i A1r

The
Innocent Miſtreſ.

A
Comedy.

As it was Acted, by
His Majesty’s Servants
At The
Theatre in Little-Lincolns-Inn-Fields.

Written by Mrs. Mary Pix.

London,
Printed by J. Orme, for R. Baſſet, at the Miter within Temple-Bar
, and F. Cogan in the Inner-Templelane.16971697.

ii A1v

Names Repreſented.

Mr. BetteronSir Charles Beauclair, firſt a Younger Brother, marri’d by his Friends, to a Rich ill-favour’d Widow, afterwards Maſter of a great Eſtate, and in Love with Bellinda.

Mr. VerbruggenSir Francis Wildlove, his Friend.

Mr. Knap Searchwell his Man.

Mr. Hodgſon Beaumont an honeſt Country Gentleman, Friend to Sir Francis: and Lover of Arabella.

Mr. Bowman Spendall a Sharper; and hanger on to Sir Charles.

Mr. FreemanLywell, a Rake, Companion to Spendal.

Mr. BowenCheatall, a very fooliſh Fellow; Brother to the Lady Beauclair.

Mr. HarrisGentil, his Man; an Ingenious Fellow.

Mr. UnderhillMr. Flywife, alias Allen, a Merchant.

Women.

Mrs. BarryBellinda, alias Mariamne, Daughter to the Lord Belmour.

Mrs. BracegirdMrs. Beauclair, Niece to Sir Charles.

Mrs. PrinceArabella, a young Lady, left to the Care of Cheatall’s Father.

Mrs. LeeLady Beauclair, an ill bred Woman.

Mrs. HowardPeggy, her Daughter, of the ſame Stamp.

Mrs. LawſonEugenia, the Lady Beauclair’s Woman.

Mrs.Betty, Woman to Bellinda.

Mrs. Du QuaDreſswell, Woman to Mrs. Beauclair.

Mrs. LaſſelMrs. Flywife, kept by Flywife, and going by his Name.

Mrs. WillisJenny, her Maid.

Drawers and Servants.

Pro-
iii A2r

Prologue:

Spoken by Mr. Verbruggen, Written by Mr. Motteaux.

This ſeaſon with what Arts both Houſes ſtrive, By your kind preſence, to be kept alive! W’ have ſtill new things, or old ones we revive; We plot, and ſtrive to bring them firſt o’ th’ Stage, Like wary Pilot for his Weather gage. W’ have Every Act, and every week a Play; Nay, w’have had new ones ſtudied for one Day; W’have double Duty, and w’ have but half Pay. VVW’ have ſcaling Monkies, and w’ have dancing Swans, To match our nimble cap’ring Chairs and Stands: There Opera’s with, and here without Machines: Here, Scenes well wrought, and there, well painted Scenes; Caſtles and Men i’ the’ Air, the World i’ th’ Moon, Where you, like Swallows fly, but ſoon y’ are gone. W’ve ſomething ev’ry different Taſte to hit, I gad, I think, w’ have ev’ry thing but Wit; For w’ have full Scenes, and w’ have an empty Pitt. Faith, Sirs, we ſcarce cou’d hope, you here wou’d be So num’rous, tho’ we have a new Comedy. For there’s in plays, you know, a Reformation (A thing to which y’ have no great inclination) I fear you’ll ſeek ſome loſer Occupation. From thoſe Lewd Poets all theſe miſchiefs flow; They, like Drawcanſirs, maul’d both Friend and Foe. Wou’d they’d been ſerv’d like their Plays long ago! All cautious Dons and Matrons hence they fear’d, And all this did they do, becauſe they dar’d. Yet, that you’re hardn’d Sinners they may boaſt, The more they laſh’d you, you ſeem’d tickled moſt. But now flawed-reproduction their Plays. No Lady now will need to hide her face; But I’ll be hang’d if one i’th’ Gallery ſtays. To hear ill-natur’d Truths no more you’ll ſit But mortifie an inoffenſive Wit; Lord! how ſtill we ſhall have you in the Pit! For I dare ſay, of what moſt pleas’d our Gueſts, Nine parts in Ten were ſtill ſheer Bawdy Jeſts. Methinks I ſee ſome here who ſeem to ſay Gad, e’re the Curtain’s drawn I’ll ſlip away; No Bawdy, this can’t be a Women’s Play. Nay, I confeſs there’s Cauſe enough to doubt, But, Faith, they ſay there was a deal cut out, Then ſtay and uſe it gently, ſome of you, Since to be maim’d y’ are ſomewhat ſubject too. Spare it, you who for harmleſs ſports declare, Show that this age a modeſt Play can bear. Twice has our Poeteſs kind uſage found; Change not her Fortune, tho’ ſhe cang’d her Ground.

Epi- iv A2v

Epilogue:

Spoken by Mr. Scudamore, Written by Mr. Motteaux.

Sscriblers, like Bullies, ſometimes huff the Pitt, Tho their feign’d Courage has an Ague Fit; But oftner, from a ſenſe of their Condition, An Epilogue reſembles a Petition. Thus they make Mr. Bays his Notion just; If Thunder cannot ſave them, Halters muſt. Which way to uſe, I ſwear, I do not know; Huffing’s too haughty, Cringing is too low. I’ll uſe the middle way; perhaps ’twill do, At leaſt, I fancy, ’tis moſt lik’d by you. Thus then to ev’ry Judge of Wit I bow; (I hope all the Audience think I mean them now). If ſo, you’ll ſcorn to judge of Woman’s Wit; Tho’ in Wit’s Court the worſt of Judges ſit, Sure none dare try ſuch puny Cauſes yet. Faith, if you’re ſtrict, now there’s a Reformation, We’ve ſworn t’invitte the grave part of the Nation; Rich Sparks with broad-brim-hats and little Bands. Who’ll clap dry Morals till they hurt their Hands; Nice Dames? who’ll have their Box as they’ve their Pew. And come each Day, but not to ogle you: No, each ſide Box ſhall ſhine with ſweeter Faces; None but Chains, Gowns and Coifs ſhall have their Places, Their Chit-chat News, Stockjobbing, and Law-Cauſes. The Middle-Fry ſhall in the Gall’ry ſit, And humh whatever againſt Cuckold’s Writ. And City Wives from Lectures throng the Pit. Their Daughters Fair with Prentice trudge it hither, And throng as they do Lambeth-Wells this weather. Then all thus ſtor’d, tho’ Money’s ſcarce this age, We need not fear t’ have a Beau-crowded Stage. So, for new gueſts we’ll change, juſt as our Beaus Wear Doyly-Stuff, for want of better Cloths.

Act 1 B1r 1

Act I.

Sir Francis Wildlove in his Chamber Dreſſing.

Sir Fran

Searchwell!

Search

―― Sir.

Sir Fran

Get me ſome Small Beer, and daſh a little Langoone in it; elſe ’twill go down my burning Stomach ten degrees colder than ice: I ſhould have met my old Friend and Collegian Beaumont, who came to Town laſt night, but Wine and Women drove it clear out of my Head.

Search

Sir, he’s here.

Enter Beaumont.

Sir Fran

Welcome dear Friend, I prithee pardon my omiſſion, faith ’twas buſineſs that could not be left to other hands.

Beau

Women I ſuppoſe, and that excuſe I know a Man of your kidney thinks almighty.

Sir Fran

Even ſo well by my Life, I am heartily glad to ſee you, why thou haſt been an age confin’d to barren Fields and ſenceleſs Groves, or Converſation ſtupid and dull as they: How canſt thou waſte thy Youth, happy Youth, the very Quinteſſence of Life from London, this dear Epitome of pleaſure?

Beau

Becauſe exceſs of drinking cloys my Stomach, and Impudence in Women abſolutely turns it; then I hate the vanity of Dreſs and Flattering, where eternal Noiſe and Nonſence reigns; this conſider’d, what ſhould I do here?

Sir Fran

Not much in troth.

Beau

But you, my Friend, run the Career your appetite directs, taſte all thoſe pleaſures I deſpiſe, you can inform me what humour’s moſt in faſhion, what ruling whim, and how the Ladies are.

Sir Fran

Why faith there’s no great alteration, the Money is indeed very much ſcarcer, yet what perhaps you’l think a wonder, dreſſing and debauchery as for the Damoſels, three ſorts make a Buſhel, and will be uppermoſt: Firſt, there’s your common Jilts will oblige every body.

Beau

Theſe are Monſters ſure.

Sir Fran

You may call ’em what you pleaſe, but they are very plentiful, I promiſe you: The next is your kept Miſtreſs, ſhe’s a degree modeſter, if not kind to each, appears in her dreſs like Quality, whilſt her ogling eyes, and too frequent Debauches diſcovers her the younger Siſter only to the firſt.

Beau

This I ſhou’d hate for Ingratitude.

B Sir 2 B1v 2

Sir Fran

The third is, not a Whore, but a brisk airy, noiſy Coquette, that lives upon treating, one Spark has her to the Play, another to the Park, a third to Windſor, a fourth to ſome other place of Diverſion; She has not the heart to grant ’em all favours, for that’s their deſign at the bottom of the Treats, and they have not the heart to marry her, for that’s her deſign too Poor Creature. So perhaps a year, or it may be two, the gaudy Butterfly flutters around the Kingdom, then if a fooliſh Citt does not take compaſſion, into a Corner, dies an Old Maid, deſpised and forgotton. The Men that fit thoſe Ladies are your Rake, your Cully, and your Beaux.

Beau

I hope sir Fra. Wildlove has more honour than to find a Miſtreſ amongſt ſuch Creatures.

Sir Fran

Gad honeſt honourable Ned, I muſt own I have a fling at all, ſometimes I think it worth my while to make a Keeper Jealonus, frequently treat the Coquette, ’till either ſhe grows upon me, or I grow weary of her; then ’tis but ſaying a rude thing, ſhe quarrels, I fly to the next Bottle, and there for ever drown her remembrance.

Beau

’Tis pitty that the moſt nobleſt Seeds of Nature are moſt prone to Vice.

Sir Fran

Such another grave Speech wou’d give me a fit of the Colick.

Beau

Well I find ’tis in vain to tell you my Story, without I have a deſire to be ſwingingly laught at.

Fran

Nay, Nay, why ſo, I’d ſacrifice my life to ſerve my friend.

Beau

To confeſs the truth, I’m in Love.

Sir Fran

Is that ſuch a wonder why I have been ſo a thouſand times? old boy.

Beau

Ay, but deſperately, vertuouſly!

Sir Fran

There the Caſe differs, I doubt friend you have apply’d your ſelf to a wrong Man.

Beau

Are you not acquainted with Sir Charles Beauclair?

Sir Fran

Yes, intimately.

Beau

Then, in ſhort, his Lady and a Booby Brother of her’s have got my Miſtreſs in their power; ſhe was the Daughter of an Eminent Merchant, one Sir George Venturewell, who dying left her to the care of my Lady Beauclair’s Father; he prov’d like moſt Guardians, a great Knave, forg’d a Will, which gave my Arabella nothing, unleſs ſhe married this two-leg’d thing his Son; ſome of her friends conteſted with ’em, but the Lawyers roguery, through the Guardians wealth prevail’d, and ſhe is again in their poſſeſſion; the old Fellow is dead, but the Siſter and Brother pretend to manage her.

Sir Fran

Your caſe is deſperate, and I fear Sir Charles can do you but little ſervice in’t.

Beau

Why, he lives with his Wife.

Sir Fran

Yes, modeſtly, he knows nothing of her concerns, and deſires ſhe ſhou’d know nothing of his: did you never hear of her Character?

Beau

No.

Sir Fran

She is certainly the moſt diſagreeable of the whole Sex, has neither Senſe, Beauty or good Manners; then her humour is ſo implacable, ſhe hunted her firſt Husband into the Indies, where he dy’d, Heaven knows when or how.

Beau. 3 B2r 3

Beau

What the Devil made Sir Charles Marry her?

Sir Fr

Even that tempting Devil Intereſt, ſhe was vaſtly Rich, he a younger Brother, ſince the Eſtate and title of his Family is fallen to him, and I dare ſwear he’d willingly give a Leg or an Arm to be freed from the intolerable Plague of a Wife, whom no Mortal can pleaſe.

Enter Servant.

Serv

Sir Charles Beauclair is coming to wait upon your Honour.

Sir Fran

I am glad on’t, I fancy there’s a ſympathy in your humours, that will ſoon excite a friendſhip, for he notwithſtanding the provocation of an ugly Scolding Wife at home, and the Temptation of a good Eſtate, and a handſome Fellow into the bargain, inſtead of making his life eaſie with jolly Bona-robars, dotes on a Platonick Miſtreſs, who never allows him greater favours than to read Plays to her, kiſs her hand, and fetch Heart-breaking Sighs at her Feet; with her he has oblig’d his charming Neice to be, almoſt Faith nothing but the horrible fear of Matrimony before my eyes keeps me from loving Mrs. Beauclair, ſhe is pretty without affectation, has but juſt pride enough to become her, and gravity enough to ſecure her from Scandal: to all this add twelve thouſand Pounds in ready Money.

Enter Sir Charles Beauclair and Mr. Spendal.

Sir Charl

And is not that laſt the moſt prevailing Argument, ha, Frank?

Sir Fran

No, Sir Charles, Chains of Gold wont tempt my freedom from me, but here’s a Gentleman, fixt in the dull matrimonial rode, uneaſie if he meets with interruption, though it throws him on the flowry fields of liberty, he’s my particular friend, and labours under the pangs of diſappointed Love, ’tis in your power to aſſiſt him in his delivery; I know you are compaſſionate in theſe caſes.

Sir Charl

You may promiſe for me to the utmoſt, I am ready.

Beau

Fame reports you a true Engliſh Gentleman.

Sir Charl

You may Command me, Sir.

Spendal

aſide to Sir Charles

Dear Sir Charles, lend me one Guinea more, the Eſtate’s Intail’d, my Father will die, and I ſhall get an Heireſs.

Sir Char

Here take it, and leave lying:.

Spend

I’ll be with you again at Dinner.

Sir Char

I don’t queſtion it.

Exit Spendal

Sir Fran

Searchwell, has there been no Letters for me, this Morning?

Searchw

No, Sir.

Sir Fran

Stay you at home, and if there come one, find me out with it.

Searchw

I will Sir.

Sir Fran

Come Sir Charles, ſhall we to the Chocolate-houſe, there you ſhall here Mr. Beaumont’s Story.

Sir Char

With all my heart; hark you Sir Francis, I have an Entertainment of excellent Muſick promiſed me this afternoon, you know I cannot have it at home, ſo I have borrowed ſome Apartments of obliging Mrs. Bantum, the Indian Woman, and will try to prevail with the Ladies to come.

Sir Fran

Dear Sir Charles Introduce me.

Sir Char

You’l think your hours thrown away in the Company of civil Women.

B 2 Sir 4 B2v 4

Sir Fran

Faith I ſcarce dare truſt your Neices eyes, they gain too much upon my heart. I am always forc’d, after I have ſeen her, to have recourſe to the Glaſs, to ſecure my ſelf from Romantick Conſtancy.

Beau

Now you talk of Romances, Introth I think I’m a perfect Knight Errant, for beſides my own Lady, I’m in queſt of another fair Fugitive, by the deſire of her Father: Have you not heard of the Death of my Lord Belmour’s Heir, and abſence of his only Daughter Mariamne?

Sir Fran

Yes, yes.

Beau

The old Lord has given me her Picture, with an earneſt Petition, that I wou’d endeavour to find her; he preſt me ſo, I cou’d not refuſe it, though I have ſmall probability of my ſide.

Sir Fran

She’s now a prodigious Heireſs, what cou’d be the meaning of running from all her Friends.

Beau

Too Studious for her Sex, and fell upon the Seducers of the Women, Plays, and Romances, from thence ſhe form’d her ſelf a Hero, a Cavilier, that could Love and talk like them; whilſt her Father without conſulting her, provided a Husband, Rich, but wanting all Scudries Accompliſhments, this Man ſhe call’d Monſter, and finding the Marriage unavoidable, took her Jewels and what Money was in her Power, and in the Stage-Coach fled to this Populous Wilderneſs, if that can be proper, for here we are in Crowds conceal’d, as well as in a Deſart.

Sir Fran

’Twas ſtrange.

Sir Char

I pity her, for I hate an Innocent inclination croſt.

Enter Servant.

Serv

Sir, your Coach is ready.

Sir Fran

Allons Gentlemen.

Exeunt. Scene Bellinda’s Apartment, appears with a Book.

Bell

In vain I fly to Books, the tuneful Numbers give me not a moments eaſe: In vain I’ve ſtrove to walk in Virtues high, unerring paths; blind, raſh inconſiderate Love, has puſht me from the bliſsfull ſtate, and fixt me Enter Mrs. Beauc. ſtrugling ’midſt ten thouſand dangers: Here ſweet Bard, thou ſuites me well;Opening the Book. My anxious hours roul heavily away,Depriv’d of Sleep by Night or Peace by Day.

Mrs. Beau

Poor diſconſolate Damoſel, come leave this ſoft melancholly Poetry, it nurſes your Diſeaſe.

Bell

You, indeed, like a bright Ray of comfort, ſhoot through my endleſs night; where’s my dear deſtruction?

Mrs. Beau

Mr. Spendall ſaid he would be here at noon.

Bell

He’s ever here, I feel him buſie at my Heart, and when the wiſht minute of his approach comes on, every Artery catches the Convulſive Joy. Doſt not thou think me mad?

Mrs. Beau

A little crais’d or ſo, my dear.

Bell

Bedlam, o’re this, had been my proper manſion if your ſeet Company had not compoſed my jarring thoughts, and given the warring Torments of reſt.

Mrs. Beau

I muuſt confeſs, tho I am wild to the very verge that Innocence allows, 5 B3r 5 allows, yet when my Uncle, that dear good man, told me, if ’er I meant to oblige him I muſt be a Companion, Friend, and Lover of his Miſtreſs. The propoſition ſtartled me, but then I did not think there had been ſuch a Miſtreſs as my Bellinda, nor Platonick Love in real practice.

Bell

True, my dear Friend, our Love is to the Modern Age, unpractic’d and unknown; yet ſo ſtrict and ſo ſevere, are rigid Honour’s Laws, that tho’ not groſly, yet we ſtill offend: had not Fate fixt a bar unpaſſable between us, how ſhou’d I have bleſt the accident that brought us firſt acquainted.

Mrs. Beau

You never told me the Story.

Bell

In ſhort, ’twas thus; coming from the Play, mask’d with a Young Lady, a fluttering Fellow ſeized me, and ſpight of y intreaties grew rudely troubleſome; I was never uſed to ſuch Behaviour, and it throughly frighted me; Sir Charles being near, ſaw my unfeigned concern, and generouſly made the brute deſiſt, then led me ſafely to a Coach, obſerving where I bid the Coachman drive, he came to wait upon me, my fair Friend agen was with me and ’twas by her perſwaſions that I ſaw him: we found his converſation nicely civil and full of Innocent delight, I bluſh’d, and fondly thought this man my Amorous Stars in kindneſs deſtin’d for my happineſs, but oh!――

Mrs. Beau

But Oh, he was married, and that ſpoiled all.

Bell

Therein I only can accuſe him of deceit: He kept his marriage a fatal Secret till I had loſt the power to baniſh him.

