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Title: The Female Wits

Author: Anonymous

Editor: Lucyle  Hook

Release Date: September 27, 2011 [EBook #37546]

Language: English

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The Augustan Reprint Society

THE
FEMALE
WITS

(Anonymous)

`

(1704)

Introduction by
LUCYLE HOOK

PUBLICATION NUMBER 124

WILLIAM ANDREWS CLARK MEMORIAL LIBRARY

University of California, Los Angeles

1967


GENERAL EDITORS

George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles
Earl Miner, University of California, Los Angeles
Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles
Robert Vosper, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


ADVISORY EDITORS

Richard C. Boys, University of Michigan
James L. Clifford, Columbia University
Ralph Cohen, University of California, Los Angeles
Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles
Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago
Louis A. Landa, Princeton University
Samuel H. Monk, University of Minnesota
Everett T. Moore, University of California, Los Angeles
Lawrence Clark Powell, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
James Sutherland, University College, London
H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles


CORRESPONDING SECRETARY

Edna C. Davis, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

[i]


INTRODUCTION

The Female Wits; Or, The Triumvirate of Poets at Rehearsal, published anonymously in 1704 with "written by Mr. W. M." on the titlepage, was played at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane around October, 1696. [1] A devastating satire in the manner of Buckingham's The Rehearsal, it attacks all plays by women playwrights but Mary de la Riviere Manley's blood and thunder female tragedy, The Royal Mischief (1696), in particular. The Female Wits resembles The Rehearsal in that the satire is directed not only at the subject matter and style of a particular type of drama but supplies searing portrayals of recognizable persons—in this case, of Mrs. Manley herself, and to a lesser degree, of Mary Pix and Catherine Trotter (later Cockburn). It also follows Buckingham's satire in that the actors play double roles—that of the characters assigned to them and their own—and in so doing, reveal their own personalities with astonishing clarity.

Colley Cibber tells the best stories of the chaos that ensued after the secession of Betterton and most of the veteran actors in 1695 from the dominance of Christopher Rich at Drury Lane. [2] Since Betterton had been virtual dictator in London since 1682, he was able to command the efforts, at least at first, of most of the well-known playwrights who had written for the company before the establishment of his theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields. Young playwrights scrambled to ingratiate themselves with one or the other of the two London managements. Among them, there had been three women with four plays in less than a year.

When Mrs. Manley arrived upon the dramatic scene with her first play, The Lost Lover; Or, The Jealous Husband, in March, 1696, she bore the brunt of a growing criticism against a surfeit of female plays. But when she protested in the preface of the printed version that "I think my Treatment much severer than I deserv'd; I am satisfied the bare Name of being a Woman's Play damn'd it beyond its own want of Merit," she took upon herself the combined animus of the masculine critics. In the same preface, she challenged them boldly with "Once more, my Offended [ii]Judges, I am to appear before you, once more in possibility of giving you the like Damning Satisfaction; there is a Tragedy of mine Rehearsing, which 'tis too late to recall, I consent it meet with the same Fortune." The other play was The Royal Mischief.

One learns from The Female Wits that Mrs. Manley considered herself privileged at Drury Lane, that The Royal Mischief had gone into rehearsal, but that her imperious manner had alienated the actors who laughed at her dramatic pretentions; and that she had stormed out of the Theatre Royal vowing never again to honor them with her works. After much bickering among patrons, patentees, players, and playwright, The Royal Mischief was finally presented by the newly formed Betterton company at Lincoln's Inn Fields in May, 1696, instead of by the company of actors led by George Powell at the rival Drury Lane Theatre. At least, this is what is represented in The Female Wits, and although highly exaggerated, it is essentially true. The time: March or April, 1696.

The Female Wits is correctly compared in its preface to the satiric masterpiece which had been written as a corrective to the bombastic tragedy supplied by Dryden, Howard, and others in the early years of the Restoration. With The Rehearsal, Buckingham and his fellow wits had supposedly succeeded in laughing heroic tragedy into oblivion in the 1670's. By the 1690's, another type of heroic drama, equally unrealistic but tinged with sentimentality, was enjoying a certain success. The chief purveyors of this new drama which pleased the Ladies were a group of women who seemed impervious to masculine criticism. In the 1690's, therefore, another set of self-appointed critics evidently dedicated itself to laughing the female authors off the stage. A Comparison between the Two Stages, an anonymous satirical summary of drama from 1695 to 1702, echoes the attitude of the author of The Female Wits toward women playwrights. When The Lost Lover, Mrs. Manley's first play, is brought up for discussion, Critick demands

What occasion had you to name a Lady in the confounded
Work you're about?

Sullen: Here's a Play of hers.

Critick: The Devil there is: I wonder in my Heart we are so lost
            to all Sense and Reason: What a Pox have the Women to
            do with the Muses? I grant you the Poets call the Nine
[iii]             Muses by the Names of Women, but why so? not because
            the Sex had any thing to do with Poetry, but because in
            the Sex they're much fitter for prostitution.

Rambler: Abusive, now you're abusive, Mr. Critick.

Critick: Sir, I tell you we are abus'd: I hate these Petticoat-Authors;
            'tis false Grammar, there's no Feminine for the
            Latin word, 'tis entirely of the Masculine Gender.... Let
            'em scribble on, till they can serve all the Pastry-cooks
            in Town, the Tobacconists and Grocers with Waste-paper[3].


Although The Royal Mischief was the immediate pretext for The Female Wits, the true cause of the attack was the surprising success of the women playwrights with the Ladies in the boxes who were beginning to enjoy the "Solace of Tears" and to dominate theatrical taste in the middle 1690's. After Aphra Behn's death in 1689, a shattering blow to rising feminism, women had not ventured thus far to write for the stage. Mrs. Behn, however, was still a powerful influence, and her name was invoked by every woman who put pen to paper.

Mrs. Manley openly aspired to be a second Astrea. Certainly there are striking similarities. As in Aphra Behn's case, nothing Mrs. Manley ever wrote as drama or fiction could equal the events of her own life[4]. Her father died when she was fourteen, leaving her in the care of a cousin who took her inheritance, went through a sham marriage with her, abandoned her before their child was born, and left her to starve before she was sixteen. She was befriended by Barbara Castlemaine, Duchess of Cleveland, the notorious former mistress of Charles II, whose character Mrs. Manley draws as Hillaria in The Adventures of Rivella (1714), and whose lineaments are certainly to be seen in the character of Homais in the warmer passages of The Royal Mischief. After Mrs. Manley's cruel dismissal by the Duchess, by her own account she spent two years wandering unknown from place to place in England, and during this time, she wrote plays for her diversion.

During the 1690's, despite the supposition of some modern critics that heroic tragedy was out of style, the great classics of the three preceding decades continued to be played by the Betterton company in whose stock repertory they had been since their inception: Lee's The Rival Queens, Banks' The Unhappy[iv] Favourite, Otway's Venice Preserv'd, and many of Dryden's (The Indian Emperour, The Conquest of Granada, All for Love). In fact, Dryden was still writing and pleasing audiences with tragicomedies that contained the ingredients of the old heroic tragedy. Since the same company of actors was presenting the old plays (indeed, most of the actors were still playing their original roles), the histrionic magic of the early tragic hero could still lift an audience to the empyrean heights reached in the heady first years of the restoration of Charles II. If there is anything strange in Mrs. Manley's The Royal Mischief in 1696, it is not that it was an heroic play but that the leading character was a woman, Homais, who out-hectors and out-loves all of the Restoration Alexanders, Montezumas, and Drawcansirs written for and by men.

If her own account of The Royal Mischief is true, Mrs. Manley wrote it after she left the household of the Duchess of Cleveland, some time between 1692 and 1694. Since there was only one theatre in London from 1682 to 1695, she wrote for Thomas Betterton, Elizabeth Barry, Anne Bracegirdle, Edward Kynaston, and other veterans in the Betterton company, who were the prototypes for the characters in the early heroic plays. She could have known no others. When Betterton seceded from the Theatre Royal in 1695 and set up the independent theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, Mrs. Manley, already committed to Drury Lane because of her first play, gave Drury Lane The Royal Mischief even though it had been written for the Betterton company. Circumstances, then, dictated that The Royal Mischief was finally played by the actors for whom it had been written originally.

It is likely, however, that The Female Wits would never have been written if Thomas Betterton had not aggravated the situation by producing The Royal Mischief as quickly as possible after Mrs. Manley had withdrawn it from Drury Lane under such provocative circumstances. It was played immediately at Lincoln's Inn Fields in April or May, 1696, seemingly at the insistence of the Duke of Devonshire to whom Mrs. Manley dedicated it. When it was published in June, the author was supported by her sister playwrights in commendatory verses included with the play. Catherine Trotter possibly earned her inclusion in The Female Wits when she wrote,[v]

You were our Champion, and the Glory ours.
Well you've maintain'd our equal right in Fame,
To which vain Man had quite engrost the claim:

Mary Pix confirmed her place in the satire with her panegyric:

You the unequal'd wonder of the Age,
Pride of our Sex, and Glory of the Age,
Like Sappho Charming, like Afra Eloquent,
Like Chast Orinda, sweetly Innocent.

Mrs. Manley minced no words in the printed version in answer to the flurry of criticism that had greeted The Royal Mischief when it was played: "I should not have given my self and the Town the trouble of a Preface if the aspersions of my Enemies had not made it necessary." According to her, in spite of "ill nature, Envy, and Detraction," The Royal Mischief was successful (it had a run of six nights) even though some of the ladies professed to be shocked at "the warmth of it, as they are pleas'd to call it.... I do not doubt when the Ladies have given themselves the trouble of reading, and comparing it with others, they'll find the prejudice against our Sex, and not refuse me the satisfaction of entertaining them...." Everything Mrs. Manley wrote, however, simply added to the ridicule that had been mounting against women playwrights, and The Female Wits is merely the distillation of the general attitude of the self-appointed critics and wits at the Rose and the Grecian, at Maynwaring's and at Will's.

In defending The Royal Mischief and its reception, she said of the actress who played the unbelievably wicked Homais: "... Mrs. Barry, who by all that saw her, is concluded to have exceeded that perfection which before she was justly thought to have arrived at; my Obligations to her were the greater, since against her own approbation, she excell'd and made the part of an ill Woman, not only entertaining, but admirable." Years later in The Adventures of Rivella, she was to say, "Mrs. Barry distinguish'd herself as much as in any Part that ever she play'd. I have since heard Rivella laugh and wonder that a Man of Mr. Betterton's grave Sense and Judgment should think well enough of the Productions of a Woman of Eighteen, to bring it upon the Stage in so handsome a Manner as he did...." [5][vi]

It is easy to believe Mrs. Manley's high commendation of the actress but difficult to credit Mrs. Barry's objection to playing a part that was a natural sequel to all the heroic and sometimes wicked women she had played throughout her career. Her audience identified her with Lee's Roxana in The Rival Queens, Dryden's Cleopatra in All for Love, and his recent Cassandra in Cleomenes. Every playwright since 1680 had written expressly for her: Otway's Monimia in The Orphan was her first great part in 1680, followed two years later by Belvidera in Venice Preserv'd. Southerne had given her Isabella in The Fatal Marriage in 1694, Congreve was still to write for her his Zara in The Mourning Bride in 1697, and Rowe his Calista in The Fair Penitent in 1703. Cibber, in 1740, remembered her "Presence of elevated Dignity ... her Voice full, clear, and strong, so that no Violence of Passion could be too much for her." He emphasized that in "Scenes of Anger, Defiance, or Resentment, while she was impetuous, and terrible, she pour'd out the Sentiment with an enchanting Harmony." [6]

Mrs. Barry's ability and her strength of voice in expressing the passions led to the full development of the rant, which was the test of the dramatic actress as the aria is the test of the opera singer. Ordinarily in a tragedy, there were two: one, the melodious expression of unattainable love in the first part of the play, and the second in the death scene, usually of raving madness. In The Royal Mischief, there are at least six major rants, each more powerful and surprising than the one preceding it. If Mrs. Barry's ability was ever tested, it was with Mrs. Manley's Homais.

The story is that of another Messalina. Homais, married to the unloved Prince of Libardian, had had many lovers in her progress to the throne of Phasia: among them, Ismael, who had remained her creature and is willing to kill the Prince for one more night's favors. Even her eunuch Acmat is more than a mere pander to her desire for her husband's nephew, Levan Dadian, whom she has never seen but for whom she writhes nightly upon her bed in erotic desire, stimulated only by his life size picture and secondhand descriptions of him. She conspires with Acmat to inflame Levan Dadian with desire for her (her portrait was enough) and to bring about a meeting even though that prince was bringing home with him his virtuous bride, Bassima, princess of Colchis. Her[vii] proposal to enslave Levan Dadian might have been difficult if it had not been for the fact that years before, during a war between Phasia and Colchis, Osman, great general and now Chief Vizier to the Prince of Libardian, had captured Bassima, fallen in love with her (and she with him), but without a word on either side before and after he had freed her, they had remained platonically true to each other in spite of the passage of years, Osman's marriage to Selima, sister of his Prince, the offer (and rejection) of Homais' love, and of Bassima's recent marriage to Levan Dadian. When Levan Dadian brings Bassima to court, the recognition between Osman and Bassima is endured in silence, but the trusting Osman bares his heart to Homais' creature Ismael, who inflames the hitherto platonic Osman with unholy desire for the pure Bassima. The wily Acmat insinuates distrust for Bassima into Levan Dadian's heart at the same time that he inspires lust for Homais and brings about the promised meeting. Homais immediately sets about disposing of everyone who stands in her way. The Prince of Libardian is to be dispatched by Ismael. Osman is to be accused of infidelity with Bassima, who is to be poisoned by Ismael. Word of this gets to Osman, who urges Bassima to flee with or without him, but she refuses because her virtue would be called into question in either case. But plans go awry, the Prince is not dispatched, and while Levan Dadian is absent, Homais is seized by her husband and given the choice of drinking poison or submitting to death by the bow-string. She charms him out of killing her, and he, overcome by her beauty, weakly believes her promises and sets her free to pursue her wickedness.

Bassima, however, has been poisoned and is dying when Osman comes to her, urging the consumation of their passion then and there, before it is too late. Her gentle refusal to stray from virtue on her deathbed awakens him from his unplatonic spell, and he begs forgiveness but is interrupted in the middle of his contrite speech, led away, crammed alive into a cannon, and shot off. The soldiers, led by Ismael, revolt in favor of Homais and declare her queen. For a heady moment, she has attained her every desire as she stands exulting over the dying Bassima, whose husband is somewhat disturbed by the turn of[viii] events but whose attention is diverted when Homais takes him in her arms. But at the height of her triumph, the Prince burst in, sword in hand, and runs Homais through before she can change his mind. Unrepenting to the end, she goes to her death and into her final rant with defiance on her lovely lusty lips as she ticks off the men in her life one by one. In the last three minutes, Osman's faithful but jealous wife gathers his smoking remains, Levan Dadian falls on his sword, and the Prince of Libardian ends the play with

                        O horrour, horrour, horrour!
What Mischief two fair Guilty Eyes have wrought;
Let Lovers all look here, and shun the Dotage.
To Heaven my dismal Thoughts shall straight be turn'd,
And all these sad Dissasters truly mourn'd.

There is no need to point out that The Royal Mischief invited parody. Everything was in excess. No woman had ever been so lustfully wicked as Homais (played by Elizabeth Barry), no heroine so pure as Bassima (Anne Bracegirdle), no hero so faithfully platonic (Thomas Betterton), no husband so duped as the Prince of Libardian (Edward Kynaston), no wife so weakly jealous as Selima (Elizabeth Bowman), no man so easily a prey to lust as Levan Dadian (John Bowman), so much a creature as Ismael (John Hodgson), so vile a tool as Acmat (John Freeman). Each character was a stick figure for a single quality. Incidents happened so rapidly that continual surprise is the predominant emotion if one discounts the miasma of hot surging sex that hovers over the entire production. But it must have been effective when played by the greatest actors in London.

After reading both plays, one can believe that immediately after the presentation of The Royal Mischief, someone began putting together the parodies of obviously over-written scenes and high-flown language, burlesques of heroic acting by the acknowledged past-masters of the art, Thomas Betterton and Elizabeth Barry, as well as the mincing pasquinade of Anne Bracegirdle, who was as virtuous as the pure role she played. Since The Royal Mischief was played in May, near the end of the season, there was ample time to gloat over its absurdities during[ix] the summer months and have The Female Wits ready for the delectation of the Town early the following season. Like all satires, it had its day while the original was still fresh in the minds of the theatre-going public but was immediately forgotten because The Royal Mischief did not become a stock play.

