Enter Medley, Young Bellair, Lady Townley, Emilia and Smirk, a Chaplain.
Medley. Bear up, Bellair, and do not let us see that repentance in thine we daily do in married faces.
Lady Townley. This wedding will strangely surprise my brother when he knows it.
Medley. Your nephew ought to conceal it for a time, madam, since marriage has lost its good name, prudent men seldom expose their own reputations till 'tis convenient to justify their wives.
Old Bellair. [without] Where are you all there? Out, adod, will nobody hear?
Lady Townley. My brother! Quickly, Mr. Smirk, into this closet. You must not be seen yet.
Smirk goes into the closet.
Enter Old Bellair and Lady Townley's Page .
Old Bellair.[To Page] Desire Mr. Fourbe to walk into the lower parlour, I will be with him presently.
[to Young Bellair] Where have you been, sir, you could not wait on me to-day?
Young Bellair. About a business.
Old Bellair. Are you so good at business? Adod, I have a business too you shall despatch out of hand, sir.— Send for a parson, sister. My Lady Woodvilland her daughter are coming.
Lady Townley. What need you huddle up things thus?
Old Bellair. Out a pize! Youth is apt to play the fool, and 'tis not good it should be in their power.
Lady Townley. You need not fear your son.
Old Bellair. He's been idling this morning, and, adod, I do not like him. [to Emilia] How dost thou do, sweetheart?
Emilia. You are very severe, sir. Married in such haste!
Old Bellair. Go to, thou'rt a rogue, and I will talk with thee anon.
Enter Lady Woodvill, Harriet, and Busy.
Here's my Lady Woodvillcome. —Welcome, madam; Mr. Fourbes is below with the writings.
Lady Woodvill. Let us down, and make an end then.
Old Bellair. Sister, show the way. [to Young Bellair who is talking to Harriet] Harry, your business lies not there yet. — Excuse him till we have done, lady, and then, adod, he shall be for thee. Mr. Medley, we must trouble you to be a witness.
Medley. I luckily came for that purpose, sir.
Exeunt Old Bellair, Medley, Young Bellair, Lady Townley and Lady Woodvill.
Busy. What will you do, madam?
Harriet. Be carried back and mewed up in the country again, run away here, anything rather than be married to a man I do not care for. — Dear Emilia, do thou advise me.
Emilia. Mr. Bellair is engaged you know.
Harriet. I do, but know not what the fear of losing an estate may fright him to.
Emilia. In the desperate condition you are in you should consult with some judicious man. What think you of Mr. Dorimant?
Harriet. I do not think of him at all.
Busy. [aside] She thinks of nothing else, I am sure.
Emilia. How found your mother was of Mr. Courtage.
Harriet. Because I contrived the mistake to make a little mirth you believe I like the man.
Emilia. Mr. Bellair believes you love him.
Harriet. Men are seldom in the right when they guess at a woman's mind. Would she whom he loves loved him no better!
Busy. [aside] That's e'en well enough, on all conscience.
Emilia. Mr. Dorimant has a great deal of wit.
Harriet. And takes a great deal of pains to show it.
Emilia. He's extremely well-fashioned.
Harriet. Affectedly grave or ridiculously wild and apish.
Busy. You defend him still against your mother.
Harriet. I would not were he justly rallied, but I cannot hear any one undeservedly railed at.
Emilia.Has your woman learnt the song you were so taken with?
Harriet. I was fond of a new thing. 'Tis dull at second hearing.
Emilia. Mr. Dorimant made it.
Busy. She knows it, madam, and has made me sing it at least a dozen times this morning.
Harriet. Thy tongue is as impertinent as thy fingers.
Emilia. You have provoked her.
Busy. 'Tis but singing the song, and I shall appease her.
Emilia. Prithee do.
Harriet. She has a voice will grate your ears worse than a cat-call, and dresses so ill she's scarce fit to trick up a yeoman's daughter on a holiday.
Busy.[sings —Song by Sir C.S.]
As Amoret with Phyllis sat
One evening on the plain,
And saw the charming Strephon wait
To tell the nymph his pain,
The threatening danger to remove
She whisper'd in her ear,
Ah, Phyllis! if you would not love,
This shepherd do not hear.
