The Double Dealer/Act V

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ACT V.


SCENE I.[edit]

LADY TOUCHWOOD and MASKWELL.

LADY TOUCH. Was’t not lucky?

MASK. Lucky! Fortune is your own, and ’tis her interest so to be. By heaven I believe you can control her power, and she fears it: though chance brought my lord, ’twas your own art that turned it to advantage.

LADY TOUCH. ’Tis true it might have been my ruin. But yonder’s my lord. I believe he’s coming to find you: I’ll not be seen.


SCENE II.[edit]

MASKWELL alone.

MASK. So; I durst not own my introducing my lord, though it succeeded well for her, for she would have suspected a design which I should have been puzzled to excuse. My lord is thoughtful. I’ll be so too; yet he shall know my thoughts: or think he does.


SCENE III.[edit]

[To him] LORD TOUCHWOOD.

MASK. What have I done?

LORD TOUCH. Talking to himself!

MASK. ’Twas honest—and shall I be rewarded for it? No, ’twas honest, therefore I shan’t. Nay, rather therefore I ought not; for it rewards itself.

LORD TOUCH. Unequalled virtue! [Aside.]

MASK. But should it be known, then I have lost a friend! He was an ill man, and I have gained; for half myself I lent him, and that I have recalled: so I have served myself, and what is yet better, I have served a worthy lord to whom I owe myself.

LORD TOUCH. Excellent man! [Aside.]

MASK. Yet I am wretched. Oh, there is a secret burns within this breast, which, should it once blaze forth, would ruin all, consume my honest character, and brand me with the name of villain.

LORD TOUCH. Ha!

MASK. Why do I love! Yet heaven and my waking conscience are my witnesses, I never gave one working thought a vent, which might discover that I loved, nor ever must. No, let it prey upon my heart; for I would rather die, than seem once, barely seem, dishonest. Oh, should it once be known I love fair Cynthia, all this that I have done would look like rival’s malice, false friendship to my lord, and base self-interest. Let me perish first, and from this hour avoid all sight and speech, and, if I can, all thought of that pernicious beauty. Ha! But what is my distraction doing? I am wildly talking to myself, and some ill chance might have directed malicious ears this way. [Seems to start, seeing my lord.]

LORD TOUCH. Start not; let guilty and dishonest souls start at the revelation of their thoughts, but be thou fixed, as is thy virtue.

MASK. I am confounded, and beg your Lordship’s pardon for those free discourses which I have had with myself.

LORD TOUCH. Come, I beg your pardon that I overheard you, and yet it shall not need. Honest Maskwell! Thy and my good genius led me hither. Mine, in that I have discovered so much manly virtue; thine, in that thou shalt have due reward of all thy worth. Give me thy hand. My nephew is the alone remaining branch of all our ancient family: him I thus blow away, and constitute thee in his room to be my heir—

MASK. Now heaven forbid—

LORD TOUCH. No more—I have resolved. The writings are ready drawn, and wanted nothing but to be signed, and have his name inserted. Yours will fill the blank as well. I will have no reply. Let me command this time; for ’tis the last in which I will assume authority. Hereafter, you shall rule where I have power.

MASK. I humbly would petition—

LORD TOUCH. Is’t for yourself? [MASKWELL pauses.] I’ll hear of nought for anybody else.

MASK. Then witness heaven for me, this wealth and honour was not of my seeking, nor would I build my fortune on another’s ruin. I had but one desire—

LORD TOUCH. Thou shalt enjoy it. If all I’m worth in wealth or interest can purchase Cynthia, she is thine. I’m sure Sir Paul’s consent will follow fortune. I’ll quickly show him which way that is going.

MASK. You oppress me with bounty. My gratitude is weak, and shrinks beneath the weight, and cannot rise to thank you. What, enjoy my love! Forgive the transports of a blessing so unexpected, so unhoped for, so unthought of!

