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Do you conceive me, gentlemen?
Dau. No, faith; how mean you with increase,
Epi. Pray give me my verses again, servant.
Daw. Stay, I must keep these myself, but I'll go make out another copy, and you shall have them immediately, mistress. [Kisses her hand and exit:
Gler. See, here's Truewit again.
Where haft thou been, in the name of madness! thus accoutred with thy horn?
Tru. Where the sound of it might have pierc'd your senses with gladness, had you been in earreach of it. Dauphine, fall down and worship me; I have forbid the bans, lad: I have been with thy virtuous uncle, and have broke the match.
Dau. You ha' not, I hope.
Tru. Yes, faith; an thou shouldst hope otherwise, I should repent me: This horn got me entrance; kiss it. I had no other way to get in, but
by feigning to be a poft: But when I got in once, I prov'd none, but rather the contrary, turn'd him into a post, with thundering into him the miseries of marriage. If ever Gorgon were feen in the shape of a woman, he hath seen her in my defcription. Why do you not applaud and adore me, Sirs? Why stand you mute ? Are you stupid? You are not worthy o' the benefit.
Dau. Did not I tell you ? Mischief!
Cler. I would you had plac'd this benefit somewhere else.
Tru. Why so?
Cler. You have done the most inconfiderate, rath, weak thing, that ever man did to his friend.
Dau. Friend! If the most malicious enemy I have, had studied to inflict an injury upon me, it could not be a greater.
Tru. Wherein ? For Heav'n's fake, gentlemen, come to yourselves again.
Dau. But I prefag'd thus much afore to you.
Cler. Would my lips had been solder'd when I spake on't! What mov'd you to be thus impertinent ?
Tru. My mafters, do not put on this strange face to pay my courtesy : Off with this vizor. Have good turns done you, and thank 'em this way!
Dau, You have undone me. That which I have plotted for, and been maturing now these four months, you have blasted in a minute: Now I am loft, I may speak. This gentlewoman was lodg’d here by me o’purpose, and to be put upon my uncle, hath profest this obftinate silence for my fake, being my entire friend, and one that for the requital of such a fortune as to marry him, would have made me very ample conditions ; where now, all my hopes are utterly miscarried by this unlucky accident.
Cler. Thus ’tis, when a man will be ignorantly officious, do services, and not know his why: I wonder what courteous itch poffefs'd you! You never did absurder part i' your life, nor a greater trespass to friendship or humanity.
Dau. Faith, you may forgive it beft ; 'twas your cause principally.
Cler. I know it; would it had not!
Cut. The best, the happiest that ever was, Sir!
Dau. On, I prythee !
Cut. And your uncle, Sir, he thinks 'twas done by your procurement; therefore he will see the party you wot of presently; and if he like her, he says, and that she be so inclining to dumb, as I have told him, he fwears he will marry her to-day, instantly, and not defer it a minute longer.
Dau. Excellent! beyond our expectation !
Tru. Beyond our expectation? by this light, I knew it would be thus.
Dau. Nay, sweet 'Truewit, forgive me.
Tru. No, I was ignorantly officious, impertinent: This was the absurd, weak part.
Cler. Wilt thou ascribe that to merit now, was mere fortune?
Tru. Fortune! mere management. Fortune had not a finger in't. I saw it must necessarily in nature fall out so: My genius is never false to me in these things. Shew me how it could be otherwise.
Dau. Nay, gentlemen, contend not; 'tis well
Tru. Alas, I let him go on with inconsiderate, and rash, and what he pleas’d.
Cler. Away, thou strange justifier of thyself, to be wiser than thou wert, by the event!
Tru. Event! by this light, I foresaw it, as well as the stars themselves.
Dau. Nay, gentlemen, 'tis well now: Do you two entertain Sir John Daw with discourse, while I send her away with instructions.
Tru. I'll be acquainted with her first, by your favour.
Cler. Master Truewit, lady, a friend of ours.
Tru. I am sorry I have not known you sooner, lady, to celebrate this rare virtue of your filence.
Cler. Faith, an you had come fooner, you should ha' feen and heard her well celebrated in Sir John Daw's madrigals, [Exe. Dau. Epi. and Cut,
Daw. Not since last night, master Truewit.
Tru. That's a miracle! I thought you had been inseparable.
Daw. He's gone to invite his guests.
Tru. God fo! 'tis true. What a false memory have I towards that man! I am one: I met him ev'n now, upon that he calls his delicate fine black horse, rid into a foam, with posting from place to place, and person to person, to give him the cue. Never was poor captain took more pains at a muster to thew men, than he, at this meal, to shew friends.