Part 1 out of 10
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Now First Collected
_In Eighteen Volumes_.
Historical, Critical, And Explanatory,
A Life Of The Author, by Walter Scott, Esq.
Dedication of Mr Congreve's edition of Dryden's
Dramatic Works to the Duke of Newcastle
The Wild Gallant, a Comedy
The Rival Ladies, a Tragi-comedy
Dedication to the Earl of Orrery
The Indian Queen, a Tragedy
The Indian Emperor, or the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards
Dedication to the Duchess of Monmouth and Buccleuch
Defence of an Essay of Dramatic Poesy
Connection of the Indian Emperor to the Indian Queen
Secret Love, or the Maiden Queen
_Mr Congreve's edition of Dryden's dramatic works, in six volumes
12mo, printed for Tonson in 1735, has been chiefly resorted to for the
text of the Plays in the present edition, although the assistance
of the older copies, in quarto and folio, has been called in, where
difficulties occurred, or improvements were obvious. The preliminary
Dissertations, Dedications, and Prefaces, have been corrected from the
excellent edition of Mr Malone. Congreve appears deeply to have felt
the bequest, left him by his great predecessor, when, "just abandoning
the ungrateful stage" he made it his intreaty, that his successor
would be kind to his remains. Considerable pains have been bestowed
by the present editor in correcting the text. The notes are limited
to the explanation of such passages, as the fashion in language, in
manners, or in literature, has, in the space of a century, rendered
doubtful or obscure._
DEDICATION TO MR CONGREVE'S EDITION OF
DRYDEN'S DRAMATIC WORKS.
DUKE OF NEWCASTLE,
LORD CHAMBERLAIN OF HIS MAJESTY'S HOUSEHOLD
[Footnote 1: Thomas Pelham, Duke of Newcastle. No satire ever can
convey such bitter reproof as the high-strained eulogy of this
dedication. This great and wealthy man unblushingly received
Congreve's tribute of praise and gratitude, for his munificence in
directing a splendid monument to be raised over Dryden's remains. But
the incense of the dedicator was wasted on a block, more insensible
than his Grace's workmen could have dug from the quarry. Neither pride
nor shame could induce the Duke to accomplish what vanity had led him
voluntarily to propose; and the dedication, instead of producing a
tomb in honour of Dryden, will remain itself an eternal monument of
the patron's disgrace.]
It is the fortune of this edition of the dramatic works of the late
Mr Dryden, to come into the world at a time, when your Grace has just
given order for erecting, at your own expense, a noble monument to his
This is an act of generosity, which has something in it so very
uncommon, that the most unconcerned and indifferent persons must be
moved with it. How much more must all such be affected by it, who had
any due regard for the personal merits of the deceased, or are capable
of any taste and distinction for the remains and elegant labours of
one of the greatest men, that our nation has produced!
That, which distinguisheth actions of pure and elevated generosity,
from those of a mixed and inferior nature, is nothing else but the
absolutely disinterested views of the agent.
My Lord, this being granted, in how fair a light does your munificence
stand? A munificence to the memory, to the ashes, of a man whom you
never saw--whom you never can see; and who, consequently, never could,
by any personal obligation, induce you to do this deed of bounty; nor
can he ever make you any acknowledgment for it, when it shall be done.
It is evident, your Grace can have acted thus from no other motive
but your pure regard to merit; from your entire love for learning; and
from that accurate taste and discernment, which, by your studies, you
have so early attained to in the politer arts.
And these are the qualities, my Lord, by which you are more
distinguished, than by all those other uncommon advantages, with which
you are attended. Your great disposition, your great ability to be
beneficent to mankind, could by no means answer that end, if you were
not possessed of a judgment to direct you in the right application and
just distribution of your good offices.
You are now in a station, by which you necessarily preside over the
liberal arts, and all the practisers and professors of them. Poetry is
more particularly within your province; and with very good reason
may we hope to see it revive and flourish under your influence and
What hopes of reward may not the living deserver entertain, when
even the dead are sought out for, and their very urns and ashes made
partakers of your liberality?
As I have the honour to be known to you, my Lord, and to have been
distinguished by you by many expressions and instances of your
goodwill towards me, I take a singular pleasure to congratulate you
upon an action so entirely worthy of you. And as I had the happiness
to be very conversant, and as intimately acquainted with Mr Dryden as
the great disproportion in our years could allow me to be, I hope it
will not be thought too assuming in me, if, in love to his memory, and
in gratitude for the many friendly offices, and favourable instructions,
which, in my early youth, I received from him, I take upon me to make
this public acknowledgment to your Grace, for so public a testimony,
as you are pleased to give to the world, of that high esteem, in which
you hold the performances of that eminent man.
I can, in some degree, justify myself for so doing, by a citation of a
kind of right to it, bequeathed to me by him. And it is, indeed, upon
that pretension, that I presume even to make a dedication of these his
works to you.
In some very elegant, though very partial, verses, which he did me the
honour to write to me, he recommended it to me to _be kind to his
[Footnote 2: These are the affecting lines referred to.
Already I am worn with cares and age,
And just abandoning th' ungrateful stage;
Unprofitably kept at heaven's expense,
I live a rent-charge on his providence.
But you, whom every muse and grace adorn,
Whom I foresee to better fortune born,
Be kind to my remains; and, O! defend,
Against your judgment, your departed friend:
Let not the insulting foe my fame pursue,
But shade those laurels which descend to you;
And take, for tribute, what these lines express:
You merit more, nor could my love do less.
_Epistle to_ MR CONGREVE]
I was then, and have been ever since, most sensibly touched with that
expression; and the more so, because I could not find in myself the
means of satisfying the passion which I felt in me, to do something
answerable to an injunction laid upon me in so pathetic and so
amicable a manner.
You, my Lord, have furnished me with ample means of acquitting myself,
both of my duty and obligation to my departed friend. What kinder
office lies in me to do to these, his most valuable and imperishable
remains, than to commit them to the protection, and lodge them under
the roof, of a patron, whose hospitality has extended itself even to
If I would permit myself to run on in the way which so fairly opens
itself before me, I should tire your Grace with reiterated praises and
acknowledgments; and I might possibly (notwithstanding my pretended
right so to do) give some handle to such, who are inclinable to
censure, to tax me of affectation and officiousness, in thanking you,
more than comes to my share, for doing a thing, which is, in truth, of
a public consideration, as it is doing an honour to your country. For
so unquestionably it is, to do honour to him, who was an honour to it.
I have but one thing to say, either to obviate or to answer such
an objection, if it shall be made to me, which is, that I loved Mr
I have not touched upon any other public honour or bounty, done by you
to your country. I have industriously declined entering upon a theme
of so extensive a nature; and of all your numerous and continual
largesses to the public, I have only singled out this, as what most
particularly affected me. I confess freely to your Grace, I very much
admire all those other donations, but I much more love this; and I
cannot help it, if I am naturally more delighted with any thing that
is amiable, than with any thing that is wonderful.
Whoever shall censure me, I dare be confident, you, my Lord, will
excuse me for any thing that I shall say with due regard to a
gentleman, for whose person I had as just an affection as I have
an admiration of his writings. And indeed Mr Dryden had personal
qualities to challenge both love and esteem from all who were truly
acquainted with him.
He was of a nature exceedingly humane and compassionate; easily
forgiving injuries, and capable of a prompt and sincere reconciliation
with them who had offended him.
Such a temperament is the only solid foundation of all moral virtues
and sociable endowments. His friendship, where he professed it,
went much beyond his professions; and I have been told of strong and
generous instances of it by the persons themselves who received them,
though his hereditary income was little more than a bare competency.
As his reading had been very extensive, so was he very happy in a
memory, tenacious of every thing that he had read. He was not more
possessed of knowledge than he was communicative of it. But then his
communication of it was by no means pedantic, or imposed upon the
conversation; but just such, and went so far, as, by the natural turns
of the discourse in which he was engaged, it was necessarily promoted
or required. He was extreme ready and gentle in his correction of
the errors of any writer, who thought fit to consult him; and full as
ready and patient to admit of the reprehension of others, in respect
of his own oversight or mistakes. He was of very easy, I may say, of
very pleasing access; but something slow, and, as it were, diffident
in his advances to others. He had something in his nature, that
abhorred intrusion into any society whatsoever. Indeed, it is to be
regretted, that he was rather blameable in the other extreme; for,
by that means, he was personally less known, and, consequently,
his character might become liable both to misapprehensions and
To the best of my knowledge and observation, he was, of all the men
that ever I knew, one of the most modest, and the most easily to
be discountenanced in his approaches either to his superiors or his
I have given your Grace this slight sketch of his personal character,
as well to vindicate his memory, as to justify myself for the love
which I bore to his person; and I have the rather done it, because I
hope it may be acceptable to you to know, that he was worthy of the
distinction you have shewn him, as a man, as well as an author.
