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Mrs Bell. Will be happy; I know that is whats' ladyship's most obedient—[Curtsying.) We exyou are going to say. But he must do homage
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 huiLote. 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 sume to
think! such accidents !-I am 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 iny hands; do you her moving before ine 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 be 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 countenance 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 inadcap? 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
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
you lead through the honours ? --Madam, coming into fashion.'
' it was not the play--Pardon me, sir—but madam 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? If 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 Ranelagh, 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, my 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 confuhome from the opera--vou 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! ba! • lady Betty Fidget-What a sweet blonde ! How Mrs Bel. Ha! ha! the pencil of Hogarth
do you do, my dear! (Curtsying us to another could not do it better. And yet one is dragged to *gning 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 * Snake-root 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 doesi
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;
but from taste, or inclination, no; I never touch one would almost swear that you hare a wife at a card.
home who sat for the picture. Mrs Bel. Oh! very true; I forgot. You de- Love. Madam, the-[Embarrassed.] The comdicate your time to the Muses ; a downright pliment—you are only laughing at me—the subrhyming peer. Do you know, my lord, that Iject, from every day's experience[aside.] Does am charnied with your song?
she suspect me ?—the subject is common-BaLove. Are you?
chelor's wives, you know-ha! ha!- And when Mrs Bel. Absolutely; and I really think you you inspire the thought; when you are the bright would make an admirable Vauxhall poet. original, it is no wonder that the copyLove. Nay, now you flatter me.
Mrs Bel. Horrid ! going to harp on the old Mrs Bel. No, as I live; it is very pretty. And string. Odious solicitations! I hate all propodo you know that I can sing it already ? Come, sals. I am not in the humour. You must reyou shall hear how I murder it. I have no voice lease me now: your visit is rather long. I have to-day, but you shall hear me.
[Sings. indulged you a great while. And, besides, were
I to listen to your vows, what would become of Attend, all ye fair, and I'N tell you the art, poor sir Brilliant Fashion ?
To bind every fancy with ease in your chains ; Love. Sir Brilliant Fashion? To hold in soft fetters the conjugal heart,
Mrs Bel. Do you know him? And banish from Hymen his doubts and his Love. I know whom you mean. I have seen pains.
him; but that's all. He lives with a strange set,
and does not move in my sphere. If he is & When Juno was decked with the cestus of Love, friend of yours, I have no more to say. At first she was handsome ; she charming be- Mrs Bel. Is there any thing to say against
him? With skill the soft passions it taught her to move, Love. Nay, I have no knowledge of the genTo kindle at once, and to keep up the flame. tleman. They who know him best, don't rate
him high. A sort of current coin that passes in 'Tis this gives the eyes all their magic and fire,
You will do well to beware of counThe voice-melting accents ; impassions the kiss ; terfeits. Confers the sweet smile, that awakens desire, Mrs Bel. But this is very alarmingAnd plants round the fair each incentive to bliss.
Enter MiGnionet, in a violent hurry. Thence flows the gay chat, more than reason that Mign. My dear madam, I am frighted out of charms;
my senses. The poor lady-Where are the The eloquent blush, that can beauty improve ;' hartshorn drops ? The fond sigh, the fond vow, the soft touch that Love. The lady! what lady? alarms;
Mign. Never stand asking what lady. She has The tender disdain, the renewal of love. fainted away all on a sudden : she is now in
strong hysterics; give me the drops. Ye fair, take the cestus, and practise its power :
Mrs Bel, I must run to her assistance. Adieu, The mind unaccomplished, mere features are my lord. I shall be at home in the evening.
Mignionet, step this way. Your lordship will With wit, with good humour, enliven each hour, excuse me: I shall expect to see you. Come, And the loves, and the graces, shall walk in Mignionet; make haste, inake haste.
[Erit with MIGNIONET.
Love. I hope the lady has not overheard me? Love. My poetry is infinitely obliged to you. What a villain am I to carry on this scheme It grows into sense as you sing it. Your voice, against so much beauty, innocence, and merit! like the cestus of Venus, bestows a grace upon And to wear this badge of honour for the darkevery thing.
est purposes ! And, then, my friend, sir Brilliant, Mrs Bel
. Oh! fulsome; I sing horridly. [Goes will it be fair to supplant him? Prithee, be quiet, to the glass.] How do I look ? Don't tell me, my dear conscience ! none of your meddling!
you are studying a compliment, but I don't interrupt a gentleman in his pleasures. am resolved to mortify you; I won't hear it.- Don't you know, my good friend, that love has Well! have you thought of any thing? Let it no respect for persons, but soars above all laws pass; 'tis too late now. Pray, my lord, how of honour and of friendship? No reflection; came you to choose so grave a subject as connu- have her I must, and that quickly, too, or she bial happiness?
will discover all. Besides, this is my wife's Love. Close and particular that question ! fault: why does she not make home agreeable?
