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Sir Bush. I don't know what to make of all have deferred it till the evening {Aside.] 'Sdeath! this. But there is no danger. As long as no to be teased in this manner. body knows it, I may venture to love my wife. Sir Bash. (Aside.] No, no; he won't drop the There will be no harm, while the secret is kept mask. [Looks at Lady Constant.] She has close as night, concealed, in tenfoid darkness, touched the cash ; I can see the bank-notes from the wits and scoffers of the age.

sparkling in her eyes.

Mrs Love. If you don't go into the city till Enter LOVEMORE.

the evening, may I hope for your company at

dinner, Mr Loveinore? Well, well;-how? what have

you
done?

Love. The question is entertaining; but, as it Love. As I could wish: she is infinitely obli- was settled this morning, I think it has lost the ged to me, and will never forget the civility. graces of novelty.

Sir Bash. A thousand thanks to you. I am Sir Bash. He won't let her have the least susnot suspected ?

picion of his regard.

(Aside. Love. She has not a distant idea of you in this Lady Con. I dare say Mr Lovemore will dine business. She was rather delicate at first, and at home, if it conduces to your happiness, madam; hesitated, and thought it an indecorum to accept and sir Bashful, I take it, will dine at home, for of money even from a friend. But that objec- the contrary reason. tion soon vanished. I told her, it is but too Sir Bash. Madam, I will dine at home, or I visible that she is unfortunately yoked with a will dine abroad, for what reason I please; and husband, whose humour will never be softened it is my pleasure to give no reason for either.down to the least compliance with herinclinations Lovemore!

(Looks at him, and smiles. Sir Bash. That was well said, and had a good Love. [Aside to Sir BASHFUL.] Bravo !-What effect, I hope.

a blockhead it is! Love. I hope so, too.

Mrs Love. As you have your chariot at the Sir Bash. It helps to carry on the plot, you door, Mr Lovemore, if you have no objection, I know.

will send away my chair, and you may do me Love. Admirably; it puts things in the train I the honour of a place in your carriage. wish.

Love. The honour will be very great to me; Sir Bash. And so, to cover the design, you gave but—so many places to call at. -If I had me the worst of characters!

known this sooner

You had better keep your Love. I painted you in terrible colours. chair.

Sir Bash. Do so always, and she will never Sir Bash. [Aside.] Cunning! cunning! he suspect me of being privy to any civility you may would not be seen in his chariot with her for shew her.

the world. He has more discretion than I have. Love. I would not have you know any thing of Lady Con. Mrs Lovemore, since you have, at my civility to her for the world. (Aside.) I have last, ventured to come abroad, I hope you will succeeded thus far. I talked a few musty sent- think it a change for the better. You are too ences, such as the person who receives a civility domestic. I shall expect now to see you often : confers the obligation, with more jargon to that and apropos, I am to have a route to morrow purpose;

and so, with some reluctance she con- evening; if you will do me the honour of your plied at last, and things are now upon the foot-companying I would have them.—Death and fury! there Sir Bash. A route to-morrow evening ! you comes my wife.

have a route every evening, I think. Learn Sir Bush. Ay, and here comes my wife. of Mrs Lovemore; imitate her example, and Love. What the devil brings her hither? don't let me have your hurricane months all the

Sir Bash. (Aside.] Now, now; now let me see year round in my house.- Hip! [Aside.] Lovehow he will carry it before Mrs Lovemore. more, how do you like me? Walk in, madam! walk in, Mrs Lovemore. Love. [Aside to Sir BASHFUL.) You improve Enter Mrs LoveMore, and Lady Constant, if I had nothing to do.—My lady Constant, I have

upon it every time. But I am loitering here, as at opposite doors.

the honour to wish your ladyship a good mornLady Con. Mrs Lovemore, to see you abroad ing. Sir Bashful, yours-madam. is a novelty indeed.

[Bows gravely to Mrs LoveMore, hums Mrs Love. great, perhaps, as that of find

tune, and erit. ing your ladysbip at home. Mr Loremore, I Sir Bash. [Aside.] Ile knows how to play the did not expect to have the pleasure of mceting game. I'll try what I can do. Mrs Love more, you.

i have the honour to wish you a good morning. Love. Then we are both agreeably surprised. Madam Sir Bash. Now, mind how he behaves. [ Aside. [Bous gravely to LADY CONSTANT, hums a Mrs Lore. I thought you were gone to your

tune, and erit. city banker.

