367 Zzzz2r 367

The Actors Names.

SirThomas Letgo.

Sir William Holdfaſt.

Sir Henry Courtly.

Master Diſwader, Sir William Holdfaſt’s Friend.

The Lady Prudence, Daughter and Heir to the Lord Sage.

The Lady Mute, the affianced Miſtreſs to Sir Thomas Letgo.

The Lady Liberty.

Sir Thomas Letgo’s Amoretta.

The Lady Jealouſie, Sir Henry Courtly’s Lady.

The Lady Gravity.

The Lady Parrot.

The Lady Minion.

The Lady Geoſling.

Miſtreſs Parle.

Miſtreſs Trifle.

Miſtreſs Vanity.

Mistris Fondly.

Three or four old Ladies, the Mothers to the four young Ladies.

Two grave Matrons

The Wooers. As,

The Soldiers,

the Country Gentleman,

the Courtier,

the Baſhfull and his Friend,

the Amorous,

the Divine,

the Lawyer,

the Citizen,

the Farmer,

the Stranger,

All Wooers.

Gentlemen,

Merchants,

Fortune-tellers,

Maskers.

Zzzz2 Pro- 368 Zzzz2v 368

Prologue

Our Auth’reſs ſays to make a Play is hard,

To cenſure freely men are not afraid;

Opinions eaſily do paſs upon

The wit of others, though themſelves have none;

And envie rounds the ſenſe, and words about,

Hoping ſome errors it may ſoon find out.

But ſtreams of wit do not ſo often flow,

As ſalt rough cenſures, which to billows grow;

And ſwell ſo big, till they in pieces fall,

In their own ruines they are buried all.

But if our Authors Play deſerves a praiſe,

She will not thank you, though you give her bays;

Becauſe ſhe knows it is her right and due,

And juſtice to receive the ſame from you.

Wherefore ſhe ſays, if you do take delight

To read her Play, or acted to your ſight,

The bounty doth proceed from her alone;

Her wit doth pleaſure give to every one.

The Play, if bad, ſhe doth deſire no praiſe,

The Cypreſs will receive inſtead of bays.

The
369 Aaaaa1r 369

The Publick Wooing.

Act I.

Scene 1.

Enter two men.

1Man

’Tis reported that the great Mogul hath War with the Parthians, and a man of our Nation is General of all his Forces.

2 Man

Me thinks it is too great an Honour and Truſt to give to a ſtranger.

1 Man

But it is reported he hath behav’d himſelf ſo wiſely, honeſtly, nobly, and valiantly, as he hath gained the favour of the Emperour, and love of the Souldiers, and alſo reſpect from all the inferiour Princes.

2 Man

Who ſhould this man be?

1 Man

I cannot learn: for the Merchants from whom I had this report, know not what his right name is; for they think he goeth by a cover’d name.

2 Man

Surely he is of a very mean Birth, that he is aſham’d to own his name.

1 Man

It ſeems ſo; but let his Birth be poor or great, he hath a Generous Soul: for they ſay he is very bountiful, and lives in great magnificence, and carries himſelf as if he were Princely born: He is the whole diſcourſe upon the Exchange, and the Merchants do cry him up like to another Julius Cæſar.

2 Man

It ſeems they fare the better for his being their Countryman, and he to be the Emperours Favourite.

1 Man

’Tis like enough.

2 Man

Nay you may be aſſur’d they have a Fee of Obligation, if they praiſe him ſo much. Of what Age do they ſay he may be?

1 Man

They ſay is in the prime of his years, a very handſom man, well- behav’d, and of a ready wit.

2 Man

’Tis ſtrange it ſhould not be known of what Parentage he is of.

1 Man

It is not known as yet.

Exeunt.
Aaaaa Scene 370 Aaaaa1v 370

Scene 2.

Enter two Men.

1 Man

Sir, were not you a ſervant to the Lord of Sage?

2 Man

Yes Sir.

1 Man

He was a Wiſe, and a Noble Perſon.

2 Man

He was ſo, Heaven reſt his Soul.

1 Man

’Tis ſaid he hath left but one only Child, and ſhe a Daughter, which Daughter is ſole Heir to all his Eſtate.

2 Man

She is ſo.

1 Man

And it is alſo reported ſhe will be woo’d in publick, or elſe ſhe’l never wed.

2 Man

The Report is true, Sir: for I am now going to invite all her Friends and acquaintance, to whom ſhe deſires to publiſh her reſolutions.

1 Man

Is ſhe reſolv’d of it?

2 Man

She hath vow’d it.

1 Man

Pray favour me ſo much, as to give me a Character of her.

2 Man

She is Virtuous, Young, Beautiful, Graceful, and hath a ſupernatural Wit; and ſhe hath been bred and brought up to all Virtuoſus, which adorns her Natural Gifts; ſhe lives magnificently, yet orders her Eſtate prudently.

1 Man

This Lady may be a ſample to all her Sex.

Exeunt.

Scene 3.

Enter two Grave Matrons.

1 Matron

Miſtris Simple is the very’ſt Fool that ever I tutor’d or inſtructed.

2 Matron

Do you mean a fool by imprudence, or a fool that ſpeaks improperly?

1 Matron

I do not know what her imprudence may be; but in her words there is no coherence.

2 Matron

Alas ſhe is young; and youth is a Cage of Ignorance, and boys and girls are like birds, which learn from their tutors and tutoreſſes artificial tunes, which are ſeveral Languages, Sciences, Arts, and the like: But the truth is, of all ſorts of Birds, the Cocks are more apt to learn than the Hens.

1 Matron

If ſhe can be taught ſenſe, I am much miſtaken: for ſhe hath not a reaſonable capacity to learn.

2 Matron

Why then ſhe hath a defect in Nature, as a Changeling.

1 Matron

I think ſo.

2 Matron

Why ſhould you think ſo, ſince youths capacity cannot be meaſured by their Educators? for Time is the only meaſure of the rational capacity: And to prove it, ſome boys and girls will be ſo dull, as to ſeem ſtupid to Learning, and yet in their ſtrength of years may prove very rational, underſtanding,derſtanding, 371 Aaaa2r 371 derſtanding, and wiſe men or women; beſides, the Brain is like to the Air, ’tis ſometimes thick with myſty Errours, ſometimes dark with clouds of Ignorance, and ſometimes clear with Underſtanding, when as the Sun of Knowledge ſhines; and perchance you heard her ſpeak when her Brain was cloudy and dark.

1 Matron

So dark, as her words could not find the right way to ſenſe.

2 Matron

Perchance if you hear her ſpeak ſome other times, when her Brain is clear, you may hear her ſpeak wiſely.

1 Matron

It is ſo unlikely ſhe ſhould ever ſpeak wiſely, as it is near to impoſſible.

2 Matron

Indeed unlikely and impoſſible do ſome way reſemble each other: But let me tell you, the Brain is like the Face, it hath its good days and its bad: for Beauty and Wit have not only their times and ſeaſons, but their foul and fair days.

1 Matron

You ſay true: for the choiſeſt Beauties that ever were, or are, will ſometimes look worſe than at other times; nay ſo ill they will look ſometimes, as they might be thought they were not Beauties.

2 Matron

The like for Wit: for certainly, the greateſt Wit that ever was, or is, may ſometimes be ſo dull and unactive, as it might be thought they were ſo far from being Wits, as they might be judged Fools: And certainly, the moſt Eloquent Orators that ever were, have ſpoke at ſome times leſs Eloquently than at other times; inſomuch, that at ſome times, although the ſubject of their Diſcourſe is ſo full of Matter and Reaſon, as might have oyl’d their Tongues, ſmooth’d their Words, and enlighten’d their Fancy, yet they will ſpeak as if their Wits had catch’d cold, and their Tongues had the numb Palſy, on which their words run ſtumbling out of their mouths as inſenſible; when as at other times, although the ſubject of their diſcourſe be barren or boggy, woody or rocky, yet their Wit will run a Race without ſtop or ſtay, and is deck’d and adorn’d with flowry Rhetorick: And certainly, the wiſeſt men that ever were, have given both themſelves and others worſe counſel ſometimes, than at other times; and certainly the valianteſt man that ever was, had ſometimes more courage than at other times: But yet although a valiant man may have more courage at one time than another, yet he is at no time a coward, nor a wiſe man a fool.

1 Matron

But Orators may chance to ſpeak non-ſenſe.

2 Matron

They may ſo, and many times do.

1 Matron

Why then may not a Valiant man be at ſome times a Coward, and a Wiſe man a Fool, as well as Orators to ſpeak non-ſenſe?

2 Matron

Becauſe Valour, Judgment, and Prudence are created in the Soul, and is part of its Eſſence; I do not mean every ſoul, but the ſouls of Valiant and Wiſe men: for ſouls differ as much as bodies, ſome are created defective, others perfect; but words are only created in the mouth, and are born through the lips, before the ſoul of ſenſe is enter’d or inbodied therein.

1 Matron

An Orators tongue is powerful.

2 Matron

An Orators tongue doth rather play on Paſſions, than compoſe the Judgment, or ſet notes to the Reaſon; like as a Fidler, that can play tunes on muſical Inſtruments, but is no Muſician, to compoſe and ſet tunes: But there are many men that have eloquent tongues, but not witty ſouls; they have the Art of words, but not the Spirit of wit.

Exeunt.
Aaaa2 Exeunt. 372 Aaaa2v 372

Scene 4.

Enter the Lady Prudence, and a company of Ladies and Knights, whom ſhe had invited to hear her Reſolutions. She ſtands by her ſelf, and ſpeaks.

Lady Prudence

Kind Friends, and worthy Acquaintance, you may think it ſtrange, and perchance take it ill, I invite you only to a ſimple Diſcourſe, for to declare a vain Vow, as you may judge it ſo to be, which Vow I made ſince my Father the Lord Sage’s death. The Vow is, never to receive a Lovers Addreſs, or to anſwer a Lovers Sute but in a publick Aſſembly; and ’tis likely the World will laugh at this as ridiculous, or condemn it for pride, or ſcorn it as ſelf-conceit: But if they will be pleaſed to weigh it in Judgements Scales, they will find it poyſed with a good Intention, and make a juſt weight of Conveniency againſt unaccuſtomarineſs: for though it is not uſual, yet it is very requiſite, eſpecially to ſuch young women which are Orphans, who like ſmall and weak Veſſels, that are deſtitute of Guide or Pilot, are left on the wide Sea-faring World to ruinous waves, and inconſtant weather; even ſo young women are to the Appetites of greedy men, and their own inconſtant and changing Natures, and want of Experience to guide them, run on Rocks, Shelves, and Quick-ſands of Troubles, Miſery, and Diſgrace, not knowing what ſafe Port or Home to ſail to; whereupon, and in which danger, I conſidering with my ſelf, at laſt I thought it the ſafeſt way to ſwim in the full Ocean, and not in the narrow Channels, Creeks, or obſcure Corners, leſt I ſhould be cruſh’d to pieces, or drown’d for want of Sea-room; and ſurely were there a Law to forbid all private meetings of young men and women, and that no women ſhould marry, unleſs they be wooed in publique, there would not be ſo many unequal matches, ſo many perjur’d Conſciences, ſo many devirginate and forſaken Maids; neither would there be ſuch floods of tears from ſorrowful Parents Eyes, for their undutiful childrens Actions that will chooſe without their good liking, and marry againſt their good wills. But they will be aſham’d in publique to chooſe diſhonourably or indiſcreetly: for the Ears and Eyes of a publick Aſſembly will be as Reigns, to curb their unruly Paſſions, and their Applauſe and Commendation will be as ſpurs to force them to a wiſe choiſe, when in private Wooings their Paſſions become wilde, and run looſly about, without bridle or check: Wherefore I deſire my Friends and Acquaintance to be as witneſſes of my behaviour and words to my loving and Matrimonial Suters; and in this you will be as Parents to the Fatherleſs, as Judges to Pleaders, and Gods to Men.

The Audience ſpeak.

We approve of your diſcreet and honeſt Reſolutions, and ſhall wiſh you happy days.

Exeunt.
Scene 373 Bbbbb1r 373

Scene 5.

Enter Miſtris Parle, Miſtris Trifle, Miſtris Fondly, Miſtris Vanity, and one of the Grave Matrons. Then enters a Servant- Maid.

Maid

Miſtris, there is a Woman at the door that can tell Fortunes.

They all ſpeak at once.

O let her come in, let her come in.

Exit maid. Enter the Fortune-teller.

Fortune-teller

God bleſs you young Ladies.

Parle

Can you tell Fortunes?

Fortune-teller

Yes that I can Lady.

Trifle

Tell me mine.

Vanity

Tell me mine firſt.

Parle

No, tell me mine firſt.

Fondly

Nay, tell me mine firſt.

Matron

Have patience Ladies, and let her tell your Fortunes by degrees, one after another: for ſhe cannot tell them all at once.

Fortune-tel

I muſt look in your hand, Lady.

Fondly ſhews her hand.

Fortune-teller

By your hand you ſhould marry richly, and keep Open- Houſe; you will have many Children, and your Husband will love you dearly.

Fondly

But will no body love me but my Husband?

Fortune-teller

Yes, you will be well belov’d, if you be kind and loving to others.

Trifle

Now tell me my Fortune.

She ſhews her hand.

Fortune-tel

You, Lady, will have two Husbands.

Fondly

You did not tell me I ſhould have two Husbands.

Fortune-tel

No Lady, your Fortune is to have but one.

Trifle

How long will it be ere I ſhall have one of my Husbands?

Fortune-tel

Not long, Lady.

Trifle

Will my Husbands be handſom men?

Fortune-tel

Your firſt Husband will be a tall mean, with a brown hair and complexion.

Trifle

That complexion and ſtature I like very well.

Fortune-tel

Your ſecond Husband will be of a middle ſtature, and of a fair hair and complexion.

Trifle

O I like that ſtature and complexion better.

Vanity

Tell me mine, tell me mine.

She ſhews her hand.

Fortune-tel

You will have many courting Servants, and two will fight for you.

Vanity

And which ſhall have me?

Fortune-tel

He that out-lives the other.

Bbbbb Vanity 374 Bbbbb1v 374

Vanity

Why, ſhall one of them be kill’d?

Fortune-tel

Yes.

Vanity

I am ſorry for that: for I could pleaſe them both. But look again, perchance he may be only ſore wounded, and not kill’d out-right.

Fortune-tel

Your hand doth portend death to one.

Vanity

And will he live long that I ſhall marry?

Fortune-tel

I do not perceive his death in your hand.

Vanity

I am ſory for that: for I ſhall not love him, by reaſon he kill’d one that lov’d me ſo well as to die for my ſake.

Fortune-tel

’Tis only his fortune to live; but he ventures as much for your ſake as the other.

Vanity

That’s all one: for I ſhall love him that’s kill’d, more than he that lives, eſpecially after I am maried: for I ſhall love a dead ſervant better than a living Husband.

Parle

You are ſo long a talking to the woman, as you hinder her from telling me my fortune. Come woman, read the fortune in my hand.

Shews her hand.

Fortune-tel

You, Lady, will die a Maid.

Parle

Out upon thee Witch, what Devil told you that lye?

Fortune-tel

I do not ſay you will die a Virgin.

Parle

I hope you do not ſee any children in my hand.

Fortune-tel

There are many lines that do foretel children; but ſome are ſo ſmall, and others ſo croſt and broke, as I cannot find a ſtrait or perfect line: But here are lines that do foretel many Suters.

Parle

That’s ſome amends: for it had been a hard caſe, and very ill fortune, if I ſhould have neither Husband nor Suter.

Matron

Come, come, Ladies, pay the poor woman, and let her go.

Trifle

Give her a crown for me.

Fondly

And one for me.

Vanity

And one for me.

Fortune-tel

Heaven bleſs you Ladies: for you will make me rich.

Parle

Give her half a crown for me.

Matron

Will not you give her a whole crown?

Parle

There is no reaſon I ſhould: for ſhe hath given me never a Huſband.

