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Mel. By Heaven, 'twere senseless not to be, and you are running horn-mad after your fortuné, mad, and see such witchcraft.
(As she is going, she turns back and smiles at Lady Touch. My lord, you hear him, he talks him idly.
Lord Touch. I fear he's mad, indeed- let's Lord Touch. Hence from my sight, thou living send Maskwell to him. infamy to my name! when next I see that face,
[Exeunt LORD and Lady Touchwood. I'll write villain in it with my sword's point. Mel. Send him to her. Oh, I could curse my
Mel. Now, by my soul, I will not go, till 1 stars, fate, and chance; all causes and accidents have made known my wrongs—nay, till í have of fortune in this life! but to what purpose ? made known yours, which (if possible) are greater They talk of sending Maskwell to me; I never though she has all the host of hell her ser- had more need of him—but what can he do? vants !
imagination cannot form a fairer and more plauLady Touch. Alas, he raves! For Ileaven's sible design, than this of his, which has miscar, sake, away, my lord! he'll either tempt you to ex- ried—o my precious aunt ! I shall never thrive travagance, or commit some himself.
without I deal with the devil, or another woman, Mel
. Death and furies! will you not hear me? Women, like flames, have a destroying power, why, by Heaven, she laughs, grins, points to your Ne'er to be quenched, till they themselves de back; she forks out cuckoldom with her fingers, vour,
Lord Touch. Ha!
Mask. Why do I love! Yet Heaven, and my Enter LADY Touchwood and MASKWELL,
waking conscience, are my witnesses, I never Lady Touch, Was it not lucky?
gave one working thought a vent, which might Mask. Lucky! fortune is your own, and 'tis discover that I loved, nor ever must; no, let it her interest so to be; by Heaven, I believe you prey upon my heart; for I would rather die than can controul her power, and she fears it; though seem once, barely seem, once dishonest : Oh, chance brought my lord, 'twas your own art that should it once be known I love fair Cynthia, ali turned it to advantage.
this, that I have done, would look like rival's maLady Touch. 'Tis true, it might have been my lice, false friendship to my lord, and base self-inruin—but yonder's my lord; I believe he is coming terest. Let me perish first, and from this hour to find you; I'll not be seen.
avoid all sight and speech, and, if I can, all
[Erit. thought of that pernicious beauty. Ha ! but Mask. So; I durst not own my introducing my what is my distraction doing? I am wildly talklord, though it succeeded well for her, for she ing to myself, and some ill chance might have diwould have suspected a design, which I should rected malicious ears this way. have been puzzled to excuse. My lord is thought
[Seems to start, seeing my lord, ful—I'll be so, too; yet he shall know my thoughts; Lord Touch. Start not—let guilty and dishoor think he does
nest souls start at the revolution of their thoughts,
but be thou fixed, as is thy virtue. Enter Lord Touchwood,
Mask. I am confounded, and beg your lordWhat have I done?
ship’s pardon for those free discourses which I Lord Touch. Talking to himself!
have had with myself. Mask. 'Twas honest, and shall I be rewarded Lord Touch. Come, I beg your pardon that I for it? No, 'twas honest, therefore I shall not : overheard you, and yet it shall not need—honest nay, rather, therefore, I ought not; for it re- Maskwell ! thy, and my good genius, led me hiwards itself.
ther--mine, in that I have discovered so much Lord Touch. Unequalled virtue ! [Aside. manly virtue; thine, in that thou shalt have due
Mask. But should it be known! then I have reward of all thy worth. Give me thy hand lost a friend! He was an ill man, and I have my nephew is the alone remaining branch of all gained; for half myself I lent him, and that I our ancient family; him I thus blow away, and have recalled; so, I have served myself, and, what constitute thee, in his room, to be my heir is yet better, I have served a worthy lord, to Mask. Now, Heaven forbidwhom I owe myself.