Mrs Love. Two such husbands! Love. And you find that you are mistaken, Il Lady Con. As to my swain, I grant you: Mr

Loremore is, at least, well-bred; he has an un Lady Con. Sir Brilliant's authority is not alderstanding, and may, in tine, reflect. Sir Bash- ways the best; but, in this point, you may trust ful never qualities himself with the smallest tinc- him. ture of civility.

Mrs Love. But when you have heard all the Mrs Love. If civility can qualify the draught, circumstancesI must allow Mr Lovemore to have a skilfui Lady Con. Depend upon it, you are wrong. hand. But there is no end to his projects. I know the widow Bellmour. Her turn of chaEvery day opens a new scene. Another of his racter, and way of thinkingintrigues is come to light. I came to consult Mrs Love. Excuse me, madam. You decide with your ladyship. I know you are acquainted without hearing me. with the widow Bellmour.

Lady Con. All scandal, take my word for it. Lady Con. The widow Bellmour! I know her However, let me hear your story.

We'll adjourn perfectly well.

to my dressing-room, if

you

will; and I promise Mrs Love. Not so well, perhaps, as you may to confute all you can say. I would have you imagine. She has thrown out the lure for my know the widow Bellmour: you will be in love wild gallant, and in order to deceive me

with her. My dear madam, have not you a tinge Lady Con. My dear, you must be mistaken.- of jealousy? Beware of that malady. If you see Who tells you this?

things through that medium, I shall give you up. Mrs Love. Oh, I can trust to my intelligence. Sir Brilliant Fashion, by way of blind to me, has That jaundice of the mind, whose colours strike been this morning drawing so amiable a picture On friend and foe, and paint them all alike. of the lady

[Ereunt.

ACT III.

SCENE I.-An apartment at the Widow Bell Mig. Yes, madam; and there's your toilette

MOCR'S : several chairs, a toilette, a book-tase, looks as elegant as hands can make it. and a harpsichord, disposed up and down. Mrs Bell. Does it? I think it does. You have

some taste. Apropos, where is my new song! MIGNIONET. Putting things in order.

Oh! here it is ! I must make myself mistress of Mig. I don't well know what to make of this it.-[Plays upon the harpsichord, and sings a litsame lord Etheridge. He is coming here again tle.)-I believe I have conquered it.--[Reses, and to-day, I suppose : all this neatness, and all this goes to her toilette.)-This hair is always torcare, must be for him. Well, it does not signify: menting me, always in disorder : this lock must - Arranging the chairs.)—there is a pleasure in be for ever gadding out of its place. I must, and obeying Madam Bellmour. She is a sweet lady, will, subdue it. Do you know, Mignionet, that that's the truth of it. Twere a pity if any of this is a pretty song? It was writ by my lord these men, with their deceitful arts, should draw Etheridge. My lord has a turn-[Sings a little.] her into a snare. But she knows them all. They -I must be perfect before he comes.—{Hums must rise early who can outwit her.—[Settling the tune.}-Do you know that I think my lord is the toilette.]

one of those men who may be endured?

Mig. Yes, madam; I know you think so. Enter Mrs BellMOUR, reading.

Mrs Bell. Do you?

Mig. And if I have any skill, madam, you are Oh! blest with temper, whose unclouded ray not without a little partiality for his lordship. • Can make to-morrow cheerful as to-day! Mrs Bell. Really? Then you think I like him,

She, who can own a sister's charms, and hear perhaps? Do you think I like him? I don't well • Sighis for a daughter with unwounded ear; know how that is. Like hiin? No, not absolute• That never answers till a husband cools, ly: it is not decided : and yet I don't know, if I

'And, if she rules him, never shews she rules.' had a mind to humour myself, and to give way a Sensible, elegant Pope !

little to inclination, there is something here in • Charins by accepting, by submitting sways, my heart that would be busy, I believe. The 'Yet has ber humour most, when she obeys.' man has a softness of manner, a turn of wit,

(Seems to read on and does not want sentiment. Can I call it senMig. Lord love my mistress ! Always so timent? Yes; I think I may. He has sentiment; charmmg, so gay, and so happy!

and then he knows the manners, the usage of the Mrs Bell. These exquisite characters of wo world, and he points out the ridicule of things men! They are a sort of painter's gallery, where with so much humour !-one sees the portraits of all one's acquaintance, Mig. You'll be caught, madam, I see that. and sometimes we see our own features, t00. To be sure, my lord has a quality air, and can Miguionet, put this book in its place.

make himself agreeable. But what of that?

no excuses.

say?

ance

You know but very little of him. Is a man's reach a chair.-(Mrs LOVEMORE crosses the character known in three or four weeks time? stage, and they salute each other with an air of (Mrs BELLMOUR hums a tune.)-Do, my dear distant civility.] madam, mind what I say: I am at times very Mrs Love. I am afraid this visit from one who considerate. I make my remarks, and I see very has not the honour of knowing youplainly-Lord, madam, what am I doing? I am Mrs Bell. Oh, make no apology, madam.talking to you for your own good, and you are all Mignionet, you may withdraw. in the air, and no more mind me-no, no more

[Exit MIGNIONET. than if I was nothing at all.

