The country–wife: [a comedy, acted at the Theatre Royal, 1675]
The Country-Wife, — a Comedy, Acted at the Theatre Royal
Indignor quicquam reprehendi, non quia crassè
Compositum illepidéve putetur, sed quia nuper:
Nec veniam Antiquis, sed honorem & præmia possi.Horat.
LONDON, Printed for Thomas Dring, at the Harrow. at the Corner of Chancery-Lane in Fleet-street. 1675.
PROLOGUE, spoken by Mr Hart.
Poets like Cudgel'd Bullys, never do
At first, or second blow, submit to you;
But will provoke you still, and ne're have done,
Till you are weary first, with laying on:
The late so basted Scribler of this day,
Though he stands trembling, bids me boldly say,
What we, before most Playes are us'd to do,
For Poets out of fear, first draw on you;
In a fierce Prologue, the still Pit defie,
And e're you speak, like Castril, give the lye;
But though our Bayses Batles oft I've fought,
And with bruis'd knuckles, their dear Conquests bought;
Nay, never yet fear'd Odds upon the Stage,
In Prologue dare not Hector with the Age,
But wou'd take Quarter from your saving hands,
Though Bayse within all yielding Countermands,
Says you Confed'rate Wits no Quarter give,
Ther'fore his Play shan't ask your leave to live:
Well, let the vain rash Fop, by hussing so,
Think to obtain the better terms of you;
But we the Actors humbly will submit,
Now, and at any time, to a full Pit;
Nay, often we anticipate your rage,
And murder Poets for you, on our Stage:
We set no Guards upon our Tyring-Room,
But when with flying Colours, there you come,
We patiently you see, give up to you,
Our Poets, Virgin, nay our Matrons too.
- Mr. Horner, Mr. Hart.
- Mr. Harcourt, Mr. Kenaston.
- Mr. Dorilant, Mr. Lydal.
- Mr. Pinchwife, Mr. Mohun.
- Mr. Sparkish, Mr. Haynes.
- Sir Jaspar Fidget, Mr. Cartwright.
- Mrs. Margery Pinchwife, Mrs. Bowtel.
- Mrs. Alithea, Mrs. James.
- My Lady Fidget, Mrs. Knep.
- Mrs. Dainty Fidget, Mrs. Corbet.
- Mrs. Squeamish. Mrs. Wyatt.
- Old Lady Squeamish. Mrs. Rutter.
- Waiters, Servants, and Attendants.
- A Boy.
- A Quack, Mr. Schotterel.
- Lucy, Alithea's Maid, Mrs. Cory.
1. Act 1. Scene 1.
Enter Horner, and Quack following him at a distance.
Hor A Quack is as fit for a Pimp, as a Midwife for a Bawd; they are still but in their way, both helpers of Nature.— aside. —— Well, my dear Doctor, hast thou done what I desired.
Qu. I have undone you for ever with the Women, and reported you throughout the whole Town as bad as an Eunuch, with as much trouble as if I had made you one in earnest.
Hor But have you told all the Midwives you know, the Orange Wenches at the Playhouses, the City Husbands, and old Fumbling Keepers of this end of the Town, for they'l be the readiest to report it.
Qu. I have told all the Chamber-maids, Waiting women, Tyre women, and Old women of my acquaintance; nay, and whisper'd it as a secret to'em, and to the Whisperers of Whitehal; so that you need not doubt 'twill spread, and you will be as odious to the handsome young Women, as—
Hor As the small Pox.— Well—[Page 2]
Qu. And to the married Women of this end of the Town, as—
Hor As the great ones; nay, as their own Husbands.
Qu. And to the City Dames as Annis-seed Robin of filthy and contemptible memory; and they will frighten their Children with your name, especially their Females.
Hor And cry Horner's coming to carry you away : I am only afraid 'twill not be believ'd; you told'em 'twas by an English-French disaster, and an English-French Chirurgeon, who has given me at once, not only a Cure, but an Antidote for the future, against that damn'd malady, and that worse distemper, love, and all other Womens evils.
Qu. Your late journey into France has made it the more credible, and your being here a fortnight before you appear'd in publick, looks as if you apprehended the shame, which I wonder you do not: Well I have been hired by young Gallants to bely'em t'other way; but you are the first wou'd be thought a Man unfit for Women.
Hor Dear Mr. Doctor, let vain Rogues be contented only to be thought abler Men than they are, generally 'tis all the pleasure they have, but mine lyes another way.
Qu. You take, methinks, a very preposterous way to it, and as a ridiculous as if we Operators in Physick, shou'd put forth Bills to disparage our Medicaments, with hopes to gain Customers.
Hor Doctor, there are Quacks in love, as well as Physick, who get but the fewer and worse Patients, for their boastings a good name is seldom got by giving it ones self, and Women no more than honour are compass'd by bragging : Come, come Doctor, the wisest Lawyer never discovers the merits of his cause till the tryal; the wealthiest Man conceals his riches, and the cunning Gamster his play; Shy Husbands and Keepers like old Rooks are not to be cheated, but by a new unpractis'd trick; false friendship will pass now no more than false dice upon'em, no, not in the City.
Boy. There are two Ladies and a Gentleman coming up.[Page 3]
Hor A Pox, some unbelieving Sisters of my former acquaintance, who I am afraid, expect their sense shou'd be satisfy'd of the falsity of the report. Enter Sir Jasp. Fidget, Lady Fidget, and Mrs. Dainty Fidget. No—this formal Fool and Women!
Qu. His Wife and Sister.
Sr. Jas. My Coach breaking just now before your door Sir, I look upon as an occasional repremand to me Sir, for not kissing your hands Sir, since your coming out of France Sir; and so my disaster Sir, has been my good fortune Sir; and this is my Wife, and Sister Sir.
Hor What then, Sir?
Sr. Jas. My Lady, and Sister, Sir.— Wife, this is Master Horner.
La. Fid. Master Horner, Husband !
Sr. Jas. My Lady, my Lady Fidget, Sir.
Hor So, Sir.
Sr. Jas. Won't you be acquainted with her Sir? [So the report is true, I find by his coldness or aversion to the Sex; but I'll play the wag with him.] Aside. Pray salute my Wife, my Lady, Sir.
Hor I will kiss no Mans Wife, Sir, for him, Sir; I have taken my eternal leave, Sir, of the Sex already, Sir.
Sr. Jas. Hah, hah, hah; I'll plague him yet. aside. Not know my Wife, Sir?
Hor I do know your Wife, Sir, she's a Woman, Sir, and consequently a Monster, Sir, a greater Monster than a Husband, Sir.
Sr. Jas. A Husband; how, Sir?
Hor So, Sir; but I make no more Cuckholds, Sir. makes horns.
Sr. Jas. Hah, hah, hah, Mercury, Mercury.
La. Fid. Pray, Sir Jaspar, let us be gone from this rude fellow.
Mrs. Daint. Who, by his breeding, wou'd think, he had ever been in France?
La. Fid. Foh, he's but too much a French fellow, such as hate Women of quality and virtue, for their love to their [Page 4] Husbands, Sr. Jaspar; a Woman is hated by'em as much for loving her Husband, as for loving their Money: But pray, let's be gone.
Hor You do well, Madam, for I have nothing that you came for: I have brought over not so much as a Bawdy Picture, new Postures, nor the second Part of the Escole des Filles; Nor—
Qu. Hold for shame, Sir; what d'y mean? you'l ruine your self for ever with the Sex— apart to Horner.
Sr. Jas. Hah, hah, hah, he hates Women perfectly I find.
Dain. What pitty 'tis he shou'd.
L. Fid. Ay, he's a base rude Fellow for't; but affectation makes not a Woman more odious to them, than Virtue.
Hor Because your Virtue is your greatest affectation, Madam.
Lad. Fid. How, you sawcy Fellow, wou'd you wrong my honour?
Hor If I cou'd.
Lad. Fid. How d'y mean, Sir?
Sr. Jas. Hah, hah, hah, no he can't wrong your Ladyships honour, upon my honour; he poor Man—hark you in your ear—a meer Eunuch.
Lad. O filthy French Beast, soh, soh; why do we stay? let's be gone; I can't endure the sight of him.
Sr. Jas. Stay, but till the Chairs come, they'l be here presently.
Lad. No, no.
Sr. Jas. Nor can I stay longer; 'tis—let me see, a quarter and a half quarter of a minute past eleven; the Council will be sate, I must away: business must be preferr'd always before Love and Ceremony with the wise Mr. Horner.
Hor And the Impotent Sir Jaspar.
Sr. Jas. Ay, ay, the impotent Master Horner, hah, ha, ha.
Lad. What leave us with a filthy Man alone in his lodgings?
Sr. Jas. He's an innocent Man now, you know; pray stay, I'll hasten the Chaires to you. —Mr. Horner your Servant, [Page 5] shou'd be glad to see you at my house; pray, come and dine with me, and play at Cards with my Wife after dinner, you are fit for Women at that game; yet hah, ha—['Tis as much a Husbands prudence to provide innocent diversion for a Wife, as to hinder her unlawful pleasures; and he had better employ her, than let her employ her self. Aside. Farewel. Exit Sir Jaspar.
Hor Your Servant Sr. Jaspar.
Lad. I will not stay with him, foh—
Hor Nay, Madam, I beseech you stay, if it be but to see, I can be as civil to Ladies yet, as they wou'd desire.
Lad. No, no, foh, you cannot be civil to Ladies.
Dain. You as civil as Ladies wou'd desire.
Lad. No, no, no, foh, foh, foh. Exeunt Ladie Fid. and Dainty.
Qu. Now I think, I, or you your self rather, have done your business with the Women.
Hor Thou art an Ass, don't you see already upon the report and my carriage, this grave Man of business leaves his Wife in my lodgings, invites me to his house and wife, who before wou'd not be acquainted with me out of jealousy.
Qu. Nay, by this means you may be the more acquainted with the Husbands, but the less with the Wives.
Hor Let me alone, if I can but abuse the Husbands, I'll soon disabuse the Wives: Stay—I'll reckon you up the advantages, I am like to have by my Stratagem: First, I shall be rid of all my old Acquaintances, the most insatiable sorts of Duns, that invade our Lodgings in a morning: And next, to the pleasure of making a New Mistriss is that of being rid of an old One, and of all old Debts; Love when it comes to be so, is paid the most unwillingly.
Qu. Well, you may be so rid of your old Acquaintances; but how will you get any new Ones?
Hor Doctor, thou wilt never make a good Chymist, thou art so incredulous and impatient; ask but all the young Fellows of the Town, if they do not loose more time like Huntsmen, in starting the game, than in running it down; one [Page 6] knows not where to find'em, who will, or will not; Women of Quality are so civil, you can hardly distinguish love from good breeding, and a Man is often mistaken; but now I can be sure, she that shews an aversion to me loves the sport, as those Women that are gone, whom I warrant to be right: And then the next thing, is your Women of Honour, as you call'em, are only chary of their reputations, not their Persons, and 'tis scandal they wou'd avoid, not Men: Now may I have, by the reputation of an Eunuch, the Priviledges of One; and be seen in a Ladies Chamber, in a morning as early as her Husband; kiss Virgins before their Parents, or Lovers; and may be in short the Pas par tout of the Town. Now Doctor.
Qu. Nay, now you shall be the Doctor; and your Process is so new, that we do not know but it may succeed.
Hor Not so new neither, Probatum est Doctor.
Qu. Well, I wish you luck and many Patients whil'st I go to mine. Exit. Quack. Enter Harcourt, and Dorilant to Horner.
Har. Come, your appearance at the Play yesterday, has I hope hardned you for the future against the Womens contempt, and the Mens raillery; and now you'l abroad as you were wont.
Hor Did I not bear it bravely?
Dor. With a most Theatrical impudence; nay more than the Orange-wenches shew there, or a drunken vizard Mask, or a great belly'd Actress; nay, or the most impudent of Creatures, and ill Poet; or what is yet more impudent, a secondhand Critick.
Hor But what say the Ladies, have they no pitty?
Har. What Ladies? the vizard Masques you know never pitty a Man when all's gone, though in their Service.
Dor. And for the Women in the boxes, you'd never pitty them, when 'twas in your power.
har. They say 'tis pitty, but all that deal with common Women shou'd be serv'd so.
Dor. Nay, I dare swear, they won't admit you to play at [Page 7] Cards with them, go to Plays with'em, or do the little duties which other Shadows of men, are wont to do for'em.
Hor Who do you call Shadows of Men?
Dor. Half Men.
Hor What Boyes?
Dor. Ay your old Boyes, old beaux Garcons, who like superannuated Stallions are suffer'd to run, feed, and whinney with the Mares as long as they live, though they can do nothing else.
Hor Well a Pox on love and wenching, Women serve but to keep a Man from better Company; though I can't enjoy them, I shall you the more: good fellowship and friendship, are lasting, rational and manly pleasures.
Har. For all that give me some of those pleasures, you call effeminate too, they help to relish one another.
Hor They disturb one another.
Har. No, Mistresses are like Books; if you pore upon them too much, they doze you, and make you unfit for Company; but if us'd discreetly, you are the fitter for conversation by'em.
Dor. A Mistress shou'd be like a little Country retreat near the Town, not to dwell in constantly, but only for a night and away; to tast the Town the better when a Man returns.
Hor I tell you, 'tis as hard to be a good Fellow, a good Friend, and a Lover of Women, as 'tis to be a good Fellow, a good Friend, and a Lover of Money : You cannot follow both, then choose your side; Wine gives you liberty, Love takes it away.
Dor. Gad, he's in the right on't.
Hor Wine gives you joy, Love grief and tortures; besides the Chirurgeon's Wine makes us witty, Love only Sots: Wine makes us sleep, Love breaks it.
Dor. By the World he has reason, Harcourt.
Hor Wine makes—
Dor. Ay, Wine makes us—makes us Princes, Love makes us Beggars, poor Rogues, y gad—and Wine—
Har. I grant it; Love will still be uppermost.
Hor Come, for my part I will have only those glorious, manly pleasures of being very drunk, and very slovenly. Enter Boy.
Boy. Mr. Sparkish is below, Sir.
Har. What, my dear Friend! a Rogue that is fond of me, only I think for abusing him.
Dor. No, he can no more think the Men laugh at him, than that Women jilt him, his opinion of himself is so good.
Hor Well, there's another pleasure by drinking, I thought not of; I shall loose his acquaintance, because he cannot drink; and you know 'tis a very hard thing to be rid of him, for he's one of those nauseous offerers at wit, who like the worst Fidlers run themselves into all Companies.
Har. One, that by being in the Company of Men of sense wou'd pass for one.
Hor And may so to the short-sighted World, as a false Jewel amongst true ones, is not discern'd at a distance; his Company is as troublesome to us, as a Cuckholds, when you have a mind to his Wife's.
Har. No, the Rogue will not let us enjoy one another, but ravishes our conversation, though he signifies no more to't, than Sir Martin Mar-all's gaping, and auker'd thrumming upon the Lute, does to his Man's Voice, and Musick.
Dor. And to pass for a wit in Town, shewes himself a fool every night to us, that are guilty of the plot.
Hor Such wits as he are, to a Company of reasonable Men, like Rooks to the Gamesters, who only fill a room at the Table, but are so far form contributing to the play, that they only serve to spoil the fancy of those that do.
Dor. Nay, they are us'd like Rooks too, snub'd, check'd, and abus'd; yet the Rogues will hang on.
Hor A Pox on'em, and all that force Nature, and wou'd be still what she forbids'em; Affectation is her greatest Monster.
Har. Most Men are the contraries to that they wou'd seem; your bully you see, is a Coward with a long Sword; the little humbly fawning Physician with his Ebony cane, is he that destroys Men. [Page 9]
Dor. The Usurer, a poor Rogue, possess'd of moldy Bonds, and Mortgages; and we they call Spend-thrifts, are only wealthy, who lay out his money upon daily new purchases of pleasure.
Hor Ay, your errantest cheat, is your Trustee, or Executor; your jealous Man, the greatest Cuckhold; your Church-man, the greatest Atheist; and your noisy pert Rogue of a wit, the greatest Fop, dullest Ass, and worst Company as you shall see: For here he comes. Enter Sparkish to them.
Spar. How is't, Sparks, how is't? Well Faith, Harry, I must railly thee a little, ha, ha, ha, upon the report in Town of thee, ha, ha, ha, I can't hold y Faith; shall I speak?
Hor Yes, but you'l be so bitter then.
Spar. Honest Dick and Franck here shall answer for me, I will not be extream bitter by the Univers.
Har. We will be bound in ten thousand pound Bond, he shall not be bitter at all.
Dor. Nor sharp, nor sweet.
Hor What, not down right insipid?
Spar. Nay then, since you are so brisk, and provoke me, take what follows; you must know, I was discoursing and raillying with some Ladies yesterday, and they hapned to talk of the fine new signes in Town.
Hor Very fine Ladies I believe.
Spar. Said I, I know where the best new sign is. Where, says one of the Ladies? In Covent-Garden, I reply'd. Said another, In what street? In Russel-street, answered I. Lord says another, I'm sure there was, said I again, and it came out of France, and has been there a fortnight.
Dor. A Pox I can hear no more, prethee.
Hor No hear him out; let him tune his crowd a while.
Har. The worst Musick the greatest preparation.
Spar. Nay faith, I'll make you laugh. It cannot be, says a third Lady. Yes, yes, quoth I again. Says a fourth Lady,
Hor Look to't, we'l have no more Ladies.[Page 10]
Spar. No.—then mark, mark, now, said I to the fourth, did you never see Mr. Horner; he lodges in Russel-street, and he's a sign of a Man, you know, since he came out of France, heh, hah, he.
Hor But the Divel take me, if thine be the sign of a jest.
Spar. With that they all fell a laughing, till they bepiss'd themselves; what, but it do's not move you, methinks? well see one had as good go to Law without a witness, as break a jest without a laugher on ones side.—Come, come Sparks, but where do we dine, I have left at Whitehal an Earl to dine with you.
Dor. Why, I thought thou hadst lov'd a Man with a title better, than a Suit with a French trimming to't.
Har. Go, to him again.
Spar. No, Sir, a wit to me is the greatest title in the World.
Hor But go dine with your Earl, Sir, he may be exceptious; we are your Friends, and will not take it ill to be left, I do assure you.
Har. Nay, faith he shall go to him.
Spar. Nay, pray Gentlemen.
Dor. We'l thrust you out, if you wo'not, what disappoint any Body for us.
Spar. Nay, dear Gentlemen hear me.
Hor No, no, Sir, by no means; pray go Sir.
Spar. Why, dear Rogues. They all thrust him out of the room. Spar. returns.
Spar. But, Sparks, pray hear me; what d'ye think I'll eat then with gay shallow Fops, and silent Coxcombs? I think wit as necessary at dinner as a glass of good wine, and that's the reason I never have any stomach when I eat alone.—Come, but where do we dine?
Hor Ev'n where you will.
Spar. At Chateline's.
Dor. Yes, if you will.
Spar. Or at the Cock.
Dor. Yes, if you please.
Spar. Or at the Dog and Partridge[Page 11]
Hor Ay, if you have mind to't, for we shall dine at neither.
Spar. Pshaw, with your fooling we shall loose the new Play; and I wou'd no more miss seing a new Play the first day, than I wou'd miss setting in the wits Row; therefore I'll go fetch my Mistriss and away.
Manent Horner, Harcourt, Dorilant; Enter to them Mr. Pinchwife.
Hor Who have we here, Pinchwife?
Mr. Pine. Gentlemen, your humble Servant.
Hor Well, Jack, by thy long absence from the Town, the grumness of thy countenance, and the slovenlyness of thy habit; I shou'd give thee joy, shou'd I not, of Marriage?
Mr. Pin. [Death does he know I'm married too? I thought to have conceal'd it from him at least.] Aside. My long stay in the Country will excuse my dress, and I have a suit of Law, that brings me up to Town, that puts me out of humour; besides I must give Sparkish tomorrow five thousand pound to lye with my Sister.
Hor Nay, you Country Gentlemen rather than not purchase, will buy any thing, and he is a crackt title, if we may quibble: Well, but am I to give thee joy, I heard thou wert marry'd
Mr. Pin. What then?
Hor Why, the next thing that is to be heard, is thou'rt a Cuckold.
Mr. Pin. Insupportable name. Aside.
Hor But I did not expect Marriage from such a Whoremaster as you, one that knew the Town so much, and Women so well.
Mr. Pin. Why, I have marry'd no London Wife.
Hor Pshaw, that's all one, that grave circumspection in marrying a Country Wife, is like refusing a deceitful pamper'd Smithfield Jade, to go and be cheated by a Friend in the Country.
Mr. Pin. A Pox on him and his Simile. Aside. At least we are a little surer of the breed there, know what her keeping has been, whether foyl'd or unsound.
Hor Come, come, I have known a clap gotten in Wales and [Page 12] there are Cozens, Justices, Clarks, and Chaplains in the Country, I won't say Coach-men, but she's handsome and young.
Pin. I'll answer as I shou'd do. Aside. No, no, she has no beauty, but her youth; no attraction, but her modesty, wholesome, homely, and huswifely, that's all.
Dor. He talks as like a Grasier as he looks.
Pin. She's too auker'd, ill favour'd, and silly to bring to Town.
Har. Then methinks you shou'd bring her, to be taught breeding.
Pin. To be taught; no, Sir, I thank you, good Wives, and private Souldiers shou'd be ignorant.—[I'll keep her from your instructions, I warrant you.
Har. The Rogue is as jealous, as if his wife were not ignorant. Aside.
