Love for Love/Act V
A room in Foresight's house.
ANGELICA and JENNY.
ANG. Where is Sir Sampson? Did you not tell me he would be here before me?
JENNY. He's at the great glass in the dining-room, madam, setting his cravat and wig.
ANG. How! I'm glad on't. If he has a mind I should like him, it's a sign he likes me; and that's more than half my design.
JENNY. I hear him, madam.
ANG. Leave me; and, d'ye hear, if Valentine should come, or send, I am not to be spoken with.
ANGELICA, SIR SAMPSON.
SIR SAMP. I have not been honoured with the commands of a fair lady a great while,--odd, madam, you have revived me,--not since I was five-and-thirty.
ANG. Why, you have no great reason to complain, Sir Sampson, that is not long ago.
SIR SAMP. Zooks, but it is, madam, a very great while: to a man that admires a fine woman as much as I do.
ANG. You're an absolute courtier, Sir Sampson.
SIR SAMP. Not at all, madam,--odsbud, you wrong me,--I am not so old neither, to be a bare courtier, only a man of words. Odd, I have warm blood about me yet, and can serve a lady any way. Come, come, let me tell you, you women think a man old too soon, faith and troth you do. Come, don't despise fifty; odd, fifty, in a hale constitution, is no such contemptible age.
ANG. Fifty a contemptible age! Not at all; a very fashionable age, I think. I assure you, I know very considerable beaus that set a good face upon fifty. Fifty! I have seen fifty in a side box by candle-light out-blossom five-and-twenty.
SIR SAMP. Outsides, outsides; a pize take 'em, mere outsides. Hang your side-box beaus; no, I'm none of those, none of your forced trees, that pretend to blossom in the fall, and bud when they should bring forth fruit: I am of a long-lived race, and inherit vigour; none of my ancestors married till fifty, yet they begot sons and daughters till fourscore: I am of your patriarchs, I, a branch of one of your antedeluvian families, fellows that the flood could not wash away. Well, madam, what are your commands? Has any young rogue affronted you, and shall I cut his throat? Or -
ANG. No, Sir Sampson, I have no quarrel upon my hands. I have more occasion for your conduct than your courage at this time. To tell you the truth, I'm weary of living single and want a husband.
SIR SAMP. Odsbud, and 'tis pity you should. Odd, would she would like me, then I should hamper my young rogues. Odd, would she would; faith and troth she's devilish handsome. [Aside.] Madam, you deserve a good husband, and 'twere pity you should be thrown away upon any of these young idle rogues about the town. Odd, there's ne'er a young fellow worth hanging--that is a very young fellow. Pize on 'em, they never think beforehand of anything; and if they commit matrimony, 'tis as they commit murder, out of a frolic, and are ready to hang themselves, or to be hanged by the law, the next morning. Odso, have a care, madam.
ANG. Therefore I ask your advice, Sir Sampson. I have fortune enough to make any man easy that I can like: if there were such a thing as a young agreeable man, with a reasonable stock of good nature and sense--for I would neither have an absolute wit nor a fool.
SIR SAMP. Odd, you are hard to please, madam: to find a young fellow that is neither a wit in his own eye, nor a fool in the eye of the world, is a very hard task. But, faith and troth, you speak very discreetly; for I hate both a wit and a fool.
ANG. She that marries a fool, Sir Sampson, forfeits the reputation of her honesty or understanding; and she that marries a very witty man is a slave to the severity and insolent conduct of her husband. I should like a man of wit for a lover, because I would have such an one in my power; but I would no more be his wife than his enemy. For his malice is not a more terrible consequence of his aversion than his jealousy is of his love.
SIR SAMP. None of old Foresight's sibyls ever uttered such a truth. Odsbud, you have won my heart; I hate a wit: I had a son that was spoiled among 'em, a good hopeful lad, till he learned to be a wit; and might have risen in the state. But, a pox on't, his wit run him out of his money, and now his poverty has run him out of his wits.
ANG. Sir Sampson, as your friend, I must tell you you are very much abused in that matter: he's no more mad than you are.
