Scarborough and the Critic by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Produced by Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team A TRIP TO SCARBOROUGH _A COMEDY_ DRAMATIS PERSONÆ AS ORIGINALLY ACTED AT DRURY LANE THEATRE IN 1777 LORD FOPPINGTON _Mr. Dodd._ SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY _Mr. Moody._ COLONEL TOWNLY _Mr. Brereton._ LOVELESS _Mr. Smith._ TOM FASHION _Mr. J. Palmer._ LA VAROLE _Mr. Burton._ LORY _Mr. Baddeley._
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Produced by Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team





COLONEL TOWNLY _Mr. Brereton._
LOVELESS _Mr. Smith._
TOM FASHION _Mr. J. Palmer._
LA VAROLE _Mr. Burton._
LORY _Mr. Baddeley._
PROBE _Mr. Parsons._
MENDLEGS _Mr. Norris._
JEWELLER _Mr. Lamash_
SHOEMAKER _Mr. Carpenter._
TAILOR _Mr. Parker._
AMANDA _Mrs. Robinson._
BERINTHIA _Miss Farren._
MISS HOYDEN _Mrs. Abington._
MRS. COUPLER _Mrs. Booth._
NURSE _Mrs. Bradshaw._

Sempstress, Postilion, Maid, _and_ Servants.



What various transformations we remark, From east Whitechapel to the west Hyde Park! Men, women, children, houses, signs, and fashions, State, stage, trade, taste, the humours and the passions; The Exchange, ‘Change Alley, wheresoe’er you’re ranging, Court, city, country, all are changed or changing The streets, some time ago, were paved with stones, Which, aided by a hackney-coach, half broke your bones. The purest lovers then indulged in bliss; They ran great hazard if they stole a kiss. One chaste salute!–the damsel cried–Oh, fie! As they approach’d–slap went the coach awry– Poor Sylvia got a bump, and Damon a black eye.

But now weak nerves in hackney-coaches roam, And the cramm’d glutton snores, unjolted, home; Of former times, that polish’d thing a beau, Is metamorphosed now from top to toe;
Then the full flaxen wig, spread o’er the shoulders, Conceal’d the shallow head from the beholders. But now the whole’s reversed–each fop appears, Cropp’d and trimm’d up, exposing head and ears: The buckle then its modest limits knew, Now, like the ocean, dreadful to the view, Hath broke its bounds, and swallowed up the shoe: The wearer’s foot like his once fine estate, Is almost lost, the encumbrance is so great. Ladies may smile–are they not in the plot? The bounds of nature have not they forgot? Were they design’d to be, when put together, Made up, like shuttlecocks, of cork and feather? Their pale-faced grandmammas appeared with grace When dawning blushes rose upon the face; No blushes now their once-loved station seek; The foe is in possession of the cheek!
No heads of old, too high in feather’d state, Hinder’d the fair to pass the lowest gate; A church to enter now, they must be bent, If ever they should try the experiment. As change thus circulates throughout the nation, Some plays may justly call for alteration; At least to draw some slender covering o’er, That _graceless wit_
[Footnote: “And _Van_ wants grace, who never wanted wit.” –POPE.]
which was too bare before:
Those writers well and wisely use their pens, Who turn our wantons into Magdalens;
And howsoever wicked wits revile ’em, We hope to find in you their stage asylum.

* * * * *


SCENE I.–_The Hall of an Inn_.
_Enter TOM FASHION and LORY, POSTILION following with a portmanteau_.
_Fash_. Lory, pay the postboy, and take the portmanteau. _Lory. [Aside to TOM FASHION_.] Faith, sir, we had better let the postboy take the portmanteau and pay himself. _Fash. [Aside to LORY_.] Why, sure, there’s something left in it!
_Lory_. Not a rag, upon my honour, sir! We eat the last of your wardrobe at New Malton–and, if we had had twenty miles further to go, our next meal must have been of the cloak-bag. _Fash_. Why, ‘sdeath, it appears full!
_Lory_. Yes, sir–I made bold to stuff it with hay, to save appearances, and look like baggage.
_Fash. [Aside_.] What the devil shall I do?–[_Aloud_.] Hark’ee, boy, what’s the chaise?
_Post_. Thirteen shillings, please your honour. _Fash_. Can you give me change for a guinea? _Post_. Oh, yes, sir.
_Lory. [Aside_.] So, what will he do now?–[_Aloud_.] Lord, sir, you had better let the boy be paid below. _Fash_. Why, as you say, Lory, I believe it will be as well. _Lory_. Yes, yes, I’ll tell them to discharge you below, honest friend.
_Post_. Please your honour, there are the turnpikes too. _Fash_. Ay, ay, the turnpikes by all means. _Post_. And I hope your honour will order me something for myself.
_Fash_. To be sure; bid them give you a crown. _Lory_. Yes, yes–my master doesn’t care what you charge them–so get along, you–
_Post_. And there’s the ostler, your honour. _Lory_. Psha! damn the ostler!–would you impose upon the gentleman’s generosity?–[_Pushes him out_.] A rascal, to be so cursed ready with his change!
_Fash_. Why, faith, Lory, he had nearly posed me. _Lory_. Well, sir, we are arrived at Scarborough, not worth a guinea! I hope you’ll own yourself a happy man–you have outlived all your cares.
_Fash_. How so, sir?
_Lory_. Why, you have nothing left to take care of. _Fash_. Yes, sirrah, I have myself and you to take care of still.
_Lory_. Sir, if you could prevail with somebody else to do that for you, I fancy we might both fare the better for it. But now, sir, for my Lord Foppington, your elder brother. _Fash_. Damn my eldest brother.
_Lory_. With all my heart; but get him to redeem your annuity, however. Look you, sir; you must wheedle him, or you must starve.
_Fash_. Look you, sir; I would neither wheedle him, nor starve.
_Lory_. Why, what will you do, then? _Fash_. Cut his throat, or get someone to do it for me. _Lory_. Gad so, sir, I’m glad to find I was not so well acquainted with the strength of your conscience as with the weakness of your purse.
_Fash_. Why, art thou so impenetrable a blockhead as to believe he’ll help me with a farthing?
_Lory_. Not if you treat him _de haut en bas_, as you used to do.
_Fash_. Why, how wouldst have me treat him? _Lory_. Like a trout–tickle him.
_Fash_. I can’t flatter.
_Lory_. Can you starve?
_Fash_. Yes.
_Lory_. I can’t. Good by t’ye, sir. _Fash_. Stay–thou’lt distract me. But who comes here? My old friend, Colonel Townly.
My dear Colonel, I am rejoiced to meet you here. _Col. Town_. Dear Tom, this is an unexpected pleasure! What, are you come to Scarborough to be present at your brother’s wedding?
_Lory_. Ah, sir, if it had been his funeral, we should have come with pleasure.
_Col. Town_. What, honest Lory, are you with your master still?
_Lory_. Yes, sir; I have been starving with him ever since I saw your honour last.
_Fash_. Why, Lory is an attached rogue; there’s no getting rid of him.
_Lory_. True, sir, as my master says, there’s no seducing me from his service.–[_Aside_.] Till he’s able to pay me my wages.
_Fash_. Go, go, sir, and take care of the baggage. _Lory_. Yes, sir, the baggage!–O Lord! [_Takes up the portmanteau_.] I suppose, sir, I must charge the landlord to be very particular where he stows this?
_Fash_. Get along, you rascal.–[_Exit_ LORY _with the portmanteau_.] But, Colonel, are you acquainted with my proposed sister-in-law?
_Col. Town_. Only by character. Her father, Sir Tunbelly Clumsy, lives within a quarter of a mile of this place, in a lonely old house, which nobody comes near. She never goes abroad, nor sees company at home; to prevent all misfortunes, she has her breeding within doors; the parson of the parish teaches her to play upon the dulcimer, the clerk to sing, her nurse to dress, and her father to dance;–in short, nobody has free admission there but our old acquaintance, Mother Coupler, who has procured your brother this match, and is, I believe, a distant relation of Sir Tunbelly’s.
_Fash_. But is her fortune so considerable? _Col. Town_. Three thousand a year, and a good sum of money, independent of her father, beside.
_Fash_. ‘Sdeath! that my old acquaintance, Dame Coupler, could not have thought of me, as well as my brother, for such a prize.
_Col. Town_. Egad, I wouldn’t swear that you are too late– his lordship, I know, hasn’t yet seen the lady–and, I believe, has quarrelled with his patroness.
_Fash_. My dear Colonel, what an idea have you started! _Col. Town_. Pursue it, if you can, and I promise you shall have my assistance; for, besides my natural contempt for his lordship, I have at present the enmity of a rival towards him. _Fash_. What, has he been addressing your old flame, the widow Berinthia?
_Col. Town_. Faith, Tom, I am at present most whimsically circumstanced. I came here a month ago to meet the lady you mention; but she failing in her promise, I, partly from pique and partly from idleness, have been diverting my chagrin by offering up incense to the beauties of Amanda, our friend Loveless’s wife. _Fash_. I never have seen her, but have heard her spoken of as a youthful wonder of beauty and prudence. _Col. Town_. She is so indeed; and, Loveless being too careless and insensible of the treasure he possesses, my lodging in the same house has given me a thousand opportunities of making my assiduities acceptable; so that, in less than a fortnight, I began to bear my disappointment from the widow with the most Christian resignation.
_Fash_. And Berinthia has never appeared? _Col. Town_. Oh, there’s the perplexity! for, just as I began not to care whether I ever saw her again or not, last night she arrived.
_Fash_. And instantly resumed her empire. _Col. Town_. No, faith–we met–but, the lady not condescending to give me any serious reasons for having fooled me for a month, I left her in a huff.
_Fash_. Well, well, I’ll answer for it she’ll soon resume her power, especially as friendship will prevent your pursuing the other too far.–But my coxcomb of a brother is an admirer of Amanda’s too, is he?
_Col. Town_. Yes, and I believe is most heartily despised by her. But come with me, and you shall see her and your old friend Loveless.
Fash. I must pay my respects to his lordship–perhaps you can direct me to his lodgings.
_Col. Town._ Come with me; I shall pass by it. _Fash._ I wish you could pay this visit for me, or could tell me what I should say to him.
_Col. Town._ Say nothing to him–apply yourself to his bag, his sword, his feather, his snuff-box; and when you are well with them, desire him to lend you a thousand pounds, and I’ll engage you prosper.
_Fash._ ‘Sdeath and furies! why was that coxcomb thrust into the world before me? O Fortune, Fortune, thou art a jilt, by Gad! [_Exeunt._

