John Fletcher
[with Francis Beaumont?]
[revised? by Philip Massinger?]


The Captain was attributed by Cyrus Hoy to Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, but L. A. Beaurline (who edited the play for The Dramatic Works in the Beaumont and Fletcher Canon) notes that evidence of Beaumont's presence is sketchy and that the variations from Fletcher's normal style may be caused by a later revision (possibly by Philip Massinger) to the Fletcher original.


a synoptic, alphabetical character list


A friend to Julio, Angilo tries unsuccessfully to prevent him from returning to Lelia's house when he declares himself to be cured of her. Angilo unwillingly accompanies Julio to Lelia's to witness his friend's reformation; Angilo is smitten but forces Julio to leave, saying that he would kill Julio rather than allow him to be dishonored by marrying her. Angilo later returns and bribes Lelia's Waiting Woman to let him hide and watch Lelia. He observes Lelia's attempt to seduce her father and reveals himself in time to prevent Lelia's father from killing himself for having such a daughter. He assists Lelia's father in carrying Lelia away to his house where she repents. Angilo also provides the house for the post-nuptial festivities.


Franck's friend, Clora discovers that Franck is in love with a soldier. She and Franck later make music at an upstairs window below which Jacamo, Frederick, and Clora's brother, Fabritio, stand. When Clora and Franck see the men, Clora insults Jacamo while Franck defends him. Thus, she is sure that Jacamo is the particular soldier Franck loves. When she first meets Jacamo, Clora is polite, but as soon as Jacamo is rude, Clora replies spiritedly, mocking him and substantiating Jacamo's opinion of women. When Jacamo arrives drunk and declares his intention of kissing all of the women, Clora objects when it is her turn, afraid that he will bite her, but he kisses her. Clora, Franck, and Frederick all laugh at Jacamo when he mistakes Frederick for a woman and kisses him. After Jacamo draws his sword and attacks Frederick, who falls, Clora calls for officers and tells Fabritio that Jacamo should be hanged. Clora is slower to forgive Jacamo than Franck when they discover that Frederick is not really dead. The following morning when Jacamo will not enter the house, Clora suggests dumping a bucket of urine on Jacamo's head in order to draw him inside. Although the attempt is unsuccessful, Jacamo ultimately does enter. Clora, along with Frederick and the Maid, helps hold Jacamo in a chair while Franck declares her love. She confirms to Jacamo that Franck has wasted many nights' sleep for him, then is chagrined when Franck reveals that Clora herself has spent many nights weeping for and writing to Julio. When Franck and Jacamo prepare to leave to be married, Clora wishes that she might marry Julio, a wish that comes true at the church. She joins in the nuptial festivities afterward.


A "ghost character." Lelia's father notes that he was a Spanish lord and the prior inhabitant of the house that is now Angilo's. The "Don Valasco" referred to is probably based on the historical Don Luis de Velasco (the Younger) who was viceroy of "New Spain" from 1590-1595 and 1607-1611. He also reportedly was in the entourage of Philip II during his marriage to Mary Tudor (1554).


A "ghost character" who sends for Frederick to tell him that a war is probably imminent.


A fellow soldier and friend to Jacamo, Fabritio cannot understand why Jacamo believes that he could never be loved by a woman. Fabritio reassures Jacamo that there are other ways for them to make a living besides fighting. Along with Jacamo, Fabritio gives assistance to Lelia's father, who is dressed as an old soldier. Fabritio plots with Frederick to unite Jacamo and Franck, and the three go to Frederick's house, where they hear Franck and Clora, Fabritio's sister, making music upstairs. Fabritio convinces Jacamo to pay a visit to Franck and Clora the following day, but Jacamo refuses. When Fabritio next encounters Jacamo, Jacamo draws his sword and challenges him. Fabritio avoids dueling with him by taking Jacamo's sword under the pretext of measuring the two weapons. Once he has Jacamo's sword, Fabritio mocks Jacamo until he admits that he had been hasty in drawing upon his friend. Fabritio returns Jacamo's sword and suggests that it would be honorable for Jacamo to redeem himself with Franck and Clora. Fabritio arrives after Jacamo seems to have killed Frederick and has Servants take Jacamo to his lodgings. Fabritio is happy to discover Frederick is alive and says he will try to assuage Jacamo's temper and try once again to bring Franck and Jacamo together. The next morning, when Jacamo refuses to enter the house, Fabritio supports Clora's idea to dump a bucket of urine on Jacamo's head, believing that Jacamo will enter in a rage. When this does not work, Fabritio follows and mocks Jacamo, finally boxing Jacamo on the ear in order to provoke him. He runs from Jacamo, leading him the house where he promptly hides. He re-emerges while Jacamo and Franck are kissing, and makes certain that Jacamo understands the purpose of Fabritio's behavior. Fabritio joins the nuptial celebrations later and drinks to the news that war is coming.


