A1r 1

The
Convent of Pleasure.
A Comedy.

Act I. Scene I.

Enter Three Gentlemen.

First Gentleman

Tom, Where have you been, you
look so sadly of it?

2 Gent

I have been at the Funeral
of the Lord Fortunate; who
has left his Daughter, the Lady
Happy
, very rich, having no other
Daughter but her.

1 Gent

If she be so rich, it will make us all Young
Men, spend all our Wealth in fine Clothes, Coaches,
and Lackies, to set out our Wooing hopes.

A 3 Gent. A1v 2

3 Gent

If all her Wooers be younger Brothers, as
most of us Gallants are, we shall undo our selves upon
bare hopes, without Probability: But is she handsome,
Tom?

2 Gent

Yes, she is extream handsome, young, rich,
and virtuous.

1 Gent

Faith, that is too much for one Woman
to possess.

2 Gent

Not, if you were to have her.

1 Gent

No, not for me; but in my Opinion too
much for any other Man.

Exeunt.

Scene II.

Enter the Lady Happy, and one of her Attendants.

Servant

Madam, you being young, handsome, rich, and
virtuous, I hope you will not cast away those
gifts of Nature, Fortune, and Heaven, upon a Person
which cannot merit you?

L. Happy

Let me tell you, that Riches ought to
be bestowed on such as are poor, and want means to
maintain themselves; and Youth, on those that are
old; Beauty, on those that are ill-favoured; and
Virtue, on those that are vicious: So that if I should
place my gifts rightly, I must Marry one that’s poor,
old, ill-favoured, and debauch’d.

Serv. B1r 3

Serv

Heaven forbid.

L. Happy

Nay, Heaven doth not only allow of it,
but commands it; for we are commanded to give to
those that want.

Enter Madam Mediator to the Lady Happy.

Mediat

Surely, Madam, you do but talk, and intend
not to go where you say.

L. Happy

Yes, truly, my Words and Intentions
go even together.

Mediat

But surely you will not incloyster your
self, as you say.

L. Happy

Why, what is there in the publick World
that should invite me to live in it?

Mediat

More then if you should banish your self
from it.

L. Happy

Put the case I should Marry the best of
Men, if any best there be; yet would a Marry’d life
have more crosses and sorrows then pleasure, freedom,
or hapiness: nay Marriage to those that are virtuous is
a greater restraint then a Monastery. Or, should I take
delight in Admirers? they might gaze on my Beauty,
and praise my Wit, and I receive nothing from their
eyes, nor lips; for Words vanish as soon as spoken, and
Sights are not substantial. Besides, I should lose more
of my Reputation by their Visits, then gain by their
Praises. Or, should I quit Reputation and turn Courtizan,
there would be more lost in my Health, then
gained by my Lovers, I should find more pain then B Plea- B1v 4
Pleasure; besides, the troubles and frights I should be
put to, with the Quarrels and Brouilleries that Jealous
Rivals make, would be a torment to me; and ’tis only
for the sake of Men, when Women retire not: And
since there is so much folly, vanity and falshood in Men,
why should Women trouble and vex themselves for
their sake; for retiredness bars the life from nothing else
but Men.

Mediat

O yes, for those that incloister themselves,
bar themselves from all other worldly Pleasures.

L. Happy

The more Fools they.

Mediat

Will you call those Fools that do it for the
gods sake?

L. Happy

No Madam, it is not for the gods sake,
but for opinion’s sake; for, Can any Rational Creature
think or believe, the gods take delight in the Creature’s
uneasie life? or, Did they command or give leave to
Nature to make Senses for no use; or to cross, vex and
pain them? for, What profit or pleasure can it be to the
gods to have Men or Women wear coarse Linnen or
rough Woollen, or to flea their skin with Hair-cloth,
or to eat or sawe thorow their flesh with Cords? or,
What profit or pleasure can it be to the gods to have
Men eat more Fish then Flesh, or to fast? unless the
gods did feed on such meat themselves; for then, for
fear the gods should want it, it were fit for Men to
abstein from it: The like for Garments, for fear the
gods should want fine Clothes to adorn themselves, it were B2r 5
were fit Men should not wear them: Or, what profit
or pleasure can it be to the gods to have Men to lie
uneasily on the hard ground, unless the gods and Nature
were at variance, strife and wars; as if what is displeasing
unto Nature, were pleasing to the gods, and to
be enemies to her, were to be friends to them.

Mediat

But being done for the gods sake, it makes
that which in Nature seems to be bad, in Divinity to
be good.

L. Happy

It cannot be good, if it be neither pleasure,
nor profit to the gods; neither do Men any
thing for the gods but their own sake.

Mediat

But when the Mind is not imployed with
Vanities, nor the Senses with Luxury; the Mind is
more free, to offer its Adorations, Prayers and Praises
to the gods.

L. Happy

I believe, the gods are better pleased with
Praises then Fasting; but when the Senses are dull’d
with abstinency, the Body weakned with fasting, the
Spirits tir’d with watching, the Life made uneasie with
pain, the Soul can have but little will to worship: only
the Imagination doth frighten it into active zeal, which
devotion is rather forced then voluntary; so that their
prayers rather flow out of their mouth, then spring
from their heart, like rain-water that runs thorow
Gutters, or like Water that’s forced up a Hill by Artificial
Pipes and Cisterns. But those that pray not
unto the gods, or praise them more in prosperity then adver- B2v 6
adversity, more in pleasures then pains, more in
liberty then restraint, deserve neither the happiness of
ease, peace, freedom, plenty and tranquillity in this
World, nor the glory and blessedness of the next.
And if the gods should take pleasure in nothing but in
the torments of their Creatures, and would not prefer
those prayers that are offer’d with ease and delight,
I should believe, the gods were cruel: and, What Creature
that had reason or rational understanding, would
serve cruel Masters, when they might serve a kind Mistress,
or would forsake the service of their kind Mistress,
to serve cruel Masters? Wherefore, if the gods
be cruel, I will serve Nature; but the gods are bountiful,
and give all, that’s good, and bid us freely please
our selves in that which is best for us: and that is best,
what is most temperately used, and longest may be enjoyed,
for excess doth wast it self, and all it feeds
upon.

Mediat

In my opinion your Doctrine, and your
Intention do not agree together.

L. Happy

Why?

Mediat

You intend to live incloister’d and retired
from the World.

L. Happy

’Tis true, but not from pleasures; for, I
intend to incloister my self from the World, to enjoy
pleasure, and not to bury my self from it; but to
incloister my self from the incumbred cares and vexations,
troubles and perturbance of the World.

Mediat. C1r 7

Mediat

But if you incloister your self, How will
you enjoy the company of Men, whose conversation
is thought the greatest Pleasure?

