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And kind spectators, if I have outstrippd
An old man's gravity, or strict canon, think
What a young wife and a good brain may do:
Stretch age's truth sometimes, and crack it too.
Speak for thyself, knave !

Face. So I will, sir.-Gentlemen,
My part a little fell in this last scene.

Yet 'twas decorum.-And though I am clean
Got off from Subtle, Surly, Mammon, Dol,
Hot Ananias, Dapper, Drugger,_all
With whom Í traded—yet I put myself
On you, that are my country!-and this pelf
Which I have got, if you do quit me, rests
To feast you often, and invite new guests.

(Ereunt.

RULE A WIFE AND HAVE A WIFE.

BY

FLETCHER,

PROLOGUE.

Pleasure attend ye, and about ye sit

Take no example neither to begin, The springs of mirth, fancy, delight and wit! For some by precedent delight to sin: To stir you up, do not your looks let fall, Nor blame the poet if he slip aside, Nor to remembrance our late errors call, Sometimes lasciviously, if not too wide, Because this day we're Spaniards all again, But hold your fans close, and then smile at ease; The story of our play : and our scene Spain : A cruel scene did never lady please. The errors too, do not for this cause hate, Nor, gentlemen, pray be not you displeas'd, Now we present their wit and not their state. Though we present some men fool’d, some disNor, ladies! be not angry if you see

eas'd, A young fresh beauty, wanton and too free, Some drunk, some mad: we mean not you, Seek to abuse her husband ;-still 'tis Spain,

you're free, No such gross errors in your kingdom reign! We tax no farther than our comedy. We are vestals and though we blow the fire, You ar ur friends !-sit noble, then, and see, We seldom make it flame up to desire :

DRAMATIS PERSONE.

MEN.
Duke of MODENA.
Don JUAN DE CASTRO.
MICHAEL Perez, the Copper Captain.
CACAFOGO, an Usurer.
SANCHIO.
ALONSO

WOMEN.
DONNA MARGARITA, the Heiress..
EstIFANIA, her Maid, Wife to the Copper Capa

tain.
CLARA.
First Lady.
Second Ludy.
ALTEA,

1

ACT I.

woman

With you.

With a light rein to rule my wife: if ever SCENE I.

Of the most subtile mould went beyond me, Enter JUAN DE CASTRO and MICHAEL Perez.

I would give the boys leave to hoot me out o' Mich. ARE your companies full, colonel?

th' parish. Juan. No, not yet, sir : Nor will be this month yet, as I reckon;

Enter Servant. How rises your command ?

Serv. Sir, there be two gentlewomen attend to Mich. We pick up still, and as our monies

speak hold out, We hare men come: about that time I think Juan. Wait on 'em in. We shall be full too; many young gallants go. Mich. Are they two handsome women? Juun. And unexperienced.

Serv. They seem so, very handsome, but they The wars are dainty dreams to young hot spirits,

are veil’d, sir. Time and experience will allay those visions ; Mich. Thou put’st sugar in my mouth, how it We have strange things to fill our numbers.

melts with me! There's one Don Leon, a strange goodly fellow, I love a sweet young wench. Recommended to me from some noble friends, Juan. Wait on them in, I say.

[Exit Sero. For my Alferes ; had you but seen his person, Mich. Don Juan. And what a giant's promise it protesteth.

Juun. How you itch, Michael ! how you Mich. I have heard of him, and that he hath

burnish ! serv'd before too.

Will not this soldier's heat out of your bones yet?
Juan. But no harm done, nor never meant, Do your eyes glow now?
Don Michael,

Mich. There be two.
That came to my ears yet; ask him a question, Juan. Say honest, what shame have

you

then? He blushes like a girl, and answers little,

Mich. I would fain see that ; To the point less; he wears a sword, a good one, I have been in the Indies twice, and have seen And good clothes too, he is whole skinn'd, has

strange things, no hurt yet,

But two honest women !- -one I read of once. Good promising hopes; I never yet heard cer- Juan. Prithee, be modest. tainly

Mich. I'll be any thing. Of any gentleman that saw him angry. Mich. Preserve him, he'll conclude a peace, if Enter Servant, Donna CLARA, and EstipANIA, need be ;

veiled. Many as strong as he will go along with us, Juan. You are welcome, ladies. That swear as valiantly as heart can wish, Mich. Both hooded ! I like 'em well though: Their mouths charg’d with six oaths at once, and They come not for advice in law sure hither; whole ones,

May be they would learn to raise the pike. That make the drunken Dutch creep into mole- I am for 'em: they are very modest, 'tis a fine hills.

preludium. Juan. 'Tis true, such we must look for: but Juan. With me, or with this gentleman, Michael Perez,

Would you speak, lady? When heard you of Donna Margarita, the great Clara. With you, sir, as I guess, Juan de Castro. heiress ?

