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Coach. The same good man that he ever was. Gard. Whurra!

Sir Geo. Vellum, thou hast done me much service to-day. I know thou lovest Abigail; but she's disappointed in a fortune. I'll make it up to both of you. I'll give thee a thousand pounds with her. It is not fit there should be one sad heart in my house to-night.

Abi. Mr Vellum, you are a well-spoken man : pray, do you thank my master and my lady.

Sir Geo. Vellum, I hope you are not displeased with the gift I make you? Vel. The gift is two-fold. I receive from you

A virtuous partner, and a portion, too;
For which, in humble wise, I thank the

donours :
And so we bid good-night to both your
honours,

(Ereunt omges.

A BOLD STROKE FOR A WIFE.

BY

MRS CENTLIVRE.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.

MR SACKBUT, a vintner:
COLONEL FAINWELL, in love with Mrs Lovely.
Sir Puilip MODELOVE, an old beau.

WOMEN.
PERIWINKLE, a kind of silly virtuoso.

Mrs LOVELY, a fortune of thirty thousand TRADELOVE, a change broker.

pounds. Obadian Prim, a quaker hosier.

Mrs Prim, wife to Prom the hosier. FREEMAN, the colonel's friend, a merchant. BETTY, servant to Mrs LOVELY. Simon Pure, a quaking preacher.

Scene London.

ACT 1.

SCENE I.-A tavern.

why, she is the talk and pity of the whole town;

and it is the opinion of the learned, that she must COLONEL FAIXWELL and FREEMAN over

die a maid. a bottle.

Col. Say you so ? That's somewhat odd, in this Free. Come, colonel, his majesty's health. You charitable city. She's a woman, I hope? are as melancholy as if you were in love! I wish Free. For aught I know—but it had been as some of the beauties of Bath han't snapt your well for her, had nature made her any other part heart.

of the creation. The man who keeps this house Col. Why, faith, Freeman, there is something served her father; he is a very honest fellow, in't; I have seen a lady at Bath, who has kindled and may be of use to you; we'll send for him to such a flame in me, that all the waters there can't take a glass with us : he'll give you her whole quench.

history, and 'tis worth your hearing. Free. Women, like some poisonous animals, (ol. But may one trust him? carry their antidote about them-Is she not to Free. With your life: I have obligations be had, colonel !

enough upon him to make him do any thing: I Col. That's a difficult question to answer; how- serve him with wine.

[Knocks. ever, I resolve to try : perhaps you may be able Col. Nay, I know him very well myself. I to serve me; you merchants know one another. once used to frequent a club that was kept here. The lady told me herself she was under the charge of four persons.

Enter Drawer.
Free. Odso! 'tis Mrs Anne Lovely.
Col. The same- Do you know her?

Draw. Gentlemen, d'ye call? Free. Know her! ay-Faith, colonel, your Free. Ay; send up your master. condition is more desperate than you imagine: Draw. Yes, sir.

[Erit.

serve

Col. Do

you

know any of this lady's guardians, she might be sure never to do so, he left her Freeman ?

in the care of four men, as opposite to each Free. Yes, I know two of them very well. other as the four elements; each has his quarter

ly rule, and three months in a year she is obliged

to be subject to each of their humours, and they Enter SACKBUT.

are pretty different, I assure you. She is just Here comes one will give you an account of come from Bath. them all. Mr Sackbut, we sent for you to take Col. 'Twas there I saw her. a glass with us. 'Tis a maxim among the friends Sack. Aye, sir; the last quarter was her beau of the bottle, that as long as the master is in guardian's. She appears in all public places ducompany, one may be sure of good wine.

ring his reign. Sack. Sir, you shall be sure to have as good Col. She visited a lady who hoarded in the wine as you send in. Colonel, your most hum- same house with me: I liked her person, and ble servant; you are welcome to town.

found an opportunity to tell her so. She repliCol. I thank you, Mr Sackbut.

ed, she had no objection to mine; but if I could Sack. I am as glad to see you as I should a not reconcile contradictions, I must not think of hundred tun of French claret, custom free. My ber; for that she was condemned to the caprice service to you, sir. [Drinks.) You don't look of four persons, who never yet agreed in any one so merry as you used to do; arn't you well, cothing, and she was obliged to please them all. lonel ?

