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I am

She may,

will not be crossed I won't be made a fool. | bad ruined my girl. But it's all over now, Mrs. 0. Why, you won't let me speak.

and soOak. Because you don't speak as you ought. Mrs. 0. You was here yesterday, sir? Madam, madam! you shan't look , nor walk, Rus. Yes; I came after Harriot. I thought nor talk, nor think, but as I please.

I should find my young madam with my Mrs. O. Was there ever such a monster! young sir here. I can bear this no longer. [Bursts into Tears]

Mrs. 0. With Charles, did you say, sir? you vile man! I can

see through your

Rus. Ay, with Charles, madam! The young: design-you cruel, barbarous, inhuman-such rogue has been fond of her a long time, and usage to your poor wife!-you'll be the death she of him, it seems. of her.

Mrs. 0. I fear I have been to blame. [Aside. Oak. She shan't be the death of me, Ras. I ask pardon, madam, for the disturbdetermined.

ance I made in your house. Mrs. 0. That it should ever come to this! Yar. And the abrupt manner in which I To be contradicted – [Sobbing]-insulted- came into it demands a thousand apologies. abused-hated—'tis too much-my heart will But the occasion must be my excuse. burst with-oh-oh!

Mrs. 0. How have I been mistaken! [.Aside] [Falls into a Fit. Harriot, Charles, But did not I overhear you and Mr. Daklyele. run to her assistance.

[To Harriot. Oak. (Interposing] Let her alone.

Har. Dear madam! you had but a partial Har. Sir, Mrs. Oakly

hearing of our conversation. It related entirely Charles. For heaven's sake, sir, she will be to this gentleman. Oak. Let her alone-let her alone.

Charles. To put it beyond doubt, madam, Har. Pray, my dear sir, let us assist her. Mr. Russet and my guardian have consented

to our marriage; and we are in hopes that Oak. I don't care-Let her alone, I

say. you will not withhold your approbation. Mrs. 0. [Rising] 0, you monster!-you Mrs. 0. I have no further doubt-I see you villain !-you base man!-Would you let me are innocent, and it was cruel to suspect youdie for want of help?—would you

You have taken a load of anguish off my mindOak. Bless me! madam, your fit is very and yet your kind interposition comes too violent-take care of yourself.

late; Mr. Oakly's love for me is entirely Mrs. 0. Despised,' ridiculed — but I'll be destroyed.

[Weeping revenged-you shall see, sir

Oak. I must go to her

[Apark Oak. Tol-de-rol lol-de-rol lol-de-rol lol. Maj. O. Not yet!--Not yet! Apart

[Singing Har. Do not disturb yourself with such Mrs. 0. What, am I made a jest of? Ex- apprehensions; I am sure Mr. Oakly loves posed to all the world? — If there's law or you most affectionately; justice

Oak. I can hold no longer. [Going to her] Oak. Tol-de-rol lol-de-rol lol-de-rol lol. My affection for you, madam, is as warm as

[Singing. ever. My constrained behaviour bas cut me Mrs. 0. I shall burst with anger. - Have a to the soul—for it was all constrained—and it care, sir; you may repent this.-Scorned and was with the utmost difficully that I was able made ridiculous! — No power on earth shall to support it. hinder my revenge!

[Going Mrs. 0. 0, Mr. Oakly, how have I exposed Har. [Interposing] Stay, madam. myself! What low arts has my jealousy inMrs. O. Let me go. I cannot bear this place. duced me to practise! I see my folly, and Har. Let me beseech you, madam. fear that you can never forgive me.

Maj. 0. Courage, brother! you have done Oak. Forgive you!—This change transports wonders.

[Apart. me!-Brother! Mr. Russet! Charles! Harriot! Oak. I think she'll have no more fits. [Apart

. give me joy!--I am the happiest man in the Har. Stay, madam — Pray stay but one world! moment. I have been a painful witness of. Maj. 0. Joy, much joy, to you

both! though, your uneasiness, and in great part the innocent by-the-by, you are not a little obliged to me occasion of it. Give me leave then

for it. Did not I tell you I'would cure all Mrs. 0. I did not expect, indeed, lo have the disorders in your family? I beg pardon, found you here again. But however- sister, for taking the liberty to prescribe for

Har: I see the agitation of your mind, and you. My medicines have been somewhat it makes me miserable. Susfer me to tell the rough, I believe, but they have had an adreal truth. I can explain every thing to your mirable effect, and so don't be angry with satisfaction.

your physician. Mrs. 0. May be so- I cannot argue with you. Mrs. O. I am indeed obliged to you, and

Charles. Pray, madam, hear her-for my I feelsake-for your own-dear madam!

