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Jer. Why ? why, forsooth ? What do you mean, if you go there

Wid. Thou art but my base child ; and according to the law.
canst not inherit it. Nay, thou art not so much as bastard eignc.

Jer. What, what am I, mother?

Wid. The law says

Free. Madam, we know what the law says ; but have a care
what you say. Do not let your passion to ruin your son ruin your

Wid. Hang reputation, sir ! Am not I a widow ? have no hus-
band, nor intend to have any ? Nor would you, 1 suppose, now
have me for a wife. So I think now I'm revenged on my son and
you. without marrying, as I told you.


Free. But consider, madam.

Jer. What, have you no shame left in you, mother ?

Wid. Wonder not at it, major. Tis often the poor pressed
widow's case, to give up her honour to save her jointure ; and seem
to be a light woman, rather than marry. [Aside to OLDFOX.

Free. But dne word ith you, madam.

Wid. No, no, sir. Come, major, let us make haste noiv to tlie
Prerogative Court.

Old. But, lady, if what you say be true, will you stigmati/e your
reputation on record? and if it be not true, how will you prove it ?

Wid. Pshaw ! I can prove anything ; and for my reputation,
know, major, a wise woman will no more value her reputation, in
disinheriting a rebellious son of a good estate, than she would in
getting him to inherit an estate. \Exeunt WIDOW and OLDFOX.

Free. Madam . We must not let her go so, squire.

Jer. Nay, the devil can't stop her though, if she has a mind to't.
But come, buily-guardian, we'll go and advise with three attorneys,
two proctors, two solicitors, and a shrewd man of Whitefriars,
neither attorney, proctor, or solicitor, but as pure a cub of the law
as any of 'em ; and sure all they will be hard enough for her, for I
fear, bully-guardian, you are too good a joker to have any law in
your head. [Exeunt.

SCENE \l.Quvi\-$Loitging.
Enter LORD PLAUSIBLE and BOY with a candle.

Ptaus. Little gentleman, your most obedient, faithful, humble
servant. Where, I beseech you, is that divine person, your noble

Boy. Gone out, my lord ; but commanded me to give you this
letter. [Gives him a letter.

Enter NOVEL.

Plans. Which he must not observe. [Aside. Puts it up.

Not'. Hey, boy, where is thy lady ?

Boy. Gone out, sir ; but I must beg a word with you.

\Gives him a letter, and exit.

Noi>. For me? So. [Puts up the Letter^ Sen-ant, servant,
my lord ; you see the lady knew of your coming, for she is gone

Plaus. Sir, 1 humbly beseech you not to censure the lady's good
breeding ; she has reason to use more liberty with me than with any
other man.

Nov. How, viscount, how ?

Plans. Nay, I humbly beseech you, be not in choler : whcic
there is most love, there may be most freedom.

Ktn>. Nay, then 'tis time to come to an ecliircissement with ycu,
and to tell ycu yor mu t think no more of this 1-uK's love.


Plaus. Why, under correction, dear sir?

Nov. There are reasons, reasons, viscount.

Plaus. What, I beseech you, noble sir?

Nov. Prithee, prithee, be not impertinent, my lord ; some of you
lords are such conceited, well-assured, impertinent rogues.

Plans. And you noble wits are so full of shamming and drolling,
one knows not where to have you seriously.

NIK.'. Prithee, my lord, be not an ass. Dost thou think to get
her from me ? I have had such encouragements

Plaus. I have not been thought unworthy of 'em.

Nov. What, not like mine ! Come to an eclaircissement, as I

Ptaus. Why, seriously then, she has told me viscountess sounded

Nor. And me. that Novel was a name she would sooner change
hers for than for any title in England.

Pltitts. She has commended the softness and respectfulness ol
my behaviour.

'Nov. She has praised the briskness of my raillery, of all things,

Pletus. The sleepiness of my eyes she liked.

Nm>. Sleepiness ! dulness, dulness. But the fierceness of mine
she adored.

Plaus. The brightness of my hair she liked.

