George Farquhar, The Beaux-Stratagem (1707)

Act V

[A Room in Bonifaces Inn, Knocking without, enter Boniface].

Act V, Scene 1

Boniface: Coming! Coming! - A coach and six foaming horses at this time o’ night I some great man, as the saying is, for he scorns to travel with other people.
[Enter Sir Charles Freeman.]
Sir Charles: What, fellow! a public house, and abed when other people sleep?
Boniface: Sir, I an’t abed, as the saying is.
Sir Charles: Is Mr. Sullen’s family abed, think ’ee?
Boniface: All but the squire himself, sir, as the saying is; he’s in the house.
Sir Charles: What company has he?
Boniface: Why, sir, there ’s the constable, Mr. Gage the exciseman, the hunch-backed barber, and two or three other gentlemen.
Sir Charles: I find my sister’s letters gave me the true picture of her spouse. [Aside.]
_Enter Squire Sullen, drunk.]
Boniface: Sir, here’s the squire.
Squire Sullen: The puppies left me asleep - Sir!
Sir Charles: Well, sir.
Squire Sullen: Sir, I am an unfortunate man - I have three thousand pounds a year, and I can’t get a man to drink a cup of ale with me.
Sir Charles: That’s very hard.
Squire Sullen: Ay, sir; and unless you have pity upon me, and smoke one pipe with me, I must e’en go home to my wife, and I had rather go to the devil by half.
Sir Charles: But I presume, sir, you won’t see your wife to-night; she ’ll be gone to bed. You don’t use to lie with your wife in that pickle?
Squire Sullen: What I not lie with my wife! why, sir, do you take me for an atheist or a rake?
Sir Charles: If you hate her, sir, I think you had better lie from her.
Squire Sullen: I think so too, friend. But I’m a Justice of peace, and must do nothing against the law.
Sir Charles: Law! as I take it, Mr. Justice, nobody observes law for law’s sake, only for the good of those for whom it was made.
Squire Sullen: But, if the law orders me to send you to jail you must lie there, my friend.
Sir Charles: Not unless I commit a crime to deserve it.
Squire Sullen: A crime? ’oons, an’t I martied?
Sir Charles: Nay, sir, if you call a marriage a crime, you must disown it for a law.
Squire Sullen: Eh! I must be acquainted with you, sir. - But, sir, I should be very glad to know the truth of this matter.
Sir Charles: Truth, sir, is a profound sea, and few there be that dare wade deep enough to find out the bottom on’t. Besides, sir, I’m afraid the line of your understanding mayn’t be long enough.
Squire Sullen: Look’ee, sir, I have nothing to say to your sea of truth, but, if a good parcel of land can entitle a man to a little truth, I have as much as any He in the country.
Boniface: I never heard your worship, as the saying is, talk so much before.
Squire Sullen: Because I never met with a man that I liked before.
Boniface: Pray, sir, as the saying is, let me ask you one question: are not man and wife one flesh?
Sir Charles: You and your wife, Mr. Guts, may be one flesh, because ye are nothing else; but rational creatures have minds that must be united.
Squire Sullen: Minds!
Sir Charles: Ay, minds, sir; don’t you think that the mind takes place of the body?
Squire Sullen: In some people.
Sir Charles: Then the interest of the master must be consulted before that of his servant.
Squire Sullen: Sir, you shall dine with me to-morrow! - ’Oons, I always thought that we were naturally one.
Sir Charles: Sir, I know that my two hands are naturally one, because they love one another, kiss one another, help one another in all the actions of life; but I could not say so much if they were always at cuffs.
Squire Sullen: Then ’tis plain that we are two.
Sir Charles: Why don’t you part with her, sir?
Squire Sullen: Will you take her, sir?
Sir Charles: With all my heart.
Squire Sullen: You shall have her to-morrow morning, and a venison-pasty into the bargain.
Sir Charles: You’ll let me have her fortune too?
Squire Sullen: Fortune! why, sir, I have no quarrel at her fortune: I only hate the woman, sir, and none but the woman shall go.
Sir Charles: But her fortune, sir ...
Squire Sullen: Can you play at whisk, sir?
Sir Charles: No, truly, sir.
Squire Sullen: Nor at all-fours?
Sir Charles: Neither.
Squire Sullen: [Aside.] ’Oons! where was this man bred? [Aloud.] Burn me, sir! I can’t go home, ’tis but two a clock.
Sir Charles: For half an hour, sir, if you please; but you must consider ’tis late.
Squire Sullen: Late! that’s the reason I can’t go to bed. - Come, sir! [Exeunt.]
[Enter Cherry, runs across the stage, and knocks at Aimwells chamber door. Enter Aimwell in his nightcap and gown.]
Aimwell: What’s the matter? you tremble, child; you’re frighted.
Cherry: No wonder, sir - But, in short, sir, this very minute a gang of rogues are gone to rob my Lady Bountiful’s house.
Aimwell: How!
Cherry: I dogged ’em to the very door, and left ’em breaking in.
Aimwell: Have you alarmed anybody else with the news?
Cherry: No, no, sir, I wanted to have discovered the whole plot, and twenty other things, to your man Martin; but I have searched the whole house, and can’t find him: where is he?
Aimwell: No matter, child; will you guide me immediately to the house?
Cherry: With all my heart, sir; my Lady Bountiful is my godmother, and I love Mrs. Dorinda so well -
Aimwell: Dorinda! the name inspires me, the glory and the danger shall be all my own. - Come, my life, let me but get my sword. [Exeunt.]