L. Happy

Men are the only troublers of Women;
for they only cross and oppose their sweet delights, and
peaceable life; they cause their pains, but not their
pleasures. Wherefore those Women that are poor,
and have not means to buy delights, and maintain
pleasures, are only fit for Men; for having not means
to please themselves, they must serve only to please
others; but those Women, where Fortune, Nature,
and the gods are joined to make them happy, were mad
to live with Men, who make the Female sex their
slaves; but I will not be so inslaved, but will live
retired from their Company. Wherefore, in order
thereto, I will take so many Noble Persons of my
own Sex, as my Estate will plentifully maintain, such
whose Births are greater then their Fortunes, and are
resolv’d to live a single life, and vow Virginity: with
these I mean to live incloister’d with all the delights
and pleasures that are allowable and lawful; My
Cloister shall not be a Cloister of restraint, but a
place for freedom, not to vex the Senses but to please
them.

C For C1v 8

For every Sense shall pleasure take,

And all our Lives shall merry make:

Our Minds in full delight shall joy,

Not vex’d with every idle Toy:

Each Season shall our Caterers be,

To search the Land, and Fish the Sea;

To gather Fruit and reap the Corn,

That’s brought to us in Plenty’s Horn;

With which we’l feast and please our tast,

But not luxurious make a wast.

Wee’l Cloth our selves with softest Silk,

And Linnen fine as white as milk.

Wee’l please our Sight with Pictures rare;

Our Nostrils with perfumed Air.

Our Ears with sweet melodious Sound,

Whose Substance can be no where found;

Our Tast with sweet delicious Meat,

And savory Sauces we will eat:

Variety each Sense shall feed,

And Change in them new Appetites breed.

Thus will in Pleasure’s Convent I

Live with delight, and with it die.

Exeunt. Act
C2r 9

Act II. Scene I.

Enter Monsieur Take-pleasure, and his Man Dick.

Monsieur Take-pleasure

Dick, Am I fine to day?

Dick

Yes, Sir, as fine as Feathers, Ribbons,
Gold, and Silver can make you.

Takepl

Dost thou think I shall get the Lady Happy?

Dick

Not if it be her fortune to continue in that
name.

Takepl

Why?

Dick

Because if she Marry your Worship she must
change her Name; for the Wife takes the Name of her
Husband, and quits her own.

Takepl

Faith, Dick, if I had her wealth I should
be Happy.

Dick

It would be according as your Worship
would use it; but, on my conscience, you would be
more happy with the Ladie’s Wealth, then the Lady
would be with your Worship.

Takepl

Why should you think so?

Dick

Because Women never think themselves
happy in Marriage.

Takepl

You are mistaken; for Women never
think themselves happpy until they be Married.

Dick

The truth is, Sir, that Women are always
unhappy in their thoughts, both before and after Marriage; C2v 10
Marriage; for, before Marriage they think themselves
unhappy for want of a Husband; and after they are
Married, they think themselves unhappy for having a
Husband.

Takepl

Indeed Womens thoughts are restless.

Enter Monsieur Facil, and Monsieur Adviser, to
Monsieur Take-pleasure; all in their Wooing
Accoustrements.

Takepl

Gentlemen, I perceive you are all prepared
to Woo.

Facil

Yes faith, we are all prepared to be Wooers.
But whom shall we get to present us to the Lady
Happy
?

Adviser

We must fset on bold faces, and present
our selves.

Takepl

Faith, I would not give my hopes for an
indifferent portion.

Facil

Nor I.

Adviser

The truth is, We are all stuft with Hopes,
as Cushions are with Feathers.

Enter Monsieur Courtly.

Court

O Gentlemen, Gentlemen, we are all utterly
undone.

Adviser

Why, what’s the matter?

Court

Why, the Lady Happy hath incloister’d
her self, with twenty Ladies more.

Adviser D1r 11

Adviser

The Devil she hath?

Facil

The gods forbid.

Court

Whether it was the devil or the gods that
have perswaded her to it, I cannot tell; but gone in
she is.

Takepl

I hope it is but a blast of Devotion, which
will soon flame out.

Enter Madam Mediator.

Takepl

O Madam Mediator, we are all undone,
the Lady Happy is incloister’d.

Mediat

Yes, Gentlemen, the more is the pitty.

Adviser

Is there no hopes?

Mediat

Faith, little.

Facil

Let us fsee the Clergy to perswade her out,
for the good of the Commonwealth.

Mediat

Alas Gentlemen! they can do no good,
for she is not a Votress to the gods but to Nature.

Court

If she be a Votress to Nature, you are the
only Person fit to be Lady Prioress; and so by your
power and authority you may give us leave to visit
your Nuns sometimes.

Mediat

Not but at a Grate, unless in time of Building,
or when they are sick; but howsoever, the
Lady Happy is Lady-Prioress her self, and will admit
none of the Masculine Sex, not so much as to a
Grate, for she will suffer no grates about the Cloister;
she has also Women-Physicians, Surgeons and Apothecaries,
and she is the chief Confessor her self, and D gives D1v 12
gives what Indulgences or Absolutions she pleaseth:
Also, her House, where she hath made her Convent,
is so big and convenient, and so strong, as it needs no
addition or repair: Besides, she has so much compass of
ground within her walls, as there is not only room
and place enough for Gardens, Orchards, Walks,
Groves, Bowers, Arbours, Ponds, Fountains, Springs
and the like; but also conveniency for much Provision,
and hath Women for every Office and Employment:
for though she hath not above twenty Ladies
with her, yet she hath a numerous Company of Female
Servants, so as there is no occasion for Men.

Takepl

If there be so many Women, there will
be the more use for Men: But pray Madam Mediator,
give me leave, rightly to understand you, by being
more clearly informed: you say, The Lady Happy is
become a Votress to Nature; and if she be a Votress
to Nature, she must be a Mistress to Men.

Mediat

By your favour, Sir, she declares, That
she hath avoided the company of Men, by retirement,
meerly, because she would enjoy the variety of Pleasures,
which are in Nature; of which, she says, Men
are Obstructers; for, instead of increasing Pleasure,
they produce Pain, and, instead of giving Content,
they increase Trouble; instead of making the Femal-
Sex Happy, they make them Miserable; for which,
she hath banished the Masculine Company for ever.

Adviser

Her Heretical Opinions ought not to be suffer’d D2r 13
suffer’d, nor her Doctrine allow’d; and she ought to
be examined by a Masculine Synod, and punish’d
with a severe Husband, or tortured with a deboist
Husband.

Mediat

The best way, Gentlemen, is to make your
Complaints, and put up a Petition to the State, with
your desires for a Redress.

Court

Your Counsel is good.

Facil

We will follow it, and go presently about
it.

Exeunt.

Scene II.

Enter the Lady Happy, with her Ladies; as also Madam
Mediator
.

Lady Happy

Ladies, give me leave to desire your Confession,
whether or no you repent your Retirement.

Ladies

Most excellent Lady, it were as probable a
repentance could be in Heaven amongst Angels as
amongst us.

L. Happy

Now Madam Mediator, let me ask you,
Do you condemn my act of Retirement?

Mediat

I approve of it with admiration and wonder,
that one that is so young should be so wise.