Nov. The brightness ! no, the greasiness, I warrant. !kit the
blackness and lustre of mine she admires.

Plaus. The gentleness of my smile. ^

Nm>. The subtlety of my leer.

Plaus. The clearness of my complexion.

Nov. The redness of my lips.

Plaus. The whiteness of my teeth.

Nm 1 . My jaunty way of picking them.

Plaus. The sweetness of my breath

NOT.'. Ha ! ha ! nay, then she abused vou, 'tis plain ; for you
know what Manly said : the sweetness of your pulvillio she might
mean ; but for your breath ! ha ! ha ! ha ! Your breath is such,
man. that nothing but tobacco can perflime ; and your complexion
nothing could mend but the small-pox.

Plaus. Well, sir, you may please to be merry ; but, to put you
out of all doubt, sir, she has received some jewels from me of value.

Nov. And presents from me ; besides what I presented her
jauntily, by way of ombre, of three or four hundred pounds value,
which I'm sure are the earnest-pence for our love-bargain.

Plaus. Nay, then, sir, with your favour, and to make an end of
all your hopes, look you there, sir, she has writ to me

Nov. How ! how ! well, well, and so she has to me ; look you
there [Deliver to each other their letters.

Plaus. What's here ?

Nov. How's this ?


[Reads outJ] My dear Lord, You'll excuse me for breaking #ty
word with you, si net 'twas to oblige, not offend you ; for J a in, only
gone abroad but to disappoint Novel, and meet you in the drawing-
room ; where I expect you with as much impatience as when 1 used
to suffer Novel's visits the most impertinent fop that ever affected
the name of a wit, therefore not capable, I hope, to give yox
jealousy ; for, for your sake alone, you saw I renounced an old
lover, and will do all the world. Burn the letter, but lay up the
kindness of it in your heart, with your OLIVIA.
Very fine, but pray let's see mine.

Plaus. I understand it not ; but sure she cannot think so of me.

Nov. [Reads the other letter^ Hum ! ha ! meetfor your sake
hum quitted an old lover world burn in your heart with

Just the same, the names only altejred.

Plaits. Surely there must be some mistake, or somebody has
abused her and us.

Nov. Yes, you are abused, no doubt on't, my lord ; but I'll to
Whitehall and see.

Plaus. And I. where I shall find you are abused.

Nov. Where, if it be so, for our comfort, we cannot fail of meet-
ing with fellow-sufferers enough ; for, as Freeman said of another,
she stands in the drawing-room, like the glass, ready for all comers,
to set their gallantry by her ; and, like the glass too, lets no man
go from her unsatisfied with himself. [Exeunt.

Enter OLIVIA and BOY.

Qliv. Both here, and just gone ?

Boy. Yes, madan.

Qliv. But are you sure neither :,.v.v you deliver the other a letter?

Boy. Yes, yes, madaui, I am very sure.

Oliv. Go then to the Old Exchange, to Westminster, Holborn,
and all the other places I told you off ; I shall not nee<,i you these
two hours. Begone, and take the candle with you. and be sure you
leave word again below, I am gone out, to all that ask.

Pay. Yes, madam. \jExU.

Oliv. And my new lover will not ask, I'm sure. He has his
lesson, and cannot miss me here, though in the dark ; which I have-
purposely designed, as a remedy against my blushing gallant's
modesty, for young lovers, like game cocks, are made bolder by
being kept without light.

Enter VKRNISH, as from a journey.

Vcr. Where is she ? Darkness everywhere ! \Seftly.

Oliv. What ! come before your time ! My soul ! my life ! your
haste has augmented your kindness : and let me thank you for it
thus, and thus. {Embracing and kissing him."} And though, nij
soul, the little time since you left me has seemed an age to my inv
patience, sure it is yet but seven


Vcr. How ! who's that you expected after seven ?

Oliv. Ha ! my husband returned ! and have I been throwing
away so many kind kisses on my husband, and wronged my lover
already ? [Aside.

Vcr, Speak, I say. Who was't you expected after seven ?

