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

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  • 1915
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Sir Timothy Tawdrey is by the wishes of his mother and the lady’s father designed for Celinda, who loves Bellmour, nephew to Lord Plotwell. A coxcomb of the first water, Sir Timothy receives a sharp rebuff when he opens his suit, and accordingly he challenges Bellmour, but fails to appear at the place of meeting. Celinda’s old nurse, at night, admits Bellmour to her mistress’ chamber, where they are surprized by Friendlove, her brother, who is, however, favourable to the union, the more so as he is a friend of Bellmour, and they have but newly returned from travelling together in Italy. Lord Plotwell warmly welcomes his nephew home, and proceeds to unfold his design of giving him his niece Diana in marriage. When he demurs, the old lord threatens to deprive him of his estate, and he is compelled eventually to acquiesce in the matrimonial schemes of his guardian. Bellmour sends word to Celinda, who replies in a heart-broken letter; and at the wedding feast Friendlove, who himself is deeply enamoured of Diana, appears in disguise to observe the traitor. He is followed by his sister disguised as a boy, and upon Friendlove’s drawing on Bellmour a scuffle ensues which, however, ends without harm. In the nuptial chamber Bellmour informs Diana that he cannot love her and she quits him maddened with rage and disappointment. Sir Timothy serenades the newly-mated pair and is threatened by Bellmour, whilst Celinda, who has been watching the house, attacks the fop and his fiddlers. During the brawl Diana issuing forth meets Celinda, and taking her for a boy leads her into the house and shortly makes advances of love. They are interrupted by Friendlove, disguised, and he receives Diana’s commands to seek out and challenge Bellmour. At the same time he reveals his love as though he told the tale of another, but he is met with scorn and only bidden to fight the husband who has repulsed her. Bellmour, meantime, in despair and rage at his misery plunges into reckless debauchery, and in company with Sir Timothy visits a bagnio, where they meet Betty Flauntit, the knight’s kept mistress, and other cyprians. Hither they are tracked by Charles, Bellmour’s younger brother, and Trusty, Lord Plotwell’s old steward. Sharp words pass, the brothers fight and Charles is slighted wounded. Their Uncle hears of this with much indignation, and at the same time receiving a letter from Diana begging for a divorce, he announces his intention to further her purpose, and to abandon wholly Charles and Phillis, his sister, in consequence of their elder brother’s conduct. Sir Timothy, induced by old Trusty, begins a warm courtship of Phillis, and arranges with a parasite named Sham to deceive her by a mock marriage. Sham, however, procures a real parson, and Sir Timothy is for the moment afraid he has got a wife without a dowry or portion. Lord Plotwell eventually promises to provide for her, and at Diana’s request, now she recognizes her mistake in trying to hold a man who does not love her, Bellmour is forgiven and allowed to wed Celinda as soon as the divorce has been pronounced, whilst Diana herself rewards Friendlove with her hand.


_The Town-Fop; or, Sir Timothy Tawdrey_ is materially founded upon George Wilkins’ popular play, _The Miseries of Enforced Marriage_ (4to, 1607, 1611, 1629, 1637), reprinted in Dodsley. Sir Timothy himself is moulded to some extent upon Sir Francis Ilford, but, as Geneste aptly remarks, he may be considered a new character. In the older drama, Clare, the original of Celinda, dies tragically of a broken heart. It cannot be denied that Mrs. Behn has greatly improved Wilkins’ scenes. The well-drawn character of Betty Flauntit is her own, and the realistically vivacious bagnio episodes of Act iv replace a not very interesting or lively tavern with a considerable accession to wit and humour, although perhaps not to strict propriety.


_The Town-Fop; or, Sir Timothy Tawdrey_ was produced at the Duke’s Theatre, Dorset Garden, in September, 1676. There is no record of its performance, and the actors’ names are not given. It was a year of considerable changes in the company, and any attempt to supply these would be the merest surmise.

or, Sir _Timothy Tawdrey_.


_As Country Squire, who yet had never known The long-expected Joy of being in Town;
Whose careful Parents scarce permitted Heir To ride from home, unless to neighbouring Fair; At last by happy Chance is hither led,
To purchase Clap with loss of Maidenhead; Turns wondrous gay, bedizen’d to Excess; Till he is all Burlesque in Mode and Dress: Learns to talk loud in Pit, grows wily too, That is to say, makes mighty Noise and Show.

So a young Poet, who had never been
Dabling beyond the Height of Ballading; Who, in his brisk Essays, durst ne’er excel The lucky Flight of rhyming Doggerel,
Sets up with this sufficient Stock on Stage, And has, perchance, the luck to please the Age. He draws you in, like cozening Citizen;
Cares not how bad the Ware, so Shop be fine.

As tawdry Gown and Petticoat gain more (Tho on a dull diseas’d ill-favour’d Whore) Than prettier Frugal, tho on Holy-day, | When every City-Spark has leave to play_, | –Damn her, she must be sound, she is so gay; | _So let the Scenes be fine, you’ll ne’er enquire For Sense, but lofty Flights in nimble Wire. –What we present to Day is none of these, But we cou’d wish it were, for we wou’d please, And that you’ll swear we hardly meant to do: Yet here’s no Sense; Pox on’t, but here’s no Show; But a plain Story, that will give a Taste Of what your Grandsires lov’d i’th’ Age that’s past_.



Lord _Plotwell_.
_Bellmour_, Nephew to the Lord _Plotwell_, contracted to _Celinda_. _Charles_, Brother to _Bellmour_.
_Friendlove_, Brother to _Celinda_, in love with _Diana_. Sir _Timothy Tawdrey_, a Fop-Knight, design’d to marry _Celinda_. _Sham_, | Hangers on to Sir _Timothy_.
_Sharp_, |
_Trusty_, An old Steward to _Bellmour’s_ Family. Page to _Bellmour_.
Page to Lord _Plotwell_.
Sir _Timothy’s_ Page.
Guests, Dancers, Fiddlers, and Servants.


The Lady _Diana_, Niece to the Lord _Plotwell_. _Celinda_, Sister to _Friendlove_, contracted to _Bellmour_. _Phillis_, Sister to _Bellmour_.
_Betty Flauntit_, kept by Sir _Timothy_. _Driver_, A Bawd.
_Jenny_, | Two Whores
_Doll_, |
Ladies and Guests.

SCENE, _Covent-Garden_.


SCENE I. _The Street_.

_Enter Sir_ Timothy Tawdrey, Sham, _and_ Sharp.

Sir _Tim_. Hereabouts is the House wherein dwells the Mistress of my Heart; for she has Money, Boys, mind me, Money in abundance, or she were not for me–The Wench her self is good-natur’d, and inclin’d to be civil: but a Pox on’t–she has a Brother, a conceited Fellow, whom the World mistakes for a fine Gentleman; for he has travell’d, talks Languages, bows with a _bonne mine_, and the rest; but, by Fortune, he shall entertain you with nothing but Words–

_Sham_. Nothing else!–

Sir _Tim_. No–He’s no Country-Squire, Gentlemen, will not game, whore; nay, in my Conscience, you will hardly get your selves drunk in his Company–He treats A-la-mode, half Wine, half Water, and the rest–But to the Business, this Fellow loves his Sister dearly, and will not trust her in this leud Town, as he calls it, without him; and hither he has brought her to marry me.

_Sham_. A Pox upon him for his Pains–

Sir _Tim_. So say I–But my Comfort is, I shall be as weary of her, as the best Husband of ’em all. But there’s Conveniency in it; besides, the Match being as good as made up by the old Folks in the Country, I must submit–The Wench I never saw yet, but they say she’s handsom–But no matter for that, there’s Money, my Boys.

_Sharp_. Well, Sir, we will follow you–but as dolefully as People do their Friends to the Grave, from whence they’re never to return, at least not the same Substance; the thin airy Vision of a brave good Fellow, we may see thee hereafter, but that’s the most.

Sir _Tim_. Your Pardon, sweet _Sharp_, my whole Design in it is to be Master of my self, and with part of her Portion to set up my Miss, _Betty Flauntit_; which, by the way, is the main end of my marrying; the rest you’ll have your shares of–Now I am forc’d to take you up Suits at treble Prizes, have damn’d Wine and Meat put upon us, ’cause the Reckoning is to be book’d: But ready Money, ye Rogues! What Charms it has! makes the Waiters fly, Boys, and the Master with Cap in Hand–excuse what’s amiss, Gentlemen–Your Worship shall command the best–and the rest–How briskly the Box and Dice dance, and the ready Money submits to the lucky Gamester, and the gay Wench consults with every Beauty to make her self agreeable to the Man with ready Money! In fine, dear Rogues, all things are sacrific’d to its Power; and no Mortal conceives the Joy of Argent Content. ‘Tis this powerful God that makes me submit to the Devil, Matrimony; and then thou art assur’d of me, my stout Lads of brisk Debauch.

_Sham_. And is it possible you can be ty’d up to a Wife? Whilst here in _London_, and free, you have the whole World to range in, and like a wanton Heifer, eat of every Pasture.

