by William Wycherley
"Non satis est risu diducere rictum
Auditorus: et est quædam tamen hic quoque virtus."--HORAT.
Newly after the removal of the duke's company from Lincoln's-inn-fields to their new theatre near Salisbury-court.
Our author (like us) finding 'twould scarce do
At t'other end o' th' town, is come to you;
And, since 'tis his last trial, has that wit
To throw himself on a substantial pit;
Where needy wit or critic dare not come,
Lest neighbour i' the cloak, with looks so grum,
Should prove a dun;
Where punk in vizor dare not rant and tear
To put us out, since Bridewell is so near:
In short, we shall be heard, be understood,
If not, shall be admired, and that's as good.
For you to senseless plays have still been kind,
Nay, where no sense was, you a jest would find:
And never was it heard of, that the city
Did ever take occasion to be witty
Upon dull poet, or stiff player's action,
But still with claps opposed the hissing faction.
But if you hissed, 'twas at the pit, not stage;
So, with the poet, damned the damning age,
And still, we know, are ready to engage
Against the flouting, ticking gentry, who
Citizen, player, poet, would undo:--
The poet! no, unless by commendation,
For on the 'Change wits have no reputation
And rather than be branded for a wit,
He with you able men would credit get.
Mr. Gerrard,} Young Gentlemen of the town, and friends.
Mr. Martin, }
Mr. Paris, or Monsieur de Paris, a vain coxcomb, and rich city heir, newly returned from France, and mightily affected with the French language and fashions.
Mr. James Formal, or Don Diego, an old rich Spanish merchant, newly returned home, much affected with the habit and customs of Spain, and Uncle to Paris.
A little Blackamoor, Lackey to Formal.
A French Scullion.
Hippolita, Formal's Daughter.
Mrs. Caution, Formal's Sister, an impertinent precise old woman.
Prue, Hippolita's Maid.
Mrs. Flounce, Two common Women of the town.
Servants, Waiter, and Attendants.
SCENE 1--DON DIEGO'S HOUSE, IN THE EVENING
Enter Hippolita and Prue
Hip. To confine a woman just in her rambling age! take away her liberty at the very time she should use it! O barbarous aunt! O unnatural father! to shut up a poor girl at fourteen, and hinder her budding! All things are ripened by the sun:--to shut up a poor girl at fourteen!--
Prue. 'Tis true, miss, two poor young creatures as we are!
Hip. Not suffered to see a play in a twelve-month!--
Prue. Nor go to Punchinello, nor Paradise!--
Hip. Nor to take a ramble to the Park nor Mulberry-garden !--
Prue. Nor to Totnam-court, nor Islington.!--
Hip. Nor to eat a syllabub in New Spring garden with a cousin!--
Prue. Nor to drink a pint of wine with a friend at the Prince in the Sun!--
Hip. Nor to hear a fiddle in good company!--
Prue. Nor to hear the organs and tongs at the Gun in Moorfields!--
Hip. Nay, not suffered to go to church, because the men are sometimes there!--Little did I think I should ever have longed to go to church.
Prue. Or I either;--but between two maids--
Hip. Nor see a man!--
Prue. Nor come near a man!--
Hip. Nor hear of a man
Prue. No, miss; but to be denied a man! and to have no use at all of a man!--
Hip. Hold, hold!--your resentment is as much greater than mine, as your experience has been greater. But all this while, what do we make of my cousin, my husband elect, as my aunt says? We have had his company these three days; is he no man?
Prue. No, faith, he's but a monsieur. But you'll resolve yourself that question within these three days; for by that time he'll be your husband, if your father come to-night--
Hip. Or if I provide not myself with another in the mean time: for fathers seldom choose well; and I wilt no more take my father's choice in a husband, than I would in a gown, or a suit of knots. So that if that cousin of mine were not an ill-contrived, ugly, freakish fool, in being my father's choice I should hate him. Besides, he has almost made me out of love with mirth and good-humour; for he debases it as much as a jack pudding, and civility and good breeding more than a city dancing-master.
Prue. What! won't you marry him then, madam?
Hip. Would'st thou have me marry a fool, an idiot?
Prue. Lord! 'tis a sign you have been kept up indeed, and know little of the world, to refuse a man for a husband only because he's a fool! Methinks he's a pretty apish kind of a gentleman, like other gentlemen, and handsome enough to lie with in the dark, when husbands take their privileges; and for the day-times, you may take the privilege of a wife.
Hip. Excellent governess! you do understand the world, I see.
Prue. Then you should be guided by me.
Hip. Art thou in earnest then, damned jade?--would'st thou have me marry him?--Well, there are more poor young women undone, and married to filthy fellows by the treachery and evil counsel of chambermaids, than by the obstinacy and covetousness of parents.
Prue. Does not your father come on purpose out of Spain to marry you to him? Can you release yourself from your aunt or father any other way? Have you a mind to be shut up as long as you live? For my part, though you can hold out upon the lime from the walls here, salt, old shoes, and oatmeal, I cannot live so: I must confess my patience is worn out.
Hip. Alas, alas, poor Prue! your stomach lies another way: I will take pity of you, and get me a husband very suddenly, who may have a servant at your service. But rather than marry my cousin, I will be a nun in the new protestant nunnery they talk of; where, they say, there will be no hopes of coming near a man.
Prue. But you can marry nobody but your cousin, miss: your father you expect to-night; and be certain his Spanish policy and wariness, which has kept you up so close ever since you came from Hackney school, will make sure of you within a day or two at farthest.
Hip. Then 'tis time to think how to prevent him--stay--
Prue. In vain, vain, miss!
Hip. If we knew but any man, any man, though he were but a little handsomer than the devil, so that he were a gentleman!
Prue. What if you did know any man? if you had an opportunity, could you have confidence to speak to a man first? but if you could, how could you come to him, or he to you? nay, how could you send to him? for though you could write, which your father in his Spanish prudence would never permit you to learn, who should carry the letter?--But we need not be concerned for that, since we know not to whom to send it.
Hip. Stay--it must be so--I'll try however--
Enter Monsieur de Paris.
Mons. Serviteur! serviteur! la cousine; I come to give the bon soir, as the French say.
Hip. O cousin! you know him; the fine gentleman they talk of so much in town.
Prue. What! will you talk to him of any man else?
Mons. I know all the beau monde, cousine.
Mons. Monsieur Taileur, Monsieur Esmit, Monsieur--
Hip. These are Frenchmen--
Mons. Non, non; voud you have me say Mr. Taylor, Mr. Smith? Fi fi! tête non!--
Hip. But don't you know the brave gentleman they talk so much of in town?
Mons. Who? Monsieur Gerrard?
Hip. What kind of man is that Mr. Gerrard? and then I'll tell you.
Mons. Why--he is truly a pretty man, a pretty man--a pretty so so--kind of man, for an Englishman.
Hip. How a pretty man?
Mons. Why, he is conveniently tall--but--
Hip. But what?
Mons. And not ill-shaped--but--
Hip. But what?
Mons. And handsome, as 'tis thought, but--
Hip. But! what are your exceptions to him?
Mons. I can't tell you, because they are innumerable, innumerable, ma foi!
Hip. Has he wit?
Mons. Ay, ay, they say, he's witty, brave, and de bel humeur, and well-bred, with all that--but--
Hip. But what? does he want judgment?
Mons. Non, non: they say he has good sense and judgment; but it is according to the account Englis--for--
Hip. For what?
Mons. For, jarni! if I think it.
Mons. Why?--why his tailor lives within Ludgate--his valet de chambre is no Frenchman--and he has been seen at noon-day to go into an English eating-house--
Hip. Say you so, cousin!
Mons. Then for being well-bred, you shall judge:-- First, he can't dance a step, nor sing a French song, nor swear a French oate nor use the polite French word in his conversation; and in fine, can't play at hombre--but speaks base good Englis, with the commune homebred pronunciation; and in fine, to say no more, he never carries a snuff-box about with him.
Mons. And yet this man has been abroad as much as any man, and does not make the least show of it, but a little in his mien, not at all in his discour, jarni! He never talks so much as of St. Peter's church at Rome, the Escurial, or Madrid; nay, not so much as of Henry IV., of Pont-neuf, Paris, and the new Louvre, nor of the Grand Roi.
Hip. 'Tis for his commendation, if he does not talk of his travels.
Mons. Auh! auh!--cousine--he is conscious to himself of his wants, because he is very envious; for he cannot endure me.
Hip. [Aside.] He shall be my man then for that.--Ay, ay! 'tis the same, Prue.--[Aloud.] No, I know he can't endure you, cousin.
Mons. How do you know it--who never stir out? tête non!
Hip. Well--dear cousin,--if you will promise me never to tell my aunt, I'll tell you.
Mons. I won't, I won't, jarni!
Hip. Nor to be concerned yourself, so as to make a quarrel of it.
Mons. Non, non--
Hip. Upon the word of a gentleman?
Mons. Foi de chevalier, I will not quarrel.
Prue. Lord, miss! I wonder you won't believe him without more ado.
Hip. Then he has the hatred of a rival for you.
Hip. You know my chamber is backward, and has a door into the gallery which looks into the back yard of a tavern, whence Mr. Gerrard once spying me at the window, has often since attempted to come in at that window by the help of the leads of a low building adjoining; and, indeed, 'twas as much as my maid and I could do to keep him out.
Mons. Ah, le coquin!--
Hip. But nothing is stronger than aversion; for I hate him perfectly, even as much as I love you--
Prue. I believe so, faith!--but what design have we now on foot? [Aside.
Hip. This discovery is an argument, sure, of my love to you.
Mons. Ay, ay, say no more, cousin, I doubt not your amour for me, because I doubt not your judgment. But what's to be done with this fanfaron?--I know where he eats to-night--I'll go find him out, ventre bleu!--
Hip. O, my dear cousin, you will not make a quarrel of it? I thought what your promise would come to!
Mons. Would you have a man of honour--
Hip. Keep his promise?
Mons. And lose his mistress?--That were not for my honour, ma foi!
Hip. Cousin, though you do me the injury to think I could be false, do not do yourself the injury to think any one could be false to you. Will you be afraid of losing your mistress? To show such a fear to your rival, were for his honour, and not for yours, sure.
Mons. Nay, cousin, I'd have you know I was never afraid of losing my mistress in earnest.--Let me see the man can get my mistress from me, jarni!--But he that loves must seem a little jealous.
Hip. Not to his rival: those that have jealousy hide it from their rivals.
Mons. But there are some who say, jealousy is no more to be hid than a cough:--but it should never be discovered in me, if I had it, because it is not French at all--ventre bleu!
Hip. No, you should rally your rival, and rather make a jest of your quarrel to him; and that, I suppose, is French too.
Mons. 'Tis so, 'tis so, cousine; 'tis the veritable French method; for your Englis, for want of wit, drive everything to a serious grum quarrel, and then would make a jest on't, when 'tis too late, when they can't laugh, jarni!
Hip. Yes, yes, I would have you rally him soundly: do not spare him a jot.--But shall you see him to-night?
Mons. Ay, ay.
Hip. Yes; pray be sure to see him for the jest's sake.
Mons. I will--for I love a jest as well as any bel esprit of 'em all--da!
Hip. Ay, and rally him soundly; be sure you rally him soundly, and tell him just thus:--that the lady he has so long courted, from the great window of the Ship tavern, is to be your wife to-morrow, unless he come at his wonted hour of six in the morning to her window to forbid the banns; for 'tis the first and last time of asking; and if he come not, let him for ever hereafter stay away, and hold his tongue.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! a ver good jest, tête bleu!
Hip. And if the fool should come again, I would tell him his own, I warrant you, cousin. My gentleman should be satisfied for good and all, I'd secure him.
Mons. Bon, bon.
Prue. Well, well, young mistress; you were not at Hackney school for nothing, I see; nor taken away for nothing.--A woman may soon be too old, but is never too young to shift for herself. [Aside.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! cousine, dou art a merry grig, ma foi!--I long to be with Gerrard; and I am the best at improving a jest--I shall have such divertisement tonight, tête bleu!
Hip. He'll deny, may be, at first, that he ever courted any such lady.
Mons. Nay, I am sure he'll be ashamed of it, I shall make him look so sillily, tête non!--I long to find him out.--Adieu, adieu, la cousine.
Hip. Shall you be sure to find him?
Mons. Indubitablement, I'll search the town over, but I'll find him: ha! ha! ha!--[Exit Monsieur, and returns.]--But I'm afraid, cousine, if I should tell him you are to be my wife to-morrow, he would not come: now, I am for having him come for the jest's sake, ventre!--
Hip. So am I, cousin, for having him come too for the jest's sake.
Mons. Well, well, leave it to me:--ha! ha! ha!
Enter Mrs. Caution.
Mrs. Caut. What's all this giggling here?
Mons. Hey! do you tinke we'll tell you? no, fait, I warrant you, tête non!--ha! ha! ha!
Hip. My cousin is overjoyed, I suppose, that my father is to come to-night.
Mrs. Caut. I am afraid he will not come to-night but you'll stay and see, nephew?
Mons. Non, non: I am to sup at t'other end of the town to-night--La, la, la--Ra, ra, ra-- [Exit, singing.
Mrs. Caut. I wish the French levity of this young man may agree with your father's Spanish gravity.
Hip. Just as your crabbed old age and my youth agree.
Mrs. Caut. Well, malapert, I know you hate me, because I have been the guardian of your reputation but your husband may thank me one day.
Hip. If he be not a fool, he would rather be obliged to me for my virtue than to you, since, at long run, he must, whether he will or no.
Mrs. Caut. So, so!
Hip. Nay, now I think on't, I'd have you to know, the poor man, whosoe'er he is, will have little cause to thank you.
Mrs. Caut. No!--
Hip. No; for I never lived so wicked a life as I have done this twelvemonth, since I have not seen a man.
Mrs. Caut. How, how! if you have not seen a man, how could you be wicked? how could you do any ill?
Hip. No, I have done no ill; but I have paid it with thinking.
Mrs. Caut. O that's no hurt! to think, is no hurt the ancient, grave, and godly, cannot help thoughts.
Hip. I warrant, you have had 'em yourself, aunt?
Mrs. Caut. Yes, yes, when I cannot sleep.
Hip. Ha! ha!--I believe it. But know, I have had those thoughts sleeping and waking; for I have dreamt of a man.
Mrs. Caut. No matter, no matter, so that it was but a dream: I have dreamt myself. For you must know, widows are mightily given to dream; insomuch that a dream is waggishly called "the Widow's Comfort."
Hip. But I did not only dream-- [Sighs.
Mrs. Caut. How, how! did you more than dream? speak, young harlotry! confess; did you more than dream? How could you do more than dream in this house? speak, confess!
Hip. Well, I will then. Indeed, aunt, I did not only dream, but I was pleased with my dream when I awaked.
Mrs. Caut. Oh, is that all?--Nay, if a dream only will please you, you are a modest young woman still: but have a care of a vision.
Hip. Ay; but to be delighted when we wake with a naughty dream, is a sin, aunt; and I am so very scrupulous, that I would as soon consent to a naughty man as to a naughty dream.
Mrs. Caut. I do believe you.
Hip. I am for going into the throng of temptations.
Mrs. Caut. There I believe you again.
Hip. And making myself so familiar with them, that I would not be concerned for 'em a whit.
Mrs. Caut. There I do not believe you.
Hip. And would take all the innocent liberty of the town:--to tattle to your men under a vizard in the playhouses, and meet 'em at night in masquerade.
Mrs. Caut. There I do believe you again; I know you would be masquerading: but worse would come on't, as it has done to others who have been in a masquerade, and are now virgins but in masquerade, and will not be their own women again as long as they live. The children of this age must be wise children indeed if they know their fathers, since their mothers themselves cannot inform 'em! O, the fatal liberty of this masquerading age! when I was a young woman--
Hip. Come, come, do not blaspheme this masquerading age, like an ill-bred city-dame, whose husband is half broke by living in Covent-garden, or who has been turned out of the Temple or Lincoln's-Inn upon a masquerading night. By what I've heard, 'tis a pleasant, well-bred, complaisant, free, frolic, good-natured, pretty age: and if you do not like it, leave it to us that do.
Mrs. Caut. Lord, how impudently you talk, niece! I'm sure I remember when I was a maid--
Hip. Can you remember it, reverend aunt?
Mrs. Caut. Yes, modest niece,--that a raw young thing, though almost at woman's estate, (that was then at thirty or thirty-five years of age,) would not so much as have looked upon a man--
Hip. Above her father's butler or coachman.
Mrs. Caut. Still taking me up! Well, thou art a mad girl; and so good night. We may go to bed; for I suppose now your father will not come to-night. [Exit.
Hip. I'm sorry for it; for I long to see him.--[Aside.] But I lie: I had rather see Gerrard here; and yet I know not how I shall like him. If he has wit, he will come; and if he has none, he would not be welcome. [Exeunt
SCENE 2--THE FRENCH HOUSE--A TABLE, BOTTLES, AND CANDLES
Enter Mr. Gerrard, Martin, and Monsieur de Paris.
Mons. 'Tis ver veritable, jarni! what the French say of you Englis: you use the debauch so much, it cannot have with you the French operation; you are never enjoyee. But come, let us for once be infiniment gaillard, and sing a French sonnet.
[Sings,--"La bouteille, la bouteille, glou, glou."
Mar. [To Gerrard.] What a melodious fop it is!
Mons. Auh! you have no complaisance.
Ger. No, we can't sing; but we'll drink to you the lady's health, whom (you say) I have so long courted at her window.
Mons. Ay, there is your complaisance: all your Englis complaisance is pledging complaisance, ventre!--But if I do you reason here, [Takes the glass.]--will you do me reason to a little French chansan à boire I shall begin to you?--[Sings.] "La bouteille, la bouteille--"
Mar. [To Gerrard.] I had rather keep company with a set of wide-mouthed, drunken cathedral choristers.
Ger. Come, sir, drink; and he shall do you reason to your French song, since you stand upon't.--Sing him "Arthur of Bradley," or "I am the Duke of Norfolk."
Mons. Auh! tête bleu!--an Englis catch! fy! fy! ventre!--
Ger. He can sing no damned French song.
Mons. Nor can I drink the damned Englis wine. [Sets down the glass.
Ger. Yes, to that lady's health, who has commanded me to wait upon her to-morrow at her window, which looks (you say) into the inward yard of the Ship tavern, near the end of what-d'ye-call't street.
Mons. Ay, ay; do you not know her? not you! vert bleu!
Ger. But, pray repeat again what she said.
Mons. Why, she said she is to be married to-morrow to a person of honour, a brave gentleman, that shall be nameless, and so, and so forth.--[Aside.] Little does he think who 'tis!
Ger. And what else?
Mons. That if you make not your appearance before her window to-morrow at your wonted hour of six in the morning, to forbid the banns, you must for ever hereafter stay away and hold your tongue; for 'tis the first and last time of asking.--Ha! ha! ha!
Ger. 'Tis all a riddle to me: I should be unwilling to be fooled by this coxcomb.
Mons. I won't tell him all she said, lest he should not go: I would fain have him go for the jest's sake--Ha! ha! ha! [Aside.
Ger. Her name is, you say, Hippolita, daughter to a rich Spanish merchant.
Mons. Ay, ay, you don't know her, not you! à d'autre, à d'autre, ma foi!--ha! ha! ha!
Ger. Well, I will be an easy fool for once.
Mar. By all means go.
Mons. Ay, ay, by all means go--ha! ha! ha!
Ger. [Aside.] To be caught in a fool's trap--I'll venture it.--[Drinks to him.] Come, 'tis her health.
Mons. And to your good reception--tête bleu!--ha! ha! ha!
Ger. Well, monsieur, I'll say this for thee, thou hast made the best use of three months at Paris as ever English squire did.
Mons. Considering I was in a dam Englis pension too.
Mar. Yet you have conversed with some French, I see; footmen, I suppose, at the fencing-school? I judge it by your oaths.
Mons. French footmen! well, well, I had rather have the conversation of a French footman than of an Englis 'squire; there's for you, da--
Mar. I beg your pardon, monsieur; I did not think the French footmen had been so much your friends.
Ger. Yes, yes, I warrant they have obliged him at Paris much more than any of their masters did. Well, there shall be no more said against the French footmen.
