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Title: Plays, vol. 2
Author: Vanbrugh, John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Plays, vol. 2" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



                                PLAYS,


                              WRITTEN BY

                         Sir =John Vanbrugh=.

                       =Volume= _the_ =Second=.

                              CONTAINING

  The =Confederacy=.

  The =Mistake=.

  The =Country House=.

  A =Journey= to =London=.

  The =Provok'd Husband=.

                                LONDON:

             Printed for =J. Rivington=, =T. Longman=, =T.
           Lowndes=, =T. Caslon=, =C. Corbett=, =S. Bladon=,
               =W. Nicoll=, =T. Evans=, and =M. Waller=,
                              MDCCLXXVI.



PROLOGUE,


                        Spoken by a Shabby Poet.

    _Ye Gods! what crime had my poor father done,
    That you should make a poet of his son?
    Or is't for some great services of his,
    Y'are pleas'd to compliment his boy----with this?_

                                           [Shewing his crown of laurel.

      _The honour, I must needs confess is great,
    If, with his crown, you'd tell him where to eat:
    Tis well----But I have more complaints--look here!_

                                               [Shewing his ragged coat.

    _Hark ye; d'ye think this suit good winter wear?
    In a cold morning; whu----at a Lord's gate,
    How you have let the porter let me wait!
    You'll say, perhaps, you knew I'd get no harm,
    You'd given me fire enough to keep me warm.
    Ah----
    A world of blessings to that fire we owe;
    Without it I'd ne'er made this princely show.
    I have a brother too, now in my sight,_

                                             [Looking behind the scenes.

    _A busy man amongst us here to-night:
    Your fire has made him play a thousand pranks,
    For which, no doubt you've had his daily thanks:
    He's thank'd you, fi fi, for all his decent plays,
    Where he so nick'd it, when he writ for praise.
    Next for his meddling with some folks in black,
    And bringing----Souse----a priest upon his back;
    For building houses here t'oblige the peers,
    And fetching all their house about his ears;
    For a new play, he'as now thought fit to write,
    To sooth the town----which they----will damn to-night.
      These benefits are such, no man can doubt
    But he'll go on, and set your fancy out,
    Till for reward of all his noble deeds,
    At last, like other sprightly folks, he speeds:
    Has this great recompence fix'd on his brow_                       }
    _As fam'd Parnassus; has your leave to bow_                        }
    _And walk about the streets--equip'd----as I am now._              }



Dramatis Personæ.


MEN.

  _Gripe_,       {  Two rich money-scriveners.  {  Mr. _Leigh._
  _Money-trap_,  {                              {  Mr. _Dogget._

  _Dick_, a gamester, son to Mrs. _Amlet_.         Mr. _Booth._

  _Brass_, his companion, passes for his        {  Mr. _Pack._
  _Valet de Chambre._                           {

  _Clip_, a Goldsmith.                             Mr. _Mimes._

  _Jessamin_, foot boy to _Clarissa_.


WOMEN.

  _Clarissa_, wife to _Gripe_, an         }
  expensive luxurious woman, a great      }  Mrs. _Barry._
  admirer of quality.                     }

  _Araminta_, wife to _Money-trap_, very  }
  intimate with _Clarissa_, of the same   }  Mrs. _Porter._
  humour.                                 }

  _Corinna_, daughter to _Gripe_ by a     }
  former wife, a good fortune, young,     }  Mrs. _Bradshaw._
  and kept very close by her father.      }

  _Flippanta_, _Clarissa_'s maid.            Mrs. _Bracegirdle._

  Mrs. _Amlet_, a seller of all sorts of  }  Mrs. _Willis._
  private affairs to the ladies.          }

  Mrs. _Cloggit_ her neighbour.              Mrs. _Baker._

                                  THE

                              CONFEDERACY.



+ACT+ I. +SCENE+ I.

                        +SCENE+ _Covent-garden_.


           _Enter Mrs. ~Amlet~ and Mrs. ~Cloggit~, meeting._

                                =Amlet.=

Good-morrow, neighbour; good-morrow, neighbour _Cloggit_! How does all
at your house this morning?

_Clog._ Think you kindly, _Mrs._ Amlet, thank you kindly; how do you
do, I pray?

_Aml._ At the old rate, neighbour, poor and honest; these are hard
times, good lack.

_Clog._ If they are hard with you, what are they with us? You have
a good trade going, all the great folks in town help off with your
merchandize.

_Aml._ Yes, they do help us off with 'em indeed; they buy all.

_Clog._ And pay----

_Aml._ For some.

_Clog._ Well, 'tis a thousand pities, Mrs. _Amlet_, they are not as
ready at one, as they are at t'other: For, not to wrong 'em, they give
very good rates.

_Aml._ O for that, let us do them justice, neighbour; they never make
two words upon the price, all they haggle about is the day of payment.

_Clog._ There's all the dispute, as you say.

_Aml._ But that's a wicked one: For my part, neighbour, I'm just tir'd
off my legs with trotting after 'em; beside, it eats out all our
profit. Would you believe it, Mrs. _Cloggit_, I have worn out four pair
of pattens, with following my old Lady _Youthful_, for one set of false
teeth, and but three pots of paint.

_Clog._ Look you there now.

_Aml._ If they would but once let me get enough by 'em, to keep a coach
to carry me a dunning after 'em, there would be some conscience in it.

_Clog._ Ay, that were something. But now you talk of conscience, Mrs.
_Amlet_, how do you speed among your city customers?

_Aml._ My city customers! Now by my truth, neighbour, between the city
and the court (with reverence be it spoken) there's not a ---- to
choose. My ladies in the city in times past, were as full of gold as
they were of religion, and as punctual in their payments as they were
of their prayers; but since they have set their minds upon quality,
adieu one, adieu t'other, their money and their conscience are gone,
heaven knows where. There is not a goldsmith's wife to be found in
town, but's as hard-hearted as an ancient judge, and as poor as a
towering dutchess.

_Clog._ But what the murrain have they to do with quality, why don't
their husbands make e'm mind their shops?

_Aml._ Their husbands! their husbands, say'st thou, woman? alack,
alack, they mind their husbands, neighbour, no more than they do a
sermon.

_Clog._ Good lack-a-day, that women born of sober parents, should be
prone to follow ill examples! But now we talk of quality, when did you
hear of your son _Richard_, Mrs. _Amlet_? My daughter _Flip._ says
she met him t'other day in a lac'd coat, with three fine ladies, his
footman at his heels, and as gay as a bridegroom.

_Aml._ Is it possible? Ah the rogue! well, neighbour, all's well that
ends well; but _Dick_ will be hang'd.

_Clog._ That were pity.

_Aml._ Pity indeed; for he's a hopeful young man to look on; but he
leads a life----Well----where he has it, heav'n knows; but they say,
he pays his club with the best of 'em. I have seen him but once these
three months, neighbour, and then the varlet wanted money; but I bid
him march, and march he did to some purpose; for in less than an hour,
back comes my gentleman into the house, walks to and fro in the room,
with his wig over his shoulder, his hat on one side, whistling a
minuet, and tossing a purse of gold from one hand to t'other, with no
more respect (heaven bless us!) than if it had been an orange. Sirrah,
says I, where have you got that? He answers me never a word, but sets
his arms a kimbo, cocks his saucy hat in my face, turns about upon his
ungracious heel, as much as to say kiss--and I've never set my eye on
him since.

_Clog._ Look you there now; to see what the youth of this age are come
to!

_Aml._ See what they will come to, neighbour. Heaven shield, I say; but
_Dick_'s upon the gallop. Well, I must bid you good-morrow; I'm going
where I doubt I shall meet but a sorry welcome.

_Clog._ To get in some old debt, I'll warrant you?

_Aml._ Neither better or worse.

_Clog._ From a lady of quality?

_Aml._ No, she's but a scrivener's wife; but she lives as well, and
pays as ill, as the stateliest countess of 'em all.

                                                 [_Exeunt several ways._

                         _Enter ~Brass~ solus._

_Brass._ Well, surely thro' the world's wide extent, there never
appeared so impudent a fellow as my schoolfellow _Dick_, pass himself
upon the town for a gentleman, drop into all the best company with an
easy air, as if his natural element were in the sphere of quality; when
the rogue had a kettle-drum to his father, who was hang'd for robbing a
church, and has a pedlar to his mother, who carries her shop under her
arm. But here he comes.

                            _Enter ~Dick~._

_Dick._ Well, _Brass_, what news? Hast thou given my letter to
_Flippanta_?

_Brass._ I'm but just come; I han't knock'd at the door yet. But I have
a damn'd piece of news for you.

_Dick._ As how?

_Brass._ We must quit this country.

_Dick._ We'll be hang'd first.

_Brass._ So you will if you stay.

_Dick._ Why, what's the matter?

_Brass._ There's a storm a coming.

_Dick._ From whence?

_Brass._ From the worst point in the compass, the law.

_Dick._ The law! Why what have I to do with the law?

_Brass._ Nothing; and therefore it has something to do with you.

_Dick._ Explain.

_Brass._ You know you cheated a young fellow at picquet t'other day, of
the money he had to raise his company.

_Dick._ Well, what then?

_Brass._ Why he's sorry he lost it.

_Dick._ Who doubts that?

_Brass._ Ay, but that's not all, he's such a fool to think of
complaining on't.

_Dick._ Then I must be so wise as to stop his mouth.

_Brass._ How?

_Dick._ Give him a little back; if that won't do, strangle him.

_Brass._ You are very quick in your methods.

_Dick._ Men must be so that will dispatch business.

_Brass._ Hark you, Colonel, your father dy'd in's bed?

_Dick._ He might have done if he had not been a fool.

_Brass._ Why, he robbed a church.

_Dick._ Ay, but he forgot to make sure of the sexton.

_Brass._ Are not you a great rogue?

_Dick._ Or I should wear worse clothes.

_Brass._ Hark you, I would advise you to change your life.

_Dick._ And turn ballad-singer.

_Brass._ Not so neither.

_Dick._ What then?

_Brass._ Why, if you can get this young wench, reform, and live honest.

_Dick._ That's the way to be starv'd.

_Brass._ No, she has money enough to buy you a good place, and pay me
into the bargain for helping her to so good a match. You have but this
throw left to save you, for you are not ignorant, youngster, that your
morals begin to be pretty well known about town; have a care your noble
birth and your honourable relations are not discovered too: there needs
but that to have you toss'd in a blanket, for the entertainment of the
first company of ladies you intrude into: and then like a dutiful son,
you may dangle about with your mother, and sell paint: she's old and
weak, and wants somebody to carry her goods after her. How like a dog
will you look, with a pair of plod shoes, your hair crop'd up to your
ears, and a band-box under your arm?

_Dick._ Why faith, _Brass_, I think thou art in the right on't; I must
fix my affairs quickly, or Madam _Fortune_ will be playing some of her
bitch-tricks with me: therefore I'll tell thee what we'll do; we'll
pursue this old rogue's daughter heartily; we'll cheat his family to
purpose, and they shall atone for the rest of mankind.

_Brass._ Have at her then, I'll about your business presently.

_Dick._ One kiss----and success attend thee.

                                                         [_Exit ~Dick~._

_Brass._ A great rogue----Well, I say nothing. But when I have got the
thing into a good posture, he shall sign and seal, or I'll have him
tumbled out of the house like a cheese. Now for _Flippanta._

                                                           [_He knocks._

                          _Enter ~Flippanta~._

_Flip._ Who's that? _Brass!_

_Brass._ _Flippanta!_

_Flip._ What want you, rogue's-face?

_Brass._ Is your mistress dress'd?

_Flip._ What, already? Is the fellow drunk?

_Brass._ Why, with respect to her looking-glass, it's almost two.

_Flip._ What then, fool?

_Brass._ Why then it's time for the mistress of the house to come down,
and look after her family.

_Flip._ Pr'ythee don't be an owl. Those that go to bed at night may
rise in the morning; we that go to bed in the morning rise in the
afternoon.

_Brass._ When does she make her visits then?

_Flip._ By candle-light; it helps off a muddy complexion; we women hate
inquisitive sun-shine: but do you know that my Lady is going to turn
good housewife?

_Brass._ What, is she going to die?

_Flip._ Die!

_Brass._ Why, that's the only way to save money for her family.

_Flip._ No; but she has thought of a project to save chair-hire.

_Brass._ As how?

_Flip._ Why all the company she us'd to keep abroad she now intends
shall meet at her own house. Your master has advis'd her to set up a
basset-table.

_Brass._ Nay, if he advis'd her to it, it's right; but has she
acquainted her husband with it yet?

_Flip._ What to do? When the company meet he'll see them.

_Brass._ Nay, that's true, as you say, he'll know it soon enough.

_Flip._ Well, I must be gone; have you any business with my Lady?

_Brass._ Yes; as ambassador from _Araminta_, I have a letter for her.

_Flip._ Give it me.

_Brass._ Hold----and as first minister of state to the Colonel, I have
an affair to communicate to thee.

_Flip._ What is't? quick.

_Brass._ Why----he's in love.

_Flip._ With what?

_Brass._ A woman----and her money together.

_Flip._ Who is she?

_Brass._ _Corinna_.

_Flip._ What wou'd he be at?

_Brass._ At her----if she's at leisure.

_Flip._ Which way?

_Brass._ Honourably----he has ordered me to demand her of thee in
marriage.

_Flip._ Of me?

_Brass._ Why, when a man of quality has a mind to a city-fortune,
would'st have him apply to her father and mother?

_Flip._ No.

_Brass._ No, so I think: men of our end of the town are better bred
than to use ceremony. With a long perriwig we strike the lady, with a
you-know-what we soften the maid; and when the parson has done his job,
we open the affair to the family. Will you slip this letter into her
prayer-book, my little queen? It's a very passionate one----It's seal'd
with a heart and a dagger; you may see by that what he intends to do
with himself.

_Flip._ Are there any verses in it? If not, I won't touch it.

_Brass._ Not one word in prose, it's dated in rhyme.

                                                        [_She takes it._

_Flip._ Well, but have you brought nothing else?

_Brass._ Gad forgive me; I'm the forgetfullest dog----I have a letter
for you too----here----'tis in a purse, but it's in prose, you won't
touch it.

_Flip._ Yes, hang it, it is not good to be too dainty.

_Brass._ How useful a virtue is humility! Well, child, we shall have an
answer to-morrow, shan't we?

_Flip._ I can't promise you that; for our young gentlewoman is not so
often in my way as she would be. Her father (who is a citizen from
the foot to the forehead of him) lets her seldom converse with her
mother-in-law and me, for fear she should learn the airs of a woman of
quality. But I'll take the first occasion: see, there's my lady, go in
and deliver your letter to her.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+, _a Parlour_.

        _Enter ~Clarissa~, follow'd by ~Flippanta~ and ~Brass~._

_Clar._ No messages this morning from any body, _Flippanta_? Lard how
dull that is! O, there's _Brass_! I did not see thee, _Brass_. What
news dost thou bring?

_Brass._ Only a letter from _Araminta_, Madam.

_Clar._ Give it me----open it for me, _Flippanta_, I am so lazy to-day.

                                                        [_Sitting down._

_Brass._ [_To Flip._] Be sure now you deliver my master's as carefully
as I do this.

_Flip._ Don't trouble thyself, I'm no novice.

_Clar._ [to _Brass._] 'Tis well, there needs no answer, since she'll be
here so soon.

_Brass._ Your ladyship has no farther commands then?

_Clar._ Not at this time, honest _Brass_. _Flippanta_!

                                                        [_Exit ~Brass~._

_Flip._ Madam.

_Clar._ My husband's in love.

_Flip._ In love?

_Clar._ With _Araminta_.

_Flip._ Impossible!

_Clar._ This letter from her, is to give me an account of it.

_Flip._ Methinks you are not very much alarm'd.

_Clar._ No; thou know'st I'm not much tortur'd with jealousy.

_Flip._ Nay, you are much in the right on't, Madam, for jealousy's a
city passion, 'tis a thing unknown amongst people of quality.

_Clar._ Fy! A woman must indeed be of a mechanick mould, who is either
troubled or pleas'd with any thing her husband can do to her. Pr'ythee
mention him no more; 'tis the dullest theme.

_Flip._ 'Tis splenetick indeed. But when once you open your basset
table, I hope that will put him out of your head.

_Clar._ Alas, _Flippanta_, I begin to grow weary even of the thoughts
of that too.

_Flip._ How so?

_Clar._ Why, I have thought on't a day and a night already, and four
and twenty hours, thou know'st, is enough to make one weary of any
thing.

_Flip._ Now by my conscience, you have more woman in you than all your
sex together: you never know what you would have.

_Clar._ Thou mistakest the thing quite. I always know what I lack, but
I am never pleas'd with what I have. The want of a thing is perplexing
enough, but the possession of it is intolerable.

_Flip._ Well, I don't know what you are made of, but other women would
think themselves blest in your case; handsome, witty, lov'd by every
body, and of so happy a composure, to care a fig for nobody. You have
no one passion, but that of your pleasures, and you have in me a
servant devoted to all your desires, let them be as extravagant as they
will: yet all this is nothing; you can still be out of humour.

_Clar._ Alas, I have but too much cause.

_Flip._ Why, what have you to complain of?

_Clar._ Alas, I have more subjects for spleen than one: is it
not a most horrible thing that I should be but a scrivener's
wife?--Come,----don't flatter me, don't you think nature design'd me
for something _plus elevé_?

_Flip._ Nay, that's certain; but on the other side, methinks, you ought
to be in some measure content, since you live like a woman of quality,
tho' you are none.

_Clar._ O fy! the very quintessence of it is wanting.

_Flip._ What's that?

_Clar._ Why, I dare abuse nobody: I'm afraid to affront people, tho' I
don't like their faces; or to ruin their reputations, tho' they pique
me to it, by taking ever so much pains to preserve 'em: I dare not
raise a lye of a man, tho' he neglects to make love to me; nor report
a woman to be a fool, tho' she's handsomer than I am. In short, I dare
not so much as bid my footman kick the people out of doors, tho' they
come to ask me for what I owe them.

_Flip._ All this is very hard indeed.

_Clar._ Ah, _Flippanta_, the perquisites of quality are of an
unspeakable value.

_Flip._ They are of some use, I must confess; but we must not expect to
have every thing. You have wit and beauty, and a fool to your husband:
come come, madam, that's a good portion for one.

_Clar._ Alas, what signifies beauty and wit, when one dares neither
jilt the men nor abuse the women? 'Tis a sad thing, _Flippanta_, when
wit's confin'd, 'tis worse than the rising of the lights; I have been
sometimes almost choak'd with scandal, and durst not cough it up for
want of being a countess.

_Flip._ Poor lady!

_Clar._ O! Liberty is a fine thing, _Flippanta_; it's a great help in
conversation to have leave to say what one will. I have seen a woman of
quality, who has not had one grain of wit, entertain a whole company
the most agreeably in the world, only with her malice. But 'tis in vain
to repine, I can't mend my condition, till my husband dies: so I'll say
no more on't, but think of making the most of the state I am in.

_Flip._ That's your best way, madam; and in order to it, pray consider
how you'll get some ready money to set your basset-table a going; for
that's necessary.

_Clar._ Thou say'st true; but what trick I shall play my husband to get
some, I don't know: for my pretence of losing my diamond necklace has
put the man into such a passion, I'm afraid he won't hear reason.

_Flip._ No matter; he begins to think 'tis lost in earnest: so I fancy
you may venture to sell it, and raise money that way.

_Clar._ That can't be, for he has left odious notes with all the
goldsmiths in town.

_Flip._ Well, we must pawn it then.

_Clar._ I'm quite tir'd with dealing with those pawnbrokers.

_Flip._ I'm afraid you'll continue the trade a great while, for all
that.

                                                               [_Aside._

                          _Enter ~Jessamin~._

_Jess._ Madam, there's the woman below that sells paint and patches,
iron boddice, false teeth, and all sorts of things to the ladies; I
can't think of her name.

_Flip._ 'Tis Mrs. _Amlet_, she wants money.

_Clar._ Well, I han't enough for myself, it's an unreasonable thing she
should think I have any for her.

_Flip._ She's a troublesome jade.

_Clar._ So are all people that come a dunning.

_Flip._ What will you do with her?

_Clar._ I have just now thought on't. She's very rich, that woman is,
_Flippanta_, I'll borrow some money of her.

_Flip._ Borrow! sure you jest, madam.

_Clar._ No, I'm in earnest; I give thee commission to do it for me.

_Flip._ Me!

_Clar._ Why dost thou stare, and look so ungainly? Don't I speak to be
understood?

_Flip._ Yes, I understand you well enough; but Mrs. _Amlet_----

_Clar._ But Mrs. _Amlet_ must lend me some money, where shall I have
any to pay her else?

_Flip._ That's true; I never thought of that truly. But here she is.

                         _Enter Mrs. ~Amlet~._

_Clar._ How d'you do? How d'you do, Mrs. _Amlet_? I han't seen you
these thousand years, and yet I believe I'm down in your books.

_Aml._ O, Madam, I don't come for that, alack.

_Flip._ Good-morrow, Mrs. _Amlet_.

_Aml._ Good-morrow, Mrs. _Flippanta_.

_Clar._ How much am I indebted to you, Mrs. _Amlet_?

_Aml._ Nay, if your ladyship desires to see your bill, I believe I may
have it about me.--There, Madam, if it ben't too much fatigue to you to
look it over.

_Clar._ Let me see it, for I hate to be in debt, where I am obliged to
pay. [_Aside._]----_Reads._] Imprimis, _For bolstering out the Countess
of ~Crump's~ left hip_----O fy, this does not belong to me.

_Aml._ I beg your Ladyship's pardon. I mistook indeed; 'tis a
countess's bill I have writ out to little purpose. I furnish'd her two
years ago with three pair of hips, and am not paid for them yet: but
some are better customers than some. There's your Ladyship's bill,
Madam.

_Clar._ _For the idea of a new invented commode._----Ay, this may be
mine, but 'tis of a preposterous length. Do you think I can waste time
to read every article, Mrs. _Amlet_? I'd as lief read a sermon.

_Aml._ Alack-a-day, there's no need of fatiguing yourself at that rate;
cast an eye only, if your honour pleases, upon the sum total.

_Clar._ Total; fifty-six pounds--and odd things.

_Flip._ But six and fifty pounds!

_Aml._ Nay, another body would have made it twice as much; but there's
a blessing goes along with a moderate profit.

_Clar._ _Flippanta_, go to my cashier, let him give you six and fifty
pounds. Make haste: don't you hear me? Six and fifty pounds. Is it so
difficult to be comprehended?

_Flip._ No, Madam, I, I comprehend six and fifty pounds, but----

_Clar._ But go and fetch it then.

_Flip._ What she means, I don't know; [_Aside._] but I shall, I
suppose, before I bring her the money.

                                                          [_Exit._ Flip.

_Clar._ [_Setting her hair in a pocket glass._] The trade you follow
gives you a great deal of trouble, Mrs. _Amlet_.

_Aml._ Alack-a-day, a world of pain, Madam, and yet there's small
profit, as your honour sees by your bill.

_Clar._ Poor woman! sometimes you have great losses, Mrs. _Amlet_?

_Aml._ I have two thousand pounds owing me, of which I shall never get
ten shillings.

_Clar._ Poor woman! You have a great charge of children, Mrs. _Amlet_?

_Aml._ Only one wicked rogue, Madam, who I think, will break my heart.

_Clar._ Poor woman!

_Aml._ He'll be hang'd, Madam----that will be the end of him. Where
he gets it, heav'n knows; but he's always shaking his heels with the
ladies, and his elbows with the lords. He's as fine as a prince, and as
grim as the best of them; but the ungracious rogue tells all that comes
near that his mother is dead, and I am but his nurse.

_Clar._ Poor woman!

_Aml._ Alas, Madam, he's like the rest of the world; every body's for
appearing to be more than they are, and that ruins all.

_Clar._ Well, Mrs. _Amlet_, you'll excuse me, I have a little business,
_Flippanta_ will bring you your money presently. Adieu, Mrs. _Amlet_.

                                                     [_Exit ~Clarissa~._

_Aml._ I return your honour many thanks [_Sola._] Ah, there's my good
lady, not so much as read her bill; if the rest were like her, I should
soon have money enough to go as fine as _Dick_ himself.

                            _Enter ~Dick~._

_Dick._ Sure _Flippanta_ must have given my letter by this time;
[_Aside._] I long to know how it has been received.

_Aml._ _Misericorde!_ what do I see!

_Dick._ Fiends and hags--the witch my mother!

_Aml._ Nay, 'tis he! ah, my poor _Dick_, what art thou doing here?

_Dick._ What a misfortune----

                                                               [_Aside._

_Aml._ Good lard! how bravely deck'd art thou. But it's all one, I am
thy mother still: and tho' thou art a wicked child, nature will speak,
I love thee still, ah, _Dick_, my poor _Dick_.

                                                       [_Embracing him._

_Dick._ Blood and thunder! will you ruin me?

                                                   [_Breaking from her._

_Aml._ Ah the blasphemous rogue, how he swears!

_Dick._ You destroy all my hopes.

_Aml._ Will your mother's kiss destroy you, varlet? Thou art an
ungracious bird; kneel down, and ask my blessing, sirrah.

_Dick._ Death and furies!

_Aml._ Ah, he's a proper young man, see what a shape he has: ah, poor
child.

                       [_Running to embrace him, he still avoiding her._

_Dick._ Oons, keep off, the woman's mad. If any body comes, my
fortune's lost.

_Aml._ What fortune, ah? speak, graceless. Ah _Dick_, thou'lt be
hang'd, _Dick_.

_Dick._ Good, dear mother, now don't call me _Dick_ here.

_Aml._ Not call thee _Dick_! Is not that thy name? What shall I call
thee? Mr. _Amlet_? ha! Art not thou a presumptuous rascal? Hark you,
sirrah, I hear of your tricks; you disown me for your mother, and say
I'm but your nurse. Is not this true?

_Dick._ No, I love you; I respect you; [_Taking her hand._] I am all
duty. But if you discover me here, you ruin the fairest prospect that
man ever had.

_Aml._ What prospect? ha! come, this is a lie now.

_Dick._ No, my honour'd parent, what I say is true, I'm about a great
fortune, I'll bring you home a daughter-in-law, in a coach and six
horses, if you'll but be quiet; I can't tell you more now.

_Aml._ Is it possible!

_Dick._ It's true, by _Jupiter_.

_Aml._ My dear lad----

_Dick._ For Heaven's sake----

_Aml._ But tell me, _Dick_----

_Dick._ I'll follow you home in a moment, and tell you all.

_Aml._ What a shape is there----

_Dick._ Pray mother go.

_Aml._ I must receive some money here first, which shall go for thy
wedding-dinner.

_Dick._ Here's somebody coming; s'death, she'll betray me.

                          _Enter ~Flippanta~._

                                        [_He makes signs to his Mother._

_Dick._ Good-morrow, dear _Flippanta_; how do all the ladies within?

_Flip._ At your service, Colonel; as far at least as my interest goes.

_Aml._ Colonel!--Law you now, how _Dick_'s respected!

                                                               [_Aside._

_Dick._ Waiting for thee, _Flippanta_, I was making acquaintance with
this old gentlewoman here.

_Aml._ The pretty lad, he's as impudent as a Page.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Dick._ Who is this good woman, _Flippanta_?

_Flip._ A gin of all trades; an old daggling cheat, that hobbles about
from house to house to bubble the ladies of their money. I have a small
business of your's in my pocket, Colonel.

_Dick._ An answer to my letter?

_Flip._ So quick indeed! No, it's your letter itself.

_Dick._ Hast thou not given it then yet?

_Flip._ I han't had an opportunity; but 'twon't be long first. Won't
you go in and see my Lady?

_Dick._ Yes, I'll go make her a short visit. But dear _Flippanta_,
don't forget: my life and fortune are in your hands.

_Flip._ Ne'er fear, I'll take care of 'em.

_Aml._ How he traps 'em; let _Dick_ alone.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Dick._ Your servant, good Madam.

                                                       [_To his Mother._

                                                         [_Exit ~Dick~._

_Aml._ Your Honour's most devoted.--A pretty, civil, well-bred
gentleman this, Mrs. _Flippanta_. Pray whom may he be?

_Flip._ A man of great note; Colonel _Shapely_.

_Aml._ Is it possible! I have heard much of him indeed, but never saw
him before: one may see quality in every limb of him: he's a fine man
truly.

_Flip._ I think you are in love with him, Mrs. _Amlet_.

_Aml._ Alas, those days are done with me; but if I were as fair as I
was once, and had as much money as some folks, Colonel _Shapely_ should
not catch cold for want of a bed-fellow. I love your men of rank, they
have something in their air does so distinguish 'em from the rascality.

_Flip._ People of Quality are fine things indeed, Mrs. _Amlet_, if they
had but a little more money; but for want of that, they are forced to
do things their great souls are asham'd of. For example--here's my
Lady--she owes you but six and fifty pounds----

_Aml._ Well!

_Flip._ And she has it not by her to pay you.

_Aml._ How can that be?

_Flip._ I don't know; her cash-keeper's out of humour, he says he has
no money.

_Aml._ What a presumptuous piece of vermin is a cash-keeper! Tell his
Lady he has no money?--Now, Mrs. _Flippanta_, you may see his bags are
full by his being so saucy.

_Flip._ If they are, there's no help for't; he'll do what he pleases,
till he comes to make up his yearly accounts.

_Aml._ But Madam plays sometimes, so when she has good fortune, she may
pay me out of her winnings.

_Flip._ O ne'er think of that, Mrs. _Amlet_: if she had won a thousand
pounds, she'd rather die in a gaol, than pay off a farthing with it;
play money, Mrs. _Amlet_, amongst people of quality, is a sacred thing,
and not to be profan'd. 'Tis consecrated to their pleasures, 'twould be
sacrilege to pay their debts with it.

_Aml._ Why what shall we do then? For I han't one penny to buy bread.

_Flip._----I'll tell you----it just now comes in my head: I know my
Lady has a little occasion for money at this time; so----if you lend
her----a hundred pounds----do you see, then she may pay you your six
and fifty out of it.

_Aml._ Sure, Mrs. _Flippanta_, you think to make a fool of me.

_Flip._ No, the Devil fetch me if I do----You shall have a diamond
necklace in pawn.

_Aml._ O ho, a pawn! That's another case. And when must she have this
money?

_Flip._ In a quarter of an hour.

_Aml._ Say no more. Bring the necklace to my house, it shall be ready
for you.

_Flip._ I'll be with you in a moment.

_Aml._ Adieu, Mrs. _Flippanta_.

_Flip._ Adieu, Mrs. _Amlet_.

                                                        [_Exit ~Amlet~._

                          _Flippanta ~sola~._

So----this ready money will make us all happy. This spring will set our
basset going, and that's a wheel will turn twenty others. My Lady's
young and handsome; she'll have a dozen intrigues upon her hands,
before she has been twice at her prayers. So much the better; the more
the grist, the richer the miller. Sure never wench got into so hopeful
a place: Here's a fortune to be sold, a mistress to be debauched, and
a master to be ruin'd. If I don't feather my nest, and get a good
husband, I deserve to die both a maid and a beggar.

                                                               [Exeunt.



+ACT+ II.


+SCENE+, _Mr._ Gripe's _House_.

                     _Enter ~Clarissa~ and ~Dick~._

_Clar._ What in the name of dulness is the matter with you, Colonel?
you are as studious as a crack'd chymist.

_Dick._ My head, Madam, is full of your husband.

_Clar._ The worst furniture for a head in the universe.

_Dick._ I am thinking of his passion for your friend _Araminta_.

_Clar._ Passion!----Dear Colonel, give it a less violent name.

                            _Enter ~Brass~._

_Dick._ Well, Sir, what want you?

_Brass._ The affair I told you of goes ill. [_To ~Dick~, aside._]
There's an action out.

_Dick_. The Devil there is!

_Clar._ What news brings _Brass_?

_Dick._ Before Gad I cannot tell, Madam; the dog will never speak out.
My Lord what-d'ye-call him waits, for me at my lodging: Is not that it?

_Brass._ Yes, Sir.

_Dick._ Madam, I ask your pardon.

_Clar._ Your servant, Sir.

                                           [_Exeunt ~Dick~ and ~Brass~._

_Jessamin!_

                                                       [_She sits down._

                          _Enter ~Jessamin~._

_Jes._ Madam.

_Clar._ Where's _Corinna_? Call her to me, if her father han't lock'd
her up: I want her company.

_Jes._ Madam, her guitar-master is with her.

_Clar._ Psha! she's taken up with her impertinent Guitar-Man.
_Flippanta_ stays an age with that old fool, Mrs. _Amlet_. And
_Araminta_, before she can come abroad, is so long a placing her
coquet-patch, that I must be a year without company. How insupportable
is a moment's uneasiness to a woman of spirit and pleasure!

                          _Enter ~Flippanta~._

_Clar._ O, art thou come at last? Pr'ythee, _Flippanta_, learn to move
a little quicker, thou know'st how impatient I am.

_Flip._ Yes, when you expect money: If you had sent me to buy a
Prayer-Book, you'd have thought I had flown.

_Clar._ Well, hast thou brought me any, after all?

_Flip._ Yes, I have brought some. There [_Giving her a purse._] the old
hag has struck off her bill, the rest is in that purse.

_Clar._ 'Tis well; but take care, _Flippanta_, my husband don't suspect
any thing of this; 'twould vex him, and I don't love to make him
uneasy: So I would spare him these little sort of troubles, by keeping
'em from his knowledge.

_Flip._ See the tenderness she has for him, and yet he's always
complaining of you.

_Clar._ 'Tis the nature of 'em, _Flippanta_; a husband is a growling
animal.

_Flip._ How exactly you define 'em!

_Clar._ O! I know 'em, _Flippanta_: though I confess my poor wretch
diverts me sometimes with his ill-humours. I wish he wou'd quarrel
with me to-day a little, to pass away the time, for I find myself in a
violent spleen.

_Flip._ Why, if you please to drop yourself in his way, six to four but
he scolds one rubbers with you.

_Clar._ Ay, but thou know'st he's as uncertain as the wind; and if
instead of quarrelling with me, he should chance to be fond, he'd make
me as sick as a dog.

_Flip._ If he's kind, you must provoke him; if he kisses you, spit in
his face.

_Clar._ Alas, when men are in the kissing fit, (like lap-dogs) they
take that for a favour.

_Flip._ Nay, then, I don't know what you'll do with him.

_Clar._ I'll e'en do nothing at all with him----Flippanta.

                                                             [_Yawning._

_Flip._ Madam.

_Clar._ My hood and scarf, and a coach to the door.

_Flip._ Why, whither are you going?

_Clar._ I can't tell yet, but I would go spend some money, since I have
it.

_Flip._ Why, you want nothing that I know of.

_Clar._ How aukward an objection now is that, as if a woman of
education bought things because she wanted 'em. Quality always
distinguishes itself; and therefore, as the mechanick people buy
things, because they have occasion for 'em, you see women of rank
always buy things because they have not occasion for 'em. Now, there,
_Flippanta_, you see the difference between a woman that has breeding,
and one that has none. O ho, here's _Araminta_ come at last.

                          _Enter ~Araminta~._

_Clar._ Lard, what a tedious while you have let me expect you! I was
afraid you were not well; how d'ye do to-day?

_Aram._ As well as a woman can do, that has not slept all night.

_Flip._ Methinks, Madam, you are pretty well-awake, however.

_Aram._ O, 'tis not a little thing will make a woman of my vigour look
drowsy.

_Clar._ But, pr'ythee, what was't disturb'd you?

_Aram._ Not your husband, don't trouble yourself; at least, I am not in
love with him yet.

_Clar._ Well remember'd, I had quite forgot that matter. I wish you
much joy, you have made a noble conquest indeed.

_Aram._ But now I have subdu'd the country, pray is it worth my
keeping? You know the ground, you have try'd it.

_Clar._ A barren soil, heaven can tell.

_Aram._ Yet if it were well cultivated, it would produce something to
my knowledge. Do you know 'tis in my power to ruin this poor thing of
yours? His whole Estate is at my Service.

_Flip._ Cods-fish, strike him, Madam, and let my Lady go your halves.
There's no sin in plundering a husband, so his wife has share of the
booty.

_Aram._ Whenever she gives me her orders, I shall be very ready to obey
'em.

_Clar._ Why, as odd a thing as such a project may seem, _Araminta_, I
believe I shall have a little serious discourse with you about it. But,
pr'ythee, tell me how you have pass'd the night? For I am sure your
mind has been roving upon some pretty thing or other.

_Aram._ Why, I have been studying all the ways my brain could produce
to plague my husband.

_Clar._ No wonder indeed you look so fresh this morning, after the
satisfaction of such pleasing ideas all night.

_Aram._ Why, can a woman do less than study mischief, when she has
tumbled and toss'd herself into a burning-fever, for want of sleep,
and sees a fellow lie snoring by her, stock-still, in a fine breathing
sweat?

_Clar._ Now see the difference of women's tempers: If my dear would
make but one nap of his whole life, and only waken to make his will, I
shou'd be the happiest wife in the universe. But we'll discourse more
of these matters as we go, for I must make a _tour_ among the Shops.

_Aram._ I have a coach waits at the door, we'll talk of 'em as we
rattle along.

_Clar._ The best place in nature, for you know a hackney-coach is a
natural enemy to a husband.

                                             [_Exit ~Clar.~ and ~Aram.~_

                          _Flippanta ~sola~._

What a pretty little pair of amiable persons are there gone to hold
a council of war together! Poor birds! What would they do with their
time, if the plaguing their husbands did not help 'em to employment!
Well, if idleness be the root of all evil, then matrimony's good for
something, for it sets many a poor woman to work. But here comes Miss.
I hope I shall help her into the Holy State too ere long. And when
she's once there, if she don't play her part as well as the best of
'em, I'm mistaken. Han't I lost the letter I'm to give her?----No, here
'tis; so, now we shall see how pure nature will work with her, for art
she knows none yet.

                           _Enter ~Corinna~._

_Cor._ What does my mother-in-law want with me, _Flippanta_? They tell
me, she was asking for me.

_Flip._ She's just gone out, so I suppose 'twas no great business.

_Cor._ Then I'll go into my chamber again.

_Flip._ Nay, hold a little if you please. I have some business with you
myself, of more concern than what she had to say to you.

_Cor._ Make haste then, for you know my father won't let me keep you
company; he says, you'll spoil me.

_Flip._ I spoil you! He's an unworthy man to give you such ill
impressions of a woman of my honour.

_Cor._ Nay, never take it to heart, _Flippanta_, for I don't believe a
word he says. But he does so plague me with his continual scolding, I'm
almost weary of my life.

_Flip._ Why, what is't he finds fault with?

_Cor._ Nay, I don't know, for I never mind him; when he has babbled for
two hours together, methinks I have heard a mill going, that's all. It
does not at all change my opinion, _Flippanta_, it only makes my head
ache.

_Flip._ Nay, if you can bear it so, you are not to be pity'd so much as
I thought.

_Cor._ Not pity'd! Why is it not a miserable thing, such a young
creature as I am should be kept in perpetual solitude, with no
other company but a parcel of old fumbling masters to teach me
geography, arithmetic, philosophy, and a thousand useless things. Fine
entertainment, indeed, for a young maid at sixteen! methinks one's time
might be better employ'd.

_Flip._ Those things will improve your wit.

_Cor._ Fiddle-faddle; han't I wit enough already? My mother-in-law has
learn'd none of this trumpery, and is not she as happy as the day is
long?

_Flip._ Then you envy her, I find?

_Cor._ And well I may. Does she not do what she has a mind to, in spite
of her husband's teeth?

_Flip._ Look you there now [_Aside._] if she has not already conceived
that, as the supreme blessing of life.

_Cor._ I'll tell you what, _Flippanta_, if my mother-in-law would but
stand by me a little, and encourage me, and let me keep her company,
I'd rebel against my father to-morrow, and throw all my books in the
fire. Why, he can't touch a groat of my portion; do you know that,
_Flippanta_?

_Flip._ So----I shall spoil her. [_Aside._] Pray heaven the girl don't
debauch me.

_Cor._ Look you: In short, he may think what he pleases, he may think
himself wise: but thoughts are free, and I may think in my turn. I'm
but a girl, 'tis true, and a fool too, if you believe him; but let him
know, a foolish girl may make a wise man's heart ache; so he had as
good be quiet--Now it's out----

_Flip._ Very well, I love to see a young woman have spirit, it's a sign
she'll come to something.

_Cor._ Ah, _Flippanta_, if you wou'd but encourage me, you'll find me
quite another thing. I'm a devilish girl in the bottom; I wish you'd
but let me make one amongst you.

_Flip._ That never can be, 'till you are marry'd. Come, examine your
Strength a little. Do you think, you durst venture upon a husband?

_Cor._ A husband! Why a--if you wou'd but encourage me. Come,
_Flippanta_, be a true friend now. I'll give you advice, when I have
got a little more experience. Do you in your very conscience and soul
think I am old enough to be marry'd?

_Flip._ Old enough! Why you are sixteen, are you not?

_Cor._ Sixteen! I am sixteen, two months, and odd days, woman. I keep
an exact account.

_Flip._ The duce you are!

_Cor._ Why do you then truly and sincerely think I am old enough?

_Flip._ I do, upon my faith, child.

_Cor._ Why then, to deal as fairly with you, _Flippanta_, as you do
with me, I have thought so any time these three years.

_Flip._ Now I find you have more wit than ever I thought you had; and
to shew you what an opinion I have of your discretion, I'll shew you a
thing I thought to have thrown in the fire.

_Cor._ What is it, for _Jupiter_'s sake?

_Flip._ Something will make your heart chuck within you.

_Cor._ My dear _Flippanta_!

_Flip._ What do you think it is?

_Cor._ I don't know, nor I don't care, but I'm mad to have it.

_Flip._ It's a four corner'd thing.

_Cor._ What, like a cardinal's cap?

_Flip._ No, 'tis worth a whole conclave of 'em. How do you like it?

                                                  [_Shewing the letter._

_Car._ O Lard, a letter!----Is there ever a token in it?

_Flip._ Yes, and a precious one too. There's a handsome young
gentleman's heart.

_Cor._ A handsome young gentleman's heart! [_Aside._] Nay, then 'tis
time to look grave.

_Flip._ There.

_Cor._ I shan't touch it.

_Flip._ What's the matter now?

_Cor._ I shan't receive it.

_Flip._ Sure you jest.

_Cor._ You'll find I don't. I understand myself better, than to take
letters, when I don't know who they are from.

_Flip._ I am afraid I commended your wit too soon.

_Cor._ 'Tis all one, I shan't touch it, unless I know who it comes from.

_Flip._ Hey-day, open it, and you'll see.

_Cor._ Indeed I shall not.

_Flip._ Well----then I must return it where I had it.

_Cor._ That won't serve your turn, madam. My father must have an
account of this.

_Flip._ Sure you are not in earnest?

_Cor._ You'll find I am.

_Flip._ So, here's fine work. This 'tis to deal with girls before they
come to know the distinction of sexes.

_Cor._ Confess who you had it from, and perhaps, for this once, I
mayn't tell my father.

_Flip._ Why then, since it must out, 'twas the Colonel: But why are you
so scrupulous, madam?

_Cor._ Because if it had come from any body else----I would not have
given a farthing for it.

                                [_Twitching it eagerly out of her hand._

_Flip._ Ah, my dear little rogue! [_Kissing her._] You frighten'd me
out of my wits.

_Cor._ Let me read it, let me read it, let me read it, let me read
it, I say. Um, um, um, _Cupid_'s um, um, um, _Darts_, um, um,
um, _Beauty_, um, _Charms_, um, um, um, _Angel_, um, _Goddess_,
um--[_Kissing the letter._]--um, um, um, um, _truest Lover_, hum, um,
_Eternal Constancy_, um, um, um, _Cruel_, um, um, um, _Racks_, um, um,
_Tortures_, um, um, _fifty Daggers_, um, um, _bleeding Heart_, um, um,
_dead Man_.

Very well, a mighty civil letter, I promise you; not one smutty word in
it: I'll go lock it up in my comb-box.

_Flip._ Well--but what does he say to you?

_Cor._ Not a word of news, _Flippanta_, 'tis all about business.

_Flip._ Does he not tell you he's in love with you?

_Cor._ Ay, but he told me that before.

_Flip._ How so? He never spoke to you.

_Cor._ He sent me word by his eyes.

_Flip._ Did he so? mighty well. I thought you had been to learn that
language.

_Cor._ O, but you thought wrong, _Flippanta_. What, because I don't go
a visiting, and see the world, you think I know nothing. But you should
consider, _Flippanta_, that the more one's alone, the more one thinks;
and 'tis thinking that improves a girl. I'll have you to know, when I
was younger than I am now, by more than I'll boast of, I thought of
things would have made you stare again.

_Flip._ Well, since you are so well versed in your business, I suppose
I need not inform you, that if you don't write your gallant an
answer--he'll die.

_Cor._ Nay, now, _Flippanta_, I confess you tell me something I did not
know before. Do you speak in serious sadness? Are men given to die, if
their mistresses are sour to 'em?

_Flip._ Um----I can't say they all die----No, I can't say they all do;
but truly, I believe it wou'd go very hard with the Colonel.

_Cor._ Lard, I would not have my hands in blood for thousands; and
therefore, _Flippanta_,----if you'll encourage me----

_Flip._ O, by all means an answer.

_Cor._ Well, since you say it then, I'll e'en in and do it, tho' I
protest to you (lest you should think me too forward now) he's the only
man that wears a beard, I'd ink my fingers for. May be, if I marry him,
in a year or two's time I mayn't be so nice.

                                                               [_Aside._

                                                      [_Exit ~Corinna~._

                          _Flippanta ~sola~._

Now heaven give him joy: he's like to have a rare wife o'thee.
But where there's money, a man has a plaister to his sore. They
have a blessed time on't, who marry for love. See!--here comes an
example----_Araminta_'s dread lord.

                         _Enter ~Money-trap~._

_Mon._ Ah, _Flippanta_! How do you do, good _Flippanta_! How do you do?

_Flip._ Thank you, Sir, well, at your service.

_Mon._ And how does the good family, your master, and your fair
mistress? Are they at home?

_Flip._ Neither of them; my master has been gone out these two hours,
and my lady is just gone with your wife.

_Mon._ Well, I won't say I have lost my labour however, as long as I
have met with you, _Flippanta_. For I have wish'd a great while for an
opportunity to talk with you a little. You won't take it amiss, if I
should ask you a few questions?

_Flip._ Provided you leave me to my liberty in my answers. What's this
Cot-quean going to pry into now?

                                                               [_Aside._

_Mon._ Pr'ythee, good _Flippanta_, how do your master and mistress live
together?

_Flip._ Live! Why--like man and wife, generally out of humour, quarrel
often, seldom agree, complain of one another; and perhaps have both
reason. In short, 'tis much as 'tis at your house.

_Mon._ Good-lack! but whose side are you generally of?

_Flip._ O' the right side always, my lady's. And if you'll have me give
you my opinion of these matters, Sir, I do not think a husband can ever
be in the right.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ Little, peeking, creeping, sneaking, stingy, covetous,
cowardly, dirty, cuckoldy things.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ Fit for nothing but taylors and dry-nurses.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ A dog in a manger, snarling and biting, to starve gentlemen
with good stomachs.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ A centry upon pleasure, set to be a plague on lovers, and damn
poor women before their time.

_Mon._ A husband is indeed----

_Flip._ Sir, I say he is nothing----A beetle without wings, a windmill
without sails, a ship in a calm.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ A bag without money----an empty bottle----dead small beer.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ A quack without drugs.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ A lawyer without knavery.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ A courtier without flattery.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ A king without an army----or a people with one. Have I drawn
him, Sir?

_Mon._ Why truly, _Flippanta_, I can't deny but there are some general
lines of resemblance. But you know there may be exceptions.

_Flip._ Hark you, Sir, shall I deal plainly with you? Had I got a
husband, I wou'd put him in mind, that he was marry'd as well as I.

                          Sings.

    _For were I the thing call'd a wife,
      And my fool grew too fond of his pow'r,
    He shou'd look like an ass all his life,
      For a prank that I'd play him in an hour._

Tol lol la ra tol lol, _&c._--Do you observe that, Sir?

_Mon._ I do: and think you wou'd be in the right on't. But, pr'ythee,
why dost not give this advice to thy mistress?

_Flip._ For fear it should go round to your wife, Sir, for you know
they are play-fellows.

_Mon._ O, there's no danger of my wife; she knows I'm none of those
husbands.

_Flip._ Are you sure she knows that, Sir?

_Mon._ I'm sure she ought to know it, _Flippanta_, for really I have
but four faults in the world.

_Flip._ And, pray what may they be?

_Mon._ Why I'm a little slovenly, I shift but once a week.

_Flip._ Fough!

_Mon._ I am sometimes out of humour.

_Flip._ Provoking!

_Mon._ I don't give her so much money as she'd have.

_Flip._ Insolent!

_Mon._ And a----perhaps I mayn't be quite so young as I was.

_Flip._ The devil!

_Mon._ O, but then consider how 'tis on her side, _Flippanta_. She
ruins me with washing, is always out of humour, ever wanting money, and
will never be older.

_Flip._ That last article, I must confess, is a little hard upon you.

_Mon._ Ah, _Flippanta_, didst thou but know the daily provocations
I have, thoud'st be the first to excuse my faults. But now I think
on't----Thou art none of my friend, thou dost not love me at all; no,
not at all.

_Flip._ And whither is this little reproach going to lead us now?

_Mon._ You have power over your fair mistress, _Flippanta_.

_Flip._ Sir!

_Mon._ But what then? You hate me.

_Flip._ I understand you not.

_Mon._ There's not a moment's trouble her naughty husband gives her,
but I feel it too.

_Flip._ I don't know what you mean.

_Mon._ If she did but know what part I take in her sufferings----

_Flip._ Mighty obscure.

_Mon._ Well, I'll say no more; but----

_Flip._ All Hebrew.

_Mon._ If thou wou'dst but tell her on't.

_Flip._ Still darker and darker.

_Mon._ I should not be ungrateful.

_Flip._ Ah, now I begin to understand you.

_Mon._ _Flippanta_--there's my purse.

_Flip._ Say no more; now you explain, indeed----You are in love?

_Mon._ Bitterly--and I do swear by all the Gods----

_Flip._ Hold----Spare 'em for another time, you stand in no need of 'em
now. A usurer that parts with his purse, gives sufficient proof of his
sincerity.

_Mon._ I hate my wife, _Flippanta_.

_Flip._ That we'll take upon your bare word.

_Mon._ She's the devil, _Flippanta_.

_Flip._ You like your neighbour's better.

_Mon._ Oh!----an angel.

_Flip._ What pity it is the law don't allow trucking!

_Mon._ If it did, _Flippanta_!

_Flip._ But since it don't, Sir----keep the reins upon your passion:
Don't let your flame rage too high, lest my lady shou'd be cruel, and
it should dry you up to a mummy.

_Mon._ 'Tis impossible she can be so barbarous, to let me die. Alas,
_Flippanta_, a very small matter wou'd save my life.

_Flip._ Then y'are dead--for we women never grant any thing to a man
who will be satisfied with a little.

_Mon._ Dear _Flippanta_, that was only my modesty; but since you'll
have it out----I am a very dragon; and so your lady'll find----if ever
she thinks fit to be----Now I hope you'll stand my friend.

_Flip._ Well, Sir, as far as my credit goes, it shall be employ'd in
your service.

_Mon._ My best _Flippanta_--tell her--I'm all hers--tell her--my body's
hers--tell her--my soul's hers--and tell her--my estate's hers. Lord
have mercy upon me, how I'm in love!

_Flip._ Poor man! what a sweat he's in! But hark--I hear my master; for
heaven's sake compose yourself a little; you are in such a fit, o' my
conscience he'll smell you out.

_Mon._ Ah dear, I'm in such an emotion, I dare not be seen; put me in
this closet for a moment.

_Flip._ Closet, man! it's too little, your love wou'd stifle you. Go
air yourself in the garden a little, you have need on't, i'faith.

                                                    [_She puts him out._

                          _~Flippanta~ sola._

A rare adventure, by my troth. This will be curious news to the wives.
Fortune has now put their husbands into their hands, and I think they
are too sharp to neglect its favours.

                            _Enter ~Gripe~._

_Gripe._ O, here's the right hand; the rest of the body can't be far
off. Where's my wife, huswife?

_Flip._ An admirable question!----Why, she's gone abroad, Sir.

_Gripe._ Abroad, abroad, abroad already? Why, she uses to be stewing in
her bed three hours after this time, as late as 'tis: What makes her
gadding so soon?

_Flip._ Business, I suppose.

_Gripe._ Business! she has a pretty head for business truly: O ho, let
her change her way of living, or I'll make her change a light heart for
a heavy one.

_Flip._ And why would you have her change her way of living, Sir? You
see it agrees with her. She never look'd better in her life.

_Gripe._ Don't tell me of her looks, I have done with her looks long
since. But I'll make her change her life, or----

_Flip._ Indeed. Sir, you won't.

_Gripe._ Why, what shall hinder me, insolence?

_Flip._ That which hinders most husbands; contradiction.

_Gripe._ Suppose I resolve I won't be contradicted?

_Flip._ Suppose she resolves you shall?

_Gripe._ A wife's resolution is not good by law.

_Flip._ Nor a husband's by custom.

_Gripe._ I tell thee I will not bear it.

_Flip._ I tell you, Sir, you will bear it.

_Gripe._ Oons, I have borne it three years already.

_Flip._ By that you see 'tis but giving your mind to it.

_Gripe._ My mind to it! Death and the devil! My mind to it!

_Flip._ Look ye, Sir, you may swear and damn, and call the furies to
assist you! but 'till you apply the remedy to the right place, you'll
never cure the disease. You fancy you have got an extravagant wife,
is't not so?

_Gripe._ Pr'ythee change me that word fancy, and it is so.

_Flip._ Why there's it. Men are strangely troubled with the vapours of
late. You'll wonder now if I tell you, you have the most reasonable
wife in town: And that all the disorders you think you see in her, are
only here, here, here, in your own head.

                                               [_Thumping his forehead._

_Gripe._ She is then, in thy opinion, a reasonable woman?

_Flip._ By my faith, I think so.

_Gripe._ I shall run mad--Name me an extravagance in the world she is
not guilty of.

_Flip._ Name me an extravagance in the world she is guilty of.

_Gripe._ Come then: Does not she put the whole house in disorder?

_Flip._ Not that I know of, for she never comes into it but to sleep.

_Gripe._ 'Tis very well: Does she employ any one moment of her life in
the government of her family?

_Flip._ She is so submissive a wife, she leaves it entirely to you.

_Gripe._ Admirable! Does she not spend more money in coach-hire, and
chair-hire, than would maintain six children?

_Flip._ She's too nice of your credit to be seen daggling in the
streets.

_Gripe._ Good! Do I set eye on her sometimes in a week together?

_Flip._ That, Sir, is because you are never stirring at the same time;
you keep odd hours; you are always going to bed when she's rising, and
rising just when she's coming to bed.

_Gripe._ Yes, truly, night into day, and day into night, bawdy-house
play, that's her trade; but these are trifles: Has she not lost her
diamond necklace? Answer me to that, Trapes.

_Flip._ Yes; and has sent as many tears after it, as if it had been her
husband.

_Gripe._ Ah----the pox take her; but enough. 'Tis resolv'd, and I will
put a stop to the course of her life, or I will put a stop to the
course of her blood, and so she shall know, the first time I meet with
her; [_Aside._] which tho' we are man and wife, and lie under one roof,
'tis very possible may not be this fortnight.

                                                        [_Exit ~Gripe~._

                          _~Flippanta~ sola._

Nay, thou hast a blessed time on't, that must be confess'd. What a
miserable devil is a husband! Insupportable to himself, and a plague
to every thing about them. Their wives do by them, as children do by
dogs, teaze and provoke 'em, 'till they make them so curs'd, they snarl
and bite at every thing that comes in their reach. This wretch here is
grown perverse to that degree, he's for his wife's keeping home, and
making hell of his house, so he may be the devil in it to torment her.
How niggardly soever he is of all things he possesses, he is willing to
purchase her misery at the expence of his own peace. But he'd as good
be still, for he'll miss of his aim. If I know her (which I think I do)
she'll set his blood in such a ferment, it shall bubble out at every
pore of him; whilst hers is so quiet in her veins, her pulse shall go
like a pendulum.

                                                                [_Exit._



+ACT+ III.


+SCENE+, _Mrs._ Amlet's _House_.

                            _Enter ~Dick~._

Where's this old woman?----A hey. What the devil, nobody at home?
Ha! her strong box!----And the key in't! 'tis so. Now fortune be my
friend. What the duce----Not a penny of money in cash!----Nor a chequer
note!----Nor a Bank bill----[_Searching the strong box._]----Nor a
crooked stick! Nor a----Mum----here's something----A diamond necklace,
by all the Gods! Oons the old woman----Zest.

            [_Claps the necklace in his pocket, then runs and asks her
                                                            blessing._]

                         _Enter Mrs. ~Amlet~._

----Pray mother, pray to, _&c._

_Aml._ Is it possible!----_Dick_ upon his humble knee! Ah my dear
child!----May heaven be good unto thee.

_Dick._ I'm come, my dear mother, to pay my duty to you, and to ask
your consent to----

_Aml._ What a shape is there!

_Dick._ To ask your consent, I say, to marry a great fortune; for what
is riches in this world without a blessing? And how can there be a
blessing without respect and duty to parents?

_Aml._ What a nose he has!

_Dick._ And therefore it being the duty of every good child not to
dispose of himself in marriage, without the----

_Aml._ Now the Lord love thee [_Kissing him._]----for thou art a goodly
young man: Well, Dick----And how goes it with the lady? Are her eyes
open to thy charms? Does she see what's for her own good? Is she
sensible of the blessings thou hast in store for her? Ha! is all sure?
Hast thou broke a piece of money with her? Speak, bird, do: Don't be
modest, and hide thy love from thy mother, for I'm an indulgent parent.

_Dick._ Nothing under heaven can prevent my good fortune, but its being
discover'd I'm your son----

_Aml._ Then thou art still asham'd of thy natural mother.--Graceless!
Why, I'm no whore, sirrah.

_Dick._ I know you are not----A whore! Bless us all----

_Aml._ No; My reputation's as good as the best of 'em; and tho' I'm
old, I'm chaste, you rascal you.

_Dick._ Lord, that is not the thing we talk of, mother; but----

_Aml._ I think, as the world goes, they may be proud of marrying their
daughter into a vartuous family.

_Dick._ Oons, vartue is not the case----

_Aml._ Where she may have a good example before her eyes.

_Dick._ O Lord! O Lord! O Lord!

_Aml._ I'm a woman that don't so much as encourage an incontinent look
towards me.

_Dick._ I tell you, 'sdeath, I tell you----

_Aml._ If a man shou'd make an uncivil motion to me, I'd spit in his
lascivious face: And all this you may tell them, sirrah.

_Dick._ Death and furies! the woman's out of her--

_Aml._ Don't you swear, you rascal you, don't you swear; we shall have
thee damn'd at last, and then I shall be disgrac'd.

_Dick._ Why then in cold blood hear me speak to you: I tell you it's
a city-fortune I'm about, she cares not a fig for your virtue; she'll
hear of nothing but quality: She has quarrell'd with one of her friends
for having a better complexion, and is resolved she'll marry, to take
place of her.

_Aml._ What a cherry lip is there!

_Dick._ Therefore, good dear mother, now have a care and don't discover
me; for if you do, all's lost.

_Aml._ Dear, dear, how thy fair bride will be delighted: Go, get
thee gone, go: Go fetch her home, go fetch her home; I'll give her a
sack-posset, and a pillow of down she shall lay her head upon. Go fetch
her home, I say.

_Dick._ Take care then of the main chance, my dear mother; remember, if
you discover me----

_Aml._ Go, fetch her home, I say.

_Dick._ You promise me then----

_Aml._ March.

_Dick._ But swear to me----

_Aml._ Be gone, sirrah.

_Dick._ Well, I'll rely upon you--But one kiss before I go.

                                   [_Kisses her heartily, and runs off._

_Aml._ Now the Lord love thee! for thou art a comfortable young man.

                                                   [_Exit Mrs. ~Amlet~._


+SCENE+, Gripe's _House_.

                   _Enter ~Corinna~ and ~Flippanta~._

_Cor._ But hark you, _Flippanta_, if you don't think he loves me
dearly, don't give him my letter, after all.

_Flip._ Let me alone.

_Cor._ When he has read it, let him give it you again.

_Flip._ Don't trouble yourself.

_Cor._ And not a word of the pudding to my mother-in-law.

_Flip._ Enough.

_Cor._ When we come to love one another to the purpose, she shall know
all.

_Flip._ Ay, then 'twill be time.

_Cor._ But remember 'tis you make me do all this now, so if any
mischief comes on't, 'tis you must answer for't.

_Flip._ I'll be your security.

_Cor._ I'm young, and know nothing of the matter; but you have
experience, so it's your business to conduct me safe.

_Flip._ Poor innocence!

_Cor._ But tell me in serious sadness, _Flippanta_, does he love me
with the very soul of him?

_Flip._ I have told you so an hundred times, and yet you are not
satisfied.

_Cor._ But, methinks, I'd fain have him tell me so himself.

_Flip._ Have patience, and it shall be done.

_Cor._ Why, patience is a virtue; that we must all confess----But I
fancy, the sooner it's done the better, _Flippanta_.

                          _Enter ~Jessamin~._

_Jess._ Madam, yonder's your Geography-Master waiting for you.

                                                                [_Exit._

_Cor._ Ah! how I am tir'd with these old fumbling fellows, _Flippanta_.

_Flip._ Well, don't let 'em break your heart, you shall be rid of them
all ere long.

_Cor._ Nay, 'tis not the study I'm so weary of, _Flippanta_, 'tis the
odious thing that teaches me. Were the Colonel my master, I fancy I
could take pleasure in learning every thing he could shew me.

_Flip._ And he can shew you a great deal, I can tell you that. But get
you gone in, here's somebody coming, we must not be seen together.

_Cor._ I will, I will, I will----O the dear Colonel.

                                                         [_Running off._

                         _Enter Mrs. ~Amlet~._

_Flip._ O ho, it's Mrs. _Amlet_----What brings you so soon to us again,
Mrs. _Amlet_?

_Aml._ Ah! my dear Mrs. _Flippanta_, I'm in a furious fright.

_Flip._ Why, what's come to you?

_Aml._ Ah! Mercy on us all----Madam's diamond necklace----

_Flip._ What of that?

_Aml._ Are you sure you left it at my house?

_Flip._ Sure I left it! a very pretty question truly!

_Aml._ Nay, don't be angry; say nothing to madam of it, I beseech you:
It will be found again, if it be heaven's good will. At least 'tis I
must bear the loss on't. 'Tis my rogue of a son has laid his birdlime
fingers on't.

_Flip._ Your son, Mrs. _Amlet_! Do you breed your children up to such
tricks as these then?

_Aml._ What shall I say to you, Mrs. _Flippanta_? Can I help it? He has
been a rogue from his cradle, _Dick_ has. But he has his deserts too.
And now it comes in my head, mayhap he may have no ill design in this
neither.

_Flip._ No ill design, woman! He's a pretty fellow if he can steal a
diamond necklace with a good one.

_Aml._ You don't know him, Mrs. _Flippanta_, so well as I that bore
him. _Dick_'s a rogue, 'tis true, but----Mum----

_Flip._ What does the woman mean?

_Aml._ Hark you, Mrs. _Flippanta_, is not here a young gentlewoman in
your house that wants a husband?

_Flip._ Why do you ask?

_Aml._ By way of conversation only, it does not concern me; but when
she marries I may chance to dance at the wedding. Remember I tell you
so: I who am but Mrs. _Amlet_.

_Flip._ You dance at her wedding! you!

_Aml._ Yes, I, I; but don't trouble madam about her necklace, perhaps
it mayn't go out of the family. Adieu, Mrs. _Flippanta_.

                                                   [_Exit Mrs. ~Amlet~._

_Flip._ What--what--what does the woman mean? Mad! What a capilotade of
a story's here? The necklace lost; and her son Dick; and a fortune to
marry; and she shall dance at the wedding; and----She does not intend,
I hope, to propose a match between her son _Dick_ and _Corinna_! By my
conscience I believe she does. An old beldam!

                            _Enter ~Brass~._

_Brass._ Well, hussy, how stand our affairs? Has miss writ us an answer
yet? My master's very impatient yonder.

_Flip._ And why the duce does he not come himself? What does he send
such idle fellows as thee of his errands? Here I had her alone just
now: He won't have such an opportunity again this month, I can tell him
that.

_Brass._ So much the worse for him; 'tis his business----But now, my
dear, let thee and I talk a little of our own: I grow most damnably in
love with thee; dost hear that?

_Flip._ Phu! thou art always timeing things wrong; my head is full, at
present, of more important things than love.

_Brass._ Then it's full of important things indeed: Dost want a
privy-counsellor?

_Flip._ I want an assistant.

_Brass._ To do what?

_Flip._ Mischief.

_Brass._ I'm thy man----touch.

_Flip._ But before I venture to let thee into my project, pr'ythee tell
me, whether thou find'st a natural disposition to ruin a husband to
oblige his wife?

_Brass._ Is she handsome?

_Flip._ Yes.

_Brass._ Why then my disposition's at her service.

_Flip._ She's beholden to thee.

_Brass._ Not she alone neither, therefore don't let her grow vain
upon't; for I have three or four affairs of that kind going at this
time.

_Flip._ Well, go carry this epistle from miss to thy master; and when
thou com'st back, I'll tell thee thy business.

_Brass._ I'll know it before I go, if you please.

_Flip._ Thy master waits for an answer.

_Brass._ I'd rather he should wait than I.

_Flip._ Why then, in short, _Araminta_'s husband is in love with my
lady.

_Brass._ Very well, child, we have a _Rowland_ for her _Oliver_: Thy
lady's husband is in love with _Araminta_.

_Flip._ Who told you that, sirrah?

_Brass._ 'Tis a negociation I am charged with, Pert. Did not I tell
thee I did business for half the town? I have managed Master _Gripe_'s
little affairs for him these ten years, you slut you.

_Flip._ Hark thee, _Brass_, the game's in our hands, if we can but play
the cards.

_Brass._ Pique and repique, you jade you, if the wives will fall into a
good intelligence.

_Flip._ Let them alone; I'll answer for them they don't slip the
occasion.----See here they come. They little think what a piece of good
news we have for 'em.

                   _Enter ~Clarissa~ and ~Araminta~._

_Clar._ _Jessamin_! here, boy, carry up these things into my
dressing-room, and break as many of them by the way as you can, be
sure.----O! art thou there, _Brass_! What news?

_Brass._ Madam, I only call'd in as I was going by----But some little
propositions Mrs. _Flippanta_ has been starting have kept me here to
offer your ladyship my humble service.

_Clar._ What propositions?

_Brass._ She'll acquaint you, madam.

_Aram._ Is there any thing new, _Flippanta_?

_Flip._ Yes, and pretty too.

_Clar._ That follows of course, but let's have it quick.

_Flip._ Why, Madam, you have made a conquest.

_Clar._ Hussy----But of who? quick.

_Flip._ Of Mr. _Money-trap_, that's all.

_Aram._ My husband?

_Flip._ Yes, your husband, Madam: You thought fit to corrupt ours, so
now we are even with you.

_Aram._ Sure thou art in jest, _Flippanta_.

_Flip._ Serious as my devotions.

