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Wit. Good, good, Mirabell, le drole! Good, | fore he speaks ; we have all our failings: you good ! hang him! don't let us talk of him. Fain- are too hard upon him; you are, faith. Let me all, how does your lady? gad, I say any thing in excuse bim-I can defend most of his faults, exthe world to get this fellow out of my head. Icept one or two; one he has, that's the truth beg pardon, that I should ask a man of pleasure, on't; if he were my brother, I could not acand the town, a question at once so foreign and quit him—that, indeed, I could wish were domestic. But I talk like an old maid at a mar- otherwise. riage; I don't know what I say: but she is the Mira. Aye marry, what's that, Witwould ? best woman in the world.
Wit. O pardon me! expose the informities of a Fain. 'Twas well you don't know what you friend! No, my dear, excuse me there. say, or else your commendation would go near to Fain. What, I warrant he's insincere, or 'tis make me either vain or jealous.
some such trifle. Wit. No man in town lives well with a wife Wit. No, no; what if he be? 'tis no matter but Fainall. Your judgment, Mirabell? for that; his wit will excuse that; a wit shqyld
Mira. You had better step and ask his wife, no more be sincere, than a woman constant; one if you would be credibly informed.
argues a want of parts, as t'other of beauty. Wit. Mirabell
Mira. May be you think him too positive? Mira. Aye
Wit. No, no, his being positive is an incentive Wit. My dear, I ask ten thousand pardons;- to argument, and keeps up conversation. gad, I have forgot what I was going to say to Fain. Too illiterate. you.
Wit. That! that's his happiness—his want of Mira. I thank you heartily, heartily.
learning gives him the more opportunity to shew Wit. No, but prithee, excuse me,my memo- his natural parts. ry is such a memory.
Mira. He wants words.
Fain. He's impudent.
Wit. No. Fain. You may allow him to win of you Mira. What, he speaks unseasonable truths at play; for you are sure to be too hard for him sometimes, because he has not wit enough to inat repartee : Since you monopolize the wit, that vent an evasion. is between you, the fortune must be his of Wit. Truth! ha, ha, ha! No, no; since you
will have it, I mean, he never speaks truth at all, Mird, I don't find, that Petulant confesses that's all. He will lie like a chamberinaid, or the superiority of wit to be your talent, Wit a woman of quality's porter. Now, that is a would.
fault. Wit. Come, come, you are malicious now, and would breed debates--Petulant's my friend,
Enter COACHIMAN. and a very pretty fellow, and a very honest fel Coach. Is master Petulant here, mistress? low, and has a smattering—faith and troth a Bet. Yes. pretty deal of an odd sort of small wit: nay, I Coach. Three gentlewomen in a coach would do him justice, I'm his friend, I won't wrong speak with him. him. And, if he had any judgement in the
Fuin. O brave Petulant! three world, he would not be altogether contempti Bet. I'll tell him." ble. Come, come, don't detract from the merits Coach, You must bring two dishes of chocoof iny friend.
late, and a glass of cinnamon-water, Fain. You don't take your friend to be over
(E.reunt Coachman and BETTY. nicely bred?
Wit. That should be for two fasting bona ra Wit. No, no, hang him, the rogue has no man- bas, and a procuress troubled with wind. Now, ners at all, that I must own—No more breed- you may know what the three are. ing than a bum-baily, that I grant you— 'Tis pi Mira. You are very free with your friend's acty; the fellow has fire and life.
quaintance. Mira. What, courage?
Wit. Aye, aye, friendship without freedom is Wit. Hum, faith I don't know as to that,-1 as dull as love without enjoyment, or wine withcan't say as to that. Yes, faith, in controversy, out toasting; but, to tell you a secret, these are he'll contradict any body.
trulls, whom he allows coach-hire, and someMira. Though it were a man, whom he fear-thing more, by the week, to call on him once a ed; or a woman, whom he loved.
day at public places. Wit. Well, well, he does not always think be Mira. How!
Wit. You shall see he wont go to them, be Pet. Enough, let them trundle. Anger helps cause there's no more company here to take no- complexion, saves paint. tice of him. Why this is nothing to what he used Fain. This continence is all dissembled; this to do: before he found out this way, I have is in order to have something to bray of the next known him call for himself
time he makes court to Millamant, and swear he Fain. Call for himself! what dost thou mean? has abandoned the whole sex for her sake.
