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.
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 mistake 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
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 suppose 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 comptinghouse 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.
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