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Wycherley's Wooing








Wycherley being at Tunbridge for the benefit of his health, after
his return from the Continental trip the cost of which the king had
defrayed, was walking one day with his friend, Mr. Fairbeard, of
Gray's Inn. Just as they came up to a bookseller's shop, the Countess
of Drogheda, a young, rich, noble, and lovely widow, came to the
bookseller and inquired for the Plain Dealer--a well-known comedy of
Wycherley's. "Madam," said Mr. Fairbeard, "since you are for the Plain
Dealer, there he is for you"--pushing Wycherley towards her. "Yes,"
said Wycherley, "this lady can bear plain dealing; for she appears to
me to be so accomplished, that what would be compliment said to others,
would be plain dealing spoken to her." "No, truly, sir," said the
Countess; "I am not without my faults, any more than the rest of my sex;
and yet I love plain dealing, and am never more fond of it than when it
tells me of them." "Then, Madam," said Fairbeard, "You and the Plain
Dealer seem designed by Heaven for each other." In short, Wycherley
walked with the Countess, waited upon her home, visited her daily while
she was at Tunbridge, and afterwards when she went to London; where, in
a little time, a marriage was concluded between them. The marriage was
not a happy one.

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Next: A Carouse At Boileau's

Previous: Porson's Memory



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