The Country Wife, Act II

ACT 2, Scene I

Mrs. Margery Pinchwife,and Alithea: Mr. Pinchwife peeping behind at the door.

Mrs Pinchwife
Pray, Sister, where are the best Fields and Woods, to walk in in London?

Alithea
A pretty Question; why, Sister! Mulberry Garden, and St. James’s Park; and for close walks the New Exchange.

The New Exchange, on the Strand in London, was a covered shopping arcade, with stores selling fashionable clothing.
The New Exchange, on the Strand in London, was a covered shopping arcade, with stores selling fashionable clothing.

Mrs Pinchwife
Pray, Sister, tell me why my Husband looks so grum here in Town? and keeps me up so close, and will not let me go a walking, nor let me wear my best Gown yesterday?

Alithea
O he’s jealous, Sister.

Mrs Pinchwife
Jealous, what’s that?

Alithea
He’s afraid you shou’d love another Man.

Mrs Pinchwife
How shou’d he be afraid of my loving another man, when he will not let me see any but himself.

Alithea
Did he not carry you yesterday to a Play?

Mrs Pinchwife
Ay, but we sate amongst ugly People, he wou’d not let me come near the Gentry, who sate under us, so that I cou’d not see’em: He told me, none but naughty Women sate there, whom they tous’d and mous’d; but I wou’d have ventur’d for all that.

Alithea
But how did you like the Play?

Mrs Pinchwife
Indeed I was aweary of the Play, but I lik’d hugeously the Actors; they are the goodlyest proper’st Men, Sister.

Alithea
O but you must not like the Actors, Sister.

Mrs Pinchwife
Ay, how shou’d I help it, Sister? Pray, Sister, when my Husband comes in, will you ask leave for me to go a walking?

Alithea
A walking, hah, ha; Lord, a Country Gentlewomans leasure is the drudgery of a foot-post; and she requires as much airing as her Husbands Horses. [Aside.]

Enter Mr. Pinchwife to them.

But here comes your Husband; I’ll ask, though I’m sure he’l not grant it.

Mrs Pinchwife
He says he won’t let me go abroad, for fear of catching the Pox.

Alithea
Fye, the small Pox you shou’d say.

Mrs Pinchwife
Oh my dear, dear Bud, welcome home; why dost thou look so fropish, who has nanger’d thee?

Mr Pinchwife
Your a Fool.

Alithea
Faith so she is, for crying for no fault, poor tender Creature!

Mr Pinchwife
What you wou’d have her as impudent as your self, as errant a Jilflirt, a gadder, a Magpy, and to say all a meer notorious Town-Woman?

Alithea
Brother, you are my only Censurer; and the honour of your Family shall sooner suffer in your Wife there, than in me, though I take the innocent liberty of the Town.

Mr Pinchwife
Hark you Mistriss, do not talk so before my Wife, the innocent liberty of the Town!

Alithea
Why, pray, who boasts of any intrigue with me? what Lampoon has made my name notorious? what ill Women frequent my Lodgings? I keep no Company with any Women of scandalous reputations.

Mr Pinchwife
No, you keep the Men of scandalous reputations Company.

Alithea
Where? wou’d you not have me civil? answer ’em in a Box at the Plays? in the drawing room at Whitehall? in St. James’s Park? Mulberry-garden ? or—

Mr Pinchwife
Hold, hold, do not teach my Wife, where the Men are to be found; I believe she’s the worse for your Town documents already; I bid you keep her in ignorance as I do.

Mrs. Pinchwife
Indeed be not angry with her Bud, she will tell me nothing of the Town, though I ask her a thousand times a day.

Mr. Pinchwife
Then you are very inquisitive to know, I find?

Mrs. Pinchwife
Not I indeed, Dear, I hate London; our Place-house in the Country is worth a thousand of’t, wou’d I were there again.

Mr. Pinchwife
So you shall I warrant; but were you not talking of Plays, and Players, when I came in? you are her encourager in such discourses.

Mrs. Pinchwife
No indeed, Dear, she chid me just now for liking the Player Men.

