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ant to me; and, next, that you will do my wife | very I have to make should be public, and before the honour to go home with her, and me the fa- a number of witnesses—she must be made as vour to use that power, you have with her, in our infamous as she is guilty. reconcilement.
Free. Well, I am your man at any mad work; Eliz. That, I dare promise, sir, will be no hard so here's my service to you—but I must now go matter. Your servant. [Ereunt Varnish and look a little after my charge; I have disposed LETTICE.)-Well
, cousin, this I confess was a of him in the next room, with lord Plausible, reasonable hypocrisy; you were the better for it. and Mr. Novel, who have been here to day, at Oliv. What hypocrisy?
the expence of a young Creole, at a turtle feast. Ehz. Why, this last deceit of your husband Man. Go your ways, then, I won't detain you; was lawful, since in your own defence.
but, I say, you know Olivia's house, and will be Oliv. What deceit? I would have you to know sure not to let slip the hour. I never deceived my husband.
Free. I warrant you. Eliz. You do not understand me: I say this Man. And come straight up to her chamber, was an honest come off, and a good one. But without more ado; and bring your charge, and what sort of a gallant must this be, who could so my fellow Oakum, and whoever else you please; dexterously pass himself for a woman?
the greater your company the better. 'Here, Oliv. What do you inean by a gallant, and take the watch—Tis now five o'clock, and at passing for a woman?
half an hour after seven preciselyEliz. What do you mean? You see your hus- Free. You need not doubt my diligence; I am band took him for a woman.
an old blood, and can naturally beat up a wench's Oliv. Whom?
quarters that won't be civil to my friend-Shan't Eliz. Hey-day! why the man he found with we break her windows, too? you; for whom, last night, you were so much Man. No, no; be punctual only. afraid; and who you told ine
[Exit FREEMAN. Oliv. Lord, you rave sure !
Enter VARNISH. Eliz. Why, you did not tell me last night ?
Oliv. I know not what I might tell you last How Nay, here's a friend indeed! And he, night in a fright.
that has him in his arms, can know no wants. Eliz. Ay, what was that fright for ? -For a Var. Dear sir! and he, that is in your armıs, woman !- Fie, this fooling is insipid, 'tis offen- is secure from all fears whatever: nay, our nasive.
tion is secure by your defeat at sea; and the Oliv, And fooling with my honour will be more French, that fought against you, have proved eneoffensive. Did you not hear my husband say— mies to themselves only, in bringing you back to us.
Eliz. Come, you need not fear, I'll keep your Man. Fie, fie-this from a friend? And yet, secret.
from any other 'twere insufferable. I thought I Oliv. My secret! I'd have you to know, I should never have taken any thing ill from you. have no need of confidantes, though you value Var. A friend's privilege is to speak his mind, yourself on being a good one,
though it be ill taken. Eliz. Adinirable confidence !
Man. But your tongue need not tell me you Oliv. Contidence! Is this language to me? think too well of me ; Ï bave found it from your Nay, then, I'll never see your face again! Let- heart, which spoke in actions, your unalterable tice, where are you? Let us be gone from this heart. But Olivia is false, my friend; which I censorious, ill woman.
[Exit Uliv. suppose is no news to you. Eliz. Your very humble servant, my sweet, Var. Why, no—it is not. good cousin !
(Erit. Man. But could not you keep her true to me? SCENE II.-A Tavern.
Var. Not for my life, sir. Manly and FREEEMAN discovered, drinking at before I went? Could she so deceive us hoth ?
Man. But could you not perceive it at all a table.
Var. I must confess, the first time I knew it, Free. What, then, you were going to her was three days after your departure, when she yesterday evening ?
received the money you had left in Fleet-street, Man. I did, as I tell you, intend it; but, in her name; and her fears, it seems, did not being detained on the way by an old ship-mate, binder her from counting it. You must trust just as I had got to the corner of the street, 1 ber with all, like a true, generous lover ! met the volunteer, breathless, and almost fright- Man. And she, like a meani-ened out of his wits, who gave me this whimsi- Var. Jiltingcal relation of his adventure with her husband. Mlan. Traitorous
Free. Whimsical indeed! Damn it-the fel- l'ar. Baselow must be an ideot!
Man. Damned Mun. I am not sorry the affair has happened, Var. Mercenary strumpet ! however; for, upon second thoughts, the disco- Man. Ay, a mercenary strumpet, indeed! for
she made me pay her before I had her.
