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dreds—Why should not I give her three hundred ? [Aside.] I did not care if I went as far as three hundred-If three hundred pounds, my Lady Constant, will settle the matter-Why, as to the matter of three hundred pounds
Enter FURNISH, with a Bandbox, L. Fur. (L.) Your Ladyship's things are come home froin the milliner's.
[Showing the Bandbox. Sir Bash. Zookers ! this woman has overheard me ! [Aside.] As to the matter of three hundred pounds, madam. [Loud in a passion.] Let me tell you it is a very large sum-ask me for three hundred pounds, madam! Do you take me for a blockhead ?
[FURNISH stunds near L. s. E. Lady Con. What does the man fly out so for?
Sir Bash. What right have you to three hundred pounds ? I will allow no such doings. Is not my house an eternal scene of your routs, and your drums, and your what-d'ye-call-'ems? Don't I often come home when the hall is barricadoed with powder-monkey servants, that I can hardly get within my own doors?
Lady Con. What is the meaning of all this, sir ?
Sir Bash. Have not I seen you at a game at Loo, put the fee simple of a score of my best acres upon a single card ? "And have not I muttered to myself-1f that woman now were as much in love with me, as she is with Pam, what an excellent wife she would make ?
Lady Con. Yes, I have great reason to love you, truly !
Şir Bash. (L.) Death and fire! You are so fond of play, that I should not wonder to see my child resemble one of the court cards, or mark'd in the forehead with a pair-royal of aces. I tell you once for all, you are an ungovernable woman - Your imaginations are as wild as any woman's in BedlamDo go thither, go; for I tell you, once for all, I'll allow no such doings in my house.
[Exit SIR BASH. L. Lady Con. His head is certainly turned ! Did any body ever see such behaviour ?
Fur. See it! (Coming forward) no, nor bear it neither-Your ladyship will never be rightly at ease, I'm afraid, till you part with him.
Lady Con. (R. C.) Oh never ; it is impossible ! He not only has lost all decency, but seems to me to have bid adieu to all humanity. That it should be my fate to be married to such a quicksand ! But I'll think no more of him.
Fur. Oh, madam, I had quite forgot ; Mrs. Lovemore's servant is below, and desires to know if your ladyship will be at home this morning.
Lady Con. Yes, I shall be at home. Step with me to my room, and I'll give you a card to send Mrs. Lovemore. Of all things, let a woman be careful how she marries a narrow-minded, under-bred husband.
[Exeunt, R. Enter Sir BASHFUL and LOVEMORE, L. Sir Bash. Walk in, Mr. Lovemore, walk in! I am heartily glad to see you! This is kind.
Love. I am ready, you see, to attend the call of friendship.
Şir Bash. (c.) M. Lovemore, you are a friend indeed.
Love. (L. c.) You do me honour, Sir Bashful. Pray how does my lady?
Sir Bash. Perfectly well ! I never saw her look better. We have had t'other skirmish since I saw you.
Love. Another ?
Sir Bash. Ay! Another! And I did not bate her an ace; but I told you I had something for your private ear. [Both take Chairs, c.] Pray now have you remark'd any thing odd or singular in me?
Love. Not in the least. I never knew a man with less oddity in my life.
Sir Bash. What, nothing at all? He! he ! [Smiles at him.] Have you remark'd nothing about my wife ?
Love. You don't live happy with her. But that is not singular.
Sir Bash. Po! I tell you, Mr. Lovemore, I am at the bottom a very odd fellow.
Love. Not at all. Sir Bash. Yes, yes, yes,-I am---I am indeed--- As odd a fish as lives and you must have seen it before
Love. Not I, truly! You are not jealous, I hope ? Sir Bash. You have not hit the right nail o'the
head---no---10---not jealous, Do her justice, I am secure there; my lady has high notions of honour. It is not that.
Love. What then ?
Sir Bash. He, he ! [Smiling and looking simple.] You could never have imagined it. I blush at the very thoughts of it.
[Turns away. Love. Come, come, be a man, Sir Bashful ; out with it at once, let me be of your council.
Sir Bash. Mr. Lovemore, I doubt you, and yet esteem you ; some men there are, who, when a confidence is once repos’d in them, take occasion from thence to hold a rank over their friend, and tyrannize him all the rest of his days.
Love. Oh, fie! This is ungenerous ! True friendship is of another quality, it feels from sympathy, and is guarded by honour.
Sir Bash. Mr. Lovemore, I have no farther doubt of you-and so-stay, stay a moment-let me just step to the door.
