i π3r

Maſter Save-all.

Captain Valour.

Lieutenant Fightwell.

Cornet Defendant.

Will Fullwit.

Harry Sencible.

Dick Traveller.

Get-all, an Uſurer.

Serjeant Plead-all, a Lawyer.

Doctor Cure-all, a Phyſitian.

Roger and Tom, Get-all’s two Men.

Two other Men, one the Serjeants, the other the Doctors.

A Drawer.

Miſtreſs Peg Valouroſa, Siſter to Captain Valour.

Miſtreſs Jane Fullwit, Will Fullwit’s Siſter.

Miſtreſs Anne Sencible, Harry Sencible’s Siſter.

Miſtreſs Informer, an old decay’d Gentlewoman.

Miſtreſs Prudence, Daughter to Maſter Save-all.

Several Wooers, and Others.

Pro
ii π3v

Prologue.

Noble Spectators, Our Authoreſs doth ſay,

She doth believe you will condemn her Play.

Here’s no deſign, no plot, nor any ground,

Foundation none, not any to be found,

But like the World’s Globe it hath no ſupport,

But hangs by Geometry: nor hath it fort

To make it strong, nor walls to keep out cenſure,

Yet ſhe will valiantly ſtand the adventure.

b The
01 B1r 1

The Sociable Companions; or, the Female Wits: A Comedy.

Actus I. Scæna I.

Enter Colonel, Captain, Lieutenant.

C olonel

What News, Captain?

Capt

It is an old ſaying, That ill News hath wings, and good News no legs.

Col

Hath thy News wings, or no legs?

Capt

It hath wings; for it is reported for certain, that the Army ſhall be disbanded, and all the Soldiers Caſhiered.

Lieut

So, then the Army will be a flying Army.

Capt

But yet we muſt beg upon Crutches.

Lieut

I believe we ſhould have been ſtronger, if we Bhad 02B1v 2 had been of any other Profeſſion, having had a better employment to have buſied our minds and perſons with; for Soldiers for the moſt part, their time and lives are idle, having no great employment or buſineſs, but when they march or fight, which is not every day or week; and when we are in Quarters or Trenches, we have nothing to do but to watch by turns; and therefore we are forced (for want of better employment) to paſs our time with the Wenches in the Suburbs, or the Baggages that follow the Army, with whom we get the Pox.

Capt

But how ſhall our Pocky bodies live, if we be Caſhier’d?

Lieut

We muſt endeavour to get into ſome Hoſpital for Cure.

Col

That will be more difficult, then to get into a Court for Preferment, Lieutenant.

Capt

The truth is, we may more eaſily get into a Court, then to have a Cure in an Hoſpital; and we may more eaſily be cured in an Hoſpital then get Preferment in a Court; for Soldiers are never regarded in time of peace; for when a War is ended, Soldiers are out of Credit.

Col

And in time of War Courtiers are out of faſhion.

Capt

Faith, Soldiers regard not new Modes, no more then Wars give ear to Flattery.

Lieut

But Courtiers do oftener turn Soldiers, then Soldiers Courtiers.

Col

Faith, Lieutenant, much alike; for Courtiers are too 03B2r3 too weak to make Soldiers, and Soldiers are too rough to make Courtiers.

Lieut

How, come Courtiers weak, Colonel?

Col

As Soldiers come weak; for Courtiers bring the Pox into an Army, and the Soldiers carry it out of an Army; for there is no reſemblance between a Courtier and a Soldier, but by that diſeaſe; for the Pox make Courtiers and Soldiers like unto like.

Capt

Well, leaving the Pox to the Courtiers, how ſhall we that are Soldiers, live?

Lieut

We muſt rob on the King’s high-way.

Capt

So we may chance to be hang’d.

Lieut

If we be, the care of a livelihood will be at an end.

Cap

But I would not venture my life for a little mony.

Lieut

How ignorantly you talk Captain! for do not all Soldiers venture their lives in Battel for other mens ſakes or Quarrels, and have no reward for their venture and danger? and will ſuch Soldiers be afraid to venture their lives for themſelves, and their lives maintenances?

Capt

But there is hope to eſcape death in a Battel, but there is no hopes for a man to eſcape death when as his neck is in a nouſe.

Lieut

There is as little hopes to eſcape death when as we have no means to live; and for my part, I had rather be hang’d then ſtarv’d; but howſoever, I am a Soldier both in ſpirit and profeſſion, who fears not death; and you ſeem to be a Soldier in name, and not in nature; you have 04B2v4 have the title of a valiant warring man, which is a Soldier, and the nature of a Coward; otherwiſe, you would not talk of eſcaping death, which ſhews you fear death.

Capt

If you were not my approved friend, you ſhould find I were no Coward as to fear to fight with you; but I am afraid to die a baſe death, as a thief, and not like a Soldier.

Col

How ſtrangely you talk, Captain! are not all Soldiers thieves? Do not all Soldiers Plunder? Do not they take the Spoiles of their Enemies? As firſt, kill their enemies, or take them priſoners, and then ſeiſe on their goods, and all by Force? and all Force is Hoſtility, and Hoſtility Robbery; and do not only the common Soldiers, but we Commanders, nay, our Generals do the ſame? and yet you name Thievery and Robbery baſe, which baſeneſs you and many more of all degrees and qualities have practiſed and lived with this dozen years to my knowledge, and it hath been a practiſe ever ſince the world began: for Adam and Eve robbed Gods Apple- tree, for they were forbid to take, or eat, and yet they did both; and did not Cain kill his brother Abel? and was not the Devil an enemy from the beginning? Thus Robbery, Malice, Murder and Diſobedience begun from the worlds Creation, and will laſt to the worlds Diſſolution; by which we may ſee, that our profeſſion, which is to rob, fight and kill, is the moſt ancient profeſſion that is.

Lieut

Dear Colonel, you have ſpoken moſt learnedly and truly.

Capt. 05 C1r 5

Cap

But yet there is difference between a Robber, a Murderer, and a Soldier; for it is Honourable to Kill our Enemies in the open Field: and it is Lawful to poſſeſs the Spoiles.

Col

Many times we Kill our Friends, eſpecially in Civil Warrs; and when we Fight with Foreigners, they never did us hurt, injury, or malice; but what do you talk of ſuch Honour as Warring-Honour, which is a fair Name to a foul Act; and of ſuch Martial Law, as is Lawleſs and moſt unjuſt, as to take away other Mens Rights? ’tis all one to call black white, or white black. But there is no ſuch thing as Law, nor no ſuch thing as Honour, but what Man feigns or makes; but the truth is, that which Men call Law and Honour, is Power and Force: for, the Strongeſt give Law; and Power makes Honour as it pleaſes.

Cap

Your learned diſcourſe, Colonel, ſhall not perſwade me to Rob on the High-way.

Lieu

What will you do then, Cap.Captain to get a living?

Cap

I will think of ſome honeſter way to live.

Colo

You had beſt Trade, and cozen your Cuſtomers, that is a very honeſt way of Living; or ſerve and Cozen your Maſter, or deceive your Miſtriſs, that is an honeſt way of Living; or to Flatter ſome great Lord, or Lie with ſome Old Lady, that is an Honeſt way of Living: or betray, or accuſe ſome Rich Man, to get a Morſel of his Eſtate for a Reward, that will be an honeſt Living: or Debauch a young Heir to live on his Luxuries Cand 06C1v6 and Riots, or Corrupt young Virgins and Married Wives with Pimping, that will be an honeſt and honourable Living: or be a Broker for the Courtiers, to help them to ſell their old Clothes: or a Rook: or be a Huckſter for the Courtiers, to bring them Suters and Petitioners for a ſhare of their Bribes, that will be an honeſt Living: or frequent Taverns and Ordinaries that are cuſtomed with Noble Gueſts, and leave them to Pay thy Share, that will be an honourable Living; and an Hundred ſuch waies there be, to get an honeſt Living.

Cap

No, I will go to Plow and Cart firſt.

Lieut

What? will you be a Slave to a Horſes Tail?

Col

No, no, I will tell you a better way for You, and the Lieutenant, and my Self to Live, than that: Let us get ſome of our Poor Whores that followed the Army; and go into ſome New-found Land, to help to increaſe Plantation.

Cap

Content Colonel, but let me tell you, it will be but a rotten Plantation.

Col

Faith all Plantations are but rottenly begun; but the more rotten the Planters are, the better; for rottenneſs doth, like as dung, help to Manure the Land.

Lieu

Faith Colonel, I like your Propoſition ſo well as I would be there.

Capt

So do I, wherefore let us fit and provide for our Journey preſently, and ſing this Song.

The Song 07 C2r 7 The Song.

1

Capt

Let’s go to our New Plantation;

Let’s go to our New Plantation;

And there we do hope,

No fear of a Rope;

Nor hanging in that Bleſſed Nation.

2

Lieut

Let’s go to our New Plantation;

Let’s go to our New Plantation;

For here’s no Regard,

Nor Soldiers Reward,

In this moſt Wicked Nation.

3

Col

Let’s go to our New Plantation;

Let’s go to our New Plantation;

Each Man with his Whore,

Although We be poor,

And Rottenneſs is our Foundation.

At the end of the Song, Enters Peg Valorous.

Peg

Then the Captain ſings the burden of an old Ballet. Capt. 08 C2v 8

Capt

Get thy coat Peg,

Get thy coat Peg,

Get thy coat Peg,

Get thy coat Peg, and go away with me.

Peg

You ſeem to be very merry Brother, that your Officers and you ſing ſo cheerfully.

Lieut

By your favour Miſtreſs, ſome for Joy do weep, and ſome for Sorrow ſing; witneſs the Lamentation, and the Poetical Swan; and Tears are often produced by Laughter.

Peg

What is the the cauſe of your ſorrowful ſinging?

Capt

The Army is Caſhiered, and ſo the Soldiers are undone.

Peg

It were better the Soldiers ſhould be undone, than the Kingdom.

Cornet

Will you ſpeak againſt your Brother’s Profeſſion?

Peg

Yes, if it be for the general Peace of my Native Country.

Capt

But now there is Peace, how ſhall we live?

Peg

You muſt live in Peace by your Wits, as you lived in the Wars by your Valours.

Lieut

But all the Cavalier Party loſt their Wits when they loſt their Eſtates.

Peg

Then you muſt Petition the State of this Kingdom to build ſo large a Bethlam as to put in all the poor mad Cavaliers.

Capt

Your advice is good, and you ſhall deliver their 09D1r 9 their Petition, Peg; but before I go to Bethlem I will go tell Harry Senſible and Will Fullwit the News.

Lieut

And the Cornet and I will go drink ſome Cordial Waters to revive our Spirits.

Enter Anne Senſible, and Jane Fullwit.

An

Do you hear the News of the Caſhiered Army?

Peg

Yes.

Jan

And are not you troubled at the News?

Peg

No; for I had rather my Brother ſhould be poor with Safety, then rich with Danger; but your Brothers, although they have not been ſuch Active ſufferers, yet they have been Paſſive ſufferers.

Jane

Yes, faith, they have had their ſhares of Loſſes; but now my Brother is poor, he begins to ſtudy.

Peg

What doth he ſtudy, his Loſſes?

Jan

No, he ſtudies Books.

Peg

What books? the Crumbs of Comfort, and the Soveraign Salve, for the Cure of the Soul?

Jan

All our Brothers had need to Study and read a Cure for their Eſtates; but let us go and bear them Company.

Exeunt Anne and Jane. Enter Miſtreſs Prudence to Peg.

Prud

Couſin Peg, where is your Companions, Nann and Jane?

Peg

They are in their Chamber, envying your good Fortune, and repining at their own ill Fortune.

Prud

What good Fortune do they envy me for?

Peg

For being the only Child, and ſo the only Heir to a rich Father.

D Prud. 10 D1v 10

Prud

If their Brothers had been as wiſe as my Father, not to have been ſo vain to have ſhow’d their Valour, they might have been ſo prudent as to have kept their Eſtates; and ſo you and they would not have loſt your Portions by the folly of your Brothers.

Peg

It was not through their Folly, but through their Loyalty that they entered into the action of War.

Enter Nann and Jane.

Nan

O Miſtreſs Prudence! ’tis a wonder to ſee you abroad, or at home without a Gallant.

Prud

When I come to ſee great Beauties, ſuch as you are, I dare not bring any of my Gallants, for fear you ſhould rob me of them.

Jane

It would be a Charity to beſtow ſome of the richeſt of your Suiters among us poor Virgins, to make Husbands of; and to chuſe one of the pooreſt of our Brothers to be your Husband.

Prud

Indeed it would be a Charity to your Brothers, but no Charity to my ſelf.

Enter Maſter Saveall, Miſtreſs Prudence’s Father.

Sav

Save you young Beauties.

Peg

We know not whether our Beauties will ſave us; but we ſhall hardly ſave our Beauties long; for old Father Time will take them from us.

Sav

Then you muſt get good and rich Husbands in the time of your Beauties.

Peg

There are three difficult things to get; as firſt, to get a Husband; next, a good Husband; and laſt, a rich Huſ- 11D2r11 Husband; for Men care not for handſome Wives, but rich Wives; for had not my Couſin Prudence, your Daughter, Wealth as well as Beauty, ſhe might have many Lovers, but not a Husband amongſt them all.

Sav

Couſin Peg, you may get a rich Husband, not only by the means of your Beauty, but by your Wit.

Peg

I have heard, that in former Ages, that many Men did live by their Wits; but in this Age Wit is out of faſhion, and ſo out of practiſe, and ſo poor, as ’tis almoſt ſtrangearv’d

Enter Captain.

Sav

I am talking to your Siſter my Couſin Peg, and I perceive ſhe deſpairs of getting a Rich Husband.

Capt

She hath reaſon, being poor her ſelf; wherefore Peg, and her two dear Friends, Miſtreſs Anne, and Miſtreſs Jane, muſt lead Apes in Hell.

An

If the Devil hath as many Apes as Mens follies, we ſhall never be able to lead them all.

Sav

For fear my Daughter ſhould lead Apes in Hell, I will go and get her a Husband.

Actus
12 D2v 12

Actus II. Scena I.

Enter William Fullwit, and ſet at a Table with many Books about him. He reads. Enter to William Fullwit, Captain and Harry Senſible.

Harry

Baccus and Mercury help thee, and have mercy on thee, for I perceive thou art falling into Perdition, as from a Drunkard to a Student; from a merry Companion, to a dull Stoick; from a Wit to a Fool.

Will

I pray thee Harry leave me, for I am ſtudying to be a wiſe Man.

Capt

Faith Will, Wiſdom is not learned by the Book, but by Practiſe, which gets Experience; for Wiſdom lives with living Men, more then with dead Authors: But prithee tell us, what Books are you reading?

Will

I am reading Plutarch’s Lives, Thucidides, Machiavel, Commineus, Lucan, Cæſars Commentaries, and the like.

