Foib. Yes, yes; I know it, madam: she was in my lady’s closet, and overheard all that you said to me before dinner. She sent the letter to my lady; and that missing effect, Mr. Fainall laid this plot to arrest Waitwell, when he pretended to go for the papers; and in the meantime Mrs. Marwood declared all to my lady.

Mrs. Fain. Was there no mention made of me in the letter? —My mother does not suspect my being in the confederacy? I fancy Marwood has not told her, though she has told my husband.

Foib. Yes, madam; but my lady did not see that part: we stifled the letter before she read so far. Has that mischievous devil told Mr. Fainall of your ladiship then?

Mrs. Fain. Ay, all’s out, my affair with Mirabell, everything discovered. This is the last day of our living together, that’s my comfort.

Foib. Indeed, madam, and so ’tis a comfort if you knew all,— he has been even with your ladiship; which I could have told you long enough since, but I love to keep peace and quietness by my good will: I had rather bring friends together than set ’em at distance. But Mrs. Marwood and he are nearer related than ever their parents thought for.

Mrs. Fain. Say’st thou so, Foible? Canst thou prove this?

Foib. I can take my oath of it, madam, so can Mrs. Mincing; we have had many a fair word from Madam Marwood, to conceal something that passed in our chamber one evening when you were at Hide Park;—and we were thought to have gone a walking: but we went up unawares,—though we were sworn to secresie too; Madam Marwood took a book and swore us upon it: but it was but a book of poems,—so long as it was not a Bible-oath, we may break it with a safe conscience.

Mrs. Fain. This discovery is the most opportune thing I could wish. Now Mincing?


[To them] Mincing.

Minc. My lady would speak with Mrs. Foible, mem. Mr. Mirabell is with her; he has set your spouse at liberty, Mrs. Foible, and would have you hide yourself in my lady’s closet, ’till my old lady’s anger is abated. O, my old lady is in a perilous passion at something Mr. Fainall has said; he swears, and my old lady cries. There’s a fearful hurricane I vow, He says, mem, how that he’ll have my lady’s fortune made over to him, or he’ll be divorced.

Mrs. Fain. Does your lady or Mirabell know that?

Minc. Yes, mem, they have sent me to see if Sir Wilfull be sober, and to bring him to them. My lady is resolved to have him I think, rather than lose such a vast sum as six thousand pound. O, come, Mrs. Foible, I hear my old lady.

Mrs. Fain. Foible, you must tell Mincing that she must prepare to vouch when I call her.

Foib. Yes, yes, madam.

Minc. O yes, mem, I’ll vouch anything for your ladiship’s service, be what it will.


Mrs. Fainall, Lady Wishfort, Marwood.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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