Hor Why, if she be ill favour'd, there will be less danger here for you, than by leaving her in the Country; we have such variety of dainties, that we are seldom hungry.
Dor. But they have alwayes coarse, constant, swinging stomachs in the Country.
Har. Foul Feeders indeed.
Dor. And your Hospitality is great there.
Har. Open house, every Man's welcome.
Pin. So, so, Gentlemen.
Hor But prethee, why woud'st thou marry her? if she be ugly, ill bred, and silly, she must be rich then.
Pin. As rich as if she brought me twenty thousand pound out of this Town; for she'l be as sure not to spend her moderate portion, as a London Baggage wou'd be to spend hers, let it be what it wou'd; so 'tis all one: then because shes ugly, she's the likelyer to be my own; and being ill bred, she'l hate conversation; and since silly and innocent, will not know the difference betwixt a Man of one and twenty, and one of forty
Hor Nine—to my knowledge; but if she be silly, she'l expect as much from a Man of forty nine, as from him of one and twenty: But methinks wit is more necessary than beauty, [Page 13] and I think no young Woman ugly that has it, and no handsome Woman agreable without it.
Pin. 'Tis my maxime, he's a Fool that marrys, but he's a greater that does not marry a Fool; what is wit in a Wife good for, but to make a Man a Cuckold?
Hor Yes, to keep it from his knowledge.
Pin. A Fool cannot contrive to make her husband a Cuckold.
Hor No, but she'l club with a Man that can; and what is worse, if she cannot make her Husband a Cuckold, she'l make him jealous, and pass for one, and then 'tis all one.
Pin. Well, well, I'll take care for one, my Wife shall make me no Cuckold, though she had your help Mr. Horner; I understand the Town, Sir.
Dor. His help! Aside.
Har. He's come newly to Town it seems, and has not heard how things are with him. Aside
Hor But tell me, has Marriage cured thee of whoring, which it seldom does.
Har. 'Tis more than age can do.
Hor No, the word is, I'll marry and live honest; but a Marriage vow is like a penitent Gamesters Oath, and entring into Bonds, and penalties to stint himself to such a particular small sum at play for the future, which makes him but the more eager, and not being able to hold out, looses his Money again, and his forfeit to boot.
Dor. Ay, ay, a Gamester will be a Gamester, whilst his Money lasts; and a Whoremaster, whilst his vigour.
Har. Nay, I have known'em, when they are broke and can loose no more, keep a fumbling with the Box in their hands to fool with only, and hinder other Gamesters.
Dor. That had wherewithal to make lusty stakes.
Pin. Well, Gentlemen, you may laugh at me, but you shall never lye with my Wife, I know the Town.
Hor But prethee, was not the way you were in better, is not keeping better than Marriage?
Pin. A Pox on't, the Jades wou'd jilt me, I cou'd never keep a Whore to my self.[Page 14]
Hor So then you only marry'd to keep a Whore to your self; well, but let me tell you, Women, as you say, are like Souldiers made constant and loyal by good pay, rather than by Oaths and Covenants, therefore I'd advise my Friends to keep rather than marry; since too I find by your example, it does not serve ones turn, for I saw you yesterday in the eighteen penny place with a pretty Country-wench.
Pin. How the Divel, did he see my Wife then? I sate there that she might not be seen; but she shall never go to a play again. Aside.
Hor What dost thou blush at nine and forty, for having been seen with a Wench?
Dor. No Faith, I warrant 'twas his Wife; for Men are now there out of sight, for he's a cunning Rogue, and understands the Town.
Har. He blushes, then 'twas his Wife; for Men are now more ashamed to be seen with them in publick, than with a Wench.
Pin. Hell and damnation, I'm undone, since Horner has seen her, and they know 'twas she. Aside.
Hor But prethee, was it thy Wife? She was exceedingly pretty; I was in love with her at that distance.
Pin. You are like never to be nearer to her. Your Servant Gentleman. Offers to go.
Hor Nay, prethee stay.
Pin. I cannot, I will not.
Hor Come you shall dine with us.
Pin. I have din'd already.
Hor Come, I know thou hast not; I'll treat thee dear Rogue, sha't spend none of thy Hampshire Money to day.
Pin. Treat me; so he uses me already like his Cuckold. Aside.
Hor Nay, you shall not go.
Pin. I must, I have business at home. Exit Pinchwife.
Har. To beat his Wife, he's as jealous of her, as a Cheapside Husband of a Covent-garden Wife.[Page 15]
Hor Why, tis as hard to find an old Whoremaster without jealousy and the gout, as a young one without fear or the Pox.
As Gout in Age, from Pox in Youth proceeds;
So Wenching past, then jealousy succeeds:
The worst disease that Love and Wenching breeds.
Mrs. Margery Pinchwife, and Alithea: Mr. Pinchwife peeping behind at the door.
Mrs. Pin. Pray, Sister, where are the best Fields and Woods, to walk in in London?
Alit. A pretty Question; why, Sister! Mulberry Garden and St. James's Park; and for close walks the New Exchange.
Mrs. Pin. Pray, Sister, tell me why my Husband looks so grum here in Town? and keeps me up so close, and will not let me go a walking, nor let me wear my best Gown yesterday?
Alith. O he's jealous, Sister.
Mrs. Pin. Jealous, what's that?
Alith. He's afraid you shou'd love another Man.
Mrs. Pin. How shou'd he be afraid of my loving another man, when he will not let me see any but himself.
Alith. Did he not carry you yesterday to a Play?
Mrs. Pin. Ay, but we sate amongst ugly People, he wou'd not let me come near the Gentry, who sate under us, so that I cou'd not see'em : He told me, none but naughty Women sate there, whom they tous'd and mous'd; but I wou'd have ventur'd for all that.
Alith. But how did you like the Play?
Mrs. Pin. Indeed I was aweary of the Play, but I lik'd hugeously the Actors; they are the goodlyest proper'st Men, Sister.[Page 16]
Alith. O but you must not like the Actors, Sister.
Mrs. Pin. Ay, how shou'd I help it, Sister? Pray, Sister, when my Husband comes in, will you ask leave for me to go a walking?
Alith. A walking, hah, ha; Lord, a Country Gentlewomans leasure is the drudgery of a foot-post; and she requires as much airing as her Husbands Horses. Aside. Enter Mr. Pinchwife to them. But here comes your Husband; I'll ask, though I'm sure he'l not grant it.
Mrs. Pin. He says he won't let me go abroad, for fear of catching the Pox.
Alith. Fye, the small Pox you shou'd say.
Mrs. Pin. Oh my dear, dear Bud, welcome home; why dost thou look so fropish, who has nanger'd thee?
Mr. Pin. Your a Fool. Mrs. Pinch. goes aside, & cryes.
Alith. Faith so she is, for crying for no fault, poor tender Creature!
Mr. Pin. What you wou'd have her as impudent as your self, as errant a Jilflirt, a gadder, a Magpy, and to say all a meer notorious Town-Woman?
Alit. Brother, you are my only Censurer; and the honour of your Family shall sooner suffer in your Wife there, than in me, though I take the innocent liberty of the Town.
Mr. Pin. Hark you Mistriss, do not talk so before my Wife, the innocent liberty of the Town!
Alith. Why, pray, who boasts of any intrigue with me? what Lampoon has made my name notorious? what ill Women frequent my Lodgings? I keep no Company with any Women of scandalous reputations.
Mr. Pin. No, you keep the Men of scandalous reputations Company.
Alith. Where? wou'd you not have me civil? answer'em in a Box at the Plays? in the drawing room at Whitehal? in St. James's Park? Mulberry-garden? or—
Mr. Pin. Hold, hold, do not teach my Wife, where the Men are to be found; I believe she's the worse for your Town [Page 17] documents already; I bid you keep her in ignorance as I do.
Mrs. Pin. Indeed be not angry with her Bud, she will tell me nothing of the Town, though I ask her a thousand times a day.
Mr. Pin. Then you are very inquisitive to know, I find?
Mrs. Pin. Not I indeed, Dear, I hate London; our Placehouse in the Country is worth a thousand of't, wou'd I were there again.
Mr. Pin. So you shall I warrant; but were you not talking of Plays, and Players, when I came in? you are her encourager in such discourses.
Mrs. Pin. No indeed, Dear, she chid me just now for liking the Player Men.
Mr. Pin. Nay, if she be so innocent as to own to me her likeing them, there is no hurt in't— Aside. Come my poor Rogue, but thou lik'st none better then me?
Mrs. Pin. Yes indeed, but I do, the Player Men are finer Folks.
Mr. Pin. But you love none better then me?
Mrs. Pin. You are mine own Dear Bud, and I know you, I hate a Stranger.
Mr. Pin. Ay, my Dear, you must love me only, and not be like the naughty Town Women, who only hate their Husbands, and love every Man else, love Plays, Visits, fine Coaches, fine Cloaths, Fidles, Balls, Treates, and so lead a wicked Town-life.
Mrs. Pin. Nay, if to enjoy all these things be a Town-life, London is not so bad a place, Dear.
Mr. Pin. How! if you love me, you must hate London.
Ali. The Fool has forbid me discovering to her the pleasures of the Town, and he is now setting her a gog upon them himself.
Mrs. Pin. But, Husband, do the Town-women love the Player Men too?
Mr. Pin. Yes, I warrant you.
Mrs. Pin. Ay, I warrant you.
Mr. Pin. Why, you do not, I hope?[Page 18]
Mrs. Pin. No, no, Bud; but why have we no Player-men in the Country?
Mr. Pin. Ha—Mrs. Minx, ask me no more to go to a Play.
Mrs. Pin. Nay, why, Love? I did not care for going; but when you forbid me, you make me as't were desire it.
Alith. So 'twill be in other things, I warrant. Aside.
Mrs. Pin. Pray, let me go to a Play, Dear.
Mr. Pin. Hold your Peace, I wo'not.
Mrs. Pin. Why, Love?
Mr. Pin. Why, I'll tell you.
Alith. Nay, if he tell her, she'l give him more cause to forbid her that place. Aside.
Mrs. Pin. Pray, why, Dear?
Mrs. Pin. First, you like the Actors, and the Gallants may like you.
Mrs. Pin. What, a homely Country Girl? no Bud, no body will like me.
Mr. Pin. I tell you, yes, they may.
Mrs. Pin. No, no, you jest—I won't believe you, I will go.
Mr. Pin. I tell you then, that one of the lewdest Fellows in Town, who saw you there, told me he was in love with you.
Mrs. Pin. Indeed! who, who, pray, who wast?
Mrs. Pin. I've gone too far, and slipt before I was aware; how overjoy'd she is! Aside.
Mrs. Pin. Was it any Hampshire Gallant, any of our Neighbours? I promise you, I am beholding to him.
Mr. Pin. I promise you, you lye; for he wou'd but ruin you, as he has done hundreds: he has no other love for Women, but that, such as he, look upon Women like Basilicks, but to destroy'em.
Mrs. Pin. Ay, but if he loves me, why shou'd he ruin me? answer me to that : methinks he shou'd not, I wou'd do him no harm.
Alith. Hah, ha, ha.
Mr. Pin. 'Tis very well; but I'll keep him from doing you any harm, or me either. [Page 19] Enter Sparkish and Harcourt. But here comes Company, get you in, get you in.
Mrs. Pin. But pray, Husband, is he a pretty Gentleman, that loves me?
Mr. Pin. In baggage, in. Thrusts her in: shuts the door. What all the lewd Libertines of the Town brought to my Lodging, by this easie Coxcomb! S'death I'll not suffer it.
Spar. Here Harcourt, do you approve my choice? Dear, little Rogue, I told you, I'd bring you acquainted with all my Friends, the wits, and— Harcourt salutes her.
Mr. Pin. Ay, they shall know her, as well as you your self will, I warrant you.
Spar. This is one of those, my pretty Rogue, that are to dance at your wedding to morrow; and him you must bid welcom ever, to what you and I have.
Mr. Pin. Monstrous!— Aside.
Spar. Harcourt how dost thou like her, Faith? Nay, Dear, do not look down; I should hate to have a wife of mine out of countenance at any thing.
Mr. Pin. Wonderful!
Spar. Tell me, I say, Harcourt, how dost thou like her? thou hast star'd upon her enough, to resolve me.
Har. So infinitely well, that I cou'd wish I had a Mistriss too, that might differ from her in nothing, but her love and engagement to you.
Alith. Sir, Master Sparkish has often told me, that his Acquaintance were all Wits and Raillieurs, and now I find it.
Spar. No, by the Universe, Madam, he does not railly now; you may believe him: I do assure you, he is the honestest, worthyest, true hearted Gentleman— A man of such perfect honour, he wou'd say nothing to a Lady, he does not mean.
Mr. Pin. Praising another Man to Mistriss!
Har. Sir, you are so beyond expectation obliging, that—
Spar. Nay, I gad, I am sure you do admire her extreamly, I see't in your eyes.— He does admire you Madam.— By the World, don't you?[Page 20]
Har. Yes, above the World, or, the most glorious part of it, her whole Sex; and till now I never thought I shou'd have envy'd you, or any Man about to marry, but you have the best excuse for Marriage I ever knew.
Alith. Nay, now, Sir, I'm satisfied you are of the Society of the Wits, and Raillieurs, since you cannot spare your Friend, even when he is but too civil to you; but the surest sign is, since you are an Enemy to Marriage, for that I hear you hate as much as business or bad Wine.
Har. Truly, Madam, I never was an Enemy to Marriage, till now, because Marriage was never an Enemy to me before.
Alith. But why, Sir, is Marriage an Enemy to you now? Because it robs you of your Friend here; for you look upon a Friend married as one gone into a Monastery, that is dead to the World.
Har. 'Tis indeed, because you marry him; I see Madam, you can guess my meaning: I do confess heartily and openly, I wish it were in my power to break the Match, by Heavens I wou'd.
Spar. Poor Franck!
Alith. Wou'd you be so unkind to me?
Har. No, no, 'tis not because I wou'd be unkind to you.
Spar. Poor Franck, no gad, 'tis only his kindness to me.
Pin. Great kindness to you indeed; insensible Fop, let a Man make love to his Wife to his face. Aside.
Spar. Come dear Franck, for all my Wife there that shall be, thou shalt enjoy me sometimes dear Rogue; by my honour, we Men of wit condole for our deceased Brother in Marriage, as much as for one dead in earnest: I think that was prettily said of me, ha Harcourt? —But come Franck, be not not melancholy for me.
Har. No, I assure you I am not melancholy for you.
Spar. Prethee, Frank, dost think my Wife that shall be there a fine Person.
Har. I cou'd gaze upom her, till I became as blind as you are.
Spar. How, as I am! how![Page 21]
Har. Because you are a Lover, and true Lovers are blind, stockblind.
Spar. True, true; but by the World, she has wit too, as well as beauty: go, go with her into a corner, and trye if she has wit, talk to her any thing, she's bashful before me.
Har. Indeed if a Woman wants wit in a corner, she has it no where.
Alith. Sir, you dispose of me a little before your time.— Aside to Sparkish.
Spar. Nay nay, Madam let me have an earnest of your obedience, or—go, go, Madam— Harcourt courts Alithea aside.
Pin. How, Sir, if you are not concern'd for the honour of a Wife, I am for that of a Sister; he shall not debauch her: be a Pander to your own Wife, bring Men to her, let'em make love before your face, thrust'em into a corner together, then leav'em in private! is this your Town wit and conduct?
Spar. Hah, ha, ha, a silly wise Rogue, wou'd make one laugh more then a stark Fool, hah, ha: I shall burst. Nay, you shall not disturb'em; I'll vex thee, by the World. Struggles with Pinch. to keep him from Harc. and Alith.
Alith. The writings are drawn, Sir, settlements made; 'tis too late, Sir, and past all revocation.
Har. Then so is my death.
Alith. I wou'd not be unjust to him.
Har. Then why to me so?
Alith. I have no obligation to you.
Har. My love.
Alith. I had this before.
Har. You never had it; he wants you see jealousie, the only infallible sign of it.
Alith. Love proceeds from esteem; he cannot distrust my virtue infallible sign of it.
Alith. Love proceeds from esteem; he cannot distrust my virtue, besides he loves me, or he wou'd not marry me.
Har. Marrying you, is no more sign of his love, then bribing your Woman, that he may marry you, is a sign of his generosity: Marriage is rather a sign of interest, then love; and he that marries a fortune, covets a Mistress, not loves [Page 22] her: But if you take Marriage for sign of love, take it from me immediately.
Alith. No, now you have put a scruple in my head; but in short, Sir, to end our dispute, I must marry him, my reputation wou'd suffer in the World else.
Har. No, if you do marry him, with your pardon, Madam, your reputation suffers in the World, and you wou'd be thought in necessity for a cloak.
Alith. Nay, now you are rude, Sir.—Mr. Sparkish, pray come hither, your Friend here is very troublesom, and very loving.
Har. Hold, hold— Aside to Alithea.
Mr. Pin. D'ye hear that?
Spar. Why, d'ye think I'll seem to be jealous, like a Country Bumpkin?
Mr. Pin. No, rather be a Cuckold, like a credulous Cit.
Har. Madam, you wou'd not have been so little generous as to have told him.
Alith. Yes, since you cou'd be so little generous, as to wrong him.
Har. Wrong him, no Man can do't, he's beneath an injury; a Bubble, a Coward, a sensless Idiot, a Wretch so contemptible to all the World but you, that—
Alith. Hold, do not rail at him, for since he is like to be my Husband, I am resolved to like him: Nay, I think I am oblig'd to tell him, you are not his Friend.— Master Spar- kish, Master Sparkish.
Spar. What, what; now dear Rogue, has not she wit?
Har. Not so much as I thought, and hoped she had. Speaks surlily.
Alith. Mr. Sparkish, do you bring People to rail at you?
Spar How! no, but if he does rail at me, 'tis but in jest I warrant; what we wits do for one another, and never take any notice of it.
Alith. He spoke so scurrilously of you, I had no patience to hear him; besides he has been making love to me.[Page 23]
Har. True damn'd tell-tale-Woman. Aside.
Spar. Pshaw, to shew his parts—we wits rail and make love often, but to shew our parts; as we have no affections, so we have no malice, we—
Alith. He said, you were a Wretch, below an injury.
Har. Damn'd, sensless, impudent, virtuous Jade; well since she won't let me have her, she'l do as good, she'l make me hate her.
Alith. A Common Bubble.
Alith. A Coward.
Spar. Pshaw, pshaw.
Alith. A sensless driveling Idiot.
Spar. How, did he disparage my parts? Nay, then my honour's concern'd, I can't put up that, Sir; by the World, Brother help me to kill him; [I may draw now, since we have the odds of him:—'tis a good occasion too before my Mistriss]— Aside. Offers to draw.
Alith. Hold, hold.
Spar. What, what.
Alith. I must not let'em kill the Gentleman neither, for his kindness to me; I am so far from hating him, that I wish my Gallant had his person and understanding:— [Nay if my honour— Aside.
Spar. I'll be thy death.
Alith. Hold, hold, indeed to tell the truth, the Gentleman said after all, that what he spoke, was but out of friendship to you.
Spar. How! say, I am, I am a Fool, that is no wit, out of friendship to me.
Alith. Yes, to try whether I was concern'd enough for you, and made love to me only to be satisfy'd of my virtue, for your sake.
Har. Kind however— Aside.
Spar. Nay, if it were so, my dear Rogue, I ask thee pardon; but why wou'd not you tell me so, faith.[Page 24]
Har. Because I did not think on't, faith.
Spar. Come, Horner does not come, Harcourt, let's be gone to the new Play.—Come Madam.
Alith. I will not go, if you intend to leave me alone in the Box, and run into the pit, as you use to do.
Spar. Pshaw, I'll leave harcourt with you in the Box, to entertain you, and that's as good; if I sate in the Box, I shou'd be thought no Judge, but of trimmings.—Come away Harcourt, lead her down. Exeunt Sparkish, Harcourt, and Alithea.
Pin. Well, go thy wayes, for the flower of the true Town Fops, such as spend their Estates, before they come to'em, and are Cuckolds before they'r married. But let me go look to my own Free-hold—How— Enter my Lady Fidget, Mistriss Dainty Fidget, and Mistriss Squeamish.
Lad. Your Servant, Sir, where is your Lady? we are come to wait upon her to the new Play.
Pin. New Play!
Lad. And my Husband will wait upon you presently.
Pin. Damn your civility— Madam, by no means, I will not see Sir Jaspar here, till I have waited upon him at home; nor shall my Wife see you, till she has waited upon your Ladyship at your lodgings.
Lad. Now we are here, Sir—
Pin. No, Madam.
Dain. Pray, let us see her.
Squeam. We will not stir, till we see her.
Pin. A Pox on you all— Aside. Goes to the door, and returns. she has lock'd the door, and is gone abroad.
Lad. No, you have lock'd the door, and she's within.
Dain. They told us below, she was here.
Pin. [Will nothing do?]—Well it must out then, to tell you the truth, Ladies, which I was afraid to let you know before, least it might endanger your lives, my Wife has just now the Small Pox come out upon her, do not be frighten'd; [Page 25] but pray, be gone Ladies, you shall not stay here in danger of your lives; pray get you gone Ladies.
Lad. No, no, we have all had'em.
Squeam. Alack, alack.
Dain. Come, come, we must see how it goes with her, I understand the disease.
Pin. Well, there is no being too hard for Women at their own weapon, lying, therefore I'll quit the Field. Aside. Exit Pinchwife.
