Xxxxxxx1v 634

The Actors Names.

The Unfortunate Dutchess.

The Lady True Honour.

The Comical Dutchess.

The Creating Princess.

The Imaginary Queen.

Waiting Women, Bourgers Wives, &c.

The Duke of Inconstancy.

Prince Shaddow, and many Gentlemen.

Pro-
Xxxxxxx2r 635

Prologue

Noble Spectators, this play that you’l see,

Is taken out of Britains History;

It is not pleasant, nor yields much delight,

But it did serve the Poetress to write;

She bids me tell you, she was glad to take

Any dull plot, so she a play could make,

Her vacant idle time for to imploy;

For she loves writing more than Company;

But if it pleases not your Eyes or sight,

She doth not care, since it pleas’d her to write;

For she indeavours, tryes all that she may

To please her self in every honest way;

Wherefore a praise, or yet applause from you,

She expects not, nor challenges as her due.

Xxxxxxx2 A
Xxxxxxx2v 636

A
Comedy
of the
Apocriphal Ladies.

Act 1.

Scene 1.

Enter the Unfortunate Dutchess, and her Woman.

Woman

Dear Madam, why doth your Highness weep?

Unfortunate Dutchess

As fear frights tears from the
Eyes, so grief doth send them forth.

Woman

Why should your Highness grieve?

Unfortunate Dutchess

Have I not cause, when I am married to a person
which doth not love, but rather hate me?

Woman

Certainly he hath reason to love you, and he were worse than a
Devil if he should hate you; as first to love you for your virtue and sweet
disposition; next for the honour, dignity, and Kingdome, he hath got by
his marring you: for he hath no right to the Dukedome but by your Highness,
and by your Highness he is become an absolute Prince, and injoyes a rich
Kingdome.

Unfortunate Dutchess

But he hath taken the power from me, and strives
to disposess of me of my right.

Woman

He cannot, the Kingdome will never suffer him, for your title is
so just, as he can make no pretence to disposess your Highness from your
Princely Throne.

Unfortunate Dutchess

But I being his Wife, he takes the power of a Husband,
and by that power, the power of my Kingdome, and those that have
the power can frame their titles as they please, none dare oppose
them.

Woman

The truth is, Madam, that might overcomes right.

Exeunt.
Yyyyyyy1r 637

Scene 2.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1 Gent

The Factions and divisions that are in this Kingdome will be
a means to deliver it into the power of the Enemy.

2 Gent

This Duke is young, wild, deboist and inconstant, wherefore
there is but little hopes it should be better governed.

1 Gent

But the Dutchess who is the true owner of it, is discreet, wise,
and virtuous, and having more years than he, she might help to rule and order
state affairs.

2 Gent

But neither her discretion, wisdome, nor virtue hath power, for
marriage hath inthralled her, for she is become her Husbands Slave, who
ought to be his Soveraign, but he laughs and doth despise her, because she
is somewhat elder than himself.

1 Gent

Heaven will revenge her wrongs.

Exeunt.

Scene 3.

Enter the Duke of Inconstancy, and a Gentleman.

Duke Inconstancy

Have you been with the Lady I sent you to?

Gentleman

Yes.

Duke Inconstancy

And doth she lissen to Loves Sute?

Gentleman

She seems well pleased to hear her Beauty praised, but will
not hear of Amorous imbracements as yet.

Duke Inconstancy

But it is a good Omen when as a Lady will nimblingly
bite at a bait of flattery; but did you see her Husband?

Gentleman

No Sir.

Duke Inconstancy

Well, you must go again, and present her with a Letter,
and a present from me; for Ladies must be plied though they deny, yet
most do yield upon a treaty, they cannot long hold out loves fierce
assaults.

Gentleman

Indeed the Female Sex is tender and weak, although they are
delicate and sweet.

Duke Inconstancy

They are false and oft betray themselves.

Exeunt. Yyyyyyy Scene
Yyyyyyy1v 638

Scene 4.

Enter the Unfortunate Dutchess, and her Woman; then
enters another as running in haste.

