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The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. III by Aphra Behn

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_Bea_. I'm much oblig'd to you, Sir; oh, Captain-- [_Talks to him_.

_Bred_. Haste, Dear; the Parson waits,
To finish what the Powers design'd above.

_Dia_. Sure nothing is so bold as Maids in Love! [_They go out_.

_Noi_. Psho! he conjure--he can flie as soon.

_Gay_. Gentlemen, you must be sure to confine your selves to this
Circle, and have a care you neither swear, nor pray.

_Bea_. Pray, Sir! I dare say neither of us were ever that way gifted.

A horrid Noise.


_Cease your Horror, cease your Haste.
And calmly as I saw you last,
Appear! Appear!
By thy Pearls and Diamond Rocks,
By thy heavy Money-Box,
By thy shining Petticoat,
That hid thy cloven Feet from Note;
By the Veil that hid thy Face,
Which else had frighten'd humane Race_:
[Soft Musick ceases.
_Appear, that I thy Love may see,
Appear, kind Fiends, appear to me_.

A Pox of these Rascals, why come they not?

_Four enter from the four corners of the Stage, to Musick
that plays; they dance, and in the Dance, dance round 'em,
and kick, pinch, and beat 'em_.

_Bea_. Oh, enough, enough! Good Sir, lay 'em, and I'll pay the Musick--

_Gay_. I wonder at it--these Spirits are in their Nature kind, and
peaceable--but you have basely injur'd some body--confess, and they will
be satisfied--

_Bea_. Oh, good Sir, take your _Cerberuses_ off--I do confess, the
Captain here, and I have violated your Fame.

_Noi_. Abus'd you,--and traduc'd you,--and thus we beg your pardon--

_Gay_. Abus'd me! 'Tis more than I know, Gentlemen.

_Bea_. But it seems your Friend the Devil does.

_Gay_. By this time _Bredwel's_ married.
--Great _Pantamogan_, hold, for I am satisfied,
[_Ex. Devils_.
And thus undo my Charm--
[_Takes away the Circle, they run out_.
So, the Fools are going, and now to _Julia's_ Arms.


SCENE IV. _Lady_ Fulbank's _Anti-chamber_.

_She discover'd undrest at her Glass; Sir_ Cautious _undrest_.

L. _Ful_. But why to Night? indeed you're wondrous kind methinks.

Sir _Cau_. Why, I don't know--a Wedding is a sort of an Alarm to Love;
it calls up every Man's courage.

L. _Ful_. Ay, but will it come when 'tis call'd?

Sir _Cau_. I doubt you'll find it to my Grief-- [_Aside_.
--But I think 'tis all one to thee, thou car'st not for my Complement;
no, thou'dst rather have a young Fellow.

L. _Ful_. I am not us'd to flatter much; if forty Years were taken
from your Age, 'twou'd render you something more agreeable to my Bed,
I must confess.

Sir _Cau_. Ay, ay, no doubt on't.

L. _Ful_. Yet you may take my word without an Oath,
Were you as old as Time, and I were young and gay
As _April_ Flowers, which all are fond to gather;
My Beauties all should wither in the Shade,
E'er I'd be worn in a dishonest Bosom.

Sir _Cau_. Ay, but you're wondrous free methinks, sometimes, which gives
shreud suspicions.

L. _Ful_. What, because I cannot simper, look demure,
and justify my Honour, when none questions it?
--Cry fie, and out upon the naughty Women,
Because they please themselves--and so wou'd I.

Sir _Cau_. How, wou'd, what cuckold me?

L. _Ful_. Yes, if it pleas'd me better than Vertue, Sir.
But I'll not change my Freedom and my Humour,
To purchase the dull Fame of being honest.

Sir _Cau_. Ay, but the World, the World--

L. _Ful_. I value not the Censures of the Croud.

Sir _Cau_. But I am old.

L. _Ful_. That's your fault, Sir, not mine.

Sir _Cau_. But being so, if I shou'd be good-natur'd, and give thee
leave to love discreetly--

L. _Ful_. I'd do't without your leave, Sir.

Sir _Cau_. Do't--what, cuckold me?

L. _Ful_. No, love discreetly, Sir, love as I ought, love honestly.

Sir _Cau_. What, in love with any body, but your own Husband?

L. _Ful_. Yes.

Sir _Cau_. Yes, quoth a--is that your loving as you ought?

L. _Ful_. We cannot help our Inclinations, Sir,
No more than Time, or Light from coming on--
But I can keep my Virtue, Sir, intire.

Sir _Cau_. What, I'll warrant, this is your first Love, _Gayman_?

L. _Ful_. I'll not deny that Truth, though even to you.

Sir _Cau_. Why, in consideration of my Age, and your Youth, I'd bear a
Conscience--provided you do things wisely.

L. _Ful_. Do what thing, Sir?

Sir _Cau_. You know what I mean--

L. _Ful_. Hah--I hope you wou'd not be a Cuckold, Sir.

Sir _Cau_. Why--truly in a civil way--or so.

L. _Ful_. There is but one way, Sir, to make me hate you;
And that wou'd be tame suffering.

Sir _Cau_. Nay, and she be thereabouts, there's no discovering.

L. _Ful_. But leave this fond discourse, and, if you must,
Let us to Bed.

Sir _Cau_. Ay, ay, I did but try your Virtue, mun--dost think I was in

_Enter Servant_.

_Serv_. Sir, here's a Chest directed to your Worship.

Sir _Cau_. Hum, 'tis _Wasteall_--now does my heart fail me--A Chest
say you--to me--so late;--I'll warrant it comes from Sir _Nicholas
Smuggle_--some prohibited Goods that he has stoln the Custom of, and
cheated his Majesty--Well, he's an honest Man, bring it in--

[_Exit Servant_.

L. _Ful_. What, into my Apartment, Sir, a nasty Chest!

Sir _Cau_. By all means--for if the Searchers come, they'll never be so
uncivil to ransack thy Lodgings; and we are bound in Christian Charity
to do for one another--Some rich Commodities, I am sure--and some fine
Knick-knack will fall to thy share, I'll warrant thee
--Pox on him for a young Rogue, how punctual he is! [_Aside_.

_Enter with the Chest_.

--Go, my Dear, go to Bed--I'll send Sir _Nicholas_ a Receit for the
Chest, and be with thee presently--

[_Ex. severally_.

[Gayman _peeps out of the Chest, and looks round him wondring_.

_Gay_. Hah, where am I? By Heaven, my last Night's Vision--'Tis that
inchanted Room, and yonder's the Alcove! Sure 'twas indeed some Witch,
who knowing of my Infidelity--has by Inchantment brought me hither--
'tis so--I am betray'd--[_Pauses_. Hah! or was it _Julia_, that last
night gave me that lone Opportunity?--but hark, I hear some coming--
[_Shuts himself in_.

_Enter Sir_ Cautious.

Sir _Cau_. [_Lifting up the Chest-lid_.] So, you are come, I see--
[_Goes, and locks the door_.

_Gay_. Hah--he here! nay then, I was deceiv'd, and it was _Julia_ that
last night gave me the dear Assignation. [_Aside_.

[_Sir_ Cautious _peeps into the Bed-chamber_.

L. _Ful_. [_Within_.] Come, Sir _Cautious_, I shall fall asleep, and
then you'll waken me.

Sir _Cau_. Ay, my Dear, I'm coming--she's in Bed--I'll go put out the
Candle, and then--

_Gay_. Ay, I'll warrant you for my part--

Sir _Cau_. Ay, but you may over-act your part, and spoil all--But, Sir,
I hope you'll use a Christian Conscience in this business.

_Gay_. Oh, doubt not, Sir, but I shall do you Reason.

Sir _Cau_. Ay, Sir, but--

_Gay_. Good Sir, no more Cautions; you, unlike a fair Gamester, will
rook me out of half my Night--I am impatient--

Sir _Cau_. Good Lord, are you so hasty? if I please, you shan't go
at all.

_Gay_. With all my soul, Sir; pay me three hundred Pound, Sir--

Sir _Cau_. Lord, Sir, you mistake my candid meaning still. I am content
to be a Cuckold, Sir--but I wou'd have things done decently, d'ye
mind me?

_Gay_. As decently as a Cuckold can be made, Sir.--But no more
disputes, I pray, Sir.

Sir _Cau_. I'm gone--I'm gone--but harkye, Sir, you'll rise before day?
[_Going out, returns_.

_Gay_. Yet again--

Sir _Cau_. I vanish, Sir--but harkye--you'll not speak a word, but let
her think 'tis I?

_Gay_. Be gone, I say, Sir-- [_He runs out_.
I am convinc'd last night I was with _Julia_.
Oh Sot, insensible and dull!

_Enter softly Sir_ Cautious.

Sir _Cau_. So, the Candle's out--give me your hand.

[_Leads him softly in_.

SCENE V. _Changes to a Bed-chamber_.

_Lady_ Fulbank _suppos'd in Bed. Enter Sir_ Cautious
_and_ Gayman _by dark_.