The Female Wits is a continuous hilarious romp of scenes from The Royal Mischief and an entire gallery of burlesqued portraits of the famous actors who were as much under fire as Mrs. Manley herself. Elizabeth Barry's histrionic style of acting is held up to derision when Frances Maria Knight, who was playing the character satirizing Homais as well as a caricature of Mrs. Barry, is told to "stamp like Queen Statira does ... that always gets a Clap. No Stamp, and Hug yourself: Oh the strong Exstasie!" When Homais is stabbed, Marsilia gives the order, "D'ye hear, Property Man, be sure some red Ink is handsomely convey'd to Mrs. Knight." Penkethman, a short, slap-stick comedian mimicking six-foot Betterton as the faithful Osman is told to "Fetch long Strides; walk thus; your Arms strutting, your voice big, and your Eyes terrible"; and later, "Louder ... strain your Voice: I tell you, Mr. Pinkethman, this speaking Loud gets the Clap." Mrs. Bracegirdle's famous "pathetic" style of acting is parodied when Marsilia instructs Miss Cross how to speak a line: "Give me leave to instruct you in a moving Cry. Oh! there's a great deal of Art in crying: Hold your Handkerchief thus; let it meet your Eyes, thus; your Head declin'd, thus; now, in a perfect whine, crying out these words,

By these Tears, which never cease to Flow."

Reverse situations are used as comic devices. Possibly the climax of absurdity is reached when Miss Cross and Penkethman, instead of dying horrible deaths, find themselves on the roof-top (instead of in the dungeon) climbing into a celestial chariot that the Prince had been building for fifty years. They escape their pursuing enemies, thus making merry with the tragic conclusion of The Royal Mischief and using the same theatrical machinery that was being employed in Brutus of Alba. Marsilia caps this scene by describing in detail the events which were played seriously in The Royal Mischief:[x]

You must know, my Lord, at first I design'd this for a Tragedy; and they were both taken; She was Poyson'd, and dy'd, like an Innocent Lamb, as she was indeed: I was studying a Death for him; once I thought Boys shou'd shoot him to Death with Pot-Guns; ... and that wou'd have been Disgrace enough, you know: But at length I resolv'd to ram him into a great Gun, and scatter him o're the sturdy Plain: This, I say, was my first resolve. But I consider'd, 'twou'd break the Lady's Heart; so there is nothing in their Parts Tragical; but as your Lordship shall see miraculously I turn'd it into an Opera.

The continual interruptions in the rehearsal by Marsilia giving orders to the increasingly irritated actors, their hostile asides as they come out of their roles to ask bewildered questions, object to her directions, or attempt to resign their parts keep the stage in an uproar. The asinine remarks of her sycophantic followers, her own erratic behavior which culminates in her rage and her stalking out, vowing to take her play to Lincoln's Inn Fields, while George Powell, Mrs. Knight, and Miss Cross double up with laughter—all make The Female Wits an hilarious piece of dramatic satire as well as a valuable theatrical document.

All but forgotten, as it was when it was published in 1704, the played version of The Female Wits had its impact on women playwrights in 1696. Mrs. Manley did not produce another play until Almyna was acted in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1706, ten years later. As a result of the unjustified attack upon her, Mrs. Pix thereafter wrote for Lincoln's Inn Fields, and at the beginning of the 1697-98 season was engaged in a name-calling dispute with Drury Lane over the flagrant plagiarism of one of her plays by George Powell, the actor who figures prominently in The Female Wits. Mrs. Trotter gave her plays to the Betterton group until 1700 when a new management regulated affairs at Drury Lane.

Whether Mrs. Manley was driven from the stage for ten years by the jeers of the Town is a matter of debate. She became one of the leading Tory pamphleteers, political editors, and literary hacks in London, employed for years and respected in an odd way by such people as Richard Steele and Dean Swift. Her most[xi] famous work, The Secret Memoirs and Manners of Several Persons of Quality ... by the New Atalanta (1709) and her semi-autobiographical The Adventures of Rivella (1714) caused government inquiries, and she never ceased to be a controversial figure.

Up to the present time, no one has ventured to say who wrote The Female Wits. The titlepage gives "Mr. W. M." as the author, but this information is immediately refuted by the preface signed "W. M." which gives most of the facts of composition, performance, and publication. According to the preface, the satire was written by a friend (now dead), and the "Quality" had insisted it be played at Drury Lane, where it had enjoyed a run of six nights and could have continued longer "had the Company thought fit to oblige the Taste of the Town in General rather than that of some particular Persons." The Female Wits was published in 1704 even though "the Town has almost lost the Remembrance of it," but unless the taste of the critics today is different from what it was in 1696, readers cannot fail to have as much satisfaction as the earlier audience had in seeing it. W. M.'s identification of Mrs. Manley as Marsilia, Mrs. Pix as Mrs. Wellfed, and Mrs. Trotter as Calista as well as his commendation of the acting of Mr. and Mrs. Powell, and his praise of Mrs. Verbruggen (now deceased also) are expressions of nostalgia from a man whose duty to his dead friend is now accomplished. He ends his laconic preface with a reference to the reformers led by Jeremy Collier, "a Fig for their Censures, which can neither affect him that Wrote this Play, nor him that Publishes it." [7]

It is evident that the anonymous author knew all of the actors at Drury Lane intimately: "honest" George Powell, who "regards neither Times nor Seasons in Drinking," Mrs. Lucas, the dancer, and her coffee habit, hoydenish Letitia Cross with her sassy aside of "now have I such a mind to kick him i'th'chops" about some show-off fop who wished to kiss the strap of her shoe in homage, Frances Marie Knight's haughty withdrawal from any complication with Mrs. Manley or the other playwrights. His knowledge of Mrs. Manley's colossal arrogance, of Mrs. Pix's easy-going acceptance of her great bulk and lack of charm, of beautiful Mrs. Trotter's considerable learning in the classics and her early tendency[xii] toward critical writing—all are sharply etched from observation and intimate knowledge.

The Female Wits has all the remarks of having been put together by group effort, and the evidence points to the actors at Drury Lane, a number of whom had already shown writing ability: Joseph Haynes, Colley Cibber, Hildebrand Horden, and George Powell. Especially George Powell had been active with four plays and two operas already to his credit, one of which, Brutus of Alba, must have been running concurrently with The Female Wits in October, 1696. Because The Female Wits is episodic in character, loosely strung together with songs and dances, it may well have come from various sources recognizable to the audience. For example, Letitia Cross is asked to sing "her dialogue," readily consents, and Mr. Leveridge, a frequent partner, is called to sing the second part. It may or may not be a coincidence that Brutus of Alba contains a dialogue between a flirtatious young girl and an impotent old man featuring Miss Cross [8]. The song achieved a certain notoriety because of its frankness, was re-issued as a separate piece, and is the type of entertainment that would have been repeated in a burlesque like The Female Wits. Other members of the company contribute their specialities: Miss Cross also performs "her dance," Mr. Pate sings an Italian Song. The only song that can be identified positively is "A Scotch Song Sung by Mrs. Lucas at the Theatre," the chorus of which one of the characters sings when he asks her to favor them with her "Last Dance." [9]

Perhaps Joe Haynes, the famous comedian, best fills the role of chief author, as Buckingham was credited with the authorship of The Rehearsal, although it was known that every wit in Town had a hand in it. For over twenty years, Haynes had played the part of Bayes, which satirized Dryden, and was recognized as the zany of the London theatrical world with special licence to burlesque any person or institution that came under his critical eye. The same sort of mad inventiveness peculiar to his elaborate hoaxes upon the public, the incisive satire in his written or ad-libbed prologues and epilogues, and the special touches added to the character parts written for him are present in The Female[xiii] Wits. He had published a mock heroic tragedy (no record of performance) in 1692 which significantly enjoyed a second printing in 1696. Because of his scatological language and outrageous pranks, he was in and out of trouble with the authorities, both public and theatrical, throughout his career. He was one of the principal comedians through the period under consideration, had been in Mrs. Manley's first play (as indeed had all of the principal players in The Female Wits), and would have been one of the first to resent Mrs. Manley's haughty manner; since he had nothing to lose, he would have been the logical ring-leader in satirizing both the playwright and the veteran actors at Lincoln's Inn Fields.

With so much writing and acting talent among the hungry, ambitious player-authors at Drury Lane, there is little need to look far afield, but Haynes does qualify in another special way for authorship. W. M. states that the author was dead before 1704. Haynes died in June, 1701, and Tobyas Thomas,[10] the author of The Life of the Late Famous Comedian, Jo. Hayns, a picaresque, jest-book type of biography published the same year, reveals the interesting information in the dedicatory epistle to William Mann that Haynes had been a friend and visitor in Mann's home at Charnham in Kent, and that Mann had encouraged Thomas to write the biography. Whether William Mann is Mr. W. M. and the comedian is the friend in the preface to The Female Wits may never be known, but Joe Haynes, aided and abetted by fellow actors, patrons, friends, and self-appointed critics, all of them with a reason to satirize the female writers and the too-successful actors at Lincoln's Inn Fields, could easily have headed up the group effort that resulted in the commedia del arte concoction that finally saw print in 1704.

The prologue and epilogue were added at the time of publication. Topical allusions range from the Collier Controversy, which began in 1698 and continued actively for more than a decade, to John Tutchin, controversial editor of The Observator (which began in 1702), to a mention of the great storm of November 26, 1703, which Collier and his followers believed to be a punishment for England's wickedness, to the proclamation early in 1704 by Queen Anne prohibiting the wearing of masks at the[xiv] playhouses. More important, however, is the fact that the tone of the prologue and epilogue is entirely different from that found in the play. The tempered language of a decade later than the play is not in keeping with the raucous satire directed at the three women playwrights and the rival actors at Lincoln's Inn Fields that must have kept the audience in a roar of laughter.

The Female Wits is an important document to historians of the theatre, coming as it did at the very end of the Restoration period and just preceding the changes brought about by Collier's attacks upon the theatre which accelerated the establishment of sentimental comedy and tragedy. The play illuminates at least four areas about which we know very little: the personalities of the three women playwrights at the beginning of their careers, the excellent portraits of some of the little known players, the acting techniques that are parodied so broadly that it is possible to recognize the original practice, and the rehearsal customs and stage directions employed which give new light or confirm what is already known. Granted, all are outrageously exaggerated, but a discerning eye can detect the truth that lurks behind any satire, parody, or lampoon. That kernel of truth must be there, or there is nothing to laugh about.



Columbia University[xv]

NOTES TO THE INTRODUCTION

[1] See the entry under Unknown Authors, Allardyce Nicoll, A History of English Drama, 1660-1900 (Cambridge, 1955), I, 441. Also see William van Lennep, The London Stage, 1660-1800 (Carbondale, 1965), Part I, 1660-1700, pp. 467-468.

Wing notes a 1697 edition, but an examination of the severely cropped copy of the 1704 edition at the Huntington Library gives the first clue for the creation of a ghost: the imprint was sacrificed to the Kemble-Devonshire insistence on uniformity in size, and a later hand supplied the conjectured date of presentation, not the date of publication. Noted as a questioned publication date in Woodward-McManaway, Check List (no. 374), the date of 1697 was next cautiously recorded in Nicoll (Ibidem) as a possible date for a first edition. It then entered the Wing Catalogue as the first edition, mistakenly making the 1704 the second edition.

[2] Colley Cibber, An Apology for the Life (London, 1740), chaps. IV-VII.

[3] A Comparison between the Two Stages, ed. Staring B. Wells (Princeton, 1942), p. 17.

[4] See DNB; Paul Bunyan Anderson, "Mistress Manley's Biography," Modern Philology, XXXIII (1936), 261-278; Gwendolyn B. Needham, "Mary de la Riviere, Tory Defender," HLQ, XII (1948-49), 253-288; Needham, "Mrs. Manley, an Eighteenth-Century Wife of Bath," HLQ, XIV (1950-51), 259-284.

[5] Mary de la Riviere Manley, The Adventures of Rivella (London, 1714), p. 41.

[6] Cibber, p. 95.

[7] There was at least one avid reader of The Female Wits. The Reverend Arthur Bedford of Bristol, one of Collier's followers who spent his entire career attacking the theatres, mentions it forty times in The Evil and Danger of Stage-Plays (1706). He used it as an example in all the categories of wickedness that Collier had set up in A Short View of the Prophaneness and Immorality of the English Stage, the original attack in 1698.[xvi]

[8] "Why dost thou fly me, pretty Maid," from The Single Songs, with the Dialogue, Sung in ... Brutus of Alba. Composed by Daniel Purcell (London, 1696). Henry E. Huntington Library Devonshire Plays, vol. 8 (131929-35).

[9] "By Moonlight on the Green," Henry E. Huntington Library Collection of Broadsides, vol. 5 (Huth 81013).

[10] Tobyas Thomas has been thought to be a pen-name for Tom Brown, but there is no reason to question that he was one of Haynes' fellow-actors who never rose higher than secondary roles. He played a part in The Female Wits.

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

The text of this edition of The Female Wits is reproduced from a copy in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.

THE

FEMALE WITS:

OR, THE

Triumvirate of Poets

AtREHEARSAL.

A

COMEDY.

As it was Acted several Days successively with great Applause

AT THE

Theatre-Royal

In DRURY-LANE.

By Her MAJESTY'S Servants.

Written by Mr. W. M.

Ita Astutim sibi Arrogat Hominem Ingenia Ut Homines credas. Cic.


LONDON, Printed for William Turner, at the Angel at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate, William Davis, at the Black Bull in Cornhil, Bernard Lintott, at the Middle-Temple-Gate, and Tho. Brown, at the Blackamoors Head near the Savoy. 1704.

Price 1 s. 6 d.


THE PREFACE.

Though the Success of this Play has been such, as to need no Apology for the Publication of it; it having been Acted six Days running without intermission; and being likely to have continued much longer, had the Company thought fit to oblige the Taste of the Town in General, rather than that of some particular Persons; yet the lateness of its appearance abroad, after its being Acted some Years since with great Applause, seems to require that the Reader should be satisfied why it should fall under his Censure at a time when the Town has almost lost the Remembrance of it. In order to this, I take it for necessary to Premise, that the Author of it, a Man of more Modesty than the Generality of our present Writers, tho' not of less Merit than the best of 'em, was neither fond of his own Performances, nor desirous others should fall in love with them. What he writ was for his own Diversion; and he could hardly be persuaded by the Quality to make it theirs, till his good Temper got the better of his Aversion to write himself among the List of the Poets; and he was prevail'd upon to put it into the Hands of the Gentlemen belonging to the Theatre in Drury-Lane, who did him the same Justice, as was done by him to Dramatick Poetry and the Stage. Among the rest, Mr. Powel and his Wife excell'd in the Characters they represented, as did Mrs. Verbruggen, who play'd the Chief Character, and whose Loss we must ever regret, as the Chief Actress in her Kind, who never had any one that exceeded her, or ever will have one that can come up to her, unless a Miracle intervenes for the support of the English Stage. It is written in imitation of the Rehearsal; and though we must not presume to say it comes up to the Character of the Duke of Buckingham's Works, yet it does not fall short of it, so much as many of our Modern Performances, that please more for the sake of their Patrons than the real Worth of those that Writ 'em. And to let those that shall give it their Perusal, into the Knowledge of the Female Wits, who are here hinted at, they are to understand; the Lady whose Play is rehears'd, personates one Mrs. M—ly, a Gentlewoman sufficiently known for a Correspondence with the Muses some time since, though she has of late discontinu'd it, (I presume for some more profitable Employ) and those that go under the Names of Mrs. Welfed, and Calista, are Mrs. P—x and Mrs. T——r, two Gentlewomen that have made no small struggle in the World to get into Print; and who are now in such a State of Wedlock to Pen and Ink, that it will be very difficult for 'em to get out of it. Whether the Characters are just or no, that is left to the Reader's determination: But the Auditors thought the Pictures were true, or they would have condemn'd the Person that drew 'em, in less than six Days. What remains is, to justifie the Publication of it, and to acquaint the World, that the Author being deceas'd, I got a Copy of it; and out of my desire to divert the Publick, I thought it might not be unacceptable if it saw the Light. In short, if it pleases as much in the Reading, as it did in the Acting, the Reader cannot fail of his Satisfaction; if not, the Taste of the Criticks is different from what it was some Years since: And so, a Fig for their Censures, which can neither affect him that Wrote this Play, nor him that Publishes it.


