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letter that he wrote. That your design was, by vilifying Fidelia, to get her dismissed, and the dismission to prepare her ruin in private lodgings. Was this your open behaviour, Sir?
Bel. Go on with your upbraidings, Sir. Speak to me as you will, and think of me as you will. I have deserved thame, and am taught patience.
Sir Cha. 'Was this well done? Did her innocence, and her undissembled love deserve this treatment?
Bel. Proceed, Sir.
Sir Cha. No, Sir, I have done. If you have fenfe of your past conduct, you want not humanity to heal the wounds it has given. Something must be done, and speedily.
Bel. What reparation can I make her?
Sir Cha. Dry up her tears, by an immediate acknow. ledgment of her wrongs.
Bel. I would do more.
Sir Cha. Bid her farewel, then, and consent to her removal. Bel. I cannot, Sir.
Sir Cha. Her peace demands it: but we'll talk of that hereafter. If you have honour, go and do her justice, and undeceive your abused sister. Who waits there? Indeed, you have been to blame, Mr. Belmont.
Enter Servant. Show me to the bearer of this letter.
[Exit with the Servant. Bel. Why, what a thing am I!But 'tis the trick of Vice to pay her votaries with same ; and I am rewarded amply. To be a fool's fool too ! to link myself in villainy with a wretch below the notice of a man ! and to be outwitted by him !-So, fo!
-I may have abused Sir Charles too Let me think a little I'll to Fide lia instantly, and tell her what a rogue I have been. But will that be reparation ?--I know but of one way; and there my pride itops me And then I lose her Worse and worse! I'll think no more on't; but away to her chamber, and bid her think for me.
[Exit. End of the FOURTI Act.
Enter Sir Roger and Servant. Sir Roger with a letter in
Sir Roger. VEI TERY fine doings, indeed! But I'll teach the dog to
play his tricks upon his father. A man had better let a lion loose in his family, than a town-rake. Where is Sir Charles, I say?
Serv. This moment come in, Sir.
Sir Ro. And why did not you fay fo, blockhead? Tell him I must speak with him this moment.
Serv. The servant says, he waits for an answer to that letter, Sir. Sir Ro. Do as I bid you, rascal, and let him wait. Fly,
[Exit Servant. The riotous young dog! to bring his harlots home with him! But I'll out with the baggage.
Enter Sir Charles.
Sir Cha. A law-fuit! With whom, Sir?
[Gives the letter. Sir Cha. [Reads.] “ I am guardian to that Fidelia, whom your son has stolen from me, and you unjustly detain. If you deny her to me, the law shall right me. I. wait your answer by the bearer, to affert my claim, in the perfon of
George Villiard.” Why, then
my doubts are at an end. But I must conceal my transports, and wear a face of coolness, while my heart overflows with paffion.
[Afde. Sir Ro. What, not a word, Sir Charles ? - There's a piece of work for you! And so I am to be ruined.
Sir Cha. Do you know this Villiard, Sir Roger ?
Sir Ro. Whether I do or not, Sir, the flut shall go to him this moment.
Sir Cha. Hold a little. This gentleman must be heard, Sir, and, if his claim be good, the lady restored.
Sir Ro. Why, e'en let her go as it is, Sir Charles.
Sir Chai That would be too hasty.. Go in with me,
[Exeunt. SCENE, another apartment.
Enter Young Belmont and Fidelia.
Fid. No, Sir, 'tis impoffible. I have a mind, Mr. Belmont, above the wretchedness of my fortunes; and, helpless as I I can feel in this breast a sense of inju. ries, and spirit to resent them.
Bel. Nay, but hear me, Fidelia.
Fid. Was it not enough to defert me in my distresses, to deny me the poor request I made you, but must own yourself the contriver of that letter? Tis insup-: portable! If I consented to assume a rank that belonged not to me, my heart went not with the deceit. You would have it so, and I complied. 'Twas shame enough, that I had deceived your lister; it needed not, that I should bring a prostitute to her friendship. This was too much, too much, Mr. Belmont,
Bel. Yer hear me, I say. Fid. And then, to leave me to the malice of that wretch; to have my supposed infamy the tavern jest of his licentious companions! I never fattered myself, Mr. Belmont, with your love ; but knew not, till
now, that I have been the object of your hatred.
