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Wit. No offence, I hope, brother.
Sir Wil. I can't tell that; 'tis like I may, and Sir Wil, 'Sheart, sir, but there is, and much | 'tis like I may not. I am somewhat dainty in offence-A plague! is this your inns o'court making a resolution ; because, when I make it, I breeding, not to know your friends and your re- keep it. I don't stand shill I, shall 1, then; if I lations, your elders, and your betters?
say't, I'll do't: but I have thoughts to tarry a Wit. Why, brother Wilfull of Salop, you small matter in town, to learn soinewhat of your may be as short as a Shrewsbury cake, if you lingo first, before I cross the seas. I'd gladly please; but I tell you, 'tis not inodish to know have a spice of your French, as they say, whererelations in town. You think you're in the coun- | by to hold discourse in foreign countries. try, where great lubberly brothers slabber and Mrs Mar, Here's an academy in town for that kiss one another, when they meet, like a call of and dancing, and curious acoinplishments, calcuserjeants' fis not the fashion here; 'tis not, in- lated purely for the use of grown gentlemen. deed, dear brother.
1 Sir Wil. Is there? 'tis like there may. Sir Wil. The fashion's a fool : and you're al Mrs Mar. No doubt, you will return very fop, dear brother. 'Sheart, I have suspected much improved. this—By'r lady, I conjectured you were a fop, Wit. Yes, refined like a Dutch skipper from since you began to change the style of your let the whale-fishing. ters, and write in a scrap of paper gilt round the edges, no bigger than a subpoena. I might
Enter Lady WISH FORT and Fainall. expect this, when you left off honoured brother ; Lady Wish. Nephew, you are welcome. and hoping you are in good health- To begin Sir Wil. Aunt, your servant. with a Rat me, knight, I'm so sick of a lust Fain. Sir Wilfyll, your most faithful servant. night's debauch-Ods heart, and then tell a fa | Sir Wil. Cousin Fainall, give me your hand. miliar tale of a cock and a bull, and a wench Lady Wish. Cousin Witwould, your servant; and a bottle, and so conclude—You could write Mr Petulant, your servant- Nephew, you news before you were out of your time, when are welcome again. Will you drink any thing afyou lived with honest Pimple-Nose, the attorney ter your journey, nephew, before you eat ? dinof Furniral's ion—You could intreat to be remembered then to your friends round the wre Sir Wil. I'ın very well, I thank you, auntkin. We could have gazettes, then, and Dawk's However, I thank you for your courteous offer, letter, and the Weekly Bill, till of late days. 'Sheart, I was atraid you would have been in the
Pet. 'Slife, Witwould, were you ever an attor- fashion, too, and have reinembered to have forgot ney's clerk? of the family of the Furnival's-Ha, your relations, Here's your cousin Tony; belike I ha, ha!
inay'nt call him brother for fear of offence. Wit. Aye, aye, but that was but for a while. Lady Wish. O he's a rallier, nephew-My Not long, not long; pshaw, I was not in my own cousin's a wit: and your great wits always rally power, then. An orphan, and this fellow was their best friends to chuse. When you have my guardiap; aye, aye, I was glad to consent to been abroad, nephew, you'll understand raillery that, man, to come to London. He had the dis- | better. posal of me, then. If I had not agreed to that, [FAINALL and Mrs Marwood talk apart. I might have been bound 'prentice to a felt-ma- Sir Wil. Why, then, let him hold his tongue in ker in Shrewsbury; this fellow would have the mean time; and rail, when that day coines. bound me tu a maker of felts. Sir Wil. 'Sheart, and better than be bound to
Enter Mincing.' a maker of fops, where, I suppose, you have Min. Mem, I am come to acquaint your la’served your time; and now you may set up for ship that dinner is impatient. yourself.
