SCENE: The Street.
SILVIA and LUCY.
SILV. Will he not come, then?
LUCY. Yes, yes; come, I warrant
him, if you will go in and be ready to receive him.
SILV. Why did you not tell me? Whom mean
LUCY. Whom you should mean, Heartwell.
SILV. Senseless creature, I meant my Vainlove.
LUCY. You may as soon hope to
recover your own maiden-head as his love. Therefore,
e’en set your heart at rest, and in the name
of opportunity mind your own business. Strike
Heartwell home before the bait’s worn off the
hook. Age will come. He nibbled fairly
yesterday, and no doubt will be eager enough to-day
to swallow the temptation.
SILV. Well, since there’s
no remedy yet tell me for I would
know, though to the anguish of my soul, how did he
refuse? Tell me, how did he receive my letter in
anger or in scorn?
LUCY. Neither; but what was
ten times worse, with damned senseless indifference.
By this light I could have spit in his face.
Receive it! Why, he received it as I would one
of your lovers that should come empty-handed; as
a court lord does his mercer’s bill or a begging
dedication he received it as if ’t
had been a letter from his wife.
SILV. What! did he not read it?
LUCY. Hummed it over, gave you
his respects, and said he would take time to peruse
it but then he was in haste.
SILV. Respects, and peruse it!
He’s gone, and Araminta has bewitched him from
me. Oh, how the name of rival fires my blood.
I could curse ’em both; eternal jealousy attend
her love, and disappointment meet his. Oh that
I could revenge the torment he has caused; methinks
I feel the woman strong within me, and vengeance kindles
in the room of love.
LUCY. I have that in my head may make mischief.
SILV. How, dear Lucy?
LUCY. You know Araminta’s
dissembled coyness has won, and keeps him hers
SILV. Could we persuade him that she loves another
LUCY. No, you’re out;
could we persuade him that she dotes on him, himself.
Contrive a kind letter as from her, ’twould
disgust his nicety, and take away his stomach.
SILV. Impossible; ’twill never take.
LUCY. Trouble not your head.
Let me alone I will inform myself of what
passed between ’em to-day, and about it straight.
Hold, I’m mistaken, or that’s Heartwell,
who stands talking at the corner ’tis
he go get you in, madam, receive him pleasantly,
dress up your face in innocence and smiles, and dissemble
the very want of dissimulation. You know what
will take him.
SILV. ’Tis as hard to
counterfeit love as it is to conceal it: but I’ll
do my weak endeavour, though I fear I have not art.
LUCY. Hang art, madam, and trust
to nature for dissembling.
Man was by nature woman’s cully made:
We never are but by ourselves betrayed.
HEARTWELL, VAINLOVE and BELLMOUR following.
BELL. Hist, hist, is not that Heartwell going
VAIN. He’s talking to
himself, I think; prithee let’s try if we can
HEART. Why, whither in the devil’s
name am I agoing now? Hum let me
think is not this Silvia’s house,
the cave of that enchantress, and which consequently
I ought to shun as I would infection? To enter
here is to put on the envenomed shirt, to run into
the embraces of a fever, and in some raving fit, be
led to plunge myself into that more consuming fire,
a woman’s arms. Ha! well recollected, I
will recover my reason, and be gone.
BELL. Now Venus forbid!
HEART. Well, why do you not
move? Feet, do your office not one
inch; no, fore Gad I’m caught. There stands
my north, and thither my needle points. Now
could I curse myself, yet cannot repent. O thou
delicious, damned, dear, destructive woman!
S’death, how the young fellows will hoot me!
I shall be the jest of the town: nay, in two
days I expect to be chronicled in ditty, and sung
in woful ballad, to the tune of the Superannuated
Maiden’s Comfort, or the Bachelor’s Fall;
and upon the third, I shall be hanged in effigy, pasted
up for the exemplary ornament of necessary houses
and cobblers’ stalls. Death, I can’t
think on’t I’ll run into the
danger to lose the apprehension.
BELL. A very certain remedy,
probatum est. Ha, ha, ha, poor George,
thou art i’ th’ right, thou hast sold thyself
to laughter; the ill-natured town will find the jest
just where thou hast lost it. Ha, ha, how a’
struggled, like an old lawyer between two fees.
VAIN. Or a young wench between pleasure and
BELL. Or as you did to-day, when half afraid
you snatched a kiss from
VAIN. She has made a quarrel on’t.
