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Fid. What, pining, Colonel, in the midst of victory?
Bel. So !---Away prop, and down scaffold. --All's over, I fee.
Rof. Oh, Fidelia !---You shall hear it---You shall all hear it---And there's something in't about the Colonel Col. About me, Madam.
[Peevishly. Roj. Nay, Colonel, I am not at all
angry now. Me. thinks this letter has made me quite another creature.To be sure, Mr. Faddle has the most gallant way of writing! But his own words will speak best for him. [Reads.
06 Dear creature, " Since I saw you yesterday, time has hung upon me like a winter in the country; and unless you appear at rehearsal of the new opera this morning, my fun will þe in total eclipse for two hours. Lady Fanny made us laugh last night, at What's my Thought like, by comparing your Colonel to a great box o' the ear---Because it was very rude, she said, and what nobody cared for--- I have a thousand things to fay, but the clamour of a coffee-house is an interruption to the sentiments of love and veneration, with which I am, " Madam, most unspeakably yours,
6. WM. FADDLE.” -Is it not very polite, Colonel ? Col. Extremely, Madam !---Only a little out as to the box o'the ear : for you shall see hiin take it, Madamn, carelessly as a pinch of snuff.
Ros. Fie, Colonel! You would not quarrel before a lady, I hope. Fidelia, you must oblige me with your company to rehearsal---I'll go put on my capuchin, and Hep into the coach, this moment.
Fid. I am no friend to public places; but I'll attend you, Madam.
Rof. You'll come, Colonel ?
[Exit Rosetta, laughing affittedly. Fid. Shall we have your company, Sir! [To Bel. Bel. We could find a way to employ time better, child -But I am your shadow, and must move with you
every where. [Exit Fidelia.] ---Ha, ha, ha! How like a beaten general dost thou look now! -while the enemy is upon the march, to proclaim Te Deum for a complete victory.
Col I am but a man, Charles, and find myself no match for the devil and a woman.
Bel. Courage, boy !--and the flesh and the devil may be subdued — Ha, ha, ha!-Such a colonel ! [Exit.
• Col. Why this it is to be in love! Well! -Let i
me but flip my leading-strings ! --and if ever I am a •. woman's baby again !• To cheat our wishes nature meant the sex, And form’d them, lefs to please us, than perplex.
• [Exit.' End of the First Act.
pamper his gluttony ! Sir Char. Be under no apprehensions, Sir Roger ; Mr. Belmont's excefles are mitigated by the levity of youth, and a too early indulgence. In his moments of thinks ing, I know him generous and noble-And for. Fidelia!
I think I can be answerable for her conduct, both in regard to what she owes herself, and you.
Sir Ro. Why, look you, Sir Charles, the girl's a sweet girl, and a good girl and beauty's a fine thing, and vir. fue's a fine thing But as for marriage !Why-a man may buy fine things too dear.- A little money, Sir Charles, would set off her beauty, and find her virtue employment-But the young rogue does not say a word of that, of late.
Sir Cha. Nor of marriage, I am sure-His love of Liberty will prevent your fears one way; and, I hope, Fidelia's honour, another. B 3
Sir Ro. Muft not have her ruined though!
And when next you see your son, be a little particular in your enquiries about her family and circumstances-If she is what her behaviour bespeaks her, and he pretends, a lady of birth and fortune-why, secrets are unnecessary: if he declines an explanation, look upon the whole as a contrivance to cover purposes, which we must guard against.
Sir Ro. What you don't think the rogue has had her, hah, Sir Charles ?
Sir Char. No, upon my honour I hold her innocence to be without stain-But to deal freely with my friend, I look upon her story, as strange and improbable.
-An orphan, of beauty, family, and fortune ; committed by a dying brother to the sole care of a licentious young fellow ! - You must pardon me, Sir Roger,
Sir Ro. Pray go on, Sir.
Sir Char. Brought in at midnight too!-And then a young creature, so educated, and so irresistibly amiable, to be, in all appearance, without alliance, friend, or acquaintance in the wide world!-a link, torn off from the general chain! I say, Sir Roger, this is strange.
Sir Ro. By my troth, and so it is!
