The Rover

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Belvile Character Analysis

A dashing cavalier, and the epitome of a gentleman, Belvile is in love with Florinda, a noblewoman whom he met during the Spanish civil wars. Belvile’s attempts to reunite with Florinda, who has been forbidden to marry him by her family, are repeatedly foiled by his indiscreet companions, especially the foolhardy Willmore. After a series of misadventures, during which he is mistakenly forced to fight Florinda’s brother Don Pedro, Belvile is at last joined in matrimony with Florinda.

Belvile Quotes in The Rover

The The Rover quotes below are all either spoken by Belvile or refer to Belvile. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of The Rover published in 1993.
Act 1, Scene 2 Quotes

I dare swear I have had a hundred as young, kind and handsom as this Florinda; and Dogs eat me, if they were not as troublesom to me i’th’ Morning as they were welcome o’er night.

Related Characters: Frederick (speaker), Belvile, Ned Blunt
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

The vulgar Frederick makes fun of his chivalrous friend, Belvile, for being in love with the virtuous and beautiful Florinda. In so doing, he reveals an important truth about the play: the elegant and proper facade of The Rover actually masks a highly sexual and misogynistic undertone.

Here, Frederick refers to the act of sexually pursuing women, saying that while females are "welcome" during the night, they become "troublesome" during the morning (when, presumably, he wants them to leave). Essentially, Frederick thinks of all women as the same; they are fit to be objects of lust, but should not be regarded as anything more than that.

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Love and Mirth are my Business in Naples; and if I mistake not the Place, here’s an excellent Market for Chapmen of my Humour.

Related Characters: Willmore (speaker), Belvile, Frederick, Ned Blunt
Related Symbols: Carnival
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

This passage introduces Willmore, the dashing but promiscuous "Rover" of the title. Unlike the proper Belvile or the contemptible Ned and Blunt, Willmore is both attractive and immoral. He is witty and daring, but also views women as objects to be used for pleasure and then thrown away. 

It is important to note, in this passage, that Willmore uses the word "love" to actually mean "lust." He means to physically pursue women, but certainly does not intend to lose his heart to any one of them. He has confused physical desire with emotional feeling, and will continue to do so over the course of the play.

Willmore also introduces a second vital idea: the link between love and money. Throughout the play, we will witness how characters think of love as something that can be bought and sold. By referring to Naples as a "Market" in which he will be able to take part in the "Business" of "Love and Mirth," Willmore reveals that he fully buys into this mindset. 

Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

Willmore: But why thus disguis’d and muzzl’d?
Belvile: Because whatever Extravagances we commit in these Faces, our own may not be oblig’d to answer ‘em.
Willmore: I should have changed my Eternal Buff too: but no matter, my little Gypsy wou’d not have found me out then: for if she should change hers, it is impossible I should know her, unless I should hear her prattle—A Pox on’t, I cannot get her out of my Head: Pray Heaven, if ever I do see her again, she prove damnably ugly, that I may fortify my self against her Tongue.

Related Characters: Willmore (speaker), Belvile (speaker), Hellena
Related Symbols: Carnival, Masks
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:

The cavaliers here discuss the subject of masks, as Belvile explains how a mask can allow for bad behavior, since they keep one's true face hidden. The concept of mistaken identity and deception is a common one in The Rover. The characters constantly lie to and manipulate each other, as they fight for dominance while also trying to keep their reputations (outside of the Carnival atmosphere) intact.

Willmore, meanwhile, is baffled by his sudden strong feelings towards the disguised Hellena. He feels that he is at a disadvantage, since she has seen his true face and he has not seen hers. In fact, he even hopes that she might be ugly, because he is so entranced by her wit. Willmore's emotion towards Hellena underscores the importance of banter and language within the play. Although he is extremely superficial in terms of appearance and lust, Willmore here finds himself falling in love with a woman whose face he has never actually seen, merely because of her intelligence and wit. 

Act 3, Scene 4 Quotes

Belvile: Damn your debaucht Opinion: tell me, Sot, hadst thou so much sense and light about thee to distinguish her to be a Woman, and could’st not see something about her Face and Person, to strike an awful Reverence into thy Soul?
Willmore: Faith no, I consider’d her as mere a Woman as I could wish.

