Enter Harriet and Young Bellair, she pulling him..
Harriet. Come along!
Young Bellair. And leave your mother?
Harriet. Busy will be sent with a hue and cry after us; but that's no matter.
Young Bellair. 'Twill look strangely in me.
Harriet. She'll believe it a freak of mine and never blame your manners.
Young Bellair. [Pointing] What reverend acquaintance is that she has met?
Harriet. A fellow-beauty of the last King's time, though by the ruins you would hardly guess it.
Enter Dorimant, who crosses the stage..
Enter Young Bellair and Harriet.
Young Bellair. By this time your mother is in a fine taking.
Harriet. If your friend Mr. Dorimant were but here now, that she might find me talking with him.
Young Bellair. She does not know him, but dreads him, I hear, of all mankind.
Harriet. She concludes if he does but speak to a woman she's undone—is on her knees every day to pray heaven defend me from him.
Young Bellair. You do not apprehend him so much as she does.
Harriet. I never saw anything in him that was frightful.
Young Bellair. On the contrary, have you not observed something extreme delightful in his wit and person?
Harriet. He's agreeable and pleasant I must own, but he does so much affect being so, he displeases me.
Young Bellair. Lord, madam, all he does and says is so easy and so natural.
Harriet. Some men's verses seem so to the unskilful, but labour i' the one and affectation in the other to the judicious plainly appear.
Young Bellair. I never heard him accused of affectation before.
Enter Dorimant, who stares upon her.
Harriet. It passes on the easy town, who are favourably pleased in him to call it humour.
Exeunt Young Bellair and Harriet.
Dorimant. 'Tis she! It must be she—that lovely hair, that easy shape, those wanton eyes, and all those melting charms about her mouth which Medley spoke of. I'll follow the lottery, and put in for a prize with my friend Bellair.
Exit Dorimant repeating:
"In love the victors from the vanquish'd fly;
They fly that wound, and they pursue that die." (1)
Enter Young Bellair and Harriet, and after them Dorimant, standing at a distance.
Young Bellair. Most people prefer High Park to this place.
Harriet. It has the better reputation, I confess; but I abominate the dull diversions there—the formal bows, the affected smiles, the silly by-words, and amorous tweers in passing. Here one meets with a little conversation now and then.
Young Bellair. These conversations have been fatal to some of your sex, madam.
Harriet. It may be so. Because some who want temper have been undone by gaming, must others who have it wholly deny themselves the pleasure of play?
Dorimant. [Coming up gently and bowing to her] Trust me, it were unreasonable, madam.
She starts, and looks grave.
Harriet. Lord, who's this?
Young Bellair. Dorimant.
Dorimant. Is this the woman your father would have you marry?
Young Bellair. It is.
Dorimant. Her name?
Young Bellair. Harriet.
Dorimant. [Aside] I am not mistaken.—she's handsome.
Young Bellair. Talk to her; her wit is better than her face. We were wishing for you but now.
Dorimant. [to HARRIET] Overcast with seriousness o' the sudden! A thousand smiles were shining in that face but now. I never saw so quick a change of weather.
Harriet. [Aside] I feel as great a change within, but he shall never know it.
Dorimant. You were talking of play, madam. Pray what may be your stint?
Harriet. A little harmless discourse in public walks, or at most an appointment in a box barefaced at the playhouse. You are for masks and private meetings where women engage for all they are worth, I hear.
Dorimant. I have been used to deep play, but I can make one at small game when I like my gamester well.
Harriet. And be so unconcerned you'll ha' no pleasure in it.
Dorimant. Where there is a considerable sum to be won the hope of drawing people in makes every trifle considerable.
Harriet. The sordidness of men's natures, I know, makes 'em willing to flatter and comply with the rich, though they are sure never to be the better for 'em.
Dorimant. 'Tis in their power to do us good, and we despair not but at some time or other they may be willing.
Harriet. To men who have fared on this town like you, 'twould be a great mortification to live on hope. Could you keep a Lent for a mistress?
Dorimant. In expectation of a happy Easter, and though time be very precious, think forty days well lost to gain your favour.
Harriet. Mr. Bellair! Let us walk, 'tis time to leave him. Men grow dull when they begin to be particular.