Mons. Non, de grace!--you are always turning the nation Française into ridicule, dat nation so accomplie, dat nation which you imitate so, dat in the conclusion, you butte turn yourself into ridicule, ma foi! If you are for de raillery, abuse the Dutch, why not abuse the Dutch? les gros villians, pendards, insolents; but here in your England, ma foi!--you have more honeur, respecte, and estimation for de Dushe swabber, who come to cheat your nation, den for de Franch footman, who come to oblige your nation.
Mar. Our nation! then you disown it for yours, it seems.
Mons. Well! wat of dat? are you the disobligee by dat?
Ger. No, monsieur, far from it; you could not oblige us, nor your country, any other way than by disowning it.
Mons. It is de brutal country, which abuse de France, and reverence de Dushe; I will maintain, sustain, and justifie, dat one little Franch footman have more honeur, courage, and generosity, more good blood in his vaines, an mush more good manners an civility den all de State-General together, jarni!--Dey are only wise and valiant wen dey are drunkee.
Ger. That is, always.
Mons. But dey are never honest wen dey are drunkee; dey are de only rogue in de varlde who are not honeste when dey are drunk--ma foi!
Ger. I find you are well acquainted with them, monsieur.
Mons. Ay, ay, I have made the toure of Holland, but it was en poste, dere was no staying for me, tête non!--for de gentleman can no more live dere den de toad in Ir'land, ma fo!l for I did not see on' chevalier in de whole countree; alway, you know, de rebel hate de gens de quality. Besides, I had made sufficient observation of the canaille barbare de first nightee of my arrival at Amsterdamme: I did visit, you must know, one of de principal of de State-General, to whom I had recommendation from England, and did find his excellence weighing soap, jarni!--ha! ha! ha!
Ger. Weighing soap!
Mons. Weighing soap, ma foi! for he was a wholesale chandeleer; and his lady was taking de tale of chandels wid her own witer hands, ma foi! and de young lady, his excellence daughter, stringing harring, stringing harring, jarni!--
Ger. So!--and what were his sons doing?
Mons. Augh--his son (for he had but one) was making the tour of France, Espagne, Italy, and Germany, in a coach and six; or rader, now I tink on't, gone of an embassy hider to dere master Cromwell, whom dey did love and fear, because he was someting de greater rebel. But now I talk of de rebelle, none but the rebel can love the rebelle. And so much for you and your friend the Dushe; I'll say no more, and pray do you say no more of my friend de Franch, not so mush as of my friend de Franch footman--da--
Ger. No, no;--but, monsieur, now give me leave to admire thee, that in three months at Paris you could renounce your language, drinking, and your country, (for which we are not angry with you,) as I said, and come home so perfect a Frenchman, that the draymen of your father's own brewhouse would be ready to knock thee on the head.
Mons. Vel, vel, my father was a merchant of his own beer, as the noblesse of Franch of their own wine.--But I can forgive you that raillery, that bob, since you say I have the eyre Français:--but have I the eyre Français?
Ger. As much as any French footman of 'em all.
Mons. And do I speak agreeable ill Englis enough?
Ger. Very ill.
Mons. For you must know, 'tis as ill breeding now to speak good Englis as to write good Englis, good sense, or a good hand.
Ger. But, indeed, methinks you are not slovenly enough for a Frenchman.
Mons. Slovenly! you mean negligent?
Ger. No, I mean slovenly.
Mons. Then I will be more slovenly.
Ger. You know, to be a perfect Frenchman, you must never be silent, never sit still, and never be clean.
Mar. But you have forgot one main qualification of a true Frenchman, he should never be sound, that is, be very pocky too.
Mons. Oh! if dat be all, I am very pocky; pocky enough, jarni! that is the only French qualification may be had without going to Paris, ma foi!
Wait. Here are a couple of ladies coming up to you, sir.
Ger. To us!--did you appoint any to come hither, Martin?
Mar. Not I.
Ger. Nor you, monsieur?
Mons. Nor I.
Ger. Sirrah, tell your master, if he cannot protect us from the constable, and these midnight coursers, 'tis not a house for us.
Mar. Tell 'em you have nobody in the house, and shut the doors.
Wait. They'll not be satisfied with that, they'll break open the door. They searched last night all over the house for my Lord Fisk, and Sir Jeffery Jantee, who were fain to hide themselves in the bar under my mistress's chair and petticoats.
Mons. Wat, do the women hunt out the men so now?
Mar. Ay, ay, things are altered since you went to Paris; there's hardly a young man in town dares be known of his lodging for 'em.
Ger. Bailiffs, pursuivants, or a city constable, are modest people in comparison of them.
Mar. And we are not so much afraid to be taken up by the watch as by the tearing midnight ramblers, or huzza women.
Mons. Jarni! ha! ha! ha!
Ger. Where are they? I hope they are gone again.
Wait. No, sir, they are below at the stair-foot, only swearing at their coachman.
Ger. Come, you rogue, they are in fee with you waiters, and no gentleman can come hither, but they have the intelligence straight.
Wait. Intelligence from us, sir! they should never come here, if we could help it. I am sure we wish 'em choked when we see them come in; for they bring such good stomachs from St. James's Park, or rambling about in the streets, that we poor waiters have not a bit left; 'tis well if we can keep our money in our pockets for 'em. I am sure I have paid seventeen and sixpence in half-crowns for coach-hire at several times for a little damned tearing lady, and when I asked her for it again one morning in her chamber, she bid me pay myself, for she had no money; but I wanted the courage of a gentleman; besides, the lord that kept her was a good customer to our house and my friend, and I made a conscience of wronging him.
Ger. A man of honour!
Mons. Vert and bleu! pleasant, pleasant, ma foi!
Ger. Go, go, sirrah, shut the door, I hear 'em coming up.
Wail. Indeed I dare not; they'll kick me down stairs, if I should.
Ger. Go, you rascal, I say.
[The Waiter shuts the door, 'tis thrust open again.
Enter Flounce and Flirt in vizards, striking the Waiter, and come up to the table.
Ger. [Aside.] Flounce and Flirt, upon my life!--[Aloud.] Ladies, I am sorry you have no volunteers in your service; this is mere pressing, and argues a great necessity you have for men.
Flou. You need not be afraid, sir; we will use no violence to you; you are not fit for our service: we know you.
Flirt. The hot service you have been in formerly makes you unfit for ours now; besides, you begin to be something too old for us; we are for the brisk huzzas of seventeen or eighteen.
Ger. Nay, faith, I am not too old yet; but an old acquaintance will make any man old:--besides, to tell you the truth, you are come a little too early for me, for I am not drunk yet. But there are your brisk young men, who are always drunk, and, perhaps, have the happiness not to know you.
Flou. The happiness not to know us!
Flirt. The happiness not to know us!
Ger. Be not angry, ladies; 'tis rather happiness to have pleasure to come than to have it past, and therefore these gentlemen are happy in not knowing you.
Mar. I'd have you to know, I do know the ladies too, and I will not lose the honour of the ladies' acquaintance for anything.
Flou. Not for the pleasure of beginning an acquaintance with us, as Mr. Gerrard says: but it is the general vanity of you town fops to lay claim to all good acquaintance and persons of honour; you cannot let a woman pass in the Mall at midnight, but, damn you, you know her straight, you know her;--but you would be damned before you would say so much for one in a mercer's shop.
Ger. He has spoken it in a French-house, where he has very good credit, and I dare swear you may make him eat his words.
Mons. She does want a gown, indeed; she is in her déshabillé. This déshabillé is a great mode in England; the women love the déshabillé as well as the men, ma foi!
[Peeping under her scarf
Flirt. Well, if we should stay and sup with you, I warrant you would be bragging of it to-morrow amongst your comrades, that you had the company of two women of quality at the French-house, and name us.
Mar. Pleasant jilts! [Aside.
Ger. No, upon our honours, we would not brag of your company.
Flou. Upon your honours?
Mar. No, faith.
Flou. Come, we will venture to sit down then: yet I know the vanity of you men; you could not contain yourselves from bragging.
Ger. No, no; you women now-a-days have found out the pleasure of bragging, and will allow it the men no longer.
Mar. Therefore, indeed, we dare not stay to sup with you; for you would be sure to tell on't.
Ger. And we are young men who stand upon our reputations.
Flou. You are very pleasant, gentlemen.
Mar. For my part I am to be married shortly, and know 'twould quickly come to my mistress's ear.
Ger. And for my part I must go visit to-morrow betimes a new city mistress; and you know they are as inquisitive as precise in the city.
Flirt. Come, come; pray leave this fooling; sit down again, and let us bespeak supper.
Ger. No, faith, I dare not.
Mar. Besides, we have supped.
Flou. No matter, we only desire you should look on while we eat, and put the glass about, or so.
[Gerrard and Martin offer to go.
Flirt. Pray, stay.
Ger. Upon my life I dare not.
Flou. Upon our honours we will not tell, if you are in earnest.
Ger. Pshaw! pshaw!--I know the vanity of you women; you could not contain yourselves from bragging.
Mons. Ma foi! is it certain? ha! ha! ha!--Hark you, madam, can't you fare well but you must cry roast-meat?
You spoil your trade by bragging of your gains;
The silent sow (madam) does eat most grains.--da--
Flirt. Your servant, monsieur fop.
Flou. Nay, faith, do not go, we will no more tell--
Mons. Than you would of a clap, if you had it; dat's the only secret you can keep, jarni!
Mar. I am glad we are rid of these jilts.
Ger. And we have taken a very ridiculous occasion.
Mons. Wat! must we leave the lady then? dis is dam civility Englis, ma foi!
Flirt. Nay, sir, you have too much of the French air, to have so little honour and good breeding. [Pulling him back.
Mons. Dee you tinke so then, sweet madam, I have mush of de French eyre?
Flirt. More than any Frenchman breathing.
Mons. Auh, you are the curtoise dame; morbleu! I shall stay then, if you think so. Monsieur Gerrard, you will be certain to see the lady to-morrow? pray not forget, ha! ha! ha!
Ger. No, no, sir.
Mar. You will go then?
Ger. I will go on a fool's errand for once.
[Exeunt Gerrard and Martin.
Flou. What will you eat, sir?
Mons. Wat you please, madam.
Flou. D'ye hear, waiter? then some young partridge.
Wait. What else, madam!
Flirt. Some ruffs.
Wait. What else, madam?
Flirt. Some young pheasants.
Wait. What else, madam?
Flirt. Some young rabbits; I love rabbits.
Wait. What else, madam?
Mons. Dis Englis waiter wit his "Wat else, madam," will ruin me, tête non!
Wait. What else, madam?
Mons. "Wat else, madam," agen!--call up the French waiter.
Wait. What else, madam?
Mons. Again!--call up the French waiter or cuisinier, mort! tête! ventre! vite!--Auh, madam, the stupidity of the Englis waiter! I hate the Englis waiter, ma foi!
Flirt. Be not in passion, dear monsieur.
Mons. I kiss your hand, obligeante madam.
Enter a French Scullion.
Cher Pierrot, serviteur, serviteur.--[Kisses the Scullion.]--Or-ça à manger.
Scull. En voulez-vous de cram schiquin?
Scull. De partrish, de faysan, de quailles?
Mons. [Aside.] This bougre vil ruine me too; but he speak wit dat bel eyre and grace, I cannot bid him hold his tongue, ventre! C'est assez, Pierrot, va-t'en.
[Exit Scullion, and returns.
Scull. And de litel plate de--
Mons. Jarni! va-t'en. [Exit Scullion, and returns.
Scull. And de litel plate de--
Mons. De grace, go dy way. [Exit Scullion, and returns.
Scull. And de litel de--
Mons. De fromage de Brie, va-t'en!--go, go.
Flou. What's that? cheese that stinks?
Mons. Ay, ay, be sure it stinke extremente. Pierrot, va-t'en; but stay till I drink dy health:--here's to dat pretty fellow's health, madam.
Flirt. Must we drink the scullion's health?
Mons. Auh, you will not be désobligeante, madam; he is the cuisinier for a king, nay, for a cardinal or French abbot. [Drinks. Exit Scullion.
Flou. But how shall we divertise ourselves till supper be ready?
Flirt. Can we have better divertissement than this gentleman?
Flou. But I think we had better carry the gentleman home with us, and because it is already late, sup at home, and divertise the gentleman at cards, till it be ready.--D'ye hear, waiter? let it be brought, when 'tis ready, to my lodging hard by, in Mustard-Alley, at the sign of the Crooked-billet.
Mons. At the Crooked-billet!
Flirt. Come, sir, come.
Mons. Morbleu! I have take the vow (since my last clap) never to go again to the bourdel.
Flou. What is the bourdel?
Mons. How call you the name of your house?
Flirt. The Crooked-billet.
Mons. No, no, the--bawdy-house, vert and bleu!
Flirt. How, our lodging! we'd have you to know--
Mons. Auh, morbleu! I would not know it; de Crooked-billet, ha! ha!
Flirt. Come, sir.
Mons. Besides, if I go wit you to the bourdel, you will tell, morbleu!
Flou. Fy! fy! come along.
Mons. Beside, I am to be married within these two days; if you should tell now--
Flirt. Come, come along, we will not tell.
Mons. But you will promise then to have the care of my honour? pray, good madam, have de care of my honour, pray have de care of my honour. Will you have care of my honour? pray have de care of my honour, and do not tell if you can help it; pray, dear madam, do not tell [Kneels to them.
Flirt. I would not tell for fear of losing you, my love for you will make me secret.
Mons. Why, do you love me?
Flirt. Indeed I cannot help telling you now, what my modesty ought to conceal, but my eyes would disclose it too:--I have a passion for you, sir.
Mons. A passion for me!
Flirt. An extreme passion, dear sir; you are so French, so mightily French, so agreeable French--but I'll tell you more of my heart at home: come along.
Mons. But is your pation sincere?
Flirt. The truest in the world.
Mons. Well then, I'll venture my body with thee for one night.
Flirt. For one night! don't you believe that; and so you would leave me to-morrow? but I love you so, I cannot part with you, you must keep me for good and all, if you will have me. I can't leave you for my heart.
Mons. How! keep, jarni! de whore Englis have notinge but keepe, keepe in dere mouths now-a-days, tête non!--Formerly 'twas enoughe to keep de shild, ma foi!
Flirt. Nay, I will be kept, else--but, come, we'll talk on't at home.
Mons. Umh--so, so, ver vel; de amour of de whore does alway end in keep, ha! keep, ma foi! keep, ha!--
The punk that entertains you wit her passion,
Is like kind host who makes the invitation,
At your own cost, to his fort bonne collation.
SCENE 1--DON DIEGO'S HOUSE IN THE MORNING
Enter Don Diego in a Spanish habit, and Mrs. Caution.
Don. Have you had a Spanish care of the honour of my family? that is to say, have you kept my daughter close in my absence, as I directed?
Mrs. Caut. I have sir, but it was as much as I could do.
Don. I knew that; for 'twas as much as I could do to keep up her mother;--I that have been in Spain, look you.
Mrs. Caut. Nay 'tis a hard task to keep up an Englishwoman.
Don. As hard as it is for those who are not kept up to be honest, look you, con licencia, sister.
Mrs. Caut. How now, brother! I am sure my husband never kept me up.
Don. I knew that, therefore I cried con licencia, sister, as the Spaniards have it.
Mrs. Caut. But you Spaniards are too censorious, brother.
Don. You Englishwomen, sister, give us too much cause, look you;--but you are sure my daughter has not seen a man since my departure?
Mrs. Caut. No, not so much as a churchman.
Don. As a churchman! voto! I thank you for that; not a churchman! not a churchman!
Mrs. Caut. No, not so much as a churchman; but of any, one would think one might trust a churchman.
Don. No, we are bold enough in trusting them with our souls, I'll never trust them with the body of my daughter, look you, guarda! You see what comes of trusting churchmen here in England; and 'tis because the women govern the families, that chaplains are so much in fashion. Trust a churchman!--trust a coward with your honour, a fool with your secret, a gamester with your purse, as soon as a priest with your wife or daughter; look you, guarda! I am no fool, look you.
Mrs. Caut. Nay, I know you are a wise man, brother.
Don. Why, sister, I have been fifteen years in Spain for it, at several times, look you: now in Spain, he is wise enough that is grave, politic enough that says little, and honourable enough that is jealous; and though I say it, that should not say it, I am as grave, grum, and jealous, as any Spaniard breathing.
Mrs. Caut. I know you are, brother.
Don. And will be a Spaniard in everything still, and will not conform, not I, to their ill-favoured English customs, for I will wear my Spanish habit still, I will stroke my Spanish whiskers still, and I will eat my Spanish olio still; and my daughter shall go a maid to her husband's bed, let the English custom be what 'twill: I would fain see any finical, cunning, insinuating monsieur of the age, debauch, or steal away my daughter. But, well, has she seen my cousin? how long has he been in England?
Mrs. Caut. These three days.
Don. And she has seen him, has she? I was contented he should see her, intending him for her husband; but she has seen nobody else upon your certain knowledge?
Mrs. Caut. No, no, alas! how,should she? 'tis impossible she should.
Don. Where is her chamber? pray let me see her.
Mrs. Caut. You'll find her, poor creature, asleep, I warrant you: or, if awake, thinking no hurt, nor of your coming this morning.
Don. Let us go to her, I long to see her, poor innocent wretch. [Exeunt.
SCENE 2--A ROOM IN DON DIEGO'S HOUSE.
Enter Hippolita, Gerrard, and Prue at a distance.
Ger. Am I not come upon your own summons, madam? and yet receive me so?
Hip. My summons, sir! no, I assure you; and if you do not like your reception, I cannot help it; for I am not used to receive men, I'd have you to know.
Ger. She is beautiful beyond all things I ever saw. [Aside.
Hip. I like him extremely! [Aside.
Ger. Come, fairest, why do you frown?
Hip. Because I am angry.
Ger. I am come on purpose to please you, then; do not receive me so unkindly.
Hip. I tell you, I do not use to receive men.--There has not been a man in the house before, but my cousin, this twelvemonth, I'd have you to know.
Ger. Then you ought to bid me the more welcome, I'd have you to know.
Hip. What! do you mock me too? I know I am but a home-bred simple girl! but I thought you gallants of the town had been better bred than to mock a poor girl in her father's own house. I have heard, indeed, 'tis a part of good breeding to mock people behind their backs, but not to their faces.
Ger. [Aside.] Pretty creature! she has not only the beauty, but the innocency of an angel.--[To Hippolita.] Mock you, dear miss! no, I only repeated the words because they were yours, sweet miss; what we like we imitate.
Hip. "Dear miss! sweet miss!" how came you and I so well acquainted? this is one of your confident tricks, too, as I have been told; you'll be acquainted with a woman in the time you can help her over a bench in the playhouse, or to her coach. But I need not wonder at your confidence, since you could come in at the great gallery window, just now. But, pray, who shall pay for the glass you have broken?
Ger. Pretty creature! your father might have made the window bigger then, since he has so fine a daughter, and will not allow people to come in at the door to her.
Hip. A pleasant man!---well, 'tis harder playing the hypocrite with him, I see, than with my aunt or father; and if dissimulation were not very natural to a woman, I'm sure I could not use it at this time: but the mask of simplicity and innocency is as useful to an intriguing woman as the mask of religion to a statesman, they say.
Ger. Why do you look away, dearest miss?
Hip. Because you quarrelled with me just now for frowning upon you, and I cannot help it, if I look upon you.
Ger. O! let me see that face at any rate.
Hip. Would you have me frown upon you? for I shall be sure to do't.
Ger. Come, I'll stand fair: you have done your worst to my heart already.
Hip. Now I dare not look upon him, lest I should not be able to keep my word.
Ger. Come, I am ready;--[Aside.] and yet I am afraid of her frowns.--[To Hippolita.] Come, look, Ih--am ready, Ih--am ready.
Hip. But I am not ready. [Aside.
Ger. Turn, dear miss, come, Ih--am ready.
Hip. Are you ready then? I'll look. [Turns upon him.]--No, faith, I cannot frown upon him, if I should be hanged. [Aside.
Ger. Dear miss, I thank you, that look has no terror in't.
Hip. No, I cannot frown for my heart for blushing, I don't use to look upon men, you must know.
Ger. If it were possible anything could, those blushes would add to her beauty: well, bashfulness is the only out-of-fashioned thing that is agreeable. [Aside.
Hip. Ih--h--like this man strangely, I was going to say loved him. Courage then, Hippolita! make use of the only opportunity thou canst have to enfranchise thyself. Women formerly (they say) never knew how to make use of their time till it was past; but let it not be said so of a young woman of this age.--My damned aunt will be stirring presently:--well, then, courage, I say, Hippolita!--thou art full fourteen years old,--shift for thyself. [Aside.
