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Robert Dodsley.

A select collection of old plays. In twelve volumes (Volume 6) online

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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES




OLD PLAYS.



IN TWELVE VOLUMES.



VOL. VI.
A NEW EDITION !

WITH

ADDITIONAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS,

BY THE LATE

ISAAC REED, OCTAVIUS GILCHRIST,
AND THE EDITOR.



Payne C|iuir]



LONDON:

SEPTIMUS PROWETT, 23, OLD BOND STREET-



M.DCCC.XXV.



Thorn White, Printer,
Johnson's Court.



College
Library



OLD PLAYS. ^ fe

VOLUME VI.

THE ROARING GIRL.

THE WIDOW'S TEARS.

THE WHITE DEVIL : OR, VITTORIA COROMBONA.

THE HOG HATH LOST HIS PEARL.
THE FOUR PRENTICES OF LONDON.



M.DCCC.XXV.



THE



ROARING GIRLE



MOLL CUT-PURSE.

As it hath lately beene Acted on the Fortune-stage by the Prince
his Players.

WRITTEN BY T. M1DDLETON AND T. DEKKAR.




MY CASE IS ALTER'D, I MUST WORKE FOR MY LIVING.



Printed at London for Thomas Archer, and are to be sold at his

Shop in Pope s head-pallace, neere the Hoyall

Exchange, 1611.



MARY FRITH ; or, Moll Cut-purse, the name by
which she was usually distinguished, was, as Mr.
Granger observes (see Supplement to his Biographical
History, 4to. p. 256 ) " a woman of a masculine spirit
and make, who was commonly supposed to have
been an hermaphrodite, practised, or was instrumental
to almost every crime and wild frolick which is noto-
rious in the most abandoned eccentric of both sexes.
She was infamous as a prostitute and a procuress, a
fortune-teller, a pick-pocket, a thief, and a receiver
of stolen goods : she was also concerned with a dex-
trous scribe in forging hands. Her most signal ex-
ploit was robbing General Fairfax upon Hounslow-
Heath, for which she was sent to Newgate ; but was,
by a proper application of a large sum of money, soon
set at liberty. She died of the dropsy, in the 75th
year of her age; but would probably have died
sooner, if she had not smoked tobacco, in the fre-
quent use of which she had long indulged herself."*
Mr. Steevens says (Note to Twelfth Night, A. 1.
S. 3.), that " on the Books of the Stationers Company,
" August 1610, is entered " A Booke called the Madde
" Prancks of Merry Mallof the Bankside, with her walks
" in man's apparel, and to what purpose. Written by
"John Day." Nathaniel Field, in his Amends for
Ladies, a Comedy, 1639 [1618], gives the following
character of her:

" Hence, lewd impudent !
" I know not what to term tbee, man or woman,
" For nature, shaming to acknowledge thee
" For either, hath produc'd thee to the world
" Without a sex : some say that thou art woman,

* Mrs. Mary Frith, alias Moll Cut-purse, born in Barbican, the
daughter of a shoemaker, died at her house in Fleet- street, next
the Globe Tavern, July 26, 1659, and was buried in the ckurch of
Saint Bridget's. She left twenty pounds by her will, for the con-
duit to run with wine when King Charles the Second returned,
which happened in a short time after. From a MS. in the British
Miiseum. N.



" Others, a man ; to many thou art both

" Woman and man ; but I think rather neither ;

" Or man, or horse, as Centaurs old was feign'd."

" A life of this woman was likewise published in
" 12mo. in 1662, with her portrait before it in a male
" habit; an ape, a lion, and an eagle by him."*

It is probable she died about the time of this second
publication of her life. In the play of The Feign'd
Astrologer, 1668, p. 62. she is mentioned as being then
dead :

" We cannot do that neither in quiet,

" So many have found his lodging out:

" And now, Moll Cut-purse, that oracle of felonie

" Is dead, there's not a pocket pickt,

" But hee's acquainted with it."

The following Epigram on her is taken from an an-
cient collection, intitled " Runne and a great Cast."
The second Bowie, by Thomas Freeman, 4to. 1614.

" They say Mol's honest, and it may bee so,

" But yet it is a shrewd presumption, no :

" To touch but pitch, 'tis knowne it will defile,

" Moll weares the breech, what may she be the while ;

" Sure shee that doth the shadow so much grace,

" What will shee when the substance comes in place."