1 Woman

O Madam, Madam, news is come that the Enemy hath
got into the heart of the Kingdome; wherefore sweet Lady fly,
for they will possess themselves of this City soon.

Unfortunate Dutchess

I will not fly, for I cannot meet a worse Enemy than
the Duke himself, should worse than Mankind Conquer it; but I wish my
Sister were safe.

Woman

The young Princess I hear is fled to the Dukes Brother.

Unfortunate Dutchess

I am glad of it, for he is discreetly temperate, although
his Brother is not.

Exeunt.

Scene 5.

Enter the Duke ofInconstancy, and a Gentleman.

Gentleman

Sir, what will your Higness do?

Duke Inconstancy

I will go and oppose the Enemy.

Gentleman

Alass Sir you have no forces to oppose them withall, you may
go to be destroyed, but not to destroy; wherefore you with your small
forces had better fly than fight.

Duke Inconstancy

Whither shall I go?

Gentleman

To any Prince that will receive you into pay, by which you
may maintain your self, and live with some respect and fame abroad,
though you have lost your Kingdome; whereas if you stay, you will lose
your self and Kingdome too.

Duke Inconstancy

Your Counsel I will take.

Gentleman

But what will your Higness do with your Dutchess?

Duke Inconstancy

Let her do what she will with her self, I care not now,
for since her Kingdome is lost, I have no use of her.

Gentleman

Not as concerning the Kingdome Sir, but yet she is your
Highnesses Wife, and as a Husband you ought to regard her.

Duke Inconstancy

She will follow me, for Wives stick so close to their
Husbands as they cannot be shaken off.

Exeunt. Scene
Yyyyyyy2r 639

Scene 6.

Enter the Creating Princess, and her Woman.

Woman

Pray Madam do not marry so much below your self.

Creat. Princess

Why? what matter whom I marry, since I can create
my Husband to Honour.

Woman

But Madam, that Honour will do him no good, nor will it take
off your d isgrace; for none will give your Husband, if he be an inferiour
person, the Place and Respect that is due to Great Princes Titles.

Creat. Princess

No, but he shall take Place, and my Servants shall give
him the Respect and Homage that is due to great Titles: For I will make
him a Prince; and who dare call him any other, but Prince?

Woman

There is none will call him Prince, unless your own Servants;
and none will give him Place, that are above the degree of his Birth: no,
nor he durst not take it of Gallant Noble Men; for if he offers thereat, they
will beat him back, and force him to give way, and to be only a Prince in
his own House, and not abroad, is no better than to be a Farmer, nay, a
Cobler, or a Tayler, or any the like are Kings in their own Houses, although
they be but thatch’d, if they have but a Servant subject, or Subject Servant.

Creat. Princess

Well, say what you will, I will make him a Prince.

Exeunt.

Scene 7.

Enter the Duke of Inconstancy, and a Gentleman.

Gentleman

Sir, doth not your Highness hear that your Dutchess is gone
with your Enemies into the Countrey?

Duke

Yes, and though I might curse my Enemies for dispossessing me of
the Kingdom I injoyed, yet I give them thanks for carrying my Wife away
with them: for now I have more room and liberty to Wooe and Court
my Mistress.

Enter another Gentleman.

Gent

Sir, the Lady Beauties Husband’s dead.

Duke

So I perceive Fortune will be my Friend some waies, although she
is my Foe other waies: for she will Crown me with Love, although she
uncrowns me with Power: wherefore return presently back to my Mistriss,
and tell her, that now her Husband is dead, and my Wife gone into another
Country, We may marry.

Ex.

1. Gent

But your Highness cannot marry, as long as the Dutchess is
alive.

Duke

I mean to be like the Great Turk, have many Wives.

1. Gent

Why, the Great Turk hath but one chief Wife, the rest are but
as Concubines: for only the Sons of that chief Queen shall be Successors to
the Emperor, unless she hath none, neither can his other Children inherit, Yyyyyyy2 unless Yyyyyyy2v 640
unless he be Right and Lawfull Emperor: So, that unless your Highness
had been Duke by Inheritance, as an Inhereditary Duke, no Children, by
any other Lady, can be Inheritors, nor indeed Princes, unless they were
begot on the Right Owner to that Title.

