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languishing, that adoration, which once was paid you yourself, in open hours of love, have told me, and everlastingly engaged ?
ine. Why should you deny it? Nay, how can Mask. Fixed, rooted in my heart, whence no- you? Is not all this present heat owing to the thing can remove them; yet you
same fire? Do you not love him still? How have Lady Touch. Yet, what yet?
. I this day offended you, but in not breaking off Mask. Nay, misconceive me not, madam, bis match with Cynthia? which, ere to-morrow, when I say I have had a generous and faithful shall be done had you but patience. passion, which you had never favoured but Lady Touch. How! what said you, Maşkwell? through revenge and policy.
- Another caprice to unwind my temper? Lady Touch. Ha!
Mask. By Heaven, no! I am your slave, the Mask. Look you, madam, we are alone, Pray slave of all your pleasures; and will not rest till contain yourself, and hear me. You know you I have given you peace, would you suffer me. loved your nephew, when I first sighed for you ; Lady Touch. Oh, Maskwell! in vain do I disI quickly found it; an argument that I loved : guise me from thee: thou knowest me, knowest for with that art you veiled your passion, 'twas my soul- married to-morrow! Despair strikes imperceptible to all but jealous eyes. This dis- me! Yet my soul knows I hate him, too: let him covery made me bold, I confess it; for, by it, I but once be mine thought you in my power. Your nephew's scorn Mask. Compose yourself, you shall possess of you added to my hopes; I watched the occa- and ruin him, too-Will that please you? sion, and took you, just repulsed by him, warm Lady Touch. How, how? thou dear, thou preat once with love and indignation; your disposicious villain, how? tion, my arguments, and happy opportunity, ac- Mask. You have already been tampering with complished my design; I prest the yielding mi- my Lady Plyant. nute, and was blest. How I have loved you Lady Touch. I have; she is ready for any imsince, words have not shewn; then, how should pression I think fit. words express?
Mask. She must be thoroughly persuaded that Lady Touch. Well, mollifying devil ! And Mellefont loves her. have I not met your love?
Lady Touch. She is so credulous that way na· Mask. Your zeal, I grant, was ardent, but mis- turally, and likes him so well, that she will beplaced; there was revenge in view; that woman's lieve it faster than I can persuade her. But I idol had defiled the temple of the god, and love don't see what you can propose from such a was made a mock-worship- A son and heir trifling design ; for her first.conversing with Melwould have edged young Mellefont upon the lefont will convince her of the contrary. brink of ruin, and left him none but you to catch Mask. I know it I don't depend upon it at for prevention.
But it will prepare something else; and gain us Lady Touch. Again provoke me! Do you leisure to lay a stronger plot- If I gain a little wind me like a larum, only to rouse my stilled time, I shall not want contrivance, soul for your diversion? Confusion !
One minute gives invention to destroy, Mask. Nay, madam, I am gone, if you relapse What, to rebuild, will a whole age employ. What needs this? I say nothing but what!
Cyn. Write, what?
Lady Froth. Songs, elegies, satires, encomiums, Enter Lady Froth and CYNTHIA.
panegyrics, lampoons, plays, or heroic poems. Cyn. INDEED, madam! Is it possible your Cyn. O lord, not I, madam; I am content to ladyship could have been so much in love? be a courteous reader.
Lady Froth. I could not sleep; I did not sleep Lady Froth. O inconsistent! in love, and not one wink for three weeks together.
write! If my lord and I had been both of your Cyn. Prodigious! I wonder want of sleep, and temper, we had never come together bless 50 much love, and so much wit as your ladyship me! what a sad thing would that have been, if has, did not turn your brain.
my lord and I should never have met! Lady Froth. O my dear Cynthia, you must Cyn. Then, neither my lord nor you would not rally your friend—but really, as you say, I ever have met with your match, on my conwonder, t00--but then I had a way. For, between science. you and I, I had whimsies and vapours--but I Lady Froth. O' my conscience no more we gave them vent.
should; thou say'st right for sure my Lord Cyn. How, pray, madam?
Froth is as fine a gentleman, and as much a man Lady Froth. O, I writ, writ abundantly of quality! Ah! nothing at all of the common Do you never write?
air- I think I may say he wants nothing but a
blue ribband and a star, to make him shine the Mellefont, don't you think Mr Brisk has a world
Brisk. ( dear, madam
[Aside. Lady Froth. More wit than any body. Lady Froth. Nay, I beg your pardon; but Brisk. I am everlastingly your humble servant, being derived from the Greek, I thought you deuce take me, madam. might have escaped the etymology- But I am Lord Froth. Don't you think us a happy the more amazed, to find you a woman of letters, couple? and not write! Bless me! how can Mellefont Cyn. I vow, my lord, I think you the happiest believe you love him?
couple in the world. Cyn. Why, faith, madam, he, that won't take Lord Froth. I hope Mellefont will make a my word, shall never have it under my hand, good husband, too.