Bel. My hatred !--But I have deserved your hardest thoughts of me. And yet, believe me, Fidelia, when I used you worst, I loved you
most. Fid. Call it by another name ; for love delights in acts of kindness. Were yours such, Sir!..And yet, must I forget all-for I owe you more than injuries can cancel, or gratitude repay.
Bel. Generous creature! This is to be amiable indeed !
Fid. I have resolved it, Sir, and you must yield to it.
Fid. That I have loved you, 'tis my pride to acknow.. ledge; but that must be forgot. And the hard talk remains, to drive the paffion from my breast, while I cherish
memory of your humane offices. This day, then, shall be the last of our meeting. Painful tho’it may be, yet your own, mine, and the family's peace requires it. Heaven, in my distresses, has not left me deftitute of a friend or if it had, I can find one in my innocence, to make even poverty supportable. Bel. You have touch'd
heart yields to your virtues. Here, then, let my follies have an end; and thus let me receive you as the everlasting partner of my heart and fortune. [Offers to embrace her.
Fid. No, Sir. The conduct that has hitherto secured my own honour, shall protect yours. I have been the innocent disturber of your family; but never will consent to load it with disgrace.
Bel. Nor can it be disgraced. I mean to honour it, Fidelia. You must comply.
Fid. And repay generosity with ruin! No, Mr. Belmont; I can forego happiness, but never can consent to znake another, miserable. Bel. When I repent, Fidelia ! But see where my
fifter comes, to be an advocate for
Enter Rosetta. Rof: Oh, Sir, you are found! You have done nobly, indeed! But your thefts are discovered, Sir. This lady's guardian has a word or tivo for you.
Bel. Her guardian !~Upon my life, Fidelia, Villiard ! He comes as I could wish him.
Rof. Say so when you have answered him, brother. Am I to lose you at last then, Fidelia! And yet my hopes. flatter me, that this too, as well as the letter, is a deceit. May I think so, Fidelia ?
Fid. As truly as of your own goodness, Rosetta. Your brother will tell you all. Oh, he has made me miserable by his generosity !
Bel. This pretended guardian, fifter, is a villain, and Fidelia the most abused of women. Bounteous he has been indeed; but to his vices, not his virtues, the stands indebted for the best of educations. The story will amaze you.
At twelve years old Rof. He's here, brother, and with him my papa, Sir Charles, and the Colonel. Now, Fidelia. Enter Sir Roger, Sir Charles, the Colonel, and Villiard. Sir Cha. If that be the lady, Mr. Villiard, and your
claim as you pretend, Sir Roger has told you, she shall be reitored, Sir.
Sir Ro. Yes, Sir, and your claim as you pretend.
Vil. 'Tis well, Madam, I have found you. (Going to Fidelia] This, gentlemen, is the lady; and this the robber who stole her from me: [Pointing to Belmont.] By violence, and at midnight he stole her.
Bel. Stole her, Sir!
Vil. Ay, Sir, and satisfied. I stand here, gentlemen, to demand
ward. Sir Cha. Give us proofs, Sir, and you shall have justice.
Vil. Demand them there, Sir. (Pointing to Bel. and Fid.) I have told you, I am robbed : if you deny me justice, the law shall force it.
Sir Cha. A little patience, Sir. [To Villiard.] Do you know this gentleman, Fidelia?
Fid. Too well, Sir.
Sir Cha. By what means, Sir, did you become her guardian?
Vil. Ay, Sir, to your part of the story; tho' both are practised in a damn'd falshood to confront me.
Bel. Falshood !-But I am cool, Sir. Proceed.
Vil. My doors were broke open at midnight by this gentleman, (Pointing to Bel.] myself wounded, and Fidelia ravished from me. He ran off with her in his arms. Nor, till this morning, in a coach which brought her hither, have my eyes ever beheld her. Sir Ro. A very fine business, truly, young man !
[To Belmont. Fid, He has abused you, Sir. Mr. Belmont is nobleBel. No matter, Fidelia. Well, Sir, you have been robbed, you say?
[To Villiard. Vil. And will have justice, Sir. Bel. Take it from this hand then.
[Drawing. Sir Cha. Hold, Sir. This is adding insult to injuries. Fidelia must be restored, Sir,