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Lest the poor things should roam and prove un One mode there is in which both climes agree true,
I scarce can tell—'mongst friends then let it beThey all are crippled in the tiny shoe,
- The creatures love to cheat as well as we. A hopeful scheme to keep a wife from madding! But bless my wits ! I've quite forgot the bard - We pinch our feet, and yet are ever gadding.. A civil soul!- By me he sends this card Then they've no cards, no routs, ne'er take their Present respects ---to every lady herefling,
Hopes for the honour-of a single tear. And pin money is an unheard of thing!
The critics then will throw their dirt in vain, Then how d'ye think they write--You'll ne'er One drop from you will wash out every stain. divine
Acquaints you-(now the man is past his fnght) From top to bottom down in one straight line. He holds his rout-and here he keeps his night.
[Mimics. Assures you all a welcome, kind and hearty, We ladies, when our flames we cannot smother, The ladies shall play crowns and there's the Write letters—from one corner to another.
shilling party. Mimics.
(Points to the upper gallery.
THE PROVOKED HUSBAND:
A JOURNEY TO LONDON:
IN FIVE ACTS.
BY SIR JOHN VANBRUGH AND C. CIBBER, Esq.
In which the bold compiler boasts no merit, This play took birth from principles of truth,
But that his pains have saved your scenes of spirit: To make amends for errors past of youth.
Not scenes that would a noisy joy impart,
But such as hush the mind, and warm the heart A bard that's now no more, in riper days, Conscious, review'd the license of his plays:
From praise of hands, no sure account he draws, And though applause his wanton muse had fired, if then (for hard you'll own the task) his art
But fix'd attention is sincere applause :
Can to these embryon-scenes new life impart, Not only what you are, but ought to be;
And to the buried bard resigns the praise.
SCENE 1.—Lord TownLy's Apartment.
has not broke in upon ?-Yes, let me do her jus Lady T. Don't let it be long a coming then tice-her reputation-that-1 have no reason to for I am in haste. believe is in question—But then how long her Lord T. Majam, when I am serious, I expect profligate course of pleasures may make her able a serious answer. to keep it, is a shocking question and her pre Lady T. Before I know the question ? sumption while she keeps it-insupportable! for Lord T. Pshaw-Have I power, Madam, on the pride of that single virtue she seems to lay to make you serious by entreaty ? it down as a fundamental point, that the free in Lady T. You have. dulgence of every other více this fertile town af Lord T. And you promise to answer me sinfords, is the birth-right prerogative of a woman cerely, of quali y
-Amazing! that a creature so warm Lady T. Sincerely. in the pursuit of her pleasures, should never cast Lord T. Now then recollect your thoughts, and one thought towards her happiness, - Thus, tell me seriously why you married me? while she admits of no lover, she thinks it a Lady T. You insist upon truth, you say? greater merit still, in her chastity, not to care for Lord T. I think I have a right to it. her husband; and while she herself is solacing in Lady T. Why, then, my lord, to give you at one continual round of cards and good company, once a proof of my obedience and sincerity-I he, poor wretch, is left at large, to take care of his think-I married-to take off that restraint that own contentment—'Tis time, indeed, some care lay upon my pleasures while I was a single were taken, and speedily there shall be-Yet, let woman. me not be rash-Perhaps, this disappointinent of Lord T. How, Madam! is any woman under my heart may make me too impatient; and some less restraint after marriage than before it? tempers, when reproached, grow more untracta Lady T. Oh, my lord, my lord ! they are quite ble-Here she coines—Let me be calm awhile. different creatures! Wives have infinite liberties
in life, that would be terrible in an unmarrie! Enter LADY TOWNlY.
woman to take.
Lord T. Name one. Going out so soon after dinner, Madam?
Lady T. Fifty if you please-To begin then Lady T. Lard, my lord! what can I possibly –in the morning--A married woman may have do at home?
men at her toilet; invite them to dinner; appoint Lord T. What does my sister, Lady Grace, them a party in the stage box at the play; engress do at home?
the conversation there; call them by their Chris Lady T. Why, that is to me amazing! Have tian names; talk louder than the players; from you ever any pleasure at home ?
thence jaunt into the city; take a frolicsome sup Lord T. It might be in your power, Madam, per at an India-House ; perhaps, in her gaiete de I confess, to make it a little more comfortable cæur, toast a pretty fellow; then clatter again to
this end of the town; break with the morning, Lady T. Comfortable! and so, my good lord, into an assembly; crowd to the hazard-table; you would really have a woman of my rank and throw a familiar lerant upon some sharp, lurching spirit stay at home to comfort her husband. Lord, man of quality, and if he demands his noney, what notions of life some men have!
turn it off with a loud laugh, and cry-you'll one Lord T. Don't you think, Madam, some la- it him, to vex him, ha, ha! dies' notions are full as extravagant ?
