She Wou'd And She Wou'd Not; Or, The Kind Impostor Quotes

Colley Cibber

"This Business Will Never Hold Water"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: This is the story of a woman, Hypolita, who masquerades as a man to prevent a marriage between the man she loves, Don Philip, and another woman. The romantic plot is somewhat complicated, as is often true in a Cibber comedy. Hypolita, in her pride, sends Don Philip off to marry a woman he has never seen, the marriage being arranged by his father. The girl whom Don Philip is to marry is, unknown to him, in love with his good friend Octavio, who is Hypolita's brother. Taking a desperate course, Hypolita disguises herself as a man, as Don Philip himself, to marry Rosara, Don Philip's proposed wife, who is let in on the secret. Hypolita plans to "marry" Rosara, so that Don Philip cannot. She will step aside then so Rosara can marry Octavio, leaving Don Philip free to marry Hypolita. Amid much confusion and some hilarity the plan works, in great part because of the help given the disguised Hypolita by Trappanti, a roguish servant once in Don Philip's employ. He lies and lies, to help Hypolita. At one point he swears before a magistrate that the real Don Philip tried to bribe him and force him to bear false witness against the disguised Hypolita:

Upon this, sir, I began to demur: sir, says I, this business will never hold water; don't let me undertake it, I must beg your pardon; gave him the negative shrug, and was for sneaking off with the fees in my pocket.