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Title: The Perplex'd Lovers

Date of first publication: 1712

Author: Susanna Centlivre (1667-1723)

Date first posted: June 29, 2020

Date last updated: June 29, 2020

Faded Page eBook #20200633

This eBook was produced by: Delphine Lettau & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net

Book cover

To his Illustrious Highness Prince EUGENE of Savoy
The EPILOGUE, design'd to have been spoke the first Night by Mrs. Oldfield.
Dramatis Personæ.



As it is Acted at the

BY Her MAJESTY's Servants.


I am oblig'd to trouble my Reader with a Preface, that he may not be carried away with false Notions, to the Prejudice of this Play, which had the ill Fate to introduce a new Custom, viz. in being acted the first Day without an Epilogue: It seems the Epilogue design'd wou'd not pass; therefore the Managers of the Theatre did not think it safe to speak it, without I cou'd get it licens'd, which I cou'd not do that Night, with all the Interest I cou'd make: So that at last the Play was forc'd to conclude without an Epilogue. Mr. Norris, who is an excellent Comedian in his Way, was desired to speak six Lines-Extempore, to intreat the Audience to excuse the Defect, and promised them an Epilogue the next Night; but they apprehending that it was the Epilogue design'd for the Play, were pleas'd to show their Resentment. It is plain the want of the Epilogue caus'd the Hiss, because there had not been any thing like it during the whole Action; but on the contrary a general Clap attended the Conclusion of the Play. The next Day I had the Honour to have th' Epilogue licens'd by the Vice-Chamberlain, but by this Time there was a Rumour spread about Town, that it was a notorious Whiggish Epilogue; and the Person who design'd me the Favour of speaking it, had Letters sent her to forbear, for that there were Parties forming against it, and they advis'd her not to stand the Shock; here was a second Blow greater than the first: The sinking of my Play cut me not half so deep as the Notion I had, that there cou'd be People of this Nation so ungrateful as not to allow a single Compliment to a Man that has done such Wonders for it. I am not prompted by any private sinister End, having never been oblig'd to the Duke of Marlborough, otherwise than as I shou'd in common with my Country; as I am an English Woman, I think myself oblig'd to acknowledge my Obligation to his Grace for the many glorious Conquests he has attained, and the many Hazards he has run, to establish us a Nation free from the Insults of a Foreign Power. I know not what they call Whigs, or how they distinguish between them and Tories: But if the Desire to see my Country secur'd from the Romish Yoke, and flourish by a firm, lasting, honourable Peace, to the Glory of the best of Queens, who deservedly holds the Ballance of all Europe, be a Whig, then I am one, else not. I have printed the Epilogue, that the World may judge whether 'tis such as has been represented. So much for that. Now I must acquaint my Reader, that I shall not pretend to vindicate the following Scenes, about which I took very little Pains, most of the Plot being from a Spanish Play, and assuring myself Success from Mr. Cibber's Approbation, whose Opinion was, that the Business wou'd support the Play; tho' Mr. Wilks seem'd to doubt it, and said, there was a great deal of Business, but not laughing Business; tho' indeed I cou'd not have dress'd this Plot with much more Humour, there being four Acts in the Dark, which tho' a Spanish Audience may readily conceive, the Night being their proper Time of intriguing; yet here, where Liberty makes Noon-day as easy, it perplexes the Thought of an Audience too much; therefore I shall take Care to avoid such Absurdities for the future; and if I live I will endeavour to make my Friends amends in the next.

To his Illustrious Highness

Prince EUGENE of Savoy

One Night with various Thoughts I musing lay,
Reflecting on the Business of the Day;
At length these Words got Passage from my Breast,
And thus the Sadness of my Soul express'd:
Oh! when will Faction leave my Native-Shore,
And Britons labour to be Slaves no more?
When shall true Merit meet with due Regard,
And Friends to France, be England's Foes declar'd?
That once perform'd, my Nation wou'd have Peace,
And all our Troubles and Distractions cease.
While thus I argu'd, Sleep did gently steal,
And in soft Slumbers all my Senses seal.
Straight I on Albion's chalky Cliffs was laid,
From whence I Neptune's spacious Realms survey'd;
When lo! a Dolphin hasted to the Shore,
His Back a Triton of Distinction bore,
Who chose for his Support a Mountain Wave,
And from a Coral Trump, he three loud Signals gave.
Alarm'd Britannia came the Cause to learn,
From whence the Courier, and of what Concern:
To whom the Triton bow'd his Head, to show
How much all Nations to Britannia owe.
Then straight prepar'd his Embassy to tell,
While joyous Waves with Expectation swell.
From Neptune, Lord of all the wealthy Main,
I come, great Eugene's Entry to proclaim:
His out-stretch'd Sails the Winds with Pleasure fill,
And ev'ry saucy Storm's commanded to be still.
The Nereids all around his Vessel play,
While Shoals of Tritons guard his liquid Way.
Advance, Britannia, to receive this Chief;
The Tyrant's Scourge, and the Opprest's Relief:
A nobler Weight thy Seas cou'd never boast,
Since they the great, the Glorious William lost:
Such dauntless Courage, such a Free-born Mind
Alone are fit to succour Human-kind.
Thus spoke the Triton from his tow'ring Wave,
And this Command the pleas'd Britannia gave:
To great Augusta quick let Fame repair,
And speak the Loud Eugene's Arrival there.
On Thames' fair Banks I quick as Thought was thrown,
Where Fam'd Augusta's stately Piles are shown:
Here I beheld a lovely Silvan Scene,
Nature renew'd, and ev'ry Bough was green:
Here tuneful Birds their choicest Notes prepare,
And Aromatick Scents fill'd all the ambient Air;
When a bright Form expanded on the Wing,
Did to my Sense Surprize and Wonder bring.
Her Golden Tresses by the Wind were borne,
And num'rous Eyes did every Part adorn:
A Scarlet Robe she had, all spangled o'er,
A 'broider'd Cestus round her Waist she wore,
And in her Hand a Golden Trumpet bore:
She litt, methought, yet seem'd to grow so high,
Her Head aspir'd to reach the distant Sky.
Straight with her Breath she blew a gladsome Sound,
And Echo joyfully the Notes rebound.
Augusta heard, and rais'd her awful Head,
While Thamesis forsook his owzy Bed:
To welcome Fame they both appear'd in View,
And from her Looks propitious Omens drew.
Smiling she stood, and with a chearful Voice
Cry'd, Hail old Thame, Augusta now rejoice,
Great Eugene comes, your Banners straight display,
From every Turret solemnize this Day.
To Minds like his—you all your Safeties owe,
From Souls enlarg'd your choicest Blessings flow.
Eugene and Marlbro', Names to Europe dear,
True Heroes born, and Brothers of the War,
Their innate Worth immortal Life shall give,
And make their Fame in spight of Envy, live,
And even the sharp, and Iron Teeth of Time
(That must destroy these Lofty Piles of thine)
Shall make their Actions much the brighter show,
For those Immortal as their Souls shall grow.
Haste, Britons, haste, your choicest Youth prepare
To meet and entertain this God of War;
From him, and Marlbro', let your Soldiers take
Such bright Examples as true Heroes make:
Be brave like them, like them discharge their Trust,
To ANNE be loyal, to their Country just;
So shall their Acts strike Envy's Censure dumb,
And thus Britannia rival ancient Rome.
So spoke the Goddess, and withdrew from Sight,
Hiding her fluid Form in Folds of Light.
Augusta hasted to display her Pride,
And Thame his Joys express'd with double Tide.
Now was each Street with Expectation fill'd,
When I a Train of Britons Pride beheld;
For Fancy here again had chang'd the Scene,
And ANNA's Court appear'd, to welcome great Eugene.
Foremost in Worth did graceful Marlbro' stand,
Whose wondrous Conduct sav'd the British Land,
And Europe's Ballance fix'd in ANNA's Hand.
Spight of his Foes, he's still to Eugene dear,
Who knows his Soul, knows every Virtue there,
Knows Loyalty and Courage fill his Breast,
And sees his Mind, with Truth, and Prudence drest.
Again his Fame shall glitter like a Star,
When England's foes like Meteors disappear;
But now behold the lovely Eugene here.
And with him comes the Genius of our Isle,
Methinks I see her on the Heroes smile,
And hear her say, Go on Brave Pair, subdue
The Tyrant only can be crush'd by you.
Then Savoy's Hero singly thus addrest,
Hail valiant Prince, far more than Monarch blest;
He wants no Crown, who reigns in every Breast.
Thy Presence here my drooping Nation warms,
While Belgia owes her Being to thy Arms.
The barbarous Turk thy conqu'ring Name reveres,
And more thy Sword, than Mahomet's Curse, he fears.
By thee, his chosen Troops were put to Flight,
Or cut to Pieces in their Sultan's Sight.
By thee was Savoy's Duke retriev'd from Fate,
His Foes by thee were beat, by thee he holds his State.
Hail, matchless Youth of the Soissonian Line,
Whose Actions bright, as Roman Consuls shine:
Not more, the Macedonian Chief renown'd,
Nor he, who through the Alps a Passage found.
The Gallick Tyrant dreads thy vengeful Hand,
And sees his ill-got Trophies tott'ring stand;
Tho' freed from Marlbro', still his Fears remain,
Still Anjou trembles on the Throne of Spain;
And if I ought foresee, the Bourbon Race
Shall (forc'd by thee) to Austria's House give place.
Thus Britain's Genius—while the list'ning Crowd
Exprest their Joys in Acclamations loud:
Shook with the Sound, Sleep loosen'd all his Ties,
And left me waking in a pleas'd Surprize.

Spoken by Mr. BOOTH.

To entertain this bustling busy Age,
Our Author now brings Business on the Stage;
She plots, contrives, embroils, foments Confusion,
And yet to Politicks makes not the least Allusion.
Business is now the A-la-mode Pretence,
All wou'd be Men of Business, and of Sense.
The faithless Rover, when with Cælia cloy'd,
Still swears, that Business has his Time employ'd:
But when she sees him for another leave her,
Too late she finds her Business done for ever.
The Cit for Business early leaves his Bed,
And Spouse, with other Business in her Head!
She rises early too by his Example,
Pretends some Law Case with spruce Colonel Dimple,
And gets her Deary's Business done—i'th' Temple.
The Side-box Spark,—his only Business lies
To read his Fair-one's Passion in her Eyes.
The Ladies act their own, not mind our Parts,
Their Business is, in looking out for Hearts.
The sweet-condition'd Females of the Pit
Come not to us in quest of Mirth or Wit;
Nor care they what becomes of a poor Play:
You know their Business lies another Way.
To cut my Business short then—I'm to pray,
While here, you'd have no Business but the Play.
If in Attention your Applause is shewn,
You'll, do our Author's Business, and your own.

Spoken by Mr. Norris in Mourning.

Oh Woe is me, oh, oh, oh, what shall I say?
They charge me here, with sinking of the Play.
To you I appeal, and pray do me right,
Cou'd I, Sirs, help your hissing t'other Night?
I; but said the Poet, I thought your Face
Might from the upper Gallery find more Grace;
Since all below cou'd not think it my Fault,
For all know here, an Epilogue was wrote;
Nay and sent to be Licenc'd too, what then
It wou'd not pass, so was return'd again.
Cou'd you no Credit to poor Scrub afford,
Or cou'd you doubt your Brother Dickie's Word?
I said you shou'd have an Epilogue to-day,
And don't you mind what Men of Honour say?
Nay, laugh not, Brethren, for our Author's Friends
On all the Murderers Revenge intends.
Since she poor Soul is dead, you caus'd her Fall,
Like Julius Cæsar in the Capitol.
By two-and-thirty Hisses from that Side,
Stung to the Heart, the pretty Creature dy'd.
Good-natur'd Soul! yet midst these dreadful Scars
She made her Will, and left you all her Heirs.
First to the Ladies, she bequeaths her Spouse;
To th' Beaux, some Copies of soft Billet-doux:
She knew that few of them, alas! love thinking,
Their chiefest Talent lies in Dress and Winking.
To th' pliant Girls, and Gamesters of the Pit,
If they cou'd find it out—she leaves her Wit.
To all the Soldiers, when the Wars shall cease,
She leaves her Pen, to purchase Bread in Peace.
Her Plots, Contrivances, and Stratagems,
She leaves t' intriguing Wives of Citizens.
Dramatick Rules, and Scraps of Poetry,
She leaves those—ay, ay, those she leaves to me.
Look to't young Men, for I intend to write,
Egad I'll swinge you off out of pure Spight;
Therefore be civil you had best to-night.
And now, Sirs, to conclude our Author's Will,
She humbly prays, here in the Codicil,
You wou'd the Undertakers Charge defray,
By filling up the House upon her Day.

design'd to have been spoke the first Night
by Mrs.

In these good Times when War is like to cease,
And Europe soon expects a gen'ral Peace;
Ye Beaux, Half-Wits, and Criticks, all may know
I from Apollo come a Plenipo;
Who well inclin'd to treat, by me thinks fit
To send Proposals from the State of Wit;
Against such strong Confederates engag'd,
An unsuccessful War he long has wag'd;
And now declares, if you will all submit
To pay the Charges of his Box and Pit,
He will no more Hostilities commit.
In all their Works his Poets shall take Care
Never to represent you, as you are.
But on the Critick, Judgment shall bestow,
Sense on the Witling, Beauty on the Beau.
This for the Men: next he assures the Fair,
He grieves that ever he with them made War;
Or ever in his Plays attack'd their Fame,
Or any thing disclos'd unfit to name;
Or Characters of faithless Women drew,
And shew'd feign'd Beauties, so unlike the true.
But in all future Scenes the Sex shall see
Themselves as charming as they wish to be;
For them he will ordain new Comick Rules,
And never more will make them doat on Fools:
And when he rises to the Tragick Strain,
None but true Heroes shall their Favours gain;
Such as that Stranger who has grac'd our Land,
Of equal Fame for Council and Command.
A Prince, whose Wisdom, Valour, and Success,

The gazing World with Acclamations bless;
By no great Captain in past Times outdone,
And in the present equall'd but by ONE.
These fair Conditions will, I hope, compose
All Wars between the Poets and their Foes.
Come sign the Peace, and let this happy Age
Produce a League in favour of the Stage:
But shou'd this fail, at least our Author prays
A Truce may be concluded for six Days.

Dramatis Personæ.


Lord Richlove,
in Love with Constantia,
Mr. Mills.

Sir Roger Merryman,
Father to Constantia and Belvil,
Mr. Leigh.

Colonel Bastion,
in Love with Constantia,
Mr. Wilks.

Colonel Merryman,
Father to Camilla,
Mr. Bullock, Sen.

in Love with Camilla,
Mr. Booth.

Servant to Colonel Bastion,
Mr. Pack.

Le Font,
a French Valet de Chambre
to the Lord Richlove,
Mr. Bowem.


in Love with Colonel Bastion,
Mrs. Santlow.

in Love with Belvil,
Mrs. Oldfield.