Lord T. Prodigious.
Aside. Lady T. Yes, my lord, when the tame doves Lady T. These now, my lord, are some few live cooped within the pen of your precepts, I do of the many modish amusements that distinguisb think 'em prodigious indeed.
the privilege of a wife from that of a single wa Lord T. And when they fly wild about this man. town, Madam, pray what must the world think Lord T. Death, Madam! what law has made of 'em then ?
these liberties less scandalous in a wife, than in Lady T. Oh, this world is not so ill-bred as to an unmarried woman ? quarrel with any woman for liking it!
Lady T. Why the strongest law in the world, Lord T. Nor am I, Madam, a husband so well-custom-custom time out of mind, my lord. bred as to bear my wife's being so fond of it; in Lord T. Custom, Madam, is the law of fools; short, the life you lead, Madam
but it shall never govern me. Lady T. Is to me the pleasantest life in the Lady T. Nay, then, my lord, 'tis time for me world.
to observe the laws of prudence. Lord T. I should not dispute your taste, Ma Lord T. I wish I could see an instance of it. dam, if a woman had a right to please nobody Lady T. You shall have one this moment, my but herself.
lord; for I think when a man begins to lose his Lady T. Why, whom would you have her temper at home, if a woman has any prudence, please?
why-she'll go abroad till he comes to inn:self Lord T. Sometimes her husband.
[Guing: Lady T. And don't you think a husband un Lord T. Hold, Madam-l am amazed you der the same obligation ?
are not more uneasy at the life you lead. You Lord T. Certainly.
don't want sense, and yet seem void of all huLady T. Why, then, we are agreed, my lord- manity; for, with a blush I say it, I think I have For if i never go abroad, till I am weary of being not wanted love. at home—which you know is the case-is it not Lady T. Oh, don't say that, my lord, if you equally reasonable, not to come home till one is suppose I have my senses. weary of being abroad?
Lord T. What is it I have done to you? What Lord T. If this be your rule of life, Madam, can you complain of? 'tis "me to ask you one serious question.
Lady T. Oh, nothing in the least ! 'Tis true,
I thank you
you have heard me say, I have owed my Lord Lord T. They did not deny me? Lurcher a hundred pounds these three weeks Sero. No, my lord. but what then-a husband is not liable to his Lord T. Very well; step up to my sister, and wife's debts of honour, you know-and if a silly say, I desire to speak with her. woman will be uneasy about money she can't be Serp. Lady Grace is here, my lord. sued for, what is that to him? As long as he loves
[Erit SERV. her, to be sure, she can have nothing to complain of. Lord T. By Heaven, if my whole fortune
Enter LADY GRACE. thrown into your lay, could make you delight in the cheerful duties of a wife, I should think my
Lord T. So lady fair: what pretty weapon self a gainer by the purchase.
have you been killing your time with ?" Lady T. That is, my lord, I might receive Lady G. A huge folio, that has almost killed your whole estate, provided you were sure I would me, I think I have read half my eyes out. not spend a shilling of it.
Lord T. Oh! you should not pore so much Lord T. No, Madam; were I master of your just after dinner, child. heart, your pleasures would be mine; but, dif Lady G. That's true; but any body's thoughts ferent as they are, I'll feed even your follies, to are betier always than one's own, you know. deserve it - Perhaps you may have some other Lord T. Who's there? trifling debts of honour abroad, that keep you out of humour at home at least it shall not be my
Enter SERVANT. fault if I have not more of your company - there, there's a bill of five hundred--and now, Madam- Leave word at the door, I am at home to nobody Lady T. And now, my lord, down to the ground but Mr. Manly.
[Exit SERV. Now I am convinced, were I Lady G. And why is he expected, pray, my weak enough to love this man, I should never get lord ? a single guinea from him.