Lord Touch. No more--I have resolved--the Lord Touch. Excellent man! [Aside. writings are ready drawn, and wanted nothing
Mask. Yet I am wretched-Oh, there is a se- but to be signed, and have his name inserted cret burns within this breast, which, should it yours will fill the blank as well--I will have no once blaze forth, would ruin all, consume my reply---let me command this time, for 'tis the last honest character, and brand me with the name in which I will assume authority---hereafter, you of villain.
shall rule where I have power,
Mask. I humbly would petition
Enter Lord and Lady Touchwood. Lord Touch. Is it for yourself! [MASKWELL puuses.] I'll hear of nought for any body else. Lady Touch. Maskwell your heir, and marry
Mask. Then witness, Heaven, for me, this Cynthia ! wealth and honour was not of my seeking, nor
Lord Touch. I cannot do too much for so would I build my fortune on another's ruin: Imuch merit. had but one desire
Lady Touch. But this is a thing of too great Lord Touch. Thou shalt enjoy it. If all I am moment to be so suddenly resolved. Why Cynworth in wealth or interest can purchase Cynthia ? Why must he be married? Is there not re thia, she is thine. I am sure sir Paul's consent ward enough in raising his low fortune, but he will follow fortune; I will quickly shew him must mix his blood with mine, and wed my which way that is going.
niece? How know you, that my brother will con Mask. You oppress ine with bounty; my gra- sent, or she? nay, he himself, perhaps, may have titude is weak, and shrinks beneath the weight, affections otherwhere. and cannot rise to thank you—what, enjoy my Lord Touch. No, I am convinced he loves Jove! forgive the transports of a blessing so un
her. expected, so unhoped for, so unthought of! Lady Touch, Maskwell love Cynthia ! impos
Lord Touch. I will confirm it, and rejoice with sible ! thee.
(Exit. Lord Touch. I tell you, he confessed it to me. Mask. This is prosperous indeed! why, let Lady Touch. Confusion ! How is this ! him find me out a villain, settled in possession of
Aside. a fair estate, and full fruition of my love; I'll
Lord Touch. His humility long stifled bis pasbear the railings of a losing gamester—but should sion; and his love of Mellefont would have made he find me out before ! 'tis dangerous to delay— him still conceal it: but, by encouragement, I let me think-should my lord proceed to treat wrung the secret from him, and know he is no openly of my marriage with Cynthia, all must be way to be rewarded but in her. I will defer my discovered, and Mellefont can be no longer blind- farther proceedings in it, till you have considered ed. It must not be; nay, should my lady know it: but remember how we are both indebted to it---aye, then were fine work indeed! her fury hịm.
(Exit. would spare nothing, though she involved herself Lady Touch. Both indebted to him! Yes, we in ruin. No, it must be by stratagem--I must are both indebted to him, if you knew all-vildeceive Mellefont once more, and get my lord to lain ! Oh, I am wild with this surprize of treachconsent to my private management. He comes ery: it is impossible; it cannot be-he love Cynopportunely-now will I, in my old way, discover thia! What shall I do? How shall I think? I the whole, real truth of the matter to him, that cannot think-all my designs are lost, my love he may not suspect one word on't.
unsated, my revenge unfinished, and fresh cause
Enter Sın Paul
Sir Paul. Madam, sister, my lady sister, did
you see my lady, my wife? Mel. Oh, Maskwell, what hopes? I am con- Lady Touch. Oh! Torture ! founded in a maze of thoughts, each leading into Sir Paul. Gad's-bud, I cannot find her high another, and all ending in perplexity. My uncle nor low; where can she be, think you? will not see, nor hear me.
Lady Touch. Where she is serving you, as all Mask. No matter, sir; don't trouble your head; your sex ought to be served; making you a beast. all is in my power,
Don't you know, that you are a tool, brother? Mel. How, for Hearen's sake?
Sir Paul. A fool; he, he, he! you are merryMask. Little do you think, that your aunt has no, no, not I; I know no such matter. kept her word—how the devil she wrought my Lady Touch. Why, then, you don't know half lord into this dotage, I know not; but he is gone your happiness. to sic Paul about my marriage with Cynthia, and Sir Paul. That's a jest, with all my heart, faith has appointed me his heir.
and troth—but bark ye, my lord told me someMel. The devil he has ! What's to be done? thing of a revolution of things; I don't know
Mask. I have it, it must be by stratagem; for what to make on't--Gad's-bud, I must consult it is in vain to make applicatiou to him. I think my wife—he talks of disinheriting his nephew, I have that in my head, which cannot fail.- and I don't know what--look you, sister, I must Where is Cynthia?
know what my girl has to trust to; or not a sylMel. In the garden.
lable of a wedding, Gad's-bud--to shew you that Mask. Let us go and consult her: my life for I am not a fool. yours, I cheat my lord.