Related Characters: Willmore (speaker), Belvile (speaker), Florinda
Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:

Enraged by his friend's attempt to violate his beloved, Belvile confronts Willmore, demanding to know why he attempted to rape Florinda. He asserts that Florinda's goodness and virtue must have shown in her "Face and Person," and that Willmore should have shown "Reverence" to such a chaste and noble (and wealthy) woman. 

Willmore, however, responds that he did not see any such signs about her; and that, instead, he "consider'd her as mere a Woman" as he could want. What he means, essentially, is that in his drunken and sexually aggressive state, women become interchangeable to him. He did not care what Florinda looked like or who she was; he cared only that she was a female, and therefore an object for him to conquer and possess. Once again, we see the darkness and the misogyny that underly Willmore's supposedly amusing antics. 

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Belvile Character Timeline in The Rover

The timeline below shows where the character Belvile appears in The Rover. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
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...all these symptoms of love when her brother brought home an English cavalier colonel named Belvile, who has been exiled from his homeland due to his allegiance to the British monarchy... (full context)
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...the veil. She adds that she wishes for her sister to be in love with Belvile because she hopes that he has “some mad Companion” with whom she might fall in... (full context)
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Hellena asks once again how Florinda knows Belvile. She replies that during a recent war in Spain, in the city of Pampelona, the... (full context)
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Don Pedro mentions Belvile, and notices Florinda’s blush when she hears the name. When he questions her, Florinda replies... (full context)
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Although acknowledging Belvile’s bravery, Don Pedro reminds Florinda of Don Vincentio’s fortune, but his sister fires back, reminding... (full context)
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Hellena jumps in, saying that the “Jewels” Belvile has to offer are just as valuable as Vincentio’s wealth. Don Pedro mocks her, asking... (full context)
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...says that it would be better for them both to become nuns, Pedro replies that Belvile has no fortune, and is living in exile from his homeland. Hellena says that even... (full context)
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...their masks are ready. Florinda decides to write a note that she can give to Belvile if she sees him, letting him know that she returns his love. (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
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A sad Belvile enters a long street along with two English gentlemen, Blunt and Frederick. Frederick teases Belvile... (full context)
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Blunt and Frederick speculate that Belvile must want either money or a woman. When Belvile continues to deny this, they question... (full context)
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Belvile tells his friends that they are wrong—he knows that Florinda loves him, but he has... (full context)
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Blunt and Frederick continue to mock, telling Belvile that while he may be in love, they would never allow a woman—who are “welcome”... (full context)
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Willmore, a reckless and promiscuous cavalier (hence the nickname “the Rover”), enters unexpectedly. Belvile and Frederick embrace him with delight, asking what business he has in Naples, and introducing... (full context)
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Hellena immediately notices Belvile and points him out to Florinda. She notices Willmore too, calling him handsome, and decides... (full context)
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In yet another part of the street, Florinda reads Belvile’s palm, but laments that she still has not had an opportunity to reveal herself to... (full context)
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Although Belvile had been walking away, he responds with excitement and puzzlement when he hears Florinda’s name.... (full context)
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Belvile’s friends urge caution, worried that the letter may be a trap, but the cavalier opens... (full context)
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Recognizing Florinda’s handwriting, Belvile rejoices, and begs his friends to help him rescue his love from Don Pedro. Willmore,... (full context)
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...him (for Blunt is very trusting). When Willmore asks what kind of man Blunt is, Belvile and Frederick mock his stupidity and lack of culture, but explain that they are using... (full context)
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...wishes to see her. The three men exit to go find food, but not before Belvile reminds them once again that they must help in gain Florinda that night. (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
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Belvile, Frederick, and Wilmore enter the same street, intending to seek out Angelica—the first two are... (full context)
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Belvile warns Willmore against falling in love with Hellena, saying that she is most likely too... (full context)
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They arrive at Angelica’s house, and Belvile notes that her portrait “is not out” (usually Angelica leaves a picture of herself outside... (full context)
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When Belvile and Willmore question him further, Blunt reveals that he does not know the name of... (full context)