Sir _Tim_. Why, dost think I’ll be confin’d to my own dull Enclosure? No, I had rather feed coarsely upon the boundless Common; perhaps two or three days I may be in love, and remain constant, but that’s the most.

_Sharp_. And in three Weeks, should you wed a _Cynthia_, you’d be a Monster.

Sir _Tim_. What, thou meanest a Cuckold, I warrant. God help thee! But a Monster is only so from its Rarity, and a Cuckold is no such strange thing in our Age.

_Enter_ Bellmour _and_ Friendlove.

But who comes here? _Bellmour!_ Ah, my little dear Rogue! how dost thou? –_Ned Friendlove_ too! Dear Lad, how dost thou too? Why, welcome to Town, i’faith, and I’m glad to see you both.

_Friend_. Sir _Timothy Tawdrey!_–

Sir _Tim_. The same, by Fortune, dear _Ned_: And how, and how, Man, how go Matters?

_Friend_. Between who, Sir?

Sir _Tim_. Why, any Body, Man; but, by Fortune, I’m overjoy’d to meet thee: But where dost think I was going?

_Friend_. Is’t possible one shou’d divine?

Sir _Tim_. Is’t possible you shou’d not, and meet me so near your Sister’s Lodgings? Faith, I was coming to pay my Respects and Services, and the rest–Thou know’st my meaning–The old Business of the Silver-World, _Ned_; by Fortune, it’s a mad Age we live in, _Ned_; and here be so many–wicked Rogues, about this damn’d leud Town, that, ‘faith, I am fain to speak in the vulgar modish Style, in my own Defence, and railly Matrimony and the rest.

_Friend_. Matrimony!–I hope you are so exactly refin’d a Man of the Town, that you will not offer once to think of so dull a thing: let that alone for such cold Complexions as _Bellmour_ here, and I, that have not attain’d to that most excellent faculty of Keeping yet, as you, Sir _Timothy_, have done; much to your Glory, I assure you.

Sir _Tim_. Who, I, Sir? You do me much Honour: I must confess I do not find the softer Sex cruel; I am received as well as another Man of my Parts.

_Friend_. Of your Money you mean, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. Why, ‘faith, _Ned_, thou art i’th’ right; I love to buy my Pleasure: for, by Fortune, there’s as much pleasure in Vanity and Variety, as any Sins I know; What think’st thou, _Ned?_

_Friend_. I am not of your Mind, I love to love upon the square; and that I may be sure not to be cheated with false Ware, I present ’em nothing but my Heart.

Sir _Tim_. Yes, and have the Consolation of seeing your frugal huswifery Miss in the Pit, at a Play, in a long Scarf and Night-gown, for want of Points, and Garniture.

_Friend_. If she be clean, and pretty, and drest in Love, I can excuse the rest, and so will she.

Sir _Tim_. I vow to Fortune, _Ned_, thou must come to _London_, and be a little manag’d: ‘slife, Man, shouldst thou talk so aloud in good Company, thou wouldst be counted a strange Fellow. Pretty–and drest with Love–a fine Figure, by Fortune: No, _Ned_, the painted Chariot gives a Lustre to every ordinary Face, and makes a Woman look like Quality; Ay, so like, by Fortune, that you shall not know one from t’other, till some scandalous, out-of-favour’d laid-aside Fellow of the Town, cry–Damn her for a Bitch–how scornfully the Whore regards me–She has forgot since _Jack_–such a one, and I, club’d for the keeping of her, when both our Stocks well manag’d wou’d not amount to above seven Shillings six Pence a week; besides now and then a Treat of a Breast of Mutton from the next Cook’s.–Then the other laughs, and crys–Ay, rot her–and tells his Story too, and concludes with, Who manages the Jilt now; Why, faith, some dismal Coxcomb or other, you may be sure, replies the first. But, _Ned_, these are Rogues, and Rascals, that value no Man’s Reputation, because they despise their own. But faith, I have laid aside all these Vanities, now I have thought of Matrimony; but I desire my Reformation may be a Secret, because, as you know, for a Man of my Address, and the rest–’tis not altogether so Jantee.

_Friend_. Sir, I assure you, it shall be so great a Secret for me, that I will never ask you who the happy Woman is, that’s chosen for this great Work of your Conversion.

Sir _Tim_. Ask me–No, you need not, because you know already.

_Friend_. Who, I? I protest, Sir _Timothy_–

Sir _Tim_. No Swearing, dear _Ned_, for ’tis not such a Secret, but I will trust my Intimates: these are my Friends, _Ned_; pray know them–This Mr. _Sham_, and this–by Fortune, a very honest Fellow [_Bows to ’em_] Mr. _Sharp_, and may be trusted with a Bus’ness that concerns you as well as me.

_Friend_. Me! What do you mean, Sir _Timothy_?

Sir _Tim_. Why, Sir, you know what I mean.

_Friend_. Not I, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. What, not that I am to marry your Sister _Celinda_?

_Friend_. Not at all.

_Bel_. O, this insufferable Sot! [_Aside_.

_Friend_. My Sister, Sir, is very nice.

Sir _Tim_. That’s all one, Sir, the old People have adjusted the matter, and they are the most proper for a Negotiation of that kind, which saves us the trouble of a tedious Courtship.

_Friend_. That the old People have agreed the matter, is more than I know.

Sir _Tim_. Why, Lord, Sir, will you persuade me to that? Don’t you know that your Father (according to the Method in such Cases, being certain of my Estate) came to me thus–Sir _Timothy Tawdrey_,–you are a young Gentleman, and a Knight, I knew your Father well, and my right worshipful Neighbour, our Estates lie together; therefore, Sir, I have a desire to have a near Relation with you–At which, I interrupted him, and cry’d–Oh Lord, Sir, I vow to Fortune, you do me the greatest Honour, Sir, and the rest–

_Bel_. I can endure no more; he marry fair _Celinda_!

_Friend_. Prithee let him alone. [_Aside_.

Sir _Tim_. To which he answer’d–I have a good Fortune–have but my Son _Ned_, and this Girl, call’d _Celinda_, whom I will make a Fortune, sutable to yours; your honoured Mother, the Lady _Tawdrey_, and I, have as good as concluded the Match already. To which I (who, though I say it, am well enough bred for a Knight) answered the Civility thus–I vow to Fortune, Sir–I did not swear, but cry’d–I protest, Sir, _Celinda_, deserves–no, no, I lye again, ’twas merits–Ay, _Celinda_–merits a much better Husband than I.

_Friend_. You speak more Truth than you are aware of. [_Aside_.] Well, Sir, I’ll bring you to my Sister; and if she likes you, as well as My Father does, she’s yours; otherwise, I have so much Tenderness for her, as to leave her Choice free.

Sir _Tim_. Oh, Sir, you compliment. _Alons, Entrons.


SCENE II. _A Chamber_.

_Enter_ Celinda, _and_ Nurse.

_Cel_. I wonder my Brother stays so long: sure Mr. _Bellmour_ is not yet arriv’d, yet he sent us word he would be here to day. Lord, how impatient I grow!

_Nur_. Ay, so methinks; if I had the hopes of enjoying so sweet a Gentleman as Mr. _Bellmour_, I shou’d be so too–But I am past it–Well, I have had my Pantings, and Heavings, my Impatience, and Qualms, my Heats, and my Colds, and my I know not whats–But I thank my Stars, I have done with all those Fooleries.

_Cel_. Fooleries!–
Is there any thing in Life but Love? Wou’dst thou praise Heaven for thy Being, Without that grateful part of it?
For I confess I love.

_Nur_. You need not, your Sighs, and daily (nay, and nightly too) Disorders, plainly enough betray the Truth.

_Cel_. Thou speak’st as if it were a Sin: But if it be so, you your self help’d to make me wicked. For e’er I saw Mr. _Bellmour_, you spoke the kindest things of him, As would have mov’d the dullest Maid to love; And e’er I saw him, I was quite undone.

_Nur_. Quite undone! Now God forbid it; what, for loving? You said but now there was no Life without it.

_Cel_. But since my Brother came from _Italy_, And brought young _Bellmour_ to our House, How very little thou hadst said of him!
How much above thy Praise, I found the Youth!

_Nur_. Very pretty! You are grown a notable Proficient in Love–And you are resolv’d (if he please) to marry him?

_Cel_. Or I must die.

_Nur_. Ay, but you know the Lord _Plotwell_ has the Possession of all his Estate, and if he marry without his liking, has Power to take away all his Fortune, and then I think it were not so good marrying him.

_Cel_. Not marrying him! Oh, canst thou think so poorly of me? Yes, I would marry him, though our scanty Fortune Cou’d only purchase us
A lonely Cottage, in some silent Place, All cover’d o’er with Thatch,
Defended from the Outrages of Storms By leafless Trees, in Winter; and from Heat, With Shades, which their kind Boughs wou’d bear anew; Under whose Covert we’d feed our gentle Flock, That shou’d in gratitude repay us Food,
And mean and humble Clothing.

_Nur_. Very fine!

_Cel_. There we wou’d practise such degrees of Love, Such lasting, innocent, unheard of Joys, As all the busy World should wonder at,
And, amidst all their Glories, find none such.