Harry

Why ſuch Books, ſince you are neither Greek nor Roman? So that thoſe Hiſtories, or Hiſtorians of other Nations will not benefit thee, nor thy Native Country, for their Laws, Cuſtoms, or Humours; for what are the Laws, Cuſtoms, Humours and Governments of the Romans, Greeks, Turks, or Perſians to thee, or thy Native Country?

Capt. 13 E1r 13

Capt

You ſay true, Harry; and what are their Wars, or Peace to us, unleſs the ſame Cauſe, the ſame Places, and the ſame Men, were again in our time? For put the caſe you were a General, and were to fight a Battel, and would make Cæſar your Pattern, it were a thouſand to one but you would ſhew your ſelf rather a Fool, then a Cæſar; for firſt, the Cauſes of War would be different; the Scituation of War different; the Humours of the Soldiers different; the Habilements, Poſtures, and Breeding of the Men different; the Means, Supplies, Supports, Armes, Time, Place, and Seaſons different: So that if later Commanders ſhould follow the Precepts of former Commanders and old Warriers, they would be loſers; and inſtead of being fam’d good Soldiers, get the reproach of being ill Conductors.

Harry

You ſay right, Captain; and as for Foreign Government, Hiſtory is of no uſe, unleſs you would bring an Innovation; for which, had you power to make Combuſtions, you would ſooner ruine the Kingdom, then alter the Government; beſides, in all Alterations, Fortune hath greater power, and is more predominant then Prudence: wherefore leave thy impertinent Studies.

Will

I will take your Counſel.

Enter Lieutenant Drunk, and comes Reeling in.

Lieut

Captain――Captain――I would fain ſpeak, very―― fain ſpeak a ſpeech――but I ſhall be out of my ſpeech, before I begin, and that would be a very fowl diſgrace―― to a man of parts.

E Capt. 14 E1v 14

Capt

’Tis true, Lieutenant; but a drunken man hath no parts, for he is a departed man, Lieutenant.

Lieut

But I would have declared the ſtrange effects―― the Magical effects――the Myſtical effects――and the Tyranical effects.

Capt

All which Effects meet in one Effect, which is to be drunk, Lieutenant.

Lieut

That is true Captain――but the ſtrange Poſtures, ſeveral Humours, ſenceleſs Brains, and diſabled limbs―― is that which I would declare.

Will

They will declare themſelves, Lieutenant, without the help of Rhetorick.

Lieut

You are a fool, Will; for they will want help, as you may perceive by me――up――

He Reels as he ſpeaks.

Will

But Words are too weak to ſupport them.

Lieut

But Words may excuſe them.

Enter Miſtreſs Peg.

Peg

Brother, there is a Gentlewoman without, that came with the Lieutenant, who ſays ſhe will not go without him.

Capt

Lieutenant, there is a Gentlewoman ſtayes to ſupport thee to thy reſt.

Lieut

It is a Couſin of mine――newly come out of the Country――but I will go to her――up――

Capt

We will help to lead thee to her.

They lead him forth. Exeunt Men. Enter 15 E2r 15 Enter Miſtreſs Jane, and Miſtreſs Anne, to Miſtreſs Peg.

Jane

Where is the Lieutenant? ’tis ſaid, he is ſo drunk, he can neither ſtand nor ſpeak.

Peg

The truth is, he doth both, but ill-favouredly.

Enter Miſtreſs Informer.

Peg

Miſtreſs Informer, you are welcome.

Inform

I know that, otherwiſe I would not viſit you; but I ſeldom fail ſeeing you once a day, unleſs I be out of Town; but now I came out of Charity, knowing you were all alone.

Peg

How did you know we were all alone?

Inform

Becauſe I met your Brother, Captain Valour, and Harry Sencible, Miſtreſs Ann’s Brother, going up the Street.

Jane

Was not my Brother with them?

Inform

No; I ſaw Will Fullwit go to the Play-houſe.

Jane

What Play-houſe? the Gaming-houſe, or the Acting-houſe?

Inform

The Acting-houſe.

An

Our Brothers might be ſo kind, as ſometimes to carry us to Plays.

Peg

So they would, if we were ſuch Couſins as the Lieutenant had here; but being their Siſters, they will not be troubled with us.

Inform

Now you talk of the Lieutenant, it puts me in mind, I met him in the Street leading a Gentlewoman.

Peg

I believe ſhe rather led him, then he her.

Inform

I know not which, led which; but neither of the 16E2v 16 them did walk ſteddily, for ſometimes they went towards the Wall, and then preſently towards the Kennel.

Peg

It was a ſign they were both drunk. But Miſtris Informer, have you brought the new-faſhioned Hankerchief to ſee.

Inform

Yes, but I have left it in your Chamber.

Peg

Come let us go ſee it.

Exeunt all but Jane. Enter Will Fullwit mufled in his Cloak.

Will

Siſter Jane, is Harry Sencible within?

Jane

I cannot tell whether he be returned; but he was abroad?

Will

Pray ſee; and if he be return’d, bid him come to me.

Enter Harry Sencible, Will Fullwit upon the Ground, he groans, Harry Sencible runs and embraces him.

Harry

Dear Will, what is the cauſe you lie ſo ſadly?

Will

Oh, oh, I am wounded, wounded.

Harry

Where? where? tell me dear Will.

Will

I am kill’d, I am kill’d.

Harry

By whom?

Will

I die, I die.

Harry

Hold Life a little time, ſo long to tell thine Enemy, that I may ſacrifice him on thy Tomb; Oh he is dead: dear Will, I wiſh to die, ſince thou art gone.

Exit Harry Sencible Weeping. After he was gone out, Will Fullwit riſes and Dances,―― then enter Harry Sencible, with Captain Valour, Lieutenant Fightwell, and Cornet Defendant, all stand as in a Maze. Capt. 17 F1r 17

Capt

Harry, did not you tell us, that Will Fullwit was kill’d?

Harry

I thought him dead.

Capt

Then how the Devil comes he to be alive again!

Enter Miſtreſs Anne Sencible as in haſt.

An

O, where is Mr. Fullwit’s body?

He Addreſſes to her.

Will

Dear lady, I, for thy dear ſake,

Will travel to the Stigean Lake;

There let us meet, and then imbrace,

And look each other in the Face.

An

O the Lord, what doth he ayle?

Enter Miſtreſs Peg Valouroſa.

Will

O ſtand away,

For there breaks day;

The Sun doth riſe,

Dazling mine Eyes:

For you the Goddeſs are of Light,

She’s a fiend that governs Night.

Harry

By heaven he is ſtark mad.

Will Fullwit draws his Sword.

Will

Here will I fight

As Champion Knight.

The Ladies run ſqueeling away.

Will

What, are they gon?

They do me wrong.

Lieut

You have frighted them away.

Harry

Dear Will, put up thy Sword, for we are all thy Friends.

F Will. 18 F1v 18

Will

You are my Foes, I ſay,

Wherefore away.

Harry

This madneſs is worſe, far worſe then death.

Harry Sencible, Weeps.

Will

What Harry, do you weep in earneſt?

Harry

How can I chuſe, to ſee my friend in a mad diſtemper?

Will

Why Harry, I have only acted an Intrigue.

Capt

A pox of your Intrigue; for you have frighted the Ladies, and diſturbed your Friends.

Lieut

Nay faith, he hath diſturbed the Ladies, and frighted his Friends.

Harry

But how came you to be in this humour?

Will

With ſeeing a new Play.

Cornet

But you have not acted an Intrigue yet.

Will

That’s true, by reaſon the Ladies went away, and Harry’s Tears would not ſuffer me to make more changes; beſides I had not time to expreſs, or act my Intrigue; but if you will call the Ladies again, you ſhall ſee me act an Intrigue and Cataſtrophe, as it ought to be.

Harry

Hang Intrigues and Cataſtrophes, and play the fool no more.

Capt

Prithee Will, go with us to a Tavern, and there we will have ſeveral ſorts of Wine, changes of Muſick, and variety of Miſtreſſes, which are better Intrigues and Cataſtrophes then are acted upon the Stage.

Will

Content, let us go, to dry up Harry’s Rhume with Sack, and to let him ſee I am ſtill a merry Companion.

Harry. 19 F2r 19

Harry

If I had known you had diſſembled, I would not have diſcovered my love.

Will

Why! Love and Deceit is an Intrigue; but the truth is I did this, that you and the Captain ſhould not believe that I was a dull Stoick.

Enter Dick Traveller, as newly return’d home.

Will

Dick Traveller, art thou return’d, old blade, from thy Foreign Travels, to thy home-Friends?

Dick

I confeſs Foreign Travellers are apt to loſe home-Friends.

Will

But you have not loſt us, for thou art heartily welcome.

Harry

’Tis a ſign that your Travels have been as cold as far, for you have brought white Hairs home with you.

Lieut

He could not avoid a white head; for he hath been at the North Pole, which hath turn’d his Hairs to Snow.

Dick

I have been near the Pole in Greenland.

Cornet

Is that Country fertile?

Dick

Yes, of Froſt and Snow.

Cornet

Is it Populous?

Dick

’Tis very populous of Bears and Foxes.

Lieut

Is it a good place for Plantation?

Dick

Yes faith, for if there were a Colony of Adulterers ſent thither, they might Plant Chaſtity; and if a Colony of Drunkards were ſent thither, they might Plant Temperance; alſo if a Colony of Prodigals were ſent thither, they might Plant Frugality.

Will. 20 F2v 20

Will

But might not a Colony of Fools plant Wit there?

Lieut

It were excellent Policy, to ſend all the Fools thither.

Dick

Thoſe Parts of the World would not hold them, if all be ſent; for moſt Men are Fools.

Capt

Why fools in what part of the World ſoever, they live in Twilight; and neer the Pole is Twilight half the year.

Will

Prithee let’s leave talking of ſuch cold Elements; for the very hearing of the North Pole hath chil’d my Spirits, as if they were hard frozen, and all my thoughts are turn’d to Snow; wherefore let’s go to a Tavern, and drink Sack to thaw them.

Dick

I ſhall bear you Company.

Will

Faith thou haſt reaſon to drink ten Fathom deep to melt thy frozen body, and thaw thy cold blood that is turn’d to Ice, that Spirits of life may ſwim in full large Veines.

Dick

You are full of Poetical fancy.

Will

’Tis a ſign I did never travel to the North Pole, for fancy lies in Eaſt and Weſtern brains; the truth is, every Poets brain is a Torrid Zone; wherefore let’s go to the Tavern.

Harry

That is under the Ecliptick Line.

Enter Peg and Anne.

Capt

Are you come to ſee the Intrigue?

Peg

No, but we are come to ſee, whether Will Fullwit be not dead again.

VVill. 21 G1r 21

Will

No; but I am not ſo well, but that theſe good fellows, are going to give me a Cordial.

Dick

To me theſe Ladies are Cordials.

Will

You have not taſted them yet.

Dick

May I preſume to ſalute you, Ladies?

He Salutes them.

Harry

How do you like them?

Dick

It is not a queſtion to be asked, nor I to give an anſwer.

Capt

Prithee come away, and leave Complementing.

Enter Jane. Exeunt Men.

Peg

Did you ſee Dick Traveller.

Jane

Yes, I met him, and all the crew of them.

Peg

I have ſeen thy Brother ſtark mad.

Jane

I never knew him otherwiſe.

An

He did only ſhew an Intrigue.

Enter Miſtreſs Informer.

Peg

Miſtreſs Informer, you are welcome; but what News brought you hither?

Inform

Hearing Maſter Traveller was to ſee you.

Peg

He was ſo.

Inform

Pray what new faſhions hath he brought from the North Pole?

Peg

I do not perceive any new faſhion.

Inform

Lord, how reports prove falſe! for I heard he had a ſtrange faſhioned Suit of Clothes which he did wear, made all of Ice, and a great thick Cap of Snow, which he wore over his head; and that the motions of his Body G and 22 G1v 22 and Behaviour were trembling and ſhaking, as if he were affrighted, or in a cold fit of an Ague, and that his language was ſuch a ſtuttering and ſtammering language, as not any man in theſe parts could underſtand him.

Peg

I ſaw no ſuch Clothes or Cap that he wore, nor heard no ſuch ſtuttering, ſtammering language.

Inform

Indeed, as to his Garments, I did not believe reports; for I ſaid to thoſe perſons, that told that report for a certain truth, that I could ſooner believe he was accoutred in a Suit of Fire, rather then of Ice; but they replyed, That thoſe parts of the World, ſo neer the Poles, would not permit Fire; for the extream cold did put out all ſorts of Fire; but pray tell me whether he doth not look very pale, wither’d, dry and old.

Peg

He doth not look as if he were a very young man, becauſe he is in ſome years; but he looks well for his age.

Inform

What kind of Men, doth Mr. Traveller ſay, are the Natives at the Pole?

Peg

I did not hear him ſay, there be either native Men or Women.

Inform

If not, how did he get a Miſtreſs?

Jane

Such colds Elements do not require Courtſhip.

Inform

But are there not any living Creatures there?

Peg

Yes, there are Bears; and in ſome of the Iſlands near the Poles, there are white Bears, with red Patches on their heads.

Inform. 23 G2r 23

Inform

That is very fine, and ſurely very becoming; wherefore I will inform the Ladies, who I am ſure will follow that faſhion.

An

How can they be in the Bears faſhion?

Inform

Very eaſily; for they may have a white Sattin Gown, and a red Velvet Cap; and ſo be like the white Beares, with the red Patches on their heads.

Peg

If they imitate nothing elſe of the Bear but that, it will not be much a miſs.

Inform

Fare you well; for I long to carry the News of the Faſhion.

Exit. Enter Will Fullwit.

Will

Is Harry returned?

An

No.

Exeunt Women. Enter Harry.

Will

I was going to the Tavern, believing you and the reſt of our Companions, were gone to the Tavern.

Harry

I ſtay for Dick Traveller; but Captain Valour, Lieutenant Fightwell, and Cornet Defendant, are gone before to the Tavern, to provide us good Wine.

Will

They will be drunk before we come.

Harry

Surely they will forbear drinking until we come.

Will

How ſhould they forbear drinking, if they went to taſt the Wine?

Harry

They went to beſpeak good Wine, and not to taſt it.

Will

Hang them, they will taſt pint after pint, and quart after quart; for they have not ſo much Temperance as to ſtay.

Enter 24 G2v 24 Enter Dick Traveller.

Will

Dick, a Pox take you for ſtaying, for the Captain, Lieutenant, and Cornet have drank all the Wine in the Tavern by this time.

Dick

They cannot drink all.

Will

Yes but they can; for they will pour in and out ſo faſt, as I am confident they have not left ſo much as the droppings of the Tapes.

Harry

Come, come, let us make haſt to them.

Will

Yes, when all is drunk up.

Harry

I will warrant you there will be enough left to quench our drought.

