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full and free discharge to Sir Joseph Wittol and Bluff. What are you a woman of quality too, Captain Bluffe, for all injuries whatsoever done spouse? unto you by them, until the present date hereof Set. And my relation ; pray let her be respect-How say you ?

ed accordingly-Well, honest Lucy, fare thee Vain. Agreed.

well-I think you and I have been play-fellows Sharp. Then let me beg these ladies to wear off and on, any time this seven years. their masks a moment.

[Erit. Lucy. Hold your prating — I'm thinking what Heart. What the devil's all this to me? vocation I shall follow, while my spouse is plantVain. Patience.

ing laurels in the wars.

Bluff. No more wars ; spouse, no more warsRe-enter SHARPER, with Sir JOSEPH, BLUFFE,

While I plant laurels for my head abroad, I may SILVIA, LUCY, and SETTER.

find the branches sprout at home. Bluff. All injuries whatsoever, Mr Sharper. Heart. Bellmour, I approve thy mirth, and

Sir Jos. Ay, ay, whatsoever, captain! stick to thank thee-And I cannot in gratitude (for I see that ;-whatsoever!

which way thou art going) see thee fall into the Sharp. 'Tis done ; those gentlemen are witnes same snare, out of which thou hast deliver'd me. ses to the general release.

Bell. I thank thee, George, for thy good intenVain. Ay, ay, to this instant moment-I have tion-But there is a fatality in marriageFor past an act of oblivion.

I find I'm resolute. Bluff. 'Tis very generous, sir, since I needs Heart. Then good counsel will be thrown away must own

upon you—For my part I have once escaped; Sir Jos. No, no, captain, you need not own, and when I wed again, may she be-ugly as an heh, heh, heh! 'l'is I must own.

old bawd. Bluff. That you are over-reach'd too, ha, ha, Vain. Ill-natured as an old maidha! Only a little art military used-only under Bell. Wanton as a young widowmined, or so, as shall appear by the fair Aramin

Sharp. And jealous as a barren wife. ta, my wife's permission. Oh, the devil, cheated

Heart. Agreed. at last!

(LUCY unmasks. Bell. Well ; 'midst of these dreadful denunciSir Jos. Only a little art military trick, captain ; ations, and notwithstanding the warning and exonly countermined,or 50-Mr Vainlove, I suppose ample before me, I commit myself to lasting duyou know whom I have got—now—but all's for- rance. given.

Belin. Prisoner, make much of your fetters. Vain. I know whom you have not got; pray,

[Giving her hund. ladies, convince him.

Bell. Frank, will you keep us in countenance ? (ARAMINTA und BELINDA unmask. Vain. May I presume to hope so great a blesse Sir Jos. Ah! O Lord, my heart aches-Ah! ing? Setter, a rogue of all sides.

Aram. We had better take the advantage of a Sharp. Sir Joseph, you had better have pre- little of our friend's experience first. engaged this gentleman's pardon: For, though Bell. O' my conscience she dare not consent, Vainlove be so generous to forgive the loss of his for fear he should recant. (Aside.) Well, we shall mistress, I know not how Heartwell may take have your company to church in the morningthe loss of his wife.

(SILVIA unmasks. May be it may get you an appetite, to see us fall Heart. My wife! By this light 'tis she, the to before ye. Setter, did not you tell mevery cockatrice -Oh, Sharper ! let me em Set. They're at the door : I'll call 'em in. brace thee-But art thou sure she is really mar

(A Dance. ried to him ?

Bell. Now set me forward on a journey for Set. Really and lawfully married, I am witness. life-Come, take your fellow-travellers. Old Sharp. Bellmour will unriddle to you.

George, I'm sorry to see thee still plod on alone. (HEARTWELL goes io BELLMOUR. Heurt. With gaudy plumes and jingling bells Sir Jos. Pray, madam, who are you? for I find made proud, you and I are like to be better acquainted. The youthful beast sets forth, and neighs aloud.

Silo. The worst of me is, that I am your A morning sun his tinsellid harness gilds, wife

And the first stage a down-hill green-sward yields. Sharp. Come, Sir Joseph, your fortune is not But, ohso bad as you fear-A fine lady, and a lady of What rugged ways attend the noon of life! very good quality.

Our sun declines, and with what anxious strife, Sir Jos. Thanks to my knighthood, she's a What pain, we tug that galling load, a wife.

All coursers the first heat with vigour run ; Vain. That deserves a fool with a better title But 'tis with whip and spur the race is won. -Pray use her as my relation, or you shall hear

(Exeunt omnes. on't.

lady

EPILOGUE.