Oliv. [aside]. What shall I say ? oh. [Aloud.'] Why, 'tis but
seven days, is it, dearest, since you went out of town ? and I ex-
pected you not so soon.

Ver. No, sure, 'tis but five days since I left you.

Oliv. Pardon my impatience, dearest, I thought : em sevca at

Vcr. Nay, then

Oliv. But, my life, you shall never stay half so long from me
again ; you shan't indeed, by this kiss you shan't

Ver. No, no ; but why alone in the dark ?

Oliv. Blame not my melancholy in your absence ; but, my
soul, since you went, I have strange news to tell you : Manly is

Ver. Manly returned ! Fortune forbid !

Oliv. Met with the Dutch in the Channel, fought, sunk his ship,
and all he carried with him. He was here with me yesterday.

Ver. And did you own our marriage to him ?

Oliv. I told him I was married to put an end to his love and my
trouble ; but to whom, is yet a secret kept from him and all the
world. And I have used him so scurvily, his great spirit will ne'er
return to reason it farther with me : I have sent him to sea again,
I warrant.

Ver. 'Twas bravely done. And sure he will now hate the shore
more than ever, after so great a disappointment. Be you sure only
to keep a while our great secret, till he be gone. In the mean-
time, I'll lead the easy, honest fool by the nose, as I used to do ;
and whilst he stays, rail with him at thce ; and when he's gone,
laugh with thee at him. But have you his cabinet of jewels
safe ? part not with a seed-pearl to him, to keep him from starving.

Oliv. Nor from hanging.

Ver. He cannot recover 'em ; and, I think, will scorn to beg 'em

Oliv. But, my life, have you taken the thousand guineas he left
in my name out of the goldsmith's hands ?

Ver. Ay, ay ; they are removed to another goldsmith's.
Oliv. Ay. but, my soul, you h id best have a care he find not
where the money is ; for his present wants, as I'm informed, arc
such as will make him inquisitive enough.

Ver. You say true, and he knows the man too ; but 111 remove
it to-morrow.

Oliv. To-morrow ! O do not stay till to-morrow ; go to-night,

Ver. Now I think on't, you advise well, and I will go presently.
Oliv. Presently ! instantly ! I will not let you stay a jot.


Ver. I will then, though I return not home till twelve.

Oliv. Nay, though not till morning, with all my heart. Go,
dearest; I am impatient till you are gone. [Thrusts him out.] So,
I have at once now brought about those two grateful businesses,
which all prudent women do together, secured money and pleasure ;
and now all interruptions of the last are removed. Go husband,
and come up, friend ; just the buckets in the well ; the absence of
one brings the other. But I hope, like them too, they will not meet
in the way, jostle, and clash together.


Enter FIDKLIA and MANLY, treading softly and staying behind
at some distance.

So, are you come ? (but not the husband-bucket, I hope, again.)
Who's there ? my dearest ? [Softly.

Fid. My life

Oliv. Right, right. Where are thy lips ! Here, take the dumb
and best welcomes, kisses and embraces ; 'tis not a time for idle
words. In a duel of love, as in others, parleying shows basely.
Come, we are alone.

Man. How's this ? Why, she makes love like a devil in a play ;
and in this darkness, which conceals her angel's face, if I were apt
to be afraid, I should think her a devil. [Aside.

Oliv. What, you traverse ground, young gentleman !

[FIDELIA avoiding her.
Fid. I take breath only.

Man. Good heavens ! how was I deceived ! [Assdc.

Oliv. Nay, you are a coward ; what, are you afraid of the fierce-
ness of my love ?

Fid. Y'es, madam, lest its violence might presage its change ; and
I must needs be afraid you would leave me quickly, who could
desert so brave a gentleman as Manly.
Oliv. O, name not his name !
Fid. But did you not love him ?
Oliv. Never. How could you think it ?

Fid. Because he thought it ; who is a man of that sense, nice
discerning, and diffidency, that I should think it hard to deceive

Oliv. No ; he that distrusts most the world, trusts most to
himself, and is but the more easily deceived, because he thinks he
can't be deceived. His cunning is like the coward's sword, by which
he is oftcncr worsted than defended.