Mr. Pinchwife
Nay, if she be so innocent as to own to me her lieking them, there is no hurt in’t— [Aside.
 Come my poor Rogue, but thou lik’st none better then me?

Mrs. Pinchwife
Yes indeed, but I do, the Player Men are finer Folks.

Mr. Pinchwife
But you love none better then me?

Mrs. Pinchwife
You are mine own Dear Bud, and I know you, I hate a Stranger.

Mr. Pinchwife
Ay, my Dear, you must love me only, and not be like the naughty Town Women, who only hate their Husbands, and love every Man else, love Plays, Visits, fine Coaches, fine Cloaths, Fidles, Balls, Treates, and so lead a wicked Town-life.

Mrs. Pinchwife
Nay, if to enjoy all these things be a Town-life, London is not so bad a place, Dear.

Mr. Pinchwife
How! if you love me, you must hate London.

Alithea
The Fool has forbid me discovering to her the pleasures of the Town, and he is now setting her a gog upon them himself.

Mrs. Pinchwife
But, Husband, do the Town-women love the Player Men too?

Mr. Pinchwife
Yes, I warrant you.

Mrs. Pinchwife
Ay, I warrant you.

Mr. Pinchwife
Why, you do not, I hope?

Mrs. Pinchwife
No, no Bud; but why have we no Player-men in the Country?

Mr. Pinchwife
Ha—Mrs. Minx, ask me no more to go to a Play.

Mrs. Pinchwife
Nay, why, Love? I did not care for going; but when you forbid me, you make me as’t were desire it.

Alithea
So ’twill be in other things, I warrant. [Aside.

Mrs. Pinchwife
Pray, let me go to a Play, Dear.

Mr. Pinchwife
Hold your Peace, I wo’not.

Mrs. Pinchwife
Why, Love?

Mr. Pinchwife
Why, I’ll tell you.

Alithea
Nay, if he tell her, she’l give him more cause to forbid her that place. [Aside.

Mrs. Pinchwife
Pray, why, Dear?

Mr. Pinchwife
First, you like the Actors, and the Gallants may like you.

Mrs. Pinchwife
What, a homely Country Girl? no Bud, no body will like me.

Mr. Pinchwife
I tell you, yes, they may.

Mrs. Pinchwife
No, no, you jest—I won’t believe you, I will go.

Mr. Pinchwife
I tell you then, that one of the lewdest Fellows in Town, who saw you there, told me he was in love with you.

Mrs. Pinchwife
Indeed! who, who, pray who wast?

Mr. Pinchwife
I’ve gone too far, and slipt before I was aware; how overjoy’d she is! [Aside.

Mrs. Pinchwife
Was it any Hampshire Gallant, any of our Neighbours? I promise you, I am beholding to him.

Mr. Pinchwife
I promise you, you lye; for he wou’d but ruin you, as he has done hundreds: he has no other love for Women, but that, such as he, look upon Women like Basilicks, but to destroy ’em.

Mrs. Pinchwife
Ay, but if he loves me, why shou’d he ruin me? answer me to that: methinks he shou’d not, I wou’d do him no harm.

Alithea
Hah, ha, ha.

Mr. Pinchwife
‘Tis very well; but I’ll keep him from doing you any harm, or me either.

Enter Sparkish and Harcourt.

But here comes Company, get you in, get you in.

Mrs. Pinchwife
But pray, Husband, is he a pretty Gentleman, that loves me?

Mr. Pinchwhife
In baggage, in.
Thrusts her in: shuts the door.  
What all the lewd Libertines of the Town brought to my Lodging, by this easie Coxcomb! S’death I’ll not suffer it.

Sparkish
Here Harcourt, do you approve my choice? Dear, little Rogue, I told you, I’d bring you acquainted with all my Friends, the wits, and—

Harcourt salutes her.

Mr. Pinchwife
Ay, they shall know her, as well as you your self will, I warrant you.

