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The Way of the World by William Congreve Table of Contents The Way of the World by William Congreve........................................ 1 TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE RALPH, EARL OF MOUNTAGUE, ETC.......................2 PROLOGUE--Spoken by Mr. Betterton...........................................6 DRAMATIS PERSONAE...........................................................8 ACT I.--SCENE I.............................................................9 SCENE II..............................................................14 SCENE III.............................................................15 SCENE IV..............................................................17 SCENE V...............................................................18 SCENE VI..............................................................20 SCENE VII.............................................................25 SCENE VIII............................................................26 SCENE IX..............................................................28 ACT II.--SCENE I...........................................................35 SCENE II..............................................................39 SCENE III.............................................................41 SCENE IV..............................................................47 SCENE V...............................................................50 SCENE VI..............................................................55 SCENE VII.............................................................58 SCENE VIII............................................................59 SCENE IX..............................................................61 ACT III.--SCENE I..........................................................62 SCENE II..............................................................63 SCENE III.............................................................64 SCENE IV..............................................................65 The Way of the World by William Congreve
The Way of the World by William Congreve Table of Contents The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE V...............................................................66 SCENE VI..............................................................70 SCENE VII.............................................................72 SCENE VIII............................................................73 SCENE IX..............................................................74 SCENE X...............................................................75 SCENE XI..............................................................77 SCENE XII.............................................................79 SCENE XIII............................................................80 SCENE XIV.............................................................82 SCENE XV..............................................................84 SCENE XVI.............................................................89 SCENE XVII............................................................90 SCENE XVIII...........................................................91 ACT IV.--SCENE I...........................................................95 SCENE II..............................................................97 SCENE III.............................................................99 SCENE IV.............................................................100 SCENE V..............................................................103 SCENE VI.............................................................108 SCENE VII............................................................110 SCENE VIII...........................................................111 SCENE IX.............................................................112 SCENE X..............................................................114 SCENE XI.............................................................116 SCENE V.
..........................................132 SCENE V......................................134 SCENE VI............................ Bracegirdle.................................129 SCENE III..............................................--SCENE I..............................147 SCENE XII............................................................................122 SCENE XV...........................................................................................................................................................................................144 SCENE XI...........................153 EPILOGUE--Spoken by Mrs.........................................................123 ACT V.................................................150 SCENE the Last........................................The Way of the World by William Congreve Table of Contents The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XII...............................................................149 SCENE XIII...............................................................................137 SCENE VII.................121 SCENE XIV...................142 SCENE X..............131 SCENE IV.............. ...................................................................................118 SCENE XIII...................................................................................................................127 SCENE II..156 SCENE XII....................140 SCENE IX................139 SCENE VIII............................
2. .--Ibid.--HOR. i. The Way of the World by William Congreve . 37. Sat.Metuat doti deprensa.The Way of the World by William Congreve Audire est operae pretium. prcedere recte Qui maechis non vultis.
at the same time TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE RALPH. and it is my security. . will be sufficiently made up to it when it is once become your lordship's. it is some degree of vanity even to doubt of it. cannot be supposed to think very meanly of that which he would prefer to your perusal. that I cannot have overrated it more by my dedication than your lordship will dignify it by your patronage. EARL OF MOUNTAGUE. it may be. EARL OF MOUNTAGUE. and instead of moving our mirth. This reflection moved me to design some characters which should appear ridiculou s not so much through a natural folly (which is incorrigible. that I have presumed to dedicate this comedy to your lordship. and therefore not proper for the stage) as through an affected wit: a wit which.The Way of the World by William Congreve TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE RALPH. That it succeeded on the stage was almost beyond my expectation.--Whether the world will arraign me of vanity or not. I am yet in doubt. ETC. they ought very often to excite our compassion. ETC. My Lord. Whatever value may be wanting to this play while yet it is mine. they are rather objects of charity than contempt. that in my humble opinion they should rather disturb than divert the well-natured and reflecting part of an audience. Yet it were to incur the imputation of too much sufficiency to pretend to such a merit as might abide the test of your lordship's censure. One who has at any time had the honour of your lordship's conversation. Those characters which are meant to be ridiculed in most of our comedies are of fools so gross. for but little of it was prepared for that general taste which seems now to be predominant in the palates of our audience. though.
such. when through their rashness they have mistaken their aim. were more likely to affect the multitude. if not to assist him. at least to support him in his reputation. that they very often let fly their censure. As there is some difficulty in the formation of a character of this nature. And notwithstanding hi s extraordinary merit. had a Scipio and a Lelius. but that it may not seem altogether impertinent. that such who write with care and pains can hope to be distinguished: for the prostituted name of poet promiscuously levels all that bear it. who come wit h expectation to laugh at the last act of a play. the most correct writer in the world. ETC. Some of the coarsest strokes of Plautus. EARL OF MOUNTAGUE. were all of them beauties which the greater part of his audience wer e incapable of tasting. I must beg your lordship's pardon for this digression from the true course of this epistle. so there is some hazard which attends the progres s of its success upon the stage: for many come to a play so overcharged with criticism. . TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE RALPH. and are better entertained with two or three unseasonable jests than with the artful solution of the fable. I beg that I may plead the occasion of it. is also false. and the FEW so qualified. The purity of his style. it may be their countenance was not more than necessary. and the justness of his characters. This I had occasion lately to observe: fo r this play had been acted two or three days before some of these hasty judges could find the leisure to distinguish betwixt the character of a Witwoud and a Truewit. Terence. for recommending this comedy to your protection. in part of that excuse of which I stand in need.The Way of the World by William Congreve that it is affected. so severely censured by Horace. the delicacy of his turns. It is only by the countenance of your lordship.
or at least more corrigible. the privilege o f such a conversation is the only certain means of attaining to the perfection of dialogue. in your retirement last summer from the town: for it was immediately after. poetry is almost the only art which has not yet laid claim to your lordship's patronage. and justness of manners. where there were so many not inferior either to a Scipio or a Lelius. it is only to be regretted. that there should be one wanting equal in capacity to a Terence. seems to TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE RALPH. i t is known. so had he great advantages to encourage his undertakings. have flourished under your influence and protection.The Way of the World by William Congreve As Terence excelled in his performances. was not less considerable from the freedom of conversation which was permitted him with Lelius and Scipio. and his characters ready drawn to his hand. the eldest sister of all arts. and that of a society where everybody else was so well worthy of you. was not only the disciple. If I have failed in my performance. Architecture and painting. for he built most on the foundations of Menander: his plots were generally modelled. If it has happened in any part of this comedy that I have gained a turn of style or expression more correct. and parent of most. And. These were great models to design by. In the meantime. He copied Menander. EARL OF MOUNTAGUE. two of the greatest and most polite men of his age. and Menander had no less light in the formation of his characters from the observations of Theophrastus. and Theophrastus. an d the further advantage which Terence possessed towards giving his plays the due ornaments of purity of style. that this comedy was written . If I am not mistaken. than in those which I have formerly written. poetry. with equal pride and gratitude. ascribe it to the honour of your lordship's admitting me into your conversation. I must. . to the great honour of our country. the first and greatest judge of poetry. of whom he was a disciple. ETC. indeed. but the immediate successor of Aristotle.
and they are ever propitious to it. CONGREVE. and it is their prerogative alone to give it protection. in its nature. by having neglected to pay her duty to your lordship. EARL OF MOUNTAGUE. which should assure your lordship that I am. This received maxim is a general apology for all writers who consecrate their labours to great men: but I could wish. Poetry. so this offering might become remarkable by some particular instance of respect. to which none can pretend a better title. and that as I can distinguish your lordship even among the most deserving. with all due sense of your extreme worthiness and humanity. TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE RALPH. your lordship's most obedient and most obliged humble servant . It is the privilege of poetry to address them. WILL. that this address were exempted from the common pretence of all dedications.The Way of the World by William Congreve have resigned her birthright. ETC. is sacred to the good and great: the relation between them is reciprocal. at this time. and by permitting others of a later extraction to prepossess that plac e in your esteem. my lord. .
our play shall (with your leave to show it) Give you one instance of a passive poet. no farce--but that's a fault. . called poets. If that be found a forfeited estate. Who. with toil he wrought the following scenes. to assert their sense. Who to your judgments yields all resignation: So save or damn. That hurts none here. who with ill stars are curst. Of those few fools. In short. Poets are bubbles. Some humour too. Satire. But if they're naught ne'er spare him for his pains: Damn him the more. heretofore. Suffered at first some trifling stakes to win: But what unequal hazards do they run! Each time they write they venture all they've won: The Squire that's buttered still. He'll not instruct. this time. And in Parnassus he must lose his seat. after she has made 'em fools. With Nature's oafs 'tis quite a diff'ren t case. Betterton. For Fortune favours all her idiot race. and some new thought. In her own nest the cuckoo eggs we find. To build on that might prove a vain presumption. PROLOGUE--Spoken by Mr. Some plot we think he has. He owns. has found your favour. forsakes. fare the worst: For they're a sort of fools which fortune makes. is sure to be undone. O'er which she broods to hatch the changeling kind: No portion for her own she has to spare. Sure scribbling fools. have no commiseration For dulness on mature deliberation. you ought not to expect. Betterton. by the town drawn in.The Way of the World by William Congreve PROLOGUE--Spoken by Mr. he thinks. Should he by chance a knave or fool expose. And. But pleads no merit from his past behaviour. This author. his play maintain. He swears he'll not resent one hissed-off scene. Nor. has been his sole pretence. sure here are none of those. For so reformed a town who dares correct? To please. like those peevish wits. your taste arraign. lest it should give offence. So much she dotes on her adopted care. Should grants to poets made admit resumption.
. Betterton.The Way of the World by William Congreve after your own discretion. PROLOGUE--Spoken by Mr.
--Mrs. The time equal to that of the presentation.--Mrs.--Mr. Willis MINCING. Verbruggen WITWOUD. MILLAMANT. MEN.--Mr. Fainall. half brother to Witwoud.--Mrs.--Mr. Bracegirdle MRS. FAINALL. Barry MRS. Marwood. SCENE: London. Prince DANCERS. daughter to Lady Wishfort.--Mr. woman to Mrs. formerly friend to Mirabell. Bright WOMEN. and likes Mirabell. Bowen PETULANT. woman to Lady Wishfort. and nephew to Lady Wishfort. for having falsely pretended love to her.--Mr. Millamant. Bowman FOIBLE. friend to Mr.--Mrs. in love with Mrs. niece to Lady Wishfort.--Mrs. Millamant. Millamant. Underhill WAITWELL. a fine lady. Betterton MIRABELL.The Way of the World by William Congreve DRAMATIS PERSONAE. DRAMATIS PERSONAE. Bowman SIR WILFULL WITWOUD.--Mr. follower of Mrs. and loves Mirabell. FAINALL. FOOTMEN. LADY WISHFORT.--Mrs. in love with Mrs. follower of Mrs. . servant to Mirabell. Millamant. Leigh MRS. ATTENDANTS. and wife to Fainall. enemy to Mirabell. MARWOOD.
while you were by? ACT I. Confess. MIRA. Millamant and you quarrelled last night. Fainall. and you are gay. . MIRA. I'll give you your revenge another time.The Way of the World by William Congreve ACT I. Mr. after I left you. Have we done? MIRA. MIRABELL and FAINALL rising from cards.--SCENE I. MIRA. FAIN. Prithee. you are thinking of something else now. FAIN. FAIN. FAIN. and are for refining on your pleasures. some coxcomb came in. my fai r cousin has some humours that would tempt the patience of a Stoic. that's all. Not at all: I happen to be grave to-day. I'll play on to entertain you. I'd no mor e play with a man that slighted his ill fortune than I'd make love to a woman who undervalued the loss of her reputation. What you please. You have a taste extremely delicate. when you are not so indifferent. A Chocolate-house. why so reserved? Something has put you out of humour. You are a fortunate man. and was well received by her. BETTY waiting.--SCENE I. No. What. and play too negligently: the coldness of a losing gamester lessens the pleasure of the winner.
I rose and with a constrained smile told her. For which reason I resolved not to stir. They had a mind to be rid of you.--What. I thought nothing was so easy as to know when a visi t began to be troublesome. She is more mistress of herself than to be under the necessity of such a resignation. without expecting her reply. whispered one another. MIRA. FAIN. Witwoud and Petulant. they all put on their grave faces. FAIN. she reddened and I withdrew. then my wife was there? MIRA. . my evil genius--or to sum up all in her own name. What? though half her fortune depends upon her marrying with my lady's approbation? ACT I. but Millamant joining in the argument. then complained aloud of the vapours. Yes. and what was worse. Marwood and three or four more. her aunt. my old Lady Wishfort came in. Oh. MIRA. FAIN. and after fell into a profound silence. whom I never saw before.--SCENE I. seeing me. At last the good old lady broke through her painful taciturnity with an invective against long visits. there it is then: she has a lasting passion for you. I would not have understood her. You were to blame to resent what she spoke only in compliance with her aunt. FAIN. your wife's mother. and Mrs. and with reason.The Way of the World by William Congreve MIRA.
and it was once proposed that all the male sex should be excepted. where they come together like the coroner's inquest. she'll breed no more. Nay. The devil's in't. unless a man should endeavour downright personally to debauch her: and that my virtue ACT I. that I told her the malicious town took notice that she was grown fat of a sudden. I was then in such a humour. upon which motion Witwoud and Petulant were enrolled members. The discovery of your sham addresses to her. Had you dissembled better. Now I remember. and let posterity shift for itself. that I should have been better pleased if she had been less discreet. FAIN. to si t upon the murdered reputations of the week. I warrant. persuaded her she was reported to be in labour. things might hav e continued in the state of nature. I wonder not they were weary of you. which I carried so far. . and full of the vigour of fifty-five. to conceal your love to her niece. last night was one of their cabal-nights: they have 'em three times a week and meet by turns at one another's apartments. I got a friend to put her into a lampoon. and when she lay in of a dropsy. And who may have been the foundress of this sect? My Lady Wishfort. You and I are excluded. has provoked this separation. I did as much as man could. MIRA. with any reasonable conscience. I proceeded to the very last act of flattery with her.--SCENE I. declares for a friend and ratafia. and compliment her with the imputation of an affair with a young fellow. if an old woman is to be flattered further. who publishes her detestation of mankind.The Way of the World by William Congreve MIRA. FAIN. but somebody moved that to avoid scandal there might be one man of the community. and was guilty of a song in her commendation. MIRA.
I confess I am not one of those coxcombs who are apt to interpret a woman's good manners to her prejudice. fie. Marwood. what says your clock? ACT I. Mrs. You pursue the argument with a distrust that seems to be unaffected. FAIN. She was always civil to me. Mirabell. and though you may have cruelty enough no t to satisfy a lady's longing. MIRA. friend. MIRA. MIRA. and confesses you are conscious of a concern for which the lady is more indebted to you than is your wife.The Way of the World by William Congreve forbade me. Petulant and Witwoud. . o r your wife's friend.--Bring me some chocolate.I'll look upon the gamesters in the next room. you have too much generosity not to be tender of he r honour. and think that she who does not refuse 'em everything can refuse 'em nothing. and confesses you are conscious of a negligence. if you grow censorious I must leave you:. I am indebted to your friend. Betty. unless she has made you advances which you have slighted? Women do not easily forgive omissions of that nature. Who are they? FAIN. MIRA. But for the discovery of this amour. Fie. Yet you speak with an indifference which seems to be affected. till of late.--SCENE I. FAIN. What should provoke her to be your enemy. You are a gallant man. FAIN.
.--SCENE I.The Way of the World by William Congreve BET.] Oh. MIRA. sir. Turned of the last canonical hour. How pertinently the jade answers me! Ha! almost one a' clock! [Looking on his watch. y'are come! ACT I.
Have you the certificate? Here it is. MIRA. so we drove round to Duke's Place. as 'twere in a country-dance. SCENE II. and meet me at one a' clock by Rosamond's pond. as you tender your ears. Do you go home again. and no hopes appearing of dispatch. MIRA. that I may see her before she returns to her lady. besides. Has the tailor brought Waitwell's clothes home. bid Waitwell shake his ears. SERV. sir. So. . d'ye hear. sir. That's well. and the new liveries? Yes. MIRA. SERV. Ours was the last couple to lead up. you are sure they are married? Married and bedded. be secret. there's such coupling at Pancras that they stand behind one another. so. MIRA.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE II. MIRABELL and FOOTMAN. I am witness. is the grand affair over? You have been something tedious. sir. and there they were riveted in a trice. and adjourn the consummation till farther order. And. we were afraid his lungs would have failed before it came to our turn. and Dame Partlet rustle up her feathers. the parson growing hoarse. MIRA. Sir. SERV. SERV. Well.
most who are engaged are women and relations. SCENE III. she has wit. and complaisance enough no to contradict him who shall tell her so. they are of a kind too contemptible to give scandal. MIRA. FAIN. to give her her due. MIRABELL. MIRA. for. I wonder. I am of another opinion: the greater the coxcomb. FAINALL.night. Besides. She has beauty enough to make any man think so. I am not jealous. Ay. MIRA. . I have been engaged in a matter of some sort of mirth. and for the men. FAIN. I am glad this is not a cabal. Fainall. Joy of your success.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE III. and of consequence should be discreet. which is not ye t ripe for discovery. You do her wrong. you look pleased. always the more the scandal. will suffer your wif e to be of such a party. MIRA. t Are you jealous as often as you see Witwoud entertained by Millamant? Of her understanding I am. Mirabell. FAIN. Faith. BETTY. if not of her person. for a woman who is not a fool can have but one reason for associating with a man who is one. tha t you who are married. FAIN.
for I like her with all her faults. like her for her faults. till in a few days it became habitual to me to remember 'em without being displeased. to hate her heartily. They are now grown as familiar to me as my own frailties. and. Marry her. MIRA. And for a discerning man somewhat too passionate a lover. sifte d her. and separated her failings: I studied 'em and got 'em by rote. and in all probability in a little time longer I shall like 'em as well. one day or other. she once used me with that insolence that in revenge I took her to pieces. contrar y to my design and expectation. SCENE III. that at length. I'll tell thee. I have experience. o r so artful. be half as well acquainted with her charms as you ar e with her defects. and so forth. To which end I so used myself to think of 'em. Say you so? FAIN. marry her. Ay. you are your own man again. my life on't.The Way of the World by William Congreve FAIN. The catalogu e was so large that I was not without hopes. Fainall. nay. ay. For a passionate lover methinks you are a man somewhat too discerning in the failings of your mistress. MIRA. that they become her. and those affectations which in another woman would be odious serve but to make her more agreeable. . Her follies are so natural. FAIN. they gave me every hour less and less disturbance. I have a wife.
That way. SCENE IV. I have a letter for him. Yes. friend.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE IV. [To them] MESSENGER. . which I am charged to deliver into his own hands. what's your business? MESS. Is one Squire Witwoud here? BET. He's in the next room. MESS. from his brother Sir Wilfull. BET.