As to his writings, I shall not take upon me to speak of them: For to
say little of them would not be to do them right; and to say all that
I ought to say, would be to be very voluminous. But I may venture to
say, in general terms, that no man hath written in our language
so much, and so various matter, and in so various manners so well.
Another thing I may say very peculiar to him, which is, that his parts
did not decline with his years, but that he was an improving writer
to his last, even to near seventy years of age, improving even in
fire and imagination, as well as in judgment; witness his Ode on St
Cecilia's Day, and his Fables, his latest performances.
He was equally excellent in verse and in prose. His prose had all the
clearness imaginable, together with all the nobleness of expression;
all the graces and ornaments proper and peculiar to it, without
deviating into the language or diction of poetry. I make this
observation, only to distinguish his style from that of many poetical
writers, who, meaning to write harmoniously in prose, do, in truth,
often write mere blank verse.
I have heard him frequently own with pleasure, that if he had any
talent for English prose, it was owing to his having often read the
writings of the great Archbishop Tillotson.
His versification and his numbers he could learn of no body; for he
first possessed those talents in perfection in our tongue. And they,
who have best succeeded in them since his time, have been indebted
to his example; and the more they have been able to imitate him, the
better have they succeeded.
As his style in prose is always specifically different from his
style in poetry, so, on the other hand, in his poems, his diction is,
wherever his subject requires it, so sublimely and so truly poetical,
that its essence, like that of pure gold, cannot be destroyed. Take
his verses and divest them of their rhymes, disjoint them in their
numbers, transpose their expressions, make what arrangement and
disposition you please of his words, yet shall there eternally be
poetry, and something which will be found incapable of being resolved
into absolute prose; an incontestible characteristic of a truly
I will say but one word more in general of his writings, which is,
that what he has done in any one species, or distinct kind, would have
been sufficient to have acquired him a great name. If he had written
nothing but his prefaces, or nothing but his songs or his prologues,
each of them would have entitled him to the preference and distinction
of excelling in his kind.
But I have forgot myself; for nothing can be more unnecessary than an
attempt to say any thing to your Grace in commendation of the writings
of this great poet; since it is only to your knowledge, taste, and
approbation of them, that the monument, which you are now about to
raise to him, is owing. I will, therefore, my Lord, detain you no
longer by this epistle; and only entreat you to believe, that it is
addressed to your Grace from no other motive than a sincere regard to
the memory of Mr Dryden, and a very sensible pleasure which I take
in applauding an action, by which you are so justly and so singularly
entitled to a dedication of his labours, though many years after his
death, and even though most of them were produced by him many years
before you were born. I am, with the greatest respect,
Your Grace's most obedient,
And most humble servant,
THE WILD GALLANT.
The Editor may be pardoned in bestowing remarks upon Dryden's plays,
only in proportion to their intrinsic merit, and to the attention
which each has excited, either at its first appearance, or when the
public attention has been since directed towards them. In either point
of view, little need be said on the "Wild Gallant." It was Dryden's
first theatrical production, and its reception by no means augured
his future pre-eminence in literature; nor was it more than tolerated,
when afterwards revived under the sanction of his increasing fame.
It was brought upon the stage in February 1662-3, according to the
conjecture of Mr Malone, who observes, that the following lines in the
It should have been but one continued song;
Or, at the least, a dance of three hours long;
must refer to D'Avenant's opera, called the "Siege of Rhodes,"
acted in 1662; and that the expression, "in plays, he finds, you love
_mistakes_," alludes to the blunders of Teague, an Irish footman,
in Sir Robert Howard's play of the "Committee." The "Wild Gallant" was
revived and published in 1669, with a new prologue and epilogue, and
some other alterations, not of a nature, judging from the prologue, to
improve the morality of the piece. That the play had but indifferent
success in the action, the poet himself has informed us, with the
qualifying addition, that it more than once was the divertisement
of Charles II., by his own command. This honourable distinction it
probably acquired by the influence of the Countess of Castlemaine,
then the royal favourite, to whom Dryden addresses some verses on
her encouraging this play.--See Vol. XI p. 18.--The plot is borrowed
avowedly from the Spanish, and partakes of the unnatural incongruity,
common to the dramatic pieces of that nation, as also of the bustle
and intrigue, with which they are usually embroiled. Few modern
audiences would endure the absurd grossness of the deceit practised on
Lord Nonsuch in the fourth act; nor is the plot of Lady Constance, to
gain her lover, by marrying him in the disguise of a heathen divinity,
more grotesque than unnatural.--Yet, in the under characters, some
liveliness of dialogue is maintained; and the reader may be amused
with particular scenes, though, as a whole, the early fate of the play
was justly merited.
These passages, in which the plot stands still, while the spectators
are entertained with flippant dialogue and repartee, are ridiculed in
the scene betwixt Prince Prettyman and Tom Thimble in the Rehearsal;
the facetious Mr Bibber being the original of the latter personage.
The character of Trice, at least his whimsical humour of drinking,
playing at dice by himself, and quarrelling as if engaged with a
successful gamester, is imitated from the character of Carlo, in
Jonson's "Every Man out of his Humour," who drinks with a supposed
companion, quarrels about the pledge, and tosses about the cups and
flasks in the imaginary brawl. We have heard similar frolics related
of a bon-vivant of the last generation, inventor of a game called
_solitaire_, who used to complain of the hardship of drinking by
himself, because the _toast came too often about_.
The whole piece seems to have been intended as a sacrifice to popular
taste; and, perhaps, our poet only met a deserved fate, when he
stooped to sooth the depraved appetite, which his talents enabled him
to have corrected and purified. Something like this feeling may be
interred from the last lines of the second epilogue:
Would you but change, for serious plot and verse,
This motley garniture of fool and farce;
Nor scorn a mode, because 'tis taught at home,
Which dues, like vests,[A] our gravity become;
Our poet yields you should this play refuse,
As tradesmen by the change of fashions lose,
With some content, their fripperies of France,
In hope it may their staple trade advance.
[Footnote A: This seems to allude to the Polish dress, which, upon
his restoration, Charles wished to introduce into Britain. It was not
altered for the French, till his intimacy with that court was cemented
by pecuniary dependence.]
In the prologue, the author indulges himself in a display of the terms
of astrology, of which vain science he was a believer and a student.
It would be a great impudence in me to say much of a comedy, which has
had but indifferent success in the action. I made the town my judges,
and the greater part condemned it: after which, I do not think it
my concernment to defend it with the ordinary zeal of a poet for his
decried poem. Though Corneille is more resolute in his preface before
his _Pertharite_[A], which was condemned more universally than
this; for he avows boldly, that, in spite of censure, his play was
well and regularly written; which is more than I dare say for mine.
Yet it was received at court; and was more than once the divertisement
of his Majesty, by his own command; but I have more modesty than to
ascribe that to my merit, which was his particular act of grace. It
was the first attempt I made in dramatic poetry; and, I find since, a
very bold one, to begin with comedy, which is the most difficult
part of it. The plot was not originally my own; but so altered by me,
(whether for the better or worse I know not) that whoever the author
was, he could not have challenged a scene of it. I doubt not but you
will see in it the uncorrectness of a young writer; which is yet but a
small excuse for him, who is so little amended since. The best apology
I can make for it, and the truest, is only this, that you have, since
that time, received with applause, as bad, and as uncorrect plays from
[Footnote A: "Le succes de cette tragedie a ete si malheureux, que
pour m'epargner le chagrin de m'en souvenir, je n'en dirai presque
rien.--J'ajoute ici malgre sa disgrace, que les sentimens en sont
assez vifs et nobles, les vers assez bien tournes, et que la facon
dont le sujet s'explique dans la premiere scene ne manque pas
_Examen de Pertharite_.]
WHEN IT WAS FIRST ACTED.
Is it not strange to hear a poet say,
He comes to ask you, how you like the play?
