Page [unnumbered] AN Evening's Love, OR THE Mock-Astrologer. Acted at the THEATER ROYAL, BY HIS MAJESTIES SERVANTS.
WRITTEN BY JOHN DRYDEN, Servant to His Majesty.
In the SAVOY, Printed by T. N. for Henry Herringman, and are to be sold at the Anchor in the lower Walk of the New Exchange, 1671.
TO HIS GRACE, WILLIAM, DUKE of NEW CASTLE, One of his Majestie's most Honourable Privy Council; and of the most noble Order of the Garter, &c.
AMongst those few persons of Wit and Honour, whose favourable opinion I have desir'd, your own vertue and my great obligations to your Grace, have justly given you the precedence. For what could be more glorious to me, than to have acquir'd some part of your esteem, who are admir'd and honour'd by all good men; who have been, for so many years to∣gether, the Pattern and Standard of Honor to the Nation: and whose whole life has been so great an example of Heroick vertue, that we might wonder how it happen'd into an Age so corrupt as ours, if it had not likewise been a part of the former? as you came into the world with all the advantages of a noble Birth and Education, so you have rendred both, yet more conspicuous by your vertue. Fortune, in∣deed, has perpetually crown'd your undertakings with success, but she has only waited on your valour, not conducted it. She has mi∣nistred to your glory like a slave, and has been led in triumph by it. or at most while Honour led you by the hand to greatness, fortune on∣ly follow'd to keep you from sliding back in the ascent. That which Plutarch accounted her favour to Cymon and Lucullus, was but her justice to your Grace: and, never to have been overcome where you led in person, as it was more than Hannibal could boast; so it was all that providence could do for that party which it had resolv'd to ruine. Thus, my Lord, the last smiles of victory were on your armes: and, every where else, declaring for the Rebels, she seem'd to suspend her self, and to doubt, before she took her flight, whether she were able wholly to abandon that cause for which you fought.
Page [unnumbered] But the greatest tryals of your Courage and Constancy were yet to come: many had ventur'd their fortunes, and expos'd their lives to the utmost dangers for their King and Country, who ended their loyalty with the War: and submitting to the iniquity of the times, chose ra∣ther to redeem their former plenty by acknowledging an Usurper, then to suffer with an unprofitable fidelity (as those meaner spirits call'd it) for their lawful Soveraign. But, as I dare not accuse so many of our Nobility, who were content to accept their Patrimonies from the Clemency of the Conquerour, and to retain only a secret veneration for their Prince, amidst the open worship which they were forc'd to pay to the Usurper, who had dethron'd him; so, I hope, I may have leave to extoll that vertue which acted more generously; and which was not satisfi'd with an inward devotion to Monarchy, but produc'd it self to view, and asserted the cause by open Martyrdome. Of these rare patterns of loyalty your Grace was chief: those examples you cou'd not find, you made. Some few Cato's there were with you whose invincible resolution could not be conquer'd by that usurping Caesar: your vertue oppos'd it self to his fortune, and overcame it by not submitting to it. The last and most difficult Enterprize he had to effect, when he had conquer'd three Nations, was to subdue your spirits: and he dy'd weary of that War, and unable to finish it.
In the mean time you liv'd more happily in your exile then the other on his Throne: your loyalty made you friends and servants amongst Forreigners: and you liv'd plentifully without a fortune; for you liv'd on your own desert and reputation. The glorious Name of the valiant and faithful Newcastle was a Patrimony which cou'd never be exhausted.
Thus, my Lord, the morning of your life was clear, and calm; and, though it was afterwards overcast; yet, in that general storm, you were never without a shelter. And now you are happily arriv'd to the evening of a day as serene, as the dawn of it was glorious: but such an evening as, I hope, and almost prophesie, is far from night: 'Tis the Evening of a Summer's Sun, which keeps the day-light long within the skies. The health of your body is maintain'd by the vigour of your mind: neither does the one shrink from the fatigue of exercise, nor the other bend under the pains of study. Methinks I behold in you another Caius Marius, who in the extremity of his Page [unnumbered] age, exercis'd himself almost every morning in the Campus Marti∣us, amongst the youthful Nobility of Rome. And afterwards, in your retirements, when you do honour to Poetrie, by employing part of your leisure in it, I regard you as another Silius Italicus, who ha∣ving pass'd over his Consulship with applause, dismiss'd himself from business and from the Gown, and employ'd his age, amongst the shades, in the reading and imitation of Virgil.
In which, lest any thing should be wanting to your happiness, you have, by a rare effect of Fortune, found, in the person of your excel∣lent Lady, not only a Lover, but a Partner of your studies. A Lady whom our Age may justly equal with the Sappho of the Greeks, or the Sulpitia of the Romans. Who, by being taken into your bosome, seems to be inspir'd with your Genius: And by writing the History of your life in so masculine a style, has already plac'd you in the Number of the Heroes. She has anticipated that great portion of Fame which envy often hinders a living vertue from possessing: which wou'd, indeed, have been given to your ashes, but with a latter payment: and, of which you could have no present use, except it were by a secret presage of that which was to come, when you were no longer in a possibility of knowing it. So that if that were a praise or satisfaction to the greatest of Emperors, which the most judicious of Poets gives him,
That the adoration which was not allowed to Hercules and Romu∣lus till after death, was given to Augustus living; then certainly it cannot be deny'd but that your Grace has receiv'd a double satisfa∣ction: the one, to see your self consecrated to immortality while you are yet alive: the other, to have your praises celebrated by so dear, so just, and so pious an Historian.
'Tis the consideration of this that stops my pen: though I am loath to leave so fair a subject, which gives me as much field as Poetry cou'd wish; and yet no more than truth can justifie. But to attempt any thing of a Panegyrick were to enterprize on your Lady's right; and to seem to affect those praises, which none but the Dutchess of Newcastle can deserve, when she writes the actions of her Lord. I shall therefore leave that wider space, and contract my self to those narrow bounds which best become my Fortune and Employ∣ment.Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉
Page [unnumbered] I am oblig'd, my Lord, to return you not only my own acknow∣ledgements; but to thank you in the name of former Poets. The manes of Johnson and D'avenant seem to require it from me, that those favours which you plac'd on them, and which they wanted opportunity to own in publick, yet might not be lost to the knowledge of Posterity, with a forgetfulness unbecoming of the Muses, who are the Daughters of Memory. And give me leave, my Lord, to avow so much of vanity, as to say, I am proud to be their Remembrancer: for, by relating how gracious you have been to them, and are to me, I in some measure joyn my name with theirs: and the continu'd de∣scent of your favours to me is the best title which I can plead for my succession. I only wish, that I had as great reason to be satisfi'd with my self, in the return of our common acknowledgements, as your Grace may justly take in the conferring them: for I cannot but be very sensible that the present of an ill Comedy, which I here make you, is a very unsuitable way of giving thanks for them, who them∣selves have written so many better. This pretends to nothing more than to be a foyl to those Scenes, which are compos'd by the most no∣ble Poet of our Age, and Nation: and to be set as a water-mark of the lowest ebb, to which the wit of my Predecessors has sunk and run down in me: but, though all of 'em have surpass'd me in the Scene; there is one part of glory in which I will not yield to any of them. I mean, my Lord, that honour and veneration which they had for you in their lives; and which I preserve after them, more holily than the Vestal fires were maintain'd from Age to Age; but with a greater degree of heat and of devotion than theirs, as being with more respect and passion then they ever were
Your GRACES most obliged, most humble, and most obedient Servant JOHN DRYDEN.
I Had thought, Reader, in this Preface to have written somewhat concerning the difference betwixt the Playes of our Age, and those of our Predecessors on the English Stage: to have shewn in what parts of Dramatick Poesie we were excell'd by Ben. John∣son, I mean, humour, and contrivance of Comedy; and in what we may justly claim precedence of Shakespear and Fletcher, namely in Heroick Playes: but this design I have wav'd on second considera∣tions; at least deferr'd it till I publish the Conquest of Granada, where the discourse will be more proper. I had also prepar'd to treat of the improvemeni of our Language since Fletcher's and Johnson's dayes, and consequently of our refining the Courtship, Raillery, and Conver∣sation of Playes: but as I am willing to decline that envy which I shou'd draw on my self from some old Opiniatre judges of the Stage; so likewise I am prest in time so much that I have not leisure, at pre∣sent, to go thorough with it. Neither, indeed, do I value a reputa∣tion gain'd from Comedy, so far as to concern my self about it any more than I needs must in my own defence: for I think it, in it's own noture, inferiour to all sorts of Dramatick writing. Low Comedy espe∣cially requires, on the Writers part, much of conversation with the vulgar: and much of ill nature in the observation of their follies. But let all men please themselves according to their several tastes: that which is not pleasant to me may be to others who judge better: and, to prevent an accusation from my enemies, I am sometimes rea∣dy to imagine that my disgust of low Comedy proceeds not so much from my judgement as from my temper; which is the reason why I so seldom write it; and that when I succeed in it, (I mean so far as to please the Audience) yet I am nothing satisfi'd with what I have done; but am often vex'd to hear the people laugh, and clap, as they perpetually do, where I intended 'em no jest; while they let pass the better things without taking notice of them. Yet even this confirms me in my opi∣nion of slighting popular applause, and of contemning that approbation which those very people give, equally with me, to the Zany of a Moun∣tebank; or to the appearance of an Antick on the Theatre, without wit Page [unnumbered] on the Poets part, or any occasion of laughter from the Actor, besides the ridiculousness of his habit and his Grimaces.
But I have descended before I was aware, from Comedy to Farce; which consists principally of Grimaces. That I admire not any Comedy equally with Tragedy, is, perhaps, from the sullenness of my humor; but that I detest those Farees, which are now the most frequent enter∣tainments of the Stage, I am sure I have reason on my side. Comedy consists, though of low persons, yet of natural actions, and characters; I mean such humours, adventures, and designes, as are to be found and met with in the world. Farce, on the other side, consists of forc'd humours, and unnatural events: Comedy presents us with the imper∣fections of humane nature. Farce entertains us with what is mon∣struous and chimerical: the one causes laughter in those who can judge of men and manners; by the lively representation of their folly or cor∣ruption; the other produces the same effect in those who can judge of neither, and that only by its extravagances. The first works on the judgment and fancy; the latter on the fancy only: There is more of satisfaction in the former kind of laughter, and in the latter more of scorn. But, how it happens that an impossible adventure should cause our mirth, I cannot so easily imagine. Something there may be in the oddness of it, because on the Stage it is the common effect of things un∣expected to surprize us into a delight: and that is to be ascrib'd to the strange appetite, as I may call it, of the fancy; which, like that of a longing Woman, often runs out into the most extravagant desires; and is better satisfi•d sometimes with Loam, or with the Rinds of Trees, than with the wholsome nourishments of life. In short, there is the same difference betwixt Farce and Comedy, as betwixt an Empirique and a true Physitian: both of them may attain their ends; but what the one performs by hazard, the other does by skill. And as the Artist is often unsuccessful, while the Mountebank succeeds; so Farces more commonly take the people than Comedies. For to write unnatural things, is the most probable way of pleasing them, who understand not Nature. And a true Poet often misses of applause, because he cannot debase himself to write so ill as to please his Audience.
After all, it is to be acknowledg'd, that most of those Comedies, which have been lately written, have been ally'd too much to Farce: and this must of necessity fall out till we forbear the translation of French Plays: for their Poets wanting judgement to make, or to Page [unnumbered] maintain true characters, strive to cover their defects with ridiculous Figures and Grimaces. While I say this I accuse my self as well as others: and this very play would rise up in judgment against me, if I would de fend all things I have written to be natural: but I confess I have given too much to the people in it, and am asham'd for them as well as for my self, that I have pleas'd them at so cheap a rate: not that there is anything here which I would not defend to an ill-na∣tur'd judge: (for I despise their censures, who I am sure wou'd write worse on the same subject:) but because I love to deal clearly and plain∣ly, and to speak of my own faults withmore criticism, then I would of another Poets. Yet I think it no vanity to say that this Comedy has as much of entertainment in as it many other which have bin lately written: and, if I find my own errors in it, I am able at the same time to arraign all my Contemporaries for greater. As I pretend not that I can write hu∣mour, so none of them can reasonably pretend to have written it as they ought. Johnson was the only man of all Ages and Nations wo has per∣form'd it well; and that but in three or four of his Comedies: the rest are but a Crambe bis cocta; the same humours a little vary'd and written worse: neither was it more allowable in him, than it is in our present Poets, to represent the follies of particular persons; of which many have accus'd him. Parcere personis dicere de vitiis is the rule of Plays. And Horace tells you that the old Comedy amongst the Grecians was silenc'd for the too great liberties of the Poets.
Of which he gives you the reason in another place: where having gi∣ven the precept.