Mrs. Beau

I prithee dear Bellinda where wer’t thou bred; I’m ſure this Lewd Town never gave you ſuch nice notions of honour.

Bell

My Friendſhip bars you of nothing but enquiring who I am.

Mrs. Beau

’Tis true I beg your Pardon and am ſilent.

Bell

Only this I’ll tell you, Madam, and as a warning never reſolve, although you think it fully in your power, to keep your reſolution. Mark it in me, I that thought to have ſtood the faireſt pattern of my Sex; and would have blotted all the annals of guilty Love, yet now am loſt fonder of my Beauclair than of Family or Fame, yet know him married, and Divine and humane Laws against me.

Mrs. Beau

For Humane Laws, I know not what to ſay, but ſure Heaven had no concern, ’twas a deteſted match. Ruling Friends and Curſt Avarice joyned this unthinking youth to the worſt of Women: But no more of this how d’ye like your new Lodgings? The Houſe is very large, have you no good Neighbours?

Bell

You know ’tis not my way to be acquainted; my impertinet maid ſometimes teaſes me with a relation of a Merchant and pretty Lady; who came from the Indies and Lodge here.

Mrs. Beau

What are they, Mrs. Betty?

Bett

Nay, my Lady will ne’er hear me out; but I’m ſure they are worth any Bodies obſervation, he looks like a Surly, Old, Rich Cuff, and ſhe like an Intriguing Beautiful Jilt, as fine as a Queen covered with Jewels.

Bell

Ha’ done with your Deſcription, I’m ſick of ’em both.

Mrs. Beau

Lord, you are ſo peeviſh, pray give me leave to ask Mrs. Betty little more Queſtions about ’em, what’s his name?

Bett

An odd one Madam, they call him Mr. Flywife.

Mrs. Beau

An odd one indeed, and contradicting his Actions when ſuch a fine Dame belongs to him.

Bell. 6 B3v 6

Bell

Thou art a little Goſſip to trouble thy head with other peoples Affairs; I heard news of you, Madam, the other day, they ſay you are in Love, for all your ſeeming indifference.

Mrs. Beau

Yes, introth I am a little that way inclined; but my Spark is indeed too far from your Caſſandra rules, his Miſtreſſes are neither Angels nor Godeſſes; truly SrSir Francis Wildlove is too mad even for me; tho’ the Devil’s in’t, I can’t forbear thinking of the Rambler.

Bell

Your Vertue and Beauty may reclaim him.

Mrs. Beau

It may be ſo; but I doubt he don’t like Reforming Enter Sir Charles. ſo well as to try it. Ha, ſee who appears comely as riſing day amidſt ten thouſand eminently known Bellinda this Heroic is deſigned for you, tho’ ſomewhat barren of Invention, I was forc’d to borrow it.

Bell

Chearful, and thy mind at eaſe, happy Girl.

Sir Charles

taking Bell’s hand

My Bleſſing.

Bell

My Fate, which I ſhou’d, but cannot curſe.

Sir Char

Couſin I’m glad to find you here, you ſhall help perſwade Bellinda to go abroad; I have promiſed to bring you both to Mrs. Bantums, I have provided a trifle of a Dinner, and Excellent Muſick for digeſtion; there’s only a Country Gentleman and Sir Francis, I know you love Sir Francis Neice.

Bell

You may be miſtaken Sir; grant I did, wou’d you have me meet him? dear Uncle, don’t make me ſo ridiculous.

Sir Char

I thought Neice you durſt have truſted me with your Conduct, my Friends are no Brainleſs Beaux, no Lady Libellers, that extend innocent Favours, and beſpatter the Reputations they cannot ruine.

Mrs. Beau

Then you think your Friend Sir Francis a very modeſt man.

Sir Char.

No, my Dear, but your mildeſt men, if they have ſence, as I am ſure he has, know how to treat Women of Honour.

Mrs. Beau

Nay, I’m ſoon convinc’d, what ſay you, Madam?

Bell

I will go; for perhaps, Sir Charles, you think I’ve only invented Fears of being known, but you’ll ſurely find, if any Accident diſcovers me, I ſhall be ſeen by you no more.

Sir Char.

See thee no more! yes, I would ſee thee, tho’ barr’d by foreign or domeſtick Foes; ſet on thy ſide Father or Husband, on mine Wife and Children, I’d ruſh through all Nature’s Tyes to gaze on thee, to ſatisfie the longings of my Soal, and pleaſe my fond deſiring Eyes.

Bell

Chide him Beauclair, let him not talk thus.

Mrs. Beau

Before he came you were at it; what can I ſay to two mad Folks?

Enter Spendall.

Spend

Your Servant Ladies. Sir Charles, is it not Dinner-time? I am as hungry as a ――

Mrs. Beau

Horſe, I know the old expreſſion; were I my Uncle, I’d as ſoon build an Hoſpital for the lazy, as undertake to ſatisfie thy voracious Appetite.

Sir Char

How haſt thou of late diſoblig’d my Neice, that ſhe is ſo ſevere upon thee?

Spend

Only told her Ladiſhip a Truth ſhe could not bear.

Mrs. Beau

A Truth from thee, I rather think I could not hear it.

Spend. 7 B4r 7

Spend

I ſaid, a ſhe Wit was as great a Wonder as a Blazing-ſtar, and as certainly foretold the World’s turning upſide down; yet ’ſpight of that the Lady will write.

Mrs. Beau

Brute! what did I ever write, unleſs it was thy Character, and that was ſo adroit, you had like to hang’d your ſelf?

Sir Char

For my ſake, Couſin, forbear.

Mrs. Beau

Let him take pett and not come to Dinner to day, if he thinks fit, ’tis not I that care.

Spend

No, I will come.

Mrs. Beau

That I would have ſworn.

Spend

To give occaſion, that you may draw this ſhining weapon Wit; it will dazzle the Aſſembly; if it pierces only me, no matter.

Mrs. Beau

Stuff, pſhaw, will you come, Madam, and put on your things?

Exeunt Ladies.

Sir Char

Dear Spendall, I muſt beg of you to ſtep to our Houſe, I made my Wife a kind of Promiſe to dine with her to day.

Spend

What ſhall I ſay?

Sir Char

Say I am gone o Court, ſhe loves the Thoughts of being great, tho’ moſt unfit for’t.

Spend

But you know you promis’d to carry her Daughter Miſs Peggy with you next time you went thither.

Sir Char

True; ſay I’m gone to the Tower: I’m call’d, Bellinda within, Are you ready? ſay any thing the Devil puts into your Head.

Exeunt Sir Charles.

Spend

Yes, I ſhall ſay what the Devil puts into my Head, but not what you expect: Am I not then ungrateful? Has he not for ſeveral months fed, cloath’d and ſupported me? But what for, to be a meer Letter-carrier, an honourable Pimp for Platonick Love? He ſhall find I can employ my Parts better; he truſts me for his pleaſure, and I’ll betray him for mine.

Enter Lady Lyewell.

Ha, Lyewell! why come you hither?

Lyew

Phough, I ſaw Sir Charles and the Ladies go out: beſides, I want Mony; I did not ſerve you ſo, when I was in my Lord Worthy’s Family.

Spend

Prithee don’t be ſo ſurly, here’s a Crown for thee, but I expect ſome Service for’t: Is there ever a Strumpet in you Catalogue ſo well bred as to write?

Lyew

All the Whores in Town can ſcrawl if that will do.

Spend

Let one of ’em ſend immediately a nameleſs Letter to my Lady Beauclair, and inform her, That Sir Charles will be to day at Mrs. Bantums with a Whore, between three and four, by that hour, leſt ſhe come too ſoon and diſturb our Dinner. Well, the Heireſs is coming, I ſhall make thee amends.

Lyew

Ay, when you marry Mrs. Beauclair.

Spend

Hang her; I hinted Love but once, and ſhe has abus’d me ever ſince. I have no luck with the Wits, now I have better Chaſe in view, a wealthy Fool, a Fool the Perquiſite of a Sharper. Come with me, and I’ll inſtruct you further.

Exeunt. Enter. 8 B4v 8 Enter Mrs. Flywife and Jenny.

Mrs. Flyw

O how happy am I, to breath again my native London Air! I vow the Smoak of this dear Twon delights me more than all the Indian Groves: happy too in meeting with one like thee; thou underſtand’ſt Intrigues, art cunning, ſubtile, as all our Sex ought to be, who deal with thoſe deluders Men.

Jenn

Then your Ladiſhip lik’d not the Indies.

Mrs. Flyw

How was’t poſſibble I ſhou’d? Our Beaux was the Refuſe of Newgate, and our Merchants the Offspring of fooliſh plodding Cits.

Jenn

Why went you, Madam?

Mrs. Flyw

So great is my Opinion of your Faith, I dare truſt you with all my paſt life: My Friends bred me at a Boarding-ſchool, and dy’d when I was but fourteen, leaving me nothing for my Portion but Pride and a few tawdry Clothes; I was a forward Girl, and bartering what I had not the Wit to prize, a never to be recover’d Fame was ſoon maintain’d in Finery, Idleneſs, and darling Pleaſure, but the deceitful Town grew weary of me ſooner than I expected, and I ſick of that, ſeeing other new Faces preferr’d before me; ſo picking up ſome Moneys, and a handſome Garb, I ventur’d to Jamaica.

Jenn

Madam, I hear my Maſter unlock his Study.

Mrs. Flyw

Oh Heavens! and this fooliſh Story put Sir Francis Wildlove’s Letter quite out of my Mind. Have you writ as I directed?

Jenn

Yes, Madam.

Mrs. Flyw

Give me the Letter and be gone, I would not have him think us great.

Exit Jenny. Enter Mr. Flywife. As Mrs. Flywife goes to put up the Letter haſtily, drops it.

Come Fubby, will you go into the Dining-room the Chocolate is ready.

Mr. Flyw

And you, methinks, are ready too, Madam; beyond Sea ’twas a courted Favour, dreſs’d ſeldom, and careleſs; but ſince arriv’d at this damn’d Town, no coſt, nor pains is ſpar’d; Curſe upon my doating Folly, that liſten’d to your Prayers, and ſpight of my Oath and ſtrong Averſion, brought you back to the high road of Hell.

Mrs. Flyw

Is then my try’d Conſtancy ſuſpected? Did I for this deny the richeſt Planters of the place, who courted me in an honeſt lawful way, and would have parted with their Wealth, dearer than their Souls, to have calld me Wife, whilſt I, ſlighting all their Offers, gave up my unſullied Bloom to you, only on your proteſted Love leaving Jamaica, fled with you to a remoter World, becauſe you ſaid your Circumſtance was ſuch, that if you liv’d with me, your Engliſh Friends muſt believe you dead.

Mr. Flyw

Well, and what was my Return to all this boaſted Kindneſs? You may remember, Madam, your Cargo was ſunk ſo low, ’twould ſcarce afford at the next Ships approach another London Topping; when I without a hated Lock for Life pour’d on ye more Riches than all your Husband-pretenders joyn’d together could aim at, gave you ſuch a ſeparate Fortune, that indeed I was forc’d to obey your Deſires in coming into England, leſt you ſhould do’t without my Leave.

Mrs. 9 C1r 9

Mrs. Flyw

Well, well, thou art a good Boy, prithee no more wrangling Fubby; I vow and ſwear to morrow I’ll be as great a Slattern as ever was, if that will pleaſe you, ſo I will.

Mr. Flyw

Ay, and want to go out to day, for all the gazing Fops to admire, tho’ I have told you, I can’t appear till I have enquir’d into my affairs, then to morrow, if you ſtay at home with me, Sackcloth will ſerve turn.

Mrs. Flyw

Lord, you are ſo froppiſh, if I was your Wife, ſure Fubby, you would not be ſo jealous.

Mr. Flyw

My Wife quotha! no, no, I was once bewitch’d, but I found ſuch a Plague, that ―― No more Wives, I ſay.

Mrs. Flyw

Well, I’ll be any thing to pleaſe Fubby; Will you go in? Our Breakfaſt will be cold.

Exit Mrs. Flyw.

Mr. Flyw

takes up the Letter

I’ll follow you.

Ha! what’s here? a Sonnet, I’ll warrant; her gaping abroad has brought this: A Letter of her own, only the Hand is ſcrawl’d to diſguiſe it. reads If I were convinc’d your Paſſion was real, perhaps you might have no cauſe to complain: (fine advancing Devil) be conſtant and diſcreet, you’ll find none of our Sex ungrateful. By thy burning Luſt that’s a damn’d Lye, for thou art thy ſelf a moſt ungrateful Jilt: I’ll catch her now, e’re the Devil can be at her Elbow to invent a Lye, and if one wheedling Tongue does not deſtroy all my Senſes, ſhe ſhall feel my Rage.

Enter Servant.

Serv

Sir, the Captain comes to bring you News your Ship is ſafe in the River.

Mr. Flyw

Be damn’d, there let it ſink.

Serv

Shall I tell him ſo, Sir?

Exit Serv.

Mr. Flyw

Jackanapes, I’ll come to him. Is it impoſſible in Nature to be happy with or without a Woman? If they are virtuous they are peeviſh, ill- natur’d, proud and coy; If fair and complaiſant, they pleaſe as well:For then, by Heav’n, they are as falſe as Hell.

The end of the Firſt Act.

Act II.

Enter Mrs. Flywife and Jenny.

Mrs. Flyw

Ha, ha, ha! I can’t forbear laughing at your great concern.

Jenn

O madam, if you did but ſee what a paſſion my maſter was in, you would not be ſo merry; he was like to beat the Sea Captain, tho’ he brought him the good news of his Ships arrival.

C Mrs. 10 C1v 10

Mrs. Flyw

Pho, mind what I ſay, and fear not; I warrant you ſhall have the Letter again, and liberty to find Sir Francis Wildlove with it.

Jenn

Madam, he comes.

Mrs. Flyw

Well, well, be ſure you do it handſomly.Sings. Never, never let her be your Wife. That was loud that he might think me merry; ſpeak huſſy.

Enter Flywife.

Jenn

crying

Pray, madam, ſearch again; I have been a month of writing on’t, and took it out of a Book too; the man has ſent me forty, before I could make ſhift to anſwer one till now: Oh! oh!

Mrs. Flyw

Prithee don’t teaſe me, I dropt it, ’tis gone, I’ll write another for you, ſince you ſay the man is for a Husband, and can ſo well maintain you; be quiet.

Mr. Flyw

What’s this? faith not improbable, ’tis not my Damoſels hand now I have conſider’d on’t again. Aſide.

Jenn

I had rather have loſt my beſt Petticoat by half.

Mrs. Flyw

Ceaſe your noiſe, or leave the Room.

Mr. Flyw

What’s the matter? having no occaſion for a Quarrel, will be Money in my Pocket, I am ſure. Aſide.

Mrs. Flyw

Why Fubby, this fooliſh Wench, it ſeems, has a Country Lover, and beg’d of me to direct a Letter to him, which in troth I have loſt, ſo ſhe howls, that’s all, Fubby.

Mr. Flyw

And I have found it: Come Jenny, to make amends for your Sorrow, I’ll write the Superſcription; Whither is it to go?

Jenn

aſide to her Miſtris

Madam, Madam.

Mrs. Flyw

O, I think I remember; — to Jeoffrey Scatterlove, at the Bull- Inn in Cambridge: ſo ſeal it and carry it, for theſe ſilly Girls never think it ſafe, unleſs they give it into the Poſt-houſe themſelves, but make haſte.

Jen

Have I got thee again, my dear ſweet Letter? kiſſing it.

Mrs. Flyw

A Very raw fooliſh Girl this, my Dear.

Mr. Flyw

Faith Puggy, there had like to have bin a Quarrel; I was almoſt afraid that Letter was a piece of Gallantry of yours.

Mrs. Flyw

Ay, ay, you are alwaies ſuſpecting me, when Heaven knows I am ſuch a poor conſtant Fool, I never ſo much as dream of any man but my own dear Fubby: Fubby, let I go.

Mr. Flyw

No, no, I’ll run away, I won’t hear you, I won’t hear you. Exit.

Mrs. Flyw

Then I’ll follow, and I am ſure prevail. Oh, had my Sex but half my Cunning, the deceivers would find themſelves deceiv’d; from my Gallants I never found, but gave ’em killing Charms. Fools! when we love, our Liberties we loſe;But when belov’d, with eaſe we pick and chuſe.

Exit. Enter Lady Beauclair and Cheatall.

La. Beauc

Brother, I ſay you’re a Fool.

Cheat

Fool in your Face. ―― I’m no more a fool than your ſelf. ―― What would you have a man do? ―― Muſt I raviſh her? Don’t I know Acceſſories have bin hang’d! and here you’d have me Principal! what, I underſtandſtand 11 C2r 11 ſtand Law, ―― I won’t hang for your pleaſure.

La. Beauc

Yes, you underſtand Law ―― D’ye underſtand parting with a good Eſtate, which you muſt do if you han’t this Arabella? Don’t tell me of Ne— Ne— Neceſſaries, I ſay you ſhall marry her.

Cheat

Ay, but the Craft will be in catching, as the Saying is: why, I went but e’en now to take her by the Lilly-white Hand, as the Poet has it, and ſhe threw a whole diſh of ſcalding-hot Tea full in my face, Diſh and all Couuſin Peggy ſaw her; ſhe call’d her all the names in Chriſtendom; ſhe’ll tell ye the ſame.

La. Beauc

Ah poor Peggy! ay, ſhe don’t love to ſee you abus’d; ―― were that Minks like Peggy, you were but too happy. Well ―― when will you give Peggy that Diamond Necklace? The Sparks are almoſt mad for her, ―― ſhe has the Lord knows how many Sweethearts; there’s Squire — what d’ye call him?

Cheat

aſide

So, now ſhe’s got upon her Daughter’s Sweethearts — ſhe’ll ne’ever ha’ done.

La. Beauc

There’s Sir John Empty, and Mr. Flutter, and Capt. Noiſy, ſay the fineſt things to her, but the Wench is ſo coy, and my Rogue of a Husband will let none of ’em come home to her, but calls ’em Fops, and Boars, and the Lord knows what.

Cheat

O Lord, Boars! Beaux you mean. ―― O Lord, Boars!

La. Beauc

Well, ſhe has of all ſorts, ―― and if there be twenty Women in company, all the rout is made about her; and the Girl doth ſo bluſh ――I vow and ſwear it makes her look woundy handſom.

Cheat

Ay, you call’d me fool, but I’ll be hang’d if ye dan’t make a fool of her, mark the end on’t; marry her to ſome honeſt Tradeſman, that’s fitteſt for her.

La. Beauc

Pray don’t you trouble your muſty Pate about her: No, ſhe ſcorns a Citizen, ſhe would not have my Lord Mayor’s Son; ſhe’s a Girl of diſcretion: I was married young too and I look’d after all my firſt Husband’s Affairs.

Cheat

aſide

True, 2-3 charactersflawed-reproduction he went the Lord knows whither to be quiet.

La. Beauc

Indeed this young fellow is not worthy the Name of a Husband; I have a good mind to let the World know what a deceitful piece ’tis.

Enter Mrs. Peggy, eating Plumb-cake.

Peg

Mother! mother!

La. Beauc

What’s the matter Child?

