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Enter BlandronD. Bland. Sir William, give me joy : every thing goes as I wish. My daughter is a complying girl. She is ready to obey my commands. Clarissa is with her, beseeching, wrangling; complaining, soothing; now in a rage, and now in tears; one moment expostulating, and the next imploring: but all in vain ; Belinda holds her resolution ; and so, young gentleman, you are now completely happy.
Bell Death to my hopes! can this be true? [Aside.
Bland. Sir William, give me your hand upon it. -l'his will not only be a match of prudence, but of inclination.
Sir W. There, George, there is news for you : your business is done.
i land. She owns very frankly that her heart has been hitherto fixed upon a worthless mian : she renounces him for ever, and is willing to give her hand as I shall direct.
Lell. What a dilemma am I brought into! [Aside.
Sir W. George, what's the matter, boy? You a bridegroom? Wounds! at your age I could cut a caper over the moon upon such an occasion. · Bell. I am more slack-mettled, sir: I cannot leap quite so high.
Sir W. A cup too low, I fancy. Let us go and finish our bottle. Belinda shall be my toast. I'll give you her health in a bumper. Come, Mr. Blandford, I want to wash down the cobwebs of the law.. [Erit.
Blund. I attend you, Sir Williain.—Mr. Bellmont, follow us : we must have your company : you are under par: come, we will raise you a note higher. [Erit.
Bell. You' have sunk me so low, that I shall never recover myself. This behaviour of Belinda's!— Can she think her treachery to one lover will recommend her to another?
Enter CLARISSA. Clar. Mr. Bellmont, I wish you joy, sir. Belinda has consented; and you have done the same. You are both consenting. The match is a very proper one. You will be finely paired.
Bell. You are misinformed, Clarissa ; why will you do me this injustice ?
Clar. Injustice! Mr. Blandford has reported every thing: he has done you justice: he has told us how easily you have been persuaded : don't imagine that I am hurt. I resign all pretensions : I can be prevailed upon with as much ease as you, sir: I can copy the easy compliance of Mr. Bellmont.
Bell. If you will but hear me : moderate your anger.
Clar. Anger!-anger indeed! I should be sorry any thing that has happened were of consequence enough to disturb my peace of mind. Anger !-I shall die with laughing at the thought. You may be false to your friends, sir; false to your vows ; you may break every solemn engagement: Mr. Blandford wishes it; Belinda wishes it; and why should not you comply? Follow the dictates of your heart, sir.
Bell. Whatever has happened, Clarissa, I am not to
Clar. I dare say not: and here is a lady will say the same.
Enter BELINDA. Belin. Spare your reproaches, Clarissa.—Mr. Bell. mont, you too may spare me. The agitations of my mind distress me so, I know not which way to turn myself. The provocation I have had
Clar. Provocation, madam !—from whom?
Belin. From your brother: you need not question me; you know what his conduct has been.
Bell. By heaven, you wrong him; and so you will find in the end.
Clar. Your own conduct, madam! will that stand as clear as my brother's? --My Lady Restless, I believe, has something to say. It will become you to refute that charge.
Belin. Downright malice, my dear: bụt I excuse you for the present.
. Enter Tippet.
Belin. Very well : I have not a moment to lose: I am determined to know the bottom of this whole affair. Clarissa, when I return, you will be better disposed to hear me.
Clar. You need not trouble yourself, ma'am: I am perfectly satisfied.-Tippet, will you be so good as to order my chair?
Eelin. Well; suspend your judgment. This business is of importance: I must leave you now.
[Erit with TIPPET. Bell. Clarissa, if you knew how all this wounds me to the heart.
Clar. Oh! keep your resolution ; go on with your very honourable design : inclination should be consulted ; and the necessity of the case, you know, will excuse yoụ to the world.
Bell. Command your temper, and the whole shall be explained.
Clar. It wants no explanation : it is too clear already.
Bell. A moment's patience would set every thing right.-—'Sdeath! one would imagine that Lady Restless had been speaking to you too.' This is like the rest of them : downright jealousy!
Clar: Jealousy !-Upon my word, sir, you are of great consequence to yourself: but you shall find that I can with perfect serenity banish you, and your Be. linda, entirely from my thoughts.
Clar. No, sir: I have done: I shall quit this house immediately. [Going.] Mrs. Tippet, could you let me have pen, ink, and paper, in your lady's room?
Tip. Every thing is ready there, ma'am.' : .
Clar. Very well :-I'll go and write a letter to. Belinda. I'll tell her my mind, and then adieu to all of you.
[Exit with TIPPET. Bell, How perverse and obstinate !
Enter Sir William.
Bell. Why really, sir, I don't know what to say. I wish you would consider
Sir W. At your tricks again ?
Bell. I am above an attempt to deceive you : but if all circumstances were known-I am not fond of speaking detractingly of a young lady ; but for the honour of your family, sir, let us desist from this match.
Sir W. Roguery, lad! there's roguery in this.
Bell. I see you will force me to speak out. If there is, unhappily, a flaw in Belinda's reputation
Sir W. How?
Bell. This is no time to dissemble. In short, sir, my Lady Restless, a worthy lady here in the neighbourhood, has discovered a connection between her and Sir John Restless ; Sir John'and Lady. Restless lived in perfect harmony till this affair broke out. The peace of the family is now destroyed. The whole is come to the knowledge of my friend Beverley: with tears in his eyes, with a bleeding heart - (for he loved Belinda tenderly), he has at last mustered up resolution, and taken his final leave.
Sir W. Ay! can this be true ?
Bell. It is but too true; I am sorry to report it. And now, sir, judge yourself.-Oh!here comes Mr. Bland ford; 'tis a dreadful scene to open to him; a terrible story for the ear of a father! You had best take no notice : we need not be accessary to a young lady's ruin : it is a family affair, and we may leave them to patch it up among themselves, as well as they can.
Sir W. If these things are so, why then the case is altered.
Enter BLANDFORD. Bland. Hey! what's in the wind now? You two look as grave! what's come over you? For my part, my spirits are above proof with joy: I am in love with my daughter for her compliance, and I fancy I shall throw in an odd thousand more, to enliven the honeymoon.
Sir W. Mr. Blandford, we are rather in a hurry, I think. We had better not precipitate matters.
Bland. Nay, if you are for changing your mindLook you, sir, my daughter shall not be trifled with. Where is she? Where is my girl? Who answers there?
: Enter Tippet. Where's Belinda ?
Tip. She is not gone far, sir : just stepp'd out upon a moment's business to Sir John Restless. Sir W. Gone to Sir John Restless!
[Aside. Bell. You see, sir.
[To Sir WILLIAM. Bland. I did not think she knew Sir John.
Sir W. Yes, she knows him: she has been acquainted with him for some time past.
Bland. What freak has she got in her head ? She is not gone after her Mr. Beverley, I hope. Zookers! this has an odd appearance. I don't like it : I'll follow her this moment.