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EPILOGUE,

SPOKEN BY MRS VERBRUGGEN.

Now tell me, when you saw the lady die,
Were you not puzzled for a reason why?
A buxom damsel, and of play-house race,
Not to out-live th’ enjoyment of a brace!
Were that the only marriage curse in store,
How many would compound to suffer more,
And yet live on, with comfort, to threescore.
But on our Exits there is no relying,
We women are so whimsical in dying.
Some pine away for loss of ogling fellows :
Nay some have died for love, as stories tell us.
Some, say our histories, though long ago,
For having undergone a rape, or so,
Plung’d the fell dagger, without more ado.

But time has laugh'd those follies out

fashion,
And sure they'll never gain the approbation
Of ladies who consult their reputation.
For if a rape must be esteemed a curse,
Grim death and publication make it worse.

Should the opinion of the world be try'd, They'll scarce give judgment on the plaintiff's

side; For all must own, 'tis most egregious nonsense, To die for being pleas'd with a safe conscience. Nay, look not on your fans, nor turn away, For tell me, ladies, why d’you marry, pray, But to enjoy your wishes as you may?

OROONOKO;

BY

SOUTHERN

PROLOGUE.

SENT BY AN UNKNOWN HAND, AND SPOKEN BY MR POWELL.

As when, in hostile times, two neighbouring states To virgin favours, fools have no pretenre; Strive by themselves, and their confederates; For maidenheads were made for men o senze. The war at first is made with awkward skill, 'Tis not enough to have a horse well bred, And soldiers clumsily each other kill,

To shew his mettle, he must be well fel: Till time, at length, their untaught fury tames, Nor is it all in provender and breed; And into rules their heedless rage reclaims; He must be try'd, and strain’d to mend is speed: Then every science by degrees is made

A favour'd poet, like a pamper'd hore, Subservient to the man-destroying trade; Will strain his eye-balls out to win he course. Wit, wisdom, reading, observation, art ; Do you but in your wisdoms vote i it A well-turn'd head to guide a generous heart : To yield due succours to this war of wit, So it may prove with our contending stages, The buskin with more grace should tread the If you will kindly but supply their wages;

stage, Which you with ease may furnish, by retrenching Love sigh in softer strains, heroes less rage : Your superfluities of wine and wenching. Satire shall show a triple row of teeth, Who'd grudge to spare, from riot and hard drink. And comedy shall laugh your fops to death : ing,

Wit shall refine, and Pegasus shall foam, To lay it out on means to mend his thinking ? And soar in search of ancient Greece and Rome. To follow such advice you should have leisure, And, since the nation's in the conquering fit, Since what refines your sense, refines your plea- As you by arms, we'll vanquish France in wit:

The work were over, could our poets write Women, grown tame by use, each fool can get, With half the spirit that our soldiers fight. But cuckolds are all made by men of wit.

sure:

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.
OROONOKO, prince of Angola.
ABOAN, his friend.
Lieutenant-Governor of Surinam,
BLANDFORD,
STANMORE,

Planters.
JACK STANMORE.
Captain DRIVER, a slave-captain.
DANIEL, son to Widow Lackitt.
HOTMAN, a slave.

WOMEN
IMOINDA, wife to Oroonoko.
Widow LACKITT.
CHARLOT WELLDON, in man's clothes.
LUCY WELLDON, her sister.
Planters, Indians, Negroes, Men, Women, and

Childrene

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The SCENE,—Surinam, a colony in the West-Indies; at the time of the action of this Tragedy,

in the possession of the English.

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yet?

as long as they live, and poor women be thought SCENE I.

decaying and unfit for the town at one or two

and twenty. I'm sure we were not seven years Enter WELLDON following Lucy. in London. Lucy. What will this come to? What can it Well. Not half the time taken notice of, sister. end in? You have persuaded me to leave dear The two or three last years we could make noEngland, and dearer London, the place of the thing of it, even in a vizard mask; not in a vie world most worth living in, to follow you a hus- zard mark, that has cheated many a man into an band-hunting into America: I thought husbands old acquaintance. Our faces began to be as famigrew in these plantations.

liar to the men of intrigue, as their duns, and Well

. Why, so they do, as thick as oranges, as much avoided. We durst not appear in public ripening one under another. Week after week places, and were almost grudged a gallery in the they drop into some woman's mouth : 'Tis but churches : Even there they had their jests upon a little patience, spreading your apron in expec- us, and cried,--she's in the right on't, good gentation, and one of 'em will fall into your lap at tlewoman! since no man considers her body, she last.

does very well indeed to take care of her soul. Lucy. Ay, so you say, indeed.