None ever had so strange an art
His passion to convey
Into a listening virgin's heart,
And steal her soul away.
Fly, fly betimes, for fear you give
Occasion for your fate.
In vain, said she, in vain I strive,
Alas! 'tis now too late.
Enter Dorimant .
Dorimant."Music so softens and disarms the mind—"
Harriet."That not one arrow does resistance find."(1)
Dorimant. Let us make use of the lucky minute then.
Harriet. [aside, turning from Dorimant]. My love springs with my blood into my face. I dare not look upon him yet.
Dorimant. What have we here, the picture of celebrated beauty giving audience in public to a declared lover?
Harriet. Play the dying fop and make the piece complete, sir.
Dorimant. What think you if the hint were well improved-the whole mystery of making love pleasantly designed and wrought in a suit of hangings?
Harriet. 'Twere needless to execute fools in effigy who suffer daily in their own persons.
Dorimant. [aside to Emilia] Mrs. Bride, for such I know this happy day has made you—
Emilia. Defer the formal joy you are to give me and mind your business with her. [aloud] Here are dreadful preparations, Mr. Dorimant—writings sealing, and a parson sent for.
Dorimant. To marry this lady?
Busy. Condemned she is, and what will become of her I know not, without you generously engage in a rescue.
Dorimant. In this sad condition, madam, I can do no less than offer you my service.
Harriet. The obligation is not great: you are the common sanctuary for all young women who run from their relations.
Dorimant. I have always my arms open to receive the distressed. But I will open my heart, and receive you where none yet did ever enter: you have filled it with a secret, might I but let you know it.
Harriet. Do not speak it if you would have me believe it. Your tongue is so famed for falsehood 'twill do the truth an injury.
Turns away her head .
Dorimant. Turn not away then, but look on me and guess it.
Harriet. Did you not tell me there was no credit to be given to faces—that women nowadays have their passions as much at will as they have their complexions, and put on joy and sadness, scorn and kindness, with the same ease they do their paint and patches? Are they the only counterfeits?
Dorimant. You wrong your own while you suspect my eyes. By all the hope I have in you, the inimitable colour in your cheeks is not more free from art than are the sighs I offer.
Harriet. In men who have been long hardened in sin we have reason to mistrust the first signs of repentance.
Dorimant. The prospect of such a heaven will make me persevere and give you marks that are infallible.
Harriet. What are those?
Dorimant. I will renounce all the joys I have in friendship and in wine, sacrifice to you all the interest I have in other women—
Harriet. Hold! Though I wish you devout I would not have you turn fanatic. Could you neglect these awhile and make a journey into the country?
Dorimant. To be with you I could live there and never send one thought to London.
Harriet. Whate'er you say, I know all beyond High Park's a desert to you, and that no gallantry can draw you farther.
Dorimant. That has been the utmost limit of my love, but now my passion knows no bounds, and there's no measure to be taken of what I'll do for you from anything I ever did before.
Harriet. When I hear you talk thus in Hampshire I shall begin to think there may be some truth enlarged upon.
Dorimant. Is this all? Will you not promise me—
Harriet. I hate to promise. What we do then is expected from us, and wants much of the welcome it finds when it surprises.
Dorimant. May I not hope?
Harriet. That depends on you and not on me; and 'tis to no purpose to forbid it.
Turns to Busy .
Busy. Faith, madam, now I perceive the gentleman loves you too. E'en let him know your mind, and torment yourselves no longer.
Harriet. Dost think I have no sense of modesty?
Busy. Think, if you lose this you may never have another opportunity.
Harriet. May he hate me—a curse that frights me when I speak it—if ever I do a thing against the rules of decency and honour.
Dorimant. [to Emilia] I am beholding to you for your good intentions, madam.
Emilia. I thought the concealing of our marriage from her might have done you better service.
Dorimant. Try her again.
Emilia.[to Harriet] What have you resolved, madam? The time draws near.
Harriet. To be obstinate, and protest against this marriage. Lady Woodvil.
Enter Lady Townley in haste.