SCENE II.–LORD FOPPINGTON’S _Dressing-room._ _Enter_ LORD FOPPINGTON _in his dressing-gown, and_ LA VAROLE.
_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] Well,’tis an unspeakable pleasure to be a man of quality–strike me dumb! Even the boors of this northern spa have learned the respect due to a title.– [_Aloud._] La Varole!
_La Var._ Milor–
_Lord Fop._ You ha’n’t yet been at Muddymoat Hall, to announce my arrival, have you?
_La Var._ Not yet, milor.
_Lord Fop._ Then you need not go till Saturday-[_Exit_ LA VAROLE] as I am in no particular haste to view my intended sposa. I shall sacrifice a day or two more to the pursuit of my friend Loveless’s wife. Amanda is a charming creature–strike me ugly! and, if I have any discernment in the world, she thinks no less of my Lord Foppington.
_Re-enter_ LA VAROLE.
_La Var._ Milor, de shoemaker, de tailor, de hosier, de sempstress, de peru, be all ready, if your lordship please to dress.
_Lord Fop._ ‘Tis well, admit them.
_La Var._ Hey, messieurs, entrez!
_Lord Fop._ So, gentlemen, I hope you have all taken pains to show yourselves masters in your professions? _Tai_. I think I may presume, sir–
_La Var_. Milor, you clown, you!
_Tai_. My lord–I ask your lordship’s–pardon, my lord. I hope, my lord, your lordship will be pleased to own I have brought your lordship as accomplished a suit of clothes as ever peer of England wore, my lord–will your lordship please to view ’em now?
_Lord Fop_. Ay; but let my people dispose the glasses so that I may see myself before and behind; for I love to see myself all round. [_Puts on his clothes_.]
_Enter_ TOM FASHION _and_ LORY. _They remain behind, conversing apart_.
_Fash_. Heyday! what the devil have we here? Sure my gentleman’s grown a favourite at court, he has got so many people at his levee.
_Lory_. Sir, these people come in order to make him a favourite at court–they are to establish him with the ladies. _Fash_. Good Heaven! to what an ebb of taste are women fallen, that it should be in the power of a laced coat to recommend a gallant to them?
_Lory_. Sir, tailors and hair-dressers debauch all the women.
_Fash_. Thou sayest true. But now for my reception. _Lord Fop_. [_To_ TAILOR.] Death and eternal tortures! Sir–I say the coat is too wide here by a foot. _Tai_. My lord, if it had been tighter, ‘twould neither have hooked nor buttoned.
_Lord Fop_. Rat the hooks and buttons, sir! Can any thing be worse than this? As Gad shall jedge me, it hangs on my shoulders like a chairman’s surtout.
_Tai_. ‘Tis not for me to dispute your lordship’s fancy. _Lory_. There, sir, observe what respect does. _Fash_. Respect! damn him for a coxcomb!–But let’s accost him.–[_Coming forward_.] Brother, I’m your humble servant. _Lord Fop_. O Lard, Tam! I did not expect you in England. –Brother, I’m glad to see you.–But what has brought you to Scarborough, Tam!–[_To the_ TAILOR.] Look you, sir, I shall never be reconciled to this nauseous wrapping-gown, therefore pray get me another suit with all possible expedition; for this is my eternal aversion.–[_Exit_ TAILOR.] Well but, Tam, you don’t tell me what has driven you to Scarborough.– Mrs. Calico, are not you of my mind?
_Semp_. Directly, my lord.–I hope your lordship is pleased with your ruffles?
_Lord Fop_. In love with them, stap my vitals!–Bring my bill, you shall be paid to-morrow.
_Semp_. I humbly thank your worship. [Exit.] _Lord Fop_. Hark thee, shoemaker, these shoes aren’t ugly, but they don’t fit me.
_Shoe_. My lord, I think they fit you very well. _Lord Fop_. They hurt me just below the instep. _Shoe_. [_Feels his foot_.] No, my lord, they don’t hurt you there.
_Lord Fop_. I tell thee they pinch me execrably. _Shoe_. Why then, my lord, if those shoes pinch you, I’ll be damned.
_Lord Fop_. Why, will thou undertake to persuade me I cannot feel?
_Shoe_. Your lordship may please to feel what you think fit, but that shoe does not hurt you–I think I understand my trade. _Lord Fop_. Now, by all that’s good and powerful, thou art an incomprehensive coxcomb!–but thou makest good shoes, and so I’ll bear with thee.
_Shoe_. My lord, I have worked for half the people of quality in this town these twenty years, and ’tis very hard I shouldn’t know when a shoe hurts, and when it don’t. _Lord Fop_. Well, pr’ythee be gone about thy business.– [_Exit_ SHOEMAKER.] Mr. Mendlegs, a word with you.–The calves of these stockings are thickened a little too much; they make my legs look like a porter’s.
_Mend_. My lord, methinks they look mighty well. _Lord Fop_. Ay, but you are not so good a judge of those things as I am–I have studied them all my life–therefore pray let the next be the thickness of a crown-piece less. _Mend_. Indeed, my lord, they are the same kind I had the honour to furnish your lordship with in town. _Lord Fop_. Very possibly, Mr. Mendlegs; but that was in the beginning of the winter, and you should always remember, Mr. Hosier, that if you make a nobleman’s spring legs as robust as his autumnal calves, you commit a monstrous impropriety, and make no allowance Tor the fatigues of the winter. [_Exit–_ MENDLEGS.]
_Jewel_. I hope, my lord, these buckles have had the unspeakable satisfaction of being honoured with your lordship’s approbation?
_Lord Fop_. Why, they are of a pretty fancy; but don’t you think them rather of the smallest?
_Jewel_. My lord, they could not well be larger, to keep on your lordship’s shoe.
_Lord Fop_. My good sir, you forget that these matters are not as they used to be; formerly, indeed, the buckle was a sort of machine, intended to keep on the shoe; but the case is now quite reversed, and the shoe is of no earthly use, but to keep on the buckle.–Now give me my watches [SERVANT _fetches the watches_,] my chapeau, [SERVANT _brings a dress hat_,] my handkerchief, [SERVANT _pours some scented liquor on a handkerchief and brings it_,] my snuff-box [SERVANT _brings snuff-box_.] There, now the business of the morning is pretty well over. [_Exit_ JEWELLER.]
_Fash_. [_Aside to_ LORY.] Well, Lory, what dost think on’t?–a very friendly reception from a brother, after three years’ absence!
_Lory_. [_Aside to_ TOM FASHION.] Why, sir, ’tis your own fault–here you have stood ever since you came in, and have not commended any one thing that belongs to him. [SERVANTS _all go off._]
_Fash_. [_Aside to_ LORY.] Nor ever shall, while they belong to a coxcomb.–[_To_ LORD FOPPINGTON.] Now your people of business are gone, brother, I hope I may obtain a quarter of an hour’s audience of you?
_Lord Fop_. Faith, Tam, I must beg you’ll excuse me at this time, for I have an engagement which I would not break for the salvation of mankind.–Hey!–there!–is my carriage at the door? –You’ll excuse me, brother. [_Going_.]
_Fash_. Shall you be back to dinner? _Lord Fop_. As Gad shall jedge me, I can’t tell; for it is passible I may dine with some friends at Donner’s. _Fash_. Shall I meet you there? For I must needs talk with you.
_Lord Fop_. That I’m afraid mayn’t be quite so praper; for those I commonly eat with are people of nice conversation; and you know, Tam, your education has been a little at large.–But there are other ordinaries in town–very good beef ordinaries–I suppose, Tam, you can eat beef?–However, dear Tam, I’m glad to see thee in England, stap my vitals!
[_Exit_, LA VAROLE _following_.]
_Fash_. Hell and furies! is this to be borne? _Lory_. Faith, sir, I could almost have given him a knock o’ the pate myself.
_Fash_. ‘Tis enough; I will now show you the excess of my passion, by being very calm.–Come, Lory, lay your loggerhead to mine, and, in cold blood, let us contrive his destruction. _Lory_. Here comes a head, sir, would contrive it better than both our loggerheads, if she would but join in the confederacy.
_Fash_. By this light, Madam Coupler! she seems dissatisfied at something: let us observe her.
_Mrs. Coup_. So! I am likely to be well rewarded for my services, truly; my suspicions, I find, were but too just.– What! refuse to advance me a petty sum, when I am upon the point of making him master of a galleon! but let him look to the consequences; an ungrateful, narrow-minded coxcomb. _Fash_. So he is, upon my soul, old lady; it must be my brother you speak of.
_Mrs. Coup_. Ha! stripling, how came you here? What, hast spent all, eh? And art thou come to dun his lordship for assistance?
_Fash_. No, I want somebody’s assistance to cut his lordship’s throat, without the risk of being hanged for him. _Mrs. Coup_. Egad, sirrah, I could help thee to do him almost as good a turn, without the danger of being burned in the hand for’t.
_Fash_. How–how, old Mischief?
_Mrs. Coup_. Why, you must know I have done you the kindness to make up a match for your brother.
_Fash_. I am very much beholden to you, truly! _Mrs. Coup_. You may be before the wedding-day, yet: the lady is a great heiress, the match is concluded, the writings are drawn, and his lordship is come hither to put the finishing hand to the business.
_Fash_. I understand as much.
_Mrs. Coup_. Now, you must know, stripling, your brother’s a knave.
_Fash_. Good.
_Mrs. Coup_. He has given me a bond of a thousand pounds for helping him to this fortune, and has promised me as much more, in ready money, upon the day of the marriage; which, I understand by a friend, he never designs to pay me; and his just now refusing to pay me a part is a proof of it. If, therefore, you will be a generous young rogue, and secure me five thousand pounds, I’ll help you to the lady.
_Fash_. And how the devil wilt thou do that? _Mrs. Coup_. Without the devil’s aid, I warrant thee. Thy brother’s face not one of the family ever saw; the whole business has been managed by me, and all his letters go through my hands. Sir Tunbelly Clumsy, my relation–for that’s the old gentleman’s name–is apprised of his lordship’s being down here, and expects him to-morrow to receive his daughter’s hand; but the peer, I find, means to bait here a few days longer, to recover the fatigue of his journey, I suppose. Now you shall go to Muddymoat Hall in his place.–I’ll give you a letter of introduction: and if you don’t marry the girl before sunset, you deserve to be hanged before morning.
_Fash_. Agreed! agreed! and for thy reward– _Mrs. Coup_. Well, well;–though I warrant thou hast not a farthing of money in thy pocket now–no–one may see it in thy face.
_Fash_. Not a sous, by Jupiter!
_Mrs. Coup_. Must I advance, then? Well, be at my lodgings, next door, this evening, and I’ll see what may be done–we’ll sign and seal, and when I have given thee some further instructions, thou shalt hoist sail and be one. [_Exit_.]
_Fash_. So, Lory, Fortune, thou seest, at last takes care of merit! we are in a fair way to be great people. _Lory_. Ay, sir, if the devil don’t step between the cup and the lip, as he used to do.
_Fash_. Why, faith, he has played me many a damned trick to spoil my fortune; and, egad, I am almost afraid he’s at work about it again now; but if I should tell thee how, thou’dst wonder at me.
_Lory_. Indeed, sir, I should not.
_Fash_. How dost know?
_Lory_. Because, sir, I have wondered at you so often, I can wonder at you no more.
_Fash_. No! what wouldst thou say, if a qualm of conscience should spoil my design?
_Lory_. I would eat my words, and wonder more than ever. _Fash_. Why faith, Lory, though I have played many a roguish trick, this is so full-grown a cheat, I find I must take pains to come up to’t–I have scruples.
_Lory_. They are strong symptoms of death. If you find they increase, sir, pray make your will.
_Fash_. No, my conscience shan’t starve me neither: but thus far I’ll listen to it. Before I execute this project, I’ll try my brother to the bottom. If he has yet so much humanity about him as to assist me–though with a moderate aid–I’ll drop my project at his feet, and show him how I can do for him much more than what I’d ask he’d do for me. This one conclusive trial of him I resolve to make.

Succeed or fail, still victory is my lot; If I subdue his heart,’tis well–if not, I will subdue my conscience to my plot.



