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THE

PROVOKED HUSBAND.

ACT I.

Scene I.-Lord Townly's Apartment.

LORD TOWNIY, solus. Why did I marry ?-'Was it not evident, my plain, rational, scheme of life was impracticable with a woman of so different a way of thinking?- Is there one article of it that she has not broke in upon ?-Yes—let me do her justice-her reputation—ThatI have no reason to believe, is in question-But then, how long her profligate course of pleasures may make her able to keep it—is a shocking consideration ! and her presumption, while she keeps it, insupportable ! for, on the pride of that single virtue, she seems to lay it down as a fundamental point, that the free indulgence of every other vice this fertile town affords, is the birthright prerogative of a woman of quality.- Amazing! that a creature, so warm in the pursuit of her pleasures, should never cast one thought towards her happiness—Thus, while she admits of no lover, she thinks it a greater merit still, in her chastity, not to care for her husband; and, while she herself is solacing in one continual, round of cards and good company, he, poor wretch, is left at large, to take care of his own contentment—'Tis time, indeed, some care were taken, and speedily there

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shall be-Yet, let me not be rash-Perhaps this disappointment of my heart may make me too impatient; and some tempers, when reproached, grow more un. tractable-Here she comes -Let me be calm a while.

Enter Lady TownLY. Going out so soon after dinner, madam?

Lady T. Lard, my lord! what can I possibly do at home?

Lord T. What does my sister, Lady Grace, do at home?

Lady T. Why, that is to me amazing! Have you ever any pleasure at home?

Lord T. It might be in your power, madam, I confess, to make it a little more comfortable to me.

Lady T. Comfortable! And so, my good lord, you would really have a woman of my rank and spirit stay at home to comfort her husband !-Lord, what notions of life some men have!

Lord T. Don't you think, madam, some ladies' notions are full as extravagant ?

Lady T. Yes, my lord, when the tame doves live cooped within the pen of your precepts, I do think them prodigious indeed !

Lord T. And when they fly wild about this town, madam, pray what must the world think of them then?

Lady T. Oh, this world is not so ill bred, as to quarrel with any woman for liking it.

Lord T. Nor am I, madam, a husband so well bred, as to bear my wife's being so fond of it; in short, the life

you lead, madanın Lady T. Is to me the pleasantest life in the world,

Lord T. I should not dispute your taste, madam, if a woman had a right to please nobody but herself.

Lady T. Why, whom would you have her please?
Lord T. Sometimes her husband.

Lady T. And don't you think a husband under the same obligation

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mis disap Lord T. Certainly. patient Lady T. Why, then we are agreed, my lord-For if ore un

I never go abroad, till I am weary of being at home while . -(which you know is the case)—is it not equally rea

sonable, not to come home, till one is weary of being abroad?

Lord T. If this be your rule of life, madam, 'tis time y do a to ask you one serious question.

Lady T. Don't let it be long a coming then, for I am in haste.

Lord T. Madam, when I am serious, I expect a serious answer.

Lady T. Before I know the question ? I COM Lord T. Pshaw!-Have I power, madam, to make

you

serious by entreaty ? 1, y Lady T. You have. -it stay Lord T. And you promise to answer me sincerely?

Lady T. Sincerely.

Lord T. Now then, recollect your thoughts, and tell me seriously why you married me.

Lady T. You insist upon truth, you say?
Lord T. I think I have a right to it.

Lady T. Why, then, my lord, to give you at once a proof of my obedience and sincerity-I think I married to take off that restraint, that lay upon my pleasures while I was a single woman.

Lord T. How, madam! is any woman under less restraint after marriage than before it?

Lady T. Oh, my lord, my lord! they are quite difthi

ferent creatures ! Wives have infinite liberties in life, that would be terrible in an unmarried woman to take.

Lord T. Name one.

Lady T. Fifty, if you please—To begin, then-in the morning.o-A married woman may have men at her

toilet-invite them to dinner-appoint them a party in he the stage-box, at the play-engross the conversation

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