Act III - Scene vi

[To him] Lucy.

LUCY.  There’s the hang-dog, his man—I had a power over him in the reign of my mistress; but he is too true a Valet de Chambre not to affect his master’s faults, and consequently is revolted from his allegiance.

SETTER.  Undoubtedly ’tis impossible to be a pimp and not a man of parts.  That is without being politic, diligent, secret, wary, and so forth—and to all this valiant as Hercules—that is, passively valiant and actively obedient.  Ah, Setter, what a treasure is here lost for want of being known.

LUCY.  Here’s some villainy afoot; he’s so thoughtful.  May be I may discover something in my mask.  Worthy sir, a word with you.  [Puts on her mask.]

SETTER.  Why, if I were known, I might come to be a great man—

LUCY.  Not to interrupt your meditation—

SETTER.  And I should not be the first that has procured his greatness by pimping.

LUCY.  Now poverty and the pox light upon thee for a contemplative pimp.

SETTER.  Ha! what art who thus maliciously hast awakened me from my dream of glory?  Speak, thou vile disturber—

LUCY.  Of thy most vile cogitations—thou poor, conceited wretch, how wert thou valuing thyself upon thy master’s employment?  For he’s the head pimp to Mr. Bellmour.

SETTER.  Good words, damsel, or I shall—But how dost thou know my master or me?

LUCY.  Yes; I know both master and man to be—

SETTER.  To be men, perhaps; nay, faith, like enough: I often march in the rear of my master, and enter the breaches which he has made.

LUCY.  Ay, the breach of faith, which he has begun: thou traitor to thy lawful princess.

SETTER.  Why, how now! prithee who art?  Lay by that worldly face and produce your natural vizor.

LUCY.  No, sirrah, I’ll keep it on to abuse thee and leave thee without hopes of revenge.

SETTER.  Oh!  I begin to smoke ye: thou art some forsaken Abigail we have dallied with heretofore—and art come to tickle thy imagination with remembrance of iniquity past.

LUCY.  No thou pitiful flatterer of thy master’s imperfections; thou maukin made up of the shreds and parings of his superfluous fopperies.

SETTER.  Thou art thy mistress’s foul self, composed of her sullied iniquities and clothing.

LUCY.  Hang thee, beggar’s cur, thy master is but a mumper in love, lies canting at the gate; but never dares presume to enter the house.

SETTER.  Thou art the wicket to thy mistress’s gate, to be opened for all comers.  In fine thou art the highroad to thy mistress.

LUCY.  Beast, filthy toad, I can hold no longer, look and tremble.  [Unmasks.]

SETTER.  How, Mrs. Lucy!

LUCY.  I wonder thou hast the impudence to look me in the face.

SETTER.  Adsbud, who’s in fault, mistress of mine? who flung the first stone? who undervalued my function? and who the devil could know you by instinct?

LUCY.  You could know my office by instinct, and be hanged, which you have slandered most abominably.  It vexes me not what you said of my person; but that my innocent calling should be exposed and scandalised—I cannot bear it.

SETTER.  Nay, faith, Lucy, I’m sorry, I’ll own myself to blame, though we were both in fault as to our offices—come, I’ll make you any reparation.

LUCY.  Swear.

SETTER.  I do swear to the utmost of my power.

LUCY.  To be brief, then; what is the reason your master did not appear to-day according to the summons I brought him?

SETTER.  To answer you as briefly—he has a cause to be tried in another court.

LUCY.  Come, tell me in plain terms, how forward he is with Araminta.

SETTER.  Too forward to be turned back—though he’s a little in disgrace at present about a kiss which he forced.  You and I can kiss, Lucy, without all that.

LUCY.  Stand off—he’s a precious jewel.

SETTER.  And therefore you’d have him to set in your lady’s locket.

LUCY.  Where is he now?

SETTER.  He’ll be in the Piazza presently.

LUCY.  Remember to-day’s behaviour.  Let me see you with a penitent face.

SETTER.  What, no token of amity, Lucy?  You and I don’t use to part with dry lips.

LUCY.  No, no, avaunt—I’ll not be slabbered and kissed now—I’m not i’ th’ humour.

SETTER.  I’ll not quit you so.  I’ll follow and put you into the humour.