_Nur_. Good lack! how prettily Love teaches his Scholars to prattle.– But hear ye, fair Mrs. _Celinda_, you have forgot to what end and purpose you came to Town; not to marry Mr. _Bellmour_, as I take it–but Sir _Timothy Tawdrey_, that Spark of Men.

_Cel_. Oh, name him not–Let me not in one Moment Descend from Heaven to Hell–
How came that wretched thing into thy Noddle?

_Nur_. Faith, Mistress, I took pity of thee, I saw you so elevated with Thoughts of Mr. _Bellmour_, I found it necessary to take you down a degree lower.

_Cel_. Why did not Heaven make all Men like lo _Bellmour_? So strangely sweet and charming!

_Nur_. Marry come up, you speak well for your self; Oh intolerable loving Creature!
But here comes the utmost of your Wishes.

_Cel_. My Brother, and _Bellmour_! with strange Men!

_Enter_ Friendlove, Bellmour, _Sir_ Timothy, Sham, _and_ Sharp.

_Friend_. Sister, I’ve brought you here a Lover, this is the worthy Person you have heard of, Sir _Timothy Tawdrey_.

Sir _Tim_. Yes, faith, Madam, I am Sir _Timothy Tawdrey_, at your Service–Pray are not you Mrs. _Celinda Dresswell_?

_Cel_. The same, but cannot return your Compliment.

Sir _Tim_. Oh Lord, oh Lord, not return a Compliment. Faith, _Ned_, thy Sister’s quite spoil’d, for want of Town-Education; ’tis pity, for she’s devilish pretty.

_Friend_. She’s modest, Sir, before Company; therefore these Gentlemen and I will withdraw into the next Room.

_Cel_. Inhuman Brother! Will you leave me alone with this Sot?

_Friend_. Yes, and if you would be rid of the trouble of him, be not coy, nor witty; two things he hates.

_Bel_. ‘Sdeath! Must she be blown upon by that Fool?

_Friend_. Patience, dear _Frank_, a little while.

[_Exeunt_ Friend. Bell. Sham _and_ Sharp.

[Sir Timothy _walks about the Room, expecting when_ Celinda _should speak_.

_Cel_. Oh, dear Nurse, what shall I do?

_Nur_. I that ever help you at a dead Lift, will not fail you now.

Sir _Tim_. What a Pox, not a Word?

_Cel_. Sure this Fellow believes I’ll begin.

Sir _Tim_. Not yet–sure she has spoke her last–

_Nur_. The Gentleman’s good-natur’d, and has took pity on you, and will not trouble you, I think.

Sir _Tim_.–Hey day, here’s Wooing indeed–Will she never begin, trow? –This some would call an excellent Quality in her Sex–But a pox on’t, I do not like it–Well, I see I must break Silence at last–Madam–not answer me–‘shaw, this is mere ill breeding–by Fortune–it can be nothing else–O’ my Conscience, if I should kiss her, she would bid me stand off–I’ll try–

_Nur_. Hold, Sir, you mistake your Mark.

Sir _Tim_. So I should, if I were to look in thy mouldy Chaps, good Matron–Can your Lady speak?

_Nur_. Try, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. Which way?

_Nur_. Why, speak to her first.

Sir _Tim_. I never knew a Woman want a Cue for that; but all that I Have met with were still before-hand with me in tittle tattle.

_Nur_. Likely those you have met with may, but this is no such Creature, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. I must confess, I am unus’d to this kind of Dialogue; and I am an Ass, if I know what to say to such a Creature. –But come, will you answer me to one Question?

_Cel_. If I can, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. But first I should ask you if you can speak? For that’s a Question too.

_Cel_. And if I cannot, how will you be answer’d?

Sir _Tim_. Faith, that’s right; why, then you must do’t by signs.

_Cel_. But grant I can speak, what is’t you’ll ask me?

Sir _Tim_. Can you love?

_Cel_. Oh, yes, Sir, many things; I love my Meat, I love abundance of Adorers, I love choice of new Clothes, new Plays; and, like a right Woman, I love to have my Will.

Sir _Tim_. Spoke like a well-bred Person, by Fortune: I see there’s hopes of thee, Celinda; thou wilt in time learn to make a very fashionable Wife, having so much Beauty too. I see Attracts, and Allurements, wanton Eyes, the languishing turn of the Head, and all That invites to Temptation.

_Cel_. Would that please you in a Wife?

Sir _Tim_. Please me! Why, Madam, what do you take me to be? a Sot?– a Fool?–or a dull _Italian_ of the Humour of your Brother?–No, no, I can assure you, she that marries me, shall have Franchise–But, my pretty Miss, you must learn to talk a little more–

_Cel_. I have not Wit, and Sense enough, for that.

Sir _Tim_. Wit! Oh la, O la, Wit! as if there were any Wit requir’d in a Woman when she talks; no, no matter for Wit, or Sense: talk but loud, and a great deal to shew your white Teeth, and smile, and be very confident, and ’tis enough–Lord, what a Sight ’tis to see a pretty Woman Stand right up an end in the middle of a Room, playing with her Fan, for want of something to keep her in Countenance. No, she that is mine, I will teach to entertain at another rate.

_Nur_. How, Sir? Why, what do you take my young Mistress to be?

Sir _Tim_. A Woman–and a fine one, and so fine as she ought to permit her self to be seen, and be ador’d.

_Nur_. Out upon you, would you expose your Wife? by my troth, and I were she, I know what I wou’d do–

Sir _Tim_. Thou do–what thou wouldst have done sixty Years ago, thou meanest.

_Nur_. Marry come up, for a stinking Knight; worse than I have gone down with you, e’er now–Sixty Years ago, quoth ye–As old as I am– I live without Surgeons, wear my own Hair, am not in Debt to my Taylor, as thou art, and art fain to kiss his Wife, to persuade her Husband to be merciful to thee–who wakes thee every Morning with his Clamour and long Bills, at thy Chamber-door.

Sir _Tim_. Prithee, good Matron, Peace; I’ll compound with thee.

_Nur_. ‘Tis more than thou wilt do with thy Creditors, who, poor Souls, despair of a Groat in the Pound for all thou ow’st them, for Points, Lace, and Garniture–for all, in fine, that makes thee a complete Fop.

Sir _Tim_. Hold, hold thy eternal Clack.

_Nur_. And when none would trust thee farther, give Judgments for twice the Money thou borrowest, and swear thy self at Age; and lastly–to patch up your broken Fortune, you wou’d fain marry my sweet Mistress _Celinda_ here–But, Faith, Sir, you’re mistaken, her Fortune shall not go to the Maintenance of your Misses; which being once sure of, she, poor Soul, is sent down to the Country-house, to learn Housewifery, and live without Mankind, unless she can serve her self with the handsom Steward, or so–whilst you tear it away in Town, and live like Man and Wife with your Jilt, and are every Day seen in the Glass Coach, whilst your own natural Lady is hardly worth the Hire of a Hack.

Sir _Tim_. Why, thou damnable confounded Torment, wilt thou never cease?

_Nur_. No, not till you raise your Siege, and be gone; go march to your Lady of Love, and Debauch–go–You get no _Celinda_ here.

Sir _Tim_. The Devil’s in her Tongue.

_Cel_. Good gentle Nurse, have Mercy upon the poor Knight.

_Nur_. No more, Mistress, than he’ll have on you, if Heaven had so abandon’d you, to put you into his Power–Mercy–quoth ye–no–, no more than his Mistress will have, when all his Money’s gone.

Sir _Tim_. Will she never end?

_Cel_. Prithee forbear.

_Nur_. No more than the Usurer would, to whom he has mortgag’d the best part of his Estate, would forbear a Day after the promis’d Payment of the Money. Forbear!–

Sir _Tim_. Not yet end! Can I, Madam, give you a greater Proof of my Passion for you, than to endure this for your sake?

_Nur_. This–thou art so sorry a Creature, thou wilt endure any thing for the lucre of her Fortune; ’tis that thou hast a Passion for: not that thou carest for Money, but to sacrifice to thy Leudness, to purchase a Mistress, to purchase the Reputation of as errant a Fool as ever arriv’d at the Honour of keeping; to purchase a little Grandeur, as you call it; that is, to make every one look at thee, and consider what a Fool thou art, who else might pass unregarded amongst the common Croud.

Sir _Tim_. The Devil’s in her Tongue, and so ’tis in most Women’s of her Age; for when it has quitted the Tail, it repairs to her upper Tire.

_Nur_. Do not persuade me, Madam, I am resolv’d to make him weary of his Wooing.

Sir _Tim_. So, God be prais’d, the Storm is laid–And now, Mrs. _Celinda_, give me leave to ask you, if it be with your leave, this Affront is put on a Man of my Quality?

_Nur_. Thy Quality–

Sir _Tim_. Yes; I am a Gentleman, and a Knight.

_Nur_. Yes, Sir, Knight of the ill-favour’d Countenance is it?

Sir _Tim_. You are beholding to _Don Quixot_ for that, and ’tis so many Ages since thou couldst see to read, I wonder thou hast not forgot all that ever belong’d to Books.

_Nur_. My Eye-sight is good enough to see thee in all thy Colours, thou Knight of the burning Pestle thou.