Oak. Nay, my dear, no more of this. All Mrs. O. Well, well-proceed.

that's past must be utterly forgotten. Har. I understand, madam, that your first Mrs. Q. I have not merited this kindness, alarm was occasioned by a letter from my but it shall hereafter be my study to deserve father to your nephew.


. Away with all idle jealousies! And since Rus. I was in a bloody passion, to be sure, my suspicions have hitherto been groundless, madam! - The letter was not over civil, II am resolved for the future never lo suspect believe. I did not know but the young rogue at all.



Comedy by W. Congreve, acled at the Theatre Royal 1696. This is the second play this author wrote: the characters of it are strongly drawn, the wit is genuine and original, the plut finely laid, and the conduce inimitable: yet such is, and ever has been , the capricious disposition of nudiences, thai it mei not equal encouragement with his old Bachelor (in somu respects a much more exceplionable play), nur had it ihe same success with his later performances.






SCENE.- A Gallery in LORD Touchwood's House, with Chainbers adjoining.

and my


l'egad, I could not have said it out of thy

Careless, ha?
Scene I.- A Gallery in Lord Touchwood's company,

Care. Hum, ay, what is't?

Brisk. O mon coeur! What is't? Nay, 'gad, Careless crosses the Stage, as just risen I'll punish you for want of apprehension: the

from Table; MELLEFONT following: deuce take me, if I tell you. Mel. Ned, Ned, whither so fast? What, Mol. No, no, hang him, he has no taste. turned flincher? 1) Why, you wo'ndt leave us? But, dear Brisk, excuse me; I have a little

Care. Where are the women? I'm weary business. of drinking, and begin to think them the Care. Pr'ythee, get thee gone; thou seest better company:

we are serious. Mel. Then ihy reason staggers, and thou’rt Mel. We'll come immediately, if you'll but almost tipsy.

go in and keep up good humour and sense in Care. No, faith, but your fools grow noisy; the company; pr’ythee do, they'll fall asleep else. and if a man must endure the noise of words Brisk. 'Egad, so they will. Well, I will, without sense, I think the women have more I will: 'gad, you shall command me from the musical voices, and become nonsense better. zenith to the nadir. But, the deuce take me,

Mel. Why, they are at the end of the if I say a good thing till you come. But gallery, retired to their tea and scandal. But pr’ythce, dear rogue, make haste; pr’ythee, I made a prelence to follow you, because I inake baste, I shall burst else; and yonder had something to say to you in private, and your uncle, my lord Touchwood, swears he'll I am not like to have many opportunities disinherit you; and Sir Paul Pliant threatens ibis evening

to disclaim you for a son-in-law; Care. And here's this coxcomb mast criti-lord Froth won't dance at your wedding tocally come to interrupt you.

morrow; nor, the deuce iake me, I won't

write your epithalamium; and see wbat a conEnter BRISK.

dition you'r: like to be brought to. Brisk. Boys, boys, lads, where are you? Mel. Well, I'll speak but three words, and Wbat, do you give ground? Mortgage for a follow you. bottle, ha? Careless, this is your trick; you're Brisk. Enough, enough. Careless, bring always spoiling company by leaving it. your apprehension along with you. [Exit.

Care. And įhou art 'always spoiling com- Care. Pert coxcomb! pany by conting into't.

Mel. Faith, 'tis a good-natured coxcomb, Brisk. Pho! ha, ha, ha! I know you envy and has very entertaining follies; you must

Spite, proud spite, by the gods, and be more humane to him; at this juncture it burning envy. I'll be judged by Mellefont will do me service. I'll tell you, I would here, who gives and takes raillery better, you have mirth continued this day at any rate, or I. Pshaw, man, when I say you spoil though patience purchase folly; and attention company by leaving it, I mean you leave be paid with noise: there are times when nobody for the company to laugh at. I think sense may be unscasonable, as well as truth : there I was with you. Ha,

Mcllefont? prythee, do thou wear none to-day; but allow Mel. O’my word, Brisk, that was a home Brisk to have wil, that thou may'st seem thrust: you have silenced him.