Wit. Mean! why he would slip you out of this Mira. Have you not left off your impudent chocolate-house, just when you had been talking pretensions there yet? I shall cut your throat, to him. As soon as your back was turned some time or other, Petulant, about that busiwhip he was gone; then trip to his lodging, clap ness. on a hood and a scarf, and a mask, slap into a Pet, Aye, aye, let that passhackney-coach, and drive hither to the door again other throats to be cutin a trice; where he would send in for himself, Mira. Meaning mine, sir? that is, I mean, call for himself, wait for himself, Pet. Not I; I mean nobody; I know nothing; nay, and what's more, not finding himself, some- But there are uncles and nephews in the world; times leave a letter for himself.
and there may be rivals-What, then ? all's one Mira. I confess this is soinething extraordina- for that ry. I believe he waits for himself now, he is so Mira. Now, harkee, Petulant, come hitherlong a coming: 0, I ask his pardon.
Explain, or I shall call your interpreter,
Pet. Explain! I know nothing -Why Enter PETULANT and Betty.
you have an uncle, have you not, lately come to Bet. Sir, the coach stays.
town, and lodges by my lady Wishfort's ? Pet. Well, well; I coine—'Sbud, a man had Mira. True. as good be a professed midwife, as a professed Pet. Why that's enough; you and he are not gallant, at this rate; to be knocked up, and rai-friends: and if he should marry and have a sed at all hours, and in all places. Deuce on child, you may be disinherited, ha! them, I wont come-D'ye hear, tell them I wont Mira. Where hast thou stumbled upon all come -Let them snivel and cry their hearts this truth! out.
(Erit Betty. Pet. All's one for that; why, then, say I Fain. You are very cruel, Petulant.
know something. Pet. All's one, let it pass I have a hu Mira. Come, thou art an honest fellow, Pemour to be cruel.
tulant, and shalt make love to my mistress; thou Mira. I hope they are not persons of condi- shalt, faith. What hast thou heard of my uncle? tion, that you use at this rate.
Pet. I! nothing; I! If throats are to be cut, Pet. Condition ! condition's a dried fig, if I let swords clash : snug's the word; I shrug and am not in huinour -By this hand, if they am silent. were your
- your what-r'ye-call-'ems Mira. Oraillery, raiHery! Come, I know themselves, they must wait, or rub off, if I am thou art in the women's secrets--what, you're a not in the vein.
cabalist? I know you staid at Millamant's last Mira. What-d'ye-call-ems ! what are they, night, after I went. Was there any mention Witwould ?
made of my uncle or me? tell me. If thou Wit. Empresses, my dear-By your what hadst but good nature equal to thy wit, Petulant, d'ye-call-'ems he means Sultana queens.
Tony Witwould, who is now thy competitor in Pet. Aye, Roxalanas !
fame, would shew as dim by thee as a dead Mira. Cry you mercy,
whiting's eye by a pearl of orient; he would no Fain, Witwould says they are
more be seen by thee, than Mercury is by the Pet. What does he say they are?
sun. Come, I'm sure thou wo't tell me. Wit. I? fine ladies, I say.
Pet. If I do, will you grant me common sense, Pet. Pass on, Witwould-Harkee, by this then, for the future? light his relations—Two co-heiresses, his cousins, Mira. Faith I'll do what I can for thee; and and an old aunt, who loves intriguing better than !!!l pray that it may be granted thee in the mean a conventicle.
time. Wit. Ha, ha, ha! I had a mind to see how the Pet. Well, harkee. rogue would come off-Ha, ha, ha! gad, I can't
[They talk apart. be angry with him, if he had said they were my Fain. Petulant and you, both, will tind Miramother and my sisters.
bell as warm a rival as a lover. Mira. No !
Wit. 'Pshaw, 'pshaw! that she laughs at PeWit. No; the rogue's wit and readiness of in- tulant, is plain. And, for my part—but that it is vention charm mc, dear Petulant.
almost a fashion to admire her, I should
harkee-to tell you a secret, but let it go no farEnter Betty.
ther-between friends, I shall never break my Bet. They are gone, sir, in great anger.
heart for her.
