A true widow a comedy acted by the Duke's servants
Shadwell, Thomas, 1642?-1692., Dryden, John, 1631-1700.

ACT IV.

Enter Carlos, Theodosia, Prigg, La. Cheatly Maggot, L•… Busy, Bellamore, Isabella, Stanmore, Gartrude, Young Maggot, and Selfish, and others coming into the Play-house, seating themselves. The Scene, The Play-house.
Isab.

BY being masqued, I shall observe Bellamore's Actions.

Gart.

Now no Body will know me; they'll take me for you in this Petticoat.

Page  48
Isab.

If you hold your Tongue, Sister; but that makes a great dif∣ference betwixt us.

Gart.

Ay; but I'll whisper, and they shall not know my voice.

Isab.

But they'll soon discover your sence.

Car.

My dear Mistress, since you accept my service, I am resolv'd to ply you so, that I must win at last.

Theod.

You are very resolute, and shall find me so; you think to go on like the French King; we shall have you do as he does by a Town in Flanders, set a day when you will take it.

Car.

I hope to corrupt you within with Love, and make my con∣quest the easier.

Bell.

I wonder Isabella is not here, Stanmore; I am so damnably in Love, I am afraid thou'lt never own me; I am a very Recreant.

Stan.

My Mistress is not here neither; her folly has a little cool'd my Lov•…; but I have a most abominable lust to her, the wiser passion of the two, and no despair: Though that Rogue Selfish has her Mind, I do not doubt but to get her Body, which is worth two of it for my use.

Yo. Mag.

I wonder pretty Mrs. Gartrude is not here.

Self.

I am amaz'd at it; for she knew I was to come.

A great knocking at the Door. Enter Door-keeper.
Car.

How now! What means that knocking?

Door-keep.

Sir, Ladies and several Gentlemen knock to get in.

Car.

Let the Ladies in for nothing, but make the Men pay.

[Ex. Door-keeper.
Prig.

Had you ever such a Chaplain? I was so disguis'd, he could not suspect me; methinks I dispatch'd the business as well, as if I had been used to be married my self.

L. Cheat.

'Twas very well, I have since gotten my Deeds from him; and because he was a main Witness to many of my Bonds, and Mort∣gages, I have made him swear to 'em all before a Master in Chancery, upon pretence that when it should be known he was my Husband, his testimony would not be good.

Prig.

Ha! ha! ha! This was the prettiest invention, and will make well for us. But where is the Fool?

L. Cheat.

There is a Kinsman of mine going for the Indies, I sent him to him with an hundred pound for a Venture, and have taken care he shall not come back again; for he'll clap him under Hatches, carry him away, and sell him for a Rogue as he is; he say•…s this Tide.

Several more come in, Women m•…k'd, and Men of several sorts. Several young Coxcombs fool with the Orange-Women.
Page  49
Orange-Wo.

Oranges; Will you have any Oranges?

1 Bull.

What Play do they play? some confounded Play or other.

Prig.

A Pox on't, Madam! what should we do at this damn'd Play-house? Let's send for some Cards, and play at Lang-trilloo in the Box: Pox on'em! I ne'r saw a Play had any thing in't; some of 'em have Wit now and then, but what care I for Wit.

Self.

Does my Cravat sit well? I take all the care I can it should; I love to appear well. What Ladies are here in the Boxes? really I never come to a Play, but upon account of seeing the Ladies.

Car.

Door-keeper, Are they ready to begin?

Door-keep.

Yes, immediately.

Self.

Now you shall see the Ladies make up to me; where e•…re I am, they flock about me: I think I am one of the happiest Men on Earth; I thank Heaven every day for making me just as I am, Bella∣more.

Bell.

That's Isabella, I am sure, I know the Petticoat; what a De∣vil makes her talk to that Rogue?

[Gartrude chuses to sit by Selfish.
Yo. Mag.

You'll find it an admirable Plot; there's great force and fire in the writing; so full of business, and trick, and very fashion∣able; it pass'd through my hands; some of us helpt him in it.

1 Bull.

Dam'me! When will these Fellows begin? Plague on't! here's a staying.

2 Man.

Whose Play is this?

3 Man.

One Prickett's, Poet Prickett.

1 Man.

Oh hang him! Pox on him! he cannot write; prithee let's to White-hall.

