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The Country Wife

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The Country Wife

by William Wycherley

Genre: Comedy
Setting: England
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed


Quack. What, all alone? not so much as one of your cuckolds here, nor one of their wives! They use to take their turns with you, as if they were to watch you.

Horn. Yes, it often happens that a cuckold is but his wife’s spy, and is more upon family duty when he is with her gallant abroad, hindering his pleasure, than when he is at home with her playing the gallant. But the hardest duty a married woman imposes upon a lover is keeping her husband company always.

Quack. And his fondness wearies you almost as soon as hers.

Horn. A pox! keeping a cuckold company, after you have had his wife, is as tiresome as the company of a country squire to a witty fellow of the town, when he has got all his money.

Quack. And as at first a man makes a friend of the husband to get the wife, so at last you are fain to fall out with the wife to be rid of the husband.

Horn. Ay, most cuckold-makers are true courtiers; when once a poor man has cracked his credit for ’em, they can’t abide to come near him.

Quack. But at first, to draw him in, are so sweet, so kind, so dear! just as you are to Pinchwife. But what becomes of that intrigue with his wife?

Horn. A pox! he’s as surly as an alderman that has been bit; and since he’s so coy, his wife’s kindness is in vain, for she’s a silly innocent.

Quack. Did she not send you a letter by him?

Horn. Yes; but that’s a riddle I have not yet solved.


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