Lucy. Such unmannerly fellows there will al. Well. But you have left dear London, you say: ways be. Pray, what have you left in London that was Well. Then you may remember, we were revery dear to you, that had not left you before? duced to the last necessity, the necessity of maLucy. Speak for yourself, sister.

king silly visits to our civil acquaintance, to bring Weil. Nay, I'll keep you in countenance. The us into tolerable company. Nay, the young inns young fellows, you know, the dearest part of the of-court beaux, of but one term's standing in the iown, and without whom London had been a fashion, who knew nobody, but as they were shewn wilderness to you and me, had forsaken us a 'em by the orange-women, had nicknames for us: great while.

How often have they laughed out,- There goes Lucy. Forsaken us ! I don't know that they my landlady; is not she come to let lodgings ever had us.

Well. Forsaken us the worst way, child; that Lucy. Young coxcombs, that knew no better. is, did not think us worth having; they neglected Welí. And that we must have come to. For us, no longer designed upon us, they were tired your part, what trade could you set up in? You of us. Women in London are like the rich silks, would never arrive at the trust and credit of a they are out of fashion a great while before they guinea-bawd: You would have too much busiwear out.

ness of your own, ever to mind other people's. Lucy. The devil take the fashion, I say. Lucy. That is true, indeed.

Weil. You may tumble 'em over and over at Well. Then, as a certain sign that there was their first coming up, and never disparage their nothing more to be hoped for, the maids at the price; but they fall upon wearing immediately, chocolate houses found us out, and laugh'd at lower and lower in their value, till they come to us : our billets-dour lay there neglected for wastethe broker at last.

paper: we were cry'd down so low, we could Lucy. Ay, ay, that's the merchant they deal not pass upon the city; and became so notorious with. The men would have us at their own scan- in our galloping way, from one end of the town dalous rates : their plenty makes them wanton, to t’other, that at last we could hardly compass and in a little time, I suppose, they won't know a competent change of petticoats to disguise us what they would have of the women themselves. to the hackney-coachmen: and then it was near

Well. O yes, they know what they would have. walking afoot indeed. They would have a woman give the town a pat- Lucy. Nay, that I began to be afraid of. tern of her person and beauty, and not stay in it so Well. To prevent which, with what youth and long to have the whole piece worn out. They beauty was left, some experience, and the small would have the good face only discover'd, and remainder of fifteen hundred pounds a-piece, not the folly that commonly goes along with it. which amounted to bare two hundred between They say there is a vast stock of beauty in the us both, I persuaded you to bring your person nation, but a great part of it lies in unprofitable for a venture to the Indies. Every thing has suchands; therefore, for the good of the public, ceeded in our voyage : I pass for your brother: they would have a draught made once a quarter, One of the richest planters here happening to die send the decaying beauties for breeders into the just as we landed, I have claimed kindred with country, to make room for new faces to appear, him : So, without making his will, he has left us to countenance the pleasures of the town. the credit of his relation to trade upon: We pass

Lucy. 'Tis very hard, the men must be young for his cousins, coming here to Surinam chiefly SOUTHERN.]

paid fort

upon his invitation : We live in reputation; have together, sister. (Exit Lucy.) What am I drawthe best acquaintance of the place; and we shall ing upon myself here?

[Aside. see our account in't, I warrant you.

Wid. You have taken a very pretty house here; Lucy. I must rely upon you.

every thing so neat about you already. I hear

you are laying out for a plantation. Enter Widow LACKITT.

Well. Why, yes truly, I like the country, and Wid. Mr Welldon, your servant. Your ser- would buy a plantation, if I could reasonably. vant, Mrs Lucy. I am an ill visitor, but 'tis not too Wid. Ó! by all means, reasonably. late, I hope, to bid you welcome to this side of Well. If I could have one to my mind, I would the world.

