Act III - Scene ii

Heartwell, Vainlove and Bellmour following.

BELL.  Hist, hist, is not that Heartwell going to Silvia?

VAIN.  He’s talking to himself, I think; prithee let’s try if we can hear him.

HEART.  Why, whither in the devil’s name am I agoing now?  Hum—let me think—is not this Silvia’s house, the cave of that enchantress, and which consequently I ought to shun as I would infection?  To enter here is to put on the envenomed shirt, to run into the embraces of a fever, and in some raving fit, be led to plunge myself into that more consuming fire, a woman’s arms.  Ha! well recollected, I will recover my reason, and be gone.

BELL.  Now Venus forbid!

VAIN.  Hush—

HEART.  Well, why do you not move?  Feet, do your office—not one inch; no, fore Gad I’m caught.  There stands my north, and thither my needle points.  Now could I curse myself, yet cannot repent.  O thou delicious, damned, dear, destructive woman!  S’death, how the young fellows will hoot me!  I shall be the jest of the town: nay, in two days I expect to be chronicled in ditty, and sung in woful ballad, to the tune of the Superannuated Maiden’s Comfort, or the Bachelor’s Fall; and upon the third, I shall be hanged in effigy, pasted up for the exemplary ornament of necessary houses and cobblers’ stalls.  Death, I can’t think on’t—I’ll run into the danger to lose the apprehension.