Sack. 'Tis most true, sir; I'll give you a short Free. He has got a woman in his head, land- description of the men, and leave you to judge lord; can you help him?

of the poor lady's condition. One is a kind of Sack. If 'tis in my power, I shan't scruple to virtuoso; a silly, half-witted fellow, but positive my friend.

and surly, fond of every thing antique and foCol. Tis one perquisite of your calling. reign, and wears his clothes of the fashion of the

Sack. Aye, at t'other end of the town, where last century; doats upon travellers, and believes you officers use, women are good forcers of more of sir John Mandeville than he does of the trade; a well-customed house, a handsome bar- Bible. keeper, with clean, obliging drawers, soon get the Col. That must be a rare odd fellow! master an estate; but our citizens seldom do Sack. Another is a 'Change-broker; a fellow any thing but cheat within the walls. But as that will out-lye the devil for the advantage of to the lady, colonel; point you at particulars? or stock, and cheat his father that got him, in a have you a good Champagne stomach? Are you bargain : he is a great stickler for trade, and in full pay, or reduced, colonel?

hates every man that wears a sword. Col. Reduced, reduced, landlord.

Free. He is a great admirer of the Dutch maFree. To the miserable condition of a lover! nagement, and swears they understand trade

Sack. Pish! that's preferable to half-pay; a better than any nation under the sun. woman's resolution may break before the peace : Sack. The third is an old beau, that has May push her home, colonel ; there's no parlying with in his fancy and dress, but December in his face the fair sex.

and his heels : he admires all the new fashions, Col. Were the lady her own mistress, I have and those must be French; loves operas, balls, some reasons to believe I should soon command masquerades, and is always the most tawdry of in chief.

the whole company on a birth-day. Free. You know Mrs Lovely, Mr Sackbut? Col. These are pretty opposite to one another,

Sack. Know her! Aye, poor Nancy: I have truly; and the fourth, what is he, landlord? carried her to school many a frosty morning.-- Sack. A very rigid quaker, whose quarter be Alas! if she's the woman, I pity you, colonel : gan this day. I saw Mrs Lovely go in, not a her father, my old master, was the most whimsi-bove two hours ago-sir Philip set her down.cal, out-of-the-way tempered man I ever heard What think you now, colonel; is not the poor of, as you will guess by his last will and testa- lady to be pitied?

This was his only child : and I have Col. Aye, and rescued too, landlord. heard him wish her dead a thousand times.

Free. In my opinion, that's impossible. Col. Why so?

Col. There is nothing impossible to a lover.Sack. He hated posterity, you must know, and What would not a man attempt for a fine woman wished the world were to expire with himself.-- and thirty thousand pounds? Besides, my honour He used to swear, if she had been a boy, he is at stake; I promised to deliver her, and she would have qualified him for the opera.

bid me win her and wear her. Free. 'Twas a very unnatural resolution in a Sack. That's fair, faith. father.

Free. If it depended upon knight-errantry, I Suck. He died worth thirty thousand pounds, should not doubt your setting free the damsel; which he left to his daughter, provided she mar- but to have avarice, impertinence, hypocrisy, ried with the consent of her guardians; but that and pride, at once to deal with, requires more

ment.

cunning than generally attends a man of honour. / mind : but here's to your success, colonel. Col. My fancy tells me I shall come off with

Drinks. glory. I am resolved to try, however. Do you Col. 'Tis something out of the way, I confess; kpow all the guardians, Mr Sackbut?

but fortune may chance to smile, and I succeed: Suck. Very well, sir; they all use my house. Come, landlord, let me see those clothes. Free

Col. And will you assist me, if occasion re- man, I shall expect you'll leave word with Mr quires ?