Y. Mag.

Not write, Sir? I am one of his Patrons; I know the Wits don't like him; but he shall write with any of 'em all for an hundred pound.

Prig.

Ay that he shall. They say, he puts no Wit in his Plays, but 'tis all one for that, they do the business; he is my Poet too; I hate Wit.

Enter several Ladies, and several Men.
Door-keep.

Pray, Sir, pay me, my Masters will make me pay it.

3 Man.

Impudent-Rascal! Do you ask me for Money? Take that, Sirrah.

2 Door-keep.

Will you pay me, Sir?

4 Man.

No: I don't intend to stay.

Page  50
2 Door-keep.

So you say •…very day, and see two or three Acts for no∣thing.

4 Man.

I'll break your Head, you Rascal.

1 Door-keep.

Pray, Sir, pay me.

3 Man

Set it down, I have no Silver about me, or bid my Man pay you.

Theod.

What, do Gentlemen run on tick for Plays?

Car.

As familiarly as with their Taylors?

3 Door keep.

Pox on you, Sirrah! go, and bid 'em begin quickly.

[Ex. Door keeper.
They play the Curtain-time, then take their places.
Car.

Now they ll begin.

[Selfish and Young Maggot go to sit down.
Y. Mag.

Don't come to us; let you Wits sit together.

Prig.

These Fellows will be witty, and trouble us; go to your Bro∣ther Wits, and make a noise among your selves, Brother Wits.

[They go on the other s•…de.
Self.

I am always hated by the Fools; but I think it rather out of envy than malice.

Bell.

Faith! you shan't sit by us.

Stan.

Gentlemen, Do not mistake your selves, for you are no Wits, though y'are Poets, and we will not own you of our Party.

Yo. Mag.

This is meer envy against us Writers, Selfish.

Self.

It is so: I for my part will throw my self at a Lady's feet, play with her Fan, and fan her gently with it.

The Play begins.
Enter Lover and Wife.
Lover.

Dear Madam, Let us not omit any occasion; but take every opportunity by the hand, to improve those Amours, which have ren∣dred us so happy, to be elevated above the reach of Envy.

Wife.

Sir, I should not entertain a thought, that might in any wise be prejudicial to our Amours, or the improvement thereof, if I were not so extremely obnoxious to the great infelicity of being subject to a Husband, whose Jealousie has so much the Ascendant over him, that it renders him so vigilant, not seldom to interrupt our happiest hours.

Lover.

That turbulent temper does too often disorder the fair quiet of his own mind, as well as discompose ours; and Jealous•…e proves as often an obstruction to his own tranquillity, as it does an impediment to our fruition.

Wife.

It is a priviledge too absolutely imperious (which by a seem∣ing Page  51 Conjugal right) our Husbands claim over us, to make so subtil a scrutiny into all our enterprizes, since they, with too great a regret∣entertain the least motion of ours, whereby we would insinuate into their Affairs.

Lover.

But since Fortune (by so many frequent Signalizations) has demonstrated how much she is a friend to us, in assisting us with so ma∣ny Subterfuges, when most we have needed them, it will be a hainous tergiversation from her, to abandon that trust we formerly have repo∣sed in her, and she may justly take a Picque at our infidelity, and, in that Caprice, may contrive a revenge sutable to our delinquency.

Wife.

Rather Fortune may be apt to believe us too audacious, in tempting her with so much importunity, that it must needs be more vexatious than agreeable; and while we make such vigorous addresses to another Deity, for ought we know, Love may wax jealous of our Applications to it: For though he's blind, he can descry, and will greatly resent our Dereliction; and, when he is incensed, his Nature is highly vindicative.

Lover.

When Fortune takes such pains to assist us in our Amours, Love will certainly be very sensible of our Omission; and when he is once provok'd, he seldom buries Injuries in the grave of Oblivion.

Theod.

This is very lewd Stuff: Is this the new way of Writing?

Car.

A Man would think these Lovers in Plays did not care a far∣thing for one another, when they find nothing to do but to be florid, and talk impertinently when they are alone.

Yo. Mag.

This is a very strong, sinewy, and correct Style, and yet neat, and florid.

Self.

I have taught 'em all this way of Writing; I always strive to write like a Gentleman, so easie, and well bred.

Prig.

These are very good Lines, faith.