_Enter_ LOVELESS _and_ AMANDA.
_Love_. How do you like these lodgings, my dear? For my part, I am so pleased with them, I shall hardly remove whilst we stay here, if you are satisfied.
_Aman_. I am satisfied with everything that pleases you, else I had not come to Scarborough at all. _Love_. Oh, a little of the noise and folly of this place will sweeten the pleasures of our retreat; we shall find the charms of our retirement doubled when we return to it. _Aman_. That pleasing prospect will be my chiefest entertainment, whilst, much against my will, I engage in those empty pleasures which ’tis so much the fashion to be fond of. _Love_. I own most of them are, indeed, but empty; yet there are delights of which a private life is destitute, which may divert an honest man, and be a harmless entertainment to a virtuous woman: good music is one; and truly (with some small allowance) the plays, I think, may be esteemed another. _Aman_. Plays, I must confess, have some small charms. What do you think of that you saw last night? _Love_. To say truth, I did not mind it much–my attention was for some time taken off to admire the workmanship of Nature in the face of a young lady who sat at some distance from me, she was so exquisitely handsome.
_Aman_. So exquisitely handsome!
_Love_. Why do you repeat my words, my dear? _Aman_. Because you seemed to speak them with such pleasure, I thought I might oblige you with their echo. _Love_. Then you are alarmed, Amanda?
_Aman_. It is my duty to be so when you are in danger. _Love_. You are too quick in apprehending for me. I viewed her with a world of admiration, but not one glance of love. _Aman_. Take heed of trusting to such nice distinctions. But were your eyes the only things that were inquisitive? Had I been in your place, my tongue, I fancy, had been curious too. I should have asked her where she lived–yet still without design–who was she, pray?
_Love_. Indeed I cannot tell.
_Aman_. You will not tell.
_Love_. Upon my honour, then, I did not ask. _Aman_. Nor do you know what company was with her? _Love_. I do not. But why are you so earnest? _Aman_. I thought I had cause.
_Love_. But you thought wrong, Amanda; for turn the case, and let it be your story: should you come home and tell me you had seen a handsome man, should I grow jealous because you had eyes?
_Aman_. But should I tell you he was exquisitely so, and that I had gazed on him with admiration, should you not think ’twere possible I might go one step further, and inquire his name?
_Love_. [_Aside_.] She has reason on her side; I have talked too much; but I must turn off another way.– [_Aloud_.] Will you then make no difference, Amanda, between the language of our sex and yours? There is a modesty restrains your tongues, which makes you speak by halves when you commend; but roving flattery gives a loose to ours, which makes us still speak double what we think.
_Enter_ SERVANT.
_Ser_. Madam, there is a lady at the door in a chair desires to know whether your ladyship sees company; her name is Berinthia.
_Aman_. Oh dear! ’tis a relation I have not seen these five years; pray her to walk in.–[_Exit_ SERVANT.] Here’s another beauty for you; she was, when I saw her last, reckoned extremely handsome.
_Love_. Don’t be jealous now; for I shall gaze upon her too. _Enter_ BERINTHIA.
Ha! by heavens, the very woman! [_Aside_.] _Ber_. [_Salutes_ AMANDA.] Dear Amanda, I did not expect to meet you in Scarborough.
_Aman_. Sweet cousin, I’m overjoyed to see you.–Mr. Loveless, here’s a relation and a friend of mine, I desire you’ll be better acquainted with.
_Love_. [_Salutes_ BERINTHIA.] If my wife never desires a harder thing, madam, her request will be easily granted. _Re-enter_ SERVANT.
_Ser_. Sir, my Lord Foppington presents his humble service to you, and desires to know how you do. He’s at the next door; and, if it be not inconvenient to you, he’ll come and wait upon you.
_Love_. Give my compliments to his lordship, and I shall be glad to see him.–[_Exit_ SERVANT.] If you are not acquainted with his lordship, madam, you will be entertained with his character.
_Aman_. Now it moves my pity more than my mirth to see a man whom nature has made no fool be so very industrious to pass for an ass.
_Love_. No, there you are wrong, Amanda; you should never bestow your pity upon those who take pains for your contempt: pity those whom nature abuses, never those who abuse nature. _Enter_ LORD FOPPINGTON.
_Lord Fop_. Dear Loveless, I am your most humble servant. _Love_. My lord, I’m yours.
_Lord Fop_. Madam, your ladyship’s very obedient slave. _Love_. My lord, this lady is a relation of my wife’s. _Lord Fop_. [_Salutes_ BERINTHIA.] The beautifullest race of people upon earth, rat me! Dear Loveless, I am overjoyed that you think of continuing here: I am, stap my vitals!– [_To_ AMANDA.] For Gad’s sake, madam, how has your ladyship been able to subsist thus long, under the fatigue of a country life?
_Aman_. My life has been very far from that, my lord; it has been a very quiet one.
_Lord Fop_. Why, that’s the fatigue I speak of, madam; for ’tis impossible to be quiet without thinking: now thinking is to me the greatest fatigue in the world.
_Aman_. Does not your lordship love reading, then? _Lord Fop_. Oh, passionately, madam; but I never think of what I read. For example, madam, my life is a perpetual stream of pleasure, that glides through with such a variety of entertainments, I believe the wisest of our ancestors never had the least conception of any of ’em. I rise, madam, when in town, about twelve o’clock. I don’t rise sooner, because it is the worst thing in the world for the complexion: not that I pretend to be a beau; but a man must endeavour to look decent, lest he makes so odious a figure in the side-bax, the ladies should be compelled to turn their eyes upon the play. So at twelve o’clock, I say, I rise. Naw, if I find it is a good day, I resalve to take the exercise of riding; so drink my chocolate, and draw on my boots by two. On my return, I dress; and, after dinner, lounge perhaps to the opera.
_Ber_. Your lordship, I suppose, is fond of music? _Lord Fop_. Oh, passionately, on Tuesdays and Saturdays; for then there is always the best company, and one is not expected to undergo the fatigue of listening.
_Aman_. Does your lordship think that the case at the opera? _Lord Fop_. Most certainly, madam. There is my Lady Tattle, my Lady Prate, my Lady Titter, my Lady Sneer, my Lady Giggle, and my Lady Grin–these have boxes in the front, and while any favourite air is singing, are the prettiest company in the waurld, stap my vitals!–Mayn’t we hope for the honour to see you added to our society, madam?
_Aman_. Alas! my lord, I am the worst company in the world at a concert, I’m so apt to attend to the music. _Lord Fop_. Why, madam, that is very pardonable in the country or at church, but a monstrous inattention in a polite assembly. But I am afraid I tire the company? _Love_. Not at all. Pray go on.
_Lord Fop_. Why then, ladies, there only remains to add, that I generally conclude the evening at one or other of the clubs; nat that I ever play deep; indeed I have been for some time tied up from losing above five thousand paunds at a sitting. _Love_. But isn’t your lordship sometimes obliged to attend the weighty affairs of the nation?
_Lord Fop_. Sir, as to weighty affairs, I leave them to weighty heads; I never intend mine shall be a burden to my body. _Ber._ Nay, my lord, but you are a pillar of the state. _Lord Fop_. An ornamental pillar, madam; for sooner than undergo any part of the fatigue, rat me, but the whole building should fall plump to the ground!
_Aman_. But, my lord, a fine gentleman spends a great deal of his time in his intrigues; you have given us no account of them yet.
_Lord Fop._ [_Aside_.] So! she would inquire into my amours–that’s jealousy, poor soul!–I see she’s in love with me.–[_Aloud_.] O Lord, madam, I had like to have forgot a secret I must need tell your ladyship.–Ned, you must not be so jealous now as to listen.
_Love._ [_Leading_ BERINTHIA _up the stage_.] Not I, my lord; I am too fashionable a husband to pry into the secrets of my wife.
_Lord Fop._ [_Aside to_ AMANDA _squeezing her hand_.] I am in love with you to desperation, strike me speechless!
_Aman._ [_Strikes him on the ear_.] Then thus I return your passion.–An impudent fool!
_Lord Fop_. God’s curse, madam, I am a peer of the realm! _Love_. [_Hastily returning_.] Hey! what the devil, do you affront my wife, sir? Nay, then–
[_Draws. They fight._]
_Aman_. What has my folly done?–Help! murder! help! Part them for Heaven’s sake.
_Lord Fop_. [_Falls back and leans on his sword._] Ah! quite through the body, stap my vitals!
_Love_. [_Runs to_ LORD FOPPINGTON.] I hope I ha’nt killed the fool, however. Bear him up.–Call a surgeon there. _Lord Fop_. Ay, pray make haste. [_Exit_ SERVANT. _Love_. This mischief you may thank yourself for. _Lord Fop_. I may say so; love’s the devil indeed, Ned. _Re-enter_ SERVANT, _with_ PROBE.
_Ser_. Here’s Mr. Probe, sir, was just going by the door. _Lord Fop_. He’s the welcomest man alive. _Probe_. Stand by, stand by, stand by; pray, gentlemen, stand by. Lord have mercy upon us, did you never see a man run through the body before?–Pray stand by. _Lord Fop_. Ah, Mr. Probe, I’m a dead man. _Probe_. A dead man, and I by! I should laugh to see that, egad.
_Love_. Pr’ythee don’t stand prating, but look upon his wound.
_Probe_. Why, what if I don’t look upon his wound this hour, sir?
_Love_. Why, then he’ll bleed to death, sir. _Probe_. Why, then I’ll fetch him to life again, sir. _Love_. ‘Slife! he’s run through the body, I tell thee. _Probe_. I wish he was run through the heart, and I should get the more credit by his cure. Now I hope you are satisfied? Come, now let me come at him–now let me come at him.– [_Viewing his wound._] Oops I what a gash is here! why, sir, a man may drive a coach and six horses into your body. _Lord Fop_. Oh!
_Probe_. Why, what the devil have you run the gentleman through with–a scythe?–[_Aside_.] A little scratch between the skin and the ribs, that’s all.
_Love_. Let me see his wound.
_Probe_. Then you shall dress it, sir; for if anybody looks upon it I won’t.
_Love_. Why, thou art the veriest coxcomb I ever saw! _Probe_. Sir, I am not master of my trade for nothing. _Lord Fop_. Surgeon!
_Probe_. Sir.
_Lord Fop_. Are there any hopes?
_Probe_. Hopes! I can’t tell. What are you willing to give for a cure? _Lord Fop_. Five hundred paunds with pleasure. _Probe_. Why then perhaps there may be hopes; but we must avoid further delay.–Here, help the gentleman into a chair, and carry him to my house presently–that’s the properest place– [_Aside_.] to bubble him out of his money.–[_Aloud_.] Come, a chair–a chair quickly–there, in with him. [SERVANTS _put_ LORD FOPPINGTON _into a chair_.]
_Lord Fop_. Dear Loveless, adieu; if I die, I forgive thee; and if I live, I hope thou wilt do as much by me. I am sorry you and I should quarrel, but I hope here’s an end on’t; for if you are satisfied, I am.
_Love_. I shall hardly think it worth my prosecuting any further, so you may be at rest, sir.
_Lord Fop_. Thou art a generous fellow, strike me dumb! –[_Aside_.] But thou hast an impertinent wife, stap my vitals!
_Probe_. So–carry him off!–carry him off!–We shall have him into a fever by-and-by.–Carry him off! [_Exit with_ LORD FOPPINGTON.]
_Col. Town_. So, so, I am glad to find you all alive.–I met a wounded peer carrying off. For heaven’s sake what was the matter?
_Love_. Oh, a trifle! he would have made love to my wife before my face, so she obliged him with a box o’ the ear, and I ran him through the body, that was all.
_Col. Town_. Bagatelle on all sides. But pray, madam, how long has this noble lord been an humble servant of yours? _Aman_. This is the first I have heard on’t–so I suppose, ’tis his quality more than his love has brought him into this adventure. He thinks his title an authentic passport to every woman’s heart below the degree of a peeress. _Col. Town_. He’s coxcomb enough to think anything: but I would not have you brought into trouble for him. I hope there’s no danger of his life?
_Love_. None at all. He’s fallen into the hands of a roguish surgeon, who, I perceive, designs to frighten a little money out of him: but I saw his wound–’tis nothing: he may go to the ball to-night if he pleases.
_Col. Town_. I am glad you have corrected him without further mischief, or you might have deprived me of the pleasure of executing a plot against his lordship, which I have been contriving with an old acquaintance of yours. _Love_. Explain.
_Col. Town_. His brother, Tom Fashion, is come down here, and we have it in contemplation to save him the trouble of his intended wedding: but we want your assistance. Tom would have called but he is preparing for his enterprise, so I promised to bring you to him–so, sir, if these ladies can spare you– _Love_. I’ll go with you with all my heart.–[_Aside_.] Though I could wish, methinks, to stay and gaze a little longer on that creature. Good gods! how engaging she is!–but what have I to do with beauty? I have already had my portion, and must not covet more.
_Aman_. Mr. Loveless, pray one word with you before you go. [_Exit_ COLONEL TOWNLY.
_Love_. What would my dear?
_Aman_. Only a woman’s foolish question: how do you like my cousin here?
_Love_. Jealous already, Amanda?
_Aman_. Not at all: I ask you for another reason. _Love_. [_Aside_.] Whate’er her reason be, I must not tell her true.–[_Aloud_.] Why, I confess, she’s handsome: but you must not think I slight your kinswoman, if I own to you, of all the women who may claim that character, she is the last that would triumph in my heart.
_Aman_. I’m satisfied.
_Love_. Now tell me why you asked?
_Aman_. At night I will–adieu!
_Love_. I’m yours. [_Kisses her and exit_.] _Aman_. I’m glad to find he does not like her, for I have a great mind to persuade her to come and live with me. [_Aside_.]
_Ber_. So! I find my colonel continues in his airs; there must be something more at the bottom of this than the provocation he pretends from me. [_Aside_.]
_Aman_. For Heaven’s sake, Berinthia, tell me what way I shall take to persuade you to come and live with me. _Ber_. Why, one way in the world there is, and but one. _Aman_. And pray what is that?
_Ber_. It is to assure me–I shall be very welcome. _Aman_. If that be all, you shall e’en sleep here to-night. _Ber_. To-night.
_Aman_. Yes, to-night.
_Ber_. Why, the people where I lodge will think me mad. _Aman_. Let ’em think what they please.
_Ber_. Say you so, Amanda? Why, then, they shall think what they please: for I’m a young widow, and I care not what anybody thinks.–Ah, Amanda, it’s a delicious thing to be a young widow! _Aman_. You’ll hardly make me think so.
_Ber_. Poh! because you are in love with your husband. _Aman_. Pray, ’tis with a world of innocence I would inquire whether you think those we call women of reputation do really escape all other men as they do those shadows of beaux. _Ber_. Oh no, Amanda; there are a sort of men make dreadful work amongst ’em, men that may be called the beau’s antipathy, for they agree in nothing but walking upon two legs. These have brains, the beau has none. These are in love with their mistress, the beau with himself. They take care of their reputation, the beau is industrious to destroy it. They are decent, he’s a fop; in short, they are men, he’s an ass.
_Aman_. If this be their character, I fancy we had here, e’en now, a pattern of ’em both.
_Ber_. His lordship and Colonel Townly? _Aman_. The same.
_Ber_. As for the lord, he is eminently so; and for the other, I can assure you there’s not a man in town who has a better interest with the women that are worth having an interest with.
_Aman_. He answers the opinion I had ever of him. [_Takes her hand_.] I must acquaint you with a secret–’tis not that fool alone has talked to me of love; Townly has been tampering too.
_Ber_. [_Aside_.] So, so! here the mystery comes out!– [_Aloud_.] Colonel Townly! impossible, my dear! _Aman_. ‘Tis true indeed; though he has done it in vain; nor do I think that all the merit of mankind combined could shake the tender love I bear my husband; yet I will own to you, Berinthia, I did not start at his addresses, as when they came from one whom I contemned.
_Ber. [Aside_.] Oh, this is better and better!– [_Aloud_.] Well said, Innocence! and you really think, my dear, that nothing could abate your constancy and attachment to your husband?
_Aman_. Nothing, I am convinced.
_Ber_. What, if you found he loved another woman better? _Aman_. Well!
_Ber_. Well!–why, were I that thing they call a slighted wife, somebody should run the risk of being that thing they call–a husband. Don’t I talk madly?
_Aman_. Madly indeed!
_Ber_. Yet I’m very innocent.
_Aman_. That I dare swear you are. I know how to make allowances for your humour: but you resolve then never to marry again?
_Ber_. Oh no! I resolve I will.
_Aman_. How so?
_Ber_. That I never may.
_Aman_. You banter me.
_Ber_. Indeed I don’t: but I consider I’m a woman, and form my resolutions accordingly.
_Aman_. Well, my opinion is, form what resolutions you will, matrimony will be the end on’t.
_Ber_. I doubt it–but a–Heavens! I have business at home, and am half an hour too late.
_Aman_. As you are to return with me, I’ll just give some orders, and walk with you.
_Ber_. Well, make haste, and we’ll finish this subject as we go–[_Exit_ AMANDA.]. Ah, poor Amanda! you have led a country life. Well, this discovery is lucky! Base Townly! at once false to me and treacherous to his friend!–And my innocent and demure cousin too! I have it in my power to be revenged on her, however. Her husband, if I have any skill in countenance, would be as happy in my smiles as Townly can hope to be in hers. I’ll make the experiment, come what will on’t. The woman who can forgive the being robbed of a favoured lover, must be either an idiot or a wanton. [_Exit_.]


