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Ver. But, methinks, she that granted you the, then, if the appointment he boasts of be true, it's last favour (as they call it) should not deny you sure to hold, and I shall have an opportunity eiany thing
ther of clearing her, or revenging myself on both, Nov. Hey, tarpaulin, have you done? -Perhaps she is his wench, of an old date, and
[NOVEL looks in, and retires again. I am his cully, whilst I think him mine ; and he Ver. I understand not that point of kindness, bas seem'd to make his wènch rich, only that I I nfess.
might take her off his hands; or, if he has but Man. No, thou dost not understand it; and I lately lain with her, he must needs discover, by have not time to let you know all now ; for these her, my treachery to him; which I'm sure he will fools, you see, will interrupt us; but anon, at revenge with my death, and which I must presupper, we'll laugh at leisure together at Olivia's vent with his, if it were only but for fear of his cuckold, who took a young fellow that goes be too just reproaches; for, I must confess, I never tween his wife and me for a woman.
had till now any excuse, but that of interest, for Ver. Ha!
doing ill to him.
(Exit VERNISH Mun. Senseless, easy rascal ! 'twas no wonder she chose him for a husband; but she thought
Re-enter MANLY and FREEMAN, him, I thank her, fitter than me for that blind, Man. Come hither; only, I say, be sure your bearing office.
mistake not the time: you know the house exVer. I could not be deceived in that long wo actly where Olivia lodges; 'tis just hard by. man's hair, tied up behind, nor those intallible
Free. Yes, yes. proofs, her pouting, swelling breasts; I have hand Man. Well then, bring 'em all, I say, thither, led too many sure, not to know 'em. (Asıde. and all you know that may be then in the house;
Mun. What, you wonder the fellow could be for the more witnesses I have of her infamy, the buch a blind coxcomb?
greater will be my revenge; and be sure you come Ver. Yes, yes
straight up to her chamber, without more ado. NOVEL looks in again, and retires. Here, take the watch: you see 'tis above a quarNov. Nay, pr’ythee, come to us, Manly: gad, ter past seven ; be there in half an hour exactly. all the fine things one says in their company are Free. You need not doubt my diligence or dex. lost without thee.
terity; I am an old scourer, and can naturally Man. Away, fop! I'm busy yet.—You see we beat up a wench's quarters that won't be civil
. cannot talk here at our ease; besides, I must be Sha'n't we break her windows too? gone immediately, in order to meeting with Oli Man. No, no; be punctual only. (Eseunt. via again to-night. Ver. To-night! it cannot be, sure.
Enter Widow BLACKACRE, and two Knights of Man. I had an appointment just now from her.
the Post--a Waiter with Wine. Ver. For what time?
Wid. Sweet heart, are you sure the door was Mun. At half an hour after seven precisely. shut close, that none of those roisters saw Us Ver. Don't you apprehend the husband ?
come in? Mun. He! snivelling gull! he a thing to be Wait. Yes, mistress ; and you shall have a prifeared! a husband the tamest of creatures. vater room above instantly. Ver. Very fine !
[Aside. Wid. You are safe enough, gentlemen ; for I Man. But, pr’ythee, in the mean time, go try have been private in this house ere now, upon to get me some money. Though thou art too
other occasions, when I was something younger. modest to borrow for thyself, thou canst do any Come, gentlemen; in short, I leave my business thing for me, I know. Go; for I must be gone
to your care and fidelity: and so, here's to you. to Olivia: Go, and meet me here anon.-Free i Knight. We are ungrateful rogues, if we man, where are you? [Exit MANLY. should not be honest to you; for we have had a
great deal of your money. Manet VERNISH.
