Page images

another thing, and you look quite like another Mrs Bell. If it is, every thing goes on as I could thing, ma'am, and that dress quite becomes you. wish. I suppose, ma'am you will never wear your neg Mrs Love. I hear his voice, it is he. How my ligee again. It is not fit for you indeed, ma'am. heart beats ! It might pass very well with some folks, ma'am, Mrs Bell. Courage, and the day's our own. He but the like of you

must not see me yet; where shall I run? Mrs Love. Will you never have done? Go and Mrs Love. In there, ma'am. Make haste; I see who is coming up stairs.

hear his step on the stairs.

Mrs Bell. Success attend you. I am gone. Enter Mrs BELLMOUR.

[ Exit. Mrs Love. Mrs Bellmour, I revive at the sight Mrs Love. I am frightened out of my senses. of you. Muslin, do you step and do as I ordered What the event may be I fear to think; but I you.

must go through with it. Mus. What the deuce can she be at now?


Mrs Bell. You see I am punctual to my time. Mrs Love. You are welcome home, sir.

-Well, I admire your dress of all things. It's Love. Mrs Lovemore, your servant. Without inighty pretty.

looking at her.] Mrs Love. I am glad you like it. But, under

Mrs Lore. It is somewhat rare to see you at all this appearance of gaiety, I have at the bottom home so early. but an aching heart.

Love. I said I should come home, did not I? I Mrs Bell. Be ruled by me, and I'll answer for always like to be as good as my word.—What the event. Why really, now you look just as you could the widow mean by this usage ? to make an should do.-Why neglect so fine a figure ? appointment, and break it thus abruptly! [Aside. Mrs Love. You are so obliging!

Mrs Lode. He seems to muse upon it. (Aside. Mrs Bell. And so true. What was beautiful Love. (Aside. She does not mean to do so before, is now heightened by the additional orna treacherous a thing as to jilt me? Oh Lord, I am ments of dress; and if you will but animate and wonderfully tired. inspire the whole with those graces of the mind

(Yawns, and sinks into an armed chais. which I am sure you possess, the impression can Mrs Love. Are you indisposed, my dear? not fail of being effectual upon all beholders ; even Love. No,


love ; I thank you, I am very upon the depraved mind of Mr Lovemore. well ;-a little fatigued only, with jolting over the You have not seen him since, have you? stones all the way into the city this morning. I

Mrs Love He dined at home, but was soon up- have paid a few visits this afternoon.-Confoundon the wing to his usual haunts.

edly tired.

-Where's William ? Mrs Bell. If he does but come home time enough, Mrs Love. Do you want any thing? depend upon it my plot will take. And have you Love. Only my cap and slippers. I am not in got together a good deal of company?

spirits, I think.

[Taans. Mrs Love. Yes, a tolerable party.

Mrs Love. You are never in spirits at home, Mrs Bell. That's right: shew him that you will Mr Lovemore. consult your own pleasure.

Love. I beg your pardon ; I never am any where Mrs Love. Apropos, as soon as I came home I more cheerful. (Stretching his arms.) I wish I may received a letter from Sir Brilliant, in a style of die if I an't very happy at home, -very, [Yauns.) warmth and tenderness that would astonish you. very happy! He begs to see me again, and has something par Mrs Love. I can hear otherwise. I am informed ticular to communicate. I left it in my dressing that Mr Lovemore is the promoter of mirth and room; you shall see it by and by: I took your ad good humour wherever he goes. vice, and sent him word he might come. The Love. Oh! no, you over-rate me; upon my soul lure brought him bither immediately: he makes no doubt of his success with me.

Mrs Love. I can hear, sir, that no person's comMrs Bell. Well! two such friends as Sir Bril- pany is so acceptable to the ladies ; that your wit liant and Mr Lovemore, I believe never existed ! inspires every thing; you have your compliment

Mrs Love. Their falsehood to each other is un- for one, your smile for another, a whisper for a paralleled. I left Sir Brilliant at the card-table: third, and so on, sir ; you divide your favours, and as soon as he can disengage hiinself

, he will quit are every where, but at home, all whim, vivacity, his company in pursuit of me. I forgot to tell you, and spirit. 'miy Lady Constant is here.