He immediately subjoyns,
But Ben. Johnson is to be admir'd for many excellencies; and can be tax'd with fewer failings than any English Poet. I know I have been accus'd as an enemy of his writings; but without any other reason than that I do not admire him blindly, and without looking into his imperfections. For why should he only be exempted from those frail∣ties, from which Homer and Virgil are not free? Or why should there be any ipse dixit in our Poetry, any more than there is in our Philosophy? Page [unnumbered] I admire and applaud him where I ought: those who do more do but value themselves in their admiration of him: and, by telling you they extoll Ben. Johnson s way, would insinuate to you that they can pra∣ctice it. For my part I declare that I want judgement to imitate him: and shou'd think it a great impudence in my self to attempt it. To make men appear pleasantly ridiculous on the Stage was, as I have said, his talent: and in this he needed not the acumen of wit, but that of judgement. For the characters and representations of folly are only the effects of observation; and observation is an effect of judg∣ment. Some ingenious men, for whom I have a particular esteem, have thought I have much injur'd Ben. Johnson when I have not al∣low'd his wit to be extraordinary: but they confound the notion of what is witty with what is pleasant. That Ben. Johnson's Playes were pleasant he must want reason who denyes: But that pleasantness was not properly wit, or the sharpness of conceit; but the natural imitation of folly: which I confess to be excellent in it's kind, but not to be of that kind which they pretend. Yet if we will believe Quintilian in his Chapter de Movendo risu, he gives his opinion of both in these fol∣lowing words.
And some perhaps wou'd be apt to say of Johnson as it was said of Demosthenes; Non displicuisse illi j•cos, sed non contig•sse, I will not deny but that I approve most the mixt way of Comedy; that which is neither all wit, nor all humour, but the result of both. Neither so little of humour as Fletcher shews, nor so little of love and wit, as Johnson. Neither all cheat, with which the best Playes of the one are fill'd, nor all adventure, which is the common practice of the other. I would have the characters well chosen, and kept distant from inter∣faring with each other; which is more than Fletcher or Shakespear did: but I would have more of the Urbana, venusta, s•lsa, faceta and the rest which Quintilian reckons up as the ornaments of wit; and these are extremely wanting in Ben. Johnson. As for repartie in par∣ticular; as it is the very soul of conversation, so it is the greatest grace of Comedy, where it is proper to the Characters: there may be much of acuteness in a thing well said; but there is more in a quick reply: sunt, enim, longè venustiora omnia in respondendo quàm in pro∣vocando. Of one thing I am sure, that no man ever will decry wit, Page [unnumbered] but he who despairs of it himself; and who has no other quarrel to it but that which the Fox had to the Grapes. Yet, as Mr. Cowley, (who had a greater portion of it than any man I know) tells us in his Character of Wit, rather than all wit let there be none; I think there's no folly so great in any Poet of our Age as the superfluity and wast of wit was in some of our predecessors: particularly we may say of Flet∣cher and of Shakespear, what was said of Ovid, In omni ejus inge∣nio, facilius quod rejici, quàm quod adjici potest, invenies. The con∣trary of which was true in Virgil and our incomparable Johnson.
Some enemies of Repartie have observ'd to us, that there is a great latitude in their Characters, which are made to speak it: And that it is easier to write wit than humour; because in the characters of humour, the Poet is confin'd to make the person speak what is only pro∣per to it. Whereas all kind of wit is proper in the Character of a witty person. But, by their favour, there are as different characters in wit as in folly. Neither is all kind of wit proper in the mouth of every ingenious person. A witty Coward and a wity Brave must speak differently. Falstaffe and the Lyar, speak not like Don John in the Chances, and Valentine in Wit without Money. And Johnson's Truwit in the Silent Woman, is a Character different from all of them. Yet it appears that this one Character of Wit was more difficult to the Author, than all his images of humour in the Play: For those he could describe and manage from his observation of men; this he has taken, at least a part of it, from books: witness the Specches in the first Act, translated verbatim out of Ovid de Arte Amandi. To omit what afterwards he borrowed from the sixth Satyre of Juvenal a∣gainst Women.
However, if I should grant, that there were a greater latitude in Cha∣racters of Wit, than in those of Humour; yet that latitude would be of small advantage to such Poets who have too narrow an imagination to write it. And to entertain an Audience perpetually with Humour, is to carry them from the conversation of Gentlemen, and treat them with the follies and extravagances of Bedlam.
I find I have launch'd out farther than I intended in the beginning of this Preface. And that in the heat of writing, I have touch'd at something, which I thought to have avoided. 'Tis time now to draw homeward: and to think rather of defending my self, than assaulting others. I have already acknowledg'd that this Play is far from perfect: but I do not think my self oblig'd to discover the imperfections of it to Page [unnumbered] my Adversaries, any more than a guilty person is bound to accuse him∣self before his Judges. 'Tis charg'd upon me that I make debauch'd persons (such as they say my Astrologer and Gamester are) my Prota∣gonists, or the chief persons of the Drama; and that I make them hap∣py in the conclusion of my Play; against the Law of Comedy, which is to reward virtue and punish vice. I answer first, that I know no such law to have been constantly observ'd in Comedy, either by the Ancient or Modern Poets. Choerea is made happy in the Eunuch, after ha∣ving deflour'd a Virgin: and Terence generally does the same through all his Plays, where you perpetually see, not only debauch'd young men enjoy their Mistresses, but even the Courtezans themselves rewarded and honour'd in the Catastrophe. The same may be observ'd in Plautus almost every where. Ben. Johnson himself, after whom I may be proud to erre, has given me more than once the example of it. That in the Alchemist is notorious, where Face, after having contriv'd and car∣ried on the great cozenage of the Play, and continued in it without re∣pentance to the last, is not only forgiven by his Master, but inrich'd by his consent, with the spoiles of those whom he had cheated. And, which is more, his Master himself, a grave man, and a Widower, is introduc'd taking his Man's counsel, debauching the Widow first, in hope to marry her afterward. In the Silent Woman, Dauphine, (who with the other two Gentlemen, is of the same Character with my Celadon in the Maiden Queen, and with Wildblood in this) professes himself in love with all the Collegiate Ladies: and they likewise are all of the same Cha∣racter with each other, excepting only Madam Otter, who has something singular:) yet this naughty Dauphine is crown'd in the end with the possession of his Uncles Estate, and with the hopes of enjoying all his Mi∣stresses. And his friend Mr. Truwit (the best Character of a Gentle∣man which Ben. Johnson ever made) is not asham'd to pimp for him. As for Beaumont and Fletcher, I need not alledge examples out of them; for that were to quote almost all their Comedies. But now it will be objected that I patronize vice by the authority of former Poets, and extenuate my own faults by recrimination. I answer that as I de∣fend my self by their example; so that example I defend by reason, and by the end of all Dramatique Poesie. In the first place therefore give me leave to shew you their mistake who have accus'd me. They have not distinguish'd, as they ought, betwixt-the rules of Tragedy and Comedy. In Tragedy, where the Actions and Persons are great, and the crimes Page [unnumbered] horrid, the laws of justice are more strictly to be observ'd: and exam∣ples of punishment to be made to deterre mankind from the pursuit of vice. Faults of this kind have been rare amongst the Ancient Poets: for they have punish'd in Oedipus, and in his posterity, the sinne which he knew not he had committed. Medea is the only example I remem∣ber at present, who escapes from punishment after murder. Thus Tra∣gedie fulfils one great part of its institution; which is by example to instruct. But in Comedy it is not so; for the chief end of it is diver∣tisement and delight: and that so much, that it is disputed, I think, by Heinsius, before Horace his art of Poetry, whether instruction be any part of its employment. At least I am sure it can be but its secondary end: for the business of the Poet is to make you laugh: when he writes humour he makes folly ridiculous; when wit, he moves you, if not al∣wayes to laughter, yet to a pleasure that is more noble. And if he works a cure on folly, and the small imperfections in mankind, by ex∣posing them to publick view, that cure is not perform'd by an immedi∣ate operation. For it works first on the ill nature of the Audience; they are mov'd to laugh by the representation of deformity; and the shame of that laughter, teaches us to amend what is ridiculous in our manners. This being, then, establish'd, that the first end of Comedie is delight, and instruction only the second; it may reasonably be inferr'd that Comedy is not so much oblig'd to the punishment of the faults which it represents, as Tragedy. For the persons in Comedy are of a lower quality, the action is little, and the faults and vices are but the sallies of youth, and the frailties of humane nature, and not premeditated crimes: such to which all men are obnoxious, not such, as are attemp∣ted only by few, and those abandonn'd to all sense of vertue: such as move pity and commiseration; not detestation and horror; such in short as may be forgiven, not such as must of necessity be punish'd. But, lest any man should think that I write this to make libertinism amiable; or that I car'd not to debase the end and institution of Comedy, so I might thereby maintain my own errors, and those of better Poets; I must farther declare, both for them and for my self, that we make not vicious persons happy, but only as heaven makes sinners so: that is by reclaiming them first from vice. For so 'tis to be suppos'd they are, when they resolve to marry; for then enjoying what they desire in one, they cease to pursue the love of many. So Chaerea is made happy by Page [unnumbered]Terence, in marrying her whom he had deflour'd: And so are Wild∣blood and the Astrologer in this Play.
There is another crime with which I am charg'd, at which I am yet much less concern'd, because it does not relate to my manners, as the former did, but only to my reputation as a Poet: A name of which I assure the Reader I am nothing proud; and therefore cannot be very solicitous to defend it. I am tax'd with stealing all my Playes, and that by some who should be the last men from whom I would steal any part of 'em. There is one answer which I will not make; but it has been made for me by him to whose Grace and Pa∣tronage I owe all things.
And without whose command they shou'd no longer be troubl'd with any thing of mine, that he only desir'd that they who accus'd me of theft would alwayes steal him Playes like mine. But though I have reason to be proud of this defence, yet I should wave it, be∣cause I have a worse opinion of my own Comedies than any of my Enemies can have. 'Tis true, that where ever I have lik'd any story in a Romance, Novel, or forreign Play, I have made no difficulty, nor ever shall, to take the foundation of it, to build it up, and to make it proper for the English Stage. And I will be so vain to say it has lost nothing in my hands: But it alwayes cost me so much trouble to heighten it, for our Theatre (which is incomparably more curious in all the ornaments of Dramatick Poesie, than the French or Spanish) that when I had finish'd my Play, it was like the Hulk of Sir Francis Drake, so strangely alter'd, that there scarce re∣main'd any Plank of the Timber which first built it. To witness this I need go no farther than this Play: It was first Spanish, and call'd El Astrologo fingido; then made French by the younger Corneille: and is now translated into English, and in print, under the name of the Feign'd Astrologer. What I have perform'd in this will best appear by comparing it with those: you will see that I have reje∣cted some adventures which I judg'd were not divertising: that I have heightned those which I have chosen, and that I have added o∣thers which were neither in the French nor Spanish. And besides yoù will easily discover that the Walk of the Astrologer is the least considerable in my Play: for the design of it turns more on the parts Page [unnumbered] of Wildblood and Jacinta, who are the chief persons in it. I have farther to add, that I seldome use the wit and language of any Ro∣mance, or Play which I undertake to alter: because my own inven∣tion (as bad as it is) can furnish me with nothing so dull as what is there. Those who have call'd Virgil, Terence, and Tasso Plagiaries (though they much injur'd them,) had yet a better colour for their accusation: For Virgil has evidently translated Theocritus, He∣siod, and Homer, in many places; besides what he has taken from Ennius in his own language. Terence was not only known to translate Menander, (which he avows also in his Prologues) but was said also to be help' in those Translations by Scipio the African, and Laelius. And Tasso, the most excellent of modern Poets, and whom I reverence next to Virgil, has taken both from Homer many admirable things which were left untouch'd by Virgil, and from Virgil himself where Homer cou'd not furnish him. Yet the bodies of Virgil's and Tasso's Poems were their own: and so are all the Ornaments of language and elocution in them. The same (if there were any thing commendable in this Play) I could say for it. But I will come nearer to our own Countrymen. Most of Shakespear's Playes, I mean the Stories of them, are to be found in the Heca∣tommuthi, or hundred Novels of Cinthio. I have, my self, read in his Italian, that of Romeo and Juliet, the Moor of Venice, and many others of them. Beaumont and Fletcher had most of theirs from Spanish Novels: witness the Chances, the Spanish Cu∣rate, Rule a Wife and have a Wife, the Little French Lawyer, and so many others of them as compose the greatest part of their Volume in folio. Ben. Johnson, indeed, has design'd his Plots him∣self; but no man has borrow'd so much from the Ancients as he has done: And he did well in it, for he has thereby beautifi'd our language.