Will

I hate quenching of droughts; I would be like a Ship, to ſwim in an Ocean of Wine.

Enter Miſtreſs Informer.

Informer

Are your Siſters within?

Will

Yes.

Exeunt Men. Enter Peg, Jane and Anne.

Peg

Mrs. Informer, what is the reaſon you are returned ſo ſoon?

Inform

The reaſon is, that I had forgot to tell you of the good company I was in the other day.

Jane

We heard that you were in Sociable Company.

Inform

I was ſo; and the Company hath paſt their time with all the delightful Recreations that could be deviſed, for the time they aſſociated together; for ſometimes the Ladies, and their courting Servants, play’d at Cards, and ſometimes danced, and ſometimes feaſted, and ſome of the faireſt 25 H1r 25 faireſt Ladies ſat to have their Pictures drawn, whilſt their Lovers or Friends gazed on their Faces; which was an occaſion to cauſe thoſe Ladies to put their Faces into their beſt Countenances; and ſome of the Gallants did make their Miſtreſſes Portraictures, both in Verſe and Proſe, whilſt the Painter did draw their Pictures in Oyle or water-Colours.

Peg

It ſeems the Gallants were Courtly to the Ladies,.

Inform

They were ſo.

Jane

Doth the Men court the Women publickly or incognito?

Inform

They Court both ways; for every Man hath, his particular, which he doth uſher; but if they like each other’s Lady and Miſtreſs better then their own, or Love’s variety, or would be liked, or loved by more then his own Woman: They make Love incognito, as in a Miſtical or Allegorical way; which Allegorical Love’s making, or woings, pleaſes the women infinitely, as by deletedside eye-glances, languiſhing looks, ſmothered ſights, and metaphorical ſpeeches; as alſo wrying their Necks, with their eyes fixt on the ground, or falling, or ſtumbling upon them, as if it were by chance; and many the like Behaviours, Garbs, Motions, Countenances and Diſcourſes, as I cannot remember to repeat all; and ſome are ſo excellent and well experienced in the Art of making Love incognito Allegorically, or Metaphorically, as I have known or obſerved one Man to make half a dozen Women at leaſt at one time, believe he hath been deeply in Love with each of them.

H Jane. 26 H1v 26

Jane

And do the Women receive theſe faſhioned Courtſhips in the like manner?

Inform

Yes, for they are as expert as the Men in thoſe ways; the truth is, that although every Man and every Woman hath a Staple Servant, and a Staple Miſtreſs, yet they traffick all in common.

Jane

It ſeems they are common Wooers: But farwell, I muſt go ſpeak with my Brother Fullwit.

Inform

You muſt go to the Tavern then.

Jane

Why, is he gone to the Tavern?

Inform

Yes, I did hear him, Mr. Sencible, and Mr. Traveller ſay, they would go unto the Crown-Tavern.

Peg

I am ſure my Brother and his Officer are there before them.

Jane

It is not to be endured they ſhould ſpend ſo much, and we want ſo much as we do.

Inform

If I might adviſe you Ladies, I would have you go and bear them Company.

Jane

We will take your advice, although not to drink, yet to quarrel, and you ſhall be our Conductor.

Peg

Thoſe that ſee us will believe that Mrs. Informer is a Bawd, that conducts three young Wenches to ſome Gentlemen in the Tavern.

Inform

Come, come, for if I be, it is not the firſt time I have been taken for a Bawd.

Exeunt. Scene
27 H2r 27

Scene II.

Enter Captain Valour, Lieutenant Fightwell, and Cornet Defendant, as in a Tavern, who drink whilſt they talk.

Cornet

Captain, let us not ſtay for Will, Harry and Dick, but drink in the mean time.

Capt

Content, let us ſit cloſe, and drink hard; for here is the beſt Wine; it was drawn out of Bacchus Cellar, wherefore it is divine Wine.

Lieut

If it be divine, we ſhould pray before we drink.

Capt

No you muſt drink firſt, as into a drunken humour with divine Wine, and then pray when the Spirit is ſtrong in you.

Lieut

It is unnatural, Captain, at leaſt unuſual for Martial men to pray; in ſo much, that if a Soldier ſhould be ſeen or heard to pray, he would be thought a Coward.

Capt

That is not ſo, for we were beaten by thoſe that Prayed.

Cornet

But ſome of our Party prayed.

Capt

If they did, it was ſo ſoftly, as Jupiter could not hear them: But I have drunk my ſelf into a loving humour, I wiſh I had a Wench.

Cornet

We will knock for the Chamberlain.

Enter Chamberlain.

Capt

Chamberlain, get us ſome Wenches.

Chamb. 28 H2v 28

Chamb

There are none to be had, Sir.

Capt

You are a lying Rogue; for there hath been no age, nor there is not a Kingdom that is not fully ſtored with them.

Chamb

There is ſtore in the Kingdom, if it pleaſe your Worſhip, but they are not for Soldiers in this age.

Capt

You lie, you Rogue, they are for Soldiers in all ages, even in the worſt of times; for they will venture their lives to follow the Army for the pleaſure of a Soldier.

Chamb

An’t pleaſe your Worſhip, it is for the hopes of gaining ſome of the Soldier’s Plunder; but now that your Worſhips can neither get Plunder nor Pay, they defie you, and will not come near you, but laugh at you, and ſay you are like old ruſty Armes out of faſhion, and that they are now for the Court, not for the Camp.

Capt

Dam’d Fortune, ſhall the Court rob us, both of wealth and pleaſure?

Enter Will Fullwit, Harry Sencible, and Dick Traveller, the Captain drinking when they came in.

Will

Hold, hold, Captain, what a Devil, are you mad to drink before we come?

Capt

You are mad to ſtay ſo long, would you have us choakt for thirſt?

Dick

Come, come, we ſhall overtake them.

Capt

But you ſhall not, for we will, now you are come, ſit and drink healths, as health for health.

Will

Is there Wine enough to drink Healths?

Capt. 29 I1r 29

Capt

Enough, Will, enough.

They ſit down and call for Wine.

Capt

Dick, you are not returned as a Traveller a la mode.

Dick

Would you have me a la mode de Bear, or a la mode de Fox.

Capt

Why not as well as other Travellers, that return a la mode de Ape, and a la mode de Aſs?

Will

Well, leaving the Bears, Foxes, Aſſes and Apes; here is a health to the North Star.

Harry

That is a very cold star, Will.

Will

Therefore I will drink the health in Sack, to heat it into a Sun.

Harry

And I will drink a health to Virtue.

Capt

You had better put Ice into your Wine then Virtue; for ſhe is ſo cold, not any heat can thaw her; but I will drink a health more proper, for Dick Traveller’s company, which are the ſeven deadly ſins.

Dick

They belong more to the Courtier then the Traveller; yet I will pledge them, were they ſeventy ſeven ſins, and drink them all at a draught.

Lieut

But that is unconſcionable to drink them all, leaving not any for your Friends.

Dick

All thoſe I account my Friends, that have wit enough to get, or invent more; for new-faſhioned Sins are as eaſily deviſed as new-faſhioned Garments.

Will

Who is the maker of new-faſhioned Sins?

Dick

The Devil.

I Enter 30 I1v 30 Enter Jane, Anne, Peg, and Informer.

Capt

But what the Devil makes theſe Women come hither?

Will

Ladies, this is boldly done, to come and drink healths with us.

Capt

’Tis but changing of Siſters, and they will ſerve us for Wenches, and Mrs. Informer, my Cornet or Lieutenant ſhall pay her for their Company.

Jane

We came not to drink, but to complain that our Brothers ſhould be ſo unkind, unworthy and unnatural, to ſit drinking to fill their Heads, and empty their Purſes, when we want Meat and Clothes.

Peg

You can be Jovial, but we muſt be Melancholy; you ſing Catches, when we ſhed Tears.

An

You have many Bottles of Wine, when we want Smocks to our backs.

Will

But you have ſilk Gowns.

Jane

Yes, ſuch as you buy at the ſecond hand, or at ſome Broker’s ſhop, which are more rotten then the Jews Clothes in the Wilderneſs.

Harry

Why, what would you have us to do?

An

Not to ſit drinking in a Tavern moſt of your time; but to ſeek and endeavour to get ſome good Offices and Employments that may help to repair your ruins, and to maintain us according to our births and breedings.

Will

Faith, we may ſeek, and not find; beg, and not get.

Peg

But yet you ſhall not need to ſpend that little which is left, in drink.

Lieut. 31 I2r 31

Lieut

If it were not for drink, we ſhould run mad; but drink drowns all ſorts of ſorrows.

Capt

Leave your Caterwouling, and get you hence.

Peg

We will not go home, unleſs you will go with us.

Will

Yes, ſo it will be thought, you are our Wenches, not known you are our Siſters.

Jane

We care not what people think, knowing our ſelves honeſt.

Harry

Come, let us go, otherwiſe they will ſcould ſo loud, as all the Street will be in a hubbub to know the cauſe.

Exeunt.

Scene III.

Enter Father and his Daughter.

Father

Daughter, you being now Marriageable, I am reſolved to provide you a good Husband.

Daught

I am willing to be a Wife; but pray pardon me if I ask you what you mean by a good Husband?

Fath

A good Husband, is a prudent Husband.

Daught

That is a miſerable and jealous Husband.

Fath

No, no, miſtake me not, for miſerableneſs and jealouſie are extreams, but Prudence is a mean.

Daugh

If I muſt marry according to a Moral mean, which is between extreams, then I muſt Marry a man of a mean Birth, mean Breeding, mean Eſtate, mean Wit, mean 32 I2v 32 mean Judgmenrt, mean Underſtanding, mean Eſteem, mean Behaviour, and the like.

Fath

No Daughter, I only deſire you not to be an extream fool, as to marry to extream miſery; but ſince you diſpute for wiſdom or diſcretion, I’le give you leave to make your own choice, which will tend either to my grief or comfort; to your own happineſs or unhappineſs; and I ſhall ſee whether you can act as wiſely, as you plead wittily.

Exit Save-all, and then enters a Suiter. Enter the young Lady, and a young Gentleman a Suiter to her.

Suit

Madam, your Beauty is the Gaze or Blaze to all the World; nay, ’tis not only a mortal but an immortal Light, and as the ſoul, not of one humane Creature but of all the World; which immortal light and ſoul I am very deſirous to enjoy, and to make you my Wife.

Lady

Sir, I ſhall readily conſent, upon condition you make me a preſent of the Alkabeſt, and a jointure of the Elixir.

Exit Lady, Suiter Solus.

Suit

This Lady is not to be won with Complements of Learning.

Enter another Gentleman.

Gent

Well met Sir; have you ſeen the Lady?

Suit

Yes.

Gent

And how do you agree?

Suit

Juſt as Chymiſts and Fire.

Gent

How is that?

Suit

That is, they do not agree at all, but delude and croſs each other.

Gent. 33 K1r 33

Gent

Nay, faith, if ſhe be in a croſs humour, I will not plead and preſent my ſuit to her to day.

Scene IV.

Enter Harry, and walks in a Muſing Posture. Enter Captain.

Captain

What is the cauſe you walk in ſuch a muſing poſture Harry?

Harry

I have loſt my Miſtreſs.

Capt

Is that all?

Harry

Yes, and too much.

Capt

Art thou mad?

Harry

No.

Capt

Have you any Wit?

Harry

Why do you ask?

Capt

Becauſe you are Melancholy for a Woman.

Harry

It would make you or any man Melancholy, to loſe ſuch a Woman as my Miſtreſs is.

Capt

Faith, not unleſs my Miſtreſs were the only Woman in the World.

Harry

She was the only Woman in my affection.

Capt

’Tis a ſign thy affection is a poor, mean, low, narrow, and little affection, that hath but one Room for one Miſtreſs; whereas, my affection is as large as the Grand Signior’s Seraglio,――for it will hold Hundreds of Miſtreſſes,K ſes, 34 K1v 34 ſes, with all their Maids and Slaves attending upon them; the truth is, my affection will hold all the Women in the World; for I love all Women-kind, in ſo much as I can never want love ſo long as there be Women, or a Woman; and ſurely I can never want a Woman ſo long as the World doth laſt; for the World doth not increaſe any thing ſo numerouſly as Women; for all Armies, Nations, Cities, Towns, Villages, Houſes, Churches and Chambers are for the moſt part filled with Women; and ſince there are ſo many Women, it were a madneſs for to be Melancholy for the loſs of one woman: wherefore put off this whining humour for ſhame, and get another Miſtreſs; and if I might adviſe you, I would have four and twenty Miſtreſſes, at leaſt, at one time, and ſo you will have a Miſtreſs for every hour of the day and night.

Harry

But my Miſtreſs is a woman that doth excell all her Sex.

Capt

In what?

Harry

In Beauty, Wit and Virtue.

Capt

Nay, if you talk of Virtue in a Miſtreſs, you are mad indeed.

Harry

May not a Man have a virtuous Miſtreſs?

Capt

No, for it is againſt the rules and nature of virtue, to live in a Miſtreſs; for virtue is an humble Servant, when as a Miſtreſs is an imperious Tyrant; for Women are inſolent and imperious ſo long as they are made Miſtreſſes, which is to be flatter’d, attended and ſerved with Mens eſtates, 35 K2r 35 eſtates, bodies and ſouls; but when they come to be wives, which is to be ſlaves, perchance, they may have ſo much of Virtue, as to be ſomewhat humble, when as they are forced to ſerve, and cannot command; but a wiſe Man will never have a Miſtreſs, although he ſhould live unmarried, but he will keep a Maid-ſervant for his uſe, and ſo take and turn away ſo often as he pleaſes: But is thy Miſtreſs dead?

Harry

No, but ſhe is Married.

Capt

Why then, ſhe may be her Husband’s ſervant, and thy Miſtreſs ſtill?

Harry

But ſhe is too Virtuous to be my Miſtreſs now ſhe is another Man’s Wife.

Capt

I prithee be not ſo wedded to the opinion of Womens Virtues; for that will hinder thee from purſuing a Lover’s deſign.

Harry

I will endeavour to forget this Miſtreſs, and get another.

Capt

Now you ſpeak like a wiſe Man.

Enter Will to the Captain and Harry.

Will

Captain, and Harry, I was even now wiſhing for either of you.

Harry

If you be as fortunate in all your wiſhes, as in either of our being here, you will be the moſt fortunate and happieſt Man that ever was; but tell us whether it it was your affection, appetite or reaſon, which was the cauſe of your wiſh.

Will

Not any of them; for it was my wit that caus’d that 36 K2v 36 that wiſh; for I have made a Copy of Verſes, which I would have you both read, and then give me your opinion.

Capt

For my part, I had rather your appetite had wiſhed for our good fellowſhip; for I had rather drink a health, then read a Copy of Verſes; the truth is, I cannot endure Verſes.