Squeam. Here's an example of jealousy.
Lad. Indeed as the World goes, I wonder there are no more jealous, since Wives are so neglected.
Dain. Pshaw, as the World goes, to what end shou'd they be jealous.
Lad. Foh, 'tis a nasty World.
Squeam. That Men of parts, great acquaintance, and quality shou'd take up with, and spend themselves and fortunes, in keeping little Play-house Creatures, foh.
Lad. Nay, that Women of understanding, great acquaintance, and good quality, shou'd fall a keeping too of little Creatures, foh.
Squeam. Why, 'tis the Men of qualities fault, they never visit Women of honour, and reputation, as they us'd to do; and have not so much as common civility, for Ladies of our rank, but use us with the same indifferency, and ill breeding, as if we were all marry'd to'em.
Lad. She says true, 'tis an errant shame Women of quality shou'd be so slighted; methinks, birth, birth, shou'd go for something; I have known Men admired, courted, and followed for their titles only.
Squeam. Ay, one wou'd think Men of honour shou'd not love no more, than marry out their own rank.
Dain. Fye, fye upon'em, they are come to think cross breeding for themselves best, as well as for their Dogs, and Horses.
Lad. They are Dogs, and Horses for't.
Squeam. One wou'd think if not for love, for vanity a little.[Page 26]
Dain. Nay, they do satisfy their vanity upon us sometimes; and are kind to us in their report, tell all the World they lye with us.
Lad. Damn'd Rascals, that we shou'd be only wrong'd by'em; to a report a Man has had a Person, when he has not had a Person, is the greatest wrong in the whole World, that can be done to a person.
Squeam. Well, 'tis an errant shame, Noble Persons shou'd be so wrong'd, and neglected.
Lad. But still 'tis an erranter shame for a Noble Person, to neglect her own honour, and defame her own Noble Person, with little inconsiderable Fellows, foh!—
Dain. I suppose the crime against our honour, is the same with a Man of quality as with another.
Lad. How! no sure the Man of quality is likest one's Husband, and therefore the fault shou'd be the less.
Dain. But then the pleasure shou'd be the less.
Lad. Fye, fye, fye, for shame Sister, whither shall we ramble? be continent in your discourse, or I shall hate you.
Dain. Besides an intrigue is so much the more notorious for the man's quality.
Squeam. 'Tis true, no body takes notice of a private Man, and therefore with him, 'tis more secret, and the crime's the less, when 'tis not known.
Lad. You say true; y faith I think you are in the right on't: 'tis not an injury to a Husband, till it be an injury to our honours; so that a Woman of honour looses no honour with a private Person; and to say truth—
Dain. So the little Fellow is grown a private Person— with her— Apart to Squeamish.
Lad. But still my dear, dear Honour. Enter Sir Jaspar, Horner, Dorilant.
Sr. Jas. Ay, my dear, dear of honour, thou hast still so much honour in thy mouth—
Hor That she has none elsewhere— Aside.
Lad. Oh, what d'ye mean to bring in these upon us?
Dain. Foh, these are bad as Wits,[Page 27]
Lad. Let us leave the Room.
Sr. Jas. Stay, stay, faith to tell you the naked truth.
Lad. Fye, Sir Jaspar, do not use that word naked.
Sr. Jas. Well, well, in short I have business at Whitehal, and cannot go to the play with you, therefore wou'd have you go—
Lad. With those two to a Play?
Sr. Jas. No, not with t'other, but with Mr. Horner, there can be no more scandal to go with him, than with Mr. Tatle, or Master Limberham.
Lad. With that nasty Fellow! no—no.
Sr. Jas. Nay, prethee Dear, hear me. Whispers to Lady Fid.
Hor Ladies. Horner, Dorilant drawing near Squeamish, and Daint.
Dain. Stand off.
Squeam. Do not approach us.
Dain. You heard with the wits, you are obscenity all over.
Squeam. And I wou'd as soon look upon a Picture of Adam and Eve, without fig leaves, as any of you, if I cou'd help it, therefore keep off, and do not make us sick.
Dor. What a Divel are these?
Hor Why, these are pretenders to honour, as criticks to wit, only by censuring others; and as every raw peevish, out-of-humour'd, affected, dull, Tea-drinking, Arithmetical Fop sets up for a wit, by railing at men of sence, so these for honour, by railing at the Court, and Ladies of as great honour, as quality.
Sr. Jas. Come, Mr. Horner, I must desire you to go with these Ladies to the Play, Sir.
Hor I! Sir.
Sr. Jas. Ay, ay, come, Sir.
Hor I must beg your pardon, Sir, and theirs, I will not be seen in Womens Company in publick again for the World.
Sr. Jas. Ha, ha, strange Aversion!
Squeam. No, he's for Womens company in private.
Sr. Jas. He—poor Man—he! hah, ha, ha.
Dain. 'Tis a greater shame amongst lew'd fellows to be [Page 28] seen in virtuous Womens company, than for the Women to be seen with them.
Hor Indeed, Madam, the time was I only hated virtuous Women, but now I hate the other too; I beg your pardon Ladies.
Lad. You are very obliging, Sir, because we wou'd not be troubled with you.
Sr. Jas. In sober sadness he shall go.
Dor. Nay, if he wo'not, I am ready to wait upon the Ladies; and I think I am the fitter Man.
Sr. Jas. You, Sir, no I thank you for that—Master Horner is a privileg'd Man amongst the virtuous Ladies, 'twill be a great while before you are so; heh, he, he, he's my Wive's Gallant, heh, he; no pray withdraw, Sir, for as I take it, the virtuous Ladies have no business with you.
Dor. And I am sure, he can have none with them: 'tis strange a Man can't come amongst virtuous Women now, but upon the same terms, as Men are admitted into the great Turks Scraglio; but Heavens keep me, from being an hombre Player with'em: but where is Pinchwife— Exit Dorilant.
Sr. Jas. Come, come, Man; what avoid the sweet society of Woman-kind? that sweet, soft, gentle, tame, noble Creature Woman, made for Man's Companion—
Hor So is that soft, gentle, tame, and more noble creature a Spaniel, and has all their tricks, can fawn, lye down, suffer beating, and fawn the more; barks at your Friends, when they come to see you; makes your bed hard, gives you Fleas, and the mange sometimes: and all the difference is, the Spaniel's the more faithful Animal, and fawns but upon one Master.
Sr. Jas. Heh, he, he.
Squeam. O the rude Beast.
Dain. Insolent brute.
Lad. Brutel stinking mortify'd rotter French Weather, to date—
Sr. Jas. Hold, an't please your Ladyship; for shame Master, [Page 29] Horner your Mother was a Woman— [Now shall I never reconcile'em] Aside. Hark you, Madam, take my advice in your anger; you know you often want one to make up your droling pack of hombre Players; and you may cheat him easily, for he's an ill Gamester, and consequently loves play: Besides you know, you have but two old civil Gentlemen (with stinking breaths too) to wait upon you abroad, take in the third, into your service; the other are but crazy: and a Lady shou;d have a horse, least sometimes you shou'd be forc'd to stay at home.
Lad. But are you sure he loves play, and has money?
Sr. Jas. He loves play as much as you, and has money as much as I.
Lad. Then I am contented to make him pay for his scurrillity; money makes up in a measure all other wants in Men.— Those whom we cannot make hold for Gallants, we make fine. Aside.
Sr. Jas. So, so; now to mollify, to wheedle him,— Aside. Master Horner will you never keep civil Company, methinks 'tis time now, since you are only fit for them: Come, come, Man you must e'en fall to visiting our Wives, eating at our Tables, drinking Tea with our virtuous Relations after dinner, dealing Cards to'em, reading. Plays, and Gazets to'em, picking Fleas out of their shocks for'em, collecting Receipts; New Songs, Women, Pages, and Footmen for'em.
Hor I hope they'l afford me better employment, Sir.
Sr. Jas. Heh, he, he, 'tis fit you know your work before you come into your place; and since you are unprovided of a Lady to flatter, and a good house to eat at, pray frequent mine, and call my Wife Mistriss, and she shall call you Gallant, according to the custom.
Hor Who I?—
Sr. Jas. Faith, thou sha't for my sake, come for my sake only.
Hor For your sake—
Sr. Jas. Come, come, here's a Gamester for you, let him [Page 30] be a little familiar sometimes; nay, what if a little rude; Gamesters may be rude with Ladies, you know.
Lad. yes, losing Gamesters have a privilege with Women.
Hor I alwayes thought the contrary, that the winning Gamester had most privilege with Women, for when you have lost your money to a Man, you'l loose any thing you have, all you have, they say, and he may use you as he pleases.
Sr. Jas. Heh, he, well, win or loose you shall have your liberty with her.
Lad. As he behaves himself; and for your sake I'll give him admittance and freedom.
Hor All sorts of freedom, Madam?
Sr. Jas. Ay, ay, ay, all sorts of freedom thou can'st take, and so go to her, begin thy new employment; wheedle her, jest with her, and be better acquainted one with another.
Hor I think I know her already, therefore may venter with her, my secret for hers— Aside. Horner, and Lady Fidget whisper.
Sr. Jas. Sister Cuz, I have provided an innocent Play-fellow for you there.
Dain. Who he!
Squeam. There's a play-fellow indeed.
Sr. Jas. Yes sure, what he is good enough to play at Cards, Blind-mans buff, or the fool with sometimes.
Squeam. Foh, we'l have no such Play-fellows.
Dain. No, Sir, you shan't choose Play-fellows for us, we thank you.
Sr. Jas. Nay, pray hear me. Whispering to them.
Lad. But, poor Gentleman, cou'd you be so generous? so truly a Man of honour, as for the sakes of us Women of honour, to cause your self to be reported no Man? No Man! and to suffer your self the greatest shame that cou'd fall upon a Man, that none might fall upon us Women by your conversation; but indeed, Sir, as perfectly, the same Man as before your going into France, Sir; as perfectly, perfectly, Sir.[Page 31]
Hor As perfectly, perfectly, Madam; nay, I scorn you shou'd take my word; I desire to be try'd only, Madam.
Lad. Well, that's spoken again like a Man of honour, all Men of honour desire to come to the test: But indeed, generally you Men report such things of your selves, one does not know how, or whom to believe; and it is come to that pass, we dare not take your words, no more than your Taylors, without some staid Servant of yours be bound with you; but I have so strong a faith in your honour, dear, dear, noble Sir, that I'd forfeit mine for yours at any time, dear Sir.
Hor No, Madam, you shou'd not need to forfeit it for me, I have given you security already to save you harmless my late reputation being so well known in the World, Madam.
Lady. But if upon any future falling out, or upon a suspition of my taking the trust out of your hands, to employ some other, you your self shou'd betray your trust, dear Sir; I mean, if you'l give me leave to speak obscenely, you might tell, dear Sir.
Hor I I did, no body wou'd believe me; the reputation of impotency is as hardly recover'd again in the World, as that of cowardise, dear Madam.
Lad. Nay then, as one may say, you may do your worst, dear, dear, Sir.
Sr. Jas. Come, is your Ladyship reconciled to him yet? have you agreed on matters? for I must be gone to White- hal.
Lad. Why, indeed, Sir Jaspar, Master Horner is a thousand, thousand times a better Man, than I thought him: Cosen Squeamish, Sister Dainty, I can name him now, truly not long ago you know, I thought his very name obscenity, and I wou'd as soon have lain with him, as have nam'd him.
Sr. Jas. Very likely, poor Madam.
Dain. I believe it.
Squeam. No doubt on't.
Sr. Jas. Well, well—that your Ladyship is as virtuous as any she,—I know, and him all the Town knows—heh, he, [Page 32] he; therefore now you like him, get you gone to your business together; go, go, to your business, I say, pleasure, whilst I go to my pleasure, business.
Lad. Come than dear Gallant.
Hor Come away, my dearest Mistriss.
Sr. Jas. So, so, why 'tis as I'd have it. Exit Sr. Jaspar.
Hor And as I'd have it.
Who for his business, from his Wife will run;
Takes the best care, to have her bus'ness done.
Alithea, and Mrs. Pinchwife.
Alith. Sister, what ailes you, you are grown melancholy?
Mrs. Pin. Wou'd it not make any one melancholy, to see you go every day fluttering about abroad, whil'st I must stay at home like a poor lonely, sullen Bird in a cage?
Alit. Ay, Sister, but you came young; and just from the nest to your cage, so that I thought you lik'd it; and cou'd be as chearful in't, as others that took their flight themselves earlym and are hopping abroad in the open Air.
Mrs. Pin. Nay, I confess I was quiet enough, till my Husband told me, what pure lives, the London Ladies live abroad, with their dancing, meetings, and junketings, and drest every day in their best gowns; and I warrant you, play at nine Pins every day of the week, so they do. Enter Mr. Pinchwife.
Mr. Pin. Come, what's here to do? you are putting the Town pleasures in her head, and setting her a longing.
Alit. Yes, after Nine-pins; you suffer none to give her those longings, you mean, but your self.
Mr. Pin. I tell her of the vanities of the Town like a Confessor.[Page 33]
Alith. A Confessor! just such a Confessor, as he that by forbidding a silly Oastler to grease the Horses teeth, taught him to do't.
Mr. Pin. Come Mistriss Flippant, good Precepts are lost, when bad Examples are still before us; the liberty you take abroad makes her hanker after it; and out of humour at home, poor Wretch! she desired not to come to London, I wou'd bring her.
Alith. Very well.
Mr. Pin. She has been this week in Town, and never desired, till this afternoon, to go abroad.
Alith. Was she not at a Play yesterday?
Mr. Pin. Yes, but she ne'er ask'd me; I was my self the cause of her going.
Alith. Then if she ask you again, you are the cause of her asking, and not my example.
Mr. Pin. Well, tomorrow night I shall be rid of you; and the next day before 'tis light, she and I'll be rid of the Town, and my dreadful apprehensions: Come, be not melancholly, for thou sha't go into the Country after to morrow, Dearest.
Alith. Great comfort.
Mrs. Pin. Pish, what d'ye tell me of the Country for?
Mr. Pin. How's this! what, pish at the Country?
Mrs. Pin. Let me alone, I am not well.
Mr. Pin. O, if that be all—what ailes my dearest?
Mrs. Pin. Truly I don't know; but I have not been well, since you told me there was a Gallant at the Play in love with me.
Mr. Pin. Ha—
Alith. That's by my example too.
Mr. Pin. Nay, if you are not well, but are so concern'd, because a lew'd Fellow chanc'd to lye, and say he lik'd you, you'l make me sick too.
Mrs. Pin. Of what sickness?
Mr. Pin. O, of that which is worse than the Plague Jealousy.
Mrs. Pin. Pish, you jear, I'm sure there's no such disease in our Receipt-book at home.[Page 34]
Mr. Pin. No, thou never met'st with it, poor Innocent— well, if thou Cuckold me, 'twill be my own fault— for Cuckolds and Bastards, are generally makers of their own fortune. Aside.
Mrs. Pin. Well, but pray Bud, let's go to a Play to night.
Mr. Pin. 'Tis just done, she comes from it; but why are you so eager to see a Play?
Mrs. Pin. Faith Dear, not that I care one pin for their talk there; but I like to look upon the Player-men, and wou'd
Mrs. Pin. Pish, what d'ye tell me of the Country for?
Mr. Pin. How's this! what, pish at the Country?
Mrs. Pin. Let me alone, I am not well.
Mr. Pin. O, if that be all—what ailes my dearest?
Mrs. Pin. Truly I don't know; but I have not been well, since you told me there was a Gallant at the Play in love with me.
Mr. Pin. Ha—
Alith. That's by my example too.
Mr. Pin. Nay, if you are not well, but are so concern'd, because a lew'd Fellow chanc'd to lye, and say he lik'd you, you'l make me sick too.
Mrs. Pin. Of what sickness?
Mr. Pin. O, of that which is worse than the Plague Jealousy.
Mrs. Pin. Pish, you jear, I'm sure there's no such disease in our Receipt-book at home.[Page 34]
Mr. Pin. No, thou never met'st with it, poor Innocent— well, if thou Cuckold me, 'twill be my own fault— for Cuckolds and Bastards, are generally makers of their own fortune. Aside.
Mrs. Pin. Well, but pray Bud, let's go to a Play to night.
Mr. Pin. 'Tis just done, she comes from it; but why are you so eager to see a Play?
Mrs. Pin. Faith Dear, not that I care one pin for their talk there; but I like to look upon the Player-men, and wou'd see, if I cou'd, the Gallant you say loves me; that's all dear Bud.
Mr. Pin. Is that all dear Bud?
Alith. This proceeds from my example.
Mrs. Pin. But if the Play be done, let's go abroad however, dear Bud.
Mr. Pin. Come have a little patience, and thou shalt go into the Country on Friday.
Mrs. Pin. Therefore I wou'd see first some sights, to tell my Neighbours of. Nay, I will go abroad, that's once.
Alith. I'm the cause of this desire too.
Mr. Pin. But now I think on't, who was the cause of Hor- ners coming to my Lodging to day? that was you.
Alith. No, you, because you wou'd not let him see your handsome Wife out of your Lodging.
Mrs. Pin. Why, O Lord! did the Gentleman come hither to see me indeed?
Mr. Pin. No, no;—You are not cause of that damn'd question too, Mistriss Alithea?—[Well she's in the right of it; he is in love with my Wife—and comes after her— 'tis so—but I'll nip his love in the bud; least he should follow us into the Country, and break his Chariot-wheel near our house, on purpose for an excuse to come to't; but I think I know the Town.
Mrs. Pin. Come, pray Bud, let's go abroad before 'tis late; for I will go, that's flat and plain.
Mr. Pin. So! the obstinacy already of a Town-wife, and I must, whilst she's here, humour her like one. Aside. Sister, how shall we do, that she may not be seen, or known?
Alith. Let her put on her Mask.[Page 35]
Mr. Pin. Pshaw, a Mask makes People but the more inquisitive, and is as ridiculous a disguise, as a stage-beard; her shape, stature, habit will be known: and if we shou'd meet with Horner, he wou'd be sure to take acquaintance with us, must wish her joy, kiss her, talk to her, leer upon her, and the Devil and all; no I'll not use her to a Mask, 'tis dangerous; for Masks have made more Cuckolds, than the best faces that ever were known.
Alith. How will you do then?
Mrs. Pin. Nay, shall we go? the Exchange will be shut, and I have a mind to see that.
Mr. Pin. So—I have it—I'll dress her up in the Suit, we are to carry down to her Brother, little Sir James; nay, I understand the Town tricks: Come let's go dress her; a Mask! no—a Woman mask'd, like a cover'd Dish, gives a Man curiosity, and appetite, when, it may be, uncover'd, 'twou'd turn his stomack; no, no.
Alith. Indeed your comparison is something a greasie one: but I had a gentle Gallant, us'd to say, a Beauty mask'd, lik'd the Sun in Eclipse, gathers together more gazers, than if it shin'd out.
The Scene changes to the new Exchange: Enter Horner, Harcourt, Dorilant.
Dor. Engag'd to Women, and not Sup with us?
Hor Ay, a Pox on'em all.
Har. You were much a more reasonable Man in the morning, and had as noble resolution against'em, as a Widdower of a weeks liberty.
Dor. Did I ever think, to see you keep company with Women in vain.
Hor In vain! no —'tis, since I can't love'em, to be reveng'd on'em.
Har. Now your Sting is gone, you look'd in the Box amongst all those Women, like a drone in the hive, all upon you; shov'd and ill-us'd by'em all, and thrust from one side to t'other.
Dar. Yet he must be buzzing amongst'em still, like other old beetle-headed, lycorish drones; avoid'em, and hate'm as they hate you.[Page 36]
Hor Because I do hate'em, and wou'd hate'em yet more, I'll frequent'em; you may see by Marriage, nothing makes a Man hate a Woman more, than her constant conversation: In short, I converse with'em, as you do with rich Fools, to laugh at'em, and use'em ill.
Dor. But I wou'd no more Sup with Women, unless I cou'd lye with'em, than Sup with a rich Coxcomb, unless I cou'd cheat him.
Hor Yes, I have known thee Sup with a Fool, for his drinking, if he cou'd set out your hand that way only, you were satisfy'd; and if he were a Wine-swallowing mouth 'twas enough.
Har. Yes, a Man drink's often with a Fool, as he tosses with a Marker, only to keep his hand in Ure; but do the Ladies drink?
Hor Yes, Sir, and I shall have the pleasure at least of laying'em flat with a Bottle; and bring as much scandal that way upon'em, as formerly t'other.
Har. Perhaps you may prove as weak a Brother amongst'em that way, as t'other.
Dor. Foh, drinking with Women, is as unnatural, as scolding with'em; but 'tis a pleasure of decay'd Fornicators, and the basest way of quenching Love.
Har. Nay, 'tis drowning Love, instead of quenching it; but leave us for civil Women too!
Dor. Ay, when he can't be the better for'em; we hardly pardon a Man, that leaves his Friend for a Wench, and that's a pretty lawful call.
Hor Faith, I wou'd not leave you for'em, if they wou'd not drink.
Dor. Who wou'd disappoint his Company at Lewis's, for a Gossiping?
Har. Foh, Wine and Women good apart, together as nauseous as Sack and Sugar: But hark you, Sir, before you go, a little of your advice, an old maim'd General, when unfit for actions is fittest for Counsel; I have other designs upon Women, than eating and drinking with them: I am in [Page 37] love with Sparkish's Mistriss, whom he is to marry to morrow, now how shall I get her? Enter Sparkish, looking about.