Ger. So! I have looked upon her so long, till I am grown bashful too. Love and modesty come together like money and covetousness, and the more we have, the less we can show it. I dare not look her in the face now, nor speak a word. [Aside.
Hip. What, sir, methinks you look away now!
Ger. Because you would not look upon me, miss.
Hip. Nay, I hope you can't look me in the face, since you have done so rude a thing as to come in at the window upon me. Come, come, when once we women find the men bashful, then we take heart. Now I can look upon you as long as you will; let's see if you can frown upon me now.
Ger. Lovely innocency! no, you may swear I can't frown upon you, miss.
Hip. So! I knew you were ashamed of what you have done. Well, since you are ashamed, and because you did not come of your own head, but were sent by my cousin, you say--
Ger. Which I wonder at. [Aside.
Hip. For all these reasons, I do forgive you.
Ger. In token of your forgiveness then, dearest miss, let me have the honour to kiss your hand.
Hip. Nay, there 'tis; you men are like our little shock-dogs: if we don't keep you off from us, but use you a little kindly, you grow so fiddling and so troublesome, there is no enduring you.
Ger. O dear miss! if I am like your shock-dog, let it be in his privileges.
Hip. Why, I'd have you know he does not lie with me.
Ger. 'Twas well guessed, miss, for one so innocent.
Hip. No, I always kick him off from the bed, and never will let him come near it; for of late, indeed, (I do not know what's the reason,) I don't much care for my shock-dog, nor my babies.
Ger. O then, miss, I may have hopes! for after the shock-dog and the babies, 'tis the man's turn to be beloved.
Hip. Why, could you be so good-natured as to come after my shock-dog in my love? it may be, indeed, rather than after one of your brother men.
Ger Hah, ha, ha! poor creature! a wonder of innocency! [Aside.
Hip. But I see you are humble, because you would kiss my hand.
Ger. No, I am ambitious therefore.
Hip. [Aside.] Well, all this fooling but loses time, I must make better use of it. [To Gerrard.] I could let you kiss my hand, but then I'm afraid you would take hold of me and carry me away.
Ger. Indeed I would not.
Hip. Come, I know you would.
Ger. Truly I would not.
Hip. You would! you would! I know you would.
Ger. I'll swear I wo' not--by--
Hip. Nay, don't swear, for you'll be the apter to do it then. [Aside. I would not have him forswear it neither;--he does not like me, sure, well enough to carry me away.
Ger. Dear miss, let me kiss your hand.
Hip. I am sure you would carry me away if I should.
Ger. Be not afraid of it.
Hip. [Aside.] Nay, I am afraid of the contrary.--Either he dislikes me, and therefore will not be troubled with me, or what is as bad, he loves me and is dull, or fearful to displease me.
Ger. Trust me, sweetest! I can use no violence to you.
Hip. Nay, I am sure you would carry me away; what should you come in at the window for, if you did not mean to steal me.
Ger. If I should endeavour it, you might cry out, and I should be prevented.
Hip. [Aside.] Dull, dull man of the town! are all like thee? He is as dull as a country squire at questions and commands.--[To Gerrard.] No, if I should cry out never so loud, this is quite at the further end of the house, and there nobody could hear me.
Ger. I will not give you the occasion, dearest.
Hip. [Aside.] Well, I will quicken thy sense, if it be possible.--[To Gerrard.] Nay, I know you come to steal me away; because I am an heiress, and have twelve hundred pounds a year, lately left me by my mother's brother, which my father cannot meddle with, and which is the chiefest reason (I suppose) why he keeps me up so close.
Hip. So!--this has made him consider. O money powerful money! how the ugly, old, crooked, straight, handsome young women are beholding to thee! [Aside.
Ger. Twelve hundred pounds a year!
Hip. Besides, I have been told my fortune, and the woman said I should be stolen away, because she says 'tis the fate of heiresses to be stolen away.
Ger. Twelve hundred pounds a-year!-- [Aside.
Hip. Nay, more, she described the man to me that was to do it, and he was as like you as could be. Have you any brothers?
Ger. Not any; 'twas I, I warrant you, sweetest.
Hip. So, he understands himself now. [Aside.
Ger. Well, madam, since 'twas foretold you, what do you think on't? 'tis in vain, you know, to resist fate.
Hip. I do know, indeed, they say 'tis to no purpose: besides, the woman that told me my fortune, or you, have bewitched me--Ih--think. [Aside.
Ger. My soul! my life! 'tis you have charms powerful as numberless, especially those of your innocency irresistible, and do surprise the wariest heart. Such mine was, while I could call it mine, but now 'tis yours for ever.
Hip. Well, well, get you gone then. I'll keep it safe for your sake.
Ger. Nay, you must go with me, sweetest.
Hip. Well, I see you will part with the jewel; but you will have the keeping of the cabinet to which you commit it.
Ger. Come, come, my dearest, let us be gone: Fortune as well as women must be taken in the humour.
As they are going out, Prue runs hastily to them.
Prue. O miss, miss! your father, it seems, is just now arrived, and is here coming in upon you.
Hip. My father.
Enter Don Diego and Mrs. Caution.
Don. My daughter and a man!
Mrs. Caut. A man! a man in the house!
Ger. Ha! what mean these?--a Spaniard!
Hip. What shall I do? Stay--Nay, pray stir not from me; but lead me about, as if you led me a corant. [Leads her about.
Don. Is this your government, sister? and this your innocent charge, that hath not seen the face of a man this twelvemonth? en hora mala!
Mrs. Caut. O, sure, it is not a man! it cannot be a man! [Puts on her spectacles.
Don. It cannot he a man! if he be not a man, he's a devil. He has her lovingly by the hand too, valgame el cíelo!
Hip. Do not seem to mind them, but dance on, or lead me about still.
Ger. What d'ye mean by it? [Apart to Hippolita.
Don. Hey, they are frolic, a-dancing!
Mrs. Caut. Indeed, they are dancing, I think.--Why, niece!
Don. Nay, hold a little: I'll make 'em dance in the devil's name; but it shall not be la gallarda. [Draws his sword.
Mrs. Caut. O niece! why niece! [Mrs. Caution holds him.
Ger. Do you hear her? what do you mean? [Apart to Hippolita.
Hip, Take no notice of them; but walk about still, and sing a little, sing a corant.
Ger. I can't sing: but I'll hum, if you will.
Don. Are you so merry? well I'll be with you: en hora mala!
Mrs. Caut. O niece, niece! why niece! oh--
Don. Why, daughter, my dainty daughter! My shame! my ruin! my plague!
[Struggling, gets from Mrs. Caution, goes towards them with his sword drawn.
Hip. Mind him not, but dance and sing on.
Ger. A pretty time to dance and sing, indeed, when I have a Spaniard with a naked Toledo at my tail! No, pray excuse me, miss, from fooling any longer.
Hip. [Turning about.] O, my father, my father! poor father! you are welcome; pray give me your blessing.
Don. My blessing, en hora ma/a!
Hip. What! am I not your daughter, sir?
Don. My daughter! mi mal! mi muerte!
Hip. My name's Hippolita, sir: I don't own your Spanish names. But, pray father, why do you frighten one so? you know I don't love to see a sword: what do you mean to do with that ugly thing out?
Don. I'll show you. Traidor! ladron de mi honra! thou diest. [Runs at Gerrard.
Ger. Not if I can help it, good Don. But by the names you give me, I find you mistake your man: I suppose some Spaniard has affronted you. [Draws.
Don. None but thee, ladron! and thou diest for't. [Fight.
Mrs. Caut. Oh! oh! oh!--help! help! help!
Hip. O--what, will you kill my poor dancing-master? [Kneels.
Don. A dancing-master! he's a fencing-master rather, think. But is he your dancing-master? umph--
Ger. So much wit and innocency were never together. [Aside.
Don. Is he a dancing-master? [Pausing.
Mrs. Caut. Is he a dancing-master? He does not look like a dancing-master.
Hip. Pish!--you don't know a dancing-master: you have not seen one these threescore years, I warrant.
Mrs. Caut. No matter: but he does not look like a dancing-master.
Don. Nay, nay, dancing-masters look like gentlemen enough, sister: but he's no dancing master, by drawing a sword so briskly. Those tripping outsides of gentlemen are like gentlemen enough in everything but in drawing a sword; and since he is a gentleman, he shall die by mine. [They fight again.
Hip. Oh! hold! hold!
Mrs. Caut. Hold! hold!--Pray, brother, let's talk with him a little first; I warrant you I shall trap him; and if he confesses, you may kill him; but those that confess, they say, ought to be hanged--Let's see--
Ger. Poor Hippolita! I wish I had not had this occasion of admiring thy wit; I have increased my love, whilst I have lost my hopes; the common fate of poor lovers.
Mrs. Caut. Come, you are guilty, by that hanging down of your head. Speak: are you a dancing-master? Speak, speak; a dancing-master?
Ger. Yes, forsooth, I am a dancing-master: ay, ay--
Don. How does it appear?
Hip. Why, there is his fiddle, there upon the table, father.
Mrs. Caut. No, busybody, but it is not:--that is my nephew's fiddle.
Hip. Why, he lent it to my cousin: I tell you it is his.
Mrs. Caut. Nay, it may be, indeed; he might lend it to him for aught I know.
Don. Ay, ay: but ask him, sister, if he be a dancing-master, where.
Mrs. Caut. Pray, brother, let me alone with him, I know what to ask him, sure.
Don. What, will you be wiser than I? nay, then stand away. Come, if you are a dancing-master, where's your school? Donde? donde?
Mrs. Caut. Why, he'll say, may be, he has ne'er a one.
Don. Who asked you, nimble chaps? So you have put an excuse in his head.
Ger. Indeed, sir, 'tis no excuse: I have no school.
Mrs. Caut. Well; but who sent you? how came you hither?
Ger. There I am puzzled indeed. [Aside.
Mrs. Caut. How came you hither, I say? how--
Ger. Why, how, how should I come hither?
Don. Ay, how should he come hither? Upon his legs.
Mrs. Caut. So, so! now you have put an excuse in his head too, that you have, so you have; but stay--
Don. Nay, with your favour, mistress, I'll ask him now.
Mrs. Caut. Y'facks, but you shan't! I'll ask him, and ask you no favour, that I will.
Don. Y'fackins, but you shan't ask him! if you go there too, look you, you prattle-box you, I'll ask him.
Mrs. Caut. I will ask him, I say!--come!
Mrs. Caut. What!
Don. Mine's a shrewd question.
Mrs. Caut. Mine's as shrewd as yours.
Don. Nay, then, we shall have it.--Come, answer me; where's your lodging? come, come, sir.
Mrs. Caut. A shrewd question, indeed! at the Surgeons'-arms, I warrant you; for 'tis spring-time, you know.
Don. Must you make lies for him?
Mrs. Caut. But come, sir; what's your name?--answer me to that; come.
Don. His name! why, 'tis an easy matter to tell you a false name, I hope.
Mrs. Caut. So must you teach him to cheat us?
Don. Why did you say my questions were not shrewd questions, then?
Mrs. Caut. And why would you not let me ask him the question, then? Brother, brother, ever while you live, for all your Spanish wisdom, let an old woman make discoveries: the young fellows cannot cheat us in anything, I'd have you to know. Set your old woman still to grope out an intrigue, because, you know, the mother found her daughter in the oven. A word to the wise, brother.
Don. Come, come, leave this tattling: he has dishonoured my family, debauched my daughter; and what if he could excuse himself? The Spanish proverb says, excuses neither satisfy creditors nor the injured. The wounds of honour must have blood and wounds, St. Jago para mi!
[Kisses the cross of his sword, and runs at Gerrard.
Hip. O hold, dear father! and I'll confess all.
Ger. She will not, sure, after all. [Aside.
Hip. My cousin sent him; because, as he said, he would have me recover my dancing a little before our wedding, having made a vow he would never marry a wife who could not dance a corant. I am sure I was unwilling; but he would have him come, saying I was to be his wife as soon as you came, and therefore expected obedience from me.
Don. Indeed, the venture is most his, and the shame would be most his; for I know here in England, 'tis not the custom for the father to be much concerned what the daughter does; but I will be a Spaniard still.
Hip. Did not you hear him say last night he would send me one this morning?
Mrs. Caut. No, not I, sure. If I had, he had never come here.
Hip. Indeed, aunt, you grow old I see; your memory fails you very much. Did not you hear him, Prue, say he would send him to me?
Prue. Yes, I'll be sworn did I.
Hip. Look you there, aunt.
Mrs. Caut. I wonder I should not remember it.
Don. Come, come, you are a doting old fool.
Mrs. Caut. So! So! the fault will be mine now. But pray, mistress, how did he come in? I am sure I had the keys of the doors, which, till your father came in, were not opened to-day.
Hip. He came in just after my father, I suppose.
Mrs. Caut. It might be, indeed, while the porters brought in the things, and I was talking with you.
Don. O, might he so, forsooth! you are a brave governante! Look you, you a duenna, voto!--and not know who comes in and out!
Mrs. Caut. So! 'tis my fault, I know.
Don. Your maid was in the room with you; was she not, child?
Hip. Yes, indeed, and indeed, father, all the while.
Don. Well, child, I am satisfied then.--But I hope he does not use the dancing-master's tricks, of squeezing your hands, setting your legs and feet, by handling your thighs and seeing your legs.
Hip. No, indeed, father: I'd give him a box on the ear if he should.
Don. Poor innocent--Well, I am contented you should learn to dance, since, for aught I know, you shall be married to-morrow, or the next day at farthest: by that time you may recover a corant--a saraband I would say. And since your cousin, too, will have a dancing wife, it shall be so; and I'll see you dance myself. You shall be my charge these two days, and then I dare venture you in the hand of any dancing-master, even a saucy French dancing-master, look you.
Mrs. Caut. Well, have a care, though; for this man is not dressed like a dancing-master.
Don. Go, go, you dote; are they not (for the most part) better dressed and prouder than many a good gentleman? you would be wiser than I, would you, cuerno?
Mrs. Caut. Well, I say only, look to't, look to't.
Don. Hey, hey! Come, friend, to your business; teach her her lesson over again; let's see.
Hip. Come, master.
Don. Come, come, let's see your English method; I understand something of dancing myself--come.
Hip. Come, master.
Ger. I shall betray you yet, dearest miss; for I know not a step: I could never dance. [Apart to Hippolita.
Don. Come, come, child.
Hip. Indeed I'm ashamed, father.
Don. You must not be ashamed, child; you'll never dance well if you are ashamed.
Hip. Indeed, I can't help it, father.
Don. Come, come, I say, go to't.
Hip. Indeed I can't, father, before you: 'tis my first lesson, and I shall do it so ill.--Pray, good father, go into the next room for this once; and the next time my master comes, you shall see I shall be confident enough.
Don. Poor, foolish, innocent creature!--Well, well, I will, child. Who but a Spanish kind of a father could have so innocent a daughter in England?--Well, I would fain see any one steal or debauch my daughter from me.
Hip. Nay, won't you go, father?
Don. Yes, yes, I go, child: we will all go but your maid.--You can dance before your maid?
Hip. Yes, yes, father: a maid at most times with her mistress is nobody.
[Exeunt Diego and Mrs. Caution.
Ger. He peeps yet at the door.
Hip. Nay, father, you peep; indeed you must not see me. When we have done, you shall come in. [She pulls the door to.
Prue. Indeed, little mistress, like the young kitten, you see you played with your prey till you had almost lost it.
Hip. 'Tis true, a good old mouser like you had taken it up, and run away with it presently.
Ger. Let me adore you, dearest miss, and give you-- [Going to embrace her.
Hip. No, no embracing, good master! that ought to be the last lesson you are to teach me, I have heard.
Ger. Though an aftergame be the more tedious and dangerous, 'tis won, miss, with the more honour and pleasure: for all that, I repent we were put to't. The coming in of your father, as he did, was the most unlucky thing that ever befel me.
Hip. What then, you think I would have gone with you?
Ger. Yes; and you will go with me yet, I hope.--Courage, miss! we have yet an opportunity; and the gallery-window is yet open.
Hip. No, no; if I went, I would go for good and all: but now my father will soon come in again, and may quickly overtake us. Besides, now I think on't, you are a stranger to me; I know not where you live, nor whither you might carry me. For aught I know, you might be a spirit, and carry me to Barbadoes.
Ger. No, dear miss, I would carry you to court, the playhouses, and Hyde-park--
Hip. Nay, I know 'tis the trick of all you that spirit women away, to speak 'em mighty fair at first: but when you have got 'em in your clutches, you carry 'em into Yorkshire, Wales, or Cornwall, which is as bad as to Barbadoes; and rather than be served so, I would be a prisoner in London still as I am.
Ger. I see the air of this town, without the pleasures of it, is enough to infect women with an aversion for the country. Well, miss, since it seems you have some diffidence in me, give me leave to visit you as your dancing-master, now you have honoured me with the character; and under that I may have your father's permission to see you, till you may better know me and my heart, and have a better opportunity to reward it.
Hip. I am afraid to know your heart would require a great deal of time; and my father intends to marry me very suddenly to my cousin, who sent you hither.
Ger. Pray, sweet miss, let us make the better use of our time if it be short. But how shall we do with that cousin of yours in the mean time? we must needs charm him.
Hip. Leave that to me.
Ger. But (what's worse) how shall I be able to act a dancing-master, who ever wanted inclination and patience to learn myself?
Hip. A dancing-school in half an hour will furnish you with terms of the art. Besides, Love (as I have heard say) supplies his scholars with all sorts of capacities they have need of, in spite of nature:--but what has love to do with you?
Ger. Love, indeed, has made a grave gouty statesmen fight duels, the soldier fly from his colours, a pedant a fine gentlemen, nay, and the very lawyer a poet; and, therefore, may make me a dancing-master.
Hip. If he were your master.
Ger. I'm sure, dearest miss, there is nothing else which I cannot do for you already; and, therefore, may hope to succeed in that.
Re-enter Don Diego.
Don. Come, have you done?
Hip. O, my father again!
Don. Come, now let us see you dance.
Hip. Indeed I am not perfect yet: pray excuse me till the next time my master comes. But when must he come again, father?
Don. Let me see--friend, you must needs come after dinner again, and then at night again, and so three times to-morrow too. If she be not married to-morrow, (which I am to consider of,) she will dance a corant in twice or thrice teaching more; will she not? for 'tis but a twelve-month since she came from Hackney-school.
Ger. We will lose no time, I warrant you, sir, if she be to be married to-morrow.
Don. True, I think she may be married to-morrow; therefore, I would not have you lose any time, look you.
Ger. You need not caution me, I warrant you, sir.--Sweet scholar, your humble servant: I will not fail you immediately after dinner.
Don. No, no, pray do not; and I will not fail to satisfy you very well, look you.
Hip. He does not doubt his reward, father, for his pains. If you should not, I would make that good to him.
Don. Come, let us go in to your aunt: I must talk with you both together, child.
Hip. I follow you, sir. [Exeunt Gerrard and Don Diego.
Prue. Here's the gentlewoman o' th' next house come to see you, mistress.
Hip. [Aside.] She's come, as if she came expressly to sing the new song she sung last night. I must hear it; for 'tis to my purpose now.--
Madam, your servant: I dreamt all night of the song you sung last; the new song against delays in love. Pray, let's hear it again.
Since we poor slavish women know
Our men we cannot pick and choose,
To him we like why say we no,
And both our time and lover lose?
With feigned repulses and delays
A lover's appetite we pall;
And if too long the gallant stays,
His stomach's gone for good and all.
Or our impatient amorous guest
Unknown to us away may steal,
And rather than stay for a feast,
Take up with some coarse ready meal.
When opportunity is kind,
Let prudent women be so too;
And if the man be to your mind,
Till needs you must, ne'er let him go.
The match soon made is happy still,
For only love has there to do.
Let no one marry 'gainst her will,
But stand off when her parents woo,
And only to their suits be coy:
For she whom jointure can obtain,
To let a fop her bed enjoy,
Is but a lawful wench for gain.
Prue. Your father calls for you, miss. [Steps to the door.
Hip. I come, I come; I must be obedient as long as I am with him. [Pausing.
Our parents who restrain our liberty,
But take the course to make us sooner free,
Though all we gain be but new slavery;
We leave our fathers, and to husbands flee.
SCENE1--DON DIEGO'S HOUSE
Enter Monsieur de Paris, Hippolita, and Prue.