Sir Char. I know not why I am so interested in this lady's concerns; but yeiterday, I indulged my curiosity with her, perhaps, beyond the bounds of good-manners
gave a loose to my suspicion, and added oaths of fecrecy to iny enquiries. But her. answers only served to multiply my doubts; and still as I perfifted,' I saw her cheeks covered with blushes, and her eyes swimming in
my life upon't, they were the blushes and the tears of innocence !
Sir Ro. We must and will be satisfied, Sir Charles.
Sir Char. For who knows, while we are delaying, but fome unhappy mother, perhaps of rank too, may be wringing her hands in bitterness of misery for this loft daughter.-Girls, who have kept their virtue, Sir Roger, have done mad things for a man they love.
Sir Ro. And so indeed they have I remember when I was a young fellow myself
-But is not that my Charles coming through the hall yonder? Sir Cher. Ay, Sir Roger. Attack him novy-But let
your enquiries have more the shew of accidental chat than defign; for too much earnestness may beget fufpicionAnd fo, Sir, I leave you to your
discretion. [Exit. Sir Ro. You shall see me again before dinnerof these young, rakehelly rogues !-a girl's worth twenty of them if one could but manage her.
Enter Young Belmont, repeating ;
Swiftly like sudden death, it came;
I burnt the moment-
Sir Ro. Whar, studying poetry, boy, to help out the year's allowance?
Bel. Faith, Sir, times are hard - and unless you come down with a fresh hundred now and then, I may go near to disgrace your family -- and turn poet.
Sir Ro. And fo want friends all thy life after! But now we talk of money, Charles, what art thou doing with Fidelia's money ?-I am thinking, that a round sum thrown into the stocks now, might turn to pretry tolerable account.
Bel. The stocks, Sir?
Sir Ro. Ay, boy. My broker will be here after din. ner, and he shall have a little chat with thee, about laying out a few of her thousands. Bel. I hope, he'll tell us where we shall get
[Afde. Sir Ro. Thou doit not anfwer me, Charles-Art dumb, boy?
Bel. Why, to be sure, Sir, as to that Fidelia I can't say, but that Me may
However, that is, you know, Sir ---If as to possibility-Will your broker be here after dinner, Sir?
Sir Rr. Take a little time, Charles; for at present, thou dost not make thyself fo clearly understood.
Bel. Quite right, to be sure, Sir-Nothing could, beyond all doubt, be more judicious, or more advantageous
-Her interest, Sir—why as to that--a pretty fortunebut---did
know her brother, Sir ? Sir Ro. Who I, child ?--No. Bel. Faith, nor I neither. [Afde.]-Not know, Jack,
Şir?--The rogue would have made you laugh. -Did Í never read you any. of his epigrams ?-But then he had such an itch for play !-Why he would set you a whole fortune at a caft!
-And such a mimic too !--but no æco. nomy in the world
Why, it cost him a cool fix thousand, to stand for member once Oh, I could tell you such stories of that election, Sir -
Sir Ro. Pr'ythee, what borough did he stand for?
Bel. Lord, Sir! —He was Aung all to nothingMy Lord What-d’ye-call-um's fon carried it fifteen to one, at half the expence-In short, Sir, by his extravagance, affairs are fo perplexed, so very intricate, that upon my word, Sir, I declare it, I don't know what to think of them A pox of these questions ! [Afide,
Sir Ro. But she has friends and relations, Charles :fancy, if I knew who they were, something might be done.
Bel. Yes, yes, Sir, she has friends and relations-I fee, Sir, you know nothing of her affairs--Such a string of them ! -The only wife thing her brother ever did, was making me her guardian, to take her out of the reach of those wretches I thall never forget his last words
-Whatever you do, my dear Charles, says he, taking me by the hand, keep that girl from her relations. Why, I would not for a thousand pounds, Sir, that any of them should know where she is. Sir Ro. Why, we have been a little cautious, Charles
-But where does the estate lie? Bel. Lord, Sir!-an estate and no eftateder a man of your knowledge would ask the question.An earthquake may swallow it for any thing I care.
Sir Ro. But where does it lie, Charles ? In what county, I say?
Bel. And then there's the fix thousand pounds, that her father left her
Sir Ro. What, that gone too, Charles ? Bd. Just as good, I believe --Every shilling on't in a lawyer's hands. Sir Ro. But she is not afraid to see him too, Charles ?
-Where does he live ? Bel. Live, Sir Do you think such a fellow ought to live ?-Why he has trumpt up a contract of marriage