Vulgar words in The Works of Aphra Behn, Volume I (Page 1)
This book at a glance
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[Footnote 15: William Chiffinch, confidential attendant and pimp to Charles II.]
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Again, we have that she was 'a wanton hussy'; her 'trolloping muse' shamefacedly 'wallowed in the mire'; but finally the historian is bound to confess 'she was never dull'.
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It is a good tragi-comedy of the bastard Fletcherian Davenant type, but she had not hit upon her happiest vein of comedy, which, however, she approached in a much better piece, _The Amorous Prince_, played in the autumn of 1671 by the same company.
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Mrs. Behn often alludes in her prefaces to the prejudice a carping clique entertained against her and the strenuous efforts that were made to damn her comedies merely because they were 'writ by a woman'.
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There is a very plain allusion to this in Radcliffe's _The Ramble: News from Hell_ (1682):-- Amongst this Heptarchy of Wit The censuring Age have thought it fit, To damn a Woman, 'cause 'tis said The Plays she vends she never made.
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A Whiggish clique, unable to harm her in any other way, banded together to damn the play and so endeavoured to raise a pudic hubbub, that happily proved quite ineffective.
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Describe the Cunning of a jilting Whore, From the ill Arts herself has us'd before; Thus let her write, but _Paraphrase_ no more.
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_Wits, like Physicians, never can agree, When of a different Society; And _Rabel's_ Drops were never more cry'd down By all the Learned Doctors of the Town, Than a new Play, whose Author is unknown: Nor can those Doctors with more Malice sue (And powerful Purses) the dissenting Few, Than those with an insulting Pride do rail At all who are not of their own Cabal._ _If a Young Poet hit your Humour right, You judge him then out of Revenge and Spite; So amongst Men there are ridiculous Elves, Who Monkeys hate for being too like themselves: So that the Reason of the Grand Debate, Why Wit so oft is damn'd, when good Plays take, Is, that you censure as you love or hate.
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Thus, like a learned Conclave, Poets sit Catholick Judges both of Sense and Wit, And damn or save, as they themselves think fit.
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_Sancho_, Pimp to _Lucetta_, Mr. _John Lee_.
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_Fred._ I have found it out; thou hast renew'd thy Acquaintance with the Lady that cost thee so many Sighs at the Siege of _Pampelona_-- pox on't, what d'ye call her-- her Brother's a noble _Spaniard_-- Nephew to the dead General-- _Florinda_-- ay, _Florinda_-- And will nothing serve thy turn but that damn'd virtuous Woman, whom on my Conscience thou lov'st in spite too, because thou seest little or no possibility of gaining her?
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_Belv._ That's thy Joy, a cheap Whore.
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_Will._ Then thou art damn'd without Redemption; and as I am a good Christian, I ought in charity to divert so wicked a design-- therefore prithee, dear Creature, let me know quickly when and where I shall begin to set a helping hand to so good a Work.
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_Fred._ Oh let him alone for that matter, he's of a damn'd stingy Quality, that will secure our Stock.
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I know not in what Danger it were indeed, if the Jilt should pretend she's in love with him, for 'tis a kind believing Coxcomb; otherwise if he part with more than a Piece of Eight-- geld him: for which offer he may chance to be beaten, if she be a Whore of the first Rank.
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_Will._ Hang her, she was some damn'd honest Person of Quality, I'm sure, she was so very free and witty.
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I have been an Ass, a deluded Fool, a very Coxcomb from my Birth till this Hour, and heartily repent my little Faith.
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_Fred._ Pox 'tis some common Whore upon my Life.
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_Blunt._ A Whore!
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_Belv._ Why yes, Sir, they are Whores, tho they'll neither entertain you with Drinking, Swearing, or Baudy; are Whores in all those gay Clothes, and right Jewels; are Whores with great Houses richly furnisht with Velvet Beds, Store of Plate, handsome Attendance, and fine Coaches, are Whores and errant ones.
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_Will._ Pox on't, where do these fine Whores live?
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_Belv._ Where no Rogue in Office yclep'd Constables dare give 'em laws, nor the Wine-inspired Bullies of the Town break their Windows; yet they are Whores, tho this _Essex_ Calf believe them Persons of Quality.
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_Will._ May she languish for Mankind till she die, and be damn'd for that one Sin alone.
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what Impudence is practis'd in this Country?-- With Order and Decency Whoring's established here by virtue of the Inquisition-- Come let's be gone, I'm sure we're no Chapmen for this Commodity.