SIR SAMP. How, madam! Would I could prove it.
ANG. I can tell you how that may be done. But it is a thing that would make me appear to be too much concerned in your affairs.
SIR SAMP. Odsbud, I believe she likes me. [Aside.] Ah, madam, all my affairs are scarce worthy to be laid at your feet; and I wish, madam, they were in a better posture, that I might make a more becoming offer to a lady of your incomparable beauty and merit. If I had Peru in one hand, and Mexico in t'other, and the Eastern Empire under my feet, it would make me only a more glorious victim to be offered at the shrine of your beauty.
ANG. Bless me, Sir Sampson, what's the matter?
SIR SAMP. Odd, madam, I love you. And if you would take my advice in a husband -
ANG. Hold, hold, Sir Sampson. I asked your advice for a husband, and you are giving me your consent. I was indeed thinking to propose something like it in jest, to satisfy you about Valentine: for if a match were seemingly carried on between you and me, it would oblige him to throw off his disguise of madness, in apprehension of losing me: for you know he has long pretended a passion for me.
SIR SAMP. Gadzooks, a most ingenious contrivance--if we were to go through with it. But why must the match only be seemingly carried on? Odd, let it be a real contract.
ANG. Oh, fie, Sir Sampson, what would the world say?
SIR SAMP. Say? They would say you were a wise woman and I a happy man. Odd, madam, I'll love you as long as I live, and leave you a good jointure when I die.
ANG. Ay; but that is not in your power, Sir Sampson: for when Valentine confesses himself in his senses, he must make over his inheritance to his younger brother.
SIR SAMP. Odd, you're cunning, a wary baggage! Faith and troth, I like you the better. But, I warrant you, I have a proviso in the obligation in favour of myself. Body o' me, I have a trick to turn the settlement upon the issue male of our two bodies begotten. Odsbud, let us find children and I'll find an estate!
ANG. Will you? Well, do you find the estate and leave t'other to me.
SIR SAMP. O rogue! But I'll trust you. And will you consent? Is it a match then?
ANG. Let me consult my lawyer concerning this obligation, and if I find what you propose practicable, I'll give you my answer.
SIR SAMP. With all my heart: come in with me, and I'll lend you the bond. You shall consult your lawyer, and I'll consult a parson. Odzooks, I'm a young man--odzooks, I'm a young man, and I'll make it appear,--odd, you're devilish handsome. Faith and troth, you're very handsome, and I'm very young and very lusty. Odsbud, hussy, you know how to choose, and so do I. Odd, I think we are very well met. Give me your hand, odd, let me kiss it; 'tis as warm and as soft--as what? Odd, as t'other hand--give me t'other hand, and I'll mumble 'em and kiss 'em till they melt in my mouth.
ANG. Hold, Sir Sampson. You're profuse of your vigour before your time. You'll spend your estate before you come to it.
SIR SAMP. No, no, only give you a rent-roll of my possessions. Ah, baggage, I warrant you for little Sampson. Odd, Sampson's a very good name for an able fellow: your Sampsons were strong dogs from the beginning.
ANG. Have a care and don't over-act your part. If you remember, Sampson, the strongest of the name, pulled an old house over his head at last.
SIR SAMP. Say you so, hussy? Come, let's go then; odd, I long to be pulling too; come away. Odso, here's somebody coming.
TATT. Is not that she gone out just now?
JERE. Ay, sir; she's just going to the place of appointment. Ah, sir, if you are not very faithful and close in this business, you'll certainly be the death of a person that has a most extraordinary passion for your honour's service.
TATT. Ay, who's that?
JERE. Even my unworthy self, sir. Sir, I have had an appetite to be fed with your commands a great while; and now, sir, my former master having much troubled the fountain of his understanding, it is a very plausible occasion for me to quench my thirst at the spring of your bounty. I thought I could not recommend myself better to you, sir, than by the delivery of a great beauty and fortune into your arms, whom I have heard you sigh for.
TATT. I'll make thy fortune; say no more. Thou art a pretty fellow, and canst carry a message to a lady, in a pretty soft kind of phrase, and with a good persuading accent.
