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.

Act. 2.

Scaen. 1.

Cutter, Dogrel.
Cut.

Come on, Dogrel, now will I cut your throat.

Dog.

Youll be hang'd first.

Cut.

No, by this light.

Dog.

You'll be hang'd after then.

Cut.

I'll slice thee into steaks.

Dog.

I believe indeed thou art so hungry, thou couldst feed like a Cannibal.

Cut.

No, thou'lt be a dish for the devil; he'll dress thee at his own fire. You call'd me Coward: hadst thou as many lives as are in Plutarch, I'd make an end of 'um. (I must daunt him, for fear he should fight with me.) I will not leave so much blood in thee as will wet my nail: and for thy flesh, I'll mangle it in such manner, that the Crowes shall not know whether it were a mans body or no.

Dog.
(He was once a Coward, and I ne∣ver heard yet of his reformation)
Hear, thou altitonant Ioue, and Muses three.
(Muses? a plague upon 'um I meant Furies.)
Hear, thou altitonant Ioue, and Furies three.
Cut.
Nay then
Leap from the leathern dungeon of my sheath,
Thou Durindana brave.
(Will nothing do?) Come on, miscre∣ant.
They draw.
Dog.
Do, do, strike if thou dar'st.
Cut.
Coward, I'll give thee the advantage of the first push.
Dog.
I scorn to take any thing of thee I.
Cut.
Thou hadst better eat up thy mothers soul, then touch me.
Dog.
If thou wilt not strike first, take thy life.
Cut.
I had rather die then give the first blowe, since thou hast said it.
Dog.
I see this quarrel, Cutter, will come to a quart of wine: shall's go?
Cut.
How rash is anger! had not reason check'd me,
I should have kill'd my Poet for a woman,
A very woman. Let's sheath, Dogrel

Act. 2. Scaen. 2.

Cutter, Dogrel, Puny.

Here's company; 'slid I'll fight then.

Pun.

How now, Paynims? fighting like two sea-fishes in a map? slaying and killing like horse-leaches? Why my little gallimau∣fry, what Arms and Arts?

Dog.

Tam Marti, quam Mercurio, I. 'Slife, outbrav'd by a fellow that has no more Page  [unnumbered] valour in him then a womans Tailor?

Cutt.

By my fathers Soul, I'll kill him an he were an Army.

Pun.

Hold! stop! this Colonels spirit's all flame.

Dog.

'Tis the flame of a flap-dragon then, for 'twill hurt no body.

Cutt.

Mr. Puny, you do me wrong.

Pun.

What do ye mean bufles?

Cutt.

'Slife, an you hinder me Puny

Pun.

Pox take you, kill one another and be hanged then, doe, stab, why don't ye?

Cutt.

At your command Mr. Puny? I'll be forcd by no man; put up Dogrel, wee'll fight for no mans pleasure but our own.

Dog.

Agreed, I'll not make another sport by murthering any man though he were a Tiker.

Pun.

Why now you speak like righteous Homncles, ye ha' both great spirits, as big as Indian-whales, for wit and valour a cou∣ple of Phoenixes.

Cut.

'Tis my fault Puny; I'm the reso∣lutest man if I be but a little heated. Pox take't, I'm a fool for't.

Dog.

Give me thy hand.

Cutt.

I did not think thou hadst been so valiant, i'faith: I should have killed my self, if I had hurt thee in my fury.

Dog.

So should I by this hand.

Pun.

This is rare! up and down like a game at chess;

Dog.

Why a game at chess more then any other?

Pun.

A game at chess? why—pox thou'rt a kinde of Poet I confess, but for wit you shall pardon me—ther's as much in Tom Co∣riats shooes. But prithee, why did you two Pythagorians fall out?

Dog.

A trifle, onely a Mistris.

Cutt.

A pox take her, I woo'd her in an humor onely, I had rather marry a wench of ginger-bread, they're both of a Comple∣xion.

Dog.

And then her mouth's as wide as a Crocodiles, her kisses devour a man.

Cutt.

Her eyes are like the eyes of a nee∣dle, and her nose pointed like that; I won∣der her face is no cleaner, for those two per∣petually water it: As for her lower parts, blessed are they that live in ignorance.

Pun.

What an Heliogabalus make you of this wench? would I could see this Barba∣ra Pyramidum.

Dog.

Hang her, she looks like a gentlewo∣man upon the top of a ballad.

Cutt.

Shavers, who i the divels name would you guess to be my Mistris?

Pun.

Some wnch at a red lattice.

Dog.

Some beast that stincks worse then Thames-street.

Pun.

And looks like a shoulder of mutton stufft with parsly.