Sir _Cau_. Where are you, my Dear? [_Leads him to the bed_.

L. _Ful_. Where shou'd I be--in Bed; what, are you by dark?

Sir _Cau_. Ay, the Candle went out by Chance.

[Gayman _signs to him to be gone; he makes grimaces
as loath to go, and Exit_.

SCENE VI. _Draws over, and represents another Room in the same House_.

_Enter_ Parson, Diana, _and_ Pert _drest in_ Diana's _Clothes_.

_Dia_. I'll swear, Mrs. _Pert_, you look very prettily in my Clothes;
and since you, Sir, have convinc'd me that this innocent Deceit is not
unlawful, I am glad to be the Instrument of advancing Mrs. _Pert_ to a
Husband, she already has so just a Claim to.

_Par_. Since she has so firm a Contract, I pronounce it a lawful
Marriage--but hark, they are coming sure--

_Dia_. Pull your Hoods down, and keep your Face from the Light.
[_Diana runs out_.

_Enter_ Bearjest _and_ Noisey _disordered_.

_Bea_. Madam, I beg your Pardon--I met with a most devilish Adventure;
--your Pardon too, Mr. Doctor, for making you wait.--But the business
is this, Sir--I have a great mind to lie with this young Gentlewoman
to Night, but she swears if I do, the Parson of the Parish shall know it.

_Par_. If I do, Sir, I shall keep Counsel.

_Bea_. _And that's civil, Sir--Come, lead the way,
With such a Guide, the Devil's in't if we can go astray_.


SCENE VII. _Changes to the Anti-chamber_.

_Enter Sir_ Cautious.

Sir _Cau_. Now cannot I sleep, but am as restless as a Merchant in
stormy Weather, that has ventur'd all his Wealth in one Bottom.--Woman
is a leaky Vessel.--if she should like the young Rogue now, and they
should come to a right understanding--why, then I am a--Wittal--that's
all, and shall be put in Print at _Snow-hill_, with my Effigies o'th'
top, like the sign of Cuckolds Haven.--Hum--they're damnable
silent--pray Heaven he have not murdered her, and robbed her--hum--hark,
what's that?--a noise!--he has broke his Covenant with me, and shall
forfeit the Money--How loud they are? Ay, ay, the Plot's discovered,
what shall I do?--Why, the Devil is not in her sure, to be refractory
now, and peevish; if she be, I must pay my Money yet--and that would be
a damn'd thing.--sure they're coming out--I'll retire and hearken how
'tis with them. [_Retires_.

_Enter Lady_ Fulbank _undrest_, Gayman, _half undrest upon
his Knees, following her, holding her Gown_.

L. _Ful_. Oh! You unkind--what have you made me do? Unhand me, false
Deceiver--let me loose--

Sir _Cau_. Made her do?--so, so--'tis done--I'm glad of that--
[_Aside peeping_.

_Gay_. Can you be angry, _Julia_?
Because I only seiz'd my Right of Love.

L. _Ful_. And must my Honour be the Price of it?
Could nothing but my Fame reward your Passion?
--What, make me a base Prostitute, a foul Adulteress?
Oh--be gone, be gone--dear Robber of my Quiet. [_Weeping_.

Sir _Cau_. Oh, fearful!--

_Gay_. Oh! Calm your rage, and hear me; if you are so,
You are an innocent Adulteress.
It was the feeble Husband you enjoy'd
In cold imagination, and no more;
Shily you turn'd away--faintly resign'd.

Sir _Cau_. Hum, did she so?--

_Gay_. Till my Excess of Love betray'd the Cheat.

Sir _Cau_. Ay, ay, that was my Fear.

L. _Ful_. Away, be gone--I'll never see you more--

_Gay_. You may as well forbid the Sun to shine.
Not see you more!--Heavens! I before ador'd you,
But now I rave! And with my impatient Love,
A thousand mad and wild Desires are burning!
I have discover'd now new Worlds of Charms,
And can no longer tamely love and suffer.

Sir _Cau_. So--I have brought an old House upon my Head,
Intail'd Cuckoldom upon my self.

L. _Ful_. I'll hear no more--Sir _Cautious_,--where's my Husband?
Why have you left my Honour thus unguarded?

Sir _Cau_. Ay, ay, she's well enough pleas'd, I fear, for all.

_Gay_. Base as he is, 'twas he expos'd this Treasure;
Like silly Indians barter'd thee for Trifles.

Sir _Cau_. O treacherous Villain!--

L. _Ful_. Hah--my Husband do this?

_Gay_. He, by Love, he was the kind Procurer,
Contriv'd the means, and brought me to thy Bed.

L. _Ful_. My Husband! My wise Husband!
What fondness in my Conduct had he seen,
To take so shameful and so base Revenge?

_Gay_. None--'twas filthy Avarice seduc'd him to't.

L. _Ful_. If he cou'd be so barbarous to expose me,
Cou'd you who lov'd me--be so cruel too?

_Gay_. What--to possess thee when the Bliss was offer'd?
Possess thee too without a Crime to thee?
Charge not my Soul with so remiss a flame,
So dull a sense of Virtue to refuse it.

L. _Ful_. I am convinc'd the fault was all my Husband's--
And here I vow--by all things just and sacred,
To separate for ever from his Bed. [_Kneels_.

Sir _Cau_. Oh, I am not able to indure it--
Hold--oh, hold, my Dear--
[_He kneels as she rises_.

L. _Ful_. Stand off--I do abhor thee--

Sir _Cau_. With all my Soul--but do not make rash Vows.
They break my very Heart--regard my Reputation.

L. _Ful_. Which you have had such care of, Sir, already--
Rise, 'tis in vain you kneel.

Sir _Cau_. No--I'll never rise again--Alas! Madam, I was merely drawn
in; I only thought to sport a Dye or so: I had only an innocent design
to have discover'd whether this Gentleman had stoln my Gold, that so I
might have hang'd him--

_Gay_. A very innocent Design indeed!

Sir _Cau_. Ay, Sir, that's all, as I'm an honest man.--

L. _Ful_. I've sworn, nor are the Stars more fix'd than I.

_Enter Servant_.

_Serv_. How! my Lady and his Worship up?--Madam, a Gentleman and
a Lady below in a Coach knockt me up, and say they must speak with
your Ladyship.

L. _Ful_. This is strange!--bring them up-- [_Exit Servant_.
Who can it be, at this odd time of neither Night nor Day?

_Enter_ Leticia, Bellmour, _and_ Phillis.

_Let_. Madam, your Virtue, Charity and Friendship to me, has made me
trespass on you for my Life's security, and beg you will protect me, and
my Husband-- [_Points at_ Bellmour.

Sir _Cau_. So, here's another sad Catastrophe!

L. _Ful_. Hah--does _Bellmour_ live? is't possible?
Believe me, Sir, you ever had my Wishes;
And shall not fail of my Protection now.

_Bel_. I humbly thank your Ladyship.

_Gay_. I'm glad thou hast her, _Harry_; but doubt thou durst not own her;
nay dar'st not own thy self.

_Bel_. Yes, Friend, I have my Pardon--
But hark, I think we are pursu'd already--
But now I fear no force.

[_A noise of some body coming in_.

L. _Ful_. However, step into my Bed-chamber.

[_Exeunt_ Leticia, Gayman _and_ Phillis.

_Enter Sir_ Feeble _in an Antick manner_.

Sir _Feeb_. Hell shall not hold thee--nor vast Mountains cover thee, but
I will find thee out--and lash thy filthy and Adulterous Carcase.
[_Coming up in a menacing manner to Sir _Cau.

Sir _Cau_. How--lash my filthy Carcase?--I defy thee, Satan--

Sir _Feeb_. 'Twas thus he said.

Sir _Cau_. Let who's will say it, he lies in's Throat.

Sir _Feeb_. How, the Ghostly--hush--have a care--for 'twas the Ghost of
_Bellmour_--Oh! hide that bleeding Wound, it chills my Soul!--
[_Runs to the Lady_ Fulbank.

L. _Ful_. What bleeding Wound?--Heavens, are you frantick, Sir?

Sir _Feeb_. No--but for want of rest, I shall e'er Morning. [_Weeps_.
--She's gone--she's gone--she's gone-- [_He weeps_.

Sir _Cau_. Ay, ay, she's gone, she's gone indeed.
[_Sir_ Cau. _weeps_.

Sir _Feeb_. But let her go, so I may never see that dreadful Vision
--harkye, Sir--a word in your Ear--have a care of marrying a young Wife.

Sir _Cau_. Ay, but I have married one already. [_Weeping_.

Sir _Feeb_. Hast thou? Divorce her--flie her, quick--depart--be gone,
she'll cuckold thee--and still she'll cuckold thee.

Sir _Cau_. Ay, Brother, but whose fault was that?--Why, are not you

Sir _Feeb_. Mum--no words on't, unless you'll have the Ghost about your
Ears; part with your Wife, I say, or else the Devil will part ye.

