Context: Araminta and Belinda meet at St. James Park, a favorite gathering place for people of fashion in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Araminta, in love with Vainlove, hopes to meet him on the Mall nearby. She and her beloved have had a disagreement, and she hopes to be able to settle their differences. As they walk along, the two women put on their masks, as women in public often did at the time. As they stroll through the park they are seen by Sir Joseph Wittol, a stupid and cowardly knight, and his favorite companion, Captain Bluffe, a cowardly soldier who pretends to be a bully. Having drunk a bit, the two men approach Araminta and Belinda, hoping to be attractive to them. The two women know the men for what they are and repulse their advances. The reaction of the women causes Captain Bluffe to make his comment.
BLUFFELadies, by these hilts you are well met.ARAMINTAWe are afraid not.BLUFFE [to Belinda.]What says my pretty little knapsack carrier?BELINDAO monstrous filthy fellow! Good slovenly Captain Huffe, Bluffe, (what is your hideous name?) be gone: you stink of brandy and tobacco, most soldier-like. Foh! [Spits.]BLUFFE [aside.]Now I am slap dash down in the mouth, and have not one word to say!