JERE. Sir, I have the seeds of rhetoric and oratory in my head: I have been at Cambridge.
TATT. Ay; 'tis well enough for a servant to be bred at an university: but the education is a little too pedantic for a gentleman. I hope you are secret in your nature: private, close, ha?
JERE. Oh, sir, for that, sir, 'tis my chief talent: I'm as secret as the head of Nilus.
TATT. Ay? Who's he, though? A privy counsellor?
JERE. O ignorance! [Aside.] A cunning Egyptian, sir, that with his arms would overrun the country, yet nobody could ever find out his head-quarters.
TATT. Close dog! A good whoremaster, I warrant him: --the time draws nigh, Jeremy. Angelica will be veiled like a nun, and I must be hooded like a friar, ha, Jeremy?
JERE. Ay, sir; hooded like a hawk, to seize at first sight upon the quarry. It is the whim of my master's madness to be so dressed, and she is so in love with him she'll comply with anything to please him. Poor lady, I'm sure she'll have reason to pray for me, when she finds what a happy exchange she has made, between a madman and so accomplished a gentleman.
TATT. Ay, faith, so she will, Jeremy: you're a good friend to her, poor creature. I swear I do it hardly so much in consideration of myself as compassion to her.
JERE. 'Tis an act of charity, sir, to save a fine woman with thirty thousand pound from throwing herself away.
TATT. So 'tis, faith; I might have saved several others in my time, but, i'gad, I could never find in my heart to marry anybody before.
JERE. Well, sir, I'll go and tell her my master's coming, and meet you in half a quarter of an hour with your disguise at your own lodgings. You must talk a little madly: she won't distinguish the tone of your voice.
TATT. No, no; let me alone for a counterfeit. I'll be ready for you.
TATTLE, MISS PRUE.
MISS. O Mr Tattle, are you here? I'm glad I have found you; I have been looking up and down for you like anything, till I'm as tired as anything in the world.
TATT. Oh, pox, how shall I get rid of this foolish girl? [Aside.]
MISS. Oh, I have pure news, I can tell you, pure news. I must not marry the seaman now--my father says so. Why won't you be my husband? You say you love me, and you won't be my husband. And I know you may be my husband now, if you please.
TATT. Oh, fie, miss; who told you so, child?
MISS. Why, my father. I told him that you loved me.
TATT. Oh, fie, miss; why did you do so? And who told you so, child?
MISS. Who? Why, you did; did not you?
TATT. Oh, pox, that was yesterday, miss, that was a great while ago, child. I have been asleep since; slept a whole night, and did not so much as dream of the matter.
MISS. Pshaw--oh, but I dreamt that it was so, though.
TATT. Ay, but your father will tell you that dreams come by contraries, child. Oh, fie; what, we must not love one another now. Pshaw, that would be a foolish thing indeed. Fie, fie, you're a woman now, and must think of a new man every morning and forget him every night. No, no, to marry is to be a child again, and play with the same rattle always. Oh, fie, marrying is a paw thing.
MISS. Well, but don't you love me as well as you did last night then?
TATT. No, no, child, you would not have me.
MISS. No? Yes, but I would, though.
TATT. Pshaw, but I tell you you would not. You forget you're a woman and don't know your own mind.
MISS. But here's my father, and he knows my mind.
[To them] FORESIGHT.
FORE. O Mr Tattle, your servant, you are a close man; but methinks your love to my daughter was a secret I might have been trusted with. Or had you a mind to try if I could discover it by my art? Hum, ha! I think there is something in your physiognomy that has a resemblance of her; and the girl is like me.
TATT. And so you would infer that you and I are alike? What does the old prig mean? I'll banter him, and laugh at him, and leave him. [Aside.] I fancy you have a wrong notion of faces.
FORE. How? What? A wrong notion? How so?
TATT. In the way of art: I have some taking features, not obvious to vulgar eyes, that are indications of a sudden turn of good fortune in the lottery of wives, and promise a great beauty and great fortune reserved alone for me, by a private intrigue of destiny, kept secret from the piercing eye of perspicuity, from all astrologers, and the stars themselves.