BETTY. Do you know him? MIRA. SCENE V. who was sister t o my Lady Wishfort. MIRA.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE V. he is half-brother to this Witwoud by a former wife. MIRA. Sir Wilfull Witwoud? FAIN. I have seen him. . He is expected to-day. FAINALL. What. For travel! Why the man that I mean is above forty. FAIN. FAIN. If you marry Millamant. I wonder there is not an act of parliament to save the credit of the natio n and prohibit the exportation of fools. he promises to be an extraordinary person. FAIN. He comes to town in order to equip himself for travel. my wife's mother. Yes. is the chief of that noble family in town. 'tis for the honour of England that all Europe should know we have blockheads of all ages. MIRA. No matter for that. you must call cousin s too. MIRABELL. MIRA. I think you have the honour to be related to him. I had rather be his relation than his acquaintance.
He is one whose conversation can never be approved. He has indeed one good quality: he is not exceptious. 'tis better as 'tis. But when he's drunk. Not always: but as often as his memory fails him and his commonplace of comparisons. . One will melt in your mouth and t'other set your teeth on edge. and the other will be rotten without ever being ripe at all. his brother. SCENE V. he has something of good-nature. and call downright rudeness and ill language satire and fire. To give bother his due. for he so passionately affects the reputation of understanding raillery that he will construe an affront into a jest. He is a fool with a good memory and some few scraps of other folks' wit. yet it is now and then to be endured. he's as loving as the monster in The Tempest. anything related? FAIN. Behold the original. Not at all: Witwoud grows by the knight like a medlar grafted on a crab. Pray. Sir Wilfull is an odd mixture of bashfulness and obstinacy. By no means. MIRA. MIRA. than to be quite eaten up with being overstocked. FAIN. 'tis better to trade with a little loss. So one will be rotten before he be ripe.The Way of the World by William Congreve FAIN. MIRA. you have an opportunity to do it at full length. are the follies of this knight-errant and those of the squire. and does not always want wit. FAIN. one is all pulp and the other all core. and much after the same manner. If you have a mind to finish his picture.
sir. MIRA. or a copy of commendatory verses from one poet to another. a beast of burden. SCENE VI. Afford me your compassion. as heavy as a panegyric in a funeral sermon. my dears. MIRA. Ay. Why.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VI. Ay. Did not a messenger bring you one but now. WIT. My half-brother he is. that's very hard. pity me. WIT. Then 'tis possible he may be but half a fool. my half-brother. No letters for me. sir? WIT. No. Mirabell. A fool. FAIN. no nearer. Betty? BET. upon honour. A messenger. ay. That's hard. 'tis as sure a forerunner of the author as an epistle dedicatory. . And what's worse. what's the matter? WIT. MIRA. Witwoud? WIT. a mule. and your brother. he has brought me a letter from the fool my brother. but no other? BET. pity me. I do from my soul. Fainall. [To them] WITWOUD.
Mirabell? MIRA. I don't know what I say: but she's the best woman in the world. heartily. FAIN. No man in town lives well with a wife but Fainall. Gad. I beg pardon that I should ask a man of pleasure and the town a question at once so foreign and domestic. I have forgot what I was going to say to you. Witwoud. don't let's talk of him. I thank you heartily.The Way of the World by William Congreve WIT. 'Tis well you don't know what you say. but prithee excuse me:. MIRA. MIRA.my memory is such a memory. Your judgment. how does your lady? Gad. . WIT. WIT. WIT. Mirabell. Good. I say anything in the world to get this fellow out of my head. good. or else your commendation would go near to make me either vain or jealous. FAIN. hang him. No. if you would be credibly informed.--Fainall. Mirabell! MIRA. LE DROLE! Good. WIT. for I never knew a fool but he affected to complain either of the spleen or his memory. You had better step and ask his wife. But I talk like an old maid at a marriage. Ay. What have you done with Petulant? SCENE VI. good. Have a care of such apologies. My dear. I ask ten thousand pardons.
he would not be altogether contemptible.'tis pity. I don't find that Petulant confesses the superiority of wit to be your talent. FAIN. that I grant you:. and would breed debates. I can't say as to that. my money it was: I have no luck to. FAIN.day. the fortune must be his of course. and a very pretty fellow. Come. WIT. I'm his friend.The Way of the World by William Congreve WIT. courage? WIT. I don't know as to that. No. for you are sure to be too hard for him at repartee: since you monopolise the wit that is between you. come. and has a smattering--faith and troth. You don't take your friend to be over-nicely bred? WIT. the rogue has no manners at all. that I must own. no. Petulant's my friend. faith. . Yes. I won't wrong him. SCENE VI. MIRA. MIRA. hang him. a pretty deal of an odd sort of a small wit: nay. And if he had any judgment in the world. no more breeding than a bum-baily. What. and a very honest fellow. Though 'twere a man whom he feared or a woman whom he loved. the fellow has fire and life. come. Witwoud. Come. MIRA. You may allow him to win of you at play. faith. Hum. don' t detract from the merits of my friend. He's reckoning his money. I'll do him justice. in a controversy he'll contradict anybody. you are malicious now.
We have all our failings. you are too hard upon him. WIT. FAIN. one he has.The Way of the World by William Congreve WIT. well. What. Too illiterate? WIT. His want of learning gives him the more opportunities to show his natural parts. excuse me there. or 'tis some such trifle. No. what's that. no. Ay. MIRA. Well. except one or two. my dear. he does not always think before he speaks. . no. That? That's his happiness. I warrant he's unsincere. and keeps up conversation. that's the truth on't. pardon me. A wit should no more be sincere than a woman constant: one argues a decay of parts . faith. FAIN. you are.--I can defend most of his faults. what if he be? 'Tis no matter for that. his wit will excuse that. Expose the infirmities of my friend? No. MIRA. as t'other of beauty.--if he were my brother I could not acquit him--that indeed I could wish were otherwise. his being positive is an incentive to argument. Witwoud? WIT. marry. Let me excuse him. He wants words? SCENE VI. MIRA. Oh. Maybe you think him too positive? WIT. No.
He will lie like a chambermaid. No. Now that is a fault. because he has not wit enough to invent an evasion? WIT. MIRA. Vain? WIT. SCENE VI. or a woman of quality' s porter. No that's not it. Truths? Ha. ha! No. FAIN. What. ha. he speaks unseasonable truths sometimes. that's all.The Way of the World by William Congreve WIT. MIRA. . since you will have it. He's impudent? WIT. but I like him for that now: for his want of words gives me the pleasur e very often to explain his meaning. no. I mean he never speaks truth at all. Ay.
FAIN. Three gentlewomen in a coach would speak with him.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VII. [To them] COACHMAN. I'll tell him. Yes. You must bring two dishes of chocolate and a glass of cinnamon water. . SCENE VII. O brave Petulant! Three! BET. mistress? BET. COACH. Is Master Petulant here. COACH. COACH.
. and what's more. clap on a hood and scarf and a mask. just when you had been talking to him. sometimes leave a letter for himself. where he would sen d in for himself. Mean? Why he would slip you out of this chocolate-house. WIT. SCENE VIII. that I mean. Ay. WIT. not finding himself. MIRABELL. then trip to his lodging.before he found out this way. You shall see he won't go to 'em because there's no more company here to take notice of him.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VIII. ay. I have known him call for himself FAIN. and a bawd troubled with wind. MIRA. and drive hither to the door again in a trice. As soon as your back was turned-. call for himself. to call on him once a day at public places. friendship without freedom is as dull as love without enjoyment or wine without toasting: but to tell you a secret. and something more by the week.whip he was gone. FAINALL. WITWOUD. Call for himself? What dost thou mean? WIT. this is nothing to what he used to do:. No w you may know what the three are. How! WIT. MIRA. That should be for two fasting strumpets. nay. Why. You are very free with your friend's acquaintance. wait for himself. these are trulls whom he allows coach-hire. slap into a hackney-coach.
he is so long a coming. I ask his pardon.The Way of the World by William Congreve MIRA. oh. I confess this is something extraordinary. . SCENE VIII. I believe he waits for himself now.
Witwoud? WIT. at this rate. WITWOUD. Ay. By your what-d'ee-call-'ems he means Sultana Queens. if they were your--a--a--your what-d'ee-call-'ems themselves. SCENE IX. Cry you mercy. PET. let it pass. . PET. I come. What-d'ee-call-'ems! What are they. Well. Pox on 'em. if I want appetite. By this hand. Empresses. FAIN. and in all places. I have a humour to be cruel. they must wait or rub off. I hope they are not persons of condition that you use at this rate. MIRA. All's one. MIRABELL. if I am not in humour. BETTY. a man had as good be a professed midwife as a professed whoremaster. tell 'em I won't come. D'ye hear. I won't come. MIRA. BET.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE IX. to be knocked up and raised at all hours. 'Sbud. MIRA. FAINALL. Sir. Roxolanas. PET. PET. Condition? Condition's a dried fig. my dear. well. You are very cruel. PETULANT. Petulant. Let 'em snivel and cry their hearts out. the coach stays.
Pass on. I say. this is in order to have something to brag of the next time he makes court to Millamant. Petulant. What does he say th'are? WIT. WIT. let 'em trundle. Ha. SCENE IX. No. FAIN. MIRA. and an old aunt. PET. I can't be angry with him. dear Petulant. Ha. Harkee. Enough. his relations--two co-heiresses hi s cousins.The Way of the World by William Congreve FAIN. MIRA. Anger helps complexion. if he had said they were my mother and my sisters. and swear he has abandoned th e whole sex for her sake. saves paint. Witwoud. ha! I had a mind to see how the rogue would come off. ha. sometime or other. I? Fine ladies. ha! Gad. Have you not left off your impudent pretensions there yet? I shall cut you r throat. They are gone. the rogue's wit and readiness of invention charm me. Witwoud says they are PET. PET. No? WIT. ha. BET. in great anger. who loves cater-wauling better than a conventicle. sir. by this light. . about that business. This continence is all dissembled.
and shalt make love to my mistress. You and he are not friends. If throats are to be cut. have you not. Snug's the word. you have an uncle. PET. Not I--I mean nobody--I know nothing. There are other throats to be cut. lately come to town. I? Nothing. Why. Why. let that pass. faith. why. come hither. Explain? I know nothing. Petulant. ha! MIRA. Explain. MIRA. SCENE IX. How? Harkee. or I shall call your interpreter. MIRA. then. Meaning mine. . say I know something. What then? All's one for that. ay. Come. thou shalt. let swords clash. Where hast thou stumbled upon all this truth? PET. What hast thou heard of my uncle? PET. Petulant. sir? PET. PET. yon may be disinherited. I shrug and am silent. MIRA. and lodges by my Lady Wishfort's? MIRA. Ay. All's one for that. that's enough. But there are uncles and nephews in the world--and they may be rivals. and if he should marry and have a child.The Way of the World by William Congreve PET. thou art an honest fellow. True. I.
. then. Petulant. would show as dim by thee as a dead whiting's eye by a pearl of orient. I'm sure thou wo't tel l me. for the future? MIRA. that she laughs at Petulant is plain. PET. Petulant and you both will find Mirabell as warm a rival as a lover. And for my part. How? WIT. PET. She's handsome. Was there any mention made of my uncle or me? Tell me. FAIN. I thought you had died for her. raillery. Oh. Pshaw. Faith. raillery! Come. I know thou art in the women's secrets. will you grant me common sense. I shall never break my heart for her. but she's a sort of an uncertain woman. harkee. Tony Witwoud. you're a cabalist. WIT.The Way of the World by William Congreve MIRA. who is now thy competitor in fame. If I do.harkee--to tell you a secret. I'll do what I can for thee. Well. FAIN. but let it go no further between friends. he would no more be seen by thee than Mercury is by the sun: come. I should-. SCENE IX. but that it is almost a fashion to admire her. What . and I'll pray that heav'n may grant it thee in the meantime. pshaw. FAIN. if thou hadst but good nature equal to thy wit. I know you stayed at Millamant's last night after I went.
Mirabell and he are at some distance. as my Lady Wishfort has been told. Whether this uncle has seen Mrs. Umh--no FAIN. MIRA. they never mind him. they say anything before him. Maybe Witwoud knows more. FAIN. and heard something of an uncle to Mirabell. FAIN. . I can't tell. and you know she hates Mirabell worse than a quaker hates a parrot. 'Tis impossible Millamant should hearken to it. 'Tis what she will hardly allow anybody else. The quintessence. We stayed pretty late there last night. WIT. Why do you think so? WIT. and is between him and the best part of hi s estate. but there were items of such a treaty being in embryo. who is lately come to town. i'faith. Faith. Now. he stayed longer. demme. And this is the sum of what you could collect last night? PET. Besides. poor Mirabell would be in some sort unfortunately fobbed. I should hate that. if she were as handsome as Cleopatra. Mirabell is not so sure of her as he thinks for. my dear. WIT. I cannot say. she's a woman and a kind of a humorist.The Way of the World by William Congreve WIT. Millamant or not . and if it should come to life. SCENE IX. She has wit. or than a fishmonger hates a hard frost.
tete-e-tete. what shall I do with the fool? PET. they are not in awe of him. PET. we'll all walk in the park. O rare Petulant. Beg him for his estate. Ay. The fellow's well bred. . I thought you were obliged to watch for your brother Sir Wilfull's arrival . but not in public. I shall be troubled with him too. the ladies talked of being there. ay. you know. pox. my Lady Wishfort. WIT. because I make remarks.The Way of the World by William Congreve MIRA. Ay. man. and so have but one trouble with you both. Ay. Now he's soft. WIT. I'll take a turn before dinner. he comes to his aunt's. are you for the Mall? FAIN. I thank you. pox on him. Fainall. no. that I may beg you afterwards. You do? PET. he's what you call a--what d'ye-call-'em--a fine gentleman. MIRA. and we'll be very severe. thou shalt to the Mall with us. SCENE IX. No. I know as much as my curiosity requires. Ay. MIRA. MIRA. but he's silly withal. thou art as quick as fire in a frosty morning. I'm malicious. WIT. I thought you had been the greatest favourite.
MIRA. by this hand: I always take blushing either for a sign of guilt or ill-breeding. What. or else show their discretion by not hearing what they would not be thought to understand. Where modesty's ill manners. what? Then let 'em either show their innocence by not understanding what they hear. MIRA. I confess you ought to think so.The Way of the World by William Congreve PET. and when you have made a handsome woman blush. PET. that you may plead the error of your judgment in defence of your practice. I'm in a humour to be severe. then you think you have been severe. You are in the right. MIRA. which you roar out aloud as often as they pass by you. . But hast not thou then sense enough to know that thou ought'st to be most ashamed thyself when thou hast put another out of countenance? PET. Not I. Let not us be accessory to your putting the ladies out of countenance with your senseless ribaldry. 'tis but fit That impudence and malice pass for wit . SCENE IX. Are you? Pray then walk by yourselves. Enough.
MRS.--SCENE I. to refuse the sweets of life because they once must leave us. To pass our youth in dull indifference. MRS. we must find the means in ourselves. Then it seems you dissemble an aversion to mankind only in compliance to my mother's humour. they meet us like the ghosts of what we were. they look upon us with horror and distaste. but 'tis not in our natures long to persevere. James's Park. dear Marwood. Certainly. FAIN. While they are lovers. if we will be happy. is as preposterous as to wish to have been born old. profess eternal friendships. 'tis an unhappy circumstance of life that love should ever die before us. For my part. MARWOOD. and among ourselves. and as from such.The Way of the World by William Congreve ACT II. because we one day must be old. St. We may affect endearments to each other. I have no taste of those insipid dry discourses with which our sex of force must entertain themselves apart from men. But say what you will. MRS. either doting or averse. their jealousies are insupportable: and when they cease to love (we ought to think at least) they loathe. fly from us.--SCENE I. To be free. MRS. MAR. True. and that the man so often should outlive the lover. MRS. MAR. Men are ever in extremes. FAIN. 'tis better to be left than never to have been loved. if they have fire and sense. and seem to dote like lovers. my youth may wear and waste. ay. Love will resume his ACT II. Ay. . FAINALL and MRS. but it shall never rust in my possession.
MRS. ay. FAIN. MAR. MRS. Give me your hand upon it. or soon or late. You hate mankind? MRS. .--SCENE I. MAR. receive and readmit him as its lawful tyrant. FAIN. MAR. MRS. There. Your husband? MRS. and am now come to despise 'em. Is it possible? Dost thou hate those vipers. MRS. meritoriously. MRS. MRS. and every heart. Never. You see my friendship by my freedom. how have I been deceived! Why. MRS. acknowledge that your sentiments agree with mine. men? MRS. MAR. MRS. Come. FAIN. you profess a libertine. Most transcendently. I join with you. be as sincere. FAIN. FAIN. MAR. Heartily. MAR. MRS. inveterately. ACT II. I have done hating 'em. what I have said has been to try you. though I say it.The Way of the World by William Congreve empire in our breasts. Bless me. the next thing I have to do is eternally to forget 'em. FAIN.
--SCENE I. FAIN. if he should ever discover it. MRS. but I would have him ever to continue upon the rack of fear and jealousy. MRS. You would not make him a cuckold? MRS. MAR. MRS. and would be throughly sensible of ill usage. How? MAR. but I'd make him believe I did. FAIN. MAR. if I could but find one that loved me very well. FAIN. MAR. MRS. And yet I am thinking sometimes to carry my aversion further. ACT II. Why had not you as good do it? MRS. MRS. You change colour. a Penthesilea. Ingenious mischief! Would thou wert married to Mirabell. Oh. MAR. by marrying. . he would then know the worst. MRS. FAIN. I think I should do myself the violence of undergoing the ceremony. Faith. MRS. Would I were. and b e out of his pain. MRS. Because I hate him.The Way of the World by William Congreve MRS. There spoke the spirit of an Amazon. and that's as bad. No. FAIN. FAIN. MRS. MAR.
and always was. of which his enemies must acquit him. ACT II. FAIN. but I can hear him named. insufferably proud. FAIN. Do I? I think I am a little sick o' the sudden. he is. MRS. and now you flush again. But what reason have you to hate him in particular? MRS. Methinks you look a little pale. I never loved him. What ails you? MRS. and has almost overcome me. MRS. then it seems you are one of his favourable enemies. FAIN. MRS. My husband. Don't you see him? He turned short upon me unawares. So do I.The Way of the World by William Congreve MRS.--SCENE I. MAR. . one would think it dissembled. for you have laid a fault to his charge. By the reason you give for your aversion. FAIN. MRS. MAR. Oh. MAR.
