A Table set with Cards upon it.
TRICE walking: Enter Servant.
Serv: Sir, some company is without upon justice-business.
Trice: Saucy rascal, to disturb my meditations. [Exit Servant.--Ay, it shall be he: Jack Loveby, what think'st thou of a game at piquet, we two, hand to fist? you and I will play one single game for ten pieces: 'Tis deep stake, Jack, but 'tis all one between us two: You shall deal, Jack:--Who I, Mr Justice! that's a good one; you must give me use for your hand then; that's six i'the hundred.--Come, lift, lift;--mine's a ten; Mr Justice:--mine's a king; oh ho, Jack, you deal. I have the advantage of this, i'faith, if I can keep it. [He deals twelve a piece, two by two, and looks on his own cards.] I take seven, and look on this--Now for you, Jack Loveby.
Enter LOVEBY behind.
Lov: How's this? Am I the man he fights with?
Trice: I'll do you right, Jack; as I am an honest man, you must discard this; there's no other way: If you were my own brother, I could do no better for you.--Zounds, the rogue has a quint-major, and three aces younger hand.--[Looks on the other cards.] Stay; what am I for the point? But bare forty, and he fifty-one: Fifteen, and five for the point, twenty, and three by aces, twenty-three; well, I am to play first: one, twenty-three; two, twenty-three; three, twenty-three; four, twenty-three;--Pox on't, now I must play into his hand: five:--now you take it, Jack;--five, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty, and the cards forty.
Lov: Hitherto it goes well on my side.--
Trice: Now I deal: How many do you take, Jack? All. Then I am gone: What a rise is here! Fourteen by aces, and a sixieme-major; I am gone, without looking into my cards.--[Takes up an ace and bites it.] Ay, I thought so: If ever man play'd with such cursed fortune, I'll be hanged, and all for want of this damned ace--there's your ten pieces, with a pox to you, for a rooking beggarly rascal as you are.
Lov: What occasion have I given you for these words, sir? Rook and rascal! I am no more rascal than yourself, sir.
Trice: How's this! how's this!
Lov: And though for this time I put up, because I am a winner-- [Snatches the gold.
Trice: What a devil do'st thou put up? Not my gold, I hope, Jack?
Lov: By your favour, but I do; and 'twas won fairly: a sixieme, and fourteen by aces, by your own confession,--What a pox, we don't make childrens' play, I hope?
Trice: Well, remember this, Jack; from this hour I forswear playing with you when I am alone; what, will you bate me nothing on't?
Lov: Not a farthing, Justice; I'll be judged by you; if I had lost, you would have taken every piece on't: What I win, I win--and there's an end.
Serv: Sir, these people stay without, and will not be answered.
Trice: Well, what's their business?
Serv: Nay, no great matter; only a fellow for getting a wench with child.
Trice: No great matter, say'st thou? 'Faith, but it is. Is he a poor fellow, or a gentleman?
Serv: A very poor fellow, sir.
Trice: Hang him, rogue; make his mittimus immediately; must such as he presume to get children?
Lov: Well considered: A poor lousy rascal, to intrench upon the game of gentlemen! He might have passed his time at nine-pins, or shovel-board; that had been fit sport for such as he: Justice, have no mercy on him.
Trice: No, by the sword of justice will I not.
Lov: Swear'st thou, ungracious boy[A]? That's too much, on the other hand, for a gentleman. I swear not, I drink not, I curse not, I cheat not; they are unnecessary vices: I save so much out of those sins, and take it out in that one necessary vice of wenching. [Footnote A: Henry IV. Part 1. Act ii. Scene 4.]
Enter LOVEBY'S Boy:
Boy: Sir, the parties are without, according to your order.
Lov: 'Tis well; bring 'em in, boy.
Enter Lady Du LAKE, and two or three Whores.
Justice, I recommend this ancient gentlewoman, with these virtuous ladies, to thy patronage; for her part, she is a person of exemplary life and behaviour; of singular conduct to break through, and patience to bear the assaults of fortune: A general benefactress of mankind, and, in fine, a promoter of that great work of nature, love.
