The coffee-house politician: or, the justice caught in his own trap. A comedy. As it is acted at the Theatre-Royal in Lincoln's-Inn Fields. Written by Mr. Fielding. — Rape upon rape


THE Coffee-Houſe Politician; OR, THE JUSTICE Caught in his own TRAP.

A COMEDY. As it is Acted at the Theatre-Royal in Lincoln's-Inn Fields.

Written by Mr. FIELDING.

LONDON: Printed for J. WATTS, at the Printing-Office in Wild-Court near Lincoln's-Inn Fields. MDCCXXX.


Spoken by Mr. PAGET.
IN ancient Greece, the Infant Muſe's School,
Where Vice firſt felt the Pen of Ridicule,
With honeſt Freedom and impartial Blows
The Muſe attack'd each Vice as it aroſe:
No Grandeur could the Mighty Villain ſcreen
From the juſt Satyr of the Comick Scene:
No Titles could the daring Poet cool,
Nor ſave the great Right Honourable Fool.
They ſpar'd not even the Aggreſſor's Name,
And Publick Villany felt Publick Shame.
Long hath this gen'rous Method been diſus'd,
For Vice hath grown too great to be abus'd;
By Pow'r, defended from the Piercing Dart,
It reigns, and triumphs in the Lordly Heart;
While Beaus, and Cits, and Squires, our Scenes afford,
Juſtice preſerves the Rogues who weild the Sword;
All Satyr againſt her Tribunal's quaſh'd,
Nor laſh the Bards, for fear of being laſh'd.
But the Heroick Muſe who ſings To-night,
Through theſe neglected Tracks attempts her Flight:
Vice, cloath'd with Pow'r, ſhe combats with her Pen,
And fearleſs, dares the Lyon in his Den.
Then only Reverence to Pow'r is due,
When Publick Welfare is its only View:
[Page] But when the Champions, whom the Publick arm
For their own Good with Pow'r, attempt their Harm,
He ſure muſt meet the general Applauſe,
Who 'gainſt thoſe Traytors fights the Publick Cauſe.
And while theſe Scenes the conſcious Knave diſpleaſe,
Who feels within the Criminal he ſees,
The Uncorrupt and Good muſt ſmile, to find
No Mark for Satyr in his Generous Mind.


Spoken by Mrs. MULLART.
RAPE upon Rape! what Author ever choſe
A Name ſo ſure to make the Fair his Foes!
And, Ladies, I can read in all your Faces,
Our Author is not much in your good Graces;
But pray, confeſs, does all this Fury fall,
Becauſe theſe Scenes Rape upon Rape we call?
Or is it—that we have no Rape at all?
Our modern Beaus in Vigour are ſo hearty,
And modern Dames ſo very full of Vartue,
So ſcarce immodeſt Women, Men ſo urging,
A Rape's almoſt as common as a—Virgin.
Oh! may our Youth whoſe Vigour is ſo parlous,
To Italy be wafted with Don Carlos;
There ſhould one Victory but give them Scope,
They would not leave one Maidenhead for the Pope;
Or ſhould ſome new Pope Joan the Chair poſſeſs,
They'd play the Devil with her—Holineſs.
Rape upon Rape ſhould follow Blows on Blows,
And New Rome fall, by what the Old aroſe.
Lucretia ſurely, tho' her Fame has ſounded,
With Ardour for her Country ne'er abounded;
Who ſo abhorr'd, what had her Country founded.
[Page] Heatheniſh Wretch! the Pious Chriſtian Wife,
Tho' raviſh'd, ſtill contents herſelf with Life:
So zealous from Self-Murther we refrain,
We live, tho' ſure of raviſhing again.
What need has She of Penance or Repenting,
Who undergoes it all without conſenting?
She ſure, tho' with her Sword Lucretian ſwagger,
Requires a Cordial rather than a Dagger.
But may no fear of Raviſhing affright
The beauteous kind Spectators of To-night;
Safe to your Husbands Arms may you eſcape,
And never know that dreadful thing, a RAPE.

Dramatis Perſonae.

  • MEN.

    Mr. Paget.
    Mr. Jones.
    Mr. Roſcoe.
    Mr. Mullart.
    Mr. Stopler.
    Mr. J. Lacy.
    Mr. Reynolds.
    Mr. Wells.
    Mr. Dove.
    Mr. Hicks.
    Mr. Wathan.
  • WOMEN.

    Mrs. Mullart.
    Mrs. Williamſon.
    Mrs. Squeezum,
    Mrs. Forreſter.
    Mrs. Staff,
    Mrs. Lacy.
    Mrs. Smith.
  • Evidences, Watch, &c.

1. RAPE upon RAPE; OR, The JUSTICE caught in his own TRAP.


1.1. ACT I.

1.1.1. SCENE I.

SCENE A Parlour in Politick's Houſe. A Table ſpread with News-Papers. Chairs.
Hilaret, Cloris.
HILARET. WELL, Cloris, this is a mad Frolick. I am horridly frighted at the Thoughts of throwing my ſelf into the Power of a young Fellow.
Clo. It is natural to us to be frighted at firſt: I was in a little Terror my ſelf on my Wedding-Day, but it went all off before the next Morning; a Husband, like other Bugbears, loſes all his Horror when we once know him thoroughly.
Hil. But if he ſhould not prove a good Husband—
Clo. Then you muſt not prove a good Wife—If he keeps a Miſtreſs, do you keep a Gallant; if he [Page 2] ſtay out with his Friends at a Tavern, do you be merry with your Friends at home.
Hil. You give fine Advice indeed.
Clo. Upon my Word, Madam, it was ſuch as I followed my ſelf. I had a Rogue of a Husband that robbed me of all I had, and kept a Miſtreſs under my Noſe: but I was even with him: for it hath been ever my Opinion that a Husband, like a Courtier, who is above doing the Duties of his Office, ſhould keep a Deputy.
Hil. But ſuppoſe you had been in Love with your Husband?
Clo. Why ſo I was, Madam, as long as he deſerved it: but Love, like Fire, naturally goes out when it hath nothing to feed on.
Hil. Well, if it be poſſible to be aſſured of a Lover's Sincerity, I think I may be aſſured of Conſtant: at leaſt it is adviſeable to perſuade my ſelf of his Truth whom I ſhould Love, tho' he wanted it:—Ah, Cloris! you may as eaſily remove a Rock as a Woman's Paſſion—
Clo. And yet it is very often built on a ſandy Foundation.
Hil. Love is the ſame, whatever be its Object: We as often like Men for imaginary as real Perfections; we all look through a Priſmatick Glaſs in Love, and whatever Beauties we have once fancied, we never loſe the Opinion of—our Amorous Faith is as implicit as our Religious.
Clo. If I have any Judgment in Mankind, and I am ſure I have had ſome Experince in them, your Paſſion could have been no where better fixed: Capt. Conſtant hath all the Qualities any Woman can deſire. He hath Youth, Beauty, Vigour, Gallantry, Conſtancy, and as Mr. Cowley ſays, a long &c.

1.1.2. SCENE II.

Politick, Hilaret, Cloris.
Pol. Ay there it goes, tick tack, tick tack, like the Pendulum of a Clock. What Miſchief are you hatching, [Page 3] hey?—It is impoſſible that two Women ſhould be together without producing Miſchief.
Clo. I always thought a Man and Woman the more likely to produce Miſchief: and yet I think them the properer Company.
Pol. I ſuppoſe you will tell my Daughter ſo too.
Hil. Indeed Papa ſhe need not: for I was always of that Opinion.
Pol. You was! but I ſhall prevent your Wiſhes—
Hil. You may be miſtaken.
Pol. I do not believe the Head of Cardinal Fleury can be more perplexed, than mine is with this Girl. To govern your ſelf, is greater than to govern a Kingdom, ſaid an old Philoſopher; and to govern a Woman is greater than to govern twenty Kingdoms.
Hil. I wiſh you would not perplex your ſelf with Cardinals or Kingdoms, I wiſh you would mind your own Buſineſs, inſtead of the Publick's; dear Papa, don't give your ſelf any more trouble about Don Carlos, unleſs you can get him for a Son-in-Law.
Pol. Not if I were a King. I will make you a little ſenſible who Don Carlos is.—
Hil. Nay, I do not underſtand one Word of your Politicks.
Pol. I am ſorry you do not—A News-Paper would be a more profitable Entertainment for you than a Romance. You would find more in one half Sheet, than in the grand Cyrus.
Hil. More Lies very probably—You know I do read the Home Paragraphs in the Whitehail Evening Poſt: and that's the beſt of them.
Pol. If you would be informed in theſe Matters, you muſt read all that come out: about forty every Day, and ſome Days fifty: and of a Saturday about fourſcore. Would you continue in ſuch a Courſe but one Twelvemonth, I do not queſtion but you might know as much of Politicks as—any Man that comes to our Coffee-houſe. And I had rather ſee you a Politician, than a Woman of Quality.
[Page 4] Hil. If I may ſpeak freely, it would have been better for me that you had been leſs a Politician.
Pol. You are deceived, very much deceived: but ſome Fool hath put this into your Head. You may live to ſee me one of the greateſt Men in England. Did I not ſay at the Siege of Gibraltar, that within one three Years, we ſhould ſee whether we ſhould have Peace or no. And yet I am an Ignoramus; I know nothing I warrant you: I had better have continued a Merchant no doubt: but then what had become of my Projects? where had been all thoſe twenty different Schemes which I have now ready to lay before the Parliament, greatly for my own Honour and the Intereſt of my Country? Harkye, I have contrived a Method to pay off the Debts of the Nation, without a Penny of Money.
Hil. And you will not get a Penny by it, I dare ſwear.
Pol. No, no, no certainly: tho' I would not take twenty thouſand Pounds for the Advantage which will ariſe to me from it. It hath lain theſe three Years in a Friend's Hands of mine of the Houſe of Commons; who aſſured me not many Days ago that it ſhould be taken ſhortly into Conſideration, tho' he believed it could not be this Seſſions.
Hil. Nor this Age, I am confident.
Pol. And how do you think it is to be compaſſed! why, by procuring a Machine to carry Ships by Land about a hundred Miles: and ſo proſecute the Eaſt-India Trade, thro' the Mediterranean.
Hil. I wiſh you Succeſs, Sir: but I muſt take my leave of you, for it grows very late: ſo good-Night, Papa.

1.1.3. SCENE III.

Politick Solus.
I cannot reſt for theſe Preparations of the Turks. what can be their Deſign!—It muſt be againſt the Emperor.—Ay, ay, we ſhall have another Campaign in Hungary. I wiſh we may feel no other [Page 5] effect from them—ſhould the Turkiſh Gallies once find a Paſſage through the Straights, who can tell the Conſequence. I hope I ſhall not live to ſee that Day

1.1.4. SCENE IV.

Politick, Dabble.
Dab. We are all undone, Neighbour Politick! all blown up! all ruined!
Pol. Protect us—what is the Matter? No News of the Turks, I hope!
Dab. An Expreſs is arrived with an Account of the Dauphin's Death.
Pol. Worſe and worſe—this is a finiſhing Stroke indeed! Mr. Dabble, I take this Viſit exceeding kind—pray be pleaſed to ſit: we muſt confabulate on this Important Accident.—Pray light your Pipe—I wiſh this may not retard the Introduction of Don Carlos into Italy.
Dab. I wiſh it may.
Pol. How!
Dab. I wiſh Don Carlos do not prove a more formidable Power than is imagined.
Pol. Don Carlos a formidable Power, Mr. Dabble?
Dab. I wiſh we do not find him ſo.
Pol. Sir, I look on Don Carlos to be an errant Blank in the Affairs of Europe—and let me obſerve to you, the Turks give me much greater Uneaſineſs than Don Carlos can: What the deſign of their Preparations can be, is difficult to determine—this I know, that I know nothing of the matter.
Dab. I think we have no need to travel ſo far for Apprehenſions, when Danger is ſo near us: the Proſpect of Affairs in the Weſt is ſo black, that I ſee no Reaſon to regard the Eaſt: the monſtrous Power which Don Carlos may be poſſeſſed of by the Death of the Dauphin
Pol. Rather, the monſtrous Power which the Emperor may be poſſeſſed of.
Dab. The Emperor—ah!—
Pol. Don Carlos truly.
Both ſhake their Heads at one another.
[Page 6] Dab. I would fain ask one Queſtion, Mr. Politick. Prav how large do you take Tuſcany to be?—
Pol. How large do I take Tuſcany to be—let me ſee—Tuſcany, ay; how large do I take it to be—hum—Faithful!—bring ſome more Tobacco. How large do I take it to be—why truly I take it to be about as large as the Kingdom of France—or ſomething larger.—
Dab. As large as the Kingdom of France—you might as well compare this Tobacco-Pipe to a Canon. Why Tuſcany, Sir, is only a Town, a Garriſon to be admitted into Tuſcany; that is, into the Town of Tuſcany
Pol. Sir, I will convince you of your Error—here, Faithful, bring a Map of Europe hither
Dab. I did not think, Mr. Politick, you had been ſo ignorant in Geography.
Pol. Sir, I believe I know as much as you, or any one, of it.

1.1.5. SCENE V.

Politick, Dabble, Faithful.
Faith Sir, Sir, your Daughter is gone out of the Houſe, no one knows whither.
Pol. And give me leave to tell you, Sir, I wiſh your own Ignorance in publick Affairs doth not appear to our Coſt.
Dab. Sir, I wiſh you would ſend for the Map.
Pol. Map me no Maps, Sir, my Head is a Map, a Map of the whole World.—
Faith. Sir, your Daughter—
Dab. If your Head be a Map, it is a very erroneous one.
Pol. Sir, I would not have called Tuſcany a Town in a Coffee-Houſe, to have been Maſter of it.
Dab. Nor I have compared it to France, to have been King of both.

1.1.6. SCENE VI.

[Page 7]
Politick, Dabble, Faithful, Porer.
Por. Great News, Gentlemen, all's ſafe again.
Pol. More Deaths?
Por. An Expreſs is arrived with a certain Account of the Dauphin's being in good Health.
Dab. This is good News indeed.
Pol. Is there a certain Confirmation?
Por. Very certain—I came this moment from the Secretary's Office.
Pol. Dear Mr. Porer, you are the welcomeſt Man alive—This News makes me the happieſt Creature living.
Faith. I wiſh, Sir, my News may not prevent it—Your Daughter, Sir, Miſs Hilaret, is gone out of the Houſe, and no one knows whither▪
Pol My Daughter gone! that is ſome allay to my Happineſs, I confeſs: but the loſs of twenty Daughters would not balance the Recovery of the Dauphin—However, Gentlemen, you will excuſe me, I muſt go enquire into this Affair.
Dab. Be not concerned at any thing, after what you have heard: let the Priva [...]e give way to the Publick ever.

1.1.7. SCENE VII.

The Street.
Sotmore, Ramble.
Sotm. Why, thou wilt not leave us yet, and ſneak away to ſome naſty little Whore? A Pox confound them, they have ſpoiled ſo many of my Companions, and forced me to Bed ſober at three-a-Clock in the Morning ſo often—that if the whole Sex were going to the Devil, I would drink a Bumper to their good Journey.
Ram. And I would go thither along with them. The dear charming Creatures! Woman! It is the beſt Word that ever was invented. There's Muſick, there's Magick in it. Mark Anthony knew well to lay out his Money, and when he gave the World for a Woman—he bought a lumping Pennyworth.
[Page 8] Sot. If he had given it for a Hogſhead of good Claret, I would have commended the Purchaſe more.
Ramb. Wine is only the Prologue to Love: it only ſerves to raiſe our Expectation. The Bottle is but a Paſsport to the Bed of Pleaſure. Brutes drink to quench their Appetites—but Lovers to enflame them.
Sot. 'Tis Pity the generous Liquor ſhould be uſed to no better a Purpoſe.
Ramb. It is the nobleſt uſe of the Grape, and the greateſt Glory of Bacchus is to be Page to Venus.
Sot. Before I go into a Tavern again with a Man who will ſneak away after the firſt Bottle, may I be curſed with the odious ſight of a Pint as long as I live: or become Member of a City-Club where Men drink out of Thimbles, that the Fancy may be heightened by the Wine, about the ſame time that the Underſtanding is improved by the Converſation: I'll ſooner drink Coffee with a Politician, Tea with a fine Lady, or 'Rack Punch with a fine Gentleman, than thus be made a Whetſtone of, to ſharpen my Friends Inclinations, that ſome little Strumpet may enjoy the Benefit of that good Humour which I have raiſed.
Ramb. Why, thou art as ill-natured and as angry as a Woman would be, who was diſappointed in the laſt Moment, when her Expectations were at the higheſt.
Sot. And have I not the ſame Cauſe?
Ramb. Truly, honeſt Nol, when a Man's Reaſon begins to ſtagger, I think him the propereſt Company for the Women: One Bottle more, and I had been fit for no Company at all.
Sot. Then thou hadſt been carried off with Glory.—An honeſt Fellow ſhould no more quit the Tavern while he can ſtand, than a Soldier ſhould the Field; but you fine Gentlemen are for preſerving your ſelves ſafe from both, for the Benefit of the Ladies.—'Sdeath! I'll uſe you with the ſame Scorn that a Soldier would a Coward: So, Sir, when I meet you next, be not ſurprized if I walk on the other ſide the way.
Ramb. Nay, pr'ythee, dear Silenus, be not ſo enraged; I'll but take one refreſhing turn, and come [Page 9] back to the Tavern to thee. Burgundy ſhall be the Word, and I will fight under thy Command till I drop.
Sot. Now thou art an honeſt Fellow—and thou ſhalt Toaſt whomſoever thou pleaſeſt.—We'll bumper up her Health, till thou doſt enjoy her in Imagination. To a warm Imagination there is no Bawd like a Bottle. It ſhall throw into your Arms, the ſobereſt Prude or wildeſt Coquet in Town; thou ſhalt rifle her Charms, in ſpight of her Art. Nay, thou ſhalt encreaſe her Charms more than her Art: and when thou art ſurfeited with the luſcious Pleaſure, wake cooly the next Morning, without any Wife by your ſide, or any fear of Children.
Ramb. What a luſcious Picture haſt thou drawn!
Sot. And thou ſhalt have it, Boy! thou ſhalt triumph over her Virtue, if ſhe be a Woman of Quality—or raiſe her Bluſhes, if ſhe be a common Strumpet. I'll go order a new Recruit upon the Table, and expect you with Impatience—Fill every Glaſs.
[Exit Sotmore.