[Aside. I am willing to be happy'; I could be constant to Mrs Bel. Juno! Hymen! doubts and pains ! her, but she is not formed for happiness.
What the devil is Madam Fortune about now? | Mrs Bel. Is unseasonable, and yours is so [Sir Brilliant sings within.] Sir Brilliant, by now: Flow can you tease me? all that's infamous ! Confusion! no place to Sir Bril. I thought as much. There are some hide me? no escape! The door is locked. Mig- things that may require to be discussed between nionet, Mignionet, open the door.
Mig. (Within.) You must not come in here. Mrs Bel. Reserve them all for another time: Love. What shall I do? This star, and this I can't hear you now. You must leave me.ribbon will bring me to disgrace. Away with There is a lady taken ill in the next room. this tell-tale evidence! [Takes off the ribbon.- Sir Bril. And here has been a gentleman taGo, thou blushing devil, and hide thyself for ken ill in this room. ever.
[Puts it in his pocket. Mrs Bell. How troublesome! you must be Enter Sir Brilliant, singing.
gone. Do you dispute my will and pleasure?
Fly this moment ! Sir Bril. Mrs Bellmour, I have such a story Sir Bril. But, madam-Nay, if you insist upfor you. How! Loyemore?
[Goes. Love. Your slave, sir Brilliant; your slave. Mrs Bell. But, sir! I will be absolute : you
[Hiding the star with his hat. must leave me. (Puts him out.] There, and now Sir Bril. I did not think you had been ac- I'll make sure of the door. quainted here.
Love. You are right. I came in quest of you. Enter Mrs LoveMore, leaning on MiGIoNET. I saw the lady. I was drawn hither by mere cu- Mign. This way, madam : here is more air in riosity. We have had some conversation; and this room. I made it subservient to your purposes. I have Mrs Bell. How do you find yourself? Pray, been giving a great character of you.
sit down. Sir Bril. You are always at the service of Mrs Love. My spirits were too weak. I your friends. But what's the matter? what are could not support it any longer; such a scene of you fumbling about?
[Pulls the hat. perfidy! Love. 'Sdeath! have a care: don't touch me. Mrs Bell. You astonish me! what perfidy?
[Puts his handkerchief to his breast. Mrs Love. Perfidy of the blackest dye; I told Sir Bril. What the devil is the matter? you that you were acquainted with my husband?
Love. Oh! keep off—Aside.] Here's a busi- Mrs Bel. Acquainted with your husband ! Dess. Taken in the old way: let me pass-I
[Angrily. have had a fling at lord Etheridge: he will be Mrs Love. A moment's patience-Yes, maout of favour with the widow: I have done you dam, you are acquainted with him. The base that good. Racks and torments, my old com- man, who went hence but now
[Wanting to pass him. Mrs Bell. Sir Brilliant Fashion? Sir Bril What complaint? You had better sit Mrs Love. No; your lord Etheridge, as he down.
calls himselfLove. No, no; air, the air. I must have a Mrs Bell. Lord Etheridge? What of him, surgeon. A stroke of a tennis-ball! My lord pray? Rackett's unlucky left-hand.
Mrs Love. False, dissembling man! he is my There is something forming here. [Passes him.] husband, inadam : not lord Etheridge, but plain To be caught is the devil. (Aside.] Don't men- Mr Lovemore; my Mr Lovemore. tion my name. You will counteract all I have Mrs Bel. And has he been base enough to as said. Oh! torture, torture! I will explain to sume a title to ensnare me to my undoing? you another time. Sir Brilliant, yours. I have Mign. [Going.} Well, for certain, I believe served your interest-Oh! there is certainly the devil's in me: I always thought him a sly something forming [Erit. one.
[Erit. Sir Bril. What does all this mean? So, so, Mrs Love. To see him carrying on this dark Mrs Lovemore's suspicions are well-founded. - design—to see the man whom I have ever esThe widow has her private visits, I see. Yes, teemed and loved—the man whom I must still yes; there is something forming here.
love--esteem him, I fear, I never can--to see him
before my face with that artful treachery! it Enter Mrs BELLMOUR.
was too much for sensibility like mine; I felt the
shock too severely, and I sunk under it. So; here she comes. The whole shall be ex- Mrs Bel. I am ready to sink this moment plained. I hope, madam, that I don't interrupt with amazement! I saw him, for the first time, you with any piquet-friend.
at old Mrs Loveit's. She introduced him to me. · Mrs Bell. You are always a torment: what | The appointment was of her own making. brings you hither?