Trice: Or, as the vulgar translation hath it, a very sufficient and singular good bawd: Is't not so, boy?
Lov: Ay, boy: Now for such a pettifogging fellow as thy clerk to persecute this lady; pr'ythee think on't: Tis a grievance of the free-born subject.
L. Du Lake: To see the ingratitude of this generation! That I, that have spent my youth; set at nought my fortune; and, what is more dear to me, my honour, in the service of gentlemen; should now, in my old age, be left to want and beggary, as if I were the vilest and most unworthy creature upon God's earth! [Crying.
Lov: Nay, good mother, do not take it so bitterly.
L. Du Lake: I confess, the unkindness of it troubles me.
Lov: Thou shalt not want, so long as I live.--Look, here's five pieces of cordial gold, to comfort thy heart with: I won it, e'en now, off Mr Justice; and I dare say he thinks it well bestowed.
Trice: My money's gone to very pious uses.
L. Du Lake: [Laying her hand on LOVEBY'S head.] Son Loveby, I knew thy father well; and thy grandfather before him. Fathers they were both to me; and I could weep for joy to see how thou tak'st after them. [Weeping again.] I wish it lay in my power too to gratify this worthy Justice in my vocation.
Trice: 'Faith, I doubt I am past that noble sin.
Lov: Pr'ythee, good magistrate, drink to her, and wipe sorrow from her eyes.
Trice: Right reverend, my service to you in canary. [She drinks after him, and stays at half a glass.
L. Du Lake: 'Tis a great way to the bottom; but heaven is all-sufficient to give me strength for it. [Drinks it up.] Why, God's blessing on your heart, son Trice! I hope 'tis no offence to call you son? hem!--hem!--Son Loveby, I think my son Trice and I are much of the same years: let me see, son, if nature be utterly extinct in you: Are you ticklish, son Trice? [Tickles him.
Trice: Are you ticklish, Mother Du Lake?
[Tickles her sides. She falls off her chair; he falls off his to her; they roll one over the other.
Lov: I would have all London now show me such another sight of kindness in old age. [They help each other up.] Come, a dance, a dance; call for your clerk, Justice; he shall make one, in sign of amity. Strike up, fidlers!
[They dance a round dance, and sing the tune.
Enter ISABELLA and CONSTANCE.
Isa: Are you at that sport, i'faith? Have among you, blind harpers. [She falls into the dance.
[At the dance's ending, LOVEBY sees CONSTANCE.
Trice: Is she come? A pox of all honest women at such a time!
Lov: If she knows who these are, by this light, I am undone.
Const: Oh, servant! I come to mind you of your promise. Come, produce my hundred pounds; the time's out I set you.
Lov: Not till dark night, upon my reputation! I have not yet spoke with the gentleman in the black pantaloons; you know he seldom walks abroad by day-light. Dear madam, let me wait on you to your coach; and, if I bring it not within this hour, discard me utterly.
Const: You must give me leave to salute the company. What are they?
Lov: Persons of quality of my acquaintance; but I'll make your excuse to 'em.
Const: Nay, if they are persons of quality, I shall be rude to part from 'em so abruptly.
Lov: Why so?--the devil owed me a shame; and now he has paid me. I must present 'em, whate'er come on't. [Aside.]--This, madam, is my Lady Du Lake--the Lady Springwell--the Lady Hoyden.
[She and ISABELLA salute them.
Isa: What a whiff was there came from my Lady Hoyden; and what a garlic breath my Lady Springwell had!
Trice: Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Lov: Do not betray me, Justice; if you do--[Aside.
Isa: Oh, are you thereabouts, sir? then I smell a rat, i'faith; but I'll say nothing. [Aside.
Const: Ladies, I am an humble servant to you all; and account it my happiness to have met with so good company at my cousin Trice's.
Trice: Ha, ha, ha!