Hor Why, here comes one will help you to her.
Har. He! he, I tell you, is my Rival, and will hinder my love.
Hor No, a foolish Rival, and a jealous Husband assist their Rivals designs; for they are sure to make their Women hate them, which is the first step to their love, for another Man.
Har. But I cannot come near his Mistriss, but in his company.
Hor Still the better for you, for Fools are most easily cheated, when they themselves are accessaries; and he is to be bubled of his Mistriss, as of his Money, the common Mistriss, by keeping him company.
Spar. Who is that, that is to be bubled? Faith let me snack, I han't met with a buble since Christmas: gad; I think bubles are like their Brother Woodcocks, go out with the cold weather.
Har. A Pox, he did not hear all I hope. Apart to Horner.
Spar. Come, you bubling Rogues you, where do we sup —Oh, Harcourt, my Mistriss tells me, you have been making fierce love to her all the Play long, hah, ha — but I —
Har. I make love to her?
Spar. Nay, I forgive thee; for I think I know thee, and I know her, but I am sure I know my self.
Har. Did she tell you so? I see all Women are like these of the Exchange, who to enhance the price of their commodities, report to their fond Customers offers which were never made'em.
Hor Ay, Women are as apt to tell before the intrigue, as Men after it, and so shew themselves the vainer Sex; but hast thou a Mistriss, Sparkish? 'tis as hard for me to believe it, as that thou ever hadst a buble, as tou brag'd just now.
Spar. O your Servant, Sir; are you at your raillery, Sir? but we were some of us beforehand with you to day at the [Page 38] Play: the Wits were something bold with you, Sir; did you not hear us laugh?
Har. Yes, But I thought you had gone to Plays, to laugh at the Poets wit, not at your own.
Spar. Your Servant, Sir, no thank you; gad I go to a Play as to a Country-treat, I carry my own wine to one, and my own wit to t'other, or else I'm sure I shou'd not be merry at either; and the reason why we are so often lowder, than the players, is, because we think we speak more wit, and so become the Poets Rivals in his audience: for to tell you the truth, we hate the silly Rogues; nay, so much that we find fault even with their Bawdy upon the Stage, whilst we talk nothing else in the Pit as lowd.
Hor But, why should'st thou hate the silly Poets, thou hast too much wit to be one, and they like Whores are only hated by each other; and thou dost scorn writing, I'am sure.
Spar. Yes, I'd have you to know, I scorn writing; but Women, Women, that make Men do all foolish things, make'em write Songs too; every body does it: 'tis ev'n as common with Lovers, as playing with fans; and you can no more help Rhyming to your Phyllis, than drinking to your Phyllis.
Har. Nay, Poetry in love is no more to be avoided, than jealousy.
Dor. But the Poets damn'd your Songs, did they?
Spar. Damn the Poets, they turn'd'em into Burlesque, as they call it; that Burlesque is a Hocus-Pocus-trick, they have got, which by the virtue of Hictius doctius, topsey turvey, they make a wise and witty Man in the World, a Fool upon the Stage you know not how; and 'tis therefore I hate'em too, for I know not but it may be my own case; for they'l put a Man into a Play for looking a Squint: Their Predecessors were contented to make Serving-men only their Stage-Fools, but these Rogues must have Gentlemen, with a Pox to'em, nay Knights: and indeed you shall hardly see a Fool upon the Stage, but he's a Knight; and to tell you the truth, they have kept me these six years from being a Knight in earnest, for fear of being knighted in a Play, and dubb'd a Fool.[Page 39]
Dor. Blame'em not, they must follow their Copy, the Age.
Har. But why should'st thou be afraid of being in a Play, who expose your self every day in the Play-houses, and as publick Places.
Hor 'Tis but being on the Stage, instead of standing on a Bench in the Pit.
Dor. Don't you give money to Painters to draw you like? and are you afraid of your Pictures, at length in a Play-house, where all your Mistresses may see you.
Spar. A Pox, Painters don't draw the Small Pox, or Pimples in ones face; come damn all your silly Authors whatever, all Books and Booksellers, by the World, and all Readers, courteous or uncourteous.
Har. But, who comes here, Sparkish? Enter Mr. Pinchwife, and his Wife in Mans Cloaths, Alithea, Lucy her Maid.
Spar. Oh hide me, there's my Mistriss too. Sparkish hides himself behind Harcourt.
Har. She sees you.
Spar. But I will not see her, 'tis time to go to Whitehal, and I must not fail the drawing Room.
Har. Pray, first carry me, and reconcile me to her.
Spar. Another time, faith the King will have sup't.
Har. Not with the worse stomach for thy absence; thou art one of those Fools, that think their attendance at the King's Meals, as necessary as his Physicians, when you are more troublesom to him, than his Doctors, or his Dogs.
Spar. Pshaw, I know my interest, Sir, prethee hide me.
Hor Your Servant, Pinchwife, —what he knows us not —
Mr. Pin. Come along. To his Wife aside.
Mrs. Pin. Pray, have you any Ballads, give me six-penny worth?
Claspa. We have no Ballads.
Mrs. Pin. Then give me Covent-garden-Drollery, and a Play or two —Oh here's Tarugos Wiles, and the Slighted Maiden, I'll have them.[Page 40]
Mr. Pin. No, Playes are not for your reading; come along, will you discover your self? Apart to her.
Hor Who is that pretty Youth with him, Sparkish?
Spar. I believe his Wife's Brother, because he's something like her, but I never saw her but once.
Hor Extreamly handsom, I have seen a face like it too; let us follow'em. Exeunt Pinchwife, Mistriss Pinchwife. Alithea, Lucy, Horner, Dorilant following them.
Har. Come, Sparkish, your Mistriss saw you, and will be angry you go not to her; besides I wou'd fain be reconcil'd to her, which none but you can do, dear Friend.
Spar. Well that's a better reason, dear Friend; I wou'd not go near her now, for her's, or my own sake, but I can deny you nothing; for though I have known thee a great while, never go, if I do not love thee, as well as a new Acquaintance.
Har. I am oblig'd to you indeed, dear Friend, I wou'd be well with her only, to be well with thee still; for these tyes to Wives usually dissolve all tyes to Friends: I wou'd be contented, she shou'd enjoy you a nights, but I wou'd have you to my self a dayes, as I have had, dear Friend.
Spar. And thou shalt enjoy me a dayes, dear, dear Friend, never stir; and I'll be divorced from her, sooner than from thee; come along —
Har. So we are hard put to't, when we make our Rival our Procurer; but neither she, nor her Brother, wou'd let me come near her now: when all's done, a Rival is the best cloak to steal to a Mistress under, without suspicion; and when we have once got to her as we desire, we throw him off like other Cloaks. Aside. Exit Sparkish, and Harcourt following him. Re-enter Mr. Pinchwife, Mistress Pinchwife in Man's Cloaths.
Mr. Pin. Sister, if you will not go, we must leave you — To Alithea. The Fool her Gallant, and she, will muster up all the young [Page 41] santerers of this place, and they will leave their dear Seamstresses to follow us; what a swarm of Cuckolds, and Cuckold-makers are here? Aside. Come let's be gone Mistriss Margery.
Mrs. Pin. Don't you believe that, I han't half my belly full of sights yet.
Mr. Pin. Then walk this way.
Mrs. Pin. Lord, what a power of brave signs are here! stay —the Bull's-head, the Rams-head, and the Stags-head, Dear —
Mr. Pin. Nay, if every Husbands proper sign here were visible, they wou'd be all alike.
Mrs. Pin. What d'ye mean by that, Bud?
Mr. Pin. 'Tis no matter —no matter, Bud.
Mrs. Pin. Pray tell me; nay, I will know.
Mr. Pin. They wou'd be all Bulls, Stags, and Rams heads. Exeunt Mr. Pinchwife, Mrs. Pinchwife. Re-enter Sparkish, Harcourt, Alithea, Lucy, at t'other door.
Spar. Come dear Madam, for my sake you shall be reconciled to him.
Alith. For your sake I hate him.
Har. That's something too cruel, Madam, to hate me for his sake.
Spar. Ay indeed, Madam, too, too cruel to me, to hate my Friend for my sake.
Alith. I hate him because he is your Enemy; and you ought to hate him too, for making love to me, if you love me.
Spar. That's a good one, I hate a Man for loving you; if he did love you, 'tis but what he can't help, and 'tis your fault not his, if he admires you: I hate a Man for being of my opinion, I'll ne'er do't, by the World.
Alith. Is it for your honour or mine, to suffer a Man to make love to me, who am to marry you yo morrow?
Spar. Is it for your honour or mine, to have me jealous? That he makes love to you, is a sign you are handsome; and that I am not jealous, is a sign you are virtuous, that I think is for your honour.[Page 42]
Alith. But 'tis your honour too, I am concerned for.
Har. But why, dearest Madam, will you be more concern'd for his honour, than he is himself; let his honour alone for my sake, and his, he, he, has no honour —
Spar. How's that?
Har. But what, my dear Friend can guard himself.
Spar. O ho —that's right again.
Har. Your care of his honour argues his neglect of it, which is no honour to my dear Friend here; therefore once more, let his honour go which way it will, dear Madam.
Spar. Ay, ay, were it for my honour to marry a Woman, whose virtue I suspected, and cou'd not trust her in a Friends hands?
Alith. Are you not afraid to loose me?
Har. He afraid to loose you, Madam! No, no —you may see how the most estimable, and most glorious Creature in the World, is valued by him; will you not see it?
Spar. Right, honest Franck, I have that noble value for her, that I cannot be jealous of her.
Alith. You mistake him, he means you care not for me, nor who has me.
Spar. Lord, Madam, I see you are jealous; will you wrest a poor Mans meaning from his words?
Alith. You astonish me, Sir, with your want of jealousie.
Spar. And you make me guiddy, Madam, with your jealousie, and fears, and virtue, and honour; gad, I see virtue makes a Woman as troublesome, as a little reading, or learning.
Lucy. [Well to see what easie Husbands these Women of quality can meet with, a poor Chamber-maid can never have such Lady-like luck; besides he's thrown away upon her, she'l make no use of her fortune, her blessing, none to a Gentleman, for a pure Cuckold, for it requires good breeding to be a Cuckold. Behind.
Alith. I tell you then plainly, her pursues me to marry me.
Spar. Pshaw —[Page 43]
Har. Come, Madam, you see you strive in vain to make him jealous of me; my dear friend is the kindest Creature in the World to me.
Spar. Poor fellow.
Har. But his kindness only is not enough for me, without your favour; your good opinion, dear Madam, 'tis that must perfect my happiness: good Gentleman he believes all I say, wou'd you wou'd do so, jealous of me! I wou'd not wrong him nor you for the World.
Spar. Look you there; hear him, hear him, and do not walk away so. Alithea walks carelessly to and fro.
Har. I love you, Madam, so —
Spar. How's that! Nay —now you begin to go too far indeed.
Har. So much I confess, I say I love you, that I wou'd not have you miserable, and cast your self away upon so unworhty, and inconsiderable a thing, as what you see here. Clapping his hand on his breast, points at Sparkish.
Spar. No faith, I believe thou woud'st not, now his meaning is plain: but I knew before thou woud'st not wrong me nor her.
Har. No, no, Heavens forbid, the glory of her Sex shou'd fall so low as into the embraces of such a contemptible Wretch, the last of Mankind —my dear Friend here — I injure him. Embracing Sparkish.
Alith. Very well.
Spar. No, no, dear Friend, I knew it Madam, you see he will rather wrong himself that me, in giving himself such names.
Alith. Do not you understand him yet?
Spar. Yes, how modestly he speaks of himself, poor Fellow.
Alith. Methinks he speaks impudently of your self, since— before your self too, insomuch that I can no longer suffer his scurrilous abusiveness to you, no more than his love to me. Offers to go.[Page 44]
Spar. Nay, nay, Madam, pray stay, his love to you: Lord, Madam, has he not spoke yet plain enough?
Alith. Yes indeed, I shou'd think so.
Spar. Well then, by the World, a Man can't speak civilly to a Woman now, but presently she says, he makes love to her: Nay, Madam, you shall stay, with your pardon, since you have not yet understood him, till he has made an eclaircissment of his love to you, that is what kind of love it is; answer to thy Catechisme: Friend, do you love my Mistriss here?
Har. Yes, I wish she wou'd not doubt it.
Spar. But how do you love her?
Har. With all my Soul.
Alith. I thank him, methinks he speaks plain enough now.
Spar. You are out still. to Alithea. But with what kind of love, Harcourt?
Har. With the best, and truest love in the World.
Spar. Look you there then, that is with no matrimonial love, I'm sure.
Alith. How's that, do you say matrimonial love is not best?
Spar. Gad, I went too far e're I was aware: But speak for thy self Harcourt, you said you wou'd not wrong me, not her.
Har. No, no, Madam, e'n take him for Heaven's sake.
Spar. Look you there, Madam.
Har. Who shou'd in all justice be yours, he that loves you most. Claps his hand on his breast.
Alith. Look you there, Mr. Sparkish, who's that?
Spar. Who shou'd it be? go on Harcourt.
Har. Who loves you more than Women, Titles, or fortune Fools. Points at Sparkish.
Spar. Look you there, he means me stil, for he points at me.
Har. Who can only match your Faith, and constancy in love.
Spar. Ay.[Page 45]
Har. Who knows, if it be possible, how to value so much beauty and virtue.
Har. Whose love can no more be equall'd in the world, than that Heavenly form of yours.
Spar. No —
Har. Who cou'd no more suffer a Rival, than your absence, and yet cou'd no more suspect your virtue, than his own constancy in his love to you.
Spar. No —
Har. Who in fine loves you better than his eyes, that first made him love you.
Spar. Ay —nay, Madam, faith you shan't go, till —
Alith. Have a care, left you make me stay too long —
Spar. But till he has saluted you; that I may be assur'd you are friends, after his honest advice and declaration: Come pray, Madam, be friends with him. Enter Master Pinchwife, Mistriss Pinchwife.
Alith. You must pardon me, Sir, that I am not yet so obedient to you.
Mr. Pin. What, invite your Wife to kiss Men? Monstrous, are you not asham'd? I will never forgive you.
Spar. Are you not asham'd, that I shou'd have more confidence in the chastity of your Family, than you have; you must not teach me, I am a man of honour, Sir, though I am frank and free; I am frank, Sir —
Mr. Pin. Very frank, Sir, to share your Wife with your friends.
Spar. He is an humble menial Friend, such as reconciles the differences of the Marriage bed; you know Man and Wife do not alwayes agree, I design him for that use, therefore wou'd have him well with my Wife.
Mr. Pin. A menial Friend —you will get a great many menial Friends, by shewing your Wife as you do.
Spar. What then, it may be I have a pleasure in't, as I have to shew fine Clothes, at a Play-house the first day, and count money before poor Rogues.[Page 46]
Mr. Pin. He that shews his wife, or money will be in danger of having them borrowed sometimes.
Spar. I love to be envy'd, and wou'd not marry a Wife, that I alone cou'd love; loving alone is a dull, as eating alone; is it not a frank age, and I am a frank Person? and to tell you the truth, it may be I love to have Rivals in a Wife, they make her seem to a Man still, but as a kept Mistriss; and so good night, for I must to Whitehal. Madam, I hope you are now reconcil'd to my Friend; and so I wish you a good night, Madam, and sleep if you can, for to morrow you know I must visit you early with a Canonical Gentleman. Good night dear Harcourt. Exit Sparkish.
Har. Madam, I hope you will not refuse my visit to morrow, if it shou'd be earlyer, with a Canonical Gentleman, than Mr. Sparkish's.
Mr. Pin. This Gentle-woman is yet under my care, therefore you must yet forbear your freedom with her, Sir. Coming between Alithea and Harcourt.
Har. Must, Sir.
Mr. Pin. Yes, Sir, she is my Sister.
Har. 'Tis well she is, Sir —for I must be her Servant, Sir. Madam —
Mr. Pin. Come away Sister, we had been gone, if it had not been for you, and so avoided these lewd Rakehells, who seem to haunt us. Enter Horner, Dorilant to them.
Hor How now Pinchwife?
Mr. Pin. Your Servant.
Hor What, I see a little time in the Country makes a Man turn wild and unsociable, and only fit to converse with his Horses, Dogs, and his Herds.
Mr. Pin. I have business, Sir, and must mind it; your business is pleasure, therefore you and I must go different wayes.
Hor Well, you may go on, but this pretty young Gentleman —
Takes hold of Mrs. Pinchwife.
Har. The Lady —
Dor. And the Maid —[Page 47]
Hor Shall stay with us, for I suppose their business is the same with ours, pleasure.
Mr. Pin. 'Sdeath he knows her, she carries it so sillily, yet if he does not, I shou'd be more silly to discover it first. Aside.
Alith. Pray, let us go, Sir.
Mr. Pin. Come, come —
Hor Had you not rather stay with us? to Mrs. Pinchwife. Prethee Pinchwife, who is this pretty young Gentleman?
Mr. Pin. One to whom I'm a guardian. [I wish I cou'd keep her out of your hands — Aside.
Hor Who is he? I never saw any thing so pretty in all my life.
Mr. Pin. Pshaw, do not look upon him so much, he's a poor bashful youth, you'l put him out of countenance. Come away Brother. Offers to take her away.
Hor O your Brother!
Mr. Pin. Yes, my Wifes Brother; come, come, she'l stay supper for us.
Hor I thought so, for he is very like her I saw you at the Play with, whom I told you, I was in love with.
Mrs. Pin. O Jeminy! is this he that was in love with me, I am glad on't I vow, for he's a curious fine Gentleman, and I love him already too. Aside. Is this he Bud? to Mr. Pinchwife.
Mr. Pin. Come away, come away. To his Wife.
Hor Why, what hast are you in? why wont you let me talk with him?
Mr. Pin. Because you'l debauch him, he's yet young and innocent, and I wou'd not have him debauch'd for any thing in the World. How she gazes on him! the Divel — Aside.
Hor Harcourt, Dorilant, look you here, this is the likeness of that Dowdey he told us of, his Wife, did you ever see a lovelyer Creature? the Rogue has reason to be jealous of his Wife, since she is like him, for she wou'd make all that see her, in love with her.
Har. And as I remember now, she is as like him here as can be.[Page 48]
Dor. She is indeed very pretty, if she be like him.
Hor Very pretty, a very pretty commendation —she is a glorious Creature, beautiful beyond all things I ever beheld.
Mr. Pin. So, so
Har. More beautiful than a Poets first Mistriss of Imagination.
Hor Or another Mans last Mistriss of flesh and blood.
Mrs. Pin. Nay, now you jeer, Sir; pray don't jeer me —
Mr. Pin. Come, come. By Heavens she'l discover herself. Aside.
Hor I speak of your Sister, Sir.
Mr. Pin. Ay, but saying she was handsom, if like him, made him blush. [I am upon a wrack — Aside.
Hor Methinks he is so handsom, he shou'd not be a Man.
Mr. Pin. O there 'tis out, he has discovered her, I am not able to suffer any longer. [Come, come away, I say — To his Wife.
Hor Nay, by your leave, Sir, he shall not go yet — Harcourt, Dorilant, let us torment this jealous Rogue a little. To them.
Hor I'll shew you.
Mr. Pin. Come, pray let him go, I cannot stay fooling any longer; I tell you his Sister stays supper for us.
Hor Do's she, come then we'l all go sup with her and thee.
Mr. Pin. No, now I think on't, having staid so long for us, I warrant she's gone to bed — [I wish she and I were well out of their hands — Aside. Come, I must rise early to morrow, come.
Hor Well then, if she be gone to bed, I wish her and you a good night. But pray, young Gentleman, present my humble service to her.
Mrs. Pin. Thank you heartily, Sir.
Mrs. Pin. S'death, she will discover her self yet in spight of me. Aside. [Page 49] He is something more civil to you, for your kindness to his Sister, than I am, it seems.
Hor Tell her, dear sweet little Gentleman, for all your Brother there, that you have reviv'd the love, I had for her at first sight in the Play-house.
Mrs. Pin. But did you love her indeed, and indeed?
Mr. Pin. So, so. Aside. Away, I say.
Hor Nay stay; yes indeed, and indeed, pray do you tell her so, and give her this kiss from me. Kisses her.
Mr. Pin. O Heavens! what do I suffer; now 'tis too plain he knows her, and yet — Aside.
Hor And this, and this — Kisses her again.
Mrs. Pin. What do you kiss me for, I am no Woman.
Mr. Pin. So —there 'tis out. Aside. Come, I cannot, nor will stay any longer.
Hor Nay, they shall send your Lady a kiss too; here Har- court, Dorilant, will you not? They kiss her.
Mr. Pin. How, do I suffer this? was I not accusing another just now, for this rascally patience, in permitting his Wife to be kiss'd before his face? ten thousand ulcers gnaw away their lips. Aside. Come, come.
Hor Good night dear Gentleman; Madam goodnight; farewel Pinchwife. Apart to Harcourt and Dorilant. Did not I tell you, I wou'd raise his jealous gall. Exeunt Horner, Harcourt, and Dorilant.
Mr. Pin. So they are gone at last; stay, let me see first if the Coach be at this door. Exit.
Hor What not gone yet? will you be sure to do as I defired you, sweet Sir? Horner, Harcourt, Dorilant return.
Mrs. Pin. Sweet Sir, but what will you give me then?
Hor Any thing, come away into Exit Horner, haling away Mrs. Pinchwife.
Alith. Hold, hold, —what d'ye do?