Sir _Tim_. Agen, that was out of a Play–Hark ye, Witch of _Endor_, hold your prating Tongue, or I shall most well-favour’dly cudgel ye.

_Nur_. As your Friend the Hostess has it in a Play too, I take it, Ends which you pick up behind the Scenes, when you go to be laught at even by the Player-Women.

Sir _Tim_. Wilt thou have done? By Fortune, I’ll endure no more–

_Nur_. Murder, Murder!

Cel. Hold, hold.

_Enter_ Friendlove, Bellmour, Sham _and_ Sharp.

_Friend_. Read here the worst of News that can arrive, [_Gives_ Bellm. _a Letter_. –What’s the matter here? Why, how now,
Sir _Timothy_, what, up in Arms with the Women?

Sir _Tim_. Oh, Ned, I’m glad thou’rt come–never was _Tom Dove_ baited as I have been.

_Friend_. By whom? my Sister?

Sir _Tim_. No, no, that old Mastiff there–the young Whelp came not on, thanks be prais’d.

_Bel_. How, her Father here to morrow, and here he says, that shall be the last Moment, he will defer the Marriage of _Celinda_ to this Sot– Oh God, I shall grow mad, and so undo ’em all–I’ll kill the Villain at the Altar–By my lost hopes, I will–And yet there is some left–Could I but–speak to her–I must rely on _Dresswell’s_ Friendship–Oh God, to morrow–Can I endure that thought? Can I endure to see the Traytor there, who must to morrow rob me of my Heaven?–I’ll own my Flame–and boldly tell this Fop, she must be mine–

_Friend_. I assure you, Sir _Timothy_, I am sorry, and will chastise her.

Sir _Tim_. Ay, Sir, I that am a Knight–a Man of Parts and Wit, and one that is to be your Brother, and design’d to be the Glory of marrying _Celinda_.

_Bel_. I can endure no more–How, Sir–You marry fair _Celinda!_

Sir _Tim_. Ay, _Frank_, ay–is she not a pretty little plump white Rogue, hah?

_Bel_. Yes.

Sir _Tim_. Oh, I had forgot thou art a modest Rogue, and to thy eternal Shame, hadst never the Reputation of a Mistress–Lord, Lord, that I could see thee address thy self to a Lady–I fancy thee a very ridiculous Figure in that Posture, by Fortune.

_Bel_. Why, Sir, I can court a Lady–

Sir _Tim_. No, no, thou’rt modest; that is to say, a Country Gentleman; that is to say, ill-bred; that is to say, a Fool, by Fortune, as the World goes.

_Bel_. Neither, Sir–I can love–and tell it too–and that you may believe me–look on this Lady, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. Look on this Lady, Sir–Ha, ha, ha,–Well, Sir–Well, Sir– And what then?

_Bel_. Nay, view her well, Sir–

Sir. _Tim_. Pleasant this–Well, _Frank_, I do–And what then?

_Bel_. Is she not charming fair–fair to a wonder!

Sir _Tim_. Well, Sir, ’tis granted–

_Bel_. And canst thou think this Beauty meant for thee, for thee, dull common Man?

Sir _Tim_. Very well, what will he say next?

_Bel_. I say, let me no more see thee approach this Lady.

Sir _Tim_. How, Sir, how?

_Bel_. Not speak to her, not look on her–by Heaven–not think of her.

Sir _Tim_. How, _Frank_, art in earnest?

_Bel_. Try, if thou dar’st.

Sir _Tim_. Not think of her!–

_Bel_. No, not so much as in a Dream, could I divine it.

Sir _Tim_. Is he in earnest, Mr. _Friendlove_?

_Friend_. I doubt so, Sir _Timothy_.

Sir _Tim_. What, does he then pretend to your Sister?

_Bel_. Yes, and no Man else shall dare do so.

Sir _Tim_. Take notice I am affronted in your Lodgings–for you, _Bellmour_–You take me for an Ass–therefore meet me to morrow Morning about five, with your Sword in your Hand, behind _Southampton_ House.

_Bel_. ‘Tis well–there we will dispute our Title to _Celinda_. [_Exit Sir_ Tim. _Dull Animal! The Gods cou’d ne’er decree So bright a Maid shou’d be possest by thee_.



SCENE I. _A Palace_.

_Enter_ Nurse _with a Light_.

_Nur_. Well, ’tis an endless trouble to have the Tuition of a Maid in love, here is such Wishing and Longing.–And yet one must force them to what they most desire, before they will admit of it–Here am I sent out a Scout of the Forlorn Hope, to discover the Approach of the Enemy–Well –Mr. _Bellmour_, you are not to know, ’tis with the Consent of _Celinda_, that you come–I must bear all the blame, what Mischief soever comes of these Night-Works.

_Enter_ Bellmour.

Oh, are you come–Your Hour was Twelve, and now ’tis almost Two.

_Bel_. I could not get from _Friendlove_–Thou hast not told _Celinda_ of my coming?

_Nur_. No, no, e’en make Peace for me, and your self too.

_Bel_. I warrant thee, Nurse–Oh, how I hope and fear this Night’s Success!


SCENE II. _A Chamber_.

Celinda _in her Night-Attire, leaning on a Table. Enter to her_ Bellmour _and_ Nurse.

_Cel_. Oh Heavens! Mr. _Bellmour_ at this late Hour in my Chamber!

_Bel_. Yes, Madam; but will approach no nearer till you permit me; And sure you know my Soul too well to fear.

_Cel_. I do, Sir, and you may approach yet nearer, And let me know your Business.

_Bel_. Love is my bus’ness, that of all the World; Only my Flame as much surmounts the rest, As is the Object’s Beauty I adore.

_Cel_. If this be all, to tell me of your Love, To morrow might have done as well.

_Bel_. Oh, no, to morrow would have been too late, Too late to make returns to all my Pain. –What disagreeing thing offends your Eyes? I’ve no Deformity about my Person;
I’m young, and have a Fortune great as any That do pretend to serve you;
And yet I find my Interest in your Heart, Below those happy ones that are my Rivals. Nay, every Fool that can but plead his Title, And the poor Interest that a Parent gives him, Can merit more than I.
–What else, my lovely Maid, can give a freedom To that same talking, idle, knighted Fop?

_Cel_. Oh, if I am so wretched to be his, Surely I cannot live;
For, Sir, I must confess I cannot love him.

_Bel_. But thou may’st do as bad, and marry him, And that’s a Sin I cannot over-live;
–No, hear my Vows–

_Cel_. But are you, Sir, in earnest?

_Bel_. In earnest? Yes, by all that’s good, I am; I love you more than I do Life, or Heaven!

_Cel_. Oh, what a pleasure ’tis to hear him say so! [_Aside_. –But pray, how long, Sir, have you lov’d me so?

_Bel_. From the first moment that I saw your Eyes, Your charming killing Eyes, I did adore ’em; And ever since have languisht Day and Night.

_Nur_. Come, come, ne’er stand asking of Questions, But follow your Inclinations, and take him at his Word.

_Bel_. Celinda, take her Counsel,
Perhaps this is the last opportunity; Nay, and, by Heaven, the last of all my Life, If you refuse me now–
Say, will you never marry Man but me?

_Cel_. Pray give me till to morrow, Sir, to answer you; For I have yet some Fears about my Soul, That take away my Rest.

_Bel_. To morrow! You must then marry–Oh fatal Word! Another! a Beast, a Fool, that knows not how to value you.

_Cel_. Is’t possible my Fate shou’d be so near?

_Nur_. Nay, then dispose of your self, I say, and leave dissembling; ’tis high time.

_Bel_. This Night the Letter came, the dreadful News Of thy being married, and to morrow too. Oh, answer me, or I shall die with Fear.

_Cel_. I must confess it, Sir, without a blush, (For ’tis no Sin to love) that I cou’d wish– Heaven and my Father were inclin’d my way: But I am all Obedience to their Wills.

_Bel_. That Sigh was kind,
But e’er to morrow this time,
You’ll want this pitying Sense, and feel no Pantings, But those which Joys and Pleasures do create.

_Cel_. Alas, Sir! what is’t you’d have me do?

_Bel_. Why–I wou’d have you love, and after that You need not be instructed what to do.
Give me your Faith, give me your solemn Vow To be my Wife, and I shall be at Peace.

_Cel_. Have you consider’d, Sir, your own Condition? ‘Tis in your Uncle’s Power to take your Fortune, If in your Choice you disobey his Will.
–And, Sir, you know that mine is much below you.

_Bel_. Oh, I shall calm his Rage,
By urging so much Reason as thy Beauty, And my own Flame, on which my Life depends. –He now has kindly sent for me to _London_, I fear his Bus’ness–
Yet if you’ll yield to marry me,
We’ll keep it secret, till our kinder Stars Have made provision for the blest Discovery. Come, give me your Vows, or we must part for ever.

_Cel_. Part! Oh, ’tis a fatal Word!
I will do any thing to save that Life, To which my own so nearly is ally’d.

_Enter_ Friendlove.

_Friend_. So, forward Sister!

_Bel_. Ha, _Friendlove!_

_Friend_. Was it so kindly done, to gain my Sister Without my knowledge?