Love. Ho! ho! (Laughing.) how can you talk Mrs Bell. Is she?

so? I swear I cann't help laughing at the fancy. Mrs Love. She is, and has been making the All whim, vivacity, and spirit! I shall burst my strangest discovery: Mr Lovemore has had a de- sides. How can you banter one so?

-I divide sign there too!

my favours too! Oh, heavens! I cann't stand Mrs Bell. Oh! I don't doubt him; but the more this raillery; such a description of me! I that proof we have the better.

am rather saturnine, of a serious cast, and incli. Afrs Love. There is sufficient proof; you must ned to be pensive! I cann't help laughing at the know, ma'am-( 1 rup at the door.] As I live and oddity of the conceit.

-Oh! Lord! Oh Lord! breathe, I believe this is Mr Lovemore.


you do.

[ocr errors]

Mrs Love. Just as you please, sir. I see that I Mrs Love. You're mistaken, sir,-pot mad, am ever to be treated with indifference. (Walks but in spirits, that's all. Am í too flighty for across the stage.]

you? --Perhaps I am: you are of a saturnine disLove. (Rises and walks a contrary way. I cann't position, inclined to think a little or so. Well

, put this Widow Bellmour out of my head. (Aside. don't let me interrupt you ; don't let me be of

Mrs Love. If I had done any thing to provoke any inconvenience. That would be the unpolitest this usage, this cold, determined contempt thing; a married couple to be interfering and en

(Walking. croaching on each other's pleasures! Oh, hideLove. I wish I had done with that business en ous ! it would be Gothic to the last degree. Ha, tirely; but my desires are kindled, and must be ha, ha! satisfied.

(Aside. Love. (Forcing a laugh.] Ha, ha !-Ma'am, (They walk for some time silently by each other.] you-ha, ha! you are perfectly right.

Mrs Lode. What part of my conduct gives you Mrs Love. Nay, but I don't like that laugh offence, Mr Lovemore?

now: I positively don't like it. Cann't you laugh Love. Still harping upon that ungrateful string! out as you were used to do? For my part, I'm but pr’ythee don't set me a-laughing again. of determined to do nothing else all the rest of my fence !-nothing gives me offence, child !-you life. know I am very fond—[Yuuns und walks)- I like Love. This is the most astonishing thing! you of all things, and think you a most admirable Ma'am, I don't rightly comprehend wife ;-prudent, managing, -careless of your own Mrs Love. Oh Lud! oh Lud !-with that imperson, and very attentive to mine ;- not much portant face! Well, but come! what don't you addicted to pleasure,-grave, retired and domes comprehend? tic; you govern your house, pay the tradesmen's Love. There is something in this treatment bills, [rawns.] scold the servants, and love your

that I don't so wellhusband :-upon my soul, a very good wife! -as Mrs Love. Oh! are you there, sir! How good a sort of a wife [Yawns.] as a body might wish quickly they, who have no sensibility for the peace to have.- Where's William? I must go to bed. and happiness of others, can feel for themselves,

Mrs Love. To bed so early! Had not you bet Mr Lovemore !-But that's a grave reflection, ter join the company?

and I hate reflection. Love. I sha'n't go out to-night.

Love. What has she got into her head ? This Mrs Love. But I mean the company in the di- sudden change, Mrs Lovemore, let me tell youning-room.

Mrs Love. Nay, don't be frightened : there is Love. Company in the dining-room! no harm in innocent mirth, I hope : never look

[Starcs at her. so grave upon it. I assure you, sir, that though, Mrs Love. Yes: I invited them to a rout. on your part, you seem determined to offer con

Love. A rout in my house !—and you dressed stant indignities to your wife, and though the out too !-What is all this?

laws of retaliation would in some sort exculpate Mrs Love. You have no objection, I hope. her, if, when provoked to the utmost, exasperated

Love. Objection !—No, I like company, you beyond all enduring, she should, in her turn, make know, of all things ; I'll go and join them: who him know what it is to receive an injury in the are they all ?

tenderest pointMrs Love. You know 'em all; and there's your Love. Madam !

(Angrily friend, Sir Brilliant.