Mich. Her curtain opens, she is a pretty Mich. I hear every hour of her, though I

gentlewoman. never saw her,

Juan. I am the man, and shall be bound to She is the main discourse: noble Don Juan de

fortune, Castro,

I may do any service to your beauties.
How happy were that man could catch this Clara. Captain, I hear you are marching down

wench
up

to Flanders,
And live at ease! she is fair, and young, and | To serve the catholic king.
wealthy.

Juan. I am, sweet lady. Infinite wealthy, and as gracious too

Clara. I have a kinsman, and a noble friend, In all her entertainments, as men report. Employ'd in those wars; may be, sir, you know him, Juan. But she is proud, sir, that I know for Don Campusano, captain of carbines, certain.

To whom I would request your nobleness, And that connes seldom without wantonness. To give this poor remembrance. (4 letter. Ile that shall marry her, must have a rare hand. Juan. I shall do it, Mich. Would I were married, I would find I know the gentleman, a most worthy captain. that wisdom,

Clura. Something in private.

a

like me;

me.

Juan. Step aside, I'll serve thee.

Mich. Mine was i' th’’clipse, and had a cloud (Exeunt JUAN and CLARA.

drawn over it : Mich. Prithee let me see thy face.

But I believe well, and I hope 'tis handsome. Eslif. Sir, you must pardon me;

She had a hand would stir a holy hermit.
Women of our sort, that maintain fair memories, Juan. You know none of 'em ?
And keep suspect off from their chastities,

Mich. No.
Had need wear thicker vcils.

Juan. Then I do, captain ; Mich. I am no blaster of a lady's beauty, But I'll say nothing till I see the proof on't. Nor bold intruder on her special favours; Sit close, Don Perez, or your worship’s caught : I know how tender reputation is,

I fear a fly. And with what guards it ought to be preserved, Mich. Were those she brought love-letters? lady.

Juun. A packet to a kinsman now in Flanders: You may to me.

Yours was very modest, methought. Estif. You must excuse me, seignior, I come Mich. Some young unmanaged thing; Not here to sell myself.

But I may live to seeMich. As I am a gentleman! By the honour Juan. "Tis worth experience. of a soldier

Let's walk abroad and view our companies. Estif. I believe you.

*(Ereunt. I pray you be civil; I believe you would see me,

Enter SANCHIO and ALONZO. And when you have seen me, I believe you will

Sanch. What, are you for the wars, Alonzo ? But in a strange place, to a stranger too,

Alon. It may be ay, As if I came on purpose to betray you:

It may be no, e'en as the humour takes me. Indeed I will not.

If I find peace amongst the female creatures, Mich. I shall love you dearly,

And easy entertainment, I'll stay at home. And 'tis a sin to fling away affection ;

I am not so far obliged yet to long marches I have no mistress, no desire to honour

And mouldy biscuit, to run mad for honour : Any but you : (will not this oyster open?) When you are all gone, I have my choice before I know not, you have struck me with your modesty

Sanch. Of which hospital thou wilt sweat in: (She will draw sure ;) so deep, and taken from me

wilt thou All the desire I might bestow on others : Never leave whoring? Quickly, before they come.

Alon. There is less danger in't than gunning, Estif. Indeed I dare not :

Sanchio: But since I see you are so desirous, sir,

Though we be shot sometimes, the shot's not To view a poor face that can merit nothing

mortal, But your repentance

Besides, it breaks no limbs. Mich. It must needs be excellent.

Sanch. But it disables 'em : Estif. And with what honesty you ask it of me, Dost thou see how thou pull'st thy legs after

1 When I am gone, let your man follow me,

thee, as they And view what house I enter; thither come,

'

Hung by points ? For there I dare be bold to appear open:

Alon. Better to pull 'em thus than walk on And as I like your virtuous carriage then,

wooden ones :

Serve bravely for a billet to support me.
Enter JUAN, CLARA, a Servant.

Sanch. Fy, fy, 'tis base,
I shall be able to give welcome to you.

Alon, Dost thou count it base to suffer ? She has done her business, I must take my leave, Suffer abundantly? 'tis the crown of honour ; sir.

You think it nothing to lie twenty days Mich. I'll kiss your fair white hand, and thank Under a surgeon's hands that has no mercy, you, laily.

Sanch. As thou hast done, I am sure: but I My man shall wait, and I shall be your servant.

perceive now Sirrah, come near; hark.

Why you desire to stay; the orient heiress, Sero. I shall do it faithfully.

