페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Lovemore is, at least, well-bred; he has an un- Lady Con. Sir Brilliant's authority is not alderstanding, and may, in tine, reflect. Sir Bash

ways

the best; but, in this point, you may trust ful never qualifies himself with the smallest tinc-him. ture of civility:

Mrs Love. But when you have heard all the Mrs Love. If civility can qualify the draught, circumstancesI must allow Mr Lovemore to have a skilful Lady Con. Depend upon it, you are wrong:hand. But there is no end to his projects. I know the widow Bellmour. Her turn of chaEvery day opens a new scene. Another of his racter, and way of thinkingintrigues is come to light. I came to consult Mrs Love. Excuse me, madam. You decide with your ladyship. I know you are acquainted without hearing me. with the widow Bellmour.

Lady Con. All scandal, take my word for it. Lady Con. The widow Bellmour! I know her | However, let me hear your story. We'll adjourn perfectly well.

co my dressing-room, if you will; and I promise Mrs Love. Not so well, perhaps, as you may to confute all you can say. I would have you imagine. She has thrown out the lure for my know the widow Bellmour: you will be in love wild gallant, and in order to deceive me

with her. My dear madam, have not you a tinge Lady Con. My dear, you must be mistaken.- of jealousy? Beware of that malady. If you see Who tells you this?

things through that medium, I shall give you up. Mrs Love. Oh, I can trust to my intelligence. Sir Brilliant Fashion, by way of blind to me, has Chat jaundice of the mind, whose colours strike been this morning drawing so amiable a picture On friend and foe, and paint them all alike. of the lady

[Ereunt.

[ocr errors]

ACT III.

SCENE I.-An apartment at the Widow BELL- Mig. Yes, madam; and there's your toilette

mour's : several chairs, a toilette, a book-case, looks as elegant as hands can make it.
and a harpsichord, disposed up and down.

Mrs Bell. Does it? I think it does. You have

some taste. Apropos, where is my new song? MinionET. Putting things in order.

Oh! here it is ! I must make myself mistress of Mig. I don't well know what to make of thi- it.-{Plays upon the harpsichord, and sings a litsame lord Etheridge. He is coming here again tle.]-I believe I have conquered it.--[Rises, and to-day, I suppose : all this neatness, and all this goes to her toilette.)-This hair is always torcare, must be for him. Well, it does not signify: menting me, always in disorder: this lock must - Arranging the chairs.)—there is a pleasure in be for ever gadding out of its place. I must, and obeying Madam Bellinour. She is a sweet lady, will, subdue it. Do you know, Mignionet, that that's the truth of it. 'Twere a pity if any of this is a pretty song? It was writ by my lord these men, with their deceitful arts, should draw Etheridge. My lord has a turn—[Sings a little.] her into a snare. But she knows them all. They -I must be perfect before he comes.-Hums must rise early who can outwit her.-(Settling the tune.)-Do you know that I think my

lord is the toilette.]

one of those men who may be endured?

Mig. Yes, madam; I know you think so. Enter Mrs BELLMOUR, reading.

Mrs Bell. Do you?

Mag. And if I have any skill, madam, you are • Oh! blest with temper, whose unclouded ray not without a little partiality for bis lordship: • Can make to-morrow cheerful as to-day! Mrs Bell. Really? Then you think I like him, • She, who can own a sister's charms, and hear perhaps ? Do you think I like hiin? I don't well • Sighs for a daughter with unwounded ear; know how that is. Like him? No, not absolute• That never answers till a husband cools, ly: it is not decided : and yet I don't know, if I

. And, if she rules hiin, never shews she rules.' had a mind to humour myself, and to give way a Sensible, elegant Pope !

little to inclination, there is something here in • Charins by accepting, by submitting sways, my heart that would be busy, I believe. The • Yet bas her huinour most, when she obeys.' man has a softness of manner, a turn of wit,

