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Col. Why so, my lord ?
Ld. Sparkish. Because they say, he was cursed in his mother's belly that was kill'd by a cannonbullet.
Miss. I suppose, the colonel was crossed in his first love, which makes him so 'severe on all the
Lady Answ. Yes ; and I'll hold a hundred to one, that the colonel has been over head and ears in love with some lady that has made his heartache.
Col. O, madam, we soldiers are admirers of all the fair sex.
Miss. I wish I could see the colonel in love till he was ready to die.
Lady Smart. Ay, but I doubt, few people die for love in these days.
Neverout. Well, I confess, I differ from the colonel ; for I hope to have a rich and a handsome wife yet before I die.
Col. Ay, Tom ; live, horse, and thou shalt have grass.
Miss. Well, colonel ; but, whatever you say against women, they are better creatures than men; for men were made of clay, but woman was made ofman.
Col. Miss, you may say what you please; but faith you'll never lead apes
in Hell. Neverout. No, no; I'll be sworn miss has not an inch of nun's flesh about her.
Miss. I understumble you, gentlemen.
Ld. Sparkish. Pray, miss, when did you see your old acquaintance, Mrs Cloudy? you and she are two, I hear.
Miss. See her! marry, I don't care whether I ever see her again ! God bless my eye-sight.
Lady Answ. Lord ! why she and you were as great as two inkle-weavers. I've seen her hug you as the devil hugged the witch.
Miss. That's true ; but I'm told for certain, she's no better than she should be.
Lady Smart. Well, God mend us all; but you must allow, the world is very censorious ; I never heard that she was a naughty pack.
Col. [To Neverout.] Come, Sir Thomas, when the king pleases, when do you intend to march?
Ld. Sparkish. Have patience. Tom, is your friend Ned Rattle married ?
Neverout. Yes, faith, my lord; he has tied a knot with his tongue, that he can never untie with his teeth.
Lady Smart. Ah ! marry in haste, and repent at leisure.
Lady Answ. Has he got a good fortune with his lady? for they say, something has some savour, but nothing has no flavour.
Neverout. Faith, madam, all he gets by her he may put into his eye, and see never the worse.
Miss. Then, I believe, he heartily wishes her in Abraham's bosom.
Col. Pray, my lord, how does Charles Limber and his fine wife agree?
Ld. Sparkish. Why, they say, he's the greatest cuckold in town.
Neverout. O, but, my lord, you should always except my Lord Mayor.
Miss. Mr Neverout!
Col. Pray, my lord, what's o'clock by your oracle?
Ld. Sparkish. ’Faith, I cann't tell; I think my watch runs upon wheels.
Neverout. Miss, pray be so kind to call a ser. vant to bring me a glass of small beer: I know you are at home here.
Miss. Every fool can do as they're bid : make a page
of your own age, and do it yourself. Neverout. Choose, proud fool ; I did but ask you.
Miss puts her hand upon her knee. . Neverout. What, miss, are you thinking of your sweetheart? is your garter slipping down?
Miss. Pray, Mr Neverout, keep your breath to cool your porridge ; you measure my corn by your bushel.
Neverout. Indeed, miss, you lie-
Miss. If a thousand lies could choke you, you would have been choked many a day ago.
Miss strives to snatch Mr Neverout's snuff-box.
Neverout. Madam, you missed that, as you missed your mother's blessing.
She tries again, and misses. Neverout. Snap short makes you look so lean, miss.
Miss. Poh! you are so robustious, you had like to put out my eye; I assure you, if you blind me, you must lead me.
Lady Smart. Dear miss, be quiet; and bring me a pincushion out of that closet.
Miss opens the closet-door, and squalls. Lady Smart. Lord bless the girl! what's the inatter now?
Miss. I vow, madam, I saw something in black; I thought it was a spirit.
Col. Why, miss, did you ever see a spirit?
Miss. No, sir; I thank God I never saw any thing worse than myself.
Neverout. Well, I did a very foolish thing yesterday, and was a great puppy
puppy for my pains. Miss. Very likely; for they say, many a true word's spoke in jest.
Lady Smart. Well, did you deliver your message? you are fit to be sent for sorrow, you stay so long by the way.
Footman. Madam, my lady was not at home, so I did not leave the message.
Lady Smart. This it is to send a fool of an errand.
Ld. Sparkish. [Looking at his watch.] 'Tis past twelve o'clock.
Lady Smart. Well, what is that among all us ?
Ld. Sparkish. Madam, I must take my leave : come, gentlemen, are you for a march?
Lady Smart. Well, but your lordship and the colonel will dine with us to-day; and, Mr Neverout, I hope we shall have your good company : there will be no soul else, beside my own lord and these ladies ; for every body knows I hate a crowd; I would rather want vittles than elbow room; we dine punctually at three.
Ld. Sparkish. Madam, we'll be sure to attend your ladyship.
Col. Madam, my stomach serves me instead of a clock.
Another footman comes back. Lady Smart. O! you are the t'other fellow I sent; well, have you been with my Lady Club? you are good to send of a dead man's errand.
Footman. Madam, my Lady Club begs your ladyship’s pardon; but she is engaged to-night.
Miss. Well, Mr Neverout, here's the back of my hand to you.
Neverout. Miss, I find you will have the last word. Ladies, I am more yours than my own.
Lord Smart and the former company at three o'clock
coming to dine.
After salutations. Lord Smart: I'm sorry I was not at home this morning, when you all did us the honour to call here; but I went to the levee to-day.
Ld. Sparkish. O! my lord ; I'm sure the loss
Lady Smart. Gentlemen and ladies, you are come to a sad dirty house; I am sorry for it, but we have had our hands in mortar.
Ld. Sparkish. O! madam ; your ladyship is