Act V, Scene 2

[A Bedchamber in Lady Bountifuls House. Mrs. Sullen and Dorinda discovered undressed; a table and lights.]

Dorinda: ’Tis very late, sister, no news of your spouse yet?
Mrs. Sullen: No, I’m condemned to be alone till towards four, and then perhaps I may be executed with his company.
Dorinda: Well, my dear, I’ll leave you to your rest; You’ll go directly to bed, I suppose?
Mrs. Sullen: I don’t know what to do. - Heigh-ho!
Dorinda: That’s a desiring sigh, sister.
Mrs. Sullen: This is a languishing hour, sister.
Dorinda: And might prove a critical minute if the pretty fellow were here.
Mrs. Sullen: Here! what, in my bedchamber at two o’clock o’ th’ morning, I undressed, the family asleep, my hated husband abroad, and my lovely fellow at my feet! - O ’gad, sister!
Dorinda: Thoughts are free, sister, and them I allow you. - So, my dear, good night.
Mrs. Sullen: A good rest to my dear Dorinda! [Exit Dorinda.] Thoughts free! are they so? Why, then, suppose him here, dressed like a youthful, gay, and burning bridegroom,
[Here Archer steals out of a closet behind. with tongue enchanting, eyes bewitching, knees imploring.]
[Turns a little on one side and sees Archer in the posture she describes.] - Ah! [Shrieks, and runs to the other side of the stage.] Have my thoughts raised a spirit? - What are you, sir, a man or a devil?
Archer: A man, a man, madam. [Rising.]
Mrs. Sullen: How shall I be sure of it?
Archer: Madam, I’ll give you demonstration this minute. [Takes her hand.]
Mrs. Sullen: What, sir! do you intend to be rude?
Archer: Yes, madam, if you please.
Mrs. Sullen: In the name of wonder, whence came ye?
Archer: From the skies, madam - I’m a Jupiter in love, and you shall be my Alcmena.
Mrs. Sullen: How came you in?
Archer: I flew in at the window, madam; your cousin Cupid lent me his wings, and your sister Venus opened the casement.
Mrs. Sullen: I’m struck dumb with wonder!
Archer: And I - with admiration! [Looks passionately at her.]
Mrs. Sullen: What will become of me?
Archer: How beautiful she looks! - The teeming jolly Spring smiles in her blooming face, and, when she was conceived, her mother smelt to roses, looked on lilies -

Lilies unfold their white, their fragrant charms,
When the warm sun thus darts into their arms.

