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after we will banish all pomp and ceremony, and live familiarly together. I'll be Pylades, and thou mad Orestes, and we will divide the estate betwixt us, and have fresh wenches, and ballum rankum every night. Wood. A match, i'faith : and let the world
pass. Aldo. But hold a little ; I had forgot one point: I hope you are not married, nor engaged ?
Wood. To nothing but my pleasures, I.
Aldo. A mingle of profit would do well though. Come, here is a girl ; look well upon her; it is a mettled toad, I can tell you that : She will make notable work betwixt two sheets, in a lawful way.
Wood. What, my old enemy, Mrs Pleasance !
Aldo. The truth is, she has past for her daughter, by my appointment; but she has as good blood running in her veins, as the best of you. Her father, - Mr Palms, on his death-bed, left her to my care and disposal, besides a fortune of twelve hundred a year; a pretty convenience, by my faith.
Wood. Beyond my hopes, if she consent.
Aldo. I have taken some care of her education, and placed her here with Mrs Saintly, as her daughter, to avoid her being blown upon by fops, and younger brothers.
So now, son, I hope I have matched your concealment with my discovery ; there is hit for hit, ere I cross the cudgels.
Pleas. You will not take them up, sir ?
Wood. I dare not against you, madam : I am sure you will worst me at all weapons. All I can say is, I do not now begin to love you.
Aldo. Let me speak for thee : Thou shalt be used, little Pleasance, like a sovereign princess : Thou shalt not touch a bit of butchers' meat in a twelvemonth; and thou shall be treated
Pleas. Not with ballum rankum every night, I hope !
Aldo. Well, thou art a wag; no more of that. Thou shall want neither man's meat, nor woman's meat, as far as his provision will hold out.
Pleas. But I fear he is so horribly given to go a house-warming abroad, that the least part of the provision will come to my share at home.
Wood. You will find me so much employment in my own family, that I shall have little need to look out for journey-work.
Aldo. Before George, he shall do thee reason, ere thou sleepest.
Pleas. No; he shall have an honourable truce for one day at least; for it is not fair to put a fresh. enemy upon him.
Mrs Brain. [To Pleas.] I beseech you, madam, discover nothing betwixt him and me.
Pleas. [To her.] I am contented to cancel the old score ; but take heed of bringing me an afterreckoning
Enter GERVASE, leading SAINTLY. Gero. Save you, gentlemen ; and
you, my quondam master: You are welcome all, as I may say.
Aldo. How now, sirrah? what is the matter?
Gerv. Give good words, while you live, sir; your landlord, and Mr Saintly, if you please.
Wood. Oh, I understand the business; he is married to the widow.
Saint. Verily the good work is accomplished.
Geru. When a man is married to his betters, it is but decency to take her name. A pretty house, a pretty situation, and prettily furnished! I have been unlawfully labouring at hard duty; but a parson has soldered
up the matter: Thank your worship, Mr
Woodall-How? Giles here!
Wood. This business is out, and I am now Aldo: My father has forgiven me, and we are friends.
Gero. When will Giles, with his honesty, come to this?
Wood. Nay, do not insult too much, good Mr Saintly: Thou wert but my deputy; thou knowest the widow intended it to me.
Gero. But I am satisfied she performed it with me, sir. Well, there is much good will in these
precise old women; they are the most zealous bedfellows ! Look, an' she does not blush now! you see there is grace in her.
Wood. Mr Limberham, where are you? Come, cheer up, man! How go matters on your side of the country ? Cry him, Gervase.
Gerv. Mr Limberham, Mr Limberham, make your appearance in the court, and save your recognizance.
Enter LIMBERHAM and TRICKSY. Wood. Sir, I should now make a speech to you in my own defence; but the short of all is this : If you can forgive what is past, your hand, and I'll endeavour to make up the breach betwixt you and your mistress: If not, I am ready to give you the satisfaction of a gentleman.
Limb. Sir, I am a peaceable man, and a good Christian, though I say it, and desire no satisfaction from any man. Pug and I are partly agreed upon the point already; and therefore lay thy hand upon thy heart, Pug, and, if thou canst, from the bottom of thy soul, defy mankind, naming no body, I'll forgive thy past enormities; and, to give good example to all Christian keepers, will take thee to be my wedded wife; and thy four hundred a-year shall be settled upon thee, for separate maintenance.
Trick. Why, now I can consent with honour.
Aldo. This is the first business that was ever made up without me.
Wood. Give you joy, Mr Bridegroom.
Limb. You may spare your breath, sir, if you please ; I desire none from you. It is true, I am satisfied of her virtue, in spite of slander ; but, to silence calumny, I shall civilly desire you henceforth, not to make a chapel-of-ease of Pug's closet.
Pleas. [Aside.] I'll take care of false worship, I'll warrant him. He shall have no more to do with Bel and the Dragon.
Brain. Come hither, wedlock, and let me seal my lasting love upon thy lips. Saintly has been seduced, and so has Tricksy ; but thou alone art kind and constant. Hitherto I have not valued modesty, according to its merit; but hereafter, Memphis shall not boast a monument more firm than my affection.
Wood. A most excellent reformation, and at a most seasonable time! The moral of it is pleasant, if well considered. Now, let us to dinner.- Mrs Saintly, lead the way, as becomes you, in your own house.
[The rest going off Pleas. Your hand, sweet moiety. Wood. And heart too, my comfortable importance.
Mistress and wife, by turns, I have possessed :
SPOKEN BY LIMBERHAM,
I beg a boon, that, ere you all disband,
,—that's the devil.
* Alluding to an old proverb, that whoso goes to Westminster for a wife, to St Paul's for a man, and to Smithfield for a horse, may meet with a whore, a knare, and a jade. Falstaff, on being informed that Bardolph is gone to Smithfield to buy him a horse, observes, “ I bought him in Paul's, and he'll buy me a horse in Sniithfield ; an I could get me but a wife in the stews, I were manned, horsed, and wived." Second Part of Henry IV. Act I. Scene II,