Mons. Serviteur, serviteur, la cousine. Your maid told me she watched at the stair-foot for my coming; because you had a mind to speak wit me before I saw your fader, it seem.
Hip. I would so, indeed, cousin.
Mons. Or-ça! or-ça! I know your affair. It is to tell me wat recreation you ade with Monsieur Gerrard. But did he come? I was afrait he would not come.
Hip. Yes, yes, he did come.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha!--and were you not infiniment divertisee and please? Confess.
Hip. I was indeed, cousin, I was very well pleased.
Mons. I do tinke so. I did tinke to come and be divertisee myself this morning with the sight of his reception: but I did rancounter last night wit dam company dat keep me up so late, I could not rise in de morning, malepeste de putains!--
Hip. Indeed, we wanted you here mightily, cousin.
Mons. To elpe you to laugh: for if I adde been here, I had made such recreation wit dat coxcomb Gerrard!
Hip. Indeed, cousin, you need not have any subject or property to make one laugh, you are so pleasant yourself; and when you are but alone, you would make one burst.
Mons, Am I so happy, cousin, then, in the bon quality of making people laugh?
Hip. Mighty happy, cousin.
Mons. De grace?
Mons. Nay, sans vanité, I observe, wheresoe'er I come, I make everybody merry; sans vanité--da--
Hip. I do believe you do.
Mons. Nay, as I marche in de street, I can make de dull apprenty laugh and sneer.
Hip. This fool, I see, is as apt as an ill poet to mistake the contempt and scorn of people for applause and admiration. [Aside.
Mons. Ah, cousin, you see what it is to have been in France! Before I went into France, I could get nobody to laugh at me, ma foi!
Hip. No? truly, cousin, I think you deserved it before; but you are improved, indeed, by going into France.
Mons. Ay, ay, the French education make us propre à tout. Beside, cousin, you must know, to play the fool is the science in France, and I didde go to the Italian academy at Paris thrice a-week to learn to play de fool of Signior Scaramouche, who is the most excellent personage in the world for dat noble science. Angel is a dam English fool to him.
Hip. Methinks, now, Angel is a very good fool.
Mons. Naugh, naugh, Nokes is a better fool; but indeed the Englis are not fit to be fools: here are ver few good fools. 'Tis true, you have many a young cavalier who go over into France to learn to be de buffoon; but for all dat, dey return but mauvais buffoon, jarni!
Hip. I'm sure, cousin, you have lost no time there.
Mons. Auh, le brave Scaramouche!
Hip. But is it a science in France, cousin? and is there an academy for fooling? sure none go to it but players.
Mons. Dey are comedians dat are de maîtres; but all the beau monde go to learn, as they do here of Angel and Nokes. For if you did go abroad into company, you would find the best almost of de nation conning in all places the lessons which dey have learned of the fools dere maîtres, Nokes and Angel.
Mons. Yes, yes, dey are de gens de qualité that practise dat science most, and the most ambitieux; for fools and buffoons have been always most welcome to courts, and desired in all companies. Auh, to be de fool, de buffoon, is to be de great personage.
Hip. Fools have fortune, they say, indeed.
Mons. So say old Senèque.
Hip. Well, cousin, not to make you proud, you are the greatest fool in England, I am sure.
Mons. Non, non, de grace; non: Nokes de comedian is a pretty man, a pretty man for a comedian, da--
Hip. You are modest, cousin.--But lest my father should come in presently, which he will do as soon as he knows you are here, I must give you a caution, which 'tis fit you should have before you see him.
Mons. Vell, vell, cousin, vat is dat?
Hip. You must know, then (as commonly the conclusion of all mirth is sad), after I had a good while pleased myself in jesting, and leading the poor gentleman you sent into a fool's paradise, and almost made him believe I would go away with him, my father, coming home this morning, came in upon us, and caught him with me.
Hip. And drew his sword upon him, and would have killed him; for you know my father's Spanish fierceness and jealousy.
Mons. But how did he come off then, tête non?
Hip. In short, I was fain to bring him off by saying he was my dancing-master.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! ver good jeste.
Hip. I was unwilling to have the poor man killed, you know, for our foolish frolic with him: but then, upon my aunt's and father's inquiry, how he came in, and who sent him, I was forced to say you did, desiring I should be able to dance a corant before our wedding.
Mons. A ver good jest--da--still better as better.
Hip. Now, all that I am to desire of you is, to own you sent him, that I may not be caught in a lie.
Mons. Yes, yes, a ver good lest: Gerrard a maître de danse! ha ha! ha!
Hip. Nay, the jest is like to be better yet; for my father himself has obliged him now to come and teach me: so that now he must take the dancing-master upon him, and come three or four times to me before our wedding, lest my father, if he should come no more, should be suspicious I had told him a lie. And, for aught I know, if he should know, or but guess he were not a dancing-master, in his Spanish strictness and punctilios of honour, he might kill me as the shame and stain of his honour and family, which he talks of so much. Now, you know the jealous cruel fathers in Spain serve their poor innocent daughters often so; and he is more than a Spaniard.
Mons. Non, non, fear noting; I warrant you, he shall come as often as you will to de house; and your father shall never know who he is till we are married. But then I'll tell him all for the jest's sake.
Hip. But will you keep my counsel, dear cousin, till we are married?
Mons. Poor dear fool! I warrant thee, ma foi!
Hip. Nay, what a fool am I indeed! for you would not have me killed. You love me too well, sure, to be an instrument of my death.
Enter Don Diego, walking gravely, a Black boy behind him; and Mrs. Caution.
But here comes my father, remember.
Mons. I would no more tell him of it than I would tell you if I had been with a wench, jarni! [Aside.]--She's afraid to be killed, poor wretch, and he's a capricious, jealous fop enough to do't:--but here he comes.--[To Hippolita.] I'll keep thy counsel, I warrant thee, my dear soul, mon petit cœur.
Hip. Peace! peace! my father's coming this way.
Mons. Ay, but by his march he won't be near enough to hear us this half hour, ha! ha! ha!
[Don Diego walks leisurely round Monsieur, surveying him, and shrugging his shoulders, whilst Monsieur makes legs and faces aside.
Don. Is that thing my cousin, sister?
Mrs. Caut. 'Tis he, sir.
Don. Cousin, I am sorry to see you--
Mons. Is that a Spanish compliment?
Don. So much disguised, cousin.
Mons. [Aside.] Oh! is it out at last, ventre? [To Don Diego.]--Serviteur, serviteur, à monsieur mon oncle, and I am glad to see you here within doors, most Spanish oncle, ha! ha! ha! but I should be sorry to see you in the streets, tête non!
Don. Why so?--would you be ashamed of me, hah--voto á St. Jago! would you? hauh--
Mons. Ay; it may be you would be ashamed yourself, monsieur mon oncle, of the great train you would get to wait upon your Spanish hose, puh--the boys would follow you, and hoot at you--vert and bleu! pardon my Franch franchise, monsieur mon oncle.
Hip. We shall have sport anon, betwixt these two contraries. [Apart to Prue.
Don. Dost thou call me "monsieur?" voto á St. Jago!
Mons. No, I did not call you Monsieur Voto á St. Jago! Sir, I know you are my uncle, Mr. James Formal--da--
Don. But I can hardly know you are my cousin, Mr. Nathaniel Paris.--But call me, sir, Don Diego henceforward, look you, and no monsieur. Call me monsieur! guarda!
Mons. I confess my error, sir; for none but a blind man would call you monsieur, ha! ha!--But, pray, do not call me neder Paris, but de Paris, de Paris, (s'il vous plait,) Monsieur de Paris. Call me monsieur, and welcome, da--
Don. Monsieur de Pantaloons then, voto--
Mons. Monsieur de Pantaloons! a pretty name, a pretty name, ma foi! da--bien trouvé de Pantaloons! how much better den your de la Fountaines, de la Rivieres, de la Roches, and all the de's in France--da--well; but have you not the admiration for my pantaloon, Don Diego, mon oncle?
Don. I am astonished at them, verdaderamente, they are wonderfully ridiculous.
Mons. Redicule! redicule! ah--'tis well you are my uncle, da--redicule! ha--is dere any ting in the universe so gentil as de pantaloons? any ting so ravissant as de pantaloons? Auh--I could kneel down and varship a pair of gentil pantaloons. Vat, vat, you would have me have de admiration for dis outward skin of your thigh, which you call Spanish hose, fi! fi! fi!--ha I ha! ha!
Don. Dost thou deride my Spanish hose, young man, hauh?
Mons. In comparison of pantaloon, I do undervalue em indeed, Don Diego, mon oncle, ha! ha! ha!
Don. Thou art then a gabacho de mal gusto, look you.
Mons. You may call me vat you vill, oncle Don Diego; but I must needs say, your Spanish hose are scurvy hose, ugly hose, lousy hose, and stinking hose.
Don. Do not provoke me, borracho! [Puts his hand to his sword.
Mons. Indeet, as for lousy, I recant dat epithete, for dere is scarce room in 'em for dat little animal, ha! ha! ha! but for stinking hose, dat epithete may stand; for how can they choose but stink, since they are so furieusement close to your Spanish tail, da?
Hip. Ha! ha! ridiculous! [Aside.
Don. Do not provoke me, I say, en hora ma/a! [Seems to draw.
Mons. Nay, oncle, I am sorry you are in de pation; but I must live and die for de pantaloon against de Spanish hose, da.
Don. You are a rash young man; and while you wear pantaloons, you are beneath my passion, voto--auh--they make thee look and waddle (with all those gewgaw ribbons) like a great, old, fat, slovenly water-dog.
Mons. And your Spanish hose, and your nose in the air, make you look like a great, grizzled, long Irish greyhound reaching a crust off from a high shelf, ha! ha! ha!
Don. Bueno! bueno!
Mrs. Caut. What, have you a mind to ruin yourself and break off the match?
Mons. Pshaw--wat do you tell me of the matche! d'ye tinke I will not vindicate pantaloons, morbleu!
Don. [Aside.] Well, he is a lost young man, I see, and desperately far gone in the epidemic malady of our nation, the affectation of the worst of French vanities; but I must be wiser than him, as I am a Spaniard. Look you, Don Diego, and endeavour to reclaim him by art and fair means, look you, Don Diego; it not, he shall never marry my daughter, look you, Don Diego, though he be my own sister's son, and has two thousand five hundred seventy-three pounds sterling, twelve shillings and twopence a year pennyrent, seguramente!--[To Monsieur.] Come, young man, since you are so obstinate, we will refer our difference to arbitration; your mistress, my daughter, shall be umpire betwixt us, concerning Spanish hose and pantaloons.
Mons. Pantaloons and Spanish hose, s'il vous plait.
Don. Your mistress is the fittest judge of your dress, sure.
Mons. I know ver vel dat most of the jeunesse of England will not change de ribband upon de crevat without de consultation of dere maîtresse; but I am no Anglais, da--nor shall I make de reference of my dress to any in the universe, da--I judge by any in England! tête non! I would not be judge by any English looking-glass, jarni!
Don. Be not positivo, young man.
Mrs. Caut. Nay, pray refer it, cousin, pray do.
Mons. Non, non, your servant, your servant, aunt.
Don. But, pray, be not so positive. Come hither daughter, tell me which is best.
Hip. Indeed, father, you have kept me in universal ignorance, I know nothing.
Mons. And do you tink I shall refer an affair of that consequence to a poor young ting who have not seen the vorld, da? I am wiser than so, voto!
Don. Well, in short, if you will not be wiser, and leave off your French dress, stammering, and tricks, look you, you shall be a fool, and go without my daughter, voto!
Mons. How! must I leave off my jantee French accoutrements, and speak base Englis too, or not marry my cousin, mon oncle Don Diego? Do not break off the match, do not; for know, I will not leave off my pantaloon and French pronuntiation for ne'er a cousin in England't, da.
Don. I tell you again, he that marries my daughter shall at least look like a wise man, for he shall wear the Spanish habit; I am a Spanish positivo.
Mons. Ver vel! ver vel! and I am a French positivo.
Don. Then I am definitivo; and if you do not go immediately into your chamber, and put on a Spanish habit, I have brought over on purpose for your wedding-clothes, and put off all these French fopperies and vanidades, with all your grimaces, agreeables, adorables, ma fois, and jarnis; I swear you shall never marry my daughter (and by an oath by Spaniard never broken) by my whiskers and snuff-box!
Mons. O hold! do not swear, uncle, for I love your daughter furieusement.
Don. If you love her, you'll obey me.
Mons. Auh, wat will become of me! but have the consideration. Must I leave off all the Franch beautés, graces, and embellisments, bote of my person, and language?
[Exeunt Hippolita, Mrs. Caution, and Prue, laughing.
Don. I will have it so.
Mons. I am ruinne den, undonne. Have some consideration for me, for dere is not de least ribbon of my garniture but is as dear to me as your daughter, jarni!
Don. Then, you do not deserve her; and for that reason I will be satisfied you love her better, or you shall not have her, for I am positivo.
Mons. Vill you break mine arte? Pray have de consideration for me.
Don. I say again, you shall be dressed before night from top to toe in the Spanish habit, or you shall never marry my daughter, look you.
Mons. If you will not have de consideration for me, have de consideration for your daughter; for she have de passionate amour for me, and like me in dis habite bettre den in yours, da.
Don. What I have said I have said, and I am un positivo.
Mons. Will you not so mush as allow me one little French oate?
Don. No, you shall look like a Spaniard, but speak and swear like an Englishman, look you.
Mons. Hélas! hélas! den I shall take my leave, mort! tête! ventre! jarni! tête bleu! ventre bleu! ma foi! certes!
Don. [Calls at the door.] Pedro, Sanchez, wait upon this cavaliero into his chamber with those things I ordered you to take out of the trunks.--I would have you a little accustomed to your clothes before your wedding; for, if you comply with me, you shall marry my daughter tomorrow, look you.
Mons. Adieu then, dear pantaloon! dear belte! dear sword! dear peruke! and dear chapeau retroussé, and dear shoe, jarni! adieu! adieu! adieu! Hélas! hélas! hélas! will you have yet no pity?
Don. I am a Spanish positivo, look you.
Mons. And more cruel than de Spanish inquisitiono, to compel a man to a habit against his conscience; hélas! hélas! hélas! [Exit.
Re-enter Prue with Gerrard.
Prue. Here's the dancing-master, shall I call my mistress, sir?
Don. Yes.-- [Exit Prue.] O, you are as punctual as a Spaniard: I love your punctual men nay, I think 'tis before your time something.
Ger. Nay, I am resolved your daughter, sir, shall lose no time by my fault.
Don. So, so, 'tis well
Ger. I were a very unworthy man, if I should not be punctual with her, sir.
Don. You speak honestly, very honestly, friend; and I believe a very honest man, though a dancing-master.
Ger. I am very glad you think me so, sir.
Don. What, you are but a young man, are you married yet?
Ger. No, sir; but I hope I shall, sir, very suddenly, if things hit right.
Don. What, the old folks her friends are wary, and cannot agree with you so soon as the daughter can?
Ger. Yes, sir, the father hinders it a little at present but the daughter, I hope, is resolved, and then we shall do well enough.
Don. What! you do not steal her, according to the laudable custom of some of your brother dancing-masters?
Ger. No, no, sir; steal her, sir! steal her! you are pleased to be merry, sir, ha! ha! ha!--[Aside.] I cannot but laugh at that question.
Don. No, sir, methinks you are pleased to be merry, but you say the father does not consent?
Ger. Not yet, sir; but 'twill be no matter whether he does or no.
Don. Was she one of your scholars? if she were, 'tis a hundred to ten but you steal her.
Ger. [Aside.] I shall not be able to hold laughing. [Laughs.
Don. Nay, nay, I find by your laughing you steal her: she was your scholar; was she not?
Ger. Yes, sir, she was the first I ever had, and may be the last too; for she has a fortune (if I can get her) will keep me from teaching to dance any more.
Don. So, so, then she is your scholar still it seems, and she has a good portion; I'm glad on't; nay, I knew you stole her.
Ger.[ Aside.] My laughing may give him suspicions, yet I cannot hold. [Laughs.
Don. What! you laugh, I warrant, to think how the young baggage and you will mump the poor old father! but if all her dependence for a fortune be upon the father, he may chance to mump you both and spoil the jest.
Ger. I hope it will not be in his power, sir, ha! ha! ha!--[Aside.] I shall laugh too much anon.--[To Don Diego.] Pray, sir, be pleased to call for your daughter, I am impatient till she comes, for time was never more precious with me, and with her too; it ought to be so, sure, since you say she is to be married to-morrow.
Don. She ought to bestir her, as you say, indeed. Wuh, daughter! daughter! Prue! Hippolita! come away, child, why do you stay so long? [Calls at the door.
Re-enter Hippolita, Prue, and Mrs. Caution.
Hip. Your servant, master; indeed I am ashamed you have stayed for me.
Ger. O, good madam, 'tis my duty; I know you came as soon as you could.
Hip. I knew my father was with you, therefore I did not make altogether so much haste as I might; but if you had been alone, nothing should have kept me from you. I would not have been so rude as to have made you stay a minute for me, I warrant you.
Don. Come, fiddle faddle, what a deal of ceremony there is betwixt your dancing-master and you, cuerno!--
Hip. Lord, sir! I hope you'll allow me to show my respect to my master, for I have a great respect for my master.
Ger. And I am very proud of my scholar, and am a very great honourer of my scholar.
Don. Come, come, friend, about your business, and honour the king.--[To Mrs. Caution.] Your dancing masters and barbers are such finical, smooth-tongued, tattling fellows; and if you set 'em once a-talking, they'll ne'er a-done, no more than when you set 'em a-fiddling: indeed, all that deal with fiddles are given to impertinency.
Mrs. Caut. Well, well, this is an impertinent fellow, without being a dancing-master. He is no more a dancing-master than I am a maid.
Don. What! will you still be wiser than I? Voto!--Come, come, about with my daughter, man.
Prue. So he would, I warrant you, if your worship would let him alone.
Don. How now, Mrs. Nimblechaps!
Ger. Well, though I have got a little canting at the dancing-school since I was here, yet I do all so bunglingly, he'll discover me. [Aside to Hippolita.
Hip. [Aside.] Try.--[Aloud.] Come take my hand, master.
Mrs. Caut. Look you, brother, the impudent harlotry gives him her hand.
Don. Can he dance with her without holding her by the hand?
Hip. Here, take my hand, master.
Ger. I wish it were for good and all. [Aside to her.
Hip. You dancing-masters are always so hasty, so nimble.
Don. Voto á St. Jago! not that I see; about with her, man.
Ger. Indeed, sir, I cannot about with her as I would do, unless you will please to go out a little, sir; for I see she is bashful still before you, sir.
Don. Hey, hey, more fooling yet! come, come, about, about with her.
Hip. Nay, indeed, father, I am ashamed, and cannot help it.
Don. But you shall help it, for I will not stir. Move her, I say.--Begin, hussy, move when he'll have you.
Prue. I cannot but laugh at that, ha! ha! ha! [Aside.
Ger. [Apart to Hippolita.] Come, then, madam, since it must be so, let us try; but I shall discover all.--One, two, and coupee.
Mrs. Caut. Nay, d'ye see how he squeezes her hand, brother ! O the lewd villain!
Don. Come, move, I say, and mind her not.
Ger. One, two, three, four, and turn round.
Mrs. Caut. D'ye see again? he took her by the bare arm.
Don. Come, move on, she's mad.
Ger. One, two, and a coupee.
Don. Come, one, two, and turn out your toes.
Mrs. Caut. There, there, he pinched her by the thigh: will you suffer it?
Ger. One, two, three, and fall back.
Don. Fall back, fall back, back; some of you are forward enough to back.
Ger. Back, madam.
Don. Fall back, when he bids you, hussy.
Mrs. Caut. How! how! fall back, fall back! marry, but she shall not fall back when he bids her.
Don. I say she shall.--Huswife, come.
Ger. She will, she will, I warrant you, sir, if you won't be angry with her.
Mrs. Caut. Do you know what he means by that now? You a Spaniard!
Don. How's that? I not a Spaniard! say such a word again--
Ger. Come forward, madam, three steps again.
Mrs. Caut. See, see, she squeezes his hand now: O the debauched harlotry!
Don. So, so, mind her not; she moves forward pretty well; but you must move as well backward as forward, or you'll never do anything to purpose.
Mrs. Caut. Do you know what you say, brother, yourself, now? are you at your beastliness before your young daughter?
