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Methinks you love me better than my lord ;
Mon. Inform me how thou'st heard
Page. With all the tenderness of love;
Page. Yes, to seek you, madam.
Mam. Am I then grown so cheap, just to be made
Page. The fault was Polydore's. ,
He said, no woman's smiles should buy his freedom; And marriage is a mortifying thing.
Mon. Then I am ruin'd, if Castalio's false. Where is there faith and honour to be found ? Ye gods that guard the innocent, and guide The weak, protect, and take me to your care, Oh, but I love him! There's the rock will wreck me ! Why was I made with all my sex's softness, Yet want the cunning to conceal its follies ? I'll see Castalio, tax him with his falshoods, Be a true woman, rail, protest my wrongs; Resolve to hate him, and yet love him still.
Enter CASTALIO and POLYDORE alone. He comes, the conqueror comes ! lie still, my heart, And learn to bear thy injuries with scorn.
Cast. Madam, my brother begs he may have leave
Cast. He best can tell you. Business of importance
320 Mon. It has been otherwise ; the time has been, When business might have staid, and I been heard.
Cast. I could for ever hear thee; but this time
Pol. If to desire you more than misers wealth, Or dying men an hour of added life; If softest wishes, and a heart more true Than ever suffer'd yet for love disdain'd, Speak an ill nature, you accuse me justly. Mon. Talk not of love, my Lord, I must not hear it.
Pol. Who can behold such beauty and be silent ? Desire first taught us words. Man, when created, At first alone long wander'd up and down, Forlorn, and silent as his vassal-beasts; But when a heav'n-born maid, like you, appear'd, Strange pleasures fill'd his eyes, and fir'd his heart, 340 Unloos’d his tongue, and his first talk was love.
Mon. The first created pair indeed were bless'd; They were the only objects of each other, Therefore he courted her, and her alone: But in this peopled world of beauty, where There's roving room, where you may court, and ruin A thousand more, why need you talk to me ?
Pol. Oh! I could talk to thee for ever. Thus Eternally admiring, fix and gaze On those dear eyes; for every glance they send Darts through my soul, and almost gives enjoyment. Man. How can you labour thus for my undoingi
I must confess, indeed, I owe you more
Pol.'Twas Heav'n ordain’d it so, to make me happy. Hence with this peevish virtue, 'tis a cheat, 36 1 " And those who taught it first were hypocrites." Come, these soft tender limbs were made for yielding. Mon. Here on my knees, by Heaven's blest pow'r I - swear,
[Kneels, If you persist, I ne'er henceforth will see you, But rather wander through the world a beggar, And live on sordid scraps at proud men's doors; For though to fortune lost, I'll still inherit My mother's virtues, and my father's honour.
Pol. Intolerable vanity! your sex Was never in the right! y’are always false Or silly; ev’n your dresses are not more Fantastic than your appetites; you think Of nothing twice. Opinion you have none. To-day y’are nice, to-morrow not so free; Now smile, then frown; now sorrowful, then glad ; Now pleas’d, now not; and all you know not why! Virtue you affect; inconstancy's your practice; And when your loose desires once get dominion, No hungry churl feeds coarser at a feast; 380 Ev'ry rank fool goes down
Mon. Indeed, my Lord,
I own my sex's follies; I have 'em all.
Pol. Who'd be that sordid foolish thing call'd man,
Then, by long absence, liberty regain,
. [Exeunt Pol. and Page.