[Seems to read on and does not want sentiment. Can I call it senMig. Lord love my mistress! Always so timent? Yes; I think I may. He has sentiment; charming, so gay, and so happy!

and then he knows the manners, the usage of the Mrs Bell. These exquisite characters of wo world, and he points out the ridicule of things meu! They are a sort of painter's gallery, where with so much humour ! one sees the portraits of all one's acquaintance, Miy. You'll be caught, madam, I see that. and sometimes we see our own features, too.- ii be sure, my lord has a quality air, and can Mignionet, put this book in its place.

make himself agreeable. But what of that? say?

ance

You know but very little of him. Is a man's | reach a chair.--[Mrs LOVEMORE crosses the character known in three or four weeks time?) stage, and they salute each other with an air of [Mrs Bellmour hums a tune.]-Do, my dear distant civility.] inadam, mind what I say: I am at times very Mrs Love. I am afraid this visit from one who considerate. I make my remarks, and I see very has not the honour of knowing youplainly-Lord, madam, what am I doing? I am Mrs Bell. Oh, make no apology, madam.talking to you for your own good, and you are all Miguionet, you may withdraw. in the air, and no more mind me-no, no more

[Erit MIGNION ET. than if I was nothing at all.

Mrs Lore. It may appcar extraordinary, that Mrs Bell. [Continues humming a tune.)-You a stranger thus intrudes upon you; but a particutalk wonderfully well upon the subject; but, as I lar circumstance determined me to take this liknow how the cards lie, and can play the best of berty. I hope you will excuse the freedom? the game; and as I have a song to amuse me,

Mrs Bell. You do me bonour, madam : pray, one is inclined to give musical nonsense the pre- no excuses. A particular circumstance, you ference.

Mig. I assure you, madam, I am not one of Mrs Love. I shall appear, perhaps, very ridithose servants, that bargain for their mistress's in- culous, and, indeed, I am afraid I have done the clinations : but you are going to take a leap in most absurd thing! but a lady of your acquaintthe dark. What does my lord Etheridge mean,

-You know my lady Constant, madam? with his chair always brought into the hall, and Mrs Bell. Extremely well. the curtains close about his ears? Why does not Mrs Love. She has given you such an amiable he come like himself, and not care who sees him? character for benevolence, and a certain elegant There's some mysterv at the bottom, I'll be sworn way of thinking, entirely your own, that I flatter there is; and so you'll find at last. Dear heart, myself, if it is in your power, you will be genemadam, if you are determined not to listen, what rous enough to afford me your assistance. signities my living with you? At this rate, I am Mrs Bell. Lady. Constant is very obliging.--. of no service to you.

Make a trial of me, madam, and if I can be of Mrs Bell. There; I have conquered my song. any use-[Runs to her glass.]—low do I look to-day? Mrs Love. I fear I shall ask you a strange The eyes do well enough, I think. And so, Mig- question : :-are you acquainted with a gentleman nionet, you imagine I shall play the fool, and of the name of Lovemore? marry my lord Etheridge?

Mrs Bell. Lovemore? No such pame on my Mig. You have it through the very heart of list. Lovemore? No: I recollect no such peryou : I see that.

The circle of my acquaintance is small : I Mirs Bell. Do you? I don't know what to say ain almost a stranger in town. to it. Poor sir Brilliant Fashion! If I prefer his Mrs Love. That makes an end, madam. I rival, what will become of him? I won't think beg your pardon. I have given you an unnecesabout it.

sary trouble.

[Guiag. Mrs Bell. [Aside.Mighty odd this! Her Enter POMPEY.

manner is interesting. You have given me no Mrs Bell. What's the matter, Pompey? trouble; but my curiosity is excited.—Takes her

Pom. A lady in a chair desires to know if your by the hand.]-I beg you will keep your chair.-ladyship is at home.

Pray be seated. What can this mean :-[ Aside.] Mrs Bell. Has the lady no name

?

