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my dear?

come to you.

Lord Froth. No, no, I'll allow Mr Brisk; / why, how now, who are you? What am I? Slicome, have you nothing about you to shew him, dikins, can't I govern you? What did I marry you

for? Am I not absolute and uncontroulable Is Lady Froth. Yes, I believe I have. Mr Brisk, it fit a woman of my spirit and conduct should will you go into the next room, and there I'll be contradicted in a matter of this concern? shew you what I have.

Sir Paul, It concerns me, and only me :-Be[Ereunt Lady Froth and Brisk. sides, I am not to be governed at all times. Lord Froth. I'll walk a turn in the garden, and when I am in tranquillity, my lady Plyant shall

[Erit LORD FROTII. command sir Paul; but, when I am provoked to Miel. You are thoughtful, Cynthia.

fury, I cannot incorporate with patience and reaCyn. I am thinking, though marriage makes son;-as soon may tigers match with tigers, lambs man and wife one flesh, it leaves them still two with lambs, and every creature couple with its fools; and they become more conspicuous by foe, as the poet says.--. setting off one another.

Lady Pry, He's hot-headed still! 'tis in vain Mel. That's only, when two fools meet, and to talki to you ; but, romeniber, I have a curtaintheir follies are opposed.

lecture for you, you disobedient, headstrong Cyn. Nay, I have known two wits meet, and, brute. by the opposition of their wit, render themselves Sir Paul, No, 'tis because I won't be headas ridiculous as fools. 'Tis an odd game we are strong, because I wou't be a brute, and have my going to play at; what think you of drawing head fortified, that I am thus exasperated.-But stakes, and giving over in time?

I will protect my honour, and yonder is the vioMel. No, bang it, that's not endeavouring to lator of my fame. win, because it is possible we may lose; since Lady Ply. 'Tis my honour that is concerned, we have shuffled and cut, let us e'en turn up and the violation was intended to me.--Your hotrump now,

nour! you have none but what is in my keeping, Cyn. Then, I find it is like cards; if either of and I can dispose of it when I please—therefore, us have a good hand, it is an accident of fortune. don't provoke me.

del. No, marriage is rather like a game at Sir Paul. Hum! gads-bud, she says true--Well, bowls: fortune indeed inakes the match, and the my lady, march on, I will fight under you, then; two nearest, and sometimes the two farthest are I am convinced as far as passion will permit. together, but the game depends entirely upon (Lady PLYANT and Sir Pall come up to judgment,

MELLEFONT. Cyu. Still it is a game, and consequently one Lady Ply. Inhuman and treacherousof us must be a loser.

Sir Paul. Thou serpent, and first tempter of Mel. Not at all; only a friendly trial of skill, womankindand the winnings to be laid out in an entertain Cyn. Bless me, sir! Madam, what mean you?

Sir Paul. Thy, Thy, come away, Thy, touch him

not; come hither, girl; go not near him; there is Enter Sir Paul PLYANT and Lady PLYANT. nothing but deceit about him ; snakes are in his

peruke, and the crocodile of Nilus is in bis belly; Sir Paul, Gads bud! I am provoked into a fer- he will eat thce up alive. mentation, as my lady Froth says; was ever the Lady Ply. Dishonourable, impudent creature ! like read of in story?

Nici. For Ileaven's sake, madam, to whom do Lady Ply. Sir Paul, have patience; let me you

direct this language? alone to rattle hiin up.

Lady Ply. Ilave I behaved myself with all the Sir Paul. Pray your ladyship give me leave to decorum and nicety, befitting the person of sir be angry-I'll rattle him up, I warrant you, I'll Paul's wife? Ilave I preserved my honour, as firk him with a certiorari.

it were, in a snow-house for these three years Lady Ply. You firk himn! I'll firk him myself. past? Have I been white and unsullied even by Pray, sir Paul, hold you contented.

sir Paul bimself? Cyn. Bless me, what makes my father in such Sir Paul. Nay, she has been an invincible wife, a passion -I never saw him thus before, eveu to me, that's the truth ont.

Sir Paul. Hold yourself contented, my lady Lady Ply. Have I, I say, preserved myself Plyant-I find passion coming upon me by intla-like a fair sheet of paper, for you to make a blot tion, and I cannot submit as formerly; therefore, upon? give way.

Sir Paul. And she shall make a siniile with any Lady Pły. How now! will you be pleased to woman in England. retire, and

Mel. I am so amazed, I know not what to say. Sir Paul. No, marry, will I not be pleased; I Sir Paul, Do you think my daughter, this am pleased to be angry, that is my pleasure at pretty creature-gads-bud, she's a wife for a chethis time.

rubini! Do you think her fit for nothing but to be Mlel. What can this mean?

a stalking horse, to stand before you, while you Ludy Ply. Gads my life, the man's distracted! I take aim at my wife? Gadsbud, I was never an.

