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THE WILD-GOOSE CHASE

BY

JOHN FLETCHER

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

GARD, a noble staid Gentleman, that, being newly lighted from his travels, assists his sister Oriana in her chase of Mirabel the Wild-Goose. Acted by Mr. Robert Benfield. CASTRE, the indulgent father to Mirabel. Acted by Mr. Richard Robinson. RABEL the Wild-Goose, a travelled Monsieur, and great defler of all ladies in the way of marriage, otherwise their much loose servant, at last caught by the despised Oriana. Incomparably acted by Mr. Joseph Taylor.

NAC, his fellow-traveller, of a lively spirit, and servant to the no less sprightly Lillia Bianca. Admirably well acted by Mr. Thomas Pollard. ELLEUR, Companion to both, of a stout blunt humour, in love with Rosalura. Most naturally acted by Mr. John Lowin.

NANTOLET, father to Rosalura and Lillia Bianca. Acted by Mr. William Penn.

LUGIER, the rough and confident tutor to the ladies, and chief engine to entrap the Wild-Goose. Acted by Mr. Hilliard Swanston.

A Young [Man disguised as a] Factor. By Mr. John Hony-man.

[Gentlemen,] Foot-Boy, Singing-Boy, Two [Men disguised as] Merchants, Priest, Servants.

ORIANA, the fair betrothed of Mirabel, and witty follower of the chase. Acted by Mr. Steph. Hammerton.

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our masters.

De Gard. When you have done, step to the ten-crown ordinary

F. Boy. With all my heart, sir; for I have a twenty-crown stomach.

De Gard. And there bespeak a dinner.
F. Boy. [going.]. Yes, sir, presently.2 10
De Gard. For whom, I beseech you, sir?
F. Boy.
For myself, I take it, sir.

De Gard. In truth, you shall not take it; 't is not meant for you.

There's for your provender. [Gives money.] Bespeak a dinner

For Monsieur Mirabel and his companions; They'll be in town within this hour. When you have done, sirrah,

1 A hall in the house of La Castre.

15

? At once.

Make ready all things at my lodging for me, And wait me there.

F. Boy. The ten-crown ordinary? De Gard. Yes, sir, if you have not forgot it. F. Boy. I'll forget my feet first: 'Tis the best part of a footman's faith.

De Gard.

Exit. These youths, 20 For all they have been in Italy to learn thrift, And seem to wonder at men's lavish ways, Yet they cannot rub off old friends, their French itches;

They must meet sometimes to disport their bodies

With good wine and good women, and good

store too.

25

Let 'em be what they will, they are arm'd at all points,

And then hang saving, let the sea grow high! This ordinary can fit 'em of all sizes.

Enter LA CASTRE and ORIANA.

They must salute their country with old cus-
toms.
Ori. Brother!
De Gard.
Ori.

My dearest sister!

Welcome, welcome! 30 Indeed, ye are welcome home, most welcome! De Gard. Thank ye.

You are grown a handsome woman, Oriana (Blush at your faults): I am wondrous glad to

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Has Italy wrought on him? Has he mew'd' yet His wild fantastic toys? They say that climate Is a great purger of those humorous fluxes. How is he improved, I pray ye?

De Gard. No doubt, sir, well; 65 H'as borne himself a full and noble gentleman: To speak him farther is beyond my charter. La Cast. I am glad to hear so much good. Come, I see

You long to enjoy your sister; yet I must entreat ye,

Before I go, to sup with me to-night,
And must not be deni'd.

70

De Gard.
I am your servant.
La Cast. Where you shall meet fair, merry,
and noble company;

My neighbour Nantolet and his two fair daugh

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ance;

19

For, as they drink, they think: they ne'er speak modestly,

Unless the wine be poor, or they want money.
Believe them! Believe Amadis de Gaul,
The Knight o' the Sun, or Palmerin of England;
For these, to them, are modest and true stories.
Pray, understand me; if their tongues be truth,
And if in vino veritas be an oracle,
What woman is, or has been ever, honest?
Give 'em but ten round cups, they 'll swear
Lucretia

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Died not for want of power to resist Tarquin, But want of pleasure, that he stay'd no longer; And Portia, that was famous for her piety

• Incited.

To her lov'd lord, they 'll face ye out, died o' th' pox.

De Gurd. Well, there is something, sister. Ori. If there be, brother, 'Tis none of their things; 't is not yet so mon

strous:

125

My thing is marriage; and, at his return,
I hope to put their squint eyes right again.
De Gard. Marriage? 'T is true his father is
a rich man,

Rich both in land and money; he his heir,
A young and handsome man, I must confess,
too;

But of such qualities, and such wild flings, 130
Such admirable imperfections, sister,
(For all his travel and bought experience,)
I should be loth to own him for my brother.
Methinks, a rich mind in a state indifferent
Would prove the better fortune.

Ori.
If he be wild, 135
The reclaiming him to good and honest, brother,
Will make much for my honour; which, if I

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Than I do how to build a church. He was ever
A loose and strong defier of all order;
His loves are wanderers, they knock at each
door,

And taste each dish, but are no residents.
Or say, he may be brought to think of marriage,
(As 't will be no small labour), thy hopes are
strangers.

149

I know there is a labour'd match now follow'd, Now at this time, for which he was sent for home too.

Be not abus'd: 1 Nantolet has two fair daughters,

And he must take his choice.

Ori. Let him take freely. For all this I despair not; my mind tells me That I, and only I, must make him perfect; 155 And in that hope I rest.

De Gard. Since y' are so confident, Prosper your hope! I'll be no adversary; Keep yourself fair and right, he shall not wrong

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66

But, if they chance to flout ye, Or say, Ye are too bold! Fie, sir, remember! I pray, sit farther off Bel.

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'Tis true I am humbled, I am gone; I confess ingenuously, I am silenced; The spirit of amber cannot force me answer. 40 Pin. Then would I sing and dance Bel.

You have wherewithal, sir. Pin. And charge her up again. Bel.

I can be hang'd first: Yet, where I fasten well, I am a tyrant. Mir. Why, thou dar'st fight?

3 Feeble.

4 With narrow buttocks.

A street before the same house.

7 Tooth-picks.

5 Barbary horses.

• Puppets.

8 Supposed to be a provocative.

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All heart, i' faith-may chance to startle him;
For all his care, and travell'd caution,
May creep into his eye. If he love gravity.
Affect a solemn face, there's one will fit him.
La Cast. So young and so demure?
Nant.
She is my daughter, 20
Else I would tell you, sir, she is a mistress
Both of those manners and that modesty
You would wonder at. She is no often-speaker,
But, when she does, she speaks well; nor no

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some say, handsomely; if a

With the decency of her sex, may be a scholar,
I can assure ye, sir, she understands too.
La Cast. These are fit garments, sir.
Lug.
Thank them that cut 'em.
Yes, they are handsome women; they have
handsome parts too,
Pretty becoming parts.
La Cast.

30

"Tis like they have, sir. Lug. Yes, yes, and handsome education they

have had too,

Had it abundantly; they need not blush at it. I taught it, I'll avouch it.

4 A bar of iron with fetters attached.

5 Room in the house of La Castre.

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