FAIN. for he has brought Mirabell with him. You don't look well to-day. FAIN. MRS. MRS. madam. FAIN. He is the only man that does. especially what is an effect of my concern. D'ye think so? MIRA. Mr. FAIN. SCENE II.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE II. my mother interrupted you in a pleasant relation last night: I would fain hear it out. FAIN. FAIN. The only man that would tell me so at least. MRS. [To them] FAINALL and MIRABELL. MRS. MRS. MRS. Mirabell. and the only man from whom I could hear it without mortification. FAIN. For you. child. My soul. I am satisfied of your tenderness. ha! he comes opportunely for you. I know you cannot resent anything from me. . MAR. Ha. FAIN. Oh. my dear. My dear. ha.
and will willingl y dispense with the hearing of one scandalous story. This way. to avoid giving an occasion t o make another by being seen to walk with his wife. Mr. . Mirabell. FAIN. Fainall will be censorious. He has a humour more prevailing than his curiosity. SCENE II.The Way of the World by William Congreve MIRA. MRS. I am afraid Mr. The persons concerned in that affair have yet a tolerable reputation. and I dare promise you will oblige us both.
Of whom? FAIN. I should be a miserable man. MAR.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE III. MRS. is it inconsistent with my love to you that I am tender of your honour? SCENE III. Will you not follow 'em? FAIN. FAIN. FAIN. MRS. MAR. MAR. the accomplishment of it of consequence mus t put an end to all my hopes. MRS. sure. MAR. MARWOOD. Of Mirabell. if I should live to be rid of my wife. Ay? FAIN. You are not jealous? MRS. and what a wretch is he who must survive his hopes! Nothing remains when that day comes but to sit down and weep like Alexander when he wanted other worlds to conquer. MRS. If I am. Pray let us. I think not. I have a reason. . MRS. MAR. FAINALL. For having only that one hope. Faith. Excellent creature! Well.
FAIN. I think she does not hate him to that degree she would be thought. that by permitting her to be engaged. MRS. You would intimate then. and you are false. you both love him. That I am false? What mean you? FAIN. madam. That I have been deceived. and both have equally dissembled your aversion. It may be so. I do not. Your mutual jealousies of one another have made you clash till you have both struck fire. . I do not now begin to apprehend it. MRS. MAR. 'Twas for my ease to oversee and wilfully neglect the gross advances made him by my wife. MAR.--Come.The Way of the World by William Congreve FAIN. MRS. I have seen the warm confession red'ning on your cheeks. and take you oftener to my arms in full security. MAR. FAIN. It may be you are deceived. because the nodding husband would not wake. But he. MRS. FAIN. MAR. To let you know I see through all your little arts. and sparkling from your eyes. is too insensible. You do me wrong. What? FAIN. as if there were a fellow-feeling between my wife and him? MRS. But could you think. MAR. that SCENE III. I might continue unsuspected in my pleasures. I fear.
And wherewithal can you reproach me? FAIN. whether professing love to us or mutual faith to one another. ha! you are my wife's friend too. the pious friendships of the female sex! MRS. more sincere. . MRS. you upbraid me? Have I been false to her. MAR.The Way of the World by William Congreve e'er the watchful lover slept? MRS. More tender. What cause had you to make discoveries of his pretended passion? To undeceive the credulous aunt. MAR. What. Shame and ingratitude! Do you reproach me? You. with love of Mirabell. MAR. And wherefore do you hate him? He is insensible. and sacrificed my friendship SCENE III. I challenge you to show an instance that can confirm your groundless accusation. through strict fidelity to you. and be the officious obstacl e of his match with Millamant? MRS. ha. An instance? The injuries you have done him are a proof: your interposing in his love. 'Tis false. than all the vain and empty vows of men. and your resentment follows his neglect. and could not see her easy nature so abused by that dissembler. FAIN. was it conscience then? Professed a friendship! Oh. I hate him. Ha. with loving another. With infidelity. My obligations to my lady urged me: I had professed a friendship to her. and more enduring. MAR. FAIN. FAIN. MAR. MRS.
and I never will forgive it. . MAR. both in my fame and fortune: with both I trusted you. MAR.The Way of the World by William Congreve to keep my love inviolate? And have you the baseness to charge me with the guilt . Disclose it to your wife. And do you reflect that guilt upon me which should lie buried in your bosom? FAIN. It shall be all discovered. MRS. If yet you loved. I'll publish to the world the injuries you have done me. FAIN. you urged it with deliberate malice. By all my wrongs I'll do't. FAIN. FAIN. Frenzy! MRS. MAR. what will you do? MRS. 'Tis false. own what has past between us. you bankrupt in honour. unmindful of the merit? To you it should be meritorious that I have been vicious . 'Twas spoke in scorn. If I do it myself I shall prevent your baseness. you could forgive a jealousy: but you are stung to find you are discovered. Your guilt. You too shall be discovered. be sure you shall. as indigent of wealth. MRS. MAR. Why. begets your rage. I can but be exposed. SCENE III. You misinterpret my reproof. I meant but to remind you of the slight account you once could make of strictest ties when set in competition with your love to me. not your resentment.
and something of a constitution to bustle through the ways of wedlock and this world. FAIN. I scorn you most. 'Tis true--had you permitted Mirabell with Millamant to have stolen their marriage. a young widow. and squander it on love and you? MRS.The Way of the World by William Congreve FAIN. which then would have descended to my wife. am I not married? What's pretence? Am I not imprisoned. Your fame I have preserved. Let me go. Truth and you are inconsistent. a handsome widow . we must not part thus. Death. in pleasures which we both have shared. MAR. MAR. And wherefore did I marry but to make lawful prize of a rich widow's wealth. had not you been false I had e'er this repaid it. Nay. MAR. MAR. For loving you? MRS. Your fortune has been bestowed as the prodigality of your love would have it. but that I have a heart of proof. fettered? Have I not a wife? Nay. my lady had bee n incensed beyond all means of reconcilement: Millamant had forfeited the moiety o f her fortune. and shall for ever. FAIN.--I hate you. SCENE III. Will you yet be reconciled to truth and me? MRS. and next to the guilt with which you would asperse me. . I loathe the name of love after such usage. MRS. Impossible. a wife that was a widow. Deceit and frivolous pretence! FAIN. Farewell. and would be again a widow. Yet.
I'll marry thee--be pacified. detest. Have I no other hold to keep you here? MRS. myself. FAIN. MAR. MAR. I'm sorry. and any way. SCENE III. MRS. this way: be persuaded. Nay. and we'll retire somewhere. FAIN. your tears. No. What? What is it not? What is it not yet? It is not yet too late MRS. Come. Pray forbear--I believe you. MAR. abhor mankind. I'm convinced I've done you wrong. damn her. they come: hide your face. I have deserved it all. and the whole treacherous world. it is not yet FAIN. You know I love you. anywhere. FAIN. This way. I would not hurt you for the world. I ask your pardon. Let me go. Poor dissembling! Oh.The Way of the World by William Congreve FAIN. this is extravagance. to another world. . MRS. Break my hands. No tears--I was to blame. I could not love you and be easy in my doubts. to love another. I care not. Come. MAR. Well. it is not yet too late--I have that comfort. But not to loathe. It is. I'll part with her. FAIN. You have a mask: wear it a moment.--'Sdeath. MAR. do--I'd leave 'em to get loose. MRS. rob her of all she's worth. that--well. every way will make amends: I'll hate my wife yet more.
enough to SCENE IV. FAINALL. MIRABELL and MRS. MRS. Oh. MRS. FAIN. MRS. FAIN. MIRA. yet one whose wit and outward fair behaviour have gained a reputation with the town. where could you have fixed a father's name with credit but on a husband? I knew Fainall to be a man lavish of his morals. he's too offensive. MIRA.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE IV. reputation. Why do we daily commit disagreeable and dangerous actions? To save that idol. You have been the cause that I have loved without bounds. FAIN. a false and a designing lover. Yes. an interested and professing friend. They are turning into the other walk. MIRA. While I only hated my husband. and would you set limits to that aversion of which you have been the occasion? Why did you make me marry this man? MIRA. If the familiarities of our loves had produced that consequenc e of which you were apprehensive. MRS. for I have loved with indiscretion. They are here yet. You should have just so much disgust for your husband as may be sufficient to make you relish your lover. but since I have despised him. you should hate with prudence. . FAIN. I could bear to see him.
my servant. She is won and worn by this time. I ought to stand in some degree of credit with you. FAIN. FAIN. . SCENE IV. and put it in your power to ruin or advance my fortune. They were marrie d this morning. and may win her to your interest. a worse had not answered to the purpose. In justice to you. MRS. Waitwell and Foible. FAIN. MRS. Whom have you instructed to represent your pretended uncle? MIRA. stand upon terms. my mother's woman. Care is taken for that. Who? MIRA. He is an humble servant to Foible. MRS. Mirabell. I have made you privy to my whole design. I would not tempt my servant to betray me by trusting him too far. in hopes to ruin me. MRS. he might. FAIN. so I made hi m sure beforehand. If your mother. A better man ought not to have been sacrificed to the occasion. MIRA. Waitwell. When you are weary of him you know your remedy. should consent to marry my pretended uncle. MIRA. like Mosca in the FOX.The Way of the World by William Congreve make that woman stand excused who has suffered herself to be won by his addresses.
MIRA. like the faint offer of a latter spring. if we live to be old. She talked last night of endeavouring at a match between Millamant an d your uncle. I suppose she will submit to anything to get rid of him. FAIN. and. you will discover the imposture betimes. MIRA. if my poor mother is caught in a contract. Yes. FAIN. and surrender the moiety of her fortune in her possession. and withers in an affected bloom. MRS. That was by Foible's direction and my instruction. and fee l the craving of a false appetite when the true is decayed. serves but to usher in the fall. MRS. 'Tis the green-sickness of a second childhood. I think the good lady would marry anything that resembled a man. Female frailty! We must all come to it. which you have provided for her. Yes. FAIN. Well. upon condition that she consent to my marriage with her niece. FAIN. SCENE IV. and release her by producing a certificate of her gallant's former marriage. FAIN. that she might seem to carry it more privately. for I believe my lady will d o anything to get an husband. I have an opinion of your success. MIRA. So. An old woman's appetite is depraved like that of a girl. though 'twere no more than what a butler could pinch out of a napkin. . MRS.The Way of the World by William Congreve MRS. and when she has this. Here's your mistress. MRS. MIRA.
MIRA. Oh. MIRA. WIT. MRS.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE V. i'faith. madam. WITWOUD. MILLA. Like moths about a candle. full sail. MILLAMANT. MILLA. As a favourite just disgraced. Witwoud. I cannot help it. MINCING. SCENE V. You used to have the BEAU MONDE throng after you. and he tows her woman after him. FAIN. and a shoal of fools for tenders. Yet again! Mincing. no. and a flock of gay fine perukes hovering round you. . I have denied myself airs to-day. I had like to have lost my comparison for want o f breath. I have walked as fast through the crowd WIT. Here she comes. As a physician of a good air. You seem to be unattended. truce with your similitudes. MILLA. Dear Mr. I cry her mercy. for I am as sick of 'em WIT. with her fan spread and streamers out. madam.--Ha. I see but one poor empty sculler. stand between me and his wit. and with as few followers. [To them] MRS. though 'tis against myself.
The Way of the World by William Congreve WIT. Do, Mrs. Mincing, like a screen before a great fire. I confess I do blaze to-day; I am too bright. MRS. FAIN. But, dear Millamant, why were you so long? MILLA. Long! Lord, have I not made violent haste? I have asked every living thin g I met for you; I have enquired after you, as after a new fashion. WIT. Madam, truce with your similitudes.--No, you met her husband, and did not ask him for her. MIRA. By your leave, Witwoud, that were like enquiring after an old fashion to ask a husband for his wife. WIT. Hum, a hit, a hit, a palpable hit; I confess it. MRS. FAIN. You were dressed before I came abroad. MILLA. Ay, that's true. Oh, but then I had--Mincing, what had I? Why was I so long? MINC. O mem, your laship stayed to peruse a packet of letters. MILLA. Oh, ay, letters--I had letters--I am persecuted with letters--I hate letters. Nobody knows how to write letters; and yet one has 'em, one does not know why. They serve one to pin up one's hair. SCENE V.
The Way of the World by William Congreve WIT. Is that the way? Pray, madam, do you pin up your hair with all your letters ? I find I must keep copies. MILLA. Only with those in verse, Mr. Witwoud. I never pin up my hair with prose. I think I tried once, Mincing. MINC. O mem, I shall never forget it. MILLA. Ay, poor Mincing tift and tift all the morning. MINC. Till I had the cramp in my fingers, I'll vow, mem. And all to no purpose. But when your laship pins it up with poetry, it fits so pleasant the next day as anything, and is so pure and so crips. WIT. Indeed, so crips? MINC. You're such a critic, Mr. Witwoud. MILLA. Mirabell, did you take exceptions last night? Oh, ay, and went away. Now I think on't I'm angry--no, now I think on't I'm pleased:- for I believe I gave yo u some pain. MIRA. Does that please you? MILLA. Infinitely; I love to give pain. MIRA. You would affect a cruelty which is not in your nature; your true vanity i s in the power of pleasing. SCENE V.
The Way of the World by William Congreve MILLA. Oh, I ask your pardon for that. One's cruelty is one's power, and when on e parts with one's cruelty one parts with one's power, and when one has parted wit h that, I fancy one's old and ugly. MIRA. Ay, ay; suffer your cruelty to ruin the object of your power, to destroy your lover--and then how vain, how lost a thing you'll be! Nay, 'tis true; you are no longer handsome when you've lost your lover: your beauty dies upon the instant. For beauty is the lover's gift: 'tis he bestows your charms:- your glas s is all a cheat. The ugly and the old, whom the looking-glass mortifies, yet afte r commendation can be flattered by it, and discover beauties in it: for that reflects our praises rather than your face. MILLA. Oh, the vanity of these men! Fainall, d'ye hear him? If they did not commend us, we were not handsome! Now you must know they could not commend one i f one was not handsome. Beauty the lover's gift! Lord, what is a lover, that it ca n give? Why, one makes lovers as fast as one pleases, and they live as long as one pleases, and they die as soon as one pleases; and then, if one pleases, one make s more. WIT. Very pretty. Why, you make no more of making of lovers, madam, than of making so many card-matches. MILLA. One no more owes one's beauty to a lover than one's wit to an echo. They can but reflect what we look and say: vain empty things if we are silent or unseen, and want a being. MIRA. Yet, to those two vain empty things, you owe two the greatest pleasures of your life. SCENE V.
The Way of the World by William Congreve MILLA. [Aside to MRS. FAIN. I have a word or two for Mr. SCENE V. MIRA. WIT. fiction. FAINALL. . Fainall. she won't give an echo fair play. To your lover you owe the pleasure of hearing yourselves praised. MILLA. Draw off Witwoud. Immediately. Witwoud. and to a n echo the pleasure of hearing yourselves talk. she has that everlasting rotation of tongue that an echo must wait till she dies before it can catch her last words. Oh. But I know a lady that loves talking so incessantly.] MRS. let us leave these men. How so? MIRA.
MIRA. I please myself. they are not capable. Mirabell. the vapours. You had the tyranny to deny me last night. though you knew I came to impart a secret to you that concerned my love. sometimes to converse with fools is for my health. MRS. sure. You are not in a course of fools? MILLA. . next to assafoetida. if they were.--Besides. MIRA. MILLA. or. MILLA. to please a fool is some degree of folly.we shan't agree. I would beg a little private audience too. Yes. bestowing on your easiness that time which is the incumbrance of their lives. MILLAMANT. it should be to you as a mortification: for. fools are physic for it. MIRABELL. How can you find delight in such society? It is impossible they should admire you. MIRA. if you persist in this offensive freedom you'll displease me. Your health! Is there a worse disease than the conversation of fools? MILLA. SCENE VI. MIRA.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VI. Unkind! You had the leisure to entertain a herd of fools: things who visit you from their excessive idleness. I think I must resolve after all not to have you:. MINCING. You saw I was engaged.
'tis impossible I should hold mine. MILLA. it may be. Well. Sententious Mirabell! Prithee don't look with that violent and inflexible wise face. ha! What would you give that you could help loving me? MIRA. Mirabell. ha. And yet our distemper in all likelihood will be the same. as win a woman with plain-dealing and sincerity. Well. after all. 'tis so dull to act always by advice. What. MILLA. Come. don't be peevish. Heigho! Now I'll be melancholy. but I would persuade you for a moment to be serious.The Way of the World by William Congreve MIRA. Well. there is something very moving in a lovesick face. with that face? No. Mirabell--I'm resolved--I think--you may go--ha . I can't bear it. Not in our physic. like Solomon at the dividing of the child in an old tapestry hanging! MIRA. I would give something that you did not know I could not help it. MILLA. ha! Well I won't laugh. I shan't endure to be reprimanded nor instructed. what do you say to me? MIRA. madam. Can you not find in the variety of your disposition one moment SCENE VI. if you keep your countenance. You are merry.--Nay. woo me now. Well. if you are so tedious. don't look grave then. Ha. if ever you will win me. I won't have you. . fare you well: I see they are walking away. or a fortune by his honesty. as melancholy as a watch-light. MIRA. ha. I say that a man may as soon make a friend by his wit. MILLA. and so tedious to be told of one's faults. for we shall be sick of one another.
unless she should tell me herself. . SCENE VI. But how you came to know it MILLA. and your plot like to speed? No. you can't imagine. and when you have done thinking of that. I will leave you to consider.The Way of the World by William Congreve MILLA. Without the help of the devil. think of me. Which of the two it may have been. To hear you tell me Foible's married. MIRA.
were a case of more steady contemplation.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VII.--Gone! Think of you? To think of a whirlwind. and by one as well as another. a very tranquillity of mind and mansion. billing so sweetly? Is not Valentine's day over with you yet? SCENE VII. A fellow that lives in a windmill has not a more whimsical dwelling than the heart of a man that is lodged in a woman. MIRA. and yet continue to be in love. for motion. MIRABELL alone. is to be made wise fro m the dictates of reason. What. and yet persevere to play the fool by the force of instinct. is their occupation. here come my pair of turtles.--Oh. To know this. I have something more. and by which they are not turned. thoug h 'twere in a whirlwind. There is no point of the compass to which they cannot turn. . not method.
