THE DAMOISELLE, or
THE NEW ORDINARY
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
Alice is Vermine's daughter. She is advised by her father to save money because she is a woman and therefore is not socially protected. To get that protection, she is going to inherit all the property of her father, who wants her to marry Sir Amphilus, a knight she does not love. Left alone with Sir Amphilus's servant, she rejects his advice as she knows that Sir Amphilus is a covetous and miserly knight. She thinks that Sir Amphilus wants to marry her because of her money. She asks the Country Servingman to tell Sir Amphilus and her father that she is not going to marry him, but rather she plans on marrying somebody that they do not like. She goes to a brothel in Brainford with her brother, Wat, where she has to disguise herself. There she is protected by her brother and Dryground. At the end, she marries Frank, Brookall's son, and then she restores him with the property that Vermine had taken from his father.
Ambrose is a gallant. He is Valentine's friend. He goes together with his friends to the brothel looking for fun.
Sir Amphilus is a Cornish Knight to whom Vermine wants to marry his daughter, Alice. He does not have too much property but he has a lot of money and dignity. He is fifty-two years old. He has made a fortune by marrying young ladies with a good dowry. He is worried about how much money he can get with the next marriage. He had rejected his matching with Reynold Pengutling's daughter because he thought that he could get more money marrying Alice. He is told that Alice has dies when she has really eloped with her brother. To entertain himself, he gets a dog. Later, he sees Vermine in Bumpsey's house and he asks him about his daughter. There, Trebasco will find him and inform him about the disappearance of his dog. Sad, he goes to a tavern with Trebasco.
He only appears in Act II Scene I when he meets Brookall, to whom he offers two shillings if he saves him from going to Church.
A "ghost character." He is the dog that Sir Amphilus likes. He knows plenty of tricks. He is finally bought and shipped far from Sir Amphilus.
Brookall is a gentleman impoverished by Vermine. He has a sister, Elianor, who was dishonored by Dryground. He also has a son, Frank, who decided to go to France when his father lost his property. Brookall does not know where his son is and he asks Freindly about him because he thinks he is dead. Soon, news arrives about his offspring when Valentine comes with a letter and forty pieces from his son. However, he does not want the money. Desperate for his bad luck, Brookall gets angry and blames Valentine for his disgrace as he is his enemy's son. He challenges Valentine to a duel. Later, when he meets Vermine looking for his daughter, Brookall advises Vermine to visit the brothel. He is given forty pounds again by Valentine who has prepared a boat for him to escape. He accepts the money, but he cannot keep it any more because he needs it urgently. Nevertheless, he stays and finds his son in the last scene of the play where, in a last-minute miracle, marriages are arranged leading to a harmonious end. Before that, in Act IV Scene II, he meets his sister's daughter and he is led by Valentine and Phillis to the neighborhoods where his sister lives.
Bumpsey is an old Justice man. He is Dryground's friend. Bumpsey is thinking about marrying his daughter, Jane, with Drygroung's son, Valentine, but he does not know if Dryground is going to leave a lot of property to his son. Bumpsey gives 10,000 pounds to Jane as a dowry. He has made a fortune from the money that he got when he married his wife, Magdalen. After listening to his wife's advice, he accepts Valentine as his son-in-law. However, he wants to test Valentine's ability to run his business, so he proposes that Valentine run half of his businesses while he keeps the other half. If he succeeds, Valentine will get the other half when Bumpsey dies. Bumpsey will do what Valentine does with his half. If he saves, he will save; if he spends his half, he will do so too. When Bumpsey tells his wife that his son-in-law has taken 500 pounds, she wants him to make Valentine return them but he does not. Later, he is visited by Vermine to whom he advises to forgive his children and spend the rest of his state. Finally, he will also help Valentine with ten pieces when his young son decides to take Frances out of the brothel.
He announces the arrival of Vermine to his master's in Act III Scene II.
The disguise that Wat (q.v.) adopts in order to talk to his sister. He tells Vermine that Sir Amphilus is at his inn in Holborne. Vermine does not recognize him as he is wearing a beard that covers his face. When he is left with his sister, he tells her how well she is going to live if she marries his lord. He tries to convince her in vain. Proving his sister's reasoning, he jokes about his master saying that he only likes whores and duck before he reveals himself.