Lucy. Stay, stay, hold —[Page 50]
Har. Hold Madam, hold, let him present him, he'l come presently; nay, I will never let you go, till you answer my question. Alithea, Lucy strugling with Harcourt, and Dorilant.
Lucy. For God's sake, Sir, I must follow'em.
Dor. No, I have something to present you with too, you shan't follow them. Pinchwife returns.
Mr. Pin. Where? —how?—what's become of? gone— whither?
Lucy. He's only gone with the Gentleman, who will give him something, an't please your Worship.
Mr. Pin. Something —give him something, with a Pox— where are they?
Alith. In the next walk only, Brother.
Mr. Pin. Only, only; where, where? Exit Pinchwife, and returns presently, then goes out again.
Har. What's the matter with him? why so much concern'd? but dearest Madam —
Alith. Pray, let me go, Sir, I have said, and suffer'd enough already.
Har. Then you will not look upon, nor pitty my sufferings.
Alith. To look upon'em, when I cannot help'em, were cruelty, not pitty, therefore I will never see you more.
Har. Let me then, Madam, have my priviledge of a banished Lover, complaining or railing, and giving you but a farewell reason; why, if you cannot condescend to marry me, you shou'd not take that wretch my Rival.
Alith. He only, not you, since my honour is engag'd so far to him, can give me a reason, why shou'd not marry him; but if he be true, and what I think him to me, I must be so to him; your Servant, Sir.
Har. Have Women only constancy when 'tis a vice, and like fortune only true to fools?
Dor. Thou sha't not stir thou robust Creature, you see I can deal with you, therefore you shou'd stay the rather, [Page 51] and be kind. To Lucy, who struggles to get from him. Enter Pinchwife.
Mr. Pin. Gone, gone, not to be found; quite gone, ten thousand plagues go with'em; which way went they?
Alith. But into t'other walk, Brother.
Lucy. Their business will be done presently sure, an't please your Worship, it can't be long in doing I'm sure on't.
Alith. Are they not there?
Mr. Pin. No, you know where they are, you infamous Wretch, Eternal shame of your Family, which you do not dishonour enough your self, you think, but you must help her to do it too, thou legion of Bawds.
Alith. Good Brother.
Mr. Pin. Damn'd, damn'd Sister.
Alith. Look you here, she's coming. Enter Mistriss Pinchwife in Mans cloaths, running with her hat under her arm, full of Oranges and dried fruit, Horner following.
Mrs. Pin. O dear Bud, look you here what I have got, see.
Mr. Pin. And what I have got here too, Aside rubbing his forehead.
Mrs. Pin. The fine Gentleman has given me better things yet.
Mr. Pin. Ha's he so? Aside. Out of breath and colour'd—I must hold yet.
Hor I have only given your little Brother and Orange, Sir.
Mr. Pin. Thank you, Sir. To Horner. You have only squeez'd my Orange, I suppose, and given it me again; yet I must have a City-patience. Aside. Come, come away — To his Wife.
Mrs. Pin. Stay, till I have put up my fine things, Bud. Enter Sir Jaspar Fidget.
Sr. Jas. O Master Horner, come, come, the Ladies stay for you; your Mistriss, my Wife, wonders you make not more hast to her.
Hor I have staid this half hour for you here, and 'tis your fault I am not now with your Wife.[Page 52]
Sr. Jas. But pray, don't let her know so much, the truth on't is, I was advancing a certain Project to his Majesty, about —I'll tell you.
Hor No, let's go, and hear it at your house: Good night swett little Gentleman; one kiss more, you'l remember me now I hope. Kisses her.
Dor. What, Sir Jaspar, will you separate Friends? he promis'd to sup with us; and if yo take him to your house, you'l be in danger of our company too.
Sr. Jas. Alas Gentlemen my house is not fit g are none but civil Women there, which are not for your turn; he you know can bear with the society of civil Women, now, ha, ha, ha; besides he's one of my Family; —he's— heh, heh, heh.
Dor. What is he?
Sr. Jas. Faith my Eunuch, since you'l have it, heh, he, he. Exit Sir Jaspar Fidget, and Horner.
Dor. I rather wish thou wert his, or my Cuckold: Har- court, what a good Cuckold is lost there, for want of a Man to make him one; thee and I cannot have Horners privilege, who can make use of it.
Har. Ay, to poor Horner 'tis like coming to an estate at threescore, when a Man can't be the better for't.
Mr. Pin. Come.
Mrs. Pin. Presently Bud.
Dor. Come let us go too: Madam, your Servant. To Alith. Good night Strapper. — To Lucy.
Har. Madam, though you will not let me have a good day, or night, I wish you one; but dare not name the other half of my wish.
Alith. Good night, Sir, for ever.
Mrs. Pin. I don't know where to put this here, dear Bud, you shall eat it; nay, you shall have part of the fine Gentlemans good things, or treat as you call it, when we come home.
In Pinchwife's house in the morning.
Lucy, Alithea dress'd in new Cloths.
Lucy. WEll —Madam, now have I dress'd you, and set you out with so many ornaments, and spent upon you ounces of essence, and pulvilio; and all this for no other purpose, but as People adorn, and perfume a Corps, for a stinking second-hand-grave, such or as bad I think Master Sparkish's bed.
Alith. Hold your peace.
Lucy. Nay, Madam, I will ask you the reason, why you wou'd banish poor Master Harcourt for ever from your sight? how cou'd you be so hard-hearted?
Alith. 'Twas because I was not hard-hearted.
Lucy. No, no; 'twas stark love and kindness, I warrant.
Alith. It was so; I wou'd see him no more, because I love him.
Lucy. Hey day, a very pretty reason.
Alith. You do not understand me.
Lucy. I wish you may your self.
Alith. I was engag'd to marry, you see, another man, whom my justice will not suffer me to deceive, or injure.
Lucy. Can there be a greater cheat, or wrong done to a Man, than to give him your person, without your heart, I shou'd make a conscience of it.
Alith. I'll retrieve it for him after I am married a while.
Lucy. The Woman that marries to love better, will be as much mistaken, as the Wencher that marries to live better. No, Madam, marrying to encrease love, is like gaming to become rich; alas you only loose, what little stock you had before.[Page 54]
Alith. I find by your Rhetorick you have been brib'd to betray me.
Lucy. Only by his merit, that has brib'd your heart you see against your word, and rigid honour; but what a Divel is this honour? 'tis sure a disease in the head, like the Megrim, of Falling-sickness, that alwayes hurries People away to do themselves mischief; Men loose their lives by it: Women what's dearer to'em, their love, the life of life.
Alith. Come, pray talk you no more of honour, nor Master Harcourt, I wish I may never stick pin more, if he be not an errant Natural, to t'other fine Gentleman.
Alith. I own he wants the wit of Harcourt, which I will dispense withal, for another want he has, which is want of jealousie, which men of wit seldom want.
Lucy. Lord, Madam, what shou'd you do with a fool to your Husband, you intend to be honest don't you? then that husbandly virtue, credulity, is thrown away upon you.
Alith. He only that could suspect my virtue, shou'd have cause to do it; 'tis Sparkish's confidence in my truth, that obliges me to be so faithful to him.
Lucy. You are not sure his opinion may last.
Alith. I am satisfied, 'tis impossible for him to be jealous, after the proofs I have had of him: Jealousie in a Husband, Heaven defend me from it, it begets a thousand plagues to a poor Woman, the loss of her honour, her quiet, and her —
Lucy. And her pleasure.
Alith. What d'ye mean, Impertinent?
Lucy. Liberty is a great pleasure, Madam.
Alith. I say loss of honour, her quiet, nay, her life sometimes; and what's as bad almost, the loss of this Town, that is, she is sent into the Country, which is the last ill usage of a Husband to a Wife, I think.[Page 55]
Lucy. O do's the wind lye there? Aside. Then of necessity, Madam, you think a man must carry his Wife into the Country, if he be wise; the Country is as terrible I find to our young English Ladies, as a Monastery to those abroad: and on my Virginity, I think they wou'd rather marry a London-Goaler, than a high Sheriff of a County, since neither can stir from his employment: formerly Women of wit married Fools, for a great Estate, a fine seat, or the like; but now 'tis for a pretty seat only in Lincoln's Inn-fields, St. James's-fields, or the Pall-mall. Enter to them Sparkish, and Harcourt dress'd like a Parson.
Spar. Madam, your humble Servant, a happy day to you, and to us all.
Har. Amen. —
Alith. Who have we here?
Spar. My Chaplain faith —O Madam, poor Harcourt remembers his humble service to you; and in obedience to your last commands, refrains coming into your sight.
Alith. Is not that he?
Spar. No, fye no; but to shew that he ne're intended to hinder our Match has sent his Brother here to joyn our hands: when I get me a Wife, I must get her a Chaplain, according to the Custom; this is his Brother, and my Chaplain.
Alith. His Brother?
Lucy. And your Chaplain, to preach in your Pulpit then— Aside.
Alith. His Brother!
Lucy. And your Chaplain, to preach in your Pulpit then— Aside.
Alith. His Brother!
Lucy. And your Chaplain, to preach in your Pulpit then—
Spar. Nay, I knew you wou'd not believe it; I told you, Sir, she wou'd take you for your Brother Frank.
Alith. Believe it!
Lucy. His Brother! hah, ha, he, he has a trick left still it seems —
Spar. Come my dearest, pray let us go to Church before the Canonical hour is past.
Alith. For shame you are abus'd still.
Spar. By the World 'tis strange now you are so incredulous.
Alith. 'Tis strange you are so credulous.[Page 56]
Spar. Dearest of my life, hear me, I tell you this is Ned Harcourt of Cambridge, by the world, you see he has a sneaking Colledg look; 'tis true he's something like his Brother Frank, and they differ from each other no more than in their age, for they were Twins.
Lucy. Hah, ha, he.
Alith. Your Servant, Sir, I cannot be so deceiv'd, though you are; but come let's hear, how do you know what you affirm so confidently?
Spar. Why, I'll tell you all; Frank Harcourt coming to me this morning, to wish me joy and present his service to you: I ask'd him, if he cou'd help me to a Parson; whereupon he told me, he had a Brother in Town who was in Orders, and he went straight away, and sent him, you see there, to me.
Alith. yes, Frank goes, and puts on a black-coat, then tell's you, he is Ned, that's all you have for't.
Spar. Pshaw, pshaw, I tell you by the same token, the Midwife put her Garter about Frank's neck, to know'em asunder, they were so like.
Alith. Frank tell's you this too.
Spar. Ay, and Ned there too; nay, they are both in a Story.
Alith. So, so, very foolish.
Spar. Lord, if you won't believe one, you had best trye him by your Chamber-maid there; for Chamber-maids must needs know Chaplains from other Men, they are so us'd to'em.
Lucy. Let's see; nay, I'll be sworn he has the Canonical smirk, and the filthy, clammy palm of a Chaplain.
Alith. Well, most reverend Doctor, pray let us make an end of this fooling.
Har. With all my soul, Divine, Heavenly Creature, when you please.
Alith. He speaks like a Chaplain indeed.
Spar. Why, was there not, soul, Divine, Heavenly, in what he said.
Alith. Once more, most impertinent Black-coat, cease your persecution, and let us have a Conclusion of this ridiculous love.[Page 57]
Har. I had forgot, I must sute my Stile to my Coat, or I wear it in vain. Aside.
Alith. I have no more patience left, let us make once an end of this troublesome Love, I say.
Har. So be it, Seraphick Lady, when your Honour shall think it meet, and convenient so to do.
Spar. Gad I'm sure none but a Chaplain cou'd speak so, I think.
Alith. Let me tell you Sir, this dull trick will not serve your turn, though you delay our marriage, you shall not hinder it.
Har. Far be it from me, Munificent Patroness, to delay your Marriage, I desire nothing more than to marry you presently, which I might do, if you your self wou'd; for my Noble, Good-natur'd and thrice Generous Patron here wou'd not hinder it.
Spar. No, poor man, not I faith.
Har. And now, Madam, let me tell you plainly, no body else shall marry you by Heavens, I'll die first, for I'm sure I shou'd die after it.
Lucy. How his Love has made him forget his Function, as I have seen it in real Parsons.
Alith. That was spoken like a Chaplain too, now you understand him, I hope.
Spar. Poor man, he takes it hainously to be refus'd; I can't blame him, 'tis putting an indignity upon him not to be suffer'd, but you'l pardon me Madam, it shan't be, he shall marry us, come away, pray Madam.
Lucy. Hah, ha, he, more ado! 'tis late.
Alith. Invincible stupidity, I tell you he wou'd marry me, as your Rival, not as your Chaplain.
Spar. Come, come Madam. Pulling her away.
Lucy. I pray Madam, do not refuse this reverend Divine the honour and satisfaction of marrying you; for I dare say, he has set his heart upon't, good Doctor.
Alith. What can you hope, or design by this?
Har. I cou'd answer her, a reprieve for a day only, often [Page 58] revokes a hasty doom; at worst, if she will not take mercy on me, and let me marry her, I have at least the Lovers second pleasure, hindring my Rivals enjoyment, though but for a time.
Spar. Come Madam, 'tis e'ne twelve a clock, and my Mother charg'd me never to be married out of the Canonical hours; come, come, Lord here's such a deal of modesty, I warrant the first day.
Lucy. Yes, an't please your Worship, married women shew all their Modesty the first day, because married men shew all their love the first day.
Exeunt Sparkish, Alithea, Harcourt, and Lucy.
The Scene changes to a Bed-chamber, where appear Pinchwife, Mrs. Pinchwife.
Mr. Pinch. Come tell me, I say.
Mrs. Pinch. Lord, han't I told it an hundred times over.
Mr. Pinch. I wou'd try, if in the repetition of the ungrateful tale, I cou'd find her altering it in the least circumstance, for if her story be false, she is so too. Aside. Come how was't Baggage?
Mrs. Pinch. Lord, what pleasure you take to hear it sure!
Mr. Pinch. No, you take more in telling it I find, but speak how was't?
Mrs. Pinch. He carried me up into the house, next to the Exchange.
Mr. Pin. So, and you two were only in the room.
Mrs. Pin. Yes, for he sent away a youth that was there, for some dryed fruit, and China Oranges.
Mr. Pin. Did he so? Damn him for it —and for —
Mrs. Pin. But presently came up the Gentlewoman of the house.
Mr. Pin. O 'twas well she did, but what did he do whilest the fruit came?
Mrs. Pin. He kiss'd me an hundred times, and told me he fancied he kiss'd my fine Sister, meaning me you know, whom he said he lov'd with all his Soul, and bid me be sure to tell her so, and to desire her to be at her window, by eleven of [Page 59] the clock this morning, and he wou'd walk under it at that time.
Mr. Pin. And he was as good as his word, very punctual, a pox reward him for't. Aside.
Mrs. Pin. Well, and he said if you were not within, he wou'd come up to her, meaning me you know, Bud, still.
Mr. Pin. So —he knew her certainly, but for this consession, I am oblig'd to her simplicity. Aside. But what you stood very still, when he kiss'd you?
Mrs. Pin. Yes I warrant you, wou'd you have had me discover'd my self?
Mr. Pin. But you told me, he did some beastliness to you, as you call'd it, what was't?
Mrs. Pin. Why, he put —
Mr. Pin. What?
Mrs. Pin. Why he put the tip of his tongue between my lips, and so musl'd me —and I said, I'd bite it.
Mr. Pin. An eternal canker seize it, for a dog.
Mrs. Pin. Nay, you need not be so angry with him netiher, for to say truth, he has the sweetest breath I ever knew.
Mr. Pin. The Devil —you were satisfied with it then, and wou'd do it again.
Mrs. Pin. Not unless he shou'd force me.
Mr. Pin. Force you, changeling! I tell you no woman can be forced.
Mrs. Pin. Yes, but she may sure, by such a one as he, for he's a proper, goodly strong man, 'tis hard, let me tell you, to resist him.
Mr. Pin. So, 'tis plain she loves him, yet she has not love enough to make her conceal it from me, but the sight of him will increase her aversion for me, and love for him; and that love instruct her how to deceive me, and satisfie him, all Ideot as she is: Love, 'twas he gave women first their craft, their art of deluding; out of natures hands, they came plain, open, silly and fit for slaves, as she and heaven intended 'em; but damn'd Love —Well —I must strangle that little Monster, whilest I can deal with him. [Page 60] Go fetch Pen, Ink and Paper out of the next room:
Mrs Pin. Yes Bud. Exit Mrs. Pinchwife.
Mr. Pin. Why should Women have more invention in love than men? It can only be, because they have more desires, more solliciting passions, more lust, and more of the Devil. Mistriss Pinchwife returns. Aside. Come, Minks, sit down and write.
Mrs. Pin. Ay, dear Bud, but I can't do't very well.
Mr. Pin. I wish you cou'd not at all.
Mrs. Pin. But what shou'd I write for?
Mr. Pin. I'll have you write a Letter to your Lover.
Mrs. Pin. O Lord, to the fine Gentleman a Letter!
Mr. Pin. Yes, to the fine Gentleman.
Mrs. Pin. Lord, you do but jeer; sure you jest.
Mr. Pin. I am not so merry, come write as I bid you.
Mrs. Pin. What, do you think I am a fool?
Mr. Pin. She's afraid I would not dictate any love to him, therefore she's unwilling; but you had best begin.
Mrs. Pin. Indeed, and indeed, but I won't, so I won't.
Mr. Pin. Why?
Mrs. Pin. Because he's in Town, you may send for him if you will.
Mr. Pin. Very well, you wou'd have him brought to you; is it come to this? I say take the pen and write, or you'll provoke me.
Mrs. Pin. Lord, what d'ye make a fool of me for? Don't I know that letters are never writ, but from the Countrey to London, and from London into the Countrey; now he's in Town, and I am in Town too; therefore I can't write to him you know.
Mr. Pin. So I am glad it is no worse, she is innocent enough yet Aside. Yes you may when your Husband bids you write Letters to people that are in Town.
Mrs. Pin. O may I so! Then I'm satisfied.
Mr. Pin. Come begin —Sir — Dictates.
Mrs. Pin. Shan't I say, Dear Sir? You know one says always something more than bare Sir.[Page 61]
Mr. Pin. Write as I bid you, or I will write Whore with this Penknife in your Face.
Mrs. Pin. Nay good Bud—Sir — She writes. Kisses and Embraces —Write
Mrs. Pin. Nay, why shou'd I say so, you know I told you, he had a sweet breath.
Mr. Pin. Write.
Mrs. Pin. Let me but put out, loath'd.
Mr. Pin. Write I say.
Mrs. Pin. Well then. Writes.
Mr. Pin. Let's see what have you writ? Though I suffer'd last night your kisses and embraces — Takes the paper, and reads. Thou impudent creature, where is nauseous and loath'd?
Mrs. Pin. I can't abide to write such filthy words.
Mr. Pin. Once more write as I'd have you, and question it not, or I will spoil thy writing with this, I will stab out those eyes that cause my mischief. Holds up the penknife.
Mrs. Pin. O Lord, I will.
Mr. Pin. So —so —Let's see now! Reads. Though I suffer'd last night your nauseous, loath'd kisses, and embraces; Go on—Yet I would not have you presume that you shall ever repeat them—So— She writes.
Mrs. Pin. I have writ it.
Mr. Pin. On then —I then conceal'd my self from your knowledge, to avoid your insolencies— She writes.
Mrs. Pin. So —
Mr. Pin. The same reason now I am out of your hands — She writes.
Mrs. Pin. So —
Mr. Pin. Makes me own to you my unfortunate, though innocent frolick, of being in man's cloths. She writes.
Mrs. Pin. So —
Mr. Pin. That you may for ever more cease to pursue her, who hates and detests you — She writes on.[Page 62]
Mrs. Pin. So —h — Sighs.
Mr. Pin. What do you sigh? —detests you —as much as she loves her Husband and her Honour —
Mrs. Pin. I vow Husband he'll ne'er believe, I shou'd write such a letter.
Mr. Pin. What he'd expect a kinder from you? come now your name only.
Mrs. Pin. What, shan't I say your most faithful, humble Servant till death?
Mr. Pin. No, tormenting Fiend; her stile I find wou'd be very soft. Aside. Come wrap it up now, whilest I go fetch wax and a candle; and write on the back side, for Mr. Horner. Exit Pinchwife.
Mrs. Pin. For Mr. Horner —So, I am glad he has told me his name; Dear Mr. Horner, but why should I send thee such a Letter, that will vex thee, and make thee angry with me; —well I will not send it —Ay but then my husband will kill me —for I see plainly, he won't let me love Mr. Horner —but what care I for my Husband —I won't so I won't send poor Mr. Horner such a Letter —but then my Husband —But oh —what if I writ at bottom, my Husband made me write it —Ay but then my Husband wou'd see't —Can one have no shift, ah a London woman wou'd have had a hundred presently; stay —what if I shou'd write a Letter, and wrap it up like this, and write upon't too; ay but then my Husband wou'd see't —I don't know what to do —But yet y vads I'll try, so I will — for I will not send this Letter to poor Mr. Horner, come what will on't. Dear, Sweet Mr. Horner —So — She writes, and repeats what she hath writ. my Husband wou'd have me send you a base, rude, unmannerly Letter —but I won't —so —and wou'd have me forbid you loving me —but I wont —so —and wou'd have me sav to you, I hate you poor Mr. Horner —but I won't tell a lye for him —there —for I'm sure if you and I were [Page 63] in the Countrey at cards together, —so —I cou'd not help treading on your Toe under the Table—so—or rubbing knees with you and staring in your face, 'till you saw me —very well—and then looking down, and blushing for an hour together—so—but I must make haste before my Husband come; and now he has taught me to write Letters: You shall have longer ones from me, who am Dear, dear, poor dear Mr. Horner, your most Humble Friend, and Servant to command 'till death, Margery Pinchwife. Stay I must give him a hint at bottom —so —now wrap it up just like t'other —so —now write for Mr. Horner,— But oh now what shall I do with it? for here comes my Husband. Enter Pinchwife.
