TIs true, if he had continu'd constant to you, I should have thought my self oblig'd in honor to be his friend; but I could no longer suffer him to abuse a person of your worth and beauty with a feign'd affection.
But is it possible Don Melchor should be false to love? I'll be sworn I did not imagine such a treacherie could have been in nature; especially to a Lady who had so oblig'd him.
'Twas this, Madam, which gave me the coufidence to wait upon at an hour which would be otherwise unseasonable.
You are the most obliging person in the world.
But to clear it to you that he is false; he is at this very minute at an assignation with your Cousin in the Garden; I am sure he was endeavouring it not an hour ago.
I swear this Evenings Air begins to incommode me ex∣tremely with a cold; but yet in hope of detecting this perjur'd man I am content to stay abroad.
But withall you must permit me tell you, Madam, that it is but just I should have some share in a heart which I endea∣vour to redeem: in the Law of Arms you know that they who pay the ransome have right to dispose of the prisoner.
The prize is so very inconsiderable that 'tis not worth the claiming.
If I thought the boon were small, I would not impor∣tune my Princess with the asking it: but since my life depends upon the grant—
Mam, I must needs tell your Laship that Don Lopez has deserv'd you: for he has acted all along like a Cavalier; and more for your interest than his own; besides Mam Don Melchor is as poor as he is false: for my part I shall ne're endure to call him Master.
Don Lopez go along with me, I can promise nothing, but I swear I will do my best to disingage my heart from this furious tender which I have for him.
If I had been a man I could never have forsaken you: Ah those languishing casts, Mam; and that pouting lip of your Laship, like a Cherry-bough weigh'd down with the weight of fruit.
And that sigh too I think is not altogether disagreea∣able: but something charmante and mignonne.
Well, Don Lopez, you'l be but too happy.
If I were once possessor—
O we are surpriz'd.
Fear nothing, Madam, I think I know 'em: Don Lopez?
Our famous Astrologer, how come you here!
I am infinitely happy to have met you with Donna Au∣relia, that you may do me the favour to satisfie this Lady of a truth which I can scarce perswade her to believe.
I am glad our concernments are so equal: for I have Page 74 the like favour to ask from Donna Theodosia.
Don Lopez is too noble to be refus'd any thing within my power; and I am ready to do him any service after I have ask'd my Cousin if ever Don Melchor pretended to her?
'Tis the very question which I was furiously resolv'd to have ask'd of you.
I must confess he has made some professions to me: and withall I will acknowledge my own weakness so far as to tell you I have given way he should often visit me when the world believ'd him absent.
O Cavalier Astrologer; how have you betrayd me! did you not assure me that Don Melchor's tender and inclina∣tion was for me only?
I had it from his Star, Madam, I do assure you, and if that twinkled false, I cannot help it: The truth is there's no trusting the Planet of an inconstant man: his was moving to you when I look'd on't, and if since it has chang'd the course, I am not to be blam'd for't.
Now, Madam, the truth is evident. And for this Ca∣valier he might easily be deceiv'd in Melchor, for I dare affirm it to you both, he never knew to which of you he was most in∣clin'd: for he visited one, and writ letters to the other.
Then Madam I must claim your promise: (since I have discover'd to you that Don Melchor is unworthy of your favours) that you would make me happy, who amongst my many imperfections can never be guilty of such a falsehood.
If I have been deceiv'd in Melchor whom I have known so long, you cannot reasonably expect I should trust you at a dayes acquaintance.
For that, Madam, you may know as much of me in a day as you can in all your life: all my humours circulate like my blood, at farthest within 24 hours. I am plain and true like all my Countrymen; you see to the bottom of me as ea∣sily as you do to the gravel of a clear stream in Autumn.
You plead so well, Sir, that I desire you would speak for me too: my cause is the same with yours, only it has not so good an Advocate.
Since I cannot make my self happy, I will have the glo∣ry Page 75 to felicitate another: and therefore I declare I will reward the fidelity of Don Lopez.
All that I can say at present is, that I will never be Don Melchors: the rest time and your service must make out.
I have all I can expect, to be admitted as eldest Servant; as preferment falls I hope you will remember my seniority.
Mam, Don Melchor.
Cavaliers retire a little; we shall see to which of us he will make his Court.
I thought you had been a bed before this time.