L. Happy

Now give me leave to inform you, how
I have order’d this our Convent of Pleasure; first, I have D2v 14
have such things as are for our Ease and Conveniency;
next for Pleasure, and Delight; as I have change of
Furniture, for my house; according to the four Seasons
of the year, especially our Chambers: As in the
Spring, our Chambers are hung with Silk-Damask,
and all other things suitable to it; and a great Looking-
Glass in each Chamber, that we may view our selves
and take pleasure in our own Beauties, whilst they are
fresh and young; also, I have in each Chamber a Cup-
board of such plate, as is useful, and whatsoever is to
be used is there ready to be imployed; also, I have all
the Floor strew’d with sweet Flowers: In the Summer
I have all our Chambers hung with Taffety, and all
other things suitable to it, and a Cup-board of Purseline,
and of Plate, and all the Floore strew’d every
day with green Rushes or Leaves, and Cisterns placed
neer our Beds-heads, wherein Water may run out
of small Pipes made for that purpose: To invite repose
in the Autumn, all our Chambers are hung with Gilt
Leather, or Franchipane; also, Beds and all other
things suitable; and the Rooms Matted with very
fine Mats: In the Winter our Chambers must be hung
with Tapestry, and our Beds of Velvet, lined with
Sattin, and all things suitable to it, and all the Floor
spread over with Turkie Carpets, and a Cup-board of
Gilt Plate; and all the Wood for Firing to be Cypress
and Juniper; and all the Lights to be Perfumed
Wax; also, the Bedding and Pillows are ordered accordingcording E1r 15
to each Season; viz. to be stuft with Feathers
in the Spring and Autumn, and with Down in
the Winter, but in the Summer to be only Quilts,
either of Silk, or fine Holland; and our Sheets, Pillows,
Table-Clothes and Towels, to be of pure fine
Holland, and every day clean; also, the Rooms we
eat in, and the Vessels we feed withal, I have according
to each Season; and the Linnen we use to our
Meat, to be pure fine Diaper, and Damask, and to
change it fresh every course of Meat: As for our Galleries,
Stair-Cases, and Passages, they shall be hung
with various Pictures; and, all along the Wall of our
Gallery, as long as the Summer lasts, do stand, upon
Pedestals, Flower-pots, with various Flowers; and in
the Winter Orange-Trees: and my Gardens to be
kept curiously, and flourish, in every Season of all
sorts of Flowers, sweet Herbs and Fruits, and kept so
as not to have a Weed in it, and all the Groves, Wildernesses,
Bowers and Arbours pruned, and kept free
from dead Boughs Branches or Leaves; and all the
Ponds, Rivolets, Fountains, and Springs, kept clear,
pure and fresh: Also, we will have the choisest Meats
every Season doth afford, and that every day our Meat,
be drest several ways, and our drink cooler or hotter
according to the several Seasons; and all our Drinks
fresh and pleasing: Change of Garments are also provided,
of the newest fashions for every Season, and
rich Trimming; so as we may be accoutred properly, E and E1v 16
and according to our several pastimes: and our Shifts
shall be of the finest and purest Linnen that can be
bought or spun.

Ladies

None in this World can be happier.

L. Happy

Now Ladies, let us go to our several
Pastimes, if you please.

Exeunt.

Scene III.

Enter Two Ladies.

Lady Amorous

Madam, how do you, since you were Married?

L. Vertue

Very well, I thank you.

L. Amor

I am not so well as I wish I were.

Enter Madam Mediator to them.

M. Mediat

Ladies, do you hear the News?

L. Vertue

What News?

M. Mediat

Why there is a great Foreign Princess
arrived, hearing of the famous Convent of Pleasure, to be
one of Nature’s Devotes.

L. Amor

What manner of Lady is she?

M. Mediat

She is a Princely brave Woman truly,
of a Masculine Presence.

L. Vertue

But, Madam Mediator, Do they live
in such Pleasure as you say? for they’l admit you, a
Widow, although not us, by reason we are Wives.

M. Mediat

In so much Pleasure, as Nature never knew, E2r 17
knew, before this Convent was: and for my part, I
had rather be one in the Convent of Pleasure, then Emperess
of the whole World; for every Lady there
enjoyeth as much Pleasure as any absolute Monarch
can do, without the Troubles and Cares, that wait
on Royalty; besides, none can enjoy those Pleasures
They have, unless they live such a retired or retreated
life free from the Worlds vexations.

L. Vertue

Well, I wish I might see and know,
what Pleasures they enjoy.

M. Mediat

If you were there, you could not
know all their Pleasure in a short time, for their Varieties
will require a long time to know their several Changes;
besides, their Pleasures and Delights vary with the Seasons;
so that what with the several Seasons, and the
Varieties of every Season, it will take up a whole
life’s time.

L. Vertue

But I could judg of their Changes by
their single Principles.

M. Mediat

But they have Variety of one and the
same kind.

L. Vertue

But I should see the way or manner of
them.

M. Mediat

That you might.

Exeunt. Scene
E2v 18

Scene IV.

Enter Monsieur Adviser, Courtly, Take-pleasure,
and Facil.

Monsieur Courtly

Is there no hopes to get those Ladies out of their
Convent?

Adviser

No faith, unless we could set the Convent
on fire.

Takepl

For Jupiter’s sake, let us do it, let’s every
one carry a Fire-brand to fire it.

Court

Yes, and smoak them out, as they do a Swarm
of Bees.

Facil

Let’s go presently about it.

Adviser

Stay, there is a great Princess there.

Takepl

’Tis true, but when that Princess is gone, we
will surely do it.

Adviser

Yes, and be punish’d for our Villany.

Takepl

It will not prove Villany, for we shall do
Nature good service.

Adviser

Why, so we do Nature good service,
when we get a Wench with Child, but yet the Civil
Laws do punish us for it.

Court

They are not Civil Laws that punish
Lovers.

Adviser

But those are Civil Laws that punish
Adulterers.

Court. F1r 19

Court

Those are Barbarous Laws that make Love
Adultery.

Adviser

No, Those are Barbarous that make Adultery
Love.

Facil

Well, leaving Love and Adultery, They
are foolish Women that vex us with their Retirement.

Adviser

Well, Gentlemen, although we rail at the
Lady Happy for Retiring, yet if I had such an Estate
as she, and would follow her Example; I make no
doubt but you would all be content to encloister your
selves with me upon the same conditions, as those Ladies
incloister themselves with her.

Takepl

Not unless you had Women in your
Convent.

Advis

Nay, faith, since Women can quit the
pleasure of Men, we Men may well quit the trouble
of Women.

Court

But is there no place where we may peak into
the Convent?

Adviser

No, there are no Grates, but Brick and
Stone-walls.

Facil

Let us get out some of the Bricks or Stones.

Adviser

Alas! the Walls are a Yard-thick.

Facil

But nothing is difficult to Willing-minds.

Adviser

My Mind is willing; but my Reason
tells me, It is impossible; wherefore, I’le never go
about it.

Takepl

Faith, let us resolve to put our selves in F Wo- F1v 20
Womens apparel, and so by that means get into the
Convent.

Adviser

We shall be discover’d.

