British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview

amount: your jewels are in safe hands, and will be delivered to you directly. If I had been happy in being better known to you, I should have hoped you would not have thought it necessary to place

a deposit in my hands for so trifling a sum as 15
you have now required me to supply you with.

CHARLOTTE. The baubles I sent you may very well be spared; and, as they are the only security, in my present situation, I can give you, I could wish

you would retain them in your hands: when I 20
am of age (which, if I live a few months, I shall be), I will replace your favor, with thanks.

STOCK. It is obvious, Miss Rusport, that your charms will suffer no impeachment by the absence

of these superficial ornaments; but they should 25
be seen in the suite of a woman of fashion, not as creditors to whom you are indebted for your appearance, but as subservient attendants, which help to make up your equipage.

CHARLOTTE. Mr. Stockwell is determined not 30
to wrong the confidence I reposed in his politeness.

STOCK. I have only to request, madam, that you will allow Mr. Belcour, a young gentleman in whose happiness I particularly interest myself, to

have the honor of delivering you the box of 35
jewels.

CHARLOTTE. Most gladly; any friend of yours cannot fail of being welcome here.

STOCK. I flatter myself you will not find him totally undeserving your good opinion; an ed­ 40 ucation, not of the strictest kind, and strong animal spirits, are apt sometimes to betray him into youthful irregularities; but an high principle of honor, and an uncommon benevolence, in the eye of candor, will,

I hope, atone for any faults, by which these 45
good qualities are not impaired.

CHARLOTTE. I dare say Mr. Belcour's behavior wants no apology: we've no right to be over strict in canvassing the morals of a common acquaintance.

STOCK. I wish it may be my happiness to see 50
Mr. Belcour in the list, not of your common, but particular acquaintance, of your friends, Miss Rusport -- I dare not be more explicit.

CHARLOTTE. Nor need you, Mr. Stockwell: I

shall be studious to deserve his friendship; and, 55
though I have long since unalterably placed my affections 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. 60

StocK. Miss Rusport, I sincerely wish you happy: I have no doubt you have placed your affection on a deserving man; and I have no fight to combat your choice. Exit.

CHARLOTTE. How honorable is that behavior! 65
Now, if Charles was 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 CHARLOTTE.


SCENE VI

BELCOUR enters, preceded by a Servant.

SERV. I ask your honor'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; 5
for I'd sooner see the devil than see her face.

Exit Servant.

In the name of all that's mischievous, why did Stockwell drive me hither in such haste? A pretty figure, truly, I shall make: an ambassador

without credentials. Blockhead that I was to 10
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 'em
at twice their value. Now must I trust to my 15
poor wits to bring me off: a lamentable dependance. 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. 20


SCENE VII

CHARLOTTE enters.

CHARLOTTE. Mr. Belcour, I'm proud to see you: your friend, Mr. Stockwell, prepared me to expect this honor; and I am happy in the opportunity of being known to you.

BEL. (aside). A fine girl, by my soul! Now 5
what a cursed hang-dog do I look like!

CHARLOTTE. You are newly arrived in this country, sir?

BEL. Just landed, madam; just set ashore, with

a large cargo of Muscovado1 sugars, rum- 10
puncheons,2 mahogany-slabs, wet sweetmeats, and green paroquets.3

CHARLOTTE. May I ask you how you like London, sir?

BEL. To admiration: I think the town and 15
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.

CHARLOTTE. Are these all the observations 20
you have made?

BEL. No, madam; I have observed the women are very captivating, and the men very soon caught.

____________________
SCENE v. 25]R those.
1
Raw, unrefined.
2
Casks of rum.
3
Small parrots.

-740-

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