Page images

Men have no power, angels must work you to't:
The world descends into such base-born evils,
That forty angels can make fourscore devils.
There will be fools still I perceive--still fool?
Would I be poor, dejected, scorn'd of greatness,
Swept from the palace, and see others' daughters
Spring with the dew o'the court, having mine own
So much desir'd and lov'd-by the duke's son?
No, I would raise


her breast;
And call her eyes my tenants; I would count
My yearly maintenance upon her cheeks;
Take coach upon her lip; and all her parts
Should keep men after men, and I would ride
In pleasure upon pleasure.
You took great pains for her, once when it was,
Let her requite it now, tho' it be but some;
You brought her forth, she may well bring you home.

Moth. O heavens! this o'ercomes me!
Vin. Not I hope already?

Moth. It is too strong for me; men know, that know us,
We are so weak their words can overthrow us:
He touch'd me nearly, made my virtues bate,
When his tongue struck upon my poor estate. aside.

Vin. I e'en quake to proceed, my spirit turns edge, I fear me she's unmother'd, yet I'll venture.

[ocr errors]


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

What think you now, lady? speak, are you wiser ?
What said advancement to you? thus it said,
The daughter's fall lifts up the mother's head:
Did it not madam ? but I'll swear it does
In many places : tut, this age fears no man,
“'Tis no shame to be bad, because 'tis common.'

Moth. Ay, that's the comfort on't.

Vin. The comfort on't!
I keep the best for last, can these persuade you

(gives her money. To forget heaven-and

Moth. Ay, these are they-
Vin. Oh!

Moth. That enchant our sex :
These are the means that govern our affections,—that woman
Will not be troubled with the mother long,
That sees the comfortable shine of you :
I blush to think what for your sakes I'll do.

Vin. O suffering heaven! with thy invisible finger,

E'en at this instant turn the precious side
Of both mine eye-balls inward, not to see myself. [aside.

Moth. Look you, sir.
Vin. Hollo.
Moth. Let this thank your pains.
Vin. O you're a kind madam.
Moth. I'll see how I can move.
Vin. Your words will sting.
Moth. If she be still chaste, I'll ne'er call her mine.
Vin. Spoke truer than you meant it. [Castiza returns.
Moth. Daughter Castiza.
Cast. Madam.

Vin. O, she's yonder,
Meet her: troops of celestial soldiers guard her heart.
Yon dam has devils enough to take her part.

Cast. Madam, what makes yon evil-offic'd man
In presence of you?

Moth. Why?

Cast. He lately brought
Immodest writing sent from the duke's son,
To tempt me to dishonourable act.

Moth. Dishonourable act?-good honourable fool,
That would'st be honest, cause thou would'st be so,
Producing no one reason but thy will.
And 't has a good report, prettily commended,
But pray by whom? poor people; ignorant people ;
The better. sort, I'm sure, cannot abide it.
And by what rule should we square out our lives,
But by our betters' actions ? oh, if thou knew'st
What t'were to lose it, thou would never keep it !
But there's a cold curse laid

upon all maids, Whilst others clip the sun, they clasp the shades.

[blocks in formation]

Deny advancement! treasure! the duke's son!

Cast. I cry you mercy! lady, I mistook you, Pray did you see my mother, which way went you ? Pray God I have not lost her.

Vin. Prettily put by!

Moth. Are you as proud to me, as coy to him?
Do you not know me now?

Cast. Why, are you she?
The world's so chang'd, one shape into another,
It is a wise child now that knows her mother.


Vin. Most right, i'faith. Moth. I owe your



hand For that presumption now,

but I'll forget it;
Come, you shall leave those childish 'haviours,
And understand your time. Fortunes flow to you,
What will you be a girl ?
If all fear'd drowning that spy waves ashore,
Gold would grow rich, and all the merchants poor.

Cast. It is a pretty saying of a wicked one, but methinks now
It does not show so well out of your mouth,
Better his.

Vin. Faith, bad enough in both, Were I in earnest, as I'll seem no less. I wonder, lady, your own mother's words Cannot be taken, nor stand in full force. 'Tis honesty you urge; what's honesty? 'Tis but heaven's beggar; and what woman is so foolish to

keep honesty,
And be not able to keep herself? no,
Times are grown wiser, and will keep less charge.
A maid that has small portion now intends
To break up house, and live upon

her friends

; How blest are you! you have happiness alone; Others must fall to thousands, you to one, Sufficient in himself to make


Dazzle the world with jewels; and petitionary people
Start at your presence.