Takepl

Who will discover Us?

Adviser

We shall discover our Selves.

Takepl

We are not such fools as to betray our
Selves.

Adviser

We cannot avoid it, for, our very Garb
and Behaviour; besides, our Voices will discover us: for
we are as untoward to make Courtsies in Petticoats, as
Women are to make Legs in Breeches; and it will
be as great a difficulty to raise our Voices to a Treble-
sound, as for Women to press down their Voices
to a Base; besides, We shall never frame our Eyes
and Mouths to such coy, dissembling looks, and pritty
simpering Mopes and Smiles, as they do.

Court

But we will go as strong lusty Country-
Wenches, that desire to serve them in Inferiour Places,
and Offices, as Cook-maids, Landry-maids, Dairy-
maids, and the like.

Facil

I do verily believe, I could make an indifferent
Cook-maid, but not a Laundry, nor a Dairy-
maid; for I cannot milk Cows, nor starch Gorgets,
but I think I could make a pretty shift, to wash some
of the Ladies Night-Linnen.

Takepl

But they imploy Women in all Places in
their Gardens; and for Brewing, Baking and making
all sorts of things; besides, some keep their Swine, and twenty F2r 21
twenty such like Offices and Employments there are
which we should be very proper for.

Facil

O yes, for keeping of Swine belongs to Men;
remember the Prodigal Son.

Adviser

Faith, for our Prodigality we might be all
Swin-heards.

Court

Also we shall be proper for Gardens, for
we can dig, and set, and sow.

Takepl

And we are proper for Brewing.

Adviser

We are more proper for Drinking, for I
can drink good Beer, or Ale, when ’tis Brew’d; but
I could not brew such Beer, or Ale, as any man could
drink.

Facil

Come, come, we shall make a shift one way
or other: Besides, we shall be very willing to learn,
and be very diligent in our Services, which will give
good and great content; wherefore, let us go and put
these designes into execution.

Courtly

Content, content.

Adviser

Nay, faith, let us not trouble our Selves
for it, ’tis in vain.

Exeunt. Act
F2v 22

Act III. Scene I.

Enter the Princess, and the Lady Happy, with the
rest of the Ladies belonging to the Convent.

Lady Happy

Madam, Your Highness has done me much Honour,
to come from a Splendid Court to a retired
Convent.

Prin

Sweet Lady Happy, there are many, that have
quit their Crowns and Power, for a Cloister of Restraint;
then well may I quit a Court of troubles for
a Convent of Pleasure: but the greatest pleasure I could
receive, were, To have your Friendship.

L. Happy

I should be ungrateful, should I not be
not only your Friend, but humble Servant.

Prin

I desire you would be my Mistress, and I your
Servant; and upon this agreement of Friendship I desire
you will grant me one Request.

L. Happy

Any thing that is in my power to grant.

Prin

Why then, I observing in your several Recreations,
some of your Ladies do accoustre Themselves
in Masculine-Habits, and act Lovers-parts; I desire
you will give me leave to be sometimes so accoustred
and act the part of your loving Servant.

L. Happy

I shall never desire to have any other
loving Servant then your Self.

Prin

Nor I any other loving Mistress then Your-
Self.

L. Happy. G1r 23

L. Happy

More innocent Lovers never can there be,

Then my most Princely Lover, that’s a She.

Prin

Nor never Convent did such pleasures give,

Where Lovers with their Mistresses may live.

Enter a Lady, asking whether they will see
the Play.

Lady

May it please your Highness, the Play is ready
to be Acted.

The Scene is opened, the Princess and L.LadyHappy sit down,
and the Play is Acted within the Scene; the Princess
and the L.LadyHappy being Spectators.
Enter one drest like a Man that speaks the Prologue.

Unidentified Lady[Speaker label not present in original source]

Noble Spectators, you shall see to night

A Play, which though’t be dull, yet’s short to sight;

For, since we cannot please your Ears with Wit,

We will not tyre your limbs, long here to sit.

G Scene
G1v 24

Scene II.

Enter Two mean Women.

First Woman

O Neighbour well met, where have you been?

2 Woman

I have been with my Neighbour
the Cobler’s Wife to comfort her for the loss of her
Husband, who is run away with Goody Mettle the
Tinker’s Wife.

1 Woman

I would to Heaven my Husband would
run away with Goody Shred the Botcher’s Wife, for he
lies all day drinking in an Ale-house, like a drunken
Rogue as he is, and when he comes home, he beats me
all black and blew, when I and my Children are almost
starved for want.

2 Woman

Truly Neighbour, so doth my Husband;
and spends not only what he gets, but what I earn with
the sweat of my brows, the whilst my Children cry
for bread, and he drinks that away, that should feed
my small Children, which are too young to work for
themselves.

1. Woman

But I will go, and pull my Husband out
of the Ale-house, or I’le break their Lattice-windows
down.

2 Woman

Come, I’le go and help; for my Husband
is there too: but we shall be both beaten by them.

1 Woman

I care not: for I will not suffer him to be drunk, G2r 25
drunk, and I and my Children starve; I had better be
dead.

Exeunt.

Scene III.

Enter a Lady and her Maid.

Lady

Oh, I am sick!

Maid

You are breeding a Child, Madam.

Lady

I have not one minutes time of health.

Ex.Exeunt

Scene IV.

Enter Two Ladies.

First Lady

Why weep you, Madam?

2 Lady

Have I not cause to weep when my
Husband hath play’d all his Estate away at Dice and
Cards, even to the Clothes on his back?

1 Lady

I have as much cause to weep then as you;
for, though my Husband hath not lost his Estate at play,
yet he hath spent it amongst his Whores; and is not
content to keep Whores abroad, but in my house,
under my roof, and they must rule as chief Mistresses.

2 Lady

But my Husband hath not only lost his
own Estate, but also my Portion; and hath forced
me with threats, to yield up my Jointure, so that I must G2v 26
must beg for my living, for any thing I know as yet.

1 Lady

If all Married Women were as unhappy as
I, Marriage were a curse.

2 Lady

No doubt of it.

Exeunt.

Scene V.

Enter a Lady, as almost distracted, running about the Stage,
and her Maid follows her.

Lady

Oh! my Child is dead, my Child is dead,
what shall I do, what shall I do?

Maid

You must have patience, Madam.

Lady

Who can have patience to lose their only
Child? who can! Oh I shall run mad, for I have no
patience.

Runs off the Stage. Exit Maid after her.

Scene VI.

Enter a Citizen’s Wife, as into a Tavern, where a Bush is
hung out, and meets some Gentlemen there.

Citizen’s Wife

Pray Gentlemen, is my Husband, Mr. Negligent
here?

1 Gent

He was, but he is gone some quarter of an
hour since.

Cit. H1r 27

Cit. Wife

Could he go, Gentlemen?

2 Gent

Yes, with a Supporter.

