a good Shape, a tolerable Face and Mein:—and some there are who have made excellent Bargains for themselves that way, and will flatter ye and jilt ye an Antiquated Lady as artfully as the most experienc'd Miss of 'em all.
Lucr. Lord, Lord! what will this World come to?—but this Mother of mine—Isabella. [Sighs.
Isab. Is discreet and virtuous enough, a little too affected, as being the most learned of her Sex.
Lucr. Methinks to be read in the Arts, as they call 'em, is the peculiar Province of the other Sex.
Isab. Indeed the Men would have us think so, and boast their Learning and Languages; but if they can find any of our Sex fuller of Words, and to so little purpose as some of their Gownmen, I'll be content to change my Petticoats for Pantaloons, and go to a Grammar-school.
Lucr. Oh, they're the greatest Babelards in Nature.
Isab. They call us easy and fond, and charge us with all weakness; but look into their Actions of Love, State or War, their roughest business, and you shall find 'em sway'd by some who have the luck to find their Foibles; witness my Father, a Man reasonable enough, till drawn away by doting Love and Religion: what a Monster my young Mother makes of him! flatter'd him first into Matrimony, and now into what sort of Fool or Beast she pleases to make him.
Lucr. I wonder she does not turn him to Christianity; methinks a Conventicle should ill agree with her Humour.
Isab. Oh, she finds it the only way to secure her from his Suspicion, which if she do not e'er long give him cause for, I am mistaken in her Humour.—
Enter L. Knowell and Leander.
But see your Mother and my Cousin Leander, who seems, poor man, under some great Consternation, for he looks as gravely as a Lay-Elder conducting his Spouse from a Sermon.
L. Kno. Oh, fy upon't. See, Mr. Fancy, where your Cousin and my Lucretia are idling: Dii boni, what an insupportable loss of time's this?
Lean. Which might be better imploy'd, if I might instruct 'em, Madam.
L. Kno. Ay, Mr. Fancy, in Consultation with the Antients.—Oh the delight of Books! when I was of their age, I always imploy'd my looser Hours in reading—if serious, 'twas Tacitus, Seneca, Plutarch's Morals, or some such useful Author; if in an Humour gay, I was for Poetry, Virgil, Homer or Tasso. Oh that Love between Renaldo and Armida, Mr. Fancy! Ah the Caresses that fair Corcereis gave, and received from the young Warrior, ah how soft, delicate and tender! Upon my Honour I cannot read them in the Excellence of their Original Language, without I know not what Emotions.
Lean. Methinks 'tis very well in our Mother Tongue, Madam.
L. Kno. O, Faugh, Mr. Fancy, what have you said, Mother Tongue! Can any thing that's great or moving be express'd in filthy English?—I'll give you an Energetical proof, Mr. Fancy; observe but divine Homer in the Grecian Language—Ton d' apamibominous prosiphe podas ochus Achilleus! Ah how it sounds! which English't dwindles into the most grating stuff:—Then the swift-foot Achilles made reply: oh, faugh.
Lucr. So now my Mother's in her right Sphere.
L. Kno. Come, Mr. Fancy, we'll pursue our first design of retiring into my Cabinet, and reading a leaf or two in Martial; I am a little dull, and wou'd fain laugh.
Lean. Methinks, Madam, Discourse were much better with these young Ladies. Dear Lucretia, find some way to release me. [Aside.
L. Kno. Oh, how I hate the impertinence of Women, who for the generality have no other knowledge than that of dressing; I am uneasy with the unthinking Creatures.
Lucr. Indeed 'tis much better to be entertaining a young Lover alone; but I'll prevent her, if possible. [Aside.
L. Kno. No, I am for the substantial pleasure of an Author. Philosophemur! is my Motto,—I'm strangely fond of you, Mr. Fancy, for being a Scholar.
Lean. Who, Madam, I a Scholar? the greatest Dunce in Nature—Malicious Creatures, will you leave me to her mercy? [To them aside.
Lucr. Prithee assist him in his misery, for I am Mudd, and can do nothing towards it. [Aside.
Isab. Who, my Cousin Leander a Scholar, Madam?
Lucr. Sure he's too much a Gentleman to be a Scholar.
Isab. I vow, Madam, he spells worse than a Country Farrier when he prescribes a Drench.
Lean. Then, Madam, I write the leudest hand.
Isab. Worse than a Politician or a States-man.
Lucr. He cannot read it himself when he has done.
Lean. Not a word on't, Madam.
L. Kno. This agreement to abuse him, I understand— [Aside. —Well, then, Mr. Fancy, let's to my Cabinet—your hand.
Lean. Now shall I be teas'd unmercifully,—I'll wait on you, Madam. [Exit Lady. —Find some means to redeem me, or I shall be mad. [Exit Lean.
Lod. Hah, my dear Isabella here, and without a Spy! what a blessed opportunity must I be forc'd to lose, for there is just now arriv'd my Sister's Lover, whom I am oblig'd to receive: but if you have a mind to laugh a little—
Isab. Laugh! why, are you turn'd Buffoon, Tumbler, or Presbyterian Preacher?
Lod. No, but there's a Creature below more ridiculous than either of these.
Lucr. For love's sake, what sort of Beast is that?
Lod. Sir Credulous Easy, your new Lover just come to town Bag and Baggage, and I was going to acquaint my Mother with it.
Isab. You'll find her well employ'd with my Cousin Leander.
Lucr. A happy opportunity to free him: but what shall I do now, Brother?
Lod. Oh, let me alone to ruin him with my Mother: get you gone, I think I hear him coming, and this Apartment is appointed for him.
Lucr. Prithee haste then, and free Leander, we'll into the Garden.
[Exeunt Luc. and Isab.
A Chair and a Table. Enter Sir_ Credulous _in a riding habit. _Curry_ his Groom carrying a Portmantle._
Lod. Yes—'tis the Right Worshipful, I'll to my Mother with the News. [Ex. Lod.
Sir Cred. Come undo my Portmantle, and equip me, that I may look like some body before I see the Ladies—Curry, thou shalt e'en remove now, Curry, from Groom to Footman; for I'll ne'er keep Horse more, no, nor Mare neither, since my poor Gillian's departed this Life.
Cur. 'Ds diggers, Sir, you have griev'd enough for your Mare in all Conscience; think of your Mistress now, Sir, and think of her no more.
Sir Cred. Not think of her! I shall think of her whilst I live, poor Fool, that I shall, though I had forty Mistresses.
Cur. Nay, to say truth, Sir, 'twas a good-natur'd civil beast, and so she remain'd to her last gasp, for she cou'd never have left this World in a better time, as the saying is, so near her Journey's End.
Sir Cred. A civil Beast! Why, was it civilly done of her, thinkest thou, to die at Branford, when had she liv'd till to morrow, she had been converted into Money and have been in my Pocket? for now I am to marry and live in Town, I'll sell off all my Pads; poor Fool, I think she e'en died for grief I wou'd have sold her.
Cur. 'Twas unlucky to refuse Parson Cuffet's Wife's Money for her, Sir.
Sir Cred. Ay, and to refuse her another kindness too, that shall be nameless which she offer'd me, and which wou'd have given me good luck in Horse-flesh too; Zoz, I was a modest fool, that's truth on't.
Cur. Well, well, Sir, her time was come you must think, and we are all Mortal as the saying is.
Sir Cred. Well, 'twas the lovingst Tit:—but Grass and Hay, she's gone—where be her Shoes, Curry?
Cur. Here, Sir, her Skin went for good Ale at Branford. [Gives him the Shoes.
Sir Cred. Ah, how often has she carry'd me upon these Shoes to Mother Jumbles; thou remember'st her handsome Daughter, and what pure Ale she brew'd; between one and t'other my Rent came short home there; but let that pass too, and hang sorrow, as thou sayst, I have something else to think on. [Takes his things out, lays them upon the Table. And, Curry, as soon as I am drest, go you away to St. Clement's Church-yard, to Jackson the Cobler there.