You have not seen it yet: alas! 'tis true;
But now your love and hatred judge, not you:
And cruel factions (bribed by interest) come,
Not to weigh merit, but to give their doom.
Our poet, therefore, jealous of th' event,
And (though much boldness takes) not confident,
Has sent me, whither you, fair ladies, too,
Sometimes upon as small occasions, go;
And, from this scheme, drawn for the hour and day,
Bid me enquire the fortune of his play.
_The curtain drawn discovers two Astrologers; the prologue is
presented to them_.
_1 Astrol. reads_, A figure of the heavenly bodies in their
several Apartments, Feb. the 5th, half-an-hour after three afternoon,
from whence you are to judge the success of a new play, called the
_2 Astrol_. Who must judge of it, we, or these gentlemen? We'll
not meddle with it, so tell your poet. Here are, in this house, the
ablest mathematicians in Europe for his purpose.
They will resolve the question, ere they part.
_1 Att_. Yet let us judge it by the rules of art;
First Jupiter, the ascendant's lord disgraced,
In the twelfth house, and near grim Saturn placed,
Denote short life unto the play:--
_2 Ast_. --Jove yet,
In his apartment Sagittary, set
Under his own root, cannot take much wrong.
_1 Ast_. Why then the life's not very short, nor long;
_2 Ast_. The luck not very good, nor very ill;
_Prole_. That is to say, 'tis as 'tis taken still.
_1 Ast_. But, brother, Ptolemy the learned says,
'Tis the fifth house from whence we judge of plays.
Venus, the lady of that house, I find
Is Peregrine; your play is ill-designed;
It should have been but one continued song,
Or, at the least, a dance of three hours long.
_Ast_. But yet the greatest mischief does remain,
The twelfth apartment bears the lords of Spain;
Whence I conclude, it is your author's lot,
To be endangered by a Spanish plot.
_Prolo_. Our poet yet protection hopes from you,
But bribes you not with any thing that's new;
Nature is old, which poets imitate,
And, for wit, those, that boast their own estate,
Forget Fletcher and Ben before them went,
Their elder brothers, and that vastly spent;
So much, 'twill hardly be repair'd again,
Not, though supplied with all the wealth of Spain,
This play is English, and the growth your own;
As such, it yields to English plays alone.
He could have wish'd it better for your sakes,
But that, in plays, he finds you love mistakes:
Besides, he thought it was in vain to mend,
What you are bound in honour to defend;
That English wit, howe'er despised by some,
Like English valour, still may overcome.
As some raw squire, by tender mother bred,
'Till one-and-twenty keeps his maidenhead;
(Pleased with some sport, which he alone does find;
And thinks a secret to all humankind;)
'Till mightily in love, yet half afraid,
He first attempts the gentle dairy maid:
Succeeding there, and, led by the renown
Of Whetston's park, he comes at length to town;
Where entered, by some school-fellow or friend,
He grows to break glass windows in the end:
His valour too, which with the watch began,
Proceeds to duel, and he kills his man.
By such degrees, while knowledge he did want,
Our unfledged author writ a Wild Gallant.
He thought him monstrous lewd, (I lay my life)
Because suspected with his landlord's wife;
But, since his knowledge of the town began,
He thinks him now a very civil man;
And, much ashamed of what he was before,
Has fairly play'd him at three wenches more.
'Tis some amends his frailties to confess;
Pray pardon him his want of wickedness:
He's towardly, and will come on apace;
His frank confession shows he has some grace.
You baulked him when he was a young beginner,
And almost spoiled a very hopeful sinner;
But if once more you slight his weak endeavour,
For aught I know, he may turn tail forever;
Lord NONSUCH, _an old rich humorous lord_.
Justice TRICE, _his neighbour_.
Mr LOVEBY, _the Wild Gallant_.
Sir TIMOROUS, _a bashful knight_.
FAILER, } _hangers-on of_ Sir TIMOROUS.
BIBBER, _a tailor_.
SETSTONE, _a jeweller_.
Lady CONSTANCE, Lord NONSUCH'S _daughter_,
Madam ISABELLA, _her cousin_.
Mrs BIBBER, _the tailors wife_.
_Serjeants, Boy to LOVEBY, Servants, a Bawd and
Whores, Watch and Constable_.
SCENE I.--_FAILER entering to BURR, who is putting on his
_Fail_. What! not ready yet, man?
_Burr_. You do not consider my voyage from Holland last night.
_Fail_. Pish, a mere ferry; get up, get up: My cousin's maids will
come and blanket thee anon; art thou not ashamed to lie a-bed so long?
_Burr_. I may be more ashamed to rise; and so you'll say, dear
heart, if you look upon my clothes: the best is, my buff-coat will
_Fail_. Egad, there goes more cunning than one would think to the
putting thy clothes together. Thy doublet and breeches are Guelphs and
Ghibellins to one another; and the stitches of thy doublet are so far
asunder, that it seems to hang together by the teeth. No man could
ever guess to what part of the body these fragments did belong, unless
he had been acquainted with 'em as long as thou hast been. If they
once lose their hold, they can never get together again, except by
chance the rags hit the tallies of one another. He, that gets into thy
doublet, must not think to do it by storm; no, he must win it inch by
inch, as the Turk did Rhodes.
_Burr_. You are very merry with my wardrobe; but, till I am
provided of a better, I am resolved to receive all visits in this
_Fail_. Then will I first scotch the wheels of it, that it may
not run: Thou hast cattle enough in it to carry it down stairs, and
break thy neck; 'tis got a yard nearer the door already.
_Boy_. Sir, Mr Bibber your tailor's below, and desires to speak
_Fail_. He's an honest fellow, and a fashionable; he shall set
thee forth, I warrant thee.
_Burr_. Ay; but where's the money for this, dear heart?
_Fail_. Well, but what think you of being put into a suit of
clothes without money? [_Aside_.
_Burr_. You speak of miracles.
_Fail_. Do you not know Will Bibber's humour?
_Burr_. Pr'ythee, what have I to do with his humour?
_Fail_. Break but a jest, and he'll beg to trust thee for a
suit; nay, he will contribute to his own destruction, and give thee
occasions to make one. He has been my artificer these three years;
and, all the while, I have lived upon his favourable apprehension.
Boy, conduct him up. [_Exit Boy._
_Burr_. But what am I the better for this? I ne'er made jest in
all my life.
_Fail._ A bare clinch will serve the turn; a car-wichet, a
quarter-quibble, or a pun.
_Burr_. Wit from a Low Country soldier! One, that has conversed
with none but dull Dutchmen these ten years! What an unreasonable
rogue art thou? why, I tell thee, 'tis as difficult to me, as to pay
him ready money.
_Fail_. Come, you shall be ruled for your own good; I'll
throw the clothes over you to help meditation. And, upon the first
opportunity, start you up, and surprise him with a jest.
_Burr_. Well, I think this impossible to be done: but, however,
I'll attempt. [_Lies down_, FAILER _covers him_.
_Fail_. Husht! he's coming up.
_Bib_. 'Morrow, Mr Failer: What, I warrant you think I come a
_Fail_. No, I vow to gad, Will; I have a better opinion of thy
wit, than to think thou would'st come to so little purpose.
_Bib_. Pretty well that: No, no, my business is to drink my
morning's-draught in sack with you.
_Fail_. Will not ale serve thy turn, Will?
_Bib_. I had too much of that last night; I was a little
disguised, as they say.
_Fail_. Why disguised? Hadst thou put on a clean band, or washed
thy face lately? Those are thy disguises, Bibber.
_Bib_. Well, in short, I was drunk; damnably drunk with ale;
great hogan-mogan bloody ale: I was porterly drunk, and that I hate of
all things in nature.
_Burr, rising_.] And of all things in nature I love it best.
_Bib_. Art thou there, i'faith? and why, old boy?
_Burr_. Because, when I am porterly drunk, I can carry myself.
_Bib_. Ha, ha, boy.
_Fail_. This porter brings sad news to you, Will; you must
trust him for a suit of clothes, as bad as 'tis: Come, he's an honest
fellow, and loves the king.
_Bib_. Why, it shall be my suit to him, that I may trust him.
_Burr_. I grant your suit, sir.
_Fail_. Burr, make haste and dress you; Sir Timorous dines here
to-day: you know him?