L. _Ful_. Pray go to Bed, Sir.

Sir _Feeb_. Yes, for I shall sleep now, I shall lie alone; [_Weeps_.
Ah, Fool, old dull besotted Fool--to think she'd love me--'twas by base
means I gain'd her--cozen'd an honest Gentleman of Fame and Life--

L. _Ful_. You did so, Sir, but 'tis not past Redress--you may make that
honest Gentleman amends.

Sir _Feeb_. Oh, wou'd I could, so I gave half my Estate--

L. _Ful_. That Penitence atones with him and Heaven.--Come forth,
_Leticia_, and your injur'd Ghost.

_Enter_ Leticia, Bellmour, _and_ Phillis.

Sir _Feeb_. Hah, Ghost--another Sight would make me mad indeed.

_Bel_. Behold me, Sir, I have no Terror now.

Sir _Feeb_. Hah--who's that, _Francis!_--my Nephew _Francis_?

_Bel_. _Bellmour_, or _Francis_, chuse you which you like, and I am

Sir _Feeb_. Hah, _Bellmour!_ and no Ghost?

_Bel. Bellmour_--and not your Nephew, Sir.

Sir _Feeb_. But art alive? Ods bobs, I'm glad on't, Sirrah;--But are
you real, _Bellmour_?

_Bel_. As sure as I'm no Ghost.

_Gay_. We all can witness for him, Sir.

Sir _Feeb_. Where be the Minstrels, we'll have a Dance--adod, we will
--Ah--art thou there, thou cozening little Chits-face?--a Vengeance
on thee--thou madest mean old doting loving Coxcomb--but I forgive
thee--and give thee all thy Jewels, and you your Pardon, Sir, so you'll
give me mine; for I find you young Knaves will be too hard for us.

_Bel_. You are so generous, Sir, that 'tis almost with grief I receive
the Blessing of _Leticia_.

Sir _Feeb_. No, no, thou deservest her; she would have made an old fond
Blockhead of me, and one way or other you wou'd have had her--ods bobs,
you wou'd--

_Enter_ Bearjest, Diana, Pert, Bredwel, _and_ Noisey.

_Bea_. Justice, Sir, Justice--I have been cheated--abused--assassinated
and ravisht!

Sir _Cau_. How, my Nephew ravisht!--

_Pert_. No, Sir, I am his Wife.

Sir _Cau_. Hum--my Heir marry a Chamber-maid!

_Bea_. Sir, you must know I stole away Mrs. _Dy_, and brought her to
_Ned's_ Chamber here--to marry her.

Sir _Feeb_. My Daughter _Dy_ stoln--

_Bea_. But I being to go to the Devil a little, Sir, whip--what does
he, but marries her himself, Sir; and fob'd me off here with my Lady's
cast Petticoat--

_Noi_. Sir, she's a Gentlewoman, and my Sister, Sir.

_Pert_. Madam, 'twas a pious Fraud, if it were one; for I was contracted
to him before--see, here it is-- [_Gives it 'em_.

_All_. A plain Case, a plain Case.

Sir _Feeb_. Harkye, Sir, have you had the Impudence to marry my
Daughter, Sir?
[_To_ Bredwel, _who with_ Diana _kneels_.

_Bred_. Yes, Sir, and humbly ask your Pardon, and your Blessing--

Sir _Feeb_. You will ha't, whether I will or not--rise, you are still
too hard for us: Come, Sir, forgive your Nephew--

Sir _Cau_. Well, Sir, I will--but all this while you little think the
Tribulation I am in, my Lady has forsworn my Bed.

Sir _Feeb_. Indeed, Sir, the wiser she.

Sir _Cau_. For only performing my Promise to this Gentleman.

Sir _Feeb_. Ay, you showed her the Difference, Sir; you're a wise man.
Come, dry your Eyes--and rest your self contented, we are a couple of
old Coxcombs; d'ye Hear, Sir, Coxcombs.

Sir _Cau_. I grant it, Sir; and if I die, Sir, I bequeath my Lady to
you--with my whole Estate--my Nephew has too much already for a Fool.
[_To_ Gayman.

_Gay_. I thank you, Sir--do you consent, my _Julia_?

L. _Ful_. No, Sir--you do not like me--a canvas Bag of wooden Ladles
were a better Bed-fellow.

_Gay_. Cruel Tormenter! Oh, I could kill myself with shame and anger!

L. _Ful_. Come hither, _Bredwel_--witness for my Honour--that I had no
design upon his Person, but that of trying his Constancy.

_Bred_. Believe me, Sir, 'tis true--I feigned a danger near--just as you
got to bed--and I was the kind Devil, Sir, that brought the Gold to you.

_Bea_. And you were one of the Devils that beat me, and the Captain
here, Sir?

_Gay_. No truly, Sir, those were some I hired--to beat you for abusing
me to day.

_Noi_. To make you 'mends, Sir, I bring you the certain News of the
death of Sir _Thomas Gayman_, your Uncle, who has left you Two thousand
pounds a year--

_Gay_. I thank you, Sir--I heard the news before.

Sir _Cau_. How's this; Mr. _Gayman_, my Lady's first Lover? I find, Sir
_Feeble_, we were a couple of old Fools indeed, to think at our Age to
cozen two lusty young Fellows of their Mistresses; 'tis no wonder that
both the Men and the Women have been too hard for us; we are not fit
Matches for either, that's the truth on't.

_The Warrior needs must to his Rival yield,
Who comes with blunted Weapons to the Field_.


Written by a Person of Quality, Spoken by Mr. _Betterton_.

_Long have we turn'd the point of our just Rage
On the half Wits, and Criticks of the Age.
Oft has the soft, insipid Sonneteer
In_ Nice _and_ Flutter, _seen his Fop-face here.
Well was the ignorant lampooning Pack
Of shatterhead Rhymers whip'd on_ Craffey's _back;
But such a trouble Weed is Poetaster,
The lower 'tis cut down, it grows the faster.
Though Satir then had such a plenteous crop,
An After Math of Coxcombs is come up;
Who not content false Poetry to renew,
By sottish Censures wou'd condemn the true.
Let writing like a Gentleman--fine appear,
But must you needs judge too_ en Cavalier?
_These whiffling Criticks, 'tis our Auth'ress fears,
And humbly begs a Trial by her Peers:
Or let a Pole of Fools her fate pronounce,
There's no great harm in a good quiet Dunce.
But shield her, Heaven! from the left-handed blow
Of airy Blockheads who pretend to know.
On downright Dulness let her rather split,
Than be Fop-mangled under colour of Wit.

Hear me, ye Scribling Beaus,--
Why will you in sheer Rhyme, without one stroke |
Of Poetry, Ladies just Disdain provoke, |
And address Songs to whom you never spoke? |
In doleful Hymns for dying Felons fit,
Why do you tax their Eyes, and blame their Wit?
Unjustly of the Innocent you complain,
'Tis Bulkers give, and Tubs must cure your pain.
Why in Lampoons will you your selves revile?
'Tis true, none else will think it worth their while:
But thus you're hid! oh, 'tis a politick Fetch;
So some have hang'd themselves to ease_ Jack Ketch.
_Justly your Friends and Mistresses you blame, |
For being so they well deserve the shame, |
'Tis the worst scandal to have borne that name. |
[See the late Satir on Poetry]
At Poetry of late, and such whose Skill |
Excels your own, you dart a feeble Quill; |
Well may you rail at what you ape so ill. |
With virtuous Women, and all Men of Worth,
You're in a state of mortal War by Birth.
Nature in all her Atom-Fights ne'er knew
Two things so opposite as Them and You.
On such your Muse her utmost fury spends,
They're slander'd worse than any but your Friends.
More years may teach you better; the mean while,
If you can't mend your Morals, mend your Style_.