Duke

Well, since I have no Power, but only an empty Title, I cannot
disadvantage my self, or children: for I have no children as yet, and I have
neither Power, nor Kingdom now: Wherefore, if I can injoy her upon
these tearms, as the name of Wife, it will be well.

Gent

But Sir, this part of the World allows but of one wife, wherefore
if you should marry this Lady, the Clergy will excommunicate you, as an
Adulterer, and the Lady, as an Adulteress, out of the Church.

Duke

I had rather be in the Ladies bed, than in the Church: But I have
money, although I have lost my Dukedom, and that will help me.

Gentleman

But not make your Marriage lawfull.

Duke

I care not; for if the marrying, and the name of wife will satisfie
the Lady, I care not whether it be Good or Bad, Lawfull or unlawfull, Wife
or Concubine, ’tis all one to me; for I will marry a hundred women, if
they willl marry me, and let me lye with them.

Exeunt.

Scene 8.

Enter the Unfortunate Dutchess, and her Woman.

Woman

Your Highness bears afflictions more couragiously than I
thought your Highness would have done.

Unfortunate Dutchess

Truly, I find I am more happy since I am amongst my
Enemies (if they may be termed so) than I was in my own Country with an
unkind Husband: for they allow me a Noble and Princely Pension: and I
live Free, Easily and Peaceably, which I did not before.

Woman

I hear your Sister is marryed to the Dukes Brother.

Unf. Dutchess

I wish she may be more happy with her Husband, than I
have been with mine.

Woman

If they have Children, and your Highness none, they will be Heirs
to the Dukedom.

Unf. Dutchess

They will so, but there is no Dukedom now to heir, ’tis made
now a Province.

Woman

But times may change.

Exeunt.

Scene. 9.

Enter the Comical Dutchess, and her Woman.

Woman

Now you are an absolute Dutchess, you must carry your
self in State, and live Magnificently, like as an Absolute Princess
as you are.

Comical Dutchess

Yes, but it is a great affliction for the Duke and I to be
banished, and driven out of our Kingdom.

Woman. Zzzzzzz1r 641

Woman

Alass Madam, great Princes have many times great missfortunes;
but you must bear your missfortunes with a Princely magnaminity.

Comical Dutchess

But if I have Children, alass what shall they do?

Woman

But those that did never injoy the possession, cannot repine, nor
grieve for the loss.

Comical Dutchess

You say true.

Exeunt.

Scene 10.

Enter the Creating Princess, and her Woman.

Woman

Pray Madam do not marry so meanly, for you cannot intitle
him a Prince.

Creating Princess

Well, well, say what you will, I will make him a
Prince; for why may not I as well make my Husband lawfully a Prince, as
well as the Duke of Inconstancy makes the Lady Beauty a Dutchess, and yet
hath another Wife?

Woman

Introth it will be just like a poor Begger Woman in Engl.England being
mad she said she was Queen Elizabeth of Engl.England, and all the Boys, Girls, and
Common people would run after her, and call her Queen Elizabeth in sport
and jest; the like was a poor mad Begger Man in France, which said he was
King Henry the 4th of France; but the only difference will be, that you and
the Comical Dutchess have means and wealth enough to live in Principy,
and they had none, but were so poor they were forced to beg, so could not
Act their parts.

Creating Princess

You are a bold rude wench, therefore get you out of
my service.

Woman

Truly I would not stay in it if I might, for I should be ashamed.

Exeunt.

Scene 11.

Enter the Unfortunate Dutchess, and her Woman.

Woman

Madam, doth your Highness here of the Apocriphal Dutchess?

Unfortunate Dutchess

What Apocriphal Dutchess?

Woman

Why the Duke hath married another Lady.

Unfortunate Dutchess

That he cannot, untill I dye, ’tis true a Mistriss may
take the name of a Wife, but cannot possess the right of a Wife.

