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- 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
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
sar
.

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 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, Aaaa2r 371
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. 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.

The Audience[Speaker label not present in original source]

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

Exeunt.
Scene 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.

All[Speaker label not present in original source]

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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 old
age 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, 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 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 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 Fffff2v 392
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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
sar
, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

Ooooo The