Composers and their stage works 

Rule a Wife and Have a Wife


John Fletcher


Two well-conceived plots are expertly developed. Donna Margarita seeks a pliable husband, while her maid Estifania is attracted to the apparently affluent Captain Perez. In Margarita's absence, Estifania dupes Perez into believing that she is the wealthy mistress of the house, and he courts her with a gift of bogus jewellery. Don Leon wins the dominating Margarita's hand by pretending to be meek and agreeable, and they return to the bride's home. Fearing exposure, Estifania persuades Perez that the lady is a poor relation out to trap a husband, and he reluctantly moves out. When Don Leon surprises Margarita with a show of authority, she rewards him with a fake commission. Then, when he uncovers this deceit, he wins his wife's respect and she rewards him with a true captaincy. Meanwhile, after Estifania enrages Perez by confessing to him, she wins him back by repaying him for his gifts.