But these little Criticks do not well consider what is the work of a Poet, and what the Graces of a Poem: The Story is the least part of either: I mean the foundation of it, before it is modell'd by the art of him who writes it; who formes it with more care, by expo∣sing only the beautiful parts of it to view, than a skilful Lapidary sets a Jewel. On this foundation of the Story the Characters are rais'd: and, since no Story can afford Characters enough for the variety of the English Stage, it follows that it is to be alter'd, and Page [unnumbered] inlarg'd, with new persons, accidents, and designes, which wil almost make it new. When this is done, the forming it into Acts, and Scenes, disposing of actions and passións into their proper places, and beauti∣fying both with descriptions, similitudes, and propriety of language, is the principal employment of the Poet; as being the largest field of fan∣cy, which is the principall quality requir'd in him: For so much the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 imployes. Judgement, indeed, is necessary in him; but 'tis fancy that gives the life touches, and the secret graces to it; espe∣cially in serious Plays, which depend not much on observation. For to write humour in Comedy (which is the theft of Poets from man∣kind) little of fancy is requir'd; the Poet observes only what is ridi∣culous, and pleasant folly, and by judging exactly what is so, he plea∣ses in the representation of it.
But in general, the employment of a Poet, is like that of a curious Gunsmith, or Watchmaker: the Iron or Silver is not his own; but they are the least part of that which gives the value: The price lyes wholly in the workmanship. And he who works dully on a Story, without mo∣ving laughter in a Comedy, or raising concernments in a serious Play, is no more to be accounted a good Poet, than a Gunsmith of the Mino∣ries is to be compar'd with the best workman of the Town.
But I have said more of this than I intended; and more, perhaps, than I needed to have done: I shall but laugh at them hereafter, who accuse me with so little reason; and withall contemn their dulness, who, if they could ruine that little reputation I have got, and which I value not, yet would want both wit and learning to establish their own; or to be rememberd in after ages for any thing, but only that which makes them ridiculous in this.Page [unnumbered]
|Wildblood,||Two young English Gen∣tlemen.||Mr. Hart.|
|Maskall,||Their Servant.||Mr. Shatterell.|
|Don Alonzo de Ribera,||an old Spanish Gentleman.||Mr. Wintershall.|
|Don Lopez de Gamboa,||a young Noble Spaniard.||Mr. Burt.|
|Don Melchor de Guzman,||A Gentleman of a great Family; but of a decay'd fortune.||Mr. Lydall.|
|Donna Theodosia,||Daughters to Don A∣lonzo.||Mrs. Bowtell.|
|Donna Jacintha,||Mrs. Ellen Guynn.|
|Donna Aurelia,||Their Cousin||Mrs. Marshall; and formerly by M•Quin.|
|Beatrix,||Woman and Confident to the two Sisters||Mrs. Knopp.|
|Camilla,||Woman to Aurelia.||Mrs. Betty Slate.|
Servants to Don Lopez, and Don Alonzo.
The Scene Madrid, in the Year 1665.
The Time the last Evening of the Carnival.Page [unnumbered]Page 1
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.
Yes, but she was in hast, and bid me wait her hereabouts when she return'd.
Only, in general, that Donna Theodosia is engag'd else∣where; so that all your Courtship will be to no purpose.
But for your Mistress, Sir, she is waded out of her depth in love to you already.
That's very hard, when I am scarce knee-deep with her: 'tis true, I have given her hold of my heart, but if she take not heed it will slip through her fingers.
You are Prince of the Soil, Sir, and may take your pleasure when you please; but I am the Eve to your Holy-day, and must fast for being joyn'd to you.
Were I as thou art, I would content my self with ha∣ving had one fair flight at her, without wearying my self on the wing for a retrieve; for when all's done the Quarry is but woman.
Thank you, Sir, you would fly 'em both your self, and while I turn tail, we should have you come gingling with your bells in the neck of my Patridge; do you remember who in∣courag'd me to love, and promis'd me his assistance?
I, while there was hope Frank, while there was hope; but there's no contending with one's destiny.
Nay, it may be I care as little for her as another man; but while she flyes before me I must follow: I can leave a wo∣man sirst with ease, but if she begins to fly before me, I grow opiniatre as the Devil.
What a secret have you found out? why 'tis the na∣ture of all mankind: we love to get our Mistresses, and purr over 'em, as Cats do over Mice, and then let 'em go a little Page 14 way; and all the pleasure is, to pat 'em back again: But yours, I take it, Frank, is gone too far; prethee how long dost thou intend to love at this rate?
Till the evil constellation be past over me: yet I be∣lieve it would hasten my recovery if I knew whom she lov'd.
'St, the door opens; and two women are coming out.
By their stature they should be thy gracious Mistress and Beatrix.
Methinks you should know your Q. then and with∣draw.
Well, I'll leave you to your fortune; but if you come to close fighting, I shall make bold to run in and part you.
Yonder she comes with full sails i'faith; I'll hail her a∣main for England.
None but fools confine their pleasure: what Usurer ever thought his Coffers held too much? No, I'll give my self the swinge, and love without reserve. If I'll keep a passion, I'll never starve it in my service.
I never trouble my self so long beforehand: Jealousies and disquiets are the dregs of an amour; but I'll leave mine before I have drawn it off so low: when it once grows trou∣bled I'll give vent to a fresh draught.
Yet it is but prudence to try him first; no Pilot ven∣tures on an unknown Coast without sounding.
Well, to satisfie thee I am content; partly too because I find a kind of pleasure in laying baits for him.
The two great vertues of a Lover are constancy and liberality; if he profess those two, you may be happy in him.
Nay, if he be not Lord and Master of both those qua∣lities I disown him—But who goes there?
He, I warrant you, Madam; for his Servant told me he was waiting hereabout.
'Tis so wild, that the Lady who has it in her keeping, would be glad she were well rid on't: it does so flutter about the Cage. 'Tis a meer Bajazet; and if it be not let out the sooner, will beat out the brains against the Grates.
I am afraid the Lady has not fed it, and 'tis wild for hunger.
Or perhaps it wants company; shall she put another to it?
I; but then 'twere best to trust 'em out of the Cage together; let 'em hop about at libertie.
But is not your heart of the nature of those Birds that breed in one Countrie, and goe to winter in another?
Suppose it does so; yet I take my Mate along with me. And now to leave our parables, and speak in the language of the vulgar, what think you of a voyage to merry England?
Just as Aesop's Frog did, of leaping into a deep Well in a drought: if he ventur'd the leap, there might be water; but if there were no water, how should he get out again?
Faith we live in a good honest Country, where we are content with our old vices, partly because we want wit to invent more new. A Colonie of Spaniards, or spiritual Itali∣ans planted among us would make us much more racy. 'Tis true, our variety is not much; but to speak nobly of our way of living, 'tis like that of the Sun, which rises, and looks up∣on the same things he saw yesterday, and goes to bed again.
But I hear your women live most blessedly; there's no such thing as jealousie among the Husbands; if any man has horns, he bears 'em as loftily as a Stag, and as inoffensively.
All this I hope gives you no ill Character of the Country.
But what need we go into another Climate? as our love was born here; so let it live and die here, and be ho∣nestly buried in its native Country.
Faith agreed with all my heart. For I am none of those unreasonable lovers, that propose to themselves the lo∣ving to eternity; the truth is, a month is commonly my stint; but in that month I love so dreadfully, that it is after a twelve∣months rate of common love.
Or would not a fortnight serve our turn? for in troth a month looks somewhat dismally; 'tis a whole Aegyptian year, if a Moon changes in my love I shall think my Cupid grown dull, or fallen into an Apoplexie.
Well, I pray heaven we both get off as clear as we imagine; for my part I like your humour so damnably well, that I fear I am in for a week longer than I propos'd; I am half afraid your Spanish Planet, and my English one have been acquainted, and have found out some by-room or other in the 12 houses: I wish they have been honorable.
The best way for both were to take up in time; yet I am afraid our forces are engag'd so far, that we must make a battel on't. What think you of disobliging one another from this day forward; and shewing all our ill humours at the first; which Lovers use to keep as a reserve till they are mar∣ried?
Or let us encourage one another to a breach by the dangers of possession: I have a Song to that purpose.
Pray let me hear it: I hope it will go to the tune of one of our Passa-calles.
Believe it, Cavalier, you are a dangerous person: do you hold forth your gifts in hopes to make me love you less?
They would signifie little, if we were once married: those gayeties are all nipt, and frost-bitten in the Marriage∣bed, i'faith.
I am sorry to hear 'tis so cold a place: but 'tis all one to us who do not mean to trouble it: the truth is, your hu∣mor pleases me exceedingly; how long it will do so, I know not; but so long as it does, I am resolv'd to give my self the content of seeing you. For if I should once constrain my self, I might fall in love in good earnest: but I have stay'd too long with you, and would be loth to surfeit you at first.
Surfet me, Madam, why you have but Tantaliz'd me all this while.
A hand, or lip, or any thing that you can spare; when you have Conjur'd up a Spirit he must have some employ∣ment, or he'll tear you a pieces.
Well, Here's my Picture; to help your contemplation in my absence.
You have already the Original of mine: but some revenge you must allow me: a Locket of Diamonds, or some such trifle, the next time I kiss your hand.
Fie, fie; you do not think me mercinary! yet now I think on't, I'll put you into our Spanish Mode of Love: our Page 18 Ladies here use to be the Banquiers of their Servants, and to have their Gold in keeping.
This is the least trial you could have made of me: I have some 300 Pistols by me; those I'll send you by my ser∣vant.
Confess freely; you mistrust me: but if you find the least qualme about your Gold, pray keep it for a Cor∣dial.
The Cordial must be apply'd to the heart, and mines with you Madam: Well; I say no more; but these are dange∣rous beginings for holding on: I find my moneth will have more then one and thirty dayes in't.
Madam, your Father calls in hast for you; and is look∣ing you about the house.
Adieu Servant, be a good manager of your stock of Love, that it may hold out your Moneth; I am afraid you'll wast so much of it before to morrow night, that you'll shine but with a quarter Moon upon me.
What do you fight after the French Fashion; take Towns before you declare a Warr?
I should be glad to imitate them so far, to be in the middle of the Country before you could resist me.
Deliver up your Lady's secret; what makes her so cruel to my Master?
Which of my Ladies, and which of your Masters? For I suppose we are Factors for both of them.
How dare you press your Mistress to an inconveni∣ence?
My Mistress? I understand not that language; the Page 19 fortune of the Valet ever follows that of the Master; and his is desperate; if his fate were alter'd for the better, I should not care if I ventur'd upon you for the worse.
Let it suffice he is born noble, though without a for∣tune. His povertie makes him conceal his love from her Fa∣ther; but she sees him every night in private: and to blind the world about a fortnight agoe, he took a solemn leave of her, as if he were going into Flanders: in the mean time he lodges at the house of Don Lopez de Gamboa; and is himself call'd Don Melchor de Guzman.
You hear I am call'd; Adieu; and be sure you keep my Counsel.
Clear, dost thou say? no 'tis full of Rocks and Quick∣sands: yet nothing vexes me so much as that she is in love with such a poor Rogue.
But that he should lodge privately in the same house with us! 'twas odly contriv'd of fortune.
Hang him Rogue, methinks I see him perching like an Owle by day, and not daring to flutter out till Moon-light. The Rascal invents love, and brews his complements all day, and broaches 'em at night; just as some of our dry wits do their stories before they come into company: well, if I could be re∣veng'd on either of 'em.
Here she comes again with Beatrix; but good Sir mo∣derate your passion.
Nay, Madam, you are known; and must not pass till I have spoke with you. Bellamy lifts up Theodosia's Vail.
This rudeness to a person of my quality may cost you dear. Pray when did I give you encouragement for so much familiarity?
The truth is, I deny'd you as heartily as I could; that I might not be twice troubled with you.
Yet you have not this aversion for all the world: however I was in hope though the day frown'd, the night might prove as propitious to me as it is to others.
I have now a quarrell both to the Sun and Moon, be∣cause I have seen you by both their lights.
Spare the Moon I beseech you, Madam, she is a very trusty Planet to you.
Pray, Sir, expound your meaning; for I confess I am in the dark.
Methinks you should discover it by Moon-light. Or if you would have me speak clearer to you, give me leave to wait on you at a midnight assignation; and that it may not be discover'd, I'll feign a voyage beyond sea, as if I were gone a Captaining to Flanders.
A pox on's memory, he has not forgot one syl∣lable.
You have betray'd and sold your self, Madam, by your own rashness to confess it; Heaven know's I have serv'd you but too faithfully.
Do you know what work you have made, Sir?
Let her see what she has got by slight∣ing me.
You had best let Beatrix be turn'd away for me to keep: if you do, I know whose purse shall pay for 't.
That's a curse I never thought on: cast about quickly and save all yet. Range, quest, and spring a lie immediately.
Never importune me farther; you shall go; there's no removing me.
That will I in the name of truth. (If this hard-bound lie would but come from me:) Madam, I must tell you it lies in my power to appease this tempest with one word.
Nay, Sir, 'tis all one to me, if you turn me away up∣pon't; I can hold no longer.