Sir Wil. Impatient! why, then, belike it won't Mrs Mar. You intend to travel, sir, as I'm in- stav, till I pull off my boots. Sweet-heart, can formed.
you help me to a pair of slippers ? My man is Sir Wil. Belike I may, madam. I may chance with his horses, I warrant. to sail upon the salt seas, if my mind hold. Lady Wish. Fy, fy, nephew! you would not Pet. And the wind serve.
pull off your boots here-Go down into the hall. Sir Wil. Serve or not serve, I sha'nt ask li-Dinner shall stay for you cence of you, sir; nor the weather-cock your
[Exeunt Mincing and SIR WILFULL. companion. I direct my discourse to the lady, | My nephew's a little unbred; you'll pardon him, sir; 'tis like my aunt may have told you, ma- madam. Gentlemen, will you walk? Marwoou? dam-Yes, I have settled my concerns, I may Mrs Mar. I follow you, madam, before sir say now, and am minded to see foreign parts. Wilfull is ready If an how that the peace hold, whereby, that is, (Ereunt Lady WISHFORT, PETULANT, and taxes abate.
WurWOULD. Mrs Mar. I thought you had designed for Fain. Why, then, Foible's a procuress; an arFrance at all adventures.
rant, rank, match-making procuress. And I, it
seems, am a husband, a rank husband; and my Jealous of her I cannot be, for I am certain; so wife a very arrant, rank wife-all in the way of there's an end of jealousy. Weary of her, I am, the world. 'Sdeath! to be a cuckold by antici- and shall be-No, there's no end of that; no, pation, a cuckold in embryo! Sure I was born no, that were too much to hope. Thus far conwith budding antlers like a young satyr, or a ci- cerning my repose. Now, for my reputation. As tizen's child. 'Sdeath! to be outwitted, out-jilt- to my own, I married not for it; so that's out ed, out-matrimonied! If I had kept my speed of the question. And as to my part in my wife's like a stag, 'twere somewhat! but to crawl after, -why, she had parted with hers before; so, with my horns like a snail, and be out-stripped bringing none to me, she can take none from by my wifemtis scurvy wedlock.
me; 'tis against all rule of play, that I should Mrs Mar. Then shake it off; you have often lose to one, who has not wherewithal to stake. wished for an opportunity to part; and now you | Mrs Mar. Besides you forget, marriage is hohave it. But first prevent their plot; the half nourable. of Millamant's fortune is too considerable to be Fain, Hum ! faith, and that's well thought on; parted with to a foe, to Mirabell.
marriage is honourable, as you say; and, if so, Fain. Aye, that had been mine, had you not wherefore should cuckoldom be a discredit, bemade that fond discovery; that had been forfei- ing derived from so honourable a root? ted, had they been married. My wife had ad- Mrs Mar. Nay, I know not; if the root be ded lustre to my dishonour by that increase of honourable, why not the branches? fortune. I could have worn them tipt with gold, Fain. So, so, why this point is clear-Well, though my forehead had been furnished like a how do we proceed? deputy-lieutenant's hall.
Mrs Mar. I will contrive a letter, which Mrs Mar. They may prove a cap of mainte- shall be delivered to my lady at the time, when nance to you still, if you can away with your that rascal, who is to act sir Rowland, is with wife. And she's no worse than when you had her. It shall come as from an unknown hand her. You married her to keep you; and if you | for the less I appear to know of the truth, the can contrive to have her keep you better than better I can play the incendiary. Besides, I you expected, why should you not keep her long-would not have Foible provoked, if I could help er than you intended ?
it, because you know she knows some passages : Fain. The means, the means.
Nay, I expect all will come out; but let the Mrs Mar. Discover to my lady your wife's mine be sprung first; and then I care not, if I conduct; threaten to part with her; my lady | am discovered. loves her, and will come to any composition to Fain. If the worst come to the worst, I'll turn save her reputation. Take the opportunity of my wife to grass I have already a deed of breaking it, just upon the discovery of this im- settlement to the best part of her estate, which posture. My lady will be enraged beyond bounds, I wheedled out of her; and that you shall parand sacrifice niece, and fortune, and all at that take at least. conjuncture. And let me alone to keep her | | Mrs Mar. I hope you are convinced, that I warm; if she should flag in her part, I will not bate Mirabell now? you'll be no more jealous ? fail to prompt her.
