but for my own, and if you can contrive any way of being a whore without making me a cuckold, do it and welcome. 440
MRS. SUL. Sir, I thank you kindly; you would allow me the sin but rob me of the pleasure. -- No, no, I'm resolved never to venture upon the crime without the satisfaction of seeing you punished for't.
SUL. Then will you grant me this, my dear? 445 Let anybody else do you the favor but that Frenchman, for I mortally hate his whole generation. Exit.
COUNT BEL. Ah, sir, that be ungrateful, for begar, I love some of yours. -- Madam -----
MRS. SUL. No, sir. -- 450
COUNT BEL. No, sir! -- Garzoon, madam, I am not your husband!
MRS. SUL. 'Tis time to undeceive you, sir. I believed your addresses to me were no more than an amusement, and I hope you will think the same 455 of my complaisance; and to convince you that you ought, you must know that I brought you hither only to make you instrumental in setting me right with my husband, for he was planted to listen by my appointment. 460
COUNT BEL. By your appointment?
MRS. SUL. Certainly.
COUNT BEL. And so, madam, while I was telling twenty stories to part you from your husband, begar, I was bringing you together all the while? 465
MRS. SUL. I ask your pardon, Sir, but I hope this will give you a taste of the virtue of the English ladies.
COUNT BEL. Begar, madam, your virtue be vera great, but garzoon, your honeste be vera little.
MRS. SUL. Nay, now, you're angry, sir. 470
COUNT BEL. Angry! - Fair Dorinda. (Sings'Dorinda,' the opera tune, and addresses to DORINDA.) Madam, when your ladyship want a fool, send for me. Fair Dorinda, Revenge, etc.1Exit.
MRS. SUL. There goes the true humor of his 475 nation -- resentment with good manners, and the height of anger in a song! -- Well, sister, you must be judge, for you have heard the trial.
DOR. And I bring in my brother guilty.
MRS. SUL. But I must bear the punishment. 480 'Tis hard, sister.
DOR. I own it; but you must have patience.
MRS. SUL. Patience! the cant of custom -- Providence sends no evil without a remedy -- should I lie groaning under a yoke I can shake Off, I 485 were accessary to my ruin, and my patience were no better than self-murder.
DOR. But how can you shake off the yoke? Your divisions,2, don't come within the reach of the law for a divorce. 490
MRS. SUL. Law! what law can search into the remote abyss of nature? what evidence can prove the unaccountable disaffections of wedlock? Can a jury sum up the endless aversions that are rooted in our souls, or can a bench give judgment upon an 495 tipathies?
DOR. They never pretended, sister; they never meddle, but in case of uncleanness.
MRS. SUL. Uncleanness! O sister! casual violation is a transient injury, and may possibly be 500 repaired, but can radical hatreds be ever reconciled? -- No, no, sister, nature is the first lawgiver, and when she has set tempers opposite, not all the golden links of wedlock nor iron manacles of law can keep 'um fast. 505
Wedlock we own ordained by heaven's decree, But such as heaven ordained it first to be -- Concurring tempers in the man and wife As mutual helps to draw the load of life. View all the works of Providence above, 510 The stars with harmony and concord move;
View all the works of Providence below,
The fire, the water, earth, and air, we know,
All in one plant agree to make it grow.
Must man, the chiefest work of art divine, 515 Be doomed in endless discord to repine? No, we should injure heaven by that surmise; Omnipotence is just, were man but wise.
Enter MRS. SULLEN.
MRS. SUL. Were I born an humble Turk, where women have no soul nor property, there I must sit contented. But in England, a country whose women are its glory, must women be abused? where women rule, must women be enslaved? nay, cheated into 5 slavery, mocked by a promise of comfortable society into a wilderness of solitude? I dare not keep the thought about me. -- Oh, here comes something to divert me.
Enter a Country Women.
WOM. I come, an't please your ladyships -- 10 you're my lady Bountiful, an't ye?
MRS. SUL. Well, good woman, go on.____________________