BELL. Pauh, women are only angry
at such offences to have the pleasure of forgiving
VAIN. And I love to have the
pleasure of making my peace. I should not esteem
a pardon if too easily won.
BELL. Thou dost not know what
thou wouldst be at; whether thou wouldst have her
angry or pleased. Couldst thou be content to
VAIN. Could you be content to go to heaven?
BELL. Hum, not immediately,
in my conscience not heartily. I’d do a
little more good in my generation first, in order to
VAIN. Nor I to marry Araminta till I merit her.
BELL. But how the devil dost thou expect to
get her if she never yield?
VAIN. That’s true; but I would
BELL. Marry her without her consent; thou ’rt
a riddle beyond woman
[To them] SETTER.
Trusty Setter, what tidings? How goes the project?
SETTER. As all lewd projects
do, sir, where the devil prevents our endeavours with
BELL. A good hearing, Setter.
VAIN. Well, I’ll leave you with your engineer.
BELL. And hast thou provided necessaries?
SETTER. All, all, sir; the large
sanctified hat, and the little precise band, with
a swinging long spiritual cloak, to cover carnal knavery not
forgetting the black patch, which Tribulation Spintext
wears, as I’m informed, upon one eye, as a penal
mourning for the ogling offences of his youth; and
some say, with that eye he first discovered the frailty
of his wife.
BELL. Well, in this fanatic father’s habit
will I confess Laetitia.
SETTER. Rather prepare her for confession, sir,
by helping her to sin.
BELL. Be at your master’s lodging in the
evening; I shall use the robes.
SETTER. I shall, sir.
I wonder to which of these two gentlemen I do most
properly appertain: the one uses me as his attendant;
the other (being the better acquainted with my parts)
employs me as a pimp; why, that’s much the more
honourable employment by all means.
I follow one as my master, the other follows me as
[To him] LUCY.
LUCY. There’s the hang-dog,
his man I had a power over him in the reign
of my mistress; but he is too true a Valet de Chambre
not to affect his master’s faults, and consequently
is revolted from his allegiance.
SETTER. Undoubtedly ’tis
impossible to be a pimp and not a man of parts.
That is without being politic, diligent, secret, wary,
and so forth and to all this valiant as
Hercules that is, passively valiant and
actively obedient. Ah, Setter, what a treasure
is here lost for want of being known.
LUCY. Here’s some villainy
afoot; he’s so thoughtful. May be I may
discover something in my mask. Worthy sir, a
word with you. [Puts on her mask.]
SETTER. Why, if I were known,
I might come to be a great man
LUCY. Not to interrupt your meditation
SETTER. And I should not be
the first that has procured his greatness by pimping.
LUCY. Now poverty and the pox
light upon thee for a contemplative pimp.
SETTER. Ha! what art who thus
maliciously hast awakened me from my dream of glory?
Speak, thou vile disturber
LUCY. Of thy most vile
cogitations thou poor, conceited wretch,
how wert thou valuing thyself upon thy master’s
employment? For he’s the head pimp to
SETTER. Good words, damsel,
or I shall But how dost thou know my master
LUCY. Yes; I know both master and man to be
SETTER. To be men, perhaps;
nay, faith, like enough: I often march in the
rear of my master, and enter the breaches which he
LUCY. Ay, the breach of faith,
which he has begun: thou traitor to thy lawful
SETTER. Why, how now! prithee
who art? Lay by that worldly face and produce
your natural vizor.
LUCY. No, sirrah, I’ll
keep it on to abuse thee and leave thee without hopes
SETTER. Oh! I begin to
smoke ye: thou art some forsaken Abigail we have
dallied with heretofore and art come to
tickle thy imagination with remembrance of iniquity
LUCY. No thou pitiful flatterer
of thy master’s imperfections; thou maukin made
up of the shreds and parings of his superfluous fopperies.
SETTER. Thou art thy mistress’s
foul self, composed of her sullied iniquities and
LUCY. Hang thee, beggar’s
cur, thy master is but a mumper in love, lies canting
at the gate; but never dares presume to enter the house.
SETTER. Thou art the wicket
to thy mistress’s gate, to be opened for all
comers. In fine thou art the highroad to thy
LUCY. Beast, filthy toad, I
can hold no longer, look and tremble. [Unmasks.]
SETTER. How, Mrs. Lucy!
LUCY. I wonder thou hast the impudence to look
me in the face.
SETTER. Adsbud, who’s
in fault, mistress of mine? who flung the first stone?
who undervalued my function? and who the devil could
know you by instinct?