Foible. But I protest. But I told my lady as you instructed me. that he burns with impatience to lie at her ladyship's feet and worship the original. [To him] WAITWELL. FOIB. sir.--I'm afraid my lady has been in a thousand inquietudes for me. That she did indeed. sir. sir. WAIT. Excellent Foible! Matrimony has made you eloquent in love. sir. If she can take your directions as readily as my instructions. and that I would put her ladyship's picture in m y pocket to show him.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VIII. MIRA. sir. your affairs are in a prosperous way. but still with an eye to business. Sirrah. MIRA. It was my fault that she did not make more. sir. Mrs. MIRA. Your pardon. WAIT. sir. FOIB. Waitwell. I have instructed her as well as I could. MIRA. . sure. That I believe. your uncle. that I had a prospect of seeing Sir Rowland. we have indeed been solacing in lawful delights. FOIBLE. SCENE VIII. I made as much haste as I could. O--las. you think you were married for your own recreation and not for my conveniency. why. I'm so ashamed. Give you joy. which I'll be sure to say has made him so enamoured of her beauty. With submission.
and you need not doubt of success. MIRA. . Oh dear. if she has seen me with you I m sure she'll tell my lady. WAIT. Stand off. Marwood that went by in a mask. if we succeed. because I did not know that you might find an opportunity she had so much company last night. FOIB. Go on and prosper. sir. In the meantime--[gives money] FOIB. O dear sir. sir.--B'w'y. your humble servant. I think so. and can't dress till I come. You have seen Madam Millamant. FOIB. I'm sure my lady is at her toilet. MIRA. I'm sure that [looking out] was Mrs. I told her. I don't question your generosity. I think she has profited. sir? Yes. Waitwell. . Spouse MIRA.The Way of the World by William Congreve WAIT. Foible. Your diligence will merit more. I'll make haste home and prevent her. sir. I'll be gone. FOIB. The lease shall be made good and the farm stocked. If you have no more commands. Sir. SCENE VIII. sir. Your servant. not a penny. sir.
will you endeavour to forget yourself--and transform into Sir Rowland? WAIT. MIRA. that's the sad change of life: To lose my title. Nay. and fall from my transformation to a reformation into Waitwell. there's my grief. I shan't be quite the same Waitwell neither--for now I remember me. and yet keep my wife. The jade's so pert upon her preferment she forgets herself. sir. it will be impossible I should remember myself. SCENE IX. if you please. knighted.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE IX. WAIT. and can't be my own man again. Ay. The difficulty will be how to recover my acquaintance and familiarity with my former self. I'm married. and attended all in one day! 'Tis enough to make any man forget himself. Sir Rowland. sir. Married. . Why. Come. MIRABELL. WAITWELL.
A pox take you both. LADY.The Way of the World by William Congreve ACT III. paint. there's no veracity in me. Not the ratafia. idiot. as I'm a person. PEG waiting. If I have not fretted myself till I am pale again . puppet? Thou wooden thing upon wires! PEG. or the cherry brandy? LADY. Paint. complexion.--I cannot come at the paint. does your ladyship mean. I have no more patience. Ratafia. dost thou understand that. paint. LADY WISHFORT at her toilet. Foible has locked it up. fool--grant me patience!--I mean the Spanish paper. sweetheart? A n errant ash colour.--SCENE I.--Fetch me the cherry brandy then. Mopus? PEG. madam: Mrs. . ACT III. madam. do you hear. Look you how this wench stirs! Why dost thou not fetch me a little red? Didst thou not hear me. The red ratafia. LADY.--SCENE I. Lord. Merciful! No news of Foible yet? PEG. changeling. fool. Fetch me the red--the red. No. and carried the key with her. LADY. madam. darling. A room in Lady Wishfort's house. your ladyship is so impatient. dangling thy hands like bobbins before thee? Why dost thou not stir. fool? No.
. dost thou not know the bottle? SCENE II. Qualmsick. the curate's wife. come. LADY WISHFORT. I look like Mrs. that's always breeding. what art thou doing? Sipping? Tasting ? Save thee. Wench.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE II. wench. come. I'm as pale and as faint.
to drink out of an acorn? Why didst thou not bring thy thimble? Hast thou ne'er a brass thimble clinking in thy pocket with a bit of nutmeg? I warrant thee.what. Marwood. again. this wench has lived in an inn upon the road. Come.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE III. [One knocks. save thee. madam. Mrs. PEG with a bottle and china cup. fill. SCENE III. LADY. Come in. fill. PEG. No Foible yet? PEG. good Marwood. Marwood: let her come in. See who that is.] Set down the bottle first. A cup. and what a cup hast thou brought! Dost thou take me for a fairy. like Maritornes the Asturian in Don Quixote. So. Oh. LADY. Here. . wouldst thou go with the bottl e in thy hand like a tapster? As I'm a person. Madam. here. I was looking for a cup. No. before she came to me. LADY WISHFORT. under the table:.
MAR. and send her in. I saw her but now. I'm ruined. she has as good as put her integrity into his hands. you cannot suspect Mrs. you thing. LADY. O my dear friend. Foible's a lost thing. Ah. [To them] MRS MARWOOD. dear Marwood. . I'm a wretch of wretches if I'm detected. MRS. retire into my closet. has been abroad since morning.--Go. I f she has given him an opportunity. with Bunyan's works to entertain you. Foible's integrity. I sent her to negotiate an affair. LADY. in conference with Mirabell. MRS. and never heard of since. Dear friend. what's integrity to an opportunity? Hark! I hear her. and the SHORT VIEW OF THE STAGE. in which i f I'm detected I'm undone. he carries poison in his tongue that would corrupt integrity itself. Oh. O madam. MAR. as I came masked through the park. MRS. I'm surprised to find your ladyship in DESHABILLE at this time of day. I can make bold with you--there are books over th e chimney--Quarles and Pryn.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE IV. She durst not have the confidence. MAR.] SCENE IV. dear friend. [To PEG. If that wheedling villain has wrought upon Foible to detect me. With Mirabell? You call my blood into my face with mentioning that traitor . LADY. that I may examine her with more freedom-you'll pardon me.
I say. if that had been the worst I could have borne: but he had a fling at your ladyship too. LADY. i'faith I gave him his own. could I help it. has he got nothing out of thee? FOIB. I'm sure you would not suspect my fidelity. where hast thou been? What hast thou been doing? FOIB. LADY. but. 'tis your ladyship has done. I have seen the party. Me? What did the filthy fellow say? SCENE V.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE V. The miniature has been counted like. if I met that confident thing? Was I in fault? If you had heard how he used me. LADY WISHFORT. Foible ? Hast thou not detected me to that faithless Mirabell? What hast thou to do with him in the park? Answer me. O Foible. But a man so enamoured--so transported! Well. and are to do. Madam. . So. But what hast thou done? FOIB. the devil has been beforehand with me. and all upon your ladyship's account. FOIBLE. I have only promised. Nay. and then I could not hold. if worshipping of pictures be a sin--poor Sir Rowland. LADY. what shall I say?. But hast thou not betrayed me.-Alas. LADY. Nay. madam .
or catering. she's superannuated. you are so early abroad. what. Humh. says he. says he. Poison him? Poisoning's too good for him. says he. FOIB. Oh. 'tis a shame to say what he said. I'll be contracted to-night. you would bless yourself to hea r what he said. I'll have him poisoned . I'll have him--I'll have him murdered. with his taunts and his fleers. says he. Starve him. and get him disinherited. Well. says he. ferreting for some disbanded officer. marry Sir Rowland. The sooner the better. says he. Millamant is to ladyship). Humh. says he. what pensio n does your lady propose? Let me see. and LADY. she must come down pretty dee p now.The Way of the World by William Congreve FOIB. Where does he eat? I'll marry a drawer to have him poisoned in his wine. I'll send for Robin from Locket's-. FOIB. . says he. Half pay is but thin subsistence. I warrant.immediately. says hamper you for that. Mrs. says he. I'll says he. SCENE V. madam. I'll handl LADY. Audacious villain! Handle me? Would he durst? Frippery? Old frippery? Was there ever such a foul-mouthed fellow? I'll be married to-morrow. and marry my uncle (he does not suspect a word of your he. madam. O madam. Ods my life. starve him. LADY. superannuated? FOIB. I warrant you. says he. you and your old frippery too. what. I'll fit you for that. you are a-hatching some plot. tossing up his nose. A villain. e you I hear you are laying designs against me too. but.
Ay. This wretch has fretted me that I am absolutely decayed. No new sheriff's wife expects the return of her husband after knighthood with that impatience in which Sir Rowland burns for the dear hour of kissing your ladyship's hand after dinner. or th e whole court upon a birthday. Cracks. like a Long Lane pent-house. FOIB. he shal l have my niece with her fortune. FOIB. Incontinently. Foible. I shall never recompose my features to receive Sir Rowland with any economy of face. Foible? FOIB. Foible. I'll spoil his credit with his tailor. Frippery? Superannuated frippery? I'll frippery the villain. He has put me out of al l patience. I am arrantly flayed: I look like an old peeled wall. There are some cracks discernible in the white vernish. dear Foible. Yes. . Look. and angle into Blackfriars for brass farthings with an old mitten. LADY. Thou must repair me. madam. He? I hope to see him lodge in Ludgate first. indeed. Let me see the glass. Your ladyship has frowned a little too rashly. Will Sir Rowland be here. madam. or I shall never keep up to my picture. a tatterdemalion!--I hope to see him hung with tatters .The Way of the World by William Congreve LADY. or a gibbet thief. thank thee for that. LADY. say'st thou? When. I'll reduce him to frippery and rags. say'st thou? Why. he shall. before Sir Rowland comes. LADY. dear Foible. A slander-mouthed railer! I warrant the spendthrift prodigal's in debt as much as the million lottery. SCENE V.
then. Is he handsome? Don't answer me. and push? For if he should no t be importunate I shall never break decorums. good Foible. Is Sir Rowland handsome? Let my toilet be removed--I'll dress above. You see that picture has a sort of a--ha. I have a mortal terror at the apprehension o f offending against decorums. but she wants features. Sir Rowland's a brisk man. FOIB. Let my things be removed. LADY. SCENE V. No. I warrant you. FOIB. Yes. I won't know. I'll be surprised. Oh. But art thou sure Sir Rowland will not fail to come? Or will a not fail when he does come? Will he be importunate. Your picture must sit for you. Foible. LADY. madam: a little art once made your picture like you. A little scorn becomes your ladyship. I hope Sir Rowland is better bred than to put a lady to the necessity of breaking her forms. My niece affects it. But a little disdain is not amiss. I can never advance. I shall die with confusion if I am forced to advance--oh no. I shall swoon if he should expect advances. a little scorn is alluring.The Way of the World by William Congreve FOIB. and no w a little of the same art must make you like your picture. but tenderness becomes me best--a sort of a dyingness. he'll importune. I won't be too coy neither--I won't give him despair. LADY. Foible? A swimmingness in the eyes. I shall save decorums if Sir Rowland importunes. Yes. if he's a brisk man. Is he? Oh. . I'll be taken by surprise. madam. By storm. madam. I'm glad he's a brisk man. I'll look so. I'll receive Sir Rowland here.
I beg your pardon. Now. FOIBLE. O dear madam. FOIB. FAIN. is to personate Mirabell's uncle. and. O dear madam. I find your ladyship has his heart still.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VI. But your ladyship is the pattern of generosity. I laid horrid things to his charge. I have been in a fright. Marwood had told my lady. FAINALL. I am privy to the whole design. Mirabell might have hindered his communicating this secret. and know that Waitwell. to be so good! Mr. Discover what. That devil. Marwood. lest I should come too late. I turned it all for the better. FAIN. by his making his conditions to have my cousin and her fortune left to her own disposal. I'll SCENE VI. Mirabell railed at her. put not on that strange face. Mr. forget that. and I'm afraid will discover it to my lady. saw you in the park with Mirabell. I told my lady that Mr. It was not my confidence in your ladyship that was deficient. MRS. Mirabell is such a sweet winning gentleman. Mirabell cannot choose but be grateful. to whom thou wert this morning married. madam? MRS. Dear Foible. as such winning my lady. Sweet lady. but I thought the former good correspondence between your ladyship and Mr. FAIN. madam. FOIB. . O Foible. nay. MRS. Nay. MRS. but I warrant I managed myself. to involve her in thos e difficulties from which Mirabell only must release her. FOIB. I can safely tell your ladyship our success: Mrs.
I fear she'll come for me. if I stay.besides. Madam. I'll go with you up the back stairs. MRS. Mirabell can't abide her. as they say of a Welsh maidenhead. but I know Mr. Madam. [Calls. lest I should meet her. . O rare Foible! FOIB. I woul d be seen as little as possible to speak to him-. I believe Madam Marwood watches me. I beg your ladyship to acquaint Mr. FAIN. SCENE VI. and my lady is so incensed that she'll be contracted to Sir Rowland to-night. she says. remove my lady's toilet. your servant. Mirabell of his success.The Way of the World by William Congreve vow. FAIN. My lady is so impatient.] John. I warrant I worked her up that he may have her for asking for. She has a month's mind. MRS.
I would draw him like an idiot. without you could have kept his counsel closer. MAR. but he can't abide her. Else you could never be so cool to fall from a principal to be an assistant. he has not obliged me to that with those excesses of himself. and woman the rest of him. Indeed. you have met with your match. have you carried it so swimmingly? I thought there was something in it. MRS. and a head full of care.--O man. a driveller with a bib and bells . Poor. Fainall. SCENE VII. Why this wench is the PASSE-PARTOUT. simple fiend! 'Madam Marwood has a month's mind. Here comes the good lady. . and now I'll have none of him. Man should have his head and horns. like any chymist upon the day of projection. to procure for him! A pattern of generosity. MRS. Mr. I shall not prove another pattern of generosity. a very master-key to everybody's strong box. but from a surfeit. Your loathing is not from a want of appetite then. is it thus with you? Are you become a go-between of this importance? Yes.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VII. panting ripe. Mrs. that I confess. man! Woman. I shall watch you. MARWOOD alone.' 'Twere better for him you had not been his confessor in that affair. but it seems it's over with you. Engine. with a heart full of hope. woman! The devil's an ass: if I were a painter. Well. My friend Fainall.
I promise you I have thought on't--and since 'tis your judgment. what shall I say for this rude forgetfulness? But my dear friend is all goodness. I have been very well entertained. . SCENE VIII. Oh. O dear Marwood.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VIII. he's in less danger of being spoiled by his travels. But I have such an olio of affairs. MAR. LADY. I am against my nephew's marrying too young. LADY. He may travel afterwards. No apologies. Methinks Sir Wilfull should rather think of marrying than travelling a t his years. LADY. Foible!--He mean s to travel for improvement. MRS. and has acquired discretion to choose for himself. I hear he is turned of forty. MAR. MAR. really I know not what to do.] Foible!--I expect my nephew Sir Wilfull ev'ry moment too. As I'm a person. On my word. Millamant and he would make a very fit match. MRS. LADY. [To her] LADY WISHFORT. I assure you I will. I'll propose it. I am in a very chaos to think I should so forget myself. dear madam. I'll thin k on't again. It will be time enough when he comes back. Methinks Mrs. [Calls.--Why. 'Tis a thing very usual with young gentlemen. MRS. I value your judgment extremely.
[To them] FOIBLE. . come. Dea r friend. FOIB. Petulant are come to dine with your ladyship. and beg you to entertain em? I'll make all imaginable haste. excuse me. Foible--I had forgot my nephew will be here before dinner--I must make haste. Dear Marwood. LADY.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE IX. I can't appear till I am dressed. Mr. LADY. Oh dear. Witwoud and Mr. Come. SCENE IX. shall I be free with you again.
I thought Witwoud and he would have quarrelled. MRS. You have a colour. MILLA. If we had that liberty. MAR. MINCING. Well. For my part. I swear. though never so good. your servant. SCENE X. No. What has he done? MILLA. mem. never anything was so unbred as that odious man. he has said nothing neither. MARWOOD. we should be as weary of one set of acquaintance. I thought once they would have fit. MRS. MINC. and be worn for variety. MILLAMANT. MAR. MAR. MRS. he has done nothing. A fool and a doily stuff would now and then find days of grace. Marwood. . but he has contradicted everything that has been said. I vow. That horrid fellow Petulant has provoked me into a flame--I have broke my fan--Mincing. what's the matter? MILLA. though never so fine. as we are of one suit. that one has not the liberty of choosing one's acquaintance as one does one's clothes. MILLA.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE X. Nay. Sure. Nay. MRS.--Is not all the powder out of my hair? MRS. he has only talked. 'tis a lamentable thing. lend me yours.
for the town has found it. their folly is less provoking than your malice. And indeed 'tis time. For a fool's visit is always a disguise. or a discarded toast:. if they would wear alike. after the masquerad e is over. MRS. but it burnishes on her hips. MAR. and we have done with the disguise. tell the men they may come up. you are more censorious than a decayed beauty. My aunt i s not dressing here. but to blind her affair with a lover of sense.The Way of the World by William Congreve MILLA. 'Twere better so indeed. the secret is grown too big for the pretence. Primly's great belly: she may lace it down before. you can no more conceal it than my Lady Strammel can her face.Mincing. They are such DRAP DE BERRI things! Without one could give 'em to one' s chambermaid after a day or two. that goodly face. but fools never wear out. SCENE X. you might as easily put off Petulant and Witwoud as your hood and scarf. Marwood. Millamant. Or what think you of the playhouse? A fine ga y glossy fool should be given there. Indeed. 'Tis like Mrs. like a new masking habit. and own Mirabell. If you would but appear barefaced now. which in defiance of her Rhenish-wine tea will not be comprehended in a mask. . I'll take my death. MILLA. I could consent to wear 'em. and never admitted by a woman of wit.
you'll tear another fan. Poor Mirabell! His constancy to me has quite destroyed his complaisance for all the world beside. MAR. MRS. or than the reason why you discovered it is a secret. I swear I never enjoined it him to be so coy. You are nettled. . MAR. MARWOOD. ha! Pardon me. ha. MILLA. ha ! MRS. SCENE XI. MAR. But I despair to prevail. If I had the vanity to think he woul d obey me. ha! Though I grant you 'tis a little barbarous. The town has found it? What has it found? That Mirabell loves me is no more a secret than it is a secret that you discovered it to my aunt. MRS. and so let him follow his own way. What pity 'tis so much fine raillery. O silly! Ha. Ha. Ridiculous! MRS. I would command him to show more gallantry: 'tis hardly well-bred to be so particular on one hand and so insensible on the other. ha. should be so unhappily directed to miscarry. Heh? Dear creature. dear creature .The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XI. ha. ha. ha! I could laugh immoderately. MILLAMANT. my dear. MRS. I must laugh. I swear I did not mind you. MILLA. I ask your pardon. and delivered with so significan t gesture. MILLA. ha. You're mistaken. if you don't mitigate those violent airs. ha. MILLA. Indeed.
The Way of the World by William Congreve MRS. MAR. Mr. Mirabell and you both may think it a thing impossible, when I shal l tell him by telling you MILLA. Oh dear, what? For it is the same thing, if I hear it. Ha, ha, ha! MRS. MAR. That I detest him, hate him, madam. MILLA. O madam, why, so do I. And yet the creature loves me, ha, ha, ha! How can one forbear laughing to think of it? I am a sibyl if I am not amazed to think what he can see in me. I'll take my death, I think you are handsomer, and within a year or two as young. If you could but stay for me, I should overtake you--but that cannot be. Well, that thought makes me melancholic.--Now I'll be sad. MRS. MAR. Your merry note may be changed sooner than you think. MILLA. D'ye say so? Then I'm resolved I'll have a song to keep up my spirits. SCENE XI.