Fain. Jealous ! nom-by this kiss-let husbands Fain. This has an appearance.
be jealous; but let the lover still believe : or, if Mrs Mar I'm sorry I hinted to my lady to he doubt, let it be only to endear his pleasure, and endeavour a match between Millamant and sir prepare the joy that follows, when he proves his Wilfull; that may be an obstacle.
mistress true. But let husbands' doubts convert Fain. O, for that matter, leave me to manage to endless jealousy; or, if they have belief, let it him; I'll disable him for that; he will drink like corrupt to superstition, and blind'credulity. I a Dane : after dinner, I'll set his hand in. am single, and will herd' no more with them.
Mrs Mar. Well, how do you stand affected True, I wear the badge, but I'll disown the ortowards your lady?
der. And, since I take my leave of them, I care Fain. Why, faith, I am thinking of it. Let me | not if I leave them a common motto to their see-I am married already; so that's over. My common crest. wife has played the jade with me-Well, that's All husbands must or pain or shame endure; over too-I never loved her, or if I had, why! The wise too jealous are, fools too secure. that would have been over, too, by this time - 1
am thoughtful, and would amuse myself. Bid
him come another time. Enter LADY WISHFORT and ForBLE.
There never yet was woman made, Lady Wish. Is sir Rowland coming, say'st Nor shall, but to be cursed. thou, Foible? and are things in order?
[Repeating and walking about. Foi. Yes, madam. I have put wax-lights in That's hard ! the sconces, and placed the footmen in a row in Mrs Fain. You are very fond of sir John the hall, in their best liveries, with the coachman Suckling to-day, Millainant, and the poets. and postilion to fill up the equipage.
Mil. He? aye, and filthy verses-So I am. Lady Wish. Have you pulvilled the coachman Foi. Sir Wilfull is coming, madam. Shall I and postilion, that they may not stink of the sta- send Mr Mirabell away? ble, when sip Rowland comes by?
Mil. Aye, if you please, Foible, send him Foi. Yes, madam.
away—or send him hither-just as you will, dear Lady Wish. And are the dancers and the mu- Foible. I think I'll see him-shall I? aye, let sic ready, that he may be entertained in all points the wretch come. with correspondence to his passion?
Thyrsis, a youth of the inspired train. Foi. All is ready, madam.
[Repeating Lady Wish. And-well--and how do I look, Dear Fainall, entertain sir Wilfull-thou hast Foible?
philosophy to undergo a fool; thou art married, Foi. Most killing well, madam,
and hast patience I would confer with my Lady Wish. Well, and how shall I receive own thoughts. him? in what figure shall I give his heart the Mrs Fain. I am obliged to you, that you would first impression there is a great deal in the first make me your proxy in this affair; but I have impression. Shall I sit? No, I won't sil—I'll business of my own. walk-aye, I'll walk from the door upon his entrance; and then turn full upon him-no, that
Enter Sir WILFULL. will be too sudden. I'll lie-aye, I'll lie downI'll receive him in my little dressing room. Oh! sir Wilful, you are come at the critical inThere's a couch-Yes, yes, I'll give the first im- stant. There's your mistress up to the ears in pression on a couch-I won't lie neither, but loll | love and contemplation; pursue your point; now and lean upon one elbow, with one foot a little or never. dangling off, jogging in a thoughtful way-yes- Sir Wil. Yes; my aunt will have it so I and then, as soon as he appears, start, aye, start would gladly have been encouraged with a bottle and be surprised, and rise to meet him in a or two, because I'm somewhat wary at first, bepretty disorder- yes- oh! nothing is more fore I am acquainted; but I hope, after a time, alluring than a levee from a couch in some con- I shall break my mind—that is, upon further acfusion it shews the foot to advantage, and quaintance. This while MiLLAMANT walks furnishes with blushes, and recomposing airs be about, repealing to herself:]-So, for the preyond comparison. Hark! there's a coach. sent, cousin, I'll take my leave-if so be, you'll Foi. 'Tis he, madam.