Lady Froth. I vow Mellefont's a pretty gen-1 Cyn. 'Tis my interest to believe he will, my tleman, but methinks he wants a manner.
lord. Cyn. A manner! What's that, madam?
Lord Froth. D'ye think he'll love you as well Lady Froth. Some distinguishing quality; as, as I do my wife? I am afraid not. for example, the bel air or brillant of Mr Brisk; | Cyn. I believe he'll love me better. the solemnity, yet complaisance of iny lord; or Lord Froth. Heavens! that can never be; but something of his own that should look a little why do you think so ? je ne sçai quoi ; he is too much a mediocrity, in Cyn. Because he has not so much reason to be my mind.
fond of himself. . Cyn. He does not indeed affect either pert | Lord Froth. O your humble servant for that, ness or formality, for which I like him Here dear madam. Well, Mellefont, you'll be a happy he comes.
Mel. Ay, my lord, I shall have the same reaEnter Lord FROTH, MELLEFONT, and BRISK.
son for my happiness that your lordship has; I Impertinent creature! I could almost be angry | shall think myself happy. with her now.
[ Aside. | Lord Froth. Ah, that's all. Lady Froth. My lord, I have been telling Brisk. (To Lady Froth.] Your ladyship is in Cynthia how much I have been in love with you; the right; but, 'egad, I'm wholly turned into saI swear I have; I'm not ashamed to own it now. tire. I confess I write but seldom, but when I Ah! it makes my heart leap; I vow I sigh when dokeen lambics, 'egad. But my lord was I think on't:-My dear lord! ha, ha, ha, do you telling me, your ladyship has made an essay toremember, my lord ?
ward an heroic poem. [Squeezes him by the hand, looks kindly on | Lady Froth. Did my lord tell you? Yes, I
him, sighs, and then laughs out.) vow, and the subject is my lord's love to me. Lord Froth. Pleasant creature! Perfectly And what do you think I call it? I dare swear well. Ah! that look! Ay, there it is; who yon won't guess- The Syllabub! ha, ha, ha! could resist! 'Twas so my heart was made a Brisk. Because my lord's title's Froth, 'egad; captive at first, and ever since it has been in | ha, ha, ha, ha! deuce take me, very à propos, and love with happy slavery.
surprizing, ha, ha, ha! Lady Froth, O that tongue, that dear deceit- Lady Froth. He, he! ay, is not it?-And then ful tongue! that charming softness in your mien I call my lord Spumosa; and myself—what do ye and your expression ! and then your bow ! Good, think I call myself? my lord, bow as you did when I gave you my Brisk. Lactilla, may be 'Egad I cannot t picture; here, suppose this my picture- Gives Lady Froth, Biddy, that's all; just my own him a pocket glass. Pray mind, my lord; ah! | name. he bows charmingly. Nay, my lord, you shan't Brisk. Biddy! 'Egad very pretty—Deuce take kiss it so much; I shall grow jealous, I vow now. me, if your ladyship has not the art of surprizing (He bows profoundly low, then kisses the glass.] the most naturally in the world—I hope you'll
Lord Froth. I saw myself there, and kissed it make me happy in communicating the poem. for your sake.
Lady Froth. 0, you must be my confident; I Lady Froth. Ah! gallantry to the last degree must ask your advice. -Mr Brisk, you are a judge; was ever any thing Brisk. I'm your humble servant, let me perish so well bred as my lord ?
-I presume your ladyship has read Bossu? Brisk. Never any thing but your ladyship, let Lady Froth. O yes, and Rapine, and Dacier me perish.
upon Aristotle and Horace.-My lord, you must Lady Froth. O prettily turned again ; let me not be jealous ! I'm communicating all to Mr die but you have a great deal of wit- Mr. Brisk.
Lord Froth. No, no, I'll allow Mr Brisk; / why, how now, who are you? What am I? Slicome, have you nothing about you to show him, dikins, can't I govern you? What did I marry you my dear?
for? Am I not absolute and uncontroulable Is Lady Froth. Yes, I believe I have. Mr Brisk, it fit a woman of my spirit and conduct should will you go into the next room, and there I'll be contradicted in a matter of this coucern? shew you what I have..