Y. Mag.

Nay, 'tis admirably worded, that's the truth on't:

1 Man.

Dam'me! I don't like it.

2 Man.

Pox on the Coxcomb that writ it! there's nothing in't.

1 Man.

God I love Drums, and Trumpets, and much ranting, roar∣ing, huffing, and fretting, and good store of noise in a Play.

Lover.

I have sufficiently confuted all your Argumentation; and no∣thing then remains, but that I should humbly petition to hold the Ho∣nour of your fair Embraces.

Wife.

The Motion is so civil, and savours so much of a sincere Af∣fection, that I can no longer resist it.

Lover.

Let us retire.

Wife.

Come.

[Ex. Lover and Wife.
Page  52
Bell.

So: now they are come to the Matter in hand: But here comes the Husband.

The Husband knocks at the Door, and turns his back. The Lover kicks him several times, and retires:
Yo. Mag.

Now it begins to warm; 'tis an admirable Plot.

Self.

Bellamore, See how kind the Ladies are to me: Pretty Rogue! Let me repose my Head in thy soft Bosom.

Bell.

'S death! What's this? She will not speak to me, yet suffers that familiarity with that Rascal, as if it were on purpose to provoke me.

Car.

Why does not the Fool look where the Blows come?

Theod.

Oh! that would spoyl the Plot.

Husband.

This must be the Devil that strikes me: Some whoring Rogue or other is gotten with my Wife, and the Devil pimps for him; but I have a Key to a Back-door, and will surprize him.

[Ex. Husband.
Stan.

I cannot find my Mistress; but I'll divert my self with a Vizard in the mean time.

1 Man.

What, not a word? all over in disguise: Silence for your Folly, and a Vizard for your ill Face.

2 Man to a Vizard.

Gad! some Whore, I warrant you, or Chamber-maid, in her Lady's old Cloaths.

[He sits down, and lolls in the Orange-wench's Lap.
3 Man.

She must be a Woman of quality; she has right Point.

4 Man.

Faith! she earns all the Cloaths on her Back by lying on't; some Punk lately turn'd out of Keeping, her Livery not quite worn out.

Isah.

I deserve this by coming in a Masque; and if I should now dis∣cover my self, 'twould make a Quarrel.

Prig.

You shall see what tricks I'll play; faith! I love to be merry.

[Raps people on the Backs, and twirls their Hats, and then looks demurely, as if he did not do it.
Enter two Lovers, and Wife.
2 Lover.

Have I catcht them? I was jealous of this before; but now I will make further discovery.

[2 Lover goes under the Table.
1 Lover.

In verity it savours of Incivility, to interrupt our Joys in the middle of our Felicity; but since the barbarous Intruder is defeated, let us embrace the present occasion, which seems to court us.

Wife.

If any thing which I can do can felicitate you, you may com∣mand my Person.

2 Lover.

Oh damn'd Jade!

Page  53
Enter Husband.
The Husband falls over a Form, and breaks his Shins, and puts out the Candle.
Wife.

Oh God! my Husband.

1 Lover.

'S death! What shall we do?

Yo. Mag.

Now it thickens; an admirable Plot.

Husb.

Oh my Shins, my Shins!

Takes up the Candle, and blows it in again.
Wife.

'Tis as we wisht.

Yo. Mag.

There's a turn: Who would expect that? As great a turn as can be, from darkness to light: Can any thing be greater?

1 Lover.

Now we are undone again.

Husb.

Now tremble at my Vengeance, thou most perfidious Strum∣pet; for I will kill thee before thou prayest.

Wife.

What means my dearest Honey?

Husb.

Oh thou salacious Jade! Canst thou ask, when that stallion∣Rogue is there?

Wife.

What Rogue? Art thou mad? Here's no Body.

Husb.

No Body? Why, who's that? thou most lascivious Quean!

Wife.

Where?

Husb.

There.

Wife.

I see no Body; thou art distracted.

1 Lover.

How I adore her for her Wit.

Husb.

What Fellow's that, Huswife?

Wife.

Which? I see none.

Husb.

But I do; and have at him first.

Wife.

Hold, my Dear; if thou seest any Body, it is the Devil; and if thou strik'st it, it will tear thee in pieces.

Husb.

Are you mad? Do you see no Body there?

Wife.

No, Heaven knows, not I. Oh Heaven! the House is haunted: What does it look like?