Matron

Well, good woman, let this be a warning to you, that when you come to tell young Ladies their Fortunes, that you be ſure to give them all one Husband a peece, if not two or three: for the more Husbands you give them, the more money they will give you.

Fortune-tel

I ſhall take your counſel, Miſtris.

Exit Fortune-teller.

Parle

To die a Maid, it cannot be, it muſt not be, it ſhall not be.

Exeunt.
Scene 375 Bbbbb2r 375

Scene 6.

Enter the Lady Prudence, and her Audience, and her Suter, who is a Souldier, there being two ſtanding places oppoſite to each other a purpoſe, one for the Suter to wooe and plead his ſute, and another for the Lady to ſtand whilſt ſhe gives her Anſwer. This wooing Souldier was written by the Lord Marquiſs of Newcastle.

Souldier

Madam, I am come here to offer you a Man, a Gentleman, and a Souldier, three Titles in me, the Perſon that loves you, honours you, and will ſerve and obey you, and think it no diſgrace thus to alter the Catechiſm of our old written Matrimony: If you command the breeches, you ſhall not only have them, but the coat too; and when you are pleaſed to change the name of the Sex, the gray Mare ſhall be the better Horſe: for ’tis a ſhame for a man to controll a woman, but always to obey and pleaſe them from the leaſt to the greateſt of their commands: for man never ſeems ſo much man, nor maſcuulinely inthron’d under the cloth of State, in his Royal Chair of Courage, as when he is taken priſoner, and led captive by the female Sex. Thus, fair Divine Lady, conquer’d, thus I beg, thus I yield, thus I ſubmit: Wherefore Lady, take me, and make your ſelf happy, and me.

No Musk nor Civet courtly words I uſe,

Nor Frenchez-pan promiſes to abuſe

Your ſofter Sex, nor Spaniſh ſweets to tell,

And bribe your quicker noſtrils with the ſmell,

Or let a falſe tear down my cheek to fall,

And with diſſembling kneeling therewithall,

Sigh my ſelf into Air: theſe fools diſdain,

Theſe quarter-wits, O kick them back again:

Nor am I like a Juſtice of the Peace,

That woo’s you juſt as he would buy a leaſe;

Nor like an Heir, whoſe Tutor for his ſake

So many lyes of Joynter-houſes make;

Nor like a Lawyer that would fain intail,

And when he’s try’d, doth make a Jeofail;

Nay thouſands more, that always do diſſemble

For your ſake, make my loving heart to tremble,

Leſt you ſhould be deceiv’d.

Admired Lady, fear not my Profeſſion,

All my Drum-heads, I’ll beat them to ſoft ſilence,

And every warlike Trumpet ſhall be dumb:

Our feared Colours now ſhall be torn off,

And all our Armour be condemn’d to ruſt,

Only my Sword I’ll wear, the badge of man,

For to defend you and your Honour ſtill.

Then Madam take me thus your loving Vaſſal,

When lying bragging Caſtrils will forſake you.

Bbbbb2 Oh 376 Bbbbb2v 376

Oh take a man, and joy in him for life,

A Sword-man knows the virtue of a Wife.

Here ends My Lord Marquiſses writing. The Lady Prudence’s Anſwer.

Lady Prudence

Gallant Sir, ſhould I accept of your Sute, I ſhould be either an Enemy to my ſelf, or you, or my Country: As for my ſelf, ſhould I marry a Souldier, I ſhould be tormented with the cruelleſt paſſions: for if I love my Husband, as ſure I ſhall, I ſhall be perpetually frightned with his dangers, grieved for his abſence, deſpair of his life: Every little misfortune will be as his Paſſing-Bell; I ſhall never be at reſt aſleep nor awake; my Dreams will preſent him to my view, with bleeding wounds, mangled body, and pale viſage; I ſhall be widow’d every minute of an hour, in my own thoughts: for as the Senſes are to the Body, ſo the thoughts are to the Mind, and Imaginations in theſe, or the like caſes, are as ſtrong as a viſible preſence: for paſſions live in the Soul, not in the ſenſes; for a man is as much grieved when he hears his friend is dead or kill’d, as if he ſaw him dead or ſlain: for the dead friend lives in the mind, not the mind in the dead friend: But with theſe Dreams and Imaginations I ſhall grow blind with weeping, weak with ſighing, ſick with ſorrowing, and deaf with liſtning after reports: And ſhould you deſiſt from that noble Profeſſion for my ſake, I ſhould prove as a Traitor to my Country, by taking away part of the ſtrength and ſupport, leaving the weakneſs to the force of the Enemy: for a good Souldier is a ſtrong Fort and Bulwark of Defence: Indeed a skilful Commander is to be prefer’d before a numerous Army: for a number of men without Order, are like duſt, which the leaſt puff of wind blows about; ſo an Army, not being well commanded, is quickly diſpers’d, and ſuddenly routed upon the leaſt errour; beſides, ſhould you deſiſt, you would bury your name in Oblivion, when by your valiant Actions, and prudent Conduct, your memory will be placed in Fames high Tower, and writ in large Characters of praiſe. ’Tis true, ſhould I marry, I ſhould prefer my Husbands honour before his life, yet would I not willingly marry a man, whoſe life ſhall be ſet at the ſtake, and Fortune ſtill throwing at it; for that would make me live miſerably: And who would wilfully make themſelves miſerable, when Nature forbids it, and God commands it not?

Exit Lady. The Lover goes ſighing out

Scene 37.

Enter the Lady Parrot, and the Lady Minion.

Lady Parrot

Shall we go and viſit the Lady Gravity?

Minion

No, ſhe lives ſo ſolitary a life, as we ſhall meet no company there: for none go to viſit her.

Lady Parrot

Then let us goe to the Lady Liberty, there we ſhall meet company 377 Ccccc1r 377 company enough: for all the Ladies in the Town go to viſit her.

Minion

If ſhe hath no men-viſiters, I will not add to the number of her Lady-viſiters.

Parrot

You may be ſure ſhe hath Maſculine Viſiters, or elſe the Ladies would never go to ſee her: for it is to meet the men the Ladies go to ſee her, and not for her own ſake.

Minion

And the men go to ſee the Ladies.

Parrot

I believe ſome do; yet men are better company in the company of their own Sex, than in the company of women.

Minion

By your favour, the contrary Sex agree beſt, and are better pleaſed together, than men with men, or women with women: But if the Lady Liberties Houſe be the General Rendezvouz for Men and Women, let us go.

Parrot

Content.

Exeunt.

Scene 8.

Enter Miſtris Trifle, and Miſtris Vanity.

Vanity

O my dear Heart!

Trifle

O my dear Joy, how glad am I to ſee thee! But where have you been, that you came later than you promis’d? for if you had not ſent me word you would come to me to day, I had gone to you.

Vanity

Why, where do you think I have been?

Trifle

I know not where to think.

Vanity

I have been at a Silk-mans ſhop to buy me a new Gown; but I would not chooſe it before I had ſhewn thee my patterns.

Trifle

Let me ſee them.

She ſhews them.

Vanity

What do you think of this ſtuff?

Trifle

This is out of Faſhion; beſides, ’tis not a Mode-colour.

Vanity

What think you of this Tabby?

Trifle

The colour is good, but it is not of a good water.

Vanity

What think you of this Sattin?

Trifle

The Sattin is a good gloſſy Sattin, but the colour is too pale.

Vanity

But pale colours, ’tis ſaid, are Allamode in France.

Trifle

Who ſays ſo?

Vanity

A Gentleman told me ſo which is newly come out of France.

Trifle

Then he perchance could have told you all the French Faſhions.

Vanity

So he did moſt particularly: for he ſaid he went into France for no other purpoſe but to ſee and obſerve Faſhions.

Trifle

I believe he only obſerved mens Faſhions, being a man, and not womens Faſhions.

Vanity

Nay, he ſwore he obſerv’d the womens Faſhion more than the mens, by reaſon he knew it would make him more acceptable to our Sex at his return, not onely for Diſcourſe-ſake, but for the kind rewards he ſhould have for his Intelligence; which rewards he hath found ſo full and plentiful, as he hath made ſuch a beneficial Journey, as he will go once every year, and ſtay a moneth or two, and then return.

Trifle

For Joves ſake ſend him to me.

Vanity

I will; but prethee chooſe my Gown.

Ccccc Trifle 378 Ccccc1v 378

Trifle

Let the Gentleman that came out of France chooſe your Gown: for he can put you into the French Faſhion.

Exeunt.

Scene 9.

Enter the Lady Prudence, and the Amorous Wooer: They take their places, and the Aſſembly about them.

Wooer

Sweet Lady, your Beauty hath wounded my heart, impriſoned my ſenſes, and hath inſlav’d my ſoul, ſo as I am wholly in your power.

Prudence

I will mask my beauty, and ſet you free.

Wooer

A mask may ſhadow your beauty, but cannot extinguiſh it, no more than a dark cloud can the bright Sun: And the Sun begets life, and gives light; ſo your beauty begets love, and gives delight to all that do behold it.

Prudence

And as Time brings Death, Darkneſs, and Obſcurity; ſo Age brings wrinckles, and Abſence forgetfulneſs, burying love in the ruines of Beauty.

Wooer

My love can never die, nor hath time power to vade your beauty.

Prudence

Nothing eſcapes Times tryanny, but what the ſoul poſſeſſes.

Wooer

You are the ſoul of beauty, and beauty the ſoul of love.

Prudence

Such ſouls have no Eternity, but die as bodies do.

Wooer

O ſave my soul, and love me.

Prudence

’Tis not in my power: for love is free and reſolute; it can neither be commanded nor intreated.

Exeunt.

Scene 10.

Enter the Lady Liberty, Sir Thomas Letgo, Sir William Holdfaſt, the Lady Parrot, the Lady Minion, Maſter Diſſwader, Sir William Holdfaſts Friend, being met as a Feaſt at Sir Thomas Letgo’s Houſe.

Letgo

Ladies, you are become melancholy of a ſudden: I hope you are not tyr’d with dancing?

Liberty

Yes faith, we want divertiſements: wherefore prethy Sir Thomas Letgo, ſend for thy affianced Miſtris to make ſport.

Letgo

I am aſham’d ſhe ſhould be ſeen, or made known to this noble company.

Liberty

O divulge her by all means, that the World may know you do deſpiſe her, and that you will marry her only becauſe ſhe is rich, and to obey your Fathers commands.

Letgo 379 Ccccc2r 379

Letgo

I will obey your commands, and ſend for her.

He ſends for her, in the mean time he is talking to another. Enter the Lady Mute, holding down her head, and looking ſimply.

Liberty

Sir Thomas Letgo, your wiſe Miſtris is come to welcome your Gueſts.

Letgo

She wants words to expreſs her ſelf, and Wit to entertain them.

Liberty

Your Father knew you wanted not Wit ſo much as Wealth.

Letgo

Many Fathers leave their ſons nothing but their follies and vices for their Inheritance: But my Father not having Vices or Follies enough of his own, hath left me another mans Fool for an Annuity.

Parrot

Is ſhe a fool?

Liberty

O yes: for ſhe ſeldom ſpeaks.

Parrot

That’s a great ſign of ſimplicity indeed.

Liberty

She is a meer Changeling: for when ſhe doth ſpeak, it is but when ſhe is queſtion’d, and then for the moſt part ſhe gives but one anſwer to all ſorts of queſtions.

Parrot

What Anſwer is that?

Liberty

Her Anſwer is, ſhe cannot tell.

Holdfaſt

Lady, there may be ſuch queſtions ask’d, as are beyond a wiſe mans underſtanding to reſolve: But perchance ſhe is ſceptick, that doubts all things.

All the company laugh.

Liberty

What do you judge the ſcepticks fools?

Holdfaſt

A man may judge all thoſe to be fools that are not ſcepticks.

Liberty

I judge all thoſe that think her not a fool, are fools.

Holdfaſt

Then Lady I am condemn’d: for I cannot give ſentence againſt any of your Sex, neither in thoughts or words.

Exeunt.

Act II.

Scene 11.

Enter the Lady Prudence, and the Country Gentleman as Suter. They take their places, the Aſſembly about them. This wooing part of the Country Gentleman was written by the Marquiſs of Newcaſtle.

Country Gentleman

Madam, though I no Courtier am by Education,

Yet I more truth may ſpeak, and here declare,

Your charming Eyes turn wanton thoughts to virtue;

Each modeſt ſmile converts the ſinfull’ſt ſoul

To holy Matrimony, and each Grace and Motion,

Takes more than the faireſt Face.

I am not young, nor yet condemn’d to age,

Ccccc2 Not 380 Ccccc2v 380

Not handſome, nor yet (I think) ill-favour’d;

I do not ſwell with riches, nor am poor,

No palaces, yet have Conveniences.

What though Poetick Raptures I do want,

My judgement’s clearer than thoſe hotter brains,

To make a Joynture out of verſe and ſongs,

Or thirds in Oratory to endow you;

The Mean betwixt Extremes is Virtue ſtill:

If ſo, then make me happy, and your ſelf.

Courtiers may tell you that you may enjoy,

And marry pleaſure, there each minutes time,

There is all freedom for the female Sex,

Though you are bound, yet feel not, you are ty’d,

For liberty begins when you’r a Bride:

Your Husband, your Protection, and the Court,

Doth cure all jealouſie, and fonder doubts,

Which there are laught at as the greateſt follies,

If not by moſt, yet they’r thought moral ſins:

’Tis Heaven on Earth for Ladies that ſeem wiſe.

But you are vertuous, and thoſe ways deſpiſe,

Therefore take me, that honour you for that.

Here ends my Lord Marquiſſes writing.

Prudence

Worthy Sir, could I perſwade my Affection to liſten to your ſute, you ſhould not be deny’d; but it is deaf or obſtinate; it will neither take your counſel, nor be intreated. But ſince you wooe ſo worthily, I ſhall eſteem you honourable, as well you deſerve.

Exeunt.

Scene 12.

Enter the Lady Parrot, and the Lady Minion.

Parrot

Sweet Madam, I could not paſs by your houſe for my life, but I muſt enter to ſee you, although I was here but yeſterday.

Minion

Dear Madam, I am very much joy’d to ſee you: for I am never well but in your company.

They ſit down both in one Couch.

Parrot

When did you ſee the Lady Gravity?

Minion

I have not ſeen her theſe two days.

Parrot

Lord, ſhe is the ſtrangeſt Lady that ever I knew in my life, her company is ſo uneaſie; and let me tell you as a ſecret, ſhe hath a very ill Reputation.

Minion

If I thought that, I would not keep her company.

Parrot

Since I heard that Report, I have ſhunn’d her company as much as I could.

Minion

Even ſo will I: for I would not keep any body company that I thought were not chaſte for a World. But who is her ſervant, can you tell?

Parrot

’Tis commonly reported Sir Henry Courtly is her ſervant.

Minion 381 Ddddd1r 381

Minion

Out upon him, he is the verieſt Whoremaſter in all the Town; nay, if ſhe keeps him company, I will not come near her, I’ll warrant you.

Parrot

Nor I, although ſhe would fain be dear with me, and ſeeks all the ways ſhe can to be great with me, ſending her Gentleman-Uſher every day to me with a How do you.

Minion

No, pray do not be dear nor great with her, but let you and I be dear and great, and that will anger her to the heart.

Parrot

That it will ’faith; therefore let us go to morrow together and viſit her, to let her ſee how dear and great friends we are.

Minion

Content.

Parrot

Agreed.

Enter Sir Henry Courtly, as to viſit the Lady Minion.

Minion

Lord, Sir Henry Courtly, I have not ſeen you theſe three days.

Cuoourtly

I was here yeſterday, Madam, to wait upon you, but you were abroad; then I went to wait upon you my Lady Parrot, but you were alſo from home.

Parrot

So then I had but the reverſions of the Lady Minions Viſit.

Courtly

I can be but in one place at one time, Madam.

Minion

Why ſhould you take it ill, Madam, that he ſhould viſit me firſt?

Parrot

Becauſe I know no reaſon but that he ſhould viſit me before you.

Minion

Why, my place is before yours.