(Aside. Lord T. I hope, Madam, you have no objection Lord T. If it be no offence, Madam
to his company? Lady T. Say what you please, my lord; I am Lady G. Your particular orders, upon my be. in tbat harmony of spirits it is impossible to put ing here, look, indeed, as if you thought I had me out of humour.
not. Lord T. How long, in reason then, do you Lord T. And your ladyship’s inquiry into the think that sum ought to last you ?
reason of those orders, shows, at least, it was not Lady T. Oh, my dear, dear lord ! now you a matter indifferent to you. have spoiled all again : how is it possible I should Lady G. Lord, you make the oddest construcanswer for an event that so utterly depends upon tions, brother ! fortune? But to show you that I am more in Lord T. Look you, my grave Lady Grace-in clined to get money than to throw it away-I one serious word—I wish you had him. have a strong prepossession, that with this five Lady G. I can't help that. hundred, I shall win five thousand.
Lord T. Ha! you can't help it; ha, ha! The Lord T. Madam, if you were to win ten thou- fiat simplicity of that reply was admirable. sand, it would be no satisfaction to me.
Lady G. Pooh, you tease one, brother! Lady T. Oh, the churl! ten thousand! what Lord T. Come, I beg pardon, child-this is not not so much as wish I might win ten thousand ! a point, I grant you, to trifle upon; therefore, I -Ten thousand! Oh, the charming sum! what hope you'll give me leave to be serious. infinite pretty things might a woman of spirit do Lady G. If you desire it, brother; though, with ten thousand guineas! O’my conscience, if upon my word, as to Mr. Manly's having any she were a woman of true spirit-she-she might serious thoughts of me-I know nothing of it. lose them all again.
Lord T. Well there's nothing wrong in Lord T. And I had rather it should be so, your making a doubt of it. But, in short, I find, Madam, provided I could be sure that were the by his conversation of late, that he has been look last you would lose.
ing round the world for a wife; and if you were Lady T. Well, my lord, to let you see I design to look round the world for a husband, he is the to play all the good house-wife I can; I am now first man I would give to you. going to a party at quadrille, only to piddle with Lady G. Then, whenever he makes me any a little of it, at poor two guineas a fish, with the offer, brother, I will certainly tell you of it. Dutchess of Quiteright.
[Erit. Lord T. Oh! that's the last thing he'll do; Lord T. Insensible creature! neither reproach- he'll never make you an offer, till he's pretty es or indulgence, kindness or severity, can wake sure it wont be refused. her to the least reflection! Continual license has Lady G. Now you make me curious. Pray, did lulled her into such a lethargy of care, that she he ever make any offer of that kind to you? speaks of her excesses with the same easy confi Lord T. Not directly; but that imports nothing: dence, as if they were so many virtues. What a he is a man too well acquainted with the female turn has her head taken!-But how to cure it-1 world to be brought into a high opinion of any am afraid the physic must be strong that reaches one woman, without some well-examined proof of her-Lenitives, i see, are to no purpose-take my her merit; yet I have reason to believe, that your friend's opinion-Manly will speak freely—my good sense, your turn of mind, and your way of sister with tenderness to both sides. They know life, have brought him to so favourable a one of you, my case-I'll talk with them.
that a few days will reduce him to talk plainly to Enter a SERVANT.
me; which as yet, notwithstanding our friendship,
I have neither declined nor encouraged him to. Sero. Mr. Manly, my lord, has sent to know if Lady G. I am mighty glad we are so near in your lordship was at home.
our way of thinking; for, to tell you the truth he Voir II....4 H
is much upon the same terms with me: you know stand up for the privilege of your zer. This is he has a satirical turn; but never lashes any folly, like to be a warm debate. I shall edify. without giving due encomiums to its opposite vir- Man. Madam, I think a wife, after midnight, tue: and, upon such occasions, he is sometimes has no occasion to be in better company than her particular, in turning his compliments upon me, husband's; and that frequent unreasonable hours which I don't receive with any reserve, lest he make the best company--the worst she can fall into. should imagine I take them to myself.
Lady G. But if people of condition are to keep Lord T. You are right, child; when a man of company with one another, how is it possible to merit makes his addresses, good sense may give be done, unless one conforms to their hours ? him an answer, without scorn or coquetry.
