A poetical name of Mrs. Aphra Behn, born of good family in the reign of Charles I. Her works are very numerous and very indecent, including seventeen dramatic pieces. She died 1689, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
“The stage how loosely does Astrea tread.” Pope: Satires, v. 290.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894