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creet, will suffer your wife to be of such al Fain. He comes to town in order to equip party.
himself for travel. Fain. Faith, I am not jealous. Besides, most Mir. For travel! Why, the man that I mean who are engaged are women and relations; is above forty. and for the men, they are of a kind too con- Fain. No matter for that; 'tis for the botemptible to give scandal.
nour of England, that all Europe should know Mir. I am of another opinion. The greater we have blackheads of all ages. the coscomb, always the more the scandal : Mir, I wonder there is not an act of parfor a woman who is not a fool, can have but liament to save the credit of the nation, and one reason for associating with a man who prohibit the exportation of fools. is one.
Fain. By no means, 'tis better as 'tis; 'tis Fain. Are you jealous as often as you see better to trade with a little loss, than to be Witwould entertained by Millamant? quite eaten up with being overstock’d.
Mir. Of her understanding I am, if not of Mir. Pray are the follies of this knight-erber person.
rant, and those of the squire, his brother, any Fain. You do her wrong; for, to give her thing related? ber due, she bas wit,
Fain. Not al all; Wit would grows by the Mir. She has beauty enough to make any knight, like a medlar grafted on a crab. One man think so; and complaisance enough not will melt in your mouth, and t'other set your to contradict bim who sball tell her so. teeth on edge; one is all pulp, and the other
Fain. For a passionate lover, methinks you all core. are a man somewbat too discerning in the Mir. So one will be rotten before he be failings of your mistress.
ripe, and the other will be rotten without Mir. And for a discerning man, somewhat ever being, ripe at all. too passionate a lover; for I like her with all Fain. Sir Wilful is an odd mixture of bashher faults; nay, like her for her faults. Her fulness and obstinacy. But when he's drunk, follies are so natural, or so artful, that they he's as loving as the monster in the Tempest; become her; and those affectations, which in and much after the same manner. another woman would be odious, serve but i'other his due, he has something of good nato make her more agreeable. I'll tell thee, ture, and does not always want wit. Fainall, she once used me with that insolence, Mir. Not always; but as often as his methat in revenge I took her to pieces; sifted mory fails him, and bis common-place of comher, and separated her failings; I studied 'em parisons. He is a fool with a good memory, and got 'em by rote. The catalogue was, so and some few scraps of other folks' wit. He large, that I was not without hopes, one day is one whose conversation can never be apor other, to hate her heartily: to which end proved, yet it is now and then to be endured. I so used myself to think of 'em, that at length, He has indeed one good quality, he is not excontrary to my design and expectation, they ceptious; for he so passionately affects the regave me every hour less disturbance; till in a pulation of understanding raillery, that he will few days it became babitual to me, to remem-construe an affront into a jest; and call downber 'em without being displeased.' They are right rudeness and ill language, satire and fore. now grown as familiar io me as my own Fain. If you have a mind to finish his picfrailties; and in all probability, in a little time ture, you have an opportunity to do it at full longer, I shall like 'em as well.
length. Behold the original, Fain. Marry her, marry her;. be half as well acquainted with her charms, as you are
Enter Witworld. with ber desects, and my life on't you are
Wil. Afford me your compassion, my dears; your own man again,
pity me, Fainall; Mirabell, pity me, Mir. Say you so ?
Mir. I do, from my soul.
Wit. No letters for me, Betty ?
Betty. Did not a messenger bring you one
Wit. Ay, but no other? Mess. I have a letter for him, from his bro- Betty. No, sir. iber sir Wilful, which I am charged to deli- Wit. That's bard, that's very hard ! a mesver into his own hands.
senger, a mule, a beast of burden; he has Betty. He's in the next room, friend. That brought me a letter from the fool my brother, way.
(E.rit Messenger. as beavy as a panegyric in a funeral sermon, Mir. What, is the chief of that noble fa- or a copy of commendatory verses from one mily in lown, sir Wilful Witwould ? poet to another. And what's worse, 'tis as
Fain. He is expected 10-day. Do you know sure a forerunner of the author, as an episte bim?
dedicatory. Mir. I have seen him. He promises to be Mir. A fool, and your brother, Witwould! an extraordinary person. I think you have Wil
. Ay,, ay, my half-brother. My halfthe bonour to be related to bim.
brother he is, no nearer upon honour. Fain. Yes; he is half-brother to this Wit- Mir. Then 'tis possible he may be but half would by a former wise, who was sister to a fool. my lady Wishforl, my wife's mother. If you Wit. Good, good, Mirabell le drole! Good, marry Millamant, you must call cousins too. good; hang him, don't let's talk of him. Fain
Mir. I would rather be bis relation than all, how does your lady? Gad, I say any his acquaintance.