Wid. And you have done me many a good job Ver. Ay, I'll meet with you, I warrant; but it for't: and so, here's to you again. shall be at Olivia's.-Sure it cannot be; she de 2 Knight. Why, we have been perjured but nies it so calmly; and with that honest, modest six times for you. assurance, it cann't be true.-And he does not
1 Knight. Forged but four deeds, with your use to lie—but belying a woman, when she won't husband's last deed of gift. be kind, is the only lie a brave man will least 2 Knight. And but three wills. scruple.—But then the woman in man's clothes, 1 Knight. And counterfeited hands and seals whom he calls a man !- well, but, by her breasts, to some six bonds: I think that's all, brother? I know her to be a woman.-But then, again, his Wid. Ay, that's all, gentlemen : and so, here's appointment from her to meet with him to-night! to you again. I am distracted more with doubt than jealousy. 2 Knight. Nay, 'twould do one's beart good to Well, I have no way to disabuse or revenge my be forsworn for you: you have a conscience in self, but by going home immediately, putting on your ways, and pay us well. a riding suit, and pretending to my wife, the same 1 Knight. You are in the right on't, brother; business which carried me out of town last re one would be damn'd for her, with all one's heart. quires me again to go post to Oxford to-night; 2 Knight. But there are rogues, who make us
forsworn for them, and, when we come to be the suit of Mr Freeman, guardian to Jeremiah paid, they'll be forsworn too, and not pay us our Blackacre, Esq., in an action of ten thousand wages, which they promised with oaths sufficient. pounds.
i Knight. Ay; a great lawyer, that shall be Wid. How, how! in a choak-bail action ! nameless, bilk'd me too.
What, and the pen-and-ink gentlemen taken too? Wid. That was hard, methinks, that a lawyer -Have you confessed, you rogues ? should use gentlemen witnesses no better.
1 Knight. We needed not to confess; for the 1 Knight. A lawyer! d'ye wonder a lawyer bailiffs dogg'd us bither to the very door, and should do't? I was bilk'd by a reverend divine, overheard
all that you and we said. that preaches twice on Sundays, and prays half Il'id. Undone, undone then! No man was an hour still before dinner.
ever too hard for me till now.–Jerry, child, wilt Wid. How ! a conscientious divine, and not thou vex again the womb that bore thee? pay people for damning themselves ! Sure, then, Jer. Ay, for bearing me before wedlock, as for all his talking, he does not believe damnation. you say: But I'll teach you to call a Blackacre -But come, to our business : Pray be sure to a bastard, though you were never so much iny imitate exactly the flourish at the end of this mother.
(Pulls out a deed or two. Wid. Well, I'm undone.-Not one trick left? 1 Knigkt. O, he's the best in England at un no law-meush imaginable ?-(Aside.) Cruel sir, tangling a flourish, madam.
a word with you, I pray. #id. And let not the seal be a jot bigger : ob Free. In vain, madam ; for you have no other serve well the dash too at the end of this name. way to release yourself but by the bonds of ma2 Knight. I warrant you, madam.
trimony. Wid. Well, these and many other shifts poor Wid. How, sir, how !-that were but to sue widows are put to sometimes; for every body out an habeus corpus, for a removal from one would be riding a widow, as they say, and break- prison to another.-Matrimony ! ing into her jointure: they think marrying a wi Free. Well, bailiffs, away with her. dow an easy business, like leaping the hedge Wid. O, stay, sir ! Can you be so cruel as to where another has gone over before: a widow is bring me under covert-baron again, and put it a mere gap, a gap with them.
out of my power to sue in my own name?' MaEnter to them Major OldFox, with two Waiters. cation, in depriving her of the benefit of the law;
trimony to a woman is worse than excommuni(The Knights of the Post huddle up their writings.] and I would rather be deprived of life.-But, hark What, he here !-Go then, go, my hearts ; you you, sir, I am contented you should hold and enhave your instructions.
joy my person by lease or patent; but not by the (E.reunt Knights of the Post: spiritual patent, callid a licence; that is, to have Old. Come, madam, to be plain with you, I'll the privileges of a husband, without the domibe fobb’d off no longer.---I'll bind her and gag nion; that is, durante beneplacito: in consideraher, but she shall hear me.--[Aside.)---Look you, tion of which, I will, out of my jointure, secure friends, there's the money I promised you ; and you an annuity of three hundred pounds a-year, now do you what you promised me: here are my and pay your debts; and that's all you younger garters, and here's a gag.--You shall be acquaint- brothers desire to marry a widow for, I'm sure. ed with my parts, lady, you shall.
