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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 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; aiter 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 hot 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. -O the pleasure of counting the melancholy clock by a snoring husband ! But now, sister.
you 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.
Sul. No. Dor. Coffee, brother? Sul. Pshaw ! Mrs. Sul. Will you please to dress, and go to church with me? the air may help you.
Scrub. Sunday, an't please your worship,
Sul. Sunday! bring me a drain; 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?
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! Į 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?
Mirs. 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 dare not play the tyrant in London, because there are so many
examples to encourage the subject to rebel, O Dorinda, Dorinda! 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.
Mrs. 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.
Mrs. Sul. Well, 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 aversion on his side; and I fancy, sister, that you don't come much behind him, if you dealt fairly.
Mrs. Sul. I 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. Let him :- 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. lim. And was she the daughter of the house ?
Arch. The Landlord is so blind as to think so; but, I care swear, she has better blood in lier veins.
Aim. Why dost think so ?
Arch. Because the baggage has a pert je ne-sçaiyuoi; 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,
Aim. 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.
half a crown;
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 turn 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 moment:--Who is he? whence comes he ? do you know him ?--hen I, sir, verger 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 bé 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 my 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 ine.
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 !