LORD TOUCH. I will confirm it, and rejoice with thee.


SCENE IV.[edit]

MASKWELL alone.

MASK. This is prosperous indeed. Why let him find me out a villain, settled in possession of a fair estate, and full fruition of my love, I’ll bear the railings of a losing gamester. But should he find me out before! ’Tis dangerous to delay. Let me think. Should my lord proceed to treat openly of my marriage with Cynthia, all must be discovered, and Mellefont can be no longer blinded. It must not be; nay, should my lady know it—ay, then were fine work indeed! Her fury would spare nothing, though she involved herself in ruin. No, it must be by stratagem. I must deceive Mellefont once more, and get my lord to consent to my private management. He comes opportunely. Now will I, in my old way, discover the whole and real truth of the matter to him, that he may not suspect one word on’t.

    No mask like open truth to cover lies,
    As to go naked is the best disguise.


SCENE V.[edit]

[To him] MELLEFONT.

MEL. O Maskwell, what hopes? I am confounded in a maze of thoughts, each leading into one another, and all ending in perplexity. My uncle will not see nor hear me.

MASK. No matter, sir, don’t trouble your head: all’s in my power.

MEL. How? For heaven’s sake?

MASK. Little do you think that your aunt has kept her word. How the devil she wrought my lord into this dotage, I know not; but he’s gone to Sir Paul about my marriage with Cynthia, and has appointed me his heir.

MEL. The devil he has! What’s to be done?

MASK. I have it, it must be by stratagem; for it’s in vain to make application to him. I think I have that in my head that cannot fail. Where’s Cynthia?

MEL. In the garden.

MASK. Let us go and consult her: my life for yours, I cheat my lord.


SCENE VI.[edit]

LORD TOUCHWOOD, LADY TOUCHWOOD.

LADY TOUCH. Maskwell your heir, and marry Cynthia!

LORD TOUCH. I cannot do too much for so much merit.

LADY TOUCH. But this is a thing of too great moment to be so suddenly resolved. Why Cynthia? Why must he be married? Is there not reward enough in raising his low fortune, but he must mix his blood with mine, and wed my niece? How know you that my brother will consent, or she? Nay, he himself perhaps may have affections otherwhere.

LORD TOUCH. No, I am convinced he loves her.

LADY TOUCH. Maskwell love Cynthia? Impossible!

LORD TOUCH. I tell you he confessed it to me.

LADY TOUCH. Confusion! How’s this? [Aside.]

LORD TOUCH. His humility long stifled his passion. And his love of Mellefont would have made him still conceal it. But by encouragement, I wrung the secret from him, and know he’s no way to be rewarded but in her. I’ll defer my farther proceedings in it till you have considered it; but remember how we are both indebted to him.


SCENE VII.[edit]

LADY TOUCHWOOD alone.

LADY TOUCH. Both indebted to him! Yes, we are both indebted to him, if you knew all. Villain! Oh, I am wild with this surprise of treachery: it is impossible, it cannot be. He love Cynthia! What, have I been bawd to his designs, his property only, a baiting place? Now I see what made him false to Mellefont. Shame and distraction! I cannot bear it, oh! what woman can bear to be a property? To be kindled to a flame, only to light him to another’s arms; oh! that I were fire indeed that I might burn the vile traitor. What shall I do? How shall I think? I cannot think. All my designs are lost, my love unsated, my revenge unfinished, and fresh cause of fury from unthought of plagues.


SCENE VIII.[edit]

[To her] SIR PAUL.

SIR PAUL. Madam, sister, my lady sister, did you see my lady my wife?

LADY TOUCH. Oh! Torture!

SIR PAUL. Gads-bud, I can’t find her high nor low; where can she be, think you?

LADY TOUCH. Where she’s serving you, as all your sex ought to be served, making you a beast. Don’t you know you’re a fool, brother?

SIR PAUL. A fool; he, he, he, you’re merry. No, no, not I, I know no such matter.