Sir Paul, It concerns me, and only me :-Be(Exeunt Lady Froth and BRISK. sides, I am not to be governed at all times. Lord Froth. I'll walk a turn in the garden, and When I am in tranquillity, my lady Plyant shall come to you.
Erit LORD FROTA. command sir Paul; but, when I am provoked to Mel. You are thoughtful, Cynthia.
fury, I cannot incorporate with patience and reaCyn. I am thinking, though marriage makes son ;-as soon may tigers match with tigers, lambs man and wife one flesh, it leaves them still two with lainbs, and every creature couple with its fools; and they become more conspicuous by foe, as the poet says.setting off one another.
Lady Piy, He's hot-headed still ! 'tis in vain Mel. That's only, when two fools ineet, and to talk to you; but, remember, I have a curtaintheir follies are opposed.
lecture for you, you disobedient, headstrong Cyn. Nay, I have known two wits meet, and, brute. by the opposition of their wit, render themselves Sir Paul. No, 'tis because I won't be headas ridiculous as fools. 'Tis an odd game we are strong, because I won't be a brute, and have my going to play at; what think you of drawing head fortified, that I am thus exasperated.-But stakes, and giving over in time?'
I will protect my honour, and yonder is the vioMel. No, hang it, that's not endeavouring to lator of my fame, win, because it is possible we may lose; since Lady Ply. 'Tis my honour that is concerned, we have shuffled and cut, let us e'en turn up and the violation was intended to me.-Your hotrump now,
nour! you have none but what is in my keeping, Cyn. Then, I find it is like cards; if either of and I can dispose of it when I please therefore, us have a good hand, it is an accident of fortune. don't provoke me.
Mel. No, marriage is rather like a game at Sir Paul. Hum! gads-bud, she says true--Well, bowls : fortune indeed makes the match, and the my lady, march on, I will fight under you, then; two nearest, and sometimes the two farthest are I am convinced as far as passion will permit. together, but the game depends entirely upon [LADY PLYANT and Sır Paul come up to judginent.
MELLEFONT. Cyn. Still it is a game, and consequently one Lady Ply. Inhuman and treacherous of us must be a loser.
Sir Paul. Thou serpent, and first tempter of Mlel. Not at all; only a friendly trial of skill, womankind and the winnings to be laid out in an entertain | Cyn, Bless me, sir! Madam, what mean you? inent.
Sir Paul. Thy, Thy, come away, Thy, touch him
not; come hither, girl; go not near him; there is Enter Sir PAUL Plyant and LĄDY PLYANT. nothing but deceit about him; snakes are in his
peruke, and the crocodile of Nilus is in his belly; Sir Paul, Gads bud ! I am provoked into a fer-he will eat thee up alive. mentation, as my lady Froth says; was ever the Lady Ply. Dishonourable, impudent creature ! like read of in story?
Mel. For Heaven's sake, madam, to whom do Lady Ply. Sir Paul, have patience; let me you direct this language? . alone to ratile him up.
Lady Ply. Have I behaved myself with all the Sir Paul. Pray your ladyship give me leave to decorum and nicety, befitting the person of sir be angry—I'll rattle him up, I warrant you, I'll Paul's wife? Have I preserved my honour, as firk him with a certiorari.
it were, in a snow-house for these three years Lady Ply. You firk him! I'll firk him myself. past? Have I been white and unsullied even by Pray, sir Paul, hold you contented.
sir Paul himself? Cyn. Bless me, what makes my father in such Sir Paul. Nay, she has been an invincible wife, a passion ! I never saw him thus before. even to me, that's the truth on't.
Sir Paul. Hold yourself contented, my lady Lady Ply. Have I, I say, preserved myself Plyant--I find passion coming upon me by infla- like a fair sheet of paper, for you to make a blot tion, and I cannot submit as formerly; therefore, upon ? give way.
Sir Paul. And she shall make a simile with any Lady Ply. How now! will you be pleased to woman in England. retire, and
Mel. I am so amazed, I know not what to say. Şir Paul. No, marry, will I not be pleased; Il Sir Paul, Do you think my daughter, this am pleased to be angry, that is my pleasure at pretty creature-gads-bud, she's a wife for a chethis time.
rubin! Do you think her fit for nothing but to be Mel. What can this mean?
| a stalking horse, to stand before you, while you Lady Ply. Gads my life, the man's distracted! | take aim at my wife ? Gadsbud, I was never an
gry before in my life, and I'll never be appeased what would you have to answer for, if you should again.
provoke me to frailty? Alas! humanity is feeble, Mel. Hell and damnation! this is my aunt; | Heaven knows! very feeble, and unable to supsuch malice can be engendered no where else. port itself.
