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come to us
Brisk. Ay, my lord, it's a sign I hit you in the Care. No; for if it were a witty thing, I should teeth, if vou shew 'em.
not expect you to understand it. Ld F. He, he, he, I swear that's so very pretty, LI F. O foy, M, Careless, all the world allows I cann't forbear.
Mr Brisk to have wit ; my wife says he has a great Care. I find a quibble bears more sway in your deal. I hope you think her a judge. lordship's face than a jest.
Brisk. Pooh! my lord, his voice goes for noLd T. Sir Paul, if you please we'll retire to thing: -I cann't tell how to make him apprehend. the ladies, and drink a dish' of tea to settle our - Take it t'other way. Suppose I say a witty heads.
thing to you? Sir Paul. With all my heart. Mr Brisk, you'll Care. Then I shall be disappointed, indeed.
-or call ine when you joke-I'll Mel. Let him alone, Brisk, he is obstinately be ready to laugh incontinently.
bent not to be instructed. (Ereunt Ld T. and Sir PAUL. Brisk. I'm sorry for him, the deuce take me. Mel. But does your lordship never see come Mel. Shall we go to the ladies, my lord ? dies?
Li F. With all my heart-methinks we are a Ld F. O yes, sometimes, but I never laugh. solitude without them. Mel. No?
Mel. Or, what say you to another bottle of cham. Ld F. Oh, no, never laugh indeed, sir. Care. No! Why what d'ye go there for? Ld F. O, for the universe, not a drop more, I
Ld F. To distinguish myself from the common beseech you. Oh, intemperate! I have a flushing alty, and mortify the poets ;-the fellows grow so in my face already. conceited when any of their foolish wit prevails
(Takes out a pockel-glass, and looks in it. upon the side-boxes.--I swear-he, he, he, I have Brisk. Let me see, let me see, my lord, I broke often constrained my inclinations to laugh my glass that was in the lid of my snuff-snuff.he, he, he, to avoid giving them encouragement. Hum! deuce take me, I have encouraged a pim
Mel. You are cruel to yourself, my lord, as ple here too. [Takes the glass, and woks. well as malicious to them.
Ld F. Then you inust mortify him with a Ld F. I confess I did myself some violence at patch: my wife shall supply you. Come, gentlefirst, but now I think I have conquered it. men, allons, here is company coming. (Exeunt. Brisk. Let me perish, my lord, but there is
Enter Lady Touchwood and MASKWELL. something very particular in the humour; 'tis true, it makes against wit, and I'm sorry for some Lady T. I'll hear no more you're false and friends of mine that write, but 'egad I love to be ungrateful: Come, I know you false. malicious.—Nay, deuce take me, there's wit in't Mask. I have been frail, i confess, madam, for too_and wit must be foil'd by wit; cut a dia- your ladyship’s service. mond with a diamond, no other way, 'egad. Ludy 7. That I should trust a man whom I
Ld F. Oh, I thought you would not be long had known betray his friend ! before you found out the wit.
Musk. What friend have I betrayed; or to Care. Wit! in what? Where the devil's the whom? wit in not laughing when a man has a mind to't? Lady T. Your fond friend Mellefont, and to
Brisk. O lord, why, cann't you find it out? -Can you deny it? Why, there it is, in the not laughing -Don't Mask. I do not. you apprehend me?- My lord, Careless is a Lady T. Have you not wronged my lord, who very honest fellow, but hark ye-you understand has been a father to you in your wants, and given me? somewhat heavy, a little shallow or so. Why, you being? Have you not wronged him in the I'll tell you now, suppose now you come up to highest manner, in his bed ?
