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Methinks you love me better than my lord ;
For he was never half so kind as you are.
What must I do?

Mon. Inform me how thou'st heard
Castalio, and his brother, use my name.

Page. With all the tenderness of love;
You were the subject of their last discourse.
At first I thought it would have fatal prov'd;
But as the one grew hot, the other cool'd,
And yielded to the frailty of his friend;
At last, after much struggling, 'twas resolv'd
Mon. What, good Cordelio ?
Page. Not to quarrel for you.
Mon. I would not have 'em; by my dearest hope,
I wou'd not be the argument of strife.
But surely my Castalio won't forsake me, 280
And make a mock’ry of my easy love.
Went they together?

Page. Yes, to seek you, madam.
Castalio promis'd Polydore to bring him
Where he alone might meet you,
And fairly try the fortune of his wishes.

Mam. Am I then grown so cheap, just to be made
A common stake, a prize for love in jest ?
Was not Castalio very loth to yield it?
Or was it Polydore's unruly passion,
That heighten'd the debate ?

Page. The fault was Polydore's. ,
Castalio play'd with love, and smiling shew'd
The pleasure, not the pangs of his desire.

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.

300

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
To tell you something that concerns you nearly.
I leave you, as becomes me, and withdraw.
· Mon. My lord, Castalio!

Cast. Madam?
Mon. Have you purpos'd
To abuse me palpably? What means this usage?
Why am I left with Polydore alone?

Cast. He best can tell you. Business of importance
Calls me away; I must attend my father.
Mon. Will you then leave me thus ?

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
Matters of such odd circumstances press me,
That I must go

[Exit.
Mon. Then go, and, if't be possible, for ever.
Well, my Lord Polydore, I guess your business,
And read the ill-natur'd purpose in your eyes.

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
Than ever I can hope or think to pay.
There always was a friendship 'twixt our families ;
And therefore, when my tender parents dy'd,
Whose ruin’d fortunes too expir'd with them,
Your father's pity and his bounty took me,
A poor and helpless orphan, to his care.

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.
And, to avoid its fault, must fly from you.
Therefore, believe me, could you raise me high
As most fantastic woman's wish could reach,
And lay all nature's riches at my feet;
I'd rather run a savage in the woods
Amongst brute beasts, grow wrinkled and deform'd,
" As wildness and most rude neglect could make me,"
So I might still enjoy my honour safe
From the destroying wiles of faithless men. [Exit.

Pol. Who'd be that sordid foolish thing call'd man,
To cringe thus, fawn, and flatter for a pleasure,
Which beasts enjoy so very much above him?
The lusty bull ranges through all the field,
And from the herd singling his female out,
Enjoys her, and abandons her at will.
It shall be so; I'll yet possess my love ;
Wait on, and watch her loose unguarded hours; 400
Then, when her roving thoughts have been abroad,
And brought in wanton wishes to her heart,
l'th' very minute when her virtue nods,
I'll rush upon her in a storm of love,
Beat down her guard of honour all before me,
Surfeit on joys, till ev'n desire grows sick;

Then, by long absence, liberty regain,
And quite forget the pleasure and the pain.

. [Exeunt Pol. and Page.

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