The guardian, a comedie acted before Prince Charls, His Highness at Trinity-Colledg in Cambridge, upon the twelfth of March, 1641
Cowley, Abraham, 1618-1667.
Page  [unnumbered]

The Guardian.

Act. 1.

Scaen. 1.

Widow, Tabytha, Colonel Cutter, Dogrel.
Cutter.

PRithee widow be not in∣cens'd, we'll shew our selves like yong Lords shortly; and you know, I Hope, they use to pay their debts.

Wid.

I, you talk of great matters, I wis, but I'm sure I could never see a groat yet of your money.

Dog.
Alas, we carry no silver about us,
That were mechanical and base;
Gold we about us bring:
Gold, thou art mighty in each place,
Of Metals Prince and King.

Why I tell you my pockets have not been guilty of any small money in my remem∣brance.

Wid.

I know not, but all things are grown dear of late; our Beef costs three shillings a stone, and the price of corn is rais'd too.

Taby.

Nay, mother, coals are rais'd too, they say. These things you think cost no∣thing.

Dog.

Nay, Tabytha, Mistress Tabytha! ifaithlaw now I'll make a Psalm for you, and be but peaceable.

Contain thy tongue, and keep it in
Within thy mouths large prison.
Both jars, and also many a sin
From out the mouth has risen.

I'm onely for Odes, by the Muses, and the quickest for them, I think, in the Christian world, take in Turks, Infidels, Jews and all.

Cutt.

Have but a little patience, widow; well I'll say this for thee, thou art the ho∣nestest Landlady upon the face of the earth, which makes me desire to live in your house; and you shall not lose by't: do but mark the end.

Wid.

I stand not so much upon that; but I use to ha' Lawyers in my house, such civil compleat gentlemen in their Sattin doublets (I warrant you) and broad ruffs, as passes; and Courtiers, all to be lac'd and slasht, and fine fellows as you shall see in a summers day; they would not say Why do ye this? to a wo∣man: and then Knights.

Tab.

I, and Gentlemen too, mother.

Wid.

But you, forsooth, come in drunk every night, and fall a swearig as if you would rend the house in two, and then mum∣ble and tumble my daughters cloathes, she says.

Page  [unnumbered]
Tab.

I, and would have—

Cutt.

What would we have done?

Tab.

Nay no good, I warrant you.

Wid.

And then you drink up a kilderkin of small beer next morning.

Dog.

All this shall be corrected and amended, Landlady: yes faith, Cutter, thou must repent, thou hast been to blame some∣times.

Wid.

Besides, you are always so full of your fripperies, and are always a grinning and sneering at every thing: I was wont to have sober boorders in my house, and not such hee-hee-heeing fellows.

Tab.

Nay, they mock'd and fleer'd at us as we sung the Psalm the last Sunday-night.

Cutt.

That was that mungrel Rhymer; by this light, he envies his brother Poet ho∣nest Iohn Sternhold, because he cannot reach his heights.

Wid.

O the father! the Colonel's as full of waggery as an egge's full of meat: I warrant, M. Dogrel, what you get by him you may e'en put i' your eye, and ne'er see the worse for't.

Cutt.

Well, and how dost ifaith now, ho∣nest Landlady? when shall we walk again into Moor-fields, and rejoyce at the Queens Cake-house?

Dog.

I'll bespeak Cakes and Ale o'th' purpose there; and thou shalt eat stew'd Prunes, little Tabytha, till thy smock drop again. A word i' you ear, Landlady: Can you accommodate us with two shillings?

To morrow ere the rosie finger'd morn
Starts from Tithonus bed, as Authors write;
Ere Phoebus cry Gee-hoe unto his team,

We will restore again, and thank you for your pain.

Cutt.

I'll tell you a secret, Landlady: Captain Blade and I shall be call'd shortly to the Court; the King has taken notice of our deserts: I say no more: though yet thou scorn'st me, Tabytha, I'll make thee a Lady one day. Will you lend, widow? Great af∣fairs bid me make haste.

Wid.

I care not much if I trust you for once: Come in and take it.