Parrot

But the love and eſteem I have for him, is to be preferr’d before your place.

Minion

How do you know but that I have as much Affection for him as you have? And I am ſure I have, and more.

Parrot

Don’t you believe her, Sir Henry Courtly: for ’faith ſhe ſaid but even now, that you were the verieſt Whoremaſter in all the Town, and cry’d, Out upon you.

Minion

And ſhe ſaid ſhe would forbear the Lady Gravitie’s company, by reaſon you did viſit her, which was ſcandalous.

Parrot

What, do you betray me in your own houſe, when you ſaid the ſame, and if I be not miſtaken, before me?

Minion

If you tell what I ſay, I will tell what you ſay.

Courtly

Ladies, whatſoever you have ſaid, or will ſay of me, I ſhall take it well: for it is an honour to be mentioned by fair Ladies, although in the ſevereſt ſenſe or manner, or ſharpeſt words.

Parrot

What, do you take her part againſt me?

Minion

No, no, I perceive well enough that he takes your part againſt me, for which he is a moſt unworthy man.

Parrot

No, he partially takes your part, which is baſe.

Courtly

I will aſſure you, Ladies, it is not my nature or diſpoſition to delight in your diſpleaſures; but my deſire is to pleaſe all your Sex, and indeavour in my practice and behaviour to that end: wherefore, if I cannot pleaſe, it is not my fault.

Minion

So you make us Women ſtrange creatures, as not to be pleaſed.

Courtly

No, Madam, men want thoſe excellent Abilities, or good Fortunes, which ſhould or could pleaſe you.

Parrot

Faith Madam, he will have much to do to defend himſelf againſt us both.

Ddddd Minion 382 Ddddd1v 382

Minion

Nay if you will jovin with me, we ſhall be too hard for him.

Parrot

That I will, and help to beat him with Arguments.

Courtly

For fear I ſhould argue my ſelf more out of your favours than I am already, I will take my leave of your Ladyſhips for this time.

They both follow him, and ſay, nay, ſtay, ſtay. Exeunt.

Scene 13.

Enter the Lady Prudence, and the Courtier: They take their places, and the Aſſembly about them.

Courtier

Lady, you are the Sun of Beauty, from whence all your Sex receive a light, which without that would ſit in darkneſs; you only give them luſtre; you are the only Godeſs men adore, and thoſe men which do not ſo, if any ſuch men be, they are damned to cenſure: As for my ſelf, Ladies have judged me handſom, and for my perſons ſake have given me favours; nay, they have wooed my love with great Expences, maintained my Vanities, and paid my Debts, ruin’d their own and Husbands Honour and Eſtate, and all for love of me; yet do I ſue to you with great Humility, though many of your Sex have courted me; and let me tell you, fair Lady, that Courtiers Wives have freer Acceſs to Masks, Plays, Balls, and Courtly Pleaſures, than other Ladies have, who beg and ſtrive, and often are beaten back in rude diſgrace.

All which, fair Lady, if you ſumm up right,

You’l find a Courtiers Wife hath moſt delight.

Prudence

Fair Sir, could Perſon, Courtſhip, Garb, or Habit win my love, you ſhould nor could not be deny’d: But ſince my Affection is not to be won by any outward Form, or Courtly Grace, I cannot grant your ſute; beſides, the lives that Courtiers live, agree not with my humour: for I had rather travel to my Grave with eaſe, than inconveniently Progreſs about, tiring my body out, lying in naſty lodgings, feeding on ill dreſt meat that’s got by ſcrambling; but at the beſt, a Courtiers life to me is moſt unpleaſant, to ſit up late at Masks and Plays, to dance my time away in Balls, to watch for Grace and favour, and receive none; to gape for Preferments, Offices, and Honours, but get none; to waſte my Eſtate with Fees, Gifts, and Braveries, to run in debt prodigally, to receive Courtſhips privately, to talk loud fooliſhly, to betray friendſhip ſecretly, to profeſs friendſhip commonly, to promiſe readily, to perform ſlowly, to flatter groſly, to be affected apiſhly; no Prudent Brain, or Noble Heart, would interweave the thred of life with ſuch vain Follies, and unneceſſary Troubles; beſides, I had rather be Miſtris of my own Houſe, were it a Cottage poor, than ſerve the Gods, if Gods were like to men.

Exeunt
Scene 383 Ddddd2r 383

Scene 14.

Enter Miſtris Parle, and Miſtris Vanity.

Vanity.

My dear Comrade, what thinkſt thou? will the Gentleman we met at Madam Gravities lodging marry me, think you?

Parle

I know not.

Vanity

I verily believe he will.

Parle

What reaſon have you to believe he will?

Vanity

A very good reaſon, which is, he look’d upon me two or three times, and at one time very ſtedfaſtly.

Parle

If a man ſhould marry all the women he looks on, he will have more Wives than Solomon and the great Turk, adding the number of their Concubines. But the more earneſtly the Gentleman look’d on you, the greater ſign he thought not of you: for thoughts are buried in fix’d eyes.

Vanity

You ſpeak out of ſpight, becauſe I am thought handſomer than you.

Parle

I had rather your Beauty ſhould lie in your own & others thoughts, that it ſhould be viſible to the view of the World, or to be inthrown on a multitude of Praiſes; but howoever, I am not ſpightful, and therefore pray think not ſo for telling you my opinion of your no-lover.

Vanity

You love your Jeſt better than your Friend.

Parle

That’s an old ſaying; but I love a plain truth better than a flattering lye.

Exeunt.

Scene 15.

Enter the Lady Prudence, and the Baſhful Suter, and his Friend Mr. Spokeſman, and the Aſſembly. The Suter makes two or three legs, wipes his lips, and blows his noſe with his handkerchief, hems twice or thrice, and trembling, begins to ſpeak. This Scene the Lord Marquiſs writ.

Baſhfull Suter

Madam, Madam, Madam.

This scene the Lord Marquiſs writ.

Prudence

Speak Sir, what is’t you would ſay?

Spokeſman

Madam, his Love and Modeſty doth check his ſpeech.

Prudence

Then ſpeak you for him.

His Friend goes and ſtands hbehind him, and ſpeaks: the dumb Gentleman the while acts his Speech.

Spokeſman

Madam, your Preſence, with your ſparkling Eyes,

Hath dazel’d him, and ſtruck him dumb with Love;

Like to a bottle too much fill’d, I doubt,

Though’s mouth’s turn’d downward, nothing will come out.

Ddddd2 Or 384 Ddddd2v 384

Or like a Bag-pudding in love he’s curſt,

So ſtuff’d, ſo ſwell’d, and yet he cannot burſt:

Or like a glaſs with Spirits of high price,

No drop can fall when ’tis congeal’d to Ice.

Sweet Lady thaw him then, take him apart,

And then his Tongue will tell you all his Heart,

And guſh it forth with more force far than thoſe

Who dribble all their love away in Proſe.

Prudence

I’m all for Publick Wooing, ſo no ſtain

Upon my Reputation will remain.

With a dumb Husbands curſe I’ll ne’r be caught,

But a dumb Wife a bleſſing may be thought.

And ſo farewel.

Exeunt.

Scene 1516.

Enter Sir William Holdfaſt, and his Friend Mr. Diſſwader.

Holdfaſt

Sir Thomas Letgo’s Miſtris, that he is to marry, is a pretty Lady.

Diſſwader

But I do not perceive he is very haſty to marry her.

Holdfaſt

If ſhe were mine, I would not prolong my Wedding-day.

Diſſwader

For fear ſhe ſhould die, and you ſhould loſe her Eſtate.

Holdfaſt

No, I am not covetous: for my Eſtate will maintain a Wife according to my quality, although ſhe bring no Portion; and upon that condition I might have her, I would give a Portion for her, ſo much I like and fancy her.

Diſſwader

And would you marry her if you might have her?

Holdfaſt

Yes.

Diſſwader

Pray tell me, what would you do with a Fool? ſhe would be neither good for Breed nor Converſation: for ſhe might bring you a Race of Fools, and vex you with ignorant Follies.

Holdfaſt

Why ſhould you think her a Fool? ſhe neither appears froward, peeviſh, or ſpightful; ſhe hath a ſober Face, a baſhful Countenance, a natural Garb; ſhe is ſilent and penſive, which ſhews ſhe is no Fool; but if ſhe were always laughing, or toying, or ſinging, or dancing, or ſimpering, or prating, or had an affected countenance, or affected garbs or poſtures, I ſhould conclude her to be a Fool. But certainly ſhe muſt needs have a wiſe Wit: for ſhe ſeems melancholy and contemplative, which no fool is; ſhe hears much, and ſpeaks little, which no fool doth: wherefore I judge ſhe hath Wit, but either ſhe is careleſs, and cares not to expreſs it, or thinks the company fools, and therefore will not expreſs it, or is ſo baſhful, as ſhe cannot expreſs it; and there is nothing ſhews, or diſcovers Wit ſo much as Baſhfulneſs, which ſhews the Mind and Thoughts ſo ſenſible, as they apprehend beyond anothers perceivance, and ſo fearful leſt they ſhould commit Errors in their Actions and Expreſſions, as they obſcure their Virtues and natural Excellencies, for want of a confident Aſſurance, and a good Opinion of their own Abilities; beſides, Baſhfulneſs thinks the leaſt natural defect a Crime, 385 Eeeee1r 385 a Crime, and every little errour a Diſgrace, never to be rubb’d out; they will bluſh at their own thoughts, and will pine almoſt into a Conſumption, if two or three idle words ſhould ſlip out of their mouths, or that they ſhould miſtake an Argument, or that their Behaviour was not ſo or ſo: The truuth is, they never think their Actions or their Words well enough done or ſpoken; they are the firſt that ſhall condemn themſelves, and the laſt that ſhall give themſelves a pardon: But prethee Ned, as thou art my Friend, ſee if you can procure me, or watch for an opportunity, that I might ſpeak with her alone.

Diſſwader

I think that were not difficult to be done; but I will enquire a way.

Holdfaſt

Do not forget it.

Diſſwader

No, it is ſo remarkable you ſhould be in love with ſo ſimple a creature, as I ſhall remember it.

Exeunt.

Scene 17.

Enter the Lady Prudence, and her Suter a Divine: The Divine goeth to the place where the Suters plead, and the Aſſembly about them.

Divine

Madam, I ſhould not thus preſume, did not my Profeſſion dignifie me to a Spiritual Office, wherefore a fit Suter to a Divine Lady: And ſince my Sute is holy, by reaſon Mariage is ſacred, deſpiſe me not.

Prudence

Worthy Sir, all of your Profeſſion require a ſolitary Habitation for ſtudious Contemplation to a holy life, wherein their Thoughts are Conſecrated to Devotion, that their Doctrine may flow from a pure Mind, in Eloquent words, to the ears of their Flock, to inſtruct them with the light of Knowledge, and to lead them into the ways of Truth; whereas Mariage, although it be ſacred in it ſelf, yet it is rather apt to diſturb than unite, eſpecially a double Mariage, which are of different Natures: for there are two ſorts of Mariages, as a Spiritual, and a Corporal: The firſt is betwixt the Gods and Mankind; the other is betwixt Man and Woman: The one is by a Conſecration and Communication of Spirits, the other is by a Combination and Communication of Perſons; wherefore thoſe that are maried to Jove, ought to keep themſelves pure in that Unity: As for the mariage of Combination and Communication of Perſons, although it is requiſite for the continuance of Mankind, and civil Common-wealths; yet to ſpiritual Elevations is is a great hinderance: for though a woman, eſpecially a Wife, be accounted as a Helper and Comfort to man by her diligent attendance, and loving ſervice, yet women are accounted not only unprofitable in learned Schools, but obſtructers to a ſtudious life, for which women are not ſuffer’d to inhabite in Univerſities, Schools, or Colleges; indeed we are in a maner baniſh’d from the ſight or entrance thereinto, and men have reaſon ſo to do, ſince learning, eſpecially Divine learning, requires ſtudy, and ſtudy requires a quiet, ſolitary, and ſilent life; and certainly there can be neither ſolitarineſs Eeeee nor 386 Eeeee1v 386 nor ſilence where women and children are: for Nature hath made women and children to have reſtleſs ſpirits, unquiet minds, buſileſs active, and ſuch voluble tongues, as it is impoſſible they ſhould be ſilent, whileſt life gives them motion; ſo that a woman is a very unfit companion for Contemplations, wherein there ſhould be no other company but thoughts, which thoughts in a Divine, ſhould be only ſuch as are the Inquirers and Searchers of Joves divine Myſteries, and Scholars to Joves divine Schools, and Orators to explain & plead in Joves divine Laws, and ſervants to Joves divine Orders, that they may be Inſtructers and Intelligencers of Joves divine Commands: And though women ought to be inſtructed in Divinity, yet for the moſt part, women are obſtructers and diſturbers of Divinity and Divines; beſides, the Original Woman was a Tempter to Sin, which all her Effeminate Poſterity inherit as a Natural Right and Gift from their great Grandmother: And though Divines ought to be induſtrious to cut off the Intail of that Original Inheritance with their holy Doctrine, quenching the fire of Temptation with the ſpiritual dew of Divine Inſtructions, yet ought they not to run themſelves into that fire they ſhould quench, ſerving as fuel to increaſe it: Wherefore thoſe that dedicate themſelves to Joves Church, ought to live ſeparated from Natures daughters, leſt they ſhould yield to humane frailties, and become ſlaves to the Effeminate Temptations.

Exeunt.

Scene 18.

Enter Miſtris Trifle, and Miſtris Parle.

Trifle

Friend, I am come to ask thy counſel.

Parle

Concerning what?

Trifle

Concerning Mariage.

Parle

I will give you the beſt I can; but it is both difficult and dangerous to give counſel in ſo weighty a Concernment as Mariage.

Trifle

You ſay very true; and being ſo weighty a Concernment as you ſay, I am come for thy Advice, not truſting to my own judgment, and thus it is: There is a Gentleman that hath come two or three times thorough our ſtreet, and the laſt time he came, he look’d up to my Chamber-window; wherefore I conceive he will come a wooing to me, therefore I deſire thee to inſtruct me how I ſhall receive his Addreſſes.

Parl

Do you know who he is?

Trifle

No.

Parle

Nor where he dwells?

Trifle

No.

Parle

Nor from whence he came, nor whither he will go?

Trifle

No.

Parle

What makes you think he will be a Suter to you then?

Trifle

Becauſe he comes ſo often thorough our ſtreet, and by our door, and hath look’d up to my Chamber-window; and theſe are ſufficient Reaſons to believe it: for you may be ſure he comes thorough our ſtreet for my ſake.

Parle 387 Eeeee2r 387

Parle

Truly I know not what counſel to give you; but as occaſion ſhall offer it ſelf, I ſhall think of you.

Trifle

Prethee do; but I am in haſte, and therefore cannot ſtay with you any longer: wherefore farewel.

Exit. Enter Miſtris Fondly.

Fondly

O my ſweet Parle, I was told thou wert not at home, and I have been at all my Acquaintances houſes to ſeek thee out, to tell thee a ſecret.

Parle

What ſecret?

Fondly

Why there hath been a Gentleman this day at my Fathers houſe, to Treat with my Father about marying me; and when I marry, I’ll bid thee to my Wedding.

Parle

You muſt bid me before you are maried, if you will invite me to your Wedding.

Fondly

Yes ſo I will, I’ll warrant thee: for I will not forget thee of all my Acquaintance: But prethee tell me what my Wedding-Gown ſhall be of.

Parle

Of white Sattin, or cloth of Silver. But of what quality is the perſon whom you ſhall marry?

Fondly

I cannot tell.

Parle

What Eſtate hath he?

Fondly

I know not.

Parle

How often hath he been with your Father?

Fondly

He never was with my Father before this morning.

Parle

Hath your Father concluded the match with him?

Fondly

I cannot tell.

Parle

Hath your Father ſpoke to you of him?

Fondly

No.

Parle

Then how came you to know he came to Treat of Mariage?

