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The Country Wife Act III



ACT 3

Scene I

Alithea, and Mrs. Pinchwife.

Alithea

Sister, what ailes you, you are grown melancholy?

Margery

Wou'd it not make any one melancholy, to see you go every day fluttering about abroad, whil'st I must stay at home like a poor lonely, sullen Bird in a cage?

Alithea

Ay, Sister, but you came young, and just from the nest to your cage, so that I thought you lik'd it; and cou'd be as chearful in't, as others that took their flight themselves early, and are hopping abroad in the open Air.

Margery

Nay, I confess I was quiet enough, till my Husband told me, what pure lives, the London Ladies live abroad, with their dancing, meetings, and junketings, and drest every day in their best gowns; and I warrant you, play at nine Pins every day of the week, so they do.

Enter Mr. Pinchwife.

Mr Pinchwife

Come, what's here to do? you are putting the Town pleasures in her head, and setting her a longing.

Alithea

Yes, after Nine-pins; you suffer none to give her those longings, you mean, but your self.

Mr Pinchwife

I tell her of the vanities of the Town like a Confessor.

Alithea

A Confessor! just such a Confessor, as he that by forbidding a silly Oastler to grease the Horses teeth, taught him to do't.

Mr Pinchwife

Come Mistriss Flippant, good Precepts are lost, when bad Examples are still before us; the liberty you take abroad makes her hanker after it; and out of humour at home, poor Wretch! she desired not to come to London, I wou'd bring her.

Alithea

Very well.

Mr. Pinchwife

She has been this week in Town, and never desired, till this afternoon, to go abroad.

Alithea

Was she not at a Play yesterday?

Mr Pinchwife

Yes, but she ne'er ask'd me; I was my self the cause of her going.

Alithea

Then if she ask you again, you are the cause of her asking, and not my example.

Mr Pinchwife

Well, to morrow night I shall be rid of you; and the next day before 'tis light, she and I'll be rid of the Town, and my dreadful apprehensions: Come, be not melancholly, for thou sha't go into the Country after to morrow, Dearest.

Alithea

Great comfort.

Mrs Pinchwife

Pish, what d'ye tell me of the Country for?

Mr Pinchwife

How's this! what, pish at the Country?

Mrs Pinchwife

Let me alone, I am not well.

Mr Pinchwife

O, if that be all---what ailes my dearest?

Mrs Pinchwife

Truly I don't know; but I have not been well, since you told me there was a Gallant at the Play in love with me.

Mr Pinchwife

Ha---

Alithea

That's by my example too.

Mr Pinchwhife

Nay, if you are not well, but are so concern'd, because a lew'd Fellow chanc'd to lye, and say he lik'd you, you'l make me sick too.

Mrs Pinchwife

Of what sickness?

Mr Pinchwife

O, of that which is worse than the Plague. Jealousy.

Mrs Pinchwife

Pish, you jear, I'm sure there's no such disease in our Receipt-book at home.

Mr Pinchwife

No, thou never met'st with it, poor Innocent--- well, if thou Cuckold me, 'twill be my own fault--- for Cuckolds and Bastards, are generally makers of their own fortune. [Aside.

Mrs Pinchwife

Well, but pray Bud, let's go to a Play to night.

Mr Pinchwife

'Tis just done, she comes from it; but why are you so eager to see a Play?

Mrs Pinchwife

Faith Dear, not that I care one pin for their talk there; but I like to look upon the Player-men, and wou'd see, if I cou'd, the Gallant you say loves me; that's all dear Bud.

Mr Pinchwife

Is that all dear Bud?

Alithea

This proceeds from my example.

Mrs Pinchwife

But if the Play be done, let's go abroad however, dear Bud.

Mr Pinchwife

Come have a little patience, and thou shalt go into the Country on Friday.

Mrs Pinchwife

Therefore I wou'd see first some sights, to tell my Neighbours of. Nay, I will go abroad, that's once.

Alithea

I'm the cause of this desire too.

Mr Pinchwife

But now I think on't, who was the cause of Horner's coming to my Lodging to day? that was you.

Alithea

No, you, because you wou'd not let him see your handsome Wife out of your Lodging.

Mrs Pinchwife

Why, O Lord! did the Gentleman come hither to see me indeed?

Mr Pinchwife

No, no;---You are not cause of that damn'd question too, Mistriss Alithea?---[Well she's in the right of it; he is in love with my Wife---and comes after her--- 'tis so---but I'll nip his love in the bud; least he should follow us into the Country, and break his Chariot-wheel near our house, on purpose for an excuse to come to't; but I think I know the Town. [Aside.

Mrs Pinchwife

Come, pray Bud, let's go abroad before 'tis late; for I will go, that's flat and plain.

Mr Pinchwife

So! the obstinacy already of a Town-wife, and I must, whilst she's here, humour her like one. [Aside.] Sister, how shall we do, that she may not be seen, or known?