Man. I can't find that any woman's good breedLady G. Hush! he's here
ing obliges her to conform to other people's vices.
Lord T. I doubt, child, here we are got a little Enter MR. MANLY.
on the wrong side of the question.
Lady G. Why so, my lord ? I can't think the Man. My lord, your most obedient.
case so bad as Mr. Manly states it-People of Lord T. Dear Manly, yours- I was think- quality are not tied down to the rules of those who ing to send to you.
have their fortunes to make. Man. Then, I am glad I am here, my lord- Man. No people, Madam, are above being tied Lady Grace, I kiss your hand-What, only you down to some rules, that have fortunes to lose. two! How many visits may a man make, before Lady G. Pooh! I'm sure, if you were to take he falls into such unfashionable company? A bro my side of the argument, you would be able to say ther and sister soberly sitting at home, when the something more for it. whole town is a gadding! | question if there is Lord T. Well, what say you to that, Manly ? so particular a tete-a-tete again, in the whole Man. Why, troth, my lord, I have something parish of St. James's.
Lady G. Fy, fy, Mr. Manly! now censorious Lady G. Ay! that I should be glad to hear you are !
Man. I bad not made the reflection, Madam; Lord T. Out with it. but that I saw you an exception to it—Where's Man. Then, in one word, this, my lord—I my lady?
have often thought that the misconduct of my Lord T. That, I believe, is impossible to guess. lady has, in a great measure been owing to your Man. Then I wont try, my lord
lordship's treatment of her Lord T. But, 'tis probable I may hear of her, by Lady G. Bless me! that time I have been four or five hours in bed. Lord T. My treatment !
Man. Now, if that were my case– I believe I Man. Ay, my lord, you so idolized her before -But I beg pardon, my lord.
marriage, that you even indulged her like a misLord T. Indeed, Sir, you shall not : you will tress after it: in short, you continued the lover, oblige me if you speak out; for it was upon this when you should have taken up the husband. head I wanted to see you.
Lady G. Oh, frightful! this is worse than Man. Why, then, my lord, since you oblige t'other; can a husband love a wife too well ? me to proceed—if that were my case—1 believe I Man. As easy, Madam, as a wife may love her should certainly sleep in another house.
husband too little. Lady G. How do you mean?
Lord T. So; you two are never like to agree, Man. Only a compliment, Madam,
I find. Lady G. A compliment !
Lady G. Don't be positive, brother, I am Man. Yes, Madam, in rather turning myself afraid we are both of a mind already: (Aside.) out of doors than her!
i And do you, at this rate, ever hope to be married, Lady G. Don't you think that would be going Mr. Manly? too far?
Man. Never, Madam, till I can meet with a Man. I don't know but it might, Madam; for, woman that likes my doctrine. in strict justice, I think she ought rather to go Lady G. 'Tis pity but your mistress should than I.
hear it. Lady G. This is new doctrine, Mr. Manly. Man. Pity me, Madam, when I marry the wo Man. As old, Madam, as love, honour, and obey. man that won't hear it. When a woman will stop at nothing that 's wrong, Lady G. I think, at least, he can't say that 's why should a man balance any thing that's right? me.
(Aside. Lady G. Bless me! but this is fomenting Man. And so, my lord, by giving her more things
power than was needful, she has known where Man. Fomentations, Madam, are sometimes she wants it; having such entire possession of necessary to dispel tumours: though I do not di- you, she is not mistress of herself. And, mercy rectly advise my lord to do this—This is only on us! how many fine women's heads have been what, upon the same provocation, I would do my- turned upon the same occasion ! self.
Lord T. Oh, Manly, 'tis too true! there's the Lady G. Ay, ay, you would do! Bachelors' source of my disquiet : she knows, and has abused wives, indeed, are finely governed.
her power: nay, I am still so weak, (with sbame Man. If the married men's were as well—I am I speak it) 'tis not an hour ago, that in the midst apt to think we should not see so many mutual of my impatience, I gave her another bill for five plagues taking the air in separate coaches. hundred io throw away.
Lady G. Well, but suppose it your own case; Man. Well, my lord, to let you see I am some would you part with your wife, because she now times upon the side of good-nature, I wont ab and then stays out in the best company. solutely blame you ; for the greater your indulgence
Lord T. Well said, Lady Grace ! Come, the more you have to reproach her with.