Inent.

port itself.

gry before in my life, and I'll never be appeased | what would you have to answer for, if you should ayain.

provoke me to frailty? Alas! humanity is feeble, Mel. Hell and damnation! this is my aunt; Heaven knows ! very feeble, and unable to supsuch malice can be engendered no where else.

Aside. Mel. Where am I? Is it day? and am I awake? Lady Ply. Sir Paul, take Cynthia from his Madamsight; leave me to strike hiin with the remorse Lady Ply. And nobody knows how circumof his intended crime.

stances may happen together ;-to my thinking, Cyn. Pray, sir, stay! hear him; I dare affirm now, I could resist the strongest temptationhe's innocent.

but, yet, I know, 'tis impossible for me to know Sir Paul. Innocent! Why, hark’ee, come hither, whether I could or not; there's no certainty in Thy; hark’ee, I had it from his aunt, my sister the things of this life. Touchwood-Gads-bud, he does not care a far Mel. Madam, pray give me leave to ask you thing for any thing of thee, but thy portion; why, one question.he's in love with any wife; he would have tanta Lady Ply. O lord, ask me the question ! I'll lized thce, and made a cuckold of thy poor fa- swear I'll refuse it; I'll swear I'll deny it, therether; and that would certainly have broke my fore don't ask me; nay, you shan't ask me; I heart-I am sure, if ever I should have horns, swear I'll deny it. O gemini, you have brought they would kill me; they would never come all the blood into my face; I warrant I am as red kindly; I should die of them, like a child that as a turky-cock; O fye! cousin Mellefont. was cutting his teeth) should, indeed, Thy— Mel. Nay, madam, hear me; I mean therefore, come away; but Providence has pre Lady Plý. Hear you? no, no; I'll deny you vented all; therefore, come away when I bid you. first, and hear you afterwards. For one does not Cyn. I must obey.

know how one's mind may change upon hearing. [Ereunt Sir Paul and Cyntuia. -Ilearing is one of the senses, and all the senses Lady Ply. Oh, such a thing ! the impiety of are fallible; I won't trust my honour, I assure it startles me—to wrong so good, so fair a crea- you; my honour is infallible and uncomatible. ture, and one that loves you tenderly-—'Tis a Mel. For Heaven's sake, madambarbarity of barbarities, and nothing could be Lady Ply. O name it no more-Bless me, how guilty of it

can you talk of Heaven, and have so much wickdiel. But the greatest villain imagination canedness in your heart? May be you don't think it form, I grant it; and next to the villainy of such a sin !--they say, some of you gentlemen don't a fact, is the villainy of aspersing me with the think it a sin may be it is no sin to them that guilt. How? Which way was I to wrong her? don't think it so; indeed, if I did not think it a For yet I understand you not.

sin! but still my honour, if it were no sin !-but Lady Ply. Why, gads my life, cousin Melle- then to marry my daughter for the conveniency font, you cannot be so peremptory as to deny it, of frequent opportunities I'll never consent to when I tax you with it to your face ; for, now that; as sure as can be I'll break the inatch. sir Paul is gone, you are corum nobus.

Níel. Death and amazement !-Madam, upon Mel. By Heaven, I love her more than life, my knees

Ludy Ply. Nay, nay, rise up; come, you shall Lady Ply. Fiddle, faddle, don't tell me of see my good-nature. I know love is powerful, this and that and every thing in the world, but and nobody can help his passion : 'tis not your give me mathemacular demonstration--answer me fault, nor, I swear, it is not mine !-How can I directly-But I have not patience-Oh! the im- help it, if I have charms ? And how can you help piety of it, as I was saying, and the unparalleled it, if you are made a captive ? I swear it is wickedness! O merciful father! How could you pity it should be a fault-but my honour-well, think to reverse nature so, to make the daughter but your honour too, but the sin well, but the the means of procuring the mother?

necessity~0 lord, here's somebody coming, I Mel. The daughter to procure the mother! dare not stay.-Well, you must consider of your

Ludy Ply. Ay, for though I am not Cynthia's crime, and strive as much as can be against itown niother, I am her father's wife, and that's strive, be sure—but don't be melancholic, don't near enough to make it incest.

despair-but never think that I'll grant you any Mel. Incest! O! my precious aunt, and the think; O lord, no;- but be sure you lay aside all devil in conjunction ! (Aside. thoughts of the marriage; for though I know

you Lady Ply. O reflect upon the horror of that, don't love Cynthia, only as a blind for your pasand then the guilt of deceiving every body; niar-sion to me, yet it will make me jealous-O Lord, rying the daughter, only to make a cuckold of the what did I say? Jealous ! no, no, I can't be jeafather; and then seducing me, debauching my lous, for I must not love you therefore, don't purity, and perverting me from the road of vir- bope—but don't despair neither—0, they're comtue, in which I have trod thus long, and never ing, I must fly.