[Runs to her.]
Mrs. Sullen: Ah! [Shrieks.]
Archer: ’Oons, madam, what d’ ye mean? You’ll raise the house.
Mrs. Sullen: Sir, I’ll wake the dead before I bear this! - What! approach me with the freedom of a keeper! I’m glad on’t, your impudence has cured me.
Archer: If this be impudence [Kneels.] I leave to your partial self; no panting pilgrim, after a tedious, painful voyage, e’er bowed before his saint with more devotion.
Mrs. Sullen: [Aside.] Now, now, I’m ruined if he kneels! [Aloud.] Rise, thou prostrate engineer, not all thy undermining skill shall reach my heart. - Rise, and know I am a woman without my sex; I can love to all the tenderness of wishes, sighs, and tears - but go no farther. - Still, to convince you - that I’m more than woman, I can speak my frailty, confess my weakness even for you, but ...
Archer: For me! [Going to lay hold on her.]
Mrs. Sullen: Hold, sir! build not upon that; for my most mortal hatred follows if you disobey what I command you now. - Leave me this minute. [Aside.] If he denies I’m lost.
Archer: Then you’ll promise ...
Mrs. Sullen: Anything another time.
Archer: When shall I come?
Mrs. Sullen: To-morrow - when you will.
Archer: Your lips must seal the promise.
Mrs. Sullen: Psha!
Archer: They must! they must! [Kisses her.] - Raptures and paradise! - And why not now, my angel? the time, the place, silence, and secrecy, all conspire. And the now conscious stars have preordained this moment for my happiness. [Takes her in his arms.]
Mrs. Sullen: You will not! cannot, sure!
Archer: If the sun rides fast, and disappoints not mortals of to-morrow’s dawn, this night shall crown my joys.
Mrs. Sullen: My sex’s pride assist me!
Archer: My sex’s strength help me!
Mrs. Sullen: You shall kill me first!
Archer: I’ll die with you. [Carrying her off.]
Mrs. Sullen: Thieves! thieves! murder!
[Enter Scrub in his breeches, and one shoe.]
Scrub: Thieves! thieves! murder! popery!
Archer: Ha! the very timorous stag will kill in rutting time. [Draws, and offers to stab Scrub.]
Scrub: [Kneeling.] O pray, sir, spare all I have, and take my life!
Mrs. Sullen: [Holding Archer’s hand.] What does the fellow mean?
Scrub: O madam, down upon your knees, your marrow-bones! - he’s one of ’em.
Archer: Of whom?
Scrub: One of the rogues - I beg your pardon, one of the honest gentlemen that just now are broke into the house.
Archer: How!
Mrs. Sullen: I hope you did not come to rob me?
Archer: Indeed I did, madam, but I would have taken nothing but what you might ha’ spared; but your crying ‘Thieves’ has waked this dreaming fool, and so he takes ’em for granted.
Scrub: Granted! ’tis granted, sir; take all we have.
Mrs. Sullen: The fellow looks as if he were broke out of Bedlam.
Scrub: ’Oons, madam, they ’re broke into the house with fire and sword! I saw them, heard them; they ’ll be here this minute.
Archer: What, thieves!
Scrub: Under favour, sir, I think so.
Mrs. Sullen: What shall we do, sir?
Archer: Madam, I wish your ladyship a good night
Mrs. Sullen: Will you leave me?
Archer: Leave you! Lord, madam, did not you command me to be gone just now, upon pain of your immortal hatred?
Mrs. Sullen: Nay, but pray, sir ... [Takes hold of him.]
Archer: Ha! ha! ha! now comes my turn to be ravished. - You see now, madam, you must use men one way or other; but take this by the way; good madam, that none but a fool will give you the benefit of his courage, unless you’ll take his love along with it. - How are they armed, friend?
Scrub: With sword and pistol, sir.
Archer: Hush! - I see a dark lantern coming through the gallery - Madam, be assured I will protect you, or lose my life.