THE PROLOGUE.

While Sinners took upon 'em to reform,
And on the Stage laid the late dreadful Storm,
Occasionally coming from the Crimes
Of us, whose Drama's would instruct the Times.
We wonder'd Rebels who against the Crown,
Justly draw all these heavy Judgments down,
Should pass uncensur'd, unmolested stand,
And be a heavy Judgment to the Land.
But they, Heav'ns bless 'em for their daily care,
Have reconcil'd us now to Ale and Air:
For Wine we know not, while the luckless Hit,
Has taught us want of Laugh, and want of Wit.
But when the Observator's Wrath withdraws,
And wanting Law instructs us in the Laws;
How happy are we made, who well agree,
To be laugh'd at by such a Fool as he.
Thanks to the Strumpets that would mask'd appear,
We now in their True Colours see 'em here:
False, I should say, for who e're saw before,
A Woman in True Colours and a Whore?

 
But it is not our Business to be rude
With Woman for the sake of Muffled Hood;
We lik'd 'em not with Masks or with their Paints,
Nor ever thought to baulk informing Saints.
They're welcome to us, when we're Peccant found,
Their Understanding's safe as well as sound.
All that we strive to please are Good and Just;
For Goodness ever we have ta'ne on Trust:
But when we to true Virtue would appear,
The Real Saints and not the False are here.
We're Regulary true to Royal Laws,
We admire th' Effect and we adore the Cause.
All that we're proud of is, that we have seen,

Our Reformation center in the Queen.

THE EPILOGUE

The Sermon ended, 'tis the Preacher's way
For Blessings on the Auditors to pray,
And Supplicate what Doctrines have been said,
May thro' their Ears into their Hearts be laid.
So does our Poet in this sinful Age,
(Not that the Pulpit's likened to the Stage)
Fall to Petition after Application,
And beg that he may work a Reformation;
May turn the side of Follies now in Course,
And touch the guilty Scribe with due Remorse:
That every Fool his Errors may reclaim,
And take the Road of Pen and Ink to Fame.

 
What here he writes to quash the Womens Pride,
May to the Men with Justice be apply'd.
Each Sex is now so self-conceited grown,
None can digest a Treat that's not their own.
So
Ęsop's Monkey that his Off-spring brought,
It's own the fairest of the Rivals thought;
As it preferr'd deformity of Face
To all the Beauties of the Bestial Race.

 
But Manners might have hinder'd him, you'll say,
From Ridiculing Women in his Play,
When his own Sex so very open lay.
Troth so he might, but as I said before,
Wits do themselves, as Beaux, themselves adore;
Your Man of Dress, your Dressing Female Apes,
And doats upon their several Aires and Shapes:
Fearful that what upon the Sex is cast,
May on themselves stick scandalously fast.

 
Not that the Good he'd with the Bad abuse,
Or lessen the true value of a Muse;
Since every Soul with Rapture must admire
The tuneful Motions of the skilful Lyre.
But as the Shade adds Beauty to the Light,
And helps to make it strike upon the Sight:
So those whom he has made his Present Theme,
Assist to make us Poetry esteem,
As we from what they are, distinctly see,
And learn, what other Poets ought to be.


DRAMATIS PERSONĘ.

Mr. Awdwell, A Gentleman of Sense}
and Education, in Love with Marsilia,}
Mr. Mills.
Mr. Praiseall, A conceited, cowardly Coxcomb;}
a Pretender likewise to Marsilia's}
Affections,}
Mr. Cibber.
Fastin, Son to Lord Whimsical, Husband}
to Isabella, and in Love with his Father's}
Wife,}
Mr. Powell.
Amorous, Steward to Lord Whimsical, and}
in Love with Isabella,}
Mr. Pinkethman.
Lord Whiffle, An empty Piece of Noise,}
that always shews himself at Rehearsals}
and in publick Places,
Mr. Thomas.
Lord Whimsicall, Husband to Lady Loveall}, Mr. Verbruggen.

WOMEN

Marsilia, A Poetess, that admires her own}
Works, and a great Lover of Flattery,}
Mrs. Verbruggen.
Patience, her Maid,}Mrs. Essex.
Mrs. Wellfed, One that represents a fat Female}
Author, a good sociable well-natur'd}
Companion, that will not suffer}
Martyrdom rather than take off three}
Bumpers in a Hand,}
Mrs. Powell.
Calista, A Lady that pretends to the learned}
Languages, and assumes to her self}
the Name of a Critick,}
Mrs. Temple.
Isabella, Wife to Fastin, and in Love with}
Amorous,}
Mrs. Cross.
Lady Loveall, Wife to Lord Whimsical,}
and in Love with Fastin,}
Mrs. Knight.
Betty Useful, A necessary Convenience of}
a Maid to Lady Loveall,}
Mrs. Kent.

[1]


ACT I.

SCENE a Dressing-Room, Table and Toylet Furnish'd, &c.

Enter Marsilia in a Night-Gown, followed by Patience.

Mar. Why, thou thoughtless inconsiderable Animal! Thou driv'ling dreaming Lump! Is it not past Nine o'Clock? Must not I be at the Rehearsal by Ten, Brainless? And here's a Toylet scarce half furnish'd!

Pat. I am about it, Madam.

Mar. Yes, like a Snail!—--. Mount, my aspiring Spirit! Mount! Hit yon azure Roof, and justle Gods! [Repeats.

[2]

Pat. Madam, your things are ready.

Mar. Abominable! Intollerable! past enduring! [Stamps. Speak to me whilst I'm Repeating! Interrupting Wretch! What, a Thought more worth Than worlds of thee!—--what a Thought have I lost!— Ay, ay, 'tis gone, 'tis gone beyond the Clouds. [Cries. Whither now, Mischievous? Do I use to Dress without Attendance? So, finely prepar'd, Mrs. Negligence! I never wear any Patches!

Pat. Madam.

Mar. I ask you if ever you saw me wear any Patches? Whose Cook maid wert thou prithee? The Barbarous Noise of thy Heels is enough to put the Melody of the Muses out of ones Head.——Almond Milk for my Hands.——Sower! By Heav'n this Monster designs to Poyson me.

Pat. Indeed, Madam; 'tis but just made; I wou'd not offer such an affront to those charming Hands for the World.

Mar. Commended by thee! I shall grow sick of 'em.—— Well, but Patty, are not you vain enough to hope from the fragments of my Discourse you may pick up a Play? Come, be diligent, it might pass amongst a Crowd, And do as well as some of its Predecessors.

Pat. Nothing but flattery brings my Lady into a good humour. [Aside. With your Ladyship's directions I might aim at something.

Mar. My Necklace.

Pat. Here's a Neck! such a Shape! such a Skin!—-- [Tying it on. Oh! if I were a Man, I shoud run Mad!

Mar. Humph! The Girl has more Sense than I imagin'd, She finds out those Perfections all the Beau-mond have admired.— Well, Patty, after my Third day I'll give you this Gown and Pettycoat.

Pat. Your Ladyship will make one of Velvet, I suppose. [3]

Mar. I guess I may; see who knocks. [Goes out, and returns.

Pat. Madam, 'tis Mrs. Wellfed.

Mar. That ill-bred, ill shap'd Creature! Let her come up, she's foolish and open-hearted, I shall pick something out of her that may do her Mischief, or serve me to Laugh at.

Pat. Madam, you invited her to the Rehearsal this Morning.

Mar. What if I did? she might have attended me at the Play-house.——Go, fetch her up.

Enter Mrs. Wellfed and Patty.

Mrs. Wellfed. Good morrow, Madam.

Mar. Your Servant, dear Mrs. Wellfed, I have been longing for you this Half-hour.

Mrs. Wellf. 'Tis near Ten.

Mar. Ay, my Impertinence is such a Trifle—But, Madam, are we not to expect some more of your Works?

Mrs. Wellf. Yes; I am playing the Fool again.—— The story is——

Mar. Nay, for a Story, Madam, you must give me leave to say, there's none like mine; The turns are so surprizing, the Love so passionate, the Lines so strong. 'Gad I'm afraid there's not a Female Actress in England can reach 'em.

Mrs. Wellf. My Language!

Mar. Now you talk of Language, what do you think a Lord said to me t'other day? That he had heard I was a Traveller, and he believ'd my Voyage had been to the Poets Elyzium, for mortal Fires cou'd never inspire such words! Was not this fine?

Mrs. Wellf. Extravagantly fine! But, as I was saying——

Mar. Mark but these two Lines.[4]

Mrs. Wellf. Madam, I have heard 'em already; you know you repeated every word of your Play last Night.

Mar. I hope, Mrs. Wellfed, the Lines will bear the being heard twice and twice, else 'twou'd be bad for the Sparks who are never absent from the Play-house, and must hear 'em Seventeen or Eighteen Nights together.

Mrs. Wellf. How Madam! that's Three or Four more than the Old Batchelour held out.

Mar. Madam, I dare affirm there's not two such Lines in the Play you nam'd: Madam, I'm sorry I am forc'd to tell you, Interruption is the rudest thing in the World.

Mrs. Wellf. I am dumb. Pray proceed.

Mar. Pray observe.——

My Scorching Raptures make a Boy of Jove,
That Ramping God shall learn of me to Love.

My Scorching——

Mrs. Wellf. Won't the Ladies think some of those Expressions indecent?

Mar. Interrupting again, by Heav'n!—--Sure, Madam, I understand the Ladies better than you. To my knowledge they love words that have warmth, and fire, &c. in 'em.—Here, Patty, give me a Glass of Sherry; my Spirits are gone.——No Manchet Sot! Ah! the Glass [Brings a Glass. not clean! She takes this opportunity, because she knows I never fret before Company, I! do I use to Drink a Thimble full at a time?— Take that to wash your Face. [Throws it in her Face.

Pat. These are Poetical Ladies with a Pox to 'em. (Aside.

Mar. My Service to you Madam, I think you drink in a Morning.

Mrs. Wellf. Yes, else I had never come to this bigness, Madam, to the encreasing that inexhausted spring of Poetry:[5] that it may swell, o'erflow, and bless the barren Land.

Mar. Incomparable, I protest!

Pat. Madam Calista to wait upon your Ladyship.

Mar. Do you know her Child?

Mrs. Wellf. No.

Mar. Oh! 'Tis the vainest; proudest, senseless Thing, she pretends to Grammar, writes in Mood and Figure; does every thing methodically.——Poor Creature! She shews me her Works first; I always commend 'em, with a Design she shou'd expose 'em, and the Town be so kind to laugh her out of her Follies.

Mr. Wellf. That's hard in a Friend.

Mar. But 'tis very usual.——Dunce! Why do you let her stay so long? [Exit Pat. Re-enter with Calista. My best Calista! The charming'st Nymph of all Apollo's Train, let me Embrace thee!

Mr. Wellf. So, I suppose my Reception was preceeded like this. [Aside.]

Mar. Pray know this Lady, she is a Sister of ours.

Calista. She's big enough to be the Mother of the Muses. [Aside. Madam, your Servant.

Mrs. Wellf. Madam, yours. [Salute.

Mar. Now here's the Female Triumvirate; methinks 'twou'd be but civil of the Men to lay down their Pens for one Year, and let us divert the Town, but if we shou'd, they'd certainly be asham'd ever to take 'em up again.

Calis. From yours we expect Wonders.

Mar. Has any Celebrated Poet of the Age been lately to look over any of your Scenes, Madam?

Calis. Yes, yes, one that you know, and who makes that his pretence for daily Visits.

Mar. But I had rather see one dear Player than all the Poets in the Kingdom.[6]

Calis. Good Gad! That you shou'd be in Love with an Old Man!

Mar. He is so with me; and you'll grant 'tis a harder Task to Re-kindle dying Coals, than set Tinder on a Blaze.

Mr. Wellf. I guess the Spark. But why then is your Play at this House?

Mar. I thought you had known 't had been an Opera; and such an Opera! But I wont talk on't, 'till you see it. Mrs. Wellfed, is not your Lodgings often fill'd with the Cabals of Poets and Judges?

Mr. Wellf. Faith, Madam, I'll not tell a Lye for the matter; they never do me the Honour.

Mar. I thought so, when I ask'd her. [Aside to Calista.

Mr. Wellf. My Brats are forc'd to appear of my own raising.

Mar. Nay, Mrs. Wellfed, they don't come to others to assist, but admire.

Pat. Madam, Mr. Aw'dwell and Mr. Praiseall are below.

Mar. Dear Ladies, step in with me, whilst I put on my Mantua: Bring 'em up, and then come to me.——What does that Aw'dwell here again to Day? Did not I do him the Honour to go abroad with him yesterday? Sure that's enough for his Trifle of a Scarf. Come Ladies. That Ramping God shall learn of me to Love. [Exeunt.

Enter Mr. Aw'dwell and Mr. Praiseall.

Mr. Aw'dw. So, Mr. Praiseall, you are come, I suppose, to pay your Tribute of Encomiums to the Fair Lady and her Works.

Mr. Prais. The Lady sometimes does me the Honour to Communicate; my poor Abilities are at her Service, tho' I own my self weak.

Aw'dw. Then you are not fit for the Ladies Service, to my Knowledge.[7]

Prais. Why, Sir? I was long an Oxonion, 'till a good Estate and the Practice of the Law, tempted me from my studies.

Aw'dw. Sir, I'll tell you my Opinion of the University Students: They are commonly as dull as they are dirty, and their Conversation is as wretched as their Feeding; yet every Man thinks his Parts unquestionable, if he has been at Oxford.——Now all the Observation I have made of Oxford, is, it's a good Place to improve Beggars, and to spoil Gentlemen, to make young Master vain, and think no Body has Wit but himself.

Prais. While the Lady has more complaisant Sentiments, yours shan't disturb me, Sir, I assure you.

Aw'dw. What is't bewitches me to Marsilia! I know her a Coquet; I know her vain and ungrateful; yet, wise as Almanzor, knowing all this, I still love on! [Aside.

Prais. I wish Marsilia wou'd come! That fellow looks as if he had a Mind to quarrel. I hate the sight of a bent Brow in a Morning; I am always unlucky the whole Day after.

Aw'dw. Oh, one thing more of your Darling Oxford. You know, if you get Learning, it robs Man of his noblest Part, Courage. This your mighty Bard, by Experience owns, the Learned are Cowards by Profession. Do you feel any of your Martial Heat returns?

Prais. Ay, he will quarrel, I find.—— [Aside. Sir, I was never taught to practice Feats of Arms in a Lady's Anti-Chamber.

Aw'dw. The Fool's afraid: Yet shall I have the Pleasure to see Marsilia prefer this Fop to me before my Face. [Exit.[8]

Enter Marsilia, Calista, and Mrs. Wellfed.

Mars. I must beg your Learned Ladyship's Pardon. Aristotle never said such a Word, upon my Credit.——Patty, What an Air these Pinners have? Pull 'em more behind.——Oh my Stars, she has pull'd my Head-cloaths off!

Calist. I cannot but re-mind you, Madam, you are mistaken; for I read Aristotle in his own Language: The Translation may alter the Expression.

Aw'dw. Oh that I cou'd but Conjure up the Old Philosopher, to hear these Women pull him in pieces!

Mar. Nay, Madam, if you are resolv'd to have the last Word, I ha' done; for I am no lover of Words, upon my Credit.

Prais. I am glad to hear her say sh'as done, for I dare not interrupt her.—Madam, your Ladyship's most humble.——

Mars. Mr. Praiseall, Yours.

Prais. Charming Calista, I kiss those enchanting Fingers.

Mars. Humph! That might ha' been said to me more properly. [Aside.

Prais. Mrs. Wellfed, tho' last, not least.

Mrs. Wellf. That's right, Mr. Praiseall.

Prais. In Love, I meant, Mrs. Wellfed.

Mr. Wellf. Prethee, add Good Tribonus, don't steal by halves, Mr. Praiseall.

Prais. Lord, you are so quick!

Mar. Well, you are come to go with us to the Rehearsal.

Prais. 'Tis a pleasing Duty, Madam, to wait on your Ladyship: But then to hear the wondrous Product of your Brain, is such a Happiness, I only want some of Marsilia's Eloquence to express it.[9]

Aw'dw. How this Flattery transports her! Swells her Pride almost to bursting. [Aside.