Lady Touch. Hear me: consent to the break(Ereunt. ing of this marriage, and the promoting any
other, without consulting me, and I will renounce | ly meant for a statesman or a jesuit--but thou all blood, all relation and concern with you for art tou honest for the one, and too pious for ever-nay, I'll be your enemy, and pursue you to the other. destruction; I'll tear your eyes out, and tread Mask. Well, get yourselves ready, and meet you under my feet.
me in half an hour, yonder, in my lady's dressing Sir Paul. Why, what's the matter now? Good room; go by the back-stairs, and so we may slip Lord, what's all this for? Pooh, here's a joke in- down without being observed ---I'll send the deed--why, where's my wife?
chaplain to you with his robes; I have made him Lady Touch. With Careless, in the close ar- my own-and ordered him to meet us to-morrow bour; he may want you by this time, as much as morning at St Alban's; there we will sum up you want her.
this account to all our satisfactions. Sir Paul. Oh, if she be with Mr Careless, 'tis Mel. Should I begin to thank or praise thee, well enough.
I should waste the little time we have. Lady Touch. Fool, sot, insensible ox! but re
[Exit MEL. member what I said to you, or you had better Mask. Madam, you will be ready. eat your own horos; by this light, you had.
Cyn. I will be punctual to the minute. Sir Paul. You are a passionate woman, Gad's
[Going. bud-but, to say truth, all our family are choleric; Mask. Stay, I have a doubt-Upon second I am the only peaceable person amongst them. thoughts, we had better meet in the chaplain's
[Exeunt. chamber here, the corner chamber at this end
of the gallery; there is a back way into it, se Enter MELLEFONT, MASKWELL, and CYNTHIA. that you need not come through this door
Mel. I know no other way but this he has and a pair of private stairs leading down to the proposed; if you have love enough to run the stables-It will be more convenient.
Cyn. I am guided by you—but Mellefont will Cyn. I don't know whether I have love mistake. enough--but I find I have obstinacy enough, to Mask. No, no, I'll after him immediately, and pursue whatever I have once resolved; and a tell him. true female courage to oppose any thing that re- Cyn. I will not fail.
[Erit. sists my will, though it were reason itself,
Musk. Why, qui vult decipi decipiatur. 'Tis Mask. That's right--well, I'll secure the wri- no fault of mine. I have told them in plain terms tings, and run the hazard along with you. how easy it is for me to cheat them; and if they
Cyn. But how can the coach and six horses be will not hear the serpent's hiss, they must be get ready without suspicion?
stung into experience and future cautionMask. Leave it to my care; that shall be so Now to prepare my lord lo consent to this far froin being suspected, that it shall be got rea- But first I must instruct my little Levite; there dy by my lord's own order.
is no plot, public or private, that can expect to Mel. How?
prosper without one of them has a finger in it; Mask. Why, I intend to tell my lord the whole he promised me to be within at this hour, Mr matter of our contrivance; that's my way. Saygrace, Mr Saygrace ! Mel. I do not understand you.
[Goes to the chamber door, and knocks. Mask. Why, l'll tell my lord I laid this plot [Mr SAYGRACE looking out.] Sweet sir, I will with you, on purpose to betray you; and that, but pen the last line of an acrostic, and be with which put me upon it, was the finding it impos- you in the twinkling of an ejaculation, in the prosible to gain the lady any other way, but in the nouncing of an Amen, or before you canhopes of her marrying you.
Mask. Nay, good Mr Saygrace, do not proMel. So.
long the time by describing to me the shortness Mask. So, why so, while you are busied in of your stay; rather, if you please, defer the fimaking yourself ready, 11 wheedle her into the nishing of your wit, and let us talk about our coach; and, instead of you, borrow my lord's business; it shall be tithes in your way. chaplain, and so run away with her myself. Mel. Oh, I conceive you, you'll tell him so.
Enter SAYGRACE. Mask. Tell him so ! Aye; why, you don't Say. You shall prevail; I would break off in think I mean to do so?
the middle of a serinon to do you a pleasure. Mel. No, no; ha, ha! I dare swear thou wilt Mask. You could not do me a greater-pot.
-the business in handMask. Therefore, for our farther security, I provided a habit for Mellefont? would have you disguised like a parson, that if Say. I have; they are ready in my chamber, my lord should have curiosity to peep, he may together with a clean starched band and cuffs. not discover you in the coach, but think the cheat Mask. Good : let them be carried to himis carried on as he would have it.
Have you stitched the gown-sleeve, that he may Mel
. Excellent Maskwell! thou wert certain be puzzled, and waste time in putting it on?
Have you govern them.
Say. I have ; the gown will not be indued
Enter MELLEFONT. without perplexity.