_Bel_. Ah, Friend! ‘Twas from her self alone That I wou’d take the Blessing which I ask.

_Friend_. And I’ll assist her, Sir, to give it you. Here, take him as an Honour, and be thankful.

_Bel_. I as a Blessing sent from Heaven receive her, And e’er I sleep will justify my Claim,
And make her mine.

_Friend_. Be not so hasty, Friend:
Endeavour first to reconcile your Uncle to’t.

_Bel_. By such Delays we’re lost: Hast thou forgot? To morrow she’s design’d another’s Bride!

_Friend_. For that let me alone t’evade.

_Bel_. If you must yet delay me,
Give me leave not to interest such Wealth without Security. And I, _Celinda_, will instruct you how to satisfy my Fears. [_Kneels, and takes her by the Hand_. Bear witness to my Vows–
May every Plague that Heaven inflicts on Sin, Fall down in Thunder on my Head,
If e’er I marry any but _Celinda_
Or if I do not marry thee, fair Maid.

_Nur_. Heartily sworn, as I vow.

_Cel_. And here I wish as solemnly the same: –May all arrive to me,
If e’er I marry any Man but _Bellmour_!

_Nur_. We are Witnesses, as good as a thousand.

_Friend_. But now, my Friend, I’d have you take your leave; the day comes on apace, and you’ve not seen your Uncle since your Arrival.

_Bel_. ‘Tis Death to part with thee, my fair Celinda; But our hard Fates impose this Separation: –Farewel–Remember thou’rt all mine.

_Cel_. What have I else of Joy to think upon? –Go–go–depart.

_Bel_. I will–but ’tis as Misers part with Gold, Or People full of Health depart from Life.

_Friend_. Go, Sister, to your Bed, and dream of him.

[_Ex_. Cel. _and_ Nurse.

_Bel_. Whilst I prepare to meet this Fop to fight him.

_Friend_. Hang him, he’ll ne’er meet thee; to beat a Watch, or kick a Drawer, or batter Windows, is the highest pitch of Valour he e’er arriv’d to.

_Bel_. However, I’ll expect him, lest he be fool-hardy enough to keep his Word.

_Friend_. Shall I wait on thee?

_Bel_. No, no, there’s no need of that–Good-morrow, my best Friend.

_Friend_. But e’er you go, my dearest Friend and Brother, Now you are sure of all the Joys you wish From Heaven, do not forgetful grow of that great Trust I gave you of all mine; but, like a Friend, Assist me in my great Concern of Love
With fair Diana, your lovely Cousin. You know how long I have ador’d that Maid; But still her haughty Pride repell’d my Flame, And all its fierce Efforts.

_Bel_. She has a Spirit equal to her Beauty, As mighty and tyrannick; yet she has Goodness, And I believe enough inclin’d to Love,
When once her Pride’s o’ercome. I have the Honour To be the Confident of all her Thoughts: And to augment thy Hopes, ’tis not long since She did with Sighs confess to me, she lov’d A Man, she said, scarce equal to her Fortune: But all my Interest could not learn the Object; But it must needs be you, by what she said. This I’ll improve, and so to your Advantage–

_Friend_. I neither doubt thy Industry, nor Love; Go, and be careful of my Interest there, Whilst I preserve thine as intirely here.

[_Ex. severally_.

SCENE III. _Sir_ Timothy’s _House_.

_Enter Sir_ Timothy, Sham, Sharp, _and_ Boy.

_Sharp_. Good morrow, Sir _Timothy_; what, not yet ready, and to meet Mr. _Bellmour_ at Five? the time’s past.

Sir _Tim_.–Ay, Pox on’t–I han’t slept to Night for thinking on’t.

_Sham_. Well, Sir _Timothy_, I have most excellent News for you, that will do as well; I have found out–

Sir _Tim_. A new Wench, I warrant–But prithee, _Sham_, I have other matters in hand; ‘Sheart, I am so mortify’d with this same thought of Fighting, that I shall hardly think of Womankind again.

_Sharp_. And you were so forward, Sir Timothy–

Sir _Tim_. Ay, _Sharp_, I am always so when I am angry; had I been but A little more provok’d then, that we might have gone to’t when the heat was brisk, I had done well–but a Pox on’t, this fighting in cool Blood I hate.

_Sham_. ‘Shaw, Sir, ’tis nothing, a Man wou’d do’t for Exercise in a Morning.

Sir _Tim_. Ay, if there were no more in’t than Exercise; if a Man cou’d take a Breathing without breathing a Vein–but, _Sham_, this Wounds, and Blood, sounds terribly in my Ears; but since thou say’st ’tis nothing, prithee do thou meet _Bellmour_ in my stead; thou art a poor Dog, and ’tis no matter if the World were well rid of thee.

_Sham_. I wou’d do’t with all my Soul–but your Honour, Sir–

Sir _Tim_.–My Honour! ’tis but Custom that makes it honourable to fight Duels–I warrant you the wise _Italian_ thinks himself a Man of Honour; and yet when did you hear of an _Italian_, that ever fought a Duel? Is’t not enough, that I am affronted, have my Mistress taken away before my Face, hear my self call’d, dull, common Man, dull Animal, and the rest?–But I must after all give him leave to kill me too, if he can–And this is your damn’d Honourable _English_ way of shewing a Man’s Courage.

_Sham_. I must confess I am of your mind, and therefore have been studying a Revenge, sutable to the Affront: and if I can judge any thing, I have hit it.

Sir _Tim_. Hast thou? dear _Sham_, out with it.

_Sham_. Why, Sir–what think you of debauching his Sister?

Sir _Tim_. Why, is there such a thing in Nature?

_Sham_. You know he has a Sister, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. Yes, rich, and fair.

_Sham_. Both, or she were not worthy of your Revenge.

Sir _Tim_. Oh, how I love Revenge, that has a double Pleasure in it–and where–and where is this fine piece of Temptation?

_Sham_. In being, Sir–but _Sharp_ here, and I, have been at some cost in finding her out.

Sir _Tim_. Ye shall be overpaid–there’s Gold, my little _Maquere_–but she’s very handsom?

_Sharp_. As a Goddess, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. And art thou sure she will be leud?

_Sharp_. Are we sure she’s a Woman, Sir?–Sure, she’s in her Teens, has Pride and Vanity–and two or three Sins more that I cou’d name, all which never fail to assist a Woman in Debauchery–But, Sir, there are certain People that belong to her, that must be consider’d too.

Sir _Tim_. Stay, Sir, e’er I part with more Money, I’ll be certain what returns ’twill make me–that is, I’ll see the Wench, not to inform my self, how well I like her, for that I shall do, because she is new, and _Bellmour’s_ Sister–but to find what possibility there is in gaining her.–I am us’d to these things, and can guess from a Look, or a Kiss, or a Touch of the Hand–but then I warrant, ’twill come to the knowledge of _Betty Flauntit_.

_Sham_. What, Sir, then it seems you doubt us?

Sir _Tim_. How do you mean, your Honesty or Judgment? I can assure you, I doubt both.

_Sharp_. How, Sir, doubt our Honesty!

Sir _Tim_. Yes–why, I hope neither of you pretend to either, do you?

_Sham_. Why, Sir, what, do you take us for Cheats?

Sir _Tim_. As errant, as any’s in Christendom.

_Sharp_. How, Sir?

Sir _Tim_. Why, how now–what, fly in my Face? Are your Stomachs so queasy, that Cheat won’t down with you?

_Sham_. Why, Sir, we are Gentlemen; and though our ill Fortunes have thrown us on your Bounty, we are not to be term’d–

Sir _Tim_. Why, you pair of Hectors–whence this Impudence?–Do ye know me, ye Raggamuffins?

_Sham_. Yes, but we knew not that you were a Coward before. You talkt big, and huft where-e’er you came, like an errant Bully; and so long we reverenc’d you–but now we find you have need of our Courage, we’ll stand on our own Reputations.

Sir _Tim_. Courage and Reputation!–ha, ha, ha–why, you lousy Tatterdemallions–dare ye talk of Courage and Reputation?

_Sharp_. Why, Sir, who dares question either?

Sir _Tim_. He that dares try it. [Kicks ’em.

_Sharp_. Hold, Sir, hold.

_Sham_. Enough, enough, we are satisfy’d.

Sir _Tim_. So am not I, ye mangy Mungrels, till I have kickt Courage and Reputation out of ye.

_Sham_. Hold there, Sir, ’tis enough, we are satisfy’d, that you have Courage.

Sir _Tim_. Oh, are you so? then it seems I was not to be believ’d–I told you I had Courage when I was angry.

_Sham_. Ay, Sir, we have prov’d it, and will now swear it.–But we had an Inclination to try, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. And all you did, was but to try my Courage, hah!

_Sharp_. On our Honours, nothing else, Sir _Timothy_.

Sir _Tim_. Though I know ye to be cursed cowardly lying Rogues, yet because I have use of ye, I must forgive ye.–Here, kiss my Hand, and be forgiven.

_Sham_. ‘Tis an Honour we are proud of, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. Oh, is it so, Rascallians? then I hope I am to see the Lady without Indentures.