Sparkish
This is one of those, my pretty Rogue, that are to dance at your Wedding to morrow; and him you must bid welcom ever, to what you and I have.

Mr. Pinchwife
Monstrous!—  [Aside.

Sparkish
Harcourt how dost thou like her, Faith? Nay, Dear, do not look down; I should hate to have a Wife of mine out of countenance at any thing.

Mr. Pinchwife
Wonderful!

Sparkish
Tell me, I say, Harcourt, how dost thou like her? thou hast star’d upon her enough, to resolve me.

Harcourt
So infinitely well, that I cou’d wish I had a Mistriss too, that might differ from her in nothing, but her love and engagement to you.

Alithea
Sir, Master Sparkish has often told me, that his Acquaintance were all Wits and Raillieurs, and now I find it.

Sparkish
No, by the Universe, Madam, he does not railly now; you may believe him: I do assure you, he is the honestest, worthyest, true hearted Gentleman—A man of such perfect honour, he wou’d say nothing to a Lady, he does not mean.

Mr. Pinchwife
Praising another Man to his Mistriss!

Harcourt
Sir, you are so beyond expectation obliging, that—

Sparkish
Nay, I gad, I am sure you do admire her extreamly, I see’t in your eyes.—He does admire you Madam.—By the World, don’t you?

Harcourt
Yes, above the World, or, the most glorious part of it, her whole Sex; and till now I never thought I shou’d have envy’d you, or any Man about to marry, but you have the best excuse for Marriage I ever knew.

Alithea
Nay, now, Sir, I’m satisfied you are of the Society of the Wits, and Raillieurs, since you cannot spare your Friend, even when he is but too civil to you; but the surest sign is, since you are an Enemy to Marriage, for that I hear you hate as much as business or bad Wine.

Harcourt
Truly, Madam, I never was an Enemy to Marriage, till now, because Marriage was never an Enemy to me before.

Alithea
But why, Sir, is Marriage an Enemy to you now? Because it robs you of your Friend here; for you look upon a Friend married, as one gone into a Monastery, that is dead to the World.

Harcourt
‘Tis indeed, because you marry him; I see Madam, you can guess my meaning: I do confess heartily and openly, I wish it were in my power to break the Match, by Heavens I wou’d.

Sparkish
Poor Franck!

Alithea
Wou’d you be so unkind to me?

Harcourt
No, no, ’tis not because I wou’d be unkind to you.

Sparkish
Poor Franck, no gad, ’tis only his kindness to me.

Pinchwife
Great kindness to you indeed; insensible Fop, let a Man make love to his Wife to his face. [Aside.

"Fop" meant a man who dressed extravagantly, taking fashion to an excess. Here is Colley Cibber in his signature role of Lord Foppington, around 1697.
“Fop” meant a man who dressed extravagantly, taking fashion to an excess. Here is Colley Cibber in his signature role of Lord Foppington, around 1697.

 

Sparkish
Come dear Franck, for all my Wife there that shall be, thou shalt enjoy me sometimes dear Rogue; by my honour, we Men of wit condole for our deceased Brother in Marriage, as much as for one dead in earnest: I think that was prettily said of me, ha Harcourt?—But come Franck, be not melancholy for me.

Harcourt
No, I assure you I am not melancholy for you.

Sparkish
Prethee, Frank, dost think my Wife that shall be there a fine Person?

Harcourt
I cou’d gaze upon her, till I became as blind as you are.

Sparkish
How, as I am! how!

Harcourt
Because you are a Lover, and true Lovers are blind, stockblind.

Sparkish
True, true; but by the World, she has wit too, as well as beauty: go, go with her into a corner, and trye if she has wit, talk to her any thing, she’s bashful before me.

Harcourt
Indeed if a Woman wants wit in a corner, she has it no where.

Alithea
Sir, you dispose of me a little before your time.— [Aside to Sparkish.

Sparkish
Nay, nay, Madam let me have an earnest of your obedience, or—go, go, Madam—

Harcourt courts Alithea aside.

