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Mrs. Love. His advice! Ask advice of the man who has estranged Mr. Lovemore's affections from me!
[Mrs. L. rises, and walks about on R. · Mus. Well, I protest and vow, ma'am, I think Sir Brilliant a very pretty gentleman. He's the very pink of the fashion! He dresses fashionably, lives fashionably, wins your money fashionably, loses his own fashionably, and does every thing fashionably: and then, he is so lively, and talks so lively, and so much to say, and so never at a loss. But here he comes.
Enter SiR BRILLIANT, 1. singing. Sir Bril. (L.) [Muslin stands near R. U. e.] Mrs. Lovemore, your most obedient very humble servant. But, my dear madam, what always in a vis-a-vis party with your Suivante? You will afford me your pardon, my dear ma'am, if I avow that this does a little wear the appearance of misanthropy.
Mrs. Love. (c.) Far from it, Sir Brilliant. We were engaged in your panegyric.
Sir Bril. My panegyric! Then I am come most apropos to give a helping hand towards making it complete. Mr. Lovemore will kiss your hand presently, ma'am, he has not as yet entirely adjusted his dress. In the mean time, I can, if you please, help you to some anecdotes, which will perhaps enable you to colour your canvass a little
higher. Mrs. Love. I hope you will be sure, ainong those anecdotes [Muslin advances r.]-you may go, Muslin-not to omit the egregious exploit of seducing Mr. Lovemore entirely from his wife.
[She makes a sign to MUSLIN to go.-Exit
Sir Bril. May fortune eternally forsake me, and beauty frown on me, if ever
Mrs. Love. Don't protest too strongly, Sir Brilliant.
Sir Bril. Nay, but my dear Mrs. Lovemore, give me leave. I alienate the affections of Mr. Lovemore! Consider, madam, how would this tell in Westminster Hall ? Sir Brilliant Fashion, how say you? guilty of this indictment or not? Not guilty, poz. Thus issue is joined; you enter the court, and in sober sadness charge the whole upon me, without a word as to the how, when, and where. No proof positive-there ends the prosecution.
Mrs. Love. But, sir, your stating of the case Sir Bril. Dear ma'am, don't interruptMrs. Love. Let me explain this matterSir Bril. (c.) Nay, Mrs. Lovemore, allow me fair play - I am now upon my defence. You will please to consider, gentlemen of the jury, that Mr. Lovemore is not a ward, nor I a guardian ; that he is his own master to do as he pleases; that Mr. Lovemore is fond of gaiety, pleasure, and enjoyment; that he knows how to live : to make use of the senses nature has given him, and pluck the fruit that grows around him. This is the whole affair. How say ye, gentlemen of the jury? Not guiltyThere, ma'am, you see, Not guilty.
Mrs. Love. (R.) You run on finely, Sir Brilliant ;but don't inagine that this bantering way
Sir Bril. Acquitted by my country, ma'am, you seefairly acquitted !
Mrs. Love. After the very edifying counsel you give Mr. Lovemore, this loose strain of yours, Sir Brilliant, is not at all surprising ; and, sir, your late project
Sir Bril. My late project !
Mrs. Love. Yes, sir, not content with leading Mr. Lovemore into a thousand dissipations from all conjugal affection and domestic happiness, you have lately introdụced him to your Mrs. Bellmour
Sir Bril. Ma'am, he does not so much as know Mrs. Bellmour.
Mrs. Love. Fie upon it, Sir Brilliant !--falsehood is
Sir Bril. Falsehood I disdain, ma'am-and I, Sir Brilliant Fashion, declare, that Mr. Lovemore, your husband, is not acquainted with the Widow Bellmour. You don't know that lady, ma'am; but I'll let you into her whole history--her whole history, ma'am:- Pray be seated-[Brings chairs down. Both sit at c., Sir BRIL., L., Mrs. Love, R.] The Widow Bellmour is a lady of so agreeable a vivacity, that it is no wonder all the pretty fellows are on their knees to her. Her manner so entertaining, such quickness of transition from
but a poor
one thing to another; and every thing she does, does so become her :-and then she has such a feeling heart, and such generosity of sentiment !
Mrs. Love. Mighty well, sir! She is a very vestal and a vestal from your school of painting must be very curious-but give me leave, sir-how comes it that you desist from paying your addresses in that quarter ?
Sir Bril. Why, faith, I find that my Lord George Etheridge--who I thought was out of the kingdom- is the happy man: and so all that remains for me, is to do justice to the lady, and console myself in the best manner I can, for the insufficiency of my pretensions.
Mrs. Love. And may I rely on this ?
Sir Bril. May the first woman I put the question to strike me to the centre with a supercilious eye-brow, if every syllable is not minutely true ; so that you see, madam, I am not the cause of your inquietude. There is not on earth a man that could be more averse from such a thing ; nor a person in the world, who more earnestly aspires to prove the tender esteem he bears ye.[She rises disconcerted.] You see, my dear ma'am, we both have cause of discontent; we are both disappointedboth crossed in love and so, ma'am, the least we can do, is, both heartily join to[rises]
Lovemore (Speaks within.] William ! is the chariot at the door? Sir Bril. We are interrupted.—There's my friend.