* She did open penance on the llth Feb. 1611-12. See Chal-
mer's Supp. Apol. 445. 0. G.,



TO THE COMICK PLAY-READERS, VENERY AND
LAUGHTER,

THE fashion of play-making I can properly compare
to nothing so naturally as the alteration in apparel ; for
in the time of the Great-crop-doublet, your huge bom-
basted plays, quilted with mighty words to lean purpose,
was only then in fashion. And as the doublet fell,
neater inventions began to set up. Now in the time
of spruceness, our plays follow the niceness of our
Garments; single plots, quaint conceits, lecherous
jests, drest up in hanging sleeves, and those are fit for
the Times, and the ' Termers : such a kind of light-
colour Summer stuff, mingled with divers colours, you
shall find this published Comedy, good to keep you in
an afternoon from dice at home in your chambers : and
for venery you shall find enough * for six-pence, but

1 Termers:] This word was formerly applied to persons of ill
repute, both male and female. See Note 13 to The Goblins, vol X.
Dekker in The Belman of London, 1616, Sign H 3, speaking of the
practises of the cheats in his time, says, " they allot such countries
' to this Band of Foists, such townes to those, and such a Citty to
' so many Nips: whereupon some of these BOOTH ALERS are called
' TERMERS and they ply Westminster-hall: Michaelmas Terme is their
' harvest, and they sweat in it harder than reapers or haymakers
' doe at their works in the heat of summer."

* for six-pence,'] The price of a Play at this time, as will appear
from the following instances: Law Tricks, by John Day, 1608,
Address from the Book to the Reader, concludes : " Thine or any
" man's for a testar."

Verses by W. B. (probably William Browne) prefixed to The
Bondman :

'Tis granted for your Twelve-pence you did sit,
And see and hear, and understood not yet ;
The Author in a Christian Pity takes
Care of your good, and prints it for your sakes,
That such as will but venture Six-pence more,
May know what they but saw and heard before. 1 '
Randolph's Address to the Reader prefixed to The Jealous Lovers,
4to. 1632 : " Courteous Reader, I beg thy pardon, if I put thee to
" the expence of a six-pence, and the loss of an hour."



well couch'd aiid you mark it ; for Venus being a wo-
man, passes through the play in doublet and breeches;
a brave disguise and a safe one, if the Statute untie
not her cod-piece point. The book I make no ques-
tion, but is fit for many of your companies, as well as
the person itself, and may be allowed both gallery room
at the play-house, and chamber-room at your lodging :
worse things I must needs confess the world has taxt
her for than has been written of her; but 'tis the ex-
cellency of a Writer, to leave things better than he
finds them, though some obscene fellow (that cares not
what he writes against others, yet keeps a mystical
bawdy house himself, and enterta : ns drunkards, to
make use of their pockets, and vent his private bot-
tle-ale at mid-night) though such a one would have
ript up the most nasty vice, that ever hell belcht forth,
and presented it to a modest Assembly: yet we rather
wish in such discoveries, where reputation lies bleeding,
a slackness of truth, than fulness of slander.

THOMAS MIDDLETON.



PRO LOG US.



A play (expected long) makes the Audience look

For wonders ; that each Scene should be a book,

Compos'd to all perfections : each one comes

And brings a play in's head with him : up he sums,

What he would of a Roaring Girl have writ;

If that he finds not here, he mews at it.

Only we intreat you think onr Scene

Cannot speak high (the subject being but mean;)

A Roaring girl (whose notes till now never were)

Shall Jill with laughter, our vast Theatre.

That's all which I dare promise : tragick passion,

And such grave stuff", is this day out of fashion.

I see attention sets wide ope her gates

Of hearing and with covetous listning waits,

To know what girl this Roaring Girl should be ;

(For of that Tribe are many ) One is she

That roars at midnight in detp Tavern bowls,

That beats the watch, and constables controuls :

Another roars ith' day time, swears, stabs, gives braves,

Yet sells her soul to the lust of fools and slaves.

Both these are Suburb-roarers. Then there's (beside)

A civil city Roaring Girl, whose pride,

Feasting, and riding, shakes her husband's state,

And leaves him roaring through an iron grate.