The King of France to reward his favourite Alcippus, at the motion of
prince Philander, gladly assents to his being created general in place
of old Orgulius, who seeks to resign his office, and further on his
royal word pledges the new-made commander, Erminia, Orgulius' daughter,
in marriage. The lady, however, loves the dauphin, whilst the princess
Galatea is enamoured of Alcippus. All three are plunged into despair,
and the brother and sister knowing each other's passion bemoan their
hapless fate. The prince, indeed, threatens to kill Alcippus, upon which
Galatea declares she will poniard Erminia. On the wedding night the
bride confesses her love for Philander and refuses to admit Alcippus to
her love. The dauphin at the same time serenades Erminia at her chamber
door, but Pisaro, a friend to Alcippus, meeting him, there is a scuffle
during which Alcander, the prince's companion, wounds the intruder. The
noise rouses Erminia who issues from her room and encounters Philander.
Alcippus, seeing them together, mad with jealousy, attacks the prince.
He is, however, beaten back and even wounded, and later his fury is
inflamed by Pisaro's tale, who also informs the favourite that Galatea,
for whom the narrator cherishes a hopeless love, dotes fondly upon him.
Erminia, now that she has been joined in wedlock with Alcippus, guards
herself carefully from the dauphin's passion, but when the general is
obliged by his duties to leave for the camp Philander hopes to persuade
her to yield to him. Alcippus, however, whose departure is a feint,
returns secretly, leaving Pisaro to continue the journey alone. Isillia,
Erminia's woman, has already admitted Philander to her mistress'
chamber, when the lovers are surprised by the arrival of Alcippus on the
scene. The prince is concealed, although the meeting had been purely
innocent, but he is betrayed owing to the fact of his inadvertently
leaving his hat and sword upon a table. He departs unmolested, but once
he is gone Alcippus, beside himself with blind fury, strangles Erminia
with an embroidered garter--Pisaro, coming in a few moments after,
reproaches him with the murder but hurries him away to concealment. The
deed, however, is discovered and noised abroad by Falatius, a busy
coxcomb courtier. Orgulius demands Alcippus' life from the King, but
Galatea, heart-broken, pleads for the man she loves. Philander is
distraught with grief, and the King decides that if he harms himself
Alcippus shall straightway pay the forfeit. The prince is about to wreak
his vengeance on the cruel husband when he is met by Erminia herself,
who, owing to her maid's attentions, has recovered from the swoon
Alcippus took for death. It is resolved that Alcippus, who is now torn
with agony and remorse, must be fittingly punished, and accordingly as
he lies sick at heart in his chamber Erminia enters as a spirit, and so
looking over his shoulder into a mirror wherein he is gazing tells him
plainly of Galatea's love. The princess then passes by as it were a
phantom, and after a masque, which he takes for a dream, he is conducted
to a room draped in black wherein is placed a catafalque. Here he
encounters Philander and as they are at hot words the King, who has been
privy to the whole design, enters and the two are reconciled. Erminia
next appears, and the happy accident explained, Erminia is bestowed upon
the dauphin, whilst the princess is united to the favourite.

There is a slight underplot which deals with the amours of Aminta,
sister to Pisaro, and Alcander. She is also courted by the cowardly
fop, Falatius.


_The Forc'd Marriage; or, The Jealous Bridegroom_ is the earliest, and
most certainly one of the weakest of Mrs. Behn's plays. This is,
however, far from saying that it is not a very good example of the
Davenant, Howard, Porter, Stapylton school of romantic tragi-comedy. But
Aphara had not yet hit upon her brilliant vein of intrigue. In _The
Forced Marriage_ she seems to have remembered _The Maid's Tragedy_. The
situation between Alcippus and Erminia, Act ii, III, has some vague
resemblance to that of Amintor and Evadne, Act ii, I. Aminta also
faintly recalls Dula, whilst the song 'Hang love, for I will never pine'
has a far-off echo of 'I could never have the power.' But Mrs. Behn has
not approached within measuring distance of that supreme masterpiece.


The stage history of _The Forc'd Marriage; or, The Jealous Bridegroom_
is best told in the quaint phrase of old Downes. Produced in December,
1670 at the Duke's Theatre, Lincoln's Inn Fields, _The Jealous
Bridegroom_, says the veteran prompter, 'wrote by Mrs. Behn, a good play
and lasted six days'. This, it must be remembered, was by no means a
poor run at that time. 'Note,' continues the record, 'In this play, Mr.
Otway the poet having an inclination to turn actor; Mrs. Behn gave him
the King in this play for a probation part, but he being not us'd to the
stage, the full house put him to such a sweat and tremendous agony,
being dash'd, spoilt him for an actor.'

To quote Mr. Gosse's excellent and classic essay on Otway:--'The choice
of the part showed the kindly tact of the shrewd Mrs. Behn. The king had
to speak the few first words, to which the audience never listens, to
make some brief replies in the first scene, and then not to speak again
until the end of the fourth act. In the fifth act he had to make rather
a long speech to Smith [Mr. Gosse by a slip writes 'Betterton'. The King
(v, III) is talking to Philander, acted by Smith. Betterton played the
favourite Alcippus.], explaining that he was "old and feeble, and could
not long survive," and this is nearly all he had to say till the very
end, where he was in great force as the kind old man who unites the
couples and speaks the last words. It was quite a crucial test, and
Otway proved his entire inability to face the public. He trembled, was
inaudible, melted in agony, and had to leave the stage. The part was
given to Westwood, a professional actor, and Otway never essayed to
tread the boards again.'

_The Forced Marriage_ seems never to have been revived since its
production. On the title page of the second quarto (1690), _The Forc'd
Marriage_ is said to have been played at the Queen's Theatre. This is
because the Duke's House temporarily changed its name thus. It does not
refer to a second run of the play.


or, the Jealous Bridegroom.

_Va mon enfant! prends ta fortune_.


_Gallants, our Poets have of late so us'd ye,
In Play and Prologue too so much abus'd ye,
That should we beg your aids, I justly fear,
Ye're so incens'd you'd hardly lend it here.
But when against a common Foe we arm,
Each will assist to guard his own concern.
Women those charming Victors, in whose Eyes
Lie all their Arts, and their Artilleries,
Not being contented with the Wounds they made,
Would by new Stratagems our Lives invade.
Beauty alone goes now at too cheap rates;
And therefore they, like Wise and Politick States,
Court a new Power that may the old supply,
To keep as well as gain the Victory.
They'll join the force of Wit to Beauty now,
And so maintain the Right they have in you.
If the vain Sex this privilege should boast,
Past cure of a declining Face we're lost.
You'll never know the bliss of Change; this Art
Retrieves (when Beauty fades) the wandring Heart;
And though the Airy Spirits move no more,
Wit still invites, as Beauty did before.
To day one of their Party ventures out,
Not with design to conquer, but to scout.
Discourage but this first attempt, and then
They'll hardly dare to sally out again.
The Poetess too, they say, has Spies abroad,
Which have dispersed themselves in every road,
I'th' Upper Box, Pit, Galleries; every Face
You find disguis'd in a Black Velvet Case.
My life on't; is her Spy on purpose sent,
To hold you in a wanton Compliment;
That so you may not censure what she 'as writ,
Which done, they face you down 'twas full of Wit.
Thus, while some common Prize you hope to win,
You let the Tyrant Victor enter in.
I beg to day you'd lay that humour by,
Till your Rencounter at the Nursery;
Where they, like Centinels from duty free,
May meet and wanton with the Enemy_.

Enter an Actress.

_How hast thou labour'd to subvert in vain,
What one poor Smile of ours calls home again?
Can any see that glorious Sight and say_

[Woman pointing to the ladies.

_A Woman shall not Victor prove to day?
Who is't that to their Beauty would submit,
And yet refuse the Fetters of their Wit?
He tells you tales of Stratagems and Spies;
Can they need Art that have such powerful Eyes?
Believe me, Gallants, he'as abus'd you all;
There's not a Vizard in our whole Cabal:
Those are but Pickeroons that scour for prey
And catch up all they meet with in their way;
Who can no Captives take, for all they do
Is pillage ye, then gladly let you go.
Ours scorns the petty Spoils, and do prefer
The Glory not the Interest of the War:
But yet our Forces shall obliging prove,
Imposing nought but Constancy in Love:
That's all our Aim, and when we have, it too,
We'll sacrifice it all to pleasure you_.



King, Mr. _Westwood_.
_Philander_, his Son, betrothed to _Erminia_, Mr. _Smith_.
_Alcippus_, Favourite, in love with _Erminia_, Mr. _Betterton_.
_Orgulius_, late General, Father to _Erminia_, Mr. _Norris_.
_Alcander_, Friend to the Prince, in love with
_Aminta_, Mr. _Young_.
_Pisaro_, Friend to the young General _Alcippus_, Mr. _Cademan_.
_Falatius_, a fantastick Courtier, Mr. _Angel_.
_Labree_, his Man.
_Cleontius_, Servant to the Prince, and Brother Mr. _Crosby_.
to _Isillia_,
Page to _Pisaro_.


_Galatea_, Daughter to the King, Mrs. _Jennings_.
_Erminia_, Daughter to _Orgulius_, espous'd to the Mrs. _Betterton_.
_Aminta_, Sister to _Pisaro_, in love with _Alcander_, Mrs. _Wright_.
_Olinda_, Sister to _Alcander_, Maid of Honour to Mrs. _Lee_.
the Princess,
_Isillia_, Sister to _Cleontius_, Woman to _Erminia_, Mrs. _Clough_.
_Lysette_, Woman to _Aminta_.
Clergy, Officers, Pages and Attendants.

_Scene within the Court of_ FRANCE.


SCENE I. _The Palace_.

_Enter_ King, Philander, Orgulius, Alcippus, Alcander,
Pisaro, Cleontius, Falatius; _and Officers_.

_King_. How shall I now divide my Gratitude,
Between a Son, and one that has oblig'd me,
Beyond the common duty of a Subject?

_Phil_. Believe me, Sir, he merits all your Bounty,
I only took example by his Actions;
And all the part o'th' Victory which I gain'd,
Was but deriv'd from him.