SPOKEN BY MRS BARRY.

As a rash girl, who will all hazards run, But hold—I am exceeding my commission; And be enjoy'd, though sure to be undone ; My business here was humbly to petition : Soon as her curiosity is over,

But we're so used to rail on these occasions, Would give the world she could her toy recover : I could not help one trial of your patience : So fares it with our poet; and I'm sent

For 'tis our way, you know, for fear o'th' worst, To tell you, he already does repent:

To be before-hand still, and cry fool first. Would you were all as forward to keep Lent. How say you, sparks? How do you stand afNow the deed's done, the giddy thing has leisure fected? To think o'th' sting that's in the tail of pleasure. I swear young Bays within is so dejected, Methinks I hear him in consideration !

'Twould grieve your hearts to see him; shall I What will the world say? Where's my reputa

call him? tion?

But then you cruel critics would so maul him! Now that's at stake-No, fool, 'tis out of fa- Yet, may be, you'll encourage a beginner; shion.

But how ?--Just as the devil does a sinner. If loss of that should follow want of wit,

Women and wits are used e'en much as one, How

many undone men were in the pit ! You gain your ends, and damn 'em when you've Why that's some comfort to an author's fears,

done. If he's an ass, he will be tried by peers.

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THE

DOUBLE DEALER.

BY

CONGREVE.

PROLOGUE.

Moors have this way (as story tells) to know
Whether their brats are truly got or no:
Into the sea the new-born babe is thrown,
There, as instinct directs, to swim or drown.
A barbarous device, to try if spouse
Has kept religiously her nuptial vows.

Such are the trials poets make of plays;
Only they trust to more inconstant seas;
So does our author this his child commit
To the tempestuous mercy of the pit,
To know if it be truly born of wit.
Critics, avaunt! for you are fish of prey,
And feed, like sharks, upon an infant play.
• Be ev'ry monster of the deep away ;
Let's have fair trial, and a clear sea.

Let nature work, and do not damn too soon,
For life will struggle long, ere it sink down;
And will at least rise thrice before it drown.

Let us consider, had it been our fate,
Thus hardly to be proved legitimate !
I will not say we'd all in danger been,
Were each to suffer for his mother's sin :
But by my troth I cannot avoid thinking,
How nearly some good men might have 'scaped

sinking.
But, Heaven be praised, this custom is confined
Alone to the offspring of the muses' kind :
Our christian cuckolds are more bent to pity;
I know not one Moor-husband in the city.
l'th' good man's arms the chopping bastard thrives,
For he thinks all his own that is his wife's.

Whatever fate is for this play designed,
The poet's sure he shall some comfort find:
For if his muse has play'd him false, the worst
That can befall him is to be divorced ;
You husbands judge, if that be to be cursed.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.

Knight ; Brother to Lady Touchwood, and MASKWELL, a Villain ; pretended Friend to Mel

Father to Cynthia. lefont, Gallant to Lady Touchwood, and in love with Cynthia.

WOMEN. Lord TouchWOOD, Uncle to Mellefont. Lady Touchwood, in love with Mellefont. MELLEFONT, promised to, and in love with Cyn- CYNTHIA, Daughter to Sir Puul by a former thia.

Wife, promised to Mellefont. CARELESS, his Friend.

Lady Froth, a great Coquet; Pretender to Poe Lord FROTH, a solemn Corcomb.

try, Wit, and Learniny. BRISK.

Lady PLYANT, insolent to her Husband, and easy Sir PAUL PLYANT, an uxorious, foolish old to any Pretender.

Chaplain, Boy, Footmen, and Attendants.
SCENE,- A Gallery in Lord Touchwood's House, with Chambers adjoining.

ACT I.

Care. Pr’ythee get thee gone: thou seest we SCENE I.- A Gallery in Lord Touchwood's are serious. House, with Chambers adjoining

Mel. We'll come immediately, if you'll but go

in, and keep up good humour and sense in the Enter Careless, crossing the Stagi, with his

company: Pr’ythee do—they'll fall asleep else. Hat, Glotes, and Sword in his Hand, as just Brisk. 'Egad, so they willWell, I will, I risen from Table; MELLEFONT following him. will; 'egad, you shall command me from the leMel. Ned, Ned, whither so fast? What, turn'd nith to the nadir. But the deuce take me if I flincher! Why, you wo' not leave us ?

say a good thing till you come. But, pr'ythee, Care. Where are the women? I'm weary of dear rogue, makc haste, pr’ythee make hasti, i guzzling, and begin to think them the better com shall burst else. And yonder your uncle, my lord pany.