Maid to Constantia,
Mrs. Saunders.


The Time from Five in the Evening 'till Eight in the Morning.



SCENE the Street.

Enter Colonel Bastion and Timothy.

Bast. Why, you hungry Dog, is nothing to be minded but your Guts, Sirrah?

Tim. Why, is it reasonable now, Colonel, that nothing shou'd be minded but your Love Affairs till I am starv'd? in short, Sir, I am no Soldier; if your Method and mine won't agree, why e'en let us part fairly.

Bast. Why, what have you to complain of, Sirrah?

Tim. Oh! a Multitude of things; since you have been honourably in Love, you are no more like the Man you were, than a Squib is like a Cannon; sometimes you walk so softly that my Feet freeze in my Shoes; then by and by so fast that a Highlander can't keep Pace with you—and I scarce get a good Meal in a Week; I must fast, because Love has taken away your Stomach; and the Devil a Bottle can I tick, because he has forsworn the Tavern. (Aside.) Besides, Sir, you load me with so many Secrets that I shall burst, or get my Bones broke one time or other; therefore, good Sir, discharge me.

Bast. Very sad Grievances indeed—So you are resolv'd to part with me then?

Tim. Yes really, Sir, without some Amendments on your Side.

Bast. Come, what wou'd you have? let's hear.

Tim. Why, Sir, in the first Place I wou'd have my Wages; there's a great deal due, Colonel.

Bast. How long have you serv'd me?

Tim. (looks on his Book) Let me see, I have serv'd you—I have serv'd you just five Years, four Months, one Week, three Days, two Hours, one Minute, and two Seconds, Sir.

Bast. You are very particular.

Tim. I love punctual Dealings, Sir: Now my Wages comes to at six Pounds per Annum, thirty-two Pounds the five Years four Months, the odd Week two shillings six Pence, the two Hours one Half-penny—as for the half Hour, one Minute, and two Seconds, I'll generously throw them into the Bargain. I scorn to treat a Gentleman dirtily.

Bast. You are wonderfully obliging.

Tim. Now, Sir, out of these thirty-two Pounds three Shillings and nine Pence Half-penny, I have receiv'd at several Times, the full Sum of—nothing at all; so that there still remains due to me the aforesaid Sum, Colonel.

Bast. Very well, Sir, you shall be paid—These are the Extent of your Demands?

Tim. Nay hold there! these are but Part of them, Sir.

Bast. Be brief then; what more?

Tim. Why, Sir, there is Board-wages for those Days I eat nothing—my Pocket has no Reason to enter into Alliance with my Stomach.

Bast. Oh! these things shall be rectified. Come, you shan't leave me.

Tim. Say you so, Sir? Why, then you shall promise me three Meals a Day, and to intrust me with no Secret I may not tell the whole Town; for I lie so much upon your Account, Sir, that I'm shrewdly afraid I shall never die in my Bed.

Bast. Can you fall more honourably, Sirrah, than in defence of your Master's Secrets?

Tim. Faith, Sir, I desire to shake Hands with that kind of Honour; I heartily wish this honourable Fit of Love may give you an Aversion for the Sex; and then 'twou'd be some Comfort to live with you.

Bast. That it has already: I believe I have done with Womankind.

Tim. How's that, Sir? Done with Womankind? Ods my Life, you are not struck with Death, are you? Or are you married? No, no, that can't be; for then you'd have an Inclination for every Woman but your own Wife.

Bast. Yes, I am married to the Wars, and intend for Flanders to-morrrow.

Tim. Nay then, Sir, I am your most humble Servant. For Flanders quotha! that's out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire: I have had enough of Flanders, I thank you.

Bast. There your Head won't be burthen'd with Secrets.

Tim. No, nor my Body burthen'd with my Head neither perhaps—I am afraid you and I must part at last, Colonel; for Flanders does not agree with my Constitution; the very Air of a Cannon Ball turns all my Blood in a Moment. But pray, Sir, with Submission, may I not know the Reason of this sudden Resolution? Is there no Hopes of Madam Constantia then?

Bast. I fear not—I have a powerful Rival, Tim; my Lord Richlove, her Servant assures me, has made her several Visits, encourag'd by her Father; then what may I not apprehend? he's a Lord, and she's a Woman; Grandeur and Titles charm the Sex beyond the Power of Constancy and Love; her concealing it from me, confirms she likes him. I'll visit her instantly and take my Leave; I shall judge by her Deportment if my Absence wou'd oblige her.

Tim. Nay, if he sees her there are some Hopes of our staying in England yet—but Madam Camilla is still your Friend.

Bast. I think so, and the Door which opens out of her House into Constantia's Apartment undiscover'd, the only way by which I see her. Go you to Camilla's, and with my humble Service let her know I intend to wait on her immediately; and humbly intreat Constantia may be there.

Tim. Yes, Sir.


Bast. How unequal are the Lots of Fate, and what innumerable Blessings wait on large Possessions? I have nothing but a faithful Heart to ballance his Estate and Title, no Gold to give in Dowry with my Love, no Coach and Six to praunce it in the Ring, no Diamond Bait to glitter in the Box, no thousand Pounds to hazard on a Card; this Sword is all my Fortune, and Love the only Jointure I can make.

Re-enter Timothy.

Tim. Sir, Mrs. Camilla says, she'll inform her Cousin Constantia this Minute.

Bast. 'Tis well—
Now I the Crisis of my Fate shall try,
This Hour throws the Chance that bids me Live or Die.


Oh Life, Life, sweet Heav'n give us Life, say I.


SCENE changes to Camilla's Apartment.

Enter Camilla and Constantia.

Cam. Come, Cousin, prithee be chearful, don't let my Uncle's Proposal make you splenetic, we shall counterplot 'em all, I warrant thee Girl—The Colonel's Sword is as long as my Lord's, and as good Metal too, never fear it.

Const. I hope I shall never see the Trial—I wou'd not have the Colonel know of his Lordship's Pretensions; for by my own Heart I judge the Pains that his wou'd feel—the bare Suspicion of a Rival wou'd distract me; and without Vanity I believe our Flames are equal.

Cam. The Colonel's Pretentions are still a Secret to your Brother?

Const. And still must be so—for you are not unacquainted with his Promise given to Sir Philip Gaylove—with whom he contracted a Friendship in his Travels—He is perfectly recover'd of that Illness which detain'd him behind your Brother at the Hague, and is expected in a few Days; now judge, if I have not a difficult Game to play, Camilla?

Cam. You have indeed, Constantia; but whilst I have Power to charm your Brother, you shall not want a Friend to fend that Blow—I never will be his, till thou art happy.

Const. I do believe thee; and were it not for thy indulging Kindness, my Brain had long been turn'd.

Cam. What think you of informing your Brother of my Uncle's Proceedings; I fancy he wou'd rid you of his Lordship's Visits.

Const. My Father strictly forbad me to mention that Affair; he knows what Regard my Brother has always to his Word, and how far the Knowledge might transport him is uncertain; perhaps to an open Breach of Duty, without the least Service to me; for were my Lord remov'd, what Defence have I against my Brother's Friend?

Cam. What think you of marrying the Colonel privately, and going to Spain or Flanders with him for a Campaign or two? Time makes all things easy—You have four thousand Pounds that your Grand-father left you.

Const. But in my Father's Hands.

Cam. Pho'! there may be Ways and Means found to get it out, my Life on't—Ha! here's your Brother.

Const. Belvil! Unlucky Minute, which way shall I see the Colonel?

Enter Belvil.

Cam. Fear not, I'll pick a Quarrel with him, and set him going—So, Sir, you are a Lover I hear!

Bel. Cou'd that News be a Stranger to you, Madam, that are so nearly concern'd in it?

Cam. Am I concern'd in your Passion for Belinda! whom you 'squir'd to the Masquerade last Night?

Bel. Belinda! Pray who inform'd you that?

Cam. Those that knew ye both, in spite of your Disguise—I don't envy her Happiness, I assure you; and wou'd advise you to pay your Court there now, for I am not at leisure to receive your Visit.

Bel. You are mis-inform'd, upon my Word, Madam; I neither waited on Belinda, nor saw the Masquerade last Night.

Cam. Your Judgment mis-informs you, if you imagine I'm to be convinc'd by all that you can say; and the best Excuse that you can make, is to leave Room—Perhaps I shall take a Time to do you Justice, without putting you to the expence of Oaths to clear yourself—go mind your Assignations.

Enter Colonel Bastion and Timothy.

Bel. This Proceeding is very odd, Camilla—Ha, who have we here? A new Lover? I have it now! my Visit was unseasonable—You mistook, Madam, 'twas you that had Assignations—Confusion!—

Const. What shall I do now? He is here. (To Camilla.)

Cam. I must carry it off—How now, Sir! who are you, that comes so boldly up without Notice? Who wou'd you speak with?

Tim. Hey day! Why, what, is the Woman bewitch'd?

Bast. With you, Madam—What is the Meaning of this—Constantia's Brother! Mum! I must not seem to know my Love. (Aside.)

Cam. Colonel Bastion! you surpriz'd me, really I did not know you—

Tim. These great Ladies have very short Memories.

Bel. Colonel, have you any private Business with this Lady? I am one of the civilest Rivals you ever met with—I'll retire into the next Room till you deliver it—But then must beg a Word with you myself.

Bast. Sir, it is a Secret of no such Importance I assure you, as you imagine—All the Affairs I have with this Lady may be done in publick.

Cam. Methinks you usurp a Liberty, unbecoming a depending Lover; begone, and see my Face no more.

Const. Nay, now Camilla, I must interpose! That Task's too hard to suit my Brother's Love—Tho' I wish him gone on any Terms. (Aside.)

Bast. Madam, let me become a Mediator, perhaps my Business may relate to him as much as you.

Const. What in the Name of Goodness is he about to say now? (Aside.)

Cam. Sure he won't tell him he is in Love with his Sister! (Aside.)

Bast. To-morrow I intend for Harwich, in order to embark for Flanders; if you have any Recommendations thither I shall deliver them with Pleasure—Ha! Constantia changes Colour.

Const. For Flanders! oh! my Heart. (Aside.)

Bel. If this be all, I ask your Pardon, Colonel, and shall give you the Trouble of a Letter to a Friend of mine in Lisle.

Cam. And I, of one to my Brother, if you'll let your Servant call for it an Hour hence. Courage, Cousin, this is only a sudden Thought of the Colonel's to take off Belvil's Suspicion. (Aside to Constantia.)

Bel. In the mean time if you'll do me the Honour, Colonel, I'll dispatch mine over a Bottle—I hope you'll have a better Opinion of me, Madam, when I see you next.

Cam. According to the Humour you find me in, Belvil.

Bast. I'll follow you, Sir: Tim, wait for the Lady's Letter; and, do you hear? before, you bring me Word how I shall see Constantia again. (Aside to Tim.)

[Exit Bast. and Bel.

Tim. A pox of this Letter for me, now shan't I get one drop of the Wine. Pray, Madam, be as quick as you can, my Master will be very impatient.

Const. Does your Master really go for Flanders, Tim?

Tim. Faith I fear so, Madam: But I have no Commission to answer Questions; nor do I believe it possible to know my Master's Mind three Hours together; but if you have any Commands for him, Madam, I am your faithful humble Servant to deliver 'em. But don't let me wait I beg you, Madam; for to tell you the truth, I shall forfeit a Bottle, if I meet not a Friend of mine here by in a quarter of an Hour.

Const. Well, not to detain you from your Friend, Tim, take this Key, and bid your Master meet me in the Garden half an Hour hence; and lest your Bottle shou'd be in Danger—there is something to defray the Expence. (Gives him Money.)

Tim. Good; I like a Person of a clear Understanding; she took the Hint—Madam, I fly to execute your Orders.


Const. Now! if he shou'd be commanded away, Camilla?

Cam. Why, were I in thy Place, Girl, I'd pluck up a Courage, pack up my Awls and march with him.

SCENE changes to the outside of a Garden in the Street.

Enter Lord Richlove and Florella at several Doors.

Flor. Is your Lordship alone?

L. Rich. I am, Florella! what hast thou to tell me? Dost thou find Constantia inclining to my Love? How did she relish her Father's Proposal?

Flor. As sick People do the News of Death.

L. Rich. Ha! say'st thou? How did she treat me in my Absence? Come, I know thou art her Confidant, and shall tell me all.

Flor. I have a very great Deference for your Lordship, and much Esteem for my Lady—but my Lord, Self-interest governs the World; if I favour your Lordship I shall disoblige my Lady, and lose my Place; Service is no Inheritance, my Lord—

L. Rich. I understand you—and assure you whatever Discoveries you make to me shall turn to your Advantage; this to confirm it. (Gives her a Purse.)

Flor. Ay, there's some Sense in this; who wou'd not speak for a Man of Quality? that paultry Colonel never gave me above half a Guinea—Your Lordship is so extremely good, that I declare I can refuse you nothing; I wish my Lady wou'd say so, my Lord, but 'tis impossible, for she hates you, and vow'd to me this Morning, as I was reading her a Lecture in praise of your Lordship, if there were never another Man in the Universe, she'd die a Maid, and lead you know what, my Lord, before she'd wed you.

L. Rich. Is her Aversion so strong, say'st thou? perhaps she loves elsewhere?

Flor. I have nothing to say to that, my Lord; but if you please I can put you where you may inform yourself.

L. Rich. If thou canst do that thou bindest me ever thine.

Flor. This Key opens the back Gate of our Garden, whither she is just now gone.

L. Rich. To meet her Lover, ha?

Flor. I never answer Questions of this kind with my Tongue, my Lord.

L. Rich. I conceive you, adieu.


Flor. I want only to serve some Favourite at Court to be a great Woman—twenty Pieces added to my Fortune! this is no ill Evening's Work: What Advantages the Donor proposes to himself, I neither know, nor care. I have put them together, let them come off as they can.


SCENE the inside of the Garden.

Enter Colonel Bastion, Constantia, and Timothy at a distance.

Const. I am glad you had an Excuse so ready before my Brother, or we had been undone; but that going for Flanders sav'd all—What will you do with this Letter?

Bast. Deliver it, as I promised.

Const. Deliver it! are you in earnest? Must I lose you then so soon?

Bast. I fear you do not think it soon enough, Constantia.

Const. What do you mean, Bastion? Why this Indifference? Has my too much Fondness made you cool, or have your Eyes ta'en in some other Love, and now wou'd throw your Guilt on me?

Bast. I wish you be not guilty—Oh, Constantia, has thy Reason never call'd thy Choice in question, by representing things above their Sphere? Will not the Pageantry of Fortune abate thy Love to me, and make me seem unworthy of you?

Const. He talks as if he knew my Lord's Design. Why do you suspect me? In what Action, since our first Acquaintance, have I betray'd a Soul so mercenary? Think you my Taste's so vitiated, that like common Wretches, I cou'd love for Gold? No, Love is a free-born Passion of the Mind, not to be purchas'd at a sordid Price—Those that can make their Bodies subservient to their Interest, were ne'er acquainted with that noble Passion, but like the Brutes submit to Nature's Call, unknowing of Love's mighty Excellence.