Cit. Wife

Out upon him! must he be supported?
Upon my credit Gentlemen, he will undo himself and
me too, with his drinking and carelesness, leaving his
Shop and all his Commodities at six’s and seven’s; and
his Prentices and Journey-men are as careless and idle
as he; besides, they cozen him of his Wares. But, was
it a He or She-Supporter, my Husband was supported
by?

1 Gent

A She-supporter; for it was one of the Maid-
servants, which belong to this Tavern.

Cit. Wife

Out upon him Knave, must he have a
She-supporter, in the Devil’s name? but I’le go and seek
them both out with a Vengeance.

2. Gent

Pray, let us intreat your stay to drink a cup
of Wine with us.

Cit. Wife

I will take your kind Offer; for Wine
may chance to abate Cholerick vapours, and pacifie
the Spleen.

1 Gent

That it will; for Wine and good Company
are the only abaters of Vapours.

2. Gent

It doth not abate Vapours so much as cure
Melancholy.

Cit. Wife

In truth, I find a cup of Wine doth comfort
me sometimes.

1 Gent

It will cheer the Heart.

2 Gent

Yes, and enlighten the Understanding.

H Cit. H1v 28

Cit. Wife

Indeed, and my understanding requires
enlightening.

Exeunt.

Scene VII.

Enter a Lady big with Child, groaning as in labour, and a
Company of Wommen with her.

Pregnant Lady[Speaker label not present in original source]

Oh my back, my back will break, Oh! Oh! Oh!

1 Woman

Is the Midwife sent for?

2 Woman

Yes, but she is with another Lady.

Lady

Oh my back! Oh! Oh! Oh! Juno, give me
some ease.

Exeunt.

Scene VIII.

Enter two Ancient Ladies.

1 Lady

I have brought my Son into the World
with great pains, bred him with tender care, much
pains and great cost; and must he now be hang’d for killing
a Man in a quarrel? when he should be a comfort and
staff of my age, is he to be my ages affliction?

2 Lady

I confess it is a great affliction; but I have
had as great; having had but two Daughters, and
them fair ones, though I say it, and might have matched
them well: but one of them was got with Child to
my great disgrace; th’ other run away with my Butler,
not worth the droppings of his Taps.

1 Lady H2r 29

1 Lady

Who would desire Children, since they
come to such misfortunes?

Exeunt.

Scene IX.

Enter one Woman meeting another.

1 Woman

Is the Midwife come, for my Lady
is in a strong labour?

2 Woman

No, she cannot come, for she hath been
with a Lady that hath been in strong labour these
three days of a dead child, and ’tis thought she cannot
be delivered.

Enter another Woman.

3 Woman

Come away, the Midwife is come.

1 Woman

Is the Lady deliver’d, she was withall?

3 Woman

Yes, of life; for she could not be delivered,
and so she died.

2 Woman

Pray tell not our Lady so: for, the very
fright of not being able to bring forth a Child will
kill her.

Exeunt.

Scene X.

Enter a Gentleman who meets a fair Young Lady.

Gent

Madam, my Lord desires you to command
whatsoever you please, and it shall be obey’d.

Lady

I dare not command, but I humbly intreat,
I may live quiet and free from his Amours.

Gent. H2v 30

Gent

He says he cannot live, and not love you.

Lady

But he may live, and not lie with me.

Gent

He cannot be happy, unless he enjoy you.

Lady

And I must be unhappy, if he should.

Gent

He commanded me to tell you that he will
part from his Lady for your sake.

Lady

Heaven forbid, I should part Man and Wife.

Gent

Lady, he will be divorced for your sake.

Lady

Heaven forbid I should be the cause of a
Divorce between a Noble Pair.

Gent

You had best consent; for, otherwise he will
have you against your will.

Lady

I will send his Lordship an answer to morrow;
pray him to give me so much time.

Gent

I shall, Lady.

Exit Gentleman. Lady Sola.

Lady

I must prevent my own ruin, and the sweet
virtuous Ladies, by going into a Nunnery; wherefore,
I’le put my self into one to night:

There will I live, and serve the Gods on high,

And leave this wicked World and Vanity.

Exeunt. One enters and speaks the Epilogue.

Unidentified Lady[Speaker label not present in original source]

Marriage is a Curse we find,

Especially to Women kind:

From the Cobler’s Wife we see,

To Ladies, they unhappie be.

L. Happy. I1r 31

L. Happy

to the Prin.Princess

Pray Servant, how do you
like this Play?

Prin

My sweet Mistress, I cannot in conscience approve
of it; for though some few be unhappy in Marriage,
yet there are many more that are so happy as
they would not change their condition.

L. Happy

O Servant, I fear you will become an
Apostate.

Prin

Not to you sweet Mistress.

Exeunt. Enter the Gentlemen.

1 Gent

There is no hopes of dissolving this Convent
of Pleasure
.

2 Gent

Faith, not as I can perceive.

3 Gent

We may be sure, this Convent will never be
dissolved, by reason it is ennobled with the company of
great Princesses, and glorified with a great Fame; but
the fear is, that all the rich Heirs will make Convents, and
all the Young Beauties associate themselves in such
Convents.

1 Gent

You speak reason; wherefore, let us endeavour
to get Wives, before they are Incloister’d.

Exeunt. I Act
I1v 32

Act IV. Scene I.

Enter Lady Happy drest as a Shepherdess; She walks very
Melancholy, then speaks as to her self.

Lady Happy[Speaker label not present in original source]

My Name is Happy, and so was my Condition,
before I saw this Princess; but now I am like to
be the most unhappy Maid alive: But why may not
I love a Woman with the same affection I could a
Man?

No, no, Nature is Nature, and still will be

The same she was from all Eternity.

Enter the Princess in Masculine Shepherd’s Clothes.

Prin

My dearest Mistress, do you shun my Company?
is your Servant become an offence to your sight?

L. Happy

No, Servant! your Presence is more acceptable
to me then the Presence of our Goddess Nature,
for which she, I fear will punish me, for loving you
more then I ought to love you.

Prin

Can Lovers love too much?

L. Happy

Yes, if they love not well.

Prin

Can any Love be more vertuous, innocent
and harmless then ours?

L. Happy

I hope not.

Prin

Then let us please our selves, as harmless Lovers
use to do.

L. Happy. I2r 33

L. Happy

How can harmless Lovers please themselves?

Prin

Why very well, as, to discourse, imbrace and
kiss, so mingle souls together.

L. Happy

But innocent Lovers do not use to kiss.

Prin

Not any act more frequent amongst us Women-kind;
nay, it were a sin in friendship, should not
we kiss: then let us not prove our selves Reprobates.

They imbrace and kiss, and hold each other in their Arms.

Prin

These my Imbraces though of Femal kind,

May be as fervent as a Masculine mind.

The Scene is open’d, the Princess and L.LadyHappy go in. A Pastoral within the Scene. The Scene is changed into a Green, or Plain, where Sheep
are feeding, and a May-Pole in the middle.
L.LadyHappy as a Shepherdess, and the Princess as a Shepherd
are sitting there.
Enter another Shepherd, and Wooes the Lady Happy.

Shepherd

Fair Shepherdess do not my Suit deny,

O grant my Suit, let me not for Love die:

Pity my Flocks, Oh save their Shepherd’s life;

Grant you my Suit, be you their Shepherd’s Wife.

L. Happy. I2v 34

L. Happy

How can I grant to every ones request?

Each Shepherd’s Suit lets me not be at rest;

For which I wish, the Winds might blow them far,

That no Love-Suit might enter to my Ear.

Enter Madam Mediator in a Shepherdess dress, and
another Shepherd.

Sheph

Good Dame unto your Daughter speak for me.

Perswade her I your Son in Law may be:

I’le serve your Swine, your Cows bring home to Milk;

Attend your Sheep, whose Wool’s as soft as Silk;

I’le plow your Grounds, Corn I’le in Winter sow,

Then reap your Harvest, and your Grass I’le mow;

Gather your Fruits in Autumn from the Tree.

All this and more I’le do, if y’ speak for me.

Shepherdess

My Daughter vows a single life,

And swears, she n’re will be a Wife;

But live a Maid, and Flocks will keep,

And her chief Company shall be Sheep.

The Princess as a Shepherd, speaks to the Lady Happy.

Prin

My Shepherdess, your Wit flies high,

Up to the Skie,

And views the Gates of Heaven,

Which are the Planets Seven;

Sees how fixt Stars are plac’d,

And how the Meteors wast;

What K1r 35

What makes the Snow so white,

And how the Sun makes light;

What makes the biting Cold

On every thing take hold;

And Hail a mixt degree,

’Twixt Snow and Ice you see

From whence the Winds do blow;

What Thunder is, you know,

And what makes Lightning flow

Like liquid streams, you show.

From Skie you come to th’ Earth,

And view each Creature’s birth;

Sink to the Center deep,

Where all dead bodies sleep;

And there observe to know,

What makes the Minerals grow;

How Vegetables sprout,

And how the Plants come out;

Take notice of all Seed,

And what the Earth doth breed;

Then view the Springs below,

And mark how Waters flow;

What makes the Tides to rise

Up proudly to the Skies,

And shrinking back descend,

As fearing to offend.

Also your Wit doth view

The Vapour and the Dew,

K In K1v 36

In Summer’s heat, that Wet

Doth seem like the Earth’s Sweat;

In Winter-time, that Dew

Like paint’s white to the view,

Cold makes that thick, white, dry;

As Cerusse it doth lie

On th’ Earth’s black face, so fair

As painted Ladies are;

But, when a heat is felt,

That Frosty paint doth melt.

Thus Heav’n and Earth you view,

And see what’s Old, what’s New;

How Bodies Transmigrate,

Lives are Predestinate.

Thus doth your Wit reveal

What Nature would conceal.

L. Happy

My Shepherd,

All those that live do know it,

That you are born a Poet,

Your Wit doth search Mankind,

In Body and in Mind;

The Appetites you measure,

And weigh each several Pleasure;

Do figure every Passion,

And every Humor’s fashion;

See how the Fancie’s wrought,

And what makes every Thought;

Fadom Conceptions low,

From whence Opinions flow;

Ob- K2r 37

Observe the Memorie’s length,

And Understanding’s strength

Your Wit doth Reason find,

The Centre of the Mind,

Wherein the Rational Soul

Doth govern and controul,

There doth she sit in State,

Predestinate by Fate,

And by the Gods Decree,

That Sovereign She should be.

And thus your Wit can tell,

How Souls in Bodies dwell;

As that the Mind dwells in the Brain,

And in the Mind the Soul doth raign,

And in the Soul the life doth last,

For with the Body it doth not wast;

Nor shall Wit like the Body die,

But live in the World’s Memory.

Prin

May I live in your favour, and be possest
with your Love and Person, is the height of my
ambitions.

L. Happy

I can neither deny you my Love nor
Person.

Prin

In amorous Pastoral Verse we did not Woo.

As other Pastoral Lovers use to doo.

L. Ha

Which doth express, we shall more constant be,

And in a Married life better agree.

Prin. K2v 38

Prin

We shall agree, for we true Love inherit,

Join as one Body and Soul, or Heav’nly Spirit.

Here come Rural Sports, as Country Dances about the
Mapy-Pole: that Pair which Dances best is Crowned
King and Queen of the Shepherds that year; which
happens to the Princess, and the Lady Happy.

L. Happy

to the Princ.Princess

Let me tell you, Servant, that
our Custome is to dance about this May-Pole, and that
Pair which Dances best is Crown’d King and Queen
of all the Shepherds and Shepherdesses this year:
Which Sport if it please you we will begin.

Prin

Nothing, Sweetest Mistress, that pleases you,
can displease me.

They Dance; after the Dancing the Princess and Lady
Happy
are Crowned with a Garland of Flowers: a
Shepherd speaks.
Written by my Lord Duke

Shepherd 1[Speaker label not present in original source]

You’ve won the prize; and justly; so we all

Acknowledg it with joy, and offer here

Our Hatchments up, our Sheep-hooks as your due,

And Scrips of Corduant, and Oaten pipe;

So all our Pastoral Ornaments we lay

Here at your Feet, with Homage to obay

All your Commands, and all these things we bring

In honour of our dancing Queen and King;

For L1r 39

For Dancing heretofore has got more Riches

Then we can find in all our Shepherds Breeches;

Witness rich Holmby: Long then may you live,

And for your Dancing what we have we give.

A Wassel is carried about and Syllibubs. Another Shepherd speaks, or Sings this that follows. Written by my Lord Duke.

Shepherd 2[Speaker label not present in original source]

The Jolly Wassel now do bring,

With Apples drown’d in stronger Ale,

And fresher Syllibubs, and sing;

Then each to tell their Love-sick Tale:

So home by Couples, and thus draw

Our selves by holy Hymen’s Law.

The Scene Vanishes. Enter the Princess Sola, and walks a turn or two in a
Musing posture, then views her Self, and speaks.

Prin

What have I on a Petticoat, Oh Mars! thou
God of War, pardon my sloth; but yet remember
thou art a Lover, and so am I; but you will say, my
Kingdom wants me, not only to rule, and govern it,
but to defend it: But what is a Kingdom in comparison
of a Beautiful Mistress? Base thoughts flie off,
for I will not go; did not only a Kingdom, but the
World want me.

Exeunt. L Enter L1v 40 Enter the Lady Happy Sola, and Melancholy, and
after a short Musing speaks.

L. Happy

O Nature, O you gods above,

Suffer me not to fall in Love;

O strike me dead here in this place

Rather then fall into disgrace.

Enter Madam Mediator.

M. Mediat

What, Lady Happy, solitary alone! and
Musing like a disconsolate Lover!

L. Happy

No, I was Meditating of Holy things.

M. Mediat

Holy things! what Holy things?

L. Happy

Why, such Holy things as the Gods are.

M. Mediat

By my truth, whether your Contemplation
be of Gods or of Men, you are become lean
and pale since I was in the Convent last.

Enter the Princess.

Princ

Come my sweet Mistress, shall we go to our
Sports and Recreations?

M. Mediat

Beshrew me, your Highness hath sported
too much I fear.

Princ

Why, Madam Mediator, say you so?

M. Mediat

Because the Lady Happy looks not well,
she is become pale and lean.

Princ. L2r 41

Princ

Madam Mediator, your eyes are become
dim with Time; for my sweet Mistress appears with
greater splendor then the God of Light.

M. Mediat

For all you are a great Princess, give me
leave to tell you,

I am not so old, nor yet so blind,

But that I see you are too kind.

Princ

Well, Madam Mediator, when we return
from our Recreations, I will ask your pardon, for
saying, your eyes are dim, conditionally you will ask
pardon for saying, my Mistress looks not well.

Exeunt. The Scene is opened, and there is presented a Rock as in
the Sea, whereupon sits the Princess and the Lady
Happy
; the Princess as the Sea-God Neptune, the
Lady Happy as a Sea-Goddess: the rest of the Ladies
sit somewhat lower, drest like Water-Nymphs; the
Princess begins to speak a Speech in Verse, and after
her the Lady Happy makes her Speech.

The Princess[Speaker label not present in original source]

I Am the King of all the Seas,

All Watry Creatures do me please,

Obey my Power and Command,

And bring me Presents from the Land;

The Waters open their Flood-gates,

Where Ships do pass, sent by the Fates;

Which Fates do yearly, as May-Dew,

Send me a Tribute from Peru,

From L2v 42

From other Nations besides,

Brought by their Servants, Winds and Tides,

Ships fraught and Men to me they bring;

My Watery Kingdom lays them in.

Thus from the Earth a Tribute I

Receive, which shews my power thereby:

Besides, my Kingdom’s richer far

Then all the Earth and every Star.

L. Happy

I feed the Sun, which gives them light,

And makes them shine in darkest night,

Moist vapour from my brest I give,

Which he sucks forth, and makes him live,

Or else his Fire would soon go out,

Grow dark, or burn the World throughout.

Princ

What Earthly Creature’s like to me,

That hath such Power and Majestie?

My Palaces are Rocks of Stone,

And built by Nature’s hand alone;

No base, dissembling, coz’ning Art

Do I imploy in any part,

In all my Kingdom large and wide,

Nature directs and doth provide

Me all Provisions which I need,

And Cooks my Meat on which I feed.

L. Happy

My Cabinets are Oyster-shells,

In which I keep my Orient-Pearls,

To open them I use the Tide,

As Keys to Locks, which opens wide,

The M1r 43

The Oyster-shells then out I take;

Those, Orient-Pearls and Crowns do make;

And modest Coral I do wear,

Which blushes when it touches air.

On Silver-Waves I sit and sing,

And then the Fish lie listening:

Then sitting on a Rocky stone,

I comb my Hair with Fishes bone;

The whil’st Apollo, with his Beams,

Doth dry my Hair from wat’ry streams.

His Light doth glaze the Water’s face,

Make the large Sea my Looking-Glass;

So when I swim on Waters high,

I see my self as I glide by:

But when the Sun begins to burn,

I back into my Waters turn,

And dive unto the bottom low:

Then on my head the Waters flow,

In Curled waves and Circles round;

And thus with Waters am I Crown’d.

Princ

Besides, within the Waters deep,

In hollow Rocks my Court I keep;

Of Amber-greece my Bed is made,

Whereon my softer Limbs are laid,

There take I Rest; and whil’st I sleep,

The Sea doth guard, and safe me keep

From danger; and, when I awake,

A Present of a Ship doth make.

M No M1v 44

No Prince on Earth hath more resort,

Nor keeps more Servants in his Court;

Of Mare-maids you’re waited on,

And Mare-men do attend upon

My Person; some are Councellors,

Which order all my great Affairs;

Within my wat’ry Kingdom wide,

They help to rule, and so to guide

The Common-wealth; and are by me

Prefer’d unto an high degree.

Some Judges are, and Magistrates,

Decide each Cause, and end Debates;

Others, Commanders in the War;

And some to Governments prefer;

Others are Neptun’s Priests which pray

And preach when is a Holy-day.

And thus with Method order I,

And govern all with Majesty;

I am sole Monarch of the Sea,

And all therein belongs to me.

A Sea-Nymph Sings this following Song.

Sea-Nymphs[Speaker label not present in original source]

1.

We Watery Nymphs Rejoyce and Sing

About God Neptune our Sea’s King;

In Sea-green Habits, for to move

His God-head, for to fall in love.

2. That M2r 45

2.

That with his Trident he doth stay

Rough foaming Billows which obay:

And when in Triumph he doth stride

His manag’d Dolphin for to ride.

3.

All his Sea-people to his wish,

From Whale to Herring subject Fish,

With Acclamations do attend him,

And pray’s more Riches still to send him.

Exeunt. The Scene Vanishes.

Act V. Scene I.

Enter the Princess and the Lady Happy; The Princess
is in a Man’s Apparel as going to Dance; they Whisper
sometime; then the Lady Happy takes a Ribbon
from her arm, and gives it to the Princess, who gives
her another instead of that, and kisses her hand. They
go in and come presently out again with all the Company
to Dance, the Musick plays; And after they have
Danced a little while, in comes Madam Mediator
wringing her hands, and spreading her arms; and full of
Passion cries out.

Madam Mediator[Speaker label not present in original source]

O Ladies, Ladies! you’re all betrayed, undone, undone;
for there is a man disguised in the Convent,
search and you’l find it.

They M2v 46 They all skip from each other, as afraid of each other; only
the Princess and the Lady Happy stand still together.

Princ

You may make the search, Madam Mediator;
but you will quit me, I am sure.

M. Mediat

By my faith but I will not, for you
are most to be suspected.

Princ

But you say, the Man is disguised like a Woman,
and I am accoustred like a Man.

M. Mediat

Fidle, fadle, that is nothing to the
purpose.

Enter an Embassador to the Prince; the Embassador
kneels, the Prince bids him rise.

Princ

What came you here for?

Embass

May it please your Highness, The Lords
of your Council sent me to inform your Highness,
that your Subjects are so discontented at your Absence,
that if your Highness do not return into your
Kingdom soon, they’l enter this Kingdom by reason
they hear you are here; and some report as if your
Highness were restrained as Prisoner.

Princ

So I am, but not by the State, but by this
Fair Lady, who must be your Soveraigness.

The N1r 47 The Embassador kneels and kisses her Hand.

Princ

But since I am discover’d, go from me to
the Councellors of this State, and inform them of my
being here, as also the reason, and that I ask their leave
I may marry this Lady; otherwise, tell them I will
have her by force of Arms.

Exit Embassador.

M. Mediat

O the Lord! I hope you will not
bring an Army, to take away all the Women; will
you?

Princ

No, Madam Mediator, we will leave you
behind us.

Exeunt.

Scene II.

Enter Madam Mediator lamenting and crying with a
Handkerchief in her hand.
Written by my Lord Duke.

Madam Mediator[Speaker label not present in original source]

O Gentlemen, that I never had been born, we’re
all undone and lost!

Advis

Why, what’s the matter?

M. Mediat

Matter? nay, I doubt, there’s too
much Matter.

Advis

How?

M. Mediat

How, never such a Mistake; why we
have taken a Man for a Woman.

Advis

Why, a Man is for a Woman.

N M. Mediat. N1v 48

M. Mediat

Fidle fadle, I know that as well as you
can tell me; but there was a young Man drest in
Woman’s Apparel, and enter’d our Convent, and the
Gods know what he hath done: He is mighty handsome,
and that’s a great Temptation to Virtue; but I hope
all is well: But this wicked World will lay aspersion
upon any thing or nothing; and therefore I doubt,
all my sweet young Birds are undone, the Gods comfort
them.

Courtly

But could you never discover it? nor have
no hint he was a Man?

M. Mediat

No truly, only once I saw him kiss the
Lady Happy; and you know Womens Kisses are unnatural,
and me-thought they kissed with more alacrity
then Women use, a kind of Titillation, and more
Vigorous.

Advis

Why, did you not then examine it?

M. Mediat

Why, they would have said, I was
but an old jealous fool, and laught at me; but Experience
is a great matter; If the Gods had not been
merciful to me, he might have faln upon me.

Courtly

Why, what if he had?

M. Mediat

Nay, if he had I care not: for I defie
the Flesh as much as I renounce the Devil, and the pomp
of this wicked World; but if I could but have sav’d
my young sweet Virgins, I would willingly have sacrificed
my body for them; for we are not born for
our selves but for others.

Advis. N2r 49

Advis

’Tis piously said, truly, lovingly and kindly.

M. Mediat

Nay, I have read the Practice of Piety;
but further they say, He is a Foreign Prince; and they
say, They’re very hot.

Courtly

Why, you are Madam Mediator, you must
mediate and make a Friendship.

M. Mediat

Ods body what do you talk of Mediation,
I doubt they are too good Friends; Well, this
will be news for Court, Town and Country, in private
Letters, in the Gazette, and in abominable Ballets,
before it be long, and jeered to death by the pretending
Wits; but, good Gentlemen, keep this as a
Secret, and let not me be the Author, for you will
hear abundantly of it before it be long.

Advis

But, Madam Mediator, this is no Secret, it
is known all the Town over, and the State is preparing
to entertain the Prince.

M. Mediat

Lord! to see how ill news will fly so
soon abroad?

Courtly

Ill news indeed for us Wooers.

Advis

We only wooed in Imagination but not in
Reality.

M. Mediat

But you all had hopes.

Advis

We had so; but she only has the fruition:
for it is said, the Prince and she are agreed to Marry;
and the State is so willing, as they account it an honour,
and hope shall reap much advantage by the Match.

M. Mediat

Yes, yes; but there is an old and true Saying, N2v 50
Saying, “There’s much between the Cup and the Lip.”

Exeunt.

Scene III.

Enter the Prince as Bridegroom, and the Lady Happy
as Bride, hand in hand under a Canopy born over their
heads by Men; the Magistrates march before, then
the Hoboys; and then the Bridal-Guests, as coming
from the Church, where they were Married.
All the Company bids them joy, they thank them.

Madam Mediator

Although your Highness will not stay to feast with
your Guests, pray Dance before you go.

Princ

We will both Dance and Feast before we
go; come Madam let us Dance, to please Madam
Mediator
.

The Prince and Princess Dance.

Princ

Now, Noble Friends, Dance you; and
the Princess, and I, will rest our selves.

After they have Danced, the Lady Happy, as now Princess,
speaks to the Lady Vertue.

L. Happy

speaks to L.Lady Vertue.

Lady Vertue, I perceive
you keep Mimick still.

L. Happy. O1r 51

L. Happy

to the Princ.Prince

Sir, this is the Mimick I told
you of.

L. Happy

to Mimick.

Mimick, will you leave your
Lady and go with me?

Mimick

I am a Married Man, and have Married
my Ladies Maid Nan, and she will keep me at home
do what I can; but you’ve now a Mimick of your
own, for the Prince has imitated a Woman.

L. Happy

What you Rogue, do you call me a Fool?

Mimick

Not I, please your Highness, unless all
Women be Fools.

Princ

Is your Wife a Fool?

Mimick

Man and Wife, ’tis said, makes but one
Fool.

He kneels to the Prince.

Mimick

I have an humble Petition to your Highness.

Princ

Rise; What Petition is that?

Mimick

That your Highness would be pleased to
divide the Convent in two equal parts; one for Fools,
and th’ other for Married Men, as mad Men.

Princ

I’le divide it for Virgins and Widows.

Mimick

That will prove a Convent of Pleasure indeed;
but they will never agree, especially if there be
some disguised Prince amongst them; but you had
better bestow it on old decrepit and bed-rid Matrons,
and then it may be call’d the Convent of Charity, if it
cannot possibly be named the Convent of Chastity.

O Princ. O1v 52

Princ

Well, to shew my Charity, and to keep
your Wife’s Chastity, I’le bestow my bounty in a
Present, on the Condition you speak the Epilogue.
Come, Noble Friends, let us feast before we part.

Exeunt. Mimick Solus.

Mimick

An Epilogue says he, the devil an Epilogue
have I: let me study.

He questions and answers Himself.

I have it, I have it; No faith, I have it not; I lie,
I have it, I say, I have it not; Fie Mimick, will you
lie? Yes, Mimick, I will lie, if it be my pleasure:
But I say, it is gone; What is gone? The Epilogue;
When had you it? I never had it; then you did not
lose it; that is all one, but I must speak it, although
I never had it; How can you speak it, and never had
it? I marry, that’s the question; but words are nothing,
and then an Epilogue is nothing, and so I may speak
nothing; Then nothing be my Speech.

Noble
O2r 53 He Speaks the Epilogue.

Mimick[Speaker label not present in original source]

Noble Spectators by this Candle-light,

I know not what to say, but bid, Good Night:

I dare not beg Applause, our Poetess then

Will be enrag’d, and kill me with her Pen;

For she is careless, and is void of fear;

If you dislike her Play she doth not care.

But I shall weep, my inward Grief shall show

Through Floods of Tears, that 1 wordobscuredp:jrowley.briThrough my Eyes will flow.

And so poor Mimick he for sorrow die.

And then through pity you may chance to cry:

But if you please, you may a Cordial give,

Made up with Praise, and so he long may live.

Finis.

O2v

The Actors Names.

Three Gentlemen.

Lady Happy.

Madam Mediator.

Monsieur Take-pleasure, and Dick his Man.

Monsieur Facil.

Monsieur Adviser.

Monsieur Courtly.

Lady Amorous.

Lady Vertue.

The Princess.

Two mean Women.

A Lady, and her Maid.

Two Ladies.

A distracted Lady, and her Maid.

A Citizen’s Wife.

Two Ancient Ladies.

A Gentleman and a Young Lady.

A Shepherd.

Sea-Nymphs.

An Ambassador.