Fondly

My Fathers man told me he thought the Gentleman came about ſuch a buſineſs, becauſe my Father and he were very earneſt in their Diſcourſe, and in private.

Parle

If you know no more, perchance it is about ſome other buſineſs.

Fondly

It cannot be about any thing elſe, becauſe they were earneſt and private.

Parle

Perchance it was about borrowing of money, and borrowers uſe to be earneſt, and deſire their deſires may not be known: wherefore they draw aſide, and whiſper out their wants.

Fondly

No, no, I am confident it was about me.

Parle

I wiſh you may do well.

Fondly

I thank thee for thy good wiſhes, and I hope he will prove a good Husband.

Exeunt.
Eeeee2 Scene 388 Eeeee2v 388

Scene 19.

Enter the Lady Prudence, and the Lawyer: They take their places, and the Aſſembly about them.

Lawyer

Madam, although there is a certain and ſet Form of making Deeds, Wills, and Leaſes, and a Form of Mariage, yet I know no certain nor ſet form of Wooing, but every one wooes after what manner or form he pleaſes or thinks beſt, having no ſet rules to wooe by: But I am come here to wooe, and ſo to plead my own cauſe at the Bar of Affection, and you, as the Judge, are to give the Sentence, and to determine the Sute: But as all other Judges are to be free from partiality, or ſelf-intereſt, as neither to be overſwayd with either fear, pity, love, or covetouſneſs, or the like; yet ſuch a Judge as you, and in the like Cauſes as mine, may have the freedome of partiality or ſelf-intereſt: wherefore, if no other plea can perſwade you; take me for pity: for I am miſerably in Love, manacled in Cupids Fetters, bound with his Bow-ſtrings, and wounded with his golden Arrows, from which nothing but your favour and compaſſionate ſentence can releaſe me, otherwiſe I muſt lie under the Arreſt of a wretched life, till ſuch time as Death ſet me free, or caſt me into Oblivion.

Prudence

Worthy Sir, as there is no certain nor ſet form of wooing, ſo there is no certain nor ſet form for the wooed to give a direct Anſwer: And though pity may move a Judge to give a favourable ſentence, yet there is no Judge will, or ought to make himſelf a ſlave, to ſet a priſoner free; but if ſuch a chance ſhould be, it muſt be by a ſtronger motive or paſſion than pity, to make them yield up their liberty: And Mariage is a bondage, eſpecially when as Sympathy doth not match the pair; and if Cupid hath wounded you with his golden Arrows, he hath ſhot me with thoſe that are headed with lead, from which wounds proceed nothing but cold denials: But howſoever I ſhall give you part of your deſires, which is, I ſhall pity you, although I cannot perſwade my Affections to love you ſo much as to conſent to marry you.

Exeunt.

Scene 20.

Enter Sir Henry Courtly, and his Wife the Lady Jealouſie.

Lady Jealouſ

Husband I hear you have a Miſtriſs, but I do not wonder at it, for you have taught me (although not by the former, yet by your preſent practice) to foreſee the future event. Firſt, our loves have grown to their full maturity, and therefore in Nature, as Vegetables, muſt ſhed their leaves, or like Animals, at ſuch a growth their ſtrength decays, and in okdamagedage dyes; thus we may gueſſe by Natures Revolution, the revolution of our love, though at firſt we could not dream, but we muſt diſcover our dreams to each other, and whatſoever we had heard or ſeen in each others abſence, 389 Fffff1r 389 abſence, when we met, we recounted to each other each object, and repeated each ſubject and diſcourſes that our Senſes had preſented to our knowledge; and not only what our Senſes had preſented, but what our Conceception had conceived, or our Imaginations had created: Alſo we took delight to confer in our Houſhold Affairs, and we were unquiet, uneaſie, and reſtleſs, until we met, and had diſcourſed thus unto each other; and if either of us had been ſick, or had perceived the leaſt diſtemper in each others health, our grief was expreſt by our tears, and by our ſighs, which from our Hearts did riſe, and flow’d with grief, which poured through our eyes. But now we begin to caſt ſhadows of diſſimulation, which ſhews our love is in an Ecclipſe, and from a pretence of the confidence and aſſurance we have of each other, we begin to be careleſs of each others diſcourſe or actions, giving our ſelves freedom and liberty to wander, not only from our Home- affairs, but from our profeſt Affections, to ſeek for pleaſures and delights abroad, and only a ſeeming affection and delight remains at home: And thus by a juggling deceit, and falſe-glac’d love, we ſhall in the diſcovery become enemies, and by a ſeeming wiſedom, we ſhall become fools, and our follies, as well as our crimes, will deſtroy the unity of Love, and the peace of Matrimonial Government; And though we ſhould not break out into open War, yet we ſhall live factious, and our ſervants will be as Commoners, ſiding with each Party: But it ſeems your Miſtris hath learn’d your mind ſo perfectly, and knows your humour ſo exactly, and can match your appetites with pleaſure ſo juſtly, as ſhe hath work’d out her deſigns skilfully, which is, to diſplace me, and to place her ſelf in your Affections, by which ſhe can make a ſubtil advantage of your Eſtate and Fortune, I mean good Fortune: for in bad Fortune ſhe may chance, nay, ’tis moſt likely ſhe will deſert you: for thoſe that will and do forſake Virtue, Chaſtity, and Honour, are not likely to ſtick to misfortunes, as to follow Baniſhment, or to live with Poverty, to bear injury, to endure Scorn, and to die in Miſery. True Love may do it; but for thoſe Affections that are produced by Incontinency, and not bound to Honeſty, and ſetled by Conſtancy, will change more often than the wind, wavering from perſon to perſon.

Courtly

Wife, I confeſs the Amorous Addreſſes I have made to other Women; but though I have ſtrayed in my Actions, yet not in my Affections: for my love is unalterably conſtant to you, as believing you are unatlterably virtuous; and I do not only love your Chaſtity, prize your Virtue, honour your noble Soul and ſweet Diſpoſition, but I take delight in your Wit, am pleas’d with your Humors, admire your Beauty, and eſteem and believe you to be the moſt perfect and beſt of your Sex. But Wife, know, that my Appetites, and not my Affections, ſeek after variety: for the kiſſing of a Miſtris leſſens not the Love to a Wife, but rather increaſes it, comparing the falſeneſs and beaſtlineſs of the one, to the Virtue and Purity of the other.

Jealouſie

And ſhall my Virtue and Chaſtity be only rewarded with your good Opinion?

Courtly

Virtue, Wife, is a ſufficient Reward in it ſelf, and the Chaſtity of your Sex is crown’d with Honour; but the Reward I give you, is the free uſe as a Co-partner of my Eſtate, and the Miſtris of my Family: Beſides, I make you the chief care of my Induſtry, the chief ſubject or object of my Valour, the Treaſure of my Life, the only Poſſeſſor of my Heart, and for your ſake I ſhall neither refuſe Death or Torment. Thus you are the Soul of Fffff my 390 Fffff1v 390 my Soul; and ſince you have my whole ſoul to your ſelf, you may be well contented to lend my perſon to your Neighbours Wife, Daughter, Siſter, Neece, or Maid.

Jealouſie

And will you be contented that I ſhall likewiſe borrow of your Neighbour?

Courtly

No Wife: for you can neither lend nor borrow without the loſs of Honour.

Jealouſie

Nay, rather than loſe ſo great a loſs as Honour, I’ll ſtrive to be content, Husband.

Courtly

Do you ſo, Wife, and I will ſtrive and indeavour to be contented with my own Wife.

Exeunt.

Act III.

Scene 21.

Enter the Lady Prudence with two Suters, a Citizen; and a Farmer, who both Plead or Wooe, and ſhe Anſwers. The Aſſembly about them.

Citizen

Madam, although I cannot Wooe in Eloquent Orations, or Courtly Solicitations, or Learned Definitions, being only bred to Induſtrious actions, thrifty ſavings, gainful gettings, to inrich me with worldly wealth, and not to ſtudious Contemplations, Poetical Fictions, Divine Elevations, Philoſophical Obſervations, State-Politicians, School-contradictions, Lawes Intrications, by which (perchance) I might have gained Fame, but not Wealth: But Fame neither cloaths the naked, nor feeds the hungry, nor helps the diſtreſſed, neither doth it mainain a Wife in Bravery, where, if you will be mine, you ſhall ſit in a ſhop all furniſh’d with gold, and great ſumms ſhall be brought you for exchange of my Wares; and while you ſit in my ſhop, all ſtreet-paſſengers will ſtand and gaze on your Beauty, and Cuſtomers will increaſe, and be prodigal to buy, whilſt you ſell, not for the uſe of what they buy, but for the delight to buy what you ſell; beſides, of all ſaleable curioſities & varieties that are brought to the City, you ſhall have the firſt offer, and the firſt fruits and meats each Seaſon doth produce, ſhall be ſerved to your taſte; your cloaths, though of the City-faſhion, yet they ſhall rich and coſtly be; beſides, to every Feaſt the City and each Citizen doth make, they will invite you, and place you as their chiefeſt gueſt; and when you by your Neighbours doors do paſs, their Prentice- boys and Journey-men will leave their ſhop-boards, and run to view you as you go. Thus ſhall you live, if you will be mine, in Plenty, Luxury, Pride, and Eaſe.

Prudence

Rich Sir, I may ſit in your ſhop, and draw Cuſtomers, but ſhall get no honour by them; I may ſell your Wares, but loſe my Reputation; I may be ador’d, worſhip’d, ſought and pray’d to, as for and to a Miſtris, but 391 Fffff2r 391 but ſhall never be counted as a Saint; I may be rich in wealth, but poor of the Worlds good Opinion; I may be adorn’d with ſilver and gold, but blemiſh’d with cenſure and ſlander; I may feed on luxurious Plenty, yet my good name ſtarve for want of a good Fame: for a Citizens Wife is ſeldom thought chaſte, and the men for the moſt part accounted Cuckolds. I know not whether it be a Judgment from Heaven for their Cozening, or decreed by the Fates for their Covetouſneſs, or bred by a natural Effect of their Luxury, which begets an Appetite to Wantonneſs; but from what cauſe ſoever it comes, ſo it is: wherefore I will never be a Citizens Wife, though truly I do verily believe there are as many virtuous and chaſte women, and underſtanding men that belong to the City, as in the Country; and were it not for the Citizens wealth, more Antient Families would be buried in poverty than there hath been, where many times a rich City-widow, or daughter, gives a dead Family a new Reſurrection: wherefore, it is more prudent for men to marry into the City, than it is advantagious for women, eſpecially ſuch women that eſteem a pure Reputation before wealth, and had rather live in poverty, than be miſtruſted for diſhoneſty.

Then the Citizen goeth from the Standing-place, and the Farmer takes it. The Lady Prudence keeps her place all the while.

Farmer

Madam, although I cannot draw a Line of Pedigree from Gentility, yet I can draw a Line of Peaſantry five hundred years in length; and if Antiquity is to be eſteemed, my Birth is not to be deſpised: As for my wealth, I am not poor, but rich for my degree and quality; and though it is not fit I ſhould maintain my Wife in ſilver and gold, yet I may maintain her with plenty and with ſtore, cloath her in fine ſmooth ſoft cloth, ſpun from the fleeces of my Flocks: But if you will be mine, you ſhall be crown’d with Garlands made of Lillies, Roſes, Violets, Pinks, and Daffidillies, and be as Queen of all theſe Downs, where all the Shepherds and Shepherdeſſes ſhall give you homage, and worſhip you as Godeſs of the Plains, bringing you Offerings of their mornings Milk, their Butter, Curds, and ſoft preſt Cheeſe, and various Fruits freſh gather’d off their Trees; alſo my Kids and Lambs ſhall ſport and play, and taught to know your voice, and to obey, and every Holyday you ſhall in Arbors ſit, ſhadow’d from hot Sun-beams, whilſt Country Maids and Country Men which Lovers are, ſhall dance upon the graſſy Green to the ſound of the Horn-pipe, Bag-pipe, and ſuch breathing Muſick, whoſe pleaſant Strains, and plain-ſet Notes, rebound in Ecchos from the high-caſt Banks, the lofty Hills, hollow Woods, and murmuring Streams, beſides other Rural ſports, to entertain your Eyes and Ears, and recreate your Minde with Mirth and harmleſs Plays, to paſs your Time withall.

No life ſo pleaſant as the Country Life,

No woman ſo happy as the Farmers Wife.

Prudence

Honeſt Friend, could I as eaſily perſwade my Affections to your Perſon, as I could to the condition of a Shepherdeſſes life, or Farmers wife, you ſhould be the only man I would chooſe; but ſince I cannot, I muſt only return you thanks for your good liking, in that you have preferr’d me in your choiſe, for which, may neither nipping Froſt, nor burning Sun, nor blaſting winds, nor weeds, nor ſnails, nor worms deſtroy your Labours, nor ravenousFffff2 venous 392 Fffff2v 392 venous Wolves, nor crafty Foxes nor Polcats, Weeſels, Kites, or any ſuch like Vermin, fright or rob you of your young & tender breed; may all your grounds and flocks increaſe a treble-fold, your fleeces long and thick, your corn firm and full-ear’d, your graſs ſweet and broad-bladed, your trees ſo full of fruits, that every branch may bow under its load; and may your plenty ſtore all the Kingdom, that neither want nor famine may be fear’d or felt; may all your Country Neighbours, and labouring Swains, reſpect you as their Chief, obey you as their Lord, and worſhip you as their God Pan.

Exeunt.

Scene 22.

Enter Sir William Holdfaſt, meeting the Lady Mute, ſhe ſeeming as in a ſtudious Thought.

Holdfaſt

Lady, you are in a ſerious Contemplation. Pray what are you thinking of?

Mute

I have heard that thoughts are free; but I perceive they cannot paſs without queſtioning.

Holdfaſt

I would not boldly intrude upon them, my humble deſire is I might partake of the Excellency of them.

Mute

I ſuppoſe you think my Contemplation is of Heaven, and not of the World: for there is no ſubject which can make Thoughts excellent, but what is Divine: for the World corrupts them, Nature deceives them, and Speech betrays them.

Holdfaſt

If your ſpeech never betrays more than it doth now, which only expreſſes your Wit, you may well pardon it; but I now finde you are not ſo ignorantly ſimple as you are thought to be through your ſilence.

Mute

I confeſs I have practis’d ſilence: for I am of years fitter to learn than to talk; and I had rather be thought ignorantly ſimple for being ſilent, than to expreſs folly by too much ſpeaking.

Holdfaſt

But I wonder you will ſuffer you ſelf to be laugh’d at for a Natural Fool, when your wit is able to defend you from ſcorns and ſcoffs, and is able to maintain its own Arguments.

Mute

If I had Wit, there would be no Honour in the Arguing, no more than for a Valiant man to fight with Cowards; ſo wit to diſpute with fools: But I had rather they ſhould laugh at me, than I ſhould weep for my ſelf; yet there were none in that company that laugh’d at me, but were older than I, and the older they are, the more faults they have committed; and if they laugh at me for my little wit, I will ſcorn them for their many faults, and hate them for their vices.

Holdfaſt

The truth is, ’tis only fools that commit many faults, and take delight in their own follies, and do themſelves hurt with their own errors; and not thoſe that have Wit: for they have Ingenuity and Prudence to foreſee, and ſo eſcape errours, and the miſchiefs that may follow: But you appear, by 393 Ggggg1r 393 by not expreſſing your ſelf, to your diſadvantage, and your ſilence doth you wrong.