Bast. Oh, thou hast clear'd my Doubts so fully now, that no one Fear remains—Pardon my Jealousies, since they proceed from Love. Hark! what Noise is that?

Const. I hope my Brother has not miss'd me, and come to seek me in the Garden—I'll step to the Parlour Door to avoid being surpriz'd; if all be safe I'll return in a Moment.


A Noise of a Key in a Door.

Tim. Sir, Sir, Sir, afore George, there's a Key in the Door, we are certainly discover'd—and shall be apprehended for Thieves; a Pox take all Intriguing, I say.

Bast. Peace, you cowardly Dog, or I'll cut your Throat.

Tim. Look you there now, when I am running the Danger of the Gallows for him, he'd cut my Throat for Satisfaction; the Devil wou'd not serve one of these Traders in Blood.

Enter Lord Richlove; speaks as he enters.

L. Rich. Wait you without.

Bast. Ha! my Lord Richlove! Amazement! How came he by a Key too? Sure he had it not from her!

Re-enter Constantia,
mistaking the Lord for the Colonel,
and runs into his Arms.

Const. There's no Danger, my Life—but speak low lest they should hear us, and our meeting be prevented for the future.

Bast. What's that of meeting for the future?

L. Rich. Oh Transport! oh Extasy! my charming Angel—Humph, 'tis plain she loves—and did expect her Lover here. (Aside.)

Bast. Hell and Furies! in Raptures?

Const. My Lord Richlove! which way got your Lordship hither?—Distraction, what shall I do now?

L. Rich. Did not you expect me, Fairest?

Bast. Expect him! oh perfidious Woman!

Const. I expect you, Insolence!

L. Rich. What! then I'm not the happy Man to whom you flew! why do you tremble so! oh let me dwell upon these Lips, whose every Touch runs through my Heart with Pleasure.

Const. What shall I say? if I cry out my Bastion will be found; were he away I'd make an Example of this Monster. (Aside.)

Bast. She's conscious of her Wrongs to me, and whispers out her Words, lest I shou'd hear her: Oh thou Serpent of thy kind! (Aside.)

L. Rich. Have I too suddenly surpriz'd thee? Come, let's retire to this Alcove, where in my Arms thou shalt recover Breath, and hear me tell how much I love thee.

Const. Away, my Lord, and leave the Garden, and force me not to examine by what Authority you treat me thus.

Bast. Now she exalts her Voice to blind my Rage, convey him hence, and so deceive me on—but I can bear no more—Draw, my Lord, and give an injured Lover Satisfaction. (Draws.)

L. Rich. Draw! who are you, Sir?

Const. Ah! Heav'n defend my Bastion! Ah! help, Murder!


Bast. Thus I inform you.

L. Rich. Thus I return it. (They fight.)

Tim. Murder! Murder! Murder! (Tim. draws and pushes against the Wall, and cries Murder all the while.)

Enter Footmen to the Lord at one Door.
Sir Roger Merriman, Belvil and Florella at the other.
The Colonel disarms the Lord, and throws him his Sword.

Bast. There's your Sword, my Lord—when next we meet preserve it better—Come along, you timorous Rascal.

Tim. Ay, with all my Heart, Lights and Liver.


Bel. Murder cry'd in our Garden?

L. Rich. Secure him, Slaves. (To his Footmen.)

1st Foot. Secure who, my Lord?

L. Rich. The Gentleman that fought me.

2nd Foot. We see nobody, my Lord—ho, yes, here he is. (Lays hold of Belvil.)

Bel. Villains hold off, or I'll stick some of you.

Sir Rog. What! my Son assassinated by Ruffians? Within there! where are all my Servants? My Lord Richlove! how came your Lordship here? Not a Word of your Love to my Daughter, my Lord. (Aside to Lord.)

Flor. If your Lordship discovers me I'm undone. (Aside to him.)

Bel. My Lord Richlove! and Murder cry'd!—Where is my Sister, Florella?

Flor. In her Chamber, Sir.

Bel. What Adventure brought your Lordship into our Garden?

L. Rich. Now dare not I accuse my Rival, lest I betray myself—Why, Sir, coming by your Garden Wall here, I chanc'd to jostle a Gentleman that had got a Lady there it seems, who immediately lugg'd out upon me; the Place being narrow, I thought to clap my Back against the Wall, but happening upon the Garden Door, it suddenly gave way, and in I fell—my Antagonist supposing he had kill'd me fled—the Woman shriek'd—my Servants roar'd out Murder—and I call'd out to secure him; which Noise I suppose brought you, Gentlemen.

Flor. An admirable Story. (Aside.)

Bel. This may be true; 'tis probable. (Aside.)

Sir Rog. I hope your Lordship has receiv'd no hurt.

L. Rich. Not at all, Sir Roger—Let me see you by and by at the Corner of the Street, Florella. (Aside to her.)

Flor. Depend upon it, my Lord.

Sir Rog. Will your Lordship please to walk into my House, 'till the Street be clear? the Noise may have alarm'd the Neighbourhood.

L. Rich. I'm engag'd to the Play, Sir Roger—you'll excuse this Trouble which I have accidently given you: Gentlemen, I'm your humble Servant.


Sir Rog. I am glad your Lordship is safe, the Trouble is nothing.

Bel. I like not these Court Weasels sauntring about our House, the Family is seldom lucky where they frequent.


Sir Rog. I suspect his Lordship had another End in coming here, tho' I know not how he got into the Garden; my Daughter was the Cause—Oh that stubborn Baggage, wou'd she but listen to his Love, she might make her Father a great Man.

Beauty has many Fortunes made at Court,
And many Title thanks a Woman for't.



SCENE the Street.

Enter Lord Richlove and Le Front.

Le Front. Me Lor, you be more dejected for dis Lady, den I ever saw your Lordship for any Lady in me Life.

L. Rich. Because there is more Difficulty in obtaining this Lady than ever I met before—I am an honourable Lover now, Le Front, and a Slave to one that hates me.

Le Front. How does your Lordship know she hates you? Women are very cunning, me Lor, and when day say day hate a, begar, day love best sometimes, me know dat very well.

L. Rich. But I am convinced she loves another.

Le Front. O de Divel! dat is another ting, mafoy.

L. Rich. By the Help of her Maid, whom I expect here presently, I got Admittance into her Garden, and surprized her with her Lover, but was so unfortunate not to discover who he was—and tho' my Passion is authorized by her Father, I foresee she never will be mine.

Le Front. Me Lor, may I ask a you one Question? vil nothing but Marriage cure your Love? have a you take a one Surfeit of Variety? and must a you take a de Course of Physick for Life, me Lor? ah! a Vife is one dam bitter Pill, dat vil never out a your Stomach 'till Death, begar.

L. Rich. But Love makes that Bitter sweet, Le Front.

Le Front. Love! begar, if your Lorship were one very poor Man I shou'd believe you—because de pauvre Man is always very much in Love with de rich Lady—but de Gens de Quality—never, me Lor, never—day don't mind Cupid, begar their gran Figure scorn de little sneaking Bastard.

L. Rich. And the rich Ladies scorn poor Men, I'm sure.

Le Front. Sometimes, me Lor, sometimes; but there be some generous Ladies that like a de hansome young Fellow very much. Me was very well once wid the rich Widow, me visit her every Day, me stay 'till one, two, three, four de Clock every Morning, me dance vid her, me sing vid her—me kiss her so warn, so warn, so warnly, as me please begar, and me swear me love her very much, because she was very rich, me Lor, and she loves a me very much too.

L. Rich. How came you did not marry her then?

Le Front. Ah dat was de ting, my Lor, begar she no want Marriage—an de dam cunning Devil knew I wanted noting else—

L. Rich. Oh! you shou'd have ta'en an Opportunity to prove her Person was your only Aim.

Le Front. Oh begar me give her Proofe enough of dat, she let me do every thing begar me ask—oh she lov'd to be tickled, my Lord, but fear'd to be expos'd into Marriage—she lov'd a me Person dearly, dearly—but begar she lov'd her Money better. She take one Chamber for me in her House begar, to lye at Bed, and Board, but me wou'd not go mafoy, me love Marriage my Lor—me no love de Stallion, begar.

L. Rich. And so she jilted you!

Le Front. Even so, my Lor—now had me been a your Lorship, me shou'd have had her vid a wet Finger, begar; for de Men of Quality may have any Lady mafoy.

L. Rich. You have a wrong Notion, as to all Women, Le Front; indeed a Woman can't be virtuous that gives a Man such Encouragement as your Widow did you—for a virtuous Woman will not receive a second Visit from the Person she has no Design upon—Wou'd Constantia give me such Liberty, I wou'd not fear Possession one Way or other.

Le Front. Nor need you yet, me Lor, if Possession will do your Business—

L. Rich. What say'st thou?

Le Front. Mony, my Lor, Mony, vill do all Tings.

L. Rich. Away Fool, she wants it not.

Le Front. But her Maid—me Lor—her Maid—ah! how many pritty Tings de Maid can do—she can put a your Lorship into de Bed-chamber of her Mistress, and hide a you there 'till Midnight; then you cou'd creep a softly, softly, softly, to de Bed-side, lift a de Cloaths gently, gently, gently, steal into de Bed silently, take a de Lady in your Arms tenderly, and when your Lorship have her there l'affair est fait, begar, ha, ha!

L. Rich. Ha! the bare Imagination gives me Pleasure; thou hast inspir'd me with a Way to revenge myself of her Disdain. Welcome Dear—

Enter Florella.

Florella, in thee lies all my Hope: Thou canst inform me who is the happy Man: I prithee let me know my Rival.

Flor. To what End, my Lord?

L. Rich. Leave that to me.

Flor. You must pardon me there, my Lord, I'll do any that wears no Face of Guilt, because I see your Lordship can carry a thing off at a Pinch—but won't absolutely betray the Secrets of my Lady neither; in short, my Lord, the Knowledge won't advance your Suit, and he may have a Chance for his Life as well as you—Let this suffice, he is no Coward—for Fighting is Meat, Drink and Cloaths to him, therefore think if I can serve you any other Way, my Lord.

L. Rich. Yes, one way thou canst—If thou'lt convey me privately into Constantia's Bed-chamber to-night.

Flor. Into her Bed-chamber, my Lord! I fear your Design mayn't be honourable—and I wou'd not have a Hand in my Lady's Ruin for the World.

L. Rich. Nor wou'd I attempt it—my only Reason for it is, that there I may have an Opportunity to declare my Mind, and Prudence will oblige her to hear me—lest the malicious Word reflect upon her Conduct—Come, you shall do this. (Putting a Ring upon her Finger.)

Flor. I think your Lordship has laid a Spell upon me, I have no Power to deny whatever you ask me. An Hour hence expect me here, my Lord.

L. Rich. I will.

Flor. Odd, methinks my Finger becomes a Diamond Ring as well as my Lady's.


L. Rich.
Now Love's great Goddess smile on my Design,
And all the Glory of Success be thine.


SCENE changes to Camilla's House.

Enter Camilla and Constantia.

Cam. Which way got his Lordship into the Garden?

Const. Nay, Heaven knows, nor how the Colonel made his Escape, or if he lives; oh, I dread your Maid's Return.

Cam. Lives! I warrant him, or we had seen Timothy ere this.

Enter Maid.

Maid. The Colonel will wait on you immediately, Madam.

Cam. Very well; wait without to receive him.

Exit Maid, and re-enter.

Maid. Madam, your Cousin Belvil's coming up.

Const. What shall I do now?

Cam. Here, here, step into this Closet, I'll find some Pretence to get him away.

[Exit Constantia into the Closet.

Enter Belvil.

Bel. What the Devil did this Wench run back so fast at Sight of me for?—Ha! sure I saw somebody whip into that Closet—Well, Camilla, what Humour is your Ladyship in at present? Dispos'd to be angry still, or how?

Cam. No, I think I have a mind to be pleas'd, Cousin, if you don't cross it; nay, I am in so good an Humour, that I could find in my Heart to ask your Pardon for my last Quarrel with you.

Bel. So, now she's upon the wheedle—There is certainly somebody in that Closet—Prithee what Reason had you for that unjust Accusation, Camilla?

Cam. My dear inquisitive Lover, be not too curious to pry into the Reasons of Women—We have either too many for your Knowledge, or too few for your Quiet; you shou'd never think us in the wrong before Marriage, tho' we seldom think you in the right after it.

Bel. A frank Confession; but my Humour is just the Reverse, I can see every Fault in a Mistress, but none in a Wife.

Cam. That is, you won't think a Wife's Actions worth Regard. The first Month takes off the Sting of your Appetite, and ever after you become a mere Drone.

Bel. Prithee try me, Camilla, and from Experience admonish your Sex, and don't let false Notions prevail to the Prejudice of ours.

Cam. I'll consider on't; come, shall we take a turn in the Garden? you promis'd to teach me the last new Song.

Bel. I'll go into your Closet, and write it down for you.

Cam. No, no, no, no, you must not go into the Closet.

Bel. Why so? have you a Spark there?

Cam. Look ye there now, you will be asking Questions; upon Honour there is no Male thing in that Closet; will that suffice?

Bel. Then why am I forbid to enter?

Cam. Nay, if you doubt what I say, you'll give me Cause to suspect your Love: There's the Key, satisfy your Curiosity; but from this Moment depend upon it, my House shall ne'er receive you as a Lover more; then take your Choice, the Closet without me, or me without the Closet.

Bel. Too well you know your Power, Camilla! I'll wait on you to the Garden.

Cam. So, now I like you; learn to be tractable, and then one may endure you for a Husband.


Constantia comes out of the Closet.

Const. I'm glad he's gone, my Heart went pit-a-pat when she offer'd him the Key.

Enter Colonel Bastion.

My dear Bastion! my Heart has a thousand Fears for thee.

Bast. For my Lord Richlove you mean, Madam; I had the Advantage, but spared him for your sake, since I cou'd not pierce his Breast without wounding yours.

Const. How ill does this Language become a Lover's Mouth?

Bast. And how ill does your Carriage become a virtuous Woman? 'Sdeath, could you not be content to receive his Visits in private, but you must make me Spectator of your Treachery? Must you triumph to gratify your Pride?

Const. I scorn your Accusations—since you can entertain a Thought to the Prejudice of my Virtue, you are unworthy of my Justification.

Bast. I shall not put you to the Trouble of an Excuse, Madam. Laying it upon the Carelessness of Servants leaving open the Door, and his stumbling that Way by Accident, wou'd be to no Purpose, because I know he had the same Passport with myself, a Key; and who shou'd give it him but you? and at such a Juncture too, you tim'd it to a Minute.