LADY TOUCH. Why, then, you don’t know half your happiness.

SIR PAUL. That’s a jest with all my heart, faith and troth. But harkee, my lord told me something of a revolution of things; I don’t know what to make on’t. Gads-bud, I must consult my wife:—he talks of disinheriting his nephew, and I don’t know what. Look you, sister, I must know what my girl has to trust to, or not a syllable of a wedding, gads-bud!—to show you that I am not a fool.

LADY TOUCH. Hear me: consent to the breaking off this marriage, and the promoting any other without consulting me, and I’ll renounce all blood, all relation and concern with you for ever; nay, I’ll be your enemy, and pursue you to destruction: I’ll tear your eyes out, and tread you under my feet.

SIR PAUL. Why, what’s the matter now? Good Lord, what’s all this for? Pooh, here’s a joke indeed. Why, where’s my wife?

LADY TOUCH. With Careless, in the close arbour; he may want you by this time, as much as you want her.

SIR PAUL. Oh, if she be with Mr. Careless, ’tis well enough.

LADY TOUCH. Fool, sot, insensible ox! But remember what I said to you, or you had better eat your own horns, by this light you had.

SIR PAUL. You’re a passionate woman, gads-bud! But to say truth all our family are choleric; I am the only peaceable person amongst ’em.


SCENE IX.[edit]

MELLEFONT, MASKWELL, and CYNTHIA.

MEL. I know no other way but this he has proposed: if you have love enough to run the venture.

CYNT. I don’t know whether I have love enough, but I find I have obstinacy enough to pursue whatever I have once resolved; and a true female courage to oppose anything that resists my will, though ’twere reason itself.

MASK. That’s right. Well, I’ll secure the writings and run the hazard along with you.

CYNT. But how can the coach and six horses be got ready without suspicion?

MASK. Leave it to my care; that shall be so far from being suspected, that it shall be got ready by my lord’s own order.

MEL. How?

MASK. Why, I intend to tell my lord the whole matter of our contrivance; that’s my way.

MEL. I don’t understand you.

MASK. Why, I’ll tell my lord I laid this plot with you on purpose to betray you; and that which put me upon it, was the finding it impossible to gain the lady any other way, but in the hopes of her marrying you.

MEL. So.

MASK. So, why so, while you’re busied in making yourself ready, I’ll wheedle her into the coach; and instead of you, borrow my lord’s chaplain, and so run away with her myself.

MEL. Oh, I conceive you; you’ll tell him so.

MASK. Tell him so! ay; why, you don’t think I mean to do so?

MEL. No, no; ha, ha, I dare swear thou wilt not.

MASK. Therefore, for our farther security, I would have you disguised like a parson, that if my lord should have curiosity to peep, he may not discover you in the coach, but think the cheat is carried on as he would have it.

MEL. Excellent Maskwell! Thou wert certainly meant for a statesman or a Jesuit; but thou art too honest for one, and too pious for the other.

MASK. Well, get yourself ready, and meet me in half-an-hour, yonder in my lady’s dressing-room; go by the back stairs, and so we may slip down without being observed. I’ll send the chaplain to you with his robes: I have made him my own, and ordered him to meet us to-morrow morning at St. Albans; there we will sum up this account, to all our satisfactions.

MEL. Should I begin to thank or praise thee, I should waste the little time we have.


SCENE X.[edit]

CYNTHIA, MASKWELL.

MASK. Madam, you will be ready?

CYNT. I will be punctual to the minute. [Going.]

MASK. Stay, I have a doubt. Upon second thoughts, we had better meet in the chaplain’s chamber here, the corner chamber at this end of the gallery, there is a back way into it, so that you need not come through this door, and a pair of private stairs leading down to the stables. It will be more convenient.

CYNT. I am guided by you; but Mellefont will mistake.

MASK. No, no, I’ll after him immediately, and tell him.