Sack but where one may find you upon occasion; Sack. In every thing I can, colonel.

and send my Indian equipage immediately; d'ye Free. I'll answer for him; and whatever I can hear? serve you in, you may depend on. I know Mr Free. Immediately.

[Erit. Periwinkle and Mr Tradelove; the latter has a Col. Bold was the man who ventured first to very great opinion of my interest abroad. I

sea, happened to have a letter from a correspondent But the first venturing lovers bolder were. two hours before the news arrived of the French | The path of love's a dark and dangerous way, king's death : I communicated it to him: upon Without a landmark, or one friendly star, which he bought all the stock he could, and what | And he that runs the risque deserves the fair. with that, and some wagers he laid, he told me

[Erit. he had got to the tune of five hundred pounds; so that I am much in his good graces.

SCENE II.-PRIM's house. Col. I don't know but you may be of service to me, Freeman.

Enter Mrs Lovely, and her maid Betty. Free. If I can, command me, colonel.

Col. Isn't it possible to find a suit of clothes Bet. Bless me, madam! Why do you fret and ready made at some of these sale-shops fit to rig tease yourself so ? This is giving thera the advanout a beau, think you, Mr Sackbut?

tage, with a witness. Sack. O, hang them-No, colonel; they keep Mrs Love. Must I be condemned all my life nothing ready made that a gentleman would be to the preposterous humours of other people, and seen in: but I can fit you with a suit of clothes, pointed at by every boy in town? On! I could if you'd make a figure—Velvet and gold brocade tear my flesh, and curse the hour I was born

- They were pawned to me by a French count, Isn't it monstrously ridiculous, that they should who had been stript at play, and wanted money desire to impose their quaking dress upon me at to carry him home; he promised to send for them, these years? When I was a child, no matter but I have not heard any thing of him.

what they made me wear; but nowFree. He has not fed upon frogs long enough Bet. I would resolve against it, madam; 'I'd yet to recover his loss; ha, ha!

see them hanged before I'd put on the pinched Col. Ha, ha! Well, the clothes will do, Mr cap again. Sackbut; though we must have three or four fel- 'Mrs Love. Then I must never expect one molows in tawdry liveries: they can be procured, I ment's ease : she has rung such a peal in my ears

already, that I shan't have the right use of them Free. Egad! I have a brother come from the this month. What can I do? West Indies that can match you; and, for expe

Bet. What can you not do, if you will but dition-sake, you shall have his servants: there's a give your mind to it? Marry, madam. black, a tawney-moor, and a Frenchman; they Mrs Love. What! and have

my

fortune don't speak one word of English, so can make no build churches and hospitals ? mistake.

Bet. Why, let it go. If the colonel loves you, Col. Excellent! Egad! I shall look like an as he pretends, he'll marry you without a fortune, Indian prince. First, I'll attack my beau guar- madam; and, I assure you, a colonel's lady is no dian; where lives he?

despicable thing; a colonel's post will maintain Sack. Faith, somewhere about St James; you like a gentlewoman, madam. though, to say in what street, I cannot; but any Mrs Love. So, you would advise me to give chairman will tell you where sir Philip Mode- up my own fortune, and throw myself upon the love lives.

colonel's ? Free. Oh! you'll find him in the Park at ele- Bet. I would advise you to make yourself ven every day; at least, I never pass through at easy, madam. that hour without seeing him there. But what Mrs Love. That's not the way, I'm sure. No, do you intend?

no, girl; there are certain ingredients to be minČol To address him in his own way, and find gled with matrimony, without which I may as what he designs to do with the lady.

well change for the worse as the better. When Free. And what then?

the woman has fortune enough to make the man Col. Nay, that I cannot tell; but I shall take happy, if he has either honour or good manners, my measures accordingly.

he'll make her easy. Love makes but a slovenly Sack. Well, 'us a mad undertaking, in my figure in a house, where poverty keeps the door. VOL. II.