-nay, pr’ythee, Careless, be instructed. Mask. With your ladyship’s help, and for your Suppose, as I was saying, you come up to me hold service, as I told you before. I cannot deny that ing your sides, and laughing, as if you would neither. Any thing more, madam? well-I look grave, and ask the cause of this im Ludy T. More! audacious villain. Oh, what's moderate mirth-you laugh on still, and are not more is most my shameHave you not dishoable to tell me -still I look grave, not so much noured me? as smile
Mask. No, that I deny; for I never told in all Care. Smile? no, what the devil should smile my life; so that accusation's answered.- On to at, when you suppose I cann't tell you?
the next. Brisk. Pshaw, pshaw ! pr’ythee don't interrupt Ludy T. Death! do you dally with my passion? me. But I tell you, you shall tell me at last — Insolent devil! But have a care-provoke me but it shall be a great while first.
not; for, by the eternal fire, you shall not escape Care. Well ; but pr’ythee don't let it be a great my vengeance. Calm villain ! how unconcerned while, because I long to have it over.
he stands, confessing treachery and ingratiture! Brisk. Well then, you tell me some good jest, Is there a vice more black ? -Oh, I have excuor very witty thing, laughing all the while as if ses, thousands, for my faults; fire in my temper, you were ready to die and I hear it, and look passions in my soul, apt to every provocation; shus_Would not you be disappointed ? oppressed at once with love and with despair :
but a sedate, a thinking villain, whose black blood idol had defiled the temple of the god, and love runs temperately bad, what excuse can clear? was made a mock-worship. A son and heir would
M198k. Will you be in temper, madam? I have edged young Mellefont upon the brink of would not talk 'not to be heard. I have been ruin, and left him none but you to catch at for (She walks about disordered.] a very great rogue prevention. for your sake, and you reproach me with it; I Lady T. Again, provoke me! Do you wind am ready to be a rogue still, to do you service; me like a larum, only to rouse my stilled soul for and you are flinging conscience and honour in my your diversion ? Confusion ! face, to rebate my inclinations. How am I to be Mask. Nay, madam, I am gone, if you relapse have myself? You know I am your creature; my -What needs this? I say nothing but what life and fortune in your power; to disoblige you you yourself, in open hours of love, have told me. brings me certain ruin. Allow it, I would betray Why should you deny? Nay, how can you! 15 you, I would not be a traitor to myself: I do not not all this present heat owing to the same fire ? pretend to honesty, because you know I am a ras Do you not love him still ? How have I this day cal: but I would convince you from the necessi- offended you, but in not breaking off his match ty of my being firm to you.
with Cynthia? which, ere to-morrow, shall be Lady 1. Necessity, impudence! Can no grati- done-had you but patience. tude incline you, no obligations touch you? Have Lady T. How, what said you, Maskwell ?-An. not my fortune and my person been subjected to other caprice to unwind my temper? your pleasure? Were you not in the nature of a Mask. By heaven, no ! I am your slave, the servant, and have I not in effect made you lord slave of all your pleasures; and will not rest till of all, of me, and of my lord? Where is that I have given you peace, would you suffer me. humble love, the languishing, that adoration, Lady T. Oh, Maskweil, in vain do I disguise .which once was paid me, and everlastingly en me from thee! thou knowest me, knowest the gaged?
very inmost windings and recesses of my soul.Mask. Fixed, rooted in my heart, whence no Oh, Mellefont! I burn!-Married to-morrow! thing can remove them, yet you
Despair strikes me!-Yet my soul knows I hate Ludy T. Yet, what yet?
him too: Let him but once be mine, and next, Mask. Nay, misconceive me not, madam, when immediate ruin seize bim ! I say I have had a generous and a faithful passion, Musk. Compose yourself; vou shall possess which you had never favoured but through re and ruin him too-Will that please you? venge and policy.
Lady T. How, how? thou dear, thou precious Lady T. Ha!
