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TRUMAN, reading a Billet, and Servant. Tru. In a vizor, say you?
Serv. Yes, sir, and as soon as she had delivered it, without any thing more, gave the word to the coachman, drew
the tin lattice, and away she hurried. Tru. The meaning of a billet of this nature, without a name, is a riddle to me.
[Reads. “ You know me, and see me often; I wish I may never see you more, except you know better where to place your love, or I were abler to govern nine: as you are a gentleman, burn this so soon as it comes hands.
Adieu.” Well, this can be no other than some stanch virtue of thirty-five, that is just now fallen under the temptation; or, what is as bad, one of those cautious dealers that never venture but in masquerade, where they are sure to be wondrous kind, though they discover no more to the lover than he has just occasion to make use of.
Enter GOODVILE and VALENTINE.
Val. Truman, good-morrow; just out of your lodging! but that I know thee better, I should swear thou hadst resolved to spend this day in humiliation and repentance for the sins of the last.
Good. I beg your pardon! some lady has taken up
time. Thou canst no more rise in a morning without a wench, than thou canst go to bed at night without a bottle. Truman, wilt thou never leave whoring ?
Tru. Peace, matrimony, peace-speak more reverently of your dearly-beloved whoring. Valentine, he is the mere spirit of hypocrisy-he had hardly been married ten days, but he left his wife to go home from the play alone in her coach, whilst he debauched me with two vizors in an hackney to supper.
Val. Truly, Goodvile, that was very civil, and may come to something-- But, gentlemen, it begins to grow late. Where shall we dine?
Tru. Where you will, I am indifferent.
Good. Valentine, thou art too much with that fellow. Tis true, indeed, he is some relation to me, but 'tis such a lying varlet, there is no enduring of him.
Val. But rogues and fools are so very plenty, 'tis hard always to escape 'em.
Tru. Besides, he dares be no more a friend than a foc: he never spoke well of any man behind his back, nor ill before his face: he is a general disperser of nauseous scandal, though it be of his own mother or sister; pr'ythee let's avoid hiin, if we can, to-day.
Good. 'Twill be almost impossible, for he is as impudent as he is troublesome : as there is no company so ill but he'll keep, so there's none so good but he'll pretend to. If he has ever seen you once, he'll be sure of you: and if he knows where you are, he's no more to be kept out of your room, than you can keep him out of
Val. He came where I was last night, roaring drunk; swore Damn him, be bad been with my lord such-a-one, and had swallowed three quarts of champaigne for his share. Said he had much ado to get away, but came then particularly to drink a bottle with me: I was
forced to promise him I would meet him to-day, to get rid of him.
Good. Faith, gentlemen, let us all go dine at my house: I have suubbed him of late, and he'll hardly „venture that way so soon again: at night I'll promise you good company; my wife (for I allow her for my own sake what freedom she pleases), has sent for the fiddles to come.
Tru. Goodvile, if there be any such thing as ease iş matrimony, thou hast it: but methinks, there's as it were a mark upon married men, that makes them as distinguishable from one of us, as your Jews are from the rest of mankind.
Good. Oh there are pleasures you dream not of; hę is only confined by it that will be so; a man may make his condition as easy as he pleases.--Mine is such a fond, wanton ape, I never come home, but she enter. tains me with fresh kindness: and Jack, when I have been hunting for game with you, and missed of an opportunity, stops a gap well enough.
Tru. There's no condition so wretched but has it's reserve: your spaniel, tạrned out of doors, goes contentedly to his kennel; your beggar, when he can get no better lodging, knows his own warm bush; and your 'married whore-master that misses of his wench, goes honestly home, and there's madam wife.—But, Goodvile, who are to be the company at night?
Good. In the first place, my cousin Victoria, your idol, Jack Truman; then, Mr. Valentine, there will be the charming Camilla : and another that never fails upon such an occasion, the inimitable lady Squeamish.
Tru. That indeed is a worthy person, a great critic forsooth: one that censures plays, and takes it very ill she has none dedicated to her yet; a constant frequenter of all masquerades and public meetings, a perfect coquette, very affected, and something old.
Val. Discourses readily of all the love-intrigues of the court and town, a strange admirer of accomplishments and good-breeding, as she calls it; a restless dancer: one that by her good-will would never be out of motion.
Tru. How, Valentine! you were once a great admirer there; have a care how you speak too harshly of your mistress, though the business be over. You stand well with the ladies yet, and are held a man of principles.
Good. That indeed is a fine creature. Your old liarassed stager has always some such resty whore-master or another, whon she makes the best of her despair withal; and after being forsaken by half the town besides, comforts herself in her man of principles. But now I think on't, we delay too long. I'll go before and prepare: gentlemen, you'll be sure to follow? Tru. Sir, we'll not fail to wait on you.
[Erit Goodvile, Boy! is the coach ready? Valentine! I have had the oddest adventure this morning-ha-Malagene!
How came he hither?
Mal. Jack Truman, Monsieur Valentine, bon jour.Was not that Goodvile I met coming in-ha?
Val. Yes, he parted hence but now.
Mal. Faith, I'll tell ye what, gentlemen, Goodvile's a very honest fellow as can be, but he and I are fallen out of late, though faith 'twas nothing of my seeking.
Tru. No, I'll be sworn for thee, thou lov'st thyself better.
Val. Pray what was the matter, Malagene?
Mal. Why I was advising him to look after things better at home: the fellow has married a young wife, and there he lets her make balls and give entertainments. I was very free with him, and told him of it to the purpose; for faith I should be sorry to see any ill come on't, very sorry.
Tru. But hark ye, Malagene, Goodvile's a sort of a surly companion, and apt to have so good an opinion of himself, that he is able to manage affairs without your advice: he might have been very severe with you upon this occasion.
Mal. Severe with me! I thank you for that with all my heart; that had been the way to have made a fine piece of work on't, indeed; hark ye, (under the rose) he's sweetly fitted with my cousin though.
Val. Pray, sir, speak with more respect: we are his friends, and not prepared to relish any of your satire at present.
Mal. O lord, sir, I beg your pardon; you are a new acquaintance there, I remember, and may design an interest. Faith, Ned, if thou dost, I'll never be thy hindrance, for all she's
kinswoman. Tru. The rascal, if he had an opportunity, would pimp for his sister, though but for the bare pleasure of telling it himself.
Mal. Now when he comes home, will she be hanging about his neck, with O Lord, dear! where have you been this morning? I can't abide you should go abroad so soon, that I can't: you are never well but when you are with that wicked lewd Truman, and his debauched companion, young Valentine: but that I know you are a good dear, I should be apt to be jealous of you, that I should,-ha, ha.
Tru. Sir, you are very bold with our characters, methinks.
Mal. I, shaw! your servant ; șure, we that know one another inay be free: you may say as much of me, if you please. But no matter for that, did you hear nothing of my business last night? -ha.
Tru. Not a word I assure you, sir. Pray how was it? pr’ythee let him alone a little, Valentine.
Mal. Why, coning out of Chatolin's last night, (where it had cost me a guinea club, with a right honourable or two of this kingdom, which shall be nameless) just as I was getting into a coach, who should come by but a blustering fellow with a woman in his hand, and swore, damn him, the coach was for hin; we had some words,