"Ghost characters". They are a group of businessmen to whom Wat owes money.
Elianor is Brookall's sister. She was dishonored by Dryground with whom she had Phillis. Now, she lives in a poor neighborhood. She will meet her brother and her lover at the end of the play.
Frances is a young gentlewoman. She is Dryground's daughter and a whore that works in a bawd house. She is the Damoiselle that has come from France and who can teach court manners. She speaks French.
He is Brookall's son. He is a student of Law. He traveled to France and he is thought to be dead. However, he sends money and a letter to his father to whom he tells that he had been kept by a master that takes care of him as his own son. At the end, he marries Alice.
Freindly is a Templer. In Act II Scene I, Brookall asks his if he has seen his son but he does not know.
Sir Humfrey Dryground is an old decayed knight. He mortgages part of his state to Vermine to make some money and get rid of his debt. He has a project to recover his former status. Being asked about it by the usurer, Dryground reveals that he is going to use the money on behalf of the poor gentlemen that had had businesses with Vermine in the past. He blames Vermine for his avarice, which has destroyed the lives of so many honest people. He asks Vermine to help Brookall not to suffer from the consequences of his acts. Dryground tells Vermine that Brookall also has a son and he asks the usurer to give his daughter to Brookall's son as his wife in order to restore his father's status at the same time that Vermine gains a Christian reputation. Dryground has also been Wat's infranchiser when he had problems with money. However, he has not always been a good man. Dryground has a daughter called Frances whom he prostitutes in the brothel. Also, he used to be married with a virtuous woman. When she died, he courted Elianor, Brookall's sister, making her lose her honor. He apologized to Elianor for not being able to keep his word to marry her in a letter that he wrote. With her, he had Phillis whom he meets later in the play and he will give her to Wat as his wife. At the end, he recovers his status matching his daughter to the usurer's son and he restores his damage by marrying Brookall's son with Alice.
HUMFREY DRYGROUND'S WIFE
A "ghost character." She was a good wife until she passed away.
Jane is Bumpsey's daughter. She will inherit 10,000 pounds from her father and marry Valentine. Jane tells her mother that her husband had informed her of the arrival of a Damoiselle in the city. She is going to the brothel with her mother to learn manners.
Magdalen is Bumpsey's wife. She contributed 1,000 pounds to her marriage with Bumpsey. Now, she will support Valentine in his marriage to her daughter, opposing the doubts that her husband may have about the economic status of the young gentleman. Nevertheless, she does manage to make her husband forget about the test. However, she is upset when she finds out that her son-in-law has taken 500 pounds. Later, being told by her daughter of the presence of a Damoiselle in town, she wants her to teach her daughter and herself court manners. They meet Alice in the brothel. They want to learn how to dance and how to court but they find out that it is a bawd house and become worried about their honor.
A "ghost character." As it is explained in the letter Frank sends to his father, he has taken care of Brookall's son as if he were his own.
Oliver is another gallant. He is also Valentine's friend. Ambrose, Valentine and he are going to charge 20 pounds to anyone going into the brothel. He goes with Ambrose to the brothel.
A "ghost character." Osbright is the new Ordinary. He was the President of the Roaring Brotherhood for thirty years. He lived overseas and he was thought to be dead. Before leaving, he had a daughter that is now working in the bawd house. He is coming back from France with his French wife.
A "ghost character." She was left in England when her father sailed overseas.
A "ghost character." She is French and can speak Broken English. She knows about the manners of the court and she can teach courtly dames in England.
Phillis is a poor wrench. She asks Vermine for money. Her mother had been a gentlewoman and her father had been a knight, but she does not know that he is Dryground. Vermine threatens her with being whipped. In Act IV Scene II, she talks to Brookall, her mother's brother, although she does not know about their family relation. Her mother had suffered a lot and she had been told that her father had died. She knows that her father had abused her mother, but her mother had never told her about his identity. She shows a piece of paper to Brookall that she had taken from her mother and that he recognizes.