CYNT. I will not fail.


SCENE XI.[edit]

MASKWELL alone.

MASK. Why, qui vult decipi decipiatur.—’Tis no fault of mine: I have told ’em in plain terms how easy ’tis for me to cheat ’em, and if they will not hear the serpent’s hiss, they must be stung into experience and future caution. Now to prepare my lord to consent to this. But first I must instruct my little Levite; there is no plot, public or private, that can expect to prosper without one of them has a finger in’t: he promised me to be within at this hour,—Mr. Saygrace, Mr. Saygrace! [Goes to the chamber door and knocks.]


SCENE XII.[edit]

MASKWELL, SAYGRACE.

SAYGRACE [looking out.] Sweet sir, I will but pen the last line of an acrostic, and be with you in the twinkling of an ejaculation, in the pronouncing of an Amen, or before you can—

MASK. Nay, good Mr. Saygrace, do not prolong the time by describing to me the shortness of your stay; rather if you please, defer the finishing of your wit, and let us talk about our business; it shall be tithes in your way.

SAYGRACE. [Enters.] You shall prevail: I would break off in the middle of a sermon to do you a pleasure.

MASK. You could not do me a greater,—except the business in hand. Have you provided a habit for Mellefont?

SAYGRACE. I have; they are ready in my chamber, together with a clean starched band and cuffs.

MASK. Good, let them be carried to him; have you stitched the gown sleeve, that he may be puzzled, and waste time in putting it on?

SAYGRACE. I have: the gown will not be indued without perplexity.

MASK. Meet me in half-an-hour, here in your own chamber. When Cynthia comes, let there be no light, and do not speak, that she may not distinguish you from Mellefont. I’ll urge haste to excuse your silence.

SAYGRACE. You have no more commands?

MASK. None: your text is short.

SAYGRACE. But pithy: and I will handle it with discretion.

MASK. It will be the first you have so served.


SCENE XIII.[edit]

LORD TOUCHWOOD, MASKWELL.

LORD TOUCH. Sure I was born to be controlled by those I should command. My very slaves will shortly give me rules how I shall govern them.

MASK. I am concerned to see your lordship discomposed.

LORD TOUCH. Have you seen my wife lately, or disobliged her?

MASK. No, my lord. What can this mean? [Aside.]

LORD TOUCH. Then Mellefont has urged somebody to incense her. Something she has heard of you which carries her beyond the bounds of patience.

MASK. This I feared. [Aside.] Did not your lordship tell her of the honours you designed me?

LORD TOUCH. Yes.

MASK. ’Tis that; you know my lady has a high spirit; she thinks I am unworthy.

LORD TOUCH. Unworthy! ’Tis an ignorant pride in her to think so. Honesty to me is true nobility. However, ’tis my will it shall be so, and that should be convincing to her as much as reason. By Heaven, I’ll not be wife-ridden; were it possible, it should be done this night.

MASK. By Heaven, he meets my wishes! [Aside.] Few things are impossible to willing minds.

LORD TOUCH. Instruct me how this may be done, you shall see I want no inclination.

MASK. I had laid a small design for to-morrow (as love will be inventing) which I thought to communicate to your lordship. But it may be as well done to-night.

LORD TOUCH. Here’s company. Come this way and tell me.


SCENE XIV.[edit]

CARELESS and CYNTHIA.

CARE. Is not that he now gone out with my lord?

CYNT. Yes.

CARE. By heaven, there’s treachery. The confusion that I saw your father in, my Lady Touchwood’s passion, with what imperfectly I overheard between my lord and her, confirm me in my fears. Where’s Mellefont?

CYNT. Here he comes.


SCENE XV.[edit]

[To them] MELLEFONT.

CYNT. Did Maskwell tell you anything of the chaplain’s chamber?

MEL. No. My dear, will you get ready? The things are all in my chamber; I want nothing but the habit.