Husb.

Oh Lord! it looks like a Man: hah! Methinks he has glaring Eyes: Oh! Oh! I see his cloven Foot; this is that that struck me just now: Oh Heaven help me!

Wife.

Oh help? I swound, I swound.

Husb.

Oh my dear Wife! Oh the Devil!

2 Lover.

Have I caught you, Sir?

[1 Lover goes under the Table.
2 Lover.

Since you have, for the Lady's sake, don't discover me.

Wife.

Oh! Is it there still my Dear?

Husb.

No, I think 'tis gone; hah! 'tis vanisht.

Yo. Mag.

Well, it concerns me so, Iam not able to bear it.

Husb.

My poor Dear! I have wrong'd thee; prithee forgive me.

Wife.

I am always abus'd thus by you; I am too honest.

Husb.

Prithee forgive me, I will never tax thee more; but I must change my House, if it be thus haunted.

Page  54
Wife.

I am afraid to live here any longer; do, my Dear.

Isab.

I see Bellamore minds no Woman but my foolish Sister (whom, I fear, he takes for me) yet she is so ridiculously fond of that Fool, that he cannot reasonably imagine I would be.

Self.

Do you not see how fond that pretty Creature is of me? I make no doubt but I shall enjoy her Person.

Bell.

Damnation on this Rascal! Can a Woman of so much Wit like him? Ill watch her; Women have odd, fantastick Appetites, and there's no trusting of 'em.

2 Lover.

Tis too apparent that she's false to me, and I'll revenge it, by discovering her to her Husband, for all her trick.

[They scussle under the
1 Lover.

I will cut your throat, if you offer it.

[Table, rise with it on
2 Lover.

Nay then, you Rascal, have at you.

[their Backs; the Table
Husb.

Oh villainous Woman! Are these Spi∣rits? Now I am convinc'd I know one Whore∣master too well to believe it.

[falls down; they draw
[their Swords, and fight.
[prig strikes a Bully over
1 Man.

Zounds you R•…gue! Do you play your tricks with me?

[the Back he takes it to be
[another, and strikes him.
2 Man.

Have at you, Dog.

[They fight; Bell. Stan.
Car.

Impudent Rascals! Have at you all.

[Car. beat the Bullies out
of the House; the Actors run off; Ladies run out shricking.
Self.

I will make good the Lady's Retreat.

[He retreats behind the Ladies, with his Sword drawn.
Bell.

Where is this Selfish gone? I must watch him and the La∣dy.

[Ex. Bellamore.
Car.

What Rascals and Cowards are these Bullies? Where are the Ladies? Boy, go out, and bid the Players go on.

Enter Theodosia and Isabella.

Oh Madam! I am asham'd of this disorder.

Theod.

Are you not hurt, Sir?

Car.

Only a little in the Hand.

Theod.

Come to morrow, and my shock Dog shall lick you whole. A Hurt in the Hand? Why, 'tis gotten with opening of Oysters, and cured with a Cobweb.

Car.

If you will but pity the Wounds you give your self, I'll ne'r complain to you of any other.

Isab.

Theodosia may affect ill Nature, which perhaps her Heart is no more guilty of than mine. But, I am sure, I am extremely troubled at your Hurt, and would not have you neglect it.

Car.

You are too obliging; 'tis slight, and worth neither of our cares.

Page  55
Gart.

Oh Lord! Mr. Carlos is hurt, I shall swoun: Oh dear Sir! my Heart went pit a pat all the while you were fighting.

Car.

That pretty Heart should only leap for joy.

La. Busy.

Sir, Pray let me be so happy, as to apply my white Oynt∣ment; 'tis very soveraign for a green Wound.

La. Cheat.

I have a Balsom that never fails, and I were most unhappy, if one I esteem so well, should miscarry for want of it.

Theod.

Here's a doe about a slight Hurt; a Butcher at the Bear Gar∣den makes nothing of forty such: I would have the Sun shine through my Servant now and then.

Car.

You would have one serve you as they do a Mountebank, to be run through for him.

Isab.

I cannot rest till I see if Bellamore be wounded.

[Ex. Isab.
Enter one of the Actors.
Actor.

Sir, We cannot go on with our Play, one of our young Wo∣men being frighted with the Swords, is fallen into a Fit, and carried home sick.

Car.