Peg

Here’s Mrs. Arabella does nothing but jeer and abuſe me; ſhe ſays eating meals will ſpoil my Shape, and I ſnatch’d a Book out of her hand, and ſhe ſaid a Primmer was fitter for me.

La. Beauc

I’ll never endure this, how dare ſhe affront my Daughter?

Cheat

So, I’m like to have a fine life, nothing but ſcolding and noiſe, for my part, I’d rather not marry at all: if ſhe is thus randy beforehand what will ſhe be afterwards? In a ſhort time I ſhall be made Ballads on, and my Picture ſet before ’em juſt like the Summons to Horn-fair.

C2 La. 12 C2v 12

La. Beauc

Yes, yes, you ſhall marry her; and we’ll tame her too, I’ll warrant you.

Peg

Here ſhe comes, here ſhe comes, as mad as a Turky-cock.

Enter Mrs. Arabella.

Arab

Why am I us’d thus? Your Servants are forbid to call me either Coach or Chair; Are you my Jaylor? You, Oaf, I ſpeak to.

Cheat

Miſtreſs, ’twould be better for you if you had other words in your mouth, I’ll tell you that.

Peg

You ſhan’t gallop your ――

La. Beauc

Hold Peggy, let me ſpeak. ――What’s the reaſon, Mrs. Arabella, you take this Privilege here? ――You know your Fortune is at our diſpoſe, ſo ſhall your Perſon be elſe you muſt expect nothing.

Arab

Had I but heard your Characters, I’d ſooner have been expos’d a Beggar in this inhoſpitable World, than e’er ſet my Feet within your Doors.

La. Beauc

I’d have you to know our Corecters are honeſt Corecters; I wiſh yours prove ſo.

Cheat

Don’t provoke me, I ſay, don’t.

Arab

Why? you won’t beat me, ―― I hear there is a ſenſible Man amongſt ye, I’ll appeal to him, if you’d let me ſee him.

La. Beauc

That’s my Husband you mean; ―― No, you ſhan’t ſee him, nor ſuch as you are, if I can help it.

Peg

What I would you ſee my Vather-in-law, to tell Lies and Stories to him? No, no, don’t miſtake your ſelf.

Arab

Away, you ſmell of Aqua Mirabilis.

La. Beauc

Oh Impudence! She ſmell of ſtrong Waters! She hates it. ―― Come hither Peggy, let me ſmell, thy Breath us’d to be as ſweet as any Cows.

Peg

aſide

What ſhall I do? I’ve been at my Mother’s Bottle; I won’t come to ſatisfie her nor you neither. What ails ye, — d’ye know?

Arab

No, don’t, Miſs. ―― Well, ſince I muſt have neither Attendance nor Conveniency, I’ll go a-foot.

is going.

Cheat

Hold ye, hold ye, you are not gone yet, as the Saying is.

Takes her by the Arm.

Arab

Was ever Uſage like this?

La. Beauc

Your Uſage has been but too good, let me tell you that; I’ll show you ſuch Uſage as you deſerve. HugUggun, ―― what a Devil is your Name? I hate a Wench with a hard Name. Enter Eugenia. Here, lock up Mrs. Flippant in the dark Room.

Peg

jumping about

Ay, lock her up, lock her up, I ſay.

Cheat

grinning in her Face

Yet, Mrs. Bella, be rul’d by me, ―― give me one ſweet look; and let me take a Hony Kiſs, and you shan’t be lock’d up; ―― No, you shan’t be lock’d up, ―― but go abroad with me, and have your Bellyful of Cakes and Cuſtards. — Shall I? ―― Shall I?

Arab

Thre’s the Kiſs; and for a Look, I wiſh my Eyes were Baſilisks.

Strikes him.
Peg. 13 C3r 13

Peg

O Lord, Mother, how she ſwears!

Cheat

Oh my Chops, my Chops! lock her up; hang her, she’s a Fury.

La. Beauc

Abominable! come hither, hath ſhe hurt ye?

Arab

Oh Eugenia! laſt night, when you heard my Story, you, in gentle pity, wept; ―― Aſſiſt me now, or I’m loſt.

Eugen

Have Patience, Madam, and believe me yours.

La. Beauc

aſide to her Brother

I ſay, keep the Key your ſelf, I don’t like her greatneſs with the Maid.

Cheat

’Tis locking up, I fear ’tis againſt Law, Siſter.

La. Beauc

Pho, I fear nothing; — Are not you a Squire, and rich? — you’re above the Leaw.

Cheat

Ay; but Knights ha’ been hang’d, — I dread hanging — I tremble alwaies when I think on’t.

La. Beauc

Hang’d ! there’s no danger of being hang’d; what, — ha’ ye no Courage?

Cheat

Yes, I have Courage, and that ſhe ſhall find; my Injuries, as I have read it, ſteel my Eyes. Mrs. Arabella, ―― I could ſwear the Peace againſt you, and have you before a Juſtice; ―― but I will ſpare you the Shame, and puniſh you my ſelf: ―― Come along.

Arab

Reſiſtance is in vain, ―― but I will be reveng’d, or kill my ſelf.

Cheat

Ay, ay, kill your ſelf, and then I ſhall have your Eſtate, without being troubl’d with your Perſon. ―― I’ll humble you.

Arab

And Heaven puniſh thee.

Cheat

Don’t trouble your muſty Pate about Heaven, (as my Siſter ſays) but come along.

Peg

Away with her, away with her.

Arab

I take Heaven and Earth to witneſs, I believe you deſign to murder me.

Cheat

There’s no ſuch Deſign; beſides your Witneſſes are not valid, ―― I never heard their Evidence go in any Tryal in all my life.

La. Beauc

No, it is not to murder ye, but make ye better: No more words, but let it be done.

Exeunt, manent La. Beauc. and Peggy.

Peg

I’m glad ſhe’s to be lock’d up, ―― for had any Gentleman come to ſee me, ſhe’s ſo pert, her Tongue would ha’ bin running.

Enter Cheatall with a Key, and Gentil and Eugenia.

Cheat

Here I have her double lock’d, i’faith neither Window nor Mouſe- hole in the Room: Gentil, — fetch my Cloak, — I’ll to my Lawyer Mr. Cobblecaſe, for my Mind miſgives me plaguily.

Gent

Shall I wait on you, Sir?

Cheat

No, no, ſtay at home, and if any one asks for Mrs. Arabella, ſay, She does not lodge here.

Gent

Yes.

Cheat

B’w’y Siſter.

La. Beauc

Your Journey is needleſs, but you may go if you will; and, d’ye hear, ask Mr. Cobblecaſe to come and dine here, he’s a Batchelor. — You ſhould alwaies be thinking of Peggy.

Cheat. 14 C3v 14

Cheat

Well, well.

Exit.

Peg

O Mother, yonder’s Mr. Spendall a coming, ―― he’s grown very fine of late.

La. Beauc

Ay, if he would leave your Vather’s Company, and make out what he ſays about his intail’d Eſtate, the man is not to be deſpis’d.

Enter Spendall.

Spend

My Lady Beauclair, your moſt humble. Dear pretty Creature, yours.

Kiſſes her.

La. Beauc

Lord, Mr. Spendall, what d’ye do? — well, I wonder Peg endures it. ―― I’ll vow and ſwear, Mr. Spendall, Knights preſume no farther than to kiſs the tip of my Daughters little Finger, and you make nothing of her Lips.

Spend

How! make nothing of ’em! pardon me, Madam, I put ’em to the uſe Nature deſign’d: — They are as ſweet as — and as ſoft as — Gad, I muſt taſte ’em again to raiſe my Fancy.

Peg

Be quiet, let me alone, Mr. Spendall.

Spend

ſinging

Oh, give your ſweet Temptations o’er, I’ll taſte thoſe dangers Lips no more.

La. Beauc

You’re a ſtrangeman, — but come — ſing us a Song of your own ―― Husband ſays you can make Varſes.

Peg

But let it be as like that as you can, for methinks that is very pretty.

Spend

aſide

Does the Fool think I ſhall make it ex tempore? ―― however, I have one pretty near it, as it happens. I’ll rather expoſe my ſelf, than not endeavour to divert you, Madam.

Sings, whilſt the Mother and Daughter imitate his Geſtures.

A Song by Mr. ――, At dead of Night, when wrap’d in Sleep The Peaceful Cottage lay, Paſtora left her folded Sheep, Her Garland, Crook, and needleſs Scrip, Love led the Nymph aſtray. Looſe and Undreſt ſhe takes he flight To a near Myrtle-ſhade: The conſcious Moon gave ſplendid light, To Bleſs the Raviſht Lover’s ſight, And gain the Loving Maid. His eager Arms the Nymph Embrace, And, to aſswage the Pain, His reſtleſs Paſſion he obeys: At ſuch an hour, in ſuch a place, What Lover cou’d contain? In 15 C4r 15 In vain ſhe call’d the conſcious Moon, The Moon no ſuccour gave; The cruel Stars, unmov’d, look’d on, And ſeem’d to wink at what was done, Nor wou’d her humour ſave. Vanquiſh’d at laſt by powerful Love, The Nymph expiring lay; No more ſhe ſigh’d, no more ſhe ſtrove, Since nokind Stars were found above, She bluſh’d, and dy’d away. Yet Bleſt the Grove, her happy Flight, And Youth that did betray And panting, dying with Delight, She Bleſt the kind tranſporting Night, And Curſt approaching Day.

La. Beauc

Thank ye, ’tis very fine, I’ll vow and ſwear.

Peg

So ’tis indeed Mother.

La. Beauc

Now, to leave fooling, where’s my Husband?

Spend

I know not, I han’t ſeen him theſe two days. ―― Here my Father writes to me, if I will take up, (that’s the old man’s Expreſſion) and find a virtuous Woman with a Fortune, he will give me Three thouſand pounds down, and ſettle Eight hundred a year, ―― and, faith, I am trying to obey the rich Cuff, and wean my ſelf from my old Friends and the dear Bottle.

La. Beauc

Ay, you do very well, Mr. Spendall; I ſhould be overjoy’d to ſee you take up, and perhaps a Fortune may be found: — I’ll ſay no more — but a thorow Reformation will produce ſtrange-matters, matters I little thought of; ―― but I’ll ſay no more.

Spend

Your Ladiſhip muſt not ſay a word of this to Sir Charles, for then he’ll forbid me the ſight of this dear Creature, whoſe Charms alone have power to work the mention’d Reformation.

La. Beauc

No, no, fear not that, I han’t ſo many Friends, to go the ready way to loſe ’em.

Peg

For my part, I don’t love Vather ſo well, to tell him any thing of us.

Enter a Boy with a Letter.

Boy

Madam, here’s a Penny-poſt Letter to your Ladiſhip.

La. Beauc

To me!

Peg

I warrant ’tis to me, from ſome Spark.

La. Beauc

Stand away Huſſy, ’tis durracted to my ―― my Lady Beauclair, ―― What’s this ſtammering at it Mrs. Banter’s the Indian Houſe? ―― Read it, Mr. Spendall, ſome miſchief, I believe.

Spend. reads

Tho’ unknown, I cannot forbear, in Juſtice to your Ladiſhips Merit, informing“forming 16 C4v 16 forming you, that Sir Charles, at four a clock, will be with a Miſtreſs, at Mrs. Bantam’s; uſe your Diſcretion, but aſſure your ſelf it is a Truth.

La. Beauc

O the Villain, the Rogue! the confounded Whore! I’ll tear his and her Eyes out; always at home he’s ſick, his Head aches, and he muſt lye alone: Ah, Mr. Spendall, if I ſhould tell you the naked Truth, you’d ſay, he was a Villain too; I’ve often told him his own with Tears, and the brazen- fac’d Villain has forſwore it. My Husband with a Whore! I have no Patience; I’ll go there immediately, and ſtay till he comes.

Peg

Ay, do mother, and I’ll go with you, and help to pull their Eyes out.

Spend

Are you both mad? Why all there love Sir Charles to that degree they’d watch and turn him back, ―― you’d never conceal your Paſſion, ―― your only way is to come after the hour, and they you’ll certainly ſurprize ’em.

La. Beauc

That’s true; well, good Mr. Spendall ſtay and comfort me, — I fear I ſhall have my Fits, and then no two men can hold me.

Spend

I would with all my Heart, and eſteem my ſelf happy to ſerve you, but my Father has ſent me twenty Guineas for a Token, and if I don’t go this minute, the man will be gone out of Town, and carry ’em back with him.

La. Beauc

Nay, that is not to be neglected. ―― Come Child, we’l go to my Couſin Prattle’s, and tell her this News: my Husband with a Whore! ―― I cannot bear it.

Spend

I muſt ſeize a Kiſs, elſe I ſhall faint before I ſee you agen.

Peg

Piſh, piſh, I think the man’s diſtracted.

La. Beauc

Is this a time. ―― and my Husband with a Whore! I wiſh my Nails were twice as long for her ſake. ―― Ah Child, thy Vather was anothergueſs man than this, tho’ he had Faults too. Come away: Your Servant Mr. Spendall.

Peg

Your Servant Sir.

La. Beauc

My Husband with a Whore!

Exeunt La. Beauclair and Peggy.

Spend

Ladies, your moſt obedient Slave. ―― Thus far Affairs go on as I could wiſh. Now if my Lady does but abuſe Bellinda, till it come to parting between Sir Charles and ſhe, then my Miſs being out of his Tuition, I fear not her falling into mine: ―― She’s damn’d ſilly, I am forc’d to let all Courtſhip lye in Kiſſing, for ſhe underſtands a Complement no more than Algebra. ―― Well ―― her Wealth makes it up. ―― Now for Dinner.

Exit. Scene Changes to St. James Park. Enter Sir Charles Beauclair, Bellinda and Mrs. Beauclair.

Mrs. Beau

This Walk i’ th’ Park has done me good.

Bell

’T was very refreſhing.

Mrs. B

Is not this better now dear Bellinda, than reading and ſighing away every beauteous Morning.

Bell

Yes, if at each gazer the conſcious Bluſhes wou’d forbear to riſe, if I cou’d look upon this object of my Love and Vertue, not ſhrink back, it were true happineſs.

Sir 17 D1r 17

Sir Char

My lovely Charmer, let me call this day mine, and oblige you to be chearful.

Mrs. B

I warrant ye, by and by we’ll be as merry as the ―― you know the title that ſticks ahand, Uncle, — ha, yonder’s Sir Francis Wildlove, for Heaven’s ſake ſtep behind the Trees, whilſt I clap on my Mask, and prole towards Roſamonds Pond, and he, no doubt, purſues.

Bell

You will not ſure.

Mrs. B

Indeed, my dear Gravity, I will; that is, with your leave, Sir.

Sir Char

Well thou art a mad Girl, but I dare truſt thee, come this way, Madam.

Exit. Mrs. B croſſes the Stage, Sir Fran. Wildlove following at a diſtance.

Sir Fran

What’s there, a Woman well Shap’d, well Dreſt, Mask’d and alone! how many Temptations has the Devil tack’d together for a poor frail Mortal, that ſcarce needed half a one! the Handkercheif dropt, a fair invitation, a duce take her agility, ſhe has been too nimble for me, however I’ll venture, — Madam, by your remaining, when the whole Army of Beauties are retir’d, I ſhould gueſs you Picceer for a particular prize.

Mrs. B

Then I ſuppoſe you have vanity enough to think your well-rigg’d Pinnace worth ſecuring.

Sir Fran

Faith, Child, I hopeyou wou’d not find the fraight diſagreeable.

Mrs. B

Now I cou’d not have thought ſuch a hopeful proper Gentleman, wou’d have been ſtragling in the Park this Hour; what, no Lady of Quality, nor Miſs that appears like one to lead out to day, no Aſſignation? or is the plague upon your fine Cloths, Credit out, and Pocket empty?

Sir CharFran

Shall I tell you the truth.

Mrs. B

Yes, if you can find in your heart.

Sir Fran

Why then, Faith, I have an Appointment, and that with Ladys, nay, and Muſik; yet if you’ll be kind, my dear Chicken, they ſhall wait for me in vain. By Heav’n, a charming ſide face.

Coming nearer her.

Mrs. B

Stand off, or I vaniſh, but tell me what makes you ſo indifferent to your firſt engagement? the Women are Old I ſuppoſe.

Sir Fran

Alas, very Buds, my Dear.

Mrs. B

Ugly then.

Sir Fran

Beautiful as Angels.

Mrs. B

What can be the matter?

Sir Fran

Don’t you gueſs? why they are Vertuous. I have a Miſstreſs there, confound me if I am not damnably in Love with her, and yet cou’d never get my ſelf in a vein ſerious enough to ſay one dull, fooliſh, modeſt thing to her.

Mrs. B

Poor Gentleman, ſuppoſe you practis’d before you went, and fancy’d me the Lady.

Sir Fran

A Match.

Mrs. B

With Arms acroſs.

Sir Fran

And the looks of an Aſs, I begin, ah Madam! — how was that ſigh?

Mrs. B

Pretty well.

Sir Fran

Behold the humbleſt of your Slaves: ſee the Martyr of your D Frowns; 18 D1v 18 Frowns; thoſe Arms muſt heal the Wounds your Eyes have made, or elſe I dye; they muſt, they muſt.

Ruſhing upon her.

Mrs. B

Hold, hold! — Sir Charles, Sir Charles, here I ſhall be raviſh’d in the open Park.

Unmasking.

Sir Fran

O Heavens! Mrs. Beauclair!

Enter Sir Charles and Bellinda.

Sir Char

Why how now Frank, in Raptures before the face of the World and the Sun!

Sir Fran

Pſhaw, I do confeſs I am caught.

Bell

If you had come to any harm, Madam, you might have thank’d your ſelf.

Mrs. B

aſide No great harm neither, to have a hearty Hug from the man one loves.

Sir Fran

Madam, I humbly ask your Pardon.

Mrs. B

It is eaſily granted, ’twas a Frolick of my own beginning.

Sir Fran

This Generoſity wholly ſubdues my wandering Heart.

Mrs. B

Have a care of getting into the dull, fooliſh, modeſt Road, Sir Francis.

Sir Fran

No more of that, dear madam.

Sir Cha

Come, I believe Dinner ſtays; where’s your Friend Mr. Beaumont?

Sir Fran

He’l be there before us.

Sir Cha

Let’s to our Chairs, I dare ſay the Ladies are tir’d.

Bell

Truly I am.

Enter Jenny, and pulls Sir Francis by the Sleeve; he ſteps aſide with her.

Jen

Sir, the Lady that came lately from the Indies, whom you have ſeen at the Play, ſends you this; the odneſs of the Superſcription ſhe’l explain to you.

Sir Fran

O the charming Angel! dear Girl, accept my Acknowledgment, and ſtep behind thoſe Trees whilſt I lead my Mother and my Aunt into their Chairs, I’ll be with you in a moment.

Mrs. B

O the wretched Libertine! but to take notice on’t would ſhew too much Concern.

Sir Cha

Sir Francis, where are you?

Sir Fra

Here, at your Elbow, Sir Charles: Madam, may I preſume to lead you to your Chair?

Mrs. B

Yes Sir, tho’ I believe, as your Affairs ſtand, you could ’bate the Ceremony.

Sir Fran

The greateſt Affairs in Chriſtendom ſhould not hinder me from waiting on your Ladiſhip.

Exeunt. Enter Jenny.