CARE. You are betrayed, and Maskwell is the villain I always thought him.

CYNT. When you were gone, he said his mind was changed, and bid me meet him in the chaplain’s room, pretending immediately to follow you and give you notice.

MEL. How?

CARE. There’s Saygrace tripping by with a bundle under his arm. He cannot be ignorant that Maskwell means to use his chamber; let’s follow and examine him.

MEL. ’Tis loss of time; I cannot think him false.


SCENE XVI.[edit]

CYNTHIA, LORD TOUCHWOOD.

CYNT. My lord musing!

LORD TOUCH. He has a quick invention, if this were suddenly designed. Yet he says he had prepared my chaplain already.

CYNT. How’s this? Now I fear indeed.

LORD TOUCH. Cynthia here! Alone, fair cousin, and melancholy?

CYNT. Your lordship was thoughtful.

LORD TOUCH. My thoughts were on serious business not worth your hearing.

CYNT. Mine were on treachery concerning you, and may be worth your hearing.

LORD TOUCH. Treachery concerning me? Pray be plain. Hark! What noise?

MASK. (within) Will you not hear me?

LADY TOUCH. (within) No, monster! traitor! No.

CYNT. My lady and Maskwell! This may be lucky. My lord, let me entreat you to stand behind this screen and listen: perhaps this chance may give you proof of what you ne’er could have believed from my suspicions.


SCENE XVII.[edit]

LADY TOUCHWOOD with a dagger; MASKWELL; CYNTHIA and LORD TOUCHWOOD abscond, listening.

LADY TOUCH. You want but leisure to invent fresh falsehood, and soothe me to a fond belief of all your fictions: but I will stab the lie that’s forming in your heart, and save a sin, in pity to your soul.

MASK. Strike then, since you will have it so.

LADY TOUCH. Ha! A steady villain to the last.

MASK. Come, why do you dally with me thus?

LADY TOUCH. Thy stubborn temper shocks me, and you knew it would; this is cunning all, and not courage. No; I know thee well, but thou shalt miss thy aim.

MASK. Ha, ha, ha!

LADY TOUCH. Ha! Do you mock my rage? Then this shall punish your fond, rash contempt. Again smile! [Goes to strike.] And such a smile as speaks in ambiguity! Ten thousand meanings lurk in each corner of that various face.

Oh! that they were written in thy heart,

That I, with this, might lay thee open to my sight!

But then ’twill be too late to know—

Thou hast, thou hast found the only way to turn my rage. Too well thou knowest my jealous soul could never bear uncertainty. Speak, then, and tell me. Yet are you silent. Oh, I am wildered in all passions. But thus my anger melts. [Weeps.] Here, take this poniard, for my very spirits faint, and I want strength to hold it; thou hast disarmed my soul. [Gives the dagger.]

LORD TOUCH. Amazement shakes me. Where will this end?

MASK. So, ’tis well—let your wild fury have a vent; and when you have temper, tell me.

LADY TOUCH. Now, now, now I am calm and can hear you.

MASK. [Aside.] Thanks, my invention; and now I have it for you. First, tell me what urged you to this violence: for your passion broke in such imperfect terms, that yet I am to learn the cause.

LADY TOUCH. My lord himself surprised me with the news you were to marry Cynthia, that you had owned our love to him, and his indulgence would assist you to attain your ends.

CYNT. How, my lord?

LORD TOUCH. Pray forbear all resentments for a while, and let us hear the rest.

MASK. I grant you in appearance all is true; I seemed consenting to my lord—nay, transported with the blessing. But could you think that I, who had been happy in your loved embraces, could e’er be fond of an inferior slavery?

LORD TOUCH. Ha! Oh, poison to my ears! What do I hear?

CYNT. Nay, good my lord, forbear resentment; let us hear it out.

LORD TOUCH. Yes, I will contain, though I could burst.