_Sharp_. Oh Lord, Sir, any thing we can serve you in.

_Sham_. And I have brib’d her Maid to bring her this Morning into the _Mall_.

Sir _Tim_. Well, let’s about it then; for I am for no fighting to day–D’ye hear, Boy–Let the Coach be got ready whilst I get my self drest.

_Boy_. The Coach, Sir! Why, you know Mr. _Shatter_ has pawn’d the Horses.

Sir _Tim_. I had forgot it–A pox on’t, this ’tis to have a Partner in A Coach; by Fortune, I must marry and set up a whole one.


SCENE IV. Lord Plotwell’s House.

Enter Charles Bellmour, and Trusty.

_Trusty_. Mr. _Charles_, your Brother, my young Master _Bellmour_, is come.

_Char_. I’m glad on’t; my Uncle began to be impatient that he came not, you saying you left him but a day’s Journey behind you yesterday. My Uncle has something of importance to say to him, I fancy it may be about A Marriage between him and my Lady _Diana_–such a Whisper I heard–

_Trusty_. Ay, marry, Sir, that were a Match indeed, she being your Uncle’s only Heir.

_Char_. Ay, but they are Sisters Children, and too near a-kin to be happy.

_Trusty_. ‘Twere pity my young Master shou’d be unhappy in a Wife; for he is the sweetest-natur’d Gentleman–But one Comfort is, Mr. _Charles_, you, and your Sister Mrs. _Phillis_, will have your Portions assign’d you if he marry.

_Char_. Yes, that he can’t deny us the very Day after his Marriage.

_Trusty_. I shall be glad to see you all dispos’d of well; but I was half afraid, your Brother would have married Mrs. _Celinda Friendlove_, to whom he made notable Love in _Yorkshire_ I thought: not but she’s a fine Lady; but her Fortune is below that of my young Master’s, as much as my Lady _Diana’s_ is above his–But see, they come; let us retire, to give ’em leave to talk alone.


_Enter_ _Lord_ Plotwell, _and_ Bellmour.

_Lord_. And well, _Frank_, how dost thou find thy self inclin’d? thou should’st begin to think of something more than Books. Do’st thou not wish to know the Joys that are to be found in a Woman, _Frank_? I well remember at thy Age I fancy’d a thousand fine things of that kind.

_Bel_. Ay, my Lord, a thousand more perhaps than are to be found.

_Lord_. Not so; but I confess, _Frank_, unless the Lady be fair, and there be some Love too, ’tis not altogether so well; therefore I, who am still busy for thy good, have fix’d upon a Lady–

_Bel_. Ha!–

_Lord_. What, dost start? Nay, I’ll warrant thee she’ll please; A Lady rich, and fair, and nobly born, and thou shalt marry her, _Frank_.

_Bel_. Marry her, my Lord–

_Lord_. Why, yes, marry her–I hope you are none of the fashionable Fops, that are always in Mutiny against Marriage, who never think themselves very witty, but when they rail against Heaven and a Wife– But, _Frank_, I have found better Principles in thee, and thou hast the Reputation of a sober young Gentleman; thou art, besides, a Man of great Fortune, _Frank_.

_Bel_. And therefore, Sir, ought the less to be a Slave.

_Lord_. But, _Frank_, we are made for one another; and ought, by the Laws of God, to communicate our Blessings.

_Bel_. Sir, there are Men enough, fitter much than I, to obey those Laws; nor do I think them made for every one.

_Lord_. But, _Frank_, you do not know what a Wife I have provided for you.

_Bel_. ‘Tis enough I know she’s a Woman, Sir.

_Lord_. A Woman! why, what should she be else?

_Bel_. An Angel, Sir, e’er she can be my Wife.

_Lord_. In good time: but this is a Mortal, Sir–and must serve your turn–but, _Frank_, she is the finest Mortal–

_Bel_. I humbly beg your Pardon, if I tell you, That had she Beauty such as Heav’n ne’er made, Nor meant again t’inrich a Woman with,
It cou’d not take my Heart.

_Lord_. But, Sir, perhaps you do not guess the Lady.

_Bel_. Or cou’d I, Sir, it cou’d not change my Nature.

_Lord_. But, Sir, suppose it be my Niece _Diana_.

_Bel_. How, Sir, the fair _Diana_!

_Lord_. I thought thou’dst come about again; What think you now of Woman-kind, and Wedlock?

_Bel_. As I did before, my Lord.

_Lord_. What, thou canst not think I am in earnest; I confess, _Frank_, she is above thee in point of Fortune, she being my only Heir–but suppose ’tis she.

_Bel_. Oh, I’m undone!–Sir, I dare not suppose so greatly in favour of my self.

_Lord_. But, _Frank_, you must needs suppose–

_Bel_. Oh, I am ruin’d, lost, for ever lost.

_Lord_. What do you mean, Sir?

_Bel_. I mean, I cannot marry fair _Diana_.

_Lord_. Death! how’s this?

_Bel_. She is a thing above my humble wishes–

_Lord_. Is that all? Take you no care for that; for she loves you already, and I have resolv’d it, which is better yet.

_Bel_. Love me, Sir! I know she cannot, And Heav’n forbid that I should injure her.

_Lord_. Sir, this is a Put-off: resolve quickly, or I’ll compel you.

_Bel_. You wou’d not use Extremity;
What is the Forfeit of my Disobedience?

_Lord_. The loss of all your Fortune, If you refuse the Wife I have provided– Especially a handsom Lady, as she is, _Frank_.

_Bel_. Oh me, unhappy!
What cursed Laws provided this Severity?

_Lord_. Even those of your Father’s Disposal, who seeing so many Examples in this leud Age, of the ruin of whole Families by imprudent Marriages, provided otherwise for you.

_Bel_. But, Sir, admit _Diana_ be inclin’d, And I (by my unhappy Stars so curs’d)
Should be unable to accept the Honour.

_Lord_. How, Sir! admit!–I can no more admit, Than you can suppose–therefore give me your final Answer.

_Bel_. Sir, can you think a Blessing e’er can fall Upon that Pair, whom Interest joins, not Love?

_Lord_. Why, what’s in _Diana_, that you shou’d not love her?

_Bel_. I must confess she has a thousand Virtues, The least of which wou’d bless another Man; But, Sir, I hope, if I am so unhappy
As not to love that Lady, you will pardon me.

_Lord_. Indeed, Sir, but I will not; love me this Lady, and marry me this Lady, or I will teach you what it is to refuse such a Lady.

_Bel_. Sir, ’tis not in my power to obey you.

_Lord_. How! not in your pow’r?

_Bel_. No, Sir, I see my fatal Ruin in your Eyes, And know too well your Force, and my own Misery. –But, Sir–when I shall tell you who I’ve married–

_Lord_. Who you’ve married;–By all that’s sacred, if that be true, thou art undone for ever.

_Bel_. O hear me, Sir!
I came with Hopes to have found you merciful.

_Lord_. Expect none from me; no, thou shalt not have So much of thy Estate, as will afford thee Bread: By Heav’n, thou shalt not.

_Bel_. Oh, pity me, my Lord, pity my Youth; It is no Beggar, nor one basely born,
That I have given my Heart to, but a Maid, Whose Birth, whose Beauty, and whose Education Merits the best of Men.

_Lord_. Very fine! where is the Priest that durst dispose of you without my Order? Sirrah, you are my Slave–at least your whole Estate is at my mercy–and besides, I’ll charge you with an Action of 5000 pounds. For your ten Years Maintenance: Do you know that this in my power too?

_Bel_. Yes, Sir, and dread your Anger worse than Death.

_Lord_. Oh Villain! thus to dash my Expectation!

_Bel_. Sir, on my bended Knees, thus low I fall To beg your mercy.

_Lord_. Yes, Sir, I will have mercy;
I’ll give you Lodging–but in a Dungeon, Sir, Where you shall ask your Food of Passers by.

_Bel_. All this, I know, you have the Pow’r to do; But, Sir, were I thus cruel, this hard Usage Would give me Cause to execute it.
I wear a Sword, and I dare right my self; And Heaven wou’d pardon it, if I should kill you: But Heav’n forbid I shou’d correct that Law, Which gives you Power, and orders me Obedience.

_Lord_. Very well, Sir, I shall tame that Courage, and punish that Harlot, whoe’er she be, that has seduc’d ye.

_Bel_. How, Harlot, Sir!–Death, such another Word, And through all Laws and Reason I will rush, And reach thy Soul, if mortal like thy Body. –No, Sir, she’s chaste, as are the new-made Vows I breath’d upon her Lips, when last we parted.

_Lord_. Who waits there?

Enter Trusty and Servants.

–Shall I be murder’d in my own House? ‘Tis time you were remov’d–
Go, get an Action of 5000 pounds, enter’d against him, With Officers to arrest him.

_Trusty_. My Lord, ’tis my young Master _Bellmour_.

_Lord_. Ye all doat upon him, but he’s not the Man you take him for.

_Trusty_. How, my Lord! not this Mr. _Bellmour_!

_Lord_. Dogs, obey me.
[_Offers to go_.