Jen

No faith, they are not of the Shape of motherly and elderly Aunts: I’ll not ſtay here, but watch where they go, and tell my Lady what a Rambler she has choſe.

Exit. Scene changes to a Houſe. Enter Mrs. Flywife.

Mrs. Flyw

So with much coakſing I have got my jealous Fellow to let me go out this afternoon, on the pretence of buying things, and ſeeing an old Aunt, if 19 D2r 19 if this Wench wou’d come and tell me where the mad Spark will be, I’ll venture to give him the meeting; have you found him?

Enter Jenny.

Jen

Yes, Madam, but I perceive he’s a ſad wild man, he was engaged with two Masks, and wou’d fain have ſlamm’d me off ’twas his Mother, but I ſaw by their Meen and Dreſs they were young.

Mrs. Flyw

What ſaid he to you?

Jen

Seem’d much pleaſed, but ſhie: Bid me ſtay, and promis’d to return preſently; I thought I ſhould do your Ladyſhip more ſervice in ſeeing where they went, ſo I dogg’d e’m to Mrs. Bantam’s our Neighbour and hous’d ’em all there.

Mrs. Flyw

Very good, and by and by, I’ll to Locket’s, and ſend for him, I fancy I know the Gentleman s humours ſo well, that he’ll certainly forſake old acquaintance for thoſe of a newer date, tho’ he ventures changing for the worſe: he ſeem’d eager and pleas’d, fierce and fond, and ſwore my Charms were unequall’d. His ſwearing indeed ſignifies but little, the Banquet o’re, Yet ſure he’ll meet when Love and I invite,For Love’s his God, and leads him to delight.

The End of the Second Act.

Act III.

Enter Eugenia, follow’d by Gentil.

Gent

Whither ſo faſt, Mrs. Eugenia?

Eug

Stop me not, I am upon an Act of Charity, trying to free the Immur’d Lady; ―― I have been picking up all the Ruſty Keys in the houſe, in hopes to accompliſh it.

Gent

Why you’ll looſe your place.

Eug

Hang my place, ―― There’s not one in the Family underſtands a Grain of Civility, except Sir Charles; and if he ſpeaks to me my Lady pulls my Head-cloaths off ―― Come I know you don’t love that Lubberly Coxcomb, your Maſter flawed-reproduction E’en joyn with me, aſſiſt in Arabella’s Liberty, and recover her Fortune, and I dare engage ſhe’ll make ours. Beſides, to tell you the Truth, I have received ten Guineas to day, from one Mr. Beaumont, to endeavour her freedom.

Gent

That’s a moſt prevailing Argument, I confeſs. What I do is for your ſake Mrs. Eugenia.

Eug

In hopes to go ſnacks with the Gold. Ha, Gentil! Well, well, ſtay here I’ll return immediately. Exit, and Re-enter with Arabella. ’Tis done, ’tis done, is this a Bird to be concealed in ſuch a dark and Diſmal Cage?

Arab

Well thou art a rare Girl. O if thou cou’dſt but conjure now, and D2 get 20 D2v 20 get the Writings of my Eſtate for me, five hundred Pound ſhou’d be thy own next moment, Wench.

Gent

Say you ſo, Madam, Gad I’ll turn Devil but it ſhall be done.

Eug

Why what wou’d that ſignify to you Fool?

Gent

Well, mind the Ladies Buſineſs, and let me alone to take care of yours.

Eug

Firſt let us take care of the ’Squire, Gad if I don’t manage that Booby, I’ll give you leave to cut my Apron, and make a ſlobering Bib on’t.

Gent

Well, what’s your contrivance?

Eug

Why, I’ll go in again, pour down a Bottle of Red-Ink I know of, make all faſt, and ſwear he has murderedye. A Croſs Old Woman lately, to whom he wou’d give nothing, told him, ſhe read it in his Phys, That he wou’d come to be hang’d; which the ſuperſtitious Fool has ever ſince been afraid of; very indifferent Circumſtances will Confirm that Fear, and bring him to a Complyance.

Arab

My better Angel! It has a Lucky face ―― It looks like thee ―― but how muſt I be diſpoſed of?

Eug

If you pleaſse to go to Mrs. Beauclairs, Sir Charles’s Neice, ſhe’s a Woman Cheerfull, Witty, and Good, and will aſſiſt you in every Thing.

Arab

I’ve heard ſo well of her; I dare venture to be obliged to her, come let’s make haſte,.

Eug

Gentil, get the back door open, and let none of the Servants ſee us go out; I’m ſure we ſhall be lucky, becauſe my Termagant Lady won’t be at home to day to diſturb us.

Arab

Come then, I long to quit the Houſe I have been ſo ill us’d in.

Ex. Scene changes to the India Houſe. Enter Sir Francis Wildlove.

Sir Fran

A Duſe of all ill luck, I have loſt my little Ambaſſadreſs from my dear Indian Queen, ’twas a Charmer: how can an old Curmudgeon have the Impudence to hope she ſhou’d keep ſuch a lovely Creature to himſelf? For a Husband or Cully, I find by her diſcourſe, ſhe has, and by the Deſcription, ſhe hates him, which is a good ſtep for me.

Enter Searchwell.

Search

Sir, all the company is coming into this Room, to hear the muſick.

Sir Fran

Gad ſo, are they? then I muſt wait upon Mrs. Beauclair down. Sirrah, you are a purblind Dog, not to find the pretty Letter Carrier.

Search

I think I ſee a Woman as ſoon as another, elſe I’m ſure I were not fit for your Honour’s Service. I’ll ſwear ſhe was not in the Park: I ſearcht it three times over as carefully as I had been to look a Needle in a Bottle of Hay, and hang’d if I did not find it.

Sir Fran

What a Compariſon the Puppy has! D’ye hear, if you do not find her out, I ſhall Diſcard you for an Inſignificant Blockhead, for I am Damnably and Deſperately in Love with her Miſtreſs.

Exit. Sir Fran.

Search

Ah Lard, Ah Lard, Deſperately and Damnably in Love with her, and never ſaw her but twice at a Play, and then ſhe was in a Mask. Well my Maſter wou’d be the beſt of men if ’twere not for theſe Whores: I am haraſſed 21 D3r 21 haraſſed off my Legs after ’em; the Pox, the Plague, that belongs to ’em, conſume ’em all I ſay.

Exit. Enter Sir Charles, Beauclair, Sir Francis Wildlove, Beaumont, Spendall, Bellinda and Mrs. Beaumont.

Sir Char

Ladies, how d’ye like your ſmall Regalio?

Mrs. Beau

Extreamly; for ought I know, Sir Charles, you may repent ſhewing me the way to gad abroad.

Bell

What Opinion, Madam, do you think this Gentleman will have of us, for I preſume the young Ladies in the Country are not ſo free of their Company?

Mrs. Beau

No, poor Gentlewomen ―― They are Condemned to the Government of ſome Toothleſs Aunt of Grannum, viſit but once a year, and that in the Summer ſeaſon, when the heat covers the Ruddy Laſſes with ſweat and duſt. The Winter they divert themſelves with Blindman’s Buff among the ſerving men; where, too often, one ſprucer than the reſt, whiſpers Love to Miſs Jenny, and ſeduces even the eldeſt Daughter.

Beaumont

Tho’ ſome have been guilty of thoſe weakneſſes, you muſt not accuſe all.

Mrs. Beau

All who are confin’d there, never ſuffer’d so ſee the World — for granting one more thinking than the reſt, who has power and obeys her Father, in ſuffering the Addreſſes of the next adjacent ’Squire, ſhe either dies of a Conſumption (Pining after pleaſures more refin’d) or elſe o’recome with Vapors, runs melancholly mad.

Beaumont

to Bell. Madam you ſigh’d at this pretty Deſcription.

Bell

Did I?

Beaumont

Both her deportment and face confirm my ſuſpitions.

aſide.

Sir Char

You are thoughtfull, Frank.

Mrs. Beau

Wou’d you have him brisker, Uncle? ’tis but my clapping on a Mask, and ’tis done. Sir Francis, do I wrong you, have I not ſeen you at a Play ſlighting all the bare-fac’d Beauties, hunting a Trollop in a Mask with pains and pleaſure; Nay, more for her gaping Nonſenſical Banters, neglecting immortal Dryden’s Eloquence, or Congreve’s unequalld Wit.

Sir Fran

I own ſometimes I divert my ſelf with the little Gypſies.

Mrs. Beau

Ay, and diſturb the Audience.

Sir Fran

Faith, Madam, I muſt ſpeak freely, tho’ you are a Woman of Quality, and my Friend’s Neice, you talk ſo prettily, ’tis pity you ſhou’d not do it often in a Mask: But then agen, you are ſo pretty, ’tis pity you ſhou’d ever wear one.

Mrs. Beau

I did not deſign by railing to beg a Compliment; Sir Charles, where’s the Muſick?

A Song By Mrs.P――, Sung by Mr. Hodgſon.

When I languiſh’d, and wiſh’d you wou’d ſomething beſtow,

You had me to give it a Name;

But, by Heaven, I know it as little as you,

Tho’ my Ignorance paſſes for Shame:

You 22 D3v 22

You take for Devotion each paſſionate Glance,

And think the dull Fool is ſincere,

But never believe that I ſpeak in Romance

On purpoſe to tickle your Ear.

To pleaſe me then more, think ſtill I am true,

And hug each Apocryphal Text:

Tho’ I practice a thouſand falſe Doctrines on you,

I ſhall ſtill have enough for the next.

A Dance.

A Dialogue, betwen two Platonic Lovers: The Words by Mr. Motteaux, and ſet by Mr. Eccles.

He

How long muſt I the hours employ

To ſee, be lov’d, yet ne’er enjoy?

Tho’ to curb looſe deſires I try,

Sure I may wiſh at leaſt to die?

Dye then, Poor Strephon, wretched Swain;

Nor only live to love in vain,.

She

Live, hopeleſs Lover, while I grieve

Much for thy Fate, but more for mine;

For mine, my Dear, Condemn’d to live,

To Love, be Lov’d yet ne’re be thine.

He

Oh, See me, Love me, Grieve me ſtill,

Till Love’s exceſs, or Sorrow’s kill,

’Tis not my ſelf I Love, but thee,

Then I muſt dye to ſet thee free.

She

No, Live and Love, tho’ hope is dead;

For ’tis a Virtue ſo to Love:

The Gold’s refin’d, the Droſs is fled,

The Martyrs thus in Flames improve.

Both

Then let us Love on, and never Complain,

But Fan the kind Fire, and Bleſs the dear Pain.

For why to Deſpair ſhou’d true Lovers be driven?

Since Love has his Martyrs, he muſt have his Heaven.

Spend. 23 D4r 23

Spend

My Lady Beauclair will be here ſtrait, I’ll e’en march off.

is going.

Sir Cha

What, deſert us, Jack! tho’ the Ladies won’t drink, you may.

Spend

I beg your Pardon, Sir Charles, — I have made an Aſſignation with ſome Women of Quality of my Acquaintance.

Mrs. B

Women of Quality! what, your Landreſſes Daughter, or ſome pert, fleering, tawdry Thing of a Shop, vain, and proud to loſe what ſhe underſtands not, her Reputation; ſhe alſo brags, ſhe’s coming to Quality when ſhe meets you.

Spend

I ſhall not expoſe their Names, to convince your Ladiſhip of their Rank.

Bell

O, by no means debar the Gentleman of his Quality.

Sir Fran

You ſee the Ladies are willing to diſmiſs you, Jack.

Spend

I’m their very humble ſervant.

Exit. Immediately after Enter Lady Beauclair, (puſhing away a Servant Maid) and Mrs. Peggy.

La. Beauc

Ye lye, ye damn’d Quean, he is here, ―― ha! ―― and his Minion with him! ―― let me come at her ――

Leaps, and catches hold of her.

Sir Cha

Hell and Furies! my Wife! ―― Madam, why all this Rage? Don’t you ſee my Neice? the other is a Friend of hers, a Woman of Honour.

La. Beauc

Your Neice is a Pimp, and ſhe’s a Whore! I’ll mark her ―― Sirrah ―― Villain! Oh, oh my Fits! my Fits!

Falls in a Chair.

Sir Cha

Fly, my Bellinda, from her brutal Rage, whilſt I Wedlocks ſlave ſtay and appeaſe this Hateful ſtorm.

Bel

’Tis but what I ought to have expected; ’tis juſt I ſhould be puniſh’d, to prevent my being guilty.

Sir Fran

Dear Beaumont, carry this injur’d Lady off, whilſt we bear the brunt.

Mrs. B

Go to my Lodgings, Child.

Bel

Any where, to Death or Hell, if there can be a greater Hell than what this Boſom feels.

Peg

O Lo, O Lo. I believe my Mother’s dead.

Sir Cha

You know the contrary; theſe Fits are a new Trick Nature has furnish’d the Sex with. ―― Heretofore Tears and Smiles were the higheſt part their Diſſimulation could attain.

All this while Lady Beauclair has been faintly ſtriving, as in a Fit, and now ſhrieks out ――

Oh! oh!

Mrs. B

Give her ſome Water.

Sir Cha

Give her ſome Wine, elſe you’l diſoblige her more, to my Knowledge, than the Fits.

Peg

aſide

And well thought on, — I’ll ſteal behind and drink a Glaſs of Wine, — my ſtomach’s a cold.

Goes to the Side-table, whilſt they are about the Chair and drinks two or three Glaſſes of Wine.

La. Beauc

ſtarting up

No, Villain, Devil! I’ll drink none of your Wine, ―― it may be poiſon’d.

Sir 24 D4v 24

Sir Cha

Oh, you had not loſt all your Senſes, you could hear, I find.

La. Beauc

Rogue, and I’ll make thee feel, I’ll tear thy Linnen, Hair, thy curſed Eyes.

Sir Cha

Hold, Madam, as I’m a Gentleman, uſe me like one.

Mrs. B

Sir Francis, here’s an excellent Argument on your ſide, here’s Matrimony in its true colours.

Sir Fra

No, Madam, her Carriage is not a Satyr on the whole Sex, — it but ſets off better Wives.

La. Beauc

Yes, you were a Gentleman, and that was all, when I married ye, the poor third Brother of a Knight, ’twas I brought your Eſtate; if ſince by your Friends death one has fell, muſt I be abus’d, ſirrah?

Sir Cha

Madam, you have not been abus’d; you know that I was in my Nonage married, ſaw not with my own Eyes, nor choſe for my unhappy ſelf; e’re I liv’d with ye, I poſſeſs’d an Eſtate nobler, a larger far than yours, which you have ſtill commanded; nay, I have often urg’d ye to Diverſions, in hopes it would have alter’d that unquiet mind, but all in vain.

La. Beauc

Divartions! what Divartions? Yes, you had me to the Play- houſe, and the firſt thing I ſaw was an ugly black Devil kill his Wife, for nothing; then your Metridate King o’ the Potecaries, your Timon the Atheiſt, the Man in the Moon, and all the reſt ―― Nonſence, Stuff, I hate ’em.

Sir Cha

I need ſay no more, ―― Now, Madam, you have shown your ſelf.

La. Beauc

Shown, what have I shown? ſend for your Gilflurt to show: I have shown nothing but a vartuous Face.

Mrs. B

All Virtue does not lie in Chaſtity, tho’ that’s a great one.

La. Beauc

Well Couſin, I’m ſorry to ſee you take ſuch Courſes, I would not have my Peg like you for the Varſal World. Peg, what a Colour this Child has got! fretting for me, I’m afraid, has put her into a Fever.

Sir Fran

Come, Madam, let’s compoſe theſe Differences; your Anger is groundleſs — upon my Word. Not well, pretty miſs! will you drink a Glaſs of Wine?

Mrs. Peggy hickups.

Peg

No, I thank you, ―― I cannot abide it.

La. Beauc

Poor Girl, she never drinks any thing ſtrong, except she’s very ſick indeed.

Sir Cha

And she’s very often ſick, poor Creature! — about ſome five or ſix times a day. — Madam, shall I wait on you home? I think we may quit this place with Shame enough.

Mrs. Peg

To her Mother, aſide

Don’t be Friends, for Mr. Spendall ſent me word, he’d meet us in the Park, and if Vather goes with us, how shall that be?

La. Beauc

I dan’t intend it; ―― No, Hypocrite, you shan’t ſtir a ſtep with me, if thou doſt, I’ll make a bigger noiſe below, and raiſe the Houſe about thy Ears. Come Peg.

Exeunt La. Beauc. and Peggy.

Mrs. B

My Aunt’s Noiſe is her Guard, none dare approach her.

Sir Cha

Her going out can’t be more ridiculous than her coming in.

Mrs. B. 25 E1r 25

Mrs. B

Sir Charles, Let not your noble Courage be caſt down.

Sir Cha

Outragious Clamours are not News to me; but I dread how my Bellinda may reſent it.

Sir Fran

I wonder, Sir Charles, you have Patience to live with this violent Woman.

Sir Cha

’Tis for my Fair one’s ſake, who, nicely jealous the World would ſay ſhe had occaſion’d our parting, has ſworn never to ſee me more, if I attempt it.

Enter Searchwell.

Searchw

aſide to Sir Fran.

Sir, Sir, the Lady you are ſo damnably in love with ſends word, if you diſengage your ſelf from your Company, ſhe’l be at Locket’s in half an hour.

Mrs. B

Is it ſo, i faith?

Sir Fran

to him

Coxcomb, what need you ha’ ſpoke ſo loud? Tell him I’ll not fail to wait on him. Well, Sir Charles, you’l to Bellinda.

Sir Cha

No, I’ll firſt go home, and try to ſtop the farther Fury of my Wife.

Sir Fran

Madam, I had Hopes you would hav done me the Honour to let me wait on you this Afternoon, but it has happen’d ſo unluckily, that an o’d Uncle of mine, to whom I am much oblig’d, ――

Mrs. B

aſide to him

Oh, I’m your Uncle’s Servant. Sir, there needs no Excuſe, your Company being at this time a Favour I neither expect nor deſire.

Sir Cha

Will you go in a Chair, Neice, or in my Coach?

Mrs. B

A Chair if you pleaſe, Sir.

Sir Fran

To that give us both leave to wait on you.

Mrs. B

Pray give me leave to ſpeak a word to my Boy firſt. Will.

Boy

Madam.

Mrs. B

Run to my Woman, and bid her come to her Aunts immediately, and bring me the Suit Sir Charles made for the laſt Ball, and left at my Lodgings: make haſte, fly.

Boy

I will, Madam.

Mrs. B

Hang it, ’tis but one ridiculous thing, I’m reſolv’d to do it, I’ll find theſe Pleaſures out, that charm this Reprobate; Mony will make all the Drawers mine.

Sir Cha

I’m ready to go.

Sir Fran

Madam, be pleas’d to accept my Hand.

Exeunt. Scene changes, Beauclair’s Lodgings. Enter Beaumont leading Bellinda.

Beaum

Now, Madam, you’re ſafe in the Lodgings of your Friend, forget the Rudeneſs paſt.

Bell

Forget it! impoſſible; her Words, like Poiſonous Shafts, have pierc’d my Soul, and will for ever dwell upon my Memory with endleſs painful Wracks; yet look not on me as that vile Creature ſhe has repreſented, but believe me, Sir, I engag’d my Heart too far, before I knew Sir Charles was married. When I found my Love unjuſt, how exquiſite the Torment prov’d, E chill’d 26 E1v 26 chill’d with Watchings, Sighs, and Tears, yet ’ſpight of my Diſtractions, ſpight of the riſing Damps and falling Dews, ’twas grown too great to be extinguiſh’d, ’till this laſt ſtorm has torn it by the Roots to ſpring no more.