Mrs. Sullen: Your life! no, sir, they can rob me of nothing that I value half so much; therefore now, sir, let me entreat you to be gone.
Archer: No, madam, I’ll consult my own safety for the sake of yours; I’ll work by stratagem. Have you courage enough to stand the appearance of ’em?
Mrs. Sullen: Yes, yes, since I have ’scaped your hands, I can face anything.
Archer: Come hither, brother Scrub! don’t you know me?
Scrub: Eh, my dear brother, let me kiss thee. [Kisses Archer.]
Archer: This way - here ...
[Archer and Scrub hide behind the bed. Enter Gibbet, with a dark lantern in one hand, and a pistol in the other.]
Gibbet: Ay, ay, this is the chamber, and the lady alone.
Mrs. Sullen: Who are you, sir? what would you have? d’ ye come to rob me?
Gibbet: Rob you! alack a day, madam, I’m only a younger brother, madam; and so, madam, if you make a noise, I’ll shoot you through the head; but don’t be afraid, madam. [Laying his lantern and pistol upon the table.] These rings, madam; don’t be concerned, madam, I have a profound respect for you, madam; your keys, madam; don’t be frighted, madam, I’m the most of a gentleman. [Searching her pockets.] This necklace, madam; I never was rude to any lady; - I have a veneration - for this necklace ...
[Here Archer having come round, and seized the pistol takes Gibbet by the collar, trips up his heels, and claps the pistol to his breast.]
Archer: Hold, profane villain, and take the reward of thy sacrilege!
Gibbet: Oh! pray, sir, don’t kill me; I an’t prepared.
Archer: How many is there of ’em, Scrub?
Scrub: Five-and-forty, sir.
Archer: Then I must kill the villain, to have him out of the way.
Gibbet: Hold, hold, sir, we are but three, upon my honour.
Archer: Scrub, will you undertake to secure him?
Scrub: Not I, sir; kill him, kill him!
Archer: Run to Gipsy’s chamber, there you’ll find the doctor; bring him hither presently. [Exit Scrub, running.] Come, rogue, if you have a short prayer, say it.
Gibbet: Sir, I have no prayer at all; the government has provided a chaplain to say prayers for us on these occasions.
Mrs. Sullen: Pray, sir, don’t kill him: you fright me as much as him.
Archer: The dog shall die, madam, for being the occasion of my disappointment. - Sirrah, this moment is your last.
Gibbet: Sir, I’ll give you two hundred pounds to spare my life.
Archer: Have you no more, rascal?
Gibbet: Yes, sir, I can command four hundred, but I must reserve two of ’em to save my life at the sessions.
[Re-enter Scrub and Foigard.]
Archer: Here, doctor, I suppose Scrub and you between you may manage him. Lay hold of him, doctor.
[Foigard lays hold of Gibbet.]
Gibbet: What! turned over to the priest already! - Look ’ee, doctor, you come before your time; I an’t condemned yet, I thank ye. [192]
Foigard: Come, my dear joy; I vill secure your body and your shoul too; I vill make you a good catholic, and give you an absolution.
Gibbet: Absolution! can you procure me a pardon, doctor?
Foigard: No, joy ...
Gibbet: Then you and your absolution may to the devil!
Archer
: Convey him into the cellar, there bind him - take the pistol, and if he offers to resist, shoot him through the head - and come back to us with all the speed you can.
Scrub: Ay, ay, come, doctor, do you hold him fast, and I’ll guard him.
[Exit Foigard with Gibbet, Scrub following.]
Mrs. Sullen: But how came the doctor ...
Archer: In short, madam [Shrieking without.] ’Sdeath! the rogues are at work with the other ladies - I’m vexed I parted with the pistol; but I must fly to their assistance. - Will you stay here, madam, or venture yourself with me?
Mrs. Sullen: [Taking him by the arm.] Oh, with you, dear sir, with you. [Exeunt.]