Cutt.

'Faith guess who.

Pun.

'Tis impossible among so many whores.

Cutt.

'Faith Tabitha, none but gentle Mistris Tabitha.

Dog.

We shall have him turn Brownist now, and read Comments upon the Revela∣tions.

Cutt.

Thou hast hit it Dogrel: I'le put my self into a rare garbe; Buffe, thou must off, truy Buffe thou must.

Pun.

'Slid, a good humour; I could find in my heart to change religion too.

Dog.

Pox! no body will change with me, I'm sure. But canst thou put off swearing with Buffe? canst thou abstain in the middle of long grace from crying a plague upon him, the mets cold? canst thou repeat scripture enough to make a Puritan? I'me sure for understanding thou'lt be like enough to any of 'um.

Cutt.

Let me alone, I'le deal with no oath above gods fatlikins, or by my truly: exclaim upon the sickness of drinking healths, and call the Players rogues, sing psalms, hear lectures; and if I chance to preach my self, woe be to the act, the object, the use, and applicaion.

Pun.

Thou art an everlasting stinker Co∣lonel, 'tis a most potent humour, ther's mu∣stard in't, it bits i'the nose.

Cutt.

Dogel, take heed of swearing before Tabitha.

Dog.

If I look not as grave as a Judge upon the bench, let me be hanged for't.

Pun.

Come away Physitians; 'slid I'le be of some Religion eret be long too.

Page  [unnumbered]

Act. 2. Scaen. 3.

Truman pater, Truman fillus.
Tru. p.

You hear me—

Tru. f.

Sir—

Tru. p.

Sir me no sirs: I say you shall mar∣ry Mistris Tabitha.

Tru. f.

I hope sir—

Tru. p.

I, when I bid you do any thing, then you are a hoping; well, what do you hope sir?

Tru. f.

That you'ld be pleas'd—

Tru. p.

No, I will not be pleas'd till I see your manners mended: marry gap, you'le be teaching your father.

Tru. f.

I am —

Tru. p.

Go to, you're a foolish boy, and know not what's good for your self: you are? what are you, pray? we shall ha' you crow over your father.

Tru. f.

I shall observe—

Tru. p.

You will not sure? will you ob¦serve me? 'tis very well if my son come to ob∣serve me i'my old days, you will observe me? will ye?

Tru. f.

I mean sir—

Tru. p.

You shall mean what I please, if you be mine: I must be bound to your meaning?

Tru. f.

It may be—

Tru. p.

You'll teach me what may be, will you? do not I know what may be? 'tis fine, 'tis very fine: now i'your wisdom, now what may be?

Tru. f.

That Captain Blade

Tru. p.

That what? what can he do? I'll see his nose cheese before you shall marry his neece. Captain Blade's a swaggering companion; let 'um swagger, and see what he gets by his swaggering; I would have swaggered with him for his ears when I was a young man. And though I ha' done swaggering—well—I shall meet with Captain Blade, I hold him a tester on't—

Tru. f.

(Would he were gone.) I shall obey —

Tru. p.

Obey me no obeyings, but do what I command you. I'll to the Widow, and talk abot her portion: stay I had al∣most forgot to tel you; oh—Mistris Tabitha's a vertuous maid, a very religious wench; I'll go speak concerning her portion.

Tru. f.

It may be sir—

Tru. p.

Youll never leave this trick, you'll be at your may-bees; take heed boy, this humour will undoe thee—she cannot have less then three thousand pounds: well — I'll go see—and d'ee hear? she goes plain, and is a good huswife; which of your spruce mincing squincing dames can make bone∣lace like her? o tis a notable, apt, quick, wit∣ty girle—I'll goe to her mother about the portion.

Exit.

Tru. f.

About this time her letter pro∣mis'd me a meeting here: destiny it self will sooner break its word then she. Dear Mistris, there's none here besides your vassal. She's ready—

Act. 2. Scaen. 4.