Dog.
Then Mistress let me lead you thus,
And as we go let's buss.
Tab.

Buss me no bussings. O lord, how you tumble my gorget!

Exeunt.

Act. 1. Scaen. 2.

Captain Blade, solus.

I could now be as melancholy as an old scabbie Mastiff, or the Lions in the Tower: 'twere a good humour to repent. Well, Ca∣ptain, something must be done, unless a man could get true gems by drinking, or, like a mouse in a cheese, enlarge his house-room by eating. Four hundred pound a yeer ca∣shier'd? Four hundred, by this light, Ca∣ptain. All my comfort is, that now the usu∣rer's damn'd; and now that niggardly three score and ten wither'd chap-faln Pu∣ritanical thing, his wife, refuses to marry me: I would see her burnt for an old witch before I'd take her for a wife, if she had not Agues, Squinancies, Gouts, Cramps, Pal∣sies, Apoplexies, and two dozen of diseases more then S. Thomas Hospital; and if she live long with all these, I'm sure she'll kill me quickly. But let her be damn'd with her husband: Bring some drink, boy; I'm soxt, by this light, with drinking nothing yet.

Act. 1. Scaen. 3.

Blade, Cutter, Dogrel.
Blade.

What are ye come? Bring us a Tun then, and that so big, that that of Hei∣delberg may seem but like a barrel of pickl'd Oysters to't. Welcome Snapsack, welcome little vermin of Parnassus: how is't, my Laurate Rhymer? Cost thou sing Fortune my foe still with thy brother Poet?

Dog.
Ye Muses nine assist my verse,
That dwell by Helicon along;
Captain Blades praise I will rehearse,
With lyre and with song.
Bla.

Why this right Ballad, and they hobble like the fellow with the wooden leg Page  [unnumbered] that sings them. And how dost, man o' blood?

Cutt.

As well as a man of worth can do in these days, where deserts are so little re∣garded: if Wars come once, who but Cutter? who else but Colonel Cutter? God save you, Colonel Cutter, cry the Lords; the La∣dies they smile upon Colonel Cutter, and call Colonel Cutter a proper Gentleman: every man strives who shall invite Colonel Cutter to dinner: not a Cuckoldly creditor dares pluck me by the cloak, and say, Sir, you for∣got your promise, I'm in a strait for moneys, my occasions force me, or the like.

Bla.

Cheer up, my Hercules upon a signe, I have a plot for ye, which if it thrive, thou shalt no more lie sunning in a bowling-alley, nor go on special holidays to the three-peny Ordinary, and then cry It pleases my humor better then to dine at my Lord Maiors.

Cutt.

Would we had some drink here to stop your mouth.

Bla.

No more be sick two or three days while thy boots are vamping: no more out∣swear whores in a reckoning, and leave the house in an anger.

Cut.

Ha' you done?

Bla.

Nor sup at Taverns with Radishes: nor for a meals meat o'erthrow the King of Spain of the Hollanders when you please: no when you go to bed produce ten several Tavern snuffs to make one pipe of To∣bacco.

Cut.

'Slid would I had one here.

Bla.

Nor change your name and lodging as often as a whore; for as yet, if you had liv'd like a Tartar in a cart, (as you must die, I fear, in one) your home could not have been more uncertain. Your last Gests were these: From a Water-mans house at the Banks side, (marry you stay'd there but a small while, because the fellow was jealous of his wife) passing o'er like great King Xerxes in a Sculler, you arriv'd at a Chand∣lers house in Thames-street, and there took up your lodging. The day before you should have paid, you walkt abroad, and were seen no more; for ever after the smell of the place offended you. Next, you ap∣pear'd at an Ale-house i'th' Covent-Gar∣den, like a Duck that dives at one end of the pond, but rises unexpectedly at the other. But that place (though there was Beer and Tobacco there) by no means pleas'd you; for there dwelt so many cheaters there∣abouts, that you could not live by one ano∣ther; they spoil'd your trade quite. Then from a Shoo-makers, (as you entitl'd him; marry some authors call him a Cobler) to a Basket-makers; from thence to the Coun∣ter: from thence, after much benevolence, to a Barbers; changing more lodgings then Pythagoras his soul did. At length, upon confidence of those new breeches, and the scouring of that everlasting Buff, you ven∣tur'd upon the widows, that famous house for boorders, and are by this time hoysing up your sails, I'm sure; the next fair winde y'are gone.

