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pursues, insults me; yet, such is the fatality of my condition, that what shou'd rouse resentment, only calls up love.
Belcour enters to her.
Bel. Oh! shriek not, start not, stir not, loveliest creature! but let me kneel, and gaze upon your beauties.
Lou. Sir! Mr. Belcour, rise! What is it you do?
Bel. See, I obey you; mould me as you will, be. hold your ready servant! New to your country, ignorant of your manners, habits, and desires, I put myself into your hands for instruction ; make me only such as you can like yourself, and I shall be happy.
Lou. I must not hear this, Mr. Belcour: go; should he that parted from me but this minute now return, I tremble for the consequence.
Bel. Fear nothing ; let him come: I love you, inadam; he'll find it hard to make nie unsay that.
Lou. You terrify me; your impetuous temper frightens me; you know my situation; it is not generous to pursue me thus.
Bel. True; I do know your situation, your real one, Miss Dudley, and am resolv'd to snatch you
from it; 'twill be a meritorious act; the old captain shall rejoice ; Miss Rusport shall be made happy; and even he, even your beloved brother, with whose resentment you threaten me, shall in the end applaud and thank me. Come, thou’rt a dear enchanting girl, and I'm determin'd not to live a minute longer without thee.
Lou. Hold, are you mad ? I see you are a bold, as. suming man, and know not where to stop.
Bel. Who that beholds such beauty can? By Hea. ven, you put my blood into a flame. Provoking girl I is it within the stretch of my fortune to content you? What is it you can further ask that I am not ready to grants
Lou. Yes, with the same facility that you bestow'd upon me Miss Rusport's diamonds. For shame! for shame! was that a manly story?
Bel. Sol sol these devilish diamonds meet me every where_Let me perish if I meant you any harm. Oh! I cou'd tear my tongue out for saying a word about the matter.
Lou. Go to her then, and contradict it; till that is done, my reputation is at stake.
Bel. Her reputation! Now she has got upon that, she'll go on for ever. What is there I will not do for your sake? I will go to Miss Rusport.
Lou. Do so; restore her own jewels to her, which I suppose you kept back for the purpose of present. ing others to her of a greater value ; but for the fu. ture, Mr. Belcour, when you wou'd do a gallant action to that lady, don't let it be at my expence.
Bel. I see where she points : she is willing enough to give up Miss Rusport's diamonds, now she finds she shall be a gainer by the exchange. Be it so! 'tis what I wish’d.-Well, madam, I will return Miss Rusport her own jewels, and you shall have others of tenfold their value.
Lou. No, sir, you err most widely; it is my good opinion, not my vanity, which you must bribe.
Bel. Why, what the devil wou'd she have now Miss Dudley, it is my wish to obey and please you, but I have some apprehension that we mistake each other.
Lou. I think we do : tell me, then, in few words, what it is you aim at.
Bel. In few words, then, and in plain honesty, I must tell you, so entirely am I captivated with you, that had you but been such as it would have become me to have call'd my wife, I had been happy in knowing you by that name; as it is, you are welcome to partake my fortune, give me in return your person, give me pleasure, give me love; free, disen. cumber'd, anti-matrimonial love.
Lou. Stand off, and let me never see you more.
Bel. Hold, hold, thou dear, tormenting, tantalizing girl! Upon my knees I swear you shall not stir till you've consented to my bliss.
Lou. Unhand me, sir: O Charles ! protect me, rescue me, redress me.
Enter CHARLES Dudley. Charles. How's this ! Rise, villain, and defend yourself.
Bel. Never fear me, young gentleman ; brand me for a coward if I baulk you.
Charles. Yet hold! Let me not be too hasty : your nanie, I think, is Belcour.
Bel. Well, sir. "
Charles. How is it, Mr. Belcour, you have done this mean, unmanly wrong ; beneath the mask of generosity to give this fatal stab to our domestic peace? You might have had my thanks, my blessing; take my defiance now. 'Tis Dudley speaks to you, the brother, the protector of that injur'd lady.
Bel. The brother i Give yourself a truer title.
Bel. Come, come, I know both her and you : 1 found you, sir, (but how or why I know not) in the good graces of Miss Rusport-(yes, colour at the name !) I gave you no disturbance there, never broke in upon you in that rich and plenteous quarter; but, when I cou'd have blasted all your projects with a word, spar'd you, in foolish pity spar'd you, nor rouz'd her from the fond credulity in which your are tifice had lull'd her.
Charles. No, sir, nor boasted to her of the splen. did present you had made my poor Louisa ; the di. amonds, Mr. Belcour. How was that? What can you plead to that arraignment?
Bel. You question me too late; the name of Bel. cour and of villain never met before; had you en
quir'd of me before you utter'd that rash word, you : might have sav'd yourself or me a mortal error: now, sir, I neither give nor take an explanation ; so, come
Enter LOUISA, and afterwards O'Flaherty.
Lou, Hold, hold, for Heaven's sake hold! Charles ! Mr. Belcour! Help! Sir, sir, make haste, they'll murder one another.
O'Fla. Hell and confusion | What's all this uproar for i Cann't you leave off cutting one another's throats, and mind what the poor girl says to you? You've done a notable thing, hav'n't you both, to put her into such a furry? I think, o' my conscience, she's the most frighted of the three.
Charles. Dear Louisa, recollect yourself; why did you interfere : 'Tis in your cause.
Bel. Now cou'd I kill him for caressing her.
O'Fla. O sir, your most obedient! You are the gentlenian I had the honour of meeting here before ; you was then running off at full speed like a Cal.