SCENE I.–LORD FOPPINGTON’s _Lodgings. Enter_ LORD FOPPINGTON, _and_ LA VAROLE. _Lord Fop_. Hey, fellow, let thy vis-a-vis come to the door. _La Var_. Will your lordship venture so soon to expose yourself to the weather?
_Lord Fop_. Sir, I will venture as soon as I can expose myself to the ladies.
_La Var_. I wish your lordship would please to keep house a little longer; I’m afraid your honour does not well consider your wound.
_Lord Fop_. My wound!–I would not be in eclipse another day, though I had as many wounds in my body as I have had in my heart. So mind, Varole, let these cards be left as directed; for this evening I shall wait on my future father-in-law, Sir Tunbelly, and I mean to commence my devoirs to the lady, by giving an entertainment at her father’s expense; and hark thee, tell Mr. Loveless I request he and his company will honour me with their presence, or I shall think we are not friends. _La Var_. I will be sure, milor. [_Exit_.] _Enter_ TOM FASHION.
_Fash_. Brother, your servant; how do you find yourself to-day? _Lord Fop_. So well that I have ardered my coach to the door–so there’s no danger of death this baut, Tam. _Fash_. I’m very glad of it.
_Lord Fop_. [_Aside_.] That I believe a lie.– [_Aloud_.] Pr’ythee, Tam, tell me one thing–did not your heart cut a caper up to your mauth, when you heard I was run through the bady?
_Fash_. Why do you think it should? _Lord Fop_. Because I remember mine did so when I heard my uncle was shot through the head.
_Fash_. It, then, did very ill.
_Lord Fop_. Pr’ythee, why so?
_Fash_. Because he used you very well. _Lord Fop_. Well!–Naw, strike me dumb! he starved me; he has let me want a thausand women for want of a thausand paund. _Fash_. Then he hindered you from making a great many ill bargains; for I think no woman worth money that will take money. _Lord Fop_. If I was a younger brother I should think so too.
_Fash_. Then you are seldom much in love? _Lord Fop_. Never, stap my vitals!
_Fash_. Why, then, did you make all this bustle about Amanda?
_Lord Fop_. Because she’s a woman of insolent virtue, and I thought myself piqued in honour to debauch her. _Fash_. Very well.–[_Aside_.] Here’s a rare fellow for you, to have the spending of ten thousand pounds a year! But now for my business with him.–[_Aloud_.] Brother, though I know to talk of any business (especially of money) is a theme not quite so entertaining to you as that of the ladies, my necessities are such, I hope you’ll have patience to hear me. _Lord Fop_. The greatness of your necessities, Tam, is the worst argument in the waurld for your being patiently heard. I do believe you are going to make a very good speech, but, strike me dumb! it has the worst beginning of any speech I have heard this twelvemonth.
_Fash_. I’m sorry you think so.
_Lord Fop_. I do believe thou art: but, come, let’s know the affair quickly.
_Fash_. Why, then, my case, in a word, is this: the necessary expenses of my travels have so much exceeded the wretched income of my annuity, that I have been forced to mortgage it for five hundred pounds, which is spent. So unless you are so kind as to assist me in redeeming it, I know no remedy but to take a purse.
_Lord Fop_. Why, faith, Tam, to give you my sense of the thing, I do think taking a purse the best remedy in the waurld; for if you succeed, you are relieved that way, if you are taken [_Drawing his hand round his neck_], you are relieved t’other.
_Fash_. I’m glad to see you are in so pleasant a humour; I hope I shall find the effects on’t.
_Lord Fop_. Why, do you then really think it a reasonable thing, that I should give you five hundred paunds? _Fash_. I do not ask it as a due, brother; I am willing to receive it as a favour.
_Lord Fop_. Then thou art willing to receive it anyhow, strike me speechless! But these are damned times to give money in; taxes are so great, repairs so exorbitant, tenants such rogues, and bouquets so dear, that the devil take me I’m reduced to that extremity in my cash, I have been forced to retrench in that one article of sweet pawder, till I have brought it down to five guineas a maunth–now judge, Tam, whether I can spare you five paunds.
_Fash_. If you can’t I must starve, that’s all.– [_Aside_.] Damn him!
_Lord Fop_. All I can say is, you should have been a better husband.
_Fash_. Ouns! if you can’t live upon ten thousand a year, how do you think I should do’t upon two hundred? _Lord Fop_. Don’t be in a passion, Tam, for passion is the most unbecoming thing in the waurld–to the face. Look you, I don’t love to say anything to you to make you melancholy, but upon this occasion I must take leave to put you in mind that a running horse does require more attendance than a coach-horse. Nature has made some difference twixt you and me. _Fash_. Yes–she has made you older.–[_Aside_.] Plague take her.
_Lord Fop_. That is not all, Tam.
_Fash_. Why, what is there else?
_Lord Fop. [_Looks first on himself and then on his brother_.] Ask the ladies.
_Fash_. Why, thou essence-bottle, thou musk-cat! dost thou then think thou hast any advantage over me but what Fortune has given thee?
_Lord Fop_. I do, stap my vitals!
_Fash_. Now, by all that’s great and powerful, thou art the prince of coxcombs!
_Lord Fop_. Sir, I am proud at being at the head of so prevailing a party.
_Fash_. Will nothing provoke thee?–Draw, coward! _Lord Fop_. Look you, Tam, you know I have always taken you for a mighty dull fellow, and here is one of the foolishest plats broke out that I have seen a lang time. Your poverty makes life so burdensome to you, you would provoke me to a quarrel, in hopes either to slip through my lungs into my estate, or to get yourself run through the guts, to put an end to your pain. But I will disappoint you in both your designs; far, with the temper of a philasapher, and the discretion of a statesman–I shall leave the room with my sword in the scabbard. [_Exit_.] _Fash_. So! farewell, brother; and now, conscience, I defy thee. Lory!
_Enter_ LORY.
_Lory_. Sir!
_Fash_. Here’s rare news, Lory; his lordship has given me a pill has purged off all my scruples.
_Lory_. Then my heart’s at ease again: for I have been in a lamentable fright, sir, ever since your conscience had the impudence to intrude into your company.
_Fash_. Be at peace; it will come there no more: my brother has given it a wring by the nose, and I have kicked it downstairs. So run away to the inn, get the chaise ready quickly, and bring it to Dame Coupler’s without a moment’s delay. _Lory_. Then, sir, you are going straight about the fortune? _Fash_. I am.–Away–fly, Lory!
_Lory_. The happiest day I ever saw. I’m upon the wing already. Now then I shall get my wages. [_Exeunt_.]

