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Sir Bril. The man is lost, abandon'd, ruin'd, dead, and buried-You don't laugh, Sir Bashful.
Sir Bash. Who, 11-1-1-1-I laugh as heartily as I possibly can.
Sir Bril. I want to find Lovemore; he'll be so diverted. You know he does not care a pinch of snuff for his wife.
Sir Bash. No, not in the least, he does not care for her—no, to be sure he does not. [Aside.] Not he; he no more cares for his wife than I do for mine,
Sir Bril. Much the same. Poor Sir Amorous ! what a ridiculous figure does he make at last-adieu for him all the joys of life! the side-box whisper, the soft assignation, and the joys of freedom !-He is retired with his Penelope, to love most heartily for a month, grow indifferent to each other in two, and hate most cordially in three-Poor devil! Ha! ha!
Sir Bash. Do you think it will end so?
Sir Bril. Most certainly. But I have not told you the worst of his case- Our friend, Sir Charles Wildfire, you know, was about a comedy-now what has he done, but drawn the character of Sir Amorous La Fool, and made him the hero of his piece.
Sir Bash. What! put him into a comedy?
• The Amorous Husband ; or the Man in love with his own Wife.”—I must send in time for places-Sir Bashful, you shall be of the party.
Sir Bash. With great pleasure-You may be sure it will be a very agreeable party to me- -You may depend I shall enjoy the joke prodigiously.
Sir Bril. It will be the highest scene in nature-well, a good day!—I must drive to a thousand places and put it about - farewell! Apropos, be sure you let my lady know-It will appear to her so ridiculousSir Bash. Do you think it will ? Sir Bra. Certainly!-Well, your servant, your ser
vant, your servant-Poor Sir Amorous La Fool, he'll have his horns added to his coat of arms in a very little time. Ha! ha!
(Erit. Sir Bash. I see how it is; I shall get lampooned, berhymed, and niched into a comedy.—Make me thankful! nobody knows of my affair, but Mr. Lovemore He can't discover against me, for his own sake.
Love. Just as I could wish- She is infinitely oblig'd to me, and will never forget this civility.
Sir Bash. Ten thousand thanks to you !-She suspects nothing of my being privy to it?
Love. Not the least inkling of it. She talk'd at first something about delicacy; and thought it rather an indecorum to accept money even from a friend-But that argument was soon silenced—I told her, I could not but see what a bad husband you was.
Sir Bash. That was right, that was right!
Love. And then I talked a few sentences to her, As, that the person receiving a civility confers the obligation-And that I was sure of wheedling you, in some goodnatur’d moment, to repay me-It was but making you my banker for a short time: and with more jargon to that purpose.
And so, with some reluctance, she comply'd, and things are upon the footing I would have them.- -Death and fury! there's my
wife! Sir Bash. Ay, and here comes my wife, too. Love. What the devil brings her here? [Aside.
Sir Bash. This is the rarest circumstance-Now let me see how he will carry it before Mrs. Lovemore. Walk in, walk in, Mrs. Lovemore.
Enter Mrs. LOVEMORE and Lady CONSTANT. Lady Con. Mrs. Lovemore, I'm glad to see you abroad, madam.
Mrs. Love. I am highly fortunate in meeting your ladyship at home..Mr. Lovemore, I am glad to see you too, sir,
Love. Mrs. Lovemore, I thank you.
Sir Bash. Mind him now, mind him now-My Lady Constant seems quite pleas’d—She has got the money.
Aside. Mrs. Love. I thought you were gone into the city, Mr. Lovemore ?
Love. Why will you mind me, Mrs. Lovemore-I deferred going till evening.-What the devil business had she here?
[Aside. Mrs. Looe. Then I may hope you'll dine at home, sir? Love. O lord! how can you tease a man so ?
Sir Bash. Ay, ay, I see how it is- he won't let her have the least suspicion of his regard.
[Aside. Lady Con. No doubt Mr. Lovemore will dine at home, if it gives you any satisfaction-And Sir Bashful, I reckon, will dine at home, for the contrary reason.
Sir Bush. Madam, I'll dine at home, or I'll dine abroad, for what reason I please: I am my own master, I hope, madam.Lovemore, Lovemore! Ha! ha!
[Aside. Love. Bravo!-What a silly blockhead it is! (Aside.
Mrs. Love. I see your chariot at the door, Mr. Lovemore
-I'll send away my chair, and you may set me down.
Love. Ma’am, I have several places to call at.
Sir Bash. Cunning! cunning !-He would not be seen in a chariot with her for the world.
Aside. Lady Con. I am to have a rout to morrow evening, Mrs. Lovemore : I wish
would favour us with your company.
Sir Bash. A rout to-morrow evening !-You have a rout every evening, I think. I wish, madam, you would learn to imitate Mrs. Lovemore, and not make a fool of me as you do.--Hip, Lovemore! Ha! ha! [Aside.
Love. Ha! ha! Bravo!-Well, I must be gone My Lady Constant, I have the honour to wish your ladyship a good morning. Ma'am, your most obedient; Sir Bashful, yours-Madam, you know I am yours.
[Bows gravely to Mes. LOVEMORE, and erit. Sir Bash. He carries it off finely-Make me thankful! I have kept my own secret too, and she shall never know a word of the matter.-Mrs. Lovemore, your humble servant, madam !-Madarn,
know I am yours. [ Dorus gravely to LADY CONSTANT, and erit. Mrs. Love. Two such husbands!
Lady Con. As to my swain, Mrs. Lovemore, I grant you-but you may set your mind at rest; Mr. Lovemore is at least well-bred ; whereas Sir Bashful never qualifies his disrespect with the least tincture of civility.
Mrs. Love. Well, if there is any pleasure in being made miserable with civility, I must allow Mr. Lovemore a most skilful hand. I have found out another of his intrigues, and I came on purpose to consult with your ladyship about it: there is a Widow Bellmour to whom he pays his addresses.
Lady Con. The Widow Bellmour !
Mrs. Love. But first give me leave, Lady Constant, to tell you
the whole circumstances of the affair. Lady Con. All scandal, take my word for it.--But, if I must hear your story, let us adjourn the debate to my dressing room, and I will promise to confute your whole accusation.—My dear Mrs. Lovemore, are you not tending a little towards jealousy ?-Beware of that, ma'am; you must not look through that medium :
That jaundice of the mind, whose colours strike
Scene 1.-A Room at the Widow BELLMOUR's, in which
are disposed, up and down, several Chairs, a Toilette, a Bookcase, and a Harpsichord; MIGNIONET, her Maid, is settling the Toilette.
Mig. I don't well know what to make of this same Lord Etheridge--he is coming here again to-day, I suppose ; all this neatness, and all this care, must be for him. Well, it does not signify, there is a pleasure in obeying Madam Bellmour-she is a sweet lady, that's the truth of it. 'Twere a pity any of these men, with their deceitful arts, should draw her into a snareBut she knows them all-They must rise early, who can outwit her. Enter Mrs. BellMOUR, reading a volume of Pope.
Oh! bless'd with temper, whose unclouded ray
And if she rules him, never shows she rules :
Charms by accepting, by submitting sways,
[Seems to read on. Mig. Lord love my mistress! She's always so happy
and so gay:
Mrs. Bell. These charming characters of women! 'Tis like a painter's gallery, where one sees the portraits of all one's acquaintance. Here, Mignionet, put this book in its place.
Mig. Yes, ma'am.—There, ma'am, you see your toilet looks most charmingly.