A True Widow "Every Man Loves What He Is Good At"
by Thomas Shadwell

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"Every Man Loves What He Is Good At"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Lady Cheately, a widow with very little capital, comes to London to marry off herself and her two daughters. That each one may marry a rich man, the widow puts on a great show of business affairs, with the aid of a scoundrelly steward. This show is designed to lure wealthy suitors, of course. When the steward threatens to reveal how his mistress is cheating both suitors and business clients, Lady Cheately has one of her suitors, Prig, who thinks of nothing but gaming and sports, act as a clergyman for a mock-marriage. The steward is taken in by the trick and believes he is really married to his employer. Lady Cheately, anxious to be rid of him, tries to have him lured aboard ship and sent out of the country to indentured servitude. But the steward escapes from the ship in time and returns to threaten his "wife." This situation, plus the seduction of her empty-headed daughter, Gertrude, by a fool named Selfish, has Lady Cheately quite disturbed; it seems as though all her planning is to go for nothing. She decides to ask help from Mr. Maggot, another of her suitors, who loves the affairs of business for their own sake:

. . . Oh Mr. Maggot! I have business to communicate to you, of the greatest concernment to me that ever hapned.
Gad, Madam, do! If any Man in England understands Business, or loves it better than I do, I'll be burnt.
Every Man loves what he is good at; give me a Man of Business for my Friend: the fine Gentlemen of the Town, are like Fidlers, only good at idle hours.