_Brass._ And the cross intrigue, ladies, is what our brains have been
at work about.

_Aram._ My dear!

                                                       [_To ~Clarissa~._

_Clar._ My life!

_Aram._ My angel!

_Clar._ My soul!

                                                 [_Hugging one another._

_Aram._ The stars have done this.

_Clar._ The pretty little twinklers.

_Flip._ And what will you do for them now?

_Clar._ What grateful creatures ought; shew 'em we don't despise their
favours.

_Aram._ But is not this a wager between these two blockheads?

_Clar._ I would not give a shilling to go the winner's halves.

_Aram._ Then 'tis the most fortunate thing that ever cou'd have
happen'd.

_Clar._ All your last night's ideas, _Araminta_, were trifles to it.

_Aram._ _Brass_, my dear, will be useful to us.

_Brass._ At your service, Madam.

_Clar._ _Flippanta_ will be necessary, my life!

_Flip._ She waits your commands, Madam.

_Aram._ For my part then, I recommend my husband to thee, _Flippanta_,
and make it my earnest request thou won't leave him one half-crown.

_Flip._ I'll do all I can to obey you, Madam.

_Brass._ [_To ~Clarissa~._] If your ladyship wou'd give me the same
kind orders for yours.

_Clar._ O----if thou spar'st him, _Brass_, I'm thy enemy till I die.

_Brass._ 'Tis enough, Madam, I'll be sure to give you a reasonable
account of him. But how do you intend we shall proceed, ladies? Must
we storm the purse at once, or break ground in form, and carry it by
little and little?

_Clar._ Storm, dear _Brass_, storm: ever whilst you live, storm.

_Aram._ O by all means; must it not be so, _Flippanta_?

_Flip._ In four and twenty hours, two hundred pounds a-piece, that's my
sentence.

_Brass._ Very well. But, ladies, you'll give me leave to put you in
mind of some little expence in favours, 'twill be necessary you are at,
to these honest gentlemen.

_Aram._ Favours, _Brass_!

_Brass._ Um----a----some small matters, Madam, I doubt must be.

_Clar._ Now that's a vile article, _Araminta_; for that thing your
husband is so like mine----

_Flip._ Phu, there's a scruple, indeed. Pray, Madam, don't be so
squeamish; tho' the meat be a little flat, we'll find you savoury sauce
to it.

_Clar._ This wench is so mad.

_Flip._ Why, what in the name of _Lucifer_, is it you have to do,
that's so terrible?

_Brass._ A civil look only.

_Aram._ There's no great harm in that.

_Flip._ An obliging word.

_Clar._ That one may afford 'em.

_Brass._ A little smile, _a propos_.

_Aram._ That's but giving one's self an air.

_Flip._ Receive a little letter, perhaps.

_Clar._ Women of quality do that from fifty odious fellows.

_Brass._ Suffer, may be, a squeeze by the hand.

_Aram._ One's so us'd to that, one does not feel it.

_Flip._ Or if a kiss wou'd do't?

_Clar._ I'd die first.

_Brass._ Indeed, ladies, I doubt 'twill be necessary to--

_Clar._ Get their wretched money without paying so dear for it.

_Flip._ Well, just as you please for that, my ladies: But I suppose
you'll play upon the square with your favours, and not pique yourselves
upon being one more grateful than another.

_Brass._ And state a fair account of receipts and disbursements.

_Aram._ That I think should be, indeed.

_Clar._ With all my heart, and _Brass_ shall be our book-keeper. So get
thee to work, man, as fast as thou canst: but not a word of all this to
my master.

_Brass._ I'll observe my orders, Madam.

                                                        [_Exit ~Brass~._

_Clar._ I'll have the pleasure of telling him myself; he'll be
violently delighted with it: 'tis the best man in the world,
_Araminta_; he'll bring us rare company to-morrow, all sorts of
gamesters; and thou shalt see my husband will be such a beast to be out
of humour at it.

_Aram._ The monster----But hush, here's my dear approaching; pr'ythee
let's leave him to _Flippanta_.

_Flip._ Ah, pray do, I'll bring you a good account of him, I'll warrant
you.

_Clar._ Dispatch then, for the basset-table's in haste.

                                             [_Exit ~Clar.~ and ~Aram.~_

                          _~Flippanta~ sola._

So, now have at him; here he comes: We'll try if we can pillage the
usurer, as he does other folks.

                         _Enter ~Money-trap~._

_Mon._ Well, my pretty _Flippanta_, is thy mistress come home?

_Flip._ Yes, Sir.

_Mon._ And where is she, pr'ythee?

_Flip._ Gone abroad, Sir.

_Mon._ How dost mean?

_Flip._ I mean right, Sir; my lady'll come home and go abroad ten times
in an hour, when she's either in very good humour, or very bad.

_Mon._ Good lack! But I'll warrant, in general, 'tis her naughty
husband that makes her house uneasy to her. But hast thou said a little
something to her, chicken, for an expiring lover? ha!

_Flip._ Said----yes, I have said, much good may it do me.

_Mon._ Well! and how?

_Flip._ And how!----And how do you think you would have me do't? And
you have such a way with you, one can refuse you nothing. But I have
brought myself into a fine business by it.

_Mon._ Good lack:----But, I hope, _Flippanta_--

_Flip._ Yes, your hopes will do much, when I am turn'd out of doors.

_Mon._ Was she then terrible angry?

_Flip._ Oh! had you seen how she flew, when she saw where I was
pointing; for you must know I went round the bush and round the bush,
before I came to the matter.

_Mon._ Nay, 'tis a ticklish point, that must be own'd.

_Flip._ On my word is it----I mean where a lady's truly virtuous; for
that's our case you must know.

_Mon._ A very dangerous case indeed.

_Flip._ But I can tell you one thing----she has an inclination to you.

_Mon._ Is it possible!

_Flip._ Yes, and I told her so at last.

_Mon._ Well, and what did she answer thee?

_Flip._ Slap----and bid me bring it you for a token.

                                       [_Giving him a slap on the face._

_Mon._ And you have lost none on't by the way, with a pox t'ye.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Flip._ Now this, I think, looks the best in the world.

_Mon._ Yea, but really it feels a little oddly.

_Flip._ Why, you must know, ladies have different ways of expressing
their kindness, according to the humour they are in: if she had been in
a good one, it had been a kiss; but as long as she sent you something,
your affairs go well.

_Mon._ Why, truly, I am a little ignorant in the mysterious parts of
love, so I must be guided by thee. But pr'ythee take her in a good
humour next token she sends me.

_Flip._ Ah----good humour?

_Mon._ What's the matter?

_Flip._ Poor lady!

_Man._ Ha!

_Flip._ If I durst tell you all----

_Mon._ What then?

_Flip._ You would not expect to see her in one a good while.

_Mon._ Why, I pray?

_Flip._ I must own I did take an unseasonable time to talk of
love-matters to her.

_Mon._ Why, what's the matter?

_Flip._ Nothing.

_Mon._ Nay, pr'ythee tell me.

_Flip._ I dare not.

_Mon._ You must indeed.

_Flip._ Why, when women are in difficulties, how can they think of
pleasure?

_Mon._ Why, what difficulties can she be in?

_Flip._ Nay, I do but guess after all; for she has that grandeur of
soul, she'd die before she'd tell.

_Mon._ But what dost thou suspect?

_Flip._ Why, what should one suspect, where a husband loves nothing but
getting of money, and a wife nothing but spending on't?

_Mon._ So she wants that same, then?

_Flip._ I say no such thing, I know nothing of the matter; pray make no
wrong interpretation of what I say, my Lady wants nothing that I know
of. 'Tis true----she has had ill luck at cards of late, I believe she
has not won once this month: but what of that?

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ 'Tis true, I know her spirit's that she'd see her husband
hanged before she'd ask him for a farthing.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ And then I know him again, he'd see her drown'd before he'd
give her a farthing; but that's a help to your affair, you know.

_Mon._ 'Tis so, indeed.

_Flip._ Ah----well, I'll say nothing; but if she had none of these
things to fret her----

_Mon._ Why really, _Flippanta_----

_Flip._ I know what you are going to say now; you are going to offer
your service, but 'twon't do; you have a mind to play the gallant now,
but it must not be; you want to be shewing your liberality, but 'twon't
be allowed; you'll be pressing me to offer it, and she'll be in a rage.
We shall have the Devil to do.

_Mon._ You mistake me, _Flippanta_, I was only going to say----

_Flip._ Ay, I know what you were going to say well enough; but
I tell you it will never do so. If one cou'd find out some way
now----ay----let me see----

_Mon._ Indeed I hope----

_Flip._ Pray be quiet----no----but I'm thinking----hum----she'll smoke
that tho'----let us consider--If one you'd find a way to----'Tis the
nicest point in the world to bring about, she'll never touch it, if she
knows from whence it comes.

_Mon._ Shall I try if I can reason her husband out of twenty pounds, to
make her easy the rest of her life?

_Flip._ Twenty pounds, man?----why you shall see her set that upon a
card. O----she has a great soul.----Besides, if her husband should
oblige her, it might, in time, take off her aversion to him, and by
consequence, her inclination to you. No, no, it must never come that
way.

_Mon._ What shall we do then?

_Flip._ Hold still----I have it. I'll tell you what you shall do.

_Mon._ Ay.

_Flip._ You shall make her a restitution of two hundred pounds.

_Mon._ Ha! Restitution!

_Flip._ Yes, yes, 'tis the luckiest thought in the world; Madam often
plays, you know, and folks who do so, meet now and then with sharpers.
Now you shall be a sharper.

_Mon._ A sharper!

_Flip._ Ay, ay, a sharper; and having cheated her of two hundred
pounds, shall be troubled in mind, and send it her back again. You
comprehend me?

_Mon._ Yes, I comprehend, but a----won't she suspect if it be so much?

_Flip._ No, no, the more the better.

_Mon._ Two hundred pounds!

_Flip._ Yes, two hundred pounds----Or let me see----so even a sum may
look a little suspicious----ay----let it be two hundred and thirty;
that odd thirty will make it look so natural, the devil won't find it
out.

_Mon._ Ha!

_Flip._ Pounds, too, look I don't know how; guineas I fancy were
better----ay, guineas, it shall be guineas. You are of that mind, are
you not?

_Mon._ Um----a guinea, you know, _Flippanta_, is--

_Flip._ A thousand times genteeler, you are certainly in the right
on't; it shall be as you say, two hundred and thirty guineas.

_Mon._ Ho----well, if it must be guineas, let's see, two hundred
guineas.

_Flip._ And thirty; two hundred and thirty: If you mistake the sum, you
spoil all. So go put them in a purse, while it's fresh in your head,
and send 'em to me with a penitential letter, desiring I'll do you the
favour to restore them to her.

_Mon._ Two hundred and thirty pounds in a bag!

_Flip._ Guineas, I say, guineas.

_Mon._ Ay, guineas, that's true. But _Flippanta_, if she don't know
they come from me, then I give my money for nothing, you know.

_Flip._ Phu, leave that to me, I'll manage the flock for you; I'll make
it produce something I'll warrant you.

_Mon._ Well, _Flippanta_, 'tis a great sum indeed; but I'll go try what
I can do for her. You say, two hundred guineas in a purse?

_Flip._ And thirty; if the man's in his senses.

_Mon._ And thirty, 'tis true, I always forget that thirty.

                                                  [_Exit ~Money-trap~._

_Flip._ So, get thee gone, thou art a rare fellow, i'faith.
Brass!----it's thee, is't not?

                            _Enter ~Brass~._

_Brass._ It is, Huswife. How go matters? I staid till thy gentleman was
gone. Hast done any thing towards our common purse?

_Flip._ I think I have; he's going to make us a restitution of two or
three hundred pounds.

_Brass._ A restitution!----good.

_Flip._ A new way, sirrah, to make a lady take a present without
putting her to the blush.

_Brass._ 'Tis very well, mighty well indeed. Pr'ythee where's thy
master? let me try if I can perswade him to be troubled in mind too.

_Flip._ Not so hasty; he's gone into his closet to prepare himself for
a quarrel, I have advis'd him to----with his wife.

_Brass._ What to do?

_Flip._ Why to make her stay at home, now she has resolved to do it
beforehand. You must know, sirrah, we intend to make a merit of our
basset table, and get a good pretence for the merry companions we
intend to fill his house with.

_Brass._ Very nicely spun, truly, thy husband will be a happy man.

_Flip._ Hold your tongue, you fool you. See here comes your master.

_Brass._ He's welcome.

                            _Enter ~Dick~._

_Dick._ My dear _Flippanta_! how many thanks have I to pay thee?

_Flip._ Do you like her style?

_Dick._ The kindest little rogue! there's nothing but she gives me
leave to hope. I am the happiest man the world has in its care.

_Flip._ Not so happy as you think for neither, perhaps; you have a
rival, Sir, I can tell you that.

_Dick._ A rival!

_Flip._ Yes, and a dangerous one too.

_Dick._ Who in the name of terror?

_Flip._ A devilish fellow, one Mr. _Amlet_.

_Dick._ _Amlet_! I know no such man.

_Flip._ You know the man's mother tho'; you met her here, and are in
her favour, I can tell you. If he worst you, in your mistress, you
shall e'en marry her and disinherit him.

_Dick._ If I have no other rival but Mr. _Amlet_, I believe I shan't be
disturb'd in my amour. But can't I see _Corinna_?

_Flip._ I don't know, she has always some of her masters with her: but
I'll go and see if she can spare you a moment, and bring you word.

                                                    [_Exit ~Flippanta~._

_Dick._ I wish my old hobbling mother han't been blabbing something
here she should not do.

_Brass._ Fear nothing, all's safe on that side yet. But, how speaks
young mistress's epistle? soft and tender?

_Dick._ As pen can write.

_Brass._ So you think all goes well there?

_Dick._ As my heart can wish.

_Brass._ You are sure on't?

_Dick._ Sure on't!

_Brass._ Why then, ceremony aside, [_Putting on his hat._] You and I
must have a little talk, Mr. _Amlet_.

_Dick._ Ah, _Brass_, what art thou going to do? Wou't ruin me?

_Brass._ Look you, _Dick_, few words; you are in a smooth way of making
your fortune. I hope all will roll on. But how do you intend matters
shall pass 'twixt you and me in this business?

_Dick._ Death and Furies! What a time dost take to talk on't?

_Brass._ Good words, or I betray you; they have already heard of one
Mr. _Amlet_ in the house.

_Dick._ Here's a son of a whore!

                                                               [_Aside._

_Brass._ In short, look smooth, and be a good prince: I am your valet,
'tis true: your footman sometimes, which I'm enrag'd at; but you have
always had the ascendant, I confess: when we were school-fellows, you
made me carry your books, make your exercise, own your rogueries, and
sometimes take a whipping for you. When we were fellow-prentices,
tho' I was your senior, you made me open the shop, clean my master's
shoes, cut last at dinner, and eat all the crust. In our sins too, I
must own you still kept me under; you soar'd up to adultery with our
mistress, while I was at humble fornication with the maid. Nay, in our
punishments you still made good your post: for when once upon a time I
was sentenced but to be whipp'd, I cannot deny but you were condemn'd
to be hang'd. So that in all times, I must confess, your inclinations
have been greater and nobler than mine; however, I cannot consent that
you shou'd at once fix fortune for life, and I dwell in my humilities
for the rest of my days.

_Dick._ Hark thee, _Brass_, if I do not most nobly by thee, I'm a dog.

_Brass._ And when?

_Dick._ As soon as ever I am married.

_Brass._ Ah, the pox take thee.

_Dick._ Then you mistrust me?

_Brass._ I do by my faith. Look you, Sir, some folks we mistrust,
because we don't know them; others we mistrust, because we do know
them: and for one of these reasons I desire there may be a bargain
beforehand: If not [_Raising his voice._] look ye _Dick Amlet_----

_Dick._ Soft, my dear friend and companion. The dog will ruin me.
[_Aside._] Say, what is't will content thee?

_Brass._ O ho!

_Dick._ But how canst thou be such a barbarian?

_Brass._ I learnt it at _Algiers_.

_Dick._ Come, make thy _Turkish_ demand then.

_Brass._ You know you gave me a bank-bill this morning to receive for
you.

_Dick._ I did so, of fifty pounds, 'tis thine. So, now thou are
satisfy'd, all's fix'd.

_Brass._ It is not indeed. There's a diamond necklace you robb'd your
mother of ev'n now.

_Dick._ Ah, you _Jew_.

_Brass._ No words.

_Dick._ My dear _Brass_!

_Brass._ I insist.

_Dick._ My old friend.

_Brass._ _Dick Amlet_ [_Raising his voice._] I insist.

_Dick._ Ah the Cormorant----Well, 'tis thine: but thou'lt never thrive
with it.

_Brass._ When I find it begins to do me mischief, I'll give it you
again. But I must have a wedding-suit.

_Dick._ Well.

_Brass._ Some good lace.

_Dick._ Thou shalt.

_Brass._ A stock of linen.

_Dick._ Enough.

_Brass._ Not yet----a silver sword.

_Dick._ Well, thou shalt have that too. Now thou hast every thing.

_Brass._ God forgive me, I forgot a ring of remembrance; I wou'd not
forget all these favours for the world: a sparkling diamond I will be
always playing in my eye, and put me in mind of them.

_Dick._ This unconscionable rogue! [_Aside._] Well, I'll bespeak one
for thee.

_Brass._ Brilliant.

_Dick._ It shall. But if the thing don't succeed after all?----

_Brass._ I'm a man of honour, and restore: and so the treaty being
finish'd, I strike my flag of defiance, and fall into my respects again.

                                                  [_Taking off his hat._

                          _Enter ~Flippanta~._

_Flip._ I have made you wait a little, but I cou'd not help it, her
master is but just gone. He has been shewing her Prince _Eugene_'s
march into _Italy_.

_Dick._ Pr'ythee let me come to her, I'll shew her a part of the world
he has never shewn her yet.

_Flip._ So I told her, you must know; and she said, she cou'd like to
travel in good company: so if you'll slip up those back-stairs, you
shall try if you can agree upon the journey.

_Dick._ My dear _Flippanta_!

_Flip._ None of your dear acknowledgments, I beseech you, but up stairs
as hard as you can drive.

_Dick._ I'm gone.

                                                         [_Exit ~Dick~._

_Flip._ And do you follow him _Jack-a-dandy_, and see he is not
surpriz'd.

_Brass._ I thought that was your post, Mrs. _Useful_: But if you'll
come and keep me in humour, I don't care if I share the duty with you.

_Flip._ No words, sirrah, but follow him, I have somewhat else to do.

_Brass._ The jade's so absolute there's no contesting with her. One
kiss tho' to keep the centinel warm. [_Gives her a long kiss._]----So.

                                                        [_Exit ~Brass~._

                          _~Flippanta~ sola._

----A nasty rogue [_Wiping her mouth._] But, let me see what have I to
do now? This _restitution_ will be here quickly, I suppose; in the mean
time I'll go know if my lady's ready for the quarrel yet. Master yonder
is so full on't, he's ready to burst; but we'll give him vent by and by
with a witness.

                                                         [_Exit ~Flip~._



+ACT+ IV.


+SCENE+, Gripe's _House_.

                _Enter ~Corinna~, ~Dick~, and ~Brass~._

_Brass._ Don't fear, I'll give you timely notice.

                                                    [_Goes to the door._

_Dick._ Come, you must consent, you shall consent. How can you leave me
thus upon the rack? a man who loves you to that excess that I do.

_Cor._ Nay, that you love me, Sir, that I'm satisfy'd in, for you have
sworn you do: And I'm so pleas'd with it, I'd fain have you do so as
long as you live, so we must never marry.

_Dick._ Not marry, my dear! why what's our love good for if we don't
marry!

_Cor._ Ah----I'm afraid 'twill be good for little if we do.

_Dick._ Why do you think so?

_Cor._ Because I hear my father and mother, and my uncle and aunt, and
_Araminta_ and her husband, and twenty other married folks, say so from
morning to night.

_Dick._ Oh, that's because they are bad husbands and bad wives; but in
our case there will be a good husband and a good wife, and so we shall
love for ever.

_Cor._ Why there may be something in that truly; and I'm always willing
to hear reason, as a reasonable young woman ought to do. But are you
sure, Sir, tho' we are very good now, we shall be so when we come to be
better acquainted?

_Dick._ I can answer for myself, at least.

_Cor._ I wish you cou'd answer for me too. You see I am a plain-dealer,
Sir, I hope you don't like me the worse for it.

_Dick._ O, by no means, 'tis a sign of admirable morals; and I hope,
since you practise it yourself, you'll approve of it in your lover.
In one word, therefore, (for 'tis in vain to mince the matter) my
resolution's fix'd, and the world can't stagger me, I marry----or I die.

_Cor._ Indeed, Sir, I have much ado to believe you; the disease of love
is seldom so violent.

_Dick._ Madam, I have two diseases to end my miseries; If the first
don't do't, the latter shall; [_Drawing his sword._] one's in my heart,
t'other's in my scabbard.

_Cor._ Not for a diadem, [_Catching hold of him._] Ah, put it up, put
it up.

_Dick._ How absolute is your command! [_Dropping his sword._] A word,
you see, disarms me.

_Cor._ What a power I have over him! [_Aside._] The wondrous deeds of
love!----Pray, Sir, let me have no more of these rash doings tho';
perhaps I mayn't be always in the saving humour----I'm sure if I had
let him stick himself, I should have been envy'd by all the great
ladies in the town.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Dick._ Well, madam, have I then your promise? you'll make me the
happiest of mankind.

_Cor._ I don't know what to say to you; but I believe I had as good
promise, for I find I shall certainly do't.

_Dick._ Then let us seal the contract thus.

                                                          [_Kisses her._

_Cor._ Um----he has almost taken away my breath: He kisses purely.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Dick._ Hark----somebody comes.

                                                  [_~Brass~ peeping in._

_Brass._ Gar there, the enemy----no, hold y'are safe, 'tis _Flippanta_.

                          _Enter ~Flippanta~._

_Flip._ Come, have you agreed the matter? If not, you must end it
another time, for your father's in motion, so pray kiss and part.

_Cor._ That's sweet and sour. [_They kiss._] Adieu t'ye, Sir.

                                               [_Exit ~Dick~ and ~Cor~._

                          _Enter ~Clarissa~._

_Clar._ Have you told him I'm at home, _Flippanta_?

_Flip._ Yes, Madam.

_Clar._ And that I'll see him?

_Flip._ Yes, that too: But here's news for you; I have just now
receiv'd the restitution.

_Clar._ That's killing pleasure: and how much has he restor'd me?

_Flip._ Two hundred and thirty.

_Clar._ Wretched rogue! but retreat, your Master's coming to quarrel.

_Flip._ I'll be within call, if things run high.

                                                          [_Ex. ~Flip~._

                            _Enter ~Gripe~._

_Gripe._ O ho!----are you there, i'faith? Madam, your humble servant,
I'm very glad to see you at home. I thought I should never have had
that honour again.

_Clar._ Good-morrow, my dear, how d'ye do? _Flippanta_ says you are
out of humour, and that you have a mind to quarrel with me: Is it
true? ha!----I have a terrible pain in my head, I give you notice on't
beforehand.

_Gripe._ And how the pox shou'd it be otherwise? It's a wonder you are
not dead [_~as a' wou'd you were~, Aside._] with the life you lead. Are
you not ashamed? And do you not blush to----

_Clar._ My dear child, you crack my brain; soften the harshness of your
voice: say what thou wou't, but let it be in an agreeable tone----

_Gripe._ Tone, Madam, don't tell me of a tone----

_Clar._ O----if you will quarrel, do it with temperance; let it be all
in cool blood, even and smooth, as if you were not moved with what you
said; and then I'll hear you as if I were not mov'd with it neither.

_Gripe._ Had ever man such need of patience? Madam, Madam, I must tell
you, Madam----

_Clar._ Another key, or I'll walk off.

_Gripe._ Don't provoke me.

_Clar._ Shall you be long, my dear, in your remonstrances?

_Gripe._ Yes, Madam, and very long.

_Clar._ If you would quarrel _en abrêgé_, I shou'd have a world of
obligation to you.

_Gripe._ What I have to say, forsooth, is not to be expressed _en
abrêgé_, my complaints are too numerous.

_Clar._ Complaints! of what my dear? have I ever given you subject of
complaint, my life?

_Gripe._ O Pox! my dear and my life! I desire none of your _tendres_.

_Clar._ How! find fault with my kindness, and my expressions of
affection and respect! the world will guess by this what the rest of
your complaints may be. I must tell you, I am scandaliz'd at your
procedure.

_Gripe._ I must tell you I am running mad with yours.

_Clar._ Ah! how insupportable are the humours of some husbands, so full
of fancies, and so ungovernable: What have you in the world to disturb
you?

_Gripe._ What have I to disturb me! I have you, Death and the Devil.

_Clar._ Ah, merciful heaven! how he swears! You should never accustom
yourself to such words as these; indeed, my dear, you shou'd not; your
mouth's always full of them.

_Gripe._ Blood and thunder! Madam----

_Clar._ Ah, he'll fetch the house down: Do you know you make me tremble
for you? _Flippanta_! who's there? _Flippanta_!

_Gripe._ Here's a provoking devil for you!

                          _Enter ~Flippanta~._

_Flip._ What in the name of _Jove_'s the matter? you raise the
neighbourhood.

_Clar._ Why here's your master in a most violent fuss, and no mortal
soul can tell for what.

_Gripe._ Not tell for what!

_Clar._ No, my life. I have begged him to tell me his griefs,
_Flippanta_; and then he swears, good Lord! how he does swear.

_Gripe._ Ah, you wicked jade! Ah, you wicked jade!

_Clar._ Do you hear him _Flippanta_! do you hear him!

_Flip._ Pray, Sir, let's know a little what puts you in all this fury?

_Clar._ Pr'ythee stand near me, _Flippanta_, there's an odd froth about
his mouth, looks as if his poor head were going wrong, I'm afraid he'll
bite.

_Gripe._ The wicked woman, _Flippanta_, the wicked woman.

_Clar._ Can any body wonder I shun my own house, when he treats me at
this rate in it?

_Gripe._ At this rate! why in the devil's name----

_Clar._ Do you hear him again?

_Flip._ Come, a little moderation, Sir, and try what that will produce.

_Gripe._ Hang her, 'tis all a pretence to justify her going abroad.

_Clar._ A pretence! a pretence! Do you hear how black a charge he loads
me with? Charges me with a pretence? Is this the return for all my
downright open actions? You know, my dear, I scorn pretences: Whenever
I go abroad, it is without pretence.

_Gripe._ Give me patience.

_Flip._ You have a great deal, Sir.

_Clar._ And yet he's never content, _Flippanta_.

_Gripe._ What shall I do?

_Clar._ What a reasonable man wou'd do; own your self in the wrong, and
be quiet. Here's _Flippanta_ has understanding, and I have moderation;
I'm willing to make her judge of our differences.

_Flip._ You do me a great deal of honour, Madam: but I tell you
beforehand, I shall be a little on Master's side.

_Gripe._ Right, _Flippanta_ has sense. Come, let her decide. Have I not
reason to be in a passion? tell me that.

_Clar._ You must tell her for what, my life.

_Gripe._ Why, for the trade you drive, my soul.

_Flip._ Look you, Sir, pray take things right. I know Madam does fret
you a little now and then, that's true; but in the fund, she is the
softest, sweetest, gentlest lady breathing: let her but live entirely
to her own fancy, and she'll never say a word to you from morning to
night.

_Gripe._ Oons, let her but stay at home, and she shall do what she
will: in reason, that is.

_Flip._ D'ye hear that, Madam? nay, now I must be on master's side; you
see how he loves you, he desires only your company, pray give him that
satisfaction, or I must pronounce against you.

_Clar._ Well, I agree. Thou know'st I don't love to grieve him: let him
be always in good humour, and I'll be always at home.

_Flip._ Look you there, Sir, what would you have more?

_Gripe._ Well, let her keep her word, and I'll have done quarrelling.

_Clar._ I must not, however, so far lose the merit of my consent, as to
let you think I'm weary of going abroad, my dear: what I do is purely
to oblige you; which, that I may be able to perform, without a relapse,
I'll invent what ways I can to make my prison supportable to me.

_Flip._ Her prison! pretty bird! her prison! do'nt that word melt you,
Sir?

_Gripe._ I must confess I did not expect to find her so reasonable.

_Flip._ O, Sir, soon or late wives come into good humour: husbands must
only have a little patience to wait for it.

_Clar._ The innocent little diversions, dear, that I shall content
myself with, will be chiefly play and company.

_Gripe._ O, I'll find you employment, your time shan't lie upon your
hands, tho' if you have a mind now for such a companion as a----let me
see----_Araminta_ for example, why I shan't be against her being with
you from morning till nigh.

_Clar._ You can't oblige me more, 'tis the best woman in the world.

_Gripe._ Is not she?

_Flip._ Ah, the old satyr!

                                                               [_Aside._

_Gripe._ Then we'll have, besides her, may be sometimes----her husband;
and we shall see my niece that writes verses, and my sister _Fidget_:
with her husband's brother that's always merry; and his little cousin
that's to marry the fat curate; and my uncle the apothecary, with his
wife and all his children. O we shall divert ourselves rarely.

_Flip._ Good.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Clar._ O, for that, my dear child, I must be plain with you, I'll see
none of them but _Araminta_, who has the manners of the court; for I'll
converse with none but women of quality.

_Gripe._ Ay, ay, they shall all have one quality or other.

_Clar._ Then, my dear, to make our home pleasant, we'll have consorts
of music sometimes.

_Gripe._ Music in my house!

_Clar._ Yes, my child, we must have music or the house will be so dull
I shall get the spleen, and be going abroad again.

_Flip._ Nay, she has so much complaisance for you, Sir, you can't
dispute such things with her.

_Gripe._ Ay, but if I have music----

_Clar._ Ay, but Sir, I must have music----

_Flip._ Not every day, Madam don't mean.

_Clar._ No, bless me, no; but three consorts a week: three days more
we'll play after dinner at _Ombre_, _Picquet_, _Basset_, and so forth,
and close the evening with a handsome supper and a ball.

_Gripe._ A ball!

_Clar._ Then, my love, you know there is but one day more upon our
hands, and that shall be the day of conversation, we'll read verses,
talk of books, invent modes, tell lyes, scandalize our friends, be
pert upon religion; and in short, employ every moment of it in some
pretty witty exercise or other.

_Flip._ What order you see 'tis she proposes to live in! A most
wonderful regularity!

_Gripe._ Regularity with a pox----

                                                               [_Aside._

_Clar._ And as this kind of life, so soft, so smooth, so agreeable,
must needs invite a vast deal of company to partake of it, 'twill be
necessary to have the decency of a porter at our door, you know.

_Gripe._ A porter----A scrivener have a porter, Madam!

_Clar._ Positively a porter.

_Gripe._ Why no scrivener since _Adam_ ever had a porter, woman!

_Clar._ You will therefore be renown'd in story, for having the first,
my life.

_Gripe._ _Flippanta_.

_Flip._ Hang it, Sir, never dispute a trifle; if you vex her, perhaps
she'll insist upon a Swiss.

                                                    [_Aside to ~Gripe~._

_Gripe._ But, Madam----

_Clar._ But, Sir, a porter, positively a porter; without that the
treaty's null, and I go abroad this moment.

_Flip._ Come, Sir, never lose so advantageous a peace for a pitiful
porter.

_Gripe._ Why, I shall be hooted at, the boys will throw stones at my
porter. Besides, where shall I have money for all this expence?

_Clar._ My dear, who asks you for any? Don't be in a fright, chicken.

_Gripe._ Don't be in a fright, Madam! But where I say----

_Flip._ Madam plays, Sir, think on that; women that play have
inexhaustible mines, and wives who receive least money from their
husbands, are many times those who spend the most.

_Clar._ So, my dear, let what _Flippanta_ says content you. Go, my
life, trouble yourself with nothing, but let me do just as I please,
and all will be well. I'm going into my closet, to consider of some
more things to enable me to give you the pleasure of my company at
home, without making it too great a misery to a yielding wife.

                                                     [_Exit ~Clarissa~._

_Flip._ Mirror of goodness! Pattern to all wives! well sure, Sir, you
are the happiest of all husbands.

_Gripe._ Yes----and a miserable dog for all that too, perhaps.

_Flip._ Why, what can you ask more, than this matchless complaisance?

_Gripe._ I don't know what I can ask, and yet I'm not satisfy'd with
what I have neither, the devil mixes in it all, I think; complaisant or
perverse, it feels just as it did.

_Flip._ Why then your uneasiness is only a disease, Sir, perhaps a
little bleeding and purging wou'd relieve you.

_Clar._ _Flippanta_?

                                             [_~Clarissa~ calls within._

_Flip._ Madam calls. I come, Madam. Come, be merry, be merry, Sir, you
have cause, take my word for't. Poor devil.

[_Aside._]

                                                    [_Exit ~Flippanta~._

_Gripe._ I don't know that, I don't know that: But this I do know, that
an honest man, who has marry'd a jade, whether she's pleas'd to spend
her time at home or abroad, had better have liv'd a batchelor.

                            _Enter ~Brass~._

_Brass._ O, Sir, I'm mighty glad I have found you.

_Gripe._ Why, what's the matter, pr'ythee?

_Brass._ Can no body hear us?

_Gripe._ No, no, speak quickly.

_Brass._ You han't seen _Araminta_, since the last letter I carry'd her
from you?

_Gripe._ Not I, I go prudently; I don't press things like your young
firebrand lovers.

_Brass._ But seriously, Sir, are you very much in love with her?

_Gripe._ As mortal man has been.

_Brass._ I'm sorry for't.

_Gripe._ Why so, dear _Brass_?

_Brass._ If you were never to see her more now? Suppose such a thing,
d'ye think 'twou'd break your heart?

_Gripe._ Oh!

_Brass._ Nay, now I see you love her; wou'd you did not.

_Gripe._ My dear friend.

_Brass._ I'm in your interest deep: you see it.

_Gripe._ I do: but speak, what miserable story hast thou for me?

_Brass._ I had rather the devil had, phu----flown away with you quick,
than to see you so much in love, as I perceive you are, since----

_Gripe._ Since what?----ho.

_Brass._ _Araminta_, Sir.

_Gripe._ Dead?

_Brass._ No.

_Gripe._ How then?

_Brass._ Worse.

_Gripe._ Out with't.

_Brass._ Broke.

_Gripe._ Broke!

_Brass._ She is, poor lady, in a most unfortunate situation of affairs.
But I have said too much.

_Gripe._ No, no, 'tis very sad, but let's hear it.

_Brass._ Sir, she charg'd me on my life never to mention it to you, of
all men living.

_Gripe._ Why, who should'st thou tell it to, but to the best of her
friends?

_Brass._ Ay, why there's it now, it's going just as I fancy'd. Now
will I be hang'd if you are not enough in love to be engaging in this
matter. But I must tell you, Sir, that as much concern as I have for
that most excellent, beautiful, agreeable, distress'd, unfortunate
lady, I'm too much your friend and servant, ever to let it be said,
'twas the means of your being ruin'd for a woman----by letting you know
she esteem'd you more than any other man upon earth.

_Gripe._ Ruin'd! what dost thou mean?

_Brass._ Mean! Why! I mean that women always ruin those that love 'em,
that's the rule.

_Gripe._ The rule!

_Brass._ Yes, the rule; why wou'd you have them ruin those that don't?
How shall they bring that about?

_Gripe._ But is there a necessity then, they shou'd ruin somebody?

_Brass._ Yes, marry is there; how wou'd you have 'em support their
expence else? Why, Sir, you can't conceive now----you can't conceive
what _Araminta_'s privy-purse requires. Only her privy purse, Sir! Why,
what do you imagine now she gave me for the last letter I carry'd her
from you? 'Tis true, 'twas from a man she lik'd, else, perhaps, I had
had my bones broke. But what do you think she gave me?

_Gripe._ Why, mayhap----a shilling.

_Brass._ A guinea, Sir, a guinea. You see by that how fond she was
on't, by the bye. But then, Sir, her coach-hire; her chair-hire, her
pin-money, her play-money, her china, and her charity----wou'd consume
peers: A great soul, a very great soul! but what's the end of all this?

_Gripe._ Ha!

_Brass._ Why, I'll tell you what the end is----a nunnery.

_Gripe._ A nunnery!

_Brass._ A nunnery.----In short she is at last reduc'd to that
extremity, and attack'd with such a battalion of duns, that rather than
tell her husband (who you know is such a dog, he'd let her go if she
did) she has e'en determin'd to turn papist, and bid the world adieu
for life.

_Gripe._ O terrible! a papist!

_Brass._ Yes, when a handsome woman has brought herself into
difficulties, the devil can't help her out of----To a nunnery, that's
another rule, Sir.

_Gripe._ But, but, but, pr'ythee _Brass_, but----

_Brass._ But all the buts in the world, Sir, won't stop her: she's a
woman of a noble resolution. So, Sir, your humble servant; I pity her,
I pity you. Turtle and mate; but the Fates will have it so, all's packt
up, and I'm now going to call her a coach, for she resolves to slip
off without saying a word: and the next visit she receives from her
friends, will be through a melancholy grate, with a veil instead of a
top-knot.

                                                               [_Going._

_Gripe._ It must not be, by the Powers it must not; she was made for
the world, and the world was made for her.

_Brass._ And yet you see, Sir, how small a share she has on't.

_Gripe._ Poor woman! Is there no way to save her?

_Brass._ Save her! No, how can she be saved? why she owes above five
hundred pounds.

_Gripe._ Oh!

_Brass._ Five hundred pounds, Sir; she's like to be sav'd
indeed.----Not but that I know them in this town wou'd give me one of
the five, if I wou'd persuade her to accept of th' other four: but she
has forbid me mentioning it to any soul living; and I have disobey'd
her only to you; and so--I'll go and call a coach.

_Gripe._ Hold!----dost think, my poor _Brass_, one might not order it
so, as to compound those debts for----for----twelve pence in the pound?

_Brass._ Sir, d'ye hear? I have already try'd 'em with ten shillings,
and not a rogue will prick up his ear at it. Tho' after all, for three
hundred pounds all in glittering gold, I could set their chaps a
watering. But where's that to be had with honour? there's the thing,
Sir,----I'll go and call a coach.

_Gripe._ Hold, once more: I have a note in my closet of two hundred,
ay----and fifty, I'll go and give it her myself.

_Brass._ You will; very genteel, truly. Go slap-dash, and offer a woman
of her scruples, money! bolt in her face: Why, you might as well offer
her a scorpion, and she'd as soon touch it.

_Gripe._ Shall I carry it to her creditors then, and treat with them?

_Brass._ Ay, that's a rare thought.

_Gripe._ Is not it, _Brass_?

_Brass._ Only one little inconvenience by the way.

_Gripe._ As how?

_Brass._ That they are your wife's creditors as well as hers; and
perhaps it might not be altogether so well to see you clearing the
debts of your neighbour's wife, and leaving those of your own unpaid.

_Gripe._ Why that's true now.

_Brass._ I'm wise you see, Sir.

_Gripe._ Thou art; and I'm but a young lover: But what shall we do then?

_Brass._ Why I'm thinking, that if you give me the note, do you see;
and that I promise to give you an account of it----

_Gripe._ Ay, but look you, _Brass_----

_Brass._ But look you!----Why what, d'ye think I'm a pickpocket? D'ye
think I intend to run away with your note? your paltry note.

_Gripe._ I don't say so----I say only that in case----

_Brass._ Case, Sir, there is no case but the case I have put you; and
since you heap cases upon cases, where there is but three hundred
rascally pounds in the case----I'll go and call a coach.

_Gripe._ Pr'ythee don't be so testy; come, no more words, follow me to
my closet, and I'll give thee the money.

_Brass._ A terrible effort you make indeed; you are so much in love,
your wits are all upon the wing, just a going; and for three hundred
pounds you put a stop to their flight: Sir, your wits are worth that,
or your wits are worth nothing. Come away.

_Gripe._ Well, say no more, thou shalt be satisfy'd. [_Exeunt._

                            _Enter ~Dick~._

_Dick._ S't----_Brass_! S't----

                          _Re-enter ~Brass~._

_Brass._ Well, Sir!

_Dick._ 'Tis not well, Sir, 'tis very ill, Sir; we shall be all blown
up.

_Brass._ What, with pride and plenty?

_Dick._ No, Sir, with an officious slut that will spoil all. In short,
_Flippanta_ has been telling her mistress and _Araminta_ of my passion
for the young gentlewoman; and truly to oblige me (supposed no ill
match by the bye) they are resolv'd to propose it immediately to her
father.

_Brass._ That's the devil! we shall come to papers and parchments,
jointures and settlements, relations meet on both sides; that's the
devil.

_Dick._ I intended this very day to propose to _Flippanta_, the
carrying her off: and I'm sure the young houswife wou'd have tuck'd up
her coats, and have march'd.

_Brass._ Ay, with the body and the soul of her.

_Dick._ Why then, what damn'd luck is this?

_Brass._ 'Tis your damn'd luck, not mine: I have always seen it in your
ugly phiz, in spite of your powder'd perriwig----pox take ye----he'll
be hang'd at last. Why don't you try to get her off yet?

_Dick._ I have no money, you dog; you know you have stript me of every
penny.

_Brass._ Come, damn it. I'll venture one cargo more upon your rotten
bottom: But if ever I see one glance of your hempen fortune again, I'm
off of your partnership for ever----I shall never thrive with him.

_Dick._ An impudent rogue, but he's in possession of my estate, so I
must bear with him.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Brass._ Well, come, I'll raise a hundred pounds for your use, upon my
wife's jewels here; [_Pulling out the necklace._] her necklace shall
pawn for't.

_Dick._ Remember tho', that if things fail, I'm to have the necklace
again; you know you agreed to that.

_Brass._ Yes, and if I make it good, you'll be the better for't; if
not, I shall: so you see where the cause will pinch.

_Dick._ Why, you barbarous dog, you won't offer to----

_Brass._ No words now; about your business, march. Go stay for me at
the next tavern: I'll go to _Flippanta_, and try what I can do for you.

_Dick._ Well, I'll go, but don't think to----O pox, Sir----

                                                         [_Exit ~Dick~._

                            _~Brass~ solus._

_Brass._ Will you be gone? A pretty title you'd have to sue me
upon truly, if I shou'd have a mind to stand upon the defensive,
as perhaps I may; I have done the rascal service enough to lull my
conscience upon't I'm sure: But 'tis time enough for that. Let me
see----First I'll go to _Flippanta_, and put a stop to this family
way of match-making, then sell our necklace for what ready money
'twill produce; and by this time to-morrow I hope we shall be in
possession of----t'other jewel here; a precious jewel, as she's set in
gold: I believe for the stone itself we may part with it again to a
friend----for a tester.

                                                                [_Exit._



+ACT+ V.


+SCENE+, Gripe's _House_.

                    _Enter ~Brass~ and ~Flippanta~._

_Brass._ Well, you agree I'm in the right, don't you?

_Flip._ I don't know; if your master has the estate he talks of, why
not do't all above-board? Well, tho' I am not much of his mind, I'm
much in his interest, and will therefore endeavour to serve him in his
own way.

_Brass._ That's kindly said, my child, and I believe I shall reward
thee one of these days, with as pretty a fellow to thy husband for't,
as----

_Flip._ Hold your prating, Jack-a-dandy, and leave me to my business.

_Brass._ I obey--adieu. [_Kisses her._]

                                                        [_Exit ~Brass~._

_Flip._ Rascal!

                           _Enter ~Corinna~._

_Cor._ Ah, _Flippanta_, I'm ready to sink down, my legs tremble under
me, my dear _Flippy_.

_Flip._ And what's the affair?

_Cor._ My father's there within, with my mother and _Araminta_; I never
saw him in so good a humour in my life.

_Flip._ And is that it that frightens you so?

_Cor._ Ah, _Flippanta_, they are just going to speak to him, about my
marrying the Colonel.

_Flip._ Are they so? so much the worse; they're too hasty.

_Cor._ O no, not a bit: I slipt out on purpose, you must know, to give
them an opportunity; wou'd 'twere done already.

_Flip._ I tell you no; get you in again immediately, and prevent it.

_Cor._ My dear, dear, I am not able; I never was in such a way before.

_Flip._ Never in a way to be marry'd before, ha? is not that it?

_Cor._ Ah, Lord, if I'm thus before I come to't, _Flippanta_, what
shall I be upon the very spot? Do but feel with what a thumpaty thump
it goes.

                                       [_Putting her hand to her heart._

_Flip._ Nay it does make a filthy bustle, that's the truth on't, child.
But I believe I shall make it leap another way, when I tell you, I'm
cruelly afraid your father won't consent, after all.

_Cor._ Why, he won't be the death of o'me, will he?

_Flip._ I don't know, old folk are cruel; but we'll have a trick for
him. _Brass_ and I have been consulting upon the matter, and agreed
upon a surer way of doing it in spite of his teeth.

_Cor._ Ay, marry, Sir, that were something.

_Flip._ But then he must not know a word of any thing towards it.

_Cor._ No, no.

_Flip._ So, get you in immediately.

_Cor._ One, two, three and away.

                                                         [_Running off._

_Flip._ And prevent your mother's speaking on't.

_Cor._ But is t'other way sure, _Flippanta_?

_Flip._ Fear nothing, 'twill only depend upon you.

_Cor._ Nay then----O ho, ho, ho, how pure that is!

                                                      [_Exit ~Corinna~._

                          _~Flippanta~ sola._

Poor child! we may do what we will with her, as far as marrying her
goes; when that's over, 'tis possible she mayn't prove altogether so
tractable. But who's here? my sharper, I think: yes.

                         _Enter ~Money-trap~._

_Mon._ Well, my best friend, how go matters? Has the restitution been
received, ha? Was she pleas'd with it?

_Flip._ Yes, truly; that is, she was pleas'd to see there was so honest
a man in this immoral age.

_Mon._ Well, but a----does she know that 'twas I that----

_Flip._ Why, you must know I begun to give her a little sort of a hint,
and----and so----why, and so she begun to put on a sort of a severe,
haughty, reserv'd, angry, forgiving air. But soft; here she comes:
you'll see how you stand with her presently: but don't be afraid.
Courage.

_Mon._ He, hem.

                          _Enter ~Clarissa~._

'Tis no small piece of good fortune, Madam, to find you at home: I have
often endeavour'd it in vain.

_Clar._ 'Twas then unknown to me, for if I cou'd often receive the
visits of so good a friend at home, I shou'd be more reasonably blam'd
for being so much abroad.

_Mon._ Madam, you make me----

_Clar._ You are the man of the world whose company I think is most to
be desir'd. I don't compliment you when I tell you so, I assure you.

_Mon._ Alas, Madam, your poor humble servant----

_Clar._ My poor humble servant however (with all the esteem I have for
him) stands suspected with me for a vile trick, I doubt he has play'd
me, which if I could prove upon him, I'm afraid I should punish him
very severely.

_Mon._ I hope, Madam, you'll believe I am not capable of----

_Clar._ Look you, look you, you are capable of whatever you please, you
have a great deal of wit, and know how to give a nice and gallant turn
to every thing; but if you will have me continue your friend, you must
leave me in some uncertainty in this matter.

_Mon._ Madam, I do then protest to you----

_Clar._ Come protest nothing about it, I am but too penetrating, as you
may perceive; but we sometimes shut our eyes, rather than break with
our friends; for a thorough knowledge of the truth of this business,
wou'd make me very seriously angry.

_Mon._ 'Tis very certain, Madam, that----

_Clar._ Come, say no more on't, I beseech you, for I'm in a good deal
of heat while I but think on't; if you'll walk in, I'll follow you
presently.

_Mon._ Your goodness, Madam, is----

_Flip._ War, horse.

                                              [_Aside to ~Money-trap~._

No fine speeches, you'll spoil all.

_Mon._ Thou art a most incomparable person.

_Flip._ Nay, it goes rarely; but get you in, and I'll say a little
something to my Lady for you, while she's warm.

_Mon._ But S't, _Flippanta_, how long do'st think she may hold out?

_Flip._ Phu, not a Twelvemonth.

_Mon._ Boo.

_Flip._ Away, I say.

                                                     [_Pushing him out._

_Clar._ Is he gone? What a wretch it is! he never was quite such a
beast before.

_Flip._ Poor mortal, his money's finely laid out truly.

_Clar._ I suppose there may have been much such another scene within
between _Araminta_ and my dear: but I left him so insupportably brisk,
'tis impossible he can have parted with any money: I'm afraid _Brass_
has not succeeded as thou hast done, _Flippanta_.

_Flip._ By my faith but he has, and better too; he presents his humble
duty to _Araminta_, and has sent her----this.

                                                    [_Shewing the note._

_Clar._ A bill for my love for two hundred and fifty pounds. The
monster! he wou'd not part with ten to save his lawful wife from
everlasting torment.

_Flip._ Never complain of his avarice, Madam, as long as you have his
money.

_Clar._ But is not he a beast, _Flippanta_? methinks the restitution
look'd better by half.

_Flip._ Madam, the man's beast enough, that's certain; but which way
will you go to receive his beastly money, for I must not appear with
his note?

_Clar._ That's true; why send for Mrs. _Amlet_; that's a mighty useful
woman, that Mrs. _Amlet_.

_Flip._ Marry is she; we shou'd have been basely puzzled how to dispose
of the necklace without her, 'twould have been dangerous offering it to
sale.

_Clar._ It wou'd so, for I know your master has been laying out for't
amongst the goldsmiths. But I stay here too long. I must in and coquet
it a little more to my lover, _Araminta_ will get ground on me else.

                                                     [_Exit ~Clarissa~._

_Flip._ And I'll go send for Mrs. _Amlet_.

                                                         [_Exit ~Flip~._


+SCENE+ _opens._

   _~Araminta~, ~Corinna~, ~Gripe~, and ~Money-trap~ at a tea-table,
          very gay and laughing. ~Clarissa~ comes in to 'em._

_Omnes._ Ha! ha! ha! ha!

_Mon._ Mighty well, O mighty well indeed!

_Clar._ Save you, save you good folks, you are all in rare humour
methinks.

_Gripe._ Why, what shou'd we be otherwise for, Madam?

_Clar._ Nay, I don't know, not I, my dear; but I han't had the
happiness of seeing you since our honey-moon was over, I think.

_Gripe._ Why to tell you the truth, my dear, 'tis the joy of seeing you
at home; [_Kisses her._] You see what charms you have, when you are
pleased to make use of 'em.

_Aram._ Very gallant truly.

_Clar._ Nay, and what's more, you must know, he's never to be otherwise
henceforwards; we have come to an agreement about it.

_Mon._ Why, here's my love and I have been upon just such another
treaty too.

_Aram._ Well, sure there's some very peaceful star rules at present.
Pray heaven continue its reign.

_Mon._ Pray do you continue its reign, you ladies; for 'tis all in your
power.

                                               [_Leering at ~Clarissa~._

_Gripe._ My neighbour _Money-trap_ says true at least I'll confess
frankly [_Ogling ~Araminta~._] 'tis in one lady's power to make me the
best-humour'd man on earth.

_Mon._ And I'll answer for another, that has the same over me.

                                                   [_Ogling ~Clarissa~._

_Clar._ 'Tis mighty fine, gentlemen, mighty civil husbands indeed.

_Gripe._ Nay, what I say's true, and so true, that all quarrels being
now at an end, I am willing, if you please, to dispense with all
that fine company we talk'd of to-day, be content with the friendly
conversation of our two good neighbours here, and spend all my toying
hours alone with my sweet wife.

_Mon._ Why, truly, I think now, if these good women pleas'd, we might
make up the prettiest little neighbourly company between our two
families, and set a defiance to all the impertinent people in the world.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Clar._ The rascals!

_Aram._ Indeed I doubt you'd soon grow weary, if we grew fond.

_Gripe._ Never, never, for our wives have wit, neighbour, and that
never palls.

_Clar._ And our husbands have generosity, _Araminta_, and that seldom
palls.

_Gripe._ So that's a wipe for me now, because I did not give her a
new-year's gift last time; but be good, and I'll think of some tea-cups
for you, next year.

_Mon._ And perhaps I mayn't forget a fan, or as good a thing----hum,
hussy.

_Clar._ Well, upon these encouragements, _Araminta_, we'll try how good
we can be.

_Gripe._ Well, this goes most rarely: poor _Money-trap_, he little
thinks what makes his wife so easy in his company.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Mon._ I can but pity poor neighbour _Gripe_. Lard, Lard, what a fool
does his wife and I make of him?

                                                               [_Aside._

_Clar._ Are not these two wretched rogues, _Araminta_?

                                                 [_Aside to ~Araminta~._

_Aram._ They are indeed.

                                                 [_Aside to ~Clarissa~._

                          _Enter ~Jessamin~._

_Jess._ Sir, here's Mr. _Clip_, the goldsmith, desires to speak with
you.

_Gripe._ Cods so, perhaps some news of your necklace, my dear.

_Clar._ That would be news indeed.

_Gripe._ Let him come in.

                          _Enter Mr. ~Clip~._

_Gripe._ Mr. _Clip_, your servant, I'm glad to see you: how do you do?

_Clip._ At your service, Sir, very well. Your servant, Madam _Gripe_.

_Clar._ Horrid fellow!

                                                               [_Aside._

_Gripe._ Well, Mr. _Clip_, no news yet of my wife's necklace?

_Clip._ If you please to let me speak with you in the next room, I have
something to say to you.

_Gripe._ Ay, with all my heart. Shut the door after us. [_They come
forward, and the Scene shuts behind them._] Well, any news?

_Clip._ Look you, Sir, here's a necklace brought me to sell, at least
very like that you describ'd to me.

_Gripe._ Let's see't----_Victoria_! the very same. Ah my dear _Mr.
Clip_----[_Kisses him._] But who brought it you? you should have seiz'd
him.

_Clip._ 'Twas a young fellow that I know: I can't tell whether he may
be guilty, tho' its like enough. But he has only left it me now, to
shew a brother of our trade, and will call upon me again presently.

_Gripe._ Wheedle him hither, dear Mr. _Clip_. Here's my neighbour
_Money-trap_ in the house; he's a justice, and will commit him
presently.

_Clip._ 'Tis enough.

                            _Enter ~Brass~._

_Gripe._ O, my friend _Brass_!

_Brass._ Hold, Sir, I think that's a gentleman I'm looking for. Mr.
_Clip_, O your servant; what, are you acquainted here? I have just been
at your shop.

_Clip._ I only stept here to shew Mr. _Gripe_ the necklace you left.

_Brass._ Why, Sir, you understand jewels? [_To Gripe._] I thought you
had dealt only in gold. But I smoak the matter; hark you----a word
in your ear----you are going to play the gallant again, and make a
purchase on't for _Araminta_; ha, ha?

_Gripe._ Where had you the necklace?

_Brass._ Look you, don't trouble yourself about that; it's in
commission with me, and I can help you to a pennyworth on't.

_Gripe._ A pennyworth on't, villain?

                                                      [_Strikes at him._

_Brass._ Villain! a hey, a hey. Is't you or me, Mr. _Clip_, he's
pleas'd to compliment?

_Clip._ What do you think on't, Sir?

_Brass._ Think on't, now the devil fetch me if I know what to think
on't.

_Gripe._ You'll sell a pennyworth, rogue! of a thing you have stol'n
from me.

_Brass._ Stol'n! pray, Sir----what wine have you drank to-day? It has a
very merry effect upon you.

_Gripe._ You villain; either give me an account how you stole it, or----

_Brass._ O ho, Sir, if you please, don't carry your jest too far, I
don't understand hard words, I give you warning on't: if you han't a
mind to buy the necklace, you may let it alone, I know how to dispose
on't. What a pox!----

_Gripe._ O, you shan't have that trouble, Sir. Dear Mr. _Clip_, you may
leave the necklace here. I'll call at your shop, and thank you for your
care.

_Clip._ Sir, your humble servant.

                                                               [_Going._

_Brass._ O ho, Mr. _Clip_, if you please, Sir, this won't do,
[_Stopping him._] I don't understand rallery in such matters.

_Clip._ I leave it with _Mr Gripe_, do you and he dispute it.

                                                         [_Exit ~Clip~._

_Brass._ Ay, but 'tis from you, by your leave, Sir, that I expect it.

                                                     [_Going after him._

_Gripe._ You expect, you rogue, to make your escape, do you? But I have
other accounts besides this, to make up with you. To be sure the dog
has cheated me of two hundred and fifty pounds. Come, villain, give me
an account of----

_Brass._ Account of!----Sir, give me an account of my necklace, or I'll
make such a noise in your house, I'll raise the devil in't.

_Gripe._ Well said, courage.

_Brass._ Blood and thunder, give it me, or----

_Gripe._ Come, hush, be wise, and I'll make no noise of this affair.

_Brass._ You'll make no noise! But I'll make a noise; and a damn'd
noise too. O, don't think to----

_Gripe._ I tell thee I will not hang thee.

_Brass._ But I tell you I will hang you, if you don't give me my
necklace, I will, rot me.

_Gripe._ Speak softly, be wise; how came it thine? who gave it thee?

_Brass._ A gentleman, a friend of mine.

_Gripe._ What's his name?

_Brass._ His name!----I'm in such a passion I have forgot it.

_Gripe._ Ah, brazen rogue----thou hast stole it from my wife: 'tis the
same she lost six weeks ago.

_Brass._ This has not been in _England_ a month.

_Gripe._ You are a son of a whore.

_Brass._ Give me my necklace.

_Gripe._ Give me my two hundred and fifty pound note.

_Brass._ Yet I offer peace: one word without passion. The case stands
thus, either I'm out of my wits, or you are out of yours: now 'tis
plain I am not out of my wits, _Ergo_----

_Gripe._ My bill, hang-dog, or I'll strangle thee.

                                                       [_They struggle._

_Brass._ Murder, murder!

       _Enter ~Clarissa~, ~Araminta~, ~Corinna~, ~Flippanta~, and
                             ~Money-trap~._

_Flip._ What's the matter? What's the matter here?

_Gripe._ I'll matter him.

_Clar._ Who makes thee cry out thus, poor _Brass_?

_Brass._ Why, your husband, Madam, he's in his altitudes here.

_Gripe._ Robber.

_Brass._ Here, he has cheated me of a diamond necklace.

_Cor._ Who, Papa? Ah dear me!

_Clar._ Pr'ythee what's the meaning of this great emotion, my dear?

_Gripe._ The meaning is that----I'm quite out of breath----this son of
a whore has got our necklace, that's all.

_Clar._ My necklace!

_Gripe._ That birdlime there--stole it.

_Clar._ Impossible!

_Brass._ Madam, you see master's a little----touch'd, that's all.
Twenty ounces of blood let loose, wou'd set all right again.

_Gripe._ Here, call a constable presently. Neighbour _Money-trap_,
you'll commit him.

_Brass._ D'ye hear? d'ye hear? See how wild he looks: how his eyes
roll in his head: tye him down, or he'll do some mischief or other.

_Gripe._ Let me come at him.

_Clar._ Hold----pr'ythee, my dear, reduce things to a little
temperance, and let us coolly into the secret of this disagreeable
rupture.

_Gripe._ Well then, without passion; why, you must know, (but I'll have
him hang'd) you must know that he came to Mr. _Clip_, to Mr. _Clip_ the
dog did----with a necklace to sell; so Mr. _Clip_ having notice before
that (can you deny this, Sirrah?) that you had lost yours, brings it to
me: Look at it here, do you know it again? Ah, you traitor.

                                                          [_To ~Brass~._

_Brass._ He makes me mad. Here's an appearance of something now to the
company, and yet nothing in't in the bottom.

                           _Enter Constable._

_Clar._ _Flippanta_!

                          [_Aside to ~Flippanta~, shewing the necklace._

_Flip._ 'Tis it, faith; here's some mystery in this, we must look about
us.

_Clar._ The safest way is point blank to disown the necklace.

_Flip._ Right, stick to that.

_Gripe._ Well, Madam, do you know your old acquaintance, ha?

_Clar._ Why, truly, my dear, tho' (as you may all imagine) I shou'd be
very glad to recover so valuable a thing as my necklace, yet I must be
just to all the world, this necklace is not mine.

_Brass._ Huzza----here constable do your duty; Mr. Justice, I demand my
necklace, and satisfaction of him.

_Gripe._ I'll die before I part with it, I'll keep it, and have him
hang'd.

_Clar._ But be a little calm, my dear, do my bird, and then thou'lt be
able to judge rightly of things.

_Gripe._ O good lack, O good lack.

_Clar._ No, but don't give way to fury and interest both, either of
'em are passions strong enough to lead a wise man out of the way. The
necklace not being really mine, give it the man again, and come drink a
dish of tea.

_Brass._ Ay, Madam says right.

_Gripe._ Oons, if you with your addle head don't know your own jewels,
I with my solid one do. And if I part with it, may famine be my portion.

_Clar._ But don't swear and curse thyself at this fearful rate; don't,
my dove: Be temperate in your words, and just in all your actions,
'twill bring a blessing upon you and all your family.

_Gripe._ Bring thunder and lightning upon me and my family, if I part
with my necklace.

_Clar._ Why, you'll have the lightning burn your house about your ears,
my dear, it you go on in these practices.

_Mon._ A most excellent woman this!

                                                               [_Aside._

                         _Enter Mrs. ~Amlet~._

_Gripe._ I'll keep my necklace.

_Brass._ Will you so? then here comes one has a title to it, if I
han't; let _Dick_ bring himself off with her as he can. Mrs. _Amlet_,
you are come in very good time, you lost a necklace t'other day, and
who do you think has got it?

_Aml._ Marry, that I know not, I wish I did.

_Brass._ Why then here's Mr. _Gripe_ has it, and swears 'tis his wife's.

_Gripe._ And so I do, sirrah----look here, Mistress, do you pretend
this is yours?

_Aml._ Not for the round world I wou'd not say it; I only kept it to do
Madam a small courtesy? that's all.

_Clar._ Ah, _Flippanta_, all will out now.

                                                     [_Aside to ~Flip~._

_Gripe._ Courtesy! what courtesy?

_Aml._ A little money only that madam had present need of, please to
pay me that, and I demand no more.

_Brass._ So here's fresh game, I have started a new hare, I find.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Gripe._ How forsooth, is this true?

                                                       [_To ~Clarissa~._

_Clar._ You are in a humour at present, love, to believe any thing, so
I won't take the pains to contradict it.

_Brass._ This damn'd necklace will spoil all our affairs, this is
_Dick_'s luck again.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Gripe._ Are you not asham'd of these ways? Do you see how you are
expos'd before your best friends here? don't you blush at it?

_Clar._ I do blush, my dear, but 'tis for you, that here it shou'd
appear to the world, you keep me so bare of money, I'm forc'd to pawn
my jewels.

_Gripe._ Impudent houswife!

                                      [_Raising his hand to strike her._

_Clar._ Softly, chicken: you might have prevented all this by giving me
the two hundred and fifty pounds you sent to _Araminta_ e'en now.

_Brass._ You see, Sir, I deliver'd your note: how I have been abus'd
to-day!

_Gripe._ I'm betray'd----jades on both sides, I see that.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Mon._ But, Madam, Madam, is this true I hear? Have you taken a present
of two hundred and fifty pounds? Pray what were you to return for these
pounds, Madam, ha?

_Aram._ Nothing, my dear, I only took 'em to reimburse you of about the
same sum you sent to _Clarissa_.

_Mon._ Hum, hum, hum.

_Gripe._ How, gentlewoman, did you receive money from him?

_Clar._ O, my dear, 'twas only in jest, I knew you'd give it again to
his wife.

_Aml._ But amongst all this tintamar, I don't hear a word of my hundred
pounds. Is it Madam will pay me, or Master?

_Gripe._ I pay, the Devil shall pay.

_Clar._ Look you, my dear, malice apart, pay Mrs. _Amlet_ her money,
and I'll forgive you the wrong you intended my bed with _Araminta_: Am
not I a good wife now?

_Gripe._ I burst with rage, and will get rid of this noose, tho' I tuck
myself up in another.

_Mon._ Nay, pray, e'en tuck me up with you.

                                             [_Exit ~Mon.~ and ~Gripe.~_

_Clar. & Aram._ B'ye, dearies.

                            _Enter ~Dick~._

_Cor._ Look, look, _Flippanta_, here's the colonel come at last.

_Dick._ Ladies, I ask your pardon, I have stay'd so long, but----

_Aml._ Ah rogue's face, have I got thee, old Good-for-nought? sirrah,
sirrah, do you think to amuse me with your marriages, and your great
fortunes? Thou hast play'd me a rare prank by my conscience. Why you
ungracious rascal, what do you think will be the end of all this? Now
Heaven forgive me, but I have a great mind to hang thee for't.

_Cor._ She talks to him very familiarly, _Flippanta_.

_Flip._ So methinks, by my faith.

_Brass._ Now the rogue's star is making an end of him.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Dick._ What shall I do with her?

                                                               [_Aside._

_Aml._ Do but look at him, my dames, he has the countenance of a
cherubim, but he's a rogue in his heart.

_Clar._ What is the meaning of all this, Mrs. _Amlet_?

_Aml._ The meaning, good lack! Why this all-to-be powder'd rascal here,
is my son, an't please you; ha, graceless? Now I'll make you own your
mother, vermine.

_Clar._ What, the colonel your son?

_Aml._ 'Tis _Dick_, Madam, that rogue _Dick_, I have so often told you
of, with tears trickling down my old cheeks.

_Aram._ The woman's mad, it can never be.

_Aml._ Speak, rogue, am I not thy mother, ha? Did I not bring thee
forth? say then.

_Dick._ What will you have me say? you had a mind to ruin me, and you
have done't; wou'd you do any more?

_Clar._ Then, sir, you are son to good Mrs. _Amlet_?

_Aram._ And have had the assurance to put upon us all this while?

_Flip._ And the confidence to think of marrying _Corinna_.

_Brass._ And the impudence to hire me for your servant, who am as well
born as yourself.

_Clar._ Indeed I think he shou'd be corrected.

_Aram._ Indeed I think he deserves to be cudgell'd.

_Flip._ Indeed I think he might be pumpt.

_Brass._ Indeed I think he will be hang'd.

_Aml._ Good lack-a-day, good lack-a-day! there's no need to be so smart
upon him neither: if he is not a gentleman, he's a gentleman's fellow.
Come hither, _Dick_, they shan't run thee down neither: cock up thy
hat, _Dick_, and tell them tho' Mrs. _Amlet_ is thy mother, she can
make thee amends, with ten thousand good pounds to buy thee some lands,
and build thee a house in the midst on't.

_Omnes._ How!

_Clar._ Ten thousand pounds, Mrs. _Amlet_?

_Aml._ Yes, forsooth; tho' I shou'd lose the hundred, you pawn'd your
necklace for. Tell 'em that, _Dick_.

_Cor._ Look you, _Flippanta_, I can hold no longer, and I hate to see
the young man abus'd. And so, Sir, if you please, I'm your friend
and servant, and what's mine is yours; and when our estates are put
together, I don't doubt but we shall do as well as the best of 'em.

_Dick._ Say'st thou so, my little queen? Why then if dear mother will
give us her blessing, the parson shall give us a tack. We'll get her a
score of grand-children, and a merry house we'll make her.

                                          [_They kneel to Mrs. ~Amlet~._

_Aml._ Ah----ha, ha, ha, the pretty pair, the pretty pair! rise my
chickens, rise, rise and face the proudest of them. And if Madam does
not deign to give her consent, a fig for her _Dick_----Why how now?