Touchwood, swears he'll disinherit you, and Sir Mel. Then thy reason staggers, and thou’rt al. Paul Plyant threatens to disclaim you for a sonmost drunk.

in-law, and my Lord Froth won't dance at your Care. No, faith, but your fools grow noisy; and wedding to-morrow; nor, the deuce take me, I if a man must endure the noise of words without won't write your epithalamium--and see sbat sense, I think the women have more musical voices, a condition you are like to be brought to. and become the nonsense better.

Mel. Well, I'll speak but three words, and fol· Met. Why, they are at the end of the gallery, low you. retired to their tea and scandal, according to their Brisk. Enough, enough. Careless, bring your ancient custom after dinner. But I made a pre-apprehension along with you.

(Exil. tence to follow you, because I had something

Care. Pert coxcomb ! to say to you in private, and I am not like to have Mel. 'Faith, 'tis a good-natured coxcomb, and many opportunities this evening.

has very entertaining follies You must be Care. And liere's this coxcomb most critically more humane to him; at this juncture it will do come to interrupt you.

me service. I'll tell you, I would have mirth con

tinued this day at any rate; though patience purEnter BRISK.

chase folly, and attention be paid with noise. Brisk. Boys, boys, lads, where are you? What, There are times when sense may be unseasonable, do you give ground ? Mortgage for a bottle, ba? as well as truth. Pr’ythee do thou wear none toCareless, this is your trick, you are always spoil- day, but allow Brisk to have wit, that thou mayst ing company by leaving it.

seem a fool. Care. And thou art always spoiling company

Care. Why, how now? Why this extravagant by coming into it.

proposition ? Brisk. Pooh! ha, ha, ha! I know you envy me.

Mel. O, I would have no room for serious deSpite, proud spite, by the gods! and burning en sign, for I am jealous of a plot. I would have vy.—I'll be judged by Mellefont here, who gives noise and impertinence keep my Lady Touchand takes raillery better, you or I. Pshaw, man,

wood's head from working : for bell is not more when I say you spoil coinpany by leaving it, i busy than her brain, nor contains niore devils than mean you leave nobody for the company to laugh that imaginations. at. I think there I was with you, ha! Mellefont. Care. I thought your fear of her had been over.

Mel. O’my word, Brisk, that was a home thrust - Is not to-morrow appointed for your marriage -You have silenced him.

with Cynthia, and her father Sir Paul Plyant conie Brisk. Oh, my dear Mellefont, let me perish if

to settle the writings this day, on purpose ? thou art not the soul of conversation, the very es Mel. True; but you shall judge whether I have sence of wit and spirit of wine-The deuce take not reason to be alarmed. None besides and me, if there were three good things said, or one Maskwell are acquainted with the secret of my understood, since thy amputation from the body | aunt Touchwood's violent passion for me. Since of our society-Eh, I think that's pretty and me my first refusal of her addresses, she has endeataphorical enough: 'Egad, I could not have said voured to do me all the ill offices with my uncle; it out of thy company-Careless; ha!

yet has managed them with that subtilty, that to Care. Hum, what is it?

him they have borne the face of kindness, while Brisk. O, mon cæur! What is it? Nay, gad her malice, like a dark lanthorn, only shone upon I'll punish you for want of apprehension :--the me, where it was directed. Still it gave me less deuce take me if I tell you.

perplexity to prevent the success of her displeaMel. No, no, hang him, he has no taste sure, than to avoid the importunities of her love; But, dear Brisk, excuse me, I have a little busi. and of two evils, I thought myself favoured in her

aversion: but whether urged by her despair, and VOL. III.

