Act V - Scene xiii

[To him] Bellmour, Belinda, Vainlove, Araminta.

BELL.  Now George, what, rhyming!  I thought the chimes of verse were past, when once the doleful marriage-knell was rung.

HEART.  Shame and confusion, I am exposed.  [Vainlove and Araminta talk apart.]

BELIN.  Joy, joy, Mr. Bridegroom; I give you joy, sir.

HEART.  ’Tis not in thy nature to give me joy.  A woman can as soon give immortality.

BELIN.  Ha, ha, ha! oh Gad, men grow such clowns when they are married.

BELL.  That they are fit for no company but their wives.

BELIN.  Nor for them neither, in a little time.  I swear, at the month’s end, you shall hardly find a married man that will do a civil thing to his wife, or say a civil thing to anybody else.  How he looks already, ha, ha, ha.

BELL.  Ha, ha, ha!

HEART.  Death, am I made your laughing-stock?  For you, sir, I shall find a time; but take off your wasp here, or the clown may grow boisterous; I have a fly-flap.

BELIN.  You have occasion for’t, your wife has been blown upon.

BELL.  That’s home.

HEART.  Not fiends or furies could have added to my vexation, or anything, but another woman.  You’ve racked my patience; begone, or by—

BELL.  Hold, hold.  What the devil—thou wilt not draw upon a woman?

VAIN.  What’s the matter?

ARAM.  Bless me! what have you done to him?

BELIN.  Only touched a galled beast until he winced.

VAIN.  Bellmour, give it over; you vex him too much.  ’Tis all serious to him.

BELIN.  Nay, I swear, I begin to pity him myself.

HEART.  Damn your pity!—but let me be calm a little.  How have I deserved this of you? any of ye?  Sir, have I impaired the honour of your house, promised your sister marriage, and whored her?  Wherein have I injured you?  Did I bring a physician to your father when he lay expiring, and endeavour to prolong his life, and you one and twenty?  Madam, have I had an opportunity with you and baulked it?  Did you ever offer me the favour that I refused it?  Or—

BELIN.  Oh foh! what does the filthy fellow mean?  Lord, let me be gone.

ARAM.  Hang me, if I pity you; you are right enough served.

BELL.  This is a little scurrilous though.

VAIN.  Nay, ’tis a sore of your own scratching—well, George?

HEART.  You are the principal cause of all my present ills.  If Sylvia had not been your mistress, my wife might have been honest.

VAIN.  And if Sylvia had not been your wife, my mistress might have been just.  There, we are even.  But have a good heart, I heard of your misfortune, and come to your relief.

HEART.  When execution’s over, you offer a reprieve.

VAIN.  What would you give?

HEART.  Oh!  Anything, everything, a leg or two, or an arm; nay, I would be divorced from my virility to be divorced from my wife.