Man. Oh, a very buzzard! Did you ever hear Var. How Why, have you had her? so ridiculous a circumstance? Man. Have I !
Var. Never, never. Var. Nay, she deserves you should report it. Man. Well, but, my dear friend, I must be Man. Report it !—By Heaven, 'tis true! gone immediately, in order to meet Olivia again Var, How?-sure not !
to-night. Man. I do not use to lie, nor you to doubt me. Var. To-night! It cannot be, sure? Var. When?
Man. 'Tis not two hours since I made my Man. The night before last.
young man write to her for that purpose; and Var. Confusion !
she appointed half an hour after seven precisely Man. But, what-you wonder at it! nay, you - In short, I am, and I am not, to meet her.-seem to be angry too.
It is a riddle, but shall be explained. Var. I cannot but be enraged against her, for Var. But don't you apprehend the husband? her usage of you ;-damned, infamous, common Mun. He, snivelling gull, a thing to be feared! jade!
- A husband-the tamest of creatures ! Man. But you do not, for so great a friend, Var. Very fine ! take pleasure enough in your
Man. But I must go to my appointment ; methinks !
you'll meet me here at supper, and then we'll Var. Yes, yes, I am glad to know it, since it is so have our laugh out.
[Erit. Man. You cannot tell who that cuckold, is?
VaRnisi alone. Var. No.
Ay, I will meet with you, but it shall be at Man. She would keep it from you, I suppose. Olivia's Sure, it cannot be! she behaves so calmVar. Yes, yes.
ly, with that honest, modest assurance, it cannot Man. You would laugh, if you knew but all be true-And yet he does not use to lie--But the circumstances of my gaining her : come, I'll then, the woman in man's clothes, whom he calls
-Well, but I know her to have been a woman Var. Damn her! I don't care to hear any |--But then, again, his appointment from her to more of her.
meet with him to -night: I am distracted more Man. Well, you shall hear it presently, then; with doubt than jealousy. Well, I have no way and, in the mean time, prithee go to her, but not but to go home immediately, put on a riding-suit, from me, and try if you can get her to lend me and pretend, to my wife, the same business, which an hundred pounds of my money; which I am carried me out of town last, requires me to go at present in great want of. You may, perhaps, post to Oxford again to-night : then, if the aphave some influence with her; and I suppose pointment he boasts of be true, it is sure to hold; there is no recovering it by law.
and I shall have an opportunity either of clearVar. Not any; think not of it; nor by this ing her, or revenging myself on both.
[Erit. way neither.
Man. What have you in your head, that makes SCENE III.-Another room in the same tavern. you seem so unquiet?
Tables and chairs. Var. Only this base, impudent woman's falsehood.
Enter Major Oldfox, Mrs BLACKACRE, and Man. Oh, my dear friend, be not you loo sen
afterwards COUNSELLOR QUILLET. sible of my wrongs, for then I shall feel them, Old. But how is it possible, madam, that you too, with more pain, and think them insufferable. can prove your son has no right to his father's
Var. But why can't you go to Olivia yourself? estate? methinks she, that granted you the last favour, as Mrs Black. Let me alone for that, sir; I will they call it, should not deny you any thing. I get a lawyer shall prove black's white, if occaunderstand not that point of kindness, I confess. sion be. But suppose I prove it by his father's
Man. No, you do not understand it, and I have will; I have a will, sir; or can bave one made : not time to let you know all now: but anon, at and how is it he can help himself? supper, we'll laughrat leisure together at Olivia's Old. Nay, then, indeedcuckold, who took a young fellow, that
Mrs. Black. Yes, yes, I will shew the villain, twixt his wife and me, for a woman.
that he took the wrong sow by the car, when he Var. Ha!
meddled with me: I will lead him such a dance, Man. Senseless, easy rascal! 'twas no wonder major, as he never was led in his life; and make che chose him for a husband. She thought him, him pay the piper into the bargain. Come, counselI thank her, fitter than me for that blind, bear-lor, we shall be quite snug here.- Major, you are ing office.
sure it was at this house the villain appointed us Var. Take a young fellow for a woman, say to meet him? you?--'Sdeath, 'tis impossible I could be mis- Old. Yes, yes, madam, I am very sure; and taken! (aside] Sure, he must be a dolt indeed! have left orders below accordingly.
Mrs Black. Well, I suppose he will be for co- | better than that. Ecod ! if it was not for me, ming to a compromise; but there is no harm in many a one, that is saucy enough in the courts, being prepared. - Mr Quillet, let us sit down. would make but a scurvy figure out of them.
