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Tru. Struck into stone, almoft, I am here, with tales o’thine uncle! There was never such a prodigy heard of.
Dau. I would you would once lose this subject, my masters, for
fake. They are such as you are, that have brought me into that predicament I am with him.
Tru. How is that?
He thinks I, and my company, are authors of all the ridiculous stories told of him.
Tru. 'Slife, I would be the author of more to vex him ; that purpose deserves it: It gives the law of plaguing him. I'll tell thee what I would do. I would make a false almanack, get it printed; and then have him drawn out on a coronation-day to the Tower-wharf, and kill him with the noise of the ordnance. Disinherit thee! he cannot, man. Art not thou next of blood, and his sister's fon?
Dau. Ay, but he will thrust me out of it, he vows, and marry.
Tru. How ! can he endure no noise, and will venture on a wife? Cler. Yes; why, thou art a stranger, it seems, to
his best trick, yet. He has employ'd a fellow this half year, all over England, to hearken him out a dumb woman; be she of any form, or any quality, so she be able to bear children: Her filence is dowry enough, he says.
Tru. But I trust he has found none.
Cler. No; but he has heard of one that's lodg'd i' the next street to him, who is exceedingly softspoken; thrifty of her speech; that spends but six words a-day; and her he's about now, and shall have her.
Tru. Is't poslible? who is his agent i' the business?
Cler. Marry, a barber; an honest fellow, one that tells Dauphine all here.
Tru. Why, you oppress me with wonder! A woman, and a barber, and love no noise ?
Cler. Yes, faith. The fellow trims him silently, and has not the snap with his sheers or his fingers : And that continency in a barber he thinks so eminent a virtue, as it has made him chief of his counsel.
Tru. Is the barber to be seen ? or the wench?
neglect this, Sir; we'll make her talk, believe it; or if she will not, we can give out at least, so much as shall interrupt the treaty: We will break it. Thou art bound in conscience, when he suspects thee without cause, to torment him.
Dau. Not I, by any means. I'll give no suffrage to't. He shall never have that plea against me, that I oppos’d the least fancy of his. Let it lie upon my stars to be guilty, I'll be innocent.
Tru. Yes, and be poor, and beg; do, innocent; I prythee, Ned, where lives she ? let him be innocent still,
Cler. Why, right over-against the barber's; in the house where Sir John Daw lives.
Tru. You do not mean to confound me!
Tru. Does he that would marry her know so much?
Cler. I cannot tell.
Tru. 'Twere enough of imputation to her with him.
Tru. The only talking Sir i' the town! Jack
thither then ? VOL. III.
Tru. Not with the danger to meet Daw, for mine ears.
Cler. Why? I thought you two had been upon very good terms.
Tru. Yes, of keeping distance.
Tru. Ay, and he says it first. A fellow that pretends only to learning, buys titles, and nothing else of books in him.
Cler. The world reports him to be very learned.
Tru. I am sorry, the world fhould so conspire to belie him.
Cler. Good faith, I have heard very good things come from him.
Tru. You may. There's none so desperately ignorant to deny that: Would they were his own! God b'w' you, gentlemen. [Exit hastily.
Manent Dauphine, Clerimont, Boy.
Dau. Come, you are a strange open man, to tell every thing thus.
Cler. Why, believe it, Dauphine, Truewit's a very honest fellow.
Dau. 'I think no other; but this frank nature of his is not for secrets.
Cler. Nay then, you are mistaken, Dauphine : I know where he has been well trusted, and disa charg’d the trust very truly, and heartily.
Dau. I contend not, Ned; but, with the fewer a business is carried, it is ever the safer. Now we are alone, if you'll go thither, I am for you. Cler. When were you
there? Dau. Last night; and such sport has fallen out! Daw does nothing but court her; and the wrong way. He would seduce her, and praises her modesty; desires that she would talk and be free, and commends her silence in verses; which he reads, and swears are the best that ever man made. Then rails at his fortunes, stamps, and raves that he is not made a privy-counsellor, and call’d to affairs of ftate. We are invited to dinner together, he and I, by one that came thither to him, Sir La-Foole.
Cler. Oh, that's a precious mannikin!
know him? Cler. Ay; and he will know you too, if e'er he saw you but
should meet him at church in the midst of prayers. He will salute a judge upon the bench, and a bilhop in the pulpit, a lawyer when he is pleading at the bar, and a lady when she is dancing in a masque, and put her out. He gives plays, and suppers, and invites his guests