Cur. What, your Dog-tutor, Sir?
Sir Cred. Yes, and see how my Whelp proves, I put to him last Parliament.
Cur. Yes, Sir.
Enter Leander, and starts back seeing Sir Cred.
Sir Cred. And ask him what Gamesters come to the Ponds now adays, and what good Dogs.
Cur. Yes, Sir.
Lean. This is the Beast Lodwick spoke of; how could I laugh were he design'd for any but Lucretia! [Aside.
Sir Cred. And dost hear, ask him if he have not sold his own Dog Diver with the white Ear; if I can purchase him, and my own Dog prove right, I'll be Duke of Ducking-Pond, ads zoz. [Sir Cred. dresses himself. Well, I think I shall be fine anon, he.
Cur. But zo, zo, Sir, as the saying is, this Suit's a little out of fashion, 'twas made that very year I came to your Worship, which is five Winters, and as many Summers.
Sir Cred. What then Mun, I never wear it, but when I go to be drunk, and give my Voice for a Knight o'th' Shire, and here at London in Term time, and that but eight times in Eight Visits to Eight several Ladies to whom I was recommended.
Cur. I wonder that amongst eight you got not one, Sir.
Sir Cred. Eight! Zoz, I had Eight score, Mun; but the Devil was in 'em, they were all so forward, that before I cou'd seal and deliver, whip, quoth Jethro, they were either all married to some body else, or run quite away; so that I am resolv'd if this same Lucretia proves not right, I'll e'en forswear this Town and all their false Wares, amongst which, zoz, I believe they vent as many false Wives as any Metropolitan in Christendom, I'll say that for't, and a Fiddle for't, i'faith:—come give me my Watch out,—so, my Diamond Rings too: so, I think I shall appear pretty well all together, Curry, hah?
Lean. Like some thing monstrously ridiculous, I'll be sworn. [Aside.
Cur. Here's your Purse of broad Gold, Sir, that your Grandmother gave you to go a wooing withal, I mean to shew, Sir.
Sir Cred. Ay, for she charg'd me never to part with it;—so, now for the Ladies. [Shakes his Ribbons.
Lod. Leander, what mak'st thou here, like a Holy-day Fool gazing at a Monster?
Lean. Yes; And one I hope I have no great reason to fear.
Lod. I am of thy opinion; away, my Mother's coming; take this opportunity with my Sister, she's i'th' Garden, and let me alone with this Fool, for an Entertainment that shall shew him all at once: away— [Exit Lean. [Lod. goes in to Sir Cred.
Sir Cred. Lodwick, my dear Friend! and little Spark of Ingenuity—Zoz, Man, I'm but just come to Town. [Embrace.
Lod. 'Tis a joyful hearing, Sir.
Sir Cred. Not so joyful neither, Sir, when you shall know poor Gillian's dead, my little grey Mare; thou knew'st her, mun: Zoz, 'thas made me as melancholy as the Drone of a Lancashire Bag-pipe. But let that pass; and now we talk of my Mare, Zoz, I long to see this Sister of thine.
Lod. She'll be with you presently, Sir Credulous.
Sir Cred. But hark ye, Zoz, I have been so often fob'd off in these matters, that between you and I, Lodwick, if I thought I shou'd not have her, Zoz, I'd ne'er lose precious time about her.
Lod. Right, Sir; and to say truth, these Women have so much Contradiction in 'em, that 'tis ten to one but a Man fails in the Art of pleasing.
Sir Cred. Why, there's it:—therefore prithee, dear Lodwick, tell me a few of thy Sister's Humors, and if I fail,—then hang me, Ladies, at your Door, as the Song says.
Lod. Why, faith, she has many odd Humors hard enough to hit.
Sir Cred. Zoz, let 'em be as hard as Hercules his Labors in the Vale of Basse, I'll not be frighted from attempting her.
Lod. Why, she's one of those fantastick Creatures that must be courted her own way.
Sir Cred. Why, let's hear her way.
Lod. She must be surpriz'd with strange Extravagancies wholly out of the Road and Method of common Courtship.
Sir Cred. Shaw, is that all? Zoz, I'm the best in Christendom at your out-of-the-way bus'nesses.—Now do I find the Reason of all my ill Success; for I us'd one and the same method to all I courted, whatever their Humors were; hark ye, prithee give me a hint or two, and let me alone to manage Matters.
Lod. I have just now thought of a way that cannot but take—
Sir Cred. Zoz, out with it, Man.
Lod. Why, what if you should represent a dumb Ambassador from the Blind God of Love.
Sir Cred. How, a dumb Ambassador? Zoz, Man, how shall I deliver my Embassy then, and tell her how much I love her?—besides, I had a pure Speech or two ready by heart, and that will be quite lost. [Aside.
Lod. Fy, fy! how dull you are! why, you shall do it by Signs, and I'll be your Interpreter.
Sir Cred. Why, faith, this will be pure; I understand you now, Zoz, I am old excellent at Signs;—I vow this will be rare.
Lod. It will not fail to do your business, if well manag'd—but stay, here's my Sister, on your life not a syllable.
Enter Lean. Lucr. and Isab.
Sir Cred. I'll be rackt first, Mum budget,—prithee present me, I long to be at it, sure. [He falls back, making Faces and Grimaces.
Lod. Sister, I here present you with a worthy Knight, struck dumb with Admiration of your Beauty; but that's all one, he is employ'd Envoy Extraordinary from the blind God of Love: and since, like his young Master, he must be defective in one of his Senses, he chose rather to be dumb than blind.
Lucr. I hope the small Deity is in good Health, Sir?
Isab. And his Mistress Psyche, Sir? [He smiles and bows, and makes Signs.
Lod. He says that Psyche has been sick of late, but somewhat recovered, and has sent you for a Token a pair of Jet Bracelets, and a Cambrick Handkerchief of her own spinning, with a Sentence wrought in't, Heart in hand, at thy command. [Looking every word upon Sir Credulous as he makes signs.
Sir Cred. Zoz, Lodwick, what do you mean? I'm the Son of an Egyptian if I understand thee. [Pulls him, he signs to him to hold his peace.
Lod. Come, Sir, the Tokens, produce, produce— [He falls back making damnable signs. How! Faith, I'm sorry for that with all my heart,—he says, being somewhat put to't on his Journey, he was forced to pawn the Bracelets for half a Crown, and the Handkerchief he gave his Landlady on the Road for a Kindness received,—this 'tis when People will be fooling—
Sir Cred. Why, the Devil's in this Lodwick, for mistaking my Signs thus: hang me if ever I thought of Bracelets or a Handkerchief, or ever received a Civility from any Woman Breathing,—is he bewitcht trow? [Aside.
Lean. Lodwick, you are mistaken in the Knight's meaning all this while. Look on him, Sir,—do not you guess from that Look, and wrying of his Mouth, that you mistook the Bracelets for Diamond Rings, which he humbly begs, Madam, you would grace with your fair Hand?
Lod. Ah, now I perceive it plain.
Sir Cred. A Pox of his Compliment. Why, this is worse than t'other.—What shall I do in this case?—should I speak and undeceive them, they would swear 'twere to save my Jems: and to part with 'em—Zoz, how simply should I look!—but hang't, when I have married her, they are my own again. [Gives the Rings, and falls back into Grimaces. Leander whispers to Lodwick.
Lod. Enough—Then, Sister, she has sent you a Purse of her own knitting full of Broad Gold.
Sir. Cred. Broad Gold! why, what a Pox does the Man conjure?
Lod. Which, Sister, faith, you must accept of, you see by that Grimace how much 'twill grieve him else.
