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Probe. I wish he was run through the heart, and I should get the more credit by his cure. Now I hope you are satisfied ? Come, now let me come at him—now let me come at him. -Viewing his wound.] Oons ! what a gash is here! Why, sir, a man may drive a coach and six horses into your body.
Lord Fop. Oh!
Probe, Why, what the devil I have you run the gentleman through with a scythe 2-[Aside.] A little scratch between the skin and the ribs, that's all.
Love. Let me see his wound.
Probe. Then you shall dress it, sir ; for if any body looks upon it, I won't.
Love. Why, thou art the veriest coxcomb I ever saw !
Probe. Hopes ! I can't tell. What are you willing to give for a cure ?
Lord Fop. Five hundred paunds with pleasure.
Probe. Why, then perhaps there may be hopes; but we must avoid further delay.—Here, help the gentleman into a chair, and carry him to my house presently—that's the properest place—[Aside.] to bubble him out of his money, -(Aloud.] Come, a chair-a chair quickly—there, in with him. [SERVANTS put LORD FOPPINGTON into a chair
Lord Fop. Dear Loveless, adieu ! if I die, I forgive thee; and if I live, I hope thou wilt do as much by me. you and I should quarrel, but I hope here's an end on't; for, if you are satisfied, I am.
Love. I shall hardly think it worth my prosecuting any further, so you may be at rest, sir.
Lord Fop. Thou art a generous fellow, strike me dumb ! -[Aside.] But thou hast an impertinent wife, stap my vitals !
Probe. So-carry him off, carry him off —We shall have him prate himself into a fever by-and-by.-Carry him off!
[Exit with LORD FOPPINGTON
I am sorry
Enter COLONEL TOWNLY
Col. Town. So, so, I am glad to find you all alive-I met a wounded peer carrying off. For heaven's sake what was the matter ?
Love. Oh, a trifle ! he would have made love to my wife before my face, so she obliged him with a box o' the ear, and I run him through the body, that was all.
Col. Town. Bagatelle on all sides. But pray, madam, how long has this noble lord been an humble servant of yours ?
Aman. This is the first I have heard on 't–so, I suppose, 'tis his quality more than his love has brought him into this adventure. He thinks his title an authentic passport to every woman's heart below the degree of a peeress.
Col. Town. He's coxcomb enough to think any thing ; but I would not have you brought into trouble for him.
I hope there's no danger of his life ?
Love. None at all. He's fallen into the hands of a roguish surgeon, who, I perceive, designs to frighten a little money out of him : but I saw his wound—'tis nothing : he may go to the ball to-night if he pleases.
Col. Town. I am glad you have corrected him without further mischief, or you might have deprived me of the pleasure of executing a plot against his lordship, which I have been contriving with an old acquaintance of yours.
Col. Town. His brother, Tom Fashion, is come down here, and we have it in contemplation to save him the trouble of his intended wedding; but we want your assistance. Tom would have called, but he is preparing for his enterprise, so I promised to bring you to him—so, sir, if these ladies can spare you
Love. I'll go with you with all my heart.-[Aside.) Though I could wish, methinks, to stay and gaze a little longer on that creature. Good gods / how engaging she is 1-but what have I to do with beauty ? I have already had my portion, and must not covet more.
Aman. Mr. Loveless, pray one word with you before you go.
[Exit COLONEL TOWNLY Love. What would my dear ?
Aman. Only a woman's foolish question : how do you like my cousin here?
Love. Jealous already, Amanda ?
Love. (Aside.] Whate'er her reason be, I must not tell her true.- (Aloud.) Why, I confess, she's handsome : but you must not think I slight your kinswoman if I own to you, of all the women who may claim that character, she is the last that would triumph in my heart.
Aman. I'm satisfied.
[Kisses her, and exit Aman. I'm glad to find he does not like her, for I have a great mind to persuade her to come and live with me.
[Aside Ber. So! I find my colonel continues in his airs : there must be something more at the bottom of this than the provocation he pretends from me.
[Aside Aman. For Heaven's sake, Berinthia, tell me what way I shall take to persuade you to come and live with me.