Act V, Scene 3

[Another Bedchamber in the same. Enter Hounslow and Bagshot, with swords drawn, haling in Lady Bountiful and Dorinda.]

Hounslow:Come, come, your jewels, mistress!
Bagshot: Your keys, your keys, old gentlewoman!
[Enter Aimwell and Cherry.]
Aimwell: Turn this way, villains! I durst engage an army in such a cause. [He engages them both.]
Dorinda: O madam, had I but a sword to help the brave man!
Lady Bountiful: There’s three or four hanging up in the hall; but they won’t draw. I’ll go fetch one, however. [Exit.]
[Enter Archer and Mrs. Sullen.]
Archer: Hold, hold, my lord! every man his bird, pray. [They engage man to man; Hounslow and Bagshot are thrown and disarmed.]
Cherry: [Aside.] What! the rogues taken! then they’ll impeach my father: I must give him timely notice. [Runs out.]
Archer: Shall we kill the rogues?
Aimwell: No, no, we’ll bind them.
Archer: Ay, ay. [To Mrs. Sullen, who stands by him.] Here, madam, lend me your garter.
Mrs. Sullen: [Aside.] The devil’s in this fellow! he fights, loves, and banters, all in a breath. [Aloud.] Here’s a cord that the rogues brought with ’em, I suppose.
Archer: Right, right, the rogue’s destiny, a rope to hang himself. - Come, my lord - this is but a scandalous sort of an office [Binding the Highwaymen together.] If our adventures should end in this sort of hangman-work; but I hope there is something in prospect, that ...
[Enter Scrub.]
Archer: Well, Scrub, have you secured your Tartar?
Scrub: Yes, sir, I left the priest and him disputing about religion.
Aimwell: And pray carry these gentlemen to reap the benefit of the controversy.
[Delivers the prisoners to Scrubs who leads them out.]
Mrs. Sullen: Pray, sister, how came my lord here?
Dorinda: And pray, how came the gentleman here?
Mrs. Sullen: I’ll tell you the greatest piece of villainy ... [They talk in dumb show.]
Aimwell: I fancy, Archer, you have been more successful in your adventures than the housebreakers.
Archer: No matter for my adventure, yours is the principal. - Press her this minute to marry you - now while she’s hurried between the palpitation of her fear and the joy of her deliverance, now while the tide of her spirits is at high-flood - throw yourself at her feet, speak some romantic nonsense or other - address her, like Alexander in the height of his victory, confound her senses, bear down her reason, and away with her. - The priest is now in the cellar, and dare not refuse to do the work.
[Re-enter Lady Bountiful.]
Aimwell: But how shall I get off without being observed?
Archer: You a lover, and not find a way to get off! - Let me see ...
Aimwell: You bleed, Archer. [50]
Archer: ’Sdeath, I’m glad on ’t; this wound will do the business. I’ll amuse the old lady and Mrs. Sullen about dressing my wound, while you carry off Dorinda.
Lady Bountiful: Gentlemen, could we understand how you would be gratified for the services ...
Archer: Come, come, my lady, this is no time for compliments; I’m wounded, madam.
Lady Bountiful, Mrs. Sullen: How! wounded!
Dorinda: I hope, sir, you have received no hurt?
Aimwell: None but what you may cure ... [Makes love in dumb show.]
Lady Bountiful: Let me see your arm, sir - I must have some powder-sugar to stop the blood. - O me! an ugly gash; upon my word, sir, you must go into bed.
Archer: Ay, my lady, a bed would do very well. [To Mrs. Sullen.] Madam, will you do me the favour to conduct me to a chamber.
Lady Bountiful: Do, do, daughter - while I get the lint and the probe and the plaster ready. [Runs out one way, Aimwell carries off Dorinda another.]
Archer: Come, madam, why don’t you obey your mother’s commands?
Mrs. Sullen: How can you, after what is passed, have the confidence to ask me?
Archer: And if you go to that, how can you, after what is passed, have the confidence to deny me? Was not this blood shed in your defence, and my life exposed for your protection? Look ’ee, madam, I’m none of your romantic fools, that fight giants and monsters for nothing; my valour is downright Swiss; I’m a soldier of fortune, and must be paid.
Mrs. Sullen: ’Tis ungenerous in you, sir, to upbraid me with your services!
Archer: ’Tis ungenerous in you, madam, not to reward ’em
Mrs. Sullen: How! at the expense of my honour?
Archer: Honour! can honour consist with ingratitude? If you would deal like a woman of honour, do like a man of honour. D’ ye think I would deny you in such a case?
[Enter a Servant.]
Servant: Madam, my lady ordered me to tell you, that your brother is below at the gate. [Exit.]
Mrs. Sullen: My brother! Heavens be praised! - Sir, he shall thank you for your services; he has it in his power.
Archer: Who is your brother, madam?
Mrs. Sullen: Sir Charles Freeman. - You’ll excuse me, sir; I must go and receive him. [Exit.]
Archer: Sir Charles Freeman! ’sdeath and hell! my old acquaintance. Now unless Aimwell has made good use of his time, all our fair machine goes souse into the sea like the Eddystone. [Exit.]

Act V, Scene 4

[The Gallery in the same house. Enter Aimwell and Dorinda.]