Mira. I thank you, I know as much as my Wit. She's handsome; but she's a sort of an curiosity requires. Fainall, are you for the uncertain woman.
Mall ? Fain. I thought you had died for her.
Fain. Aye, I'll take a turn before dinner. Wit. Umph-no
Wit. Aye, we'll all walk in the park; the laFain. She has wit.,
dies talk of being there. Wit. 'Tis what she will hardly allow any body Mira. I thought you were obliged to watch else--now, I should hate that, if she were as for vour brother sir Wilfull's arrival. handsome as Cleopatra. Mirabell is not su sure Wit. No, no; he comes to his aunt's, my lady of her, as he thinks for.
Wishfort: plague on him, I shall be troubled Fuin. Why do you think so ?
with him, too; what shall I do with the fool? Wit. We staid pretty late there last night; Pet. Beg him for his estate, that I may beg and heard something of an uncle to Mirabell, you afterwards; and so have but one trouble who is ļately come to town, and is between him with you
both. and the best part of his estate; Mirabell and he Wit. O rare Petulant! thou art as quick as fire are at some distance, as my lady Wishfort has in a frosty morning; thou shalt to the Mall with been told; and, you know, she hates Mirabell us, and we'll be very severe. worse than a quaker hates a purrot, or than a Pet. Enough, I'm in a humour to be severe. fishmonger hates a hard frost. Whether this Mira. Are you? Pray, then, walk by your. uncle has seen Mrs Millamant or not, I cannot selves—let not us be accessary to your putting say; but there were items of such a treaty being the ladies out of countenance with your senseless in embryo; and, if it should come to life, poor ribaldry, which you roar out aloud as often as Mirabell would be, in some sort, unfortunately they pass by you; and, when you have made a fobbed, i'faith!
handsome woman blush, then you think you have Fain. 'Tis impossible Millamant should heark- been severe.
Pet. What, what? then let them either shew Wit. Faith, my dear, I can't tell; she's a wo- their innocence, by not understanding what they man, and a kind of a humourist.
hear, or else shew their discretion hy not hearMira. And this is the sum of what you could ing what they would not be thought to undercollect last night?
stand. Pet. The quintessence. May be Witwould Mirg. But hast not thou, then, sense enough knows more; he staid longer - besides, they to know, that thou ought'st to be most ashamed never mind him; they say any thing before him. thyself, when thou hast put another out of coun
Mira. I thought you had been the greatest fa- tenance ? vourite.
Pet. Not I, by this hand -I always take Pet. Aye, tête à tête; but not in public, be- blushing either for a sign of guilt, or ill-breedcause I make remarks.
ing, Mira. You do?
Mira. I confess you ought to think so. You Pet. Aye, aye; I'm malicious, man. Now, are in the right, that you may plead the error of he's soft, you know; they are not in awe of him your judgment, in defence of your practice. --the fellow's well-bred; he's what you call a Where modesty's ill manners, 'tis but fit what d'ye-call themn, a fine gentleman; but he's That impudence and malịce pass for wit. silly withal.
en to it.
SCENE I.-St James's Park.
us; and that the man so often should outlive the
lover. But, say what you will, 'tis better to be Enter Mrs Fainall, and Mrs Marwood.
left, than never to have been loved.) To pass Mrs Fain. Aye, aye, dear Marwood, if we our youth in dull indifference, to refuse the will be happy, we must find the means in our sweets of life, because they once must leave us, selves, and among ourselves. Men are ever in is as preposterous, as to wish to have been born extremes ; either doating, or averse. While old, because we one day must be old. For my they are lovers, if they have fire and sense, their part, my youth may wear and waste, but it shall jealousies are insupportable : and, when they never rust in my possession. cease to love, (we ought to think at least) they Mrs Fain. Then, it seems, you dissemble an lothe: they look upon us with horror and dis- aversion to mankind, only in compliance to my taste; they meet us like the ghosts of what we mother's humour. were, and, as from such, fly from us.