[Goes on tiptoe. Love. Jealousy has laid hold of him. [Aside. Sir Bash. Servants have a way of listening. [Suddenly pushes the L. door open with both hands,
and falls out. Love. (Rising.) He has it through his very brain ! [Aside.) What has he got in his head?
Sir Bash. [Returning.] No, no, all's safe ; there was nobody. Mr. Lovemore, I will make you the depository—the faithful depository, of a secret, which to you will appear a mystery ; my inclinations, Mr. Lovemore- --nay, but you'll laugh at me.
Love. (c.) No-upon my honour-no, no.
Sir Bush. (L.C.) Well, well, well-my inclinations, I say, are changed-no, not changed-but-they are not what they have appeared to be-I am in love-'Sdeath, I am quite asham'd of myself.
Love. Asham'd! Love is a noble passion-But don't tell me any more about it-my Lady Constant will find it out, and lay the blame to me-I must not appear to encourage you-no, no--you must not involve me in a quarrel with her.
Sir Bash. (R. C.) Pshaw ! you don't take me rightquite wide of the mark--hear me out.
Love. (L. c.) I won't-indeed, I won't!
Love. Positively no! Let me keep clear-She shall certainly know it, and the devil's in the dice if she does not comply with my desires from mere spirit of revenge.
[Aside. Sir Bash. I tell you, Mr. Lovemore-the object of my passion-[Leading him back]—this charming woman, on whom I doat to distraction
Love. I don't desire to know it.
Sir Bash. You must, you must; this adorable creature
Love. Keep it to yourself, Sir Bashful.
Sir Bash. But you shall know-is-this fine woman, is—my own wife. Love. Your own wife !
[Stares at him. Sir Bash. [Looks silly, blushes, and turns away from him.] Yes, my own wife.
Love. This is the most unexpected discovery
Sir Bash. Look ye there now-he laughs at me already!
[Aside. Love. And can this be possible? Are you really in love with my Lady Constant? your own wife!
Sir Bash. Spare my confusion, Mr. Loremore spare my confusion-Ay, it's all over with me.
Love. I should never have guess'd this, Sir Bashful.
Sir Bash. I have made myself very ridiculous, Mr. Lovemore: I know I have.
Love. Ridiculous !-far from it-Why, do you think it ridiculous to love a valuable woman ? Po! Po ! cheer up, man-and now to keep you in countenance I'll deposit a secret with you-- I love my wife.
Sir Bash. What !
Sir Bash. He! he! Ha! ha!--no, no-you don't love her !-Ha! ha!- Do you, Mr. Loyemore?
Love. Upon my honour !
Sir Bash. Give me your hand-Give me your hand!
let her know it--no-nor I would not have the world know it, and therefore I have led the life I have done on purpose to conceal it.
Sir Bash. You are right, Mr. Lovemore-perfectly right-I have quarreli'd with my lady on purpose to cloak the affair, and prevent all suspicion.
Love. That was right; you should keep to that.
Sir Bash. So I intend—but I have done a thousand kindnesses in the mean time.
Love. Have ye? Sir Bash. Ay, a thousand-She has been plaguing me this long time for a diamond cross, and diamond shoe-buckles-madam, says I, I'll hear of no such trumpery-But then goes me I, and bespeaks them directly of the best jeweller in town—will come to three hundred-She'll have them this day, without knowing where they come from.
Love. Sly, sly. He! he!
Sir Bash. Let me alone; I know what I'm aboutAnd then, Mr. Lovemore, to cover this design-Ha! ha !-I can take occasion to be as jealous as Bedlam, when I see her wear all her diamond baubles.
Love. So you can-I wish he may never be jealous of me in earnest.
[Aside. Sir Bash. Well, well-give us your hand-give us your hand-my dear brother sufferer-I'll tell you what, Mr. Lovemore--we can, in a sly way, do each other great serviee, if you will come into my scheme.
Love. As how, pray ?
Sir Bash. I'll tell you. There are some things, which you know our wives expect to be done.
Love. What is he at now ? [Aside.] So they do, Sir Bashful. Sir Bash. Now, if you will assist meLove. You may depend upon my assistance. Sir Bash. Look ye, Mr. Lovemore, my Lady Constant wants money-You know she keeps a great deal of company, and makes a great figure there-I could show my wife, Mr. Lovemore, in any company in England ; I wish she could say the same of me.
Love. Why, truly, I wish she could.
Sir Bash. But I had not those early advantages-Now you know, I can't in reason be seen to give her money myself, so I would have you take the money of me, and pretend to lend it to her yourself, out of friendship and regard.