1.1.8. SCENE VIII.

Ramble ſolus.
Ramb. Sure, this Fellow's whole Senſation lies in his Throat: for he is never pleaſed but when he is ſwallowing: And yet the Hogſhead will be as ſoon drunk with the Liquor it contains, as he. I wiſh it had no other Effect upon me. Pox of my Paper Scull! I have no ſooner buried the Wine in my Belly, than its Spirit riſes in my Head—I am in a very proper Humour for a Frolick; If my good Genius, and her evil one would but ſend ſome lovely Female in my way—Ha! the Devil hath heard my Prayers.

1.1.9. SCENE IX.

Ramble, Hilaret.
Hil. Was ever any thing ſo unfortunate! to loſe this Wench in the Scuffle, and not know a ſtep of the Way—What ſhall I do?
[Page 10] Ramb. By all my love of Glory, an Adventure.
Hil Ha! who's that? who are you, Sir?
Ramb A Cavalier, Madam, a Knight Er [...]ant rambling about the World in queſt of Adventures. To plunder Widows, and raviſh Virgins; to leſſen the Number of Bullies, and encreaſe that of Cuckolds, are the Obligations of my Profeſſion.
Hil. I wiſh you all the Succeſs ſo worthy an Adventurer deſerves.
Ramb. But hold, Madam, I am but juſt ſallied, and you are the firſt Adventure I have met with.
[Takes hold of her.
Hil. Let me go I beſeech you, Sir, I will have nothing to ſay to any of your Profeſſion.
Ramb. That's unkind, Madam: for as I take it, our Profeſſions are pretty nearly allied, and like Prieſt and Nun, we are proper Company for one another.
Hil. My Profeſſion, Sir!
Ramb. Yes, Madam, I believe I am no Stranger to the honourable Rules of your Order. Nay, 'tis probable I may know your Abbeſs too; for tho' I have not been in Town a Week, I am acquainted with half a Dozen.
Hil. Nothing but your Drink, Sir, and Ignorance of my Quality, could excuſe this Rudeneſs.
Ramb. (Whu— [whiſtles] Ignorance of your Quality! The Daughter of ſome Perſon of Rank, I warrant her) [Aſide] Look'e, my Dear, I ſhall not trouble my ſelf with your Quality: It is equal to me, whether your Father rode in a Coach and Six, or drove it—I have had as much Joy in the Arms of an honeſt Boatſwain's Wife, as with a Relation of the Great Mogul.
Hil. You look, Sir, ſo much like a Gentleman, that I am perſuaded this Uſage proceeds only from your miſtaking me. I own it looks a little odd for a Woman of Virtue to be found alone in the Street, at this Hour—
Ramb. Yes it does look a little odd indeed.
[Page 11] Hil. But when you know my Story, I am confident you will aſſiſt me, rather than otherwiſe. I have this very Night eſcaped with my Maid from my Father's Houſe; and as I was going to put my ſelf into the Hands of my Lover, a Scuffle happening in the Street, and both running away in a Fright to avoid it, we unluckily ſeparated from each other—Now, Sir, I relie on the Generoſity of your Temper to aſſiſt an unhappy Woman, for which you ſhall not only have my Thanks, but thoſe of a very pretty Fellow into the Bargain.
Ramb. I am that very pretty Fellow's very humble Servant. But I find I am too much in Love with you my ſelf, to preſerve you for another: Had you proved what I at firſt took you for, I ſhould have parted with you eaſily; but I read a Coronet in your Eyes: (ſhe ſhall be her Grace if ſhe pleaſes, I had rather give her a Title than Money)
Hil. Nay, now you miſtake me as widely as you did at firſt.
Ramb. Nay, by this Frolick, Madam, you muſt be either a Woman of Quality, or a Woman of the Town—Your low mean People, who govern themſelves by Rules, dare not attempt theſe noble Flights of Pleaſure. Flights only to be reached by thoſe who boldly ſoar above Reputation.
Hil. This is the maddeſt Fellow.
Ramb. So, my Dear, whether you be of Quality or no Quality, you and I will go drink one Bottle together at the next Tavern.
Hil. I have but one Way to get rid of him.
Ramb. Come, my dear Angel. Oh! this dear ſoft Hand.
Hil. Could I but be aſſur'd that my Virtue would be ſafe.
Ramb. No where ſafer. I'll give thee any thing in Pawn for it—(but my Watch)
Hil. And then my Reputation—
Ramb. The Night will take Care of that—Virtue and Reputation! theſe Whores have learnt a ſtrange Cant ſince I left England.
[Page 12] Hil. But will you love me always?
Ramb. Oh! for ever and ever, to be ſure.
Hil. But will you—too.
Ramb. Yes, I will—too.
Hil. Will you promiſe to be civil?
Ramb. Oh! yes, yes; (I was afraid ſhe would have asked me for Money.)
Hil. Well, then I will venture—Go you to that corner Tavern, I'll follow you.
Ramb. Excuſe me, Madam, I know my Duty better—ſo if you pleaſe, I'll follow you.
Hil. I inſiſt on your going firſt.
Ramb. And ſo you'll leave me in the Lurch: I ſee you are frighted at the Roughneſs of my Dreſs; but foregad I am an honeſt Tar, and the Devil take me if I bilk you.
Hil. I don't underſtand you.
Ramb. Why then, Madam, here is a Pound of as good Tea as ever came out of the Indies; you underſtand that, I hope.
Hil. I ſhall take no Bribes, Sir.
Ramb. Refuſe the Tea! I like you now indeed; for you cannot have been long upon the Town, I'm ſure. But I grow weary with Impatience. If you are a modeſt Woman, and inſiſt on the Ceremony of being carried, with all my Heart.
Hil. Nay, Sir, do not proceed to Rudeneſs.
Ramb. In ſhort, my Paſſion will be dallied with no longer. Do you conſider, I am juſt come on Shore, that I have ſeen nothing but Men and the Clouds this half Year, and a Woman is as raviſhing a Sight to me as the returning Sun to Greenland. I am none of your puiſny Beaux, that can look on a fine Woman, like a ſurfeited Man on an Entertainment. My Stomach's ſharp, and you are an Ortelan; and if I do not eat you up, may ſalt Beef be my Fare for ever.
[Takes her in his Arms.
Hil. I'll alarm the Watch.
Ramb. You'll be better natur'd than that. At leaſt. to encounter Danger is my Profeſſion; ſo have at you, [Page 13] my little Venus—If you don't conſent, Ill raviſh you.
Hil. Help there! a Rape, a Rape!
Ramb. Huſh, huſh, you call too loud, People will think you are in earneſt.
Hil. Help, a Rape!—

1.1.10. SCENE X.

Ramble, Hilaret, Staff, Watch.
Staff. That's he there, ſeize him.
Ramb. Stand off, ye Scoundrels!
Staff. Ay, Sir, you ſhould have ſtood off—Do you charge this Man with a Rape, Madam?
Hil. I am frighted out of my Senſes—
Staff. A plain Caſe!—the Rape is ſufficiently proved—what, was the Devil in you, to raviſh a Woman in the Street thus?
Hil. Oh! dear Mr. Conſtable, all I deſire is, that you would ſee me ſafe home.
Staff. Never fear, Madam, you ſhall not want Evidence.
[Aſide to her.
Ramb. (Nay, if I muſt lodge with theſe Gentlemen, I am reſolved to have your Company, Madam.) Mr. Conſtable, I charge that Lady with threatning to ſwear a Rape againſt me, and laying violent Hands upon my Perſon, whilſt I was inoffenſively walking along the Street.
Hil. How! Villain!
Ramb. Ay, ay, Madam, you ſhall be made a ſevere Example of. The Laws are come to a fine Paſs truly, when a Sober Gentleman can't walk the Streets for Women.
Hil. For Heaven's ſake, Sir, don't believe him.
Staff. Nay, Madam, as we have but your bare Affirmation on both Sides, we cannot tell which Way to incline our Belief; that will be determin'd in the Morning by your Characters.—I would not have you dejected, you ſhall not want a Character.
[Aſide to her.
Hil. This was the moſt unfortunate Accident ſure, that ever befel a Woman of Virtue.
[Page 14] Staff. If you are a Woman of Virtue, the Gentleman will be hanged for attempting to rob you of it. If you are not a Woman of Virtue, why you will be whipped for accuſing a Gentleman of robbing you of what you had not to loſe.
Hil. Oh! this unfortunate Fright!—But, Mr. Conſtaſtable, I am very willing that the Gentleman ſhould have his Liberty, give me but mine.
Staff. That Requeſt, Madam, is a very colloborating Circumſtance againſt you.
Ramb. Guilt will ever diſcover it ſelf.
Staff. Bring them along▪
1Watch. She looks like a modeſt Woman, in my Opinion.
Ramb. Confound all your modeſt Women, I ſay—a Man can have nothing to do with a modeſt Woman, but he muſt be married, or hanged for't.

1.2. ACT II.

1.2.1. SCENE I.

SCENE Juſtice Squeezum's; a Table, Pen Ink, Paper, &c.
Squeezum, Quill.
Squeez. DID Mother Bilkum refuſe to pay my Demands, ſay you?
Quill. Yes, Sir; ſhe ſays ſhe does not value your Worſhip's Protection of a Farthing, for that ſhe can bribe two Juries a Year to acquit her in Hicks's-Hall, for half the Money which ſhe hath paid you within theſe three Months.
Squeez. Very fine! I ſhall ſhew her that I underſtand ſomething of Juries, as well as her ſelf. Quill, make a Memorandum againſt Mother Bilkum's Trial, that we [Page 15] may remember to have the Pannel No 3. they are a Set of good Men and true, and hearken to no Evidence but mine.
Quill. Sir, Mr. Snap the Bailiff's Follower hath ſet up a Shop, and is a Freeholder. He hopes your Worſhip will put him into a Pannel on the firſt Vacancy.
Squeez. Minute him down for No 2. I think half of that Pannel are Bailiffs Followers. Thank Heaven, the Laws have not excluded thoſe Butchers—
Quill. No, Sir, the Law forbids Butchers to be Jurymen, but does not forbid Jurymen to be Butchers.
Squeez. Quill, d'ee hear! look out for ſome new Recruits for the Pannel No 1. We ſhall have a ſwinging Vacancy there the next Seſſions.—Truly, if we do not take ſome care to regulate the Juries in the Old-Baily, we ſhall have no Juries for Hicks's-Hall.
Quill. Very true, Sir. But that Pannel hath been more particularly unfortunate. I believe I remember it hanged, at leaſt twice over.
Squeez. Ay, poor Fellows! We muſt all take our Chance, Quill. The Man who would live in this World, muſt not fear the next. The Chance of Peace is d [...]ubtful as that of War; and they who will make their Fortunes at Home, ſhould entertain no more Dread of the Bench, than a Soldier ſhould of the Field. We are all militant here, and a Halter hath been fatal to many a great Man, as well as a Bullet.

1.2.2. SCENE II.

Squeezum, Quill, Staff.
Quill. Sir, here's Mr. Staff, the Reforming Conſtable.
Staff. An't pleaſe your Worſhip, we have been at the Gaming-Houſe in the Alley, and have taken Six Priſoners, whereof we diſcharged two who had your Worſhip's Licenſe.
Squeez. What are the others?
Staff. One is an Half-pay Officer; another an Attorney's [Page 16] Clerk; and the other two are young Gentlemen of the Temple.
Squeez. Diſcharge the Officer and the Clerk, there is nothing to be got by the Army or the Law; the one hath no Money, and the other will part with none. But be not too forward to quit the Templers.
Staff. Asking your Worſhip's Pardon, I don't care to run my Finger into the Lion's Mouth. I would not willingly have to do with any Limb of the Law.
Squeez. Fear not; theſe bear no nearer Affinity to Lawyers, than a Militia Regiment of Squires do to Soldiers; the one gets no more by his Gown, than the other by his Sword. Theſe are Men that bring Eſtates to the Temple, inſtead of getting them there.
Staff. Nay, they are bedawb'd with Lace as fine as Lords.
Squeez. Never fear a Lawyer in Lace—the Lawyer that ſets out in Lace, always ends in Rags.
Staff. I'll ſecure them.—We went to the Houſe where your Worſhip commanded us, and heard the Dice into the Street, but there were two Coaches with Coronets on them at the Door, ſo we thought it proper not to go in.
Squeez. You did right. The Laws are Turnpikes, only made to ſtop People who walk on Foot, and not to interrupt thoſe who drive through them in their Coaches.—The Laws are like a Game at Loo, where a Blaze of Court Cards is always ſecure, and the Knaves are the ſafeſt Cards in the Pack.
Staff. We have taken up a Man for a Rape too.
Squeez. What is he?
Staff. I fancy he's ſome great Man; for he talks French, ſings Italian, and ſwears Engliſh.
Squeez. Is he rich?
Staff. I believe not, for we can't get a Farthing out of him.
Squeez. A certain Sign that he is. Deep Pockets are like deep Streams; and Money, like Water, never runs faſter than in the Shallows.
Staff. Then there's another Misfortune too.
[Page 17] Squeez. What's that?
Staff. The Woman will not ſwear any thing againſt him.
Squeez. Never fear that, I'll make her ſwear enough for my Purpoſe. What ſort of a Woman is ſhe?
Staff. A common Whore, I believe.
Squeez. The propereſt Perſon in the World to ſwear a Rape. A modeſt Woman is as ſhy of ſwearing a Rape, as a Gentleman is of ſwearing a Battery.—We will make her ſwear enough to frighten him into a Compoſition, a ſmall Part of which will ſatisfie the Woman. So go bring them before me.—But hold! have you been at home ſince I ſent a Priſoner thither this Morning?
Staff. Yes, an't pleaſe your Worſhip.
Squeez. And what ſays he?
Staff. He threatens us confoundedly; and ſays you have committed him without any Accuſation. I'm afraid we ſhall get nothing out of him.
Squeez. We'll try him till Noon, however.

1.2.3. SCENE III.

Squeezum, Mrs. Squeezum.
Mrs. Squeez. I deſire, Mr. Squeezum, you would finiſh all your dirty Work this Morning, for I am reſolved to have the Houſe to my ſelf in the Afternoon.
Squeez. You ſhall, my Dear; and I ſhall be obliged to you, if you can let me have the Coach this Morning.
Mrs. Squeez. I ſhall uſe it my ſelf.
Squeez. Then I muſt get Horſes put into the Chariot.
Mrs. Squeez. I am not determined whether I ſhall uſe the Coach or Chariot, ſo it is impoſſible you ſhould have either. Beſides, a Hack is the propereſt to do Buſineſs in, and as I cannot ſpare you a Servant, will look better.
Squeez. Well, Child, well, it ſhall be ſo.—Let [Page 18] me only beg the Favour of Dining a little ſooner than ordinary.
Mrs. Squeez. That is ſo far from being poſſible, that we cannot Dine 'till an Hour later than uſual, becauſe I muſt attend at an Auction, or I ſhall loſe a little China Baſin which is worth its Weight in Jewels, and it is probable I may get it for its Weight in Gold, which will not be above One Hundred Guineas, and thoſe you muſt give me, Child.
Squeez. A Hundred Guineas for a China Baſon! Oh the Devil take the Eaſt-India Trade! The Clay of the one Indies runs away with all the Gold of the other.
Mrs. Squeez. I may buy it for leſs; but it is good to have rather too much Money about one, than too little.
Squeez. In ſhort, I cannot ſupport your Extravagance.
Mrs. Squeez. I do not deſire you to ſupport my Extravagance.
Squeez. I wiſh you would not.
Mrs. Squeez. Thus ſtands the Caſe: You ſay I am extravagant; I ſay, I am not; ſure, my Word will ballance yours every where but at Hicks's-Hall.—And heark'e, my Dear, if whenever I ask for a Trifle, you object my Extravagance to me, I'll be reveng'd, I'll blow you up, I'll diſcover all your midnight Intrigues, your protecting Ill Houſes, your bribing Juries, your ſnacking Fees, your whole Train of Rogueries. If you do not allow me what I ask, I'll bid fair to enter on my Jointure, Sir.
Squeez. Well, my Dear, this Time you ſhall be indulged.—Truſt a Thief or Lawyer with your Purſe▪ a Whore or Phyſician with your Conſtitution, bu [...] never truſt a dangerous Secret with your Wife; fo [...] when once you have put it into her Power to hang you, the ſooner you are hang'd, the better.