Pinchwife
How, Sir, if you are not concern’d for the honour of a Wife, I am for that of a Sister; he shall not debauch her: be a Pander to your own Wife, bring Men to her, let ’em make love before your face, thrust ’em into a corner together, then leav ’em in private! is this your Town wit and conduct?

Sparkish
Hah, ha, ha, a silly wise Rogue, wou’d make one laugh more then a stark Fool, hah, ha: I shall burst. Nay, you shall not disturb ’em; I’ll vex thee, by the World.

Struggles with Pinchwife to keep him from Harcourt and Alithea.

Alithea
The writings are drawn, Sir, settlements made; ’tis too late, Sir, and past all revocation.

Harcourt
Then so is my death.

Alithea
I wou’d not be unjust to him.

Harcourt
Then why to me so?

Alithea
I have no obligation to you.

Harcourt
My love.

Alithea
I had his before.

Harcourt
You never had it; he wants you see jealousie, the only infallible sign of it.

Alithea
Love proceeds from esteem; he cannot distrust my virtue, besides he loves me, or he wou’d not marry me.

Harcourt
Marrying you, is no more sign of his love, then bribing your Woman, that he may marry you, is a sign of his generosity: Marriage is rather a sign of interest, then love; and he that marries a fortune, covets a Mistress, not loves her: But if you take Marriage for a sign of love, take it from me immediately.

Alithea
No, now you have put a scruple in my head; but in short, Sir, to end our dispute, I must marry him, my reputation wou’d suffer in the World else.

Harcourt
No, if you do marry him, with your pardon, Madam, your reputation suffers in the World, and you wou’d be thought in necessity for a cloak.

Alithea
Nay, now you are rude, Sir.—Mr. Sparkish, pray come hither, your Friend here is very troublesom, and very loving.

Harcourt
Hold, hold— [Aside to Alithea.

Mr. Pinchwife
D’ye hear that?

Sparkish
Why, d’ye think I’ll seem to be jealous, like a Country Bumpkin?

Mr. Pinchwife
No, rather be a Cuckold, like a credulous Cit.

Harcourt
Madam, you wou’d not have been so little generous as to have told him.

Alithea.
Yes, since you cou’d be so little generous, as to wrong him.

Harcourt
Wrong him, no Man can do’t, he’s beneath an injury; a Bubble, a Coward, a sensless Idiot, a Wretch so contemptible to all the World but you, that—

Alithea.
Hold, do not rail at him, for since he is like to be my Husband, I am resolv’d to like him: Nay, I think I am oblig’d to tell him, you are not his Friend.—Master Sparkish, Master Sparkish

Sparkish
What, what; now dear Rogue, has not she wit?

Harcourt
Not so much as I thought, and hoped she had. [Speaks surlily

Alithea
Mr. Sparkish, do you bring People to rail at you?

Harcourt
Madam—

Sparkish
How! no, but if he does rail at me, ’tis but in jest I warrant; what we wits do for one another, and never take any notice of it.

Alithea
He spoke so scurrilously of you, I had no patience to hear him; besides he has been making love to me.

Harcourt
True damn’d tell-tale-Woman.  [Aside.

Sparkish
Pshaw, to shew his parts—we wits rail and make love often, but to shew our parts; as we have no affections, so we have no malice, we—

Alithea.
He said, you were a Wretch, below an injury.

Sparkish
Pshaw.

Harcourt
Damn’d, sensless, impudent, virtuous Jade; well since she won’t let me have her, she’l do as good, she’l make me hate her.

Alithea
A Common Bubble.

Sparkish
Pshaw.

Alithea
A Coward.

Sparkish
Pshaw, pshaw.

Alithea
A sensless driveling Idiot.

Sparkish
How, did he disparage my parts? Nay, then my honour’s concern’d, I can’t put up that, Sir; by the World, Brother help me to kill him; [Aside.] I may draw now, since we have the odds of him:—’tis a good occasion too before my Mistriss— [Offers to draw.

Alithea
Hold, hold.

Sparkish
What, what.