villain, how? Musk. Look you, madam, we are alone.—Pray Mask. You have already been tampering with contain voursell, and hear me. You know you lo- my Lady Plyant. ved your nephew when I first sighed for you; I Lady T. Í have: she is ready for any impresquickly found it; an argument that I loved : forsion I think fit. with that art you veiled your passion, 'twas im Mask. She must be thoroughly persuaded that perceptible to all but jealous eyes. This discove- Mellefont loves her. ry made me bold, I confess it ; for by it I thought Ludy T. She is so credulous that way natural
. you in any power.—Your nephew's scorn of you ly, and likes him so well, that she will believe it added to my hopes; I watched the occasion, and faster than I can persuade her. But I don't see took you just repulsed by him, warm at once what you can propose from such a trifting design; with love and indignation; your disposition, my for her first conversing with Mellefont will conarguments, and happy opportunity accomplished vince her of the contrary. my design; I press'd the yielding minute, and Mask. I know it-I don't depend upon it.-was bless'a! How I have loved you since, words But it will prepare something else; and gain us have not shown, then how should words express ? leisure to lay a stronger plot. If I gain a little Lady T. Well
, mollifying devil! And have I time, I shall not want contrivance. not met your love with forward fire ?
One minute gives invention to destroy, Musk. Your zeal I grant was ardent, but mis. What to rebuild, will a whole age employ. placed-there was revenge in view; that woman's
SCENE I.- Enter Lady FROTI and CYNTHIA. so much love, and so much wit as your ladyship
has, did not turn your brain. Cyn. Indeed, madaın! Is it possible your lady Lady F. O, my dear Cynthia ! you must not ship could have been so much in love? rally your friend—but really, as you say, I won
Lady F. I could not sleep; I did not sleep der too—but then I had a way. For, between one wink for three weeks together.
you and I, I had whimsies and vapours, but I Cyn. Prodigious! I wonder want of sleep, and gave them vent,
Cyn. How, pray, madam ?
tongue ! that charming softness in your mien and Lady F. O, I writ, writ abundantly-Do you your expression, and then your bow! Good, my never write ?
lord, bow as you did when I gave you my picture; Cyn. Write what?
here, suppose this my picture. (Gives him a pockLady F. Songs, elegies, satires, encomiums, et-glass.] Pray mind my lord ? Ah! he bows panegyrics, lampoons, plays, or heroic poems. charmingly. Nay, my lord, you sha'n't kiss it so
Cyn. O Lord, not I, madam! I am content to much ; I shall grow jealous, I vow now. be a courteous reader.
[He bows profoundly low, then kisses the glass. Lady F. O inconsistent! in love, and not write! Ld F. I saw myself there, and kissed it for your If my lord and I had been both of your temper, sake. we had never come together-O bless me! what Lady F. Ah! gallantry to the last degree a sad thing would that have been, if my lord and Mr Brisk, you are a judge; was ever any thing I should never have met !
so well bred as my lord ? Cyn. Then neither my lord nor you would ever Brisk. Never any thing but your ladyship, let have met with your match, on my conscience. me perish.
Lady F. O' my conscience no more we should; Lady F. O prettily turned again ! let me die thou say'st right-for sure my Lord Froth is as but you have a great deal of wit. -Mr Mellefine a gentleman, and as much a'man of quality | font, don't you think Mr Brisk has a world of Ah! nothing at all of the common air-I think wit? I may say, he wants nothing but a blue ribband Mel. O
yes, madam. and a star to make him shine the very phospho Brisk. O dear, madamrus of our hemisphere. Do you understand those Lady F. An infinite deal! two hard words? If you don't, I'll explain them Brisk. O heavens! madam
Lady F. More wit than any body. Cyn. Yes, yes, madam, I am not so ignorant Brisk. I am everlastingly your humble ser-at least I won't own it, to be troubled with vant, deuce take me, madam. your instructions.
Aside. Ld F. Don't you think us a happy couple? Lady F. Nay, I beg your pardon; but, being Cyn. I vow, my lord, I think the happiest derived from the Greek, I thought you might couple in the world; for you are not only happy have escaped the etymology. But I am the in one another, and when you are together, but more amazed, to find you a woman of letters, happy in yourselves, and by yourselves. and not write! Bless me! how can Mellefont Ld F. I hope Mellefont will make a good hus. believe you love him?
band too. Cyn. Why, faith, madam, he that won't take
interest to believe he will, my my word, shall never have it under
hand. lord. Lady F. I vow Mellefont's a pretty gentleman, Ld F. D’ye think he'll love you as well as I do but methinks he wants a manner.
my wife? I am afraid not. Cyn. A manner! What's that, madam ? Cyn. I believe he'll love me better.