Truman filius, Lucia veil'd.
Ha! why this covering?
This is mistery darker then the veile
That clouds thy glorious face; unless t'en∣crease
My desire first, and then my joy to see thee,
Thou cast this subtler night before thy beauty.
And now like one scorched with some ra∣ging feaver,
Upon whose flames nor dew nor sleep hath faln,
I could begin to quarrel with the darkness,
And blame the slothful rising of the morn;
But with more gladness entertain't, then they,
Whose icy dwellings the cold Bare ore-looks,
When after half the yeers continued night,
And the most edious night of all but death;
A sudden light shot from their horizon,
Brings the long wisht-for day, which with such glory
Leaps from the East, as doth thy mateless beauty.
Page  [unnumbered]When thus the mist departs—
Offers to pull away the veil.
Why shrinkst thou back?
I prit hee let me see thee, Lucia.
I'd rather some good power would strike me blinde,
Then lose the cause for which I love mine eyes:
At least speak to me: well may I call it night,
When silence too has joyn'd it self to dark∣ness.
And did I not swear I would not —
Thy witty goodness can save others too
From sinning: I had quite forgot my oath
Yet sure an oath forc'd from a lovers tongue
Is not recorded in heav'ns dreadful book,
But scatter'd loosely by that breath that made it.
However thy blest Letter makes me patient:
Thou giv'st all vertues: I can love thee thus.
And though thy skin were such, that it might seem
A black veil cast by nature o'er thy body,
Yet I would love thee, Lucia: every night,
Which is the harvest-time of all our hopes,
Will make thee as th'art now; and dost thou think
I shall not love thee most then?
We trifle here: I'll follow thee, O heaven;
Prosper the wise invention which it hath taught thee.
Exeunt▪

Act. 2. Scaen. 5.

Captain Blade, Servant.
Bla.

Is he carried to prison? that damn'd Urinal-monger, that stinking Clyster-pipe-rogue! that ignorant Sattin cap! He has not so much physick as would cure the tooth∣ach. A slave that poisons Gentlemen, to keep his hand in ure Must a slave come up stairs mount the bank for money, and not be dishonoured down? He lookd as pati∣ently then, as any Fidler need to do. Give me some small beer, and the godly book; I must not go to hell; there are too many Phy∣sitians there. I was never in a worse dispo∣sition to die, in my life: my guts begin to squeak already. Nothing vexes me now, but that I shall stand pictur'd in a Ballad, with Beware the physitian, or some such sentence, coming out of my mouth. I shall be sung in Smithfield: not a blinde Ale-house but the life and miserable death of captain Blade shall be pasted up in: there shall I be brought con∣fessing my sins at the later end, and giving good counsel. (You will be jumbling still.) Ten to one but Dogrel makes an Epitaph; there's another mischief. Here, take the book again; I'll not trouble my brain now I'm a dying.

Serv.

Here's the widow, Sir, and her daughter, come to see you; and they have brought M. Knockdown to comfort you.

Bla.

How? everlasting Knockdown? 'Slid, will they troble a man when he's a dying? Sirrah, blockhead, let in Knockdown, and I'll send thee to heaven before me. I ha' but an hour to live, my Physitian says, and that's too little for him to preach in.

Serv.

Shall I let the widow come in?

Blade.

That's a she—Knockdown too. Well, let her come in; I must bear all torments patiently now. But, rogue, take heed of Ioseph Knockdown: thou shalt not live with ears, if Ioseph Knockdown enter. A plague upon all Physitians.

Act. 2. Scaen. 6.

Capt. Blade, Widow, Tabytha.
Wid.

How do you? how is't, Sir?

Bla.

Cut off i'the flower o' my age, wi∣dow.

Wid.

Not so, Sir, you are old, neighbour, God he knows.

Bla.

I' the very lower, i'faith. That damn'd quacksalver.

Tab.

He look'd like a rogue; a man might know him for a rogue, by his very eyes. Take comfort, Sir; ye know we must all die either sooner or later. Our life is compared to a flower; and a flower is sub∣ject to uncertainty, as M. Knockdown ob∣serves.

Bla.

O the torture of such a tongue! Would I were dead already.

Page  [unnumbered]
Wid.

Alas, good man! his tongue, I warrant ye, is hot: look how he raves, daughter! I have heard, indeed, that many rave when they are poison'd. Think o' your sins, Sir.

Bla.

I prithee molest me not; there's none of 'um worth thinking of. I'm hotter then a dozen of Fevers: give me a cup of Sack there: Shall I die thirsty?

Wid.

By no means, M. Blade. Fellow, take heed what ye give him: he must ha' none; it breeds inflammations.

Bla.

I'll never repent without a cup of Sack. Do, do, chuse whether you'll ha'me sav'd or no.

Wid.

For his souls sake then, I'll drink to him in a cup of Sack

Drinks.

Bla

To my good journey widow. Sir∣rah, fill me a brimmer. Here, Tabytha.

Drinks.

Act. 2. Scaen. 7.

Blade, Widow, Tabytha, Aurelia, Cutter, Dogrel.
Aur.

Stand to 't now.

Dog.

I'll warrant you I'll stand like a knight o'the post: I'll forswear with the de∣vil. As for Cutter, he has don't fourty times before a Judge already.