L. Du Lake: Are these two ladies of your acquaintance, son Loveby?
Lov: Son, quoth a'! a pox of our relation! [Aside.
L. Du Lake: I shall be glad to be better known to your ladyships.
Const: You too much honour your servants, madam.
Isa: How Loveby fidges up and down! In what pain he is! well, if these be not they, they call whores, I'll be hanged, though I never saw one before. [Aside.
Lov: Will your ladyship please to go, madam?
Const: I must beg the favour of these ladies first, that I may know their lodgings, and wait on them.
L. Du. Lake: It will be our duty to pay our respects first to your ladyship.
Const: I beg your ladyship's pardon, madam--
L. Du Lake: Your ladyship shall excuse us, madam--
Isa: Trice. Ha, ha, ha!
Low: Ah, devil grin you! [Aside.
Trice: I must go out, and laugh my belly-full.
Const: But in earnest, madam, I must have no denial; I beseech your ladyship instruct me, where I may tender my devoirs.
L. Du Lake: Since your ladyship commands me, madam, I dare disobey no longer. My lodgings are in St Lucknor's Lane, at the Cat and Fiddle.
Const: Whereabouts is that lane, servant?
Lov: Faith, madam, I know not that part o'the town.--Lord, how I sweat for fear! [Aside.
Const: And yours, madam, where, I beseech your ladyship?
2 Whore: In Dog and Bitch yard, an't please your ladyship.
3 Whore: And mine in Sodom, so like your ladyship.
Const: How, Loveby! I did not think you would have used me thus?
Lov: I beseech your ladyship, but hear my justification as I lead you.
Const: By no means, sir; that were such a rudeness to leave persons of quality, to wait upon me: Unhand me, sir.
Isa: Ha, ha, ha!--[Exuent CONST. ISA.
Lov: I am ruined! for ever ruined. Plague, had you no places in the town to name, but Sodom, and Lucknor's Lane, for lodgings!
L. Du Lake: If any prejudice arise from it, upon my honour, son, 'twas by mistake, and not intended you: I thought she desired to have been admitted of the quality.
Lov: I was curst, when I had first to do with you.
L. Du Lake: Well, I thank heaven, that has indued me with such patience.
[Exuent all but LOVEBY and his Boy.
Lov: I have made a fair hand on't to-day;--both lost my mistress, and hear no news from my friend below: The world frowns upon me, and the devil and my mistress have forsaken me: My godfathers and godmothers have promised well for me: Instead of renouncing them, they have renounced me.
Boy: Sir, I saw my Lady Constance smile as she went out: I am confident she's angry but from the teeth outwards: you might easily make fair weather with her, if you could get the money you promised her, but there's the devil--
Lov: Where is he, boy? shew me him quickly.
Boy: Marry, God bless us! I mean, sir, there's the difficulty.
Lov: Damned rogue, to put me in hope so--
Enter BIBBER at the other end.
Lov: Uds so, look where Bibber is: Now I think on't, he offered me a bag of forty pounds, and the lease of his house yesterday: But that's his pocky humour; when I have money, and do not ask him, he will offer it; but when I ask him, he will not lend a farthing.--Turn this way, sirrah, and make as though we did not see him.
Bib: Our gentleman, I think, a-talking with his boy there.
Lov: You understand me?--
Boy: I warrant you, sir.
Lov: No news yet; what an unlucky rascal 'tis! if the rogue should hereafter be reduced to the raiment of his own shreds, I should not pity him.
Bib: How's this!
Lov: Now is this rascal hunting after jests, to make himself the greatest to all that know him.
Bib: This must be me.
Boy: I can hear neither tale nor tidings of him: I have searched him in all his haunts; amongst his creditors; and in all companies where they are like to break the least jest. I have visited the coffee-houses for him; but among all the news there, I heard none of him.
Bib: Good, i' faith.
Lov: Where's the warrant? I'll put in my own name, since I cannot find him.