Mars. I do avow, Mr. Praiseall, you are the most complaisant Man of the Age.

Aw'dw. Are you yet at Leisure, Madam, to tell me how you do?

Mars. You see my Engagements, and have chosen a very busie Time to ask such an insignificant Question.

Aw'dw. What, it wants a Courtly Phrase?

Mars. Must I meet with nothing but interruption? Mr. Praiseall!

Prais. Madam?

Mars. I think I have not seen you these two Days.

Prais. So long I've liv'd in Greenland, seen no Sun, not felt no warmth.

Mars. Heav'ns! Mr. Praiseall, why don't you write? Words like those ought to be preserv'd in Characters indelible, not lost in Air.

Aw'dw. 'Tis pity your Ladyship does not carry a Commonplace Book.

Mars. For your self 'twou'd be more useful.—— But, as I was going to tell you, Mr. Praiseall, since I saw you, I have laid a Design to alter Cateline's Conspiracy.

Prais. An Undertaking fit for so great a Hand.

Mars. Nay, I intend to make use only of the first Speech.

Aw'dw. That will be an Alteration indeed!

Mars. Your Opinion was not ask'd. Nor wou'd I meddle with that, but to let the World, that is so partial to those old Fellows, see the difference of a modern Genius.——You know that Speech, Mr. Praiseall, and the Ladies too, I presume.

Calista. I know it so well, as to have turn'd it into Latin.

Prais. That was extraordinary. But let me tell you, Madam Calista, 'tis a harder Task to mend it in English.[10]

Mars. True, true, Mr. Praiseall; That all the Universe must own.——Patty. Give me another Glass of Sherry, that I may speak loud and clear.——Mr. Praiseall, my Service to you.

Prais. I kiss your unequall'd Hand.

Mrs. Wellfed. This drinking is the best part of the Entertainment in my Opinion. [Aside.

Mars. Now, Mr. Praiseall.

Prais. I am all Ear.

Mars. I wou'd you were——I was just beginning to speak.

Prais. Mum, I ha' done a Fault.

Aw'dw. Sure this Scene will chace her from my Soul. [Aside.

Mars. Thy Head! Thy Head! Proud City!— I'll say no more of his; I don't love to repeat other Peoples Works;—now my own.— Thy solid Stones, and thy cemented Walls, this Arm shall scatter into Atoms; then on thy Ruins will I mount! Mount my aspiring Spirit mount! Hit yon Azure Roof, and justle Gods;— [Ex. Patty. My Fan, my Fan, Patty.— [All clap.

Prais. Ah! Poor Ben! Poor Ben! You know, Madam, there was a famous Poet pick'd many a Hole in his Coat in several Prefaces.—He found fault, but never mended the Matter—Your Ladyship has lay'd his Honour in the Dust.—Poor Ben! 'Tis well thou art dead; this News had broke thy Heart.

Mars. Then in the Conspiracy, I make Fulvia a Woman of the nicest Honour; and such Scenes!

Mrs. Wellf. Madam, you forget the Rehearsal.

Mars. Oh Gods! That I could live in a Cave! Ecchoes wou'd repeat, but not interrupt me; Madam, if you are beholden to those Creatures, I am not; let 'em wait, let 'em wait, or live without me if they can.[11]

Enter Patty.

Pat. Madam, your Chair Men are come.

Mars. Let them wait, they are paid for't.

Pat. Not yet to my Knowledge, what ever they be after the third Day; there's a long Bill I'm sure.— [Aside.

Mars. How do you think to go Mrs. Wellfed? Shall Pat. call you another Chair?

Mrs. Wellf. I have no Inclination to break poor Mens Backs; I thank you, Madam, I'll go a Foot.

Calist. A Foot!

Mrs. Wellf. Ay, a Foot, 'tis not far, 'twill make me leaner. Your Servant Ladies. [Exit.

Mars. Your Servant.

Prais. A bouncing Dame! But she has done some things well enough.

Mars. Fye, Mr. Praiseall! That you shou'd wrong your Judgment thus! Don't do it, because you think her my Friend: I profess, I can't forbear saying, her Heroicks want Beautiful Uniformity as much as her Person; and her Comedies are as void of Jests as her Conversation.

Prais. I submit to your Ladyship.

Aw'dw. Madam, shall I crave leave to speak a few Words with you before you go?

Mars. I must gratify you, tho' 'tis to my Prejudice.—My Dear Calista, be pleas'd to take my Chair to the Play-House, and I'll follow you presently.

Calist. I will; but make haste.

Mars. Fear not, yours waits below, I suppose, Sir.

Prais. Yes Madam.

Mars. Pray take Care of the Lady 'till I come.

Prais. Most willingly. [Exit.[12]

Mars. What a ridiculous conceited thing it is!— A witty Woman conceited, looks like a handsome Woman set out with Frippery:

Aw'dw. Railing shou'd be my part: But, Marsilia, I'll give it a genteeler Name, and call it complaining.

Mars. Pshaw! You are always a complaining I think. Don't put me out of Humour, now I am just going to the Rehearsal.

Aw'dw. Why are you so ungrateful? Is it from your Lands water'd by Helicon, or my honest dirty Acres, your maintenance proceeds? Yet I must stand like a Foot-boy, unregarded, whilst a noisy Fool takes up your Eyes, your Ears, your every Sense.

Mars. Now, Mr. Aw'dwell, I'll tell you a strange thing: The difference between you and I, shall create a Peace.—As thus: You have a mind to quarrel, I have not; so that there must be a Peace, or only War on your side. Then again, you have a mind to stay here, I have a mind to go, which will be a Truce at least.— [Is going.

Aw'dw. Hold, Madam, do not teaze me thus; tho' you know my Follies and your Power, yet the ill-us'd Slave may break his Chain.

Mars. What wou'd the Man have? If you'll be good humour'd, and go to the Play-house, do; if not, stay here. Ask my Maid Questions, increase your Jealousie, be dogged and be damn'd.

Aw'dw. Obliging? If I shou'd go, I know my Fate; 'twou'd be like standing on the Rack.

Mars. While my Play's Rehearsing! That's an Affront I shall never forgive whilst I breath.

Aw'dw. Tho' I thought not of your Play?

Mars. That's worse.

Aw'dw. Your Carriage, your cruel Carriage, was the[13] thing I meant. If there shou'd be a Man of Quality, as you call 'em, I must not dare to own I know you.

Mars. And well remembred. My Lord Duke promis'd he'd be there.—Oh Heav'ns! I wou'd not stay another moment, No, not to finish a Speech in Catiline. What a Monster was I to forget it! Oh Jehu! My Lord Duke, and Sir Thomas! Pat. another Chair, Sir Thomas and my Lord Duke both stay.— [Exit running.

Aw'dw. Follow, follow. Fool, be gorg'd and glutted with Abuses, then throw up them and Love together.— [Exit.

SCENE

the Play-House.

Enter Mr. Johnson, Mr. Pinkethman, Mrs. Lucas, and Miss Cross.

Mrs. Cross. Good morrow Mrs. Lucas; why what's the Whim, that we must be all dress'd at Rehearsal, as if we play'd?

Mrs. Lucas, 'Tis by the Desire of Madam Maggot the Poetess, I suppose.

Mrs. Cross. She is a little whimsical, I think, indeed; for this is the most incomprehensible Part I ever had in my Life; and when I complain, all the Answer I get is, 'tis New, and 'tis odd; and nothing but new things and odd things will do—Where's Mr. Powell, that we may try a little before she comes.

Mr. Johnson. At the Tavern, Madam.

Mrs. Cross. At the Tavern in a Morning?

Mr. Johns. Why, how long have you been a Member of this Congregation, pretty Miss, and not know honest George regards neither Times nor Seasons in Drinking?[14]

Enter Mrs. Wellfed.

Mrs. Cross. O! Here comes Mrs. Wellfed. Your Servant Madam.

Mrs. Wellf. Your Servant Gentlemen and Ladies.

Mrs. Lucas. Sit down, Mrs. Wellfed, you are out of Breath.

Mrs. Wellf. Walking a Pace, and this ugly Cough—[Coughs. Well the Lady's a coming, and a couple of Beaus, but I perceive you need not care who comes, you are all dress'd.

Mrs. Cross. So it seems. I think they talk she expects a Duke.

Mrs. Wellf. Here's two of the Company.

Enter Mr. Praiseall and Calista.

Prais. Dear Mrs. Cross, your Beauties Slave.

Mrs. Cross. Upon Condition, 'tis then, if I have no Beauty, you are no Slave; and the matter is just as 'twas.

Prais. Sharp, Sharp.—Charming Isabella, let me kiss the Strap of your Shoe, or the Tongue of your Buckle.

Mrs. Cross. Now have I such a mind to kick him i'th' Chops.— [Aside. Oh fye, Sir, What d'ye mean?

Calista. So, now he's got among the Players, I may hang my self for a Spark.

Mr. Pink. Prithee Johnson, who is that?

Mr. Johns. He belongs to one of the Inns of Chancery.

Mr. Pink. A Lawyer?

Mr. Johns. I can't say that of the Man neither, tho' he sweats hard in Term-time, and always is as much at Westminster, as he that has most to do.[15]

Mr. Pink. Does he practice?

Mr. Johns. Walking there, much.

Mr. Pink. But I mean, the Laws?

Mr. Johns. How to avoid its Penalty only. The Men are quite tir'd with him, for you shall generally see him oagling after the Women. He makes a shift to saunter away his Hours till the Play begins; after you shall be sure to behold his ill-favour'd Phyz, peeping out behind the Scenes, at both Houses.

Mr. Pink. What, at one time?

Mr. Johns. No, Faith, 'tis his moving from one House to 'tother takes up his time, which is the Commodity sticks of his Hands, for he has neither Sense nor Patience to hear a Play out.

Mr. Pink. I have enough of him, I thank you Sir.

Calista. How d'ye Madam? [To Mrs. Wellfed.

Mrs. Wellf. At your Service, Madam.

Calista. Marsilia committed me to the Care of Mr. Praiseall; but more powerful Charms have robb'd me of my Gallant.

Mrs. Wellf. I thank Heav'n, I'm big enough to take care of myself. Indeed to neglect a young pretty Lady, expose her unmask'd amongst a Company of wild Players, is very dangerous.

Calist. Unmask'd! Humph! I'll be ev'n with you for that. [Aside. Madam, I have read all your excellent Works, and I dare say, by the regular Correction, you are a Latinist, tho' Marsilia laught at it.

Mrs. Wellf. Marsilia shews her Folly, in laughing at what she don't understand. Faith, Madam, I must own my ignorance, I can go no further than the eight Parts of Speech.

Calist. Then I cannot but take the Freedom to say, you, or whoever writes, imposes upon the Town.[16]

Mrs. Wellf. 'Tis no imposition, Madam, when ev'ry Body's inclination's free to like, or dislike a thing.

Calist. Your Pardon, Madam.

Prais. How's this? Whilst I am making Love, I shall have my two Heroines wage War. Ladies, what's your Dispute?

Mrs. Wellf. Not worth appealing to a Judge, in my Opinion.

Calista. I'll maintain it with my Life. Learning is absolutely necessary to all who pretend to Poetry.

Mrs. Wellf. We'll adjourn the Argument, Marsilia shall hear the Cause.

Prais. Ay, if you can perswade her to hold her Tongue so long.

Mrs. Wellf. I wish I cou'd engage you two in a Latin Dispute, Mr. Praiseall, and you shou'd tell how often the Lady breaks PrisPris—What's his Name? His Head, you know.

Prais. Priscian, you mean; Hush! Hush!

Mrs. Wellf. He cares not for entring the Lists neither. Come, Mr. Praiseall, I'll put you upon a more pleasing Task. Try to prevail with that Fair Lady, to give us her New Dialogue.

Prais. What, my Angel?

Mrs. Wellf. Mrs. Cross, I mean.

Prais. There is no other She, Madam.

Mrs. Cross. Sir!

Prais. Will you be so good, to charm our Ears, and feast our Eyes; let us see and hear you in Perfection.

Mrs. Cross. This Complement is a Note above Ela. If Marsilia shou'd catch me anticipating her Song, she'd chide sadly.

Mrs. Wellf. Oh, we'll watch. I'll call Mr. Leveridge.[17]

Song by Mrs. Cross.——A Dialogue.

Prais. Thank you Ten thousand times, my Dear.

Calista. I'm almost weary of this illiterate Company.

Mrs. Wellf. Now, Mr. Praiseall, get but Mrs. Lucas's New Dance, by that time sure the Lady will come.

Prais. I'll warrant ye my little Lucas.

SINGS.

With a Trip and a Gim,
And a Whey and a Jerk at Parting.

Where art thou, my little Girl?

Little Boy. She is but drinking a Dish of Coffee, and will come presently.

Prais. Pshaw! Coffee! What does she drink Coffee for? She's lean enough without drinking Coffee.

Mr. Pink. Ay, but 'tis good to dry up Humours.

Prais. That's well, I Faith! Players dry up their Humours! Why what are they good for then? Let her exert her Humours in Dancing, that will do her most good, and become her best.——Oh, here she comes!—--You little Rogue, what do you drink Coffee for?

Mrs. Lucas. For the same Reason you drink Claret; because I love it.

Prais. Ha, Pert! Come, your last Dance, I will not be deny'd.[18]

Lucas. I don't intend you shall; I love to Dance, as well as you do to see me.

Prais. Say'st thou so? Come on then; and when thou hast done, I'll treat you all in the Green Room with Chocolate; Chocolate, Huzzy; that's better by half than Coffee. All agreed.

A Dance by Mrs. Lucas.

Prais. Titely done, I Faith, little Girl.

Enter Mrs. Knight.

Mrs. Cross. Good morrow Mrs. Knight. Pray, dear Mrs. Knight, tell me your Opinion of this Play; you read much, and are a Judge.

Mrs. Knight. Oh your Servant, Madam! Why truly, my Understanding is so very small, I can't find the Ladies meaning out.

Mrs. Cross. Why, the Masters admire it.

Mrs. Knight. So much the worse. What they censure, most times prospers; and commonly, what they admire, miscarries: Pshaw! They know nothing. They have Power, and are positive; but have no more a right Notion of things, Mrs. Cross, than you can have of the Pleasures of Wedlock, that are unmarry'd.

Mrs. Cross. I submit to better Judgment in that, Madam. I am sure the Authoress is very proud and impertinent, as indeed most Authors are.——She's a Favourite, and has put 'em to a world of Expence in Cloaths. A Play well-dress'd, you know, is half in half, as a great Writer says; The Morocco Dresses, when new formerly for Sebastian, they[19] say enliven'd the Play as much as the Pudding and Dumpling Song did Merlin.

Mrs. Knight. This Play must be dress'd if there's any Credit remains, tho' they are so cursedly in debt already.

Mrs. Cross. It wants it, Madam, it wants it.

Mr. Wellf. Well, Ladies, after this Play's over, I hope you'll think of mine; I have two excellent Parts for ye.

But, We are at your Service.

Mrs. Wellf. Mr. Pinkethman! Mr. Pinkethman! What, d'ye run away from a Body?

Mr. Pink. Who!? I beg your Pardon, Madam.

Mrs. Wellf. Well, Mr. Pinkethman, you shall see what I have done for you in my next.

Mr. Pink. Thank ye, Madam; I'll do my best for you too.

Mrs. Wellf. Mr. Johnson!

Mr. Pink. So, now she's going her Rounds.

Mrs. Wellf. Mr. Johnson!—Duce on him, he's gone! Well, I shall see him by and by.

Enter Mr. Praiseall.

Prais. Ladies, the Chocolate is ready, and longs to be conducted by your white Hands to your Rosie Lips!

Mrs. Wellf. Rarely express'd! Come, Ladies.

[Exeunt.

Manent Mrs. Knight and Mrs. Wellfed.

Mrs Knight. I believe our People wou'd dance after any Tom-Dingle for a pen'orth of Sugar-plums.

Mrs. Wellf. Come Mrs. Knight, let you and I have a Bottle of Sherry.[20]

Mrs. Knight. No, I thank you, I never drink Wine in a Morning.

Mrs. Wellf. Then you'll never write Plays, I promise you.

Mrs. Knight. I don't desire it.

Mrs. Wellf. If you please, Madam, to pass the time away, I'll repeat one of my best Scenes.

Mrs. Knight. Oh Heav'ns! No Rest!—-- [Aside. Madam, I doubt the Company will take it amiss. I am your very humble Servant. [Exit hastily.

