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Mrs Black. Well, I suppose he will be for co- | better than that. Ecod ! if it was not for me, ming to a compromise; but there is no harm in many a one, that is saucy enough in the courts, being prepared.—Mr Quillet, let us sit down. would make but a scurvy figure out of them.
Coun. Just as you please, madam ; sit or let it Coun. Come, come, madam, that affair of the alone; it is the same thing to me.
evidence was very black. Mrs Black. I say, counsellor, in part I have Mrs Black. It is false, sir! It was all a prejualready told you what I would have done. With dice, because he was an Irishman : but, if there regard to this testament, there are three things was any roguery in it, did not you draw his into be considered
structions ? Coun. Ay, madam, we will consider them. Coun. You deluded, you deceived me. But
Mrs Black. Well, but hear me out; don't guard your expressions, Mrs Blackacre; guard snap one up so I say there are three things to your expressions; have a care of an action of be considered. First, to prove whether the tes
scandal. tator was compos mentis. Secondly, whether be Mrs Black. Odds my life, is this language to was inops concilii. And, thirdly, whether there me, you puny upstart of the law! You green bag was a sufficient probat
carrier ! You murderer of unfortunate causes? Coun. Nay, nay, but, madam, this is all unne- The clerk's ink is scarce off your fingers ! What cessary.
a shame it is, that women should not plead their Mrs Black. Unnecessary! What do you mean? causes themselves, and not be obliged to employ Was it not so ruled—Catling, 15th Edward the such ignorant mongrels ! First, folio B? Was it not afterwards confirm- Coun. Well, madam, very well! Take notice, ed in the Exchequer-chamber, upon error, from you are in the hands of the law. I call you to banco regis ? Look at your reports, sir—Crook witness, sir, that this woman bas attacked my reJames, 114.
putation. Depend upon it, the bench shall İrear Coun. Lackaday, Mrs Blackacre, you are real- of you, and my lord chief-justice determine, which ly talking in the clouds—have got quite out of is the best lawyer, you or I.
[Erit. your sphere !—I tell you, there was no devise till Mrs Black. I have not patience! I will have the 27 th Henry VIII.
bim caned ! I will have him caned in the courts, Mrs Black. 1 say there was, sir.
if it costs me ten thousand pounds—an impudent; Coun. You mean, Mrs Blackacre, there was saucy-make a rule against me !-And you, madevise in common-law, but not in secundum sta- jor, sitting there, with your mouth open-are you tutum; so that your quotation is quite foreign a man, a soldier! to wear a sword by your side, the purpose: in fine, the whole.is nonsense, and and see me treated—Oh, I wish I had a sword! I see you know nothing of the law.
Old. Do not make yourself uneasy, madam; I Mrs Black. No, sir! but I will shew you that warrant we will be up with him! I will write an I do know something of the law; and I will lay essay against him in the newspapers; I can get you five hundred pounds to your nosegay, that I any thing put in for five shillings and sixpence, know more of the law than you do; and you Mrs Bluck. Go, go, you are a silly old ass. shall be instructed !
Coun. Not by you, madam; not by you! Send your solicitor to me; there is your paper of me
Enter Waiter. morandums.
Waiter. What is the matter, madam? Mrs Black. Impertinent! My paper of me- Mrs Black. Nothing, nothing; go down stairs. morandums ! Odds my life! Return me my fee, Make a rule against me! Odds my life! I wish too, then; my five guineas that I gave you ! they durst! Egad, the parliament should hear of
Coun. Don't put yourself in a passion, Mrs it!
Enter Freeman, Bailiffs, and Jerry. sum, I have had trouble enough for it.
Jer. O law! My mother quarrelling with the Mrs Black. Trouble ! Major, did you ever waiter.-What is the matter here? won't she pay see such usage as this?
her reckoning? Coun. To be short with you, madam, you are Free. Bailiffs, execute your writ; there is your a person, whose affairs I do not chuse to meddle prisoner. with; for your causes are such as have been set Bail. We arrest you in the king's name, at the on the left side of the book any time these six suit of Mr Freeman, guardian to Jeremiah Blackyears; and, since your evidence at the last Hi- acre, esq. in an action of ten thousand pounds. jary sittings was pilloried, my lord chief-justice Mrs Black. How, how! in a choke bail actalks of making an order, that you shall not teaze tion? his court any more.