None of these Roaring Girls is ours : shefiies

With wings more lofty: thus her character lies

Yet what need characters, when to give a guess,

Is better than the person to express ?

But would you know who 'tis ? would you hear her name ?

She is calld mad Moll ; her life, onr acts proclaim.



DRAMATIS



Sir ALEXANDER WENGRAVE.

NEAT-FOOT, his Man.

Sir ADAM APPLFTON.

Sir DAVY DAPPER.

Sir THOMAS LONG.

Sir BF.AUTEOUS GANYAIED.

Lord NOLAN D.

Young WENGRAVE.

JACK DAPPER.

GULL, his Page.

GOSHAWK.

GREENWJT.

LAXTON.

TILT-YARD, 1

OPENWORK, I Gives et Uxores.

GALLIPOT, )

MOLL, the Roaring Girl.

TRAPDOOR.

TEAK-CAT.

Sir GUY FITZ-ALLARD.

MAKY FITZ-ALLARD, his Daughter.

CURTILAX, a Serjeant,
HANGER, his Yeoman.
COACHMAN.
CUT-PURSES.

Ministri.



THE



ROARING GIRL.



ACTUS I. SCENA I.

Enter MARY FITZ-ALLARD, disguised like a sempstcr,

with a case for bands ; and NEAT-FOOT, a servingman

with her, with a napkin on his shoulder, and 3 a

trencher in his hand as from table.

Neat-foot. The young gentleman (our young master,)
sir Alexander's son, is it into his ears (sweet damsel)
(emblem of fragility) you desire to have a message
transported, or to be transcendent ?

Mary Fitz-allard. A private word or two, sir ; no -
thing else.

Neat-foot. You shall fructify in that which you
come for: your pleasure shall be satisfied to your full
contentation : I will (fairest tree of generation) watch
when our young master is erected (that is to say up,)
and deliver him to this your most white hand.

Mary Fitz-allard. Thanks, sir.

Neat-foot. And withal certify him, that I have culled
out for him (now his belly is replenished) a daintier
bit or modicum than any lay upon his trencher at din-

3 a trencher in his hand] At this time pewter was not introduce I
into common use. Our ancestors were content with \voode;i
trenchers, and these were even to be found at the tables of our
nobility and persons of good fashion. Among the orders for
household -servants, devised by John Haryngton, 1566, and re-
newed by his Son, 1592, it is directed, " That no man waite at the
" table without a trencher in his hand, except it be uppon good
" cause, on paine of Irf." Nuge Antique, vol. II. p. 2fi7. edit.
1779. See also the Northumberland Household-Bonk, p. 354. Trenohei's
are still used in some colleges and inns-of-court, pa:ticularly in
Lincoln 's-Inn.



THE ROARING GIRL. [ACT I.



ner Hath he notion of your name, I beseech your
chastity ?

Mary Filz-allard. One, sir, of whom he bespake
falling bands 4 .

Neat-foot. Falling bands ! it shall so be given him
If you please to venture your modesty in the hall,
amongst a curl-pated company of rude servingmen,
and take such as they can set before you, you shall be
most seriously and ingeniously welcome.

Mary Fitz-allard. I have 6 dined indeed already, sir.

Neat-foot. Or will you vouchsafe to kiss the lip of
a cup of rich Orleans in the buttery amongst our wait-
ing-women ?

Mary Fitz-allard. Not now in truth, sir.

Neat-foot. Our young master shall then have a feel-
ing of your being here ; presently it shall so be given
him. [Exit Neat-foot.



4 falling bands] In Note 26 to The Honest Whore, vol. III. I have
expressed a doubt whether the falling band might not be a species of
ruffs. In Evelyn's Discourse on Medals, 1697, p. 108, is the head of
Charles I. crowned in the garter, robes, and wearing a falling band ;
" which new mode, says Mr. Evelyn, succeeded the cumbersome
" ruff: but neither did the Bishops or Judges give it over so soon,
" the Lord Keeper Finch being, I think, the very first." From
this medal, wLich was struck in 1633, it appears, that the fulling
band resembled what lately was called a Vandyke. We learn from
the Works of Taylor the Water Poet, fol. 1630. p. 167. that the rise
of falling bands was only the revival of an ancient fashion.
' Now up aloft I mount unto the Ruffe,
' Which into foolish mortals pride doth puffe :
' Yet Ruffes antiquity is here but small,
Within this eighty yeeres, not one at all ;
' For the eighth Henry (as I understand)
' Was the first King that ever wore a Band ;
' And but a falling band, plaine with a hem,
' All other people knew no use of them ;
' Yet imitation in small time began
' To grow, that it the kingdome over-ran :
' The little falling bands encreas'd to Ruffes,
' Ruffes (growing great) were waited on by cuffes ;.
' And though our frailties should awake our care,
' We make our Ruffes as carelesse as we are."
s dined] The Quarto reads dyed. S.