Mute

I care not how I appear in my outward Aſpect, ſo my Life be honeſt, my Actions juſt, my Behaviour modeſt, my Thoughts pure, and that I obey to the utmoſt of my power the Laws and Cuſtoms of Duty, Morality, Divinity, and Civility. But ’tis a ſign of a fooliſh Age, when ſilence is thought ignorant ſimplicicitie, and modeſty accounted a crime; when in Antient Times Youth was taught ſober Attention, and it was impos’d upon Scholars to keep ſilence five years before they were ſuffer’d to ſpeak, that they might afterwards be able to Teach, and not always live to learn as School-boys, which they would always be, if they ſpent their time in words, and not ſtudy and obſerve: And ſilence is a diſcretion that few women practiſe, being more apt to talk than men; for women are fuller of words than thoughts: but words ſhould be weighed by Judgment, in the ballance or ſcales of Senſe, and deliver’d by the tongue through the lips by Retail, which cannot be if they throw them out ſo faſt: for there is required Reaſon, Time, and Underſtanding, beſides unſtopped Ears to hear them: But though mine Enemies laugh at me for a Fool, yet I have ſo much Honeſty, Innocencie, and Modeſty, to guard and defend my Reputation, as they cannot wound that with their ſharp words, nor laughing faces.

Exeunt.

Scene 23.

Enter the Lady Prudence, and her ſtrange Wooer, a man that had a wooden Leg, a patch on his Eye, and Crook back’d, unhandſome ſnarled Hair, and plain poor Cloaths on: He takes the Wooers place and the Aſſembly about gazing with ſmiling faces at the ſight of ſuch a Wooer.

Strange wooer

Lady, I come not now to plead with flouriſhing Rhetorick, to make that which is falſe to appear like truth, or paint a foul cauſe with fair ſmooth words: But my cauſe of requeſt is honeſt, and what I ſhall ſpeak is truth; nor do I ſtrive to hide my Deformities or Vices: As for my outward deformities, they are viſible to your Eyes; but Vices live in the Appetites, Paſſions, and Affections, which are only expreſt by the Actions, and therefore the eaſier may be diſſembled from the moſt part of the World, yet not from Heaven, to whom I am to make a juſt account: And ſince my ſins are only to the Gods, and not you, fair Godeſs, I ſhall not at this time make a publick confeſſion of them; but I am come here to preſent you with my love, which love is as pure as unſpotted Angels, it hath no by- reſpects unto your Wealth, Beauty, or Birth, but barely and meerly to your Virtue: in truth I come a wooing to your Soul, not to your Body, but yet miſtake me not, I would not have them parted. I cannot ſay my Eſtate or Birth deſerves you, nor have I merits equal to your worth; but ſince my love is as pure as your virtue, it will be an equal Match: And though you ſee my body a deformed bulk, yet I am not aſham’d of it, becauſe the owner, which Ggggg is 394 Ggggg1v 394 is my Mind, is honeſt: for I never betray’d my King, or Country, Miſtris, or Friend, nor any Truſt that was impos’d unto me by any, although a Foe; I never ſhut my purſe, nor ſheath’d my ſword from helping the diſtreſs’d, nor turn’d my back upon my aſſaulting Enemy; I never ſtole good Fame, nor rob’d good Names, nor ſtab’d Innocency with ſlander; I never ſcorn’d thoſe below my ſelf, nor envy’d thoſe above me; I never infring’d the Laws of Honour, nor diſturb’d civil Society; and though I cannot ſuffer an injury patiently, yet I never did omit a duty willingly: As for the truth of what I ſay, I have none to witneſs for me, as being a ſtranger, but my own words, from which this company (perchance) may think ſelf-love and great deſire hath brib’d my Tongue; but if they do, their thoughts make Truth no leſs, no more than Eyes that are blind, Ears that are deaf, can rob you of your Wit and Beauty: for though your Wit they do not hear, nor Beauty ſee, yet you paoſſeſs them no leſs, their want only robs you of their Admiration, not of the Poſſeſſion; and ſay I am blind of one eye, my other eye doth ſee, and I have Hearing perfectly, which doth inform my Knowledge and Underſtanding, with that which makes my Admirations and Adorations perfect and ſound within my Heart, wherein your Picture is printed on, which my Soul doth view, and gazing, kneels with wonder and aſtoniſhment, that ſo much Wit, Wiſedom, and Virtue ſhould be in one ſo young & fair: And if you cannot love me, deſpiſe me not; for my pure Love is Divine, as being divinely placed on you; and it would grieve my Soul, to have the zealous fire and immaculate flame of my Affection extinguiſh’d with your neglecting Thoughts, and rak’d up in the aſhes of your Forgetfulneſs: But if any of my Sex ſhall ſeem to jeſt, or ſcorn me for my outward form or ſhape,

My Courage and my Sword ſhall take my bodies part,

To cut their Limbs, or thruſt them through their Heart.

Prudence

Worthy Sir, you muſt excuſe me from anſwering you at this time: for I am taken on the ſudden very ſick.

Strange Wooer

I wiſh you health, although it were to be only purchas’d by my death.

Exeunt.

Scene 24.

Enter Miſtris Trifle, and a Grave Matron.

Matron

What is the cauſe you weep?

Trifle

Becauſe my Father will not get me a Husband, and Miſtris Fondly will have a Husband before I ſhall have one: for I hear ſhe is to be maried, ſhe is happier in her Parents than I am: for my Parents are unnatural, and take no care how to get me a Husband, and to ſee me maried.

Matron

You may marry ſoon enough to repent.

Trifle

I am ſure I ſhall not repent: for to be a Wife, is a condition I am moſt deſirous of, and cannot be happy any other way.

Matron

And Wives think Maids only happy, becauſe they are not vex’d nor troubled with a Husband.

Trifle 395 Ggggg2r 395

Trifle

Such women deſerve no Husbands: for certainly a Husband is a joy and a comfort, as being a companion and a friend.

Matron

But Husbands ſeldome keep in the company of their Wives, and many times, inſtead of a friend, prove an enemy.

Enter a Servant.

Trifle

What, have you been at Miſtris Fondly’s Houſe?

Servant

Yes.

Trifle

And have you inquir’d of her Maid as I bid you, whether the Report is true, that her Miſtris is to be maried?

Servant

Yes.

Trifle

And what ſaid ſhe?

Servant

She ſaid that a Gentleman did Treat with her Miſtriſſes Father, but they could not agree: for the Gentleman would have more portion than her Father would give, whereupon the Match is broke off.

Trifle

I am glad of that: for I would not have her maried before me for all the World. But did you not ſee miſtris Fondly?

Servant

No: for her Maid ſaid her Miſtris, at the breaking off her Mariage, almoſt broke her heart: for ſhe hath ſo afflicted her ſelf, and hath ſo wept and ſigh’d, as ſhe is fallen ſick, and keeps her Chamber.

Trifle

Alas good Friend, I pity her extremely; but I will go viſit her, and try if I can comfort her.

Exeunt.

Scene 25.

Enter the Lady Prudence, to give her Anſwer to her Suter the Stranger: The Aſſembly ſtanding about, the Lady and Suter take their places.

Prudence

Noble Sir, the Wit wherewith Nature, Time, and Education hath endu’d my tender brains, is like new kindled fire, that ſparkling flies about, the fuel being green, and newly laid to burn, there is more ſmoke than flame: But ſince the time I heard you ſpeak, a newer fire is kindled in my Heart, which equally doth burn with your profeſs’d Affections; and though your Perſon is none of Natures exacteſt Peeces, yet your Mind doth ſeem to be compos’d with all her beſt Ingredients; and ſure your Thoughts ſet notes of Honour, Honeſty, and Love, by which your Tongue plays Harmony. ’Tis not the ſattin Skin, that’s painted white and red, nor neat carv’d Bodies, can win my Love, nor Wealth, Titles, Birth, nor crown’d Power; but Truth, Sincerity, Conſtancy, Juſtice, Prudence, Courage, and Temperance, by which, as Magiſtrates, your life ſeems to be governed, which life I wiſh the Gods may Crown with happy days, and in Fames Tower long live your praiſe. I will not ask you from whence you came, nor what you are: For though you ſeem but poor and mean, Your Soul appears to me ſublime.

Stranger

And will you chuſe me for your Husband, Lady?

Ggggg2 Prudence 396 Ggggg2v 396

Prudence

I ſhall be proud to be your Wife, Sir.

Stranger

The Gods are juſt to my pure Love, rewarding it with your acceptance; but I muſt beg your leave for ſome ſhort time of Abſence, and then I ſhall return, and claim your Promiſe.

Prudence

You have the liberty, Sir.

Exit Strange Wooer. The Lady Gravity ſpeaks to the Lady Prudence.

Gravity

Lady, ſurely you are in a High Feaver.

Prudence

Why, Madam?

Gravity

As to do ſo extravagant an Action, as to marry a man you know not what he is, nor from whence he came, and may prove as deformed in Mind as in Body, as mean of Birth, as poor in Purſe, as beggars that live on cold dry Charity.

Prudence

If he be poor, my Eſtate will make him rich; if humbly born, his Merits make him Honourable; from whence he comes I do not care, and where he will have me go, I will wait upon him, never queſtioning to what place.

Exit Lady Prudence

Gravity

Her Courage is beyond her Wit.

Liberty

For the Example of this Lady, I would have a Law made, that there ſhould be no more Publick Wooing.

Parle

She hath caſt away her ſelf.

Minion

Who can help it?

The Aſſembly go out, holding up their hands as at a wonder.

Scene 26.

Enter the Lady Mute, as being in a melancholy Humour. Enter Sir William Holdfaſt, as meeting her.

Holdfaſt

Lady, why ſeem you ſo melancholy?

Mute

My melancholy diſpoſition is apt to catch hold on my evil Fortunes, and both joyning together, help to multiply my ſad thoughts.

Holdfaſt

Why ſhould you be ſad?

Mute

How can I be merry, when I am left deſtitute of Friends, and unacquainted with Experience.

Holdfaſt

Nature hath furniſh’d you with all ſtore, you need none.

Mute

If ſhe had, yet all the good ſeeds that Nature and Education hath ſown in me, and ſprouted forth in bud, are nipt with Misfortunes, withetr’d with Sorrows, blaſted with Sighs, and drown’d in Tears.

Holdfaſt

For what?

Mute

For being inſlav’d unto an unworthy perſon, who neither loves Virtue, nor values Honour, but laughs at my youth, and flings ſcorns on my Innocency, which makes me almoſt murmur at Heaven, and apt to think the Gods 397 Hhhhh1r 397 Gods unjuſt, to let Fortune betray me to Power and Tyranny.

Holdfaſt

Trouble not your ſelf: for certainly your bondage may be taken off, if it be diſcreetly handled: for he ſeems willing to part with you upon eaſie terms; for you heard him offer to ſell you.

Mute

I wiſh I were worth your Purchaſe.

Holdfaſt

Would you willingly change him for me?

Mute

I cannot be worſe; and you ſeem ſo noble a perſon, as perſwades me to hope I may be happy.

Holdfaſt

And if I had the whole World, I would give it for you, rather than not have you; and I ſhould think my ſelf more inrich’d by the enjoyment, than if the Gods made new Worlds to preſent me.

Mute

I have heard Heaven protects the Innocent, defends the Harmleſs, and provides for the Helpleſs; which if it doth, the Gods will give me you.

Exeunt.

Scene 27

Enter Miſtris Parle, Miſtris Trifle, Miſtris Fondly, Miſtris Vanity, and one of the Matrons.

Parle

Ha, ha, ha, Is this the young wiſe Lady that all the World admir’d for her Prudence and Judgment?

Vanity

Faith her Judgment hath err’d in her choiſe.

Fondly

I am glad: for now I may marry to whom I will; for I cannot chooſe worſe; and my Father and Mother did bid me, nay charged me to imitate her.

Trifle

So did mine.

Vanity

And mine.

Parle

Well, for my part I rejoyce: for now we ſhall have the old way of Wooing again, to imbrace and kiſs in corners, to hear amorous and wanton diſcourſe.

Fondly

That way of wooing is beſt.

Vanity

You ſay true: for I hate this way of wooing, there is no pleaſure in it.

Parle

No ’faith, to ſtand gazing and prating a mile aſunder.

Matron

You make ſhort miles.

Parle

Why, two inches is a Lovers mile, and three a long league.

Trifle

It was not likely ſhe ſhould chooſe well, or ever be happily maried.

Matron

Why ſo?

Trifle

By reaſon ſhe was curs’d by all the maids, back-holders, widows and widowers in the Town.

Matron

But ſhe had the prayers of all the married women.

Parle

But ſhe had the curſes of all the maried men: for they croud in amongſt the back-holders ſometimes.

Exeunt.
Hhhhh Scene 398 Hhhhh1v 398

Scene 28.

Enter Sir Thomas Letgo, and the Lady Liberty.

Letgo

Sweet Madam, you are the Godeſs which my Thoughts adore.

Liberty

You flatter.

Letgo

Love cannot flatter: for Lovers think all their praiſes truth.

Liberty

The Lady Mute is your Godeſs.

Letgo

If there were no other Godeſs of your Sex but ſhe, I ſhould become an Infidel to love, nay an Atheiſt, believing there were no ſuch Deity as Love.

Exeunt.

Scene 29.

Enter the Lady Prudence, and Intelligencer her Woman.

Intelligencer

Madam, all the Town condemns you.

Prudence

And do you condemn me too?

Intelligen

No, Madam: for I am bound, as being your ſervant, to ſubmit to your will, liking, and pleaſure.

Prudence

Why, the choiſe is honeſt: for they may ſwear I am not enamour’d with his Perſon: But had he been a fair Youth, or known to be a debauch’d Man, they might have juſtly condemn’d me, either for my fond Affection and amorous Love, or wilde Choice.

Intelligencer

’Faith they may thiank your Choiſe is wilde, by reaſon you have choſen out of a Labyrinth, not knowing where his beginning or end is.

Prudence

Why Virtue is the Beginning, and Happineſs, I hope, will be the End.

Intelligen

I wiſh it may prove ſo Madam.

Prudence

But pray tell me, Did you ever hear me ſpeak worſe than I did to him?

Intelligen

How do you mean, Madam, in that you gave your ſelf away?

Prudence

No, in that I did not preſent my ſelf more Eloquently.

Intelligen

Methought your Speech did not flow ſo ſmooth as it was us’d to do, as if your Tongue did know you did commit a fault in granting to his Sute.

Prudence

No truly; for my deſire did out-run my ſpeech: for deſiring to ſpeak beſt to him I loved moſt, obſtructed my Tongue, which made my words run unevenly.

Intelligen

That’s a common misfortune: for when any one ſtrives to ſpeak wiſely, they moſt often ſpeak fooliſhly.

Prudence

’Tis true; for ſtrife is an enemy to ſpeech: for thoſe that ſpeak not free and eaſie, never ſpeak well.

For when as Paſſion wreſtles with the Tongue,

The Senſe is weak, and down the words are flung.

Exeunt.
399 Hhhhh2r 399

Scene 30.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1 Gentleman

’Tis ſtrange the Lady Prudence, that is ſo beautiful, rich, and nobly born, and hath ſo great a wit, ſhould chuſe a man ſo poor and mean, and ſo ill-favour’d.

2 Gentlem

In my opinion it is not ſtrange: for certainly there is a ſympathy between the ſpirits of virtuous ſouls, which begets love, although in deformed perſons: And this is the true Love; for that which proceeds from Covetouſneſs, or Ambition, or is produced by the Senſes, is rather an Appetite, which is apt to ſurfet, or dies as ſoon as enjoy’d, or turns with Fortunes wheel.

1 Gentlem

Well, I wiſh for the Ladies ſake, who is known to be Virtuous, her Husband may prove as Virtuous as ſhe.

Exeunt.

Scene 31.

Enter a Grave Matron, Miſtris Fondly, Miſtris Vanity, Miſtris Trifle, and Miſtris Parle.

Matron

Ladies, do you hear the News?

Parle

What News?

Matron

Why Miſtris Simple is gone very early this morning out of Town with Sir Anthony Goſling; and ’tis ſaid they will be maried before they return.

Vanity

I cannot believe it: for ſhe was the moſt unlikely to be maried of any of us all.

Parle

I perceive that Maid that can have Fortune to be her friend, ſhall not want a Husband.

Fondly

You ſay true; and Fortune is a better friend than our Parents are: for our Parents are contented we ſhould live Maids all the time of our lives, when Fortune (moſt commonly) gives Maids Husbands at one time or other.

