Love in a Wood; The Gentleman Dancing-Master; The Country Wife; The Plain Dealer

By William Wycherley; Peter Dixon | Go to book overview
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Epilogue
Spoken by Mrs Knepp∘

Now you, the vigorous, who daily here
O'er vizard-mask in public domineer,
And what you'd do to her if in place where--∘
Nay, have the confidence to cry 'Come out,'∘

Yet when she says 'Lead on,' you am not stout, 5
But to your well-dressed brother straight turn round, And cry, 'Pox on her, Ned, she can't be sound!'
Then slink away, a fresh one to engage,
With so much seeming heat and loving rage,
You'd frighten listening actress on the stage; 10
Till she at last has seen you huffing come, And talk of keeping in the tiring-room,
Yet cannot be provoked to lead her home.
Next, you Falstaffs of fifty, who beset
Your buckram maidenheads, which your friends get;∘ 15
And whilst to them you of achievements boast,
They share the booty, and laugh at your cost.
In fine, you essenced boys, both old and young,
Who would be thought so eager, brisk, and strong,
Yet do the ladies, not their husbands, wrong, 20
Whose purses for your manhood make excuse, And keep your Flanders mares for show, not use;∘
Encouraged by our woman's man today,
A Horner's part may vainly think to play,
And may intrigues so bashfully disown 25
That they may doubted be by few or none; May kiss the cards at piquet, ombre, loo--∘
And so be thought to kiss the lady too.
But, gallants, have a care, faith, what you do;
The world, which to no man his due will give, 30
You, by experience, know you can deceive, And men may still believe you vigorous;
But then, we women--there's no coz'ning us.

-282-

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