Mrs Love. Well, well, don't be alarmed. "I Love. Is he there? I shall be glad to see him. sha’n’t retaliate ; my own honour will secure you But, pray, how comes all this about?

there; you may depend upon it.-Will you come Mrs Love. I intend to see company often. and play a game of cards ? Well, do as you like; Love. Do you?

you won't come? No, no, I see you won't- What Mrs Love.' Ay, and not look tamely on, while say you to a bit of supper with us ?-Nor that you revel luxuriously in a course of pleasure. I neither ?-Follow your inclinations ; it is not mashall pursue my own plan of diversion.

terial what a body eats, you know; the

company Love

. Do so, ma’am; the change in your tem- expects me; adieu, Mr Lovemore, yours, yours. per will not be lisagreeable.

Exit singing Mrs Love. And so I shall, sir, I assure you.

Lore. This is a frolic I never saw her in beAdieu to melancholy, and welcome pleasure, wit, fore !-Laugh all the rest of my life !-laws of and gaiety.

(She walks about und sings. retaliation !-an injury in the tenderest point ! Love. What the devil has come over her? And the company expects me,-adieu! yours, yours ! what, in the name of wonder, does all this mean? | -[Mimicking her.] What the devil is all this?

Mrs Love. Mean, sir !- It means, it means Some of her female friends have been tampering how can you ask me what it means? Well, to with her. So, so; I must begin to look a little be sure, the sobriety of that question !-Do you sharp after madam. I'll go this inoment into the think a woman of spirit can have leisure to tell card-room, and watch whom she whispers with, her meaning, when she is all air, alertness, rap- whom she ogles with, and every circumstance ture, and enjoyment ?

that can lead to

(Going Lode. She is mad !-stark mad!


Entcr Muslin in a hurry.

Enter Mrs LOVEMORE and Sir BRILLIANT. Alus. Madam, madam,-here's your letter ; I

Mrs Love. I have already told you my mind, would not for all the world that my master

Sir Brilliant. Your civility is odious; your comLove. What, is she mad too? What's the mat- pliments fulsome; and your solicitations insult. ter, woman?

ing.--I must make use of harsh language, sir: Mus. Nothing, sir, -nothing; I wanted a word you provoke it. with my lady, that's all, sir.

Sir Bril. Not retiring to solitude and disconLove. You would not for the world that your tent again, I hope, madam! Have a care, my dear master-What was you going to say ?-what pa- Mrs Lovemore, of a relapse. per's that?

Mrs Lode. No danger, sir : don't be too soli. Mus. Paper, sir !

citous about me. Why leave the company? Let Lore. Paper, sir! Let me see it.

me entreat you to return, sir. Mus. Lord, sir ! how can you ask a body for Sir Bril. By Heaven, there is more rapture in such a thing? It's a letter to me, sir, a letter from being one moment vis-a-vis with you, than in the the country; a letter from my sister, sir. She company of a whole drawing-room of beauties. bids me to buy her a shiver de frize cap, and a Round you are melting pleasures, tender trans. sixteenth in the lottery; and tells me of a number ports, youthful loves, and blooming graces, all she dreamt of, that's all, sir : l'll put it up. unfelt, neglected, and despised, by a tasteless,

Love. Let me look at it. Give it me this mo cold, unimpassioned husband, while they might ment. [Reads.) To Mrs. Lovemore !--Brilliant be all so much better employed to the purposes Fashion. This is a letter from the country, is it? of ecstacy and bliss.

Mus. That, sir--that is-no, sir,-no;-that's Mrs Love. I am amazed, sir, at this liberty:not sister's letter.-If you will give me that back, What action of my life has authorised this assusir, I'll shew you the right one.


I desire, sir, you will desist. Were I Love. Where did you get this?

not afraid of the ill consequences that might folMus. Sir!

low, I should not hesitate a moment to acquaint Love. Where did you get it?- Tell me truth. Mr Lovemore with your whole behaviour.

Mus. Dear heart, you fright a body so~in the Sir Bril. She won't tell her husband !-A parlour, sir-I found it there.

charming creature, and blessings on her for so Love. Very well!-leave the room.

convenient a hint. She yields, by all my hopes! Mus. The devil fetch it, I was never so out in -What shall I say to overwhelm her senses in a my politics in all my days. (Eril. flood of nonsense?