Brisk. O, my dear Mellefont, let me perish, Care. Why, hqw now? Why this extraif thou art not the soul of conversation, the vagant proposition? rery essence of wit, and spirit of wine. The Mlel. O, I would have no room for serious deuce take me, if there were three good design, for I am jealous of a plot. I would things said, or one understood, since thy have noise and impertinence, to keep my lady amputation from the body of our society. He: Touchwood's head' from working I think, that's pretty, and metaphorical enough: Care. I thought your fear of her bad been

over. Is not to-morrow appointed for your 1) To he afraid of drinking half a dozen bottles of clarel

marriage with Cynthia ? and her father, sir at n sitting, used to be called flinching from bottle; bui very happily at the present day, drinking Paul Pliant, come to settle the writings' this is not one of the necessary accomplishments; and a day, on purpose ? party of Englishnien can meet together now, enjoy themselves, and separate, without being any thing more

Mel. True; but you shall judge whether I than a little merry,

have not reason to be alarmed. None, besides


a fool.


But see,

you and Maskwell, are acquainted with the Care. I'm mistaken if there be not a fasecret of my aunt Touchwood's violent passion miliarity between them you do not suspect, for me.

Since my first refusal of her ad-for all her passion for you. dresses, she has endeavoured to do me all Mel. Pho, pho! nothing in the world but ill ofiices with my uncle; yet bas managed his design to do me service; and he endeavours 'em with that subtilty, that to him they have to be well in her esteem that he may be able borne the face of kindness; while her inalice, to effect it. like a dark, lantern, only shone upon me Care. Well, I shall be glad to be mistaken ; where it was directed; but, whether urg'd but your aunt's aversion in her revenge, can by her despair, and the short prospect of time not be any way so effectually shown, as in she saw to accomplish ber designs, whether promoting a means to disinherit you. She is the hopes of revenge, or of her love, termi- handsome, and cunning, and naturally amorous : nated in the view of this my marriage with Maskwell is flesh and blood at besi, and opCynthia, I know not; but this morning she portunities between them are frequent. llis surprised me in my own chamber.

aflection for you, you have confessed, is Care. Was there ever such a fury? Well, grounded upon his interest; that you have Lless us! proceed. What followed ? transplanted; and, should it take root in my

Mel. It was long before either of us spoke; lady, I don't see what you can expect from passion had tied her tongue, and amazement the fruit. mine. In short, the consequence was thus; Mel. I confess the consequence is visible she omitted nothing that the most violent love were your suspicions just.

the could urge, or tender words express; which company is broke up: let's meet 'em. when she saw had no effect, but still I pleaded honour and nearness of blood to my uncle, Re-enter Brisk, with LORD Touchwood, LORD then came the storm I fear'd at first; for,

Froth, and Sir Paul Pliant. starting from my bedside, like a fury she slew Lord T. Out upon't, nephew; leave your to my sword, and with much ado I prevented father-in-law and me to maintain our ground her doing me or herself a mischief. Having against young people. disarmed her, in a gust of passion she left Mel. 'I beg your lordship's pardon. We nie, and in a resolution, confirmed by a were just returningthousand curses, not lo close her eyes till Sir P. Where you, son? 'Gadsbud, much they had seen my ruin.

beller as it is-Good, strange! I swear I'm Care. Exquisite woman! But, what the almost tipsy; t'other bottle would bave been Covil, does she think thou hast no more sense too powerful for me-as sure as can be, it ihan to disinherit thyself? For, as I take it

, would: we wanted your company; but, Mr. this settlement upon you is with a proviso Brisk-where is he?' I swear and vow he's a that your uncle have no children.

most facetious person, and the best company; Jlél. It is so. Well, the service you are and, my lord Froth, your lordship is so merry to do me, will be a pleasure to yourself: I must a man, he, he, he! get you to engage my lady Pliant all this Lord F. O fie, sir Paul, what do you mean? evening, that my pious aunt may not work Merry! O, barbarous! I'd as lieve you call’d her to her interest: and if you chance to me-fool. secure her to yourself, you may incline her Sir P. Nay, I protest and vow

now is to mine.