Dorinda: Well, well, my lord, you have conquered; your late generous action will, I hope, plead for my easy yielding; though I must own, your lordship had a friend in the fort before.
Aimwell: The sweets of Hybla dwell upon her tongue! - Here, doctor ...
[Enter Foigard with a book.]
Foigard: Are you prepared boat?
Dorinda: I’m ready. But first, my lord, one word. - I have a frightful example of a hasty marriage in my own family; when I reflect upon’t it shocks me. Pray, my lord, consider a little ...
Aimwell: Consider! do you doubt my honour or my love?
Dorinda: Neither: I do believe you equally just as brave: and were your whole sex drawn out forme to choose, I should not cast a look upon the multitude if you were absent. But, my lord, I’m a woman; colours, concealments may hide a thousand faults in me, therefore know me better first; I hardly dare affirm I know myself in anything except my love.
Aimwell: [Aside.] Such goodness who could injure! I find myself unequal to the task of villain; she has gained my soul, and made it honest like her own. - I cannot, cannot hurt her. [Aloud.] Doctor, retire. [Exit Foigard] Madam, behold your lover and your proselyte, and judge of my passion by my conversion! - I’m all a lie, nor dare I give a fiction to your arms; I’m all counterfeit, except my passion.
Dorinda: Forbid it, Heaven! a counterfeit!
Aimwell: I am no lord, but a poor needy man, come with a mean, a scandalous design to prey upon your fortune; but the beauties of your mind and person have so won me from myself that, like a trusty servant, I prefer the interest of my mistress to my own.
Dorinda: Sure I have had the dream of some poor mariner, a sleepy image of a welcome port, and wake involved in storms! - Pray, sir, who are you?
Aimwell: Brother to the man whose title I usurped, but stranger to his honour or his fortune.
Dorinda: Matchless honesty! - Once I was proud, sir, of your wealth and title, but now am prouder that you want it: now I can show my love was justly levelled, and had no aim but love. - Doctor, come in.
[Enter Foigard at one door, Gipsy at another-, who whispers Dorinda.]
[To Foigard.] Your pardon, sir, we shan’t want you now. [To Aimwell.] Sir, you must excuse me - I’ll wait on you presently. [Exit with Gipsy.]
Foigard: Upon my shoul, now, dis is foolish. [Exit.]
Aimwell: Gone! and bid the priest depart! - It has an ominous look.
[Enter Archer.]
Archer: Courage, Tom! - Shall I wish you joy?
Aimwell: No.
Archer: ’Oons, man, what ha’ you been doing?
Aimwell: O Archer! my honesty, I fear, has ruined me.
Archer: How?
Aimwell: I have discovered myself.
Archer: Discovered! and without my consent? What! have I embarked my small remains in the same bottom with yours, and you dispose of all without my partnership?
Aimwell: O Archer! I own my fault.
Archer: After conviction - ’tis then too late for pardon. - You may remember, Mr. Aimwell, that you proposed this folly: as you begun, so end it. Henceforth I’ll hunt my fortune single - so farewell!
Aimwell: Stay, my dear Archer, but a minute.
Archer: Stay! what, to be despised, exposed, and laughed at! No, I would sooner change conditions with the worst of the rogues we just now bound, than bear one scornful smile from the proud knight that once I treated as my equal.
Aimwell: What knight?
Archer: Sir Charles Freeman, brother to the lady that I had almost - but no matter for that, ’tis a cursed night’s work, and so I leave you to make the best on’t. [Going.]
Aimwell: Freeman! - One word, Archer. Still I have hopes; methought she received my confession with pleasure.
Archer: ’Sdeath, who doubts it?
Aimwell: She consented after to the match; and still I dare believe she will be just.
Archer: To herself, I warrant her, as you should have been.
Aimwell: By all my hopes she comes, and smiling comes!
