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THE

DEVIL TO PAY;

OR,

THE WIVES METAMORPHOSED.

BY

COFFEY.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

LETTICE,

MEN.

WOMEN. Sie JOHN LOVERULE, an honest country gentle- LADY LOVERULE, wife to Sir Jonn, a proud, man, beloved for his hospitality.

canting, brawling, fanatical shrew. BUTLER,

Lucy,
} her maids

. Соок,

serdants to Sir John. FOOTMAN,

Nell, Jobson's wife, an innocent country girl. Coachmax,

Tenants, servants. Jobson, a psalm-singing cobler, tenant to Sir

John. DOCTOR.

Scene- A country village.

А С ТІ.

SCENE I.--The cobler's house.

Don't you know, hussy, that I am king in my

own house, and that this is treason against my Jobson and NELL.

majesty? Nell

. PRITHEE, good Jobson, stay with me Nell. Did ever one hear such stuff! But, I to-night, and for once make merry at home. pray, you now, Jobson, don't go to the alehouse

Job. Peace, peace, you jade, and go spin; for, to-night! if I lack any thread for my stitching, I will pu- Job. Well, I'll humour you for once; but don't nish you by virtue of my sovereign authority. grow saucy upon't; for I ain invited by sir John

Nell. Ay, marry, no doubt of that; whilst you Loverule's butler, and am to be princely drunk take your swing at the alehouse, spend your sub- with punch, at the hall place; we shall have a stance, get drunk as a beast, then come home bowl large enough to swim in. like a sot, and use one like a dog.

Nell. But they say, husband, the new lady will not Job. Nounz! do you prate? Why, how now, suffer a stranger to enter her doors; she grudges brazen-face, do you speak ill of the government? even a draught of small beer to her own servants; Vol. III.

E

ness.

and several of the tenants have come home with galley, than in our family: Our master, indeed, broken heads from her ladyship's own hands, only is the worthiest gentleman--nothing but sweetfor smelling strong beer in the house.

ness and liberality. Job. A pox on her for a fanatical jade! she Foot. But here's a house turned topsy-turvy, has almost distracted the good knight. But she's from heaven to hell, since she came hither. now abroad, feasting with her relations, and will Lucy. His former lady was all virtue and mildscarce come home tv-night; and we are to have much drink, a fiddle, and merry gambols !

But. Ay, rest her soul, she was so; but this Nell. O dear husband ! let me go with you; is inspired with a legion of devils, who make her we'll be as merry as the night's long!

lay about her like a fury. Job. Why, how now, you bold baggage ! would Lucy. I am sure I always feel her in my bones: you be carried to a company of smooth-faced, if her complexion don't please her, or she looks cating, drinking, lazy serving-men? no, no, you yellow in a morning, I am sure to look black and jade, I'll not be a cuckold.

blue for it before night. Nell. I'm sure they would make me welcome; Cook. Pox on her! I dare not come within her you promised I should see the house, and the fa- reach. I have some six broken heads already. mily has not been here before, since you married A lady, quotha! a she-bear is a civiler animal. and brought me home.

Foot. İleaven help my poor master! this deJob. Why, thou most audacious strumpet, dar'st vilish termagant scolding woman will be the death thou dispute with me, thy lord and master? Get of him; I never saw a man so altered all the day3 in and spin, or else my strap shall wind about of niy life. thy ribs most confoundedly.

Cook. There's a perpetual motion in that tongue

of hers, and a damned shrill pipe, enough to AIR.-The Twitcher.

break the drum of a man's ear.

a

a

He that has the best wife,

Enter blind Fiddler, Jobson, and neighbours. She's the plague of his life; But for her that will scold and will quarrel, But. Welcome, welcome all; this is our wish! Let him cut her off short

Honest old acquaintance, goodman Jobson ! how Of her meat and her sport,

dost thou ? And ten times a day hoop her barrel, brave boys ! Job. By my troth, I am always sharp set toAnd ten times a day hoop her barrel.

wards punch, and am now come with a firm re

solution, though but a poor cobler, to be as richNell. Well, we poor women must always be ly drunk as a lord. I am a true English heart, slaves, and never have any joy ; but you men and look upon drunkenness as the best part of run and ramble at your pleasure.

the liberty of the subject. Job. Why, you most pestilent baggage, will you But. Come, Jobson, we'll bring out our bowl be hooped? Be gone.

of punch in solemn procession ; and then for a Nell. I must obey.

