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concern; but I have sent my servant for it, and that's past; nay, I'll consent to any thing to will deliver it to you, with all acknowledgments come, to be delivered from this tyranny. for your transcendent goodness.
1 Mira. Ay, madam ; but that is too late; my reLady Wish. Oh, he has witchcraft in his eyes ward is intercepted. You have disposed of her, and tongue ! when I did not see him, I could who only could have made me a compensation have bribed a villain to his assassination ; but for all my services: but be it as it may, I am rehis appearance rakes the embers which have so solved I'll serve you; you shall not be wronged in long lain smothered in my breast.
this savage manner. (Aside. Lady Wish. How! dear Mr Mirabell, can
you be so generous at last! but it is not possiEnter Fainall and Mrs Marwood.
ble. Harkee, I'll break my nephew's match;
you shall have my niece yet, and all her fortune, Fain. Your debate of deliberation, madam, is if you can but save me froin this imminent danger. expired. Here is the instrument; are you pre- Mira. Will you? I take you at your word. I pared to sign?
ask no more. I must have leave for two crimiLady Wish. If I were prepared, I am not em- | nals to appear. powered. My niece exerts a lawful claim, ha- Lady Wish. Aye, aye ; any body, any body. ving matched herself, by my direction, to sir Wila Mira. Foible is one, and a penitent. full. Fain. That sham is too gross to pass on me
Enter Mrs Fainall, FOIBLE, and Mincing. though 'tis imposed on you, madam.
Mrs Mar. O, my shame! MIRABELL and Mill. Sir, I have given my consent.
| Lady WISHFORT go to Mrs FAINALL and FoiMira, And, sir, I have resigned my preten-BLE.] these corrupt things are brought hither to sions.
[To FAINALL. Sir Wil. And, sir, I assert my right; and will Fain. If it must all come out, why let them maintain it, in defiance of you, sir, and of your know it; 'tis but the Way of the World. That
instrument. 'Sheart, an' you talk of an instru- shall not urge me to relinquish or abate one titment, sir, I have an old fox by my thigh, shall tle of my terms; no, I will insist the more. hack your instrument of ram vellum to shreds, Foi. Yes, indeed, madam; I'll take my biblesir. It shall not be sufficient for a mittimus, or a oath of it. tailor's measure; therefore, withdraw your in Min. And so will I, mem. strument, or by'r lady, I shall draw mine.
Lady Wish. O Marwood, Marwood, art thou Lady Wish. Hold, nephew, hold !
false! My friend deceive me! Hast thou been a Mil. Good sir Wilfull, respite your valour. wicked accomplice with that profligate man?
Fain. Indeed? Are you provided of your Mrs Mar. İlave you so much ingratitude and guard, with your single beef-eater there? But I injustice, to give credit, against your friend, to am prepared for you; and insist upon my first the aspersions of two such mercenary trulls? proposal. You shall submit your own estate to Min. Mercenary, mem! I scorn your words. my management, and absolutely make over my | 'Tis true, we found you and Mr Fainall in the wife's to my sole use, as pursuant to the purport blue garret; by the same token, you swore us to and tenor of this other covenant. I suppose, secrecy upon Messalina's poems. Mercenary! madam, your consent is not requisite in this case; No, if we would have been mercenary, we should nor, Mr Mirabell, your resignation ; nor, sir Wil have held our tongues; you would have bribed full, your right--you may draw your fox, if you us sufficiently. please, sir, and make a bear-garden flourish Fain. Go, you are an insignificant thing. somewhere else; for, here, it will not avail. This, Well, what are you the better for this? Is this my lady Wishfort, must be subscribed, or your Mr Mirabell's expedient? I'll be put off no longdarling daughter's turned adrift, like a leaky er-You, thing, that was a wife, shall smart for hulk, to sink or swim, as she and the current of this. I will not leave thee wherewithal to hide this town can agree.