Aur.
My dearest father, though we cannot call
The sentence of fate back that's past upon you,
Yet heav'n has mixt some mercy with its anger,
And shewn us the curst plotters of your ruine.
Bla.

How now, varles? ye see I'm go∣ing to heaven, and ye must follow; but the Captain must be sav'd before the Colonel. Who art thou? a godly Weaver?

Cut.

I am not he that I was of old: what hath passed, is gone and vanisheth; but what is now, remaineth.

Wid.

No I'll besworn is he not; never was Christian creature so alter'd, as they say.

Tab.

He said a prayer last night so zea∣lously, that all the house heard him, did they not? Brother M. Cutter.

Cut.

Sister, I did pour out my self last night. Captain, y'are abus'd.

Bla.

A small abuse; nothing but onely poiso••d.

Dog.

Yes 'faith, we saw the Physitian, Mi••ress Lucia and Truman consulting all together: the Physitian pluck'd a box out, shew'd it them; they seem'd to approve: an oath of secresie we heard them take, but suspected nothing, by this hand. We honest men do seldom suspect others.

Bla.

Is this true, Colonel?

Cut.

Should I say it is not true, I should not tell the truth if I should say so.

Bla.

You swear 'tis true?

Cut.

Before an Elder I shall swear.

Bla.

Aurelia, send for 'um immediately, as if I meant to see 'um contracted; and bid the servants be ready to carry um away. I'll see 'um clapt up close before I die.

Aur.

I go, Sir.

Exit.

Act. 2. Scaen. 8.

Blade, Widow, Tabytha, Cutter, Dogrel, Lucia.
Luc.
Dearest Uncle,
I come to beg one boon of you, the last
Which you can grant me, or I need to wish.
Bla.

Speak, gentle Neece.

Luc.
That since the love 'twixt Truman and my self
Hath been so fixt, and (as our fortunes) equal,
You will be pleas'd to seal with your last breath
The confirmation of our loves, our Con∣tract:
And when your soul shall meet in heav'n my fathers,
As soon as he has bid you welcome thither,
He'll thank you for our marriage.
Bla.

Oh by all means: where's gentle M. Truman? He's sorry for my death, good man, I warrant ye. Weep not for me, dear Page  [unnumbered] Neece, I know it greives you. Where's loving Mr. Truman?

Luc.

Without Sir, waiting on your will, as on the voice of his good fate.

Bla.

Pray call him in.

Exit Luc.
Sirrah, fetch two or three more of my knaves in.

Dog.

Oh the dissembling of these women; they're like a folded picture, that every di∣versity of light represents diversly.

Bla.

Hang all women beside you and your daughter, widow: I could almost like Ma∣homets religion, for turning all the sex out of Heaven.

Act. 2. Scaen. 9.

Blade, Cutter, Dogrel, Widow, Tabitha. Truman filius, Lucia veil'd.
Tru.

'Tis as we wisht, dear Lady; O this blest hour!

Bla.

Away with 'um immediately, let 'um be sent to prison straight.

Tru

What means this rudeness? I under∣stand not this incivility.

Cutt.

Ungratious children, ye have poy∣soned a most vertuous Souldier here.

Tru.

I poysoned? what d'ye mean?

Bla.

Away with 'um I say, they shall inde another place to answer for't.

Exeunt Servants, with Truman and Lucia.
Wid.

Hei ho! what pitty 'tis.

Cutt.

Captain, prithee away with these two impertinences; since you must dye, let's have a parting cup for shame.

Bla.

But thou art turn'd Apostate.

Cutt.

I did but fain all this; I'm as very a Rogue as ever I was.

Bla.

Thou speakst righteously, we will not make a dry farwel on't. Widow. I have some business with these two; shall I desire privacy a little while?

Wid.

Fare ye well. Mr. Cutter, you can speak comfortably to him: I'll see you a∣gain anon. Oh the wickedness of these worldlings! Come Tabitha.

Exeunt Widow and Tabitha.
Bla.

The Doctor says, I shall dye with∣out pain; therefore my sparks of Asia, let's be merry for a while. Boy, fetch some wine and an hour-glass.

Cutt.

An hour-glass! what emblem shall we have? bring a sithe too; and this same lean, greedy, hungry Poet, shall act Time here.

Enter boy with wine, and an hour glass.

Bla.

Well said my little Pawn. So, thus I'll husband my time. According to my Emperick's computation I am to live an hour; half which I do allot to drink with you, a quarter to settle some business; and the rest to good medittions and repentance. How like ye this my gallants?

Cutt.

Most Logically divided; never Scholer divided mess better.

The boy fils wine.
Bla.