Dorimant. You're mistaken, flattery will not ensue, though I know you're greedy of the praises of the whole Mall.
Harriet. You do me wrong.
Dorimant. I do not. As I followed you I observed how you were pleased when the fops cried: "She's handsome, very handsome, By God she is!" and whispered aloud your name—the thousand several forms you put your face into; then, to make yourself more agreeable, how wantonly you played with your head, hung back your locks, and looked smilingly over your shoulder at 'em.
Harriet. I do not go begging the men's, as you do the ladies' good liking, with a sly softness in your looks and a gentle slowness in your bows as you pass by 'em. As thus, sir. [Acts him] Is not this like you?
Enter Lady WOODVILLand BUSY.
Young Bellair. Your mother, madam.
Pulls HARRIET she composes herself
Lady Woodvill. Ah, my dear child Harriet!
Busy. [Aside] Now is she so pleased with finding her again she cannot chide her.
Lady Woodvill. Come away!
Dorimant. 'Tis now but high Mall, madam, the most entertaining time of all the evening.
Harriet. I would fain see that Dorimant, mother, you so cry out for a monster. He's in the Mall, I hear.
Lady Woodvill. Come away then! The plague is here, and you should dread the infection.
Young Bellair. You may be misinformed of the gentleman.
Lady Woodvill. Oh, no! I hope you do not know him! He is the prince of all the devils in the town— delights in nothing but in rapes and riots.
Dorimant. If you did but hear him speak, madam!
Lady Woodvill. Oh, he has a tongue, they say, would tempt the angels to a second fall.
Enter Sir FOPLING and his Equipage six Footmen and a Page.
Sir Fopling. Hey, Champagne, Norman, La Rose, La Fleur, La Tour, La Verdure!—Dorimant!—
Lady Woodvill. Here, here he is among this rout! He names him! Come away, Harriet, come away!
Exeunt Lady Woodvill, Harriet, Busy And Young Bellair.
Dorimant. This fool's coming has spoiled all: she's gone. But she has left a pleasing image of herself behind that wanders in my soul. It must not settle there.
Sir Fopling. What reverie is this? Speak, man.
Dorimant. "Snatch'd from myself, how far behind
Already I behold the shore!" (2)
Medley. Dorimant, a discovery! I met with Bellair—
Dorimant. You can tell me no news, sir. I know all.
Medley. How do you like the daughter?
Dorimant. You never came so near truth in your life as you did in her description.
Medley. What think you of the mother?
Dorimant. Whatever I think of her, she thinks very well of me, I find.
Medley. Did she know you?
Dorimant. She did not. Whether she does now or no, I know not. Here was a pleasant scene towards, when in came Sir Fopling, mustering up his equipage, and at the latter end named me and frighted her away.
Medley. Loveit and Bellinda are not far off, I saw 'em alight at St. James's.
Dorimant. Sir Fopling, hark you, a word or two. [whispers] Look you do not want assurance.
Sir Fopling. I never do on these occasions.
Dorimant. Walk on; we must not be seen together. Make your advantage of what I have told you. The next turn you will meet the lady.
Sir Fopling. Hey! Follow me all.
Exeunt Sir FOPLING and his Equipage
Dorimant. Medley, you shall see good sport anon between Loveit and this Fopling.
Medley. I thought there was something toward by that whisper.
Dorimant. You know a worthy principle of hers?
Medley. Not to be so much as civil to a man who speaks to her in the presence of him she professes to love.
Dorimant. I have encouraged Fopling to talk to her to-night.
Medley. Now you are here she will go nigh to beat him.
Dorimant. In the humour she's in, her love will make her do some very extravagant thing, doubtless.
Medley. What was Bellinda's business with you at my Lady Townley's?
Dorimant. To get me to meet Loveit here in order to an éclaircissement. I made some difficulty of it, and have prepared this rencounter to make good my jealousy.
Medley. Here they come!
Enter LOVEIT, BELLINDA,and PERT.
Dorimant. I'll meet her and provoke her with a deal of dumb civility in passing by, then turn short and be behind her when Sir Fopling sets upon her.
Bows to Mrs Loveit.
"See how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes." (3)
Exeunt. DORIMANT and MEDLEY.
Bellinda. How wonderful respectfully he bowed!