Fid. Yet, sure, you used no common art to deceive him.

Oliv. 1 knew he loved his own singular moroseness so well, as to

dote upon any cony of it ; wherefore I feigned a hatred to the

world too, that he might love me in earnest ; but, if it had been

hard to deceive him. I'm sure 'twere much harder to love him. A

dogged, ill-mannered

Fid. D'ye hear, sir? pray, hear her. [Aside to MANLY.


\ '

Oliv. Surly, untractable, snarling brute ! He ! a mastiff dog
were as fit a thing to make a gallant of.

Man, Ay, a goat, or monkey, were fitter for thee. [Aside.

Fid. I must confess, for my part, though my rival, I cannot but
say he has a manly handsomeness in's face and mien.

Oliv. So has a Saracen in the sign.

Fid. Is proper, and well made.

Oliv. As a drayman.

Fid. Has wit. *

Oliv. He rails at all mankind.

Fid. And undoubted courage.

Oliv. Like the hangman's ; can murder a man when his hands
are tied. He has cruelty indeed ; which is no more courage than
his railing is wit.

jffdn. Thus women, and men like women, are too hard for us,
when they think we do not hear 'em. [Aside.

Fid. He is

Oliv. Prithee, no more of him ; I thought I had satisfied you
enough before, that he could never be a rival for you to apprehend.
And you need not be more assured of my aversion to him, than by
the testimony of my love to you. Come, my soul, this way.

Fid. But, madam, what could make you dissemble love to him,
when 'twas so hard a thing for you ; and flatter his love to you ?

Oliv. That which makes all the world flatter ;:nd dissemble,
'twas his money : I had a real passion for that. Yet I loved not
that so well, as for it to take him ; for as soon as I had his money
I hastened his departure like a wife, who when she has made the
most of a dying husband's breath, pulls away his pillow.

Man. Damned money ! its master's potent rival still ; and cor-
rupts itself the mistress it procures for us. [Aside.

Oliv. But I did not think with you, my life, to pass my time
in talking. Come hither, come ; yet stay, till 1 have locked a door
in the other room, that may chance to let us in some interruption ;
which reciting poets or losing gamesters fear not more than I at
this time do. [Exit.

Fid. Well, I hope you are now satisfied, sin, and will be gone to
think of your revenge ?

Man. No, I am not satisfied, and must stay to be revenged.
Fid. How, sir? You'll use no violence to her, I hope, and forfeit
your own life, to take away hers ? that were no revenge.

Man. No, no, you need not fear : my revenge shall only be upon
her honour, not her life.

Fid. How, sir ? her honour ? O heavens ! consider, sir, she has
no honour. D'ye call that revenge ? can you think of such a thing?
But reflect, sir, how she hates and loathes you. No, sir, no ; to be
revenged on her now, were to disappoint her. Pray, sir, let us
begone. [Pulls MANLY

Man. Hold off ! What, you are my rival then ! and therefore
you shall stay, and keep the door for me, whilst I go in for you


but when I'm gone, if you dare to stir c.ff from this very board, or
breathe the least murmuring accent, I'll cut her throat first ; and if
you love her, you will not venture her life. Nay, then I'll cutyoui
throat too ; and I know you love your own life at least.

Fill. B'.ut, sir ; good sir.

Man. Not a word more, lest I begin my revenge on her by
killing you.

Fid. But are you sure 'tis revenge that makes \ou do this: how
can it be ?

Man. Whist !

Fid. ; Tis a strange revenge, indeed.

Man. If you make me stay, I shall keep my word, and begin
with you. No more. [Exit at the same door OLIVIA went out by.

Fid. O heavens ! is there not punishment enough
In loving well, if you will have't a crime,
But you must add fresh torments daily to't,
And punish us like peevish rivals still.
Because we fain would find a heaven here ?
But did there never any love like me,
That untried tortures you must find me out ?
Others at worst, you force to kill themselves ;
But I must be self-murderess of my love.
Yet will not grant me power to end my life,
My cruel life \ for when a lover's hopes
Are dead and gone, life is unmerciful.