Mrs Love. You know Mrs Loveit's character, Sir Bril. There are times, madam, when a vi- I suppose ? sit
MÍrs Bell. The practised veteran! Could I
Let me pass.
suspect that a woman, in her style of life, would this matter coolly. You have saved me, and I lend herself to a vile stratagem against my ho- must return the obligation. You shall stay dinnour? That she would join in a conspiracy a- ner with me. gainst her own sex? Mr Lovemore shall never Mrs Love, Excuse me. Mr Lovemore may enter these doors again— I am obliged to you, possibly go home. He shall hear of his guilt, madam, for this visit; to me a providential inci- while the sense of it pierces here, and wounds me dent. I am sorry for your share in it. The dis- to the quick. covery secures my peace and happiness; to you Mirs Bell. Now, there you are wrong: take it is a fatal conviction, a proof unanswerable a- my advice first. I will lay such a plan as may gainst the person to whom you are joined for ensure bim yours for ever. Come, come, you life.
must not leave me yet. [Takes her hand.] AnMrs Love. After this discovery, it cannot be swer me one question : don't you still think he for life. I am resolved not to pass another day has qualities that do, in some sort, apologize for under his roof.
his vices? Mrs Bell. Hold, hold ! no sudden resolutions. Mrs Love. I don't know what to think of it: Consider a little: passion is a bad adviser. I hope he has. This may take a turn for your advantage. Mrs Bell. Very well, then. I have lost a loMrs Love. That can never be : I am lost be- ver; you may gain one.
Your conduct upon yond redemption.
this occasion may reform him; and let me tell Mrs Bell Don't decide too rashly. Come, you, that the man, who has it in his power to acome, the man, who has certain qualities, is tone for his faults, should not be entirely despiworth thinking about, before one throws the bi- sed. Let the wife exert herself; let her try her deous thing away for ever. Mr Lovemore is a powers of pleasing, and, take my word for it, traitor; but is not he still amiable? And, besides, you have heard his sentiments. That song The wild gallant no more abroad will roam, points at something. Perhaps, you are a little But find his loved variety at home. to blame. He did vot write upon such a subject,
[Ereunt: without a cause to suggest it. We will talk over
Mrs Love. And that, to be sure, engrossed all SCENE I.-- An apartment in LOVEMORE's
your time. Business inust be minded. Did you house. Mr and Mrs LOVEMORE at table afind him at home? ter dinner : servants taking things out of the Love. It was by his own appointment. I went
to his house directly after I parted from you. I Love. [Filling a glass.] I wonder you are not have been no where else. 'Matters of account tired of the same eternal topic. [Sipping his wine. always fatigue me. Mrs Love. If I make it an eternal topic, it is
Mrs Love. I would not be too inquisitive, sir. for your own good, Mr Lovemore.
Love. Oh, no; you never are. I staid at the Love. I know I have your good wishes, and banker's the rest of the time; and I came straight you have mine. All our absent friends, Mrs from his house to have the pleasure of dining Luvemore.
[Drinks. with you. Mrs Love. If you would but wish well to
[Fills a glass of wine. yourself, sir, I should be happy. But, in the Mrs Love. Were there any sincerity in that way you go on, your health must be ruined; day declaration, I should be happy. A tavern life is night, and night day; your substance squander- has hitherto been your delight. I wonder what ed; your constitution destroyed; and your fa- delight you can find in such an eternal round of mily quite neglected.
gaming, riot, and dissipation. Will you answer Love. Family neglected! You see I dined at me one question? home, and this is my reward for it.
Love. With great pleasure-[Aside.]-if it is Mrs Love. You dined at home, sir, because not inconvenient. something abroad has disconcerted you. You Mirs Love. Lay your hand on your heart, and went, I suppose, after I saw you at Lady Con- tell me- -Have I deserved this usage? stant's, to your old haunt, your friend, Mrs Lo- Love. My humble service to you, my love. yeit
Drinks. Love. Mrs Loveit! ha! ha! I dropt her ac- Mrs Love. I am sure I have never been do quaintance long ago. No, my love, I drove into ficient in any one point of the duty I owe you. the city, and spent the rest of the morning upon You won my heart, and I gave it freely. business. I had long accounts to settle with old Love. [going io sleep.] It is very true. Discount, the banker.
Mrs Love. Your interest has been mine. !
have known no pleasure unconnected with your SCENE II.—Changes to Sir Bashful's. happiness. Diversions, show, and pomp, have had no allurements for ine.