Lady Townley. [to Emilia] Quickly, quickly, let Mr. Smirk out of the closet.
Smirk comes out of the closet..
Harriet. A parson! [to Dorimant] Had you laid him in here?
Dorimant. I knew nothing of him.
Harriet. Should it appear you did, your opinion of my easiness may cost you dear.
Enter Old Bellair, Young Bellair, Medley, and Lady Woodvill.
Old Bellair. Out a pize, the canonical hour is almost past. Sister, is the man of God come?
Lady Townley. He waits your leisure.
Old Bellair.[to Smirk] By your favour, sir. —Adod, a pretty spruce fellow. What may we call him?
Lady Townley. Mr. Smirk—my Lady Biggot's chaplain.
Old Bellair. A wise woman, adod, she is. The man will serve for the flesh as well as the spirit. Please you, sir, to commission a young couple to go to bed together i' God's name? Harry.
Young Bellair. Here, sir.
Old Bellair. Out a pize! Without your mistress in your hand?
Smirk.Is this the gentleman?
Old Bellair. Yes, sir.
Smirk. Are you not mistaken, sir?
Old Bellair. Adod, I think not, sir!
Smirk. Sure you are, sir.
Old Bellair. You look as if you would forbid the banns, Mr. Smirk. I hope you have no pretension to the lady.
Smirk. Wish him joy, sir. I have done him the good office to-day already.
Old Bellair. Out a pize! What do I hear?
Lady Townley. Never storm, brother. The truth is out.
Old Bellair. How say you, sir? Is this your wedding-day?
Young Bellair. It is, sir.
Old Bellair. And, adod, it shall be mine too. [to Emilia] Give me thy hand, sweetheart. [she refuses] What dost thou mean? Give me thy hand, I say!
Emilia kneels, and Young Bellair.
Lady Townley. Come, come give her your blessing. This is the woman your son loved and is married to.
Old Bellair. Ha! Cheated! Cozened! And by your contrivance, sister!
Lady Townley. What would you do with her? She's a rogue, and you can't abide her.
Medley. Shall I hit her a pat for you, sir?
Old Bellair. Adod, you are all rogues, and I never will forgive you.
Lady Townley. Whither? Whither away?
Medley. Let him go and cool awhile.
Lady Woodvill. [to Dorimant] Here's a business broke out now. Mr. Courtage, I am made a fine fool of.
Dorimant. You see the old gentleman knows nothing of it.
Lady Woodvill. I find he did not. I shall have some trick put upon me if I stay in this wicked town any longer. —Harriet, dear child, where art thou? I'll into the country straight.
Old Bellair. Adod, madam, you shall hear me first.
Enter Mrs Loveit and Bellinda.
Mrs Loveit. Hither my man dogged him.
Bellinda. Yonder he stands, my dear.
Mrs Loveit. I see him. [aside] and with the face that has undone me. Oh, that I were but where I might throw out the anguish of my heart! Here it must rage within and break it.
Lady Townley. Mrs. Loveit! Are you afraid to come forward?
Mrs Loveit. I was amazed to see so much company here in a morning, the occasion sure is extraordinary.
Dorimant. [aside] Loveit and Bellinda! The devil owes me a share to-day, and I think never will have done paying it.
Mrs Loveit. Married! Dear Emilia how am I transported with the news!
Harriet. [to Dorimant] I little thought Emilia was the woman Mr. Bellair was in love with. I'll chide her for not trusting me with the secret.
Dorimant. How do you like Mrs. Loveit?
Harriet. She's a famed mistress of yours, I hear.
Dorimant. She has been on occasion.
Old Bellair. [to Lady Woodvill] Adod, madam, I cannot help it.
Lady Woodvill. You need make no more apologies, sir.
Emilia. [to Mrs Loveit] The old gentleman's excusing himself to my Lady Woodvill.
Mrs Loveit. Ha, ha, ha! I never heard of anything so pleasant.
Harriet. [to Dorimant] She's extremely overjoyed at something.
Dorimant. At nothing. She is one of those hoiting ladies who gaily fling themselves about and force a laugh when their aching hearts are full of discontent and malice.