(Salutes Lucy. think of settling among you. Well. Gad so, I beg your pardon, widow, I Wid. 0! you can't do better. Indeed we should have done the civilities of my house be-can't pretend to have so good company for you, fore: But, as you say, 'tis not too late I hope. as you had in England; but we shall make very

[Going to kiss her.

much of you. For my own part, I assure you, I Wid. What! You think now this was a civil shall think myself very happy to be more particuway of begging a kiss ? and, by my troth, if it larly known to you. were, I see no harm in't; 'tis a pitiful favour in- Well. Dear Mrs Lackitt, you do me too much deed that is not worth asking for: though I have honour. known women speak plainer before now, and Wid. Then, as to a plantation, Mr Welldon, not understood neither.

you know I have several to dispose of. Mr LackWell. Not under my roof. Have at you, wi- itt, I thank him, has left, though I say it, the dow !

richest widow upon the place: therefore I may Wid. Why, that's well said ; spoke like a afford to use you better than other people can. younger brother, that deserves to have a widow. You shall

have one upon any reasonable terms. [He kisses her.) You're a younger brother, I

Well, That's a fair offer indeed. know, by your kissing.

Wid. You shall find me as easy as any body Well. How so, pray ?

you can have to do with, I assure you. Pray try Wid. Why, you kiss as if you expected to be me, I would have you try me, Mr Welldon.

; you have birdlime upon your lips. Well, I like that name of yours exceedingly, Mr You stick so close, there's no getting rid of you.

Welldon.
Well. I am a-kin to a younger brother.

Well. My name? Wid. So much the better: we widows are Wid. O exceedingly ! if any thing could percommonly the better for younger brothers. suade me to alter my own name, I verily believe

Lucy. Better, or worse, most of you. But you nothing in the world would do it so soon, as to won't be much better for him, I can tell you.

be called Mrs Welldon.

(Aside. Well, Why, indeed, Welldon does sound someWell. I was a younger brother; but an uncle thing better than Lackitt. of my mother's has maliciously left me an estate, Wid. O! a great deal better. Not that there and, I'm afraid, spoiled my fortune.

is so much in a name neither. But I don't know, Wid. No, no; an estate will never spoil your there is something: I should like mightily to be fortune. I have a good estate myself, thank called Mrs Welldon. Heav'n, and a kind husband that left it behind him.

Well. I'm glad you

like my name. Well. Thank Heav'n, that took him away from Wid. Of all things. But then, there's the misit, widow, and left

fortune; one can't change one's name, without Wid. Nay, Heav'n's will must be done; he's changing one's condition. in a better place.

Well. You'll hardly think it worth that, I beWell, A better place for you, no doubt on't : lieve. now you may look about you; chuse for your- Wid. Think it worth what, sir ? Changing my self. "Mrs Lackitt, that's your business; for Icondition? Indeed, sir, I think it worth every know you design to marry again.

thing. But, alas ! Mr Welldon, I have been a Wid. O dear! Not I, Í protest and swear; I widow but six weeks; 'tis too soon to think of don't design it: but I won't swear neither; one changing one's condition yet; indeed it is : Pray does not know what may happen to tempt one.

don't desire it of me: Not but that you may Well. Why, a lusty young fellow may happen persuade me to any thing, sooner than any perto tempt you.

son in the worldWid. Nay, I'll do nothing rasily: I'll resolve Well. Who, I, Mrs Lackitt? against nothing. The devil, they say, is very Wid. Indeed you may, Mr Welldon, sooner busy upon these occasions, especially with the than any man living. Lord, there's a great deal widows. But, if I am to be tempted, it must be in saving a decency: I never minded it before : with a young man, I promise you.- Mrs Lucy, Well, I am glad you spoke first, to excuse my your brother is a very pleasant gentleman : 1 modesty. But what ! modesty means nothing, came about business to him, but he turns every and is the virtue of a girl, that does not know thing in merriment.

what she would be at; a widow should be wiser. Well. Business, Mrs Lackitt ? Then, I know, Now I will own to you—but I won't confess neiyou would have me to yourself. Pray leave us ther I have had a great respect for you a great

you behind him.

while I beg your pardon, sir, and I must de- devil for you. She'll cheat her son of a good clare to you, indeed I must, if you desire to dis. estate for you; that's a perquisite of a widow's pose of all! have in the world, in an honourable portion always. way, which I don't pretend to be any way deser- Well. I have a design, and will follow her at ving your consideration, my fortune and person,- least, till I have a pennyworth of the plantation. if you won't understand me without telling you Stan. I speak as a friend, when I advise you 80,—are both at your service. Gad so! another to marry her. For 'tis directly against the intetime

rest of my own family. My cousin Jack has bee Enter STANMORE to them.

laboured her a good while that way.