Const. Ha! a Key, which way got he a Key?—Ungrateful; have I refus'd that Lord you mention, when by my Father's strict Commands preferr'd! and ran the Hazard of a Parent's Hate for thee? for thee that dares upbraid me thus?—but thou hast cur'd my Folly; yes, I will tear thee from my Heart, and throw thee as a worthless Trifle by; but I owe so much to my Fame, to clear thy gross Mistake how my Lord came by that Key—I know not, nor of his coming to the Garden; or if I e'er admitted one Thought, that could be favourable to his Love, may foul Contagion seize me; but what your Usage may inspire me with, Time will produce, for from this Hour I'll never—

Bast. (Falling on his Knees.) Oh hold, I conjure thee; keep back that hasty Resolution, my charming Angel; forgive the Excess of faithful Love. My abject Fortune when compar'd with his, wak'd a thousand racking Cares; and Fear of losing what my Soul adores, transported me to Madness; pardon me now, and if I e'er offend again—

Const. I must again forgive you, is it not so? Why do'st thou study to destroy my Quiet? Is Jealousy so requisite to prove we love? No sure: Love is a soft and gentle Joy, and shou'd be fondled like a tender Infant; the rude surly Gusts of Passion, like Eastern Winds, destroy it in the Bud.

Bast. Have I not Reason for my Fears, Constantia? when thy Father and thy Brother are both against me?

Const. No, not if all the World combin'd, whilst thou hast me.

Bast. Thou matchless Woman, how shall I requite thee? Life will be too short to do it. But when wilt thou compleat my Joys, and give thy Person with thy Heart? Constantia, I dread the Arrival of thy Brother's Friend; not that I fear thy Change—but he will importune thee, thy Father will command thee, and 'twill be difficult to find Objections against both; but when we are marry'd, and all Arguments fail to rid thee of his Solicitations, that Discovery sets thee free at once.

Const. Have Patience but a while, my Love; I wou'd not do an Act of such Importance without my Father's Consent, if possible.

Bast. How dost thou hope to gain it?

Const. That I must think of.

Bast. But then thy Brother!

Const. His Love to Camilla will befriend us there; she's ours you know, and will scruple nothing for our Interest.

Bast. She is indeed a generous Friend; cou'd she not change your Brother's Purpose?

Const. She has not attempted it, and the Reason she gives for it is, shou'd he suspect her to favour any private Inclination of mine, he wou'd certainly prevail with my Father to send me into the Country; which wou'd not only entirely prevent her being serviceable to us, but infallibly force me into the Arms of his Friend: For tho' my Father's Pride inclines to my Lord, yet his Tenderness to my Brother wou'd not suffer him to contradict his Purpose.

Bast. Do not defer my Happiness, Constantia—I'll be Father, Brother, Husband to thee; if thy Love does equal thy Expressions, what shou'd deter thee from my Arms? True Love requires small Subsistence, our Constancy shall brave all Turns of Fate, and spight of Malice we will bless each other.

Const. Duty commands me to try the gentlest Way; I wou'd avoid all Violence with a Father: but this be certain of, my Love; not even he shall alter my Resolves, or bribe me to forego my Bastion; let him dispose of all his hoarded Wealth, that which my Uncle left me must be mine, and that with Love will be sufficient for us. If abandon'd by Friends in England, then we will seek for more in foreign Nations. Whilst I have thee, I never shall repine, or wish for ought beyond thy Power to give.

And my Ambition's bounded in these Arms,
Every Good that Nature can bestow
And every Charm is center'd sure in thee.
This single Room to me contains all Joy,
'Tis the wide World, and all I wish is here.

[Embracing her.

Camilla's Maid (within) Who's that gone up Stairs?

Bel. (within) 'Tis I, I dropt one of my Gloves above.

Const. Ah Heaven, I hear my Brother's Voice—If I am seen with thee we are ruin'd—Which Way shall I avoid him?

Bast. Ha! what Shall we do?—humph! I have it; give me your Mask, and go you down the Back Way, leave me to make my own Retreat.

[Exit Constantia. He puts on the Mask.

Enter Belvil.

Bel. Now for the Closet! Ha! 'Sdeath what Woman's that, that with such Care avoids me? it must be sure my Sister—ha, a Man too, nay then 'tis past a Doubt,—and Camilla must be privy to their Meeting; 'Sdeath, am I impos'd upon? But I will be satisfied.

[Going, and Bastion turns quick upon him.

Bast. No Passage this Way, Sir.

Bel. Mask'd! What are you, Sir? Some Ruffian come to rob the House, ha? I must and will pass this Way.

Bast. You neither must nor shall, Sir, if you go to that.

Bel. 'Sdeath, Sir, unmask and tell me so; I'll not dispute it with a Villain.

Bast. I am no Villain, Sir, yet shan't unmask, for some private Reasons; but if you'll suspend your Curiosity and retire, you shall have the Satisfaction of a Gentleman to-morrow where you please.

Bel. Damn to-morrow, this to thy Heart. (Draws.)

Bast. That's your Mistake, Sir. (Draws and drives him out.)

Enter Camilla and Maid.

Cam. You heedless Slut, why did you let him go up Stairs?

Maid. He was half Way up before I heard him, Madam.

Cam. Ha! what Noise is that? Sure I heard the Clashing of Swords—I hope he did not meet the Colonel and Constantia—Again! bless me, my Heart trembles as if my Life were going; if I shou'd assist their Loves till I destroy my own now. Within there, fly and part 'em.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Part who, Madam?

Cam. Any body you find engag'd.

[The Servants cry Murder without.

Ha! Murder! what shall I do!

Enter Colonel Bastion.

Colonel, is it you? What's the Matter?

Bast. I have not Time to tell you, Madam, but I beg you'd hide me somewhere, or 'tis impossible to escape Belvil's Knowledge.

Cam. Here, here, step thro' this Door into Constantia's Apartment, till the Hurry be over.

[Exit Bastion.

Enter Belvil.

What Noise of Murder's that, Belvil? You have not kill'd any body, have you?

Bel. I suppose you know to the contrary, Madam; for if my Sight deceive me not, the Spark return'd into your House.

Cam. What Spark do you mean? I fear he has discover'd poor Constantia. (Aside.)

Bel. Had not your Servants interpos'd, I shou'd have spoil'd his making Love for a Month perhaps; but if I find him—(Searches about.)

Cam. Find who?

Bel. Ay, that's what I want, I wou'd know who he is.

Cam. Nay if you are ignorant of that, all's safe—This fiery Temper of yours, Belvil, is an excellent Qualification for a Husband; are you jealous of every Man you meet? What Insolence is this? Must my House be search'd whenever you please? I am my own Mistress, I hope, before Marriage, 'tis enough for you to lord it after.

Bel. I scorn to insult an Enemy, much less a Mistress; but where my Honour is concern'd, give me Leave to be as careful as I can.

Cam. Your Honour! What mean you? Can you suspect me of any Design again your Honour?

Bel. Oh Camilla! thou'rt no Stranger to my Meaning; tell me, what close Design does my Sister drive in your House? for I'm certain it was Constantia that you conceal'd within that Closet, and whoever this Fellow is, was with her: Confusion! shall an obscure Rascal privately supplant my Friend, to whom my Word has pass'd? No, if she refuse my Choice, by Hell she ne'er shall marry.

Cam. How! Belvil? wou'd you presume to prescribe your Sister's Fate, and wrest the Power of Heaven's Decree? tho' I know nothing of Constantia's Mind, I dare believe she scorns your base Description, she'll never wed below her Birth.

Bel. Then she does love it seems! and you are in the Secret! say, who is this mighty Gentleman?

Cam. You are mad yourself, and wou'd have others so; because I won't believe she loves below herself, does it therefore follow that she must love indeed? I tell you again that I know nothing of her; the Lady you saw was another Friend of mine, and she was undress'd, and beg'd she might not be seen, which was the Reason of her running into the Closet; the Gentleman was a Stranger to me.

Bel. Methinks this sounds just like Invention, but I love too well to break with her, and she's but too sensible of that. (Aside.) Well, I will enquire no farther—'Sdeath, but the Mask—Why was he mask'd?

Cam. Mask'd! was he mask'd, say you? doubtless he has had his Reasons for it; every Man to his Way, you know.

Bel. If his Way lies not towards my Sister, Success to him; if it does, let him look to't.

Cam. Envy'd Lovers often thrive the best:

Let Men pursue their strictest jealous Care,
We Women still can match 'em to a Hair.



SCENE Constantia's Apartment.

Enter Colonel Bastion.

Bast. Here are so many People about this House, that I cannot possibly get out; and if Camilla shou'd have no Opportunity to apprize Constantia of my being here, she may be frighted: Ha! I hear somebody coming this Way, I'll step aside and listen, perhaps it may be she.

[Exit between the Scenes.

Enter Florella and Lord Richlove.

Flor. Softly, my Lord.

Bast. (peeping) My Lord! What do I hear?

Flor. The next is my Lady's Bed-chamber—you'll be sure to be civil—

Bast. Damnation—her Bed-chamber!

L. Rich. Oh! you may depend upon that, Child. There Florella. (Gives her Money.)

Bast. Florella! Ha!

L. Rich. Go, go, go, wish me Success, Wench.


Flor. That I do with all my Heart, my Lord—Well, am not I a Jade now, to put a Man into my Lady's Bed-chamber without her Knowledge? But should not I be a Fool to refuse a Diamond Ring and two Broad-pieces? ay certainly—I have only drawn the Wine, she may chuse to drink—besides 'tis a Way to exercise her Virtue—nobody can boast of Honesty till they are try'd—I once thought myself Proof against Temptation, but the dear, bewitching Gold has caught me; and the best Way to reconcile it to my Conscience, is, not to be too inquisitive into the Reasons by which I rise.


Colonel Bastion comes forward.

Bast. 'Sdeath, introduc'd by her Maid! Hell and Furies, it cannot, surely, be by her Command; no, I dream, and this is an Illusion; Constantia's mine, wholly mine, chaste as the new-born Day, or Buds of Roses, ere the Winds have kiss'd 'em; this must be Treachery, the Maid's corrupted—Why did I not seize and drag her to Constantia? Hold, that might have furnish'd her with an Excuse, and help'd to deceive myself—for she may be false! Who can judge the Heart of Woman?—Here will I stay and wait the Event; Ha! she comes. (Enter Constantia with a Candle.) I tremble lest she shou'd be guilty.


Const. I admire I hear not from my Cousin—Pray Heaven he be well, and 'scap'd unseen by Belvil. O Repose! that Stranger to the Breasts of Lovers, when wilt thou return to bless me? An unusual Heaviness sits on my Spirits, as if some mighty Danger threatened me—If Bastion's safe, I care not what it be, for nought has Power to shock my Soul wherein he's not concern'd—Camilla promis'd to pass the Evening with me, I wish she'd come, I'll go into my Chamber, and read something in Cowley.


Bastion comes forward.

Bast. She's gone: Now hold my Heart, and let my Ears inform me:
If Innocent, in her Defence I'll draw;
If not, my own Revenge shall be my Law.


SCENE draws, and discovers Constantia, reading:
Richlove enters softly behind her.

Const. (reads) I try'd if Books cou'd cure my Love, but found, Love made 'em Nonsense all—

L. Rich. (reads over her Shoulder) I apply'd Receipts of Business to my Wound, but stirring did the Pain recal—

Const. Bless me! who are you? (Rising up.)

L. Rich. One that adores the fair Constantia.

Const. Astonishing! my Lord Richlove in my Chamber? How got your Lordship Admittance here?

L. Rich. Love, Love, my Charmer; I find you know his Power, therefore cannot be surpriz'd at this Liberty.

Const. Insolence! Does this Action become a Man of Honour, my Lord? Leave me instantly—I command you.

L. Rich. This Action becomes a Lover, Madam, and he that loves like me, is unable to quit the Object of his Wishes—Thus low, upon my Knees, I ask your Pardon, for intruding on your Privacies, and beg you'd favourably hear what I have to offer.

Const. Your Proceeding wears so ill a Face, my Lord, you cannot hope, with Favour, to be heard—Coming like a Thief upon me, is not sure the Way.

L. Rich. The only Way I cou'd think of, Madam, to offer you a Heart entirely devoted to your Service; and with it all that I am Master of; so well I love, you shall be Mistress of myself and Fortune.

Const. I thank your Lordship—But that you may not be deceiv'd, observe me well—Were you Master of the spacious Globe, and at your Feet the trembling World bow'd down, I shou'd contemn all Offers you cou'd make, and with the same Coldness hear your Tale of Love. I'm not dispos'd to marry.

L. Rich. How! not dispos'd to marry? Is there then a happy Man to whose Arms you'd fly without it? I can dispense with Ceremony too, and be content to share with him your Favours. (Approaching her.)

Const. What mean you, my Lord?

L. Rich. What did you mean, Madam, when you flew into my Bosom in the Garden to-night? You did not design that kind Embrace for me. (Lays hold of her.)

Const. Stand off! and touch me not—The Man that I mistook thee for, (for now I own I love) holds more Virtues than all thy Ancestors could boast; and were he here, you durst not thus affront me.

L. Rich. Durst not—By all the Injuries of slighted Love, I would enjoy thee even before his Face. Nay, struggle not, proud Beauty.

Enter Bastion.

Bast. By Heaven she's spotless! Oh my kind Stars! This was a lucky Opportunity.

Const. Help, a Rape! a Rape! (Struggles with him.)

Bast. Ravisher, let go the Lady, and take thy just Reward from me. (Draws.)

Const. Bastion here! (Accidentally throws down the Candle.)

L. Rich. Who are you, Sir, that dare to interfere with my Concerns? (Draws.) I am glad the Light's out, my Business is not to fight here, but make my Escape, if possible—

Bast. I answer Questions thus, Sir; where are you?

Const. Ah, Murder! Murder!—Defend my Love, ye Powers!

Enter Camilla, with a Candle.

L. Rich. Ha! a Candle! If you are a Gentleman, meet me in the Street immediately, and there I'll give you Satisfaction.


Bast. I'll follow you—(Going.)

Const. Not for the Universe—(Stops him.)

Cam. What's the Matter here? Was not that my Lord?

Const. It was—Ha! the whole House is alarm'd, what shall I do? If Bastion's found I am undone.

Cam. Here, here, Colonel; this Door, you know, secures your Retreat back into my House—

Const. As you prize my Life, do not follow him; an Hour hence I'll quit this House, and thro' Camilla's meet thee; be ready to receive me.

Bast. Be certain of it; till when, thou Charmer of my Soul, farewel.


Enter Sir Roger, Belvil, and Servants.

Sir Rog. What's the matter, Daughter?

Bel. Did I not hear Murder cry'd, Constantia?

Cam. Yes; and had you been a little quicker, might have seen the Cause; by what Contrivance I know not, but my Lord Richlove was here in your Sister's Chamber.

Bel. My Lord Richlove in my Sister's Chamber!

Const. And with foul Intentions too—Oh Sir, if you esteem me as a Sister, or you, Sir, as a Child of yours, relieve me from his Brutal Passion.