1.2.4. SCENE IV.

[Page 19]
Squeezum, Quill, Mrs. Squeezum, Staff, Watch, Ramble, Hilaret.
Staff. An't pleaſe your Worſhip, here is a Gentleman hath committed a Rape laſt Night on this young Woman.
Squeez. How! a Rape! Hath he committed a Rape on you, Child?
Mrs. Squeez. This may be worth hearing.
Hil. Sir, I have nothing to ſay againſt him. I deſire you would give us both our Liberty. He was a little frolickſome laſt Night, which made me call for theſe People's Help, and when once they had taken hold of us, they would not ſuffer us to go away.
Squeez. They did their Duty.—The Power of Diſcharging lieth in us, and not in them.
Ramb. Sir—
Squeez. Sir, I beg we may not be interrupted. Heark'e, young Woman, if this Gentleman hath treated you in an ill manner, do not let your Modeſty prevent the Execution of Juſtice. Conſider, you will be guilty your ſelf of the next Offence he commits; and upon my Word, by his Looks, it is probable he may commit a Dozen Rapes within this Week.
Hil. Sir, I aſſure you he is innocent.
Squeez. Mr. Staff, what ſay you to this Affair?
Staff. May it pleaſe your Worſhip, I ſaw the Priſoner behave in a very indecent manner, and heard the Woman ſay he had raviſhed away her Senſes.
Squeez. Fye upon you, Child, will you not ſwear this?
Hil. No, Sir; but I ſhall ſwear ſomething againſt you, unleſs you diſcharge us.
Squeez. That cannot be, Madam, the Fact is too plain. If you will not ſwear now, the Priſoner muſt be kept in Cuſtody 'till you will.
Staff. If ſhe will not ſwear, we can ſwear enough to convict him.
[Page 20] Ramb. Very fine, faith! this Juſtice is worſe than a Grand Inquiſitor. Pray, honeſt, formidable Sir, what private Pique have you againſt me, that you would compel the Lady to deſerve the Pillory, in order to promote me higher?
Squeez. My Dear, did you ever ſee ſuch a raviſhing Look as this Fellow hath! Sir, if I was a Judge I would hang you without any Evidence at all. They are ſuch Fellows as theſe who ſow Diſſention between Man and Wife, and keep up the Names of Cuckold and Baſtard in the Kingdom.
Ramb. Nay, if that be all you accuſe me of, I will confeſs it freely, I have employ'd my Time pretty well: Tho' as I do not remember ever to have done you the Honour of Dubbing, Mr. Juſtice, I cannot ſee why you ſhould be ſo incenſed againſt me; for I do not imagine you any otherwiſe an Enemy to theſe Amuſements, than a Popiſh Prieſt to Sin, or a Doctor to Diſeaſe.
Mrs. Squeez. You are very civil, Sir, to threaten to dub my Husband before my Face.
Ramb. I ask Pardon, Madam; I did not know with whom I had the Honour to be in Company; it was always againſt my Inclination to affront a Lady; but a Woman of your particular Merit, muſt have claimed the moſt particular Reſpect.
Mrs. Squeez. I ſhould have expected no Rudeneſs from a Gentleman of your Appearance, and would much rather attribute any misbecoming Word to Inadvertency, than Deſign.
Ramb. Madam, I know not how to thank ſo much Goodneſs; but do aſſure you, I would buy an Introduction to your Acquaintance at a much greater Danger than this Proſecution, which, I believe, you already ſee the Malice of. I hope, Madam, I ſtand already acquitted in your Opinion.
Mrs. Squeez. I hope, Sir, it will only appear to have been a Frolick: I muſt own I have been always a great Enemy to Force—ſince there are ſo many willing.
[Page 21] Ramb. So, I find there is no danger of a Rape here.
Mrs. Squeez. Well, Child, can you find any thing againſt this Gentleman?
Squeez. The Woman is difficult of confeſſing in publick: but I fancy when I examine her in private I may get it out of her—So, Mr. Conſtable, withdraw your Priſoner.
Mrs. Squeez. Nay he appears ſo much of a Gentleman, that till there be ſtronger Evidence, I will take Charge of him—Come, Sir, you ſhall go drink a diſh of Tea with me—You may ſtay without.
[To the Conſtable, &c.
Ramb. This Kindneſs of yours, Madam, will be an Encouragement to Offenders.

1.2.5. SCENE V.

Squeezum, Hilaret.
Squeez. Come, come, Child, you had better take the Oath, tho' you are not altogether ſo ſure. Juſtice ſhould be rigorous. It is better for the Publick that ten Innocent People ſhould ſuffer, than that one Guilty ſhould eſcape; and it becomes every good Perſon to ſacrifice their Conſcience to the Benefit of the Publick.
Hil. Would you perſuade me to perjure my ſelf?
Squeez. By no means. Not for the World. Perjury indeed! do you think I do not know what Perjury is, better than you? He did attempt to Raviſh you, you own; very well. He that attempts to do you an Injury, hath done it in his Heart. Beſides, a Woman may be Raviſhed, ay and many a Woman hath been Raviſhed, ay and Men been hanged for it—when ſhe hath not certainly known ſhe hath been Raviſhed.
Hil. You are a great Caſuiſt in Conſcience. But you may ſpare your ſelf any further Trouble: for I aſſure you it will be in vain.
Squeez. I ſee where your Heſitation hangs, you are afraid of ſpoiling your Trade—You think Severity to a Cuſtomer, will keep People from your Houſe.— [Page 22] Pray anſwer me one Queſtion—How long have you been upon the Town?
Hil. What do you mean?
Squeez. Come, come, I ſee you are but a Novice, and I like you the better: For yours is the only Buſineſs, wherein People do not profit by Experience—You are very handſome—It is Pity you ſhould continue in this abandoned State—Give me a Kiſs—Nay be not coy to me—I proteſt you are as full of Beauty as the Roſe is of Sweetneſs, and I of Love as its Stalk is full Briars—Oh! that we were as cloſely joined together too.
Hil. Why you will commit a Rape your ſelf, Mr. Juſtice.
Squeez. If I thought you would prove conſtant, I would take you into keeping: for I have not liked a Woman ſo much theſe many Years.
Hil. I will humour this old Villain, I am reſolved.
Squeez. What think you, could you be conſtant to a vigorous, healthy, middle-aged Man, hey!—could this buy thy Affections off from a ſet of idle Raſcals, who carry their Gold upon their Backs; and have Pockets as empty as their Heads? Fellows who are greater Curſes on a Woman than the Vapours; for as thoſe perſuade her into imaginary Diſeaſes, theſe preſent her with real.—Let thy Silence give Conſent; here take this Purſe as an Earneſt of what I'll do for you.
Hil. Well, and what ſhall I do for this?
Squeez. You ſhall do—You ſhall do nothing, I will do: I will be a Verb Active, and you ſhall be a Verb Paſſive.
Hil. I wiſh you be not of the Neuter Gender.
Squeez. Why you little arch Rogue, do you underſtand Latin, Huſſy?
Hil. A little, Sir! my Father was a Country Parſon, and gave all his Children a good Education. He taught his Daughters to write and read himſelf.
Squeez. What, have you Siſters then?
Hil. Alack-a-day, Sir! ſixteen of us, and all in the ſame way of Buſineſs.
[Page 23] Squeez. Ay, this it is to teach Daughters to write. I would as ſoon put a Sword into the Hand of a Madman, as a Pen into thoſe of a Woman; for a Pen in the Hand of a Woman is as ſure an Inſtrument of Propagation, as a Sword in that of a Madman is of Deſtruction [Aſide.] —Sure, my Dear, the Spirit of Love muſt run very ſtrongly in the Blood of your whole Family.
Hil. Oh, Sir! it was a villanous Man of War that harboured near us—My poor Siſters were ruined by the Officers, and I fell a Martyr to the Chaplain.
Squeez. Ay, ay, the Sailors are as fatal to our Women as the Soldiers are. One Venus roſe from the Sea, and thouſands have ſet in it—But not Venus her ſelf could compare to thee, my little Honey-ſuckle.
Hil. Be not ſo hot, Sir.
Squeez. Bid the Touchwood be cold behind the Burning-glaſs. The Touchwood is not more eaſily kindled by the Sun, than I by your dear Eyes.
Hil. The Touch wood is not drier, I dare ſwear.
Squeez. But hark, I hear my Wife returning—leave word with my Clerk where I ſhall ſend to you—I will be the kindeſt of Keepers, very conſtant, and very liberal.—
Hil. Two charming Qualities in a Lover!
Squeez. My pretty Noſe-gay, you will find me vaſtly preferable to idle young Rakehells. Beſides, you are ſafe with me. You are as ſafe with a Juſtice in England, as a Prieſt abroad; Gravity is the beſt Cloak for Sin, in all Countries—Be ſure to be punctual to the Time I ſhall appoint you.
Hil. Be not afraid of me.
Squeez. Adieu, my pretty Charmer. I ſhall burn with Impatience.

1.2.6. SCENE VI.

Squeezum ſolus.

Go thy ways for a charming Girl! Now if I can get her at this wild Fellow's Expence, I ſhall have performed the part of a ſhrewd Juſtice; for I would make others [Page 24] pay for my Sins, as well as their own. I fancy my Wife hath ſufficiently frightned him by this, and that he will truckle to any Terms to be acquitted; for I muſt own ſhe will pump a Man much better than I—Oh! here they come; I muſt deal with my Gentleman now, in another Style.

1.2.7. SCENE VII.

Squeezum, Mrs. Squeezum, Ramble.
Ramb. Well, Sir, is the Lady determined to ſwear ſtoutly?
Squeez. Truly, it is hard to ſay what ſhe determines; ſhe is gone to ask the Advice of a Divine and a Lawyer.
Ramb. Then the odds is againſt me: for the Lawyer will certainly adviſe her to ſwear, and it is poſſible the Prieſt may not contradict her in it.
Squeez. It is indeed a tickliſh Point, and it were adviſable to make it up as ſoon as poſſible. The firſt Loſs is always the leaſt. It is better to wet your Coat than your Skin, and to run home when the Clouds begin to drop, than in the middle of the Storm. In ſhort, it were better to give a brace of hundred Pounds to to make up the Matter now, than to venture the Conſequence. I am heartily concerned, to ſee a Gentleman in ſuch a Misfortune. I am ſorry the Age is ſo corrupt. Really I expect to ſee ſome grievous and heavy Judgment fall on the Nation. We are as bad as ever Sodom and Gomorrah were, and I wiſh we may not be as miſerable.
Ramb. Heark'e, Juſtice; I take a Sermon to be the firſt Puniſhment which a Man undergoes after conviction. It is very hard I muſt be condemned to it before-hand.
Mrs. Squeez. Nay, Sir, I am ſure Mr. Squeezum ſpeaks for your good.—I ſhall get a Necklace out of this Affair.
Squeez. Ay, that I am ſure I do, my Intereſt ſways not one way or the other—I would, were I in that Gentleman's Circumſtances, do what I adviſe him to.
[Page 25] Ramb. Faith, Sir, that I muſt doubt: for were you in my Circumſtances, you would not be worth the Money.
Squeez. Nay, Sir, now you jeſt with me; a Gentleman can never be at a loſs for ſuch a Trifle.
Ramb. Faith! you miſtake. I know a great many Gentlemen not worth three Farthings: he that reſolves to be honeſt cannot reſolve not to be poor.
Squeez. A Gentleman, and poor! Sir, they are Contradictions. A Man may as well be a Scholar without Learning, as a Gentleman without Riches. But I have no time to dally with you. If you do not underſtand good Uſage, while it is dealt you, you may, when you feel the Reverſe. The Affair may now be made up for a Trifle; the time may come when your whole Fortune would be too little—An Hour's Delay in the making up an Offence is as dangerous as in the ſewing up of a Wound.
Ramb. Well, you have over-perſuaded me, I'll take your Advice.
Squeez. I'll engage you will not repent it—I don't queſtion but you will regard me as your Friend.
Ramb. That I do indeed. And to give you the moſt ſubſtantial Inſtance of it, I will ask a Favour, which is expected only from the moſt intimate Friendſhip—which is, that you would be ſo kind to lend me the Money.
Squeez. Alack-a-day, Sir, I have not ſuch a Sum in my Command. Beſides, how muſt it look in me, who am an Officer of Juſtice, to lend a Culprit Money wherewith to evade Juſtice! Alas, Sir, we muſt conſider our Characters in Life, we muſt act up to our Characters; and tho' I deviate a little from mine, in giving you Advice, it would be entirely forſaking the Character of a Juſtice to give you Money.
Mrs. Squeez. I wonder how you could ask it.
Ramb. Neceſſity obliges to any thing, Madam. Mr. Squeezum was ſo kind to ſhew me the Neceſſity of giving Money, and my Pockets were ſo cruel to ſhew me the Impoſſibility of it.
[Page 26] Squeez. Well Sir, if you cannot pay for your Tranſgreſſions like the Rich, you muſt ſuffer for them like the Poor.—Here, Conſtable.

1.2.8. SCENE VIII.

Squeezum, Mrs. Squeezum, Ramble, Staff, Conſtables.
Squeez. Take away your Priſoner, keep him in ſafe Cuſtody till farther Orders. If you come to a wiſer Reſolution within theſe two Hours, ſend me Word; after that it will be too late.
Ramb. Heark'e, Mr. Juſtice, you had better uſe me as you ought, and acquit me; for if you do any thing which you cannot defend, hang me if I am not revenged on you.
Squeez. Hang you!—I wiſh there may not be more Meaning in thoſe Words than you imagine.
Ramb. 'Sdeath! you old Raſcal, I can ſcarce forbear rattling thoſe old dry Bones of thine, till they crack thy withered Skin.
Squeez. Bear Evidence of this, I am threatned in the Execution of my Office.
Ramb. Come, honeſt Mr. Conſtable, Mr. nocturnal Juſtice, let me go any where from this Fellow—the Night hath choſen a better Juſtice than the Day.

1.2.9. SCENE IX.

Squeezum, Mrs. Squeezum.
Squeez. I am afraid I ſhall make nothing of this Fellow at laſt. I have a Mind to diſcharge him.
Mrs. Squeez. Oh! by no means; for I am ſure he hath Money.
Squeez. Yes, and ſo am I. But ſuppoſe he will not part with it; it is impoſſible to take it from him; for there is no Law yet in being to skreen a Juſtice of Peace from a downright Robbery.
Mrs. Squeez. Try him a little longer, however.
Squeez. I will, 'till the Afternoon; but if he ſhould not conſent by that Time, I muſt diſcharge him, for [Page 27] I have no Hopes in the Woman's Swearing. She is diſcharged already.
Mrs. Squeez. I'll make him a Viſit at the Conſtable's Houſe, and try if I can alarm him into a Compoſition. I may make him do more than you imagine.
Squeez. Do ſo, my Dear;—I doubt not your Power—Good-morrow, Honey.
Mrs. Squeez. But, my Dear, pray remember the Hundred Guineas.
Squeez. Yes, yes, I ſhall remember them; they are not likely to be ſoon forgotten.—Follow me to my Eſcritore.

1.2.10. SCENE X.

Mrs. Squeezum ſola.

Since you are ſure of going to the Devil, honeſt Spouſe, I'll take Care to equip you with a Pair of Horns, that you may be as like one another as poſſible. This dear wild Fellow muſt be mine, and ſhall be mine: I like him ſo well, that if he had even raviſhed me, on my Conſcience I ſhould have forgiven him.