_Bel_. Stay, Sir–oh, stay–what will become of me? ‘Twere better that my Life were lost, than Fortune– For that being gone, _Celinda_ must not love me. –But to die wretchedly–
Poorly in Prison–whilst I can manage this– Is below him, that does adore _Celinda. [Draws_. I’ll kill my self–but then–I kill _Celinda_. Shou’d I obey this Tyrant–then too she dies. Yes, Sir–You may be cruel–take the Law, And kill me quickly, ’twill become your Justice. [_Weeps_.

_Lord_. Was I call’d back for this? Yes, I shall take it, Sir; do not fear.
[_Offers to go_.

_Bel_. Yet, stay, Sir–Have you lost all Humanity? Have you no Sense of Honour, nor of Horrors?

_Lord_. Away with him–go, be gone.

_Bel_. Stay, Sir. Oh, God! what is’t you’d have me do? –Here–I resign my self unto your Will– But, Oh _Celinda_! what will become of thee? [_Weeps_. –Yes, I will marry–and _Diana_ too.

_Lord_. ‘Tis well you will; had I not been good-natur’d now, You had been undone, and miss’d _Diana_ too.

_Bel_. But must I marry–needs marry, Sir? Or lose my Fortune, and my Liberty,
Whilst all my Vows are given to another?

_Lord_. By all means, Sir–

_Bel_. If I must marry any but _Celinda_, I shall not, Sir, enjoy one moment’s Bliss: I shall be quite unman’d, cruel and brutal; A Beast, unsafe for Woman to converse with. Besides, Sir, I have given my Heart and Faith, And my second Marriage is Adultery.

_Lord_. Heart and Faith, I am glad ’tis no worse; if the Ceremony of the Church has not past, ’tis well enough.

_Bel_. All, Sir, that Heaven and Love requires, is past.

_Lord_. Thou art a Fool, _Frank_, come–dry thy Eyes. And receive _Diana_–_Trusty_, call in my Niece.

_Bel_. Yet, Sir, relent, be kind, and save my Soul.

[_Ex_. Trusty.

_Lord_. No more–by Heaven, if you resist my Will, I’ll make a strange Example of thee, and of that Woman, whoe’er she be, that drew you to this Folly. Faith and Vows, quoth ye!

_Bel_. Then I obey.

_Enter_ Trusty _and_ Diana.

_Lord_. Look ye here, _Frank_; Is this a Lady to be dislik’d? Come hither, _Frank–Trusty_, haste for Dr. _Tickletext_, my Chaplain’s not in Town; I’ll have them instantly married–Come hither, _Diana_–will you marry your Cousin, _Frank Bellmour_?

_Dia_. Yes, if it be your pleasure;
Heaven cou’d not let fall a greater Blessing. [_Aside_.

_Lord_. And you, _Frank_, will you marry my Niece _Diana_?

_Bel_. Since you will have it so.

_Lord_. Come, follow me then, and you shall be both pleas’d.

_Bel_. Oh my _Celinda_!–

_To preserve thee, what is’t I wou’d not do? Forfeit my Heaven, nay more, I forfeit you_.


SCENE V. _The Street_.

_Enter Sir_ Timothy Tawdrey, Sham _and_ Sharp.

Sir _Tim_. Now, _Sham_, art not thou a damn’d lying Rogue, to make me saunter up and down the _Mall_ all this Morning, after a Woman that thou know’st in thy Conscience was not likely to be there?

_Sham_. Why, Sir–if her Maid will be a jilting Whore, how can I help it?–_Sharp_, thou know’st we presented her handsomly, and she protested she’d do’t.

_Sharp_. Ay, ay, Sir: But the Devil a Maid we saw. [_Aside_.

_Sham_. Sir, it may be Things have so fallen out, that she could not possibly come.

Sir _Tim_. Things! a Pox of your Tricks–Well, I see there’s no trusting a poor Devil–Well, what Device will your Rogueship find out to cheat me next?

_Sham_. Prithee help me out at a dead lift, _Sharp_. [_Aside_.

_Sharp_. Cheat you, Sir!–if I ben’t reveng’d on this She-Counsellor of the Patching and Painting, this Letter-in of Midnight Lovers, this Receiver of Bribes for stol’n Pleasures; may I be condemn’d never to make love to any thing of higher Quality.

Sir _Tim_. Nay, nay, no threatning, _Sharp_; it may be she’s innocent yet–Give her t’other Bribe, and try what that will do. [_Gives him Money_.

_Sham_. No, Sir, I’ll have no more to do with frail Woman, in this Case; I have a surer way to do your Business.

_Enter_ Page _with a Letter_.

Sir _Tim_. Is not that _Bellmour’s_ Page?

_Sharp_. It is, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. By Fortune, the Rogue’s looking for me; he has a Challenge in his hand too.

_Sham_. No matter, Sir, huff it out.

Sir _Tim_. Prithee do thee huff him, thou know’st the way on’t.

_Sham_. What’s your Bus’ness with Sir _Timothy_, Sir?

_Page_. Mine, Sir, I don’t know the Gentleman; pray which is he?

Sir _Tim_. I, I, ’tis so–Pox on him.

_Sharp_. Well, Boy, I am he–What–Your Master.

_Page_. My Master, Sir–

_Sharp_. Are not you _Bellmour’s_ Page?

_Page_. Yes, Sir.

_Sharp_. Well, your News.

_Page_. News, Sir? I know of none, but of my Master’s being this Morning–

Sir _Tim_. Ay, there it is–behind _Southampton_ House.

_Page_. Married this Morning.

Sir _Tim_. How! Married! ‘Slife, has he serv’d me so?

_Sham_. The Boy is drunk–_Bellmour_ married!

_Page_. Yes, indeed, to the Lady _Diana_.

Sir _Tim_. _Diana!_ Mad, by Fortune; what _Diana_?

_Page_. Niece to the Lord _Plotwell_.

Sir _Tim_. Come hither, Boy–Art thou sure of this?

_Page_. Sir, I am sure of it; and I am going to bespeak Musick for the Ball anon.

Sir _Tim_. What hast thou there–a Letter to the Divine _Celinda_? A dainty Boy–there’s Money for to buy thee Nickers.

_Page_. I humbly thank you.

_Sharp_. Well, Sir, if this be true, _Celinda_ will be glad of you again.

Sir. _Tim_. Ay, but I will have none of her–For, look you, _Sham_, there is but two sorts of Love in this World–Now I am sure the Rogue did love her; and since it was not to marry her, it was for the thing you wot on, as appears by his writing to her now–But yet, I will not believe what this Boy said, till I see it.

_Sham_. Faith, Sir, I have thought of a thing, that may both clear your doubt, and give us a little Mirth.

Sir _Tim_. I conceive thee.

_Sham_. I know y’are quick of Apprehension, Sir _Timothy_.

Sir _Tim_. O, your Servant, dear _Sham_–But to let thee see, I am none of the dullest, we are to Jig it in Masquerade this Evening, hah.

_Sham_. Faith, Sir, you have it, and there you may have an Opportunity to court _Bellmour’s_ Sister.

Sir _Tim_. ‘Tis a good Motion, and we will follow it; send to the Duke’s House, and borrow some Habits presently.

_Sham_. I’ll about it, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. Make haste to my Lodging–But hark ye–not a word of this to _Betty Flauntit_, she’ll be up in Arms these two Days, if she go not with us; and though I think the fond Devil is true to me, yet it were worse than Wedlock, if I should be so to her too.

_Tho Whores in all things else the Mastery get, In this alone, like Wives, they must submit_.



SCENE I. _A Room in Lord_ Plotwell’s _House_.

_Enter Lord_ Plotwell, Bellmour _leading in_ Diana, _follow’d by _Charles Bellmour, Phillis, _and other Ladies and Gentlemen_. [_Musick plays, till they are all seated_.

_Lord_. Here, Nephew, I resign that Trust, which was repos’d in me by your dead Father; which was, that on your Wedding-Day I should thus– make you Master of your whole Fortune, you being married to my liking– And now, _Charles_, and you, my Niece _Phillis_, you may demand your Portions to morrow, if you please, for he is oblig’d to pay you the Day after that of his Marriage.

_Phil_. There’s time enough, my Lord.

_Lord_. Come, come, Ladies, in troth you must take but little Rest to Night, in complaisance to the Bride and Bridegroom, who, I believe, will take but little–_Frank_–why, _Frank_–what, hast thou chang’d thy Humour with thy Condition? Thou wert not wont to hear the Musick play in vain.

_Bel_. My Lord, I cannot dance.

_Dia_. Indeed, you’re wondrous sad,
And I, methinks, do bear thee Company, I know not why; and yet excess of Joy
Have had the same Effects with equal Grief.

_Bel_. ‘Tis true, and I have now felt the Extremes of both.

_Lord_. Why, Nephew _Charles_–has your Breeding at the Academy instructed your Heels in no Motion?

_Char_. My Lord, I’ll make one.

_Phil_. And I another, for Joy that my Brother’s made happy in so fair a Bride.

_Bel_. Hell take your Ignorance, for thinking I am happy,– Wou’d Heaven wou’d strike me dead,
That by the loss of a poor wretched Life I might preserve my Soul–But Oh, my Error! That has already damn’d it self, when it consented To break a Sacred Vow, and Marry here.

