British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

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

I will betray the interests of mankind so far as to

show favor to such incendiaries. Take 'em 80
away; I blush to think such wretches should have the power to set two honest men at variance.

Exeunt FULMER, etc.

CHARLES. Mr. Belcour, we have mistaken each other; let us exchange forgiveness. I am convinced

you intended no affront to my sister, and I ask 85
your pardon for the expression I was betrayed into.

BEL. 'Tis enough, sir; the error began on my side, and was Miss Dudley here, I would be the first to atone.

STOCK. Let us all adjourn to my house, and 90
conclude the evening like friends: you will find a little entertainment ready for you; and, if I am not mistaken, Miss Dudley and her father will make part of our company. Come, Major, do you
consent? 95

O'FLAHERTY. Most readily, Mr. Stockwell; a quarrel well made up is better than a victory hardly earned. Give me your hand, Belcour; o' my conscience you are too honest for the country you live

in. And now, my dear lad, since peace is con­ 100
cluded on all sides, I have a discovery to make to you, which you must find out for yourself, for deuce take me if I rightly comprehend it, only that your aunt Rusport is in a conspiracy against you, and a
vile rogue of a lawyer, whose name I forget, at 105
the bottom of it.

CHARLES. What conspiracy? Dear Major, recollect yourself.

O'FLAHERTY. By my soul, I've no faculty at

recollecting myself; but I've a paper some­ 110
where about me, that will tell you more of the matter than I can. When I get to the merchant's, I will endeavor to find it.

CHARLES. Well, it must be in your own way; but

I confess you have thoroughly roused my curi­ 115
osity. Exeunt.


SCENE II

STOCKWELL'S house.

CAPTAIN DUDLEY, LOUISA, and STUKELY.

DUDLEY. And are those wretches, Fulmer and his wife, in safe custody?

STUKELY. They are in good hands; I accompanied them to the Tavern, where your son was to

be, and then went in search of you. You may 5
be sure Mr. Stockwell will enforce the law against them as far as it will go.

DUDLEY. What mischief might their cursed machinations have produced, but for this timely

discovery! 10

LOUISA. Still I am terrified; I tremble with apprehension lest Mr. Belcour's impetuosity and Charles's spirit should not wait for an explanation, but drive them both to extremes, before the mis

take can be unraveled. 15

STUKELY. Mr. Stockwell is with them, madam, and you have nothing to fear; you cannot suppose he would ask you hither for any other purpose, but to celebrate their reconciliation and to receive

Mr. Belcour's atonement. 20

DUDLEY. No, no, Louisa, Mr. Stockwell's honor and discretion guard us against all danger or offence; he well knows we will endure no imputation on the honor of our family, and he certainly has invited

us to receive satisfaction on that score in an 25
amicable way.

LOUISA. Would to heaven they were returned!

STUKELY. You may expect them every minute; and see, madam, agreeable to your wish, they are

here. Exit. 30


SCENE III

CHARLESenters, and afterwards STOCKWELL and O'FLAHERTY.

LOUISA. O Charles, O brother, how could you serve me so, how could you tell me you was going to Lady Rusport's and then set out with a design of fighting Mr. Belcour? But where is he; where

is your antagonist? 5

STOCK. Captain, I am proud to see you, and you, Miss Dudley, do me particular honor. We have been adjusting, sir, a very extraordinary and dangerous mistake, which I take for granted my friend

Stukely has explained to you. 10

DUDLEY. He has; I have too good an opinion of Mr. Belcour to believe he could be guilty of a designed affront to an innocent girl, and I am much too well acquainted with your character to sup

pose you could abet him in such design; I have 15
no doubt therefore all things will be set to rights in very few words when we have the pleasure of seeing Mr. Belcour.

STOCK. He has only stepped into the compting

house and will wait upon you directly. You 20
will not be over strict, madam, in weighing Mr. Belcour's conduct to the minutest scruple; his manners, passions, and opinions are not as yet assimilated to this climate; he comes amongst you a new
character, an inhabitant of a new world, and 25
both hospitality as well as pity recommend him to our indulgence.


SCENE IV

BELCOURenters, bows to MISS DUDLEY.

BEL. I am happy and ashamed to see you; no man in his senses would offend you; I forfeited mine and erred against the light of the sun, when I overlooked your virtues; but your beauty was predom

-751-

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