(BEHN,APHRA(otherwise AFRA, APHARA or AYFARA).

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THE FORC'D MARRIAGE

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. 3. Ed. Montague Summers. London: Heinemann, 1915.


PISARO: Sir, you are of so strange a jealous Humour,
And I so strangely jealous of your Honour,
That 'twixt us both we may make work enough;
But on my Soul I know no wrong you have.
Sir, I'm in earnest, you have gain'd that Heart,
For which I have receiv'd so many wounds;
Venturing for Trophies where none durst appear,
To gain at my Return one single smile,
Or that she would submit to hear my story:
And when sh' has said, 'twas bravely done, Pisaro,
I thought the Glory recompens'd the Toil;
And sacrific'd my Laurels at her feet,
Like those who pay their first-fruits to the Gods,
To beg a blessing on the following Crop:
And never made her other signs of Love,
Nor knew I that I had that easy flame,
Till by her Eyes I found that she was mortal,
And could love too, and that my Friend is you.
Alcippus, hadst thou seen her, whilst the Priest
Was giving thee to fair Erminia,
What languishment appear'd upon her Eyes,
Which never were remov'd from thy lov'd Face,
Through which her melting Soul in drops distill'd,
As if she meant to wash away thy Sin,
In giving up that Right belong'd to her,
Thou hadst without my aid found out this truth:
A sweet composure dwelt upon her looks,
Like Infants who are smiling whilst they die;
Nor knew she that she wept, son unconcern'd
And freely did her Soul a passage find;
Whilst I transported had almost forgot
The Reverence due t' her sacred self and Place,
And every moment ready was to kneel,
And with my lips gather the precious drops,
And rob the Holy Temple of a Relick,
Fit only there t' inhabit.
My Lord, I knew not that I was a Lover;
I felt no flame, but a religious Ardour,
That did inspire my Soul with adoration;
And so remote I was from ought but such,
I knew not Hope, nor what it was to wish
For other blessings than to gaze upon her:
Like Heaven I thought she was to be possess'd,
Where carnal Thoughts can no admittance find;
And had I not perceiv'd her Love to you,
I had not known the nature of my flame:
But then I found it out by Jealousy,
And what I took for a Seraphick motion,
I now decline as criminal and earthly.






THE LUCKY CHANCE

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. 3. Ed. Montague Summers. London: Heinemann, 1915.

BREDWEL: You are my Lady, and the best of Mistresses--Therefore I would not grieve you, for I know you love this best--but most unhappy Man. [Pause.] My Master sent me yesterday to Mr. Crap, his Scrivener, to send to one Mr. Wasteall, to tell him his first Mortgage was out, which is two hundred pounds a Year--and who has since engaged five or six hundred more to my Master; but if this first be not redeem'd, he'll take the Forfeit on't, as he says a wise Man ought. Mr. Crap, being busy with a borrowing Lord, sent me to Mr. Wasteall, whose Lodging is in a nasty Place called Alsatia, at a Black-Smith's. Well, Madam, this Wasteall was Mr. Gayman! He's driven to the last degree of Poverty--Had you but seen his Lodgings, Madam! I went to the Black-Smith's, and at the door, I encountered the beastly thing he calls a Landlady; who looked as if she had been of her own Husband's making, compose'd of moulded Smith's Dust. I ask'd for Mr. Wasteall, and she began to open--and so did rail at him, that what with her Billinsgate, and her Husband's hammers, I was both deaf and dumb--at last the hammers ceas'd, and she grew weary, and call'd down Mr. Wasteall; but he not answering--I was sent up a Ladder rather than a pair of Stairs; at last I scal'd the top, and enter'd the enchanted Castle; there did I find him, spite of the noise below, drowning his Cares in Sleep. He waked--and seeing me, Heavens, what Confusion seiz'd him! which nothing but my own Surprise could equal. Asham'd--he wou'd have turn'd away; but when he saw, by my dejected Eyes, I knew him, He sigh'd, and blushed, and heard me tell my Business: Then beg'd I wou'd be secret; for he vow'd his whole Repose and Life depended on my silence. Nor had I told it now, But that your Ladyship may find some speedy means to draw him from this desperate Condition.





THE TOWN-FOP

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. 3. Ed. Montague Summers. London: Heinemann, 1915.

SIR TIMOTHY: I vow to Fortune, Ned, thou must come to London, and be a little manag'd: 'slife, Man, shouldst thou talk so aloud in good Company, thou wouldst be counted a strange Fellow. Pretty--and drest with Love--a find Figure, by Fortune: No, Ned, the painted Chariot gives a Lustre to every ordinary Face, and makes a Woman look like Quality; Ay, so like, by Fortune, that you shall not know one from t'other, till some scandalous, out-of-favour'd laid-aside Fellow of the Town, cry--Damn her for a Bitch--how scornfully the Whore regards me--She has forgot since Jack--such a one, and I, club'd for the keeping of her, when both our Stocks well manag'd wou'd not amount to above seven Shillings six Pence a week; besides now and then a Treat of a Breast of Mutton from the next Cook's.--Then the other laughs, and crys--Ay, rot her--and tells his Story too, and concludes with, Who manages the Jilt now; Why, faith, some dismal Coxcomb or other, you may be sure, replies the first. But, Ned, these are Rogues, and Rascals, that value no Man's Reputation, because they despise their own. But faith, I have laid aside all these Vanities, now I have thought of Matrimony; but I desire my Reformation may be a Secret, because, as you know, for a Man of my Address, and the rest--'tis not altogether so Jantee.

 

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