FORE. How! I will make it appear that what you say is impossible.
TATT. Sir, I beg your pardon, I'm in haste -
FORE. For what?
TATT. To be married, sir, married.
FORE. Ay, but pray take me along with you, sir -
TATT. No, sir; 'tis to be done privately. I never make confidants.
FORE. Well, but my consent, I mean. You won't marry my daughter without my consent?
TATT. Who? I, sir? I'm an absolute stranger to you and your daughter, sir.
FORE. Hey day! What time of the moon is this?
TATT. Very true, sir, and desire to continue so. I have no more love for your daughter than I have likeness of you, and I have a secret in my heart which you would be glad to know and shan't know, and yet you shall know it, too, and be sorry for't afterwards. I'd have you to know, sir, that I am as knowing as the stars, and as secret as the night. And I'm going to be married just now, yet did not know of it half an hour ago; and the lady stays for me, and does not know of it yet. There's a mystery for you: I know you love to untie difficulties. Or, if you can't solve this, stay here a quarter of an hour, and I'll come and explain it to you.
FORESIGHT, MISS PRUE
MISS. O father, why will you let him go? Won't you make him to be my husband?
FORE. Mercy on us, what do these lunacies portend? Alas! he's mad, child, stark wild.
MISS. What, and must not I have e'er a husband, then? What, must I go to bed to nurse again, and be a child as long as she's an old woman? Indeed but I won't. For now my mind is set upon a man, I will have a man some way or other. Oh, methinks I'm sick when I think of a man; and if I can't have one, I would go to sleep all my life: for when I'm awake it makes me wish and long, and I don't know for what. And I'd rather be always asleep than sick with thinking.
FORE. Oh, fearful! I think the girl's influenced too. Hussy, you shall have a rod.
MISS. A fiddle of a rod, I'll have a husband; and if you won't get me one, I'll get one for myself. I'll marry our Robin the butler; he says he loves me, and he's a handsome man, and shall be my husband: I warrant he'll be my husband, and thank me too, for he told me so.
[To them] SCANDAL, MRS FORESIGHT, and NURSE.
FORE. Did he so? I'll dispatch him for't presently. Rogue! O nurse, come hither.
NURSE. What is your worship's pleasure?
FORE. Here, take your young mistress and lock her up presently, till farther orders from me. Not a word, Hussy; do what I bid you, no reply, away. And bid Robin make ready to give an account of his plate and linen, d'ye hear: begone when I bid you.
MRS FORE. What's the matter, husband?
FORE. 'Tis not convenient to tell you now. Mr Scandal, heav'n keep us all in our senses--I fear there is a contagious frenzy abroad. How does Valentine?
SCAN. Oh, I hope he will do well again. I have a message from him to your niece Angelica.
FORE. I think she has not returned since she went abroad with Sir Sampson. Nurse, why are you not gone?
FORESIGHT, SCANDAL, MRS FORESIGHT, BEN.
MRS FORE. Here's Mr Benjamin, he can tell us if his father be come home.
BEN. Who? Father? Ay, he's come home with a vengeance.
MRS FORE. Why, what's the matter?
BEN. Matter! Why, he's mad.
FORE. Mercy on us, I was afraid of this. And there's the handsome young woman, she, as they say, brother Val went mad for, she's mad too, I think.
FORE. Oh, my poor niece, my poor niece, is she gone too? Well, I shall run mad next.
MRS FORE. Well, but how mad? How d'ye mean?
BEN. Nay, I'll give you leave to guess. I'll undertake to make a voyage to Antegoa--no, hold; I mayn't say so, neither. But I'll sail as far as Leghorn and back again before you shall guess at the matter, and do nothing else. Mess, you may take in all the points of the compass, and not hit right.
MRS FORE. Your experiment will take up a little too much time.
BEN. Why, then, I'll tell you; there's a new wedding upon the stocks, and they two are a-going to be married to rights.
BEN. Why, father and--the young woman. I can't hit of her name.
BEN. Ay, the same.