_King_. Brave Youth, whose Infant years did bring us Conquests;
And as thou grew'st to Man, thou grew'st in Glory,
And hast arriv'd to such a pitch of it,
As all the slothful Youth that shall succeed thee,
Shall meet reproaches of thy early Actions:
When Men shall say, thus did the brave _Alcippus_;
And that great Name shall every Soul inspire
With Emulation to arrive at something,
That's worthy of Example.

_Alcip_. I must confess I had the honour, Sir,
To lead on twenty thousand fighting Men,
Whom Fortune gave the Glory of the Day to.
I only bid them fight, and they obey'd me;
But 'twas my Prince that taught them how to do so.

_King_. I do believe _Philander_ wants no courage;
But what he did was to preserve his own.
But thine the pure effects of highest Valour;
For which, if ought below my Crown can recompense,
Name it, and take it, as the price of it.

_Alcip_. The Duty which we pay your Majesty,
Ought to be such, as what we pay the Gods;
Which always bears its Recompence about it.

_King_. Yet suffer me to make thee some return,
Though not for thee, yet to incourage Bravery.
I know thy Soul is generous enough,
To think a glorious Act rewards it self.
But those who understand not so much Virtue,
Will call it my neglect, and want of Gratitude;
In this thy Modesty will wrong thy King.
_Alcippus_, by this pause you seem to doubt
My Power or Will; in both you are to blame.

_Alcip_. Your pardon, Sir; I never had a thought
That could be guilty of so great a Sin.
That I was capable to do you service,
Was the most grateful Bounty Heaven allow'd me,
And I no juster way could own that Blessing,
Than to imploy the Gift for your repose.

_King_. I shall grow angry, and believe your Pride
Would put the guilt off on your Modesty,
Which would refuse what that believes below it.

_Phil_. Your Majesty thinks too severely of him;
Permit me, Sir, to recompense his Valour,
I saw the wonders on't, and thence may guess
In some Degree, what may be worthy of it.

_King_. I like it well, and till thou hast perform'd it,
I will divest my self of all my Power,
And give it thee, till thou hast made him great.

_Phil_. I humbly thank you, Sir--

[_Bows to the_ King, _takes the Staff from_ Orgulius,
_and gives it to_ Alcippus, _who looks amazedly_.

And here I do create him General.
You seem to wonder, as if I dispossess'd
The brave _Orgulius_; but be pleas'd to know,
Such Reverence and Respect I owe that Lord,
As had himself not made it his Petition,
I sooner should have parted with my Right,
Than have discharg'd my debt by injuring him.

_King_. _Orgulius_, are you willing to resign it?

_Org_. With your permission, Sir, most willingly;
His vigorous Youth is fitter for't than Age,
Which now has render'd me uncapable
Of what that can with more success perform.
My Heart and Wishes are the same they were,
But Time has quite depriv'd me of that power
That should assist a happy Conqueror.

_King_. Yet Time has added little to your years,
Since I restor'd you to this great Command,
And then you thought it not unfit for you.

_Org_. Sir, was it fit I should refuse your Grace?
That was your act of Mercy: and I took it
To clear my Innocence, and reform the Errors
Which those receiv'd who did believe me guilty,
Or that my Crimes were greater than that Mercy.
I took it, Sir, in scorn of those that hated me,
And now resign it to the Man you love.

_King_. We need not this proof to confirm thy Loyalty;
Nor am I yet so barren of Rewards,
But I can find a way, without depriving
Thy noble Head of its victorious Wreaths,
To crown another's Temples.

_Org_. I humbly beg your Majesty's consent to't,
If you believe _Alcippus_ worthy of it;
The generous Youth I have bred up to Battles,
Taught him to overcome, and use that Conquest
As modestly as his submissive Captive,
His Melancholy, (but his easy Fetters)
To meet Death's Horrors with undaunted looks:
How to despise the Hardships of a Siege;
To suffer Cold and Hunger, want of Sleep.
Nor knew he other rest than on his Horse-back,
Where he would sit and take a hearty Nap;
And then too dreamt of fighting.
I could continue on a day in telling
The Wonders of this Warrior.

_King_. I credit all, and do submit to you.
But yet _Alcippus_ seems displeas'd with it.

_Alcip_. Ah, Sir! too late I find my Confidence
Has overcome my unhappy Bashfulness;
I had an humbler Suit to approach you with;
But this unlook'd for Honour
Has soon confounded all my lesser aims,
As were they not essential to my Being,
I durst not name them after what y'have done.

_King_. It is not well to think my Kindness limited;
This, from the Prince you hold, the next from me;
Be what it will, I here declare it thine.
--Upon my life, designs upon a Lady;
I guess it from thy blushing.
--Name her, and here thy King engages for her.

_Phi_. O Gods!--What have I done? [_Aside_.

_Alcip_. _Erminia_, Sir.-- [_Bows_.

_Phi_. I'm ruin'd.-- [_Aside_.

_King_. _Alcippus_, with her Father's leave, she's thine.

_Org_. Sir, 'tis my Aim and Honour.

_Phi. Alcippus_, is't a time to think of Weddings,
When the disorder'd Troops require your Presence?
You must to the Camp to morrow.

_Alcip_. You need not urge that Duty to me, Sir.

_King_. A Day or two will finish that affair,
And then we'll consummate the happy Day,
When all the Court shall celebrate your Joy.

[_They all go out, but_ Alcan. Pisa, _and_ Fal.

_Pis. Falatio_, you are a swift Horseman;
I believe you have a Mistress at Court,
You made such haste this Morning.

_Fal_. By _Jove_, _Pisaro_, I was weary enough of the
Campaign; and till I had lost sight of it,
I clapt on all my Spurs--
But what ails _Alcander_?

_Pis_. What, displeas'd?

_Alcan_. It may be so, what then?

_Pis_. Then thou mayst be pleas'd again.

_Alcan_. Why the Devil should I rejoice?
Because I see another rais'd above me;
Let him be great, and damn'd with all his Greatness.

_Pis_. Thou mean'st _Alcippus_, who I think merits it.

_Alcan_. What is't that thou cal'st Merit?
He fought, it's true, so did you, and I,
And gain'd as much as he o'th' Victory,
But he in the Triumphal Chariot rode,
Whilst we ador'd him like a Demi-God.
He with the Prince an equal welcome found,
Was with like Garlands, though less Merit, crown'd.

_Fal_. He's in the right for that, by _Jove_.

_Pis_. Nay, now you wrong him.

_Alcan_. What's he I should not speak my sense of him?

_Pis_. He is our General.

_Alcan_. What then?
What is't that he can do, which I'll decline?
Has he more Youth, more Strength, or Arms than I?
Can he preserve himself i'th' heat of the Battle?
Or can he singly fight a whole Brigade?
Can he receive a thousand Wounds, and live?

_Fal_. Can you or he do so?

_Alcan_. I do not say I can; but tell me then,
Where be the Virtues of this mighty Man,
That he should brave it over all the rest?

_Pis_. Faith, he has many Virtues, and much Courage;
And merits it as well as you or I:
_Orgulius_ was grown old.

_Alcan_. What then?

_Pis_. Why then he was unfit for't,
But that he had a Daughter that was young.

_Alcan_. Yes, he might have lain by,
Like rusty Armour, else,
Had she not brought him into play again;
The Devil take her for't.

_Fal_. By _Jove_, he's dissatisfy'd with every thing.

_Alcan_. She has undone my Prince,
And he has most unluckily disarm'd himself,
And put the Sword into his Rival's hand,
Who will return it to his grateful Bosom.

_Phi_. Why, you believe _Alcippus_ honest--

_Alcan_. Yes, in your sense, _Pisaro_,
But do not like the last demand he made;
'Twas but an ill return upon his Prince,
To beg his Mistress, rather challeng'd her.

_Pis_. His ignorance that she was so, may excuse him.

_Alcan_. The Devil 'twill, dost think he knew it not?

_Pis. Orgulius_ still design'd him for _Erminia_;
And if the Prince be disoblig'd from this,
He only ought to take it ill from him.

_Alcan_. Too much, _Pisaro_, you excuse his Pride,
But 'tis the Office of a Friend to do so.

_Pis_. 'Tis true, I am not ignorant of this,
That he despises other Recompence
For all his Services, but fair _Erminia_,
I know 'tis long since he resign'd his Heart,
Without so much as telling her she conquer'd;
And yet she knew he lov'd; whilst she, ingrate,
Repay'd his Passion only with her Scorn.

_Alcan_. In loving him, she'd more ingrateful prove
To her first Vows, to Reason, and to Love.

_Pis_. For that, _Alcander_, you know more than I.

_Fal_. Why sure _Aminta_ will instruct her better,
She's as inconstant as the Seas and Winds,
Which ne'er are calm but to betray Adventurers.

_Alcan_. How came you by that knowledg, Sir?

_Fal_. What a Pox makes him ask me that question now? [_Aside_.

_Pis_. Prithee, _Alcander_, now we talk of her,
How go the Amours 'twixt you and my wild Sister?
Can you speak yet, or do you tell your tale
With Eyes and Sighs, as you were wont to do?

