Mr. Horner, a man with a reputation for lewdness. Newly returned from France, he finds an excellent method of duping unsuspecting husbands. With the aid of a quack, he spreads the fictitious information that he is no longer sexually potent. Foolish husbands, needing someone to escort and amuse their wives, invite the clever Mr. Horner to their homes. In this way, he finds his way to the bedchambers of many high-born ladies who no longer have to fear the tarnishing of their reputations if they associate with a man because this one is impotent.
Mr. Pinchwife, who, like Sparkish and Sir Jasper Fidget, is a cuckold who helps to bring about the very thing he fears most, the seduction of his naïve wife. He is right when he says that cuckolds are generally the makers of their own misfortune. Dour, humorless, and exceedingly jealous, he takes every precaution to keep his wife from falling into the predatory hands of Horner. Foolishly, he is the very instrument that brings about this event.
Mrs. Margery Pinchwife
Mrs. Margery Pinchwife, his country wife. She is little aware of London’s pleasures until she is informed of them inadvertently by her husband. Little by little, she loses some of her innocence until, finally, she meets Horner. After this brief interlude, she learns what a dullard her husband is. Cleverly, she manages to send a love letter, carried by her unsuspecting husband, to Horner....
(The entire section is 612 words.)