(Going song to crown our happiness. Job. Stay! now I think on't, here's sixpence [They all go out, and return with a bowl of for you; get ale and apples, stretch and put thy

punch.] self up with lamb’s-wool, rejoice and revel by thyself, be drunk, and wallow in thy own sty, like a

AIR.-Charles of Sweden. grumbling sow as thou art.

Come jolly Bacchus, god of wine, He that has the best wife,

Crown this night with pleasure;
She's the plague of his life, sc. [Excunt. Let none at cares of life repine,

To destroy our pleasure :
SCENE II.-SIR Jour's house.

Fill up the mighty sparkling bowl,

That every true and loyal soul BUTLER, Cook, FOOTMAN, Coachman, Lucy, May drink and sing without controul, LETTICE, &c.

To support our pleasure. But, I would the blind fiddler and our dancing Thus, mighty Bacchus, shalt thou be neighbours were here, that we might rejoice a Guardian of our pleasure; little, while our termagant lady is abroad; I have That, under thy protection, we made a most sovereign bowl of punch.

May enjoy new pleasure. Lucy. We had need rejoice sometimes, for

And as the hours glide away, our devilish new lady will never suffer it in her We'll, in thy name, invoke their stay, hearing.

And sing thy praises, that we may But. I will maintain, there is more mirth in a Live and die with pleasure.

a

But. The king and the royal family, in a brim- | I'll teach you to junket thus, and steal my provimer!

sions; I shall be devoured at this rate. AIR.

Bul. I thought, madam, we might be merry

once upon a holiday. Here's a good health to the king,

Lady. Holiday, you popish cur! Is one day And send him a prosperous reign;

more holy than another? aud if it be, you'll be O'er hills and high mountains,

sure to get drunk upon it, you rogue! [Beats him. We'll drink dry the fountains,

You minx, yon impudent ilirt, are you jigging it Until the sun rises again, brave boys !

after an abominable tiddle? all dancing is whorish, Unul the sun rises again.

hussy!

[Lugs her by the ears.

Lucy. O lud! she has pulled off both my ears. Then, here's to thee, my boy boon,

Sir John. Pray, madam, consider your sex and And here's to thee, my boy boon;

quality! I blush for your behaviour. As we've tarried all day

Lady. Consider your incapacity; you shall not For to drink down the sun,

instruct me. Who are you, thus muffled you So we'll tarry and drink down the moon, brave buzzard ! [She beats them all; Jobson steals by. boys !

Job. I am an honest, plain, psalm-singing cobSo we'll tarry and drink down the moon. bler, madam; if your ladyship would but go to

church, you might hear me above all the rest Omnes. Huzza!

there.

Lady. I'll try thy voice here first, villain ! Enter Sir John, and Lady.

[Strikes him,

Job. Nounz! what a pox, what a devil ails - Lady. O Heaven and earth! What's here with you? in my doors? Is hell broke loose? What troops Lady. O profane wretch! wicked varlet ! of fiends are here? Sirrah, you impudent rascal, Sir John. For shame! your behaviour is monspeak!

strous ! Sir John. For shame, my dear!- -As this is Lady. Was ever poor lady so miserable in a a time of mirth and jollity, it has always been brutish husband as I am? I, that am so pious, and the custoin of my house, to give my servants li- so religious a woman! berty in this season, and to treat my country neighbours, that with innocent sports they may Job. [Sings.] He that has the best wife, divert themselves.

She's the plague of his life, Lady. I say, meddle with your own affairs; I But for her that will scold and will quarrel will govern my own house, without your putting

[Exit Job. in an oar, Shall I ask leave to correct my own Lady. O rogue, scoundrel, villain! servants?

Sir John. Remember modesty. Sir John. I thought, madam, this had been Lady. I'll rout you all with a vengeance; I'll my house, and these my tenants and servants. spoil your squeaking treble.

Lady. Did I bring a fortune, to be thus abused, (Beats the fiddle about the blind man's head. and snubbed before people? Do you call my au

Fid. O murder, murder! I am a dark man; thority in question, ungrateful man? Look you which way shall I get hence ? Oh Heaven! she to your dogs and horses abroad, but it shail be bas broke my fiddle, and undone me and my wife my province to govern here; nor will I be con- and children. trouled by e'er a hunting, hawking knight in Sir John. Here, poor fellow ! take your staff Christendom.

and be gone: There's money to buy you two such;

[Erit fiddler. AIR.-Set by MR SEEDO.