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_Moret._ Is this he that us'd to prance before our Window and take such care to shew himself an amorous Ass?
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Nay, to love such a Shameroon, a very Beggar; nay, a Pirate-Beggar, whose Business is to rifle and be gone, a No-Purchase, No-Pay Tatterdemalion, an _English_ Piccaroon; a Rogue that fights for daily Drink, and takes a Pride in being loyally lousy-- Oh, I could curse now, if I durst-- This is the Fate of most Whores.
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_Hell._ Nay, the Lord knows-- but if I should be hanged, I cannot chuse but be angry and afraid, when I think that mad Fellow should be in love with any Body but me-- What to think of my self I know not-- Would I could meet with some true damn'd Gipsy, that I might know my Fortune.
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_Will._ Damn the hungry Balderdash; cheerful Sack has a generous Virtue in't, inspiring a successful Confidence, gives Eloquence to the Tongue, and Vigour to the Soul; and has in a few Hours compleated all my Hopes and Wishes.
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_Hell._ Now what a wicked Creature am I, to damn a proper Fellow.
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_Blunt._ 'Tis a rare Girl, and this one night's enjoyment with her will be worth all the days I ever past in Essex.-- Would she'd go with me into _England_, tho to say truth, there's plenty of Whores there already.-- But a pox on 'em they are such mercenary prodigal Whores, that they want such a one as this, that's free and generous, to give 'em good Examples:-- Why, what a House she has!
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_Blunt._ Sir, I shall be proud to follow-- Here's one of her Servants too: 'dsheartlikins, by his Garb and Gravity he might be a Justice of Peace in _Essex_, and is but a Pimp here.
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_Will._ I am so, and thou oughtst the sooner to lie with me for that reason,-- for look you, Child, there will be no Sin in't, because 'twas neither design'd nor premeditated; 'tis pure Accident on both sides-- that's a certain thing now-- Indeed should I make love to you, and you vow Fidelity-- and swear and lye till you believ'd and yielded-- Thou art therefore (as thou art a good Christian) oblig'd in Conscience to deny me nothing.
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_Belv._ Damn your debaucht Opinion: tell me, Sot, hadst thou so much sense and light about thee to distinguish her to be a Woman, and could'st not see something about her Face and Person, to strike an awful Reverence into thy Soul?
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_Belv._ To morrow, damn it.
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_Will._ I know I've done some mischief, but I'm so dull a Puppy, that I am the Son of a Whore, if I know how, or where-- prithee inform my Understanding.-- _Belv._ Leave me I say, and leave me instantly.
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Virtue is but an Infirmity in Women, a Disease that renders even the handsom ungrateful; whilst the ill-favour'd, for want of Solicitations and Address, only fancy themselves so.-- I have lain with a Woman of Quality, who has all the while been railing at Whores.
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_Will._ Damn the young Prater, I know not what he means.
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[To _Will._ _Will._ By Heaven-- _Ang._ Hold, do not damn thy self-- _Hell._ Nor hope to be believ'd.
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_Belv._ What, _Blunt_ has had some damn'd Trick put upon him, cheated, bang'd, or clapt?
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_Fred._ Cheated, Sir, rarely cheated of all but his Shirt and Drawers; the unconscionable Whore too turn'd him out before Consummation, so that traversing the Streets at Midnight, the Watch found him in this _Fresco_, and conducted him home: By Heaven 'tis such a slight, and yet I durst as well have been hang'd as laugh at him, or pity him; he beats all that do but ask him a Question, and is in such an Humour-- _Ped._ Who is't has met with this ill usage, Sir?
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--Now, how like a Morrice-Dancer I am equipt-- a fine Lady-like Whore to cheat me thus, without affording me a Kindness for my Money, a Pox light on her, I shall never be reconciled to the Sex more, she has made me as faithless as a Physician, as uncharitable as a Churchman, and as ill-natur'd as a Poet.
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_Blunt._ Cruel, adsheartlikins as a Gally-slave, or a _Spanish_ Whore: Cruel, yes, I will kiss and beat thee all over; kiss, and see thee all over; thou shalt lie with me too, not that I care for the Injoyment, but to let you see I have ta'en deliberated Malice to thee, and will be revenged on one Whore for the Sins of another; I will smile and deceive thee, flatter thee, and beat thee, kiss and swear, and lye to thee, imbrace thee and rob thee, as she did me, fawn on thee, and strip thee stark naked, then hang thee out at my Window by the Heels, with a Paper of scurvey Verses fasten'd to thy Breast, in praise of damnable Women-- Come, come along.