[Aside. Mel: Where am I? Is it day? and am I awake? Lady Ply. Sir Paul, take Cynthia from his Madam— sight; leave me to strike him with the remorse Lady Ply. And nobody knows how circumof his intended crime.
stances may happen together ;-to my thinking, Cyn. Pray, sir, stay! hear him; I dare affirm now, I could resist the strongest temptationhe's innocent.
but, yet, I know, 'tis impossible for me to know Sir Paul. Innocent! Why, hark'ee, come hither, whether I could or not; there's no certainty in Thy; hark'ee, I had it from his aunt, my sister the things of this life. Touchwood-Gads-bud, he does not care a far- Mel. Madam, pray give me leave to ask you thing for any thing of thee, but thy portion; why, one question. he's in love with my wife; he would have tanta- Lady Ply. O lord, ask me the question ! I'll lized thee, and made a cuckold of thy poor fa- swear I'll refuse it; I'll swear I'll deny it, therether; and that would certainly have broke my fore don't ask me; nay, you shan't ask me; I heart-I am sure, if ever I should have horns, swear I'll deny it. O gemini, you have brought they would kill me; they would never come all the blood into my face; I warrant I am as red kindly; I should die of them, like a child that as a turky-cock; O fye! cousin Mellefont. was cutting his teeth—I should, indeed, Thy~ Mel. Nay, madam, hear me; I mean therefore, come away; but Providence has pre- Lady Ply. Hear you ? no, no; I'll deny you vented all; therefore, come away when I bid you. first, and hear you afterwards. For one does not Cyn. I must obey.
know how one's mind may change upon hearing. [Ereunt Sir Paul and CyntHIA. -Hearing is one of the senses, and all the senses Lady Ply. Oh, such a thing ! the impiety of are fallible; I won't trust my honour, I assure it startles me—to wrong so good, so fair a crea- you; my honour is infallible and uncomatible. ture, and one that loves you tenderly-'Tis a Mel. For Heaven's sake, madamnbarbarity of barbarities, and nothing could be Lady Ply. O name it no more-Bless me, how guilty of it
can you talk of Heaven, and have so much wickMel. But the greatest villain imagination can edness in your heart? May be you don't think it form, I grant it; and next to the villainy of such a sin !--they say, soine of you gentlemen don't *. fact, is the villainy of aspersing me with the think it a sin !-may be it is no sin to them that guilt. How? Which way was I to wrong her? don't think it so; indeed, if I did not think it a For yet I understand you not.
sin! but still my honour, if it were no sin !-but Lady Ply. Why, gads my life, cousin Melle- then to marry my daughter for the conveniency font, you cannot be so peremptory as to deny it, of frequent opportunities—I'll never consent to when I tax you with it to your face ; for, now that; as sure as can be I'll break the match. sir Paul is gone, you are corum nobus.
' Mel. Death and amazement!--Madam, upon Mel. By Heaven, I love her more than life, my kocesor
Lady Ply. Nay, nay, rise up; come, you shall Lady Ply. Fiddle, faddle, don't tell me of see my good-nature. I know love is powerful, this and that, and every thing in the world, but and nobody can help his passion : 'tis not your give me mathemacular demonstration-answer me fault, nor, I swear, it is not mine !-How can I directly-But I have not patience-Oh! the im- help it, it I have charms? And how can you help piety of it, as I was saying, and the unparalleled it, if you are made a captive? I swear it is wickedness! O merciful father! How could you pity it should be a fault-but my honour-well, think to reverse nature so, to make the daughter but your honour too-but the sin !-well, but the the means of procuring the mother?
necessity-0 lord, here's somebody coming, I Mel. The daughter to procure the mother! dare not stay.- Well, you must consider of your
Lady Ply, Ay, for though I am not Cynthia's crime, and strive as much as can be against it-own mother, I am her father's wife, and that's strive, be sure—but don't be melancholic, don't near enough to make it incest.
despair-but never think that I'll grant you any Mel. Incest! O! my precious aunt, and the think; O lord, no;—but be sure you lay aside all devil in conjunction !
[Aside. I thoughts of the marriage; for though I know you Lady Ply. O reflect upon the horror of that, I don't love Cynthia, only as a blind for your pasand then the guilt of deceiving every body; miar-sion to me, yet it will make me jealous—Lord, rying the daughter, only to make a cuckold of the what did I say? Jealous ! no, no, I can't be jeafather; and then seducing me, debauching my lous, for I must not love you--therefore, don't purity, and perverting me from the road of vir-hope--but don't despair neither-0, they're comtue, in which I have trod thus long, and nevering, I must fly.