She's handsome, and knows it; is true; when Mr. Brisk jokes, your lordship's very silly, and thinks she has sense; and has laugh does so become you, he, he, he. an old fond husband.

Lord F. Ridiculous, sir Paul! you are Care. I confess a very fair foundation for strangely mistaken: I find champaign is powera lover to build upon.

ful. I assure you, sir Paul, I laugh at nobody's Jiel. For my lord Froth, he and his wife jest but my own, or a lady's, I assure you, will þe sufficiently taken up with admiring sir Paul. one another, and Brisk's gallantry, as they Brisk. How! how, my lord? What, affront call it. l'il observe my uncle nyself; and my wit! Let me perish! do I never say any Jack Maskwell has promised me to watch my thing worthy to be laugli’d at? aunt narrowly, and give me notice upon any

Lord F. 'O fie, don't misapprehend me: 1 suspicion. As for sir Paul, my wise father- don't say so; for I often smile at your conin-law that is to be, my dear Cynthia has ceptions. But there is nothing more unbesuch a share in his fatherly fondness, he coming a man of quality than to laugh: 'tis would scarce make her a moment uneasy to such a vulgar expression of the passion every have her happy hereafter.

body can laugh. Then especially to laugh al Care. So, you have manned your works: the jest of an inserior person, or when any but I wish you may no! bave ihe weakest body else of the same quality does not laugh guard, where the enemy is strongest. with him : ridiculous! to be pleased with what

Mel. Maskwell, you mea: pr’ythec, why pleases the crowd! Now, when I laugh, ! should you suspect bim?

always laugh alone. Care. Faith, I cannot help it: you know. I Brisk. I suppose that's because you laugh never lik'd him; I am a little superstitious in at your own jests, 'egad; ha, ha, ha! physiognomy.

Lord F. He', be! I swear though your railMel. He has obligations of gratitude to bind lery provokes me to a smile. him to me; his dependance upon my uncle is Brisk. Ay, my lord, it's a sign I hit you through my means.

in the teeth, if you show 'em. Care. Upon your aunt, you mean.

Lord F. Je, he, he! I swear that's so very Mel. My auni ?

pretty, I can't forbear.


Lord T. Sir Paul, if you please we'll retireprehend.-Take it t'other way: suppose I say to the ladics, and drink'a dish of tea to settle a witty thing to you. [To Careless. our heads.

Care. Then I shall be disappointed indeed. Sir P. With all my heart.--Mr. Brisk, you'll Mel. Let him alone, Brisk; he is obstinately come to us-or call me when you're going bent not to be instructed. to joke:. I'll be ready to laugh incontinently, Brisk. I'm sorrry for him, the deuce take me.

[E.reunt Lord Touchwood and Mel. Shall we go to the ladies, my lord? Sir Paul Pliant.

Lord F. With all my heart; methinks we Mel. But does your lordship never see are a solitude without 'em. comedies?

Mel. Or, what say you to another boille Lord F. O yes, sometimes; but I never laugh. of champaign? Mel. No!

Lord F° 0, for the universe, not a drop Lord F. Oh no-Never laugh, indeed, sir. more, I beseech you. Oh, intemperate! Care. No! why what d'ye go there for? have a flushing in my face already.

Lord F. To distinguish myself from the [Takes out a pocket Glass, and looks in it. commonality, and mortify the poets; the fel- Brisk. Let me see, let me see, my lordlows grow so conceited when any of their I broke my glass that was in the lid of my foolish wit prevails upon the side boxes! snuif-box. Hum! Deuce take me, I have enI swear-he, be, he-I have often constrain'd couraged 1 pimple here too. my, inclinations to laugh-he, he, he--to avoid [Takes the Glass, and looks in it. giving them encouragement.

Lord F. Then you must fortify him with a Mel. You are cruel to yourself, my lord, patch; my wife shall supply you. Come, genas well as malicious to them.

ilemen, allons.