Woman

She will be as a Dutchess in a Play, she will only act the part of
greatness.

Unfortunate Dutchess

Indeed most Stage-Players are Curtizans.

Woman

And most Curtizans are good Actors.

Unfortunate Dutchess

I make no question but she will now have enough
Spectators.

Woman

But I hope they will hiss her from off the Stage.

Exeunt. Zzzzzzz Scene
Zzzzzzz1v 642

Scene 12.

Enter the Creating Princess, and her Husband.

Creating Princess

Have I married you who was a mean fellow, and have
not I made you a Prince, and you to deny to pay my Debts?

Husband

But I thought you would have rather inricht me, than have
made me poorer than I was.

Creating Princess

Have I not inriched you with Titles? do not all my Servants
call you Prince? and do not all the Trades-men where we buy all our
Commodities, when they come to our Palace do the same, call you Prince,
and doe you reverence?

Husband

Yes for hopes of gain.

Creating Princess

I am sure you will gain little reputation or respect if you
carry your self so sneakingly as you do, whereas you should carry your self
like a Prince, bravely.

Husband

But when all our money is gone we shall be but poor Princes:
I had better have keep to my Trade than to have been a Prince, where if I
had I should have been rich, now I shall be a Beggar.

Creating Princess

You are so mean a fellow as you cannot be sensible of
the honour and dignity I have bestowed upon you.

Exeunt.

Scene 13.

Enter the Comical Dutchess big with Child, she sits under
her Canopy in a Chair of state, her Attendants by her wait
on her.

1 Attendant

All the great Ladies are so envious at your Highness, as
there will none of them come neer you.

Comical Dutchess

I like the Company of Bourgers Wives better, for they
are my Slaves.

2 Attendant

Yes Madam, but your Highness is forced I think to present
them with some presents now and then; for the World is so wicked, that
they will not give true honour it’sits due, unless they are bribed.

3 Attendant

You say true, but men will give Ladies their due right.

4 Attendant

Yes, men are more generous and bountifull to Ladies;
but yet they must be bribed with hopes of obtaining some favours, otherwayes,
I fear me they would be as reserved, and retired from your Highnesses
Court as the great Ladies are.

Comical Dutchess

I wonder they should, I being an absolute Princess.

2 Attendant

Yes, but since your Titles, Rights and Marriage is renounced
against, they are not so civil, dutifull, and obedient as they were,
not considering as they ought to do, that right cannot be renounced
against.

3 Atten- Zzzzzzz2r 643

3. Attendant

But her Highness doth shew them their error, and that she
shews them it cannot be taken from her; for she keeps the same State she
did, and is as Merry, Gay and Frollick, to let the World see, she understands
her own Greatness best.

1. Attendant

But yet there are but few of any Nation, but the inferior sort,
that come to her Highness Court, unless it be the Red Oker Knights and
Ladies, and if it were not for them, this Court would be empty.

Comical Dutchess

Indeed I am obliged to them more than any other Nation,
for they give me all the due Respects and Homage to my Greatness;
for which I love that Nation very well.

2. Attendant

You have reason, but I do observe there is nothing doth keep
up a Court more than Dancing, and several sorts and kinds of merry pastime;
for wheresoever there is Dancing and Sport, Company will flock together.

3. Attendant

You say true.

Comical Dutchess

I find my self full of pain; I believe I shall fall in Labour.

4. Attendant

I hope then we shall have a young Prince, or Princess
soon.

Exeunt.

Scene 14.

Enter three Gentlemen.

1. Gent

I Saw Prince Shaddow.

2. Gent

What Prince is he?

1. Gent

Why he is the Creating Princess’s Husband, who made him a
Prince.

3. Gent

I thought no women could give Title to their Husbands, unless
they had been Soveraigns.

2. Gent

O yes, all women can give their Husbands Titles, if they please.

3. Gent

What Title?

2. Gent

Why the title of Cuckolds.

1. Gent

Indeed most women do magnifie their Husbands by those Titles.

