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seize on her goods and chattels vi et armis ? Man. Nay, madam, you now take from me all Ecod, if I was she, I'd make demand—bring my power of making you any compliment on my trover.

part. I was going to tell you, that, on your acMan. Good Mrs Blackacre, be pacified : if count only, I would forego the pleasures of a your cousin had her deserts, the law would be retirement I have long wished for, and be reconciher greatest enemy. And now, madam, let me led again to the world, which was grown odious beg of you to accept of this, and, with it, my to me : but if I should, I doubt my friend here heart; both, I confess, too small a recompense would say it was your estate made me friends for your merit ; for you deserve the Indian with it. world, and I would go thither, out of covetous- Free. I must confess I should; for I think ness, for your sake.

most of our quarrels to the world are just such Fide. Your heart, sir, is a present of that as we sometimes have to a handsome woman, value, I can never make any return for it: but only because she won't grant us as many favours I can give you back such a present as this, which as we could wish. I got by the death of my father, a gentleman Man. Nay, if you are a Plain Dealer, too, of the north, whose only child I was; [gives give me your hand; and, for your two sakes, a paper.) therefore left me in the present pos- though I have been so lately deceived in both session of 20001. a year.

The name of my sexes, I will believe there are still in the world family is Grey; my other, Fidelia; the rest of good-natured friends who are not prostitutes, and my story you shall know, when I have fewer au- handsome women worthy to be friends. ditors.

[Exeunt omnes,

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MEN.

WOMEN
MASKWELL, a villain ; pretended friend to Mel Lady Touchwood, in love with MELLEFONT.

LEFONT, gallant to LADY TOUCHWOOD, and in Cynthia, daughter to Sir Paul, by a former
love with CYNTHIA.

wife, promised to MELLEFONT.
Lord Touchwood, uncle to MELLEFONT. Lady Froth, a great coquet ; pretender to poe-
MELLEFONT, promised to, and in love with try, wit, and learning.
CYNTHIA.

LADY PLyant, insolent to her husband, and easy
CARELESS, his friend.

to any pretender. Lord Frotu, a solemn corcomb. BRISK.

Chaplain, Boy, Footmen, and Attendants. Sir Paul PLYANT, an urorious, foolish, old

knight, brother to Lady Touchwood, and father to CYNTHIA.

Scene-A gallery in Lord Touchwood's house, with chambers adjoining.

ACT 1.

SCENE I.-A gallery in Lord Touchwood's without sense, I think the women have more muhouse, with chambers adjoining.

sical voices, and become nonsense better.

Mel. Why, they are at the end of the gallery, Enter Careless, crossing the stage, with his hat, retired to their tea and scandal, according to their

gloves, and sword in his hands, as just risen ancient custom after dinner. But I made a prefrom table ; MELLEFONT following him. tence to follow you, because I had something to

say to you in private, and I am not like to have Mel. Ned, Ned, whither so fast! What, turn- many opportunities this evening. ed flincher! Why, you will not leave us?

Care. And here is this coxcomb most critically Care. Where are the women? I am weary of come to interrupt you. guzzling, and begin to think them the better com

Enter BRISK. pany.

Mel. Then thy reason staggers, and thou art Brisk. Boys, boys, lads, where are you? What, almost drunk.

do you give ground? Mortgage for a bottle, ha? Care. No, faith, but your fools grow noisy; Careless, this is your trick; you are always spoiland, if a man must endure the noise of words ing company by leaving it.

1

Care. And thou art alivays spoiling company | noise and impertinence keep my Lady Touchby coming into it.

wood's head froin working : for hiell is not more Brisk. Pooh, ha, ha, ha! I know you envy me. busy than her brain, nor contains more devils Spite, proud spite, by the gods! and burning en- than that imaginations. vy. I'll be judged by Mellefont here, who gives Care. I thought your fear of her had been and takes raillery better, you or I. Pshaw, man; over. Is not to-iporrow appointed for voar marwhen I say you spoil coinpany by leaving it, ' riage with Cynthia, and her father sir l'aul Plymean you leave nobody for the company to laugh ant come to settle the writings this day, on purat. I think there I was with you, ha! Melle- pose? font?