Mrs Loveit. Oh, heaven, I was never so near killing myself with laughing.— Mr. Dorimant, are you a brideman?
Lady Woodvill. Mr. Dorimant! Is this Mr. Dorimant, madam?
Mrs Loveit. If you doubt it, your daughter can resolve you, I suppose.
Lady Woodvill. I am cheated too, basely cheated!
Old Bellair. Out a pize, what's here? More knavery yet?
Lady Woodvill. Harriet! On my blessing, come away, I charge you.
Harriet. Dear mother, do but stay and hear me.
Lady Woodvill. I am betrayed, and thou art undone, I fear.
Harriet. Do not fear it. I have not, nor never will do anything against my duty. Believe me, dear mother, do!
Dorimant. [to Mrs Loveit] I had trusted you with this secret, but that I knew the violence of your nature would ruin my fortune— as now unluckily it has. I thank you, madam.
Mrs Loveit. She's an heiress, I know, and very rich.
Dorimant. To satisfy you I must give up my interest wholly to my love. Had you been a reasonable woman, I might have secured 'em both and been happy.
Mrs Loveit. You might have trusted me with anything of this kind; you know you might. Why did you go under a wrong name?
Dorimant. The story is too long to tell you now. Be satisfied, this is the business, this is the mask has kept me from you.
Bellinda. [aside] He's tender of my honour, though he's cruel to my love.
Mrs Loveit. Was it no idle mistress then?
Dorimant. Believe me—a wife, to repair the ruins of my estate that needs it.
Mrs Loveit. The knowledge of this makes my grief hang lighter on my soul, but I shall never more be happy.
Bellinda. Do not think of clearing yourself with me, it is impossible. Do all men break their words thus?
Dorimant. Th' extravagant words they speak in love. 'Tis as unreasonable to expect we should perform all we promise then, as do all we threaten when we are angry. When I see you next—
Bellinda. Take no notice of me, and I shall not hate you.
Dorimant. How came you to Mrs. Loveit?
Bellinda. By a mistake the chairmen made for want of my giving them directions.
Dorimant. 'Twas a pleasant one. We must meet again.
Bellinda. When we do, may I be as infamous as you are false.
Lady Townley.[to Lady Woodvill] Men of Mr. Dorimant's character always suffer in the general opinion of the world.
Medley. You can make no judgment of a witty man from common fame, considering the prevailing faction, madam.
Old Bellair. Adod, he's in the right.
Medley. Besides, 'tis a common error among women to believe too well of them they know and too ill of them they don't.
Old Bellair. Adod, he observes well
Lady Townley. Believe me, madam, you will find Mr. Dorimant as civil a gentleman as you thought Mr. Courtage.
Harriet. If you would but know him better—
Lady Woodvill. You have a mind to know him better? Come away! You shall never see him more.
Harriet. Dear mother, stay!
Lady Woodvill. I won't be consenting to your ruin.
Harriet. Were my fortune in your power—
Lady Woodvill. Your person is.
Harriet. Could I be disobedient I might take it out of yours, and put it into his.
Lady Woodvill. 'Tis that you would be at! You would marry this Dorimant!
Harriet. I cannot deny it. I would, and never will marry any other man.
Lady Woodvill. Is this the duty that you promised?
Harriet. But I will never marry him against your will. Lady Wood [aside] She knows the way to melt my heart. [to Harriet] Upon yourself light your undoing.
Medley. [toOld Bellair] Come, sir, you have not the heart any longer to refuse your blessing.
Old Bellair. Adod, I ha' not. —Rise, and God bless you both. Make much of her, Harry; she deserves thy kindness. [to Emilia] Adod, sirrah, I did not think it had been in thee.
Enter Sir Fopling and his Page.
Sir Fopling. 'Tis a damned windy day. Hey, page! Is my periwig right? Page. A little out of order, sir.
Sir Fopling. Pox o' this apartment! it wants an antechamber to adjust oneself in. [to Mrs Loveit] Madam, I came from your house, and your servants directed me hither.
Mrs Loveit. I will give order hereafter they shall direct you better.
