AN EVENING'S LOVE, OR THE Mock-Astrologer.
ACT. I. SCENE I.
Cavaliers, will you please to command my Coach to take the air this Evening?
We have not yet resolv'd how to dispose of our selves; but however we are highly acknowledging to you for your civility.
You cannot more oblige me then by laying your com∣mands on me.
Give the Don his due, he entertain'd us nobly this Carnival.
Give the Devil the Don for any thing I lik'd in his Entertainment.
I, it look'd like variety, till we came to taste it; there were twenty several dishes to the eye, but in the pallat nothing but Spices. I had a mind to eat of a Pheasant, and as soon as I got it into my mouth, I found I was chawing a limb of Cina∣mon; then I went to cut a piece of Kid, and no sooner it had touch'd my lips, but it turn'd to red Pepper: at last I began to think my self another kind of Midas, that every thing I touch'd should be turn'd to Spice.
And for my part, I imagin'd his Catholick Majesty had invited us to eat his Indies. But prethee let's leave the discourse of it, and contrive together how we may spend the Evening; for in this hot Country, 'tis as in the Creation, the Evening and the Morning make the Day.
Put it off till a fitter season: for the truth is, business is then only tollerable, when the world and the flesh have no baits to set before us for the day.
Why, is any business more publick than drinking and wenching? Look on those grave plodding fellows, that pass by us as though they were meditating the reconquest of Flan∣ders: fly'em to a Mark, and I'll undertake three parts of four are going to their Courtezans. I tell thee, Jack, the whisking of a Silk-Gown, and the rash of a Tabby-Pettycoat, are as comfortable sounds to one of these rich Citizens, as the chink of their Pieces of Eight.
This being granted to be the common design of hu∣mane kind, 'tis more than probable 'tis yours; therefore I'll leave you to the prosecution of it.
Nay, good Jack, mine is but a Mistress in Embrio; the possession of her is at least some ten dayes off, and till that time, thy company will be pleasant, and may be profitable to carry on the work. I would use thee like an under kind of Chymist, to blow the coals; 'twill be time enough for me to be alone when I come to projection.
You must excuse me, Franck; I have made an appoint∣ment at the Gameing-house.
What to do there I prethee? to mis-spend that money which kind fortune intended for a Mistress? or to learn new Oaths and Curses to carry into England? that is not it—I heard you were to marry when you left home: perhaps that may be still running in your head, and keep you vertuous.
Marriage quoth a! what dost thou think I have been bred in the Desarts of Africk, or among the Savages of Ame∣rica? nay, if I had, I must needs have known better things than so; the light of Nature would not have let me gone so far astray.
Pox upon't, 'tis worse than our contemplative Hide-Park.
O! but we must submit to the Custom of the Country for courtship: what ever the means are, we are sure the end is still the same in all places. But who are these?
Do you see those strangers, Sister, that eye us so ear∣nestly?
Yes, and I guess 'em to be feathers of the English Em∣bassador's Train; for I think I saw 'em at the grand Audience—And have the strangest temptation in the world to talk to 'em: A mischief on this modesty.
'Tis very true Beatrix; for though I am the younger Sister, I should have the grace to lay modesty first aside: how∣ever, Sister, let us pull up our Vails and give 'em an Essay of our faces.
Ah Bellamy! undone, undone! dost thou see those Beauties?
Prethee Wildblood hold thy tongue, and do not spoil my contemplation; I am undoing my self as fast as e're I can too.
Hold Madman; dost thou not see their father? hast thou a mind to have our throats cut?
By a Hector of fourscore? Hang our throats, what a Lover and cautious?
Prethee, dear Frank, let's follow 'em: I long to know who they are.
I am glad on't, for my shooes so pinch me, I can scarce go a step farther.
Cross the way there lives a Shoomaker: away quick∣ly, that we may not spoil our man's design.
Now friend! what's your business to follow us?
Noble Don; 'tis only to recommend my service to you: A certain violent passion I have had for your worship Page 5 since the first moment that I saw you.
No matter Sir; true love never stands upon cere∣mony.
Prethee begone my sawcie companion, or I'll clap an Alguazile upon thy heels; I tell thee I have no need of thy service.