Alithea
I must not let ‘em kill the Gentleman neither, for his kindness to me; I am so far from hating him, that I wish my Gallant had his person and understanding:— [Aside.] Nay if my honour—

Sparkish
I’ll be thy death.

Alithea
Hold, hold, indeed to tell the truth, the Gentleman said after all, that what he spoke, was but out of friendship to you.

Sparkish
How! say, I am, I am a Fool, that is no wit, out of friendship to me.

Alithea
Yes, to try whether I was concern’d enough for you, and made love to me only to be satisfy’d of my virtue, for your sake.

Harcourt
Kind however— [Aside.

Sparkish
Nay, if it were so, my dear Rogue, I ask thee pardon; but why wou’d not you tell me so, faith.

Harcourt
Because I did not think on’t, faith.

Sparkish
Come, Horner does not come, Harcourt, let’s be gone to the new Play.—Come Madam.

Alithea
I will not go, if you intend to leave me alone in the Box, and run into the pit, as you use to do.

Sparkish
Pshaw, I’ll leave Harcourt with you in the Box, to entertain you, and that’s as good; if I sate in the Box, I shou’d be thought no Judge, but of trimmings.—Come away Harcourt, lead her down.

Exeunt Sparkish, Harcourt, and Alithea.

Pinchwife
Well, go thy wayes, for the flower of the true Town Fops, such as spend their Estates, before they come to ’em, and are Cuckolds before they’r married. But let me go look to my own Free-hold—How—

Enter my Lady Fidget, Mistriss Dainty Fidget, and Mistriss Squeamish.

Lady Fidget
Your Servant, Sir, where is your Lady? we are come to wait upon her to the new Play.

Pinchwife
New Play!

Lady Fidget
And my Husband will wait upon you presently.

Pinchwife
Damn your civility— [Aside.]
 Madam, by no means, I will not see Sir Jaspar here, till I have waited upon him at home; nor shall my Wife see you, till she has waited upon your Ladyship at your lodgings.

Lady
Now we are here, Sir—

Pinchwife
No, Madam.

Dainty
Pray, let us see her.

Squeamish
We will not stir, till we see her.

Pinchwife
A Pox on you all—  [Aside.

 Goes to the door, and returns.
 She has lock’d the door, and is gone abroad.

Lady Fidget
No, you have lock’d the door, and she’s within.

Dainty
They told us below, she was here.

Pinchwife
Will nothing do? [Aside]—Well it must out then, to tell you the truth, Ladies, which I was afraid to let you know before, least it might endanger your lives, my Wife has just now the Small Pox come out upon her, do not be frighten’d; but pray, be gone Ladies, you shall not stay here in danger of your lives; pray get you gone Ladies.

Lady Fidget
No, no, we have all had ’em.

Squeamish
Alack, alack.

Dainty
Come, come, we must see how it goes with her, I understand the disease.

Lady Fidget
Come.

Pinchwife
Well, there is no being too hard for Women at their own weapon, lying, therefore I’ll quit the Field.   [Aside.

Exit Pinchwife.

Squeamish
Here’s an example of jealousy.

Lady Fidget
Indeed as the World goes, I wonder there are no more jealous, since Wives are so neglected.

Dainty
Pshaw, as the World goes, to what end shou’d they be jealous.

Lady Fidget
Foh, ’tis a nasty World.

Squeamish
That Men of parts, great acquaintance, and quality shou’d take up with, and spend themselves and fortunes, in keeping little Play-house Creatures, foh.

Lady Fidget
Nay, that Women of understanding, great acquaintance, and good quality, shou’d fall a keeping too of little Creatures, foh.

Squeamish
Why, ’tis the Men of qualities fault, they never visit Women of honour, and reputation, as they us’d to do; and have not so much as common civility, for Ladies of our rank, but use us with the same indifferency, and ill breeding, as if we were all marry’d to ’em.

Lady Fidget
She says true, ’tis an errant shame Women of quality shou’d be so slighted; methinks, birth, birth, shou’d go for something; I have known Men admired, courted, and followed for their titles only.