Mrs Love. It may appcar extraordinary, that Mrs Bell. (Continues humming a tune.]—You a stranger thus intrudes upon you; but a particutalk wonderfully well upon the subject; but, as I lar circumstance determined' me to take this liknow how the cards lie, and can play the best of berty. I hope you will excuse the freedom? the game; and as I have a song to amuse me, Mrs Bell." You do ine honour, madam : pray, one is inclined to give musical nonsense the pre

A particular circumstance, you ference.

Mig. I assure you, madam, I am not one of Mirs Love. I shall appear, perhaps, very ridithose servants, that bargain for their mistress's in- culous, and, indeed, I am afraid I have done the clinations : but you are going to take a leap in most absurd thing! but a lady of your acquaintthe dark. What does my lord Etheridge mean, You know my lady Constant, madam? with his chair always brought into the hall, and Mrs Bell. Extremely well. the curtains close about his ears? Why does not Mrs Love. She has given you such an amiable he come like himself, and not care who sees him? character for benevolence, and a certain elegant There's some mystery at the bottom, I'll be sworn way of thinking, entirely your own, that I flatter there is; and so you'll find at last. Dear heart, myself, if it is in your power, you will be genemadam, if you are determined not to listen, what rous enough to afford me your assistance. signifies my living with you? At this rate, I am Mrs Bell. Lady Constant is

very obliging.of no service to you.

Make a trial of me, madam, and if I can be of Mrs Bell. There; I have conquered my song. any use-[Runs to her glass.]—How do I look to-day? Mrs Love. I fear I shall ask you a strange The eyes do well enough, I think. And so, Mig- question :

:-are you acquainted with a gentleman nionet, you imagine I shall play the fool, and of the name of Lovemore? marry my lord Etheridge?

Mrs Bell. Lovemore? No such name on my Mig. 'You have it through the very heart of list. Lovemore? No: I recollect no such peryou : I see that.

The circle of my acquaintance is small : I Mrs Bell. Do you? I don't know what to say am almost a stranger in town. to it. Poor sir Brilliant Fashion ! If I prefer his Mrs Love. That makes an end, madam. I rival, what will become of him? I won't think beg your pardon, I have given you an unnecesa about it.

sary trouble.

[Going Mrs Bell. [Aside.)-Mighty odd this! Her Enter Pompey.

manner is interesting. You have given me no Mrs Bell. What's the matter, Pompey? trouble; but my curiosity is excited.[Takes her

Pom. A lady in a chair desires to know if your by the hand.]—I beg you will keep your chair. ladyship is at home.

Pray be seated. What can this mean -[Aside.] Mrs Bell. IIas the lady no name?

-Will you be so good as to inform me who the Pom. Yes; I fancy she has, madam; but she gentleman is? did not tell it.

Mrs Love. The story will be uninteresting to Mrs Bell. Ilow awkward ! Well, shew the la- you, and, to me, it is painful. My grievances, dy up stairs.

Puts her handkerchief to her eyes.] Mig. Had not you better receive her in the Mrs Bell. (Aside.]-Her grief affects me.-drawing-room, madam? I have not half done my '( Looks at her till she has recovered herself.]—I business here?

would not importune too muchMrs Bell. Oh! You have done very well. Mrs Love. You have such an air of frankness There will be less formality here. I dare say it and generosity, that I will open myself without is some intimate acquaintance, though that fool- reserve, I have the tenderest regard for Mr ish boy does not recollect her name. Hlere she Lovemore: I have been married to him these comes. I don't know her.

two years. I admired his understanding, his sen

sibility, and his spirit. My heart was his; I Enter MRS LOVEMONE.

loved him with unbounded passion. I thought

the flame was mutual, and you may believe I was Mrs Love. [Disconcerted.]—I beg pardon for happy. But, of late, there is such a revolution in this intrusion.

his temper! I know not what to make of it. I Mrs Bell. Pray walk in, madam. Mignionet, am doomed to be unhappy.

son.

