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The Younger Brother by Aphra Behn

The Younger Brother

The Amorous Jilt


subjects: Plays, Playscripts, Classic Fiction

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Mirtilla, the Amorous Jilt, who had once been attached to George Marteen, the Younger Brother, married for a convenience the clownish Sir Morgan Blunder. Prince Frederick, who had seen and fallen in love with her during a religious ceremony in a Ghent convent, follows her to England. They meet accidentally and she promises him a private interview. George Marteen had recommended a page to Mirtilla, and the lad is his sister Olivia in disguise. Mirtilla, although she falls in love with her ‘smooth-chin’d boy’, receives Prince Frederick, but the house wherein she lodges catches fire that night, and it is George Marteen who, in spite of the fact that he knows his friend the Prince is with her, procures a ladder and rescues the lady at some danger to himself.

97 pages with a reading time of ~1.50 hours (24457 words), and first published in 1696. This DRM-Free edition published by epubBooks, .

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Geo. Were you with Mrs. Manage, Britton?

Britt. Yes, Sir; and she cries as much for her wanting room for you in her House, as she would have done some forty Years ago for a Disappointment of her Lover. But she assures me, the Lodging she has taken for you, is the best in all Lincolns-Inn-Fields.

Geo. And did you charge her to send Mirtilla’s Page to me?

Britt. I did, Sir; and he’ll be with you instantly.

Geo. ‘Tis well–Then shall I hear some News of my Mirtilla. [Aside. Britton, haste thee, and get my Equipage in order; a handsome Coach, rich Liveries, and more Footmen: for ‘tis Appearance only passes in the World–And d’ye hear, take care none know me by any other Name than that of Lejere.

Britt. I shall, Sir. [Exit.

Geo. I came not from Paris into England, as my old Father thinks, to reform into a dull wretched Life in Wales. No, I’ll rather trust my kind Mistress Fortune, that has still kept me like her Darling, than purchase a younger Brother’s narrow Stipend, at the expence of my Pleasure and Happiness.

Enter _Olivia_ in a Page's Habit. She runs and embraces _George_.

Oliv. My ever charming Brother!

Geo. My best, my dear Olivia!

Oliv. The same lovely Man still! Thy Gallantry and Beauty’s all thy own; Paris could add no Graces to thy Air; nor yet pervert it into Affectation.

Geo. Spare me, and tell me how Mirtilla fares.

Oliv. I think, Brother, I writ you word to Paris, of a Marriage concluded betwixt me and Welborn?

Geo. That Letter I receiv’d: but from the dear Mirtilla, not one soft word; not one tender Line has blest my Eyes, has eas’d my panting Heart this tedious three Months space; and thou with whom I left the weighty Charge of her dear Heart, to watch her lovely Eyes, to give me notice when my Rivals press’d, and when she waver’d in her Faith to me, even thou wert silent to me, cruel Sister.

Oliv. Thou wilt be like a Lover presently, and tire the Hearer with a Book of Words, of heavy Sighs, dying Languishments, and all that huddle of Nonsense; and not tell me how you like my Marriage.

Geo. Welborn’s my Friend, and worthy of thy Heart.

Oliv. I never saw him yet; and to be sold unseen, and unsigh’d for, in the Flower of my Youth and Beauty, gives me a strange aversion to the Match.

Geo. Oh! you’ll like him when you see him–But my Mirtilla.–

Oliv. Like him–no, no, I never shall–what, come a Stranger to my Husband’s Bed? ‘Tis Prostitution in the leudest manner, without the Satisfaction; the Pleasure of Variety, and the Bait of Profit, may make a lame excuse for Whores, who change their Cullies, and quit their nauseous Fools–No, no, my Brother, when Parents grow arbitrary, ‘tis time we look into our Rights and Privileges; therefore, my dear George, if e’er thou hope for Happiness in Love, assist my Disobedience.

Geo. In any worthy Choice be sure of me; but canst thou wish Happiness in Love, and not inform me something of Mirtilla?

Oliv. I’ll tell you better News–our hopeful elder Brother, Sir Merlin, is like to be disinherited; for he is, Heaven be thanked–

Geo. Marry’d to some Town-Jilt, the common fate of Coxcombs.

Oliv. Not so, my dear George, but sets up for a celebrated Rake-hell, as well as Gamester; he cou’d not have found out a more dextrous way to have made thee Heir to four Thousand Pounds a Year.

Geo. What’s that without Mirtilla?

Oliv. Prithee no more of her–Love spoils a fine Gentleman: Gaming, Whoring and Fighting may qualify a Man for Conversation; but Love perverts all one’s Thoughts, and makes us fit Company for none but one’s self; for even a Mistress can scarce dispense with a fighting, whining Lover’s Company long, though all he says flatters her Pride.

Geo. Why dost thou trifle with me, when thou knowest the Violence of my Love?

Oliv. I wish I could any way divert your Thoughts from her, I would not have your Joy depend on such a fickle Creature.

Geo. Mirtilla false! What, my Mirtilla false!

Oliv. Even your Mirtilla’s false, and married to another.

Geo. Married! Mirtilla married! ‘Tis impossible.

Oliv. Nay, married to that bawling, drinking Fool, Sir Morgan Blunder.

Geo. Married, and married to Sir Morgan Blunder! a Sot, an ill-bred senseless Fool; almost too great a Fool to make a Country Justice?

Oliv. No doubt, she had her Aims in’t, he’s a very convenient Husband, I’ll assure you, and that suits her Temper: he has Estate and Folly enough, and she has Youth and Wantonness enough to match ‘em.

Geo. Her Choice gives me some Comfort, and some Hopes; for I’ll pursue her, but for Revenge, not Love.

Oliv. Forget her rather, for she’s not worth Revenge, and that way ‘twill be none; prostitute in Soul as Body, she doats even on me in Breeches.