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minded; they forswear play as an angry servant does his mistress, because he loves her but too well,
Sir Mart. But I am now taken up with thoughts of another nature; I am in love, sir.
Sir John. That's the worst game you could have played at; scarce one woman in an hundred will play with you upon the square.
You venture at more uncertainty than at a lottery : For you set your heart to a whole sex of blanks. But is your mistress widow, wife, or maid?
Sir Mart. I can assure you, sir, mine is a maid; the heiress of a wealthy family, fair to a miracle.
Sir John. Does she accept your service?
[Aside. Sir Mart. She is of Kent, near Canterbury. Warn. What does he mean? This is his rival.
[Aside. Sir John. Near Canterbury, say you? I have a small estate lies thereabouts, and more concernments than one besides.
Sir Mart. I'll tell you then. Being at Canterbury, it was my fortune once, in the Cathedral church
Warn. What do you mean, sir, to intrust this man with your affairs thus?
Sir Mart. Trust him? why, he's a friend of mine. Warn. No matter for that; hark you, a word, sir.
Sir Mart. Pr’ythee leave fooling; and as I was saying: I was in the church, when I first saw
Sir John. Her name, sir, I beseech you.
Sir Mart. Thou art such a coxcomb-Her name's Millisent.
this fair one.
Warn. Now, the
Sir John. Millisent, say you? That's the name of my mistress.
Sir Mart. Lord! what luck is that now! well, sir, it happened one of her gloves fell down; I stooped to take it up; and, in the stooping, made her a compliment.
Warn. The devil cannot hold him; now will this thick-skulled master of mine tell the whole story to his rival !
Sir Mart. You'll say, 'twas strange, sir; but at the first glance we cast on one another, both our hearts leaped within us, our souls met at our eyes, and with a tickling kind of pain slid to each other's breast, and in one moment settled as close and warm, as if they long had been acquainted with their lodging. I followed her somewhat at a distance, because her father was with her.
Warn. Yet hold, sir.
Sir Mart. Saucy rascal, avoid my sight; must you tutor me?_So, sir, not to trouble you, I enquired out her father's house, without whose knowledge I did court the daughter, and both then, and often since coming to Canterbury, I received many proofs of her kindness to me.
Warn. You had best tell him too, that I am acquainted with her maid, and manage your love under-hand with her.
Sir Mart. Well remembered, i'faith ; I thank thee for that, I had forgot it, I protest! My valet de chambre, whom you see here with me, grows me acquainted with her woman. Warn. O the devil !
Sir Mart. In fine, sir, this maid, being much in her mistress's favour, so well solicited my cause, that, in fine, I gained from fair mistress Millisent an assurance of her kindness, and an engagement to marry none but me.
Warn. 'Tis very well! you have made a fair discovery!
Sir John. A most pleasant relation, I assure you : You are a happy man, sir! but what occasion brought you now to London?
Sir Mart. That was in expectation to meet my mistress here; she writ me word from Canterbury, she and her father shortly would be here.
Sir John. She and her father, said you, sir?
Warn. Tell him, sir, for heaven's sake tell him all.
Sir Mart. So I will, sir, without your bidding: Her father and she are come up already, that's the truth on't, and are to lodge by my contrivance in yon house; the master of which is a cunning rascal as any in town-him I have made my own, for I lodge there.
Warn. You do ill, sir, to speak so scandalously of my landlord.
Sir Mart. Peace, or I'll break your fool's head; so, that by his means I shall have free egress and regress when I please, sir, without her father's know
Warn. I am out of patience to hear this.
Sir John. Methinks you might do well, sir, to speak openly to her father.
Sir Mart. Thank you for that, i'faith; in speaking to old Moody, I may soon spoil all
. Warn. So, now he has told her father's name, 'tis past recovery:
Sir John. Is her father's name Moody, say you? Sir Mart. Is he of your acquaintance?
Sir John. Yes, sir; I know him for a man who is too wise for you to over-reach; I am certain he will never marry his daughter to you.
Sir Mart. Why, there's the jest of it: He shall never know it: 'Tis but your keeping of my counsel; I'll do as much for you, mun.
Sir John. No, sir, I'll give you better ; trouble not yourself about this lady; her affections are otherwise engaged to my knowledge hark in your ear
-her father hates a gamester like a devil: I'll keep your counsel for that too.
Sir Mart. Nay, but this is not all, dear sir John ?
Sir John. This is all, I assure you : Only I will make bold to seek your mistress out another lodging
[Exit Sir John. Warn. Your affairs are now put into an excellent posture, thank your incomparable discretion; this was a stratagem my shallow wit could never have reached, to make a confident of my rival.
. Sir Mart. I hope thou art not in earnest, man ! Is he my rival?
IVarn. 'Slife, he has not found it out all this while ! well, sir, for a quick apprehension let you alone.
Sir Mart. How the devil camest thou to know on't? and why the devil didst thou not tell me on't?
Warn. To the first of your devils I answer, her maid, Rose, told me on't: To the second, I wish a thousand devils take him that would not hear me.
Sir Mart. O unparallelled misfortune!
Warn. O unparallelled ignorance ! why he left her father at the water-side, while he led the daughter to her lodging, whither I directed him; so that if
you had not laboured to the contrary, fortune had placed you in the same house with your mistress, without the least suspicion of your rival, or of her father. But 'tis well But 'tis well you have satisfied
your talkative humour: I hope you have some new project of your own to set all right again: for my part, I confess all my designs for you are wholly ruined; the very foundations of them are blown up
Sir Mart. Prythee insult not over the destiny of a poor undone lover; I am punished enough for my indiscretion in my despair, and have nothing to hope for now but death.
Warn. Death is a bug-word; things are not brought to that extremity; I'll cast about to save
Enter Lady DUPE. L. Dupe. O, Sir Martin! yonder has been such a stir within ; Sir John, I fear, smokes your design, and by all means would have the old man remove his lodging; pray God, your man has not played false.
Warn. Like enough I have: I am coxcomb sufficient to do it; my master knows, that none but such a great calf as I could have done it, such an overgrown ass, a self-conceited idiot as I.
Sir Mart. Nay, Warner.
Warn. Pray, sir, let me alone: What is it to you if I rail upon myself? Now could I break my own logger-head.
Sir Mart. Nay, sweet Warner.
Warn. What a good master have I, and I to ruin him: O beast!
L. Dupe. Not to discourage you wholly, Sir Martin, this storm is partly over.
Sir Mart. As how, dear cousin ?
L. Dupe. When I heard Sir John complain of the landlord, I took the first hint of it, and joined with him, saying, if he were such an one, I would have nothing to do with him: In short, I rattled him so well, that Sir John was the first who did desire they might be lodged with me, not knowing that I was your kinswoman.
Sir Mart. Pox on't, now I think on't, I could have found out this myself.