Mrs Bell. Perhaps not: you may still have | ture, virtue embellished by the advantages of art, much in your power.

that men expect now-a-days. That is the whole Mrs Love. My power is at an end. Instead affair : I would not make myself uneasy, ma'am, of the looks of affection, and the expressions of Mrs Love. Not uneasy, when his indifference tenderness, with which he used to meet me, it is does not diminish my regard for bim! Not unnothing now but cold, averted, superficial civili- easy, when the man I dote upon, no longer fixes ty; while abroad, he runs on in a wild career of his happiness at home! pleasure, and, to my deep affliction, has attached Mrs Bell. Give me leave to speak my mind himself entirely to another object.

freely. I have observed, when the fiend jeaMrs Bell. And if I had known Mr Lovemore, lousy is roused, that women lay out a wonderful do you imagine that my advice or persuasion deal of anxiety and vexation to no account; would avail you any thing?

when, perhaps, if the truth were known, they Mrs Love. I had such a fancy. (Aside.] What should be angry with themselves instead of their can I think of her!

husbands. Mrs Bell. You are much mistaken. In these Mrs Love. Angry with myself, madam! Cacases, friends may interpose; but what can they lumny can lay nothing to my charge. do? They recommend a wife to the good will

, Mrs Bell. There again, now! that is the folly the honour, and generosity of her husband. But of us all. when a woman, who should be esteemed and lo Mrs Love. And after being married so long, ved, is recommended as an object of compassio and behaving all the time with such an equality! she is humbled indeed : it is all over with her. Mrs Bell. Ay, that equality is the rock so maA wife should recommend herself by the graces ny split upon. The men will change. Excuse of her person, and the variety of her talents. my freedom. They are so immersed in luxury, Men will prove false; and, if there is nothing in that they must have eternal variety in their hapyour complaint, but mere gallantry on his side, I piness. protest, I do not see that your case is so very bad. Mrs Love. She justifies him! [Aside. Mrs Love. Can it be worse, ma'am?

Mrs Bell. Your case may not be desperate : Mrs Bell. A great deal. If his affections, in- I would venture to lay a pot of coffee, that the stead of being alienated, had been extinguished, person, who now rivals you in your husband's afwhat would be the consequence ?-A downright, fections, does it without your good qualities, and sullen, habitual insensibility. From that lethargy even without your beauty, by the mere force of of affection, a man is not easily recalled. In all agreeable talents, and some skill in the art of Love's bill of mortality, there is not a more fatal pleasing. disorder. But this is not the case with Mr Love Mrs Lode. I am afraid that complimentmore : by your account, he still has sentiment; Mrs Bell. If I judge right, you are entitled to and, where there is sentiment, there is room to it. Let me ask you : Do you know this formihope for an alteration. But where the heart has dable rival ? lost its feeling, you have the pain of finding your Mrs Love. There, I own, I am puzzled. self neglected; and for what? The man has Mrs Bell. What sort of woman is she? grown stupid, and, to the warm beams of wit and Mrs Love. Formidable indeed! She has been beauty, as impenetrable as an ice-house. described to me as one of charming and rare ac

Mrs Love. That is not my complaint. I have complishments. to do with one, who is too susceptible of impres Mrs Bell. Never throw up the cards for all sions from every beautiful object that comes in that. Take my advice, ma'am. You seem to

have qualities that may dispute your husband's Mrs Bell. Why, so much the better. A new heart with any body; but the exertion of those idea strikes his fancy. He is inconstant; but, af- amiable qualities, I fear, may be suppressed. Exter wavering and fluttering, he may settle at last. cuse my frankness.

You should counteract your Mrs Love. How light she makes of it! she rival by the very arts which she employs against apologizes for him!

[Aside. you. I know a lady now in your very situation : Mrs Bell. And, perhaps, the fault is on the and what does she do? She consumes herself woman's side

with unceasing jealousy; whereas, if she would Mrs Love. The virtue of my conduct, ma exert but half the pains she uses in teasing herdam

self, to vie with the person who has won her husMrs Bell. Oh! I would have laid my life you band from her; to vie with her, I say, in the art would be at that work. But virtue is not the of pleasing-for there it is a woman's pride sbould question at present. I suppose virtue; that is be piqued-Would she do that, take my word always understood. The fault I mean, is the for it, victory would declare in her favour. You want of due attention to the art of pleasing. It are not without attractions ; give them their is there that most women fail. In these times, energy, and you conquer. virtue may be its own reward. Virtue alone can Mrs Love. Do you think so, ma'am? not please the taste of the age. It is la belle na Mrs Bell. Think so! I am sure of it. You

his way.

an answer.

must exert yourself. It is the wife's business to [A rap at the door.] Oh! Heavens! some troublebait the hook for her husband with variety. Vir

some visit.