Jsits aoiun and weeps.

Re-enter MANLY.

Man. I have thought better on't : I must not discover myseif now
I am without witnesses ; for if I barely should publish it, slje would
deny it with impudence. Where are you ?

Fid. Here oh now I suppose we may be gone.

Man. I will ; but not you. You must stay and act the second
part of a lover, that is, talk kindness to her.

Fid. Not I, sir.

Man. No disputing, sir, you must ; 'tis necessary to my design of
coming again to-morrow night.

Fid. What, can you come again then hither?

Man. Yes ; and you must make the appointment, and an
npology for your leaving her so soon ; for I have said not a word
to her ; but have kept your counsel, as I expect you should do
mine. Do this faithfully, and I promise you here, you shall run my
fortune still, and we will never part as long as we live ; but if you
do not do it, expect not to live.

Fid. 'Tis hard, sir ; but such a consideration will make it easier.
You won't forget your promise, sir?

Matt. No. by heavens. But I hear tier coming


Re- fitter OLIVIA.

Oliv. Where is my life ? Run, from me already ! You do not
love me* dearest ; nay, you are angry with me, for you would not
so much as speak a kind word to me within : what was the reason ?

Fid. I was transported too much.

Oliv, That's kind. But come, my soul, what make you here ?
Let us go in again; we may be surprised in this room, 'tis so near
the stairs.

Fid. No, we shall hear the better here, if anybody should come

Olii'. Nay, I assure you, we shall be secure enough within :
come, come

Fid. I am sick, and troubled with a sudden dizziness ; and
cannot stir yet.

Oliv. Come, I have spirits within.

Fid. O ! don't you hear a noise, madam ?

Oliv. No, no; there is none : come, come.

Fid. Indeed there is; and I love you so much, I must have a
care of your honour, if you won't, and go ; but to come to you
to-morrow night, if you please.

Oliv. With all my soul. But you must not go yet ; come,

Fid. Oh ! I'm now sicker, and am afraid of one of my fits.

Oliv. What fits ?

Fid. Of the falling sickness ; and I lie generally an hour in a
trance : therefore pray consider your honour for the sake of my
love, and let me go, that I may return to you often.

Oliv. But will you be sure then to come to-morrow night ?

Fid. Yes.

Oliv. -Swear.

Fid. By our past kindness.

Oliv. Well, go your ways then, if you will, you.naughty creature

you. \_Exit FIDELIA.] These young lovers, with their fears and

modesty, make themselves as bad as old ones to us ; and I appre-
hend their bashfulness more than their tattling.

Re-enter FIDELIA.

Fid, O madam, we're undone ! There was a gentleman upon
the stairs, coming up with a candle, which -made me retire. Look
you, here he comes !

Re-enter VERNISH and his SERVANT, with a light.

Oliv. How, my husband ! Oh, undone indeed ! This way.


Ver. Ha ! you shall not escape me so, sir. [Stops FIDELIA.

Fid. O heavens ! more fears, pkigues and torments yet in store !


Ver. Come, sir, I guess what your business was hero, but this
must be your business now. Draw. \Dra-*i*.

Fid. Sir

Ver. No expostulations ; I shall not care to hear oft. Draw.

Fid. Good sir !

Ver. How, you rascal ! not courage to draw ; yet durst do me
the greatest injury in the world? Thy cowardice shall not save
thy life. \OJJers to run at FIDELIA.

Fid. O hold, sir, and send but your servant down, and I'll satisfy
you, sir, I could not injure you as you imagine.

Ver. Leave the lig-lit and begone. [Exit SERVANT.] Nov.',
quickly, sir, what have you to say, or

Fid. I am a woman, sir, a very unfortunate woman.

Ver. How ! a very handsome woman, I'm sure then ; here arc-
witnesses of it too, I confess. [Aside.] Well, I'm glad to find the
tables turned ; my wife is in more danger of cuckolding than 1

Fid. Now, sir, I hope you are so much a man of honour as to let
me go, now I have satisfied you, sir.