1.2.11. SCENE XI.

Mr. Worthy's.
Worthy, Politick.
Wor. Upon my Word, Mr. Politick, I am heartily ſorry for this Occaſion of renewing our Acquaintance. I can imagine the Tenderneſs of a Parent, tho' I never was one.
Pol. Indeed, Neighbour Worthy, you cannot imagine half the Troubles, without having undergone them. Matrimony balks our Expectations every way, and our Children as ſeldom prove Comforts to us as our Wives. I had but two—whereof one was hanged long ago—and the other I ſuppoſe may be in a fair Way by this.
Wor. In what manner did ſhe eſcape from you?
[Page 28] Pol. She had taken Leave of me to retire to Reſt, not half an Hour before I heard of her Departure. I impute it all to the wicked Inſtructions of an Imp of the Devil called a Chamber-maid, who is the Companion of her Flight.
Wor. But do you know of no Lover?
Pol. Let me ſee—hey!—There hath been a Fellow in a Red Coat, with whom ſhe hath converſed for ſome time, in ſpite of my Teeth.
Wor. Depend on it, He is the Occaſion of your Loſs. I can grant you a Warrant againſt him, if you know his Name, tho' I fear you are too late.
Pol. No, Sir, I am not too late; my Daughter is an Heireſs, and you know the Puniſhment for ſtealing an Heireſs. If I could hang the Raſcal, it would be ſome Satisfaction.
Wor. That will be impoſſible, without her Conſent; and truly, if ſhe be married, I would adviſe you to follow the Example of that Emperor, who when he diſcovered ſomething worſe than a Marriage, between one of his Subjects and his Daughter, choſe rather to let him enjoy her as his own, than puniſh him.
Pol. Pray where did that Emperor reign?
Wor. I have almoſt forgotten, but I think it was one of the Greek Emperors, or one of the Turks.
Pol. Bring me no Example from the Turks, good Mr. Worthy, I find no ſuch Affinity in our Intereſts. Sir, I dread and abhor the Turks. I wiſh we do not feel them, before we are aware.
Wor. But Sir—
Pol. But me no buts—what can be the Reaſon of all this warlike Preparation, which all our Newspapers have informed us of. Yes, and the ſame Newspapers a hundred times in the ſame Words. Is the Deſign againſt Perſia? Is the Deſign againſt Germany? Is the Deſign againſt Italy—Suppoſe we ſhould ſee Turkiſh Gallies in the Channel? We may feel them, yes, we may feel them in the midſt of our Security; Troy was taken in its Sleep, and ſo may we.
[Page 29] Wor. Sure, Sir, you are aſleep, or in a Dream—
Pol. Yes, yes, theſe things are called idle Dreams—the juſteſt Apprehenſions may be ſtyled Dreams—but let me tell you, Sir, Men betray their own Ignorance often, in attacking that of other Men.
Wor. But what is all this to your Daughter?
Pol. Never tell me of my Daughter, my Country is dearer to me than a thouſand Daughters; ſhould the Turks come among us, what would become of our Daughters then? and our Sons, and our Wives, and our Eſtates, and our Houſes, and our Religion, and our Liberty.—When a Turkiſh Aga ſhould command our Nobility, and Janizaries make Grandfathers of Lords? Where ſhould we look for Britain then?
Wor. Truly, where I may look for Mr. Politick now, in the Clouds.
Pol. Give me leave, Sir, only to let you a little into the preſent State of Turkey.
Wor. I muſt beg to be excuſed, Sir; if I can be of any Service to you, in relation to your Daughter, you may command my Attention: I may probably defend you from your own Countrymen, but truly from the Turks I cannot.
Pol. I am glad to hear you have ſome Apprehenſion of them, as well as my ſelf.—That you are not ſo ſtupidly beſotted, as I meet with ſome People at the Coffee-houſe; but perhaps you are not enough apprized of the Danger. Give me leave only to ſhew you, how it is poſſible for the Grand Signior to find an Ingreſs into Europe.—Suppoſe, Sir, this Spot I ſtand on to be Turkey—then here is Hungary—Very well—here is France, and here is England—granted—then we will ſuppoſe he had Poſſeſſion of Hungary—what then remains but to conquer France, before we find him at our own Coaſt.—But, Sir, this is not all the Danger; now I will ſhew you how he can come by Sea to us.
Wor. Dear Sir, refer that to ſome other time; you have ſufficiently ſatisfied me, I aſſure you.
[Page 30] Pol. It is almoſt time to go to the Coffee-houſe—ſo dear Mr. Worthy, I am your moſt obedient Servant.
Wor. Mr. Politick, your very humble Servant.

1.2.12. SCENE XII.

Worthy ſolus.

I recollect the Dawnings of this political Humour to have appeared when we were at the Bath together, but it hath riſen finely in theſe ten Years. What an Enthuſiaſm muſt it have arrived to, when it could make him forget the Loſs of his only Daughter! The greateſt Part of Mankind labour under one Delirium or other: And Don Quixotte differed from the reſt, not in Madneſs, but the Species of it. The Covetous, the Prodigal, the Superſtitious, the Libertine, and the Coffee-houſe Politician, are all Quixottes in their ſeveral Ways.

That Man alone from Madneſs free, we find,
Who, by no wild unruly Paſſion blind,
To Reaſon gives the Conduct of his Mind.

1.3. ACT III.

1.3.1. SCENE I.

SCENE The Street.
Hilaret, Cloris, meeting.
Hil. DEAR Cloris.
Clo. Dear Madam, is it you? you altogether?
Hil. Ay, ay, altogether, thank Heavens! I had like to have loſt ſomething, but all's ſafe I aſſure you.
Clo. Ah! Madam, I wiſh it were.
Hil. What, don't you believe me?
Clo. I wiſh you could not me, or I my ſelf. Poor Capt. Conſtant
[Page 31] Hil. What of him?
Clo. Oh! Madam!
Hil. Speak quickly, or kill me, which you pleaſe—
Clo. —Is taken up for a Rape.
Hil. How!
Clo. It is too true, his own Servant told me.
Hil. His Servant belied him, and ſo do you—ſhew me where he is, if he be in a Dungeon, I'll find him out.
Clo. Very generous indeed, Madam! A King ſhould ſooner viſit a Priſoner for Treaſon, than I a Lover for a Rape.
Hil. It would be unpardonable in me to entertain ſo flagrant a Belief at the firſt hearing, againſt a Man who hath given me ſuch ſubſtantial Proofs of his Conſtancy: Beſides, an Affair of my own makes me the more doubtful of the Truth of this; but if there appear any Proof of ſuch a Fact I will drive him for ever from my Thoughts.
Clo. Yes, Madam, Juſtice Squeezum will take care to have him driven another Way.
Hil. Juſtice Squeezum! let me hug you for that Information. Now, I can almoſt ſwear he is Innocent: I have ſuch an Adventure to ſurprize you with; but let me not loſe a Moment—come, ſhew me the way.
Clo. Poor Creature! She knows the way to her Deſtruction too well—but it would be Impertinence in a Servant to put her out of it.

1.3.2. SCENE II.

The Conſtable's Houſe.
Conſtant alone.

I begin to be of that Philoſopher's Opinion, who ſaid, that whoever will entirely conſult his own Happineſs, muſt be little concerned about the Happineſs of others. Good-nature is Quixotiſm, and every Princeſs Micomicona will lead her Deliverer into a Cage. What had I to do to interpoſe! What harm did the Misfortunes of an unknown Woman bring me, that I ſhould [Page 32] hazard my own Happineſs and Reputation on her Account?—But ſure, to ſwear a Rape againſt me for having reſcued her from a Raviſher, is an unparalelled Piece of Ingratitude.

1.3.3. SCENE III.

Conſtant, and Mrs. Staff.
Mrs. Staff. Will your Honour pleaſe to drink a Dram, or ſome 'Rack Punch?
Conſt. Dear Madam, do not trouble me; I can drink nothing.
Mrs. Staff. Truly, Sir, but I can. Not trouble you! I had never ſuch a Cuſtomer here before. You a Captain charged with a Rape!—I ſhould ſooner take you for ſome poor Attorney, charged with Forgery and Perjury: o a travelling Parſon, with ſtealing a Gown and Caſſock.
Conſt. Drink what you will, and I'll pay what you pleaſe.
Mrs. Staff. Thank your Honour! Your Honour will not be offended, I hope—we ſtand at a great Rent: and truly, ſince this Gin Act, Trade hath been ſo dull, that I have often wiſhed my Husband would live by the Highway himſelf, inſtead of taking Highwaymen.
Conſt You are not the only Wife who would give her Husband this Advice, I dare ſwear. Nay, were Men all ſo uxorious to take it, Tyburn would have as much Buſineſs as Doctors-Commons.
Mrs. Staff. I wiſh it had more; for we muſt ſtand and fall by one another; no buſineſs there, no Buſineſs here; and truly Captain, 'tis with Sorrow I ſay it, where we have one Felon now, we had ten, a Year or two ago—I have not ſeen one Priſoner brought in for a Rape this Fortnight, except your Honour. I hope your Handſel will be lucky.

1.3.4. SCENE IV.

[Page 33]
Conſtant, Staff, Mrs. Staff.
Staff. Captain, your Servant, I ſuppoſe you will be glad of Company—here is a very civil Gentleman, I aſſure you.
Mrs. Staff. More Gentlemen! This is rare News indeed.
Conſt. I had rather be alone.
Staff. I have but this one Priſon-Room, Captain: beſides, I aſſure you, this is no common Fellow, but a very fine Gentleman, a Captain too—and as merry a one—
Conſt. What is the Cauſe of his Misfortune?
Staff. A Rape, Captain, a Rape—no diſhonourable Offence—I would not have brought any Scoundrels into your Honour's Company: but Rape and Murder no Gentleman need be aſhamed of; and this is an honeſt Brother-Raviſher—I have raviſhed Women my ſelf formerly: but a Wife blunts a Man's Edge. When once you are married, you will leave off Raviſhing, I warrant you—to be bound in Wedlock is as good a Security againſt Rapes, as to be bound over to the Peace is againſt Murther.
Mrs. Staff. My Husband will have his Jeſt. I hope your Honour will pardon him.
Staff. But here is the Gentleman.

1.3.5. SCENE V.

Conſtant, Ramble, Staff, Mrs. Staff.
Conſt. Prodigious!
Ramb. Dear Conſtant!
Conſt. What in the Name of Wonder hath brought you to England?
Ramb. What in the Devil's Name hath brought thee to the Conſtable's?
Conſt. Only a Rape, Sir, no diſhonourable Offence, as Mr. Conſtable hath it.
[Page 34] Ramb. You jeſt.
Staff. No, Sir, upon my Word the Captain is in earneſt.
Ramb. Why I ſhould ſooner have ſuſpected Ermin or Lawn-Sleeves. But I ſee Gravity and Hypocriſy are inſeparable—Well, give me thy Hand, Brother, for our Fortunes agree exactly.
Staff. And will agree in the End, I don't queſtion. This is not the firſt time of their meeting together on this Account; a Couple of old Whore-maſters, I warrant 'em.
Mrs. Staff. Will your Honours pleaſe to drink any Punch, noble Captains, it will keep up your Spirits.
Staff. Don't force the Gentlemen, Wife, to drink whether they will or no.—I wiſh you well off this Affair—in the mean time, whatever my Houſe affords is at your Service—and let me aſſure you, the more you drink the leſs you will lament your Misfortune.
Ramb. Spoken like a true Philoſopher.

1.3.6. SCENE VI.

Conſtant, Ramble.
Ramb. But, dear Billy, I hope thou haſt not really committed, hey?
Conſt. What I heartily repent of, I aſſure you. I reſcued a Woman in the Street, for which ſhe was ſo kind to ſwear a Rape againſt me; but it gives me no Uneaſineſs equal to the Pleaſure I enjoy in ſeeing you.
Ramb. Ever kind and good-natur'd!
Conſt. Yet I wiſh our Meeting had been on another Occaſion, for the Freedom of your Life makes me ſuſpect the Conſequence of your Confinement may be heavier than mine.
Ramb. I can't tell what the Conſequence may be, nor ſhall I trouble my ſelf about it: But I aſſure thee, no ſucking Babe can be more innocent. If our Caſes differ in any thing, it is in this, that my Woman hath not ſworn.
Conſt. This pleaſes me indeed!—But pray, how [Page 35] came you to leave the Indies, where I thought you had been ſettled for Life?
Ramb. Why on the ſame Account that I went thither, that I now am here, by which I live, and for which I live, a Woman.
Conſt. A Woman!
Ramb. Ay, a fine, young, rich Woman! a Widow with Fourſcore Thouſand Pounds in her Pocket—there's a North Star to ſteer by.
Conſt. What is her Name?
Ramb. Her Name!—her Name is Ramble.
Conſt. What, Married!
Ramb. Ay, Sir; ſoon after you left the Indies, honeſt Mr. Ingot left the World, and me the Heir to his Wife with all her Effects.
Conſt. I wiſh you Joy, dear Jack; this thy good Fortune hath ſo filled me with Delight, that I have no Room for my own Sorrows.
Ramb. But I have not unfolded half yet.
Sot. [without.] Let two Quarts of Rum be made into Punch, let it be hot—hot as Hell.
Ramb. D'ye hear, we are in a fine Condition 'faith!

1.3.7. SCENE VII.

Conſtant, Ramble, Sotmore, Staff.
Sot. Here they are, here are a Brace of deſponding Whore-maſters for you—Ramble, what nothing to ſay in Praiſe of the Women, Mark Anthony made a fine Bargain, hey, when he gave the World for a Woman? 'Sdeath! if he had been alive now I'd have waged Six Gallons of Claret, I had ſeen him hanged for a Rape—as I ſhall very ſuddenly my two worthy Friends.
Ramb. Hearkee, Sotmore, if you ſay any thing againſt the Women, we'll cut your Throat, and toſs Juſtice in a Murder into the Bargain.
Sot. Not ſpeak againſt Women! you ſhall as ſoon compel me not to drink; you ſhall ſow up my Lips, [Page 36] if you do either—Here, you, let the Punch be gotten ready.
Staff. It ſhall, an't pleaſe your Honour. (This Gentleman is a rare Cuſtomer to a Houſe, I wiſh he would commit a Rape too.)

1.3.8. SCENE VIII.

Conſtant, Ramble, Sotmore.
Conſt. You muſt not rail againſt the Ladies, Sotmore, before Ramble; for he is a married Man.
Ramb. And what is better, my Wife is at the bottom of the Sea.
Sot. And what is worſe, all her Effects are at the bottom of the Sea with her.
Conſt. How!
Ramb. Faith! Sotmore hath ſpoken Truth for once.—Notwithſtanding my Pleaſantry, the Lady and her Fortune are both gone together; ſhe went to the other World Fourſcore Thouſand ſtrong; and if there be any ſuch thing there, I don't queſtion but ſhe is married again by this Time.
Sot. You would not take my Advice. I have cautioned thee never to truſt any thing on the ſame Bottom with a Woman. I would not enſure a Ship that had a Woman on Board, for double the Price.—The Sins of one Woman are enough to draw down a Judgment on a Fleet.
Ramb. Here's a Fellow, who, like a Prude, makes Sin a Handle to his Abuſe.—Art thou not aſhamed to mention Sin—who art a Cargo of Iniquity? why wilt thou fill thy venom'd Mouth with that of others, when thou haſt ſuch Stores of thy own?
Conſt. What occaſioned your ſeparating?
Ramb. A Storm, and my ill Stars. I left the Ship wherein ſhe was to dine with the Captain of one of our Convoy, when a ſudden violent Storm ariſing, I loſt ſight of her Ship, and from that Day have never ſeen or heard of her.
Sot. Nor ever will—I heartily hope. Tho' as for the Innocent Cheſts, thoſe I wiſh deliver'd out of the [Page 37] Deep. But the Sea knows its own good: It will be ſure to keep the Money, tho' poſſibly it may refund the Woman; for a Woman will ſwim like a Cork, and they are both of the ſame Value, nay the latter is the more valuable, as it preſerves our Wine, which Women often ſpoil.
Conſt. Why, Sotmore, Wine is the Touchſtone of all Merit with thee, as Gold is to a Stock-jobber, and thou would'ſt as ſoon ſell thy Soul for a Bottle, as he for a Guinea.
Sot. Wine, Sir, is as apt a Compariſon to every thing that is good, as Woman is to every thing that is bad.
Conſt. Fie, Sotmore! this railing againſt the Ladies will make your Company as ſcandalous to Gentlemen, as railing at Religion would to a Parſon.
Ramb. Right, Conſtant! they are my Religion, I am the High-Prieſt of the Sex.
Sot. Women and Religion! Women and the Devil: he leaves his Votaries in the Lurch, and ſo do they.
Conſt. I fancy, Ramble, this Friend of ours will turn Parſon, one day or other—
Ramb. If he was not ſuch a Sot, I ſhould think it poſſible:
Sot. Why faith! I am almoſt ſuperſtitious enough to fancy this a Judgment on thee for breaking thy Word.—Did I not tell thee, thou wert ſtroling off to ſome little dirty Whore? and you ſee the Truth of my Prophecy.
Ramb. Thou art in the right: It was not only a Whore, but the moſt Impudent of all Whores—a modeſt Whore.
Conſt. A modeſt Whore! let her be married to an honeſt Attorney, by all means.
Ramb. And ſent together to People His Majeſty's Plantations.
Sot. Modeſty now-a-days as often covers Impudence, as it doth Uglineſs. It is as uncertain a ſign of Virtue as Quality is, or as fine Cloaths are of Quality.
[Page 38] Ramb. Yet to do her Right: the Perſuaſions of the Juſtice could not prevail with her to perjure herſelf.
Sot. Conſcientious Strumpet! She hopes to pick your Pocket another time, which it were Charity to thee to wiſh ſhe might: for if thou eſcapeſt this, ſhe certainly will have an Opportunity.
Ramb. Pray, honeſt Nol, how didſt thou find us out? for a Boy would as ſoon have ſent for his Schoolmaſter when he was caught in an Orchard, as I for thee on this Occaſion.
Sot. Find you out! why the Town rings of you—there is not a Husband or Guardian in it, but what is ready to get drunk for Joy. If the Woman be not Gold-Proof, ſhe will be bribed to ſwear againſt you. You are a Nuſance, Sir! I don't believe he hath been in Town Six Days, and he hath had above ſixteen Women.
Ramb. And they are a nobler Pleaſure than ſo many Gallons which thou haſt ſwallowed in that time.
Sot. Sir, I pay my Vintner, and therefore do no Injury.
Ramb. And, Sir, I do no Injury: and therefore have no Reaſon to pay.
Sot. Hey-day! is taking away a Man's Wife or Daughter no Injury?
Ramb. Not when the Wife is weary of her Husband, and the Daughter longs for one.
Conſtant. Art thou not aſhamed, Sotmore, to throw a Man's Sins in his Face, while he is ſuffering for them?
Sotm. That is the time, Sir; beſides you ſee what an effect it hath on him: you might as well rail at a Knight of the Poſt in the Pillory.
Ramb. Let him alone, the Punch will be here immediately, and then he'll have no Leiſure to rail.
Sot. Is it not enough to make a Man rail, to have parted with a Friend happy in the Night, and to find him the next Morning in ſo fair a Way to—Death and Damnation! Shew me the Whore, I'll be revenged on her and the whole Sex. If thou art [Page 39] hanged for Raviſhing her, I'll be hanged for Murdering her. Deſcribe the little Miſchief to me. Is ſhe tall, ſhort, black, brown, fair? In what Form hath the Devil diſguiſed himſelf?
Ramb. In a very Beautiful one, I aſſure you: ſhe hath the fineſt Shape that ever was beheld, genteel to a Miracle, then the brighteſt Eyes that ever glanced on a Lover, the prettieſt little Mouth, and Lips as red as a Cherry: And for her Breaſts, not Snow, Marble, Lillies, Alabaſter, Ivory can come up to their Whiteneſs; but their little, pretty, firm, round Form, no Art can imitate, no Thought conceive—Oh! Sotmore, I could die ten thouſand Millions of Times upon them.—
Sot. You are only like to die once for them.
Conſt. All theſe Raptures about a common Whore, Ramble?
Sot. Ay, every Woman he ſees, they are all alike to him, modeſt, or immodeſt, high or low, from the Garret to the Cellar, St. James's to the Stews; find him but a Woman, and he'll make an Angel of her.—He hath the ſame Taſte for Women, as a Child for Pictures, or a hungry Glutton for an Entertainment: every Piece is a Venus, and every Diſh an Ortelan.
Ramb. To ſay the Truth of her, Sotmore muſt have allowed her handſome, and I muſt allow her to have been a damn'd, confounded, common—