Alithea

Let her put on her Mask.

Mr Pinchwife.

Pshaw, a Mask makes People but the more inquisitive, and is as ridiculous a disguise, as a stage-beard; her shape, stature, habit will be known: and if we shou'd meet with Horner, he wou'd be sure to take acquaintance with us, must wish her joy, kiss her, talk to her, leer upon her, and the Devil and all; no I'll not use her to a Mask, 'tis dangerous; for Masks have made more Cuckolds, than the best faces that ever were known.

A seventeenth-century English woman wearing a mask and a carrying a fur muff, for cold weather. This image was engraved by the artist Wenceslaus Hollar in 1643.
A seventeenth-century English woman wearing a mask and a carrying a fur muff, for cold weather. This image was engraved by the artist Wenceslaus Hollar in 1643.

 

Alithea

How will you do then?

Mrs Pinchwife

Nay, shall we go? the Exchange will be shut, and I have a mind to see that.

Mr Pinchwife

So---I have it---I'll dress her up in the Suit, we are to carry down to her Brother, little Sir James; nay, I understand the Town tricks: Come let's go dress her; a Mask! no---a Woman mask'd, like a cover'd Dish, gives a Man curiosity, and appetite, when, it may be, uncover'd, 'twou'd turn his stomack; no, no.

Alithea

Indeed your comparison is something a greasie one: but I had a gentle Gallant, us'd to say, a Beauty mask'd, lik'd the Sun in Eclipse, gathers together more gazers, than if it shin'd out.

Exeunt.

The New Exchange. This was a shopping arcade located on the Strand, with two levels of stores selling clothing, books, and other items. It also had a slightly rakish reputation as a good place for a romantic assignation.
The New Exchange. This was a shopping arcade located on the Strand, with two levels of stores selling clothing, books, and other items. It also had a slightly rakish reputation as a good place for a romantic assignation.

 

The Scene changes to the new Exchange

Enter Horner, Harcourt, Dorilant.

Dorilant

Engag'd to Women, and not Sup with us?

Horner

Ay, a Pox on 'em all.

Harcourt

You were much a more reasonable Man in the morning, and had as noble resolutions against 'em, as a Widdower of a weeks liberty.

Dorilant

Did I ever think, to see you keep company with Women in vain.

Horner

In vain! no---'tis, since I can't love 'em, to be reveng'd on 'em.

Harcourt

Now your Sting is gone, you look'd in the Box amongst all those Women, like a drone in the hive, all upon you; shov'd and ill-us'd by 'em all, and thrust from one side to t'other.

Dorilant

Yet he must be buzzing amongst 'em still, like other old beetle-headed, lycorish drones; avoid 'em, and hate 'm as they hate you.

Horner

Because I do hate 'em, and wou'd hate 'em yet more, I'll frequent 'em; you may see by Marriage, nothing makes a Man hate a Woman more, than her constant conversation: In short, I converse with 'em, as you do with rich Fools, to laugh at 'em, and use 'em ill.

Dorilant

But I wou'd no more Sup with Women, unless I cou'd lye with 'em, than Sup with a rich Coxcomb, unless I cou'd cheat him.

Horner

Yes, I have known thee Sup with a Fool, for his drinking, if he cou'd set out your hand that way only, you were satisfy'd; and if he were a Wine-swallowing mouth 'twas enough.

Harcourt

Yes, a Man drink's often with a Fool, as he tosses with a Marker, only to keep his hand in Ure; but do the Ladies drink?

Horner

Yes, Sir, and I shall have the pleasure at least of laying 'em flat with a Bottle; and bring as much scandal that way upon 'em, as formerly t'other.

Harcourt

Perhaps you may prove as weak a Brother amongst 'em that way, as t'other.

Dorilant

Foh, drinking with Women, is as unnatural, as scolding with 'em; but 'tis a pleasure of decay'd Fornicators, and the basest way of quenching Love.

Harcourt

Nay, 'tis drowning Love, instead of quenching it; but leave us for civil Women too!

Dorilant

Ay, when he can't be the better for 'em; we hardly pardon a Man, that leaves his Friend for a Wench, and that's a pretty lawful call.

Horner

Faith, I wou'd not leave you for 'em, if they wou'd not drink.

Dorilant

Who wou'd disappoint his Company at Lewis's, for a Gossiping?

Harcourt

Foh, Wine and Women good apart, together as nauseous as Sack and Sugar: But hark you, Sir, before you go, a little of your advice, an old maim'd General, when unfit for action is fittest for Counsel; I have other designs upon Women, than eating and drinking with them: I am in love with Sparkish's Mistriss, whom he is to marry to morrow, now how shall I get her?

Enter Sparkish, looking about

Horner

Why, here comes one will help you to her.