MRS FORE. Sir Sampson and Angelica? Impossible!
BEN. That may be--but I'm sure it is as I tell you.
SCAN. 'Sdeath, it's a jest. I can't believe it.
BEN. Look you, friend, it's nothing to me whether you believe it or no. What I say is true, d'ye see, they are married, or just going to be married, I know not which.
FORE. Well, but they are not mad, that is, not lunatic?
BEN. I don't know what you may call madness. But she's mad for a husband, and he's horn mad, I think, or they'd ne'er make a match together. Here they come.
[To them] SIR SAMPSON, ANGELICA, BUCKRAM.
SIR SAMP. Where is this old soothsayer, this uncle of mine elect? Aha, old Foresight, Uncle Foresight, wish me joy, Uncle Foresight, double joy, both as uncle and astrologer; here's a conjunction that was not foretold in all your Ephemeris. The brightest star in the blue firmament--IS SHOT FROM ABOVE, IN A JELLY OF LOVE, and so forth; and I'm lord of the ascendant. Odd, you're an old fellow, Foresight; uncle, I mean, a very old fellow, Uncle Foresight: and yet you shall live to dance at my wedding; faith and troth, you shall. Odd, we'll have the music of the sphere's for thee, old Lilly, that we will, and thou shalt lead up a dance in Via Lactea.
FORE. I'm thunderstruck! You are not married to my niece?
SIR SAMP. Not absolutely married, uncle; but very near it, within a kiss of the matter, as you see. [Kisses ANGELICA.]
ANG. 'Tis very true, indeed, uncle. I hope you'll be my father, and give me.
SIR SAMP. That he shall, or I'll burn his globes. Body o' me, he shall be thy father, I'll make him thy father, and thou shalt make me a father, and I'll make thee a mother, and we'll beget sons and daughters enough to put the weekly bills out of countenance.
SCAN. Death and hell! Where's Valentine?
SIR SAMPSON, ANGELICA, FORESIGHT, MRS FORESIGHT, BEN, BUCKRAM.
MRS FORE. This is so surprising.
SIR SAMP. How! What does my aunt say? Surprising, aunt? Not at all for a young couple to make a match in winter: not at all. It's a plot to undermine cold weather, and destroy that usurper of a bed called a warming-pan.
MRS FORE. I'm glad to hear you have so much fire in you, Sir Sampson.
BEN. Mess, I fear his fire's little better than tinder; mayhap it will only serve to light up a match for somebody else. The young woman's a handsome young woman, I can't deny it: but, father, if I might be your pilot in this case, you should not marry her. It's just the same thing as if so be you should sail so far as the Straits without provision.
SIR SAMP. Who gave you authority to speak, sirrah? To your element, fish, be mute, fish, and to sea, rule your helm, sirrah, don't direct me.
BEN. Well, well, take you care of your own helm, or you mayn't keep your new vessel steady.
SIR SAMP. Why, you impudent tarpaulin! Sirrah, do you bring your forecastle jests upon your father? But I shall be even with you, I won't give you a groat. Mr Buckram, is the conveyance so worded that nothing can possibly descend to this scoundrel? I would not so much as have him have the prospect of an estate, though there were no way to come to it, but by the North-East Passage.
BUCK. Sir, it is drawn according to your directions; there is not the least cranny of the law unstopt.
BEN. Lawyer, I believe there's many a cranny and leak unstopt in your conscience. If so be that one had a pump to your bosom, I believe we should discover a foul hold. They say a witch will sail in a sieve: but I believe the devil would not venture aboard o' your conscience. And that's for you.
SIR SAMP. Hold your tongue, sirrah. How now, who's here?
[To them] TATTLE and MRS FRAIL.
MRS FRAIL. O sister, the most unlucky accident.
MRS FORE. What's the matter?
TATT. Oh, the two most unfortunate poor creatures in the world we are.
FORE. Bless us! How so?
MRS FRAIL. Ah, Mr Tattle and I, poor Mr Tattle and I are--I can't speak it out.
TATT. Nor I. But poor Mrs Frail and I are -
MRS FRAIL. Married.
