Act II - Scene ix
[To them] Music-Master.
ARAM. Oh, I am glad we shall have a song to divert the discourse. Pray oblige us with the last new song.
Thus to a ripe, consenting maid,
Poor, old, repenting Delia said,
Would you long preserve your lover?
Would you still his goddess reign?
Never let him all discover,
Never let him much obtain.
Men will admire, adore and die,
While wishing at your feet they lie:
But admitting their embraces,
Wakes ’em from the golden dream;
Nothing’s new besides our faces,
Every woman is the same.
ARAM. So, how de’e like the song, gentlemen?
BELL. Oh, very well performed; but I don’t much admire the words.
ARAM. I expected it; there’s too much truth in ’em. If Mr. Gavot will walk with us in the garden, we’ll have it once again; you may like it better at second hearing. You’ll bring my cousin.
BELL. Faith, madam, I dare not speak to her, but I’ll make signs. [Addresses Belinda in dumb show.]
BELIN. Oh, foh, your dumb rhetoric is more ridiculous than your talking impertinence, as an ape is a much more troublesome animal than a parrot.
ARAM. Ay, cousin, and ’tis a sign the creatures mimic nature well; for there are few men but do more silly things than they say.
BELL. Well, I find my apishness has paid the ransom for my speech, and set it at liberty—though, I confess, I could be well enough pleased to drive on a love-bargain in that silent manner—’twould save a man a world of lying and swearing at the year’s end. Besides, I have had a little experience, that brings to mind—
When wit and reason both have failed to move;
Kind looks and actions (from success) do prove,
Ev’n silence may be eloquent in love.