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Or the Provok'd Wife, written in 1697. The young and beautiful Lady Brute is married to the boorish Sir John. Both married for their own ends - she for his money and he to get her into bed. The result is a most miserable match, driving him to drink and her to thoughts of infidelity. Encouraged by her niece, Belinda, and tirelessly pursued by Constant, her would-be lover, Lady Brute is torn between her conscience and her desire. Meanwhile, Constant's best friend, the cynical Heartfree, is forced to question his lifelong aversion to love. Things leap from one crisis, to another with the interference of the vain Lady Fancyfull and her meddling French maid, Mademoiselle. Plot and cross-plot delightfully collide in this classic comedy of the sexes.

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