I thing in the world to get this fellow out of
SJV to you.
my head. I beg pardon that I should ask aof my friend !-no, my dear, excuse me there. man of pleasure, and the town, a question at Fuin. What, I warrant he's insincere, or once so foreign and domestic. But I talk like 'tis same such trifle. an old maid at a marriage; I don't know what Wit. No, no; what if he be ? 'tis no matter I say: but she's the best woman in the world. for that, bis wit will excuse that: a wit should
Fain. 'Tis well you don't know what you no more be sincere, than a woman constant; say, or else your commendation would go one argues a decay of parts, as t'other of beauty. tear to make me either vain or jealous. Mir. May be you think him too positive?, Wit. So man in town lives well with a Wit
. No, no, his being positive is an inwife but Fainall. Your judgment, Mirabell ? centive to argument, and keeps up conversation.
Alir. You had better step and ask his wife, Fain. Too illiterale ? if you would be credibly informed.
Wit. That! that's his happiness, his want of Tit. Mirabell.
learning gives him the more opportunity to Mir. Av.
show his natural parts. 1 it. My dear, I ask ten thousand pardons. Mir. He wants words? - Gad, I have forgot what I was going to Wit. Ay: but I like him for that now; for
his want of words gives me the pleasure very Mir. I thank you heartily, heartily. often to explain his meaning. Wit. No, but, pr’ythee, excuse me-my me
Fain. He's impudent? sors is such a memory.
Wit. No, that's not it. Mir. Have a care of such apologies, Wit- Mir. Vain ? would; for I never knew a fool but he affect- Wil. No. ed to complain, either of the spleen or his Mir. What, he speaks unseasonable truths memory.
sometimes, because he has not wit enough to Fain. What have you done with Petulant? invent an evasion ? 1 it. He's reckoning his money; --my money
Wit. Truth ! ha, ha, ha! No, no; since you it was. I have had no luck to-day.
will have it, I mean, be never speaks truth Firin. You may allow him to win of you at all, -that's all. He will lie like a chamat play; for you are sure to be too hard for bermaid, or a woman of quality's porter. Now hin ai repartee. Since you monopolize the that is a fault. wil that is between you, tbe fortune must be
Enter Coachman. his of course.
Coach. Is master Petulant here, mistress ? Mir. I don't find that Petulant confesses the
Petty. Yes. superiority of wit to be your talent, Wilwould. Coach. Three gentlewomen in a coach would Wit
. Come, come, you are malicious now, speak with him. and would breed debates. Petulant's my friend, Fain. () brave Pelulant! three ! and a very pretty fellow, and a very honest Belly. I'll tell him. fellow, and has a smaltering-faith, aud troth, Coach. You must bring two dishes of choa pretty deal of an odd sort of a small witícolate and a glass of cinnamon-water. Day, I do bim justice, I'm his friend, I won't
[Exeunt Coachman and Betty. wrong him. And if he had any judgment in Wit. That should be for two fasting bona ise wosid, he would not be altogether con-robas, and a procuress troubled with wind. templitste. Come, come, don't detract from Now you may know what the three are. the merits of my friend.
Mir. You are very free with your friend's Fuin. You don't take your friend to be acquaintance. rrer-ajalı bred.