Will

But if they were a Copy made in your Miſtreſs praiſe you would like them.

Capt

I ſhould hate my Miſtreſs, throw the hate to the Verſes, were ſhe never ſo worthy, or the Verſes ſo witty.

Will

That makes thee love mean common Women.

Capt

They are fools that will wooe a nice Lady with flattering Verſes, when they may have a free Wench, with plain Proſe; and as the old ſaying, Jone in the dark is as good as my Lady..

Harry

Nay faith, but they are not; for all common Wenches are unwholſome Sluts.

Will

Well, leaving Jone and a Lady at this preſent, I would have you read a drunken Song, which I made to ſing between every glaſs, for ſinging dries the Throat, and drought requires drink, all which will make us drink with more guſt, and the wine will taſt the quicker.

Capt

Faith, I hate verſe ſo much, as the Song will make me vomit up my drink; beſides ſinging brings down rhume, and to have ſalt rhume mixt with ſharp wine, will cauſe ſuch an unpleaſing taſt, which will make us more ſick then Crocus Mettallorum, and ſpoile the wine; wherefore burn your 37 L1r 37 your Song; beſides, let me tell you, as your friend, that ’tis very dangerous for a Drunkard to be a Poet; for the vapour of Wit, and the vapour of Wine, joyned together, will overpower your brain, and may make a man ſo mad, as to be paſt recovery; but when the brain is only muddl’d with the vapour of drink, ſleep cures it, and drink cauſes ſleep; whereas Poetry baniſhes ſleep from the Sences, and heats the brain into a Fever.

Will

But the hotter the brain is, the quicker the Wit is, and Poets drink Wine to heighten their fancy.

Capt

Let me tell you, Poets drink Wine to pleaſe their Pallats; and it is an old Saying, That when Drink is in, then Wit is out; wherefore burn thy Verſes.

Harry

Do, Will, take his Counſel, and burn them.

Will

I will follow your advice, and burn them to light a pipe of Tobacco.

Capt

That is worſe then if you ſhould read them, or ſing them; for you will ſuck them back into your brain, with the ſmoak, through your Pipe, and ſo have your Verſes to return ſmoking hot, which will either ſmother your brain, or give your brain ſuch an appetite, as you will never leave verſifying. But come let us go and conſult how they may be deſtroyed.

Will

Content.

Enter Peg.

Capt

Peg, have a care, and ſtay at home.

L Enter 38 L1v 38 Enter Mrs. Jane Fullwit, Mrs. Anne Sencible, to Mrs. Peg Valoroſa, who walked in a Melancholy posture.

An

Always Melancholy?

Peg

Who can be merry, that is poor?

Jane

Who lives more merry then Beggars?

Peg

But our Birth and Breeding will not ſuffer us to beg.

Jane

No, but we may live by our Wits.

Peg

But Wit was kill’d in the War.

An

You are miſtaken, it was only baniſhed with the Cavaliers; but now it is returned home.

Peg

I cannot perceive it; for though I ſee many Fools, yet not a true natural Wit amongſt them; for there is the Rhiming-fools, the Intrigue-fools, and the fine-languaged fools.

Jane

The truth is, the multitude of Fools obſcure the Wits, like dark Clouds that obſcure the Sun; but let us endeavour to ſhine through thoſe Clouds.

Peg

That cannot be.

Jane

Let us try for our profit.

Peg

But Word-Wit will not make us rich.

Jan

I grant it, but Deed-Wit will do us good, wherefore let us endeavour to get rich Husbands.

Peg

We may endeavour it, but not obtain it.

An

But if we could get them by our ingenuity, we know not where they are to be had.

Jane

Madam Informer will give us Intelligence.

Enter 39 L2r 39 Enter Harry.

Harry

Is your Brother within the Houſe?

Jane

I think he is, I will go and ſee.

Exeunt Women. Enter Will Fullwit.

Harry

Well, I ſhall never truſt any man more for your ſake, nor never believe in Friendſhip.

Will

Why?

Harry

Do you ask why, when you who I did believe was ſo true a friend, would never forſake me at a time of need, when not only my Life, but my Honour was engaged in a quarrel, for which I choſe you for my ſecond, and then to fail me at the appointed time, was baſe; for had you been my Enemy, your Honour ſhould have brought you into the field.

Will

Faith, I was ſo engaged in a Company of Ladies, I could not come.

Harry

Can there be a greater engagement then Friendſhip, Honour and Honeſty?

Will

Can there be a greater friendſhip then the love of Women, or more honourable then to ſerve the Female ſex? and as for honeſty, ’tis not worth any thing, beſides, it is a fool, it brings a Man to ruine, at leaſt a Man can never thrive by it.

Harry

O judgment, how hath it erred, to chuſe a Knave for a Friend, a Coward for a Second!

Will

So I perceive, rather then you will want an Enemy, you will quarrel with your own judgment, you had beſt fight a Duel with that.

Harry. 40 L2v 40

Harry

Go, go, and kiſs a Miſtreſs, and leave talking of Duels.

Will

I marry, this is friendly advice; for in Kiſſes there is life and pleaſure, in Duels death and danger; but let me tell thee, Harry, I have done thee a more friendly part, in not appearing, then ever I did thee in my life; for I have ſaved thy life, at leaſt thy eſtate, and have kept thy Honour pure and free from ſtains, and I have increaſt thy honour.

Harry

Which way?

Will

Thus; I have let thee go into thee Field for thy Honour, and have kept thine Enemy out, not by force, but by perſwaſion; which perſwaſion hath ſo wrought on him and his Second, as they will both meet in the ſame place you quarrel’d in, where ſhall be the ſame Company that drank, and was drunk there, and before that Company he will confeſs his fault, and ask pardon, which is as much ſatisfaction as an honeſt or honourable Man can deſire; and it would be againſt the Laws of good fellowſhip to fight a ſober Duel, for a drunken quarrel; wherefore agree, and be friends with our drunken Comrade.

Enter Captain, Cornet, Lieutenant, and Dick Traveller.

Capt

We heard you very high in words, I hope you two dear friends will not quarrel?

Will

We ſhall not quarrel like Enemies; but Harry is angry, becauſe I will not let him fight.

Capt

Fight, with whom will he fight?

Will

With Tom Ranter.

Lieut. 41 M1r 41

Lieut

Hang him, he will get no honour with fighting with him.

Capt

Come, come, I will conduct you to a better paſtime then fighting vain Duels; for there are a Company of Ladies which I am acquainted with, that have made a merry meeting, only they want Men to keep them Company.

Will

Let us go; come Harry, will you go?

Harry

Yes, with all my heart.

Enter Peg.

Capt

I will but ſpeak a word to my Siſter.

Exit Captain. He Whiſpers. Peg stands as if ſhe were Muſing. Enter Jane and Anne.

An

What are you thinking of now?

Peg

I was reaſoning with my ſelf, why thoſe Women that was neither factious, ambitious, covetous, malicious nor cruel, ſhould ſuffer in the Wars with the men.

Jane

The gods would not be juſt, if the Women did not ſuffer for the Crimes of the Men, ſince all Men ſuffer for a ſingle crime of a particular woman, witneſs our Grandmother Eve.

Enter Madam Informer.

An

O Madam Informer, have you made an Inquiry?

Inform

Yes, marry have I, and find the Maſs of Wealth is in the poſſeſſion of Uſurers, Lawyers and Phyſicians.

Jane

I believe Uſurers and Lawyers may be very M rich 42 M1v 42 rich, for the Civil War hath made thoſe ſorts of Men like as Vultures, after a Battel, that feed on the Dead, or dying Corps; but I cannot perceive why Phyſicians ſhould be the richer for thoſe times.

Inform

There is great reaſon why they ſhould gain the more; for both Men and Womens bodies are corrupted, and weakned with Melancholy, Grief, Malice, Revenge, Envy, Wrong, Injuſtice, and the like; ſo that their bodies are full of the Scurvy, which their Misfortunes hath bred.

Peg

But have you found amongſt theſe rich ſorts of Men, any Widowers, or Batchelors?

Inform

Yes, that I have, three Batchelors; the richeſt amongſt them, is one Mr. Get-all an Uſurer; the other Serjeant Plead-all a Lawyer; the third Doctor Cure-all a Phyſician.

Jane

Which is the richeſt?

Inform

The Uſurer; for he is worth Two hundred thouſand Pounds.

Peg

Well, we will imploy our Wits to get theſe Men.

Inform

But Wit without Aſſiſtance, will do no good; wherefore you muſt get your Brothers, and their Friends to help you by their induſtry.

Jane

Your Counſel is good.

Exeunt,――only Peg meets her Brother, Captain, as coming in.

Peg

Brother, are you well, you look ſo Melancholy?

Capt

In body, but not in mind, Peg.

Exit Peg. Enter 43 M2r 43 Enter Will and Harry, the Captain, and the reſt.

Harry

Captain, what makes thee ſo ſad?

Capt

That which would make any Man ſad, want of Money.

Will

We may be as ſad as you for that; but to be poor and Melancholy is a double miſery.

Capt

Life cannot be merry, when it hath not any thing to live upon.

Enter Dick Traveller.

Capt

Dick, where have you been?

Dick

I have been peeping through a Key-hole into a Room, where your three Siſters are in ſerious Councel with Madam Informer.

Capt

Pray God ſhe is not inſtructing of them to be Wenches.

Will

Faith, I fear it; for ſhe would make an ingenuous Bawd.

Capt

I will go and part them.

Dick

Pray do not; for perchance the Womens Wits may do you more ſervice then your own; for I heard them ſay, their Brothers muſt aſſiſt them; and ſurely they do not believe you would be their Pimps.

Harry

No, for they know we ſhall rather be their Murtherers then their Pimps.

Dick

Then let them alone; and whilſt they are in a Councel, let us go to the Tavern and drink.

Capt

But we have no Money.

Dick

I have a little credit to run on the Score.

Harry. 44 M2v 44

Harry

Faith, if we go to the Tavern, the Girls will come crying after us.

Dick

I tell you they are ſo buſie about ſome Female- deſign, as they will not miſs us.

Exeunt All but the Cornet.

Cornet

I muſt ſtay to tell a lie, becauſe they ſhall not follow us.

Enter Peg, Jane, and Anne.

Cornet

Ladies, your Brothers bid me tell you, they are gone about ſome ſerious buſineſs; but they will return ſoon.

Peg

When they will.

Exit Cornet. Enter Informer.

Peg

Mrs. Informer, how ſhall we three agree in the choice of the three Rich Men?

Inform

You muſt draw Lots, and I have made them ready.

Jane

I pray Jupiter, I may draw the Rich Man.

An

I pray Jupiter, I may draw him.

Peg

We muſt take our Lot, let it be what it will.

Jane draws firſt. They Draw.

Inform

Which have you drawn?

Jane

I have drawn Serjeant Plead-all.

Anne Sencible draws.

An

I have drawn Doctor Cure-all.

Peg

Jove, I thank thee in giving the Uſurer to me.

Inform

Now go to your Brothers, and inform them of your deſigns.

Jane. 45 N1r 45

Jane

Faith, they will rather laugh at us, then help us.

An

But yet we dare not do any ſuch thing without their knowledge.

Peg

I am confident my Brother will aſſiſt me.

Jane

Come, let us go to them.

Exeunt.

Scene V.

Enter Captain, Harry, Will, Dick, Lieutenant and Cornet, as in the Tavern.

Will.

Well, this Wine is ſo freſh and full of Spirit, as it would make a Fool a Poet.

Harry

Or a Poet a Fool.

Dick

Then here’s a Health to the moſt Fools in the World.

Capt

Then you muſt drink a Health to the whole World, that is one great Fool.

Lieut

Prithee Dick do not drink that Health, for it will choak thee; for the World of Fools is too big for one Draught.

Dick

Then here’s a Health to the wiſeſt Man.

Cornet

You may as well drink a Health to a drop of water in the Ocean.

Capt

Faith Dick, that health is ſo little, it cannot be taſted; beſides, I do not love droppings.

N Dick. 46 N1v 46

Dick

Then here’s a Health to the Honeſt’ſt man in the World.

Will

That Health is more difficult then the laſt? for it is as rare to know an Honeſt man, as to ſee a Phoenix.

Dick

Then I will drink a Health to the Chaſteſt Woman.

Lieut

You might as well drink a Health to the Queen of the Faries, which is an old Wives-tale; for Chaſtity lives only in the Name not in Nature.

Dick

Then here’s a Health to a Common Courteſan.

Harry

A Pox of that Health, I will not pledge it.

Will

Then here’s a Health to the Muſes.

Capt

It is a ſhame for a Soldier to drink a Health to the Muſes.

Lieut

The truth is, I hate a Poetical Soldier.

Harry

Is it not lawful for a Soldier Captain to have Wit?

Capt

No; for Wit makes the minds of Men ſoft, ſweet, gentle, and effeminate; inſomuch as thoſe that have Wit, are not fit for Soldiers; for Soldiers ſhould have reſolute minds, cloudy thoughts, hard hearts, rough ſpeeches, and boiſterous actions.

Cornet

The truth is Captain there is as much difference between a Poet and a Soldier (which is Wit and Courage) as between a Calm and a Storm.

Capt

You ſay true, Cornet; for certainly the beſt Soldiers are born and bred in the uncivilleſt Nations.

Lieut

No doubt of it, Captain.

Dick. 47 N2r 47

Dick

Then here’s a Health to the Graces.

Capt

That Health is three times worſe then the former, which was nine times too bad; for when did you know a Soldier to have Grace?

Lieut

The truth is Captain it is unnatural for a Soldier to have Grace.

Capt

You ſay true, Lieutenant.

Will

Setting aſide, the Muſes and the Graces, here is a Health to the Furies.

Capt

I marry Sir, that Health ſounds like a Soldier’s Health, and I will pledge it were the Glaſs full of Wounds. Here Harry, here’s the Furies Health.

Harry

Faith, Captain, we ſhall be furiouſly drunk with the Furies Health.

Cornet

It will give fire to your brain.

Harry

Yes, and burn out my Reaſon.

They Drink.

Capt

Now I will begin another Health; Here Gentlemen, here is Death’s Health.

Dick

Good Captain, do not drink Death’s Health, for it will make our Wine ſo cold it will never warm us; beſides, dead Wine will never make us drunk; and if we had not a deſire to be drunk, we ſhould not have come now to the Tavern.

Capt

Dick, you muſt drink Death’s Health, for Death’s Health will make you dead drunk.

Dick

Then I will drink it, and invite you and the reſt of the Society to my Funeral.

Capt. 48 N2v 48

Capt

Then we will carry thee to thy bed with Ceremony, as to thy Grave, ſounding a dead March with empty Pots, trayling our Tobacco-pipes inſtead of Pikes, and ſpew out Wine inſtead of Tears.

Enter Peg, Jane, and Anne, as to the Tavern.

Harry

Did not I tell you they would come.