MRS FORE. Married! How?
TATT. Suddenly--before we knew where we were--that villain Jeremy, by the help of disguises, tricked us into one another.
FORE. Why, you told me just now you went hence in haste to be married.
ANG. But I believe Mr Tattle meant the favour to me: I thank him.
TATT. I did, as I hope to be saved, madam; my intentions were good. But this is the most cruel thing, to marry one does not know how, nor why, nor wherefore. The devil take me if ever I was so much concerned at anything in my life.
ANG. 'Tis very unhappy, if you don't care for one another.
TATT. The least in the world--that is for my part: I speak for myself. Gad, I never had the least thought of serious kindness.--I never liked anybody less in my life. Poor woman! Gad, I'm sorry for her too, for I have no reason to hate her neither; but I believe I shall lead her a damned sort of a life.
MRS FORE. He's better than no husband at all--though he's a coxcomb. [To FRAIL.]
MRS FRAIL [To her.] Ay, ay, it's well it's no worse.--Nay, for my part I always despised Mr Tattle of all things; nothing but his being my husband could have made me like him less.
TATT. Look you there, I thought as much. Pox on't, I wish we could keep it secret; why, I don't believe any of this company would speak of it.
MRS FRAIL. But, my dear, that's impossible: the parson and that rogue Jeremy will publish it.
TATT. Ay, my dear, so they will, as you say.
ANG. Oh, you'll agree very well in a little time; custom will make it easy to you.
TATT. Easy! Pox on't, I don't believe I shall sleep to-night.
SIR SAMP. Sleep, quotha! No; why, you would not sleep o' your wedding-night? I'm an older fellow than you, and don't mean to sleep.
BEN. Why, there's another match now, as thof a couple of privateers were looking for a prize and should fall foul of one another. I'm sorry for the young man with all my heart. Look you, friend, if I may advise you, when she's going--for that you must expect, I have experience of her--when she's going, let her go. For no matrimony is tough enough to hold her; and if she can't drag her anchor along with her, she'll break her cable, I can tell you that. Who's here? The madman?
SCENE the Last.
VALENTINE, SCANDAL, SIR SAMPSON, ANGELICA, FORESIGHT, MRS FORESIGHT, TATTLE, MRS FRAIL, BEN, JEREMY, BUCKRAM.
VAL. No; here's the fool, and if occasion be, I'll give it under my hand.
SIR SAMP. How now?
VAL. Sir, I'm come to acknowledge my errors, and ask your pardon.
SIR SAMP. What, have you found your senses at last then? In good time, sir.
VAL. You were abused, sir: I never was distracted.
FORE. How! Not mad! Mr Scandal -
SCAN. No, really, sir. I'm his witness; it was all counterfeit.
VAL. I thought I had reasons--but it was a poor contrivance, the effect has shown it such.
SIR SAMP. Contrivance! What, to cheat me? to cheat your father? Sirrah, could you hope to prosper?
VAL. Indeed, I thought, sir, when the father endeavoured to undo the son, it was a reasonable return of nature.
SIR SAMP. Very good, sir. Mr Buckram, are you ready? Come, sir, will you sign and seal?
VAL. If you please, sir; but first I would ask this lady one question.
SIR SAMP. Sir, you must ask me leave first. That lady? No, sir, you shall ask that lady no questions till you have asked her blessing, sir: that lady is to be my wife.
VAL. I have heard as much, sir; but I would have it from her own mouth.
SIR SAMP. That's as much as to say I lie, sir, and you don't believe what I say.
VAL. Pardon me, sir. But I reflect that I very lately counterfeited madness; I don't know but the frolic may go round.
SIR SAMP. Come, chuck, satisfy him, answer him. Come, come, Mr Buckram, the pen and ink.
BUCK. Here it is, sir, with the deed; all is ready. [VALENTINE goes to ANGELICA.]
ANG. 'Tis true, you have a great while pretended love to me; nay, what if you were sincere? Still you must pardon me if I think my own inclinations have a better right to dispose of my person than yours.