For all your noddings, and your Mathematical gri∣maces, in short, Madam, my Master has been conversing with the Planets; and from them has had the knowledge of your affairs.
I care not, Sir, I am for truth; that will shame you and all your Devils: in short, Madam, this Master of mine that stands before you, without a word to say for himself, so like an Oph, as I may say with reverence to him—
Why you dog, do you consider what an improbable lie this is; which you know I can never make good: disgorge it you Cormorant, or I'll pinch your throat out.—
'Tis all in vain, Sir, you are and shall be an Astrologer what e're I suffer: you know all things, see into all things, foretell all things; and if you pinch more truth out of me, I will confess you are a Conjurer.
How, sirrah, a Conjurer?
I mean, Sir, the Devil is in your fingers: own it you had best, Sir, and do not provoke me far∣ther; what did not I see you an hour ago, turning over a great Folio with strange
Madam, if ever I knew the least term in Astrologie, I am the arrantest Son of a whore breathing.
O, Sir, for that matter you shall excuse my Lady: Nay hide your tallents if you can, Sir.
The more you pretend ignorance, the more we are resolv'd to believe you skilfull.
You shall never make me hold my tongue, except you conjure me to silence: what did you not call me to look into a Chrystal, and there shew'd me a fair Garden, and a Spa∣niard stalking in his narrow breeches, and walking un∣derneath a window; I should know him agen amongst a thou∣sand.
This Rogue will invent more stories of me, than e're were father'd upon Lilly.
Will you confess then; do you think I'll stain my ho∣nor to swallow a lie for you?
I hope then, learned Sir, as you have been curious in enquiring into my secrets, you will be so much a Cavalier as to conceal 'em.
you need not doubt me, Madam; I am more in your power than you can be in mine: besides, if I were once known in Town, the next thing, for ought I know, would be to bring me before the fathers of the Inquisition.
Well, Madam, what do you think of me now; I have betray'd you, I have sold you; how can you ever make me amends for this imputation? I did not think you could have us'd me so.—
Nay, prethee Beatrix do not crie; I'll leave of my new Gown to morrow, and thou shalt have it.
No, I'll crie eternally; you have taken away my Page 23 good name from me; and you can never make me recompence—except you give me your new Gorget too.
By your favour, Sir, you shall stay a little; the hap∣piness of so rare an acquaintance, ought to be cherish'd on my side by a longer conversation.
That, Sir, which will make you as ambitious of being known to him as I have been: under the habit of a Gallant he conceals the greatest Astrologer this day living.
For my own part I have been consulting with him a∣bout some particulars of my fortunes past and future; both which he has resolv'd me with that admirable knowledge.—
Yes, faith, Sir, I was foretelling her of a disaster that severely threatn'd her: and (one thing I foresee already by my starrs, that I must bear up boldly, or I am lost.)
Never fear him, Sir; he's an ignorant fel∣low, and credulous I warrant him.
Daughter be not too confident in your belief; there's nothing more uncertain than the cold Prophecies of these No∣stradamusses; but of what nature was the question which you ask'd him?
I answer'd her the truth, that she is in danger of mar∣rying a Gentleman without a fortune.
Never trouble your self about it, Daughter; follow my advice and I warrant you a rich Husband.
But the starrs say she shall not follow your advice: if it happens otherwise I'll burn my folio Volumes, and my Manu∣scripts too, I assure you that, Sir.
Be not too confident, young man; I know somewhat in Astrologie my self; for in my younger years I study'd it; and though I say it, made some small proficience in it.
And I could only find it was no way demonstrative, but altogether fallacious.
Sir, remember you are old and crazie, Sir; and if the Evening Air should take you—beseech you Sir retire.
Knowledge is to be prefer'd before health; I must needs discusse a point with this learned Cavalier, concerning a difficult question in that Art, which almost gravels me.
How I sweat for him, Beatrix, and my self too, who have brought him into this Praemunire!
You must be impudent; for our old man will stick like a burre to you, now he's in a dispute.
What Judgment may a man reasonably form from the trine Aspect of the two Infortunes in Angular houses?
That's a matter of nothing, Sir; I'll turn my man loose to you for such a question.—
Meaning me, Sir! I vow to God, and your Worship knows it, I never made that Science my study in the least, Sir.
The gleanings of mine are enough for that: why, you impudent rogue you, hold forth your gifts, or I'll—What a devil must I be pester'd with every trivial question, when there's not a Master in Town of any Science, but has his Ush∣er for these mean offices?
Trie him in some deeper question, Sir; you see he will not put himself forth for this.
Then I'll be more abstruse with him: what think you, Sir, of the taking Hyleg? or of the best way of rectification for a Nativity? have you been conversant in the Centiloquium of Trismegistus: what think you of Mars in the tenth when 'tis his own House, or of Jupiter configurated with malevolent Pla∣nets?
I thought what your skill was! to answer your questi∣on in two words, Mars rules over the Martial, and Jupiter o∣ver the Jovial; and so of the rest, Sir.
Why then you must not ask such School-boyes questi∣ons. (But your Carkase, Sirrah, shall pay for this.)—
By your favour, Sir, I know there are five of 'em; do not I know your Michaelmas, your Hillary, your Easter, your Trinity, and your Long Vacation term, Sir?
It may be not, Sir; I believe the terms are not the same in Spain they are in England.
Tell me that! you are an old man, and they are alter'd since you studied them.
That may be I must confess; however if you please to discourse something of the Art to me, you shall find me an apt Scholar.
Sir, I am sorry a business of importance calls me hence; but I'll wait on you some other time, to discourse more at large of Astrologie.
I am very sorry, for I should have instructed you in such rare secrets; I have no fault, but that I am too commu∣nicative.
I'll dispatch my business, and return immediately; come away Daughter.
A Devil on's learning; he had brought me to my last legs; I was fighting as low as ever was Squire Widdrington.
Who would have suspected it from that wicked Elder?
Suspected it? why 'twas palpable from his very Phys∣nomy; he looks like Haly, and the spirit Fircu in the Fortune∣book.
How now Bellamy, in wrath, prethee, what's the mat∣ter?
The story is too long to tell you; but this Rogue here has made me pass for an errant Fortune-teller.
If I had not, I am sure he must have past for an errant Mad-man; he had discover'd, in a rage, all that Beatrix had confess'd to me concerning her Mistresse's love; and I had no other way to bring him off, but to say he knew it by the Planets.
And art thou such an Oph to be vext at this? as the adventure may be manag'd it may make the most pleasant one in all the Carnival.
Death! I shall have all Madrid about me within these two dayes.
Nay, all Spain, i'faith, as fast as I can divulge thee: not a Ship shall pass out from any Port, but shall ask thee for a wind; thou shalt have all the trade of Lapland within a Month.
And do you think it reasonable for me to stand defen∣dant to all the impertinent questions that the Town can ask me.
Thou shalt do't boy: pox on thee, thou dost not know thine own happiness; thou wilt have the Ladies come to thee; and if thou dost not sit them with fortunes, thou art bewitch'd.
Sir, 'tis the easiest thing in Nature; you need but speak doubtfully, or keep your self in general terms, and for the most part tell good rather than bad fortune.
And if at any time thou ventur'st at particulars, have an evasion ready like Lilly; as thus, it will infallibly happen if our sins hinder not. I would undertake with one of his Almanacks to give very good content to all Christendom, and Page 27 what good luck fell not out in one Kingdom, should in ano∣ther.
The pleasure on't will be to see how all his Custo∣mers will contribute to their own deceiving; and verily be∣lieve he told them that, which they told him.
Umh! now I begin to taste it; I am like the drunken Tinker in the Play, a great Prince, and never knew it.
A great Prince, a great Turk; we shall have thee within these two dayes, do grace to the Ladies by throwing out a handkerchief; 'lif, I could feast upon thy fragments.
If the women come you shall be sure to help me to un∣dergo the burden; for though you make me an Astronomer I am no Atlas, to bear all upon my back. But who are these?
You know the men if their Masquing habits were off; they are the Musick of our Embassadors Retinue: my project is to give our Mistresses a Serenade; this being the last Eve∣ning of the Carnival; and to prevent discovery here are dis∣guises for us too.——
'Tis very well; come Maskall help on with 'em, while they tune their Instruments.
Strike up Gentlemen; we'll entertain 'em with a song al' Angloise, pray be ready with your Chorus.
Ill Musicians must be rewarded: there, Cavalier, 'tis to buy your silence.——
By this light, which at present is scarce an oath, an handkerchief and a favour.
Hark, Wildblood, do you hear; there's more melody; on my life some Spaniards have taken up this Post for the same design.
'Tis some Rival of yours or mine, Bellamy: for he ad∣dresses to this window.
So, all's past, and I am safe: a pox on these fighting Masters of mine, to bring me into this danger with Page 29 their valours and magnanimities. When I go a Serenading a∣gain with 'em, I'll give 'em leave to make Fiddle-strings of my small-guts.
The same; and by yours you should belong to my two English Ghests. Did you hear no tumult hereabouts?
I came hither by my Masters order to see if you were in any danger.
'Tis all one for that, Sir, he knew it, by—Heaven, what was I agoing to say, I had like to have disover'd all!
I find there is some secret in't; and you dare not trust me.
If you will swear on your honor to be very secret, I will tell you.
Then, in few words, he knew it by Astrologie, or Magick.
I alwayes thought him an extraordinary person; but I could never imagine his head lay that way.
He shew'd me yesterday in a glass a Ladies Maid at London, whom I well knew; and with whom I us'd to con∣verse on a Pallet in a drawing-room, while he was paying his devotions to her Lady in the Bed-chamber.
Lord, what a treasure for a State were here! and how much might we save by this man, in Forreign Intelligence!
And just now he shew'd me how you were assaulted in the dark by Foreigners.
Not unlikely; for they play'd most furiously at our back-sides.
I will return to my Master with the good news of your safety; but once again be secret; or disclose it to none but friends.——So, there's one Woodcock more in the Springe.—
Yes, I will be very secret; for I will tell it only to one person; but she is a woman. I will to Aurelia, and acquaint her with the skill of this rare Artist: she is curious as all wo∣men are; and, 'tis probable, will desire to look into the Glass to see Don Melchor, whom she believes absent. So that by this means, without breaking my oath to him, he will be disco∣ver'd to be in Town. Then his intrigue with Theodosia will come to light too, for which Aurelia will, I hope, discard him, and receive me. I will about it instantly:
And when you met Lopez he swallow'd all you told him?
And the fame of it will be of use to you in your next amour: for the women you know run mad after Fortune-tellers and Preachers.
But for all my bragging this amour is not yet worn off. I find constancy, and once a night come naturally upon a man towards thirty: only we set a face on't; and call our selves unconstant for our reputation.
They move faster than you imagine; for I have got me an Argol, and an English-Almanack; by help of which in one half-hour I have learnt to Cant with an indifferent good grace: Conjunction, Opposition, Trine, Square and Sextile, are now no lon∣ger Bug-bears to me, I thank my Starrs for't.
—Monsieur Wildblood, in good time! What, you have been taking pains too, to divulge my Tallent?
So successfully, that shortly there will be no talk in Town but of you onely: another Miracle or two, and a sharp Sword, and you stand fair for a New Prophet.
In the Gaming-house: where I found most of the Town-wits; the Prose-wits playing, and the Verse-wits cook∣ing.
All sorts of Gamesters are so Superstitious, that I need not doubt of my reception there.
From thence I went to the latter end of a Comedy, and there whisper'd it to the next Man I knew who had a Woman by him.
Nay, then it went like a Train of Powder, if once they had it by the end.
Like a Squib upon a Line, i'faith, it ran through one row, and came back upon me in the next: at my going out I met a knot of Spaniards, who were formally listening to one who was relating it: but he told the Story so ridiculously, with his Marginal Notes upon it, that I was forc'd to contradict him.
I, for you, but not for me: What, sayes he, must such Boracho's as you, take upon you to villifie a Man of Science? I tell you, he's of my intimate Acquaintance, and I have known him long, for a prodigious person—When I saw my Don so fierce, I thought it not wisdom to quarrel for so slight a mat∣ter as you Reputation, and so withdrew.
A pox of your success! now shall I have my Cham∣ber besieg'd to morrow morning: there will be no stiring out for me; but I must be fain to take up their Questions in a cleft-Cane, or a Begging-box, as they do Charity in Pri∣sons.
Faith, I cannot help what your Learning has brought you to: Go in and study; I foresee you will have but few Holy∣dayes: in the mean time I'll not fail to give the World an account of your indowments. Fare-well: I'll to the Gaming house.
O, Sir, here is the rarest adventure, and which is more, come home to you.
A fair Lady and her Woman, wait in the outer Room to speak with you.
Her Woman pluck'd up her Vaile when she spake to me; so that having seen her this evening, I know her Mistress to be Donna Aurelia, Cousin to your Mistress Theodosia, and who lodges in the same House with her: she wants a Starr or two I warrant you.