4 F

hope?

go to

Bet. And so you resolve to die a maid, do you, ten times as much-For I'll ingenuously confess madam ?

to thee, that I do like the colonel above all the Mrs Love. Or have it in my power to make men I ever saw: there's something so jantée in a the man I love master of my fortune.

soldier, a kind of je ne sçai quoi air, that makes Bet. Then you don't like the colonel so well them more agreeable than the rest of mankind. as I thought you did, madam, or you would not They command regard, as who shall say, We are take such a resolution.

your defenders.

We preserve your beauties Mrs Love. It is because I do like him, Betty, from the insults of rude and unpolished foes, that I do take such a resolution.

and ought to be preferred before those lazy, inBet. Why, do you expect, madam, the colonel dolent mortals, who, by dropping into their facan work miracles? Is it possible for him to mar- thers' estates, set up their coaches, and think to ry you with the consent of all your guardians ? rattle themselves into our affections.

Mrs Love. Or he must not marry me at all : Bet. Nay, madam, I confess that the army has and so I told him; and he did not seem dis- engrossed all the prettiest fellows—a laced coat pleased with the news. He promised to set me and a feather have irresistible charms. free; and I, on that condition, promised to make Mrs Love. But the colonel has all the beauhim master of that freedom.

ties of the mind, as well as the body. O all ye Bet. Well! I have read of enchanted castles, powers that favour happy lovers, grant that he ladies delivered from the chains of magic, giants may be mine! Thou god of love, if thou be'st killed, and monsters overcome; so that I shall aught but name, assist my Fainwell ! be the less surprised if the colonel should conjure you out of the power of your four guardi

Point all thy darts to aid his just design, ans; if he does, I ain sure he deserves your for

And make his plots as prevalent as thine. tune.

[Ereund MIrs Love. And shall have it, girl, if it were

ACT II.

SCENE I.-The Park.

can deny any thing to so fine a gentleman, madam.

[Takes out his watch. Enter Colonel, finely drest, three Footmen af- Wom. I never mind the outside of a man. ter him.

Col. And I'm afraid thou art 110 judge of the Col. So, now if I can but meet this beau ! inside. Egad! Methinks, I cut a smart figure, and have Sir Phi. I am positively of your mind, sir; for as much of the tawdry air as any Italian count creatures of her function seldom penetrate beor French marquis of them all. Sure, I shall yond the pocket. know this knight again-Ah! Yonder he sits, Wom. Creatures of your composition, have, in making love to a mask, i'faith! I'll walk up the deed, generally more in their pockets, than in Mall, and come down by him.

their heads.

[Aside. [Exit Colonel. Sir Phi. Pray, what says your watch ? mine is down.

(Pulling out his watch. Scene draws, and discovers Sir Philip upon a

Col. I want thirty-six minutes of twelve, sir. bench, with a woman masked.

[Puts up his watch, and takes out his snuffSir Phi. Well, but, my dear, are you really

bor. constant to your keeper?

Sir Phi. May I presume, sir? Wom. Yes, really, sir. Hey-day! Who comes Col. Sir, you honour me. yonder? He cuts a mighty figure.

[Presenting the box Sir Phi. Ha! A stranger, by his equipage Sir Phi. He speaks good English, though he keeping so close at his heels. He has the ap- must be a foreigner -[Aside.]-This snuff is expearance of a man of quality. Positively French, tremely good and the box prodigious fine; the by his dancing air!

work is French, I presume, sir ? Wom. He crosses, as if he meant to sit down Col. I bought it in Paris, sir—I do think the here.

workmanship pretty neat. Sir Phi. He has a mind to make love to thee, Sir Phi. Ncat ! 'tis exquisitely fine, sir. Pray, child.

sir, if I may take the liberty of inquiring—What Enter Colonel, and seats himself upon the country is so happy to claim the birth of the

finest gentleinan in the universe ? France, I prebench by Sir Philip.

sume? Wom. It will be to no purpose, if he does. Col. Then you don't think me an Englishman? Sir Phi. Are you resolved to be cruel, then? Sir Phi. No, upon my soul, don't I. Col. You must be very cruel indeed, if you Col. I'm sorry for’t.

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