Sir Cred. A pretty civil way this to rob a Man.—Why, Lodwick,—why, what a Pox, will they have no mercy?—Zoz, I'll see how far they'll drive the Jest. [Gives the Gold and bows, and scrapes and screws.
Lod. Say you so, Sir? well I'll see what may be done.—Sister, behold him, and take pity on him; he has but one more humble request to make you, 'tis to receive a Gold Watch which he designs you from himself.
Sir Cred. Why, how long has this Fellow been a Conjurer? for he does deal with the Devil, that's certain,—Lodwick— [Pulls him.
Lod. Ay do, speak and spoil all, do.
Sir Cred. Speak and spoil all, quoth he! and the Duce take me if I am not provok'd to't; why, how the Devil should he light slap-dash, as they say, upon every thing thus? Well, Zoz, I'm resolv'd to give it her, and shame her if she have any Conscience in her. [Gives his Watch with pitiful Grimaces.
Lod. Now, Sister, you must know there's a Mystery in this Watch, 'tis a kind of Hieroglyphick that will instruct you how a Married Woman of your Quality ought to live.
Sir Cred. How, my Watch Mysteries and Hieroglyphicks! the Devil take me, if I knew of any such Virtues it had. [They are all looking on the Watch.
Lod. Beginning at Eight, from which down to Twelve you ought to imploy in dressing, till Two at Dinner, till Five in Visits, till Seven at the Play, till Nine i'th' Park, Ten at Supper with your Lover, if your Husband be not at home, or keep his distance, which he's too well bred not to do; then from Ten to Twelve are the happy Hours the Bergere, those of intire Enjoyment.—
Sir Cred. Say you so? hang me if I shall not go near to think I may chance to be a Cuckold by the shift.
Isab. Well, Sir, what must she do from Twelve till Eight again?
Lod. Oh! those are the dull Conjugal Hours for sleeping with her own Husband, and dreaming of Joys her absent Lover alone can give her.
Sir Cred. Nay, an she be for Sleeping, Zoz, I am as good at that as she can be for her Heart; or Snoring either.
Lod. But I have done; Sir Credulous has a dumb Oration to make you by way of farther Explanation.
Sir Cred. A dumb Oration! now do I know no more how to speak a dumb Speech than a Dog.
Luc. Oh, I love that sort of Eloquence extremely.
Lod. I told you this would take her.
Sir Cred. Nay, I know your silent Speeches are incomparable, and I have such a Speech in my Head.
Lod. Your Postures, your Postures, begin, Sir. [He puts himself into a ready Posture as if he would speak, but only makes Faces.
Pag. Sir, my Lady desires to speak with you. [To Lean.
Lean. I'll wait on her,—a Devil on't.—
Pag. I have command to bring you, Sir, instantly.
Lean. This is ill luck, Madam, I cannot see the Farce out; I'll wait on you as soon as my good Fortune will permit me. [Exit with Page.
Luc. He's going to my Mother, dear Isabella, let's go and hinder their Discourse: Farewel, Sir Ambassador, pray remember us to Psyche, not forgetting the little blind Archer, ha, ha, ha.—
[Ex. Lucr. and Isab. laughing.
Sir Cred. So, I have undone all, they are both gone, flown I protest; why, what a Devil ail'd em? Now have I been dumb all this while to no purpose, you too never told her my meaning right; as I hope to breathe, had any but yourself done this, I should have sworn by Helicon and all the rest of the Devils, you had had a design to have abus'd me, and cheated me of all my Moveables too.
Lod. What a hopeful Project was here defeated by my mistake! but courage, Sir Credulous, I'll put you in a way shall fetch all about again.
Sir Cred. Say you so? ah, dear Lodwick, let me hear it.
Lod. Why, you shall this Night give your Mistress a Serenade.
Sir Cred. How! a Serenade!
Lod. Yes, but it must be perform'd after an Extravagant manner, none of your dull amorous Night-walking Noises so familiar in this Town; Lucretia loves nothing but what's great and extravagant, and passes the reach of vulgar practice.
Sir Cred. What think you of a silent Serenade? Zoz, say but the word and it shall be done, Man, let me alone for Frolicks, i'faith.
Lod. A silent one! no, that's to wear a good humour to the Stumps; I wou'd have this want for no Noise; the extremes of these two Addresses will set off one another.
Sir Cred. Say you so? what think you then of the Bagpipe, Tongs, and Gridiron, Cat-calls, and loud-sounding Cymbals?
Lod. Naught, naught, and of known use; you might as well treat her with Viols and Flute-doux, which were enough to disoblige her for ever.
Sir Cred. Why, what think you then of the King of Bantam's own Musick.
Lod. How! the King of Bantam's Musick?
Sir Cred. Ay, Sir, the King of Bantam's: a Friend of mine had a Present sent him from thence, a most unheard of curiosity I'll assure you.
Lod. That, that by all means, Sir.
Sir Cred. Well, I'll go borrow 'em presently.
Lod. You must provide your self of a Song.
Sir Cred. A Song! hang't, 'tis but rummaging the Play-Books, stealing thence is lawful Prize—Well, Sir, your Servant. [Exit.
Lod. I hope 'twill be ridiculous enough, and then the Devil's in't if it do not do his Business with my Mother, for she hates all impertinent Noises but what she makes herself. She's now going to make a Visit to your Uncle, purposely to give me an opportunity to Isabella.
Lean. And I'm ingag'd to wait on her thither, she designs to carry the Fiddles too; he's mad enough already, but such a Visit will fit him for Bedlam.
Lod. No matter, for you have all a leud Hand with him; between his continual imaginary Sickness, and perpetual Physic, a Man might take more Pleasure in an Hospital. What the Devil did he marry a young Wife for? and they say a handsome Creature too.
Lean. To keep up his Title of Cuckold I think, for she has Beauty enough for Temptation, and no doubt makes the right use on't: wou'd I cou'd know it, that I might prevent her cheating my Uncle longer to my undoing.
Lod. She'll be cunning enough for that, if she have Wit: but now thou talk'st of Intrigues, when didst see Wittmore? that Rogue has some lucky Haunt which we must find out.—But my Mother expects your attendance; I'll go seek my Sister, and make all the Interest there I can for you, whilst you pay me in the same Coin to Isabella. Adieu.
Lean. Trust my Friendship.—
SCENE I. A Garden to Sir Patient Fancy's House.
Enter Lady Fancy, Wittmore, and Maundy.
Wit. Enough, my charming Mistress, you've set my Soul at Peace, and chas'd away those Fears and Doubts my Jealousy created there.
Maun. Mr. Wittmore's satisfy'd of your Constancy, Madam; though had I been your Ladyship, I should have given him a more substantial Proof, which you might yet do, if you wou'd make handsome use of your time.
Wit. Maundy advises well; my dearest, let's withdraw to yonder Covert Arbour, whose kind Shades will secure us a Happiness that Gods might envy. [Offers to lead her out.
L. Fan. I dare not for the world, Sir Patient is now asleep, and 'tis to those few Minutes we are oblig'd for this Enjoyment, which shou'd Love make us transgress, and he shou'd wake and surprize us, we are undone for ever: no, let us employ this little time we have in consulting how we may be often happy, and securely so: Oh, how I languish for the dear opportunity!
Wit. And cou'd you guess what Torments I have suffer'd in these few fatal Months that have divided us, thou wou'dst pity me.
L. Fan. —But to our Business; for though I am yet unsuspected by my Husband, I am eternally plagu'd with his Company; he's so fond of me, he scarce gives me time to write to thee, he waits on me from room to room, hands me in the Garden, shoulders me in the Balcony, nay, does the office of my Women, dresses and undresses me, and does so smirk at his handywork: In fine, dear Wittmore, I am impatient till I can have less of his Company, and more of thine.
Wit. Does he never go out of Town?
L. Fan. Never without me.
Wit. Nor to Chuch?