My whole Constellation is at her service: but what is she for a Woman?
Fair enough, as Beatrix has told me; but sufficiently impertinent. She is one of those Ladies who make ten Visits in an afternoon; and entertain her they see, with speaking ill of the last from whom they parted: in few words, she is one of the greatest Coquette's in Madrid: and to show she is one, she cannot speak ten words without some affected phrase that is in fashion.
For my part I can suffer any impertinence from a wo∣man, provided she be handsome: my business is with her Beau∣ty, not with her Morals: let her Confessor look to them.
I know not; but I sweat for fear I should be gra∣vell'd.
Venture out of your depth, and plunge boldly Sir; I warrant you will swimm.
Do not leave me I charge you; but when I look mournfully upon you help me out.
How am I drest to night, Camilla? is nothing disorder'd in my head?
My Glass I mean: what will you never be so spiritual as to understand refin'd language?
Madam me no Madam, but learn to retrench your words; and say Mam; as yes Mam, and no Mam, as other La∣dies Women do. Madam! 'tis a year in pronouncing.
Yet again ignorance: par-don Madam, fie fie, what a superfluity is there, and how much sweeter the Cadence is, parn me Mam! and for your Ladyship, your Laship—Out upon't, what a furious indigence of Ribands is here upon my head! This dress is a Libel to my beauty; a meer Lam∣poon. Would any one that had the least revenue of common sense have done this?
Maskall, pump the woman; and see if you can discover any thing to save my credit.
Madam, I was told you meant to honor me with your Commands.
I believe, Sir, you wonder at my confidence in this vi∣sit: but I may be excus'd for waving a little modesty to know the only person of the Age.
Sir, you are an unfit judge of your own merits: for my own part I confess I have a furious inclination for the occult Sciences; but at present 'tis my misfortune——
You might spare me the shame of telling you; sioce I am sure you can divine my thoughts: I will therefore tell you nothing.
You may give me an Essay of your Science, by decla∣ring to me the secret of my thoughts.
If I know your thoughts, Madam, 'tis in vain for you to disguise them to me: therefore as you tender your own sa∣tisfaction lay them open without bashfulness.
I beseech you let us pass over that chapter; for I am shamefac'd to the last point: Since therefore I cannot put off my modesty, succour it, and tell me what I think.
Madam, Madam, that bashfulness must be laid aside: not but that I know your business perfectly; and will if you please unfold it to you all, immediately.
Favour me so far, I beseech you, Sir; for I furiously desire it.
But then I must call up before you a most dreadful Spirit, with head upon head, and horns upon horns: therefore consider how you can endure it.
This is furiously furious; but rather than fail of my expectances, I'll try my assurance.
Well, then, I find you will force me to this unlawful, and abominable act of Conjuration: remember the sin is yours too.
I see when a woman has a mind to't, she'll never boggle at a sin. Pox on her, what shall I do?—Well, I'll tell you your thoughts, Madam; but after that expect no farther ser∣vice from me; for 'tis your confidence must make my Art suc∣cesful:—Well, you are obstinate, then; I must tell you your thoughts?
Hold, hold, Sir, I am content to pass over that chapter rather than be depriv'd of your assistance.
'Tis very well; what need these circumstances be∣tween us two? Confess freely, is not love your business?
La you there; you see I knew it; nay, I'll tell you more, 'tis a man you love.
O prodigious Science! I confess I love a man most fu∣riously, to the last point, Sir.
Now proceed Lady, your way is open; I am resolv'd I'll not tell you a word farther.
Well, then, since I must acquaint you with what you know much better than my self; I will tell you I lov'd a Ca∣valier, who was noble, young, and handsome; this Gentle∣man is since gone for Flanders; now whether he has preserv'd his passion inviolate or not, is that which causes my inquie∣tude.
Trouble not your self, Madam; he's as constant as a Romance Heros.
Sir, your good news has ravish'd most furiously; but that I may have a confirmation of it, I beg only, that you would lay your commands upon his Genius, or Idea, to appear to me this night, that I may have my sentence from his mouth. This, Sir, I know is a slight effect of your Science, and yet will infinitely oblige me.
What the Devil does she call a slight effect!
To view him in a glass is nothing, I would speak with him in person, I mean his Idea, Sir.
I but Madam, there is a vast sea betwixt us and Flan∣ders; and water is an enemy to Conjuration: A witches horse you know, when he enters into water, returns into a bottle of hay again.
But, Sir, I am not so ill a Geographer, or to speak more properly, a Chorographer, as not to know there is a passage by land from hence to Flanders.
That's true, Madam, but Magick works in a direct line. Why should you think the Devil such an Ass to goe about? 'gad he'll not stir a step out of his road for you or any man.
Yes, for a Lady, Sir; I hope he's a person that wants not that civility for a Lady: especially a spirit that has the honor to belong to you, Sir.
For that matter he's your Servant, Madam; but his edu∣cation has been in the fire, and he's naturally an enemy to wa∣ter I assure you.
I beg his pardon for forgetting his Antipathy; but it imports not much, Sir; for I have lately receiv'd a letter from my Servant, that he is yet in Spain; and stays for a wind in St. Sebastians.
Now I am lost past all redemption.—Maskall—must you be smickering after Wenches while I am in calamity?
It must be he, I'll venture on't.
Why you impudent Villain, must you offer to name him publickly, when I have taken so much care to conceal him all this while?
Mitigate your displeasure I beseech you; and without making farther testimony of it, gratifie my expectances.
Well, Madam, since the Sea hinders not, you shall have your desire. Look upon me with a fix'd eye—so—or a little more amorously if you please.—Good. Now favour me with your hand.
Furiously necessary, I assure you, Madam; for now I take possession of it in the name of the Idea of Don Melchor. Now, Madam, I am farther to desire of you, to write a Note to his Genius, wherein you desire him to appear, and this, we Men of Art, call a Compact with the Idea's.
Now, Lady mine, what think you of my Master?
I think I would not serve him for the world: nay, if he can know our thoughts by looking on us, we women are hy∣pocrites to little purpose.
He can do that and more; for by casting his eyes but once upon them, he knows whether they are Maids, better than a whole Jury of Midwives.
He has a certain small Familiar which he carries still about him, that never fails to make discovery.
See, they have done writing; not a word more, for fear he knows my voice.
One thing I had forgot, Madam, you must subscribe your name to't.
There 'tis; farewell Cavalier, keep your promise, for I expect it furiously.
Then, sweet Sir, have pity on my srailty; for if my Lady has the least inkling of what we did last night, the poor Coachman will be turn'd away.
But what faint-hearted Devils yours are that will not go by water? Are they all Lancashire Devils, of the brood of Tybert and Grimalkin, that they dare not wet their feet?
Mine are honest land Devils, good plain foot Posts, that beat upon the hoof for me: but to save their labour, here take this, and in some disguise deliver it to Don Melchor.
I'll serve it upon him within this hour, when he sal∣lyes out to his assignation with Theodosia: 'tis but counterfeit∣ing my voice a little; for he cannot know me in the dark. But let me see, what are the words?
Don Melchor, if the Magique of love have any power upon your spirit, I conjure you to appear this night before me: you may guess the greatness of my passion, since it has forc'd me to have recourse to Art: but no shape which resembles you can fright
Well, I am glad there's one point gain'd; for by this means he will be hindred to night from entertaining Theodosia.—Pox on him, is he here again?
Cavalier Ingles I have been seeking you: I have a Pre∣sent in my Pocket for you; read it by your Art and take it.
That I could do easily;—but to shew you I am gene∣rous, I'll none of your Present; do you think I am merce∣nary?
I know you will say now 'tis some Astrological que∣stion, and so 'tis perhaps.
No 'tis within dispute: 'tis a certain difficulty in the Art; a Problem which you and I will discuss, with the argu∣ments on both sides,
At this time I am not problematically given; I have a humour of complaisance upon me, and will contradict no man.
By your favour I'll not discusse; for I see by the Stars that if I Dispute to day, I am infallibly threatned to be thought ignorant all my life after.
Well, then, we'll but cast an eye together, upon my eldest Daughters Nativity.
I know what you would say now, that there wants the Table of Direction for the five Hylegiacalls; the Ascen∣dant, Medium Coeli, Sun, Moon, and Sors: but we'll take it as it is.
I say, Sir, there is no doing without the Sun and Moon, and all that, Sir. And so you may make use of your Paper for your occasions. Come to a man of Art without
'Tis no matter; this shall break no squares betwixt us:
Don Alonzo in my house! this is a most happy oppor∣tunity to put my other design in execution; for if I can per∣swade him to bestow his Daughter on Don Melchor, I shall serve my Friend, though against his will: and, when Aurelia sees she cannot be his, perhaps she will accept my Love.
I warrant you, Sir, 'tis all piec'd right, both top, sides and bottom; for, look you, Sir, here was Aldeboran, and there Cor Scorpii—
Don Alonzo, I am happy to see you under my Roof: and shall take it—
I know what you would say, Sir, that though I am your neighbour, this is the first time I have been here.
It needs not Sennor; I'll suppose your Compliment; you would say that your house and all things in it are at my service: but let us proceed without his interruption.
By no means, Sir; this Cavalier is come on purpose to perform the civilities of his house to you.
No matter, let him go, Sir; I have long desir'd this opportunity to move a Sute to you in the behalf of a Friend of mine: if you please to allow me the hearing of it.
He is a person of worth and vertue, and is infinitely ambitious of the honour—
If you will please to favour me with your patience, which I beg of you a second time.
If I speak one Syllable more the Devil take me: speak when you please.
You need not speak twice to me to be silent: though I take it somewhat ill of you to be tutor'd—
Why when do you begin, Sir? How long must a man wait for you? pray make an end of what you have to say quickly, that I may speak in my turn too.
You told me that before, Sir; Do you speak Oracles that you require this strict attention? either let me share the talk with you or I am gone.
Why, Sir, I am almost mad to tell you, and you will not suffer me.
Will you never have done, Sir; I must tell you, Sir, you have tatled long enough; and 'tis now good Manners to hear me speak. Here's a Torrent of words indeed; a very impetus dicendi, Will you never have done?
There's one Don Melchor de Guzman, a Friend and Ac∣quaintance of mine, that is desperately in Love with your el∣dest Daughter Donna Theodosia.
'Tis the sentence of a Philosopher, Loquere ut te videam; Speak that I may know thee; now if you take away the power of speaking from me—
I'll try the Language of the Law; sure the Devil can∣not Page 41 out-talke that Gibberish—For this Don Melchor of Madrid aforesaid, as premised, I request, move, and supplicate, that you would give, bestow, Marry, and give in Mariage, this your Daughter aforesaid, to the Cavalier aforesaid—not yet, thou Devil of a Man thou shalt be silent—
At the fume time with Lopez his last speech, and after Lopez is runout Oh, how I hate, abominate, detest and abhor, these perpetual Talkers, Disputants, Contro∣verters, and Duellers of the Tongue! But, on the other side, if it be not permitted to pru∣dent men to speak their minds, appositely, and to the purpose' and in few words—If, I say, the prudent must be Tongue-ty'd; then let Great Nature be destroy'd; let the order of all things be turn'd topsy-turvy; let the Goose devour the Fox; let the Infants preach to their Great-Grandsires; let the tender Lamb pursue the Woolfe, and the Sick prescribe to the Physician. Let Fishes live upon dry∣land, and the Beasts of the Earth inhabit in the Water.—Let the fearful Hare—
Sir, there are some Women without in Masquerade; and, I believe, persons of Quality, who are come to Play here.
Cavaliers, and Ladies, you are welcome: I wish I had more company to entertain you:—Oh, here comes one sooner then I expected.
Well, here's more to be had of these Ladies, if it be your fortune.
The first Stakes I would play for, should be their Vailes, and Visor Masques.
Well, now I shall make an absolute trial of him; for, being thus incognita, I shall discover if he make Love to any of you. As for the Gallantry of his Serenade, we will not be in∣debted to him, for we will make him another with our Guit∣tars.
I'll whisper your intention to the Servant, who shall deliver it to Don Lopez.
Sir, the Ladies have commanded me to tell you, that they are willing, before they Play, to present you with a Dance; and to give you an Essay of their Guittars.
While you have been Singing, Lady, I have been Praying: I mean, that your Face and Wit may not prove equal to your Dancing; for, if they be, there's a heart gone astray to my knowledge.
If you pray against me before you have seen me, you'll curse me when you have look'd on me.
I believe I shall have cause to do so, if your Beauty be as killing as I imagine it.
'Tis true, I have been flatter'd in my own Country, with an opinion of a little handsomness; but, how it will pass in Spain is a question.
No, Sir, of Marocco: I onely came hither to see some of my Relations who are setled here, and turn'd Christians, since the expulsion of my Countrymen the Moors.
A Musullwoman say you? I protest by your voice I should have taken you for a Christian Lady of my acquain∣tance.