LUCY. You could know my office
by instinct, and be hanged, which you have slandered
most abominably. It vexes me not what you said
of my person; but that my innocent calling should
be exposed and scandalised I cannot bear
SETTER. Nay, faith, Lucy, I’m
sorry, I’ll own myself to blame, though we were
both in fault as to our offices come, I’ll
make you any reparation.
SETTER. I do swear to the utmost of my power.
LUCY. To be brief, then; what
is the reason your master did not appear to-day according
to the summons I brought him?
SETTER. To answer you as briefly he
has a cause to be tried in another court.
LUCY. Come, tell me in plain
terms, how forward he is with Araminta.
SETTER. Too forward to be turned
back though he’s a little in disgrace
at present about a kiss which he forced. You
and I can kiss, Lucy, without all that.
LUCY. Stand off he’s a precious
SETTER. And therefore you’d have him to
set in your lady’s locket.
LUCY. Where is he now?
SETTER. He’ll be in the Piazza presently.
LUCY. Remember to-day’s behaviour.
Let me see you with a penitent face.
SETTER. What, no token of amity,
Lucy? You and I don’t use to part with
LUCY. No, no, avaunt I’ll
not be slabbered and kissed now I’m
not i’ th’ humour.
SETTER. I’ll not quit you so. I’ll
follow and put you into the humour.
SIR JOSEPH WITTOLL, BLUFFE.
BLUFF. And so, out of your unwonted generosity
SIR JO. And good-nature, Back; I am good-natured
and I can’t help it.
BLUFF. You have given him a note upon Fondlewife
for a hundred pound.
SIR JO. Ay, ay, poor fellow; he ventured fair
BLUFF. You have disobliged me
in it for I have occasion for the money,
and if you would look me in the face again and live,
go, and force him to redeliver you the note.
Go, and bring it me hither. I’ll stay
here for you.
SIR JO. You may stay until the
day of judgment, then, by the Lord Harry. I know
better things than to be run through the guts for a
hundred pounds. Why, I gave that hundred pound
for being saved, and de’e think, an there were
no danger, I’ll be so ungrateful to take it from
the gentleman again?
BLUFF. Well, go to him from
me tell him, I say, he must refund or
Bilbo’s the world, and slaughter will ensue.
If he refuse, tell him but whisper that tell
him I’ll pink his soul. But
whisper that softly to him.
SIR JO. So softly that he shall
never hear on’t, I warrant you. Why, what
a devil’s the matter, Bully; are you mad? or
de’e think I’m mad? Agad, for my
part, I don’t love to be the messenger of ill
news; ’tis an ungrateful office so
tell him yourself.
BLUFF. By these hilts I believe
he frightened you into this composition: I believe
you gave it him out of fear, pure, paltry fear confess.
SIR JO. No, no, hang’t;
I was not afraid neither though I confess
he did in a manner snap me up yet I can’t
say that it was altogether out of fear, but partly
to prevent mischief for he was a devilish
choleric fellow. And if my choler had been up
too, agad, there would have been mischief done, that’s
flat. And yet I believe if you had been by, I
would as soon have let him a’ had a hundred of
my teeth. Adsheart, if he should come just now
when I’m angry, I’d tell him Mum.
[To them] BELLMOUR, SHARPER.
BELL. Thou ’rt a lucky
rogue; there’s your benefactor; you ought to
return him thanks now you have received the favour.
SHARP. Sir Joseph! Your
note was accepted, and the money paid at sight.
I’m come to return my thanks
SIR JO. They won’t be
accepted so readily as the bill, sir.
BELL. I doubt the knight repents,
Tom. He looks like the knight of the sorrowful
SHARP. This is a double generosity:
do me a kindness and refuse my thanks. But I
hope you are not offended that I offered them.
SIR JO. May be I am, sir, may
be I am not, sir, may be I am both, sir; what then?
I hope I may be offended without any offence to you,
SHARP. Hey day! Captain,
what’s the matter? You can tell.
BLUFF. Mr. Sharper, the matter
is plain: Sir Joseph has found out your trick,
and does not care to be put upon, being a man of honour.
SHARP. Trick, sir?
SIR JO. Ay, trick, sir, and
won’t be put upon, sir, being a man of honour,
sir, and so, sir
SHARP. Harkee, Sir Joseph, a
word with ye. In consideration of some favours
lately received, I would not have you draw yourself
into a premunire, by trusting to that sign
of a man there that pot-gun charged with
SIR JO. O Lord, O Lord, Captain,
come justify yourself I’ll give him
the lie if you’ll stand to it.