L. Fan. To a Meeting-house you mean, and then too carries me, and is as vainly proud of me as of his rebellious Opinion, for his Religion means nothing but that, and Contradiction; which I seem to like too, since 'tis the best Cloke I can put on to cheat him with.
Wit. Right, my fair Hypocrite.
L. Fan. But, dear Wittmore, there's nothing so comical as to hear me cant, and even cheat those Knaves, the Preachers themselves, that delude the ignorant Rabble.
Wit. What Miracles cannot your Eyes and Tongue perform!
L. Fan. Judge what a fine Life I lead the while, to be set up with an old formal doting sick Husband, and a Herd of snivelling grinning Hypocrites, that call themselves the teaching Saints; who under pretence of securing me to the number of their Flock, do so sneer upon me, pat my Breasts, and cry fie, fie upon this fashion of tempting Nakedness. [Through the Nose.
Wit. Dear Creature, how cou'd we laugh at thy new way of living, had we but some Minutes allow'd us to enjoy that Pleasure alone.
L. Fan. Think, dear Wittmore, think, Maundy and I have thought over all our Devices to no purpose.
Wit. Pox on't, I'm the dullest dog at plotting, thinking, in the world; I should have made a damnable ill Town Poet: Has he quite left off going to the Change?
L. Fan. Oh, he's grown cautiously rich, and will venture none of his substantial Stock in transitory Traffick.
Wit. Has he no mutinous Cabal, nor Coffee-houses, where he goes religiously to consult the Welfare of the Nation?
L. Fan. His imagin'd Sickness has made this their Rendesvouz.
Wit. When he goes to his blind Devotion, cannot you pretend to be sick? that may give us at least two or three opportunities to begin with.
L. Fan. Oh! then I should be plagu'd with continual Physick and Extempore Prayer till I were sick indeed.
Wit. Damn the humorous Coxcomb and all his Family, what shall we do?
L. Fan. Not all, for he has a Daughter that has good Humour, Wit, and Beauty enough to save her,—stay—that has jogg'd a Thought, as the Learned say, which must jog on, till the motion have produc'd something worth my thinking.—
Enter Roger running.
Maun. Ad's me, here's danger near, our Scout comes in such haste.
L. Fan. Roger, what's the matter?
Rog. My Master, Madam, is risen from sleep, and is come in to the Garden.—See, Madam, he's here.
L. Fan. What an unlucky Accident was this?
Wit. What shall I do, 'tis too late to obscure my self?
L. Fan. He sees you already, through the Trees,—here—keep your distance, your Hat under your Arm; so, be very ceremonious, whilst I settle a demure Countenance.—
Maun. Well, there never came good of Lovers that were given to too much talking; had you been silently kind all this while, you had been willing to have parted by this time.
Enter Sir Patient in a Night-Gown, reading a Bill.
Sir Pat. Hum,—Twelve Purges for this present January—as I take it, good Mr. Doctor, I took but Ten in all December.—By this Rule I am sicker this Month, than I was the last.—And, good Master Apothecary, methinks your Prizes are somewhat too high: at this rate no body wou'd be sick.—Here, Roger, see it paid however,—Ha, hum. [Sees 'em, and starts back.] What's here, my Lady Wife entertaining a leud Fellow of the Town? a flaunting Cap and Feather Blade.
L. Fan. Sir Patient cannot now be spoken with. But, Sir, that which I was going just now to say to you, was, that it would be very convenient in my opinion to make your Addresses to Isabella,—'twill give us opportunities. [Aside.] We Ladies love no Imposition; this is Counsel my Husband perhaps will not like, but I would have all Women chuse their Man, as I have done,—my dear Wittmore. [Aside.
Sir Pat. I profess ingenuously an excellent good Lady this of mine, though I do not like her Counsel to the young Man, who I perceive would be a Suitor to my Daughter Isabella.
Wit. Madam, should I follow my inclinations, I should pay my Vows no where but there,—but I am inform'd Sir Patient is a Man so positively resolv'd.—
L. Fan. That you should love his Wife. [Aside.
Wit. And I'll comply with that Resolve of his, and neither love nor marry Isabella, without his Permission; and I doubt not but I shall by my Respects to him gain his Consent,—to cuckold him. [Aside.
Sir Pat. I profess ingenuously, a very discreet young Man.
Wit. But, Madam, when may I promise my self the satisfaction of coming again? For I'm impatient for the Sight and Enjoyment of the fair Person I love.
L. Fan. Sir, you may come at night, and something I will do by that time shall certainly give you that access you wish for.
Wit. May I depend upon that Happiness?
L. Fan. Oh, doubt not my power over Sir Patient.
Sir Pat. My Lady Fancy, you promise largely.
L. Fan. Sir Patient here!
Wit. A Devil on him, wou'd I were well off: now must I dissemble, profess, and lye most confoundedly.
Sir Pat. Your Servant, Sir, your Servant.—My Lady Fancy, your Ladyship, is well entertain'd I see; have a care you make me not jealous, my Lady Fancy.
L. Fan. Indeed I have given you cause, Sir Patient, for I have been entertaining a Lover, and one you must admit of too.
Sir Pat. Say you so, my Lady Fancy?—Well, Sir, I am a Man of Reason, and if you shew me good causes why, can bid you welcome, for I do nothing without Reason and Precaution.
Wit. Sir, I have—
Sir Pat. I know what you wou'd say, Sir; few Words denoteth a Wise Head,—you wou'd say that you have an Ambition to be my Son-in-Law.
Wit. You guess most right, Sir.
Sir Pat. Nay, Sir, I'll warrant I'll read a Man as well as the best, I have studied it.
Wit. Now, Invention, help me or never.
Sir Pat. Your Name, I pray? [Putting off his Hat gravely at every Word.
Wit. Fainlove, Sir.
Sir Pat. Good Mr. Fainlove, your Country?
Wit. Yorkshire, Sir.
Sir Pat. What, not Mr. Fainlove's Son of Yorkshire, who was knighted in the good days of the late Lord Protector? [Off his Hat.
Wit. The same, Sir.—I am in, but how to come off again the Devil take me if I know. [Aside.
Sir Pat. He was a Man of admirable parts, believe me, a notable Head piece, a publick-spirited Person, and a good Commonwealths-man, that he was, on my word.—Your Estate, Sir, I pray? [Hat off.
Wit. I have not impair'd it, Sir, and I presume you know its value:—For I am a Dog if I do. [Aside.
Sir Pat. O' my Word, 'tis then considerable, Sir; for he left but one Son, and fourteen hundred Pounds per Annum, as I take it: which Son, I hear, is lately come from Geneva, whither he was sent for virtuous Education. I am glad of your Arrival, Sir.—Your Religion, I pray?
Wit. You cannot doubt my Principles, Sir, since educated at Geneva.
Sir Pat. Your Father was a discreet Man: ah, Mr. Fainlove, he and I have seen better days, and wish we cou'd have foreseen these that are arriv'd.
Wit. That he might have turn'd honest in time, he means, before he had purchas'd Bishops Lands.
Sir Pat. Sir, you have no Place, Office, Dependance or Attendance at Court, I hope?
Wit. None, Sir,—Wou'd I had—so you were hang'd. [Aside.
L. Fan. Nay, Sir, you may believe, I knew his Capacities and Abilities before I would encourage his Addresses.
Sir Pat. My Lady Fancy, you are a discreet Lady;—Well, I'll marry her out of hand, to prevent Mr. Lodwick's hopes: for though the young man may deserve well, that Mother of his I'll have nothing to do with, since she refused to marry my Nephew. [Aside.
Fan. Sir Father, here's my Lady Knowell, and her Family come to see you.
Sir Pat. How! her whole Family! I am come to keep open House; very fine, her whole Family! she's Plague enough to mortify any good Christian,—Tell her, my Lady and I am gone forth; tell her any thing to keep her away.
Fan. Shou'd I tell a lye, Sir Father, and to a Lady of her Quality?