. Ay, ay, friendship without freedom is Wit No, no, hang him, the rogue has no as dull as love without enjoyment, or wine "Funners at all, that I must owe; no more without toasting; but, to tell you a secret,
seeding than a bumbaily, ?) that I grant you: these are trulls whom he allows coach-hire, tus pity; the fellow has fire and life. and something more, by the week, to call on Mir. What, courage?
him once a day at public places. Itil. llum, faith, I don't know as to that; Mir. Hlow! I can't sy as to that. Yes, faith, in contro- Wit. You shall see be won't go to 'em, beers, beil contradict any body;
cause there's no more company here to take Mr. Though 'were a man whom he feared, notice of him.-Wby, this is nothing to what or - woman whom he loved.
be used to do: before he found out this way, et Wellwell, he does not always think I have known him call for himself.. before he speaks; we have all our failings:
Fain. Call for himself! what dost thou mean? you are too hard upon him, you are, faith. Wit. Mean, why he would slip you out of Let me excuse bim:'I can defend most of his this chocolate-house, just when you had been fzuis, except one or two; one he has, that's talking to bim-as soon as your back was Le truth on's; if he were my brother, I could turned, whip he was gone;-then trip to his 2-3 acquit him — that indeed I could wish lodging, clap on a hood and scarf, and a mask, See otherwise.
slap into a hackney-coach, and drive hither Mir. Ay, marry, what's that, Witwould ? to the door again in a trice; where he would 11 il. O pardon me-expose the infirmities send in for himself, that is, I mean, call for
himself, wait for himself, nay, and what's more, - Os vi those gentlemen known by the name of catch
la, from their familiarly putting their hand on the not finding himself, sometimes leave a letter inw.des towards the pole, or back of the neck) of for himself. The person whom they are to arrest, when, by show- Mir. I confess this is something extraordi* 5 * werrant, the other party most submissively fol
to the lock-up house, if he is not strong enough pary-I believe he waits for himself now, he > knot the bailifi dov., and make his escape. lis so long a coming: 0, I ask his pardon.
Enter PETULANT and Betty.
Pet. All's one for that; why then say
1 Betty. Sir, the coach stays.
know something. Pet. Well, well; I come; - 'Sbud, a man Mir. Come, thou art an honest fellow, Pehad as good be a profess'd midwife, as a pro- tulant, and shalt make love to my mistress, fess'd gallant, at this rate; to be knock'd' up, thou shalt
, faith. What bast thou heard of and raised at all hours, and in all places. my uncle? Deuce on 'em, I won't come-D'ye hear, tell *Pet. I! nothing; I! If throats are to be cut, 'em I won't come-Let 'em snivel and cry let swords clash; soug's the word, I shrug their hearts out.
[Exit Betty. and am silent. Fain. You are very cruel, Petulant. Mir. Oraillery, raillery. Come, I know Pet. All's one, let it pass—I have a humour thou art in the women's secrets; what
, you're to be cruel.
a cabalist; I know you staid at Millamant's Mir. I hope they are not persons of con- last night, after I went. Was there any mendition that you use at this rate.
tion made of my uncle or me? tell me. If Pet. Condition! condition's a dried fig, if I thou hadst but good nature equal to thy wil
, am not in humour-By this hand, if they were Petulant, Tony Witwould, who is now thy your-a-a-your what-d'ye-call-'ems them- competitor in "fame, would show as dim by selves, they must wait or rub off, if I am not thee as a dead whiting's eye by a pearl of in tbe vein.
orient; he would no more be seen by thee, Mir. What-d'ye-call-'ems! what are they, than Mercury is by the sun. Come, I'm sure Witwould?
thou wo't tell me. Wit. Empresses, my dear-By your what- Pet. If I do, will you grant me common d'ye-call-'cms he means sultana queens. sense then, for the future? Pet . Ay, Roxalanas.
Mir. Faith, I'll do what I can for thee, and Mir. Cry you mercy.
that it may be granted thee in the Fain. Witwould says they are
mean time. Pet. What does he say th'arc?
Pet. Well, harkee! [They talk opart. Wit, I? fine ladies, I say.
Fain. Petulant, and you both, will find MiPet. Pass on, Witwould-Harkee, by this rabell as warm a rival as a lover. light, his relations; two co-heiresses his cou- Wit. Pshaw, pshaw! that she laughs at Pesins, and an old aunt, who loves intriguing tulant is plain. And for my part, but that it better than a conventicle.
is alınost a fashion to admire her, I should, Wit. Ha, ha, ha! I had a mind to see how barkee-to tell you a secret, but let it go no the rogue would come off; ha, ha, ha! gad, I farther-between friends, I'shall never break can't be angry with him, if he had said they my heart for her. were my mother and my sisters.