thy shame: Your person shall be naked as your Lady Wish. Is there no means, no remedy, to reputation. stop my ruin? Ungrateful wretch! dost thou not Mrs Fain. I despise you, and defy your maowe thy being, thy subsistence, to my daughter's lice--You have aspersed nie wrongfully I have fortune
proved your falsehood G o, you and your Fain. I'll answer you, when I have the rest of treacherous, I will not name it, but starve togeit in my possession.
ther-Perish! Mira. But that you would not accept of a re- Fain. Not while you are worth a groat, inmedy from my hands--I own I have not deserved | deed, my dear-madam, I'll be fooled no longer. you should owe any obligation to me; or else, Lady Wish. Ah, Mr Mirabell, this is small perhaps, I could advise
comfort, the detection of this affair. Lady Wish. ( what! what ! to save me and Mira. O, in good time-Your leave for the my child from ruin, from want, I'll forgive all other offender and penitent to appear, madam.
sir ; of the widows of the world. I
this Enter WAITWELL, with a bor of writings.
deed may bear an elder date than what you have
obtained from your lady. Lady Wish. O sir Rowland–Well, rascal ? Fain. Perfidious fiend! then thus I'll be re
Wait. What your ladyship pleases—I have vengedbrought the black box at last, madam.
[Offers to run at Mrs Fainall. Mira. Give it me. Madam, you remember Sir Wil. Hold, sir! now you may make your your promise.
Bear-garden flourish somewhere else, sir. Lady Wish. Aye, dear sir.
Fain. Mirabell, you shall hear of this, sir; be Mira. Where are the gentlemen ?
shall- Let me pass, oaf. [Erit. Wait, At hand, sir, rubbing their eyes—just Mrs Fain. Madam, you seem to stifle your rerisen froin sleep.
sentment; you had better give it vent, Fain. 'Sdeath! what's this to me? I'll not Mrs Mar. Yes, it shall have vent—and to wait your private concerns.
your confusion, or I'll perish in the attempt.
(Erit. Enter PETULANT and WITWOULD.
Lady Wish. O daughter, daughter ! 'tis plain
thou hast inherited thy mother's prudence. Pet. How now? what is the matter whose Mrs Fain. Thank Mr Mirabell, a cautious hand's out?
friend, to whose advice all is owing. Wit. Heyday! what, are you all together, like Lady Wish. Well, Mr Mirabell, you have kept players at the end of the last act?
your promise; and I must perform mine. First, Mira. You may remember, gentlemen, I once I pardon, for your sake, sir Rowland there and requested your hands as witnesses to a certain Foible. The next thing is to break the matter parchment.
to my nephew—and how to do thatWit. Aye I do, my hand I remember--Petu- Mira. For that, madam, give yourself no troulant set his mark.
ble-let me have your consent—Sir Wilfull is Mira. You wrong him; his name is fairly writ-my-friend; he has had compassion upon lovers, ten, as shall appear. You do not remember, and generously engaged a volunteer in this acgentlemen, any thing of what that parchment tion, for our service; and now designs to prosecontained !
cute his travels.
[Undoing the box. Sir Wil. 'Sheart, aunt, I have no mind to mar, Wit. No.
ry. My cousin's a fine lady, and the gentleman Pet. Not I. I writ, I read nothing.
loves her, and she loves him, and they deserve Mira. Very well, now you shall know—madam, one another; my resolution is to see foreign yoar promise.
parts, I have set on it—and when I'm set on't, Lady Wish. Aye, aye, sir, upon my
honour. I must do it. And if these two gentlemen would Mira. Mr Fainall, it is now time that you travel, too, I think they may be spared. should know, that your lady, while she was at Pet. For my part, I say little--I think things her own disposal, and before you had, by your are best; off or on. insinuations, wheedled her out of a pretended set- Wait. Egad, I understand nothing of the matter tlement of the greatest part of her fortune- --I'm in a maze yet, like a dog in a dancingFuin. Sir! pretended!