Lady F. Some distinguishing quality, as for ex. Id F. Heavens ! that can never be ;-but why ample, the bel air or brilliant of Mr Brisk; the do you think so? solemnity, yet complaisance, of my lord, or some Cyn. Because he has not so much reason to be thing of his own that should look a little je ne fond of himself. scai quoi ; he is too much a mediocrity in my Ld F. O, your humble servant for that, dear mind.
madam. Well, Mellefont, you'll be a happy Cyn. He does not, indeed, affect either
creature. ness or formality, for which I like him -Here Mel. Ay, my lord, I shall have the same reason he comes.
for my happiness that your lordship has; I shall
think myself happy. Enter Lord PROTU, MELLEFONT, and BRISK.
Ld F. Ah, that's all. Impertinent creature! I could almost be angry Brisk. (To Lady FROTH.] Your ladyship is in with her now.
[dside. the right; but, 'egad, I'm wholly turned into saLady F. My lord, I have been telling Cynthia tire. I confess I write but seldom, but when I do how much I have been in love with you; I swear-keen iambics, 'egad. But my lord was telling I have ; I'm not ashamed to own it now :-Ah! me, your ladyship has made an essay toward an it makes my heart leap; I vow I sigh when I think heroic poem. on't:-My dear lord! ha, ha, ha!-Do you re Lady F. Did my lord tell you ?-Yes, I vow, member, my lord?
and the subject is my lord's love to me. And (Squeezes him by the hand, looks kindly what do you think I call it? I dare swear you on him, sighs, and then laughs out. won't
guess -The Sillabub, ha, ha, ha! Ld F. Pleasant creature ! Perfectly well, ah! Brisk. Because my lord's title's Proth, 'egad; that look! Ay, there it is; who could resist !- ha, ha, ha! deuce take me, very à-propos, and 'Twas so my heart was made a captive at first, surprising, ha, ha, ha! and ever since it has been in love with happy Lady F. He! ay, is it not ? —And then I call slavery.
my lord Spumosa; and myself—what do you Lady F. O that tongue, that dear deceitful | think I call myself?
to be angry
Brisk. Lactilla, may be 'Egad I cannot Then too late desire will find you, tell.
When the power must forsake you: Lady F. Biddy, that's all; just my own name. Think, o ihink, o' the sad condition, Brisk. Biddy! 'Egad, very pretty
-Deuce To be past, yet wish fruition. take me, if your ladyship has not the art of surprising the most naturally in the world—I hope Mel. You shall have my thanks below. you'll make me happy in communicating the
[To the Music they go out. poem. Ludy F. O, you must be my confidant, I must
Enter Sir Paul Plyant and Lady PLYANT. ask your advice.
Sir Paul. Gads-bud! I am provoked into a Brisk. I'm your humble servant, let me perish fermentation, as my Lady Froth says; was ever I
presume your ladyship has read Bossu? the like read of in story! Lady F. O, yes, and Rapine, and Dacier upon Lady P. Sir Paul, have patience; let me alone Aristotle and Horace.—My lord, you must not
to rattle him up. be jealous—I'm communicating all to Mr Brisk. Sir Puul. Pray, your ladyship, give me leave Ld F. No, no, I'll allow Mr Brisk; have you
-I'll rattle him up, I warrant you; nothing about you to show him, my dear? I'll firk him with a certiorari.
Ludy F. Yes, I believe I have.--Mr Brisk, Lady P. You firk him! I'll firk him myself. come will you go into the next room, and there Pray, Sir Paul, hold yourself contented. I'll shew you what I have. (Exit with BRISK. Cyn. Bless me, what makes my father in such Ld F. I'll walk a turn in the garden, and come a passion I never saw him thus before.
(Exit. Sir Puul. Hold yourself contented, my Lady Mel. You are thoughtful, Cynthia.