Mel. True; but you shall judge, whether I Mel. O my word, Brisk, that was a home have not reason to be alarmned. None, besides thrust-you have silenced him.

you and Maskwell, are acquainted with the secret Brisk. Oh, my dear Mellefont, let me perish, of my aunt Touchwood's violent passion for me. if thou art not the soul of conversation, the very Since my first refusal of her addresses, she has essence of wit, and spirit of wine-l'he deuce endeavoured to do me all ill oftices with my untake me, if there were three good things said, or cle; yet has managed them with that subtilty, one understood, since thy amputation from the that to him they have borne the face of kindness, body of our society-Heh! I think that's pretty, while her malice, like a dark lanthorn, only and metaphorical enough: Egad, I could not shone upon me, where it was directed. Stiil it have said it out of thy company-Careless, ha ! gave me less perplexity to prevent the success of Care. llum, what is it?

her displeasure, than to avoid the importunities Brisk. O, mon cæur! What is it! Nay, gad, I of her love; and, of two evils, I thought myself will punish you for want of apprehension: the favoured in her aversion : but, whether urged by deuce take me, if I tell you.

her despair, and the short prospect of time she Mel. No, no, hang him, he has no taste-But, saw to accomplish her designs; whether the dear Brisk, excuse me, I have a little business. hopes of revenge, or of her love, terminated in

Care. Prithee, get thee gone: thou sce'st we the view of this my marriage with Cynthia, I are serious.

know not; but this morning she surprised me in Mel. We'll come immediately, if you'll but go my bed. in, and keep up good humour and sense in the Care. Was there ever such a fury! It is well company: Prithee do—they'll fall asleep else. nature has not put it into her sex's power to ral

Brisk. Egad so they will-Well, I will, I vish. Well, bless us! proceed. What followed ? will; gad you shall command me from the zenith Mel. What at first amazed me; for I looked to the nadir. But the deuce take me, if I say a to have seen her in all the transports of a slighted good thing till you come. But, prithee, dear and revengeful woman : but when I expected rogue, make haste, prithee make haste, I shall thunder from her voice, and lightning in her eyes, burst else. And yonder your uncle, my Jord I saw her melted into tears, and hushed into a Touchwood, swears he will disinherit you, and sigh. It was long before either of us spoke; sir Paul Piyant threatens to disclaim you for a passion had tied her tongue, and amazement son-in-law, and my lord Froth won't dance at your mine. In short, the consequence was thus: she wedding to-morrow; nor the deuce take me, I omitted nothing, that the most violent love could won't write your epithalamium-and see what a urge, or tender words express; which, when she condition you are like to be brought to.

saw had no effect, but still I pleaded honour and Mel. Well, I will speak but three words, and nearness of blood to my uncle, then came the

storm I feared at first; for, starting from my bedBrisk. Enough, enough. Careless, bring your side like a fury, she flew to my sword, and, with apprehension along with you. [Exit Brisk. much ado, I prevented her doing me or herself a Care. Pert coxcomb!

mischief: having disarmed her, in a gust of pasMel. Faith, 'tis a good-natured coxcomb, and sion she left me, and in a resolution, contirined has very entertaining follies—You must be more by a thousand curses, not to close her eyes, till humane to him; at this juncture it will do me they had seen my ruin. service. I'll tell you, I would have mirth conti- Cure. Exquisite woman! But, what the devil ! nued this day at any rate, though patience pur- does she think thou hast no more sense than to chase folly, and attention be paid with noise.- get an heir to disinherit thyself? for, as I take it, There are times, when sense inay be unseasona- this settlement upon you is with a proviso, that ble, as well as truth. Prithee, do thou wear none your uncle have no children. to-day; but allow Brisk to have wit, that thou Mel. It is so. Well, the service you are to do mayst seem a fool.

me will be a pleasure to yourself. I must get you Care. Why, how now, why this extravagant to engage my lady Plyant all this evening, that proposition?

my pious aunt may not work her to her interest; Mel

. 0, I would have no rooin for serious de- and, if you chance to secure her to yourself, you sign, for I am jealous of a plot I would have may incline her to mine. She is handsome, and Vol. II.

Y

follow you.

knows it; is very silly, and thinks she has sense ; | tious person--and the best company.-And and has an old fond busband.

my lord Froth, your lordship is so merry a man, Care. I confess a very fair foundation for a he, he, he ! lover to build upon.