Fain. How! Mir. No!
Wit. She's handsome; but she's a sort of Wit. No; the rogue's wit and readiness of an uncertain woman. invention charm me, dear Petulant.
Fain. I thought you had died for her.
Wit. Umph! no.
Fain. She has wit.
Wit. 'Tis what she will hardly allow any Betty. They are gone, sir, in great anger. body else — now, I should hate that, if she
Pet. Enough, let 'em trundle. "Anger helps were as handsome as Cleopatra. Mirabell is complexions, saves paint.
not so sure of her as he thinks. Fain. This continence is all dissembled ; Fain. Why do you think so? this is in order to have something to brag of Wit
. We staid pretty late there last night, the next time he makes court to Millamant, and heard something of an uncle to Mirabell
, and swear he has abandoned the whole sex who is lately come io town, and is between for her sake.
him and the best part of his estate. Mirabell Mir. Ilave you not left off your impudent and he are at some distance, as my lady pretensions there yet? I shall cut your throat
, fort has been told; and you know she hates some time or other, Petulant, about that bu- Mirabell worse than a quaker bates a parrot, siness.
or than a fishmonger bates a hard frost. WbePet. Ay, ay, let that pass; there are other ther this uncle has seen Mrs. Millamant throats to be cut.
not, I cannot say; but there were items of Mir. Meaning mine, sir ?
such a treaty being in embryo; and if it should Pet. Not I, I mean nobody, I know nothing; come to life, poor Mirabell would be in some but there are uncles and nephews in the world, sort unfortunately fobb'd, i'faith. and they may be rivals. 'What then? all's Fain. 'Tis impossible. Millamant should one for that.
bearken to it. Mir. Now, harkee, Petulant, come hither; Wit. Faith, my dear, I can't tell; she's } explain, or I shall call your interpreter. woman, and a kind of a humourist.
Pet. Explain! I know nothing. Why you Mir. And this is the sum of what you could have an uncle, bave you not, lately come to collect last night? town, and lodges by my lady Wishfort's? Pet. The quintessence. May be Witwould Mir. True.
knows more, he staid longer; besides, they Pet. Why, that's enough; you and be are never mind 'him; they say anything before not friends: and if he should marry and have him. a child, you may be disinherited, ha!
Mir. I thought you had been the greatest Mir. Where hast thou stumbled upon all Pet. Ay, tele a téte; but not in public, be this truth?
cause I make remarks.
[favourite Mir. You do?
Mrs. Mar. True, 'tis an unhappy circumPet. Ay, ay; I'm malicious, maņ. Now he's stance of life, that love should ever die before soft, you know; they are not in awe of him: us; and that the man so often should outlive the fellow's well bred; he's what you call a- the lover. But say what you will, 'lis better what-d'ye-call'em, a fine gentleman: but he's to be left than never to have been loved. To silly withal.
pass our youth in dull indifference, to refuse Mir. I thank you, I know as much as mylihe sweets of life because they once must leave curiosity requires. Fainall, are you for he us, is as preposterous, as to wish to have been Mall??)
born old, because we one day must be old. Fain. Ay, I'll take a turn before dinner. For my part, my youth may wear and waste,
Wil. Ay, we'll all walk in the park; the but it shall never rust in my possession. ladies talk of being there.
Mrs. F. Then it seems you dissemble an Mir. I thought you were obliged to watch aversion to mankind, only in compliance to for your brother, sir Wilfull's arrival.
my mother's humour. V it. No, no; he comes to his aunt's, my Mrs. Mar. Certainly.. To be free; I have lady Wishfort: plague on him, I shall be no taste of those insipid dry discourses, with troubled with him too; what shall I do with which our sex of force must entertain themthe fool?
selves apart from men. We may affect enPet. Beg him for his estate, that I may beg dearments to each other, profess eternal friendyou afterwards; and so have but one trouble ships, and seem to dote like lovers; but 'tis with you both.
not in our natures long to persevere. Love Wit. O rare Petulanı; thou art as quick as will resume his empire in our breasts, and fire in a frosty morning; thou shalt to the every heart, or soon or late, receive and reMall with us, and we'll be very severe.
admit him as its lawful lyrant. Pet. Enough, I'm in a humour to be severe. Mrs. F. Bless me, how have I been de
Wir. Are you? Pray then walk by your-ceived? Why you're a professed libertine, selves. Let not us be accessary to your put- Mrs. Mar. You see my friendship by, my ting the ladies out of countenance with your freedom. Come, be as sincere, acknowledge senseless ribaldry, which you roar out aloud that your sentiments agree with mine. as often as they pass by you; and when you Mrs. F. Nerer. have made a handsome woman blush, then Mrs. Mar. You hate mankind ? you think you have been severe.