Sir Pat. Her Quality and she are a Couple of Impertinent things, which are very troublesome, and not to be indur'd I take it.
Fan. Sir, we shou'd bear with things we do not love sometimes, 'tis a sort of Trial, Sir, a kind of Mortification fit for a good Christian.
Sir Pat. Why, what a notable talking Baggage is this! How came you by this Doctrine?
Fan. I remember, Sir, you preach'd it once to my Sister, when the old Alderman was the Text, whom you exhorted her to marry, but the wicked Creature made ill use on't.
Sir Pat. Go your way for a prating Huswife, go, and call your Sister hither. [Exit Fanny.] —Well, I'm resolv'd to leave this Town, nay, and the World too, rather than be tormented thus.
L. Fan. What's the matter, Dear, thou dost so fret thy self?
Sir Pat. The matter! my House, my House is besieged with Impertinence; the intolerable Lady, Madam Romance, that walking Library of profane Books is come to visit me.
L. Fan. My Lady Knowell?
Sir Pat. Yes, that Lady of eternal Noise and hard Words.
L. Fan. Indeed 'tis with pain I am oblig'd to be civil to her, but I consider her Quality, her Husband was too an Alderman, your Friend, and a great Ay and No Man i' th' City, and a painful Promoter of the good Cause.
Sir Pat. But she's a Fop, my Lady Fancy, and ever was so, an idle conceited she Fop; and has Vanity and Tongue enough to debauch any Nation under civil Government: but, Patience, thou art a Virtue, and Affliction will come.—Ah, I'm very sick, alas, I have not long to dwell amongst the Wicked, Oh, oh.—Roger, is the Doctor come?
Rog. No, Sir, but he has sent you a small draught of a Pint, which you are to take, and move upon't.
Sir Pat. Ah,—Well, I'll in and take it;—Ah—Sir, I crave your Patience for a moment, for I design you shall see my Daughter, I'll not make long work on't, Sir: alas, I would dispose of her before I die: Ah,—I'll bring her to you, Sir, Ah, Ah.— [Goes out with Roger.
L. Fan. He's always thus when visited, to save Charges,—But how, dear Wittmore, cam'st thou to think of a Name and Country so readily?
Wit. Egad, I was at the height of my Invention, and the Alderman civilly and kindly assisted me with the rest; but how to undeceive him—
L. Fan. Take no care for that, in the mean time you'll be shreudly hurt to have the way laid open to our Enjoyment, and that by my Husband's procurement too: But take heed, dear Wittmore, whilst you only design to feign a Courtship, you do it not in good earnest.
Wit. Unkind Creature!
L. Fan. I would not have you endanger her Heart neither: for thou hast Charms will do't.—Prithee do not put on thy best Looks, nor speak thy softest Language; for if thou dost, thou canst not fail to undo her.
Wit. Well, my pretty Flatterer, to free her Heart and thy Suspicions, I'll make such aukward Love as shall persuade her, however she chance to like my Person, to think most leudly of my Parts.—But 'tis fit I take my leave, for if Lodwick or Leander see me here, all will be ruin'd; death, I had forgot that.
L. Fan. Leander's seldom at home, and you must time your Visits: but see Sir Patient's return'd, and with him your new Mistress.
Enter Sir Patient and Isabella.
Sir Pat. Here's my Daughter Isabella, Mr. Fainlove: she'll serve for a Wife, Sir, as times go; but I hope you are none of those.—Sweet-heart, this Gentleman I have design'd you, he's rich and young, and I am old and sickly, and just going out of the World, and would gladly see thee in safe Hands.
Maun. He has been just going this twenty Years. [Aside.
Sir Pat. Therefore I command you to receive the tenders of his Affection.
Fan. Sir Father, my Lady Knowell's in the Garden.
L. Fan. My Dear, we must go meet her in decency.
Sir Pat. A hard case, a Man cannot be sick in quiet. [Exit with L. Fan.
Isab. A Husband, and that not Lodwick! Heaven forbid. [Aside.
Wit. Now Foppery assist to make me very ridiculous,—Death, she's very pretty and inviting; what an insensible Dog shall I be counted to refuse the Enjoyment of so fair, so new a Creature, and who is like to be thrown into my Arms too whether I will or not?—but Conscience and my Vows to the fair Mother: No, I will be honest.—Madam,—as Gad shall save me, I'm the Son of a Whore, if you are not the most Belle Person I ever saw, and if I be not damnably in love with you; but a pox take all tedious Courtship, I have a free-born and generous Spirit; and as I hate being confin'd to dull Cringing, Whining, Flattering, and the Devil and all of Foppery, so when I give an Heart, I'm an Infidel, Madam, if I do not love to do't frankly and quickly, that thereby I may oblige the beautiful Receiver of my Vows, Protestations, Passions, and Inclination.
Isab. You're wonderful ingaging, Sir, and I were an Ingrate not to facilitate a return for the Honour you are pleas'd to do me.
Wit. Upon my Reputation, Madam, you're a civil well-bred Person, you have all the Agreemony of your Sex, la belle Taille, la bonne Mine, & Reparteee bien, and are tout oure toore, as I'm a Gentleman, fort agreeable.—If this do not please your Lady, and nauseate her, the Devil's in 'em both for unreasonable Women.— [To Maun.
Fan. Gemini, Sister, does the Gentleman conjurer?
Isab. I know not, but I'm sure I never saw a more affected Fop.
Maun. O, a damnable impertinent Fop! 'tis pity, for he's a proper Gentleman.
Wit. Well, if I do hold out, Egad, I shall be the bravest young Fellow in Christendom: But, Madam, I must kiss your Hand at present, I have some Visits to make, Devoirs to pay, necessities of Gallantry only, no Love Engagements, by Jove, Madam; it is sufficient I have given my Parole to your Father, to do him the honour of my Alliance; and an unnecessary Jealousy will but disoblige, Madam, your Slave.—Death, these Rogues see me, and I'm undone.— [Exit.
Enter Lady Fancy, Lady Knowell, Sir Credulous and Lucretia, with other Women and Men, Roger attending.
L. Kno. Isabella, your Servant, Madam: being sensible of the insociable and solitary Life you lead, I have brought my whole Family to wait on your Ladyship, and this my Son in Futuro, to kiss your Hands, I beseech your Ladyship to know him for your humble Servant: my Son and your Nephew, Madam, are coming with the Musick too, we mean to pass the whole Day with your Ladyship:—and see they are here.
Enter Lodwick pulling in Wittmore, Leander with them.
Lod. Nay, since we have met thee so luckily, you must back with us.
Wit. You must excuse me, Gentlemen.
Lod. We'll shew you two or three fine Women.
Wit. Death, these Rogues will ruin me—but I have Business, Gentlemen, that—
Lean. That must not hinder you from doing Deeds of Charity: we are all come to teeze my Uncle, and you must assist at so good a Work;—come, gad, thou shall make love to my Aunt.—I wou'd he wou'd effectually. [Aside.
Lod. Now I think on't, what the Devil dost thou make here?
Wit. Here!—oh, Sir—a—I have a design upon the Alderman.
Lod. Upon his handsome Wife thou meanest; ah, Rogue!
Wit. Faith, no,—a—'tis to—borrow Mony of him; and as I take it, Gentlemen, you are not fit Persons for a Man of Credit to be seen with, I pass for a graver Man.
Lod. Well, Sir, take your Course—but, egad, he'll sooner lend thee his Wife than his Money. [Exit Wittmore, they come in.
Lean. Aunt, I have taken the boldness to bring a Gentleman of my Acquaintance to kiss your Ladyship's Hands.
Lod. Thy Aunt!—death, she's very handsome.—Madam, your most humble Servant. [Kisses the L. Fan.
Lean. Prithee imploy this Fool, that I may have an opportunity to entertain thy Sister.