Lord Froth. () foy, sir Paul, what do you Mel. For my lord Froth, he and his wife will mean? Merry! O barbarous! I'd as lieve you be sufficiently taken up with admiring one ano- called me fool. ther, and Brisk's gallantry, as they call it. I will Sir l'aul. Nay, I protest and vow now, 'tis observe my uncle myself; and Jack Maskwell has true; when Mr. Brisk jokes, your lordship’s promised me to watch my aunt narrowly, and give laugh does so become you, he, he, be! me notice upon any suspicion. As for sir Paul, Lor:! Froth. Ridiculous! sir Paul, you're my wise father-in-law that is to be, my dear Cyn- strangely mistaken; I tind chanıpagne is powerthia has such a share in his fatherly fonduess, he ful. I assure you, sir Paul, I laugh at nobody's would scarce make her a moment uneasy, to have jest but my own, or a lady's; I assure you, sir her bappy hereafter.

Paul. Cure. So, you have manned your works; but Brisk. Ilow ? how, my lord? What, affront I wish you may not have the weakest guard, my wit! Let me perish, do I never say any thing where the enemy is strongest.

worthy to be laughed at ? Mel. Maskwell, you mean; pr’ythee why Lord Froth. O foy, don't misapprehend me : should you suspect him?

I don't say so; for I often smile at your concepCure. Faith I cannot help it; you know I tions. But there is nothing more unbecoming a never liked him; I ain a little superstitious in man of quality, than to laugh; 'tis such a vulgar physiognomy.

expression of the passion! every body can laugh. Mel. Tie bas obligations of gratitude to bind | Then, especially, to laugh at the jest of an interior bim to me; his dependence upon any uncle is person, or when any body else of the same quathrough my means.

lity does not laugh with one. Ridiculous! to be . Care. Upon your aunt, you mean.

pleased with what pleases the crowd! Now, when Mel. My aunt!

laugh, I always laugh alone. Care. I am mistaken, if there be not a fami- Brisk. I suppose that's because you laugh at liarity between them you do not suspect, not your own jests, 'egad, ha, ha, ha! withstanding her passion for you.

Lord Froth. lle, he, I swear though! your Niel. Pooh, pooh; nothing in the world but raillery provokes me to a snuile. his design to do nje service; and he endeavours Brisk. Ay, my lord, it's a sign I hit you in the to be well in her esteem, that he may be able to teeth, if you sheiv thein. etiect it.

Lord Froth. Ile, be, he! I swear that's so very Cure. Well, I shall be glad to be mistaken : pretty, I can't forbear. but your aunt's aversion, in her revenge, cannot Lord Touch. Sir Paul, if you please we'll rele any way so ettectually shewn, as in bringing tire to the ladies, and drink a dish of tea tu forth a child to disinherit you. She is handsome settle our heads. and cunning, and waturally wanton. Maskwell Sir Paul. With all my heart.- Mr. Brisk, is tlesh and blood at best, and opportunities be- you'll come to usor call to me when you tween them are frequent. llis atiection to you, joke I'll be ready to laugh incontinently. you have confessed, is grounded upon his interest;

[Ereunt Lord Torch, and Sir Paul. that you have transplanted; and, should it take Mel. But does your lordship never see comroot in my lady, I do not see what you can ex- medies? pect from the fruit.

Lord Froth. O yes, sometimes; but I never Mel. I confess the consequence is visible, laugh. were vour suspicious just.-- But see, the company

Mel. No! is broke up; let us meet them.

Lord Froth, Oh no-nerer laugh, indeed, sir.

Cure. No! Why, what d'ye go there for? Enter Lord Touchwoon, Lord Froti, Sir

Lord Froth. To distinguish myself from the Paul PLYANT, and Brisk.

commonalty, and mortify the poets:--the tellows Lord Touch. Out upon't, nephew_leave grow so conceited, when any of their foolish wit your father-in-law, and me, to maintain our prevails upon the side-boxes.--I swearhe, ground against young people!

he, be! I have otten constrained my inclinations Jel. I beg your lordship's pardon—we were to laugh he, he, he! to avoid giving them enjust returning

couragement. Sir Paul. Were you, sou? Gadsbud, much Mel. You are cruel to yourself, my lord, as better as it is-Good, strange! I swear I'm al- well as malicivus to them. most tipsy- -t'other bottle would have been too Lord Froth. I confess I did myself soine viopowerful for meas sure as can be it would.- lence at first, but now I think I have conquered We wanted your company, but Mr. Brisk- it. where is he? I swcar and vow he's a most face- Brisk. Let me perish, my lord, but there is

to je

something very particular in the humour; 'tis / a patch; my wife shall supply you. Come, gentrue, it makes against wit, and I'm sorry for tlemen; allons! here is company coming. some friends of mine that write; but 'egad, I love

[E.reunt. to be malicious.—Nav, deuce take me, there's wit in't, too-and wit must be foiled by wit;

SCENE II. cut a diamond with a diamond; no other way, 'egad.