Fair Aurelia, this is a blessing beyond expectation to see you agen so soon.
What important business brought you hither?
Onely to make my peace with you before I slept. You know you are the Saint to whom I pay my devotions.
And yet it was beyond your expectances to meet me? This is furiously incongruous.
Don Melchor, whither were you bound so late?
What shall I say? I am so confounded that I know not to which of them I should excuse my self.
Pray answer me truly to one question: did you never make any addresses to my Cousin.
Fie, fie, Madam, there's a question indeed.
How Monster of ingratitude, can you deny the Decla∣ration of your passion to me?
I say nothing Madam.
Which of us is it for whom you are concern'd?
For that Madam, you must excuse me; I have more discretion then to boast a Ladies favour.
Did you counterfeit an address to me?
Still I say nothing, Madam; but I will satisfie either of you in private; for these matters are too tender for publick discourse.
This is strange!
Ladies, we would not have disturb'd you, but as we were walking to the Garden door, it open'd suddenly a∣gainst us, and we confusedly saw by Moon-light, some per∣sons entring, but who they were we know not.
You had best retire into the Garden-house, and leave us to take our fortunes, without prejudice to your reputations.
Do not fear, Madam, I think I heard my friends voice.
Marry hang you, is it you that have given us this hot alarme.
There's more in't than you imagine, the whole house is up: for seeing you two, and not knowing you after I had entred the Garden-door, I made too much haste to get out a∣gain, and have left the key broken in it. With the noise one of the Servants came runing in, whom I forc'd back; and doubtless he is gone for company, for you may see lights run∣ning through every Chamber.
What will become of. us?
We must have recourse to our former resolution. Let the Ladies retire into the Garden-house. And now I think on't you Gentlemen shall go in with 'em, and leave me and Maskall to bear the brunt on't.
Me, Sir? I beseech you let me go in with the Ladies too; dear Beatrix speak a good word for me, I protest 'tis more out of love to thy company than for any fear I have.
You Dog I have need of your wit and counsel. We have no time to deliberate. Will you stay, Sir?
No Sir, 'tis not for my safety.
Will you in Sir?
No Sir, 'tis not for my honor, to be assisting to you: Page 77 I'll to Don Alonzo, and help to revenge the injury you are do∣ing him.
Then we are lost, I can do nothing.
Nay, and you talk of honor, by your leave Sir. I hate your Spanish honor ever since it spoyl'd our English Playes, with faces about and t'other side.
What do you mean, you will not murder me?
Must valour be oppress'd by multitudes?
Come yarely my mates, every man to his share of the burthen. Come yarly hay.
If this Englishman save us now I shall admire his wit.
Good wits never think themselves admir'd till they are well rewarded: you must pay him in specie, Madam, give him love for his wit.
Ladies fear nothing, but enter into the Garden-house with these Cavaliers—
Oh that I were a Cavalier too!
Come you back Sirrah.
Think your selves as safe as in a Sanctuary, only keep quiet what ever happens.
Come away then, they are upon us.
Hark, I hear the foe coming: methinks they threa∣ten too, Sir; pray let me go in for a Guard to the Ladies and poor Beatrix. I can fight much better when there is a wall be∣twixt me and danger.
Peace, I have occasion for your wit to help me lie.
Sir, upon the faith of a sinner you have had my last lye already; I have not one more to do me credit as I hope to be sav'd, Sir.
Victore, victore; knock under you rogue, and confess me Conquerour, and you shall see I'll bring all off.
Search about there.
Fear nothing, do but vouch what I shall say.
For a passive lye I can yet do something.
Stand: who goes there?
Friends? who are you?
Noble Don Alonzo, such as are watching for your good.
Is it you, Sennor Ingles? why all this noise and tu∣mult? where are my Daughters and my Neece? But in the first place, though last nam'd, how came you hither, Sir.
I came hither—by Astrologie, Sir.
My Master's in, heavens send him good shipping with his lye, and all kind Devils stand his friends.
How, by Astrologie, Sir? meaning you came hither by Art Magick.
I say by pure Astrologie Sir, I foresaw by my Art a little after I had left you that your Neece and Daughters would this night run a risque of being carried away from this very Garden.
O the wonders of this speculation!