[Re-enter Dorinda, mighty gay.]
Dorinda: Come, my dear lord - I fly with impatience to your arms - the minutes of my absence were a tedious year. Where’s this priest?
[Re-enter Foigard.]
Archer: ’Oons, a brave girl!
Dorinda: I suppose, my lord, this gentleman is privy to our affairs?
Archer: Yes, yes, madam, I’m to be your father.
Dorinda: Come, priest, do your office.
Archer: Make haste, make haste, couple ’em any way. - [Takes Aimwells hand.] Come, madam, I’m to give you ...
Dorinda: My mind’s altered; I won’t.
Archer: Eh!
Aimwell: I’m confounded!
Foigard: Upon my shoul, and sho is myshelf.
Archer: What ’s the matter now, madam?
Dorinda: Look’ee, sir, one generous action deserves another. - This gentleman’s honour obliged him to hide nothing from me; my justice engages me to conceal nothing from him. In short, sir, you are the person that you thought you counterfeited; you are the true Lord Viscount Aimwell, and I wish your Lordship joy. - Now, priest, you may be gone; if my Lord is pleased now with the match, let his Lordship marry me in the face of the world.
Aimwell, Archer.] What does she mean?
Dorinda: Here’s a witness for my truth.
[Enter Sir Charles Freeman and Mrs Sullen.]
Sir Charles: My dear Lord Aimwell, I wish you joy.
Aimwell: Of what?
Sir Charles: Of your honour and estate. Your brother died the day before I left London; and all your friends have writ after you to Brussels; - among the rest I did myself the honour.
Archer: Hark ’ee, sir knight, don’t you banter now?
Sir Charles: ’Tis truth, upon my honour.
Aimwell: Thanks to the pregnant stars that formed this accident!
Archer: Thanks to the womb of time that brought it forth! - away with it!
Aimwell: Thanks to my guardian angel that led me to the prize! [Taking Dorindas hand].
Archer: And double thanks to the noble Sir Charles Freeman. - My Lord, I wish you joy. - My Lady, I wish you joy. - Egad, Sir Freeman, you’re the honestest fellow living! - ’Sdeath, I’m grown strange airy upon this matter! - My Lord, how d’ye? - A word, my Lord; don’t you remember something of a previous agreement, that entitles me to the moiety of this lady’s fortune, which I think will amount to five thousand pounds?
Aimwell: Not a penny, Archer; you would ha’ cut my throat just now, because I would not deceive this lady.
Archer: Ay, and I’ll cut your throat again, if you should deceive her now.
Aimwell: That’s what I expected; and to end the dispute, the lady’s fortune is ten thousand pounds, we’ll divide stakes: take the ten thousand pounds or the lady.
Dorinda: How! is your lordship so indifferent?
Archer: No, no, no, madam! his Lordship knows very well that I’ll take the money; I leave you to his Lordship, and so we ’re both provided for.
[Enter Count Bellair.]
Count Belair: Mesdames et Messieurs, I am your servant trice humble! I hear you be rob here.
Aimwell: The ladies have been in some danger, sir.
Count Belair: And, begar, our inn be rob too!
Aimwell: Our inn! by whom?
Count Belair: By the landlord, begar! - Garzoon, he has rob himself, and run away!
Archer: Robbed himself!
Count Belair: Ay, begar, and me too of a hundre pound.
Archer: A hundred pounds?
Count Belair: Yes, that I owed him.
Aimwell: Our money’s gone, Frank.
Archer: Rot the money! my wench is gone. [To Count Bellair.] Savez-vous quelque chose de Mademoiselle Cherry?
[Enter a Countryman with a strong-box and a letter.]
Countryman: Is there one Martin here?
Archer: Ay, ay - who wants him?
Countryman: I have a box here, and letter for him.
Archer: [Taking the box.] Ha! ha! ha! what’s here? Legerdemain! - By this light, my lord, our money again! - But this unfolds the riddle. [Opening the letter.] Hum, hum, hum! - Oh, ’tis for the public good, and must be communicated to the company. [Reads.]