(Aside. Love. A pretty epistle truly! [Reads.] “ When Go, my heart's envoys, tender sighs make you command me, my dearest Mrs Lovemore, haste,never to touch again upon the subject of love, Still drink delicious poisons from the eye,you command an impossibility. You excite the Raptures and paradise Hame, and forbid it to burn. Permit me once Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be press'd. more to throw myself on my knees, and implore

(Forcing her all this time. your compassion." -Compassion, with a ven-“ Think you see me now with

Enter Mr LOVEMORE. tender, melting, supplicating eyes, languishing at Love. Hell and distraction ! this is too much. your feet.”—Very well, sir -“ Can you find it

Sir Bril. What the devil's the matter now? in your heart to persist in cruelty :-Grant me (Kupels down to buckle his shoe.] This confounded but access to you once more, and, in addition to buckle is always plaguing me. Lovemore! I rewhat I already said this morning, I will urge such joice to see thee. Looking ut each other inotives”-Urge motives, will ye!-"as will con Love. And have you the confidence to look me vince you,

that you should no longer hesitate in in the face? gratitude, to reward him, who here makes a vow Sir Bril. I was telling your lady, here, of the of eternal constancy and love.

most wbimsical adventureBRILLIANT FASHION." Love. Don't add the meanness of falsehood to So! so! so! your very humble servant, Sir the black attempt of invading the happiness of Brilliant Fashion ! - This is your friendship for your friend. I did imagine, sir, from the long inme, is it?-You are mighty kind indeed, sir, -but tercourse that has subs.sted between us, that you I thank you as much as if you had really done me might have had delicacy enough, feeling enough, the favour : and, Mrs Lovemore, I'm your humble honour enough, sir, not to meditate an injury like servant too. She intends to laugh all the rest of this. her life! This letter will change her note. Yon Sir Bril. Ay, it's all over, I am detected. [Aside. der she comes along the gallery, and Sir Brilliant Mr Lovemore, I feel that I have been wrong, and in full chase of her. They come this way: Could will not attempt a vindication of myself. We I but detect them both now! I'll step aside, and have been friends hitherto, and if begging your who knows but the devil may tempt them to their parçon for this rashness will any ways atone undoing. A polite husband I am: there's the

Love. No, sir, nothing can atone. The provocoast clear for you, madam.

(Exit.cation you have given me would justify my draw

geance on him!

[ocr errors]

I am

ing upon you this instant, did not that lady, and Sir Bash. That I deny; it is the very identithis roof, protect you.

cal letter my lady threw away with such indignaSir Bril. Harsh language to a friend

tion. She tore it in two, and I have pieced it Love. Friend, Sir Brilliant!

together. Sir Bril. If you will but hear me

Love. A mere contrivance to varnish his guilt. Love. Sir, I insist; I won't hear a word.

Sir Bril. Ha, ha! my dear Lovemore, we know Sir Bril. I declare upon my honour

one another. Have not you been at the same Lode. Honour! for shame, Sir Brilliant : ho- work with the Widow Bellmour ?-If I spoke to nour and friendship are sacred words, and you her, it was to serve you, sir. profane them both.

Sir Bash. Are you sure of that? Sir Bril. If imploring forgiveness of that lady Love. Po! I won't stay a moment longer a

Love. That lady! I desire you will never mong ye.-I'll go into another room to avoid ye speak to that lady.

all. I know little or nothing of the Widow BellSir Bril. Can you command a moment's pa- mour, sir.

(Opens the door. tience ? Love. Sir, I am out of all patience: this must

Enter Mrs BELLMOUR. be settled between us : I have done for the pre- Hell and destruction !-what fiend is conjured sent.

up here?-Zoons ! let me make my escape out

of the house. (Runs to the opposite door. Enter Sir BASHFUL.

Mrs Love. I'll secure this pass : you must not Sir Bash. Did not I hear loud words amonggo, my dear. you? I certainly did. What are you quarrellinz Love. 'Sdeath, madam, give me way! about?