MASK. I, that had wantoned in the rich circle of your world of love, could be confined within the puny province of a girl? No. Yet though I dote on each last favour more than all the rest, though I would give a limb for every look you cheaply throw away on any other object of your love: yet so far I prize your pleasures o’er my own, that all this seeming plot that I have laid has been to gratify your taste and cheat the world, to prove a faithful rogue to you.

LADY TOUCH. If this were true. But how can it be?

MASK. I have so contrived that Mellefont will presently, in the chaplain’s habit, wait for Cynthia in your dressing-room; but I have put the change upon her, that she may be other where employed. Do you procure her night-gown, and with your hoods tied over your face, meet him in her stead. You may go privately by the back stairs, and, unperceived, there you may propose to reinstate him in his uncle’s favour, if he’ll comply with your desires—his case is desperate, and I believe he’ll yield to any conditions. If not here, take this; you may employ it better than in the heart of one who is nothing when not yours. [Gives the dagger.]

LADY TOUCH. Thou can’st deceive everybody. Nay, thou hast deceived me; but ’tis as I would wish. Trusty villain! I could worship thee.

MASK. No more; it wants but a few minutes of the time; and Mellefont’s love will carry him there before his hour.

LADY TOUCH. I go, I fly, incomparable Maskwell!


SCENE XVIII.[edit]

MASKWELL, CYNTHIA, LORD TOUCHWOOD.

MASK. So, this was a pinch indeed, my invention was upon the rack, and made discovery of her last plot. I hope Cynthia and my chaplain will be ready; I’ll prepare for the expedition.


SCENE XIX.[edit]

CYNTHIA and LORD TOUCHWOOD.

CYNT. Now, my lord?

LORD TOUCH. Astonishment binds up my rage! Villainy upon villainy! Heavens, what a long track of dark deceit has this discovered! I am confounded when I look back, and want a clue to guide me through the various mazes of unheard-of treachery. My wife! Damnation! My hell!

CYNT. My lord, have patience, and be sensible how great our happiness is, that this discovery was not made too late.

LORD TOUCH. I thank you, yet it may be still too late, if we don’t presently prevent the execution of their plots;—ha, I’ll do’t. Where’s Mellefont, my poor injured nephew? How shall I make him ample satisfaction?

CYNT. I dare answer for him.

LORD TOUCH. I do him fresh wrong to question his forgiveness; for I know him to be all goodness. Yet my wife! Damn her:—she’ll think to meet him in that dressing-room. Was’t not so? And Maskwell will expect you in the chaplain’s chamber. For once, I’ll add my plot too:—let us haste to find out, and inform my nephew; and do you, quickly as you can, bring all the company into this gallery. I’ll expose the strumpet, and the villain.


SCENE XX.[edit]

LORD FROTH and SIR PAUL.

LORD FROTH. By heavens, I have slept an age. Sir Paul, what o’clock is’t? Past eight, on my conscience; my lady’s is the most inviting couch, and a slumber there is the prettiest amusement! But where’s all the company?

SIR PAUL. The company, gads-bud, I don’t know, my lord, but here’s the strangest revolution, all turned topsy turvy; as I hope for providence.

LORD FROTH. O heavens, what’s the matter? Where’s my wife?

SIR PAUL. All turned topsy turvy as sure as a gun.

LORD FROTH. How do you mean? My wife?

SIR PAUL. The strangest posture of affairs!

LORD FROTH. What, my wife?

SIR PAUL. No, no, I mean the family. Your lady’s affairs may be in a very good posture; I saw her go into the garden with Mr. Brisk.

LORD FROTH. How? Where, when, what to do?

SIR PAUL. I suppose they have been laying their heads together.

LORD FROTH. How?

SIR PAUL. Nay, only about poetry, I suppose, my lord; making couplets.

LORD FROTH. Couplets.

SIR PAUL. Oh, here they come.


SCENE XXI.[edit]

[To them] LADY FROTH, BRISK.