_Alcan_. Faith, much at that old rate, _Pisaro_,
I yet have no incouragement from her
To make my Court in any other language.

_Pis_. You'll bring her to't, she must be overcome,
And you're the fittest for her fickle Humour.

_Alcan_. Pox on't, this Change will spoil our making Love,
We must be sad, and follow the Court-Mode:
My life on't, you'll see desperate doings here;
The Eagle will not part so with his Prey;
_Erminia_ was not gain'd so easily,
To be resign'd so tamely.--But come, my Lord,
This will not satisfy our appetites,
Let's in to Dinner, and when warm with Wine,
We shall be fitter for a new Design.

[_They go out_. Fal. _stays_.

_Fal_. Now am I in a very fine condition,
A comfortable one, as I take it:
I have ventur'd my Life to some purpose now;
What confounded luck was this, that he of all men
Living, should happen to be my Rival?
Well, I'll go visit _Aminta_, and see how
She receives me.--
Why, where a duce hast thou dispos'd of _Enter_ Labree.
Thy self all this day? I will be bound to be
Hang'd if thou hast not a hankering after
Some young Wench; thou couldst never loiter
Thus else; but I'll forgive thee now, and prithee go to
My Lady _Aminta's_ Lodgings; kiss her hand
From me; and tell her, I am just returned from
The Campain: mark that word, Sirrah.

_Lab_. I shall, Sir, 'tis truth.

_Fal_. Well, that's all one; but if she should
Demand any thing concerning me, (for
Love's inquisitive) dost hear? as to my Valour, or so,
Thou understand'st me; tell her
I acted as a man that pretends to the glory of
Serving her.

_Lab_. I warrant you, Sir, for a Speech.

_Fal_. Nay, thou mayst speak as well too much
As too little; have a care of that, dost hear?
And if she ask what Wounds I have, dost mind me?
Tell her I have many, very many.

_Lab_. But whereabouts, Sir?

_Fal_. Let me see--let me see; I know not where
To place them--I think in my Face.

_Lab_. By no means, Sir, you had much better
Have them in your Posteriors: for then the Ladies
Can never disprove you; they'll not look there.

_Fal_. The sooner, you Fool, for the Rarity on't.

_Lab_. Sir, the Novelty is not so great, I assure you.

_Fal_. Go to, y'are wicked;
But I will have them in my Face.

_Lab_. With all my heart, Sir, but how?

_Fal_. I'll wear a patch or two there, and I'll
Warrant you for pretending as much as any man;
And who, you Fool, shall know the fallacy?

_Lab_. That, Sir, will all that know you, both in the
Court and Camp.

_Fal_. Mark me, _Labree_, once for all; if thou takest
Delight continually thus to put me in mind of
My want of Courage, I shall undoubtedly
Fall foul on thee, and give thee most fatal proofs
Of more than thou expectest.

_Lab_. Nay, Sir, I have done, and do believe 'tis only
I dare say you are a man of Prowess.

_Fal_. Leave thy simple fancies, and go about thy business.

_Lab_. I am gone; but hark, my Lord,
If I should say your Face were wounded,
The Ladies would fear you had lost your Beauty.

_Fal_. O, never trouble your head for that, _Aminta_
Is a Wit, and your Wits care not how ill-favour'd
Their Men be, the more ugly the better.

_Lab_. An't be so, you'll fit them to a hair.

_Fal_. Thou art a Coxcomb, to think a man of my
Quality needs the advantage of Handsomness:
A trifle as insignificant as Wit or Valour; poor
Nothings, which Men of Fortune ought to despise.

_Lab_. Why do you then keep such a stir, to gain
The reputation of this thing you so despise?

_Fal_. To please the peevish humour of a Woman,
Who in that point only is a Fool.

_Lab_. You had a Mistress once, if you have not
Forgotten her, who would have taken you with
All these faults.

_Fal_. There was so; but she was poor, that's the Devil,
I could have lov'd her else.
--But go thy ways; what dost thou muse on?

_Lab_. Faith, Sir, I am only fearful you will never
Pass with those Patches you speak of.

_Fal_. Thou never-to-be-reclaim'd Ass, shall I never
Bring thee to apprehend as thou ought'st? I tell thee,
I will pass and repass, where and how I please;
Know'st thou not the difference yet, between a Man
Of Money and Titles, and a Man of only Parts,
As they call them? poor Devils of no Mein nor Garb:
Well, 'tis a fine and frugal thing, this Honour,
It covers a multitude of Faults:
Even Ridicule in one of us is a-la-mode.
But I detain thee; go haste to _Aminta_.

[_Exeunt severally_.

SCENE II. Galatea's _Apartments_.

_Enter_ Galatea, Aminta, _and_ Olinda.

_Gal_. Will _Erminia_ come?

_Oli_. Madam, I thought she'd been already here.

_Gal_. But prithee how does she support this news?

_Oli_. Madam, as those unreconciled to Heaven
Would bear the pangs of death.

_Am_. Time will convince her of that foolish error,
Of thinking a brisk young Husband a torment.

_Gal_. What young Husband?

_Am_. The General, Madam.

_Gal_. Why, dost thou think she will consent to it?

_Am_. Madam, I cannot tell, the World's inconstant.

_Gal_. Ay, _Aminta_, in every thing but Love;
And sure they cannot be in that:
What say'st thou, _Olinda_?

_Oli_. Madam, my Judgment's naught.
Love I have treated as a stranger Guest,
Receiv'd him well, not lodg'd him in my Breast.
I ne'er durst give the unknown Tyrant room;
Lest he should make his resting place his home.

_Gal_. Then thou art happy; but if _Erminia_ fail,
I shall not live to reproach her.

_Am_. Nay, Madam, do not think of dying yet:
There is a way, if we could think of it.

_Gal. Aminta_, when will thou this Humour lose?

_Am_. Faith, never, if I might my Humour chuse.

_Gal_. Methinks thou now should'st blush to bid me live.

_Am_. Madam, 'tis the best counsel I can give.

_Gal_. Thy Counsel! Prithee, what dost counsel now?

_Am_. What I would take my self I counsel you.

_Gal_. You must my Wounds and my Misfortunes bear
Before you can become my Counsellor.
You cannot guess the Torments I endure:
Not knowing the Disease you'll miss the Cure.

_Am_. Physicians, Madam, can the Patient heal
Although the Malady they ne'er did feel;
But your Disease is epidemical,
Nor can I that evade that conquers all.
I lov'd, and never did like pleasure know,
Which Passion did with time less vigorous grow.

_Gal_. Why, hast thou lost it?

_Am_. It, and half a score.

_Gal_. Losing the first, sure thou couldst love no more.

_Am_. With more facility, than when the Dart
Arm'd with resistless fire first seiz'd my Heart;
'Twas long then e'er the Boy could entrance get,
And make his little Victory compleat;
And now he'as got the knack on't, 'tis with ease
He domineers, and enters when he please.

_Gal_. My Heart, _Aminta_, is not like to thine.

_Am_. Faith, Madam, try, you'll find it just like mine.
The first I lov'd was _Philocles_, and then
Made Protestations ne'er to love again,
Yet after left him for a faithless crime;
But then I languisht even to death for him;
--But Love who suffer'd me to take no rest,
New fire-balls threw, the old scarce dispossest;
And by the greater flame the lesser light,
Like Candles in the Sun extinguished quite,
And left no power _Alcander_ to resist,
Who took, and keeps possession of my breast.

_Gal_. Art thou a Lover then, and look'st so gay,
But thou hast ne'er a Father to obey. [_Sighing_.

_Am_. Why, if I had I would obey him too.

_Gal_. And live?

_Am_. And live.

_Gal_. 'Tis more than I can do.

_Enter_ Erminia _weeping_.

--Thy Eyes, _Erminia_, do declare thy Heart
[Gal. _meets her, embraces her, and weeps_.
Has nothing but Despairs and Death t'impart,
And I alas, no Comfort can apply,
But I as well as you can weep and die.

_Er_. I'll not reproach my Fortune, since in you
Grief does the noblest of your Sex subdue;
When your great Soul a sorrow can admit,
I ought to suffer from the sense of it;
Your cause of grief too much like mine appears,
Not to oblige my Eyes to double tears;
And had my heart no sentiments at home,
My part in yours had doubtless fill'd the room.
But mine will no addition more receive,
Fate has bestow'd the worst she had to give;
Your mighty Soul can all its rage oppose,
Whilst mine must perish by more feeble blows.

_Gal_. Indeed I dare not say my cause of grief
Does yours exceed, since both are past relief.
But if your Fates unequal do appear,
_Erminia_, 'tis my heart that odds must bear.

_Er_. Madam, 'tis just I should to you resign,
But here you challenge what is only mine:
My Fate so cruel is, it will not give
Leave to _Philander_ (if I die) to live:
Might I but suffer all, 'twere some content,
But who can live and see this languishment?
You, Madam, do alone your Sorrows bear,
Which would be less, did but _Alcippus_ share;
As Lovers we agree, I'll not deny,
But thou art lov'd again, so am not I.