Franck attempts unsuccessfully to conceal from her teasing friend, Clora, that the object of her affection is a soldier, retaliating by revealing that she knew of Clora's former infatuation with the "old foot-man." Franck welcomes Jacamo, tries to defend him from Clora, praises him and hints broadly that she likes him, only to be repulsed. Later, when Jacamo enters drunk and announces his intention to kiss the women, Franck is happy when he kisses her and declares that he loves her, but laughs along with Frederick and Clora when Jacamo mistakes Frederick for a woman and kisses him. Franck mourns deeply for her loss when she believes that Jacamo has killed Frederick, then urges Fabritio to bring Jacamo back after discovering that it was a ruse. The following morning, Franck is not able to prevent Clora from enacting her idea of dumping a bucket of urine on Jacamo's head in an attempt to draw him into the house, then begs Fabritio to bring Jacamo inside so she will not have to pine away. When Jacamo chases Fabritio into the house and Frederick, Clora, and the Maid hold Jacamo in a chair, Franck apologizes for her boldness but confesses her love to Jacamo, then cries while he applauds her mockery. Clora reassures Jacamo that Franck has foolishly wasted lots of sleep over him, and Franck retorts that Clora has been in even worse shape over Julio. Franck finally convinces Jacamo that she is in earnest, and they kiss and go to get married. At the nuptial celebrations, Franck is distressed by the announcement that war is coming and worries that she will lose Jacamo, but he tells her that he will teach her how to be a soldier.


Frederick defends Jacamo when Lodowicke and Piso insult him, saying that he is not fit to marry Franck, Frederick's sister, who is in love with Jacamo. Frederick forces Lodowicke and Piso to confess that they are rogues. Frederick plots with his friend Fabritio to unite Franck and Jacamo. When Jacamo gets drunk and returns to the house, Frederick is there with Franck and Clora, and is mistaken for a woman by Jacamo and kissed. Frederick, Franck, and Clora laugh at the mistake, but Jacamo draws his sword and attacks Frederick, who falls. When Fabritio and Servants arrive, Frederick reveals that he is unharmed and chose to feign death in order to avoid bloodshed. Later, Frederick once again attempts to unite Jacamo with Franck, but Frederick is unable to persuade Jacamo to come in the house until Fabritio provokes Jacamo, who chases him in. Frederick, Clora, and the Maid restrain Jacamo in a chair while Franck vows her love until Jacamo finally believes her. On his way to answering a summons from the Duke, Frederick discovers that Clora and Julio as well as Lelia and Piso are to be married along with Franck and Jacamo. He arrives at the nuptial celebrations to announce that war is imminent.


Sent by Frederick to tell Franck to stop her pining over love.


The Host agrees to provide Jacamo with strong wine at Piso's request, promising to get Jacamo drunk. In fact, the Host himself becomes drunk and, as the Tavern Boys note, is such a loving drunk that he says he will leave all of his estate to Jacamo instead of to his own wife.


A "ghost character." The Second Tavern Boy reports that the Host wants her to sleep with Jacamo and bear a child by him who would be able to drink as heavily as Jacamo. The Second Tavern Boy also reports that the Host, when drunk, tells Jacamo how he kidnapped his Wife from the country, brought her in disguise, spent nine days "bereaving her maidenhead," and getting her pregnant with "a drawer" on the tenth.