Enter LOVEMORE, L. Love. Very well ; let the chariot be brought round directly. How do you do this morning, my dear? Sir Brilliant, I beg your pardon. (c.) How do you do, my dear?
With an air of cold civility. Mrs. Love. (R.) Only a little indisposed in mind, and indisposition of mind is of no sort of consequence-not worth a cure.
Love. (c.) I beg your pardon, Mrs. Lovemore-indisposition of the mindSir Brilliant, that is really a mighty pretty ring you have on your finger.
Šir Bril. (L.) A bauble : will you look at it?
Mrs. Love. Though I have but few obligations to Sir Brilliant, yet I fancy I may ascribe to him the favour of this visit, Mr. Lovemore.
Love. [Looking at the ring.) Nay, now positively you wrong me; I was obliged to you for your civil in
quiries concerning me this morning; and so, on my part; I came to return the compliment before I go abroad. Upon my word 'tis very prettily set. [Gives it. Mrs. Love. Are you going abroad, sir?
Love. A matter of business--I hate business—but business must be done. [Examining his dress.] Pray is there any news ?-any news, my dear? [Retires and sits on a Sofa.]
Mrs. Love. It would be news to me, sir, if you would be kind enough to let me know whether I may expect the favour of your company to dinner ?
Love. It would be impertinent in me to answer such a question, because I can give no direct positive answer to it ;-as things happen-perhaps I may-perhaps may not. But don't let me be of any inconvenience to you ; it is not material where a body eats. Apropos--you have heard what happened?
[To SiR BRILLIANT. Sir Bril. When and where?
Love. A word in your ear-Ma'am, with your permission.
Mrs. Love. That cold, contemptuous civility, Mr. Lovemore.
Love. Pshaw! pr’ythee, now-How can you, my dear? That’s very peevish now, and ill-natured. It is but about a mere trifle-Harkye, [Whispers] I lost every thing I play'd for after you went. The foreigner and he understand one another. I beg pardon, ma'am, it was only about an affair at the opera.
Mrs. Love. The opera, Mr. Lovemore, or any thing, is more agreeable than my company.
Love. You wrong me now; I declare, you wrong me; and if it will give you any pleasure, I'll sup at home. Can't we meet at the St. Alban's to-night?
[Aside to Sir BRILLIANT. Mrs. Love. I believe, I need not tell you what pleasure that would give me: but unless the pleasure is mutual, Mr. Lovemore
Love. Ma'am, I-I-I perceive all the delicacy of that sentiment; but-a-I shall incommode you ;-you possibly may have some private party-and it would be very unpolite in me to obstruct your schemes of pleasure Would it not, Sir Brilliant ?
Laughs. Sir Bril. It would be Gothic to the last degree. Ha ! ba!
Love, Ha! ha! To be sure ; for me to be of the
party, would look as if we lived together like our friend Sir Bashful Constant and his lady, who are for ever like two game cocks, ready armed to goad and wound one another most heartily. Ha! ha!
Sir Bril. The very thing. Ha! ha!
Mrs. Love. Very well, gentlemen-you have it all to yourselves.
Love. Odso! [Looking at his watch.] I shall be beyond my time. Any commands into the city, madam ? Mrs. Love. Commands !
—I have no commands, sir. Love. I have an appointment there at my banker's. Sir Brilliant, you know old Discount?
Sir Bril. What, he that was in Parliament ?
Love. The same. Entire Butt, I think, was the name of the borough. Ha! ha! ha! Can I set you down any where, Sir Brilliant ?
Sir Bril. Can you give me a cast into St. James'sstreet ?
Love. By all means- -Allons---[Mrs. L. retires back, R.] Mrs. Lovemore, your most obedient, ma'am. Who waits there? Mrs. Lovemore, no ceremony-your servant.
[Exit, singing. Sir Bril. Ma'am, you see I don't carry Mr. Lovemore abroad now-I have the honour, ma'am, to take my leave. -I shall have her, I see plainly ;-Sir Brilliant, mind your hits, and your business is done. [Aside.] Ma'am, your most obedient.
[Exit, l. Enter MUSLIN, hastily, R. Mus. (R.) Did you call, ma'am ?
Mrs. Love. To be insulted thus by his loose confident carriage!
Mus. As I live and breathe, ma'am, if I was as you, I would not flutter myself about it. Mrs. Love. About what?
Mus. La ! what signifies mincing matters !-1 overheard it all.
Mrs. Love. You did !-did you? [Angrily.] Mus. Ma'am ? Mrs. Love. It does not signify at present. Mus. No, ma'am, it does not signify, and revenge is sweet, I think ; and, by my troth! I don't see why you should stand on ceremony with a husband that stands upon none with you.