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sound a retreat, and leave matters to your own Love. I am much obliged to you : but I shall discretion. Success attend you ! [Going. endeavour to go on, without giving you the trouble
Sir Bash. You must not forsake me in this dis- of assisting me. And, do you hear ? assure my tress.
lady Constant, that I meant nothing but to Love. Had your lady proved tractable, I should
[Erit. not have cared how long I had staid. But since Sir Bash. Rely upon my management. I can things are come to this pass, I shall now go and acquit you.—My lady Constant ! lady Constant! see what kind of reception I am to meet with -Let me chase her from my thoughts! Can I from Mrs Lovemore.
do it? Rage, fury, love-no more of love! I am Sir Bash. Don't let her know that you have a glad she tore the letter. Odso! yonder it lies, regard for her.
It is only torn in two, and she may still piece the Love. Oh ! no ;. I see the consequence.- fragments together. I'll pick up the letter this [Aside.) Well off this time; and, madam for- moment : it shall never appear in evidence tune, if I trust you again, you shall play me what against me. As to sir Brilliant, bis motions shall prank you please. Sir Bashful, yours. [Going: be watched; I know how to proceed with madam,
Sir Bush. A thousand thanks to you. And, and, if I can but prove the fact, every body will hark ye, if I can serve you with your lady say that I am ill used by her.
SCENE I.-An Apartment at Me LoveMORE's.
Enter Mrs BELLMOUR.
Mrs Bellmour, I revive at the sight of you. Mus-
[Erit. Mus. Why, to be sure, madam, it is so for Mrs Bell. You see I ain punctual to my time. certain, and you are rery much in the right of it. -Well, I admire your dress of all things. It's
Mrs Lore. I fancy I am : I see the folly of mighty pretty. my former conduct. I am determined never Mrs Love. I am glad you like it. But, under to let my spirits sink into a melancholy state all this appearance of gaiety, I have at the botagain.
tom but an aching heart. Mus. Why, that's the very thing, madam; the Mrs Bell. Be ruled by me, and I'll answer for very thing I have been always preaching up to the event. Why really, now you look just as you. Did not I always say, see company, ma- you should do.- Why neglect so fine a figure ? dam, take your pleasure, and never break your Mrs Love. You are so obliging ! heart for any man? This is what I always said. Mrs Bell. And so true-What was beauti
Mrs Love. And you have said enough : spare ful before, is now heightened by the additional yourself the trouble now.
ornaments of dress; and if you will but animate Mus. I always said so. And what did the and inspire the whole with those graces of the world say? Heavens bless her for a sweet woman! mind, which I am sure you possess, the impresand a plague go with him, for an inhuman, bar- sion cannot fail of being effectual upon all bebarous, bloody-murdering brute.
holders; even upon the depraved mind of Mr Mrs Love. Well, truce with your imperti- Lovemore- -You have not seen him since, have nence; your tongue runs on at such a rate
Mus. Nay, don't be angry: they did say so Mrs Love. Ile dined at home, but was soon indeed. But, dear heart, how every body will upon the wing to his usual haunts. be overjoyed when they find you have plucked Mrs Bell. If he does but come home time up a little! As for me, it gives me new life, to enough, depend upon it my plot will take. And have so much company in the house, and such a have you got together a good deal of company? racketting at the door with coaches and chairs, Mrs Love. Yes, a tolerable party. enough to hurry a body out of one's wits. Lard ! Mrs Bell. That's right: shew him that you this is another thing; and you look quite like will consult your own pleasure. another thing, madam; and that dress quite be- Mrs Love. Apropos, as soon as I came home, comes you. I suppose, madam, you will never I received a letter from sir Brilliant, in a style of wear your negligee again. It is not fit for you warmth and tenderness, that would astonish you. indeed, madam. It might pass very well with He begs to see me again, and has something parsome folks, madam; but the like of you, ticular to communicate. I left it in my dressing
Mrs Love. Will you never have done? Go and room; you shall see it hy and by : I took your see who is coming up stairs.
advice, and sent him word he might come. The
lure brought him hither immediately: he makes, where more cheerful. (Stretching his arms.] I no doubt of his success with me.
wish I may die if I an't very happy at homeMrs Bell. Well! two such friends as sir Bril- very (Yawns.] very happy! liant and Mr Lovemore, I believe, never ex- Mrs Love. I can hear otherwise. I am inisted!
formed that Mr Lovemore is the promoter of Mrs Love. Their falsehood to each other is mirth and good humour wherever he goes. unparallelled. I left sir Brilliant at the card- Love. Oh! no; you over-rate me; upon my table :
: as soon as he can disengage himself, he soul, you do. will quit his company in pursuit of me. I forgot Mrs Love. I can hear, sir, that no person's to tell you, my lady Constant is here.
is so acceptable to the ladies; that your Mrs Bell. Is she?
wit inspires every thing: you have your compliMrs Love. She is, and has been making the ment for ove, your smile for another, a whisper strangest discovery: Mr Lovemore has had a de- for a third, and so on, sir : you divide your fasign there too!
vours, and are every where, but at home, all Mrs Bell. On! I don't doubt him; but the whim, vivacity, and spirit
. more proof we have, the better.