2. Gent

But let me tell you, that those women that have Inheritary Honours,
although not Soveraigns, may indue their Husbands with the same
Honour: but it is not generally so; but his Children begot on her are indued,
and not the Husband, yet some Husbands are. As for Example; a
Lord, Vicount, Earl, Marquiss, Duke, King, or Emperor, if the Honour,
as Title, goeth to the Female, for default of a Male, in some Nations their
Husbands are indued with their Titles, but not commonly known to be so in
England; as a Wife with her Husband, which is only during life, and not
Inhereditary: but if their Titles are only during life, and not Inhereditary,
it cannot derive to another, that is not a Successor: for Inhereditary Honour
goe like Intailed Lands, it goeth only to the next Heir; but those
that are the dignified, are like those that have Joynters, or Annuities for
life; so when a Husband receives a Dignity from a Wife, or a Wife from
a Husband, it is but so much Honour for life.

1. Gentleman

But if they have Children, those Children inherit the Honour.

Zzzzzzz2 2. Gent. Zzzzzzz2v 644

2. Gentleman

Yes, as having a right from that Parent that is the Dignifyer,
but if there be none of the line of the Dignifyer, the Honour dies, neither
is the root of the Honour left to any more than one: for though the
branches of Honour spread to all the Children, yet the root remains but
with one: For, say a King have many Children, they are all Princes, but
yet there can be but one that can inherit the Crown and Royaltie: So if a
Marquiss, or Duke have many Children, they are all Lords and Ladies, if
they be lawfully, and in true Wedlock born, otherwise they are not: neither
doth any more but one of the Legitimate Children inherit the Root, as to
be Marquess or Duke, Dutchess or Marchioness: neither do the Daughters
inherit, if there be Sons.

1. Gent

But cannot a Dukes Daughter make her Husband a Prince?

2. Gent

No, not except she hath the Inhereditary Honour: for if a Kings
Daughter should marry a private Gentleman, he would remain as only in
the Title of a Gentleman, unless the King did create a Title for him, or bestow
a Title on him.

1. Gent

Why? pPut case the Inhereditary Honour lay in the people, and
they elect a King, hath that King no power to Create, or to give Honour?

2. Gent

No, they may chuse Officers, but not give Titles, unless the people
did dispossess them of their hereditary power, and give it to any man,
and then the root of Honour lyes in him.

1. Gent

Nor doth his Children receive no Titles from their Father?

2. Gent

No, for the Title he hath, is none of his, he hath it but during
life, unless the people will give a Lease, as for two or three Lives, yet they
nominate those two or three Lives: So neither can they dispose of their
Leases, or alter them, but at the peoples pleasure; like as those that are made
Governors, they cannot dispose of their Governments to whom they please,
as without the leave of those that placed them in the Government, neither
do his Children receive any Titles therefrom; like as a Lord Mayor, his
Son is not my Lord Mayor after him, unless he is made one; nor his children
have no place by his Office, and an elective Prince, is but as a Lord
Mayor, or rather like as a Deputy Governor, who as I said, may dispose of
Places or Offices, but not give Dignities, Honours, or Titles.

1. Gent

I thank you for your Information, for I was so ignorant, as I knew
nothing of Heraldry.

Exeunt.

Scene 15.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1. Gent

Have you seen the Imaginary Queen yet?

2. Gent

What Imaginary Queen?

1. Gent

Why a Great Queen, that every one goeth to kiss her hand.

2. Gent

From what parts of the World came she?

1. Gent

From the North parts.

2. Gent

And doe so many go to kisse her hand?

1. Gent

Yes, throngings of Common people.

2. Gent. Aaaaaaaa1r 645

2 Gent

They would kiss the Dogs Tail if it were turned up and presented
to them: but do any of the Nobles and Gentry kiss her hand?

1. Gent

Some few that are newly come out of the Country to see sights
in the City.

2 Gent

Pish, in this Age there are so many of these kind of Bedlams, as I
am weary to hear of them, as the Comical Dutchess, the Creating Princess, and
the Created Prince, Prince Shaddow, and now the Imaginary Queen.