Mrs. F. Heartily, inveterately. Pet. What, what? then let 'em either show Mrs. Mar. Your husband ? their innocence by not understanding what Mrs. F. Most transcendently; ay, though I they bear, or else show their discretion by say it, ineritoriously. not hearing what they would not be thought Mrs. Mar. Give me your
hand to understand.
Mrs. F. There. Hir. But bast not thou then sense enough Mrs. Mar. I join with you; what I have to know that thou ought'st to be most ashamed said has been to try you. thy self, when thou hast put another out of Mrs. F. Is it possible? dost thou hate those countenance?
vipers, men ? Pet. Tot ), by this hand; I always take Mrs. Mar. I have done hating 'em, and am blashing either for a sign of guilt or ill-breed-, now come to despise 'em; the next thing I ing.
have to do, is eternally to forget 'em. Hir. I confess you ought to think so. You Mrs. F. There spoke the spirit of an Amaare in the right, that you may plead the er-zon, a Penthesilea. for of your judgment in defence of your Mrs. Mar. And yet I am thinking somepractice.
times to carry my aversion farther. Where modesty's ill-manners, 'tis but fit Mrs. F. flow? That impudence and malice pass for wit. Mrs. Mar. By marrying; if I could but find
[Exeunt. one thai loved me very well, and would be ACT II.
thoroughly sensible of ill usage, I think I should
do myself the violence of undergoin gtbe cerSCENE I.-- St. James's Park.
eniony. Enler MRS. FAINALl and Mrs. MARWOOD. Mrs. F. You would not dishonour bim?
Mrs. F. Ay, ay, dear Marwood, if we will Mrs. Mar. No: but I'd make him believe I be happy, we must find the means in our- did, and that's as bad. selves, and among ourselves. Men are ever in Mrs. F. Why had you not as good do it? patsemes; either doating, or averse. While Mrs. Mar. O if he should ever discover it, thes are lovers, if they have fire and sense, he would then know the worst, and be out their jealousies are insupportable: and when of his pain; but I would have him ever to tbey cease to love (we ought to think at least) continue upon the rack of fear and jealousy. Eber loathe: they look upon us with horror Mrs. F. Ingenious mischief! would thou and distaste; they meet us like the ghosts of wert married to Mirabell! what we were, and as from such, fly from us. Mrs. Mar. Would I were!
Mrs. P. You change colour. 1) Formerly the fashionable walk in St. James's Park, Mrs. Mar. Because I hate him. vt ea there was a liule green and a tree or two to seen within 10 miles of Temple-Bar ; but now it
Mrs. F. So do l; but I can hear him named. o apo the point of being covered with houses; and But what reason have you to hate him in Le pore swans' country-Te sidence on the canal will particular? be tirsed into a town (not a large) house, and the rijdere bridge will probably be made into a ponte de
Mrs. Mar. I never loved him; he is, and alspiri for le loss of nature.
ways was, insufferably proud.
Mrs. F. By the reason you give for your' Fain. It may be so. I do not now begin aversion, one would think it dissembled; for to apprehend it. you have laid a fault to his charge, of which, Mrs. Mai. What? his enemies must acquit him,
Fain. That I have been deceived, madam, Mrs. Mar. () then it seems you are one o and you are false. his favourable enemies.' Metbinks
Mrs. Mar. That I am false! What mean you? little pale, and now you flush again.
Fain. To let you know, I see through all Mrs. F. Do I? I think I am a little sick your little arts — Come, you both love bim, o'the sudden.
and both have equally dissembled your averMrs. Mar. What ails you;
sion. Your mutual jealousies of one another Mrs. F. My husband. 'Don't you see him? have made you clash till you have both struck He turn'd short upon me unawares, and his fire. I have seen the warm confession, redalmost overcome me.
dening on your checks, and sparkling from
your eyes. Enter FAINALL and MIRABELL.