Will you be so good as to inform me who the Pom. Yes; I fancy she has, madam; but she gentleman is? did not tell it.

Mrs Love. The story will be uninteresting to Mrs Bell. How awkward! Well, shew the la- you, and, to me, it is painful. My grievances dy up stairs.

[Puts her handkerchief to her eyes.] Mig. Had not you better receive her in the Mirs Bell. [Aside. )---Her grief affects me.drawing-room, madam? I have not half done my (Looks at her till she has recovered herselt:H-I business here?

would vot importune too muchMrs Bell, Oh! You have done very well. Mrs Love. You have such an air of frankness There will be less formality here. I dare say it and generosity, that I will open myself without is soine intimate acquaintance, though that fool- reserve. I have the tenderest regard for Mr ish boy does not recollect her name.

llere she Lovemore: I have been married to him these comes. I don't know her.

I adinired his understanding, his seit sibility, and his spirit. My heart was his; I

loved him with unbounded passion. I thought Enter Mrs LOVEMORE.

the flame was mutual, and you may believe I was Airs Loce. [Disconcerted.]-I beg pardon for happy. But, of late, there is such a revolution in this intrusion.

bis temper! I know not what to make of it. I Mírs Bell. Pray walk in, madam. Mignionet, am doomed to be unhappy.

son.

two years.

Mrs Bell. Perhaps not: you may still have | ture, virtue embellished by the advantages of art, much in your power.

that men expect now-a-days. That is the whole Ars Love. My power is at an end. Instead attair : I would not make myself uncasy, ma'am. of the looks of affection, and the expressions of Mrs Love. Not uneasy, when his indifference tenderness, with which he used to meet me, it is does not diminish my regard for him! Not unnothing now but cold, averted, superficial civili- easy, when the man i dote upon, no longer tixes ty; while abroad, he runs on in a wild career of his happiness at home! pleasure, and, to my deep affliction, has attached Mrs Bell. Give me leave to speak my mind himself entirely to another object.

freely. I have observed, when the fiend jeaMrs Bell. And if I had known Mr Lovemore, lousy is roused, that women lay out a wonderful do you imagine that my advice or persuasion deal of anxiety and vexation to no account; would avail you any thing ?

when, perhaps, if the truth were known, they Mrs Love. I had such a fancy. [Aside.) What should be angry with themselves instead of their can I think of her!

husbands. Mrs Bell. You are much mistaken. In these Mrs Love. Angry with myself, madam! Cacases, friends may interpose; but what can they lumny can lay nothing to my charge. do? They recommend a wife to the good will, Mrs Bell. There again, now! that is the folly the honour, and generosity of her husband. But of us all. when a woman, who should be esteemed and lo- Mrs Love. And after being married so long, ved, is recommended as an object of compassion, and behaving all the time with such an equality! she is humbled indeed: it is all over with her. Mrs Bell. Ay, that equality is the rock so maA wife should recommend herself by the graces ny split upon. The men will change. Excuse of her person, and the variety of her talents. my freedom. They are so immersed in luxury, Men will prove false ; and, if there is nothing in that they must have eternal variety in their hiapyour complaint, but mere gallantry on his side, Ipiness. protest, I do not see that your case is so very bad. Mrs Love. She justifics him! [ Aside. Mirs Love. Can it be worse, ma'am ?