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...and Blunt reacts with disbelief and anger, referring to Lucetta’s fine clothes and beautiful house. Belvile responds that there are many prostitutes with fine clothes and beautiful houses. Willmore, with his... (full context)
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...be (still not realizing that it is Don Pedro), and speculating that it might be Belvile (whose name he has heard from Pedro). (full context)
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Angelica tells Willmore to keep the picture, but Antonio takes offense, and the fight continues. Belvile and Frederick enter, and together the Englishmen win the fight. Moretta laments that the Englishmen... (full context)
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The Englishmen discuss the duel; Blunt is proud of his sword fighting skills, while Belvile is concerned that that the Spaniards will seek revenge. Willmore, meanwhile, is slightly wounded. They... (full context)
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...Willmore, telling him to come into her house and explain his insolence. When Willmore agrees, Belvile and Frederick warn him against entering the house of an angry courtesan, but Willmore ignores... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
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Belvile, Frederick, and Blunt enter and immediately notice that Angelica’s picture has been removed. Blunt believes... (full context)
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Willmore enters, having just exited Angelica’s house; Hellena, still hidden, responds with anger. As Belvile questions him, Willmore replies triumphantly, hyperbolically praising Angelica’s beauty, her eyes filled with cupid’s arrows,... (full context)
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Belvile asks Willmore if he has forgotten his gypsy girl. Willmore angrily responds that that he... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Frederick courts Valeria while Belvile talks with the disguised Florinda and sulks, still not understanding that the girl is in... (full context)
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Florinda decides to tempt Belvile further, offering him a jewel to show him that she is wealthy. When he asks... (full context)
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Belvile refuses, saying that taking the jewel would break his vow to his lady. Frederick is... (full context)
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...tells the ladies that it is growing dark and they must depart. Quickly, Florinda leaves Belvile the jewel, which as it turns out contains a picture of her. Wilmore, too, bids... (full context)
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Realizing that he has just been talking to Florinda, Belvile berates himself, and Frederick agrees, reminding his friend of how close they came to losing... (full context)
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Willmore praises Hellena’s features and wit, while Belvile does the same for Florinda, cursing his own modesty; the two briefly misunderstand each other,... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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Florinda enters her family’s garden for her rendezvous with Belvile; she is wearing only a nightgown, holding the key to the garden door, and carrying... (full context)
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Belvile and Frederick enter (they are masked), looking for Willmore. Hearing Florinda’s cries for help, they... (full context)
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Seeing Belvile, but hearing her brother Don Pedro approach, Florinda quickly instructs her lover to come to... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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Belvile, Willmore, and Frederick enter the street outside of Don Pedro’s house; Willmore is dejected, Belvile... (full context)
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At the mention of tomorrow, Belvile remembers that Florinda is supposed to marry Don Antonio that day (not knowing about the... (full context)
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...rage that another man will be sleeping with Angelica. He and Antonio begin fighting as Belvile and Frederick watch, aghast that their “mad” companion has found even more trouble. (full context)
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As Belvile attempts to find Willmore, worried about his friend despite their quarrel, a group of soldiers... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
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Act 4 opens with Belvile alone, imprisoned in a darkened room in Antonio’s house, bemoaning his ill fortune and the... (full context)
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Antonio reveals why he has given Belvile the sword (even as Belvile secretly curses his name). Since the Englishman is in his... (full context)
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Antonio thanks Belvile and exits, telling him that his costume is within the house and day is near.... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
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...Stephano to see Don Pedro fight; the two women are disguised. Florinda is terrified because Belvile has not come to meet her. She begs Stephano to tell her whom her brother... (full context)
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Belvile enters dressed as Antonio; Florinda is relieved, believing that her beloved is not fighting the... (full context)
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...the duel, begging the two men to stop. Pedro refuses, and the two fight, until Belvile disarms Pedro. At this, a masked Florinda intercedes once again, attempting to save her brother.... (full context)
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Don Pedro congratulates Belvile (still thinking him to be Antonio) on regaining Florinda’s hand, and his own friendship. At... (full context)
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Dismayed at having to marry the man she still thinks is Don Antonio, Florinda protests. Belvile draws her aside, and reveals his identity to her as Callis distracts Don Pedro. She... (full context)