Boy, Go and find the Company; I have prepar'd an Entertain∣ment upon the Stage; we'll have an Entry, a Song, or some Musick; there is no loss of the Play; this Prickett can write none but Low E•…rce, and his Fools are rather odious than ridiculous.

Theod.

You are once in the right.

Car.

My cruel Mistress! You see I had some Favour from every one but your self.

Theod.

I believe it has cost you five pound in penny gleek, to get the good Will of the old Ladies; and the hopes of Marriage has prevall∣ed upon the young ones.

Car.

I was never so serious as that comes to, with any but yourself.

Theod.

No more of this; I accept your Entertainment.

The Scene changes to the Stage and Scenes.
Enter Selfish and Gartrude▪
Self.

Now if your Love has any resolution, you may enjoy me, and mal•…e your self the happiest Lady in Town, and please me too.

Gart.

Indeed you are so well bred, and so much a Gentleman, the Ladies cannot but love you.

Self.

I have no reason to complain.

Gart.

And then you dress so finely.

Self.

Indeed most young Fellows when they come to Town, dress at me: But, pretty Creature, let us retire.

Page  56
Gart.

What you please, dear Sir, if you'll be civil.

Self.

Pr•…tty Soul! how she loves me? I am a Rogue to be false to these poor Creatures: While they divert themselves with the vulgar Enter∣tainments of Musick and Dancing, I will steal the happiest minute that Love and Beauty can afford.

Gart.

You shall not need to steal, I'll give you any thing: But will you make a Song on me?

Self.

Thou shalt be my Chloris, my Phyllis, Coelia, my All: Let's away my Dear.

[Ex. Selfish and Gartrude.
Enter Bellamore.
Bell.

Whither is that Rascal carrying Isabella? She must do this on purpose to make me mad; for I can never believe she can like Selfish. I'll follow.

[Ex. Bell.
Enter Stanmore and Isabella.
Stan.

Well, You must be my Mistress; my Heart beats, and I have a thousand Disorders upon me, which none but she can cause.

Isab.

It beats a false Alarm for once; you see I am not she, but she is some-where behind the Scenes; pray go, and look after her.

[Ex. Stan.
Enter Carlos and Theodosia.
Theod.

Prithee pull off thy Mask, and conceal thy self no longer.

Isab.

Do not discover me. I hear Bellamore keeps a Player; I am resolved to watch him, and see if I can make any Discovery.

Enter Lady Cheatly, Lady Busy, Prigg, and Maggot.
Mag.

Madam, Your Ladyship is so pester'd with this Gamester Prigg, that I cannot have time to talk with you.

L. Cheat.

I am so; and I have Business of great concernment, to confer with you about; wou'd I were rid of him.

Mag.

I'll have a trick for him.

Prig.

Sirrah Maggot! I will not suffer you to talk to my Lady; she is mine, you old Fool.

Mag.

Come out, you young Blockhead, and let our Swords try whose she is.

Prig.

Let's fight here; I would have my Mistress see how I put in my Pass, and what a yerk I give it.

Mag.

Thou o're-grown Coward!

L. Cheat.

Gentlemen, I must not suffer quarrelling before me; Mr. Prigg be more temperate.

Prig.

I will, Madam; though 'tis hard, when Love or Honour bids me draw.

Page  57
Enter Young Maggot.
Yo. Mag.

Gentlemen, Be not so much troubled, that the Play was interrupted by the Bullies; for I have a Poem about me, which I'll en∣tertain you with, that perhaps may be more agreeable; I will read it to you.

Car.

But first let's have a Dance.

Yo. Mag.

With all my Heart.

L. Cheat.

Do you hear, Carpenter? Can you make the Machine's Work? I shall have use of'em.

Carpent.

Yes, Madam.

L. Cheat.

Pray be ready when I give you Order: Do you hear? Thus. Let us all sit and see this Dance.

[An Entry of Clowns.
Enter Lump.
L. Cheat.

My Brother's here; what shall we do now?

Lump.

I am asham'd, Sister, of your Sin, and Vanity, and cannot in conscience let you alone in your evil ways. What makes you in this wicked place? this sink of sin? this house of Abominations? where wise men, and godly men are abus'd: It is great wickedness, and I cannot be silent; my zeal and wisdom will not let me be silent.