SC. I.] THE ROARING GIRL. 9

Mary Fitz-allard. I humbly thank you, sir. But that

my bosom

Is full of bitter sorrows, I could smile,
To see this formal ape play antick tricks :
But in my breast a poisoned arrow sticks,
And smiles cannot become me : love woven slightly
(Such as thy false heart makes) wears out as lightly ;
But love being truly bred i'th' soul (like mine)
Bleeds even to death, at the least wound it takes,
The more we quench this the less it slakes :
O me!

Enter SEBASTIAN WENGRAVE with NEAT-FOOT.

Sebastian Wengrave. A sempster . speak with me,
6 say'st thou ?

Neat-foot. Yes, sir ; she'f there, viva voce, to deliver
her auricular confession.

Sebastian Wengrave. With me, sweet heart ? What
is't?

Mary Fitz-allard. I have brought home your bands,
sir.

Sebastian Wen? rave. Bands! Neat -foot.

Neat-foot. Sir. -

Sebastian Wengrave. Pr'ythee look in ; for all the
gentlemen are upon rising.

Neat-foot. Yes, sir; a most methodical attendance
shall be given.

Sebastian Wengrave. And dost hear? if my father
call for me, say I am busy with a sempster.

Neat-foot. Yes, sir! he shall know it that you are
busied with a needle woman.

Sebastian Wengrave. In's ear, good Neat-foot.

Neat-foot. It shall be so given him. [Exit Neat-foot.

Sebastian Wengrave. Bands ! y'are mistaken, sweet

heart, I bespake none :
When, where, I pr'ythee ? what bands? let me see them.

Mary Fitz-allard. Yes, sir; a bond fast sealed, with
solemn oaths,

e sai/s't] The Quarto reads saith. S.

The Quarto reads saist, which seems to have been mistaken by

r. Steevens for faith. C.



10 THE ROARING GIRL. [ACT I.

Subscribed unto (as I thought) with your soul :
Delivered as your deed in sight of heaven :
Is this bond cancei'ci ? have you forgot me ?

Sebastian Weiigrave Ha! life of my life: Sir Guy

Fitz-allard's daughter !

What has transformed my love to this strange shape ?
Stay: make all sure so : now speak and be brief,
Because the wolf's at door that lies in wait,
To prey upon us both. Albeit mine eyes
Are blest by thine ; yet this so strange disguise
Holds me with fear and wonder.

Mary Fitz-allard. Mine's a loathed sight:
Why from it are you banish'd else so long ?

Sebastian Wengrave. I must cut short my speech, in

broken language :

Thus much, sweet Moll, I must thy company shun ;
I court another Moll : my thoughts must run,
As a horse runs that's blind, round in a mill,
Out every step, yet keeping one path still.

Mary Fitz-allard. Umh ! must you shun my com-
pany? in one knot

Have both our hands by th' hands of heaven been tied,
Now to be broke ? I thought me once your bride :
Our fathers did agree on the time when,
And must another bed-fellow fill my room?

Sebastian Wengrave. Sweet maid, lets lose no time ;

'tis in heaven's book

Set down, that I must have thee : an oath we took,
To keep our vows ; but when the knight your father
Was from mine parted, storms began to sit
Upon my covetous father's brow ; which fell
From them on me : he jeckon'cfup what gold
This marriage would: draw from him, at"which he swore,
To lose so much blood could not grieve him more;
He then disua4es me from thee, call'd thee not fair,
And ask'd what is she, but a beggar's heir;
He scorn'd thjr dowry of five thousand marks.
If such a sum <f money could be found,
And I would match with that, he'd not undo it,
Provided his bags might add nothing to it;



SC. I.] THE ROARING GIRL. 11



But vow'd, if I took thee, nay more, did swear it.
Save birth, from him I nothing should inherit.