Mrs. Mar. You do me wrong. Mrs. Mar. Ha, ha, ha! he comes opportune
Fain. I do not 'Twas for my case lo ly for you.
oversee and wilfully neglect the gross
advanMrs. F. For you, for hc has brought Mira- ces made bim by my wife; that, by permitbell with him.
ling her to be engaged, I might continue unFain. My dear.
suspected in my pleasures, and take you ofMrs. F. My soul.
tener to my arms in full security. But could Fain. You don't look well to-day, child. you think, because the nodding bushand would Mrs. F. D'ye think so?
not wake, that e'er the watchful lover slept? Mir. He's the only man that does, madam. Mrs. Mar. And wherewithal can you re
Mrs. F. The only man that would tell me proach me? so, at least ; and the only man from whom I Fain. With infidelity, with loving another, could hear it without mortification.
with love of Mirabell. Fain. O my dear, I am satisfied of your Mrs. Mar, 'Tis false. I challenge you to tenderness; know you cannot resent any show an instance that can confirm your thing from me; especially what is an effect of groundless accusation. I hate him. my concern.
Fain. And wherefore do you hate him? Mrs. F. Mr. Mirabell
, my mother interrupt- He is insensible, and your resentment follows ed you in a pleasant relation last night; I his neglect. An instance! The injuries you could fain hear it out.
have done him are a proof: your interposing Mir. The persons concern'd in that affair, in his love. What cause had you to make have yet a tolerable reputation. I am afraid discoveries of bis pretended passion ? to unMr. Fainall will be censorious.
deceive the credulous aunt, and be the offiMrs. F. He bas a humour more prevailing cious obstacle of his match with Millamant? than his curiosity, and will willingly dispense Mrs. Mar. My obligations to my lady, urwith the hearing of one scandalous story, to ged me: I had profess'd a friendship to her avoid giving an occasion to make another, by and could not see her easy nature so abused being seen to walk with bis wife. This way, by that dissembler. Mr. Mirabell, and I dare promise you will Fain. What, was it conscience then? Prooblige ns both.
fess'd a friendship! O the pious friendships of [Exeunt Mrs. Fainall and Mirabell. the female sex! Fain. Excellent creature! well, sure, if I Mrs. Mar. More tender, more sincere, and should live to be rid of my wife,'I should be more enduring, than all the vain and empty a miserable man.
vows of men, whether professing love to us, Mrs. Mar. Ay?
or mutual faith to one another. Fain. For having only that one hope, the Fain. Ha, ha, ba! you are my wife's friend accomplishment of it, of consequence, must too. put an end to all my hopes; and what a Mrs. Mar. Shame and ingratitude! Do you wretch is he who must survive' his hopes! no-reproach me? You, you upbraid
me! Have I thing remains, when that day comes, but to been false to her through strict fidelity to you, sit down and weep like Alexander, when be and sacrificed my friendship to keep my love wanted other worlds to conquer.
inviolate? and have you the baseness to charge Mrs. Mar. Will you not follow 'em ? me with the guill, unmindful of the merit
! Fain. No! I think not.
To you it should be meritorious, that I have Mrs. Mar. Pray let us; I have a reason. been vicious; and do you reflect that guilt Fain. You are not jealous ?
upon me, which should lie buried in your Mrs. Mar. Of wbom?
bosom? Fain. Of Mirabell.
Fain. You misinterpret my reproof.! Mrs. Mar. If I am, is it inconsistent with meant but to remind you of the slight account my love to you, that I am tender of your you once could make of strictest lies, when bonour?
set in competition with your love to me Fain. You would intimate then, as if there Mrs. M. 'Tis false, you urged it with deli
: were a particular understanding between my berate malice; 'twas spoke in scorn, and I wife and him?
never will sorgire it. Mrs. Mar. I think she does not hate him to Fain. Your guilt, not your resentment, be that degree she would be thought.
gets your rage. If yet you loved, you could Fain. But he, I fear, is too insensible. forgive a jealousy: but you are stung to find Mrs. Mar. It may be you are deceived.
you are discover d.