Sir Rog. Brutal Passion! you amaze me, I am sure he told me his Love was honourable.

Bel. Told you, Sir? Why, has he declar'd his Love to you?

Sir Rog. Why, yes, Belvil, I must confess he did ask my leave to court her—And I cou'd not refuse a Man of his Birth and Fortune rudely.

Bel. 'Sdeath! then you encourag'd him!

Sir Rog. Not absolutely encourag'd him—But if she cou'd have lik'd him—He's a Lord, you know!

Bel. Damn his Title—

Const. But less honourable than a Footman; he drag'd me round the Room, and vow'd Revenge upon my Virtue; my Cries brought Camilla to my Aid, at sight of whom he fled, or Heaven knows what I had suffer'd from his Violence.

Sir Rog. Say'st thou so! 'Od I'll banish him my House.

Bel. Confusion! banish him the House! I'll banish him the World, if I can meet him.


Sir Rog. And I'll send him Word so this Moment—Attempt the Honour of my Daughter!


Cam. Belvil, methinks, left the Room abruptly; I wish the Consequence prove not fatal.

Const. I hope he will not find him—

Cam. Pray Heav'n he may not. Which Way got my Lord in, think ye?

Const. I cannot guess—Nor by what Miracle Bastion came to my Relief.

Cam. I can unriddle that part, I let him in thro' the little Door, to avoid Belvil's seeing him—You'll excuse me, dear Constantia, I am under some uneasiness for Belvil, and must endeavour to clear my Suspicion.


Const. Success attend thee—Here is no Safety left for me, I'll take Security in my Bastion's Arms.

His constant Heart shall all my Fears remove,
And now my Duty shall give place to Love.


SCENE changes to the Street.

Enter Timothy.

Tim. What a cursed shambling Life is this of a Footman? Faith, I think those honest Gentlemen perfectly in the right that have forsworn the Livery, and set up their Coaches—E'gad my Legs are fall'n away to Catsticks—I was forc'd to have the Waist-band of my Breeches taken in a Quarter of a Yard—Sure Love is catching, for I am grown a mere Skeleton, and in a few Days more I shall be taken for my Master—'Tis a little hard tho', when I say I want my Dinner, he replies, I have no Stomach yet—and when I say I am dry—he says, there is Tea in the Pot, drink that, 'twill quench your Thirst—and when I am so sleepy I can't stand, he sends me upon the Scout—Here I'm to watch the opening of that Door—for it seems this Night he is to carry off his Mistress—Wou'd he had her once, for this cursed Life is very contrary to my Appetite—Suppose now I shou'd be catch'd by some of the Family—and have my Nose cut off—or any of the Neighbours shou'd observe me sauntering about here, and mistake me for a Thief, and send me to Newgate—or some drunken Fellow stumble upon me, and break my Bones—'Od, methinks, I feel a Cudgel about my Ears already.

Enter Le Front.

Front. My Lord bid me watch dis Door for a Shentleman's coming out, begar me believe it is some Rival—

Tim. (Seeing him.) Ah! one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred—oh, oh, oh.

Front. Vat de Divel Noise is dat? I see nobody but myself, mafoy—

Tim. Humph, ha,—I was mistaken, I think I see but one—I hope he's a Christian—I have a good mind to speak to him—I'll give him wondrous good Words—Pray, sweet Sir, do you want any thing hereabouts?

Front. Ha! vat de Divil is dat to you?

Tim. Nay, don't be angry, gentle Sir, I, I, I, I, ask you for no harm, indeed not I.

Front. You ask me for no Harm, begar you be one impertinent Fellow, to ask me vat I do want; suppose I do want nothing, vat den, ha!

Tim. Why, if you have no very great Business, Sir, I shou'd be extremely oblig'd to you, if you wou'd do me the Favour to quit this Street, Sir, because I have some small Affairs here—not of my own, I assure you, if they were you shou'd command me, but they are my Master's; now, Servants you know, Sir, must obey Orders.

Front. Now you must know, Sir, I have Business of my Master's too, therefore must stay, Sir; and if you will take my Advice, go yourself—begone—run.

Tim. Gently, good Sir, gently—I cannot run, for I am lame of one Leg.

Front. Dis Fellow is one dam Coward, mafoy—Me vill exalt a me Voice. (Aside.) Mortblue, me vill make a you lame of de toder Leg too, if you don't leave dis Street presently—

Tim. I do intend to leave the Street, Sir, for I cannot carry it away upon my Shoulders.

Front. A pox take a your Pun, I hate a your dam Scoundrel Wit begar.

Tim. Why, Sir, with Submission, you are but a Servant yourself; you told me so just now.

Front. A Servant! Begar me be de Gentleman to you—Me be de French Valet de Chambre to one Lord, and you be one Skipkennel mafoy in de Livery; the Frenchman scorn de Livery, as much as de Irish do de Trade.

Tim. 'Egad I'll try the Courage of this French Son of a Kickshaw—may be he loves Fighting no more than I do, and if the worst comes to the worst, that the Dog shou'd be stout, I can but run away at last. (Aside.)

Front. Garsoons, why don't a you go, Sir?—What be you studing for, ha! Fripone?

Tim. I am thinking, Sir, that a French Valet makes the best Pimp in the World.

Front. Pimp! Pimp a yourself begar—de French a Man never pimp—No, he taste always—Parblue, de English Lady be tout jour at de Frenchman Service.

Tim. I thought it was something, indeed, that scatter'd the Pox about so plentifully—Are not you a Surgeon too, Monsieur Ragout?

Front. Yes, Sir, every Frenchman is by Nature a Surgeon, Barber, and Dancing-master, mafoy. (Cuts a Caper.)

Tim. A Dancing-master! Ha, ha, ha! I thought as much, for I have seen your Countrymen caper away before the Allies many a time; and hark ye, Monsieur! if you don't march off, I shall play you such an English Courant, of slap-dash, presently, that shan't out of your Ears this Twelve-month. Faith he's as great a Coward as I am; I'll keep my Ground, if I can, till my Master Comes. (Aside.)

Front. You play me a slap-dash! Begar you had best be civil—Jerniblue, 'tis like a your English a Fashion—talk of the slap-dash to de Gentleman—

Tim. A Gentleman! How dare that Gentlman talk saucily to another Gentleman, better than himself?

Front. Oh parblue! a Gentleman Footman!

Tim. Sirrah, there are Gentlemen Footmen in my Country, that keep such Scoundrels as you to wipe their shoes; and I have a good mind to rip up your Paunch, and make a Fricasy of your Puddings, ye Dog.

Front. Begar me was mistaken in dis Fellow; I must give him good Words, mafoy, or de English Beife and Pudin will be in my Guts, begar. (Aside.)

Enter Lord Richlove.

L. Rich. Who are you talking with, Le Front?

Front. Ah! parblue, your Lorship come a propos.

Tim. So! here will be no staying for me I find: Who the Devil is this Lord?

Front. Here be one lousie Footman dat vill stay here in spight of my Teeth, mafoy.

Tim. A nitty Son of a Whore, who does he call lousy? this Dog wou'd have murder'd me now—What shall I do? If I stay not, my Master will beat me; and if I do stay, this Lord will cut my Throat. (Aside.)

L. Rich. Hark'e Sirrah, who are you, that you won't leave this Place?

Tim. Who! I not leave this Place, Sir! I'll leave it with all my Blood, Sir, this Minute; the Devil watch for Timothy.

[Exit running.

Front. Begar me be very glad he is gone. (Aside.)

L. Rich. Well, have you seen anybody come out of this House, Le Front?

Front. Not one Soul me Lor—but me Lor—have a you fa la la la (Sings a Minuet) dance a de Minuet vid de Lady, me Lor? you understand me.

L. Rich. No, I was prevented; I believe by the Man I saw in the Garden.

Front. Did not your Lorship kill him?

L. Rich. No, 'tis him I expect here.

Front. Why, where did your Lorship leave him?

L. Rich. In her Chamber.

Front. Ha, ha, ha! a very good Jest mafoy, me warrant he is better employ'd, dan to come to sa, sa, wid your Lorship—he will have de duel vid de Lady first parblue—me Lor, take a my Advice, make use of de Stratagem, fight like de King of France, politickly; and when he comes out, let your Lorship's Footmen seize him, and make a one Eunuch of him to supply Valentini's Place in de Opera me Lor, begar dat vill revenge your Lorship very well.

L. Rich. Away, Blockhead! I scorn to take Advantage of him—If he's a Gentleman he shall have fair Play for his Life, therefore begone and leave me, I hear somebody coming; I'll observe.

[Exit between the Scenes.

Front. Vid all my Heart mafoy, me no love Fighting since Wounds were in Fashion, de Devil rides Post upon de English Sword, quite thro' de Frenchman's Body, begar.


Enter Colonel Bastion.

Bast. I left my Man hereabouts; where can he be? Tim, Tim,—he's either gone to stuff his Guts now, or fallen fast asleep—sure Constantia's not come out.

L. Rich. (Peeping.) Who can this be? he seems as if he waited here for somebody; perhaps 'tis he I want.

Bast. What's that? Sure I heard a Noise; Tim, hist, Tim; where are you, Sirrah?

L. Rich. Ha! I'll answer to the Call, and try what I can discover—Here, Sir, here.

Bast. Here, you Rascal! where have you been lurking? Have you seen Constantia, Sirrah?

L. Rich. No, Sir, nobody has appear'd yet—'Sdeath, Constantia! it must be him.

Bast. Have a Coach ready at the Corner of the Street to convey her hence, and then you may sleep to Eternity, Sirrah.

L. Rich. To convey her hence! Lucky Discovery; I may spoil your Design perhaps.

Constantia (above in the Balcony) Hist, hist, are you there my Love?

L. Rich. and Bast. (together) Yes my Angel, make haste, I'm ready to receive thee.

Const. I come, I come.


Bast. How now, Saucebox; who bid you answer?

L. Rich. He that dares return your Saucebox; Villain, have I caught you! (Lays hold on Bastion.)

Bast. Are you there, my Lord?—I am ready for you; tho' I wish you had ta'en another Time. (Flings from him.)

L Rich. So do I, because now I wait to carry hence Constantia; you heard her say she was coming.

Bast. But not to you; have at you, the Justice of my Cause shall light my Sword to find a Ravisher's Heart. (Draws.)

L. Rich. And Love shall guide my Arm to disappoint thy Joys. (Draws.)

Bast. Come on, I am not used to fear.

[They fight off.

Enter Le Front.

Front. Sa, sa, sa, sa, me no like a dat Musick: If my Lor should kill a dat Gentleman now—why den far him well—but if dat Gentleman shou'd kill a me Lor, why if me had his Estate, he might go to de Devil, begar.

Enter Constantia.

Const. Where are you, my Life?

Front. Ha! what's dat? de Lady call me her Life, she take a me for somebody—parblue, and she shall find a me somebody too; de French a Man be very good for de Lady.

Const. Where are you, my Dear? (Groping about.)

Front. Here, here, my Dear. (Softly.)

She runs into his Arms, he kisses her eagerly.

Begar, she kiss a purely.

Const. Now we'll part no more.

Front. No more? dat is too long mafoy; me please a you for one, two, tree Hours very well—but for ever!—Me beg a your Pardon for dat, Madam.

Const. (Flings from him.) Ah! who are you, Sir?

Front. Me be one very pretty Playting for de Lady.

Const. I ask your Pardon, Sir, I was mistaken—What Wretch's Hands have I fall'n into? Sure I did hear Bastion's Voice?

Front. Mistaken—begar you must not be mistaken, Madam, for you have make a me one very great Stomach for de Woman, and begar me vill no starve, and de Vittles so near me. (Lays hold of her.)

Const. Away, Scoundrel; that for your Insolence.

Strikes him a Box in the Ear.

Front. De Devil take your Mutton fist, Jerney blue, me have a good mind to knock you down begar.

Const. In my Conscience I believe him—sure Bastion was here, if not he won't be long; I'll slip back into the House—pray Heav'n I'm not discover'd.


Front. De Devil how my Cheeks glow—you be one gran Salup, Mafoy, me will be revenge—What, be she gon? Now pox take her, she is nimble at both Ends begar; de English be de dam uncivil Nation, here is nothing but de Foot, and de Finger—de French accost de Stranger, Tout jour avec de Complesane comme sa

Votre serviteur Monsieur tres humblement;
De English Kick a de Breech, and slap a de dents.



SCENE continues.

Enter Belvil, solus.

Bel. I have drove from Tavern to Tavern, from Chocolate-House to Chocolate-House, but can hear nothing of my Lord Richlove; I fancy he is lurking somewhere about our House still—kind Fortune direct my Eyes to find him, then if Revenge forsakes me I'll forgive him.

Const. (Peeping.) Sure this is Bastion! and yet my Fears alarm me so I know not what I had best to do; if I again mistake, it may be dangerous, yet if it shou'd be him, and I not meet him, what cou'd he think? he wou'd conclude I lov'd him not, and that wou'd break his Heart; therefore I'll on, Inclination's an undaunted Guide. Hist, hist.

Bel. Ha! Camilla's Door open, and a Signal given! what Intrigue has she on foot? I'll return it however. Hist, here, here. (Softly.)

Enter Constancia.

Const. (Softly.) Where, where have you been, my Dear? indeed it was unkind to make me wait so long.

Bel. Ha! so long! Damnation!

Const. Come, let us retire lest we be discover'd; if we shou'd, Belvil wou'd pursue thee to Death, and me to Ruin.

Bel. I can hold no longer: You have mistook your Man, Madam—but if your Ladyship will inform me who he is, I'll conduct you to him, perfidious Woman—

Const. Ah! my Brother! oh miserable me, what shall I say? Now I'm inevitably lost; sure some spiteful Planet reigns this Night, destin'd by Fate to overthrow our Loves—

Bel. What, are you Thunderstruck? Is Belvil's Presence such a Terror to you? speak, who was I taken for?

Const. I, I, I, I, I did, did, did, not, not, not—

Bel. Ha! thy Tongue is modest, and asham'd to utter the Foulness of thy Purpose—Was this thy Love to me, treacherous Camilla?

Const. Camilla! nay then there are some Hopes yet; his mistaking me for her, may favour my Escape.

Bel. If you learn to be tractable, one may endure you for a Husband! Ay, you wou'd make a Husband of me indeed, a tractable Monster, to fetch and carry, to jump over a Stick, or hold a Door—'Sdeath, that I knew this lucky Villain, I'd thank him for my good Deliverance—What, are you dumb with Guilt? nay, thou may'st well be so: Oh Sex curst from the Original, I'm now confirm'd in my Opinion, that there never was a Woman true—Inclination, Vanity, Interest or Curiosity, has still prevail'd upon their fickle Natures, and he that trusts their faithless Vows, forfeits his Reason, and destroys his Peace.

Enter Timothy drunk.