Capt

What come you for now?

Jane

Not to complain or chide, but to deſire your aſſiſtance to our Deſigns.

Will

Let your Tongues and Tayls aſſiſt you.

Peg

No, our Wits and Honeſty ſhall aſſiſt us.

Capt

Pray Jove you have either.

Harry

Well, let us hear your Deſigns.

An

It is to get us Rich Husbands.

Capt

Siſter Peg, tell me truly, is the Deſign ſo honeſt, and honourable as only to get a Rich Husband.

Peg

There is no deceit in the end, but only in the way or means.

Capt

Come, let us go, for perchance our Siſter’s honeſt Wits may get us Honourable Means to live with.

Exeunt. Scene
49 O1r 49

Scene VI.

Enter Lady, and her Second Suiter.

Suiter

Madam, I was here ſome little while ago, to tender my duty to you; but hearing you were not in a pleaſing humour, I durſt not venture to preſent my Suit, for there is a nick of Time for Lovers to ſpeed.

Lady

Sir, I perceive you are well learned in old Obſervations.

Suit

As for Learning of all kinds and ſorts, I defie it, in ſo much that I cannot read the Horn-book; neither am I able to remember the relation of any Diſcourſe, if there be words in it that conſiſt but of two Sillables.

Lady

How will you make Love then?

Suit

Thus Madam, I love you with all my heart.

Lady

What Jointure will you make me?

Suit

Love.

Lady

What maintenance will you give me?

Suit

Love.

Lady

Can Love feed, Cloth and maintain me?

Suit

Love is the true Elixir, and above all price, being above Gold; it is a Creator, Madam.

Lady

If your Love be a Creator, then my Love ſhall be your Creature.

Exit Lady, Suiter Solus.

Suit

The Devil himſelf cannot work upon a Womans Nature.

O Enter 50 O1v 50 Enter the Lady, and a third Suiter.

Suit

Madam, I hear you are Rich.

Lady

What then Sir?

Suit

And I am poor.

Lady

What then?

Suit

Therefore I deſire you would be pleaſed to marry me.

Lady

For what?

Suit

To mend my Fortune.

Lady

I am no Cobler, Sir

Exit Lady, Suiter SolSolus.

Suit

The Devil take Women’s Tongues, for they make Men Fools.

Act III. Scene I.

Enter Harry, and Doctor Cure-all.

Harry

Doctor Cure-all, hearing of your fame, hath cauſed me to ſend for you, to aſſiſt me with your help.

Doctor

What is your Diſeaſe?

Harry

That you muſt tell me; but my pain lies in my bones.

Doctor

I underſtand your Diſeaſe; you muſt be put to a diet, and you muſt ſweat, and bathe, and ſomething elſe, if need require it.

Harry

I hope I have not the Pox, Doctor?

Doctor

You may ſay it is a Cold, or ſo; but do you not 51 O2r 51 not feel a tenderneſs in your Noſe, or a weakneſs in your Legs?

Harry

My Legs are ſomewhat weak.

Doctor

Do you ſpit much?

Harry

Sometimes, but not much.

Doctor

It were well if you did; for that Evacuation is good for young Men.

Gives him a Fee.

Doctor

By no means Sir.

Harry

Pray Doctor take it.

Doctor

Well Sir, I ſhall preſcribe ſome Remedies.

Harry

I ſhall come to your Houſe, and Viſit you ſometimes, Doctor.

Doctor

You ſhall be welcome Sir; if I am not miſtaken, your Name is Mr. Sencible.

Harry

It is ſo Sir, your Servant Doctor.

Exit Doctor. Enter Captain and Will to Harry.

Capt

Harry, it ſeems you are ſick, for we met the Doctor; but what ſays he to thee.

Harry

He ſays, I have the Pox.

Will

A Plague of him, but he hath the Money.

Harry

I lent him two Pieces upon Intereſt.

Capt

For the hopes of thy Cure: But Will Fullwit, have you got your Siſter into the Serjeant’s ſervice?

Will

Yes, and he likes her Service very well.

Capt

But Harry, how doth your Siſters deſign go on?

Harry

Faith ſlowly; for this is the firſt time I ever ſaw the Doctor, but I hope it will come to a good iſſue in time; but how far is your Siſters deſign gone?

Capt. 52 O2v 52

Capt

So far as I am almoſt ready to ſummon him to a Spiritual Court, and yet I have neither ſpoke to, nor ſeen the Uſurer Get-all; but when a buſineſs is well laid, it is half done.

Harry

But if it be to appear before the Spiritual Court, it will be caſt forth.

Capt

I will warrant you I ſhall get ſuch a Judg, as will end the cauſe on my ſide; but both of you muſt be aſſiſtants; wherefore let us go to Dick Traveller, where we ſhall meet my Lieutenant, and Cornet, whom I have well inſtructed.

Enter Dick, Lieutenant and Cornet.

Capt

O, you have prevented us; are you ready for the deſign?

Dick

Yes.

Capt

But do you underſtand the cauſe well?

Dick

So well as I ſhall not need any further Inſtruction; but where’s my Fee?

Capt

But ſtay, the Cauſe is not ended; for though a Bribe go before, a Fee comes after.

Lieut

If Judges and Lawyers ſhould not be Fee’d before Cauſes were decided, they would not be ſo rich as they are; but Doctors uſually have their Fees after their Preſcriptions and Advice; wherefore, Will Fullwit, that muſt be; Doctor Feel-pulſe muſt not be fee’d before hand.

Capt

I only fear Will is not learned enough to play the part of a Doctor of Phyſick.

Will

Never fear me, for I ſhall out-argue the Colledge.

Dick. 53 P1r 53

Dick

Harry, and your Lieutenant, and Cornet muſt act as under Officers and Clerks.

Cornet

Let Harry act the part of a Clerk, and leave us to be under Officers.

Capt

No, no, Harry muſt be a Pleader; but I never thought Soldiers ſhould turn Judges and Lawyers, before now.

Dick

Why not as well as Prieſts turn Soldiers.

Capt

Come, let us go about this great affair.

Enter Peg.

Capt

Peg, have you got your Child ready?

Peg

Yes.

Will

Have you Confidence to outface the Court?

Peg

I can face the Court; but I fear I cannot outface or out-caſe the Uſurer Get-all.

Capt

Never fear it, Peg.

Peg

Pray Jove we ſpeed, for the good of the Common-wealth of Cavaliers.

Capt

Well Peg, be ready againſt I ſend for you.

Exeunt Men. Enter Anne, and Informer, to Peg.

Anne

How is your Deſign like to prove?

Peg

Well I hope; but Mrs. Informer, have you ſeen Jane Fullwit ſince ſhe went to be a Lawyer’s Clerk?

Inform

I have, and ſhe told me, that her Maſter is much pleaſed with her ſervice; but I going often to viſit his Clerk, the Serjeant having notice of it, watched when I was with him, and was very angry, and ſaid I P was 54 P1v 54 was ſuch a Bawd as corrupted all the Apprentices, and Lawyer’s Clerks in the City. But I fear for all your induſtry, your Deſigns will not come to that effect you deſire.

Peg

Why, what hinders them?

Inform

Why, thoſe three rich men, that I informed you of, do eagarly wooe the old Lady Riches.

Jane

Are the men young, or old?

Inform

Neither; they are of a middle age.

An

Then ſhe will never marry any of them; for old Women love young Men; beſides, ſhe can marry but one.

Peg

Come, come, it is impoſſible, but we ſhall be preferred before the old Lady.

Inform

I wiſh you may.

Peg

I will warrant you, we ſhall have good ſucceſs if you act your part well.

Inform

Never fear me, for I ſhall out-act you all.

Peg

Come, let us go to the Child, to put a dry Cloath to it, and to wrap it warm with a Mantle, for fear it catch cold; for if it get Cold, my Brother will be angry.

Exit Women. Get-all the Uſurer ſitting casting up Accounts, Enter his Man Roger.

Roger

Will your Worſhip give me leave to ſpeak freely to you?

Get-all

Yes, Roger, freely.

Roger

I wonder your Worſhip will ſtarve your life, to fill your Purſe.

Get-all. 55 P2r 55

Get-all

O Roger, when the Purſe is full, the life cannot ſtarve for want.

Roger

’Tis true, he that is Rich may eat if he have a Stomack; but you will neither eat nor ſleep, but wear out your life in caſting up the Accounts of your Riches, and yet have not an Heir to leave it to.

Get-all

Wealth never wants Heirs.

Roger

Indeed ſuch Heirs, that will give no thanks for what they do receive?

Get-all

But I can make the Meritorious my Heirs.

Roger

You may make Heirs, but not Merit, Sir.

Get-all

Do you think there are not Men of Merit?

Roger

Faith Sir, Merit died many years ſince, and left no Poſterity.

Enter Tom his other Man.

Servant

Sir, there is one Captain Valour deſires to ſpeak with your Worſhip.

Get-all

Theſe poor Cavaliers haunt me like Spirits, they will not let me reſt in peace.

Roger

Faith Sir, they are like Hounds, that hunt an after-Game.

Get-all

But they ſhall not catch my Wealth; for they have no Lands to Mortgage, nor Goods to Pawn.

Roger

I believe they have not any thing to pawn or Mortgage, unleſs it be their Honeſties.

Get-all

But poor Honeſty will pay no Debts; wherefore tell the Captain, I am not to be ſpoken with.

Exit Servant. Roger. 56 P2v 56

Roger

But your Worſhip ſaid, you would leave your Wealth to Men of Merit.

Get-all

Yes, Roger, I may leave them my Wealth when I die; but not give it them whilſt I live.

Roger

But if the Cavaliers be Men of Merit, they may be ſtarved before you are like to die; for you are not fifty years of age, and healthful and temperate, whereas they are weak with want and diſorders.

Get-all

Want and diſorders ſeldom go together; wherefore we’l endeavour to get the old Lady Riches.

Roger

What, to be diſorderly?

Get-all

No, to be Rich.

Roger

But would you Marry this old Lady Riches in earneſt?

Get-all

Yes; but I would not ſee her before I am Married, for fear I ſhould diſlike her; and that would diſquiet my mind between two Paſſions, Diſlike and Covetouſneſs.

Roger

But you have a Maſs of Wealth already, ſo in my judgment you ſhould deſire no more.

Get-all

You are a Fool; for I would be as Rich as the Indies, and then I ſhould be more then half as Rich as the King of Spain.

Roger

But what would you do with it, if you had it?

Get-all

I would fight with the Great Turk.

Roger

But you ſaid, That you would give your Wealth to Men of Merit.

Get-all

Why ſo I ſhall, if I give it to Valiant Soldiers, to fight againſt the Turk.

Roger. 57 Q1r 57

Roger

But would your Worſhip head your own Army?

Get-all

Yes.

Roger

Truly that would be a kind of a Miracle; for I never heard of an Uſurer that was Valiant.

Enter the Servant again.

Serv.

Sir, Captain Valour is without ſtill, he will not go away.

Get-all

I cannot ſpeak with him.

Serv

He bids me tell you, That he doth not come to borrow Money, for he knows you will lend him none; but he ſays, He came to inform you of a buſineſs that highly concerns you.

Get-all

Well, bring him in; but be ſure Roger and Tom, that both of you be in the next room, for I do not love to be with a Soldier alone.

Roger

But you dare truſt your ſelf at the head of an Army.

Get-all

Yes, yes, but that is againſt the Turk; but hold your prating and ſend in the Captain.

Exit Roger. Enter Captain.

Capt

Mr. Get-all, I am come to inform you, that there is a young Gentlewoman brought to bed.

Get-all

What is that to me.

Capt

It is to you, if it be true what they ſay, which is, that you got it.

Get-all

If ſhe can prove I got it, I will not only keep Q the 58 Q1v 58 the Child, but marry the Woman; but I did believe I was always inſufficient.

Capt

You ſpeak as an honeſt Gentleman, and I ſhall tell her what you ſay.

Exit Captain. Enter Roger.

Get-all

Roger, I am provided of an Heir, for I have a Child laid to my Charge.

Roger

Of the Captain’s begetting.

Get-all

I believe ſo; but the Wench lays it to my charge.

Roger

Faith Sir, I never ſaw any thing like a Woman, near your Worſhip, ſince I came to be your Servant, which is above Twenty years; as for your old Cook- maid, ſhe is nothing like a Woman.

Get-all

Why, what is ſhe like then?

Roger

Like a Spirit, whoſe ſubſtance is waſted in Hell-fire.

Get-all

Well Roger, but I muſt be careful to avoid this Wenches plot againſt me, and there is no way, that I can perceive, to avoid it, but to marry as ſpeedily as I can; wherefore carry the old Lady Riches that Preſent, and letter her into my Chamber, and if it be poſſible ſpeak to her ſelf and wooe her for me.

Roger

Faith Sir, I am as bad a wooer as your ſelf; for I never wooed any Woman but your Cook-maid for a Breakfaſt, or to make me a Bag-pudding; and how ſuch kind of Wooing will fit a Lady, I cannot tell.

Get-all

But you can tell her, how Rich I am.

Roger. 59 Q2r 59

Roger

That I can, and in my Conſcience that is as good a wooing-Plea as any is.

Get-all

And you may tell her that one of my age is fitter to match with one of her age, then a younger man.

Roger

Thoſe two Arguments will ſpoile all, eſpecially that of mentioning her age, for Women cannot endure to hear of their age, were they as old as Methuſelah.

Get-all

Well, uſe what Arguments you ſhall think fit.

Roger

Shall I Wooe as the young Gallants, in Court Language?

Get-all

What Language is that?

Roger

Fine Phraſes, and Mode-expreſſions, which is a mixture with French words, and high Complements.

Get-all

How high?

Roger

As high as Non-ſence, which is beyond Underſtanding.

Get-all

Prithee uſe what Language or Expreſſions you will.

Roger

But put the caſe I ſhould wooe ſo courtly, as to get her for my ſelf?

Get-all

If you do Roger, I ſhall wiſh you joy.

Roger

I thank you Sir.

Exit Roger. Enter Tom his other Man.

Tom

Sir, there is a young Gentlewoman come in a Coach, who deſires to ſpeak with your Worſhip.

Get-all

I’le pawn my life it is ſhe, that deſires to lay her Baſtard to my Charge.

Tom. 60 Q2v 60

Tom

Certainly, ſhe is none of that trade, for ſhe is come in a Coach.

Get-all

Why a Hackney Woman may ride in a Hackney-Coach; there is no Law againſt it, Tom.

Tom

But in my conſcience this Gentlewoman looks as modeſtly, as if ſhe were honeſt.

Get-all

But a modeſt Countenance is oftentimes made uſe of only to cover the face of Adultery.

Tom

Then youu will not ſpeak with her?

Get-all

No, for there is Antipathy between me and Women-kind, ſince this Accuſation.

Tom was going out, and returns back.

Tom

Sir, here is the Captain.