It seems you are in love then: if so, I have done with you. I dare not invade the Dominions of another Lady; es∣pecially in a Country where my Ancestors have been so unfor∣tunate.
Some little liking I might have, but that was onely a morning-dew, 'tis drawn up by the Sun-shine of your Beauty: I find your African-Cupid is a much surer Archer then ours of Europe. Yet would I could see you; one look would secure your victory.
I'll reserve my Face to gratifie your imagination with it, make what head you please, and set it on my Shoul∣ders.
Well, Madam, an eye, a nose, or a lip shall break no squares: the Face is but a spans breadth of beauty; and where there is so much besides, I'll never stand with you for that.
I, by Alha do I, most extreamly: you have Wit in abundance, you Dance to a Miracle, you Sing like an Angel, and I believe you look like a Cherubim.
You Swear like a Turk, Sir; but, take heed: for our Prophet is a severe punisher of Promise-breakers.
Your Prophet's a Cavalier; I honour your Prophet and his Law, for providing so well for us Lovers in the Page 44 other World, Black Eyes, and Fresh-Maidenheads every day; go thy way little Mahomet, i'faith thou shalt have my good word. But, by his favour Lady, give me leave to tell you, that we of the Uncircumcised, in a civil way, as Lovers, have somewhat the advantage of your Musullman.
The Company are rejoyn'd, and set to play; we must go to 'em: Adieu, and when you have a thought to throw away, bestow it on your Servant Fatyma.
This Lady Fatyma pleases me most infinitely: now am I got among the Hamets, the Zegrys, and the Bencerrages. Hey, What work will the Wildbloods make among the Cids and the Bens of the Arabians!
False as Hell; but by Heaven I'll fit him for't: Have you the high-running Dice about you?
You shall see me win all their Mony; and when I have done, I'll return in my own person, and ask him for the mo∣ney which he promis'd me.
'Twill put him upon a streight to be so surpriz'd: but, let us to the Table; the Company stayes for us.
Most commonly they use Raffle. That is, to throw with three Dice, till Duplets and a chance be thrown; and the highest Duplets wins except you throw In and In, which is call'd Raffle; and that wins all.
I understand it: Come, Lady, 'tis no matter what I lose; the greatest stake, my heart, is gone already
No matter; I'll try my fortune once again: what have I here two sixes and a quater?—an hundred Pistols on that throw.
I, the pox take me for't, you have won me: it would never have vex'd me to have lost my money to a Christian; but to a Pagan, an Infidel.—
Pox of this Lady Fatyma! Raffle thrice together, I am out of patience.
Sir, I beseech you if you will lose, to lose en Cavalier.
Tol de ra, tol de ra—pox and curse—tol de ra, &c. What the Devil did I mean to play with this Brunet of Afrique?
You have won our money; but however we are ac∣knowledging to you for the honor of your company.
'Tis no matter; I do not love to fret inwardly, as your silent losers do, and in the mean time be ready to choak for want of vent.
Pray consider your condition a little; a younger Bro∣ther in a foreign Country, living at a high rate, your money lost, and without hope of a supply. Now curse if you think good.
No, now I will laugh at my self most unmercifully: for my condition is so ridiculous that 'tis past cursing. The pleasantest part of the adventure is, that I have promis'd 300 pistols to Jacinta: but there is no remedy, they are now fair Fatyma's.
I, I, a certain African Lady of my acquaintance whom you know not.
Madam, what happy star has conducted you hither to night! A thousand Devils of this fortune!
I was told you had Ladies here and fiddles; so I came partly for the divertisement, and partly out of jealousie.
Jealousie! why sure you do not think me a Pagan, an Infidel? But the company's broke up you see. Am I to wait upon you home, or will you be so kind to take a hard lodging with me to night?
No more words then, let's away to prevent disco∣very.
No: but if your Lady should want sleep, 'twould spoil the lustre of her eyes to morrow. There were a Conquest lost.
I am a peaceable Princess, and content with my own; I mean your heart, and purse; for the truth is, I have lost my money to night in Masquerade, and am come to claim your pro∣mise of supplying me.
You make me happy by commanding me: to morrow morning my servant shall wait upon you with 300 pistols.
Play on tick, and lose the Indies, I'll discharge it all to morrow.
Do you expostulate you rascall! how he stares; I'll be hang'd if he have not lost my gold at play: if you have, confess you had best, and perhaps I'll pardon you; but if you do not confess I'll have no mercy: did you lose it?
I, as sure as e're he had it, I dare swear for him: but commend to you for a kind Master, that can let your Servant play off 300 pistols, without the least sign of anger to him.
'Tis a sign he has a greater banck in store to comfort him.
Well, Madam, I must confess I have more then I will speak of at this time; but till you have given me satisfa∣ction—
Heaven! that you should not perceive it in me: I tell you I am mortally offended with you.
You have done nothing I warrant to make a man jea∣lous: going out a gaming in Masquerade, at unseasonable hours, and losing your money, at play; that loss above all provokes me.
'Tis impossible you should clear it; I'll stop my ears if you but offer it. There's no satisfaction in the point.
To do this in the beginning of an amour, and to a jealous servant as I am; had I all the wealth of Peru, I would not let go one Maravedis to you.
Answer nothing, for it will but inflame the quarrel betwixt us: I must come to my self by little and little; and when I am ready for satisfaction I will take it: but at present it is not for my honor to be friends.
When I have conquer'd, you may interpose; but at present the mediation of all Christendome would be fruitless.
Though Christendome can do nothing with you, yet I hope an African may prevail. Let me beg you for the sake of the Lady Fatyma.
I begin to suspect that Lady Fatyma is no better than she should be. If she be turn'd Christian again I am undone.
Well, well, Madam, any man may be overtaken with an oath; but I never meant to perform it with her: you know no oathes are to be kept with Infidels. But———
No, the love you made was certainly a design of chari∣tie you had to reconcile the two Religions. There's scarce such another man in Europe to be sent Apostle to convert the Moor Ladies.
Faith I would rather widen their breaches then make 'em up.
I see there's no hope of a reconcilement with you; and therefore I give it o're as desperate.
You have gain'd your point, you have my money; and I was only angry because I did not know 'twas you who had it.
This will not serve your turn, Sir; what I have got I have conquer'd from you.
Indeed you use me like one that's conquer'd; for you have plunder'd me of all I had.
I only difarm'd you for fear you should rebell again; for if you had the sinews of warr I am sure you would be fly∣ing out.
Dare but to stay without a new Servant till I am flush again, and I will love you, and treat you, and present you at that unreasonable rate; that I will make you an example to all unbelieving Mistresses.
Well, I will trie you once more; but you must make haste then, that we may be within our time; methinks our love is drawn out so subtle already, that 'tis near breaking.
I will have more care of it on my part, than the kin∣dred of an old Pope have to preserve him.
You deserv'd it for not having a lye ready for my occasions. A good Servant should be no more without it, than a Souldier without his armes. But prethee advise me what's to be done to get Jacinta.
You have lost her, or will lose her by your submit∣ting: if we men could but learn to value our selves, we should soon take down our Mistresses from all their Altitudes, and make 'em dance after our Pipes, longer perhaps than we had a mind to't.—But I must make haste, or I shall lose Don Melchor.—
Call Bellamy, we'll both be present at thy enterprise: then I'll once more to the Gaming-house with my small stock, Page 49 for my last refuge: if I win, I have wherewithall to mollifie Jacinta.
HEre comes one, and in all probability it must be Don Melchor going to Theodosia.
Stand close, and you shall see me serve the Writ upon him.
I stay'd here, Sir, by express order from the Lady Aurelia, to deliver you this Note; and to desire you from her to meet her immediately in the Garden.
He's gone; and 'tis in vain for me to look after him. What envious Devil has discover'd to Aurelia that I am in Town? it must be Don Lopez, who to advance his own preten∣tensions to her, has endeavour'd to ruine mine.
But I am resolv'd to see Aurelia; if it be but to defeat him.
Let's make haste after him; I long to see the end of this adventure.
Well; I'll leave you to your adventures; while I pro∣secute my own.
I warrant you have made an assignation to instruct some Lady in the Mathematicks.
I'll not tell you my design; because if it does not suc∣ceed you shall not laugh at me.
Let us withdraw a little, and see if they will come this way.
We are right, Madam, 'tis certainly your Englishman, and his Servant with him. But why this second triall, when you engag'd to break with him, if he fail'd in the first?
'Tis true, he has been a little inconstant; cholerick, or so.
And it seems you are not contented with those vices; but are searching him for more. This is the folly of a bleeding Gamester, who will obstinately pursue a losing hand.
On t'other side you would have me throw up my Cards before the game be lost: let me make this one more triall, when he has money whether he will give it me, and then if he fails—
He's already in Purgatory; but the next offence shall put him in the pit past all redemption; prethee sing to draw him nearer: Sure he cannot know me in this disguise.
Make haste then; for I have more Irons in the fire: when I have done with you I have another assignation of my Lady Theodosia's to Don Melchor.
If you dare be the Sylvia, Lady, I have brought you a more confident Amyntas, than that bashful Gentleman in your Song—-
Hold, hold; Sir, I am only an Ambassadress sent you from a Lady, I hope you will not violate the Laws of Nations.
I was only searching for your Letters of Credence: but methinks with that beauty you look more like a Herauld that comes to denounce war to all mankind.—
One of the Ladies in the Masque to night has taken a liking to you; and sent you by me this purse of gold, in re∣compence of that she saw you lose.
And she expects in return of it, that I should wait on her; I'll do't, Where lives she? I am desperately in love with her.
I have a Banque of Love, to supply every ones occa∣sions; Page 52 some for her, some for another, and some for you; charge what you will upon me, I pay all at sight, and without questioning who brought the Bill.
Heyday, You dispatch your Mistresses as fast, as if you meant to o're-run all Woman-kind: sure you aime at the Universal-Monarchy.
Now I think on't, I have a foolish fancy to send thy Lady a taste of my love by thee.
'Tis impossible your love should be so humble, to de∣scend to a Mulatta.
One would think so, but I cannot help it. Gad, I think the reason is because there's something more of sin in thy colour then in ours. I know not what's the matter, but a Tur∣ky-Cock is not more provok'd at red, then I bristle at the sight of black. Come, be kinder to me. Young, and slip an op∣portunity? 'Tis an Evening lost out of your life.
These fine things you have said over a thousand times; your cold Compliment's the cold Pye of love which you serve up to every new guest whom you invite.
Come; because thou art very moving, here's part of the Gold, which thou brought'st to corrupt me for thy La∣dy: truth is, I had promis'd a summ to a Spanish Lady—but thy eyes have allur'd it from me.
Let to morrow starve: or provide for himself, as to night has done: to morrow is a cheat in love, and I will not trust it.
Heaven that sees all things will say nothing: that is, all eyes and no tongue; Et la lune & les estoiles,—you know the Song.
It has been alwayes my humour to love downward. I love to stoop to my prey, and to have it in my power to Sowse at when I please. When a man comes to a great Lady, he is fain to approach her with fear and reverence; methinks there's something of Godliness in't.
Yet I cannot believe, but the meanness of my habit must needs scandalize you.
I'll tell thee my friend and so forth, that I exceeding∣ly honour course Linnen; 'tis as proper sometimes in an un∣der Garment, as a course Towel is to rub and scrub me.
Now I am altogether of the other side, I can love no where but above me: methinks the ratling of a Coach and six, sounds more eloquently, then the best Harrangue a Wit could make me.
His commendations serve onely to make others have a mind to me; He does but say Grace to me like a Chaplain; and like him is the last that shall fall on. He ought to get no more by it, then a poor Silk-weaver does by the Ribband which he workes, to make a Gallant fine.
To be admitted to pass my time with, while a better comes: to be the lowest step in my Stair-case, for a Knight to mount upon him, and a Lord upon him, and a Marquess upon him, and a Duke upon him, till I get as high as I can climb.
For ought I see, the Great Ladies have the Appetites which you Slaves should have; and you Slaves the Pride which ought to be in Ladies. For, I observe, that all women of your condition are like the women of the Play-house, still Piquing at each other, who shall go the best Drest, and in the Richest Habits: till you work up one another by your high flying, as the Heron and Jerfalcon do. If you cannot out∣shine your fellow with one Lover, you fetch her up with ano∣ther: and in short, all you get by it is onely to put Finery out of countenance; and to make the Ladies of Quality go plain, because they will avoid the Scandal of your bravery.
Madam, come away; I hear company in the Garden.
However, I am glad you have left your treasure be∣hind you: farewel Fairie.
Do you know how you came by this money, Sir? you think, I warrant, that it came by fortune.
No, Sirrah, I know it came by my own industry. Did not I come out diligently to meet this gold, in the very way it was to come? what could Fate do less for me? they are such thoughtless, and undesigning rogues as you, that make a drudge of poor providence, and set it a shifting for you. Give me a brave fellow like my self; that if you throw him down into the world, lights every where upon his legs, and helps him∣self without being beholding to Fate, that is the Hospital of fools.