Cut.

I wonder, Captain, among so many rascally houses, how I happen'd to miss yours. 'Tis true, I have not lien leaguer al∣ways at one place: Souldiers must remove their tents: Alexander the Great did it an hundred times.

Bla.

Now to the words of comfort — drink first—then Lordings listen all.

Dog.

We do, both great and small. O my conscience this cup of wine has done my genius good.

Bla.

When first my brother departed —

Dog.

'Twas poorly spoken, by this day.

Bla

He committed his daughter and estate to my care; which if she either di'd, or married without my consent, he be∣queath'd all to me. Being five yeers gone, he died.

Dog.

How frail is humane life! Well sung the divine Poet

Like to the damask rose you see,
Or like the blossom on the tree,
Or like, &c.
Cutt.

Sirrah, Trundle, either hear out peaceably, or I shall cut your ears off. Pro∣ceed, Captain.

Bla.

I falling into ill company, yours, or some other such idle fellows, began to be misled, could drink and swear, nay, at last, whore sometimes too; which courses having now at last made me like Iob in every thing Page  [unnumbered] but patience; your Landlady (for to her husband my estate was morgag'd.) I have sought all means to marry.

Dog.

That Niobe! that Hecuba!

Bla.

Pish! I could have lien with either of the two, so 't had been before Hecuba was turn'd into a bitch, or t'other into a stone: for though I hate her worse then small beer.

Cutt.

Or pald wine.

Dog.

Or proverbs and Latine sentences in discourse.

Cutt

Or a Sermon of two hours long.

Bla.

Or Dogrels verses, or what you will else; yet she has money, blades; she would be a Guiana or Peru to me, and we should drink four or five yeers securely, like Dutch∣men at a Wedding. But hang her, let her die and go to hell, 'tis onely that can warm her: she scorns me now my money's gone.

Dog.
Thus Pride doth still with Beauty dwell,
And like the Baltick ocean swell.
Bla.

Why the Baltick, Dogrel?

Dog.

Why the Baltick? This tis not to have read the Poets.

Bla.

Now if my neece should marry, praesto, the means are gone; and I must, like some Gentleman without fear or regard of the gallows, betake my self to the high-way, or else cheat like one of you, and tremble at the sight of a pillory. Therefore— (prick up your ears, for your good angel speaks) upon conditions of share, I marry her to one of you.

Both.

I but how, Captain? how?

Bla

Why either she shall have one of you, or no body; for if she marry without my consent, the money's mine own: and she'll be hangd first i'th' Friers rope, ere she turn Nun.

Cutt.

I'll be a Franciscan, if she do.

Bla.

Not a Carthusian, I warrant thee, to abstain from flesh. Thou mightst well have taken holy Orders, if it were not for chastity and obedience: their other vow of never carrying money about thee, thou hast observed from thy youth up.

Dog.

I'll have her, by Mercury; I have two or three Love-odes ready made; they can't chuse but win her. Cutter, adore me, Cutter, thou shalt have wine thy fill, though thou couldst out-drink Xexes his army.

Cutt.

You get her? what with that Em∣ber week-face of thine? that Rasor of thy nose, those eas that prick up like a Puritani∣cal button-makers of Amsterdam? thou lookst as if thou never hadst been fed since thou suck'dst thy mothers milk: thy cheeks begin to fall into thy mothers mouth, that thou mightst eat 'em. Why thou very lath with a thing cut like a face atop, and a slit at the bottom! I am a man, and can do her service; here's metal, boy.

Dog.

'Tis i' your face then.

Cutt.

I can fight her quarrels, boy, and begt on her new Achilleses.

Dog.