Harcourt

He! he, I tell you, is my Rival, and will hinder my love.

Horner

No, a foolish Rival, and a jealous Husband assist their Rivals designs; for they are sure to make their Women hate them, which is the first step to their love, for another Man.

Harcourt

But I cannot come near his Mistriss, but in his company.

Horner

Still the better for you, for Fools are most easily cheated, when they themselves are accessaries; and he is to be bubled of his Mistriss, as of his Money, the common Mistriss, by keeping him company.

Sparkish

Who is that, that is to be bubled? Faith let me snack, I han't met with a buble since Christmas: gad; I think bubles are like their Brother Woodcocks, go out with the cold weather.

Harcourt

A Pox, he did not hear all I hope. [Apart to Horner.

Sparkish

Come, you bubling Rogues you, where do we sup---Oh, Harcourt, my Mistriss tells me, you have been making fierce love to her all the Play long, hah, ha--- but I---

Harcourt

I make love to her?

Sparkish

Nay, I forgive thee; for I think I know thee, and I-know her, but I am sure I know my self.

Harcourt

Did she tell you so? I see all Women are like these of the Exchange, who to enhance the price of their commodities, report to their fond Customers offers which were never made 'em.

Horner

Ay, Women are as apt to tell before the intrigue, as Men after it, and so shew themselves the vainer Sex; but hast thou a Mistriss, Sparkish? 'tis as hard for me to believe it, as that thou ever hadst a buble, as you brag'd just now.

Sparkish

O your Servant, Sir; are you at your raillery, Sir? but we were some of us beforehand with you to day at the Plays: the Wits were something bold with you, Sir; did you not hear us laugh?

Harcourt

Yes, But I thought you had gone to Plays, to laugh at the Poets wit, not at your own.

Sparkish

Your Servant, Sir, no I thank you; gad I go to a Play as to a Country-treat, I carry my own wine to one, and my own wit to t'other, or else I'm sure I shou'd not be merry at either; and the reason why we are so often lowder, than the Players, is, because we think we speak more wit, and so become the Poets Rivals in his audience: for to tell you the truth, we hate the silly Rogues; nay, so much that we find fault even with their Bawdy upon the Stage, whilst we talk nothing else in the Pit as lowd.

Horner

But, why should'st thou hate the silly Poets, thou hast too much wit to be one, and they like Whores are only hated by each other; and thou dost scorn writing, I'am sure.

Sparkish

Yes, I'd have you to know, I scorn writing; but Women, Women, that make Men do all foolish things, make 'em write Songs too; every body does it: 'tis ev'n as common with Lovers, as playing with fans; and you can no more help Rhyming to your Phyllis, than drinking to your Phyllis.

Harcourt

Nay, Poetry in love is no more to be avoided, than jealousy.

Dorilant

But the Poets damn'd your Songs, did they?

Sparkish

Damn the Poets, they turn'd 'em into Burlesque, as they call it; that Burlesque is a Hocus-Pocus-trick, they have got, which by the virtue of Hictius doctius, topsey turvey, they make a wise and witty Man in the World, a Fool upon the Stage you know not how; and ' tis therefore I hate 'em too, for I know not but it may be my own case; for they'l put a Man into a Play for looking a Squint: Their Predecessors were contented to make Serving-men only their Stage Fools, but these Rogues must have Gentlemen, with a Pox to 'em, nay Knights: and indeed you shall hardly see a Fool upon the Stage, but he's a Knight; and to tell you the truth, they have kept me these six years from being a Knight in earnest, for fear of being knighted in a Play, and dubb'd a Fool.

Dorilant

Blame 'em not, they must follow their Copy, the Age.

Harcourt

But why should'st thou be afraid of being in a Play, who expose your self every day in the Play-houses, and as publick Places.

Horner

'Tis but being on the Stage, instead of standing on a Bench in the Pit.

Dorilant

Don't you give money to Painters to draw you like? and are you afraid of your Pictures, at length in a Play-house, where all your Mistresses may see you.

Sparkish

A Pox, Painters don't draw the Small Pox, or Pimples in ones face; come damn all your silly Authors whatever, all Books and Booksellers, by the World, and all Readers, courteous or uncourteous.

Harcourt

But, who comes here, Sparkish?

Enter Mr. Pinchwife, and his Wife in Mans Cloaths, Alithea, Lucy her Maid.

Sparkish

Oh hide me, there's my Mistriss too. [Sparkish hides himself behind Harcourt.

Harcourt

She sees you.

Sparkish

But I will not see her, 'tis time to go to Whitehal, and I must not fail the drawing Room.

Harcourt

Pray, first carry me, and reconcile me to her.

Sparkish

Another time, faith the King will have sup't.

Harcourt

Not with the worse stomach for thy absence; thou art one of those Fools, that think their attendance at the King's Meals, as necessary as his Physicians, when you are more troublesom to him, than his Doctors, or his Dogs.