Mrs. Wellf. What! Fled so hastily! I find Poets had need be a little conceited, for they meet with many a Bauk. However, scribling brings this Satisfaction, that like our Children, we are generally pleas'd with it our selves.

So the fond Mother's rapt with her pratling Boys,
Whilst the free Stranger flies th' ungrateful Noise.

[Exit.

The End of the First ACT.[21]


ACT II.

Enter Calista and Mrs. Wellfed.

Calista. I Think Marsillia is very tedious.

Mrs. Wellf. I think so too. 'Tis well 'tis Marsillia, else the Players wou'd never have Patience.

Calis. Why, do they love her?

Mrs. Wellf. No, but they fear her, that's all one.——Oh! yonder's Mr. Powell, I want to speak with him.

Calis. So do I.

Enter Mr. Powell.

Mrs. Wellf. Your Servant Mr. Powell.

Calis. Sir, I am your humble Servant.

Mr. Powell. Ounds! What am I fell into the Hands of two Female Poets? There's nothing under the Sun, but two Bailiffs, I'd have gone so far to have avoided.

Calis. I believe, Mr. Powell, I shall trouble you quickly.

Mr. Pow. When you please Madam.

Calis. Pray, Mr. Powell, don't speak so carelesly: I hope you will find the Characters to your Satisfaction; I make you equally in Love with two very fine Ladies.

Mr. Pow. Oh, never stint me Madam, let it be two Douzen, I beseech you.

Calis. The Thought's new I am sure.

Mr. Pow. The Practice is old, I am sure.

Mrs. Wellf. Now, Mr. Powell, hear mine: I make two very fine Ladies in Love with you, is not that better? Ha![22]

Calis. Why, so are my Ladies.

Mrs. Wellf. But, my Ladies.——

Calis. Nay, if you go to that, Madam, I defie any Ladies, in the Pale, or out of the Pale, to love beyond my Ladies.

Mrs. Wellf. I'll stand up for the Violence of my Passion, whilst I have a bit of Flesh left on my Back, Mr. Powell!

Calis. Lord! Madam, you won't give one leave to speak.

Mr. Pow. O Gad! I am Deaf, I am Deaf, or else wou'd I were.

Mrs. Wellf. Well, Mr. Powell, when shall mine be done?

Calis. Sure I have Mr. Powell's Promise.

Mrs. Wellf. That I am glad on, then I believe mine will come first.

Calis. D'ye hear that, Mr. Powell! Come pray Name a Time.

Mrs. Wellf. Then I'll have time set too.

Mr. Pow. O Heav'ns! Let me go! Yours shall be done to day, and yours to morrow; farewell for a Couple of Teazers! Oh the Devil! [Flinging from 'em.

Marsillia Entring, meets him.

Mars. What in a Heat, and a Passion, and all that, Mr. Powell? Lord! I'll tell you, Mr. Powell, I have been in a Heat, and Fret, and all that, Mr. Powell! I met two or three idle People of Quality, who thinking I had no more to do than themselves, stop'd my Chair, and teaz'd me with a Thousand foolish Questions.

Mr. Pow. Ay, Madam, I ha' been plagu'd with Questions too.

Mars. There's nothing gives me greater Fatigue than any one that talks much; Oh! 'Tis the superlative Plague of the Universe. Ump! This foolish Patch won't stick: Oh Lord! Don't go Mr. Powell, I have a World of things to say to you. [Patching at her Glass.

Mr. Pow. The more's my Sorrow.[23]

Enter Mr. Praiseall and Mrs. Knight.

Mar. How do you like my Play, Mr. Powell?

Mr. Pow. Extraordinary, Madam, 'tis like your Ladyship, at Miracle.

Calis. How civilly he treats her.

Mrs. Wellf. He treats her with what ought to be dispis'd, Flattery.

Mars. What was that you said? Some fine thing I dare swear? Well, I beg your Pardon a Thousand times: My Head was got to Cataline: Oh, Mr. Powell, you shall be Catiline, not Ben Johnson's Fool, but my Cataline, Mr. Powell.

Mr. Pow. I'd be a Dog to serve your Ladyship, as a Learned Author has it.

Mar. Oh my Jehu! What, no Body come?

Mrs. Knight. No Body, Madam! Why here's all the Players.

Mar. Granted, Mrs. Knight and I have great Value for all the Players, and your self in particular; but give me leave to say, Mrs. Knight, when I appear, I expect all that have any Concerns in the Play-house, shou'd give their Attendance, Knights, Squires, or however dignified, or distinguished.

Mrs. Knight. I beg your Pardon, Madam, if we poor Folks, without Titles, cou'd have serv'd you, we are ready.

Mar. Mr. Powell! Mr. Powell! Pray stay by my Elbow. Lord! I don't use to ask a Man twice to stand by me.

Mr. Pow. Madam, I am here.

Mr. Prais. Ha! A rising Favourite, that may Eclipse my Glory; Madam, I have been taking true Pains to keep your Princes and Princesses together here.[24]

Mar. Pray don't interrupt me, Mr. Praiseall, at this time. Mr. Powell, I suppose you observe, throughout my Play, I make the Heroes, and Heroines in Love with those they shou'd not be.

Mr. Pow. Yes, Madam.

Mar. For look ye, if every Woman had lov'd her own Husband, there had been no Business for a Play.

Mr. Pow. But, Madam, won't the Critticks say, the Guilt of their Passion takes off the Pity?

Mar. Oh, Mr. Powell, trouble not your self about the Criticks, I am provided for them, my Prologue cools their Courage I warrant 'em; han't you heard the Humour?

Mr. Pow. No, Madam.

Mar. I have two of your stoutest Men enter with long Truncheons.

Mr. Pow. Truncheons! Why Truncheons?

Mar. Because a Truncheon's like a Quarter-staff, has a mischievous Look with it, and a Critick is cursedly afraid of any thing that looks terrible.

Mr. Prais. Why, Madam, there are abundance of Critticks, and witty Men that are Soldiers.

Mar. Not one upon my Word, they are more Gentlemen, than to pretend to either, a Witty Man and a Soldier; you may as well say a modest Man, and a Courtier; Wit is always in the Civil Power, take my Word for it; Courage, and Honesty work hard for their Bread; Wit and Flattery feeds on Fools, and if they are counted Wise, who keep out of Harm's way, there's scarce a Fool now in the Kingdom.

Mr. Prais. Why, Madam, I have always took care to keep my self out of Harms Way, not that it is my Pretence to Wit, for I dare look Thunder in the Face, and if you think no Wit has Courage, what made you send for me?

Mr. Pow. Here's good Sport towards.[25]

Mar. Because I have Occasion for nothing but Wit: I sent for you to vouch for mine, and not fight for your own. Mr. Powell, let us mind our Cause.

Mr. Prais. Damme, I dare fight!

Mar. Not with me, I hope: This is all Interruption by Heav'n!

Mr. Prais. 'Tis well there's not a Man asserts your Cause. [Walks about.

Mar. How Sir! Not a Man assert my Cause?

Prais. No, if there were, this Instant you should behold him weltring at your Feet.

Mr. Pow. Sir!

Mr. Prais. Hold! Honest George; I'll not do the Town such an Injury, to whip thee thro' the Guts.

Mar. Barbarous, not to endure the Jest the whole Audience must hear with patience.

Enter Mr. Aw'dwell.

Mr. Aw'dw. What's here Quarrelling? Come on; I thank Heav'n, I never was more inclin'd to Bloodshed in my Life.

Mr. Prais. This is my Evil Genius: I said I should have no Luck to Day——Mr. Aw'dwell, your very humble Servant, did you hear a Noise, as you came in? 'Twas I made the Noise, Mr. Aw'dwell, I'll tell you how 'twas.

Aw'dw. Do, for I am resolv'd to justifie the Lady.

Mr. Prais. Then you must know, I was trying to act one of Marsillia's Heroes, a horrible blustring Fellow! That made me so loud, Sir; now, says Mr. Powell, you do it awkerdly; whip says I, in answer like a Chollerick Fool, and out comes Poker, whether George was out so soon I can't say.[26]

Mr. Pow. How Sir! my Sword in the Scabbard, and your's drawn!

Mr. Prais. Nay, nay, may be it was George, but now we are as good Friends as ever, witness this hearty Hug! (to Mars.) Madam, I invented this Story to prevent your Rehearsals being interrupted.

Mar. I thank you Sir, your Cowardize has kept Quietness.

Mr. Prais. Your Servant Madam, I shall find a time.

Mr. Aw'dw. So shall I!

Mr. Prais. 'Tis hard tho' one can't speak a Word to a Lady without being over-heard.

Mar. Come Mr. Aw'dwell, sit down, I am oblig'd to you for what you have done, but this Fellow may make a Party for me at the Coffee-house; therefore prithee let him alone, tho' I believe my Play won't want it.—Now clear the Stage; Prompter give me the Book! Oh, Mr. Powell, you must stay, I shall want your Advice; I'll tell ye time enough for your Entrance.

Mr. Pow. Madam, give me leave to take a Glass of Sack, I am qualmish.

Mars. Oh! Fie, Mr. Powell, we'll have Sack here; d'ye see Ladies, you have teaz'd Mr. Powell sick: Well, Impertinence, in a Woman is the Devil!

Mrs. Wellf. Shall we stay to be affronted?

Calista. Prithee let's stay, and laugh at her Opera, as she calls it, for I hear 'tis a very foolish one.

Mar. Come Prologue-Speakers! Prologue Speakers! Where are you? I shall want Sack my self, by and by, I believe.[27]

Enter Two Men with Whiskers, large Truncheons, Drest strangely.

Mar. Lord, Mr. Powell, these Men are not half tall enough, nor half big enough! What shall I do for a larger sort of Men?

Mr. Pow. Faith, Madam, I can't tell, they say the Race diminishes every Day.

Mar. Ay, so they do with a witness, Mr. Powell. Oh, these puny Fellows will spoil the Design of my Prologue! Hark ye! Mr. Powell, you know the huge tall Monster, that comes in one Play, which was taken Originally from Bartholomew-fair Against this, is spoke Publickly; cou'd not we contrive to dress up two such things, twou'd set the Upper-Gallery a Clapping like mad? And let me tell you, Mr. Powell, that's a Clapping not to be despis'd.

Mr. Pow. We'll see what may be done; But, Madam, you had as good hear these speak it now.

Mar. Well, Sheep-biters, begin!

1st.——Well, Brother Monster, what do you do here!

Mars. Ah! And t'other looks no more like a Monster than I do; speak it fuller in the Mouth Dunce. Well, Brother Monster, what do you do here?

1st.——Well, Brother Monster, what do you do here?

2d.——I come to put the Criticks in a mortal Fear.

Mars. O Heav'ns! You shou'd have every thing that is terrible in that Line! You shou'd speak it like a Ghost, like a Giant, like a Mandrake, and you speak it like a Mouse.

Mr. Pow. Madam, if you won't let 'em proceed, we shan't do the first Act this Morning.[28]

Mar. I have no Patience! I wish you wou'd be a Monster, Mr. Powell, for once, but then I cou'd not match you neither.

Mr. Pow. I thank you Madam, come, these will mend with Practice.

Mar.——Come begin then, and go thro' with it roundly.

1st.——Well, Brother Monster, what do you do here?

2d.——I come to put the Critticks in a mortal Fear.

1st.——I'm also sent upon the same Design.

2d.——Then let's our heavy Trunchions shake and joyn.

Mar. Ah! The Devil take thee, for a squeaking Treble! D'ye mention shaking your Trunchions, and not so much as stir 'em, Block! By my hopes of Cataline, you shall never speak it, give me the Papers quickly.

[Throws their Trunchions down.

1st.——Here's mine.

2d.——And mine, and I'm glad on't.

Mar. Out of my Sight, begone I say! [Pushes 'em off. Lord! Lord! I shan't recover my Humour again, this half Hour!

Mr. Pow. Why do you vex your self, so much, Madam?

Mr. Aw'dw. Poetry ought to be for the use of the Mind, and for the Diversion of the Writer, as well as the Spectator; but to you, sure Madam, it proves only a Fatigue and Toyl.

Mar. Pray, Mr. Aw'dwell, don't come here to make your Remarks; what, I shan't have the Priviledge to be in a Passion for you! Shall I; how dare you contradict me?

Mr. Prais. But you shall be in a Passion, if you have a mind to it, by the Clubb of Hercules. Ah! Madam, if we had but Hercules, Hercules and his Clubb wou'd ha' done rarely: Dear Madam! Let 'em have Clubbs next time, do Madam, let 'em ha' Clubbs; let it be my Thought.[29]

Mar. What, for you to brag on't all the Town over! No, they shan't have Clubbs, tho' I like Clubbs better my self too.

Mr. Prais. I ha' done, I ha' done.

Mar. O Heav'ns! Now I have lost Mr. Powell, with your Nonsensical Clubbs, wou'd there was a lusty one about your empty Pate.

Mr. Prais. I ha' done, I ha' done, Madam.

Mar. Mr. Powell! Mr. Powell!

Scene-Keeper—He's gone out of the House, Madam.

Mar. Oh the Devil! Sure I shall go distracted! Where's this Book? Come we'll begin the Play: Call my Lady Loveall, and Betty Useful her Maid: Pray keep a clear Stage. Now look you, Mr. Praiseall, 'thas been the receiv'd Opinion, and Practice in all your late Operas to take care of the Songish part, as I may call it, after a great Man; and for the Play, it might be the History of Tom Thumb; no matter how, I have done just contrary, took care of the Language and Plot; and for the Musick, they that don't like it, may go whistle.

Mr. Aw'dw. Why wou'd you chuse to call it an Opera then?

Mar. Lord! Mr. Aw'dwell, I han't time to answer every impertinent Question.

Mr. Prais. No Sir! We han't time, it was the Ladys Will, and that's Allmighty Reason.

Mr. Aw'dw. I shall have an Opportunity to Kick that Fellow.

Mar. I wonder my Lord Duke's not come, nor Sir Thomas. Bless me! What a Disorder my dress is in? Oh! These People will give me the Spleen intollerablly! Do they design ever to enter or no? My Spirits are quite gone! They may do e'en what they will.[30]

Mrs. Wellf. They are entring, Madam.

Mars. Mrs. Wellfed, you know where to get good Wine; pray speak for some, then perhaps we shall keep Mr. Powell.

Mrs. Wellf. I'll take care of it, I warrant you.

Mars. I knew 'twas a pleasing Errand.

Enter Lady Loveall, and Betty Useful.

Mar. Come Child, speak handsomly, this Part will do you a Kindness.

Betty. Why do those Eyes, Loves Tapers, that on whomsoe'er they are fixt, kindle straight Desire, now seem to Nod, and Wink, and hardly Glimmer in their Sockets?

Mar. Mr. Praiseall, is not that Simile well carried on?

Mr. Prais. To an Extreamity of Thought, Madam, But I think 'tis stole. [Aside.

La. Lov. Art thou the Key to all my Secrets, privy to every rambling Wish, and canst not guess my Sorrows!

Betty. No! For what Lover have ye mist, honest Betty Useful has been the Contriver, Guide and close Concealer of your Pleasures: Amorous the Steward, you know, is yours; the Butler too bows beneath your Conquering Charms, and you have vow'd your Wishes in your own Family shou'd be confin'd, who then of Worth remains?

La. Lov.—Oh Betty! Betty!

Mar. Good Mrs. Knight speak that as passionately as you can, because you are going to Swoon, you know; and I hate Women shou'd go into a Swoon, as some of our Authors make 'em, without so much as altering their Face, or Voice.[31]

La. Lov.——Madam, I never knew Betty sound well in Heroick.

Mar. Why, no Mrs Knight, therefore in that lies the Art, for you to make it sound well; I think I may say, without a Blush, I am the first that made Heroick natural.

La. Lov. I'll do my best. Oh! Betty! Betty! Fear and Love, like meeting Tides, o'erwhelm me, the rowling Waves beat sinking Nature down, and Ebbbing Life retires! [Swoons.

Mar. What d'ye think of that, Mr. Praiseall? There's a Clap for a Guinea: 'Gad if there is not, I shall scarce forbear telling the Audience they are uncivil.

Prais. Nor, Gad, I shall scarce forbear Fighting 'em one by one. But hush! Now let's hear what Betty says.

