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 3. Scaen. 3.

Aurelia, Taylor, Truman filius.

Thanks good Taylor; now I'll onely beg that I may buy your secrecy: Fare thee well, Friend.

at the door.

Ha! I did but speak just now of Heav'nly pow'rs,
And my good Angel enters! welcome
Lucia; I can scarce say so here, yet welcome heartily:
You see how ill our honest Plot succeeds;
I see we must out-weary fortunes anger,
And I have arm'd my self for't—ha!
She gives him a note, and imbraces him. He reads.

Page  [unnumbered]I have with much ado gotten to you, and can stay with you to night. (Ha!) Why should we defer our joys longer, since we are married in heart? The opportunity, and impatience of such delays, forc'd me to de∣sire that which else my modesty would not suffer me—(Modesty?) —Your desires— to your bed —long wisht-for—(why this is strange) hum-hum-hum— Yours, Lucia. No, no, thou art not Lucia. If thou dost (As thou saist) love me, do not use that name.

She embraces, and goes to kiss him
Some devil has chang'd thee— This i worse stil—with much ado—to night—joys longer—opportunity—
Read: then walks about the room; goes to the Candle, and burns the Letter

May all remembrance of thee perish with thee,
Unhappie paper, made of guilty linen.
The menstruous reliqus of some lustful woman:
Thy very ashes here will not be innocent,
But flie about, and hurt some chaste mens eyes,
As they do mine.
Oh thou that once wert Lucia! thy soul
Was softer then, and purer then swans fea∣thers,
Then thine own skin: Two whitest things, that paper,
And thine own self, thou didst at once de∣file.
But now th'art blacker then the skin that co∣vers thee:
And that same gloomy shade not so much hides
Thy Bodies colour, as it shews thy Mindes.
She kneels.
Kneel not to me, fond woman, but to heav'n;
And prithee weep: tears will wash cleaner Ethiops—
Wouldst thou have had me been mine own adult'rer?
Before my Marriage too? Wouldst thou ha' giv'n me
An earnest of the horns I was to wear?
Is Marriage onely a Parenthesis
Betwixt a maid and wife? Will they remain
Entire without it? Go, pray go back,
And leave me too, since thou hast left thy self:
When peace is made with heav'n, 'tis made with me.
Exit Aurelia.
What are these women made of? Sure we men
Are of some better mold. Their vows and oaths
Are like the poisonous Spiders subtil net,
As dangerous to entrap, and broke as soon.
Their love, their faith, their selves enslav'd to passion.
Nothing's at their command, except their tears,
And we frail men, whom such heat-drops entice.
Hereafter I will set my self at liberty,
And live more free then is the air I breathe in:
And when I sigh, henceforth, it shall not be
For love of one, but pity of all the Sex.