But after all your jollitie, what think you if it was Jacinta that gave it you in this disguise? I am sure I heard her call Beatrix as she went away.
Umh! thou awaken'st a most villainous apprehension in me! methought indeed I knew the voice; but the face was such an evidence against it! if it were so she is lost for ever.
And so is Beatrix!
Now could I cut my throat for madness.
Now could I break my neck for despair; if I could find a precipice absolutely to my liking.
'Tis in vain to consider on't. There's but one way; go you Maskal, and find her out, and invent some excuse for me, and be sure to beg leave I may come and wait upon her with the gold before she sleeps.
In the mean time you'l be thinking at your lodging.
But make haste then to relieve me; for I think over all my thoughts in half an hour.
Hang't, now I think on't, I shall be but melan∣cholique at my Lodging, I'll go pass my hour at the Gaming∣house, and make use of this money while I have tools, to win more to it. Stay, let me see, I have the box and throw. My Don he sets me ten pistols; I nick him: ten more, I sweep them too. Now in all reason he is nettled, and sets me twenty: I win them too. Now he kindles, and butters me with forty. They are all my own: in fine, he is vehement, and bleeds on to fourscore or an hundred; and I not willing to tempt for∣tune, come away a moderate winner of 200 pistols.
The Garden dore opens! How now, Aurelia and Camilla in ex∣pectation of Don Melchor at the Garden door; I'll away lest I prevent the designe, and within this half hour come sailing back with full pockets, as wantonly as a laden Galleon from the Indies.
But dost thou think the Englishman can keep his pro∣mise? for I confess I furiously desire to see the Idea of Don Melchor.
But, Madam, if you should see him, it will not be he, but the Devil in his likeness; and then why should you de∣sire it?
In effect 'tis a very dark Enigma; and one must be very spiritual to understand it. But be what it will, bodie or fan∣tome, I am resolv'd to meet it.
Can you do it without fear?
No; I must avow it, I am furiously fearful; but yet I am resolv'd to sacrifice all things to my love. Therefore let us pass over that chapter.
Do you hear, Madam, there's one treading already; how if it be he?
If it be he; that is to say his Specter, that is to say his Fantome, that is to say his Idea, that is to say, He and not he.
Ah, Madam, 'tis he himself; but he's as big again as he us'd to be, with eyes like sawcers.—I'll save my self
Oh heaven! humanitie is not able to support it. [run∣ning.
Dear Aurelia, what mean you?
The Tempter has imitated his voice too; avoid, avoid Specter.
If he should find me under the table now!
Is it thus my Dear that you treat your Servant?
I am not thy Dear; I renounce thee, spirit of dark∣ness.
This Spirit of darkness is come to see an Angel of light by her command; and to assure her of his constancy, that he will be hers eternally.
Away Infernal, 'tis not thee, 'tis the true Don Melchor that I would see.
Hell and Furies.
Heaven and Angels! Ah—
This is a riddle past my finding out, to send for me, and then to shun me; but here's one shall resolve it for me: Camilla, what dost thou there?
Help, help, I shall be carried away, bodily.
Why Aurelia, Camilla! they are both run out of hearing! This amazes me; what can the meaning of it be? Sure she has heard of my unfathfulness, and was resolv'd to pu∣nish me by this contrivance! to put an affront upon me by this abrupt departure, as I did on her by my seeming absence.
Don Melchor! is it you my Love that have frighted Au∣relia so terribly?
Alas, Madam, I know not; but coming hither by your appointment, and thinking my self secure in the night without disguise, perhaps it might work upon her fancie, because she thought me absent.
Since 'tis so unluckily fallen out that she knows you are at Madrid, it can no longer be kept a secret; therefore you must now pretend openly to me, and run the risque of a denial from my Father.
O, Madam, there's no question but he'll refuse me: for alas, what is it he can see in me worthy of that honor? or if he should be so partial to me, as some in the world are, to think me valiant, learned, and not altogether a fool, yet my want of fortune would weigh down all.
When he has refus'd you his consent, I may with Ju∣stice dispose of my self; and that, while you are constant, shall never be to any but your self: in witness of which, ac∣cept this Diamond as a Pledge of my hearts firmness to you.
Madam, Your Father is coming this way.
'Tis no matter; do not stir; since he must know you are return'd, let him now see you.
Daughter, What make you here at this unseasona∣ble hour?
I know what you would say, That you heard a noise, and ran hither to see what it might be—Bless us! Who is this with you?
'Tis your servant Don Melchor; just return'd from St. Sebastians.
But, Sir, I thought you had been upon the Sea for Flan∣ders.
I had so design'd it.
But, Why came you back from St. Sebastians?
As for that, Sir, 'tis not material—
An unexpected Law Sute has call'd him back from St. Sebastians.
And, How fares my Son-in-Law that lives there?
In Catholique health, Sir.
Have you brought no Letters from him?
I had, Sir, but I was set on by the way, by Pickerons: and, in spight of my resistance, rob'd, and my Portmantue ta∣ken from me.
And this was that which he was now desiring me to excuse to you.
If my Credit, Friends, or Counsel can do you any ser∣vice in your Sute, I hope you will command them freely.
When I have dispatch'd some private business I shall Page 58 not fail to trouble you; till then, humbly kisses your hands, the most oblig'd of your servants—
Daughter, now this Cavalier is gone, What occasion brought you out so late? I know what you would say, That it is Melancholy; a Tincture of the Hypocondriaque you mean: but, What cause have you for this Melancholy? give me your hand, and answer me without Ambages or Ambigui∣ties.
He will find out I have given away my Ring—I must prevent him—Sir, I am asham'd to confess it to you; but, in hope of your indulgence, I have lost the Table Dia∣mond you gave me.
You would say, The fear of my displeasure has caus'd this perturbation in you; well, do not disquiet your self too much, you say 'tis gone; I say so too. 'Tis stollen; and that by some Thief I take it: but, I will go and consult the Astrologer immediately.
What have I done? to avoid one inconvenience, I have run into another: this Devil of an Astrologer will disco∣ver that Don Melchor has it.
When did you lose this Diamond? the minute and se∣cond I should know; but the hour will serve for the Degree ascending.
Sir, the precise time I know not; but, it was betwixt six and seven this evening, as near as I can guess.
'Tis enough; by all the Stars I'll have it for you: Therefore go in, and suppose it on your finger.
I'll watch you at a distance, Sir, that my Englishman may have wherewithall to answer you——
This melancholy wherewith my Daughter laboureth, is—a—I know what I would say, is a certain spe∣cies of the Hysterical Diseases; or a certain motion, cau∣sed by a certain appetite, which at a certain time heaveth in her, like a certain motion of an Earthquake—
This is the place, and very near the time that Theodo∣sia appoints her meeting with Don Melchor. He is this night otherwise dispos'd of with Aurelia: 'Tis but trying my for∣tune to tell her of his Infidelity, and my love. If she yields she makes me happy; if not, I shall be sure Don Melchor has not planted the Armes of Spain in the Fort before me. How∣ever, I'll push my Fortune as sure as I am an English∣man.
Sennor Ingles, I know your voice, though I cannot per∣fectly discern you.
How the Devil come he to cross me?
I was just coming to have ask'd another Favour of you.
Without Ceremony command me, Sir.
My Daughter Theodosia has lost a fair Diamond from her finger, the time betwixt six and seven this evening; now I desire you, Sir, to erect a Scheme for it, and if it be lost, or stollen, to restore it to me—This is all, Sir.
There is no end of this old Fellow; thus will he baite me from day to day, till my ignorance be found out.—
Now is he casting a Figure by the Art of Memory, and making a Judgment of it to himself. This Astrology is a very mysterious speculation—
'Tis a madness for me to hope I can deceive him longer. Since then he must know I am no Astrologer, I'll discover it my self to him, and blush once for all—
Well, Sir, and what do the Stars hold forth? What sayes nimble Master Mercury to the matter?
Sir, not to keep you longer in ignorance, I must ingeni∣ously declare to you that I am not the man for whom you take me. Some smattering in Astrology I have; which my Friends, by their indiscretion, have blown abroad, beyond my intenti∣ons. But, you are not a person to be impos'd on like the vulgar: therefore, to satisfie you in one word, my skill goes not farr enough to give you knowledge of what you desire from me.
You have said enough, Sir, to perswade me of your Science, if Fame had not publish'd it, yet this very humility of yours were enough to confirm me in the beliefe of it.
Death, you make me mad, Sir: Will you have me Swear? As I am a Gentleman, a man of the Town, one who wears good Cloathes, Eates, Drinks, and Wenches abundant∣ly; I am a damn'd ignorant, and senceless Fellow.
How now Gentlewoman—What, Are you go∣ing to reliefe by Moonshine?
I was going on a very charitable Office, to help a Friend that was gravell'd in a very doubtful business.
Some good newes, Fortune, I beseech thee.
But now I have found this learned Gentleman, I shall make bold to propound a Question to him from a Lady.
I will have my own Question first resolv'd.
O, Sir, 'tis from a Lady—
If you please, Sir, I'll tell it in your eare——My Lady has given Don Melchor the Ring; in whose company her Father found her but just now at the Garden door.
Come to me to morrow, and you shall receive an answer—
Your Servant, Sir,——
Sir, I shall take it very unkindly if you satisfie any other, and leave me in this perplexity.
Sir, if my knowledge were according—
No more of that, Sir, I beseech you.
Perhaps I may know something by my Art concerning it; but, for your quiet, I wish you would not press me.
Do you think I am not Master of my Passions?
Since you will needs know what I would willingly have conceal'd, the person who has your Diamond, is he whom you saw last in your Daughters company.
You would say 'tis Don Melchor de Guzman. Who, the Devil would have suspected him of such an action? But he is of a decay'd Family, and poverty it seems has inforc'd him to it: now I think on't better he has e'en stoln it for a fee to bribe his Lawyer; to requite a lye with a theft; I'll seek him out, and tell him part of my mind before I sleep.
So, once more I am at liberty: but this Astrologie is so troublesome a Science—would I were well rid on't.
Astrologie does he say? O Cavalier is it you; not find∣ing you at home I came on purpose to seek you out: I have a small request to the Stars by your mediation.
Sir, for pity let 'em shine in quiet a little; for what for Ladies and their Servants, and younger Brothers, they scarce get a Holy-day in a twelvemoneth.
Pray pardon me, if I am a little curious of my destiny, since all my happiness depends on your answer.
Well, Sir, what is it you expect?
To know whether my love to a Lady will be succesful.
'Tis Aurelia he means—
But what hope for me?
The Stars have partly assur'd me you shall be happy, if you acquaint her with your passion, and with the double dealing of your friend, who is false to her.
You speak like an Oracle. But I have engag'd my pro∣mise to that friend to serve him in his passion to my Mistress.
We English seldom make such scruples; Women are not compris'd in our Laws of friendship: they are ferae naturae; our common game, like Hare and Patridge: every man has equal right to them, as he has to the Sun and Elements.
Must I then betray my friend?
In that case my friend is a Turk to me, if he will be so barbarous as to retain two women to his private use; I will be Page 62 factious for all distressed Damsels; who would much rather have their cause try'd by a full Jury, then a single Judge.
Well, Sir, I will take your counsel; and if I erre, the fault be on love and you.—
Were it not for love I would run out of the Town, that's the short on't; for I have engag'd my self in so many pro∣mises for the Sun and Moon, and those little minc'd-meats of 'em, that I must hide before my day-of-payment comes. In the mean time I forget Theodosia; but now I defie the Devil to hin∣der me.
What rudeness is this?
Madam Aurelia, is it you?
The same, Madam.
My Unkle told me he left you here: and indeed I came hither to complain of you: for you have treated me so inhu∣manely that I have some reason to resent it.
What occasion can I have given you for a com∣plaint?
Don Melchor, as I am inform'd by my Uncle, is effective∣ly at Madrid: so that it was not his Idea, but himself in per∣son whom I saw: and since you knew this, why did you con∣ceal it from me?
When I spoke with you I knew it not: but I discover'd it in the erecting of my figure. Yet if instead of his Idea I constrain'd himself to come, in spight of his resolution to re∣main conceal'd, I think I have shown a greater effect of my art then what I promis'd.
I render my self to so convincing an argument: but by over-hearing a discourse just now betwixt my Cousin Theodosia and her Maid, I find that he has conceal'd himself upon her account, which has given me jealousie to the last point; for to avow an incontestable truth, my Cousin is furiously handsome.
Madam, Madam, trust not your ears too far; she talk'd on purpose that you might hear her: but I assure you the true cause of Don Melchor's concealment, was not love of her, but Page 63 jealousie of you: he staid in private to observe your actions: build upon't Madam, he is inviolably yours.
Then will he sacrifice my Cousin to me?
'Tis furiously true Madam.
O most agreeable assurance!
