Dorimant's Lodging
Act 4 — Scene 2 of The Man Of Mode by George Etherege

A table, a candle, a toilet, etc. Handy: tying up linen
Dorimant: in his gown, and Bellinda.:

Dorimant: Why will you be gone so soon?

Bellinda: Why did you stay out so late?

Dorimant: Call a chair, Handy.

Exit Handy .

—What makes you tremble so?

Bellinda: I have a thousand fears about me. Have I not been seen, think you?

Dorimant: By nobody but myself and trusty Handy.

Bellinda: Where are all your people?

Dorimant: I have dispersed 'em on sleeveless errands. What does that sigh mean?

Bellinda: Can you be so unkind to ask me?Well [Sighs] were it to do again—

Dorimant: We should do it, should we not?

Bellinda: I think we should: the wickeder man you to make me love so well. Will you be discreet now?

Dorimant: I will.

Bellinda: You cannot.

Dorimant: Never doubt it.

Bellinda: I will not expect it.

Dorimant: You do me wrong.

Bellinda: You have no more power to keep the secret than I had not to trust you with it.

Dorimant: By all the joys I have had, and those you keep in store—

Bellinda: —You'll do for my sake what you never did before.

Dorimant: By that truth thou hast spoken, a wife shall sooner betray herself to her husband-

Bellinda: Yet I had rather you should be false in this, than in any other thing you promised me.

Dorimant: What's that?

Bellinda: That you would never see Loveit more but in public places—in the Park, at Court, and plays.

Dorimant: 'Tis not likely a man should be fond of seeing a damned old play when there is a new one acted.

Bellinda: I dare not trust your promise.

Dorimant: You may.

Bellinda: This does not satisfy me. You shall swear you never will see her more.

Dorimant: I will! A thousand oaths.By all—

Bellinda: Hold! You shall not, now I think on't better.

Dorimant: I will swear!

Bellinda: I shall grow jealous of the oath, and think I owe your truth to that, not to your love.

Dorimant: Then, by my love, no other oath I'll swear.

Enter Handy .

Handy: Here's a chair.

Bellinda: Let me go.

Dorimant: I cannot

Bellinda: Too willingly, I fear.

Dorimant: Too unkindly feared When will you promise me again?

Bellinda: Not this fortnight

Dorimant: You will be better than your word.

Bellinda: I think I shall. Will it not make you love me less?

Fiddles without.

[Starting] Hark! what fiddles are these?

Dorimant: Look out Handy.

Exit HANDY and returns.

Handy: Mr. Medley, Mr. Bellair, and Sir Fopling. They are coming up.

Dorimant: How got they in?

Handy: The door was open for the chair.

Bellinda: Lord! let me fly!

Dorimant: Here, here, down the back stairs. I'll see you into your chair.

Bellinda: No, no, stay and receive 'em, and be sure you keep your word and never see Loveit more: let it be a proof of your kindness.

Dorimant: It shall. —Handy, direct her. — [ Kissing her hand ] Everlasting love go along with thee.


Enter Young Bellair, Medley, and Sir Fopling with his page.

Young Bellair: Not abed yet?

Medley: You have had an irregular fit, Dorimant?

Dorimant: I have.

Young Bellair: And is it off already?

Dorimant: Nature has done her part, gentlemen. When she falls kindly to work, great cures are effected in little time, you know.

Sir Fopling: We thought there was a wench in the case by the chair that waited. Prithee make us a confidencé.

Dorimant: Excuse me.

Sir Fopling: Lè sagè Dorimant. Was she pretty?

Dorimant: So pretty she may come to keep her coach and pay parish duties if the good humour of the age continue.

Medley: And be of the number of the ladies kept by public-spirited men for the good of the whole town.

Sir Fopling: Well said, Medley.

Sir FOPLING dancing by himself.

Young Bellair: See, Sir Fopling dancing.

Dorimant: You are practising and have a mind to recover, I see.

Sir Fopling: Prithee, Dorimant, why hast not thou a glass hung up here? A room is the dullest thing without one.

Young Bellair: Here is company to entertain you.

Sir Fopling: But I mean in case of being alone. In a glass a man may entertain himself—

Dorimant: The shadow of himself indeed.

Sir Fopling: —Correct the errors of his motions and his dress.

Medley: I find, Sir Fopling, in your solitude you remember the saying of the wise man, and study yourself.