be so kind to make my excuse : I'll return to my Lady Wish. O dear! has nüy nephew made
has niv nephew made company his addresses to Millamant? I ordered him. Mrs Fain. O fy, sir Wilfull! what, you must
Foi. Sir Wilfull is set in to drinking, madam, not be daunted. in the parlour.
Sir Wil. Daunted! no, that's not it; it is not Lady Wish. Odds my life, I'll send him to her. so much for that,for, if so be that I set on't, I'll Call her down, Foible; bring her hither. I'll do't. But only for the present, 'tis sufficient till send him as I go-when they are together, then further acquaintance, that's all your servant. come to me, Foible, that I may not be too long | Mrs Fain. Nay, I'll swear you shall never lose alone with sir Rowland.
so favourable an opportunity, if I can help it.[Erit LADY WISUFORT. l'll leave you together, and lock the door.
[Ereunt MRS FAINALL and FOIBLE, Enter Millamant and Mrs Fainall.
| Sir Wil. Nay, nay, cousin—I have forgot my Foi. Madam, I staid here, to tell your lady-gloves. What d'ye do? 'Sheart, a' has locked the ship that Mr Mirabell has waited this half hour door, indeed. I think-nay, cousin Fainall, open for an opportunity to talk with you, though my the door-'Pshaw, what a vixen trick is this ! lady's orders were to leave you and sir Wilfull nay, now, a' has seen me, too-cousin, I made together. Shall I tell Mr Mirabell that you are bold to pass through, as it were- I think this. at leisure?
door's enchanted Mil. No-what would the dear man have? Il Mil. [Repeating.]
I prithee, spare me, gentle boy,
Mil. Aye, aye; ha, ha, ha! Press me no more for that slight toy.
Like Phabis sung the no less am'rous boy. Sir Wil. Anan! cousin, your servant.. Mil. That foolish trifle of a heart
Enter MIRABELL. -Sir Wilfull!
Mira. Like Daphne she, as lovely and as coy. Sir Wil. Yes--your servant. No offence, I Do you lock yourself up from me, to make my hope, cousin.
search more curious ? Or is this pretty artifice Mill. [Repeating,
contrived, to signify that here the chase must I swear it will not do its part,
end, and my pursuit be crowned, for you can fly Though thou dost thine, employ'st thy power no further and art.
Mill. Vanity! No---I'll Ay, and be followed Natural, easy Suckling!
to the last moment; though I am upon the very Sir Wil. Anan! Suckling! No such suckling, verge of matrimony, I expect you should solicit neither, cousin, nor stripling; I thank Heaven, me as much, as if I were wavering at the grate I'm no minor.
of a monastery, with one foot over the threshold. Mill. Ah, rustic! ruder than Gothic!
I'll be solicited to the very last, nay, and afterSir Wil. Well, well, I shall understand your wards lingo one of these days, cousin; in the mean Mira. What, after the last ? while, I must answer in plain English.
Mill. Oh! I should think I was poor, and had Mill. Have you any business with me, sir Wil- nothing to bestow, if I were reduced to an inglofull?
rious ease, and freed from the agreeable fatigues Sir Wil. Not at present, cousin Yes, I made of solicitation. bold to see, to come and know if that how you Mira. Bụt do you not know, when favours are were disposed to fetch a walk this evening; if so conferred upon instant and tedious solicitation, be, that I might not be troublesome, I would have that they diminish in their value, and that both sought a walk with you.
the giver loses the grace, and the receiver lesMill. A walk? what then?
sens his pleasure. Sir Wil. Nay, nothing-only for the walk's 1 Mill. It may be in things of common applicasake, that's all
tion; but never, sure, in love. Oh! I hate a loMill. Į nauseate walking; 'tis a country diver ver, that can dare to think he draws a moment's sion; I loath the country, and every thing that air, independent on the bounty of his mistress. relates to it.