Mary Fitz-allard. What follows then ? my ship-wrack ?
Sebastian Wengrave. Dearest, no :
Though wildly in a labyrinth I go,
My end is to meet thee : with a side wind
Must I now sail, else I no haven can find,
But both must sink for ever. There's a wench
CalPd Moll, mad Moll, or merry Moll, a creature
So strange in quality, a whole city takes
Note of her name and person ; all that affection
I owe to thee, on her in counterfeit passion
I spend to mad my father : he believes
I doat upon this Roaring Girl, and grieves
As it becomes a father for a son,
That could be so bewitcht : yet I'll go on
This crooked way, sigh still for her, fain dreams,
In which I'll talk only of her : these streams
Shall, I hope, force my father to consent
That here I anchor rather than be rent
Upon a rock so dangerous. Art thou pleas'd,
Because thou seest we are way-laid, that I take
A path that's safe, though it be far about ?

Mary Fitz-allard. My prayerswith heaven guide thee.
Sebastian Wengrave. Then I will on :
My father is at hand, kiss and begone !
Hours shall be watch'dfor meetings ; I must now,
As men for fear, to a strange idol bow.
Mary Fitz-allard. Farewel.
Sebastian Wengrave. I'll guide thee forth ; when next

we meet,
A story of Moll shall make our mirth more sweet.

[Exeunt.

Enter Sir ALEXANDER WENGRAVE, Sir DAVY DAP-
PER, Sir ADAM APPLETON, GOSHAWK, LAXTON,
and Gentlemen.

Omnes< Thanks, good Sir Alexander, for our boun-
teous cheer.

Sir Alexander Wengrave, Fy, fy, in giving thanks
you pay too dear.



12 THE ROARING GIRL. [ACT I.



Sir Davy Dapper. When bounty spreads the table,

faith 'twere sin,
(At going off) if thanks should not step in.

Sir Alexander Wengrave. No more of thanks, no

more. I, marry, sir,

Th' inner room was too close ; how do you like
This parlour, gentlemen ?

Omnes. Oh passing well.

Sir Adam Appleton. What a sweet breath the air
casts here, so cool !

Goshawk. I like the prospect best.

Laxion. See how 'tis furnish'd.

Sir Davy Dapper. A very fair sweet room.

Sir Alexander Wengrave. Sir Davy Dapper,
The furniture that doth adorn this room
Cost many a fair grey groat ere it came here ;
But good things are most cheap, when th' aTe most

dear.

Nay, when you look into my galleries,
How bravely they are trimm'd up, you all shall swear
Y'are highly pleas'd to see what's set down there :
Stories of men and women (mixt together
Fair ones with foul, like sun-shine in wet weather)
Within one square a thousand heads are laid
So close, that all of heads the room seems made:
As many faces there (fiH'd with blithe looks)
Show like the promising titles of new books.
(Writ mernly) the readers being their own eyes,
Which seem to move and to give plaudities ;
And here and there (whilst with obsequious ears,
Throng'd heaps do listen) a cut-purse thrusts and leers
With hawk's eyes for his prey : I need not show him,
By a hanging villainous look, yourselves may know

him,

The face is drawn so rarely : then, sir, below,
The very flower (as 'twere) waves to and fro,
And, like a floating island, seems to move,
Upon a sea, bound in with shores above.
Enter SEBASTIAN WENGRAVE and Mr. GREENWIT.

Omnes. These sights are excellent.



SC. I.] THE ROARING GIRL. 13



Sir Alexander Wengrave. I'll show you all,
Since we are met, make our parting comical.

Sebastian Wengrave. This gentleman (my friend)

will take his leave, sir.

Sir Alexander Wengrave. Ha, take his leave (Sebas-
tian) who ?

Sebastian Wengrave. This gentleman.
Sir Alexander Wengrave. Your love, sir, has already

given me some time,

And if you please to trust my age with more,
It shall pay double interest: good sir, stay.
Greenwii. I have been too bold,
Sir Alexander Wengrave. Not so, sir : a merry day
'Mongst friends being spent, is better than gold sav'd.
Some wine, some wine! Where be these knaves I

keep?