Mrs Mar. Certainly. To be free; I have no Mrs Mar. True; 'tis an unhappy circum taste of those insipid, dry discourses, with which stance of life, that love should ever die before our sex, of force, must entertain themselves
most overcome me.
apart from men. We may affect endearments MIrs Fain. Do I? I think I ain a little sick o' to each other, profess eternal friendships, and the sudden. seemn to dote like lovers; but 'tis not in our na Mrs Mar. What ails you? tures long to persevere. Love will resume his Mrs Fain. My husband. Don't you see him? empire in our breasts, and every heart, or soon He turned short upon me unawares, and has alor late, resume and re-admit him as its lawful tyrant. Mrs Fain. Bless me! how have I been decei
Enter FAINALL and MIRABELL. ved? Why, you're a professed libertine,
Mrs Mar. Ha, ha, ha! he comes opportunely Mrs Alar. You see my friendship by my free for you. dom. Conie, be as sincere; acknowledge that N[rs Fuin. For you; for he has brought Mirayour sentiments agree with mine.
bell with him. Mrs Fain. Never.
Fain. My dear! Mrs Mar. You hate mankind ?
Mrs Fain. My soul ! Mrs Fain. Heartily, inveterately.
Fain. You don't look well to-day, child. Mrs Mar. Your husband?
Mrs Fain. D'ye think so? Mrs Fain. Most transcendently; aye, though Mira. He's the only man that does, madam. I say it, meritoriously.
Mrs Fain. The only man that would tell me Mrs Mar. Give me your
it. so, at least; and the only man from whom I Mrs Fain. There.
could hear it without mortification. Mrs Mar. I join with you; what I have said, Fain. Oh, my dear, I am satisfied of your tenhas been to try you.
derness; I know you cannot resent any thing Mrs Fain. Is it possible? dost thou hate those from me; especially what is an effect of my convipers, men?
Mrs Mar. I have done hating them, and an Mrs Fain. Mr Mirabell, my mother interruptnow come to despise them; the next thing I have ed you in a pleasant relation, last night; I could to do, is eternally to forget them.
fain hear it out. Mrs Fain. There spoke the spirit of an Ama Mira. The persons, concerned in that affair, zon, a Penthesilea.
have yet a tolerable reputation. I am afraid Mr Mrs Mar. And yet I am thinking sometimes Fainall will be censorious. to carry my aversion farther.
Mrs Fain. He has a humour more prevailing Mrs Fain. How?
than his curiosity, and will willingly dispense Mrs Mar. By marrying; if I could but find with the hearing of one scandalous story, to one, that loved me very well, and would be avoid giving an occasion to make another, by bethoroughly sensible of ill usage, I think I should ing seen to walk with his wife.
This way, M do myself the violence of undergoing the cere Mirabell, and, I dare promise, you will oblige us niony.
buth. Mrs Fain. You would not dishonour him?
[Ereunt Mrs FainALL and MIRABELL. Mrs Mar. No, but I'd make hiin believe I Fain. Excellent creature! well, sure, if I did, and that's as bad.
should live to be rid of my wife, I should be a Mrs Fain. Why, had you not as good do it?
miserable man. Mrs Mar. Oh, if he should ever discover it, Mrs Mar. Aye? he would then know the worst, and be out of his Fuin. For, having only that one hope, the acpain; but I would have him ever to continue complishment of it, of consequence, must put an upon the rack of fear and jealousy:
end to all my hopes; and what a wretch is he, Mrs Fain. Ingenious mischief! would thou who must survive his hopes! nothing remains, wert married to Mirabell !
when that day comes, but to sit dowu and weep Mrs Mar. Would I were !
like Alexander, when he wanted other worlds to Mrs Fain. You change colour?
conquer. Irs Jlar. Because I hate him.
Mrs Afar. Will you not follow them? Mrs Fain. So do I; but I can hear him Fain. No, I think not. named. But what reason have you to hate him Mrs Mar. Pray let us; I have a reason. in particular?
Fain. You are not jealous ? Mrs Mar. I never loved him; he is, and al Mrs Mar. Of whom? ways was, insufferably proud.
