The Double Dealer: A Comedy

Author: William Congreve

Scene II.


CYNT. Impertinent creature! I could almost be angry with her now. [Aside.]

LADY FROTH. My lord, I have been telling Cynthia how much I have been in love with you; I swear I have; I’m not ashamed to own it now. Ah! it makes my heart leap, I vow I sigh when I think on’t. My dear lord! Ha, ha, ha, do you remember, my lord? [Squeezes him by the hand, looks kindly on him, sighs, and then laughs out.]

LORD FROTH. Pleasant creature! perfectly well, ah! that look, ay, there it is; who could resist? ’twas so my heart was made a captive first, and ever since t’has been in love with happy slavery.

LADY FROTH. Oh, that tongue, that dear deceitful tongue! that charming softness in your mien and your expression, and then your bow! Good my lord, bow as you did when I gave you my picture; here, suppose this my picture. [Gives him a pocket-glass.] Pray mind, my lord; ah! he bows charmingly; nay, my lord, you shan’t kiss it so much; I shall grow jealous, I vow now. [He bows profoundly low, then kisses the glass.]

LORD FROTH. I saw myself there, and kissed it for your sake.

LADY FROTH. Ah! Gallantry to the last degree. Mr. Brisk, you’re a judge; was ever anything so well bred as my lord?

BRISK. Never anything, but your ladyship; let me perish.

LADY FROTH. Oh, prettily turned again; let me die, but you have a great deal of wit. Mr. Mellefont, don’t you think Mr. Brisk has a world of wit?

MEL. O yes, madam.

BRISK. O dear, madam -

LADY FROTH. An infinite deal!

BRISK. O heav’ns, madam -

LADY FROTH. More wit than anybody.

BRISK. I’m everlastingly your humble servant, deuce take me, madam.

LORD FROTH. Don’t you think us a happy couple?

CYNT. I vow, my lord, I think you the happiest couple in the world, for you’re not only happy in one another, and when you are together, but happy in yourselves, and by yourselves.

LORD FROTH. I hope Mellefont will make a good husband too.

CYNT. ’Tis my interest to believe he will, my Lord.

LORD FROTH. D’ye think he’ll love you as well as I do my wife? I’m afraid not.

CYNT. I believe he’ll love me better.

LORD FROTH. Heav’ns! that can never be. But why do you think so?

CYNT. Because he has not so much reason to be fond of himself.

LORD FROTH. Oh, your humble servant for that, dear madam. Well, Mellefont, you’ll be a happy creature.

MEL. Ay, my lord, I shall have the same reason for my happiness that your lordship has, I shall think myself happy.

LORD FROTH. Ah, that’s all.

BRISK. [To LADY FROTH.] Your ladyship is in the right; but, i’gad, I’m wholly turned into satire. I confess I write but seldom, but when I do—keen iambics, i’gad. But my lord was telling me your ladyship has made an essay toward an heroic poem.

LADY FROTH. Did my lord tell you? Yes, I vow, and the subject is my lord’s love to me. And what do you think I call it? I dare swear you won’t guess—THE SILLABUB, ha, ha, ha.

BRISK. Because my lord’s title’s Froth, i’gad, ha, ha, ha, deuce take me, very e propos and surprising, ha, ha, ha.

LADY FROTH. He, ay, is not it? And then I call my lord Spumoso; and myself, what d’ye think I call myself?

BRISK. Lactilla, may be,—i’gad, I cannot tell.

LADY FROTH. Biddy, that’s all; just my own name.

BRISK. Biddy! I’gad, very pretty. Deuce take me if your ladyship has not the art of surprising the most naturally in the world. I hope you’ll make me happy in communicating the poem.

LADY FROTH. Oh, you must be my confidant, I must ask your advice.

BRISK. I’m your humble servant, let me perish. I presume your ladyship has read Bossu?

LADY FROTH. Oh yes, and Racine, and Dacier upon Aristotle and Horace. My lord, you must not be jealous, I’m communicating all to Mr. Brisk.

LORD FROTH. No, no, I’ll allow Mr. Brisk; have you nothing about you to shew him, my dear?

LADY FROTH. Yes, I believe I have. Mr. Brisk, come, will you go into the next room? and there I’ll shew you what I have.

LORD FROTH. I’ll walk a turn in the garden, and come to you.


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Chicago: William Congreve, "Scene 2," The Double Dealer: A Comedy, trans. Evans, Sebastian in The Double Dealer: A Comedy Original Sources, accessed December 5, 2023,

MLA: Congreve, William. "Scene 2." The Double Dealer: A Comedy, translted by Evans, Sebastian, in The Double Dealer: A Comedy, Original Sources. 5 Dec. 2023.

Harvard: Congreve, W, 'Scene 2' in The Double Dealer: A Comedy, trans. . cited in , The Double Dealer: A Comedy. Original Sources, retrieved 5 December 2023, from