SCENE II.–_A Garden behind_ LOVELESS’S _Lodgings. Enter_ LOVELESS _and_ SERVANT.
_Love_. Is my wife within?
_Ser_. No, sir, she has gone out this half-hour. _Love_. Well, leave me.–[_Exit_ SERVANT.] How strangely does my mind run on this widow!–Never was my heart so suddenly seized on before. That my wife should pick out her, of all womankind, to be her playfellow! But what fate does, let fate answer for: I sought it not. So! by Heavens! here she comes. _Enter_ BERINTHIA.
_Ber_. What makes you look so thoughtful, sir? I hope you are not ill.
_Love_. I was debating, madam, whether I was so or not, and that was it which made me look so thoughtful. _Ber_. Is it then so hard a matter to decide? I thought all people were acquainted with their own bodies, though few people know their own minds.
_Love_. What if the distemper I suspect be in the mind? _Ber_. Why then I’ll undertake to prescribe you a cure. _Love_. Alas! you undertake you know not what. _Ber_. So far at least, then, you allow me to be a physician.
_Love_. Nay, I’ll allow you to be so yet further: for I have reason to believe, should I put myself into your hands, you would increase my distemper.
_Ber_. How?
_Love_. Oh, you might betray me to my wife. _Ber_. And so lose all my practice.
_Love_. Will you then keep my secret? _Ber_. I will.
_Love_. Well–but swear it.
_Ber_. I swear by woman.
_Love_. Nay, that’s swearing by my deity; swear by your own, and I shall believe you.
_Ber_. Well then, I swear by man!
_Love_. I’m satisfied. Now hear my symptoms, and give me your advice. The first were these; when I saw you at the play, a random glance you threw at first alarmed me. I could not turn my eyes from whence the danger came–I gazed upon you till my heart began to pant–nay, even now, on your approaching me, my illness is so increased that if you do not help me I shall, whilst you look on, consume to ashes. [_Takes her hand.] _Ber_. O Lord, let me go! ’tis the plague, and we shall be infected. [_Breaking from him.]
_Love_. Then we’ll die together, my charming angel. _Ber_. O Gad! the devil’s in you! Lord, let me go!–here’s somebody coming.
_Re-enter_ SERVANT.
_Ser_. Sir, my lady’s come home, and desires to speak with you.
_Love_. Tell her I’m coming.–[_Exit_ SERVANT.] But before I go, one glass of nectar to drink her health. [_To_ BERINTHIA.]
_Ber_. Stand off, or I shall hate you, by Heavens! _Love_. [_Kissing her_.] In matters of love, a woman’s oath is no more to be minded than a man’s. [_Exit.] Ber_. Um!
_Col. Town_. [_Aside_.] So? what’s here–Berinthia and Loveless–and in such close conversation!–I cannot now wonder at her indifference in excusing herself to me!–O rare woman!–Well then, let Loveless look to his wife, ’twill be but the retort courteous on both sides.–[_Aloud_.] Your servant, madam; I need not ask you how you do, you have got so good a colour. _Ber_. No better than I used to have, I suppose. _Col. Town_. A little more blood in your cheeks. _Ber_. I have been walking!
_Col. Town_. Is that all? Pray was it Mr. Loveless went from here just now?
_Ber_. O yes–he has been walking with me. _Col. Town_. He has!
_Ber_. Upon my word I think he is a very agreeable man; and there is certainly something particularly insinuating in his address.
_Col. Town_. [_Aside_.] So, so! she hasn’t even the modesty to dissemble! [_Aloud_.] Pray, madam, may I, without impertinence, trouble you with a few serious questions? _Ber_. As many as you please; but pray let them be as little serious as possible.
_Col. Town_. Is it not near two years since I have presumed to address you?
_Ber_. I don’t know exactly–but it has been a tedious long time.
_Col. Town._ Have I not, during that period, had every reason to believe that my assiduities were far from being unacceptable?
_Ber._ Why, to do you justice, you have been extremely troublesome–and I confess I have been more civil to you than you deserved.
_Col. Town._ Did I not come to this place at your express desire, and for no purpose but the honour of meeting you?–and after waiting a month in disappointment, have you condescended to explain, or in the slightest way apologise for, your conduct? _Ber._ O heavens! apologise for my conduct!–apologise to you! O you barbarian! But pray now, my good serious colonel, have you anything more to add?
_Col. Town._ Nothing, madam, but that after such behaviour I am less surprised at what I saw just now; it is not very wonderful that the woman who can trifle with the delicate addresses of an honourable lover should be found coquetting with the husband of her friend.
_Ber._ Very true: no more wonderful than it was for this honourable lover to divert himself in the absence of this coquette, with endeavouring to seduce his friend’s wife! O colonel, colonel, don’t talk of honour or your friend, for Heaven’s sake!
_Col. Town_. [_Aside.]_ ‘Sdeath! how came she to suspect this!–[_Aloud._] Really, madam, I don’t understand you.
_Ber._ Nay, nay, you saw I did not pretend to misunderstand you.–But here comes the lady; perhaps you would be glad to be left with her for an explanation.
_Col. Town._ O madam, this recrimination is a poor resource; and to convince you how much you are mistaken, I beg leave to decline the happiness you propose me.–Madam, your servant. _Enter_ AMANDA. COLONEL TOWNLY _whispers_ AMANDA, _and exit_.
_Ber. [Aside._] He carries it off well, however; upon my word, very well! How tenderly they part!–[_Aloud_] So, cousin; I hope you have not been chiding your admirer for being with me? I assure you we have been talking of you. _Aman_. Fy, Berinthia!–my admirer! will you never learn to talk in earnest of anything?
_Ber_. Why this shall be in earnest, if you please; for my part, I only tell you matter of fact.
_Aman_. I’m sure there’s so much jest and earnest in what you say to me on this subject, I scarce know how to take it. I have just parted with Mr. Loveless; perhaps it is fancy, but I think there is an alteration in his manner which alarms me. _Ber_. And so you are jealous; is that all? _Aman_. That all! is jealousy, then, nothing? _Ber_. It should be nothing, if I were in your case. _Aman_. Why, what would you do?
_Ber_. I’d cure myself.
_Aman_. How?
_Ber_. Care as little for my husband as he did for me. Look you, Amanda, you may build castles in the air, and fume, and fret, and grow thin, and lean, and pale, and ugly, if you please; but I tell you, no man worth having is true to his wife, or ever was, or ever will be so.
_Aman_. Do you then really think he’s false to me? for I did not suspect him.
_Ber_. Think so? I am sure of it.
_Aman_. You are sure on’t?
_Ber_. Positively–he fell in love at the play. _Aman_. Right–the very same. But who could have told you this?
_Ber_. Um!–Oh, Townly! I suppose your husband has made him his confidant.
_Aman_. O base Loveless! And what did Townly say on’t? _Ber. [Aside_.] So, so! why should she ask that?– [_Aloud_.] Say! why he abused Loveless extremely, and said all the tender things of you in the world. _Aman_. Did he?–Oh! my heart!–I’m very ill–dear Berinthia, don’t leave me a moment. [_Exeunt_.]

SCENE III.–_Outside of_ SIR TUNRELLY CLUMSY’S _House_. _Enter_ TOM FASHION _and_ LORY.
_Fash_. So here’s our inheritance, Lory, if we can but get into possession. But methinks the seat of our family looks like Noah’s ark, as if the chief part on’t were designed for the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field. _Lory._ Pray, sir, don’t let your head run upon the orders of building here: get but the heiress, let the devil take the house.
_Fash._ Get but the house, let the devil take the heiress! I say.–But come, we have no time to squander; knock at the door.– [LORY _knocks two or three times at the gate._] What the devil! have they got no ears in this house?–Knock harder. _Lory._ Egad, sir, this will prove some enchanted castle; we shall have the giant come out by-and-by, with his club, and beat our brains out. [_Knocks again._]
_Fash._ Hush, they come.
_Ser. [Within.]_ Who is there?
_Lory._ Open the door and see: is that your country breeding?
_Ser._ Ay, but two words to that bargain.–Tummus, is the blunderbuss primed?
_Fash._ Ouns! give ’em good words, Lory,–or we shall be shot here a fortune catching.
_Lory._ Egad, sir, I think you’re in the right on’t.–Ho! Mr. What-d’ye-call-‘um, will you please to let us in? or are we to be left to grow like willows by your moat side? SERVANT _appears at the window with a blunderbuss._ _Ser._ Well naw, what’s ya’re business?
_Fash._ Nothing, sir, but to wait upon Sir Tunbelly, with your leave.
_Ser._ To weat upon Sir Tunbelly! why, you’ll find that’s just as Sir Tunbelly pleases.
_Fash._ But will you do me the favour, sir, to know whether Sir Tunbelly pleases or not?
_Ser._ Why, look you, d’ye see, with good words much may be done. Ralph, go thy ways, and ask Sir Tunbelly if he pleases to be waited upon–and dost hear, call to nurse, that she may lock up Miss Hoyden before the gates open.
_Fash._ D’ye hear, that, Lory?
_Enter SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY, with SERVANTS, armed with guns, clubs, pitchforks, &c_.
_Lory_. Oh! [_Runs behind his master_.] O Lord! O Lord! Lord! we are both dead men!
_Fash_. Fool! thy fear will, ruin us. [_Aside to LORY_.]
_Lory_. My fear, sir? ‘sdeath, Sir, I fear nothing.– [_Aside_.] Would I were well up to the chin in a horse-pond! _Sir Tun_. Who is it here hath any business with me? _Fash_. Sir, ’tis I, if your name be Sir Tunbelly Clumsy. _Sir Tun_. Sir, my name is Sir Tunbelly Clumsy, whether you have any business with me or not.–So you see I am not ashamed of my name, nor my face either.
_Fash_. Sir, you have no cause that I know of. _Sir Tun_. Sir, if you have no cause either, I desire to know who you are; for, till I know your name, I shan’t ask you to come into my house: and when I do know your name,’tis six to four I don’t ask you then.
_Fash_. Sir, I hope you’ll find this letter an authentic passport. [_Gives him a letter_.]
_Sir Tun_. Cod’s my life, from Mrs. Coupler!–I ask your lordship’s pardon ten thousand times.–[_To a SERVANT_.] Here, run in a-doors quickly; get a Scotch coal fire in the parlour, set all the Turkey work chairs in their places, get the brass candlesticks out, and be sure stick the socket full of laurel–run!–[_Turns to TOM FASHION_.]–My lord, I ask your lordship’s pardon.–[_To SERVANT_.] And, do you hear, run away to nurse; bid her let Miss Hoyden loose again.–[_Exit SERVANT_.] I hope your honour will excuse the disorder of my family. We are not used to receive men of your lordship’s great quality every day. Pray, where are your coaches and servants, my lord?
_Fash_. Sir, that I might give you and your daughter a proof how impatient I am to be nearer akin to you, I left my equipage to follow me, and came away post with only one servant. _Sir Tun_. Your lordship does me too much honour–it was exposing your person to too much fatigue and danger, I protest it was: but my daughter shall endeavour to make you what amends she can: and, though I say it that should not say it, Hoyden has charms.
_Fash_. Sir, I am not a stranger to them, though I am to her; common fame has done her justice.
_Sir Tun_. My lord, I am common fame’s very grateful, humble servant. My lord, my girl’s young–Hoyden is young, my lord: but this I must say for her, what she wants in art she has in breeding; and what’s wanting in her age, is made good in her constitution.–So pray, my lord, walk in; pray, my lord, walk in. _Fash_. Sir, I wait upon you. [_Exeunt_.]

