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This is not first of many hundred nights,
That we two have been private, from the first
Of our acquaintance; when our tongues but clipt
Our mother's tongue, and could not speak it plain,
We knew each other: as in stature, so
Increast our sweet society. Since your travel,
And my late marriage, through my husband's love,
Mid-night has been as mid-day, and my bed-chamber
As free to you, as your own father's house,
And you as welcome to it.
Ger. I must confess,
It is in you, your noble courtesy ;
In him, a more than common confidence,
And, in his age, can scarce find precedent.
Wife. Most true: it is withal an argument,
That both our virtues are so deep imprest
In his good thoughts, he knows we cannot err.
Ger. A villain were he, to deceive such trust,
Or (were there one) a much worse character.
Wife. And she no less, whom either beauty, youth, Time, place, or opportunity could tempt To injure such a husband.
Ger. You deserve,
Even for his sake, to be for ever young;
And he, for yours, to have his youth renew'd:
So mutual is your true conjugal love.
Yet had the fates so pleas'd—
Wife. I know your meaning.
It was once voic'd, that we two should have matcht; The world so thought and many tongues so spake; But heaven hath now dispos'd us other ways:
And being as it is (a thing in me
Which I protest was never wisht nor sought)
Now done, I not repent it.
Ger. In those times
Of all the treasures of my hopes and love
You were th' Exchequer, they were stored in you;
And had not my unfortunate Travel crost them,
They had been here reserv'd still.
Wife. Troth they had,
I should have been your trusty Treasurer.
Ger. However, let us love still, I entreat;
That, neighborhood and breeding will allow;
So much, the laws divine and humble both
Twixt brother and a sister will approve :
Heaven then forbid that they should limit us
Wish well to one another.
Wife. If they should not,
We might proclaim they were not charitable,
Which were a deadly sin but to conceive.
Ger. Will you resolve me one thing?
Wife. As to one,
That in my bosom hath a second place,
Next my dear husband.
Ger. That's the thing I crave,
And only that; to have a place next him.
Wife. Presume on that already, but perhaps
You mean to stretch it further.
Ger. Only thus far:
Your husband's old; to whom my soul does wish
A Nestor's age, so much he merits from me;
Yet if (as proof and nature daily teach,
Men cannot always live, especially
Such as are old and crazed) he be called hence,
Fairly, in full maturity of time,
And we two be reserv'd to after life;
Will you confer your widow-hood on me?
Wife. You ask the thing I was about to beg;
Your tongue hath spoke mine own thoughts.
Ger. 'Tis enough, that word
Alone instates me happy: now, so please you,
We will divide; you to your private chamber,
I to find out my friend.
Wife. You are now my brother;
But then, my second husband.
Young Geraldine absents himself from the house of Mr. Wincott longer than is usual to him The old Gentleman sends for him, to find out the He pleads his Father's commands.
Ger. With due acknowledgment
Of all your more than many courtesies:
You have been my second father, and your wife
My noble and chaste mistress; all your servants
At my command; and this your bounteous table
As free and common as my father's house:
Neither 'gainst any or the least of these
Can I commence this quarrel.
Win. What might then be
The cause of this constraint, in thus absenting
Yourself from such as love you?
Ger. Out of many,
I will propose some few: the care I have
Of your (as yet unblemished) renown;
The untoucht honor of your virtuous wife;
And (which I value least, yet dearly too)
My own fair reputation.
Win. How can these
In any way be question'd?
Ger. Oh, dear sir,
Bad tongues have been too busy with us all;
Of which I never yet had time to think,
But with sad thoughts and griefs unspeakable.
It hath been whisper'd by some wicked ones,
But loudly thunder'd in my father's ears,
By some that have maligned our happiness
(Heaven, if it can brook slander, pardon them),
That this my customary coming hither,
Hath been to base and sordid purposes;
To wrong your bed, injure her chastity,
And be mine own undoer: which, how false-
Win. As heaven is true, I know it-
Ger. Now this calumny
Arriving first unto my father's ears,
His easy nature was induced to think
That these things might perhaps be possible:
I answer'd him, as I would do to heaven,
And clear'd myself in his suspicious thoughts
As truly, as the high all-knowing judge
Shall of these stains acquit me; which are merely
Aspersions and untruths. The good old man
Possessed with my sincerity, and yet careful
Of your renown, her honor, and my fame,
To stop the worst that scandal could inflict
And to prevent false rumors, charges me
The cause remov'd, to take away th' effect;
Which only could be, to forbear your
And this upon his blessing. You hear all.
Win. And I of all acquit you: this your absence, With which my love most cavill'd, orators
In your behalf. Had such things pass'd betwixt you,
Not threats nor chidings could have driv'n you hence;
It pleads in your behalf, and speaks in her's;
And arms me with a double confidence
Both of your friendship and her loyalty.
I am happy in you both, and only doubtful
Which of you two doth most impart my love.
You shall not hence to-night.
Ger. Pray, pardon, sir.
Win. You are in your lodging.
Ger. But my father's charge.
Win. My conjuration shall dispense with that;
You may be up as early as you please,
But hence to-night you shall not.
Ger. You are powerful.
Sir, my husband
Hath took much pleasure in your strange discourse
About Jerusalem and the Holy Land;
How the new city differs from the old;
What ruins of the Temple yet remain ;
And whether Sion, and those hills about,
With these adjacent towns and villages,
Keep that proportioned distance as we read:
And then in Rome, of that great Pyramis
Rear'd in the front, on four lions mounted;
How many of those Idol temples stand,
First dedicated to their heathen gods,
Which ruin'd, which to better use repair'd;
Of their Pantheon, and their Capitol ;
What structures are demolish'd, what remain.
And what more pleasure to an old man's ear, That never drew save his own country's air, Than hear such things related?
This Gentleman and I
Passt but just now by your next neighbor's house,
Where, as they say, dwells one young Lionel,
An unthrift youth: his father now at sea.
There this night
Was a great feast.
In the height of their carousing, all their brains
Warm'd with the heat of wine, discourse was offer'd
Of ships and storms at sea: when suddenly,
Out of his giddy wildness, one conceives
The room wherein they quaff'd to be a Pinnace,
Moving and floating, and the confus'd noise
To be the murmuring winds, gusts, mariners;
That their unsteadfast footing did proceed
From rocking of the vessel this conceiv'd,
Each one begins to apprehend the danger,
And to look out for safety. Fly, saith one,
Up to the main top, and discover. He
Climbs up the bed-post to the tester there,
Reports a turbulent sea and tempest towards;
And wills them, if they'll save their ship and lives,
To cast their lading over-board. At this