Enter Captain.

Get-all

What would you have now?

Capt

I am come to ſummon you to the Spiritual Court.

Get-all

I ſhall obey; but how ſhall I find the Court, for I was never there?

Capt

I will go but to the next houſe to ſpeak with a friend, and I will come and direct you to the place.

Get-all

I pray do.

Exit Captain. Enter Roger.

Get-all

I am glad you are not gone to the Lady, for I am ſummoned to the Spiritual Court.

Roger

The Captain’s coming made me ſtay, but what are you ſummoned for, a bag of Money?

Get-all

Indeed that is the deſign, but the pretence is, for 61R1r 61 for getting the Child, I told you was laid to my Charge.

Roger

Why, this is the miſery of Wealth, a man can never be quiet; and you being very rich, it will be the policy of the Spiritual Court, to make you maintain all the Whores, and their Baſtards, in the City.

Get-all

Like enough.

Roger

And if there be an overplus, you may leave that to the Meritorious; ſo then you will maintain Vice in your life, and Virtue when you are dead.

Get-all

But ſurely my Innocency will defend me from the injury of Injuſtice.

Roger

Faith, Injuſtice is too prevalent for Innocency, in theſe days.

Get-all

Well, let us go, for I muſt obey the Laws.

Roger

But Sir, you are not provided of Lawyers to Plead on your ſide.

Get-all

I ſhall not need them, for I can declare my own Innocency.

Exeunt Get-all and Servant. Enter as in a Court of Justice, Dick, as prime Judge of the Spiritual Court, the Lieutenant and Cornet as two Clerks, Harry Sencible as a Lawyer, or Pleader, for the Plaintiff; Will Fullwit as a Phyſician; Mrs. Peg Valoroſa the Plaintiff; Informer, as a Midwife and Witneſs; and Captain Valorous as their Friend; when all ſit in Order. Enter Get-all and Roger.

Harry

Moſt Reverend Judge, here is a Gentlewoman come, who deſires Juſtice.

R Dick. 62 R1v 62

Dick

What is her Cauſe?

Harry

Her Cauſe is, That ſhe being a virtuous young Woman, hath behaved her ſelf modeſtly, and hath kept a good Reputation in the World (which all her Neighbours know) until ſuch time as this Mr. Get-all got her with Child, which Child he will neither own nor keep, nor marry the Woman.

Dick

Have you any Witneſſes?

Harry

We have ſuch a Witneſs as the Law allows of, which is a Midwife.

Get-all

I require the Witneſs to be heard.

Dick

Will you witneſs that the Child is Mr. Get-all’s.

Inform

I will witneſs the words of the Labouring Woman.

Dick

Declare them.

Inform

About Twelve a Clock at Night I being in bed, and faſt aſleep, there comes a Man, and raps, and raps, and――raps at the Door, as if it had been for life, which in truth proved ſo; for it was to fetch me to bring a ſweet Babe into the World; but I hearing one rap ſo hard, I was afraid, my Door, being but a rotten Door, ſhould be broke to pieces; I ran to the Window to ask, who knockt ſo hard, but the man knockt on, and I call’d out; which knocking and calling took up half an hours time; but at laſt, my Tongue being louder then the Clapper, he heard me then; I asked him what was his buſineſs? he ſaid, I muſt go preſently to a young Gentlewoman that was in Labour; upon which ſummons I did 63R2r 63 did riſe and put on my Bodiſe, but did not half lace them; alſo my Petticoats, but did not tie them faſt enough; for when I came into the middle of the broad Street, my Coats fell quite down from my hips, but as good luck would have it, it was a dark Night, but the ill fortune was, that my Coats fell down, when I was ſtriding over the broad Kennel, in which poſture I ſtood a great time, until the man helpt me over; but my Coats were all wet.

Get-all

But what is all this to the Confeſſion of the Labouring Woman?

She anſwers angerly.

Inform

It is of concern; for Circumſtance is partly a declaring of truth.

Dick

You ſay true Miſtreſs, wherefore go on.

Inform

But as I ſaid――ſtay, I have forgot; where did I leave?

Capt

You left at the wet Coats, Miſtreſs.

Inform

’Tis very true, I humbly thank you Sir; The Coats, as I ſaid, being wet, I was loth to put them on, not only for fear of catching cold, but for fear I ſhould endanger the Womans miſcarriage by my retardments; ſo I went with never a Coat on me, the Man carried them for me; but the night was pretty warm, ſo that I got no Cold, I thank Jupiter; but being more nimble, as being more light, I was ſoon at the houſe of the Labouring Woman, whom I found in painful throws, and ſhe groaned moſt pitifully; and I comforted her, and prayed her to have patience, 64R2v 64 patience, and at laſt ſhe was brought to bed of a very luſty Boy.

Get-all

But what did the Gentlewoman confeſs?

Inform

What Gentlewoman?

Get-all

This Gentlewoman.

Inform

This Gentlewoman hath confeſt that ſhe was never got with Child, nor never had a Child, but what Mr. Get-all begot; and this I will take my Oath of.

Dick

How can you clear your ſelf Mr. Get-all?

Get-all

I will take my Oath that I never did ſee this Gentlewoman, about whom I am accuſed, in my life; and I have a Servant here that can witneſs for me.

Roger comes forward.

Dick

What can you witneſs?

Roger

I can witneſs that I have lived with my Maſter theſe Twenty years, in all which time I did never ſee my Maſter converſe with any thing like a Woman.

Dick

Doth your Maſter keep no Servant-Maid?

Roger

There is one we call the Cook-maid, but whether ſhe be Maid or Woman, I’le take my Oath I know not.

Dick

Then your Maſter may converſe with Women you know not of.

Roger

But I will ſwear my Maſter did never converſe with this Gentlewoman that hath the Child.

Get-all

And I will take my Oath, as I ſaid, that I never did ſo much as ſee her before now.

Capt

But may it pleaſe you, moſt Reverend Judge, this Gentlewoman hath ſeen him.

Get-all. 65 S1r 65

Get-all

But the bare ſight of me could not get her with Child.

Capt

That is to be proved; wherefore we require ſo much juſtice of this Reverend Judge, that Mr. Feel-pulſe, a moſt learned and expert Doctor of Phyſick, may prove it by Argumentation.

Dick

Let Mr. Doctor prove it.

Will steps forward.

Will

Then be it known to this moſt Reverend Judge, and to Mr. Get-all, and the reſt of this Aſſembly, That our Famous Doctor is of opinion, (as alſo the heads of our Schools and Colledges) That the production of Animal kind, is by an Incorporeal motion; and the famous Doctor is alſo of opinion, That the Soul of Man ſlides from the Stomack to the heel, and in that journey makes a production: And all the Platonicks do affirm, That there may be a Conjunction of Souls, although the Bodies be at a far diſtance; and I am abſolutely of that opinion; and that the Idea of a Man, by the help of a ſtrong imagination, may beget a Child; which is ſufficiently proved; for ſhe ſeeing Mr. Get-all enter into the houſe of Mr. Inkhorn the Scrivener, viewed his perſon ſo exactly, that when ſhe was in bed, a ſtrong imagination ſeized on her, by which ſhe conceived a Child.

Get-all

It ſeems the Child was begot like the Plague, by conceit.

Dick

You ſay true, Mr. Get-all; wherefore you muſt marry the Woman, own the Child, and keep them both.

S Get-all. 66 S1v 66

Get-all

Is there no avoiding your Sentence, Mr. Judge?

Judge

No, the Decree is paſt.

Get-all

Why then as ſhe was got with Child by Conceit, ſo I will marry her by Conceit.

Judge

But you muſt take her, and her Child home, and maintain them.

Get-all

Cannot I maintain them by Conceit?

Judge

No, that muſt be done Corporally.

Get-all

If there be no remedy, I muſt be content; come my Conceited or Platonick Wife and Child, let us go home.

All

We wiſh you all Happineſs.

Exeunt.

Scene II.

Enter the Lady and a Fourth Suiter.

Suiter

Madam, I ſuppoſe my Name is unknown to you?

Lady

’Tis probable Sir; for I never ſaw you before.

Suit

Then I’le tell you, Madam, my Name is, Monſieur Vanity.

Lady

Your Name ſhews that your Humour is Fooliſh, and your actions Prodigal.

Suit

My Humour is noble, Madam, and my Actions generous; for I uſually caſt away a hundred pounds at 67S2r 67 at Dice, and run away a hundred pounds at a Race, and give away a hundred pounds at a Viſit to a Miſtreſs.

Lady

This laſt kind of Prodigality has ſome reſemblance to Generoſity; but yet it is as different from Generoſity, as a Bribe is from an Unintereſſed Gift. But pray Sir, give me leave to ask you, what deſign brought you hither to me?

Suit

A very good deſign, Madam; for I being vain, and you rich, ’twould be very convenient we two ſhould joyn as Man and Wife, that one might maintain the other.

Lady

Alas Sir, the Wife would ſoon die in her Husbands arms; for Riches conſume in Vanity; therefore, I will as ſoon marry death, as you.

Exit Lady.

Suit. Sol

Death take her, if I cannot get her.

Enter Three Gentlewomen to the Lady.

Lady

I am glad you are come to releaſe me from the importunity of my Suiters.

1 Gent

You are in a good Condition, Madam, that you can have Lovers that ſeek you, when as we for want of Wealth, are forced to ſeek them.

2 Gent

You mean Husbands, Madam, for Lovers are never ſought, becauſe they are never loſt; for a Lover will always be at the tayl of his Miſtreſs.

3 Gent

I wiſh I had as many as would make up a Train.

Exit Suiter. Enter her Father Save-all.

Fath

Daughter, have you made your choice of a Husband, ſince you have ſo many Suiters?

Daugh. 68 S2v 68

Daugh

No truly Sir, for the number confounds my choice, or rather there is no choice in all the number, by reaſon none exceeds the other, but they are all Fools alike.

Fath

Indeed Daughter, if you be ſo long a chuſing, you will be paſt choice your ſelf.

Daugh

I had rather be old with Judgment, then young with Folly; and ſince you have been pleaſed to truſt to my diſcretion, I would not willingly betray that truſt, by the haſt of my choice.

Fath

You ſpeak well, Daughter; Heaven grant you do well.

Daugh

But pray Sir give me leave to ask you one queſtion.

Fath

What’s that?

Daugh

I would fain know, whether my Lovers do firſt addreſs their Suits to you, or to me?

Fath

Their Suites they addreſs firſt to you; but their inquiries are made firſt to me; to wit, what Portion I would give you, and whether I intend to ſettle all my Eſtate upon you.

Daugh

It ſeems they conſider my Wealth before my Perſon.

Fath

Yes, and all Wooers do the like.

Daugh

But not Lovers Sir.

Fath

Yes, yes, for they wooe firſt, marry next, and love laſt.

Exit Father. Enter
69 T1r 69

Scene III.

Enter the Fifth Suiter to the Lady, being an ancient Man.

Suiter

Madam, I ſee you are a Beauty, and Report ſpeaks you Virtuous and Wiſe; which if ſo, I hope you’l chuſe an ancient Lover before a young one.

Lady

No queſtion Sir, but an ancient Lover expreſſes more Conſtancy in his Love, then a young one doth; but ancient Love requires a great deal of time, and my Father may die before I make my Choice.

Suit

You miſtake me, Madam, I mean an ancient Man that loves you.

Lady

There is great difference between an ancient Man, and an ancient Lover: But Sir, by your Diſcourſe I perceive you pretend to be a Lover.

Suit

My Love is not pretended; for I do really love you.

Lady

How can I know that?

Suit

By proof; for I’le not require any Portion with you, ſince I am Rich enough without; Nay, I will not only take you without a Portion, but make you Miſtreſs of all my Wealth, in ſo much that I will freely give you all I am Worth; and I wiſh I were worth Millions for your ſake.

Lady

Sir, you expreſs more Love in your Gifts, T then 70T1v 70 then all my young Suiters in their Words; and if you will confirm your Promiſe to my Father, which you have now made to me, I ſhall accept of you for a Husband, and promiſe you, to be an honeſt and Loving Wife.

He Kiſſes her Hand.

Suit

Let us both go to your Father, and conclude the bargain.

Act IV. Scene I.

Enter Lawyer and his She-Clerk.

Serjeant

Is Doctor Cure-all ſo induſtrious about the old Lady Riches?

Jack

Yes Sir, he was very buſie in preparing of Cordials, Ointments, and ſuch things; and was angry that I came with a Meſſage from you; for he bid me be gone; for the Lady, he ſaid, could not hear Love- Meſſages, ſhe was ſo full of Sciatical pain and Gout; but the old Lady did favour me, and chid the Doctor for bidding me to be gone; for ſhe would have heard my Meſſage, when her ſides were anointed, and her Gouty Toe Plaiſtered.

Serj

And did you ſtand by, till ſhe was anointed?

Jack

Yes Sir, for ſhe did deſire me to help to anoint her ſides, whilſt the Doctor laid a Plaiſter to her Toe.

Serj. 71 T2r 71

Serj

And how did ſhe like your ſervice?

Jack

So well, Sir, as ſhe ſaid, ſhe was never better chaft and rubbed in her life; I ſuppoſe it was for your ſake.

Serj

But when I am married, I ſhall not allow her my Clerk to anoint her ſides, although ſhe be ſo old to go upon Crutches.

Exit Jack Clerk. Enter another Clerk.

Clerk

Sir, there is a Client without, deſires to ſpeak with you; and there is a Gentleman without, that doth raile bitterly.

Serj

For what?

Clerk

Becauſe his Law-Suit went againſt him; he ſays, That all the poor Cavaliers are not only undone by the Wars, but alſo by the Lawyers.

Serj

Theſe poor Cavaliers are very troubleſome.

Man

Alaſs, their Loſſes make them impatient.

Serj

They are ſo poor, that Lawyers cannot gain by them; wherefore, we are for the other Party, who are ſo rich, that ’tis fit their Purſes ſhould be emptied.

Man

But if they get their Suites, Sir, the poor Cavaliers pay the Charges.

Serj

Hold your prating, and bid Jack Clerk come to me.

Enter Jack Clerk.

Serj

Have you writ thoſe Deeds out?

Jack

Yes Sir.

Serj

And have you Copied out thoſe Caſes that I am to plead for, and againſt?

Jack. 72 T2v 72

Jack

Yes Sir.

Serj

’Tis well done.

Jack

Sir, you are pleaſed to ſeem to favour me.

Serj

I do really love thee, and will do thee any favour I can.

Jack

Then I deſire you would be pleaſed to Plead a Cauſe that concerns a Kinſwoman of mine.

Serj

That I will to the beſt of my power; but what is the Caſe?

Jack

Why Sir, I have a Kinſwoman who is well born, but poor, and a Gentlewoman; but a Gentleman being in Love with her, and ſhe not condeſcending to his unlawful deſire, hath taken her away by force, and keeps her by force.