1.3.9. SCENE IX.

Conſtant, Ramble, Sotmore, Hilaret.
Ramb. Ha! Conjured up, by Jupiter! Well, my little Enemy, do the Prieſt and the Lawyer conſent—and will you ſwear—ha!
Hil. [Not regarding Ramble, runs to Conſtant.] My Conſtant!
Ramb. Hey-day! what, are we both in for Raviſhing the ſame Woman?—I ſee by her Fondneſs, he hath really Raviſhed her.
[Page 40] Conſt. O, Hilaret! this Kindneſs of yours ſinks me the deeper; can you bear to think on one accuſed of ſuch a Crime as I am?
Hil. Never to believe it can I bear.
Conſt. How ſhall I repay this Goodneſs! Then by Heavens I am innocent.
[They talk a-part.
Ramb. Hey! the Devil!—Is this Conſtant's Miſtreſs? Here will be fine Work, i'faith!
Sotm. Is this the Lady that did you the Favour, Sir?
[To Ramb.
Ramb. This the Lady! No—why this is a Woman of Virtue; tho' ſhe hath a great Reſemblance of the other, I muſt confeſs.
Sotm. Then I ſuppoſe this is ſhe whom Conſtant hath Toaſted this half Year—his Honourable Miſtreſs, with a Pox.—Rare Company for a Man who is in Priſon for a Rape!
Hil. And was you in that Scuffle which parted me and my Maid in Leiceſter-Fields?
Conſt. It was there this unfortunate Accident happened, while I was going to the Place of our Appointment.
Hil. It had like to have occaſioned another to me, which, that I eſcaped, I am to thank this Gentleman.
Ram. Oh, Madam! your moſt obedient, humble Servant. Was it you, dear Madam?
Conſt. Ha! is it poſſible my Friend can have ſo far indebted me!—This is a Favour I can never return.
Ramb. You over-rate it, upon my Soul you do; I am ſufficiently repayed by this Embrace.
Conſt. I can never repay thee.—Would'ſt thou have given me Worlds, it could not have equall'd the leaſt Favour conferr'd on this Lady.
Ramb. I ſhould have conferred ſome Favours on her indeed, if ſhe would have accepted them.
Hil. I am glad it is to Mr. Conſtant's Friend I am obliged.
[Page 41] Sotm. Yes, you are damnably obliged to him for his Character of you.
Conſt. My dear Hilaret, ſhall I beg to hear it all? I can have no Pleaſure equal to finding new Obligations to this Gentleman.
Hil. Since you deſire it—
Ramb. I fancy, Madam, your Fright at that time may have occaſioned your forgetting ſome Circumſtance; therefore ſince Capt. Conſtant deſires it, I will tell him the Story.—I had juſt parted from this Gentleman, when I heard a young Lady's Voice crying out for help; (I think the Word Rape was mentioned, but that I cannot perfectly remember;) upon this, making directly to the Place whence the Noiſe proceeded, I found this Lady in the Arms of a very rude Fellow—
Hil. The moſt impudent Fellow, ſure, that ever was born!
Ramb. A very impudent Fellow, and yet a very cowardly one; for the Moment I came up, he quitted his Hold, and was gone out of Sight in the Twinkling of an Eye.
Conſt. My dear Ramble, what haſt thou done for me!
Ramb. No Obligation, dear Conſtant! I would have done the ſame for any Man breathing. But to proceed; the Watch came up, who would not be ſatisfied with what ſhe then ſaid, but convey'd us both to the Round-Houſe, whence we were carried in the Morning before Juſtice Squeezum, and by him, notwithſtanding this Lady's Proteſtations, your humble Servant was committed to that Place where he now finds himſelf with this good Company.
Conſt. Oh, my Friend!—May Heaven ſend me an Opportunity of ſerving thee in the ſame Manner!
Ramb. May that be the only Prayer which it denies to Conſtant.

1.3.10. SCENE X.

[Page 42]
Conſtant, Ramble, Sotmore, Hilaret, Staff.
Staff. The Punch is ready, Gentlemen, you may walk down; the Liberty of my Houſe is at your Service.
Sotm. And that is Liberty enough, while thou haſt Punch here. If thy Houſe were a Sea of Punch, I would not prefer any Houſe in Town to it.
Staff. Your Honour ſhall not want that.
Sotm. And I ſhall want nothing more.
Staff. Captain, a Word with you. [To Ramble.] There's Madam Squeezum below deſires to ſpeak with you alone.
Ramb. Bring her up.—Sotmore, you muſt excuſe me a few Moments, Conſtant and this Lady will entertain you.
Sotm. Let the Moments be very few. I'll lay Five Gallons to One, this Fellow hath another Whore in his Eye.

1.3.11. SCENE XI.

Ramble, Mrs. Squeezum.
Ramb. So; my Affair with my Friend's Miſtreſs is happily over.—That I ſhould not know a modeſt Woman! But there is ſo great an Affectation of Modeſty in ſome Women of the Town, and ſo great an Affectation of Impudence in ſome Women of Faſhion, that it is not impoſſible to miſtake. Now for Mrs. Juſtice, her Buſineſs with me is not exceeding difficult to gueſs.
Mrs. Squeez. You will think I have a vaſt deal of Charity, Captain, who am not only the Solicitreſs of your Liberty at home to my Husband, but can carry my Good-nature ſo far as to viſit you in your Confinement. I cannot ſay but I have a generous Pity for any one whom I imagine to be accuſed wrongfully.
[Page 43] Ramb. I am obliged to you indeed, Madam, for that Suppoſal.
Mrs. Squeez. You are for the Cauſe of it. Wherefore do you imagine I ventured my ſelf alone with you this Morning?
Ramb. From your great Humanity, Madam.
Mr. Squeez. Alas, Sir! it was to try whether you were really the Man you were reported to be; and I am certain I found you as inoffenſive, quiet, civil, well-bred a Gentleman as any virtuous Woman could have wiſhed. Your Behaviour was ſo modeſt, that I can never imagine it poſſible you ſhould have been guilty of a Rape. No over-grown Alderman of Sixty, or taper Beau of Six and Twenty, could have been more innocent Company.
Ramb. Whu!—
Mrs. Squeez. Your then Carriage hath wrought ſo great an Effect upon me, that I have ventured to truſt my ſelf here with you; nay, I could truſt my ſelf any where with ſo modeſt a Gentleman.
Ramb. I'll take care, Madam, never to forfeit your good Opinion of me; you may truſt your ſelf with me any where; I'll never behave in any other manner than becomes the beſt-bred Man alive with the beſt-bred Lady. I ſwear by this ſoft Hand, theſe Lips, and all the Millions of Charms that dwell in this dear Body.
Mrs. Squeez. What do you mean?
Ramb. I know not what I mean; Tongue can't expreſs, nor Thought conceive—we can only feel the exquiſite Pleaſures Love has in ſtore.
Mrs. Squeez. Nay, I proteſt, and vow.
Ramb. Proteſtations are as vain as Struggling. This Cloſet hath a Bed in it that would not diſgrace a Palace.
Sotm. [At the Door.] Why, Ramble! Jack Ramble! Art thou not aſhamed to leave thy Friends thus, for ſome little dirty Strumpet? If thou doſt not come immediately, we'll break open the Door, and drown her in Punch.
[Page 44] Mrs. Squeez. [Softly.] I am undone!—
Ramb. Fear nothing—Go to your Bowl, I'll come this Inſtant.
Sotm. I'll not wag without you.
Ramb. Then I'll come down, break your Bowl and ſpill all your Liquor.
Sot. Bring thy Whore along with thee; there's one there already, ſhe'll be glad of her Company: If you don't come in an Inſtant I will be back again.
Mrs. Squeez. What ſhall I do?
Ramb. My Angel! Love ſhall inſtruct thee.
Mrs. Squeez. Let me go—ſome other time—I will not run any Venture here.
Ramb. I will not part with you.
Mrs. Squeez. You ſhall hear from me in half an Hour. You ſhall have your Liberty, and I'll appoint you where to meet me.
Ramb. Shall I depend on you?
Mrs. Squeez. You may.—Adieu.—Don't follow me: I can ſlip out a back Way.
Ramb. Farewel, my Angel!

1.3.12. SCENE XII.

Ramble Solus.

Confound this drunken Raſcal! This is not the firſt Time he hath ſpoiled an Intrigue for me. But hold, as I am to have my Liberty before-hand, I don't think this half Hour's Delay at all unlucky. That Conſideration may ſufficiently compenſate the ſtaying of my Stomach. This Adventure of mine begins to put on a tolerable Aſpect. An Intrigue with a rich Juſtice's Wife, is not to be ſlighted by a young Fellow of a deſperate Fortune. I do not doubt but in a very ſhort Time, when I am taken up for the next Rape, to bribe the Juſtice with his own Money.—Lend a Man your Gold, he may forget the Debt; venture your Life for him, he may forget the Obligation; but once engage his Wife, and you ſecure his Friendſhip. There is no Friend in all Extremity ſo ſure as your [Page 45] Cuckold—and the ſureſt Hold you can take of a Man, as of a Bull, is by his Horns.

1.3.13. SCENE XIII.

Ramble, Conſtant, Sotmore, Hilaret.
Sotm. Ha! what's become of thy Wench? if thou hadſt none, thy Abſence was the more inexcuſable.
Conſt. O Ramble! this our better Genius hath invented the moſt notable Plot!—Such a Net is laid for the Juſtice! it will at once entangle him and diſentangle us. Mr. Hoggſhead here is to play his Part too.
Ramb. I am ſorry we cannot do without him; for ſhould there be any Claret in his way, he'd diſappoint the whole Affair for one Bottle.
Sotm. Not for the beſt Burgundy in France. This Lady hath won my Heart by one Bumper.—By all the Pleaſures of Drinking, Madam, I like you more than your whole Sex put together. There is no Honeſty in Man or Woman, that will not drink. Honeſty is tried in Wine, as Gold is in the Fire. Madam, you have made a Conqueſt of me. I'll drink your Health as long as I can ſtand, and that's as long as a reaſonable Woman can require.
Hil. I am exceedingly proud of my Conqueſt over a Man of Mr. Sotmore's good Senſe.
Conſt. Upon my Word you may, you are the firſt Woman I believe he ever was civil to.
Sotm. It was becauſe they none of them had your Merit; a Parcel of Tea-drinking Sluts.—If I had a Daughter that drank Tea, I would turn her out of Doors. The Reaſon that Men are honeſter than Women is, their Liquors are ſtronger. If the Sex were bred up to Brandy and Tobacco, if they all liked Drinking as well as you ſeem to do, Madam, I ſhould turn a Lover.
Ramb. Why, Conſtant, ſuch another Compliment would make thee jealous.
[Page 46] Hil. Upon my Word, he hath Reaſon already!
Sotm. Madam, I like you; and if a Bottle of Burgundy were on one ſide, and you on the other, I do not know which I ſhould chuſe.
Conſt. Thou would'ſt chuſe the Bottle, I am ſure.
Ramb. But I long to hear this Conſpiracy.
Sotm. Then it muſt be below. I ſtrictly forbid any Secrets to be told but at the Council-Table. The Roſe is ever underſtood over the Drinking-Room, and a Glaſs is the ſureſt Turnkey to the Lips.
Conſt. That's contrary to the Opinion of Philoſophers.
Sotm. Of the ſober ones it may; but all your wiſe Philoſophers were a Set of the moſt drunken Dogs alive. I never knew a ſober Fellow but was an Aſs—and your Aſs is the ſobereſt of all Animals. Your ſober Philoſophers, and their Works, have been buried long ago. I remember a Saying of that great Philoſopher and Poet, Horace, who wrote in Falernian inſtead of Ink:
No Verſes laſt—can long eſcape the Night,
Which the dull ſcribling Water-drinkers write.

1.4. ACT IV.

1.4.1. SCENE I.

SCENE Squeezum's.
Squeezum, Quill.
Squeez. YOU delivered my Letter?
Quill. Yes, an't pleaſe your Worſhip, I left it at the Coffee-Houſe, where ſhe directed me.
Squeez. Very well.—Quill!
Quill. Sir.
Squeez. I think I may truſt thee with any Secret—and what I am now going to tell, will ſhew thee what [Page 47] a Confidence I put in thee.—In ſhort, Quill, I ſuſpect my Wife—
Quill. Of what, Sir?
Squeez. I am afraid that I am not the only Perſon free with her, and that I am free of the Corporation of Cuckolds.
Quill. Then your Worſhip is free of all the Corporations in England.
Squeez. Now thou knoweſt that there are very wholeſome Laws againſt Cuckoldom; the Advantage of a Man's Horns is, that he may ſhove his Wife out of Doors with them.
Quill. And that is no inconſiderable Advantage.
Squeez. But there muſt be a Diſcovery firſt. It is not enough that a Man knows himſelf to be a Cuckold, the World muſt know it too. He that will keep his Horns in his Pocket, muſt keep his Wife in his Boſom. Therefore, Quill, as it is in your Power to obſerve my Wife, I aſſure you a very handſome Reward on her Conviction; for I begin to find, that if I do not diſcover her, ſhe will ſhortly diſcover me, or ruin me by bribing her to hold her Tongue. It is not a little Gold will make a Gag for a Woman.
Quill. Sir, I ſhall be as diligent as poſſible.
Squeez. And I as liberal on your Succeſs.
[Exit Squeezum.

1.4.2. SCENE II.

Quill ſolus.

Indeed, Juſtice, that Bait will not do. I know you too well to truſt to your Liberality. Your Wife will reward Services better than you. Beſides, I have too much Honour to take Fees on both Sides.—And ſince I am her Pimp in ordinary, I'll go like an honeſt and dutiful Servant, and diſcover this Conſpiracy; for ſhould ſhe once be turn'd out of the Family, I ſhould make but a ſlender Market of this cloſefinger'd Juſtice, whoſe Covetouſneſs would ſuffer no Rogues to live but himſelf.