[E.reunt. Lord F. I confess I did myself some violence at first; but now I think I have conquered it. Enter Maskwell and Lady Touchwood. Brisk. Let me perish, my lord, but there Lady T. I'll hear no

You're false is something very particular and novel in the and ungrateful; come, I know you false. humour; 'tis true, it makes against wit, and Mask. I have been frail, I confess, madam, I'm sorry for some friends of mine that write; for your ladyship's service. but — 'egad, I love to be malicious. Nay, Lady 1. That I should trust a man whom deuce take me, there's wit in't too; and wil I had known betray his friend! must be foil'd by wit: cut a diamond with a Mask. What friend have I betray'd? or to diamond; no other way, 'egad.

wbom? Lord F. Oh, I thought you would not be Lady T. Your fond friend, Mellefont, and long before you found out the wit.

to me; can you deny it? Care. Wit! in what? Where the devii's Mask. I do not. the wil, in not laughing when a man has a Lady T. Have you not wrong'd my lord, mind to'l?

who has been a father to you in your wants, Brisk. O Lord, why can't you find it out?-- and given you being? Have you not wrong'd Why, there 'tis, in the not laughing:-Don't him in the highest manner? you apprehend me? - My lord, Careless is a Mask. With your ladyship's help, and for very honest fellow; but, harkye, you under- your service, as I told you before I can't stand somewhat heavy; a litile shallow, deny that neither. Any thing more, madam ? or so. Why, I'll tell you now: suppose now Lady T. More, audacious villain! '0, what's you come up to me-nay, pr’ythee, Careless, more is most my shame -Have you not disbe instructed-Suppose, as I was saying, you honour'd me? come up to me, holding your sides, and Mask. No, that I deny; for I never told in laughing as if you would- Well! I look grave, all my life; so that accusation's answer'd-on and ask the cause of this immoderate mirth: to the next. you laugh on still, and are not able to tell Lady T. Death! do you dally with my pasme: siill I look grave; not so much as smile- sion? insolent devil! But have a care; provoke

Care. Smile! no; what the devil should me not; you shall not escape my vengeance. you smile at, when you suppose I can't-Calm villain! how unconcern'd he stands, iell you?

consessing treachery and ingratitude ! Is there Brisk. Pshaw, pshaw, pr’ythee don't inter- a vice more black? 0, I have cxcuses, thourupt me—but I tell you, you shall tell me at sands, for my faults: fire in my temper; paslast; but it shall be a great while first. sions in my soul, apt to every, provocation ;

Care. Well, but pr’ythee don't let it be a oppressed at once with love, and with despair. great while, because I long to have it over. -But a sedate, à thinking villain, wliose black

Brisk. Well then, you tell me some good blood runs temperately bad, what excuse can jest, or very witty ibing, laughing all the clear? while as if you were ready to die — and I Mask. Will you be in temper, madam? I hear it, and look thus; would nol you be would not talk 'nol to be heard. I have been disappointed ?

a very great rogue for your sake, and you Care. No; for if it were a witty thing, I reproach me with it; I am ready to be a rogue should not expect you to understand it. still to do you service; and you are flinging

Lord F. O 'fie, Mr. Careless; all the world conscience and honour in my face, to rebate allow Mr. Brisk to have wit: my wife says my inclinations. How am I to behave myself ? he has a great deal; I hope you think her You know I am your creature; my life and a judge.

fortune in your power; to disoblige you brings Brisk. Pho, my lord, his voice goes for me certain ruin. Allow it, I would betray nothing - I can't tell how to make him ap-you, I would not be a traitor to myself: I


don't pretend to honesty, because you know. Lady ?'. How, how? thou dear, thou preI am a rascal: but I would convince you, cious villain, how? from the necessity, of my being firm to you.

Mask. You have already been tampering Lady T. Necessity, impudence! Can no gra- with my lady Pliant. titude incline you? no obligations touch you? Lady T. I have: she is ready for any inWere you not in the nature of a servant? pression I think fit. and have not I, in effect, made you lord of Musk. She must be thoroughly persuaded all, of me, and of my lord? Where is that that Mellefont loves her, humble love, the languishing, that adoration Lady T. She is so credulous that way nawhich was once paid me, and everlastingly turally, and likes him so well, that she will engaged?

believe it faster than I can persuade her. But Mask. Fixed, rooted in my heart, whence I don't see what you can propose from such nothing can remove 'em; yet you

a trilling design; for her first conversing with Lady T. Yet; whal yet?