Boy: Sir, I gave it a scrivener at next door, because I could not write, to fill up the blank place with Mr Bibber's name.
Lov: What an unlucky vermin 'tis! now, for an hundred pound, could I have gratified him with a waiter's place at the custom-house, that had been worth to him an hundred pound a-year upon the nail.
Bib: Could you so, could you so, sir? give me your hand, and I thank you heartily, Mr Loveby.
Lov: Art thou honest Will? faith, 'tis not worth thy thanks, till it be done: I wish I had the money for thee.
Bib: How much is't, sir?
Lov: An hundred pounds would do it.
Bib: Let me see: forty, I have already by me; take that in part, sir;--and that, and the lease of my house, would over-do it.
Lov: By all means thy lease, Will: ne'er scruple at that; hang a piece of parchment, and two bits of soft wax! thou shalt do't, thou shalt, boy.
Bib: Why, then I will, sir:--But stay, stay: now I think on't, Frances has one hundred and twenty pieces of old grandam-and-aunt gold left her, that she would never let me touch: if we could get that, Mr Loveby! but she'll never part with it.
Lov: Tis but saying the place is for her; a waiting woman's place in the custom-house: Boy, go, and tell her on't immediately. [Exit Boy
Bib: Hold a little; she has been very desirous to get a place in court, that she might take place as the queen's servant.
Lov: She shall have a dresser's place, if thou'lt keep counsel. The worst on't is, I have never a warrant ready.
Bib: 'Tis all one for that, sir; she can neither write nor read; 'tis but my telling her 'tis a warrant, and all's well. I can't but laugh to think how she'll be choused.
Lov: And you too: [Aside.] Mum, she's here, Will.
Franc: A waiting-woman's place in the custom-house! there's news for me! thank you, kind Mr Loveby; you have been instrumental, I hear, of my preferment.
Lov: No, 'tis a dresser's place at court, landlady.
Franc: O gemini! that's better news.
Bib: Aye, but you must make haste and fetch an hundred pieces: I can assure you five hundred are bidden for it: And the courtiers are such slippery youths, they are ever for the fairest chapman.
Franc: I'll fetch it presently;--oh how my heart quops now, as they say: I'll fetch it presently: Sweet Mr Loveby, if the business can be done, it shall be a good thing in your worship's way, I promise you: O the father! that it could be done: O sweet father! [Loveby plucks out a paper.
Lov: Here, Mr Bibber, pray put in Madam Bibber's name into the warrant.
Bib: Madam Bibber! there's joy!--I must call you wife no more, 'tis Madam Bibber now.
Franc: Pray read it, Mr Bibber.
Bib: An order for the admission of the illustrious lady, Madam Bibber, into her majesty's service.
Franc: Pray give me the paper, I'll have nobody touch it but myself; I am sure my money pays for it, as they say. These are the finest words; Madam Bibber! pray, chicken, shew me where Madam is written, that I may kiss it all over. I shall make bold now to bear up to those flirting gentlewomen, that sweep it up and down with their long tails. I thought myself as good as they, when I was as I was; but now I am as I am.
Lov: Good landlady, dispatch, and bring the money--
Franc: Truly, in the place of a dresser, I dare be bold to say, as they say, I shall give their majesties worships good content: I'll go fetch it.
Bib: We must keep the poor soul in ignorance as long as we can, sir; for when she has once smoked it, I have no other way but to retreat into the body of my janizaries, my journey-men; and never come out into her presence more. Where will you be at nine o'clock, sir, that we may rejoice over our good fortune?
Lov: Call me at my Lord Nonsuch's house, and I'll go with you.
Bib: We'll have the fiddles, and triumph, i'faith.
Lov: Lord, how eager this vermin was to cheat himself! Well, I'll after; I long to finger these Jacobus's: Perhaps they may make my peace again with my mistress.
Enter FAILER and NONSUCH. [CONSTANCE and ISABELLA listening.]
Fail: I vow to gad, my lord, Sir Timorous is the most dejected person in the world, and full of regret for what is past. 'Twas his misfortune to be drawn in by such a person as Madam Isabella.