1.4.3. SCENE III.

[Page 48]
The Conſtable's Houſe.
Ramble, Conſtant.
Ramb. This little Miſtreſs of yours is the moſt dextrous Politician, if that drunken Puppy doth not diſappoint us.
Conſt. Never fear him! he hath Cunning enough, and there hath been ſo long a War in his Head between Wine and his Senſes, that they ſeem now to have come to an Agreement that he is never to be quite in them, nor ever quite out of them; his Life is one continued Scene of being half Drunk.
Ramb. Well, as we can be of no farther Uſe in the Affair, but muſt ſtay here and expect the Iſſue; pr'ythee tell me what hath become of you theſe three long long Years ſince you quitted the Service of the Eaſt-India Company, and came over to England with Sotmore?
Conſt. Why, at my firſt Return to England, the Proſpect of War was in every one's Eye, and not only the Reports of the People, but the Augmentation of the Troops aſſured us of its Approach; upon which, I reſolved to embarque my ſmall Remains of Fortune in the Service of my Country, and obtained the ſame Commiſſion on that Occaſion, which I had enjoyed in the Indies. My Hiſtory is not very full of Adventures; I continued therein 'till the Reduction, when I ſhared the Fate of ſeveral unhappy brave Fellows, and was ſent a begging with a red Coat on my Back.
Ramb. It is the Faculty of the Cloth to be ragged.—Red is as apt to be ragged, as White to be ſoil'd. It is commonly the Fate of our brave Soldiers to bring home ragged Cloaths, as well as Colours, and both are rewarded by Weſtminſter-Hall—the one is hung up in it, and the other is locked up ſafe by an Order from it; for, Heaven be prais'd! the Goals are always open Hoſpitals for us.
[Page 49] Conſt. The only Happineſs which hath attended me ſince my Return, is my having contracted an Intimacy with that young Lady whom you ſaw here; which hath proceeded ſo far, that laſt Night we had appointed to meet in order to our Marriage; but as I was juſt arrived at the Place, a Woman well-dreſs'd was attacked in the Street by a Ruſſian; I immediately flying to her Aſſiſtance, the Fellow quitted her, and left me alone in the Poſſeſſion of the Watch, who early this Morning carried me before Juſtice Squeezum, and by him I was committed hither.
Ramb. What, did ſhe appear againſt you?
Conſt. No; they ſaid ſhe was ill of ſome Bruiſes ſhe had received, but deſired I might be kept in Cuſtody 'till the Afternoon, at which Time ſhe would appear againſt me. But by what Hilaret hath told us, and by ſome Methods which have been uſed to extort Money from me, I am inclined to fancy it all a contrived Piece of Villany of the Juſtice, and not of the Woman's, as I at firſt imagined.
Ramb. Be aſſured of it;—if there be Roguery, the Juſtice hath the chief Part in it. But, comfort your ſelf with the Expectation of Revenge, for I think he cannot poſſibly eſcape the Net we have ſpread, unleſs the Devil have more Gratitude than he is reported to have, and will aſſiſt his very good Friend at a Criſis.
Conſt. But, what do you intend in England, where you have no Friends?
Ramb. I know not yet whether I have or no. I left an old Father here, and a rich one. He thought fit to turn me out of Doors for ſome Frolicks, which it is probable, if he yet lives, he may have forgiven me by this. But what's become of him I know not, for I have not heard one Word of him theſe Ten Years.
Conſt. I think you have been vaſtly careleſs, in neglecting him ſo long.
Ramb. 'Tis as I have acted in all Affairs of Life; my Thoughts have ever ſucceeded my Actions; the [Page 50] Conſequence hath cauſed me to reflect when it was too late. I never reaſoned on what I ſhould do, but what I had done; as if my Reaſon had her Eyes behind, and could only ſee backwards.

1.4.4. SCENE IV.

Ramble, Conſtant, Staff.
Staff. Here is a Letter for your Honour.
Ramb. [Reads it.] Ay, this is a Letter indeed!
Conſt. What is it?
Ramb. My Freedom, under a Sign manual from the Queen of theſe Regions.
Conſt. Explain.
Ramb. Then, Sir, in plain Engliſh, without either Trope or Figure, it is a Letter from the Juſtice's Wife, with an Order to the Conſtable for my Liberty. [Reads.]


I Was no ſooner recovered of the Fright which that unmannerly Friend of yours occaſioned, than I have performed my Promiſe; you will find me at Home; the Conſtable hath Orders by the Bearer to acquit you.

Here's Good-nature for you! [Kiſſes the Letter.] Thou dear Wife of a damn'd Rogue of a Juſtice, I fly to thy Arms.
Conſt. Heark'e! ſuppoſe you brought her to be a Witneſs to our Deſign—and—here, take this Letter of Aſſignation from the Juſtice to Hilaret; it will give your Diſcovery Credit.
Ramb. An admirable Thought! I fly to execute it. Dear Conſtant, good-morrow. I hope when next we meet, we ſhall meet
In happier Climes, and on a ſafer Shore,
Where no vile Juſtice ſhall invade us more.
Conſt. Succeſs attend you.

1.4.5. SCENE V.

[Page 51]
A Tavern.
Squeezum, Drawer.
Squeez. No Woman been to enquire for Mr. Jones?
Draw. Sir, I know of none, but I'll ask at the Bar if you pleaſe.
Squeez. Do—and leave Word if any ſuch comes, to ſhew her up hither.—I have no Reaſon to doubt her Company, but I am impatient for it. I proteſt this Woman hath revived the Vigour of Youth in me; ſure, I muſt have over-reckoned my Years!—I cannot be above Forty-Nine at the moſt.—I wiſh this dear Girl was come.—I am afraid I did wrong in giving her thoſe Five Shillings, in a Purſe worth above Two Shillings more, which who knows but ſhe may be ſpending on ſome Bully, who will perhaps ſend another Preſent to me in return?

1.4.6. SCENE VI.

Squeezum, Hilaret.
Squeez. Oh! are you come—you little, pretty, dear, ſweet Rogue!—I have been waiting for you theſe—theſe four Hours at leaſt.
Hil. Young Lovers are commonly earlier than their Appointment.
Squeez. Give me a Kiſs for that.—Thou ſhalt find me a young Lover, a vigorous young Lover too.—Hit me a Slap in the Face, do.—Bow-wow! Bow-wow! I'll eat up your Cloaths.—Come, what will you drink? White or Red?—Women love White beſt.—Boy, bring half a Pint of Mountain.—Come, ſit down; do, ſit down.—Come, now let us hear the Story how you were firſt debauched.—Come—that I may put it down in my Hiſtory at Home. I have the Hiſtory of all the Women's Ruin that ever I lay with, and I call it, The Hiſtory of my own Times.
[Page 52] Hil. I'll warrant it is as big as a Church-Bible.
Squeez. It is really of a good reputable Size: I have done Execution in my Time.
Hil. And may do Execution ſtill.
Boy. [Without.] Half a Pint of Mountain in the Lion, ſcore.
Squeez. Well—But now let me have the Hiſtory—Where did your Amour begin—at Church, I warrant you: more Amours begin at Church than end there.—Or perhaps, you went to ſee the Man of War—Going to ſee Sights hath ruined many a Woman. No wonder Children are Lovers of them, ſince ſo many owe their Being to them.
Hil. [Aſide.] I thank you for that remembrance, I had forgot my Lover.—Ay, Sir, it was there indeed I ſaw him firſt, that was the fatal Scene of our Interview.
Squeez. Well, and was the Amour managed by Letter, or by word of Mouth?
Hil. By Letter, Sir. I believe he writ two Quires of Paper to me before I would ſend him an Anſwer, I returned him ſeveral un-opened, and then ſeveral others opened—But at laſt—he obtained an Anſwer.
Squeez. Well, and after your Anſwer, what followed then?
Hil. Oh! he thought himſelf ſure of me, as ſoon as I had anſwered his Letter.
Squeez. Ay, I have always obſerved in my Amours, that when I received an Anſwer, I never failed of the Woman; a Woman follows her Letter infallibly: well, and what did he ſay in the ſecond Letter?
Hil. Oh! he ſwore a thouſand fond things, that his Love ſhould laſt as long as his Life. That his whole Happineſs depended on me—and a vaſt deal of that Nature.
Squeez. Ay, ay, juſt as I have done my ſelf. I find Whoring is as Methodical as the Law.
Hil. And I fancy as tedious with you, old Gentle man.
[Page 53] Squeez. Well, and how many Letters did you write to him, ey!—before—?
Hil. Not many. He did not want much Encouragement.
Squeez. Then paſſing over the reſt of the Suit, let us come to the laſt fatal Meeting.
Hil. It was of a Sunday Morning.—
Squeez. Right. My old method: When other People are gone to Church.
Hil. In an exceeding hot Day.—
Squeez. May or June?—Women and Cherries are commonly gathered in the ſame Month.
Hil. I was fatigued with walking in the Garden, and retired to an Arbour to repoſe my ſelf: gueſs what was my Surprize, when I found the dear Perfidious had convey'd himſelf thither before me.
Squeez. A ſly Dog! My old way again. An Ambuſh is as uſeful in Love as War.
Hil. At my firſt Entrance, he pretended a Surprize at ſeeing me unexpectedly: but on my queſtioning him how and with what Deſign he had conveyed himſelf there, he immediately threw off the Cloak and confeſſed all: he flew to me, caught me in his Arms with the moſt eager Raptures, and ſwore the moſt violent Love and eternal Conſtancy. I in the greateſt Agony of Rage repelled him with my utmoſt Force; he redoubled his Attacks, I ſlackened my Reſiſtance; he entreated, I raved; he ſighed, I cry'd; he preſſed, I ſwooned; he—
Squeez. Oh!—I can bear no longer, my Angel! my Paradiſe! my Honey-ſuckle! my Dove! my Darling!
Hil. What do you mean, Sir?
Squeez. I mean to eat you up, to ſwallow you down, to ſqueeze you to Pieces.
Hil. Help there! a Rape, a Rape!

1.4.7. SCENE VII.

Squeezum, Hilaret, Sotmore.
Sotm. Hey-day! what in the Devil's name is here?—Juſtice Squeezum raviſhing a Woman!
[Page 54] Hil. Oh! for Heaven's ſake, Sir, aſſiſt a poor forlorn, hapleſs Maid, whom this wicked Man hath treacherouſly ſeduced.
Squeez. Oh lud!—Oh lud!
Sotm. Fie upon you, Mr. Squeezum! you who are a Magiſtrate, you who are the Preſerver and Executor of our Laws, thus to be the Breaker of them!
Squeez. Can'ſt thou accuſe me?
Hil. You know too well how barbarouſly you have uſed me. For Pity's ſake, Sir, ſecure him; do not let him eſcape, 'till we ſend for a Conſtable. If there be any Law for a Juſtice, I am reſolved to hang him.
Squeez. Oh lud! what Shame have I brought my ſelf to! that ever I ſhould live to ſee this Day!
Sotm. If thou hadſt ſtood to thy Bottle like an honeſt Fellow this had never happened, but you muſt go a Whoring with a Pox to you, at your Years too; with theſe ſpindle Shanks, that weezle Face, that Crane's Neck of a Body. Who would have imagined that ſuch an old withered May-pole as thou art ſhould attempt to fall on a Woman? Why, thou wilt be the Diverſion of the whole Town.—Grubſtreet will dine a Month on your Account. Thou wilt be uſhered to Tyburn with more Pomp then Alexander was uſhered into Babylon. Juſtice never triumphs ſo univerſally as at the Execution of one of her own Officers.
Squeez. Sir, if there be Truth on Earth, I am as innocent—
Sotm. All the Innocence on Earth will not ſave you—A Man doth not always draw the Rope by the weight of his Sins. Your Innocence will not acquit you in a Court of Juſtice, againſt her Oath; and when you come to the Gallows, it will be vain to plead your Innocence. All's Fiſh that comes to the Net there. The Gallows ſo ſeldom gets its due, that it never parts with what it gets.
Hil. Can you pretend to Innocence? was not this Gentleman an Eye-witneſs to your Rudeneſs, to the Injuries you offered me?
[Page 55] Sotm. Ay, ay, I can ſwear to the Rape with as ſafe a Conſcience as I can drink a Glaſs of Wine.
Squeez. I ſee I am betrayed, I am caught in my own Trap. There is but one way to eſcape, which is the way I have opened to others. [Aſide.] I ſee, Madam, your Deſign is to extort Money from me. I am too well acquainted with the Laws to contend: but I hope you will be reaſonable, for I am poor, very poor, I aſſure you: it is not for Men of my Honeſty to be rich.
Hil. Sir, if you would give me Millions, it ſhould not ſatisfie my Revenge; you ſhall be hanged for an Example to others.
Squeez. Here's a cruel Wretch! who prefers my Blood to my Gold, which is almoſt my Blood.
Sotm. Hey-day! what Vehicle is this? a Vinegar Bottle?—half a Pint, by Jupiter! Why, thou ſneaking Raſcal, can'ſt thou pretend to Honeſty, when this Dram Glaſs hath been found upon thee? Were I thy Judge, or thy Jury, this very ſneaking Vehicle ſhould hang thee, without any other Evidence. But come, ſince you are to be hanged, I'll drink one Bumper to your good Journey to the other World—You will find abundance of your Acquaintance, whom you have ſent before you—And now, I'll go call the Drawer to fetch a Conſtable.
Squeez. Hold, hold, Sir; for Mercy ſake do not expoſe me ſo—Will nothing content you, Madam?
Hil. Nothing but the Rigour of the Law. Sir, I beſeech you loſe no Time, but ſend for the Conſtable immediately.
Squeez. I'll do any thing, I'll conſent to any Terms.
Hil. The Conſtable! the Conſtable!
Squeez. Stay, dear Sir! I'll give you a hundred Guineas, I'll do any thing.
Hil. Remember your vile Commitment of two Gentlemen this Morning—But I will revenge the Injuries of my Friends—Sir, I beſeech you ſend for the Officers.
[Page 56] Squeez. One is already diſmiſſed from his Confinement, and the other ſhall be diſmiſſed immediately.
Hil. It is too late.
Sotm. Hearkee, Sir, will you leave off Whoring, and take to Drinking for the future?
Squeez. I'll leave them off both.
Sotm. Then you ſhall be hanged: but if you will commence honeſt Fellow, and get drunk every Day of your Life, I'll intercede with this Lady, that on your acquitting the Gentleman you ſhall be acquitted your ſelf.
Squeez. I'll do any thing, I'll quit any thing.
Sotm. Madam, let me perſuade you to be merciful this time to this unfortunate and undutiful Servant of Juſtice.
Hil. Sir, I can deny you nothing.
Squeez. Get me a Pen and Ink, I'll ſend an Order to bring him hither, and diſcharge him inſtantly.
Sotm. Drawer, bring Pen, Ink and Paper, and a Bottle of old Port.
Squeez. [to Hil.] And could you have had the Conſcience to have ſworn againſt a poor old Man?
Sotm. Faith! 'twas a little cruel. Could you have had the Heart to ſee him ſwinging like a gibbeted Skeleton? could you have ſerved up ſuch a dry Diſh to Juſtice—The Body of one of her own Children too?—But here's the Paper—Come, Sir, write his Diſcharge and your own.
[Squeezum writes, Sotmore and Hilaret advance.
Sot. You have managed this Matter ſo well, that I ſhall have an Opinion of your Sex's Underſtanding ever after.
Hil. Let a Woman alone for a Plot, Mr. Sotmore.
Sot. Ay, Madam, a Woman that will drink a Bumper. Wine is the Fountain of Thought, and
The more we drink,
The more we think.
It is a Queſtion with me, whether Wine hath done more Good, or Phyſick Harm in the World; I would have every Apothecary's Shop in the Town turn'd into a Tavern.
[Page 57] Hil. I am afraid the more you have of the one, the more you will require of the other.
Sot. It is their Drugs that debauch our Wine: Wine in it ſelf is as innocent as Water, and Phyſick poiſons both. It is not the Juice of the Grape, but of the Drug, that is pernicious. Let me adviſe you, Madam, leave off your damn'd adulterated Water, your Tea, and take to Wine. It will paint your Face better than Vermilion, and put more Honeſty in your Heart than all the Sermons you can read. I'll introduce you to ſome Clubs of my Acquaintance, a ſet of honeſt Fellows that live in the Clouds of Tobacco, and know no Home but a Tavern.
Squeez. This Letter, Sir, will produce the Gentleman immediately.
Sot. Here, Drawer—let this Letter be ſent whither it is directed. Come honeſt Juſtice, our Acquaintance hath an odd Beginning, but we may be very good Companions ſoon: Let us ſit down and expect our Friend in the Manner it becometh us. Remember what you have bargained to do every Day of your Life, and the Obligation ſhall be dated from this Hour. Come, ſit thee down, honeſt Publican, old Juſtice Merchant. [They ſit] Here's a Health to the Propagation of Trade, thy Trade I mean, to the Encreaſe of Whores, and falſe Dice—Thou art a Collector of the Cuſtoms of Sin, and he that would ſin with Impunity, muſt have thy Permit. Come, pledge me, old Boy; if thou leaveſt one Drop in the Glaſs, thou ſhalt go to Goal yet, by this Bottle.
Squeez. I proteſt, Sir, your Hand is too bountiful, you will overcome me with Wine.
Sot. Well, and I love to ſee a Magiſtrate drunk; it is a comely Sight: When Juſtice is drunk, ſhe cannot take a Bribe.
Squeez. Do you not remember how the Athenians puniſhed Drunkenneſs in a Magiſtrate?
Sot. And do not I know that we have no ſuch Athenian Law among us? We puniſh Drunkenneſs as well as other Sins, only in the Lower Sort: Drink, [Page 58] like the Game, was intended for Gentlemen—and no one ſhould get drunk, who cannot go home in a Coach—Come, Madam, it is your Glaſs now.
Hil. Dear Sir! I beg you would not compel me to it.
Sot. By this Bottle, but I will, I'll raviſh thee to it before the Juſtice's Face. Come, it will be better for you than Tea, you will not be obliged to ſculk away and take a Dram after this. Come drink the Juſtice's Health, as a Token of Amity; the Juſtice is a good honeſt drunken Fellow. But let me give you ſome wholeſome Advice, [to the Juſtice] leave off fornicating, leave the Girls to the Boys, and ſtand to thy Bottle: It is a Virtue becoming our Years; and don't be too hard on a wild honeſt young Rake. Thou haſt committed a couple of the pretieſt Boys to-day, don't do ſo any more.—Be as ſevere as you pleaſe to Whores and Gameſters, that offer to act without your Licenſe; but if ever you grant a Warrant for a Friend of mine again, you ſhall not only drink the Wine, but eat the Bottle too. Come, here's your Health, in Hopes of your Amendment; thou ſhalt pledge thy own Health in a Bumper—Here, Boy, bring up a Gallon of Wine.
Squeez. Not a Drop more.
Sot. A Drop! confound the Name. Come, empty your Glaſs; the Lady is a-dry.
Squeez. This is worſe than a Priſon.
Sot. You will get out of this with paying leſs Fees. Drink, I ſay.
Squeez. Well—ſince I muſt.
Sot. Come, we'll have a Song in praiſe of Drinking—I'll ſing the Stanza's, and you ſhall bear the Chorus.
[Page 59] SONG.
Let a Set of ſober Aſſes
Rail againſt the Joys of drinking,
While Water, Tea,
And Milk agree,
To ſet cold Brains a thinking:
Power and Wealth,
Beauty, Health,
Wit and Mirth in Wine are crown'd;
Joys abound,
Pleaſure's found,
Only where the Glaſs goes round.
The Ancient Sects on Happineſs
All differ'd in Opinion,
But wiſer Rules,
Of Modern Schools,
In Wine fix her Dominion:
Power and Wealth, &c.
Wine gives the Lover Vigour,
It makes glow the Cheeks of Beauty,
Makes Poets write,
And Soldiers fight,
And Friendſhip do its Duty:
Power and Wealth, &c.
Wine was the only Helicon,
Whence Poets are long-liv'd ſo;
'Twas no other Main,
Than brisk Champaigne,
Whence Venus was deriv'd too:
Power and Wealth, &c.
When Heav'n in Pandora's Box
All kind of Ill had ſent us,
In a merry Mood,
A Bottle of Good
Was cork'd up, to content us:
Power and Wealth, &c.
[Page 60] VI.
All Virtues Wine is Nurſe to,
Of ev'ry Vice Deſtroyer;
Gives Dullards Wit,
Makes juſt the Cit,
Truth forces from the Lawyer:
Power and Wealth, &c.
Wine ſets our Joys a flowing,
Our Care and Sorrow drowning.
Who rails at the Bowl,
Is a Turk in's Soul,
And a Chriſtian ne'er ſhould own him:
Power and Wealth, &c.