Sparkish

Pshaw, I know my interest, Sir, prethee hide me.

Horner

Your Servant, Pinchwife, --- what he knows us not - --

Mr Pinchwife

Come along. [To his Wife aside.

Mrs Pinchwife

Pray, have you any Ballads, give me six-penny worth?

Clasp

We have no Ballads.

Mrs Pinchwife

Then give me Covent-garden-Drollery, and a Play or two --- Oh here's Tarugos Wiles, and the Slighted Maiden, I'll have them.

Mr Pinchwife

No, Playes are not for your reading; come along, will you discover your self? [Apart to her.

Horner

Who is that pretty Youth with him, Sparkish?

Sparkish

I believe his Wife's Brother, because he's something like her, but I never saw her but once.

Horner

Extreamly handsom, I have seen a face like it too; let us follow 'em.

Exeunt Pinchwife, Mistriss Pinchwife. Alithea, Lucy, Horner, Dorilant following them.

Harcourt

Come, Sparkish, your Mistriss saw you, and will be angry you go not to her; besides I wou'd fain be reconcil'd to her, which none but you can do, dear Friend.

Sparkish

Well that's a better reason, dear Friend; I wou'd not go near her now, for her's, or my own sake, but I can deny you nothing; for though I have known thee a great while, never go, if I do not love thee, as well as a new Acquaintance.

Harcourt

I am oblig'd to you indeed, dear Friend, I wou'd be well with her only, to be well with thee still; for these tyes to Wives usually dissolve all tyes to Friends: I wou'd be contented, she shou'd enjoy you a nights, but I wou'd have you to my self a dayes, as I have had, dear Friend.

Sparkish

And thou shalt enjoy me a dayes, dear, dear Friend, never stir; and I'll be divorced from her, sooner than from thee; come along---

Harcourt

So we are hard put to't, when we make our Rival our Procurer; but neither she, nor her Brother, wou'd let me come near her now: when all's done, a Rival is the best cloak to steal to a Mistress under, without suspicion; and when we have once got to her as we desire, we throw him off like other Cloaks. [Aside.

Exit Sparkish, and Harcourt following him.

Re-enter Mr. Pinchwife, Mistress Pinchwife in Man's Cloaths.

Mr Pinchwife

Sister, if you will not go, we must leave you---[To Alithea.

Mr Pinchwife

The Fool her Gallant, and she, will muster up all the young santerers of this place, and they will leave their dear Seamstresses to follow us; what a swarm of Cuckolds, and Cuckold-makers are here? [Aside.

Mr. Pinchwife

Come let's be gone Mistriss Margery.

Mrs Pinchwife

Don't you believe that, I han't half my belly full of sights yet.

Mr Pinchwife

Then walk this way.

Mrs Pinchwife

Lord, what a power of brave signs are here! stay---the Bull's-head, the Rams- head, and the Stags-head, Dear---

Mr Pinchwife

Nay, if every Husbands proper sign here were visible, they wou'd be all alike.

Mrs Pinchwife

What d'ye mean by that, Bud?

Mr Pinchwhife

'Tis no matter---no matter, Bud.

Mrs Pinchwife

Pray tell me; nay, I will know.

Mr. Pinchwife

They wou'd be all Bulls, Stags, and Rams heads.

Exeunt Mr. Pinchwife, Mrs. Pinchwife.

Re-enter Sparkish, Harcourt, Alithea, Lucy, at t'other door.

Sparkish

Come, dear Madam, for my sake you shall be reconciled to him.

Alithea

For your sake I hate him.

Harcourt

That's something too cruel, Madam, to hate me for his sake.

Sparkish

Ay indeed, Madam, too, too cruel to me, to hate my Friend for my sake.

Alithea

I hate him because he is your Enemy; and you ought to hate him too, for making love to me, if you love me.

Sparkish

That's a good one, I hate a Man for loving you; if he did love you, 'tis but what he can't help, and 'tis your fault not his, if he admires you: I hate a Man for being of my opinion, I'll ne'er do't, by the World.

Alithea

Is it for your honour or mine, to suffer a Man to make love to me, who am to marry you to morrow?

Sparkish

Is it for your honour or mine, to have me jealous? That he makes love to you, is a sign you are handsome; and that I am not jealous, is a sign you are virtuous, that I think is for your honour.

Alithea

But 'tis your honour too, I am concerned for.

Harcourt

But why, dearest Madam, will you be more concern'd for his honour, than he is himself; let his honour alone for my sake, and his, he, he, has no honour---

Sparkish

How's that?

Harcourt

But what, my dear Friend can guard himself.

Sparkish

O ho---that's right again.

Harcourt

Your care of his honour argues his neglect of it, which is no honour to my dear Friend here; therefore once more, let his honour go which way it will, dear Madam.