Lod. Sir Credulous, what, not a Word? not a Compliment? Hah,—be brisk, Man, be gay and witty, talk to the Ladies.
Sir Cred. Talk to 'em! why, what shall I say to 'em?
Lod. Any thing, so it be to little purpose.
Sir Cred. Nay, Sir, let me alone for that matter—but who are they, prithee?
Lod. Why, that's my Lady Fancy, and that's her Daughter-in-Law, salute 'em, Man.—
Sir Cred. Fair Lady,—I do protest and vow, you are the most beautiful of all Mothers-in-Law, and the World cannot produce your equal.
Lod. The Rogue has but one method for all Addresses. [They laugh.
L. Kno. Oh, absurd! this, Sir, is the beautiful Mother-in-Law. [To L. Fan.
Enter Sir Patient.
Sir Cred. Most noble Lady, I cry your mercy. Then, Madam, as the Sun amongst the Stars, or rather as the Moon not in conjunction with the Sun, but in her opposition, when one rises the other sets, or as the Vulgar call it, Full Moon—I say, as the Moon is the most beautiful of all the sparkling Lights, even so are you the most accomplish'd Lady under the Moon—and, Madam, I am extremely sensible of your Charms and celestial Graces. [To Isabella.
Sir Pat. Why, this is abominable and insupportable.
Lucr. I find, Sir, you can talk to purpose when you begin once.
Sir Cred. You are pleased to say so, noble Lady: but I must needs say, I am not the worst bred Gentleman for a Country Gentleman that ever you saw; for you must know, incomparable Lady, that I was at the University three Years, and there I learnt my Logick and Rhetorick, whereby I became excellent at Repartee, sweet Lady. As for my Estate, my Father died since I came of Age, and left me a small younger Brother's Portion, dear Lady.
Lucr. A younger Brother's, Sir?
Sir Cred. Ha, ha, I know what you would infer from that now: but you must know, delicious Lady, that I am all the Children my Father had.
Lucr. Witty, I protest.
Sir Cred. Nay, Madam, when I set on't I can be witty.
Lean. Cruel Lucretia, leave 'em, and let us snatch this opportunity to talk of our own Affairs.
Sir Cred. For you must know, bright Lady, though I was pleas'd to railly my self, I have a pretty competent Estate of about 3000l. a Year, and am to marry Madam Lucretia.
L. Fan. You are a happy Man, Sir.
Sir Cred. Not so happy neither, inestimable Lady, for I lost the finest Mare yesterday,—but let that pass: were you never in Devonshire, Madam?
L. Fan. Never, Sir.
Sir Cred. In troth, and that's pity, sweet Lady; for if you lov'd Hawking, Drinking, and Whoring,—oh, Lord, I mean Hunting; i'faith, there be good Fellows would keep you Company, Madam.
Sir Pat. This is a Plot upon me, a mere Plot.—My Lady Fancy, be tender of my Reputation, Foppery's catching, and I had as lieve be a Cuckold as Husband to a vain Woman.
Sir Cred. Zoz, and that may be as you say, noble Sir. Lady, pray what Gentleman's this?—Noble Sir, I am your most humble Servant.
Sir Pat. Oh, cry your mercy, Sir. [Walks away.
Sir Cred. No Offence, dear Sir, I protest: 'slife, I believe 'tis the Master of the House, he look'd with such Authority;—why, who cares, let him look as big as the four Winds, East, West, North and South, I care not this,—therefore I beg your Pardon, noble Sir.
Sir Pat. Pray spare your Hat and Legs, Sir, till you come to Court, they are thrown away i'th' City.
Sir Cred. O Lord! dear Sir, 'tis all one for that, I value not a Leg nor an Arm amongst Friends, I am a Devonshire Knight, Sir, all the World knows, a kind of Country Gentleman, as they say, and am come to Town, to marry my Lady Knowell's Daughter.
Sir Pat. I'm glad on't, Sir. [Walks away, he follows.
Sir Cred. She's a deserving Lady, Sir, if I have any Judgment; and I think I understand a Lady, Sir, in the Right Honourable way of Matrimony.
Sir Pat. Well, Sir, that is to say, you have been married before, Sir; and what's all this to me, good Sir?
Sir Cred. Married before! incomparable, Sir! not so neither, for there's difference in Men, Sir.
Sir Pat. Right, Sir, for some are Wits, and some are Fools.
Sir Cred. As I hope to breathe, 'twas a saying of my Grandmother's, who us'd to tell me, Sir, that bought Wit was best. I have brought Money to Town for a small purchase of that kind; for, Sir, I wou'd fain set up for a Country Wit.—Pray, Sir, where live the Poets, for I wou'd fain be acquainted with some of them.
Sir Pat. Sir, I do not know, nor do I care for Wits and Poets. Oh, this will kill me quite; I'll out of Town immediately.
Sir Cred. But, Sir, I mean your fine railing Bully Wits, that have Vinegar, Gall and Arsenick in 'em, as well as Salt and Flame, and Fire, and the Devil and all.
Sir Pat. Oh, defend me! and what is all this to me, Sir?
Sir Cred. Oh, Sir, they are the very Soul of Entertainment; and, Sir, it is the prettiest sport to hear 'em rail and haul at one another—Zoz, wou'd I were a Poet.
Sir Pat. I wish you were, since you are so fond of being rail'd at.—If I were able to beat him, I would be much angry,—but Patience is a Virtue, and I will into the Country. [Aside.
Sir Cred. 'Tis all one case to me, dear Sir,—but I should have the pleasure of railing again, cum privilegio; I love fighting with those pointless Weapons.—Zoz, Sir, you know if we Men of Quality fall out— (for you are a Knight I take it) why, there comes a Challenge upon it, and ten to one some body or other is run through the Gills; why, a Pox on't, I say, this is very damnable, give me Poet's Licence.—
L. Fan. Take him off in pity. [To Leander.
Lod. Indeed Railing is a Coin only current among the Poets, Sir Credulous.
Sir Pat. Oh blest Deliverance!—what a profane Wretch is here, and what a leud World we live in—Oh London, London, how thou aboundest in Iniquity! thy young Men are debauch'd, thy Virgins defloured, and thy Matrons all turn'd Bauds! My Lady Fancy, this is not Company for you, I take it, let us fly from this vexation of Spirit, on the never-failing Wings of Discretion.— [Going to lead Lady Fancy off,—the Lady Knowell speaking to Isabella all this while.
L. Kno. How! marry thee to such a Fop, say'st thou? Oh egregious!—as thou lovest Lodwick, let him not know his Name, it will be dangerous, let me alone to evade it.
Isab. I know his fiery Temper too well to trust him with the secret.
L. Kno. Hark ye, Sir, and do you intend to do this horrible thing?—
Sir Pat. What thing, my Lady Knowell?
L. Kno. Why, to marry your Daughter, Sir.
Sir Pat. Yes, Madam.
L. Kno. To a beastly Town Fool? Monstrum horrendum!
Sir Pat. To any Fool, except a Fool of your Race, of your Generation.—
L. Kno. How! a Fool of my Race, my Generation! I know thou meanest my Son, thou contumelious Knight, who, let me tell thee, shall marry thy Daughter invito te, that is, (to inform thy obtuse Understanding) in spite of thee; yes, shall marry her, though she inherits nothing but thy dull Enthusiasms, which had she been legitimate she had been possest with.
Sir Pat. Oh abominable! you had best say she is none of my Daughter, and that I was a Cuckold.—
L. Kno. If I should, Sir, it would not amount to Scandalum Magnatum: I'll tell thee more, thy whole Pedigree,—and yet for all this, Lodwick shall marry your Daughter, and yet I'll have none of your Nephew.