Tim. So, now I have fortified my Courage with a Dram, I'll try if I can stand my Ground. (Hickups.) 'Egad methinks I cou'd fight an Elephant now; I fancy Cowardice is a kind of an Ague, and there is nothing like Brandy to cure it. (Hickups.)

Bel. Ha! who's here? pray Heav'n it prove your Lover, Madam.

Const. All the Stars forbid. (Aside.)

Tim. Who the Devil have we got yonder? I'm afraid, honest Tim, thy Master is here before thee; and if so, Tim Boy, thou wilt be swingingly corrected—odds my Life there's two things, I'll see what they are, I'm resolv'd.

Goes up to Bel.

Const. I am ready to sink, with Apprehension, if 'tis Bastion I'm undone for ever. (Aside.)

Tim. So, so, then you are here, Sir, I'm glad on't with all my Blood—

Bel. Are you, so, Sir? This is some Scout, I perceive.

Const. 'Tis Bastion's Man; oh that I cou'd speak to him.

Tim. But, but, but, how did you escape my Lord, and all his Regiment of Frenchmen? Afore George I had like to have been pink'd out of my Life.

Const. Ha! my Lord! I wish Bastion is not murder'd.

Bel. My Lord! wou'd I had met his Lordship: Confusion! What Dog is this?

Const. Kind Fortune bring me some Relief. (Aside.)

Bel. Is this your Creature to convey you to the Arms of your Gallant, Madam?

Tim. Madam! ho, ho, have you got her then, 'od that's rare i'faith: I wish you much Joy, Madam; I'm just come from drinking your Health in, in, in, right French Brandy, or the Rogue has cheated me damnably.

Bel. Rascal, Pander, Villain, (Beats him.) Sirrah, whose Scoundrel are you?

Const. Ah! poor Tim! but I shall take the Opportunity, and not stay to part you.


Tim. Zounds what Tartar's Mouth have I popt into?

Bel. Speak, Hang-dog—Who do you look for? And what Business have you here?

Tim. I can never answer Questions in the middle of Blows, Sir,—for I have a Sort of an Impediment in my Speech, (Hickups.) which holds great Communication with my Shoulders—

Bel. Have you so, Sirrah? then I'll break that Communication ye Dog; I'll make you answer me, Sirrah.

Tim. Castigation always shuts up my Mouth profoundly, Sir.

Bel. 'Sdeath, answer me to the Purpose, or I'll rip a Hundred Mouths in you. (Draws.)

Tim. Ay, if you do, Sir; I'll be hang'd if I shall speak at e'er a one of them—Ah Lord, a Sword! put it up good Sir, put it up, or I shall swoon away—when my Mother was with Child of me, she was frighted at a naked Sword, and I never cou'd endure the Sight of one since; oh, oh, oh, oh! I am very sick upon my Faith.

Bel. You cowardly Rascal! say then who did you expect to meet here?

Enter Camilla.

Cam. I cannot find Belvil for my Life, nor hear of him no where.

Tim. Why, why, why, I expect to find my Master here, Sir.

Cam. Ha! what's that?

Bel. And who is your Master, Sirrah?

Cam. 'Tis Belvil's Voice.

Tim. Why my Master is a Gentleman, Sir, I assure you.

Bel. A Gentleman, Sir! and has that Gentleman no Name? 'Sdeath don't trifle, Rascal. (Slaps him with his Sword.)

Tim. Name! look ye there now, that Sword has frighted his Name quite out of my Head, upon my Soul, Sir.

Bel. Find it again ye Dog, or this Moment is your last.

Tim. Ah! Murder! Murder!

Cam. How's this? Murder—in the Name of Goodness what's the matter, Belvil? What are you doing to the poor Fellow?

Bel. Oh you can find your Tongue now, Madam, in behalf of your Emissary. (Turns to her.)

Tim. Egad and I can find my Legs too; the Danger has frighted the Brandy quite out of my Head, and now my Courage lies all in my Heels. (Runs out.)

Cam. My Emissary!

Bel. Yes, your Pander, the cursed Pander to your Inclination; but I'll be reveng'd on him however—Ha! what, is he gone? Confound him—but no matter, I'm not that Fool which you imagin'd—nor you the Woman I took you for; I'm not to be impos'd upon, Madam.

Cam. Sure you are distracted, Belvil—What Imposition do you mean? Was it an Imposition to prevent your murdering a poor Wretch?—or, when your Passion's up, must you discharge it upon all that comes in your Way?

Bel. No Evasions, Madam, can excuse you; you wou'd not have me think I dream't all this?

Cam. All what?

Bel. So! you are a Stranger to what's past, I warrant? you ran into my Arms without Design—Come, let's retire, if we're discover'd Belvil will pursue thee to Death, and me to Ruin—You did not say them Words neither—no, you are innocent of all—and who this Fellow is that got drunk with drinking your Health's as much unknown to you as the Cham of Tartary.

Cam. You are directly in the right on't, for I am a Stranger to all your Accusations.

Bel. Thou hast an Assurance beyond all Parallel.

Cam. I suspect Constantia was the Woman, and she has mistook her Brother for the Colonel, for that was certainly Timothy by his Cowardice: Pray, Sir, where did I speak them kind Words?

Bel. Positively that Question has struck me dumb—and from this Moment I shall think it loss of Time to converse with you—

You can't by all your Cunning clear your Fame,
Or e'er induce me to believe you more:
Thus I cancel every Vow I made you,
And with this Breath I drive the Tyrant Love away.

Cam. So incredulous! so insolently bold!
Then 'tis time to assume the Pride of Innocence,
The strongest surest Guard my Sex can boast.
Know, Ingrate—
I equally scorn your Love, and base Aspersions;
You think yourself commission'd to be rude,
And Nature form'd you for no other End
But to insult and ruin Womankind:
Your flattering Oaths, and endless Perjuries,
Are Tools you use to forward your Deceit.
But when you think you have us in your Pow'r,
You quit the Mask, and show the Man all o'er:
Happy is she that trusts you not too far,
Who can retreat, and pay you with Contempt.

Bel. Right Woman! when no Excuses can be found, their best Sanctuary lies in Impudence. (Aside.)

Cam. I smile to think of thy affected Freedom,
And read the Weakness of thy purpos'd Thought.
You, Coward like, now boast of what you'll do,
But cannot act the saucy Scene quite out:
Yes, I shall have you trembling at my Feet,
Begging Forgiveness from my injur'd Heart,
But I will use thee as thy Crime deserves:
As what I've said was credited by you,
Just so much Pity shall you find from me:
I'll teach your haughty Temper to submit,
And all your Sex shall own a Woman's Wit.


Bel. Arrogance we all know you have enough. Death and Hell, is it possible that she can deny her Falshood—and to my Face—just in the very Fact—she's the Epitome of Womankind—the very Quintessence of Treachery—Marry her! no, 'tis safer to accompany with a Crocodile—nor from this Moment shall my Sister see her—she that can cater for herself so well, is of dangerous Conversation—my Father shall lock her up this Moment, till my Friend arrives.

Enter Colonel Merryman singing.

Mer. When I was young, a Soldier and strong,
'Twas Musick to hear the Drums rattle;
But now I am old, and the Weather is cold,
My chiefest Delight is my Bottle.

Bel. Ho, here's her Father stroling from the Tavern I suppose, I'll avoid him. (Going.)

Mer. Who's that, that wou'd avoid me? ha! I never flinch'd in my Life, old Boy—and faith I'll know who you are—(Lays hold on Belvil) Ha! Belvil—why what, wou'dst thou shun thy Uncle, Boy! ha, the Devil's in these young Fellows when they are in Love—they hate the Company of everybody which are not infected with their Distemper—why what, thou camest out of my House now I warrant, didst thou not, ha?

Bel. No indeed, Sir, not I.

Mer. Come, come, young Man, don't lie for the matter—I am acquainted with your Pretentions, Camilla has told me all—she has ten thousand Pounds, Boy, that I can't hinder her of, and I shall leave her a Loaf when I die—and let her chuse for herself and welcome—but methinks, Kinsman, you might have made your Love known to me—why what, Man, Cousins may couple for all their Affinity—I don' take it kindly, Belvil, faith I don't—why what, cou'd not we have smoak'd a Pipe, and crack'd a Bottle together, and settled Matters in order for the cracking my Daughter's Pipkin, ha?

Bel. I don't understand you, Sir, I have nothing to say to your Daughter upon my Word, Sir.

Mer. How! nothing to say to my Daughter that's good, i'faith—a sly young Rogue this; why I tell thee she has let me into the Secret.

Bel. Ay, Sir, that may be—perhaps your Daughter may let more Men into the Secret, than either you or I may know of, old Gentleman.

Mer. Why what do you mean, ha? my Daughter let Men into her Secrets! you had best have a care what you say, young Man, do you hear?

Bel. Look ye, Uncle, I have this Secret to tell you, that I care not if the whole Town were acquainted with every Secret about her—for that I never intend to marry her, is as true as that I know her too well to make a Wife on.

Mer. Too well to make a Wife on! 'Sdeath ye Dog, you han't made a Whore of your Cousin, have you? Sirrah, Sirrah, if you have forc'd the Lines, e'en carry off the Baggage, you Rogue—Zounds, old as I am I'll have a Push with you yet; draw, Sirrah, by the Scars of Hockstet I'll not remember thou'rt my Brother's Son, but use thee like a Frenchman, Sirrah—

Bel. But I shan't forget that you are my Father's Brother, Sir, nor will I fight you—therefore pray let your Hockstet Fury cool—go home and lock up your Daughter, that's your best Security; I assure you I shall never force any Lines belonging to your Family, nor so much as make the least Attempt upon her Cover'd Way—and so farewell, Uncle.


Mer. Here's a Dog now! Zounds, he shan't carry it off thus—by the Fame of Ramilly I'll have Satisfaction, if I follow him to the Indies—Not attempt my Daughter's Cover'd Way—Bullets, Balls and Cannons, he shall make a Lodgment there in spite of all the Mines his Inconstancy can spring.


Enter Colonel Bastion.

Bast. A Pox of this secular Prince of Darkness, the Constable, there is no disputing with his Mirmidons; had it not been for his Authority, I shou'd have paid his Lordship for his untimely Attendance! A Curse of all Ill-luck, I fear Constantia's lost by this unlucky Accident! What can she imagine? She must conclude me all that's base, and think me most unworthy of her Love—Sure Fate takes Pleasure still to cross my Hopes, and render my Endeavours vain—All is silent as the Grave; not the least Whisper of a Voice! Where can this Servant of mine be? Death, I cou'd shake the Villain into Atoms, if I had him.

Enter Le Front.

Front. No News of my Lor yet, begar.

Bast. Oh, are you come, Sirrah?—How durst you stir from your Post, ye Dog? (Beats him.)

Front. Post! Begar your Lorship post a me no where; what do you beat a me for? De Divil be in all de Folks to-night, I tink.

Bast. Ha! I have fall'n foul upon some Lord's Servant, it seems. (Aside.)

Front. I desire your Lorship discharge me; de Valet de Chambre can no digest a de Blow, mafoy.

Bast. Prithee get thee about thy Business, and don't trouble me with thy Jargon; I thought I had struck my own Servant; I am sorry for the Mistake.

Front. What de Divil, are not you my Lor den? Pox take a your Servant—Parblue, my Lor shall know your gran Civility to his Gentleman.

Bast. Pray, what Lord do you serve, Poltroon?

Front. Poltroon! Begar me no like his Compliment—Me serve a me Lor Richlove, Sir; what have you to say to him! ha! Sir?

Bast. Nothing, Sir, only I beg the Favour of your Gentlemanship, to carry him that, and that, and that, Sir. (Kicks him.)

Front. A very fine Present, begar.

Bast. And tell him, he sent them, that would have sent his Lordship to the Devil to-night, if he had not been prevented.

Front. Monsieur, begar me no like a de Message, you please to send a your own Servant, dat my Lor may return de Favour—Jerney blue, me hate a de English, more den de Turk, begar.

Bast. Do you dispute it, Mungrel? Begone, or I shall give you twice as much.

Front. Me take a your Word for dat, begar, me no stay for de Proofe.


Enter on the other Side Colonel Merryman.

Bast. Who's this?

Mer. Where cou'd I miss this Rogue?—Od I'll find him e'er I sleep, if I die for't. (Runs against Col. Bastion.) Ho, ho, have I found you? Draw, you young Dog, draw, or I'll Spitlock you like an Eel, Sirrah; not attempt my Daughter's Cover'd Way, quotha?

Bast. 'Zdheart, who's this? 'Tis not sure Constantia's Father, what does he mean by Cover'd Way?

Mer. What's that you mutter? ha, Sir!

Bast. I suppose you mistake your Man, Sir, pray whom do you seek?

Mer. Whom do I seek? Why I seek Belvil, Sir Roger Merryman's Son, Sir—now if you be not him, I beg your Pardon.

Bast. I thought you were mistaken, Sir, I am not him I assure you, Sir—I think 'tis Colonel Merryman.

Mer. The very same, Sir—Who are you? ha! by your Voice you shou'd be Colonel Bastion.

Bast. At your Service, Sir.

Mer. What, my Hero! Why how dost thou do, Boy?

Bast. Pray what's the Occasion of your Quarrel with your Kinsman?

Mer. Hang him, he's no Kinsman of mine, but no matter for that—Thereby hangs a Tale, which you must not know, Sir.

Bast. I am not over curious, Colonel.

Mer. Shall we take a Bottle, my Boy?

Bast. Another Time, Colonel, but at present I'm engag'd.

Mer. Some Female Assignation—I warrant; well I am, a Well-wisher to the soft Sex, tho' Age has cashier'd the Pleasure—Success attend thee.


Bast. What can his Quarrel be with Belvil? Is he a Stranger to his Love for Camilla?

Enter Belvil.

Bel. So, I have drop'd this old drunken Fellow at last; I met my Lord Richlove's Valet with a Link before him just now, perhaps his Lordship mayn't be far off.

Perceiving Colonel Bastion,
runs and catches hold of him.

Who are you, Sir, sculking so near this House?

Bast. Death, Sir, who are you that dare ask that Question? (They struggle together.)

Bel. Nay struggle not, for I'll know who you are before you and I part. A Light, a Light, a Light there.

Enter Link-Boy.

Link-boy. Here, Master.

Bel. Colonel! is it you? I thought you had been on your Way to Flanders by this Time: Where have you been poaching?

Bast. Ha! Constantia's Brother!—The Coach does not set out till six: I came now from the Rose, where with two or three honest Fellows I have been drinking a Farewel to old England, and Success to the next Campaign. I had like to have had a Duel with Colonel Merryman, he took me for you: Pray, Sir, what Quarrel have you with one another?

Bel. The natural Antipathy Age has to Youth, I know of none else—he was in his Cups, I suppose.

Bast. But who did you take me for?

Bel. Not for him I assure you; so a good Journey to you, Captain.