Non: Tis well his estate pleads for him; he should ne'er set foot more within my doors else.
Fail: I'll be security for him for time to come: Leave it to me to get the licence: All I desire is, your daughter may be ready to-morrow morning.
Non: Well, let me alone with her.
[Exuent FAILER and NONSUCH.
Isa: You heard the dreadful sound, to-morrow, cousin.
Const: I would not throw myself away upon this fool, if I could help it.
Isa: Better marry a tertian ague than a fool, that's certain; there's one good day and night in that.
Const: And yet thou art mad for him thyself.
Isa: Nay, the fool is a handsome fool, that's somewhat; but 'tis not that; 'tis a kind of fancy I have taken to a glass coach, and six Flanders mares; rich liveries, and a good fortune.
Const: Pr'ythee do not mind me of 'em; for though I want 'em not, yet I find all women are caught with gaieties: One grain more would turn the balance on his side; I am so vexed at the wild courses of this Loveby.
Isa: Vexed? why vexed? the worst you can say of him is, he loves women: And such make the kindest husbands, I'm told. If you had a sum of money to put out, you would not look so much whether the man were an honest man, (for the law would make him that) as if he were a good sufficient pay-master.
Const: As I live, thou art a mad girl.
Set: She must be used as mad folks are then; had into the dark and cured.
Const: But all this is no comfort to the word, to-morrow.
Isa: Well, what say you, if I put you to-night into the arms of Loveby?
Const: My condition's desperate, and past thy physic.
Isa: When physic's past, what remains but to send for the divine? here's little Nicodemus, your father's chaplain: I have spoke with him already; for a brace of angels he shall make all sure betwixt you without a license; aye, and prove ten at night a more canonical hour than ten i'the morning.
Const: I see not which way thou can'st perform it; but if thou do'st, I have many admirations in store for thee. [Whispers.
Isa: Step in, and get a cushion underneath your apron.
Const: O, I must be with child, it seems!
Isa: And Loveby shall bring you to bed to-night, if the devil be not in the dice: away, make haste;--[Exit CONSTANCE.] Setstone, be not you far off: I shall have need of you too: I hear my uncle coming--Methinks I long to be revenged of this wicked elder, for hindering of my marriage to-day: Hark you, Setstone-- [Whispers;
Set: Tis impossible, madam; 'twill never take.
Isa: I warrant you; do not I know him? he has not brains enough, if they were buttered, to feed a blackbird--Nay, no replies--out of what I have said, you may instruct my cousin too.
Isa: Oh, are you there, sir? Faith, it was kindly done of you to hinder me of a good husband this afternoon: And but for one thing, I would resolve to leave your house.
Non: I'm glad there's any thing will stay thee.
Isa: If I stay, 'tis for love of my cousin Constance, not of you: I should be loth to leave her in this sad condition.
Non: What condition?
Isa: Nay, I know not; she has not worn her busk this fortnight. I think she's grown fat o'the sudden.
Non: O devil, devil! what a fright I'm in!
Isa: She has qualms too every morning: ravens mightily for green fruit; and swoons at the sight of hot meat.
Non: She's with child: I am undone! I am undone!
Isa: I understand nothing of such matters: She's but in the next room; best call her, and examine her about it.
Non: Why Constance, Constance!
Enter CONSTANCE, as with child.
Isa: Now for a broad-side; turn your prow to him, cousin.
Non: Now, gentlewoman! is this possible?
Const: I do not reach your meaning, sir.
Non: Where have you been of late?
Const: I seldom stir without you, sir: These walls most commonly confine me.
Non: These walls can get no children; nor these hangings; though there be men wrought in 'em.
Isa: Yet, by your favour, nuncle, children may be wrought behind the hangings.
Non: O Constance, Constance! How have my grey hairs deserved this of thee? Who got that belly there?
Const: You, I hope, sir.