SCENE IV.–_A Room in_ SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY’S _House_. MISS HOYDEN _discovered alone_.
_Miss Hoyd_. Sure, nobody was ever used as I am! I know well enough what other girls do, for all they think to make a fool o’ me. It’s well I have a husband a-coming, or ecod I’d marry the baker, I would so. Nobody can knock at the gate, but presently I must be locked up; and here’s the young greyhound can run loose about the house all the day, so she can.–‘Tis very well! _Nurse_. [_Without opening the door_.] Miss Hoyden! miss, miss, miss! Miss Hoyden!
_Enter_ NURSE.
_Miss Hoyd_. Well, what do you make such a noise for, eh? What do you din a body’s ears for? Can’t one be at quiet for you? _Nurse_. What do I din your ears for? Here’s one come will din your ears for you.
_Miss Hoyd_. What care I who’s come? I care not a fig who comes, or who goes, so long as I must be locked up like the ale-cellar. _Nurse_. That, miss, is for fear you should be drank before you are ripe.
_Miss Hoyd_. Oh, don’t trouble your head about that; I’m as ripe as you, though not so mellow.
_Nurse_. Very well! Now I have a good mind to lock you up again, and not let you see my lord to-night. _Miss Hoyd_. My lord: why, is my husband come? _Nurse_. Yes, marry, is he; and a goodly person too. _Miss Hoyd_. [_Hugs_ NURSE.] Oh, my dear nurse, forgive me this once, and I’ll never misuse you again; no, if I do, you shall give me three thumps on the back, and a great pinch by the cheek.
_Nurse_. Ah, the poor thing! see now it melts; it’s as full of good-nature as an egg’s full of meat. _Miss Hoyd._ But, my dear nurse, don’t lie now–is he come, by your troth?
_Nurse._ Yes, by my truly, is he.
_Miss Hoyd_. O Lord! I’ll go and put on my laced tucker, though I’m locked up for a month for’t.
[_Exeunt_. MISS HOYDEN _goes off capering, and twirling her doll by its leg._]


_Nurse_. Well, miss, how do you like your husband that is to be?
_Miss Hoyd_. O Lord, nurse, I’m so overjoyed I can scarce contain myself!
_Nurse_. Oh, but you must have a care of being too fond; for men, nowadays, hate a woman that loves ’em. _Miss Hoyd_. Love him! why, do you think I love him, nurse? Ecod I would not care if he was hanged, so I were but once married to him. No, that which pleases me is to think what work I’ll make when I get to London; for when I am a wife and a lady both, ecod, I’ll flaunt it with the best of ’em. Ay, and I shall have money enough to do so too, nurse.
_Nurse_. Ah, there’s no knowing that, miss; for though these lords have a power of wealth indeed, yet, as I have heard say, they give it all to their sluts and their trulls, who joggle it about in their coaches, with a murrain to ’em, whilst poor madam sits sighing and wishing, and has not a spare half-crown to buy her a Practice of Piety.
_Miss Hoyd_. Oh, but for that, don’t deceive yourself, nurse; for this I must say of my lord, he’s as free as an open house at Christmas; for this very morning he told me I should have six hundred a year to buy pins. Now if he gives me six hundred a year to buy pins, what do you think he’ll give me to buy petticoats?
_Nurse_. Ay, my dearest, he deceives thee foully, and he’s no better than a rogue for his pains! These Londoners have got a gibberish with ’em would confound a gipsy. That which they call pin-money, is to buy everything in the versal world, down to their very shoe-knots. Nay, I have heard some folks say that some ladies, if they’ll have gallants as they call ’em, are forced to find them out of their pin-money too.–But look, look, if his honour be not coming to you!–Now, if I were sure you would behave yourself handsomely, and not disgrace me that have brought you up, I’d leave you alone together.
_Miss Hoyd_. That’s my best nurse; do as you’d be done by. Trust us together this once, and if I don’t show my breeding, I wish I may never be married, but die an old maid. _Nurse_. Well, this once I’ll venture you. But if you disparage me–
_Miss Hoyd_. Never fear. [_Exit_ NURSE.] _Enter_ TOM FASHION.
_Fash_. Your servant, madam; I’m glad to find you alone, for I have something of importance to speak to you about. _Miss Hoyd_. Sir (my lord, I meant), you may speak to me about what you please, I shall give you a civil answer. _Fash_. You give so obliging an one, it encourages me to tell you in a few words what I think, both for your interest and mine. Your father, I suppose you know, has resolved to make me happy in being your husband; and I hope I may obtain your consent to perform what he desires.
_Miss Hoyd_. Sir, I never disobey my father in anything but eating green gooseberries.
_Fash_. So good a daughter must needs be an admirable wife. I am therefore impatient till you are mine, and hope you will so far consider the violence of my love, that you won’t have the cruelty to defer my happiness so long as your father designs it. _Miss Hoyd_. Pray, my lord, how long is that? _Fash_. Madam, a thousand years–a whole week. _Miss Hoyd_. Why, I thought it was to be to-morrow morning, as soon as I was up. I’m sure nurse told me so. _Fash_. And it shall be to-morrow morning, if you’ll consent.
_Miss Hoyd_. If I’ll consent! Why I thought I was to obey you as my husband.
_Fash_. That’s when we are married. Till then, I’m to obey you.
_Miss Hoyd_. Why then, if we are to take it by turns, it’s the same thing. I’ll obey you now, and when we are married you shall obey me.
_Fash_. With all my heart. But I doubt we must get nurse on our side, or we shall hardly prevail with the chaplain. _Miss Hoyd_. No more we shan’t, indeed; for he loves her better than he loves his pulpit, and would always be a-preaching to her by his good will.
_Fash_. Why then, my dear, if you’ll call her hither we’ll persuade her presently.
_Miss Hoyd_. O Lud! I’ll tell you a way how to persuade her to anything.
_Fash_. How’s that?
_Miss Hoyd_. Why tell her she’s a handsome comely woman, and give her half a crown.
_Fash_. Nay, if that will do, she shall have half a score of ’em.
_Miss Hoyd_. O gemini! for half that she’d marry you herself.–I’ll run and call her. [_Exit.] Fash_. So! matters go on swimmingly. This is a rare girl, i’faith. I shall have a fine time on’t with her at London. _Enter_ LORY.
So, Lory, what’s the matter?
_Lory_. Here, sir–an intercepted packet from the enemy; your brother’s postilion brought it. I knew the livery, pretended to be a servant of Sir Tunbelly’s, and so got possession of the letter.
_Fash. [Looks at the letter_.] Ouns! he tells Sir Tunbelly here that he will be with him this evening, with a large party to supper.–Egad, I must marry the girl directly. _Lory_. Oh, zounds, sir, directly to be sure. Here she comes. [_Exit_.]
_Fash_. And the old Jezebel with her. _Re-enter_ MISS HOYDEN _and_ NURSE.
How do you do, good Mrs. Nurse? I desired your young lady would give me leave to see you, that I might thank you for your extraordinary care and kind conduct in her education: pray accept this small acknowledgment for it at present, and depend upon my further kindness when I shall be that happy thing, her husband. [_Gives her money._]
_Nurse_. [_Aside_.] Gold, by the maakins!– [_Aloud_.] Your honour’s goodness is too great. Alas! all I can boast of is, I gave her pure and good milk, and so your honour would have said, an you had seen how the poor thing thrived, and how it would look up in my face, and crow and laugh, it would.
_Miss Hoyd_. [_To_ NURSE, _taking her angrily aside_.] Pray, one word with you. Pr’ythee, nurse, don’t stand ripping up old stories, to make one ashamed before one’s love. Do you think such a fine proper gentleman as he is cares for a fiddlecome tale of a child? If you have a mind to make him have a good opinion of a woman, don’t tell him what one did then, tell him what one can do now.–[_To_ Tom FASHION.] I hope your honour will excuse my mis-manners to whisper before you. It was only to give some orders about the family. _Fash_. Oh, everything, madam, is to give way to business; besides, good housewifery is a very commendable quality in a young lady.
_Miss Hoyd_. Pray, sir, are young ladies good housewives at London-town? Do they darn their own linen? _Fash_. Oh no, they study how to spend money, not to save. _Miss Hoyd_. Ecod, I don’t know but that may be better sport, eh, nurse?
_Fash_. Well, you have your choice, when you come there. _Miss Hoyd_. Shall I? then, by my troth, I’ll get there as fast as I can.–[_To_ NURSE.] His honour desires you’ll be so kind as to let us be married to-morrow. _Nurse_. To-morrow, my dear madam?
_Fash_. Ay, faith, nurse, you may well be surprised at miss’s wanting to put it off so long. To-morrow! no, no; ’tis now, this very hour, I would have the ceremony performed. _Miss Hoyd_. Ecod, with all my heart.
_Nurse_. O mercy! worse and worse!
_Fash._ Yes, sweet nurse, now and privately; for all things being signed and sealed, why should Sir Tunbelly make us stay a week for a wedding-dinner?
_Nurse._ But if you should be married now, what will you do when Sir Tunbelly calls for you to be married? _Miss Hoyd._ Why then we will be married again. _Nurse._ What twice, my child?
_Miss Hoyd._ Ecod, I don’t care how often I’m married, not I.
_Nurse._ Well, I’m such a tender-hearted fool, I find I can refuse you nothing. So you shall e’en follow your own inventions. _Miss Hoyd._ Shall I? O Lord, I could leap over the moon! _Fash._ Dear nurse, this goodness of yours shall be still more rewarded. But now you must employ your power with the chaplain, that he may do this friendly office too, and then we shall be all happy. Do you think you can prevail with him? _Nurse._ Prevail with him! or he shall never prevail with me, I can tell him that.
_Fash._ I’m glad to hear it; however, to strengthen your interest with him, you may let him know I have several fat livings in my gift, and that the first that falls shall be in your disposal.
_Nurse._ Nay, then, I’ll make him marry more folks than one, I’ll promise him!
_Miss Hoyd._ Faith, do, nurse, make him marry you too; I’m sure he’ll do’t for a fat living.
_Fash._ Well, nurse, while you go and settle matters with him, your lady and I will go and take a walk in the garden.– [_Exit_ NURSE.] Come, madam, dare you venture yourself alone with me? [_Takes_ MISS HOYDEN _by the hand.] Miss Hoyd._ Oh dear, yes, sir; I don’t think you’ll do anythink to me, I need be afraid on. [_Exeunt._]