Plyant-I find passion coming upon me by inCyn. I am thinking, though marriage makes tlation, and I cannot submit as formerly, thereman and wife one flesh, it leaves them still two
fore give way: fools; and they become more conspicuous by Lady P. How now!-- will you be pleased to setting off one another.
retire, and Mel. That's only when two fools meet, and Sir Puul. No, marry, will I not be pleased ; I their follies are opposed.
am pleased to be angry, that's my pleasure at Cyn. Nay, I have known two wits meet, and, this time. by the opposition of their wit, render themselves Mel. What can this mean? as ridiculous as fools. 'Tis an odd game we are Lady P. Gads my life, the man's distracted ! going to play at: what think you of drawing why, how now, who are you ?-What am I?stakes, and giving over in time?
Slidikins, cann't I govern you ?-What did I marMel. No, hang it, that's not endeavouring to ry you for?-Am I not to be absolute and unwin, because it is possible we may lose; since we controulable? Is it fit a woman of my spirit and have shuffled and cut, let's e’en turn up trump conduct should be contradicted in a matter of
this concern? Cyn. Then I find it is like cards; if either of Sir Paul. It concerns me, and only me: us have a good hand, it is an accident of fortune. Besides, I am not to be govern'd at all times.1
Mel. No, marriage is rather like a game of When I am in tranquillity, my Lady Plyant shall bowls : fortune indeed makes the match, and the command Sir Paul; but when I am provoked to two nearest, and sometimes the two farthest, are fury, I cannot incorporate with patience and reatogether, but the game depends entirely upon son—as soon may tigers match with tigers, lambs. judgment.
with lambs, and every creature couple with its Cyn. Still it is a game, and conseqaently one foe, as the poet says. of us must be a loser:
Lady P. 'He's hot-beaded still ! 'Tis in vain Mel. Not at all; only a friendly trial of skill, to talk to you; but remember I have a curtainand the winnings to be laid out in an entertain. lecture for you, you disobedient, headstrong ment. -What's here? the music!--Oh, my brute ! lord has promised the company a new song ; we'll Sir Paul. No, 'tis because I won't be headget them to give it us by the way. [ Musicians strong; because I won't be a brute, and have my crossing the stage.] Pray let us have the favour head fortified, that I am thus exasperated.-But of you to practise the song before the company I will protect my honour, and yonder is the viohear it.
later of my fame. SONG.
Lady F. 'Tis my honour that is concerned, Cynthia frowns whene'er I woo her,
and the violation was intended to me. Your Yet she's vex'd if I give over ;
honour ! you have none but what is in my keepMluch she fears I should undo her,
ing, and I can dispose of it when I please-thereBut much more to lose her lover :
fore don't provoke me. Thus, in doubting, she refuses ;
Sir Paul. Hum, gads-bud, she says true-Well, And not winning, thus she loses,
my lady, march on, I will fight under you then;
I am convinced as far as passion will permit. Pr’ythee, Cynthia, look behind you,
(Ludy PLYANT and Sir PAUL come up to Agc and wrinkles will d'ertake you ;
Lady P. Inhuman and treacherous
Lady P. Why, gads my life, cousin Mellefont, Sir Paul. Thou serpent, and first tempter of you cannot be so peremptory as to deny it, when womankind !
I tax you with it to your face; for, now Sur Paul Cyn. Bless me, sir !-Madam, what mean you? | is gone, you are corum nobus.
Sir Paul. Thy, Thy, come away Thy, touch Mel. By Heaven, I love her more than life, him not ; come hither, girl; go not near him; there oris nothing but deceit about him; snakes are in Lady P. Fiddle, faddle, don't tell me of this his peruke, and the crocodile of Nilus is in his and that, and every thing in the world, but give belly; he will eat thee up alive.
me mathemacular demonstration, answer me diLady P. Dishonourable, impudent creature ! rectly -But I have not patience-Oh! the
Mel. For Heaven's sake, madam, to whom do impiety of it, as I was saying, and the unparalyou direct this language?
leled wickedness!-0, merciful father!-How Lady P. Have I behaved myself with all the could you think to reverse nature so, to make decorum and nicety befitting the person of Sir the daughter the means of procuring the mother? Paul's wife? Have I preserved my honour as it Mel. The daughter to procure the mother! were in a snow-house for these three years past? Lady P. Aye; for though I am not Cynthia's Have I been white and unsullied even by Sir own mother, I am her father's wife, and that's Paul himself ?
near enough to make it incest. Sir Paul. Nay, she has been an invincible wife, Mel. Incest !-0, my precious aunt, and the even to me, that's the truth on't.
devil in conjunction!