Mr. Pin. I have been detained by a Sparkish Coxcomb, who pretended a visit to me; but I fear 'twas to my Wife. Aside. What, have you done?
Mrs. Pin. Ay, ay Bud, just now.
Mr. Pin. Let's see't, what d'ye tremble for; what, you wou'd not have it go?
Mrs. Pin. Here —No I must not He opens, and reads the first Letter. give him that, so I had been served if I had given him this. Aside.
Mr. Pin. Come, where's the Wax and Seal?
Mrs. Pin. Lord, what shall I do now? Nay then I have it — Aside. Snatches the Letter from him, changes it for the other, seals it, and delivers it to him. Pray let me see't, Lord you think me so errand a fool, I cannot seal a Letter, I will do't, so I will.
Mr. Pin. Nay, I believe you will learn that, and other things too, which I wou'd not have you.
Mrs. Pin. So, han't I done it curiously? I think I have, there's my Letter going to Mr. Horner; since he'll needs have me send Letters to Folks. Aside.
Mr. Pin. 'Tis very well, but I warrant, you wou'd not have it go now?[Page 64]
Mrs. Pin. Yes indeed, but I wou'd, Bud, now.
Mr. Pin. Well you are a good Girl then, come let me lock you up in your chamber, 'till I come back; and be sure you come not within three strides of the window, when I am gone; for I have a spye in the street. Exit Mrs. Pin. At least, 'tis fit she think so, if we do pinchwife locks the door. not cheat women, they'll cheat us; and fraud may be justly used with secret enemies, of which a Wife is the most dangerous; and he that has a handsome one to keep, and a Frontier Town, must provide against treachery, rather than open Force —Now I have secur'd all within, I'll deal with the Foe without with false intelligence.
Holds up the Letter.
The Scene changes to Horner's Lodging.
Quack and Horner.
Quack. Well Sir, how fadges the new design; have you not the luck of all your brother Projectors, to deceive only your self at last.
Hor No, good Domine Doctor, I deceive you it seems, and others too; for the grave Matrons, and old ridgid Husbands think me as unfit for love, as they are; but their Wives, Sisters and Daughters, know some of 'em better things already.
Hor Already, I say; last night I was drunk with half a dozen of your civil persons, as you call 'em, and people of Honour, and so was made free of their Society, and dressing rooms for ever hereafter; and am already come to the privileges of sleeping upon the Pallats, warming Smocks, tying Shooes and Garters, and the like Doctor, already, already Doctor.
Quack. You have made use of your time, Sir.
Hor I tell thee, I am now no more interruption to 'em, [Page 65] when they sing, or talk bawdy, than a little squab French Page, who speaks no English.
Quack. But do civil persons, and women of Honour drink, and sing bawdy Songs?
Hor O amongst Friends, amongst Friends; for your Bigots in Honour, are just like those in Religion; they fear the eye of the world, more than the eye of Heaven, and think there is no virtue, but railing at vice; and no sin, but giving scandal: They rail at a poor, little, kept Player, and keep themselves some young, modest Pulpit Comedian to be privy to their sins in their Closets, not to tell 'em of them in their Chappels.
Quack. Nay, the truth on't is, Priests amongst the women now, have quite got better of us Lay Consessors, Physicians.
Hor And they are rather their Patients, but — Enter my Lady Fidget, looking about her. Now we talk of women of Honour, here comes one, step behind the Screen there, and but observe; if I have not particular privileges, with the women of reputation already, Doctor, already.
La. Fid. Well Horner, am not I a woman of Honour? you see I'm as good as my word.
Hor And you shall see Madam, I'll not be behind hand with you in honour; and I'll be as good as my word too, if you please but to withdraw into the next room.
La. Fid. But first, my dear Sir, you must promise to have a care of my dear Honour.
Hor If you talk a word more of your Honour, you'll make me incapacle to wrong it; to talk of Honour in the mysteries of Love, is like talking of Heaven, or the Deity in an operation of Witchcraft, just when you are employing the Devil, it makes the charm impotent.
La. Fid. Nay, fie, let us no be smooty; but you talk of mysteries, and bewitching to me, I don't understand you.
Hor I tell you Madam, the word money in a Mistresses mouth, at such a nick of time, is not a more disheartening sound [Page 66] to a younger Brother, than that of Honour to an eager Lover like my self.
La. Fid. But you can't blame a Lady of my reputation to be chary.
Hor Chary —I have been chary of it already, by the report I have caus'd of my self.
La. Fid. Ay, but if you shou'd ever let other women know that dear secret, it would come out; nay, you must have a great care of your conduct; for my acquaintance are so censorious, (oh 'tis a wicked censorious world, Mr. Horner) I say, are so censorious, and detracting, that perhaps they'll talk to the prejudice of my Honour, though you shou'd not let them know the dear secret.
Hor Nay, Madam, rather than they shall prejudice your Honour, I'll prejudice theirs; and to serve you, I'll lye with 'em all, make the secret their own, and then they'll keep it: I am a Machiavel in love Madam.
La. Fid. O, no Sir, not that way.
Hor Nay, the Devil take me, if censorious women are to be silenc'd any other way.
La. Fid. A secret is better kept I hope, by a single person, than a multitude; therefore pray do not trust any body else with it, dear, dear Mr. Horner. Embracing him. Enter Sir Jaspar Fidget.
Sir Jas. How now!
La. Fid. O my Husband —prevented —and what's almost as bad, found with my arms about another man — that will appear too much —what shall I say? Aside. Sir Jaspar come hither, I am trying if Mr. Horner were ticklish, and he's as ticklish as can be, I love to torment the confounded Toad; let you and I tickle him.
Sir Jas. No, your Ladyship will tickle him better without me, I suppose, but is this your buying China, I thought you had been at the China House?
Hor China-House, that's my Cue, I must take it Aside. A Pox, can't you keep your impertinent Wives at home? some men are troubled with the Husbands, but I with the [Page 67] Wives; but I'd have you to know, since I cannot be your Journey-man by night, I will not be your drudge by day, to squire your wife about, and be your man of straw, or scare-crow only to Pyes and Jays; that would be nibling at your forbidden fruit; I shall be shortly the Hackney Gentleman-Usher of the Town.
Sir Jas. Heh, heh, he, poor fellow he's in the right on't faith, to squire women about for other folks, is as ungrateful an employment, as to tell money for other folks; Aside. heh, he, he, ben't angry Horner —
La. Fid. No, 'tis I have more reason to be angry, who am left by you, to go abroad indecently alone; or, what is more indecent, to pin my self upon such ill bred people of your acquaintance, as this is.
Sir Jas. Nay, pr'ythee what has he done?
La. Fid. Nay, he has done nothing.
Sir. Jas. But what d'ye take ill, if he has done nothing?
La. Fid. Hah, hah, hah, Faith, I can't but laugh however; why d'ye think the unmannerly toad wou'd not come down to me to the Coach, I was fain to come up to fetch him, or go without him, which I was resolved not to do; for he knows China very well, and has himself very good, but will not let me see it, lest I should beg some; but I will find it out, and have what I came for yet. Exit Lady Fidget, and locks the door, followed by Horner to the door.
Hor Lock the door Madam — Apart to Lady Fidget. So, she has got into my chamber, and lock'd me out; oh the impertinency of woman-kind! Well Sir Jaspar, plain dealing is a Jewel; if ever you suffer your Wife to trouble me again here, she shall carry you home a pair of Horns, by my Lord Major she shall; though I cannot furnish you my self, you are sure, yet I'll find a way.
Sir Jas. Hah, ha, he, at my first coming in, and finding her arms about him, tickling him it seems, I was half jealous, but now I see my folly. Aside. Heh, he, he, poor Horner.[Page 68]
Hor Nay, though you laugh now, 'twill be my turn e're long: Oh women, more impertinent, more cunning, and more mischievous than their Monkeys, and to me almost as ugly —now is she throwing my things about, and rifling all I have, but I'll get into her the back way, and so rifle her for it —
Sir Jas. Hah, ha, ha, poor angry Horner.
Hor Stay here a little, I'll ferret her out to presently, I warrant.
Exit Horner at t'other door.
Sir Jas. Wife, my Lady Fidget, Wife, he is coming into you the back way.
Sir Jaspar calls through the door to his Wife, she answers from within.
La. Fid. Let him come, and welcome, which way he will.
Sir Jas. He'll catch you, and use you roughly, and be too strong for you.
La Fid. Don't you trouble your self, let him if he can.[Page 4]
Quack. This indeed, I cou'd not have believ'd from him, nor any but my own eyes. Enter Mistriss Squeamish.
Squeam. Where's this Woman-hater, this Toad, this ugly, greasie, dirty sloven?
Sir Jas. So the women all will have him ugly, methinks he is a comely person; but he wants make his form contemptible to 'em; and 'tis e'en as my Wife said yesterday, talking of him, that a proper handsome Eunuch, was as ridiculous a thing, as a Gigantick Coward.
Squeam. Sir Jaspar, your Servant, where is the odious Beast?
Sir Jas. He's within in his chamber, with my Wife; she's playing the wag with him.
Squeam. Is she so, and he's a clownish beast, he'll give her no quarter, he'll play the wag with her again, let me tell you; come, let's go help her —What, the door's lock't?
Sir Jas. Ay, my Wife lock't it —
Squeam. Did she so, let us break it open then?
Sir Jas. No, no, he'll do her no hurt.[Page 69]
Squeam. No —But is there no other way to get into 'em, whither goes this? I will disturb'em. Aside. Exit Squeamish at another door. Enter old Lady Squeamish.
Old L. Squeam. Where is this Harlotry, this Impudent Baggage, this rambling Tomrigg? O Sir Jaspar, I'm glad to see you here, did you not see my vil'd Grandchild come in hither just now?
Sir Jas. Yes,
Old L. Squeam Ay, but where is she then? where is she? Lord Sir Jaspar I have e'ne ratled my self to pieces in pursuit of her, but can you tell what she makes here, they say below, no woman lodges here.
Sir Jas. No.
Old L. Squeam. No —What does she here then? say if it be not a womans lodging, what makes she here? but are you sure no woman lodges here?
Sir Jas. No, nor no man neither, this is Mr. Horners Lodging.
Old L. Squeam. Is it so are you sure?
Sir Jas. Yes, yes.
Old L. Squeam. So then there's no hurt in't I hope, but where is he?
Sir Jas. He's in the next room with my Wife.
Old L. Squeam. Nay if you trust him with your wife, I may with my Biddy, they say he's a merry harmless man now, e'ne as harmless a man as ever came out of Italy with a good voice, and as pretty harmless company for a Lady, as a Snake without his teeth.
Sir Jas. Ay, ay poor man. Enter Mrs. Squeamish.
Squeam. I can't find 'em —Oh are you here, Grandmother, I follow'd you must know my Lady Fidget hither, 'tis the prettyest lodging, and I have been staring on the prettyest Pictures. [Page 70] Enter Lady Fidget with a piece of China in her hand, and Horner following.
La. Fid. And I have been toyling and moyling, for the pretti'st piece of China, my Dear.
Hor Nay she has been too hard for me do what I cou'd.
Squeam. Oh Lord I'le have some China too, good Mr. Hor- ner, don't think to give other people China, and me none, come in with me too.
Hor Upon my honour I have none left now.
Squeam. Nay, nay I have known you deny your China before now, but you shan't put me off so, come —
Hor This Lady had the last there.
La. Fid. Yes indeed Madam, to my certain knowledge he has no more left.
Squeam. O but it may be he may have some you could not find.
La. Fid. What d'y think if he had had any left, I would not have had it too, for we women of quality never think we have China enough.
Hor Do not take it ill, I cannot make China for you all, but I will have a Rol-waggon for you too, another time.
Squeam. Thank you dear Toad. To Horn, aside.
La Fid. What do you mean by that promise?
Hor Alas she has an innocent, literal understanding. Apart to Lady Fidget.
Old L. Squeam. Poor Mr. Horner, he has enough to doe to please you all, I see.
Hor Ay Madam, you see how they use me.
Old L. Squeam. Poor Gentleman I pitty you.
Hor I thank you Madam, I could never find pitty, but from such reverend Ladies as you are, he young ones will never spare a man.
Squeam. Come come, Beast, and go dine with us, for we shall want a man at Hombre after dinner.
Hor That's all their use of me Madam you see.
Squeam. Come Sloven, I'le lead you to be sure of you. Pulls him by the Crevat.[Page 71]
Old L. Squeam. Alas poor man how she tuggs him, kiss, kiss her, that's the way to make such nice women quiet.
Hor No Madam, that Remedy is worse than the Torment, they know I dare suffer any thing rather than do it.
Old La. Squeam. Prythee kiss her, and I'le give you her Picture in little, that you admir'd so last night, prythee do.
Hor Well nothing but that could bribe me, I love a woman only in Effigie, and good Painting as much as I hate them —I'le do't, for I cou'd adore the Devil well painted. Kisses Mrs. Squeam.
Squeam. Foh, you filthy Toad, nay now I've done jesting.
Old L. Squeam. Ha, ha, ha, I told you so.
Squeam. Foh a kiss of his —
Sir Jas. Has no more hurt in't, than one of my Spaniels.
Squeam. Nor no more good neither.
Quack. I will now believe any thing he tells me. Behind. Enter Mr. Pinchwife.
La. Fid. O Lord here's a man, Sir Jaspar, my Mask, my Mask, I would not be seen here for the world.
Sir Jas. What not when I am with you.
La. Fid. No, no my honour — let's be gone.
Squeam. Oh Grandmother, let us be gone, make hast, make hast, I know not how he may censure us.
La. Fid. Be found in the lodging of any thing like a man, away. Exeunt Sir Jas. La, Fid. Old La. Squeam. Mrs. Squeamish.
Quack. What's here another Cuckold — he looks like one, and none else sure have any business with him, Behind.
Hor Well what brings my dear friend hither?
Mr. Pinch. Your impertinency.
Hor My impertinency — why you Gentlemen that have got handsome Wives, think you have a privilege of saying any thing to your friends, and are as brutish, as if you were our Creditors.
Mr. Pinch No Sir, I'le ne're trust you any way.
Hor But why not, dear Jack, why diffide in me, thou knowst so well.[Page 72]
Mr. Pin. Because I do know you so well.
Hor Han't I been always thy friend honest Jack, always ready to serve thee, in love, or battle, before thou wert married, and am so still.
Mr. Pin. I believe so you wou'd be my second now indeed.
Hor Well then dear Jack, why so unkind, so grum, so strange to me, come prythee kiss me deare Rogue, gad I was always I say, and am still as much thy Servant as —
Mr. Pin. As I am yours Sir. What you wou'd send a kiss to my Wife, is that it?
Hor So there 'tis — a man can't shew his friendship to a married man, but presently he talks of his wife to you, prythee let thy Wife alone, and let thee and I be all one, as we were wont, what thou art as shye of my kindness, as a Lumbart-street Alderman of a Courtiers civility at Lockets.
Mr. Pin. But you are over kind to me, as kind, as if I were your Cuckold already, yet I must confess you ought to be kind and civil to me, since I am so kind, so civil to you, as to bring you this, look you there Sir. Delivers him a Letter.
Hor What is't?
Mr. Pinch. Only a Love Letter Sir.
Hor From whom — how, this is from your Wife — hum — and hum —
Mr. Pin. Even from my Wife Sir, am I not wondrous kind and civil to you, now too? But you'l not think her so. Aside.
Hor Ha, is this a trick of his or hers Aside.
Mr. Pin. The Gentleman's surpriz'd I find, what you expected a kinder Letter?
Hor No faith not I, how cou'd I.
Mr. Pin. Yes yes, I'm sure you did, a man so well made as you are must needs be disappointed, if the women declare not their passion at first sight or opportunity.
Hor But what should this mean? stay the Postscript. Be sure you love me whatsoever my husband says to the contrary, and let him not see this, lest he should come [Page 73] home, and pinch me, or kill my Squirrel. Reads aside. It seems he knows not what the Letter contains. Aside.
Mr. Pin. Come ne're wonder at it so much.
Hor Faith I can't help it.
Mr. Pin. Now I think I have deserv'd your infinite friendship, and kindness, and have shewed my self sufficiently an obliging kind friend and husband, am I not so, to bring a Letter from my Wife to her Gallant?
Hor Ay, the Devil take me, art thou, the most obliging, kind friend and husband in the world, ha, ha.
Mr. Pin. Well you may be merry Sir, but in short I must tell you Sir, my honour will suffer no jesting.
Hor What do'st thou mean?
Mr. Pin. Does the Letter want a Comment? then know Sir, though I have been so civil a husband, as to bring you a Letter from my Wife, to let you kiss and court her to my face, I will not be a Cuckold Sir, I will not.
Hor Thou art mad with jealousie, I never saw thy Wife in my life, but at the Play yesterday, and I know not if it were she or no, I court her, kiss her!
Mr. Pin. I will not be a Cuckold I say, there will be danger in making me a Cuckold.
Hor Why, wert thou not well cur'd of thy last clap?
Mr. Pin. I weare a Sword.
Hor It should be taken from thee, left thou should'st do thy self a mischiefe with it, thou art mad, Man.
Mr. Pin. As mad as I am, and as merry as you are, I must have more reason form you e're we part, I say again though you kiss'd, and courted last night my Wife in man's clothes, as she confesses in her Letter.
Hor Ha — Aside.
Mr. Pin. Both she and I say you must not design it again, for you have mistaken your woman, as you have done your man.
Hor Oh —I understand something now — Aside. Was that thy Wife? why would'st thou not tell me 'twas she? faith my freedome with her was your fault, not mine.[Page 74]
Mr. Pin. Faith so 'twas — Aside.
Hor Fye, I'de never do't to a woman before her husbands face, sure.
Mr. Pin. But I had rather you should do't to my wife before my face, than behind my back, and that you shall never doe.
Hor No —you will hinder me.
Mr. Pin. If I would not hinder you, you see by her Letter, she wou'd.
Hor Well, I must e'ne acquiess then, and be contented with what she writes.
Mr. Pin. I'le assure you 'twas voluntarily writ, I had no hand in't you may believe me.
Hor I do believe thee, faith.
Mr. Pin. And believe her too, for she's an innocent creature, has no dissembling in her, and so fare you well Sir.
Hor Pray however present my humble service to her, and tell her I will obey her Letter to a tittle, and fulfill her desires be what they will, or with what difficulty soever I do't, and you shall be no more jealous of me, I warrant her, and you —
Mr. Pin. Well then fare you well, and play with any mans honour but mine, kiss any mans wife but mine, and welcome — Exit Mr. Pinch.
Hor Ha, ha, ha, Doctor.
Quack. It seems he has not heard the report of you, or does not believe it.
Hor Ha, ha, now Doctor what think you?
Quack. Pray let's see the Letter —hum —for — deare —love you —
Reads the Letter.
Hor I wonder how she cou'd contrive it! what say'st thou to't, 'tis an Original.
Quack. So are your Cuckolds too Originals: for they are like no other common Cuckolds, and I will henceforth believe it not impossible for you to Cuckold the Grand Signior amidst his Guards of Eunuchs, that I say —
Hor And I say for the Letter, 'tis the first love Letter that [Page 75] ever was without Flames, Darts, Fates, Destinies, Lying and Dissembling in't.
Enter Sparkish pulling in Mr. Pinchwife.
Spar. Come back, you are a pretty Brother-in-law, neither go to Church, nor to dinner with your Sister Bride.
Mr. Pin. My Sister denies her marriage, and you see is gone away from you dissatisfy'd.
Spar. Pshaw, upon a foolish scruple, that our Parson was not in lawful Orders, and did not say all the Common Prayer, but 'tis her modesty only I believe, but let women be never so modest the first day, they'l be sure to come to themselves by night, and I shall have enough of her then; in the mean time, Harry Horner, you must dine with me, I keep my wedding at my Aunts in the Piazza.
Hor Thy wedding, what stale Maid has liv'd to despaire of a husband, or what young one of a Gallant?
Spar. O your Servant Sir —this Gentlemans Sister then —No stale Maid.
Hor I'm sorry for't.
Mr. Pin. How comes he so concern'd for her — Aside.
Spar. You sorry for't, why do you know any ill by her?
Hor No, I know none but by thee, 'tis for her sake, not yours, and another mans sake that might have hop'd, I thought —
Spar. Another Man, another man, what is his Name?
Hor Nay since 'tis past he shall be nameless. Poor Harcourt I am sorry thou hast mist her — Aside.
Mr. Pin. He seems to be much troubled at the match— Aside.
Spar. Prythee tell me —nay you shan't go Brother.
Mr. Pin. I must of necessity, but I'le come to you to dinner. Exit Pinchwife.
Spar. But Harry, what have I a Rival in my Wife already? but withal my heart, for he may be of use to me hereafter, for though my hunger is now my sawce, and I can fall on heartily without, but the time will come, when a Rival will be as [Page 76] good sawce for a married man to a wife, as an Orange to Veale.
Hor O thou damn'd Rogue, thou hast set my teeth on edge with thy Orange.
Spar. Then let's to dinner, there I was with you againe, come.