Sparkish

Ay, ay, were it for my honour to marry a Woman, whose virtue I suspected, and cou'd not trust her in a Friends hands?

Alithea

Are you not afraid to loose me?

Harcourt

He afraid to loose you, Madam! No, no---you may see how the most estimable, and most glorious Creature in the World, is valued by him; will you not see it?

Sparkish

Right, honest Franck, I have that noble value for her, that I cannot be jealous of her.

Alithea

You mistake him, he means you care not for me, nor who has me.

Sparkish

Lord, Madam, I see you are jealous; will you wrest a poor Mans meaning from his words?

Alithea

You astonish me, Sir, with your want of jealousie.

Sparkish

And you make me guiddy, Madam, with your jealousie, and fears, and virtue, and honour; gad, I see virtue makes a Woman as troublesome, as a little reading, or learning.

Alithea

Monstrous!

Lucy

Well to see what easie Husbands these Women of quality can meet with, a poor Chamber maid can never have such Lady-like luck; besides he's thrown away upon her, she'l make no use of her fortune, her blessing, none to a Gentleman, for a pure Cuckold, for it requires good breeding to be a Cuckold. [Behind.

Alithea

I tell you then plainly, he pursues me to marry me.

Sparkish

Pshaw---

Harcourt

Come, Madam, you see you strive in vain to make him jealous of me; my dear Friend is the kindest Creature in the World to me.

Sparkish

Poor fellow.

Harcourt

But his kindness only is not enough for me, without your favour; your good opinion, dear Madam, 'tis that must perfect my happiness: good Gentleman he believes all I say, wou'd you wou'd do so, jealous of me! I wou'd not wrong him nor you for the World.

Sparkish

Look you there; hear him, hear him, and do not walk away so.

[Alithea walks carelessly, to and fro.

Harcourt

I love you, Madam, so---

Sparkish

How's that! Nay---now you begin to go too far indeed.

Harcourt

So much I confess, I say I love you, that I wou'd not have you miserable, and cast your self away upon so unworthy, and inconsiderable a thing, as what you see here.

[Clapping his hand on his breast, points at Sparkish.

Sparkish

No faith, I believe thou woud'st not, now his meaning is plain: but I knew before thou woud'st not wrong me nor her.

Harcourt

No, no, Heavens forbid, the glory of her Sex shou'd fall so low as into the embraces of such a contemptible Wretch, the last of Mankind---my dear Friend here--- I injure him. [Embracing Sparkish.

Alithea

Very well.

Sparkish

No, no, dear Friend, I knew it Madam, you see he will rather wrong himself than me, in giving himself such names.

Alithea

Do not you understand him yet?

Sparkish

Yes, how modestly he speaks of himself, poor Fellow.

Alithea

Methinks he speaks impudently of your self, since--- before your self too, insomuch that I can no longer suffer his scurrilous abusiveness to you, no more than his love to me. [Offers to go.

Sparkish

Nay, nay, Madam, pray stay, his love to you: Lord, Madam, has he not spoke yet plain enough?

Alithea

Yes indeed, I shou'd think so.

Sparkish

Well then, by the World, a Man can't speak civilly to a Woman now, but presently she says, he makes love to her: Nay, Madam, you shall stay, with your pardon, since you have not yet understood him, till he has made an éclaircisment of his love to you, that is what kind of love it is; answer to thy Catechisme: Friend, do you love my Mistriss here?

Harcourt

Yes, I wish she wou'd not doubt it.

Sparkish

But how do you love her?

Harcourt

With all my Soul.

Alithea

I thank him, methinks he speaks plain enough now.

Sparkish

You are out still.  [to Alithea.
 But with what kind of love, Harcourt?

Harcourt

With the best, and truest love in the World.

Sparkish

Look you there then, that is with no matrimonial love, I'm sure.

Alithea

How's that, do you say matrimonial love is not best?

Sparkish

Gad, I went too far e're I was aware: But speak for thy self Harcourt, you said you wou'd not wrong me, nor her.

Harcourt

No, no, Madam, e'n take him for Heaven's sake.

Sparkish

Look you there, Madam.

Harcourt

Who shou'd in all justice be yours, he that loves you most.

Claps his hand on his breast.

Alithea

Look you there, Mr. Sparkish, who's that?

Sparkish

Who shou'd it be? go on Harcourt.

Harcourt

Who loves you more than Women, Titles, or fortune Fools.

[Points at Sparkish.

Sparkish

Look you there, he means me stil, for he points at me.

Alithea

Ridiculous!

Harcourt

Who can only match your Faith, and constancy in love.

Sparkish

Ay.

Harcourt

Who knows, if it be possible, how to value so much beauty and virtue.

Sparkish

Ay.

Harcourt

Whose love can no more be equall'd in the world, than that Heavenly form of yours.