Sir Pat. Shall he so, my Lady Knowell? I shall go near to out-trick your Ladyship, for all your politick Learning. 'Tis past the Canonical Hour, as they call it, or I wou'd marry my Daughter instantly; I profess we ne'er had good days since these Canonical Fopperies came up again, mere Popish Tricks to give our Children time for Disobedience,—the next Justice wou'd ha' serv'd turn, and have done the Business at any Hour: but Patience is a Virtue—Roger, go after Mr. Fainlove, and tell him I wou'd speak with him instantly. [Exit Roger.
L. Kno. Come, come, Ladies, we lose fleeting time, upon my Honour, we do; for, Madam, as I said, I have brought the Fiddles, and design to sacrifice the intire Evening to your Ladyship's Diversion.
Sir Cred. Incomparable Lady, that was well thought on; Zoz, I long to be jigging.
Sir Pat. Fiddles, good Lord! why, what am I come to?—Madam, I take it, Sir Patient Fancy's Lady is not a proper Person to make one at immodest Revellings, and profane Masqueradings.
L. Fan. Why; ah, 'tis very true, Sir, but we ought not to offend a Brother that is weak, and consequently, a Sister.
Sir Pat. An excellent Lady this, but she may be corrupted, ah, she may fall; I will therefore without delay, carry her from this wicked Town.
L. Kno. Come, come, Gentlemen, let's in; Mr. Fancy, you must be my Man;—Sir Credulous, come, and you, sweet Sir, come, Ladies,—Nunc est saltandum, &c.
SCENE II. Changes to a Chamber.
Enter Sir Patient as before, Lady Fancy, Wittmore, Maundy, and Roger with things.
Sir Pat. Maundy, fetch my Clothes, I'll dress me and out of Town instantly,—persuade me not. [To Wit. Roger, is the Coach ready, Roger?
Rog. Yes, Sir, with four Horses.
L. Fan. Out of Town! Oh, I'm undone then, there will be no hopes of ever seeing Wittmore. [Aside.] —Maundy, oh, help me to contrive my stay, or I'm a dead Woman.—Sir, sure you cannot go and leave your Affairs in Town.
Sir Pat. Affairs! what Affairs?
L. Fan. Why, your Daughter's Marriage, Sir:—and—Sir,—not, Sir, but that I desire of all things in the World the Blessing of being alone with you, far from the Noise and leud Disorders of this filthy Town.
Sir Pat. Most excellent Woman! ah, thou art too good for sinful Man, and I will therefore remove thee from the Temptations of it.—Maundy, my Clothes—Mr. Fainlove, I will leave Isabella with my Lady Fidget, my Sister, who shall to morrow see you married, to prevent farther Inconveniences.
L. Fan. What shall I do?
Maun. Madam, I have a Design, which considering his Spleen, must this time do our Business,—'tis— [Whispers.
L. Fan. I like it well, about it instantly, hah— [Ex. Maundy. Alas, Sir, what ails your Face? good Heaven,—look, Roger.
Sir Pat. My Face! why, what ails my Face? hah!
L. Fan. See, Mr. Fainlove, oh, look on my Dear, is he not strangely alter'd?
Wit. Most wonderfully.
Sir Pat. Alter'd, hah—why, where, why, how alter'd?—hah, alter'd say you?
Wit. Lord, how wildly he stares!
Sir Pat. Hah, stare wildly!
Rog. Are you not very sick, Sir?
L. Fan. Sick! oh, Heavens forbid!—How does my dearest Love?
Sir Pat. Methinks I feel myself not well o'th' sudden—ah—a kind of shivering seizes all my Limbs,—and am I so much chang'd?
Wit. All over, Sir, as big again as you were.
L. Fan. Your Face is frightfully blown up, and your dear Eyes just starting from your Head; oh, I shall sound with the apprehension on't. [Falls into Wittmore's Arms.
Sir Pat. My Head and Eyes so big, say you: oh, I'm wondrous sick o'th' sudden,—all over say you—oh, oh—Ay, I perceive it now, my Senses fail me too.
L. Fan. How, Sir, your Senses fail you?
Wit. That's a very bad sign, believe me.
Sir Pat. Oh, ay, for I can neither feel nor see this mighty growth you speak of. [Falls into a Chair, with great signs of Disorder.
Wit. Alas, I'm sorry for that, Sir.
Rog. Sure, 'tis impossible, I'll run and fetch a Glass, Sir. [Offers to go.
L. Fan. Oh, stay, I wou'd not for the world he should see what a Monster he is,—and is like to be before to morrow. [Aside.
Rog. I'll fit him with a Glass,—I'll warrant ye, it shall advance our Design. [Exit Roger.
Enter Maundy with the Clothes, she starts.
Maun. Good Heaven, what ails you, Sir?
Sir Pat. Oh—oh—'tis so.
Maun. Lord, how he's swoln! see how his Stomach struts.
Sir Pat. Ah, 'tis true, though I perceive it not.
Maun. Not perceive it, Sir! put on your Clothes and be convinc'd,—try 'em, Sir. [She pulls off his Gown, and puts on his Doublet and Coat, which come not near by a handful or more.
Sir Pat. Ah, it needs not,—mercy upon me!— [Falls back. I'm lost, I'm gone! Oh Man, what art thou but a Flower? I am poison'd, this talking Lady's Breath's infectious; methought I felt the Contagion steal into my Heart; send for my Physicians, and if I die I'll swear she's my Murderer: oh, see, see, how my trembling increases, oh, hold my Limbs, I die.—
Enter Roger with a magnifying Glass, shews him the Glass; he looks in it.
Rog. I'll warrant I'll shew his Face as big as a Bushel. [Aside.
Sir Pat. Oh, oh,—I'm a dead Man, have me to Bed, I die away, undress me instantly, send for my Physicians, I'm poison'd, my Bowels burn, I have within an AEtna, my Brains run round, Nature within me reels. [They carry him out in a Chair.
Wit. And all the drunken Universe does run on Wheels, ha, ha, ha.
Ah, my dear Creature, how finely thou hast brought him to his Journy's end!
L. Fan. There was no other way but this to have secur'd my Happiness with thee; there needs no more than that you come anon to the Garden Back-gate, where you shall find admittance;—Sir Patient is like to lie alone to night.
Wit. Till then 'twill be a thousand Ages.
L. Fan. At Games of Love Husbands to cheat is fair, 'Tis the Gallant we play with on the square.
Scene draws off to a room in Sir Patient Fancy's house, and discovers Lady Knowell, Isabella, Lucretia, Lodwick, Leander, Wittmore, Sir Credulous, other Men and Women, as going to dance.
L. Kno. Come, one Dance more, and then I think we shall have sufficiently teaz'd the Alderman, and 'twill be time to part.—Sir Credulous, where's your Mistress?
Sir Cred. Within a Mile of an Oak, dear Madam, I'll warrant you.—Well, I protest and vow, sweet Lady, you dance most nobly,—Why, you dance—like—like a—like a hasty Pudding, before Jove. [They dance some Antick, or Rustick Antick. Lodwick speaking to Isabella.
SONG made by a Gentleman.
Sitting by yonder River side, Parthenia thus to Cloe cry'd, Whilst from the fair Nymph's Eyes apace Another Stream o'er-flow'd her beauteous Face; Ah happy Nymph, said she, that can So little value that false Creature, Man.
Oft the perfidious things will cry, Alas they burn, they bleed, they die; But if they're absent half a Day, Nay, let 'em be but one poor Hour away, No more they die, no more complain, But like unconstant Wretches live again.
Lod. Well, have you consider'd of that Business yet, Isabella?
Isab. What business?
Lod. Of giving me admittance to night.
Isab. And may I trust your honesty?
Lod. Oh, doubt me not, my mother's resolv'd it shall be a match between you and I, and that very consideration will secure thee: besides, who would first sully the Linen they mean to put on?
Isab. Away, here's my Mother.
Enter Lady Fancy and Maundy.