Squeamish
Ay, one wou’d think Men of honour shou’d not love no more, than marry out of their own rank.

Dainty
Fye, fye upon ’em, they are come to think cross breeding for themselves best, as well as for their Dogs, and Horses.

Lady Fidget
They are Dogs, and Horses for ‘t.

Squeamish
One wou’d think if not for love, for vanity a little.
Dainty
Nay, they do satisfy their vanity upon us sometimes; and are kind to us in their report, tell all the World they lye with us.

Lady Fidget
Damn’d Rascals, that we shou’d be only wrong’d by ’em; to report a Man has had a Person, when he has not had a Person, is the greatest wrong in the whole World, that can be done to a person.

Squeamish
Well, ’tis an errant shame, Noble Persons shou’d be so wrong’d, and neglected.
Lady Fidget
But still ’tis an erranter shame for a Noble Person, to neglect her own honour, and defame her own Noble Person, with little inconsiderable Fellows, foh!—

Dainty
I suppose the crime against our honour, is the same with a Man of quality as with another.
Lady Fidget
How! no sure the Man of quality is likest one’s Husband, and therefore the fault shou’d be the less.

Dainty
But then the pleasure shou’d be the less.

Lady Fidget
Fye, fye, fye, for shame Sister, whither shall we ramble? be continent in your discourse, or I shall hate you.

Dainty
Besides an intrigue is so much the more notorious for the man’s quality.

Squeamish
‘Tis true, no body takes notice of a private Man, and therefore with him, ’tis more secret, and the crime’s the less, when ’tis not known.

Lady Fidget
You say true; y faith I think you are in the right on’t: ’tis not an injury to a Husband, till it be an injury to our honours; so that a Woman of honour looses no honour with a private Person; and to say truth—

Dainty
So the little Fellow is grown a private Person— with her—   [Apart to Squeamish.

Lady Fidget
But still my dear, dear Honour.

Enter Sir Jaspar, Horner, Dorilant

Sir Jaspar
Ay, my dear, dear of honour, thou hast still so much honour in thy mouth-

Horner
That she has none elsewhere—  [Aside.

Lady Fidget
Oh, what d’ye mean to bring in these upon us?

Dainty
Foh, these are as bad as Wits. 

Squeamish
Foh!

Lady Fidget
Let us leave the Room.

Sir Jaspar
Stay, stay, faith to tell you the naked truth.

Lady Fidget
Fye, Sir Jaspar, do not use that word naked.

Sir Jaspar
Well, well, in short I have business at Whitehal, and cannot go to the play with you, therefore wou’d have you go—

Lady Fidget
With those two to a Play?

Sir Jaspar
No, not with t’other, but with Mr. Horner, there can be no more scandal to go with him, than with Mr. Tatle, or Master Limberham.Mr. Tatle, or Master Limberham.

Lady Fidget
With that nasty Fellow! no—no

Sir Jaspar
Nay, prethee Dear, hear me. [Whispers to Lady Fid. Horner, Dorilant drawing near Squeamish, and Dainty

Horner
Ladies.

Dainty
Stand off.

Squeamish
Do not approach us.

Dainty
You heard with the wits, you are obscenity all over.

Squeamish
And I wou’d as soon look upon a Picture of Adam and Eve, without fig leaves, as any of you, if I cou’d help it, therefore keep off, and do not make us sick.

Dorilant
What a Divel are these?

Horner
Why, these are pretenders to honour, as criticks to wit, only by censuring others; and as every raw peevish, out-of-humour’d, affected, dull, Tea-drinking, Arithmetical Fop sets up for a wit, by railing at men of sence, so these for honour, by railing at the Court, and Ladies of as great honour, as quality.

Sir Jaspar
Come, Mr. Horner, I must desire you to go with these Ladies to the Play, Sir.

Horner
I! Sir.

Sir Jaspar
Ay, ay, come, Sir.

Horner
I must beg your pardon, Sir, and theirs, I will not be seen in Womens Company in publick again for the World.