Hor But who dines with thee?
Spar. My Friends and Relations, my Brother Pinchwife you see of your acquaintance.
Hor And his Wife.
Spar. No gad, he'l nere let her come amongst us good fellows, your stingy country Coxcomb keeps his wife from his friends, as he does his little Firkin of Ale, for his own drinking, and a Gentleman can't get a smack on't, but his servants, when his back is turn'd broach it at their pleasures, and dust it away, ha, ha, ha, gad I am witty, I think, considering I was married to day, by the world, but come —
Hor No, I will not dine with you, unless you can fetch her too.
Spar. Pshaw what pleasure can'st thou have with women now, Harry?
Hor My eyes are not gone, I love a good prospect yet, and will not dine with you, unless she does too, go fetch her therefore, but do not tell her husband, 'tis for my sake.
Spar. Well I'le go try what I can do, in the mean time come away to my Aunts lodging, 'tis in the way to Pinch- wifes.
Hor The poor woman has call'd for aid, and stretch'd forth her hand Doctor, I cannot but help her over the Pale out of the Bryars.
Exeunt Sparkish, Horner, Quack.
The Scene changes to Pinchwifes house.
Mrs. Pinchwife alone
A Table, Pen, Ink, and Paper.
leaning on her elbow.
Mrs. Pin. Well 'tis 'ene so, I have got the London disease, they call Love, I am sick of my Husband, and for my Gallant; [Page 77] I have heard this distemper, call'd a Feaver, but methinks 'tis liker an Ague, for when I think of my Husband, I tremble and am in a cold sweat, and have inclinations to vomit, but when I think of my Gallant, dear Mr. Horner, my hot fit come, and I am all in a Feaver, indeed & as in other Feavers, my own Chamber is tedious to me, and would fain be remov'd to his, and then methinks I shou'd be well; ah poor Mr. Horner, well I cannot, will not stay here, therefore I'le make an end of my Letter to him, which shall be a finer Letter than my last, because I have studied it like any thing; O Sick, Sick!
Takes the Pen and writes.
Enter Mr. Pinchwife who seeing her writing steales softly behind her, and looking over her shoulder, snatches the paper from her.
Mr. Pin. What writing more Letters?
Mrs. Pin. O Lord Budd, why d'ye fright She offers to run out: he stops her, and reads. me so?
Mr. Pin. How's this! nay you shall not stir Madam. Deare, Deare, deare, Mr Horner —very well — I have taught you to write Letters to good purpose —but let's see't. First I am to beg your pardon for my boldness in writing to you, which I'de have you to know, I would not have done, had not you said first you lov'd me so extreamly, which if you doe, you will never suffer me to lye in the arms of another man, whom I loath, nauseate, and detest — Now you can write these filthy words. but what follows — Therefore I hope you will speedily find some way to free me from this unfortunate match, which was never, I assure you, of my choice, but I'm afraid 'tis already too far gone; however if you love me, as I do you, you will try what you can do, but you must help me away before to morrow, or else alass I shall be for ever out of your reach, for I can defer no longer our —our —what is to follow our — speak what? our Journey into The Letter concludes. the Country I suppose —Oh Woman, damnd Woman, [Page 78] and Love, damn'd Love, their old Tempter, for this is one of his miracles, in a moment, he can make those blind that cou'd see, and those see that were blind, those dumb that could speak, and those prattle who were dumb before, nay what is more than all, make these dow-bak'd, sensless, indocile animals, Women, too hard for us their Politick Lords and Rulers in a moment; But make an end of your Letter, and then I'le make an end of you thus, and all my plagues together. Draws his Sword.
Mrs. Pin. O Lord, O Lord you are such a Passionate Man, Budd. Enter Sparkish.
Spar. How now what's here to doe.
Mr. Pin. This Fool here now!
Spar. What drawn upon your Wife? you shou'd never do that but at night in the dark when you can't hurt her, this is my Sister in Law is it not? ay faith e'ne our Pulls aside her Handkercheife. Country Margery, one may know her, come she and you must go dine with me, dinner's ready, come, but where's my Wife, is she not come home yet, where is she?
Mr. Pin. Making you a Cuckold, 'tis that they all doe, as soon as they can.
Spar. What the Wedding day? no, a Wife that designs to make a Cully of her Husband, will be sure to let him win the first stake of love, by the world, but come they stay dinner for us, come I'le lead down our Margery.
Mrs. Pin. No —Sir go We'l follow you.
Spar. I will not wag without you.
Mr. Pin. This Coxcomb is a sensible torment to me amidst the greatest in the world.
Spar. Come, come Madam Margery.
Mr. Pin. No I'le lead her my way, Leads her to t'other door, and locks her in and returns. what wou'd you treat your friends with mine, for want of your own Wife? I am contented my rage shou'd take breath — Aside.
Spar. I told Horner this.[Page 79]
Mr. Pin. Come now.
Spar. Lord, how shye you are of your Wife, but let me tell you Brother, we men of wit have amongst us a saying, that Cuckolding like the small Pox comes with a fear, and you may keep your Wife as much as you will out of danger of infection, but if her constitution incline her to't, she'l have it sooner or later by the world, say they.
Mr. Pin. What a thing is a Cuckold, that every fool can make him ridiculous — Aside. Well Sir —But let me advise you, now you are come to be concern'd, because you suspect the danger, not to neglect the means to prevent it, especially when the greatest share of the Malady will light upon your own head, for —
How'sere the kind Wife's Belly comes to swell.
The Husband breeds for her, and first is ill
Mr. Pinchwifes House.
Enter Mr. Pinchwife and Mrs. Pinchwife, a Table and Candle.
Mr. Pin. Come take the Pen and make an end of the Letter, just as you intended, if you are false in a tittle, I shall soon perceive it, and punish you with this as you deserve, write what was to follow —let's see — Lays his hand on his Sword. You must make haste and help me away before to morrow, or else I shall be for ever out of your reach, for I can defer no longer our —] What follows our?—[mdash ]
Mrs. Pin. Must all out then Budd? — Mrs. Pin. takes the Pen and writes. Look you there then.
Mr. Pin. Let's see —[For I can defer no longer our— [Page 80] Wedding —Your slighted Alithea] What's the meaning of this, my Sisters name to't, speak, unriddle
Mrs. Pin. Yes indeed Budd
Mr. Pin. But why her name to't speak —speak I say
Mrs. Pin. Ay but you'l tell her then again, if you wou'd not tell her again
Mr. Pin. I will not, I am stunn'd, my head turns round, speak
Mrs. Pin. Won't you tell her indeed, and indeed
Mr. Pin. No, speak I say
Mrs. Pin. She'l be angry with me, but I had rather she should be angry with me than you Budd; and to tell you the truth, 'twas she made me write the Letter, and taught me what I should write
Mr. Pin. Ha —I thought the stile was somewhat better than her own, but how cou'd she come to you to teach you, since I had lock'd you up alone
Mrs. Pin. O through the key hole Budd
Mr. Pin. But why should she make you write a Letter for her to him, since she can write her self
Mrs. Pin. Why she said because —for I was unwilling to do it
Mr. Pin. Because what —because
Mrs. Pin. Because left Mr. Horner should be cruel and refuse her, or vaine afterwards, and shew the Letter, she might disown it, the hand not being hers
Mr. Pin. How's this? ha —then I think I shall come to my self again —This changeling cou'd not invent this lye, but if she cou'd, why should she? she might think I should soon discover it —stay —now I think on't too, Horner said he was sorry she had married Sparkish, and her disowning her marriage to me, makes me think she has evaded it, for Horner's sake, yet why should she take this course, but men in love are fools, women may well be so. — Aside. But hark you Madam, your Sister went out in the morning, and I have not seen her within sinee.[Page 81]
Mrs. Pin. A lack a day she has been crying all day above it seems in a corner
Mr. Pin. Where is she, let me speak with her
Mrs. Pin. O Lord then he'l discover all — Aside. Pray hold Budd, what d'y mean to discover me, she'l know I have told you then, pray Budd let me talk with her first—[mdash ]
Mr. Pin. I must speak with her to know whether Horner ever made her any promise; and whether she be married to Sparkish or no
Mrs. Pin. Pray dear Budd don't, till I have spoken with her and told her that I have told you all, for she'll kill me else
Mr. Pin. Go then and bid her come out to me
Mrs. Pin. Yes, yes Budd—[mdash ]
Mr. Pin. Let me see—[mdash ]
Mrs. Pin. I'le go, but she is not within to come to him, I have just got time to know of Lucy her Maid, who first set me on work, what lye I shall tell next, for I am e'ne at my wits end — Exit Mrs. Pinchwife.
Mr. Pin Well I resolve it, Horner shall have her, I'd rather give him my Sister than lend him my Wife, and such an alliance will prevent his pretensions to my Wife sure, —I'le make him of kinn to her, and then he won't care for her
Mrs. Pin. returns.
Mrs. Pin. O Lord Budd I told you what anger you would make me with my Sister
Mr. Pin. Won't she come hither
Mrs. Pin. No no, alack a day, she's asham'd to look you in the face, and she says if you go in to her, she'l run away down stairs and shamefully go her self to Mr. Horner, who has promis'd her marriage she says, and she will have no other, so she won't—[mdash ]
Mr. Pin. Did he so —promise her marriage —then she shall have no other, go tell her so, and if she will come and discourse with me a little concerning the means, I will about it immediately, go — Exit Mrs. Pin. [Page 82] His estate is equal to Sparkish's, and his extraction as much better than his, as his parts are, but my chief reason is, I'd rather be of kin to him by the name of Brother-in-law, than that of Cuckold — Well what says she now
Enter Mrs. Pin.
Mrs. Pin. Why she says she would only have you lead her to Horners lodging—with whom she first will discourse the matter before she talk with you, which yet she cannot doe; for alack poor creature, she says she can't so much as look you in the face, therefore she'l come to you in a mask, and you must excuse her if she make you no answer to any question of yours, till you have brought her to Mr. Horner, and if you will not chide her, nor question her, she'l come out to you immediately
Mrs. Pin. Let her come I will not speak a word to her, nor require a word from her
Mrs. Pin. Oh I forgot, besides she says, she cannot look you in the face, though through a mask, therefore wou'd desire you to put out the Candle
Mr. Pin. I agree to all, let her make Exit Mrs. Pin, puts out the Candle. haste —there 'tis out —My case is something better, I'd rather fight with Horner for not lying with my Sister, than for lying with my Wife, and of the two I had rather find my Sister too forward than my Wife; I expected no other from her free education, as she calls it, and her passion for the Town —well —Wife and Sister are names which make us expect Love and duty, pleasure and comfort, but we find 'em plagues and torments and are equally, though differently troublesome to their keeper; for we have as much a doe to get people to lye with our Sisters, as to keep 'em from lying with our Wives. Enter Mrs. Pinchwife Masked and in Hoods and Scarves, and a night Gown and Petticoat of Alitheas in the dark. What are you come Sister? let us go then —but first let me lock up my Wife, Mrs. Margery where are you
Mrs. Pin. Here Budd.[Page 83]
Mr. Pin. Come hither, that I may lock you up, Locks the door. get you in, Come Sister where are you now?
Mrs. Pin. gives him her hand, but when he lets her go, she steals softly on t'other side of him, and is lead away by him for his Sister Alithea.
The Scene changes to Horners Lodging. Quack, Horner.
Quack. What all alone, not so much as one of your Cuckolds here, nor one of their Wives! they use to take their turns with you, as if they were to watch you
Hor Yes it often happens, that a Cuckold is but his Wifes spye, and is more upon family duty, when he is with her gallant abroad hindring his pleasure, than when he is at home with her playing the Gallant, but the hardest duty a married woman imposes upon a lover is, keeping her husband company always
Quack. And his fondness wearies you almost as soon as hers
Hor A Pox, keeping a Cuckold company after you have had his Wife, is as tiresome as the company of a Country Squire to a witty fellow of the Town, when he has got all his Mony
Quack. And as at first a man makes a friend of the Husband to get the Wife, so at last you are faine to fall out with the Wife to be rid of the Husband
Hor Ay, most Cuckold-makers are true Courtiers, when once a poor man has crack'd his credit for 'em, they can't abide to come neer him
Quack. But at first to draw him in are so sweet, so kind, so dear, just as you are to Pinchwife, but what becomes of that intrigue with his Wife
Hor A Pox he's as surly as an Alderman that has been bit, and since he's so coy, his Wife's kindness is in vain, for she's a silly innocent
Quack. Did she not send you a Letter by him
Hor Yes, but that's a riddle I have not yet solv'd —allow the poor creature to be willing, she is silly too, and he [Page 84] keeps her up so close—[mdash ]
Quack. Yes, so close that he makes her but the more willing, and adds but revenge to her love, which two when met seldome faile of satisfying each other one way or other
Hor What here's the man we are talking of I think. Enter Mr. Pinchwife leading in his Wife Masqued, Muffled, and in her Sisters Gown.
Quack. Bringing his Wife to you is the next thing to bringing a Love Letter from her
Hor What means this
Mr. Pin. The last time you know Sir I brought you a love Letter, now you see a Mistress, I think you'l say I am a civil man to you
Hor Ay the Devil me will I say thou art the civillest man I ever met with, and I have known some; I fancy, I understand thee now, better than I did the Letter, but hark thee in thy eare—[mdash ]
Mr. Pin. What
Hor Nothing but the usual question man, is she sound on thy word
Mr. Pin. What you take her for a Wench and me for a Pimp
Hor Pshaw, wench and Pimp, paw words, I know thou art an honest fellow, and hast a great acquaintance among the Ladies, and perhaps hast made love for me rather than let me make love to thy Wife—[mdash ]
Mr. Pin. Come Sir, in short, I am for no fooling
Hor Nor I neither, therefore prythee let's see her face presently, make show man, art thou sure I don't know her
Mr. Pin. I am sure you doe know her
Hor A Pox why dost thou bring her to me then
Mr. Pin. Because she's a Relation of mine
Hor Is she faith man, then thou art still more civil and obliging, dear Rogue.[Page 85]
Mr. Pin. Who desir'd me to bring her to you
Hor Then she is obliging, dear Rogue
Mr. Pin. You'l make her welcome for my sake I hope
Hor I hope she is handsome enough to make her self wellcome; prythee let her unmask
Mr. Pin. Doe you speak to her, she wou'd never be rul'd by me
Hor Madam — Mrs. Pin. whispers to Hor. She says she must speak with me in private, withdraw prythee
Mr. Pin. She's unwilling it seems I shou'd know all her undecent conduct in this business — Aside. Well then Ile leave you together, and hope when I am gone you'l agree, if not you and I shan't agree Sir.—[mdash ]
Hor What means the Fool? —if she and I agree 'tis no matter what you and I do. Whispers to Mrs Pin, who makes signs with her hand for him to be gone.
Mr. Pin. In the mean time I'le fetch a Parson, and find out Sporkish and disabuse him. You wou'd have me fetch a Parson, would you not, well then —Now I think I am rid of her, and shall have no more trouble with her —Our Sisters and Daughters like Usurers money, are safest, when put out; but our Wifes, like their writings, never safe, but in our Closets under Lock and Key. Exit Mr. Pin. Enter Boy.
Boy. Sir Jaspar Fidget Sir is coming up
Hor Here's the trouble of a Cuckold, now we are talking of, a pox on him, has he not enough to doe to hinder his Wifes sport, but he must other women's too. —Step in here Madam. Exit Mrs. Pin. Enter Sir Jaspar.
Sir Jas. My best and dearest Friend
Hor The old stile Doctor — Well be short, for I am busie, what would your impertinent Wife have now?[Page 86]
Sir Jas. Well guess'd y' faith, for I do come from her
Hor to invite me to supper, tell her I can't come, go
Sir Jas. Nay, now you are out faith, for my Lady and the whole knot of the virtuous gang, as they call themselves, are resolv'd upon a frolick of coming to you to night in a Masquerade, and are all drest already
Hor I shan't be at home
Sir Jas. Lord how churlish he is to women —nay prythee don't disappoint 'em, they'l think 'tis my fault, prythee don't, I'le send in the Banquet and the Fiddles, but make no noise on't, for the poor virtuous Rogues would not have it known for the world, that they go a Masquerading, and they would come to no mans Ball, but yours
Hor Well, well —get you gone, and tell 'em if they come, 'twill be at the peril of their honour and yours
Sir Jas. Heh, he, he —we'l trust you for that, farewell — Exit Sir Jaspar.
Doctor anon you too shall be my guest.
But now I'm going to a private feast
The Scene changes to the Piazza of Covent Garden.
Spar. But who would have thought a Spar. with the Letter in his hand. woman could have been false to me, by the world, I could not have thought it
Mr. Pin. You were for giving and taking liberty, she has taken it only Sir, now you find in that Letter, you are a frank person, and so is she you see there
Spar. Nay if this be her hand —for I never saw it
Mr. Pin. 'Tis no matter whether that be her hand or no, I am sure this hand at her desire lead her to Mr. Horner, with whom I left her just now, to go fetch a Parson to 'em at their desire too, to deprive you of her for ever, for it seems yours was but a mock marriage
Spar. Indeed she wou'd needs have it that 'twas Harcourt himself in a Parsons habit, that married us, but I'm sure he told me 'twas his Brother Ned
Mr. Pin. O there 'tis out and you were deceiv'd not she [Page 87] for you are such a frank person —but I must be gone— you'l find her at Mr. Horners, goe and believe your eyes. Exit Mr. Pin.
Spar. Nay I'le to her, and call her as many Crocodiles, Syrens, Harpies, and other heathenish names, as a Poet would do a Mistress, who had refus'd to heare his suit, nay more his Verses on her. But stay, is not that she following a Torch at t'other end of the Piazza, and from Horners certainly —'tis so — Enter Alithea following a Torch, and Lucy behind. You are well met Madam though you don't think so; what you have made a short visit to Mr. Horner, but I suppose you'l return to him presently, by that time the Parson can be with him
Ali. Mr. Horner, and the Parson Sir—[mdash ]
Spar. Come Madam no more dissembling, no more jilting for I am no more a frank person
Alith. How's this
Lucy. So 'twill work I see — Aside.
Spar. Cou'd you find out no easie Country Fool to abuse? none but me, a Gentleman of wit and pleasure about the Town, but it was your pride to be too hard for a man of parts, unworthy false woman, false as a friend that lends a man mony to lose, false as dice, who undoe those that trust all they have to 'em
Lucy. He has been a great bubble by his similes as they say — Aside.
Ali. You have been too merry Sir at your wedding dinner sure
Spar. What d'y mock me too
Ali. Or you have been deluded
Spar. By you
Ali. Let me understand you
Spar. Have you the confidence, I should call it something else, since you know your guilt, to stand my just reproaches? you did not write an impudent Letter to Mr. Horner, who I find now has club'd with you in deluding me with his aversion for women, that I might not forsooth suspect him for my [Page 88] Rival
Lucy. D'y think the Gentleman can be jealous now Madam — Aside.
Ali. I write a Letter to Mr. Horner
Spar. Nay Madam, do not deny it, your Brother shew'd it me just now, and told likewise he left you at Horners lodging to fetch a Parson to marry you to him, and I wish you joy Madam, joy, joy, and to him too much joy, and to my self more joy for not marrying you
Ali. So I find my Brother would break off the match, and I can consent to't, since I see this Gentleman can be made jealous. Aside. O Lucy, by his rude usage and jealousie, he makes me almost afraid I am married to him, art thou sure 'twas harcourt himself and no Parson that married us
Spar. No Madam I thank you, I suppose that was a contrivance too of Mr. Horners and yours, to make Harcourt play the Parson, but I would as little as you have him [one now, do not for the world, for shall I tell you another truth, I never had any passion for you, 'till now, for now I hate you, 'tis true I might have married your portion, as other men of parts of the Town do sometimes, and so your Servant, and to shew my unconcernedness, I'le come to your wedding, and resign you with as much joy as I would a stale wench to a new Cully nay with as much joy, as I would after the first night, if I had been married to you, there's for you, and so your Servant, Servant. Exit Spar.
Ali. How was I deceiv'd in a man
Lucy. You'l believe then a fool may be made jealous now? for that easiness in him that suffers him to be led by a Wife, will likewise permit him to be perswaded against her by others
Ali. But marry Mr. Horner, my brother does not intend it sure; if I thought he did, I would take thy advice, and Mr. Harcourt for my Husband, and now I wish, that if there be any over-wise woman of the Town, who like my would marry [Page 89] a fool, for fortune, liberty, or title, first that her husband may love Play, and be a Cully to all the Town, but her, and suffer none but fortune to be mistress of his purse, then if for liberty, that he may send her into the Country under the conduct of some housewifely mother-in law; and of for title, may the world give 'em none but that of Cuckold
Lucy. And for her greater curse Madam, may he not deserve it
Ali. Away impertinent —is not this my old Lady Lanterlus?
Lucy. Yes Madam. Aside. And here I hope we shall find Mr. Harcourt —
Exeunt Ali. Lucy.
The Scene changes again to Horner's Lodging. Horner, Lady Fidget, Mrs. Daynty Fidget, Mrs. Squeamish, a Table, Banquet, and Bottles.
Hor A Pox they are come too soon —before I have sent back my new —Mistress, all I have now to do, is to lock her in, that they may not see her — Aside.