Did Maskwell tell you any thing of the Mask. Meet me in half an hour, here, in your
chaplain's chamber? own chamber. When Cynthia comes, let there be no light; and do not speak, that she may not things are all in my chamber; I want nothing
Mel. No: my dear, will you get ready?-The distinguish you from Mellefont. I'll urge haste but the habit. to excuse your silence.
Care. You are betrayed, and Maskwell is the Say. You have no more commands?
villain I always thought him. Mask. None, your text is short.
Cyn. When you were gone, he said his mind Say. But pithy, and I will handle it with dis
was changed, and bid me ineet hin in the chapcretion.
lain's room, pretending immediately to follow Mask. It will be the first you have so served.
you, and give you notice. [Exeunt.
Care. There's Saygrace tripping by, with a SCENE II.
bundle under his arm-He cannot be ignorant
that Maskwell means to use his chamber; let's Enter Lord Touchwood and MASKWELL.
follow and examine him. Lord Touch. Sure I was born to be controuled Mel. "Tis loss of time- -I cannot think him by those I should command : my very slaves will false.
[Ereunt Mel. and Care. shortly give me rules how I shali
Enter Lord Touchwood. Mask. I am concerned to see your lordship discomposed
Cyn. My lord musing! Lord Touch. Have you seen my wife lately,
Lord Touch. He has a quick invention, if this or disobliged her?
were suddenly designed-Yet he says he had Mask. No, my lord- -What can this mean? prepared my chaplain already.
Cyn. How is this! Now I fear, indeed. Lord Touch. Then Mellefont has urged some
Lord Touch. Cynthia here! Alone, fair cousin, body to incense her—Something she has heard and melancholy? of you, which carries her beyond the bounds of
Cyn. Your lordship was thoughtful. patience.
Lord Touch. My thoughts were ou serious buMask. This I feared. [Aside.] Did not your
siness, not worth your hearing. lordship tell her of the honours you designed
Cyn. Mine were on treachery concerning you, me?
be worth your hearing. Lord Touch. Yes.
Lord Touch. Treachery concerning me! Pray, Musk. 'Tis that; you know my lady has a
be plain--Hark! What noise ! high spirit; she thinks I am unworthy.
Mask. (Within. Will you not hear me? Lord Touch. Unworthy ! 'Tis an ignorant pride
Lady Touch. [Within. No, monster ! Traiin her to think so
-Honesty to me is true nobi- tor! No! lity. However, 'tis my will it shall be so, and
Cyn. My lady and Maskwell! This may be that should be convincing to her as much as rea- lucky—My lord, let me entreat you to stand beson- By Heaven, I'll not be wife-ridden !- hind this screen, and listen; perhaps this chance Were it possible, it should be done this night. may give you proof of what you never could have Mask. By Heaven! he meets my wishes. ( Aside.]
believed from my suspicions. Few things are impossible to willing minds. Lord Touch. Instruct me how this may be
Enter Lady Touchwood, with a dagger, and
MaskweLL: CYNTHIA and Lord Touchdone; you shall see I want no inclination. Mask. I had laid a small design for to-morrow
wood abscond, listening. (as love will be inventing) which I thought to
Lady Touch. You want but leisure to invent communicate to your lordship—But it may be fresh falschood, and sooth me to a fond belief as well done to-night.
of all your fictions; but I will stab the lie, that's Lord Touch. Here is company- -Come this forming in your heart, and save a sin in pity to way, and tell me.
[Ereunt. your soul.
Musk. Strike then-since you will have it so Enter CARELESS and CYNTHIA,
Lady Touch. Ha! a steady villain to the last ! Care. Is not that he, now gone out with my
Musk. Come, why do you dally with me thus? lord ?
Lady Touch. Thy' stubborn teinper shocks me, Cyn. Yes.
and you knew it would — This is cunning all, Care. By Heaven! there's treachery.--The and not courage; no, I know thee well - But confusion ihat I saw your father in, my lady thou shalt miss thy aim. Touchwood's passion, with what imperfectly I
Mask. Ha, ha, ha! overheard between my lord and her, confirın mc
Lady Touch. Ila! Do you mock my rage? in my tears. "Where's Mellefont?
Then this shall punish your fond, rash attempt ! Cyn. Here he comes.
[Goes to strike,
And such a smile as speaks in ambiguity! your desires. His case is desperate, and, I beTen thousand meanings lurk in each corner of lieve, he will yield to any condition—If not, that various face.
here, take this; you may employ it better than 0! that they were written in thy heart,
in the heart of one who is nothing, when not That I, with this, might lay thee open to my sight! yours.