Sir Jaspar
Ha, ha, strange Aversion!

Squeamish
No, he’s for Womens company in private.

Sir Jaspar
He—poor Man—he! hah, ha, ha.

Dainty
‘Tis a greater shame amongst lew’d fellows to be seen in virtuous Womens company, than for the Women to be seen with them.

Horner
Indeed, Madam, the time was I only hated virtuous Women, but now I hate the other too; I beg your pardon Ladies.

Lady Fidget
You are very obliging, Sir, because we wou’d not be troubled with you.

Sir Jaspar
In sober sadness he shall go.

Dorilant
Nay, if he wo’not, I am ready to wait upon the Ladies; and I think I am the fitter Man.

Sir Jaspar
You, Sir, no I thank you for that—Master Horner is a privileg’d Man amongst the virtuous Ladies, ’twill be a great while before you are so; heh, he, he, he’s my Wive’s Gallant, heh, he, he; no pray withdraw, Sir, for as I take it, the virtuous Ladies have no business with you.

Dorilant
And I am sure, he can have none with them: ’tis strange a Man can’t come amongst virtuous Women now, but upon the same terms, as Men are admitted into the great Turks Seraglio; but Heavens keep me, from being an hombre Player with ’em: but where is Pinchwife—

Exit Dorilant

Sir Jaspar
Come, come, Man; what avoid the sweet society of Woman-kind? that sweet, soft, gentle, tame, noble Creature Woman, made for Man’s Companion—

Horner
So is that soft, gentle, tame, and more noble Creature a Spaniel, and has all their tricks, can fawn, lye down, suffer beating, and fawn the more; barks at your Friends, when they come to see you; makes your bed hard, gives you Fleas, and the mange sometimes: and all the difference is, the Spaniel’s the more faithful Animal, and fawns but upon one Master.

Sir Jaspar
Heh, he, he.

Squeamish
O the rude Beast.

Dainty
Insolent brute.

Lady Fidget
Brute! stinking mortify’d rotten French Weather, to dare—

Sir Jaspar
Hold, an’t please your Ladyship; for shame Master Horner your Mother was a Woman—[Now shall I never reconcile ’em] [Aside.] Hark you, Madam, take my advice in your anger; you know you often want one to make up your droling pack of hombre Players; and you may cheat him easily, for he’s an ill Gamester, and consequently loves play: Besides you know, you have but two old civil Gentlemen (with stinking breaths too) to wait upon you abroad, take in the third, into your service; the other are but crazy: and a Lady shou’d have a supernumerary Gentleman-Usher, as a supernumerary Coach-horse, least sometimes you shou’d be forc’d to stay at home.

Lady Fidget
But are you sure he loves play, and has money?

Sir Jaspar
He loves play as much as you, and has money as much as I.

Lady Fidget
Then I am contented to make him pay for his scurrillity; money makes up in a measure all other wants in Men.— Those whom we cannot make hold for Gallants, we make fine.  [Aside.

Sir Jaspar
So, so; now to mollify, to wheedle him,—  [Aside.
 Master Horner will you never keep civil Company, methinks ’tis time now, since you are only fit for them: Come, come, Man you must e’en fall to visiting our Wives, eating at our Tables, drinking Tea with our virtuous Relations after dinner, dealing Cards to ’em, reading Plays, and Gazets to ’em, picking Fleas out of their shocks for ’em, collecting Receipts, New Songs, Women, Pages, and Footmen for ’em.

Horner
I hope they’l afford me better employment, Sir.

Sir Jaspar
Heh, he, he, ’tis fit you know your work before you come into your place; and since you are unprovided of a Lady to flatter, and a good house to eat at, pray frequent mine, and call my Wife Mistriss, and she shall call you Gallant, according to the custom.

Horner
Who I?—

Sir Jaspar
Faith, thou sha’t for my sake, come for my sake only.

Horner
For your sake—

Sir Jaspar
Come, come, here’s a Gamester for you, let him be a little familiar sometimes; nay, what if a little rude; Gamesters may be rude with Ladies, you know.