Sir Fopling. The great satisfaction I had in the Mall last night has given me much disquiet since.
Mrs Loveit. 'Tis likely to give me more than I desire.
Sir Fopling. [aside] What the devil makes her so reserved? — Am I guilty of an indiscretion, madam?
Mrs Loveit. You will be of a great one if you continue your mistake sir.
Sir Fopling. Something puts you out of humour.
Mrs Loveit. The most foolish inconsiderable thing that ever did.
Sir Fopling. Is it in my power?
Mrs Loveit. To hang or drown it. Do one of 'em, and trouble me no more.
Sir Fopling. So fieré? Serviteur, madam.(2) — Medley, where's Dorimant?
Medley. Methinks the lady has not made you those advances to-day she did last night, Sir Fopling.
Sir Fopling. Prithee do not talk of her.
Medley. She would be a bonne fortune
Sir Fopling. Not to me, at present.
Medley. How so?
Sir Fopling. An intrigue now would be but a temptation to me to throw away that vigour on one which I mean shall shortly make my court to the whole sex in a ballet.
Medley. Wisely considered, Sir Fopling.
Sir Fopling. No one woman is worth the loss of a cut in a caper.
Medley. Not when 'tis so universally designed.
Lady Woodvill. Mr. Dorimant, every one has spoke so much in your behalf that I can no longer doubt but I was in the wrong.
Mrs Loveit.[to Bellinda] There's nothing but falsehood and impertinence in this world. All men are villains or fools. Take example from my misfortunes. Bellinda, if thou wouldst be happy, give thyself wholly up to goodness.
Harriet. [to Mrs Loveit] Mr. Dorimant has been your God Almighty long enough. 'Tis time to think of another.
Mrs Loveit. Jeered by her! I will lock myself up in my house, and never see the world again.
Harriet. A nunnery is the more fashionable place for such a retreat, and has been the fatal consequence of many a belle passion.
Mrs Loveit. [aside] Hold, heart, till I get home! Should I answer 'twould make her triumph greater.
Is going out.
Dorimant. Your hand, Sir Fopling—
Sir Fopling. Shall I wait upon you, madam?
Mrs. Loveit. Legion of fools, as many devils take thee!
Medley. Dorimant, I pronounce thy reputation clear and henceforward when I would know anything of woman, I will consult no other oracle.
Sir Fopling. Stark mad, by all that's handsome! —Dorimant, thou hast engaged me in a pretty business.
Dorimant. I have not leisure now to talk about it.
Old Bellair. Out a pize, what does this man of mode do here again?
Lady Townley. He'll be an excellent entertainment within, brother, and is luckily come to raise the mirth of the company.
Lady Woodvill. Madam, I take my leave of you.
Lady Townley. What do you mean, madam?
Lady Woodvill. To go this afternoon part of my way to Hartley.
Old Bellair. Adod, you shall stay and dine first! Come, we will all be good friends, and you shall give Mr. Dorimant leave to wait upon you and your daughter in the country.
Lady Woodvill. If his occasions bring him that way, I have now so good an opinion of him he shall be welcome.
Harriet. To a great rambling lone house that looks as it were not inhabited, the family's so small. There you'll find my mother, an old lame aunt, and myself, sir, perched up on chairs at a distance in a large parlour, sitting moping like three or four melancholy birds in a spacious volary. Does not this stagger your resolution?
Dorimant. Not at all, madam. The first time I saw you you left me with the pangs of love upon me, and this day my soul has quite given up her liberty.
Harriet. This is more dismal than the country. — Emilia, pity me who am going to that sad place. Methinks I hear the hateful noise of rooks already—kaw, kaw, kaw. There's music in the worst cry in London. "My dill and cucumbers to pickle."
Old Bellair. Sister, knowing of this matter, I hope you have provided us some good cheer.
Lady Townley. I have, brother, and the fiddles too.
Old Bellair. Let 'em strike up then. The young lady shall have a dance before she departs.
[After the dance] So, now we'll in and make this an arrant wedding-day
To the pit.
And if these honest gentlemen rejoice,
Adod, the boy has made a happy choice.