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Read A Select Collection of Old English Plays Part 77

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DRAW. You shall, you shall, madam;–on my life, these be the ladies of the New Dress; they’ll never be satisfied.



CAV. Let us imagine ourselves now to be planted in the Sparagus Garden, where if we want anything, it is our own fault. A fair alimony needs no p.a.w.n; it will discharge a tavern-bill at any time.


_Enter again the_ VINTRESS _and_ DRAWER _with wine and fruit_.

VIN. How is it, n.o.ble ladies? Your honours shall want no rarities that our storehouse may afford you.

CAV. A gla.s.s of muscadella for me. Here, Madam Fricase, to Monsieur Florello!


FRI. This court’sy, madam, must not beget in you a forgetfulness of Caranto.

CAV. So nearly he’s unbosomed, you need not fear it.

JUL. Nectarella for me. Here, princely Joculette, to your Salibrand!


JOC. Meantime, remember loyal Palisado.

JUL. No individual can be well forgot.

MED. Medea shall be mine. This, Madam Tinder, to your Tillyvally!


TIN. First to your own Morisco! So, this health’s gone round.

FRI. Now when our throats are clear, let’s join together In some choice musical air.

ALL. Agreed, agreed, What shall we have?

FRI. What may enliven love, And feather fancy with Icarian wings.

ALL. We must be mounting then. Your subject, madam?

FRI. _Le Drollere Amaranto._

ALL. Dainty airs, And lines to suit them: we shall follow you.

SONG, _in various Airs_.

_What shall we poor ladies do, Match’d to shallops without brains, Whose demains_[168] _are in grains, And their wits in madding veins, Stor’d with Neapolitan mains?

Give us sprightly sprigs of manhood, None of these swads nor airy squibs, Who would fain do, but cannot._

[_They alter the air upon the close of every stanza._

_Poor ladies, how we dwindle?

Who can spin without a spindle?

Valour never learn’d to tremble, But in Cupid’s dalliance nimble.

Little good does that stud with a stallion, Fancies alien, weakly jointed, Meanly mann’d, worse appointed, Who would do, if he knew how, But, alas! he would, but cannot._

_Penelope, though she were chaste, Yet she bade her spouse make haste, Lest by his sojourning long She might chance to change her song, And do her Ulysses wrong; What then may we, who matched be With these haggards madly manned, Who would gladly do, but cannot?_

_Shall our youthful hopes decline; Fade and perish in their prime: And like forc’d Andromeda Estrang’d from fancy’s law!

Shall we wives and widows be, Bound unto a barren tree?_

_Ushers come and apple-squires To complete our free desires: Platonics there be store Fitly fram’d and train’d to man it.

Bavin once set afire Will not so soon expire; Let’s never stay with such as they, Who gladly would, but cannot._

_Shall we love, live, and feel no heat While our active pulses beat?

Shall we hug none of our own, But such as drop from th’ frigid zone?

Let’s rather suit old love adieu, And i’ th’ requests suit for some new Who have the heart to man it.

Tell us not this nor tell us that; A kid is better than a cat, And though he show, we know not what, He cannot._

FRI. As I’m a virgin, ladies, bravely performed!

Once more Frontiniac, and then a walk.

[_She drinks._

This wine wants flavour, sapour, odour, vigour; Taste it, dear madam, ’tis as pall and flat As a sear fly-flap.

DRAW. Our last year’s vintage, madam, was but small.

CAV. It seems so by your measure: this would never Quicken the spirit nor inflame the blood.

[_One of the Ladies, looking out, discovers their deserted Knights attired like their favourites, with their cloaks over their faces._

LADY. They come, they come, they come!

ALL. Let’s entertain them with a joint neglect.


_As their husbands pa.s.s along, they take occasion of discourse one with another._

KNIGHTS. Let us pa.s.s by them with regardless scorn.

SIR REU. Pox on these overacting prost.i.tutes!

They sate mine appet.i.te.


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