SIR SAMP. Are you answered now, sir?
VAL. Yes, sir.
SIR SAMP. Where's your plot, sir? and your contrivance now, sir? Will you sign, sir? Come, will you sign and seal?
VAL. With all my heart, sir.
SCAN. 'Sdeath, you are not mad indeed, to ruin yourself?
VAL. I have been disappointed of my only hope, and he that loses hope may part with anything. I never valued fortune but as it was subservient to my pleasure, and my only pleasure was to please this lady. I have made many vain attempts, and find at last that nothing but my ruin can effect it; which, for that reason, I will sign to-- give me the paper.
ANG. Generous Valentine! [Aside.]
BUCK. Here is the deed, sir.
VAL. But where is the bond by which I am obliged to sign this?
BUCK. Sir Sampson, you have it.
ANG. No, I have it, and I'll use it as I would everything that is an enemy to Valentine. [Tears the paper.]
SIR SAMP. How now?
ANG. Had I the world to give you, it could not make me worthy of so generous and faithful a passion. Here's my hand: --my heart was always yours, and struggled very hard to make this utmost trial of your virtue. [To VALENTINE.]
VAL. Between pleasure and amazement I am lost. But on my knees I take the blessing.
SIR SAMP. Oons, what is the meaning of this?
BEN. Mess, here's the wind changed again. Father, you and I may make a voyage together now.
ANG. Well, Sir Sampson, since I have played you a trick, I'll advise you how you may avoid such another. Learn to be a good father, or you'll never get a second wife. I always loved your son, and hated your unforgiving nature. I was resolved to try him to the utmost; I have tried you too, and know you both. You have not more faults than he has virtues, and 'tis hardly more pleasure to me that I can make him and myself happy than that I can punish you.
VAL. If my happiness could receive addition, this kind surprise would make it double.
SIR SAMP. Oons, you're a crocodile.
FORE. Really, Sir Sampson, this is a sudden eclipse.
SIR SAMP. You're an illiterate old fool, and I'm another.
TATT. If the gentleman is in disorder for want of a wife, I can spare him mine.--Oh, are you there, sir? I'm indebted to you for my happiness. [To JEREMY.]
JERE. Sir, I ask you ten thousand pardons: 'twas an errant mistake. You see, sir, my master was never mad, nor anything like it. Then how could it be otherwise?
VAL. Tattle, I thank you; you would have interposed between me and heaven, but Providence laid purgatory in your way. You have but justice.
SCAN. I hear the fiddles that Sir Sampson provided for his own wedding; methinks 'tis pity they should not be employed when the match is so much mended. Valentine, though it be morning, we may have a dance.
VAL. Anything, my friend, everything that looks like joy and transport.
SCAN. Call 'em, Jeremy.
ANG. I have done dissembling now, Valentine; and if that coldness which I have always worn before you should turn to an extreme fondness, you must not suspect it.
VAL. I'll prevent that suspicion: for I intend to dote to that immoderate degree that your fondness shall never distinguish itself enough to be taken notice of. If ever you seem to love too much, it must be only when I can't love enough.
ANG. Have a care of promises; you know you are apt to run more in debt than you are able to pay.
VAL. Therefore I yield my body as your prisoner, and make your best on't.
SCAN. The music stays for you. [Dance.]
SCAN. Well, madam, you have done exemplary justice in punishing an inhuman father and rewarding a faithful lover. But there is a third good work which I, in particular, must thank you for: I was an infidel to your sex, and you have converted me. For now I am convinced that all women are not like fortune, blind in bestowing favours, either on those who do not merit or who do not want 'em.
ANG. 'Tis an unreasonable accusation that you lay upon our sex: you tax us with injustice, only to cover your own want of merit. You would all have the reward of love, but few have the constancy to stay till it becomes your due. Men are generally hypocrites and infidels: they pretend to worship, but have neither zeal nor faith. How few, like Valentine, would persevere even to martyrdom, and sacrifice their interest to their constancy! In admiring me, you misplace the novelty.
The miracle to-day is, that we find
A lover true; not that a woman's kind.