Ver. When you have satisfied me, madam, I will.

Fid. 1 hope, sir, you are too much a gentleman to urge those
secrets from a woman which concern her honour. You may guess
my misfortune to be love, by my disguise.

Ver. I may believe love has changed your outside, which could
not wrong me ; but why did my wife run away ?

Fid. I know not, sir ; perhaps because she would not be forced
to discover me to you, or to guide me from your suspicions, that
you might not discover me yourself ; which ungentlemanlike
curiosity I hope you will cease to have, and let me go.

Ver. Well, madam, if I must not know who you are, 'twill suffice
for me only to know certainly what you are ; which you must not
deny me. Come.

Fid. Oh ! what d'ye mean ? Help 1 oh !

Ver. I'll show you ; but 'tis in vain to cry out : no one dares help
you ; for I am lord here.

Fid. Tyrant here ! But if you are master of this house, which I
have taken for a sanctuary, do not violate it yourself.

Ver. No ; I'll preserve you here, and nothing shall hurt you, and
will be as true to you as your disguise ; but you must trust me then.
Come, come.

Fid. Oh ! oh ! rather than you should drag me to a death so
horrid and so shameful, I'll die here a thousand deaths. Oh ! oh 1
help ! help !

Re -c liter SERVANT.

Ver. You saucy rascal, how durst you come in ? Wiien you
heard a woman squeak, that should have been your cue to shut the

Scn>. I come, sir, to let you know, the alderman coming home



immediately after you were at his house, has sent his cashier with
the money, according to your note.

Ver. Plague on his money ! Money never came to any, sure, un-
seasonably till now. Bid him stay.

Serv. He says, he cannot a moment.

Ver. Receive it you then.

Serv. He says he must have your receipt for it ; he is in haste,
for I hear him coming up, sir.

Vtr. Help me in here then with this dishonourer of my family.

Fid. Oh ! oh !

Serv. You say she is a woman, sir.

Ver. No matter, sir ; must you prate ?

Fid. Oh Heavens ! Is there

{They thrust her in, and lock the door.

Ver. Stay there, my prisoner ; you have a short reprieve.



SCENE I. ELIZA'S Lodgings.

Oliv. Ah, cousin ! nothing troubles me but that I have given the
malicious world its revenge, and reason now to talk as freely of me
as I used to do of it.

Eliza. Faith, then, let not that trouble you ; for, to be plain,
cousin, the world cannot talk worse of you than it did before.

Oliv. How, cousin ! I'd have you to know, before this faux pas,
this trip of mine, the world could not talk of me.

Eliza. Only that you mind other people's actions so much that
you take no care of your own, but to hide 'em ; that, like a thief,
because you know yourself most guilty, you impeach your fellow-
criminals first, to clear yourself.

Oliv. O wicked world !

Rlisa. That you pretend an aversion to all mankind in public,
only that their wives and mistresses may not be jealous, and hinder
you of their conversation in private

Oliv. Base world !

Eliza. That abroad you fasten quarrels upon innocent men for
tnlking of you, only to bring 'cm to ask your pardon at home, and
to become dear friends with them, who wore hardly your accniaint-
ance before.

Oliv. Abominable world !

Eliza. That you deface the nudities of pictures, and little statues,
only because they arc not real.

Oliv. O, fie. fie, fie ! hideous, hideous ! Cousin, the obscenity of
their censures makes me blush !

Elisci. The truth of 'cm, Ihe naughty world would say now.


Enter LETTICE, hastily.

Let. O, madam ! here is that gentleman coming up who now you
say is my master.

Oliv. 0, cousin ! whither shall I run ? Protect me, or

[OLIVIA runs away, and stands at a distance.


Ver. Nay, nay, come

Oliv. O, sir, forgive me '

Ver. Yes, yes ; I can forgive you being alone in the dark with a
woman in man's clothes ; but have a care of a man in woman's

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