Mrs Love. Nay, don't be in such a hurry: I Love. Read that, Sir Bashful. (Gives him Sir want to introduce an acquaintance of mine to BRILLIANT's letter.] Read that, and judge if I you. have not cause—[Sir BASHFUL reads to himself. Love. I desire, madam

Sir Bril. Hear but what I have to say Mrs Bell. My lord, my Lord Etheridge ;

Love. No, sir, no; we shall find a fitter time. heartily glad to see your lordship! As for you, madam, I am satisfied with your con

(Tuking hold of hinta duct. I was indeed a little alarmed, but I have Mrs Love. Do, my dear, let me introduce this been a witness of your behaviour, and I am above | lady to you.

[Turning him to her. harbouring low suspicions.

Love. Here's the devil and all to do! (Aside. Sir Bash. Upon iny word, Mr Lovemore, this Mrs Bell. My lord, this is the most fortunate is carrying the jest too far.

encounter. Love. It is the basest action a gentleman can Love. I wish I was fifty miles off. [Aside. be guilty of; and to a person who never injured Mrs Love. Mrs Bellmour, give me leave to inhim, still more criminal.

troduce Mr Lovemore to you. Sir Bush. Why so I think. Sir Brilliant, [To

[Turning him to her. him aside.) here, take this letter, and read it to Mrs Bell. No, my dear ma'am, let me introhim, his own letter to my wife.

duce Lord Etheridge to you. [Pulling him.] My Sir Bril. Let me see it. [Takes the letter. | lord

Sir Bush. 'Tis indeed, as you say, the vilest Sir Bril. In the name of wonder, what is all action a gentleman can be guilty of.

this? Love. An unparalleled breach of friendship. Sir Bush. This is another of his intrigues blown

Sir Bril. Not altogether so unparalleled : I up. believe it will not be found without a precedent Mrs Love. My dear madam, you are mistaken: -as, for example

[Reads. this is


husband. “ To my Lady Constant

Mrs Bello Pardon me, ma'am, 'tis my Lord Why should I conceal, my dear madam, that Etheridge. your charms have awaken'd my tenderest pas Mrs Lone. My dear, how can you be so ill. sion ?"

bred in your own house ?-Mrs Bellmour,--this Lode. Confusion !-my letter (Aside. is Mr Lovemore.

Sir Bril. (Reading.] “ I long have loved you, Love, Are you going to toss me in a blanket, long adored. Could I but flatter myself” madam ?-call up the rest of your people, if you [LOVEMORE walks about uneasy ; Sir BRILLIANT follows him.

Mrs Bell. Pshaw! prythee now, my lord, leave Sir Bash. There, Mr Lovemore, the basest off your humours --Mrs Lovemore, this is my treachery!

Lord Etheridge, a lover of mine, who has made Sir Bril

. (Reads.] " Could I but flatter my- proposals of marriage to me. self with the least kind return”.

Love. Confusion ! let me get rid of these two Lode. Confusion ! let me seize the letter out furies.

(Breaks away from them. of his hand.

(Snatches it from him. Sir Bash. He has been tampering with her Sir Bush. An unparalleled breach of friend- too, has he? ship, Mr Lovemore.

Mrs Bello (Follows him.] My lord ! I say ! my Love. All a forgery, sir ; all a forgery. Lord Etheridge! won't your lordship know me?


[ocr errors]

Lode. This is the most damnable accident! Lady Cons. I have lost every rubber; quite

(Aside. broke; four by honours against me every time. Mrs Bell. I hope your lordship has not forgot Do, Mr Lovemore, lend me another hundreds your appointment at my house this evening. Love. I would give a hundred pounds you were Love. I deserve all this. (Aside. all in Lapland.

(Aside Mrs Bell. Pray, my lord, what have I done, Lady Cons. Mrs Lovemore, let me tell you, that you treat me with this coldness? Come, you are married to the falsest man; he has decome, you shall have a wife: I will take compas.ceived me strangely. sion on you.