Love. Ho! ho! (Laughing.) how can you Mrs Love. There is sufficient proof: you must talk so? I swear I can't help laughing at the know, inadam-[A rap at the door.]— As I live fancy. All whim, vacity, and spirit! I shall and breathe, I believe that is Mr Lovemore! burst my sides. How can you banter one so?Mrs Bell
. If it is, every thing goes on as II divide my favours, too!Oh, Heavens! I could wish.
can't stand this raillery. Such a description of Mrs Love. I hear his voice; it is he! How me !-I that am rather saturnine, of a serious my heart beats !
cast, and inclined to be pensive! I can't help Mrs Bell. Courage, and the day's our own. laughing at the oddity of the conceit-oh He must not see me yet : where shall I run? Lord! Oh Lord!
(Laughs. Mrs Love. In there, madam. Make baste; I Mrs Love. Just as you please, sir. I see that hear his step on the stairs.
I am ever to be treated with indifference. [Walks Mrs Bell. Success attend you! I am gone. across the stage.]
[Exit. Love. [Rises, and walks a contrary way.) ! Mrs Love. I am frightened out of my senses. can't put this widow Bellmour out of my head. What the event may be I fear to think; but I
[Aside. must go through with it.
Mrs Love. If I had done any thing to provoke
this usage, this cold, determined contemptEnter LOVEMORE.
Love. I wish I had done with that business You are welcome home, sir.
entirely; but my desires are kindled, and must Love. Mrs Lovemore, your servant. [Without be satisfied.
Aside. looking at her.]
[They walk for some time silently by each other.] Mrs Love. It is somewhat rare to see you at nirs Lorë. What part of my conduct gives you home so early:
offence, Mr Lovemore? Love. I said I should come home, did not I? Love. Sull harping upon that ungrateful -tring! I always like to be as good as my word-What - but prithee don't set me a laughing againcould the widow mean by this usage ? to make Offence! nothing gives me offence, child !-you an appointment, and break it thus abruptly. know I am very fond-[Yawns, and walks.-I
t Aside like you of all things, and think you a most adMrs Love. He seems to muse upon it. (Aside. mirable wife-prudent, managing—careless of
Love. (Aside.] She does not mean to do so your own person, and very attentive to minetreacherous a thing as to jilt me? Oh, Lord ! I not much 'addicted to pleasure-grave, retired, am wonderfully tired.
and domestic; you govern your house, pay the [Yawns, and sinks into an armed chair. tradesmen's bills, (Yawns.] scold the servants, Mrs Love. Are you indisposed, my dear? and love your husband :-upon my soul, a very
Love. No, my love; I thank you, I am very good wife ! --as good a sort of a wife (Yauns.] well--a little fatigued only, with jolting over the as a body might wish to have—Where's William? stones all the way into the city this morning. II must go to bed. have paid a few visits this afternoon-Confound- Mrs Love. To bed so early! Had not you betedly tired- -Where's William?
ter join the company? Mrs Love. Do you want any thing?
Love. I shan't go out to-right. Love. Only my cap and slippers. I am not in Mrs Love. But I mean the company in the spirits, I think.
(Yawns. dining-room. Mírs Love. You are never in spirits at home, Love. Company in the dining-room! Mr Lovemore.
[Stares at her. Love. 1 beg your pardon : I never am any Mrs Love, Yes : I invited them to a rout.
Love. A rout in my house !--and you dressed Mrs Love. Nay, don't be frightened: there is out, too !-What is all this?
no harm in innocent mirth, I hope: never look Mrs Love. You have no objection, I hope ? so grave upon it. I assure you, sir, that though,
Love. Objection !-No, I like company, you on your part, you seem determined to offer conknow, of all things; I'll go and join them: who stant indignities to your wife, and though the are they all ?
laws of retaliation would in some sort exculpate Mrs Love. You know them all; and there's her, if, when provoked to the utmost, exaspeyour friend, Sir Brilliant.
rated beyond all enduring, she should, in her Love. Is he there? I shall be glad to see him. turn, make him know what it is to receive an inBut, pray, how comes all this about?
jury in the tenderest pointMrs Love. I intend to see company often.