_Burr_. Aye, aye, a good honest young fellow; but no conjurer; he
and I are very kind.
_Fail_. Egad, we two have a constant revenue out of him: He would
now be admitted suitor to my Lady Constance Nonsuch, my Lord Nonsuch's
daughter; our neighbour here in Fleetstreet.
_Burr_. Is the match in any forwardness?
_Fail_. He never saw her before yesterday, and will not be
brought to speak to her this month yet.
_Burr_. That's strange.
_Fail_. Such a bashful knight did I never see; but we must move
_Bib_. They say, here's a great dinner to be made to-day here, at
your cousin Trice's, on purpose for the interview.
_Burr_. What, he keeps up his old humour still?
_Fail_. Yes, certain; he admires eating and drinking well, as
much as ever, and measures every man's wit by the goodness of his
_Burr_. Who dines here besides?
_Fail_. Jack Loveby.
_Bib_. O, my guest.
_Burr_. He has ever had the repute of a brave clear-spirited
_Fail_. He's one of your Dear Hearts, a debauchee.
_Burr_. I love him the better for't: The best heraldry of a
gentleman is a clap, derived to him from three generations. What
fortune has he?
_Fail_. Good fortune at all games; but no estate: He had one; but
he has made a devil on't long ago. He's a bold fellow, I vow to gad:
A person, that keeps company with his betters; and commonly has gold
in's pockets. Come, Bibber, I see thou longest to be at thy morning's
watering: I'll try what credit I have with the butler.
_Bib_. Come away, my noble Festus and new customer.
_Fail_. Now will he drink, till his face be no bigger than a
_Enter LOVEBY and BOY; followed by FRANCES, BIBBER'S wife_.
_Lov_. Nay, the devil take thee, sweet landlady, hold thy tongue:
Was't not enough thou hast scolded me from my lodging, which, as long
as I rent it, is my castle; but to follow me here to Mr Trice's,
where I am invited; and to discredit me before strangers, for a lousy,
paltry sum of money?
_Fran_. I tell you truly, Mr Loveby, my husband and I cannot live
by love, as they say; we must have wherewithal, as they say; and pay
for what we take; or some shall smoke fort.
_Lov_. Smoke! why a piece of hung beef in Holland is not more
smoked, than thou hast smoked me already. Thou knowest I am now
fasting; let me have but fair play; when I have lined my sides with a
good dinner, I'll engage upon reputation to come home again, and thou
shall scold at me all the afternoon.
_Fran_. I'll take the law on you.
_Lov_. The law allows none to scold in their own causes: What
dost thou think the lawyers take our money for?
_Fran_. I hope you intend to deal by my husband like a gentleman,
as they say?
_Lov_. Then I should beat him most unmercifully, and not pay him
_Fran_. Come, you think to fobb me off with your jests, as you
do my husband; but it won't be: yonder he comes, and company with him.
Husband, husband! why, William, I say!
_Enter BIBBER, BURR, and FAILER, at the other end_.
_Lov_. Speak softly, and I will satisfy thee.
_Fran_. You shall not satisfy me, sir; pay me for what you owe
me, for chamber-rent and diet, and many a good thing besides, that
shall be nameless.
_Lov_. What a stygian woman's this, to talk thus? Hold thy tongue
'till they be gone, or I'll cuckold thy husband.
_Fran_. You cuckold him--would you durst cuckold him! I will not
hold my tongue, sir.
_Bib_. Yonder's my guest; what say you, gentlemen? Shall I call
him to go down with us?
_Lov_. I must make a loose from her, there's no other way. Save
ye, Mr Failer; is your cousin Trice stirring yet? Answer me quickly,
sir, is your cousin Trice yet stirring?
_Fail_. I'll go and see, sir. Sure the man has a mind to beat me;
but I vow to gad I have no mind to be beaten by him. Come away, Burr.
Will, you follow us.
_Bib_. I'll be with you immediately.
[_Exeunt BURR and FAILER_.
_Lov_. Who was that with Failer, Will?
_Bib_. A man at arms, that's come from Holland.
_Lov_. A man out at arms thou mean'st, Will.
_Bib_. Good, i'faith.
_Fran_. Aye, aye; you run questing up and down after your
gambols, and your jests, William; and never mind the main chance,
as they say: Pray get in your debts, and think upon your wife and
_Lov_. Think upon the sack at Carey-house, with the Abricot
flavour, Will. Hang a wife; what is she, but a lawful kind of
manslayer? Every little hug in bed is a degree of murdering thee: and
for thy children, fear 'em not: thy part of 'em shall be taylors,
and they shall trust; and those, thy customers get for thee, shall
be gentlemen, and they shall be trusted by their brethren; and so thy
children shall live by one another.
_Bib_. Did you mark that, Frances? There was wit now; he call'd
me cuckold to my face, and yet for my heart I cannot be angry with
him. I perceive you love Frances, sir; and I love her the better for
your sake; speak truly, do you not like such a pretty brown kind of
_Lov_. I do i'faith, Will; your fair women have no substance in
'em, they shrink in the wetting.
_Fran_. Well, you may be undone if you will, husband: I hear
there are two or three actions already out against him: You may be the
last, if you think good.
_Bib_. Tis true she tells me; I love your wit well, sir; but I
must cut my coat according to my cloth.
_Fran_. Sir, we'll come by our own as we can; if you put us oft'
from week to week thus.
_Lov_. Nay, but good landlady--
_Fran_. Will good landlady set on the pot, as they say; or make
the jack go? then I'll hear you.
_Bib_. Now she's too much on t'other hand; hold your prating,
Frances; or I'll put you out of your Pater Nosters, with a sorrow to
_Fran_. I did but lay the law open to him, as they say, whereby
to get our money in: But if you knew how he had used me, husband!
_Bib_. Has he used you, Frances? put so much more into his bill
_Lov_. Honest Will, and so he died[A]; I thank thee, little
Bibber, being sober, and, when I am drunk, I will kiss thee for't.
[Footnote A: This expression seems proverbial.]
_Bib_. Thank me, and pay me my money, sir; though I could not
forbear my jest, I do not intend to lose by you; if you pay me not the
sooner, I must provide you another lodging; say I give you warning.
_Lov_. Against next quarter, landlord?
_Bib_. Of an hour, sir.
_Lov_. That's short warning, Will.
_Bib_. By this hand you shall up into the garret, where the
little bed is; I'll let my best room to a better pay-master: you know
the garret, sir?
_Franc_. Aye, he knows it, by a good token, husband.
_Lov_. I sweat to think of that garret, Will; thou art not so
unconscionable to put me there? Why, 'tis a kind of little ease[B], to
cramp thy rebellious prentices in; I have seen an usurer's iron chest
would hold two on't: A penny looking-glass cannot stand upright in
the window, that and the brush tills it: the hat-case must be disposed
under the bed, and the comb-case will hang down, from the ceiling to
the floor. If I chance to dine in my chamber, I must stay till I am
empty before I can get out: and if I chance to spill the chamber-pot,
it will overflow it from top to bottom.
[Footnote B: A kind of dungeon, so called from its construction.]
_Bib_. Well, for the description of the garret, I'll bate you
something of the bill.
_Lov_. All, all, good Will; or, to stay thy fury till my rents
come up, I will describe thy little face.
_Bib_. No, rather describe your own little money; I am sure
that's so little it is not visible.
_Lov_. You are in the right, I have not a cross at present, as I
am a sinner; an you will not believe me, I'll turn my pockets inside
outward--Ha! What's the meaning of this? my pockets heavy! has my
small officer put in counters to abuse me?--How now! yellow boys, by
this good light? sirrah, varlet, how came I by this gold? Ha!
_Boy_. What gold do you mean, sir? the devil a piece you had this
morning. In these last three weeks, I have almost forgot what my teeth
were made for; last night good Mrs Bibber here took pity on me, and
crumm'd me a mess of gruel with the children, and I popt and popt my
spoon three or four times to my mouth, before I could find the way
_Lov_. 'Tis strange, how I should come by so much money!
[_Aside_.] Has there been nobody about my chamber this morning,
_Boy_. O yes, sir; I forgot to tell you that: This morning a
strange fellow, as ever eyes beheld, would needs come up to you, when
you were asleep; but when he came down again, he said, he had not
_Lov_. Sure this fellow, whoe'er he was, was sent by Fortune to
mistake me into so much money.--Well, this is not the first time my
necessities have been strangely supplied: some Cadua or other has a
kindness for me, that's certain: [_Aside_.]--Well, Mons. Bibber,
from henceforward I'll keep my wit for more refined spirits; you shall
be paid with dirt;--there's money for you.