Mrs Bell. Your case may not be desperate : Mrs Bell. A great deal. If his affections, in- I would venture to lay a pot of coffee, that the stead of being alicnated, had been extinguished, person, who now rivals you in your husband's afwhat would be the consequence ?-A downright, fections, does it without your good qualities, and sullen, habitual insensibility. From that lethargy even without your beauty, by the mere force of of affection, a man is not easily recalled. In all agreeable talents, and some skill in the art of Love's bill of mortality, there is not a more fatal pleasiny. disorder. But this is not the case with Mr Love- Mrs Love. I am afraid that complimentmore: by your account, he still has sentient; Mrs Bell. If I judge right, you are entitled to and, where there is sentiment, there is room to it. Let me ask you : Do you know this formihope for an alteration. But where the heart has dable rival? lost its feeling, you have the pain of finding your- Mrs Love. There, I own, I am puzzled. self neglected ; and for what? The man has Mrs Bell. What sort of woman is she? grown stupid, and, to the warm beams of wit and Mrs Love. Formidable indeed! She has been beauty, as impenetrable as an ice-house.

described to me as one of charming and rare acMrs Love. That is not my complaint. I have complishments. to do with one, who is too susceptible of impres- Mrs Bell. Never throw up the cards for all sions from every beautiful object that comes in that. Take my advice, ma’am. You seem to

have qualities that may dispute your husbaud's Mrs Bell. Why, so much the better. A new heart with any body; but the exertion of those iilea strikes his fancy. He is inconstant; but, at- amiable qualities, I fear, may be suppressed. Exter wavering and Ruttering, he may settle at last. cuse my frankness. You should counteract your

Mrs Love. How light she makes of it! she rival by the very arts which she employs ayainst apologizes for hiin!

[Aside. you. I know a lady now in your very situation : Alrs Bell. And, perhaps, the fault is on the and what does she do? She consuines herself woman's side

with unceasing jealousy; whereas, if she would Mrs Love. The virtue of my conduct, ma- exert but half the pains she uses in teasing herdam

self, to vie with the person who has won her husMrs Bell. Oh! I would have laid my life you band from her; to vie with her, I say, in the ar: would be at that work. But virtue is not the of pleasing-for there it is a woman's pride should mestion at present. I suppose virtue; that is be piqued-Would she do that, take iny word always understood. The fault I mean, is the for it, victory would declare in her favour. You

his way.

of due attention to the art of pleasing. It are not without attractions ; give them their is the ze that most women fail. In these times, energy, and you conquer. virtue

may be its own reward. Virtue alone can- Mrs Love. Do you think so, ma'am ?
case the taste of the age. It is la belle na- Mrs Bell. Think so! I am sure of it. You

want

ין ועץ

[ocr errors]

an answer.

6

must exert yourself. It is the wife's business to [A rap at the door.] Oh! Heavens! some troublebait the hook for her husband with variety. Vir- some visit.

(Rings a bel. tue alone, by her own native charms, would do,

Enter MIGNIONET. if the men were perfect. But it is otherwise ; and, since vice can assume allurements, why should Mrs Bell. I am not at home. Go, and give not truth and innocence have additional ornaments also ?

Mig. It is lord Etheridge, ma'am : he is coMrs Love. I find sir Brilliant told me truth. ming up stairs. The servants did not know you

[Aside. had changed your mind. Mrs Bell. Give me leave, ma'am: I have been Mrs Bell. Was ever any thing so cross? Tell married, and am a little in the secret. To win a his lordship I have company; I am busy; I am heart is easy; to keep it is the difficulty. After not well; any thing; don't let him come in. the fatal words · for better, for worse,' women Make haste, dispatch : I won't see him. relax into indolence, and, while they are guilty of Mrs Love. I beg I may not hinder you : I shall no infidelity, they think every thing safe. But take my leave. they are mistaken: a great deal is wanting; an Mrs Bell. By no means. Our conversation address, a vivacity, a desire to please; the agree-grows interesting. I positively will not see my able contrast; the sense that pleases, the folly lord. that charms---A favourite poet, Prior, has ex- Mrs Love. I can't agree to that. You must pressed it with delicacy.

see his lordship. I can step into another room.

Mrs Bell. Will you be so good? You will find • Above the fixed and settled rules

something to amuse you in that cabinet. [Points • Of vice and virtue in the schools,

to a door in the back scene.) We must talk far. • The better part should set before 'em ther. My lord shan't stay long. A grace, a manner, a decorum.'