[Angrily. Love. Do you?
Mrs Love Well, well; don't be alarmed. "I Mrs Love. Ay; and not look tamely on, while shan't retaliate : my own honour will secure you you revel luxuriously in a course of pleasure. I there; you may depend upon it.-Will you come shall pursue my own plan of diversion.
and play a game at cards? Well, do as you like; Love. Do so, madam: the change in your you won't come? No, no, you won't-What temper will not be disagreeable.
say you to a bit of supper with us ? Nor that Mrs Love: And so I shall, sir, I assure you. neither ?- Follow your inclinations : it is not maAdieu to melancholy, and welcome pleasure, wit, terial what a body' eats, you know; the company and gaiety. (She walks about, and sings expects me; adieu, Mr Lovemore, yours, yours. Love. What the devil has come over her?
[Erit singing. And what in the name of wonder does all this Love. This is a frolic I never saw her in bemean?
fore!-Laugh all the rest of my life !--laws of Mrs Love. Mean, sir !-It means, it means-- retaliation an injury in the tenderest point ! how can you ask me what it means ?-Well
, to the company expects me—adieu! yours, yours! be sure, the sobriety of that question !—Do you -[Mimicking her.) What the devil' is all this? think a woman of spirit can have leisure to tell Some of her female friends have been tampering her meaning, when she is all air, alertness, rap with her. So, so: I must begin to look a little ture, and enjoyment?
sharp after madam. I'll go this moment into the Love. She is mad !-stark mad !
card-room, and watch whom she whispers with, Mrs Love. You're mistaken, sir-not mad, but whom she ogles with, and every circumstance in spirits, that's all. Am I too flighty for you?-- that can lead to
[Going Perhaps I am : you are of a saturnine disposi
Enter Muslin, in a hurry. tion, inclined to think a little or so. Well, don't let me interrupt you; don't let me be of any in
Mus. Madam, madam-here's your letter; I convenience." That would be the impolitest would not for all the world that my masterthing; a married couple to be interfering and en- Love. What, is she mad, too? What's the mat croaching on each other's pleasures ! Oh, hideous! ter, woman? it would be Gothic to the last degree. Ha, ha, Mus. Nothing, sir--nothing: I wanted a word ha!
with my lady ; that's all, sir. Love. [Forcing a laugh.) Ha, ha !-Madam, Love. You would not for the world that your you-ha, ha! you are perfectly right.
master- - What was you going to say ?—what paMrs Lode. Nay, but I don't like that laugh per's that? How : I positively don't like it. Can't you laugh Mus. Paper, sir ! out, as you were used to do? For my part, I'm Love. Paper, sir! Let me see it. determined to do nothing else all the rest of my Mus. Lord, sir! how can you ask a body for life.
such a thing? It's a letter to me, sir-a letter Love. This is the most astonishing thing! Ma- from the country; a letter from my sister, sir. dam, I don't rightly comprehend
She bias me to buy her a shiver de frize cap, and Mrs Love. Oh Lud! oh Lud !—with that im- a sixteenth in the lottery; and tells me of a numportant face! Well, but come! what don't you ber she dreamt of, that's all, sir : I'll put it up. comprehend ?
Love. Let me look at it. Give it me this moLove. There is something in this treatment ment. (Reads.] * To Mrs Lovemore!'—Brilliant that I don't so well
Fashion. This is a letter from the country, is it? Mrs Love. Oh ! are you there, sir! How Mus. That, sir—that is--no, sir-po;—that's quickly they, who have no sensibility for the peace not sister's letter. If you will give me that back, and happiness of others, can feel for themselves, sir, I'll shew you the right one. Mr Lovemore !-But that's a grave reflection, and Love. Where did you get this ? I hate reflection.
Mus. Sir! Love. What has she got into her head? This Love. Where did you get it?-Tell me truth. sudden change, Mrs Lovemore, let me tell Mus. Dear heart, you fright a body so—in the you
parlour, air-I foand it there.
Love. Very well!-leave the room.
Sir Bril. She won't tell her husband !A Mus. The devil fetch it, I was never so out in charming creature, and blessings on her for so my politics in all my days. [Erit Mus. convenient a hint ! She yields, by all my hopes !