Betty. Oh! My poor Lady! Look up, fair Saint! Oh close not those bright Eyes! If 'tis in Betty's Power, they shall still be feasted with the Object of their Wishes.

Prais. Well said, honest Betty.

Mar. Nay, She is so throughout the whole Play, to the very last, I assure you.

La. Lov. Yes, he shall be mine! Let Law, and Rules, confine the creeping Stoick, the cold lifeless Hermit, or the Dissembling Brethren of Broad Hats, and narrow Bands; I am a Libertine, and being so, I love my Husband's Son, and will enjoy him.

Mar. There's a Rant for you! Oh Lord! Mr. Praiseall, look how Mrs. Betty's surpriz'd: Well, she doth a silent Surprize the best i'th' World; I must kiss her, I cannot help it, 'tis incomparable! Now speak Mrs Betty, now speak.

Betty. My Master's Son just Married to a Celebrated Beauty, with which he comes slowly on, and beneath this Courteous Roof rests this Night his wearied Head.[32]

La. Lov.——Let me have Musick then, to melt him down; he comes and meets this Face to charm him. 'Tis done! 'Tis done! By Heav'n, I cannot bear the reflected Glories of those Eyes, all other Beauties fly before me.

Betty. But Isabella is——

Mar. Now Betty's doubting——Dear Mrs Knight, in this Speech, stamp as Queen Statira does, that always gets a Clap; and when you have ended, run off, thus, as fast as you can drive. O Gad! Duce take your confounded Stumbling Stage. [Stumbles.

Mr. Prais. Oh! Madam!

Mar. Hush! Hush! 'Tis nothing! Come Madam.

La. Lov. No more, he is mine, I have him fast: Oh! The Extasie!

Mar. Now Stamp, and Hug your self, Mrs. Knight: Oh! The strong Extasie!

La. Lov. Mine! Forever mine! [Exit.

Betty. But you must ask me leave first; yes, I will assist her, for she is nobly generous, and pays for Pleasure, as dear as a Chambermaids Avarice requires! Then, my old Master, why, I fear not him, he is an old Book-worm, never out of his Study; and whilst he finds out a way to the Moon, my Lady and I'll tread another beaten Road much pleasanter: My next Task must be to tempt Fasting, with my Lady's Beauty, this Isabella.——

Enter Amourous the Steward.

Am. Did I not hear the Name of Isabella? Isabella, Charming as Venus rising from the Sea, or Diana descen[33]ing on Latmus Top too like Diana much I fear; Oh Isabella! Where art thou! I loose my way in Tears, and cannot find my Feet. [Exit.

Mar. D'ye mark! This was Mr. Amorous the Steward, and he was transported, he never saw Betty. Look Betty's surpris'd again.

Mr. Prais. 'Tis amazingly fine!

Betty. What's this I have heard? It makes for us; Mischief and Scandal are a Feast for them who have past the Line of Shame: Amorous has a Wife, and Isabella Faustins, work on together, work, work, on together work.

Mar. Now make haste off, Mrs. Betty, as if you were so full of Thought, you did not know what you did. Gentlemen and Ladies, how d'ye like the first Scene?

[Exit Betty.

Mr. Prais. If your Ladyship swore, you might justly use Ben Johnson's Expressions; By Gad 'tis Good!

Mar. What say you, Calista?

Calis. 'Tis beyond imitation. I never heard such stuff in my Life. [Aside.

Mar. Did you observe Betty said her Master was finding out a new way to the Moon?

Mr. Prais. Yes marry did I, and I was thinking to ask if I might not go with him, for I have a great mind to see the Moon World.

Mar. And you shall see it all, and how they live in't, before the Play's done, here they have talked of the Emperour of the Moon, and the World in the Moon, but discovered nothing of the Matter; Now, again, I go just contrary; for I say nothing, and shew all.[34]

Mr. Prais. And that's kindly done to surprize us with such a Sight.

Mar. Observe, and you'll be satisfied. Call Fastin, and Isabella, attended; that is to say, call Mr. Powell, and Mistress Cross, and the Mob; for their Attendants look much like the Mob. Mr. Praiseall, do you know where the Scene of this Play lies?

Mr. Prais. Gad forgive me for a Sot; Faith I han't minded it.

Mar. Why, to tell you the Truth, 'tis not yet resolv'd; but it must be in some warm Climate, where the Sun has power, and where there's Orange Groves; for Isabella, you'll find, Loves walking in Orange Groves.

Mr. Prais. Suppose you lay it in Holland, I think we have most of our Oranges, and Lemons from thence.

Mr. Aw'dw. Well said Geographer.

Mar. No, no, it must be some where in Italy. Peace! They are coming.

Enter Fastin, and Isabella attended.

Attendance, don't tread upon their Backs, keep at an awful Distance there; so upon my Train! Ah thou Blockhead, thou art as fit for a Throne, as a Stage.

Fas. Shall I speak, Madam.

Mar. Ay, dear Mr. Powell, soon as you please.

Fas. Wellcome, dear Isabella, to this peaceful Seat of all my Father's Mansions, this is his Choice, this surrounded by these melancholly Groves, it suits his Philosophick Temper best; yet Fame reports, he has so long given his—Studies truce, as to wed a Young and beauteous Bride.[35]

Mr. Prais. Why, Madam, had my Lady Loveall never seen this Spark?

Mar. No, no; but she had heard of him, and that's all one.—Don't ask a Question just when People are a speaking, good Mr. Praiseall.

Mr. Prais. I beg your Pardon.

Mar. Pish! Come Mrs. Cross.

Isabella. Close by there, is an Orange Grove dark as my Thoughts, yet in that Darkness lovely; there my Lord, with your leave, I'd walk.

Fas. Your Pleasure shall be mine.

Mar. Lead her to the side Scene, Mr. Powell, now come back again.

Fas. To desire and love to walk alone, shews her Thoughts entertain and please her more than I, that's not so well.

Mar. Mark! He is beginning to be jealous: Now comes Betty, and I dare be bold to say, here's a Scene excells Jago, and the Moor.

Mr. Prais. Come, dear Mrs. Betty Useful! Oh! She's my Heart's Delight!

Enter Betty Useful.

Fas. What Fair Nymph is this?

Betty. From the bright Partner of your Fathers Bed, too sweet a Blossome, alass, to hang on such a wither'd Tree, whose sapless Trunck affords no Nourishment to keep her Fresh and Fair! From her I come to you, and charming Isabella, But where is that Lady? Can you be separate? Can any thing divide her from your fond Eyes.[36]

Mar. Now she begins.

Fas. By her own desire, she chooses Solitudes, and private Walks, flies these faithful Arms; or if she meets 'em, Cold and Clammy as the Damp of Death her Lips still joyn my Longings.

Betty. Cold Sweats, Privacies and lonely Hours, all Signs of strong Aversion: Oh had your Fate but thrown you on my Lady, her very Eyes had rais'd your Passion up to Madness.

Fas. Thou hast already kindled Madness here; Jealousie that unextinguish'd Fire, that with the smallest Fuel burns, is blazing round my Heart. Oh! Courteous Maid, go on! Inform me if my Love is false.

Betty. As yet, I cannot, the Office is ungrateful; but for your sake, I'll undertake it.

Fas. Do, and command me ever.

Betty. The Fair Clemene.

Fas. My Mother, do you mean?

Betty. Call her not so, unless you break her Heart: A Thousand tender Names all Day and Night she gives you, but you can never scape her Lips, her Curtains by me drawn wide, discover your goodly Figure, each Morn the Idol's brought, eagerly she prints the dead Colours, throws her tawny Arms abroad, and vainly hopes kisses so Divine, wou'd inspire the painted Nothing, and mould into Man.

Mar. Is not this moving, Mr. Powell?

Prais. Ay, and melting too, I Gad, wou'd I was the Picture for her sake.

Fas. What's this I hear?

Prais. Nay, no harm, Sir.

Mar. Fie! Mr. Praiseall! Let your ill-tim'd Jests alone.[37]

Prais. I ha' done, I ha' done.

Mars. Mr. Powell, be pleas'd to go on.

Fas. What's this I hear?

Betty. Her own Picture, which sure she sees by Sympathy, you'll entertain by me, she prays you to accept.

[Gives the Picture.

Mar. Now, dear Mr. Powell, let me have the pleasure to hear you rave. Oh! Mr. Praiseall, this Speech, I die upon this Speech!

Mr. Prais. Wou'd we cou'd hear it, Madam, I am preparing to clap.

Fas. What's this thou hast given me? There's more than Necromantick Charms in every bewitching Line, my trembling Nerves are in their Infancy; I am cold as Ice!

Mar. Ay, ay, Love comes just like an Ague Fit.

Fas. What alteration here? Now I am all on Fire! Alcides Shirt sticks close; Fire, incestious Fire, I blaze! I burn! I Rost! I Fry! Fire! Fire! [Exit.

Betty. And my Lady will bring Water, Water, ha, ha, ha.

Mar. Laugh heartily, Mrs. Betty, go off Laughing.

Betty. Ha, ha, ha! [Exit.

Mar. So, Mr. Praiseall, here's a difficult matter brought about with much ease.

Prais. Yes, Faith Madam, so there is; the young Gentleman made no great Scruple to fall in Love with his Mother-in-Law.

Mar. O fie, Mr. Praiseall, 'twas the Struglings of his Virtue put him in such a Passion.

Prais. Ah! Madam! When once Virtue comes to strugle, either in Male or Female, it commonly yields.[38]

Mars. You are waggish——Now for my Dance——Mrs.——-Mrs. Cross, Mrs. Cross, come you little Cherubim, your Dance.

A DANCE.

Aw'dwell. Pray, Madam, who is this Dance to entertain?

Mar. What, do you sit an Hour to study a cross Question? Why, to satisfie you, Sir, you are to suppose Fastin, in passing towards his Mothers Lodgings, may, out of some Gallery, see it; now you are answered.

Aw'dw. I am.

Mr. Prais. Ay, and sufficiently too: A Gallery Balcony, twenty Peepholes.

Enter Mrs. Cross

Mrs. Cross. Madam, I cou'd wish you wou'd not be disoblig'd if I gave up this Part, I shall get my self, nor you, no Credit by it.

Mar. How, Mrs. Cross! Disoblig'd! Assure your self, I shall resent it ill to the last Degree, what throw up my Heroine! my Isabella! Was there ever a Character more Chaste, more Noble, or more Pitiful?

Mrs. Cross. Yes, very Chaste, when I am in Love with my Father-in-Law's Steward, I know not why, nor wherefore.

Mar. Mrs. Cross, I maintain, no Woman in the Play-House, nor out of the Play-house, can be chaster than I ma'e Isabella, but trouble your Head no further, I'll do the Part my self.

Mrs. Cross. With all my Heart.[39]

Mar. And let me tell you Mistress Cross, I shall command whatever is in the Wardrobe, I assure you!

Mrs Cross. Any of my Gowns are at your Service, if they'll fit you, Madam.

Mar. Nay, they shall be; perhaps, without boasting, I command them, that command you.

Mrs. Cross. Perhaps 'tis not worth boasting on; there's your part. [Exit.

Mar. A little inconsiderable Creature! Well, she shall see how much better 'twill be done, and for meer madness, hang her self in her own Garters. Mrs. Wellfed, I'll wear a white Feather, That, I believe, will become me best. Patty, is Patty there?

Pat. Yes, Madam.

Mar. Patty, run to the Exchange, bring me a Dozen yards of Scarlet Ribbon; and d'ye hear Patty? Some shining Patches, some Pulvil and Essence, my Lord Duke shall help me to Jewels, throw up her part! I'll fit her, let her see how the Town will receive her, after I have trode the Stage.

Mr. Aw'dw. Why, Madam, you are not in earnest!

Mar. By my hopes of Catiline, I am.

Mr. Aw'dw. For Heav'ns sake, don't make your self so irrecoverably rediculous.

Mr. Prais. Do, Madam, I say, 'Gad, I'll make such a Party! Gad, I'll do nothing but clap, from the time I come into the House, 'till I go out; Ouns, I'll be hang'd if it don't bring a Swindging Audience, on the third day.

Mr. Aw'dw. To dance naked on the third Day, wou'd bring a bigger Audience; Why don't you perswade the Lady to that? [Speaking loud to Marsillia.

Do, Marsillia, be rul'd by your Vanity, and that good Friend, Mr. Praiseall; but rest assur'd, after such a weakness, I will never see your Face again.[40]

Mar. Ha! I must not loose him. (aside) Why, Mr. Aw'dwell, wou'd you have such a hopeful Play lost? Can you be so unreasonable to desire it? And that Part ruins all.

Mr. Aw'dwell. Give me the Part, and I'll try to perswade Mrs. Cross.

Mar. Do, that's a good Boy; and I won't disoblige him this two days.

Mr. Aw'dw. Is't possible! Will you dine at your own Lodgings to day? I'll give Order for some Dishes of Meat there?

Mar. Yes, yes.

Mr. Aw'dw. Don't serve me now, as you did when I provided a handsome Dinner for you at my own House; and you whiskt to Chelsy, in a Coach, with the Lord knows who.

Mar. No, I scorn it. [Exit Mr. Aw'dwell.

Prais. You was talking of Wine, there is some within; pray take a Recruit before you proceed.

Mar. A good Motion, wait upon these two Ladies in, and I'll follow; I must practice a little, least Mrs. Cross shou'd prove stubborn, and then, not my Father's Ghost shou'd hinder me.

Calista. We'll begin your health.

[Exeunt.

Mar. Do. Whom shall I Curse, my Birth, My Fate, or Stars! All are my Foes! All bent to ruine Innocence![41]

Enter Patty, with Patches, Powder, Looking-glass, &c.

Pat. Oh, Madam!

Mar. How now, Impertinence! was not you told of Interrupting once to Day? Look how she stands now! How long must I expect what you have to say?

Pat. My Lord Whiffle is come to wait on your Ladyship, and sends to know, whether you are at leisure.

Mar. Ay, he understands Breeding, and Decorum. Is my Dress in great disorder?

Pat. You Look all Charming, Madam.

Mar. Hold the Glass; give me some Patches; my Box is done; I am much oblig'd to his Lordship for this Honour. Some Powder. (Pulls the Box out of her Pocket. Put my Gown to rights, and shake my Tail. The unmannerly Blockheads have made a Road over it, and left the vile Impression of their Nauseous Feet. Well, how do I look now, Patty?

Pat. Like one of the Graces, drest for a Ball at the Court of Orleans.

Mar. Ha, ha, ha; well said, Patty; now for my dear dear Lord Whiffle.

Mr. Awdwell meeting her.

Mr. Awd. How!

Mar. And how too! why, look ye, Mr. Awdwell, my Lord is come to pay his Respects to me; and I will pay[42] my Respects again to my Lord, in spight of your Tyrannical Pretensions. And so, your humble Servant.

(Exit

Mr. Awd. Who wou'd a kind and certain Mistress choose,
Let him, like me, take one that loves a Muse.

(Exit.

The End of the Second

ACT.

[43]

ACT III.

Enter my Lord Whiffle, Marsilia, Mr. Awdwell, Mr. Praisall, Mrs. Wellfed and Calista.

Mrs. Well. For my part I am quite tir'd, and have a great mind to steal home to Dinner; will you please to go with me, Madam?

Cal. With all my Heart: Marsilia's so taken up with my Lord, they'll never miss us.

Mrs. Well. Come then. (Exeunt.

[Marsilia and my Lord Whiffle talk, both looking in a great Glass.

Mar. Thus I have told your Lordship the First part, which is past.

L. Whif. I conceive you, Madam, I have the whole Story in a Corner of my head intire, where no other Thought shall presume to interpose. Confound me, if my damn'd Barber has not made me look like a Mountebank: This Wigg I shall never endure, that's certain.

Mar. Now I must beg your Lordship to suppose Fastin having seen his Mother-in-Law, is wholly captivated with[44] her Charms, and Betty and she have both foresworn the Consummation of her Marriage with Fastin's Father; so he takes her to an adjacent Castle of his; she having cast the old Philosopher in a deep sleep. I'm forc't to tell your Lordship this, because the Play does not mention it.

Mr. Awd. I am afraid your Ladyship will be wanted, like the Chorus of Old, to enlighten the understanding of the Audience.

Mar. Meer Malice, Spight, and burning Malice, by the Gods!

L. Whiff. Very good, my Coat is as full of wrinkles as an Old Woman's Face, by Jove.

Mr. Prais. Madam, han't they took Betty with 'em to his Castle?