Pert. He's always over-mannerly when he has done a mischief
Bellinda. Methought indeed at the same time he had a strange despising countenance.
Pert. The unlucky look, he thinks, becomes him.
Bellinda. I was afraid you would have spoke to him, my dear.
Mrs. Loveit. I would have died first. He shall no more find me the loving fool he has done.
Bellinda. You love him still!
Mrs. Loveit. No.
Pert. I wish you did not.
Mrs. Loveit. I do not, and I will have you think so!—What made you hale me to this odious place, Bellinda?
Bellinda. I hate to be hulched up in a coach. Walking is much better.
Mrs. Loveit. Would we could meet Sir Fopling now!
Bellinda. Lord! would you not avoid him?
Mrs. Loveit. I would make him all the advances that may be.
Bellinda. That would confirm Dorimant's suspicion, my dear.
Mrs. Loveit. He is not jealous, but I will make him so, and be revenged a way he little thinks on.
Bellinda. [ Aside] If she should make him jealous, that may make him fond of her again. I must dissuade her from it. —Lord, my dear, this will certainly make him hate you.
Mrs. Loveit. 'Twill make him uneasy, though he does not care for me. I know the effects of jealousy on men of his proud temper.
Bellinda. 'Tis a fantastic remedy, its operations are dangerous and uncertain.
Mrs. Loveit. 'Tis the strongest cordial we can give to dying love, it often brings it back when there's no sign of life remaining. But I design not so much the reviving his, as my revenge.
Enter Sir FOPLING and his Equipage.
Sir Fopling. Hey! Bid the coachman send home four of his horses, and bring the coach to Whitehall. I'll walk over the Park. [To Mrs. Loveit] Madam, the honour of kissing your fair hands is a happiness I missed this afternoon at my Lady Townley's.
Mrs. Loveit. You were very obliging, Sir Fopling, the last time I saw you there.
Sir Fopling. The preference was due to your wit and beauty. [To Bellinda] Madam, your servant. There never was so sweet an evening.
Bellinda. 'T has drawn all the rabble of the town hither.
Sir Fopling. 'Tis pity there's not an order made that none but the beau monde should walk here.
Mrs. Loveit. 'Twould add much to the beauty of the place. See what a sort of nasty fellows are coming.
Enter three ill-fashioned Fellows, singing,
"'Tis not for kisses alone, etc." (4)
Mrs. Loveit. Foh! Their periwigs are scented with tobacco so strong—
Sir Fopling. —It overcomes our pulvilio. Methinks I smell the coffee-house they came from.
First Man. Dorimant's convenient, Madam Loveit.
Second Man. I like the oily buttock with her.
Third Man. [Pointing to Sir Fopling] What spruce prig is that?
First Man. A caravan lately come from Paris.
Second Man. Peace, they smoke!
All of them coughing; exeunt, singing
"There's something else to be done, etc."
Enter Dorimant And Medley.
Dorimant. They're engaged.
Medley. She entertains him as if she liked him.
Dorimant. Let us go forward, seem earnest in discourse, and show ourselves. Then you shall see how she'll use him.
Bellinda. Yonder's Dorimant, my dear.
Mrs. Loveit. I see him. [ Aside] He comes insulting, but I will disappoint him in his expectation. [To Sir Fopling.] I like this pretty nice humour of yours, Sir Fopling. [To Bellinda] With what a loathing eye he looked upon those fellows!
Sir Fopling. I sat near one of 'em at a play to-day, and was almost poisoned with a pair of cordovan gloves he wears.
Mrs. Loveit. Oh! filthy cordovan, how I hate the smell!
Laughs in a loud affected way.
Sir Fopling. Did you observe, madam, how their cravats hung loose an inch from their neck, and what a frightful air it gave'em?
Mrs. Loveit. Oh! I took particular notice of one that is always spruced up with a deal of dirty sky-coloured ribbon.
Bellinda. That's one of the walking flageolets who haunt the Mall o' nights.
Mrs. Loveit. Oh, I remember him. He's a hollow tooth enough to spoil the sweetness of an evening.
Sir Fopling. I have seen the tallest walk the streets with a dainty pair of boxes neatly buckled on.
Mrs. Loveit. And a little footboy at his heels pocket-high, with a flat cap-a dirty face—
Sir Fopling. —And a snotty nose.