Love. A pretty epistle truly! [Reads.] "When What shall I say to overwhelm her senses in a you command me, my dearest Mrs Lovemore, flood of nonsense
[Aside. never to touch again upon the subject of love, you command an impossibility. You excite the Go, my heart's envoys; tender sighs, make haste• Aame, and forbid it to burn. Permit me once Still drink delicious poisons from the eyemore to throw myself on my knees, and implore Raptures and paradise your compassion. -Compassion, with a ven- Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be pressed. geance on him!--Think you see me now, with
[Forcing her all this time. tender, melting, supplicating eyes, languishing at your feet.'
Enter Mr LOVEMORE. Very well, sir--- Can you find it in your heart to persist in cruelty? --Grant Love. Hell and distraction ! this is too much. ‘me but access to you once more, and, in addi
Sir Bril. What the devil's the matter now? tion to what I already said this morning, I will [Kneels down to buckle his shoe.] This confoạnded urge such motives.'-Urge motives, will ye?- buckle is always plaguing me. "Lovemore! I re
as will convince you, that you should no longer joice to see thee. [Looking at each other. 'hesitate, in gratitude, to reward him, who here Love. And have you the confidence to look me 'makes a vow of eternal constancy and love.
in the face? BRILLIANT Fashion.' Sir Bril. I was telling your lady here of the So, so, so! your very humble servant, sir Bril- most whimsical adventure liant Fashion - This is your friendship for live,
Love. Don't add the meanness of falsehood to is it?—You are mighty kind, indeed, sir-but I the black attempt of invading the happiness of thank you as much as if you had really done mi? your friend. I did imagine, sir, from the long the favour: and, Mrs Lovemore, I'm your hum- intercourse that has subsisted between us, that ble servant, too. She intends to laugh all the you might have had delicacy enough, feeling rest of her life! This letter will change her note. enough, honour enough, sir, not to meditate an Yonder she comes along the gallery, and sir Bril- injury like this. liant in full chase of her. They come this way. Sir Bril. Ay, it's all over, I am detected. Could I but detect them both now! I'll step (Aside.] Mr Lovemore, I feel that I have been aside, and who knows but the devil may tempt wrong, and will not attempt a vindication of mythem to their undoing. A polite husband I am: self. We have been friends hitherto, and, if there's the coast clear for you, madam. [Exit. begging your pardon for this rashness will any
ways :toneEnter Mrs LOVEMORE and Sir BRILLIANT.
Love'. No, sir; nothing can atone. The proMrs Love. I have already told you my mind, vocation you have given me would justify my sir Brilliant. Your civility is odious; your com- | drawing ipon you this instant, did not that lady, pliments fulsome; and your solicitations insult- and this r.90f, protect you. ing:- -I must make use of harsh language, sir : Sir Brii.. Harsh language to a friendyou provoke it.
Love. Friend, sir Brilliant ! Sir Bril. Not retiring to solitude and discon- Sir Bril. If you will but hear metent again, I hope, madam! Have a care, my Love. Sir, I insist; I won't hear a word. dear Mrs Lovemore, of a relapse.
Şir Bril. I declare upon any honourMrs Love. No danger, sir : don't be too soli- Love. Honour! for shame, sir Brilliant! hocitous about me. Why leave the company? Let nour and friendship are sacred words, and you me intreat you to return, sir.
profane them both. Sir Bril. By Heaven, there is more rapture in Sir Bril. If iroploring forgiveness of that being one moment vis-a-vis with you, than in the ladycompany of a whole drawing-room of beauties. Love. That lady !-I desire you will never Round you are inelting pleasures, tender trans- speak to that lady. ports, youthful loves, and blooming graces, all Sir Bril. Can you command a moment's pa
felt, neglected, and despised, by a tasteless, tience? cold, unimpassioned husband, while they might Love. Sir, I am out of all patience : this must be all so much better employed to the purposes be settled between us : I have done for the preof ecstacy and bliss.
sent. Mrs Love. I am amazed, sir, at this liberty.What action of my life has authorized this as
Enter Sir Bashful. surance !---I desire, sir, you will desist. Were Sir Bash. Did not I hear loud words among I not afraid of the ill consequences that might you? I certainly did. What are you quarrelling follow, I should not hesitate a moment to ac- about? quaint Mr Lovemore with your whole behaviour. Love. Read that, sir Bashful. [Gives him SIR BRILLIANT's letter.] Read that, and judge if ! Love. 'Sdeath, madam, give me way. have not cause- [Sir Bashful reads to himself. Mrs Love. Nay, don't be in such a hurry: I
Sir Bril. Hear but what I have to say- want to introduce an acquaintance of mine to
Love. No, sir, no; we shall find a fitter time. you. As for you, madam, I am satisfied with your con- Love. I desire, madamduct. I was, indeed, a little alarmed, but I have Mrs Bel. My lord, my lord Etheridge; I am been a witness of your behaviour, and I am above heartily glad to see your lordship. harbouring low suspicions.