Albricias Madam, for my good news; Don Melchor is coming this way; I know him by his voice; but he is in com∣pany with another person.
It will not be convenient to give him any umbrage by seeing me with another person; therefore I will go before; do you stay here and conduct him to my Appartment. Good-night Sir.
I have promis'd Don Lopez he shall possess her; and I have promis'd her she shall possess Don Melchor: 'tis a little difficult I confess, as to the Matrimonial part of it: but if Don Melchor will be civil to her, and she be civil to Don Lopez, my credit is safe without the benefit of my Clergie. But all this nothing to Theodosia.
Don Melchor, a word in private.
Your pleasure, Lady; Sir, I will wait on you immedi∣ately.
I am sent to you from a fair Lady, who bears you no ill will. You may guess whom I mean.
Not by my own merits, but by knowing whom you serve: but I confess I wonder at her late strange usage when she fled from me.
That was only a mistake; but I have now, by her com∣mand, been in a thousand places in quest of you.
You overjoy me.
And where amongst the rest do you think I have been looking you?
Pray refresh my memory.
In that same street, by that same shop; you know where by a good token.
By what token?
Just by that shop where, out of your nobleness, you promis'd me a new Silk Gown.
O, now I understand you.
Not that I press you to a performance—
Take this, and please your self in the choice of it—
Nay, dear Sir, now you make me blush; in faith I—am asham'd—I swear 'tis only because I would keep something for your sake.—But my Lady expects you immedeiately in her Appartment.
I'll wait on her if I can possibly—
Sir, I beg your pardon for this rudeness in leaving you.
I cannot possibly resolve with my self to tell him openly he is a thief; but I'll guild the pill for him to swallow.
I believe he has discover'd our amour: how he sur∣veys me for a Son in law!
Sir, I am sorry for your sake, that true nobility is not alwayes accompanied with riches to support it in it's lustre.
You have a just exception against the Caprichiousness of destiny; yet if I were owner of any noble qualities, (which I am not) I should not much esteem the goods of fortune.
But pray conceive me, Sir, your father did not leave you flourishing in wealth.
Only a very fair Seat in Andalusia, with all the pleasures imaginable about it: that alone, were my poor deserts accord∣ing, which I confess they are not, were enough to make a wo∣man happy in it.
But give me leave to come to the point I beseech you, Sir. I have lost a Jewel which I value infinitely, and I hear it is in your possession: but I accuse your wants, not you, for it.
Your Daughter is indeed a Jewel, but she were not lost, were she in possession of a man of parts.
A pretious Diamond Sir.—
But a man of honor, Sir.
I know what you would say, Sir, that a man of honor is not capable of an unworthy action; but therefore I do not accuse you of the theft, I suppose the Jewel was only put into your hands.
By honorable wayes I assure you Sir.
Sir, Sir, will you restore my Jewel?
Will you please, Sir, to give me leave to be the unwor∣thy possessor of her? I know how to use her with that re∣spect.—
I know what you would say, Sir, but if it belongs to our Family; otherwise I assure you it were at your service.
As it belongs to your Family I covet it; not that I plead my own deserts, Sir.
Sir, I know your deserts; but, I protest I cannot part with it: for, I must tell you, this Diamond Ring was original∣ly my Great Grandfathers.
A Diamond Ring, Sir, do you mean?—
By your patience, Sir, when I have done you may speak your pleasure. I onely lent it to my Daughter; but, how she lost it, and how it came upon your Finger, I am yet in tenebris.
I know it, Sir; but spare your self the trouble, I'll speak for you; you would say you had it from some other hand; I believe it, Sir.
I warrant you, Sir, Ile bring you off without your speak∣ing; from another hand you had it; and now Sir, as you say, Sir, and as I am saying for you, Sir, you are loath to part with it.
Good Sir,—let me—
I understand you already, Sir, that you have taken a fancy to it, and would buy it; but, to that I answer as I did before, that it is a Relique of my family: now, Sir, if you can urge ought farther, you have liberty to speak without interrup∣tion.
This Diamond you speak on I confess—
But, What need you confess, Sir, before you are ac∣cus'd?
You promis'd you would hear me in my turn, Sir, but—
But, as you were saying, it is needless, because I have already spoken for you.
The truth is, Sir, I was too presumptuous to take this Pledge from Theodosia without your knowledge; but, you will pardon the invincible necessity, when I tell you—
You need not tell me, I know your necessity was the reason of it, and that place and opportunity have caus'd your error.
This is the goodest old man I ever knew; he prevents me in my motion for his Daughter. Since, Sir, you know the cause of my errors, and are pleas'd to lay part of the blame up∣on Youth and Opportunity; I beseech you favour me so far, to accept me as fair Theodosia already has—.
I conceive you, Sir, that I would accept of your ex∣cuse: why restore the Diamond and 'tis done.
More joyfully then I receiv'd it: and with it I beg the honour to be receiv'd by you as your Son in Law.
My Son in Law! this is the most pleasant Proposition I ever heard.
I am proud you think it so; but, I protest I think not I deserve this honor.
Nor I, I assure you, Sir; marry my daughter—ha, ha, ha.
I know what you would say, Sir, that there is too much hazard in the Profession of a Thief, and therefore you would Marry my Daughter to become rich, without venturing your Neck for't. I beseech you, Sir, steal on, be apprehended, and if you please, be hang'd, it shall make no breach betwixt us. For my part, I'll keep your Counsel, and so good night, Sir.
Is the Devil in this old man, first to give me occasion to confess my Love, and, when he knew it, to promise he would Page 67 keep my Counsel? But, Who are these? I'll not be seen; but to my old appointment with Theodosia, and desire her to un∣riddle it—
But, Madam, Do you take me for a man of Ho∣nour?
Why there's it; if you had, I would have sworn that my Master has neither done nor intended you any injury; I suppose you'll grant he knew you in your disguise?
Nay, to know her, and use her so, is an aggravation of his Crime.
Unconscionable Beatrix! Would you two have all the Carnival to your selves? He knew you, Madam, and was resolv'd to countermine you in all your Plots. But, when he saw you so much piqued, he was too good natur'd to let you sleep in wrath, and sent me to you to disabuse you: for, if the business had gone on till to morrow, when Lent begins, you would have grown so peevish (as all good Catholicks are with fasting) that the quarrel would never have been ended.
Well; this mollifies a little: I am content he shall see me.
But, that you may be sure he knew you, he will bring the Certificate of the Purse along with him.
I shall be glad to find him innocent.
No mortal man ever threw out so often. It could not be me, it must be the Devil that did it: he took all the Chances, and chang'd 'em after I had thrown 'em: but, I'le be even with him; for, I'll never throw one of his Dice more.
Madam, 'tis certainly my Master; and he is so zea∣lous to make his peace, that he could not stay till I call'd him to you—Sir.
Sirrah, I'll teach you more manners then to leave me another time: you Rogue, you have lost me two hundred Pi∣stolls, you and the Devil your accomplice; you, by leaving me to myself, and he by tempting me to Play it off.
Is the wind in that door? here's like to be fine do∣ings.
Oh mischiefe! am I fallen into her ambush? I must face it out with another quarrel.—
Your man has been treating your Accommodation; 'tis half made already.
I, On your part it may be.
He sayes you knew me.
Yes; I do know you so well, that my poor heart akes for't: I was going to bed without telling you my mind; but, upon consideration I am come.
To bring the Money with you.
To declare my grievances, which are great, and many.
Well, for impudence, let thee alone.
As in the first place—
I'll hear no Grievances; Where's the Money?
I; keep to that, Madam.
Do you think me a person to be so us'd?
We will not quarrel; Where's the Money?
By your favour we will quarrel.
I am angry, and can hear nothing.
Money, Money, Money, Money.
Do you think it a reasonable thing to put on two dis∣guises in a Night, to tempt a man? (Help me, Maskal, for I want Arguments abominably) I thank Heaven I was never so barbarously us'd in all my life.
He begins to anger me in good earnest.
A thing so much against the Rules of Modesty: so undecent a thing.
I, so undecent a thing: nay, now I do not wonder at my self for being angry. And then to wonder I should love her in those disguises? to quarrel at the natural desires of hu∣mane Page 69 kind, assaulted by powerful temptations; I am inrag'd at that—
Heyday! you had best quarrel too for my bringing you the Money!
I have a grudging to you for't: (Maskall, the Money, Maskall; now help or we are gone.)
Would she offer to bring Money to you? first to af∣front your poverty——
I; to affront my poverty. But, that's no great mat∣ter; and then—
And then, to bring you Money (I stick fast, Sir.)
(Forward, you Dog, and invent, or I'll cut your throat;) and then as I was saying, to bring me Mo∣ney—
Which is the greatest and most sweet of all tempta∣tions; and to think you could resist it: being also aggravated by her handsomeness who brought it.
Resist it? no; I would she would understand it, I know better what belongs to flesh and blood then so.
This is plain confederacie; I smoak it; he came on purpose to quarrel with you; break first with him and prevent it.
If it be come to that once, the Devill take the hind∣most; I'll not be last in love; for that will be a dishonour to my Sex.
Hold Sir; there needs no more: you shall fall out; and I'll gratifie you with a new occasion: I only try'd you in hope you would be false; and rather than fail of my design, brought gold to bribe you to't.
As people when they have an ill bargain, are content to lose by't, that they may get it off their hands.
Beatrix, while our principals are engag'd, I hold it not for our honor to stand idle.
With all my heart: please you let us draw off to some other ground.
I dare meet you on any Spot, but one.
I think we shall do well to put it to an issue; this is Page 70 the last time you shall ever be troubled with my addresses.
The favour had been greater to have spar'd this too.
Beatrix, let us dispatch; or they'll break off before us.
Break as fast as thou wilt, I am as brittle as thou art for thy heart.
Because I will absolutely break off with you, I will keep nothing that belongs to you: therefore take back your Picture, and your Handkerchief.
I have nothing of yours to keep; therefore take back your liberal promises. Take 'em in imagination.
Not to be behind hand with you in your frumps, I give you back your Purse of Gold: take you that—in imagina∣tion.
To conclude with you, take back your oathes and pro∣testations; they are never the worse for the wearing I assure you: therefore take 'em, spick and span new, for the use of your next Mistress.
Beatrix, follow your leader; here's the sixpenny whittle you gave me, with the Mutton haft: I can spare it, for knives are of little use in Spain.
There's your Cizars with the stinking brass chain to 'em: 'tis well there was no love betwixt us; for they had been too dull to cut it.
There's the dandriffe Comb you lent me.
There's your ferret Ribbaning for garters.
I would never have come so near as to have taken 'em from you.
For your Letter I have it not about me; but upon re∣putation I'll burn it.
And for yours, I have already put it to a fitting im∣ployment.—Courage, Sir; how goes the battel on your wing?
Just drawing off on both sides. Adieu Spain.
Farewel old England.
Come away in Triumph; the day's your own Madam.
I'll bear you off upon my shoulders, Sir; we have broke their hearts.
Let her go first then; I'll stay, and keep the honor of the Field.
I'll not retreat, if you stay till midnight.
Are you sure then we have done loving?
Yes, very sure; I think so.
'Tis well you are so; for otherwise I feel my stomack a little maukish. I should have doubted another sit of love were coming up.
No, no; your inconstancy secures you enough for that.
That's it which makes me fear my own returning: nothing vexes me, but that you should part with me so slight∣ly, as though I were not worth your keeping; well, 'tis a sign you never lov'd me.
'Tis the least of your care whether I did or did not: it may be it had been more for the quiet of my self, if I—but 'tis no matter, I'll not give you that satisfaction.
But what's the reason you will not give it me?
For the reason that we are quite broke off.
Why are we quite broke off?
Why are we not?
Well, since 'tis past, 'tis past; but a pox of all fool∣ish quarrelling for my part.
And a mischief of all foolish disguisements for my part.
But if it were to do again with another Mistress, I would e'en plainly confess I had lost my money.
And if I had to deal with another Servant, I would learn more wit then to tempt him in disguises: for that's to throw a Venice-glass to the ground, to try if it would not break.
If it were not to please you, I see no necessity of our parting.
I protest I do it only out of complaisance to you.
But if I should play the fool and ask you pardon, you would refuse it.
No, never submit, for I should spoil you again with pardoning you.
Do you hear this, Beatrix? they are just upon the Page 72 point of accommodation; we must make haste or they'll make a peace by themselves; and exclude us from the Treaty.
Declare your self the Aggressor then; and I'll take you into mercy.
The worst that you can say of me is that I have lov'd you thrice over.
The prime Articles between Spain and England are seal'd; for the rest concerning a more strict alliance; if you please we'll dispute them in the Garden.
But in the first place let us agree on the Article of Navigation I beseech you.
These Leagues offensive and defensive will be too strict for us, Maskall: a Treaty of commerce will serve our turn.
With all my heart; and when our loves are veering, We'll make no words, but fall to privateering.
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.