[Erit. made one trip, not one fuur pus; O consider it ! Mel. [ufter a pause.) So then spite of my

care and foresight, I am caught, caught in my ed to have been long secretly in love with Cynsecurity. Yet this was but a shallow artifice, un thia ; that did my business; that convinced your worthy of my Machiavelian aunt. There must aunt I might be trusted ; since it was as much be more behind; this is but the first flash, the my interest as her's to break the match : then she priming of her engine; destruction follows hard, thought my jealousy might qualify me to assist if not most presently prevented.

her in her revenge. And, in short, in that beliet

told me the secrets of her heart. At length, we Enter MASKWELL.

made this agreement; if I accomplish her designs Maskwell

, welcome! Thy presence is a view of (as I told you betore), she has engaged to put land, appearing to my shipwrecked hopes; the Cynthia, with all her fortune, into my power. witch has raised the storm, and her ministers Mel. She is most gracious in her favour.—Well, have done their work; you see the vessels are and dear Jack, how hast thou contrived? parted.

Mask. I would not have you stay to hear it Mask. I know it; I met sir Paul towing away now: for I don't know but she may come this Cynthia. Come, trouble not your head ; I'll join way; I am to meet her anon; after that, I will you together to-morrow morning, or drown "be- tell you the whole matter : be here, in this galletween you in the attempt.

ry, an hour hence; by that time, I imagine, our Mel. There is comfort in a hand stretched out consultation may be over. to one that is sinking, though never so far off. Mel. I will ; till then, success attend thee ! Mask. No sinking, nor no danger-Come,

[Exit. cheer up; why, you do not know, that while Í Mask. Till then, success will attend me; for plead for you, your aunt has given me a retaining when I meet you, I meet the only obstacle to fee ;--nay, I am your greatest enemy, and she my fortune. Cynthia, let thy beauty gild my does but journey-work under me.

crimes; and whatsoever I cominit of treachery or Mel. Ha ! how is this?

deceit shall be imputed to me as a merit. TreachMask. What do ye think of my being employ: ery! What treachery? Love cancels all the bonds ed in the execution of all her plots? Ha, ha, ha! of friendship, and sets men right upon their first by Heaven, it is true; I have undertaken to foundations. Duty to kings, piety to parents, break the match; I have undertaken to make gratitude to benefactors, and fidelity to friends your uncle disinherit you, to get you turned out are different and particular ties; but the name of of doors, and to----ha, ha, ha! I can't tell you rival cuts them all asunder, and is a general acfor laughing -Oh! she has opened her heart quittance-Rival is equal; and love, like death,

I am to turn you a grazing, and to a: universal leveller of mankind. Ha! but is ha, ha, ha marry Cynthia myself: There's a there not such a thing as honesty? Yes, and plot for you!

whosoever has it about him, bears an enemy in Mel. Ila! O see, I see my rising sun ! light his breast : for your honest man, as I take it, is breaks through clouds upon me, and I shall live that nice, scrupulous, conscientious person, who in day-O my Maskwell ! how shall I thank will cheat nobody but himself; such another coxor praise thee! thou hast outwitted woman. comb as your wise man, who is too hard for all But tell me, how couldst thou thus get into her the world, and will be made a fool of by nobody confidence? Ha! how? But was it her contribut himself. Ha, ha, ha! well, for wisdom and vance to persuade my lady Plyant into this extra- honesty, give me cunning and hypocrisy. Oh, it vagant belief?

is such a pleasure to angle for fair-faced fools ! Mask. It was; and, to tell you the truth, I en- Then, that hungry gudgeon, Credulity, will hite couraged it for your diversion : though it make at any thing—Why, let me see, I have the same you a little uneasy for the present, yet the reflec- face, the same words and accents, when I speak tion of it must needs be entertaining I war what I do think, and when I speak what I do not rant she was very violent at first.

think—the very same—and dear dissimulation is Mel. Ha, ha, ha! ay, a very fury; but I was the only art not to be known from nature. most afraid of her violence at last. If you had Why will mankind be fools, and be deceived ? not come as you did, I do not know what she And why are friends' and lovers' oaths beliemight have attempted.

ved? Mask. Ha, ha, ha! I know her temper. When each, who searches strictly his own mind, Well, you must know, then, that all my contri May so much fraud and power of baseness find. vances were but bubbles; till, at last, I pretend

(Erit.

to me

ACT III.