BRISK. My lord, your humble servant; Sir Paul, yours,—the finest night!

LADY FROTH. My dear, Mr. Brisk and I have been star-gazing, I don’t know how long.

SIR PAUL. Does it not tire your ladyship? Are not you weary with looking up?

LADY FROTH. Oh, no, I love it violently. My dear, you’re melancholy.

LORD FROTH. No, my dear; I’m but just awake.

LADY FROTH. Snuff some of my spirit of hartshorn.

LORD FROTH. I’ve some of my own, thank you, dear.

LADY FROTH. Well, I swear, Mr. Brisk, you understood astronomy like an old Egyptian.

BRISK. Not comparably to your ladyship; you are the very Cynthia of the skies, and queen of stars.

LADY FROTH. That’s because I have no light but what’s by reflection from you, who are the sun.

BRISK. Madam, you have eclipsed me quite, let me perish. I can’t answer that.

LADY FROTH. No matter. Hark ’ee, shall you and I make an almanac together?

BRISK. With all my soul. Your ladyship has made me the man in’t already, I’m so full of the wounds which you have given.

LADY FROTH. O finely taken! I swear now you are even with me. O Parnassus, you have an infinite deal of wit.

SIR PAUL. So he has, gads-bud, and so has your ladyship.


SCENE XXII.[edit]

[To them] LADY PLYANT, CARELESS, CYNTHIA.

LADY PLYANT. You tell me most surprising things; bless me, who would ever trust a man? Oh my heart aches for fear they should be all deceitful alike.

CARE. You need not fear, madam, you have charms to fix inconstancy itself.

LADY PLYANT. O dear, you make me blush.

LORD FROTH. Come, my dear, shall we take leave of my lord and lady?

CYNT. They’ll wait upon your lordship presently.

LADY FROTH. Mr. Brisk, my coach shall set you down.

ALL. What’s the matter? [A great shriek from the corner of the stage.]


SCENE XXIII.[edit]

[To them] LADY TOUCHWOOD runs out affrighted, my lord after her, like a parson.

LADY TOUCH. Oh, I’m betrayed. Save me, help me!

LORD TOUCH. Now what evasion, strumpet?

LADY TOUCH. Stand off, let me go.

LORD TOUCH. Go, and thy own infamy pursue thee. You stare as you were all amazed,—I don’t wonder at it,—but too soon you’ll know mine, and that woman’s shame. SCENE the last.

Lord Touchwood, Lord Froth, Lady Froth, Lady Plyant, Sir Paul, Cynthia, Mellefont, Maskwell, Mellefont disguised in a parson’s habit and pulling in Maskwell.

MEL. Nay, by heaven you shall be seen. Careless, your hand. Do you hold down your head? Yes, I am your chaplain, look in the face of your injured friend; thou wonder of all falsehood.

LORD TOUCH. Are you silent, monster?

MEL. Good heavens! How I believed and loved this man! Take him hence, for he’s a disease to my sight.

LORD TOUCH. Secure that manifold villain. [Servants seize him.]

CARE. Miracle of ingratitude!

BRISK. This is all very surprising, let me perish.

LADY FROTH. You know I told you Saturn looked a little more angry than usual.

LORD TOUCH. We’ll think of punishment at leisure, but let me hasten to do justice in rewarding virtue and wronged innocence. Nephew, I hope I have your pardon, and Cynthia’s.

MEL. We are your lordship’s creatures.

LORD TOUCH. And be each other’s comfort. Let me join your hands. Unwearied nights, and wishing days attend you both; mutual love, lasting health, and circling joys, tread round each happy year of your long lives.

    Let secret villany from hence be warned;
    Howe’er in private mischiefs are conceived,
    Torture and shame attend their open birth;
    Like vipers in the womb, base treachery lies,
    Still gnawing that, whence first it did arise;
    No sooner born, but the vile parent dies.

[Exeunt Omnes.]