A "ghost character." Reynold had a daughter whom he offered to Sir Amphilus as his wife.
REYNOLD PENGUTLING'S DAUGHTER
A "ghost character." She was to marry Sir Amphilus, but she was rejected in favor of Alice.
There is a rabble of rude fellows that torments Wat and who want to throw him to the Thames. They want to teach a lesson to this gentleman who had lived a life of excess. They are going to go their own way until they meet together with the Ordinary.
In Act V Scene I, they come and arrest Wat. They take him to a room to wait while Valentine thinks how to save him.
Trebasco is Sir Amphilus's footman. He tells his master that he does not need to worry any more because he is not to marry Alice. He has been told that Alice has died. Later, he informs his master about the loss of his dog.
Valentine is Dryground's son. To his marriage with Jane, he is to bring his father's 1,000 pounds plus 100 pounds that his father is to give him every year. But, he has to go through a test. He has to prove to his father-in-law that he is a good businessman by running half of his businesses. Meanwhile, he will bring a letter and money from Brookall's son to his father. He is scorned by an angry father and has to defend himself from his father's enemy's accusations. Later, he will be asked by Vermine and Sir Amphilus about Alice but he answers back vaguely. He takes advantage of such an opportunity to blame the usurer for trying to match his daughter and for rejecting his son. He will also go to the brothel where he meets Frances and finding noble features in her, he will pay ten pieces of gold to take her out of the house. Valentine tells Vermine where to find Alice and in case that she is not there he suggests that the usurer visit him and he will tell him about her. Later, he will come back to Brookall and give him his forty pounds and tell him that there is a boat waiting for him to escape. He asks Brookall to keep the money for one or two days. He will also help Wat once again when he is arrested because Valentine had defended from the justice in the past. It is only a game to make him learn a lesson.
Vermine is an old usurer. He gives 1,000 pounds to Dryground for the mortgage of his state. Being interested in his partner's business, he asks Dryground about his project and defends himself from blame by reminding him that Dryground had promised marriage to Brookall's sister and that later he had thrown himself back, thereby dishonoring her. He does not accept the proposal of marrying his daughter to Brookall's son. Instead, he tells his daughter to save money to protect herself from society. Vermine also has a son, Wat, but he does not consider him part of his family because he has wasted all the money his father gave him. Vermine wants to marry her with Sir Amphilus. Expecting to be visited by Sir Amphilus, he is told that the knight is not to come by his servant and he decides to pay him a visit as Vermine is interested in joining his property with Sir Amphilus's wealth. He asks the "disguised servant" to stay in his place while he is out of town. He finds out the trick when he meets Sir Amphilus and his "real" servant. From then on, he begins a search for his daughter with his Servant. He is the target of most of the gentlemen who enjoy his disgrace. He has to deal with their scorn and the begging of whores like Phillis. Later, he goes to visit Bumpsey looking for advice. But, once there, Magdalen laughs at him and he is only saved by the arrival of Sir Amphilus who asks him about his daughter. He will repeat the same questions when Valentine arrives. He will suffer from the scorn of Bumpsey and Valentine until Brookall tells him to go to the bawd house where he finds his daughter.
He announces the arrival of Wat, who is disguised as a countryman in Act I. In Act II Scene I, he is blamed by his lord because he has let his daughter run away.
Wat is Vermine's son. Rejected by his own father, he is going to be deprived of his inheritance. Not to be left without money, he goes back home disguised as Sir Amphilus's Country Servingman to talk to his sister. Proud of his sister's wisdom, he reveals his hidden personality and praises Alice. Later, he tells her that he had escaped from the justice thanks to Dryground's help. He needs money and he asks his sister for money. He also invites her to leave her father and go with him because Sir Amphilus is coming to marry her. They run away to Brainford. Wat is in love with a prostitute and he wants to marry her. In Act IV Scene I, he escapes from a group of fellows thanks to Oliver's help and he leaves the scene with Phillis. However, before that he will suffer from Ambrose's anger who kicks him twice. Having learned a lesson, he goes to the brothel to pick up his sister and leave. However, he is arrested and kept in a room for a while. Finally, he marries Phillis.