The Town-fop; Or, Sir Timothy Tawdrey by Aphra Behn

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"I Rose The Wrong Way Today"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Betty Flauntit is a common prostitute who is ambitious to rise in her world. As a first step she has become the kept woman of Sir Timothy Tawdrey, a London fop. Her new status, however, does not prevent her from plying her trade in the bawdy-house kept by Mrs. Driver. Nor does his keeping of Betty Flauntit prevent Sir Timothy from visiting bawdy-houses, including Mrs. Driver's establishment. On the night of his forced marriage to his cousin, Lady Diana, Bellmour escapes from the bridal chamber and, beside himself with grief over being unable to marry Celinda, the girl he loves, goes to Mrs. Driver's place of business with Sir Timothy. Bellmour, emotionally upset, drinks considerably and loses large sums of money to Sir Timothy and the latter's hangers-on. Mrs. Driver, thinking Bellmour an easy mark, sends Betty Flauntit, along with two other girls, when Sir Timothy calls for women. Betty Flauntit expects, one way or another, to make Bellmour her victim. But her intentions are first prevented by Sir Timothy's recognition of her and, later, by the appearance of Charles, Bellmour's younger brother, who comes to rescue the distraught Bellmour from the rogues who are trying to fleece him. To make matters worse for Betty Flauntit, Mrs. Driver tells Sir Timothy that Betty is not being "true" to her lover. Escaping from the bawdy-house when a brawl breaks out, she walks in Covent Garden, musing over her ill luck:

Sure I rose the wrong way to day, I have had such damn'd ill luck every way: First, to be sent for to such a Man as this Bellmour, and, as the Devil wou'd have it, to find my Knight there; then to be just upon the Point of making my Fortune, and to be interrupted by that virtuous Brother of his; then to have a Quarrel happen, that (before I could whisper him in the Ear, to say so much as, Meet me here again–anon) forc'd me to quit the House, lest the Constable had done it for me; then that silly Baud should discover all to my Cully. If this be not ill Luck, the Devil's in't. . . .