The Country Wife

Lucy Character Analysis

Alithea’s maid. Like Margery, Lucy is from a lower social class and, therefore, is not educated and does not have a reputation to protect the way that upper class ladies do. However, like Margery, Lucy is more intelligent than people realize. She immediately sees through Sparkish, who is engaged to Alithea, and knows that he is not good enough for her and does not appreciate his fiancée. Lucy tries to warn Alithea of this, but she is resigned to the fact that, as a servant, Alithea will take no notice of her. Lucy also conspires with Margery to trick Pinchwife. As a woman of lower social status, Lucy is openly treated with less respect by men than the upper-class ladies in the play. In one scene, she is manhandled by Dorilant and he later calls her a “strapper,” a term which suggests a prostitute or a common woman.

Lucy Quotes in The Country Wife

The The Country Wife quotes below are all either spoken by Lucy or refer to Lucy. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Reputation, Appearance, and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Nick Hern Books edition of The Country Wife published in 2002.
Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

The woman that marries to love better will be as much mistaken as the wencher that marries to live better. No. madam, marrying to increase love is like gaming to become rich; alas, you only lose what little stock you had before … But what a devil is this honor? ’Tis sure a disease in the head, like the megrim, or falling sickness, that always hurries people away to do themselves mischief. Men lose their lives by it; women what’s dearer to ’em, their love, the life of life.

Related Characters: Lucy (speaker), Sparkish, Alithea
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:
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I say, loss of her honor, her quiet, nay, her life sometimes; and what’s as bad almost, the loss of this town; that is, she is sent into the country, which is the last ill usage of a husband to a wife, I think.

Then of necessity, madam, you think a man must carry his wife into the country, if he be wise. The country is as terrible, I find, to our young English ladies as a monastery to those abroad; and on my virginity, I think they would rather marry a London jailer than a high sheriff of a county, since neither can stir from his employment. Formerly women of wit married fools for a great estate, a fine seat, or the like; but now ’tis for a pretty seat only in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, St James's Fields, or the Pall Mall.

Related Characters: Alithea (speaker), Lucy (speaker)
Page Number: 86-87
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lucy Character Timeline in The Country Wife

The timeline below shows where the character Lucy appears in The Country Wife. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 3, Scene 1
Reputation, Appearance, and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Theatre, Puritanism, and Forbidden Desire  Theme Icon
...decides to dress Margery in her brother’s clothes and he, Alithea, Margery, and the maid, Lucy, head into town. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Reputation, Appearance, and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Love, Marriage, and Misogyny  Theme Icon
Pinchwife, Margery, Alithea, and Lucy pass them in the street. Sparkish tries to hide from Alithea because he wants to... (full context)
Love, Marriage, and Misogyny  Theme Icon
They walk out of sight and Sparkish, Harcourt, Alithea, and Lucy reappear. Sparkish is imploring Alithea to forgive Harcourt, even though Alithea insists that she hates... (full context)
Love, Marriage, and Misogyny  Theme Icon
Pinchwife returns and is furious when Lucy tells him that Horner took Margery away to “give him something.” Pinchwife rushes down the... (full context)
Love, Marriage, and Misogyny  Theme Icon
Town vs. Country Theme Icon
...while Pinchwife still tries to lead Margery away. Harcourt and Dorilant take their leave of Lucy and Alithea and wander off. Margery, gathering up the gifts Horner gave her, offers half... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Reputation, Appearance, and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Love, Marriage, and Misogyny  Theme Icon
The next morning, in Pinchwife’s house, Lucy dresses Alithea for her wedding to Sparkish. Although Lucy admits that Alithea looks pretty, she... (full context)
Reputation, Appearance, and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Love, Marriage, and Misogyny  Theme Icon
Town vs. Country Theme Icon
Lucy laments that people put so much stock in “honor” as, she feels, it does them... (full context)
Love, Marriage, and Misogyny  Theme Icon
Theatre, Puritanism, and Forbidden Desire  Theme Icon
...Alithea that morning, but Alithea easily sees through him and wishes to postpone the wedding. Lucy takes Harcourt’s side and tries to persuade Alithea to let the “chaplain” marry her. Finally,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
Love, Marriage, and Misogyny  Theme Icon
Sparkish is left alone in the street where he sees Alithea and Lucy walking in the direction away from Horner’s house. He takes this as proof of her... (full context)
Love, Marriage, and Misogyny  Theme Icon
Town vs. Country Theme Icon
...jealousy. She cannot believe that Pinchwife really wishes her to marry Horner and confesses to Lucy that she would rather marry Harcourt instead. The pair set off to find him while... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
Reputation, Appearance, and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Love, Marriage, and Misogyny  Theme Icon
Theatre, Puritanism, and Forbidden Desire  Theme Icon
As they argue, Horner hears someone coming up the stairs. Pinchwife, Sparkish, Alithea, Lucy, and Harcourt enter with a parson. Pinchwife asks Horner if it is true that he... (full context)
Reputation, Appearance, and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Theatre, Puritanism, and Forbidden Desire  Theme Icon
Lucy then tries to make peace and suggests that all the confusion stems from her efforts... (full context)
Reputation, Appearance, and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Theatre, Puritanism, and Forbidden Desire  Theme Icon
Town vs. Country Theme Icon
...but Margery tries to protest and claim it is not true. Mrs. Squeamish whispers to Lucy to silence her and Dorilant comes forward to tell Margery “the truth” about Horner. (full context)
Reputation, Appearance, and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Theatre, Puritanism, and Forbidden Desire  Theme Icon
Town vs. Country Theme Icon
Horner suggests that they go to the theatre and Lucy presses Margery to tell Pinchwife that she only came out of the house in disguise... (full context)