Non: Tell me the truth, for I will know it; come, the story.
Const: The story's quickly told, sir; I am with child.
Non: And who is the father?
Const: I do not know, sir.
Non: Not know! went there so many to't?
Const: So far from that, that there were none at all, to my best knowledge, sir.
Non: Was't got by miracle? Who was the father?
Const: Who got your money, sir, that you have lost?
Non: Nay, Heaven knows who got that.
Const: And, Heaven knows who got this: for, on my conscience, he, that had your money, was the father on't.
Non: The devil it was as soon.
Const: That's all I fear, sir.
Isa: 'Tis strange;--and yet 'twere hard, sir, to suspect my cousin's virtue, since we know the house is haunted.
Non: 'Tis true, that nothing can be laid, though under lock and key, but it miscarries.
Isa: 'Tis not to be believed, what these villainous spirits can do: they go invisible.
Const: First, they stole away my prayer-book; and, a little after that, a small treatise I had against temptation; and when they were gone, you know, sir--
Isa: If there be such doings, pray heaven we are not all with child. 'Tis certain, that none live within these walls, but they have power of: I have reared Toby, the coachman, any time this fortnight.
Non: Out, impudence! A man with child! why 'tis unnatural.
Isa: Ay, so is he that got it.
Non: Thou art not in earnest?
Isa: I would I were not:--Hark! I hear him groan hither. Come in, poor Toby.
Enter TOBY, the coachman, with an urinal.
Non: How now! what have you there, sirrah?
Tob: An't please your worship, 'tis my water. I had a spice o'the new disease here i'the house; and so carried it to master doctor.
Non: Well; and what did he say to you?
Tob: He told me very sad news, an' please you: I am somewhat bashful to speak on't.
Isa: Out with it, man.
Tob: Why, truly, he told me, the party that owned the water was with child.
Isa: I told you so, uncle.
Non: To my best remembrance, I never heard of such a thing before.
Tob: I never stretch out myself to snap my whip, but it goes to the heart of me.
Isa: Alas, poor Toby!
Non: Begone, and put off your livery, sirrah!--You shall not stay a minute in my service.
Tob: I beseech your good worship, be good to me; 'twas the first fault I ever committed in this kind. I have three poor children by my wife; and if you leave me to the wide world, with a new charge upon myself--
Non: Begone! I will not hear a word.
Tob: If I must go, I'll not go alone: Ambrose Tinis, the cook, is as bad as I am.
Non: I think you'll make me mad. Call the rascal hither! I must account with him on another score, now I think on't.
Enter AMBROSE TINIS.
Non: Sirrah, what made you send a pheasant with one wing to the table yesterday?
Amb: I beseech your worship to pardon me; I longed for't.
Isa: I feared as much.
Amb: And I beseech your worship let me have a boy, to help me in the kitchen; for I find myself unable to go through with the work. Besides, the doctor has warned me of stooping to the fire, for fear of a mischance.
Non: Why, are you with child, sirrah?
Amb: So he tells me; but, if I were put to my oath, I know not that ever I deserved for't.
Non: Still worse and worse. And here comes Setstone groaning.
Set: O, sir! I have been so troubled with swooning fits; and have so longed for cherries!
Non: He's poopt too.
Isa: Well, this is not the worst yet: I suspect something more than I will speak of.
Non: What dost thou suspect, ha!
Isa: Is not your lordship with child, too?
Non: Who, I with child! marry, heaven forbid! What dost thou see by me, to ground it on?
Isa: You're very round of late;--that's all, sir.
Non: Round! that's only fat, I hope. I have had a very good stomach of late, I'm sure.
Isa: Alas, and well you may;--You eat for two, sir.
Non: Setstone, look upon me, and tell me true: Do you observe any alteration in me?
Set: I would not dishearten your ladyship--your lordship, I would say--but I have observed, of late, your colour goes and comes extremely. Methinks your lordship looks very sharp, and bleak i'the face, and mighty puffed i'the body.