1 Gent

Why Faith it is as good a sight as to see a Play.

2 Gent

A puppet Play you mean; but the truth is, it is a disgrace to all
noble persons, and great dignities, and true titles, to be thus mocked by imitators,
it is a sign that all Europe is imbroiled in Wars so much as every one
doth what they list.

1 Gent

Why they are so far from being checkt or discountenanced for
it, as there are many true Princes, great and noble persons as give the same
respect and homage as if they were real Princes indeed and in truth.

2 Gent

Then it if it were in my power I would divest those that had the
right, and true dignities, and titles, and put them upon those that only acted
princely and royal parts, since the Actors bear up so nobly, and the Spectators
do creep and crouch so basely: but indeed both sides are Actors, both
the Spectators and Players, only the one side Acts noble parts, the other side
base parts, the one Acts the parts of Princes, the other of Servants; but I
am sorrow to see True Honour wounded as it is.

1 Gent

The truth of it is, True Honour lies a bleeding, and none doth offer
to power in Balsimum.

Exeunt.

Scene 16.

Enter the Imaginary Queen, her Gentleman Usher bare headed
leads her, her Page holds up her Train, her Woman follows her,
and that is all her Train, a Company of people flock to see her, and
kneel to kiss her hand, she brideling in her Chin, as thinking that
doth advance her state, they kneeling she gives them her hand to
kiss, they pray God bless her Royalty, she nods them thanks, and
then passes away.

1 Woman

Faith Neighbour methinks a Queen is not such a brave
and glorious thing as I did imagine it.

2 Woman

I will tell you truly Neighbour, that if I had thought a Queen
had been no finer a sight than this Queen is, I would have stayed in my
house.

3 Woman

And so would I, I tell you truly Neighbour.

4 Woman

I perceive Queens are no finer Creatures than other women
are.

Exeunt. Aaaaaaaa Scene
Aaaaaaaa1v 646

Scene 17.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1 Gent

Lord what a ridiculous sight it is to see the Imaginary Queen
act the part of Majesty?

2 Gent

Faith she is so far from Majesty, as she cannot act the part, for she
appears like a good Country Huswife.

1 Gent

She is but a Gentlewoman, and that is all.

2 Gent

We may see the difference of true Greatnesse, and that which is
forced, there was the Queen Masculine; what a natural Majestie did she
appear with? for all she had given up her Crown and Kingdome, yet her
Royal Birth was seen in her Princely Carriage.

21 Gent

It was a generous Act: But was it in her power to dispossesse her
self of her natural Inheritance?

12 Gent

It seems so; and it seems by her actions that she had rather see the
World abroad, than rule a Kingdome at home, for she hath travelled most
of all Europe over.

21 Gent

She appears to be a Royal Lady.

Exeunt.

Scene 18.

Enter two or three of the Comical Dutchess’s Women, and two or
three Burgers Wives.

1 Woman

The Comical Dutchess is brought to bed of the sweetest Princesse
that ever was born.

1 Wife

Indeed it is the sweetest Princesse that ever was born.

2 Wife

We are glad. wWe hope her Highnesse will sleep well to
night.

1 Wife

Pray present our most humble and obedient duty to her Highnesse.

1 Woman

Will you not go in and see her, and kisse the young Princesses
hand?

1 Wife

If we may be so much honoured, we shall be very proud of that
Grace and Honour.

2 Woman

Come, come, we will preferr you to that Grace and Favour.

Exeunt. Scene
Aaaaaaaa2r 647

Scene 19.

Enter two Scriveners Wives.

1. Wife

Welcome Mistriss Ink-pot, whether are you going so
hastily?

2. Wife

Truly Mistriss Paper, I am going to her Highness the Comical
Dutchess
, for I hear she is brought abed of a sweet young Princess.

1. Wife

Is she so? I am glad her Highness pain is past, with all my
heart.

2. Wife

So am I, for now we shall have Dancing again, as soon as her
Month is past.