Free. Well, widow, ifWid. Acquainted with your parts !--A rape ! Jer. What, I hope, bully-guardian, you are a rape !--What, will you ravish me?
not making agreements without me? [The Waiters tie her to the chair, and gag her, Free. No, no. First, widow, you must say no and ereunt.
more that he is the son of a whore: have a care Old. Yes, lady, I will ravish you; but it shall of that: and then, he must have a settled exhibe through the ear, lady, the ear only, with my bition of forty pounds a-year, and a nag of aswell-penn's acrostics.
sizes, kept by you, but not upon the common;
and have free ingress, egress, and regress, to and Enter to them FREEMAN, JERRY BLACKACRE, from your maid's garret. three Bailiffs, a Constable, and his Assistants,
Wid. Well, I can grant all that too. with the two Knights of the Post.
Jer. Ay, ay; fair words butter no cabbage :What, shall I never read my things undisturb’d But, guardian, make her sign, sign and seal; for again?
otherwise, if you knew her as well as I, you Jer. O la!--My mother bound hand and foot, would not trust her word for a farthing. and gaping, as if she rose before her time to-day ! Free. I warrant thee, squire.- Well, widow,
Free. What means this, Oldfox !--But I'll re since thou art so generous, I will be generous 'lease you from him: You shall be no man's pri- too; and if you'll secure me four hundred pounds soner but mine. Bailiffs, execute your writ. a-year, but during your life, and pay my debts,
(FREEMAN unties her. (not above a thousand pounds,) I'll bate you your Old. Nay then, I'll be gone, for fear of being person, to dispose of as you please. bail, and paying her debts,
without being her hus Wid. Have a care, sir; a settlement without a band,
(Exit OldFox. consideration is void in the law: You must do 1st Bail, We arrest you in the king's name, at something for't. VOL. III.'
Free. Pr’ythee then let the settlement on me what talking would come to.-(The noise at the be call'd alimony; and the consideration, our door increases.]-Ha!-0 Heavens! my husband's separation.--Come; my lawyer, with writings voice !
(OliviA listens at the door. ready drawn, is within, and in haste. Come, Man. Freeman is come too soon. (Aside.
Wid. But what, no other kind of considera Oliv. O, 'tis he !—Then here's the happiest tion, Mr Freeman ?-Well, a widow, I see, is a minute lost, that ever bashful boy or trifling wokind of sinecure, by custom of which the uncon man fool'd away!—I'm undone —my husband's scionable incumbent enjoys the profits, without reconcilement too was false as my joy :-all deany duty, but does that still elsewhere. (Exeunt. lusion.—But come this way; here's a back door.
(Exit, and returns. SCENE IV.-Changes to OLIVIA's Lodgings.
The officious jade has lock'd us in, instead of
locking others out !-But let us then escape your Enter OLIVIA, with a Candle in her hand.
way, by the balcony; and, whilst you pull down Oliv. So, I am now prepared once more for the curtains, I'll fetch, from my closet, what next my timorous young lover's reception : my hus. will best secure our escape: Í have left my key band is gone—and go thou out too, thou next in the door, and 'twill not suddenly be broke interrupter of love-(Puts out the candle.] Kind open.
(Erit. darkness! that frees us lovers from scandal and (A noise as it were people
forcing the door. bashfulness, from the censure of our gallants and Man. Stir not; yet fear nothing. the world.—So, are you there?
Fid. Nothing but your life, sir. Enter to OliyiA, FIDELIA, followed sofily by husband.
Man. We shall know this happy man she calls MANLY.
OLIVIA re-enters. Come, my dear punctual lover, there is not such another in the world: thou hast beauty and youth Oliv. Oh, where are you? What, idle with to please a wife; address and wit to amuse and fear?-Come, I'll tie the curtains, if you will fool a husband ; nay, thou hast all things to be hold. Here, take this cabinet and purse, for it wished in a lover, but your fits :- 1 hope, my is thine, if we escape ; (MANLY takes from her dear, you won't have one to night ? and that the cabinet and purse.) therefore let us make you may not, I'll lock the door, though there be haste.
(Erit Olivia. no need of it but to lock out your fits; for my Atan. 'Tis mine indeed now again; and it shall husband is just gone out of town again.-Come, never escape more from me, to you at least. where are you ? (Goes to the door, und locks it.] Man. Well, thou hast impudence enough to
The door broke open.-Enter VERNISH, alone, give me fits too, and make revenge itsel: impo
with a dark Lanthorn and a Sword, running tent. Hinder me from making thee more infa
at MANLY; who draws, puts by the thrust, and mous, if it can be.