The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XII. [To them] MINCING. MINC. The gentlemen stay but to comb, madam, and will wait on you. MILLA. Desire Mrs.--that is in the next room, to sing the song I would have learnt yesterday. You shall hear it, madam. Not that there's any great matter in it--but 'tis agreeable to my humour. SONG. Set by Mr. John Eccles. I Love's but the frailty of the mind When 'tis not with ambition joined; A sickly flame, which if not fed expires, And feeding, wastes in self-consuming fires. II 'Tis not to wound a wanton boy Or am'rous youth, that gives the joy; But 'tis th e glory to have pierced a swain For whom inferior beauties sighed in vain. III Then I alone the conquest prize, When I insult a rival's eyes; If there's deligh t in love, 'tis when I see That heart, which others bleed for, bleed for me. SCENE XII.
The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XIII. [To them] PETULANT, WITWOUD. MILLA. Is your animosity composed, gentlemen? WIT. Raillery, raillery, madam; we have no animosity. We hit off a little wit no w and then, but no animosity. The falling out of wits is like the falling out of lovers:- we agree in the main, like treble and bass. Ha, Petulant? PET. Ay, in the main. But when I have a humour to contradict WIT. Ay, when he has a humour to contradict, then I contradict too. What, I know my cue. Then we contradict one another like two battledores; for contradictions beget one another like Jews. PET. If he says black's black--if I have a humour to say 'tis blue- -let that pass--all's one for that. If I have a humour to prove it, it must be granted. WIT. Not positively must. But it may; it may. PET. Yes, it positively must, upon proof positive. WIT. Ay, upon proof positive it must; but upon proof presumptive it only may. That's a logical distinction now, madam. MRS. MAR. I perceive your debates are of importance, and very learnedly handled.
an illiterate man's my aversion. a man may do it without book. PET. I'll begone. too. to marry an ignorant that can hardly read or write! PET. Ah. No. Importance is one thing and learning's another. than he is from being hanged? The ordinary's paid for setting the psalm. it hurts not me. but a debate's a debate. it's no enemy to anybody but them that have it. that WIT. MAR. SCENE XIII.The Way of the World by William Congreve PET. here's company. he relies altogether on his parts. MILLA. I'm no enemy to learning. MILLA. MILLA. Petulant's an enemy to learning. MRS. though he can't read. it's no enemy to you. Well. So all's one for that. I assert. no. And for the rest which is to follow in both cases. . indeed. Why should a man be any further from being married. No. That's a sign. WIT. PET. and the parish priest for reading the ceremony. That I confess I wonder at. I wonder at the impudence of any illiterate man to offer to make love. D'ye hear the creature? Lord.
FOOTMAN. it's but morning here. A week. and your lady. then.why. sir. Dressing! What. SIR WILFULL WITWOUD in a riding dress. I fancy. with you in London. Your aunt. 'Tis your brother. longer than anybody in the house. I have not seen him since the revolution. w e should count it towards afternoon in our parts down in Shropshire:. SIR WIL. belike thou dost not know thy lady. MARWOOD.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XIV. MAR. ha? FOOT. How long hast thou lived with thy lady. My aunt. belike my aunt han't dined yet. except my lady's woman. if thou seest her. sir. your lady is my aunt. friend? SCENE XIV. MRS. friend? Why. Ha. sir. what have we here? MRS. Ha. Not I:. Here's company. WIT. SIR WIL. if you please to walk in. Why. sir. fellow. FOOT. my lady's dressing. sir? Yes my aunt. what dost thou not know me. Don't you know him? WIT. sir? SIR WIL. Why. friend? FOOT. WITWOUD. I've almost forgot him.yes. send somebody hither that does. then. In the name of Bartlemew and his Fair. . I warrant. I think it is he. PETULANT. in the meantime. Sir. then.
prithee try what thou canst do. is in the house. fellow? And tell her her nephew. Why. I can't tell. SIR WIL. sir. sir.The Way of the World by William Congreve FOOT. I cannot safely swear to her face in a morning. Really. friend. 'tis hard to know 'em all. enquire her out. before sh e is dressed. I shall. Hold ye. . truly. SIR WIL. sir. hear me. SCENE XIV. FOOT. dost hear. a word with you in your ear: prithee who are these gallants? FOOT. Well. if thou canst not guess. 'Tis like I may give a shrewd guess at her by this time. Sir Wilfull Witwoud. here come so many here.
MARWOOD. SIR WILFULL WITWOUD. ha. sir. MAR. sir. hem. ] SCENE XV. Petulant. No. ha. I say.] MRS. WITWOUD. MAR. SIR WIL. gentlemen and lady. Witwoud. I see that already. PET. For shame. Witwoud. WIT. This is a vile dog. Petulant. It seems as if you had come a journey. MRS. hem. SIR WIL. to him. MRS. speak. sure. I hope so. PETULANT. . PET.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XV. Oons. I hope? [Salutes MARWOOD. SIR WIL. No offence? Ha. To him. Mr. I fancy he has forgot you too. smoke him. this fellow knows less than a starling: I don't think a knows his own name. WIT. your brother is not behindhand in forgetfulness. MRS. MAR. [Surveying him round. why won't you speak to him?--And you. sir. Mr. And you. The devil take him that remembers first. WIT. Save you. No offence. sir.
the boots. Right. Very likely. ha. I presume upon the information of your boots. so I write myself. you may enquire further of my horse. sir. that's all. The gentleman's merry. the boots. no offence to anybody. You are among your friends here. MRS. sir. though it--may be you don't know it. If I am not mistaken. . PET. MAR. Why. PET. 'tis like you may. if you will step to the stable. sir. sir! SIR WIL. sir. before they find one another out. PET. Smoke the boots. Do you speak by way of offence.The Way of the World by William Congreve SIR WIL. sir. you are Sir Wilfull Witwoud? SIR WIL. thereafter as 'tis meant. we shall have a quarre l betwixt an horse and an ass. sir! Your horse is an ass. sir? SCENE XV. that it may seem so. lady. No offence. I hope? and nephew to the Lady Wishfort of this mansion. SIR WIL. MAR. 'Slife. Don't you know this gentleman. Maybe not. sir? MRS. Sir. ha! SIR WILL. Your horse. sir.--You must not tak e anything amiss from your friends. I hope. sir? WIT. sir: if you are not satisfied with the information of my boots. Petulant. ha. sir. I am Sir Wilfull Witwoud.
sir. 'Tis not the fashion here. like a call of sergeants. where great lubberly brothers slabber and kiss one anothe r when they meet. 'Sheart. by the Wrekin. and a hare's foot and a hare's scut for your service. Your servant? Why. and much offence. SIR WIL. I might expect this when you left off ' SCENE XV. Brother Antony! What. why dost not speak? Art thou o'erjoyed? WIT. You think you're in the country. I hope. dear brother. suspected this--by'r lady I conjectured you were a fop.'sheart. thou art so becravated and so beperiwigged. n 'Honoured brother. 'Sheart. brother Wilfull of Salop. The fashion's a fool and you're a fop. Yea.'sheart. and your betters? WIT. sir. I've you began to chang round the edges. brother. an you be so col d and so courtly! WIT. you may be as short as a Shrewsbury cake. sir.The Way of the World by William Congreve SIR WIL. But I tell you 'tis not modish to know relations in town. sir. and your friend and servant to that--and a--[puff] and a flap-dragon for your service. . i'faith! What. if you please. 'Sheart. indeed. Why. Hum! What. and write in a scrap of paper gilt o bigger than a subpoena. No offence. yours. I know not whether 'tis or no. Your servant again-. sure 'tis not--yea by'r lady but 'tis-. brother? SIR WIL. is it you? Your servant. but there is. nor I thee. Odso. Tony. not to know your friends and your relations. since e the style of your letters. dear brother. 'tis not. brother. SIR WIL. A pox. but 'tis. is this your inns o' court breeding. your elders. dost thou not know me? By'r lady.
Belike I may. knight. I suppose. I'm so sick of a last night's debauch. MAR.' Ods heart. if my min d hold. as I'm informed? SIR WIL. And the wind serve. ay. ay. Not long. MRS. Witwoud. madam.The Way of the World by William Congreve and 'Hoping you are in good health. 'Slife. We could have Gazettes then. you have served your time. I was not in my own power then. I f I had not agreed to that. and this fellow was my guardian. SCENE XV. I was glad to consent to that man to come to London. and then tell a familiar tale of a cock and a bull.' and so forth. and the Weekly Bill. 'Sheart. You could write news before you were out of your time. not long. pshaw. ay. and better than to be bound to a maker of fops. ha! WIT. the attorney of Furnival's Inn. He had the disposal of me then. ha. sir. but that was but for a while. to begin with a 'Rat me. till of late days. and a whore and a bottle. PET. and so conclude. and now you may set up for yourself. I might have been bound prentice to a feltmaker in Shrewsbury: this fellow would have bound me to a maker of felts. where. when you lived with hones t Pumple-Nose. SIR WIL. . and Dawks's Letter. Ay. An orphan. You intend to travel. I may chance to sail upon the salt seas. were you ever an attorney's clerk? Of the family of the Furnivals? Ha. PET. You could intreat to be remembered then to your friends round the Wrekin.
'tis like I may. Yes. taxes abate. sir. refined like a Dutch skipper from a whale-fishing. SIR WIL. Here's an academy in town for that use. whereby to hold discourse in foreign countries. Serve or not serve. I have settled my concerns. I'll do't. if I say't. before I cross th e seas. I may say now. MRS. MAR. I'd gladly have a spice of your French as they say. I don' t stand shill I. I am somewhat dainty in making a resolution. SCENE XV. I can't tell that. . shall I. MRS. If an how that the peace holds. nor the weathercock your companion. WIT. tha t is. then. I shan't ask license of you. to learn somewhat of your lingo first. I thought you had designed for France at all adventures. because when I make it I keep it. MAR. No doubt you will return very much improved. and am minded to see foreign parts. MRS. sir. madam? Yes. I direct my discourse to the lady. SIR WIL. whereby.The Way of the World by William Congreve SIR WIL. 'Tis like my aunt may have told you. There is? 'Tis like there may. and 'tis like I may not. MAR. But I have thoughts to tarr y a small matter in town.
you are welcome again. nephew. he's a rallier. I thank you for your courteous offer. belike. LADY. Cousin Fainall. aunt. SCENE XVI. SIR WIL.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XVI. LADY. Aunt. and have remembered to have forgot your relations. and rail when that day comes. your servant. 'Sheart. your most faithful servant. you are welcome. However. I mayn't call him brother for fear of offence. Nephew. nephew. Sir Wilfull. Nephew. Mr. [FAINALL and MRS. Why. Oh. My cousin's a wit: and your great wits always rally their best friends to choose. I was afraid you would have been in the fashion too. SIR WIL. give me your hand. MARWOOD talk apart. let him hold his tongue in the meantime. Petulant. nephew. your servant. LADY. FAIN. I thank you. your servant.] SIR WIL. Will you drink anything after your journey. Here's your cousin Tony. Cousin Witwoud. When you have been abroad. before you eat? Dinner's almost ready. [To them] LADY WISHFORT and FAINALL. SIR WIL. you'll understand raillery better. . then. I'm very well.
will you walk? Marwood? MRS. I'll follow you. Sweetheart. I come to acquaint your laship that dinner is impatient. SIR WIL. MINC. . MAR.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XVII. madam. nephew.dinner shall stay for you. Fie.--before Sir Wilfull is ready. madam. Mem. fie. belike it won't stay till I pull off my boots. Impatient? Why. [To them] MINCING. I warrant. Gentlemen. SCENE XVII. you would not pull off your boots here? Go down into the hall:. My nephew's a little unbred: you'll pardon him . then. can you help me to a pair of slippers? My man's with his horses. LADY.
FAIN. rank match-making bawd. Hum! That may be SCENE XVIII. MAR. a rank husband. That had been forfeited. a cuckold in embryo! Sure I was born with budding antlers like a young satyr. Then shake it off: you have often wished for an opportunity to part. then. 'sdeath. and my wife a very errant. to be out-jilted. an errant. had they been married. And I. if you can away with your wife. but to crawl after. Damn him. They may prove a cap of maintenance to you still. And she's no worse than when you had her:.the half of Millamant's fortune is too considerable to be parted with to a foe. But first prevent their plot:. My wife had added lustre to my horns by that increase of fortune: I could have worn 'em tipt with gold. 'twere somewhat. Why. though my forehead had been furnished like a deputy-lieutenant's hall. to be out-witted.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XVIII. to Mirabell. MRS. MARWOOD. or a citizen's child. that had been mine--had you not made that fond discovery. FAIN. out-matrimonied. and be outstripped by my wife--'tis scurvy wedlock. MRS. it seems. 'Sdeath. FAIN. If I had kept my speed like a stag.--all in the way of the world. . MRS. rank wife.I dare swear she had given up her game before she was married. FAINALL. and now you have it. with my horns like a snail. am a husband. Foible's a bawd. MAR. to be a cuckold by anticipation.
. I will not fail to prompt her.The Way of the World by William Congreve MRS. Discover to my lady your wife's conduct. threaten to part with her. MAR. Why. and sacrifice niece. why should you not keep her longer than you intended? FAIN. And let me alone to keep her warm: if she should flag in her part. The means. so there's an end of jealousy. I never loved her. Jealous of her I cannot be. and fortune and all at that conjuncture. he will drink like a Dane. no. MAR. that were too much to hope. or if I had. I'll disable him for that. that's over too. My lady will be enraged beyond bounds. and will come to any composition to save her reputation. MAR. there's no end of that. Faith. and if you can contrive to have her keep you better than you expected. SCENE XVIII. Oh. MAR. FAIN. for I am certain. why that would have been over too by this time. MRS. leave me to manage him. so that' s over. well. FAIN. for that matter. that may be an obstacle. MRS. Take th e opportunity of breaking it just upon the discovery of this imposture. My wife has played the jade with me. no. I am married already. My lady loves her. how do you stand affected towards your lady? FAIN. You married her to keep you. the means? MRS. Let me see. this has an appearance. After dinner I'll set his hand in. Weary of her I am and shall be. faith. No. Well. I'm thinking of it. I'm sorry I hinted to my lady to endeavour a match between Millamant and Sir Wilfull.
Nay. I will contrive a letter which shall be delivered to my lady at the time when that rascal who is to act Sir Rowland is with her. how do we proceed? MRS. so that's out of the question. being derived from so honourable a root? MRS. SCENE XVIII. Now for my reputation: as to my own. bringing none to me. Well. FAIN. And as to my part in my wife's--why. and then I care not if I am discovered. and that's well thought on: marriage is honourable. MAR. So. why not the branches? FAIN. she knows some passages. Hum! Faith. as you say .The Way of the World by William Congreve Thus far concerning my repose. I'll turn my wife to grass. Besides. If the worst come to the worst. I expect all will come out. MAR. FAIN. if the root be honourable. It shall come as from an unknown hand--for the less I appear to know of the truth the better I ca n play the incendiary. . marriage is honourable. I would not have Foible provoked if I could help it. MRS. and if so. you know. Besides you forget. But let the mine be sprung first. Nay. and that you shall partake at least. she had parted with hers before. I have already a deed of settlement of the best part of her estate. so. I married no t for it. she can take none from me: 'tis against all rule of play that I should lose to one who has not wherewithal to stake. wherefore should cuckoldom be a discredit. because. MAR. I know not. so. why this point's clear. which I wheedled out of her .
I care not if I leave 'em a common motto to their common crest. But let husbands' doubts convert to endless jealousy. . or if they have belief. and prepare the joy that follows.The Way of the World by William Congreve MRS. but let the lover stil l believe: or if he doubt. let it corrupt to superstition and blind credulity. when he proves his mistress true. SCENE XVIII. Let husbands be jealous. The wise too jealous are. I hope you are convinced that I hate Mirabell now? You'll be no more jealous? FAIN. All husbands must or pain or shame endure. let it be only to endear his pleasure. but I'll disown the order. Jealous? No. MAR. by this kiss. I am single and will herd no more with 'em. I wear the badge. And since I take my leave of 'em. fools too secure. True.
LADY.--SCENE I. Is Sir Rowland coming. Foible? FOIB.--SCENE I. Yes. Yes. and placed the footmen i n a row in the hall. LADY. LADY. that they may not stink of the stable when Sir Rowland comes by? FOIB. Well. Shall I sit ? ACT IV. say'st thou. Scene Continues. And are the dancers and the music ready. I have put wax-lights in the sconces. Foible? And are things in order? FOIB. Have you pulvilled the coachman and postillion. madam. Most killing well. . LADY. madam. LADY. And--well--and how do I look. that he may be entertained in all points with correspondence to his passion? FOIB. and how shall I receive him? In what figure shall I give his heart the first impression? There is a great deal in the first impression. with the coachman and postillion to fill up the equipage. All is ready. madam. in their best liveries. LADY WISHFORT and FOIBLE.The Way of the World by William Congreve ACT IV. madam.
nothing is more alluring than a levee from a couch in some confusion. has my nephew made his addresses to Millamant? I ordered him.--ay. and then turn full upon him. I'll lie down. I'll give the first impression on a couch. Ods my life. I'll receive him in my little dressing-room. Yes. I'll send him to her. and then as soon as he appears. but loll and lea n upon one elbow. in the parlour.The Way of the World by William Congreve No. I won't lie neither.--SCENE I. Foible. Hark! There's a coach. that will be too sudden. start and be surprised. I'll walk from the door upon his entrance. jogging in a thoughtful way . ACT IV. bring her hither . madam. I'll send him as I go. Oh dear. yes. I'll walk. FOIB. LADY. Yes. . that I may not be too long alone with Sir Rowland. ay. oh. madam. Call her down. and furnishes with blushes and re-composing airs beyond comparison. FOIB. with one foot a little dangling off. there's a couch--yes. and rise to meet him in a pretty disorder.--ay. I won't sit. Foible. 'Tis he. When they are together. then come to me. It shows the foot to advantage. LADY. I'll lie. No. start. Sir Wilfull is set in to drinking.