Prue. Ha! ha! ha!
Don. How now, mistress, are you so merry?--Is this sour staid maid as you call her, sister Impertinent?
Ger. I have not much to say to you, miss; but I shall not have an opportunity to do it, unless we can get your father out. [Aside to Hippolita.
Don. Come, about again with her.
Mrs. Caut. Look you there, she squeezes his hand hard again.
Hip. Indeed, and indeed, father, my aunt puts me quite out; I cannot dance while she looks on for my heart, she makes me ashamed and afraid together.
Ger. Indeed, if you would please to take her out, sir, I am sure I should make my scholar do better, than when you are present, sir. Pray, sir, be pleased for this time to take her away; for the next time, I hope I shall order it so, we shall trouble neither of you.
Mrs. Caut. No, no, brother, stir not, they have a mind to be left alone. Come, there's a beastly trick in't; he's no dancing-master, I tell you.
Ger. Damned jade! she'll discover us. [Aside to Hippolita.
Don. What, will you teach me? nay, then I will go out, and you shall go out too, look you.
Mrs. Caut. I will not go out, look you.
Don. Come, come, thou art a censorious wicked woman, and you shall disturb them no longer.
Mrs. Caut. What! will you bawd for your daughter?
Don. Ay, ay; come go out, out, out.
Mrs. Caut. I will not go out, I will not go out; my conscience will not suffer me, for I know by experience what will follow.
Ger. I warrant you, sir, we'll make good use of our time when you are gone.
Mrs. Caut. Do you hear him again? don't you know what he means?
[Exit Don Diego thrusting Mrs. Caution out.
Hip. 'Tis very well!--you are a fine gentleman to abuse my poor father so.
Ger. 'Tis but by your example, miss.
Bit. Well, I am his daughter, and may make the bolder with him, I hope.
Ger. And I am his son-in-law, that shall be; and therefore may claim my privilege too of making bold with him, I hope.
Hip. Methinks you should be contented in making bold with his daughter (for you have made very bold with her) sure.
Ger. I hope I shall make bolder with her yet.
Hip. I do not doubt your confidence, for you are a dancing-master.
Ger. Why, miss, I hope you would not have me a fine, senseless, whining, modest lover; for modesty in a man is as ill as the want of it in a woman.
Hip. I thank you for that, sir, now you have made bold with me indeed but if I am such a confident piece, I am sure you made me so: if you had not had the confidence to come in at the window, I had not had the confidence to look upon a man: I am sure I could not look upon a man before.
Ger. But that I humbly conceive, sweet miss, was your father's fault, because you had not a man to look upon. But, dearest miss, I do not think you confident, you are only innocent; for that which would be called confidence, nay impudence, in a woman of years, is called innocency in one of your age; and the more impudent you appear, the more innocent you are thought.
Hip. Say you so? has youth such privileges? I do not wonder then, most women seem impudent, since it is to be thought younger than they are, it seems. But indeed, master, you are as treat an encourager of impudence, I see, as if you were a dancing-master in good earnest.
Ger. Yes, yes, a young thing may do anything; may leap out of the window and go away with her dancing-master, if she please.
Hip. So, so, the use follows the doctrine very suddenly.
Ger. Well, dearest, pray let us make the use we should of it; lest your father should make too bold with us, and come in before we would have him.
Hip. Indeed, old relations are apt to take that ill-bred freedom of pressing into young company at unseasonable hours.
Ger. Come, dear miss, let me tell you how I have designed matters; for in talking of anything else we lose time and opportunity. People abroad indeed say, the English women are the worst in the world in using an opportunity, they love tittle-tattle and ceremony.
Hip. 'Tis because, I warrant, opportunities are not so scarce here as abroad, they have more here than they can use; but let people abroad say what they will of English women, because they do not know 'em, but what say people at home?
Ger. Pretty innocent! ha! ha! ha!--Well, I say you will not make use of your opportunity.
Hip. I say, you have no reason to say so yet.
Ger. Well then, anon at nine of the clock at night I'll try you: for I have already bespoke a parson, and have taken up the three back-rooms of the tavern, which front upon the gallery-window, that nobody may see us escape; and I have appointed (precisely betwixt eight and nine of the clock when it is dark) a coach and six to wait at the tavern-door for us.
Hip. A coach and six! a coach and six, do you say? nay, then I see you are resolved to carry me away; for a coach and six, though there were not a man but the coachman with it, would carry away any young girl of my age in England:--a coach and six!
Ger. Then you will be sure to be ready to go with me?
Hip. What young woman of the town could ever say no to a coach and six, unless it were going into the country?--A coach and six! 'tis not in the power of fourteen years old to resist it.
Ger. You will be sure to be ready?
Hip. You are sure 'tis a coach and six?
Ger. I warrant you, miss.
Hip. I warrant you then they'll carry us merrily away:--a coach and six!
Ger. But have you charmed your cousin the monsieur (as you said you would) that he in the mean time say nothing to prevent us?
Hip. I warrant you.
Re-enter Don Diego; Mrs. Caution pressing in after him.
Mrs. Caut. I will come in.
Don. Well, I hope by this time you have given her full instructions; you have told her what and how to do, you have done all.
Ger. We have just done indeed, sir.
Hip. Ay, sir, we have just done, sir.
Mrs. Caut. And I fear just undone, sir.
Ger. D'ye hear that damned witch? [Aside to Hippolita.
Don. Come, leave your censorious prating; thou hast been a false, right woman thyself in thy youth, I warrant you.
Mrs. Caut. I right! I right! I scorn your words, I'd have you to know, and 'tis well known. I right! no, 'tis your dainty minx, that Jillflirt, your daughter here, that is right; do you see how her handkerchief is ruffled, and what a heat she's in?
Don. She has been dancing.
Mrs. Caut. Ay, ay, Adam and Eve's dance, or the beginning of the world; d'ye see how she pants?
Don. She has not been used to motion.
Mrs. Caut. Motion! motion! motion d'ye call it? no indeed, I kept her from motion till now:--motion with a vengeance!
Don. You put the poor bashful girl to the blush, you see, hold your peace.
Mrs. Caut. 'Tis her guilt, not her modesty, marry!
Don. Come, come, mind her not, child.--Come, master, let me see her dance now the whole dance roundly together; come, sing to her.
Ger. Faith, we shall be discovered after all; you know I cannot sing a note, miss.
[Aside to Hippolita.
Don. Come, come, man.
Hip. Indeed, father, my master's in haste now; pray let it alone till anon at night, when, you say, he is to come again, and then you shall see me dance it to the violin; pray stay till then, father.
Don. I will not be put off so; come, begin.
Hip. Pray, father.
Don. Come, sing to her; come, begin.
Ger. Pray, sir, excuse me till anon, I am in some haste.
Don. I say, begin, I will not excuse you: come, take her by the hand, and about with her.
Mrs. Caut. I say, he shall not take her by the hand, he shall touch her no more; while I am here, there shall be no more squeezing and tickling her palm. Good Mr. Dancing-master, stand off. [Thrusts Gerrard away.
Don. Get you out, Mrs. Impertinence.--[To Gerrard.] Take her by the hand, I say.
Mrs. Caut. Stand off, I say. He shall not touch her, he has touched her too much already.
Don. If patience were not a Spanish virtue, I would lay it aside now: I say, let 'em dance.
Mrs. Caut. I say, they shall not dance.
Hip. Pray, father, since you see my aunt's obstinacy, let us alone till anon, when you may keep her out.
Don. Well then, friend, do not fail to come.
Hip. Nay, if he fail me at last--
Don. Be sure you come, for she's to be married tomorrow:--do you know it?
Ger. Yes, yes, sir.--Sweet scholar, your humble servant, till night; and think in the mean time of the instructions I have given you, that you may be the readier when I come.
Don. Ay, girl, be sure you do,--and do you be sure to come.
Mrs. Caut. You need not be so concerned, he'll be sure to come I warrant you; but if I could help it, he should never set foot again in the house.
Don. You would frighten the poor dancing-master from the house,--but be sure you come for all her.
Ger. Yes, sir.--[Aside.] But this jade will pay me when I am gone.
Mrs. Caut. Hold, hold, sir, I must let you out, and I wish I could keep you out. He a dancing-master! he's a chouse, a cheat, a mere cheat, and that you'll find.
Don. I find any man a cheat! I cheated by any man! I scorn your words.--I that have so much Spanish care, circumspection, and prudence, cheated by a man! Do you think I, who have been in Spain, look you, and have kept up my daughter a twe!ve-month, for fear of being cheated of her, look you? I cheated of her!
Mrs. Caut. Well, say no more.
[Exeunt Don Diego, Hippolita, Mrs. Caution, and Prue.
Ger. Well, old Formality, if you had not kept up your daughter, I am sure I had never cheated you of her.
The wary fool is by his care betrayed,
As cuckolds by their jealousy are made.
SCENE 1--A ROOM IN DON DIEGO'S HOUSE
Enter Monsieur de Paris without a peruke, with a Spanish hat, a Spanish doublet, stockings, and shoes, but in pantaloons, a waist-belt, and a Spanish dagger in it, and a cravat about his neck.--Hippolita and Prue behind laughing.
Mons. To see wat a fool love do make of one, jarni! It do metamorphose de brave man in de beast, de sot, de animal.
Hip. Ha! ha! ha!
Mons. Nay, you may laugh, 'tis ver vell, I am become as ridicule for you as can be, morbleu! I have deform myself into a ugly Spaniard.
Hip. Why, do you call this disguising yourself like a Spaniard, while you wear pantaloons still, and the cravat?
Mons. But is here not the double doublet, and the Spanish dagger aussi?
Hip. But 'tis as long as the French sword, and worn like it. But where's your Spanish beard, the thing of most consequence?
Mons. Jarni! do you tink beards are as easy to be had as in the playhouses? non; but if here be no the ugly long Spanish beard, here are, I am certain, the ugly long Spanish ear.
Hip. That's very true, ha! ha! ha!
Mons. Auh de ingrate, dat de woman is! wen we poor men are your gallants, you laugh at us yourselves, and wen we are your husband, you make all the world laugh at us, jarni!--Love, dam love, it makes the man more ridicule, than poverty, poetry, or a new title of honour, jarni!
Enter Don Diego and Mrs. Caution.
Don. What! at your jarnis still? voto!
Mons. Why, oncle, you are at your votos still.
Don. Nay, I'll allow you to be at your votos too, but not to make the incongruous match of Spanish doublet, and French pantaloons.
[Holding his hat before his pantaloons.
Mons. Nay, pray, dear oncle, let me unite France and Spain; 'tis the mode of France now, jarni, voto!
Don. Well, I see I must pronounce: I told you, if you were not dressed in the Spanish habit to-night, you should not marry my daughter to-morrow, look you.
Mons. Well! am I not habillé in de Spanish habit? my doublet, ear and hat, leg and feet, are Spanish, that dey are.
Don. I told you I was a Spanish positivo, voto!
Mons. Will you not spare my pantaloon! begar, I will give you one little finger to excuse my pantaloon, da--.
Don. I have said, look you.
Mons. Auh, cher pantaloons! Speak for my pantaloons, cousin. My poor pantaloons are as dear to me as de scarf to de countree capitane, or de new-made officer: therefore have de compassion for my pantaloons, Don Diego, mon oncle. Hélas! hélas! hélas! [Kneels.
Don. I have said, look you, your dress must be Spanish, and your language English: I am un positivo.
Mons. And must speak base good English too! Ah! la pitié! Hélas!
Don. It must be done; and I will see this great change ere it be dark, voto!--Your time is not long; look to't, look you.
Mons. Hélas! hélas! hélas! dat Espagne should conquer la France in England! Hélas! hélas! hélas! [Exit.
Don. You see what pains I take to make him the more agreeable to you, daughter.
Hip. But indeed, and indeed, father, you wash the blackamoor white, in endeavouring to make a Spaniard of a monsieur, nay, an English monsieur too; consider that, father: for when once they have taken the French plie (as they call it) they are never to be made so much as Englishmen again, I have heard say.
Don. What! I warrant you are like the rest of the young silly baggages of England, that like nothing but what is French? You would not have him reformed, you would have a monsieur to your husband, would you, cuerno?
Hip. No, indeed, father, I would not have a monsieur to my husband; not I indeed: and I am sure you'll never make my cousin otherwise.
Don. I warrant you.
Hip. You can't, you can't indeed, father: and you have sworn, you know, he shall never have me, if he does not leave off his monsieurship. Now, as I told you, 'tis as hard for him to cease being a monsieur, as 'tis for you to break a Spanish oath; so that I am not in any great danger of having a monsieur to my husband.
Don. Well, but you shall have him for your husband, look you.
Hip. Then you will break your Spanish oath.
Don. No, I will break him of his French tricks; and you shall have him for your husband, cuerno!
Hip. Indeed and indeed, father, I shall not have him.
Don. Indeed you shall, daughter.
Hip. Well, you shall see, father.
Mrs. Caut. No, I warrant you, she will not have him, she'll have her dancing-master rather: I know her meaning, I understand her.
Don. Thou malicious foolish woman! you understand her!--But I do understand her; she says, I will not break my oath, nor he his French customs; so, through our difference, she thinks she shall not have him: but she shall.
Hip. But I shan't. .
Mrs. Caut. I know she will not have him, because she hates him
Don. I tell you, if she does hate him, 'tis a sign she will have him for her husband; for 'tis not one of a thousand that marries the man she loves, look you. Besides, 'tis all one whether she loves him now or not; for as soon as she's married, she'd be sure to hate him. That's the reason we wise Spaniards are jealous, and only expect, nay, will be sure our wives shall fear us, look you.
Hip. Pray, good father and aunt, do not dispute about nothing; for I am sure he will never be my husband to hate.
Mrs. Caut. I am of your opinion, indeed: I understand you. I can see as far as another.
Don. You! you cannot see so much as through your spectacles!--But I understand her: 'tis her mere desire to marriage makes her say she shall not have him; for your poor young things, when they are once in the teens, think they shall never be married.
Hip. Well, father, think you what you will; but I know what I think.
Re-enter Monsieur de Paris in the Spanish habit entire, only with a cravat, and followed by the little Blackamoor with a golilla in his hand.
Don. Come, did not I tell you, you should have him? look you there, he has complied with me, and is a perfect Spaniard.
Mons. Ay! ay! I am ugly rogue enough now, sure, for my cousin. But 'tis your father's fault, cousin, that you han't the handsomest, best-dressed man in the nation; a man bien mis.
Don. Yet again at your French! and a cravat on still! voto á St. Jago! off, off, with it!
Mons. Nay, I will ever hereafter speak clownish good English, do but spare me my cravat.
Don. I am un positivo, look you.
Mons. Let me not put on that Spanish yoke, but spare me my cravat; for I love cravat furieusement.
Don. Again at your furieusements!
Mons. Indeed I have forgot myself: but have some mercy. [Kneels.
Don. Off, off, off with it, I say! Come, refuse the ornamento principal of the Spanish habit!
[Takes him by the cravat, pulls it off and the Black puts on the golilla.
Mons. Will you have no mercy, no pity? alas! alas! alas! Oh! I had rather put on the English pillory, than that Spanish golilla, for 'twill be all a case I'm sure: for when I go abroad, I shall soon have a crowd of boys about me, peppering me with rotten eggs and turnips Hélas! hélas! [Don Diego puts on the golilla.
Don. Hélas, again!
Mons. Alas! alas! alas!
Hip. I shall die! Ha! ha! ha!
Prue. I shall burst! Ha! ha! ha!
Mons. Ay! ay! you see what I am come to for your sake, cousin: and, uncle, pray take notice how ridiculous I am grown to my cousin, that loves me above all the world: she can no more forbear laughing at me, I vow and swear, than if I were as arrant a Spaniard as yourself.
Don. Be a Spaniard like me, and ne'er think people laugh at you: there was never a Spaniard that thought any one laughed at him. But what! do you laugh at a golilla, baggage?--Come, sirrah black, now do you teach him to walk with the verdadero gesto, gracia, and gravidad of a true Castilian.
Mons. Must I have my dancing-master too?--Come, little master, then, lead on.
[The Black struts about the stage, Monsieur follows him, imitating awkwardly all he does.
Don. Malo! malo! with your hat on your poll, as if it hung upon a pin!--the French and English wear their hats as if their horns would not suffer 'em to come over their foreheads, voto!
Mons. 'Tis true, there are some well-bred gentlemen have so much reverence for their peruke, that they would refuse to be grandees of your Spain for fear of putting on their hats, I vow and swear!
Don. Come, black, teach him now to make a Spanish leg.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! your Spanish leg is an English courtesy, I vow and swear, hah! hah! hah!
Don. Well, the hood does not make the monk; the ass was an ass still, though he had the lion's skin on. This will be a light French fool, in spite of the grave Spanish habit, look you.--But, black, do what you can; make the most of him; walk him about.
Prue. Here are the people, sir, you sent to speak with about provisions for the wedding; and here are your clothes brought home too, mistress.
[Goes to the door and returns.
Don. Well, I come.--Black, do what you can with him; walk him about.
Mons. Indeed, uncle, if I were as you, I would not have the grave Spanish habit so travestied: I shall disgrace it, and my little black master too, I vow and swear.
Don. Learn, learn of him; improve yourself by him--and do you walk him, walk him about soundly.--Come, sister, and daughter, I must have your judgments, though I shall not need 'em, look you.--Walk him, see you walk him.
[Exeunt Don Diego, Hippolita, and Mrs. Caution.
Mons. Jarni! he does not only make a Spaniard of me, but a Spanish jennet, in giving me to his lackey to walk--But come along, little master.
[The Black instructs Monsieur on one side of the stage, Prue standing on the other.
Prue. O the unfortunate condition of us poor chambermaids! who have all the carking and caring, the watching and sitting up, the trouble and danger of our mistresses' intrigues, whilst they go away with all the pleasure! And if they can get their man in a corner, 'tis well enough; they ne'er think of the poor watchful chambermaid, who sits knocking her heels in the cold, for want of better exercise, in some melancholy lobby or entry, when she could employ her time every whit as well as her mistress, for all her quality, if she were but put to't. [Aside.
Black. Hold up your head, hold up your head sir:--a stooping Spaniard, malo!
Mons. True, a Spaniard scorns to look upon the ground.
Prue. We can shift for our mistresses, and not for ourselves. Mine has got a handsome proper young man, and is just going to make the most of him; whilst I must be left in the lurch here with a couple of ugly little blackamoor boys in bonnets, and an old withered Spanish eunuch; not a servant else in the house, nor have I hopes of any comfortable society at all. [Aside.
Black. Now let me see you make your visit-leg, thus.
Mons. Auh, tête non!--ha! ha! ha!
Black. What! a Spaniard, and laugh aloud! No, if you laugh, thus only--so--Now your salutation in the street, as you pass by your acquaintance; look you, thus--if to a woman, thus--putting your hat upon your heart; if to a man, thus, with a nod--so--but frown a little more, frown:--but if to a woman you would be very ceremonious to, thus--so--your neck nearer your shoulder--so--Now, if you would speak contemptibly of any man, or thing, do thus with your hand--so--and shrug up your shoulders till they hide your ears.--[Monsieur imitating the Black.] Now walk again.
[The Black and Monsieur walk off the stage.
Prue. All my hopes are in that coxcomb there: I must take up with my mistress's leavings, though we chambermaids are wont to be beforehand with them. But he is the dullest, modestest fool, for a frenchified fool, as ever I saw; for nobody could be more coming to him than I have been, though I say it, and yet I am ne'er the nearer. I have stolen away his handkerchief and told him of it; and yet he would never so much as struggle with me to get it again: I have pulled off his peruke, untied his ribbons, and have been very bold with him: yet he would never be so with me: nay, I have pinched him, punched him and tickled him; and yet he would never do the like for me.
Re-enter the Black and Monsieur.
Black. Nay, thus, thus, sir.
Prue. And to make my person more acceptable to him, I have used art, as they say; for every night since he came, I have worn the forehead-piece of bees-wax and hog's-grease, and every morning washed with butter-milk and wild tansy; and have put on every day for his only sake my Sunday's bawdy' stockings, and have new-chalked my shoes, as constantly as the morning came: nay, I have taken occasion to garter my stockings before him, as if unawares of him; for a good leg and foot, with good shoes and stockings, are very provoking, as they say; but the devil a bit would he be provoked.--But I must think of a way. [Aside.
Black. Thus, thus.