Ber. Why, one way in the world there is, and but one.
Ber. Say you so, Amanda ? Why, then, they shall think what they please : for I'm a young widow, and I care not what any body thinks —Ah, Amanda, it's a delicious thing to be a young widow !
Amai You'll hardly make me think so.
Aman. Pray, 'tis with a world of innocence I would inquire whether you think those we call women of reputation do really escape all other men as they do those shadows of beaux ?
Ber. Oh no, Amanda ; there are a sort of men make dreadful work amongst 'em, men that may be called the beau's antipathy, for they agree in nothing but walking upon two legs. These have brains, the beau has none. These are in love with their mistress, the beau with himself. They take care of their reputation, the beau is industrious to destroy it. They are decent, he's a fop; in short, they are men, he's an ass.
Aman. If this be their character, I fancy we had here, e'en now, a pattern of 'em both.
Ber. His lordship and Colonel Townly ?
Ber. As for the lord, he is eminently so; and for the other I can assure you there's not a man in town who has a better interest with the women, that are worth having an interest with.
Aman. He answers the opinion I had ever of him.[Takes her hand.) I must acquaint you with a secret'tis not that fool alone has talked to me of love; Townly has been tampering too.
Ber. [Aside.] So, so l here the mystery comes out :[Aloud.] Colonel Townly! impossible, my dear !
Aman. 'Tis true, indeed ; though he has done it in vain ; nor do I think that all the merit of mankind combined could shake the tender love I bear my husband ; yet I will own to you, Berinthia, I did not start at his addresses, as when they came from one whom I contemned.
Ber. (Aside.) Oh, this is better and better -[Aloud.] Well said, Innocence ! and you really think, my dear, that nothing could abate your constancy and attachment to your husband ?
Aman. Nothing, I am convinced.
Ber. Well |--why, were I that thing they call a slighted wife, somebody should run the risk of being that thing they call a husband. Don't I talk madly?
Aman. Madly indeed !
Aman. That I dare swear you are. I know how to make allowances for your humour : but you resolve then never to marry again ?
Ber. Oh no! I resolve I will.
Ber. Indeed I don't : but I consider I'm a woman, and form my resolutions accordingly.
Aman. Well, my opinion is, form what resolution you will, matrimony will be the end on 't.
Ber. I doubt it--but a-Heavens ! I have business at home, and am half an hour too late.
Aman. As you are to return with me, I'll just give some orders, and walk with you.
Ber. Well, make haste, and we'll finish this subject as we go[Exit AMANDA.] Ah, poor Amanda ! you have led
a country life. Well, this discovery is lucky! Base Townly ! at once false to me and treacherous to his friend!
And my innocent and demure cousin too ! I have it in my power to be revenged on her, however. Her husband, if I have any skill in countenance, would be as happy in my smiles as Townly can hope to be in hers. I'll make the experiment, come what will on 't. The woman who can forgive the being robbed of a favoured lover, must be either an idiot or something worse.
SCENE I.-LORD FOPPINGTON's Lodgings
Enter LORD FOPPINGTON and LA VAROLE
Lord Fop. Hey, fellow, let my vis-à-vis come to the door.
La Var. Will your lordship venture so soon to expose yourself to the weather ?
Lord Fop. Sir, I will venture as soon as I can to expose myself to the ladies.
La Var. I wish your lordship would please to keep house a little longer; I'm afraid your honour does not well consider your wound.
Lord Fop. My wound I-I would not be in eclipse another day, though I had as many wounds in my body as I have had in my heart. So mind, Varole, let these cards be left as directed; for this evening I shall wait on my future father-in-law, Sir Tunbelly, and I mean to commence my devoirs to the lady, by giving an entertainment at her father's expense; and hark thee, tell Mr. Loveless I request he and his company will honour me with their presence, or I shall think we are not friends. La Var. I will be sure, milor.
(Exit Enter Tom FASHION
Fash. Brother, your servant ; how do you find yourself to-day ?
Lord Fop. So well that I have ardered my coach to the door-so there's no danger of death this baut, Tam.
Fash. I'm very glad of it.