Sparkish

No---

Harcourt

Who cou'd no more suffer a Rival, than your absence, and yet cou'd no more suspect your virtue, than his own constancy in his love to you.

Sparkish

No---

Harcourt

Who in fine loves you better than his eyes, that first made him love you.

Sparkish

Ay---nay, Madam, faith you shan't go, till---

Alithea

Have a care, lest you make me stay too long---

Sparkish

But till he has saluted you; that I may be assur'd you are friends, after his honest advice and declaration: Come pray, Madam, be friends with him.

Enter Master Pinchwife, Mistriss Pinchwife.

Alithea

You must pardon me, Sir, that I am not yet so obedient to you.

Mr. Pinchwife

What, invite your Wife to kiss Men? Monstrous, are you not asham'd? I will never forgive you.

Sparkish

Are you not asham'd, that I shou'd have more confidence in the chastity of your Family, than you have; you must not teach me, I am a man of honour, Sir, though I am frank and free; I am frank, Sir---

Mr. Pinchwife

Very frank, Sir, to share your Wife with your friends.

Sparkish

He is an humble, menial Friend, such as reconciles the differences of the Marriage-bed; you know Man and Wife do not alwayes agree, I design him for that use, therefore wou'd have him well with my Wife.

Mr. Pinchwife

A menial Friend---you will get a great many menial Friends, by shewing your Wife as you do.

Sparkish

What then, it may be I have a pleasure in't, as I have to shew fine Clothes, at a Play-house the first day, and count money before poor Rogues.

Mr. Pinchwife

He that shews his wife, or money will be in danger of having them borrowed sometimes.

Sparkish

I love to be envy'd, and wou'd not marry a Wife, that I alone cou'd love; loving alone is as dull, as eating alone; is it not a frank age, and I am a frank Person? and to tell you the truth, it may be I love to have Rivals in a Wife, they make her seem to a Man still, but as a kept Mistriss; and so good night, for I must to Whitehal. Madam, I hope you are now reconcil'd to my Friend; and so I wish you a good night, Madam, and sleep if you can, for to morrow you know I must visit you early with a Canonical Gentleman. Good night dear Harcourt.

[Exit Sparkish.

Harcourt

Madam, I hope you will not refuse my visit to morrow, if it shou'd be earlyer, with a Canonical Gentleman,than Mr. Sparkish's.

Mr. Pinchwife

This Gentle-woman is yet under my care, therefore you must yet forbear your freedom with her, Sir.

Coming between Alithea and Harcourt.

Harcourt

Must, Sir---

Mr. Pinchwife

Yes, Sir, she is my Sister.

Harcourt

'Tis well she is, Sir---for I must be her Servant, Sir. Madam---

Mr. Pinchwife

Come away Sister, we had been gone, if it had not been for you, and so avoided these lewd Rakehells, who seem to haunt us.

Enter Horner, Dorilant to them.

Horner

How now Pinchwife?

Mr. Pinchwife

Your Servant.

Horner

What, I see a little time in the Country makes a Man turn wild and unsociable, and only fit to converse with his Horses, Dogs, and his Herds.

Mr. Pinchwife

I have business, Sir, and must mind it; your business is pleasure, therefore you and I must go different wayes.

Horner

Well, you may go on, but this pretty young Gentleman---  [Takes hold of Mrs. Pinchwife.

Harcourt

The Lady---

Dorilant

And the Maid---

Horner

Shall stay with us, for I suppose their business is the same with ours, pleasure.

Mr. Pinchwife

'Sdeath he knows her, she carries it so sillily, yet if he does not, I shou'd be more silly to discover it first. [Aside.

Alithea

Pray, let us go, Sir.

Mr. Pinchwife

Come, come---

Horner

Had you not rather stay with us? [to Mrs. Pinchwife.
 Prethee Pinchwife, who is this pretty young Gentleman?

Mr. Pinchwife

One to whom I'm a guardian. [Aside. [I wish I cou'd keep her out of your hands---

Horner

Who is he? I never saw any thing so pretty in all my life.

Mr. Pinchwife

Pshaw, do not look upon him so much, he's a poor bashful youth, you'l put him out of countenance. Come away Brother. [Offers to take her away.

Horner

O your Brother!

Mr. Pinchwife

Yes, my Wifes Brother; come, come, she'l stay supper for us.

Horner

I thought so, for he is very like her I saw you at the Play with, whom I told you, I was in love with.

Mrs. Pinchwife

O Jeminy! is this he that was in love with me, I am glad on't I vow, for he's a curious fine Gentleman, and I love him already too. [Aside.
Is this he Bud? [to Mr. Pinchwife.

Mr. Pinchwife

Come away, come away.   [To his Wife.

Horner

Why, what hast are you in? why wont you let me talk with him?