1.4.8. SCENE VIII.

Squeezum, Hilaret, Sotmore Conſtant, Staff.
Conſt. My Hilaret! my Dear!
Hil. My Conſtant!
Sot. Give you Joy, dear Conſtant, of your Liberty.
Conſt. Thank you, dear Sotmore, to you I am partly obliged for it: Ramble and I will make you Amends▪ we'll give you ſix Nights for this.
Sot. Where is he?
Conſt. Very ſafe; be not concerned about him.
Hil. Well, Sir, ſince our Affair is ended, there is the Purſe you preſented me this Morning. As I have not performed your Expectations one Way, I'll give you what I believe you did not expect—your Money again. It is unopen'd, I aſſure you.
Squeez. Thou art welcome however.
Sot. Come, Gentlemen, be pleaſed to take every Man his Chair and his Glaſs; we will dedicate one Hour or two to drinking, I am reſolv'd.
Squeez. Firſt we will ſacrifice to Juſtice. Mr. Conſtable, do your Duty.
Staff. Come in there.

1.4.9. SCENE IX.

[Page 61]
Squeezum, Hilaret, Sotmore, Conſtant, Staff, Aſſiſtants.
The Aſſiſtants ſeize Conſtant, Hilaret, and Sotmore.
Squeez. Seize thoſe People in the King's Name—accuſe that Woman and that Man of conſpiring to wear a Rape againſt me.
Staff. It is in vain to contend, Gentlemen.
Hil. Oh the Villain!
Squeez. [to Sot.] The next Letter you extort, Sir, be ſure to examine the Contents.
Sot. Thou Raſcal! will not even Wine make thee Honeſt.
Squeez Obſerve, Gentlemen, how abuſive he is; but I'll make an Example of you all: I'll proſecute you to the utmoſt Severity of the Law,—Mr. Conſtable, convey the Priſoners to your Houſe, whence you ſhall have Orders to bring them before a Juſtice.
Sot. And art thou really in Earneſt?
Squeez. You ſhall find I am, Sir, to your Coſt.
Sot. Then I have found one Man with whom I would not drink a Glaſs of Wine.
Staff. Come, Gentlemen, you know the Way to my Houſe—I am particularly glad to ſee your Honour [to Sotmore] and will accommodate you in the beſt Manner I can.
Conſt. I am too well acquainted with Misfortune, to repine at any; but how ſhall I bear yours, my Hilaret?
Hil. The leſs you ſeem to bear, the more you will lighten mine.
Sot. I muſt give the Juſtice one Wiſh. May Heaven rain Small-Beer upon thee, and may it corrupt thy Body, till it is as putrified as thy Mind.
One Bleſſing only may Heav'n leave thy Life,
May it take all things from thee—but thy Wife.

1.5. ACT V.

[Page 62]

1.5.1. SCENE I.

SCENE Politick's Houſe.
Politick ſolus.
Pol. SURE, never Child inherited leſs of a Father's Diſpoſition than mine; her Mother certainly played me foul in the begetting her: I, who have been my whole Life noted for Sobriety, could never have given Being to ſo wild a Creature: I begin to recollect having ſeen a tall Half-pay Officer at my Houſe formerly: Nor do I think the Girl unlike him. I am ſure ſhe hath been ever wild enough, to have had any Officer in the Kingdom for her Father. Nature hath been kind to the Male of all Creatures but Man: The Bull, the Horſe, the Dog are not encumbered even with their own Off-ſpring; that Care falls only to the Females: But Man, when once a gabling Prieſt hath chattered a few miſchievous Words over him, is bound to have and to hold from that Day forward all the Brats his Wife is pleaſed to beſtow on him. Yet I muſt own the Girl hath been ever dutiful to me, till ſhe became acquainted with this curſed Fellow in a Red Coat. Why ſhould Red have ſuch Charms in the Eyes of a Woman? The Roman Senate kept their Armies abroad to prevent their ſharing in their Lands at home, we ſhould do the ſame to prevent their ſharing in our Wives. A tall luſty Fellow ſhall make more work for a Midwife in one Winter at home, than he can for a Surgeon in ten Summers abroad.

1.5.2. SCENE II.

[Page 63]
Politick, Faithful.
Pol. Well, any News of my Daughter yet?
Faith. No, Sir; but there is ſome News from the Secretaries Office, a Mail is arrived from Holland, and you will have the Contents of it in one of the Evening Papers.
Pol. Very well! I muſt be patient. I think we have three Mails together now: I am not ſatisfied at all with the Affairs in the North: The Northern Winds have not blown us any Good lately; the Clouds are a little darker in the Eaſt too than I could wiſh them.

1.5.3. SCENE III.

Politick, Dabble.
Pol. Mr. Dabble, good Morrow.
Dab. Are the Mails come in?
Pol. Juſt arrived.
Dab. I have not ſlept one wink for reflecting on what you told me laſt Night; perhaps this Dutch Mail may give ſome Inſight into thoſe Affairs. But what ſays the Lying-Poſt?
Pol. I have had no time to read it yet, I wiſh you would. I have only read, The London Journal, the Country Journal, the Weekly Journal, Applebee's Journal, the Britiſh Journal, the Britiſh Gazeteer, the Morning Poſt, the Coffee-Houſe Morning Poſt, the Daily Poſt, the Daily Poſt-Boy, the Daily Journal, the Daily Courant, the Gazette, the Evening Poſt, the Whitehall Evening Poſt, the London Evening Poſt, and the St. James's Evening Poſt. So, if you pleaſe begin the Lying Poſt.
Dab. [reads.] Moſcow, January the fifth. 'We learn from Conſtantinople, that Affairs continue ſtill in the ſame doubtful way, it is not yet known what Courſe our Court will take. The Empreſs having been ſlightly indiſpoſed the other Day took the Air in her own Coach, and returned ſo well recovered, that ſhe eat a very hearty Supper.'—
[Page 64] Pol. Hum—there is no mention of the Supper in any other Papers.
Dab. Berlin, January the 20th. 'We hear daily Murmurs here concerning certain Meaſures taken by a certain Northern Potentate; but cannot certainly learn either who that Potentate is, or what are the Meaſures which he hath taken—mean time we are well aſſured that Time will bring them all to light.'
Pol. Pray read that laſt over again.
Dab. 'Mean time, we are well aſſured that Time will bring them all to light.'
Pol. Hum! hum!
Dab. Marſeilles, January the 18th. 'The Affairs in regard to Italy, continue ſtill in the ſame uncertain Condition.'
Pol. Hum.
Dab. 'The Talk of a large Embarkation ſtill runs high.'
Pol. Hum.
Dab. 'The Spaniards continue ſtill encamped near Barcelona.'
Pol. Hum! [Shakes his Head.]
Dab. 'And every thing ſeems tending to a Rupture—mean time we expect the Return of a Courier from Vienna, who 'tis generally expected will bring the News of a general Pacification.'
Pol. All is well again!
Dab. I like this, and ſome other Papers, who diſappoint you with good News. Where the beginning of a Paragraph threatens you with War, and the latter part of it enſures you Peace.
Pol. Pleaſe to read on—
Dab. 'However, notwithſtanding theſe Aſſurances, 'tis doubted by moſt People, whether the ſaid Courier will not rather bring a Confirmation of the War; but this is all gueſs-work, and till ſuch time as we ſee an actual Hoſtility committed, we muſt leave our Readers in the ſame uncertain State we found them.'
Pol. Hum! There is no Certainty to be come at, I find; it may be either Peace or War.
[Page 65] Dab. Tho' were I to lay a Wager, I ſhould chuſe War; for, if you obſerve, we are twice aſſured of that, whereas we have only one Affirmation on the ſide of Peace—but ſtay, perhaps the next Paragraph which is dated from Fontain-bleau may decide the Queſtion. 'Fontain-bleau, January 23, Yeſterday his Majeſty went a Hunting, to-day he hears an Opera, and tomorrow he hears Maſs.'
Pol. I don't like that; hearing Maſs is ſeldom the Forerunner of good News.
Dab. ' It is obſervable that Cardinal Fleury'—
Pol. Ay, now for it.
Dab. 'It is obſervable that Cardinal Fleury hath for ſeveral Days laſt paſt been in cloſe Conference with the Miniſter of a certain State, which cauſes various Speculations; but as we do not know what was the Matter in Debate, we cannot ſay what may be the Conſequence thereof. Mean time we cannot help obſerving, that it hath occaſioned ſome People to put on very ſerene Looks, who had worn cloudy ones for ſome time before: Some imagine on comparing this with the News from Marſeilles, that a War will be unavoidable—others, who are more peaceably inclined, are as ſtrenuous Advocates on the other ſide—We muſt refer the whole to the Determination of Time, that great Judge in worldly Affairs, who never fails with his two-edged Scithe to mow down the Weeds, which ſhadow over the ſecret Counſels of State, and lay them open to the naked Eye of the diſcerning Politician.'
Pol. Shall I beg to hear that over again?

1.5.4. SCENE IV.

Politick, Dabble, Faithful.
Dab. [reads.] 'We muſt refer the whole to the Determination,' &c.
[Dab. continues reading.
Faith. Oh, Sir! Cloris hath brought the ſtrangeſt News of my young Miſtreſs.
Pol. Don't interrupt us—Blockhead.
[Page 66] Faith. If you loſe a Moment ſhe may be loſt for ever.
Pol. Sirrah! Peace.
Faith. Sir, my young Miſtreſs, Miſs Hilaret, will be undone, ruined, hanged, if you do not aſſiſt her; ſhe's taken up for a Rape—Oh! my poor young Lady! the ſweeteſt, beſt-temper'd Lady ſure that ever was born. Oh! that ever I ſhould ſee the Day! And can you ſit here, Sir, reading a parcel of damn'd confounded lying Nonſenſe, and not go to your Daughter's Aſſiſtance?
Pol. Sure the Fellow is poſſeſſed.
Faith. Sir, your Daughter is poſſeſſed—poſſeſſed by Conſtables—ſhe is taken up for a Rape.
Pol. My Daughter taken up for a Rape!
Faith. Yes, Sir, for Raviſhing a Juſtice of Peace.
Pol. Sure ſome Accident hath touched the Fellow's Brain.
Faith. Ay, Sir, and it would touch yours too, if you had a Grain of Humanity in you.—Oh! that I ſhould live to ſee my poor young Lady in ſuch a Misfortune.
Pol. A Woman taken up for a Rape—it is impoſſible.
Faith. They may ſwear it tho' for all that—I know her to be as modeſt a good young Lady as any in the Kingdom; but what will not a ſet of Rogues ſwear. Sir, I liv'd with Squeezum before I liv'd with you; and know him to be as great a Villain as any in the Kingdom. Do, good Sir, come but with me to Juſtice Worthy's, if you do not find your Daughter there, turn me away for a Vagabond.
Dab. I do remember, Neighbour Politick, to have ſeen in ſome News-Paper a Story not very different from this.
Pol. Nay, if you have ſeen it in a News-Paper, it may probably have ſome Truth in it; ſo Neighbour Dabble you will excuſe me, I will meet you within an Hour at the Coffee-houſe, and there we will confer farther.

1.5.5. SCENE V.

[Page 67]
Worthy's Houſe.
Worthy, Iſabella.
Wor. Sure Modeſty is quite baniſhed from the Age we live in. There was a time when Virtue carried ſomething of a divine Awe with it, which no one durſt attack; but now the Inſolence of our Youth is ſuch, no Woman dare walk the Streets but thoſe who do it for Bread.
Iſa. And yet our Laws, Brother Worthy, are as rigorous as thoſe of other Countries, and as well executed.
Wor. That I wiſh they were; but Golden Sands too often clog the Wheels of Juſtice, and obſtruct her Courſe: The very Riches which were the greateſt Evidence of his Villany, have too often declared the Guilty innocent; and Gold hath been found to cut a Halter ſurer than the ſharpeſt Steel.
Iſa. Well, I am reſolved to take care how I venture a ſtep again after it is dark: I find the Sun is the only Guard to us Women; for however chaſte the Moon may be in her ſelf, ſhe takes but very little care of ours.
Wor. But could the Villain be very rude?
Iſa. As rude as ſo ſhort a time would permit. I would have given all I was worth in the World, to have been here; but ſince I eſcaped, let us forget it.
Wor. Forget! By Heaven it ſhocks me, that we who boaſt as wholſome Laws as any Kingdom upon Earth, ſhould by the Roguery of ſome of their Executors loſe all their Benefit. I long to ſee the time when here, as in Holland, the Traveller may walk unmoleſted, and carry his Riches openly with him.

