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ware of a sullen, silent sot, one that's always musing, but never thinks-There's some diversion in a talking blockhead; and since a woman must wear chains, I would have the pleasure of hearing 'em rattle a little-Now you shall see; but take this by the way; he came home this morning, at his usual hour of four, waked me out of a sweet dream of something else, by tumbling over the tea-table, which he broke all to pieces; after his man and he has rolled about the room like sick passengers in a storm, he comes flounce into bed, dead as a salmon into a fishmonger's basket; his feet cold as ice, his breath hut as a furnace, and his hands and his face as greasy as his flannel nightcap -Oh matrimony! matrimony! He tosses up the clothes with a barbarous swing over his shoulders, disorders the whole economy of my bed, and my whole night's comfort is the tuneable serenade of that wakeful nightingale, his nose.
-0 the pleasure of counting the melancholy clock by a snoring husband ! -But now, sister. you shall see how handsomely, being a well-bred man, he will beg my pardon.
Enter SULLEN. Sul. My head aches consumedly.
Mrs. Sul. Will you be pleased, my dear, to drink tea with us this morning ? it may do your head good.
Mrs. Sul. Will you please to dress, and go to church
Scrub. Sunday, an't please your worship.
Sul. Sunday! bring me a dram; and, d'ye hear, set out the venison pasty, and a tankard of strong beer upon the hall table, I ll go to breakfast.
[Going. Dor. Stay, stay, brother, you shan't get off so; you were very naughty last night, and must make your wife reparation : come, come, brother, won't you ask pardon?
Sul. For what?
Mrs. Sul. But I must tell you, sir, that this is pot to be borne.
Sul. I'm glad on't.
Mrs. Sul. What is the reason, sir, that you use me thus inbumanly?
Sul. Scrub !
Mrs. Sul. Have a care of coming near his temples, Scrub, for fear you meet something there that may, turn the edge of your razor. [Exit SCRUB. Inveterate stupidity! did you ever know so hard, so obstinate a spleen as his? O sister, sister! I shall never have good of the beast till I get him to town; London, dear London, is the place for managing and breaking a husband.
Dor. And has not a husband the same opportunities there for humbling a wife?
Mrs. Sul. No, no, child; 'tis a standing maxim in conjugal discipline, that when a man would enslave his wife, he hurries her into the country; and when a lady would be arbitrary with her husband, she wheedles her booby up to town- A man darė not play the tyrant in London, because there are so many
examples to encourage the subject to rebel, O Doainda, Dorisida! a fine woman may do any thing in London: On my conscience, she may raise an army of forty thousand men.
Dor. I fancy, sister, you have a mind to be trying your power that way here in Litchfield; you have drawn the French Count to your colours already.
Mirs. Sul. The French are a people that can't live without their gallantries.
Dor. and some English that I know, sister, are not averse to such amusements.
Vis. Suł. Weil, sister, since the truth must out, it may
do as well now as hereafter; I think, one way to rouse my lethargic, sottish, husband, is to give him a rival; security begets negligence in all people, and men must be alarmed to make them alert in their duty; women are like pictures, of no value in the hands of a fool, till he hears men of sense bid high for the purchase. Dor. This might do, sister, if my
brother's understanding were to be convinced into a passion for you ; but, I believe, there's a natural arersion on his side; and I fancy, sister, that you don't come much behind him, if you dealt fairly.
Mrs. Sul. Í own it; we are united contradictions, fire and water. But I could be contented, with a great many other wives, to humour the censorious vulgar, and give the world an appearance of living well with my husband, could I bring him but to dissemble a little kindness, to keep me in countenance.
Dor. But how do you know, sister, but that instead of rousing your husband by this artifice to a counterfeit kinduess, he should awake in a real fury?
Mrs. Sul. Lui him:-)f I can't entice him to the one, I would provoke him to the other.
Dor. But how must I behave myself between ye?
Mrs. Sul. He is but your half brother, and I'm your entire friend : If I go a step beyond the bounds of honour, leave me; till then, I expect you should go along with me in every thing; while I trust my honour in your hands, you may trust your brother's in mine-The Count is to dine here to-day.
Dor. 'Tis a strange thing, sister, that I can't like that man.
Mrs. Sul. You like nothing ; your time is not come; love and death have their fatalities, and strike home one time or other:-You'll pay for all one day, I warrant ye-But come, my lady's tea is ready, and tis almost church time.
Enter AIMWELL, dressed, and ARCHER.
Arch. The Landlord is so blind as to think so; but, I dare swear, she has better blood in lier veins.
Aim. Why dost think so ?
Arch. Because the baggage has a pert je ne-sçaiguoi ; she reads plays, keeps a monkey, and is troubled with vapours.
Aim. By which discoveries, I guess that you know more of her.
Arch. Not yet, 'faith, : the lady gives herself airs, forsooth; nothing under a gentleman.
Aēm. Let me take her in hand,
Arch. Say one word more o'that, and I'll declare myself, spoil your sport there, and every where else: lookye, Aimwell, every man in his own sphere.
Aim. Right; and therefore you must pimp for your master.
Arch. In the usual forms, good sir, after I have served myself.—But to our business—You are so well dressed, Tom, and make so handsome a figure, that I fancy you may do execution in a country church; the exterior part strikes first, and you're in the right to make that impression favourable.
Aim. There's something in that which may tura to advantage: the appearance of a stranger in a country church draws as many gazers as a blazing star; no sooner he comes into the cathedral, but a train of whispers runs buzzing round the congregation in a moinent: Who is he? whence comes he? do yon know himn ?--'l hen I, sir, tip the verger half a crown; he pockets the simony, and inducts me into the best pew in the church ; I pull out my snuff-box, turn myself round, bow to the Bishop or the Dean, if he be the commanding officer; single out a beauty, rivet both my eyes to hers, set my nose a-bleeding by the strength of imagination, and show the whole church my concern, by iny endeavouring to hide it: after the sermon. the whole town gives me to her for a lover; and, by persuading the lady that I am dying for her, the tables are turned, and she, in good earnest, falls in love with me.
Arch. There's nothing in this, Tom, without a precedent; but, instead of riveting your eyes to a beauty, try to fix them upon a fortune; that's our business at present.
Aim. Pshaw! no woman can be a beauty without a fortune.-Let me alone for a marksman,
Arch. And how can you expect a blessing by going to church now? Aim. Blessing? nay, Frank, I ask, but for a wife!