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A Generation of damn'd Hypocrites, to flatter my very Clothes from my back!
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why, yes, Sweeting, we do know _Belvile_, and wish he were with us now, he's a Cormorant at Whore and Bacon, he'd have a Limb or two of thee, my Virgin Pullet: but 'tis no matter, we'll leave him the Bones to pick.
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_Will._ 'Sdeath, how the Whore has drest him!
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_Belv._ Indeed, _Willmore_, thou wert a little too rough with _Ned Blunt's_ Mistress; call a Person of Quality Whore, and one so young, so handsome, and so eloquent!-- ha, ha, ha.
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_Blunt._ Not an Ass, to be laught at, Sir.
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_Belv._ Hark ye, Fool, be advis'd, and conceal both the Ring and the Story, for your Reputation's sake; don't let People know what despis'd Cullies we _English_ are: to be cheated and abus'd by one Whore, and another rather bribe thee than be kind to thee, is an Infamy to our Nation.
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_Will._ Damn Property-- then we'll draw Cuts.
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_Will._ Sure-- _Ang._ Another Word will damn thee!
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If you will go in, and thank him for the Favour he has done your Sister, so; if not, Sir, my Power's greater in this House than yours; I have a damn'd surly Crew here, that will keep you till the next Tide, and then clap you an board my Prize; my Ship lies but a League off the _Molo_, and we shall show your Donship a damn'd _Tramontana_ Rover's Trick.
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Then shews his Politicks, to let you see Of State Affairs he'll judge as notably, As he can do of Wit and Poetry._ _The younger Sparks, who hither do resort, Cry-- Pox o' your gentle things, give us more Sport; --Damn me, I'm sure 'twill never please the Court._ _Such Fops are never pleas'd, unless the Play Be stuff'd with Fools, as brisk and dull as they: Such might the Half-Crown spare, and in a Glass At home behold a more accomplisht Ass, Where they may set their Cravats, Wigs and Faces, And practice all their Buffoonry Grimaces; See how this-- Huff becomes-- this Dammy-- flare-- Which they at home may act, because they dare, But-- must with prudent Caution do elsewhere.
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+Act III: Scene iia+ p. 54, l. 9 _Pimps!_ 1724 'Imps'.
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+Dramatis Personæ+ p. 9 _Sancho, Pimp to Lucetta.
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* * * * * * * * * Errors and Irregularities: The Rover, Part I justling him to one side _standard spelling for text_ that damn'd virtuous Woman, whom on my Conscience _text reads "Consicience"_ Read here this Postscript.
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A little later Fetherfool comes to terms with La Nuche's duenna, Petronella, whilst Willmore makes love to Ariadne.
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By this Hand I had rather be handsomly abus'd than dully flatter'd; but when she touches on my Poverty, my honourable Poverty, she presses me too sensibly-- for nothing is so nice as Poverty-- But damn her, I'll think of her no more: for she's a Devil, tho her Form be Angel.
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_Blunt._ Nay, adsheartlikins they are all so; tho I thought you had been Whore-proof; 'tis enough for us Fools, Country Gentlemen, Esquires, and Cullies, to miscarry in their amorous Adventures, you Men of Wit weather all Storms you.
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_Beau._ Ay, there's the Devil on't, she is-- a Whore.
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_Beau._ Damn her, she'll be thine or any body's.
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_Will._ I die for her-- _Beau._ Then for her Qualities-- _Will._ No more-- ye Gods, I ask no more, Be she but fair and much a Whore-- Come let's to her.
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For I'll not bate a Ducat of this Price I've set upon my self, for all the Pleasures Youth or Love can bring me-- for see _Aurelia_-- the sad Memento of a decay'd poor old forsaken Whore in _Petronella_; consider her, and then commend my Prudence.
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_Will._ Why, that very one Woman I spoke to is ten Whores in _Surrey_.
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_Will._ Wise Mr. Justice, give me your Warrant, and if I do not prove 'em Whores, whip me.
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_Feth._ Prithee hold thy scandalous blasphemous Tongue, as if I did not know Whores from Persons of Quality.
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for thou'rt a rich Ass, and may'st do it.