Bast. Thank you, Sir—he's gone into his own House—What can the Meaning of this be? I must endeavour to see Camilla; 'tis break of Day, an unseasonable Hour to visit a Lady, but the Impatience I am under of clearing myself to Constantia, will break in upon Ceremony at this Time—Oh Fortune, be thou once propitious, and give me full Possession of my Love, or make me lose the Memory of her Charms.

Link-boy. Where shall I light you to, Master?

Bast. No where; begone—ha!—(Exit Link-boy.) Colonel Merryman and Lord Richlove in Conversation! I'll wave Revenge for once, and listen to the Consequence. (Withdraws.)

Enter Colonel Merryman and Lord Richlove.

Mer. Why here has been strange Mistakes, my Lord! Should you have carry'd off my Niece, say you?

L. Rich. Most certainly—If I had not been prevented, as I told you.

Mer. Who cou'd that Man be?

L. Rich. I wish I knew him, Colonel; I fancy it must be him her Brother designs her for.

Mer. He is not yet arriv'd, that I know of.

L. Rich. I think it very unnatural in Belvil, to force his Sister's Inclinations, even against a Father's Choice.

Mer. Hang him, my Lord, he's a perfect Humourist; I wish I cou'd plague him a little—I hope I may credit your Lordship's Assertion? You say my Niece Constantia really loves you, my Lord?

L. Rich. Upon my Honour, Colonel, she has met me in the Garden, admitted me privately into her Bed-chamber, and I was to have carried her off this Night—If I can deceive this old Fellow, and draw him over to my Interest, I may chance to carry my Design yet. (Aside.)

Mer. Nay! if once a Woman admits a Man into her Bed-chamber, she has a Design of admitting him elsewhere that's certain—Well, give me your Hand, my Lord; by the Honour of Britain I'll serve you if I can.

Bast. Say you so, old Gentleman? (Aside.)

L. Rich. I thank you, Colonel; but how shall I see Constantia? for I doubt this last Accident has doubled Belvil's Care; if I cou'd be introduc'd into the Family under some Disguise, we might find an Opportunity for her Escape.

Mer. Humph, Disguise, say you? What think you of a Grecian now? Od, your Lordship wou'd make a jolly Grecian, and you shall sell Perfumes, Wash-balls, Chocolate, and so forth—I promised my Niece some Chocolate, and you shall go from me.

L. Rich. I like the Contrivance! But, Colonel, your Quarrel with Belvil may be an Obstacle in my Way; suppose I shou'd meet with him, perhaps your Name wou'd not give me Admittance, what shall I do then?

Mer. Right! we must fend against that—Now I think on't, I'll introduce you myself—you are sure my Niece loves you, and that you have my Brother's Consent, my Lord?

L. Rich. Most certainly, Colonel; I hope you don't think I'd impose upon you?

Mer. No Faith, my Lord, I hope you don't; therefore away, get the Dress, and the rest of the Perquisites, and fear nothing; I'll carry you into her Apartment, and leave you to make the Discovery—

L. Rich. Let me come there once, and then—

Mer. Ay, and then there will be such Cooing and Billing, ha, ha, ha! well, well, I have had my Day, as Dryden says—and so speed your Love, I say. The very Thought of disappointing this young Dog's Design will give me equal Pleasure, my Lord, it will run through my Veins like the Joy of Victory: I'll expect you at my House, my Lord—Not marry my daughter! Zounds he shall sweat beneath the Fascines of Matrimony, before I have done with him.

L. Rich. I'll wait on you with all the Speed possibly I can, Colonel.

[Exeunt severally.

Enter Colonel Bastion.

Bast. Here's a Villain now; he has impos'd upon Colonel Merryman, and hopes to carry his Design by Treachery, but I'll counterplot your Policy; first let me inform the Ladies of this, then I'll take Care of your Grecian Lordship. (Knocks at Camilla's Door.)

Cam. (In the Balcony.) Who's at the Door?

Bast. 'Tis Camilla's Voice.

Cam. Colonel!

Bast. The same.

Cam. Stay, I'll come down this Moment.


Bast. Pray Heav'n Constantia may be with her: I know not why; but methinks a Heaviness hangs on my Heart, that almost choaks my Speech.

Enter Camilla.

Cam. Oh! Colonel, your Affairs wear an ill Face at present. Was not you to have met my Cousin to-night?

Bast. I was, but by an Accident I saw her not.

Cam. Nay, there were more Accidents than one, I can tell you: she fell into her Brother's Hands, instead of yours.

Bast. Unfortunate! Into her Brother's Hands?

Cam. But by her coming out of my House, he mistook her for me; and after she had made her Escape—

Bast. Blest Sound! Did she escape undiscover'd? By what Miracle?

Cam. I know not, but undiscover'd I am sure she did, for I, coming by accidentally, met the Shock of his Fury, he still charging me with what had happen'd—and poor Timothy felt the Effect on't too.

Bast. Hang him, Rascal, no matter if his Bones had been broke, so that had been the worst.

Cam. The Mistake has created an eternal Quarrel between me and Belvil; his Passion wou'd not let him hear Reason, nor my Pride permit me to undeceive him.

Bast. I am unhappy every Way; can you forgive my being the unfortunate Cause, Madam?

Cam. Let not that trouble you, Colonel; but think which Way to free Constantia; for but now, as she was coming to me, her Brother surpriz'd her, and caus'd the Door between our Apartments to be nail'd up.

Bast. Mischievous Turn of Fate—This is an unforeseen Shock, what shall I do now? If I shou'd kill this Lord, it can't advance my Cause—nor give me Entrance to my Love—Something must be thought on to convey me into the House. I have Business of Moment to impart to you, and to my dear Constantia; don't you think it possible to speak to her thro' the Door?

Cam. I believe it may, if you please to walk in we'll try: 'Tis broad Day-light; Heav'n send the Day prove more propitious than the Night has done.


Bast. From thence we'll take our Measures.

I shall at least detect my Lord's Design,
And clear your Cause, whatever comes of mine.



SCENE Constantia's Apartment.

Constantia talking thro' the Door.

Const. I'll observe my Cue, never fear it. Ha! my Brother!

Enter Belvil.

Bel. How's this, talking thro' the Door?—Sister, if you valu'd your Reputation, you'd not take your Confinement ill, nor endeavour to hold a Correspondence thro' a Door, which I had Reasons for nailing up.

Const. Then you ought to have let me into your Reasons, Brother, and not make my Father's House a Jail to me.

Bel. Barring Camilla, you shall have what Company you will; I lov'd her once—once did I say! alas, I find I do so still, and therefore won't expose her; but be assured there is a Cause, yes, and a just one too, for my Proceeding. I expect Sir Philip by the first fair Wind; when you are marry'd my Care is over, and you'll have Liberty to converse with who you please; then you may renew your Friendship, Sister, but not till then, I assure you.

Const. Then I'm afraid we have taken leave for ever.

Bel. How, Constantia!

Const. Nay, frown not, Brother, you cannot force my Will: What Privilege has Nature given you? Why shou'd you dictate to my Heart, or point the Man that shou'd reign Lord of me? I must tell you, Sir, this ungenerous Action makes me look with Stranger's Eyes upon you, and weakens much the Affections of a Sister.

Bel. Most heroically spoken—Now let me tell you something; this haughty Speech has such an aukward Air, that it seems to be but just acquir'd; let me advise you, give the Study over, for Passion in your Sex, is like Vanity in ours, very unbecoming, and rarely conquers nought but Fools and Cowards—Look ye, Constantia, I am positively resolv'd to have the Knight for my Brother-in-Law; now he has no Sister, and I none but you, then judge how the Alliance must come.

Tim. (Within.) Buy any British Cloth or Holland, Kentins, Cambricks or Muslin—buy any fine Bone-Lace within?

Const. Well, Brother, if Heav'n designs Sir Philip for my Husband, I must submit; if not, there will be some Way found to make you do so; then let Time decide this Matter. Florella!

Bel. With all my Heart.

Enter Florella.

Tim. (Within.) Buy any British Cloth within?

Const. Call that Scotchman, I want some Muslin.

Flor. Yes, Madam.


Re-enter Florella, with Timothy in a Scotch Pedlar's Habit, with a Pack upon his Back.

Tim. 'Tis plaguy heavy, Heav'n send me fairly rid of it. (Aside.)

Const. Have you any very fine Muslin, Friend?

Tim. Yes in troth have I, Madam, the finest for yer Use in aw South or North Britain.

Const. Come into the next Room, and show it me.

Tim. Troth will I, Madam; he's no Briton, that wou' not gang with a bonny Lass.

[Exit Tim. and Const.

Flor. Here's a Letter for you, Sir; a Porter brought it, but said it requir'd no Answer—I resolve to clear the Mistake 'twixt him and Camilla, that I may get rid of him, in order to serve my Lord—for he is very generous, and the stricter he confines my Lady, the better for his Lordship, provided I can but secure Belvil; this Letter I hope will do't. (Aside.)

Bel.(Reads.) What's here! I wou'd not have you credit this less for coming from an unknown Hand, nor think yourself in the wrong if you ask Camilla's Pardon, for it was not she, but Constantia, that run into your Arms last Night.

Ha! Constantia! Hell and Furies; has she then a Lover of her own? this jumps with what she said but now: How have I been impos'd upon? Constantia! if it be so, how shall I see Camilla's Face, or dare to approach that injur'd Maid? if it were not Camilla, she came out of Camilla's House, that I am positive of, and therefore she must be privy to the Intrigue: Now I fear my Suspicions were but too true, it was my Sister which I saw, and that Villain in the Mask was the very Man—oh that I knew him but—'Sdeath how am I confounded! hark ye, Florella.

Flor. It takes as I wou'd have it. (Aside.)

Bel. Do you know any Gentleman that makes Pretentions to your Mistress?

Flor. Mum! I'll play my Cards sure, no Confession in forma pauperis, he never sees, and therefore shall know no more than will serve my Turn—who I, Sir? not I indeed, Sir.

Bel. You lie—this Letter says there is a Man she likes.

Flor. Why, Sir, do you think my Lady tells me who she likes? some pitiful Mischief-making Villain has done this, to bespatter my Lady's Fame.

Bel. Ah! this Jade has all her Paces, true as Steel to her Mistress; there is nothing to be done this Way. I'll to Camilla's, own my Fault, ask her Pardon, and try by gentle Means to find the Truth: Go, bid him draw the Nails of that Door again—I'll make my Visit that Way.

Flor. Any way, so I am but rid of you. (Going.)

Bel. And do you hear, lock the Street-door and bring me the Key, I'll prevent her Elopement, except she leaps the Window.


Flor. The Key! which Way will my Lord get in then?


SCENE draws and discovers Constantia and Timothy uncording the Pack, from whence comes out Colonel Bastion.

Tim. Egad he has almost broke my Back—he is consumed heavy, considering he has not made a good Meal these three Months—Here, Madam, here's a charming Piece of Cloth for your Wear, here's Cambrick, Kentin and Callico for you, all in a Lot—oh wou'd you were in a Holland Wrapper together. (They run and embrace.)

Const. Oh my Bastion! Do I hold thee in my Arms once more?

Bast. My Love, my Life, my dear Constantia, oh let us fly and tie that Knot, which keeps me ever here: Haste I conjure thee, by our mutual Love, let me convey thee hence this Moment now, else I fear thou never wilt be mine—

Const. Not thine! By the most sacred Ties of Love, I ne'er will be another's.

Bast. Alas, thou can'st not promise that—Fortune seldom takes the juster Side, and faithful Lovers are not always happy: Then prithee suffer thyself to be carry'd out the same Way I came in, now before your Uncle and that Lord arrives. I have taken care of a Parson that shall make us one for ever.

Const. But how wilt thou get out then, undiscover'd?

Bast. I do not mean to do it; let me but secure thee, I'll stay on Purpose to confront that Villain, and see him punish'd as his Crimes deserve; then unsuspected still of loving thee, fly to this dear Bosom.

Const. Well, my Love, thou shalt be obey'd; tho' 'tis an odd way to be roll'd up in a Pack; but I have read that Cleopatra did so, and sure I do not love thee less than she did Cæsar.

Tim. So, now I am to have her upon my Back; egad that's quite wrong tho'.

Enter Florella.

Flor. The Colonel here! and as I live Timothy the Scotchman—I wonder'd indeed she wanted to buy Muslins of a Pedlar. (Aside.)

Bast. Come be quick, my Love.

Flor. Ay, you may be as quick as you please, but the Street-door is lock'd up, and your Brother has taken the Key with him to Camilla's.

Const. To Camilla's! why, is he gone thither, say you?

Bast. Unlucky Turn.—

Flor. Yes, Madam, and thro' your private Door too. Somebody sent him a Letter, what was in it I know not, but when he had read it, he ask'd me if I knew of any private Admirer you had, seem'd in a great Fury, snap'd me up, when I told him I did not, with you lie, you do. But I had too much Concern for your Welfare, Madam, to betray the Colonel.

Bast. Too well I know thee, but 'tis not Time yet to clear Accounts. (Aside.)

Const. We are certainly betray'd, and Belvil knows I love thee.

Bast. Then let him know it; I am a Gentleman, and scorn to quit my Pretensions, or disown 'em, tho' ten thousand Dangers threaten'd me.

Tim. Oh the Devil, I shall be pedlar'd, with a Pox to me, by and by I fear.

Bast. And yet I know not why, but I wish that thou wert safe out of this House, methinks.

Const. Hark, I hear a Noise, for Heav'n's sake don't let my Brother see you if possible; here, here, help, Tim to make up his Pack again; Florella, shut that Door.

They seem to huddle up the Colonel, the Scene shuts.
Enter Belvil and Camilla.

Bel. Nay, fly me not, Camilla, I own my Fault, and am convinced that I have done you Wrong.

Cam. Away, away, stick to your Resolution; you know my Cunning cannot clear my Fame, or e'er induce you to believe me more. Ha, ha, ha! sweet Sir, you see I have not given myself much Pain about it.

Bel. Nor do I expect you shou'd, Camilla. Passion has the same Power o'er the Minds of Men, that Clouds have over the Face of Day; it contracts the Prospect of our Reason, and makes our Judgment dark—but when the Storm is once discharg'd, each Faculty reduc'd, and Prudence takes her Seat again, our Thoughts return, and all our Senses Cool, and we examine Matters with a different Air, and every thing has quite another Look; then if we have been to blame, 'tis no Shame to own it, but rather argues the Greatness of a Soul capable to distinguish right.

Cam. This Reasoning had been well six Hours ago.

Bel. Can it have lost its Value in six Hours? Will not this Posture satisfy your Pride, for only that can make you slight me now: Oh Camilla, I know thy Soul too well, to think six Hours can raze me from thy Heart. Thou art not fickle in thy Nature, no, thy Principles disdain that Part of Woman; by those then I conjure thee, tell what thou knowest of this Night's Mistake.

Cam. Rise, Belvil; you have cunningly found the Way to move me. By that honest Principle I swear you wrong'd me, I was not the Woman you surpriz'd.