Y

you

ness.

the short prospect of time she saw to accomplish Care. I am mistaken if there be not a familiarher designs; whether the hopes of revenge or of ity between them you do not suspect, notwithher love terminated in the view of this my mar- standing her passion for you. riage with Cynthia, I know not; but this morn Mel. Pooh, pooh! nothing in the world but his ing she surprised me in my bed. -

design to do me service; and he endeavours to Care. Was there ever such a fury ! 'Tis well be well in her esteem, that he may be able to efnature has not put it into her sex's power to ra- fect it. vish. -Well, bless us! proceed. What followed? Care. Well, I shall be glad to be mistaken;

Mel. What at first amazed me; for I looked but your aunt's aversion in her revenge cannot be to have seen her in all the transports of a slight- any way so effectually shewn, as in bringing forth ed and revengeful woman; but when I expected a child to disinherit you. She is handsome and thunder froin her voice, and lightning in her eyes, cunning, and naturally wanton. Maskwell is filesh I saw her melted into tears, and hushed into a and blood at best, and opportunities between them sigh. It was long before either of us spoke; pas are frequent. His affection to you, you have consion had tied her tongue, and amazement mine.- fessed, is grounded upon his interest, that you In short, the consequence was thus: she omitted have transplanted; and, should it take root in my nothing that the most violent love could urge, or lady, I do not see what you can expect from the tender words express; which when she saw had fruit. no effect (for still I pleaded honour, and nearness Mel. I confess the consequence is visible, were of blood to my uncle) then came the storm 1 fear- your suspicions just.—But see, the company is ed at first; for, starting from my bed-side like a broke up, let us meet them. fury, she flew to my sword, and with much ado I prevented her doing me or herself a mischief: ha

Enter Lord TouchWOOD, Lord FROTII, Sir ving disarmed her, in a gust of passion she left

Paul PLYANT, and BRISK. me, and, in a resolution, confirmed by a thousand La T. Out upon 't, nephew-leave your fa. curses, not to close her eyes till they had scen my ther-in-law and me to maintain our ground a ruin.

gainst young people. Care. Exquisite woman! But what the devil, Mei. I beg your lordship's pardon--we were does she think that thou hast no more sense than just returning. to get an heir upon her body to disinherit thyself? Sir Puul. Were you, son ? Gadsbud, much bet. -for, as I take it, this settlement upon you is ter as it is.—Good, strange! I swear I'm al. with a proviso that your uncle have no children. most tipsy-t'other bottle would have been too

Mel. It is so. Well, the service you are to do powerful for me—as sure as can be it would. me will be a pleasure to yourself; I must get you

We wanted your company

-but Mr Brisk, to engage my Lady Plyant all this evening, that where is he? I swear and vow he's a most facemy pious aunt may not work her to her interest. tious person—and the best company.—And my And if you chance to secure her to yourself, you Lord Proth-your lordship is so merry a man, he, may incline her to mine. She is bandsome, and he, he! knows it; is very silly, and thinks she has sense, Ld F. O foy, Sir Paul, wliat do you mean? and has an old fond husband.

Merry! O, barbarous ! I'd as leave you had called Cure. I confess a very fair foundation for a loyer to build upon.

Sir Prul. Nay, I protest and vow now 'tis Mel. For my Lord Froth, he and his wife will true ; when Mr Brisk jokes, your lordship's laugh be sufficiently taken up with admiring one ano does so become you, he, he, he! ther, and Brisk's gallantry, as they call it. I'll Ld F. Ridiculous !-Sir Paul, you're strangely observe my uncle myself; and Jack Maskwell mistaken; I find champagne is powerful. I assure has promised me to watch my aunt narrowly, and you, Sir Paul, I laugh at nobody's jest but my own, give me notice upon any suspicion. As for Sir or a lady's, I assure you, Sir Paul. Paul, my wise father-in-law that is to be, my dear Brisk. How ! how, my lord! What, affront my Cynthia has such a share in his fatherly fondness, wit ; let me perish, do I never say any thing worhe would scarce make her a moment uneasy, to thy to be laughed at ?. have her happy hereafter.

Ld F. O foy, don't misapprehend me; I don't Care. So, you have manned your works; but I say so, for I often smile at your conceptions. But wish you may not have the weakest guard where there is nothing more unbecoming a man of quathe enemy is strongest.

lity than to laugh ; 'tis such a vulgar expression Mel. Maskwell, you mean; pr’ythee why should of the passion! every body can laugh. Then, esyou suspect him?

pecially to laugh at the jest of an inferior persoa, Care. Faith, I cannot help it; you know I ne or when any body else of the same quality does ver liked him; I am a little superstitious in phy- not laugh with one. Ridiculous ! to be pleased siognomy.

with what pleases the crowd! Now, when I laugh, Alel. He has obligations of gratitude to bind I always laugh alone! him to me; his dependence upon any uncle is Brisk. I suppose that's because you laugh at through my means.

your own jests, "egad, ha, ha, ha! Care. Upon your aunt, you mcan.

Ld F. Ée, he ! I swear, though, your raillery Mel. My aunt !

provokes me to a smile.

me fool.

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