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Lady L. Sir, had not I owned my fond, foolish passion, I should not have been subject to such unjust suspicions : but it is an ungrateful return.
[Weeping: Colonel S. Now, where are all my firm resolves ? I hope, madam, you'll pardon me, since jealousy, that magnified my suspicion, is as much the effect of love, as my easiness in being satisfied.
Lady L. Easiness in being satisfied ! No, no, sir ; cherish your suspicions, and feed upon your jealousy: 'tis fit meat for your squeamish stomach.
With me all women should this rule pursue :
[Exit in a Rage.
Enter CLINCHER Senior in Tom ERRAND's Clothes.
| Clinch. sen. Well, intriguing is the prettiest, pleasantest thing for a man of my parts.-How shall we laugh at the husband, when he is gone!-How sillily be looks! He's in labour of horns already. To make a colonel a cuckold ! 'Twill be rare news for the alderman.
Colonel S. All this Sir Harry has occasioned; but he's brave, and will afford me a just revenge. -Oh, this is the porter I sent the challenge by~-Well, sir, have you
found him ? Clinch, sen. What the devil does he mean now?
Colonel S. Have you given Sir Harry the note, tel. low? Clinch. sen. The note! what note?
Colonel S. The letter, blockhead, which I sent by you to Sir Harry Wildair; have you seen him ?
Clinch. sen. Oh, lord, what shall I say now? Seen him? Yes, sir,—no, sir-I have, sir I have not, sir.
Colonel S. The fellow's mad. Answer me directly, sirrah, or I'll break your head. Clinch. sen. I know. Sir Harry very well, sir ;
as to the note, sir, I can't remember a word on't:
[Strikes him. Clinch. sen. Zouns, sir, hold !—I did give him the note.
Colonel S. And what answer ?
[Strikes him again.
Colonel S. What was't, villain ?
Clinch. sen. Why, truly, sir, I have forgot it: I told you that I had a very treacherous memory.
Colonel S. I'll engage you shall remember me this month, rascal.
[Beats him, and exit.
Enter LUREWELL and PARLY.
Lady L. Oh, my poor gentleman ! and was it beaten?
Clinch. sen. Yes, I have been beaten. But where's my clothes, my clothes ?
Lady L. What, you won't leave me so soon, my dear, will ye?
Clinch.sen. Will ye ! If ever I peep into the colonel's tent again, may I be forced to run the gauntlet. -But my clothes, madam.
Lady L. I sent the porter down stairs with them : did not you meet him?
Clinch. sen. Meet him ? No, not I. *Parly. No! He went out at the back door, and is run clear away, I'm afraid. Clinch. sen. Gone, say you, and with
clothes, my fine jubilee clothes : -Oh, the rogue, the thief !l'il have him hanged for murder-But how shall I get home in this pickle ?
Parly. I'm afraid, sir, the colonel will be back
presently, tor he dines at home.
Clinch. sen. Oh, then I must sneak off. Was ever such an unfortunate beau, To have his coat well thrashed, and lose his coat also!
[Erit. Parly. Methinks, madam, the injuries you have suffereě by men must be very great, to raise such heavy resentments against the whole sex;-and, I think, madam, your anger should be only confined to the author of your wrongs.
Lidy L. The author ! alas, I know him not.
Parly. Not know him ? 'Tis odd, madam, that a man should rob you of that same jewel, and you not know him.
Lady L. Leave trifling: it is a subject that always sours my teniper : but since, by thy faithful service, I have some reason to confide in your secresy, hear the strange relation. Some twelve years ago, I lived at my father's house in Oxfordshire, blest with innocence, the ornamental, but weak guard of blooming beauty. Then it happened that three young gentlemen from the university coming into the country, and being benighted, and strangers,
called at my
father's : he was very glad of their company, and offered them the entertainment of his house.
Parly. Which they accepted, no doubt. On, these strolling collegians are never abroad, but upon some mischiet!
Lady L. Two of them had a heavy, pedantic air : but the third
Parly. Ah, the third, madam--the third of all things, they say, is very critical.
Lady L. He was—but, in short, nature formed him for ny undoing. His very looks were witty, and his expressive eyes spoke softer, prettier things, than words could frame.
Parly. There will be mischief by and by; Inerev
heard a woman talk so much of eyes, but there were tears presently after.
Lady L. My father was so well pleased with his conversation, that he begged their company next day; they consented, and next night, Parly
Parly. Ah, next night, madam -next night (I'm afraid) was a night indeed.
Lady L. He bribed my maid, with his gold, out of her honesty; and me, with his rhetoric, out of my honour. [Weeps.] He swore that he would come down from Oxford in a fortnight, and marry me.
Parly. The old bait, the old baitmaI was cheated just so myself. [Aside] But had not you the wit to know his name all this while ?
Lady L. He told me that he was under an obligation to his companions, of concealing himself then, but that he would write to me in two days, and let me know his name and quality. After all the bind. ing oaths of constancy, I gave him a ring with this moito-" Love and Honour,”--then we parted, and I never saw the dear deceiver more.
Parly. No, nor never will, I warrant you.
Lady L. I need not tell my griefs, which my fa. ther's death made a fair pretence for; he left me sole heiress and executrix to three thousand pounds a year: at last, my love for this single dissembler turned to a hatred of the whole sex; and, resolving to divert my melancholy, I went to travel. Here I will play my last scene; then retire to my country-house, and live solitary. We shall have that old impotent lecher, Smuggler, here to-night; I have a plot to swinge him, and Kis precise nephew, Vizard.
Parly. I think, madam, you manage every body that comes in your way.
Lady L. No, Parly; those men, whose pretensions I found just and honourable, I fairly dismissed, by letting them know my firm resolutions never to marry.
But those villains, that would attempt my honour, I've seldom failed to manage.
Parly. What d'ye think of the colonel, madam? I suppose his designs are honourable.
Lady L. 1 hat man's a riddle; there's something of honour in his temper that pleases; I'm sure he loves me too, because he's soon jealous, and soon satisfied.
-Bot hang him, I have teased him enough-besides, Parly, I begin to be tired of my revenge: but this buss and guinea I must maul once more. I'll hansel his woman's clothes for him. Go, get me pen and ink; I must write to Vizard too.
Fortune, this once assist me as before :
ACT THE FOURTH.
Enter Sir H. WILDAIR and COLONEL STANDARD,
meeting Colonel s. I thought, Sir Harry, to have met you ere this, in a more convenient place; but since my wrongs were without ceremony, my revenge shall be so too.-Draw, sir.