Bel. Then I submit to whatever Penance you'll impose—but one thing more! Was not my Sister she? ha!

Cam. How comes he to guess at her? What shall I say?—I must not own it. (Aside.) I know not that, for when I came I saw no Woman.

Mer. (Within.) Camilla.

Cam. Ha! my Father! I wou'd not have you seen, till I have told him we are reconcil'd. Away, I'll follow you instantly, and tell you all I know of that Affair.

Bel. I shall expect my Angel with Impatience.


SCENE draws and discovers the Pack upon a Table, Constantia and Timothy by it.

Enter Belvil.

Const. My Brother! Oh lie still, my Love, or we are undone for ever. (To the Colonel.)

Tim. O woe's me, her Brother! oh, oh, oh! (Shakes and cords his Pack.)

Const. Oh good Tim, don't tremble so, you'll betray all.

Bel. How now, Sister, have you not done chattering yet? I bring you good News, Camilla and I are Friends again, and she'll be here presently; I hope I have oblig'd you now. Here, who's there?

Enter Florella.

Take the Key and open the Street-door again.

Tim. Ah wou'd I were fairly out on't: What will become of me?

Const. Indeed you have rejoic'd me, Brother, I was sure my Cousin cou'd not merit your Displeasure.

Bel. Has this Fellow anything that's good? What does he sell? What ails him to shake and groan so?

Const. No, nothing worth looking on—he has got the Ague, I think.

Tim. (Getting his Pack.) Aye, Sir, I have the tertian Ague; oh, oh!

Bel. Poor Fellow, set down thy Pack, and go to the Fire and warm thee.

Const. No, no, Brother, let him go to an Ale-house and warm him; go, go, away with your Trumpery.

Tim. Look ye, Madam, don't disparage my Commodities; I have nothing in my Pack but what any Lady may wear, by my Sol, Madam.

Const. Prithee, Fellow, don't prate to me, but begone.

Tim. Ise ganging as fast as I can, Madam. (Reels against Belvil, who claps up his Hand to save the Pack.)

Bel. Ha! 'tis a comical made up Pack as ever I saw, and feels odly, there may be more in this Pack than I am aware of. (Aside.) Poor Fellow, thou art but weak, why do you carry such a heavy Load? come, set it down, I'll buy something of thee out of pure Pity.

Const. Now I am ruin'd past Redemption. (Aside.)

Tim. Ah, methinks I feel a Sword quite thro' my Body. (Sets down his Pack upon the Table.)

Bel. Have you any good Lace for Ruffles?

Tim. Lace, Sir! I, I, I, I, I, I, I have—no—Lace, Sir.

Bel. What! have you any fine Holland for Shirts, then?

Tim. Holland, Sir? yes, Sir; no, no, now I think on't, Sir, I sold the last Piece I had at the next House. What will become of me? (Aside.)

Const. He certainly will find the Colonel! this Fellow's stammering will betray my Love! what shall I say or do to hinder it? (Aside.)

Bel. Why what have you then? this Concern has a Meaning. (Aside.)

Const. Indeed he has nothing that you will like, Brother.

Bel. That I believe. (Aside.)

Tim. No, Sir, I have nothing ye will like upon my Sol, Sir; when I have recruited my Stock Ise call again.

Goes to take up his Pack.

Bel. Sirrah, I say I'll see what you have; now you are a Rogue, I believe, and don't come honestly by your Goods, so are asham'd to shew them; open your Pack, ye Dog.

Tim. Ah, Tim, thou art a dead Man. (Aside.)

Bast. Give me Liberty instantly, Sirrah, or I'll cut your Throat.

Const. Ah! (Shrieks.)

Bel. As I suspected! Villain! (Beats him.) have you brought Rogues into my House to rob me?

Bastion jumps out and draws.

Bast. Sir, I suffer no Man to correct my Servant; I believe you know I am no House-breaker, and am ready to give you what Satisfaction you please.

Const. Oh hold, you shall not fight. (Interposes.)

Bel. Colonel Bastion! no! you have softer Wars for him, I suppose: Confusion! is this your going for Harwich, Colonel?

Bast. Had I not stay'd to have been serviceable to your Family, I had been gone, Sir.

Bel. Serviceable to my Family! which way, Sir? by debauching my Sister? hark ye, Sir, I desire you'll give me an Account of this by and by in Hyde-Park. (Puts up his Sword.)

Bast. If I convince you not that my Design was honourable, and what you'll thank me for too before I leave your House, I'll not fail to meet you. (Puts up his Sword.)

Bel. On that Condition I am cool.

Tim. Egad I'm all of a Sweat, I'm sure, and shall never be cool, I'm afraid.

Enter Colonel Merryman, Lord Richlove like a Grecian,
and Le Front like a Salop Man with a Pot.

Bast. Now, Belvil, let me intreat you to step with me into the next Room. Madam, you have your Cue.

Const. Ay, ay, I warrant you.

Bel. What do you mean, Colonel?

Bast. Suspend your Curiosity but a Moment, and you'll know—Come along, Sirrah. (To Tim.)

Bel. Well, for once I will.

Tim. What the Devil's to be done now?

[Exit Bast., Bel. and Tim.

Mer. There she is, my Lord; to her, to her, Man, show, show her all your fine Nicknacks. Odso, here's my Daughter and her Father, but I'll take them off presently.

Enter Camilla and Sir Roger.

Niece, I promis'd you a Present of Chocolate, I met a Grecian here that has extraordinary good he says, so I have brought him in; take as much as you will, Girl, I'll pay for't, or any thing else he sells.

Const. Let me see, what have you?

Mer. Take him into the next Room, Niece, I don't desire to see what Conscience you Women have, but I'll pay for as much as you'll buy, Niece.

Const. I thank you, Uncle: Well, come in here then.

[Exit Const. and L. Rich.

Cam. What, mayn't I see what he has got too?

Mer. No, no, no, there's nothing for you to see, Child, therefore do you stay here; come, I'll treat your Brother and you with some Salop.

Sir Rog. Salop, what is that Salop? I have often seen this Fellow sauntering about Streets, and cou'd not imagine what he sold: What is it made of, you? (To Le Front.)

Front. Meo speako Engliso nono.

Sir Rog. What the Devil does he say now?

Mer. Why he tells you he speaks no English; he's an Italian.

Cam. Excellent—I'm afraid he'll change his Tone by and by: Come, give me a Dish.

Front. Senior, expleco meo whato sheo wanto.

Mer. Uno dasho de Salopo. (Le Front fills Salop.)

Sir Rog. This Italian is very vowelly, it runs much upon the o methinks.

Cam. No Fool like the old one.

Const. (Within.) Help, help! a Rape, a Rape!

Sir Rog. Ha, what's that, a Rape? what the Devil, has the Grecian fallen foul of my Daughter?

Mer. How's this? I'm surpriz'd.

Front. Oh de Devil baul her, I shall sound away, begar.

Enter Belvil dragging in Lord Richlove, the Colonel with Constantia, and Timothy.

Bel. Come along, Villain; if you're so warm, here's a Pump hard by shall cool you.

L. Rich. Have a care what you say, Sir, I am not a Person to be treated ignominiously.

Bel. My Lord Richlove! I am glad I have met you; tho' you deserve below a Scoundrel, yet I'll do you the Justice that belongs to your Quality.

Sir Rog. Hark ye, Brother, have you ta'en up Pimping before the Peace? Methinks you might have found some other Family to have given Handsel to your Trade.

Enter Florella.

Mer. Look ye, Brother, don't be saucy; if your Daughter admits a Man into her Bed-chamber, and offers to run away with him, it is to be suppos'd Handsel may be given without a Pimp.

L. Rich. So, the Devil won't bate me an Inch I see.

Bel. How's that, Sir?

Bast. I must clear the Colonel, he has been impos'd upon; but here's one can tell best how his Lordship came into the Bed-chamber, since she show'd him the Way.

Flor. So, my Business is done.

Bel. Your humble Servant, Mrs. Bawd? this House has no farther Business with you; go, troop. (Gives her a Kick.)

Flor. Then some other shall, Sir.

Bast. His Lordship may set you up for his Use.

L. Rich. I am so confounded I know not what to say.

Cam. How does your Lordship sell Chocolate a Pound? Ha, ha, ha!

Mer. Zounds, I never had such a Trick put upon me in my Life; he told me that my Niece was in Love with him, and that he had your Consent, and Belvil only oppos'd him—my Lord, old as I am, you and I must talk this Business over behind Montague House, we must faith.

Const. Let me advise your Lordship to practice the Rules of Honour and Honesty more, or resign that Title which ought to inherit both—Well may the Vulgar break in upon the Laws, when they can plead Custom from the Great: People in your Sphere, shou'd set Precedents for Virtue, and not give Examples of Debauchery and Vice; the higher Men are plac'd, the more their Actions are in view; and those that scorn the poor Plebeian State, shou'd scorn their Crimes much more.

Bel. I'll meet your Lordship half an Hour hence at Tom's, from whence we'll take Coach to a convenient Place; you understand me. (Aside to L. Rich.)

L. Rich. Yes, and will meet you too, Sir; so damn your Family.


Cam. Hark ye, Friend, why don't you cry your Salop?

Front. De Devil take her Jest, begar me must beg Pardon. (Falls on his Knees.) Me be de very good Family in France, but de pauvre Refuge for Religion, mafoy, must do any ting for Bread, me be de Valet de Chambre to dat Divel of a Lord, but if you will forgive me, I will be your Footman, begar.

Sir Rog. So, you can speak English now, Sirrah.

Tim. A Footman, ye French Dog!—speak one contemptible Word of a Footman, Sirrah, and I'll beat your Furmity Kettle about your Ears.

Mer. Well said, Tim.

Sir Rog. No, no, let him alone, we'll think of a Punishment for him, I warrant you.

Front. Me wish me were in France, begar me never give England the Honour of my Presence more.

Bel. Colonel, I now own myself oblig'd to you, and thank you for this Discovery: And, Uncle, I forgive you, and ask your Pardon for any ill Manners I might be guilty of last Night: Camilla and I are reconcil'd, and I only want my Friend Sir Philip to compleat my Happiness. I would gladly have my Sister marry'd on the same Day.

Enter Servant.

Serv. A Letter by the Post for you, Sir. (Gives a Letter.)

Bel. (Looks on the Letter.) 'Tis Sir Philip's Hand; I hope it brings News of his Arrival.

Bast. I hope not.

Const. I dread the Consequence.

Bel. What's this! Dear Friend; I trust to that Name for Pardon—of an Action which I am guilty of—I am marry'd—Damn him, marry'd!—

Cam. What puts you out of Humour, Belvil?

Bel. No new thing, Madam: The Falseness of a Friend, that's all; my Knight's marry'd.

Cam. The best News I have heard this Twelve-month.

Const. O blest Sound! I told you, Brother, if Heav'n design'd it not, there wou'd be Ways found to cross it.

Sir Rog. Is this your honourable Friend, Belvil? Ha, ha! we have both been mistaken I find; therefore by my Consent, my Daughter shall chuse for herself for the future.

Bel. With all my Heart, I'll never concern myself about her more; I wou'd only ask one Question, Sister; did not you mistake me this Morning?

Const. I did indeed, Brother, and for this Gentleman; I take you at your Word, Sir, and crave your Blessing. (Kneels with the Colonel.)

Bast. We want but that to make us truly blest.

Bel. So! there's a Turn I ne'er suspected—

Sir Rog. This is something quick, methinks—but take her, and bless you both.

Mer. Well said, Brother; he's a Man of Honour, faith, and my Niece has made a good Choice: Nephew, give me thy Hand—by every dead Frenchman I am proud of thy Alliance.

Bast. And I look upon this Day the happiest of my Life, if Belvil will accept me for a Brother.

Bel. Yes, yes, Colonel, since I see how things have been manag'd, you have my Consent among the rest.

Cam. Now you oblige me truly, Belvil—Cousin, I wish you Joy. (Salutes Constantia.)

Const. I wish you the same, Camilla.

Front. Noble Colonel, me shou'd be very glad to be your Gentleman, mafoy.

Tim. Zounds, ye Dog, wou'd you supplant me that have undergone the Slavery of the Courtship, and now the Harvest of Matrimony is ripe, wou'd you eat the Fruits of my Labour? 'Tis my turn to be Gentleman, Sirrah, and I'll quit it for ne'er a French Son of a Whore in England—that has no more Courage than he has. (Aside.) Therefore strip, Sirrah, strip, the best Man take it. (Begins to strip.)

Bast. Hold, hold, we'll have no domestick Broils; you are grown as stout as Hercules. But come, Tim, your Quarrel shall end in a Song. (Tim. sings a Song.)

A SONG designed to have been sung by Mr. Pack, in imitation of the Irish, who was prevented by a Cold.

DEAR Brother dost hear the joyful News,
Our Master's caught i' th' Conjugal Noose;
Wanton young Cupid so well play'd his part too,
That Cælia's bright Eyes soon shot his Heart thro'
Then O'w la wa let us be merry,
O nily wa let us be merry,
Ya hony Lee let us be merry,
And drink the Bride's Health in racy Canary.
Ya hony Lee, &c.
Fill t'other Glass, the 'Groom's Health take too;
Why shou'd we sleep since we must wake too?
Oh this Liquor falls short of those Charms
That our Master will taste in Cælia's bright Arms.
For Ow la wa there will be Kisses,

O ni'y wa, and sweeter Blisses,
Ya hony Lee, their Eyes are rowling,
At each Kiss one takes t'other's Soul in.
Ya hony Lee, &c.
When Night's gone, and the Day is breaking,
The blushing Bride's in woeful taking;
The World will know what she's been doing,
And nine Months shew the end of Wooing:
For Ow la wa, there will be puking,
O nily wa, and dismal looking,
Ya hony Lee, this comes of Kissing,
And yet they long to taste the Blessing.
Ya hony Lee, &c.
But when Granee the Bantling produces,
The Bride well again for Conjugal Uses,
Then, then, she minds not the whole World's Sneering;
Marriage is lawful, she minds not their Jeering.
But Ow la wa, if Spouse proves naughty,
O nily wa, of Wenching faulty,
Ya hony Lee, what a Peal she'll ring him,
And how many Kisses must wipe off his Sinning!
Ya hony Lee, &c.

Mer. Very well.

Sir Rog. What think you of a Dance now? Some of my Servants play on the Violin.

Mer. Away with it then—

A Country Dance.

Bast. Now my Constantia, Fortune smiles upon us, and gives me all in giving thee.

Even Honour, Glory, Conquest, centers here,
And Fame itself submits to powerful Love.
Be ev'ry gen'rous Man like me carest,
Still love like me, and still like me be blest.

Cam. May ev'ry brave Defender of our Isle
Be thus rewarded for his warlike Toil;
And after Sieges, Winter Camps and Storms,
May some kind Female take him to her Arms.

[Exeunt Omnes.


[The end of The Perplex'd Lovers by Susanna Centlivre]