Thereupon I call'd immediately for my sword and came in all haste to advertise you; but I see there's no resist∣ing Destiny, for just as I was entring the Garden door I met the Women with their Gallants all under sail and outward bound.
Thereupon what does me he but draws by my ad∣vice—
How now Mr. Raskall? are you itching to be in?
Pray, Sir, let me go snip with you in this lye, and be not too covetous of honor? you know I never stood with you; now my courage is come to me I cannot resist the temptation.
Content; tell on.
So in short Sir we drew, first I, and then my Master; but, being overpower'd, they have escap'd us, so that I think Page 79 you may go to bed and trouble your self no further, for gone they are.
You tell a lye! you have curtail'd my invention: you are not fit to invent a lye for a Bawd when she would whedle a young Squire.
Call up the Officers of Justice, I'll have the Town search'd immediately.
'Tis in vain, Sir; I know by my Art you'll never reco∣ver 'em: besides, 'tis an affront to my friends the Stars, who have otherwise dispos'd of 'em.
Sir, the key is broken in the Garden-door, and the door lock'd, so that of necessitie they must be in the Garden yet.
Disperse your selves, some into the Wilderness, some into the Allyes, and some into the Parterre: you Diego, go trie to get out the key, and run to the Corigidore for his assi∣stance: in the mean time I'll search the Garden-house my self.
I'll be unbetted again if you please Sir, and leave you all the honor of it.
Come Cavalier, let us in together.
Hold Sir for the love of heaven, you are not mad.
We must leave no place unsearch'd. A light there.
Hold I say, do you know what you are undertaking? and have you arm'd your self with resolution for such an ad∣venture?
A word in private—The place you would go in∣to is full of enchantments; there are at this time, for ought I know, a Legion of spirits in it.
You confound me with wonder, Sir!
I have been making there my Magical operations, to know the event of your Daughters flight: and, to perform it rightly, have been forc'd to call up Spirits of several Orders: and there they are humming like a swarm of Bees, some stalking Page 80 about upon the ground, some flying, and some sticking upon the walls like Rear-mice.
The Devil's in him, he's got off again.
Now Sir I shall trie the truth of your friendship to me. To confess the secret of my soul to you, I have all my life been curious to see a Devil: And to that purpose have con'd Agrippa through and through, and made experiment of all his rules, Pari die & incremento Lunae, and yet could never compass the sight of one of these Daemoniums: if you will ever oblige me let it be on this occasion.
There's another storm arising.
You shall pardon me, Sir, I'll not expose you to that perril for the world without due preparations of ceremony.
For that, Sir, I alwayes carry a Talisman about me; that will secure me: and therefore I will venture in a Gods name, and desie 'em all at once.
How the pox will he get off from this?
Well, Sir, since you are so resolv'd, send off your Ser∣vant that there may be no noise made on't, and we'll take our venture.
Pedro, leave your light, and help the fellows search the Garden.
What does my incomprehensible Master mean?
Now I must tell you Sir, you will see that which will very much astonish you if my Art fail me not.
You Spirits and Intelligences that are within there, stand close, and silent, at your perril, and fear no∣thing, but appear in your own shapes, boldly.—Maskal open the door.
Now Sir what think you?
They are here, they are here: we need search no far∣ther. Ah you ungratious baggages!
Stay, or you'll be torn in pieces: these are the very shapes I Conjur'd up, and truly represent to you in what com∣pany your Niece and Daughters are, this very moment.
Why are they not they? I durst have sworn that some of 'em had been my own flesh and blood—Look; one of them is just like that rogue your Camrade.
Do you see how you have provok'd that English Devil: take heed of him; if he gets you once into his clutches:—
He seems to have got possession of the Spirit of my Jacinta by his hugging her.
Nay, I imagin'd as much: do but look upon his phy∣siognomy, you have read Baptista Porta: has he not the leer of a very lewd debauch'd Spirit?
He has indeed: Then there's my Neece Aurelia, with the Spirit of Don Lopez; but that's well enough; and my Daughter Theodosia all alone: pray how comes that about?
She's provided for with a Familiar too: one that is in this very room with you, and by your Elbow; but I'll shew you him some other time.
And that Baggage Beatrix, how I would swinge her if I had her here; I lay my life she was in the Plot for the flight of her Mistresses.
Sir you do ill to provoke her: for being the Spirit of a Woman, she is naturally mischievous: you see she can scarce hold her hands from you already.