Lady Fidget
Yes, losing Gamesters have a privilege with Women.

Horner
I alwayes thought the contrary, that the winning Gamester had most privilege with Women, for when you have lost your money to a Man, you’l loose any thing you have, all you have, they say, and he may use you as he pleases.

Sir Jaspar
Heh, he, he, well, win or loose you shall have your liberty with her.

Lady Fidget
As he behaves himself; and for your sake I’ll give him admittance and freedom.

Horner
All sorts of freedom, Madam?

Sir Jaspar
Ay, ay, ay, all forts of freedom thou can’st take, and so go to her, begin thy new employment; wheedle her, jest with her, and be better acquainted one with another

Horner
I think I know her already, therefore may venter with her, my secret for hers—  [Aside.

Horner, and Lady Fidget whisper.

Sir Jaspar
Sister Cuz, I have provided an innocent Play-fellow for you there.

Dainty
Who he!

Squeamish
There’s a Play-fellow indeed.

Sir Jaspar
Yes sure, what he is good enough to play at Cards, Blind-mans buff, or the fool with sometimes.

Squeamish
Foh, we’l have no such Play-fellows.

Dainty
No, Sir, you shan’t choose Play-fellows for us, we thank you.

Sir Jaspar
Nay, pray hear me.  [Whispering to them.

Lady Fidget
But, poor Gentleman, cou’d you be so generous? so truly a Man of honour, as for the sakes of us Women of honour, to cause your self to be reported no Man? No Man! and to suffer your self the greatest shame that cou’d fall upon a Man, that none might fall upon us Women by your conversation; but indeed, Sir, as perfectly, perfectly, the same Man as before your going into France, Sir; as perfectly, perfectly, Sir.

Horner
As perfectly, perfectly, Madam; nay, I scorn you shou’d take my word; I desire to be try’d only, Madam.

Lady Fidget
Well, that’s spoken again like a Man of honour, all Men of honour desire to come to the test: But indeed, generally you Men report such things of your selves, one does not know how, or whom to believe; and it is come to that pass, we dare not take your words, no more than your Taylors, without some staid Servant of yours be bound with you; but I have so strong a faith in your honour, dear, dear, noble Sir, that I’d forfeit mine for yours at any time, dear Sir

Horner
No, Madam, you shou’d not need to forfeit it for me, I have given you security already to save you harmless my late reputation being so well known in the World, Madam.

Lady Fidget
But if upon any future falling out, or upon a suspition of my taking the trust out of your hands, to employ some other, you your self shou’d betray your trust, dear Sir; I mean, if you’l give me leave to speak obscenely, you might tell, dear Sir.

Horner
If I did, no body wou’d believe me; the reputation of impotency is as hardly recover’d again in the World, as that of cowardise, dear Madam.

Lady Fidget
Nay then, as one may say, you may do your worst, dear, dear, Sir.

Sir Jaspar
Come, is your Ladyship reconciled to him yet? have you agreed on matters? for I must be gone to Whitehal.

Lady Fidget
Why, indeed, Sir Jaspar, Master Horner is a thousand, thousand times a better Man, than I thought him: Cosen Squeamish, Sister Dainty, I can name him now, truly not long ago you know, I thought his very name obscenity, and I wou’d as soon have lain with him, as have nam’d him.

Sir Jaspar
Very likely, poor Madam.

Dainty
I believe it.

Squeamish
No doubt on ‘t.

Sir Jaspar
Well, well—that your Ladyship is as virtuous as any she,—I know, and him all the Town knows—heh, he, he; therefore now you like him, get you gone to your business together; go, go, to your business, I say, pleasure, whilst I go to my pleasure, business.

Lady Fidget
Come than dear Gallant.

Horner
Come away, my dearest Mistriss.

Sir Jaspar
So, so, why ’tis as I’d have it.

Exit Sir Jaspar

Horner
And as I’d have it.

Lady Fidget
Who for his business, from his Wife will run;
Takes the best care, to have her bus’ness done.

Exeunt omnes.