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At just the wrong moment, Willmore and Frederick enter, looking for Belvile. Willmore is dressed in fine clothes that he has bought with Angelica’s money. Seeing their... (full context)
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Belvile, out of love for Florinda, refuses to hurt Don Pedro, who says that although the... (full context)
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Yet again enraged against Willmore, Belvile paces back and forth; Willmore knows that he has done something wrong, but does not... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
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Valeria reveals to Florinda that she has delivered a note to Belvile, who is desperate with anguish over the loss of his lover. He now knows that... (full context)
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Seeing both Belvile and Don Pedro on the street, the women put on their masks. The men enter,... (full context)
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Frederick enters with news of Blunt’s misfortune. Don Pedro and Belvile are amused, and the Englishman offers to take Pedro to Blunt, in order to give... (full context)
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...realizes that she is close to Don Pedro, and hastily exits. As she does so, Belvile, Willmore, and Don Pedro cross the stage together. (full context)
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...As she exits, Valeria and Hellena’s page enters; Valeria reveals that Florinda has just entered Belvile’s lodgings, and wonders if she intended to do so. At this point, however, Willmore enters,... (full context)
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The scene changes to the inside of Belvile’s lodgings, where Blunt, in only his shirt and underthings, sits and reads a book about... (full context)
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As the two men attempt to drag her into the bedroom, Florinda desperately mentions Belvile’s name, saying that she knows they are his companions and asking them to treat her... (full context)
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A servant enters, announcing Belvile’s arrival along with that of Don Pedro. Blunt refuses to see either of them, while... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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...captured Florinda (although no one knows her identity). Having broken down the door at last, Belvile, Willmore, Don Pedro, and a page enter, laughing at Blunt as he draws his sword. (full context)
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...to coax him into a good mood even as they continue mocking him. Willmore and Belvile express sympathy, while Pedro apologizes for the rudeness of his country, saying that if he... (full context)
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Frederick urges Blunt to show their companions Florinda’s ring; when he does so, Belvile immediately recognizes it as the one he gave his beloved. He attempts to draw Blunt... (full context)
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...to determine whether she is a noblewoman or not. As they are about to go, Belvile panics and demands the key. The men begin to argue, with Willmore saying that he... (full context)
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...to Florinda. As Pedro exits, unaware that he is about to threaten his own sister, Belvile curses Willmore for his “mischief.” Willmore reacts peevishly, disappointed that he has lost the contest;... (full context)
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...is and why she is here, implying that he thinks she is a prostitute. Simultaneously, Belvile and Florinda both worry that her brother will discover her identity, while Willmore wonders whether... (full context)
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...but that Callis believes they can still catch her. Pedro announces that he must leave Belvile, but demands that, if Florinda flees to him, he return her to her family. Belvile... (full context)
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...relieved Florinda embraces Valeria. Willmore and Blunt look on, confused, as Valeria urges Florinda and Belvile to marry each other quickly before Don Pedro returns. Realizing who Florinda is, Willmore begs... (full context)
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...too, apologizes, and Florinda says that she will forgive him as long as he follows Belvile’s example and marries the woman who loves him. Frederick reacts with confusion, and Belvile scoffs,... (full context)
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Lastly, Blunt begs Florinda’s forgiveness, and she grants it immediately. He gives Belvile back Florinda’s ring, too ashamed to hand it to her himself. (full context)
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...that he could not hold a sword. Pedro persists, appalled that Antonio would send his rival—Belvile—to fight for Florinda’s honor. Angrily, the two men agree to duel when Antonio is healed. (full context)
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The still angry Don Pedro resolves to give Florinda to Belvile in revenge against Antonio. Willmore reveals that the marriage has already taken place; he adds... (full context)
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Belvile enters and is immediately suspicious of Willmore’s actions. Don Pedro asks if Belvile has married... (full context)
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Pedro, Belvile, Florinda, Frederick, and Valeria reenter; Florinda is shocked to see her sister, and Pedro attempts... (full context)
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Don Pedro turns to Belvile, furious that both his noble, wealthy sisters have fallen in love with impoverished Englishmen. Belvile... (full context)
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...in Spanish clothes. He is furious about the new clothes, and the others mock him; Belvile at last appeases him by saying that he looks like a cavalier. Blunt then greets... (full context)