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⚫ she understands her own value though: a little perfluous dross, truly! She must have better ofs of my generosity!
Mrs. F. 'Tis exactly as I told you: your money ⚫ calls dross; she's too proud to stain her fingers th your coin; bait your hook well with jewels; that experiment, and she's your own. Bel. Take them; let them go; lay them at her t; I must get out of the scrape as I can; my opensity is irresistible: there; you have them; ey are your's: they are her's; but remember, they a trust: 1 commit them to her keeping, till I a buy them off, with something she shall think re valuable.-Now tell me when I shall meet her. Mrs. F. How can I tell that! Don't you see what alarm you have put her into? Oh! you're a rare e; but go your ways for this while leave her to management, and come to me at seven this ening; but remember not to bring empty pockets th you, ha, ha, ha! [Exeunt.
SCENE III.-Lady Rusport's House. Enter Miss RUSPORT, followed by a Servant. Miss R. Desire Mr. Stockwell to walk in. [Exit Servant.
Enter STOCK Well.
no apology: we have no right to be over strict in canvassing the morals of a common acquaintance. Stock. I wish it may be my happiness to see Mr. Belcour in the list, not of your common, but particular acquaintance, of your friends, Miss Rusport. I dare not be more explicit.
Miss R. Nor need you, Mr. Stockwell: I shall be studious to deserve his friendship; and though I have long since unalterably placed my affection on another, I trust, I have not left myself insensible to the merits of Mr. Belcour; and hope that neither you nor he will, for that reason, think me less worthy your good opinion and regards.
Stock. Miss Rusport, I sincerely wish you happy: I have no doubt you have placed your affections on a deserving man; and I have no right to combat your choice. [Exit.
Miss R. How honourable is that behaviour! Now, if Charles were here, I should be happy. The old lady is so fond of her new Irish acquaintance, that I have the whole house at my disposal. [Exit.
Enter BELCOUR, preceded by a Servant.. Serv. I ask your honour's pardon; I thought my young lady was here. Who shall I inform her would speak to her?
Bel. Belcour is my name, sir; and pray, beg your lady to put herself in no hurry on my account; Stock. Madam, your most obedient servant: I am for I'd sooner see the devil than see her face. [Aside. bonoured with your commands, by Captain Dudley;-Exit Servant.] In the name of all that's mischiev and have brought the money with me, as you di-ous, why did Stockwell drive me hither in such rected. I understand the sum you have occasion or is two hundred pounds.
Miss R. It is, sir: I am quite confounded at your king this trouble upon yourself, Mr. Stockwell. Stock. There is a bank note, madam, to the mount: your jewels are in safe hands, and will be elivered to you directly. If I had been happy in eing better known to you, I should have hoped you ould not have thought it necessary to place a deɔsit in my hands for so trifling a sum as you have ow required me to supply you with.
Miss R. The baubles I sent you may very well be ared; and, as they are the only security, in my esent situation, I can give you, I could wish you ould retain them in your hands: when I am of e, (which, if I live a few months, I shall be) I Il replace your favour, with thanks.
Stock. It is obvious, Miss Rusport, that your arms will suffer no impeachment by the absence those superficial ornaments; but they should be en in the suite of a woman of fashion, not as creors to whom you are indebted for your appearce, but as subservient attendants, which help to ke up your equipage.
Miss R. Mr. Stockwell is determined not to wrong
Stock. I flatter myself you will not find him totally
Miss R. I dare say Mr. Belcour's behaviour wants
haste? A pretty figure, truly, I shall make! an ambassador, without credentials! Blockhead that I was, to charge myself with her diamonds! officious, meddling puppy! Now they are irretrievably gone: that suspicious jade, Fulmer, wouldn't part even with a sight of them, though I would have ransomed them at twice their value. Now must I trust to my poor wits, to bring me off; a lamentable dependence. Fortune, be my helper! here comes the girl. If she is noble-minded, as she is said to be, she will forgive me; if not, 'tis a lost cause; for I have not thought of one word in my excuse.
Enter Miss RUSPORT.