Mons. What, so! Well, well, I have lessons enough for this time, little master; I will have no more, lest the multiplicity of them make me forget them, da.--Prue, art thou there and so pensive? what art thou thinking of?
Prue. Indeed, I am ashamed to tell your worship.
Mons. What, ashamed! wert thou thinking then of my beastliness? ha! ha! ha!
Prue. Nay, then I am forced to tell your worship in my own vindication.
Mons. Come then.
Prue. But indeed, your worship--I'm ashamed, that I am, though it was nothing but a dream I had of your sweet worship last night.
Mons. Of my sweet worship! I warrant it was a sweet dream then:--what was it? ha! ha! ha!
Prue. Nay, indeed, I have told your worship enough already; you may guess the rest.
Mons. I cannot guess; ha! ha! ha! What should it be? prithee let's know the rest.
Prue. Would you have me so impudent?
Mons. Impudent! ha! ha! ha! Nay, prithee tell me; for I can't guess, da--
Prue. Nay, 'tis always so, for want of the men's guessing the poor women are forced to be impudent:--but I am still ashamed.
Mons. I will know it; speak.
Prue. Why then, methought last night you came up into my chamber in your shirt when I was in bed; and that you might easily do, for I have ne'er a lock to my door.--Now I warrant I am as red as my petticoat.
Mons. No, thou'rt as yellow as e'er thou wert.
Prue. Yellow, sir!
Mons. Ay, ay: but let's hear the dream out.
Prue. Why, can't you guess the rest now?
Mons. No, not I, I vow and swear: come, let's hear.
Prue. But can't you guess, in earnest?
Mons. Not I, the devil eat me!
Prue. Not guess yet! why then, methought you came to bed to me.--Now am I as red as my petticoat again.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha!--well, and what then? ha! ha! ha!
Prue. Nay, now I know by your worship's laughing you guess what you did. I'm sure I cried out, and waked all in tears, with these words in my mouth--"You have undone me! you have undone me! your worship has undone me!"
Mons. Ha! ha! ha!--but you waked, and found it was but a dream.
Prue. Indeed it was so lively, I know not whether 'twas a dream, or no.--But if you were not there, I'll undertake you may come when you will, and do anything to me you will, I sleep so fast.
Mans. No, no; I don't believe that.
Prue. Indeed you may, your worship--.
Mons. It cannot be.
Prue. Insensible beast! he will not understand me yet; and one would think I speak plain enough. [Aside.
Mons. Well, but, Prue, what art thou thinking of?
Prue. Of the dream, whether it were a dream or no.
Mons. 'Twas a dream, I warrant thee.
Prue. Was it? I am hugeous glad it was a dream.
Mons. Ay, ay, it was a dream: and I am hugeous glad it was a dream too.
Prue. But now I have told your worship my door has neither lock nor latch to it, if you should be so naughty as to come one night, and prove the dream true--I am so afraid on't.
Mons. Ne'er fear it:--dreams go by the contraries.
Prue. Then, by that I should come into your worship's chamber, and come to bed to your worship.--Now am I as red as my petticoat again, I warrant.
Mons. No, thou art no redder than a brick unburnt, Prue.
Prue. But if I should do such a trick in my sleep, your worship would not censure a poor harmless maid, I hope?--for I am apt to walk in my sleep.
Mons. Well, then, Prue, because thou shalt not shame thyself, poor wench, I'll be sure to lock my door every night fast.
Prue. [Aside.] So! so! this way I find will not do:--I must come roundly and downright to the business, like other women, or--
Mons. O, the dancing-master!
Prue. Dear sir, I have something to say to you in your ear, which I am ashamed to speak aloud.
Mons. Another time, another time, Prue. But now go call your mistress to her dancing-master. Go, go.
Prue. Nay, pray hear me, sir, first.
Mons. Another time, another time, Prue; prithee begone.
Prue. Nay, I beseech your worship hear me.
Mons. No; prithee begone.
Prue. [Aside.] Nay, I am e'en well enough served for not speaking my mind when I had an opportunity.--Well, I must be playing the modest woman, forsooth! a woman's hypocrisy in this case does only deceive herself. [Exit.
Mons. O, the brave dancing-master! the fine dancing-master! Your servant, your servant.
Ger. Your servant, sir: I protest I did not know you at first.--[Aside.] I am afraid this fool should spoil all, notwithstanding Hippolita's care and management; yet I ought to trust her:--but a secret is more safe with a treacherous knave than a talkative fool.
Mons. Come, sir, you must know a little brother dancing-master of yours--walking-master I should have said; for he teaches me to walk and make legs, by-the. bye. Pray, know him, sir; salute him, sir.--You Christian dancing-masters are so proud.
Ger. But, monsieur, what strange metamorphosis is this? You look like a Spaniard, and talk like an Englishman again, which I thought had been impossible.
Mons. Nothing impossible to love: I must do't, or lose my mistress, your pretty scholar; for 'tis I am to have her. You may remember I told you she was to be married to a great man, a man of honour and quality.
Ger. But does she enjoin you to this severe penance?--such I am sure it is to you.
Mons. No, no: 'tis by the compulsion of the starched fop her father, who is so arrant a Spaniard, he would kill you and his daughter, if he knew who you were: therefore have a special care to dissemble well. [Draws him aside.
Ger. I warrant you.
Mons. Dear Gerrard--Go, little master, and call my cousin: tell her her dancing-master is here. [Exit the Black]--I say, dear Gerrard, faith, I'm obliged to you for the trouble you have had. When I sent you, I intended a jest indeed; but did not think it would have been so dangerous a jest: therefore pray forgive me.
Ger. I do, do heartily forgive you.
Mons. But can you forgive me for sending you at first, like a fool as I was? 'Twas ill done of me: can you forgive me?
Ger. Yes, yes, I do forgive you.
Mons. Well, thou art a generous man, I vow and swear, to come and take upon you all this trouble, danger, and shame, to be thought a paltry dancing-master; and all this to preserve a lady's honour and life, who intended to abuse you. But I take the obligation upon me.
Ger. Pish! pish! you are not obliged to me at all.
Mons. Faith, but I am strangely obliged to you.
Ger. Faith, but you are not.
Mons. I vow and swear but I am.
Ger. I swear you are not.
Mons. Nay, thou art so generous a dancing-master, ha! ha! ha!
Re-enter Don Diego, Hippolita, Mrs. Caution, and Prue.
Don. You shall not come in, sister.
Mrs. Caut. I will come in.
Don. You will not be civil.
Mrs. Caut. I'm sure they will not be civil, if I do not come in:--I must, I will.
Don. Well, honest friend, you are very punctual, which is a rare virtue in a dancing-master; I take notice of it, and will remember it; I will, look you.
Mons. So, silly, damned, politic Spanish uncle!--ha! ha! ha! [Aside.
Ger. My fine scholar, sir, there, shall never have reason, as I have told you, sir, to say I am not a punctual man; for I am more her servant than to any scholar I ever had.
Mons. Well said, i'faith!--[Aside.] Thou dost make a pretty fool of him, I vow and swear. But I wonder people can be made such fools of:--Ha! ha! ha!
Hip. Well, master, I thank you; and I hope I shall be a grateful, kind scholar to you.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! cunning little jilt, what a fool she makes of him too! I wonder people can be made such fools of, I vow and swear:--ha! ha! ha! [Aside.
Hip. Indeed, it shall go hard but I'll be a grateful, kind scholar to you.
Mrs. Caut. As kind as ever your mother was to your father, I warrant.
Don. How! again with your senseless suspicions.
Mons. Pish! pish! aunt.--[Aside.] Ha! ha! ha! she's a fool another way: she thinks she loves him, ha! ha! ha! Lord! that people should be such fools!
Mrs. Caut. Come, come, I cannot but speak: I tell you, beware in time; for he is no dancing-master, but some debauched person who will mump you of your daughter.
Don. Will you be wiser than I still? Mump me of my daughter! I would I could see any one mump me of my daughter.
Mrs. Caut. And mump you of your mistress too, young Spaniard.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! will you be wiser than I too, voto? Mump me of my mistress! I would I could see any one mump me of my mistress.--[Aside to Gerrard and Hippolita.] I am afraid this damned old aunt should discover us, I vow and swear: be careful therefore and resolute.
Mrs. Caut. He! he does not go about his business like a dancing-master. He'll ne'er teach her to dance; but he'll teach her no goodness soon enough, I warrant.--He a dancing-master!
Mons. Ay, the devil eat me if he be not the best dancing-master in England now--[Aside to Gerrard and Hippolita.] Was not that well said, cousin? was it not? for he's a gentleman dancing-master, you know.
Don. You know him, cousin, very well? cousin, you sent him to my daughter?
Mons. Yes, yes, uncle:--know him!--[Aside.] We'll ne'er be discovered, I warrant, ha! ha! ha!
Mrs. Caut. But will you be made a fool of too?
Mons. Ay, ay, aunt, ne'er trouble yourself.
Don. Come, friend, about your business; about with my daughter.
Hip. Nay, pray, father, be pleased to go out a little, and let us practise awhile, and then you shall see me dance the whole dance to the violin.
Don. Tittle tattle! more fooling still!--Did not you say, when your master was here last, I should see you dance to the violin when he came again?
Hip. So I did, father: but let me practise a little first before, that I may be perfect. Besides, my aunt is here, and she will put me out; you know I cannot dance before her.
Don. Fiddle faddle!
Mons. [Aside.] They're afraid to be discovered by Gerrard's bungling, I see.--[Aloud.] Come, come, uncle turn out! let 'em practise.
Don. I wont, voto á St. Jago! what a fooling's here.
Mon. Come, come, let 'em practise: turn out, turn out, uncle.
Don. Why can't she practise it before me?
Mons. Come, dancers and singers are sometimes humoursome; besides, 'twill be more grateful to you to see it danced all at once to the violin. Come, turn out, turn out, I say.
Don. What a fooling's here still among you, voto!
Mons. So, there he is with you, voto!--Turn out, turn out; I vow and swear you shall turn out. [Takes him by the shoulder.
Don. Well, shall I see her dance it to the violin at last?
Ger. Yes, yes, sir; what do you think I teach her for?
Mons. Go, go, turn out.--[Exit Don Diego.] And you too, aunt.
Mrs. Caut. Seriously, nephew, I shall not budge; royally, I shall not.
Mons. Royally, you must, aunt: come.
Mrs. Caut. Pray hear me, nephew.
Mons. I will not hear you.
Mrs. Caut. 'Tis for your sake I stay: I must not suffer you to be wronged.
Mons. Come, no wheedling, aunt: come away.
Mrs. Caut. That slippery fellow will do't.
Mons. Let him do't.
Mrs. Caut. Indeed he will do't; royally he will.
Mons. Well, let him do't, royally.
Mrs. Caut. He will wrong you.
Mons. Well, let him, I say; I have a mind to be wronged: what's that to you? I will be wronged, if you go there too, I vow and swear.
Mrs. Cant. You shall not be wronged.
Mons. I will.
Mrs. Caut. You shall not.
Re-enter Don Diego.
Don. What's the matter? won't she be ruled?--Come, come away: you shall not disturb 'em.
[Don Diego and Monsieur try to thrust Mrs. Caution out.
Mrs. Caut. D'ye see how they laugh at you both?--Well, go to; the troth-telling Trojan gentlewoman of old was ne'er believed till the town was taken, rummaged, and ransacked. Even, even so--
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! turn out.--[Exeunt Mrs. Caution and Don Diego.]--Lord, that people should be such arrant cuddens! ha! ha! ha! But I may stay, may I not?
Hip. No, no; I'd have you go out and hold the door, cousin; or else my father will come in again before his time.
Mons. I will, I will then, sweet cousin.--'Tis well thought on; that was well thought on, indeed, for me to hold the door.
Hip. But be sure you keep him out, cousin, till we knock.
Mons. I warrant you, cousin.--Lord, that people should be made such fools of! Ha! ha! ha! [Exit.
Ger. So, so:--to make him hold the door, while I steal his mistress, is not unpleasant.
Hip. Ay, but would you do so ill a thing, so treacherous a thing? Faith 'tis not well.
Ger. Faith, I can't help it, since 'tis for your sake.--Come, sweetest, is not this our way into the gallery?
Hip. Yes; but it goes against my conscience to be accessory to so ill a thing.--You say you do it for my sake?
Ger. Alas, poor miss! 'tis not against your conscience, but against your modesty, you think, to do it frankly.
Hip. Nay, if it be against my modesty, too, I can't do it indeed.
Ger. Come, come, miss, let us make haste:--all's ready.
Hip. Nay, faith, I can't satisfy my scruple.
Ger. Come, dearest, this is not a time for scruples nor modesty.--Modesty between lovers is as impertinent as ceremony between friends; and modesty is now as unseasonable as on the wedding night.--Come away, my dearest.
Ger. Nay, sure we have lost too much time already. Is that a proper question now? If you would know, come along; for I have all ready.
Hip. But I am not ready.
Ger. Truly, miss, we shall have your father come in upon us, and prevent us again, as he did in the morning.
Hip, 'Twas well for me he did:--for, on my conscience, if he had not come in, I had gone clear away with you when I was in the humour.
Ger. Come, dearest, you would frighten me, as if you were not yet in the same humour.--Come, come away; the coach and six is ready.
Hip. 'Tis too late to take the air, and I am not ready.
Ger. You were ready in the morning.
Hip. Ay, so I was.
Ger. Come, come, miss:--indeed the jest begins to be none.
Hip. What! I warrant you think me in jest then?
Ger. In jest, certainty; but it begins to be troublesome.
Hip. But, sir, you could believe I was in earnest in the morning, when I but seemed to be ready to go with you; and why won't you believe me now when I declare to the contrary?--I take it unkindly, that the longer I am acquainted with you, you should have the less confidence in me.
Ger. For Heaven's sake, miss, lose no more time thus: your father will come in upon us, as he did--
Hip. Let him if he will.
Ger. He'll hinder our design.
Hip. No, he will not; for mine is to stay here now.
Ger. Are you in earnest?
Hip. You'll find it so.
Ger. How! why, you confessed but now you would have gone with me in the morning.
Hip. I was in the humour then.
Ger. And I hope you are in the same still; you cannot change so soon.
Hip. Why, is it not a whole day ago?
Ger. What! are you not a day in the same humour?
Hip. Lord! that you who know the town, they say, should think any woman could be a whole day together in a humour!--ha! ha! ha!
Ger. Hey! this begins to be pleasant.--What! won't you go with me then after all?
Hip. No indeed, sir, I desire to be excused.
Ger. Then you have abused me all this while?
Hip. It may be so.
Ger. Could all that so natural innocency be dissembled?--faith, it could not, dearest miss.
Hip. Faith, it was, dear master.
Ger. Was it, faith?
Hip. Methinks you might believe me without an oath. You saw I could dissemble with my father, why should you think I could not with you?
Ger. So young a wheedle!
Hip. Ay, a mere damned jade I am.
Ger. And I have been abused, you say?
Hip. 'Tis well you can believe it at last.
Ger. And I must never hope for you?
Hip. Would you have me abuse you again?
Ger. Then you will not go with me?
Hip. No: but, for your comfort, your loss will not be great; and that you may not resent it, for once I'll be ingenuous, and disabuse you.--I am no heiress, as I told you, to twelve hundred pounds a-year; I was only a lying jade then.--Now will you part with me willingly, I doubt not.
Ger. I wish I could. [Sighs.
Hip. Come, now I find 'tis your turn to dissemble:--but men use to dissemble for money; will you dissemble for nothing?
Ger. 'Tis too late for me to dissemble.
Hip. Don't you dissemble, faith?
Ger. Nay, this is too cruel.
Hip. What! would you take me without the twelve hundred pounds a-year? would you be such a fool as to steal a woman with nothing?
Ger. I'll convince you for you shall go with me:--and since you are twelve hundred pounds a-year the lighter, you'll be the easier carried away.
[He takes her in his arms, she struggles.
Prue. What! he takes her way against her will:--I find I must knock for my master then. [She knocks.
Re-enter Don Diego and Mrs. Caution.
Hip. My father! my father is here!
Ger. Prevented again! [Gerrard sets her down again.
Don. What, you have done I hope now, friend, for good and all?
Ger. Yes, yes; we have done for good and all indeed.
Don. How now!--you seem to be out of humour, friend.
Ger. Yes, so I am; I can't help it,
Mrs. Caut. He's a dissembler in his very throat, brother.
Hip. Pray do not carry things so as to discover yourself if it be but for my sake, good master. [Aside to Gerrard.
Ger. She is grown impudent. [Aside.
Mrs. Caut. See, see, they whisper, brother!--to steal a kiss under a whisper!--O the harlotry
Don. What's the matter, friend?
Hip. I say, for my sake be in humour, and do not discover yourself, but be as patient as a dancing-master still. [Aside to Gerrard.
Don. What, she is whispering to him indeed! What's the matter? I will know it, friend, look you.
Ger. Will you know it?
Don. Yes, I will know it.
Ger. Why, if you will know it then, she would not do as I would have her; and whispered me to desire me not to discover it to you.
Don. What, hussy, would you not do as he'd have you? I'll make you do as he'd have you.
Ger. I wish you would.
Mrs. Caut. 'Tis a lie; she'll do all he'll have her do, and more too, to my knowledge.
Don. Come, tell me what 'twas then she would not do--come, do it, hussy, or--Come, take her by the hand, friend. Come, begin:--let's see if she will not do anything now I'm here!
Hip. Come, pray be in humour, master.
Ger. I cannot dissemble like you.
Don. What, she can't dissemble already, can she?
Mrs. Caut. Yes, but she can: but 'tis with you she dissembles: for they are not fallen out, as we think. For I'll be sworn I saw her just now give him the languishing eye, as they call it, that is, the whiting's eye, of old called the sheep's eye:--I'll be sworn I saw it with these two eyes; that I did.
Hip. You'll betray us; have a care, good master. [Aside to Gerrard.
Don. Hold your peace, I say, silly woman!--but does she dissemble already?--how do you mean?
Ger. She pretends she can't do what she should do; and that she is not in humour.--The common excuse of women for not doing what they should do.
Don. Come, I'll put her in humour.--Dance, I say.--Come, about with her, master.
Ger. [Aside.] I am in a pretty humour to dance.--[To Hippolita.] I cannot fool any longer, since you have fooled me.
Hip. You would not be so ungenerous as to betray the woman that hated you! I do not do that yet. For Heaven's sake! for this once be more obedient to my desires than your passion. [Aside to Gerrard.
Don. What! is she humoursome still?--but methinks you look yourself as if you were in an ill-humour:--but about with her.
Ger. I am in no good dancing humour, indeed.
Mons. Well, how goes the dancing forward?--What, my aunt here to disturb 'em again?
Don. Come! Come! [Gerrard leads her about.
Mrs. Caut. I say, stand off:--thou shalt not come near. Avoid, Satan! as they say.
Don. Nay, then we shall have it:--nephew, hold her a little, that the may not disturb 'em.--Come, now away with her.
Ger. One, two, and a coupee.--[Aside.] Fooled and abused--
Mrs. Caut. Wilt thou lay violent hands upon thy own natural aunt, wretch?
Don. Come, about with her.
Ger. One, two, three, four, and turn round--[Aside.] by such a piece of innocency!
Mrs. Caut. Dost thou see, fool, how he squeezes her hand? [To Monsieur.
Mons. That won't do, aunt.
Hip. Pray, master, have patience, and let's mind our business.
Don. Why did you anger him then, hussy, look you?
Mrs. Caut. Do you see how she smiles in his face, and squeezes his hand now?
Mons. Your servant, aunt.--That won't do, I say
Hip. Have patience, master.
Ger. [Aside.] I am become her sport!--[Aloud.] One, two, three--Death! hell! and the devil!
Don. Ay, they are three indeed!--But pray have patience.
Mrs. Caut. Do you see how she leers upon him, and clings to him? Can you suffer it? [To Monsieur.
Mons. Ay, ay.
Ger. One, two, three, and a slur.--Can you be so unconcerned after all?
Don. What! is she unconcerned?--Hussy, mind your business.
Ger. One, two, three, and turn round;--one, two, fall back--hell and damnation!
Don. Ay, people fall back indeed into hell and damnation, Heaven knows!
Ger. One, two, three, and your honour.--I can fool no longer!
Mrs. Caut. Nor will I be withheld any longer, like a poor hen in her pen, while the kite is carrying away her chicken before her face.
