Act II - Scene iii

Araminta, Belinda, Betty waiting, in Araminta’s apartment.

BELIN.  Ah! nay, dear; prithee, good, dear, sweet cousin, no more.  O Gad!  I swear you’d make one sick to hear you.

ARAM.  Bless me! what have I said to move you thus?

BELIN.  Oh, you have raved, talked idly, and all in commendation of that filthy, awkward, two-legged creature man.  You don’t know what you’ve said; your fever has transported you.

ARAM.  If love be the fever which you mean, kind heaven avert the cure.  Let me have oil to feed that flame, and never let it be extinct till I myself am ashes.

BELIN.  There was a whine!  O Gad, I hate your horrid fancy.  This love is the devil, and, sure, to be in love is to be possessed.  ’Tis in the head, the heart, the blood, the—all over.  O Gad, you are quite spoiled.  I shall loathe the sight of mankind for your sake.

ARAM.  Fie! this is gross affectation.  A little of Bellmour’s company would change the scene.

BELIN.  Filthy fellow!  I wonder, cousin—

ARAM.  I wonder, cousin, you should imagine I don’t perceive you love him.

BELIN.  Oh, I love your hideous fancy!  Ha, ha, ha, love a man!

ARAM.  Love a man! yes, you would not love a beast.

BELIN.  Of all beasts not an ass—which is so like your Vainlove.  Lard, I have seen an ass look so chagrin, ha, ha, ha (you must pardon me, I can’t help laughing), that an absolute lover would have concluded the poor creature to have had darts, and flames, and altars, and all that in his breast.  Araminta, come, I’ll talk seriously to you now; could you but see with my eyes the buffoonery of one scene of address, a lover, set out with all his equipage and appurtenances; O Gad I sure you would—But you play the game, and consequently can’t see the miscarriages obvious to every stander by.

ARAM.  Yes, yes; I can see something near it when you and Bellmour meet.  You don’t know that you dreamt of Bellmour last night, and called him aloud in your sleep.

BELIN.  Pish, I can’t help dreaming of the devil sometimes; would you from thence infer I love him?

ARAM.  But that’s not all; you caught me in your arms when you named him, and pressed me to your bosom.  Sure, if I had not pinched you until you waked, you had stifled me with kisses.

BELIN.  O barbarous aspersion!

ARAM.  No aspersion, cousin, we are alone.  Nay, I can tell you more.

BELIN.  I deny it all.

ARAM.  What, before you hear it?

BELIN.  My denial is premeditated like your malice.  Lard, cousin, you talk oddly.  Whatever the matter is, O my Sol, I’m afraid you’ll follow evil courses.

ARAM.  Ha, ha, ha, this is pleasant.

BELIN.  You may laugh, but—

ARAM.  Ha, ha, ha!

BELIN.  You think the malicious grin becomes you.  The devil take Bellmour.  Why do you tell me of him?

ARAM.  Oh, is it come out?  Now you are angry, I am sure you love him.  I tell nobody else, cousin.  I have not betrayed you yet.

BELIN.  Prithee tell it all the world; it’s false.

ARAM.  Come, then, kiss and friends.

BELIN.  Pish.

ARAM.  Prithee don’t be so peevish.

BELIN.  Prithee don’t be so impertinent.  Betty!

ARAM.  Ha, ha, ha!

BETTY.  Did your ladyship call, madam?

BELIN.  Get my hoods and tippet, and bid the footman call a chair.

ARAM.  I hope you are not going out in dudgeon, cousin.