Let me alone to revenge your quarrel upon Beatrix: if e're she come to light I'll take a course with her I warrant you Sir.
Now come away Sir, you have seen enough: the Spi∣rits are in pain whilst we are here: we keep 'em too long con∣dens'd in bodies: if we were gone they would rarifie into air immediately. Maskall shut the door.
Monstrum hominis! O prodigie of Science!
Now help me with a lye Maskall, or we are lost.
Sir, I could never lie with man or woman in a fright.
Sir, we found this Gentleman bound and gagg'd, and he desir'd us to bring him to you with all haste imaginable.
O Sir, Sir, your two Daughters and your Niece—
They are gone he knows it: but are you mad Sir to set this pernicious wretch at libertie?
I endeavour'd all that I was able—
Now Sir I have it for you—
I thought somewhat was the matter that Theodosia had not a Spirit by her, as her Sister had.
This was he I meant to shew you.
Do you believe him Sir?
No, no, believe him Sir: you know his truth ever since he stole your Daughters Diamond.
I swear to you by my honor.
Nay, a thief I knew him, and yet after that, he had the impudence to ask me for my Daughter.
Was he so impudent? The case is plain Sir, put him quickly into custody.
Hear me but one word Sir, and I'll discover all to you.
Hear him not Sir: for my Art assures me if he speaks one syllable more, he will cause great mischief.
Will he so? I'll stop my ears, away with him.
Your Daughters are yet in the Garden, hidden by this fellow and his accomplices.
He thought to have born us down with his confi∣dence.
Sir, with much ado we have got out the key and open'd the door.
Then, as I told you, run quickly to the Corigidor, and desire him to come hither in person to examine a malefactor.
Hark, what noise is that within? I think one sneezes.
One of the Devils I warrant you has got a cold with being so long out of the fire.
Bless his Devilship as I may say.
This is a mans voice, do not suffer your self to be deceiv'd so grosly, Sir.
A mans voice, that's a good one indeed! that you should live to these years and yet be so silly as not to know a man from a Devil.
There's more in't than I imagin'd: hold up your Torch and go in first, Pedro, and I'll follow you.
No let me have the honor to be your Usher.
Help, help, help.
What's the matter?
Stir not upon your life Sir.
I was no sooner entred, but a huge Giant seiz'd my Torch, and fell'd me along, with the very whiffe of his breath as he past by me.
Pass out now while you have time in the dark: the Officers of Justice will be here immediately, the Garden-door is open for you.
What are you muttering there Sir?
Only dismissing these Spirits of darkness, that they may trouble you no further: go out I say.
I have caught some body; are these your Spirits? Another light quickly, Pedro.
'Tis Maskall you have caught, Sir; do you mean to strangle me that you press me so hard between your Arms?
Is it thee Maskall? I durst have sworn it had been another.
Make haste now before the Candle comes.
Now I have another.
'Tis Maskall you have caught Sir.
No I thank you Niece, this artifice is too gross! I know your voice a little better. What ho bring lights there.
Her impertinence has ruin'd all.
Sir, the Corigidor is coming according to your desire: in the mean time we have secur'd the Garden doors.
I am glad on't: I'll make some of 'em severe examples.
Nay then as we have liv'd merrily, so let us die toge∣ther: but we'll shew the Don some sport first.
What will become of us!
We'll die for company: nothing vexes me but that I am not a man to have one thrust at that malicious old father of mine before I go.
Let us break our way through the Corigidor's band.
A match i'faith: we'll venture our bodies with you: you shall put the baggage in the middle.
He that pierces thee, I say no more, but I shall be some∣what angry with him:
You do not mean to murder me!
You murder your self if you force us to it.
Give me a Razor there, that I may scrape his weeson, that the bristles may not hinder me when I come to cut it.
What need you bring matters to that extremity? you have your ransome in your hand: here are three men, and there are three women; you understand me.
If not, here's a sword and there's a throat: you under∣stand me.
This is very hard!
The propositions are good, and marriage is as hono∣rable as it us'd to be.
You had best let your Daughters live branded with the name of Strumpets: for what ever befalls the men, that will be sure to be their share.
I can put them into a Nunnery.
I would have thee to know, thou graceless old man, that I defie a Nunnery: name a Nunnery once more, and I dis∣own thee for my Father.