Sir Fopling: 'Tis the best diversion in our retirements. Dorimant, thou art a pretty fellow, and wear'st thy clothes well, but I never saw thee have a handsome cravat. Were they made up like mine, they'd give another air to thy face. Prithee let me send my man to dress thee but one day. By heavens, an Englishman cannot tie a ribbon!

Dorimant: They are something clumsy-fisted.

Sir Fopling: I have brought over the prettiest fellow that ever spread a toilet. He served some time under Merille, the greatest genie in the world for a valet-de-chambrè.

Dorimant: What, he who formerly belonged to the Duke of Candale?

Sir Fopling: The same, and got him his immortal reputation.

Dorimant: You've a very fine brandenburgh on, Sir Fopling.

Sir Fopling: It serves to wrap me up after the fatigue of a ball.

Medley: I see you often in it, with your periwig tied up.

Sir Fopling: We should not always be in a set dress. 'Tis more en cavalier to appear now and then in a déshabillé.

Medley: Pray how goes your business with Loveit?

Sir Fopling: You might have answered yourself in the Mall last night. —Dorimant, did you not see the advances she made me? I have been endeavouring at a song.

Dorimant: Already?

Sir Fopling: 'Tis my coup d'essai in English. I would fain have thy opinion of it.

Dorimant: Let's see it.

Sir Fopling: Hey, Page! give me my song. —Bellair, here. Thou hast a pretty voice; sing it.

Young Bellair: Sing it yourself, Sir Fopling.

Sir Fopling: Excuse me.

Young Bellair: You learnt to sing in Paris.

Sir Fopling: I did, of Lambert, the greatest master in the world; but I have his own fault, a weak voice, and care not to sing out of a ruelle.

Dorimant: A ruelle is a pretty cage for a singing fop, indeed.

Young Bellair reads the song.

How charming Phyllis is, how fair!
Ah, that she were as willing
To ease my wounded heart of care,
And make her eyes less killing.
I sigh, I sigh, I languish now,
And love will not let me rest;
I drive about the Park, and bow
Still as I meet my dearest.

Sir Fopling: Sing it, sing it, man! It goes to a pretty new tune, which I am confident was made by Baptiste.

Medley: Sing it yourself, Sir Fopling. He does not know the tune.

Sir Fopling: I'll venture.

Sir FOPLING sings.

Dorimant: Ay, marry, now 'tis something. I shall not flatter you, Sir Fopling: there is not much thought in't, but 'tis passionate, and well turned.

Medley: After the French way.

Sir Fopling: That I aimed at. Does it not give you a lively image of the thing? Slap down goes the glass, and thus we are at it.

Dorimant: It does indeed. I perceive, Sir Fopling, you'll be the very head of the sparks who are lucky in compositions of this nature.

Enter Sir FOPLING'S Footman .

Sir Fopling: La Tour, is the bath ready?

Footman: Yes, sir.

Sir Fopling: Adieu donc, mes chers.

Exit Sir Fopling.

Medley: When have you your revenge on Loveit, Dorimant?

Dorimant: I will but change my linen, and about it.

Medley: The powerful considerations which hindered have been removed then?

Dorimant: Most luckily this morning. You must along with me, my reputation lies at stake there.

Medley: I am engaged to Bellair.

Dorimant: What's your business?

Medley: Ma-tri-mony, an't like you.

Dorimant: It does not, sir.

Young Bellair: It may in time, Dorimant. What think you of Mrs. Harriet?

Dorimant: What does she think of me?

Young Bellair: I am confident she loves you.

Dorimant: How does it appear?

Young Bellair: Why, she's never well but when she's talking of you, but then she finds all the faults in you she can. She laughs at all who commend you; but then she speaks ill of all who do not.

Dorimant: Women of her temper betray themselves by their over-cunning. I had once a growing love with a lady who would always quarrel with me when I came to see her, and yet was never quiet if I stayed a day from her.

Young Bellair: My father is in love with Emilia.

Dorimant: That is a good warrant for your proceedings. Go on and prosper; I must to Loveit. — Medley, I am sorry you cannot be a witness.

Medley: Make her meet Sir Fopling again in the same place, and use him ill before me.

Dorimant: That may be brought about, I think. — I'll be at your aunt's anon, and give you joy, Mr. Bellair.

Young Bellair: You had not best think of Mrs. Harriet too much. Without church security there's no taking up there.

Dorimant: I may fall into the snare too. But,

"The wise will find a difference in our fate;
You wed a woman, I a good estate.'