Moth. Oh, if I were young, I should be ravish'd.
Cast. Ay, to lose your honour!

Vin. 'Slid, how can you lose your honour,
To deal with


lord's He'll add more honour to it by his title; Your mother will tell


how. Moth. That I will.

Vin. O think upon the pleasure of the palace !
Secured ease and state! the stirring meats,
Ready to move out of the dishes, that e’en now quicken

when they're eaten!
Banquets abroad by torch-light! musick! sports !
Bare-headed vassals, that had ne'er the fortune
To keep on their own hats, but let horns wear 'em!
Nine coaches waiting-hurry, hurry, hurry-

Cast. Ay, to the devil.
Vin. Ay, to the devil! to th' duke, by my faith.


Moth. Ay, to the duke: daughter, you'd scorn to think o'the

devil, and you were there once.
Vin. True, for most there are as proud as he for his heart,

Who'd sit at home in a neglected room,
Dealing her short-liv'd beauty to the pictures,
That are as useless as old men, when those
Poorer in face and fortune than herself,
Walk with a hundred acres on their backs,
Fair meadows cut into green fore-parts?-oh!
It was the greatest blessing ever happen’d to women,
When farmers' sons agreed, and met again,
To wash their hands, and come up gentlemen!
The common-wealth has flourish'd ever since:
Lands that were mete by the rod, that labour's spar’d,
Tailors ride down, and measure’em by the yard;
Fair trees, those comely fore-tops of the field,
Are cut to maintain head-tires-much untold
All thrives but chastity, she lies a-cold.

Nay, shall I come nearer to you? mark but this : Why are there so few honest women, but because 'tis the poorer profession : that's accounted best, that's best follow'd; least in trade, least in fashion; and that's not honesty, believe it; and do but note the low and dejected price of it:

Lose but a pearl, we search and cannot brook it:
But that once gone, who is so mad to look it?

Moth. Troth he says true.

Cast. False, I defy you both :
I have endur'd you with an ear of fire ;
Your tongues have struck hot irons on my face.
Mother, come from that poisonous woman there.

Moth. Where?

Cast. Do you not see her ? she's too inward then :
Slave, perish in thy office: you heavens please,
Henceforth to make the mother a disease,
Which first begins with me, yet I've outgone you. [exit.

Vin. O angels, clap your wings upon the skies,
And give this virgin crystal plaudities!

Moth. Peevish, coy, foolish!—but return this answer,
My lord shall be most welcome, when his pleasure
Conducts him this way; I will

Women with women can work best alone.

Vin. Indeed I'll tell him so.
O more uncivil, more unnatural,
Than those base-titled creatures that look downward.

sway mine

Why does not heaven turn black, or with a frown
Undo the world ?-why does not earth start up,
And strike the sins that tread upon't?--oh,
Wer't not for gold and women, there would be no damnation.
Hell would look like a lord's great kitchen, without fire in't.
But 'twas decreed before the world began,
That they should be the hooks to catch at man. [exit.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Enter Vindici and Hippolito, bringing out their mother, with daggers

in their hands.
Vin. O thou, for whom no name is bad enough !
Moth. What mean my sons ? what, will

you murder me?
Vin. Wicked unnatural parent !
Hip. Fiend of women !
Moth. Oh! are sons turned monsters ? help!
Vin. In vain.

Moth. Are you so barbarous as to set iron nipples
Upon the breast that gave you suck ?

Vin. That breast
Is turn'd to quarled poison.
Moth. Cut not your days for't! am not I your

Vin. Thou dost usurp that title now by fraud,
For in that shell of mother breeds a bawd.

Moth. A bawd ? O name far loathsomer than hell !
Hip. It should be so, knew'st thou thy office well.
Moth. I hate it.

Vin. Ah! is't possible, you powers on high,
That women should dissemble when they die!

Moth. Dissemble?

Vin. Did not the duke's son direct
A fellow, of the world's condition, hither,
That did corrupt all that was good in thee?
Made thee uncivilly forget thyself,
And work our sister to his lust?

Moth. Who I?
That had been monstrous. I defy that man

such intent! none lives so pure,
But shall be soild with slander;—good son, believe it not.

Vin. Oh, I'm in doubt,
Whether I'm myself, or no-
Stay, let me look again upon this face.
Who shall be sav'd, when mothers have no grace?

[resumes his disguise. Hip. 'Twould make one half despair.

« PreviousContinue »