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Sir Mart. Pr’ythee insult not over the destiny of a poor undone lover; I am punished enough for my indiscretion in my despair, and have nothing to hope for now but death.
Warn. Death is a bug-word; things are not brought to that extremity; I'll cast about to save
Enter Lady DUPE. L. Dupe. O, Sir Martin! yonder has been such a stir within ; Sir John, I fear, smokes your design, and by all means would have the old man remove his lodging; pray God, your man has not played false.
Warn. Like enough I have: I am coxcomb sufficient to do it; my master knows, that none but such a great calf as I could have done it, such an overgrown ass, a self-conceited idiot as I.
Sir Mart. Nay, Warner.
Warn. Pray, sir, let me alone: What is it to you if I rail upon myself? Now could I break my own logger-head.
Sir Mart. Nay, sweet Warner.
Warn. What a good master have I, and I to ruin him: O beast!
L. Dupe. Not to discourage you wholly, Sir Martin, this storm is partly over.
Sir Mart. As how, dear cousin ?
L. Dupe. When I heard Sir John complain of the landlord, I took the first hint of it, and joined with him, saying, if he were such an one, I would have nothing to do with him: In short, I rattled him so well, that Sir John was the first who did desire they might be lodged with me, not knowing that I was your kinswoman.
Sir Mart. Pox on't, now I think, on't, I could have found out this myself.
Warn. Are you there again, sir? Now, as I have a soul
Sir Mart. Mum, good Warner, I did but forget myself a little; I leave myself wholly to you, and my cousin: get but my mistress for me, and claim whatever reward you can desire.
Warn. Hope of reward will diligence beget, Find you the money, and I'll find the wit.
ACT II. SCENE I.
Enter Lady Dupe, and Mrs Christian. Chr. It happened, madam, just as you said it would; but was he so concerned for my feigned sickness?
L. Dupe. So much, that Moody and his daughter, our new guests, take notice of the trouble; but the cause was kept too close for strangers to divine.
Chr. Heaven grant he be but deep enough in love, and then
L. Dupe. And then thou shalt distil him into gold, my girl. Yonder he comes, I'll not be seen: you know your lesson, child.
[Exit. Chr. I warrant you.
Enter Lord DARTMOUTH. Lord. Pretty mistress Christian, how glad am I to meet you thus alone!
Chr. O the father! what will become of me now?
Lord. No harm, I warrant you; but why are you so afraid?
Chr. A poor weak innocent creature as I am, heaven of his merey, how I quake and tremble! I have not yet clawed off your last ill usage, and
now I feel my old fit come again; my ears tingle already, and my back shuts and opens; ay, just
so it began before.
Lord. Nay, my sweet mistress, be r.ot so unjust. to suspect any new attempt : I am too penitent for my last fault, so soon to sin again. I hope you did not tell it to your aunt.
Chr. The more fool I, I did not.
Lord. You never shall repent your goodness to me; but may not I presume there was some little kindness in it, which moved you to conceal my crime?
Chr. Methought I would not have mine aunt angry
with you, for all this earthly good; but yet I'll never be alone with you again.
Lord. Pretty innocence! let me sit nearer to you: You do not understand what love I bear you. I vow it is so pure, my soul's not sullied with one spot of sin: Were you a sister, or a daughter to me, with a more holy flame I could not burn.
Chr. Nay, now you speak high words; I cannot understand you.
Lord. The business of my life shall be but how to make your fortune, and my care and study to advance and see you settled in the world.
Chr. I humbly thank your lordship.
Lord. Thus I would sacrifice my life and fortuncs, and in return you cruelly destroy me.
Chr. I never meant you any harm, not I.
Lord. Then what does this white enemy so near me? [Touching her hand gloved.] Sure'tis your champion, and you arm it thus to bid defiance to me. Chr. Nay, fie, my lord! In faith, you are to blame.
[Pulling her hand away. Lord. But I am for fair wars; an enemy must first be searched for privy armour, ere we do engage;
[Pulls at her glove: Chr. What does your lordship mean?
Lord. I fear you bear some spells and charms about you, and, madam, that's against the law of
Chr. My aunt charged me not to pull off my glove, for fear of sun-burning my hand.
Lord. She did well to keep it from your eyes, but I will thus preserve it.
(Hugging her bare hand. Chr. Why do you crush it so ? nay, now you hurt me, nay--if you squeeze it ne'er so hardthere's nothing to come out on't-fie—is this loving one-what makes you take your breath so short?
Lord. The devil take me if I can answer her a word; all my senses are quite employed another way.
Chr. Ne'er stir, my lord, 'I must cry out.
Lord. Then I must stop your mouth-this ruby for a kiss——that is but one ruby for another.
Chr. This is worse and worse.
Chr. Do you hear, my aunt calls ? I shall be hanged for staying with you—let me go, my lord.
[Gets from hin. Enter Lady DUPE. L. Dupe. My lord! heaven bless me, what makes 'your lordship here?
Lord. I was just wishing for you, madam ;- your niece and I have been so laughing at the blunt humour of your country-gentleman. I must go pass an hour with him.
[Exit Lord. Chr. You made a little too much haste; I was just exchanging a kiss for a ruby,
L. Dupe. No harm done; it will make hin come on the faster : Never full gorge an hawk you mean to fly: The next will be a necklace of pearl, I war
Chr. But what must I do next?
L. Dupe. Tell him I grew suspicious, and examined you whether he made not love; which you denied. Then tell him how my maids and daughters watch you; so that you tremble when you see his lordship
Chr. And that your daughters are so envious, that they would raise a false report to ruin me.
L. Dupe. Therefore you desire his lordship, as he loves you, of which you are confident, henceforward to forbear his visits to you.
Chr. But how, if he should take me at my word?
L. Dupe. Why, if the worst come to the worst, he leaves you an honest woman, and there's an end on't : But fear not that; hold out his messages,
and then he'll write, and that is it, my bird, which you must drive it to: Then all his letters will be such ecstasies, such vows and promises, which you must answer short and simply, yet still ply out of them your advantages.
Chr. But, madam! he's in the house, he will not write.
L. Dupe. You fool--he'll write from the next chamber to you; and, rather than fail, send his page post with it, upon a hobby-horse : Then grant a meeting, but tell me of it, and I'll prevent him by my being there; he'll curse me, but I care not. When you are alone, he'll urge his lust, which answer you with scorn and anger.
Chr. As thus an't please you, madam. What! Does he think I will be danınd for him ? Defame my family, ruin my name, to satisfy his pleasure?
L. Dupe. Then he will be profane in his argu ments, urge nature's laws to you.
Chr. By'r lady, and those are shrewd arguments; but I am resolved I'll stop my ears.
I, Dupe. Then when he sees no other thing will