_Clar._ Pray, Mrs. _Amlet_, don't be in a passion, the girl is my
husband's girl, and if you can have his consent, upon my word you shall
have mine, for any thing that belongs to him.

_Flip._ Then all is peace again, but we have been more lucky than wise.

_Aram._ And I suppose, for us, _Clarissa_, we are to go on with our
dears, as we us'd to do.

_Clar._ Just in the same track, for this late treaty of agreement with
'em, was so unnatural, you see it cou'd not hold. But 'tis just as well
with us, as if it had. Well, 'tis a strange fate, good folks. But while
you live, every thing gets well out of a broil, but a husband.



EPILOGUE,


                        Spoken by Mrs. =Barry=.

    _I've heard wise men in politicks lay down                         }
    What feats by little England might be done,                        }
    Were all agreed, and all would act as one.                         }
    Ye wives a useful hint from this might take,                       }
    The heavy, old, despotick kingdom shake,                           }
    And make your matrimonial_ Monsieurs _quake.                       }
    Our heads are feeble, and we're cramp'd by laws;
    Our hands are weak, and not too strong our cause:
    Yet would those heads and hands, such as they are,                 }
    In firm confed'racy resolve on war,                                }
    You'd find your tyrants----what I've found my dear.                }
    What only two united can produce
    You've seen to-night, a sample for your use:
    Single, we found we nothing could obtain;
    We join our force--and we subdu'd our men.
    Believe me (my dear sex) they are not brave;
    Try each your man, you'll quickly find your slave.
    I know they'll make campaigns, risk blood and life;                }
    But this is a more terrifying strife;                              }
    They'll stand a shot, who'll tremble at a wife.                    }
    Beat then your drums, and your shrill trumpets sound,              }
    Let all your visits of your feats resound:                         }
    And deeds of war in cups of tea go round:                          }
    The stars are with you, fate is in your hand,                      }
    In twelve months time you've vanquish'd half the land;             }
    Be wise, and keep 'em under good command.                          }
    This year will to your glory long be known,
    And deathless ballads hand your triumphs down;
    Your late atchievements ever will remain,                          }
    For tho' you cannot boast of many slain,                           }
    Your pris'ners shew, you've made a brave campaign._                }

[Illustration]



THE

MISTAKE.

A

COMEDY.


[Illustration]



PROLOGUE,


                       _Written by Mr._ +STEELE+.

                         Spoken by Mr. _Booth_.

    _Our author's wit and rallery to-night                             }
    Perhaps might please, but that your stage delight                  }
    No more is in your minds, but ears and sight.                      }
    With audiences compos'd of belles and beaux,
    The first dramatick rule is, have good clothes,
    To charm the gay spectator's gentle breast,                        }
    In lace and feather Tragedy's express'd,                           }
    And heroes die unpity'd, if ill-dress'd._                          }

      _The other stile you full as well advance;
    If 'tis a comedy, you ask----who dance?
    For oh! what dire convulsions have of late
    Torn and distracted each dramatick state,
    On this great question, which house first should sell
    The new ~French~ steps imported by ~Ruel~!
    ~Desbarques~ can't rise so high, we must agree,
    They've half a foot in height more wit than we.
    But tho' the genius of our learned age                             }
    Thinks fit to dance and sing, quite off the stage,                 }
    True action, comic mirth, and tragic rage;                         }
    Yet as your taste now stands, our author draws
    Some hopes of your indulgence and applause.
    For that great end this edifice he made,
    Where humble swain at lady's feet is laid;
    Where the pleas'd nymph her conquer'd lover spies,                 }
    Then to glass pillars turns her conscious eyes,                    }
    And points anew each charm, for which he dies._                    }

      _The muse, before nor terrible nor great,
    Enjoys by him this awful gilded seat:
    By him theatric angels mount more high,
    And mimick thunders shake a broader sky.
      Thus all must own, our author has done more
    For your delight, than any bard before.
    His thoughts are still to raise your pleasures fill'd;
    To write, translate, to blazon, or to build.
    Then take him in a lump, nor nicely pry
    Into small faults that 'scape a busy eye;
    But kindly, Sirs, consider, he to-day
    Finds you the house, the actors, and the play:
    So, tho' we stage-mechanick rules omit,
    You must allow it in a whole-sale wit._



Dramatis Personæ.


MEN.

  Don _Alvarez_, father to _Leonora_.       Mr. _Betterton._

  Don _Felix_, father to _Lorenzo_.         Mr. _Bright._

  Don _Carlos_, in love with _Leonora_.     Mr. _Booth._

  Don _Lorenzo_, in love with _Leonora_.    Mr. _Husbands._

  _Metaphrastus_, tutor to _Camillo_.       Mr. _Freeman._

  _Sancho_, Servant to _Carlos_.            Mr. _Dogget._

  _Lopez_, servant to _Lorenzo_.            Mr. _Pack._

  A Bravo.


WOMEN.

  _Leonora_, daughter to _Alvarez_.         Mrs. _Bowman._

  _Camillo_, suppos'd son to _Alvarez_.     Mrs. _Harcourt._

  _Isabella_, her friend.                   Mrs. _Porter._

  _Jacinta_, servant to _Leonora_.          Mrs. _Baker._

                                  THE

                                MISTAKE.



+ACT+ I. +SCENE+ I.

                         +SCENE+, _the Street_.


                     _Enter ~Carlos~ and ~Sancho~._

_Car._ I Tell thee, I am satisfy'd, I'm in love enough to be suspicious
of every body.

_San._ And yet methinks, Sir, you shou'd leave me out.

_Car._ It may be so; I can't tell: but I'm not at ease. If they don't
make a knave, at least they will make a fool of thee.

_San._ I don't believe a word on't: but good faith, Master, your love
makes somewhat of you; I don't know what 'tis; but methinks when you
suspect me, you don't seem a man of half those parts I us'd to take
you for. Look in my face, 'tis round and comely, not one hollow line
of a villain in it: men of my fabrick don't use to be suspected for
knaves; and when you take us for fools, we never take you for wise
men. For my part, in this present case, I take myself to be mighty
deep. A stander-by, Sir, sees more than a gamester. You are pleased
to be jealous of your poor Mistress without a cause, she uses you but
too well, in my humble opinion; she sees you, and talks with you, till
I'm quite tir'd on't sometimes; and your rival that you are so scar'd
about, forces a visit upon her about once in a fortnight.

_Car._ Alas, thou art ignorant of these affairs, he that's the civilest
received is often the least car'd for: women appear warm to one, to
hide a flame for another. _Lorenzo_ in short appears too compos'd of
late to be a rejected lover, and the indifference he shews upon the
favours I seem to receive from her, poisons the pleasure I else shou'd
taste in them, and keeps me upon a perpetual rack. No----I would fain
see some of his jealous transports, have him fire at the sight of
me, contradict me whenever I speak, affront me wherever he meets me,
challenge me, fight me----

_San._ ----Run you through the guts.

_Car._ But he's too calm, his heart's too much at ease, to leave me
mine at rest.

_San._ But, Sir, you forget that there are two ways for our hearts to
get at ease; when our mistresses come to be very fond of us, or we--not
to care a fig for them. Now suppose upon the rebukes you know he has
had, it shou'd chance to be the latter.

_Car._ Again thy ignorance appears; alas, a lover who has broke his
chain, will shun the tyrant that enslaved him. Indifference never
is his lot; he loves or hates for ever; and if his mistress proves
another's prize, he cannot calmly see her in his arms.

_San._ For my part, Master, I am not so great a philosopher as you
be, nor (thank my stars) so bitter a lover, but what I see----that I
generally believe; and when _Jacinta_ tells me she loves me dearly, I
have good thoughts enough of my person never to doubt the truth on't.
See here the baggage comes.

                    _Enter ~Jacinta~ with a letter._

Hist! _Jacinta_! my dear.

_Jacin._ Who's that? Blunderbuss! Where's your Master?

_San._ Hard by.

                                                         [_Shewing him._

_Jacin._ O, Sir, I'm glad I have found you at last; I believe I have
travel'd five miles after you, and could neither find you at home, nor
in the walks, nor at church, nor at the opera nor----

_San._ Nor any where else, where he was not to be found: if you had
look'd for him where he was, 'twas ten to one but you had met with him.

_Jacin._ I had, Jack-a-dandy!

_Car._ But pr'ythee what's the matter? Who sent you after me?

_Jacin._ One who's never well but when she sees you, I think; 'twas my
Lady.

_Car._ Dear _Jacinta_, I fain would flatter myself, but am not able;
the blessing's too great to be my lot: yet 'tis not well to trifle with
me; how short soe'er I am in other merit, the tenderness I have for
_Leonora_ claims something from her generosity. I should not be deluded.

_Jacin._ And why do you think you are? methinks she's pretty well above
board with you: what must be done more to satisfy you?

_San._ Why _Lorenzo_ must hang himself, and then we are content.

_Jacin._ How! _Lorenzo_?

_San._ If less will do, he'll tell you.

_Jacin._ Why, you are not mad, Sir, are you? Jealous of him! Pray which
way may this have got into your head? I took you for a man of sense
before----Is this your doings, dog?

                                                         [_To ~Sancho~._

_San._ No, forsooth _Pert_, I'm not much given to suspicion, as you can
tell, Mrs. _Forward_----if I were, I might find more cause I guess,
than your Mistress has given our Master here. But I have so many pretty
thoughts of my own person, hussy, more than I have of yours, that I
stand in dread of no man.

_Jacin._ That's the way to prosper; however, so far I'll confess the
truth to thee; at least if that don't do, nothing else will. Men are
mighty simple in love-matters, Sir: when you suspect woman's a falling
off, you fall a plaguing her to bring her on again, attack her with
reason and a sour face: udslife, Sir, attack her with a fiddle,
double your good humour----give her a ball----powder your perriwig at
her----let her cheat you at cards a little, and I'll warrant all's
right again. But to come upon a poor woman with the gloomy face of
jealousy, before she gives the least occasion for't, is to set a
complaisant rival in too favourable a light. Sir, Sir, I must tell you,
I have seen those have ow'd their success to nothing else.

_Car._ Say no more; I have been to blame, but there shall be no more
on't.

_Jac._ I should punish you but justly however for what's past, if I
carried back what I have brought you; but I'm good-natur'd, so here
'tis; open it, and see how wrong you tim'd your jealousy.

_Car._ [Reads.] _If you love me with that tenderness you have made me
long believe you do, this letter will be welcome; 'tis to tell you, you
have leave to plead a daughter's weakness to a father's indulgence: and
if you prevail with him to lay his commands upon me, you shall be as
happy as my obedience to them can make you._ Leonora.

Then I shall be what man was never yet [_Kissing the Letter._] Ten
thousand blessings on thee for thy news, I could adore thee as a Deity.

                                                   [_Embracing ~Jacin~._

_Jacin._ True flesh and blood, every inch of her, for all that.

_Car._ [Reads again.] _And if you prevail with him to lay his commands
upon me, you shall be as happy as my obedience to them can make you._

O happy, happy _Carlos_! But what shall I say to thee for this welcome
message? [_To ~Jacinta~._] Alas! I want words----But let this speak for
me, and this, and this, and----

                               [_Giving her his ring, watch, and purse._

_San._ Hold, Sir; pray leave a little something for our board-wages.
You can't carry 'em all, I believe: [_To ~Jacinta~._] shall I ease thee
of this?

                                          [_Offering to take the purse._

_Jacin._ No; but you may carry----That, sirrah.

                                         [_Giving him a box o' th' ear._

_San._ The jade's grown purse-proud already.

_Car._ Well, dear _Jacinta_, say something to your charming mistress,
that I am not able to say myself: But, above all, excuse my late
unpardonable folly, and offer her my life to expiate my crime.

_Jacin._ The best plea for pardon will be never to repeat the fault.

_Car._ If that will do 'tis seal'd for ever.

_Jacin._ Enough; but I must be gone; success attend you with the old
gentleman. Good-by t'ye, Sir.

                                                        [_Exit ~Jacin~._

_Car._ Eternal blessings follow thee.

_San._ I think she has taken them all with her; the jade has got her
apron full.

_Car._ Is not that _Lorenzo_ coming this way?

_San._ Yes, 'tis he; for my part now I pity the poor gentleman.

                           _Enter ~Lorenzo~._

_Car._ I'll let him see at last I can be chearful too. Your servant,
Don _Lorenzo_; how do you do this morning?

_Lor._ I thank you, Don _Carlos_, perfectly well both in body and mind.

_Car._ What! cur'd of your love, then?

_Lor._ No, nor I hope I never shall. May I ask you how 'tis with yours?

_Car._ Increasing every hour; we are very constant both.

_Lor._ I find so much delight in being so, I hope I never shall be
otherwise.

_Car._ Those joys I am well acquainted with. But should lose them soon,
were I to meet a cool reception.

_Lor._ That's every generous lover's case, no doubt; an angel could not
fire my heart but with an equal flame.

_Car._ And yet you said you still lov'd _Leonora_.

_Lor._ And yet I said I lov'd her.

_Car._ Does she then return you----

_Lor._ Everything my passion can require.

_Car._ Its wants are small, I find.

_Lor._ Extended as the Heavens.

_Car._ I pity you.

_Lor._ He must be a Deity that does so.

_Car._ Yet I'm a mortal, and once more can pity you. Alas, _Lorenzo_,
'tis a poor cordial to an aching heart, to have the tongue alone
announce it happy; besides 'tis mean, you should be more a man.

_Lor._ I find I have made you an unhappy one, so can forgive the
boilings of your spleen.

_Car._ This seeming calmness might have the effect your vanity proposes
by it; had I not a testimony of her love would (should I shew it) sink
you to the center.

_Lor._ Yet still I'm calm as ever.

_Car._ Nay then have at your peace. Read that, and end the farce.

                                        [_Gives him ~Leonora~'s letter._

_Lor._ [_Reads._] I have read it.

_Car._ And know the hand?

_Lor._ 'Tis _Leonora_'s; I have often seen it.

_Car._ I hope you then at last are satisfied.

_Lor._ I am, [_Smiling._] Good-morrow, _Carlos_.

                                                          [_Exit ~Lor~._

_San._ Sure he's mad, Master.

_Car._ Mad! say'st thou?

_San._ And yet by'r lady, that was a sort of a dry sober smile at going
off.

_Car._ A very sober one! Had he shewn me such a letter, I had put on
another countenance.

_San._ Ay, o' my conscience had you.

_Car._ Here's mystery in this----I like it not.

_San._ I see his man and confidant there, _Lopez_. Shall I draw on a
_Scotch_ pair of boots, Master, and make him tell all?

_Car._ Some questions I must ask him; call him hither.

_San._ Hem, _Lopez_, hem!

                            _Enter ~Lopez~._

_Lop._ Who calls?

_San._ I, and my master.

_Lop._ I can't stay.

_San._ You can indeed, Sir.

                                                  [_Laying hold on him._

_Car._ Whither in such haste, honest _Lopez_! What! upon some love
errand?

_Lop._ Sir, your servant; I ask your pardon, but I was going----

_Car._ I guess where; but you need not be shy of me any more, thy
master and I are no longer rivals; I have yielded up the cause; the
lady will have it so, so I submit.

_Lop._ Is it possible, Sir, shall I then live to see my master and you
friends again?

_San._ Yes; and what's better, thou and I shall be friends too. There
will be no more fear of Christian bloodshed. I give thee up _Jacinta_;
she's a slippery hussy, so master and I are going to match ourselves
elsewhere.

_Lop._ But is it possible, Sir, your honour should be in earnest? I'm
afraid you are pleased to be merry with your poor humble servant.

_Car._ I'm not at present much dispos'd to mirth, my indifference in
this matter is not so thoroughly form'd; but my reason has so far
master'd my passion, to shew me 'tis in vain to pursue a woman whose
heart already is another's. 'Tis what I have so plainly seen of late, I
have rous'd my resolution to my aid, and broke my chains for ever.

_Lop._ Well, Sir, to be plain with you, this is the joyfullest news I
have heard this long time; for I always knew you to be a mighty honest
gentleman, and good faith it often went to the heart o' me to see you
so abused. Dear, dear have I often said to myself (when they have had a
private meeting just after you have been gone)----

_Car._ Ha!

_San._ Hold, Master, don't kill him yet.

                                                     [_To ~Car.~ aside._

_Lop._ I say I have said to myself, what wicked things are women, and
what pity it is they should be suffer'd in a Christian country; what
a shame they should be allow'd to play Will-in-the-wisp with men of
honour, and lead them thro' thorns and briars, and rocks, and rugged
ways, 'till their hearts are all torn to pieces, like an old coat in a
fox-chace; I say, I have said to myself----

_Car._ Thou hast said enough to thyself, but say a little more to me:
Where were these secret meetings thou talk'st of?

_Lop._ In sundry places, and by divers ways; sometimes in the cellar,
sometimes in the garret, sometimes in the court, sometimes in the
gutter; but the place where the kiss of kisses was given was----

_Car._ In Hell.

_Lop._ Sir!

_Car._ Speak, fury, what dost thou mean by the kiss of kisses?

_Lop._ The kiss of peace, Sir, the kiss of union; the kiss of
consummation.

_Car._ Thou ly'st, villain.

_Lop._ I don't know but I may, Sir,----What the Devil's the matter now?

                                                               [_Aside._

_Car._ There's not a word of truth in all thy cursed tongue has utter'd.

_Lop._ No, Sir, I----I----believe there is not.

_Car._ Why then didst thou say it, wretch?

_Lop._ O----only in jest. Sir.

_Car._ I am not in a jesting condition.

_Lop._ Nor I at present, Sir.

_Car._ Speak then the truth, as thou wouldst do it at the hour of death.

_Lop._ Yes, at the gallows, and be turn'd off as soon as I've done.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Car._ What's that you murmur?

_Lop._ Nothing but a short prayer.

_Car._ I am distracted, and fright the wretch from telling me what I am
upon the rack to know. [_Aside._] Forgive me, _Lopez_, I am to blame
to speak thus harshly to thee: let this obtain thy pardon. [_Gives him
money._] Thou see'st I am disturb'd.

_Lop._ Yes, Sir, I see I have been led into a snare; I have said too
much.

_Car._ And yet you must say more; nothing can lessen my torment, but
a farther knowledge of what causes my misery. Speak then! Have I any
thing to hope?

_Lop._ Nothing; but that you may be a happier bachelor, than my master
may probably be a married man.

_Car._ Married, say'st thou?

_Lop._ I did, Sir, and believe he'll say so too in a twelvemonth.

_Car._ O torment!----But give me more on't: When, how, to whom, where?

_Lop._ Yesterday, to _Leonora_, by the parson, in the pantry.

_Car._ Look to't, if this be false, thy life shall pay the torment thou
hast given me: be gone.

_Lop._ With the body and the soul o'me.

                                                         [_Ex. ~Lopez~._

_San._ Base news, Master.

_Car._ Now my insulting rival's smile speaks out: O cursed, cursed
woman!

                           _Enter ~Jacinta~._

_Jacin._ I'm come in haste to tell you, Sir, that as soon as the moon's
up, my lady will give you a meeting in the close-walk by the back-door
of the garden; she thinks she has something to propose to you will
certainly get her father's consent to marry you.

_Car._ Past sufferance! this aggravation is not to be borne: go, thank
her--with my curses: fly----and let them blast her, while their venom
is strong.

                                                          [_Exit ~Car~._

_Jacin._----Won't thou explain? What's this storm for?

_San._ And dar'st thou ask me questions, smooth-faced iniquity,
crocodile of _Nile_, syren of the rocks? Go carry back the too gentle
answer thou hast received: only let me add with the poet:

    _We are no fools, trollop, my Master nor me;
    And thy Mistress may go----to the Devil with thee._

                                                       [_Exit ~Sancho~._

                           _~Jacinta~ sola._

Am I awake!----I fancy not; a very idle dream this. Well: I'll go talk
in my sleep to my lady about it; and when I awake, we'll try what
interpretation we can make on't.

                                                                [_Exit._



+ACT+ II. +SCENE+ I.


                   _Enter ~Camillo~ and ~Isabella~._

                              =Isabella.=

How can you doubt my secrecy? Have you not proofs of it?

_Cam._ Nay I am determin'd to trust you; but are we safe here? can no
body over-hear us?

_Isab._ Much safer than in a room. No body can come within hearing,
before we see them.

_Cam._ And yet how hard 'tis for me to break silence!

_Isab._ Your secret sure must be of great importance.

_Cam._ You may be sure it is, when I confess 'tis with regret I own it
e'en to you; and were it possible, you should not know it.

_Isab._ 'Tis frankly own'd, indeed; but 'tis not kind, perhaps not
prudent; after what you know I already am acquainted with. Have not I
been bred up with you? And am I ignorant of a secret, which were it
known----

_Cam._ Would be my ruin; I confess it would. I own you know why both
my birth and sex are thus disguised; you know how I was taken from
my cradle to secure the estate, which had else been lost by young
_Camillo_'s death; but which is now safe in my supposed father's hands,
by my passing for his son; and 'tis because you know all this, I have
resolved to open farther wonders to you. But before I say any more,
you must resolve one doubt, which often gives me great disturbance;
whether Don _Alvarez_ ever was himself privy to the Mystery which has
disguised my sex, and made me pass for his son?

_Isab._ What you ask me, is a thing has often perplex'd my thoughts,
as well as yours, nor could my mother ever resolve the doubt. You know
when that young child _Camillo_ dy'd, in whom was wrapt up so much
expectation, from the great estate his uncle's will (even before he
came into the world) had left him; his mother made a secret of his
death to her husband _Alvarez_, and readily fell in with a proposal
made her to take you (who then was just _Camillo_'s Age) and bring
you up in his room. You have heard how you were then at nurse with my
mother, and how your own was privy and consenting to the plot; but Don
_Alvarez_ was never led into it by 'em.

_Cam._ Don't you then think it probable his wife might after tell him?

_Isab._ 'Twas ever thought nothing but a death-bed repentance cou'd
draw it from her to any one; and that was prevented by the suddenness
of her exit to t'other world, which did not give her even time to call
Heaven's mercy on her. And yet now I have said all this, I own the
correspondence and friendship I observe he holds with your real mother,
gives me some suspicion, and the presents he often makes her (which
people seldom do for nothing) confirm it. But since this is all I can
say to you on that point, pray let us come to the secret, which you
have made me impatient to hear.

_Cam._ Know then, that tho' _Cupid_ is blind, he is not to be deceived:
I can hide my sex from the world but not from him; his dart has found
the way thro' the manly garb I wear to pierce a virgin's tender
heart----I love----

_Isab._ How!

_Cam._ Nay be'nt surpriz'd at that, I have other wonders for you.

_Isab._ Quick, let me hear 'em.

_Cam._ I love _Lorenzo_.

_Isab._ _Lorenzo_! Most nicely hit. The very man from whom your
imposture keeps this vast estate; and who on the first knowledge of
your being a woman wou'd enter into possession of it. This is indeed a
wonder.

_Cam._ Then wonder still, I am his wife.

_Isab._ Ha! his wife!

_Cam._ His wife, _Isabella_; and yet thou hast not all my wonders, I am
his wife without his knowledge: he does not even know I am a woman.

_Isab._ Madam, your humble servant; if you please to go on, I won't
interrupt you, indeed I won't.

_Cam._ Then hear how these strange things have past; _Lorenzo_, bound
unregarded in my sister's chains, seem'd in my eyes a conquest worth
her care. Nor cou'd I see him treated with contempt, without growing
warm in his interest: I blam'd _Leonora_ for not being touch'd with his
merit; I blam'd her so long, 'till I grew touch'd with it myself: and
the reasons I urg'd to vanquish her heart, insensibly made a conquest
of my own: 'Twas thus, my friend, I fell. What was next to be done my
passion pointed out; my heart I felt was warm'd to a noble enterprize,
I gave it way, and boldly on it led me. _Leonora_'s name and voice,
in the dark shades of night, I borrow'd, to engage the object of my
wishes. I met him, _Isabella_, and so deceived him; he cannot blame
me sure, for much I blest him. But to finish this strange story: in
short I own, I long had lov'd, but finding my father most averse to my
desires, I at last had forc'd myself to this secret correspondence;
I urg'd the mischiefs would attend the knowledge on't, I urg'd them
so, he thought them full of weight, so yielded to observe what rules
I gave him: they were, to pass the day in cold indifference, to avoid
even signs or looks of intimacy, but gather for the still, the secret
night, a flood of love to recompence the losses of the day. I will not
trouble you with lovers cares, nor what contrivances we form'd to bring
this toying to a solid bliss. Know only, when three nights we thus had
pass'd, the fourth it was agreed should make us one for ever; each kept
their promise, and last night has join'd us.

_Isab._ Indeed your talents pass my poor extent; you serious ladies are
well form'd for business: What wretched work a poor coquet had made
on't! But still there's that remains will try your skill; you have your
man, but----

_Cam._ Lovers think no farther, the object of that passion possesses
all desire; however I have open'd to you my wond'rous situation. If
you can advise me in my difficulties to come, you will. But see----My
husband!

                           _Enter ~Lorenzo~._

_Lor._ You look as if you were busy, pray tell me if I interrupt you,
I'll retire.

_Cam._ No, no, you have a right to interrupt us, since you were the
subject of our discourse.

_Lor._ Was I?

_Cam._ You were; nay, I'll tell you how you entertain'd us too.

_Lor._ Perhaps I had as good avoid hearing that.

_Cam._ You need not fear, it was not to your disadvantage; I was
commending you and saying, if I had been a woman I had been in danger;
nay I think I said I shou'd infallibly have been in love with you.

_Lor._ While such an If is in the way, you run no great risque in
declaring; but you'd be finely catch'd now, shou'd some wonderful
transformation give me a claim to your heart.

_Cam._ Not sorry for't at all, for I ne'er expect to find a mistress
please me half so well as you would do if I were yours.

_Lor._ Since you are so well inclin'd to me in your wishes, Sir, I
suppose (as the fates have ordain'd it) you wou'd have some pleasure in
helping me to a mistress, since you can't be mine yourself.

_Cam._ Indeed I shou'd not.

_Lor._ Then my obligation is but small to you.

_Cam._ Why, wou'd you have a woman, that is in love with you herself,
employ her interest to help you to another?

_Lor._ No, but you being no woman might.

_Cam._ Sir, 'tis as a woman I say what I do, and I suppose myself a
woman when I design all these favours to you: therefore out of that
supposition, I have no other good intentions to you than you may expect
from one that says he's----Sir, your humble servant.

_Lor._ So unless Heaven is pleas'd to work a miracle, and from a sturdy
young fellow, make you a kind-hearted young lady, I'm to get little by
your good opinion of me.

_Cam._ Yes; there is one means yet left (on this side a miracle) that
wou'd perhaps engage me, if with an honest oath you could declare,
were I woman, I might dispute your heart even with the first of my
pretending sex.

_Lor._ Then solemnly and honestly I swear, that had you been a woman,
and I the master of the world, I think I should have laid it at your
feet.

_Cam._ Then honestly and solemnly I swear, henceforwards all your
interest shall be mine.

_Lor._ I have a secret to impart to you will quickly try your
friendship.

_Cam._ I've a secret to unfold to you will put you even to a fiery
trial.

_Lor._ What do you mean, _Camillo_?

_Cam._ I mean that I love, where I never durst yet own it, yet where
'tis in your power to make me the happiest of----

_Lor._ Explain, _Camillo_; and be assur'd if your happiness is in my
power, 'tis in your own.

_Cam._ Alas! you promise me you know not what.

_Lor._ I promise nothing but what I will perform; name the person.

_Cam._ 'Tis one who is very near to you.

_Lor._ If 'tis my sister, why all this pain in bringing forth the
secret?

_Cam._ Alas! it is your----

_Lor._ Speak!

_Cam._ I cannot yet; farewel.

_Lor._ Hold! Pray speak it now.

_Cam._ I must not: but when you tell me your secret, you shall know
mine.

_Lor._ Mine is not in my power, without the consent of another.

_Cam._ Get that consent, and then we'll try who best will keep their
oaths.

_Lor._ I am content.

_Cam._ And I. Adieu.

_Lor._ Farewel.

                                                      [_Exit ~Lorenzo~._

                    _Enter ~Leonora~ and ~Jacinta~._

_Leo._ 'Tis enough: I will revenge myself this way; if it does but
torment him, I shall be content to find no other pleasure in it.
Brother, you'll wonder at my change; after all my ill usage of
_Lorenzo_, I am determined to be his wife.

_Cam._ How, sister! so sudden a turn? This inequality of temper indeed
is not commendable.

_Leo._ Your change, brother, is much more justly surprizing; you
hitherto have pleaded for him strongly, accus'd me of blindness,
cruelty, and pride; and now I yield to your reasons, and resolve in his
favour, you blame my compliance, and appear against his interest.

_Cam._ I quit his service for what's dearer to me, yours. I have
learn'd from sure intelligence, the attack he made on you was but a
feint, and that his heart is in another's chain; I would not therefore
see you expos'd, to offer up yourself to one who must refuse you.

_Leo._ If that be all, leave me my honour to take care of; I am no
stranger to his wishes, he won't refuse me, brother, nor I hope will
you, to tell him of my resolution: if you do, this moment with my own
tongue (thro' all the virgin's blushes) I'll own to him I am determin'd
in his favour----You pause as if you'd let the task lie on me.

_Cam._ Neither on you, nor me; I have a reason you are yet a stranger
to: know then there is a virgin young and tender, whose peace and
happiness so much are mine, I cannot see her miserable; she loves him
with that torrent of desire, that were the world resign'd her in
his stead, she'd still be wretched: I will not pique you to a female
strife, by saying you have not charms to tear him from her; but I would
move you to a female softness, by telling you her death wou'd wait your
conquest. What I have more to plead is as a brother, I hope that gives
me some small interest in you; whate'er it is, you see how I'd employ
it.

_Leo._ You ne'er cou'd put it to a harder service. I beg a little time
to think: pray leave me to myself a while.

_Cam._ I shall; I only ask that you wou'd think, and then you won't
refuse me.

                                                          [_Exit ~Cam~._

_Jacin._ Indeed, Madam, I'm of your brother's mind, tho' for another
cause; but sure 'tis worth thinking twice on for your own sake: you are
too violent.

_Leo._ A slighted woman knows no bounds. Vengeance is all the cordial
she can have, so snatches at the nearest. Ungrateful wretch! to use me
with such insolence.

_Jacin._ You see me as much enrag'd at it, as you are yourself, yet
my brain is roving after the cause, for something there must be:
never letter was receiv'd by man with more passion and transport; I
was almost as charming a goddess as yourself, only for bringing it.
Yet when in a moment after I come with a message worth a dozen on't,
never was witch so handled; something must have pass'd between one and
t'other, that's sure.

_Leo._ Nothing cou'd pass worth my enquiring after, since nothing cou'd
happen that can excuse his usage of me; he had a letter under my hand
which own'd him master of my heart; and till I contradicted it with my
mouth, he ought not to doubt the truth on't.

_Jacin._ Nay I confess, madam, I han't a word to say for him, I'm
afraid he's a rogue at bottom, as well as my shameless that attends
him; we are bit, by my troth, and haply well enough serv'd, for
list'ning to the glib tongues of the rascals: but be comforted, Madam;
they'll fall into the hands of some foul sluts or other, before they
die, that will set our account even with e'm.

_Leo._ Well: let him laugh; let him glory in what he has done: he shall
see I have a spirit can use him as I ought.

_Jacin._ And let one thing be your comfort by the way, Madam, that in
spite of all your dear affections to him, you have had the grace to
keep him at arms length. You han't thank'd me for't; but good faith
'twas well I did not stir out of the chamber that fond night. For there
are times the stoutest of us are in danger, the rascals wheedle so.

_Leo._ In short, my very soul is fir'd with his treatment: and if ever
that perfidious monster should relent, though he should crawl like a
poor worm beneath my feet, nay plunge a dagger in his heart, to bleed
for pardon; I charge thee strictly, charge thee on thy life, thou do
not urge a look to melt me toward him, but strongly buoy me up in
brave resentment; and if thou see'st (which heav'ns avert) a glance
of weakness in me, rouse to my memory the vile wrongs I've borne, and
blazon them with skill in all their glaring colours.

_Jacin._ Madam, never doubt me; I'm charged to the mouth with fury,
and if ever I meet that fat traitor of mine, such a volley will I
pour about his ears----Now heav'n prevent all hasty vows; but in the
humour I am, methinks I'd carry my maiden-head to my cold grave with
me, before I'd let it simper at the rascal. But soft; here comes your
father.

                           _Enter ~Alvarez~._

_Alv._ _Leonora_, I'd have you retire a little, and send your brother's
tutor to me, _Metaphrastus_.

                                             [_Exit ~Leo.~ and ~Jacin~._

                                _Solus._

I'll try if I can discover, by his tutor, what it is that seems so much
to work his brain of late; for something more than common there plainly
does appear, yet nothing sure that can disturb his soul, like what
I have to torture mine upon his account. Sure nothing in this world
is worth a troubled mind: what racks has avarice stretch'd me on! I
wanted nothing, kind heav'n had given me a plenteous lot, and seated
me in great abundance; why then approve I of this imposture? What have
I gain'd by it? Wealth and misery. I have barter'd peaceful days for
restless nights; a wretched bargain! and he that merchandises thus,
must be undone at last.

                        _Enter ~Metaphrastus~._

_Metaph._ _Mandatum tuum curo diligenter._

_Alv._ Master, I had a mind to ask you----

_Metaph._ The title, master, comes from _Magis_ and _Ter_, which is as
much, to say, _thrice worthy_.

_Alv._ I never heard so much before, but it may be true for ought I
know: but, master----

_Metaph._ Go on.

_Alv._ Why so I will if you'll let me, but don't interrupt me then.

_Metaph._ Enough, proceed.

_Alv._ Why then, master, for a third time, my son _Camillo_ gives me
much uneasiness of late; you know I love him, and have many careful
thoughts about him.

_Metaph._ 'Tis true. _Filio non potest præferri nisi filius._

_Alv._ Master, when one has business to talk on, these scholastic
expressions are not of use; I believe you a great Latinist; possibly
you may understand _Greek_: those who recommended you to me, said so,
and I am willing it should be true: but the thing I want to discourse
you about at present, does not properly give you an occasion to display
your learning. Besides, to tell you truth, 'twill at all times be lost
upon me; my father was a wise man, but he taught me nothing beyond
common sense; I know but one tongue in the world, which luckily being
understood by you as well as me, I fancy whatever thoughts we have to
communicate to one another, may reasonably be convey'd in that, without
having recourse to the language of _Julius Cæsar_.

_Metaph._ You are wrong, but may proceed.

_Alv._ I thank you: what is the matter, I do not know; but tho' it is
of the utmost consequence to me to marry my son, what match soever I
propose to him, he still finds some pretence or other to decline it.

_Metaph._ He is, perhaps, of the humour of a brother of _Marcus
Tullius_, who----

_Alv._ Dear master, leave the _Greeks_, and the _Latins_, and the
_Scotch_, and the _Welsh_, and let me go on in my business; what have
those people to do with my son's marriage?

_Metaph._ Again you are wrong; but go on.

_Alv._ I say then, that I have strong apprehensions from his refusing
all my proposals, that he may have some secret inclination of his own;
and to confirm me in this fear, I yesterday observed him (without his
knowing it) in a corner of the grove, where nobody comes----

_Metaph._ A place out of the way, you would say; a place of retreat.

_Alv._ Why, the corner of the grove, where nobody comes, is a place of
retreat, is it not?

_Metaph._ In _Latin_, _secessus_.

_Alv._ Ha!

_Metaph._ As _Virgil_ has it. _Est in secessu locus._

_Alv._ How could _Virgil_ have it, when I tell you no soul was there
but he and I?

_Metaph._ _Virgil_ is a famous author, I quote his saying as a phrase
more proper to the occasion than that you use, and not as one who was
in the wood with you.

_Alv._ And I tell you, I hope to be as famous as any _Virgil_ of 'em
all, when I have been dead as long, and have no need of a better phrase
than my own to tell you my meaning.

_Metaph._ You ought however to make choice of the words most us'd by
the best authors. _Tu vivendo bonos_, as they say, _scribendo sequare
peritos_.

_Alv._ Again!

_Metaph._ 'Tis _Quintilian_'s own precept.

_Alv._ Oons----

_Metaph._ And he hath something very learned upon it, that may be of
service to you to hear.

_Alv._ You son of a whore, will you hear me speak?

_Metaph._ What may be the occasion of this unmanly passion? What is it
you would have with me?

_Alv._ What you might have known an hour ago, if you had pleas'd.

_Metaph._ You would then have me hold my peace.----I shall.

_Alv._ You will do very well.

_Metaph._ You see I do; well, go on.

_Alv._ Why then, to begin once again, I say my son _Camillo_----

_Metaph._ Proceed; I shan't interrupt you.

_Alv._ I say, my son _Camillo_----

_Metaph._ What is it you say of your son _Camillo_?

_Alv._ That he has got a dog of a tutor, whose brains I'll beat out, if
he won't hear me speak.

_Metaph._ That dog is a philosopher, contemns passion, and yet will
hear you.

_Alv._ I don't believe a word on't, but I'll try once again; I have a
mind to know from you, whether you have observ'd any thing in my son----

_Metaph._ Nothing that is like his father. Go on.

_Alv._ Have a care.

_Metaph._ I do not interrupt you; but you are long in coming to a
conclusion.

_Alv._ Why, thou hast not let me begin yet.

_Metaph._ And yet 'tis high time to have made an end.

_Alv._ Dost thou know thy danger? I have not----thus much patience left.

                                       [_Shewing the end of his finger_.

_Metaph._ Mine is already consum'd. I do not use to be thus treated; my
profession is to teach, and not to hear, yet I have hearken'd like a
school-boy, and am not heard, altho' a master.

_Alv._ Get out of the room.

_Metaph._ I will not. If the mouth of a wise man be shut, he is, as it
were, a fool; for who shall know his understanding? Therefore a certain
philosopher said well, Speak, that thou may'st be known; great talkers,
without knowledge, are as the winds that whistle; but they who have
learning, should speak aloud. If this be not permitted, we may expect
to see the whole order of nature o'erthrown; hens devour foxes, and
lambs destroy wolves, nurses suck children, and children give suck;
generals mend stockings, and chambermaids take towns; we may expect, I
say----

_Alv._ That, and that, and that, and----

                      [_Strikes him, and kicks him; and then follows him
                                            off with a bell at his ear._

_Metaph. O tempora! O mores!_



+ACT+ III. +SCENE+ I.

                         +SCENE+, _the Street_.


                            _Enter ~Lopez~._

_Lop._ Sometimes fortune seconds a bold design, and when folly has
brought us into a trap, impudence brings us out on't. I have been
caught by this hot-headed lover here, and have told like a puppy what
I shall be beaten for like a dog. Come! courage, my dear _Lopez_; fire
will fetch out fire: thou hast told one body thy master's secret, e'en
tell it to half a dozen more, and try how that will thrive; go tell it
to the two old Dons, the lovers fathers. The thing's done, and can't
be retriev'd; perhaps they'll lay their two ancient heads together,
club a pennyworth of wisdom a-piece, and with great penetration at last
find out, that 'tis best to submit, where 'tis not in their power to do
otherwise. This being resolv'd, there's no time to be lost.

                                          [_Knocks at ~Alvarez~'s door._

_Alv._ Who knocks?

                                                              [_Within._

_Lop._ _Lopez_.

_Alv._ What dost want?

                                                         [_Looking out._

_Lop._ To bid you good-morrow, Sir.

_Alv._ Well, good-morrow to thee again.

                                                             [_Retires._

_Lop._ What a----I think he does not care for my company.

                                                        [_Knocks again._

_Alv._ Who knocks?

_Lop._ _Lopez_.

_Alv._ What would'st have?

                                                         [_Looking out._

_Lop._ My old master, Sir, gives his service to you, and desires to
know how you do.

_Alv._ How I do? Why well: how shou'd I do? Service to him again.

                                                             [_Retires._

_Lop._ Sir.

_Alv._ [_Returning._] What the deuce wouldst thou have with me, with
thy good-morrows, and thy services?

_Lop._ This man does not understand good breeding, I find. [_Aside._]
Why, Sir, my master has some very earnest business with you.

_Alv._ Business! About what? What business can he have with me?

_Lop._ I don't know, truly; but 'tis some very important matter: he has
just now (as I hear) discover'd some great secret, which he must needs
talk with you about.

_Alv._ Ha! a secret, say'st thou?

_Lop._ Yes; and bid me bring him word, if you were at home, he'd be
with you presently. Sir, your humble servant.

                                                        [_Exit ~Lopez~._

                           _~Alvarez~ solus._

A secret: and must speak with me about it! Heav'ns, how I tremble!
What can this message mean? I have very little acquaintance with him,
what business can he have with me? An important secret 'twas, he
said, and that he had just discover'd it. Alas, I have in the world
but one, if it be that----I'm lost; an eternal blot must fix upon me.
How unfortunate am I, that I have not follow'd the honest counsels
of my heart, which have often urg'd me to set my conscience at ease,
by rendering to him the estate that is his due, and which by a foul
imposture I keep from him. But 'tis now too late; my villainy is out,
and I shall not only be forc'd with shame to restore him what is his,
but shall be perhaps condemned to make him reparation with my own. O
terrible view!

                          _Enter Don ~Felix~._

Don _Fel._ My son to go and marry her, without her father's knowledge?
This can never end well. I don't know what to do, he'll conclude I was
privy to it, and his power and interest are so great at court, he may
with ease contrive my ruin: I tremble at his sending to speak with
me----Mercy on me, there he is.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Alv._ Ah! Shield me, kind heaven! There's Don Felix come: how I am
struck with the sight of him! O the torment of a guilty mind!

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ What shall I say to soften him?

                                                               [_Aside._

_Alv._ How shall I look him in the face?

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ 'Tis impossible he can forgive it.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Alv._ To be sure he'll expose me to the whole world.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ I see his countenance change.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Alv._ With what contempt he looks upon me!

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ I see, Don _Alvarez_, by the disorder of your face, you are
but too well inform'd of what brings me here.

_Alv._ 'Tis true.

Don _Fel._ The news may well surprize you, 'tis what I have been far
from apprehending.

_Alv._ Wrong, very wrong, indeed.

Don _Fel._ This action is certainly to the last point to be condemn'd,
and I think nobody should pretend to excuse the guilty.

_Alv._ They are not to be excus'd, tho' heaven may have mercy.

Don _Fel._ That's what I hope you will consider.

_Alv._ We should act as Christians.

Don _Fel._ Most certainly.

_Alv._ Let mercy then prevail.

Don _Fel._ It is indeed of heavenly birth.

_Alv._ Generous Don _Felix_!

Don _Fel._ Too indulgent _Alvarez_!

_Alv._ I thank you on my knee.

Don _Fel._ 'Tis I ought to have been there first.

                                                          [_They kneel._

_Alv._ Is it then possible we are friends?

Don _Fel._ Embrace me to confirm it.

                                                        [_They embrace._

_Alv._ Thou best of men!

Don _Fel._ Unlook'd-for bounty!

_Alv._ Did you know the torment [_Rising._] this unhappy action has
given me----

Don. _Fel._ 'Tis impossible it could do otherwise; nor has my trouble
been less.

_Alv._ But let my misfortune be kept secret.

Don _Fel._ Most willingly; my advantage is sufficient by it, without
the vanity of making it publick to the world.

_Alv._ Incomparable goodness! That I should thus have wronged a man so
worthy! [_Aside._] My honour then, is safe?

Don _Fel._ For ever, even for ever let it be a secret, I am content.

_Alv._ Noble gentleman! [_Aside._] As to what advantages ought to
accrue to you by it, it shall be all to your entire satisfaction.

Don _Fel._ Wonderful bounty! [_Aside._] As to that, Don _Alvarez_, I
leave it entirely to you, and shall be content with whatever you think
reasonable.

_Alv._ I thank you, from my soul I must, you know I must.----This must
be an angel, not a man.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ The thanks lie on my side, _Alvarez_, for this unexpected
generosity, but may all faults be forgot, and heav'n ever prosper you.

_Alv._ The same prayer I, with a double fervour, offer up for you.

Don _Fel._ Let us then once more embrace, and be forgiveness seal'd for
ever.

_Alv._ Agreed; thou best of men, agreed.

                                                        [_They embrace._

Don _Fel._ This thing then being thus happily terminated, let me own
to you, Don _Alvarez_, I was in extreme apprehensions of your utmost
resentment on this occasion; for I could not doubt but you had form'd
more happy views in the disposal of so fair a daughter as _Leonora_,
than my poor son's inferior fortune e'er can answer; but since they are
join'd, and that----

_Alv._ Ha!

Don _Fel._ Nay, 'tis very likely to discourse of it may not be very
pleasing to you, tho' your christianity and natural goodness have
prevail'd on you so generously to forgive it. But to do justice
to _Leonora_, and skreen her from your too harsh opinion in this
unlucky action, 'twas that cunning wicked creature that attends her,
who by unusual arts wrought her to this breach of duty, for her own
inclinations were dispos'd to all the modesty and resignation a father
could ask from a daughter; my son I can't excuse, but since your bounty
does so, I hope you'll quite forget the fault of the less guilty
_Leonora_.

_Alv._ What a mistake have I lain under here! And from a groundless
apprehension of one misfortune, find myself in the certainty of another.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ He looks disturb'd; what can this mean?

                                                               [_Aside._

_Alv._ My daughter marry'd to his son!----Confusion. But I find myself
in such unruly agitation, something wrong may happen if I continue with
him; I'll therefore leave him.

                                                               [_Aside._

Don _Fel._ You seem thoughtful, Sir, I hope there's no----

_Alv._ A sudden disorder I am seiz'd with; you'll pardon me, I must
retire.

                                                      [_Exit ~Alvarez~._

                          _Don ~Felix~ solus._

I don't like this: He went oddly off--I doubt he finds this bounty
difficult to go through with. His natural resentment is making an
attack upon his acquir'd generosity: pray heaven it ben't too strong
for't. The misfortune is a great one, and can't but touch him nearly.
It was not natural to be so calm; I wish it don't yet drive him to
my ruin. But here comes this young hot-brain'd coxcomb, who with his
midnight amours has been the cause of all this mischief to me.

                           _Enter ~Lorenzo~._

So, Sir, you are come to receive my thanks for your noble exploit?
You think you have done bravely now, ungracious offspring, to bring
perpetual troubles on me. Must there never pass a day, but I must drink
some bitter potion or other of your preparation for me?

_Lor._ I am amaz'd, Sir; pray what have I done to deserve your anger?

Don _Fel._ Nothing; no manner of thing in the world; nor never do. I
am an old testy fellow, and am always scolding, and finding fault for
nothing; complaining that I have got a coxcomb of a son, that makes me
weary of my life, fancying he perverts the order of nature, turning
day into night, and night into day; getting whims in my brain, that he
consumes his life in idleness, unless he rouses now and then to do some
noble stroke of mischief; and having an impertinent dream at this time,
that he has been making the fortune of the family, by an underhand
marriage with the daughter of a man who will crush us all to powder for
it. Ah----ungracious wretch; to bring an old man into all this trouble!
The pain thou gav'st thy mother to bring thee into the world, and the
plague thou hast given me to keep thee here, make the getting thee
(tho' 'twas in our honey-moon) a bitter remembrance to us both.

                                                    [_Exit Don ~Felix~._

                           _~Lorenzo~ solus._

So----all's out----Here's a noble storm arising, and I'm at sea in a
cock-boat. But which way could this business reach him? By this traitor
_Lopez_----it must be so; it could be no other way; for only he, and
the priest that marry'd us, knew of it. The villain will never confess
tho'. I must try a little address with him, and conceal my anger. O,
here he comes.

                            _Enter ~Lopez~._

_Lor._ _Lopez_.

_Lop._ Do you call, Sir?

_Lor._ I find all's discover'd to my father, the secret's out; he knows
my marriage.

_Lop._ He knows your marriage. How the pest should that happen? Sir,
'tis impossible; that's all.

_Lor._ I tell thee 'tis true; he knows every particular of it.

_Lop._ He does!----Why then, Sir, all I can say is, that Satan and he
are better acquainted than the devil and a good Christian ought to be.

_Lor._ Which way he has discover'd it I can't tell, nor am I much
concern'd to know, since beyond all my expectations, I find him
perfectly easy at it, and ready to excuse my fault with better reasons
than I can find to do it myself.

_Lop._ Say you so?----I am very glad to hear that, then all's safe.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lor._ 'Tis unexpected good fortune; but it could never proceed purely
from his own temper, there must have been pains taken with him to bring
him to this calm; I'm sure I owe much to the bounty of some friend or
other; I wish I knew where my obligation lay, that I might acknowledge
it as I ought.

_Lop._ Are you thereabout's, I'faith? Then sharp's the word; I'gad I'll
own the thing, and receive his bounty for't. [_Aside._] Why, Sir----not
that I pretend to make a merit o'the matter, for alas, I am but your
poor hireling, and therefore bound in duty to render you all the
service I can----But----'tis I have don't.

_Lor._ What hast thou done?

_Lop._ What no man else could have done; the job, Sir, told him the
secret, and then talk'd him into a liking on't.

_Lor._ 'Tis impossible; thou dost not tell me true.

_Lop._ Sir, I scorn to reap any thing from another man's labours, but
if this poor piece of service carries any merit with it, you now know
where to reward it.

_Lor._ Thou art not serious!

_Lop._ I am; or may hunger be my mess-mate.

_Lor._ And may famine be mine, if I don't reward thee for't, as thou
deserv'st----Dead.

                                                [_Making a pass at him._

_Lop._ Have a care there [_Leaping on one side._] What do you mean,
Sir? I bar all surprise.

_Lor._ Traitor, is this the fruit of the trust I plac'd in thee,
villain?

                                        [_Making another thrust at him._

_Lop._ Take heed, Sir; you'll do one a mischief before you're aware.

_Lop._ What recompence can'st thou make me, wretch, for this piece of
treachery? Thy sordid blood can't expiate the thousandth----But I'll
have it however.

                                                       [_Thrusts again._

_Lop._ Look you there again: pray, Sir, be quiet; is the devil in you?
'Tis bad jesting with edg'd tools. I'gad that last push was within
an inch o' me. I don't know what you make all this bustle about, but
I'm sure I've done all for the best, and I believe it will prove for
the best too at last, if you'll have but a little patience. But if
gentlemen will be in their airs in a moment--Why, what the deuce----I'm
sure I have been as eloquent as _Cicero_, in your behalf; and I don't
doubt to good purpose too, if you'll give things time to work. But
nothing but foul language, and naked swords about the house, sa, sa;
run you through you dog; why, nobody can do business at this rate.

_Lor._ And suppose your project fails, and I'm ruin'd by it, Sir.

_Lop._ Why, 'twill be time enough to kill me then, Sir? won't it? What
should you do it for now? Besides, I an't ready, I'm not prepar'd, I
might be undone by't.

_Lor._ But what will _Leonora_ say to her marriage being known, wretch?

_Lop._ Why may be she'll draw----her sword too. [_Shewing his tongue._]
But all shall be well with you both, if you will but let me alone.

_Lor._ Peace; here's her father.

_Lop._ That's well: we shall see how things go presently.

                         _Enter Don ~Alvarez~._

_Alv._ The more I recover from the disorder this discourse has put me
in, the more strange the whole adventure appears to me. _Leonora_
maintains there is not a word of truth in what I have heard; that she
knows nothing of marriage: and indeed she tells me this, with such a
naked air of sincerity, that for my part I believe her. What then must
be their project? Some villainous intention, to be sure; tho' which
way, I yet am ignorant. But here's the bridegroom; I'll accost him----I
am told, Sir, you take upon you to scandalize my daughter, and tell
idle tales of what can never happen.

_Lop._ Now methinks, Sir, if you treated your son-in-law with a little
more civility, things might go just as well in the main.

_Alv._ What means this insolent fellow by my son-in-law! I suppose 'tis
you, villain, are the author of this impudent story.

_Lop._ You seem angry, Sir----perhaps without cause.

_Alv._ Cause, traitor! Is a cause wanting where a daughter's defam'd,
and a noble family scandaliz'd?

_Lop._ There he is, let him answer you.

_Alv._ I shou'd be glad, he'd answer me, why, if he had any desires to
my daughter, he did not make his approaches like a man of honour.

_Lop._ Yes; and so have had the doors bolted against him like a
house-breaker.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lor._ Sir to justify my proceeding, I have little to say; but to
excuse it, I have much; if any allowance may be made to a passion,
which in your youth you have yourself been sway'd by: I love your
daughter to that excess----

_Alv._ You would undo her for a night's lodging.

_Lor._ Undo her, Sir?

_Alv._ Yes, that's the word; you knew it was against her interest to
marry you, therefore you endeavour'd to win her to't in private; you
knew her friends would make a better bargain for her, therefore you
kept your designs from their knowledge, and yet you love her to that
excess----

_Lor._ I'd readily lay down my life to serve her.

_Alv._ Could you readily lay down fifty thousand pistoles to serve her,
your excessive love would come with better credentials; an offer of
life is very proper for the attack of a counterscarp, but a thousand
ducats will sooner carry a lady's heart; you are a young man, but will
learn this when you are older.

_Lop._ But since things have succeeded better this once, Sir, and
that my master will prove a most incomparable good husband (for that
he'll do, I'll answer for him) and that 'tis too late to recall what's
already done, Sir----

_Alv._ What's done, villain?

_Lop._ Sir, I mean, that since my master and my lady are marry'd,
and----

_Alv._ Thou ly'st; they are not marry'd.

_Lop._ Sir!----I say, that since they are marry'd, and that they love
each other so passing dearly, indeed I fancy that----

_Alv._ Why, this impudence is beyond all bearing; Sir, do you put your
rascal upon this?

_Lor._ Sir, I am in a wood; I don't know what it is you mean.

_Alv._ And I am in a plain, Sir, and think I may be understood; do you
pretend you are marry'd to my daughter?

_Lor._ Sir, 'tis my happiness on one side, as it is my misfortune on
another.

_Alv._ And do you think this idle project can succeed? do you believe
your affirming you are marry'd to her, will induce both her and me to
consent it shall be so?

_Lop._ Sir, I see you make my master almost out of his wits to hear you
talk so: but I, who am but a stande-by now, as I was at the wedding,
have mine about me, and desire to know, whether you think this project
can succeed? Do you believe your affirming they are not marry'd, will
induce both him and I to give up the lady? One short question to bring
this matter to an issue, Why do you think they are not marry'd?

_Alv._ Because she utterly renounces it.

_Lop._ And so she will her religion, if you attack it with that
dreadful face. D'ye hear, Sir? the poor lady is in love heartily, and
I wish all poor ladies that are so, would dispose of themselves so
well as she has done; but you scare her out of her senses: bring her
here into the room, speak gently to her, tell her you know the thing
is done, that you have it from a man of honour, Me. That may be you
wish it had been otherwise, but are a Christian, and profess mercy, and
therefore have resolved to pardon her: say this, and I shall appear a
man of reputation, and have satisfaction made me.

_Alv._ Or an impudent rogue, and have all your bones broke.

_Lop._ Content.

_Alv._ Agreed, _Leonora_! who's there? call _Leonora_.

_Lop._ All will go rarely, Sir; we shall have shot the gulf in a moment.

                                                  [_Aside to ~Lorenzo~._

                           _Enter ~Leonora~._

_Alv._ Come hither, _Leonora_.

_Lop._ So, now we shall see.

_Alv._ I call'd you to answer for yourself; here's a strong claim
upon you; if there be any thing in the pretended title, conceal it no
farther, it must be known at last, it may as well be so now. Nothing is
so uneasy as uncertainty, I would therefore be gladly freed from it: if
you have done what I am told you have, 'tis a great fault indeed; but
as I fear 'twill carry much of its punishment along with it, I shall
rather reduce my resentment into mourning your misfortune, than suffer
it to add to your affliction; therefore speak the truth.

_Lop._ Well, this is fair play; now I speak, Sir: you see, fair lady,
the goodness of a tender father, nothing need therefore hinder you
from owning a most loving husband. We had like to have been altogether
by the ears about this business, and pails of blood were ready to run
about the house: but, thank heaven, the sun shines out again, and one
word from your sweet mouth makes fair weather for ever. My master has
been forc'd to own your marriage, he begs you'll do so too.

_Leo._ What does this impudent rascal mean?

_Lop._ Ha!----Madam!

_Leo._ Sir, I should be very glad to know [_To ~Lorenzo~._] what can
have been the occasion of this wild report; sure you cannot be yourself
a party in it.

_Lop._ He, he----

_Lor._ Forgive me, dear _Leonora_, I know you had strong reasons for
the secret being longer kept; but 'tis not my fault our marriage is
disclos'd.

_Leo._ Our marriage, Sir!----

_Lor._ 'Tis known, my dear, tho' much against my will; but since it is
so, 'twou'd be in vain for us to deny it longer.

_Leo._ Then, Sir, I am your wife? I fell in love with you, and married
you without my father's knowledge?

_Lor._ I dare not be so vain to think 'twas love; I humbly am content
to owe the blessing to your generosity; you saw the pains I suffer'd
for your sake, and in compassion eas'd 'em.

_Leo._ I did, Sir! Sure this exceeds all human impudence.

_Lop._ Truly, I think it does. She'd make an incomparable actress.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lor._ I begin to be surpris'd, Madam, at you carrying this thing so
far; you see there's no occasion for it; and for the discovery, I have
already told you, 'twas not my fault.

_Lop._ My master's! no, 'twas I did it: why, what a bustle's here! I
knew things would go well, and so they do, if folks would let 'em. But
if ladies will be in their merriments, when gentlemen are upon serious
business, why what a deuce can one say to 'em?

_Leo._ I see this fellow is to be an evidence in your plot; where you
hope to drive, it is hard to guess; for if any thing can exceed its
impudence, it is its folly. A noble stratagem indeed to win a lady by!
I could be diverted with it, but that I see a face of villainy requires
a rougher treatment; I could almost, methinks, forget my sex, and be my
own avenger.

_Lor._ Madam, I am surpris'd beyond all----

_Lop._ Pray, Sir, let me come to her; you are so surpris'd, you'll
make nothing on't: she wants a little snubbing. Look you, madam, I
have seen many a pleasant humour amongst ladies, but you out-cut them
all. Here's contradiction, with a vengeance: you han't been married
eight-and-forty hours, and you are slap----at your husband's beard
already: why, do you consider who he is?----Who this gentleman is?
And what he can do----by law? Why, he can lock you up----knock you
down----tie you neck and heels----

_Lor._ Forbear, you insolent villain, you.

                                              [_Offering to strike him._

_Leo._ That----for what's past, however.

                                         [_Giving him a box o' th' ear._

_Lop._ I think----she gave me a box o' the ear; ha!

                                                      [_Exit ~Leonora~._

Sir, will you suffer your old servants to be us'd thus by new comers?
It's a shame, a mere shame: Sir, will you take a poor dog's advice for
once? She denies she's married to you: take her at her word; you have
seen some of her humours,----let her go.

_Alv._ Well, gentlemen, thus far you see I have heard all with
patience; have you content? Or how much farther do you design to go
with this business?

_Lop._ Why truly, Sir, I think we are near at a stand.

_Alv._ 'Tis time, you villain you.

_Lop._ Why, and I am a villain now, if every word I've spoke be not
as true as----as the _Gazette_: and your daughter's no better than
a----a----a whimsical young woman, for making disputes among gentlemen.
And if every body had their deserts, she'd have a good----I won't speak
out to inflame reckonings; but let her go, master.

_Alv._ Sir, I don't think it well to spend any more words with your
impudent and villainous servant here.

_Lop._ Thank you, Sir: but I'd let her go.

_Alv._ Nor have I more to say to you than this, that you must not think
so daring an affront to my family can go long unresented. Farewel.

                                                          [_Exit ~Alv~._

_Lor._ Well, Sir, what have you to say for yourself now?

_Lop._ Why, Sir, I have only to say, that I am a very
unfortunate----middle-ag'd man; and that I believe all the stars upon
heaven and earth have been concern'd in my destiny. Children now unborn
will hereafter sing my downfal in mournful lines, and notes of doleful
tune: I am at present troubled in mind, despair around me, signify'd
in appearing gibbets, with a great bundle of dog-whips by way of
preparation.

    I therefore will go seek some mountain high,
    If high enough some mountain may be found,                         }
    With distant valley dreadfully profound,                           }
    And from the horrid cliff--look calmly all around.                 }

Farewel.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lor._ No, sirrah, I'll see your wretched end myself. Die here, villain.

                                                   [_Drawing his sword._

_Lop._ I can't, Sir, if any body looks upon me.

_Lor._ Away, you trifling wretch; but think not to escape, for thou
shalt have thy recompence.

                                                      [_Exit ~Lorenzo~._

                            _~Lopez~ solus._

Why, what a mischievous jade is this, to make such an uproar in a
family the first day of her marriage! Why my master won't so much as
get a honey-moon out of her; I'gad let her go. If she be thus in her
soft and tender youth, she'll be rare company at threescore: well, he
may do as he pleases, but were she my dear, I'd let her go----Such a
foot at her tail, I'd make the truth bounce out at her mouth, like a
pellet out of a pot-gun.

                                                                [_Exit._



+ACT+ IV. +SCENE+ I.


                   _Enter ~Camillo~ and ~Isabella~._

_Isab._ 'Tis an unlucky accident indeed.

_Cam._ Ah _Isabella_! Fate has now determin'd my undoing. This thing
can ne'er end here, _Leonora_ and _Lorenzo_ must soon come to some
explanation; the dispute is too monstrous to pass over, without
further enquiry, which must discover all, and what will be the
consequence, I tremble at: for whether Don _Alvarez_ knows of the
imposture, or whether he is deceiv'd, with the rest of the world, when
once it breaks out, and the consequence is the loss of that great
wealth he now enjoys by it, what must become of me? All paternal
affections then must cease, and regarding me as an unhappy instrument
in the trouble which will then o'erload him, he will return me to my
humble birth, and then I'm lost for ever. For what, alas! will the
deceiv'd _Lorenzo_ say? A wife with neither fortune, birth, nor beauty,
instead of one most plenteously endow'd with all. O heavens! what a sea
of misery I have before me!

_Isab._ Indeed you reason right, but these reflections are ill-tim'd;
why did you not employ them sooner?

_Cam._ Because I lov'd.

_Isab._ And don't you do so now?

_Cam._ I do, and therefore 'tis I make these cruel just reflections.

_Isab._ So that love, I find, can do any thing.

_Cam._ Indeed it can: its powers are wondrous great, its pains no
tongue can tell, its bliss no heart conceive, crowns cannot recompense
its torments, heaven scarce supplies its joys. My stake is of this
value: oh counsel me how I shall save it.

_Isab._ Alas! that counsel's much beyond my wisdom's force, I see no
way to help you.

_Cam._ And yet 'tis sure there's one.

_Isab._ What?

_Cam._ Death.

_Isab._ There possibly may be another; I have thought this
moment----perhaps there's nothing in it; yet a small passage comes to
my remembrance, that I regarded little when it happen'd----I'll go and
search for one may be of service. But hold; I see Don _Carlos_: he'll
but disturb us now, let us avoid him.

                                     [_Exeunt ~Camillo~ and ~Isabella~._

                   _Enter Don ~Carlos~ and ~Sancho~._

_Car._ Repuls'd again! this is not to be borne. What tho' this
villain's story be a falshood, was I to blame to hearken to it? This
usage cannot be supported: how was it she treated thee?

_San._ Never was ambassador worse receiv'd. Madam, my master asks ten
thousand pardons, and humbly begs one moment's interview:----Begone,
you rascal you. Madam, what answer shall I give my Master?----Tell
him he's a villain. Indeed, fair lady, I think this is hasty
treatment--Here, my footmen, toss me this fellow out at the window; and
away she went to her devotions.

_Car._ Did you see _Jacinta_?

_San._ Yes; she saluted me with half a score rogues and rascals too. I
think our destinies are much alike, Sir; and o'my conscience, a couple
of scurvy jades we are hamper'd with.

_Car._ Ungrateful woman, to receive with such contempt so quick a
return of a heart so justly alarm'd.

_San._ Ha, ha, ha.

_Car._ What, no allowance to be made to the first transports of a
lover's fury, when rous'd by so dreadful an appearance? as just as my
suspicions were, have I long suffer'd them to arraign her?

_San._ No.

_Car._ Have I waited for oaths or imprecations to clear her?

_San._ No.

_Car._ Nay, even now is not the whole world still in suspense about
her? whilst I alone conclude her innocent.

_San._ 'Tis very true.

_Car._ She might, methinks, thro' this profound respect, observe a
flame another would have cherish'd: she might support me against
groundless fears, and save me from a rival's tyranny; she might release
me from these cruel racks, and would, no doubt, if she cou'd love as I
do.

_San._ Ha, ha, ha.

_Car._ But since she don't, what do I whining here? Curse on the base
humilities of love.

_San._ Right.

_Car._ Let children kiss the rod that fleas them, let dogs lie down and
lick the shoe that spurns them.

_San._ Ay.

_Car._ I am a man by nature meant for power; the scepter's given us to
wield, and we betray our trust whenever we meanly lay it at a woman's
feet.

_San._ True, we are men, boo----Come, Master, let us both be in a
passion; here's my scepter, [_Shewing a cudgel._] Subject _Jacinta_,
look about you. Sir, was you ever in _Muscovy_? the women there love
the men dearly; why? because----[_Shaking his stick._] there's your
love-powder for you. Ah, Sir, were we but wise and stout, what work
should we make with them! But this humble love-making, spoils them all.
A rare way indeed to bring matters about with them; we are persuading
them all day they are angels and Goddesses, in order to use them at
night like human creatures; we are like to succeed truly.

_Car._ For my part I never yet could bear a slight from any thing, nor
will I now. There's but one way however to resent it from a woman: and
that's to drive her bravely from your heart, and place a worthier in
her vacant throne.

_San._ Now, with submission to my betters, I have another way, Sir,
I'll drive my tyrant from my heart, and place myself in her throne.
Yes; I will be lord of my own tenement, and keep my household in
order. Wou'd you wou'd do so too, Master; for look you, I have been
servitor in a college at _Salamanca_, and read philosophy with the
doctors; where I found that a woman, in all times, has been observed
to be an animal hard to understand, and much inclined to mischief.
Now as an animal is always an animal, and a captain always a captain,
so a woman is always a woman: whence it is, that a certain _Greek_
says, her head is like a bank of sand; or, as another, a solid rock;
or, according to a third, a dark lanthorn. Pray, Sir, observe, for
this is close reasoning; and so as the head is the head of the body;
and that the body without a head, is like a head without a tail;
and that where there is neither head nor tail, 'tis a very strange
body: so I say a woman is by comparison, do you see, (for nothing
explains things like comparisons) I say by comparison, as _Aristotle_
has often said before me, one may compare her to the raging sea; for
as the sea, when the wind rises, knits its brows like an angry bull,
and that waves mount upon rocks, and rocks mount upon waves: that
porpusses leap like trouts, and whales skip about like gudgeons;
that ships roll like beer-barrels, and mariners pray like saints;
just so, I say a woman----A woman, I say, just so, when her reason
is ship-wreck'd upon her passion, and the hulk of her understanding
lies thumping against the rock of her fury; then it is, I say, that by
certain immotions, which----um cause, as one may suppose, a sort of
convulsive----yes----hurricanious----um----like----in short, a woman is
like the Devil.

_Car._ Admirably reason'd indeed, _Sancho_.

_San._ Pretty well, I thank Heaven; but here come the crocodiles to
weep us into mercy.