Free. Yes, yes; you are taken indeed, madam; Mrs Black. Make an order! Make an order and we have discovered your equitable design of against me, that I should not teaze! No, no, providing us with a forged will. they know which side their bread is buttered on Mrs Black. Undone, undone! no man was
ever too hard for me till now.-Oh, Jerty! child, ways knew Varnish was a 'silly fellow, but I wilt thou rer the mother, that bore thee? thought he had too much experience to mistake
Jer. Ay, for bearing me before wedlock, as you a man for a woman. I am glad I picked a quarsy: bat I will teach you to call a Blackacre a rel with Eliza, however; because, now, people will bastard, though you are never so much my mo- never believe I was in her power, but take for ther.
malice whatever she may say to my disadvanMrs Black. Well, I am undone ! not one trick tage. But 'tis just the hour I appointed my left ! Cruel sir, a word with you, I pray. young sailor. And, as if my husband had not
Free. In vain, madam ; you have no way to committed blunders enough already, he is again release yourself now, but by the bonds of matri- conveniently gone out of town, to give me a betmony.
ter opportunity of entertaining him: but I marMrs Black. How, sir, how! matrimony! that ried him for a convenience. Hold, don't I hear were but to sue out an habeas corpus, for a re- somebody treading softly along the passage! noval from one prison to another. Free. Bailiffs, away with her!
Enter Frdelia, through the back scene. Mrs Black. Oh, stay, sir! can you be so cruel Who's there ? my dear! as to bring me under covert baron again, and put Fide. My life? it out of my power to sue in my own name? but I Oliv. Well, this is kind; now, I thiuk, you realsee, sir, your aim in all this; and, if you think ly love me, because you are punctual to your asproper, to make us both easy, I will, out of my signation. I was afraid the misadventure, when jointure, secure you an annuity of three hundred you was here last, would have frightened you pounds a year, and pay your debts; and that's all from coming any more; and then I should have you younger brothers desire to marry a widow been so unbappyfor, I am sure.
Fide. Why, really, madam, I was under some Free. Now, madam, you are come to the point apprehensions. I wanted to bring you to : but you shall find I Oliv. Go, you little coward ! you a son of will not be behind hand with you in generosity: Neptune, and talk of fear! but stay, I'll lock the I believe I need not tell you, widow, that I have door, though there be no occasion for it, but to sikered some injuries from your family, and keep out your fears, and those ugly fits you tell there is now an estate in it, which lawfully and me you are subject to. honestly belongs to me.
Mun. [At the door.) You have impudence Mrs Black. Why, sir, I do remember some- enough to give me fits, and make revenge still thing, and if you will be so good as to let me impotent. speak to my attorney
Olio. What do you say? Free. As for that, madam, there is no occa- Fide. Madam! sion—the land in question brings in about four Olio. I thought I heard you speak--come-sit hundred pounds a year; secure me that, and down here—what makes you so pensive? your person and your son, you are welcome to Fide. I am thinking, madam, if your husband dispose of as you please.
should surprise us again! Jer. What! I hope, master guardian, you are Olid. There's no danger; he's ten miles out of not making agreements without me!
town by this time; however, don't mention his Free. No, no. First, widow, you must say no name, lest it should prove ominous. more, that he is a bastard; have a care of that: Fide. Well, but wont you give me the satisfacand then he must have a settled exhibition of tion of telling you how I abused him last? one hundred pounds a year, and a nag of assizes, Oliv. I have heard enough of it: I hate any kept by you, but not upon the common. discourse, when he, or Manly, must be part of Mrs Black. Well, I can grant all this. the subject. No, let me rather resume the con
Jer. Aye, aye, fair words butter no cabbage : versation I began yesterday—Are you willing to but, guardian, make her sign—sign and seal; or go off with me? otherwise, if you knew her as well as I, you Fide. Whither, madam? would not trust her word for a farthing.
Oliv. Any where-to Lapland, or India-I reFree. I warrant you, 'squire. Come, my law- peat it once more, I have a sufficient fortune to yer, with writings ready drawn, is within, and in make us happy.
[Trampling without. baste.