Having no servant of your own, I cannot in good manners leave you destitute.
I am your Spaniel Sir, the more you beat me, the better I'll wait on you.
Let me intreat thee to be gone; the boyes will hoot at me to see me follow'd thus against my will.
Shall you and I concern our selves for what the Boyes do, Sir? Pray do you hear the news at Court?
Pray go on Sir, we can discourse as we walk toge∣ther: And whither were you now a going, Sir?
My Father was never so match'd for talking in all his life before; he who loves to hear nothing but himself: Pre∣thee, Beatrix, stay behind, and see what this impudent English∣man would have.
Well, Sir, I kiss your hand, in hope to wait on you another time.
If you do not, he'll be with you agen, like Atalanta in the fable, and make you drop another of your golden Apples.
How much good language is here thrown away to make me betray my Ladies?
If you will discover nothing of 'em, let me discourse with you a little.
Now you are talking of them agen: but they are as rich, as they are fair.
Then they have the Indies: well, but their Names my sweet Mistress.
A secret say you? Nay, then I conjure you as you are a Woman tell it me.
Why then as you are a Waiting-woman: as you are the Sieve of all your Ladies Secrets tell it me.
You lose your labour: nothing will strain through me.
Was it enjoyn'd thee strictly, and can'st thou hold it? Nay then thou art invincible: but, by that face, that more than ugly face, which I suspect to be under thy Vaile, disclose it to me.
By that Face of thine, which is a Natural Visor: I will not tell thee.
That Woman's worth little that is not worth an Oath: well, get thee gone, now I think on't thou shalt not tell me.
Shall I not? Who shall hinder me? They are Don Alonzo de Ribera's Daughters.
Wilt thou never have done tormenting me? in my Page 7 Conscience anon thou wilt blab out their Names too.
Now I think I am reveng'd on you for running down my poor old Master.
Thou art not fully reveng'd till thou hast told me thy own Name too.
'Tis Beatrix, at your service, Sir, pray remember I wait on 'em.
I perceive you are just like other Men; when you have got your ends you care not how soon you are going.——.Farewell,—you'l be constant to me—
If thy face, when I see it, do not give me occasion to be otherwise.
You shall take a Sample that you may praise it when you see it next.
Look, there's your Dog with a Duck in's mouth—Oh she's got loose and div'd again.—
Well Maskall, What newes of the Ladies of the Lake?
I have learn'd enough to embarque you in an Adven∣ture; they are Daughters to one Don Alonzo de Ribera in the Calle major, their Names Theodosia and Jacinta, and they are go∣ing to their Devotions in the next Chappel.
Away then, let us lose no time, I thank Heaven I ne∣ver found my self better enclin'd to Godliness than at this present.—
SCENE II. A Chappel.
By that time you have told your Beads I'll be agen with you.
For my part I feel a certain qualm upon my heart, which makes me believe I am breeding Love to one of'em.
How, Love, Jacinta, in so short a time? Cupids Arrow was well feather'd to reach you so suddenly.
Faith as good at first as at last Sister, 'tis a thing that must be done, and therefore 'tis best dispatching it out o'th' way.
But you do not mean to tell him so whom you love?
Why should I keep my self and Servant in pain for that which may be cur'd at a dayes warning?
My Lady tells you true, Madam, long tedious Court∣ship may be proper for cold Countries, where their Frosts are long a thawing; but Heaven be prais'd we live in a warm Climate.
The truth is, in other Countries they have opportu∣nities for Courtship, which we have not, they are not mew'd up with double Locks and Grated Windows; but may receive Addresses at their leisure.
But our Love here is like our Grass; if it be not mow'd quickly 'tis burnt up.
Yonder are your Gallants, send you comfort of 'em: I am for my Devotions.
Now for my heart can I think of no other Prayer, but Page 9 only that they may not mistake us—Why Sister, Sister,—will you Pray? What injury have I ever done you, that you should Pray in my company? If your servant Don Melchor were here, we should have you mind Heaven as little as the best on's.
They are at a loss, Madam, shall I put up my Vail that they may take aime?
No, let 'em take their Fortune in the dark: we shall see what Archers these English are.
There's no knowing them, they are all Children of darkness.
I'll besworn they have one sign of Godliness among 'em, there's no distinction of persons here.