L. Cheat.

Brother, Have a little Breeding, as well as Zeal and Wis∣dom, and do not disturb the Gentlemen.

Lump.

I care not for Breeding; shall Zeal and Wisdom give place to that? I say, 'tis not lawful, 'tis sinful, 'tis abominable, to come under the Roof with these Hornets; there is Wit, flashy Wit stirring here; and I would as soon be in a Pest-house.

L. Cheat.

I must comply with those I have designs upon, for my For∣tune's sake, and for my Daughter's.

Lump.

That does something mollifie the sin; but it is too great, and I cannot bear it: Cannot you take religious Courses, in order to your design, and then you may serve Heaven and your self together? You are foolish, very foolish and have no method in you.

Car.

This Gentleman is going to read a pious Poem to us; pray do not interrupt him.

Lump.

Sir, I must interrupt him, I have a Call, a great Call to it; all Poetry is abominable, and all Wit is an Idol, a very Dagon, I will down with it; all the wise and godly Party of the Nation hate Wit.

Yo. Mag.

None but Fools hate Wit, and those that cannot think; for my part, I will venture my Blood in defence of Poetry.

Lump.

I will preach against it, while I have breath.

Yo. Mag.

Peace, Fool! I will read on.

Lump.

Sister, You shall not hear it; 'tis prophane, abominable, a

Page  58Grace-resisting, Soul-destroying, Conscience-choaking, most unutte∣rably Sin-nourishing thing, and I cannot bear it; I cannot suffer it.

Lady Cheatly whistles, two mock-Devils descend and fly up with Lump.

Murder, murder, What dost thou do, Satan? whither dost thou fly with me?

Yo. Mag.

This is very well: Ha! ha! ha! now I may read in quiet.

Prig.

Pray, my Dear, let's be going; I hate this Wit; I think Mr. Lump is in the right.

L. Cheat.

Sit but a while, and I'll go.

Yo. Mag.
[reads.
Beauty, thou great preserver of the World,
By which into dead Lumps quick life is hurl'd.
L. Cheat.

So, now I shall have time to speak with you.

[Ex. Mag. L. Cheatly, Lady Busy. Prigg and Young Maggot are carried up in their Chairs, and hang in the Air.
Prig.

Hold! hold! Murder! murder! What a Devil do you mean? My Dear! Honey! Where is my Lady? Madam! Madam!

Yo. Mag.

What can this mean? But hold, I'll read on, if you will. Beauty, thou great, &c.

[All go out, and leave 'em hanging.
Prig.

They are all gone; what shall I do? Pox on your Wit, Sirrah! This is your Wit, you damn'd Wit, you.

Yo. Mag.

You lye, Fool! 'tis a Wheadle, a Cross-bite of the Widow's.

Prig.

Oh you damn'd scribling, sensless, sing-Song Wit!

Yo. Mag.

Oh you damn'd, gaming, Jocky, hunting, Tennis-Fool!

Enter Bellamore.
Bell.

Hell, and Damnation! What have I seen? A Curse on all the Sex! Is this the Vertue she pretended to? To be lewd with so despica∣ble a Coxcomb as Selfish, so nauseous a Fellow! Death and Hell!

Prig.

Hark you, Bellamore: Prithee help me down.

Yo. Mag.

Pray let me down.

Bell.

Pox on you both!

Enter Selfish.
Self.

Ah Bellamore! I am the happiest Man, I think, that ever the Sun shin'd on: I have enjoy'd the prettiest Creature, just now, in a Room behind the Scenes: I cannot help telling of thee, because thou art my Friend; Faith! telling is half the pleasure to me; for I confess to thee, I think, we that are happy in Lady's Affections, make Love, as much for Vanity, as any thing else: You know the Lady.

Bell.

Damn the Dog.

[aside.

'Twas one of my Lady Cheatly's Daughters; which of'em was it?

Self.

Well, I can keep nothing from thee; it was one of 'em; but Page  59 upon your Honour keep it secret; guess which; they are both despe∣rately in Love with me, hah!

Bell.

Impudent Rascal and Coxcomb!

[He strikes him, then beats him with his Sword.
Self.

What ill Breeding is this? Are you distracted?

Isab.

Heaven! What's the matter? Hold, hold.

Bell.

Be gone, Rascal, or I'll run you through.

Self.