Don. What, have you done?--Well then, let's see her dance it now to the violin.
Mons. Ay, ay, let's see her dance it to the violin.
Ger. Another time, another time.
Don. Don't you believe that, friend:--these dancing-masters make no bones of breaking their words. Did not you promise just now, I should see her dance it to the violin? and that I will too, before I stir.
Ger. Let monsieur play then while I dance with her:--she can't dance alone.
Mons. I can't play at all; I'm but a learner:--but if you'll play, I'll dance with her.
Ger. I can't play neither.
Don. What! a dancing-master, and not play!
Mrs. Caut. Ay, you see what a dancing-master he is. 'Tis as I told you, I warrant.--A dancing-master, and not play upon the fiddle!
Hip. O you have betrayed us all! If you confess that, you undo us for ever.
[Apart to Gerrard.
Ger. I cannot play;--what would you have me say? [Apart to Hippolita.
Mons. I vow and swear we are all undone if you can not play. [Apart to Gerrard.
Don. What! are you a dancing-master, and cannot play? Umph--
Hip. He is only out of humour, sir.--Here, master, I know you will play for me yet;--for he has an excellent hand. [She offers Gerrard the violin.
Mons. Ay, that he has.--[Aside.] At giving a box on the ear
Don. Why does he not play, then? .
Hip. Here, master, pray play for my sake. [Gives Gerrard the violin.
Ger. What would you have me do with it?--I cannot play a stroke.
[Apart to Hippolita.
Hip. No! stay--then seem to tune it, and break the strings. [Apart to Gerrard.
Ger. Come then.--[Aside.] Next to the devil's, the invention of women! They'll no more want an excuse to cheat a father with, than an opportunity to abuse a husband.--[Aloud.] But what do you give me such a damned fiddle with rotten strings, for?
[Winds up the strings till they break, and throws the violin on the ground.
Don. Hey-day! the dancing-master is frantic.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! That people should be made such fools of! [Aside.
Mrs. Caut. He broke the strings on purpose, because he could not play.--You are blind, brother.
Don. What! will you see further than I, look you?
Hip. But pray, master, why in such haste? [Gerrard offers to go.
Ger. Because you have done with me.
Don. But don't you intend to come to-morrow, again?
Ger. Your daughter does not desire it.
Don. No matter; I do: I must be your paymaster, I'm sure. I would have you come betimes too; not only to make her perfect, but since you have so good a hand upon the violin, to play your part with half-a-dozen of musicians more, whom I would have you bring with you: for we will have a very merry wedding, though a very private one.--You'll be sure to come?
Ger. Your daughter does not desire it.
Don. Come, come, baggage, you shall desire it of him; he is your master.
Hip. My father will have me desire it of you, it seems.
Ger. But you'll make a fool of me again if I should come; would you not?
Hip. If I should tell you so, you'd be sure not to come.
Don. Come, come, she shall not make a fool of you, upon my word. I'll secure you, she shall do what you will have her.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! So, so, silly Don. [Aside.
Ger. But, madam, will you have me come?
Hip. I'd have you to know, for my part, I care not whether you come or no:--there are other dancing-masters to be had:--it is my father's request to you. All that I have to say to you is a little good advice, which, because I will not shame you, I'll give you in private. [Whispers Gerrard.
Mrs. Caut. What! will you let her whisper with him too?
Don. Nay, if you find fault with it, they shall whisper, though I did not like it before:--I'll ha' nobody wiser than myself. But do you think, if 'twere any hurt, she would whisper it to him before us?
Mrs. Caut. If it be no hurt, why does she not speak aloud?
Don. Because she says she will not put the man out of countenance.
Mrs. Caut. Hey-day! put a dancing-master out of countenance!
Don. You say he is no dancing-master.
Mrs. Caut. Yes, for his impudence he may be a dancing-master.
Don. Well, well, let her whisper before me as much as she will to-night, since she is to be married to-morrow;--especially since her husband (that shall be) stands by consenting too.
Mons. Ay, ay, let 'em whisper, as you say, as much as they will before we marry.--[Aside.] She's making more sport with him, I warrant.--But I wonder how people can be fooled so.--Ha! ha! ha!
Don. Well, a penny for the secret, daughter.
Hip. Indeed, father, you shall have it for nothing tomorrow.
Don. Well, friend, you will not fail to come?
Ger. No, no, sir.--[Aside.] Yet I am a fool if I do.
Don. And be sure you bring the fiddlers with you, as I bid you.
Hip. Yes, be sure you bring the fiddlers with you, as I bid you.
Mrs. Caut. So, so: he'll fiddle your daughter out of the house.--Must you have fiddles, with a fiddle faddle?
Mons. Lord! that people should be made such fools of! Ha! ha! [Aside.
[Exeunt Don Diego, Hippolita, Monsieur, Mrs. Caution, and Prue.
Ger. Fortune we sooner may than woman trust:
To her confiding gallant she is just;
But falser woman only him deceives,
Who to her tongue and eyes most credit gives.
SCENE 1--A ROOM IN DON DIEGO'S HOUSE.
Enter Monsieur de Paris and the Black, stalking over the stage; to them Gerrard.
Mons. Good morrow to thee, noble dancing-master:--ha! ha! ha! your little black brother here, my master, I see, is the more diligent man of the two But why do you come so late?--What! you begin to neglect your scholar, do you?--Little black master, con licencia, pray get you out of the room.--[Exit Black.] What! out of humour, man! a dancing-master should be like his fiddle, always in tune. Come, my cousin has made an ass of thee; what then? I know it.
Ger. Does he know it! [Aside.
Mons. But prithee don't be angry: 'twas agreed upon betwixt us, before I sent you, to make a fool of thee;--ha! ha! ha! ha!
Ger. Was it so?
Mons. I knew you would be apt to entertain vain hopes from the summons of a lady: but, faith, the design was but to make a fool of thee, as you find.
Ger. 'Tis very well.
Mons. But indeed I did not think the jest would have lasted so long, and that my cousin would have made a dancing-master of you, ha! ha! ha!
Ger. The fool has reason, I find, and I am the coxcomb while I thought him so.
Mons. Come, I see you are uneasy, and the jest of being a dancing-master grows tedious to you:--but have a little patience; the parson is sent for, and when once my cousin and I are married, my uncle may know who you are.
Ger. I am certainly abused. [Aside.
Mons. [Listening.] What do you say?
Ger. Merely fooled! [Aside.
Mons. Why do you doubt it? ha! ha! ha!
Ger. Can it be? [Aside.
Mons. Pish! pish! she told me yesterday as soon as you were gone, that she had led you into a fool's paradise, and made you believe she would go away with you--ha! ha! ha!
Ger. Did she so?--I am no longer to doubt it then. [Aside.
Mons. Ay, ay, she makes a mere fool of thee, I vow and swear; but don't be concerned, there's hardly a man of a thousand but has been made a fool of by some woman or other.--I have been made a fool of myself, man, by the women; I have, I vow and swear I have.
Ger. Well, you have, I believe it, for you are a coxcomb.
Mons. Lord! you need not be so touchy with one; I tell you but the truth, for your good; for though she does, I would not fool you any longer; but prithee don't be troubled at what can't be helped. Women are made on purpose to fool men: when they are children, they fool their fathers; and when they have taken their leaves of their hanging sleeves, they fool their gallants or dancing-masters,--ha! ha! ha!
Ger. Hark you, sir! to be fooled by a woman, you say, is not to be helped; but I will not be fooled by a fool.
Mons. You show your English breeding now; an English rival is so dull and brutish as not to understand raillery; but what is spoken in your passion I'll take no notice of, for I am your friend, and would not have you my rival to make yourself ridiculous.--Come, prithee, prithee, don't be so concerned; for, as I was saying, women first fool their fathers, then their gallants, and then their husbands; so that it will be my turn to be fooled too (for your comfort); and when they come to be widows, they would fool the devil, I vow and swear.--Come, come, dear Gerrard, prithee don't be out of humour, and look so sillily.
Ger. Prithee do not talk so sillily.
Mons. Nay, faith, I am resolved to beat you out of this ill-humour.
Ger. Faith, I am afraid I shall first beat you into an ill-humour.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! that thou shouldst be gulled so by a little gipsy, who left off her bib but yesterday!--faith I can't but laugh at thee.
Ger. Faith, then I shall make your mirth (as being too violent) conclude in some little misfortune to you. The fool begins to be tyrannical.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! poor angry dancing-master! prithee match my Spanish pumps and legs with one of your best and newest sarabands; ha! ha! ha! come--
Ger. I will match your Spanish ear, thus, sir, and make you dance thus.
[Strikes and kicks him.
Mons. How! sa! sa! sa! then I'll make you dance thus.
[Monsieur draws his sword and runs at him, but Gerrard drawing, he retires.
Hold! hold a little!--[Aside.] A desperate disappointed lover will cut his own throat, then sure he will make nothing of cutting his rival's throat.
Ger. Consideration is an enemy to fighting; if you have a mind to revenge yourself; your sword's in your hand.
Mons. Pray, sir, hold your peace; I'll ne'er take my rival's counsel, be't what 'twill. I know what you would be at; you are disappointed of your mistress, and could hang yourself; and therefore will not fear hanging. But I am a successful lover, and need neither hang for you nor my mistress: nay, if I should kill you, I know I should do you a kindness; therefore e'en live, to die daily with envy of my happiness. But if you will needs die, kill yourself, and be damned for me, I vow and swear.
Ger. But won't you fight for your mistress?
Mons. I tell you, you shall not have the honour to be killed for her; besides I will not be hit in the teeth by her as long as I live, with the great love you had for her. Women speak well of their dead husbands; what will they do of their dead gallants?
Ger. But if you will not fight for her, you shall dance for her, since you desired me to teach you to dance too:--I'll teach you to dance thus--
[Strikes his sword at his legs, Monsieur leaps.
Mons. Nay, if it be for the sake of my mistress, there's nothing I will refuse to do.
Ger. Nay, you must dance on.
Mons. Ay, ay, for my mistress, and sing too, la, la, la, ra, la.
Enter Hippolita and Prue.
Hip. What! swords drawn betwixt you two! what's the matter?
Mons. [Aside.] Is she here?--[Aloud.] Come, put up your sword; you see this is no place for us; but the devil eat me if you shall not eat my sword, but--
Hip. What's the matter, cousin?
Mons. Nothing, nothing, cousin, but your presence is a sanctuary for my greatest enemy, or else, tête non!--
Hip. What, you have not hurt my cousin, sir, I hope? [To Gerrard.
Ger. How! she's concerned for him! nay, then I need not doubt, my fears are true.
Mons. What was that you said, cousin? hurt me!--ha! ha! ha! hurt me!--if any man hurt me, he must do it basely; he shall ne'er do it when my sword's drawn, sa! sa! sa!
Hip. Because you will ne'er draw your sword, perhaps.
Mons. [Aside.] Scurvily guessed.--[Aloud.] You ladies may say anything; but, cousin, pray do not you talk of swords and fighting; meddle with your guitar, and talk of dancing with your dancing-master there, ha! ha! ha!
Hip. But I am afraid you have hurt my master, cousin:--he says nothing; can he draw his breath?
Mons. No, 'tis you have hurt your master, cousin, in the very heart, cousin, and therefore he would hurt me; for love is a disease makes people as malicious as the plague does.
Hip. Indeed, poor master, something does ail you.
Mons. Nay, nay, cousin, faith don't abuse him any longer; he's an honest gentleman, and has been long of my acquaintance, and a man of tolerable sense, to take him out of his love; but prithee, cousin, don't drive the jest too far for my sake.
Ger. He counsels you well, pleasant, cunning, jilting miss, for his sake; for if I am your divertissement, it shall be at his cost, since he's your gallant in favour.
Hip. I don't understand you.
Mons. But I do, a pox take him! and the custom that so orders it, forsooth! that if a lady abuse or affront a man, presently the gallant must be beaten; nay, what's more unreasonable, if a woman abuse her husband, the poor cuckold must bear the shame as well as the injury. [Aside.
Hip. But what's the matter, master? what was it you said?
Ger. I say, pleasant, cunning, jilting lady, though you make him a cuckold, it will not be revenge enough fox me upon him for marrying you.
Hip. How! my surly, huffing, jealous, senseless, saucy master?
Mons. Nay, nay, faith, give losers leave to speak, losers of mistresses especially, ha! ha! ha! Besides, your anger is too great a favour for him; I scorn to honour him with mine you see.
Hip. I tell you, my saucy master, my cousin shall never be made that monstrous thing you mention, by me.
Mons. Thank you, I vow and swear, cousin; no, no, I never thought I should.
Ger. Sure you marry him by the sage maxim of your sex, which is, wittols make the best husbands, that is, cuckolds.
Hip. Indeed, master, whatsoever you think, I would sooner choose you for that purpose than him.
Mons. Ha! ha! ha! there she was with him, i'faith--I thank you for that, cousin, I vow and swear.
Hip. Nay, he shall thank me for that too:--but how came you two to quarrel? I thought, cousin, you had had more wit than to quarrel, or more kindness for me than to quarrel here. What if my father, hearing the bustle, should have come in? he would have soon discovered our false dancing-master (for passion unmasks every man), and then the result of your quarrel had been my ruin.
Mons. Nay, you had both felt his desperate deadly daunting dagger:--there are your d's for you!
Hip. Go, go presently, therefore, and hinder my father from coming in, whilst I put my master into a better humour, that we may not be discovered, to the prevention of our wedding, or worse when he comes; go, go.
Mons. Well, well, I will, cousin.
Hip. Be sure you let him not come in this good while.
Mons. No, no, I warrant you.--[Goes out and returns.]--But if he should come before I would have him, I'll come before him, and cough and hawk soundly, that you may not be surprised. Won't that do well, cousin?
Hip. Very well, pray begone.--[Exit Monsieur.] Well, master, since I find you are quarrelsome and melancholy, and would have taken me away without a portion, three infallible signs of a true lover, faith here's my hand now in earnest, to lead me a dance as long as I live.
Ger. How's this! you surprise me as much, as when first I found so much beauty and wit in company with so much innocency. But, dearest, I would be assured of what you say, and yet dare not ask the question. You h--do not abuse me again? You h--will fool me no more sure?
Hip. Yes, but I will sure.
Ger. How? nay, I was afraid on't.
Hip. For, I say, you are to be my husband, and you say husbands must be wittols, and some strange things to boot.
Ger. Well, I will take my fortune.
Hip. But have a care, rash man.
Ger. I will venture.
Hip. At your peril; remember I wished you to have a care: forewarned, fore-armed.
Prue. Indeed now, that's fair; for most men are fore-armed before they are warned.
Hip. Plain dealing is some kind of honesty however, and few women would have said so much.
Ger. None but those who would delight in a husband's jealousy, as the proof of his love and her honour.
Hip. Hold, sir, let us have a good understanding betwixt one another at first, that we may be long friends. I differ from you in the point; for a husband's jealousy, which cunning men would pass upon their wives for a compliment, is the worst can be made 'em; for indeed it is a compliment to their beauty, but an affront to their honour.
Ger. But madam--
Hip. So that upon the whole matter I conclude, jealousy in a gallant is humble true love, and the height of respect, and only an undervaluing of himself to overvalue her; but in a husband 'tis arrant sauciness, cowardice, and ill-breeding, and not to be suffered.
Ger. I stand corrected, gracious miss.
Hip. Well, but have you brought the gentlemen fiddlers with you, as I desired?
Ger. They are below.
Hip. Are they armed well?
Ger. Yes, they have instruments too that are not of wood; but what will you do with them?
Hip. What did you think I intended to do with them? when I whispered you to bring gentlemen of your acquaintance instead of fiddlers, as my father desired you to bring, pray what did you think I intended?
Ger. Faith, e'en to make fools of the gentlemen fiddlers, as you had done of your gentleman dancing master.
Hip. I intended 'em for our guard and defence against my father's Spanish and Guinea force, when we were to make our retreat from hence; and to help us to take the keys from my aunt, who has been the watchful porter of this house this twelve-month; and this design (if your heart do not fail you) we will put in execution as soon as you have given your friends below instructions.
Ger. Are you sure your heart will stand right still? You flinched last night, when I little expected it, I am sure.
Hip. The time last night was not so proper for us as now, for reasons I will give you. But besides that, I confess I had a mind to try whether your interest did not sway you more than your love; whether the twelve hundred pounds a-year I told you of had not made a greater impression in your heart than Hippolita: but finding it otherwise--yet hold, perhaps upon consideration you are grown wiser; can you yet, as I said, be so desperate, so out of fashion, as to steal a woman with nothing?
Ger. With you I can want nothing, nor can be made by anything more rich or happy.
Hip. Think well again; can you take me without the twelve hundred pounds a-year,--the twelve hundred pounds a-year?
Ger. Indeed, miss, now you begin to be unkind again, and use me worse than e'er you did.
Hip. Well, though you are so modest a gentleman as to suffer a wife to be put upon you with nothing, I have more conscience than to do it. I have the twelve hundred pounds a-year out of my father's power, which is yours, and I am sorry it is not the Indies to mend your bargain.
Ger. Dear miss, you but increase my fears, and not my wealth. Pray let us make haste away; I desire but to be secure of you:--come, what are you thinking of?
Hip. I am thinking if some little, filching, inquisitive poet should get my story, and represent it to the stage, what those ladies who are never precise but at a play would say of me now;--that I were a confident, coming piece, I warrant, and they would damn the poor poet for libelling the sex. But sure, though I give myself and fortune away frankly, without the consent of my friends, my confidence is less than theirs who stand off only for separate maintenance.
Ger. They would be widows before their time, have a husband and no husband:--but let us begone, lest fortune should recant my happiness, now you are fixed, my dearest miss. [He kisses her hand.
Re-enter Monsieur, coughing, followed by Don Diego.
Hip. Oh, here's my father!
Don. How now, sir!--What, kissing her hand! What means that, friend, ha?--Daughter, ha! do you permit this insolence, ha? voto á mi honra!
Ger. We are prevented again. [Aside lo Hippolita.
Hip. Ha! ha! ha! you are so full of your Spanish jealousy, father; why, you must know he is a city dancing-master, and they, forsooth, think it fine to kiss the hand at the honour before the corant.
Mons. Ay, ay, ay, uncle, don't you know that?
Don. Go to, go to, you are an easy French fool; there's more in it than so, look you.
Mons. I vow and swear there's nothing more in't, if you'll believe one.--[Aside to Hippolita and Gerrard.] Did not I cough and hawk? a jealous, prudent husband could not cough and hawk louder at the approach of his wife's chamber in visiting him; and yet you would not hear me. He'll make now ado about nothing, and you'll be discovered both.
Don. Umph, umph,--no, no, I see it plain, he is no dancing-master: now I have found it out, and I think I can see as far into matters as another: I have found it now, look you.
Ger. My fear was prophetical. [Aside to Hippolita.
Hip. What shall we do?--nay, pray, sir, do not stir yet.
[Gerrard offers to go out with her.
Enter Mrs. Caution.
Mrs. Caut. What's the matter, brother? what's the matter?
Don. I have found it out, sister, I have found it out, sister; this villain here is no dancing-master--but a dishonourer of my house and daughter: I caught him kissing her hand.
Mons. Pish! pish! you are a strange Spanish kind of an uncle, that you are.--A dishonourer of your daughter, because he kissed her hand! pray how could he honour her more? he kissed her hand, you see, while he was making his honour to her.
Don. You are an unthinking, shallow French fop, voto!--But I tell you, sister, I have thought of it, and have found it out; he is no dancing-master, sister. Do you remember the whispering last night? I have found out the meaning of that too; and I tell you, sister, he's no dancing-master, I have found it out.
Mrs. Caut. You found it out! marry come up, did not I tell you always he was no dancing-master?
Don. You tell me! you silly woman, what then? what of that?--You tell me! d'ye think I heeded what you told me? but I tell you now I have found it out.
Mrs. Caut. I say I found it out.
Don. I say 'tis false, gossip, I found him out.
Mrs. Caut. I say I found him out first, say you what you will.
Don. Sister, mum, not such a word again, guarda!--You found him out!
Mrs. Caut. I must submit, or dissemble like other prudent women, or-- [Aside.
Don. Come, come, sister, take it from me, he is no dancing-master.
Mrs. Caut. O yes, he is a dancing-master.
Don. What! will you be wiser than I every way?--remember the whispering, I say.
Mrs. Caut. [Aside.] So, he thinks I speak in earnest, then I'll fit him still.--[To Don Diego.] But what do you talk of their whispering! they would not whisper any ill before us, sure.
