L. MO. Upon my soul, he gives me three 510 points.
SIR CHA. Does he? why then you shall give me but two. -- Here, fellow, get cards. -- Allons.
The scene, LADY BETTY MODISH'S lodgings.
Enter LADY BETTY and LADY EASY, meeting.
L. BET. Oh, my dear! I am overjoyed to see you. I am strangely happy today; I have just received my new scarf from London, and you are most critically1 come to give me your opinion of it.
L. EA. Oh, your servant, madam! I am a very 5 indifferent judge, you know. What, is it with sleeves?
L. BET. Oh, 'tis impossible to tell you what it is. 'Tis all extravagance both in mode and fancy; my dear, I believe there's six thousand yards of 10 edging in it -- then such an enchanting slope from the elbow ----- something so new, so lively, so noble, so coquet and charming ----- but you shall see it, my dear -----
L. EA. Indeed I won't, my dear; I am re 15 solved to mortify you for being so wrongly fond of a trifle.
L. BET. Nay, now, my dear, you are ill-natured.
L. EA. Why truly, I'm half angry to see a woman of your sense so warmly concerned in the care of 20 her outside; for when we have taken our best pains about it, 'tis the beauty of the mind alone that gives us lasting value.
L. BET. Ah, my dear, my dear! you have been a married woman to a fine purpose indeed, that 25 know so little of the taste of mankind. Take my word, a new fashion upon a fine woman is often a greater proof of her value than you are aware of.
L. EA. That I can't comprehend; for you see among the men nothing's more ridiculous than 30 a new fashion: those of the first sense are always the last that come into 'em.
L. BET. That is because the only merit of a man is his sense, but doubtless the greatest value of a woman is her beauty; an homely woman at the head of a 35 fashion would not be allowed in it by the men, and consequently not followed by the women, so that to be successful in one's fancy is an evident sign of one's being admired, and I always take admiration for the best proof of beauty; and beauty certainly is the 40 source of power, as power in all creatures is the heighth of happiness.
L. EA. At this rate you had rather be thought beautiful than good.
L. BET. As I had rather command than obey. 45 The wisest homely woman can't make a man of sense of a fool, but the veriest fool of a beauty shall make an ass of a statesman ----- so that, in short, I can't see a woman of spirit has any business in this world but to dress ----- and make the men like her. 50
L. EA. Do you suppose this is a principle the men of sense will admire you for?
L. BET. I do suppose that when I suffer any man to like my person he shan't dare to find fault with my principle. 55
L. EA. But men of sense are not so easily humbled.
L. BET. The easiest of any: one has ten thousand times the trouble with a coxcomb.
L. EA. Nay, that may be, for I have seen you throw away more good humor in hopes of a 60 tendresse2 from my Lord Foppington, who loves all women alike, than would have made my Lord Morelove perfectly happy, who loves only you.
L. BET. The men of sense, my dear, make the best fools in the world; their sincerity and good 65 breeding throws 'em so entirely into one's power, and gives one such an agreeable thirst of using 'em ill, to show that power ----- 'tis impossible not to quench it.
L. EA. But methinks my Lord Morelove's manner to you might move any woman to a kinder 70 sense of his merit.
L. BET. Ay! but would it not be hard, my dear, for a poor weak woman to have a man of his quality and reputation in her power, and not let the world see him there? Would any creature sit new- 75 dressed all day in her closet? Could you bear to have a sweet-fancied suit and never show it at the play or the drawing-room?
L. EA. But one would not ride in it, methinks, or harass it out when there's no occasion. 80
L. BET. Pooh! my Lord Morelove's a mere Indian damask3 ----- one can't wear him out; o' my conscience, I must give him to my woman at last; I begin to be known by him. Had not I best leave him off, my dear? For (poor soul) I believe I have 85 a little fretted him of late.
L. EA. Now, 'tis to me amazing, how a man of his spirit can bear to be used like a dog for four or five years together ----- but nothing's a wonder in love. Yet pray, when you found you could not like 90 him at first, why did you ever encourage him?
L. BET. Why, what would you have one do? for my part, I could no more choose a man by my eye,____________________