Mrs Love. Nay, but if you stand upon cere

monyMrs Love. But when the patural temper- Mrs Bell. Very well : I'll contrive it. This is

Mrs Bell. Ob! the natural temper must be a lover of mine. A lover and a husband are the forced. Home must be made a place of plea- same thing. Perhaps it will divert you to hear sure to the husband. How is that to be done? how I manage him. I hear him on the stairs. That equality, which you talk of, is a sameness Make haste: Mignionet, shew the way. that palls and wearies. A wife should throw in- [Mrs Love. and Mig. go out at the back finite variety into her manner. She should, as it were, multiply herself, and be, as it were, sundry Mrs Bell. Let me see how I look to receive different women, on different occasions. The ten- him.

[Runs to her glass der, the affectionate, the witty, the silent, all in

Enter LoveMore, with a star and garter, as their turns, all shifting the scene, and she suc

LORD ETHERIDGE. ceeding to herself as quick as lightning. And this I take to be the whole mystery; the way to keep

Love. A heavenly image in the glass appears But I beg your pardon. I go on too

To that she bends, to that her eyes she fast: you will think me the giddiest creature.

rears, Mrs Love. Quite the reverse, ma'am; you are

Repairs her smilesvery obliging!

Mrs Bell. Repairs her smiles, my lord! You Mrs Bell. I have tired myself and you, too.

are satirical this morning. Pray, :ny lord, are my But pray, may I now inquire, who was so kind features out of repair, like an old house in the as to intimate that I am acquainted with Mr country, that wants a tenant ? Lovemore?

Love. Nay, now, you wrest my words from their Mrs Love. It was a mere mistake. I have gi- visible intention. You can't suppose that I imven you a great deal of trouble. You will excuse pute to such perfect beauty the least want of remy frankness : I had heard that his visits were pair, whatever may be the case, ma'am, with refrequent here.

gard to the want of a tenant? Mrs Bell. His visits frequent here! My lady Mrs Bell. Oh! then your opinion is, that I Constant could not tell you so?

want a tenant? And perhaps you think I am go Mrs Love. She told me quite the contrary. ing to put up a bill to signity to all passers-bs, She knows your amiable qualities, and does you that here is a mansion to be let, inquire of the justice.

widow Bellmour! I like your notion; I don't Mrs Bell. The accident is lucky! it has pro- think it would be a bad sclieme. Shall I try it? cured me the honour of your acquaintance. And Love. A palace needs no such invitation. Its I suppose you imagined that I had robbed you of natural beauty attracts admiring eyes. But who Mr Loremore's heart?-Scandal will be buzzing can bid up to the price : The person who is able about. I can laugh at every thing of that sort. to do it

scene.

a man.

sume to

Mrs Bell. Will be happy; I know that is what ladyship's most obedient-[Curtsying.] We exyou are going to say. But he must do homage' pected you last night, but you did not come.for it: and then I will let it to none but a single · He, he, he !-and so there was sir George and gentleman. Do you know any body whom these the rest of us; and so, turning the corner of conditions will suit?

Bond-street, the brute of a coachman-I humLove. Those conditions, ma'am- -[Aside.] bly thank your grace (Curtsies.] -- the brute What the devil does she mean? I am not de- of a coachinan overturned us, and so my aunt tected, I hope?- To be sure, ma'am, those condi- Roly-Poly was frightened out of her wits; and tions-And-none but single gentlemen will pre- lady Betty has had her nerves again. Only

think! such accidents !-I ain glad to see you Mrs Bell. And then it must be a lease for life. ' look so well; a l'honneur ;' he, he, he ! But that will never do; nobody will be troubled Love. Ho, ho! you paint to the life. I see with it. I shall never get it off my hands; do you her moving before ime in all her airs. think I shall, my lord ?