[Taking hold of him. Sir Bash. Upon my word, Mr Lovemore, this Mrs Love. Do, my dear, let me introduce this is carrying the jest too far.
lady to you. Love. It is the basest action a gentleman can be guilty of; and, to a person who never injured Love. Here's the devil and all to do! (Aside. bim, still more criminal.
Mrs Bell. My lord, this is the most fortunate Sir Bash. Why, so I think. Sir Brilliant, [To encounter. him, aside.] here, take this letter, and read it to Love. I wish I was fifty miles off.- [Aside. him-his own letter to my wife.
Mrs Love. Mrs Bellmour, give me leave to Sir Bril
. Let me see it- [Takes the letter. introduce Mr Lovemore to you. Sir Bash. 'Tis indeed, as you say, the vilest
[Turning him to her. action a gentleman can be guilty of.
Mrs Bell. No, my dear madam, let me introLove. An unparalleled breach of friendship. duce lord Etheridge to you. [Pulling him.] My
Sir Bril. Not altogether so unparalleled : I he-lordlieve it will not be found without a precedent- Sir Bril. In the name of wonder, what is all as, for example :
[Reads. this? * To my Lady Constant
Sir Bash. This is another of his intrigues blown “Why should I conceal, my dear madam, that up. your charins have awakened my tenderest pas- Mrs Love. My dear madam, you are mistaken: sion ?
this is my husband. Love. Confusion my letter- Aside. Mrs Bell. Pardon me, madam; 'tis my lord Sir Bril. [Reading.] ' I long have loved you,
Etheridge. * long adored. Could I but Aatter. myself'— Mrs Love. My dear, how can you be so ill(LOVEMORE walks about uneasy ; Sir Brit- bred in your own house ? – Mrs Bellmour-this is LIANT follows him.]
Mr Lovemore. Sir Bush. There, Mr Lovemore, the basest Love. Are you going to toss me in a blanket, treachery!
madam ?-call up the rest of your people, if you Sir Bril
. [Reads.] Could I but flatter myself are. with the least kind return.'
Mrs Bell. Pshaw! prithee now, my lord, leave Love. Confusion ! let me seize the letter out off your humours. Mrs Lovemore, this is my of his hand.
(Snatches it from him. lord Etheridge, a lover of mine, who has made Sir Bash. An unparalleled breach of friend- proposals of marriage to me. ship, Mr Lovemore."
Love. Confusion! let me get rid of these two Lore. All a forgery, sir; all a forgery:
[Breaks away from them. Sir Bash. That I deny; it is the very identical Sir Bash. He has been tampering with her, letter iny lady threw away with such indigna- too, has he? tion. She tore it in two, and I have pieced it Mrs Bell. [Follows him.] My lord, I say! my together.
Lord Etheridge! won't your lordship know me? Love. A mere contrivance to varnish his guilt. Love. This is the most damnable accident ! Sir Bril. Ha, ha! my dear Lovemore, we
[Aside. know one another. Have not you been at the Mrs Bell. I hope your lordship has not forgot same work with the widow Bellmour?
your appointment at my house this evening? Love. The widow Bellmour !-If I spoke to Love. I deserve all this.
(Aside. her, it was to serve you, sir.
Mrs Bell. Pray, my lord, what have I done, Sir Bril. Are you sure of that?
that you treat me with this coldness ? Come, Love. Po ! I won't stay a moment longer come, you shall have a wife: I will take compasamong ye. I'll go into another room to avoid ye sion on you. all. I know little or nothing of the widow Bell- Love. Damnation! I can't stand it. Aside. mour, sir.
[Opens ihe door. Sir Bash. Murder will out: murder will out.
Mrs Bel. Come, cheer up, my lord: what the Enter Mrs BELLMOUR.
deuce, your dress is altered! what's become of Hell and destruction what fiend is conjured the star and ribband? And so the gay, the florid, up here? Zoons ! let me make my escape out of the magnifique lord Etheridge, dwindles down into the house.
[Runs to the opposite door. plain Mr Lovemore, the married man! Mr LoveMrs Love. I'll secure this pass : you must not inore, your most obedient, very humble servant, go, my dear.