Miss R. Mr. Belcour, I'm proud to see you: your friend, Mr. Stockwell, prepared me to expect this honour; and I am happy in the opportunity of being known to you.
Bel. A fine girl, by my soul! Now what a cursed hang-dog do I look like." [Aside. Miss Ř. You are newly arrived in this country,
Bel. Just landed, madam; just set ashore, with a large cargo of Muscavado sugars, rum-puncheons, mahogany slabs, wet sweetmeats, and green paroquets.
Miss R. May I ask you how you like London, sir? Bel. To admiration; I think the town and the town's folk are exactly suited; 'tis a great, rich, overgrown, noisy, tumultuous place; the whole morning is a bustle to get money, and the whole afternoon is a hurry to spend it.
Miss R. Are these all the observations you have made?
Bel. No, madam; I have observed the women are very captivating, and the men very soon caught. Miss R. Ay, indeed! Whence do you draw that conclusion?
Bel. From infallible guides; the first remark I collect from what I now see, the second from what I now feel.
Min R. Oh, the deuce take you! But to waive your permission? [He retires.] Good beam ma this subject, I believe, sir, this was a visit of busi- do I read! Mr. Belcour, you are concernan [Reads.] "Dear Charlotte,-In the made of ness, not compliment; was it not? tress, Providence has cast a benefacier in un v after the most unexpected manner: a p Indian, rich, and with a warmth of heats Bel. No, in truth; they are gone in search of a his climate, has rescued my father from u trinket still more foolish than themselves. [Aside. satisfied his wants, and enabled him to a Min R. Some diamonds I mean, sir; Mr. Stock-exchange; when I relate to you the mass this was done, you will be charmed. In well informed me you was charged with them. Bel. Oh, yes, madam; but I have the most treach-add, that it was by chance we found out that ha erous memory in life-Here they are! Pray put is Belcour, and that he is a friend of Mr She's them up; they're all right; you need not examine I lose not a moment's time, in making yuan [Gives a bar. with this fortunate event, for reasons whit ram Mist R. Hev-day! right, sir! Why these are not obliges me to suppress; but, perhaps, if my diamonds; these are quite different; and, as it received the money on your jewels, you mal të it necessary now to do it-I have the hope should seem, of much greater value. dear Madam, most faithfully your's-Chartes ley."-Is this your doing, sir? Never was g sity so worthily exerted.
Cel Ay; now comes on my execution. [Aside. Miss R. You have some foolish trinkets of mine, Mr. Belcour; haven't you?
Bel. Upon my life I'm glad on't; for then I hope you value them more than your own.
Miu R. As a purchaser I should, but not as an owner; you mistake these belong to somebody else.
Bel. Or so greatly overpaid.
Miss R. After what you have now done for
Bel. 'Tis your's, I'm afraid, that belong to some-noble but indigent family, let me not scruple to body else. [Aside. fold the whole situation of my heart to you. Min R. What is it you mean? I must insist upon then, sir, and don't think the worse of me for tar frankness of my declaration, that such is my attach your taking them back again. infalliment to the son of that worthy officer, whom ya relieved, that the moment I am of age, and in p session of my fortune, I should hold myself the bap piest of women to share it with young Dudley.
Bel. Pray, madam, don't do that; I shall bly lose them; I have the worst luck with diamonds of any man living.
Min R. That you might well say, were you to give me these in the place of mine; but pray, sir, what is the reason of all this? Why have you changed the jewels? And where have you disposed
of mine ?
Bel. Miss Rusport, I cannot invent a lie for my life; and if it was to save it, I couldn't tell one: I am an idle, dissipated, unthinking fellow, not worth your notice; in short, I am a West Indian; and you must try me according to the charter of my colony, not by a jury of English spinsters: the truth is, I have given away your jewels; caught with a pair of sparkling eyes, whose lustre blinded their's, I served your property as I should my own, and lavished it away; let me not totally despair of your forgiveness; I frequently do wrong, but never with impunity; if your displeasure is added to my own, my punishment will be too severe. When I parted from the jewels, I had not the honour of knowing their owner.