(Erit. The Margarita, sir. Juun. You will command me no more services? Alon. I would I had her. Clura. To be careful of your noble health, Sanch. They say she will marry. dear sir,

Alon. I think she will. That I may ever honour you.

Sanch. And marry suddenly, as report goes too. Juan. I thank you,

She fears her youth will not hold out, Alonzo. And kiss your hands. Wait on the ladies down Alon. I would I had the sheathing on't.

there. (Exeunt Ladies and Servants. Sanch. They say too, Mich. You had the honour to see the face She has a greedy eye, that must be fed that came to you?

With more than one man's mcat. Juan. And 'twas a fair one: what was yours, Alon. Would she were mine, Don Michael ?

I would cater for her well enough: but, Sanchio,

:

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tell you.

a

aim;

There be too many great men that adore her, 1 Lady. How does the sweet young beauty,
Princes, and princes' fellows, that claim privilege. lady Margaret ?
Sanch. Yet those stand off i' the way of mar- 2 Lady. Has she slept well after her walk last
riage.

night? To be tied to a man's pleasure is a second labour. i Lady. Are her dreams gentle to her mind? Alon. She has bought a brave house here in Alt. All's well, town.

She's very well; she sent for you thus suddenly, Sanch. I have heard so.

To give her counsel in a business
Alon. If she convert it now to pious uses, That much concerns her.
And bid poor gentlemen welcome!

2 Ludy. She does well and wisely, Sanch. When comes she to it?

To ask the counsel of the ancient'st, madam; Alon. Within these two days: she is in the Our years have run through many things she country yet,

knows not. And keeps the noblest house.

Alt. She would fain marry. Sanch. Then there's some hope of her.

i Lady. 'Tis a proper calling, Wilt thou go my way?

And well beseems her years. Who would she Aion. No, no, I must leave you,

yoke with ? And repair to an old gentlewoman

Alt. That's left to argue on ; I pray come in That has credit with her, that can speak a good And break your fast, drink a good cup or two, word.

To strengthen your understandings, then she'll Sanch. Send thee good fortune, but make thy body sound first.

2 Lady. And good wine breeds good counsel; Alon. I am a soldier,

We'll yield to ye.

(Ereunt. And too sound a body becomes me not. Farewell, Sanchio.

[Exeunt.

Enter JUAN DE CASTRO and LEON,

Juan. Have you seen any service ?
Enter a Servant of MICHAEL PEREZ.

Leon. Yes.
Sero. 'Tis this or that house, or I have lost my Juan. Where?

Leon. Everywhere. They are both fair buildings; she walked plaguy Juan. What office bore ye? fast,

Leon. None, I was not worthy.

Juan. What captains know you ?
Enter EstipANIA:

Leon. None, they were above me.
And hereabouts I lost her : stay, that's she, Juun. Were you never hurt?
'Tis very she-she makes me a low court'sy ; Leon. Not that I well remember;
Let me note the place, the street I will remember. But once I stole a hen, and then they beat me:

[Erit Estij. Pray ask me no long questions, I have an ill me. She is in again; certain some noble lady.

mory. How happy should I be if she love my master : Juan. This is an ass; did you never draw A wondrous goodly house! here are brave lod

your sword yet? gings,

Leon. Not to do any harm, I thank Heaven And I shall sleep now like an emperor,

for't. And eat abundantly: I thank my fortune,

Juan. Nor ne'er ta’en prisoner ? I'll back with speed, and bring him happy tidings. Leon. No, I ran away ;

[Erit. For I had ne'er no money to redeem me.

Juan. Can you endure a drum?
Enter three old Ladies.

Leon. It makes my head ache. 1 Lady. What should it mean, that in such Juan. Are you not valiant when you are drunk ? haste

Leon. I think not, but I am loving, sir. We are sent for?

Juan. What a lump is this man ! 2 Lady. Belike the lady Margaret has some Was your father wise? business

Leon. Too wise for me, I'm sure, She would break to us in private.

For he gave all he had to my younger brother. 3 Lady. It should seem so.

Juan. That was no foolish part, I'll bear you 'Tis a good lady, and a wise young lady.

witness. 2 Lady. And virtuous enough too, I warrant ye, Canst thou lie with a woman? For a young woman of her years; 'tis a pity Leon. I think I could make shift, sir, To load her tender age with too much virtue. But I am bashful. 3 Lady. 'Tis more sometimes than we can well Juun. In the night?

Leon. I know not,

Darkness indeed may do some good upon me. Enter ALTEA.

Juan. Why art thou sent to me to be my officer, Alt. Good morrow, ladies.

Ay, and commended too, when thou dar’st not All. 'Morrow, my good madam.

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