So I am. Sir Wilfull is coming. dear Foible. Mirabell that you are at leisure? MILLA.] That's hard! MRS. MILLA. and the poets. Millamant. Shall I tell Mr. Madam. let the wretch come. No. a youth of the inspired train. [Repeating] SCENE II. FAINALL. There never yet was woman made. You are very fond of Sir John Suckling to-day. Shall I? Ay. FOIB. Thyrsis. MRS. FOIB. Shall I send Mr. madam. [Repeating and walking about. though my lady's orders were to leave you and Sir Wilfull together. but to be cursed. bid him come another time. Mirabell has waited this half hour for an opportunity to talk with you. Ay. or send him hither. Nor shall. FAIN.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE II. . He? Ay. FOIBLE. What would the dear man have? I am thoughtful and would amuse myself. just as you will. and filthy verses. I think I'll see him. send him away. if you please. Foible. MILLAMANT. Mirabell away? MILLA. I stayed here to tell your ladyship that Mr. MRS.
thou hast philosophy to undergo a fool. MRS. I am obliged to you that you would make me your proxy in this affair.The Way of the World by William Congreve Dear Fainall. but I have business of my own. I would confer with my own thoughts. SCENE II. . FAIN. entertain Sir Wilfull:. thou art married and hast patience.
you are come at the critical instant. SIR WIL. [This while MILLAMANT walks about repeating to herself. after a time. If so be you'll be so kind to make my excuse. O Sir Wilfull. MRS. MRS. Oh. But only for the present. it is not so much for that-. pursue your point. if I can help it. before I am acquainted. upon further acquaintance. FAIN.] But I hope. Yes. SIR WIL. FAIN. Sir Wilfull! What. There's your mistress up to the ears in love and contemplation. fie. I shall break my mind--that is. because I'm somewhat wary at first. that's all--your servant. my aunt will have it so. Daunted? No.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE III. I'll leave you together and lock the door. FAIN. you must not be daunted. I'll return to my company MRS. that's not it.--So for the present. I'll swear you shall never lose so favourable an opportunity. I'll take my leave. 'tis sufficient till furthe r acquaintance. I would gladly have been encouraged with a bottle or two. [To them] SIR WILFULL. SCENE III. .for if so be that I set on't I'll do't. Nay. cousin. now or never.
The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE IV. SIR WILFULL, MILLAMANT. SIR WIL. Nay, nay, cousin. I have forgot my gloves. What d'ye do? 'Sheart, a has locked the door indeed, I think.--Nay, cousin Fainall, open the door. Pshaw, wha t a vixen trick is this? Nay, now a has seen me too.--Cousin, I made bold to pass through as it were--I think this door's enchanted. MILLA. [repeating]:I prithee spare me, gentle boy, Press me no more for that slight toy. SIR WIL. Anan? Cousin, your servant. MILLA. That foolish trifle of a heart - Sir Wilfull! SIR WIL. Yes--your servant. No offence, I hope, cousin? MILLA. [repeating]:I swear it will not do its part, Though thou dost thine, employ'st thy power and
art. Natural, easy Suckling! SIR WIL. Anan? Suckling? No such suckling neither, cousin, nor stripling: I than k heaven I'm no minor. SCENE IV.
The Way of the World by William Congreve MILLA. Ah, rustic, ruder than Gothic. SIR WIL. Well, well, I shall understand your lingo one of these days, cousin; in the meanwhile I must answer in plain English. MILLA. Have you any business with me, Sir Wilfull? SIR WIL. Not at present, cousin. Yes, I made bold to see, to come and know if that how you were disposed to fetch a walk this evening; if so be that I might not be troublesome, I would have sought a walk with you. MILLA. A walk? What then? SIR WIL. Nay, nothing. Only for the walk's sake, that's all. MILLA. I nauseate walking: 'tis a country diversion; I loathe the country and everything that relates to it. SIR WIL. Indeed! Hah! Look ye, look ye, you do? Nay, 'tis like you may. Here are choice of pastimes here in town, as plays and the like, that must be confessed indeed MILLA. Ah, L'ETOURDI! I hate the town too. SIR WIL. Dear heart, that's much. Hah! that you should hate 'em both! Hah! 'tis like you may! There are some can't relish the town, and others can't away with the country, 'tis like you may be one of those, cousin. SCENE IV.
The Way of the World by William Congreve MILLA. Ha, ha, ha! Yes, 'tis like I may. You have nothing further to say to me? SIR WIL. Not at present, cousin. 'Tis like when I have an opportunity to be more private--I may break my mind in some measure- -I conjecture you partly guess. However, that's as time shall try. But spare to speak and spare to speed, as the y say. MILLA. If it is of no great importance, Sir Wilfull, you will oblige me to leave me: I have just now a little business. SIR WIL. Enough, enough, cousin. Yes, yes, all a case. When you're disposed, whe n you're disposed. Now's as well as another time; and another time as well as now. All's one for that. Yes, yes; if your concerns call you, there's no haste: it will keep cold as they say. Cousin, your servant. I think this door's locked. MILLA. You may go this way, sir. SIR WIL. Your servant; then with your leave I'll return to my company. MILLA. Ay, ay; ha, ha, ha! Like Phoebus sung the no less am'rous boy. SCENE IV.
Like Daphne she. There is not so impudent a thing in nature as the saucy look of an assured man confident of success: the pedantic arrogance of a very SCENE V. to signify that here the chase must end. Do you lock yourself up from me. though I am upon the very verge of matrimony. But do not you know that when favours are conferred upon instant and tedious solicitation. and my pursuit be crowned. and freed from the agreeable fatigues of solicitation. to make my search more curious? Or is this pretty artifice contrived. . with one foot over the threshold. Oh. Vanity! No--I'll fly and be followed to the last moment. for you can fly no further? MILLA. and that both the giver loses the grace. and afterwards. as lovely and as coy. in love. I'll be solicited to the very last. MIRA. and the receiver lessens his pleasure? MILLA. after the last? MILLA. MIRABELL. I hate a lover that can dare to think he draws a moment's air independent on the bounty of his mistress. What. that they diminish in their value. MIRA. MILLAMANT. but never. Oh. I should think I was poor and had nothing to bestow if I were reduced to an inglorious ease. nay.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE V. It may be in things of common application. I expect you should solicit me as much as if I were wavering at the grate of a monastery. MRS. sure. MIRA.
MIRA. MILLA. nor kiss before folks. Then I'll get up in a morning as early as I please. and ashamed of one another ever after. shall I leave thee? My faithfu l solitude. And d'ye hear. Let us be as strange as if we had been married a great while. I can't do't. as wife. adieu. I won't be called names after I'm married. get up when you will. all ye DOUCEURS. Names? MILLA. adieu. but let us be very strange and well-bred. my dear. Ah. unless I am first made sure of my will and pleasure. don't be impertinent. Ah. MIRA. positively I won't be called names. 'tis more than impossible--positively. MI RA. sweet-heart. I'll lie a-bed in a morning as long as I please. indolent slumbers. . Ay. must I bid you then adieu? Ay-h. love. and the rest of that nauseous cant. Would you have 'em both before marriage? Or will you be contented with the first now. nor go to a play together. like my Lady Fadler and Sir Francis. Let us never visit together. Mirabell.The Way of the World by William Congreve husband has not so pragmatical an air. joy. My morning thoughts. agreeable wakings. my darling contemplation. in which men and their wives are so fulsomely familiar--I shall never bear that. and as well-bred as if we were not married SCENE V. My dear liberty. nor go to Hyde Park together the first Sunday in a new chariot. Ah! Idle creature. I'll never marry. as if we were proud of one another the first week. and then never be seen there together again. don't let us be familiar or fond. to provoke eyes and whispers. and stay for the other till after grace? MILLA. Good Mirabell. ye SOMMEILS DU MATIN. jewel. spouse.
without giving a reason. No decoy-duck to wheedle you a FOP-SCRAMBLING to the play in a mask. which you must never presume to approach without first asking leave. that you admit no sworn confidant or intimate of your own sex.room when I'm out of humour.that when you are dwindled into a wife. to write and receive letters. These articles subscribed. Your bill of fare is something advanced in this latter account. . I thank you. wherever I am. Come to dinner when I please.The Way of the World by William Congreve at all. or to be intimate with fools. to have no obligation upon me to converse with wits that I don't like. without interrogatories or wry faces on your part. You have free leave: propose your utmost. and tempt you to make trial of a mutual secrecy. as liberty to pay and receive visits to and from whom I please. no she friend to screen her affairs under your countenance. MIRA. to wear what I please. because they are your acquaintance. you shall always knock at the door before you come in. then. MILLA. speak and spare not. MIRA. have I liberty to offer conditions:. to be sole empress of my tea-table. because they may be your relations. and choose conversation with regard only to my own taste. MIRA. if I continue to endure you a little longer. Trifles. I may no t be beyond measure enlarged into a husband? MILLA. To have my closet inviolate. IMPRIMIS. I may by degrees dwindle into a wife. Have you any more conditions to offer? Hitherto your demands are pretty reasonable. dine in my dressing. then bring you home in a pretended fright. Well. And lastly. I covenant that your acquaintance be general. when you think you shall be SCENE V.
I forbid all commerce with the gentlewomen in what-d'ye-call-it court. Which may be presumed. I shut my doors against all bawds with baskets. till you moul d my boy's head like a sugar-loaf. Detestable IMPRIMIS! I go to the play in a mask! MIRA. and so forth. As likewise to genuine and authorised tea-table talk. ITEM. I article. . railing at absent friends. with a blessing on our endeavours MILLA. In short. make me father to a crooked billet. and presume to drink healths. but restrain yourself to native and simple tea-table drinks. Odious endeavours! MIRA. But that on no account you encroach upon the men's prerogative. ITEM.The Way of the World by William Congreve found out. I prohibit all masks fo r the night. chocolate. Ah. and while it passes current with me. such as mending of fashions. MILLA. squeezing for a shape. To which end. china. ITEM. and instead of a man-child. or toast SCENE V. together with all vizards for the day. when you shall be breeding MILLA. etc. pi g water. but with proviso. and disappointing the frolic which you had to pick me up and prove my constancy. name it not! MIRA. Lastly. I denounce against all strait lacing. that you exceed not in your province. and rail at me for missing the play. atlases. to the dominion of the tea-table I submit. that you continue to like your own face as long as I shall. that you endeavour not to new coin it. and coffee. and the marrow of a roasted cat. made of oiled skins and I know not what--hog's bones. spoiling reputations. hare's gall. and pennyworths of muslin. as tea. fans.
together with ratafia and the most noble spirit of clary. MILLA. those I allow. poppy-water. But for cowslip-wine. and all dormitives. cinnamon. These provisos admitted. Then we're agreed. and Barbadoes waters. MIRA. as orange-brandy.The Way of the World by William Congreve fellows. Oh. odious men! I hate your odious provisos. I banish all foreign forces. SCENE V. horrid provisos! Filthy strong waters! I toast fellows. all auxiliaries t o the tea-table. Shall I kiss your hand upon the contract? And here come s one to be a witness to the sealing of the deed. in other things I may prove a tractable and complying husband. for prevention of which. all aniseed. . citron.
fie. FAIN. so hold your tongue now. MRS. where Foible waits to consult you. Well. you ridiculous thing you. as Foible tells me. MILLA. and slip down the back stairs. Mirabell. My mother is coming. go. go. In the meantime I suppose you have said something to please me. don't say a word. Fie. MILLA. FAIN. kiss my hand though. I shall never say it. MILLA. Are you? I think I have. nor I won't be thanked. . MRS. Well then--I'll take my death I'm in a horrid fright-.Fainall. Therefore spare your ecstasies for another occasion. have him. take him. [To them] MRS. take him. would fall into fits. FAINALL.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VI. Ay. what shall I do? Shall I have him? I think I must have him. and tell him so in plain terms: for I am sure you have a mind to him. and the horrid man looks as if he thought so too . and in my conscience if she should see you. Ay. FAIN. SCENE VI. and maybe not recover time enough to return to Si r Rowland. ay. I'll have you. MRS. is in a fair way to succeed. Well--I think--I'll endure you. there's a necessity for your obedience: you have neither time to talk nor stay. I won't be kissed.--Here. Fainall. what should you do? MILLA. who.
I am all obedience.The Way of the World by William Congreve MIRA. SCENE VI. .
Well. but Petulant and he were upon quarrelling as I came by. . How can you name that superannuated lubber? foh! SCENE VII. and so noisy that my mother has been forced to leave Sir Rowland to appease him. I am a lost thing: for I find I love him violently. So it seems. FAINALL. FAIN.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VII. FAIN. MILLA. MRS. MILLAMANT. but he answers her only with singing and drinking. MRS. if Mirabell should not make a good husband. MRS. If you doubt him. MILLA. What they may have done by this time I know not. MRS. you had best take up with Sir Wilfull. Yonder Sir Wilfull's drunk. for you mind not what's said to you.
MRS. and stopt the proceedings.--I must hav e been let out and pieced in the sides like an unsized camlet. What was the dispute? WIT. So. and so fell a sputt'ring at one another like two roasting apples. Yes. [To them] WITWOUD from drinking. Left 'em? I could stay no longer. the fray is composed. MILLA. my lady came in like a NOLI PROSEQUI. That's the jest: there was no dispute. SCENE VIII. I have laughed like ten Christ'nings. yes. I a m tipsy with laughing--if I had stayed any longer I should have burst. They could neither of 'em speak for rage.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VIII. . FAIN. is the fray made up that you have left 'em? WIT.
thou art an epitomiser of words. Stand off--I'll kiss no more males--I have kissed your Twin yonder in a humour of reconciliation till he [hiccup] rises upon my stomach like a radish. or pass off--that's all. thou art in truth (metaphorically speaking) a speaker of shorthand. Petulant. Mrs. say it. and dost deal in remnants of remnants. Thou art (without a figure) just one half of an ass. Millamant. PET. Petulant? All's over. folios. A Gemini of asses split would make just four of you. WIT. Now. in less than decimo sexto. all's well? Gad. WIT.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE IX. Sirrah. my head begins to whim it about . and that' s the conclusion--pass on. Witwoud. PET. PET. WIT. my dear Lacedemonian. dear Nymph. MILLA. Thou hast uttered volumes. Thou dost bite. my dear mustard-seed. and Baldwin yonder. Eh! filthy creature. Thou art a retailer of phrases. if you can love me. WIT. [To them] PETULANT drunk. Why dost thou not speak? Thou art both as drunk and as mute as a fish. PET. what was the quarrel? SCENE IX. . is the rest. like a maker of pincushions. Look you. th y half-brother.--you are an annihilator of sense. kiss me for that.
wrap thyself up like a woodlouse. PET. If there had been words enow between 'em to have expressed provocation. Carry your mistress's monkey a spider. the y had gone together by the ears like a pair of castanets. go flea dogs and read romances. . but he sneaked off. A plot. FAIN. Me? PET. if not. MRS. fight for your face the next time yourself--I'll go sleep. say so. what then? If I have a humour to prove it? If I shall have my reward. hear me. There was no quarrel. And. if thou canst learn to write by to-morrow morning. WIT. I'll go to bed to my maid. I can make less matters conclude premises. SCENE IX. to get rid of the knight--your husband's advice.The Way of the World by William Congreve PET. He's horridly drunk--how came you all in this pickle? WIT. If I have a humour to quarrel. WIT. Do. a plot. I f you are not handsome. MILLA. You were the quarrel. I'll carry i t for thee. and dream revenge. PET. pen me a challenge. there might have been a quarrel.
make a bill. LADY. and comport yourself at this rantipole rate! SIR WIL. No offence.--my motto I have forgot. Wilfull will do't. SIR WIL. and I'll do't.--Give me more drink . With ale that is potent and mellow. LADY. Offence? As I'm a person. But if you would have me marry my cousin. MRS. I'm ashamed of you. He that whines for a lass Is an ignorant ass. Till it laugh in my face. LADY WISHFORT. Out upon't. [Sings]:Prithee fill me the glass. MRS. and put your best foot foremost SIR WIL. Borachio? LADY. At a time when you should commence an amour. out upon't. and take my purse. an you grutch me your liquor. For a bumper has not its fellow. Fogh! How you stink of wine! D'ye think my niece will ever endure such a Borachio? You're an absolute Borachio. say the word. at years of discretion. WITWOUD. aunt. 'Sheart. MILLAMANT. FAINALL.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE X. SCENE X. Wilfull will do't. that's the word. that's my crest. drunk. SIR WILFULL. .
but he spits after a bumper. cousin. aunt. If not. . aunt. he has a cellar at your antipodes. And that makes him so bright. Let Apollo's example invite us. SCENE X. Your pardon. madam. A match or no match. I can stay no longer. For he's drunk every night. I touch at your antipodes--your antipodes are a good rascally sort of topsy-turvy fellows. We'll drink and we'll never ha' done. If I drunk your health to-day. aunt. and let's have t'other round. That he's able next morning to light us. Wilfull wil l do't. The sun's a good pimple. Wilfull will do't. say the word and send for the piper.The Way of the World by William Congreve LADY. and that's a fault. If I travel. MILLA. Put the glass then around with the sun. you are obliged to him SIR WIL. boys. cousin with the hard name. boys. let her keep her own counsel in the meantime.--But if you have a mind to be married. If I had a bumper I'd stand upon my head and drink a health to 'em. If she has her maidenhead let her look to 't. but 'tis drinking your health. where's Tony?. My nephew's a little overtaken. an honest soaker. O' my word. Come. dust it away. Sir Wilfull grows very powerful .-Tony's an honest fellow. Tony--ods-heart.--I am a Borachio. cousin. cousin. IN VINO VERITAS. Egh! how he smells! I shall be overcome if I stay. and cry out at the nine months' end. if she has not.
But let British lads sing. LADY. And a fig for your Sultan and Sophy. whereby it is a plain case that orthodox is a hard word. [Sings]:To drink is a Christian diversion. aunt. you sot. MR. . I'll have you bastinadoed with broomsticks. and [hiccup] Greek for claret. and believe not in the grape. quotha. Smells? He would poison a tallow-chandler and his family. Crown a health to the King. WITWOUD. to the Saracens. aunt. Sir Rowland impatient? Good lack! what shall I do with this beastly tumbril? Go lie down and sleep. Travel. No offence. LADY WISHFORT. travel. Ahey! Wenches? Where are the wenches? SCENE XI. Let Mahometan fools Live by heathenish rules. or the Tartars. Your Mahometan. travel. or as I'm a person. FOIBLE. Tony! [FOIBLE whispers LADY W. SIR WIL. thou beastly pagan.] LADY. Call up the wenches with broomsticks. or the Turks--fo r thou art not fit to live in a Christian commonwealth. Beastly creature . get thee gone. no Turks. I know not what to do with him. Ah. And be damned over tea-cups and coffee . SIR WIL. Your Turks are infidels. aunt. Turks? No. SIR WILFULL WITWOUD.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XI. your Mussulman is a dry stinkard. get thee but far enough. ay. Unknown to the Turk or the Persian. M y map says that your Turk is not so honest a man as your Christian--I cannot find by the map that your Mufti is orthodox.
WIT. Come. my Anthony. come. sirrah? Let me bite your cheek for that. will you march. Will you go to a cock-match? SIR WIL. With a wench. LADY. And a fig for your Sultan and Sophy. Horrible! He has a breath like a bagpipe. and you will bind me to you inviolably. I'll follow thee. little Tony.--You will oblige me to all futurity. Dear Cousin Witwoud. ay. my Salopian? SIR WIL.The Way of the World by William Congreve LADY. get him away. Lead on. Ay. knight. It will never make a match. and I'll be thy pig. This will never do. Tony? Is she a shake-bag. I have an affair of moment that invades me with some precipitation. my Tantony. Pox on him. thou shalt be my Tantony. SCENE XI.--at least before he has been abroad. . Sirrah. WIT. I don't know what to say to him.