_Am_. Madam, that grief the better is sustain'd,
That's for a loss that never yet was gain'd;
You only lose a man that does not know
How great the honour is which you bestow;
Who dares not hope you love, or if he did,
Your Greatness would his just return forbid;
His humble thoughts durst ne'er to you aspire,
At most he would presume but to admire;
Or if it chanc'd he durst more daring prove,
You still must languish and conceal your Love.

_Gal_. This which you argue lessens not my Pain,
My Grief's the same were I belov'd again.
The King my Father would his promise keep,
And thou must him enjoy for whom I weep.

_Er_. Ah, would I could that fatal gift deny;
Without him you; and with him, I must die;
My Soul your royal Brother does adore,
And I, all Passion, but from him, abhor;
But if I must th'unsuit _Alcippus_ wed,
I vow he ne'er shall come into my Bed.

_Gal_. That's bravely sworn, and now I love thee more
Than e'er I was oblig'd to do before,
--But yet, _Erminia_, guard thee from his Eyes,
Where so much love, and so much Beauty lies;
Those charms may conquer thee, which made me bow,
And make thee love as well as break this Vow.

_Er_. Madam, it is unkind, though but to fear
Ought but _Philander_ can inhabit here.
[_Lays her hand on her heart_.

_Gal_. Ah, that _Alcippus_ did not you approve,
We then might hope these mischiefs to remove;
The King my Father might be won by Prayer,
And my too powerful Brother's sad despair,
To break his word, which kept will us undo:
And he will lose his dear _Philander_ too,
Who dies and can no remedies receive:
But vows that 'tis for you alone he'll live.

_Er_. Ah, Madam, do not tell me how he dies,
I've seen too much already in his Eyes:
They did the sorrows of his Soul betray,
Which need not be confest another way:
'Twas there I found what my misfortune was,
Too sadly written in his lovely face.
But see, my Father comes: Madam, withdraw a while,
And once again I'll try my interest with him.


SCENE III. _A room in the house of_ Orgulius.

_Enter_ Orgulius, Erminia _weeping, and_ Isillia.

_Er_. Sir, does your fatal resolution hold?

_Org_. Away, away, you are a foolish Girl,
And look with too much pride upon your Beauty;
Which like a gaudy flower that springs too soon,
Withers e'er fully blown.
Your very Tears already have betray'd
Its weak inconstant nature;
_Alcippus_, should he look upon thee now,
would swear thou wert not that fine thing he lov'd.

_Er_. Why should that blessing turn to my despair?
Curse on his Faith that told him I was fair.

_Org_. 'Tis strange to me you shou'd despise this Fortune,
I always thought you well inclin'd to love him,
I would not else have thus dispos'd of you.

_Er_. I humbly thank you, Sir, though't be too late,
And wish you yet would try to change my Fate;
What to _Alcippus_ you did Love believe,
Was such a Friendship as might well deceive;
'Twas what kind Sisters do to Brothers pay;
_Alcippus_ I can love no other way.
--Sir, lay the Interest of a Father by,
And give me leave this Lover to deny.

_Org. Erminia_, thou art young, and canst not see
The advantage of the Fortune offer'd thee.

_Er_. Alas, Sir, there is something yet behind. [_Sighs_.

_Org_. What is't, _Erminia_? freely speak thy mind.

_Er_. Ah, Sir, I dare not, you inrag'd will grow.

_Org. Erminia_, you have seldom found me so;
If no mean Passion have thy Soul possest,
Be what it will I can forgive the rest.

_Er_. No, Sir, it is no crime, or if it be,
Let Prince _Philander_ make the Peace for me;
He 'twas that taught the Sin (if Love be such.)

_Org. Erminia_, peace, he taught you then too much.

_Er_. Nay, Sir, you promis'd me you wou'd not blame
My early Love, if 'twere a noble Flame.

_Org_. Than this a more unhappy could not be;
Destroy it, or expect to hear of me.
[_Offers to go out_.

_Er_. Alas, I know 'twould anger you, when known.
[_She stays him_.

_Org. Erminia_, you are wondrous daring grown.
Where got you courage to admit his Love,
Before the King or I did it approve?

_Er_. I borrow'd Courage from my Innocence,
And my own Virtue, Sir, was my defence.
_Philander_ never spoke but from a Soul,
That all dishonest Passions can controul;
With Flames as chaste as Vestals that did burn,
From whence I borrow'd mine, to make return.

_Org_. Your Love from Folly, not from Virtue grew;
You never could believe he'd marry you.

_Er_. Upon my life no other thing he spoke,
But those from dictates of his Honour took.

_Org_. Though by his fondness led he were content
To marry thee, the King would ne'er consent.
Cease then this fruitless Passion, and incline
Your Will and Reason to agree with mine,
_Alcippus_ I dispos'd you to before,
And now I am inclin'd to it much more.
Some days I had design'd t'have given thee
To have prepar'd for this solemnity;
But now my second thoughts believe it fit,
You should this night to my desires submit.

_Er_. This night! Ah, Sir, what is't you mean to do?

_Org_. Preserve my Credit, and thy Honour too.

_Er_. By such resolves you me to ruin bring.

_Org_. That's better than to disoblige my King.

_Er_. But if the King his liking do afford,
Would you not with _Alcippus_ break your word?
Or would you not to serve your Prince's life,
Permit your Daughter to become his Wife?

_Org_. His Wife, _Erminia_! if I did believe
Thou could'st to such a thought a credit give,
I would the interest of a Father quit,
And you, _Erminia_, have no need of it:
Without his aid you can a Husband chuse;
Gaining the Prince you may a Father lose.

_Er_. Ah, Sir, these words are Poniards to my Heart;
And half my Love to Duty does convert;
Alas, Sir, I can be content to die,
But cannot suffer this Severity: [_Kneels_.
That care you had, dear Sir, continue still,
I cannot live and disobey your will. [_Rises_.

_Org_. This duty has regain'd me, and you'll find
A just return; I shall be always kind.
--Go, reassume your Beauty, dry your Eyes;
Remember 'tis a Father does advise. [_Goes out_.

_Er_. Ungrateful Duty, whose uncivil Pride
By Reason is not to be satisfy'd;
Who even Love's Almighty Power o'erthrows,
Or does on it too rigorous Laws impose;
Who bindest up our Virtue too too strait,
And on our Honour lays too great a weight.
Coward, whom nothing but thy power makes strong;
Whom Age and Malice bred t'affright the young;
Here thou dost tyrannize to that degree,
That nothing but my Death will set me free.

[_Ex_. Erm. _and_ Isil.

SCENE IV. Philander's _Apartments_.

_Enter_ Philander _and_ Alcander.

_Phil_. Urge it no more, your Reasons do displease me;
I offer'd her a Crown with her _Philander_,
And she was once pleas'd to accept of it.
She lov'd me too, yes, and repaid my flame,
As kindly as I sacrific'd to her:
The first salute we gave were harmless Love,
Our Souls then met, and so grew up together,
Like sympathizing Twins.
And must she now be ravish'd from my Arms?
Will you, _Erminia_, suffer such a Rape?
What though the King have said it shall be so,
'Tis not his pleasure can become thy Law,
No, nor it shall not.
And though he were my God as well as King,
I would instruct thee how to disobey him;
Thou shalt, _Erminia_, bravely say, I will not;
He cannot force thee to't against thy will.
--Oh Gods, shall duty to a King and Father
Make thee commit a Murder on thy self,
Thy sacred self, and me that do adore thee?
No, my _Erminia_, quit this vain devoir,
And follow Love that may preserve us all:
--Presumptuous Villain, bold Ingratitude--
Hadst thou no other way to pay my favours?
By Heaven, 'twas bravely bold, was it not, _Alcander_?

_Alcan_. It was somewhat strange, Sir;
But yet perhaps he knew not that you lov'd her.

_Phil_. Not know it! yes, as well as thou and I.
The world was full on't, and could he be ignorant?
Why was her Father call'd from banishment,
And plac'd about the King, but for her sake?
What made him General, but my Passion for her?
What gave him twenty thousand Crowns a year,
But that which made me captive to _Erminia_,
Almighty Love, of which thou say'st he is ignorant?
How has he order'd his audacious flame,
That I cou'd ne'er perceive it all this while.

_Alcan_. Then 'twas a flame conceal'd from you alone,
To the whole Court, besides, 'twas visible.
He knew you would not suffer it to burn out;
And therefore waited till his services
Might give encouragement to's close design.
If that could do't he nobly has endeavour'd it,
But yet I think you need not yield her, Sir.

_Phi_. _Alcippus_, I confess, is brave enough,
And by such ways I'll make him quit his claim;
He shall to morrow to the Camp again,
And then I'll own my Passion to the King;
He loves me well, and I may hope his pity.

_Till then be calm, my Heart, for if that fail_,
[_Points to his Sword_.
_This is the argument that will prevail_.