Enter Lady Constant and FURNISH. Love. [Dropping asleep.] Yesyou are right Lady Con. Who brought this letter? - just as you please
Fur. A servant of Mrs Lovemore's : he waits Mrs Löve. Had I been inclined to follow the an answer. example of other women, your fortune would Lady Con. My compliments to Mrs Lovemore, have felt it before now. You might have been and I shall wait upon her. thousands out of pocket; but your interest has Fur. Yes, madam.
[Going. been the object of my attention ; and
Lady Con. And hark ye, Furnish ?-have the enience
things been carried to sir Brilliant, as I ordered? Love. [Turns his chair from her.) You reason Fur. I have obeyed your ladyship’s comvery- -you reason admirablya -admir--mands. The steward went himself. Mr Pounce, ably-al-ways- al-ways- gay—and your ladyship knows, is a trusty body. You may enter-entertaining
[Going to sleep. depend upon his care. Mrs Love. Marriage is generally considered Lady Con. Go, and send Mrs Lovemore her as an introduction to the great scene of the answer. She
may depend upon my being with world. I thought it a retreat to less noisy and her in time. [Erit FURNISH.] What can Mrs. serener pleasures. What is called polite com- Lovemore want? [Reads ] - Ladyship's company pany (He falls fast asleep.] was not my taste. to a card-party; but cards are the least part of You was lavish in expence; I was, therefore, an my object. I have something of higher moeconomist. From the moment marriage made ment in view, and the presence of my friends is me yours, the pleasure arising from your com- absolutely necessary.? There is some mystery pany—There! fast asleep! Agreeable com- in this. What does she mean? I shall go, and pany indeed !- This is ever his way. [She rises.] then the scene will clear up: those diamond Unfeeling inan! It is too plain that I am buckles embarrass me more than Mrs Lovegrown his aversion. Mr Lovemore! [Looking more's unintelligible letter. Diamond buckles at him.) you little think what a scene this day to me! From what quarter? Who could send bas brought to lightAnd yet he hopes with them? Nobody but sir Brilliant. I am right in falsehood to varnish and disguise bis treachery. my conclusion: they came from him. Who How mean the subterfuge! shall I rouse him could take the liberty but a person of his cast ? now, and tax him with his guilt ! My heart is A presuming man! But I have mortified his vatoo full: reproach will only tend to exasperate, nity. Before this time, he has found his diaand perhaps make him irreconcilable. The monds thrown back upon his hands, with the pride that can stoop to low and wretched arti- disdain which such confidence deserves—But if fice, but ill can brook detection. Let him rest I have made a mistake !-Oh! no; no danger. for the present. The widow Bellmour's experi- Has not sir Brilliant marle overtures to me? Has ment may answer better-I will try it, at least-not he declared himself? He sees sir Bashful's Oh! Mr Lovemore, you will break my heart ! behaviour, and his vanity plumes itself upon that
(Looks at him, and exit. circumstance. To give me my revenge against a Love. (Talking in his sleep.] I do listen-1 crazy and insufferable husband, he would fain am not asleep. Sleeps and nods.] You are very induce me to ruin myself with a coxcomb. Beright-always right, I am only thinking a little. sides, he heard the whole of sir Bashful's dispute No-no--no---(Mutters indistinctly. It was about diamonds and trinkets : the thing is clear; not two o'clock-in bed—in bed by twelve- it was sir Brilliant sent them; and, by that straSir Bashful is an oaf—The widow Bellmour-tagem, he hopes to bribe me into compliance(Sleeps, and his head rolls about.j-What's the That bait will never take; though here comes matter? (Waking.] I beg your pardon; I was one, who, I am sure, deserves to be treated withbeginning to nod. What did you say, my dear? | out a grain of ceremony. (Leans on the table, without looking about.] One cannot always, you know—[Turns about.]
Enter Sır BASHFUL. 'Sdeath! she is gone! Oh! fast asleep. This is Sir Bash. Here she is. Now, let me see wheever the way when one dines at home. Let me ther she will take any notice of the present I shake it off
. (Rises.] What's o'clock ?---No a- sent ber. She has reason to be in good humour, musement in this house ; what shall I do? The I think-Your servant, madam. widow?-I must not venture in that quarter. Lady Con. Your address is polite, sir. My evil genius, sir Brilliant, will be busy there. Is Sir Bash. (Aside.] Still proud and obstinate!any body in the way? I must sally out. My dear Has any thing happened to disturb the harmony Venus, favour your votary this afternoon. of your temper? -Your best arms employ,
Lady Con. Considering what little discord you All winged with pleasure, and all tipt with joy. make, it is a wonder that my temper is not always
[Exit. in tune.