How it sparkles! Never be drunk again? My Homer junior, have at thee; this will string up thy Muse: rejoyce young frog of Hellicn.

Drinks.

Dog.

No, rather let me weep, drop briny tears, Till I like Niobe

Cutt.

There's a piece of her sticks in his throat still, drink it down Dogrel.

Bla.

Do, for when I am once gone, ye must e'en like Mahumetans, count wine a thing forbidden.

Cutt.
Let's drink, let's drink, whilst life we have:
You'll finde but cold drinking, cold drink∣ing in the grave.
Dog.
A catch i'faith.
Boy go down,
And fill's the tother quart;
That we may drink the Captains health,
Before that we do part.
Cutt.

Why dost thou frown, thou arrant Clown &c.

Bla.
Ha hei boy's! another catch i'faith.
And all our men wee very very merry.
And all our men were drinking,
Cutt.

One man o' mine,

Dog.

Two men o' mine,

Bla.

Three men o' mine,

Cutt.

And a man o' mine,

Om.
As we went by the way, were
Drunk Drunk, Damnable Drunk;
And all our men were very very merry &c.
Bla.

Hei brave boys! now, Cutter, thou Page  [unnumbered] art a pretious Puritan.

Cutt.

And thou a puissant Captain. Some wou'd ha' pin'd, and kept a quarter, and howl'd at their death, and ha' been more froward and troublesome then a Citizens wife when she takes Physick. This is true valour.

Dog.

Sure he has dy'd before, he's so ex∣pert at it.

Act 2. Scaen. 10.

To these, old Truman.
Bla.

What says old Priam to Achilles great?

Tru.

'Tis well, I'm glad to see you in you Priams; but for all your Priams, and your Killisses, what ha' you done with my Son?

Bla.

Thrice was thy Hector drawn about the walls.

Cutt.

Xanthus and Simois, with his pur∣ple gore.

Dog.

Alas, and welladay! we are stain'd all o're.

Om.

Ha, ha, ha.

Tru.

'Tis very well, excellent well, all's well that ends well; I say—I shall finde Law I hope. My Son Dick in prison, and old Dick laughed at here by Raggamuffins: 'Tis very excellent well; I thank you gen∣tlemen I thank you heartily.

Bla.

'Tis not so much worth i'faith Sir; what do you mean Sir? pray spare your courtesie, nay, I pray be covered Sir.

Tru.

It may be so, 'tis very likely Sir, an there be Law in Westminster—

Cutt.

—And what dost thou mean, old man?

Dog.

—And what dost thou mean, old man?

Cutt.

—If thou mean'st to live long, plump, lusty, and strong;

Dog.

—Then take of the cup and the Can.

Om.

Ha, ha, ha.

Tru.

Well, I'm made a laughing stock, it seems.

Bla.

And good Sir—

Tru

Yes, I am made the laughing stock; I shall take some other course, I hold you a groat. Rest ye merry Gentlemen, I pray be merry, very very merry.

Dog.

Nay, you shall stay and drink first.

Tru.
Shall I, Iacksauce?
Strikes off his hat.
Pray Sir, be you covered too.
Bla.

Come old Iethro, here's a cup of wine will stir thy brains again, they're mouldy now.

Tru.

I, you'd poyson me, wou'd you? 'tis ve∣ry well if a man may be suffered to poyson whom he pleases.

Breakes the glass.

Bla.

No, your good Son has got the art of poysoning.

Tru.

My Son? Thou liest. My Son?

Bla.

If ye be raging Lyon-mad, d'ye see that door? Be gone to your Son, and take some juice of Opium: Thou wants sleep, Iethro.

Trumn offers to go out, and turns back again.

Tru.

There's Law, Captain.

Bla

There is so; wou'd you'd go fetch it.

Tru.

Nay there's none it seems.

Bla.

True, there shall be no Law, so you'll be gone

Tru.

There shall be no Law, say you? I desire no more, 'tis very exceeding dainty. There shall be no Law; I desire no more, 'tis a kinde of petty Treason: You'll remember, Sir, that there shall be no Law: That's enough, I pray remember Sir: and so fare∣well. There shall be no Law.

Exit.
Bla.

This worm-eaten old fellow has spoil'd our sport. And what says my hour-glass now? Time was i'faith.

Cutt.

How do you feel your self?

Bla.

As hot as Hell. Come wee'l take our last farewel within; and farwel here all drinking. God send me a good journey, I say.

Dog.

Then briny tears come trickling down apace,

For loss of him—

Cutt.

And what?

Dog.

Nay, ye put me out.

Exeunt.

Finis Actus Secundi.