James Shirley


a synoptic, alphabetical character list


Beauford is a nobleman engaged to wed Gratiana, daughter of Sir John Belfare. His friend Marwood tells Beauford that Gratiana is unchaste. He informs him that Cardona, Gratiana's maid, had arranged an intimate liaison for Marwood with Gratiana. Beauford and Marwood duel; Beauford wounds Marwood and is led to believe that his friend has died. He accuses Gratiana of being unchaste and deserts her only to discover by play's end that Gratiana is indeed chaste and Marwood alive. Marwood had unknowingly slept instead with Lucibel, the daughter of Cardona, and not with Gratiana. Beauford and Gratiana are reconciled and celebrate the wedding for which the play is named.


Camelion is originally a servant of Rawbone. He resigns his post because he was poorly fed, and his position is taken by Haver, disguised as Jasper.


Captain Landby is a friend of Beauford and the nephew of Justice Landby. He believes Gratiana's profession of virginity and aids her in proving her chastity to Beauford. He also works with Justice Landby in proving the cowardice of Rawbone.


Cardona is Gratiana's maid. Marwood has brought her gifts and flattered her in an effort to gain access to Gratiana. Cardona, hoping to gain a husband for her daughter Lucibel, sends her daughter instead of Gratiana to Marwood. The trick fails, for Marwood does not propose to the lady with whom he slept. He instead defames Gratiana to her husband-to-be. Fortunately Cardona reveals the bed trick in time to help effect the reconciliation between Gratiana and Beauford.


Cod is the local perfumer; by the morning of the wedding, he has not yet brought the wedding gloves to Belfare's house.


The First Officer is part of the constabulary that arrives to arrest Beauford for the supposed murder of Marwood.


Gratiana is the daughter of Sir John Belfare and is engaged to wed Beauford. Accused of infidelity with Beauford's friend Marwood, Gratiana engages the help of Captain Landby in clearing her good name. She leads everyone, including her father, to believe she plans suicide. She arranges to have herself carried to Beauford in a chest. Presumably she is dead. Her innocence is proven when Cardona confesses it was her daughter Lucibel and not Gratiana who had lain with Marwood. The reconciliation of Gratiana and Beauford results in the wedding for which the play is named.


Called Jasper by his employer, Haver serves Master Rawbone, filling the post recently vacated by Camelion. Haver loves Justice Landby's daughter Jane but faces competition for her hand from both Rawbone and Master Lodam. Haver manages to get Rawbone to challenge Lodam to a duel at Finsbury. Because Rawbone is a coward, Haver is presented as Rawbone at the duel. Haver's honesty and valor, coupled with Rawbone's niggardly cowardice, wins Haver the hand of Jane.


Isaac is employed in the household of Sir John Belfare. He is charged with inviting a list of guests to the wedding of Belfare's daughter Gratiana, and he is uncommonly outspoken with his master.


Jane is the daughter of Justice Landby. She loves Haver and has received amorous notes from him. Her father, upon discovering this romance, pledges Jane to Rawbone. But Justice Landby is also privy to deleterious details about Rawbone's life. He has been informed by Captain Landby that Rawbone, who challenged Master Lodam to a duel, will exchange clothes with Haver at that duel. When Haver wins-impersonating Rawbone-Jane is given to him to be his wife.


Jasper is the name Haver assumes while in the service of Master Rawbone.


Justice Landby keeps a strict eye upon his daughter Jane, even assigning the boy Milliscent-who is really Cardona's daughter Lucibel in disguise-to watch Jane and note how she dispenses her favors. He tests Rawbone's character by asking for a loan, which Rawbone refuses. Consequently, when Landby learns that Rawbone plans to substitute his servant Jasper (Haver in disguise) for himself in a duel with Master Lodam, Landby takes advantage of the switch. He gives Jane to the true winner-the servant impersonating Rawbone, who is really Haver in disguise and the man Jane truly loves.


Lucibel is the daughter of Cardona. Disguised as Gratiana, she went at her mother's bidding into the embraces of Marwood hoping to catch him as husband. When no marriage offer came, Lucibel left home and unbeknownst to her mother assumed the disguise and name of the male page Milliscent, and attached herself to Jane Landby. Sent to assist Gratiana after her wedding is cancelled, Lucibel/Milliscent is aware that Marwood's accusation of Jane is false. At the end of the play she is revealed as Cardona's daughter and is to wed Marwood.


Marwood is a friend of Beauford. He tells his friend that Gratiana is false; Marwood claims to have slept with her himself. Wounded when dueling with Beauford, Marwood is nursed to health. Beauford and others think Marwood is dead. By the end of the play Marwood has become the dupe, for it was not Gratiana with whom he slept but Lucibel, daughter of Cardona, disguised as Gratiana. Marwood agrees to wed Lucibel.


Master Hide is a shoemaker. He is late in delivering shoes for Gratiana on her wedding day.


Master Jasper Rawbone is a young usurer. Scrawny and miserly, Rawbone diets constantly and starves his servant Camelion into seeking another position. He then takes on Jasper (Haver in disguise) as servant. He and Master Lodam both seek to wed Justice Landby's daughter Jane. Rawbone is convinced to challenge his rival Lodam to a duel. A devout coward, Rawbone exchanges clothing with his servant, who is really Jane's true love in disguise. When Haver wins the duel, Justice Landby gives Jane to him as wife. Rawbone complains, but in Jasper's attire he is ignored, appearing to be no more than a cheeky servant.


Master Lodam is a fat man who competes with Rawbone for the attentions of Justice Landby's daughter Jane. Challenged by Rawbone too a duel, Lodam loses the challenge and any hope of claiming Jane.


Milliscent is the disguise taken by Lucibel, daughter of Cardona, when her lustful shame with Marwood forces her to run away. In service to Jane Landby, Milliscent is sent to attend the disgraced and distraught Gratiana. The two concoct a method for proving Gratiana's chastity; by the end of the play Milliscent's true identity as Lucibel is revealed, and she is to wed Marwood.


This unnamed Park-keeper finds the wounded Marwood and takes him home for care. He announces that Marwood has died.


This unnamed Physician is brought by Isaac to tend Belfare. Belfare behaves unstably after his daughter's disgrace and subsequent disappearance, and the Physician is called to attempt relief for Belfare.


Only mentioned. Ptolemy was a second century Greek astronomer and mathematician. Belfare wishes he could summon Ptolemy to examine the stars and determine the whereabouts and condition of his daughter Gratiana.


Ralph is servant to the Park-keeper and helps bring the wounded Marwood from the scene of the duel with Beauford.


This unnamed Servant in Belfare's household refers to his master as "Your Worship."


Sir John Belfare is the father of Gratiana. He plans a large wedding with lavish feast for his daughter's wedding, and he is crushed when Beauford's accusations that Gratiana is unchaste cancel the nuptials. He becomes unstable in mind when Gratiana disappears. He wishes he could summon Ptolemy to examine the stars and discover the condition and whereabouts of his daughter. He is naturally overjoyed by the play's end to find Gratiana alive, chaste, and reconciled with her beloved Beauford.


This unnamed Surgeon explains to Beauford that though Marwood's body is gone and he was unable to examine it or try to help the wounded gentleman, the remaining blood stains surely indicate that Marwood could not have lived long.