Summary and Analysis: Act III, scenes i – iv Summary and Analysis
Valeria: Hellena and Florinda's cousin, a lady.
Sebastian: One of Angelica's servants.
Philippo: Lucetta's true love.
The three ladies, Florinda, Hellena and Valeria, enter in new gowns and masks, dressed as Gypsies, followed by Callis. Valeria and Florinda tease Hellena about being in love with the handsome British man she flirted with earlier, and Hellena admits she cannot get him out of her mind. Willmore is not at the assigned meeting place, and Hellena realizes she is jealous of whatever woman he is with. Resolved to be someone's lover, Hellena questions whether she can succeed without the inconstant Willmore.
The women step aside when they see Blunt, Belvile and Frederick enter. The men are discussing who has paid Angelica's price, as her portrait has been removed, indicating she is no longer for sale. They decide to knock to see if Willmore is inside. Willmore emerges and Hellena becomes cross. By singing Angelica's praises to his friends, Willmore increases Hellena's anger. Willmore then declares himself satiated with women and ready for food and wine. Saddened by distance from his lady, Blunt becomes overjoyed when Sancho pulls him aside and tells him that Lucetta awaits. Blunt follows Sancho.
Belvile asks about the adorable Gypsy Willmore had flirted with earlier, and Willmore damns him for reminding him of that provocative woman. Hellena sneaks up behind Willmore, startling him. He rebukes her for making him wait all day, and she teases him, saying he must have looked everywhere for her. Willmore talks of his depression and eagerness with such conviction that Hellena finds she cannot but excuse him his lies. Willmore begs to see her face, and Hellena asks if he'd "fall to, before a Priest says grace," implying that she wants marriage. Appalled, Willmore chastises her.
Meanwhile, Angelica and her servants enter masked. Upon spotting Willmore flirting so heartily with another woman, Angelica becomes angry.
Hellena jokes and teases Willmore into saying, "Do not abuse me, for fear I should take thee at thy word, and marry thee indeed, which I'm sure will be Revenge sufficient." Hellena responds that two such inconstant souls clearly have a shared destiny, and that a young woman with a handsome face has only a short time to gather friends and lovers and would be foolish to be monogamous. Hellena reveals her face. Startled by her beauty and gracious features, Willmore heaps praises upon her.
The scene saddens Angelica, who retires to her home. She sends a servant, Sebastian, to follow Hellena and learn her identity, and to tell Willmore to come and speak with her.
The perspective shifts to Belvile, who is sighing heavily for Florinda, since he does not recognize her in her new costume. Playing along, Florinda flirts with him and tries to give him a jewel to test his devotion. Meanwhile, Frederick courts Valeria, although she seems more interested in Belvile and Florinda's interactions.
The action then focuses on Hellena, who suddenly turns the tables on Willmore and asks who he was praising so lavishly to his friends, quoting his words back to him. Stunned, Willmore cannot even put together a sentence. Hellena demands that Willmore kneel and swear to avoid Angelica for all time, which Willmore does. Then Hellena mutters that it is shameful to damn the poor man into breaking his vow. Hellena exits, and Florinda presses her jewel upon Belvile and follows Hellena out.
Upon examining the jewel, Belvile realizes it is a portrait of Florinda, and that he was speaking to her. Overjoyed, he sings her praises. They go off to drink until they can see the ladies again.
In the second Scene, Blunt is led into Lucetta's dim house. There he disrobes and talks to Lucetta, who is lying in bed. He puts out the light at her request, and the bed descends into another room, leaving Blunt nearly naked and alone. He realizes he has been betrayed and robbed.
Lucetta and Philippo discuss the booty they have gotten from Blunt. Philippo...
(The entire section is 2,005 words.)