Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Mistress Bonavent

Mistress Bonavent, a wife who believes herself a widow. Her husband having been missing for seven years, she considers marriage to her persistent suitor, Lacy. After the marriage, but before its consummation, she learns of her husband’s return.


Lacy, her suitor.


Bonavent, a merchant and the husband of Mistress Bonavent. Held captive by Turkish pirates and recently ransomed after seven years’ absence, he returns to the sound of his wife’s wedding festivities. He makes himself known to her before the second marriage is consummated.

Mistress Carol

Mistress Carol, Mistress Bonavent’s cousin and companion. She flirts with Rider and Venture and plays one against the other; all along, Fairfield is the favored suitor. Turning coquette to test the favorite’s affection, she nearly loses him before she is forced to abandon her pride and propose to him. He accepts immediately.


Fairfield, the favored suitor of Mistress Carol. In despair over his lady’s off-again, on-again coquettishness, he threatens to become a gelding and free himself from all such concerns. The threat wins her hand on the spot.


Rider and


Venture, Mistress Carol’s rejected suitors.

Lord Bonvile

Lord Bonvile, a sporting peer. Under the delusion that Julietta is a lady of easy virtue, he is in hot pursuit of her. When he goes too far in his suit, he receives from the lady a lecture on good breeding, takes it to heart, and finally wins her hand.


Julietta, Fairfield’s sister, who is pursued by Lord Bonvile under the mistaken impression that she is a prostitute. She accepts him as a suitor after his thoughts become as lofty as his rank.

Jack Trier

Jack Trier, Julietta’s betrothed. To test his lady’s chastity, the jealous lover leaves her with Lord Bonvile, whom he has told that she is a prostitute. He loses her to Bonvile.