Fain. Of Mirabell. Mrs Fain. By the reason you give for your Mrs Mar. If I am, is it inconsistent with my aversion, one would think it dissembled; for you love to you, that I am tender of your honour? have laid a fault to his charge, of which his ene
Fain. You would intimate, then, as if there mies must acquit him.
were a particular understanding between my Mrs Mar. Oh, then, it seems you are one of wife and him? his favourable enemies. Methinks you look a Mrs Mar. I think she does not hate him to little pale, and now you flush again.
that degree she would be thought. Vol. II.
you are false.
Fain. But he, I fear, is too insensible.
Fain. You misinterpret my reproof. I meant Mrs Mar. It may be, you are deceived. but to remind you of the slight account you
Fain. It may be so. I do not now begin to once could make of strictest ties, when sei in apprehend it.
competition with your love to me, Mrs Mar. What?
NÍrs Mar. 'Tis false; you urged it with deliFain. That I have been deceived, madam, and berate malice—'Twas spoke in scorn, and I never
will forgive it. Mrs Mar. That I am false! What mean Fain. Your guilt, not your resentment, begets
your rage. If yet you loved, you could forgive a Fain. To let you know, I see through all your jealousy : but you are stung to find, you are dislittle arts.come, you both love him, and both covered, have equally dissembled your aversion. Your Mrs Mar. It shall be all discovered. You, mutval jealousies of one another have made you too, shall be discovered; be sure you shall. I clash, till you have both struck fire. I have seen can but be exposed--If I do it myself I shall the warm confession reddening on your cheeks, prevent your baseness. and sparkling from your eyes.
Fain. Why, what will you do? Mis Mar. You do me wrong.
Mrs Mar. Disclose it to your wife; own what
Fain. Your fame I have preserved. Your Mrs Mar. And wherewithal can you reproach fortune has been bestowed, as the prodigality me?
of your love would have it, in pleasures, which Fain. With infidelity; with loving another; we both have shared. Yet, had not you been with love of Mirabell.
false, I had, ere this, repaid it—'Tis true—had Mrs Mar. 'Tis false. I challenge you to shew you permitted Mirabell with Millamant to have an instance, that can confirm your groundless ac stolen their marriage, my lady had been incenscusation. I hate him.
ed beyond all means of reconcilement: MillaFain. And wherefore do you hate him? He is mant had forfeited the moiety of her fortune, insensible, and your resentment follows his which then would have descended to my wife. neglect. An instance! The injuries you have And wherefore did I marry, but to make lawful done bim are a proof: your interposing in his prize of a rich widow's wealth, and squander it love. What cause had you to make discoveries on love and you? of his pretended passion? to undeceive the cre Mrs Mar. Deceit and frivolous pretence. dulous aunt, and be the officious obstacle of his Fain. Death! am I not married? what's prematch with Millamant?
tence? Am I not imprisoned, fettered ? have I not Mrs Mar. My obligations to my lady urged a wife? nay, a wife, that was a widow, a young me: I had professed a friendship to lier; and widow, a handsome widow; and would be again a could not see her easy nature so abused by that widow, but that I have a heart of proof, and dissembler.
something of a constitution to bustle through Fain. What, was it conscience, then? Professed the ways of wedlock and this world i Will you a friendship ! O the pious friendships of the be reconciled to truth and me?
Mrs Mar. Impossible. Truth and you are Mrs Mar. More tender, more sincere, and I inconsistent I hate you, and shall for more enduring, than all the vain and empty vows of men, whether professing love to us, or Fain. For loving you ? mutual faith to one another.
Mrs Mar. I loath the name of love after Fain. Ha, ha, ha! you are my wife's friend. such usage; and next to the guilt, with which too.
you would asperse me, I scorn you most. FareMrs Mar. Shame and ingratitude! Do you well. reproach me? You, you upbraid me! Have I Fain. Nay, we must not part thus. been false to her through strict fidelity to you, Mrs Mur. Let me go. and sacrificed my friendship to keep my love
Fain. Come, I'm sorry.inviolate? and have you the baseness to charge Mrs Mar. I care notme with the guilt, unmindful of the merit ! Break my hands, do -I'd leave them to To you it should be meritorious, that I have get loose. been vicious; and do you reflect that guilt Fain. I would not hurt you for the world. upon me, which should lie buried in your bosom? | Ilare I no other hold to keep you here?
-Let me go