                    _Enter ~Leonora~ and ~Jacinta~._

Master, let us shew ourselves men, and leave their briny tears to wash
their dirty faces.

_Car._ It is not in the power of charms to move me.

_San._ Nor me, I hope; and yet I fear those eyes will look out sharp to
snatch up such a prize.

                                               [_Pointing to ~Jacinta~._

_Jacin._ He's coming to us, Madam, to beg pardon; but sure you'll never
grant it him?

_Leo._ If I do may heaven never grant me mine.

_Jacin._ That's brave.

_Car._ You look, Madam, upon me, as if you thought I came to trouble
you with my usual importunities; I'll ease you of that pain, by telling
you my business now is calmly to assure you, but I assure it you with
Heaven and hell for seconds; for may the joys of one fly from me,
whilst the pains of t'other overtake me, if all your charms display'd
e'er shake my resolution; I'll never see you more.

_San._ Bon.

_Leo._ You are a man of that nice honour, Sir, I know you'll keep your
word: I expected this assurance from you, and came this way only to
thank you for't.

_Jacin._ Very well.

_Car._ You did, imperious dame, you did: how base is woman's pride!
How wretched are the ingredients it is form'd of! If you saw cause for
just disdain, why did you not at first repulse me? Why lead a slave
in chains, that could not grace your triumphs? If I am thus to be
contemn'd, think on the favours you have done the wretch, and hide your
face for ever.

_San._ Well argued.

_Leo._ I own you have hit the only fault the world can charge me with:
the favours I have done to you, I am indeed asham'd of; but since women
have their frailties, you'll allow me mine.

_Car._ 'Tis well, extremely well, Madam. I'm happy however, you at last
speak frankly. I thank you for it: from my soul I thank you: but don't
expect me groveling at your feet again; don't, for if I do----

_Leo._ You will be treated as you deserve; trod upon.

_Car._ Give me patience;----but I don't want it; I am calm: Madam,
farewel;----be happy if you can; by heavens I wish you so, but never
spread your net for me again; for if you do----

_Leo._ You'll be running into it.

_Car._ Rather run headlong into fire and flames; rather be torn
with pincers bit from bit; rather be broil'd like martyrs upon
gridirons----But I am wrong; this sounds like passion, and heaven
can tell I am not angry: Madam, I think we have no farther business
together; your most humble servant.

_Leo._ Farewel t'ye, Sir.

_Car._ Come along.

                                                         [_To ~Sancho~._

                                       [_Goes to the scene and returns._

Yet once more before I go (lest you should doubt my resolution) may
I starve, perish, rot, be blasted, dead, damn'd, or any other thing
that men or gods can think of, if on any occasion whatever, civil or
military, pleasure or business, love or hate, or any other accident of
life, I, from this moment, change one word or look with you.

                           [_Going off, ~Sancho~ claps him on the back._

_Leo._ Content: come away, _Jacinta_.

                          _~Carlos~ returns._

_Car._ Yet one word, Madam, if you please; I have a little thing here
belongs to you, a foolish bawble I once was fond of. [_Twitching her
picture from his breast._] Will you accept a trifle from your servant?

_Leo._ Willingly, Sir; I have a bawble too I think you have some claim
to; you'll wear it for my sake.

                    [_Breaks a bracelet from her arm, and gives it him._

_Car._ Most thankfully; this too I shou'd restore you, it once was
yours----[_Giving her a table-book._] By your favour madam----there is
a line or two in it, I think you did me once the honour to write with
your own fair hand. Here it is.

                                                               [_Reads._

    _You love me, ~Carlos~, and would know
      The secret movements of my heart:
      Whether I give you mine or no,
    With yours, methinks, I'd never, never part._

Thus you have encouraged me, and thus you have deceived me.

_San._ Very true.

_Leo._ I have some faithful lines too; I think I can produce 'em,

                [_Pulls out a table-book; reads, and then gives it him._

    _How long soe'er, to sigh in vain,
      My destiny may prove,
    My fate (in spite of your disdain)
    Will let me glory in your chain,
      And give me leave eternally to love._

There, Sir, take your poetry again.

                                             [_Throwing it at his feet._

'Tis not much the worse for my wearing: 'twill serve again upon a fresh
occasion.

_Jacin._ Well done.

_Car._ I believe I can return the present, Madam, with----a pocket full
of your prose----There----

                           [_Throwing a handful of letters at her feet._

_Leo._ _Jacinta_, give me his letters. There, Sir, not to be
behind-hand with you.

                          [_Takes a handful of his letters out of a box,
                                           and throws them in his face._

_Jacin._ And there, and there, and there, Sir.

                                    [_~Jacinta~ throws the rest at him._

_San._ 'Cods my life, we want ammunition: but for a shift----There, and
there, you saucy slut you.

                      [_~Sancho~ pulls a pack of dirty cards out of his
                               pocket, and throws 'em at her; then they
                       close; he pulls off her headclothes, and she his
                       wig, and then part, she running to her mistress,
                                                     he to his master._

_Jacin._ I think, Madam, we have clearly the better on't.

_Leo._ For a proof, I resolve to keep the field.

_Jacin._ Have a care he don't rally and beat you yet though: pray walk
off.

_Leo._ Fear nothing.

_San._ How the armies stand and gaze at one another after the battle!
What think you, Sir, of shewing yourself a great general, by making an
honourable retreat?

_Car._ I scorn it: Oh _Leonora_! _Leonora_! A heart like mine should
not be treated thus.

_Leo._ _Carlos_! _Carlos_! I have not deserv'd this usage.

_Car._ Barbarous _Leonora_! but 'tis useless to reproach you; she that
is capable of what you have done, is form'd too cruel ever to repent of
it. Go on then, tyrant; make your bliss compleat; torment me still, for
still, alas! I love enough to be tormented.

_Leo._ Ah _Carlos_! little do you know the tender movements of that
thing you name: the heart where love presides, admits no thoughts
against the honour of its ruler.

_Car._ 'Tis not to call that honour into doubt, if conscious of our own
unworthiness, we interpret every frown to our destruction.

_Leo._ When jealousy proceeds from such humble apprehensions, it shews
itself with more respect than yours has done.

_Car._ And where a heart is guiltless, it easily forgives a greater
crime.

_Leo._ Forgiveness is not now in our debate; if both have been in
fault, 'tis fit that both should suffer for it; our separation will do
justice on us.

_Car._ But since we are ourselves the judges of our crimes, what if we
should inflict a gentler punishment?

_Leo._ 'Twould but encourage us to sin again.

_Car._ And if it shou'd?

_Leo._ 'Twould give a fresh occasion for the pleasing exercise of mercy.

_Car._ Right: and so we act the part of earth and heaven together, of
men and gods, and taste of both their pleasures.

_Leo._ The banquet's too inviting to refuse it.

_Car._ Then thus let's fall on, and feed upon't for ever.

                [_Carries her off, embracing her, and kissing her hand._

_Leo._ Ah woman! foolish, foolish woman!

_San._ Very foolish indeed.

_Jacin._ But don't expect I'll follow her example.

_San._ You wou'd, Mopsy, if I'd let you.

_Jacin._ I'd sooner tear my eyes out! ah----that she had a little of my
spirit in her.

_San._ I believe I shall find thou hast a great deal of her flesh, my
charmer; but 'twon't do; I am all rock, hard rock, very marble.

_Jacin._ A very pumice stone, you rascal you, if one would try thee;
but to prevent thy humilities, and shew thee all submission would be
vain; to convince thee thou hast nothing but misery and despair before
thee; here----take back thy paltry thimble, and be in my debt for the
shirts I have made thee with it.

_San._ Nay, if y'are at that sport, Mistress, I believe I shall
lose nothing by the balance of thy presents. There, take thy
tobacco-stopper, and stop thy----

_Jacin._ Here, take thy sattin pincushion, with thy curious half
hundred of pins in't, thou mad'st such a vapouring about yesterday:
tell them carefully, there's not one wanting.

_San._ There's thy ivory-hafted knife again, whet it well; 'tis so
blunt 'twill cut nothing but love.

_Jacin._ And there's thy pretty pocket scissars thou hast honour'd me
with, they'll cut off a leg or an arm; heaven bless them.

_San._ Here's the inchanted handkerchief you were pleased to indear
with your precious blood, when the violence of your love at dinner,
t'other day, made you cut your fingers----There.

                              [_Blows his nose in it, and gives it her._

_Jacin._ The rascal so provokes me, I won't even keep his paltry
garters from him. D'ye see these? You pitiful beggarly scoundrel
you:----There, take 'em, there.

            [_She takes her garters off, and flaps them about his face._

_San._ I have but one thing more of thine. [_Shewing his cudgel._] I
own 'tis the top of all thy presents, and might be useful to me; but
that thou may'st have nothing to upbraid me with, even take it again
with the rest of them.

               [_Lifting it up to strike her, she leaps about his neck._

_Jacin._ Ah cruel _Sancho_!--Now beat me, _Sancho_, do.

_San._ Rather, like _Indian_ beggars, beat my precious self.

                             [_Throws away his stick, and embraces her._

    Rather let infants blood about the streets,
    Rather let all the wine about the cellar,
    Rather let----Oh _Jacinta_----thou hast o'ercome.
    How foolish are the great resolves of man!
    Resolves, which we neither wou'd keep, nor can.
    When those bright eyes in kindness please to shine,
    Their goodness I must needs return with mine:
    Bless my _Jacinta_ in her _Sancho_'s arms----

_Jacin._ And I my _Sancho_ with _Jacinta_'s charms.

                                                              [_Exeunt._



+ACT+ V. +SCENE+ I.

                         +SCENE+, _the Street_.


                            _Enter ~Lopez~._

As soon as it is night, says my master to me, tho' it cost me my
life, I'll enter _Leonora_'s lodgings; therefore make haste, _Lopez_,
prepare every thing necessary, three pair of pocket pistols, two
wide-mouth'd blunderbusses, some six ells of sword-blade and a couple
of dark lanthorns. When my Master said this to me; Sir, said I to my
master, (that is, I would have said it, if I had not been in such
a fright, I could say nothing, however I'll say it to him now, and
shall probably have a quiet hearing;) look you, Sir, by dint of reason
I intend to confound you: you are resolv'd, you say, to get into
_Leonora_'s lodgings, tho' the Devil stand in the door-way?----Yes,
_Lopez_, that's my resolution----Very well, and what do you intend to
do when you are there?----Why, what an injur'd man shou'd do; make
her sensible of----Make her sensible of a pudding, don't you see
she's a jade? She'll raise the house about your ears, arm the whole
family, set the great dog at you.----Were there legions of Devils to
repulse me, in such a cause I could disperse them all----Why then you
have no occasion for help, Sir, you may leave me at home to lay the
cloth.----No; thou art my ancient friend, my fellow-traveller, and to
reward thy faithful services, this night thou shalt partake my danger
and my glory.----Sir, I have got glory enough under you already, to
content any reasonable servant for his life----Thy modesty makes me
willing to double my bounty; this night may bring eternal honour to
thee and thy family.----Eternal honour, Sir, is too much in conscience
for a serving-man; besides ambition has been many a great soul's
undoing----I doubt thou art afraid, my _Lopez_, thou shalt be arm'd
with back, with breast and headpiece----They will encumber me in my
retreat.----Retreat! my hero! Thou never shalt retreat.----Then by my
troth I'll never go, Sir.----But here he comes.

                           _Enter ~Lorenzo~._

_Lor._ Will it never be night? sure 'tis the longest day the sun e'er
travell'd.

_Lop._ Would 'twere as long as those in _Greenland_, Sir, that you
might spin out your life t'other half year. I don't like these nightly
projects; a man can't see what he does: we shall have some scurvy
mistake or other happen; a brace of bullets blunder thro' your head in
the dark perhaps, and spoil all your intrigue.

_Lor._ Away, you trembling wretch, away.

_Lop._ Nay, Sir, what I say is purely for your safety: for as to
myself----Uds-death, I no more value the losing a quart of blood, than
I do drinking a quart of wine. Besides, my veins are too full, my
physician advis'd me yesterday to let go twenty ounces for my health.
So you see, Sir, there's nothing of that in the case.

_Lor._ Then let me hear no other objections: for 'till I see _Leonora_
I must lie upon the rack. I cannot bear her resentment, and will pacify
her this night, or not live to see to-morrow.

_Lop._ Well, Sir, since you are so determin'd, I shan't be impertinent
with any farther advice; but I think you have laid your design
to----[_He coughs._] (I have got such a cold to-day) to get in
privately, have you not?

_Lor._ Yes; and have taken care to be introduced as far as her
chamber-door with all secrecy.

_Lop._ [_He coughs._]----This unlucky cough, I had rather have had a
fever at another time. Sir, I should be sorry to do you more harm than
good upon this occasion: if this cough shou'd come upon me in the
midst of the action, [_Coughs._] and give the alarm to the family, I
shou'd not forgive myself as long as I liv'd.

_Lor._ I have greater ventures than that to take my chance for, and
can't dispense with your attendance, Sir.

_Lop._ This 'tis to be a good servant, and make one's self necessary.

                           _Enter ~Toledo~._

_Tol._ Sir,----I am glad I have found you. I am a man of honour, you
know, and do always profess losing my life upon a handsome occasion:
sir, I come to offer you my service. I am inform'd from unquestionable
hands, that Don _Carlos_ is enrag'd against you to a dangerous degree;
and that old _Alvarez_ has given positive directions to break the legs
and arms of your servant _Lopez_.

_Lop._ Look you there, now, I thought what 'twou'd come to; what do
they meddle with me for? What have I to do in my Master's amours? The
old Don's got out of his senses, I think, have I married his daughter?

_Lor._ Fear nothing, we'll take care o'thee----Sir, I thank you for
the favour of your intelligence, 'tis nothing however but what I have
expected and am provided for.

_Tol._ Sir, I wou'd advise you to provide yourself with good friends, I
desire the honour to keep your back hand myself.

_Lop._ 'Tis very kind indeed. Pray, Sir, have you never a servant with
you cou'd hold a racket for me too?

_Tol._ I have two friends fit to head two armies; and yet----a word in
your ear, they shan't cost you above a ducat a-piece.

_Lop._ Take 'em by all means, Sir, you were never offer'd a better
pennyworth in your life.

_Tol._ Ah, Sir,----little _Diego_----you have heard of him; he'd have
been worth a legion upon this occasion: you know, I suppose, how they
have serv'd him----They have hang'd him, but he made a noble execution;
they clapp'd the rack and the priest to him at once, but cou'd neither
get a word of confession, nor a groan of repentance; he died mighty
well truly.

_Lor._ Such a man is indeed much to be regretted: As for the rest of
your escorte, captain, I thank you for 'em, but shall not use 'em.

_Tol._ I'm sorry for't, Sir, because I think you go in very great
danger; I'm much afraid your rival won't give you fair play.

_Lop._ If he does, I'll be hang'd; he's a damn'd passionate fellow, and
cares not what mischief he does.

_Lor._ I shall give him a very good opportunity: for I'll have no other
guards about me but you, Sir. So come along.

_Lop._ Why, Sir, this is the sin of presumption; setting heaven at
defiance, making a Jack-pudding of a blunderbuss.

_Lor._ No more, but follow. Hold! turn this way; I see _Camillo_ there.
I wou'd avoid him, 'till I see what part he takes in this odd affair of
his sister's. For I wou'd not have the quarrel fix'd with him, if it be
possible to avoid it.

                                                      [_Exit ~Lorenzo~._

_Lop._ Sir----Captain _Toledo_, one word if you please, Sir; I'm mighty
sorry to see my Master won't accept of your friendly offer; look ye,
I'm not very rich; but as far as the expences of a dollar went, if
you'd be so kind to take a little care of me, it shou'd be at your
service.

_Tol._ Let me see:----A dollar you say? but suppose I'm wounded?

_Lop._ Why you shall be put to no extraordinary charge upon that: I
have been 'prentice to a barber; and will be your surgeon myself.

_Tol._ 'Tis too cheap in conscience; but my land estate is ill paid
this war-time----

_Lop._ That a little industry may be commendable; so say no more, that
matter's fix'd.

                                             [_Exeunt ~Lop.~ and ~Tol~._

                           _Enter ~Camillo~._

_Cam._ How miserable a perplexity have I brought myself into! Yet
why do I complain? since with all the dreadful torture I endure, I
can't repent of one wild step I've made. O Love! what tempests canst
thou raise, what storms canst thou assuage! To all thy cruelties I am
resign'd: Long years thro' seas of torment I'm content to roll, so thou
wilt guide me to the happy port of my _Lorenzo_'s arms, and bless me
there with one calm day at last.

                          _Enter ~Isabella~._

_Cam._ What news, dear _Isabella_? methinks there's something chearful
in your looks may give a trembling lover hopes. If you have comfort for
me, speak, for I indeed have need of it.

_Isab._ Were your wants yet still greater than they are, I bring a
plentiful supply.

_Cam._ O Heav'ns! is it possible?

_Isab._ New mysteries are out, and if you can find charms to wean
_Lorenzo_ from your sister, no other obstacle is in the way to all your
wish.

_Cam._ Kind messenger from Heaven, speak on.

_Isab._ Know then, that you are daughter to _Alvarez_.

_Cam._ How! daughter to _Alvarez_?

_Isab._ You are: The truth this moment's come to light; and till this
moment he, altho' your father, was a stranger to it; nay, did not even
know you were a woman. In short, the great estate, which has occasion'd
these uncommon accidents, was left but on condition of a son; great
hopes of one there was, when you destroy'd 'em, and to your parents
came a most unwelcome guest: To repair the disappointment, you were
exchang'd for that young _Camillo_, who few months after dy'd. Your
father then was absent, but your mother quick in contrivance, bold in
execution, during that infant's sickness, had resolv'd his death shou'd
not deprive her family of those advantages his life had given it; so
order'd things with such dexterity, that once again there past a change
between you: of this (for reasons yet unknown to me) she made a secret
to her husband, and took such wise precautions, that 'till this hour
'twas so to all the world, except the person from whom I now have heard
it.

_Cam._ This news indeed affords a view of no unhappy termination; yet
there are difficulties still may be of fatal hindrance.

_Isab._ None, except that one I just now nam'd to you; for to remove
the last, know I have already unfolded all, both to Alvarez and Don
Felix.

_Cam._ And how have they receiv'd it?

_Isab._ To your wishes both. As for _Lorenzo_, he is yet a stranger to
all has past, and the two old fathers desire he may some moments longer
continue so. They have agreed to be a little merry with the heat he is
in, and engage you in a family-quarrel with him.

_Cam._ I doubt, _Isabella_, I shall act that part but faintly.

_Isab._ No matter, you'll make amends for it in the scene of
reconciliation.

_Cam._ Pray heaven it be my lot to act it with him.

_Isab._ Here comes Don _Felix_ to wish you joy.

                          _Enter Don ~Felix~._

Don _Fel._ Come near, my daughter, and with extended arms of great
affection let me receive thee. [_Kisses her._] Thou art a dainty
wench, good faith thou art, and 'tis a mettled action thou hast done;
if _Lorenzo_ don't like thee the better for't, Cods my life, he's a
pitiful fellow, and I shan't believe the bonny old man had the getting
of him.

_Cam._ I'm so encourag'd by your forgiveness, Sir, methinks I have some
flattering hopes of his.

Don _Fel._ Of his! I'gad, and he had best, I believe he'll meet with
his match if he don't. What dost think of trying his courage a little,
by way of a joke or so?

_Isab._ I was just telling her your design, Sir.

Don _Fel._ Why I'm in a mighty witty way upon this whimsical occasion;
but I see him coming. You must not appear yet; go your way in to the
rest of the people there, and I'll inform him what a squabble he has
work'd himself into here.

                                     [_Exeunt ~Camillo~ and ~Isabella~._

                     _Enter ~Lorenzo~ and ~Lopez~._

_Lop._ Pray, Sir, don't be so obstinate now, don't affront Heaven at
this rate. I had a vision last night about this business on purpose to
forwarn you; I dreamt of goose-eggs, a blunt knife, and the snuff of a
candle; I'm sure there's mischief towards.

_Lor._ You cowardly rascal, hold your tongue.

Don _Fel._ _Lorenzo_, come hither, my boy, I was just going to send for
thee. The honour of our ancient family lies in thy hands; there is a
combat preparing, thou must fight, my son.

_Lop._ Look you there, now, did not I tell you? O dreams are wond'rous
things, I never knew that snuff of a candle fail yet.

_Lor._ Sir, I do not doubt but _Carlos_ seeks my life, I hope he'll do
it fairly.

_Lop._ Fairly, do you hear, fairly! Give me leave to tell you, Sir,
folks are not fit to be trusted with lives, that don't know how to look
better after them. Sir, you gave it him, I hope you'll make him take a
little more care on't.

Don _Fel._ My care shall be to make him do as a man of honour ought to
do.

_Lop._ What, will you let him fight, then? let your own flesh and blood
fight?

Don _Fel._ In a good cause, as this is.

_Lop._ _O monstrum horrendum!_ Now I have that humanity about me, that
if a man but talks to me of fighting, I shiver at the name on't.

_Lor._ What you do, on this occasion Sir, is worthy of you: And had I
been wanting to you, in my due regards before, this noble action wou'd
have stamp'd that impression, which a grateful son ought to have for so
generous a father.

_Lop._ Very generous, truly! gives him leave to be run thro' the guts,
for his posterity to brag on a hundred years hence.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Lor._ I think, Sir, as things now stand, it won't be right for me to
wait for _Carlos_'s call; I'll, if you please, prevent him.

_Lop._ Ay, pray, Sir, do prevent him by all means, 'tis better made up,
as you say, a thousand times.

Don _Fel._ Hold your tongue, you impertinent Jackanapes, I will have
him fight, and fight like a fury too; If he don't, he'll be worsted, I
can tell him that. For know, son, your antagonist is not the person you
name, it is an enemy of twice his force.

_Lop._ O dear, O dear, O dear! and will nobody keep 'em asunder?

_Lor._ Nobody shall keep us asunder, if once I know the man I have to
deal with.

Don _Fel._ Thy man then is----_Camillo_.

_Lor._ _Camillo!_

Don _Fel._ 'Tis he, he'll suffer no body to decide this quarrel but
himself.

_Lop._ Then there are no seconds, Sir.

Don _Fel._ None.

_Lop._ He's a brave man.

Don _Fel._ No, he says nobody's blood shall be spilt upon this
occasion, but theirs who have a title to it.

_Lop._ I believe he'll scarce have a law-suit upon the claim.

Don _Fel._ In short, he accuses thee of a shameful falshood, in
pretending his sister _Leonora_ was thy wife; and has upon it prevailed
with his father, as thou has done with thine, to let the debate be
ended by the sword 'twixt him and thee.

_Lop._ And pray, Sir, with submission, one short question if you
please; what may the gentle _Leonora_ say of this business?

Don _Fel._ She approves of the combat, and marries _Carlos_.

_Lop._ Why, God a-mercy.

_Lor._ Is it possible? Sure she's a devil, not a woman.

_Lop._ I----cod, Sir, the Devil and a woman both, I think.

Don _Fel._ Well, thou sha't have satisfaction of some of 'em. Here they
all come.

    _Enter ~Alvarez~, ~Leonora~, ~Carlos~, ~Sancho~, and ~Jacinta~._

_Alv._ Well, Don _Felix_, have you prepared your son? for mine, he's
ready to engage.

_Lor._ And so is his. My wrongs prepare me for a thousand combats. My
hand has hitherto been held by the regard I've had to every thing of
kin to _Leonora_; but since the monstrous part she acts has driven her
from my heart, I call for reparation from her family.

_Alv._ You'll have it, Sir; _Camillo_ will attend you instantly.

_Lop._ O lack! O lack! will no body do a little something to prevent
bloodshed? Why, Madam, have you no pity, no bowels? [_To ~Leonora~._]
stand and see one of your husbands stoter'd before your face? 'Tis an
arrant shame.

_Leo._ If widowhood be my fate, I must bear it as I can.

_Lop._ Why, did you ever hear the like?

_Lor._ Talk to her no more. Her monstrous impudence is no otherwise to
be replied to, than by a dagger in her brother's heart.

_Leo._ Yonder he's coming to receive it. But have a care, brave Sir, he
does not place it in another's.

_Lor._ It is not in his power. He has a rotten cause upon his sword,
I'm sorry he's engag'd in't; but since he is, he must take his fate.
For you, my bravo, expect me in your turn.

                                                         [_To ~Carlos~._

_Car._ You'll find Camillo, Sir, will set your hand out.

_Lor._ A beardless boy. You might have match'd me better, Sir: but
prudence is a virtue.

Don _Fel._ Nay, son, I wou'd not have thee despise thy adversary
neither; thou'lt find Camillo will put thee hardly to't.

_Lor._ I wish we were come to the trial. Why does he not appear?

_Jacin._ Now do I hate to hear people brag thus. Sir, with my lady's
leave, I'll hold a ducat he disarms you.

                                                          [_They laugh._

_Lor._ Why, what!--I think I'm sported with. Take heed, I warn you all;
I am not to be trifled with.

                   _Enter ~Camillo~ and ~Isabella~._

_Leo._ You shan't, Sir, here's one will be in earnest with you.

_Lor._ He's welcome: tho' I had rather have drawn my sword against
another. I'm sorry, _Camillo_, we should meet on such bad terms as
these; yet more sorry your sister should be the wicked cause on't:
but since nothing will serve her but the blood either of a husband or
brother, she shall be glutted with't. Draw.

_Lop._ Ah Lard, ah Lard, ah Lard!

_Lor._ And yet before I take this instrument of death into my fatal
hand, hear me, _Camillo_; hear _Alvarez_; all! I imprecate the utmost
powers of heaven to shower upon my head the deadliest of its wrath;
I ask that all hell's torments may unite to round my soul with one
eternal anguish, if wicked _Leonora_ ben't my wife.

_Omnes._ O Lord, O Lord, O Lord!

_Leo._ Why then may all those curses pass him by, and wrap me in their
everlasting pains, if ever once I had a fleeting thought of making him
my husband.

_Lop._ O Lord, O Lord, O Lord!

_Leo._ Nay more; to strike him dumb at once, and shew what men with
honest looks can practise, know he's married to another.

_Alv._ and _Fel._ How!

_Leo._ The truth of this is known to some here.

_Jacin._ Nay, 'tis certainly so.

_Isab._ 'Tis to a friend of mine.

_Car._ I know the person.

_Lor._ 'Tis false, and thou art a villain for thy testimony.

_Cam._ Then let me speak; what they aver is true, and I myself was in
disguise, a witness of its doing.

_Lor._ Death and confusion! he a villain too! have at thy heart.

                                                            [_He draws._

_Lop._ Ah!----I can't bear the sight on't.

_Cam._ Put up that furious thing, there's no business for't.

_Lor._ There's business for a dagger, strippling; 'tis that should be
thy recompence.

_Cam._ Why then to shew thee naked to the world, and close thy mouth
for ever----I am myself thy wife.----

_Lor._ What does the dog mean?

_Cam._ To fall upon the earth and sue for mercy.

                               [_Kneels and lets her perriwig fall off._

_Lor._ A woman!

_Lop._ Ay----cod, and a pretty one too; you wags you.

_Lor._ I'm all amazement. Rise, _Camillo_, (if I am still to call you
by that name) and let me hear the wonders you have for me.

_Isab._ That part her modesty will ask from me: I'm to inform you then,
that this disguise hides other mysteries besides a woman; a large and
fair estate was cover'd by it, which with the lady now will be resigned
to you. 'Tis true, in justice it was yours before; but 'tis the God of
Love has done you right. To him you owe this strange discovery, thro'
him you are to know the true _Camillo_'s dead, and that this fair
adventurer is daughter to _Alvarez_.

_Lor._ Incredible! but go on; let me hear more.

Don _Fel._ She'll tell thee the rest herself, the next dark night she
meets thee in the garden.

_Lor._ Ha!--Was it _Camillo_ then, that I----

_Isab._ It was _Camillo_ who there made you happy: And who has virtue,
beauty, wit and love----enough to make you so, while life shall last
you.

_Lor._ The proof she gives me of her love, deserves a large
acknowledgment indeed. Forgive me therefore, _Leonora_, if what I owe
this goodness and these charms, I with my utmost care, my life, my
soul, endeavour to repay.

_Cam._ Is it then possible you can forgive me?

_Lor._ Indeed I can; few crimes have such a claim to mercy; but join
with me then, dear _Camillo_, (for still I know you by no other name)
join with me to obtain your father's pardon: yours, _Leonora_, too,
I must implore; and yours, my friend, for now we may be such. [_To
~Carlos~._] Of all I ask forgiveness. And since there is so fair a
cause of all my wild mistakes, I hope I by her interest shall obtain
it.

_Alv._ You have a claim to mine, _Lorenzo_, I wish I had so strong
a one to yours; but if by future services, (tho' I lay down my life
amongst 'em) I may blot out of your remembrance a fault (I cannot name)
I then shall leave the world in peace.

_Lor._ In peace then, Sir, enjoy it; for from this very hour, whate'er
is past with me, is gone for ever. Your daughter is too fair a
mediatrix to be refus'd his pardon, to whom she owes the charms she
pleads with for it.

    _From this good day, then, let all discord cease;
    Let those to come be harmony and peace;
    Henceforth let all our diff'rent interests join,                   }
    Let fathers, lovers, friends, let all combine,                     }
    To make each other's days as blest, as she will mine._             }

                                                              [_Exeunt._



EPILOGUE,


                       Written by Mr. =Motteux=.

    _I'm thinking, now good husbands are so few,
    To get one for my friend what I must do.
    ~Camillo~ ventur'd hard; yet at the worst,
    She stole love's honey-moon, and try'd her lover first.
    Many poor damsels, if they dar'd to tell,
    Have done as much, but have not 'scap'd so well.
    'Tis well the scene's in ~Spain~; thus, in the dark,
    I should be loth to trust a ~London~ spark.
    Some accident might for a private reason,
    Silence a female, all this acting-season.
    Hard fate of women: any one wou'd vex,
    To think what odds, you men have, of our sex.
    Restraint and custom share our inclination,
    You men can try, and run o'er half the nation.
    We dare not, even to avoid reproach,
    When you're at ~White~'s, peep out of hackney-coach;
    Nor with a friend at night, our fame regarding,
    With glass drawn up, drive 'bout ~Covent-Garden~.
    If poor town-ladies steal in here, you rail,
    Tho' like chaste nuns their modest looks they veil;
    With this decorum, they can hardly gain
    To be thought virtuous, e'en in ~Drury-Lane~.
    Tho' this you'll not allow, yet sure you may
    A plot to snap you, in an honest way.
    In love affairs, one scarce would spare a brother:                 }
    All cheat; and married folks may keep a pother,                    }
    But look as if they cheated one another.                           }
    You may pretend, our sex dissembles most;
    But of your truth none have much cause to boast:
    You promise bravely; but for all your storming,
    We find you're not so valiant at performing.
      Then sure ~Camillo~'s conduct you'll approve:
    Wou'd you not do as much for one you love?
    Wedlock's but a blind bargain at the best,
    You venture more sometimes, to be not half so blest.
    All, soon or late, that dangerous venture make,
    And some of you may make a worse mistake._

[Illustration]



THE

COUNTRY HOUSE.

A

FARCE.


[Illustration]



Dramatis Personæ.


MEN.

  _Mr._ Barnard.

  _Mr._ Griffard, _Brother to Mr._ Barnard.

  Erastus, _in love with_ Mariamne.

  Dorant, _Son to Mr._ Barnard.

  _Monsieur le Marquis_.

  _Baron_ de Messy.

  Janno, _Cousin to Mr._ Barnard.

  Colin, _Servant to Mr._ Barnard.

  Charly, _a little Boy_.

  _Servant to_ Erastus.

  _Three gentlemen, friends to_ Dorant.

  _A cook, other servants, &c._


WOMEN.

  _Mrs._ Barnard.

  Mariamne, _her daughter_.

  Mawkin, _sister to_ Janno.

  Lisetta, _servant to_ Mariamne.

                  The +SCENE+ is laid in _Normandy_ in
                               _France_.

                                  THE

                             COUNTRY HOUSE.



+ACT+ I. +SCENE+ I.


   _Enter ~Erastus~ and his man, with ~Lisetta~, ~Mariamne~'s maid._

_Lis._ Once more I tell ye, Sir, if you have any consideration in the
world for her, you must be gone this minute.

_Er._ My dear _Lisetta_, let me but speak to her, let me but see her
only.

_Lis._ You may do what you will; but not here, whilst you are in our
house. I do believe she's as impatient to see you, as you can be to see
her; but----

_Er._ But why won't you give us that satisfaction then?

_Lis._ Because I know the consequence; for when you once get together,
the Devil himself is not able to part you; you will stay so long 'till
you are surpriz'd, and what will become of us then?

_Serv._ Why, then we shall be thrown out at the window, I suppose.

_Lis._ No, but I shall be turn'd out of doors.

_Er._ How unfortunate am I! these doors are open to all the world, and
only shut to me.

_Lis._ Because you come for a wife, and at our house we do not care for
people that come for wives.

_Serv._ What would you have us come for, child?

_Lis._ Any thing but wives; because they cannot be put off without
portions.

_Serv._ Portions! No, no, never talk of portions; my Master nor I
neither don't want portions; and if he'd follow my advice, a regiment
of fathers shou'd not guard her.

_Lis._ What say you?

_Serv._ Why, if you'll contrive that my Master may run away with your
Mistress, I don't much care, faith, if I run away with you.

_Lis._ Don't you so, rogue's face? but I hope to be better provided for.

_Er._ Hold your tongues. But where is _Mariamne_'s brother? He is my
bosom friend, and would be willing to serve me.

_Lis._ I told you before, that he has been abroad a hunting, and we
han't seen him these three days; he seldom lies at home, to avoid his
father's ill humour; so that it is not your Mistress only that our old
covetous cuff teizes----there's nobody in the family but feels the
effects of his ill humour----by his good will he would not suffer a
creature to come within his doors, or eat at his table----and if there
be but a rabbit extraordinary for dinner, he thinks himself ruin'd for
ever.

_Er._ Then I find you pass your time comfortably in this family.

_Lis._ Not so bad as you imagine neither, perhaps; for, thank Heaven,
we have a Mistress that's as bountiful as he is stingy, one that will
let him say what he will, and yet does what she will. But hark, here's
somebody coming; it is certainly he.

_Er._ Can't you hide us somewhere?

_Lis._ Here, here, get you in here as fast as you can.

_Serv._ Thrust me in too.

                                            [_Puts 'em into the closet._


+SCENE+ II.

                          _Enter ~Mariamne~._

_Lis._ O, is it you?

_Mar._ So, _Lisetta_, where have you been? I've been looking for
you all over the house: who are those people in the garden with my
mother-in-law? I believe my father won't be very well pleas'd to see
'em there.

_Lis._ And here's somebody else not afar off, that I believe your
father won't be very well pleas'd with neither. Come, Sir, Sir.

                                                               [_Calls._

                                    [_Erastus and his servant come out._

_Mar._ O Heavens!

                                                           [_Cries out._

_Lis._ Come, lovers, I can allow you but a short bout on't this time;
you must do your work with a jirk----one whisper, two sighs and, a
kiss; make haste, I say, and I'll stand centry for you in the mean time.

                                                      [_Exit ~Lisetta~._

_Mar._ Do you know what you expose me to, _Erastus_? What do you mean?

_Er._ To die, Madam, since you receive me with so little pleasure.

_Mar._ Consider what wou'd become of me, if my father shou'd see you
here.

_Er._ What wou'd you have me do?

_Mar._ Expect with patience some happy turn of affairs; my
mother-in-law is kind and indulgent to a miracle, and her favour, if
well managed, may turn to our advantage; and cou'd I prevail upon
myself to declare my passion to her, I don't doubt but she'd join in
our interest.

_Er._ Well, since we've nothing to fear from her, and your brother,
you know is my intimate friend; you may therefore conceal me somewhere
about the house for a few days. I'll creep into any hole.

_Serv._ Ay, but who must have the care of bringing us victuals?

                                                               [_Aside._

_Er._ Thrust us into the cellar, or up into the garret: I don't care
where it is, so that it be but under the same roof with you.

_Serv._ But I don't say so, for that jade _Lisetta_ will have the
feeding of us, and I know what kind of diet she keeps----I believe we
shan't be like the fox in the fable, our bellies won't be so full but
we shall be able to creep out at the same hole we got in at.

_Er._ Must I then be gone? must I return to Paris?

                           _Enter ~Lisetta~._

_Lis._ Yes, that you must, and immediately too, for here's my master
coming in upon ye.

_Er._ What shall I do?

_Lis._ Begone this minute.

_Mar._ Stay in the village 'till you hear from me, none of our family
know that you are in it.

_Er._ Shall I see you sometimes?

_Mar._ I han't time to answer you now.

_Lis._ Make haste, I say; are you bewitch'd?

_Er._ Will you write to me?

_Mar._ I will if can.

_Lis._ Begone, I say, is the Devil in you?

                             [_Thrusting ~Erastus~ and his servant out._

Come this way, your father's just stepping in upon us.

                                                              [_Exeunt._


+SCENE+ III.

                 _Enter Mr. ~Barnard~ beating ~Colin~._

Mr. _Barn._ Rogue! rascal! did not I command you? Did not I give you my
orders, sirrah?

_Col._ Why, you gave me orders to let no body in; and Madam, her gives
me orders to let every body in----why the Devil himself can't please
you boath, I think.

Mr. _Barn._ But, sirrah, you must obey my orders, not hers.

_Col._ Why the gentlefolks asked for her, they did not ask for
you--what do you make such a noise about?

Mr. _Barn._ For that reason, sirrah, you shou'd not have let 'em in.

_Col._ Hold, Sir, I'd rather see you angry than her, that's true; for
when you're angry you have only the devil in ye, but when Madam's in a
passion she has the devil and his dam both in her belly.

Mr. _Barn._ You must mind what I say to you, sirrah, and obey my orders.

_Col._ Ay, ay, Measter----but let's not quarrel with one
another--you're always in such a plaguy humour.

Mr. _Barn._ What are these people that are just come?

_Col._ Nay, that know not I----but as fine volk they are as ever eye
beheld, heaven bless 'em.

Mr. _Barn._ Did you hear their names?

_Col._ Noa, noa, but in a coach they keam all besmeared with gould,
with six breave horses, the like on 'em ne'er did I set eyes
on----'twou'd do a man's heart good to look on sike fine beast, Measter.

Mr. _Barn._ How many persons are there?

_Col._ Vour----two as fine men as ever women bore, and two as dainty
deames as a man wou'd desire to lay his lips to.

Mr. _Barn._ And all this crew sets up at my house.

_Col._ Noa, noa, Measter, the coachman is gone into the village to set
up his coach at some inn, for I told him our coach-house was vull of
vaggots, but he'll bring back the six horses, for I told him we had a
rear good stable.

Mr. _Barn._ Did you so, rascal? Did you so?

                                                           [_Beats him._

_Col._ Doant, doant, Sir, it wou'd do you good to see sike cattle,
i'faith they look as if they had ne'er kept Lent.

Mr. _Barn._ Then they shall learn religion at my house----Sirrah, do
you take care they sup without oats to-night----What will become of me?
Since I bought this damn'd country house, I spend more in a summer than
wou'd maintain me seven years.

_Col._ Why, if you do spend money, han't you good things for it? Come
they not to see you the whole country raund? Mind how you're belov'd,
Measter.

Mr. _Barn._ Pox take such love----How now, what do you want?

                           _Enter ~Lisetta~._

_Lis._ Sir, there's some company in the garden with my mistress, who
desire to see you.

Mr. _Barn._ The devil take 'em, what business have they here? But who
are they?

_Lis._ Why, Sir, there's the fat Abbot that always sits so long at
dinner, and drinks his two bottles by way of whet.

Mr. _Barn._ I wish his church was in his belly, that his guts might be
half full before he came----and who else?

_Lis._ Then there's the young Marquis that won all my Lady's money at
cards.

Mr. _Barn._ Pox take him too.

_Lis._ Then there's the merry Lady that's always in a good humour.

Mr. _Barn._ Very well.

_Lis._ Then there's she that threw down all my Lady's china t'other
day, and laugh'd at it for a jest.

Mr. _Barn._ Which I paid above fifty pounds for in earnest--very well,
and pray how did Madam receive all this fine company?----With a hearty
welcome, and a courtsy with her bum down to the ground, ha.

_Lis._ No indeed, Sir, she was very angry with 'em.

Mr. _Barn._ How, angry with 'em, say you?

_Lis._ Yes indeed, Sir, for she expected they wou'd have staid here a
fortnight, but it seems things happen so unluckily that they can't stay
here above ten days.

Mr. _Barn._ Ten days! How! what! four persons with a coach and six, and
a kennel of hungry hounds in liveries, to live upon me ten days.

                                                      [_Exit ~Lisetta~._

                           _Enter a soldier._

So, what do you want?

_Sol._ Sir, I come from your nephew, Captain _Hungry_.

Mr. _Barn._ Well, what does he want?

_Sol._ He gives his service to you, Sir, and sends you word that he'll
come and dine with you to-morrow.

Mr. _Barn._ Dine with me! no, no, friend, tell him I don't dine at all
to-morrow, it is my fast-day, my wife died on't.

_Sol._ And he has sent you here a pheasant and a couple of partridges.

Mr. _Barn._ How's that, a pheasant and partridges, say you?----let's
see----very fine birds, truly----let me consider--To-morrow is not my
fast-day, I mistook, tell my nephew he shall be welcome----And d'ye
hear? [_To ~Colin~._] do you take these fowls and hang them up in a
cool place----and take this soldier in, and make him drink--make him
drink, d'ye see----a cup,----ay, a cup of small beer----d'ye hear?

_Col._ Yes, Sir----Come along; our small beer is reare good.

_Sol._ But, Sir, he bade me tell you that he'll bring two or three of
his brother officers along with him.

Mr. _Barn._ How's that! Officers with him----here, come back----take
the fowls again; I don't dine to-morrow, and so tell him [_Gives him
the basket._] Go, go.

                                                     [_Thrusts him out._

_Sol._ Sir, Sir, that won't hinder them from coming, for they retir'd a
little distance off the camp, and because your house is near 'em, Sir,
they resolve to come.

Mr. _Barn._ Go, begone, Sirrah,

                                                     [_Thrusts him out._

There's a rogue now, that sends me three lean carrion birds, and brings
half a dozen varlets to eat them.

                        _Enter Mr. ~Griffard~._

_Griff._ Brother, what is the meaning of these doings? If you don't
order your affairs better, you'll have your fowls taken out of your
very yard, and carried away before your face.

Mr. _Barn._ Can I help it, brother? But what's the matter now?

_Griff._ There's a parcel of fellows have been hunting about your
grounds all this morning, broke down your hedges, and are now coming
into your house----don't you hear them?

Mr. _Barn._ No, no, I don't hear them: who are they?

_Griff._ Three or four rake-helly officers, with your nephew at the
head of 'em.

Mr. _Barn._ O the rogue! he might well send me fowls----but is it not
a vexatious thing, that I must stand still and see myself plunder'd at
this rate, and have a carrion of a wife who thinks I ought to thank all
these rogues that come to devour me! but can't you advise me what's to
be done in this case?

_Griff._ I wish I cou'd; for it goes to my heart to see you thus
treated by a crew of vermin, who think they do you a great deal of
honour in ruining of you.

Mr. _Barn._ Can there be no way found to redress this?

_Griff._ If I were you, I'd leave this house quite, and go to town.

Mr. _Barn._ What, and leave my wife behind me? ay that wou'd be mending
the matter indeed!

_Griff._ Why don't you sell it then?

Mr. _Barn._ Because nobody will buy it; it has got as bad a name as if
the plague were in't; it has been sold over and over, and every family
that has liv'd in it has been ruin'd.

_Griff._ Then send away all your beds and furniture; except what is
absolutely necessary for your own family, you'll save something by
that, for then your guests can't stay with you all night, however.

Mr. _Barn._ I've try'd that already, and it signified nothing----For
they all got drunk and lay in the barn, and next morning laugh'd it off
for a frolick.

_Griff._ Then there is but one remedy left that I can think of.

Mr. _Barn._ What's that?

_Griff._ You must e'en do what's done when a town's on fire, blow up
your house that the mischief may run no farther----But who is this
gentleman?

Mr. _Barn._ I never saw him in my life before, but for all that, I'll
hold fifty pound he comes to dine with me.

                          _Enter the Marquis._

_Marq._ My dear Mr. _Barnard_, I'm your most humble servant.

Mr. _Barn._ I don't doubt it, Sir.

_Marq._ What is the meaning of this, Mr. _Barnard_? You look as coldly
upon me as if I were a stranger.

Mr. _Barn._ Why truly, Sir, I'm very apt to do so by persons I never
saw in my life before.

_Marq._ You must know, Mr. _Barnard_, I'm come on purpose to drink a
bottle with you.

Mr. _Barn._ That may be, Sir; but it happens that at this time I am not
at all dry.

_Marq._ I left the ladies at cards waiting for supper; for my part, I
never play; so I came to see my dear Mr. _Barnard_; and I'll assure you
I undertook this journey only to have the honour of your acquaintance.

Mr. _Barn._ You might have spared yourself that trouble, Sir.

_Marq._ Don't you know, Mr. _Barnard_, that this house of yours is a
little paradise?

Mr. _Barn._ Then rot me if it be, Sir.

_Marq._ For my part, I think a pretty retreat in the country is one of
the greatest comforts of life; I suppose you never want good company,
Mr. _Barnard_?

Mr. _Barn._ No, Sir, I never want company; for you must know I love
very much to be alone.

_Marq._ Good wine you must keep above all things, without good wine and
good cheer I would not give a fig for the country.

Mr. _Barn._ Really, Sir, my wine is the worst you ever drank in your
life, and you'll find my cheer but very indifferent.

_Marq._ No matter, no matter, Mr. _Barnard_; I've heard much of your
hospitality, there's a plentiful table in your looks----and your wife
is certainly one of the best women in the world.

Mr. _Barn._ Rot me if she be, Sir.

                            _Enter ~Colin~._

_Col._ Sir, Sir, yonder's the Baron _de Messy_ has lost his hawk in our
garden; he says it is pearch'd upon one of the trees; may we let him
have'n again, Sir?

Mr. _Barn._ Go tell him that----

_Col._ Nay, you may tell him yourself, for here he comes.


+SCENE+ IV.

                     _Enter the Baron ~de Messy~._

Sir, I'm your most humble Servant, and ask you a thousand pardons that
I should live so long in your neighbourhood, and come upon such an
occasion as this to pay you my first respects.

Mr. _Barn._ It is very well, Sir; but I think people may be very good
neighbours without visiting one another.

_Baron._ Pray how do you like our _country_?

Mr. _Barn._ Not at all, I'm quite tired on't.

_Marq._ Is it not the Baron? [_Aside._] it is certainly he.

_Baron._ How; my dear Marquis! let me embrace you.

_Marq._ My dear Baron, let me kiss you.

                                                [_They run and embrace._

_Baron._ We have not seen one another since we were school-fellows,
before.

_Marq._ The happiest _Rencontré_!

_Bro._ These gentlemen seem to be very well acquainted.

Mr. _Barn._ Yes, but I know neither one nor t'other of them.

_Marq._ Baron, let me present to you one of the best-natur'd men in the
world, Mr. _Barnard_ here, the flower of hospitality----I congratulate
you upon having so good a neighbour.

Mr. _Barn._ Sir!

_Baron._ It is an advantage I am proud of.

Mr. _Barn._ Sir!

_Marq._ Come, gentlemen, you must be very intimate; let me have the
honour of bringing you better acquainted.

Mr. _Barn._ Sir!

_Baron._ Dear Marquis, I shall take it as a favour, if you'll do me
that honour.

Mr. _Barn._ Sir!

_Marq._ With all my heart----Come, Baron, now you are here we can make
up the most agreeable company in the world----Faith you shall stay and
pass a few days with us.

Mr. _Barn._ Methinks now, this son of a whore does the honour of my
house to a miracle.

_Baron._ I don't know what to say, but I shou'd be very glad you'd
excuse me.

_Marq._ Faith, I can't.

_Baron._ Dear Marquis.

_Marq._ Egad I won't.

_Baron._ Well, since it must be so----But here comes the Lady of the
family.

                        _Enter Mrs. ~Barnard~._

_Marq._ Madam, let me present you to the flower of _France_.

_Baron._ Madam, I shall think myself the happiest person in the world
in your Ladyship's acquaintance; and the little estate I have in _this
country_ I esteem more than all the rest, because it lies so near your
Ladyship.

Mrs. _Barn._ Sir, your most humble servant.

_Marq._ Madam, the Baron _de Messy_ is the best humour'd man in the
world. I've prevail'd with him to give us his company a few days.

Mrs. _Barn._ I'm sure you could not oblige Mr. _Barnard_ or me more.

Mr. _Barn._ That's a damn'd lye, I'm sure.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Baron._ I'm sorry, Madam, I can't accept of the honour----for it
falls out so unluckily, that I've some ladies at my house that I can't
possibly leave.

_Marq._ No matter, no matter, Baron; you have ladies at your house, we
have ladies at our house--let's join companies----come, let's send for
them immediately; the more the merrier.

Mr. _Barn._ An admirable expedient, truly!

_Baron._ Well, since it must be so, I'll go for them myself.

_Marq._ Make haste, dear Baron, for we shall be impatient for your
return.

_Baron._ Madam, your most humble servant----But I won't take my leave
of you----I shall be back again immediately----Monsieur _Barnard_, I'm
your most humble servant; since you will have it so, I'll return as
soon as possible.

Mr. _Barn._ I have it so! 'sbud, Sir, you may stay as long as you
please; I'm in no haste for ye.

                                            [_Exeunt Baron and Marquis._

Mr. _Barn._ Madam, you are the cause that I am not master of my own
house.

Mrs. _Barn._ Will you never learn to be reasonable, husband?

_The Marquis returns._

_Marq._ The Baron is the best humour'd man in the world, only a little
too ceremonious, that's all----I love to be free and generous; since I
came to _Paris_ I've reform'd half the court.

Mrs. _Barn._ You are of the most agreeable humour in the world,
_Marquis_.

_Marq._ Always merry----But what have you done with the ladies?

Mrs. _Barn._ I left them at cards.

_Marq._ Well, I'll wait upon 'em----but, Madam, let me desire you not
to put yourself to any extraordinary expence upon our accounts----You
must consider we have more than one day to live together.

Mrs. _Barn._ You are pleased to be merry, Marquis.

_Marq._ Treat us without ceremony; good wine and poultry you have of
your own; wild-fowl and fish are brought to your door----You need not
send abroad for any thing but a piece of butcher's meat, or so----Let
us have no extraordinaries.

                                                                [_Exit._

Mr. _Barn._ If I had the feeding of you, a thunder bolt should be your
supper.

Mrs. _Barn._ Husband, will you never change your humour? If you go on
at this rate, it will be impossible to live with ye.

Mr. _Barn._ Very true; for in a little time I shall have nothing to
live upon.

Mrs. _Barn._ Do you know what a ridiculous figure you make?

Mr. _Barn._ You'll make a great deal worse, when you han't money enough
to pay for the washing of your shifts.

Mrs. _Barn._ It seems you married me only to dishonour me; how horrible
this is!

Mr. _Barn._ I tell ye, you'll ruin me. Do you know how much money you
spend in a year?

Mrs. _Barn._ Not I truly, I don't understand arithmetic.

Mr. _Barn._ Arithmetic, O lud! O lud! Is it so hard to comprehend, that
he who receives but sixpence and spends a shilling, must be ruin'd in
the end?

Mrs. _Barn._ I never troubled my head with accompts, nor never will;
but if you did but know what ridiculous things the world says of ye----

Mr. _Barn._ Rot the world----'Twill say worse of me when I'm in a jail.

Mrs. _Barn._ A very Christian-like saying, truly.

Mr. _Barn._ Don't tell me of Christian----Adsbud, I'll turn Jew, and
nobody shall eat at my table that is not circumcised.

                           _Enter ~Lisetta~._

_Lis._ Madam, there's the Dutchess of _Twangdillo_ just fell down near
our door, her coach was overturn'd.

Mrs. _Barn._ I hope her Grace has received no hurt.

_Lis._ No, Madam, but her coach is broke.

Mr. _Barn._ Then there's a smith in town may mend it.

_Lis._ They say, 'twill require two or three days to fit it up again.

Mrs. _Barn._ I'm glad on't with all my heart, for then I shall enjoy
the pleasure of her Grace's good company.----I'll wait upon her.

Mr. _Barn._ Very fine doings this!

                                                    [_Exeunt severally._



+ACT+ II. +SCENE+ I.


                         _Enter ~Mr.~ Barnard._

Heaven be now my comfort, for my house is hell: [_Starts._] Who's
there, what do you want? who are you?

                  _Enter servant with a portmanteau._

_Serv._ Sir, here's your cousin _Janno_ and cousin _Mawkin_ come from
_Paris_.

Mr. _Barn._ What a plague do they want?

                  _Enter ~Janno~ leading in ~Mawkin~._

_Jan._ Come, sister, come along----O here's cousin _Barnard_----Cousin
_Barnard_, your servant----Here's my sister _Mawkin_ and I are come to
see you.

_Mawk._ Ay, cousin, here's brother _Janno_ and I are come from _Paris_
to see you: pray how does cousin _Mariamne_ do?

_Jan._ My sister and I waunt well at _Paris_; so my father sent us here
for two or three weeks to take a little country air.

Mr. _Barn._ You cou'd not come to a worse place; for this is the worst
air in the whole county.

_Mawk._ Nay, I'm sure, my father says it is the best.

Mr. _Barn._ Your father's a fool; I tell ye, 'tis the worst.

_Jan._ Nay, cousin, I fancy you're mistaken now; for I begin to find
my stomach come to me already; in a fortnight's time you shall see how
I'll lay about me.

Mr. _Barn._ I don't at all doubt it.

_Mawk._ Father wou'd have sent sister _Flip._ and little brother
_Humphrey_, but the calash would not hold us all, and so they don't
come till to-morrow with mother.

_Jan._ Come, sister, let's put up our things in our chamber; and after
you have washed my face, and put me on a clean neckcloth, we'll go in
and see how our cousins do.

_Mawk._ Ay, come along, we'll go and see cousin _Mariamne_.

_Jan._ Cousin, we shan't give you much trouble, one bed will serve us;
for sister _Mawkin_ and I always lie together.

_Mawk._ But, cousin; mother prays you that you'd order a little
cock-broth for brother _Janno_ and I, to be got ready as soon as may be.

_Jan._ Ay, _a propos_, cousin _Barnard_, that's true; my mother
desires, that we may have some cock-broth to drink two or three times
a-day between meals, for my sister and I are sick folks.

_Mawk._ And some young chickens, too, the doctor said would bring us to
our stomachs very soon.

_Jan._ You fib now, sister, it waunt young chickens, so it waunt, it
was plump partridges sure, the doctor said so.

_Mawk._ Ay, so it was brother,--come, let's go in, and see our cousins.

_Jan._ Ay, come along, sister--cousin _Barnard_, don't forget the
cock-broth.

                                         [_Exeunt ~Janno~ and ~Mawkin~._

Mr. _Barn._ What the Devil does all this mean----mother, and sister
_Flip._, and little brother _Humphrey_, and chickens, and partridges,
and cock-broth, and fire from hell to dress 'em all.


+SCENE+ II.

                            _Enter ~Colin~._

_Col._ O measter, O measter----you'll not chide to-day, as you are usen
to do, no marry will you not; see now what it is to be wiser than one's
measter.

Mr. _Barn._ What wou'd this fool have?

_Col._ Why thanks and money to boot, an folk were grateful.

Mr. _Barn._ What's the matter?

_Col._ Why the matter is, if you have good store of company in your
house, you have good store of meat to put in their bellies.

Mr. _Barn._ How so? how so?

_Col._ Why a large and stately stag, with a pair of horns on his head,
heavens bless you, your worship might be seen to wear 'em, comes
towards our Geat a puffing and blawing like a cow in hard labour----Now
says I to myself, says I, if my measter refuse to let this fine youth
come in, why then he's a fool, d'ye see--So I opens him the geat, pulls
off my hat with both my honds, and said you're welcome, kind Sir, to
our house.

Mr. _Barn._ Well, well!

_Col._ Well, well, ay, and so it is well, as you shall straightway
find----So in he trots, and makes directly towards our barn, and goes
bounce, bounce, against the door, as boldly as if he had been measter
on't----he turns'en about and thwacks'n down in the stra, as who would
say, here will I lay me till to-morrow morning--But he had no fool to
deal with----for to the kitchen goes I, and takes me down a musquet,
and with a breace of balls, I hits'n such a slap in the feace, that he
ne'er spoke a word more to me----Have I done well or no measter?

Mr. _Barn._ Yes, you have done very well for once.

_Col._ But this was not all, for a parcel of dogs came yelping after
their companion, as I suppose; so I goes to the back yard-door, and as
many as came by, shu, says I, and drove them into the gearden, so there
they are as safe as in a pawnd----ha, ha,----but I can but think what a
power of pasties we shall have at our house, ha, ha.

                                                        [_Exit ~Colin~._

Mr. _Barn._ I see Providence takes some care of me: this cou'd never
have happened in a better time.


+SCENE+ III.

                            _Enter ~Cook~._

_Cook._ Sir, sir, in the name of wonder, what do you mean? is it by
your orders that all those dogs were let into the garden?

Mr. _Barn._ How!

_Cook._ I believe there's forty or fifty dogs tearing up the lettice
and cabbage by the root. I believe before they have done, they'll rout
up the whole garden.

Mr. _Barn._ This is that rogue's doings.

_Cook._ This was not all, Sir, for three or four of 'em came into
the kitchen, and tore half the meat off the spit that was for your
worship's supper.

Mr. _Barn._ The very dogs plague me.

_Cook._ And then there's a crew of hungry footmen who devour'd what the
dogs left, so that there's not a bit left for your worship's supper,
not a scrap, not one morsel, Sir.

                                                         [_Exit ~Cook~._

Mr. _Barn._ Sure I shall hit on some way to get rid of this crew.


+SCENE+ IV.

                            _Enter ~Colin~._

_Col._ Sir, Sir, here's the devil to do without yonder; a parcel of
fellows swear they'll have our venison, and s'blead I swear they shall
have none on't, so stand to your arms, measter.

Mr. _Barn._ Ay, you've done finely, rogue, rascal, have you not?

                                                         [_Beating him._

_Col._ 'Sblead, I say they shan't have our venison. I'll die before
I'll part with it.

                                                                [_Exit._

                          _Enter ~Griffard~._

_Griff._ Brother, there's some gentlemen within ask for you.

Mr. _Barn._ What gentlemen? who are they?

_Griff._ The gentlemen that have been hunting all this morning, they're
now gone up to your wife's chamber.

Mr. _Barn._ The Devil go with 'em.

_Griff._ There is but one way to get rid of this plague, and that is,
as I told you before, to set your house on fire.

Mr. _Barn._ That's doing myself an injury, not them.

_Griff._ There's dogs, horses, masters and servants, all intend to
stay here 'till to-morrow morning, that they may be near the woods to
hunt the earlier--besides (I overheard them) they're in a kind of plot
against you.

Mr. _Barn._ What did they say?

_Griff._ You'll be angry if I tell ye.

Mr. _Barn._ Can I be more angry than I am?

_Griff._ They said then that it was the greatest pleasure in the world
to ruin an old lawyer in the country, who had got an estate by ruining
honest people in town.

Mr. _Barn._ There's rogues for ye!

_Griff._ I'm mistaken if they don't play you some trick or other.

Mr. _Barn._ Hold, let me consider.

_Griff._ What are you doing?

_Griff._ I'm _conceiving_, I shall _bring forth_ presently----oh, I
have it, it comes from hence, wit was its father, and invention its
mother; if I had thought on't sooner, I shou'd have been happy.

_Griff._ What is it?

Mr. _Barn._ Come, come along, I say; you must help me to put it in
execution.


+SCENE+ V.

                           _Enter ~Lisetta~._

_Lis._ Sir, my mistress desires you to walk up, she is not able, by
herself, to pay the civilities due to so much good company.

Mr. _Barn._ O the carrion! what does she play her jests upon me
too?----but mum, he laughs best that laughs last.

_Lis._ What shall I tell her, Sir, will you come?

Mr. _Barn._ Yes, yes, tell her I'll come with a pox to her.

                                 [_Exeunt ~Mr.~ Barnard ~and~ Griffard._

_Lis._ Nay, I don't wonder he shou'd be angry--they do try his
patience, that's the truth on't.


+SCENE+ VI.

                          _Enter ~Mariamne~._

What, Madam, have you left your mother and the company?

_Mar._ So much tittle tattle makes my head ake; I don't wonder my
father shou'd not love the _country_, for besides the expence he's at,
he never enjoys a minute's quiet.

_Lis._ But let's talk of our own affairs--have you writ to your lover?

_Mar._ No, for I have not had time since I saw him.

_Lis._ Now you have time then, about it immediately, for he's a sort
of desperate spark, and a body does not know what he may do, if he
shou'd not hear from you; besides you promised him, and you must behave
yourself like a woman of honour, and keep your word.

_Mar._ I'll about it this minute.

                           _Enter ~Charly~._

_Char._ Cousin, cousin, cousin, where are you going? Come back, I have
something to say to you.

_Lis._ What does this troublesome boy want?

_Char._ What's that to you what I want? perhaps I have something to say
to her that will make her laugh----why sure! what need you care?

_Mar._ Don't snub my cousin _Charly_----well, what is't?

_Char._ Who do you think I met, as I was coming here, but that handsome
gentleman I've seen at church ogle you like any devil?

_Mar._ Hush, softly, cousin.

_Lis._ Not a word of that for your life.

_Char._ O I know I shou'd not speak on't before folks; you know I made
signs to you above, that I wanted to speak to you in private, didn't I,
cousin?

_Mar._ Yes, yes, I saw you.

_Char._ You see I can keep a secret.----I am no girl, mun----I
believe I cou'd tell you fifty and fifty to that, of my sister
_Cicely_----O she's the devil of a girl----but she gives me money and
sugar-plumbs----and those that are kind to me fare the better for it,
you see cousin.

_Mar._ I always said my cousin _Charly_ was a good-natur'd boy.

_Lis._ Well, and did he know you?

_Char._ Yes, I think he did know me--for he took me in his arms, and
did so hug and kiss me----between you and I, cousin, I believe he is
one of the best friends I have in the world.

_Mar._ Well, but what did he say to you?

_Char._ Why, he ask'd me where I was going; I told him I was coming to
see you; you're a lying young rogue, says he, I'm sure you dare not go
see your cousin--for you must know my sister was with me, and it seems
he took her for a crack, and I being a forward boy, he fancied I was
going to make love to her under a hedge, ha, ha.

_Mar._ So.

_Char._ So he offer'd to lay me a _Lewis d'Or_ that I was not coming to
you; so done, says I----Done, says he,----and so 'twas a bett, you know.

_Mar._ Certainly.

_Char._ So my sister's honour being concern'd, and having a mind to win
his _Lewis d'Or_, d'ye see----I bid him follow me, that he might see
whether I came in or no--but he said he'd wait for me at the little
garden gate that opens into the fields, and if I would come thro' the
house and meet him there, he should know by that whether I had been in
or no.

_Mar._ Very well.

_Char._ So I went there, open'd the gate and let him in--

_Mar._ What then?

_Char._ Why then he paid me the _Lewis d'Or_, that's all.

_Mar._ Why, that was honestly done.

_Char._ And then he talk'd to me of you, and said you had the
charmingest bubbies, and every time he nam'd 'em, ha! says he, as if he
had been sipping hot tea.

_Mar._ But was this all?

_Char._ No, for he had a mind, you must know, to win his _Lewis d'Or_
back again; so he laid me another, that I dare not come back, and tell
you that he was there; so cousin, I hope you won't let me lose, for if
you don't go to him and tell him that I've won, he won't pay me.

_Mar._ What, wou'd you have me go and speak to a man?

_Char._ Not for any harm, but to win your poor cousin a _Lewis d'Or_.
I'm sure you will--for you're a modest young woman, and may go without
danger----Well, cousin, I'll swear you look very handsome to-day, and
have the prettiest bubbies there; do let me feel 'em, I'll swear you
must.

_Mar._ What does the young rogue mean? I swear I'll have you whipt.

                                      [_Exeunt ~Charly~ and ~Mariamne~._

                            _Enter ~Colin~._

_Col._ Ha, ha, ha! our old gentleman's a wag efaith, he'll be even with
'em for all this, ha, ha, ha----

_Lis._ What's the matter? what does the fool laugh at?

_Col._ We an't in our house now, _Lisetta_, we're in an inn: ha, ha!

_Lis._ How in an inn?

_Col._ Yes, in an inn, my measter has gotten an old rusty sword, and
hung it up at our geat, and writ underneath with a piece of charcoal
with his own fair hand, _At the_ Sword Royal; _entertainment for man
and horse_: ha, ha----

_Lis._ What whim is this?

_Col._ Thou, and I, live at the _Sword Royal_, ha, ha--

_Lis._ I'll go tell my mistress of her father's extravagance.

                                                      [_Exit ~Lisetta~._


+SCENE+ VII.

                 _Enter Mr. ~Barnard~ and ~Griffard~._

Mr. _Barn._ Ha, ha! yes I think this will do. Sirrah, _Colin_, you may
now let in all the world; the more the better.

_Colin._ Yes, Sir----Ods-flesh! we shall break all the inns in the
country----For we have a brave handsome landlady, and a curious young
lass to her daughter----O, here comes my young measter----We'll make
him chamberlain----ha, ha----

                           _Enter ~Dorant~._

Mr. _Barn._ What's the matter, son? How comes it that you are all
alone? You used to do me the favour to bring some of your friends along
with ye.

_Dor._ Sir, there are some of 'em coming; I only rid before, to beg you
to give them a favourable reception.

Mr. _Barn._ Ay why not? it is both for your honour and mine; you shall
be master.

_Dor._ Sir, we have now an opportunity of making all the gentlemen in
the country our friends.

Mr _Barn._ I'm glad on't with all my heart; pray how so?

_Dor._ There's an old quarrel to be made up between two families, and
all the company are to meet at our house.

Mr. _Barn._ Ay, with all my heart; but pray, what is the quarrel?

_Dor._ O, Sir, a very ancient quarrel; It happened between their great
grandfathers about a duck.

Mr. _Barn._ A quarrel of consequence truly.

_Dor._ And 'twill be a great honour to us, if this shou'd be
accommodated at our house.

Mr. _Barn._ Without doubt.

_Dor._ Dear Sir, you astonish me with this goodness; how shall I
express this obligation? I was afraid, Sir, you would not like it.

Mr. _Barn._ Why so?

_Dor._ I thought, Sir, you did not care for the expence.

Mr. _Barn._ O Lord, I am the most alter'd man in the world from what I
was, I'm quite another thing, mun; but how many are there of 'em?

_Dor._ Not above nine or ten of a side, Sir.

Mr. _Barn._ O, we shall dispose of them easily enough.

_Dor._ Some of 'em will be here present'y, the rest I don't expect
'till to-morrow morning.

Mr. _Barn._ I hope they're good companions, jolly fellows, that love to
eat and drink well.

_Dor._ The merriest, best-natur'd creatures in the world, Sir.

Mr. _Barn._ I'm very glad on't, for 'tis such men I want. Come,
brother, you and I will go and prepare for their reception.