Fide. Hist! don't I hear a noise? Mrs Black. Make a rule against me! a pal
Oliv. No, no.
[Trampling. try jackanapes !
(Exeunt. Fide. Pray, madam, listen: I am sure I hear
the motion of feet upon the stairs. SCENE IV.-OLIVIA's house. Olivia seated
Oliv. I tell you it is no such thing. (Trampling.
Fide. Hark! it grows louder. at a table, with candles, and a small cabinet.
Olio. Be silent, then-there's somebody tamOlit. Sure, no intrigue was ever attended with pering with the lock of the door. Step gently so many odd circumstances as this of mine : I al- this way,[Varnish speaks within)-Death and confusion, 'tis my husband! I heard him speak | Varnish! Are you the happy man ?-You! You! to the footboy—he has sent him round to bar -Speak, I say—But your guilty silence tells me the garden gate.
all. 'Well, I will not upbraid you ; let your own Fide. I thought, madam, your husband was out reflections be your punishment—Fare ye well, of town, you said.
sir! Oliv. No, no, 'tis he. Fool that I was, to Free. Look yonder, captain, to the volunteer; trust in his pretended ignorance, or think his re- he is hurt, and I believe fainting. concilement real! he has laid this train purpose
Fide. No, sir, 'tis only my fright, not yet ly for my undoing. He has stopt the only pas- well over : I shall recover here in the next room. sage we could get out by; and I know his re- Man. My boy hurt? vengeful temper so well, if he finds us here, he'll murder us. Let us escape your way by the bal- Enter Mrs BLACKACRE and JERRY. cony: here, take this cabinet, it contains jewels and bank notes to a considerable value; here, Mrs Black. I dare swear there is something put out the candles, while I go into the next room going forward contrary to the statute; and as, and pull down the curtains.
in that remarkable case, Stokes plaintiff, against [Erit. Jenkins and other defendantsBut I'll take
minutes; for perhaps one side or other may Enter MANLY.
chuse to bring it into the courts. Fide. This cabinet, I believe, is yours, sir. Jer. Well, my mother will never let the law
Man. It is mine now, indeed; and shall never alone, I see that ; for when she's at a loss for escape from me again, at least to her.
wherewithal to go herself, she's for setting other Fide. Did you ever hear such a wretch, sir? people at it.
Man. A wretch! why she makes love like a Man. Oh Heaven !-Freeman, come here! devil in a play. But she wanted to elope with Free. How now? What's the matter? you, sir; you never told me that!
Man. More miracles still — The volunteer's a Fide. Oh, sir, I have not told you half her woman! wickedness; (loud noise) but they are breaking All. A woman! open the door. What shall I do, sir?
Fide. Dear captain, spare my blushes; yet, Man. Stay where you are, and fear nothing. wherefore should I be ashamed of a virtuous and Now we shall see who this happy man is she calls generous passion? Yes, I am a woman, I own husband.
it; and, through love for the worthiest of men,
have attempted to follow him in this disguise; Enter Varnish.
partly out of fear to disclose my sentiments, for Var. With much labour and forcing, I have at I knew of his engagements to that lady; and the last gained admittance : but now, to find out the constancy of his nature, which nothing but heroccasion of all this privacy and barricading-1 self could have changed. heard people talk in the room, I am sure-Ha! Man. Dear madam, I desired you to bring what's here?
me out of confusion, and you have given me Man. Sword and dark lantern, villain, are more: I know not what to speak to, or how to some odds; however, I believe I shall be able to look upon you; the sense of my rough and ill deal with you—don't be frightened, my little vo- usage gives ine more pain, now it is over, thau lunteer.
you felt when you suffered it: but, if my affecFide. Only for your life, sir.
tions, once prostituted to such a womanVar. Damnation ! two at once-but I'll make Oliv. My breast burns with fury, indignation, sure of one of them at least.
disdain, and must have vent. Coxcomb, idiot, Fide. Murder ! help! murder !
brute ! But think not long to triumph, for I go
to have such vengeance on yeEnter Olivia, and then FreeMAN, LORD Plau
L. Plau. Madam, will you permit me the honSIBLE, and Novel,
our of your fair hand? Olio. What means this uproar? Distraction ! Oliv. Take it. [Strikes him, and Erit. my husband has got in! then we shall have mur- Nov. IIa, ha, ha! There's for your gentleder indeed. Oh stay, you must not kill one una- man-ushership, my lord! Well, what do you ble to defend himself ! lights ! lights!
think of her now? Did not I always tell you she
was a jilt? Enter footboy, with lights.