Lady. Methinks you are very liberal, sir; must

my estate maintain you in your profuseness? Sir John. Ye gods! you gave to me a wife, Sir John. Go up to your closet, pray, and comOut of your grace and favour,

pose your mind.
To be the comfort of my life,

Lady. O wicked man! to bid me pray !
And I was glad to have her:

Sir John. A man can't be completely curst, I
But if your Providence Divine, see, without marriage ; but, since there is such

For greater bliss design her, a thing as separate maintenance, she shall to-
To ubey your wills at any time morrow enjoy the benefit of it.
I am ready to resign her.

AIR.–Of all comforts I miscarried.
This it is to be married to a continual tempest. Of the states in life so various,
Strife and noise, canting and hypocrisy, are eter- Marriage, sure, is most precarious;
nally afloat.—'Tis impossible to bear it long. 'Tis a maze so strangely winding,
Lady. Ye filthy scoundrels, and odious jades ! Still we are new mazes finding;

that's your way.

Were man wary

'Tis an action so severe,

Doc. Thank you heartily, good woman, and That nought but death can set us clear. to requite your civility, I'll tell you your fortune. Happy's the man, from wedlock free,

Nell. 0, pray do, sir; I never had my fortune Who knows to prize his liberty: '

told me in my life.

Doc. Let me behold the lines of your face. How they marry,

Nell. I'm afraid, sir, 'tis none of the cleanest; We should not be by half so full of misery. I have been about dirty work all this day.

Doc. Come, come, 'tis a good face; be not [Knocking at the door.) Here, where are my ser- ashamed of it; you shall shew it in greater places vants ? Must they be frighted from me?-Within suddenly. there-see who knocks.

Nell. O dear sir, I shall be mightily ashamed! Lady. Within there !Where are my sluts? Ye I want dacity when I come before great folks. drabs, ye queans Lights there !

Doc. You must be confident, and fear nothing; there is much

Enter Servants sneaking, with candles. Nelu

. Oh me! this is a rare man ! Heaven be

a

But. Sir, it is a doctor that lives ten miles off; thanked ! he practises physic, and is an astrologer : your Doc. To morrow, before sunrise, you shall be worship knows hiin very well; he is a cunning the happiest woman in this country, man, makes almanacks, and can help people to Nell. How! by to-morrow? alack-a-day! sir, their gouds again.

how can that be?

Doc. No more shall you be troubled with a Enter Doctor.

surly husband, that rails at, and straps you. Doc. Sir, I humbly beg your honour's pardon Nell. Lud! how came he to know that? he for this unseasonable intrusion ; but I am be- must be a conjurer ! Indeed my husband is some nighted, and 'tis so dark that I can't possibly find what rugged, and in his cups will beat me, but my way hoine; and knowing your worship’s' hos- it is not much. He's an honest pains-taking man, pitality, desire the favour to be harboured under and I let him have his way. Pray, sir, take the your roof to-night.

other cup of ale. Lady. Out of my house, you lewd conjurer, you Doc. I thank you.—Believe me, to-morrow magician!

you shall be the richest woman in the hundred, Doc. Here's a turn !-Here's a change !-Well

, and ride in your own coach. if I have any art, ye shall smart for this. [Aside. Nell. O father! you jeer me.

Sir John. You see, friend, I am not master of Doc. By my art, I do not. But mark my my own house; therefore, to avoid any uneasi- words; be confident, and bear all out, or worse ness, go down the lane about a quarter of a mile, will follow. and you'll see a cobler's cottage; stay there a Nell. Never fear, sir, I warrant youJittle, and I'll send my servant to conduct you to gemini! a coach ! a tenant's house, where you'll be well entertained.

AIR.-Send home my long-strayed eyes. Doc. I thank you, sir ; I'm your most humble servant.-- But, as for your lady there, she shall My swelling heart now leaps for joy, this night feel my resentment.

[Erit.

And riches all my thoughts employ; Sir Joh Come, madam; you and I must have No more shall people call me Nell, some conference together.

Her ladyship will do as well.
Lady. Yes, I will have a conference and a re- Decked in my golden, rich array,
formation, too, in this house, or I'll turn it up- I'll in my chariot roll away,
side down-I will.

And shine at ring, at ball, and play.
AIR.—Contented country farmer.

Enter Jobson.

Job. Where is this quean? Here, Nell! What Sir John. Grant me, ye powers, but this request, a pox, are y u drunk with your lamb's-wool? And let who will the world contest;

Nell, o husband! here's the rarest man-he
Convey her to some distant shore, has told me my fortune !
Where I may ne'er behold her more: Job. Ilas he so ? and planted my fortune, too!
Or let me to some cottage fly,

a lusty pair of horns upon my head !- Eh ?-Is In freedom's arms to live and die. it not so?