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_Blunt._ If this be a Whore, as thou say'st, I understand nothing-- by this Light such a Wench would pass for a Person of Quality in _London_.
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_Blunt._ Look how _Willmore_ eyes her, the Rogue's smitten heart deep-- Whores-- _Feth._ Only a Trick to keep her to himself-- he thought the Name of a _Spanish_ Harlot would fright us from attempting-- I must divert him-- how is't, Captain-- Prithee mind this Musick-- Is it not most Seraphical?
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_Feth._ Oh, have ye so; what, with Whores, Captain?-- 'Tis a most delicious Gentlewoman.
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_Will._ So, she has sent her Matron to our Coxcomb; she saw he was a Cully fit for Game-- who would not be a Rascal to be rich, a Dog, an Ass, a beaten, harden'd Coward-- by Heaven, I will possess this gay Insensible, to make me hate her-- most extremely curse her-- See if she be not fallen to Pray'r again, from thence to Flattery, Jilting and Purse-taking, to make the Proverb good-- My fair false _Sybil_, what Inspirations are you waiting for from Heaven, new Arts to cheat Mankind!-- Tell me, with what Face canst thou be devout, or ask any thing from thence, who hast made so leud a use of what it has already lavish'd on thee?
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At first you lik'd me too, you saw me gay, no marks of Poverty dwelt in my Face or Dress, and then I was the dearest loveliest Man-- all this was to my outside; Death, you made love to my Breeches, caress'd my Garniture and Feather, an _English_ Fool of Quality you thought me-- 'Sheart, I have known a Woman doat on Quality, tho he has stunk thro all his Perfumes; one who never went all to Bed to her, but left his Teeth, an Eye, false Back and Breast, sometimes his Palate too upon her Toilet, whilst her fair Arms hug'd the dismember'd Carcase, and swore him all Perfection, because of Quality.
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_Will._ Oh most damnably, and a confounded Blockhead, two certain Remedies against your Pride and Scorn.
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_Will._ All this with Pride I own, since 'tis a royal Cause I suffer for; go pursue your Business your own way, insnare the Fool-- I saw the Toils you set, and how that Face was ordered for the Conquest, your Eyes brimful of dying lying Love; and now and then a wishing Glance or Sigh thrown as by chance; which when the happy Coxcomb caught-- you feign'd a Blush, as angry and asham'd of the Discovery: and all this Cunning's for a little mercenary Gain-- fine Clothes, perhaps some Jewels too, whilst all the Finery cannot hide the Whore!
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_Blunt._ Heartlikins, follow her-- Pox on't, an I'd but as good a Hand at this Game as thou hast, I'll venture upon any Chance-- _Will._ Damn her, come, let's to Dinner.
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_Will._ 'Tis so, by Heaven, he's chaffering with her Pimp.
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Damn her, what Mischief made her cross my way just on the Point of Reformation!
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_Will._ Child, you are mistaken, I am in great Necessity; for first I love thee-- desperately-- have I not damn'd my Soul already for thee, and wouldst thou be so wicked to refuse a little Consolation to my Body?
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_Will._ Secrecy is a damn'd ungrateful Sin, Child, known only where Religion and Small-beer are current, despis'd where _Apollo_ and the Vine bless the Country: you find none of _Jove's_ Mistresses hid in Roots and Plants, but fixt Stars in Heaven for all to gaze and wonder at-- and tho I am no God, my Dear, I'll do a Mortal's Part, and generously tell the admiring World what hidden Charms thou hast: Come, lead me to some Place of Happiness-- _Blunt._ Prithee, honest Damsel, be not so full of Questions; will a Pistole or two do thee any hurt?
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_Will._ Faith, one, who for her Beauty merits that glorious Title she wears, it was-- a Whore, Child.
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_Aria._ That's but a scurvy Name; yet, if I'm not mistaken in those false Eyes of yours, they look with longing Love upon that-- Whore, Child.
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_Blunt._ Oh plague, a damn'd Conjurer, this-- _Will._ Come, buy this Coward's Comfort, quickly buy; what Fop would be abus'd, mimick'd and scorn'd, for fear of Wounds can be so easily cured?
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_Beau._ Now for my charming Beauty, fair _La Nuche_-- hah-- Ariadne-- damn the dull Property, how shall I free my self?
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_Beau._ Damn this _English_ Dog of a Perriwig-maker, what an ungainly Air it gives the Face, and for a Wedding Perriwig too-- how dost thou like it, _Ariadne_?