Non: O, the devil! Wretched men, that we are all! Nothing grieves me, but that, in my old age, when others are past child-bearing, I should come to be a disgrace to my family.
Const: How do you, sir? Your eyes look wondrous dim. Is not there a mist before 'em?
Isa: Do you not feel a kicking in your belly--When do you look, uncle?
Non: Uh, uh!--Methinks, I am very sick o'the sudden.
Isa: What store of old shirts have you against the good time? Shall I give you a shift, uncle?
Non: Here's like to be a fine charge towards! We shall all be brought to-bed together! Well, if I be with devil, I will have such gossips: an usurer, and a scrivener, shall be godfathers.
Isa: I'll help you, uncle; and Sawney's two grannies shall be godmothers. The child shall be christened by the directory; and the gossips' gifts shall be the gude Scotch kivenant.
Const. Set. Non. Tob. Amb. Uh! uh! uh!
Isa: What rare music's here!
Non: Whene'er it comes from me, 'twill kill me; that's certain.
Set: Best take a vomit.
Isa: An't come upward, the horns will choke him.
Non: Mass! and so they will.
Isa: Your only way, is to make sure o'the man-midwife.
Non: But my child's dishonour troubles me the most. If I could but see her well married, before I underwent the labour and peril of child-bearing!--What would you advise, niece?
Isa: That which I am very loth to do. Send for honest Jack Loveby, and let him know the truth on't: He's a fellow without a fortune, and will be glad to leap at the occasion.
Non: But why Loveby, of all the world? 'Tis but staying 'till to-morrow, and then Sir Timorous will marry her.
Const: Uh!--I swell so fast, I cannot hide it 'till to-morrow.
Isa: Why, there's it now!
Non: I'll send for the old alderman, Getwell, immediately: He'll father the devil's bastard, I warrant you.
Isa: Fie, uncle! my cousin's somewhat too good yet for an alderman. If it were her third child, she might hearken to you.
Non: Well, since it must be so, Setstone, go you to Loveby; make my excuse to him for the arrest, and let him know, what fortune may attend him.
Isa: Mr Setstone, pray acquaint him with my cousin's affection to him; and prepare him to father the cushion underneath her petticoat.
[Aside to SETSTONE. Exit.]
Set: I'll bring him immediately.
Isa: When he comes, uncle, pray cover your great belly with your hat, that he may not see it.
Non: It goes against my heart to marry her to this Loveby; but, what must be, must be.
Const: O, Mr Loveby! The welcomest man alive! You met Setstone, I hope, that you came so opportunely?
Lov: No, faith, madam; I came of my own accord.
Isa: 'Tis unlucky; he's not prepared.
Lov: Look you, madam, I have brought the hundred pounds; the devil was as punctual as three o' clock at a playhouse. Here; 'tis right, I warrant it, without telling: I took it upon his word.
Const: Your kindness shall be requited, servant: But I sent for you upon another business. Pray, cousin, tell it him, for I am ashamed to do't.
Lov: Ha! 'tis not that great belly, I hope. Is't come to that?
Isa: Hark you, Mr Loveby; a word with you.
Lov: A word with you, madam: Whither is your cousin bound?
Isa: Bound, sir?
Lov: Ay, bound: Look you, she's under sail, with a lusty fore-wind.
Non: I sent for you, sir; but, to be plain with you, 'twas more out of necessity than love.
Lov: I wonder, my lord, at your invincible ill-nature. You forget the arrest, that I passed by: But this it is to be civil to unthankful persons; 'tis feeding an ill-natured dog, that snarls while he takes victuals from your hand.
Non: All friends! all friends! No ripping up old stories; you shall have my daughter.
Lov: Faith, I see your lordship would let lodgings ready furnished; but I am for an empty tenement.
Non: I had almost forgot my own great belly. If he should discover that too! [Claps his hat before it.
Isa: [To Lov.] You will not hear me, sir. 'Tis all roguery, as I live.
