ACT V
Scene X.
 

[To them] FAINALL, MRS. MARWOOD.

FAINALL
Your date of deliberation, madam, is expired. Here is the instrument; are you prepared to sign?

LADY WISHFORT
If I were prepared, I am not impowered. My niece exerts a lawful claim, having matched herself by my direction to Sir Wilfull.

FAINALL
That sham is too gross to pass on me, though 'tis imposed on you, madam.

MILLAMANT
Sir, I have given my consent.

MIRABELL
And, sir, I have resigned my pretensions.

SIR WILFULL WITWOUD
And, sir, I assert my right; and will maintain it in defiance of you, sir, and of your instrument. 'Sheart, an you talk of an instrument sir, I have an old fox by my thigh shall hack your instrument of ram vellum to shreds, sir. It shall not be sufficient for a Mittimus or a tailor's measure; therefore withdraw your instrument, sir, or, by'r lady, I shall draw mine.

LADY WISHFORT
Hold, nephew, hold.

MILLAMANT
Good Sir Wilfull, respite your valour.

FAINALL
Indeed? Are you provided of your guard, with your single beef-eater there? But I'm prepared for you, and insist upon my first proposal. You shall submit your own estate to my management, and absolutely make over my wife's to my sole use, as pursuant to the purport and tenor of this other covenant. I suppose, madam, your consent is not requisite in this case; nor, Mr. Mirabell, your resignation; nor, Sir Wilfull, your right. You may draw your fox if you please, sir, and make a bear-garden flourish somewhere else; for here it will not avail. This, my Lady Wishfort, must be subscribed, or your darling daughter's turned adrift, like a leaky hulk to sink or swim, as she and the current of this lewd town can agree.

LADY WISHFORT
Is there no means, no remedy, to stop my ruin? Ungrateful wretch! Dost thou not owe thy being, thy subsistance, to my daughter's fortune?

FAINALL
I'll answer you when I have the rest of it in my possession.

MIRABELL
But that you would not accept of a remedy from my hands--I own I have not deserved you should owe any obligation to me; or else, perhaps, I could devise -

LADY WISHFORT
Oh, what? what? To save me and my child from ruin, from want, I'll forgive all that's past; nay, I'll consent to anything to come, to be delivered from this tyranny.

MIRABELL
Ay, madam; but that is too late, my reward is intercepted. You have disposed of her who only could have made me a compensation for all my services. But be it as it may, I am resolved I'll serve you; you shall not be wronged in this savage manner.

LADY WISHFORT
How? Dear Mr. Mirabell, can you be so generous at last? But it is not possible. Harkee, I'll break my nephew's match; you shall have my niece yet, and all her fortune, if you can but save me from this imminent danger.

MIRABELL
Will you? I take you at your word. I ask no more. I must have leave for two criminals to appear.

LADY WISHFORT
Ay, ay, anybody, anybody.

MIRABELL
Foible is one, and a penitent.