I will not be uncivil before a Lady, another time I shall call you to an account; an ill-bred Fellow!

[Ex. Selfish.
Isab.

What's the reason of this Quarrel?

Bell.

Here, Carpenter.

Carpent.

Here, Sir.

Bell.

Let down those Fools, and dispose of 'em, so they may not trouble us.

Prig.

So, this is well.

Yo. Mag.

Bellamore, I thank you.

[Carpenter lets 'em down and presently they sink down and roar out.
Bell.

You know too well the occasion of the Quarrel.

Isab.

What do you mean?

Bell.

Is all your pretence of Vertue come to this? and must my Love be thus rewarded?

Isab.

This rudeness of yours amazes me.

Bell.

'Tis I have cause to be amazed, to be refus'd the Favour, and you to grant it to that filthy Fool, Selfish; there's nothing but dissem∣bling, treachery, and ingratitude in your whole Sex.

Isab.

A Favour to Selfish? The Fool of all the World, I scorn and hate the most; but now I see you'll give me occasion to rank you with him.

Bell.

No, you shall never rank me with him; I scorn to be oblig'd to one, who is so free to lay out her self upon such an Ass.

Isab.

Has that •…ain Rascal lyed on me? and do you believe him?

Bell.

My Eyes will not lye, Madam; I will trust them; and though you have let down your Skirt, I know the Petticoat too well.

Isab.

Unworthy Man! I could stab thee for this Affront, but that thou art not worthy of a serious thought. Is this the Petticoat you mean? What has my foolish Sister done?

Bell.

How? this is not the Petticoat.

Enter Stanmore and Gartrude bare-faced.

Heaven and Earth! 'twas Gartrude, I see now.

Isab.

I scorn and hate thee for thy base susp•…ion, more than all Man∣kind.

Page  60
Bell.

Madam, I am a Dog, a Villain, not fit to live; kill me, for if you forgive me not, I'll do't my self.

Isab.

I ll never see thy odious Face again, do what thou wilt; fare∣wel base Man.

[Ex. Isabella.
Bell.

Hell and Devils! What has my Rashness brought me to?

[Ex. Bell.
Stan.

Pretty Miss! Be not so troubled; I have us'd thee kindly, very kindly.

Gart.

Kindly? Oh sad! I'll tell my Mother what you have done to me, so I will.

Stan.

Thou art not mad, Child! Prithee don't.

Gart.

But I was mad to let you be so uncivil, and I will tell her; here she is.

Enter La. Busy, La. Cheatly, and Maggot.
Stan.

S'heart! What a Fool she is? I'll not stand the brunt.

[Ex. Stan.
Mag.

Well, Madam, I'll dispatch the business, and wait on you again.

[Ex. Maggot.
Gart.

Oh Madam! what shall I do? what shall I do?

L. Cheat.

What's the Matter?

Gart.

I thought what 'twould come to; you charg'd me to be civil to Stanmore, and I am deflowr'd, so I am.

L. Cheat.

Oh Heaven! What did he ravish you?

Gart.

No; because you bid me be civil to him, I consented; I was afraid to anger you, Madam.

L. Cheat.

Civil? that was civil with a vengeance; let me come, I'll knock her on the head, filthy Creature.

L. Busy.

Hold, Madam; be wise, and make the best on't; let me alone to manage this Affair: Come, pretty Mrs. Gartrude, has he made no Settlement upon thee?

Gart.

He settled nothing but himself upon me, that I know.

L. Cheat.

No, that's the Plague; I knew there was no Settlement, if that had been done, it had been somewhat.

L. Busy.

Go to; be patient; let me alone; withdraw, good Madam, and trust me.

[Ex. L. Cheatly.
Enter Stanmore.

Com•… on, Mr. Stanmore, I must talk with you a little.

Stan.

Now for a wise Lecture.

L. Busy.

Look up, pretty Miss, come on.

Sir, My Lady Cheatly is a worthy Person, and of good quality; right—Mrs. Gartrude is a very pretty young Lady—true—nor is it fit my La∣dy (who has entertain'd you so often, and so nobly, in her house) should be abus'd—do you conceive me—nor is it fit that this pretty young thing should be injur'd—you understand me—

Page  61
Stan.

Your Ladyship speaks like an Oracle.

L. Busy.

Very good—this pretty thing, I understand, has been ve∣ry kind to you. Very well—

Stan.