1.5.6. SCENE VI.

[Page 68]
Worthy, Iſabella, Squeezum.
Squeez. Mr. Worthy, your humble Servant. I come to wait on you on the ſtrangeſt Piece of Buſineſs. We are brought to a fine Paſs indeed, when Magiſtrates ſhall not be ſafe; we are like to protect others, when we cannot protect our ſelves.
Wor. What is the occaſion of all this Paſſion, Mr. Squeezum?
Squeez. Occaſion! I have ſcarce Power to tell you. I have diſcovered one of the moſt damnable Conſpiracies, that hath been invented ſince the Gunpowder-Treaſon Plot.
Wor. Nothing againſt the Government, I hope.
Squeez. Marry, but it is; for that which is againſt the Officers of the Government, is againſt the Government. In ſhort, Sir, it is a Conſpiracy againſt me, againſt my ſelf. What do you think, Brother Worthy, but that moved and ſeduced by the Inſtigation of the Devil, a vile Woman hath conſpired to ſwear a Rape againſt me?
Wor. A Rape againſt you! fooliſh Jade! Why your very Face would acquit you—you have Innocence in your Looks, Brother Squeezum.
Squeez. I hope my Character will acquit me againſt ſuch an Accuſation.
Wor. I think it ought; a Man whoſe Character would not, is very unfit for that honourable Commiſſion you bear.
Squeez. True! theſe Slurs reflect on us all. The accuſing a Member, is accuſing the Body. We ſhould conſider it may be our own caſe. We ſhould ſtand by one another, as the Lawyers do. I hope, Brother, you will ſhew me extraordinary Juſtice; and I aſſure you, ſhould any Affair of yours come before me, my Partiality ſhall lean on your ſide.
Wor. Partiality, Sir! I hope no Cauſe of mine will ever require it. I aſſure you, I ſhall do you the ſtricteſt Juſtice; I believe you will not need more.
[Page 69] Squeez. Sir, my Caſe needs no more; but I think it incumbent on us all, to diſcountenance any Proſecution of our ſelves on any Account whatſoever.
Wor. To diſcountenance it by the Innocence of our Lives, is indeed laudable, but no farther. It is a curſed Law, which exempts the Maker, or the Executor of it, from its Penalty.
Squeez. Truly, Brother Worthy, I think the Makers of Laws, and the Executors of them, ſhould be free of them; as Authors and Actors are free of the Playhouſe.
Wor. You are ludicrous, Mr. Squeezum. But let me tell you, he is the greateſt of Villains, who hath the Impudence to hold the Sword of Juſtice, while he deſerves its Edge.
Squeez. And let me tell you, Brother Worthy, he is the greateſt of Fools, who holds the Sword of Juſtice, and hurts himſelf with it.
Iſa. Brother, your Servant; my Preſence will be very little neceſſary at this Tryal.

1.5.7. SCENE VII.

Worthy, Squeezum, Conſtant, Hilaret, Staff, Sotmore, Brazencourt, Fireball, three Aſſiſtants.
Squeez. But here come the Priſoners—Brother Worthy, this is the Woman whom I accuſe of this deteſtable Fact;—the Manner of it was this. I received a Letter in an unknown Hand, appointing me to meet at a Tavern, which out of pure Good-nature I comply'd with; and upon my Arrival found that Woman there alone, who after a ſhort Diſcourſe laid hold of me and bawl'd out, on which that Man there entered, and both threaten'd me, that unleſs I immediately diſcharged that Man [points to Conſt.] with another whom I had committed for notorious Crimes, that the Woman ſhould ſwear a Rape againſt me—This I am ready to ſwear.—
[Page 70] 1. 2. 3. Aſſ. And we are ready to ſwear.
Wor. What do you ſay, young Woman, to this? You do not look like one whom I ſhould ſuſpect of ſuch a Behaviour.
Hil. That I did threaten him, as he ſays, indeed I confeſs.
Wor. But did he attempt any ſuch thing?
Hil. I can't ſay he did, but—
Squeez. Do you hear this, Brother Worthy? I think you have nothing to do but to make her Mittimus.
Wor. And for what Reaſon did you offer this?
Hil. I offer'd it only to frighten him to the Diſcharge of two Gentlemen, whom he had villanouſly committed to the Cuſtody of that Conſtable.
Wor. For what Crimes do they ſtand committed, Mr. Conſtable?
Staff. For two Rapes, an't pleaſe your Worſhip.
Hil. One of them on my Account—tho' I never ſwore the leaſt thing againſt him.
Wor. On your Account,—I begin to be afraid he was unjuſtly committed indeed.
Squeez. Now Sir, we ſhall proceed to blacken a little the Character of this Woman. Call Mr. Brazencourt; Mr. Brazencourt, what do you know of this fine Lady?
Brazen. I know nothing more of her, than that I kept her half a Year.
Wor. Kept her!—in what Capacity did you keep her?
Brazen. In the Capacity of a Whore, till I was obliged to turn her off, for ſtealing four of my Shirts, two pair of Stockings, and my Common-prayer Book.
Squeez. Call Captain Fireball.
Wor. Captain Fireball, pray, do you know any Harm of that Perſon there?
Fire. Harm of her! ay, and ſo doth my Surgeon too. She came to me from Major Brazencourt. I kept her two Months.
[Page 71] Hil. Sir, I beſeech you hear me.
Wor. By and by. You muſt not interrupt them—Go on. Did you loſe any thing by her too?
Fire. No, but I got ſomething by her, which made my Surgeon get ſomething by me—I love to expreſs my ſelf in modeſt Terms, but I believe you all know what I mean.
Conſtant. Damnation!
Squeez. Call Mr. Drury. We ſhall blacken her farther preſently.
Wor. Indeed, you need not; let us hear no more; for her ſake, I will never put Confidence in an innocent Countenance again.—Well, Woman, can you ſay any thing for your ſelf?
Hil. Oh! that I could hide my ſelf for ever from the World, and never from this Hour behold the Sun again.
Wor. Indeed but you ſhall, Madam, and be beheld by others too.
Conſt. Come to my Boſom, thou deareſt, ſweeteſt, lovelieſt, hide thy Sorrows there—Death only ſhall tear thee from my Arms again. Death, Hell it ſelf cannot have a Torment equal to ſeeing one Tear of thine.
Sot. Heark'e, Juſtice, I believe thou art honeſter than thy Brother; I am ſure thou canſt not be a greater Rogue: If thou wilt act the right Part, acquit us, and ſend that Villain to Priſon.

1.5.8. SCENE VIII.

Worthy, Squeezum, Conſtant, Hilaret, Sotmore, Staff, Conſtable, Aſſiſtants, Politick, Faithful, Cloris.
Faith. Now, Sir, will you believe your own Eyes?—Is not that your own Daughter?
Pol. It is indeed. O my unfortunate Child—
Wor. Mr. Politick, your humble Servant—I will but commit this Woman to Goal, and then I will be at your Command.
[Page 72] Pol. Sir, you ſhall not be my humble Servant, nor will I be yours; and if you commit my Daughter to Priſon, you are the worſt of Turks.
Wor. Your Daughter, Sir?
Pol. Yes, Sir, my Daughter, Sir.
Hil. Oh! my Father!
Pol. My poor Child!—That ever I ſhould live to ſee thee in ſuch a Misfortune!
Wor. Is it poſſible, Mr. Politick, that this young Lady is your Daughter?
Pol. Yes, Sir, it is as poſſible, as that the Turks may come into our Part of Europe; and I wiſh this may not be as ſure as that.

1.5.9. SCENE IX.

Worthy, Squeezum, Conſtant, Hilaret, Staff, Conſtables, Aſſiſtants, Politick, Faithful, Sotmore, Cloris, Ramble, Mrs. Squeezum, Quill.
Mrs. Squeez. Where is this Glory of the Bench, this Gallant Juſtice? this Terror and Example of Sin? Do you know this Hand, Sir? Did you write this Aſſignation? You are a noble Gentleman truly, to make an Appointment with a fine Lady, and then bring her before a Magiſtrate.
Squeez. O my malignat Stars!
Wor. Mrs. Squeezum, what is the matter?
Mrs. Squeez. You Mr. Worthy, I am ſure will pity one who hath the Misfortune to be married to a Man, who is as much a Scandal to the Commiſſion he bears, as you are an Honour to it; my Conſcience hath been too long burthened with conniving at his Rogueries. He, Sir, he alone is guilty, and every one whom he hath accuſed is innocent.
Wor. I know not what to think.
Ramb. Sir, that Fellow there, that Butcher of Juſtice, is the greateſt Villain that ever was born—Being a little frolickſome laſt Night with this Lady, that Conſtable ſeiz'd us. 'Tis to me ſhe is indebted [Page 73] for all this Trouble; tho' Mr. Conſtable may claim ſome Share, in not ſuffering us to depart at her Deſire.
Mrs. Squeez. And Mr. Juſtice may claim a little, who committed you to the Conſtable's Houſe without any Evidence, or even Accuſation.
Ramb. That he might extort two hundred Pounds, for which Sum he offered to compromiſe the Matter.
Squeez. Heark'e, Madam, I ſhall be obliged to commit you to Bedlam.
Mrs. Squeez. No, Sir, I ſhall prevent you in that, as well as in your other Deſigns; your Plot with Mr. Quill, which the whole World ſhall know; you ſhall be divorced, Sir, tho' not the Way you deſire.
Squeez. Sir, I beſeech you to hear no more.
Wor. That, Sir, I cannot grant.
Ramb. Sir, I deſire that you would read that Letter, which he ſent to this young Lady whom he hath accuſed.
Wor. [Reads.] 'My little Honey-ſuckle, I will meet you within this half Hour at the Eagle. I hope after what you have received from me to-day, you will not diſappoint yours till then and everafter.'— Did you write this Letter, Mr. Squeezum?
Squeez. No, Sir, as I am ready to ſwear.
Mrs. Squeez. Sir, I will ſwear it to be his Hand—
Faith. And ſo will I—I lived with him a Twelvemonth, and therefore ſhould know it.
Quill. And I carried it to the Lady.
Sot. Come, come, Juſtice, thou haſt Proof enough of her Innocence. I will give you the Word of a Man of Honour, which is more than the Oaths of twenty ſuch Scoundrels as theſe, that ſhe never intended more than to frighten him to the Acquittal of Captain Conſtant here, whom he had unjuſtly committed.
Conſt. And offered to acquit for a Sum of Money.
Wor. Captain Conſtant! is your Name Conſtant, Sir?
Conſt. At your Service.
[Page 74] Wor. Deſire my Siſter to walk hither—I am more obliged to you than you know
Squeez. Come, Sir, this is only loſing Time—I want the Mittimus.

1.5.10. SCENE X.

Worthy, Squeezum, Ramble, Conſtant, Sotmore, Hilaret, Politick, Mrs. Squeezum, Quill, Staff, Faithful, &c. Iſabella.
Wor. Siſter, do you know this Gentleman?
Iſa. Captain Conſtant! It is happy for me that I do—I thank you, Sir, for your generous Reſcue laſt Night, which my Fright at that time prevented my acknowledging.
Conſt. And was it you, Madam?—
Ramb. My Iſabella!
Iſa. Ha!—it is, it is my Ramble
Ramb. My Touch deceives me not, it is my charming She, once more reſtored to my deſpairing Hopes.
Iſa. What lucky Stars can have contrived this Interview?
Ramb. Very lucky Stars they appear now; but they had a confounded ugly Aſpect ſome time ago.
Iſa. Surprizing! Brother, let that Fellow be ſecured. He was the Perſon from whoſe Hands this Gentleman delivered me.
[To Fireball.
Quill. I hope your Worſhip will forgive me; but I hir'd theſe two Men, by my Maſter's Command, to be Evidences for him.
Wor. Surprizing Villany!—ſecure them inſtantly. And particularly that Juſtice,—whom I ſhall no longer treat as a Gentleman, but as his Villany hath merited—Conſtable, I charge you with them all—and let them be kept below in the Parlour, whither I will come immediately and ſign their Commitment.
Squeez. Sir, you ſhall wiſh you had dealt more favourably with me.
Wor. Sir, your Threatnings will not terrifie me.
[Page 75] Faith. Come, Gentlemen, we'll be your Safe-guard.
Mrs. Squeez. I'll follow thee, like thy evil Genius, till I have brought thee to that Juſtice thou deſerveſt.

1.5.11. SCENE the Laſt.

Worthy, Ramble, Con [...]ant, Sotmore, Hilaret, Iſabella, Politick.
Ramb. My dear Iſabella, I am ſo overjoyed at this unexpected Meeting, that I do not ask for the Safety of our Treaſure. Since the Sea hath refunded Iſabella, let it take the Jewels.
Iſa. The Sea hath been even kinder than your Wiſh, it hath return'd you both.
Ramb. I ſhould have ſoon forgotten that Loſs, in having Iſabella; yet for her ſake, the Teaſure is welcome too.
Wor. Mr. Politick, I am heartily concerned at this Misfortune which hath befallen your Daughter.
Ramb. Mr. Politick!—By Heavens, his Features are the ſame. Had you not a Son, Sir, once?
Pol. Yes, Sir, I had; but I turn'd him out of Doors, and believe he was hanged long ago.
Ramb. Then I am his Ghoſt, juſt arrived from the Indies. When you turn'd me out of Doors, I got admitted into the Eaſt-India Company's Service; I changed my Name in order to eſcape your Diſcovery—and I hope you will now give us both your Bleſſing.
Pol. And are you really that wild Follow my Son?
Ramb. I am that very identical wild Perſon, I aſſure you.
Pol. I don't know whether I'll give you my Bleſſing or no, till I ſee how you are married.
Wor. Mr. Politick, I rejoice in the Union of our Families; this Lady, your Son's Wife, is my Siſter—and if fourſcore thouſand Pounds can make the Match agreeable to you, it will be ſo.
[Page 76] Pol. Hath the wild Rogue made his Fortune at laſt! Well, Son, I give you my Bleſſing; and my dear Daughter I give you Joy, and I hope the Boy will give it you, ay, and laſting conſtant Joy—If he doth not make you a good Husband, I'll not own him; if he doth not make you bleſſed, he ſhall have no Bleſſing of mine.
Iſa. Sir, I doubt him not.
Ramb. Well, Father, I have nothing more to ask of you, but in Favour of my Friend Captain Conſtant, whoſe Love I am certain will compleat the Happineſs of my Siſter.
Wor. I think I have never been witneſs to ſuch a Complication of Villany. Sir, [to Conſtant] I aſſure you, and all of you, you ſhall have ſufficient Reparaton for the Injuries you have ſuffer'd. And Sir, by the Characters which I have had from my Siſter of that Gentleman, I do not think your Daughter can be better diſpoſed of, let the Difference of Fortune be what it pleaſe.
Ramb. Beſides, tho' his Eſtate be not equal now, it may become ſo; for no Man hath a better Inſight into Politicks.
Pol. Nay, if his Studies bend that Way, no Man indeed can tell to what his Eſtate may come—Had I known this ſooner, my Doors ſhould never have been ſhut againſt him. Sir, I ſhall be glad to confabulate with you at my Houſe—and if you ſhould ſet your Heart on my Daughter, I do not believe I ſhall do any thing to break it.
Ramb. Nay, Sir, there is no Hour like the Preſent: This Hour hath proved lucky to your Family—Give me leave to preſent your Daughter to one whom if ſhe deſerves, I ſhall be proud of calling her Siſter.
Conſt. Ramble, you have crown'd my Obligations with a Gift, far dearer than the Earth could prove.
Hil. I only wiſh you may always think ſo, Captain. And now, Pappa, I hope you will pardon this Night's Sally, to both me and poor Cloris; we have been already [Page 77] ſufficiently puniſhed; and ſince the Event is happpy, imitate in this one thing the Turks, and conſider it favourably, as it hath been proſperous.
Pol. The Turks! I wiſh you were better acquainted with them than in Romances; I hope that Gentleman will take care to inſtruct you in publick Affairs.—Well Jack [to Ramble] I long to have ſome Communication with you about the Affairs of the Indies, and the Poſture of our Trade there—I hope you left the Great Mogul in good Health—
Ramb. Very ſlightly indiſpoſed of a Cold at my Departure.
Pol. I heartily forgive you all: So let me ſee you all embrace one another—This is the Comfort of Age, Mr. Worthy.
Sot. Let me embrace you all together—I have found this Day two good Women—and they have fallen to the Share of my Friends—and I will get drunk this Night, if the Spirit of Wine will do it—I'll drink to your Happineſs, while you are enjoying it—While you are taſting the Joys of Venus, I will ſwallow down the Delights of Bacchus—I deſpair of either of your Company this Month yet—but the Juſtice ſhall celebrate this Night with me—Come, honeſt Juſtice—I have found one honeſt Juſtice too—
Wor. Really, Sir, I think you have ſufficiently celebrated already—
Sot. No, but I have not—and you, Sir, will be drunk at your Children's Wedding-Night.
Pol. I never drink any thing but Coffee, Sir.
Sot. Damn your Coffee—
Ramb. Sotmore, thou ſhalt have Juſtice—Mr. Worthy, I aſſure you, notwithſtanding this Humour, the World hath not an honeſter Man.
Wor. It is pity he ſhould beſot himſelf ſo. Your Character of him encourages me to employ ſome Labour in adviſing him, to quit ſo beaſtly a Pleaſure.—Come Gentlemen, I deſire you would celebrate this Day at my Houſe to-morrow. I will proceed to take [Page 78] all poſſible Meaſures to your receiving Satisfaction for your Injuries, and making publick Example of ſo great a Villain: for the Crimes of a Magiſtrate give the greateſt Sanction to Sin.
No Reverence that Church or State attends,
Whoſe Laws the Prieſt or Magiſtrate offends.