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. 5 Scaen. 5.

Blade, Dogrel, and Puny disguis'd.
Serv.

Faith, Sir, you know as well as I; some charitable beast come to be drest here. Shall I call the Cook, Sir?

Dog.

Why this is my house here, Iohn: ha! ha! little thought I to have seen my house in Fleet-street again. Where's my brother Blade?

Bla.

They call me Captain Blade.

Dog.

Is this he Iohn? Let me see

(reads)
A proper burly man, with a whiteih beard, a quick eye, and a nose inclining to red, 'tis true Save you good brother, you did not ex∣pect me here; did you brother? Stay let me see how many yeers ago is't since we went from home?

Pun.

'Tis now just seven, Sir.

Dog.

Seven! me think's I was here but yesterday: How the what-d'ye-call-'um runs? What do ye call it?

Pun.

Time, Sir.

Dog.

I, I, Time. What was't I was say∣ing? O, I was telling you brother, that I had quite forgot you: was I not telling him so Iohn?

Bla.

By my troth, Sir, we are both quits then; for I have forgot you too. Why, you were dead five yeers ago.

Dog.

Was I so? I ha' quite forgot it. Iohn, was I dead five yeers ago? My memory failes me very much of late▪

Pun.

We were worse then dead I'm sure; we were taken by a barbarous kind of Nati∣on, and there made slaves these five yeers. Iohn quoth he! I was poor Iohn indeed: I'm sure they fed us three whole yeers with nothing but Acorns and water: we lookt like wicker-bottles.

Dog.

How, Sirrah? Did your Master look like a wicked boat-man?

(strikes him)
Nay I remember what you said we lookt like Did we look like what-d'ye-call-ums?

Bla.

Where did they take you prisoners?

Dog.

Nay ask Iohn, he can tell you I warrant you. 'Twas in—tell him, Iohn, where it was.

Pun.

In Guiny, Sir.

Bla.

By what Country-men were you taken?

Dog.

Why they were call'd—I know not Page  [unnumbered] what they call'd 'um 'twas an odde kinde of name; but Iohn can tell you.

Pun.

'Slife, who I Sir? d'ye think I can remember all things?

Dog.

'Tis in my book here; I remember well the name of any Country under the Sun.

Pun.

I know their names, Sir, well enough; but I onely tri'd my Masters memory. They 're call'd Tartarians.

Dog.

How say you? what were they?

Pun.

Tartarians, Sir.

Dog.

I, I, these were the men

Bla.

How, Iohn! why all the world, man, lies between 'um: they live up i' the North.

Pun.

The North?

Bla.

I, the very North, Iohn.

Pun.

That's true indeed: but these were another nation of the Tartarians that liv'd by us.

Bla.

Well, how escap'd you, Iohn, at last?

Pun.

Why 'faith, Sir, to tell you the truth, for I love not to tell a lye, the Kings daugh∣ter fell in love with me, and for my sake there set us free. My master has it all in his book; 'tis a fine story.

Bla.

Strange! In what ship did you come back?

Dog.

What ship? why 'twas call'd—a thing that swims—How d'ye call it?

Bla.

What? the Mermaid?

Dog.

No, no, no, let me see—

Bla.

What? was't the Triton?

Dog.

No, no—it swims, I tell you.

Bla.

The Dolphin?

Dog.

No, no— I have forgot what 'twas.

Bla.

What say you, Iohn?

Pun.

(Pox take him.) I, Sir? O God, my Master, Sir, can tell as well as I.

Bla.

He says he has forgot.

Pun.

Tis his pleasure to say so, Sir: he may say what he pleases. (A plague upon him.) You can't conceive the misery we have past, Sir.

Bla.

Well, brother, I'll make bold to ask one question more of you. Where did you leave your Will when you went away?

Pun.

'Slife, now he's pos'd again.

Dog.

I'll tell you presently, brother; let me see.

(Reads.)
Memorandum for my Will: Left to my brother Blade the whole charge of my estate—hum—What did you ask me brother?

Bla.

In what place you left your Will?

Dog▪

I, that was it indeed; you're i' the right; 'twas the very thing you askt me; and yet see how quickly I forgot it. My memo∣ry's short, alas, God help me.

Bla.

This is no answer to my question, yet.

Dog.

'Tis true indeed. What was your question, pray?

Bla.

Where you left your Will.

Dog.

Good lord I had forgot you askt me this; I had forgot, i'faithlaw, that I had: you'll pardon my infirmity, I hope, brother; for alas—alas—I ha' forgot what I was going to say to you; but I was a saying somthing, I am sure.

Pun.

Did not you know us, Will? prithee tell's true.

Serv.

No, by this light: why, you're grown as black as the chimney-stock.

Pun.

That's the nature of the Country where we liv'd. O the stories that I shall tell you! And how does Nell, and little bonny Bess? are they as merry grigs as e'er they were?

Serv.

No; Bess, poor wench, is married to a Chandler; but she's true blue still, as right as my leg, I'll warrant you.

Dog.

What is't, Iohn? what was I going to say, Iohn, to my brother?

Pun.

I know not, Sir; was't not about your daughter?

Dog.

I, I, my daughter—What d'ye call her?

Pun.

Lucia, Sir.

Dog.

'Tis true indeed; my daughter Lu∣cia, brother.

Bla.

Pray walk into the parlour; I'll come to you presently, and tell you all.

Dog.

Well, Iohn, put me in minde o' my daughter Lucia. (A plague o' your Tarta∣rians.)

Pun.

(And o' your what-d'ye-call ums.)

Dog.

('Slife, Tartarians.)

Exeunt Dog. Pun.

Bla.

If these be rogues, they are as impu∣dent as Mountebanks and Juglers: and if I Page  [unnumbered] finde 'um to be rogues, (as I see nothing yet to the contrary) how I will exercise my rogues! The tyranny of a new Beadle over a beggar, shall be nothing to mine. Come hither, Will, what think you of these two fellows?

Serv.

'Faith, Sir, I know not: but if you think it be not my old Master, I'll beat 'um worse then the Tartarians did.

Bla.

No, no, let's try um first. Thou wast wont to be a very precious knave, and a great acter too, a very Roscius. Didst not thou once act the Clown in Musidorus?

Serv.

No, Sir; but I plaid the Bear there.

Bla.

The Bear? why that's a good part; th'art an acter then, I'll warrant thee. The Bear's a well pen'd part. And you remem∣ber my brothers humour, don't you? They have almost hit it.

Serv.

Yes, Sir, I know the shortness of my Masters memory; he would forget some∣times to pay me my wages till he was put in minde on't.

Bla.

Well said. I'll dress thee within in his own chamber; and all the servants shall acknowledge you. But who shall do trusty Iohn?

Serv.

O, Ralph the Butler, Sir; he's an old actor, Sir, h'has plaid a King he says. I have heard him speak a Play ex tempore in the Buttry, Sir.

Bla.

O Ralph, excellent Ralph, incompa∣rable Ralph, Ralph against the world! Come away, William; I'll give you instructions within. It must be done in the twinkling of an eye.

Exeunt.