La Fid. That we may be sure of our wellcome, we have brought our entertainment with us, and are resolv'd to treat thee, dear Toad
Dayn. And that we may be merry to purpose, have left they should chance to interrupt us
La. Fid. Let us sit then
Hor First that you may be private, let me lock this door, and that, and I'le wait upon you presently
La. Fid. No Sir, shut 'em only and your lips for ever, for we must trust you as much as our women
Hor You know all vanity's kill'd in me, I have no occasion for talking
La. Fid. Now Ladies, supposing we had drank each of us our two Bottles, let us speak the truth of our hearts.[Page 90]
Dayn. and Squeam. Agreed
La. Fid. By this brimmer, for truth is no where else to be found. Not in thy heart false man. Aside to Hor.
Hor You have found me a true man I'm sure.Aside to Lady Fid.
La. Fid. Not every way — Aside to Hor. But let us sit and be merry. Lady Fidget sings.
Why should our damn'd Tyrants oblige us to live.
On the pittance of Pleasure which they only give.
We must not rejoyce,
With Wine and with noise.
In vaine we must wake in a dull bed alone.
Whilst to our warm Rival the Bottle, they're gone.
Then lay aside charms,
'Tis Wine only gives 'em their Courage and Wit,
Because we live sober to men we submit.
If for Beauties you'd pass.
Take a lick of the Glass.
'Twill mend your complexions, and when they are gone,
The best red we have is the red of the Grape.
Then Sister lay't on.
And dam a good shape.
Dayn. Dear Brimmer, well in token of our openness and plain dealing, let us throw our Masques over our heads
Hor So 'twill come to the Glasses anon
Squeam. Lovely Brimmer, let me enjoy him first
La. Fid. No, I never part with a Gallant, till I've try'd him. Dear Brimmer that mak'st our Husbands short sighted.[Page 91]
Dayn. And our bashful gallants bold
Squeam. And for want of a Gallant, the Butler lovely in our eyes, drink Eunuch
La. Fid. Drink thou representative of a Husband, damn a Husband
Dayn. And as it were a Husband, an old keeper
Squeam. And an old Grandmother
Hor And an English Bawd, and a French Chirurgion
La. Fid. Ay we have all reason to curse 'em
Hor For my sake Ladies
La. Fid. No, for our own, for the first spoils all young gallants industry
Dayn. And the others art makes 'em bold only with common women
Squeam. And rather run the hazard of the vile distemper amongst them, than of a denial amongst us
Dayn. The filthy Toads chuse Mistresses now, as they do Stuffs, for having been fancy'd and worn by others
Squeam. For being common and cheap
La. Lid. Whilst women of quality, like the richest Stuffs, lye untumbled, and unask'd for
Hor Ay neat, and cheap, and new often they think best
Dayn. No Sir, the Beasts will be known by a Mistriss longer than by a suit
Squeam. And 'tis not for cheapness neither
La. Fid. No, for the vain fopps will take up Druggers, and embroider 'em, but I wonder at the depraved appetites of witty men, they use to be out of the common road, and hate imitation, pray tell me beast, when you were a man, why you rather chose to club with a multitude in a common house, for an entertainment, than to be the only guest at a good Table
Hor Why faith ceremony and expectation are unsufferable to those that are sharp bent, people always eat with the best stomach at an ordinary, where every man is snatching for the best bit.[Page 92]
La. Fid. Though he get a cut over the fingers —but I have heard people eat most heartily of another man's meat, that is, what they do not pay for
Hor When they are sure of their wellcome and freedome, for ceremony in love and eating, is as ridiculous as in sighting, falling on briskly is all should be done in those occasions
La. Fid. Well then let me tell you Sir, there is no where more freedome than in our houses, and we take freedom from a young person as a sign of good breeding, and a person may be as free as he pleases with us, as frolick, as a gamesome, as wild as he will
Hor Han't I heard you all declaim against wild men
La. Fid. Yes, but for all that, we think wildness in a man, as desireable a quality, as in a Duck, or Rabbet; a tame man, foh
Hor I Know not, but your Reputations frightned me, as much as your Faces invited me
La. Fid. Our Reputation, Lord! Why should you not think, that we women make use of our Reputation, as you men of yours, only to deceive the world with less suspicion; our virtue is like the State-man's Religion, the Quakers Word, the Gamesters Oath, and the Great Man's Honour, but to cheat those that trust us
Squeam. And that Demureness, Coyness, and Modesty, that you see in our Faces in the Boxes at Plays, is as much a sign of a kind woman, as a Vizard-mask in the Pit
Dayn. For I assure you, women are least mask'd, when they have the Velvet Vizard on
La. Fid. You wou'd have found us modest women in our denyals only
Squeam. Our Bashfulness is only the reflection of the Men's
Dayn. We blush, when they ae shame-fac'd
Hor I beg your pardon Ladies, I was deceiv'd in you devilishly, but why, that mighty pretence to Honour
La. Fid. We have told you; but sometimess 'twas for the [Page 93] same reason you men pretend business often, to avoid ill company, to enjoy the better, and more privately those you love.
Hor But why, wou'd you ne'er give a Friend a wink then?
La. Fid. Faith, your Reputation frightned us as much, as ours did you, you were so notoriously lewd.
Hor And you so seemingly honest.
La. Fid. Was that all that deterr'd you?
Hor And so expensive —you allow freedom you say.
La. Fid. Ay, ay.
Hor That I was afraid of losing my little money, as well as my little time, both which my other pleasures required.
La. Fid. Money, foh —you talk like a little fellow now, do such as we expect money?
Hor I beg your pardon, Madam, I must confess, I have heard that great Ladies, like great Merchants, set but the higher prizes upon what they have, because they are not in necessity of taking the first offer.
Dayn. Such as we, make sale of our hearts?
Squeam. We brib'd for our Love? Foh.
Hor With your pardon, Ladies, I know, like great men in Offices, you seem to exact flattery and attendance only from your Followers, but you have receivers about you, and such fees to pay, a man is afraid to pass your Grants; besides we must let you win at Cards, or we lose your hearts; and if you make an assignation, 'tis at a Goldsmiths, Jewellers, or China house, where for your Honour, you deposit to him, he must pawn his, to the punctual Citt, and so paying for what you take up, pays for what he takes up.
Dayn. Wou'd you not have us assur'd of our Gallants Love?
Squeam. For Love is better known by Liberality, than by Jealousie.
La. Fid. For one may be dissembled, the other not—but my Jealousie can be no longer dissembled, and they are telling ripe: Aside. [Page 94] Come here's to our Gallants in waiting, whom we must name, and I'll begin, this is my false Rogue. Claps him on the back.
Hor So all will out now —
Squeam. Did you not tell me, 'twas for my sake only, you reported your self no man? Aside to Horner.
Dayn. Oh Wretch! did you not swear to me, 'twas for my Love, and Honour, you pass'd for that thing you do? Aside to Horner.
Hor So, so.
La. Fid. Come, speak Ladies, this is my false Villain.
Squeam. And mine too.
dayn. And mine.
Horn. Well then, you are all three my false Rogues too, and there's an end on't.
La. Fid. Well then, there's no remedy, Sister Sharers, let us not fall out, but have a care of our Honour; though we get no Presents, no Jewels of him, we are savers of our Honour, the Jewel of most value and use, which shines yet to the world unsuspected, though it be counterfeit.
Hor Nay, and is e'en as good, as if it were true, provided the world think so; for Honour, like Beauty now, only depends on the opinion of others.
La. Fid. Well Harry Common, I hope you can be true to three, swear, but 'tis no purpose, to require your Oath; for you are as often forsworn, as you swear to new women.
Hor Come, faith Madam, let us e'en pardon one another, for all the difference I find betwixt we men, and you women, we forswear our selves at the beginning of an Amour, you, as long as it lasts. Enter Sir Jaspar Fidget, and old Lady Squeamish.
Sir Jas. Oh my Lady Fidget, was this your cunning, to come to Mr. Horner without me; but you have been no where else I hope.
La. Fid. No, Sir Jaspar.
Old La. Squeam. And you came straight hither Biddy.[Page 95]
Squeam. Yes indeed, Lady Grandmother.
Sir Jas. 'Tis well, 'tis well, I knew when once they were throughly acquainted with poor Horner, they'd ne'er be from him; you may let her masquerade it with my Wife, and Horner, and I warrant her Reputation safe. Enter Boy.
Boy. O Sir, here's the Gentleman come, whom you bid me not suffer to come up, without giving you notice, with a Lady too, and other Gentlemen —
Hor Do you all go in there, whil'st I send 'em away, and Boy, do you desire 'em to stay below 'til I come, which shall be immediately. Exeunt Sir Jaspar, Lad. Squeam. Lad, Fidget, Mistriss Dainty, Squeamish.
Boy. Yes Sir. Exit. Exit Horner at t'other door, and returns with Mistriss Pinchwife.
Hor You wou'd not take my advice to be gone home, before your Husband came back, he'll now discover all, yet pray my Dearest be perswaded to go home, and leave the rest to my management, I'll let you down the back way.
Mrs. Pin. I don't know the way home, so I don't.
Hor My man shall wait upon you.
Mrs. Pin. No, don't you believe, that I'll go at all; what are you weary of me already?
Hor No my life, 'tis that I may love you long, 'tis to secure my love, and your Reputation with your husband, he'll never receive you again else.
Mrs. Pin. What care I, d'ye think to frighten me with that? I don't intend to go to him again; you shall be my Husband now.
Hor I cannot be your Husband, Dearest, since you are married to him.
Mrs. Pin. O wou'd you make me believe that —don't I see every day at London here, women leave their first Husbands, and go, and live with other mens their Wives, pish, pshaw, you'd make me angry, but that I love you so mainly.[Page 96]
Hor So, they are coming up —In again, Exit Mistris Pinchwife. in, I hear 'em: Well, a silly Mistriss, is like a weak place, soon got, soon lost a man has scarce time for plunder; she betrays her Husband, first to her Gallant, and then her Gallant, to her Husband. Enter Pinchwife, Alithea, Harcourt, Sparkish, Lucy, and a Parson.
Mr. Pin. Come Madam, 'tis not the sudden change of your dress, the confidence of your asseverations, and your false witness there, shall perswade me, I did not bring you hither, just now; here's my witness, who cannot deny it, since you must be confronted —Mr. Horner, did not I bring this Lady to you just now?
Hor Now must I wrong one woman for anothers sake, but that's no new thing with me; for in these cases I am still on the criminal's side, against the innocent. Aside.
Alith. Pray, speak Sir.
Hor It must be so —I must be impudent, and try my luck, impudence uses to be too hard for truth. Aside.
Mr. Pin. What, you are studying an evasion, or excuse for her, speak Sir.
Hor It must be so —I must be impudent, and try my luck, impudence uses to be too hard for truth. Aside.
Mr. Pin. What, you are studying an evasion, or excuse for her, speak Sir.
Hor No faith, I am something backward only, to speak in womens affairs or disputes.
Mr. Pin. She bids you speak.
Alith. Ay, pray Sir do, pray satisfie him,
Hor Then truly, you did bring that Lady to me just now,
Mr. Pin. O ho —
Alith. How Sir —
Har. How, Horner!
Alith. What mean you Sir, I always took you for a man of Honour?
Hor Ay, so much a man of Honour, that I must save my Mistriss, I thank you, come what will on't. Aside.
Spar. So if I had had her, she'd have made me believe, the Moon had been made of a Christmans pye.
lucy. Now cou'd I speak, if I durst, and solve the Riddle, who am the Author of it. Aside.[Page 97]
Alith. O unfortunate Woman! a combination against my Honour, which most concerns me now, because you share in my disgrace, Sir, and it is your censure which I must now suffer, that troubles me, not theirs.
Har. Madam, then have no trouble, you shall now see 'tis possible for me to love too, without being jealous, I will not only believe your innocence my self, but make all the world believe it — Horner I must now be concern'd for this Ladies Honour. Apart to Horner.
Hor And I must be concern'd for a Ladies Honour too.
Har. This Lady has her Honour, and I will protect it.
Hor My Lady has not her Honour, but has given it me to keep, and will preserve it.
Har. I understand you not.
Hor I wou'd not have you.
Mrs. Pin. What's the matter with 'em all. Mistress Pinchwife peeping in behind.
Mr. Pin. Come, come, Mr. Horner, no more disputing. here's the Parson, I brought him not in vain.
Hor No Sir, I'll employ him, if this Lady please.
Mr. Pin. How, what d'ye mean?
Spark. Ay, what does he mean?
Hor Why, I have resign'd your Sister to him, he has my consent.
Mr. Pin. But he has not mine Sir, a womans injur'd Honour, no more than a man's, can be repair'd or satisfied by any, but him that first wrong'd it; and you shall marry her presently, or — Lays his hand on his Sword. Enter to them Mistress Pinchwife.
Mistriss Pin. O Lord, they'll kill poor Mr. Horner, besides he shan't marry her, whilest I stand by, and look on, I'll not lose my second Husband so.
Mr. Pin. What do I see.
Alith. My Sister in my cloaths!
Mrs. Pin. Nay, pray now don't quarrel about finding work [Page 98] for the Parson, he shall marry me to Mr. Horner; for now I believe, you have enough of me. To Mr. Pinchwife.
Hor Damn'd, damn'd loving Changeling.
Mrs. Pin. Pray Sister, pardon me for telling so many lyes of you.
Har. I suppose the Riddle is plain now.
Lucy. No, that must be my work, good Sir, hear me. Kneels to Mr. Pinchwife, who stands doggedly, with his hat over his eyes.
Mr. Pin. I will never hear woman again, but make 'em all silent, thus — Offers to draw upon his Wife.
Hor No, that must not be.
Mr. Pin. You then shall go first, 'tis all one to me. Offers to draw on Horstopt by Harcourt.
Har. Hold — Enter Sir Jaspar Fidget, Lady Fidget, Lady Squeamish, Mrs. Dainty Fidget, Mrs. Squeamish.
Sir Jas. What's the matter, what's the matter, pray what's the matter Sir, I beseech you communicate Sir.
Mr. Pin. Why my Wife has communicated Sir, as your Wife may have done too Sir, if she knows him Sir —
Sir Jas. Pshaw, with him, ha, ha, he.
Mr. Pin. D'ye mock me Sir, a Cuckold is a kind of a wild Beast, have a care Sir —
Sir Jas. No sure, you mock me Sir —he cuckold you! it can't be, ha, ha, he, why I'll tell you Sir. Offers to whisper.
Mr. Pin. I tell you again, he has whor'd my Wife, and yours too, if he knows her, and all the women he comes near; 'tis not his dissembling, his hypocrisie can wheedle me.
Sir Jas. How does he dissemble, is he a Hypocrite? nay then —how —Wife —Sister is he an Hypocrite?
Old La. Squeam. An Hypocrite, a dissembler, speak young Harlotry, speak how?
Sir Jas. Nay then —O my head too —O thou libinous Lady![Page 99]
Old La. Squeam. O thou Harloting, Harlotry, hast thou don't then?
Sir Jas. Speak good Horner, art thou a dissembler, a Rogue? hast thou —
Hor Soh —
Lucy. I'll fetch you off, and her too, if she will but hold her tongue. Apart to Hor.
Hor Canst thou? I'll give thee — Apart to Luc.
Lucy to Mr. Pin. Pray have but patience to hear me Sir, who am the unfortunate cause of all this confusion, your Wife is innocent, I only culpable; for I put her upon telling you all these lyes, concerning my Mistress, in order to breaking off the match, betweem Mr. Sparkish and her, to make way for Mr. Harcourt.
Spark. Did you so eternal Rotten-tooth, then it seems my Mistress was not false to me, I was only deceiv'd by you, brother that shou'd have been, now an of conduct, who is a frank person now, to bring your Wife to her Lover — ha —
Lucy. I assure you Sir, she came not to Mr. Horner out of love, for she loves him no more —
Mrs. Pin. Hold, I told lyes for you, but you shall tell none for me, for I do love Mr. Horner with all my soul, and no body shall say me nay; pray don't you go to make poor Mr. Horner believe to the contrary, 'tis spitefully done of you, I'm sure.
Hor Peace, Dear Ideot. Aside to Mrs. Pin.
Mrs. Pin. Nay, I will not peace.
Mr. Pin. Not 'til I make you. Enter Dorilant, Quack.
Dor. Horner your Servant, I am the Doctors Guest, he must excuse our intrusion.
Quack. But what's the matter Gentlemen, for Heavens sake, what's the matter?
Hor Oh 'tis well you are come—'tis a censorious world we live in, you may have brought me a reprieve, or else I [Page 100] had died for a crime, I never committed, and these innocent Ladies had suffer'd with me, therefore pray satisfie these worthy, honourable, jealous Gentlemen —that — Whispers.
Quack. O I understand you, is that all —Sir Jaspar, by heavens and upon the word of a Physician Sir, — Whispers to Sir Jasper.
Sir Jas. Nay I do believe you truly —pardon me my virtuous Lady, and dear of honour.
Old La. Squeam. What then all's right again.
Sir Jas. Ay, ay, and now let us satisfie him too. They whisper with Mr. Pinch.
Mr. Pin. An Eunuch! pray no fooling with me.
Quack. I'le bring half the Chirurgions in Town to swear it.
Mr. Pin. They —they'l sweare a man that bled to death through his wounds died of an Apoplexy.
Quack. Pray hear me Sir —why all the Town has heard the report of him.
Mr. Pin. But does all the Town believe it.
Quack. Pray inquire a little, and first of all these.
Mr. Pin. I'm sure when I left the Town he was the lewdest fellow in't.
Quack. I tell you Sir he has been in France since, pray ask but these Ladies and Gentlemen, your friend Mr. Dorilant, Gentlemen and Ladies, han't you all heard the late sad report of poor Mr. Horner.
All Lad. Ay, ay, ay.
Dor. Why thou jealous Fool do'st thou doubt it, he's an errant French Capon.
Mrs. Pin. 'Tis false Sir, you shall not disparage poor Mr. Horner, for to my certain knowledge —
Lucy. O hold —
Squeam. Stop her mouth — Aside to Lucy.
Old La. Fid. Upon my honour Sir, 'tis as true. To Pinch.
Dayn. D'y think we would have been seen in his company —
Squeam. Trust our unspotted reputations with him!
Hor Peace Madam, —well Doctor is not this a good design that carryes a man on unsuspected, and brings him off safe. — Aside to Quack.
Mr. Pin. Well, if this were true, but my Wife — Aside Dorilant whispers with Mrs. Pinch.
Ali. Come Brother your Wife is yet innocent you see, but have a care of too strong an imagination, least like an overconcern'd timerous Gamester by fancying an unlucky cast it should come, Women and Fortune are truest still to those that trust 'em.
Lucy. And any wild thing grows but the more fierce and hungry for being kept up, and more dangerous to the Keeper.
Ali. There's doctrine for all Husbands Mr. Harcourt.
Har. I edifie Madam so much, that I am impatient till I am one.
Dor. And I edifie so much by example I will never be one.
Eew. And because I will not disparage my parts I'le ne're be one.
Hor And I alass can't be one.
Mr. Pin. But I must be one —against my will to a Country-Wife, with a Country murrain to me.
Mrs. Pin. And I must be a Country Wife still too I find, for I can't like a City one, be rid of my musty Husband and doe what I list. Aside.
Hor Now Sir I must pronounce your Wife Innocent, though I blush whilst I do it, and I am the only man by her now expos'd to shame, which I will straight drown in Wine, as you shall you suspition, and the Ladies troubles we'l divert with a Ballet, Doctor where are your Maskers.
Lucy. Indeed she's Innocent Sir, I am her witness, and her end of coming out was but to see her Sisters Wedding, and what she has said to your face of her love to Mr. Horner was but the usual innocent revenge on a Husbands jealousie, was it not Madam speak —
Mrs. Pin. Since you'l have me tell more lyes — Aside to Lucy and Horner. [Page 102] Yes indeed Budd.
For my own sake fain I wou'd all believe.
Cuckolds like Lovers shou'd themselves deceive.
But — sighs
His honour is least safe, (too late I find)
Who trusts it with a foolish Wife or Friend.
A Dance of Cuckolds.
Vain Fopps, but court, and dress, and keep a puther,
To pass for Womens men, with one another.
But he who aimes by women to be priz'd,
First by the men you see must be despis'd.
5.5. EPILOGUE spoken by Mr. Hart:
Now you the Vigorous, who dayly here
O're Vizard-Mask, in publick domineer,
And what you'd doe to her if in Place where;
Nay have the confidence, to cry come out,
Yet when she says lead on, you are not stout;
But to your well-drest Brother straight turn round
And cry, Pox on her Ned, she can't be sound:
Then slink away, a fresh one to ingage,
With so much seeming heat and ioving Rage,
You'd frighten listning Actress on the Stage:
Till she at last seen you huffing come,
And talk of keeping in the Tyreing-Room,
Yet cannot be provok'd to lead her home:
Next you Fallstaffs of fifty, who beset
Your Buckram Maidenheads, which your friends get;
And whilst to them, you of atchievements boast,
They share the booty, and laugh at your cost,
In fine, you Essens't Boyes, both Old and Young,
Who wou'd be thought so eager, brisk, and strong,
Yet do the Ladies, not their Husbands, wrong:
Whose Purses for your manhood make excuse,
And keep your Flanders Mares for shew, not use;
Encourag'd by our Womans Man to day,
A Horners part may vainly think to Play;
And may Intreagues so bashfully disown
That they may doubted be by few or none,
May kiss the Cards at Picquet, Hombre, —Lu,
And so be thought to kiss the Lady too;
But Gallants, have a care faith, what you do.
The World, which to no man his due will give,
You by experience know you can deceive,
And men may still believe you Vigorous,
But then we Women, —there's no cous'ning us.