A long-time soldier weary of peace. Jacamo complains to Fabritio that no woman could ever love him, and he has no way of making a living except as a soldier. Encountering Lelia's father disguised as an old solider, Jacamo insists that Lelia's father accompany them. Jacamo and Fabritio meet Frederick, and together they hear Franck and Clora making music at a window above. Unimpressed, Jacamo sleeps (or feigns sleep), while the women discuss him upstairs. Later, Fabritio persuades Jacamo to visit Franck and Clora, but Jacamo wrongly believes that the women speak only sarcastically of him. He is particularly vituperative against Clora, who responds with spirit. He is convinced that he has been the butt of their mockery. The next time he meets Fabritio, he challenges him to a duel. Under the pretext of measuring their weapons, Fabritio takes Jacamo's sword and laughs at him until Jacamo admits that he should not have drawn on his friend. Jacamo spends the night drinking with Lodowicke, Piso, and the Host, until Lodowicke says that they are not friends, whereupon Jacamo beats them. Next, warmed by the alcohol, Jacamo goes to see the women. He kisses Franck and declares that he loves her, then kisses Clora, and finally kisses Frederick in the mistaken belief that he is a woman. When the others laugh, Jacamo draws his sword and attacks Frederick, who falls. Jacamo surrenders to the Servants and is taken to his lodging. In the morning, having forgotten the events of the previous night, Jacamo goes back to the house with Frederick and Fabritio but refuses to go inside. After the Maid pours a bucket of urine on his head, he throws stones at all the windows in the street, then sets about breaking the lower windows with his sword before leaving. Greeting Fabritio, who follows him, Jacamo demonstrates an ability to laugh at himself until Fabritio boxes his ear. Jacamo chases Fabritio into the house, where Frederick, Clora and the Maid force him into a chair and listen as Franck swears her love for him. Jacamo believes he is being made a fool of, but Franck's tears finally convince him otherwise. Jacamo eagerly accepts Fabritio's suggestion that he should marry Franck quickly, and they go to get married. At the nuptial celebrations, Jacamo once again meets Lodowicke and enjoys seeing Lodowicke's discomfiture at being the butt of another's plot. Jacamo rejoices at Frederick's news that war is coming, but reassures Franck that rather than leaving her, he will teach her to be a soldier.


At first obsessed with Lelia, despite knowing that she is not honest, Julio decides to pretend that he believes her lies. When she refers to marriage, however, he leaves abruptly. Julio declares to Angilo that he no longer loves Lelia and insists that Angilo return to her house with him to witness Julio rejecting her, but when they arrive Julio offers to marry her. Angilo challenges the logic of Julio's choice because they both know that she is not honest. He says that he would kill Julio before allowing him to marry Lelia in order to save Julio's honor. Julio decides that Angilo's friendship is more important to him than Lelia's love. Cured of his obsession for Lelia, Julio falls in love with Clora and marries her.


A widow of suspect virtue, Lelia rejects her father's pleas for money and tells him to earn his own. Lelia proceeds to demonstrate how to exact money from a suitor by accusing Julio of unkindness until he gives her jewelry. Lelia later sees her Father, dressed differently, in the street and, failing to recognize him, sends a Servant with a purse of money and an invitation to dine with her. Lelia tries to manipulate Julio into marrying her but Angilo prevents him. When Lelia's Father, still in disguise, enters for dinner, she attempts to seduce him, even when she finally recognizes him. Surprised by Angilo's appearance on the balcony, Lelia invents a cover story and asks Angilo to attack the old man, but Angilo doesn't believe her story and uses Lelia's Father's help to bring Lelia and Lelia's Waiting Woman to his house to reform them. A penitent Lelia is married to Piso, who discovers after the fact that he has married a widow of suspect reputation, but she vows to be true to him, as she has mended her ways.