There is not so impudent a thing in nature, as Sir Wil. Indeed! ha! look ye, look ye, you the saucy look of an assured man, confident of do? nay' tis like you may-here are choice of success. The pedantic arrogance of a very hus, pastimes here, in town, as plays, and the like; band has not so praginatical an air. Ah! I'I that must be confessed, indeed.
never marry, unless I ain first made sure of my Mill. Ah l'étourdie ! I hate the town, too. will and pleasure.
Sir Wil. Dear heart, that's much-ha! that Mira.'Would you have them both before mar, you should hate them both! ha! 'tis like you riage ? Or will you be acquainted with only the may; there are some can't relish the town, and first, now? others can't away with the country—'tis like you Mill. Ah ! don't be impertinent--my dear limay be one of those, cousin.
berty, shall I leave thee? my faithful solitude, Mill. Ha, ha, ha! Yes, 'tis like I may. You my darling contemplation, must I bid you, then, have nothing further to say to ine?
adieu ? aye, adieu--my morning thoughts, agree Sir Wil. Not at present, cousin. 'Tis like, when able wakings, indolent slumbers, ye douceurs, ye I have an opportunity to be more private, I may sommeils du matin, adieu-I can't do it; 'tis break my mind in some measure-I conjecture more than impossible positively, Mirabell, I'll you partly guess however, that's as time shall lie a-bed in a morning, as long as I please. try--but spare to speak, and spare to speed, as Mira. Then I'll get up in a morning as early they say.
as I please. Mill. If it is of no great importance, sir Wil- Mill, Ah! idle creature, get up when you will full, you will oblige me by leaving me. I have, / --and, d'ye hear, I won't be called names, after just now, a little business
I am married; positively, I won't be called Sir Wil. Enough, enough, cousin ; yes, yes, all names. a case---when you're disposed. Now's as well as Mira. Names! another time; and another time as well as now. Mill. Aye, ås wife, spouse, my dear, joy, All's one for that--yes, yes, if your concerns call | jewel, love, sweetheart, and the rest of that nauyou, there's no haste; it will keep cold, as they seous cant, in which men and their wives are so say--cousin, your servant. I think this door's | fulsomely familiar---I shall never bear that.---locked.
good Mirabell, don't let us be familiar or fond, Mill. You may go this way, sir.
nor kiss before folks, like my lady Fadler and sir Sir Wil. Your servant, then; with your leave Francis: nor go in public, together, the first SunI'll return to my company. (Exit SiR WILFULL. I day, in a new chariot, to provoke eyes and whis
pers; and then never be seen there together / squeezing for a shape, till you mould my boy's again; as if we were proud of one another the head like a sugar-loaf! and, instead of a manfirst week, and ashamed of one another ever af- child, make me father to a crooked-billet. Lastly, ter. Let us never visit together, nor go to a to the dominion of the tea-table I submit-But play together, but let us be very strange and with proviso, that you exceed not in your prowell-bred : let us be as strange as if we had been vince, but restrain yourself to native and simple married a great while; and as well-bred, as if we tea-table drinks—as tea, chocolate, and coffee. were not married at all.