Matron

Ladies, why do you complain of your Parents for their wary care? who would not have you marry, but to ſuch Husbands as you may be happy withall, and therefore are cautious how to chuſe, when Fortune makes Matches at Random.

Fondly

I had rather marry at Random, than not marry at all.

Matron

Why then (perchance) in ſtead of a worthy perſon, you may marry a baſe fellow; and in ſtead of a rich husband, a beggar.

Parle

Thoſe women that are curious in their Choiſe, may chance to die old Maids.

Matron

’Tis better to die an old Maid, than to live a miſerable life, which will be, if an unhappy Wife.

Hhhhh2 Vanity 400 Hhhhh2v 400

Vanity

There is no miſery like being an old Maid. She ſings a piece of an old Song. O that I were ſo happy once to be a wedded wife,I would fulfil my Husbands will all the days of my life.

Parle

I doubt I may ſing the Song that ſays, O pity take upon me now ſome gentle Bodie,And give me the Willow-Branch, for no man will have me.

Trifle

And I may ſing this old Song. I wander up and down,And no body cares for me:Although I be but poor and brown,Yet conſtant will I be.

Fondly

And I may ſing this old Ballad. Every Bird can chooſe his Mate,The Wren can do the ſame,The Fiſh and Fowl their pleaſures take,They follow after Game.But I, poor I, poor ſilly I,Do ſigh and ſorrow ſtill,Yea night and day I wear away,Wanting my wiſhed will.

Matron

Come, come, Ladies, you are all ſo deſirous to marry, and ſo impatient becauſe you are not maried, as I doubt when you are maried, your Husbands may ſing the Song of Cuckolds all a row.

Parle

It were better for us that our Husbands ſhould be Cuckolds, than we lead Apes in Hell.

Exeunt.

Act IV.

Scene 32.

Enter as weeping the Lady Prudence, and her Woman, Intelligencer.

Intelligen

Why do you weep, Madam?

Prudence

Have I not reaſon, when one I choſe for Honeſty proves falſe, and publickly ſtrives for to diſgrace me, by breaking of his Promiſe, and Appointed day of Mariage?

Intellig

Perchance he could not come, ſome Accident hath hinder’d him.

Prudence 401 Iiiii1r 401

Prudence

He might have ſent me word the reaſon of his ſtay.

Intelligen

It is likely he is not ſo rich, as to hire a Meſſenger.

Prudence

Some would have done it for Charity.

Itelligen

’Faith Charity is lazie, and will not go without Reward.

Prudence

If he had loved Me or Honour, he would have found ſome means or ways.

Enter her Servant the Strange Wooer.

Stranger

My Virtuous ſweet Miſtris, what makes ſuch ſhowrs of Tears in Sun-ſhine Eyes?

Prudence

O Sir, I thought you had forſaken me, and left me to the Worlds wilde ſcorn.

Stranger

I ſhould ſooner forſake Life, Fame, and Heaven, than forſake you.

He kiſſes her hand

Stranger

Will you have your Friends to your Wedding, Miſtris?

Prudence

If you pleaſe, Sir: for I am not aſham’d of my Choiſe, nor ſhall I be aſham’d of my Mariage.

Stranger

Nor I, of my ſelf; and for you, the Gods may envy me.

Exeunt.

Scene 33.

Enter Miſtris Parle, Miſtris Trifle, Miſtris Vanity, Miſtris Fondly, and a Matron.

Parle

Shall we go to viſit Miſtris Simple? ſhe that is now my Lady Goſling, and bid her joy.

Vanity

Yes, if you will: for I long to ſee how ſhe looks, now ſhe is a Wife.

Trifle

So do I, and to ſee how ſhe behaves her ſelf, ſince ſhe is maried.

Matron

She is now, Ladies, for the converſation of Wives, and not for the ſociety of Maids; her diſcourſe will be now of Houſhold Affairs, as of Houſwifry, and of her Husband, and of Children, and hired ſervants, and not Suters and Courtiers, not Faſhions, nor Dreſſings; neither will ſhe return your Viſits: for her Viſitings will be to other maried Wives, and her time will be ſpent at Labours, Chriſtenings, Churchings, and other Matrimonial Goſſippings and Meetings.

Parle

Howſoever we will go viſit her.

Fondly

I wiſh we may ſee her Husband with her, to ſee if he be kind to her, or not.

Parle

If he be not kind to her, and hath been maried but two or three days, he will never be kind.

Trifle

I wonder whether he will kiſs her when we are by.

Parle

Yes certainly: for new-maried men and their wives take a pleaſure to kiſs before company.

Iiiii Fondly 402 Iiiii1v 402

Fondly

Hey ho, that maried Wives ſhould have ſuch pleaſures, when Maids have none.

Exeunt.

Scene 34.

Enter Sir Thomas Letgo, with other Gentlemen. This Scene of Sir Thomas Letgo, the Lord Marquiſs writ.

Letgo

O unfortunate villain! that I ſhould be ſuch a Coxcomb, ſuch a Fool, to loſe five thouſand pounds at Dice! Thoſe bones ſpotted with the ſmall Pox, the great Pox take them for me, and the Plague to boot: for they have plagued me, and yet I have not a token left about me.

1 Gent

You may borrow more.

Letgo

Borrow, you Puppy, you, my land’s intail’d, a perpetuity, I have nothing but for life, like a Serving-mans Annuity, or an old Ladies Joynture, no body will lend me any thing; and now I muſt eat graſs and hay: for we are all mortal they ſay, and they choke me with that. Pox of my Grandfathers and Fathers provident Wiſedomes, with their learned Counſels in the Law; but I hope all their ſouls fry in Hell for’t, that’s my comfort.

2 Gent

’Tis a hard caſe, that a young Gentleman cannot undow himſelf for thoſe Fetters and Bonds of Parchment; truly it is cruel.

Letgo

I, is it not Jack, to be tied thus, like a dog to a cup-board, and in chains too, that he cannot gnaw or bite them aſunder?

3 Gent

’Faith Sir, ’tis a ſtrange thing, that a man ſhould venture to play his money, whether it ſhould be his or another mans.

Letgo

No Dick, you are deceiv’d, I play whether his money ſhould be mine or his. O unfortunate Rogue that I am! and that fooliſh Star-gazer, the Aſtrologer, never to ſee it in my Nativity neither when he caſt it! Thoſe Knaves and Fools, to talk of things that they have no gueſs at what they are, as if the ſeven Planets, or the twelve Houſes, had to do with a caſt of Dice, a fine nimble Cheater is worth a thouſand of them. Rogue that I am! And now comes in ſuch a conſideration into my brain upon my Repentance.

1 Gent

As how pray?

Letgo

As how? why if I had this current running money, nay rather, it hath wings, and flies beyond the Fiction of Pegaſus: why, if I had it, how I would beſtow it for the good of the Common-wealth, as thus: What rich Apparel, with Imbroyderies of gold, and ſilver, and ſilk? what Feathers and Miſtriſſes? what gilt Paris Coaches, Pages, and Lacquies, ſans number, in rich liveries? what Coachmen, Poſtilions, with ſix Flanders Horſes, to ſtrike with amazement the whole ſtreet as I paſs? what running Horſes, Hounds, Hawks, Cocks, Greyhounds? what delicious Banquets, Spaniſh Perfumes, moſt odoriferous, ſoft Muſick, that ſhould lull the ſoul aſleep, ſumptuous Furnitures, ſo as I would ſurfet the Senſes, and make the ſeven Deadly Sins live like Princes?

And 403 Iiiii2r 403

And ſet up Sin and Vanity to the hight,

Since thoſe are ſtill the Gentlemens delight.

But O my money is gone, which cuts off all my hopes of exerciſing all thoſe virtuous ways! well, let me cogitate, and boy, give me a melancholy Pipe to cloud all hopes of joys with ſadder thoughts.

He gives him his Pipe

1 Gent

Truly ’tis pity he hath loſt his money: for you hear how Religiouſly he would have ſpent it.

2 Gent

Moſt like a Gentleman, I muſt needs ſay that for him.

3 Gent

Moſt piouſly indeed; but prethee let us walk for a while, leſt we ſhould diſturb his Thoughts: no more Diſcourſe, but let us tie our Tongues.

1 Gent

Content, till his be looſe.

They ſit mute a time, while he ſits muſing.

2 Gent

What Contemplation now?

Letgo

Pious and charitable ones. But this damn’d money, this runnagado, this vagabond money!

1 Gent

But if you had a ſtatute to whip her home to her own Pariſh, it would do well.

Letgo

I Jack, but there is no ſuch law, the more the pity; but this abominable money diſorders all the World. What work makes it betwixt Parents and Children, Husbands and Wives, Brothers and Siſters, Maſters and Servants, Landlords and Tenants, Citizens and their Prentices, Miſtriſſes and their Maids, and between Kings and their ſubjects? Corrupts all the World, breaks Friendſhip, betrays Friends, raiſes Rebellions, commits Treaſon, and corrupts Virgins: It is the Pander and Bawd to all buſineſs; the Stateſ-man is fed by this damn’d Lady Pecunia, the Lawyer ſerves her, the Merchants her ſlave, the Shop-keeper her vaſſal, and the Countryman her Tenant, Lords and Ladies her penſioners, and greateſt Monarchs pay tribute to her; the Logician argues for her, the orator pleads for her, and many Eccleſiaſicals preach for her, the Vicar General and his Conclave are rul’d by her, and the poor Poet, ſhe draws his copperas from his ink, and makes him flatter her. This horrid Lady Sorcereſs, ſo to bewitch the World! Is there no law againſt this Enchantreſs, that thus doth ſtill abuſe the World, and all that’s in it? The very Souldiers ſword is charmed by her, and all his guns are ſilent at her preſence. This ſhe-devil!

3 Gentlem

But I would you had your ſhe-devil again for all that: But what Pious and Charitable Conſideration had you, if you had your money again?

Letgo

Marry Sir, Firſt I would build an Hoſpital for decay’d Ladies that were maim’d in Venus’s wars, loſing a noſe, or ſo, never yet any care taken of them, the more is the pity.

2 Gent

Very good: and what next?

Letgo

Next I would buy ſuch a piece of ground, and build a Bedlam, and then put in all ſuch Divines as preach themſelvs out of their power and riches; and I would put all ſuch Lawyers in, as pleaded themſelves out of practice; and all ſuch Citizens as petition’d themſelves out of trade.

3 Gentlem

Theſe are good and pious Acts: But would not you provide a place or means for ſuch as were undone by playing at Dice and Cards, and the like.

Iiiii2 Letgo 404 Iiiii2v 404

Letgo

No, they ſhould have only Fools Coats to be known by, and I would be the Maſter of them.

Exeunt.

Here ends my Lord Marquiſs of Newcaſtles writing

Scene 35.

Enter Miſtris Parle, Miſtris Trifle, Miſtris Vanity, Miſtris Fondly, and a Matron, to the Lady Goſling: Theſe all bid her Joy; She thanks them in a low Voice, and a conſtrain’d and formal Behaviour, and a fooliſh grave Countenance.

Trrifle

How doth your Husband, Madam?

Lady Goſling

I hope he’s well, he’s gone abroad.

Parle

You look pale ſince you were maried.

Goſling

I was not very well this morning: for I could not eat my Breakfaſt; truly I have loſt my ſtomack ſince I have been maried.

Vanity

Perchance you are breeding.

Goſling

O fie, no ſurely; but yet my Maid laughs, and tells me I am.

Matron

I hope, Lady, you are not breeding already? for you have not been maried above three days.

Goſling

I have heard that ſome have been with Child as ſoon as they were maried; and my Maid told me ſhe ſerved a Miſtris, who, the next day ſhe was maried was with Child.

Matron

By my Faith that was very ſoon.

The Lady Goſling pulls off her Glove to take her Handkerchief, a pretence to ſhew her wedding-ring.

Fondly

Me thinks it is ſtrange to ſee you have a Wedding-ring on your Thumb.

Goſling

You will come to wear a Wedding-ring on your Thumb one of theſe days.

Trifle

What is the Poſie?

Goſling

I like too well to change.

Parle

’Tis well you do: for if you did not, you could hardly change, unleſs your Husband dies.

Goſling

Heaven forbid; for I would not have him die for all the World for he is one of the lovingeſt and fondeſt Husbands that ever was.

Matron

The firſt Moneth is a fond Moneth, Lady.

Parle

And are you fond of him?

Goſling

Yes truly: for I hang about his neck when he is at home.

Matron

But you will weary your Husband, Lady, if you hang a long time.

Goſling

I would very fain you did ſee my Husband.

Parle

We much deſire ſo to do.

She calls her Maid Joan: the Maid anſwers as within, Madam. Goſling 405 Kkkkk1r 405

Goſling

Is your Maſter, Sir Anthony Goſſling, come home yet?

Maid

No, Madam.

Goſling

In truth he is too blame to ſtay out ſo long, knowing I am not well when he is away.

Vanity

Are you ſick in his abſence?

Goſling

I am beſt pleas’d when he is with me.

Matron

New-maried Wives are always ſo; but after they have been maried ſome time, they are worſt pleaſed when their Husbands are with them.

Exeunt.

Scene 36

Enter the Lady Prudence as a Bride that’s very finely dreſt in glorious Apparel, her Bridegroom in poor old cloaths: He leads her as to the Church, limping with his Wooden Leg. The Bridal Gueſts ſeem to make ſigns of ſcorning as they follow. They all go out but two Gentlemen.

1Gentlem

Me thinks it is a ſtrange ſight to ſee ſuch a Bride, and ſuch a Bridegroom. I do imagine them to be like Pluto and Proſerpine.

2 Gent

Nay rather, they are like Venus and Vulcan.

1 Gent

But ſhe is too chaſte to entertain a Mars to Cuckold him.

2 Gent

It is to be hop’d ſhe will take her liberty with variety: for extravagant love is ſeldom conſtant.

1 Gent

If that rule prove true, he may be a Cuckold indeed.

2 Gent

’Tis likely he will: for women chuſe to marry ſuch deformed men a purpoſe; firſt to excuſe their fault, thinking the World will never condemn them, their Husbands being ill-favour’dly miſ-ſhapen, or thinking their Husbands will be well content, knowing their own infirmities, to be a ſharer.

1 Gent

But I wonder ſhe did not new-cloath him: for though he is not ſo rich to buy himſelf a Wedding-Suit, yet ſhe hath means enough to buy him many ſeveral ſuits, and rich.

2 Gent

There was no time to make him Wedding-cloaths, becauſe he came not till his Wedding-day.

1 Gent

Well, let us go ſee them maried, and wiſh them joy.

Exeunt.
Kkkkk Scene 406 Kkkkk1v 406

Scene 37

Enter Sir Thomas Letgo, Sir William Holdfaſt, and two or three other Gentlemen. So far of this Scene as Sir Thomas Letgo’s, the Marquis of Newcaſtle writ.

Letgo

Since my loſſes, I have ſuch a deſire of Revenge, as my fingers itch to be at it, and the Palſie is in my eldbow with the imagination of throwing thoſe partial bones, call’d by the Vulgar, Dice; they ſay they are ſquare fellows, but I doubt it: Well, have at them, whatſoever comes on’t; for I long more for them, than the great Belly that long’d to bite her Husbands Noſe, or to give him a box on the Ear; or ſhe that threw her loaf into a barrel of Tar; and if I have not my longings, in my Conſcience I ſhall miſcarry.

1 Gent

Take heed Sir, that you do not miſcarry, if you have the Dice.

2 Gent

How can he do that? for he hath nothing to miſcarry withall, not a farthing, his pockets ſwell not; ’tis but an imaginary Child, a windy or watry Mole, or a Moon-calf; he needs no Dice to be his Midwife for the Lady Pecunia, a meer Timpany of the Fancy, and nothing elſe.

Letgo

O Jack, thou art cruel! there is nothing ſo horrid as truth to a Gentleman, and ſuch truths too. I know not what to do with my ſelf: for I cannot be alone, thoſe are ſuch fooliſh fellows that have parts, as they call them, and I hate both them and their parts. Enters the Lady Mute as paſſing. Look here is my fooliſh Miſtris, by the Gods I’ll play her, I’ll ſet her you, Sir William Holdfaſt, what will you ſtake againſt her?