Lov: Flat roguery, I'll swear! If I had been father on't, nay, if I had but laid my breeches upon the bed, I would have married her: But I see we are not ordained for one another.
Non: I beseech you, sir.
Lov: Pray cover, my lord.
Isa: He does his great belly, methinks.
Non: I'll make it up in money to you.
Lov: That cannot tempt me. I have a friend, that shall be nameless, that will not see me want; and so, your servant.
Isa: I'll after, and bring him back.
Non: You shall not stir after him;--Does he scorn my daughter?
Isa: Lord, how fretful you are! This breeding makes you so peevish, uncle.
Non: 'Tis no matter, she shall straight be married to Sir Timorous.
Const: I am ruined, cousin.
Isa: I warrant you.--My lord, I wish her well married to Sir Timorous; but Loveby will certainly infect him with the news of her great belly.
Non: I'll dispatch it, ere he can speak with him.
Isa: Whene'er he comes, he'll see what a bona roba she is grown.
Non: Therefore, it shall be done i'the evening.
Isa: It shall, my lord.
Const: Shall it?
Isa: Let me alone, cousin.--And to this effect she shall write to him, that, to conform to your will, and his modesty, she desires him to come hither alone this evening.
Non: Excellent wench!--I'll get my chaplain ready.
Const: How can you hope to deceive my father?
Isa: If I don't, I have hard luck.
Const: You go so strange a way about, your bowl must be well bias'd to come in.
Isa: So plain a ground, there's not the least rub in't. I'll meet Sir Timorous in the dark; and, in your room, marry him.
Const: You'll be sure to provide for one.
Isa: You mistake me, cousin:--Oh! here's Setstone again.
Mr Jeweller, you must again into your devil's shape, and speak with Loveby. But pray be careful not to be discovered.
Set: I warrant you, madam. I have cozened wiser men than he in my own shape; and, if I cannot continue it in a worse, let the devil, I make bold with, e'en make as bold with me.
Isa: You must guide him, by back ways, to my uncle's house, and so to my cousin's chamber, that he may not know where he is when he comes there. The rest I'll tell you as we go along.
Enter TIMOROUS; after him BURR and FAILER.
Tim: Here, here, read this note; there's news for us.
Fail: Let me see't. [Reads.
Sir Timorous, Be at the garden-door at nine this evening; there I'll receive you with my daughter. To gratify your modesty I designed this way, after I had better considered on it: and pray leave your caterpillars, Burr and Failer, behind you. Yours, Nonsuch.
There is some trick in this, whate'er it be. But this word, caterpillars--You see, Burr, Sir Timorous is like to be lured from us. [Aside.
Burr: Is there no prevention? [Aside.
Fail: One way there is.--Sir Timorous, pray walk a turn, while Burr and I confer a little upon this matter.--Look you, Burr, there is but one remedy in nature, I vow to gad; that is, for you to have a new Sir Timorous, exceeding this person in bounty to you. Observe, then; in Sir Timorous' place will I go, and, egad, I'll marry my lady Constance; and then, from the bowels of friendship, bless thee with a thousand pounds, besides lodging and diet for thy life, boy.
Burr: Umph, very well thought on.--No, sir! you shall trust to my bounty; I'll go in his place. Murmur or repine, speak the least word, or give thy lips the least motion, and I'll beat thee till thou art not in condition to go.
Fail: I vow to gad, this is extreme injustice.--Was it not my invention?
Burr: Why, dost thou think thou art worthy to make use of thy own invention?--Speak another word, d'ye see!--Come, help me quickly to strip Sir Timorous; his coat may conduce to the deceit.--Sir Timorous, by your leave. [Fatts on him.
Tim: O, Lord! what's the matter?--Murder? murder!
Burr: D'ye open? I have something in my pocket that will serve for a gag, now I think on't.
[Gags, and binds him.
So, lie there, knight. Come, sir, and help to make me Sir Timorous; and, when I am married, remember to increase your manners with my fortune.--Yet we'll always drink together. [Exuent.