Mellefont will convince her of the contrary: Mask. Nay, misconceive me not, madam, Mask. I know it.—I don't depend upon it; when I say I bare had a generous, and a but it will prepare something else, and gain faithful passion, which you had never favoured us leisure to lay a stronger plot: if I gain a but through revenge and policy.

little time, I shall not want contrivance. Lady T. Ha!

One minute gives invention to destroy Mask. Look you, madam, we

are alone

What, to rebuild, will a whole age employ. pray contain yourself, and hear me. You

[Exeunt. know you lov'd your nephew, when I first

ACT II. sigh'd for you; I quickly found it: an argu

Scene I.-The same. ment that I loved ; for, with that art you veild your passion, 'twas imperceptible to all but

Enter LADY FROTH and Cyntuia., jealous eyes. This discovery made me bold, Cyn. Indeed, madam! is it possible your I confessit; for by it I thought you in my ladyship could have been so much in love? power: your nephew's scorn of you added to Lady F. I could not sleep; I did not sleep my hopes; I watched the occasion, and took one wink for three weeks together. you, just repulsed by him, warm at once with Cyn. Prodigious! I wonder want of sleep, love and indignation; your disposition, my and so much love, and so much wit as your arguments, and happy opportunity, accom- ladyship has, did not turn your brain. plish'd m design. How I have loved you Lady F. O, my dear Cynthia, you must not since, words have not shown; then how sbould rally your friend. But really, as you say, I words express ?

wonder too-But then I had a way; for, beLady 1. Well

, mollisving devil! and have tween you and I, I had whimsies and vapours; I not met your love with forward fire ? but I gave them vent.

Mask. Your zeal, 1 grant, was ardent, but Cyn. How pray, madam? misplaced: there was revenge in view; ibat Lady F. O, I writ; writ abundantly. - Do woman's idol had defild the temple of the god, you never write ? and love was made a mock-worship. – A son Cyn. \Vrite! what? and beir would bave edg’d young Mellefont Lauly F. Songs, elegies, satires, encomiums, upon the brink of ruin, and left him nought panegyrics, lampoons, plays, or heroic poems. but you to catch at for prevention.

Cyn. O Lord, not I, madam; I'm content Lady T. Again, provoke me! Do you wind to be a courteous reader. me like a larum, only to rouse my own still'd Lady F. O, inconsistent! In love, and not soul for your disersion? Consusion ! write! If my lord and I had been both of

Mask. Nay, madam, I'm gone, if you re- your temper, we had never come together.-lapse.- What needs this? I say nothing but o, bless me! what a sad thing would lhat have what yourself, in open hours of love, have been, if my lord and I should never have met! told me.

Why should you deny it? Nay, Cyn. Then neither my lord or you would bow can you? Is not all this present beat ever have met with your match, on my conowing to the same fire ? Do not you love him science. still ? How bave I this day offended you,

but Lady F. O'my conscience, no more we in not breaking off his match with Cynthia ? should; thou say'st right; for sure my lord which, ere to-morrow, shall be done, had you Froth is as fine a gentleman, and as much a but patience.

man of quality! - Ab! nothing at all of the Lady T. How! what said you, Maskwell?common air--I think I may say, he wants no-Another caprice to unwind my temper? thing but a blue ribbon and a star to make

Mask. No, by my love, I am your slave; bim shine the very phosphorus of our hemithe slave of all your pleasures; and will noi sphere. Do you understand those two hard rest till I have given you peace, would you words? If you don't I'll explain 'em to you. suffer me.

Cyn. Yes, yes, madam, I'm not so ignorant. Lady T. O, Maskwell

, in vain do I disguise -At least I won't own it, to be troubled with me from thee; thou knowest me; knowest the your instructions.

[ Aside. very inmost windings and recesses of my soul. Lady F. Nay, I beg your pardon; but, beo Mellefont!—Married to-morrow!--Despairing derived from the Greek, I thought you strikes me. Yet my soul knows I bale bim might have escap'd the etymology. But I'm too: let him but once be mine, and next im- the more amazed, to find you a woman of mediate ruin seize him.

letters, and not write! Bless me, how can MelMask. Compose yourself; you shall have lesont believe you love him? vour wish. Will that please you ?

Cyn. Wby faith, madam, he that won't take

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