Mr. Martin,
My father being afraid of an impeachment by the rogues that are taken to-night, is gone off; but if you can procure him a pardon, he’ll make great discoveries that may be useful to the country. Could I have met you instead of your master to-night, I would have delivered myself into your hands, with a sum that much exceeds that in your strong-box, which I have sent you, with an assurance to my dear Martin that I shall ever be his most faithful friend till death. CHERRY BONIFACE.

There’s a billet-doux for you! As for the father, I think he ought to be encouraged; and for the daughter - pray, my Lord, persuade your bride to take her into her service instead of Gipsy.
Aimwell: I can assure you, madam, your deliverance was owing to her discovery.
Dorinda: Your command, my Lord, will do without the obligation. I’ll take care of her.
Sir Charles: This good company meets opportunely in favour of a design I have in behalf of my unfortunate sister. I intend to part her from her husband - gentlemen, will you assist me?
Archer: Assist you! ’sdeath, who would not?
Count Belair: Assist! garzoon, we all assist!
[Enter Squire Sullen.]
Squire Sullen: What ’s all this? They tell me, spouse, that you had like to have been robbed.
Mrs. Sullen: Truly, spouse, I was pretty near it, had not these two gentlemen interposed.
Squire Sullen: How came these gentlemen here?
Mrs. Sullen: That’s his way of returning thanks, you must know.
Count Belair: Garzoon, the question be apropos for all dat.
Sir Charles: You promised last night, sir, that you would deliver your lady to me this morning.
Squire Sullen: Humph!
Archer: Humph! what do you mean by humph? Sir, you shall deliver her - in short, sir, we have saved you and your family; and if you are not civil, we’ll unbind the rogues, join with ’em, and set fire to your house. What does the man mean? not part with his wife!
Count Belair: Ay, garzoon, de man no understan common justice.
Mrs. Sullen: Hold, gentlemen, all things here must move by consent, compulsion would spoil us; let my dear and I talk the matter over, and you shall judge it between us.
Squire Sullen: Let me know first who are to be our judges. Pray, sir, who are you?
Sir Charles: I am Sir Charles Freeman, come to take away your wife.
Squire Sullen: And you, good sir?
Aimwell: Thomas, Viscount Aimwell, come to take away your sister.
Squire Sullen: And you, pray, sir?
Archer: Francis Archer, esquire, come - ...
Squire Sullen: To take away my mother, I hope. Gentlemen, you ’re heartily welcome; I never met with three more obliging people since I was born! - And now, my dear, if you please, you shall have the first word.
Archer: And the last, for five pounds!
Mrs. Sullen: Spouse!
Squire Sullen: Rib!
Mrs. Sullen: How long have we been married?
Squire Sullen: By the almanac, fourteen months; but by my account, fourteen years.
Mrs. Sullen: ’Tis thereabout by my reckoning.
Count Belair: Garzoon, their account will agree.
Mrs. Sullen: Pray, spouse, what did you marry for?
Squire Sullen: To get an heir to my estate.
Sir Charles: And have you succeeded?
Squire Sullen: No.
Archer: The condition fails of his side. - Pray, madam, what did you marry for?
Mrs. Sullen: To support the weakness of my sex by the strength of his, and to enjoy the pleasures of an agreeable society.
Sir Charles: Are your expectations answered?
Mrs. Sullen: No.
Count Belair: A clear case! a clear case!
Sir Charles: What are the bars to your mutual contentment?
Mrs. Sullen: In the first place, I can’t drink ale with him.
Squire Sullen: Nor can I drink tea with her.
Mrs. Sullen: I can’t hunt with you.
Squire Sullen: Nor can I dance with you.
Mrs. Sullen: I hate cocking and racing.
Squire Sullen: And I abhor ombre and piquet.
Mrs. Sullen: Your silence is intolerable.
Squire Sullen: Your prating is worse.
Mrs. Sullen: Have we not been a perpetual offence to each other? a gnawing vulture at the heart?
Squire Sullen: A frightful goblin to the sight?
Mrs. Sullen: A porcupine to the feeling?
Squire Sullen: Perpetual wormwood to the taste?
Mrs. Sullen: Is there on earth a thing we could agree in?
Squire Sullen: Yes - to part.
Mrs. Sullen: With all my heart.
Squire Sullen: Your hand.
Mrs. Sullen: Here.
Squire Sullen: These hands joined us, these shall part us. - Away!
Mrs. Sullen: North
Squire Sullen: South.
Mrs. Sullen: East.
Squire Sullen: West - far as the poles asunder.
Count Belair: Begar, the ceremony be vera pretty!
Sir Charles: Now, Mr. Sullen, there wants only my sister’s fortune to make us easy.
Squire Sullen: Sir Charles, you love your sister, and I love her fortune; every one to his fancy.
Archer: Then you won’t refund?
Squire Sullen: Not a stiver.
Archer: Then I find, madam, you must e’en go to your prison again.
Count Belair: What is the portion?
Sir Charles: Ten thousand pounds, sir.
Count Belair: Garzoon, I’ll pay it, and she shall go home wid me.
Archer: Ha! ha! ha! French all over. - Do you know, sir, what ten thousand pounds English is?
Count Belair: No, begar, not justement.
Archer: Why, sir, ’tis a hundred thousand livres.
Count Belair: A hundre tousand livres! Ah! garzoon, me canno’ do’t, your beauties and their fortunes are both too much for me.
Archer: Then I will. - This night’s adventure has proved strangely lucky to us all - for Captain Gibbet in his walk had made bold, Mr. Sullen, with your study and escritoir, and had taken out all the writings of your estate, all the articles of marriage with this lady, bills, bonds, leases, receipts to an infinite value: I took ’em from him, and I deliver ’em to Sir Charles.
[Gives Sir Charles Freeman a parcel of papers and parchments.]
Squire Sullen: How, my writings! - my head aches consumedly. - Well, gentlemen, you shall have her fortune, but I can’t talk. If you have a mind, Sir Charles, to be merry, and celebrate my sister’s wedding and my divorce, you may command my house - but my head aches consumedly. - Scrub, bring me a dram.
Archer: [To Mrs. Sullen.] Madam, there’s a country dance to the trifle that I sung to-day; your hand, and we’ll lead it up. [Here a Dance.] ’Twould be hard to guess which of these parties is the better pleased, the couple joined, or the couple parted; the one rejoicing in hopes of an untasted happiness, and the other in their deliverance from an experienced misery.

Both happy in their several states we find.
Those parted by consent, and those conjoined.
Consent, if mutual, saves the lawyer’s fee.
Consent is law enough to set you free.

[Exeunt omnes.]

Epilogue
[Designed to be spoken in ‘The Beaux-Stratagem’]

If to our play your judgment can’t be kind,
Let its expiring author pity find:
Survey his mournful case with melting eyes,
Nor let the bard be damn’d before he dies.
Forbear, you fair, on his last scene to frown,
But his true exit with a plaudit crown;
Then shall the dying poet cease to fear
The dreadful knell, while your applause he hear.
At Leuctra so the conquering Theban died,
Claim’d his friends’ praises, but their tears denied:
Pleased in the pangs of death he greatly thought
Conquest with loss of life but cheaply bought.
The difference this, the Greek was one would fight
As brave, though not so gay, as Serjeant Kite;
Ye sons of Will’s, what’s that to those who write?
To Thebes alone the Grecian owed his bays,
You may the bard above the hero raise,
Since yours is greater than Athenian praise.

END

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