                                [_Exeunt Mr. ~Barnard~ and his brother._

_Dor._ Bless me, what an alteration is here! How my father's temper is
chang'd within these two or three days! Do you know the meaning of it?

_Col._ Why the meaning on't is, ha, ha----

_Dor._ Can you tell me the cause of this sudden change, I say?

_Col._ Why the cause on't is, ha, ha.----

_Dor._ What do you laugh at, sirrah? do you know?

_Col._ Ha----because the old gentleman's a drole, that's all.

_Dor._ Sirrah, if I take the cudgel----

_Col._ Nay, Sir, don't be angry for a little harmless mirth----But here
are your friends.


+SCENE+ VIII.

                        _Enter three gentlemen._

_Dor._ Gentlemen you are welcome to _Pasty-Hall_; see that these
gentlemens horses are taken care of.

_1 Gen._ A very fine dwelling this.

_Dor._ Yes, the house is tolerable.

_2 Gen._ And a very fine lordship belongs to it.

_Dor._ The land is good.

_3 Gen._ This house ought to have been mine, for my grandfather sold it
to his father, from whom your father purchased it.

_Dor._ Yes, the house has gone thro' a great many hands.

_1 Gen._ A sign there has always been good house-keeping in it.

_Dor._ And I hope there ever will.

       _Enter Mr. ~Barnard~, and ~Griffard~, drest like drawers._

Mr. _Barn._ Gentlemen, do you call? will you please to see a room,
gentlemen? somebody take off the gentlemens boots there?

_Dor._ Father! uncle! what is the meaning of this?

Mr. _Barn._ Here, shew a room----or will you please to walk into the
kitchen first, gentlemen, and see what you like for dinner.

_1 Gen._ Make no preparations, Sir, your own dinner is sufficient.

Mr. _Barn._ Very well, I understand ye; let's see, how many are there
of ye? [_Tells 'em._] One, two, three, four: well, gentlemen, 'tis
but half a crown a-piece for yourselves, and sixpence a-head for your
servants; your dinner shall be ready in half an hour; here, shew the
gentlemen into the _Apollo_.

_2 Gen._ What, Sir, does your father keep an inn?

Mr. _Barn._ The _Sword Royal_; at your service, Sir.

_Dor._ But father let me speak to you; would you disgrace me?

Mr. _Barn._ My wine is very good, gentlemen, but to be very plain with
ye, it is dear.

_Dor._ O, I shall run distracted.

Mr. _Barn._ You seem not to like my house, gentlemen; you may try all
the inns in the county, and not be better entertained; but I own my
bills run high.

_Dor._ Gentlemen, let me beg the favour of ye.

_1 Gen._ Ay, my young _'Squire ~of the~ Sword Royal'_, you shall
receive some favours from us.

_Dor._ Dear Monsieur _le Guarantiere_.

_1 Gen._ Here, my horse there.

_Dor._ Monsieur _la Rose_.

_2 Gen._ Damn ye, ye prig.

_Dor._ Monsieur _Trofignac_.

_3 Gen._ Go to the devil.

                                                    [_Exeunt Gentlemen._

_Dor._ O, I'm disgrac'd for ever.

Mr. _Barn._ Now, son, this will teach you how to live.

_Dor._ Your son? I deny the kindred; I'm the son of a whore, and I'll
burn your house about your ears, you old rogue you.

                                                                [_Exit._

Mr. _Barn._ Ha, ha----

_Griff._ The young gentleman's in a passion.

Mr. _Barn._ They're all gone for all that, and the _Sword Royal_'s the
best general in Christendom.

          _Enter ~Erastus~'s servant, talking with ~Lisetta~._

_Lis._ What, that tall gentleman I saw in the garden with ye?

_Serv._ The same, he's my master's uncle, and ranger of the king's
forests----He intends to leave my master all he has.

Mr. _Barn._ Don't I know this scoundrel? What, is his master here? What
do you do here, rascal?

_Serv._ I was asking which must be my master's chamber.

Mr. _Barn._ Where is your master?

_Serv._ Above stairs with your wife and daughter; and I want to know
where he's to lie that I may put up his things.

Mr. _Barn._ Do you so, rascal?

_Serv._ A very handsome inn this--Here, drawer, fetch me a pint of wine.

Mr. _Barn._ Take that, rascal, do you banter us?

                                                       [_Kicks him out._

                        _Enter Mrs. ~Barnard~._

Mrs. _Barn._ What is the meaning of this, husband? Are not you asham'd
to turn your house into an inn----and is this a dress for my spouse,
and a man of your character?

Mr. _Barn._ I'd rather wear this dress than be ruin'd.

Mrs. _Barn._ You're nearer being so than you imagine: for there are
some persons within, who have it in their power to punish you for your
ridiculous folly.

               _Enter ~Erastus~, leading in ~Mariamne~._

Mr. _Barn._ How, Sir, what means this? who sent you here?

_Er._ It was the luckiest star in your firmament that sent me here.

Mr. _Barn._ Then I doubt, at my birth, the planets were but in a scurvy
disposition.

_Er._ Killing one of the king's stags, that run hither for refuge,
is enough to overturn a fortune much better established than
yours----However, Sir, if you will consent to give me your daughter,
for her sake I will bear you harmless.

Mr. _Barn._ No, Sir, no man shall have my daughter, that won't take my
house too.

_Er._ Sir, I will take your house; pay you the full value of it, and
you shall remain as much master of it as ever.

Mr. _Barn._ No, Sir, that won't do neither; you must be master
yourself, and from this minute begin to do the honours of it in your
own person.

_Er._ Sir, I readily consent.

Mr. _Barn._ Upon that condition, and in order to get rid of my house,
here, take my daughter----And now, Sir, if you think you've a hard
bargain, I don't care if I toss you in my wife to make you amends.

    _Well then, since all things thus are fairly sped,
    My ~Son~ in anger, and my ~Daughter~ wed;
    My ~House~ dispos'd of, the sole cause of strife,                  }
    I now may hope to lead a happy life,                               }
    If I can part with my ~Engaging Wife~._                            }

[Illustration]



A

=Journey= to =London=.

Being Part of a

COMEDY.


                               Written by

                          Sir =John Vanbrugh=.

[Illustration]



Dramatis Personæ.


MEN.

  Sir _Francis Headpiece_, a country gentleman.

  Lord _Loverule_.

  Sir _Charles_.

  Uncle _Richard_, uncle to Sir _Francis_.

  Squire _Humphry_, son to Sir _Francis_.

  Colonel _Courtly_.

  _John Moody_, servant to Sir _Francis_.

  _James_, servant to uncle _Richard_.


WOMEN.

  Lady _Headpiece_.

  Miss _Betty_, her daughter.

  Lady _Arabella_, wife to Lord _Loverule_.

  _Clarinda_, a young unmarried lady.

  Mrs. _Motherly_, one that lets lodgings.

  _Martilla_, her niece.

                                   A

                        =Journey= _to_ =London=.



+ACT+ I. +SCENE+ I.

                   +SCENE+ _Uncle_ Richard's _House_.


                        _Uncle ~Richard~ solus._

What prudent cares does this deep foreseeing nation take, for the
support of its worshipful families! In order to which, and that they
may not fail to be always significant and useful in their country, it
is a settled foundation-point that every child that is born shall be a
beggar----except one; and that he----shall be a fool----My grandfather
was bred a fool, as the country report: my father was a fool,----as
my mother used to say; my brother was a fool, to my own knowledge,
though a great justice of the peace; and he has left a son, that will
make his son a fool, or I am mistaken. The lad is now fourteen years
old, and but just out of his Psalter. As to his honour'd father, my
much esteem'd nephew, here I have him. [_Shewing a letter._] In this
proprofound epistle (which I have just now received) there is the top
and bottom of him. Forty years and two is the age of him; in which it
is computed by his butler, his own person has drank two and thirty ton
of ale. The rest of his time has been employed in persecuting all the
poor four-legg'd creatures round, that wou'd but run away fast enough
from him, to give him the high-mettled pleasure of running after them.
In this noble employ he has broke his right arm, his left leg, and both
his collar-bones----Once he broke his neck, but that did him no harm:
A nimble hedge leaper, a brother of the stirrup that was by, whipt off
his horse and mended it. His estate being left him with two jointures,
and three weighty mortgages upon it, he to make all easy, and pay his
brother's and sister's portions, married a profuse young housewife for
love, with never a penny of money. Having done all this, like his brave
ancestors, for the support of the family, he now finds children and
interest money make such a bawling about his ears, that he has taken
the friendly advice of his neighbour, the good Lord _Courtlove_, to run
his estate two thousand pounds more in debt, that he may retrieve his
affairs by being a parliament-man, and bringing his wife to _London_,
to play off an hundred pounds at dice with ladies of quality, before
breakfast.

But let me read this wiseacre's letter once over again.

  Most Honoured Uncle,

_I do not doubt but you have much rejoiced at my success, in my
election; it has cost me some money, I own: but what of all that! I am
a parliament-man, and that will set all to rights. I have lived in the
country all my days, 'tis true; but what then! I have made speeches at
the sessions, and in the vestry too, and can elsewhere perhaps, as well
as some others that do; and I have a noble friend hard by, who has let
me into some small knowledge of what's what at ~Westminster~. And so
that I may always be at hand to serve my country, I have consulted with
my wife, about taking a house at ~London~, and bringing her and my
family up to town; which, her opinion is, will be the rightest thing in
the world._

My wife's opinion about bringing her to _London_! I'll read no more of
thee----Beast.

                              [_Strikes the letter down with his stick._

                        _Enter ~James~ hastily._

_James._ Sir, Sir, do you hear the news? they are all a-coming.

Unc. _Rich._ Ay, sirrah, I hear it with a pox to it.

_James._ Sir, here's _John Moody_ arriv'd already; he's stumping about
the streets in his dirty boots, and asking every man he meets, if they
can tell where he may have a good lodging for a parliament-man, 'till
he can hire such a house as becomes him; he tells them his lady and all
the family are coming too, and that they are so nobly attended, they
care not a fig for any body. Sir, they have added two cart-horses to
the four old geldings, because my lady will have it said, she came to
town in her coach and six, and (ha, ha,) heavy _George_ the plowman
rides postillion.

Unc. _Rich._ Very well; the journey begins as it shou'd do----_James_.

_James._ Sir.

Unc. _Rich._ Dost know whether they bring all the children with them?

_James._ Only 'Squire _Humphry_, and Miss _Betty_, Sir; the other six
are put to board at half a crown a week a head, with _Joan Growse_, at
_Smoke-Dunghill_ farm.

Unc. _Rich._ The Lord have mercy upon all good folks! what work will
these people make! dost know when they'll be here?

_James._ _John_ says, Sir, they'd have been here last night, but that
the old wheezy-belly horse tir'd, and the two fore-wheels came crash
down at once in _Waggonrut_-lane. Sir, they were cruelly loaden, as I
understand; my lady herself, he says, laid on four mail trunks, besides
the great deal-box, which fat _Tom_ sat upon behind.

Unc. _Rich._ Soh!

_James._ Then within the coach there was Sir _Francis_, my Lady, and
the great fat lap-dog, 'Squire _Humphry_, Miss _Betty_, my Lady's maid
Mrs. Handy, and _Doll Tripe_ the cook; but she puked with sitting
backward, so they mounted her into the coach-box.

Unc. _Rich._ Very well.

_James._ Then, Sir, for fear of a famine, before they should get to the
baiting-place, there was such baskets of plumb-cake, Dutch-gingerbread,
Cheshire-cheese, Naples-biscuits, Macaroons, Neats-tongues, and cold
boil'd beef----and in case of sickness, such bottles of usquebaugh,
black cherry-brandy, cinamon-water, sack, tent, and strong beer, as
made the old coach crack again.

Unc. _Rich._ Well said!

_James._ And for defence of this good cheer, and my Lady's little pearl
necklace, there was the family basket-hilt sword, the great Turkish
cimiter, the old blunderbuss, a good bag of bullets, and a great horn
of gunpowder.

Unc. _Rich._ Admirable!

_James._ Then for band-boxes, they were so bepiled up to Sir
_Francis_'s nose, that he could only peep out at a chance hole with one
eye, as if he were viewing the country thro' a perspective glass. But,
Sir, if you please, I'll go look after _John Moody_ a little for fear
of accidents: For he never was in _London_ before, you know, but one
week, and then he was kidnapp'd into a house of ill repute, where he
exchang'd all his money and clothes for a----um. So I'll go look after
him, Sir.

                                                                [_Exit._

Unc. _Rich._ Nay, I don't doubt but this wise expedition will be
attended with more adventures than one.----This noble head, and
supporter of his family, will, as an honest country gentleman, get
credit enough amongst the tradesmen, to run so far in debt in one
session, as will make him just fit for a gaol, when he's drop'd at
the next election. He will make his speeches in the house to shew the
government of what importance he can be to them, by which they will
see, he can be of no importance at all; and he will find in time, that
he stands valued at (if he votes right) being sometimes----invited to
dinner. Then his wife (who has ten times more of a jade about her than
he yet knows of) will so improve in this rich soil, she will, in one
month, learn every vice the finest lady in the town can teach her. She
will be extremely courteous to the fops who make love to her in jest,
and she will be extremely grateful to those who do it in earnest. She
will visit all ladies that will let her into their houses, and she
will run in debt to all the shopkeepers that will let her into their
books. In short, before her husband has got five pound by a speech at
_Westminster_, she will have lost five hundred at cards and dice in the
parish of _St. James_'s. Wife and family to _London_ with a pox!

                                                           [_Going off._

                   _Enter ~James~ and ~John Moody~._

_James._ Dear _John Moody_, I'm so glad to see you in London once more.

_John Moody._ And I you, my dear _James_: Give me a kiss----Why that's
friendly.

_James._ I wish they had been so, _John_, that you met with when you
were here before.

_John Moody._ Ah----Murrain upon all rogues and whores, I say: But I am
grown so cunning now, the de'el himself can't handle me. I have made a
notable bargain for these lodgings here, we are to pay but five pounds
a week, and have all the house to ourselves.

_James._ Where are the people that belong to it to be then?

_John Moody._ O! there's only the gentlewoman, her two maids, and a
cousin, a very pretty civil young woman truly, and the maids are the
merriest griggs----

_James._ Have a care, _John_.

_John Moody._ O, fear nothing, we did so play together last night.

_James._ Hush, here comes my master.

                        _Enter Uncle ~Richard~._

Unc. _Rich._ What! _John_ has taken these lodgings, has he?

_James._ Yes, Sir, he has taken 'em.

Unc. _Rich._ Oh John! how dost do, honest John? I am glad to see thee
with all my heart.

_John Moody._ I humbly thank your worship. I'm staut still, and a
faithful awd servant to th' family. Heaven prosper aw that belong to't.

Unc. _Rich._ What, they are all upon the road?

_John Moody._ As mony as the awd coach wou'd hauld, Sir: the Lord send
'em well to tawn.

Unc. _Rich._ And well out on't again, John, ha!

_John Moody._ Ah, Sir! you are a wise man, so am I: home's home, I say.
I wish we get any good here. I's sure we got little upo' the road.
Some mischief or other aw the day long. Slap goes one thing, crack
goes another; my Lady cries out for driving fast: The awd cattle are
for going slow; _Roger_ whips, they stand still and kick; nothing but
a sort of a contradiction aw the journey long. My Lady wou'd gladly
have been here last night, Sir, tho' there was no lodging got; but her
Ladyship said, she did naw care for that, she'd lie in the inn where
the horses stood, as long as it was in London.

Unc. _Rich._ These ladies, these ladies, _John_----

_John Moody._ Ah, Sir, I have seen a little of 'em, tho' not so much as
my betters. Your worship is naw married yet?

Unc. _Rich._ No, _John_ no; I am an old batchelor still.

_John Moody._ Heav'ns bless you and preserve you, Sir.

Unc. _Rich._ I think you have lost your good woman, John!

_John Moody._ No, sir, that I have not; _Bridget_ sticks to me still,
Sir, she was for coming to _London_ too, but, no, says I, there may be
mischief enough done without you.

Unc. _Rich._ Why that was bravely spoken, _John_, and like a man.

_John Moody._ Sir, were my measter but haf the mon that I am,
Gadswookers----tho' he'll speak stautly too sometimes, but then he
canno hawd it; no, he canno hawd it.

                             _Enter Maid._

_Maid._ Mr. _Moody_, Mr. _Moody_, here's the coach come.

_John Moody._ Already? no, sure.

_Maid._ Yes, yes, it's at the door, they are getting out; my mistress
is run to receive them.

_John Moody._ And so will I as in duty bound.

                                              [_Exeunt ~John~ and maid._

Unc. _Rich._ And I will stay here, not being in duty bound to do the
honours of this house.

     _Enter Sir ~Francis~, Lady, 'Squire ~Humphry~, Mrs. ~Betty~,
             Mrs. ~Handy~, ~Doll Tripe~, ~John Moody~, and
                           Mrs. ~Motherly~._

Lady _Head._ Do you hear, _Moody_, let all the things be first laid
down here, and then carried where they'll be used.

_John Moody._ They shall, an't please your ladyship.

Lady _Head._ What, my uncle _Richard_ here to receive us! this is kind
indeed: Sir, I am extremely glad to see you.

Unc. _Rich._ Niece, your servant. [_Salutes her._] I am extremely sorry
to see you, in the worst place I know in the world for a good woman to
grow better in. Nephew, I am your servant too; but I don't know how to
bid you welcome.

Sir _Fran._ I am sorry for that, Sir.

Unc. _Rich._ Nay, 'tis for your own sake: I'm not concern'd.

Sir _Fran._ I hope, uncle, I shall give you such weighty reasons for
what I've done, as shall convince you I'm a prudent man.

Unc. _Rich._ That wilt thou never convince me of, whilst thou shalt
live.

                                                               [_Aside._

Sir _Fran._ Here, _Humphry_, come up to your uncle----Sir, this is your
godson.

Squire _Humph._ Honour'd uncle and godfather; I creave leave to ask
your blessing.

                                                              [_Kneels._

Unc. _Rich._ Thou art a numbscull I see already.

                                                                 [Aside.

There thou hast it. [_Puts his hand on his head._] And if it will do
thee any good, may it be, to make thee, at least, as wise a man as thy
father.

Lady _Head._ Miss Betty, don't you see your uncle?

Unc. _Rich._ And for thee, my dear, may'st thou be, at least, as good a
woman as thy mother.

Miss _Betty._ I wish I may ever be so handsome, Sir.

Unc. _Rich._ Ha! Miss Pert! now that's a thought that seems to have
been hatch'd in the girl on this side _Highgate_.

                                                               [_Aside._

Sir _Fran._ Her tongue is a little nimble, Sir.

Lady _Head._ That's only from her country education, Sir Francis, she
has been kept there too long; I therefore brought her to _London_, Sir,
to learn more reserve and modesty.

Unc. _Rich._ O! the best place in the world for it. Every woman she
meets, will teach her something of it. There's the good gentlewoman of
the house, looks like a knowing person, ev'n she perhaps will be so
good to read her a lesson, now and then, upon that subject. An arrant
bawd, or I have no skill in physiognomy.

                                                               [_Aside._

Mrs. _Moth._ Alas, Sir, Miss won't stand long in need of my poor
instructions; if she does, they'll be always at her service.

Lady _Head._ Very obliging, indeed, Mrs. _Motherly_.

Sir _Fran._ Very kind and civil truly; I believe we are got into a
mighty good house here.

Unc. _Rich._ For good business, very probable.

                                                               [_Aside._

Well, niece, your servant for to-night; you have a great deal of
affairs upon your hands here, so I won't hinder you.

Lady _Head._ I believe, Sir, I shan't have much less every day, while I
stay in this town, of one sort or other.

Unc. _Rich._ Why, 'tis a town of much action indeed.

Miss _Betty._ And my mother did not come to it to be idle, Sir.

Unc. _Rich._ Nor you neither, I dare say, young mistress.

Miss _Betty._ I hope not, Sir.

Unc. _Rich._ Um! Miss Mettle.

                                    [_Going, Sir Francis following him._

Where are you going, nephew?

Sir _Fran._ Only to attend you to the door, Sir.

Unc. _Rich._ Phu! no ceremony with me; you'll find I shall use none
with you, or your family.

                                                                [_Exit._

Sir _Fran._ I must do as you command me, Sir.

Miss _Petty._ This uncle _Richard_, papa, seems but a crusty sort of an
old fellow.

Sir _Fran._ He is a little odd, child, but you must be very civil to
him, for he has a great deal of money, and nobody knows who he may give
it to.

Lady _Head._ Phu, a fig for his money; you have so many projects
of late about money, since you are a parliament man, we must make
ourselves slaves to his testy humours, seven years, perhaps, in hopes
to be his heirs; and then, he'll be just old enough to marry his maid.
But pray let us take care of our things here: Are they all brought in
yet?

Mrs. _Han._ Almost, my lady, there are only some of the band-boxes
behind, and a few odd things.

Lady _Head._ Let 'em be fetcht in presently.

Mrs. _Han._ They are here; come bring the things in: Is there all yet?

_Serv._ All but the great basket of apples and the goose-pye.

                          _Enter ~Cookmaid~._

_Cook._ Ah my Lady! we're aw undone, the goose-pye's gwon.

_All._ Gone?

Sir _Fran._ The goose-pye gone? how?

_Cook._ Why, Sir, I had got it fast under my arm to bring it in, but
being almost dark, up comes two of these thin starv'd _London_ rogues,
one gives me a great kick o' the----here; [_Laying her hand upon her
backside._] while t'other hungry varlet twitch'd the dear pye out
of my hands, and away they run dawn street like two grayhounds. I
cry'd out fire! but heavy _George_ and fat _Tom_ are after 'em with a
vengeance; they'll sauce their jackets for 'em, I'll warrant 'em.

            _Enter ~George~ with a bloody face, and ~Tom~._

So, have you catch'd 'em?

_Geo._ Catch'd 'em! the gallows catch 'em for me. I had naw run half
the length of our beam, before somewhat fetch me such a wherry across
the shins, that dawn came I flop o' my face all along in the channel,
and thought I shou'd ne'er ha gotten up again; but _Tom_ has skawar'd
after them, and cried murder as he'd been stuck.

_Tom._ Yes, and straight upo' that, swap comes somewhat across my
forehead, with such a force, that dawn came I like an ox.

Squire _Humph._ So, the poor pye's quite gone then.

_Tom._ Gone, young measter, yeaten, I believe by this time. These, I
suppose, are what they call sharpers in this country.

Squire _Humph._ It was a rare good pye.

_Cook._ As e'er these hands put pepper to.

Lady _Head._ Pray, Mrs. _Motherly_, do they make a practice of these
things often here?

Mrs. _Moth._ Madam, they'll twitch a rump of beef out of a boiling
copper: and for a silver tankard, they make no more conscience of than
if it were a _Tunbridge_ sugar box.

Sir _Fran._ I wish the coach and horses, _George_, were safe got to the
inn. Do you and _Roger_ take special care that nobody runs away with
them, as you go thither.

_Geo._ I believe, Sir, our cattle won't yeasily be run away with
to-night; but wee'st take best care we con of them, poor sauls!

                                                                [_Exit._

Sir _Fran._ Do so, pray now.

Squire _Humph._ Feather, I had rather they had run away with heavy
_George_ than the goose-pye; a slice of it before supper to-night would
have been pure.

Lady _Head._ This boy is always thinking of his belly.

Sir _Fran._ But, my dear, you may allow him to be a little hungry after
a journey.

Lady _Head._ Pray, good Sir _Francis_, he has been constantly eating in
the coach, and out of the coach, above seven hours this day. I wish my
poor girl could eat a quarter as much.

Miss _Betty._ Mama, I could eat a good deal more than I do, but then I
should grow fat mayhap, like him, and spoil my shape.

Lady _Head._ Mrs. _Motherly_ will you be so kind to tell them where
they shall carry the things.

Mrs. _Moth._ Madam I'll do the best I can: I doubt our closets will
scarce hold 'em all, but we have garrets and cellars, which, with the
help of hiring a store-room, I hope may do. Sir, will you be so good to
help my maids a little in carrying away the things.

                                                            [_To ~Tom~._

_Tom._ With all my heart, forsooth, if I con but see my way; but these
whoresons have awmost knockt my eyen awt.

                                           [_They carry off the things._

Mrs. _Moth._ Will your ladyship please to refresh yourself with a dish
of tea, after your fatigue? I think I have pretty good.

Lady _Head._ If you please, Mrs. _Motherly_.

Squire _Humph._ Would not a good tankard of strong beer, nutmeg and
sugar, do better, feather, with a toast and some cheese?

Sir _Fran._ I think it would, son: Here, _John Moody_, get us a tankard
of good heavy stuff presently.

_John Moody._ Sir, here's _Norfolk Nog_ to be had next door.

Squire _Humph._ That's best of all, feather; but make haste with it,
_John_.

                                                        [_Exit ~Moody~._

Lady _Head._ Well, I wonder, Sir _Francis_, you will encourage that lad
to swill his guts thus with such beastly lubberly liquor; if it were
_Burgundy_ or _Champain_, something might be said for't; they'd perhaps
give him some wit and spirit; but such heavy, muddy stuff as this, will
make him quite stupid.

Sir _Fran._ Why you know, my dear, I have drank good ale, and strong
beer these thirty years, and by your permission I don't know, that I
want wit.

_Miss Betty._ But I think you might have more papa, if you'd have been
govern'd by my mother.

                  _Enter ~John Moody~ with a tankard._

Sir _Fran._ Daughter, he that is govern'd by his wife, has no wit at
all.

Miss _Betty._ Then I hope I shall marry a fool, father, for I shall
love to govern dearly.

Sir _Fran._ Here, _Humphry_, here's to thee.

                                                              [_Drinks._

You are too pert, child it don't do well in a young woman.

Lady _Head._ Pray, Sir _Francis_, don't snub her; she has a fine
growing spirit, and if you check her so, you'll make her as dull as her
brother there.

Squire _Humph._ Indeed Mother, I think my sister is too forward.

                                       [_After drinking a long draught._

Miss _Betty._ You? you think I'm too forward? what have you to do to
think, brother Heavy? you are too fat to think of any thing but your
belly.

Lady _Head._ Well said, Miss; he's none of your master, tho' he's your
elder brother.

                           _Enter ~George~._

_Geo._ Sir, I have no good opinion of this tawn, it's made up of
mischief, I think.

Sir _Fran._ Why, what's the matter now?

_Geo._ I'se tell your worship; before we were gotten to the street-end,
a great lugger-headed cart, with wheels as thick as a good brick
wall, layd hawld of the coach, and has pood it aw to bits: an this be
_London_, wo'd we were all weel i' th' country again.

Miss _Betty._ What have you to do, Sir, to wish us all in the country
again, lubber? I hope we shan't go into the country again these seven
years, Mama, let twenty coaches be pull'd to pieces.

Sir _Fran._ Hold your tongue, _Betty_. Was _Roger_ in no fault of this?

_Geo._ No, Sir, nor I neither. Are you not asham'd, says _Roger_ to
the carter, to do such an unkind thing to strangers? No, says he, you
bumkin. Sir, he did the thing on very purpose, and so the folks said
that stood by; but they said your worship need na be concerned, for you
might have a law-suit with him when you pleas'd, that wou'd not cost
you above a hundred pounds, and mayhap you might get the better of him.

Sir _Fran._ I'll try what I can do with him, I'gad, I'll make such----

Squire _Humph._ Feather, have him before the parliament.

Sir _Fran._ And so I will: I'll make him know who I am. Where does he
live?

_Geo._ I believe in _London_, Sir.

Sir _Fran._ What's the villain's name?

_Geo._ I think I heard somebody call him _Dick_.

Sir _Fran._ Where did he go?

_Geo._ Sir, he went home.

Sir _Fran._ Where's that?

_Geo._ By my troth I do naw knaw. I heard him say he had nothing more
to do with us to-night, and so he'd go home and smoke a pipe.

Lady _Head._ Come, Sir _Francis_, don't put yourself in a heat;
accidents will happen to people in travelling abroad to see the world.
Eat your supper heartily, go to bed, sleep quietly, and to-morrow
see if you can buy a handsome second-hand coach for the present use,
bespeak a new one, and then all's easy.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

                       _Enter Colonel ~Courtly~._

_Col._ Who's that, _Deborah_?

_Deb._ At your service, Sir.

_Col._ What, do you keep open house here? I found the street door as
wide as it could gape.

_Deb._ Sir, we are all in a bustle, we have lodgers come to-night, the
house full.

_Col._ Where's your mistress?

_Deb._ Prodigious busy with her company, but I'll tell Mrs. _Martilla_
you are here, I believe she'll come to you.

                                                                [_Exit._

_Col._ That will do as well. Poor _Martilla_! she's a very good girl,
and I have lov'd her a great while. I think six months it is, since
like a merciless highwayman, I made her deliver all she had about her;
she begg'd hard, poor thing, I'd leave her one small bauble. Had I let
her keep it, I believe she had still kept me. Cou'd women but refuse
their ravenous lovers that one dear destructive moment, how long might
they reign over them! But for a bane to both their joys and ours, when
they have indulg'd us with such favours as make us adore them, they are
not able to refuse us that one, which puts an end to our devotion.

                          _Enter ~Martilla~._

_Col._ _Martilla_, how dost thou do, my child?

_Mart._ As well as a losing gamester can.

_Col._ Why, what have you lost?

_Mart._ I have lost you.

_Col._ How came you to lose me?

_Mart._ By losing myself.

_Col._ We can be friends still.

_Mart._ Dull ones.

_Col._ Useful ones, perhaps. Shall I help thee to a good husband?

_Mart._ Not if I were rich enough to live without one.

_Col._ I'm sorry I'm not rich enough to make thee so; but we won't talk
of melancholy things. Who are these folks your aunt has got in her
house?

_Mart._ One Sir _Francis Headpiece_ and his Lady, with a son and
daughter.

_Col._ _Headpiece_! Cotso, I know 'em a little. I met with 'em at a
race in the country two years since; a sort of blockhead, is not he?

_Mart._ So they say.

_Col._ His wife seem'd a mettlesome gentlewoman, if she had but a fair
field to range in.

_Mart._ That she won't want now, for they stay in town the whole winter.

_Col._ Oh that will do to shew all her parts in.

                        _Enter Mrs. ~Motherly~._

How do you do, my old acquaintance?

Mrs. _Moth._ At your service, you know, always colonel.

_Col._ I hear you have got good company in the house.

Mrs. _Moth._ I hope it will prove so; he's a parliament man only,
colonel, you know there's some danger in that.

_Col._ O, never fear, he'll pay his landlady, tho' he don't pay his
butcher.

Mrs. _Moth._ His wife's a clever woman.

_Col._ So she is.

Mrs. _Moth._ How do you know?

_Col._ I have seen her in the country, and begin to think I'll visit
her in town.

Mrs. _Moth._ You begin to look like a rogue.

_Col._ What, your wicked fancies are stirring already?

Mrs. _Moth._ Yours are, or I'm mistaken. But I'll have none of your
pranks play'd upon her.

_Col._ Why, she's no girl, she can defend herself.

Mrs. _Moth._ But what if she won't?

_Col._ Why then she can blame neither you nor me.

Mrs. _Moth._ You'll never be quiet till you get my windows broke; but I
must go and attend my lodgers, so good night.

_Col._ Do so, and give my service to my lady, and tell her, if she'll
give me leave, I'll do myself the honour to-morrow to come and tender
my services to her, as long as she stays in town. If it ben't too long.

                                                               [_Aside._

Mrs. _Moth._ I'll tell her what a devil you are, and advise her to take
care of you.

                                                                [_Exit._

_Col._ Do, that will make her every time she sees me think what I'd be
at. Dear _Martilla_, good night; I know you won't be my hindrance; I'll
do you as good a turn some time or other. Well, I'm so glad, you don't
love me too much.

_Mart._ When that's our fate, as too, too oft we prove, How bitterly we
pay the past delights of love.



+ACT+ II. +SCENE+ I.

                       _Lord_ Loverule's _House_.


            _Enter Lord ~Loverule~, and Lady ~Arabella~. He
                            following her._

Lady _Ara._ Well, look you, my Lord, I can bear it no longer; nothing
still but about my faults, my faults! an agreeable subject truly!

Lord _Love._ But, Madam, if you won't hear of your faults, how is it
likely you shou'd ever mend 'em?

Lady _Ara._ Why I don't intend to mend 'em. I can't mend 'em, I have
told you so an hundred times; you know I have try'd to do it, over and
over, and it hurts me so, I can't bear it. Why, don't you know, my
Lord, that whenever (just to please you only) I have gone about to wean
myself from a fault (one of my faults I mean that I love dearly) han't
it put me so out of humour, you cou'd scarce endure the house with me?

Lord _Love._ Look you, my dear, it is very true, that in weaning one's
self from----

Lady _Ara._ Weaning! why ay, don't you see, that even in weaning poor
children from the nurse, it's almost the death of 'em? and don't you
see your true religious people when they go about to wean themselves,
and have solemn days of fasting and praying, on purpose to help them,
does it not so disorder them, there's no coming near 'em? are they not
as cross as the devil? and then they don't do the business neither; for
next day their faults are just where they were the day before.

Lord _Love._ But, Madam, can you think it a reasonable thing to be
abroad till two o'clock in the morning, when you know I go to bed at
eleven?

Lady _Ara._ And can you think it a wise thing (to talk your own way
now) to go to bed at eleven, when you know I am likely to disturb you
by coming there at three?

Lord _Love._ Well, the manner of womens living of late is
insupportable, and some way or other----

Lady _Ara._ It's to be mended, I suppose--Pray, my Lord, one word
of fair argument: You complain of my late hours; I of your early
ones; so far we are even, you'll allow; but which gives us the best
figure in the eye of the polite world? my two o'clock speaks life,
activity, spirit, and vigour; your eleven has a dull, drowsy, stupid,
good-for-nothing sound with it. It favours much of a mechanic, who must
get to bed betimes, that he may rise early to open his shop. Faugh!

Lord _Love._ I thought to go to bed early and rise so, was ever
esteem'd a right practice for all people.

Lady _Ara._ Beasts do it.

Lord _Love._ Fy, fy, Madam, fy; but 'tis not your ill hours alone
disturb me; but the ill company who occasion those ill hours.

Lady _Ara._ And pray what ill company may those be?

Lord _Love._ Why, women that lose their money, and men that win it:
especially when 'tis to be paid out of their husband's estate; or
if that fail, and the creditor be a little pressing, the lady will,
perhaps, be oblig'd to try if the gentleman instead of gold will accept
of a trinket.

Lady _Ara._ My Lord, you grow scurrilous, and you'll make me hate you.
I'll have you to know, I keep company with the politest people in the
town, and the assemblies I frequent are full of such.

Lord _Love._ So are the churches now and then.

Lady _Ara._ My friends frequent them often, as well as the assemblies.

Lord _Love._ They wou'd do it oftener if a groom of the chamber there
were allow'd to furnish cards and dice to the company.

Lady _Ara._ You'd make a woman mad.

Lord _Love._ You'd make a man a fool.

Lady _Ara._ If Heav'n has made you otherwise, that won't be in my power.

Lord _Love._ I'll try if I can prevent your making me a beggar at least.

Lady _Ara._ A beggar! Crœsus! I'm out of patience--I won't come home
'till four to-morrow morning.

Lord _Love._ I'll order the doors to be lock'd at twelve.

Lady _Ara._ Then I won't come home till to-morrow night.

Lord _Love._ Then you shall never come home again, Madam.

                                                                [_Exit._

Lady _Ara._ There he has knock'd me down: my father upon our marriage
said, wives were come to that pass, he did not think it fit they shou'd
be trusted with pin money, and so would not let this man settle one
penny upon his poor wife, to serve her at a dead lift for separate
maintenance.

                          _Enter ~Clarinda~._

_Clar._ Good-morrow, Madam; how do you do to-day? you seem to be in a
little fluster.

Lady _Ara._ My Lord has been in one, and as I am the most complaisant
poor creature in the world, I put myself into one too, purely to be
suitable company to him.

_Clar._ You are prodigious good; but surely it must be mighty
agreeable when a man and his wife can give themselves the same turn of
conversation.

Lady _Ara._ O, the prettiest thing in the world.

_Clar._ But yet, tho' I believe there's no life so happy as a marry'd
one, in the main; yet I fancy, where two people are so very much
together, they must often be in want of something to talk upon.

Lady _Ara._ _Clarinda_, you are the most mistaken in the world; married
people have things to talk of, child, that never enter into the
imagination of others. Why now, here's my Lord and I, we han't been
married above two short years you know, and we have already eight or
ten things constantly in bank, that whenever we want company we can
talk of any of them for two hours together, and the subject never the
flatter. It will be as fresh next day, if we have occasion for it, as
it was the first day it entertained us.

_Clar._ Why that must be wonderful pretty.

Lady _Ara._ O there's no life like it. This very day now for example,
my Lord and I, after a pretty cheerful _tête à tête_ dinner, sat down
by the fire-side, in an idle, indolent, pick-tooth way for a while,
as if we had not thought of one another's being in the room. At last,
stretching himself, and yawning twice, my dear, says he, you came home
very late last night. 'Twas but two in the morning, says I. I was in
bed (_yawning_) by eleven, says he. So you are every night, says I.
Well, says he, I'm amazed how you can sit up so late. How can you be
amazed, says I, at a thing that happens so often? Upon which we enter'd
into conversation. And tho' this is a point has entertain'd us above
fifty times already, we always find so many pretty new things to say
upon't, that I believe in my soul it will last as long as we live.

_Clar._ But in such sort of family dialogues, tho' extremely well for
passing of time, don't there now and then enter some little sort of
bitterness?

Lady _Ara._ O yes; which don't do amiss at all; a little something
that's sharp, moderates the extreme sweetness of matrimonial society,
which would else perhaps be cloying. Tho' to tell you the truth,
_Clarinda_, I think we squeezed a little too much lemon into it this
bout; for it grew so sour at last, that I think I almost told him he
was a fool; and he talkt something oddly of turning me out of doors.

_Clar._ O, but have a care of that.

Lady _Ara._ Why, to be serious, _Clarinda_, what wou'd you have a woman
do in my case? There is no one thing he can do in the world to please
me----Except giving me money; and that he is grown weary of; and I at
the same time, partly by nature, and partly perhaps by keeping the
best company, do with my soul love almost every thing that he hates; I
dote upon assemblies, adore masquerades, my heart bounds at a ball; I
love a play to distraction, cards inchant me, and dice--put me out of
my little wits--Dear, dear hazard, what music there is in the rattle
of the dice, compared to a sleepy opera! Do you ever play at hazard,
_Clarinda_?

_Clar._ Never; I don't think it fits well upon women; it's very
masculine, and has too much of a rake; you see how it makes the men
swear and curse. Sure it must incline the women to do the same too if
they durst give way to it.

Lady _Ara._ So it does; but hitherto for a little decency, we keep it
in; and when in spite of our teeth, an oath gets into our mouths, we
swallow it.

_Clar._ That's enough to burst you; but in time perhaps you'll let 'em
fly as they do.

Lady _Ara._ Why, 'tis probable we may, for the pleasure of all polite
womens lives now, you know, is founded upon entire liberty to do what
they will. But shall I tell you what happened t'other night? having
lost all my money but ten melancholy guineas, and throwing out for
them, what do you think slipt from me?

_Clar._ An oath?

Lady _Ara._ Gud soons!

_Clar._ O Lord! O Lord! did not it frighten you out of your wits?

Lady _Ara._ _Clarinda_, I thought a gun had gone off.--But I forget you
are a prude, and design to live soberly.

_Clar._ Why 'tis true; both my nature and education, do in a good
degree incline me that way.

Lady _Ara._ Well, surely to be sober is to be terribly dull. You will
marry; won't you?

_Clar._ I can't tell but I may.

Lady _Ara._ And you'll live in town?

_Clar._ Half the year, I should like it very well.

Lady _Ara._ And you wou'd live in _London_ half a year, to be sober in
it?

_Clar._ Yes.

Lady _Ara._ Why can't you as well go and be sober in the country?

_Clar._ So I wou'd the other half year.

Lady _Ara._ And pray what pretty scheme of life wou'd you form now, for
your summer and winter sober entertainments?

_Clar._ A scheme that I think might very well content us.

Lady _Ara._ Let's hear it.

_Clar._ I cou'd in summer pass my time very agreeably, in riding
soberly, in walking soberly, in sitting under a tree soberly, in
gardening soberly, in reading soberly, in hearing a little music
soberly, in conversing with some agreeable friends soberly, in working
soberly, in managing my family and children (if I had any) soberly, and
possibly by these means I might induce my husband to be as sober as
myself.

Lady _Ara._ Well, _Clarinda_, thou art a most contemptible creature.
But let's have the sober town scheme too, for I am charm'd with the
country one.

_Clar._ You shall, and I'll try to stick to my sobriety there too.

Lady _Ara._ If you do, you'll make me sick of you. But let's hear it
however.

_Clar._ I wou'd entertain myself in observing the new fashion soberly,
I wou'd please myself in new clothes soberly, I wou'd divert myself
with agreeable friends at home and abroad soberly. I wou'd play at
quadrille soberly, I wou'd go to court soberly, I wou'd go to some
plays soberly, I wou'd go to operas soberly, and I think I cou'd go
once, or, if I lik'd my company, twice to a masquerade, soberly.

Lady _Ara._ If it had not been for that last piece of sobriety, I was
going to call for some surfeit-water.

_Clar._ Why, don't you think, that with the further aid of
breakfasting, dining, supping and sleeping (not to say a word of
devotion) the four and twenty hours might roll over in a tolerable
manner?

Lady _Ara._ How I detest that word, Tolerable! And so will a country
relation of ours that's newly come to town, or I'm mistaken.

_Clar._ Who is that?

Lady _Ara._ Even my dear Lady _Headpiece_.

_Clar._ Is she come?

Lady _Ara._ Yes, her sort of a tolerable husband has gotten to be
chosen parliament-man at some simple town or other, upon which she has
persuaded him to bring her and her folks up to _London_.

_Clar._ That's good; I think she was never here before.

Lady _Ara._ Not since she was nine years old; but she has had an
outrageous mind to it ever since she was marry'd.

_Clar._ Then she'll make the most of it, I suppose, now she is come.

Lady _Ara._ Depend upon that.

_Clar._ We must go and visit her.

Lady _Ara._ By all means; and may be you'll have a mind to offer her
your tolerable scheme for her _London_ diversion this winter; if you
do, mistress, I'll shew her mine too, and you'll see she'll so despise
you and adore me, that if I do but chirrup to her, she'll hop after me
like a tame sparrow, the town round. But there's your admirer I see
coming in, I'll oblige him and leave you to receive part of his visit,
while I step up to write a letter. Besides, to tell you the truth, I
don't like him half so well as I used to do; he falls off of late from
being the company he was, in our way. In short, I think he's growing to
be a little like my lord.

                                                                [_Exit._

                         _Enter Sir ~Charles~._

Sir _Charles_. Madam, your servant; they told me Lady _Arabella_ was
here.

_Clar._ She's only stept up to write a letter, she'll come down
presently.

Sir _Charles_. Why, does she write letters? I thought she had never
time for't: pray how may she have dispos'd of the rest of the day?

_Clar._ A good deal as usual; she has visits to make 'till six; she's
then engag'd to the play, from that 'till court-time, she's to be at
cards at Mrs. _Idle_'s; after the drawing-room, she takes a short
supper with Lady _Hazard_, and from thence they go together to the
assembly.

Sir _Charles_. And are you to do all this with her?

_Clar._ The visits and the play, no more.

Sir _Charles_. And how can you forbear all the rest?

_Clar._ 'Tis easy to forbear, what we are not very fond of.

Sir _Charles_. I han't found it so. I have past much of my life in this
hurry of the ladies, yet was never so pleas'd as when I was at quiet
without 'em.

_Clar._ What then induc'd you to be with 'em?

Sir _Charles_. Idleness and the fashion.

_Clar._ No mistresses in the case?

Sir _Charles_. To speak honestly, yes. When one is in a toyshop, there
was no forbearing the baubles; so I was perpetually engaging with some
coquet or other, whom I cou'd love perhaps just enough to put it into
her power to plague me.

_Clar._ Which power I suppose she sometimes made use of.

Sir _Charles_. The amours of a coquet, Madam, general'y mean nothing
farther; I look upon them and prudes to be nuisances much alike, tho'
they seem very different; the first are always disturbing the men, and
the latter always abusing the women.

_Clar._ And all I think is to establish the character of being virtuous.

Sir _Charles_. That is, being chaste they mean, for they know no
other virtue; therefore indulge themselves in every thing else that's
vicious; they (against nature) keep their chastity, only because they
find more pleasure in doing mischief with it, than they shou'd have in
parting with it. But, Madam, if both these characters are so odious,
how highly to be valued is that woman, who can attain all they aim at,
without the aid of the folly or vice of either!

                        _Enter Lady ~Arabella~._

Lady _Ara._ Your servant, Sir. I won't ask your pardon for leaving you
alone a little with a lady that I know shares so much of your good
opinion.

Sir _Charles_. I wish, Madam, she cou'd think my good opinion of value
enough, to afford me a small part in hers.

Lady _Ara._ I believe, Sir, every woman who knows she has a place in a
fine gentleman's good opinion, will be glad to give him one in hers,
if she can. But however you two may stand in one another's, you must
take another time, if you desire to talk farther about it, or we shan't
have enough to make our visits in; and so your servant, Sir. Come,
_Clarinda_.

Sir _Charles_. I'll stay and make my Lord a visit, if you will give me
leave.

Lady _Ara._ You have my leave, Sir, tho' you were a Lady.

                                                    [_Exit with ~Clar~._

                        _Enter Lord ~Loverule~._

Lord _Love._ Sir _Charles_, your servant; what, have the ladies left
you?

Sir _Charles_. Yes, and the ladies in general I hope will leave me too.

Lord _Love._ Why so?

Sir _Charles_. That I mayn't be put to the ill manners of leaving them
first.

Lord _Love._ Do you then already find your gallantry inclining to an
ebb?

Sir _Charles_. 'Tis not that I am yet old enough to justify myself in
an idle retreat, but I have got I think a sort of surfeit on me, that
lessens much the force of female charms.

Lord _Love._ Have you then been so glutted with their favours?

Sir _Charles_. Not with their favours, but with their service; it is
unmerciful. I once thought myself a tolerable time-killer; I drank, I
play'd, I intrigu'd, and yet I had hours enough for reasonable uses;
but he that will list himself a lady's man of mettle now, she'll work
him so at cards and dice, she won't afford him time enough to play with
her at any thing else, though she herself should have a tolerable good
mind to it.

Lord _Love._ And so the disorderly lives they lead, incline you to a
reform of your own.

Sir _Charles_. 'Tis true; for bad examples (if they are but bad enough)
give us as useful reflections as good ones do.

Lord _Love._ 'Tis pity any thing that's bad, shou'd come from women.

Sir _Charles_. 'Tis so, indeed, and there was a happy time, when both
you and I thought there never could.

Lord _Love._ Our early first conceptions of them, I well remember, were
that they never could be vicious, nor never could be old.

Sir _Charles_. We thought so then; the beauteous form we saw them
cast in, seem'd design'd a habitation for no vice, nor no decay; all
I had conceiv'd of angels, I conceiv'd of them; true, tender, gentle,
modest, generous, constant, I thought was writ in every feature; and
in my devotions, Heaven, how did I adore thee, that blessings like
them should be the portion of such poor inferior creatures as I took
myself and all men else (compared with them) to be!--but where's that
adoration now?

Lord _Love._ 'Tis with such fond young fools as you and I were then.

Sir _Charles_. And with such it will ever be.

Lord _Love._ Ever. The pleasure is so great, in believing women to be
what we wish them, that nothing but a long and sharp experience can
ever make us think them otherwise. That experience, friend, both you
and I have had, but yours has been at other mens expence; mine----at my
own.

Sir _Charles_. Perhaps you'd wonder, shou'd you find me dispos'd to run
the risque of that experience too.

Lord _Love._ I shou'd, indeed.

Sir _Charles_. And yet 'tis possible I may; I know at least, I still
have so much of my early folly left, to think, there's yet one woman
fit to make a wife of: How far such a one can answer the charms of
a mistress, marry'd men are silent in, so pass----for that I'd take
my chance; but cou'd she make a home easy to her partner, by letting
him find there a chearful companion, an agreeable intimate, a useful
assistant, a faithful friend, and (in its time perhaps) a tender
mother, such change of life, from what I lead, seems not unwise to
think of.

Lord _Love._ Nor unwise to purchase, if to be had for millions, but----

Sir _Charles_. But what?

Lord _Love._ If the reverse of this shou'd chance to be the bitter
disappointment, what wou'd the life be then?

Sir _Charles_. A damn'd one.

Lord _Love._ And what relief?

Sir _Charles_. A short one; leave it, and return to that you left, if
you can't find a better.

Lord _Love._ He says right--that's the remedy, and a just one----for if
I sell my liberty for gold, and I am foully paid in brass, shall I be
held to keep the bargain?

                                                              [_Aside._.

Sir _Charles_. What are you thinking of?

Lord _Love._ Of what you have said.

Sir _Charles_. And was it well said?

Lord _Love._ I begin to think it might.

Sir _Charles_. Think on, 'twill give you ease----the man who has
courage enough to part with a wife need not much dread the having one;
and he that has not, ought to tremble at being a husband----But perhaps
I have said too much; you'll pardon however the freedom of an old
friend, because you know I am so; so your servant.

                                                                [_Exit._

Lord _Love._ _Charles_, farewell, I can take nothing as ill-meant that
comes from you. Nor ought my wife to think I mean amiss to her; if I
convince her I'll endure no longer that she would thus expose herself
and me. No doubt 'twill grieve her sorely. Physick's a loathsome thing,
'till we find it gives us health, and then we are thankful to those
who made us take it. Perhaps she may do so by me, if she does, 'tis
well; if not, and she resolves to make the house ring with reprisals:
I believe (tho' the misfortune's great) he'll make a better figure in
the world, who keeps an ill wife out of doors, than he that keeps her
within.



+ACT+ III. +SCENE+ I.


             _Enter Lady ~Headpiece~ and Mrs. ~Motherly~._

Lady _Head._ So, you are acquainted with Lady _Arabella_, I find.

Mrs. _Moth._ Oh, Madam, I have had the honour to know her Ladyship
almost from a child, and a charming woman she has made.

Lady _Head._ I like her prodigiously; I had some acquaintance with her
in the country two years ago; but she's quite another woman here.

Mrs. _Moth._ Ah, Madam, two years keeping company with the polite
people of the town will do wonders in the improvement of a lady, so she
has it but about her.

Lady _Head._ Now 'tis my misfortune, Mrs. _Motherly_, to come late to
school.

Mrs. _Moth._ Oh! don't be discourag'd at that, Madam, the quickness of
your ladyship's parts will easily recover your loss of a little time.

Lady _Head._ O! You flatter me! But I'll endeavour by industry and
application to make it up; such parts as I have shall not lie idle. My
Lady _Arabella_ has been so good to offer me already her introduction,
to those assemblies, where a woman may soonest learn to make herself
valuable to every body.

Mrs. _Moth._ But her husband. [_Aside._] Her Ladyship, Madam, can
indeed, better than any body, introduce you, where every thing that
accomplishes a fine lady, is practised to the last perfection; Madam,
she herself is at the very tip-top of it----'tis pity, poor lady, she
shou'd meet with any discouragements.

Lady _Head._ Discouragements! from whence pray?

Mrs. _Moth._ From home sometimes----my Lord a--

Lady _Head._ What does he do?

Mrs. _Moth._ But one should not talk of people of qualities
family-concerns.

Lady _Head._ O, no matter, Mrs. _Motherly_, as long as it goes no
farther. My Lord, you were saying----

Mrs. _Moth._ Why, my Lord, Madam, is a little humoursome, they say.

Lady _Head._ Humoursome?

Mrs. _Moth._ Yes, they say he's humoursome.

Lady _Head._ As how, pray?

Mrs. _Moth._ Why, if my poor lady perhaps does but stay out at night,
may be four or five hours after he's in bed, he'll be cross.

Lady _Head._ What, for such a thing as that?

Mrs. _Moth._ Yes, he'll be cross; and then if she happens, it may be,
to be unfortunate at play, and lose a great deal of money, more than
she has to pay, then Madam----he'll snub.

Lady _Head._ Out upon him! snub such a woman as she is? I can tell you,
Mrs. _Motherly_, I that am but a country lady, should Sir _Francis_
take upon him to snub me, in _London_, he'd raise a spirit would make
his hair stand on end.

Mrs. _Moth._ Really, Madam, that's the only way to deal with 'em.

                         _Enter Miss ~Betty~._

And here comes pretty Miss _Betty_, that I believe will never be made a
fool of, when she's married.

Miss _Betty._ No by my troth won't I. What are you talking of my being
married, mother?

Lady _Head._ No, Miss; Mrs. _Motherly_ was only saying what a good wife
you wou'd make, when you were so.

Miss _Betty._ The sooner it is try'd, mother, the sooner it will be
known. Lord, here's the colonel, Madam!

                           _Enter ~Colonel~._

Lady _Head._ Colonel, your servant.

Miss _Betty._ Your servant, colonel.

_Col._ Ladies, your most obedient----I hope, Madam, the town air agrees
with you?

Lady _Head._ Mighty well, Sir.

Miss _Betty._ Oh prodigious well, Sir. We have bought a new coach and
an ocean of new clothes, and we are to go to the play to-night, and
to-morrow we go to the opera, and next night we go to the assembly, and
then the next night after, we----

Lady _Head._ Softly, Miss----Do you go to the play to-night, colonel?

_Col._ I did not design it, Madam; but now I find there is to be such
good company, I'll do myself the honour (if you'll give me leave,
ladies) to come and lead you to your coach.

Lady _Head._ It's extremely obliging.

Miss _Betty_. It is indeed mighty well-bred. Lord! colonel, what a
difference there is between your way and our country companions; one of
them would have said, what, you are aw gooing to the playhouse then?
Yes, says we, won't you come and lead us out? No, by good feggins, says
he, ye ma' e'en ta' care o' yoursells, y'are awd enough; and so he'd
ha' gone to get drunk at the tavern against we came home to supper.

Mrs. _Moth._ Ha, ha, ha! well, sure Madam, your Ladyship is the
happiest mother in the world to have such a charming companion to your
daughter.

_Col._ The prettiest creature upon earth!

Miss _Betty._ D'ye hear that, mother? Well, he's a fine gentleman
really, and I think a man of admirable sense.

Lady _Head._ Softly, Miss, he'll hear you.

Miss _Betty._ If he does, Madam, he'll think I say true, and he'll like
me never the worse for that, I hope. Where's your niece _Martilla_,
Mrs. _Motherly_? Mama, won't you carry _Martilla_ to the play with us?

Lady _Head._ With all my heart, child.

_Col._ She's a very pretty civil sort of woman, Madam, and miss will be
very happy in having such a companion in the house with her.

Miss _Betty._ So I shall indeed, Sir, and I love her dearly already, we
are growing very great together.

Lady _Head._ But what's become of your brother, child? I han't seen him
these two hours, where is he?

Miss _Betty._ Indeed, mother, I don't know where he is; I saw him
asleep about half an hour ago by the kitchen fire.

_Col._ Must not he go to the play too?

Lady _Head_. Yes, I think he shou'd go, tho' he'll be weary on't,
before it's half done.

Miss _Betty._ Weary? yes; and then he'll sit, and yawn, and stretch
like a grayhound by the fire-side, 'till he does some nasty thing or
other, that they'll turn him out of the house, so it's better to leave
him at home.

Mrs. _Moth._ O, that were pity, Miss. Plays will enliven him----see,
here he comes, and my niece with him.

                _Enter Squire ~Humphry~ and ~Martilla~._

_Col._ Your servant, Sir; you come in good time, the ladies are all
going to the play, and wanted you to help to gallant them.

Squire _Humph._ And so 'twill be nine o'clock, before one shall get any
supper.

Miss _Betty._ Supper! why your dinner is not out of your mouth yet,
at least 'tis all about the brims of it. See how greasy his chops is,
mother.

Lady _Head._ Nay, if he han't a mind to go, he need not. You may stay
here 'till your father comes home from the parliament-house, and then
you may eat a broil'd bone together.

Miss _Betty._ Yes, and drink a tankard of strong beer together; and
then he may tell you all he has been doing in the parliament-house, and
you may tell him all you have been thinking of when you were asleep, in
the kitchen: and then if you'll put it all down in writing, when we
come from the play, I'll read it to the company.

Squire _Humph._ Sister, I don't like your joaking, and you are not
a well-behav'd young woman; and altho' my mother encourages you, my
thoughts are, you are not too big to be whipt.

Miss _Betty._ How, sirrah?

Squire _Humph._ There's a civil young gentlewoman stands there, is
worth a hundred of you. And I believe she'll be married before you.

Miss _Betty._ Cots my life, I have a good mind to pull your eyes out.

Lady _Head._ Hold, Miss, hold, don't be in such a passion, neither.

Miss _Betty._ Mama, it is not that I am angry at any thing he says to
commend _Martilla_, for I wish she were to be marry'd to-morrow, that
I might have a dance at her wedding; but what need he abuse me for? I
wish the lout had mettle enough to be in love with her, she'd make pure
sport with him. [_Aside._] Does your Heaviness find any inclinations
moving towards the lady you admire----Speak! are you in love with her?

Squire _Humph._ I am in love with nobody; and if any body be in love
with me, mayhap they had as good be quiet.

Miss _Betty._ Hold your tongue, I'm quite sick of you. Come,
_Martilla_, you are to go to the play with us.

_Mart._ Am I, Miss? I am ready to wait upon you.

Lady _Head._ I believe it's time we should be going; Colonel, is not it?

_Col._ Yes, Madam, I believe it is.

Lady _Head._ Come, then; who is there?

                            _Enter Servant._

Is the coach at the door?

_Serv._ It has been there this hafe haur, so please your Ladyship.

Miss _Betty._ And are all the people in the street gazing at it, _Tom_?

_Serv._ That are they, Madam; and _Roger_ has drank so much of his own
beveridge, that he's even as it were gotten a little drunk.

Lady _Head._ Not so drunk, I hope, but that he can drive us?

_Serv._ Yes, yes, Madam, he drives best when he's a little upish. When
_Roger_'s head turns, raund go the wheels, i'faith.

Miss _Betty._ Never fear, Mama, as long as it's to the playhouse,
there's no danger.

Lady _Head._ Well, daughter, since you are so courageous, it shan't be
said I make any difficulty; and if the Colonel is so gallant, to have a
mind to share our danger, we have room for him, if he pleases.

_Col._ Madam, you do me a great deal of honour, and I'm sure you give
me a great deal of pleasure.

Miss _Betty._ Come, dear Mama, away we go.

            [_Exeunt all but ~Squire~, ~Martilla~, and Mrs. ~Motherly~._

Squire _Humph._ I did not think you would have gone.

                                                       [_To ~Martilla~._

_Mart._ O, I love a play dearly.

                                                                [_Exit._

Mrs. _Moth._ I wonder, Squire, that you wou'd not go to the play with
'em.

Squire _Humph._ What needed _Martilla_ have gone? they were enough
without her.

Mrs. _Moth._ O, she was glad to go to divert herself; and besides, my
Lady desired her to go with them.

Squire _Humph._ And so I am left alone.

Mrs. _Moth._ Why, wou'd you have car'd for her company?

Squire _Humph._ Rather than none.

Mrs. _Moth._ On my conscience he's ready to cry; this is matter to
think of: but here comes Sir _Francis_.

                                                               [_Aside._

                         _Enter Sir ~Francis~._

How do you do, Sir? I'm afraid these late parliament hours won't agree
with you.

Sir _Fran._ Indeed, I like them not, Mrs. _Motherly_; if they wou'd
dine at twelve o'clock, as we do in the country, a man might be able
to drink a reasonable bottle between that and supper-time.

Mrs. _Moth._ That wou'd be much better indeed, Sir _Francis_.

Sir _Fran._ But then when we consider that what we undergo, is
in being busy for the good of our country,----O, the good of our
country is above all things; what a noble and glorious thing it is,
Mrs. _Motherly_, that _England_ can boast of five hundred zealous
gentlemen, all in one room, all of one mind, upon a fair occasion, to
go altogether by the ears for the good of their country!----_Humphry_,
perhaps you'll be a senator in time, as your father is now; and when
you are, remember your country; spare nothing for the good of your
country! and when you come home, at the end of the sessions, you will
find yourself so adored, that your country will come and dine with you
every day in the week. O, here's my uncle _Richard_.

                        _Enter Uncle ~Richard~._

Mrs. _Moth._ I think, Sir, I had better get you a mouthful of something
to stay your stomach 'till supper.

                                                                [_Exit._

Sir _Fran._ With all my heart, for I'm almost famish'd.

Squire _Humph._ And so shall I before my mother comes from the
playhouse, so I'll go and get a butter'd toast.

                                                                [_Exit._

Sir _Fran._ Uncle, I hope you are well.

Unc. _Rich._ Nephew, if I had been sick I wou'd not have come abroad;
I suppose you are well, for I sent this morning, and was inform'd you
went out early; was it to make your court to some of the great men?

Sir _Fran._ Yes, uncle, I was advised to lose no time, so I went to one
great man, whom I had never seen before.

Unc. _Rich._ And who had you got to introduce you?

Sir _Fran._ Nobody; I remember'd I had heard a wise man say, My son, be
bold; so I introduced myself.

Unc. _Rich._ As how, I pray?

Sir _Fran._ Why thus, uncle; please your Lordship, says I, I am Sir
_Francis Headpiece_ of _Headpiece-Hall_, and member of parliament for
the ancient borough of _Gobble-Guiney_. Sir, your humble servant, says
my Lord, tho' I have not the honour to know your person, I have heard
you are a very honest gentleman, and I am very glad your borough has
made choice of so worthy a representative; have you any service to
command me? Those last words, uncle, gave me great encouragement: And
tho' I know you have not any very great opinion of my parts, I believe
you won't say I mist it now.

Unc. _Rich._ I hope I shall have no cause.

Sir _Fran._ My Lord, says I, I did not design to say any thing to your
Lordship to-day about business; but since your Lordship is so kind and
free, as to bid me speak if I have any service to command you, I will.

Unc. _Rich._ So.

Sir _Fran._ I have, says I, my Lord, a good estate, but it's a little
out at elbows: and as I desire to serve my king as well as my country,
I shall be very willing to accept of a place at court.

Unc. _Rich._ This was bold indeed.

Sir _Fran._ I'cod, I shot him flying, uncle; another man would have
been a month before he durst have open'd his mouth about a place. But
you shall hear. Sir _Francis_, says my Lord, what sort of a place may
you have turn'd your thoughts upon? My Lord, says I, beggars must not
be choosers; but some place about a thousand a year, I believe, might
do pretty weel to begin with. Sir _Francis_, says he, I shall be glad
to serve you in any thing I can; and in saying these words he gave me
a squeeze by the hand, as much as to say, I'll do your business. And
so he turn'd to a Lord that was there, who look'd as if he came for a
place too.

Unc. _Rich._ And so your fortune's made.

Sir _Fran._ Don't you think so, uncle?

Unc. _Rich._ Yes, for just so mine was made----twenty years ago. Sir
_Fran._ Why, I never knew you had a place, uncle.

Unc. _Rich._ Nor I neither upon my faith, nephew: but you have been
down at the house since you made your court, have not you?

Sir _Fran._ O yes; I would not neglect the house for ever so much.

Unc. _Rich._ And what might they have done there to-day, I pray?

Sir _Fran._ Why truly, uncle, I cannot well tell what they did. But
I'll tell you what I did: I happen'd to make a little sort of a mistake.

Unc. _Rich._ How was that?

Sir _Fran._ Why you must know, uncle, they were all got into a sort of
a hodge-podge argument for the good of the nation, which I did not well
understand; however I was convinced, and so resolved to vote aright
according to my conscience; but they made such a puzzling business
on't, when they put the question, as they call it, that, I believe,
I cry'd Ay, when I should have cry'd No; for a sort of a _Jacobite_
that sat next me, took me by the hand, and said, Sir, you are a man
of honour, and a true _Englishman_, and I shou'd be glad to be better
acquainted with you, and so he pull'd me along with the croud into the
lobby with him, when I believe I should have staid where I was.

Unc. _Rich._ And so, if you had not quite made your fortune before, you
have clench'd it now. Ah, thou head of the _Headpieces_! [_Aside._] How
now, what's the matter here?

       _Enter Lady ~Headpiece~, &c. in disorder, some dirty, some
                          lame, some bloody._

Sir _Fran._ Mercy on us! they are all kill'd.

Miss _Betty_. Not for a thousand pounds; but we have been all down in
the dirt together.

Lady _Head._ We have had a sad piece of work on't, Sir _Francis_,
overturn'd in the channel, as we were going to the playhouse.

Miss _Betty._ Over and over, papa; had it been coming from the
playhouse, I shou'd not have car'd a farthing.

Sir _Fran._ But, child, you are hurt, your face is all bloody.

Miss _Betty._ O, Sir, my new gown is all dirty.

Lady _Head._ The new coach is all spoil'd.

Miss _Betty._ The glasses are all to bits.

Lady _Head._ _Roger_ has put out his arm.

Miss _Betty._ Would he had put out his neck, for making us lose the
play.

Squire _Humph._ Poor _Martilla_ has scratch'd her little finger.

Lady _Head._ And here's the poor Colonel; nobody asks what he has done.
I hope, Sir, you have got no harm?

_Col._ Only a little wounded with some pins I met with about your
Ladyship.

Lady _Head._ I am sorry any thing about me should do you harm.

_Col._ If it does, Madam, you have that about you, if you please, will
be my cure. I hope your Ladyship feels nothing amiss?

Lady _Head._ Nothing at all, tho' we did roll about together strangely.

_Col._ We did, indeed. I'm sure we roll'd so, that my poor hands were
got once----I don't know where they were got. But her Ladyship I see
will pass by slips.

                                                               [_Aside._

Sir _Fran._ It wou'd have been pity the colonel shou'd have receiv'd
any damage in his services to the Ladies; he is the most complaisant
man to e'm, uncle; always ready when they have occasion for him.

Unc. _Rich._ Then I believe, nephew, they'll never let him want
business.

Sir _Fran._ O, but they shou'd not ride the free horse to death
neither. Come, colonel, you'll stay and drink a bottle, and eat a
little supper with us, after your misfortune?

_Col._ Sir, since I have been prevented from attending the ladies to
the play, I shall be very proud to obey their commands here at home.

Sir _Fran._ A prodigious civil gentleman, uncle; and yet as bold as
_Alexander_ upon occasion.

Unc. _Rich._ Upon a lady's occasion.

Sir _Fran._ Ha, ha, you're a wag, uncle; but I believe he'd storm any
thing.

Unc. _Rich._ Then I believe your citadel may be in danger.

                                                               [_Aside._

Sir _Fran._ Uncle, won't you break your rule for once, and sup from
home?

Unc. _Rich._ The company will excuse me, nephew, they'll be freer
without me; so good night to them and you.

Lady _Head._ Good night to you, Sir, since you won't stay: Come,
colonel.

Unc. _Rich._ Methinks this facetious colonel is got upon a pretty,
familiar, easy foot already with the family of the _Headpieces_--hum.

                                                       [_Aside._ _Exit._

Sir _Fran._ Come, my Lady, let's all in, and pass the evening
chearfully. And, d'ye hear, wife----a word in your ear----I have got a
promise of a place in court, of a thousand a year, he, hem.

                                                              [_Exeunt._



+ACT+ IV. +SCENE+ I.