(Gives the dugger. But then 'twill be too late to know
Lady Touch. Thou canst deceive every body--Thou hast, thou hast found the only way to turn Nay, thou hast deceived me; but it is as I would my rage; too well thou knowest my jealous soul wish-Trusty villain! I could worship thee. could never bear uncertainty. Speak, then, and Mask. No more-It wants but a few min tell me - Yet are you silent? Oh, I am wilder- nutes of the tiine; and Mellefont's love will cared in all passions ! But thus my anger melts-ry bim there before his hour. (Weeps.] Here, take this poniard, for my very Lady Touch. I go, I fly, incomparable Maskspirits faint, and I want strength to hold it; thou well!
[Erit. hast disarmed my soul. (Gives the dagger. Mask. So! this was a pinch indeed ; my inven
Lord Touch. Amazement shakes me-Where tion was upon the rack, ar made discovery of will this end?
her last plot : I hope Cynthia and my chaplain Mask. So, 'tis well— let your wild fury have will be ready. I will prepare for the expedition. a vent, and when you have temper, tell me.
[Erit. Lady Touch. Now, now, now I am calm, and can hear you.
Cyntia and Lord Touchwood come.
forward. Mask. (Aside) Thanks, my invention : and Cyn. Now, my
lord ! Dow I have it for you—-First tell me, what Lord Touch. Astonishment binds up my rage! urged you to this violence? For your passion Villainy upon villainy! Heavens, what a long broke out in such imperfect terms, that yet I am track of dark deceit has this discovered! I am to learn the cause.
confounded when I look back, and want a clue to Lady Touch. My lord himself surprised me guide me through the various mazes of unbeard-of with the news, you were to marry Cynthia —That treachery. My wife! Damnation! My hell! you had owned your love to hini, and his indul- Cyn. My lord, have patience, and be sensible gence would assist you to attain your ends. how great our happiness is, that this discovery Cyn. How, my lord !
was not made too late. Lord Touch. Pray forbear all resentments for Lord Touch. I thank you, yet it may be still awhile, and let us hear the rest.
too late, if we don't presently prevent the execuMask. I grant you, in appearance all is true; tion of their plots Ha! I'll do it. Where is I seemed consenting to my lord; nay, transport- Mellefont, my poor injured nephew? Ilow shall ed with the blessing— But could you think that I make him ample satisfaction ? 1, who had been happy in your loved embraces, Cyn. I dare answer for him. could e'er be fond of inferior slavery?
Lord Touch. I do him fresh wrong to question Cyn. Nay, good my lord, forbear resentment, his forgiveness, for I know him to be all goodlet us hear it out.
-Yet my wife! Damn her!-She'll think Lord Touch. Yes, I will contain, though I could to meet him in that dressing-room—Was it not burst.
(Aside. so! And Maskwell will expect you in the chapMask. I, that had wantoned in the rich circle lain's chamber-For once l'il add my plot tooof your world of love, could be confined within let us hasten to find out, and inform my nephew; the puny province of a girl? No-Yet, though and do you, quickly as you can, bring all the comI dote on each last favour more than all the rest, pany into this gallery. I'll expose the strumpet though I would give a limb for every look you and the villain.
[Exeunt. cheaply throw away on any other object of your love; yet so far I prize your pleasures over my
SCENE II. own, that all this seeming plot that I have laid, has been to gratify your taste, and cheat the
Enter LORD Froth and Sir PAUL, world, to prove a faithful rogue to you. Lady Touch. If this were true
-But how can Lord Froth. By Heavens! I have slept an age it be?
-Sir Paul, what o'clock is it? Past eight! On Mask. I have so contrived, that Mellefont will my conscience, my lady's is the most inviting presently, in the chaplain's habit, wait for Cynthia couch, and a slumber there is the prettiest amusein your dressing-rooin: but I have put the changement ! But where is all the company? upon her, that she may be otherwhere employed. Sir Paul, The company! Gadis bud, I don't Do you procure her night-gown, and, with your know, my lord; but here's the strangest revoluhood tied over your face, incet him in her stead; tion, all turned topsy-turvy, as I hope for Proviyou may go privately by the back-stairs, and, un-dence. perceived, there you may propose to reinstate Lord Froth, O Heavens! What's the matter? him in his uncle's favour, 'if' he will comply with Where is my wife? Vol. II.