Yes—thou art a very Achilles—in the swiftness of thy feet▪ but thou art a worser coward then any of the Train'd Bands: I'll have a school-boy with a cat-stick take away thy Mistress from thee. Besides, what parts hast thou? hast thou scholarship enough to make a Brewers clerk? Canst thou read the Bible? I'm sure thou hast not. Canst thou write more then thine own name? and that in suh vile characters, that most men take them for Arabian pot-hooks; and some think thou dost but set thy mark when thou writest thy name. I'm vers'd, Cutter in the whole Encyclopaedie, a word that s Greek to you. I am a Wit, and can make Greek verses ex tempore.

Bla.

Nay not so; for if you come to your verses▪ Dogrel, Im sure you ha' done with wit. He that best pleases her, take her a Gods name, and allow the tother a pensi∣on: What think you, gallants?

Cutt.

Agreed; thou shalt have three pound and a cloak.

Dog.

Away, you puff, you kickshaw, you quaking custard.

Cutt.

Prethee be patient, thou shalt have lace to't too.

Bla.

Pox take you both; drink and be friends.

Dog.

Here's to you, Cutter. I'm some∣thing cholerick, and given to jeering: but what, man? words are but winde.

Bla.

I'll call her in. Why boy within three, call my neece quickly hither.

Page  [unnumbered]
Dog.

I'm undone; I ha' left my Ode at home: undone, by Mercury, unless my me∣mory help me.

Cutt.

Thus and thus will I accoast her: I'm the man; Dogrels clothes will cast him.

Act. 1. Scaen. 4.

Blade, Cutter, Dogrel, Lucia.
Bla.

When she has seen you both, one void the room, and so wooe by tuns.

Dogrel.

Ill go out fist, and meditate up∣on my Ode.

Bla.

Welcome, dear neece; I sent for you to entertain these Gentlemen my friends: and heark you neece, make much of them; they are men of worth and credit at the Court, though they go so plain; hat's their humour onely: And heark you, neece, they both love you; you cannot chuse amiss. I ha' some business—Your servant, Gen∣tlemen.

Luc.

Not chuse amiss? indeed I must do, Uncle, if I should chuse again. Y'are welcom, Gentlemen.

Cutt.

I thank you, fairest Lady: I am a Souldier, Lady, and cannot complement; but I ha' travell'd over all the world, Ger∣many, Morocco, Swethland, Persia, France, Hungary, Caleput, Peru.

Dog.

'Slid▪ ho he shuffles all the Coun∣tries together like lots in a hat!

Cut

Yet I never saw before so fair a La∣dy. I cannot complement i' faith.

Luc.
Y'have taken a long journey, Sir 'twere best
To rest your self a little: Will you sit?
Will you, Sir, take a seat too?
Dog.

'Slife I can't say my Ode now. I'll wait upon you presently.

Exit.

Cutt.

Fair Lady—(This 'tis to converse with none but whores: I know not what to say to her.)

You are the onely mistress of my thoughts.

My service to you, Lady.

Drinks to her.

Luc.

To me, Sir, do you speak, or to the wine?

Cutt.

To you, by Mars. Can you love me, Beauty? I'm sure your uncle prefers no man under the cope—

Luc.
Soft, Sir, d'ye use to take in Towns so soon?
My uncle gave an equal commendation
To both of you.
Cutt.

What? to that mole-catcher i'th' old Serge? he brought him in for humour, to make you sport. Ill tell you what he is.

Luc.

Pray do, Sir.

Cutt.

The very embleme of poverty and poor poetry: the feet are worse patcht of his Rhymes, then of his Stockings: if one line forget it self, and run out beyond his el∣bow, while the next keeps at home (like him) and dares not shew his head; he calls that an Ode. Your uncle and I maintain him onely for sport. I'll tell you how I found him; marry walking in Moor-fields cross arm'd: he could not pluck his hat over his eyes, there were so many holes in it: he had not so much linen about him as would make a cuff for a Bartlemew-fayr-baby. Marry the worst I like in him is, he will needs some∣time, in way of gratitude, present me with a paper of Verses. Here comes the vermin.

Act. 1. Scaen. 5.

