A monologue from Act IV, Scene ii

by: William Wycherley

NOTE: The Country Wife was first performed in 1675 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

MRS. PINCHWIFE: 'For Master Horner' -- So, I am glad he has told me his name. Dear Master Horner! But why should I send thee such a letter that will vex thee and make thee angry with me? -- Well, I will not send it. -- Ay, but then my husband will kill me -- for I see plainly, he won't let me love Master Horner -- but what care I for my husband? -- I won't, so I won't send poor Master Horner such a letter -- but then my husband -- But oh, what if I writ at bottom, my husband made me write it? -- Ay, but then my husband would see't -- Can one have no shift [1]? Ah, a London woman would have had a hundred presently. Stay -- what if I should write a letter, and wrap it up like this, and write upon't too? Ay, but then my husband would see't -- I don't know what to do -- But yet i'vads [2] I'll try, so I will -- for I will not send this letter to poor Master Horner, come what will on't. [She writes, and repeats what she hath writ.] 'Dear Sweet Master Horner' -- so -- 'My husband would have me send you a base, rude, unmannerly letter -- but I won't' -- so -- 'and would have me forbid you loving me -- but U won't' -- so -- 'and would have me say to you, I hate you poor Master Horner -- but I won't tell a lie for him' -- there -- 'for I'm sure if you and I were in the country at cards together' -- so -- I could not help treading on your toe under the table' -- so -- 'or rubbing knees with you, and staring in your face till you saw me' -- very well -- 'and then looking down and blushing for an hour together' -- so -- 'but I must make haste before my husband come; and now he has taught me to write letters, you shall have longer ones from me, who am, dear, dear, poor dear Master Horner, your most humble friend, and servant to command till death, Margery Pinchwife'. -- Stay, I must give him a hint at bottom -- so -- now wrap it up just like t'other -- so -- now write 'For Master Horner'. -- But, oh now, what shall I do with it? For here comes my husband.

1 an evasion, artifice, or trick

2 by my faith; a rustic oath

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