Lelia's Father encounters Piso and Lodowicke, who ask him if he is Lelia's pander. Lelia's Father beats Piso for the insult to Lelia. Lelia's Father asks Lelia for enough money to live on, which request Lelia rejects, adding that finding a job or even dying would be more appropriate than asking his daughter to provide for him. Lelia's Father, having decided to conceal his identity, meets Jacamo and Fabritio, who, touched by his plight as an apparent old soldier, offer to share their meager resources and take him to a tailor. Lelia's Father is surprised to receive a purse of money from her along with an invitation to dine that evening. Lelia's Father reveals that he has a plan to use Piso and Lodowicke and asks them to meet him soon. That evening, he goes to Lelia's, where his daughter attempts to seduce him. He decides that it would be most honorable to kill her first and then himself, but Angilo stops him. Angilo offers to help Lelia's Father bind and gag Lelia and her Waiting Woman, carry them to a carriage, and take them to his house where they could reform the women. Lelia's Father, in revenge for having accused his daughter of being unchaste, fools Lodowicke into paying for the wedding costs and tricks Piso into marrying Lelia. At the nuptial festivities, Lelia's Father reveals the trick on Lodowicke and reveals Lelia's true identity to Piso.


Takes a purse of gold from Lelia to her disguised father in the street. He leaves when Lelia's father arrives. Lelia always requires him to leave when she plans to do "bodily business."


A womanizer, Lodowicke gets in trouble when he asks Lelia's Father to pander for Lelia. He gets in trouble again with Frederick by mocking Jacamo as a potential suitor for Franck. Despite Frederick's reaction, Lodowicke and Piso plot to get Jacamo drunk and lead him to Franck, where they expect that he will disgrace himself. Lodowicke, Piso, and the Host fail to out-drink Jacamo, who reveals that he knew that they had been trying to disgrace him and beats Lodowicke and Piso. Finally, Lelia's Father fools Lodowicke into paying for the costs of the wedding celebration.


An otherwise unnamed character designated to pour the pot of urine on Jacamo. She also helps to hold Jacamo as Franck declares her love for him.


Sent by the Duke to summon Frederick.


Lelia's Waiting Woman. She is more sympathetic than her mistress. She admits Lelia's destitute father against Lelia's orders. She also demonstrates a talent for learning Lelia's lessons. When Julio returns later with Angilo, she follows Lelia's commands to pretend that she is not allowed to let them enter until they bribe her adequately. She uses these principles on her own initiative later when Angilo returns unexpectedly and first tries to wheedle, then bribe his way in. She finally agrees to let him in as long as he promises to conceal his presence. When bidden, she brings nightwear and slippers to Lelia's father. Lelia's Waiting Woman is taken to Angilo's house with Lelia to be redeemed.


A "ghost character" mentioned by Franck as someone with whom Clora had become infatuated "for singing of Queen Dido."


Perhaps a "ghost character," but more likely the name of the First Tavern Boy.


Along with Lodowicke, Piso asks Lelia's father if he is Lelia's pander and is beaten by Lelia's father for the insult. Piso and Lodowicke warn Frederick that Franck is in love with Jacamo and mock Jacamo. Despite Frederick's defending Jacamo's name by pulling a sword and threatening them, forcing them to admit that they are rascals in order to avoid a beating, Piso and Lodowicke plot to make Jacamo drunk and lead him to Franck, where they expect him to disgrace himself. Piso arranges with the Host to provide plenty of drink for Jacamo. Piso, Lodowicke, and the Host fail to out-drink Jacamo, who reveals that he knew their plot and beats Piso and Lodowicke. After Lelia's father tells Lodowicke that a rich, beautiful, young, and virtuous widow has fallen in love with him, and sends him to procure all the necessary accoutrements for a wedding, Lelia's father reveals that the intended groom is really Piso. Delighted with his luck, Piso marries Lelia, but is somewhat concerned when he discovers that not only is the purportedly virtuous widow the same woman whose reputation he had earlier insulted but also his father-in-law is the same man who had earlier beaten him. He resolves to make the best of the situation, however, especially as Lelia's father reveals that Piso and Lelia will have ample money to live on.


Perhaps a "ghost character," but more likely the name of the Second Tavern Boy.


Three tavern boys figure in the play.
  • The First Tavern Boy is possibly also called Peter.
  • The Second Tavern Boy is probably also called Robin. He brings alcohol to the Host, Jacamo, Piso, and Lodowicke.
  • The Third Tavern Boy is given no name.
All three boys draw alcohol and prepare tobacco for the Host and discuss how drunk the Host and Jacamo are.


Two servants who bring orders for alcohol to the three tavern boys.