[ Aside. defends himself, whilst FIDELIA runs at VEROlio. Come, come, my soul, come.
[With a low voice. Oliv. How! time enough! True lovers can no Man. (Softly.] Sword and dark lanthorn, vilmore think they ever have time enough than lain, are some odds; but love enough: You shall stay with me all night; Ver. Odds! I'm sure I find more odds than I but that is but a lover's moment. Come. expected.—What, has my insatiable two seconds Fid. But won't you let me give you and my, at once? But
[With a low voice. self the satisfaction of telling you how I abused [Whilst they fight, OLIVIA re-enters, tying your husband last night?
tuo curtains together. Oliv. Not when you can give me and yourself Oliv. Where are you now ?-What, is he entoo the satisfaction of abusing him again to-night. ter'd then, and are they fighting ?-Oh! do not Come.
kill one that can make no defence !-(MANLY Fid. Let me but tell you how your husband throws VERNISH down, and disarms him.] How!
Oliv. O, name not his, or Manly's more loath -But I think he has the better on't. Here's his some name, if you love me: I forbade 'em last scarf: 'tis he. So, keep him down still.— I hope night: and, you know, I mention’d my husband thou hast no hurt, my dearest? [Embracing MAN. but once, and he came.- No talking, pray; 'twas ominous to us. You make me fancy a noise at
Enter to them FREEMAN, Lord PLAUSIBLE, the door already ; but I'm resolved not to be in NOVEL, JERRY BLACKACRE, and the Widow terrupted.-[noise at the door.]-Where are BLACKACRE, lighted in by the two Sailors with g'ou? Come; for, rather than lose my dear ex
Torches. pectation now, though my husband were at the Ha !-What, Manly !-And have I been thus door, and the bloody ruffian Manly here in the concern’d for him? embracing him! and bas room, with all his awful insolence, I would give i he his jewels again too? What means this?
myself to this dear hand, to be led away to hea- 0, 'tis ioo sure, as well as my shame, which I'll vens of joys, which none but thou canst give.- go hide for ever. But what's this noise at the door? So, I told you [Oters to go out, and MANLY stops her:
I never yet
the law for you.
Man. No, my dearest, after so much kindness to you before, and my heart was before your due: as has pass'd between us, I cannot part with you I only beg leave to dispose of these few-Here, yet.-Freeman, let nobody stir out of the rooin; madam,
left my wench unpaid. for, notwithstanding your lights, we are yet in (Takes some of the jewels, and offers them to the dark, till this gentleman please to turn his OLIVIA: she strikes them down : PLAUSIBLE face.—[Pulls VERNISH by the sleeve.] How, Ver und Novel take them up. nish! art thou the happy man then? Thou! thou! Oliv. So it seems, by giving her the cabinet. -Speak, I say ; but thy guilty silence tells me all. L. Plaus. The pendants appertain to your most
-Well, I shall not upbraid thee; for my won faithful humble servant. der is striking me as dumb as thy shame has made Nov. And this locket is mine; my earnest for thee. -But what, my little volunteer hurt and love, which she never paid ; therefore my own fainting!
again. Fid. My wound, sir, is but a slight one, in my Wid. By what law, sir, pray !--Cousin Olivia, arm : 'tis only my fear of your danger, sir, not a word : What, do they make a seizure on your yet well over.
goods and chattels, vi et armis ? Make your deMan. But what's here? More strange things ! mand, I say, and bring your trover : I'll follow [Observing FIDELIA's hair untied behind, und without a peruke, which she lost in the scuffle.
Oliv. And I my revenge.
(Erii OLIVIA. What means this long woman's hair and face? Man. [To Ver.) But 'tis, my friend, in your Now all of it appears too beautiful for a man, consideration most that I would have return'd which I still thought womanish indeed !---What, part of your wife's portion ; for 'twere hard to you have not deceived me too, my little volunteer ? take all from thee, since thou hast paid so dear Olit. Me she has, I'm sure.