school. Mira. Yes, sir, I say, that this lady while a wi- Lady Wish. Well, sir, take her, and with her dow, having, it seems, received some cautions re- all the joy I can give you. specting your inconstancy and tyranny of temper, Mill. Why does the man not take me? Would which, from her own partial opinion and fondness you have me give myself to you over again? of you, she could never have suspected- Mira. Aye, and over and over again! [Kisses She did, I say, by the wholesome advice of her hand.] I would have you as often as possibly friends, and of sages learned in the laws of this I can. Well, Heaven grant I love you not too land, deliver this same, as her act and deed, to me, well; that's all my fear. in trust, and to the uses within mentioned. You Sir Wil. 'Sheart, you'll have time enough to may read if you please (Holding the parchment]; toy after you're married; or, if you will toy though, perhaps, what is written on the back may now, let us have a dance in the mean time; that serve your occasions.
we, who are not lovers, may have some other emFain. Very likely, sir. What's here? Dam- ployment, besides looking on. nation!
Mira. With all my heart, dear sir Wilfull.-[Reads.] · A deed of conveyance of the whole What shall we do for music? estate real of Arabella Languish, widow, in Foi. O, sir, some that were provided for sir trust, to Edward Mirabell.'
Rowland's entertainment are yet within call. Confusion!
[A dance. Mir. Even so, sir; 'tis The Way of the World, Lady Wish. As I am a person, I can hold out
no longer : I have wasted my spirits so to day, me, before these witnesses, restore to you this deed already, that I am ready to sink under the fa- of trust; it may be a means, well managed, to tigue : and I cannot but have some fears upon make you live easily together. me yet, that my son Fainall will pursue some desperate course.
From hence, let those be warned, who mean Mira. Madam, disquiet not yourself on that ac- to wed, count; to my knowledge his circumstances are mutual falsehood stain the bridal-bed : such, he must of force comply. For my part, I For each deceiver to his cost may find, will contribute all that in me lies to a re-union : That marriage frauds too oft are paid in kind. iu the mean time, madam, (To Mrs Fainall.] let
Jer. O lord! I have heard much of him, when VALENTINE in his chamber "reading; Jeremy what was that Epictetus ?
I waited upon a gentleman at Cambridge. Pray, waiting.-Several books upon the table.
Val. A very rich man—not worth a groat ! Val. JEREMY!
Jer. Humph! and so he has made a very fine Jer. Sir.
feast, where there is nothing to be eaten! Val. Here, take away; I'll walk a turn, and Val. Yes. digest what I have read.
Jer. Sir, you're a gentleman, and probably unJer. You'll grow devilish fat upon this paper derstand this fine feeding; but, if you please, I diet!
had rather be at board-wages. Does your Epic[ Aside, and taking away the books. tetus, or your Seneca here, or any of these poor Val. And d’ye hear? go you to breakfast rich 'rogues, teach you how to pay your debts There's a page doubled down in Epictetus, that without money? Will they shut up the mouths is a feast for an emperor.
of your creditors? Will Plato be bail for you? Jer. Was Epictetus a real cook, or did he only or Diogenes, because he understands confine. write receipts ?
ment, and lived in a tub, go to prison for you? Val. Read, read, sirrah, and refine your appe- 'Slife, sir, what do you mean, to mew yourself up tite; learn to live upon instruction; feast your here with three or four musty books, in commenmind, and mortify your fesh. Read, and take dation of starving and poverty? your
nourishment in at your eyes; shut up your Val. Why, sirrah, I have no money, you know inouth, and chew the cud of understanding. So it; and therefore resolve to rail at all that have : Epictetus advises.
and in that I but follow the examples of the wi
sest and wittiest men in all ages—these poets and tery! Nothing thrives that belongs to it. The philosophers, whom you naturally hate, for just man of the house would have been an alderman such another reason; because they abound in by this time, with half the trade, if he had set up sense, and you are a fool.