SCENE II.–AMANDA’s _Dressing-room._
_Enter_ AMANDA _followed by her_ MAID. _Maid._ If you please, madam, only to say whether you’ll have me buy them or not?
_Aman._ Yes–no–Go, teaser; I care not what you do. Pr’ythee, leave me. [_Exit_ MAID.]
_Ber._ What, in the name of Jove, is the matter with you? _Aman._ The matter, Berinthia! I’m almost mad; I’m plagued to death.
_Ber._ Who is it that plagues you?
_Aman._ Who do you think should plague a wife but her husband?
_Ber._ O, ho! is it come to that?–We shall have you wish yourself a widow, by-and-by.
_Aman._ Would I were anything but what I am! A base, ungrateful man, to use me thus!
_Ber._ What, has he given you fresh reason to suspect his wandering?
_Aman._ Every hour gives me reason. _Ber._ And yet, Amanda, you perhaps at this moment cause in another’s breast the same tormenting doubts and jealousies which you feel so sensibly yourself.
_Aman._ Heaven knows I would not.
_Ber._ Why, you can’t tell but there may be some one as tenderly attached to Townly, whom you boast of as your conquest, as you can be to your husband?
_Aman._ I’m sure, I never encouraged his pretensions. _Ber._ Psha! psha! no sensible man ever perseveres to love without encouragement. Why have you not treated him as you have Lord Foppington?
_Aman._ Because he presumed not so far. But let us drop the subject. Men, not women, are riddles. Mr. Loveless now follows some flirt for variety, whom I’m sure he does not like so well as he does me.
_Ber._ That’s more than you know, madam. _Aman._ Why, do you know the ugly thing? _Ber._ I think I can guess at the person; but she’s no such ugly thing neither.
_Aman._ Is she very handsome?
_Ber._ Truly I think so.
_Aman._ Whate’er she be, I’m sure he does not like her well enough to bestow anything more than a little outward gallantry upon her.
_Ber._ [_Aside._] Outward gallantry! I can’t bear this.–
[_Aloud._] Come, come, don’t you be too secure, Amanda: while you suffer Townly to imagine that you do not detest him for his designs on you, you have no right to complain that your husband is engaged elsewhere. But here comes the person we were speaking of.
_Col. Town._ Ladies, as I come uninvited, I beg, if I intrude, you will use the same freedom in turning me out again. _Aman._ I believe it is near the time Loveless said he would be at home. He talked of accepting Lord Foppington’s invitation to sup at Sir Tunbelly Clumsy’s.
_Col. Town._ His lordship has done me the honour to invite me also. If you’ll let me escort you, I’ll let you into a mystery as we go, in which you must play a part when we arrive. _Aman._ But we have two hours yet to spare; the carriages are not ordered till eight, and it is not a five minutes’ drive. So, cousin, let us keep the colonel to play at piquet with us, till Mr. Loveless comes home.
_Ber._ As you please, madam; but you know I have a letter to write.
_Col. Town._ Madam, you know you may command me, though I am a very wretched gamester.
_Aman._ Oh, you play well enough to lose your money, and that’s all the ladies require; and so, without any more ceremony, let us go into the next room, and call for cards and candles. [_Exeunt._]

SCENE III.–BERINTHIA’S _Dressing-room._ _Enter_ LOVELESS.
_Love._ So, thus far all’s well: I have got into her dressing-room, and it being dusk, I think nobody has perceived me steal into the house. I heard Berinthia tell my wife she had some particular letters to write this evening, before she went to Sir Tunbelly’s, and here are the implements of correspondence.–How shall I muster up assurance to show myself, when she comes? I think she has given me encouragement; and, to do my impudence justice, I have made the most of it.–I hear a door open, and some one coming. If it should be my wife, what the devil should I say? I believe she mistrusts me, and, by my life, I don’t deserve her tenderness. However, I am determined to reform, though not yet. Ha! Berinthia!–So, I’ll step in here, till I see what sort of humour she is in. [_Goes into the closet_.] _Enter_ BERINTHIA.
_Ber_. Was ever so provoking a situation! To think I should sit and hear him compliment Amanda to my face! I have lost all patience with them both! I would not for something have Loveless know what temper of mind they have piqued me into; yet I can’t bear to leave them together. No, I’ll put my papers away, and return, to disappoint them.–[_Goes to the closet_.]–O Lord! a ghost! a ghost! a ghost!
_Re-enter_ LOVELESS.
_Love_. Peace, my angel; it’s no ghost, but one worth a hundred spirits.
_Ber_. How, sir, have you had the insolence to presume to– run in again; here’s somebody coming. [LOVELESS _goes into the closet_.]
_Enter_ MAID.
_Maid_. O Lord, ma’am, what’s the matter? _Ber_. O Heavens! I’m almost frightened out of my wits! I thought verily I had seen a ghost, and ’twas nothing but a black hood pinned against the wall. You may go again; I am the fearfullest fool! [Exit MAID.]
_Re-enter_ LOVELESS.
_Love_. Is the coast clear?
_Ber_. The coast clear! Upon my word, I wonder at your assurance.
_Love_. Why, then, you wonder before I have given you a proof of it. But where’s my wife?
_Ber_. At cards.
_Love_. With whom?
_Ber_. With Townly.
_Love_. Then we are safe enough.
_Ber_. You are so! Some husbands would be of another mind, were he at cards with their wives.
_Love_. And they’d be in the right on’t, too; but I dare trust mine.
_Ber_. Indeed! and she, I doubt not, has the same confidence in you. Yet, do you think she’d be content to come and find you here?
_Love_. Egad, as you say, that’s true!–Then for fear she should come, hadn’t we better go into the next room, out of her way?
_Ber_. What, in the dark?
_Love_. Ay, or with a light, which you please. _Ber_. You are certainly very impudent.
_Love_. Nay, then–let me conduct you, my angel! _Ber_. Hold, hold! you are mistaken in your angel, I assure you.
_Love_. I hope not; for by this hand I swear– _Ber_. Come, come, let go my hand, or I shall hate you!– I’ll cry out, as I live!
_Love_. Impossible! you cannot be so cruel. _Ber_. Ha! here’s some one coming. Begone instantly. _Love_. Will you promise to return, if I remain here? _Ber_. Never trust myself in a room again with you while I live.
_Love_. But I have something particular to communicate to you.
_Ber_. Well, well, before we go to Sir Tunbelly’s, I’ll walk upon the lawn. If you are fond of a moonlight evening, you’ll find me there.
_Love_. I’faith, they’re coming here now! I take you at your word. [_Exit into the closet_.]
_Ber_. ‘Tis Amanda, as I live! I hope she has not heard his voice; though I mean she should have her share of jealousy in her turn.
_Enter_ AMANDA.
_Aman_. Berinthia, why did you leave me? _Ber_. I thought I only spoiled your party. _Aman_. Since you have been gone, Townly has attempted to renew his importunities. I must break with him, for I cannot venture to acquaint Mr. Loveless with his conduct. _Ber_. Oh, no! Mr. Loveless mustn’t know of it by any means. _Aman_. Oh, not for the world–I wish, Berinthia, you would undertake to speak to Townly on the subject. _Ber_. Upon my word, it would be a very pleasant subject for me to talk upon! But, come, let us go back; and you may depend on’t I’ll not leave you together again, if I can help it. [_Exeunt_.]
_Re-enter_ LOVELESS.
_Love_. So–so! a pretty piece of business I have overheard! Townly makes love to my wife, and I am not to know it for all the world. I must inquire into this–and, by Heaven, if I find that Amanda has, in the smallest degree–yet what have I been at here!–Oh, ‘sdeath! that’s no rule.

That wife alone unsullied credit wins, Whose virtues can atone her husband’s sins, Thus, while the man has other nymphs in view, It suits the woman to be doubly true.


SCENE I.–_The Garden behind_ LOVELESS’s _Lodgings_. _Enter_ LOVELESS.
_Love_. Now, does she mean to make a fool of me, or not! I shan’t wait much longer, for my wife will soon be inquiring for me to set out on our supping party. Suspense is at all times the devil, but of all modes of suspense, the watching for a loitering mistress is the worst.–But let me accuse her no longer; she approaches with one smile to o’erpay the anxieties of a year. _Enter_ BERINTHIA.
O Berinthia, what a world of kindness are you in my debt! had you stayed five minutes longer–
_Ber_. You would have gone, I suppose? _Love_. Egad, she’s right enough. [_Aside.] Ber_. And I assure you ’twas ten to one that I came at all. In short, I begin to think you are too dangerous a being to trifle with; and as I shall probably only make a fool of you at last, I believe we had better let matters rest as they are. _Love_. You cannot mean it, sure?
_Ber_. What more would you have me give to a married man? _Love_. How doubly cruel to remind me of my misfortunes! _Ber_. A misfortune to be married to so charming a woman as Amanda?
_Love_. I grant her all her merit, but–‘sdeath! now see what you have done by talking of her–she’s here, by all that’s unlucky, and Townly with her.–I’ll observe them. _Ber_. O Gad, we had better get out of the way; for I should feel as awkward to meet her as you.
_Love_. Ay, if I mistake not, I see Townly coming this way also. I must see a little into this matter. [_Steps aside_.] _Ber_. Oh, if that’s your intention, I am no woman if I suffer myself to be outdone in curiosity. [_Goes on the other side_.]
_Enter_ AMANDA.
_Aman_. Mr. Loveless come home, and walking on the lawn! I will not suffer him to walk so late, though perhaps it is to show his neglect of me.–Mr. Loveless, I must speak with you.–Ha! Townly again!–How I am persecuted!
_Col. Town_. Madam, you seem disturbed. _Aman_. Sir, I have reason.
_Col. Town_. Whatever be the cause, I would to Heaven it were in my power to bear the pain, or to remove the malady. _Aman_. Your interference can only add to my distress. _Col. Town_. Ah, madam, if it be the sting of unrequited love you suffer from, seek for your remedy in revenge: weigh well the strength and beauty of your charms, and rouse up that spirit a woman ought to bear. Disdain the false embraces of a husband. See at your feet a real lover; his zeal may give him title to your pity, although his merit cannot claim your love. _Love_. So, so, very fine, i’faith! [_Aside_.] _Aman_. Why do you presume to talk to me thus? Is this your friendship to Mr. Loveless? I perceive you will compel me at last to acquaint him with your treachery.
_Col. Town_. He could not upbraid me if you were.–He deserves it from me; for he has not been more false to you than faithless to me.
_Aman_. To you?
_Col. Town_. Yes, madam; the lady for whom he now deserts those charms which he was never worthy of, was mine by right; and, I imagine too, by inclination. Yes, madam, Berinthia, who now–
_Aman_. Berinthia! Impossible!
_Col. Town_. ‘Tis true, or may I never merit your attention. She is the deceitful sorceress who now holds your husband’s heart in bondage.
_Aman_. I will not believe it.
_Col. Town_. By the faith of a true lover, I speak from conviction. This very day I saw them together, and overheard– _Aman_. Peace, sir! I will not even listen to such slander– this is a poor device to work on my resentment, to listen to your insidious addresses. No, sir; though Mr. Loveless may be capable of error, I am convinced I cannot be deceived so grossly in him as to believe what you now report; and for Berinthia, you should have fixed on some more probable person for my rival than her who is my relation and my friend: for while I am myself free from guilt, I will never believe that love can beget injury, or confidence create ingratitude.
_Col. Town_. If I do not prove to you– _Aman._ You never shall have an opportunity. From the artful manner in which you first showed yourself to me, I might have been led, as far as virtue permitted, to have thought you less criminal than unhappy; but this last unmanly artifice merits at once my resentment and contempt. [_Exit_.] _Col. Town_. Sure there’s divinity about her; and she has dispensed some portion of honour’s light to me: yet can I bear to lose Berinthia without revenge or compensation? Perhaps she is not so culpable as I thought her. I was mistaken when I began to think lightly of Amanda’s virtue, and may be in my censure of my Berinthia. Surely I love her still, for I feel I should be happy to find myself in the wrong. [_Exit_.]
_Re-enter_ LOVELESS _and_ BERINTHIA. _Ber_. Your servant, Mr. Loveless.
_Love_. Your servant, madam.
_Ber_. Pray what do you think of this? _Love_. Truly, I don’t know what to say. _Ber_. Don’t you think we steal forth two contemptible creatures?
_Love_. Why, tolerably so, I must confess. _Ber_. And do you conceive it possible for you ever to give Amanda the least uneasiness again?
_Love_. No, I think we never should indeed. _Ber_. We! why, monster, you don’t pretend that I ever entertained a thought?
_Love_. Why then, sincerely and honestly, Berinthia, there is something in my wife’s conduct which strikes me so forcibly, that if it were not for shame, and the fear of hurting you in her opinion, I swear I would follow her, confess my error, and trust to her generosity for forgiveness.
_Ber_. Nay, pr’ythee, don’t let your respect for me prevent you; for as my object in trifling with you was nothing more than to pique Townly, and as I perceive he has been actuated by a similar motive, you may depend on’t I shall make no mystery of the matter to him.
_Love_. By no means inform him: for though I may choose to pass by his conduct without resentment, how will he presume to look me in the face again?
_Ber_. How will you presume to look him in the face again? _Love_. He, who has dared to attempt the honour of my wife! _Ber_. You who have dared to attempt the honour of his mistress! Come, come, be ruled by me, who affect more levity than I have, and don’t think of anger in this cause. A readiness to resent injuries is a virtue only in those who are slow to injure. _Love_. Then I will be ruled by you; and when you think proper to undeceive Townly, may your good qualities make as sincere a convert of him as Amanda’s have of me.-When truth’s extorted from us, then we own the robe of virtue is a sacred habit.