Miss R. Mr. Belcour, your sincerity charms me; I enter at once into your character, and I make all the allowances for it you can desire. I take your jewels for the present, because I know there is no other way of reconciling you to yourself; but, if I give way to your spirit in one point, you must yield to mine in another; remember, I will not keep more than the value of my own jewels; there is no need to be pillaged by more than one woman at a time, sir.
Bel. Now, may every blessing that can crown your virtues, and reward your beauty, be shower'd upon you; may you meet admiration without envy, love without jealousy, and old age without malady; may the man of your heart be ever constant, and you never meet a less penitent, or less grateful fender, than myself!
Bel. Say you so, madam? then let me perish if" don't love and reverence you above all woman-kind and, if such is your generous resolution, never val till you are of age; life is too short, pleasure fugitive; the soul grows narrower every bour. 1equip you for your escape; I'll convey you to the man of your heart, and away with you then 10 an first hospitable person that will take you in.
Miss R. O! blessed be the torrid zone for ever. whose rapid vegetation quickens nature into such benignity! But had I spirit to accept your offer, which is not improbable, wouldn't it be a mortifying thing, for a fond girl to find herself mistaken, and sent back to her home, like a vagrant? and such, for what I know, might be my case.
Bel. Then he ought to be proscribed the soc of mankind for ever: ay, ay; 'tis the sham s that makes him thus indifferent. Twill be a torious office to take that girl out of the way.
Miss R. What's the matter, Mr. Ber? An you frightened at the name of a pretty girl? the sister of him we were speaking of: pra East Servant
Bel. The sister? So, so; he has imposet or be too; this is an extraordinary visit, truly, p soul, the assurance of some folks is not te counted for. [Aside, bors, and w Miss R. I insist upon your not running a of-you'll be charmed with Louisa Dudley, Bel. O yes, I am charmed with her. Miss R. You have seen her, then, haw you Be. Yes, yes, I've seen her. Miss R. Well, isn't she a delightful gel Be. Very delightful.
Enter Servant, who delivers a letter.
Miss R. From Charles Dudley, I see: have I
Miss R. Why, you answer as if you *** court of justice. O' my conscience I be
e caught; I've a notion she has tricked you out your heart.
Bel. I believe she has, and you out of your wels; for, to tell you the truth, she's the very rson I gave them to.
Miss R. You gave her my jewels! Louisa Dudy, my jewels! admirable! inimitable! Oh, the little jade! but, hush! here she comes; I don't how how I shall keep my countenance. Enter LOUISA.
y dear, I'm rejoiced to see you; how do you do? beg leave to introduce Mr. Belcour, a very worthy end of mine. I believe, Louisa, you have seen
Lou. I have met the gentleman. Miss R. You have met the gentleman:-well, -, and you have met the lady; in short, you have et each other; why, then, don't you speak to each her? How you both stand; tongue-tied and fixed statucs-Ha, ha, ha! why, you'll fall asleep byad-by.
Lou. Fie upon you, fie upon you; is this fair? Bel. Upon my soul, I never looked so like a fool 1 my life; the assurance of that girl puts me quite [Aside. o advance anything? Not a syllable. Come, LouMiss R. Sir-Mr. Belcour; was it your pleasure sa, woman's wit, they say, is never at a loss; nor you neither?-Speechless both; why, you were merry enough before this lady came in.
Lou. I am sorry I have been any interruption to your happiness, sir.
Miss R. Madam! Is that all you can say ? But ome, my dear girl, I won't teaze you-apropos! must show you what a present this dumb gentlehan has made me: Are not these handsome diaLou. Yes, indeed, they seem very fine; but I am o judge of these things.
Miss R. Oh, you wicked little hypocrite; you are 0 judge of these things, Louisa; you have no diaonds, not you.
Lou. You know I haven't, Miss Rusport; you now those things are infinitely above my reach. Miss R. Ha, ha, ha!
Bel. She does tell a lie with an admirable coun nance, that's true enough.
[Aside. Lou. What ails you, Charlotte? what impertince have I been guilty of, that you should find it cessary to humble me at such a rate? If you are ppy, long may you be so; but, surely, it can be no dition to it to make me miserable.