1. Wife

Yes, for she will send for us all, as soon as she is able to dance.

2. Wife

Yes that she will, and give us all Favours to wear for her
sake.

1. Wife

But to some she gives her Picture too.

2. Wife

Yes, but those she gives her Picture too, are of a higher Degree.

1. Wife

By your favour, we are of as high a Degree as most that visit
her.

2. Wife

Yes, of the female Sex, but not of the Masculine Sex; for there
are great Persons that visit her.

1. Wife

Very few, but only of the Red Oker Nation, or some Strangers
that are Travellers, that visit her, as they pass other waies, else the men that
visit her, are of as inferior degree as we, as Fidlers, Dancers, Players, and
the like.

2. Wife

By your favour, there are sometimes Burgers and Gentlemen.

1. Wife

Yes sometimes, when she sends for to invite them to dance, or
intreats them to come and visit her; and then she presents them with her Colours.

Exeunt.

Scene. 20.

Enter the Lady True Honour, and Madam Inquirer.

Madam Inquirer

Lord, Madam, I was ask’d to day, why your Honour
doth not visit the Comical Dutchess, nor the Imaginary Queen?

Lady True Honour

Why, should I that am Intituled with True Honour,
and Princely Dignity, which Titles were created from an Absolute and
Divine Power, give place to mock Honours, and feigned Dignities? shall
Princes in Royal Courts, give place to Princes in Playes?

Madam Inquirer

But every one doth not rightly understand a Princely
Dignity.

Lady True Honour

I will instruct you in the degrees of Princes, and their
derivation; but first, let me tell you, the Princely Arms, or Seal, is a Crown;
for a Crown is the General Arms, or Seal of all Princely Dignities, and everyAaaaaaaa2 ry Aaaaaaaa2v 648
degree is known and distinguished by the several fashions of their Crowns;
for a Vicounts Crown, which is the first degree of a Prince, is not like the
Earls Crown, which is the second degree; nor an Earls Crown is not like
a Marquisses Crown, which is the third degree; that is, there is some difference
in the Crown; nor a Marquisses Crown is not like a Dukes Crown,
which is the fourth degree; nor a Dukes Crown is not like a close Imperial
Crown, which is the last and highest degree; that is, there is some difference
in the Crown of each degree: Now there are Absolute Princes,
Tributary, and Subject Princes, but none can be wholly call’d Absolute Princes,
but those that have the Imperial Crown, which are Absolute Kings and
Emperors, being the only chosen of God, and by that the only Creators of
Titles; for they only are the Fountain, or Springs of Honour.

Madam Inquirer

How comes it that Subjects are made Princes?

Lady True Honour

By Adoption: for all Subject Princes are Princes by
Adoption: that is, they are adopted to their Princely Dignity, so that by
Adoption, they are the Cosens to Royaltie, and are called by their Soveraigns,
Kings Cosens, and are adorn’d with Royal Robes, indued with Royal
Power, and observed with Royal Ceremony, and are allowed some Customs
and Imposts out of the Revenue of the Kingdom, and many privileges
which belong to the Princely Dignities: Thus Kings call their Subject
Princes, Cosens, as being adopted to their Princely Royaltie, like as all Absolute
Monarchs call each other Brother, as in relation to each others Royalty:
and being all of them Gods annointed, and appointed Deputies on
Earth, for Government and Honour, they are the sacred Magistrates of
God, the divine Fountains of Honour: Thus true Honour is derived from
Heaven, and ought to be respected, and bowed too, as being divine: but in
this age Honour is used, or abused, as other divine things are: this is the
reason I will not visit the Apocriphal Ladies: for my Honour is derived
from the sacred Spring of Honour, and is not a self-given Honour and Dignity,
which ought to be punished as a Presumption and Usurpation: but I
have so much Honour, as not to abase the Honour and Dignity that my
Husband, and his Fore-fathers were adopted too: And I by Marriage, being
one with my Husband; for man and wife are but one, and my Husbands
Honour being Inhereditary, succeeds to his Children; wherefore his Wife
will never give place to Mountebanks.