Coun. Just as you please, madam; sit or let it Coun. Conne, come, madam, that affair of the alone; it is the same thing to me.
evidence was very black. Mrs Black. I say, counsellor, in part I have Mrs Black. It is false, sir! It was all a prejualready told you what I would have done. With dice, because he was an Irishman : but, if there regard to this testament, there are three things was any roguery in it, did not you draw his into be considered
structions ? Coun. Ay, madam, we will consider them. Coun. You deluded, you deceived me. But Mrs Black. Well
, but hear me out; don't guard your expressions, Mrs Blackacre; guard snap one up som I say there are three things to your expressions; have a care of an action of be considered. First, to prove whether the tes- scandal, tator was compos mentis. Secondly, whether he Mrs Black. Odds my life, is this language to was inops concilii. And, thirdly, whether there me, you puny upstart of the law! You green bag was a sufficient probat
carrier ! You murderer of unfortunate causes! Coun. Nay, nay, but, madam, this is all unne- The clerk's ink is scarce off your fingers ! What cessary.
a shame it is, that women should not plead their Mrs Black. Unnecessary! What do you mean? causes themselves, and not be obliged to employ Was it not so ruled-Cailing, 15th Edward the such ignorant mongrels ! First, folio B? Was it not afterwards confirm- Coun. Well, madam, very well ! Take notice, ed in the Exchequer-chainber, upon error, from you are in the hands of the law. I call you to banco regis ? Look at your reports, sir-Crook witness, sir, that this woman has attacked my reJames, 114.
putation. Depend upon it, the bench shall hear Coun. Lackaday, Mrs Blackacre, you are real- of you, and my lord chief-justice determine, which ly talking in the clouds have got quite out of is the best lawyer, you or I.
Erit. your sphere !-I tell you, there was no devise till Mrs Black. I have not patience! I will have the 27th Henry VIII.
bim caned ! I will have him caned in the courts, Mrs Black. I say there was, sir.
if it costs me ten thousand pounds—an impudent, Coun. You mean, Mrs Blackacre, there was saucy-make a rule against me !-And you, madevise in common-law, but not in secundum sta jor, sitting there, with your mouth open--are you tutum; so that your quotation is quite foreign to
man, a soldier! wear a sword by your side, the purpose: in fine, the whole is nonsense, and and see me treated—Oh, I wish I had a sword! I see you know nothing of the law.
Old. Do not make yourself uneasy, madam ; I Mrs Black. No, sir! but I will shew you that warrant we will be up with him ! I will write an I do know something of the law; and I will lay essay against him in the newspapers; I can get you five hundred pounds to your posegay, that I any thing put in for five shillings and sixpence. know more of the law than you do; and you Mrs Black. Go, go, you are a silly old ass. shall be instructed ! Coun. Not by you, madam; not by you ! Send
Enter Wailer. your solicitor to me; there is your paper of memorandums.
Waiter. What is the matter, madam ? Mrs Black. Impertinent! My paper of me- Mrs Black. Nothing, nothing ; go down stairs. morandums! Odds my life! Return me my fee, Make a rule against me! Odds my life! I wishi too, then; my five guineas that I gave you ! they durst! Egad, the parliament should hear of
Coun. Don't put yourself in a passion, Mrs it!
Enter Freeman, Bailiffs, and JERRY. sum, I have had trouble enough for it.
Jer. O law! My mother quarrelling with the Mrs Black. Trouble! Major, did you ever waiter.-- What is the matter here? won't she pay see such usage as this?
her reckoning? Coun. To be short with you, madam, you are Free. Bailiffs, execute your writ; there is your a person, whose affairs I do not chuse to meddle prisoner. with; for your causes are such as have been set Bail. We arrest vou in the king's name, at the on the left side of the book any time these six suit of Mr Free mari, guardian to Jeremiah Blackyears; and, since your evidence at the last Ili-acre, esq. in an action of ten thousand pounds. İnry sittings was pilloried, my lord chief-justice Mrs Black. How, how ! in a choke bail actalks of making an order, that you shall not teaze tion? his court any more.