Miss R. So serious; there must be some mystery this; Mr. Belcour, will you leave us together? in see I treat you with all the familiarity of an old quaintance already.
Bel. Oh, by all means; pray command me. Miss sport, I am your most obedient. By your condension in accepting these poor trifles, I am under rnal obligations to you. To you, Miss Dudley, I all not offer a word on that subject; you despise ery; you have a soul above it; I adore your rit; I was rather unprepared for meeting you but I shall hope for an opportunity of making self better known to you. [Erit. Miss R. Louisa Dudley, you surprise me; I never you act thus before; can't you bear a little incent raillery before the man of your heart? Lou. The man of my heart, madam! Be assured lever was so visionary as to aspire to any man Or Miss Rusport honours with ber choice.
I insist upon referring our dispute to him: your sister and I, Charles, have a quarrel. Belcour, the hero of your letter, has just left us: somehow or other, Louisa's bright eyes have caught him; and the poor fellow's fallen desperately in love with her, able enough, you'll say; but the jest of the story is, -(don't interrupt me, hussy.) Well, that's excus that this hair-brain'd spark, who does nothing like other people, has given her the very identical jewels which you pledged for me to Mr. Stockwell; and will you believe that this little demure slut made up a face, and squeezed out three or four hypocritical without reserve, has Mr. Belcour given you any diatears, because I rallied her about it. Charles. I'm all astonishment! Louisa, tell me,
Lou. None, upon my honour.
Charles. Has he made any professions to you? Lou. He has; but altogether in a style so whimsical and capricions, that the best which can be said of them, is to tell you, that they seemed more the result of good spirits than good manners.
love with her, and she has no very great dislike to Miss R. Ay, ay, now the murder's out; he's in him; trust to my observations, Charles, for that: as to the diamonds, there's some mistake about them, and you must clear it up; three minutes' conversation with him will put everything in a right train: go, go, Charles, 'tis a brother's business; about it instantly; ten to one you'll find him over the way, at Mr. Stockwell's.
Charles. I confess I'm impatient to have the case cleared up: I'll take your advice, and find him out; good bye to you.
Miss R. Your servant; my life upon it, you'll find Belcour a man of honour. Come, Louisa, let vate business to transact with you, before the old us adjourn to my dressing-room; I've a little prilady comes up to tea, and interrupts us. [Exeunt.
SCENE I-A Room in Fulmer's House.
Enter FULMER and Mrs. Fulmer. Ful. Patty, wasn't Mr. Belcour with you? Mrs. F. He was; and is now shut up in my chamber, in high expectation of an interview with Miss Dudley; she's at present with her brother, and 'twas with some difficulty I persuaded my hotheaded spark to wait till he has left her.
Ful. Well, child, and what then?
Mrs. F. Why, then, Mr. Fulmer, I think it will be time for you and me to steal a march, and be gone.
Ful. So this is all the fruit of your ingenious project; a shameful overthrow, or a sudden flight.
E. Why, my project was a mere impromptu, Bel. Who that beholds such beauty on! Pr and can, at worst, but quicken our departure a few voking girl, is it within the stretch of my days; you know we had fairly outlived our credit content you? What is it you can frank, fo here, and a trip to Boulogne is no ways unseason- I am not ready to grant?! able. Nay, never droop, man; hark, hark! here's enough to bear charges. [Showing a purse. F. Let me see, let me see; this weighs well, this is of the right sort: why, your West Indian aled freely.
Mrs. F. But that's not all; look here. Here are the sparklers. [Showing the jewels.] Now what d'ye think of my performances? Eh! a foolish scheme, isn't it a silly woman?
Ful. Thou art a Judith, a Joan of Arc, and I'll march under thy banners, girl, to the world's end. Come, let's be gone: I've little to regret; my creditors may share the old books among them; they'll have occasion for philosophy to support their loss, they'll find enough upon my shelves; the world is my library, I read mankind." Now, Patty, lead the
Enter CHARLES DUDLEY and LOUISA. Charles. Well, Louisa, I confess the force of what you say; I accept Miss Rusport's bounty, and when you see my generous Charlotte, tell her but have a care, there is a selfishness even in gratitude, when it is too profuse; to be over-thankful for any one favour, is, in effect, to lay out for another; the best return I could make my benefactress would never to see her more.
