AMAN. Yet still 'tis safer to avoid the storm;
The strongest vessels, if they put to sea,
May possibly be lost.
Would I could keep you here in this calm port for
ever! 60 Forgive the weakness of a woman, I am uneasy at your going to stay so long in town;
I know its false insinuating pleasures;
I know the force of its delusions;
I know the strength of its attacks; 65 I know the weak defence of nature; I know you are a man -- and I -- a wife.
LOV. You know then all that needs1 to give you rest,
For wife's the strongest claim that you can urge.
When you would plead your title to my heart, 70 On this you may depend; therefore be calm, Banish your fears, for they are traitors to your peace;
Beware of 'em: they are insinuating busy things
That gossip to and fro,
And do a world of mischief where they come: 75 But you shall soon be mistress of 'em all, I'll aid you with such arms for their destruction,
They never shall erect their heads again.
You know the business is indispensible,
That obliges me to go for London, 80 And you have no reason, that I know of, To believe I'm glad of the occasion:
For my honest conscience is my witness,
I have found a due succession of such charms
In my retirement here with you, 85 I have never thrown one roving thought that way;
But since, against my will, I'm dragged once more
To that uneasy theatre of noise,
I am resolved to make such use on't,
As shall convince you 'tis an old cast mistress, 90 Who has been so lavish of her favors, She's now grown bankrupt of her charms,
And has not one allurement left to move me.
AMAN. Her bow, I do believe, is grown so weak,
Her arrows (at this distance) cannot hurt you, 95 But in approaching 'em you give 'em strength: The dart that has not far to fly will put
The best of armor to a dangerous trial.
LOV. That trial past, and y'are at ease for ever;
When you have seen the helmet proved, 100 You'll apprehend no more for him that wears it: Therefore to put a lasting period to your fears,
I am resolved, this once, to launch into temptation.
I'll give you an essay of all my virtues;
My former boon companions of the bottle 105 Shall fairly try what charms are left in wine: I'll take my place amongst 'em, they shall hem me in,
Sing praises to their god, and drink his glory;
Turn wild enthusiasts for his sake, and beasts to do him honor:
Whilst I, a stubborn atheist, sullenly look on, 110 Without one reverend glass to his divinity. That for my temperance: then for my constancy -----
AMAN. Ay, there take heed.
LOV. Indeed the danger's small.
AMAN. And yet my fears are great.
LOV. Why are you so timorous?
AMAN. Because you are so bold. 115
LOV. My courage should disperse your apprehensions.
AMAN. My apprehensions should alarm your courage.
LOV. Fy, fy, Amanda, it is not kind thus to distrust me.
AMAN. And yet my fears are founded on my love.
LOV. Your love then is not founded as it ought; 120 For if you can believe 'tis possible
I should again relapse to my past follies,2
I must appear to you a thing
Of such an undigested composition,
That but to think of me with inclination 125 Would be a weakness in your taste Your virtue scarce could answer.
AMAN. 'Twould be a weakness in my tongue,
My prudence could not answer,
If I should press you farther with my fears; 130 I'll therefore trouble you no longer with 'em.
LOV. Nor shall they trouble you much longer,
A little time shall show you they were groundless;
This winter shall be the fiery trial of my virtue,
Which, when it once has past, 135 You'll be convinced 'twas of no false allay; There all your cares will end.
AMAN. Pray heaven they may!
Exeunt hand in hand.
Enter YOUNG FASHION, LORY, and Waterman.
Y. FAS. Come, pay the waterman, and take the portmantle.____________________