Rings a bell. tue alone, by her own native charms, would do, if the men were perfect. But it is otherwise ;

Enter MIGNIONET. and, since vice can assume allurements, why should Mrs Bell. I am not at home. Go, and give not truth and innocence have additional ornaments also ?

Mig. It is lord Etheridge, ma'am: he is coMrs Love. I find sir Brilliant told me truth. ming up stairs. The servants did not know you

[Aside. had changed your mind. Mrs Bell. Give me leave, ma'am: I have been Mrs Bell. Was ever any thing so cross? Tell married, and ans a little in the secret. To win a his lordship I have company; I am busy; I am heart is easy; to keep it is the difficulty. After not well; any thing ; don't let him come in. the fatal words“ for better, for worse,' women Make haste, dispatch: I won't see him. relax into indolence, and, while they are guilty of Mrs Love. I beg I may not hinder you : I shall no infidelity, they think every thing safe. But take my leave. they are mistaken: a great deal is wanting; an Mrs Bell. By no means. Our conversation address, a vivacity, a desire to please; the agree-grows interesting. I positively will not see my able contrast; the sense that pleases, the folly Tord. that charms---A favourite poet, Prior, has ex Mrs Love. I can't agree to that. You must pressed it with delicacy.

see his lordship. I can step into another room.

Mrs Bell. Will you be so good? You will find • Above the fixed and settled rules

something to amuse you in that cabinet. (Points • Of vice and virtue in the schools,

to a door in the back scene.) We must talk far• The better part should set before 'em ther. My lord shan't stay long. ' A grace, a manner, a decorum.'

Mrs Love. Nay, but if you stand upon cere

monyMrs Love. But when the natural temper Mrs Bell. Very well : I'll contrive it. This is

Mrs Bell. Oh! the natural temper inust be a lover of mine. A lover and a husband are the forced. Home must be made a place of plea- same thing. Perhaps it will divert you to hear sure to the husband. How is that to be done? how I manage him. I bear him on the stairs. That equality, which you talk of, is a samneness Make haste : Migniovet, shew the way. that palls and wearies. A wife should throw in [Mrs Love. and Mio. go out út the back finite variety into her manner. She should, as it were, multiply herself, and be, as it were, sundry Mrs Bell. Let me see how I look to receive different women, on different occasions. The ten- | bim.

[Runs to her glass. der, the affectionate, the witty, the silent, all in their turns, all shifting the scene, and she suc

Enter LOVEMORE, with a star and garler, as ceeding to herself as quick as lightning. And this

Lord ETHERIDGE. I take to be the whole mystery; the way to keep Love. A heavenly image in the glass appears, a inan. But I beg your pardon. I go on too

To that she bends, to that her eyes she fast: you will think me the giddiest creature.

rears, Mrs Love. Quite the reverse, ma'am; you are Repairs her smilesvery obliging!

Mrs Bell. Repairs her smiles, my lord! You Mrs Bell. I have tired myself and you, too. are satirical this morning. Pray, ny lord, are my But pray, may I now inquire, who was so kind features out of repair, like an old house in the as to intimate that I am acquainted with Mr country, that wants a tenant ? Lovemore?

Love. Nay, now, you wrest my words from their Mrs Love. It was a mere mistake. I have gi-visible intention. You can't suppose that I inven you a great deal of trouble. You will excuse pute to such perfect beauty the least want of re. my frankness: I had heard that his visits were pair, whatever may be the case, ma'am, with refrequent here.

gard to the want of a tenant? Mrs Bell. His visits frequent here! My lady Mrs Bell. Oh! then your opinion is, that I Constant could oot tell you so ?

want a tenant? And perhaps you think I am goMirs Love. She told me quite the contrary. ing to put up a bill to signity to all passers-by, She knows your amiable qualities, and does you that here is a mansion to be let, inquire of the justice.

widow Bellmour? I like your notion; I don't Mrs Bell. The accident is lucky! it has pro- think it would be a bad scheme. Shall I try it? cured me the honour of your acquaintance. And Love. A palace needs no such invitation. Its I suppose you imagined that I had robbed you of natural beauty att acts admiring eyes. But who Mr Lovemore's heart?-Scandal will be buzzing can bid up to the price? The person who is able about. I can laugh at every thing of that sort to do it

scene.

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