Fie Miss! fie! tell tales out of School? if she has, I am sure, I was as kind as she could be for her heart.

L. Busy.

Very good—Come, I understand you—Ah what pleasure 'tis to lye by such a sweet Bed fellow! such pretty little swelling Breasts! such delicate black sparkling Eyes! such a fresh Complexion! such red powting Lips! and such a Skin! I say no more—in short, she would make a Husband very happy—Come, let it be so—and let no more words be made of this Matter.

Stan.

I'll do what I can to help her to one.

L. Busy.

Go to—that's well said—your self then be the Man—Oh how the Town will envy you the enjoyment of so fine a Lady!

Stan.

S'heart, Madam, what do you take me for? if you knew all, what need I marry for the Matter?

L. Busy.

Go to; she may make as good a Wife as can be for all that; have you not many Examples?

Stan.

No, Madam; I have made a Vow of Chastity that way, which I will never break.

L. Busy.

I would not my Lady should know this for the World, she would be reveng'd to the last degree: Let me tell you, you have been very uncivil.

Stan.

Faith, Madam! I think not.

Gart.

Yes, but you have been un•…ivil though, that you have.

L. Busy.

Go to—do you mind? Do you think a Family is to be dis∣honoured? is that like a Gentleman—nay, not but that humane frail∣ty must be pass'd by—for young people, when they meet, are apt and lyable—'tis confess'd—but then—ay what then?—why, your Gen∣tlemen and your worthy Persons strive to make it good: Very wel•…—but how is it to be made good? hum—why, either by Marriage, or Settlement.

Stan.

I have a private Reason must keep me from doing either.

L. Busy.

No, no, that won't pass: I know you are too much a Ge•…∣tleman; besides, you made me promise you would keep; and let me tell you, my Honour is concern'd in it, and I would not have my Ho∣nour touch'd for the World.

Stan.

I did not promise to keep for another, as I must if I keep her.

Gart.

You do not say true then.

L. Busy.

Fie, Mr. Stanmore, that you should say such an unge•…tile thing! Come, Miss, bear up, and do not cry: how can you endure Page  62 to see a young Lady's tears, and not melt: Come on; pretty Mi•…s, I am sure you will be kind, and constant to Mr. Stanmore, will you not?

Gart.

Yes, yes.

L. Busy.

Good. Why look you, Sir, I know you are a worthy Gen∣tleman, and will consider of a Settlement, such as befits a Gentlewoman.

Stan.

No, Madam: Selsish, this Evening, in a green Room, behind the Scenes, was before-hand with me; she ne'r tells of that: Can I love one that prostitutes her self to that Fellow?

L. Busy.

How's this?

Gart.

Oh sad, that you should say such a thing! I am sure, he will not say so for the World; would I might ne'r stir out of this place alive now, if I did.

Stan.

I had it from his own Mouth.

Gart.

O Lord, I ll be far enough, if you had! I'm sure, he's too fine a Gentleman, and too well bred, to tell such a grievous lye of a Lady; I am sure, he did not say so, that he did not.

Stan.

How she commends him?

L. Busy.

You know, Selfish is the vainest Fellow that ever was born; can you believe that Coxcomb? it is not generous.

Stan.

Shall I believe Bellamore's Eyes? He saw it: Good Madam, be pleas'd to forbear your Tricks upon me. Farewel, I hate the leavings of a Fool; I'll as soon eat the Meat he has chew'd, or wear his foul Lin∣nen after him. Adieu, good Madam.

[Ex. Stanmore.
L. Busy.

Now see what your Indiscretion has done; did I not tell you, Selfish would undo you?

Gart.

Oh what shall I do! what shall I do! Does your Ladyship think, you could not get Mr. Selfish to marry me? Oh! he's the prettyest Man; I could live and die with him.

L.Busy.

Go to; you will utterly ruine your self: Do you think, a Fellow that has been so base to boast of your Kindness, will marry you? Peace, I say; I will try another; Young Maggot shall be the Man.

Gart.

I can't abide him.

L.Busy.

I say, go to—you must marry him, if he will, and be glad on't too: Stanmore has forsaken you; Selfish can't keep you; your Mo∣ther will turn you out of doors, and you will starve. Come, come, along with me, and be better advis'd.

[Exeunt.
The End of the Fourth Act.