Serj

Have you Witneſs?

Jack

Yes Sir, I have two Witneſſes.

Serj

That is ſufficient; let them be ready at the next Seſſions.

Jack

But Sir, I deſire not to appear as Plaintiff, for I have got another Gentleman to be Plaintiff; and my Friends are without, Sir, if you pleaſe to ſee them.

Serj

Well, call them.

Enter the Lieutenant and Cornet.

Serj

Gentlemen, I ſhall ſerve you as well as I can.

Lieut. ; Cor

We thank you Sir.

Exit Serjeant. Enter Dick, Will, Harry, and Captain.

Jack

Gentlemen, you are welcome.

Jack. 73 V1r 73

Will

We are come to know if we ſhall have a Hearing?

Jack

My Maſter hath promiſed to Plead on our behalf.

Harry

We deſire no more.

Jack

But I am to inform this Society, That there is a very rich old Lady, (a Widow) who theſe three Rich Men court; The Uſurer did Wooe her, and the Lawyer and Phyſician do Wooe her; now if any one of you could cozen theſe Three of the Lady, it would be a Maſter-piece.

Harry

But ſhould not any one of us cozen our ſelves, or ſhe cozen us to marry her? for ſhe is ſo old, that there is no hopes of Poſterity.

Dick

Why ſhall we deſire Poſterity, ſo long as we are poor? and if any one of us ſhould ever come to be ſo happy as to be Rich, if he hath no Children, and chance to die, let him leave his Wealth amongſt the Society of poor Cavaliers.

All ſpeak

Content, content.

Lieut

But which of us ſhall addreſs himſelf to this old Lady?

Harry

Dick Traveller is moſt likely to ſpeed.

Dick

I have white Hairs; wherefore I am confident I ſhall be refuſed.

Capt

The truth is, the only Man that is probable to ſpeed, is Harry Sencible; for he hath a young ſmooth face, and old Women love young ſmooth fac’d Men alike.

V Harry. 74 V1v 74

Harry

Yes, but a young Man doth not love an old Woman; wherefore ſhe is a fitter match for Dick then for me.

Will

Harry is in the right, Dick is the fitteſt Match for her; but the difficulty will be, how to make the Match, for we ſhall find it more difficult for all us Men to cozen one Woman, then for one Woman to cozen all us Men.

Lieut

It is impoſſible; wherefore let us never endeavour it.

Cornet

But we will never loſe any deſign for want of endeavour.

Jack

I will tell you my Maſters, how to compaſs this deſign.

Dick

How?

Jack

Harry ſhall put himſelf into a Woman’s Habit, and Madam Informer who is acquainted with the Lady, ſhall prefer Harry to be her Chamber-Maid, where he may have time and opportunity to commend Dick, and to bring him acquainted with her.

Will

He may do ſome good in that, and perchance not.

Jack

It is but trying.

Harry

I like the deſign ſo well, as I am reſolved to become a Chamber-Maid.

Will

But we ſhall want thy Company in the mean time.

Harry

No, no, I am confident I ſhall get leave ſometimestimes 75V2r 75 times to go abroad, or find ſome ways or other to ſlip out.

Lieut

But you cannot change your Habit ſuddenly.

Harry

I ſhall not have occaſion, for you all know me.

Dick

Come, come, let us about this buſineſs.

Jack

But firſt you muſt go with me to hear the Cauſe try’d.

All ſpeak

Content, content.

Exeunt. Enter Roger, Solus.

Roger

If my young Miſtreſs ſhould have a perfect Idea of me, and then a ſtrong Imagination, ſhe might prove with Child again, and ſo my Maſter would be a Platonick Cuckold.

Enter Get-all.

Get-all

Roger, where is my Platonick Wife and Child?

Roger

In the Chamber with the Milch-Nurſe.

Get-all

My Family is well increaſed ſince I have been a Platonick Husband and Father.

Roger

I hope your Worſhip will not want Heirs to inherit your Wealth?

Get-all

No, no, I cannot want Heirs, the way being ſo eaſie to get them.

Roger

But hath not your Worſhip a mind to get her with Child, after a Corporeal manner?

Get-all

Faith, Roger, ſhe is tempting, being young and handſome; but if I ſhould get her with Child as our fore- 76V2v 76 fore-fathers got us, I fear this Learned age will puniſh me, either with death or intolerable Fines.

Roger

But if there be no Witneſs, they cannot prove it; for this Platonick Son and Heir of your Worſhips, appears as if it had been got by a Corporeal action.

Get-all

You ſay true; wherefore call your Miſtreſs.

The while he Walks, Enter Mistreſs Peg.

Get-all

My Imaginary Wife, how doth our Imaginary Son?

Peg

Very well, Sir.

Get-all

But doth he Corporeally ſuck?

Peg

Yes Sir.

Get-all

I wonder at that; but my greateſt wonder is, how that an Incorporeal Conception, ſhould come to be a Corporeal Child!

Peg

’Tis like Spirits that take Bodies, Sir.

Get-all

But may I not lawfully get you with Child after a Corporeal manner?

Peg

Yes ſurely, Sir.

Get-all

Then let us go to bed, and try if I can get a Child after the old Corporeal way, for I never knew when this Child was gotten.

Peg

But I muſt be Ceremoniouſly Married firſt.

Get-all

Hang Ceremony, thoſe Children never come to good that are got with Ceremony.

Peg

But I cannot lie with you Corporeally, unleſs you honeſtly marry me.

Get-all. 77 X1r 77

Get-all

But I tell you, I did not know when I got this Child which I am forced to own.

Peg

’Tis true, Sir; but that was begot by your Idea, and my Imagination, and not perſonally; wherefore, if you deſire to lie with me, you muſt firſt Marry me, otherwiſe the Law will ſeverely puniſh us, and they would be glad we ſhould give them that occaſion, that they might take away your Wealth.

Get-all

Faith, thou ſhall rather breed by Conceit, then I Marry really; but if we muſt not lie together Corporeally, may not we kiſs Corporeally?

Peg

Truly Sir, I did never kiſs any Man but in the way of a civil Salute.

Get-all

But did not my Idea and your Imagination kiſs?

Peg

Yes Sir, but not Corporeally.

Get-all

Faith, I have a Natural deſire to thee; but I dare not Marry thee, for fear I ſhould be made a Cuckold, as I have been made a Father.

Peg

Truly I am very Chaſt, and ſhall make a very honeſt Wife; and if you will promiſe to Marry me, I will diſcover by whom you have been deceived.

Get-all

If you can prove your ſelf honeſt, I will.

Peg

Then know Sir, This Child which is laid to your Charge, is none of mine, but a Baſtard of my Brother’s, Captain Valour; but by reaſon my Brother was ruin’d in the Civil Wars, and I having loſt my Portion in his ruine, I had not Means to maintain me X honeſtly, 78X1v 78 honeſtly, according to my quality; wherefore, hearing you were a very worthy perſon, and Rich, and an unmarried Man, I deſired my Brother’s aſſiſtance in the deſign of getting you to be my Husband; but the deſign could not take effect if we had not counterfeited a Spiritual Court and Judge, which Judge was Mr. Traveller; and the Doctor Mr. Will Fullwit; and the Lawyer was Mr. Sencible; and my Brothers, Lieutenant and Major, Witneſſes; all gallant valiant Men, but poor Cavaliers; ſo that the deſign was honeſt, but the management was full of deceit.

Get-all

But what was ſhe that was the Midwife.

Peg

An honeſt ancient Gentlewoman, whoſe Huſband was kill’d in the Wars.

Get-all

Well, ſince you have ſo ingenuouſly told me the truth, I will Marry thee for thy honeſt wit; for he’s a fool that will marry a fool.

Enter Judges as in a Court of Judicature, and Serjeant Bariſter as a Pleader at the Bar, and his Clerk with a bag of Papers; alſo Harry Sencible as the Defendant, and Will Fullwit and Dick Traveller as Witneſſes, the Captain as a Plaintiff, and the Lieutenant and Anciaent as Witneſſes.

Serj

May it pleaſe your Lordſhips, I am here to Plead in my Clients behalf againſt Mr. Sencible, who againſt the Laws of Honour, Honeſty, and Civil Government, hath a young Gentlewoman of good Birth and Education (but poor) in his keeping, not by the Gentle- 79X2r 79 Gentlewoman’s (or Friends) Conſent, but by conſtraint and force, incloſing her in a Chamber, under Locks and Bolts, leſt ſhe ſhould eſcape from him.

Judg

Where is your Witneſſes?

Lieut

Here my Lords.

Judg

Will you both Swear theſe Accuſations for a truth?

Lieut

We are ready to Swear whenſoever the Book is offered.

Judg

What ſays the Defendant?

Harry

My Lords, I will confeſs the truth, but I deſire Juſtice, and that my Accuſation againſt Serjeant Plead-all, may be heard.

Serj

Good my Lords, grant his Requeſt; for I fear not what can be ſaid againſt me.

Judg

We grant his Requeſt.

Harry

Then my Lords, I freely confeſs that I have ſuch a Gentlewoman in my keeping, as I am accuſed, and do keep her under Lock and Key; not for fear ſhe ſhould leave me, but for fear ſome man ſhould ſteal her away from me; for in this age Men are like hungry Wolves, ſeeking to devour the Virginity and Reputation of young handſome Women: But this young Gentlewoman who I do ſo carefully keep, is my own Natural Siſter, which theſe two worthy Gentlemen, Mr. Fullwit and Mr. Traveller, will witneſs; beſides, I can bring all my Neighbours that will witneſs the ſame; and ſince Serjeant Plead-all hath endeavoured to diſgrace me, 80X2v 80 me, not only before your Lordſhips, but before a Court full of People; I think it not unmeet, for me to declare to your Lordſhips, That Serjeant Plead-all hath at this preſent kept in his Houſe a Gentlewoman, as a Servant, in Man’s Clothes, whoſe Birth and Breeding is better then his own.

Serj

My Lords, I deny his Impeachment; and if he can prove that I have a Woman in Man’s Clothes, that is a Houſhold Servant of mine, I will Marry her, were ſhe an old Witch.

Harry

My Lords, this Aſſembly is ſufficient witneſs of what he hath ſaid, as alſo what I have ſaid; and to prove what I ſay is true, here is the Gentlewoman who ſerves him as his Clerk, in Man’s Clothes, ſhe is Siſter to Mr. Fullwit, which he and others will witneſs, and ſhe her ſelf confeſſes.

Jane

My Lords, I do confeſs I am a Woman, and out of love to Serjeant Plead-all did take this diſguiſe, which I hope is pardonable, ſince it is not a breach of the Laws of the Kingdom, whatſoever it may be in modeſty.

Serj

How is this! my Clerk a Woman! and muſt be my Wife! I am finely cozen’d i’faith!

Harry

We beſeech your Lordſhips to give your Judgment.

Judges

Our Judgment is, That you are free, and the Serjeant muſt Marry his She-Clerk.

Exeunt. Scene.
81 Y1r 81

Scene II.

Enter Father, with his Daughter.

Daughter

Pray Sir, tell me whether you approve of my Choice?

Fath

To ſpeak truly, Daughter, you have choſen very wiſely; but how your Youth will agree with Age, I cannot tell.

Daugh

Never fear it Sir, for I ſhall love Age in a Husband, better then Youth in my ſelf.

Fath

Well, Heaven bleſs you.

Enter a Meſſenger from the young Suiters.

Meſſ

Sir, Report ſays, that the Lady your Daughter, is to be Married to an ancient Man, to the great diſgrace of her other Suiters, Youth, Beauty, and Bravery; and therefore they deſire, that before ſhe Marries, ſhe would be pleaſed to give them all a publick Audience.

Fath

Daughter, anſwer this Gentleman.

Daugh

Sir, pray tell them, that I cannot civilly deny their Requeſt, in caſe they’l be pleaſed to give me leave to make a publick anſwer.

Meſſ

No queſtion, Madam, but they will, and I ſhall inform them of what you ſay.

Exeunt. Y Act
82 Y1v 82

Act V. Scene I.

Enter Mrs. Jane Fullwit in her Woman’s Habit, and Serjeant Plead-all.

Serjeant

Well Miſtreſs, your Wit and your Perſon hath not only excuſed your deceit, but I am ſo in Love with you, that I would not but have been deceived for all the World.

Jane

Sir, with your pardon, there is one more deceived beſides your ſelf, and another like to be.

Serj

Who be thoſe?

Jane

He that is deceived, is Get-all the Uſurer, and he that ſhall be deceived is Doctor Cure-all.

Serj

What, my two Rivals?

Jane

Yes Sir.

Serj

Then they cannot laugh at me.

Jane

If they do, you may laugh at them again.

Serj

I would the old Lady was deceived.

Jane

She will in a ſhort time.

Serj

Faith, I find that the Cavaliers are the beſt deceivers.

Jane

They have been ſo oft deceived themſelves, that they have learned by their misfortunes.

Serj

But we will not deceive each other, but go to your Brother to diſpatch our Marriage.

Exeunt. Enter 83 Y2r 83 Enter Captain, Lieutenant, Cornet, and Will Fullwit, then enters Harry in a Chamber-Maid’s Habit.

Will

Mrs. Harry you are welcome, how doth your good Lady?

She makes a Curtſie ill-favouredly.

Harry

My Lady at this time is troubled with Love in the Heart, and Gout in the Toe.

Capt

Is Dick Traveller the cauſe of the Love-ſick heart?

Harry

No, it is the Lawyer’s young Clerk.

Will

He is diſcovered.

Harry

Yes, but I will not ſuffer any to inform her of it.

Cornet

But if her mind be ſo young, I doubt we may deſpair of our deſign.

Enter Dick Traveller.

Dick

Mrs. Harry, give me leave to ſalute you.

He makes a Curtſie, and he ſalutes him.

Dick

Faith Harry, you kiſs like a Woman; I pray Jove you be not turn’d Female with wearing a Petticoat.

Harry

If I be, I pray Jove I may not be ſuch a Female as my old Lady is.

Dick

But how goeth on our deſign?

Harry

Faſt towards a young man, but ſlowly towards a gray head.

Dick

What young Man?

Harry

The Lawyer’s Clerk.

Dick

What is ſhe in Love with honeſt Jack? but ſhe is diſcovered.

Harry. 84 Y2v 84

Harry

But ſhe knows not of it, for ſhe is almoſt deſperate; and between every groan of pain, ſhe ſighs for Love.

Dick

Why, then there is no hopes for me.

Harry

Not unleſs you are preſented in the Name of the Clerk, and marryed by Candle-light; for ſhe being half blind, will never diſtinguiſh which is which.

Captain

Faith, Harry’s Counſel is good.

Will

But if ſhe be as deaf as ſhe is blind, we ſhall not need to diſſemble his Name.

Dick

But Harry, do you think ſhe will live long?