He ſtays her from paſſing

Holdfaſt

Sir, a Lady, and ſuch a Lady, is beyond price unvaluable.

Letgo

Come, come, leave your Courtſhip to Ladies, and throw, and have at her.

Holdfaſt

Why Sir, with the Ladies leave, I will ſet you five thouſand pound.

Letgo

Five thouſand pound? why ſhe hath two thouſand pound land a year man, and is an Heir.

Holdfaſt

But I conſider a Wife is chargeable: for I ſhall maintain her according to her Birth, and my own Honour; beſides, children will come on, and they are chargeable.

Letgo

For her charge, I will maintain her as cheap as a Changeling, a Dairy-maid, or a Kitchin-wench: why, ſhe is a fool, and for children, you will not have them the firſt day certainly; but her Eſtate will maintain her, and make thee rich; besides, a witty Wife is a curſe, and a fool but a Trouble.

Holdfaſt

But I conſider there are two Joyntures goe out of her Eſtate.

Letgo

Why, they are ſo old, they will both pick over the Pearch the next Fall, and die of the Frownſies; or if not, I will preſent thee with a little Ratſbane for them, to put in their Caudles.

Holdfaſt. 407 Kkkkk2r 407

Holdfaſt

Well Sir, I honour the Lady ſo much, as I will ſet ten thouſand pound againſt her.

Letgo

By the Gods, make it but fifteen thouſand, and here I ſet her.

Holdfaſt

Content, and we will take one anothers words, and theſe Noble Gentlemen ſhall be the witneſſes.

Letgo

With all my Soul. Give me the Dice, they that throw moſt at three throws with three dice, let them win: for three is the Ladies number. But firſt let me invoke them.

He kneels down.

Thou Lady Fortune, here I do implore thee,

Now metamorphos’d into Dice that’s three

My better Fate with Sixes to be crown’d,

Thy Favourite winning fifteen thouſand pound.

Holdfaſt

Throw Sir, without any more Invocation of this varous Godeſs.

Sir Thomas Letgo takes the Lady Mute by the hand and ſets her cloſe to the Table they play on.

Letgo

Come, you Fool, ſtand here on my ſide, and now have at your money Sir. Two fives and a ſix? ’tis well; again, two ſixes and a five? I thank thee Lady Fortune, if I win, thou ſhalt never be call’d a whore again, but a virtuous and pious Lady; once agin, three ſixes? Sweet Lady Fortune, how have they wronged thee heretofore, in laying their own follies to thy charge! Malicious lying Detractors, that defame Ladies thus.

Here take the Dice, which are ſo ſquare and new,

And bid your fifteen thouſand pound adieu.

Holdfaſt

You will give me leave to throw Sir (Throws) what is that, three ſixes?

Letgo

Well, again.

Holdfaſt

Three ſixes again? I vow I believe ſhe is a Virtuous Lady indeed.

Letgo

I cannot tell yet, I will not take upon me for the nobleſt Lady in the World, throw again, and I will tell you.

Holdfaſt

Why then have at your Miſtris; three ſixes again? Or Virtuous Lady Fortune!

Letgo

By the Gods, Jack, the Lady Fortune is a whore, a pocky whore.

1 Gent

Why did you meddle with her then? I knew you would get a Clap.

Letgo

Nay I have got two; but now I ſhall have a ſtrict Diet that will cure me.

Here ends my Lord Marquiſſes writing. When Holdfaſt hath won, he ſpeaks to the Lady Mute.

Holdfaſt

Are you pleaſed with my Fortune?

She ſpeaks very ſoftly.

Mute

Yes.

Holdfaſt

It is an injury to Nature to whiſper out your words, but rather they ſhould be blown abroad by Fames loud Trumpet.

She ſpeaks louder. Kkkkk2 Mute 408 Kkkkk2v 408

Mute

Had I Rhetorick, as I have none, the loudneſs of the voice would take away the Elegance of the Speech, and drown the ſenſe of the Subject: But I deſire you, and all the reſt of this Company may know, I am ſo well pleaſed with the Change, as for this Act of Fortunes favour, I ſhall become a Votreſs to Her Deity, for whom I will build an Altar more famous than Mauſolus’s Tomb; it ſhall be built with Rhetorick, poliſhed with Eloquence, carved with Allegories, penſil’d with Fancies, and gilded with Praiſe; the Materials ſhall be wiſe Brains, honeſt Hearts, and eloquent Tongues; on this Altar ſhall burn the Fire of Life, and all the Actions of Induſtry ſhall be offered thereon.

Letgo

What, can you ſpeak?

Mute

I am not dumb, although my name is Mute.

Letgo

You were almoſt as ſilent as if you were dumb, all the time you were mine.

Mute

’Tis true; but now I am ſet at liberty, my Tongue can run freely.

Letgo

Why, you are as much bound to him now, as you were to me before.

Mute

I account this bondage a freedom: for none can be a ſlave that is bound to a worthy perſon, who hath a noble nature.

Holdfaſt

Pray Sir Thomas Letgo do not Court my fortunate Miſtris: for though you thought her a fool, I know her to be both wiſe, and alſo to have a great Wit.

Mute

I fear my wit is but an Infant-wit, and lies in ſwathling-clouts aſleep in the cradle of obſcurity: But Time may give it growth, and practice ſtrength, and experience may bring it into the light of knowledge.

Letgo

If you had no Affection for me, yet you might have had ſo much civility, as to have expreſt your ſelf ſociable.

Mute

Civility doth not bind any one to divulge their own infirmities, as to expreſs their ignorance by their diſcourſe; beſides, for my part, I was ſo baſhful and fearful, leſt I ſhould cauſe errours, and make ſuch defects as were not naturally in me, but only produced by innocent ignorance, which made me chooſe ſilence to ſhun ſcorns; but I found it was not a ſufficient defence.

Enter the Lady Liberty, and the other Ladies. One of the Gentlemen ſpeaks to them.

1 Gent

Here is a Miracle, not only that the dumb ſpeaks, but ſhe that was thought a natural Fool, proves a great Wit.

All the Ladies laugh, and repeat ſcornfully, a wit, a wit.

Mute

That word, Wit, that thoſe Ladies return in ſcorn, I with Induſtry will make it like a reflection, to cauſe a double light, and give a greater heat of Senſe, Reaſon, and Judgment, Fancy and Phraſe.

Then ſhe ſpeaks to Sir William Holdfaſt.

Sir, if I behave my ſelf indiſcreetly, impute it to an over-flowing joy; and thoſe follies I commit, are not by Nature born, nor yet by Education bred in me.

Holdfaſt

Sweet Miſtris, you can no more be guilty of a fault, than Angels in 409 Lllll1r 409 in Joves Manſion. Fare you well, Sir Thomas Letgo, the Lady Liberty will counterpoize your loſſes

Sir William Holdfaſt goes out, leading forth his Miſtris the Lady Mute, whereat Sir Thomas Letgo frowns.

Liberty

Let her go, Sir Thomas Letgo: for if ſhe be not a Fool, for certain ſhe is wanton, or otherwiſe ſhe would not be ſo well pleas’d with change.

Letgo

He hath affronted me.

Sir Thomas goes out frowning. The company ſpeak to the Lady Liberty.

1 Gent

There is no change ſo viſible, as the moſt oppoſite: but Sir Thomas Letgo is both troubled and angry: wherefore Lady Liberty, you had beſt try to pacifie him.

Liberty

He is like little children, which deſpiſe what they have, but cry when they are taken from them.

Exeunt.

Scene 38.

Enter Miſtris Parle, Miſtris Trifle, Miſtris Vanity, and a Matron.

Parle.

Ha, ha, ha, prethee teach me ſomething to keep in laughter, or I ſhall diſgrace my ſelf for ever.

Matron

Are you ſo looſly ſet together, that you cannot hold?

Parle

No, I ſhall burſt out laughter at this ridiculous Wedding, before all the Bridal Company, and ſo be thought rude.

Matron

If you burſt out nothing elſe, the company will excuſe you: for Weddings are compos’d of mirth and jollity, and every one hath liberty and leave to ſport and play, to dance and skip about.

Parle

But if the Bridegroom limping ſhould come to take me out to dance, I ſhall laugh in his face, which he will take as an Affront, and then will kick me with his wooden ſtump.

Matron

O no, he ſeems too wiſe to take Exception, aund too civil to kick a Lady; he will rather kiſs you, than kick you.

Parle

I had rather he ſhould kick me thrice, than kiſs me once, by Jupiter, I would not be his Bride, to be the Empreſs of the whole World.

Matron

It is probable, nor he your Bridegroom.

Enter Miſtris Fondly.

Fondly

Come away, the Bride is going to bed, and you ſtand talking here?

Parle

To bed, ſay you? If I were ſhe, I would firſt chooſe to go to my Lllll Grave 410 Lllll1v 410 Grave. Hymen and Cupid bleſs me from ſuch a bed-fellow as the Bridegroom.

Trifle

Prethee let us watch, to ſee if we can deſcry whether he hath cloven feet or not?

Parle

Should he have no Cloven Feet, yet certainly the Original of his ſhape came from Hell: for ſurely he was begot by the Devil, on ſome witch or another, and his Cloaths were ſpun by the Devils Dam.

Vanity

The truth is, he hath damnable old cloaths on, they ſeem as if they were made of old rags, ſcrap’d out of dunghils.

Matron

I perceive, Ladies, you prefer Beauty and Cloaths, before Virtue and Merit.

Parle

’Faith Virtue is too rigid to be belov’d, and Merit is but an incorporeal Spirit, and an incorporeal Spirit is no good bed-fellow.

Trifle

Wherefore I would have a Handſome, Perſonable, Faſhionable, Courtly man.

Fondly

Nay, if I could have my wiſh, I would wiſh for more than one man.

The young Ladies go out. The Grave Matron alone.

Matron

The truth is, that one man would have too much by either of thoſe Ladies.

Exeunt.

Scene 39.

Enter Sir Thomas Letgo, and the Lady Liberty.

Letgo

Was it not enough to win, but to affront me with my loſſes?

Liberty

Its true; they ſay Loſers have only leave to ſpeak, but Winners may be merry.

Letgo

Was there no ſubject for his mirth but I?

Enter Sir William Holdfaſt, and his Miſtris, the Lady Mute.

Letgo

You are a falſe cheating fellow.

Holdfaſt

You are a baſe lying Villain, for ſaying ſo.

Letgo

You have cozen’d me of my Miſtris, and I will have her again.

Holdfaſt

I have won her faitrly and honeſtly, and I will keep her with my Life.

They both draw and fight. Mute runs to Sir William Holdfaſt, and cries out.

Mute

For Heaven-ſake leave off to fight for me, I am not worth the life you hazard for me.

He ſpeaks while he fights.

Holdfaſt

Sweet Miſtris, fear not, Death hath no power on me, ſo long as you ſtand by.

They fight ſtill. Mute. 411 Lllll2r 411

Mute

O let my ſad complaints, like murmuring Rivers, flow thorough your Ears, that running into your Heart, may move it to a gentle pity.

Enter company, and parts them.

Liberty

You ſhould have let them fight, to ſee whether Fortune hath the ſame power on their Swords, as ſhe hath on the Dice? whether ſhe can diſpoſe of Life and Death, as of Honour and Riches?

Letgo

You may part us now, but we ſhall meet again.

Sir Thomas and the company go out, only Sir William and the Lady Mute ſtays. The Lady Mute weeps.

Holdfaſt

My dear Miſtris, what makes your eyes to flow?

Mute

As my tears flow thorough my eyes, ſo I wiſh my life may flow thorough my tears, then might you live in ſafety.

Holdfaſt

Let not your love to me make waſte of ſuch Tears, that every drop might ſave a Life, nay ſave a Soul, they are ſo pure and penetrating. But your fears doe apprehend my Foe more dangerous than he is.

Exeunt.

Act V.

Scene 40.

A Bed is thruſt on the Stage, as preſenting the Bride-chamber, the Bride being in the Bed finely drest, and a company of young Ladies her Companions about her.

Trifle

’Faith confeſs to us your Maiden-companions, do not you repent?

Prudence

So far am I from repentance, as I ſhould repent, were I not as now I am.

Vanity

You will repent before ſeven years.

Parle

Seven years? you mean ſeven days: for ſeven years to our Sex, is ſeven Ages; for Maids and Widows account it ſo before their mariage, and maried Wives do account time ſo until their Husbands die.

Fondly

’Faith I think there are few women, but when they marry, hope to be Widows.

Parle

That’s certain; and were it not for ſuch hopes, men would hardly get Wives.

Lllll2 Enter 412 Lllll2v 412 Enter the Bridegroom, and a company of Gentlemen and Knights; then enters a ſervant with a rich night-gown or Mantle, another ſervant with a rich Cap, Waſtecoat, and Slippers: Then the Bridegroom firſt pulls off his patch from his Eye, then pulls off his bumbaſt Doublet, and then his wooden Leg, and his ſnarled Periwig, having a fine head of hair of his own; then puts on his waſtcoat, cap, ſlippers, and night-gown, he then appearing very handſome, the company ſtaring upon him, the mean time they as in amazement, He ſpeaks to the Ladies.

Bridegroom

Fair Ladies, as other men ſtrive to adorn themſelves, to mend their broken Bodies, and patch up their decays with falſe and feigned ſhews, to cozen credulous women, that think them ſuch as they appear, when they abuſe your ſweet & gentle natures: But leſt my Wife ſhould think me better than I am, or expect more than I could give her, I formed my ſelf far worſe than Nature made me; nor have I promiſed more than well I can perform.

And if ſhe lov’d me crooked, lame, and blind,

Now I am perfect, ſhe’ll not be leſs kind.

The Bed drawn off, the Bridegroom follows, the men go out with him as in a maze, only Miſtris Trifle, Vanity, and Parle ſtays.

Parle

Heyday; Riddle me, riddle me, what’s this? A man blind, and not blind, lame, and not lame, crooked, and not crooked, ill-favour’d, and handſome.

Trifle

’Faith it is like the Tale of the great Bear of warwick.

Vanity

What Tale was that?

Trifle

Why of a King that had three Daughters, and when they were of mariageable years, the King their Father ask’d them whether they had rather to have a Husband that were a man a days, and a beaſt at nights, or a Husband that was a beaſt at days, and a man at nights? and if they would marry, they muſt chooſe one of thoſe that were ſometimes men, and ſometimes beaſts, or otherwiſe they muſt never marry; but they, rather than to live old Maids, were reſolved to marry, were their Husbands at all times beaſts: ſo the two eldeſt choſe to have their Husbands men a days, and beaſts at nights; for, ſaid they, we can conceal their beaſtlineſs at nights, but not a days, for the light will divulge them to the publick view of the World; but the youngeſt choſe a Husband, one that was a beaſt a days, and a man at nights: for, ſaid she, I will plesſe my ſelf, not caring what the World thinks or ſays: for I am ſure, ſaid ſhe, the World cares not what I think or ſay; whereupon they were all three maried, and the youngeſt Ladies Husband was a great Bear a days, but a very handſome man at nights.

Parle

O that every woman were ſo well match’d! for then they would be always pleaſed, and never jealous: for in the day-time, when men doe Court and plead Loves Sute, and point out private meetings,

They have no words to wooe, nor perſons for to win,

And in the night their Wives their Arms do circle in.

Trifle

But ſay your Husband the He-bear, ſhould meet a Miſtris She- bear, I believe you would be jealous then.

Parle

I confeſs I ſhould be ſomewhat lumpiſh.

Enter 413 Mmmmm1r 413 Enter Miſtris Fondly, and a Matron.

Fondly

Hey, ho!

Parle

What is the cauſe you ſigh?

Fondly

Nature never made ſo handſome a man as the Bridegroom.

Matron

And you ſigh becauſe you are not the Bride.

Fondly

’Faith the Devil tempts me to break a Commandement.

Matron

What Commandement?