Mrs Bel. With this conversation their whole Love. There must be very little taste left, if stock is exhausted, and away they run to cards. you have not a number of bidders. You know Quadrille has murdered wit! the ambition of my heart; you know I am de- Love. Ay, and beauty, too. Cards are the voted to you, upon any terms, even though it worst enemies to a complexion : the small pox is were to he bought with life.

not so bad. The passions throw themselves into Mrs Bell. Heavens! what a dying swain you every feature: I have seen the countevance of an are! And does your lordship mean to be guilty angel changed, in a moment, to absolute deforof matrimony? Lord! what a question have I mity: the little loves and graces that sparkled in asked! To be sure, I am the giddiest creature. the eye, bloomed in the cheek, and smiled about My lord, don't you think me a strange madcap? the mouth, all wing their flight, and leave the

Love. A vein of wit, like yours, that springs at face, which they before adorned, a prey to grief, once from vivacity and sentiment, serves to exalt to anger, malice, and fury, and the whole train your beauty, and give animation to every charm. of fretful passions.

Mrs Bel. Upon my word, you have said it Mrs Bel. And the language of the passions is finely! But you are in the right, my lord. Your sometimes heard upon those occasions. pensive melancholy beauty is the most insipid Love. Very true, madam; and if, by chance, thing in nature. And yet, we often see features they do bridle and hold in a little, the struggle without a mind; and the owner of them sits in they undergo is the most ridiculous sight in nathe room with you, like a inere vegetable, for an ture. I have seen a huge oath quivering on the hour together, till, at last, she is incited to the pale lip of a reigning toast for half an hour toviolent exertion of, “Yes, sir- - I fancy not, gether, and an uplifted eye accusing the gods for 'ma'am,' and then a matter of fact conversation! the loss of an odd trick. And then, at last, the "Miss Beverly is going to be married to Captain whole room in a babel of sounds. My lord, you < Shoulder-knot-My lord Mortgage has had an-flung away the game.—Sir George, why did not

other tumble at hazard-Sir Harry Wilding has you rough the spade ?-Captain Hazard, why "lost his election—They say short aprons are did not you lead through the honours ?- Madam, coming into fashion.'

it was not the play—Pardon me, sir—but madain Love. Oh! a matter of fact conversation is in

--but sir-I would not play with you for straws; supportable.

don't you know what Hoyle says? --It A and Mrs Bel. But you meet with nothing else. All • B are partners against C and D, and the game in great spirits about nothing, and not an idea nine all, A and B have won three tricks, and among them. Go to Ranelag), or to what pub-C and D four tricks : C leads his suit, D puts lic place you will, it is just the same. A lady up the king, then returns the suit; A passes, comes up to you ;— How charmingly you look? 'C puts up the queen, and B trumps it;' and so

- But, iny dear m'em, did you hear what hap- A and B, and C and D are bandied about; they pened to us the other night? We were going attack, they defend, and all is jargon and contu

horne from the opera—you know my aunt Roly- sion, wrangling, noise, and nonsense; and high • Poly? it was her coach. There was she and life, and polite conversation.- Ha! ha! ha!

lady Betty Fidget--What a sweet blonde ! How Mrs Bel. Ha! ha! the pencil of Hogarth do you do, my dear? [Curtsying as to another could not do it better. And yet one is dragged to 'going by.) My lady Betty is quite recovered; these places. One must play sometimes. We we were all frightened about her; but doctor must let our friends pick our pockets now and Soake-rout was called in; no, not doctor Snake- then, or they drop our acquaintance. Do you root, Doctor Bolus ; and so he altered the ever play, my lord ? course of the medicines, and so my lady Betty Love. Play, ma'am!--[Aside.] What does • is purely now.–Well, there was she, and my she mean? I must play the hypocrite to the end * aunt, and sir George Bragwell-a pretty man of the chapter.--Play?-Now and then, as you • sir George !—finest teeth in the world !--Your say, one must, to oblige, and from necessity; Vol. II.

42

6

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »