ACT V
Scene XIII.
 

[To them] PETULANT, WITWOUD.

PETULANT
How now? What's the matter? Whose hand's out?

WITWOUD
Hey day! What, are you all got together, like players at the end of the last act?

MIRABELL
You may remember, gentlemen, I once requested your hands as witnesses to a certain parchment.

WITWOUD
Ay, I do, my hand I remember--Petulant set his mark.

MIRABELL
You wrong him; his name is fairly written, as shall appear. You do not remember, gentlemen, anything of what that parchment contained? [Undoing the box.]

WITWOUD
No.

PETULANT
Not I I writ; I read nothing.

MIRABELL
Very well, now you shall know. Madam, your promise.

LADY WISHFORT
Ay, ay, sir, upon my honour.

MIRABELL
Mr. Fainall, it is now time that you should know that your lady, while she was at her own disposal, and before you had by your insinuations wheedled her out of a pretended settlement of the greatest part of her fortune -

FAINALL
Sir! Pretended?

MIRABELL
Yes, sir. I say that this lady, while a widow, having, it seems, received some cautions respecting your inconstancy and tyranny of temper, which from her own partial opinion and fondness of you she could never have suspected--she did, I say, by the wholesome advice of friends and of sages learned in the laws of this land, deliver this same as her act and deed to me in trust, and to the uses within mentioned. You may read if you please [holding out the parchment], though perhaps what is written on the back may serve your occasions.

FAINALL
Very likely, sir. What's here? Damnation! [Reads] A DEED OF CONVEYANCE OF THE WHOLE ESTATE REAL OF ARABELLA LANGUISH, WIDOW, IN TRUST TO EDWARD MIRABELL Confusion!

MIRABELL
Even so, sir: 'tis the way of the world, sir; of the widows of the world. I suppose this deed may bear an elder date than what you have obtained from your lady.

FAINALL
Perfidious fiend! Then thus I'll be revenged. [Offers to run at MRS. FAINALL.]

SIR WILFULL WITWOUD
Hold, sir; now you may make your bear-garden flourish somewhere else, sir.

FAINALL
Mirabell, you shall hear of this, sir; be sure you shall. Let me pass, oaf.

MRS. FAINALL
Madam, you seem to stifle your resentment. You had better give it vent.

MRS. MARWOOD
Yes, it shall have vent, and to your confusion, or I'll perish in the attempt.