_Bib_. Nay, good sir.
_Lov_. What's your sum? tell it out: will the money burn your
fingers? Sirrah, boy, fetch my suit with the gold-lace at sleeves,
[_Gives him gold. Exit Boy_.] Mr Taylor, I shall turn the better
bill-man[A], and knock that little coxcomb of yours, if you do not
answer me what I owe you.
[Footnote A: Alluding to the ancient weapon called the bill; a
never-failing source of puns in old plays.]
_Bib_. Pray, sir, trouble not yourself; 'tis nothing; i'feck now
_Lov_. How nothing, sir?
_Fran_. An't, please your worship, it was seventeen pounds and
a noble yesterday at noon, your worship knows: And then your worship
came home ill last night, and complained of your worship's head; and
I sent for three dishes of tea for your good worship, and that was six
pence more, and please your worship's honour.
_Lov_. Well; there's eighteen pieces, tell 'em.
_Bib_. I say, Frances, do not take 'em.
_Lov_, What, is all your pleading of necessity come to this?
_Bib_. Now I see he will pay, he shall not pay. Frances, go home,
and fetch him the whole bag of forty pounds; I'll lend it him, and the
lease of the house too; he shall want for nothing.
_Lov_. Take the money, or I'll leave your house.
_Bib_. Nay, rather than displease his worship, take it. [_She
_Lov_. So, so; go home quietly and suckle my godson, Frances.
_Bib_. If you are for the cellar, sir, you know the way. [_Exit
_Lov_. No, my first visit shall be to my mistress, the Lady
Constance Nonsuch. She's discreet, and how the devil she comes to love
me, I know not; yet I am pretty confident she loves me. Well, no woman
can be wiser, than you-know-what will give her leave to be.
_Enter Lady CONSTANCE, and Madam ISABELLA_.
_Isa_. Look, look; is not that your servant Loveby?
_Lov_. Tis she; there's no being seen, 'till I am better habited.
_Const_. Let him go, and take no notice of him: Poor rogue! he
little thinks I know his poverty.
_Isa_. And less, that you supply it by an unknown hand.
_Const_. Aye, and falsified my father's key to do it.
_Isa_. How can you answer this to your discretion?
_Const_. Who could see him want, she loves?
_Isa_. O here's Mr Setstone come, your jeweller, madam.
_Const_. Welcome, Setstone; hast thou performed thy visit
happily, and without discovery?
_Set_. As you would wish it, madam: I went up to his chamber
without interruption; and there found him drowning his cares, and
pacifying his hunger, with sleep; which advantage I took, and;
undiscovered by him, left the gold divided in his pockets.
_Const_. Well, this money will furnish him, I hope, that we may
have his company again.
_Set_. Two hundred and fifty good pounds, madam. Has your father
missed it yet?
_Const_. No; if he had, we should have all heard on't before now:
But, pray God Monsieur Loveby has no other haunts to divert him, now
he's ransomed! What a kind of woman is his landlady?
_Set_. Well enough to serve a tailor; or to kiss when he comes
home drunk, or wants money; but far unlikely to create jealousy in
_Serv_. Madam, Justice Trice desires your ladyship's excuse,
that he has not yet performed the civilities of his hour to you; he is
dispatching a little business, about which he is earnestly employed.
_Const_. He's master of his own occasions. [_Exit Servant_.
_Isa_. We shall see him anon, with his face as red as if it had
been boiled in pump-water: But, when comes this mirror of knighthood,
that is to be presented you for your servant?
_Const_. Oh, 'tis well thought on; 'faith thou know'st my
affections are otherwise disposed; he's rich, and thou want'st a
fortune; atchieve him, if thou can'st; 'tis but trying, and thou hast
as much wit as any wench in England.
_Isa_. On condition you'll take it for a courtesy to be rid of an
ass, I care not if I marry him: the old fool, your father, would be so
importunate to match you with a young fool, that, partly for quietness
sake, I am content to take him.
_Const_. To take him! then you make sure on't.
_Isa_. As sure, as if the sack posset were already eaten.
_Const_. But, what means wilt thou use to get him?
_Isa_. I'll bribe Failer; he's the man.
_Const_. Why, this knight is his inheritance; he lives upon him:
Do'st thou think he'll ever admit thee to govern him? No, he fears thy
wit too much: Besides, he has already received an hundred pounds, to
make the match between Sir Timorous and me.
_Isa_. 'Tis all one for that; I warrant you, he sells me the
fee-simple of him.
_Set_. Your father, madam--
_Isa_. The tempest is risen; I see it in his face; he puffs
and blows yonder, as if two of the winds were fighting upwards and
downwards in his belly.
_Set_. Will he not find your false keys, madam?
_Isa_. I hope he will have more humanity than to search us.
_Const_. You are come after us betimes, sir.
_Non_. Oh child! I am undone; I am robbed, I am robbed; I have
utterly lost all stomach to my dinner.
_Const_. Robbed! good my lord, how, or of what?
_Non_. Two hundred and fifty pounds, in fair gold, out of my
study: An hundred of it I was to have paid a courtier this afternoon
for a bribe.
_Set_. I protest, my lord, I had as much ado to get that parcel
of gold for your lordship--
_Non_. You must get me as much more against to-morrow; for then
my friend at court is to pay his mercer.
_Isa_. Nay, if that be all, there's no such haste: the courtiers
are not so forward to pay their debts.
_Const_. Has not the monkey been in the study? He may have
carried it away, and dropt it under the garden-window: the grass is
long enough to hide it.
_Non_. I'll go see immediately.
_Enter_ FAILER, BURR, TIMOROUS.
_Fail_. This is the gentleman, my lord.
_Non_. He's welcome.
_Fail_. And this the particular of his estate.
_Non_. That's welcome too.
_Fail_. But, besides the land here mentioned, he has wealth in
_Non_. A very fine young gentleman.
_Tim_. Now, my lord, I hope there's no great need of wooing: I
suppose my estate will speak for me; yet, if you please to put in a
_Non_. That will I instantly.
_Tim_. I hope I shall have your good word, too, madam, to your
cousin for me. [_To_ ISABELLA.
_Isa_. Any thing within my power, Sir Timorous.
_Non_. Daughter, here's a person of quality, and one, that loves
and honours you exceedingly--
_Tim_. Nay, good my lord! you discover all at first dash.
_Non_. Let me alone, sir; have not I the dominion over my own
daughter? Constance, here's a knight in love with you, child.
_Const_. In love with me, my lord! it is not possible.
_Non_. Here he stands, that will make it good, child.
_Tim_. Who, I, my lord? I hope her ladyship has a better opinion
of me than so.
_Non_. What! are not you in love with my daughter? I'll be sworn
you told me so but even now: I'll eat words for no man.
_Tim_. If your ladyship will believe all reports, that are raised
on men of quality--
_Non_. He told it me with his own mouth, child: I'll eat words
for no man; that's more than ever I told him yet.
_Fail_. You told him so but just now; fie, Sir Timorous.
_Non_. He shall have no daughter of mine, an he were a thousand
knights; he told me, he hoped I would speak for him: I'll eat no man's
words; that's more than ever I told him yet.
_Isa_. You need not keep such a pudder about eating his words;
you see he has eaten 'em already for you.
_Non_. I'll make him stand to his words, and he shall not marry
my daughter neither: By this good day, I will. [_Exit_ NONSUCH.
_Const_. 'Tis an ill day to him; he has lost two hundred and
fifty pounds in't. [_To_ ISABELLA.
_Burr_. He swears at the rate of two thousand pounds a year, if
the Rump act were still in being.
_Fail_. He's in passion, man; and, besides, he has been a great
fanatic formerly, and now has got a habit of swearing, that he may be
thought a cavalier.
_Burr_. What noise is that? I think I hear your cousin Trice's
_Fail_. I'll go see. [_Exit_ FAIL.
_Isa_. Come, Sir Timorous, be not discouraged: 'Tis but an old
man's frowardness; he's always thus against rain.
_Fail_. O madam, follow me quickly; and if you do not see sport,
melancholy be upon my head.