Could women but our secret counsel scan– Could they but reach the deep reserve of man– To keep our love they’d rate their virtue high, They live together, and together die.


SCENE II.–_A Room in_ SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY’S _House. Enter_ MISS HOYDEN, NURSE, _and_ TOM FASHION. _Fash_. This quick despatch of the chaplain’s I take so kindly it shall give him claim to my favour as long as I live, I assure you.
_Miss Hoyd_. And to mine too, I promise you. _Nurse_. I most humbly thank your honours; and may your children swarm about you like bees about a honeycomb! _Miss Hoyd_. Ecod, with all my heart–the more the merrier, I say–ha, nurse?
_Enter_ LORY.
_Lory_. One word with you, for Heaven’s sake. [_Taking_ TOM FASHION _hastily aside_.]
_Fash_. What the devil’s the matter? _Lory_. Sir, your fortune’s ruined if you are not married. Yonder’s your brother arrived, with two coaches and six horses, twenty footmen, and a coat worth fourscore pounds–so judge what will become of your lady’s heart.
_Fash_. Is he in the house yet?
_Lory_. No, they are capitulating with him at the gate. Sir Tunbelly luckily takes him for an impostor; and I have told him that we have heard of this plot before.
_Fash_. That’s right.–[_Turning to_ MISS HOYDEN.] My dear, here’s a troublesome business my man tells me of, but don’t be frightened; we shall be too hard for the rogue. Here’s an impudent fellow at the gate (not knowing I was come hither incognito) has taken my name upon him, in hopes to run away with you.
_Miss Hoyd_. Oh, the brazen-faced varlet! it’s well we are married, or maybe we might never have been so. _Fash. [Aside_.] Egad, like enough.–[_Aloud_.] Pr’ythee, nurse, run to Sir Tunbelly, and stop him from going to the gate before I speak to him.
_Nurse_. An’t please your honour, my lady and I had better, lock ourselves up till the danger be over. _Fash_. Do so, if you please.
_Miss Hoyd_. Not so fast; I won’t be locked up any more, now I’m married.
_Fash_. Yes, pray, my dear, do, till we have seized this rascal.
_Miss Hoyd_. Nay, if you’ll pray me, I’ll do anything. [_Exit with_ NURSE.]
_Fash_. Hark you, sirrah, things are better than you imagine. The wedding’s over.
_Lory_. The devil it is, sir! [_Capers about_.] _Fash_. Not a word–all’s safe–but Sir Tunbelly don’t know it, nor must not yet. So I am resolved to brazen the brunt of the business out, and have the pleasure of turning the impostor upon his lordship, which I believe may easily be done. _Enter_ SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Did you ever hear, sir, of so impudent an undertaking? _Sir Tun_. Never, by the mass; but we’ll tickle him, I’ll warrant you.
_Fash_. They tell me, sir, he has a great many people with him, disguised like servants.
_Sir Tun_. Ay, ay, rogues enow, but we have mastered them. We only fired a few shot over their heads, and the regiment scoured in an instant.–Here, Tummus, bring in your prisoner. _Fash_. If you please, Sir Tunbelly, it will be best for me not to confront this fellow yet, till you have heard how far his impudence will carry him.
_Sir Tun_. Egad, your lordship is an ingenious person. Your lordship, then, will please to step aside. _Lory_. [_Aside_.] ‘Fore heavens, I applaud my master’s modesty! [_Exit with_ TOM FASHION.]
_Enter_ SERVANTS, _with_ LORD FOPPINGTON _disarmed_.
_Sir Tun_. Come, bring him along, bring him along. _Lord Fop_. What the plague do you mean, gentlemen? is it fair time, that you are all drunk before supper? _Sir Tun_. Drunk, sirrah! here’s an impudent rogue for you now. Drunk or sober, bully, I’m a justice o’ the peace, and know how to deal with strollers.
_Lord Fop_. Strollers!
_Sir Tun_. Ay, strollers. Come, give an account of yourself. What’s your name? where do you live? do you pay scot and lot? Come, are you a freeholder or a copyholder? _Lord Fop_. And why dost thou ask me so many impertinent questions?
_Sir Tun_. Because I’ll make you answer ’em, before I have done with you, you rascal, you!
_Lord Fop_. Before Gad, all the answer I can make to them is, that you are a very extraordinary old fellow, stap my vitals. _Sir Tun_. Nay, if thou art joking deputy-lieutenants, we know how to deal with you.–Here, draw a warrant for him immediately.
_Lord Fop_. A warrant! What the devil is’t thou wouldst be at, old gentleman?
_Sir Tun_. I would be at you, sirrah, (if my hands were not tied as a magistrate,) and with these two double fists beat your teeth down your throat, you dog, you! [_Driving him_.] _Lord Fop_. And why wouldst thou spoil my face at that rate? _Sir Tun_. For your design to rob me of my daughter, villain.
_Lord Fop_. Rob thee of thy daughter! Now do I begin to believe I am in bed and asleep, and that all this is but a dream. Pr’ythee, old father, wilt thou give me leave to ask thee one question?
_Sir Tun_. I can’t tell whether I will or not, till I know what it is.
_Lord Fop_. Why, then, it is, whether thou didst not write to my Lord Foppington, to come down and marry thy daughter? _Sir Tun._ Yes, marry, did I, and my Lord Foppington is come down, and shall marry my daughter before she’s a day older. _Lord Fop._ Now give me thy hand, old dad; I thought we should understand one another at last.
_Sir Tun._ The fellow’s mad!–Here, bind him hand and foot. [_They bind him._]
_Lord Fop._ Nay, pr’ythee, knight, leave fooling; thy jest begins to grow dull.
_Sir Tun._ Bind him, I say–he’s mad: bread and water, a dark room, and a whip, may bring him to his senses again. _Lord Fop._ Pr’ythee, Sir Tunbelly, why should you take such an aversion to the freedom of my address as to suffer the rascals thus to skewer down my arms like a rabbit?–[_Aside._] Egad, if I don’t awake, by all that I can see, this is like to prove one of the most impertinent dreams that ever I dreamt in my life. _Re-enter_ MISS HOYDEN _and_ NURSE.
_Miss Hoyd._ [_Going up to_ LORD FOPPINGTON.] Is this he that would have run–Fough, how he stinks of sweets!–Pray, father, let him be dragged through the horse-pond. _Lord Fop._ This must be my wife, by her natural inclination to her husband. [_Aside._]
_Miss Hoyd._ Pray, father, what do you intend to do with him–hang him?
_Sir Tun._ That, at least, child.
_Nurse._ Ay, and it’s e’en too good for him too. _Lord Fop._ Madame la gouvernante, I presume: hitherto this appears to me to be one of the most extraordinary families that ever man of quality matched into. [_Aside._] _Sir Tun._ What’s become of my lord, daughter? _Miss Hoyd._ He’s just coming, sir.
_Lord Fop._ My lord! what does he mean by that, now? [_Aside._]
_Re-enter_ TOM FASHION _and_ LORY.
Stap my vitals, Tam, now the dream’s out! [_Runs._] _Fash._ Is this the fellow, sir, that designed to trick me of your daughter?
_Sir Tun_. This is he, my lord. How do you like him? Is not he a pretty fellow to get a fortune?
_Fash_. I find by his dress he thought your daughter might be taken with a beau.
_Miss Hoyd_. Oh, gemini! is this a beau? let me see him again. [_Surveys him_.] Ha! I find a beau is no such ugly thing, neither.
_Fash. [Aside_.] Egad, she’ll be in love with him presently –I’ll e’en have him sent away to jail.–[_To_ LORD FOPPINGTON.] Sir, though your undertaking shows you a person of no extraordinary modesty, I suppose you ha’n’t confidence enough to expect much favour from me?
_Lord Fop_. Strike me dumb, Tam, thou art a very impudent fellow.
_Nurse_. Look, if the varlet has not the effrontery to call his lordship plain Thomas!
_Lord Fop_. My Lord Foppington, shall I beg one word with your lordship?
_Nurse_. Ho, ho! it’s my lord with him now! See how afflictions will humble folks.
_Miss Hoyd_. Pray, my lord–[_To_ FASHION]–don’t let him whisper too close, lest he bite your ear off. _Lord Fop_. I am not altogether so hungry as your ladyship is pleased to imagine.–[_Aside to_ TOM FASHION.] Look you, Tam, I am sensible I have not been so kind to you as I ought, but I hope you’ll forgive what’s past, and accept of the five thousand pounds I offer–thou mayst live in extreme splendour with it, stap my vitals!
_Fash_. It’s a much easier matter to prevent a disease than to cure it. A quarter of that sum would have secured your mistress, twice as much cannot redeem her. [_Aside to_ LORD FOPPINGTON.]
_Sir Tun_. Well, what says he?
_Fash_. Only the rascal offered me a bribe to let him go. _Sir Tun_. Ay, he shall go, with a plague to him!–lead on, constable.
_Enter_ SERVANT.
_Ser_. Sir, here is Muster Loveless, and Muster Colonel Townly, and some ladies to wait on you. [_To_ TOM FASHION.] _Lory. [Aside to_ TOM FASHION.] So, sir, what will you do now?
_Fash_. [_Aside to_ LORY.] Be quiet; they are in the plot.–[_Aloud_.] Only a few friends, Sir Tunbelly, whom I wish to introduce to you.
_Lord Fop_. Thou art the most impudent fellow, Tam, that