You know the Custome of the Country, in this case Sir: 'tis either death or marriage: the business will certainly be publick; and if they die they have sworn you shall bear 'em company.
Since it must be so, run Pedro and stop the Corigidor: tell him it was only a Carnival merriment, which I mistook for a Rape and Robbery.
Why now you are a dutiful Father again, and I receive you into grace.
Among the rest of your mistakes, Sir, I must desire you to let my Astrologie pass for one: my Mathematicks, and Art Magick were only a Carnival device; and now that's end∣ing, I have more mind to deal with the flesh than with the devil.
No Astrologer! 'tis impossible!
I have known him, Sir, this seven years, and dare take my oath he has been alwayes an utter stranger to the Stars: and indeed to any thing that belongs to heaven.
Then I have been cozen'd among the rest.
And I; but I forgive him.
I hope you will forgive me, Madam; who have been Page 86 the cause on't; but what he wants in Astrologie he shall make up to you some other way I'll pass my word for him.
I hope you are both Gentlemen?
As good as the Cid himself, Sir.
And for your Religion, right Romanes—
As ever was Marc Anthony.
For your fortunes and courages—
They are both desperate, Sir; especially their for∣tunes.
You should not have had my consent so soon, but only to revenge my self upon the falseness of Don Melchor.
I must avow that gratitude, for Don Lopez is as preva∣lent with me as revenge against Don Melchor.
Lent you know begins to morrow; when that's over marriage will be proper.
If I stay till after Lent, I shall be to marry when I have no love left: I'll not bate you an Ace of to night, Father: I mean to bury this man e're Lent be done, and get me another before Easter.
Well, make a night on't then.
Jacinta Wildblood, welcome to me: since our Starres have doom'd it so we cannot help it: but 'twas a meer trick of Fate to catch us thus at unawares: to draw us in with a what do you lack as we pass'd by: had we once separated to night, we should have had more wit than ever to have met again to morrow.
'Tis true we shot each other flying: we were both up∣on wing I find; and had we pass'd this Critical minute, I should have gone for the Indies, and you for Greenland e're we had met in a bed upon consideration.
You have quarrell'd twice to night without blood∣shed, 'ware the third time.
A propos! I have been retrieving an old Song of a Lover that was ever quarrelling with his Mistress: I think it will fit our amour so well, that if you please I'll give it you for an Epithalamium: and you shall sing it.
I never sung in all my life; nor ever durst trie when I was alone, for fear of braying.
Just me, up and down; but for a frolick let's sing toge∣ther: for I am sure if we cannot sing now, we shall never have cause when we are married.
Begin then; give me my Key, and I'll set my voice to't.
Fa la, fa la, fa la.
Fala, fala, fala. Is this your best upon the faith of a Virgin?
I by the Muses, I am at my pitch.
Then do your worst: and let the company be judge who sings worst.
Upon condition the best singer shall wear the breeches: prepare to strip Sir; I shall put you into your drawers pre∣sently.
I shall be reveng'd with putting you into your smock anon; St. George for me.
St. James for me: come start Sir.
Your judgement Gentlemen: a Man or a Maid?
And you make no better harmony after you are mar∣ried then you have before, you are the miserablest couple in Christendome.
'Tis no great matter; if I had had a good voice she would have spoil'd it before tomorrow.
When Maskall has married Beatrix, you may learn of her.
You shall put her life into a Lease then.
Upon condition that when I drop into your house from hunting, I may set my slippers at your door, as a Turk does at a Jews, that you may not enter.
And while you refresh your self within, he shall wind the horn without.
I'll throw up my Lease first.
Why thou would'st not be so impudent, to marry Bea∣trix: for thy self only?
For all his ranting and tearing now, I'll pass my word he shall degenerate into as tame and peaceable a Husband as a civil Woman would wish to have.
I know what you would say, but your discoverie comes too late now.
Why the Ladies are found.
But their inclinations are lost I can assure you.
Look you Sir, there goes the game: your Plate-fleet is divided; half for Spain, and half for England.
You are justly punish'd for loving two.
Yet I have the comfort of a cast Lover: I will think well of my self; and despise my Mistresses.
Enough, enough; let's end the Carnival abed.
And for these Gentlemen, when e're they try, May they all speed as soon, and well as I.