_The_ SCENE _changes, and_ TRICE _is discovered playing at
tables by himself, with spectacles on, a bottle, and parmezan by him;
they return and see him, undiscovered by him_.
_Trice_. Cinque and quatre: My cinque I play here, sir; my quatre
here, sir: Now for you, sir: But first I'll drink to you, sir; upon my
faith I'll do you reason, sir: Mine was thus full, sir! Pray mind your
play, sir:--Size ace I have thrown: I'll play 'em at length, sir.
--Will you, sir? Then you have made a blot sir; I'll try if I can
enter: I have hit you, sir.
--I think you can cog a dye, sir.
--I cog a dye, sir? I play as fair as you, or any man.
--You lie, sir.
--How! lie, sir? I'll teach you what 'tis to give a gentleman the lie,
[_Throws down the tables_.
[_They all laugh and discover themselves_.
_Isa_. Is this your serious business?
_Trice_. O you rogue, are you there? You are welcome, huswife;
and so are you, Constance, _Fa tol de re tol de re la_. [_Claps
_Isa_. Pr'ythee be not so rude, Trice.
_Trice_. Huswife Constance, I'll have you into my larder, and
shew you my provision: I have cockles, dainty fat cockles, that came
in the night; if they had seen the day, I would not have given a fart
for 'em. I would the king had 'em.
_Const_. He has as good, I warrant you.
_Trice_. Nay, that's a lie. I could sit and cry for him
sometimes; he does not know what 'tis to eat a good meal in a whole
year. His cooks are asses: I have a delicate dish of ruffs to dinner,
_Const_. To dinner!
_Trice_. To dinner! why by supper they had been past their prime.
I'll tell thee the story of 'em: I have a friend--
_Serv_. Sir, dinner's upon the table.
_Trice_. Well, well; I have a friend, as I told you--
_Serv_. Dinner stays, sir: 'tis dinner that stays: Sure he will
_Trice_. I have a friend, as I told you--
_Isa_. I believe he's your friend, you are so loth to part with
_Trice_. Away, away;--I'll tell you the story between the
courses. Go you to the cook immediately, sirrah; and bring me word
what we have to supper, before we go to dinner: I love to have the
satisfaction of the day before me. [_Exeunt_.
ACT II. SCENE I.
_Enter, as from Dinner_, TRICE, TIMOROUS, FAILER, BURR,
_Trice_. Speak thy conscience; was it not well dressed, sirrah?
_Tim_. What think you of the Park, after our plenteous
_Isa_. I defy the Park, and all its works.
_Const_. Come, Mr Trice, we'll walk in your garden.
[_Exeunt all but_ FAILER _and_ BURR.
_Fail_. O, one thing I had almost forgot to tell you; one of us
two must ever be near Sir Timorous.
_Fail_. To guard our interest in him from the enemy, madam
Isabella; who, I doubt, has designs upon him. I do not fear her wit,
but her sex; she carries a prevailing argument about her.
_Enter_ BIBBER _with a Bottle_.
_Bib_. By this hand, I have alight upon the best wine in your
cousin's cellar; drink but one glass to me, to shew I am welcome, and
I am gone.
_Fail_. Here then, honest Will; 'tis a cup of forbearance to
_Bib_. Thank you, sir, I'll pledge you--now here's to you again.
_Fail_. Come away; what is't, Will?
_Bib_. 'Tis what you christened it, a cup of forbearance, sir.
_Fail_. Why, I drank that to thee, Will, that thou shouldst
forbear thy money.
_Bib_. And I drink this to you, sir; henceforward I'll forbear
working for you.
_Fail_. Then say I:
_Take a little Bibber,
And threw him in the river;
And if he will trust never,
Then there let him lie ever._
_Bib_. Then say I:
_Take a little Failer,
And throw him to the jailor;
And there let him lie,
Till he has paid his tailor._
_Burr_. You are very smart upon one another, gentlemen.
_Fail_. This is nothing between us; I use to tell him of his
title, _Fiery facias_; and his setting dog, that runs into
ale-houses before him, and comes questing out again, if any of the
woots, his customers, be within.
_Bib_. I'faith 'tis true; and I use to tell him of his two
capon's tails about his hat, that are laid spread-eaglewise to make a
feather; I would go into the snow at any time, and in a quarter of
an hour I would come in with a better feather upon my head; and so
farewel, sir; I have had the better on you hitherto, and for this time
I am resolved to keep it.
_Fail_. The rogue's too hard for me; but the best on't is, I have
my revenge upon his purse.
_Isa_. Came not Sir Timorous this way, gentlemen? He left us in
the garden, and said he would look out my Lord Nonsuch, to make his
peace with him.
_Fail_. Madam, I like not your enquiring after Sir Timorous: I
suspect you have some design upon him: You would fain undermine your
cousin, and marry him yourself.
_Isa_. Suppose I should design it, what are you the worse for my
good fortune? Shall I make a proposition to you? I know you two carry
a great stroke with him: Make the match between us, and propound to
yourselves what advantages you can reasonably hope: You shall chouse
him of horses, cloaths, and money, and I'll wink at it.
_Burr_. And if he will not be choused, shall we beat him out
_Isa_. For that, as you can agree.
_Fail_. Give us a handsel of the bargain; let us enjoy you, and
'tis a match.
_Isa_. Grammercy i'faith, boys; I love a good offer, howe'er the
world goes; but you would not be so base to wrong him that way?
_Fail_. I vow to gad but I would, madam: In a horse, or a woman,
I may lawfully cheat my own father: Besides, I know the knight's
complexion; he would be sure to follow other women; and all that.
_Isa_. Nay, if he fought with the sword, he should give me leave
to fight with the scabbard.
_Burr_. What say you, madam? Is't a bargain?
_Isa_. 'Tis but a promise; and I have learnt a court trick
for performing any thing [_Aside_]. Well, gentlemen, when I am
married I'll think upon you; you'll grant there's a necessity I should
cuckold him, if it were but to prove myself a wit.
_Fail_. Nay, there's no doubt you'll cuckold him, and all that;
for look you, he's a person fit for nothing else; but I fear we shall
not have the graffing of the horns; we must have livery and seisin
beforehand of you, or I protest to gad we believe you not.
_Isa_. I have past my word; is't not sufficient? What! do you
think I would tell a lie to save such a paltry thing as a night's
lodging?--Hark you, sir. [To BURR.
_Fail_. Now will she attempt Burr; egad, she has found him out
for the weaker vessel.
_Isa_. I have no kindness for that Failer; we'll strike him out,
and manage Sir Timorous ourselves.
_Burr_. Indeed we won't.
_Isa_. Failer's a rook; and, besides, he's such a debauched
_Burr_. I am ten times worse.
_Isa_. Leave it, and him that taught it you: You have virtuous
inclinations, and I would not have you ruin yourself. He, that serves
many mistresses, surfeits on his diet, and grows dead to the whole
sex: 'Tis the folly in the world next long ears and braying.
_Burr_. Now I'm sure you have a mind to me; when a woman once
falls a preaching, the next thing is ever use and application.
_Isa_. Forbear your rudeness!--
_Burr_. Then I am sure you mean to jilt me: You decline Failer,
because he has wit; and you think me such an ass, that you may pack me
off so soon as you are married; no, no, I'll not venture certainties
_Isa_. I can hold no longer;--Mr Failer, what do you think this
fellow was saying of you?
_Fail_. Of me, madam?
_Isa_. That you were one of the arrantest cowards in Christendom,
though you went for one of the Dear Hearts; that your name had been
upon more posts than playbills; and that he had been acquainted with
you these seven years, drunk and sober, and yet could never fasten a
quarrel upon you.
_Burr_. Do you believe this, dear heart?
_Isa_. If you deny it, I'll take his sword, and force you to
_Fail_. I vow to gad; this will not do, madam: You shall not set
us at variance so easily; neither shall you have Sir Timorous.
_Isa_. No! then mark my words: I'll marry him in spite of you;
and, which is worse, you shall both work my ends, and I'll discard you
for your pains.
_Fail_. You shall not touch a bit of him: I'll preserve his
humbles from you, egad; they shall be his keeper's fees[A].
[Footnote A: The keeper of a royal forest had for his fees the skin,
head, umbles (_i.e._ inwards), chine, and shoulders. HOLINSHED'S
_Chronicle_, vol. i. p. 104.]
_Burr_. She shall cut an atom sooner than divide us.