L. Fan. Madam, I beg your pardon for my absence, the effects of my Obedience, not Will; but Sir Patient is taken very ill o'th' sudden, and I must humbly intreat your Ladyship to retire, for Rest is only essential to his Recovery.
L. Kno. Congruously spoken, upon my Honour. Oh, the impudence of this Fellow your Ladyship's Husband, to espouse so fair a Person only to make a Nurse of!
L. Fan. Alas, Madam!—
L. Kno. A Slave, a very Houshold Drudge.—Oh, faugh, come never grieve;—for, Madam, his Disease is nothing but Imagination, a Melancholy which arises from the Liver, Spleen, and Membrane call'd Mesenterium; the Arabians name the Distemper Myrathial, and we here in England, Hypochondriacal Melancholy; I cou'd prescribe a most potent Remedy, but that I am loth to stir the Envy of the College.
L. Fan. Really, Madam, I believe—
L. Kno. But as you say, Madam, we'll leave him to his Repose; pray do not grieve too much.
Lod. Death! wou'd I had the consoling her, 'tis a charming Woman!
L. Kno. Mr. Fancy, your Hand; Madam, your most faithful Servant.—Lucretia, come, Lucretia.—Your Servant, Ladies and Gentleman.
L. Fan. A Devil on her, wou'd the Nimbleness of her Ladyship's Tongue were in her Heels, she wou'd make more haste away: oh, I long for the blest minute.
Lod. Isabella, shall I find admittance anon?
Isab. On fair Conditions.
Lod. Trust my Generosity.—Madam, your Slave. [Ex. [To L. Fan. gazing on her, goes out.
Sir Cred. Madam, I wou'd say something of your Charms and celestial Graces, but that all Praises are as far below you, as the Moon in her Opposition is below the Sun;—and so, luscious Lady, I am yours: Now for my Serenade—
[Ex. all but L. Fan. and Maundy.
L. Fan. Maundy, have you commanded all the Servants to bed?
Maun. Yes, Madam, not a Mouse shall stir, and I have made ready the Chamber next the Garden for your Ladyship.
L. Fan. Then there needs no more but that you wait for Wittmore's coming to the Garden-Gate, and take care no Lights be in the House for fear of Eyes.
Maun. Madam, I understand Lovers are best by dark, and shall be diligent: the Doctor has secur'd Sir Patient by a sleeping Pill, and you are only to expect your approaching Happiness.
SCENE II. Lady Knowell's Chamber.
Enter Lady Knowell and Leander.
L. Kno. Leander, raise your Soul above that little trifle Lucretia;—cannot you guess what better Fate attends you? fy, how dull you are! must I instruct you in plain right-down Terms? and tell you, that I propose you Master of my Fortune.—Now possibly you understand me.
Enter Lucretia, and peeps.
Lean. I wish I did not, Madam, Unless I'd Virtue to deserve the Bounty; I have a thousand Faults Dissimulation hides, Inconstant, wild, debauch'd as Youth can make me.
Lucr. All that will not do your Business. [Aside.
L. Kno. Yet you wou'd have my Daughter take you with all these Faults; they're Virtues there, but to the name of Mother, they all turn retrograde: I can endure a Man As wild and as inconstant as she can; I have a Fortune too that can support that Humour, That of Lucretia does depend on me, And when I please is nothing; I'm far from Age or Wrinkles, can be courted By Men, as gay and youthful as a new Summer's Morn, Beauteous as the first Blossoms of the Spring, Before the common Sun has kiss'd their Sweets away, If with salacious Appetites I lov'd.
Lean. Faith, Madam, I cou'd wish—
L. Kno. That I were but Fifteen: but If there be inequality in Years, There is so too in Fortunes, that might add A Lustre to my Eyes, Charms to my Person, And make me fair as Venus, young as Hebe.
Lean. Madam, you have enough to engage any unconquer'd Heart; but 'twas, I thought, with your allowance I dispos'd of mine, and 'tis a Heart that knows not how to change.
L. Kno. Then 'tis a foolish unambitious Heart, unworthy of the Elevation it has not glorious Pride enough to aim at:—Farewel, Sir,—when you are wiser, you may find admittance. [Goes out.
Lean. Stay, Madam—
Lucr. For what? to hear your Penitence! Forgive me, Madam, I will be a Villain, forget my Vows of Love, made to Lucretia. And sacrifice both her, and those to Interest. Oh, how I hate this whining and dissembling!
Lean. Do, triumph o'er a wretched Man, Lucretia.
Lucr. How! wretched in loving me so entirely, or that you cannot marry my Mother, and be Master of her mighty Fortune? 'Tis a Temptation indeed so between Love and Interest, hang me if ever I saw so simple a Look as you put on when my Mother made love to you.
Lean. You may easily guess the Confusion of a Man in my Circumstances, to be languishing for the lov'd Daughter, and pursu'd by the hated Mother, whom if I refuse will ruin all my hopes of thee.
Lucr. Refuse her! I hope you have more Wit.
Lean. Lucretia, cou'd she make a Monarch of me, I cou'd not marry her.
Lucr. And you wou'd be so wise to tell her so?
Lean. I wou'd no more abuse her, than I cou'd love her.
Lucr. Yet that last must be done.
Lucr. Dost believe me so wicked to think I mean in earnest? No, tell her a fine Story of Love and Liking, gaze on her, kiss her Hands, and sigh, commend her Face and Shape, swear she's the Miracle of the Age for Wit, cry up her Learning, vow you were an Ass not to be sensible of her Perfections all this while; what a Coxcomb, to doat upon the Daughter when such Charms were so visible in the Mother? Faith, she'll believe all this.
Lean. It may be so, but what will all this serve for?
Lucr. To give us time and opportunity to deceive her, or I'm mistaken.
Lean. I cannot teach my Tongue so much Deceit.
Lucr. You may be a Fool, and cry, Indeed forsooth I cannot love, for alas I have lost my Heart, and am unworthy of your proffer'd Blessings—do, and see her marry me in spite to this Fop Easy, this Knight of Nonsense: no, no, dissemble me handsomely and like a Gentleman, and then expect your good Fortune.
Ant. Madam, your Mother's coming.
Lucr. Away then, she must not see us together, she thinks you gone.
Lean. But must I carry off no Comfort with me?
Lucr. Will you expose me to the incens'd Jealousy of a Parent? go, or I shall hate ye. [Thrusts him out.
SCENE III. A Garden.
Enter Maundy by dark: Opens the Garden-Door.
Maun. Now am I return'd to my old Trade again, fetch and carry my Lady's Lovers; I was afraid when she had been married, these Night-works wou'd have ended; but to say truth, there's a Conscience to be used in all things, and there's no reason she should languish with an old Man when a Young Man may be had.—The Door opens, he's come.—
I see you're a punctual Lover, Sir, pray follow me as softly as you can.
Lod. This is some one whom I perceive Isabella has made the Confident to our Amours.
SCENE IV. Draws off, and discovers L. Fancy in her Night-gown, in a Chamber as by the dark.
L. Fan. Oh, the agreeable Confusion of a Lover high with expectation of the approaching Bliss! What Tremblings between Joy and Fear possess me? All my whole Soul is taken up with Wittmore; I've no Ideas, no Thoughts but of Wittmore, and sure my Tongue can speak no other Language, but his Name.—Who's there?
Enter Maundy leading Lodwick.
Maun. Madam, 'tis I, and your expected Lover here—I put him into your hands, and will wait your Commands in the next Chamber. [Exit Maun.
Lod. Where are you, my dearest Creature?
L. Fan. Here—give me your Hand, I'll lead you to those Joys we both so long have sigh'd for.
Lod. Hah! to Joys; sure she doth but dally with me. [Aside.
L. Fan. Why come you not on, my dear?
Lod. And yet, why this Admission, and i' th' dark too, if she design'd me none but virtuous Favours?—What damn'd Temptation's this?