_The Curtain must be let down, and soft Musick must play: The Curtain
being drawn up, discovers a scene of a Temple: The_ King _sitting on a
Throne, bowing down to join the hands_ Alcippus _and_ Erminia, _who
kneel on the steps of the Throne; the Officers of the Court and Clergy
standing in order by, with_ Orgulius. _This within the Scene.

Without on the Stage_, Philander _with his Sword half drawn, held by_
Galatea, _who looks ever on_ Alcippus: Erminia _still fixing her Eyes
on_ Philander; Pisaro _passionately gazing on_ Galatea: Aminta _on_
Fallatio, _and he on her_: Alcander, Isillia, Cleontius, _in other
several postures, with the rest, all remaining without motion, whilst
the Musick softly plays; this continues a while till the Curtain falls;
and then the Musick plays aloud till the Act begins_.

SCENE I. _The Palace_.

_Enter_ Philander _and_ Galatea _inrag'd_.

_Phi_. 'Tis done, 'tis done, the fatal knot is ty'd,
_Erminia_ to _Alcippus_ is a Bride;
Methinks I see the Motions of her Eyes,
And how her Virgin Breasts do fall and rise:
Her bashful Blush, her timorous Desire,
Adding new Flame to his too vigorous Fire;
Whilst he the charming Beauty must embrace,
And shall I live to suffer this Disgrace?
Shall I stand tamely by, and he receive
That Heaven of bliss, defenceless she can give?
No, Sister, no, renounce that Brother's name,
Suffers his Patience to surmount his Flame;
I'll reach the Victor's heart, and make him see,
That Prize he has obtain'd belongs to me.

_Gal_. Ah, dear _Philander_, do not threaten so,
Whilst him you wound, you kill a Sister too.

_Phi_. Though all the Gods were rallied on his side,
They should too feeble prove to guard his Pride.
Justice and Honour on my Sword shall sit,
And my Revenge shall guide the lucky hit.

_Gal_. Consider but the danger and the crime,
And, Sir, remember that his life is mine.

_Phi_. Peace, Sister, do not urge it as a sin,
Of which the Gods themselves have guilty been:
The Gods, my Sister, do approve Revenge
By Thunder, which th'Almighty Ports unhinge,
Such is their Lightning when poor Mortals fear,
And Princes are the Gods inhabit here;
Revenge has charms that do as powerful prove
As those of Beauty, and as sweet as Love,
The force of Vengeance will not be withstood,
Till it has bath'd and cool'd it self in Blood.
_Erminia_, sweet _Erminia_, thou art lost,
And he yet lives that does the conquest boast.

_Gal_. Brother, that Captive you can ne'er retrieve
More by the Victor's death, than if he live,
For she in Honour cannot him prefer,
Who shall become her Husband's Murderer;
By safer ways you may that blessing gain,
When venturing thus through Blood and Death prove vain.

_Phi_. With hopes already that are vain as Air,
You've kept me from Revenge, but not Despair.
I had my self acquitted, as became
_Erminia's_ wrong'd Adorer, and my Flame;
My Rival I had kill'd, and set her free,
Had not my Justice been disarm'd by thee.
--But for thy faithless Hope, I 'ad murder'd him,
Even when the holy Priest was marrying them,
And offer'd up the reeking Sacrifice
To th'Gods he kneel'd to, when he took my price;
By all their Purity I would have don't.
But now I think I merit the Affront:
He that his Vengeance idly does defer,
His Safety more than his Success must fear:
I, like that Coward, did prolong my Fate,
But brave Revenge can never come too late.

_Gal_. Brother, if you can so inhuman prove
To me your Sister, Reason, and to Love:
I'll let you see that I have sentiments too,
Can love and be reveng'd as well as you;
That hour that shall a death to him impart,
Shall send this Dagger to _Erminia's_ heart.
[_Shews a Dagger_.

_Phi_. Ah, Coward, how these words have made thee pale,
And Fear above thy Courage does prevail:
Ye Gods, why did you such a way invent?

_Gal_. None else was left thy madness to prevent.

_Phi_. Ah, cruel Sister, I am tame become,
And will reverse my happy Rival's doom:
Yes, he shall live to triumph o'er my Tomb.
--But yet what thou hast said, I needs must blame,
For if my resolutions prove the same,
I now should kill thee, and my life renew;
But were it brave or just to murder you?
At worst, I should an unkind Sister kill,
Thou wouldst the sacred blood of Friendship spill.
I kill a Man that has undone my Fame,
Ravish'd my Mistress, and contemn'd my Name,
And, Sister, one who does not thee prefer:
But thou no reason hast to injure her.
Such charms of Innocence her Eyes do dress,
As would confound the cruel'st Murderess:
And thou art soft, and canst no Horror see,
Such Actions, Sister, you must leave to me.

_Gal_. The highest Love no Reason will admit,
And Passion is above my Friendship yet.

_Phi_. Then since I cannot hope to alter thee,
Let me but beg that thou wouldst set me free;
Free this poor Soul that such a coil does keep;
'Twill neither let me wake in Peace, nor sleep.
Comfort I find a stranger to my heart,
Nor canst thou ought of that but thus impart;
Thou shouldst with joy a death to him procure,
Who by it leaves _Alcippus'_ life secure.

_Gal_. Dear Brother, you out-run your Patience still,
We'll neither die our selves, nor others kill;
Something I'll do that shall thy joys restore,
And bring thee back that health thou had'st before;
--We're now expected at the Banquet, where
I'd have thy Eyes more Love than Anger wear:
This night be cheerful, and on me depend,
On me, that am thy Sister, and thy Friend:
A little raise _Alcippus'_ Jealousy
And let the rest be carried on by me;
Nor would it be amiss should you provide
A Serenade to entertain the Bride:
'Twill give him Fears that may perhaps disprove
The fond opinion of his happy Love.

_Phi_. Though Hope be faithless, yet I cannot chuse,
Coming from thee, but credit the abuse.

_Gal. Philander_, do not your Hope's power distrust,
'Tis time enough to die, when that's unjust.


SCENE II. _The Court Gallery_.

_Enter_ Aminta _as passing over the Stage, is stayed by_ Olinda.

_Oli_. Why so hasty, _Aminta_?

_Am_. The time requires it, _Olinda_.

_Oli_. But I have an humble suit to you.

_Am_. You shall command me any thing.

_Oli_. Pray Heaven you keep your word.

_Am_. That sad tone of thine, _Olinda_, has almost
Made me repent of my promise; but come, what is't?

_Oli_. My Brother, Madam.

_Am_. Now fie upon thee, is that all thy business?
[_Offers to go off_.

_Oli_. Stay, Madam, he dies for you.

_Am_. He cannot do't for any Woman living;
But well--it seems he speaks of Love to you;
To me he does appear a very Statue.

_Oli_. He nought but sighs and calls upon your name,
And vows you are the cruell'st Maid that breathes.

_Am_. Thou can'st not be in earnest sure.

_Oli_. I'll swear I am, and so is he.

_Am_. Nay, thou hast a hard task on't, to make
Vows to all the Women he makes love to;
Indeed I pity thee; ha, ha, ha.

_Oli_. You should not laugh at those you have undone.

Aminta _sings_.

_Hang Love, for I will never pine
For any Man alive;
Nor shall this jolly Heart of mine
The thoughts of it receive;
I will not purchase Slavery
At such a dangerous rate;
But glory in my Liberty,
And laugh at Love and Fate_.

_Oli_. You'll kill him by this cruelty.

_Am_. What is't thou call'st so?
For I have hitherto given no denials,
Nor has he given me cause;
I have seen him wildly gaze upon me often,
And sometimes blush and smile, but seldom that;
And now and then found fault with my replies,
And wonder'd where the Devil lay that wit,
Which he believ'd no Judge of it could find.

_Oli_. Faith, Madam, that's his way of making love.

_Am_. It will not take with me, I love a Man
Can kneel, and swear, and cry, and look submiss,
As if he meant indeed to die my Slave:
Thy Brother looks--but too much like a Conqueror. [_Sighs_.

_Oli_. How, _Aminta_, can you sigh in earnest?

_Am_. Yes, _Olinda_, and you shall know its meaning;
I love _Alcander_, and am not asham'd o'th' secret,
But prithee do not tell him what I say.
--Oh, he's a man made up of those Perfections,
Which I have often lik'd in several men;
And wish'd united to compleat some one,
Whom I might have the glory to o'ercome.
--His Mein and Person, but 'bove all his Humour,
That surly Pride, though even to me addrest,
Does strangely well become him.

_Oli_. May I believe this?

_Am_. Not if you mean to speak on't,
But I shall soon enough betray my self.

_Enter_ Falatius _with a patch or two on his Face_.

_Falatius_, welcome from the Wars;
I'm glad to see y'ave scap'd the dangers of them.

_Fal_. Not so well scap'd neither, Madam, but I
Have left still a few testimonies of their
Severity to me. [_Points to his face_.

_Oli_. That's not so well, believe me.

_Fal_. Nor so ill, since they be such as render us
No less acceptable to your fair Eyes, Madam!
But had you seen me when I gain'd them, Ladies,
In that heroick posture.

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