[_Exeunt_ BURR _and_ FAILER.
_Const_. I have given 'em the slip in the garden, to come and
overhear thee: No fat overgrown virgin of forty ever offered herself
so dog-cheap, or was more despised; methinks now this should mortify
_Isa_. Not a whit the more for that: Cousin mine, our sex is not
so easily put out of conceit with our own beauties.
_Const_. Thou hast lost the opinion of thy honesty, and got
nothing in recompence: Now that's such an oversight in a lady--
_Isa_. You are deceived; they think me too virtuous for their
purpose; but I have yet another way to try, and you shall help me.
_Enter_ LOVEBY, _new habited_.
_Const_. Mr Loveby, welcome, welcome: Where have you been this
_Lov_. Faith, madam, out of town, to see a little thing that's
fallen to me upon the death of a grandmother.
_Const_. You thank death for the windfall, servant: But why are
you not in mourning for her?
_Lov_. Troth, madam, it came upon me so suddenly, I had not time:
'Twas a fortune utterly unexpected by me.
_Isa_. Why, was your grandmother so young, you could not look for
_Lov_. Not for that neither; but I had many other kindred, whom
she might have left it to; only she heard I lived here in fashion, and
spent my money in the eye of the world.
_Const_. You forge these things prettily; but I have heard you
are as poor as a decimated cavalier, and had not one foot of land in
all the world.
_Lov_. Rivals' tales, rivals' tales, madam.
_Const_. Where lies your land, sir?
_Lov_. I'll tell you, madam, it has upon it a very fair manor
house; from one side you have in prospect an hanging garden.
_Isa_. Who was hanged there? not your grandmother, I hope?
_Lov_. In the midst of it you have a fountain: You have seen
that at Hampton-court? it will serve to give you a slight image of
it. Beyond the garden you look to a river through a perspective of
fruit-trees; and beyond the river you see a mead so flowery!--Well, I
shall never be at quiet, till we two make hay there.
_Const_. But where lies this paradise?
_Lov_. Pox on't; I am thinking to sell it, it has such a
villanous unpleasant name, it would have sounded so harsh in a lady's
ear. But for the fountain, madam--
_Const_. The fountain's a poor excuse, it will not hold water;
come, the name, the name.
_Lov_. Faith, it is come so lately into my hands, that I have
forgot the name on't.
_Isa_. That's much, now, that you should forget the name, and yet
could make such an exact description of the place.
_Lov_. If you would needs know, the name's Bawdy.--Sure this
will give a stop to their curiosity. [_Aside_.
_Isa_. At least you will tell us in what county it lies, that my
cousin may send to enquire about it: come, this shall not serve your
turn; tell us any town that's near it.
_Lov_. 'Twill be somewhat too far to send; it lies in the very
north of Scotland.
_Isa_. In good time, a paradise in the Highlands; is't not so,
_Const_. It seems you went post, servant: in troth you are a rank
rider, to go to the north of Scotland, stay and take possession, and
return again, in ten days time.
_Isa_. I never knew your grandmother was a Scotch woman: Is
she not a Tartar too? Pray whistle for her, and let's see her dance;
_Const_. Fie, fie, servant; what, no invention in you? all this
while a-studying for a name of your manor? come, come, where lies it?
_Lov_. No, faith, I am wiser than so; I'll discover my seat to no
man; so I shall have some damned lawyer keep a prying into my title,
to defeat me of it.
_Const_. How then shall I be satisfied, there is such a thing in
_Lov_. Tell me what jewel you would wear, and you shall have it:
Enquire into my money, there's the trial.
_Const_. Since you are so flush, sir, you shall give me a locket
of diamonds, of three hundred pounds.
_Isa_. That was too severe; you know he has but two hundred and
fifty pounds to bestow. [_To her.
Lov_. Well, you shall have it, madam: But I cannot higgle; I know
you'll say it did not cost above two hundred pieces.
_Isa_. I'll be hanged if he does not present you with a parcel of
melted flints set in gold, or Norfolk pebbles.
_Lov_. Little gentlewoman, you are so keen--Madam, this night
I have appointed business, to-morrow I'll wait upon you with it.
_Isa_. By that time he has bought his locket, and paid his
landlady, all his money will be gone. But do you mean to prosecute
your plot to see him this evening?
_Const_. Yes, and that very privately; if my father know it, I am
_Isa_. I heard him say, this night he had appointed business.
_Set_. Why, that was it, madam; according to your order, I put on
a disguise, and found him in the Temple-walks: Having drawn him aside,
I told him, if he expected happiness, he must meet me in a blind
alley, I nam'd to him, on the back side of Mr Trice's house, just at
the close of evening; there he should be satisfied from whom he had
his supplies of money.
_Const_. And how did he receive the summons?
_Set_. Like a bold Hector of Troy; without the least doubt or
scruple: But, the jest on't was, he would needs believe that I was the
_Const_. Sure he was afraid to come then?
_Set_. Quite contrary; he told me I need not be so shy, to
acknowledge myself to him; he knew I was the devil; but he had learnt
so much civility, as not to press his friend to a farther discovery
than he was pleased. I should see I had to do with a gentleman; and
any courtesy I should confer on him, he would not be unthankful; for
he hated ingratitude of all things.
_Const_. 'Twas well carried not to disabuse him: I laugh to
think what sport I shall have anon, when I convince him of his lies,
and let him know I was the devil, to whom he was beholden for his
money: Go, Setstone; and in the same disguise be ready for him.
_Isa_. How dare you trust this fellow?
_Const_. I must trust some body: Gain has made him mine, and now
fear will keep him faithful.
_To them_, BURR, FAILER, TIMOROUS, TRICE, _and_ NONSUCH.
_Fail_. Pray, my lord, take no pique at it: 'Tis not given to all
men to be confident: Egad, you shall see Sir Timorous will redeem all
upon the next occasion.
_Non_. A raw miching boy.
_Isa_. And what are you but an old boy of five and fifty? I never
knew any thing so humoursome--I warrant you, Sir Timorous; I'll speak
_Non_. Would'st thou have me be friends with him? for thy sake
he shall only add five hundred a-year to her jointure, and I'll be
satisfied: Come you hither, sir.
[_Here_ TRICE _and_ NONSUCH _and_ TIMOROUS _talk
privately_; BURR _with_ FAILER _apart_, CONSTANCE
_Const_. You'll not find your account in this trick to get Failer
beaten; 'tis too palpable and open.
_Isa_. I warrant you 'twill pass upon Burr for a time: So my
revenge and your interest will go on together.
_Fail_. Burr, there's mischief a-brewing, I know it by their
whispering, I vow to gad: Look to yourself, their design is on you;
for my part, I am a person that am above 'em.
_Tim_. to _Trice_. But then you must speak for me, Mr Trice:
and you too, my lord.
_Non_. If you deny't again, I'll beat you; look to't, boy.
_Trice_. Come on; I'll make the bargain.
_Isa_. You were ever good in a flesh-market.
_Trice_. Come, you little harlotry; what satisfaction can you
give me for running away before the ruffs came in?
_Const_. Why, I left you to 'em, that ever invite your own belly
to the greatest part of all your feasts.
_Trice_. I have brought you a knight here, huswife, with a
plentiful fortune to furnish out a table; and what would you more?
Would you be an angel in heaven?
_Isa_. Your mind's ever upon your belly.
_Trice_. No: 'tis sometimes upon yours: But, what say'st thou to
sir Timorous, little Constance?
_Const_. Would you have me married to that king Midas's face?
_Trice_. Midas me no Midas; he's a wit; he understands eating and
drinking well: _Poeta coquus_, the heathen philosopher could tell
_Const_. Come on, sir: what's your will with me? [_Laughs_.
_Tim_. Why, madam, I could only wish we were a little better
acquainted, that we might not laugh at one another so.
_Const_. If the fool puts forward, I am undone.
_Tim_. Fool!--do you know me, madam?
_Const_. You may see I know you, because I call you by your name.
_Fail_. You must endure these rebukes with patience, Sir
_Const_. What, are you planet struck? Look you, my lord, the
_Non_. This is past enduring.
_Fail_. 'Tis nothing, my lord;--courage, Sir Timorous.
_Non_. I say 'tis past enduring; that's more than ever I told you
yet: Do you come to make a fool of my daughter?