(Aside. for't, in being such a rascal : Yet thy wife is a Man. Speak.
fortune without a portion; and thou art a man
of that extraordinary merit in villainy, the world Enter ELIZA and LETTICE.
and fortune can never desert thee, though I do; Elis. What, cousin ! I am brought hither by therefore be not melancholy. Fare you well, sir. your woman, I suppose, to be a witness of the [Exit VERNISH, doggedly..---Now, adam, I beg second vindication of your honour?
your pardon [Turning to FIDELIA.] for lessening Oliv. Insulting is not generous: You might the present I made you ; but my heart can never spare me: I have you.
be lessen'd: This, I confess, was too small for Eliz. Have a care, cousin ; you'll confess anon you before; for you deserve the Indian world; too much ; and I would not have your secrets. and I would now go thither out of covetousness,
Man. Come, your blushes answer me suffi- for your sake only. ciently, and you have been my volunteer in love. Fid. Your heart, sir, is a present of that value,
[T, FIDELIA. I can never make any return to't; [Pulling MANFid. I must confess, I needed no compulsion LY from the company.) but I can give you back to follow you all the world over ; which I attempts such a present as this, which I got by the loss of ed in this habit, partly out of shame to own my my father, a gentleman of the north, of no mean love to you, and fear of a greater shame, your re extraction, whose only child I was; therefore left fusal of it ; for I knew of your engagement to this me in the present possession of two thousand lady, and the constancy of your nature, which no pounds a-year, which I left, with multitudes of thing could have alter'd but herself.
pretenders, to follow you, sir ; having in several Man. Dear madam, I desired you to bring me public places seen you, and observed your actions out of confusion, and you have given me more. I thoroughly, with admiration, when you were too know not what to speak to you, or how to look much in love to take notice of mine, which yet upon you: The sense of my rough, bard, and ill was but too visible. The name of my family is usage of you, (though chiefly your own fauit,), Grey; my other, Fidelia : The rest of my story gives me more pain, now 'tis over, than you had you shall know when I have fewer auditors. when you suffer'd it: and if my heart, the retu Man. Nay, now, madam, you have taken from sal of such a woman, [Pointing to OLIVIA.) were me all power of making you any compliment on not a sacrifice to profane your love, and a greater my part; for I was going to tell you, that, for wrong to you than ever yet I did you, I would your sake only, I would quit the unknown pleabeg of you to receive it, though you used it as sure of retirement, and rather stay in this ill she has done ; for though it deserved not from world of ours still, though odious to me, than her the treatment she gave it, it does froin you. give you more frights again at sea, and make again
Fid. Then it has had punishment sufficient from too great venture there, in you alone. But if I her already, and needs no more from me; and, should tell you now all this, and that your virtue I must confess, I would not be the only cause of (since greater than I thought any was in the making you break your last night't oath to me, world) had now reconciled me to't, my friend of never parting with me, if you do not forget or here would say, 'tis your estate that has made repent it.
me friends with the world. Man. Then take for ever my heart, and this Free. I must confess I should; for I think most with it; (Gives her the cabinet.s for 'twas given of our quarrels to the world are just such as we
have to a handsome woman, only because we can I will believe there are now in the world not enjoy her as we would do.
Good-natured friends who are not prostitutes, Man. Nay, if thou art a plain dealer too, give And handsome women worthy to be friends : me thy hand; for now, I'll say I am thy friend Yet, for my sake, let no one e'er confide indeed : and, for your sakes, though I have been In fears, or oaths, in love, or friend untried. so lately deceived in friends of both sexes,
SPOKEN BY THE WIDOW BLACKACRE.
To you, the judges learned in stage laws, Here's daily done the great affair o'the nation:
For, at the bar, you rally one another,
If not the poet here, the templar spare, Sleek sempstress vents, amidst the courts, her And maul him when you catch him at the bar.– ware ;
From you, our common modish censurers, So, while we bawl, and you in judgment sit, Your favour, not your judgment, 'tis he fears: The visor-mask sells linen too i' the pit. Of all loves begs you then to rail, find fault; O, many of your friends, besides us here, For plays, like women, by the world are thought, Do live by putting off their several ware. (When you speak kindly of 'em,) very naught.