The plot of this play centers around Fuscara Gabriella, a widow who has come to England from Holland in order to collect the debts owed to her late husband by two merchants. Nearly destitute and unable to collect what she is owed, Fuscara instead searches for a suitable new husband to rescue her from financial ruin, along the way contriving various plots to lure wealthy men into marriage. Several men, either taken by her beauty, or under the mistaken belief that she is still wealthy, hatch their own marriage gambits. These men include Dispensation Surfet, a corrupt Puritan preacher; Justinian Aimwell, a charitable elder; Aimwell's lawyer, the corrupt and foolhardy Francis Withernam; and Hotlove, a young gallant enamored of Fuscara. Hotlove plans to marry Fuscara off to the wealthy, elderly Sir Ralph Beetl so that the two might soon inherit Beetl's fortune.