[Ercunt. Doc. Thy wife is a virtuous woman, and thoa SCENE III.—The Cobler's.

wilt be happy.

Job. Come out, you hang-dog, you juggler, you NELL, and the Doctor.

cheating, bamboozling villain ! inust I be cuckoldNell. Pray, sir, mend your draught, if you ed by such rogues as you are ? mackmaticians, please; you are very welcome, sir.

and almanack-makers !

Nell. Prithee, peace, husband! we shall be How great his praise who can amend rich, and have a coach of our own.

The soals of all his neighbours, Job. A coach! a cart, a wheel-barrow, you Nor is unmindful of his end, jade !-By the mackin, she's drunk, bloody drunk, But to his last still labours ! most confoundedly drunk !—Get you to bed, you

Lady. Heyday! what impudent ballad-singing strumpet.

[Beats her.

rogue is that, who dares wake me out of my Nell

. O, mercy on us ! is this a taste of my sleep? I'll have you flead, you rascal ! good fortune?

Job. What a pox! dues she talk in her sleep? Doc. You had better not have touched her,

or is she drunk still?

[Sings. you surly rogue.

Job. Out of my house, you villain, or I'll run AIR.—Now ponder well, ye parents dear. my awl up to the handle in your body!

In Bath, a wanton wife did dwell, Doc. Farewell, you paltry slave !

As Chaucer he did write, Job. Get out, you rogue ! [Ereunt.

Who wantonly did spend her time

In many a fond delight.
SCENE IV.-Changes to an open country. All on a time sore sick she was,
DOCTOR.

And she at length did die,
And then her soul at paradise

Did knock most mightily.
AIR.—The spirit's song in Macbeth.

Lady. Why, villain, rascal, screech-owl! who
My little spirits now appcar,

makest a worse noise than a dog hung in the Nadir and Abishog draw near,

pales, or a hog in a high wind; where are all The time is short, make no delay, my servants ? Somebody come, and hamstring this Then quickly haste, and come away: rogue.

[Knocks. Nor moon, nor stars afford their light, Job. Why, how now, you brazen quean! You But all is wrapt in gloomy night: must get drunk with the conjurer, must you? I'll Both men and beasts to rest incline, give you money another time to spend in lambsAnd all things favour my design. wool, you saucy jade, shall I ?

Lady. Monstrous ! I can find no bell to ring. Spirits. [Within.] Say, master, what is to be Where are my servants ? They shall toss him in done?

a blanket,

Job. Ay, the jade's asleep still; the conjurer Doct. My strict commands be sure attend, told her she should keep her coach, and she is For, ere this night shall have an end, dreaming of her equipage.

(Sings.
You must this cobler's wife transform,
And, to the knight's, the like perform : I will come in, in spite, she said,
With all your most specific charmos,

Of all such churls as thee,
Convey each wife to different arms; Thou art the cause of all our pain,
Let the delusion be so strong,

Our grief and misery:
That none may know the right from wrong.

Thou first broke the commandement,
Within. {All this, we will with care perform,
S

In honour of thy wife:
In , , . When Adam heard her say these words,

[Thunder. He ran away for life. SCENE V.-Changes to the cobler's house. Job- Lady. Why, husband ! Sir John! will you son at work. The bed in view.

suffer me to be thus insulted ?

Job. Husband ! Sir John! what a-pox, has she Job. What devil has been abroad to-night? I knighted me? And my name's Zekel too! a good never heard such claps of thunder in my life. I jest, faith! thought my little hovel would have flown away; Lady. Ha! he's gone ; he is not in the bed. but now all is clear again, and a fine star-light Heaven! where am I?' Foh! what loathsome morning it is. I'll settle myself to work. They smells are here? Canvas sheets, and a filthy ragsay winter's thunder brings summer's wonder. ged curtain ; a beastly rug, and a flock-bed. Am

I awake? or is it all a dream? What rogue is AIR.- Charming Sally.

that? Sirrah! Where am I? Who brought me

hither? What rascal are you? Of all the trades from east to west,

Job. This is amazing! I never heard such words The cobler's, past contending,

from her before. If I take my strap to you, I'll Is like in time to prove the best,

make you know your husband. I'll teach you Which every day is mending.

better manners, you saucy drab!

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