SHARP. Nay, then, I’ll
be beforehand with you, take that, oaf. [Cuffs
SIR JO. Captain, will you see
this? Won’t you pink his soul?
BLUFF. Husht, ’tis not
so convenient now I shall find a time.
SHARP. What do you mutter about
a time, rascal? You were the incendiary.
There’s to put you in mind of your time. A
memorandum. [Kicks him.]
BLUFF. Oh, this is your time,
sir; you had best make use on’t.
SHARP. I Gad and
so I will: there’s again for you. [Kicks
BLUFF. You are obliging, sir,
but this is too public a place to thank you in.
But in your ear, you are to be seen again?
SHARP. Ay, thou inimitable coward,
and to be felt as for example. [Kicks
BELL. Ha, ha, ha, prithee come
away; ’tis scandalous to kick this puppy unless
a man were cold and had no other way to get himself
SIR JOSEPH, BLUFFE.
BLUFF. Very well very
fine but ’tis no matter. Is
not this fine, Sir Joseph?
SIR JO. Indifferent, agad, in
my opinion, very indifferent. I’d rather
go plain all my life than wear such finery.
BLUFF. Death and hell to be
affronted thus! I’ll die before I’ll
suffer it. [Draws.]
SIR JO. O Lord, his anger was
not raised before. Nay, dear Captain, don’t
be in passion now he’s gone. Put up, put
up, dear Back, ’tis your Sir Joseph begs, come
let me kiss thee; so, so, put up, put up.
BLUFF. By heaven, ’tis not to be put up.
SIR JO. What, Bully?
BLUFF. The affront.
SIR JO. No, aged, no more ’tis,
for that’s put up all already; thy sword, I
BLUFF. Well, Sir Joseph, at
your entreaty But were not you, my friend,
abused, and cuffed, and kicked? [Putting up his
SIR JO. Ay, ay, so were you too; no matter,
BLUFF. By the immortal thunder
of great guns, ’tis false he sucks
not vital air who dares affirm it to this face. [Looks
SIR JO. To that face I grant
you, Captain. No, no, I grant you not
to that face, by the Lord Harry. If you had
put on your fighting face before, you had done his
business he durst as soon have kissed you,
as kicked you to your face. But a man can no
more help what’s done behind his back than what’s
said Come, we’ll think no more of
BLUFF. I’ll call a council
of war within to consider of my revenge to come.
HEARTWELL, SILVIA. Silvia’s apartment.
As Amoret and Thyrsis lay
Melting the hours in gentle play,
Joining faces, mingling kisses,
And exchanging harmless blisses:
He trembling cried, with eager haste,
O let me feed as well as taste,
I die, if I’m not wholly blest.
[After the song a dance of antics.]
SILV. Indeed it is very fine. I could
look upon ’em all day.
HEART. Well has this prevailed for me, and will
you look upon me?
SILV. If you could sing and
dance so, I should love to look upon you too.
HEART. Why, ’twas I sung
and danced; I gave music to the voice, and life to
their measures. Look you here, Silvia, [pulling
out a purse and chinking it] here are songs and
dances, poetry and music hark! how sweetly
one guinea rhymes to another and how they
dance to the music of their own chink. This
buys all t’other and this thou shalt
have; this, and all that I am worth, for the purchase
of thy love. Say, is it mine then, ha?
Speak, Syren Oons, why do I look on her!
Yet I must. Speak, dear angel, devil, saint,
witch; do not rack me with suspense.
SILV. Nay, don’t stare at me so.
You make me blush I cannot look.
HEART. O manhood, where art
thou? What am I come to? A woman’s
toy, at these years! Death, a bearded baby for
a girl to dandle. O dotage, dotage! That
ever that noble passion, lust, should ebb to this degree.
No reflux of vigorous blood: but milky love supplies
the empty channels; and prompts me to the softness
of a child a mere infant and would suck.
Can you love me, Silvia? Speak.
SILV. I dare not speak until
I believe you, and indeed I’m afraid to believe
HEART. Death, how her innocence
torments and pleases me! Lying, child, is indeed
the art of love, and men are generally masters in it:
but I’m so newly entered, you cannot distrust
me of any skill in the treacherous mystery.
Now, by my soul, I cannot lie, though it were to serve
a friend or gain a mistress.
