Act V

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Last Updated January 31, 2024.

Act 5, Scene 1

Lovewit has heard strange stories from his neighbors and is baffled that his butler has let so many people into his house. He fears foul play. He asks after Face, who he knows as Jeremy the Butler, but no one has seen him for weeks. When he hears a scream, he resolves to knock one last time before breaking down the door.

Act 5, Scene 2

Face, clean shaven and dressed as Jeremy the Butler, informs Lovewit that he had shut up and left the house after the cat displayed symptoms of the plague. He denies any knowledge of the comings and goings reported by the neighbors who, in turn, confirm that they have not seen him.

Act 5, Scene 3

Surly and Mammon arrive, furiously calling for justice. When Face claims not to recognize them and Lovewit introduces himself as the master of the house, they leave to fetch the marshals. The neighbors continue describing the various people they have seen enter the house, while Face—now known as Jeremy—continues to deny everything, even when Kastril also arrives at the house in search of “the bawdy doctor.”

When Dapper begins calling for the Fairy Queen from the bathroom, Lovewit demands to know the truth, and Face realizes he is cornered. He offers Lovewit Dame Pliant in exchange for not punishing him for his actions, and Lovewit is tempted, asking to see the widow.

Act 5, Scene 4

Dressed as the Fairy Queen, Dol offers Dapper a bird to serve as his familiar. Subtle successfully convinces Dapper to pay for the privilege with a year’s salary.

Having ascertained that the money is safely packed up, Face informs Subtle and Dol that he has told Lovewit all about their activities, and they just have enough time to escape without taking the money. When they hear the police knocking outside, Subtle and Doll flee, cursing Face.

Act 5, Scene 5

Lovewit affirms to Face that he has just married Dame Pliant. Mammon, Tribulation Wholesome, and Ananias arrive, demanding the metal goods stored in the basement. 

In the absence of any evidence, Lovewit rejects their claims and sends them off. When Kastril threatens to kill his sister for marrying without his permission, Lovewit draws his own sword, and Kastril swiftly retreats.

The play ends with addresses to the audience by Lovewit and Face. Lovewit asks for forgiveness, expressing his satisfaction with his newfound wife and wealth. Face is content to have got off scot-free, still taking a cut in the ill-gotten earnings from Lovewit.

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Act IV