Mrs Love. I begin to feel for him, and to pity Love. Damnation ! I cann't stand it. (Aside, his uneasiness. Sir Bash. Murder will out: murder will out. Alrs Bell. Never talk of pity; let him be pro

Mrs Bell. Come, cheer up, my lord: what the bed to the quick. deuce, your dress is altered! what's become of Sir Bush. The case is pretty plain, I think, the star and ribband? And so the gay, the florid, now, Sir Brilliant. the magnifique Lord Etheridge dwindles down Sir Bril. Pretty plain, upon my soul!-Ha! ha! into plain Mr Lovemore, the married man !-Mr Love. I'll turn the tables upon Sir Bashful, for Lovemore, your most obedient, very humble ser- all this—[Takes Sir BASHFUL's letter out of his vant, sir.

pocket.}-Where is the mighty harm now in this Love. I cann't bear to feel myself in so ridicu- letter? lous a circumstance.

[Aside. Sir Bash. Where's the harm? Sir Bash. He has been passing himself for a Lore. [Reads.] “ I cannot, my dearest life, any lord, has he?

longer behold"Mrs Bell. I beg my compliments to your friend Sir Bash. Shame and confusion ! I am undone. Mrs Loveit ; I am much obliged to you both for

Aside your very honourable designs.

Love. Hear this, Sir Bashful—“ The manifold

(Curtseying to him. vexations, of which, through a false prejudice, Love. I was never so ashamed in all my life! I am myself the occasion”

Sir Bril. So, so, so, all his pains were to hide Lady Cons. What is all this? the star from me. This discovery is a perfect Sir Bush. I am a lost man.

(Aside. cordial to my dejected spirits.

Love. Mind, Sir Bashful_“I am therefore reMrs Bell. Mrs Lovemore, I cannot sufficient solved, after many conflicts with myself, to throw ly acknowledge the providence that directed you off the mask, and frankly own a passion, which to pay me a visit, though I was wholly unknown the fear of falling into ridicule has, in appear. to you; and I shall henceforth consider you as ance, suppressed.” my deliverer.

Sir Bush. 'Sdeath! I'll hear no more of it. Lode. So ! it was she that fainted away in the

(Snatches at the letter. closet, and be damn’d to her jealousy. (Aside. Lore. No, sir; I resign it here, where it was

Sir Bril. By all that's whimsical, an odd sort directed; and with it, these notes, which Sir of an adventure this ! My lord, (Advances to Bashful gave me for your use. him.) my lord, my Lord Etheridge, as the man Lady Cons. It is his band, sure enough. says in the play, “ Your lordship is right wel Love. Yes, madam, and those are his senticome back to Denmark.”

ments, which he explained to me more at large. Love. Now be comes upon me.-Oh! I'm in Lady Cons. (Reads.] “ Accept the presents a fine situation.

(Aside. which I myself have sent you ; money, attendo Sir Bril. My lord, I hope that ugly pain in ance, equipage, and every thing else you shall pour lordship's side is abated.

coinmand; and, in return, I shall only entreat Love. Absurd and ridiculous ! (Aside. you to conceal' from the world that you have

Sir Bril. There is nothing forming there, I raised a flame in this heart, which will ever shor hope, my lord.


“ Your admirer, Love. I shall come to an explanation with you, “ And truly affectionate husband, sir.

“ BASHFUL CONSTANT." Sir Bril. The tennis-ball from Lord Racket's AN. Ha! ha! unlucky left-hand.

Sir Bril, So, so, so ! he has been in love witla Love. No more at present, Sir Brilliant, 1 his wife all this time, has he? Sir Bashful, will leave you now to yourselves, and—[Goes to the you go and see the new comedy with me? door in the back scene.)-—'Sdeath, another fiend ! Sir Bash. I shall blush through the world al I am beset by them.

the rest of my life. Enter Lady CONSTANT.

Sir Bril. Lovemore, don't you think it a base

thing to invade the happiness of a friend? or to No way to escape ?-[Attempts both stage dvors, do him a clandestine wrong? or to injure bin and is prevented.]

with the woman he loves ? Lady Cons. Mr Lovemore, it is the luckiest Love. To cut the matter short with you, sir, thing in the world that you are come bome. we have been traitors to each other; a couple of

Love. Ay, it is all over-all must come to light. unprincipled, unreflecting profligates.


« PreviousContinue »