Lou. I understand you.
Lou. Yes, with the same facility, that yn betre upon me Miss Rusport's diamonds. Fordan, shame! was that a manly story?
Bel. So, so! these devilish diamond's not everywhere. Let me perish, if I meant pui harm. Oh! I could tear my tongue out fr a word about the matter.
Lou. Go to her then, and contract i; til di is done, my reputation is at stake.
Bel. Her reputation! Now she has got upan she'll go on for ever. [Aside.] What in tam not do for your sake? I will go to Misa
Lou. Do so; restore her own jewels to he suppose you kept back for the purpose of ing others to her of a greater value; but, future, Mr. Belcour, when you would do a p action to that lady, don't let it be at my expe
Bel. I see where she points : she is willing to give up Miss Rusport's diamonds, now i she shall be a gainer by the exchange. 'tis what I wished. Well, madam, I will retum Miss Rusport her own jewels, and you shall others of tenfold their value.
Lou. No, sir, you err most widely; it is my g opinion, not my vanity, which you must bribe.
Bel. Why what the devil would she have not be,Aside.] Miss Dudley, it is my wish to obey please you; but I have some apprehension there mistake each other.
Lou. I think we do.-Tell me, then, in air words, what is it you aim at.
Bel. In a few words, then, and in plain hones must tell you, so entirely am I captivated you, that had you but been such as it would ha become me to have called my wife, I had been happ in knowing you by that name; as it is, you welcome to partake my fortune, give me in ret your person, give me pleasure, give me love; disencumbered, anti-matrimonial love.
Charles. We that are poor, Louisa, should be cautious: for this reason, I would guard you against Belcour; at least, till I can unravel the mystery of Miss Rusport's diamonds; I was disappointed of I finding him at Mr. Stockwell's, and am now going in search of him again. He may intend honourably; but, I confess to you, I am staggered; think no more of him, therefore, for the present. Of this be sure, while I have life and you have honour, I will protect you, or perish in your defence. [Erit. Lou. Think of him no more! Well, I'll obey; Lou. Stand off, and never let me see you mus but if a wandering, uninvited thought should creep Bel. Hold, hold, thou dear, tormenting by chance into my bosom, must I not give the harm-lizing girl. Upon my knees, I swear you slut less wretch a shelter? Fie, fie upon it. Belcour stir till you have consented to my bliss. [ pursues, insults me; yet, such is the fatality of my Lou. Unhand me, sir; 0, Charles, priest condition, that what should rouse resentment, only rescue me, redress me. calls up love.
Bel. Alone, by all that's happy!
Bel. Oh! shriek not, start not, stir not, loveliest creature; but let me kneel and gaze upon your beauties.
Lou. Sir! Mr. Belcour, rise! What is it you do? Should he that parted from me but this minute, now return, I tremble for the consequence.
Bel. Fear nothing; let him come: I love you, madam; he'll find it hard to make me unsay that. Lou. You terrify me; your impetuous temper frightens me; you know my situation, it is not generous to pursue me thus.
Bel. True, I do know your situation, your real one, Miss Dudley, and am resolved to snatch you from it; 'twill be a meritorious act. Come, thou art a dear enchanting girl, and I'm determined not to live a minute longer without thee.
Lou, Hold! are you mad? I see you are a bold assuming man; and know not where to stop
Enter CHARLES Dublet.
Charles. The man who wrongs
Bel. Never fear me, young gentleman; me for a coward if I baulk you Charles, Yet hold! let me not be your name, I think, is Belcour. Bel. Well, sir.
Charles. How is it, Mr. Belcour, yu this mean, unmanly wrong; beneath generosity, to give this fatal stab to peace? You might have had my thưch, mỹ ing: take my defiance now."Ts Dudley to you! the brother, the protector, of the lady.
Bel. The brother! give yourself a to