      _Enter Lady ~Arabella~, as just up, walking pensively to her
                      Toilet, follow'd by Trusty._

Lady _Ara._ Well, sure never woman had such luck--these devilish
dice!----Sit up all night; lose all one's money, and then----how like a
hag I look. [_Sits at her toilet, turning her purse inside out._] Not
a guinea----worth less by a hundred pounds than I was by one o'clock
this morning----and then----I was worth nothing----what is to be done,
_Trusty_!

_Trus._ I wish I were wise enough to tell you, Madam; but if there
comes in any good company to breakfast with your Ladyship, perhaps you
may have a run of better fortune.

Lady _Ara._ But I han't a guinea to try my fortune----let me see----who
was that impertinent man, that was so saucy last week about money, that
I was forc'd to promise once more, he shou'd have what I ow'd him, this
morning?

_Trus._ O, I remember, Madam; it was your old mercer _Short-yard_, that
you turn'd off a year ago, because he would trust you no longer.

Lady _Ara._ That's true; and I think I bid the steward keep the thirty
guineas out of some money he was paying me to stop his odious mouth.

_Trus._ Your Ladyship did so.

Lady _Ara._ Pr'ythee, _Trusty_, run and see whether the wretch has got
the money yet; if not, tell the steward, I have occasion for it myself;
run quickly.

                                           [_~Trusty~ runs to the door_.

_Trus._ Ah, Madam, he's just paying it away now, in the hall.

Lady _Ara._ Stop him! quick, quick, dear _Trusty_.

_Trus._ Hem, hem, Mr. _Money-bag_, a word with you quickly.

_Mon._ [_Within._] I'll come presently.

_Trus._ Presently won't do, you must come this moment.

_Mon._ I'm but just paying a little money.

_Trus._ Cods my life, paying money, is the man distracted? Come here, I
tell you, to my Lady this moment, quick.

                [_~Money-bag~ comes to the door with a purse in's hand._

My Lady says you must not pay the money to-day, there's a mistake in
the account, which she must examine; and she's afraid too there was
a false guinea or two left in the purse, which might disgrace her.
[_Twitches the purse from him._] But she's too busy to look for 'em
just now, so you must bid Mr. What-d'ye-call-'em come another time.
There they are, Madam. [_Gives her the money._] The poor things were
so near gone, they made me tremble; I fancy your Ladyship will give
me one of those false guineas for good luck. [_Takes a guinea._] Thank
you, Madam.

Lady _Ara._ Why, I did not bid you take it.

_Trus._ No, but your Ladyship look'd as if you were just going to bid
me; so I took it to save your Ladyship the trouble of speaking.

Lady _Ara._ Well, for once----but hark----I think I hear the man making
a noise yonder.

_Trus._ Nay, I don't expect he'll go out of the house quietly. I'll
listen.

                                                    [_Goes to the door._

Lady _Ara._ Do.

_Trus._ He's in a bitter passion with poor _Money-bag_; I believe he'll
beat him----Lord, how he swears!

Lady _Ara._ And a sober citizen too! that's a shame.

_Trus._ He says he will speak with you, Madam, tho' the devil held your
door----Lord! he's coming hither full drive, but I'll lock him out.

Lady _Ara._ No matter, let him come; I'll reason with him.

_Trus._ But he's a saucy fellow for all that.

                         _Enter ~Short-yard~._

What wou'd you have, Sir?

_Short._ I wou'd have my due, Mistress.

_Trus._ That wou'd be----to be well cudgel'd, Master, for coming so
familiarly, where you shou'd not come.

Lady _Ara._ Do you think you do well, Sir, to intrude into my
dressing-room?

_Short._ Madam, I sold my goods to you in your dressing room, I don't
know why I mayn't ask for my money there.

Lady _Ara._ You are very short, Sir.

_Short._ Your Ladyship won't complain of my patience being so?

Lady _Ara._ I complain of nothing that ought not to be complained of;
but I hate ill manners.

_Short._ So do I, Madam,--but this is the seventeenth time I have been
ordered to come with good-manners for my money, to no purpose.

Lady _Ara._ Your money, man! Is that the matter? Why it has lain in the
steward's hands this week for you.

_Short._ Madam, you yourself appointed me to come this very morning for
it.

Lady _Ara._ But why did you come so late then?

_Short._ So late! I came soon enough, I thought.

Lady _Ara._ That thinking wrong, makes us liable to a world of
disappointments: If you had thought of coming one minute sooner, you
had had your money.

_Short._ Gad bless me, Madam, I had the money as I thought, I'm sure it
was telling out, and I was writing a receipt for't.

_Trus._ Why there you thought wrong again, Master.

Lady _Ara._ Yes, for you shou'd never think of writing a receipt till
the money is in your pocket.

_Short._ Why, I did think 'twas in my pocket.

_Trus._ Look you, thinking again. Indeed, Mr. _Short-yard_, you make so
many blunders, 'tis impossible but you must suffer by it, in your way
of trade. I'm sorry for you, and you'll be undone.

_Short._ And well I may, when I sell my goods to people that won't pay
me for 'em, till the interest of my money eats out all my profit: I
sold them so cheap, because I thought I shou'd be paid the next day.

_Trus._ Why, there again! there's another of your thoughts; paid the
next day, and you han't been paid this twelvemonth you see.

_Short._ Oons, I han't been paid at all, Mistress.

Lady _Ara._ Well, tradesmen are strange unreasonable creatures, refuse
to sell people any more things, and then quarrel with 'em because they
don't pay for those they have had already. Now what can you say to
that, Mr. _Short-yard_?

_Short._ Say! Why--'Sdeath, Madam, I don't know what you talk of, I
don't understand your argument.

Lady _Ara._ Why, what do you understand, man?

_Short._ Why, I understand that I have had above a hundred pounds due
to me a year ago; that I came, by appointment, just now to receive
it: that it proved at last to be but thirty instead of a hundred and
ten; and that while the steward was telling even that out, and I was
writing the receipt, comes Mrs. _Pop_ here, and the money was gone. But
I'll be banter'd no longer if there's law in _England_. Say no more,
_Short-yard_.

                                                                [_Exit._

_Trus._ What a passion the poor devil's in!

Lady _Ara._ Why truly one can't deny but he has some present cause
to be a little in ill-humour, but when one has things of greater
consequence on foot, one can't trouble one's self about making
such creatures easy; so call for breakfast, _Trusty_, and set the
hazard-table ready; if there comes no company I'll play a little by
myself.

                        _Enter Lord ~Loverule~._

Lord _Love._ Pray what offence, Madam, have you given to a man I met
with just as I came in?

Lady _Ara._ People who are apt to take offence, do it for small
matters, you know.

Lord _Love._ I shall be glad to find this so; but he says you have owed
him above a hundred pounds this twelvemonth; that he has been here
forty times by appointment for it, to no purpose; and that coming here
this morning upon positive assurance from yourself, he was trick'd out
of the money, while he was writing a receipt for it, and sent away
without a farthing.

Lady _Ara._ Lord, how these shopkeepers will lye!

Lord _Love._ What then is the business? for some ground the man must
have to be in such a passion.

Lady _Ara._ I believe you'll rather wonder to see me so calm, when I
tell you he had the insolence to intrude into my very dressing-room
here, with a story without a head or tail; you know, _Trusty_, we cou'd
not understand one word he said, but when he swore----Good Lord! how
the wretch did swear!

_Trus._ I never heard the like for my part.

Lord _Love._ And all this for nothing?

Lady _Ara._ So it proved, my Lord, for he got nothing by it.

Lord _Love._ His swearing I suppose was for his money, Madam. Who can
blame him?

Lady _Ara._ If he swore for money he should be put in the pillory.

Lord _Love._ Madam, I won't be banter'd, nor sued by this man for your
extravagancies: do you owe him the money or not?

Lady _Ara._ He says I do, but such fellows will say any thing.

Lord _Love._ Provoking! [_Aside._] Did not I desire an account from you
of all your debts, but six months since, and give you money to clear
them?

Lady _Ara._ My Lord, you can't imagine how accounts make my head ake.

Lord _Love._ That won't do. The steward gave you two hundred pounds
besides, but last week; where's that?

Lady _Ara._ Gone!

Lord _Love._ Gone! where?

Lady _Ara._ Half the town over, I believe, by this time.

Lord _Love._ Madam, Madam, this can be endured no longer, and before a
month passes expect to find me--

Lady _Ara._ Hist, my Lord, here's company.

                       _Enter Captain ~Toupee~._

Captain _Toupee_, your servant: What, nobody with you? do you come
quite alone?

_Capt._ 'Slife, I thought to find company enough here. My Lord, your
servant. What a deuce, you look as if you had been up all night. I'm
sure I was in bed but three hours; I wou'd you'd give me some coffee.

Lady _Ara._ Some coffee there; tea too, and chocolate.

_Capt._ [_Singing a minuet and dancing._] Well, what a strange fellow
am I to be thus brisk, after losing all my money last night----but upon
my soul you look sadly.

Lady _Ara._ No matter for that, if you'll let me win a little of your
money this morning.

_Capt._ What with that face? Go, go wash it, go wash it, and put on
some handsome things; you look'd a good likely woman last night; I
would not much have cared if you had run five hundred pounds in my
debt; but if I play with you this morning, I'gad I'd advise you to win;
for I won't take your personal security at present for a guinea.

Lord _Love._ To what a nauseous freedom do women of quality of late
admit these trifling fops! and there's a morning exercise will give 'em
claim to greater freedoms still. [_Points to the hazard-table._] Some
course must be taken.

                                                                [_Exit._

_Capt._ What, is my Lord gone? he look'd methought as if he did not
delight much in my company. Well, peace and plenty attend him for your
Ladyship's sake, and those----who have now and then the honour to win a
hundred pounds of you.

                               [_Goes to the table singing, and throws._

Lady _Ara._ [_Twitching the box from him._] What, do you intend to win
all the money upon the table----Seven's the main--Set me a million,
_Toupee_.

_Capt._ I set you two, my queen--Six to seven.

_Lady Ara._ Six----the world's my own.

_Both._ Ha, ha, ha!

Lady _Ara._ O that my Lord had spirit enough about him to let me play
for a thousand pound a-night----But here comes country company----

      _Enter Lady ~Headpiece~, Miss ~Betty~, Mrs. ~Motherly~, and
                          Colonel ~Courtly~._

Your servant, Madam, good-morrow to you.

Lady _Head._ And to you, Madam. We are come to breakfast with you.
Lord, are you got to those pretty things already?

                                                  [_Points to the dice._

Lady _Ara._ You see we are not such idle folks in town as you country
ladies take us to be; we are no sooner out of our beds, but we are at
our work.

Miss _Betty._ Will dear Lady Arabella give us leave, mother, to do a
stitch or two with her?

                                            [_Takes the box and throws._

_Capt._ The pretty lively thing!

Lady _Ara._ With all her heart; what says her mama?

Lady _Head._ She says she don't love to sit with her hands before her,
when other people's are employed.

_Capt._ And this is the prettiest little sociable work, men and women
can all do together at it.

Lady _Head._ Colonel, you are one with us, are you not?

Lady _Ara._ O, I'll answer for him, he'll be out at nothing.

_Capt._ In a facetious way; he is the politest person; he will lose
his money to the ladies so civilly, and will win theirs with so much
good breeding; and he will be so modest to 'em before company, and so
impudent to 'em in a dark corner. Ha! colonel!

Lady _Head._ So I found him, I'm sure, last night----Mercy on me, an
ounce of virtue less than I had, and Sir _Francis_ had been undone.

_Capt._ Colonel, I smoke you.

_Col._ And a fine character you give the ladies of me, to help me.

_Capt._ I give 'em just the character of you they like, modest and
brave. Come, ladies, to business; look to your money, every woman her
hand upon her purse.

Miss _Betty._ Here's mine, captain.

_Capt._ O the little soft velvet one--and it's as full--Come, Lady
Blowse, rattle your dice and away with 'em.

Lady _Ara._ Six----at all----five to six----Five----Eight----at all
again----Nine to eight----Nine----

            _Enter Sir ~Francis~, and stands gazing at 'em._

Seven's the main----at all for ever.

                                                          [_Throws out._

Miss _Betty._ Now, mama, let's see what you can do.

                                      [_Lady ~Headpiece~ takes the box._

Lady _Head._ Well, I'll warrant you, daughter----

Miss _Betty._ If you do, I'll follow a good example.

Lady _Head._ Eight's the main----don't spare me, gentlemen, I fear you
not----have at you all----seven to eight----seven.

_Capt._ Eight, Lady, eight----Five pounds if you please.

Lady _Ara._ Three, kinswoman.

_Col._ Two, Madam.

Miss _Betty._ And one for Miss, Mama----and now let's see what I can
do. [_Aside._] If I should win enough this morning to buy me another
new gown--O bless me! there they go----seven----come, captain, set me
boldly, I want to be at a handful.

_Capt._ There's two for you, miss.

Miss _Betty._ I'll at 'em, tho' I die for't.

Sir _Fran._ Ah, my poor child, take care.

                                              [_Runs to stop the throw._

Miss _Betty._ There.

_Capt._ Out--twenty pound], young lady.

Sir _Fran._ False dice, Sir.

_Capt._ False dice, Sir? I scorn your words----twenty pounds, Madam.

Miss _Betty._ Undone, undone!

Sir _Fran._ She shan't pay you a farthing, Sir; I won't have miss
cheated.

_Capt._ Cheated, Sir?

Lady _Head._ What do you mean, Sir _Francis_, to disturb the company,
and abuse the gentleman thus?

Sir _Fran._ I mean to be in a passion.

Lady _Head._ And why will you be in a passion, Sir _Francis_?

Sir _Fran._ Because I came here to breakfast with my Lady there, before
I went down to the house, expecting to find my family set round a civil
table with her, upon some plumb-cake, hot rolls, and a cup of strong
beer; instead of which, I find these good women staying their stomachs
with a box and dice, and that man there, with a strange perriwig,
making a good hearty meal upon my wife and daughter.----

                           _Cætera desunt._

[Illustration]



THE

=Provok'd Husband=;

OR, A

=Journey= to =London=.

A

COMEDY.


                              Written by

                Sir =John Vanbrugh=, and Mr. =Cibber=.

           ----_Vivit Tanquam Vicina Mariti_. Juv. Sat. VI.

[Illustration]



TO THE

QUEEN.


  _May it please your Majesty_,

The _English_ =Theatre= throws itself with this Play, at Your MAJESTY's
Feet, for Favour and Support.

As their Public Diversions are a strong Indication of the Genius of a
People; the following Scenes are an Attempt to Establish such as are
fit to entertain the Minds of a sensible Nation; and to wipe off that
Aspersion of Barbarity, which the _Virtuosi_ among our Neighbours have
sometimes thrown upon our Taste.

The _Provok'd Husband_, is, at least, an Instance, that any _English_
Comedy may, to an unusual number of Days, bring many Thousands of His
Majesty's good Subjects together, to their Emolument and Delight, with
Innocence. And however little Share of that Merit my unequal Pen may
pretend to, yet I hope the just Admirers of Sir _John Vanbrugh_ will
allow I have, at worst, been a careful Guardian of his Orphan Muse, by
leading it into Your Majesty's Royal Protection.

The Design of this Play being chiefly to expose, and reform the
licentious Irregularities that, too often, break in upon the Peace and
Happiness of the Married State; Where could so hazardous and unpopular
an undertaking be secure, but in the Protection of a =Princess=, whose
exemplary Conjugal Virtues have given such illustrious Proof of what
sublime Felicity that holy State is capable?

And though a Crown is no certain Title to Content; yet to the Honour
of that Institution be it said, the Royal Harmony of Hearts that now
inchants us from the Throne, is a Reproach to the frequent Disquiet
of those many insensible Subjects about it, who (from his Majesty's
paternal Care of his People) have more Leisure to be happy: And 'tis
our =Queen's= peculiar Glory, that we often see Her as eminently rais'd
above her Circle, in private Happiness, as in Dignity.

Yet Heaven, =Madam=, that has placed you on such Height, to be the
more conspicuous Pattern of your Sex, had still left your Happiness
imperfect, had it not given those inestimable Treasures of your Mind,
and Person, to the only Prince on Earth that could have deserved
them: A Crown received from Any, but the Happy Monarch's Hand, who
invested you with This, which You now adorn, had only seemed the Work
of _Fortune_: But _Thus_ bestow'd, the World acknowledges it the due
Reward of =Providence=, for One You once so gloriously Refused.

But as the Fame of such elevated Virtue has lifted the Plain Addresses
of a whole Nation into Eloquence, the best repeated Eulogiums on that
Theme are but Intrusions on your Majesty's greater Pleasure of secretly
deserving them. I therefore beg leave, to subscribe myself,

                     May it please Your =Majesty=,

                     _Your Majesty's most Devoted_,

                                                   _Most Obedient, and_

                                                 _Most Humble Servant_,

                                                       =Colley Cibber=.



TO THE

READER.


Having taken upon me in the prologue to this play, to give the auditors
some short account of that part of it which Sir _John Vanbrugh_ left
unfinished, and not thinking it adviseable in that place, to limit
their judgment by so high a commendation as I thought it deserved; I
have therefore, for the satisfaction of the curious, printed the whole
of what he wrote, separately, under the single title he gave it of _A
Journey to London_, without presuming to alter a line.

Yet when I own, that in my last conversation with him, (which chiefly
turned upon what he had done towards a comedy) he excused his not
shewing it me, 'till he had reviewd it, confessing the scenes were
yet undigested, too long, and irregular, particularly in the lower
characters, I have but one excuse for publishing what he never designed
should come into the world, as it then was, viz. I had no other way of
taking those many faults to myself, which may be justly found in my
presuming to finish it.

However, a judicious reader will find in his original papers, that
the characters are strongly drawn, new, spirited, and natural, taken
from sensible observations on high and lower life, and from a just
indignation at the follies in fashion. All I could gather from him of
what he intended in the _catastrophe_, was, that the conduct of his
imaginary fine lady had so provoked him, that he designed actually
to have made her husband turn her out of his doors. But when his
performance came, after his decease, to my hands, I thought such
violent measures, however just they might be in real life, were too
severe for comedy, and would want the proper surprise, which is due
to the end of a play. Therefore with much ado (and 'twas as much as I
could do with probability) I preserved the lady's chastity, that the
sense of her errors might make a reconciliation not impracticable; and
I hope the mitigation of her sentence has been since justified by its
success.

My inclination to preserve as much as possible of Sir _John_, I soon
saw had drawn the whole into an unusual length; the reader will
therefore find here a scene or two of the lower humour that were left
out, after the first day's presentation.

The favour the town has shewn to the higher characters in this play,
is a proof, that their taste is not wholly vitiated, by the barbarous
entertainments that have been so expensively set off to corrupt it:
but, while the repetition of the best old plays is apt to give satiety,
and good new ones are so scarce a commodity, we must not wonder, that
the poor actors are sometimes forced to trade in trash for a livelihood.

I cannot yet take leave of the reader, without endeavouring to do
justice to those principal actors, who have so evidently contributed
to the support of this comedy: And I wish I could separate the praises
due to them from the secret vanity of an author: For all I can say will
still insinuate, that they could not have so highly excelled, unless
the skill of the writer had given them proper occasion. However, as I
had rather appear vain, than unthankful, I will venture to say of Mr.
_Wilks_, that in the last act, I never saw any passion take so natural
a possession of an actor, or any actor take so tender a possession of
his auditors----Mr. _Mills_ too, is confess'd by every body, to have
surprised them, by so far excelling himself----But there is no doing
right to Mrs. _Oldfield_, without putting people in mind of what
others, of great merit, have wanted to come near her----'Tis not enough
to say, she _Here Out-did_ her usual _Excellence_. I might therefore
justly leave her to the constant admiration of those spectators, who
have the pleasure of living while she is an actress. But as this is not
the only time she has been the life of what I have given the public,
so perhaps my saying a little more of so memorable an actress, may
give this play a chance to be read, when the people of this age shall
be ancestors----May it therefore give emulation to our successors of
the stage, to know, That to the ending of the year 1727, a cotemporary
comedian relates, that Mrs. _Oldfield_ was, then, in her highest
excellence of action, happy in all the rearly-found requisites, that
meet in one person to complete them for the stage----She was in stature
just rising to that height, where the _graceful_ can only begin to shew
itself; of a lively aspect and a command in her mein, that like the
principal figure in the finest paintings, first seizes, and longest
delights the eye of the spectators. Her voice was sweet, strong,
piercing, and melodious: her pronunciation voluble, distinct, and
musical; and her emphasis always placed where the spirit of the sense,
in her periods, only demanded it. If she delighted more in the Higher
Comic, than in the Tragic strain, 'twas because the last is too often
written in a lofty disregard of nature. But in characters of modern
practised life, she found occasions to add the particular air and
manner which distinguished the different humours she presented. Whereas
in tragedy, the manner of speaking varies, as little as the blank verse
it is written in----She had one peculiar happiness from nature, she
looked and maintained the _agreeable_, at a time when other fine women
only raise admirers by their understanding----The spectator was always
as much informed by her eyes as her elocution; for the look is the
only proof that an actor rightly conceives what he utters, there being
scare an instance, where the eyes do their part, that the elocution is
known to be faulty. The qualities she had _acquired_ were the _genteel_
and _elegant_. The one in her air, and the other in her dress, never
had her equal on the stage; and the ornaments she herself provided,
(particularly in this play) seemed in all respects the _paraphernalia_
of a woman of quality. And of that sort were the characters she chiefly
excelled in; but her natural good sense and lively turn of conversation
made her way so easy to ladies of the highest rank, that it is a less
wonder, if on the stage she sometimes _was_, what might have become the
finest woman in real life to have supported.

  _Theatre-Royal_.
    _Jan. 27_,
    172⅞

                                                              C. CIBBER.



PROLOGUE,


                         Spoken by Mr. _Wilks_.

    _This play took birth from principles of truth,
    To make amends for errors past, of youth.
    A bard, that's now no more, in riper days,
    Conscious review'd the licence of his plays:
    And tho' applause his wanton muse had fir'd,
    Himself condemn'd what sensual minds admir'd.
    At length, he own'd, that plays should let you see
    Not only, What you are, but ought to be;
    Though vice was natural, 'twas never meant
    The stage should shew it, but for punishment!
    Warm with that thought, his Muse once more took flame,
    Resolv'd to bring licentious life to shame.
    Such was the piece his latest pen design'd,
    But left no traces of his plan behind.
    Luxuriant scenes unprun'd or half contriv'd;
    Yet thro' the mass his native fire surviv'd:
    Rough, as rich ore, in mines the treasure lay,
    Yet still 'twas rich, and forms at length a play.
    In which the bold compiler boasts no merit,
    But that his pains have sav'd your scenes of spirit.
    Not scenes that would a noisy joy impart,
    But such as hush the mind and warm the heart.
    From praise of hands no sure account he draws,
    But fixt attention is sincere applause:
      If then (for hard you'll own the task) his art
    Can to those embryon-scenes new life impart,
    The living proudly would exclude his lays,
    And to the buried bard resign the praise._



Dramatis Personæ.


MEN.

  Lord _Townly_, of a regular life,              Mr. _Wilks_.

  Mr. _Manly_, an admirer of Lady _Grace_,       Mr. _Mills_ sen.

  Sir _Francis Wronghead_, a country gentleman,  Mr. _Cibber_, sen.

  Squire _Richard_, his son, a mere whelp,       Young _Wetherelt_.

  Count _Basset_, a gamester,                    Mr. _Bridgewater_.

  _John Moody_, servant to Sir _Francis_,     }  Mr. _Miller_.
  an honest clown,                            }


WOMEN.

  Lady _Townly_, immoderate in her          }  Mrs. _Oldfield_.
  pursuit of pleasures,                     }

  Lady _Grace_, sister to Lady _Townly_,    }  Mrs. _Porter_.
  of exemplary virtue,                      }

  Lady _Wronghead_, wife to Sir _Francis_,  }  Mrs. _Thurmond_.
  inclin'd to be a fine lady,               }

  Miss _Jenny_, her daughter, pert and      }  Mrs. _Cibber_.
  forward,                                  }

  Mrs _Motherly_, one that lets lodgings,      Mrs. _Moore_.

  _Myrtilla_, her niece, seduced by the     }  Mrs. _Grace_.
  count,                                    }

  Mrs. _Trusty_, Lady _Townly_'s woman,        Mrs. _Mills_.

                Masqueraders, Constable, Servants, &c.

               _The ~+SCENE+~ Lord ~Townly~'s House, and
                  sometimes Sir ~Francis~'s Lodgings._

                                  THE

                          =Provok'd Husband=;

                                  OR,

                     _A_ =Journey= _to_ =London=.



+ACT+ I. +SCENE+ I.

                 +SCENE+, _Lord ~Townly~'s Apartment._


                        _Lord ~Townly~, solus._

Why did I marry!--Was it not evident, my plain, rational scheme of life
was impracticable, with a woman of so different a way of thinking?--Is
there one article of it, that she has not broke in upon?--Yes,--let me
do her justice--her reputation--That--I have no reason to believe is in
question--but then how long her profligate course of pleasures may make
her able to keep it--is a shocking question! and her presumption while
she keeps it--insupportable! for on the pride of that single virtue she
seems to lay it down, as a fundamental point, that the free indulgence
of every other vice, this fertile town affords, is the birth-right
prerogative of a woman of quality--Amazing! that a creature so warm in
the pursuit of her pleasures, should never cast one thought towards her
happiness--Thus, while she admits no lover, she thinks it a greater
merit still, in her chastity, not to care for her husband; and while
she herself is solacing in one continual round of cards and good
company, he, poor wretch! is left, at large, to take care of his own
contentment----'Tis time, indeed, some care were taken, and speedily
there shall be----Yet let me not be rash----Perhaps this disappointment
of my heart may make me too impatient; and some tempers when reproached
grow more untractable.--Here she comes--Let me be calm a while.

                         _Enter Lady ~Townly~._

Going out so soon after dinner, Madam?

Lady _Town._ Lard, my Lord! what can I possibly do at home?

Lord _Town._ What does my sister, Lady _Grace_, do at home?

Lady _Town._ Why, that is to me amazing! Have you ever any pleasure at
home!

Lord _Town._ It might be in your power, Madam, I confess, to make it a
little more comfortable to me.

Lady _Town._ Comfortable! and so, my good Lord, you would really have a
woman of my rank and spirit stay at home to comfort her husband! Lord!
what notions of life some men have!

Lord _Town._ Don't you think, Madam, some ladies' notions full as
extravagant?

Lady _Town._ Yes, my Lord, when the tame doves live cooped within the
penn of your precepts, I do think 'em prodigious indeed!

Lord _Town._ And when they fly wild about this town, Madam, pray what
must the world think of 'em then?

Lady _Town._ Oh! this world is not so ill-bred as to quarrel with any
woman for liking it.

Lord _Town._ Nor am I, Madam, a husband so well-bred, as to bear my
wife's being so fond of it; in short, the life you lead, Madam----

Lady _Town._ Is, to me, the pleasantest life in the world.

Lord _Town._ I should not dispute your taste, Madam, if a woman had a
right to please nobody but herself.

Lady _Town._ Why, whom would you have her please?

Lord _Town._ Sometimes her husband.

Lady _Town._ And don't you think a husband under the same obligation?

Lord _Town._ Certainly.

Lady _Town._ Why then we are agreed, my Lord--For if I never go abroad
'till I am weary of being at home----which you know is the case----is
it not equally reasonable, not to come home till one's weary of being
abroad!

Lord _Town._ If this be your rule of life, Madam, 'tis time to ask you
one serious question?

Lady _Town._ Don't let it be long a coming then----for I am in haste.

Lord _Town._ Madam, when I am serious, I expect a serious answer.

Lady _Town._ Before I know the question?

Lord _Town._ Psha----have I power, Madam, to make you serious by
intreaty?

Lady _Town._ You have.

Lord _Town._ And you promise to answer me sincerely?

Lady _Town._ Sincerely.

Lord _Town._ Now then recollect your thoughts, and tell me seriously,
Why you married me?

Lady _Town._ You insist upon truth, you say?

Lord _Town._ I think I have a right to it.

Lady _Town._ Why then, my Lord, to give you, at once, a proof of my
obedience and sincerity----I think----I married--to take off that
restraint, that lay upon my pleasures, while I was a single woman.

Lord _Town._ How, Madam! is any woman under less restraint after
marriage, than before it?

Lady _Town._ O my Lord! my Lord! they are quite different creatures!
Wives have infinite liberties in life, that would be terrible in an
unmarried woman to take.

Lord _Town._ Name one.

Lady _Town._ Fifty, if you please!----to begin then, in the
morning----A married woman may have men at her toilet, invite them
to dinner, appoint them a party, in a stage box at the play; ingross
the conversation there, call 'em by their christian names; talk
louder than the players;----From thence jaunt into the city----take
a frolicksome supper at an _India_ house----perhaps in her _gaieté
de cœur_ toast a pretty fellow--Then clatter again to this end of
the town, break with the morning, into an assembly, croud to the
hazard-table, throw a familiar _levant_ upon some sharp lurching man of
quality, and if he demands his money, turn it off with a loud laugh,
and cry----you'll owe it him to vex him! ha! ha!

Lord _Town._ Prodigious!

                                                               [_Aside._

Lady _Town._ These now, my Lord, are some few of the many modish
amusements, that distinguish the privilege of a wife, from that of a
single woman.

Lord _Town._ Death! Madam, what law has made these liberties less
scandalous in a wife, than in an unmarried woman?

Lady _Town._ Why, the strongest law in the world, custom----custom time
out of mind, my Lord.

Lord _Town._ Custom, Madam, is the law of fools: but it shall never
govern me.

Lady _Town._ Nay, then, my Lord, 'tis time for me to observe the laws
of prudence.

Lord _Town._ I wish I could see an instance of it.

Lady _Town._ You shall have one this moment, my Lord; for I think, when
a man begins to lose his temper at home; if a woman has any prudence,
why----she'll go abroad 'till he comes to himself again.

                                                               [_Going._

Lord _Town._ Hold, Madam--I am amazed, you are not more uneasy at the
life we lead! You don't want sense; and yet seem void of all humanity:
for, with a blush I say it, I think, I have not wanted love.

Lady _Town._ Oh! don't say that, my Lord, if you suppose I have my
senses.

Lord _Town._ What is it I have done to you? what can you complain of?

Lady _Town._. Oh! nothing in the least: 'Tis true, you have heard
me say; I have owed my Lord _Lurcher_ an hundred pounds these three
weeks----but what then?----a husband is not liable to his wife's debts
of honour, you know,----and if a silly woman will be uneasy about
money she can't be sued for, what's that to him? as long as he loves
her, to be sure she can have nothing to complain of.

Lord _Town._ By heaven, if my whole fortune thrown into your lap, could
make you delight in the chearful duties of a wife, I should think
myself a gainer by the purchase.

Lady _Town._ That is, my Lord, I might receive your whole estate,
provided you were sure I would not spend a shilling of it.

Lord _Town._ No, Madam; were I master of your heart, your pleasures
would be mine; but different as they are, I'll feed even your follies
to deserve it----Perhaps you may have some other trifling debts of
honour abroad that keep you out of humour at home----at least it shall
not be my fault, if I have not more of your company----There, there's a
bill of five hundred----and now, Madam----

Lady _Town._ And now, my Lord, down to the ground I thank you----Now am
I convinc'd, were I weak enough to love this man, I should never get a
single guinea from him.

                                                               [_Aside._

Lord _Town._ If it be no offence, Madam----

Lady _Town._ Say what you please, my Lord; I am in that harmony of
spirits, it is impossible to put me out of humour.

Lord _Town._ How long then in reason do you think that sum ought to
last you?

Lady _Town._ Oh, my dear, dear Lord! now you have spoiled all again!
How is it possible I should answer for an event, that so utterly
depends upon fortune? But to shew you that I am more inclined to get
money, than to throw it away----I have a strong prepossession, that
with this five hundred, I shall win five thousand.

Lord _Town._ Madam, if you were to win ten thousand, it would be no
satisfaction to me.

Lady _Town._ O! the churl! ten thousand! what! not so much as wish I
might win ten thousand!----Ten thousand! O! the charming sum! what
infinite pretty things might a woman of spirit do, with ten thousand
guineas! O' my conscience, if she were a woman of true spirit--she--she
might lose 'em all again.

Lord _Town._ And I had rather it should be so, Madam; provided I could
be sure, that were the last you would lose.

Lady _Town._ Well, my Lord, to let you see I design to play all the
good housewife I can; I am now going to a party of _Quadrille_, only
to piddle with a little of it at poor two guineas a fish, with the
Dutchess of _Quiteright_.

                                                  [_Exit Lady ~Townly~._

Lord _Town._ Insensible creature! neither reproaches, or indulgence,
kindness or severity, can wake her to the least reflection! Continual
licence has lull'd her into such a lethargy of care, that she speaks
of her excesses with the same easy confidence, as if they were so many
virtues. What a turn has her head taken?----But how to cure it----I
am afraid the physic must be strong that reaches her----Lenitives, I
see, are to no purpose----take my friend's opinion----_Manly_ will
speak freely----my sister with tenderness to both sides. They know my
case----I'll talk with 'em.

                           _Enter a Servant._

_Serv._ Mr. _Manly_, my Lord has sent to know, if your Lordship was at
home.

Lord _Town._ They did not deny me?

_Serv._ No, my Lord.

Lord _Town._ Very well; step up to my sister, and say, I desire to
speak with her.

_Serv._ Lady _Grace_ is here, my Lord.

                                                           [_Exit Serv._

                         _Enter Lady ~Grace~._

Lord _Town._ So, Lady fair; what pretty weapon have you been killing
your time with!

Lady _Grace._ A huge folio that has almost killed me--I think I have
half read my eyes out.

Lord _Town._ O! you should not pore so much just after dinner, child.

Lady _Grace._ That's true, but any body's thoughts are better than
always one's own, you know.

Lord _Town._ Who's there?

                            _Enter Servant._

Leave word at the door I am at home to nobody but Mr. _Manly_.

Lady _Grace._ And why is he excepted, pray, my Lord?

Lord _Town._ I hope, Madam, you have no objection to his company?

Lady _Grace._ Your particular orders upon my being here, look, indeed,
as if you thought I had not.

Lord _Town._ And your Ladyship's enquiry into the reason of those
orders, shews, at least, it was not a matter indifferent to you!

Lady _Grace._ Lord! you make the oddest constructions, brother!

Lord _Town._ Look you my grave Lady _Grace_----in one serious word--I
wish you had him.

Lady _Grace._ I can't help that.

Lord _Town._ Ha! you can't help it! ha! ha! The flat simplicity of that
reply was admirable!

Lady _Grace._ Pooh! you teize one, brother!

Lord _Town._ Come, I beg pardon, child----this is not a point, I grant
you, to trifle upon; therefore, I hope you'll give me leave to be
serious.

Lady _Grace._ If you desire it, brother! though upon my word, as to Mr.
_Manly_'s having any serious thoughts of me--I know nothing of it.

Lord _Town._ Well----there's nothing wrong, in your making a doubt of
it----But, in short, I find, by his conversation of late, that he has
been looking round the world for a wife; and if you were to look round
the world for a husband, he's the first man I would give to you.

Lady _Grace._ Then, whenever he makes me an offer, brother, I will
certainly tell you of it.

Lord _Town._ O! that's the last thing he'll do; he'll never make you an
offer, 'till he's pretty sure it won't be refus'd.

Lady _Grace._ Now you make me curious. Pray! did he ever make an offer
of that kind to you?

Lord _Town._ Not directly; but that imports nothing; he is a man too
well acquainted with the female world, to be brought into a high
opinion of any one woman, without some well examined proof of her
merit: Yet I have reason to believe, that your good sense, your turn
of mind, and your way of life, have brought him to so favourable a one
of you, that a few days will reduce him to talk plainly to me: Which
as yet, (notwithstanding our friendship) I have neither declin'd nor
encouraged him to.

Lady _Grace._ I am mighty glad we are so near in our way of thinking:
For, to tell you the truth, he is much upon the same terms with me:
You know he has a satirical turn; but never lashes any folly, without
giving due encomiums to its opposite virtue: and upon such occasions,
he is sometimes particular, in turning his compliments upon me, which I
don't receive, with any reserve, lest he should imagine I take them to
myself.

Lord _Town._ You are right, child, when a man of merit makes his
addresses: good sense may give him an answer, without scorn, or
coquetry.

Lady _Grace._ Hush! he's here----

                          _Enter Mr. ~Manly~._

_Man._ My Lord! your most obedient.

Lord _Town._ Dear _Manly_! yours----I was thinking to send to you.

_Man._ Then, I am glad I am here, my Lord----Lady _Grace_, I kiss your
hands!----What, only you two! How many visits may a man make, before
he falls into such unfashionable company? A brother and sister soberly
sitting at home, when the whole town is a gadding! I question if there
is so particular a _tête à tête_, again, in the whole parish of St.
_James_'s.

Lady _Grace._ Fy! fy! Mr. _Manly_; how censorious you are!

_Man._ I had not made the reflexion, Madam, but that I saw you an
exception to it--Where's my lady?

Lord _Town._ That I believe is impossible to guess.

_Man._ Then I won't try, my Lord----

Lord _Town._ But 'tis probable I may hear of her by that time I am four
or five hours in bed.

_Man._ Now, if that were my case, I believe I should----But I beg
pardon, my Lord.

Lord _Town._ Indeed, Sir, you shall not: You will oblige me, if you
speak out; for it was upon this head, I wanted to see you.

_Man._ Why, then, my Lord, since you oblige me to proceed----if that
were my case----I believe I should certainly sleep in another house.

Lady _Grace._ How do you mean?

_Man._ Only a compliment, Madam.

Lady _Grace._ A compliment!

_Man._ Yes, Madam, in rather turning myself out of doors than her.

Lady _Grace._ Don't you think that would be going too far?

_Man._ I don't know but it might, Madam; for in strict justice, I think
she ought rather to go than I.

Lady _Grace._ This is new doctrine, Mr. _Manly_.

_Man._ As old, Madam, as _Love_, _Honour_, and _Obey_! When a woman
will stop at nothing that's wrong, why should a man balance any thing
that's right.

Lady _Grace._ Bless me, but this is fomenting things--

_Man._ Fomentations, Madam, are sometimes necessary to dispel rumours;
tho' I don't directly advise my Lord to do this----This is only what,
upon the same provocation, I would do myself.

Lady _Grace._ Ay! ay! You would do! Batchelors wives, indeed, are
finely governed.

_Man._ If the married mens were as well----I am apt to think we should
not see so many mutual plagues taking the air, in separate coaches!

Lady _Grace._ Well! but suppose it was your own case; would you part
with a wife because she now and then stays out, in the best company?

Lord _Town._ Well said, Lady _Grace_! come, stand up for the privilege
of your sex! This is like to be a warm debate! I shall edify.

_Man._ Madam, I think a wife, after midnight, has no occasion to be in
better company than her husband; and that frequent unreasonable hours
make the best company----the worst company she can fall into.

Lady _Grace._ But if people of condition are to keep company with one
another; how is it possible to be done unless one conforms to their
hours?

_Man._ I can't find that any woman's good breeding obliges her to
conform to other people's vices.

Lord _Town._ I doubt, child, we are got a little on the wrong side of
the question.

Lady _Grace._ Why so, my Lord? I can't think the case so bad, as Mr.
_Manly_ states it----People of quality are not ty'd down to the rules
of those, who have their fortunes to make.

_Man._ No people, Madam, are above being ty'd down to some rules, that
have fortunes to lose.

Lady _Grace._ Pooh! I'm sure, if you were to take my side of the
argument, you would be able to say something more for it.

Lord _Town._ Well, what say you to that, _Manly_?

_Man._ Why, 'troth, my Lord, I have something to say.

Lady _Grace._ Ay! that I would be glad to hear, now!

Lord _Town._ Out with it!

_Man._ Then in one word, this, my Lord, I have often thought that the
mis-conduct of my Lady has, in a great measure, been owing to your
Lordship's treatment of her.

Lady _Grace._ Bless me!

Lord _Town._ My treatment!

_Man._ Ay, my Lord, you so idoliz'd her before marriage, that you even
indulg'd her like a mistress, after it; In short, you continued the
lover, when you should have taken up the husband.

Lady _Grace._ O frightful! this is worse than t'other! can a husband
love a wife too well!

_Man._ As easy, Madam, as a wife may love her husband too little.

Lord _Town._ So! you two are never like to agree, I find.

Lady _Grace._ Don't be positive, brother;----I am afraid we are both of
a mind already. [_Aside._] And do you, at this rate, ever intend to be
married, Mr. _Manly_?

_Man._ Never, Madam; 'till I can meet a woman that likes my doctrine.

Lady _Grace._ 'Tis pity but your mistress should hear it.

_Man._ Pity me, Madam, when I marry the woman that won't hear it.

Lady _Grace._ I think, at least, he can't say that's me.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Man._ And so, my Lord, by giving her more power than was needful, she
has none where she wants it; having such entire possession of you, she
is not mistress of herself! And, mercy on us! how many fine womens
heads have been turn'd upon the same occasion!

Lord _Town._ O _Manly_! 'tis too true! there's the source of my
disquiet! she knows and has abused her power: Nay, I am still so weak
(with shame I speak it) 'tis not an hour ago, that in the midst of my
impatience--I gave her another bill for five hundred to throw away.

_Man._ Well----my Lord! to let you see I am sometimes upon the side
of good nature, I won't absolutely blame you; for the greater your
indulgence, the more you have to reproach her with.

Lady _Grace._ Ay, Mr. _Manly_! here now, I begin to come in with you:
Who knows, my Lord, you may have a good account of your kindness!

_Man._ That, I am afraid, we had not best depend upon: But since you
have had so much patience, my Lord, even go on with it a day or two
more; and upon her Ladyship's next sally, be a little rounder in your
expostulation; if that don't work--drop her some cool hints of a
determin'd reformation, and leave her----to breakfast upon 'em.

Lord _Town._ You are perfectly right! how valuable is a friend, in our
anxiety!

_Man._ Therefore to divert that, my Lord, I beg for the present, we may
call another cause.

Lady _Grace._ Ay, for goodness sake let's have done with this.

Lord _Town._ With all my heart.

Lady _Grace._ Have you no news abroad, Mr. _Manly_?

_Man._ _A propos_----I have some, Madam; and I believe, my Lord, as
extraordinary in its kind----

Lord _Town._ Pray let's have it.

_Man._ Do you know that your country neighbour, and my wise kinsman,
Sir _Francis Wronghead_, is coming to town with his whole family?

Lord _Town._ The fool! what can be his business here?

_Man._ Oh! of the last importance, I'll assure you--No less than the
business of the nation.

Lord _Town._ Explain!

_Man._ He has carried his election----against Sir _John Worthland_.

Lord _Town._ The Deuce! what! for----for----

_Man._ The famous borough of _Guzzledown_!

Lord _Town._ A proper representative, indeed.

Lady _Grace._ Pray, Mr. _Manly_, don't I know him?

_Man._ You have din'd with him, Madam, when I was last down with my
Lord, at _Bellmont_.

Lady _Grace._ Was not that he that got a little merry before dinner,
and overset the tea-table, in making his compliments to my Lady?

_Man._ The same.

Lady _Grace._ Pray what are his circumstances? I know but very little
of him.

_Man._ Then he is worth your knowing, I can tell you, Madam. His
estate, if clear, I believe, might be a good two thousand pounds a
year: Though as it was left him, saddled with two jointures, and two
weighty mortgages upon it, there is no saying what it is----But that he
might be sure never to mend it, he married a profuse young hussy, for
love, without a penny of money! Thus having, like his brave ancestors,
provided heirs for the family (for his dove breeds like a tame pigeon)
he now finds children and interest-money make such a bawling about his
ears, that at last he has taken the friendly advice of his kinsman, the
good Lord _Danglecourt_, to run his estate two thousand pounds more in
debt, to put the whole management of what's left into _Paul Pillage_'s
hands, that he may be at leisure himself to retrieve his affairs by
being a parliament-man.

Lord _Town._ A most admirable scheme, indeed!

_Man._ And with this politic prospect, he's now upon his journey to
_London_----

Lord _Town._ What can it end in?

_Man._ Pooh! a journey into the country again.

Lord _Town._ And do you think he'll stir, 'till his money's gone? or at
least 'till the session is over?

_Man._ If my intelligence is right, my Lord, he won't sit long enough
to give his vote for a turnpike.

Lord _Town._ How so?

_Man._ O! a bitter business! he had scarce a vote, in the whole town,
beside the returning officer: Sir _John_ will certainly have it heard
at the bar of the house, and send him about his business again.

Lord _Town._ Then he has made a fine business of it indeed.

_Man._ Which, as far as my little interest will go, shall be done in as
few days as possible.

Lady _Grace._ But why would you ruin the poor gentleman's fortune, Mr.
_Manly_?

_Man._ No, Madam, I would only spoil his project, to save his fortune.

Lady _Grace._ How are you concern'd enough, to do either?

_Man._ Why, I have some obligations to the family, Madam: I enjoy at
this time a pretty estate, which Sir _Francis_ was heir at law to:
But----by his being a booby, the last will of an obstinate old uncle
gave it to me.

                           _Enter a Servant._

_Serv._ [_To ~Man~._] Sir, here's one of your servants from your house,
desires to speak with you.

_Man._ Will you give him leave to come in, my Lord?

Lord _Town._ Sir----the ceremony's of your own making.

                       _Enter ~Manly~'s Servant._

_Man._ Well, _James_! what's the matter now?

_James._ Sir, here's _John Moody_'s just come to town; he says Sir
_Francis_, and all the family, will be here to-night, and is in a great
hurry to speak with you.

_Man._ Where is he?

_James._ At our house, Sir: He has been gaping and stumping about the
streets, in his dirty boots, and asking every one he meets if they can
tell him where he may have a good lodging for a parliament man, 'till
he can hire a handsome whole house for himself and family, for the
winter.

_Man._ I am afraid, my Lord, I must wait upon Mr. _Moody_.

Lord _Town._ Pr'ythee! let's have him here: he will divert us.

_Man._ O my Lord! he's such a cub! Not but he's so near common sense,
that he passes for a wit in the family.

Lady _Grace._ I beg of all things we may have him: I am in love with
Nature, let her dress be never so homely.

_Man._ Then desire him to come hither, _James_.

                                                        [_Exit ~James~._

Lady _Grace._ Pray what may be Mr. _Moody_'s post?

_Man._ Oh! his _Maître d' Hôtel_, his butler, his bailiff, his hind,
his huntsman; and sometimes----his companion.

Lord _Town._ It runs in my head, that the moment this Knight has set
him down in the house, he will get up, to give them the earliest proof
of what importance he is to the public, in his own country.

_Man._ Yes, and when they have heard him, he will find, that his utmost
importance stands valued at----sometimes being invited to dinner.

Lady _Grace._ And her Ladyship will make as considerable a figure, in
her sphere too.

_Man._ That you may depend upon; for (if I don't mistake) she has
ten times more of the jade in her, than she yet knows of; and she
will so improve in this rich soil, in a month, that she will visit
all the ladies that will let her into their houses; and run in debt
to all the shopkeepers that will let her into their books: In short,
before her important spouse has made five pounds by his eloquence at
_Westminster_, she will have lost five hundred at dice and _Quadrille_,
in the parish of St. _James_'s.

Lord _Town._ So that, by that time he is declared unduly elected, a
swarm of duns will be ready for their money; and his worship----will be
ready for a jail.

_Man._ Yes, yes, that I reckon will close the account of this hopeful
journey to _London_----But see, here comes the fore-horse of the team!

                         _Enter John ~Moody~._

Oh! Honest _John_!

_John Moody._ Ad's waunds and heart, Measter _Manly_! I'm glad I ha'
fun ye. Lawd! lawd! give me a buss! Why that's friendly naw! Flesh!
I thought we should never ha' got hither! Well! and how d'ye do,
Measter?----Good lack! I beg pardon for my bauldness----I did not see
'at his Honour was here.

Lord _Town._ Mr. _Moody_, your servant; I am glad to see you in
_London_. I hope all the family is well.

_John Moody._ Thanks be praised your honour, they are in pretty good
heart; thof' we have had a power of crosses upo' the road.

Lady _Grace._ I hope my Lady has had no hurt, Mr. _Moody_.

_John Moody._ Noa, an't please your Ladyship, she was never in better
humour: There's money enough stirring now.

_Man._ What has been the matter, _John_?

_John Moody._ Why, we came up in such a hurry, you mun think, that our
tackle was not so tight as it should be.

_Man._ Come, tell us all----Pray how do they travel?

_John Moody._ Why, i'the awld coach, Measter, and 'cause my lady
loves to do things handsom, to be sure, she would have a couple of
cart-horses clapt to th' four old geldings, that neighbours might see
she went up to _London_ in her coach and six! And so _Giles Joulter_,
the ploughman, rides postillion!

_Man._ Very well! the journey sets out as it should do. [_Aside._]
What, do they bring all the children with them too?

_John Moody._ Noa, noa, only the younk squoire, and Miss _Jenny_. The
other foive are all out at board, at half a crown a head, a week, with
_Joan Growse_ at _Smoke-Dunghill_ farm.

_Man._ Good again! a right _English_ academy for younger children!

_John Moody._ Anon, Sir.

                                               [_Not understanding him._

Lady _Grace._ Poor souls! What will become of 'em?

_John Moody._ Nay, nay, for that matter, Madam, they are in very good
hands: _Joan_ loves 'em as thof' they were all her own: For she was
wet-nurse to every mother's babe of 'um----Ay, ay, they'll ne'er want
for a full belly there!

Lady _Grace._ What simplicity!

_Man._ The Lud 'a mercy on all good folks! what work will these people
make!

                                                [_Holding up his hands._

Lord _Town._ And when do you expect him here, _John_?

_John Moody._ Why we were in hopes to ha' come yesterday, an' it had
no' been, that th' owld wheaze-belly horse tir'd: And then we were so
cruelly loaden, that the two fore wheels came crash! down at once, in
_Waggon-Rut Lane_, and there we lost four hours 'fore we could set
things to rights again.

_Man._ So they bring all their baggage with the coach then?

_John Moody._ Ay, ay, and good store on't there is----Why my lady's
geer alone were as much as fill'd four portmantel trunks, besides the
great deal-box, that heavy _Ralph_ and the monkey sit upon behind.

Lord _Town_, Lady _Grace_, and _Man._ Ha! ha, ha!

Lady _Grace._ Well, Mr. _Moody_, and pray how many are they within the
coach?

_John Moody._ Why there's my Lady and his Worship; and the younk
squoire, and Miss _Jenny_, and the fat lap-dog, and my lady's maid,
Mrs. _Handy_, and _Doll Tripe_ the cook, that's all----Only _Doll_
puked a little with riding backward, so they hoisted her into the
coach-box--and then her stomach was easy.

Lady _Grace._ Oh! I see 'em! I see 'em go by me. Ah! ha!

                                                            [_Laughing._

_John Mood._ Then you mun think, measter, there was some stowage
for the belly, as well as th' back too; such cargoes of plumb-cake,
and baskets of tongues, and biscuits and cheese, and cold boil'd
beef----And then in case of sickness, bottles of cherry-brandy,
plague-water, sack, tent and strong-beer so plenty as made th' owld
coach crack again! Mercy upon them! and send 'em all well to town, I
say.

_Man._ Ay! And well out on't again, _John_.

_John Mood._ Ods bud! measter, you're a wise mon; and for that matter,
so am I--Whoam's whoam, I say: I'm sure we got but little good, e'er
sin' we turn'd our backs on't. Nothing but mischief! Some Devil's trick
or other plagued us, aw th' dey lung! Crack goes one thing: Bawnce!
goes another. Woa, says _Roger_----Then souse! we are all set fast in a
slough, Whaw! cries Miss! Scream go the maids! and bawl! just as thof'
they were stuck! and so, mercy on us! this was the trade from morning
to night. But my Lady was in such a murrain haste to be here, that set
out she would, thof' I told her it was _Childermas_ day.

_Man._ These ladies, these ladies, _John_----

_John Mood._ Ah, measter, I ha' seen a little of 'em; and I find that
the best----when she's mended, won't ha' much goodness to spare.

Lord _Town._ Well said, _John_. Ha! ha!

_Man._ I hope at least that you and your good woman agree still.

_John Mood._ Ay! ay! much of a muchness. _Bridget_ sticks to me:
Tho' as for her goodness--why, she was willing to come to _London_
too----But hawld a bit! Noa, noa, says I, there may be mischief enough
done without you.

_Man._ Why that was bravely spoken, _John_, and like a man.

_John Mood._ Ah, weast heart, were Measter but hawf the Mon that I
am----Ods wookers! thof' he'll speak stawtly too sometimes----But then
he conno' hawld it----no! he conno' hawld it.

Lord _Town._ Lady _Grace_.

_Man._ Ha! ha! ha!

_John Mood._ Ods flesh! But I mun hye me whoam! th' Coach will be
coming every hour naw----but Measter charg'd me to find your Worship
out; for he has hugey business with you; and will certainly wait upon
you, by that time he can put on a clean neckcloth.

_Man._ O _John_! I'll wait upon him.

_John Mood._ Why you wonno' be so kind, wull ye?

_Man._ If you'll tell me where you lodge.

_John Mood._ Just i'th' street next to where your Worship dwells,
the sign of the _Golden Ball_----It's Gold all over; where they sell
ribbands and flappits, and other sort of geer for Gentlewomen.

_Man._ A Milliner's?

_John Mood._ Ay, ay, one Mrs. _Motherly_: Waunds! she has a couple of
clever girls there stitching i'th' foreroom.

_Man._ Yes, yes, she's a woman of good business, no doubt on't----Who
recommended that house to you, _John_?

_John Mood._ The greatest good fortune in the world, sure! For as I was
gaping about streets, who should look out of the window there, but the
fine Gentleman, that was always riding by our Coach side, at _York_
Races----Count----_Basset_; ay, that's he.

_Man._ _Basset_? Oh, I remember; I know him by sight.

_John Mood._ Well! to be sure, as civil a Gentleman, to see to----

_Man._ As any sharper in town.

                                                               [_Aside._

_John Mood._ At York, he us'd to breakfast with my Lady every morning.

_Man._ Yes, yes, and I suppose her Ladyship will return his compliment
here in town.

                                                               [_Aside._

_John Mood._ Well, Measter----

Lord _Town._ My Service to Sir _Francis_ and my Lady, _John_.

Lady _Grace._ And mine, pray Mr. _Moody_.

_John Mood._ Ay, your honors, they'll be proud on't, I dare say.

_Man._ I'll bring my compliments myself: So, honest _John_----

_John Mood._ Dear Measter _Manly_! the goodness of goodness bless and
preserve you.

                                                   [_Exit ~John Moody~._

Lord _Town._ What a natural creature 'tis!

Lady _Grace._ Well! I can't but think _John_, in a wet afternoon in the
country, must be very good company.

Lord _Town._ O! the _Tramontane_! If this were known at half the
_quadrille_-tables in town, they would lay down their cards to laugh at
you.

Lady _Grace._ And the minute they took them up again they would do the
same at the losers----But to let you see, that I think good company may
sometimes want cards to keep them together: what think you if we three
sat soberly down, to kill an hour at _Ombre_?

_Man._ I shall be too hard for you, Madam.

Lady _Grace._ No matter! I shall have as much advantage of my Lord, as
you have of me.

Lord _Town._ Say you so, Madam? Have at you then! Here! get the
_ombre_-table, and cards.

                                                  [_Exit Lord ~Townly~._

Lady _Grace._ Come, Mr. _Manly_----I know you don't forgive me now!

_Man._ I don't know whether I ought to forgive your thinking so, Madam.
Where do you imagine I could pass my time so agreeably?

Lady _Grace._ I'm sorry my Lord is not here to take share of the
compliment----But he'll wonder what's become of us!

_Man._ I'll follow in a moment, Madam----

                                                   [_Exit ~Lady Grace~._

It must be so----she sees I love her----yet with what unoffending
decency she avoids an explanation! How amiable is every hour of her
conduct? What a vile opinion have I had of the whole sex, for these
ten years past, which this sensible creature has recovered in less
than one? Such a companion, sure, might compensate all the irksome
disappointments, that pride, folly and falshood ever gave me!

    Could women regulate, like her, their lives,
    What _Halcyon_ days were in the gift of wives!
    Vain rovers, then, might envy what they hate;
    And only fools would mock the married state.

                                                                [_Exit._



+ACT+ II. +SCENE+ I.

                  +SCENE+, _Mrs._ Motherly's _House_.


              _Enter Count ~Basset~ and Mrs. ~Motherly~._

Count _Bas._ I tell you there is not such a family in _England_, for
you! do you think I would have gone out of your lodgings for any body,
that was not sure to make you easy for the winter?

_Moth._ Nay, I see nothing against it, Sir, but the gentleman's being a
parliament man: and when people may, as it were, think one impertinent,
or be out of humour, you know, when a body comes to ask for one's
own----

Count _Bas._ Psha! Pr'ythee never trouble thy head--His pay is as good
as the bank!----Why, he has above two thousand a year!

_Moth._ Alas-a-day! that's nothing: Your people of ten thousand a year,
have ten thousand things to do with it.

Count _Bas._ Nay, if you are afraid of being out of your money; what do
you think of going a little with me, Mrs. _Motherly_?

_Moth._ As how?

Count _Bas._ Why I have a game in my head, in which, if you'll croup
me, that is, help me to play it, you shall go five hundred to nothing.

_Moth._ Say you so?----Why then, I go, Sir----and now pray let's see
your game.

Count _Bas._ Look you, in one word my cards lie thus--When I was down
this summer at _York_, I happened to lodge in the same house with this
Knight's lady, that's now coming to lodge with you.

_Moth._ Did you so, Sir?

Count _Bas._ And sometimes had the honour to breakfast, and pass an
idle hour with her----

_Moth._ Very good; and here I suppose you would have the impudence to
sup, and be busy with her.

Count _Bas._ Psha! pr'ythee hear me!

_Moth._ Is this your game? I would not give sixpence for it! What, you
have a passion for her pin-money----no, no, country ladies are not so
flush of it.

Count _Bas._ Nay, if you won't have patience----

_Moth._ One had need of a great deal, I am sure, to hear you talk at
this rate! Is this your way of making my poor _Myrtilla_ easy?

Count _Bas._ Death! I shall do it still, if the woman will but let me
speak----

_Moth._ Had not you a letter from her this morning?

Count _Bas._ I have it here in my pocket--this is it.

                                      [_Shews it, and puts it up again._

_Moth._ Ay, but I don't find you have made any answer to it.

Count _Bas._ How the devil can I, if you won't hear me!

_Moth._ What! hear you talk of another woman?

Count _Bas._ O lud! O lud! I tell you, I'll make her fortune----'Ounds!
I'll marry her.

_Moth._ A likely matter! if you would not do it when she was a maid,
your stomach is not so sharp set now, I presume.

Count _Bas._ Hey day! why your blood begins to turn, my dear! the
devil! you did not think I proposed to marry her myself!

_Moth._ If you don't, who the devil do you think will marry her?

Count _Bas._ Why, a fool----

_Moth._ Humph! there may be sense in that----

Count _Bas._ Very good----One for t'other then; if I can help her to a
husband, why should not you come into my scheme of helping me to a wife?

_Moth._ Your pardon, Sir! ay! ay! in an honourable affair, you know you
may command me----but pray where is this blessed wife and husband to be
had?

Count _Bas._ Now have a little patience----You must know then, this
country Knight, and his lady, bring up, in the coach with them, their
eldest son and a daughter, to teach them to----wash their faces, and
turn their toes out.

_Moth._ Good!

Count _Bas._ The son is an unlick'd whelp, about sixteen, just taken
from school; and begins to hanker after every wench in the family: The
daughter much of the same age, a pert, forward hussy, who having eight
thousand pound left her by an old doating grandmother, seems to have a
devilish mind to be doing in her way too.

_Moth._ And your design is to put her into business for life?

Count _Bas._ Look you, in short, Mrs. _Motherly_, we gentlemen whose
occasional chariots roll, only, upon the four aces, are liable
sometimes you know, to have a wheel out of order: Which, I confess, is
so much my case at present, that my dapple greys are reduced to a pair
of ambling chairmen: Now, if with your assistance, I can whip up this
young jade into a hackney-coach, I may chance, in a day or two after,
to carry her in my own chariot _en famille_, to an opera. Now what do
you say to me?

_Moth._ Why, I shall not sleep--for thinking of it. But how will you
prevent the family's smoaking your design?

Count _Bas._ By renewing my addresses to the mother.

_Moth._ And how will the daughter like that, think you?

Count _Bas._ Very well----whilst it covers her own affair.

_Moth._ That's true----it must do----but, as you say, one for t'other,
Sir, I stick to that--if you don't do my niece's business with the son,
I'll blow you with the daughter, depend upon't.

Count _Bas._ It's a bett--pay as we go, I tell you, and the five
hundred shall be staked in a third hand.

_Moth._ That's honest----But here comes my niece! shall we let her into
the secret?

Count _Bas._ Time enough! may be I may touch upon it.

                          _Enter ~Myrtilla~._

_Moth._ So, niece, are all the rooms done out, and the beds sheeted?

_Myr._ Yes, Madam, but Mr. _Moody_ tells us the lady always burns wax,
in her own chamber, and we have none in the house.

_Moth._ Odso! then I must beg your pardon, Count; this is a busy time,
you know.

                                                [_Exit Mrs. ~Motherly~._

Count _Bas._ _Myrtilla_! how dost do, child?

_Myr._ As well as a losing gamester can.

Count _Bas._ Why, what have you lost?

_Myr._ What I shall never recover; and what's worse, you that have won
it, don't seem to be much the better for't.

Count _Bas._ Why child, dost thou ever see any body overjoyed for
winning a deep stake, six months after 'tis over?

_Myr._ Would I had never play'd for it!

Count _Bas._ Psha! Hang these melancholy thoughts; we may be friends
still.

_Myr._ Dull ones.

Count _Bas._ Useful ones perhaps----suppose I should help thee to a
good husband?

_Myr._ I suppose you think any one good enough that will take me off
your hands.

Count _Bas._ What do you think of the young country 'Squire, the heir
of the family, that's coming to lodge here?

_Myr._ How should I know what to think of him?

Count _Bas._ Nay, I only give you the hint, child; it may be worth your
while, at least, to look about you--Hark! what bustle's that without.

                   _Enter Mrs. ~Motherly~ in haste._

_Moth._ Sir! Sir! the gentleman's coach is at the door! they are all
come!

Count _Bas._ What, already?

_Moth._ They are just getting out!----won't you step and lead in my
Lady? Do you be in the way, Niece! I must run and receive them.

                                                [_Exit Mrs. ~Motherly~._

Count _Bas._ And think of what I told you.

                                                        [_Exit ~Count~._

_Myr._ Ay! ay! you have left me enough to think of, as long as I
live----a faithless fellow! I'm sure I have been true to him; and for
that very reason, he wants to be rid of me: But while women are weak,
men will be rogues! And for a bane to both their joys and ours; when
our vanity indulges them, in such innocent favours as make them adore
us; we can never be well, 'till we grant them the very one, that puts
an end to their devotion--But here comes my aunt, and the company.

         _Mrs. ~Motherly~ returns shewing in Lady ~Wronghead~,
                        led by Count ~Basset~._

_Moth._ If your Ladyship pleases to walk into this parlour, Madam, only
for the present, 'till your servants have got all your things in.

Lady _Wrong._ Well! dear Sir, this is so infinitely obliging!--I
protest it gives me pain tho' to turn you out of your lodging thus!

Count _Bas._ No trouble in the least, Madam; we single fellows are soon
mov'd; besides, Mrs. _Motherly_'s my old acquaintance, and I could not
be her hindrance.

_Moth._ The Count is so well bred, Madam, I dare say he would do a
great deal more, to accommodate your Ladyship.

Lady _Wrong._ O dear Madam!----A good well bred sort of woman.

                                                [_Apart to the ~Count~._

Count _Bas._ O Madam, she is very much among people of quality, she is
seldom without them, in her house.

Lady _Wrong._ Are there a good many people of quality in this street,
Mrs. _Motherly_?

_Moth._ Now your Ladyship is here, Madam, I don't believe there is a
house without them.

Lady _Wrong._ I am mighty glad of that: for really I think people of
quality should always live among one another.

Count _Bas._ 'Tis what one would choose indeed, Madam.

Lady _Wrong._ Bless me! but where are the children all this while?

_Moth._ Sir _Francis_, Madam, I believe is taking care of them.

Sir _Fran._ [_Within._] _John Moody_! stay you by the coach, and see
all our things out--Come, children.

_Moth._ Here they are, Madam.

       _Enter Sir ~Francis~, Squire ~Richard~, and Miss ~Jenny~._

Sir _Fran._ Well, Count! I mun say it, this was koynd, indeed!

Count _Bas._ Sir _Francis_! give me leave to bid you welcome to
_London_.

Sir _Fran._ Psha! how dost do, mon----waunds, I'm glad to see thee! A
good sort of a house this!

Count _Bas._ Is not that master _Richard_?

Sir _Fran._ Ey! ey! that's young hopeful----why dost not baw, _Dick_?

Squ. _Rich._ So I do, feyther.

Count _Bas._ Sir I'm glad to see you----I protest Mrs. _Jane_ is grown
so, I should not have known her.

Sir _Fran._ Come forward, _Jenny_.

_Jenny._ Sure, papa, do you think I don't know how to behave myself?

Count _Bas._ If I have permission to approach her, Sir _Francis_.

_Jenny._ Lord, Sir, I'm in such a frightful pickle----

                                                              [_Salute._

Count _Bas._ Every dress that's proper must become you, Madam,----you
have been a long journey.

_Jenny._ I hope you will see me in a better, to-morrow, Sir.

          [_Lady ~Wrong.~ whispers Mrs. ~Moth.~ pointing to ~Myrtilla~._

_Moth._ Only a niece of mine, Madam, that lives with me: she will be
proud to give your Ladyship any assistance in her power.

Lady _Wrong._ A pretty sort of a woman.----_Jenny_, you two must be
acquainted.

_Jenny._ O, Mama! I am never strange, in a strange place!

                                                  [_Salutes ~Myrtilla~._

_Myr._ You do me a great deal of honour, Madam----Madam, your
Ladyship's welcome to _London_.

_Jenny._ Mama! I like her prodigiously! she call'd me my Ladyship.

Squ. _Rich._ Pray mother, mayn't I be acquainted with her too!

Lady _Wrong._ You, you clown! stay 'till you learn a little more
breeding first.

Sir _Fran._ Od's heart! my Lady _Wronghead_! why do you balk the lad?
how should he ever learn breeding, if he does not put himself forward?

Squ. _Rich._ Why ay, feather, does moather think 'at I'd be uncivil to
her?

_Myr._ Master has so much good-humour, Madam, he would soon gain upon
any body.

                                                     [_He kisses ~Myr~._

Squ. _Rich._ Lo' you there, Moather: and you would but be quiet, she
and I should do well enough.

Lady _Wrong._ Why, how now, sirrah! Boys must not be so familiar.

Squ. _Rich._ Why, an' I know nobody, haw the murrain mun I pass my time
here, in a strange place? Naw you and I and sister, forsooth, sometimes
in an afternoon moy play at one and thirty bone-ace, purely.

_Jenny._ Speak for yourself, Sir! D'ye think I play at such clownish
games?

Squ. _Rich._ Why and you woant yo' ma' let it aloane; then she, and I,
mayhap, will have a bawt at All-fours, without you.