Mr. Pinchwife

Because you'l debauch him, he's yet young and innocent, and I wou'd not have him debauch'd for any thing in the World. [Aside. How she gazes on him! the Divel---

Horner

Harcourt, Dorilant, look you here, this is the likeness of that Dowdey he told us of, his Wife, did you ever see a lovelyer Creature? the Rogue has reason to be jealous of his Wife, since she is like him, for she wou'd make all that see her, in love with her.

Harcourt

And as I remember now, she is as like him here as can be.

Dorilant

She is indeed very pretty, if she be like him.

Horner

Very pretty, a very pretty commendation---she is a glorious Creature, beautiful beyond all things I ever beheld.

Mr. Pinchwife

So, so.

Harcourt

More beautiful than a Poets first Mistriss of Imagination.

Horner

Or another Mans last Mistriss of flesh and blood.

Mrs. Pinchwife

Nay, now you jeer, Sir; pray don't jeer me---

Mr. Pinchwife

Come, come. [Aside. By Heavens she'l discover her self.

Horner

I speak of your Sister, Sir.

Mr. Pinchwife

Ay, but saying she was handsom, if like him, made him blush.[Aside. I am upon a wrack---

Horner

Methinks he is so handsom, he shou'd not be a Man.

Mr. Pinchwife

O there 'tis out, he has discovered her, I am not able to suffer any longer. [To his Wife. Come, come away, I say---

Horner

Nay, by your leave, Sir, he shall not go yet--- Harcourt, Dorilant, let us torment this jealous Rogue a little. [To them.

Harcourt, Dorilant

How?

Horner

I'll shew you.

Mr. Pinchwife

Come, pray let him go, I cannot stay fooling any longer; I tell you his Sister stays supper for us.

Horner

Do's she, come then we'l all go sup with her and thee.

Mr. Pinchwife

No, now I think on't, having staid so long for us, I warrant she's gone to bed---[Aside. I wish she and I were well out of their hands---

Come, I must rise early to morrow, come.

Horner

Well then, if she be gone to bed, I wish her and you a good night. But pray, young Gentleman, present my humble service to her.

Mrs. Pinchwife

Thank you heartily, Sir.

Mr. Pinchwife

S'death, she will discover her self yet in spight of me.  [Aside.
He is something more civil to you, for your kindness to his Sister, than I am, it seems.

Horner

Tell her, dear sweet little Gentleman, for all your Brother there, that you have reviv'd the love, I had for her at first sight in the Play-house.

Mrs. Pinchwife

But did you love her indeed, and indeed?

Mr. Pinchwife

So, so. [Aside. 
Away, I say.

Horner

Nay stay; yes indeed, and indeed, pray do you tell her so, and give her this kiss from me.  [Kisses her.

Mr. Pinchwife

O Heavens! what do I suffer; now 'tis too plain he knows her, and yet---  [Aside.

Horner

And this, and this--- [Kisses her again.

Mrs. Pinchwife

What do you kiss me for, I am no Woman.

Mr. Pinchwife

So---there 'tis out. [Aside.
 Come, I cannot, nor will stay any longer.

Horner

Nay, they shall send your Lady a kiss too; here Harcourt, Dorilant, will you not? [They kiss her.

Mr. Pinchwife

How, do I suffer this? was I not accusing another just now, for this rascally patience, in permitting his Wife to be kiss'd before his face? ten thousand ulcers gnaw away their lips. [Aside.
 Come, come.

Horner

Good night dear little Gentleman; Madam goodnight; farewel Pinchwife. [Apart to Harcourt and Dorilant.] Did not I tell you, I wou'd raise his jealous gall.

Exeunt Horner, Harcourt, and Dorilant.

Mr. Pinchwife

So they are gone at last; stay, let me see first if the Coach be at this door. [Exit.

Horner, Harcourt, Dorilant return

Horner

What not gone yet? will you be sure to do as I desired you, sweet Sir?

Mrs. Pinchwife

Sweet Sir, but what will you give me then?

Horner

Any thing, come away into the next walk.

Exit Horner, haling away Mrs. Pinchwife.

Alithea

Hold, hold,---what d'ye do?

Lucy

Stay, stay, hold---

Harcourt

Hold Madam, hold, let him present him, he'l come presently; nay, I will never let you go, till you answer my question.

Alithea, Lucy strugling with Harcourt, and Dorilant.

Lucy

For God's sake, Sir, I must follow 'em.

Dorilant

No, I have something to present you with too, you shan't follow them.

Pinchwife returns.

Mr. Pinchwife

Where?---how?---what's become of? gone--- whither?

Lucy

He's only gone with the Gentleman, who will give him something, an't please your Worship.

Mr. Pinchwife

Something---give him something, with a Pox---where are they?

Alithea

In the next walk only, Brother.

Mr. Pinchwife

Only, only; where, where?

Exit Pinchwife, and returns presently, then goes out again.

