"The Real Simon-pure"
Context: This sprightly, sophisticated eighteenth century comedy is full of wit, charm, and thoroughgoing good humor. It is doubtless one of the reasons why comedies of the period gained a reputation for daring. For example, one of the characters remarks that "Women, like some poisonous animals, carry their Antidote about 'em"; and she who speaks the Epilogue entertains the hope that she will find her spouse "a Man of War in Bed." The plot is frightfully complex. Colonel Fainwell is enamored of Mrs. Lovely, "a Fortune of Thirty Thousand Pounds"; but her father, who hated posterity, left her the fortune on condition she marry with the consent of four guardians he had selected for their inability to agree on anything. The plot thickens when one of the guardians, a fundamentalist, produces a candidate named Simon Pure. The Colonel, in disguise, arrives first and passes himself off as Pure. When the real Simon appears, one of the Colonel's friends provides him with a letter warning of an impostor; love triumphs eventually, the guardians are confounded, and Colonel Fainwell and Mrs. (Miss) Lovely are wed. In the letter which served to dispatch Simon Pure to his place of origin, Fainwell's friend had stated in tones of alarm that he
. . . did not doubt but he should impose so far upon you, as to make you turn out the real Simon Pure. . . .