Don. Will you still be an idiot, a dolt, and see nothing?
Mons. Lord! you'll be wiser than all the world, wilt you? are we not all against you? pshaw! pshaw! I ne'er saw such a donissimo as you are, I vow and swear.
Don. No, sister, he's no dancing-master; for now I think on't too, he could not play upon the fiddle.
Mrs. Caut. Pish! pish! what dancing-master can play upon a fiddle without strings?
Don. Again, I tell you he broke them on purpose, because he could not play; I have found it out now, sister.
Mrs. Caut. Nay, you see farther than I, brother.
[Gerrard offers to lead her out.
Hip. For Heaven's sake stir not yet. [Aside to Gerrard.
Don. Besides, if you remember, they were perpetually putting me out of the room; that was, sister, because they had a mind to be alone, I have found that out too:--now, sister, look you, he is no dancing-master.
Mrs. Caut. But has he not given her a lesson often before you?
Don. Ay, but sister, he did not go about his business like a dancing-master; but go, go down to the door, somebody rings. [Exit Mrs. Caution.
Mons. I vow and swear, uncle, he is a dancing-master; pray be appeased.--Lord! d'ye think I'd tell you a lie?
Don. If it prove to be a lie, and you do not confess it, though you are my next heir after my daughter, I will disown thee as much as I do her, for thy folly and treachery to thyself, as well as me.--You may have her, but never my estate, look you.
Mons. How! I must look to my hits then. [Aside.
Don. Look to't.
Mons. [Aside.] Then I had best confess all, before he discover all, which he will soon do.--
O here's the parson too! he won't be in choler, nor brandish toledo before the parson sure?--[To Don Diego.] Well, uncle, I must confess, rather than lose your favour, he is no dancing-master.
Ger. What! has the fool betrayed us then at last, nay, then 'tis time to be gone; come away, miss. [Going out.
Don. Nay, sir, if you pass this way, my toledo will pass that way, look you.
[Thrusts at him with his sword.
Hip. O hold, Mr. Gerrard!--Hold father!
Mons. I tell you, uncle, he's an honest gentleman, means no hurt, and came hither but upon a frolic of mine and your daughter's. [Stops Don Diego.
Don. Ladron! traidor!
Mons. I tell you all's but a jest, a mere jest, I vow and swear.
Don. A jest!--jest with my honour, voto! ha! no family to dishonour but the grave, wise, noble, honourable, illustrious, puissant, and right worshipful family of the Formals!--Nay, I am contented to reprieve you, till you know who you have dishonoured, and convict you of the greatness of your crime before you die. We are descended, look you--
Mons. Nay, pray, uncle, hear me.
Don. I say, we are descended--
Mons. 'Tis no matter for that.
Don. And my great, great, great-grandfather was--
Mons. Well, well, I have something to say more to the purpose.
Don. My great, great, great-grandfather, I say, was--
Mons. Well, a pinmaker in--
Don. But he was a gentleman for all that, fop, for he was a sergeant to a company of the trainbands; and my great-great-grandfather was--
Mons. Was his son, what then? won't you let me clear this gentleman?
Don. He was, he was--
Mons. He was a felt-maker, his son a wine-cooper, your father a vintner, and so you came to be a Canary merchant.
Don. But we were still gentlemen, for our coat was, as the heralds say--was--
Mons. Was! your sign was the Three Tuns, and the field Canary; now let me tell you, this honest gentle man--
Don. Now, that you should dare to dishonour this family!--by the graves of my ancestors in Great St. Helen's church--
Don. Thou shalt die for't, ladron! [Runs at Gerrard.
Mons. Hold, hold, uncle, are you mad?
Hip. Oh! oh!--
Mons. Nay then, by your own Spanish rules of honour (though he be my rival), I must help him; [Draws his sword.] since I brought him into danger.--[Aside.] Sure he will not show his valour upon his nephew and son-in-law, otherwise I should be afraid of showing mine.--Here, Mr. Gerrard, go in here, nay, you shall go in, Mr. Gerrard, I'll secure you all; and, parson, do you go in too with 'em, for I see you are afraid of a sword and the other world, though you talk of it so familiarly, and make it so fine a place.
[Opens a door, and thrusts Gerrard, Hippolita, Parson, and Prue in, then shuts it, and guards it with his sword.
Don. Tu quoque, Brute!
Mons. Nay, now, uncle, you must understand reason.--What, you are not only a Don, but you are a Don Quixote too, I vow and swear!
Don. Thou spot, sploach of my family and blood! I will have his blood, look you.
Mons. Pray, good Spanish uncle, have but patience to hear me. Suppose--I say, suppose he had done, done, done the feat to your daughter.
Don. How! done the feat! done the feat: done the feat! en hora mala!
Mons. I say, suppose, suppose--
Mons. I say, suppose he had, for I do but suppose it; well, I am ready to marry her, however. Now marriage is as good a solder for cracked female honour as blood; and can't you suffer the shame but for a quarter of an hour, till the parson has married us? and then if there be any shame, it becomes mine; for here in England, the father has nothing to do with the daughter's business, honour, what d'ye call't, when once she's married, d'ye see.
Don. England! what d'ye tell me of England? I'll be a Spaniard still, voto à mi honra! and I will be revenged.--Pedro! Juan! Sanchez! [Calls at the door.
Re-enter Mrs. Caution, followed by Flirt and Flounce, in vizard masks.
Mrs. Caut. What's the matter, brother?
Don. Pedro! Sanchez! Juan! but who are these, sister? are they not men in women's clothes? what make they here?
Mrs. Caut. They are relations, they say, of my cousin's, who pressed in when I let in the parson; they say my cousin invited 'em to his wedding.
Mons. Two of my relations--[Aside.] Ha! they are my cousins indeed of the other night; a pox take 'em!--but that's no curse for 'em; a plague take 'em then!--but how came they here?
Don. [Aside.] Now must I have witnesses too of the dishonour of my family; it were Spanish prudence to despatch 'em away out of the house, before I begin my revenge. [To Flirt and Flounce.] What are you? what make you here? who would you speak with?
Flirt. With monsieur.
Don. Here he is.
Mons. Now will these jades discredit me, and spoil my match just in the coupling minute. [Aside.
Don. Do you know 'em?
Mons. Yes, sir, sure, I know 'em.--[Aside to them.] Pray, ladies, say as I say, or you will spoil my wedding, for I am just going to be married; and if my uncle or mistress should know who you are, it might break off the match.
Flou. We come on purpose to break the match.
Flirt. Why, d'ye think to marry, and leave us so in the lurch?
Mons. What do the jades mean? [Aside.
Don. Come, who are they? what would they have? If they come to the wedding, ladies, I assure you there will be none to-day here.
Mons. They won't trouble you, sir; they are going again.--Ladies, you hear what my uncle says; I know you won't trouble him.--[Aside.] I wish I were well rid of 'em.
Flou. You shall not think to put us off so. [Aside.
Don. Who are they? what are their names?
Flirt. We are, sir--
Mons. Nay, for Heaven's sake don't tell who you are, for you will undo me, and spoil my match infallibly. [Aside to them.
Flou. We care not, 'tis our business to spoil matches.
Mons. You need not, for I believe married men are your best customers, for greedy bachelors take up with their wives.
Don. Come, pray ladies, if you have no business here, be pleased to retire; for few of us are in humour to be so civil to you as you may deserve.
Mons. Ay, prithee, dear jades, get you gone.
Flirt. We will not stir.
Don. Who are they, I say, fool? and why don't they go?
Flou. We are, sir--
Mons. Hold! hold!--They are persons of honour and quality, and--
Flirt. We are no persons of honour and quality, sir, we are--
Mons. They are modest ladies, and being in a kind of disguise, will not own their quality.
Flou. We modest ladies!
Mons. Why, sometimes you are in the humour to pass for women of honour and quality; prithee, dear jades, let your modesty and greatness come upon you now.
[Aside to them.
Flirt. Come, sir, not to delude you, as he would have us, we are--
Mons. Hold! hold!--
Flirt. The other night at the French-house--
Mons. Hold, I say!--'Tis even true as Gerrard says, the women will tell, I see.
Flou. If you would have her silent, stop her mouth with that ring.
Mons. Will that do't? here, here--'Tis worth one hundred and fifty pounds.--[Takes of his ring and gives it her.] But I must not lose my match, I must not lose a trout for a fly.--That men should live to hire women to silence
Re-enter Gerrard, Hippolita, Parson, and Prue.
Don. Oh, are you come again.[Draws his sword and runs at them, Monsieur holds him.
Mons. Oh! hold! hold! uncle!--What, are you mad, Gerrard, to expose yourself to a new danger? why would you come out yet?
Ger. Because our danger now is over, I thank the parson there. And now we must beg-- [Gerrard and Hippolita kneel.
Mons. Nay, faith, uncle, forgive him now, since he asks you forgiveness upon his knees, and my poor cousin too.
Hip. You are mistaken, cousin; we ask him blessing, and you forgiveness.
Mons. How, how, how! what do you talk of blessing? what, do you ask your father blessing and he ask me forgiveness? but why should he ask me forgiveness?
Hip. Because he asks my father's blessing.
Mons. Pish! pish! I don't understand you, I vow and swear.
Hip. The parson will expound it to you, cousin.
Mons. Hey! what say you to it, parson?
Par. They are married, sir.
Mrs. Caut. Married! so, I told you what 'twould come to.
Don. You told us!--
Mons. Nay, she is setting up for the reputation of a witch.
Don. Married!--Juan, Sanchez, Pedro, arm! arm! arm!
Mrs. Caut. A witch! a witch!
Hip. Nay, indeed, father, now we are married, you had better call the fiddlers.--Call 'em, Prue, quickly. [Exit Prue.
Mons. Who do you say, married, man?
Par. Was I not sent for on purpose to marry 'em? why should you wonder at it?
Mons. No, no, you were to marry me, man, to her; I knew there was a mistake in't somehow; you were merely mistaken, therefore you must do your business over again for me now.--The parson was mistaken, uncle, it seems, ha! ha! ha!
Mrs. Caut. I suppose five or six guineas made him make the mistake, which will not be rectified now, nephew. They'll marry all that come near 'em, and, for a guinea or two, care not what mischief they do, nephew.
Don. Married!--Pedro! Sanchez!
Mons. How! and must she be his wife then for ever and ever? have I held the door then for this, like a fool as I was?
Mrs. Caut. Yes, indeed!
Mons. Have I worn golilla here for this? little breeches for this?
Mis. Caut. Yes, truly.
Mons. And put on the Spanish honour with the habit, in defending my rival? nay then, I'll have another turn of honour in revenge. Come, uncle, I'm of your side now, sa! sa! sa! but let's stay for our force; Sanchez, Juan, Pedro, arm! arm! arm!
Enter two Blacks and a Spaniard, followed by Prue, Martin, and five other gentlemen-like Fiddlers.
Don. Murder the villain! kill him! [Running all upon Gerrard.
Mar. Hold! hold! sir!
Don. How now! who sent for you, friends?
Mar. We fiddlers, sir, often come unsent for.
Don. And you are often kicked down stairs for't too.
Mar. No, sir, our company was never kicked, I think.
Don. Fiddlers, and not kicked! then to preserve your virgin honour, get you down stairs quickly; for we are not at present disposed much for mirth, voto!
Mons. [Peeping.] A pox! is it you, is it you, Martin?--Nay, uncle, then 'tis in vain; for they won't be kicked down stairs, to my knowledge. They are gentlemen fiddlers, forsooth! A pox on all gentlemen fiddlers and gentlemen dancing-masters! say I.
Don. How! ha! [Pausing.
Mons. Well, Flirt, now I am a match for thee: now I may keep you.--And there's little difference betwixt keeping a wench and marriage; only marriage is a little the cheaper; but the other is the more honourable now, vert and bleu! Nay, now I may swear a French oath too. Come, come, I am thine; let us strike up the bargain: thine, according to the honourable institution of keeping.--Come.
Flirt. Nay, hold, sir; two words to the bargain; first, I have ne'er a lawyer here to draw articles and settlements.
Mons. How! is the world come to that? A man cannot keep a wench without articles and settlements! Nay, then 'tis e'en as bad as marriage, indeed, and there's no difference betwixt a wife and a wench.
Flirt. Only in cohabitation; for the first article shall be against cohabitation:--we mistresses suffer no cohabitation.
Mons. Nor wives neither now.
Flirt. Then separate maintenance, in case you should take a wife, or I a new friend.
Mons. How that too! then you are every whit as bad as a wife.
Flirt. Then my house in town and yours in the country, if you will.
Mons. A mere wife!
Flirt. Then my coach apart, as well as my bed apart.
Mons. As bad as a wife still!
Flirt. But take notice, I will have no little, dirty, second-hand chariot new furbished, but a large, sociable, well-painted coach; nor will I keep it till it be as well known as myself, and it come to be called Flirt-coach; nor will I have such pitiful horses as cannot carry me every night to the Park; for I will not miss a night in the Park, I'd have you to know.
Mons. 'Tis very well: you must have your great, gilt, fine painted coaches. I'm sure they are grown so common already amongst you, that ladies of quality begin to take up with hackneys again, jarni!--But what else?
Flirt. Then, that you do not think I will be served by a little dirty boy in a bonnet, but a couple of handsome, lusty, cleanly footmen, fit to serve ladies of quality, and do their business as they should do.
Mons. What then?
Flirt. Then, that you never grow jealous of them.
Mons. Why, will you make so much of them?
Flirt. I delight to be kind to my servants.
Mons. Well, is this all?
Flirt. No.--Then, that when you come to my house, you never presume to touch a key, lift up a latch, or thrust a door, without knocking beforehand: and that you ask no questions, if you see a stray piece of plate: cabinet, or looking-glass, in my house.
Mons. Just a wife in everything.--But what else?
Flirt. Then, that you take no acquaintance with me abroad, nor bring me home any when you are drunk, whom you will not be willing to see there when you are sober.
Mons. But what allowance? let's come to the main business; the money.
Flirt. Stay, let me think: first for advance-money, five hundred pounds for pins.
Mons. A very wife!
Flirt. Then you must take the lease of my house, and furnish it as becomes one of my quality; for don't you think we'll take up with your old Queen Elizabeth furniture, as your wives do.
Mons. Indeed there she is least like a wife, as she says.
Flirt. Then for house-keeping, servants' wages, clothes, and the rest, I'll be contented with a thousand pounds a year present maintenance, and but three hundred pounds a year separate maintenance for my life, when your love grows cold. But I am contented with a thousand pounds a year, because for pendants, neck-laces, and all sorts of jewels, and such trifles, nay, and some plate, I will shift myself as I can; make shifts, which you shall not take any notice of.
Mons. A thousand pounds a year! what will wenching come to? Time was a man might have fared as well at a much cheaper rate, and a lady of one's affections, instead of a house, would have been contented with a little chamber, three pair of stairs backward, with a little closet or ladder to't; and instead of variety of new gowns and rich petticoats, with her deshabillé, or flame-colour gown called Indian, and slippers of the same, would have been contented for a twelvemonth; and instead of visits and gadding to plays, would have entertained herself at home with "St. George for England," "The Knight of the Sun," or "The Practice of Piety;" and instead of sending her wine and meat from the French-houses, would have been contented, if you had given her, poor wretch, but credit at the next chandler's and chequered cellar and then, instead of a coach, would have been well satisfied to have gone out and taken the air for three or four hours in the evening in the balcony, poor soul. Well, Flirt, however, we'll agree:--'tis but three hundred pounds a year separate maintenance, you say, when I am weary of thee and the charge.
Don. [Aside.]--Robbed of my honour, my daughter, and my revenge too! O my dear honour! Nothing vexes me, but that the world should say I had not Spanish policy enough to keep my daughter from being debauched from me. But methinks my Spanish policy might help me yet. I have it--so--I will cheat 'em all; for I will declare I understood the whole plot and contrivance, and connived at it, finding my cousin a fool, and not answering my expectation. Well, but then if I approve of the match, I must give this mock-dancing-master my estate, especially since half he would have in right of my daughter, and in spite of me. Well, I am resolved to turn the cheat upon themselves, and give them my consent and estate.
Mons. Come, come, ne'er be troubled, uncle: 'twas a combination, you see, of all these heads and your daughter's, you know what I mean, uncle, not to be thwarted or governed by all the Spanish policy in Christendom. I'm sure my French policy would not have governed her: so since I have 'scaped her, I am glad I have 'scaped her, jarni!
Mrs. Caut. Come, brother, you are wiser than I, you see: ay, ay.
Don. No, you think you are wiser than I now, in earnest: but know, while I was thought a gull, I gulled you all, and made them and you think I knew nothing of the contrivance. Confess, did not you think verily that I knew nothing of it, and that I was a gull?
Mrs. Caut. Yes indeed, brother, I did think verily you were a gull.
Hip. How's this? [Listening.
Don. Alas, alas! all the sputter I made was but to make this young man, my cousin, believe, when the thing should be effected, that it was not with my connivance or consent; but since he is so well satisfied, I own it. For do you think I would ever have suffered her to marry a monsieur, a monsieur? Guarda!--besides, it had been but a beastly incestuous kind of a match, voto!--
Mrs. Caut. Nay, then I see, brother, you are wiser than I indeed.
Ger. So, so.
Mrs. Caut. Nay, young man, you have danced a fair dance for yourself, royally; and now you may go jig it together till you are both weary. And though you were so eager to have him, Mrs. Minx, you'll soon have your bellyful of him, let me tell you, mistress.
Prue. Ha! ha!
Mons. How, uncle! what was't you said? Nay, if I had your Spanish policy against me, it was no wonder I missed of my aim, ma foi!
Don. I was resolved too my daughter should not marry a coward, therefore made the more the more ado to try you, sir. But I find you are a brisk man of honour, firm stiff Spanish honour; and that you may see I deceived you all along, and you not me, ay, and am able to deceive you still, for I know now you think that I will give you little or nothing with my daughter, like other fathers, since you have married her without my consent--but, I say, I'll deceive you now; for you shall have the most part of my estate in present, and the rest at my death.--There's for you: I think I have deceived you now, look you.
Ger. No, indeed, sir, you have not deceived me; for I never suspected your love to your daughter, nor your generosity.
Don. How, sir! have a care of saying I have not deceived you, lest I deceive you another way, guarda!--Pray, gentlemen, do not think any man could deceive me, look you; that any man could steal my daughter, look you, without my connivance:--
The less we speak, the more we think;
And he sees most, that seems to wink.
Hip. So, so, now I could give you my blessing, father; now you are a good complaisant father, indeed:--
When children marry, parents should obey,
Since love claims more obedience far than they.
SPOKEN BY FLIRT
The ladies first I am to compliment,
Whom (if he could) the poet would content,
But to their pleasure then they must consent;
Most spoil their sport still by their modesty,
And when they should be pleased, cry out, "O fy!"
And the least smutty jest will ne'er pass by.
But city damsel ne'er had confidence
At smutty play to take the least offence,
But mercy shows, to show her innocence.
Yet lest the merchants' daughters should to-day
Be scandalised, not at our harmless play,
But our Hippolita, since she's like one
Of us bold flirts of t'other end o' th' town;
Our poet sending to you (though unknown)
His best respects by me, does frankly own
The character to be unnatural;
Hippolita is not like you at all:
You, while your lovers court you, still look grum,
And far from wooing, when they woo, cry mum
And if some of you e'er were stol'n away,
Your portion's fault 'was only, I dare say.
Thus much for him the poet bid me speak;
Now to the men I my own mind will break.
You good men o' th' Exchange, on whom alone
We must depend, when sparks to sea are gone;
Into the pit already you are come,
'Tis but a step more to our tiring-room;
Where none of us but will be wondrous sweet
Upon an able love of Lombard-street.
You we had rather see between our scenes,
Than spendthrift fops with better clothes and miens;
Instead of laced coats, belts, and pantaloons,
Your velvet jumps, gold chains, and grave fur gowns
Instead of periwigs, and broad cocked hats,
Your satin caps, small cuffs, and vast cravats.
For you are fair and square in all your dealings,
You never cheat your doxies with gilt shillings;
You ne'er will break our windows; then you are
Fit to make love, while our huzzas make war;
And since all gentlemen must pack to sea,
Our gallants and our judges you must be!
We, therefore, and our poet, do submit,
To all the camlet cloaks now i' the pit.
Copyright © 2002, Shropshire County
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