Mrs. Loveit. Oh, odious! There's many of my own sex with that Holborn equipage, trig to Gray's Inn Walks, and now and then travel hither on a Sunday.
Medley. [To Dorimant] She takes no notice of you.
Dorimant. Damn her! I am jealous of a counterplot.
Mrs. Loveit. Your liveries are the finest, Sir Fopling. Oh, that page! That page is the prettily'st dressed. They are all Frenchmen?
Sir Fopling. There's one damned English blockhead among'em, you may know him by his mien.
Mrs. Loveit. Oh, that's he, that's he! What do you call him?
Sir Fopling. [calling Footman] Hey! —I know not what to call him.
Mrs. Loveit. What's your name?
Footman. John Trott, madam.
Sir Fopling. Oh, unsufferable! Trott, Trott, Trott! there's nothing so barbarous as the names of our English servants. What countryman are you, sirrah?
Footman. Hampshire, sir.
Sir Fopling. Then Hampshire be your name. Hey, Hampshire!
Mrs. Loveit. Oh, that sound! that sound becomes the mouth of a man of quality.
Medley. Dorimant, you look a little bashful on the matter.
Dorimant. She dissembles better than I thought she could have done.
Medley. You have tempted her with too luscious a bait. She bites at the coxcomb.
Dorimant. She cannot fall from loving me to that?
Medley. You begin to be jealous in earnest.
Dorimant. Of one I do not love?
Medley. You did love her.
Dorimant. The fit has long been over.
Medley. But I have known men fall into dangerous relapses when they have found a woman inclining to another.
Dorimant. [To himself]. He guesses the secret of my heart. I am concerned, but dare not show it lest Bellinda should mistrust all I have done to gain her.
Bellinda. [ Aside] I have watched his look, and find no alteration there. Did he love her, some signs of jealousy would have appeared.
Dorimant. [To Mrs. Loveit] I hope this happy evening, madam, has reconciled you to the scandalous Mall. We shall have you now hankering here again.
Mrs. Loveit. Sir Fopling, will you walk?
Sir Fopling. I am all obedience, madam.
Mrs. Loveit. Come along then, and let's agree to be malicious on all the ill-fashioned things we meet.
Sir Fopling. We'll make a critique on the whole Mall, madam.
Mrs. Loveit. Bellinda, you shall engage.
Bellinda. To the reserve of our friends, my dear.
Mrs. Loveit. No! No exceptions.
Sir Fopling. We'll sacrifice all to our diversion.
Mrs. Loveit. All,all.
Sir Fopling. All!
Bellinda. All? Then let it be.
Exeunt Sir Fopling, Loveit, Bellinda and Pert laughing.
Medley. Would you had brought some more of your friends, Dorimant, to have been witnesses of Sir Fopling's disgrace and your triumph!
Dorimant. 'Twere unreasonable to desire you not to laugh at me; but pray do not expose me to the town this day or two.
Medley. By that time you hope to have regained your credit?
Dorimant. I know she hates Fopling, and only makes use of him in hope to work me on again. Had it not been for some powerful considerations which will be removed to-morrow morning, I had made her pluck off this mask and show the passion that lies panting under.
Enter a Footman.
Medley. Here comes a man from Bellair, with news of your last adventure.
Dorimant. I am glad he sent him. I long to know the consequence of our parting.
Footman. Sir, my master desires you to come to my Lady Townley's presently, and bring Mr. Medley with you. My Lady Woodvill and her daughter are there.
Medley. Then all's well, Dorimant.
Footman. They have sent for the fiddles and mean to dance. He bid me tell you, sir, the old lady does not know you, and would have you own yourself to be Mr. Courtage. They are all prepared to receive you by that name.
Dorimant. That foppish admirer of quality who flatters the very meat at honourable tables, and never offers love to a woman below a lady-grandmother.
Medley. You know the character you are to act, I see.
Dorimant. This is Harriet's contrivance—wild, witty, lovesome, beautiful and young. (5)—Come along, Medley.
Medley. This new woman would well supply the loss of Loveit.
Dorimant. That business must not end so. Before to-morrow's sun is set I will revenge and clear it.
And you and Loveit to her cost shall find,
I fathom all the depths of womankind.