As likewise to genuine and authorised tea-table Mira. Have you any more conditions to offer? talk—such as mending of fashions, spoiling repuhitherto, your demands are very reasonable. tations, railing at absent friends, and so forth—
Mill. Trifles—as liberty to pay and receive vi- | But that, on no account, you encroach upon the sits to and from whom I please ; to write and re- men's prerogative, and presume to drink healths, ceive letters, without interrogatories or wry faces or toast fellow's; for prevention of which, I baon your part; to wear what I please; and choose nish all foreign forcés, all auxiliaries to the teaconversation with regard only to my own taste; table--as orange-brandy, alt anniseed, cinnamon, to have no obligation upon me to converse with citron, and Barbadoes-waters, together with rawits, that I don't like, because they are your ac-| tafia, and the most noble spirit of Clary-But for quaintance; or to be intimate with fools, because cowslip-wine, poppy-water, and all dormitives, they may be your relations : come to dinner, those I allow— These provisos admitted, in when I please; dine in my dressing-room, when other things I may prove a tractable and complyI'm out of humour, without giving a reason : to ing husband.
e my closet inviolate; to be sole empress of! Mill. O horrid provisos ! filthy strong waters ! my tea-table, which you must never presume to I toast fellows ! odious men! I hate your odious approach without first asking leave: and, lastly, I provisos. wherever I am, you shall always knock at the door, | Mira. Then we're agreed. Shall I kiss your before you come in. These articles subscribed, if hand upon the contract? And here comes one to I continue to endure you a little longer, I may, be a witness to the sealiog of the deed. by degrees, dwindle into a wife. Mira. Your bill of fare is something advanced
Enter Mrs Fainall. in this latter account. Well, bave I liberty to offer conditions--that when you are dwindled in-. Mill. Fainall, what shall I do? Shall I have to a wife, I may not be beyond measure enlarged him? I think I must have him. into a husband?
Mírs Fain. Ay, ay, take him, take him! what Mill. You have free leave; propose your ut- should you do? most; speak, and spare not.
Mill. Well, then-I'll take my death, I'm in a Mira. I thank you. Imprimis, then, I cove borrid fright.-Fainall, I shall never say it—well nant, that your acquaintance be general; that -I think I'll endure you. you admit no sworn confidante, or intimate of your Mrs Fain. Fy, fy! have him, have him, and own sex : no she friend to skreen her affairs un- tell him so in plain terms; for I am sure you der your countenance, and tempt you to make have a mind to him. trial of a mutual secresy: no decoy-duck to Mill. Are you? I think I have-and the horwheedle you a fop-scrambling to the play in a rid man looks as if he thought so, too. Well, you mask — then bring you home in a pretended ridiculous thing you, I'll have you, I won't be fright, when you think you shall be found out- kissed, nor I won't be thanked-Here, kiss my and rail at me for missing the play, and disap-hand though--so hold your tongue now; don't say pointing the frolic, which you had to pick me up, a word. and prove my constancy.
1 Mrs Fain. Mirabell, there's a necessity for Mill. Detestable imprimis ! I go to the play your obedience; you have neither time to talk, in a mask!
nor stay. My mother is coming ; and, in my conMira. Item, I article, that you continue to like science, if she should see you, would fall into fits, your own face, as long as I shall: and, while it and, may be, not recover time enough to return passes current with me, that you endeavour not to sir Rowland, who, as Foible tells me, is in a to new-coin it. To which end, together with all fair way to succeed. Therefore, spare your ecstavizards for the day, I prohibit all masks for the cies for another occasion, and slip down the backnight made of oiled-skins, and I know not what. stairs, where Foible waits to consult you. In short, I forbid all commerce with the gentle. Mill. Ay, go, go! In the mean time, I'll supwoman in What-d'ye-call-it court. Item, I shut pose you have said something to please me. my doors against all procuresses with baskets, Mira. I am all obedience. [Erit MIRA. and pennyworths of muslin, china, fans, &c. Mrs Fain. Yonder's sir Wilfull drunk; and so Item, when you shall be breeding
noisy, that my mother has been forced to leave Mill. Ah! name it not !
sir Rowland to appease him; but he answers her Mira. I denounce against all strait-lacing, only with singing and drinking-What they may