_Isa_. Why lord--
_Non_. Why lady--[_Exit_ NONSUCH.
_Trice_. Let's follow the old man, and pacify him.
_Isa_. Now, cousin,--[_Exeunt_ ISA. TRICE, BURR.
_Const_. Well, Mr Failer, I did not think you, of all the rest,
would have endeavoured a thing so much against my inclination, as
this marriage: if you had been acquainted with my heart, I am sure you
_Fail_. What can the meaning of this be? you would not have me
believe you love me; and yet how otherwise to understand you I vow to
gad I cannot comprehend.
_Const_. I did not say I loved you; but if I should take a fancy
to your person and humour, I hope it is no crime to tell it you. Women
are tied to hard unequal laws: The passion is the same in us, and
yet we are debarred the freedom to express it. You make poor Grecian
beggars of us ladies; our desires must have no language, but only be
fastened to our breasts.
_Fail_. Come, come; egad I know the whole sex of you: Your love's
at best but a kind: of blind-man's-buff, catching at him that's next
in your way.
_Const_. Well, sir, I can take nothing ill from you; when 'tis
too late you'll see how unjust you have been to me. I have said too
much already.--[_Is going_.
_Fail_. Nay stay, sweet madam! I vow to gad my fortune's better
than I could imagine.
_Const_. No, pray let me go, sir; perhaps I was in jest.
_Fail_. Really, madam, I look upon you as a person of such worth,
and all that, that I vow to gad I honour you of all persons in the
world; and though I am a person that am inconsiderable in the world,
and all that, madam, for a person of your worth and excellency I
_Const_. What would you, sir?
_Fail_. Sacrifice my life and fortunes, I vow to gad, madam.
_Enter_ ISABELLA, BURR, _and_ TIMOROUS, _at a distance
_Isa_. There's Failer close in talk with my cousin; he's
soliciting your suit, I warrant you, Sir Timorous: Do but observe with
what passion he courts for you.
_Burr_. I do not like that kneading of her hand though.
_Isa_. Come, you are such a jealous coxcomb: I warrant you
suspect there's some amour between 'em; there can be nothing in't, it
is so open: Pray observe.
_Burr_. But how come you so officious, madam? you, that ere now
had a design upon Sir Timorous for yourself?
_Isa_. I thought you had a better opinion of my wit, than to
think I was in earnest. My cousin may do what she pleases, but he
shall never pin himself upon me, assure him.
_Const_. to _Fail_. Sir Timorous little knows how dangerous
a person he has employed in making love.--[Aloud.
_Burr_. How's this! Pray, my lady Constance, what's the meaning
of that you say to Failer?
_Fail_. What luck was this, that he should overhear you! Pax
_Const_. Mr Burr, I owe you not that satisfaction; what you have
heard you may interpret as you please.
_Tim_. The rascal has betrayed me.
_Isa_. In earnest, sir, I do not like it.
_Fail_. Dear Mr Burr, be pacified; you are a person I have an
honour for; and this change of affairs shall not be the worse for you,
_Const_. Bear up resolutely, Mr Failer; and maintain my favours,
as becomes my servant.
_Burr_. He maintain 'em! go, you Judas; I'll teach you what 'tis
to play fast and loose with a man of war. [Kicks him.
_Tim_. Lay it on, Burr.
_Isa_. Spare him not, Burr.
_Const_. Fear him not, servant.
_Fail_. Oh, oh! would nobody were on my side! here I am praised,
I vow to gad, into all the colours of the rainbow.
_Const_. But remember 'tis for me.
_Burr_. As you like this, proceed, sir; but, come not near me
to-night, while I'm in wrath.
[_Exeunt_ BURR _and_ TIMOROUS.
_Const_. Come, sir; how fare you after your sore trial? You bore
it with a most heroic patience.
_Isa._ Brave man at arms, but weak to Balthazar[A]!
[Footnote A: Alluding to the old play of Hieronymo.]
_Fail_. I hope to gad, madam, you'll consider the merit of my
sufferings. I would not have been beaten thus, but to obey that person
in the world--
_Const_. Heaven reward you for't; I never shall.
_Fail_. How, madam!
_Isa_. Art thou such an ass, as not to perceive thou art abused?
This beating I contrived for you: you know upon what account; and have
yet another or two at your service. Yield up the knight in time, 'tis
your best course.
_Fail_. Then does not your ladyship love me, madam?
_Const_. Yes, yes, I love to see you beaten.
_Isa_. Well, methinks now you have had a hard bargain on't: You
have lost your cully, Sir Timorous, and your friend, Burr, and all to
get a poor beating. But I'll see it mended against next time for you.
[_Exeunt_ CONSTANCE _and_ ISABELLA, _laughing_.
_Fail_. I am so much amazed, I vow to gad, I do not understand my
own condition. [_Exit_.
_Enter_ LOVEBY _solus, in the dark, his sword drawn, groping
out his way_.
_Lov_. This is the time and place he pointed me, and 'tis
certainly the devil I am to meet; for no mortal creature could have
that kindness for me, to supply my necessities as he has done,
nor could have done it in so strange a manner. He told me he was
a scholar, and had been a parson in the fanatic's times: a shrewd
suspicion it was the devil; or at least a limb of him. If the devil
can send churchmen on his errands, lord have mercy on the laity! Well,
let every man speak as he finds, and give the devil his due; I think
him a very honest and well-natured fellow; and if I hear any man speak
ill of him, except it be a parson, that gets his living by it, I wear
a sword at his service. Yet, for all this, I do not much care to see
him. He does not mean to hook me in for my soul, does he? If he does,
I shall desire to be excused. But what a rogue am I, to suspect a
person, that has dealt so much like a gentleman by me! He comes to
bring me money, and would do it handsomely, that it might not be
perceived. Let it be as 'twill, I'll seem to trust him; and, then, if
he have any thing of a gentleman in him, he wills corn to deceive
me, as much as I would to cozen him, if I were the devil, and he Jack
_Enter_ FAILER _at the other end of the stage_.
_Fail_. What will become of me to-night! I am just in the
condition of an out-lying deer, that's beaten from his walk for
offering to rut. Enter I dare not, for Burr.
_Lov_. I hear a voice, but nothing do I see. Speak, what thou
_Fail_. There he is, watching for me. I must venture to run by
him; and, when I am in, I hope my cousin Trice will defend me. The
devil would not lie abroad in such a night.
_Lov_. I thought it was the devil, before he named himself.
[FAILER _goes to run off, and falls into_ LOVEBY'S _arms_.
_Lov_. Honest Satan, well encountered! I am sorry, with all my
heart, it is so dark. 'Faith, I should be very glad to see thee at my
lodging; pr'ythee, let's not be such strangers to one another for the
time to come. And what hast thou got under thy cloak there, little
Satan? I warrant thou hast brought me some more money.
_Fail_. Help, help; thieves! thieves!
[LOVEBY _lets him go_.
_Lov_. This is Failer's voice: How the devil was I mistaken! I
must get off, ere company comes in.
_Fail_. Thieves! thieves!
_Enter_ Trice, Burr, _and_ Timorous, _undressed_.
_All_. Where! where!
_Fail_. One was here just now; and it should be Loveby by his
voice, but I have no witness.
_Trice_. It cannot be; he wants no money.
_Burr_. Come, sirrah; I'll take pity on you to-night: You shall
lie in the truckle-bed.
_Trice_. Pox o' this noise! it has disturbed me from such a dream
ACT III. SCENE I.
_Enter_ Constance _and_ Isabella.
_Const_. Twas ill luck to have the meeting broke last night, just
as Setstone was coming towards him.
_Isa_. But, in part of recompence, you'll have the pleasure of
putting him on farther straits. O, these little mischiefs are meat and
drink to me.
_Const_. He shall tell me from whence he has his money: I am
resolved now to try him to the utmost.
_Isa_. I would devise something for him to do, which he could not
_Const_. As I live, yonder he comes, with the jewel in his hand
he promised me. Pr'ythee, leave me alone with him.
_Isa_. Speed the plough! If I can make no sport, I'll hinder
none. I'll to my knight, Sir Timorous; shortly you shall hear news
[Footnote A: A foolish character in Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, who
seems to have become proverbial.]
_Lov_. Look you, madam, here's the jewel; do me the favour to
accept it, and suppose a very good compliment delivered with it.
_Const_. Believe me, a very fair jewel. But why will you be at