in the city. For my part, I never sit at the door, Jer. Ay, sir, I am a fool, I know it; and yet, that I don't get double the stomach that I do at Heaven help me! I'm poor enough to be a wit. a horse-race. The air upon Banstead Downs is But I was always a fool, when I told you what nothing to it for a whetter; yet I never see it, your expences would bring you to; your coaches but the spirit of famine appears to me-someand your liveries; your treats and your balls ; times like a decayed porter, worn out with pimpyour being in love with a lady that did not care ing, and carrying billet-doux and songs; not like a farthing for you in your prosperity; and keep- other porters for hire, but for the jest's sake. ing company with wits, that cared for nothing Now, like a thin chairman, melted down to half but your prosperity, and now, when you are poor, his proportion, with carrying a poet upon tick, to hate you as much as they do one another. visit some great fortune; and his fare to be paid
Val. Well! and now I am poor, I have an op- him, like the wages of sin, either at the day of portunity to be revenged on them all; I'll pursue marriage, or the day of death. Angelica with more love than ever, and appear more notoriously her admirer in this restraint,
Enter SCANDAL. than when I openly rivalled the rich fops, that made court to her. So shall my poverty be a Scand. What! Jeremy holding forth? mortification to her pride, and perhaps make her Val. The rogue has (with all the wit he could compassionate the love, which has principally re- muster up) been declaiming against wit. duced me to this lowness of fortune. And for Scand. Ay? Why, then, I'm afraid Jeremy has the wits, I'm sure I am in a condition to be even wit: for wherever it is, it's always contriving its with them.
own ruin. Jer. Nay, your condition is pretty even with Jer. Why, so I have been telling my master, theirs, that's the truth on't.
sir. Mr Scandal, for Heaven's sake, sir, try if Val. I'll take some of their trade out of their you can dissuade him from turning poet. hands.
Scand. Poet! He shall turn soldier first, and Jer. Now, Heaven of mercy continue the tax rather depend upon the outside of his head, than upon paper!-You don't mean to write? the lining! Why, what the devil! has not your Val. Yes, I do; I'll write a play.
poverty made you enemies enough? must you Jer. Hem !-Sir, if you please to give me a needs shew your wit to get more? small certificate of three lines-only to certify Jer. Ay, more indeed: for who cares for any those whom it may concern, that the bearer body that has more wit than himself? hereof, Jeremy Fetch by name, has, for the space Scand. Jeremy speaks like an oracle. Don't of seven years, truly and faithfully served Valen- you see how worthless great men and dull rich tine Legend, esquire; and that he is not now turn- rogues avoid a witty man of small fortune? Why, ed away for any misdemeanour, but does volun- he looks like a writ of inquiry into their titles and tarily dismiss his master from any future autho-estates; and seems commissioned by Heaven to rity over him
seize the better half. Val. No, sirrah; you shall live with me still. Val. Therefore, I would rail in my writings,
Jer. Sir, it's impossible—I may die with you, and be revenged. starve with you, or be damned with your works : Scand. Rail! at whom? the whole world ? Imbut to live, even three days, the life of a play, I potent and vain! Who would die a martyr to no more expect it, than to be canonized for a sense, in a country where the religion is folly? muse after my decease.
may stand at bay for a while; but, when the Val. You are witty, you rogue, I shall want full cry is against you, you shan't have fair play your help— I'll have you learn to make couplets, for your life. If you can't be fairly run down by to tag the end of acts. D'ye hear? get the maids the hounds, you will be treacherously shot by the to crambo in an evening, and learn the knack of huntsmen. No; turn pimp, flatterer, quack, lawrhyming; you may arrive at the height of a song yer; any thing but poet. A modern poet is worse, sent by an unknown hand, or a chocolate-house more servile, timorous, and fawning, than any lampoon.
I have named: without you could retrieve the Jer. But, sir, is this the way to recover your ancient honours of the name, recal the stage of father's favour? Why, sir Sampson will be irre- Athens, and be allowed the force of open honest concileable. If your younger brother should satire. come from sea, he'd never look upon you again. Val. You are as inveterate against our poets, You're undone, sir; you're ruined; you won't have as if your character had been lately exposed upon a friend left in the world, if you turn poet. Ah, the stage. Nay, I am not violently bent upon pox confound that Will's coffee-house ! it has the trade.-[One knocks.] Jeremy, see who's ruined more young men than the Royal Oak lot- there. [JEREMY goes to the door.}-But tell me