I am tantalised on the rack.--I have more pardons to ask than the pope distributes in the year of jubilee. That would be some comfort to me. But I hope where there is likely to be so near an alliance. LADY. on the tenter of expectation. WAITWELL disguised as for SIR ROWLAND. WAIT. LADY. I am confounded with confusion at the retrospection of m y own rudeness. WAIT. My nephew will get an inkling of my designs an d poison me--and I would willingly starve him before I die--I would gladly go out of the world with that satisfaction. You have excess of gallantry. is the effect of my transport. Dear Sir Rowland. and do but hang . My impatience. madam! The delay will break my heart--or if that should fail. LADY. if I coul d but live so long as to be revenged on that unnatural viper. and dispense with a little ceremony. madam. . say you? Truly I would contribute much both to the saving of your life and the accomplishment of your revenge. Sir Rowland. For decency of funeral. we may unbend the severity of decorum. madam. Not that I respect myself. Is he so unnatural. and press things to a conclusio n with a most prevailing vehemence. Perfidious to you? SCENE XII. and till I have the possession of your adorable person. But a day or two for decency of marriage WAIT. LADY WISHFORT. I shall be poisoned. though he has been a perfidious wretch to me.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XII.
Sir Rowland. WAIT.--you are no novice in the labyrinth o a person. Well.The Way of the World by William Congreve LADY. or think that I have made a prostitution of decorums.--you have the clue. the tears that he has shed. Sir Rowland: starve him gradually. the ardours and the ecstasies. you must not appetite or indigestion of widowhood. inch by inch. nor of continence. Far be it from me LADY. the palpitations that he has felt. but in the vehemence of compassion. If you do. I protest I must recede. and then go out in a stink like a candle's end upon a save-all. LADY. O Sir Rowland. Sir Rowland. the oaths that he has sworn. the pangs and the pathetic regards of his protesting eyes!--Oh. In three weeks he shall be barefoot. LADY. WAIT. my rival? Is the rebel my rival? A dies. the kneelings and the risings. No. and to save the life of a person of so much importance SCENE XII. the heart. 'till he has nothing living but his head. in a month out at knees with begging an alms.heavings and the hand-gripings. he shall starve upward and upward. way. I hope you do not think me . I'll do't. What. the hours that he has died away at my feet. no memory can register. don't kill him at once. the trances and the tremblings. But as I am attribute my yielding to any sinister impute my complacency to any lethargy prone to any iteration of nuptials? WAIT. you have the f love.
If you think the least scruple of causality was an ingredient Dear madam. You are all camphire and frankincense. I esteem it so Or else you wrong my condescension I do not. I do not Indeed you do. fair shrine of virtue. WAIT. LADY. LADY. no. WAIT. Or that SCENE XII. LADY. I do not. WAIT. LADY. . all chastity and odour.The Way of the World by William Congreve WAIT.
[To them] FOIBLE. judge candidly. the dancers are ready.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XIII. Madam. will you give me leave? Think favourably. . SCENE XIII. and conclude you have found a person who would suffer racks in honour's cause. and there's one with a letter. FOIB. Sir Rowland. and will wait on you incessantly. dear Sir Rowland. LADY. who must deliver it into your own hands.
Fie. hast thou any cordial? I want spirits. By this hand I'd rather be a chairman in the dog-days than act Sir Rowland till this time to-morrow. thou wilt fare the worse for't. Oh. WAIT. Spouse. . to pant thus for a quarter of an hour's lying and swearing to a fine lady? WAIT. I shall have no appetite to iteration of nuptials. FOIBLE. WAITWELL. What a washy rogue art thou. spouse. she is the antidote to desire.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XIV. SCENE XIV. fie! What a slavery have I undergone.-this eight-and-forty hours. FOIB.
That's somebody whose throat must be cut. Sir Rowland. You shall see it--we'll open it together. if you please. THAT I THINK MYSELF OBLIGED TO LET YOU KNOW YOU ARE ABUSED. I would burn it--speak if it does--but you may see.] WAIT. all's ruined. how. HE WHO PRETENDS TO BE SIR ROWLAND IS A CHEAT AND A RASCAL. AND DISGUISED AND SUBORNED FOR THAT IMPOSTURE--O villainy! O villainy!-. 'tis from nobody that I know. [To them] LADY with a letter.BY THE CONTRIVANCE OF SCENE XV. Look you here.--my heart aches--get it from her! [T o him. since you give me a proof of your passion by your jealousy. Marwood's.] Now. I f it should make you uneasy. FOIB.) I HAVE THAT HONOUR FOR YOUR CHARACTER. LADY. Unfortunate. let me see. the superscription is like a woman's hand. [Dance. we'll sit.] A RASCAL. I would open it in your presence. with your permission. . By heaven! Mrs. and see the entertainment. that's no woman's hand: I see that already. I will peruse my letter. Sir Rowland. WAIT. How. O heavens! what's this? FOIB. Sir Rowland. THOUGH UNKNOWN TO YOU (look you there.] MADAM. let me see. Call in the dancers. Nay. LADY.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XV. A woman's hand? No madam. [Reads. [Reading. I know it. because I would not make you uneasy. I promise you I'll make a return by a frank communication.
SCENE XV. How? FOIB. Here's a villain! Madam. too well. swear it! [To him. Oh! FOIB. How. when he stole by me and would hav e hid his face. If he were my son. my niece went away abruptly when Sir Wilfull was to have made his addresses.The Way of the World by William Congreve LADY. Quickly. I shall die. swear. . what luck it is. Say 'tis your nephew's hand. don't you perceive it? Don't you see it? LADY. A woman's hand? The rascal writes a sort of a large hand: your Roman hand. and now I remember. I have seen too much. Sure? Am I here? Do I live? Do I love this pearl of India? I have twenty letters in my pocket from him in the same character. LADY. Sir Rowland. FOIB. LADY. I thought something was contriving. that you were present at this juncture! This was the business that brought Mr.--I saw there was a throat to be cut presently. Sir Rowland. it is his writing? WAIT. I shall faint. I told you at first I knew the hand. Mirabell disguised to Madam Millamant thi s afternoon. as he is my nephew. I'd pistol him.] WAIT. how? I heard the villain was in the house indeed. Oh. WAIT. Too well. his plot. O treachery! But are you sure.
though it cost me my life. FOIB. WAIT. Si r Rowland.The Way of the World by William Congreve FOIB. bring the black box. WAIT. WAIT. I can but die. I am charmed. My lady shall be satisfied of my truth and innocence. SCENE XV.--oh. I conjure you. . Mr. or hanged. No. which contains the writings of my whole estate. consider my reputation. WAIT. I obey. Oh. Sir Rowland. madam. by all your love not to fight. And may I presume to bring a contract to be signed this night? May I hope so far? LADY. Ay. No. but come alive. but I would not tell your ladyship to discompose you when you were to receive Sir Rowland. I'll make her confess. But some proof you must let me give you: I'll go for a black box. then. dear Sir Rowland. and 'tis in a good cause. don't incur the law. his date is short. Then. Mirabell waited for her in her chamber. pray come alive. LADY. this is a happy discovery. good Sir Rowland. LADY. Law? I care not for law. madam. dear Sir Rowland. you shan' t fight: I'll go in and examine my niece. that will be some comfort. and deliver that into your hands. Enough. don't fight: if you should be killed I must never show my face. No. Bring what you will.
SCENE XV. my buxom widow: E'er long you shall substantial proof receive That I'm an arrant knight FOIB. ay.The Way of the World by William Congreve WAIT. Come. Dead or alive I'll come--and married we will be in spite of treachery. and get an heir that shall defeat the last remaining glimpse of hope in my abandoned nephew. Or arrant knave. .
Mirabell seduced me. you treacherous trull. No. go. Go. have you. Mr. and a quilted night-cap with one ear. do! FOIB. two rows of pins. begone. with a bleak blue nose. or against a dead wall by a balladmonger. have but a moment's patience--I'll confess all. . drive a trade. a glass necklace with the beads broken. out of my house. thou bosom traitress that I raised from nothing! Begone. now you have feathered your nest? FOIB. Scene continues. and dining behind a traver's rag. These were your commodities. I'll beg pardon on my knees. dear madam. go set up for yourself again. Go. under a brandy-seller's bulk. hang out an old frisoneer-gorget. Dear madam. flaunting upon a packthread. when I took you into my house. that I took from washing of old gauze and weaving of dead hair. begone. drive a trade. out. I am not the first that he has wheedled ACT V. placed you next myself. with your threepennyworth of small ware. an old gnawed mask. and made you governant of my whole family.--SCENE I. go.The Way of the World by William Congreve ACT V. do. this was the merchandise you dealt in. starve again. with a yard of yellow colberteen again. go.--SCENE I. You have forgot this. thou viper. no. LADY WISHFORT and FOIBLE. LADY. over a chafing-dish of starved embers. thou serpent that I have fostered. Go. do. Out of my house. do. out. Do but hear me. go. and a child's fiddle. do. LADY. in a shop no bigger than a bird-cage. Away.
FOIB. Pray do but hear me. to become a botcher of second-hand marriages between Abigails and Andrews! I'll couple you. I'll Duke's Place you. you and you r Philander. to make me a receptacle. I have been broker for you? What.--SCENE I. he could not marry your ladyship. that ever I was born! Oh. or else the wealth of the Indies should not have bribed me to conspire against so good. No damage? What. to betray me. have I? I have been convenient to you. for if h e had consummated with your ladyship. No indeed. madam. if there be constable or warrant in the parish. his marriage was to have been void in law. You shall coo in the same cage. for he was married to me first.bellied actress! FOIB. to secure your ladyship. that I was ever married! A bride? Ay. a poor ignorant. I enquired of the law in that case before I would meddle or make. to marry me to a cast serving-man. I am brought to fine uses. . Your turtle is in custody already. so sweet. LADY. have you made a passive bawd of me? This exceeds all precedent. and been put upon his clergy. LADY. He could not have bedded your ladyship. Yes indeed. then how should I. defend myself? O madam. an hospital for a decayed pimp? No damage? O thou frontless impudence. if you knew but what he promised me. as I'm a person. madam. Yes. What? Then I have been your property. and how he assured me your ladyship should come to no damage. while you were catering for Mirabell. so kind a lady as you have been to me. he must have run the risk of the law. I shal l be a Bridewell bride. Oh. I'll baste you together. it seems. Your ladyship's own wisdom has been deluded by him. Oh! ACT V. more than a big.The Way of the World by William Congreve with his dissembling tongue.
Marwood declared all to my lady. what's the matter? FOIB. FAINALL. and overheard all that you said to me before dinner. everything discovered. yes. FOIB. FOIBLE. O madam. . FAIN. MRS. madam: she was in my lady's closet. Yes. This is all Marwood's and my husband's doing. and put to Bridewell to beat hemp. I shall be had to a justice. when he pretended to go for the papers. all's out: my affair with Mirabell. Ay. SCENE II. She sent the letter to my lady. and that missing effect. MRS. We stifled the letter befor e she read so far. Fainall of your ladyship then? MRS. FAIN. Have a good heart. madam.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE II. FAIN. Has that mischievous devil told Mr. Fainall laid this plot to arrest Waitwell. MRS. This i s the last day of our living together. and in the meantime Mrs. Foible: Mirabell's gone to give security for him. MRS. Yes. Poor Waitwell's gone to prison already. Was there no mention made of me in the letter? My mother does not suspect my being in the confederacy? I fancy Marwood has not told her. FOIB. that's my comfort. I know it. but my lady did not see that part. Mr. my lady's gone for a constable. though sh e has told my husband. FAIN. Poor Foible.
Mincing. So long as it was not a bible oath. madam. But we went up unawares--though we were sworn to secrecy too: Madam Marwood took a book and swore us upon it: but it was but a book of poems. Marwood and he are nearer related than ever their parents thought for. Say'st thou so. if you knew all. Now. We have had many a fair word from Madam Marwood to conceal something that passed in our chamber one evening when you were at Hyde Park.The Way of the World by William Congreve FOIB. and we were thought to have gone a-walking. FAIN. . This discovery is the most opportune thing I could wish. I can take my oath of it. MRS. Indeed. and so 'tis a comfort. we may break it with a safe conscience. madam. but I love to keep peace and quietness by my good will. But Mrs. MRS. FAIN. which I could have told you long enough since. I had rather bring friends together than set 'em at distance. He has been even with your ladyship. Mincing ? SCENE II. so can Mrs. Foible? Canst thou prove this? FOIB.
SCENE III. how that he'll have my lady's fortune made over to him. My lady is resolved to have him. I think. MINC. Foible. MINC. Yes. Oh. Oh. and to bring hi m to them. . rather than lose such a vast sum as six thousand pound. and would have you hide yourself in my lady's closet till my old lady's anger is abated. FOIB. come. mem. There's a fearful hurricane. Mirabell is with her. My lady would speak with Mrs. Mrs. Yes mem.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE III. I'll vouch anything for your ladyship's service. yes mem. my old lady is in a perilous passion at something Mr. Foible. MRS. they have sent me to see if Sir Wilfull be sober. or he'll be divorced. Does your lady or Mirabell know that? MINC. I vow. Mr. mem. He says. MRS. he swears. be what it will. I hear my old lady. Fainall has said. Foible. yes. he ha s set your spouse at liberty. and my old lady cries. Foible. FAIN. madam. Mrs. FAIN. [To them] MINCING. Oh. you must tell Mincing that she must prepare to vouch when I call her.
and ruin my niece. I don't understand your ladyship. madam. and all SCENE IV. another me. and feed harmless sheep by groves and purling streams. MRS. and yet transgress th e most minute particle of severe virtue? Is it possible you should lean aside to iniquity. who have been cast in the direct mould of virtue? I have not only been a mould but a pattern for you. MAR. MARWOOD. FAINALL. bone of my bone. and as I may say. LADY.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE IV. We shall have leisure to think of retirement afterwards. have you not been naught? Have you not been sophisticated? Not understand? Here I am ruined to compound for your caprices an d your cuckoldoms. let us leav e the world. Dear Marwood. is it possible thou shouldst be my child. Not understand? Why. LADY WISHFORT. and a model for you. FAIN. LADY. And now you ar e become an intercessor with my son-in-law. how can I enumerate the benefits that I have received from your goodness? To you I owe the timely discovery of the false vows of Mirabell. I must pawn my plate and my jewels. daughter. to you I owe the detection of the impostor Sir Rowland. MRS. you are enough to reconcile me to the bad world. Here is one who is concerned in the treaty. MRS. Let us first dispatch the affair in hand. Well. to save the honour of my house and compound for the frailties of my daughter. . friend. after you were brought into the world. and flesh of my flesh. or else I would retire to deserts and solitudes. and retire by ourselves and be shepherdesses. O daughter. O my dear friend. MRS. LADY.
I know what I mean. MAR. Le t 'em prove their aspersions: I know my own innocence. I defy 'em all. Madam. I am sorry to see you so passionate. as false as hell. You will pardon me. ungrateful creature. or your friend's friend. nor part with a brass counter. More temper would look mor e like innocence. LADY. FAIN. ay. you shan't pawn a bodkin. Fainall? Your husband my friend. if I meddle no more with an affair in which I am not personall y concerned. she'll drop off when she's full. don't leave me destitute in this perplexity! No. what do you mean? MRS. and dare stand a trial. I am sorry my zeal to serve your ladyship and family should admit of misconstruction. she deserves more from you than all your life can accomplish. madam.The Way of the World by William Congreve little enough MRS. madam. But I have done. Oh. my good genius. stick to me. . in composition for me. to suck your best blood. MAR. 'Tis a false accusation. MRS. You ought to ask pardon on your knees. Mrs. my false husband. I am so ashamed that you should meet with such returns. madam. Stick to you? Ay. and so do you. like a leech. or make me liable to affronts. MRS. madam. and so are you. I am wronged and abused. and so shall the world at a time convenient. SCENE IV. I tell you. you're abused. FAIN. FAIN. MRS. O dear friend. as false as your friend there. My friend.
where the lewd trebles squeak nothing but bawdy. I can't believe it. and going to filthy plays. if she should be innocent. she would ha' shrieked if she had but seen a man till she was in her teens. Nay. MAR. till she was going in her fifteen. as she says. . I warrant you. or she would never have borne to have been catechised by him. for I chiefly made it my own care to initiate her very infancy in the rudiments of virtue. and to impress upon her tender years a young odium and aversion to the very sight of men. LADY WISHFORT. let him prove it. 'tis true. Oh. and have heard his long lectures against singing and dancing and such debaucheries. 'Twas much she should be deceived so long. and his sleek face. LADY. and profane music meetings. and the basses roar blasphemy. She was never suffered to play with a male child. Why.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE V. Oh. a whore? And thought it excommunication to set her foot within the door of a playhouse. LADY. and him we made a shift to put upon her for a woman. MRS. MARWOOD. if she should be wronged after all. and I promise you. I may say it. she never looked a man in the face but her own father or the chaplain. No. let him prove it. friend. ay. MRS. her education has been unexceptionable. by the help of his long garments. her very babies were of the feminine gender. though but in coats . As I'm a person. she would have swooned at the sight or name of an obscene play-book--and can I think after all this that my daughter can be naught? What. SCENE V. O dear friend. ha? I don't know what to think. no.
