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SCENE I.-- An open Garden-House; a table in it,
Enter WOODALL and GERVASE. Wood. Bid the footman receive the trunks and portmantua; and see them placed in the lodgings you have taken for ine, while I walk a turn here in the garden.
Gerv. It is already ordered, sir. But they are like to stay in the outer-room, till the mistress of the house returr. from morning exercise.
Wood. What, she's gone to the parish church, it seems, to her devotions !
Gero. No, sir; the servants have informed me, that she rises every morning, and goes to a private meeting-house; where they pray for the government, and practise against the authority of it.
Wood. And hast thou trepanned me into a tabernacle of the godly? Is this pious boarding-house a place for me, thou wicked varlet?
Gerv. According to human appearance, I must confess, it is neither fit for you, nor you for it; but have patience, sir; matters are not so bad as they may seem. There are pious bawdy-houses in the world, or conventicles would not be so much frequented. Neither is it impossible, but a devout fanatic landlady of a boarding house may be a bawd.
. Wood. Ay, to those of her own church, I grant you, Gervase; but I am none of those.
Gerv. If I were worthy to read you a lecture in the mystery of wickedness, I would instruct you first in the art of seeming holiness : But, heaven be thanked, you have a toward and pregnant genius to vice, and need not any man's instruction; and I am too good, I thank my stars, for the vile employment of a pimp.
Wood. Then thou art even too good for me ; a worse man will serve my turn.
Gero. I call your conscience to witness, how often I have given you wholesome counsel ; how often I have said to you, with tears in my eyes, master, or master Aldo
Wood. Mr Woodall, you rogue! that is my de
guerre. You know I have laid by Aldo, for fear that name should bring me to the notice of my father,
Gero. Cry you mercy, good Mr Woodall. How often have I said, -Into what courses do you run! Your father sent you into France at twelve years old; bred you up at Paris, first in a college, and then at an academy: At the first, instead of running through a course of philosophy, you ran through all the bawdy-houses in town: At the latter, instead of managing the great horse, you exercised on your master's wife. What you did in Germany, I know not; but that you beat them all at their own weapon, drinking, and have brought home a goblet of plate from Munster, for the prize of swallowing a gallon of Rhenish more than the bishop.
Wood. Gervase, thou shalt be my chronicler; thou losest none of my heroic actions.
Gerv. What a comfort are you like to prove to your good old father! You have run a campaigning among the French these last three years, without his leave; and now he sends for you back, to settle you
in the world, and marry you to the heiress of a rich gentleman, of whom he had the guardianship, yet you do not make your application
to him. Wood. Pr’ythee, no more.
Gerv. You are come over, have been in town above a week incognito, haunting play-houses, and other places, which for modesty I name not; and have changed your name from Aldo to Woodall, for fear of being discovered to him: You have not so much as inquired where he is lodged, though you know he is most commonly in London : And lastly, you have discharged my honest fellow-servant Giles, because
Wood. Because he was too saucy, and was ever offering to give me counsel : Mark that, and tremble at his destiny.
Gerv. I know the reason why I am kept; because you cannot be discovered by my means; for you took me up in France, and your father knows me not.
Wood. I must have a ramble in the town: When I have spent my money, I will grow dutiful, see my father, and ask for more. In the mean time, I have beheld a handsome woman at a play, I am fallen in love with her, and have found her easy: Thou, I thank thee, hast traced her to her lodgingin this boarding-house, and hither I am come, to accomplish my design.
Gery. Well, heaven mend all. I hear our landlady's voice without; [Noise.] and therefore shall defer my counsel to a fitter season.
IVood. Not a syllable of counsel: The next grave sentence, thou marchest after Giles. Woodall's my name; remember that.
Enter Mrs SAINTLY. Is this the lady of the house?
Gerv. Yes, Mr Woodall, for want of a better, as she will tell you.
IVood. She has a notable smack with her! I believe zeal first taught the art of kissing close.
[Saluting her. Saint. You are welcome, gentleman. Woodall is your name?
IV cod. I call myself so.
Saint. You look like a sober discreet gentleman; there is
your countenance. Wood. Some sprinklings of it, madam : We must not boast.
Saint. Verily, boasting is of an evil principle.
Saint. No swearing, I beseech you. Of what church are you?
Wood. Why, of Covent-Garden church, I think.
Gero. How lewdly and ignorantly he answers ! [Aside.] She means, of what religion are you?
Wood. (), does she so ?-_Why, I am of your religion, be it what it will; I warrant it a right one: I'll not stand with you for a trifle; presbyterian, independent, anabaptist, they are all of them too good for us, unless we had the grace to follow them.
Saint. I see you are ignorant; but verily, you are a new vessel, and I may season you. I hope you do not use the parish-church.
Wood. Faith, madam-cry you mercy; (I forgot again) I have been in England but five days.
Saint. I find a certain motion within me to this young man, and must secure him to myself, ere he see my lodgers. [Aside.]—O, seriously, I had forgotten; your trunk and portmantua are standing in the hall; your lodgings are ready, and your man may place them, if he please, while you and I confer together. Wood. Go, Gervase, and do as you are directed.
[Erit GER. Saint. In the first place, you must know, we are a company of ourselves, and expect you should live conformably and lovingly amongst us.
Wood. There you have hit me. I am the most loving soul, and shall be conformable to all of
you. Saint. And to me especially. Then, I hope, you are no keeper of late hours.
Wood. No, no, my hours are very early; betwixt three and four in the morning, commonly.
Saint. That must be amended; but, to remedy the inconvenience, I will myself sit up for you. I hope, you would not offer violence to me?
Wood. I think I should not, if I were sober.
Saint. Then, if you were overtaken, and should offer violence, and I consent not, you may do your filthy part, and I am blameless.
Wood. [Aside.] I think the devil's in her; she has given me the hint again.-Well, it shall go hard, but I will offer violence sometimes; will that content you?
Saint. I have a cup of cordial water in my closet, which will help to strengthen nature, and to carry off a debauch: I do not invite you thither; but thu house will be safe a-bed, and scandal will be avoided.
Wood. Hang scandal; I am above it at those times.
Saint. But scandal is the greatest part of the offence; you must be secret. And I must warn you of another thing; there are, besides myself, two