Cutter, Dogrel, Lucia.

I'll leave him alone with you, that you may have the better sport: he'll not shew half his tricks before me. I think I ha' spoil'd his markets. Now will I stand behinde the hangings, and hear how she abuses him. I know by her eye she loves me. Cutter, thou'rt blest

Exit.

Dog.
Fairer, O fairer then the Lilly,
Then Primerose fair, or Daffa illy;
Less red then thy cheeks the Rose is,
When the Spring it doth disclose his
Leaves; thy eyes put down the star-light;
When they shine, we see afar—light.
O these eyes do wound my heart
With pretty little Cupids dart;
Wounded I am with deadly smart;
The pain raigns in every part.
Page  [unnumbered]Thy beauty and thy great desart
Draw me as horses draw a Cart.
O that I had Rhetoricks art—impart-sart-mart-start.
To move thee; for I would not start
Till I—
Luc.
Take heed, Sir, you'll be out of breath anon.
Y'ha' done enough for any honest Poet.
Dog.
Fairest nymph, I swear to thee,
The later part was made ex tempore?
Not a bit of prose goes down with me.
Luc.
(I must know't.)
May I be so bold as to enquire of you
Your friends name that was here; he seems to be
A man of worth and quality.
Cut.

That's I.

Dog.

Quality? yes?

Cut.

That's I again. If whoring, drinking, cheating, poverty and cowardice be qualities, he's one of the best qualified men in the Christian world.

Cut.

O the devil!

Luc.

He's a great traveller.

Dog.

In suburbs and by-lanes; he never heard a gun but in Moor-fields or Finsbury at a mustering▪ and quak'd then as if they had been the Spaniards: Ill undertake a Pot-gun shall dismay him

Cutt.

A plague upon him—

Dog.

Those breeches he wears, and his hat, I gave him: till then, he went like a Pa∣per-mill all in rags, and like some old statue in a ruin'd Abbey. About a month ago, you might ha' seen him peep out at a grate, and cry, Kinde merciful Gentlemen, for the Lords sake, poor prisoners undone by sur••tishp, and the like.

Cut.

Contain thy self▪ great spirit; keep in a while.

Dog.

We call him Colonel in an humour onely. The furniture of his chamber (for now, at mine and some other Gentlemens charges, he has got one) is half a chair, and an earthen chamber-pot, the bottom of an inkhorn for a candlestick, and a dozen of little gally-pots with salve in 'um; for he has more diseases—

Cut.

I can endure no longer.

Enters.
Dogrel, thou lyest; there's my glove; meet me an hour hence.

Dog.

And there's mine. I'll put a good face on't; he dares not fight, Im sure.

Cut.
Two hours hence
Expect the Saracens head; I'll do't, by hea∣vens.
Though hills were set on hills, and seas met seas, to guard thee,
I'd reach thy head, thy head, proud Dogrel.
Exit.
Luc.
Nay, y'are both even: just such an ex'lent character
He did bestow on you. Why thou vile wretch
Go to the stews, the gaole, seek there a wife;
Thou'lt finde none there but such as will scorn thee.
Was thy opinion of my birth or fortune,
My chastity or beauty (which I willingly
Confess to be but small) so poor and lowe,
That thou couldst think thy self a match for me?
Ill sooner marry with my grave; for thou
Art worser dirt then that. See me no more.
Exit.
Dog.
Scorn'd by a mistress? with a friend to sight?
Hence, lighter Oder; I'll biting Satyrs write.
Exit.

Act. 1. Scaen. 6.