WOOD.

SCENE I.

cing to me, which create your satisfaction or disa

quiet. Enter Lord Touchwood, and Lady Touch

Lady Touch. But those which cause iny dis

quiet I am willing to have remote from your hearLudy Touch. My lord, can you blame my bro- ing. Good my lord, don't press me. ther Piyant, if he refuse his daughter upon this Lord Touch. Don't lige me to press you. provocation? The contract is void, by this un Lady Touch. Whatever it was, it is past;

and heard of impiety.

that is better to be unknown which cannot be Lord Touch. I don't believe it true; he has bet- prevented; therefore, let me beg of you to rest ter principles-Pho, 'tis nonsense. Come, come, satisfiedI know my lady Plyant has a large eye, and would Lord Touch. When you have told me, I will centre every thing in her own circle; 'tis not the Lady Touch. You won't. first time she has mistaken respect for love, and Lord Touch. By my life, my dear, I will. made sir Paul jealous of the civility of an unde Ludy Touch. What if you cannot ? signing person, the better to bespeak his security Lord Touch, How? Then, I inust know; nay, in her unfeigncd pleasures.

I will. No inore tritling-.I charge you tell me Lady Touch. You censure hardly, my lord; my By all our mutual peace to come ; upon your dusister's honour is very well known,

ty Lord Touch. Yes, I believe I know some that Lady Touch. Nay, my lord, you need say ng have been familiarly acquainted with it. This is more to make me lay my heart before you; but a little trick, wrought by some pitiful contriver, don't be thus transported; compose yourself; it envious of my nephew's merit.

is not of concern to make you lose one minute's Lady Touch. Nay, my lord, it may be so, and temper; it is not, indeed, my dear. Nay, by this I hope it will be found so : but that will require kiss you shall not be angry. O Lord! I wish I had some time; for, in such a case as this, demon- not told you any thing. Indeed, my lord, you stration is necessary,

have frighted me. Nay, look pleased, I will tell Lord Touch. There should have been demon- you. stration of the contrary, too, before it had been Lord Touch. Well, well. believed

Lady Touch. Nay, but will you be calm?Lady Touch. So, I suppose, there was. Indeed, it is nothing butLord Touch. How? Where? When?

Lord Touch. But what? Lady Touch. That I cannot tell; nay, I don't Lady Touch. But will you promise me not to say there was I am willing to believe as favour- be angry?-Nay, you must--not to be angry with ably of my nephew as I can.

Mellefont-I dare swear he is sorry; and, were Lord Touch. I don't know that. [IIalf aside. it to do again, would not

Lady Touch. How? Don't you believe that, Lord Touch. Sorry, for what? 'Death! you say you, my lord?

rack me with delay. Lord Touch. No, I don't say so I confess I Lady Touch. Nay, no great matter, onlyam troubled to find you so cold in his defence. Well, I have your promise-Pho, why, nothing;

Lady Touch. His defence! Bless me, would only your nephew had a mind to amuse himself you have me defend an ill things

sometimes with a little gallantry towards me. Lord Touch. You believe it, then?

Nay, I cannot think he meant any thing seriousLady Touch. I don't know ; I am very unwill-ly, but methought it looked oddly. ing to speak my thoughts in any thing that may Lord Touch. Confusion and hell, what do I be to my cousin's disadvantaye. Besides, I find, hear! my lord, you are prepared to receive an ill im Lady Touch. Or, may be, he thought he was pression from any opinion of mine which is not not enough akin to me upon your account, and consenting with your own : but, since I am like had a mind to create a nearer relation on his owu; to be suspected in the end, and 'tis a pain any a lover, you know, my lord-ha, ha, ha! Well, longer to dissemble, I own it to you : In short, Í but that's all. Now you have it; well

, rememdo believe it, nay, and can believe any thing ber your promise, my lord, and don't take any now worse, if it were laid to his charge-Don't ask tice of it to him. me my reasons, my lord, for they are not fit to Lord Touch. No, no, no—Damnation ! be told you.

Lady Touch. Nay, I swear you must not-A Lord Touch. I am amazed ! Here must be little harmless mirth-only misplaced, that's all. something inore than ordinary in this. (Aside.] But if it were more, it is over now, and all is well. Nut fit to be told me, madam? You have no in- For my part, I have forgot it; and so has he, I terest wherein I am not concerned; and, conse- hope; for I have not heard any thing from him quently, the same reasons ought to be convin- | these two days. Vol. II.