Enter three or four Servingmen and NEAT-FOOT.
Neat-foot. At your worshipful elbow, sir.
Sir Alexander Wengrave. You are kissing my maids,

drinking, or fast asleep.

Neat-foot. Your worship has given it us right.
Sir Alexander Wengrave. You varlets, stir,
Chairs, stools, and cushions! Pr'ythee, sir Davy

Dapper,
Make that chair thine.

Sir Davy Dapper. 'Tis but an easy gift ;
And yet I thank you for it, sir : I'll take it.

Sir Alexander Wengrave. A chair for old sir Adam

Appleton.

Neat-foot. A back friend to your worship.
Sir Adam Appleton. Marry, good Neat-foot,
I thank thee for it; back friends sometimes are good.
Sir Alexander Wengrave, Pray make that stool your

perch, good Mr. Goshawk.
Goshawk. I stoop to your lure, sir.
Sir Alexander Wengrave. Son Sebastian,
Take master Greenwit to you.
Sebastian. Sit, dear friend.

Sir Alexander Wengrave. Nay, master Laxton fur-
nish master Laxton



14 THE ROARING GIRL. [ACT I.



With what he wants (a stone) a stool I would say, a
stool.

Laxton. I had rather stand, sir. [Exeunt Servants.

Sir Alexander Wengrave. I know you had (good

Mr. Laxton). So, so

Now here's a mess of friends ; and (gentlemen)
Because time's glass shall not be running long,
I'll quicken it with a pretty tale.

Sir Davy Dapper. Good tales do well
In these bad days, where vice does so excel,

Sir Adam Appleton. Begin, sir Alexander.

Sir Alexander Wengrate. Last day I met
An aged man, upon whose head was scor'd
A debt of just so many years as these,
Which I owe to my grave ; the man you all know,

Omnes. His name, I pray you, sir.

Sir Alexander JVengrave. Nay, you shall pardon me ;
But when he saw me (with a sigh that brake,
Or seem'd to break his heart-strings), thus he spake :
Oh, my good knight, says he, (and then his eyes
Were richer even by that which made them poor,
They had spent so many tears they had no more)
Oh, sir, says he, you know it, for you have seen
Blessings to rain upon mine house and me :
Fortune (who slaves men) was my slave ; her wheel
Hath spun me golden threads ; for, I thank heaven,
I ne'er had but one cause to curse my stars.
I ask'd him then, what that one cause might be.

Omnes. So, sir.

Sir Alexander Wengrave. He paus'd : and as we

often see,

A sea so much becalm'd, there can be found
No wrinkle on his brow, his waves being drown'd
In their own rage ; but when the imperious winds
Use strange invisible tyranny to shake
Both heaven's and earth's foundation at their noise,
The seas, swelling with wrath to part that fray,
Rise up, and are more wild, more mad than they :
Even so this good old man was by my question
Stirr'd up to roughness : you might see his gall



SC. I.] THE ROARING GIRL. 15



Flow even in's eyes; then grew he fantastical.
Sir Davy Dapper. Fantastical ! ha, ha.
Sir Alexander Wengrave. Yes ; and talk oddly.
Sir Adam Appleton. Pray, sir, proceed :
How did this old man end ?

Sir Alexander H'engrave. Marry, sir, thus :
He left his wild fit to read o'er his cards ;
Yet then (though age cast snow on all his hair)
He joy 'd, because (says he) the god of gold
Has been to me no niggard ; that disease
1 (Of which all old men sicken) avarice
Never infected me.

Laxton. He means not himself, I am sure.
Sir Alexander Wengrate. For like a lamp,
Fed with continual oil, I spend and throw
My light to all that need it, yet have still
Enough to serve myself: oh but (quoth he)
Tho' heaven's dew fall thus on this aged tree,
I have a son, that's like a wedge, doth cleave
My very heart root.

Sir Davy Dapper. Had he such a son ?
Sebastian Wengrave Now I do smell a fox strongly.

[Aside.
Sir Alexander Wengrave. Let's see : no, master

Greenwit is not yet

So mellow in years as he ; but as like Sebastian,
Just like my son Sebastian such another.



Online LibraryRobert DodsleyA select collection of old plays. In twelve volumes (Volume 6) → online text (page 1 of 34)