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The Plain Dealer

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The Plain Dealer

by William Wycherley

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

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed


Ver. Come, what’s the matter with thee? If I must not know who she is, I’m satisfied without. Come hither.

Oliv. Sure you do know her; she has told you herself, I suppose.

Ver. No, I might have known her better but that I was interrupted by the goldsmith, you know, and was forced to lock her into your chamber, to keep her from his sight; but, when I returned, I found she was got away by tying the window-curtains to the balcony, by which she slid down into the street. For, you must know, I jested with her, and made her believe I’d ravish her; which she apprehended, it seems, in earnest.

Oliv. And she got from you?

Ver. Yes.

Oliv. And is quite gone?

Ver. Yes.

Oliv. I’m glad on’t–otherwise you had ravished her, sir? But how durst you go so far, as to make her believe you would ravish her? let me understand that, sir. What! there’s guilt in your face, you blush too: nay, then you did ravish her, you did, you base fellow! What, ravish a woman in the first month of our marriage! ’tis a double injury to me, thou base, ungrateful man! wrong my bed already, villain! I could tear out those false eyes, barbarous, unworthy wretch!

Eliza. So, so!–

Ver. Prithee hear, my dear.

Oliv. I will never hear you, my plague, my torment!

Ver. I swear–prithee, hear me.

Oliv. I have heard already too many of your false oaths and vows, especially your last in the church. O wicked man! and wretched woman that I was! I wish I had then sunk down into a grave, rather than to have given you my hand, to be led to your loathsome bed. Oh–Oh–[Pretends to weep.

Ver. So, very fine! just a marriage-quarrel! which though it generally begins by the wife’s fault, yet, in the conclusion, it becomes the husband’s; and whosoever offends at first, he only is sure to ask pardon at last. My dear–

Oliv. My devil!–


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