_Lord_. Come, come, begin, begin, Musick to your Office.

[_Soft Musick_.

_Bel_. Why does not this hard Heart, this stubborn Fugitive, Break with this Load of Griefs? but like ill Spirits It promis’d fair, till it had drawn me in, And then betray’d me to Damnation.

_Dia_. There’s something of disorder in his Soul, Which I’m on fire to know the meaning of.

_Enter Sir_ Timothy, Sham, _and_ Sharp, _in Masquerade_.

Sir _Tim_. The Rogue is married, and I am so pleas’d, I can forgive him our last Night’s Quarrel. Prithee, _Sharp_, if thou canst learn that young Thing’s Name, ’tis a pretty airy Rogue, whilst I go talk to her.

_Sharp_. I will, Sir, I will.

[_One goes to take out a Lady_.

_Char_. Nay, Madam, you must dance. [_Dance_.

_Bel_. I hope you will not call it Rudeness, Madam, if I refuse you here.

[_The Lady that danced goes to take out the Bridegroom. After the Dance she takes out Sir_ Timothy, _they walk to a Courant_.

Am I still tame and patient with my Ills? Gods! what is Man, that he can live and bear, Yet know his Power to rid himself of Grief? I will not live; or if my Destiny
Compel me to’t, it shall be worse than dying.

_Enter_ Page _with a Table-Book_.

_Bel_. What’s this?

_Page_. The Answer of a Letter, Sir, you sent the divine _Celinda_; for so it was directed.

_Bel_.–Hah–_Celinda_–in my Croud of Thoughts I had forgot I sent–come nearer, Boy–
What did she say to thee?–Did she not smile? And use thee with Contempt and Scorn?–tell me.

_Page_. How scorn, Sir!

_Bel_. Or she was angry–call’d me perjur’d Villain, False, and forsworn–nay, tell me truth.

_Page_. How, Sir?

_Bel_. Thou dost delay me–say she did, and please me.

_Page_. Sir!

_Bel_. Again–tell me, what answer, Rascal, did she send me?

_Page_. You have it, Sir, there in the Table-Book.

_Bel_. Oh, I am mad, and know not what I do. –Prithee forgive me, Boy–take breath, my Soul, Before thou do’st begin; for this–perhaps, may be So cruel kind,
To leave thee none when thou hast ended it. [_Opens it, and reads_.


_I have took in the Poison which you sent, in those few fatal Words, “Forgive me, my_ Celinda, _I am married”–‘Twas thus you said–And I have only Life left to return, “Forgive me my sweet_ Bellmour, _I am dead_.” CELINDA.

Can I hear this, and live?–I am a Villian! In my Creation destin’d for all Mischief, –To commit Rapes, and Murders, to break Vows, As fast as Fools do Jests.
Come hither, Boy–
And said the Lady nothing to thee?

_Page_. Yes, e’er she read the Letter, ask’d your Health, And Joy dispers’d it self in Blushes through her Cheeks.

_Bel_. Her Beauty makes the very Boy adore it.

_Page_. And having read it,
She drew her Tablets from her Pocket, And trembling, writ what I have brought you, Sir.

_Bel_. Though I before had loaded up my Soul With Sins, that wou’d have weigh’d down any other, Yet this one more it bears, this Sin of Murder; And holds out still–What have I more to do, But being plung’d in Blood, to wade it through?

_Enter_ Friendlove _in Masquerade. A Jigg_.

_Friend_. There stands the Traitor, with a guilty Look, That Traitor, who the easier to deceive me, Betray’d my Sister; yet till I came and saw The Perjury, I could not give a Faith to’t. By Heaven, _Diana_ loves him, nay, dotes on him, I find it in her Eyes; all languishing,
They feed the Fire in his: arm’d with a double Rage, I know I shall go through with my Revenge.

Sir _Tim_. Fair Maid–

_Phil_. How do you know that, Sir?

Sir _Tim_. I see y’are fair, and I guess you’re a Maid.

_Phil_. Your Guess is better than your Eye-sight, Sir.

Sir _Tim_. Whate’er you are, by Fortune, I wish you would permit me to love you with all your Faults.

_Phil_. You? Pray who are you?

Sir _Tim_. A Man, a Gentleman–and more, a Knight too, by Fortune.

_Phil_. Then ’twas not by Merit, Sir–But how shall I know you are either of these?

Sir _Tim_. That I’m a Man, the Effects of my vigorous Flame shall prove –a Gentleman, my Coat of Arms shall testify; and I have the King’s Patent for my Title.

_Phil_. For the first you may thank your Youth, for the next your Father, and the last your Money.

Sir _Tim_. By Fortune, I love thee for thy Pertness.

_Phil_. Is it possible you can love at all?

Sir _Tim_. As much as I dare.

_Phil_. How do you mean?

Sir _Tim_. Not to be laught at; ’tis not the Mode to love much; A Platonick Fop I have heard of, but this is an Age of sheer Enjoyment, and little Love goes to that; we have found it incommode, and loss of time, to make long Addresses.

_Enter_ Celinda _like a Boy_.

_Phil_. I find, Sir, you and I shall never agree upon this matter; But see, Sir, here’s more Company.

_Cel_. Oh Heaven! ’tis true, these Eyes confirm my Fate. Yonder he is–and that fair splendid Thing, That gazes on him with such kind Desire, Is my blest Rival–Oh, he is married!
–Gods! And yet you let him live;
Live too with all his Charms, as fine and gay, As if you meant he shou’d undo all easy Maids, And kill ’em for their Sin of loving him. Wretched _Celinda_!
But I must turn my Eyes from looking on The fatal Triumphs of my Death–Which of all these Is my Brother? Oh, that is he: I know him By the Habit he sent for to the Play-House. [Points to Sir Tim.
And hither he’s come in Masquerade, I know with some Design against my _Bellmour_, Whom though he kill me, I must still preserve: Whilst I, lost in despair, thus as a Boy Will seek a Death from any welcome Hand, Since I want Courage to perform the Sacrifice.

_Enter one and dances an Entry, and a Jig at the end on’t_.

_Lord_. Enough, enough at this time, let’s see the Bride to bed, the Bridegroom thinks it long.

_Friend_. Hell! Can I endure to hear all this with Patience? Shall he depart with Life to enjoy my Right, And to deprive my Sister of her due?
–Stay, stay, and resign
That Virgin.

_Bel_. Who art thou that dar’st lay a Claim to ought that’s here?

_Friend_. This Sword shall answer ye. [_Draws_.

_Bel_. Though I could spare my Life, I’ll not be robb’d of it. [_Draws_.

_Dia_. Oh, my dear _Bellmour_!

[_All draw on_ Bellmour’s side_–Diana _holds_ Bellmour, Celinda _runs between their Swords, and defends_ Bellmour; _Sir_ Tim. Sham, _and_ Sharp _draw, and run into several Corners, with signs of Fear_.

_Friend_. Who art thou, that thus fondly guard’st his Heart? [_To_ Celinda. –Be gone, and let me meet it.

_Cel_. That thou mayst do through mine, but no way else.

_Friend_. Here are too many to encounter, and I’ll defer my Vengeance.

_Char_. Stay, Sir, we must not part so.

[_Ex. Drawing at the same Door, that Sir_ Tim. _is sneaking out at_.

Come back I say. [_Pulls in Sir_ Tim. Slave! Dost thou tremble?–

Sir _Tim_. Sir, I’m not the Man you look for– By Fortune, _Sham_, we’re all undone:
He has mistook me for the fighting Fellow.

_Char_. Villain, defend thy Life.

Sir _Tim_. Who, I, Sir? I have no quarrel to you, nor no man breathing, not I, by Fortune.

_Cel_. This Coward cannot be my Brother. [_Aside_.

_Char_. What made thee draw upon my Brother?

Sir _Tim_. Who, I, Sir? by Fortune, I love him–I draw upon him!

_Char_. I do not wonder thou canst lye, for thou’rt a Coward! Didst not thou draw upon him? Is not thy Sword yet out? Did I not see thee fierce, and active too, as if thou hadst dar’d?

Sir _Tim_. Why, he’s gone, Sir; a Pox of all Mistakes and Masqueradings I say–this was your Plot, _Sham_.

_Char_. Coward! Shew then thy Face.

Sir _Tim_. I’ll be hang’d first, by Fortune; for then ’twill be plain ’twas I, because I challeng’d _Bellmour_ last Night, and broke my Assignation this Morning. [_Aside_.

_Char_. Shew thy Face without delay, or–

Sir _Tim_. My Face, Sir! I protest, by Fortune, ’tis not worth seeing.

_Char_. Then, Sirrah, you are worth a kicking–take that–and that– [_Kicks him_.

Sir _Tim_. How, Sir? how?

_Char_. So, Sir, so.
[_Kicks him again_.

Sir _Tim_. Have a care, Sir–by Fortune, I shall fight with a little more.

_Char_. Take that to raise you.
[_Strikes him_.

Sir _Tim_. Nay, then I am angry, and I dare fight.

[_They fight out_.

_Lord_. Go, Ladies, see the Bride to her Chamber.