Mar. Yes, yes; But, Mr. Praisall, you must keep your Distance a little now, and not interrupt me, when I am talking to my Lord.

Mr. Prais. I am dumb as a fish.

Mar. Now, if your Lordship pleases to sit down, you will see my Opera begin; for tho' some of the Play is over, there has been no Scene Operaish yet.

Mr. Awd. Operaish! Thats' a word of your own, I suppose, Madam.

Mr. Prais. Ne're the worse for that, I hope, Sir; why mayn't the Ladies make a word as well as the Men?

L. Whiff. The Lady shall make what words she pleases; and I will justifie her in't.

Mr. Awd. And I will laugh at her for it.

Mar. Well, Mr. Awdwell, these Affronts, are not so soon forgot as given.

Mr. Awd. Use your Pleasure, Madam, the Fool's almost weary.

Mar. He nettles me; but I think I have him in my power: Is your Lordship ready to observe?[45]

L. Whiff. Madam, I am all Attention.

Mar. Come, the Night Scene there, a Dark Grove made Glorious by a Thousand burning Lights: By Heav'ns my words run of themselves into Heroick! Now Let em' enter.

Enter Fastin, Lady Loveall.

Fast. Cou'd Age expect to hold thee! Oh thou Heav'nly Charmer! was there such an Impudence in Impotence; if the old Dotard has liv'd past his Reason, he must be taught it; yes, it shall dazle in his Eyes.

Mr. Awd. A very Dutiful Son, this.

Mar. Sir, I desire your Absence, if you won't let the Players go on: His Father has done a very foolish thing; and must be call'd to an account for it.

L. Whif. Right Madam; all old Men do foolish things when they marry young Wives, and ought to meet with exemplary Punishments.

Mar. Aye, your Lordship understands the Justice of the thing——Mrs. Knight, if you please.

La. Lov. Whilst my Ears devour your protested Love, my Heart dances to the Musick of your Vows. But is there no Falshood in a Form so lovely! if there is, these Eyes that let the Object in, must weep for ever!

Fast. By Honour and by Glory, I love thee more than Mortal can express or bear.

Mar. Now, Mr. Powel, my Rhime with a Boon Grace.

Fast. My scorching Raptures make a Boy of Jove;
That ramping God shall learn of me to love.

Mar. How does your Lordship like these Lines?[46]

L. Whiff. Madam, they exceed any of our modern Flights, as far as a Description of Homer's does Mr. Settle's, Poet in Ordinary for my Lord Mayor's Show.

Mr. Prais. After what my Lord has said, I dare not speak, but I am all Admiration,

Mar. to Mrs. Knight.) Madam I beg your pardon for this Interruption; my Friends here will treat me with Flattery.

La. Lov. to Fastin.) And you will be so vain to believe it none. (aside.) Nor Isabella shall not——

Fast. Be nam'd only for Punishment, her Adultery with Amorous is plain, therefore she shall be disgrac'd, and dye.

Mr. Awd. Who had told him this?

Mar. Why Betty had told him, tho' Isabella' was Innocent as to the matter of Fact. Indeed Fate over-rul'd her Inclination: I will not answer you another Question, I protest: find it out as the rest of the World does.

Fastin to his Attendants.) Guard the Orange Grove; there let Isabella remain a Prisoner, whilst I entertain the fair Clemene with a Song and Dances here.

(Italian Song by Mr. Pate.)

Mar. This Song's my own; and I think soft and moving.

L. Whiff. My slacken'd Fibres!—--My Soul's dissolv'd.

(Repeats.

Mar. Now the Grotesque Entertainment; I have mine perform'd by women, because it should differ from t'other House: if it has done em' any Injury I am sorry; but it cou'd not be hop'd, the Play must not be absolutely without Ornament. Pray take care, Gentlewomen, as we Poets are fain to do, that we may excell the Men, who first led the way.[47]

DANCE.

After the Dance, a Drum beats.

Enter Betty.

Prais. Oh, Mrs. Betty!

Mar. Hold your peace, Mrs. Betty's in haste.

Bet. Fly, Sir, fly; old Whimsical is waked by another wretch, a Fornicator, who has liv'd past the Pleasure and the Sin. These wither'd Cuffs come on, follow'd by a monstrous Rabble, to seize the Lady.

Lady Lo. Alas, I fear.

Fast. Talk not of fear, my Love, while I am by; thou art as safe as if ten thousand Legions were thy Guard. First to the Castle I will take my way, and leave thee there secure; in the mean time my Men fall on upon his mobbish Soldiers, but spare the stubborn old Man, because he is my Father. (Exeunt.

Mar. Now there's his Duty, there's his Duty! D'ye hear that, Mr. Quarelsom!

Mr. Awd. Wondrous Duty! sets the Rabble about his Father's Ears, and bids 'em not hurt him.

Mar. Now, my Lord, and Gentlemen, and Ladies, where are the Ladies?

Mr. Prais. I have miss'd 'em a great while, Madam: But I wou'd not interrupt you to tell you of't.

Mar. Ill-bred Things! who do they expect shou'd have Patience with their dull stuff? But, as I was saying, I must beg you once again to suppose old Lord Whimsical Loveall, is attacking his Son's Castle, and beaten back: Now they are[48] behind the Scenes; found a Storm again, three times; now we'll suppose 'em repuls'd. And from the Castle let the Trumpets and Violins join in a Tune of Victory. So, there's a Battle well over.

L. Whiff. With a very little trouble. But, Madam had not the storming the Castle been as good a Scene as the taking of Jerusalem.

Mar. Granted, my Lord. But I have a Castle taken upon the Stage; and twice, you know, had been Repetition.

Mr. Prais. True; your Ladiship was never in the wrong in your Life, unless it was when you said, I had no Courage.

Mar. Change the Scene to the Orange Grove.

Enter Isabella.

Your Servant Mrs. Cross, I am glad to see you again.

Mrs. Cross. Truly the Gentleman would not be deny'd; tho' really, Madam, 'twas only fear I shou'd not serve you in't, made me backward.

Mar. All's well, and I'm pleas'd. Will you give your self the trouble to enter again? because that will make you look more alone.

Mrs. Cross. Yes, Madam. (Goes out, and Re-enters.

Isab. Methought I heard the sound of War pierce the hollow Groves: Else 'twas my melancholly Fancy chim'd to my sick Brain. Yet it cannot be Delusion; for I am a Prisoner. A surly Fellow, who lookt as if Pity was his Foe, told me, I here must wait my Lord's Commands. Oh, Fastin! if thou art cruel or unkind, thou art justly so: For I came to thy Arms without a Heart, without Love's[49] Flames, or desire to kindle 'em. Oh! why was Amorous sent to my Fathers Castle, to begin the Parly? 'Tis true, he's in the vale of Years; yet Oh! such Charms remain! He found the way to my unguarded Heart; nor need he storm, I could not the least Opposition make; he streight was Lord of all within; yet, Chaste as Fires, which consume in Urns, and vainly warm the Dead, so Useless is my Flame!

Mar. My Lord! wou'd your Lordship imagine Mrs. Cross shou'd dislike the part, when I defie all the Virgins in Europe to make so cold a Simile as that?

L. Wh. Thou'st turn'd me into Marble; I am a Statue upon the Tomb where the Urn's inclos'd.

Mr. Prais. My Teeth chatter in my head.

Mr. Awd. Oh for a Couple of good Cudgels to warm the Coxcombs. (aside.

Mar. Well, dear Isabella, proceed.

Isab. Thou Mother Earth, bear thy wretched Daughter: Open thy all receiving Womb, and take thy groaning burthen in!

Mar. Now You'll see this Act, very full of Business. Come, Lord Whimsicall, and Amorous, hastily.

Enter Lord Whimsicall and Amorous.

L. Whim. Raise thee from Earth, thou most unhappy Wife of my most wicked Son! fly, whilst faithful Amorous and I Protect thee from what his Savage rage has doom'd.

Isab. What has he doom'd? alas, I dare not fly with you and Amorous.[50]

Amo. Then leave me here to Death; follow your Father, and shun approaching Danger.

Is. What Death! what Danger! make me understand you.

Mar. Ay, Poor Lady! she's unwilling Amorous shou'd dye too.

L. Whim. Your Husband loudly proclaims you an Adultress, and means to make War on that fair work of Heav'n, your Face; And Noseless send you back to your own Father.

Amo. Oh, horrid! hasten, Madam, from the brutal Tyrant.

Isa. I must consult my Immortal Honour; that's a Beauty to me, more valued than Nature's Out-work's, a Face. Let me consider, tis my Husband's Father; to retire till I am justifi'd, cannot be a Crime, Sir. I have resolv'd to go.

My Innocence is white as Alpine Snow,
By these Tears, which never cease to flow.

Mar. Your pardon, Mrs. give me leave to instruct you in a moving Cry. Oh! there's a great deal of Art in crying: Hold your Handkerchief thus; let it meet your Eyes, thus; your Head declin'd, thus; now, in a perfect whine, crying out these words,

By these Tears, which never cease to Flow.

Is not that right my Lord?

L. Whim. Oh gad! feelingly Passionate, Madam; were your Ladyship to do it, the whole House wou'd catch the Infection; and as in France they are all in a Tune, they'd here be all in Tears.

Awdwell. Now I fancy 'twou'd have just the contrary effect on me.

Mar. Oh Jehu! how am I tortur'd with your Nonsence! Proceed, for Heav'ns sake; let my Ears be diverted with my own words; for your's grate 'em beyond induring.[51]

Isab. Must I repeat this stuff agen?

Mar. Stuff! my Spirit rises at her: But 'tis in vain to resent it. The truth on't is, Poets are so increas'd, Players value 'em no more than——

Awd. Ballad-singers.

Awd. Spiteful Devils. Well, Mrs. Cross, I'll not trouble you agen; Amorous shall suppose you are going. Come, Mr. Pinkethman.

Amo. Then with this Flaming Sword I'll clear the way, And hunt for Danger in the Face of Day.

Mar. Well, Mr. Pinkethman, I think you are oblig'd to me for choosing you for a Heroe; Pray do it well, that the Town may see, I was not mistaken in my Judgment: Fetch large Strides; walk thus; your Arms strutting; your Voice big, and your Eyes terrible.

Then with this Flaming Sword I'll clear the way.

Amo. Then thus I'll clear your way, (Draws. And hunt for Danger in the Face of Day.

Isa. Alas, does any oppose us?

L. Whim. Only some stragling fellows, which Amorous will scour; and in the Corner of the Grove the Chariot waits. (Exeunt.

Mar. Now will your Ladyship please to conceive these three are got into my Lord Whimsicall's Castle? Whither Fastin, mad with Jealousie and Love, pursues: Now your Lordship shall see the storming of a Fort, not like your Jerusalem, but the modern way; my Men shall go all up thro' a trap door, and ever now and then one drop polt down dead. (talking eagerly, she throws my Lords Snuff-box down.

L. Whim. Like my Snuff-box, Madam. 'Ouns my Snuff cost two Guineas.

Mar. I beg your Lordship's pardon.[52]

Mr. Prais. Two Guineas, it shan't be all lost then.

(Picks up the Snuff.
Mar. Are you ready? (goes to the Scenes. Within.) Yes, yes, Madam.

SCENE

A Castle Storming.

Mar. My Lord, my Lord, this will make you amends for your Snuff! Drums beat; mount, ye Lumpish Dogs: what are you afraid of? you know the Stones are only Wool: Faster, with more Spirit? Brutes. Oh Jehu! I am sorry I had not this Castle taken by women, then t'had been done like my Grotesque Dance there: mount, mount, Rascals.

(Marcilia bustling among 'em, loses her Head-Cloathes.

Patty, Patty, my Head, my Head, the Brutes will trample it to Pieces. Now, Mr. Powel, enter like a Lyon.

Enter Fastin, Followers, Lady Loveall, Betty, &c.

Fast. By Heav'n, I'll tear her from her Lover's Arms, my Father only Spare.

La. Lov. Spare him not: hear my Charge. Aim every arrow, at his Destin'd Head, There is no Peace, 'till that Curst Villain's Dead.

Mar. Look, look my Lord, where Mr. Powell 's got.

La. Lov. Oh, the rash young Man; save him, Gods!

Betty. Protect him, Venus![53]

Mr. Prais. How heartily Betty prays, and to her own Deity, I dare swear.

Fast. They fly! they fly! sound Trumpets, Sound! let Clemene's Musick joyn confine my Father to yon distant Tower: I'll not see him 'till I have punish'd the Adultress: Set wide the Gates, and let Clemenes know she's Mistress here.

La. Lov. Where is he; Let me fly and bind his Wounds up with my Hair, lull him upon my own Bosom, and sing him into softest ease.

To Feast, and Revels Dedicate the Day.
Let the old Misers stores be all expos'd, and made the Soldiers Prey!
D' ye hear, let the Butler dye, least he tell Tales.

Betty. Madam, he shall then, no body will dare contradict us in the Cellar neither. (Exeunt.

Mr. Prais. Well said, Mrs. Betty; she loves a Cup, I like her the better for't.

Mr. Awd. A hopeful Wife, this! do's she go on thus Triumphant?

Mar. I have sworn to answer you no more Questions.

L. Whiff. Indeed, Madam, you have made her very wicked.

Mar. The woman is a little Mischievous; but your Lordship shall see I'll bring her to Condign Punnishment. My Lord, I will be bold to say, here is a Scene a coming, wherein there is the greatest Distress that ever was seen in a Play: 'tis poor Amorous, and Isabella. Mr. Praisall, do you remember that old Whimsicall was all along a Philosopher? Come let down the Chariot.

Mr. Prais. Lord Madam, do you think I don't, why was not he and I a going to the Moon together?

Mar. Right! you must keep a steady, and a solid Thought to find the Depths of this plot out. Now, my Lord, be[54] pleas'd once again to conceive these poor Lovers hunted above the Castle, at last taking Sanctuary in a high pair of Leads, which adjoyns to the old Man's study; conceive also their Enemies at their Heels; how then can these lost Creatures 'scape?

Mr. Awd. May be they both leapt over the Leads, and broke their Necks.

L. Whiff. That's one way; but pray lets hear the Ladies.

Mar. You must know, my Lord, at first I design'd this for Tragedy; and they were both taken; She was Poyson'd, and dy'd, like an Innocent Lamb, as she was indeed: I was studying a Death for him; once I thought Boys shou'd shoot him to Death with Pot-Guns: for your Lordship may be pleas'd to understand, Amorous had been a Soldier, tho' now he was a Steward of the Family; and that wou'd have been Disgrace enough, you know: But at length I resolv'd to ram him into a great Gun, and scatter him o're the sturdy Plain: This, I say, was my first resolve. But I consider'd, 'twould break the Lady's Heart; so there is nothing in their Parts Tragical but as your Lordship shall see miraculously I turn'd it into an Opera.

L. Whif. Your Ladyship's Wit is Almighty, and produces nothing but Wonders.

Mr. Prais. The Devil take his Lordship, he is always before hand with me, and goes so confounded high, there's no coming after him.

Mar. Your Lordship shall see what, I think, their Opera's have not yet had.[55]

SCENE

The Leads of a Castle.

The Sun seen a little beyond: A Chariot stands upon the Leads.

Enter Isabella, follow'd by Amorous.

Isab. Now Death's in view, methinks I fear the Monster. Is there no God that Pities Innocence? Oh! thou All-seeing Sun, contract thy Glorious Beam's, hide me, in Darkness hide me!

Mr. Awd. I am sorry to find your Heroine Shrink.

Mar. Oh! 'tis more natural for a woman than bold; as an Imprison'd Cat, to fly Death i th Face, as 'twere. Humph, was it you I took pains to convince? Pray no more Interruption of this Scene.

Amor. Ten Massy Doors, all barr'd with wondrous strength impede their Passage: Rest then, thou Milk-white hunted Hind, forget the near Approach of fear, and hear the Story of my Love.

Mr. Awd. Hey boy, little Amorous! He'll loose no opportunity.

Mr. Prais. He is not like to have many; he was a fool, if he did not improve 'em.

Isab. We soon shall mount yon Blisful Seats! Let us be rob'd with Innocence, least we want admittance there.

Amor. All Dreams! meer Dreams! bred from the Fumes of Crabbed Education, and must we for this lose true Substantial Pleasure? By Heav'n, 'twould be a noble Justice to[56] defeat their Malice: they hunt us for imaginary Crimes; and we must dye like Fools for doing nothing.

