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F OU N D L IN G.
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A CT I.
you are as unlettered in love as I am in war. What, a woman, a fine woinan, a coquette, and my fifter - and to be won by whining! Mercy on us ! that a well-built fellow, with common sense, thould take pains to unman himself, to tempt a warm girl of two-and-twenty to come to bed to him ! I say, again, and again, Colonel, my fifter's a woman.
Col. And the very individual woman that I want, Charles.
Bel. And of all women in the world, the least fit for thee. An April day is less changeable than her humour. She laughs behind her fan at what she should not understand ; calls humility meanness, and blushing the want of education. In all affairs with a man, she goes by contraries ; if you tell her a merry story, she fighs; if a serious one, she laughs; for yes, she says no, and for no, yes; and is mistress of such obedient features, that her looks are always ready to confirm what her tongue utters.
Col. Fine painting, upon my word, and no flattery!
Bel. This is the lady. Now for the lover. A fellow made up of credulity and fufpicion ; believing where he fhould doubt, and doubting where he should believe ; jealous without cause, and satisfied without proof. A great
boy, that has lost his way, and blubbering through every road, but the right, to find his home again; ha, ha, ha!
Col. Mighty florid, indeed, Sir!
Bel, Come, come, Colonel; Love, that can exalt the brute to a man, has set you upon all-fours. Women are indeed delicious creatures; but not what you think them. The first wish of every mother's daughter is power, the second inischief: the way to her heart is by indifference, or abuse; for whoever owns her beauty, will feel her ty-. sanny: but if he calls her ugly, or a fool, she'll set her cap at him, and take pains for his good opinion.
Col. And fo, submission and flattery are out of your system?
Bel. For fubmifiion and flattery, I substitute impudence and contradiction; these two, well managed, my dear, will do more with beauty in an hour, than fine speeches in a year. Your fine woman expects adoration, and receives it as common incense, which every fool offers ; while the rude fellow, who tells her truth, claims all her attention. Difficulty endears conquest. To him only The appears what she should be to all; and while the laa bours with her natural charms to secure him, the's lost. herself.
Col. Why, faith, Charles, there may be some music in these wild notes ; but I am so far gone in the old ballad, that I can sing no other worls to any tune.
Bel. Ha, ha! Thou poor mournful nightingale in a cage, fing on then ; and I'll whistle an upper part with thee, to give a little life to the measure.
Cól. That will be kind; for Heaven knows, I have need of assistance !-Pr'ythee, tell me, doit think Rosetta. wants understanding?
Bcl. N-o, faith, I think nota
Col. What then can reconcile her behaviour to me, and : her fondness for such a reptile as Faddle? A fellow made up of knavery and noise, with scandal for wit, and impudence for raillery; and fo needy, that the very devil might buy him for a single guinea. I say, Charles, what can tempt her even to an acquaintance with this fellow?
Bel. Why, the very understanding and good-humour
you speak of. A woman's understanding is design, and her good-humour mischief. Her advances to one fool are made only to reize another.
Col. Sir, your most humble servant.
Bel. And her good-humour is kept alive by the success of her plots.
Col. But why fo constant to her fool?
Bel. Because her fool's the fittest for her purpose He has more tricks than her monkey, more prate than her parrot, more servility than her lap-dog, more lies than her woman, and more wit than her-Colonel. And faith, all these things considered, I can't blame my filter for her constancy.
Col. Thou art a wild fellow, and in earnest about nothing but thy own pleasures—and so we'll change the subject. What says Fidelia?
Bel. Why, there, now !-- That a man can't instruct another, but he must be told, by way of thanks, how much he stands in need of affiffance himself!
Col. Any new difficulties ?
Bel. Mountains, Colonel, a few mountains in my way, But if I want faith to remove them, I hope I thall have Strength to climb them, and that will do my business.
Col. She's a woman, Charles.
Bel. By her outside one would guess fo; but look a little farther, and, except the stubbornness of her temper, She has nothing feminine about her. She has wit without pertness, beauty without consciousness, pride without inTolence, and desire without wantonnels. In short, the has every thing
Col. That you would wish to ruin in her. Why, what a devil are you, Charles, to speak fo feelingly of virtues, which you only admire to destroy!
Bel. A very pretty comforter, truly !
Col. Come, come, Charles, if the is as well born as you pretend, what hinders you from cherishing these qualities in a wife, which you would ruin in a mitress.. Marry her, marry her.
Bel. And hang myself in her garters the next morning, to give her virtues the reward of widowhood. Faith, I must read Pamela twice over first. But suppose her not
born as I pretend, but the outcast of a beggar, and obliged to chance for a little education.
Col. Why, then her mind is dignified by her obscurity; and you will have the merit of raising her to a rank which she was meant to adorn. And where's the mighty mat. ter in all this? You want no addition to your fortune, and have only to facrifice a little unnecessary pride to neceffary happiness.
Bel. Very heroical, upon my word! And so, my dear Colonel, one way or other, I must be married, it seems.
Col. If Fidelia can be honest, my life on't, you are of my mind within this fortnight. But, priythee, fince I am not to believe your former account of her, who is this delicious girl, that must and will get the better of your pride?
Bel. A fifter of the Graces, without mortal father or mother; the dropped from the clouds in her cradle, was lulled by the winds, christened by the rains, fostered by a hag, sold for a whore, sentenced to a rape, and rescued by a rogue-to be ravished by her own consent. There's niystery and hieroglyphic for you ! and every fyllable, my dear, a truth, beyond apocrypha. Col. And what ain I to understand by all this?
Bel. Faith, just as much as your understanding can care ry. A man in love is not to be trusted with a secret.
Col. And, pray, most discreet Sir, is Rosetta acquainted with her real history?
Bel. Not a circumstance. She has been amused, like you, and still believes her to be the fister of a dead friend of mine at college, bequeathed to my guardianship. But the devil, I find, owes me a grudge, for former virtues ; for this fifter of mine, who doats upon Fidelia, and be. lieves every thing I have told her of her family and fortune, has, very fairly turned the tables upon me. She talks of equality of birth, forsooth; of virtue, prudence, and good sense; and bids me bless my stars for throwing in my way the only woman in the world that has good qualities enough to redeein my bad ones, and make me, what she says every man ought to be a good husband.
Col. Was ever poor innocent fellow in such distress! But what fays the old gentleman, your father?