[Erit. made one trip, not one fau.r pas; O consider it! Mel. (after a pause.) So then-spite of my
care and foresight, I am caught, caught in my ed to have been long secretly in love with Cynsecurity. Yet this was but a shallow artifice, un- thia; that did my business; that convinced your worthy of my Machiavelian aunt. There must aunt I might be trusted; since it was as much be more behind; this is but the first flash, the my interest as her's to break the match : then she priming of her engine; destruction follows hard, thought my jealousy might qualify me to assist if not most presently prevented.
her in her revenge. And, in short, in that belief
told me the secrets of her heart. At length, we Enter MASKWELL.
made this agreement; if I accomplish her designs Maskwell, welcome! Thy presence is a view of (as I told you before), she has engaged to put land, appearing to my shipwrecked hopes; the Cynthia, with all her fortune, into my power.' witch has raised the storm, and her ministers Mel. She is most gracious in her favour.-Well, have done their work; you see the vessels are and dear Jack, how hast thou contrived ? parted.
Mask. I would not have you stay to hear it Mask. I know it; I met sir Paul towing away now: for I don't know but she may come this Cynthia. Come, trouble not your head; I'll join way; I am to meet her anon; after that, I will you together to-morrow morning, or drown be tell you the whole matter : be here, in this galletween you in the attempt.
ry, an hour hence; by that time, I imagine, our Mel. There is comfort in a hand stretched out consultation may be over. to one that is sinking, though never so far off. | Mel. I will; till then, success attend thee! Mask. No sinking, nor no danger- Come,
[Exit. cheer up; why, you do not know, that while I Mask. Till then, success will attend me; for plead for you, your aunt has given me a retaining when I meet you, I meet the only obstacle to fee;nay, I am your greatest enemy, and she my fortune. Cynthia, let thy beauty gild my does but journey-work under me.
crimes; and whatsoever I cominit of treachery or Mel. Ha ! how is this?
deceit shall be imputed to me as a merit. TreachMask. What do ye think of my being employ ery! What treachery? Love cancels all the bonds ed in the execution of all her plots ? Ha, ha, ha! of friendship, and sets men right upon their first by Heaven, it is true; I have undertaken to foundations. Duty to kings, piety to parents, break the match; I have undertaken to make gratitude to benefactors, and fidelity to friends your uncle disinhierit you, to get you turned out are different and particular ties; but the name of of doors, and to- ha, ha, ha! I can't tell you rival cuts them all asunder, and is a general acfor laughing- Oh! she has opened her heart quittance-Rival is equal ; and love, like death, to me I am to turn you a grazing, and to an universal leveller of mankind. Ha! but is ha, ha, ha!-marry Cynthia myself: There's a there not such a thing as honesty? Yes, and plot for you!
whosoever has it about him, bears an enemy in Mel. Ha ! O sce, I see my rising sun ! light his breast : for your honest man, as I take it, is breaks through clouds upon me, and I shall live that nice, scrupulous, conscientious person, who in day— o my Maskwell ! how shall I thank will cheat nobody but himself; such another coxor praise thee! thou hast outwitted woman. comb as your wise man, who is too hard for all But tell me, how couldst thou thus get into her the world, and will be made a fool of by nobody confidence? Ha! how? But was it her contri but himself. Ha, ha, ha! well, for wisdom and vance to persuade my lady Plyant into this extra- honesty, give me cunning and hypocrisy. Oh, it vagant belief?
is such a pleasure to angle for fair-faced fools! Mask. It was; and, to tell you the truth, I en Then, that hungry gudgeon, Credulity, will bite couraged it for your diversion : though it make at any thing-Why, let me see, I have the same you a little uneasy for the present, yet the reflec face, the same words and accents, when I speak tion of it must needs be entertaining- I war-what I do think, and when I speak what I do not rant she was very violent at first.
think-the very same- and dear dissimulation is Mel. Ha, ha, ha! ay, a very fury; but I was the only art not to be known from nature. most afraid of her violence at last. If you had! Why will mankind be fools, and be deceived ? not come as you did, I do not know what she And why are friends and lovers' oaths beliea might have attempted.
ved? Mask. Ha, ha, ha! I know her temper. When each, who searches strictly his own mind, Well, you must know, then, that all my contri May so much fraud and power of baseness find. vances were but bubbles; till, at last, I pretend