Mr. Prais. Well urg'd, Amorous.

L. Whiff. Bold, I vow.

Mar. A Lover shou'd be so, my Lord.

Amor. But give me up the Heav'n my ravenous Love requires: Let me fill my Sences with thy Sweetness; then let 'em pour upon me, I cou'd laugh at all their idle Tortures, every pleas'd Limb shou'd dance upon the Wheel.

Mar. Dance upon the Wheel! that's a new thought, I am sure, my Lord.

L. Whiff. Your Tract is all new, and must be uncommon, because others can never find it.

Prais. A Pox on him! he has out-done me agen.

Mar. I am your Lordship's very humble Servant: My Lord, How Amorous gazes on her!

L. Whiff. Piercing Eyes, I confess.

Prais. An irresistible Lere——I got in a word.

Isab. Take off your Eyes; mine shou'd be fix'd above; but Love draws 'em downwards, and almost pulls my Heart along.

Amo. Give me your Heart! your Arms! Oh! give me all! see at your Feet the wretched Amorous falls! Be not more cruel than our Foes. Behold me on the Torture! Fastin cannot Punish me with half the Racks denying Beauty lays on longing Love.

Isab. I recover strength: rise, and begone; Alas, thou can'st not go; then at awful distance, cold as Ice, not dare to let thy hot Breath agen offend my chaste Ears! If thou hast, a Dagger rams thy Passion down thy Throat.

Mar. Won't this be a Surprize, my Lord, to see her have such an Icy Fit?

L. Whiff. When I thought she was just going to melt.[57]

Amor. See, you are obey'd; shivering your er'e-while raging Lover stands; your Words and Looks, like Frost on Flowers, have nipt my Hopes and fierce Desires!

Mr. Prais. Alas, poor Amorous! (A Noise without.

Mar. Do you hear, my Lord? do's not your Heart ake for the poor Lovers?

L. Whif. I am ready to swoon, Madam.

Mr. Prais. Wou'd I had some Cordial-water.

Mr. Awd. Art thou Marsilia? wilt thou confess it? so weak to believe these Coxcombs?

Mar. I always choose to believe what pleases me best. If a School-Boy had been told so often of a Fault, as you have been, of Interruption, he had certainly left it. Make a Noise agen without.

Isab. Alas my fears return; what shall I do? I dare not dye.

Amor. Oh Let not Monstrous Fear deform the Beauties of thy Soul, but brave thy Fate.

Mar. Louder; but brave thy Fate; strain your Voice: I tell you, Mr. Pinkethman, this speaking Loud gets the Clap.

Amo. Pox of this Heroick; I shall tear my Lungs. (Aside. But brave thy Fate.

Mar. Aye, that goes to ones very Heart.

Awd. And rends ones Head.

Isab. I cannot, I dare not; Oh, they come! where shall I hide me? (Gets into the Chariot.

Amo. For Heav'n's sake, Madam, come from hence: This will expose us to all their scorn. (goes in after.

Mar. Now, now, up with it. Here, my Lord, here's the wonder; this very Chariot Whimsical had been making fifty Years, contriv'd beyond all humane Art, for the Sun to draw up to the Moon; at this very Critical minute the Matter's affected. Is not your Lordship surpriz'd?[58]

L. Whif. I know not where I am!

Prais. Oh! this is a plain case; so while the old Cuckold was watching his Chariot, his Wife had Opportunity to make him one.

Mar. Right, right, Mr. Praisall: Now Amorous finds it move.

Amor. Ha! the Chariot moves; a Miracle is known in our Preservation.

Isab. Oh! I dye with fear!

Mar. Now she falls in a Swoon, and never wakes 'till they come into another world.

Mr. Prais. E gad, 'tis well I am not in the Chariot with her.

Mar. You may open the Door, they are out of sight.

Enter Fastin, Lady Loveall and Betty.

Fast. Where is the Hellish Pair? Let my Eyes be fasten'd on 'em, that I may look 'em dead.

Mar. Look dreadfully, sweet Mr. Powell, look dreadfully.

Mr. Awd. Hark'e, Madam, only one thing; did you never hear an old Proverb; He that has a House of Glass shou'd never throw Stones at his Neighbours? I think this young Gentleman is guilty of much the same fault.

Mar. Lord! Lord! I told ye once before, he did not know his Father was marry'd to her, he took her for a pure Virgin. Come, Mr. Powell, go on.

Fast. Where are you hid? in what Lustful Corner?

L. Lov. Alas, I fear they have escap'd, and I have such a Detestation for ill Women, 'twould grieve me much to have 'em go unpunish'd.[59]

Betty. I am sure they took the Stairs that led this way, and must be here; let me ferret 'em.

Mr. Prais. God-a-Mercy, Betty! Let Betty alone.

Bett. A-dad I can't set Eyes on 'em high nor low.

Mr. Prais. No, they are too high for thee, indeed, little Betty.

Mar. Pray, Mr. Praisall, be quiet; here's a great Scene a coming.

Mr. Prais. I am silent as the Grave.

Fast. In vain they think to 'scape my Rage, by thus evading it; for if the Earth holds 'em, they shall be found.

Betty. Why, where's my old Master's Conjuring Chariot, I wonder, that he alway's told us wou'd carry him to Heaven, when we little thought on't? It us'd to stand here.

L. Lov. It did so.

Betty. Perhaps they are gone to Elyzium in it.

L. Lov. No, Fool, Elyzium has no room for Lawless Lovers.

Betty. Then you must never come there, I'm sure. (aside.

Mar. That's the first ill word Betty has given her Mistress; and that was to her self too.

Fast. Let my Chariots be prepar'd, we'll leave this hated place, and in my Castle unlade our Cares. Love shall crown our Hours, and Wine and Musick rob 'em of 'em with delight.

L. Lov. Whilst I weave flowry Chaplets for your Hair,
Revels and Masks to please your Sight prepare:
Feed on your Presence, on your absence grieve,
Love you alone, for you alone I'll live.

Mar. Now quick, quick, get behind her, Mr. least she shou'd resist; the rest disarm Mr. Powell.[60]

Enter Lord Whimsicall and others.

L. Whim. Not fit to live, nor dye! but Death thou best deserv'st. (stabs her.

L. Lov. Oh! thou Impotence, only strong in mischief: That feeble aged Arm has reach'd my youthful Heart.

Fast. Slaves, unhand me! Oh! Clemene, Oh!

L. Lov. Let me come at the Dotard, let me cover the Blood-thirsty Man with Livid Gore.

Mar. D'ye hear, Property-Man, be sure some red Ink is handsomely convey'd to Mrs. Knight.

Fast. Move, Dogs; bear her to me, that I may press her close, and keep in Life.

Mar. Strive and struggle now, Mr. Powell; Lord, you scarce stir; hold me, hold me, some of you. Observe, that I may press her close, and keep in Life:, ye see my Breath's almost gone. Oh! if we Poets did but act, as well as write, the Plays wou'd never miscarry.

Fast. Why, there's enow of you, both Males and Females; entertain the Town when you will, I'll resign the Stage with all my Heart.

Mar. And by my hopes of Cataline I'll propose it. But now pray go on.

Fast. I say, lose your Plebeian Goals, and let me reach my Love.

Mar. Well, that's your own; but 'twill do. You may speak it, Mr. Powell.

L. Whim. What, the Sorceress! thy Father's Wife, rash Boy![61]

Fast. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Your Wife: I have heard indeed of old Men that wanted Virgins, when vital warmth was gone.

L. Whim. To that Title do's Clemene's Impudence pretend. Speak, lewd Adultress.

La. Lov. Yes, I will speak, and own it all: Why shou'd I mince the matter, now I've lost my hopes of him? For the old Skeleton, sign alone, and shadow of a Man, I might have yet been pure: But whilst gay Youths adorn'd thy Family Clemene wou'd not sigh in vain.

Fast. What's this I hear?

Bet. My Lady dying! I am not yet prepared to bear her Company: I'll e'en shift for one. I wou'd not willingly leave this wicked World, before I have tasted a little more on't.

Mr. Prais. True, Mrs. Betty; slip behind me, and thou art gone.

Mar. See, my Lord, they are all struck in a Maze.

(Exit.

L. Whiff. 'Tis very amazing!

L. Whim. Why, Fastin, stare you thus? Is her wickedness such News? Go, bear her off, and let her die alone.

La. Lov. Do, convey me hence; for not gaping Pipes of burning Sulphur, nor grinning hideous Fiends, can jerk my Soul like that old Husband. Fogh! how he stinks! Set him a fire with all his Chymistry about him, see how he'll blaze on his own Spirits.

Fast. Rage not; it wastes thy precious Life.

Mr. Awd. Then he loves her still.

Mar. Yes; what, you think him hot and cold in a quarter of an hour?

La. Lov. Fastin, farewel. Oh! thou only Youth, whom I can truly say I lov'd, for thee I'd run this mad Risque agen; for thee I die. Away, away! and let me do the[62] work of Children in the dark. (Exit led off.

L. Whim. Where's my Chariot? my Chariot of the Sun, Slaves! who has remov'd it? if it jogg'd but a Hair awry, may set me backwards ten tedious Years. But it is gone! where can it be? (Runs up and down to look it.

Fast. Defeated Love! approaching Shame! Remorse and deathless Infamy! they crowd one Breast too much: Here's to give 'em vent. (Stabs himself.

L. Whim. Oh! 'tis gone! 'tis gone! my Chariot! Oh, my Chariot!

Fast. See, Clemene, see, thy Adorer comes! guiltily fond, and pressing after thee. (Dies.

L. Whim. Have you all lookt below? is there no news of this inestimable Chariot?

Serv. No, my Lord; and here your Son is dead.

L. Whim. Why dost thou tell me of my Son, the blind work of Chance, the sport of Darkness, which produc'd a Monster? I've lost an Engine, the labour'd care of half a hundred Years. It is gone! I shall go mad.

Mar. Good Mr. What-d'-call-'um, this last Speech to the highest pitch of raving.

L. Whim. Ha! the Sun has got it; I see the glorious Tract: But I will mount and yet recover it: The covetous Planet shall not dare to keep it for the use of his Paramour. Bear me, ye Winds, upon your blustring Wings; for I am light as Air, and mad as rowling Tempests.

(Exit

Mar. Is not this passion well exprest?

Mr. Awd. 'Tis indeed all mad Stuff.

Mar. your word neither mends nor mars it, that's one Comfort. Mr. Powell, will you walk off, or be carry'd off?

Mr. Pow. I'll make use of my Legs, if you please, Madam. Your most humble Servant.[63]

Mar. Mr. Powell, yours; I give you ten thousand thanks for your trouble. I hope, Mr. Powell, you are convinc'd this Play won't fail.

Mr. Pow. O Lord! Madam, impossible! (Exit.

Mar. Well, sure by this Play, the Town will perceive what a woman can do. I must own, my Lord, it stomachs me sometimes, to hear young Fops cry, there's nothing like Mr. Such-a-one's Plays, and Mr. Such-a-ones Plays.

L. Whiff. But, Madam, I fear our excellent Entertainment's over; I think all your Actors are kill'd.

Mar. True, my Lord, they are most of 'em dispatch'd. But now, my Lord, comes one of my Surprizes; I make an end of my Play in the World in the Moon.

L. Whiff. In the World in the Moon!

Mr. Prais. Prodigious!

Mar. Scene-Men: Where the Devil are these Blockheads? Scene-Men.

Within.) Here, here.

Mar. Come, one of your finest Scenes, and the very best that ye know must be, when the Emperour and Empress appear.

Scene-Men. How d'ye like this Madam?

Mar. Aye, aye, that will do.

L. Whim. 'Tis every thing the Stage, can afford in perfection.

Mr. Prais. And which no Stage in the World can equal.

Mar. Oh, fie! Mr. Praisall, you go often to Lincoln's-Inn-Fields.

Mr. Prais. I have said it, let t'other House take it how they will.

L. Whif. What, are these Men, or Monsters?

Mar. My Lord, this is very true, I'll believe the Historian, for he was there, my Lord. The World in the Moon is as fine a place as this represents; but the Inhabitants are a little[64] shallow, and go, as you see, upon all four; now I design Amorous and Isabella shall bring in such a Reformation; then all the Hero's of the Moon-world shall fall in love with Isabella, as, you know, in Aurenzebe they are all in love with Indamora: Oh! that's a sweet, a pretty Name; but a Duce on't, my Brother Bay's has scarce left a pretty Name for his Successors?

Mr. Prais. Dear Madam, are these crawling things to speak, or no?

Mar. Patience is a great Vertue, Mr. Praisall.

Mr. Awd. And your Spectators must exercise it, o'my Conscience.

Mar. Pray now, my Lord, be pleas'd to suppose this is the Emperor's Wedding-day. Musick and the Dance.

Dance upon all Four.

SONG.

What's the whispering for?

One of the Men.) Why, Madam, to tell you the truth, in short, we are not able to continue in this Posture any longer, without we break our Backs; so we have unanimously resolv'd to stand upright.

(All the Men and Women stand up, when they're come forward.

Mr. Prais. Hey! heres another Surprize!

Mar. Oh! the Devil; you have spoilt my Plot! you have ruin'd my play, ye Blockheads! ye Villains, I'll kill you all,[65] burn the Book, and hang my self! (Throws down the Book, and stamps upon it.

L. Whiff. Taking up the Book.) Hold, Madam! Don't let Passion provoke you, like the Knight of old, to destroy what After-ages cannot equal.

Mar. Why, my Lord Amorous, and Isabella was to come in, and their wou'd have been such a Scene! Asses! Ideots! Jolts! But they shall never speak a Line of mine, if it wou'd save 'em from in evitable ruine; I'll carry it to t'other House this very Moment.

Mr. Awd. Won't ye go home to Dinner first?

Mar. Dinner be damn'd! I'll never eat more. See too! if any of their impudent People come to beg my Pardon! or appease me! Well, I will go, that's resolv'd.

Mr. Prais. Madam, consider; cou'd they not stoop agen, when Isabella's come in; I'll try how 'tis. (stoops Oun's 'tis Devillish painful.

Mar. Don't tell me, 'tis painful; if they'll do nothing for their Livings, let 'em starve and be hang'd. My Chair there.

L. Whiff. Madam, my Coach is at your Service, it waits without.

Mar. To be seen in my Lord's Coach is some Consolation (aside My Lord, I desire to go directly into Lincoln's-Inn-Fields.

L. Whiff. Where you please, Madam.

Mar. I'll never set my Foot agen upon this confounded Stage. My Opera shall be first, and my Catiline next; which I'd have these to know, shall absolutely break 'em. They may shut up their Doors; strole or starve, or do what ever the Devil puts in their heads; no more of Marsilias Works, I assure 'em. Come, my Lord.

Mr. Awd. You won't go, Madam?[66]

Mar. By my Soul, I will; your damn'd ill Humour began my Misfortunes. Farewel, Momus; farewel, Ideots: Hoarse be your Voices, rotten your Lungs, want of Wit and Humour continue upon your damn'd Poets, and Poverty consume you all. (Exit.

Prais. What, ner'e a word to me! or did she put me among the Ideots? Sir, the Lady's gone.

Awd. And you may go after; there's something to help you forward. (kicks him.

Prais. I intend, Sir, I intend it. (Exit.

Enter Mr. Powell, Mrs. Knight, Mrs. Cross, &c. Laughing

Awd. So, what's the news now?

Mr. Pow. Oh, my Sides! my Sides! the wrathful Lady has run over a Chair, shatter'd the Glasses to pieces: The Chair-Men, to save it, fell pell-mell in with her. She has lost part of her Tail, broke her Fan, tore her Ruffles, and pull'd off half my Lord Whiffle's Wigg, with trying to rise by it: So they are, with a Shagreen Air, and tatter'd Dress, gone into the Coach: Mr. Praisall thrust in after 'em, with the bundle of Fragments, his Care had pick'd up from under the Fellows Feet. Come, to make some Atonement, Entertain this Gentleman with the Dance you are practising for the next new Play.[67]

A DANCE.

Mr. Awd. Mr. Powell, if you'll do me the favour to dine with me. I'll prevent the Dinner I bespoke going to Marsilia's Lodgings, and we'll eat it here.

Mr. Pow. With all my heart: I am at your Service.

Awd. Thus warn'd,
I'll leave the Scribler to her Fops, and Fate;
I find she's neither worth my Love or Hate.

FINIS.


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