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have recovered the whole of our debt, and now -whero is Simpson?

Mrs. B. Oh, Charles, don't name him. Did you but know what has passed during your absence !

Brom. What, more evidence against the gay deceiver?

Mrs. B. The wretch! But I'm glad you are returned, for, though he does not deserve your intercession, you must, for his wife's sake, endeavour to restore harmony between them.

Brom. Me, my love ! this is a very delicate affair ; and for me to interfere

Mrs. B. You are, in all respects, the properest person. Besides, in these cases, example goes a great way; and, by holding up to him your own excellent conduct as a-

Brom. True, true; but my conduct—that is, it would appear like vanity in me to—besides—in a word, my love, what would you have me say to him?

Mrs. B. Say to him, Mr. Bromley! Do you, then, encourage him in his wicked doings ?

Brom. What, I!-(Aside.] I shall betray myself.[ With affected energy. I encourage him ? 'Tis infamous ! 'tis abominabile! I'll read him such a lecture as shall make him sink into the earth ; I'll overwhelm him with

Mrs. B. Do with him as you please, love; do not spare him, for we now have the most positive proof of his having a mistress.

Brom. (Eagerly.) Is she pretty ?- (Checks himself. Mrs. B. Blue eyes, ruby lips, complexion like a rose. Brom. (Aside. Exactly like Mrs. Fitzallan.

Mrs. B. But were she an angel, her beauty is no apology for him.

Brom. Certainly not, certainly not. What business has the husband of one of the prettiest women in the city to be running after angels? 'tis scandalous, 'tis.Aside.) I'm in a cursed awkward position here, and the sooner I get away the better.—But I'll attack him at once; l'll lecture him; I'll Hector him; and he must reform his conduct, or no longer call me his friend.

Mrs. B. You are right, my love; for, as it is, the man is no company for you.

Brom. No ; I've done with him ; I've no pity for a man who goes astray-[Aside, and wants address to guard against detection.

(Erit, R.

MIrs. B. I doubt his success ; Mr. Simpson, I fear, is a hardened sinner. Besides, he knows too well the purity of my Charles's principles, to confess his error to himn.

Enter a SERVANT, L. Serv. Mrs. Fitzallan, ma'am.

Mrs. B. Mrs. Fitzallan ? I'm not acquainted with tho woman. (Looking out.] Ah ! 'tis Marianne.

(Exit Servant, L. Enter Mrs. FITZALLAN, L. My dear Marianne, my earliest friend, how delighted I am to meet you once again.

Mrs. F. After a separation of five years, at length we meet. How often have I thought on my old school-friend. I have a thousand things to ask, a thousand things to say

to you.

Mrs. B. But, before I answer you a single question, you must tell ine all that has happened to you

since

you. left England.

Mrs. F. Ah! my dear!-My history, though short, is a sad one. You heard of my going to India; there J. married General Fitzallan, and within two years after our marriage

[Weeps. Mrs. B. How! already a widow ! Mrs. F. Too true.

[Sighing. Mrs. B. Come, come, love ; this is the day of our re.. union, and I shall insist on your being very gay.

Mrs. F. Well, well.–And you, too, are married ?

Mrs. B. Yes, sure; I am settled down in Mincing Lane, in the midst of invoices, ledgers, and bills of lading; I am a plain, sober, city wife.

Mrs. F. And your husband? Come, tell me all about him. Is he an old stumpy little man in a grey coat and a brown wig? or young and handsome, and like the beings at the other side of Temple Bar? and is he kind and aitentive to you? And are you happy together?

Mrs. B. That, indeed, we are ; but you will see him presently, and I'll answer for it you will be delighted with him. If he Eave a fault, it is that his fondness for me renders him almost ill-bred in his behaviour to every other

Woman.

for a gay

one

N[rs. F. Don't attempt to correct him; 'tis an uncommon fault with husbands.

Mrs. B. That's true; few men are like Bromley.(Looking cautiously around. Now, there is my husband's partner, Mr. Simpson-Peter Simpson-a pretty name

deceiver !Mrs. F. That name is familiar to me. Oh! I remem: ber-I received some acceptances of his in payment from my poor husband's executor. Nīrs. B. Well-only conceive-his wife, poor thing-Mrs. F. Does he neglect her ?

Mrs. B. He's a wretch! We have the most positive proof against him. I do all I can to console poor Susan, but what can avail in such a case !

Mrs. F. Oh! these men, these men! And the inconceivable effrontery of some of thein !

What think you, for instance, of a man I never saw before in my

life Captain-Captain-Captain Walsingham, who, without any sort of introduction, twice presents himself at my house, under pretence of settling some business for me at the India House?

Mrs. B. Is it possible! and how did you receive him?