SILV. Must you lie, then, if you say you love
HEART. No, no, dear ignorance,
thou beauteous changeling I tell thee I
do love thee, and tell it for a truth, a naked truth,
which I’m ashamed to discover.
SILV. But love, they say, is
a tender thing, that will smooth frowns, and make
calm an angry face; will soften a rugged temper, and
make ill-humoured people good. You look ready
to fright one, and talk as if your passion were not
love, but anger.
HEART. ’Tis both; for
I am angry with myself when I am pleased with you.
And a pox upon me for loving thee so well yet
I must on. ’Tis a bearded arrow, and will
more easily be thrust forward than drawn back.
SILV. Indeed, if I were well
assured you loved; but how can I be well assured?
HEART. Take the symptoms and
ask all the tyrants of thy sex if their fools are
not known by this party-coloured livery. I am
melancholic when thou art absent; look like an ass
when thou art present; wake for thee when I should
sleep; and even dream of thee when I am awake; sigh
much, drink little, eat less, court solitude, am grown
very entertaining to myself, and (as I am informed)
very troublesome to everybody else. If this
be not love, it is madness, and then it is pardonable.
Nay, yet a more certain sign than all this, I give
thee my money.
SILV. Ay, but that is no sign;
for they say, gentlemen will give money to any naughty
woman to come to bed to them. O Gemini, I hope
you don’t mean so for I won’t
be a whore.
HEART. The more is the pity. [Aside.]
SILV. Nay, if you would marry
me, you should not come to bed to me you
have such a beard, and would so prickle one.
But do you intend to marry me?
HEART. That a fool should ask
such a malicious question! Death, I shall be
drawn in before I know where I am. However, I
find I am pretty sure of her consent, if I am put
to it. [Aside.] Marry you? No, no, I’ll
SILV. Nay, but if you love me,
you must marry me. What, don’t I know my
father loved my mother and was married to her?
HEART. Ay, ay, in old days people
married where they loved; but that fashion is changed,
SILV. Never tell me that; I
know it is not changed by myself: for I love
you, and would marry you.
HEART. I’ll have my beard
shaved, it sha’n’t hurt thee, and we’ll
go to bed
SILV. No, no, I’m not
such a fool neither, but I can keep myself honest.
Here, I won’t keep anything that’s yours;
I hate you now, [throws the purse] and I’ll
never see you again, ’cause you’d have
me be naught. [Going.]
HEART. Damn her, let her go,
and a good riddance. Yet so much tenderness
and beauty and honesty together is a jewel. Stay,
Silvia But then to marry; why, every man
plays the fool once in his life. But to marry
is playing the fool all one’s life long.
SILV. What did you call me for?
HEART. I’ll give thee
all I have, and thou shalt live with me in everything
so like my wife, the world shall believe it.
Nay, thou shalt think so thyself only let
me not think so.
SILV. No, I’ll die before
I’ll be your whore as well as I love
HEART. [Aside.] A woman,
and ignorant, may be honest, when ’tis out of
obstinacy and contradiction. But, s’death,
it is but a may be, and upon scurvy terms. Well,
farewell then if I can get out of sight
I may get the better of myself.
SILV. Well good-bye. [Turns and
HEART. Ha! Nay, come,
we’ll kiss at parting. [Kisses her.]
By heaven, her kiss is sweeter than liberty.
I will marry thee. There, thou hast done’t.
All my resolves melted in that kiss one
SILV. But when?
HEART. I’m impatient until
it be done; I will not give myself liberty to think,
lest I should cool. I will about a licence straight in
the evening expect me. One kiss more to confirm
me mad; so.
SILV. Ha, ha, ha, an old fox trapped
[To her] LUCY.
Bless me! you frighted me; I thought
he had been come again, and had heard me.
LUCY. Lord, madam, I met your
lover in as much haste as if he had been going for
SILV. He’s going for a
parson, girl, the forerunner of a midwife, some nine
months hence. Well, I find dissembling to our
sex is as natural as swimming to a negro; we may depend
upon our skill to save us at a plunge, though till
then, we never make the experiment. But how hast
LUCY. As you would wish since
there is no reclaiming Vainlove. I have found
out a pique she has taken at him, and have framed a
letter that makes her sue for reconciliation first.
I know that will do walk in and I’ll
show it you. Come, madam, you’re like to
have a happy time on’t; both your love and anger
satisfied! All that can charm our sex conspire
to please you.
That woman sure enjoys a blessed night,
Whom love and vengeance both at once delight.