Free. Yes, yes; you are taken indeed, madam; Mrs Black. Make an order! Make an order and we have discovered your equitable design of against me, that I should not teaze ! No, no, providing us with a forged will. they know which side their bread is buttered on Mrs Bluck. Undone, undoue ! no man was
ever too hard for me till now.-Oh, Jerry! child, ways knew Varnish was a 'silly fellow, but I wilt thou vex the mother, that bore thee? thought he had too much experience to mistake
Jer. Ay, for bearing me before wedlock, as you a man for a woman. I am glad I picked a quarsay: but I will teach you to call a Blackacre a rel with Eliza, however; because, now, people will bastard, though you are never so much my mo- never believe I was in her power, but take for ther.
malice whatever she may say to my disadvanMrs Black. Well, I am undone! not one trick tage. But 'tis just the hour I appointed my left ! Cruel sir, a word with you, I pray. young sailor. And, as if my husband had not
Free. In vain, madam; you have no way to committed blunders enough already, he is again release yourself now, but by the bonds of matri- conveniently gone out of town, to give me a bet
ter opportunity of entertaining him: but I marMrs Black. How, sir, how! matrimony! that ried him for a convenience. Hold, don't I hear were but to sue out an habeas corpus, for a re- somebody treading softly along the passage ! moval from one prison to another. Free. Bailiffs, away with her!
Enter Fidelia, through the back scene, Mirs Black. Oh, stay, sir! can you be so cruel Who's there? my
dear! as to bring me under covert baron again, and put Fide. My life? it out of my power to sue in my own name? but I Oliv. Well, this is kind; now, I think, you realsee, sir, your aim in all this; and, if you think ly love me, because you are punctual to your asproper, to make us both easy, I will, out of my signation. I was afraid the misadventure, when jointure, secure you an annuity of three hundred you was here last, would have frightened you pounds a year, and pay your debts; and that's all from coming any more; and then I should have you younger brothers desire to marry a widow been so unhappyfor, I am sure.
Fide. Why, really, madam, I was under some Free. Now, madam, you are come to the point apprehensions. I wanted to bring you to : but you shall find I Olio. Go, you little coward ! you a son of will not be behind hand with you in generosity; Neptune, and talk of fear! but stay, I'll lock the I believe I need not tell you, widow, that I have door, though there be no occasion for it, but to suffered some injuries from your family, and keep out your fears, and those ugly fits you tell there is now an estate in it, which lawfully and me you are subject to. honestly belongs to me.
Mun. [At the door.) You have impudence Mrs Black. Why, sir, I do remember some- enough to give me fits, and make revenge still thing, and if you will be so good as to let me impotent. speak to my attorney
Olio. What do you say? Free. As for that, madam, there is no occa- Fide. Madam! sion—the land in question brings in about four Oliv. I thought I heard you speak--come-sit hundred pounds a year; secure me that, and down here--what makes you so pensive? your person and your son, you are welcome to Fide. I am thinking, madam, it your husband dispose of as you please.
should surprise us again! Jer. What! I hope, master guardian, you are Oliv. There's no danger; he's ten miles out of not making agreements without me!
town by this time; however, don't mention his Free. No, no. First, widow, you must say no name,
sest it should prove ominous. more, that he is a bastard; have a care of that: Fide. Well, but wont you give me the satisfacand then be must have a settled exhibition of tion of telling you how I abused him last? one hundred pounds a year, and a nag of assizes, Oliv. I have heard enough of it: I hate any kept by you, but not upon the common. discourse, when he, or Manly, must be part of Mrs Black. Well, I can grant all this.
the subject. No, let me rather resume the conJer. Aye, aye, fair words butter no cabbage : versation I began yesterday—Are you willing to but, guardian, make her sign—sign and seal; or go off with me? otherwise, if you knew her as well as I, you Fide. Whither, madam? would not trust her word for a farthing.
Oliv. Any where-to Lapland, or India—I reFree. I warrant you, 'squire. Come, my law- peat it once more I have a sufficient fortune to yer, with writings ready drawn, is within, and in make us happy.
[Trampling without. haste.
Fide. Hist! don't I hear a noise? Afrs Black. Make a rule against me! a pal
Olio. No, no.
[Trampling. try jackanapes !
[Ereunt. Fide. Prav, madam, listen: I am sure I hear
the motion of feet upon the stairs. SCENE IV.-OLIVIA's house. OLIVIA seated
Oliv. I tell you it is no such thing. [Trampling.
Fide. Hark! it grows louder. at a table, with candles, and a small cabinet.