Harcourt

What's the matter with him? why so much concern'd? but dearest Madam---

Alithea

Pray, let me go, Sir, I have said, and suffer'd enough already.

Harcourt

Then you will not look upon, nor pitty my sufferings?

Alithea

To look upon 'em, when I cannot help 'em, were cruelty, not pitty, therefore I will never see you more.

Harcourt

Let me then, Madam, have my priviledge of a banished Lover, complaining or railing, and giving you but a farewell reason; why, if you cannot condescend to marry me, you shou'd not take that wretch my Rival.

Alithea

He only, not you, since my honour is engag'd so far to him, can give me a reason, why I shou'd not marry him; but if he be true, and what I think him to me, I must be so to him; your Servant, Sir.

Harcourt

Have Women only constancy when 'tis a vice, and like fortune only true to fools?

Dorilant

Thou sha't not stir thou robust Creature, you see I can deal with you, therefore you shou'd stay the rather, and be kind. [To Lucy, who struggles to get from him.

Enter Pinchwife.

Mr. Pinchwife

Gone, gone, not to be found; quite gone, ten thousand plagues go with 'em; which way went they?

Alithea

But into t'other walk, Brother.

Lucy

Their business will be done presently sure, an't please your Worship, it can't be long in doing I'm sure on't.

Alithea

Are they not there?

Mr. Pinchwife

No, you know where they are, you infamous Wretch, Eternal shame of your Family, which you do not dishonour enough your self, you think, but you must help her to do it too, thou legion of Bawds.

Alithea

Good Brother.

Mr. Pinchwife

Damn'd, damn'd Sister.

Alithea

Look you here, she's coming.

Enter Mistriss Pinchwife in Mans cloaths, running with her hat under her arm, full of Oranges and dried fruit, Horner following.

Mrs. Pinchwife

O dear Bud, look you here what I have got, see.

Mr. Pinchwife

And what I have got here too, which you can't see. [Aside rubbing his forehead.

Mrs. Pinchwife

The fine Gentleman has given me better things yet.

Mr. Pinchwife

Ha's he so? [Aside. Out of breath and colour'd---I must hold yet.

Horner

I have only given your little Brother an Orange, Sir.

Mr. Pinchwife

Thank you, Sir.   [To Horner.
 You have only squeez'd my Orange, I suppose, and given it me again; yet I must have a City-patience. [Aside.
 Come, come away--- [To his Wife.

Mrs. Pinchwife

Stay, till I have put up my fine things, Bud.

Enter Sir Jaspar Fidget.

Sir Jaspar

O Master Horner, come, come, the Ladies stay for you; your Mistriss, my Wife, wonders you make not more hast to her.

Horner

I have staid this half hour for you here, and 'tis your fault I am not now with your Wife.

Sir Jaspar

But pray, don't let her know so much, the truth on't is, I was advancing a certain Project to his Majesty, about---I'll tell you.

Horner

No, let's go, and hear it at your house: Good night sweet little Gentleman; one kiss more, you'll remember me now I hope. [Kisses her.]

Dorilant

What, Sir Jaspar, will you separate Friends? he promis'd to sup with us; and if you take him to your house, you'l be in danger of our company too.

Sir Jaspar

Alas Gentlemen my house is not fit for you, there are none but civil Women there, which are not for your turn; he you know can bear with the society of civil Women, now, ha, ha, ha; besides he's one of my Family; ---he's--- heh, heh, heh.

Dorilant

What is he?

Sir Jaspar

Faith my Eunuch, since you'l have it, heh, he, he.

Exit Sir Jaspar Fidget, and Horner.

Dorilant

I rather wish thou wert his, or my Cuckold: Harcourt, what a good Cuckold is lost there, for want of a Man to make him one; thee and I cannot have: Horner's privilege, who can make use of it.

Harcourt

Ay, to poor Horner 'tis like coming to an estate at threescore, when a Man can't be the better for't.

Mr. Pinchwife

Come.

Mrs. Pinchwife

Presently Bud.

Dorilant

Come let us go too: Madam, your Servant. [To Alithea.

Good night Strapper.---[To Lucy.

Harcourt

Madam, though you will not let me have a good day, or night, I wish you one; but dare not name the other half of my wish.

Alithea

Good night, Sir, for ever.

Mrs. Pinchwife

I don't know where to put this here, dear Bud, you shall eat it; nay, you shall have part of the fine Gentleman's good things, or treat as you call it, when we come home.

Mr. Pinchwife

Indeed I deserve it, since I furnish'd the best part of it. [Strikes away the Orange.]The Gallant treates, presents, and gives the Ball; But 'tis the absent Cuckold, pays for all.

 

 


Post date: 2015-03-25 22:00:14
Post date GMT: 2015-03-26 02:00:14
Post modified date: 2015-03-27 14