Sir _Fran._ Noa! Noa! _Dick_, that won't do neither; you mun learn to
make one at Ombre, here, Child.

_Myr._ If Master pleases, I'll shew it him.

Squ. _Rich._ What! the _Humber_! Hoy day! why does our River run to
this Tawn, Feather?

Sir _Fran._ Pooh! you silly Tony! Ombre is a geam at cards, that the
better sort of people play three together at.

Squ. _Rich._ Nay the moare the merrier, I say; but Sister is always so
cross grain'd----

_Jenny._ Lord! this Boy is enough to deaf people----and one has really
been stuft up in a Coach so long, that----Pray Madam----could not I
get a little powder for my hair?

_Myr._ If you please to come along with me, Madam.

                                           [_Exeunt ~Myr.~ and ~Jenny~._

Squ. _Rich._ What, has Sister ta'en her away naw! mess, I'll go and
have a little game with 'em.

                                                      [_Ex. after them._

Lady _Wrong._ Well, Count, I hope you won't so far change your
lodgings, but you will come, and be at home here sometimes?

Sir _Fran._ Ay, ay! pr'ythee come and take a bit of mutton with us, naw
and tan, when thouh'st nowght to do.

Count _Bas._ Well, Sir _Francis_, you shall find I'll make but very
little ceremony.

Sir _Fran._ Why ay naw, that's hearty!

_Moth._ Will your Ladyship please to refresh yourself, with a dish of
tea, after your fatigue? I think I have pretty good.

Lady _Wrong._ If you please, Mrs. _Motherly_; but I believe we had best
have it above stairs.

_Moth._ Very well, Madam: it shall be ready immediately.

                                                [_Exit Mrs. ~Motherly~._

Lady _Wrong._ Won't you walk up, Sir?

Sir _Fran._ _Moody!_

Count _Bas._ Shan't we stay for Sir _Francis_, Madam?

Lady _Wrong._ Lard! don't mind him! he will come if he likes it.

_Sir Fran._ Ay, ay! ne'er heed me----I ha' things to look after.

                                [_Exeunt Lady ~Wrong.~ and ~Count Bas~._

                         _Enter ~John Moody~._

_John Moody._ Did you Worship want muh?

Sir _Fran._ Ay, is the coach clear'd? and all our things in?

_John Moody._ Aw but a few band-boxes, and the nook that's left o'th'
goose poy----But a plague on him, th' Monkey has gin us the slip, I
think----I suppose he's goon to see his relations; for here looks to be
a power of 'um in this town----but heavy _Ralph_ is skawer'd after him.

Sir _Fran._ Why, let him go to the Devil! no matter, and the hawnds
had had him a month agoe----but I wish the coach and horses were got
safe to th' Inn! This is a sharp tawn, we mun look about us here,
_John_, therefore I would have you go alung with _Roger_, and see that
nobody runs away with them before they get to their stable.

_John Moody._ Alas-a-day, Sir: I believe our awld cattle woant yeasily
be run away with to-night--but howsomdever, we'st ta' the best care we
can of um, poor sawls.

Sir _Francis._ Well, well! make hast then----

                                       [_~Moody~ goes out, and returns._

_John Moody._ Ods Flesh! here's Master _Monly_ come to wait upo' your
Worship!

Sir _Fran._ Wheere is he?

_John Moody._ Just coming in at threshould.

Sir _Fran._ Then goa about your Business.

                                                         [_Ex. ~Moody~._

                            _Enter ~Manly~._

Cousin _Monly._ Sir, I am your very humble servant.

_Man._ I heard you were come, Sir _Francis_--and--

Sir _Fran._ Ods-heart! this was so kindly done of you naw.

_Man._ I wish you may think it so, Cousin! for I confess, I should have
been better-pleas'd to have seen you in any other place.

Sir _Fran._ How soa, Sir?

_Man._ Nay, 'tis for your own sake: I'm not concern'd.

Sir _Fran._ Look you, Cousin! thof' I know you wish me well; yet I
don't question I shall give you such weighty reasons for what I have
done, that you will say, Sir, this is the wisest Journey that ever I
made in my life.

_Man._ I think it ought to be, Cousin; for I believe, you will find
it the most expensive one--your Election did not cost you a trifle, I
suppose.

Sir _Fran._ Why ay! it's true! That--that did lick a little; but if a
man's wise, (and I han't fawn'd yet that I'm a fool) there are ways,
Cousin, to lick one's self whole again.

_Man._ Nay if you have that secret----

Sir _Fran._ Don't you be fearful, Cousin----you'll find that I know
something.

_Man._ If it be any thing for your good, I should be glad to know it
too.

Sir _Fran._ In short then, I have a friend in a corner, that has let me
a little into what's what, at _Westminster_----that's one thing.

_Man._ Very well! but what good is that to do you?

Sir _Fran._ Why not me, as much as it does other folks?

_Man._ Other people, I doubt, have the advantage of different
qualifications.

Sir _Fran._ Why ay! there's it naw! you'll say that I have lived all my
days i'the country----what then----I'm o'the _Quorum_----I have been at
Sessions, and I have made Speeches there! ay, and at Vestry too----and
may hap they may find here,----that I have brought my tongue up to town
with me! D'ye take me, naw?

_Man._ If I take your case right, Cousin; I am afraid the first
occasion you will have for your eloquence here, will be, to shew that
you have any right to make use of it at all.

Sir _Fran._ How d'ye mean?

_Man._ That Sir _John Worthland_ has lodg'd a Petition against you.

Sir _Fran._ Petition! why ay! there let it lie----we'll find a way to
deal with that, I warrant you!----why, you forget, Cousin, Sir _John_'s
o'the wrong side, Mon.

_Man._ I doubt Sir _Francis_, that will do you but little service; for
in cases very notorious (which I take yours to be) there is such a
thing as a short day, and dispatching them immediately.

Sir _Fran._ With all my heart! the sooner I send him home again the
better.

_Man._ And this is the scheme you have laid down, to repair your
fortune?

Sir _Fran._ In one word, Cousin, I think it my duty! the _Wrongheads_
have been a considerable Family, ever since _England_ was _England_;
and since the World knows I have talents where withal, they shan't say
it's my fault, if I don't make as good a figure as any that ever were
at the head on't.

_Man._ Nay! this project, as you have laid it, will come up to any
thing your Ancestors have done these five hundred years.

Sir _Fran._ And let me alone to work it! mayhap I hav'n't told you all,
neither----

_Man._ You astonish me! what! and is it full as practicable as what you
have told me!

Sir _Fran._ Ay! thof' I say it----every whit, Cousin? you'll find that
I have more irons i'the fire than one! I doan't come of a fool's errand!

_Man._ Very well.

Sir _Fran._ In a word, my wife has got a friend at Court, as well as
myself, and her daughter _Jenny_ is naw pretty well grown up----

_Man._ [_Aside._]--And what in the Devil's name would he do with the
Dowdy?

Sir _Fran._ Naw, if I doan't lay in for a husband for her, mayhap
i'this Tawn, she may be looking out for herself----

_Man._ Not unlikely.

Sir _Fran._ Therefore I have some thoughts of getting her to be Maid of
Honour.

_Man._ [_Aside._]--Oh! he has taken my breath away! but I must hear
him out----Pray, Sir _Francis_, do you think her education has yet
qualified her for a Court?

Sir _Fran._ Why, the Girl is a little too mettlesome, it's true! but
she has tongue enough: She woan't be dasht! Then she shall learn to
daunce forthwith, and that will soon teach her how to stond still, you
know.

_Man._ Very well; but when she is thus accomplish'd, you must still
wait for a vacancy.

Sir _Fran._ Why I hope one has a good chance for that every day,
Cousin! For if I take it right, that's a post, that folks are not
more willing to get into, than they are to get out of--It's like an
Orange-tree, upon that accawnt----it will bear blossoms, and fruit
that's ready to drop, at the same time.

_Man._ Well, Sir, you best know how to make good your pretensions! But
pray where is my Lady, and my young Cousins? I should be glad to see
them too.

Sir _Fran._ She is but just taking a dish of tea with the Count, and my
Landlady--I'll call her dawn.

_Man._ No, no, if she's engag'd, I shall call again.

Sir _Fran._ Ods-heart! but you mun see her naw, Cousin; what! the
best Friend I have in the World!----Here! Sweet-heart! [_To a Servant
without._] pr'ythee desire my Lady, and the Gentleman to come down a
bit; tell her here's Cousin _Manly_ come to wait upon her.

_Man._ Pray, Sir, who may the Gentleman be?

Sir _Fran._ You mun know him to be sure; why it's Count _Basset_.

_Man._ Oh! is it he?--Your Family will be infinitely happy in his
acquaintance.

Sir _Fran._ Troth! I think so too: He's the civilest Man that ever I
knew in my life----why! here he would go out of his own lodging, at an
hour's warning, purely to oblige my family. Wasn't that kind, naw?

_Man._ Extremely civil--the Family is in admirable hands already.

Sir _Fran._ Then my Lady likes him hugely--all the time of _York_
Races, she would never be without him.

_Man._ That was happy, indeed! and a prudent Man, you know, should
always take care that his Wife may have innocent company.

Sir _Fran._ Why ay! that's it! and I think there could not be such
another.

_Man._ Why truly, for her purpose, I think not.

Sir _Fran._ Only naw and tan, he--he stonds a leetle too much upon
ceremony; that's his fault.

_Man._ O never fear! he'll mend that every day----Mercy on us! what a
head he has!

Sir _Fran._ So! here they come!

     _Enter Lady ~Wronghead~, Count ~Basset~, and Mrs. ~Motherly~._

Lady _Wrong._ Cousin _Manly_! this is infinitely obliging! I am
extremely glad to see you.

_Man._ Your most obedient Servant, Madam; I am glad to see your
Ladyship look so well, after your Journey.

Lady _Wrong._ Why really! coming to _London_ is apt to put a little
more life in one's looks.

_Man._ Yet the way of living here, is very apt to deaden the
complexion----and give me leave to tell you, as a friend, Madam, you
are come to the worst place in the world, for a good woman to grow
better in.

Lady _Wrong._ Lord, Cousin! how should people ever make any figure in
life, that are always moap'd up in the country?

Count _Bas._ Your Ladyship certainly takes the thing in a quite right
light, Madam: Mr. _Manly_, your humble Servant----a hem.

_Man._ Familiar Puppy. [_Aside._] Sir, your most obedient----I must be
civil to the Rascal, to cover my suspicion of him.

                                                               [_Aside._

Count _Bas._ Was you at _White_'s this morning, Sir?

_Man._ Yes, Sir, I just call'd in.

Count _Bas._ Pray--what--was there any thing done there?

_Man._ Much as usual, Sir; the same daily carcases, and the same crows
about them.

Count _Bas._ The _Demoivre_-Baronet had a bloody tumble yesterday.

_Man._ I hope, Sir, you had your share of him.

Count _Bas._ No, faith! I came in when it was all over----I think I
just made a couple of Bets with him, took up a cool hundred, and so
went to the _King's Arms_.

Lady _Wrong._ What a genteel, easy manner he has!

                                                               [_Aside._

_Man._ A very hopeful acquaintance I have made here.

                                                               [_Aside._

         _Enter Squire ~Richard~, with a wet brown Paper on his
                                 face._

Sir _Fran._ How naw, _Dick_! what's the matter with thy forehead, Lad?

Squ. _Rich._ I ha' gotten a knuck upon't.

Lady _Wrong._ And how did you come by it, you heedless creature?

Squ. _Rich._ Why, I was but running after sister, and t'other young
woman, into a little room just naw: and so with that, they flapt the
door full in my feace, and gave me such a whurr here--I thought they
had beaten my brains out! so I gut a dab of wet brown paper here, to
swage it a while.

Lady _Wrong._ They serv'd you right enough! will you never have done
with your horse-play?

Sir _Fran._ Pooh! never heed it, Lad! it will be well by to-morrow--the
Boy has a strong head!

_Man._ Yes, truly, his skull seems to be of a comfortable thickness.

                                                               [_Aside._

Sir _Fran._ Come, _Dick_, here's Cousin _Manly_----Sir, this is your
God-son.

Lady _Wrong._ Oh! here's my daughter too.

                         _Enter Miss ~Jenny~._

Squ. _Rich._ Honour'd Gudfeyther! I crave leave to ask your blessing.

_Man._ Thou hast it, Child----and if it will do thee any good, may it
be to make thee, at least, as wise a man as thy father.

Lady _Wrong._ Miss _Jenny_! don't you see your cousin, Child?

_Man._ And for thee, my pretty Dear--[_Salutes her._] may'st thou be,
at least, as good a woman as thy mother.

_Jenny._ I wish I may ever be so handsome, Sir.

_Man._ Hah! Miss Pert! Now that's a thought, that seems to have been
hatcht in the girl on this side _Highgate_.

                                                               [_Aside._

Sir _Fran._ Her tongue is a little nimble, Sir.

Lady _Wrong._ That's only from her country education, Sir _Francis_.
You know she has been kept too long there----so I brought her to
_London_, Sir, to learn a little more reserve and modesty.

_Man._ O, the best place in the world for it--every woman she meets
will teach her something of it----There's the good gentlewoman of the
house, looks like a knowing person; even she perhaps will be so good as
to shew her a little _London_ behaviour.

_Moth._ Alas, Sir, Miss won't stand long in need of my instructions.

_Man._ That I dare say: What thou can'st teach her, she will soon be
Mistress of.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Moth._ If she does, Sir, they shall always be at her service.

Lady _Wrong._ Very obliging indeed, Mrs. _Motherly_.

Sir _Fran._ Very kind and civil, truly----I think we are got into a
mighty good hawse here.

_Man._ O yes, and very friendly company.

Count _Bas._ Humh! I'gad I don't like his looks----he seems a little
smoky----I believe I had as good brush off----If I stay, I don't know
but he may ask me some odd questions.

_Man._ Well, Sir, I believe you and I do but hinder the family----

Count _Bas._ It's very true, Sir--I was just thinking of going----He
don't care to leave me, I see: But it's no matter, we have time enough.
[_Aside._] And so Ladies, without ceremony, your humble Servant.

                             [_Exit Count ~Basset~, and drops a Letter._

Lady _Wrong._ Ha! what Paper's this? Some Billet-doux I'll lay my life,
but this is no place to examine it.

                                               [_Puts it in her Pocket._

Sir _Fran._ Why in such haste, Cousin?

_Man._ O! my Lady must have a great many affairs upon her hands, after
such a journey.

Lady _Wrong._ I believe, Sir, I shall not have much less every day,
while I stay in this town, of one sort or other.

_Man._ Why truly, Ladies seldom want employment here, Madam.

_Jenny._ And Mamma did not come to it to be idle, Sir.

_Man._ Nor you neither, I dare say, my young Mistress.

_Jenny._ I hope not, Sir.

_Man._ Ha! Miss Mettle!----Where are you going Sir?

Sir _Fran._ Only to see you to the door, Sir.

_Man._ Oh! Sir Francis, I love to come and go, without ceremony.

Sir _Fran._ Nay, Sir, I must do as you will have me--your humble
Servant.

                                                        [_Exit ~Manly~._

_Jenny._ This Cousin _Manly_, Papa, seems to be but of an odd sort of a
crusty humour----I don't like him half so well as the Count.

Sir _Fran._ Pooh! that's another thing, Child----Cousin is a little
proud indeed! but however you must always be civil to him, for he has a
deal of money; and no body knows who he may give it to.

Lady _Wrong._ Pshah; a fig for his money, you have so many projects
of late about money, since you are a Parliament Man: What! we must
make ourselves slaves to his impertinent humours, eight, or ten years
perhaps, in hopes to be his heirs, and then he will be just old enough
to marry his maid.

_Moth._ Nay, for that matter, Madam, the town says he is going to be
married already.

Sir _Fran._ Who? Cousin _Manly_?

Lady _Wrong._ To whom, pray?

_Moth._ Why, is it possible your Ladyship should know nothing of
it!----to my Lord _Townly_'s sister, Lady _Grace_.

Lady _Wrong._ Lady _Grace_?

_Moth._ Dear Madam, it has been in the New-Papers!

Lady _Wrong._ I don't like that neither.

Sir _Fran._ Naw, I do; for then it's likely it mayn't be true.

Lady _Wrong._ [_Aside._] If it is not too far gone; at least it may be
worth one's while to throw a rub in his way.

Squ. _Rich._ Pray, Feyther, haw lung will it be to supper?

Sir _Fran._ Odso! that's true! step to the Cook, Lad, and ask what she
can get us?

_Moth._ If you please, Sir, I'll order one of my maids to shew her
where she may have any thing you have a mind to.

Sir _Fran._ Thank you kindly, Mrs. _Motherly_.

Squ. _Rich._ Ods-flesh! what, is not it i'the hawse yet----I shall be
famisht----but howld! I'll go and ask _Doll_, an there's none o'the
goose poy left.

Sir _Fran._ Do so, and do'st hear, _Dick_----see if there's e'er a
bottle o'th' strong beer that came i'th' coach with us----if there be,
clap a toast in it, and bring it up.

Squ. _Rich._ With a little nutmeg and sugar, shawn't I, Feyther?

Sir _Fran._ Ay! ay! as thee and I always drink it for breakfast--Go
thy ways!----and I'll fill a pipe i'th' mean while. [_Takes one from a
Pocket-Case, and fills it._]

                                                    [_Exit Squ. ~Rich~._

Lady _Wrong._ This Boy is always thinking of his belly!

Sir _Fran._ Why my Dear, you may allow him to be a little hungry after
his journey.

Lady _Wrong._ Nay, ev'n breed him your own way--He has been cramming in
or out of the coach all this day I am sure--I wish my poor Girl could
eat a quarter as much.

_Jenny._ O for that I could eat a great deal more, Mamma; but then
mayhap, I should grow coarse, like him, and spoil my shape.

Lady _Wrong._ Ay, so thou would'st, my Dear.

             _Enter Squire ~Richard~ with a full Tankard._

Squ. _Rich._ Here, Feyther, I ha' browght it----it's well I went as I
did; for our _Doll_ had just bak'd a toast, and was going to drink it
herself.

Sir _Fran._ Why then, here's to thee, _Dick_!

                                                              [_Drinks._

Squ. _Rich._ Thonk yow, Feyther.

Lady _Wrong._ Lord! Sir _Francis_! I wonder you can encourage the Boy
to swill so much of that lubberly liquor----it's enough to make him
quite stupid.

Squ. _Rich._ Why it never hurts me, Mother; and I sleep like a hawnd
after it.

                                                              [_Drinks._

Sir _Fran._ I am sure I ha' drunk it these thirty years, and by your
leave, Madam, I don't know that I want wit: Ha! ha!

_Jenny._ But you might have had a great deal more, Papa, if you would
have been govern'd by my Mother.

Sir _Fran._ Daughter! he that is governed by his Wife, has no wit at
all.

_Jenny._ Then I hope I shall marry a fool, Sir; for I love to govern
dearly.

Sir _Fran._ You are too pert, child; it don't do well in a young woman.

Lady _Wrong._ Pray, Sir _Francis_, don't snub her; she has a fine
growing spirit, and if you check her so, you will make her as dull as
her brother there.

Squ. _Rich._ [_After a long draught._] Indeed, Mother, I think my
sister is too forward!

_Jenny._ You! you think I'm too forward! sure! Brother Mud! your head's
too heavy to think of any thing but your Belly.

Lady _Wrong._ Well said, Miss; he's none of your Master, tho' he is
your elder Brother.

Squ. _Rich._ No, nor she shawn't be my Mistress, while she's younger
sister!

Sir _Fran._ Well said _Dick_! Shew 'em that stawt liquor makes a stawt
heart, Lad!

Squ. _Rich._ So I wull! and I'll drink ageen, for all her!

                                                              [_Drinks._

                         _Enter ~John Moody~._

Sir _Fran._ So _John_! how are the horses!

_John Moody._ Troth, Sir, I ha' noa good opinion o' this tawn, it's
made up o' mischief, I think!

Sir _Fran._ What's the matter naw?

_John Moody._ Why I'll tell your Worship----before we were gotten to
th' street end, with the coach, here, a great lugger-headed cart, with
wheels as thick as a brick wall, laid hawld on't, and has poo'd it aw
to bits; crack! went the perch! Down goes the coach! and whang! says
the glasses, all to shivers! Marcy upon us! and this be _London_! would
we were aw weell in the country ageen!

_Jenny._ What have you to do, to wish us all in the country again,
Mr. Lubber? I hope we shall not go into the country again these seven
years, Mamma; let twenty coaches be pull'd to pieces.

Sir _Fran._ Hold your tongue, _Jenny_!----Was _Roger_ in no fault, in
all this?

_John Moody._ Noa, Sir, nor I, noather----are not yow asheam'd, says
_Roger_ to the carter, to do such an unkind thing by strangers? Noa,
says he, you Bumkin. Sir, he did the thing on very purpose! and so the
folks said that stood by--Very well, says _Roger_, yow shall see what
our Meyster will say to ye! Your Meyster? says he; your Meyster may
kiss my--and so he clapt his hand just there, and like your Worship.
Flesh! I thought they had better breeding in this tawn.

Sir _Fran._ I'll teach this rascal some, I'll warrant him! Odsbud! if I
take him in hand, I'll play the Devil with him.

Squ. _Rich._ Ay do, Feyther; have him before the Parliament.

Sir _Fran._ Odsbud! and so I will----I will make him know who I am!
Where does he live?

_John Moody._ I believe, in _London_, Sir.

Sir _Fran._ What's the Rascal's name!

_John Moody._ I think I heard somebody call him _Dick_.

Squ. _Rich._ What, my name!

Sir _Fran._ Where did he go?

_John Moody._ Sir, he went home.

Sir _Fran._ Where's that?

_John Moody._ By my troth, Sir, I doan't know! I heard him say he would
cross the same street again to-morrow; and if we had a mind to stand in
his way, he wou'd pool us over and over again.

Sir _Fran._ Will he so! Odszooks! get me a Constable.

Lady _Wrong._ Pooh! get you a good supper. Come, Sir _Francis_, don't
put yourself in a heat for what can't be helpt. Accidents will happen
to people that travel abroad to see the world----For my part, I think
it's a mercy it was not overturn'd before we were all out on't.

Sir _Fran._ Why ay, that's true again, my Dear.

Lady _Wrong._ Therefore see to-morrow if we can buy one at second-hand,
for present use; so bespeak a new one, and then all's easy.

_John Moody._ Why troth, Sir, I doan't think this could have held you
above a day longer.

Sir _Fran._ D'ye think so, _John_?

_John Moody._ Why you ha' had it, ever since your Worship were High
Sheriff.

Sir _Fran._ Why then go and see what _Doll_ has got us for supper--and
come and get off my boots.

                                                     [_Exit Sir ~Fran~._

Lady _Wrong._ In the mean time, Miss, do you step to _Handy_, and bid
her get me some fresh night-clothes.

                                                   [_Exit Lady ~Wrong~._

_Jenny._ Yes, Mamma, and some for myself too.

                                                        [_Exit ~Jenny~._

Squ. _Rich._ Ods-flesh! and what mun I do all alone?

I'll e'en seek out where t'other pretty Miss is, And she and I'll go
play at cards for kisses.

                                                                [_Exit._



+ACT+ III. +SCENE+ I.

                 +SCENE+, _the Lord_ Townly's _House_.


              _Enter Lord ~Townly~, a Servant attending._

Lord _Town._ Who's there!

_Serv._ My Lord.

Lord _Town._ Bid them get dinner----Lady _Grace_, your Servant.

                         _Enter Lady ~Grace~._

Lady _Grace._ What, is the house up already? My Lady is not drest yet!

Lord _Town._ No matter--it's three o'clock--she may break my rest, but
she shall not alter my hours.

Lady _Grace._ Nay, you need not fear that now, for she dines abroad.

Lord _Town._ That, I suppose, is only an excuse for her not being ready
yet.

Lady _Grace._ No, upon my word, she is engaged to company.

Lord _Town._ Where, pray?

Lady _Grace._ At my Lady _Revel_'s; and you know they never dine 'till
supper-time.

Lord _Town._ No truly----she is one of those orderly Ladies, who never
let the sun shine upon any of their vices!----But pr'ythee, Sister,
what humour is she in to-day?

Lady _Grace._ O! in tip-top spirits, I can assure you----she won a good
deal, last night.

Lord _Town._ I know no difference between her winning or losing, while
she continues her course of life.

Lady _Grace._ However she is better in good Humour, than bad.

Lord _Town._ Much alike: When she is in good humour, other people only
are the better for it: When in a very ill humour, then, indeed, I
seldom fail to have my share of her.

Lady _Grace._ Well, we won't talk of that now----Does any body dine
here?

Lord _Town._ _Manly_ promis'd me--by the way, Madam, what do you think
of his last conversation?

Lady _Grace._----I am a little at a stand about it.

Lord _Town._ How so?

Lady _Grace._ Why----I don't know how he can ever have any thoughts of
me, that could lay down such severe rules upon wives, in my hearing.

Lord _Town._ Did you think his rules unreasonable?

Lady _Grace._ I can't say I did: But he might have had a little more
complaisance before me, at least.

Lord _Town._ Complaisance is only a proof of good breeding: But his
plainness was a certain proof of his honesty; nay, of his good opinion
of you: For he would never have open'd himself so freely, but in
confidence that your good sense could not be disobliged at it.

Lady _Grace._ My good opinion of him, Brother, has hitherto been guided
by yours: But I have receiv'd a letter this morning that shews him a
very different Man from what I thought him.

Lord _Town._ A letter from whom?

Lady _Grace._ That I don't know, but there it is.

                                                      [_Gives a Letter._

Lord _Town._ Pray let's see.

                                                               [_Reads._

  _The Inclos'd, Madam, fell accidentally into my hands; if it no way
    concerns you, you will only have the trouble of reading this,
    from your sincere Friend and humble Servant, Unknown_, &c.

Lady _Grace._ And this was the inclos'd.

                                                      [_Giving another._

Lord _Town._ [_Reads._] _To ~Charles Manly~, Esq._

  _Your manner of living with me of late, convinces me, that I now
    grow as painful to you, as to myself: but however, though you can
    love me no longer, I hope you will not let me live worse than I
    did, before I left an honest Income, for the vain Hopes of being
    ever Yours._

                                                          Myrtilla Dupe.

  P. S. _'Tis above four Months since I receiv'd a Shilling from you._

Lady _Grace._ What think you now?

Lord _Town._ I am considering----

Lady _Grace._ You see it's directed to him----

Lord _Town._ That's true! but the Postscript seems to be a reproach,
that I think he is not capable of deserving.

Lady _Grace._ But who could have concern enough, to send it to me?

Lord _Town._ I have observed that these sort of letters from unknown
friends, generally come from secret enemies.

Lady _Grace._ What would you have me do in it?

Lord _Town._ What I think you ought to do----fairly shew it him, and
say I advis'd you to it.

Lady _Grace._ Will not that have a very odd look, from me?

Lord _Town._ Not at all, if you use my name in it: if he is innocent,
his impatience to appear so, will discover his regard to you: If he is
guilty, it will be your best way of preventing his addresses.

Lady _Grace._ But what pretence have I to put him out of countenance?

Lord _Town._ I can't think there's any fear of that.

Lady _Grace._ Pray what is't you do think then?

Lord _Town._ Why certainly, that it's much more probable, this letter
may be all an artifice, than that he is in the least concern'd in it----

                           _Enter a Servant._

_Serv._ Mr. _Manly_, my Lord.

Lord _Town._ Do you receive him; while I step a minute in to my Lady.

                                                  [_Exit ~Lord Townly~._

                            _Enter ~Manly~._

_Man._ Madam, your most obedient; they told me, my Lord was here.

Lady _Grace._ He will be here presently: He is but just gone in to my
sister.

_Man._ So! then my Lady dines with us.

Lady _Grace._ No; she is engag'd.

_Man._ I hope you are not of her party, Madam?

Lady _Grace._ Not till after dinner.

_Man._ And pray how may she have dispos'd of the rest of the day?

Lady _Grace._ Much as usual! she has visits 'till about eight; after
that 'till court time, she is to be at Quadrille, at Mrs. _Idle_'s:
After the Drawing-room, she takes a short supper with my Lady
_Moonlight_. And from thence, they go together to my Lord _Noble_'s
Assembly.

_Man._ And are you to do all this with her, Madam?

Lady _Grace._ Only a few of the visits; I would indeed have drawn her
to the Play; but I doubt we have so much upon our hands, that it will
not be practicable.

_Man._ But how can you forbear all the rest of it?

Lady _Grace._ There's no great merit in forbearing, what one is not
charm'd with.

_Man._ And yet I have found that very difficult in my time.

Lady _Grace._ How do you mean?

_Man._ Why, I have pass'd a great deal of my life, in the hurry of
the Ladies, though I was generally better pleas'd when I was at quiet
without 'em.

Lady _Grace._ What induc'd you, then, to be with them?

_Man._ Idleness, and the Fashion.

Lady _Grace._ No Mistresses in the case?

_Man._ To speak honestly--Yes--being often in the toyshop, there was no
forbearing the bawbles.

Lady _Grace._ And of course, I suppose sometimes you were tempted to
pay for them, twice as much as they were worth.

_Man._ Why really, where fancy only makes the choice, Madam, no wonder
if we are generally bubbled, in those sort of bargains, which I confess
has been often my case: For I had constantly some Coquette, or other,
upon my hands, whom I could love perhaps just enough to put it in her
power to plague me.

Lady _Grace._ And that's a pow'r, I doubt, commonly made use of.

_Man._ The amours of a Coquette, Madam, seldom have any other view. I
look upon Them, and Prudes, to be nusances, just alike; tho' they seem
very different: The first are always plaguing the Men; and the other
are always abusing the Women.

Lady _Grace._ And yet both of them do it for the same vain ends; to
establish a false character of being virtuous.

_Man._ Of being chaste, they mean; for they know no other virtue: and,
upon the credit of that, they traffick in every thing else that's
vicious: They (even against Nature) keep their chastity, only because
they find they have more power to do mischief with it, than they could
possibly put in practice without it.

Lady _Grace._ Hold! Mr. _Manly_: I am afraid this severe opinion of the
sex, is owing to the ill choice you have made of your Mistresses.

_Man._ In a great measure, it may be so: But, Madam, if both these
characters are so odious; how vastly valuable is that woman, who has
attain'd all they aim at without the aid of the Folly, or Vice of
either?

Lady _Grace._ I believe those sort of women to be as scarce, Sir, as
the men, that believe there are any such; or that allowing such have
virtue enough to deserve them.

_Man._ That _could_ deserve them then----had been a more favourable
reflexion!

Lady _Grace._ Nay, I speak only from my little experience: For (I'll be
free with you, Mr. _Manly_) I don't know a man in the world, that, in
appearance, might better pretend to a woman of the first merit, than
yourself: And yet I have a reason in my hand, here, to think you have
your failings.

_Man._ I have infinite, Madam; but I am sure, the want of an implicit
respect for you, is not among the number----pray what is in your hand,
Madam?

Lady _Grace._ Nay, Sir, I have no title to it; for the direction is to
you.

                                                  [_Gives him a Letter._

_Man._ To me! I don't remember the hand--

                                                    [_Reads to himself._

Lady _Grace._ I can't perceive any change of guilt in him! and his
surprise seems natural! [_Aside._]----Give me leave to tell you one
thing by the way, Mr. _Manly_; That I should never have shewn you this,
but that my Brother enjoin'd me to it.

_Man._ I take that to proceed from my Lord's good opinion of me, Madam.

Lady _Grace._ I hope, at least, it will stand as an excuse for my
taking this liberty.

_Man._ I never yet saw you do any thing, Madam, that wanted an excuse;
and, I hope, you will not give me an instance to the contrary, by
refusing the favour I am going to ask you.

Lady _Grace._ I don't believe I shall refuse any, that you think proper
to ask.

_Man._ Only this, Madam, to indulge me so far, as to let me know how
this letter came into your hands.

Lady _Grace._ Inclos'd to me, in this without a name.

_Man._ If there be no secret in the contents, Madam----

Lady _Grace._ Why----there is an impertinent insinuation in it: But as
I know your good sense will think it so too, I will venture to trust
you.

_Man._ You oblige me, Madam.

                                 [_He takes the other Letter and reads._

Lady _Grace._ [_Aside._] Now am I in the oddest situation! methinks our
conversation grows terribly critical! This must produce something:----O
lud! would it were over!

_Man._ Now, Madam, I begin to have some light into the poor project,
that is at the bottom of all this.

Lady _Grace._ I have no notion of what could be proposed by it.

_Man._ A little patience, Madam----First, as to the insinuation you
mention----

Lady _Grace._ O! what is he going to say now!

                                                               [_Aside._

_Man._ Tho' my intimacy with my Lord may have allow'd my visits to have
been very frequent here of late; yet, in such a talking town as this,
you must not wonder, if a great many of those visits are plac'd to your
account: And this taken for granted, I suppose has been told to my Lady
_Wronghead_, as a piece of news, since her arrival, not improbably
without many more imaginary circumstances.

Lady _Grace._ My Lady _Wronghead_!

_Man._ Ay, Madam, for I am positive this is her hand!

Lady _Grace._ What view could she have in writing it?

_Man._ To interrupt any treaty of marriage, she may have heard I
am engaged in: Because if I die without heirs, her Family expects
that some part of my estate may return to them again. But, I hope,
she is so far mistaken, that if this letter has given you the least
uneasiness,----I shall think that the happiest moment of my life.

Lady _Grace._ That does not carry your usual complaisance, Mr. _Manly_.

_Man._ Yes, Madam, because I am sure I can convince you of my innocence.

Lady _Grace._ I am sure I have no right to inquire into it.

_Man._ Suppose you may not, Madam; yet you may very innocently have so
much curiosity.

Lady _Grace._ With what an artful gentleness he steals into my opinion?
[_Aside._] Well, Sir, I won't pretend to have so little of the Woman,
in me, as to want curiosity----But pray, do you suppose then, this
_Myrtilla_ is a real, or a fictitious name?

_Man._ Now I recollect, Madam, there is a young woman, in the
house, where my Lady _Wronghead_ lodges, that I heard somebody call
_Myrtilla_: This letter may be written by her----but how it came
directed to me, I confess is a mystery; that before I ever presume to
see your Ladyship again, I think myself oblig'd, in Honour to find out.

                                                               [_Going._

Lady _Grace._ Mr. _Manly_----you are not going?

_Man._ 'Tis but to the next street, Madam; I shall be back in ten
minutes.

Lady _Grace._ Nay! but dinner's just coming up.

_Man._ Madam, I can neither eat, nor rest, till I see an end of this
affair!

Lady _Grace._ But this is so odd! why should any silly curiosity of
mine drive you away?

_Man._ Since you won't suffer it to be yours, Madam; then it shall be
only to satisfy my own curiosity----

                                                        [_Exit ~Manly~._

Lady _Grace._ Well----and now, what am I to think of all this? Or
suppose an indifferent person had heard every word we have said to
one another, what would they have thought on't? Would it have been
very absurd to conclude, he is seriously inclined to pass the rest
of his life with me?----I hope not----for I am sure, the case is
terribly clear on my side! and why may not I, without vanity, suppose
my----unaccountable somewhat----has done as much execution upon
him?----why----because he never told me so----nay, he has not so
much as mentioned the word Love, or ever said one civil thing to my
person----well----but he has said a thousand to my good opinion, and
has certainly got it----had he spoke first to my person, he had paid a
very ill compliment to my understanding----I should have thought him
impertinent, and never have troubled my head about him; but as he has
manag'd the matter, at least I am sure of one thing; that let his
thoughts be what they will, I shall never trouble my head about any
other man, as long as I live.

                         _Enter Mrs. ~Trusty~._

Well, Mrs. _Trusty_, is my sister dress'd yet?

_Trusty._ Yes, Madam, but my Lord has been courting her so, I think,
'till they are both out of humour.

Lady _Grace._ How so?

_Trusty._ Why, it begun, Madam, with his Lordship's desiring her
Ladyship to dine at home to-day----upon which my Lady said she could
not be ready; upon that, my Lord order'd them to stay the dinner, and
then my Lady order'd the coach; then my Lord took her short, and said,
he had order'd the coachman to set up: Then my Lady made him a great
curt'sy, and said, she would wait 'till his Lordship's horses had
din'd, and was mighty pleasant: But for fear of the worst, Madam, she
whisper'd me----to get her chair ready.

                                                       [_Exit ~Trusty~._

Lady _Grace._ O! here they come; and, by their looks, seem a little
unfit for company.

                                                   [_Exit Lady ~Grace~._

            _Enter Lady ~Townly~, Lord ~Townly~ following._

Lady _Town._ Well! look you, my Lord; I can bear it no longer! nothing
still but about my faults, my faults! an agreeable subject truly!

Lord _Town._ Why, Madam, if you won't hear of them; how can I ever hope
to see you mend them?

Lady _Town._ Why, I don't intend to mend them----I can't mend
them----you know I have try'd to do it an hundred times, and--it hurts
me so--I can't bear it!

Lord _Town._ And I, Madam, can't bear this daily licentious abuse of
your time and character.

Lady _Town._ Abuse! Astonishing! when the Universe knows, I am never
better company, than when I am doing what I have a mind to! But to
see this world! that Men can never get over that silly spirit of
contradiction----why but last _Thursday_ now----there you wisely
amended one of my faults as you call them----you insisted upon my not
going to the Masquerade----and pray, what was the consequence! was
not I as cross as the Devil, all the night after? was not I forc'd
to get company at home! and was not it almost three o'clock in the
morning, before I was able to come to myself again? and then the fault
is not mended neither,----for next time, I shall only have twice the
inclination to go: so that all this mending, and mending, you see, is
but dearning an old ruffle, to make it worse than it was before.

Lord _Town._ Well, the manner of womens living, of late, is
insupportable; and one way or other----

Lady _Town._ It's to be mended, I suppose! why so it may; but then, my
dear Lord, you must give one time----and when things are at worst, you
know, they may mend themselves! ha! ha!

Lord _Town._ Madam, I am not in a humour, now, to trifle.

Lady _Town._ Why then, my Lord, one word of fair argument--to talk with
you, your own way now----You complain of my late hours, and I of your
early ones----so far are we even, you'll allow----but pray which gives
us the best figure in the eye of the polite world? my active, spirited
three in the Morning, or your dull, drowsy eleven at Night? Now, I
think, one has the air of a Woman of Quality, and t'other of a plodding
Mechanic, that goes to bed betimes, that he may rise early, to open his
shop!----Faugh!

Lord _Town._ Fy, fy, Madam! is this your way of reasoning? 'tis time to
wake you then----'tis not your ill hours alone, that disturb me, but as
often the ill company that occasion those ill Hours.

Lady _Town._ Sure I don't understand you now, my Lord; what ill company
do I keep?

Lord _Town._ Why, at best, women that lose their money, and men
that win it! Or, perhaps, men that are voluntary bubbles at one
game, in hopes a Lady will give them fair play at another. Then that
unavoidable mixture with known rakes, conceal'd thieves, and Sharpers
in embroidery----or what, to me, is still more shocking, that herd of
familiar chattering crop-ear'd Coxcombs, who are so often like Monkeys,
there would be no knowing them asunder, but that their tails hang from
their head, and the monkey's grows where it should do.

Lady _Town._ And a Husband must give eminent proof of his sense, that
thinks their powder-puffs dangerous.

Lord _Town._ Their being fools, Madam, is not always the Husband's
security: Or if it were, fortune, sometimes, gives them advantages
might make a thinking woman tremble.

Lady _Town._ What do you mean!

Lord _Town._ That Women, sometimes, lose more than they are able to
pay; and if a creditor be a little pressing, the Lady may be reduc'd to
try if, instead of gold, the Gentleman will accept of a trinket.

Lady _Town._ My Lord you grow scurrilous; you'll make me hate you. I'll
have you to know, I keep company with the politest people in town, and
the Assemblies I frequent are full of such.

Lord _Town._ So are the Churches----now and then.

Lady _Town._ My friends frequent them too, at well as the Assemblies.

Lord _Town._ Yes, and would do it oftner, if a groom of the chambers
there were allowed to furnish cards to the company.

Lady _Town._ I see what you drive at all this while; you would lay an
imputation on my fame, to cover your own avarice! I might take any
pleasures I find, that were not expensive.

Lord _Town._ Have a care, Madam; don't let me think you only value your
chastity, to make me reproachable for not indulging you in every thing
else, that's vicious----I, Madam, have a reputation too, to guard,
that's dear to me, as yours----The follies of an ungovern'd wife may
make the wisest man uneasy; but 'tis his own fault, if ever they make
him contemptible.

Lady _Town._ My Lord----you would make a woman mad!

Lord _Town._ You'd make a man a fool.

Lady _Town._ If Heav'n has made you otherwise, that won't be in my
power.

Lord _Town._ Whatever may be in your inclination, Madam; I'll prevent
you making me a Beggar at least.

Lady _Town._ A Beggar! _Crœsus_! I'm out of Patience! I won't come home
'till four to-morrow morning.

Lord _Town._ That may be, Madam; but I'll order the doors to be lock'd
at twelve.

Lady _Town._ Then I won't come home 'till to-morrow night.

Lord _Town._ Then, Madam;----You shall never come home again.

                                                    [_Exit Lord ~Town~._

Lady _Town._ What does he mean! I never heard such a word from him
in my life before! the Man always us'd to have manners in his worst
humours! there's something, that I don't see, at the bottom of all
this----but his head's always upon some impracticable scheme or other,
so I won't trouble mine any longer about him. Mr. _Manly_, your Servant.

                            _Enter ~Manly~._

_Man._ I ask pardon for my intrusion, Madam; but I hope my business
with my Lord will excuse it.

Lady _Town._ I believe you'll find him in the next room, Sir.

_Man._ Will you give me leave, Madam?

Lady _Town._ Sir----you have my leave, tho' you were a lady.

_Man._ [_Aside._] What a well bred age do we live in?

                                                        [_Exit ~Manly~._

                         _Enter Lady ~Grace~._

Lady _Town._ O! my dear Lady _Grace_! how could you leave me so
unmercifully alone all this while?

Lady _Grace._ I thought my Lord had been with you.

Lady _Town._ Why yes----and therefore I wanted your relief; for he has
been in such a fluster here----

Lady _Grace._ Bless me! for what?

Lady _Town._ Only our usual breakfast; we have each of us had our dish
of Matrimonial Comfort, this morning! we have been charming company!

Lady _Grace._ I am mighty glad of it! sure it must be a vast
happiness, when a Man and a Wife can give themselves the same turn of
conversation!

Lady _Town._ O! the prettiest thing in the world!

Lady _Grace._ Now I should be afraid, that where two people are every
day together so, they must often be in want of something to talk upon.

Lady _Town._ O my Dear, you are the most mistaken in the world! married
people have things to talk of, child, that never enter into the
imagination of others.----Why, here's my Lord and I now, we have not
been married above two short years, you know, and we have already eight
or ten things constantly in bank, that whenever we want company, we can
take up any one of them for two hours together, and the subject never
the flatter; nay, if we have occasion for it, it will be as fresh next
day too, as it was the first hour it entertain'd us.

Lady _Grace._ Certainly that must be vastly pretty.

Lady _Town._ O! there's no life like it! why t'other day for example,
when you din'd abroad; my Lord and I, after a pretty chearful _tête
à tête_ meal, sat us down by the fire-side, in an easy indolent,
pick-tooth way, for about a quarter of an hour, as if we had not
thought of any other's being in the room----at last, stretching
himself, and yawning----My Dear, says he,----aw----you came home very
late, last night----'Twas but just turn'd of Two, says I----I was in
bed--aw----by eleven, says he; so you are every night, says I----Well,
says he, I am amazed you can sit up so late----How can you be amaz'd,
says I, at a thing that happens so often?----upon which we enter'd into
a conversation----and tho' this is a point has entertain'd us above
fifty times already, we always find so many pretty new things to say
upon it, that I believe in my soul, it will last as long as we live.

Lady _Grace._ But pray! in such sort of family dialogues (tho'
extremely well for passing the time) don't there, now and then, enter
some little witty sort of bitterness?

Lady _Town._ O yes! which does not do amiss at all! A smart repartee,
with a zest of recrimination at the head of it, makes the prettiest
sherbet; Ay, ay! if we did not mix a little of the acid with it, a
matrimonial Society would be so luscious, that nothing but an old
liquorish prude would be able to bear it.

Lady _Grace._ Well,----certainly you have the most elegant taste----

Lady _Town._ Tho' to tell you the truth, my Dear, I rather think we
squeez'd a little too much lemon into it, this bout; for it grew so
sour at last, that--I think----I almost told him, he was a fool----and
he again----talk'd something oddly of----turning me out of doors.

Lady _Grace._ O! have a care of that!

Lady _Town._ Nay, if he should, I may thank my own wise father for
that----

Lady _Grace._ How so?

Lady _Town._ Why----when my good Lord first open'd his honourable
trenches before me, my unaccountable Papa, in whose hands I then was,
gave me up at discretion.

Lady _Grace._ How do you mean?

Lady _Town._ He said, the wives of this age were come to that pass,
that he would not desire even his own Daughter should be trusted with
pin-money; so that my whole train of separate inclinations are left
entirely at the mercy of an husband's odd humours.

Lady _Grace._ Why, that, indeed, is enough to make a woman of spirit
look about her!

Lady _Town._ Nay, but to be serious; my Dear; what would you really
have a woman do in my case?

Lady _Grace._ Why----If I had a sober husband as you have, I would make
myself the happiest wife in the world by being as sober as he.

Lady _Town._ O! you wicked thing! how can you teize one at this rate?
when you know he is so very sober, that (except giving me money) there
is not one thing in the world he can do to please me! And I at the
same time, partly by nature, and partly, perhaps, by keeping the best
company, do with my soul love almost every thing he hates! I dote upon
assemblies! my heart bounds at a ball; and at an Opera----I expire!
then I love play to distraction! Cards inchant me! and Dice--put me out
of my little wits! Dear! dear Hazard! oh! what a flow of spirits it
gives one! do you never play at hazard, child?

Lady _Grace._ Oh! never! I don't think it fits well upon women; there
is something so masculine, so much the air of a rake in it! you see how
it makes the men swear and curse! and when a woman is thrown into the
same passion----why----

Lady _Town._ That's very true! one is a little put to it, sometimes,
not to make use of the same words to express it.

Lady _Grace._ Well----and, upon ill luck, pray what words are you
really forc'd to make use of?

Lady _Town._ Why upon a very hard case, indeed, when a sad wrong word
is rising, just to one's tongue's end, I give a great gulp----and
swallow it.

Lady _Grace._ Well----and is not that enough to make you forswear play,
as long as you live?

Lady _Town._ O yes! I have forsworn it.

Lady _Grace._ Seriously?

Lady _Town._ Solemnly! a thousand times; but then one is constantly
forsworn.

Lady _Grace._ And how can you answer that?

Lady _Town._ My dear, what we say, when we are losers, we look upon to
be no more binding than a lover's oath, or a great man's promise. But I
beg pardon, child; I should not lead you so far into the world; you are
a prude, and design to live soberly.

Lady _Grace._ Why, I confess my nature, and my education do, in a good
degree, incline me that way.

Lady _Town._ Well! how a woman of spirit, (for you don't want that,
child) can dream of living soberly, is to me inconceivable! for you
will marry I suppose.

Lady _Grace._ I can't tell but I may.

Lady _Town._ And won't you live in town?

Lady _Grace._ Half the year, I should like it very well.

Lady _Town._ My stars! and you would really live in London half the
year to be sober in it!

Lady _Grace._ Why not?

Lady _Town._ Why can't you as well go, and be sober in the country?

Lady _Grace._ So I would----t'other half year.

Lady _Town._ And pray what comfortable scheme of life would you form
now, for your summer and winter sober entertainments?

Lady _Grace._ A scheme, that I think might very well content us.

Lady _Town._ O! of all things let's hear it.

Lady _Grace._ Why, in summer, I cou'd pass my leisure hours in riding,
in reading, walking by a canal, or sitting at the end of it under a
great tree; in dressing, dining, chatting with an agreeable friend,
perhaps hearing a little music, taking a dish of tea, or a game of
cards soberly! managing my family, looking into its accounts, playing
with my children (if I had any) or in a thousand other innocent
amusements----soberly! and possibly, by these means, I might induce my
husband to be as sober as myself----

Lady _Town._ Well, my dear, thou art an astonishing creature! for sure
such primitive antediluvian notions of life, have not been in any head
these thousand years----Under a great tree! O my soul!----But I beg we
may have the sober town scheme too----for I am charmed with the country
one!

Lady _Grace._ You shall, and I'll try to stick to my sobriety there too.

Lady _Town._ Well, tho' I'm sure it will give me the vapours, I must
hear it however.

Lady _Grace._ Why then, for fear of your fainting, madam, I will first
so far come into the fashion, that I would never be dressed out of
it----but still it should be soberly. For I can't think it any disgrace
to a woman of my private fortune, not to wear her lace as fine as a
wedding-suit of a first Dutchess. Tho' there is one extravagance I
would venture to come up to.

Lady _Town._ Ay, now for it----

Lady _Grace._ I would every day be as clean as a bride.

Lady _Town._ Why the men say, that's a great step to be made
one----Well now you are drest----pray let's see to what purpose.

Lady _Grace._ I would visit--that is, my real friends; but as little
for form as possible.----I would go to court; sometimes to an assembly,
nay, play at _quadrille_----soberly; I would see all the good plays;
and, (because 'tis the fashion) now and then an opera----but I would
not expire there, for fear I should never go again: and lastly, I can't
say, but for curiosity, if I lik'd my company, I might be drawn in
once to a masquerade! And this, I think, is as far at any woman can
go----soberly.

Lady _Town._ Well! if it had not been for that last piece of sobriety,
I was just going to call for some surfeit water.

Lady _Grace._ Why, don't you think, with the farther aid of
breakfasting, dining, taking the air, supping, sleeping, not to say
a word of devotion, the four and twenty hours might roll over in a
tolerable manner?

Lady _Town._ Tolerable? deplorable! Why, child, all you propose, is but
to endure life, now I want to enjoy it----

                         _Enter Mrs. ~Trusty~._

_Trus._ Madam, your Ladyship's chair is ready.

Lady _Town._ Have the Footmen their white flambeaux yet? for last night
I was poison'd.

_Trus._ Yes, madam: there were some come in this morning.

                                                       [_Exit ~Trusty~._

Lady _Town._ My dear, you will excuse me; but you know my time is so
precious----

Lady _Grace._ That I beg I may not hinder your least enjoyment of it.

Lady _Town._ You will call on me at Lady _Revel_'s?

Lady _Grace._ Certainly.

Lady _Town._ But I am so afraid it will break into your scheme, my dear!

Lady _Grace._ When it does, I will----soberly break from you.

Lady _Town._ Why then 'till we meet again, dear sister, I wish you all
tolerable happiness.

                                                    [_Exit Lady ~Town~._

Lady _Grace._ There she goes--dash! into her stream of pleasures!
poor woman! she is really a fine creature! and sometimes infinitely
agreeable! nay, take her out of the madness of this town, rational
in her notions, and easy to live with: but she is so borne down by
this torrent of vanity in vogue, she thinks every hour of her life
is lost that she does not lead at the head of it. What it will end
in, I tremble to imagine----Ha! my brother, and _Manly_ with him! I
guess what they have been talking of----I shall hear it in my turn, I
suppose, but it won't become me to be inquisitive.

                                                   [_Exit Lady ~Grace~._

                   _Enter Lord ~Townly~ and ~Manly~._

Lord _Town._ I did not think my Lady _Wronghead_ had such a notable
brain: tho' I can't say she was so very wise, in trusting this silly
girl you call _Myrtilla_, with the secret.

_Man._ No, my Lord, you mistake me, had the girl been in the secret,
perhaps I had never come at it myself.

Lord _Town._ Why I thought you said the girl writ this letter, to you,
and that my Lady _Wronghead_ sent it inclos'd to my sister?

_Man._ If you please to give me leave, my Lord----the fact is
thus.--This inclos'd letter to Lady _Grace_ was a real original one,
written by this girl, to the Count we have been talking of: the
Count drops it, and my Lady _Wronghead_ finds it: then only changing
the cover, she seals it up as a letter of business, just written by
herself, to me: and pretending to be in a hurry, gets this innocent
girl to write the direction, for her.

Lord _Town._ Oh! then the girl did not know she was superscribing a
billet-doux of her own to you?

_Man._ No, my Lord; for when I first question'd her about the
direction, she own'd it immediately: but when I shew'd her that the
letter to the Count was within it, and told her how it came into my
hands, the poor creature was amazed and thought herself betray'd both
by the Count and my Lady----in short, upon this discovery the girl
and I grew so gracious, that she has let me into some transactions, in
my Lady _Wronghead_'s family, which, with my having a careful eye over
them, may prevent the ruin of it.

Lord _Town._ You are very generous to be so solicitous for a Lady that
has given you so much uneasiness.

_Man._ But I will be most unmercifully reveng'd of her: for I will do
her the greatest friendship in the world----against her will.

Lord _Town._ What an uncommon philosophy art thou master of? to make
even thy malice a virtue?

_Man._ Yet, my Lord, I assure you, there is no one action of my life
gives me more pleasure than your approbation of it.

Lord _Town._ Dear _Charles_! my heart's impatient, 'till thou art
nearer to me: and as a proof that I have long wished thee so: while
your daily conduct has chosen rather to deserve than ask my sister's
favour; I have been as secretly industrious to make her sensible of
your merit: and since on this occasion you have open'd your whole
heart to me, 'tis now with equal pleasure, I assure you, we have both
succeeded----she is as firmly yours----

_Man._ Impossible! you flatter me!

Lord _Town._ I am glad you think it flattery: but she herself shall
prove it none: she dines with us alone: when the servants are
withdrawn, I'll open a conversation, that shall excuse my leaving you
together--_O! Charles!_ had I, like thee, been cautious in my choice,
what melancholy hours had this heart avoided!

_Man._ No more of that, I beg, my Lord----

Lord _Town._ But 'twill, at least, be some relief to my anxiety
(however barren of content the state has been to me) to see so near a
friend and sister happy in it: your harmony of life will be an instance
how much the choice of temper is preferable to beauty.

    While your soft hours in mutual kindness move,
    You'll reach by virtue what I lost by love.

                                                              [_Exeunt._



+ACT+ IV. +SCENE+ I.

                  +SCENE+, _Mrs._ Motherly's _House_.


              _Enter Mrs. ~Motherly~, meeting ~Myrtilla~._

_Moth._ So, niece! where is it possible you can have been these six
hours?

_Myr._ O! Madam! I have such a terrible story to tell you!

_Moth._ A story! ods my life! what have you done with the Count's note
of five hundred pounds I sent you about? is it safe? is it good? is it
security?

_Myr._ Yes, yes, it is safe: but for its goodness----mercy on us! I
have been in a fair way to be hang'd about it.

_Moth._ The dickens! has the rogue of a Count play'd us another trick
then?

_Myr._ You shall hear, Madam; when I came to Mr. _Cash_, the Banker's,
and shewed him his note for five hundred pounds, payable to the Count,
or order, in two months--he looked earnestly upon it, and desired me to
step into the inner room, while he examined his books----after I had
staid about ten minutes, he came in to me----claps to the door, and
charges me with a constable for forgery.

_Moth._ Ah poor soul! and how didst thou get off?

_Myr._ While I was ready to sink in this condition, I begg'd him to
have a little patience, 'till I could send for Mr. _Manly_, whom he
knew to be a gentleman of worth and honour, and who, I was sure, would
convince him, whatever fraud might be in the note, that I was myself an
innocent abus'd woman----and as good luck would have it, in less than
half an hour Mr. _Manly_ came----so, without mincing the matter, I
fairly told him upon what design the Count had lodg'd that note in your
hands, and in short, laid open the whole scheme he had drawn us into,
to make our fortune.

_Moth._ The devil you did!

_Myr._ Why how do you think it was possible I could any otherwise
make Mr. _Manly_ my friend, to help me out of the scrape I was in? To
conclude, he soon made Mr. _Cash_ easy, and sent away the Constable;
nay farther promis'd me, if I would trust the note in his hands, he
would take care it should be be fully paid before it was due, and at
the same time would give me an ample revenge upon the Count; so that
all you have to consider now, Madam, is, whether you think yourself
safer in the Count's hands, or Mr. _Manly_'s.

_Moth._ Nay, nay, child; there is no choice in the matter! Mr. _Manly_
may be a friend indeed, if any thing in our power can make him so.

_Myr._ Well, madam, and now pray how stand matters at home here? What
has the Count done with the ladies?

_Moth._ Why every thing he has a mind to do, by this time, I suppose.
He is in as high favour with Miss, as he is with my Lady.

_Myr._ Pray, where are the ladies?

_Moth._ Rattling abroad in their own coach, and the well-bred Count
along with them: they have been scouring all the shops in town over,
buying fine things and new clothes from morning to night: they have
made one voyage already, and have brought home such a cargo of bawbles
and trumpery----mercy on the poor man that's to pay for them!

_Myr._ Did not the young Squire go with them!

_Moth._ No, no; Miss said, truly he would but disgrace their party: so
they even left him asleep by the kitchen fire.

_Myr._ Has he not asked after me all this while? for I had a sort of an
assignation with him.

_Moth._ O yes! he has been in a bitter taking about it. At last his
disappointment grew so uneasy, that he fairly fell a crying; so to
quiet him, I sent one of the maids and _John Moody_ abroad with him to
shew him----the lions and the Monument. Ods me! there he is, just come
home again----you may have business with him----so I'll even turn you
together.

                       _Enter Squire ~Richard~._

Squ. _Rich._ Soah! soah! Mrs. _Myrtilla_, where han yow been aw this
day, forsooth?

_Myr._ Nay, if you go to that, Squire, where have you been, pray?

Squ. _Rich._ Rich. Why, when I fun' at yow were no loikly to come
whoam, I were ready to hong my sel----so _John Moody_, and I, and one
o' your lasses have been----Lord knows where----a seeing o' the soights.

_Myr._ Well and pray what have you seen, Sir?

Squ. _Rich._ Flesh! I cawnt tell, not I----seen every thing I think.
First there we went o' top o' the what d'ye call it? there, the great
huge stone post, up the rawnd and rawnd stairs, that twine and twine
about, just an as thof it were a cork screw.

_Myr._ O, the Monument! well, and was it not a fine sight from the top
of it?

Squ. _Rich._ Sight, Miss! I know no'--I saw nowght but smoak and brick
housen, and steeple tops----then there was such a mortal ting-tang of
bells, and rumbling of carts and coaches, and then the folks under one
look'd so small, and made such a hum, and a buz, it put me in mind of
my mother's great glass bee-hive in our garden in the country.

_Myr._ I think, Master, you give a very good account of it.

Squ. _Rich._ Ay! but I did no like it: for my head--my head--began to
turn----so I trundled me dawn stairs ugain like a round trencher.

_Myr._ Well! but this was not all you saw, I suppose?

Squ. _Rich._ Noa! noa! we went after that and saw the lions, and I
lik'd them better by hawlf; they are pure grim devils; hoh, hoh! I
touke a stick, and gave one of them such a poke o' the noase----I
believe he would ha' snapt my head off, an he could ha' got me. Hoh!
hoh! hoh!

_Myr._ Well, Master, when you and I go abroad, I'll shew you prettier
sights than these----there's a masquerade to-morrow.

Squ. _Rich._ O laud! ay! they say that's a pure thing for _Merry
Andrews_, and those sort of comical mummers----and the Count tells me,
that there lads and lasses may jig their tails, and eat, and drink,
without grudging, all night-lung.

_Myr._ What would you say now, if I should get you a ticket and go
along with you?

Squ. _Rich._ Ah dear!

_Myr._ But have a care, Squire, the fine ladies there are terribly
tempting; look well to your heart, or ads me! they'll whip it up in the
trip of a minute.

Squ. _Rich._ Ay, but they can't thoa----soa let 'um look to themselves,
an' ony of 'um falls in love with me--mayhap they had as good be quiet.

_Myr._ Why sure you would not refuse a fine lady, would you?

Squ. _Rich._ Ay, but I would tho' unless it were--one at I know of.

_Myr._ Oh! oh! then you have left your heart in the country, I find?

Squ. _Rich._ Noa, noa, my heart----eh----my heart e'nt awt o' this room.

_Myr._ I am glad you have it about you, however.

Squ. _Rich._ Nay, mahap not soa neather, somebody else may have it, 'at
you little think of.

_Myr._ I can't imagine what you mean!

Squ. _Rich._ Noa! why doan't you know how many folks there is in this
room, naw?

_Myr._ Very fine, Master, I see you have learnt the town gallantry
already.

Squ. _Rich._ Why doan't you believe 'at I have a kindness for you then?

_Myr._ Fy! fy! Master, how you talk! beside you are too young to think
of a wife. Squ. _Rich._ Ay but I caunt help thinking o' yow, for all
that.

_Myr._ How! why sure, Sir, you don't pretend to think of me in a
dishonourable way?

Squ. _Rich._ Nay, that's as you see good----I did no' think 'at you
would ha' thowght of me for a husband, mayhap; unless I had means in
my own hands; and feyther allows me but half a crown a week, as yet a
while.

_Myr._ Oh! when I like any body, 'tis not want of money will make me
refuse them.

Squ. _Rich._ Well, that's just my mind now; for 'an I like a girl,
Miss, I would take her in her smuck.

_Myr._ Ay, Master, now you speak like a man of honour: this shews
something of a true heart in you.

Squ. _Rich._ Ay, and a true heart you'll find me; try me when you will.

_Myr._ Hush! hush! here's your papa come home, and my aunt with him.

Squ. _Rich._ A devil rive 'em, what do they come naw for?

_Myr._ When you and I get to the masquerade, you shall see what I'll
say to you.

Squ. _Rich._ Well, hands upon't then----

_Myr._ There----

Squ. _Rich._ One buss and a bargain.

                                                          [_Kisses her._

Ads wauntlikins! as soft and plump as a marrow-pudding.

                                                    [_Exeunt severally._

          _Enter Sir ~Francis Wronghead~ and Mrs. ~Motherly~._

Sir _Fran._ What! my wife and daughter abroad say you?

_Moth._ O dear Sir, they have been mighty busy all the day long; they
just came home to snap up a short dinner, and so went out again.

Sir _Fran._ Well, well, I shan't stay supper for 'em, I can tell 'em
that: For ods-heart! I have had nothing in me, but a toast and a
tankard, since morning.

_Moth._ I am afraid, Sir, these late Parliament hours won't agree with
you.

Sir _Fran._ Why, truly, Mrs. _Motherly_, they don't do right with us
country gentlemen; to lose one meal out of three, is a hard tax upon a
good stomach.

_Moth._ It is so indeed, Sir.

Sir _Fran._ But, hawsomever, Mrs. _Motherly_, when we consider, that
what we suffer is for the good of our country----

_Moth._ Why truly, Sir, that is something.

Sir _Fran._ Oh! there's a great deal to be said for't--the good of
one's country is above all things----A true hearted _Englishman_ thinks
nothing too much for it----I have heard of some honest gentlemen
so very zealous, that for the good of their country----they would
sometimes go to dinner at midnight.

_Moth._ O! the goodness of 'em! sure their country must have vast
esteem for them?

Sir _Fran._ So they have Mrs. _Motherly_; they are so respected
when they come home to their Boroughs, after a session, and so
belov'd----that their country will come and dine with them every day in
the week.

_Moth._ Dear me! what a fine thing it is to be so populous?

Sir _Fran._ It is a great comfort, indeed! and I can assure you you are
a good sensible woman, Mrs. _Motherly_.

_Moth._ O dear Sir, your Honour's pleas'd to compliment.

Sir _Fran._ No, no, I see you know how to value people of consequence.

_Moth._ Good lack! here's company, Sir; will you give me leave to get
you a little something 'till the ladies come home, Sir?

Sir _Fran._ Why troth, I don't think it would be amiss.

_Moth._ It shall be done in a moment, Sir.

                                                                [_Exit._

                          _Enter Mr. ~Manly~._

_Man._ Sir _Francis_, your servant.

Sir _Fran._ Cousin _Manly_!

_Man._ I am come to see how the family goes on here.

Sir _Fran._ Troth! all as busy as bees; I have been upon the wing ever
since eight o'clock this morning.

_Man._ By your early hour, then, I suppose you have been making your
court to some of the great men.

Sir _Fran._ Why, faith! you have hit it, Sir----I was advised to lose
no time: so I e'en went straight forward, to one great man I had never
seen in my life before.

_Man._ Right! that was doing business: but who had you got to introduce
you?

Sir _Fran._ Why, no body----I remember'd I had heard a wise man say--My
son be bold--so troth! I introduced myself.

_Man._ As how, pray?

Sir _Fran._ Why, thus----look ye----please your Lordship, says I, I am
Sir _Francis Wronghead_ of _Bumper-hall_, and member of Parliament for
the borough of _Guzzledown_----Sir, your humble servant, says my Lord;
thof I have not the honour to know your person, I have heard you are
a very honest gentleman, and am glad your Borough has made choice of
so worthy a representative; and so, says he, Sir _Francis_, have you
any service to command me? Naw, cousin! those last words, you may be
sure gave me no small encouragement. And thof I know, Sir, you have no
extraordinary opinion of my parts, yet I believe, you won't say I mist
it naw!

_Man._ Well, I hope I shall have no cause.

Sir _Fran._ So when I found him so courteous----My Lord, says I, I
did not think to ha' troubled your Lordship with business upon my
first visit: but since your Lordship is pleas'd not to stand upon
ceremony----why truly, says I, I think naw is as good as another time.

_Man._ Right! there you push'd him home.

Sir _Fran._ Ay, ay, I had a mind to let him see that I was none of your
mealy-mouth'd ones.

_Man._ Very good!

Sir _Fran._ So in short, my Lord, says I, I have a good
estate----but----a----it's a little awt at elbows: and as I desire to
serve my King, as well as my country, I shall be very willing to accept
of a place at Court.

_Man._ So, this was making short work on't.

Sir _Fran._ I'cod! I shot him flying, cousin: some of your hawf-witted
ones naw, would ha' humm'd and haw'd, and dangled a month or two after
him, before they durst open their mouths about a place, and mayhap, not
ha' got it at last neither.

_Man._ Oh! I'm glad you're so sure on't----

Sir _Fran._ You shall hear, cousin----Sir _Francis_, says my Lord, pray
what sort of a place may you ha' turn'd your thoughts upon? My Lord,
says I, beggars must not be chusers; but ony a place, says I, about a
thousand a year, will be well enough to be doing with 'till something
better falls in--for I thowght it would not look well to stond haggling
with him at first.

_Man._ No, no, your business was to get footing any way.

Sir _Fran._ Right! there's it! ay, cousin, I see you know the world!

_Man._ Yes, yes, one sees more of it every day----well! but what said
my Lord to all this?

Sir _Fran._ Sir _Francis_, says he, I shall be glad to serve you any
way that lies in my power; so gave me a squeeze by the hond, as much as
to say, give yourself no trouble----I'll do your business; with that he
turn'd him abawt to somebody with a coloured ribbon across here, that
look'd in my thowghts, as if he came for a place too.

_Man._ Ha! so, upon these hopes, you are to make your fortune!

Sir _Fran._ Why, do you think there's ony doubt of it, Sir?

_Man._ Oh no, I have not the least doubt about it----for just as you
have done, I made my fortune ten years ago.

Sir _Fran._ Why, I never knew you had a place, cousin.

