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Enter Belinda and Beverley. Belin. Ay! but that quickness, that extreme sensibi. lity, is what I am afraid of. I positively would not have a jealous husband for the world.
Beo. By heaven! no earthly circumstance shall ever make me think injuriously of you.-Jealousy !-ha, ha! -it is the most ridiculous passion !-ha, ha!
Belin. You may laugh, sir; but I know your overrefining temper too well, and I absolutely will have it in our marriage articles, that I must not be plagued with your suspicions.
Beo. I subscribe, ma'am..
Belin. I will have no inquiries where I am going to visit ;-—no following me from place to place : and if we should chance to meet, and you should perceive a man of wit, or a pretty fellow, speaking to me, I will not have you fidgetting about on your chair, knitting your brow, and looking at your watch—" My dear, is it not time to go home?-my love, the coach is waiting:"-and then, if you are prevailed upon to stay, I will not have you converse with a “ Yes, sir,” and a “ No, sir,” for the rest of the evening, and then wrangle with me in the carriage all the way home, and not be commonly civil to me for the rest of the night. I positively will have none of this.
Beo. Agreed, ma'am, agreed—I subscribe to every thing you can ask. You shall bave what female friends you please :- lose your money to whom you please ;dance with what beau you please ;-ride out with whom you please ;-go to what china shop you please ;and, in short, do what you please, without my attempting to bribe your footman, or your maid, for secret intelligence.
Belin. O lud! O lud! that is in the very strain of jealousy.-Deliver me! there is my father yonder, and Sir William Bellmont with him. Fly this instant-fly, Mr. Beverley, down that walk— any where
Beo. You promise then
Belin. Don't talk to me now-what would you be at?-I am yours, and only yours; unalterably so. Fly-begone !-leave me this moment.
Beo. I obey-I am gone
Belin. Now are they putting their wise heads together to thwart all my schemes of happiness : but love, imperious love, will have it otherwise.
Enter MR. BLANDFORD and Sir William Bellmont.
Bland. Sir William, since we have agreed upon every thing
Sir W. Why yes, Mr. Blandford, I think every thing is settled.
Bland. Why then, we have only to acquaint the young people with our intentions, and so conclude the affair without delay.
Şir W. That is all, sir.
Bland. As to my girl, I don't mind her nonsense about Beverley: she must do as I will have her.
Sir W. And my son too, he must follow my directions. As to his telling me of his love for Clarissa, it is all a joke with me. Children must do as their parents will have them.
Bland. Ay, so they must, and so they shall.—Hey ! here is my daughter !-So, Belinda! Well, my girl, Sir William and I have agreed, and you are to prepare for marriage, that's all.
Belin. With Mr. Beverley, sir?
Bland. Well, well! I have changed my mind on that head. My friend, Sir William here, offers you his son. Do as I advise you: have a care, Belinda, how you disobey my commands.
Belin. But, sir-
You don't like him, you say ; but I like him, and that's sufficient for you.
Sir W. And so it is, Mr. Blandford. If my son pretended to have a will of his own, I should let him know to the contrary.
Belin. And can you, Sir William, against our inclination, force us both?
Bland. Hold your tongue, Belinda ; don't provoke me. What makes you from home? Go your ways back directly, and settle your mind. I tell you once for all, I will have my own way. Come, Sir William, we will step to the lawyer's chambers. Go home, Belinda, and be observant of my commands. -Come, Sir William.What did you say? [To Belinda.) You mutiny, do you? Don't provoke me. You know, Belinda, I am an odd sort of a man when provoked. Lookye here ;-mind what I say ; I won't reason with you about the matter; -my power is absolute, and if you offer to rebel, you shall have no husband at all, with my consent. I'll cut you off with a shilling ;-I'll see you starve; beg an alms; live miserable ; die wretched ; in short, suffer any calamity, without the least compassion from me. If I find you an undutiful girl, I cast you off for ever. So there's one word for all.
[Exit.—Sir William follows him. Belin. What will become of me !-his in humanity overcomes me quite-I can never consent;—the very sight of this picture is enough to forbid it. 0, Beverley, you are master of my heart! I'll go this instant-and-heavens! I can scarce move. · I am ready to faint.
Enter Sir John.
[Faints in his arms, and drops the picture.
Sir John. She is fallen into a fit.-Would my servants were in the way!
Lady Restless, at the window.
[Lays his hand on her cheek.
Sir John. Her cheek begins to colour. Well, young lady, how fare you now, my dear?
Lady R. My dear, too!
Sir John. Repose yourself awhile; or will you step into my house?
Lady R. No, truly, shan't she. Vile man! I will come down to you directly, and flash confusion in your face.
. [Exit from above. Sir John. Where do you live, madam ?
Belin. In Queen's Square, sir, by the side of the Park.
Sir John. I will wait upon you :-trust yourself with me-You look much better now-Lean on my arm. There, there, I will conduct you.—
(Exeunt. Enter LADY RESTLESS. · Lady R. Now I'll make one among ye.--How ! fled ! -gone !—which way?-_Is not that he, yonder?-No -he went into my house, I dare say, as I came down stairs.—Tattle! Tattle! Robert! Will nobody answer?-
Enter Tattle. Where is Sir John?
Tat. La, ma'am, how should I know?
Lady R. Did not he go in this moment ?
Lady R. To be sure you will say so. I'll follow him through the world, or I'll find him out.-So, s0,—what is here! This is her picture, I suppose. I will make sure of this, at least ;—this will discover her to me, though she has escaped me now. Cruel, false, deceitful man!
[Erit. Tat. Poor lady! I believe her head is turned, for my part.-Well, I am determined I'll look out for another place, that's a sure thing I will.
Scene 1.- Sør John's House.
Enter Sir John and Robert.
Sir John. Not well! fatigued with rioting about this town, I suppose? How long has she been at home?
Rob. About an hour, sir.
Sir John. About an hour!-Very well, Robert, you may retire. [Exit ROBERT.] Now will I question her closely. So-S0-50-she comes, leaning on her maid.
Finely dissembled ! finely dissembled! But this pretended illness shall not shelter her from my strict enquiry.--Soft a moment! If I could overhear what passes between them, it might lead to the truth. I'll work by stratagem. The hypocrite! how she acts her part!