Pox o'this blind-mans-buffe; they may be asham'd to provoke a man thus by their keeping themselves so close.
You are for the youngest you say; 'tis the eldest has smitten me. And here I fix, if I am right—happy man be his dole.————By Theodosia.
I'll take my fortune here.—By Jacinta. Madam, I hope a stranger may take the libertie without of∣fence to offer his devotions by you.
That, Sir, would interrupt mine, without being any advantage to your own.
My advantage, Madam, is very evident; for the kind Saint to whom you pray, may by the neighbourhood mistake my devotions for yours.
O Sir! our Saints can better distinguish between the prayers of a Catholick and a Lutheran.
I beseech you, Madam, trouble not your self for my Religion; for though I am a Heretick to the men of your Country, to your Ladies I am a very zealous Catholick: and for fornication and adulterie, I assure you I hold with both Churches.
Sir, if you will not be more devout, be at least more civil, you see you are observ'd.
And pray, Madam, what do you think the lookers on imagine I am imploy'd about?
Why, by all circumstances, they must conclude that I am making love to you: and methinks it were scarce civil to give the opinion of so much good company the lye.
If this were true, you would have little reason to thank 'em for their Divination.
You have interpreted my riddle, and may take it for your pains.
Do you see their Father? let us make as though we talk'd to one another, that we may not be suspected.
No, no, 'tis but design I warrant you: you shall see these Island Cocks wheel about immediately.
Perhaps they thought they were observ'd.
Talk not of our Countrie Ladies: I declare my self for the Spanish Beauties.
Prethee tell me what thou canst find to doat on in these Castilians.
Faith I can speak no such miracles of either; for their beautie 'tis much as the Moores left it; not altogether so deep a black as the true Aethiopian: A kind of beautie that is too civil to the lookers on to do them any mischief.
As for their wit, you may judge it by their breeding, which is commonly in a Nunnerie; where the want of man∣kind while they are there, makes them value the blessing ever after.
Prethee dear Jacinta tell me, what kind of creatures Page 11 were those we saw yesterday at the Audience? Those I mean that look'd so like Frenchmen in their habits, but only became their Apishness so much worse.
Crie you mercy; they were of your wild English in∣deed, that is a kind of Northern Beast, that is taught its feats of activity in Monsieurland, and for doing 'em too lubberly, is laugh'd at all the world over.
Wildblood, I perceive the women understand little of discourse; their Gallants do not use 'em to't: they get upon their Gennits, and prance before their Ladies windows; there the Palfray curvets and bounds, and in short entertains 'em for his Master.
Daughters! what Cavaliers are those which were talking by you?
Englishmen, I believe Sir, at their devotions: Cavalier, would you would try to pray a little better then you have railly'd.
Hang me if I put all my devotions out of order for you: I remember I pray'd but on Tuesday last, and my time comes not till Tuesday next.
You had as good pray, Sir; she will not stir till you have: Say any thing.
Fair Lady, though I am not worthy of the least of your favours, yet give me the happiness this Evening to see you at your fathers door, that I may acquaint you with part of my sufferings.
Immediately Sir.—Cavalier, I will not fail to be there at the time appointed, if it be but to teach you more wit, henceforward, then to en∣gage your heart so lightly.
I have engag'd my heart with so much zeal and true devotion to your divine beauty, that—
I pray'd to a more Marble Saint than that was in the Shrine; but you, it seems, have been successful.
If you'll undertake it, I will make bold to indulge my love; and within this two hours be a desperate Inamorado. I feel I am coming apace to it.
Faith I can love at any time with a wish at my rate: I give my heart according to the old law of pawns, to be return'd me before sun-set.
I love only that I may keep my heart warm; for a man's a pool if love stir him not; and to bring it to that pass, I first resolve whom to love, and presently after imagine I am in love; for a strong imagination is requir'd in a Lover as much as in a Witch.
These are my principal ingredients; as for Piques, Jea∣lousies, Duels, Daggers, and Halters, I let 'em alone to the vulgar.
Prethee let's round the street a little; till Maskall watches for their Woman.
That's well thought on: he shall about it immediately. We will attempt the Mistress by the Maid: Women by women still are best betray'd.