&

to

Lord Touch. These two days! Is it so fresh? | Mellefont's design upon you; but still using my Unnatural villain! 'Death, I will have him strip- utmost endeavours tv dissuade him : though my ped, and turned oaked out of my doors this no- friendship and love to him has made me conceal ment, and let him rot and perish, incestuous it, yet you may say, I threatened, the next time brute !

be attempted any thing of that kind, to discover Lady Touch. Oh, for Heaven's sake, my lord, it to my lord. you will ruin me, if you take such public notice Lady Touch. To what end is this? of it; it will be a town-talk : consider your own, Mask. It will confirm my lord's opinion of my and my honour-Nay, I told you, you would not honour and honesty, and create in him a new conbe satisfied when you knew it.

fidence in me, which (should this design miscarry) Lord Touch. Before I have done, I will be sa- will be necessary to the forming another plot that tisfied. Ungrateful monster! How long? I have in my head-to cheat you as well as the Lady Touch. Lord ! I don't know I wish rest.

[Aside. my lips had grown together when I told you Lady Touch. I'll do it. Almost a twelvemonth-Nay, I won't tell you any Mask. Excellent! You had best go

iny lord, more till you are yourself. Pray, :ny lord, don't keep him as long as you can in his closet, and I let the company see you in this disorder-Yet, I doubt not but you will mould him to what you confess, I cannot blame you; for I think I was please; your guests are so engaged in their own never so surprised in my life. Who would have follies and intrigues, they'll miss neither of you. thought my nephew could have so misconstrued When shall we meet? my kindness—But will you go into your closet, Lady Touch. At eight this evening, in my and recover your temper. I will make an excuse chamber; there, rejoice at our success, and toy of sudden business to the company, and come to away an hour in mirth.

[Erit. you. Pray, good dear my lord, let me beg you Mask. I will not fail. I know what she means do now: I will come immediately, and tell you by toying away an hour well enough. Pox, I all-Will you, my lord ?

have lost all my appetite to her; yet she's a fine Lord Touch. I will-I am mute with wonder. woman, and I loved her once. Should she smoke

Lady Touch. Well, but go now; here is some- my design upon Cynthia, I were in a fine pickle. body coming.

She has a damned penetrating head, and knows Lord Touch. Well, I go-You won't stay, for how to interpret a coldness the right way; thereI would hear more of this.

(Exit. fore, I must dissemble ardour and ecstacy, that's Lady Touch. I follow instantly—So. resolved : Ha! yonder comes Mellefont thought

ful. Let me think: meet her at eight-humEnter MASKWELL,

ha! by Heaven I have it—if I can speak to my Mask. This was a master-piece, and did not lord before-I will deceive them all, and yet scneed my help—though I stood ready for a cue to cure myself; 'twas a lucky thought ! Well, this come in and confirm all, had there been occasion. double-dealing is a jewel. Here he comes ! now

Ludy Touch. Have you seen Mellefont?

Mask. I have; and am to meet him here about [MASKWELL, pretending not to see him, walks this time.

by him, and speaks as it were to himself:] Lady Touch. How does he bear his disappointment?

Enter Mellefont, musing, Mask. Secure in my assistance, he seemed not Mercy on us ! what will the wickedness of this much afflicted, but rather laughed at the shallow world come to? 'artifice, which so little time must, of necessity, Alel. Ilow now, Jack? What, so full of con discover. Yet he is apprehensive of some farther templation that you run over ! design of yours, and has engaged me to watch Alask. I'm glad you are come, for I could not you. I believe he will hardly be able to prevent contain myself any longer, and was just going to your plot; yet I would have you use caution and give vent to a secret, which nobody but you ought expedition.

to drink down. Your aunt is just gone from Lady Touch. Expedition indeed; for all we do hence. must be peformed in the remaining part of this Mel. And having trusted thee with the secrets evening, and before the company break up, lest of her soul, thou art villainously bent to discover my lord should cool, and have an opportunity to them all to me, ha? talk with him privatelyMy lord must not see Mask. I am afraid my frailty leans that wayhim again.

but I dont know, whether I can, in honour, discoMask. By no means; therefore, you

ver them all. gravate my lord's displeasure to a degree that will Mel. All, all, man. What, you may, in honour, admit of no conference with him-What think betray her as far as she betrays herself. No trayou of mentioning me?

gical design upon my person, I hope. Lady Touch. How?

Mask. No, but it is a conical design upon Mask. To iny lord, as having been privy to mine.

for me

nust ag

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