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SIR MARTIN MAR-ALL.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Enter WARNER solus.
Warn. Where the devil is this master of mine? he is ever out of the way, when he should do himself good! This 'tis to serve a coxcomb, one that has no more brains than just those I carry for him. Well! of all fops commend me to him for the greatest; he's so opinioned of his own abilities, that. he is ever designing somewhat, and yet he sows his stratagems so shallow, that every daw can pick them up: From a plotting fool, the Lord deliver me. Here he comes ;-0! it seems his cousin's with him; then it is not so bad as I imagined.
Enter Sir Martin Mar-ALL, and Lady DUPE.
L. Dupe. I think 'twas well contrived for your access, to lodge her in the same house with you.
Sir Mart. "Tis pretty well, I must confess.
Warn. Had he plotted it himself, it had been admirable.
[Aside. L. Dupe. For when her father Moody writ to
me to take him lodgings, I so ordered it, the choice seemed his, not mine.
Sir Mart. I have hit of a thing myself sometimes, when wiser heads have missed it; but that might be mere luck.
L. Dupe. Fortune does more than wisdom.
Sir Mart. Nay, for that you shall excuse me; I will not value any man's fortune at a rush, except he have wit and parts to bear him out. But when do you expect them?
L. Dupe. This tide will bring them from Gravesend. You had best let your man go, as from me, and wait them at the stairs in Durham-yard,
Sir Mart. Lord, cousin, what a-do is here with your counsel! As though I could not have thought of that myself. I could find in my heart not to send him now- stay a little--- I could soon find out some other way.
Warn. A minute's stay may lose
Sir Mart. Well, go then; but you must grant, if he had staid, I could have found a better way -you grant it.
L. Dupe. For once I will not stand with you. [Exit WARNER.] 'Tis a sweet gentlewoman, this Mrs Millisent, if you can get her.
Sir Mart. Let me alone for plotting.
L. Dupe. But by your favour, sir, 'tis not so easy; her father has already promised her; and the young gentleman comes up with them: I partly know the man-but the old squire is humoursome; he's stout, and plain in speech, and in behaviour; he loves none of the fine town tricks of breeding, but stands up for the old Elizabeth way in all things. This we must work upon.
Sir Mart. Sure you think you have to deal with a fool, cousin?
Enter Mrs CHRISTIAN. L. Dupe. O my dear niece, I have some business
[Whispers. Sir. Mart. Well, madam, I'll take one turn here in the Piazzas; a thousand things are hammering in this head ; 'tis a fruitful noddle, though I say it.
[Exit Sir MART. L. Dupe. Go thy ways for a most conceited fool -but to our business, cousin : You are young, but I am old, and have had all the love-experience that a discreet lady ought to have; and, therefore, let me instruct you about the love this rich lord makes
Chr. You know, madam, he's married, so that we cannot work upon that ground of matrimony,
L. Dupe. But there are advantages enough for you,
you will be wise, and follow my advice. Chr. Madam, my friends left me to your care, therefore I will wholly follow your counsel, with secrecy and obedience.
L. Dupe. Sweetheart, it shall be the better for you another day: Well then, this lord that pretends to
you is crafty and false, as most men are, especially in love; therefore, we must be subtle to meet with all his plots, and have countermines against his works, to blow him up. :
Chr. As how, madam?
L. Dupe. Why, girl, he'll make fierce love to you, but
you must not suffer him to ruffle you, or steal a kiss : But you must weep and sigh, and say you'll tell me on't, and that you will not be used so, and play the innocent, just like a child, and seem ignorant of all.
Chr. I warrant you I'll be very ignorant, madam.
not to appear at supper that night, that you may fright him.
Chr. No, madam.
have told me. Chr. Ay, madám.
L. Dupe. And keep your chamber, and say your head aches.
Chr. O most extremely, madam.
L. Dupe. And lock the door, and admit of no night visits: At supper I'll ask where's my cousin, and, being told you are not well, I'll start from the table to visit you, desiring his lordship not to incommode himself; for I will presently wait on him again.
Chr. But how, when you are returned, madam?
L. Dupe. Then somewhat discomposed, I'll say, I doubt the meazles or small-pox will seize on you, and then the girl is spoiled; saying, poor thing, her portion is her beauty, and her virtue; and often send to see how you do, by whispers in my servant's ears, and have those whispers of your
health returned to mine: If his lordship, thereupon, asks how you do, I will pretend it was some other thing.
Chr. Right, madam, for that will bring him fur
ther in suspence.
L. Dupe. A hopeful girl! then will I eat nothing that night, feigning my grief for you ; but keep his lordship company at meal, and seem to strive to put my passion off, yet shew it still by small mistakes.
Chr. And broken sentences.
L. Dupe. A dainty girl! and after supper visit you again, with promise to return strait to his lordship; but after I am gone, send an excuse, that I have given you a cordial, and mean to watch that night in person with you.
Chr. His lordship then will find the prologue of his trouble, doubting I have told you of his ruffling.
L. Dupe. And more than that, fearing his father should know of it, and his wife, who is a termagant lady: But when he finds the coast is clear, and his late ruffling known to none but you, he will be drunk with joy.
Chr. Finding my simple innocence, which will inflame him more.
L. Dupe. Then what the lion's skin has failed him in, the fox's subtlety must next supply, and that is just, sweet-heart, as I would have it; for crafty folks treaties are their advantage: especially when his passion must be satisfied at any rate, and you keep shop to set the price of love: so now you see the market is your own.
Chr. Truly, madam, this is very rational ; and by the blessing of heaven upon my poor endeavours, I do not doubt to play my part.
Ł. Dupe. My blessing and my prayers go along with thee. Enter Sir John SWALLOW, Mrs MILLISENT, and
Rose, her maid.
heiress you expect, and with her he who is to marry her. ,
L. Dupe. However I am Sir Martin's friend, I must not seem his enemy.
Sir John. Madam, this fair young lady begs the honour to be known to you. Mill. My father made me hope it, madam. L. Dupe. Sweet lady, I believe you
have brought all the freshness of the country up to town with you.
[They salute. Mill. I came up, madam, as we country-gentlewomen use, at an Easter-term, to the destruction of tarts and cheese-cakes, to see a new play, buy a new gown, take a turn in the park, and so down again to sleep with my