L. Plau. Take it from me, Mr Novel, she's a Man. Now, sir, where are you? Freeman, lady of great virtue and delicacy; though, inlook to the door.-Hold, my dearest, after so deed, I could not have believed her fingers to much kindness past between us, I cannot part have been quite so hard. with you yet—Freeman, let no body out; for, Mrs Black. But, pray, captain Manly, a notwithstanding your lights, we are still in the word with you. Is not this my cousin Olivia's dark, till this gentleman turns his face --- How! house and furniture ? And do you eject her,
seize on her goods and chattels vi et armis ? Man. Nay, madam, you now take from me all Ecod, if I was she, I'd make demand-bring my power of making you any compliment on my trover,
part. I was going to tell you, that, on your acMan. Good Mrs Blackacre, be pacified: if count only, I would forego the pleasures of a your cousin had her deserts, the law would be retirement I have long wished for, and be reconciher greatest enemy. And now, madam, let me led again to the world, which was grown odious beg of you to accept of this, and, with it, my to me : but if I should, I doubt my friend here beart; both, I confess, too small a recompense would say it was your estate made me friends for your merit ; for you deserve the Indian with it. world, and I would go thither, out of covetous- Free. I must confess I should; for I think Ress, for your sake.
most of our quarrels to the world are just such Fide. Your heart, sir, is a present of that as we sometimes have to a handsome woman, value, I can never make any return for it: but only because she won't grant us as many favours I can give you back such a present as this, which as we could wish. I got by the death of my father, a gentleman Man. Nay, if you are a Plain Dealer, too, of the north, wbose only child I was; (gives give me your hand; and, for your two sakes, e paper.) therefore left me in the present pos- though I have been so lately deceived in both session of 2000l. a year. The name of my sexes, I will believe there are still in the world family is Grey; my other, Fidelia; the rest of good-natured friends who are not prostitutes, and my story you shall know, when I have fewer au- handsome women worthy to be friends. ditors.
WOMEN. MASKWELL, a villain ; pretended friend to Mel- Lady TOUCHWOOD, in love with MELLEFONT.
Lefont, gallant to Lady Touchwood, and in Cynthia, daughter to Sir Paul, by a former love with CYNTHIA.
wife, promised to MELLEFONT. LORD Touchwood, uncle to MELLEFONT. Lady Froth, a great coquet ; pretender to poeMELLEFONT, promised to, and in love with try, wit, and learning. CYNTHIA.
LADY Plyant, insolent to her husband, and easy CARELESS, his friend.
to any pretender. LORD Froth, a solemn corcomb. BRISK.
Chaplain, Boy, Footmen, and Attendants. Sir Paul PLYANT, an uxorious, foolish, old
knight, brother to Lady Touchwood, and father to CYNTHIA,
Scene-A gallery in Lord Touchwood's house, with chambers adjoining,
SCENE I.-A gallery in Lord Touchwood's without sense, I think the women have more muhouse, with chambers adjoining. sical voices, and become nonsense better.
Mel. Why, they are at the end of the gallery, Enter Careless, crossing the stage, with his hat, retired to their tea and scandal, according to their
gloves, and sword in his hands, as just risen ancient custom after dinner. But I made a prefrom table; MELLEFONT following him. tence to follow you, because I had something to
say to you in private, and I am not like to have Mel. Ned, Ned, whither so fast! What, turn- many opportunities this evening. ed fincher! Why, you will not leave us ?
Care. And here is this coxcomb most critically Care. Where are the women? I am weary of come to interrupt you. guzzling, and begin to think them the better company.
Enter BRISK. Mel. Then thy reason staggers, and thou art Brisk. Boys, boys, lads, where are you? What, almost drunk.
do you give ground ? Mortgage for a bottle, ha? Care. No, faith, but your fools grow noisy; Careless, this is your trick; you are always spoiland, if a man must endure the noise of words ing company by leaving it.