British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview

AMAN. Whate'er they are, there is a weight in resolution
Sufficient for their balance. The soul, I do con

fess, 155
Is usually so careless of its charge, So soft, and so indulgent to desire,
It leaves the reins in the wild hand of Nature,
Who, like a Phaeton, drives the fiery chariot,
And sets the world on flame. 160
Yet still the sovereignty is in the mind, Whene'er it pleases to exert its force.
Perhaps you may not think it worth your while
To take such mighty pains for my esteem;
But that I leave to you. 165

You see the price I set upon my heart;
Perhaps 'tis dear: but spite of all your art,
You'll find on cheaper terms we ne'er shall part.1

Exit AMANDA.

WOR. (solus). Sure there's divinity about her;

And sh'as dispensed some portion on't to me. 170
For what but now was the wild flame of love, Or (to dissect that specious term)
The vile, the gross desires of flesh and blood,
Is in a moment turned to adoration.
The coarser appetite of nature's gone, 175
And 'tis, methinks the food of angels I require: How long this influence may last, heaven knows.
But in this moment of my purity
I could on her own terms accept her heart.
Yes, lovely woman, I can accept it, 180
For now 'tis doubly worth my care. Your charms are much encreased, since thus adorned.
When truth's extorted from us, then we own
The robe of virtue is a graceful habit.
Could women but our secret counsels scan, 185
Could they but reach the deep reserves of man, They'd wear it on, that that of love might last;
For when they throw off one, we soon the other cast.
Their sympathy is such -----
The fate of one the other scarce can fly; 190
They live together, and together die. Exit.


[SCENE V]

[ LORD FOPPINGTON'S lodgings.]

Enter MISS HOYDENand Nurse.

MISS. But is it sure and certain, say you, he's my lord's own brother?

NURSE. As sure as he's your lawful husband.

MISS. I'cod, if I had known that in time, I don't

know but I might have kept him; for between 5
you and I, nurse, he'd have made a husband worth two of this I have. But which do you think you should fancy most, nurse?

NURSE. Why, truly, in my poor fancy, madam,

your first husband is the prettier gentleman. 10

MISS. I don't like my lord's shapes, nurse.

NURSE. Why, in good truly, as a body may say, he is but a slam.2

MISS. What do you think now he puts me in mind

of? Don't you remember a long, loose, sham­ 15
bling sort of a horse my father called Washy?

NURSE. As like as two twin brothers.

MISS. I'cod, I have thought so a hundred times: 'faith, I'm tired of him.

NURSE. Indeed, madam, I think you had e'en 20
as good stand to your first bargain.

MISS. Oh, but, nurse, we han't considered the main thing yet. If I leave my lord, I must leave 'my lady' too: and when I rattle about the streets in

my coach, they'll only say, 'There goes Mistress 25
-- Mistress --' Mistress what? What's this man's name I have married, nurse?

NURSE. Squire Fashion.

MISS. Squire Fashion, is it? ----- Well, Squire -----

that's better than nothing: do you think one 30
could not get him made a knight, nurse?

NURSE. I don't know but one might, madam, when the king's in a good humor.

MISS. I'cod, that would do rarely. For then he'd

be as good a man as my father, you know. 35

NURSE. By'r Lady, and that's as good as the best of 'em.

MISS. So 'tis, faith; for then I shall be 'my lady' and 'your ladyship' at every word; that's all I have

to care for. Ha, nurse! ----- but hark you me, one 40
thing more, and then I have done. I'm afraid, if I change my husband again, I shan't have so much money to throw about, nurse.

NURSE. Oh, enough's as good as a feast: besides,

madam, one don't know but as much may fall to 45
your share with the younger brother as with the elder. For though these lords have a power of wealth, indeed, yet as I have heard say, they give it all to their sluts and their trulls, who joggle it about
in their coaches, with a murrain to 'em, whilst 50
poor madam sits sighing and wishing, and knotting and crying, and has not a spare half-crown to buy her a Practice of Piety.3

MISS. Oh, but for that, don't deceive yourself,

nurse. For this I must say for my lord, and a -- 55
(snapping her fingers) for him: he's as free as an open house at Christmas. For this very morning he told

____________________
166-168] Q1Q2P print as verse.
185-191] Q1Q2P print as verse.
1
I.e., part after having come to an agreement.
2
The O.E.D. cites this as the sole instance of this word, and gives the meaning as '? an ill-shaped person.' In Q1 the word is spelled with a lower-case ʃl ligature: it may be a misprint for 'flam' (cheat), referring to the fact that Lord Foppington's clothes are padded.
3
A very popular religious manual by Lewis Bayly, Bishop of Bangor in the early seventeenth century.

-303-

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