Harry

My only fear is, ſhe will hardly live ſo long that he may be Married to her.

Dick

I hope ſhe is not ſo deſperately ſick.

Lieut

If ſhe ſhould die before Dick is marryed, we are all undone.

Cornet

If ſhe ſhould, it would be worſe then our Caſhiering.

Will

Take comfort Gentlemen, for old Women are ſuch dry and tough meat, that Death cannot ſet his Teeth into them, nor his Dart enter them.

Capt.

Will ſays true; for perchance ſhe may laſt longer then Dick would have her.

Dick

I would have her live till I am marryed to her, and then let her die aſſoon as ſhe will.

Harry

Well Gentlemen, I dare ſtay no longer for fear my Lady ſhould chide me moſt grievouſly.

Will

Thou art a moſt grievous Rogue.

Exit Harry. Enter 85 Z1r 85 Enter Serjeant and Jane.

Will

Hey-day, who comes here!

Serj

We are come to have you for a Witneſs to our Marriage, ſince you proved ſo good a one at the Bar.

Will

Stay ſo long, till we ſee an end of our Comedy.

Serj

If your Comedy be long, I ſhall not have patience.

Capt

It ſhall be ſhort, and you ſhall have more Bridals to accompany you.

Enter Harry.

Harry

I have been at home with my Miſtreſs; but all the plot of Jack Clerk was revealed to her, whilſt I was here; O Mr. Plead-all, I cry you mercy, I ſaw you not.

Serj

Nay, Mrs. Harry pray conceal not any thing for my being here; for I thank you, I am now become one of the Society.

Harry

And how do you like of the Acquaintance.

Serj

So well, as I would not be a ſtranger for any other good.

Harry

I preſume Mrs. Jane hath pleaſed you well.

Serj

So well, as I am confident I ſhall be happy in my Marriage: But how doth the old Lady take the diſcovery of my She-Clerk?

Harry

Faith, as ill as ſhe would take the diſcovery of her He-Chamber-Maid; the truth is, ſhe hath been in ſuch paſſions, as ſhe is almoſt transform’d to Mummy.

Serj

That ſhe was before the diſcovery.

Z Harry. 86 Z1v 86

Harry

But now ſhe is more perfect Mummy then ſhe was; but I, to comfort her, have promiſed to bring her a handſome young Man, only he is taller and bigger, as being a Man; and I did reaſon with her ſo long, that I have perſwaded her to love a Man, rather then a Boy.

Capt

And will ſhe come to reaſon?

Harry

She will, upon condition he be a young Man.

Dick

But how ſhall I make my ſelf appear to be a young Man?

Cornet

You are not ſo old, but you may appear in the dark to be a young Man.

Capt

Appear, ſay you! how the Devil can he appear in the dark?

Harry

Well, for the good of the Common-Weale, I have deviſed a way, how Dick ſhall appear like a young Man to a blind eye.

Will

Faith, I know no difference between the dark and a blind eye.

Harry

Hang you, a Pox of you all, I meant a dim eye.

Dick

Come, dim or blind, let’s hear your deſign.

Harry

This is the deſign, Dick ſhall firſt ſhave as cloſe as may be, and then paint his Face, and with a handſome Perriwig, and fine Clothes, he will appear a Young Man to an Old Woman.

Will

Faith, the Paint muſt be laid on his Face as thick as Morter on a Wall, otherwiſe his age will be ſeen.

Capt. 87 Z2r 87

Capt

Not to a dim eye.

Dick

Why, I have not ſuch Wrincles in my face as requires much filling up.

Harry

I will warrant you, that I will get ſuch an Artiſt, that if Dick’s Wrincles were as deep as a Saw- pit, they ſhould be clos’d up, and his face appear fair and even, if not ſmooth; wherefore Dick, get a handſome Perriwig, and put on your beſt Suit of Clothes, and I will ſend a Painter to your Chamber; then go to her, for ſhe expects thee, and carry a Prieſt, and ſome Witneſſes, and Marry her.

Will

Will not you be there?

Harry

I cannot, but I have left thoſe in her houſe that ſhall conduct you to her; but I muſt go about my Siſters affairs, where I moſt deſire all the Company to meet me at Doctor Cure-all’s Houſe.

All ſpeak

We will not fail you.

Dick

But the Cornet and Lieutenant muſt go with me to be my Witneſſes.

Harry

Take them.

Exeunt. Scene
88 Z2v 88

Scene II.

Enter Doctor and his Man.

Doctor

Give me my Cloak, for now the Clerk being proved a Woman, I hope the old Lady will accept of me, and that will be a double good fortune; firſt, that my Rival is cheated; next, that I ſhall be Maſter of the Ladies Riches.

Man

Doth your Worſhip mean the old Lady?

Doct

Who ſhould I mean elſe?

Man

Sir, ſhe was Married laſt Night, about one of the Clock, as her Servant told me this Morning.

Doct

Married! to whom?

Man

To a young Cavalier, one Mr. Dick Traveller.

Doct

What the Devil, hath he Married her?

Man

I know not whether the Devil Married them, but certainly they are Married.

Doct

Why, he is older then I.

Man

He hath paſt for a young Man with the Lady.

Enter another Man.

2 Man

Sir, there’s a young Gentlewoman deſires to ſpeak with your Worſhip.

Doct

’Tis ſome comfort to converſe with a young Woman, after the loſs of an old――

The Doctor goes forth, and enters leading Mrs. An.Anne Sencible.

Doct

Lady, wherein may I ſerve you?

An. 89 Aa1r 89

An

Sir, I am to deſire your aſſiſtance for the Cure of a Diſeaſe I am troubled with.

Doct

What Diſeaſe?

An

The Diſeaſe is Love.

Doct

Truly, Lady, a Phyſician hath no Remedy for that Diſeaſe, unleſs the Party be in Love with the Phyſician.

An

The truth is, Sir, I am in Love with you.

Doct

With me Lady!

Enter Sencible, and when he enters, he ſees his Siſter, he ſtarts back and frowns, ſhe ſeems to be afraid.

Harry

Is the Doctor and you ſo well acquainted, as you two to be private alone.

An

Truly I was never here before.

Harry

’Tis falſe.

Doct

I will aſſure you, Mr. Sencible, ſhe ſpeaks truth, for ſhe was never here to my knowledg before.

Harry

I perceive you both agree in a Story, and I take it as an affront you ſhould entertain my Siſter in private.

Doct

I vow to Heaven I never ſaw her before this time, nor knew I that you were her Brother.

Harry

This anſwer will not ſerve me, for I will have ſatisfaction; and as for you, Siſter, I will offer you up as a Sacrifice to Honour.

He draws his Sword, ſhe ſhreeks out, and runs behind the Doctor, the Doctor strives to defend her.

Doct

Sir, ’Tis unworthy to draw your Sword upon Aa a wo- 90Aa1v 90 a Woman, or to fight with an unarmed Man.

Harry

I do not intend to fight with you at this time, but to kill my Siſter.

Doct

For what?

Harry

For viſiting a Man, and being alone with him in his Chamber.

Doct

Why is that ſuch a Crime?

Harry

’Tis ſuch a Crime, that unleſs ſhe can prove ſhe is Married, or aſſured, I will kill her.

An

Good Doctor ſave my life.

Doct

Then Sir, give me leave to tell you, we are agreed to Marry, may we have your conſent?

Harry

I muſt have time to ask the advice of ſome dear Friends firſt.

An

Dear Brother conſent, without advice.

Harry

That I will not.

An

Then ſend for your Friends hither.

Harry

I have no body here to ſend.

Doct

You may have two or three of my Servants if you pleaſe.

Enter a Man.

Man

There is two Gentlemen below that deſire to ſpeak with Mr. Sencible.

Harry

They are come as I deſired, pray bring them in.

Enter Will Fullwit, and the Captain.

Dear Will, and Captain, I was ſending for you both, to ask your advice about a Cauſe that hath much troubled me, which is a great concernment both to my Juſtice and Honour.

Will. 91 Aa2r 91

Will

What is that?

Harry

I coming to ſee Doctor Cure-all, found my Siſter out of my Houſe, diſcourſing here alone with the Doctor, which is a great diſcredit for a young Virgin, to be not only abroad without attendance, but in Company with a Man alone, and in his Chamber.

Capt

That is not well, I did not believe Mrs. Anne Sencible would have done ſuch an act.

Doct

Gentlemen, the Lady is in no fault, for ſhe and I are agreed to marry, if her Brother conſents.

Will

That is another Caſe; and will not you give your conſent Harry?

Harry

I cannot tell.

Capt

Come, come, you ſhall conſent.

Will

Yes, yes, you ſhall Harry; Doctor give me your hand, and Mrs. Sencible give me yours, ſo joyn them together; do you agree truly and really to Marry?

Both Anſwer

We do.

Capt

Then, Mr. Sencible, give them joy of their Contract.

Harry

I wiſh you Both joy.

Enter to the Doctor, Mrs. Peg Valoroſa, Get-all, Serjeant Plead-all, and Mrs. Jane Fullwit.

Get-all

Come, come, Captain Valorous, let us go to the Church, for I am impatient.

Serj

Not ſo impatient as I.

Capt

Faith, we come in here but to take another Couple along with us.

Get-all. 92 Aa2v 92

Get-all

Are they agreed?

Harry

They are, they are; there only wants that Ceremony, You do, and all is ſure.

Enter Dick Traveller, Lieutenant and Cornet.

Dick

I am come only to make one to fill up the Matrimonial Triumphs.

Harry

How doth my old Lady like the young Blade?

Dick

So well, as ſhe is ſo well pleaſed, as it hath made her half young again.

Enter Miſtreſs Informer.

Dick

Welcome Mrs. Informer.

Inf

By my troth, my heart did tremble, for fear I ſhould not come time enough to theſe fortunate Nuptials.

Get-all

Well, to let all this Company ſee, that I the firſt deceived, am as well, if not better, pleaſed then the deceivers; here I do promiſe to give my Brother, that muſt be Captain Valorous, Twenty thouſand pounds to maintain his Baſtards, to diſcharge his Whores, and to Marry a Virtuous and Honourable Wife; alſo, I give Doctor Feel-pulſe, Will Fullwit, Five thouſand pounds; and Harry Sencible Five thouſand more; and Five thouſand pound to the Lieutenant; and Five thouſand pounds between the Cornet and Mrs. Informer; as for my Judg Dick Traveller, I did intend to have fee’d him well, and to give him money to have bought a place in the Arches, but he is better provided.

Serj

I cannot preſent the whole Society, but I will make 93Bb1r 93 make my Brother Fullwit’s Five thouſand pounds, you gave him, Ten.

Doct

So will I give as much to my Brother Harry Sencible.

Dick

And I will preſent the reſt of the Society.

Will

Let’s go unto Church to make all ſure,

For nothing in Extreams will long endure.

Capt

Stay we muſt go to the Hearing of my Couſin Prudence’s Cauſe firſt, and then we ſhall have another couple.

Scene III.

The Scene is a Publick Hall, or Pleading-Court, wherein is a Publick Aſſembly, the Young Suiters and ſome other Gallants, taking one Bar, and the Young Lady and her Old Suiter another; and all Bridal Couples. One of the Young Suiters ſpeaks.

Moſt Noble Auditors. I am choſen by my fellow-Sufferers to declare the Injuſtice and Injury this young Lady has done us, and her ſelf, by refuſing us that are young, handſome, healthy and ſtrong, for an old, infirm, weak and decayed Man, who has neither a clear Eye-ſight to admire her Beauty, nor a perfect Hearing to be informed of her Wit; nor ſufficient Strength to fight in her behalf, or defend her Honour; nor that heat of affection that he Bb can 94Bb1v 94 can love her as ſhe deſerves. Indeed, it is not to be ſuffer’d that Old Men and Women ſhould Marry Young Perſons, for it is as much as to tie or bind the Living and Dead together; for, though it cannot be truly ſaid, that old age is dead, yet we may ſay, ’tis rotten, and Corruption is next to death; for all Creatures corrupt before they diſſolve; and we are taught by our holy Fathers, that we muſt put off the Old Man, and put on the New Man: Wherefore, ’tis not lawful for this young Lady to Marry that old Man, it being both againſt Church and State, as not profitable to either, but diſadvantagious to both.

The Ladies Anſwer.

Moſt Noble Auditors, I come not here to expreſs either my Wit or Malice, but to defend my honeſt Cauſe, and to expreſs my true Love; Wherefore, I ſhall briefly anſwer this Gentleman’s Objections: Firſt, as for the Injuſtice he accuſes me of, I utterly deny my ſelf guilty, for to make a lawful Choice is no Injuſtice to them, and to refuſe a young Man before an old and wiſe one, is no Injury to my ſelf; Next, what he ſays of their Handſomeneſs, Health and Strength; I anſwer, that in my opinion, a handſome Man is an error in Nature, and Health and Strength are very uncertain in young Men, for their Vices decay one, and impair the other, before their 95Bb2r 95 their Natural time; whereas, the Infirmities of Old Age are Natural, neither infectious, unwholſome or dangerous to their Wives: And though ancient Men have not their Hearing ſo quick, nor their Eye-ſight ſo clear as young Men, yet have they quicker Wits, and clearer Underſtandings, acquired by long Experience of all ſorts of Actions, Humors, Cuſtoms, Diſcourſes, Accidents, and Fortuns amongſt Mankind; Wherefore, old Men cannot chuſe but be more Knowing, Rational and Wiſe then Young. Concerning the Church and State, ſince they do allow of buying and ſelling young Maids to Men to be their Wives, they cannot condemn thoſe Maids that make their bargain to their own advantage, and chuſe rather to be bought then ſold, and I confeſs I am one of the number of thoſe; for I’le rather chuſe an old Man that buys me with his Wealth, then a young one, whom I muſt purchaſe with my Wealth; who, after he has waſted my Eſtate, may ſell me to Miſery and Poverty. Wherefore, our Sex may well pray, From Young Mens ignorance and follies, from their pride, vanity and prodigality, their gaming, quareling, drinking and whoring, their pocky and diſeaſed bodies, their Mortgages, Debts and Serjeants, their Whores and Baſtards, and from all ſuch ſorts of Vices and Miſeries that are frequent amongſt Young Men, Good Lord deliver Us. But for fear of ſuch a Misfortune as to be a Wife to a young Man, I will Marry this ancient Man, and ſo, Couſins, I am, if you pleaſe, ready to wait on you to Church.

Finis.

96 Bb2v

Epilogue.

TheSociable Companions we hope do fit

Your Judgments, Fancies, and your better Wit:

This Lady is Ambitious, I dare ſay,

That all Her hopes is, That you’l like her Play.

Which favour, She eſteems at a high rate,

’Bove Title, Riches, or what’s Fortune’s Fate;

She liſtens, with a trembling ear; She ſtands

Hoping to hear Her Joy, by your glad Hands.