_Man._ Nor I neither, upon my faith, cousin. But you perhaps may have
better fortune: for I suppose my Lord has heard of what importance you
were in the debate to-day----You have been since down at the house, I
presume?

Sir _Fran._ O yes! I would not neglect the house, for ever so much.

_Man._ Well, and pray what have they done there?

Sir _Fran._ Why, troth! I can't well tell you, what they have done, but
I can tell you what I did: and I think pretty well in the main; only I
happened to make a little mistake at last indeed.

_Man._ How was that?

Sir _Fran._ Why, they were all got there, into a sort of a puzzling
debate, about the good of the nation----and I were always for that,
you know----but in short, the arguments were so long winded o' both
sides, that, waunds! I did no well understand 'em, hawsomever,
I was convinc'd, and so resolved to vote right, according to my
conscience----so when they came to put the question, as they call
it,----I don't know haw 'twas----but I doubt I cry'd ay! when I should
ha' cry'd no!

_Man._ How came that about?

Sir _Fran._ Why, by a mistake, as I tell you----for there was a
good-humour'd sort of a gentleman, one Mr. _Totherside_ I think they
call him, that sat next me, as soon as I had cry'd ay! gives me a
hearty shake by the hand! Sir says he, you are a man of honour, and a
true _Englishman_! and I should be proud to be better acquainted with
you----and so with that, he takes me by the sleeve, along with the
crowd into the lobby, so, I knew nowght----but ods-flesh! I was got o'
the wrung side the post--for I were told, afterwards, I should have
staid where I was.

_Man._ And so, if you had not quite made your fortune before, you have
clench'd it now!----Ah! thou head of the _Wrongheads_.

Sir _Fran._ Odso! here's my lady come home at last----I hope, cousin,
you will be so kind, as to take a family supper with us?

_Man._ Another time, Sir _Francis_; but to-night I am engaged!

      _Enter Lady ~Wronghead~, Miss ~Jenny~, and Count ~Basset~._

Lady _Wrong._ Cousin! your servant; I hope you will pardon my rudeness:
but we have really been in such a continual hurry here, that we have
not had a leisure moment to return your last visit.

_Man._ O Madam! I am a man of no ceremony; you see that has not
hindered my coming again.

Lady _Wrong._ You are infinitely obliging; but I'll redeem my credit
with you.

_Man._ At your own time, Madam.

Count _Bas._ I must say that for Mr. _Manly_, madam; if making people
easy is the rule of good-breeding, he is certainly the best bred man in
the world.

_Man._ Soh! I am not to drop my acquaintance, I find--[_Aside._] I am
afraid, Sir, I shall grow vain upon your good opinion.

Count _Bas._ I don't know that, Sir; but I am sure, what you are
pleas'd to say, makes me so.

_Man._ The most impudent modesty that ever I met with.

                                                               [_Aside._

Lady _Wrong._ Lard! how ready his wit is?

                                                               [_Aside._

  Sir _Fran._ Don't you think, Sir, the Count's  }
  a very fine gentleman?                         }
                                                 }
  _Man._ O! among the ladies, certainly.         }
                                                 }
  Sir _Fran._ And yet he's as stout as a lion:   }  _Apart._
  waund, he'll storm any thing.                  }
                                                 }
  _Man._ Will he so? Why then, Sir, take         }
  care of your citadel.                          }
                                                 }
  Sir _Fran._ Ah! you are wag, cousin.           }

_Man._ I hope, Ladies, the town air continues to agree with you?

_Jenny._ O! perfectly well, Sir! We have been abroad in our new coach
all day long----and we have bought an ocean of fine things. And
to-morrow we go to the masquerade! and on Friday to the play! and on
Saturday to the opera! and on Sunday we are to be at what d'ye call
it--assembly, and see the ladies play at quadrille, and piquet and
ombre, and hazard, and basset, and on _Monday_, we are to see the King!
and so on _Tuesday_----

Lady _Wrong._ Hold, hold, Miss! you must not let your tongue run so
fast, child----you forgot! you know I brought you hither to learn
modesty.

_Man._ Yes, yes! and she is improved with a vengeance--

                                                               [_Aside._

_Jenny._ Lawrd! Mama, I am sure I did not say any harm! and if one must
not speak in ones turn, one may be kept under as long as one lives, for
ought I see.

Lady _Wrong._ O! my conscience, this girl grows so headstrong----

Sir _Fran._ Ay, ay, there's your fine growing spirit for you! Now tack
it dawn, an' you can.

_Jenny._ All I said, Papa, was only to entertain my cousin _Manly_.

_Man._ My pretty dear, I am mightily obliged to you.

_Jenny._ Look you there now, Madam.

Lady _Wrong._ Hold your tongue, I say.

_Jenny._ [_Turning away and glowting._] I declare it, I won't bear it:
she is always snubbing me before you, Sir!----I know why she does it
well enough----

                                                  [_Aside to the Count._

Count _Bas._ Hush! hush, my dear! don't be uneasy at that! she'll
suspect us.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Jenny._ Let her suspect, what do I care----I don't know, but I have as
much reason to suspect, as she--tho' perhaps I'm not so afraid of her.

Count _Bas._ [_Aside._] I'gad, if I don't keep a tight hand on my tit
here, she'll run away with my project before I can bring it to bear.

Lady _Wrong._ [_Aside._] Perpetually hanging upon him! The young harlot
is certainly in love with him; but I must not let them see I think
so----and yet I can't bear it: Upon my life, Count, you'll spoil that
forward girl----you should not encourage her so.

Count _Bas._ Pardon me, Madam, I was only advising her to observe what
your Ladyship said to her.

_Man._ Yes, truly, her observations have been something particular.

                                                               [_Aside._

  Count _Bas._ In one word, Madam, she has a       }
  jealousy of your Ladyship, and I am forc'd to    }
  encourage her, to blind it; 'twill be better to  }
  take no notice of her behaviour to me.           }
                                                   }
  Lady _Wrong._ You are right, I will be more      }
  cautious.                                        }  _Apart._
                                                   }
  Count _Bas._ To-morrow at the masquerade,        }
  we may lose her.                                 }
                                                   }
  Lady _Wrong._ We shall be observ'd. I'll send    }
  you a note, and settle that affair----go on      }
  with the girl, and don't mind me.                }

Count _Bas._ I have been taking your part, my little angel.

Lady _Wrong._ _Jenny_! come hither, child----you must not be so hasty
my dear----I only advise you for your good.

_Jenny._ Yes, Mama; but when I am told of a thing before company it
always makes me worse, you know.

_Man._ If I have any skill in the fair sex; Miss, and her Mama, have
only quarrel'd, because they are both of a mind. This facetious Count
seems to have made a very genteel step into the family.

                                                               [_Aside._

         _Enter ~Myrtilla~._ [_~Manly~ talks apart with her._]

Lady _Wrong._ Well, Sir _Francis_, and what news have you brought us
from _Westminster_, to-day?

Sir _Fran._ News, Madam? I'cod! I have some----and such as does not
come every day, I can tell you----a word in your ear----I have got a
promise of a place at Court of a thousand pawnd a year already.

Lady _Wrong._ Have you so, Sir? And pray who may you thank for't? Now!
who is in the right? Is not this better than throwing so much away,
after a stinking pack of fox-hounds, in the country? Now your family
may be the better for it!

Sir _Fran._ Nay! that's what persuaded me to come up, my Dove.

Lady _Wrong._ Mighty well--come----let me have another hundred pound
then.

Sir _Fran._ Another! child? Waunds! you have had one hundred this
morning, pray what's become of that, my dear?

Lady _Wrong._ What's become of it? why I'll shew you, my Love! Jenny!
have you the bills about you?

_Jenny._ Yes, Mama.

Lady _Wrong._ What's become of it? Why laid out, my dear, with fifty
more to it, that I was forced to borrow of the Count here.

_Jenny._ Yes, indeed, Papa, and that would hardly do neither--There's
th' account.

Sir _Fran._ [_Turning over the bills._] Let's see! let's see! what the
devil have we got here?

  _Man._ Then you have sounded your aunt you      }
  say, and she readily comes into all I propos'd  }
  to you?                                         }
                                                  }
  _Myr._ Sir, I'll answer, with my life, she is   }
  most thankfully yours in every article: she     }
  mightily desires to see you, Sir.               }  _Apart._
                                                  }
  _Man._ I am going home directly; bring          }
  her to my house in half an hour; and if she     }
  makes good what you tell me, you shall both     }
  find your account in it.                        }
                                                  }
  _Myr._ She shall not fail you.                  }

Sir _Fran._ Ods-life, Madam, here's nothing but toys and trinkets, and
fans, and clock stockings, by whole-sale.

Lady _Wrong._ There's nothing but what's proper, and for your credit,
Sir _Francis_----Nay you see I am so good a housewife, that in
necessaries for myself I have scarce laid out a shilling.

Sir _Fran._ No, by my troth, so it seems; for the devil o' one thing's
here, that I can see you have any occasion for!

Lady _Wrong._ My dear! do you think I came hither to live out of the
fashion? why, the greatest distinction of a fine lady in this town is
in the variety of pretty things she has no occasion for.

_Jenny._ Sure, Papa, could you imagine, that women of quality wanted
nothing but stays and petticoats?

Lady _Wrong._ Now, that is so like him!

_Man._ So! the family comes on finely.

                                                               [_Aside._

Lady _Wrong._ Lard, if men were always to govern, what dowdies would
they reduce their wives to!

Sir _Fran._ An hundred pound in the morning, and want another before
night! waunds and fire! the Lord Mayor of London could not hold it at
this rate!

_Man._ O! do you feel it, Sir?

                                                               [_Aside._

Lady _Wrong._ My dear, you seem uneasy; let me have the hundred pound,
and compose yourself.

Sir _Fran._ Compose the devil, Madam! why do you consider what a
hundred pound a day comes to in a year?

Lady _Wrong._ My life, if I account with you from one day to another,
that's really all my head is able to bear at a time----But I'll tell
you what I consider----I consider that my advice has got you a thousand
pound a year this morning----That now methinks you might consider, Sir.

Sir _Fran._ A thousand a year? wounds, madam, but I have not touch'd a
penny of it yet!

_Man._ Nor ever will, I'll answer for him.

                                                               [_Aside._

                       _Enter Squire ~Richard~._

Squ. _Rich._ Feyther an you doan't come quickly, the meat will be
coal'd: and I'd fain pick a bit with you.

Lady _Wrong._ Bless me, Sir _Francis!_ you are not going to sup by
yourself!

Sir _Fran._ No, but I am going to dine by myself, and that's pretty
near the matter, Madam.

Lady _Wrong._ Had not you as good stay a little, my dear? we shall all
eat in half an hour; and I was thinking to ask my cousin _Manly_ to
take a family morsel with us.

Sir _Fran._ Nay, for my cousin's good company, I don't care if I ride a
day's journey without baiting.

_Man._ By no means, Sir _Francis_. I am going upon a little business.

Sir _Fran._ Well, Sir, I know you don't love compliments.

_Man._ You'll excuse me, Madam----

Lady _Wrong._ Since you have business, Sir----

                                                        [_Exit ~Manly~._

                        _Enter Mrs. ~Motherly~._

O, Mrs. _Motherly_! you were saying this morning, you had some very
fine lace to shew me----can't I see it now?

                                                [_Sir ~Francis~ stares._

_Moth._ Why, really Madam, I had made a sort of a promise to let the
Countess of _Nicely_ have the first sight of it for the birth-day: but
your Ladyship----

Lady _Wrong._ O! I die if I don't see it before her.

  Squ. _Rich._ Woan't you goa; Feyther?     }
                                            }
  Sir _Fran._ Waunds! lad, I shall ha' noa  }  _Apart._
  stomach at this rate!                     }

_Moth._ Well, Madam, though I say it, 'tis the sweetest pattern that
ever came over----and for fineness----no cobweb comes up to it!

Sir _Fran._ Ods guts and gizard, Madam! lace as fine as a cobweb! why,
what the devil's that to cost now?

_Moth._ Nay, Sir _Francis_ does not like of it, Madam----

Lady _Wrong._ He like it! dear Mrs. Motherly, he is not to wear it.

Sir _Fran._ Flesh, Madam, but I suppose I am to pay for it.

Lady _Wrong._ No doubt on't! think of your thousand a year, and who got
it you, go! eat your dinner, and be thankful, go. [_Driving him to the
door._] Come, Mrs. _Motherly_.

                          [_Exit Lady ~Wronghead~ with Mrs. ~Motherly~._

Sir _Fran._ Very fine! so here I mun fast, 'till I am almost famished
for the good of my country; while Madam is laying me out an hundred
pounds a day in lace as fine as a cobweb, for the honour of my family!
ods-flesh; things had need go well at this rate!

Squ. _Rich._ Nay, nay----come, feyther.

                                                  [_Exit Sir ~Francis~._

                        _Enter Mrs. ~Motherly~._

_Moth._ Madam, my Lady desires you and the Count will please to come
and assist her fancy in some of the laces.

Count _Bas._ We'll wait upon her--

                                                [_Exit Mrs. ~Motherly~._

_Jenny._ So! I told you how it was! you see she can't bear to leave us
together.

Count _Bas._ No matter, my dear: you know she has ask'd me to stay
supper: so when your papa and she are a-bed, Mrs. _Myrtilla_ will let
me into the house again; then you may steal into her chamber, and we'll
have a pretty sneaker of punch together.

_Myr._ Ay, ay, Madam, you may command me any thing.

_Jenny._ Well! that will be pure!

Count _Bas._ But you had best go to her alone, my life: it will look
better if I come after you.

_Jenny._ Ay, so it will: and to-morrow you know at the masquerade. And
then!----hey! _Oh, I'll have a husband! ay, marry_, &c.

                                                        [_Exit singing._

_Myr._ So, Sir! am not I very _commode_ to you?

Count _Bas._ Well, child, and don't you find your account in it? did
not I tell you we might still be of use to one another?

_Myr._ Well, but how stands your affair with Miss, in the main?

Count _Bas._ O she's mad for the masquerade! it drives like a nail, we
want nothing now but a parson, to clinch it. Did not your aunt say she
could get one at a short warning?

_Myr._ Yes, yes, my Lord _Townly_'s chaplain is her cousin, you know;
he'll do your business and mine, at the same time.

Count _Bas._ O! it's true! but where shall we appoint him?

_Myr._ Why, you know my Lady _Townly_'s house is always open to the
masques upon a ball-night, before they go to the _Hay-market_.

Count _Bas._ Good.

_Myr._ Now the Doctor purposes, we should all come thither in our
habits, and when the rooms are full, we may steal up into his chamber,
he says, and there----crack----he'll give us all canonical commission
to go to bed together.

Count _Bas._ Admirable! Well, the devil fetch me, if I shall not be
heartily glad to see thee well settled, child.

_Myr._ And may the black gentleman tuck me under his arm at the same
time, if I shall not think myself oblig'd to you, as long as I live.

Count _Bas._ One kiss for old acquaintance sake----I'gad I shall want
to be busy again!

_Myr._ O you'll have one shortly will find you employment: but I must
run to my squire.

Count _Bas._ And I to the ladies----so your humble servant, sweet Mrs.
_Wronghead_.

_Myr._ Yours, as in duty bound, most noble Count _Basset_.

                                                          [_Exit ~Myr~._

Count _Bas._ Why ay! Count! That title has been of some use to me
indeed! not that I have any more pretence to it, than I have to a
blue ribband. Yet, I have made a pretty considerable figure in life
with it: I have loll'd in my own chariot, dealt at assemblies, din'd
with Ambassadors, and made one at quadrille, with the first women of
quality----But----_Tempora mutantur_----since that damn'd squadron at
_White_'s have left me out of their last secret, I am reduced to trade
upon my own stock of industry, and make my last push upon a wife: if my
card comes up right (which I think can't fail) I shall once more cut a
figure, and cock my hat in the face of the best of them! for since our
modern men of fortune are grown wise enough to be sharpers: I think
sharpers are fools that don't take up the airs of men of quality.

                                                                [_Exit._



+ACT+ V. +SCENE+ I.

                   +SCENE+, _Lord_ Townly's _House_.


                   _Enter ~Manly~ and Lady ~Grace~._

_Man._ There's something, Madam, hangs upon your mind, to-day: is it
unfit to trust me with it?

Lady _Grace._ Since you will know----my sister then----unhappy woman!

_Man._ What of her?

Lady _Grace._ I fear is on the brink of ruin!

_Man._ I am sorry for it----what has happened?

Lady _Grace._ Nothing so very new! but the continual repetition of it,
has at last rais'd my brother to an intemperance that I tremble at.

_Man._ Have they had any words upon it?

Lady _Grace._ He has not seen her since yesterday.

_Man._ What, not at home all night!

Lady _Grace._ About five this morning in she came! but with such looks,
and such an equipage of misfortunes at her heels----what can become of
her?

_Man._ Has not my lord seen her, say you?

Lady _Grace._ No! he chang'd his bed last night----I sat with him alone
till twelve, in expectation of her: but when the clock had struck, he
started from his chair, and grew incens'd to that degree, that had I
not, almost on my knees, dissuaded him, he had ordered the doors that
instant to have been locked against her.

_Man._ How terrible is his situation? when the most justifiable
severities he can use against her, are liable to be the mirth of all
the dissolute card-tables in town!

Lady _Grace._ 'Tis that, I know, has made him bear so long: but you
that feel for him, Mr. _Manly_, will assist him to support his honour,
and, if possible, preserve his quiet! therefore I beg you don't leave
the house, 'till one or both of them can be wrought to better temper.

_Man._ How amiable is this concern, in you!

Lady _Grace._ For heaven's sake don't mind me, but think of something
to preserve us all.

_Man._ I shall not take the merit of obeying your commands, Madam, to
serve my Lord----but pray, Madam, let me into all that has past, since
yesternight.

Lady _Grace._ When my intreaties had prevail'd upon my Lord, not to
make a story for the town, by so public a violence, as shutting her at
once out of his doors; he order'd the next apartment to my lady's to be
made ready for him----while that was doing----I try'd by all the little
arts I was mistress of, to amuse him into temper; in short, a silent
grief was all I could reduce him to----on this, we took our leaves,
and parted to our repose: what his was, I imagine by my own: for I
ne'er clos'd my eyes. About five, as I told you, I heard my lady at the
door; so I slipt on a gown, and sat almost an hour with her in her own
chamber.

_Man._ What said she, when she did not find my Lord there?

Lady _Grace._ O! so far from being shock'd or alarm'd at it; that she
blest the occasion! and said that in her condition, the chat of a
female friend was far preferable to the best husband's company in the
world.

_Man._ Where has she spirits to support so much insensibility?

Lady _Grace._ Nay! it's incredible! for though she had lost every
shilling she had in the world, and stretch'd her credit ev'n to
breaking; she rallied her own follies with such vivacity, and painted
the penance, she knows she must undergo for them, in such ridiculous
lights, that had not my concern for a brother been too strong for her
wit, she had a'most disarm'd my anger.

_Man._ Her mind may have another cast by this time: the most flagrant
dispositions have their hours of anguish; which their pride conceals
from company; but pray, Madam, how could she avoid coming down to dine?

Lady _Grace._ O! she took care of that before she went to bed; by
ordering her woman, whenever she was ask'd for, to say, she was not
well.

_Man._ You have seen her since she was up, I presume?

Lady _Grace._ Up! I question whether she be awake yet.

_Man._ Terrible! What a figure does she make now! That nature should
throw away so much beauty upon a creature, to make such a slatternly
use of it!

Lady _Grace._ O fy! there is not a more elegant beauty in town, when
she's drest.

_Man._ In my eye, Madam, she that's early drest, has ten times her
elegance.

Lady _Grace._ But she won't be long now, I believe: for I think I see
her chocolate going up----Mrs. _Trusty_,--a hem!

                   _Mrs. ~Trusty~ comes to the door._

_Man._ [_Aside._] Five o'clock in the afternoon, for a lady of
quality's breakfast, is an elegant hour indeed! which to shew her more
polite way of living too, I presume, she eats in her bed.

Lady _Grace._ [_To Mrs. ~Trusty~._] And when she is up, I would be glad
she would let me come to her toilet--That's all, Mrs. _Trusty_.

_Trusty._ I will be sure to let her ladyship know, Madam.

                                                  [_Exit Mrs. ~Trusty~._

                           _Enter a Servant._

_Serv._ Sir _Francis Wronghead_, Sir, desires to speak with you.

_Man._ He comes unseasonably----what shall I do with him!

Lady _Grace._ O see him by all means, we shall have time enough; in the
mean while I'll step in, and have an eye upon my brother. Nay, nay,
don't mind me--have business.----

_Man._ You must be obey'd----

                                [_Retreating while Lady Grace goes out._

Desire _Sir Francis_ to walk in----

                                                        [_Exit servant._

I suppose by this time his wise worship begins to find, that the
balance of his journey to London is on the wrong side.

                         _Enter Sir ~Francis~._

Sir _Francis_, your servant; how came I by the favour of this
extraordinary visit?

Sir _Fran._ Ah! cousin!

_Man._ Why that sorrowful face, man?

Sir _Fran._ I have no friend alive but you----

_Man._ I am sorry for that----but what's the matter?

Sir _Fran._ I have play'd the fool by this journey, I see now----for my
bitter wife----

_Man._ What of her?

Sir _Fran._ Is playing the devil!

_Man._ Why truly, that's a part that most of your fine ladies begin
with, as soon as they get to _London_.

Sir _Fran._ If I am a living man, cousin, she has made away with above
two hundred and fifty pounds since yesterday morning!

_Man._ Hah! I see a good housewife will do a great deal of work in a
little time.

Sir _Fran._ Work do they call it! fine work indeed!

_Man._ Well, but how do you mean made away with it? What, she has laid
it out, may be----but I suppose you have an account of it.

Sir _Fran._ Yes, yes, I have had the account indeed; but I mun needs
say, it's a very sorry one.

_Man._ Pray, let's hear.

Sir _Fran._ Why, first I let her have an hundred and fifty, to get
things handsom about her, to let the world see that I was somebody! and
I thought that sum very genteel.

_Man._ Indeed I think so; and in the country, might have serv'd her a
twelvemonth.

Sir _Fran._ Why so it might----but here in this fine tawn, forsooth! it
could not get through four and twenty hours----for in half that time,
it was all squandered away in baubles, and new fashion'd trumpery.

_Man._ O! for ladies in _London_, Sir _Francis_, all this might be
necessary.

Sir _Fran._ Noa, theere's the plague on't! the devil o' one useful
thing do I see for it, but two pair of lac'd shoes, and those stond me
in three pound three shillings a pair too.

_Man._ Dear Sir! this is nothing! Why we have city wives here, that
while their good man is selling three penny worth of sugar, will give
you twenty pound for a short apron.

Sir _Fran._ Mercy on us! what a mortal poor devil is a husband!

_Man._ Well, but I hope you have nothing else to complain of?

Sir _Fran._ Ah would I could say so too--but there's another hundred
behind yet, that goes more to my heart, than all that went before it.

_Man._ And how might that be disposed of?

Sir _Fran._ Troth I am almost ashamed to tell you.

_Man._ Out with it.

Sir _Fran._ Why she has been at an assembly.

_Man._ What, since I saw you! I thought you had all supt at home last
night?

Sir _Fran._ Why, so we did----and all as merry as grigs----I'cod! my
heart was so open, that I toss'd another hundred into her apron, to go
out early this morning with----but the cloth was no sooner taken away,
than in comes my Lady _Townly_ here, (----who between you and I----mum!
has had the devil to pay yonder----) with another rantipole dame of
quality, and out they must have her, they said, to introduce her at my
Lady _Noble_'s assembly forsooth----a few words, you may be sure, made
the bargain----so, bawnce! and away they drive as if the devil had got
into the coach box--so about four or five in the morning----home comes
Madam, with her eyes a foot deep in her head----and my poor hundred
pound left behind her at the hazard-table.

_Man._ All lost at dice!

Sir _Fran._ Every shilling----among a parcel of pig-tail puppies, and
pale fac'd women of quality.

_Man._ But pray, Sir _Francis_, how came you, after you found her so
ill an housewife of one sum, so soon to trust her with another?

Sir _Fran._ Why truly I mun say that was partly my own fault: for if
I had not been a blab of my tongue, I believe that last hundred might
have been sav'd.

_Man._ How so?

Sir _Fran._ Why, like an owl as I was, out of goodwill, forsooth,
partly to keep her in humour, I must needs tell her of the thousand
pound a year, I had just got the promise of--I'cod! she lays her claws
upon it that moment----said it was all owing to her advice, and truly
she would have her share on't.

_Man._ What, before you had it yourself?

Sir _Fran._ Why ay! that's what I told her----My dear, said I, mayhap I
mayn't receive the first quarter on't this half year.

_Man._ Sir _Francis_, I have heard you with a great deal of patience,
and I really feel compassion for you.

Sir _Fran._ Truly and well you may cousin, for I don't see that my
wife's goodness is a bit the better, for bringing to _London_.

_Man._ If you remember I gave you a hint of it.

Sir _Fran._ Why ay, it's true you did so: but the devil himself could
not have believ'd she would have rid post to him.

_Man._ Sir, if you stay but a fortnight in this town you will every
day see hundreds as fast upon the gallop, as she is.

Sir _Fran._ Ah! this _London_ is a base place indeed----waunds, if
things should happen to go wrong with me at _Westminster_, at this
rate, how the devil shall I keep out of jail!

_Man._ Why truly, there seems to me but one way to avoid it.

Sir _Fran._ Ah! wou'd you could tell me that, cousin.

_Man._ The way lies plain before you, Sir; the same road that brought
you hither will carry you safe home again.

Sir _Fran._ Ods-flesh! cousin, what! and leave a thousand pound a year
behind me?

_Man._ Pooh! pooh! leave any thing behind you, but your family, and you
are a saver by it.

Sir _Fran._ Ay, but consider, cousin, what a scurvy figure I shall make
in the country, if I come dawn withawt it!

_Man._ You will make a much more lamentable figure in jail without it.

Sir _Fran._ Mayhap 'at yow have no great opinion of it then, cousin?

_Man._ Sir _Francis_, to do you the service of a real friend, I must
speak very plainly to you: you don't yet see half the ruin that's
before you.

Sir _Fran._ Good-lack! how may yow mean, cousin?

_Man._ In one word, your whole affairs stand thus----In a week you'll
lose your seat at _Westminster_: In a fortnight my lady will run you
into jail, by keeping the best company----In four and twenty hours,
your daughter will run away with a sharper, because she han't been
us'd to better company: and your son will steal into marriage with a
cast-mistress, because he has not been us'd to any company at all.

Sir _Fran._ I'th' name of goodness why should you think all this?

_Man._ Because I have proof of it; in short, I know so much of their
secrets, that if all this is not prevented to-night, it will be out of
your power to do it to-morrow morning.

Sir _Fran._ Mercy upon us! you frighten me----Well, Sir, I will be
govern'd by yow: but what am I to do in this case?

_Man._ I have not time here to give you proper instructions; but about
eight this evening, I'll call at your lodgings; and there you shall
have full conviction, how much I have it at heart to serve you.

                           _Enter a Servant._

_Serv._ Sir, my Lord desires to speak with you.

_Man._ I'll wait upon him.

Sir _Fran._ Well then, I'll go straight home, naw.

_Man._ At eight depend upon me.

Sir _Fran._ Ah! dear cousin! I shall be bound to you as long as I live.
Mercy deliver us! what a terrible journey have I made on't!

                                                    [_Exeunt severally._


_The +SCENE+ opens to a dressing room. Lady ~Townly~, as just up,
walks to her toilet, leaning on Mrs. ~Trusty~._

_Trusty._ Dear Madam, what should make your Ladyship so out of order!

Lady _Town._ How is it possible to be well, where one is kill'd for
want of sleep?

_Trusty._ Dear me! it was so long before you rung, Madam, I was in
hopes your Ladyship had been finely compos'd.

Lady _Town._ Compos'd! why I have laid in an inn here! this house
is worse than an inn with ten stage-coaches! What between my lord's
impertinent people of business in a morning, and the intolerable thick
shoes of footmen at noon, one has not a wink all night.

_Trusty._ Indeed, Madam, it's a great pity my Lord can't be persuaded
into the hours of people of quality----Though I must say that, Madam,
your Ladyship is certainly the best matrimonial manager in town.

Lady _Town._ Oh! you are quite mistaken, _Trusty_! I manage very ill!
for notwithstanding all the power I have, by never being over-fond of
my lord----yet I want money infinitely oftener than he is willing to
give it me.

_Trusty._ Ah, if his lordship could but be brought to play himself,
Madam, then he might feel what it is to want money.

Lady _Town._ Oh! don't talk of it! do you know that I am undone,
_Trusty_?

_Trusty._ Mercy forbid, Madam!

Lady _Town._ Broke! ruin'd! plunder'd!----stripp'd, even to a
confiscation of my last guinea.

_Trusty._ You don't tell me so, Madam!

Lady _Townly._ And where to raise ten pound in the world----What is to
be done _Trusty_?

_Trusty._ Truly, I wish I was wise enough to tell you, Madam: but may
be your ladyship may have a run of better fortune, upon some of the
good company that comes here to-night.

Lady _Town._ But I have not a single guinea to try my fortune!

_Trusty._ Ha! that's a bad business indeed, Madam--Adad! I have a
thought in my head, Madam, if it is not too late----

Lady _Town._ Out with it quickly then, I beseech thee?

_Trusty._ Has not the steward something of fifty pound, Madam, that you
left in his hands to pay somebody about this time?

Lady _Town._ O! ay! I had forgot--'twas to--a--what's his filthy name?

_Trusty._ Now I remember, Madam, 'twas to Mr. _Lutestring_, your old
mercer, that your ladyship turn'd off, about a year ago, because he
would trust you no longer.

Lady _Town._ The very wretch! if he has not paid it, run quickly, dear
_Trusty_, and bid him bring it hither immediately----[_Exit ~Trusty~._]
Well! sure mortal woman never had such fortune! five! five, and nine,
against poor seven for ever!----No! after that horrid bar of my chance,
that Lady _Wronghead_'s fatal red fist upon the table, I saw it was
impossible, ever to win another stake----Sit up all night! lose all
one's money! dream of winning thousands! wake without a shilling! and
then how like a hag I look! In short----the pleasures of life are not
worth this disorder! If it were not for shame now, I could almost
think, Lady _Grace_'s sober scheme not quite so ridiculous----If my
wise lord could but hold his tongue for a week, 'tis odds, but I should
hate the town in a fortnight----But I will not be driven out of it,
that's positive!

                                                    [_~Trusty~ returns._

_Trusty._ O Madam! there is no bearing it! Mr. _Lutestring_ was just
let in at the door, as I came to the stair-foot! and the steward is now
actually paying him the money in the hall.

Lady _Town._ Run to the stair case head, again----and scream to him,
that I must speak with him this instant.

                                       [_~Trusty~ runs out, and speaks._

  _Trusty._ Mr. _Poundage_----a hem! Mr.            }
  _Poundage_, a word with you quickly.              }
                                                    }
  _Pound._ [_Within._] I'll come to you presently.  }
                                                    }
  _Trusty._ Presently won't do, man, you must       }
  come this minute.                                 }  _Without._
                                                    }
  _Pound._ I am but just paying a little money,     }
  here.                                             }
                                                    }
  _Trusty._ Cods my life! paying money? is          }
  the man distracted? come here I tell you,         }
  to my lady, this moment, quick!                   }

                                                    [_~Trusty~ returns._

Lady _Town._ Will the monster come or no?----

_Trusty._ Yes, I hear him now, Madam, he is hobbling up, as fast as he
can.

Lady _Town._ Don't let him come in--for he will keep such a babbling
about his accounts,----my brain is not able to bear him.

           [_~Poundage~ comes to the door with a money-bag in his hand._

_Trusty._ O! it's well you are come, Sir! where's the fifty-pound?

_Pound._ Why here it is; if you had not been in such haste, I should
have paid it by this time----the man's now writing a receipt, below,
for it.

_Trusty._ No matter! my lady says, you must not pay him with that
money, there is not enough, it seems; there's a pistole and a guinea
that's not good, in it----besides there is a mistake in the account
too----[_Twitching the bag from him._] But she is not at leisure to
examine it now; so you must bid Mr. What-d'ye-call-um call another time.

Lady _Town._ What is all that noise there?

_Pound._ Why and it please your Ladyship----

Lady _Town._ Pr'ythee! don't plague me now, but do as you were order'd.

_Pound._ Nay, what your Ladyship pleases, Madam----

                                                     [_Exit ~Poundage~._

_Trusty._ There they are, Madam----[_Pours the money out of the bag._]
The pretty things----were so near falling into a nasty tradesman's
hands, I protest it made me tremble for them----I fancy your ladyship
had as good give me that bad guinea, for luck's sake--thank you, Madam.

                                                      [_Takes a guinea._

Lady _Town._ Why, I did not bid you take it.

_Trusty._ No, but your ladyship look'd as if you were just going to bid
me, and so I was willing to save you the trouble of speaking, Madam.

Lady _Town._ Well! thou hast deserv'd it, and so for once----but hark!
don't I hear the man making a noise yonder? though I think now we may
compound for a little of his ill humour----

_Trusty._ I'll listen.

Lady _Town._ Pr'ythee do.

                                           [_~Trusty~ goes to the door._

_Trusty._ Ay! they are at it, Madam--he's in a bitter passion, with
poor _Poundage_----bless me! I believe he'll beat him----mercy on us;
how the wretch swears!

Lady _Town._ And a sober citizen too! that's a shame!

_Trusty._ Ha! I think all's silent, of a sudden----may be the porter
has knock'd him down--I'll step and see----

                                                       [_Exit ~Trusty~._

Lady _Town._ Those trades-people are the troublesomest creatures! no
words will satisfy them!

                                                    [_~Trusty~ returns._

_Trusty._ O Madam! undone! undone! my lord has just bolted out upon
the man, and is hearing all his pitiful story over----if your ladyship
pleases to come hither, you may hear him yourself!

Lady _Town._ No matter: it will come round presently: I shall have it
all from my Lord, without losing a word by the way, I'll warrant you.

_Trusty._ O lud! Madam! here's my lord just coming in.

Lady _Town._ Do you get out of the way then. [_Exit ~Trusty~._] I am
afraid I want spirits! but he will soon give 'em me.

                         _Enter Lord ~Townly~._

Lord _Town._ How comes it, Madam, that a tradesman dares be clamorous
in my house, for money due to him, from you?

Lady _Town._ You don't expect, my lord, that I should answer for other
peoples impertinence!

Lord _Town._ I expect, Madam, you should answer for your own
extravagances, that are the occasion of it----I thought I had given you
money three months ago, to satisfy all these sort of people!

Lady _Town._ Yes, but you see they are never to be satisfied.

Lord _Town._ Nor am I, Madam, longer to be abus'd thus! what's become
of the last five hundred I gave you?

Lady _Town._ Gone.

Lord _Town._ Gone! what way, Madam?

Lady _Town._ Half the town over, I believe, by this time.

Lord _Town._ 'Tis well! I see ruin will make no impression, 'till it
falls upon you.

Lady _Town._ In short, my Lord, if money is always the subject of our
conversation, I shall make you no answer.

Lord _Town._ Madam, Madam! I will be heard, and make you answer.

Lady _Town._ Make me! then I must tell you, my Lord, this is a language
I have not been us'd to, and I won't bear it.

Lord _Town._ Come! come, Madam, you shall bear a great deal more before
I part with you.

Lady _Town._ My Lord, if you insult me, you will have as much to bear,
on your side, I can assure you.

Lord _Town._ Pooh! your spirit grows ridiculous----you have neither
honour, worth, or innocence, to support it!

Lady _Town._ You'll find, at least, I have resentment! and do you look
well to the provocation!

Lord _Town._ After those you have given me, Madam, 'tis almost infamous
to talk with you.

Lady _Town._ I scorn your imputation and your menaces! The narrowness
of your heart's your monitor! 'tis there! there, my lord, you are
wounded; you have less to complain of than many husbands of an equal
rank to you.

Lord _Town._ Death, Madam! do you presume upon your corporal merit!
that your person's less tainted, than your mind! is it there! there
alone an honest husband can be injur'd? Have you not every other vice
that can debase your birth, or stain the heart of woman? Is not your
health, your beauty, husband, fortune, family disclaim'd, for nights
consumed in riot and extravagance? The wanton does no more; if she
conceals her shame, does less: And sure the dissolute avow'd, as sorely
wrongs my honour, and my quiet.

Lady _Town._ I see, my Lord, what sort of wife might please you.

Lord _Town._ Ungrateful woman! could you have seen yourself, you in
yourself had seen her----I am amaz'd our legislature has left no
precedent of a divorce for this more visible injury, this adultery of
the mind, as well as that of the person! when a woman's whole heart is
alienated to pleasures I have no share in, what is't to me whether a
black ace, or a powder'd coxcomb has possession of it?

Lady _Town._ If you have not found it yet, my lord, this is not the way
to get possession of mine, depend upon it.

Lord _Town._ That, Madam, I have long despair'd of; and since our
happiness cannot be mutual, 'tis fit, that with our hearts, our persons
too should separate.----This house you sleep no more in! tho' your
content might grosly feed upon the dishonour of a husband, yet my
desires would starve upon the features of a wife.

Lady _Town._ Your stile, my lord, is much of the same delicacy with
your sentiments of honour.

Lord _Town._ Madam, Madam! this is no time for compliments----I have
done with you.

Lady _Town._ If we had never met, my Lord, I had not broke my heart for
it! but have a care I may not, perhaps, be so easily recall'd as you
imagine.

Lord _Town._ Recall'd--Who's there!

                           _Enter a Servant._

Desire my sister and Mr. _Manly_ to walk up.

Lady _Town._ My Lord, you may proceed as you please, but pray what
indiscretions have I committed, that are not daily practis'd by a
hundred other women of quality?

Lord _Town._ 'Tis not the number of ill wives, Madam, that makes the
patience of a husband less contemptible: and though a bad one may be
the best man's lot, yet he'll make a better figure in the world, that
keeps his misfortunes out of doors, than he that tamely keeps her
within.

Lady _Town._ I don't know what figure you may make, my Lord, but I
shall have no reason to be asham'd of mine in whatever company I may
meet you.

Lord _Town._ Be sparing of your spirit, Madam, you'll need it to
support you.

                   _Enter Lady ~Grace~ and ~Manly~._

Mr. _Manly_, I have an act of friendship to beg of you, which wants
more apologies, than words can make for it.

_Man._ Then pray make none, my Lord, that I may have the greater merit
in obliging you.

Lord _Town._ Sister, I have the same excuse to intreat of you too.

Lady _Grace._ To your request, I beg, my Lord.

Lord _Town._ Thus then----as you both were present at my ill considered
marriage, I now desire you each will be a witness of my determin'd
separation----I know, Sir, your good nature, and my sister's must
be shock'd at the office I impose on you! but as I don't ask your
justification of my cause; so I hope you are conscious----that an ill
woman can't reproach you, if you are silent, upon her side.

_Man._ My lord, I never thought, 'till now, it could be difficult to
oblige you.

Lady _Grace._ [_Aside._] Heaven's! how I tremble!

Lord _Town._ For you, my Lady _Townly_, I need not here repeat the
provocations of my parting with you--the world, I fear, is too well
informed of them----For the good lord, your dead father's sake, I will
still support you, as his daughter----As the lord _Townly_'s wife, you
have had every thing a fond husband could bestow, and (to our mutual
shame I speak it) more than happy wives desire----But those indulgences
must end! State, equipage and splendor, but ill become the vices that
misuse 'em----The decent necessaries of life shall be supply'd----but
not one article to luxury! Not even the coach that waits to carry
you from hence, shall you ever use again! Your tender aunt, my Lady
_Lovemore_, with tears, this morning has consented to receive you;
where if time, and your condition brings you to a due reflection, your
allowance shall be increased----But if you still are lavish of your
little, or pine for past licentious pleasures, that little shall be
less! nor will I call that soul my friend, that names you in my hearing!

Lady _Grace._ My heart bleeds for her.

                                                               [_Aside._

Lord _Town._ O _Manly_! look there! turn back thy thoughts with me,
and witness to my growing love; there was a time when I believ'd that
form incapable of vice or of decay! There I proposed the partner of an
easy home! There I for ever hoped to find, a chearful companion, an
agreeable intimate, a faithful friend, a useful help-mate, and a tender
mother----But oh! how bitter now the disappointment!

_Man._ The world is different in its sense of happiness: offended as
you are, I know you still will be just.

Lord _Town._ Fear me not.

_Man._ This last reproach, I see, has struck her.

                                                               [_Aside._

Lord _Town._ No, let me not (though I this moment cast her from my
heart for ever) let me not urge her punishment beyond her crimes----I
know the world is fond of any tale that feeds its appetite of scandal:
and as I am conscious, severities of this kind seldom fail of
imputations too gross to mention, I here, before you both acquit her of
the least suspicion rais'd against the honour of my bed. Therefore when
abroad her conduct may be question'd, do her fame that justice.

Lady _Town._ O sister!

                                       [_Turns to Lady ~Grace~ weeping._

Lord _Town._ When I am spoken of, where without favour this action
may be canvass'd, relate but half my provocations, and give me up to
censure.

                                                               [_Going._

Lady _Town._ Support me! save me! hide me from the world!

                                        [_Falls on Lady ~Grace~'s neck._

Lord _Town._ [_Returning._]----I had forgot me--You have no share in my
resentment; therefore, as you have liv'd in friendship with her, your
parting may admit of gentler terms than suit the honour of an injur'd
husband.

                                                    [_Offers to go out._

_Man._ [_Interposing._] My Lord, you must not, shall not leave her
thus! one moment's stay can do your cause no wrong! If looks can speak
the anguish of the heart, I'll answer with my life, there's something
labouring in her mind, that would you bear the hearing, might deserve
it.

Lord _Town._ Consider! since we no more can meet; press not my staying
to insult her.

Lady _Town._ Yet stay my Lord----the little I would say, will not
deserve an insult; and undeserv'd, I know your nature gives it not. But
as you've call'd in friends, to witness your resentment, let them be
equal hearers of my last reply.

Lord _Town._ I shan't refuse you that, Madam----be it so.

Lady _Town._ My Lord, you ever have complain'd I wanted love; but as
you kindly have allowed I never gave it to another; so when you hear
the story of my heart, though you may still complain, you will not
wonder at my coldness.

Lady _Grace._ This promises a reverse of temper.

                                                               [_Apart._

_Man._ This, my Lord, you are concern'd to hear!

Lord _Town._ Proceed, I am attentive.

Lady _Town._ Before I was your bride, my Lord, the flattering world
had talk'd me into beauty; which, at my glass, my youthful vanity
confirm'd: wild with that fame, I thought mankind my slaves, I
triumph'd over hearts while all my pleasure was their pain: yet was my
own so equally insensible to all, that when a father's firm commands
enjoin'd me to make choice of one, I even there declin'd the liberty he
gave, and to his own election yielded up my youth----his tender care,
my Lord, directed him to you----Our hands were join'd! But still my
heart was wedded to its folly! My only joy was power, command, society,
profuseness, and to lead in pleasures! The husband's right to rule,
I thought a vulgar law, which only the deform'd or meanly spirited
obey'd! I knew no directors, but my passions; no matter but my will!
even you, my lord, some time o'ercome by love, was pleas'd with my
delights; nor, then foresaw this mad misuse of your indulgence----And,
though I call myself ungrateful, while I own it, yet as a truth, it
cannot be deny'd----That kind indulgence has undone me! it added
strength to my habitual failings, and in a heart thus warm, in wild
unthinking life, no wonder if the gentler sense of love was lost.

  Lord _Town._ O _Manly_! where has this creature's  }
  heart been buried?                                 }
                                                     }  _Apart._
  _Man._ If yet recoverable----How vast a            }
  treasure?                                          }

Lady _Town._ What I have said, my lord, is not my excuse; but my
confession! my errors (give 'em if you please, a harder name) cannot
be defended! No! What's in its nature wrong, no words can palliate,
no plea can alter! What then remains in my condition but resignation
to your pleasure? Time only can convince you of my future conduct:
Therefore till I have liv'd an object of forgiveness, I dare not hope
for pardon----The penance of a lonely contrite life were little to the
innocent; but to have deserv'd this separation, will strew perpetual
thorns upon my pillow.

Lady _Grace._ O happy, heavenly hearing!

Lady _Town._ Sister, farewel! [_Kissing her._] Your virtue needs no
warning from the shame that falls on me: but when you think I have
aton'd my follies past----persuade your injur'd brother to forgive them.

Lord _Town._ No, Madam! Your errors thus renounc'd, this instant are
forgotten! So deep, so due a sense of them, has made you, what my
utmost wishes form'd, and all my heart has sigh'd for.

Lady _Town._ [_Turning to Lady ~Grace~._] How odious does this goodness
make me!

Lady _Grace._ How amiable your thinking so?

Lord _Town._ Long-parted friends, that pass through easy voyages
of life, receive but common gladness in their meeting: but from a
shipwreck sav'd, we mingle tears with our embraces!

                                             [_Embracing Lady ~Townly~._

Lady _Town._ What words! what love! what duty can repay such
obligations!

Lord _Town._ Preserve but this desire to please, your power is endless.

Lady _Town._ Oh!----'till this moment, never did I know, my Lord, I had
a heart to give you!

Lord _Town._ By heav'n this yielding hand, when first it gave you to
my wishes, presented not a treasure more desirable! O _Manly_! sister!
as you have often shar'd in my disquiet, partake of my felicity! my
new-born joy! see here the bride of my desires! this may be called my
wedding-day!

Lady _Grace._ Sister! (for now methinks that name is dearer to my heart
than ever) let me congratulate the happiness that opens to you.

_Man._ Long, long and mutual may it flow----

Lord _Town._ To make our happiness compleat, my dear, join here with me
to give a hand, that amply will repay the obligation.

Lady _Town._ Sister! a day like this----

Lady _Grace._ Admits of no excuse against the general joy.

                                           [_Gives her hand to ~Manly~._

_Man._ A joy like mine----despairs of words to speak it.

Lord _Town._ O _Manly_! how the name of friend endears the brother!

                                                       [_Embracing him._

_Man._ Your words, my Lord, will warn me to deserve them.

                           _Enter a Servant._

_Serv._ My Lord, the apartments are full of masqueraders----And some
people of quality there desire to see your Lordship and my Lady.

Lady _Town._ I thought, my Lord, your orders had forbid this revelling?

Lord _Town._ No, my dear, _Manly_ has desir'd their admittance
to-night, it seems, upon a particular occasion----Say we will wait upon
them instantly.

                                                        [_Exit Servant._

Lady _Town._ I shall be but ill company to them.

Lord _Town._ No matter: not to see them, would on a sudden to be too
particular. Lady _Grace_ will assist you to entertain them.

Lady _Town._ With her, my Lord, I shall be always easy----Sister, to
your unerring virtue, I commit the guidance of my future days.

    Never the paths of pleasure more to tread,
    But where your guarded innocence shall lead.
    For in the marriage-state the world must own,
    Divided happiness was never known.
    To make it mutual, nature points the way:
    Let husbands govern: gentle wives obey.

                                                                [_Exit._


  _The +SCENE+ opening to another apartment discovers a great number
    of people in masquerade talking all together, and playing one
    upon another: Lady ~Wronghead~ as a shepherdess; ~Jenny~, as
    a nun; the Squire as a running footman; and the Count in a
    ~Domino~. After some time, Lord and Lady ~Townly~, with Lady
    ~Grace~, enter to them unmask'd._

Lord _Town._ So! here's a great deal of company.

Lady _Grace._ A great many people, my Lord, but no company----as you'll
find----for here's one now, that seems to have a mind to entertain us.

                      [_A mask, after some affected gesture, makes up to
                                                         Lady ~Townly~._

_Mask._ Well, dear Lady _Townly_, shan't we see you, by-and-by?

Lady _Town._ I don't know you, Madam.

_Mask._ Don't you, seriously?

                                                 [_In a squeaking tone._

Lady _Town._ Not I, indeed.

_Mask._ Well, that's charming; but can't you guess?

Lady _Town._ Yes, I could guess wrong, I believe.

_Mask._ That's what I'd have you to do.

Lady _Town._ But, Madam, if I don't know you at all, is not that as
well?

_Mask._ Ay, but you do know me.

Lady _Town._ Dear sister, take her off o' my hands; there's no bearing
this.

                                                               [_Apart._

Lady _Grace._ I fancy I know you, Madam.

_Mask._ I fancy you don't: what makes you think you do?

Lady _Grace._ Because I have heard you talk.

_Mask._ Ay, but you don't know my voice, I'm sure.

Lady _Grace._ There is something in your wit and humour, Madam, so
very much your own, it is impossible you can be any body but my Lady
_Trifle_.

_Mask._ [Unmasking.] Dear Lady Grace! thou art a charming creature.

Lady _Grace._ Is there no body else we know here?

_Mask._ O dear, yes! I have found out fifty already.

Lady _Grace._ Pray who are they?

_Mask._ O, charming company! there's Lady _Ramble_----Lady
_Riot_----Lady _Kill-Care_----Lady _Squander_----Lady _Strip_----Lady
_Pawn_----and the Dutchess of _Single-Guinea_.

  Lord _Town._ Is it not hard, my dear! that   }
  people of sense and probity are sometimes    }
  forc'd to seem fond of such company?         }  _Apart._
                                               }
  Lady _Town._ My Lord, it will always give    }
  me pain to remember their acquaintance, but  }
  none to drop it immediately.                 }

Lady _Grace._ But you have given us no account of the men, Madam. Are
they good for any thing?

_Mask._ O yes! you must know, I always find out them by their
endeavours to find out me.

Lady _Grace._ Pray who are they?

_Mask._ Why, for your men of tip-top wit and pleasure, about
town, there's my Lord----_Bite_----Lord _Arch-wag_----Young
_Brazen-wit_----Lord _Timberdown_----Lord _Joint-Life_----and----Lord
_Mortgage_. Then for your pretty fellows only----there's Sir
_Powder-Peacock_----Lord _Lapwing_----_Billy Magpye_----Beau
_Frightful_----Sir _Paul Plaster-crown_, and the Marquis of
_Monkey-man_.

Lady _Grace._ Right; and these are fine gentlemen that never want
elbow-room at an assembly.

_Mask._ The rest I suppose, by their tawdry hired habits are tradesmens
wives, inns-of-court beaus, _Jews_, and kept mistresses.

Lord _Town._ An admirable collection!

Lady _Grace._ Well, of all our public diversions, I am amaz'd how this,
that is so very expensive, and has so little to shew for it, can draw
so much company together.

Lord _Town._ O! if it were not expensive, the better sort would not
come into it: and because money can purchase a ticket, the common
people scorn to be kept out of it.

_Mask._ Right, my Lord, poor Lady Grace! I suppose you are under the
same astonishment, that an opera should draw so much good company.

Lady _Grace._ Not at all, Madam; it is an easier matter sure to gratify
the ear, than the understanding. But have you no notion, Madam, of
receiving pleasure and profit at the same time?

_Mask._ Oh! quite none! unless it be sometimes winning a great stake;
laying down a Vole, sans prendre may come up, to the profitable
pleasure you were speaking of.

  Lord _Town._ You seem attentive, my dear?      }
                                                 }
  Lady _Town._ I am, my Lord; and amaz'd at      }  _Apart._
  my own follies so strongly painted in another  }
  woman.                                         }

Lady _Grace._ But see, my Lord, we had best adjourn our debate, I
believe, for here are some masks that seem to have a mind to divert
other people as well as themselves.

Lord _Town._ The least we can do is to give them a clear stage then.

                         [_A dance of masks here in various characters._

This was a favour extraordinary.

                            _Enter ~Manly~._

O _Manly_! I thought we had lost you.

_Man._ I ask pardon, my Lord; but I have been oblig'd to look a little
after my country family.

Lord _Town._ Well, pray, what have you done with them?

_Man._ They are all in the house here, among the masks, my Lord; if
your Lordship has curiosity enough, to step into a lower apartment, in
three minutes I'll give you an ample account of them.

Lord _Town._ O! by all means: we'll wait upon you.

                [_The scene shuts upon the masks to smaller apartments._

           _~Manly~ re-enters with Sir ~Francis Wronghead~._

Sir _Fran._ Well, cousin, you have made my very hair stand on an end!
Waunds! if what you tell me be true, I'll stuff my whole family into a
stage-coach, and trundle them into the country on _Monday_ morning.

_Man._ Stick to that, Sir, and we may yet find a way to redeem all: in
the mean time, place yourself behind this screen, and for the truth of
what I have told you take the evidence of your own senses: but be sure
you keep close till I give you the signal.

Sir _Fran._ Sir! I'll warrant you----Ah! my Lady, my Lady _Wronghead!_
What a bitter business have you drawn me into!

_Man._ Hush! to your post; here comes one couple already.

               _Sir ~Francis~ retires behind the screen._

                                                        [_Exit ~Manly~._

               _Enter ~Myrtilla~ with Squire ~Richard~._

Squ. _Rich._ What! is this the doctor's chamber?

_Myr._ Yes, yes, speak softly.

Squ. _Rich._ Well, but where is he?

_Myr._ He'll be ready for us presently, but he says he can't do us the
good turn, without witnesses: so, when the Count and your sister come,
you know he and you may be fathers for one another.

Squ. _Rich._ Well, well, tit for tat! ay, ay, that will be friendly.

_Myr._ And see! here they come.

               _Enter Count ~Basset~, and Miss ~Jenny~._

Count _Bas._ So, so, here's your brother, and his bride, before us, my
dear.

_Jenny._ Well, I vow my heart's at my mouth still! I thought I should
never have got rid of Mama! but while she stood gaping on the dance, I
gave her the slip! Lawd! do but feel how it beats here.

Count _Bas._ O the pretty flutterer! I protest, my dear, you have put
mine into the same palpitation!

_Jenny._ Ah! you say so----but let's see now----O lud! I vow it thumps
purely--well, well, I see it will do, and so where's the parson?

Count _Bas._ Mrs. _Myrtilla_, will you be so good as to see if the
doctor's ready for us?

_Myr._ He only staid for you, Sir: I'll fetch him immediately.

                                                     [_Exit ~Myrtilla~._

_Jenny._ Pray, Sir, am not I to take place of Mama, when I am a
countess?

Count _Bas._ No doubt on't, my dear.

_Jenny._ O lud how her back will be up then, when she meets me at an
assembly! or you and I in our coach and six, at _Hyde-Park_ together!

Count _Bas._ Ay, or when she hears the box-keepers, at an Opera, call
out--_The Countess of_ Basset's _servants_!

_Jenny._ Well, I say it, that will be delicious! And then, mayhap, to
have a fine gentleman with a star and what-d'ye-call-um ribbon, lead
me to my chair, with his hat under his arm all the way! Hold up, says
the chairman, and so, says I, my Lord, your humble servant. I suppose,
Madam, says he, we shall see you at my Lady _Quadrille_'s! Ay, ay,
to be sure, my Lord, says I----So in swops me, with my hoop stuff'd
up to my forehead! and away they trot, swing! swang! with my tassels
dangling, and my flambeaux blazing, and----Oh! it's a charming thing to
be a woman of quality!

Count _Bas._ Well, I see that plainly, my dear, there's ne'er a
Dutchess of 'em all will become an equipage like you.

_Jenny._ Well, well, do you find equipage, and I'll find airs, I
warrant you.

                                                               [_Sings._

Squ. _Rich._ Troth! I think this masquerading's the merriest game that
ever I saw in my life! Thof, in my mind, and there were but a little
wrestling, or cudgel playing naw, it would help it hugely. But what
a-rope makes the parson stay so?

Count _Bas._ Oh! here he comes, I believe.

                  _Enter ~Myrtilla~ with a constable._

_Const._ Well, Madam, pray which is the party that wants a spice of my
office here?

_Myr._ That's the gentleman.

                                               [_Pointing to the Count._

Count _Bas._ Hey-day! what in masquerade, doctor?

_Const._ Doctor! Sir, I believe you have mistaken your man: but if you
are called Count _Basset_, I have a _billet-doux_ in my hand for you,
that will set you right presently.

Count _Bas._ What the devil's the meaning of all this?

_Const._ Only my Lord Chief Justice's warrant against you for forgery,
Sir.

Count _Bas._ Blood and thunder!

_Const._ And so, Sir, if you please to pull off your fool's frock
there, I'll wait upon you to the next Justice of peace immediately.

_Jenny._ O dear me! what's the matter?

                                                           [_Trembling._

Count _Bas._ O! nothing, only a masquerading frolic, my dear.

Squ. _Rich._ Oh oh! is that all?

Sir _Fran._ No, Sirrah! that is not all.

             [_Sir ~Francis~ coming softly behind the Squire, knocks him
                                                    down with his cane._

                            _Enter ~Manly~._

Squ. _Rich._ O lawd! O lawd! he has beaten my brains out!

_Man._ Hold, hold, Sir _Francis_, have a little mercy upon my poor
godson, pray, Sir.

Sir _Fran._ Waunds, cousin, I han't patience.

Count _Bas._ _Manly_! nay, then I'm blown to the devil.

                                                               [_Aside._

Squ. _Rich._ O my head! my head!

                       _Enter Lady ~Wronghead~._

Lady _Wrong._ What's the matter here, gentlemen? for heav'ns sake!
what, are you murd'ring my children?

_Con._ No, no, Madam! no murder! only a little suspicion of felony,
that's all.

Sir _Fran._ [_To ~Jenny~._] And for you, Mrs. _Hot-upon't_, I could
find in my heart to make you wear that habit, as long as you live,
you jade you. Do you know, hussy, that you were within two minutes of
marrying a pickpocket?

Count _Bas._ So, so, all's out, I find.

                                                               [_Aside._

_Jenny._ O the mercy! why, pray, Papa, is not the Count a man of
quality then?

Sir _Fran._ O yes! one of the unhang'd ones, it seems.

Lady _Wrong._ [_Aside._] Married! O the confident thing! There was his
urgent business then----slighted for her! I han't patience!--and for
ought I know, I have been all this while making a friendship with a
highwayman!

_Man._ Mr. _Constable_, secure that door there.

Sir _Fran._ Ah, my Lady! my Lady! this comes of your journey to
_London_! but now I have a frolick of my own, Madam; therefore pack up
your trumpery this very night, for the moment my horses are able to
crawl, you and your brats shall make a journey into the country again.

Lady _Wrong._ Indeed you are mistaken, Sir _Francis_----I shall not
stir out of town yet, I promise you.

Sir _Fran._ Not stir! Waunds! madam----

_Man._ Hold, Sir!--if you'll give me leave a little--I fancy I shall
prevail upon my Lady to think better on't.

Sir _Fran._ Ah? cousin, you are a friend indeed!

_Man._ [_Apart to my Lady._] Look you, Madam, as to the favour you
design'd me, in sending this spurious letter inclosed to my Lady
_Grace_, all the revenge I have taken, is to have sav'd your son and
daughter from ruin----Now if you will take them fairly and quietly into
the country again, I will save your Ladyship from ruin.

Lady _Wrong._ What do you mean, Sir?

_Man._ Why Sir _Francis_----shall never know what is in this letter;
look upon it. How it came into my hands you shall know at leisure.

Lady _Wrong._ Ha! my _billet-doux_ to the Count! and an appointment in
it! I shall sink with confusion!

_Man._ What shall I say to Sir _Francis_, Madam?

Lady _Wrong._ Dear Sir, I am in such a trembling! preserve my honour
and I am all obedience!

                                                    [_Apart to ~Manly~._

_Man._ Sir _Francis_----my Lady is ready to receive your commands for
her journey whenever you please to appoint it.

Sir _Fran._ Ah cousin! I doubt I am obliged to you for it.

_Man._ Come, come, Sir _Francis_! take it as you find it. Obedience in
a wife is a good thing, though it were never so wonderful----And now,
Sir, we have nothing to do but dispose of this gentleman.

Count _Bas._ Mr. _Manly_! Sir, I hope you won't ruin me.

_Man._ Did not you forge this note for five hundred pounds, Sir?

Count _Bas._ Sir----I see you know the world, and therefore I shall
not pretend to prevaricate----But it has hurt nobody yet, Sir! I beg
you will not stigmatize me! since you have spoil'd my fortune in one
family, I hope you won't be so cruel to a young fellow, as to put it
out of my power, Sir, to make it in another, Sir!

_Man._ Look you, Sir, I have not much time to waste with you: but if
you expect mercy yourself, you must show it to one you have been cruel
to.

Count _Bas._ Cruel, Sir!

_Man._ Have not you ruin'd this young woman?

Count _Bas._ I, Sir!

_Man._ I know you have----therefore you can't blame her, if, in the
fact you are charg'd with, she is a principal witness against you.
However, you have one and one only chance to get off with. Marry her
this instant----and you take off her evidence.

Count _Bas._ Dear Sir!

_Man._ No words, Sir; a wife or a _mittimus_.

Count _Bas._ Lord, Sir! this is the most unmerciful mercy!

_Man._ A private penance, or a public one----constable.

Count _Bas._ Hold, Sir, since you are pleas'd to give me my choice; I
will not make so ill a compliment to the Lady, as not to give her the
preference.

_Man._ It must be done this minute, Sir: the chaplain you expected is
still within call.

Count _Bas._ Well, Sir,----since it must be so----come, spouse----I am
not the first of the fraternity that has run his head into one noose,
to keep it out of another.

_Myr._ Come, Sir, don't repine: marriage is, at worst, but playing upon
the square.

Count _Bas._ Ay, but the worst of the match too, is the devil.

_Man._ Well, Sir, to let you see it is not so bad as you think it; as
a reward for her honesty, in detecting your practices, instead of the
forged bill you would have put upon her, there's a real one of five
hundred pounds, to begin a new honey-moon with.

                                                [_Gives it to Myrtilla._

Count _Bas._ Sir, this is so generous an act----

_Man._ No compliments, dear Sir,----I am not at leisure now to receive
them: Mr. _Constable_, will you be so good as to wait upon this
gentleman into the next room, and give this lady in marriage to him?

_Const._ Sir, I'll do it faithfully.

Count _Bas._ Well! five hundred will serve to make a handsome push
with, however.

                                  [_Exeunt Count, ~Myr.~ and Constable._

Sir _Fran._ And that I may be sure my family's rid of him for
ever----come, my Lady, let's even take our children along with us, and
be all witness of the ceremony.

                    [_Exeunt Sir ~Fran~, Lady ~Wrong~, Miss and Squire._

_Man._ Now, my Lord, you may enter.

           _Enter Lord and Lady ~Townly~, and Lady ~Grace~._

Lord _Town._ So, Sir, I give you joy of your negotiation.

_Man._ You overheard it all, I presume?

Lady _Grace._ From first to last, Sir.

Lord _Town._ Never were knaves and fools better dispos'd of.

_Man._ A sort of poetical justice, my Lord, not much above the judgment
of a modern comedy.

Lord _Town._ To heighten that resemblance, I think, sister, there only
wants your rewarding the hero of the fable, by naming the day of his
happiness.

Lady _Grace._ This day, to-morrow, every hour, I hope, of life to come,
will shew I want not inclination to complete it.

_Man._ Whatever I may want, Madam, you will always find endeavours to
deserve you.

Lord _Town._ Then all are happy.

Lady _Town._ Sister! I give you joy! consummate as the happiest pair
can boast.

    In you methinks, as in a glass, I see
    The happiness that once advanc'd to me.
    So visible the bliss, so plain the way,
    How was it possible my sense could stray?
    But now, a convert, to this truth, I come,
    That married happiness is never found from home.



EPILOGUE,


                       Spoken by Mrs. +OLDFIELD+.

    _Methinks I hear some powder'd Critics say,
    "Damn it! this Wife Reform'd has spoil'd the play!
    The coxcomb should have drawn her more in fashion,                 }
    Have gratify'd her softer inclination,                             }
    Have tipt her a gallant, and clinch'd the provocation."            }
    But there our Bard stopt short: for 'twere uncivil
    T' have made a modern ~Belle~ all o'er a Devil!
    He hop'd, in honour of the sex, the age
    Would bear one mended woman----on the stage._

      _From whence, you see by common sense's rules,
    Wives might be govern'd, were not husbands fools.
    Whate'er by Nature dames are prone to do,
    They seldom stray but when they govern you.
    When the wild wife perceives her deary tame,
    No wonder then she plays him all the game.
    But men of sense meet rarely that disaster;
    Women take pride, where merit is their master:
    Nay, she that with a weak man wisely lives,
    Will seem t' obey the due commands he gives!
    Happy obedience is no more a wonder,
    When men are men, and keep them kindly under.
    But modern consorts are such high-bred creatures,
    They think a husband's power degrades their features;
    That nothing more proclaims a reigning beauty,
    Than that she never was reproach'd with duty;
    And that the greatest blessing Heav'n e'er sent,
    Is in a spouse, incurious and content.
      To give such dames a diff'rent cast of thought,
    By calling home the mind, these scenes were wrought.
    If with a hand too rude, the task is done,
    We hope the scheme by Lady ~Grace~ laid down,
    Will all such freedom with the sex atone.
    That virtue there unsoil'd, by modish art,
    Throw out attractions for a ~Manly~'s heart._

      _You, you, then Ladies, whose unquestion'd lives
    Give you the foremost fame of happy wives,
    Protect, for its attempt, this helpless play;
    Nor leave it to the vulgar taste a prey;
    Appear the frequent champions of its cause,
    Direct the crowd and give yourselves applause._



_Sung by Mrs. ~=Cibber=~, in the Fourth Act._


                       The Words by =Mr. Carey=.

    Oh, I'll have a husband! ay, marry;
      For why should I longer tarry,
     For why should I longer tarry
       Than other brisk girls have done?
    For if I stay, 'till I grow gray,
    They'll call me old maid, and fusty old jade;
        So I'll no longer tarry;
     But I'll have a husband, ay, marry,
       If money can buy me one.

      My mother she says I'm too coming;
      And still in my ears she is drumming,
      And still in my ears she is drumming,
        That I such vain thoughts shou'd shun.
    My sisters they cry, oh fy! and oh fy!
    But yet I can see they're as coming as me;
      So let me have husbands in plenty:
      I'd rather have twenty times twenty,
        Than die an old maid undone.



_Sung by Mrs. ~=Cibber=~, in the Fifth Act._


                       The Words by =Mr. Carey=.

                          I.

    What tho' they call me country lass,
    I read it plainly in my glass,
    That for a Dutchess I might pass:
         Oh, could I see the day!
    Would fortune but attend my call,
    At park, at play, at ring and ball,
    I'd brave the proudest of them all,
    With a _stand by----clear the way_.

                          II.

    Surrounded by a crowd of beaux,
    With smart toupees, and powder'd clothes,
    At rivals I'll turn up my nose;
         Oh, could I see the day!
    I'll dart such glances from these eyes,
    Shall make some Lord or Duke my prize;
    And then, oh! how I'll tyrannise,
    With _stand by----clear the way_.

                          III.

    Oh! then for ev'ry new delight,
    For equipage and diamonds bright,
    _Quadrille_, and plays, and balls all night;
         Oh! could I see the day!
    Of love and joy I'd take my fill,
    The tedious hours of life to kill,
    In ev'ry thing I'd have my will,
         With a _stand by----clear the way_.

                                 FINIS.

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  TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES


  Note The Confederacy does not begin with a title page for the play.

  Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
  errors.

  Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.

  Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

  Enclosed unitalicized font in ~tildes~.

  Enclosed unitalicized small cap font in =equals=.

  Enclosed letter-spaced characters in +plus signs+.





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