Enter Lady Touchwood and MASKWELL. Lord Froth. Oh, I thought you would not be Lady Touch. I'll hear no more-- -Yare false long before you found out the wit.

and ungrateful; come, I know you false. Care. Wit! In what?. Where the devil's the Mask. I have been trail, I contess, madam, for wit in not laughing, when a man has a mind to't?) your ladyship’, service.

Brisk. O lord, why, can't you find it out?- Lady Touch. That I should trust a man, whom Why, there 'tis, in the not laughing-Don't I had known betray his friend! you apprehend me?

-My lord, Careless is a Mask. What friend have I betrayed? or to very honest fellow; but hark ye—you understand whom? me, somewhat heavy, a little shallow, or so.- Ludy Touch. Your fond friend Mellefont, and Why, I'll tell you now; suppose, now, you come

--Can you deny it? up to me Nay, pr’ythee, Careless, be instruct- Mask. I do not. ed. Suppose, as I was saying, you come up to Lady Touch. Have you not wronged my Lord. me, holding your sides, and laughing, as if you who has been a father to you in your wants, and would —Well—I look grave, and ask the cause given you being? Have you not wronged hiin in of this immoderate mirth--You laugh on still, the highest inanver, in his bed? and are not able to tell me--Still I look grave, Mask. With your ladyship’s help, and for not so much as smile.

your service, as I told you before. I cannot Care. Smile, no; what the devil should you deny that, weither. Any thing more, madam? smile at, when you suppose I can't tell you? Lady Touch. More! audacious villain. Oli, Brisk. Pshaw, pshaw, pry'thee don't interrupt what's more is most my shame

--Ilave you not me.—But I tell you, you shall tell me--at last-- dishonoured me? But it shall be a great while first.

Mask. No, that I deny: for I never told in Care. Well; but pr’ythee don't let it be a all my life; so that accusation's answeredgreat while, because I long to have it over. On to the next.

Brisk. Well, then, you tell me some good jest, Lady Touch. Death! do you dally with my or very witty thing, langhing all the while as if passion? Insolent devil! Bút have a care you were ready to die---and I hear it, and provoke me not; for, by the eternal fire, vou look thus. Would not you be disappointed ? shall not escape my vengeance! Calm villain!

Care. No: for if it were a witty thing, I how unconcerned he stands, confessing treachery should not expect you to understand it.

and ingratitude! Is there a vicc more black ! Lord Froth, o foy, Mr. Careless, all the world Oh, I have excuses, thousands, for my faults: fire allows Mr. Brisk to have wit; iny wite says he in my temper; passions in my soul, apt to every has a great deal. I hope you think her a judge. provocation; oppressed, at once, with love and

Brisk. Pooh, my lord, bis voice goes for no- with despair: but a serlate, a thinking villain, thing. I can't tell how to make him apprehend. whose black blood runs temperately bad, what - Take it t'other way. Suppose I say a witty excuse can clear? thing to you?

Mask. Will you be in temper, madam? I Care. Then I shall be disappointed, indeed. would not talk not to be heard. I have been

Alel. Let him alone, Brisk; he is obstinately (She walks about disordered.) a very great rogue bent not to be instructed.

for your sake, and you reproach me with it; I Brisk. I'm sorry for him, the deuce take me. am ready to be a rogue still, to do you service; Mel. Shall we go to the ladies, my lord ? and you are flinging conscience and honour in

Lord Froth. With all my heart;- -methinks my face, to rebate my inclinations. How am I we are a solitude without them.

to behave myself? You know I am your creature, Mel. Or, what say you to another bottle of my life and fortune in your power; to disoblige champagne ?

you brings me cert, 'n ruin.' Allow it, I would Lord Froth. O, for the universe, not a drop betray you, I would not be a traitor to myself more, I beseech you. Oh, intemperate! I have I do not pretend to honesty, because you know a flushing in my face already.

I am a rascal : but I would convince you, from [Takes out a pocket glass, and looks in it, the necessity of my being firm to you. Brisk. Let me see, let me see, my lord! I Lady Touch. Necessity, impudence! Can no broke my glass that was in the lid of my snuff- gratitude incline you, no obligations touch you s bos, Hum! Deuce take me, I have encouraged Were you not in the nature of a scrvant, and a pimple here too. [Takes the glass, and looks. have not I, in effect, made you lord of all, of me,

Lord Froth. Then you must inortify him with and of my lord? Where is that humble love, the

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