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.
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Act. 5. Scaen. 2.

Truman filius, Aurelia.
And must we marry then?
It appears so by the story.
Why will you marry me? What is there in me
That may deserve your liking? I shall be
The most ill-favour'd malancholy Bride-groom
That ever took a melting maid t'his bed:
The faculties of my Soul are all untun'd,
And every glory of my spreading youth
Is turn'd into a strange and sudden winter.
You cannot love me sure.
No by my troth, Sir.
No, nor I you. Why should we mar∣ry then?
'Twere a meere folly, were it not Aurelia?
Nay, ask our Parents why. But, Sir, they say
'Tis the best marriage where like is joyned to like;
Now we two are a very even match;
For neither I love, you nor you love me;
And 'tis ten to one but we shall beget
Children that will love neither of us.
Nay, by my Soul I love you, but alas,
Not in that way that husbands love their wives;
I cannot play, nor toy, nor kiss, nor do
I know not what: And yet I was a lover,
As true a lover—
A lack a day, Sir.
'Twas then me-thought the greatest happiness
To sit and talk, and look upon my Mistris,
Or (if she was not by) to think upon her.
Then every morning next to my devotion,
And sometimes too (forgive me Heav'n) before it,
She slipt into my fancy, and I took it
As a good omen for the following day.
It was a pretty foolish kind of life,
An honest harmless vanity: But now
The fairest face moves me no more then Snow
Or Lillies when I see 'um and pass by.
And I as soon shall deeply fall in love
With the fresh scarlet of an Easterne cloud,
As the red lips and cheek of any woman.
I do confess, Aurelia, thou art fair
And very lovely, and (I think) good na∣tur'd.

Faith, Sir, I would not willingly be a man, if they be all like you.

And prithee now, Aurelia, tell me truly,
Are any women constant in their vowes?
Can they continue a whole week? a month?
And never change their faith? O if they could,
They would be excellent things. Nay, ne'er dissemble:
Are not their lusts unruly, insolent,
And as commanding as their beauties are?
Are their tears true and solid when they weep?
Sure, Mr. Truman, you ha'n't slept of late;
If we be married to night, what will
You do for sleep?
Why? Do not married people use to sleep?
Yes, yes. Alas good innocence!
They have a scurvy time of't if they do not;
But we'll not be as other people are,
We'll finde out some new hansome way of love,
Some kind of way that few shall imitate,
But all admire. For 'tis a sordid thing
That lust should dare t'insinuate it self
Into the marriage-bed. We'll get no chil∣dren,
The worst of men and women can do that.
Besides too, if our issue should be female,
They would all learn to flatter and dis∣semble,
They'd all deceive with promises and vowes
Some simple man, and then turn false and kill him.
Would they not do't Aurelia?

Our sex is little beholding to you, Sir; I would your mother were alive to hear you. But pray, Mr. Truman, what shall we do when we are married?

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Why we'll live lovingly together:
Sometimes we'll sit and talk of excellent things,
And laugh at all the nonsence of the world:
Somtimes we'll walk together into the fields:
Sometimes we'll pray and read, and some∣times eat,
And sometimes sleep; and then at last well die,
And go to heav'n together. 'Twill be dainty▪

We may do this, me thinks, and ne∣ver marry for the business.

'Tis true, we might do so:
But since our parents are resolv'd upon't,
In such a trifle let 'um have their humour.
My father sent me here to complement,
And keep a prating here, and play the fool:
I cannt do 't. What should I do, Aurelia?
What do they use to say?

Sure. Sir, you knew, when you were a suitor to my cousin Lucia.

I, but those days are past, and I have now
Forgot what manner of man a lover is:
I was one then, I'm sure on't. O that Lucia,
That Lucia was so wonderful a creature—
There was a cheek, a lip, a nose, an eye!
Did you observe her eye, Aurelia?
Yes, yes, Sir, you were wont to sit all day,
And look upon the pretty babies in it.
It was as glorious as the eye of heav'n,
Like the souls eye, dispers'd through ev'ry thing.
And then her hands! her hands of liquid Ivory!
Did she but touch her Lute (the pleasing'st harmony
Then upon earth, when she her self was si∣lent)
The subtil motion of her flying fingers
Taught Musick a new art, To take the sight
As well as th'ear.
I, I, Sir, y'had best go look her out, and marry her.
Nay prithee be not angry, good Au∣relia;
I do not say she is more fair then thou art:
Yet if I did—No, but I will not say so:
Onely I strive to cherish the remembrance
Of one I lov'd so well. And, now I think on't,
I'll beg a favour of you: you'll laugh at me,
I know, when you have heard me: but I'll beg it:
Prithee be veil'd as Lucia was of late;
Cast such a silken cloud upon thy beauty
For this one day: I'd fain marry you so.
'Tis an odde foolish humour, I confess:
But love and grief may be allow'd some∣times
A little innocent folly.
Well, I'll obey your humour; pray walk in there;
I'll onely dress my self, and wait upon you.
And we'll be married very privately.
None but our selves, it will be best, Aurelia.

Why here's a husband for a wench of clouts! May I never laugh again, if his company has not made me duller then Ale and butter'd cakes wou'd ha' done. I marry him? the old men must excuse me. I'll sooner chuse a fellow that lies bed-rid, and can do nothing a-nights but cough. Well, if I don't teach 'um what 'tis to force a wench that has wit, may my husband beat me when I have one, and I sit still and cry. I like this very well—It shall be so. Iane, come hi∣ther, Iane.