Truman filius, Lucia.
Tru.
I must be gone, my Lucia; I must leave
My self, and thee more then my self, behinde me
Thus parts the greedy usurer from his bags,
With an heart heavier then those: he fixes
His covetous eye upon the charming metal,
As if he meant to throng those many plea∣sures
Which several times would yeeld, into one minute.
With as much joy he kisses his lov'd Idol,
As I do thee, to whom all gold compar'd,
Seems but like Pebbles to the Diamond:
And then he sighs, my Lucia.
Luc.
And weeps too, if, like us, he bid farewel.
Why should your father be so cruel?
Tru.
He's old and angry, Lucia, very angry,
Page  [unnumbered]And either has forgot his youthful days,
Or else I'll swear he did not love my mother
With half that noble heat that I do thee:
For when he heard your uncles resolutions,
Doubting your portion if we two should marry,
He forc'd me to an oath so strange, which though
I then durst swear, I scarce dare now repeat;
An oath ne'er more to see nor hear thee, Lucia,
After the envious shortness of this hour,
Without his leave.
Luc.
You will forget me quite then.
Tru.
Forget thee, Lucia? 'tis not death it self
Has so much Lethe in't: I shall not chuse
In the long sleep o'th grave, but dream of thee,
If it be true that souls which leave hid trea¦sures
(Being buried far less peaceable then their gold)
Walk up and down, and in their urns want rest,
How will my ghost then wander, which has left
Such precious wealth behinde it? Sure it will
Desire to see thee, and I fear will fright thee.
I would say more, but I shall weep anon.
Exit.
Luc.
So quickly gone! he might have staid, me thinks,
A little longer, and I ow'd that happiness
To the misfortune of his future absence.
Why did he swear to's father? I'm a fool,
And know not what to say.

Act 1. Scaen. 7.

Truman filius, Lucia.
Tru.
Stay, Lucia, prithee stay; I had forgot
The business which I came for.
Luc.
I owe much
To your forgetfulness, my Truman: if
It be such always, though you forget me,
I'll pardon you. What was your business, pray?
Tru.
To kiss your hand, my dearest.
Luc.
Was that all?
I'm glad to see your grief so small and light,
That it can finde leasure to complement:
'Tis not like mine, believe me.
Tru.
Was not that business, Lucia?
In my opinion now, th'affairs of Kings,
The honourable troubles of a Counsellor,
Are frivolous and light, compar'd to this.
May I not kiss your lips too, dearest Lucia?
I have an inward dropsie; and my remedy
Enflames my thirst: tis that best Nectar onely
Which has the power to quench it.
Luc.
If there be Nectar there,
It was your lip that brought it thither first;
And you may well be bold to claim your own.
Shall we sit down and talk a little while?
They will allow us sure a parting-time.
Tru
And that I would not change, not this poor minute
In which I see, and hear, and touch thee, Lucia,
For th'age of Angels, unless thy lov'd pre∣sence
Make a heav'n there for me too.
What shall I do to bring the days t'an end?
Sure they'll be tedious when I want thy company.
Luc.
I'll pray for the success of our chaste loves,
And drop down tears for beads.
Tru.
I'll read o'er the large volume of the creatures;
And where I finde one full of grace and beauty,
I'll gaze and think on that; for that's thy picture.
Luc.
Whatever kinde of Needle-work I make,
Thy name I'll intermingle, till at last,
Without my mindes conjunction and con∣sent,
The needle and my hand shall both agree
To draw thy name out.
Tru.
I will gather flowers,
Turn wanton in the truness of my love,
And make a posie too, where Luia
Shall be mysteriously writ in flow'rs:
Page  [unnumbered]They shall be fair and sweet, such as may paint
And speak thee to my senses.
Within.
Mistress Lucia, Lucia.
Luc.
I am call'd: farewel.

Act. 1. Scaen. 8.

Truman filius, Lucia, Aurelia.
Aur.
My father, cousin, would speak with you.
Luc.
I'll wait upon him.
Exit.
Aur.
Will you be gone so soon, Sir?
Tru.
I must offend your father else.
Aur.
You would have stay'd longer with her, I'm sure.
Tru.
It may be so. Your servant, Lady.
Exit.
Aur.
Contemn'd by all? while my proud cousin walks
With more eyes on her then the moon: but I,
Like some small petty star without a name,
Cast unregarded beams.
It must not be; I snatch of all those glories
Which beauty or feignd vertue crown her with,
Till her short light confess her but a Comet.
I love thee, Truman; but since 'tis my fate
To love so ill, I'll try how I can hate.
Finis Actus primi.