SCENE V. to bring your daughter's infamy to light. Oh 'tis insupportable. MRS. Worse and worse. if it would end here 'twere well. you must hear nothing else for some days. tickled with the proceeding. and provoke naughty interrogatories in more naughty law Latin. to be a theme for legal punsters and quibblers by th e statute. make it up. into the throats and lungs. madam? What. nay. make it up. No. and become a jest. MAR. against a rule of court. where there is no precedent for a jest in any record. and after talk it over again in Commons. Oh. this is nothing. To discompose the gravity o f the bench. and have your case opened by an old fumbling leacher in a quoif like a man midwife. and have your name prostituted in a public court. LADY. myself and my all. and fidges off and on his cushion as if he had swallowed cantharides. simpers under a grey beard. I'll give up all. And then to have my young revellers of the Temple take notes. of hawkers. But it must after this be consigned by the shorthand writers to the public press. ay. ay . LADY.The Way of the World by William Congreve MRS. dear friend. I'll compound. MAR. LADY. not even in Doomsday Book. with voices more licentious than the loud flounder-man's. MAR. yours and your daughter's reputation worried at the bar by a pack of bawling lawyers? To be ushered in with an OH YES of scandal. Prove it. And this you must hear till you are stunned. nay. or before drawers in an eating-house. like prentices at a conventicle. no. and from thence be transferred to the hands. my niece and her all. Nay. 'tis very hard! MRS. or sate upon cow-itch. while the good judge. .
for composition. MRS. madam. SCENE V. I only lay before you. . the inconveniences which perhaps you have overseen. as a friend. if he will be satisfied to huddle up all in silence. Fainall. Here comes Mr. Nay.The Way of the World by William Congreve anything. everything. I shall be glad. MAR. I advise nothing. You must think I would rather congratulate than condole with you.
but in case of necessity. your friend. Ay. my wife shall settle on me the remainder of her fortune. Well. FAIN. I dare answer. MAR. and am content you shall enjoy your own proper estate during life. under such penalty as I think convenient. she has already but too much experienced the perfidiousness of men. my lady will consent to. not made over already. on condition you oblige yourself never to marry. no. MRS. If your physic be wholesome. SCENE VI. madam. No more Sir Rowlands. or some such emergency FAIN. Oh. if you are prescribed marriage. LADY. Next. I do not doubt it. you shall be considered. LADY. MRS. that's true. I do not doubt it.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VI. it matters not who is your apothecary. and for her maintenance depend entirely on my discretion.--the next imposture may not be so timely detected. without difficulty. MARWOOD. dear Marwood. madam. LADY WISHFORT. I have suffered myself to be overcome by the importunity of this lady. we shall bid adieu to all other thoughts. That condition. Never to marry? FAIN. . Besides. I will only reserve to myself the power to choose for you. LADY. No. Ay. ay. as of health. FAINALL. when we retire to our pastoral solitude.
which you. and which she has forfeited (as will appear by the last will an d testament of your deceased husband. But this must be agreed unto. which is the moiety of Mrs. FAIN. and by refusing the offered match with Sir Wilfull Witwoud. FAIN. as they are at present practised in the northern hemisphere. SCENE VI. Lastly. and till my return you may balance this matter in your own discretion. Millamant's fortune in your possession. I will be endowed. I learned it from his Czarish Majesty's retinue. with that six thousand pound. had provided for her.The Way of the World by William Congreve LADY. Yes. and that positively. and could not make his addresses. in right of my wife . My nephew was NON COMPOS. LADY. . This is most inhumanly savage: exceeding the barbarity of a Muscovite husband. to which you must set your hand till more sufficient deeds can be perfected: which I will take care shall be done wit h all possible speed. In the meanwhile I will go for the said instrument. while the instrument is drawing. You will grant me time to consider? FAIN. I come to make demands--I'll hear no objections. like a careful aunt. in a winter evening's conference over brandy and pepper. amongst other secrets of matrimony and policy . Sir Jonathan Wishfort) by her disobedience i n contracting herself against your consent or knowledge. LADY.
The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VII. LADY WISHFORT, MRS. MARWOOD. LADY. This insolence is beyond all precedent, all parallel. Must I be subject to this merciless villain? MRS. MAR. 'Tis severe indeed, madam, that you should smart for your daughter's wantonness. LADY. 'Twas against my consent that she married this barbarian, but she would have him, though her year was not out. Ah! her first husband, my son Languish, would not have carried it thus. Well, that was my choice, this is hers; she is matched now with a witness- -I shall be mad, dear friend; is there no comfort fo r me? Must I live to be confiscated at this rebel-rate? Here come two more of my Egyptian plagues too. SCENE VII.
The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE VIII. [To them] MRS. MILLAMANT, SIR WILFULL. SIR WIL. Aunt, your servant. LADY. Out, caterpillar, call not me aunt; I know thee not. SIR WIL. I confess I have been a little in disguise, as they say. 'Sheart! and I'm sorry for't. What would you have? I hope I committed no offence, aunt--and i f I did I am willing to make satisfaction; and what can a man say fairer? If I hav e broke anything I'll pay for't, an it cost a pound. And so let that content for what's past, and make no more words. For what's to come, to pleasure you I'm willing to marry my cousin. So, pray, let's all be friends, she and I are agreed upon the matter before a witness. LADY. How's this, dear niece? Have I any comfort? Can this be true? MILLA. I am content to be a sacrifice to your repose, madam, and to convince you that I had no hand in the plot, as you were misinformed. I have laid my commands on Mirabell to come in person, and be a witness that I give my hand to this flower of knighthood; and for the contract that passed between Mirabell and me, I have obliged him to make a resignation of it in your ladyship's presence. He is without and waits your leave for admittance. LADY. Well, I'll swear I am something revived at this testimony of your obedience; but I cannot admit that traitor,--I fear I cannot fortify myself to support his appearance. He is as terrible to me as a Gorgon: if I see him I swea r SCENE VIII.
The Way of the World by William Congreve I shall turn to stone, petrify incessantly. MILLA. If you disoblige him he may resent your refusal, and insist upon the contract still. Then 'tis the last time he will be offensive to you. LADY. Are you sure it will be the last time? If I were sure of that--shall I never see him again? MILLA. Sir Wilfull, you and he are to travel together, are you not? SIR WIL. 'Sheart, the gentleman's a civil gentleman, aunt, let him come in; why, we are sworn brothers and fellow-travellers. We are to be Pylades and Orestes, h e and I. He is to be my interpreter in foreign parts. He has been overseas once already; and with proviso that I marry my cousin, will cross 'em once again, onl y to bear me company. 'Sheart, I'll call him in,--an I set on't once, he shall com e in; and see who'll hinder him. [Goes to the door and hems.] MRS. MAR. This is precious fooling, if it would pass; but I'll know the bottom o f it. LADY. O dear Marwood, you are not going? MRS. MAR. Not far, madam; I'll return immediately. SCENE VIII.
and afterwards forgotten. come. 'Sheart. I am too happy. LADY WISHFORT. Nay. she dare not frown desperately. but mum for that. MRS. madam. not for pardon: I am a suppliant only for pity:.-and errors which love produces have ever been accounted venial. MILLAMANT. an she do frown. kill me not by turning from me in disdain. Why you must an you are a Christian. fellow-traveller. I come not to plead for favour. MIRABELL. SIR WIL. and will cost you nothing. I confess I have deservedly forfeited the high place I once held. How. SIR WIL. can but obtain the least glance of compassion. 'sbud. SIR WILFULL. nay. man. a very reasonable request. fellow-traveller? You shall go by yourself then. Besides--harkee. MIRA. because her face is none o f her own. though I confess it had a face of guiltiness--it was at most an artifice which love contrived. Consider. her forehead would wrinkle like the coat of a cream cheese. MIRA. By'r lady. SIR WIL. forgive and forget. Ah. aunt.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE IX. Look up. Let me be pitied first. I ask no more. . in reality you could not receive much prejudice: it was a n innocent device. she can't kill you. madam. MIRA. If a deep sense of the many injuries I have offered to so good a lady. an she should. there was a time--but let it be forgotten . aunt. wit h a sincere remorse and a hearty contrition. I'll stand by you.I am going where I never shall behold you more. Come. At least think it is punishment enough that I have lost what i n SCENE IX. of sighing at your feet.
and will deliver it to you. he has a false insinuating tongue. all my hopes of future comfort. that to your cruel indignation I have offered up this beauty. I will endeavour what I can to forget. nay. when I did not see him I could have bribed a villain to his assassination. I will stifle my just resentment at my nephew's request. An it were not as good a deed as to drink. LADY. upon your account. Ah. LADY. would I may never be o' the quorum. but on proviso that you resign the contract with my niece immediately. nephew.] SCENE IX. and that's hardly dry. My contract went no farther than a little mouth-glue. I can tell you that. Aunt. sir. to give her to him again. . but his appearance rakes the embers which have so long lain smothered in my breast. Well. It is in writing and with papers of concern. with all acknowledgments for your transcendent goodness. but I have sent my servant fo r it. I would I might never take shipping. SIR WIL. Oh. and with her my peace and quiet. one doleful sigh more from my fellow-traveller and 'tis dissolved. if you don't forgive quickly.The Way of the World by William Congreve my heart I hold most dear. An he does not move me. he has witchcraft in his eyes and tongue. Well. I shall melt. [Aside. MIRA.
is expired. I have a n old fox by my thigh shall hack your instrument of ram vellum to shreds. . sir. I assert my right. madam. MRS. are you prepared to sign? LADY. FAIN. Good Sir Wilfull. and will maintain it in defiance of you. having matched herself by my direction to Sir Wilfull. Indeed? Are you provided of your guard. FAIN. That sham is too gross to pass on me. Sir. by'r lady. respite your valour. therefore withdraw your instrument. I shall draw mine. MIRA. And.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE X. I am not impowered. And. and of your instrument. though 'tis imposed on you. sir. sir. SIR WIL. sir. MILLA. hold. sir. 'Sheart. and insist upon my first proposal. I have given my consent. My niece exerts a lawful claim. I have resigned my pretensions. Your date of deliberation. MARWOOD. nephew. Hold. an you talk of an instrument sir. FAIN. with your single beef-eater there? But I'm prepared for you. madam. It shall not be sufficient for a Mittimus or a tailor's measure. Here is the instrument. If I were prepared. You shall submit SCENE X. [To them] FAINALL. MILLA. LADY. or.
Oh. Mr. what? what? To save me and my child from ruin. sir. Mirabell. your consent is not requisite in this case. or your darling daughter's turned adrift. for here it will not avail. Mirabell. You may draw your fox if you please. from want. to stop my ruin? Ungrateful wretch! Dost tho u not owe thy being. . perhaps. nor. This. as pursuant to the purport and tenor of this other covenant. Ay. thy subsistance. to my daughter's fortune? FAIN. Sir Wilfull. or else. How? Dear Mr. my reward is intercepted. must be subscribed. like a leaky hulk to sink or swim. and absolutely make over my wife's to my sole use. I'll break my nephew's match. madam. can you be so generous at last? But it is not possible. You have disposed of her who only could have made me a compensation for all my services. and make a bear-garden flourish somewhere else. you shall have my niece yet. to be delivered from thi s tyranny. I'll answer you when I have the rest of it in my possession. your right. I could devise - LADY. I'll consent to anything to come. I'll forgive all that's past. Is there no means. as she and the current of this lewd town can agree. you shall not be wronged in this savage manner. no remedy. But be it as it may. nor. LADY. nay. my Lady Wishfort. but that is too late. MIRA. your resignation. LADY. madam. Harkee. But that you would not accept of a remedy from my hands--I own I have not deserved you should owe any obligation to me.The Way of the World by William Congreve your own estate to my management. and SCENE X. I am resolved I'll serve you. I suppose. MIRA.
and a penitent. MIRA. Foible is one. anybody. if you can but save me from this imminent danger. anybody. SCENE X. MIRA.The Way of the World by William Congreve all her fortune. LADY. . I ask no more. Will you? I take you at your word. I must have leave for tw o criminals to appear. ay. Ay.
] FAIN. Go. Mercenary? No. MAR. you would have bribed us sufficiently. MAR. what are you the better for this ? Is this Mr. 'tis but the way of the world. MINC. FAINALL and FOIBLE. [To them] MRS. why let 'em know it. mem? I scorn your words. madam. You. MINCING. [To FAINALL. MRS. If it must all come out. Marwood. Mirabell's expedient? I'll be put off no longer. LADY.] These currupt things are brought hither to expose me. FAINALL. by the same token. Have you so much ingratitude and injustice to give credit. 'Tis true we found you and Mr. Well. I will insist the more. That shall not urge me to relinquish or abate one tittle of my terms. art thou false? My friend deceive me? Hast thou been a wicked accomplice with that profligate man? MRS. FOIB. against you r friend. O my shame! [MIRABELL and LADY go to MRS. we should have held our tongues. to the aspersions of two such mercenary trulls? MINC. indeed. . thing. And so will I.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XI. Fainall in the blue garret. you swore us to secrecy upon Messalinas's poems. FAIN. I'll take my bible-oath of it. mem. O Marwood. you are an insignificant thing. if we would have been mercenary. FOIBLE. Mercenary. no. that wa s SCENE XI. Yes.
I will not leave thee wherewithal to hide thy shame: your body shall be naked as your reputation. you and your treacherous--I will not name it. Mirabell. FAIN. Go. Ah. I'll be fooled no longer. Madam. Your leave for the other offender and penitent to appear . Oh. . madam. this is small comfort. indeed. Not while you are worth a groat. I despise you and defy your malice. SCENE XI.The Way of the World by William Congreve a wife. LADY. MRS. MIRA. the detection of this affair. in good time. bu t starve together. my dear. FAIN. shall smart for this. Mr. You have aspersed me wrongfully-I have proved your falsehood. Perish.
rascal? WAIT. O Sir Rowland! Well. At hand. [To them] WAITWELL with a box of writings. 'Sdeath. MIRA. madam.--just risen from sleep. Madam. you remember your promise.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XII. sir. MIRA. . LADY. What your ladyship pleases. Give it me. Where are the gentlemen? WAIT. LADY. SCENE XII. I have brought the black box at last. Ay. FAIN. rubbing their eyes. dear sir. what's this to me? I'll not wait your private concerns.
as shall appear. ay. Mr. anything of what that parchment contained? [Undoing the box. Madam. MIRA. WITWOUD. MIRA. upon my honour. Hey day! What. and before you had by your insinuations wheedled her ou t SCENE XIII. Ay. MIRA. his name is fairly written. I once requested your hands as witnesses to a certain parchment. are you all got together. like players at the end of the las t act? MIRA. You may remember. gentlemen. LADY.] WIT. How now? What's the matter? Whose hand's out? WIT. You wrong him. Very well. I read nothing. my hand I remember--Petulant set his mark. WIT. No. sir. gentlemen. I do. PET. it is now time that you should know that your lady. Ay. now you shall know. Fainall. You do not remember. . your promise. while she was at her own disposal. [To them] PETULANT.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE XIII. PET. I writ. Not I.
WIDOW. FAIN.] SIR WIL. be sure you shall. You may read if you please [holding out the parchment]. Hold. sir. Mirabell. Sir! Pretended? MIRA. sir. now you may make your bear-garden flourish somewhere else. Even so. sir. and to the uses within mentioned. IN TRUST TO EDWARD MIRABELL. having. FAIN. sir. by the wholesome advice of friends and of sages learned in the laws of this land. sir. SCENE XIII. oaf . Perfidious fiend! Then thus I'll be revenged. Very likely. while a widow. . I say. What's here? Damnation! [Reads] A DEED OF CONVEYANCE OF THE WHOLE ESTATE REAL OF ARABELLA LANGUISH. it seems. Let me pass. [Offers to run at MRS. you shall hear of this. I say that this lady. though perhaps what is written on the back may serve your occasions. FAINALL. which from her own partial opinion and fondness of you she could never have suspected--she did. received some cautions respecting your inconstancy and tyranny of temper. Yes. I suppose this deed may bear an elder date than what you have obtained from your lady. FAIN. sir. of the widows of the world. Confusion! MIRA. sir: 'tis the way of the world.The Way of the World by William Congreve of a pretended settlement of the greatest part of her fortune FAIN. deliver this same as her act and deed to me in trust.
SCENE XIII. Madam. and to your confusion. Yes.The Way of the World by William Congreve MRS. You had better give it vent. it shall have vent. or I'll perish in the attempt. . MAR. MRS. you seem to stifle your resentment. FAIN.
'tis plain thou hast inherited thy mother's prudence . I have set on't.The Way of the World by William Congreve SCENE the Last. First. Thank Mr. aunt. daughter. and when I'm set on't I mus t do't. to whose advice all is owing. I understand nothing of the matter: I'm in a maze yet. I say little. MIRABELL. . Well. and how to do that MIRA. LADY. WIT. I'gad. and now designs to prosecute his travels. For that. a cautious friend. FAIN. 'Sheart. Mr. madam. My cousin's a fine lady. O daughter. MRS. MRS. let me have your consent. The next thing is to break the matter to my nephew. MILLAMANT. LADY. And if these two gentlemen would travel too. PETULANT. WAITWELL. I pardon for your sake Sir Rowland there and Foible. and generously engaged a volunteer in this action. and I must perform mine. like a dog in a dancing school. and they deserve one another. I think things are best off or on. I have no mind to marry. MRS. WITWOUD. SIR WILFULL. my resolution is to see foreign parts. Mirabell. SIR WIL. and th e gentleman loves her and she loves him. LADY WISHFORT. SCENE the Last. Sir Wilfull is my friend: he has had compassion upon lovers. FOIBLE. For my part. you have kept your promise. give yourself no trouble. MINCING. Mirabell. I think they may be spared. PET. for our service. FAINALL.
MILLA. [Kisses her hand. As I am a person. dear Sir Wilfull. take her. Ay.] I would have you as often as possibly I can. MIRA. In the meantime. and over and over again. I can hold out no longer: I have wasted my spirits so to-day already that I am ready to sink under the fatigue. you'll have time enough to toy after you're married. and with her all the joy I can give you. if yo u will toy now. that's all my fear. FAINALL]. sir. [A dance. let us have a dance in the meantime. madam [to MRS. 'Sheart. With all my heart. MIRA. Well. disquiet not yourself on that account: to my knowledge his circumstances are such he must of force comply.The Way of the World by William Congreve LADY. let me before these witnesses restore to you this deed of trust: it may be a means. SIR WIL. and I cannot but have some fears upon me yet. Why does not the man take me? Would you have me give myself to you over again? MIRA. some that were provided for Sir Rowland's entertainment are yet within call. Madam. . Well. that my son Fainall will pursue some desperate course. to make you live easily together. SCENE the Last. that we who are not lovers ma y have some other employment besides looking on. What shall we do for music? FOIB. Oh. sir. wel l managed. or. For my part I will contribute al l that in me lies to a reunion.] LADY. heav'n grant I love you not too well.
The Way of the World by William Congreve From hence let those be warned. [Exeunt Omnes. Lest mutual falsehood stain the bridal-bed: For each deceiver to his cost may find That marriage frauds too oft are paid in kind.] SCENE the Last. . who mean to wed.
For well the learned and the judicious know. Bracegirdle. Set up for spies on plays. These. . Since when. with false glosses. feed their own ill-nature. How hard a thing 'twould b e to please you all. with scurrilous intent To mark out who by characters are meant: And though no perfect likeness they can trace. And how their number's swelled the town well knows In shoals. Then. by their own offences taught. Others there are whose malice we'd prevent: Such. As any one abstracted fop to show. Yet each pretends to know the copied face. and finding fault. Bracegirdle. I'm thinking how this play'll be pulled to pieces. And shining features in one portrait blend. I've marked 'em judgin g in the pit. all bad poets we are sure are foes. e'er you doom its fall. But pray consider. They scarcely come inclining to be pleased: And sure he must have more than mortal skill Who pleases anyone against his will.The Way of the World by William Congreve EPILOGUE--Spoken by Mrs. May such malicious fops this fortune find. EPILOGUE--Spoken by Mrs. That satire scorns to stoop so meanly low. To think they singly can support a scene. After our Epilogue this crowd dismisses. as when painters form a matchless face. They from each fair one catch some diff'rent grace. And turn to libel what was meant a satire. There are some critics so with spleen diseased. they. Though they're on no pretence for judgment fit. To which no single beauty mus t pretend: So poets oft do in one piece expose Whole BELLES ASSEMBLEES of coquette s and beaux. To think themselves alone the fools designed: If any are so arrogantly vain. who watch plays. And furnish fool enough to entertain. But that they have been damned for want of wit. For.
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