(Aside. Lady P. Have I, I say, preserved myself like Lady P. O, reflect on the horror of that, and a fair sheet of paper, for you to make a blot upon ? then the guilt of deceiving every body-marrying
Sir Paul. And she shall make a simile with the daughter, only to make a cuckold of the faany woman in England.
ther; and then seducing me, debauching my pule Mel. I am so amazed, I know not what to say. rity, and perverting me from the road of virtue,
Sir Paul. Do you think my daughter, this in wbich I have trod thus long, and never made pretty creature— gads-bud, she's a wife for a one trip, not one faux pas-o, consider it! what cherubin !---Do you think her fit for nothing would you have to answer for, if you should probut to be a stalking-horse, to stand before you voke me to fraiity? Alas! humanity is feeble, while you take aim at my wife? -Gads-bud, I Heaven knows! very feeble, and unable to supwas never angry before in my life, and I'll never port itself. be appeased again.
Mel. Where am I? Is it day? and am I awake? Alel. Hell and damnation! this is my aunt; -Madam such malice can be engender'd no where else. Lady P. And nobody knows how circumstan
(Aside. ces may happen together-To my thinking, now Lady P. Sir Paul, take Cynthia from his sight; I could resist the strongest temptation-but yet, leave me to strike him with the remorse of bis I know 'tis impossible for me to know whether i intended crime.
could or not; there's no certainty in the things Cyn. Pray, sir, stay, hear him; I dare affirm of this life. he's innocent
Mel. Madam, pray give me leave to ask you Sir Paul. Innocent! Why, hark’ee, come hi one question ther, Thy; hark'ee, I had it from his aunt, my Ludy P. O Lord, ask me the question ! I'll sister Touchwood-Gads-bud, he does not care swear I'll refuse it ; I swear I'll deny it-therea farthing for any thing of thec, but thy portion ; fore don't ask me; nay, you sha'n't ask me, I why, he's in love with my wife; he would have swear I'll deny it.--0, Gemini! you have brought tantalized thee, and made a cuckold of thy poor all the blood into my face; I warrant I'm as red father and that would certainly have broke my as a turkey-cock; O fie, cousin Mellefont. heart-I am sure if ever I should have horns Mel. Nay, inadam, hear me; I meanthey would kill me; they would never come Lady P. Hear you! no, no; I'll deny you first, kindly; I should die of them, like a child that and hear you afterwards ; for one does not know was cutting his teeth-I should indeed, Thy- how one's mind may change upon hearing therefore come away; but Providence has pre- llearing is one of the senses, and all the senses vented all, therefore come away when I bid you. are fallible; I won't trust my honour, I assure
Cyn. I must obey. [Exit with Sir PAUL. you; my honour is infallible and uncomatible.
Lady P. Oh, such a thing! the impiety of it Mel. For Heaven's sake, madamstartles me—to wrong so good, so fair a crea Lady P. 0, name it no more -Bless
how ture, and one that loves you tenderly
can you talk of Heaven, and have so much wick, barbarity of barbarities, and nothing could be edness in your heart? May be you don't think it guilty of it
a sin—they say some of you gentlemen don't Mel. But the greatest villain imagination can think it a sin—may be it is no sia to them that form, I grant it; and next to the villainy of such don't think it so; indeed, if I did not think it a a fact, is the villainy of aspersing me with the sin but still my honour, if it were no singuilt.-How ?-Which way was I to wrong her? | but then to marry my daughter for the conveni--For yet I understand you not.
cncy of frequent opportunities—I'll never cone