you here; but I shall hope for an opportunity of making myself better known to you. Exit. 85
CHARLOTTE and LOUISA.
CHARLOTTE. Louisa Dudley, you surprise me; I never saw you act thus before: can't you bear a little innocent raillery before the man of your heart?
LOUISA. The man of my heart, madam? Be assured I never was so visionary to aspire to any 5 man whom Miss Rusport honors with her choice.
CHARLOTTE. My choice, my dear! Why we are playing at cross purposes: how entered it into your head that Mr. Belcour was the man of my choice?
LOUISA. Why didn't he present you with those 10 diamonds?
CHARLOTTE. Well; perhaps he did -- and pray, Louisa, have you no diamonds?
LOUISA. I diamonds truly! Who should give me diamonds? 15
CHARLOTTE. Who, but this very gentleman. Apropos! here comes your brother --
[CHARLOTTE.] I insist upon referring our dispute to him: your sister and I, Charles, have a quarrel; Belcour, the hero of your letter, has just left us -- somehow or other, Louisa's bright eyes have caught him; and the poor fellow's fallen desperately in 5 love with her -- (don't interrupt me, hussy) -- Well, that's excusable enough, you'll say; but the jet1 of the story is, that this hair-brained spark, who does nothing like other people, has given her the very identical jewels which you pledged for me to 10 Mr. Stockwell; and will you believe that this little demure slut made up a face, and squeezed out three or four hypocritical tears, because I rallied her about it?
CHARLES. I'm all astonishment! Louisa, tell 15 me without reserve, has Mr. Belcour given you any diamonds?
LOUISA. None, upon my honor.
CHARLES. Has he made any professions to you?
LOUISA. He has, but altogether in a style so 20 whimsical and capricious, that the best which can be said of them is to tell you that they seemed more the result of good spirits than good manners.
CHARLOTTE. Ay, ay, now the murder's out; he's in love with her, and she has no very great dis 25 like to him; trust to my observation, Charles, for that: as to the diamonds, there's some mistake about them, and you must clear it up: three minutes' conversation with him will put everything in a right train; go, go, Charles, 'tis a brother's busi 30 ness; about it instantly; ten to one you'll find him over the way at Mr. Stockwell's.
CHARLES. I confess I'm impatient to have the case cleared up; I'll take your advice, and find him out: good-bye to you. 35
CHARLOTTE. Your servant; my life upon it you'll find Belcour a man of honor. Come, Louisa, let us adjourn to my dressing-room; I've a little private business to transact with you, before the old lady comes up to tea, and interrupts us. 40
FULMERand MRS. FULMER.
FULMER. Patty, wasn't Mr. Belcour with you?
MRS. F. He was, and is now shut up in my chamber, in high expectation of an interview with Miss Dudley; she's at present with her brother, and 'twas with some difficulty I persuaded my hot 5 headed spark to wait 'till he has left her.
FULMER. Well, child, and what then?
MRS. F. Why then, Mr. Fulmer, I think it will be time for you and me to steal a march, and be gone. 10
FULMER. So this is all the fruit of your ingenious project; a shameful overthrow, or a sudden flight.
MRS. F. Why, my project was a mere impromptu, and can at worst but quicken our departure a few days; you know we had fairly outlived our credit 15 here, and a trip to Boulogne is no ways unseasonable. Nay, never droop, man -- Hark! hark! here's enough to bear charges. (Showing a purse.)
FULMER. Let me see, let me see: this weighs well; this is of the right sort: why your West Indian 20 bled freely.
MRS. F. But that's not all: look here! Here are the sparklers! (Showing the jewels.) Now what d'ye think of my performances? Heh! a foolish scheme, isn't it? -- a silly woman -- ? 25
FULMER. Thou art a Judith, a Joan of Arc, and I'll march under thy banners, girl, to the world's end: come, let's begone; I've little to regret; my creditors may share the old books amongst them, they'll have occasion for philosophy to sup 30 port their loss; they'll find enough upon my shelves: the world is my library; I read mankind -- Now, Patty, lead the way.
MRS. F. Adieu, Belcour! Exeunt.
CHARLES DUDLEYand LOUISA.
CHARLES. Well, Louisa, I confess the force of what you say: I accept Miss Rusport's bounty, and,____________________