Fondly

To covet my Neighbours goods.

Parle

Why he is no part of your Neighbours goods, unleſs he be a good man.

Fondly

Well, he is a goodly man, and whether he is a man that is good, I cannot tell: But howſoever I will never truſt the outſide more, I will never believe a patch’d eye is blind, nor a bunch’d back is crooked, nor a wooden leg lame, as long as I live.

Parle

And if you will not believe it whilſt you live, when you are dead, I doubt you will forget it; but howſoever the Devil tempts me as much as you to covet him that’s none of mine.

Matron

Pray Ladies give me leave to remember you, in that you ſaid you would not be his Bride, were it the way to make you Empreſs of the whole World.

Parle

’Tis true; but then we were blind of one eye as he was; but now we ſee with both our eyes as he doth.

Fondly

Come, let us go into the Bride-chamber, and out-dare his beauty on the forfeiture of our hearts.

Parle

You need not go to ſeek Love: for he will catch you, although you run away.

Fondly

And you will catch Love, if with the Bridegroom ſtay.

Parle

I doubt that.

Exeunt.

Scene 41.

Enter Sir Thomas Letgo, and the Lady Liberty.

Liberty

Let me perſwade you to be friends: for if you ſeem to mourn for that which you made ſlight of, and to quarrel unjuſtly, and fight for for that you cannot have, nor is not rightly yours, you will be thought imprudent, ſhunn’d as a wrangling Gameſter, and accounted a Ranting Diſturber, and laught at for a fool, for ſetting ſuch a Miſtris at a ſtake you thought too much to loſe; but if you will ſave your Reputation, you muſt ſeem to rejoyce you are quit of her.

Letgo

Well, I will take your counſel; and I have this ſatisfaction, That I am not the firſt man that hath been deceiv’d by Women, nor ſhall not be the laſt.

Liberty

That’s true; and ſo generally it is known, as ’tis become an ordinary ſaying, and the ſaying will be made good as long as mankind laſts: for Mmmmm though 414 Mmmmm1v 414 though men may diſlſemble to women, yet it is women that deceive men, and we glory in it.

Exeunt.

Scene 42.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1 Gent

Do you hear the News?

2 Gent

What News?

1 Gent

Why the Bridegroom is prov’d to be the Great Duke of Grandy’s Son.

2 Gent

How ſo?

1 Gent

Why you have heard that the old Prince of Grandy had two Sons, and the younger Son would not be perſwaded from going to Travel, and it was reported he was drownd in a Voyage by Sea, for which his Father mourn’d a long time, as loving him extremely; and you know, to add to his afflictions, his Eldeſt Son dies, ſo as he became as childleſs, until this time that his Son is returned ſafe, for which he is the moſt joy’d man that ever was, and is ſo fond of the Prince his Son, as he continually imbraces and kiſſes him, and hangs about his neck like a fond Bride.

2 Gent

Why did he come ſo privately, and in a diſguiſe?

1 Gent

As for his private comming home, the reaſon was, That having oftentimes ask’d the Magor, to return in to his own Country, and being as often deny’d, and at laſt threaten’d to be deſtroy’d if he ſhould offer to go away, and quit the Magor’s Service: for this Prince was General of all his Forces, and was the man that the Merchants cry’d up to be another Julius Cæſar, although they knew not of what birth or quality he was of; but to get away, he was forc’d to ſteal away in a diſguiſe, in which diſguiſe he wooed and won his Lady, the now Princeſs: for whilſt he lay privately in the City, until ſuch time as he could hanſomly & conveniently diſcover himſelf, he hearing the talk of the Publick Wooing, and alſo of the Virtue, Beauty, and Wit of the young Lady, went to hear and to ſee her, whom he no ſooner heard and ſaw, and being taken with her good Fame, honouring her Virtue, admiring her Beauty, and being extremely delighted with her Wit, became a Lover, and alſo a Wooer; but for the better trial of her Virtue, he wooed her in his diſguiſed, deformed ſhape, and unknown quality, leſt his Dignity and Wealth might have inticed her Ambition, and not his Merit, to have won her Love, or his Perſon might have catch’d her Eye, but not his Love her Heart.

2 Gent

The Gods are juſt, rewarding in the end the good intentions with good ſucceſs, and Virtue with felicity.

Exeunt.
Scene 415 Mmmmm2r 415

Scene 43.

Enter the Bridegroom according to his Dignity, as being a Prince, richly cloathed, and honourably attended with Gentlemen with their hats off, he leading in the Bride his Princeſs, and a great many Ladies waiting on her: The Prince and Princeſs ſit in two Chairs, and the reſt of the company on each ſide of them to ſee an Anti-mask preſented to them. When the Antick-maskers had danced, a Song was ſung. Theſe Songs following the Lord Marquiſs writ.

Song.

Vertue and Honour you did take,

And Beauty ſcorn’d as vading;

Thus you a Godeſs it doth make,

’Bove mortal Ladies trading.

They love the Body, you the Soul,

They Shape, but you the Mind,

Your Love thoſe groſſer loves controll,

Which ſhews their Love is blind.

His wooden Leg is thrown away,

The black Patch for the blind,

The Bunch on’s back aſſwag’d to day,

As handſome as his Mind.

This now is your reward, Sweet Madam,

The Gods they are not loth

To give you one, handſome as Adam,

And thus enjoy them both.

Then the Maskers dance again, and after their Dance another Song.

Song.

Loves Miracles not ceaſed be,

The Lame to walk, the Blind to ſee,

The Crooked is made ſtraight, ’tis true,

And theſe Loves wonders made by you.

His Body metamorphos’d is,

By your Ambroſia ſweeter kiſs;

Such power hath Love when you do ſip

The Gods pure Nectar from your Lip.

Mmmmm2 All 416 Mmmmm2v 410416

All Joys attend you night and day,

Be each to other freſh as May,

Renewing pleaſures every hower,

And ſweeter than the ſweeteſt Flower.

The Maskers dance again, and after, another Song.

Song.

Envious Ladies now repine,

Since you are croſt,

In having loſt

A Prince ſo handſome and ſo fine.

Mourn in black patches for your ſins,

Deſpair each Curl,

And every Purl,

And throw away your dreſſing-pins.

Lay by your richer Gowns of State,

For now you’l faint,

For all your paint,

When ’think of your unhappier Fate.

For theſe Love-pitfals they are ſtale,

And all deſpiſe

Your glancing Eyes,

For all forc’d Arts in Love they’l fail.

Now let your ſpecious gliding paſs,

Or your Lips fed

With biting red,

Deſpair, and break each Looking-glaſs.

Here ends my Lord Marquis his writing. Then the Maskers dance again, and ſo goe out, the Prince and Princeſs, and the Company goes out all but a Matron and ſome young Ladies, who stay, and look upon each other very ſadly, without ſpeaking to each other.

Matron

What, Ladies, are you Thunder-ſtruck with the Princes Honour, or are you blaſted with the Lightning of his Splendor, or cruſh’d with the wheel of her good Fortune?

Parle

Lord, Lord, how blindly Fortune throws her gifts away!

Matron

One would think ſhe had clear Eyes, when ſhe beſtow’d her Favours upon the Princeſs.

Vanity

She is become ſo proud, ſince ſhe is become a Princeſs, as ſhe will not look on us that were her companions; and ſhe thinks ſcorn to ſpeak to us: for ſhe ſaid not one word to any of us.

Matron

She had no occaſion to ſpeak to you; but I am confident, if you ſpeak to her, you will find her a civil and obliging, as ever ſhe was.

Fondly

’Faith we care not: for we can live without being oblig’d to her.

Parle 417 Nnnnn1r 417

Parle

They are not the happieſt that have the greateſt Titles.

Trifle

Pride will have a Fall.

Matron

I perceive it is hard to get the good opinion of the World: for you rail’d at her Courſe, laugh’d at her Choiſe, condemn’d her Mariage, and now you envy her good Succeſs.

Parle

We envy her? you are miſtaken: for ſhe muſt be of greater value, and we leſs worthy than we are, to raiſe an Envy.

Matron

Nay Ladies, if you are angry, I will leave you.

Parle

Then we ſhall be rid of a pratling fool.

Exit Matron. Enter three or four old Ladies, the Mothers to the young Ladies.

1 Old Lady

O, wiſedome in youth is a wonder.

2 Old Lady

Happy is that Parent that hath a diſcreet Child.

3 Old Lady

Such Children give their Parents Honour in their Graves.

4 Old Lady

Pray let us Petition that a Law may be Enacted for this Publick Wooing.

1 Old Lady

We ſhall not need to Petition: for the Princeſs, I dare warrant you, will get the Prince to Enact a Law for this Publick Wooing for her Fame, ſhe being the only firſt that hath been wooed ſo.

So they all ſpeak together.

Old Ladies

Well, Daughters, make her your Pattern.

Exeunt Old Ladies.

Trifle

Yeſterday, that was the Wedding-day, my Parents did condemn the Bride, calling her Fool, and ſaying ſhe was mad, and forbid me to imitate her.

Parle

’Tis no wonder our Natures are ſo various, when as our Educations are ſo inconſtant: for we are inſtructed to imitate Fortune, which is to be reſtleſs, and to ſpoil that good we have done.

Vanity

Or to better the worſe.

Parle

No ’faith: for I perceive Fortune hath more power to do hurt than good; for Fortune ruines, or at leaſt diſturbs Virtuous Acts, and fruſtrates Wiſedom’s Counſels.

Enter a Meſſenger.

Meſſenger

Ladies, the Princeſs deſires your company to dance.

Parle

Pray excuſe me Sir: for I have ſo great a pain on my left ſide, as I can hardly fetch my breath.

Vanity

And I have ſuch a pain in my head, as I dare not dance, for fear it ſhould ake more.

Trifle

And truly I have ſo ſtreight a ſhooe, as it is a pain for me to tread a ſtep.

Fondly

And I am not well in my ſtomach: wherefore excuſe us Sir to the Princeſs.

Exeunt.
Nnnnn Scene 418 Nnnnn1v 418

Scene 44.

Enter the Lady Parrot, and the Lady Minion, and the Lady Goſling.

Parrot.

God give you Joy, I have not ſeen you ſince you were maried.

Minion

You are welcome into the maried Society.

Goſling

I thank you Madam. Truly I am ſo tyr’d.

Parrot

With what, Madam?

Goſling

With helping my Neighbour the Lady Breeder to hold her back.

Minion

Why, is ſhe in Labour?

Goſling

She is brought to Bed; but on my word ſhe hath had a hard bargain: for ſhe hath had a ſore Labour.

Parrot

What hath God ſent her?

Goſling

A luſty boy. Indeed it is one of the goodlieſt children that ever I ſaw.

Minion

But how chance ſhe did not ſend for me to her Labour?

Goſling

She came on ſuch a ſudden, as ſhe had hardly Time to ſend for the Midwife; but ſhe was mightily troubled you were not there, ſhe doubts you will take it ill.

Parrot

We have reaſon: for if we could not have come time enough to her Labour, we might have come time enough to the cup of Rejoycing.

Goſling

But ſhe will bid you to the Chriſtening.

Minion

That’s ſome amends: But this hard labour of the Lady Breeders will fright you.

Goſling

No: for I have as much courage as other maried Wives have, though truly, Sir Anthony Goſling, my Husband, was very loth I ſhould goe: for (ſaid he to me) prethee ſweet Duck do not go: I anſwer’d and ſaid to him, my hony love I muſt go, for it is the part of one wife to help another; beſides, a goſſipping company doth help to eaſe the womens pains; and if I go not to their Labour, they will not come to mine.

Minion

Why, are you with Child?

Goſling

No, but I hope I ſhall be ſhortly.

Parrot

Come, we will go and chide your Husband, that he hath been maried a week, and his Wife not with child.

Lady Goſling

Yes, pray goe chide him, and I will bear you company.

Exeunt.
Scene 419 Nnnnn2r 419

Scene 45.

Enter the Prince and Princeſs.

Princeſs

Sir, pray perſwade the unmaried Ladies to dance: for I cannot intreat them.

Prince

That’s ſtrange: for Ladies will dance without intreating; for no intreating will make them ſit ſtill.

Princeſs

It ſeems they are not in their dancing-humour to day: for every one finds ſome excuſe for to deny.

Prince

Let them alone, and take no notice of their reſerved humours, and they will dance without intreating; nay, they will intreat you they may dance.

Enter a Gentleman.

Gentlem

If it pleaſe your Highneſs, the Ladies deſire you would give them leave to Celebrate your Mariage with their Mirth, and to expreſs their Joy with their Dancing.

Prince

We ſhall take it as a Favour to our Nuptials.

Exit Gentleman.

Prince

Did not I tell you they would deſire to dance?

Princeſs

Truly I was ſo ignorant, as I knew not ſo much the nature of our Sex.

Prince

You knew not ſo much of their follies.

Exeunt.

Scene 46.

Enter Miſtris Parle, Miſtris Fondly, Miſtris Trifle, Miſtris Vanity.

Vanity

Let us ſtrive to make the Bride jealous.

Parle

That’s impoſſible now; but you may work to good effect ſome half a year hence.

Fondly

Why I have known a Bridegroom leer the next day he was maried.

Trifle

Perchance a Bridegroom may: for men are ſooner cloy’d than women; but a Bride will fondly hang about her Husbands neck a week at leaſt.

Parle

A week? nay a moneth: for a woman is fond the firſt moneth, ſick the ſecond moneth, peeviſh the third moneth, coy the fourth moneth, falſe the fifth moneth, and Cuckolds her Husband the ſixth moneth.

Fondly

Then a maried man ſprouts Horns in half a year.

Parle

Yes: for they are ſet the day of his mariage, and ſome half a year after they are budded, but not ſo fully grown as to appear to the publick view.

Nnnnn2 Trifle 420 Nnnnn2v 420

Trifle

But will nothing hinder the growth?

Parle

No ’faith, but Death; and Death, like a Froſt, doth nip thoſe tender buds.

Vanity

Which death, the mans, or the womans?

Parle

The womans: for if the man dies, and his Widow marries again, the dead Husband is horn’d in his Grave, and the living Husband is horn’d in his Bed.

Vanity

Then their Horns may be put together, as Stags in Rutting- time.

Fondly

I had rather make Horns, than talk of Horns; therefore I’ll go dance.

Exeunt.

Scene 47.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1 Gentlem

Where have you been?

2 Gent

At Church.

1 Gent

Did a fit of Devotion hurry you to the Church to pray?

2 Gent

No ’faith, I went not to pray, but to joyn a pair of Lovers hands in Wedlocks Bonds: for they choſe me to be their Father, to give them in the Church.

1 Gent

What Lovers were they, that were ſo fooliſh to marry?

2 Gent

So honeſt, you mean.

1 Gent

There is more folly in’t than honeſty, in my opinion.

2 Gent

Thou art an Infidel, nay a very Atheiſt.

1 Gent

I am a Naturaliſt. But who are they that are maried?

2 Gent

Why Sir William Holdfaſt, and the Lady Mute.

1 Gent

The truth is, he is a worthy Perſon, and ſhe is a virtuous and ſweet Lady: wherefore they deſerve each other; beſides, ſhe is an Heir, and he hath a great Eſtate.

2 Gent

He hath ſo.

1 Gent

What, is the Wedding kept private?

2 Gent

Yes, there are only two or three Friends; but I muſt goe dine with them, therefore fare thee well, unleſs you will go with me: for you know you ſhall be welcome.

1 Gent

I know I ſhall, therefore I ſhall go with you.

Exeunt.
Scene 421 Ooooo1r 421

Scene 48.

Enter the Prince and Princeſs, and all the Ladies and Gallants, as Knights and Gentlemen: They dance upon the Stage, and then go out.

Finis.

Epilogue

Our Auth’reſs here hath ſent me for her pay,

She’s at the Charge of With to make the Play;

But if you think it not worthy of Praiſe,

Nor An Applauſe of Hands, her Fame to raiſe,

She doth deſire that it in pawn may lie,

Till redeem’d by a better Comedie.

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