Madam Inquirer

Indeed the strange ridiculousness, and folly, and mad
presumption is, that the Apocriphal Ladies take more State, or at least as
much as sacred Royaltie.

Lady True Honour

But if Royaltie will suffer such Heresies, and Hereticks
in the Court of Honour, they are not to be lamented, if their Courts fall
to utter ruine; for it is with Titles and Dignities, as with Laws; if there
were no Laws, there would be no Government, and if there were no Degrees
and dignities, there would be no Royalty; so likewise if the Laws be
corrupt and abused, Governwment will fall to ruin, and if Honour be abused
and usurpt, Royaltie will fall from its Throne; but howsoever, I keep up
the Right of my place, because it is the cause and interest of all the Nobility
of my Country, so that if I should give place, I should be a Traytor to
true Honour, and dignified Persons.

Scene.
Bbbbbbbb1r 649

Scene 21.

Enter two Women of the Comical Dutchess’s.

1. Woman

Well, now the Duke of Inconstancy hath forsaken our
Lady, his Comical Dutchess, all our State must down.

2. Woman

Yes, and we must lose our places, in going before others, as
being Dutchess’s women.

1. Woman

The Dutchess cryed all night.

2. Woman

She had no more reason to cry, than she had, for the matter of Dignity;
for, pray consider, her Highness may keep the same State, as being
Dutchess still, as well as she did before; for she possess’d the Honour no
more than she doth now, and so now no less than she did then.

1. Woman

That is true, but the Duke did help to countenance her State,
so long as he did live with her, as a Husband, whereas now she will be hist
off the Stage.

2. Woman

Faith Confidence, and a Resolution will bear her up, wherefore
let us perswade her not to be daunted, or put out of countenance, and
she having the same Estate she had, may maintain her self as high as she
hath done.

1. Woman

You say true, and the slanting shew will dazle the eyes, and delude
the understanding of the Spectators.

12. Woman

Yes, of the Vulgar.

Exeunt.

Scene 22.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1. Gent

Honour goes a begging.

2. Gent

Why?

1. Gent

Why there is an Ale Wife made a Countesse.

2. Gent

As how?

1. Gent

Why the Earl Undone hath married Mistriss Tip-tape.

2. Gent

But he hath a Wife living.

1. Gent

That is all one, for did not the Duke of Inconstancy marry a Lady,
and made her a Dutchess, although he had a Dutchess to his Wife before,
by whom he was a Duke.

2. Gent

I perceive Great Noble Persons may do what they will: for if a
poor mean man should have two Wives at one time, they would be surely
punished; nay, in some Kingdoms they would be hanged.

Exeunt. Bbbbbbbb Scene
Bbbbbbbb1v 650

Scene 23.

Enter two Scriveners Wives.

1. Wife

Do you hear that the Duke of Inconstancy hath forsaken his Comical
Dutchess
?

2. Wife

Yes, but that is nothing.

1. Wife

Have you been with her Highness since?

2. Wife

Yes.

1. Wife

And how looks she upon her misfortunes?

2. Wife

Why she appears the same, and keeps greater State than ever
she did; yea, even her Children are served more royally than ever.

1. Wife

Faith she is to be commended, if it will hold out.

2. Wife

As long as she hath money, it will hold.

1. Wife

O, money doth all things.

Exeunt.

Finis.

Bbbbbbbb2r 651

The
Epilogue.

Noble Spectators,

In Britain Land, long, long ago, I say,

There were such persons, as are in my Play;

In Chronicle you’l find a story plain,

A Britain Queen that happily did Raign.

At last did marry one below her State,

Which merited not a Crown, or Kingly Fate;

Fosr he, when Power got, did put away

His Royal Wife; and married, as they say,

Another Lady; She and he did live

Like lawfull King and Queen, till God did give

The ronged Queen, her Kingdom back again;

For in a Battel, she her husband slain.

And of the rest, in Stories you shall read,

Such persons as my play presents indeed.

Bbbbbbbb2 The