Oliv. Be silent, then—there's somebody tamOlir. Sure, no intrigue was ever attended with pering with the lock of the door. Step gently so many odd circumstances as this of inine ; I al- this way--(Varnish speaks within 1-Death and confusion, 'tis my husband! I heard him speak | Varnish! Are you the happy man?-You! You! to the footboy-he has sent him round to bar-Speak, I say—But your guilty silence tells me the garden gate,
all. Well, I will not upbraid you ; let your own Fide. I thought, madam, your husband was out reflections be your punishment-Fare ye well, of town, you said.
sir ! Oliv. No, no, 'tis he. Fool that I was, to Free. Look yonder, captain, to the volunteer; trust in his pretended ignorance, or think his re- he is hurt, and I believe fainting. concilement real! he has laid this train purpose- Fide. No, sir, 'tis only my fright, not yet ly for my undoing. He has stopt the only pas- well over : I shall recover here in the next room. sage we could get out by; and I know his re- Man. My boy hurt? vengeful temper so well, if he finds us here, he'll murder us. Let us escape your way by the bal- Enter Mrs BLACKACRE and JERRY. cony: here, take this cabinet, it contains jewels and bank notes to a considerable value; here, Mrs Black. I dare swear there is something put out the candles, while I go into the next room going forward contrary to the statute ; and as, and pull down the curtains.
in that remarkable case, Stokes plaintiff, against [Erit. Jenkins and other defendants-But I'll take
minutes ; for perhaps one side or other may Enter Manly.
chuse to bring it into the courts. Fide. This cabinet, I believe, is yours, sir. Jer. Well, my mother will never let the law
Man. It is mine now, indeed; and shall never alone, I see that ; for when she's at a loss for escape from me again, at least to her.
wherewithal to go herself, she's for setting other Fide. Did you ever hear such a wretch, sir? people at it.
Man. A wretch! why she makes love like a Mun. Oh Heaven !-Freeman, come here ! devil in a play. But she wanted to elope with Free. How pow? What's the matter? you, sir; you never told me that!
Man. More miracles still—The volunteer's a Fide. Oh, sir, I have not told you half her woman ! wickedness; [loud noise) but they are breaking
All, A woman! open the door. What shall I do, sir?
Fide. Dear captain, spare my blushes; yet, Man. Stay where you are, and fear nothing. wherefore should I be ashamed of a virtuous and Now we shall see who this happy man is she calls generous passion? Yes, I am a woman, I own husband.
it; and, through love for the worthiest of men,
have attempted to follow him in this disguise; Enter VARNISH.
partly out of fear to disclose my sentiments, for Var. With much labour and forcing, I have at I knew of his engagements to that lady; and the last gained admittance : but now, to find out the constancy of his nature, which nothing but heroccasion of all this privacy and barricading—I self could have changed. heard people talk in the room, I am sure-Ha!
Man. Dear madain, I desired you to bring what's here?
me out of confusion, and you have given me Man. Sword and dark lantern, villain, are more: I know not what to speak to, or how to some odds; however, I believe I shall be able to look upon you; the sense of my rough and ill deal with you--don't be frightened, my little vo- usage gives me more pain, now it is over, than lunteer.
you felt when you suffered it: but; if my affecFide. Only for your life, sir.
tions, once prostituted to such a womanVar. Damnation ! two at once- but I'll make Oliv. My breast burns with fury, indignation, sure of one of them at least.
disdain, and must have vent. Coxcoinb, idiot, Fide. Murder ! help! murder!
brute! But think not long to triumph, for I go
to have such vengeance on yeEnter Olivia, and then FREEMAN, Lord Plau
L. Plau. Madam, will you permit me the honSIBLE, and Novel.
fair hand ? Olio. What means this uproar? Distraction ! Olio. Take it. [Strikes him, and Erit. my husband has got in! then we shall have mur- Nov. Ha, ha, ha! There's for your gentieder indeed. Oh stay, you must not kill one una- man-ushership, my lord! Well, what do you ble to defend himself ! lights ! lights!
think of her now? Did not I always tell
she was a jilt? Enter foot boy, with lights.
L. Plau. Take it from me, Mr Novel, she's a Man. Now, sir, where are you? Freeman, lady of great virtue and delicacy; though, inlook to the door.-Hold, my dearest, after so deed, I could not have believed her fingers to much kindness past between us, I cannot part have been quite so hard. with you yet— Freeman, let no body out; for, Mirs Black. But, pray, captain Manly, a notwithstanding your lights, we are still in the word with you. Is not this my cousin Olivia's dark, till this gentleman turns his face-Ilow! house and furniture ? And do you eject her,