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ALL IN THE WRONG.
Scene 1.-— The Park. Enter Sir John Restless and Robert, from a house in
the side scene. Sir John. Sir John Restless ! Sir John Restless! thou hast played the fool with a vengeance. What devil whispered thee to marry such a woman?
-Robert, you have been a faithful servant, and I value
Did your lady go out at this door here into the Park, or did she
go out at the street door? Rob. This door, sir.
Sir John. Robert, I will never live in a house again that has two doors to it.
Sir John. I will give warning to my landlord instantly. The eyes of Argus are not sufficient to watch the motions of a wife, where there is a street door, and a back door, to favour her escapes.
Rob Upon my word, sir, I wish-you will pardon my boldness, sir,- I wish you would shake off this uneasiness that preys upon your spirits. It grieves me to the heart,-it does, indeed, sir, to see you in this way: banish your suspicions: you have conceived some strange aversion, I am afraid, to my lady, sir. Sir John. No, Robert: no aversion; in spite of me, I upon her still.
Rob. Then why will you not think generously, sir, of the person you love? My lady, I dare be sworn Sir John. Is false to me. That embitters
whole life. I love her, and she repays me with ingratitude, with perfidy, with falsehood, with
Rob. I dare be sworn, sir, she is a woman of honour.
Sir John. Robert, I have considered you as a friend in my house : don't you betray me too: don't attempt to justify her.
Rob. Dear sir, if you will but give me leave: you have been an indulgent master to me, and I am only concerned for your welfare. You married my lady for love.
Sir John. Yes, I married her for love. When first I saw her, I was not so much struck with her beauty, as with that air of an ingenuous mind that appeared in her countenance; her features did not so much charm me with their symmetry, as that expression of sweetness, that smile that indicated affability, modesty, and compliance. But, honest Robert, I was deceived: I was not a month married, when I saw her practising those very smiles at her glass : I was alarmed; I resolved to watch her from that moment, and I have seen such things!
Rob. Upon my word, sir, I believe you wrong her, and wrong yourself: you build on groundless surmises; you make yourself unhappy, and my lady too ; and by being constantly uneasy, and never showing her the least love, you'll forgive me, sir,-you fill her mind with strange suspicions, and so the mischief is done.
Sir John. Suspicions, Robert ?
Rob. Yes, sir, strange suspicions !—My lady finds herself treated with no degree of tenderness; she infers that your inclinations are fixed elsewhere, and so she is become—you will pardon my blunt honestyshe is become downright jealous,
-as jealous as yourself, sir.
Sir John. Oh! Robert, you cannot see, that all her pretences to suspect me of infidelity are merely a counterplot to cover her own loose designs : it is but a gauze covering, though; it is seen through, and only serves to show her guilt the more.
Rob. Upon my word, Sir John, I cannot see
Sir John. No, Robert, I know you can't; but I can. Her suspicions of me all make against her; they are female stratagems, and yet it is but too true that she still is near my
heart, Oh! Robert, Robert, when I have watched her at a play, or elsewhere; when I have counted her oglings, and her whisperings, her stolen glances, and her artful leer, with the cunning of her sex, she has pretended to be as watchful of me: dissembling, false, deceitful woman!
Rob. And yet, I dare assure you
Sir John. No more; I am not to be deceived; I know her thoroughly, and now-now-has not she escaped out of my house, even now?
Rob. But with no bad design.
Sir John. I am the best judge of that ; which way did she go?
Rob. Across the Park, sir; that way, towards the Horse Guards.
Sir John. Towards the Horse Guards !- there,there,-there, the thing is evident: you may go in, Robert.
Rob. Indeed, sir, I-
[Erit. Sir John. Gone towards the Horse Guards! my head aches; my forehead burns; I am cutting my horns. Gone towards the Horse Guards !—I'll pursue her thither; if I find her, the time, the place, all will inform against her. Sir John! Sir John! you were a madman to marry such a woman.
[Exit. Enter Beverley and Bellmont, at opposite sides. Beo. Ha! my dear Bellmont! A fellow sufferer in love is a companion well met.
Bell. Beverley! I rejoice to see you.
Beo. Well! I suppose the same cause has brought us both into the Park : þoth come to sigh our amorous vows in the friendly gloom of yonder walk. Belinda keeps a perpetual war of love and grief, and hope and fear, in my heart: and let me see- -[Lays his hand on BELLMONT's breast.]—how fares all here? I fancy my sister is a little busy with you.
Bell. Busy ! she makes a perfect riot there. Not one wink the whole night. Oh! Clarissa, her form so animated! her eyes so
Bev. Pr’ythee, truce; I have not leisure to attend to her praise : a sister's praise too! the greatest merit I ever could see in Clarissa is, that she loves you freely and sincerely.
Bell. And to be even with you, sir, your Belinda, upon my soul, notwithstanding all your lavish praises, her highest perfection, in my mind, is her sensibility to the merit of
Scarce can I to heav'n excuse
Unto that adored dame! But tell me honestly, now; do you think she has ever betrayed the least regard for me?
Bell. How can you, who have such convincing proofs, how can you ask such a question? That un, easiness of yours, that inquietude of mind-
Bev. Prythee, don't fix that character upon me.
Bell. It is your character, my dear Beverley : instead of enjoying the object before you, you are ever looking back to something past, or conjecturing about something to come, nd are your own self tormentor.
Beo. No, no, no; don't be so severe : I hate the very notion of such a temper: the thing is, when a man loves tenderly, as I do, solicitude and anxiety are natural; and when Belinda's father opposes my warmest wishes
Bell. Why, yes, the good Mr. Blandford is willing to give her in marriage to me.
Bed. The senseless old dotard !
Bell. Thank you for the compliment! and my father, the wise Sir William Bellmont
Bev. Is a tyrannical, positive, headstrong
Bell. There again I thank you. But, in short, the old couple, Belinda's father and mine, have both agreed upon the match. They insist upon compliance from their children; so that, according to their wise heads, I am to be married off-band to Belinda, and you
and your sister, poor Clarissa, are to be left to shift for yourselves.
Bev. Racks and torment!
Bell. Racks and torment!--Seas of milk and ships of amber, man !-We are sailing to our wished-for harbour, in spite of their machinations. I have settled the whole affair with Clarissa.
Beo. Have you? Bell. I have; and to-morrow morning makes me possessor of her charms:
Beo. My dear boy, give us your hand : and then, thou dear rogue, and then Belinda's mine! Loll-tollloll-
Bell. Well may you be in raptures, sir; for here, here, here, they both come.
Enter BELINDA and CLARISSA,
Beo. Grace was in all her steps; heav'n in her eye;
In every gesture dignity and love.Belin. A poetical reception truly !-But can't your