Beaum

Her every word and looks confirms my Thoughts. Madam, this I dare preſume to ſay, both from his Character and my ſmall Acquaintance, Sir Charles Beauclair has moral Virtues, to our late Engliſh Hero’s unpractis’d and unknown; yet if I might adviſe, you ſhould never ſee him more, or only to take an everlaſting Leave.

Bel

Your Freedom, I confeſs, is ſtrange, and your Advice is what I had reſolv’d on before.

Beaum

None but the lovely Mariamne could with ſuch becoming Majeſty have check’d a Stranger’s boldneſs. View well theſe Lines, and then confeſs if they do not the reſemblance bear of a ſoft charming Face you have often by reflexion ſeen.

Bel

Ha! my own Picture, one of the effects of my dear Mothers fondneſs, which ſhe, dying, left in my Father’s Hands; he nam’d me too; then let everlaſting darkneſs ſhroud me; let me no more behold the Sun or human kind, forget the World, as I would be of that forgotten.

Beaum

Turn, Madam, and look upon me as your Friend; if you would ſtill remain unknown, my Breaſt ſhall keep this Diſcovery ſilent and ſafe as Secrets buried with the dead: Your Father gave me that Picture, with Deſires ſo tender for your return, that, I confeſs, they mov’d me: I undertook the enquiry, tho’ ſcarce could hope to have ſucceeded. Since your abſence your Brother’s dead; ſo that your Father, hopeleſs and childleſs, mourns, and ſays your ſight would revive him more than when he firſt bleſs’d Heaven for your happy birth and Mothers ſafety.

Bel

My Brother dead! ―― lov’d Youth! I grieve thy untimely Fate, but thou art gone to reſt’ and Peace, whilſt I am left upon the wrack: Sir, I read in all your words a piercing Truth and an unbyaſs’d Honour, they have ſet my Errors full before me, my fled Duty returns as ſwift as I will do to this wrong’d Parent, hang on his aged Knees, nor rife till I have found Forgiveneſs and my Bleſſing there.

Beaum

Tho’ much I wiſh your Honour and your Fame ſecure, yet to part ſuch Lovers, whom this lewd Age will ſcarce believe there ever were, grates my very Nature.

Bel

Oh! let me not look back that way, but generouſly aſſiſt me on, till that dear man, who, witneſs my Diſgraces, I value more than all Earth’s richeſt Treaſures. Tell him, leſt he ſhould take it ill of you, that I have confeſs’d my Birth, and have reſolv’d to fly from him and all the World, and in my Father’s Houſe remain as in a Cloiſter.

Beaum

How will he brook the Meſſage?

Bel

Oh! tell him, Sir, that the pangs of parting will ſcarce excel thoſe my ſtrugling Virtue gave at every guilty meeting, for there was Guilt: tell him I have ſworn to die if he purſues. I bluſh to impoſe all this on you; but if a Lover, ſure you’ll forgive my Follies.

Beaum. 27 E2r 27

Beaum

I’ll tell him all, but I muſt ſend him too, a parting Kiſs, at leaſt, which muſt be allow’d to ſuch unequal’d Love.

Bel

Not till all is fix’d for my remove, then I once more will ſee him, tho my Heart-ſtrings crack, I’ll conquer all theſe criminal Fires; I have the Goal in view, bright Honour leads me on, the part is glorious, but, oh! ’tis painfultoo: Let me retire, and tear him from my doating Thoughts, or in the bitter Conflict loſe the uſe of Thought.

Beaum

How ſtrong are the Efforts of Honour where a good Education grounds the Mind in Virtue! this unexpected hurry has for ſome moments baniſh’d my dear Arabella from my Thoughts. O, here comes my Implyment! well, how goes Affairs?

Enter Searchwell.

Search

Rarely, Sir; the Chambermaid ſwallow’d the Guineas as glibly as a Lawyer a double Fee from his Client’s Antagoniſt; ſhe’s bringing the young Lady hither. Eugenia talks of a Contrivance, that you ſhould inſtantly appear like a Tarpaulin, pretend to be related to the Lady, and fright the ’Squire into a complyance.

Beaum

Any thing to ſerve my Arabella, we’l meet ’em, and receive their Inſtructions.

Exeunt.

The End of the Third Act.

Act IV.

Scene a Room in Locket’s, a Table with a Flask upon it. Enter Sir Francis Wildlove and Mrs. Flywife.

Mrs. Flyw

Well, this is a ſtrange mad thing, but my old croſs Fellow will never let me take a mouthful of Air; I am ſure you will have an ill Opinion of me.

Sir Fran

A kind one you mean, Madam; I think you generous, lovely, and all my Heart deſires.

Mrs. Flyw

My Maid is gone the Lord knows where for Fruit; I ſwear I tremble, coming into a Tavern alone.

Sir Fran

A Glaſs of Wine will recall the fled Roſes, but here’s the Nectar thirſty love requires.

Kiſſes her. Mrs. Beauclair bounces in, in Mens Clothes.

Mrs. Beauc

O pardon and protect me; I’m purſued by Hell-hounds, Bailiffs, and if taken, inevitably ruin’d.

Sir Fran

The Devil take thee and the Bailiffs together, for an interrupting young Dog.

Mrs. Beauc

You look with a Face cruel as they, but ſure in thoſe fair Eyes I read ſome Pity.

E2 Mrs. 28 E2v 28

Mrs. Flyw

aſide A very handſom Fellow, how came you in Trouble, Sir?

to him.

Mrs. Beauc

Alas, Madam, I was put to an Attorney, but longing to turn Beau, have half-ruin’d my Maſter, wholly loſt my Friends, and now am follow’d by the ſeveral Actions of my Taylor, Sempſtreſs, Perruke-maker, Huſien, and a long Et cetera; beſides, the ſwingingſt Debt my Perfumer; Eſſence and ſweet Pouder has compleated my Ruin.

Sir Fran

’Tis monſtrous to cheat honeſt Tradeſmen in dreſſing up a Fop; therefore, unwelcoming Intruder, I deſire you would ſeek your Protection elſewhere.

Mrs. Flyw

Nay, now you are too ſevere; the young Gentleman in Liberty may mend his Fortunes, and live to pay his Debts; he has a promiſing Face.

Sir Fran

Your Pity, Madam; but haſtens abſence.

Mrs. Beauc

aſide Will this Fellow, I thought I had ſo well inſtructed, never come?

Enter Drawer.

Draw

Sir Francis, a man out of breath ſays he muſt ſpeak with you, on what concerns your Friend’s Life.

Sir Fran

The Devil’s in the Dice to day; where is he? what’s the matter?

Exit.

Mrs. Beau

aſide Now Impudence and Eloquence aſſiſt me, what have I done? in ſeeking to preſerve my Liberty, I have for ever loſt it; my unexperienc’d Youth ne’r view’d ſuch Charms before, and, without Compaſſion, this Bondage may be worſe than what I avoided.

Mrs. Flyw

laughing Meaning me, ſir?

Mrs. Beau

Nay, Im a Fool, for Bankrupt in Wealth how can I hope to thrive in Love, ſince ſcarce any of your fair ſex, tho’ merit was thrown into the ſcales, value a man on whom Fortune frowns.

Mrs. Flyw

aſide I think it is the prettieſt Youth I ever ſaw, I have Wealth enough to ſupply his wants, what ſhould then debar me?

Mrs. Beau

So, ſhe eyes me kindly I’m ſure.

Mrs. Flyw

Your Looks, ſweet Youth, plead powerful as your Language; and to let you ſee I value not Riches, the want of which makes you miſerable, accept this Ring, ’twill ſtop a Creditor’s mouth, and pay two or three Ordinaries at the blue Poſts.

Mrs. Beau

Oh wondrous Bounty! thus encourag’d; ſhall I beg another Favour, that you would fly from hence before that angry man returns, leſt I fall a ſacrifice to his Jealouſie, and ſee thoſe charming Eyes no more.

Mrs. Flyw

If my maid would come, ―― ha here ſhe is; ſure you have flown.

Enter Jenny.

Jen

I beg your Pardon, Madam, I ne’er went, Sir Francis’s Gentleman and I were ſolacing our ſelves below, and ſent a Porter for the Fruit till hearing Sir Francis was gone in a great hurry, he ran after his Maſter, and I came up to see what was the matter.

Mrs. 29 E3r 29

Mrs. Beau

A hopeful Miſtreſs and Maid! deliver me from theſe Town- Ladies. Aſide.

Mrs. Flyw

Ungrateful man, on any Pretence to leave me!

Mrs. Beau

Ungrateful! monſtrous; had a thouſand Friends been dying, they ought all to have expir’d e’re you have ſuffer’d a moments neglect.

Mrs. Flyw

This Flattery’s too groſs, young Courtier, you muſt treat me with Truth.

Mrs. Beau

All is Truth, my Heart, my Life is yours.

Jen

aſide Another Spark! ſure the Devil’s in my Miſtreſs.

Mrs. Flyw

Well Sir, I’ll conſent to your Deſires, and we’l go from hence at the Door towards the Park, there’s no danger.

Mrs. Beau

If you are kind, I fear none, Madam.

Mrs. Flyw

Let me find you what you ſeem, and you ſhall brave the World, and ſcorn your Debts: Jenny, get me a Chair, and ſhow this Gentleman the Houſe where we lodge, then come in, let him ask for you, if you can prevent your Maſter’s ſeeing him do, if not, ſay it is one you waited upon in his Infancy, the diſparity of Years between you conſider’d, that may paſs.

Jen

aſide Humph, I ſhall never like him for this Affront. Yes, Madam, it ſhall be done.

Mrs. Beau

Your Hand, dear obliging Creature, I hear a noiſe.

Mrs. Flyw

Quick, this way: run you before, and pay one of the Drawers for this Flask of Champaign.

Exeunt. Enter Sir Francis, Searchwel, and a Drawer.

Sir Fran

Ha! gone! ſo I thought; eternal Dog, you have been helping in this Contrivaance; Did you take me for a Cully, Spawn of Hell? Have I known this damn’d Town ſo long, at laſt to be catch’d with ſuch a groſs Banter? ſpeak Sirrah; who was that Impoſtor that told me my Friend Mr. Beaumont was taken up for a Jacobite, and the Mobb was pulling him to pieces?

Draw

As I ever hope to outlive your Anger, and taſte agen your noble Bounty, I knew nothing of him.

Sir Fra

Shut the Door, you careleſs Blockhead, whom I charged to watch and let no body come up to me: Now ſirrah confeſs, or I’ll make that Rogue help me kick thee into Mummy, for tho’ my Sword’s drawn, I ſcorn to hurt thee that way.

Draw

If I ſhould confeſs you’l kill me, Sir.

Sir Fran

No.

Draw

Truly then, Sir, the young Spark gave me a Guinea to ſhow him the Room where your Honour was; but for the Fellow that ſeem’d ſo much concern’d, I wiſh I may be hang’d if I knew of him any thing at all Sir, any thing at all Sir. Good your Honour break my Head, and forgive me.

Sir Fran

I will not touch thee, Could I expect more from thy ſordid Soul? Gold corrupts Mankind; be gone. Exit Drawer. This unaccountable Jilt has ſo abus’d me, I could find in my Heart to forſake the Gang, and lay a penitential Dunce at the feet of Virtue, fair Mrs. Beauclair.

Search

I pray Heaven keep you in that good mind.

Sir 30 E3v 30

Sir Fran

Good lack, canting ſot, I ſuppoſe you was shut up with a Whore, Raſcal, whilſt you ought to have been Pimping for me.

Search

Trim Tram, Sir.

Sir Fran

How, Impudence!

Search

I meant the Rhime ſhould be, Like Miſtreſs like Maid; for indeed I was employ’d with my Ladies waiting Gentlewoman.

Sir Fran

Was ye ſo, Raſcal? could I but find the young ſtripling, ’twould be ſome ſatisfaction: Hang’t, if I am baulk’d both in Love and Revenge, the croſs Adventures ſhall be drown’d in brisk Champaign:

’Tis the dear Glaſs which eaſes every ſmart,

And preſently does cure the aking Heart.

Exit. Enter Mrs. Beauumontclair, meeting Dreſswell.

Mrs. B

Oh Dreſswell! I’m glad I’ve met with thee.

Dreſs

Lord, Madam, I have been in a ſad fright for ye; and hunted up and down this hour.

Mrs. B

All’s well, let’s in there, I’ll tell you my adventures.

Dreſs

Then I hope your Frolick has been to your Ladiſhips ſatisfaction.

Mrs. B

Yes, yes, I got Sir Francis’s Miſtreſs from him, and faith I was purſuing my Conqueſt, and venturing to her Lodging, when coming to the Houſe, it proved that where Bellinda Lodg’d and the Lady, I ſuppoſe, the Merchant’s Wife. I feared I ſhou’d meet with my Uncle there, and fairly gave the Maid the drop. Come, I long to change my Cloaths, I’m quite tir’d with wearing the Breeches; this way.

Exeunt. Enter Sir Francis Wildlove and Searchwell.

Sir Fran

Ha! is not that the young Devil that abus’d me? he has entred the Houſe, and I’ll be with him preſently, walk hereabouts till I come out.

Exit.

Search

Yes, Sir.

Scene changes to the inſide of the Houſe. Reenter Mrs. Beaumont and Dreſswell.

Mrs. B

Are my things ready and a good fire in the Room.?

Dreſs

Madam, they are?.

Mrs. B

Peep out and ſee who knocks;.

one knocks.

Dreſs

Madam, ’tis Sir Francis Wildlove, and he ſeems in a fury.

Mrs. B

Let him in, I’ll do well enough with him; now get you gone and fear nothing.

Enter Sir Francis Wildlove.

Sir Fran

So, Sir, I ſuppoſe you think matters have gone ſwingingly on your ſide, and have laught immoderately at the reflection how thoſe green years have made a Fool of me; but Chance has thrown me on thee once agen, and now for thoſe Feaſts of Joy an after reckoning Draws muſt be paid young Gentleman, you underſtand my meaning.

Mrs. B

Yes, and will anſwer it, but hear me firſt, ’tis to provoke you I ſpeak: know then, your Miſtreſs was my eaſy Conqueſt, I ſcarce had time to 31 E4r 31 to ſay one ſoft thing before ſhe cry’d, Let’s fly, ſweet youth, e’er that rough man returns, and in thy arms forget him.

Sir Fran

She’s a Jilt and for a well-dreſt Fop wou’d quite a man that ſaved her life.

Mrs. B

Then this Ring was preſented, I ſuppoſe you may ha’ ſeen it; adorn thy fair hand, and with ten thouſand kiſſes ’twas whiſper’d, you ſhall not want for Gold.

Sir Fran

Tho’ I value her no more than I do thee, yet I will have thy life for harbouring ſo damn’d a thought, that I was fitter for your ſport. Come on.

Mrs. B

Hold, hold, Sir Francis I’ll not pretend to take your Sword, tho’ I cou’d your Miſtreſs from ye, ſee my Credentials for my Cowardice.

puts up her Ring.

Sir Fran

Mrs. Beauclair ―― What a blind Puppey am I, twice in one day, that’s hard I faith?

Mrs. Beau

Pray return your Lady back her favour.

gives him the Ring.

Sir Fran

Madam――

Mrs. B

Nay, look not concerned, upon my word I’ll never interrupt you more: Hug in your Boſom the plaiſter’d miſchiefs, their blotted Souls and ſpotted Reputations, no Varniſh can cover o’er, purſue, o’ertake, poſſeſs, the unenvied ’mongſt the Painted Tribe moſt worthily beſtow your heart.

Sir Fran

Think ye ſo meanly of me, my heart beſtow’d amongſt your Sexes ſhame! No, Madam, Glorious Virtue alone can reach at that, my loving is a diverſion I can ſoon ſhake off.

Mrs. B

That’s hard to believe, but I muſt beg your pardon, I’m in haſte to unrig.

Sir Fran

Hear me a moment, you have ſeen my frailties, if like Heaven you can forgive, a truer penitent or a more conſtant votary no cruel Virgin ever found.

Mrs. B

Have a care of the dull road: Sir Francis, Farewell.

Exit.

Sir Fran

Go thy ways for a pretty witty agreeable Creature, but if I ſhou’d ſeduce her into Matrimony, I fear the common fate will attend her Beauty, quickly tarniſh and good humour vaniſh.

Exit. Enter Spendall and Lywell.

Spend

Ha, Lywell! I am the happieſt man alive, almoſt out of Fortune’s Power.

Lyw

What is’t tranſports youu ſo? ſome whim, ſome Chymical deluſion, that will fail in the projection, and vaniſh into Air.

Spend

Hear me and then with admiration, be dumb; nor dare to contradict my wit, or Plots agen: In ſhort, my Lady Beauclair and Miſs, are in open Rebellion by my perſwaſion, and to Compleat my good Fortune, I have borrow’d ten Guineas of Sir Charles, with the help of which, I’ll be married to his Daughter -in-Law, within theſe two hours.

Lyw

Ha! I begin to think the Devil has left playing at Leger de main with thee: and having ſecur’d thee, reſolves to beſtow ſome of this World’s wealth upon thee.

LywSpend 32 E4v 32

Spend

Canſt not thou procure a Templer’s Chamber for an hour or two, and appear with the Gravity of a long Robe?

Lyw

With eaſe, I know a young Spark that has fine Lodgings there; but by his old Father is kept at ſhort allowance; a Treat or a very ſmall ſum will engage that, and all his habiliments.

Spend

Canſt thou not put on the grave look of a ſtarcht Councellor.

Lyw

Hum! hum! ―― I’ll ſpeak with you immediately ―― you ſee, Friend, I’m buſy ―― How was that ――

Spend

Pretty well. Come; about it preſently, and I’ll bring the Ladies to you, as my Father’s chief Lawyer. Be ſure you tell ’em, you have the ſettlement of his Eſtate upon me in your hands, and ſeem very deſirous I ſhou’d do well.

Lyw

I warrant ye, and ſhan’t we have luſty treats, old Boy?

Spend

I thought your Conſcience had ſcrupled the proceedings.

Lyw

O Pox, my Conſcience never tsroubles me, but when Affairs go ill.

Spend

Well, make haſte, and doubt not feaſting: I muſt to my Charge, leſt they coolflawed-reproductionFools are ſeldom long reſolv’d, and I know a finer Fellow wou’d get both Mother and Daughers heart; They’re now in a kindly growing warmth, and the old ones Imagination tickled as much with thoughts of darling Peggy’s Marriage, as ever ’twas with her own, Farewell! be ſure you obſerve your directions.

Lyw

It ſhall be done, dear lucky Devil ―― Coughs Hum, hum, I ſhall be perfect in a Grave Cough; and a hum, of buſineſs, by that time you come to my Chamber.

Spend

Hold! for I had forgot — Whereabouts is this Chamber? for I gueſs your Worſhip’s Name is not ſo famous to direct.

Lyw

Come, as we go along I’ll tell you.

Exeunt. Enter Arabella meeting Eugenia.

Arab

So my dear deliverer, how have you ſucceeded?

Eug

Oh, Madam, the poor ’Squire’s frighted out of the little wit he had, one Scene more, and the Day’s our own.

Arab

What’s become of Mr. Beaumont?

Eug

He’s about ſome earneſt buſineſs of Sir Charles Beauclair’s, I know not what tis, but there’s a heavy Clutter amongſt ’em.

Arab

Well, you brought me to the Ladies Lodging, but I believe that’s the only place ſhe is not to be found at, for I have waited in vain with much impatience to ſee her.

Eug

Her Footman’s below, and ſays ſhe’ll be here immediately.

Arab

Prithee let’s into the Chamber firſt, and you ſhall give an Account of the ’Squire’s fright?

Eug

I follow you, Madam.

Exeunt. Scene, Sir Charles Beauclair’s Houſe. Enter Sir Charles.

Sir Char

Sure the World’s all running mad; or elſe reſolved to make me ſo; at home I cannot meet with a ſenſible Anſwer; but ―― Oh, what touches neareſt, the Dear, the cruel, the charming Maid; Bellinda will not ſee me how 33 F1r 33 how ſhall I appeaſe the offended fair, my Wife too not returned; where will this end? ―― Gentil! Eugenia! James.

Within

Sir.

Sir Char

Sir; ―― Where, ye everlaſting Dormice? will none come near me?

Exit Enter Cheatall and Gentil.

Cheat

Gadzooks! This Councellor Cobblecaſe has talkt Law, and drank Claret with me, till my brains are turn’d topſy-turvy. Gad, I wou’d not have my Lady-Siſter ſee me now for a King’s Ranſome, Tho’ ―― udsbores! I know not why ſhe ſhou’d, becauſe ſhe’s a little older, ſet her eternal Clack a running upon all my Actions.

Gent

Sir, my Lady and Miſs are both abroad.

Cheat

That’s well! — Why, Gentil! here Cobblecaſe adviſes me not to look up the young woman, but to uſe her kindly, and, Gadzooks! I’m in a plaguy loving humour ―― I’ll try her good nature once again ―― Hold ―― yonder comes Sir Charles ―― My Siſter will never forgive me, if I let him ſee her; He’s a well-ſpoken man, if I durſt truſt him, he ſhou’d ſollicite for me, but then he’s ſo woundy handſome, and ſo amorous, I doubt he’d ſpeak one word for me, and two for himſelf; as the ſaying is.

Enter Sir Charles Beauclair, talking to Eugenia.

Sir Char

You ſay ―― you will not injure the ’Squire.

Eug

No, not in the leaſt — ſhe hath ſworn never to marry him, and the Law will in time recover her right: Only this way is ſooner and cheaper.

Sir Char

The Lady’s free, and I’ll neither oppoſe or aſſiſt it further ―― Ha — there he ſtands, how is’t Brother?

Cheat

Very well, I thank you, Sir Charles.

Sir Char

Your Servant.

is going

Cheat

Brother, you never care for my Company! you take me for a Nump- Scull; a half-witted Fellow, and, udsbores, wou’d you but ha’ me to the Tavern, you ſhou’d find, I cou’d Drink my G’aſs, Break my Jeſt, Kiſs my Miſtreſs with the beſt of ye ―― Fleſh! Try old Barnaby Cheatall, at your next Jovial meeting.

Sir Char

You’re merry, Sir — But I’m in haſte.

Exit.

Cheat

Udsbores! Women and Wine (both Unwholſome) Puniſh ye ―― There’s a Taſte of my Wit in my Curſing, as the whole Cargo o’ the Bullies lies in ſwearing ―― There tis agen, Ifaith! Am not I damnable Ingeniouus, Gentil? Live and Learn, Sirrah, and be Hang’d, and forget all, as the ſaying is ―― what a Dickins ails me: Hanging flawed-reproduction a Qualm comes o’re my Stomach ―― That curs’d old Woman! Didſt obſerve how ſhe look’d like the Witch, before the laſt new Ballad.

Gent

She had indeed, a very Prophetick Face.

One knocks, Gentil opens the Door ―― Beaumont Enters, Dreſt like a Seaman.

Gent

Who wou’d you ſpeak with, Sir?

Beau

With Mrs. Arabella Venturewell.

Gent

She’s not here.

Beau

Now, by the Cannon’s Fire, ’tis falſe ―― I have come ten Thouſand Leagues to ſee her ―― and will not be ſo anſwered.

F Cheat. 34 F1v 34

Cheat

A terrible Fellow! Gadzooks, ―― Pray, Sir, what’s your buſineſs with her?

Beau

She’s my Siſter; that’s ſufficient for your Impertience.

Cheat

You, the Lawfull Begotten Son of Sir George Venturewell, begging your Pardon, I believe you are miſtaken, Friend, in your Father, as many a man may be; for Sir George had never any but this Daughter.

Beau

No, I’m not his Lawfull begotten Son, not the weak off-ſpring of ――

Cheat

O Lard! what pains he takes to tell me he’s the Son of a Whore?

Beau

Born in India; Bred a Bucanier: Sword and Fire have been my play- Fellows, and Raviſhing my Pleaſure ―― In far diſtant Worlds I have ſcattered my rough Image, and as my Sword has cut off their dull Breed, ſo my vigorous youth has left a Race of future Hero’s.

Cheat

A very terrible Fellow, as I hope for mercy?

Beau

Rich with the ſpoils of long ſucceſsfull War, I have viſited this Climate in ſearch of Arabella, whom I have often heard my Father mention with much tenderneſs, I am directed hither — Therefore do not raiſe my Fury with delays — For Cauſe, or not Cauſe, if I am Angry, Blood muſt appeaſe it.

Cheat

O Lard! O Lard! what ſhall I do? He’ll fright me into a Kentiſh Ague: I muſt ſpeak him fair ―― Good Sir, all your deſires ſhall be fulfilled, have but a minute’s patience. Come along, Gentil, come along, and help me, intreat her to ſpeak him fair, or I’m a loſt man! — I’ll wait upon ye in a Twinkling, Sir.

Exit with Gentil.

Beaum

It works as I cou’d wiſh, it goes againſt me to terrify this Fool ſo much, but he deſerves it.

Enter Cheatall and Gentil.

Cheat

Oh! Gentil! what ſhall I ſay.

Gent

The Lord knows, I don’t.

Beau

Well, Sir, where’s my Siſter?

Cheat

Alas! I think ſhe’s vaniſhd.

Beau

How! d’ye trifle with my Anger, bring me ſtories fit for a Baby! Blood and Thunder! if I Unſheath my Sword, it finds a Scabbard in your Guts! Confeſs — or by the Cannons fire ――

Cheat

I do confeſs, that thinking of your coming, and knowing her to be a little wild, leſt ſhe ſhou’d have been out of the way, I lockt her up ―― But what is now become of her, by the Cannons fire, the dreadfulleſt Ouath I ever heard! I cannot tell.

Beau

aſide I ſhall never hold laughing.

Enter Eugenia.

Eug

Oh! my Conſcience! ―― My tortur’d Conſcience! ――I cannot keep it!

Beau

What’s the matter?

Eugen

Oh! I went into the Room, where the Lady was lockt up: And there’s at leaſt a Pail full of blood ―― all the Water in the Sea will never waſh the ſtains out ―― I believe ’Squire Barnaby and Gentil have killed her, cut her to pieces, and carried her away under their Cloaks.

Cheat

Oh! Impudence! O Lard! O Lard! Sir, I han’t the heart to kill a Chicken! I always ſwoon at the ſight of my own Blood: ſpeak Gentil, why thou 35 F2r 35 thou haſt never a Cloak ―― That’s a ſtrong proof, Sir ―― Gentil has ne’er a Cloak.

Eug

Why then it went all under yours ―― Beſides, Gentil has a large pair of Trowſers; that I’ll ſwear ―― For you made him bring my Lady home half a Veniſon Paſty in ’em. Shrieks out. Ah! look o’ their Shoes, they have Padled in it.

Beau

Ay, ’tis ſo, and ſo I’ll be Reveng’d ―― Cut thee ſmall as the firſt Atoms that huddled up thy ſenſeleſs Carkaſs ―― nor will I be troubled to bear thee hence, but ſtamp thy vile Clay to it’s kindred Duſt, and leave thee here for Rubbiſh?

Cheat

Oh, Sir, upon my knees I beg you’d hear me.

Eug

interpoſing Hold, Sir, don’t kill the Miſcreant, that will bring your ſelf into trouble; Our Law will hang him, I warrant ye. What made him order her (being here) to be denied.

Cheat

Ay, Good Sir, let me be hang’d! That’s my Deſtiny! I ſee there’s no avoiding it ―― Gentil ―― Beg I may be hang’d.

Gent

Pray, Sir, let my Maſter be hangd.

Beau

Well, I’ll try your Law ―― if that fails, this, I’m ſure never will. How muſt we proceed, Madam?

puts up his Sword

Eug

I’ll go with ye for a Man, with the Staff of Authority, he ſhall order him ―― The very Stones in the Street wou’d turn Conſtables, to ſeize ſuch a Monſter ―― Kill a pretty Lady ―― and cut her to pieces ―― oh horrid!

Cheat

You are a lying Whore! if I durſt tell you ſo? aſide.

Beau

You Fellow! come hither.

Cheat

Run, Gentil, run ―― Proffer him all I’m worth.

Beau

aſide to Gentil When we are gone, carry him to my Lodgings; I have told my Landlady the ſtory, and ſhe’s provided for him.

Gent

It ſhall be done ―― Is there no mercy?

Cheat

Ah, Lord, no mercy.

Beau

Well! we’ll be with you immediately — Come, Madam.

Eug

Ay, ay, repent and pray, do ’Squire, do.

Exit cum Beau.

Cheat

Oh Gentill! That ever I was born! That ever I was born! ―― What did he ſay to thee, Gentil?

Gent

He wou’d have had me turned evidence againſt your Worſhip, and confeſs ―― But I’ll be hangd firſt?

Cheat

I’d confeſs, if I thought ’twou’d do me any good?

Gent

What! Confeſs you murdered her!

Cheat

Ay, any thing! any thing! any thing ―― Oh Gentil! it muſt be this witch — ſhe has carried her away, and ſpilt the blood, that her Prophecy might come to paſs?

Gent

Not unlikely, ―― Sir, Sir, I have thought of a thing ――

Cheat

What is’t, dear Gentil?

Gent

Suppoſe you and I run away, before the Conſtable come, I know a Friend will conceal you, and then we may hope to make it up, or hear of her ―― I can’t think ſhe’s murdered.

F2 Cheat 36 F2v 36

Cheat

Nor I neither, except the Devil has don’t? But let’s away, good Gentil ―― methinks I hear this Magiſtrates paw, ―― this Conſtable juſt behind me, his voice hoarſe with Watching, and ſwallowing Claret Bribes — Oh, Gentil! if I ſhou’d fall into his Gripe!

Gent

Therefore let’s haſten to avoid it ―― Ah, Sir, this is no time for Jeſting.

Cheat

Too true, Gentil, but wit will o’reerflow! I fear I ſhall quibble in my Prayers, and die with a Jeſt in my mouth ―― Come, come! Hang’d! O Lard, any of the Family of the Cheatalls hang’d! O Lard, and I the only branch on’t? Oh, Gentil, ’tis unſupportable.

Gent

Away, away, Sir.

Cheat

Oh that ever I ſhou’d live to ſee my ſelf hang’d.

Exeunt. Scene changes to a Chamber in the Temple. Enter Lywel in a Gown.

Lyw

So! I’m equipp’d: the young Lawyer ſnapp’d at the Guineas, and has furniſh’d me throughout, nay, left his Boy to boot; Gad, I believe he’l be famous in his Generation, he encourages Miſchief ſo readily. Pox! ―― wou’d they wou’d come ―― I’m weary of Cook upon Littleton.

Enter Boy.

Boy

Sir, Sir, — a Gentleman and two Ladies are coming up.

Lyw

’Tis they ―― you know your Cue.

Enter Spendall, Lady Beauclair, and Mrs. Peggy.

Spend

Young man, is Councellor Smart within?

Boy

Sir, he’s diſpatching ſome half a ſcore Clients, but he’l do that with a wet Finger, and wait on you immediately.

Spend

A witty Whoreſon; what, a wet Finger to lick up the Gold, ha! — Well, tell him I’m here.

Boy

Yes, Sir.

Exit.

Peg

Fine Chambers, Mother! and a fine place, I’ll ſwear! Vather would ne’er let me walk here, zed, ’twan’t fit for young Ladies ―― I’ll vaw, I like it waundily.

La. Beau

Here were Councellors not unfit for you, but Husband was never free you ſhould be ſeen.

Spend

Now I’m, by Promiſe, the happy man: my charming Dear, let me beg you’d entertain no other Thoughts. ―― Where’s this Lawyer? ―― a Moments delay ſeems an Age.

Exit Spendall.

La. Beauc

Well, Daughter, feel how my Heart beats; I’m almoſt afraid to venture on him for thee.

Peg

Don’t tell me of your Fears, ―― now you’ve put a Husband in my Head, I will be married, ſo I will.

La. Beauc

Ah! ſend thee good Luck! I ſhall fall in a Fit, I believe, whilſt thou art marrying.

Peg

I fear not marrying, not I.

Enter Spendall and Lywell.

Lyw

Well, Sir, I underſtand the buſineſs. ―― Your Father, conſidering your Extravagance, has done more than I thought fit to tell ye; but afterter 37 F3r 37 ter ſuch a Propoſal, you may hear it all ―― What! this is the pretty Creature, I ſuppoſe, you are about marrying.

Peg

Yes, Sir.

La. Beauc

Lord, Peggy, you’re too forward! I wonder on ye now: ―― Sir, ſhe is my Daughter, and ſhe’ll be worth Eight thouſand pounds, and a better Penny; I would not have her caſt away, Sir.

Lyw

To be thrown into a young Gentleman’s Arms with a great Eſtate, will be a good Caſt, I take it, Madam.

La. Beauc

If I were ſatisfied in that!

Lyw

Look ye, Madam, I am a man of buſineſs, and many words are but ſuperfluous. ―― Hum! hogh! D’ye ſee, here’s the Settlement of his Father’s Eſtate ―― Eight hundred pounds a Year, and ſome Thouſands in Mony, a well-made Fellow into the bargain: Let me tell ye, Madam, ſuch Offers don’t ſtick o’ hand now a-days; you may read the Writings if you pleaſe; if you diſlike ’em ―― look ye, I have a Match in my Eye for the Gentleman beyond your Daughters; tho’, I muſt own, this young Lady is much handſomer.

Peg

aſide to her Mother Dye hear what he ſays now! you’ll never leave your Impartinence, as Vather calls it, ―― Pray be quiet; I’m ſatisfied, ſo I am.

Lyw

Will you read ’em, Madam?

La. Beauc

readsNoverint, &c. ―― Nay, Sir, I don’t underſtand lay, ―― But you look like a good honeſt man, Sir, and I dare take your Word; I wiſh you had ſeen my Daughter ſooner.

Spend

aſide Well ſaid, Mother-in-law ―― that is to be in love with every new Face. ―― I muſt ſecure the young one, leſt ſhe’s of the ſame mind.

Goes to Mrs. Peggy.

La. Beauc

I’d willingly have him keep his Coach and ſix ―― I think the young Woman’s Face will bear it ―― and their Eſtates, I hope.

Lyw

No doubt on’t, Madam, ―― a handſom Wife, and a Coach and ſix, How it attracts all Eyes, ―― the Envy or the Wonder of the Park.

Spend

Well, you may do what you pleaſe, but the dear one and I are agreed ―― we’l to Church without ye, if ye diſpute it any longer.

Peg

Ay, and ſo we will, I vow and ſwear, Mr. Spendall.

La. Beauc

For ſhame, what d’ye talk on! why, ’tis paſt the Cannick hour.

Spend

Madam, all People of Quality marry at Night.

Lyw

That they may be ſure to go to bed, before they repent, a day’s conſideration might take off their Appetite.

La. Beauc

Nay, if People of Quality do it, I’m for ye.

Peg

And ſo I am, I vow and ſwear.

Lyw

Firſt, Ladies, be pleas’d to viſit my withdrawing Room, I have Sweetmeats and Trinkets there fit for the Fair ſex, which ſecures me Female Viſitants.

Spend

Agreed, we’l plunder him.

Lyw

Then we will ſeek to joyn this am’rous Pair, And drown in Pleaſure Thoughts of future Care.

Exeunt. Enter 38 F3v 38 Enter Flywife, pulling in Mrs. Flywife.

Mr. Flyw

Come, prithee Puggy, do. ――

Mrs. Flyw

I’m not in humour.

Mr. Flyw

What, don’t you love none, Fubby?

Mrs. Flyw

I hate Mankind, wou’d they were in one conſuming blaze, tho’ I were in the midſt of ’em.

flying from him, and Exit.

Mr. Flyw

Hum, a conſuming blaze; what’s the matter now? this is ſome damn’d Intrigue has gone croſs: I heard her bid Jenny come into this Room, and ſhe’d be with her: That’s a Quean, I dare ſwear, at the bottom; I’ll creep behind the Hangings and hear their Diſcourſe.

Enter Mrs. Flywife and Jenny.

Mrs. Flyw

To be trick’d thus by a Boy, a Booby; ſure this will humble the damn’d Opinion I have of my own Wit, and make me confeſs to my ſelf, at leaſt, I am a Fool.

Jenn

Ay, your Ladiſhip was pleas’d to ſay, I might paſs for his Nurſe. Indeed I believe he has had as good Inſtructors, for I find he’s old enough to be too cunning for his Benefactreſs.

Mrs. Flyw

What did he ſay when you parted?

Jen

Madam, I have told you ſeveral times; I no ſooner ſhew’d him the Houſe, but he leap’d back and ſeem’d ſurpriz’d; then recovering himſelf, he ſaid, he would follow me in: I, according to your Directions, watch’d carefully, but no pretty Maſter came: Nothing vexes me ſo much, as that the little diſſembling Sharper ſhould get the Ring.

Mrs. Flyw

Piſh, I don’t value the Trifle three farthings; what’s my doating Keeper good for, unleſs it be to give me more? But to loſe the tempting Youth!

Jen

Pray add Sir Francis Wildlove’s Loſs to’t.

Mrs. Flyw

Peace, Fool; I’m thinking why the Houſe ſhould ſtartle him: ha! is not here a fine Woman lodges, much retir’d, that ſeems of Quality?

Jen

Yes, Madam; I never ſaw her but once, ſhe’s a perfect Charmer.

Mrs. Flyw

It muſt be ſo; this is ſome perdu Devil of hers, that durſt not venture in, for fear his Conſtancy ſhould be ſuſpected: Pray watch who comes to her, dog ’em, do ſomething for my eaſe.

Jen

Madam, I will.

Mrs. Flyw

Get me a Hackney-coach, I’ll range the Town over, but I’ll find Sir Francis Wildlove.

Jen

My Maſter will be mad.

Mrs. Flyw

Then he may be ſober agen, better he mad than I; if he be angry, ’tis but diſſembling a little nauſeous fondneſs, and all’s well agen.

Exeunt Re-enter Mr. Flywife.

Flyw

Is it ſo, thou worſt Offspring of thy Grannam Eve? but I’ll ſtifle my Rage, leſt without further Proof ſhe wheedles me into a Reconciliation, take another Coach and follow her, catch her amongſt her Comrades, without the poſſibility of an Excuſe, cut her Windpipe, and ſend her to Hell, without the poſſibility of a Reprieve: Damn her, damn her.

Exit. Scene 39 F4r 39 Scene, Bellinda’s Apartment. Enter Bellinda.

Bel

The little hurry of my quick Remove has took up all my Thoughts, and I have not conſider’d what I am about. See him no more, him whom I could not live a day, an hour, without! No more behold his Eye-balls, tremble with reſpectful paſſion ―― Hear no more the ſoft falling Accents of his charming Tongue! view him dying at my feet no more! ―― O Virtue! take me to thee; chaſe from my ſtrugling Soul all this fond tenderneſs: Secure me now, and I’m thy Votary for ever.

Enter Beaumont.

Beaum

Madam, neglecting even my Love, I come to wait on your Commands.

Bel

Such Thanks as an indiſcreet and wretched Woman can return are yours: What ſaid Sir Charles?

Beaum

He receiv’d the Meſſage as Wretches that are afraid to dye, hear the condemning Voice, or as the Brave the loſs of Victory, or the Ambitious that of Crowns: He begs, that he may haſte to plead his Cauſe, and ſeems to live alone upon the Hopes his Love and Innocence may alter your Reſolves.

Bel

O ſtop him, Sir, ſome moments longer, till I am juſt ready to be gone. He has a Friend too powerful within, and I must fly, or I ſhall never overcome.

Beaum

I’ll prevent his coming till you ſend. Your Servant, Madam.

Exit.

Bel

Honour and Love, oh the torture to think they are domeſtick foes, that muſt deſtroy the Heart that harbours ’em! Had my Glaſs but been my Idol, my Mind looſe, unconſtant, wavering, like my Sex, then I might have ’ſcap’d theſe pangs; Love, as paſſing Meteors, with ſeveral fires juſt warms their Breaſts, and vaniſhes, leaving no killing Pain behind, ’tis only fooliſh: I have made a God of my Deſire greater than ever the Poets feign’d: My Eyes receiv’d no Pleaſure but what his fight gave me; no Muſick charm’d my Ears, but his dear Voice: Wracks, Gibbets, and Dungeons, can they equal loſing all my Soul admires? Why nam’d I them? Can there be greater Wracks Than what deſpairing parting Lovers find,To part when both are true, both wou’d be kind?

The End of the fourth Act.

Act 40 F4v 40

Act V.

Scene, Bellinda’s Apartment.

Enter Bellinda.

Bell

He comes, keep back, full Eyes, the ſpringing Tears! ―― and thou poor trembling Heart! now be mann’d with all thy ſtrongeſt ſtouteſt Reſolutions; there will be need.

Enter Sir Charles.

Sir Cha

Ah! whither ſhall I throw me? what ſhall I ſay? ―― Mariamne hangs like Iceicles upon my Tongue, but Bellinda flows: Oh Bellinda! ―― I charge thee by that dear Name, hear and pity me.

Bell

coldly What wou’d you ſay?

Sir Cha

Why nothing; I do not know that Voice, it has ſtopp’d the riſing words, and I muſt only anſwer with my ſighs.

Bell

Sir Charles, we have both been puniſh’d with unwarrantable Love.

Sir Cha

Puniſh’d! Have we been puniſh’d? ―― Now, by all my Woes to come, by all my Tranſports paſt, all thought of my Bellinda, there’s not a Pang, a Groan, but brought its pleaſure with it: Oh! ’tis happier far to ſigh for thee, than to have enjoy’d another.

Bell

You interrupt me when I juſt begin. ―― Grant it true, ―― we might have liv’d th weary grown of of one another, till you, perhaps, might coldly ſay, I had a Miſtreſs. ―― Now to part, when at the mention of each other’s Name our Hearts wll riſe, our Eyes run o’er, ’tis better much than living to indifferency, which Time and Age would certainly have brought.

Sir Cha

Oh, never, never; tho’ the Bauble gaudy Beauty die, yet Sence and Humour ſtill remain — on that I ſhould have doated.

Bell

You cannot gueſs your future by your preſent Thoughts; or, if you cou’d, I am not to be mov’d forſaking thee; and when I have ſaid that, I need not add all Pleaſures, ―― in remote and unfrequented ſhades I’ll paſs my ſolitary hours, and like a Recluſe, waſte the remainder of my wretched days.

Sir Cha

And am I the Cauſe of this melancholy penance? Muſt my unhappy Love rob the World of its faireſt Ornament? No, Madam, ſtay and injoyn me what you pleaſe; condemn my Tongue to everlaſting ſilence; let me now and then but gaze, and tell you with my Eyes what’s acting in my Heart; or ―― if you will retire, permit me to follow, under the pretence of hunting; the Air, a thouſand things I can invent, create new Friendſhip, careſs the whole Country o’er, to have an opportunity of ſeeing you, though at a hateful diſtance, and ſurrounded by ſevereſt Friends.

Bell. 41 G1r 41

Bell

Ha! is this the awful Love, I thought poſſeſs’d ye? How fatally I was miſtaken! What! purſue me to my Father’s Houſe! fix on my Name a laſting Blot, a Deathleſs Infamy, pollute my Native Air with unhallow’d Love, where all my Anceſtors have, for Ages, flouriſh’d, and left an honeſt Fragrancy behind! Mark me, Sir, you know I do not uſe to break my word. ―― If by Letters, Miſſages, or the leaſt appearance (tho’ cautiouſly, as Treaſons plotted againſt the State) you approach me, I’ll fly the Kingdom, or, if that’s too little, the World.

Sir Cha

No, ’tis I have been miſtaken. ―― Now, by all the Wracks I feel, not worth a Sigh, a parting drop; no Regard of Tenderneſs, no Beam of Pity, from thoſe dear Eyes, nor ſidelong Glance to view my ſad Diſtraction! Methinks you have already left me, and I am got amongſt my Fellow Madmen, tearing my Hair, chain’d to the Ground, foaming, and digging up the Earth, yet in every ſmalleſt Interval of Sence calling on Bellinda.

Bell

A noble Birth, a cenſorious World, a mourning Father, all plead againſt thee. Oh, talk no more, leſt you force my Hand to ſome deſperate Act; and yet your Words pierce my Boſom with greater pain than pointed Steel.

Sir Char

I ſee you are reſolv’d on my Undoing, fix’d like my relentleſs Fate; therefore I’ll not urge another ſyllable, but quietly, as dying Men when Hope’s all paſt, quit Life and their deareſt friends, for ever, ever leave thee.

Bell

That ſad ſilent Look diſcovers ſuch inward Worlds of Woe, it ſtrikes me through, ſtaggers my beſt Reſolves, removes the Props I have been raiſing for my ſinking Fame, and, blind with paſſion, I could reel into thy Arms. ―― Tell me, on what are thy Thoughts employ’d?

Sir Char

On the Curſe of Life, impos’d on us without our Choice, and almoſt always attended with tormenting Plagues.

Bell

Yet we may meet again, in Peace and Joy, when this Gigantick Honour appears no Bugbear, and our Deſires lawfully be crown’d. ―― It is a guilty Thought; nor ſhall I ever dare to form it to a Wiſh.

Sir Cha

But doſt thou think we may? embracing her. What! uncontroul’d claſp thee thus! Oh, Extaſie! with wild Fury run o’er each trembling beauteous Limb, and graſp thee as drowning Men the dear Bark from whence they were thrown.

Bell

Away, away! What are we doing? Divide him, Heaven, from my fond guilty Eyes; ſet Seas, and Earth, and Worlds of Fire between us, for Virtue, Fate, and Honour, with an united Cry, have doom’d, that we muſt meet nor more.

Exit.

Sir Cha

To raging Seas, Sieges, and Fields of Battle will I fly, Pleaſures and Paſtimes to the Woes I feel. Oh, Bellinda!

Exit. G Scene 42 G1v 42 Scene Changes. Enter Gentil.

Gent

I cou’d laugh my Heart ſore, to ſee what a condition the Fool my Maſter’s in; every knocking at the Door is as good as a Doſe of Rubarb, and every Noiſe makes him leap like a Vaulter. Ha! he’s coming, the poor Baby dares not be alone.

Cheatall, peeping.

Cheat

Gentil! Is the Coaſt clear?

Gen

Yes, Sir.

Cheat

Oh Gentil!

Gen

What’s the matter? You look worſe frighted than you were.

Cheat

Ay, and well I may; you leave me alone, and I ſhall grow diſtracted: I have ―― I have ſeen a Ghoſt.

Gen

A Ghoſt! what, Mrs. Arabella’s Ghoſt?

Cheat

Nay, I did not ſtay to examin that; for, as ſoon as ever I perceiv’d the Glympſe on’t, I ſhut up my Eyes, and felt my way out of the Chamber.

Gen

Where was this Ghoſt, Sir?

Cheat

Oh! behind the Bed, behind the Bed, Gentil.

Gen

Lord, Sir, ’twas nothing but the Cloak; I hung it there.

Cheat

Was it not? O’ my Conſcience, I thought it had been a Giant of a Ghoſt. ―― Hark, hark! what’s that?

he ſtarts. A Cry without, ſeeming at a diſtance.

Boy without

A full and true Relation of a horrid and bloody Murther, committed on the Body of Mrs. Arabella Venturewell, a young Lady, by one ’Squire Barnaby Cheatall and his Man Gentil; ſhewing how they lock’d her up in the dark, then cut her to pieces, and carried the pieces away under their Cloaks, and threw ’em into Chelſey-Reach, where, at low water, they were found.

Cheat

O Lard! O Lard! the pieces found, Gentil!

Gen

So it ſeems, Sir.

Boy

ſeeming farther off A full and true Relation of a, &c.

Cheat

Nay, now we ſhall be hang’d for certain; not the leaſt Hopes: Oh! oh! oh!

Crying.

Gen

Come, Sir, have a little Courage.

Cheat

To confeſs the truth to thee, I never had any Courage in my Life; and this would make the ſtouteſt man tremble: Oh!

Gen

I am thinking, Sir, ―― why ―― we was not at Chelſey-Reach that day.

Cheat

No, no; but, may be, they’l ſwear we was.

Gen

My Lady and Miſs hated her, ―― ſure they han’t been ſo barbarous.

Cheat

Like enough, ―― pin-up Petticoats are as conveninet as Cloaks, — beſides, my Siſter is a Fury; I’ve heard her threaten pulling Folks a pieces a hundred times, and now ſhe has don’t. ―― we’l e’en peach.

Gen. 43 G2r 43

Gen

What, your own Siſter!

Cheat

Ay, my own Mother, to ſave my ſelf: ―― I ſay, we’l peach.

Gen

That’s not ſo good, for if they prove themſelves innocent, ’twill fall upon us agen, ―― Heark ye, Sir, there’s only Eugenia can witneſs againſt us, ―― ſuppoſe we try’d to ſtifle her Evidence with a ſwindging Bribe; I never knew a Chambermaid refuſe greaſing in the Fiſt upon any account.

Cheat

My dear Gentil, ―― if ſhe inclines, my Offers ſhall be ſo large, that for the reſt of her Life ſhe ſhall have nothing to do, but ſtudy to make her Hands white, that ſhe may burn all her Fripery, and be able to ſpark it with Quality.

Gen

Sir, I’ll ſend her Propoſitions.

Cheat

half draws his Sword Do, but if the ſtubborn Jade won’t comply, appoint a private meeting, and ſtop her Mouth with this ―― Ugh! ―― you underſtand me.

Gen

Yes, Sir. Aſide. I find his Conſcience would ſwallow a real Murder. ―― Sir, if you pleaſe, we’ll go in and write what you deſign to offer her.

Cheat

Let us. If you meet her, Gentil, and ſhe’s ſurly, ―― Remember, ―― ugh, — ugh.

Half draws his Sword. Exeunt. Enter Sir Francis Wildlove, and to him Searchwell.

Searchw

Sir Charles ſends you word, he is buſie ordering his Affairs, deſigning with all ſpeed to travel, and ſays, he ſhall never ſee you more, only to take his leave.

Sir Fran

Hey day! O’ my Conſcience, this charming little Beauclair has me under a Spell, and I ſhall meet with nothing but Diſappointments till I ſubmit to her.

Searchw

Ay, Sir, you wou’d ſoon find the true Pleaſures of virtuous Love, and a ſatisfaction in denying your Appetite.

Sir Fran

Preaching Fool, hold you your Peace.

Enter a Servant.

Serv

Sir, a Gentlewoman below deſires to ſpeak with you.

Searchw

aſide So, there’s no great danger my Maſter ſhou’d Reform, when the Devil is alwaies at hand with a Temptation in Petticoats.

Sir Fran

Searchwell, wait on the Lady up.

Searchw

Ah Lord!

Sir Fran

Sirrah, I ſhall break your Head, if you don’t leave this canting trade.

Searchw

I am gone, Sir.

Exit, and Re-enters with Mrs. Dreſswell.

Dreſsw

aſide This is a mad Meſſage my Lady has ſent me with to her Lover; I’m afraid he’l kick me for my News; hang’t, he’s a Gentleman, and I’ll venture.

G2 Sir 44 G2v 44

Sir Fran

Ha! pretty Mrs. Dreſswell, this is a favour I never reciev’d from you before; Muſt I own the Bleſſing only to your Good-will, or is my Happineſs greater? Did your Lady ſend?

Mrs. Dreſsw

I cam from my Lady, Sir, but what Happineſs you’l find I know not; methinks ſhe has done a ſtrange mad thing.

Sir Fran

What’s the matter?

Mrs. Dreſsw

She’s married, ſir.

Sir Fra

The Devil ſhe is.

Mrs. Dreſsw

Even ſo: ſhe ſaid, thoſe that ſhe fancied car’d not for her, therefore ſhe reſolv’d to beſtow her ſelf and Fortunes on a ſecret Lover, whom indeed her Ladiſhip owns ſhe never valued, a Gentleman you know, ſir, the worthy Mr. Spendall.

Sir Fran

walks about enrag’d Damnation! that Rake, Bully, Sharper! damn it, damn it.

Mrs. Dreſsw

Here’s a Note where they are; ſhe deſires to ſee you.

Sir Fran

Tell her I eſteem her ſo much, I’ll cut the Raſcal’s Throat ſhe has thought fit to call Husband; I’ll do it, Madam, tho’ I’m hang’d at the Door; ’tis the only way I can expreſs my Love to her now.

Mrs. Dreſsw

Wou’d I were well gone; I’ll tell her, ſir.

Exit.

Sir Fran

Married! and to Spendall! Oh, that I cou’d deſpiſe her: Ha! I find ’tis worſe with me than I thought, what makes this gnaw my Heart ſo elſe? My fellow-Libertines will laugh to ſee me play the fool and kill my ſelf: Oh, I cou’d tear in piecemeal the Villain that betray’d her to endleſs Ruin.

Enter a Servant.

Servant

Sir, there’s another Lady, out of a Coach, coming up ſtairs.

Sir Fran

Blockhead, tell her I deſire ſhe would break her Neck down agen, and oblige me in riding poſt to the Devil. My Coach there?

Throws the fellow down. Exit.

Servant

O my Noſe, my Noſe; why what’s the matter now? I thought I ſhould have had a Reward for my News; and ſo I have, I think. O, my Noſe.

Enter Mrs. Flywife.

Mrs. Flyw

Where’s Sir Francis? Did you tell him I was coming up?

Servant

Yes, and he ſays, you may go to the Devil, he has ſpoil’d the Ornament of my face, and flung into his Coach ſtark mad.

Mrs. Fly

Much of Paſſion ſhows much of Love, my Coach ſhall follow his, I’ll not leave him ſo.

Scene changes. Enter Mrs. Beauclair, Dreſswell, and a Woman.

Mrs. B

I muſt confeſs I am Fool enough to be pleaſ’d with Sir Francis’s concern ? But, Oh, my Uncle’s troubles draws a vail upon my riſing Joys, and damps all Mirth: Poor Bellinda! ſhe ſent a Note to tell me her Diſorder was ſuch, 45 G3r 45 ſuch, ſhe cou’d not ſee me; with much ado I have perſwaded Sir Charles to come hither, for half an hour, and look into this unlucky piece of Matrimony.

Dreſs

Madam, they are coming.

Mrs. B

In, in, then?

Exit. Enter Lady Beauclair, Spendall, Miſs Peggy, Lywell.

Lyw

Here give me a Glaſs of wine, Mrs. Bride’s long life, and laſting happineſs.

M. Peg

Thank ye, Sir, give me a Glaſs, you.

Spend

To me, my Love?

M. Peg

Yes.

Spend

Yours, for ever.

Drinks it off.

Lady B

Lard, Child, you’ll drink too much Wine.

M. Peg

Pray be quiet, I’ll drink what I pleaſe; I am Married now, why ſure, I’ll ha’ none of your Tutoring, I Cod, I’ll long for every thing I ſee, ſhan’t I, you?

Spend

I, and have it too, my dear.

M. Peg

I Cod, I’ll long for Green Peaſe at Chriſtmas, ſo I will.

Lady B

My heart akes, this great concern has made me ſick, give me a Glaſs.

M. Peg

I am Mothers own Daughter, ſeth I dare confeſs it now, I always us’d to be ſick for a Glaſs of Wine, ho, ho?

Lady B

Sure the Wench is mad.

One knocks.

Spend

Ha, dear Ladies go in, ’tis ſome body from Sir Charles, I believe, I wou’d willingly ſpeak with ’em firſt.

M. Peg

Ay, ay, let’s go in, there’s more Wine within.

Lady B

Be ſure you make your Eſtate out plain.

Spend

Yes, yes, heark ye, Lywell, carry ’em out of Ear-ſhot, leſt it ſhou’d prove a Dunner.

Lyw

I warrant; Come Ladies, we’ll in, and take a Bumper.

M. Peg

O la, you make me ſo bluſh ――

Knocks agen.

Spend

Boy, open the door?

Exeunt. Enter Sir Francis.

Sir Fran

What, grown ſo great already, that I muſt wait half an hour for admittance.

Spend

aſide. He is come from Sir Charles, Ill ſpeak him fair: Sir Francis Wildlove, your very humble ſervant, I beg ten thouſand Pardons.

Sir Fran

Keep your fawning, and beſtow it on Fools; ’tis loſt on me, and will be groſly anſwer’d. I tell ye, you are a Raſcal.

Spend

Poverty makes many a man ſo, Sir.

Sir Fran

A preſuming Raſcal! do I not know thee for the dreg of humane kind, and ſhall thy deteſted Arms receive her Virgin Beauties, life of goodneſs, of Honour, Wit, and Sweetneſs, the only Woman upon Earth I cou’d have lov’d?

Spend

Sure you deſign to banter me: Soul of wit, and Sweetneſs; the Devil might had her Sweetneſs for me. ’Twas her Mony I married; faith, Sir Francis, I always took her for a Fool?

Sir 46 G3v 46

Sir Fran

Prophaner! this laſt action only calls her Judgment in queſtion, thy Death is Juſtice, firſt to deceive, and then abuſe her, draw.

Spend

I will draw, tho’, Gad, I wou’d have ſworn never to have fought on this occaſion.

Enter Mrs. Beauclair and Dreſswell laughing.

Mrs. B

Ha, ha, ha.

Dreſs

Ha, ha, ha.

Sir Fran

Nay, Madam, I’ll not diſturb your mirth, but be ſo calm to wiſh it may continue.

puts up his Sword.

Spend

What’s the meaning of all this? how came Mrs. Beauclair here?

Sir Fran

Are you not married to this Lady?

Spend

No ſuch Honour was ever deſigned for me: Lard, Sir, I am married to Miſs Peggy, Lady Beauclair’s Daughter, my Fool’s within, now I hope I may call her ſo.

Mrs. B

I doubt, Sir Francis, you Counterplotted me, knew the truth, and only acted this concern.

Sir Fran

No, by Heaven, nor per1 characterflawed-reproductione1-2 charactersflawed-reproductionly my own heart, till this ſevere Trial ſearch’d it; did I diſſemble, Madam, your ſenſe wou’d ſoon diſcover it, but by my Soul, I love you truly, and if you dare venture on me, my future life ſhall ſhew how much I honour you.

Mrs. B

Can you then leave all the pretty City Wives, which a Man of your Parts and Quality, in a quarter of an hours ſeige, could overcome? In fine, all the charming variety of what was pretty, or agreeable in the whole Sex, and be confin’d? Oh, that’s a hard word to me.

Sir Fran

With more delight that thoſe ſurfeiting Joys (that always left a ſting behind ’em) afforded.

Mrs. B

Well, Sir, if you can give me your heart, I can allow you great Liberties: but when we have play’d the Fool and married, don’t you, when you have been pleaſed abroad, come home ſurly1 wordflawed-reproduction your looks be kind, your Converſation eaſie, and tho I ſhou’d know you have been with a Miſtreſs, I’d meet you with a ſmile.

Sir Fran

When I forſake ſuch Charms, for ſenſeleſs mercenary Creatures, you ſhall correct me with the greateſt puniſhment upon Earth, a frown.

Mrs. B

You’ll fall into the Romantick ſtile, Sir Francis: Mr. Spendall, ſhan’t we ſee your Bride?

Spend

Yes, Madam, I hope your Ladyſhip will prove my Friend to Sir Charles.

Mrs. B

Ay, ay, we’ll all ſpeak for ye; had ſhe miſt ye, there was no great likelihood, as the caſe was, ſhe wou’d have done better.

Sir Fran

Where is the pretty Miſs? pray conduct us to her.

Mrs. B

Sir Charles will be here preſently, I long to hear my Aunt ſet out the greatneſs of the match.

Spend

This way, Sir.

Exeunt. Enter Mr. Beaumont, Arabella and Eugenia.

Arab

Is this the Houſe, Eugenia?

Eug

Yes, Madam.

Arab. 47 G4r 47

Arab

Well, thou art a lucky Girl, to recover my Writings with ſuch ſpeed.

Eug

Madam, the ’Squire wou’d have parted with a limb, if I had requir’d it.

Beau

Madam, it was your promiſe, whenever you poſſeſt your Fortune, (tho’ I’m ſure I never inſiſted on’t) you wou’d be mine.

Arab

I have no occaſion to break my word, Mr. Beaumont.

Beau

Then I am happy.

Arab

Mrs. Eugenia, will you enquire where theſe Bride folks are?

Eug

See, Madam, they are coming.

Enter Lady Beauclair, Mrs. Beauclair, Miſs Peggy, Sir Francis Wildlove, Spendall, Lywell.

Arab

Will the ’Squire be here?

Eug

Yes, Madam, I told him of his Couſin’s Marriage, and he ſeems pleaſed his Siſter has been trick’d.

Peg

Lard, you, what d’ye bring one to theſe folks, they’ll do nothing but jeer us?

Spend

Oh, my dear, carry your ſelf civily, and every body will love ye.

Mrs. B

Sir Charles will be here preſently to wiſh you Joy, Madam?

Lady B

So, then we ſhall have noiſe enough, but I’ll be as loud as he, I’ll warrant him.

Mrs. B

And louder too, or I’m miſtaken.

Enter Sir Charles Beauclair.

Sir Char

Neice, why have you dragg’d me to this unwilling Pennance, if the Girl is ruin’d what is’t to me? my thoughts are full of ſomething elſe.

Mrs. B

My Uncle, my Father, and my Friend, yet theſe names do not expreſs half of my tenderneſs: The beſt of Guardians and of Men: pray change your thoughts of Travel, I’ll ſtudy ten thouſand things for your Diverſion.

Sir Char

Not Angels Eloquence ſhou’d alter me; I’ll act the uneaſie part no longer, that Woman, the bar to all my Happineſs, by Heaven, ſhe’s not my Wife: ’tis true, the Ceremony of the Church has paſs’d between us, but ſhe knows I went no further.

Mrs. B

Stay then, and live aſunder.

Sir Char

No; ſo, Madam, you’ve married your Daughter.

Lady B

Yes, what then? he has a good Eſtate, when his Father dies, beſide the preſent ſettlement, and ready Mony.

Sir Char

Poor deluded Woman! he has no Eſtate, nor Relation worth owning, Mr. Spendall, generous Charity induced me to relieve your wants, you have betray’d this young woman, but uſe her well ―― I have not much to ſay ―― I ſuppoſe they were both ſo willing, a very little pains effected the matter.

Lady B

How, Raſcal! Devil! have ye married my Daughter ―― and have ye nothing, Sirrah?

Spend

Ask Mrs. Peggy that.

Peg

You make one laugh, I vow and ſwear.

Lady B

Beaſt! I don’t mean ſo ―― But have ye no Eſtate, Sirrah?

Spend

No, faith, Madam, not I; my Wife has enough for us both, and what’s matter.

Lady B. 48 G4v 48

Lady B

Oh, Dog! Come away, Peggy, we’ll go to Doctors Commons, and thou ſhalt be Divorc’d.

Peg

I won’t be Divorc’d, I’ve got a Husband, and I don’t care, I’ll ſtay with him.

Spend

That’s kindly ſaid, and I engage you ſhan’t repent it.

Lady B

Why Counſellor Smart, why Counſellor Smart, did not ye tell me ――

Sir Fran

Hey day, Counſellor Smart! why this is a Fellow many degrees worſe than your new Son-in-Law. Hearkye Friend, leave this Counterfeiting Trade ―― or you’ll loſe your Ears; Reform, as your Friend has done, and Marry.

Lyw

Hang him, Rogue: He’s a Smock-fac’d Fellow, and Handſom: I ſhall do no good with the Women.

Spend

aſide Go, be gone, Devil, don’t diſgrace me, I’ll meet you at the old place.

Exit. Lyw.

Mrs. B

Look what a puff the old Lady’s in ―― Aunt, you always ſaid you’d match your Daughter your ſelf, you did not deſire a cunninger head than your own.

Lady B

Well, Mrs. Flippant! I hope your mad tricks will bring you a Baſtard home at laſt, and that will be worſe.

Sir Char

Nay, Madam, ſpare my Neice: ſhe ever was moſt respectful to you, till you abus’d her beyond all bearing.

Sir Fran

Mind not a mad Woman.

Enter Cheatall.

Cheat

Your ſervant Gentiles! ―― O La! Siſter, I hear ſtrange news, Couſin Peggy’s married to a Sharper, a Rake, a Bully, they ſay! I told you ſo, I told you ſo! Gadzooks! you wou’d not be warn’d.

Lady B

Well, Booby! what’s that to you, Dunderhead.

ſtrikes him.

Cheat

Pox take your naſty Fiſt! you love fighting plaguily.

Lady B

Well, ’twas paſſion, you may excuſe it, when you conſider my afflictions ―― To make ye amends, I’ll come live with you, and take car of your Eſtate, and Mrs. Arabella’s.

Cheat

No, no, don’t miſtake your ſelf, I’ll be a ſtingy Cur no longer, but drink my Bottle freely, nor ſneak out o’ the Company without paying my Club, for fear of having my Pocket examined by you. O Lard! the Ghoſt! the Ghoſt.

Seeing Arabella, runs behind Spendall.

Spend

What, is the man mad?

Mrs. B

You don’t underſtand the whim.

Arab

Come gi’ me thy hand, old Boy, we’ll be Friends; I am no Ghoſt, I aſſure ye.

Cheat

And ―― is not that the Hectoring Spark your Brother, with his Monſterous whiskers par’d?

Beau

Not her Brother, Sir, but one who hopes to pretend to the Lady, by another Title.

Cheat

Oh! I find how matters ha’ been carried ―― Much good may d’ye with her. ―― Gadzooks, ſhe wa’n’t fit for me, ―― I’m a Fool, you know, Siſter.

Arab. 49 H1r 49

Arab

You muſt grant me one Requeſt.

Cheat

What’s that?

Arab

To forgive Gentil; he’s going to be married to Eugenia, but ſhall have no Joys without your Pardon.

Cheat

Ay, ay, I forgive him, and leave his Wife to puniſh him; ſhe has a Fruitful Invention, let him take care it does not one day fall upon his own head ―― Gentil! I am Friends; and will give thee ſomething towards Houſekeeping.

Gent

I thank you, Sir.

Eug

I’m ſure, it went to my very heart to fright your Worſhip ſo.

Cheat

You are a wheedling Baggage; but ’tis all well, I’m contented.

Enter Mrs. Flywife, in a fright.

Mrs. Flyw

O ſave me! ſave me! I’m purſued by a bloody-minded Monſter.

Sir Fran

What’s the matter? is it your Husband, Madam?

Mrs. Flyw

’I is my Tyrant, the Devil ’tis.

Enter Flywife, his Hanger drawn.

Cheat

Nay, hold ye, Miſtreſs, don’t ye run behind me; udsbores, ſo I may have the ſword in my Guts by miſtake.

Beau

We’ll all protect the Lady.

Mr. Flyw

Protect! damnation; do but hear how vile a thing it is.

Cheat

Hear! what do I hear, and ſee! why, ſure this is our Brother Allen, my Siſter’s firſt Husband, we thought dead in the Indies.

Sir Char

What’s that? ſpeak agen, but ſpeak aloud, leſt I ſhou’d only catch the ſound of Happineſs, and be deceived.

Mr. Flyw

Has my damn’d Jilt brought me to a greater plague, my Wife? but I’ll own it to puniſh her, tho’ I ſuffer an abominable torment till next fair wind, the Sea’s my Element; once there, I’m free. Well, I confeſs I have found a Wife here. Why ſtare you ſo? I am not the firſt has thought the ſight unpleaſing.

Sir Char

No, no, talk on; all are huſh’d, as if a midnight ſilence reigned.

La. Beauc

Who’s this? Are you my firſt Husband Allen? And did you pretend you was dead, rather than come to me, Sirrah?

Mr. Flyw

Here’s a fine greeting.

Mrs. Flyw

How! your Husband! he’s mine before Heaven: Mr. Flywife, won’t you own me, Fubby?

Mr. Flyw

In troth, I think there’s ſcarce a Pin to chuſe; but you have diſoblig’d me laſt, therefore avant, Strumpet; come hither, thou natural noiſie Spouſe.

Mrs. Flyw

That Shape and Face prefer’d to me?

La. Beauc

I’ll be reveng’d of her, I’m reſolv’d.

Flies on her.

Mrs. Beau

I’m all Amazement, Sir Francis; ſave the Lady, becauſe ſhe was my Friend; return her Ring, that may help conſole her.

Sir Fran

parting ’em Hold, Ladies, Ladies: March off, here’s the bountiful Preſent; come, come, I doubt not but you’ve a private Pocket.

H Mrs. 50 H1v 50

Mrs. Flyw

The Devil take you all.

Exit.

Mrs. Beaum

What Miracle is this? Madam, leave your paſſion, and explain it.

Mrs. Peg

Is my own Vather come agen? O La.

Spend

Your own Vather come agen! O La! Then, I fear, your Portion is not at your own diſpoſe, Miſs.

Mrs. Peg

Good Lord! does that diſturb ye?

Mr. Flyw

Gentlemen, now your Wonder is a little over, pray let me ask why all this Company, and why that Gentleman, whom I know not, appears tranſported.

Sir FranSir Char.

I’ll tell you, Sir; ’twas my hard Fate to marry your Lady, before your death was well confirm’d, that kept it ſome time private, whe, before we came together, a Quarrel, from her uneaſie temper, aroſe, and I ſwore never to bed her; yet, for our Friends and Conveniency’s ſake, we ſeem’d to live like Man and Wife. Speak, Madam, is this not true?

La. Beauc

Yes, yes, ’tis true, the more ſhame for ye.

Sir Cha

Here, Sir, receive her, and with her a new Date of Happineſs.

Mr. Flyw

I gueſs my future Happineſs by the paſt; but ſince it muſt be ſo —

Sir Cha

Dear Neice, go to my Houſe, and deliver up whatever is that Lady’s.

Mrs. Beau

You’ll ſend to Bellinda?

Sir Cha

My ſelf, my ſelf ſhall be the Meſſenger; In my eager Mind I’m already there; Methinks the Earth’s enchanted, and I tread on Air.

Exit.

Mrs. Beau

So, there’s one pleas’d, I’m ſure.

Cheat

Well, Brother, you’re welcome home, as I may ſay: Why, here’s Couſin Peggy grown up and married ſince you went.

Mr. Flyw

What! Is that Bud come to the Bloſſom of Matrimony? all by the Mother’s Contrivance; a wiſe buſineſs, I believe. Sir, I ſhall make bold to examin into your Eſtate before I give my Daughter any.

Spend

Say ye ſo? and if you give your Daughter none, I ſhall prove a ſecond Mr. Flywife.

Mrs. Peg

What’s that, Bold-face?

Spend

Nothing, Child.

La. Beauc

Ay, that’s a hopeful Match; I could find in my Heart to lock my ſelf up, and never ſee your ugly Faces agen.

Exit.

Mrs. Beaum

Let’s follow, and appeaſe her.

Arab

And as we go, you ſhall tellme what makes Sir Charles thus overjoy’d.

Mrs. Beaum

I will; and when we have done what he deſir’d, we’ll go all to Bellinda’s, there we ſhall find my Uncle.

Sir Fran

Come, Beaumont, let’s ſee the end of this ſurprizing Accident.

Mr. Flyw

How like a Dog a Man looks once eſcap’d! Forc’d back into the Matrimonial Nooſe; ’Tis a damn’d Joy to find the Wife I’d looſe.

Exit. Scene 51 H2r 51 Scene, Bellinda’s Apartment. On a Table lies her Hood and Scarf.

Sure ſome unſeen Power holds me a moment longer; ah! ’tis no Power, but fooliſh Love that ſhows the paths which carries me from Beauclair, leading to Death, or, what’s worſe, Deſpair.

Enter Betty.

Bett

Madam, the Coach is ready.

Bell

I’m coming, be ſure you let none have admittance.

Goes towards the Table.

Bett

I will not, Madam.

Enter Sir Charles Beauclair.

Bet

Oh, Sir! my Lady charg’d you ſhould not enter.

Sir Cha

Away, you Trifler; where’s my Bellinda?

Bell

This is unmanly; not conquer your Deſires, nor obey my poſitive Commands!

Sir Cha

Oh, ſtay and hear me; let me hang upon your Knees, for I am out of breath, claſp and prattle o’er thee, like a glad Mother when ſhe hugs her firſt-born Bleſſing after the pangs of Death; mine, like hers, is Folly all, but full of Fondneſs.

Bell

Oh!

Sir Cha

Sigh not, my Fair; by Heaven I am free from any Chains but thine, free as thy own clear Soul’s from Vice.

Bell

How! what mean ye? oh, riſe, and ſtop my growing Fears. Where’s your Wife? is ſhe well?

Sir Cha

Think not ſo baſely of me, ſhe’s well, and in her Husband’s Arms, oh, my Bellinda! in her Husband’s Arms; her firſt and only Husband, Allen, is return’d.

Bell

Forgetting all colder nicer forms, in thy faithful Boſom let me receive ſuch News.

Sir Cha

My Life.

Bell

My Soul.

embracing.

Sir Cha

Ha! the tranſporting Joy has caught her Roſie Breath, and thoſe bright Eyes are in their ſnowy Lids retir’d: Oh, this is more, much more than ten thouſand words cou’d have expreſs’d. ’Wake, my Bellinda, ’tis thy Beauclair calls.

Bell

Do not view my bluſhing Face, I fear I have offended that Virgin Modeſty by me ſtill practis’d and ador’d; now we muſt ſtand on forms, till time and decency ſhall crown our Wiſhes.

Sir Cha

My Goddeſs, Conquereſs, by thee for ever I am directed.

Bell

I know thy honeſt Heart ſo well, I do not ſcruple the truth of what you have ſaid.

Sir Cha

You need not, Deareſt; ſee, all our Friends come to confirm it.

Enter Sir Francis Wildlove, Beaumont, Cheatall, Mrs. Beauclair, and Arabella.

Mrs. Beauc

Joy to my dear Bellinda.

Arab. 52 H2v 52

Arab

Permit a ſtranger to rejoyce at the Reward of Virtue and conſtant Love.

Bell

Pardon my anſwers, Ladies, when I confeſs I ſcarce know where I am.

Sir Cha

Now I can mind the Affairs of my Friend; Sir Francis, I obſerve you very aſſiduous to my Neice, has ſhe receiv’d you for her ſervant? and are you reſolv’d on the trueſt Happineſs, Conſtancy?

Sir Fran

Yes faith, Sir Charles, I am the Lady’s Dog in a ſtring, and have violent pantings towards the delicious Charmer; I hope ſhe won’t long deferr my Deſires: But let that black Gentleman I’ve ſo long dreaded do his worſt, he ſhan’t ſpoil my ſtomach.

Mrs. Beauc

Ah! thoſe pantings, Sir Francis, I doubt they have mov’d your ſtomach ſo often, till they’ve quite took it away.

Sir Fran

A little forbearance, and ſuch a tempting meal ――

Sir Cha

to Mr. Beaumont You, Sir, too are bleſt; I read it in your Eyes, and ſee the Lady with ye.

Mr. Beaum

I fear no danger now, but dying of that pleaſing Feaver call’d Rapture.

Cheat

To any man’s thinking, theſe now are going to Heaven ding dong: but hear me, Ladies; ’faith, all young handſom fellows talk juſt ſo before Matrimony: ſeven Years hence let me hear of Pantings, Heavings, and Raptures; no, Gadzooks, ſcarce Riſings then: I ſhall live a jolly Batchelor, and laugh at your indifference, Gadzooks, I ſhall ――

Mrs. Beau

Well ſaid ’Squire; we wou’d bring him along, Sir Charles, I think him very good-humour’d to this Lady, and believe his Siſter only made him otherwiſe.

Sir Cha

I read in every Face a pleaſing Joy, but you muſt give me leave to think that mine exceeds, rais’d to unexpected Worlds of Bliſs, when ſunk in Sorrows and Deſpair. Kind Fate, beyond my Hopes, the Weight remov’d,And gave me all, in giving her I lov’d.

Exeunt.

The End.

Errata.

By a miſtake in the Copy, which was falſe Folio’d, the Scene in Sir Charles Beauclair’s Houſe, Pag. 32, ſhould have came in, in the latter part of the third Act, which ends with, Cheat Oh, that ever I ſhould live to ſee my ſelf hang’d.