Well. What! honest Jack! 'll not hinder Stan. So, Mrs Lackitt, your widowhood is him. I'll give over the thoughts of her. waning apace. I see which way 'tis going. Stan. He'll make nothing on't ; she does not Welldon, you're a happy man. The women and care for him. I'm glad you have her in your power. their favours come home to you.

Well. I may be able to serve him. Wid. A fiddle of favour, Mr Stanmore: I am Stan. Here's a ship come into the river; I was a lone woman, you know it, left in a great deal in hopes it had been from England. of business, and business must be followed or Well. From England ! lost. I have several stocks and plantations up- Stan. No, I was disappointed; I long to see on my hands, and other things to dispose of, this handsome cousin of yours: the picture you which Mr Welldon may have occasion for. gave me of her has charmed me.

Well. We were just upon the brink of a bar- Well. You'll see whether it has flattered her gain, as you came in.

or no, in a little time, if she be recovered of that Sian. Let me drive it on for you.

illness, that was the reason of her staying behind Well. So you must, I believe, you or somebo- us. I know she will come with the first oppor. dy for me.

tunity. We shall see her, or hear of her death. Stan. I'll stand by you : I understand more of San. We'll hope the best. The ships from this business than they can pretend to.

England are expected every day. Well, I don't pretend to't; 'tis quite out of Well. What ship is this? my way indeed.

Stan. A rover, a buccaneer, a trader in slaves : Stan If the widow gets you to herself, she that's the commodity we deal in, you know. If will certainly be too hard for you: I know her you have a curiosity to see our manner of marof old: she has no conscience in a corner; a ketting, I'll wait upon you. very Jew in a bargain, and would circumcise you Well. We'll take my sister with us. (Eseunt. to get more of you. Well. Is this true, widow?

SCENE II.- An open Place. Wid. Speak as you find, Mr Welldon: I have offered you very fair: think upon't, and let me

Enter Lieutenant-Gonernor and BLANDFORD. bear of you: the sooner the better, Mr Welldon. Gov. There's no resisting your fortune, Bland.

[Erit. ford; you draw all the prizes. Sian. I assure you, my friend, she'll cheat you, Blun. I draw for our lord governor, you know; if she can.

his fortune favours me. Well. I don't know that; but I can cheat her, Gov. I grudge him nothing this time; but if if I will

fortune had favoured me in the last sale, the Stan. Cheat her? How?

fair slave had been mine; Clemene had been Well. I can marry her; and then I'm sure I mine. have it in my power to cheat her.

Blan. Are you still in love with her? Stun. Can you marry her?

Gov. Every day more in love with her. Well. Yes, faith, so she says : her pretty person and fortune (which, one with the other, you

Enter Captain Driver, teazed and pulled about know, are not contemptible) are both at my ser

by Widow Lackitt and several planters. Exvice.

ier at another dvor, WELLDON, LUCY, STAN: Stan. Contemptible ! very considerable, egad; MORE. very desirable: Why, she's worth ten thousand Wid. Here have I six slaves in my lot, and pounds, man, a clear estate: no charge upon't, not a man among 'em; all women and children! but a boobily son: he indeed was to have half; what can I do with 'em, captain ? Pray consider; but his father begot him, and she breeds him up, I am a woman myself, and can't get my own not to know or have more than she has a mind slaves, as some of my neighbours do. to: and she has a mind to something else, it i Plan. I have all men in mine: pray, cap.

tain, let the men and women be mingled togeWell. There's a great deal to be made of this ther, for procreation's sake, and the good of the

(Musing. plantation. Stan. A handsome fortune may be made on't ; 2 Plan. Ay, ay, a man and woman, captain, and I advise you to't, by all means.

for the good of the plantation. Well. To marry her! an old wanton witch ! Capt. Let 'em mingle together and be damned, I hate ber.

what care I? would you have me pimp for the Stan. No matter for that: let her go to the good of the plantation !

seems.

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