That's hard, that's very hard. A messenger, a mule, a beast
of burden, he has brought me a letter from the fool my brother, as
heavy as a panegyric in a funeral sermon, or a copy of commendatory
verses from one poet to another. And what's worse, 'tis as sure a
forerunner of the author as an epistle dedicatory.
Ay, ay, my half-brother. My half-brother he is, no nearer,
Then 'tis possible he may be but half a fool.
Good, good, Mirabell, LE DROLE! Good, good, hang him, don't
let's talk of him.--Fainall, how does your lady? Gad, I say
anything in the world to get this fellow out of my head. I beg
pardon that I should ask a man of pleasure and the town a question
at once so foreign and domestic. But I talk like an old maid at a
marriage, I don't know what I say: but she's the best woman in the
'Tis well you don't know what you say, or else your
commendation would go near to make me either vain or jealous.
No man in town lives well with a wife but Fainall. Your
You had better step and ask his wife, if you would be
He's reckoning his money; my money it was: I have no luck to-
You may allow him to win of you at play, for you are sure to
be too hard for him at repartee: since you monopolise the wit that
is between you, the fortune must be his of course.
I don't find that Petulant confesses the superiority of wit
to be your talent, Witwoud.
Come, come, you are malicious now, and would breed debates.
Petulant's my friend, and a very honest fellow, and a very pretty
fellow, and has a smattering--faith and troth, a pretty deal of an
odd sort of a small wit: nay, I'll do him justice. I'm his friend,
I won't wrong him. And if he had any judgment in the world, he
would not be altogether contemptible. Come, come, don't detract
from the merits of my friend.
You don't take your friend to be over-nicely bred?
No, no, hang him, the rogue has no manners at all, that I must
own; no more breeding than a bum-baily, that I grant you:- 'tis
pity; the fellow has fire and life.
Hum, faith, I don't know as to that, I can't say as to that.
Yes, faith, in a controversy he'll contradict anybody.
Though 'twere a man whom he feared or a woman whom he loved.
Well, well, he does not always think before he speaks. We
have all our failings; you are too hard upon him, you are, faith.
Let me excuse him,--I can defend most of his faults, except one or
two; one he has, that's the truth on't,--if he were my brother I
could not acquit him--that indeed I could wish were otherwise.