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. 4. Scaen. 4.

Puny, Truman filius.
She's gone for ever. Peace be with thee, Lucia.
Where ever thou art.
Now he begins his Epithala ium.
If she be guilty,
Forgive her, heav'n; she'll repent, I'm sure:
For she is soft, and melting as the dew,
That kisses ev'ry morn the embling roses;
And howsoe'er beauty and youth misled her,
She cannot be, I know, a stubborn sinner.
Did ever Basket-maker talk thus?
to himself too, lke a Conjurer in a garden?
Ha! This is he, that wicked man,
That devil which betray'd her.
O, are you thereabouts?
Offers to go out.
Page  [unnumbered]
Nay stay,
For wert thou arm'd with thunder and my anger,
Yet I would bring thee back. Tell me what charms,
(For I will rip thy heart up but I'll know it)
What witch-craft didst thou use t'entice her thus?
Never deny't. For hadst thou been more handsome
Then other mens, or thine own flattery
Could ever make thee: hast thou been as beautiful,
And couldst have spoke as well as she her self,
All this were nothing; she would look upon thee,
But lust no more then thine own Angel does.
No, thou didst use some cursed art to tempt her,
Some Philter—
Not I by all—what d'ye mean pray, Sir?
Why then you ravisht her, by Heav'n you ravisht her:
Alas, she's weak and tender, very tender,
And was not able to resist that strength
Which youth and furious lust did arm thee with.
'Twas basely done, above expression basely,
And I would presently revenge it fully,
But that my sword would take from the laws justice,
And from thy shame.
I ravish her? By this light I scorn't.
You did enjoy her body? Did you not?
I did so.
You did? I prithee do not say you did so;
This is to brag of the vile act th'ast done:
But I shall spoil your pride and shameful glory
Which your base sin affords you.
You bid me tell you the truth, what would you ha'me do?
Do? I would have thee fix thy adul∣terous eye
Upon the ground, which thy cursed feet dishonour;
And blush more red then is the sin th'ast acted.
What would I have thee do? I'd have thee weep,
Shed as true tears as she does for thy fault,
And sigh away thy body into air.
What would I have thee do? Id have thee kill thy self.
And sacrifice thy life to her wrong'd Soul.
Canst thou refuse to do all this for her,
For whom th'ast damn'd thy self?
We were contracted first e'er I en∣joyed her.
Didst thou enjoy her then? How durst thou do it?
Why she was mine, I tell thee she was mine;
All the Seas wealth should not have bought her from me,
While she remain'd as spotless as my love:
And so she did remain till thy sin stain'd her.
I tell thee to that hour she was more innocent
Then thou, false man, wert in thy mothers womb.
Didst thou enjoy her? Either fetch back that word,
Say, nay I'll have thee swear thou didst not touch her,
Or by those joyes which thou hast rob'd me of,
I'll kill thee strait.

'Siid I did not touch her. What would you ha' me say? would I were Iohn the Merchants man now.

O Heav'ns! O most unheard of villany!
Th hast done a crime so great, that there is hardly
Mercy enough in Heav'n to pardon thee.
Tell me, (for now I'll argue mildly with thee)
Why should you seek t' undo a harmless maid?
To rob her of her friend, her life perhaps,
I'm sure her fame, which is much dearer to her.
'Twas an inhuman act; an act so barbarous,
That Nations unciviliz'd would abhor it:
I dare say boldly she nev'r injured you;
For she was gentle as the breath of Zephy∣rus:
Page  [unnumbered]And if she e'er did but begin a thought
Of wronging any man, she would have wept
Before she thought it out.

I had rather be a pickl'd▪ Oister, then i'this case I am in now.

Is Lucia abus'd? and I stand here
T expostulate with words her injuries?
Draw, for I'll talk no more with thee.

D'ye hear, Sir—by Heaven I lay with her, but we were contracted first—will you be pleas'd to hear me?


No, be gone.


Most willingly. Fare ye well hear∣tily, Sir; I wish you a good night-cap.

The want of sleep and diet has distempered me,
If I stay thus I shall be quite distracted;
Me thinks a kinde of strangeness seizes me:
And yet if I go home I shall be forc'd
To marry with Aurelia. Is it possible
There should be women good, if Lucia be not?
They are not sure: She lookt as well as any,
And spoke as well too.