Mrs. F. As his insolence deserved, of course ; and for some time I heard no more of him. But within these few days he has dared to write to me. His first letter I returned to him una

answered, but he so pesters me with his epistles, that I find it less trouble to burn them unopened. Then I can scarcely stir from home but he follows my carriage, and-in short, his importunities are become so irksome, that I am half determined to apply to the magistrates. Mrs. B. Hush! here comes the unhappy pair.

[They walk up the stage. Enter Simpson and Mrs. SIMPSON, L. Simp. (Speaks on entering. Oh! with all my heariseparate maintenance, or no maintenance at all, if you prefer it--so you will but cease to torment me.

Mrs. S. I'm not the woman, Mr. Simpson, to bear such wrongs tamely; I have relations, and

Mrs. B. (Coming hastily forward. For Hea: 's sake! here's a visitor-I must present to you a do

friend of mine-Mrs. Fitzallan.

Simp. [Bowing.) Any friend of Mrs. Bromley's-Madam, your servant.

Mrs. S. I am delighted, ma'am, to-{To Mrs. Bromley.) Oh ! support me, my dear, I'm fainting.

Mrs. B. What is the matter?

Simp. Taking her hand, which she hastily witharaws. What ails you, my

duck ? Mrs. F. The lady is very pale.

Mrs. S. [Repulsing her.] ' 'Tis nothing, madam—'tis past-it was merely the surprise.

There are persons (Half directed to Simpson,] who can support a surprise without the slightest change of countenance.

Mr. Simpson, I dare say, is of my opinion.

Mrs. B. I perceive nothing very surprising, my dear, in a simple introduction to an old friend of mine.

Mrs. S. The lady is not altogether unknown to me nor to Mr. Simpson either.

Simp. To me! I don't recollect ever having had the honour of seeing the lady before.

Mrs. F. I go but little into society, ma'am; may I inquire where you

Mrs. S. This gentleman is more competent to answer the question than myself, madam.

Mrs. B. (Aside.] What can she mean? Simp. [In an under tone and with suppressed anger.] Madam, let me advise you, for your own sake, not to expose your folly to a stranger.-[Aside.] I wonder she has not attacked fat Betty, the cook, or old Sally, the housemaid.

Mrs. S. (To Mrs. Fitzallan.) Pray, madam, did you ever sit for your portrait ?

Mrs. F. | Laughing.] I now perceive the occasion of your surprise. No doubt you saw my portrait in the Exhibition ; and the likeness, which was, indeed, allowed to be perfect, has led you to imagine-Ha! ha! ha!-and my black velvet dress--did you remark how finely that was painted ?

Mrs. S. [Aside. Black Velvet! 'tis that—there's no longer a doubt. I am perfectly well acquainted with the miniature, madam, but it was not at the Exhibition I saw it.

Mrs. F. A miniature ? you mistake: a full length picture.

Mrs. B. (Aside.] Can her jealousy have so blinded her? -{Aloud und laughing.] I begin to understand the meaning of this; but, take my word for it, my dear, you were never so mistaken in your life.

Alrs. F. (Aside.] Good heavens! Can I be the cause of any disagreement here?

Simp. Well, ladies, to me all this is a riddle; I have lived in a riddle this whole day; as I never was very apt at guessing riddles, I shall quietly leave to time the task of expounding this.

Enter BROMLEY, R. Brom. Well, love, 'tis near dinner time; are you sure your friend Marianne will come ?

Mrs. B. [Pointing to Mrs. Fitzallan, whose back is turned to Bromley. She is here, Charles. Marianne, I must present my husband to you--Mr. Bromley.

Mrs. F. This gentleman-Mr. Bromley ?

Brom. [Overwhelmed with confusion, yet pointedly and rapidly.) Is the husband of your friend, madam.-[Aside.] I wish I was up to my neck in a horse-pond!

Mrs. F. I congratulate you sincerely, sir, on your choice. We were just speaking of you; Mrs. Bromley has emphatically eulogised your undivided attention to her, and no one is more desirous than myself to believe that you fully merit her confidence.

Brom. [Greatly embarrassed.] Oh, madam! when the heart—when a wife—when a husband, whose constancy, whose fidelity—a virtue now departed from with impunity -[Aside. I'm dished!

Mrs. S. [To Simpson.] Do you hear that, base man?

Simp. Yes, I hear; though I understand nothing about it. However, I'm determined to be silent, and we shall see which of us will be tired soonest.

Mrs. B. (To Bromley, and pointing towards Simpson.] You are too severe, my love; be compassionate—a little indulgence~[ To Mrs. Fitzallan,] am I not right?

Brom. A little indulgence--aye, aye, a little-we all have v.eed of it-besides, at an age when the passions, and when--after all, there are greater sinners than we ! Eh, Simpson?

Simp. (Aside.] It seems as if Bromley's turn had come.

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