Act IV - Scene v

Vainlove, Sharper.

SHARP.  How!  Araminta lost!

VAIN.  To confirm what I have said, read this.  [Gives a letter.]

SHARP.  [Reads.]  Hum, hum!  And what then appeared a fault, upon reflection seems only an effect of a too powerful passion.  I’m afraid I give too great a proof of my own at this time.  I am in disorder for what I have written.  But something, I know not what, forced me.  I only beg a favourable censure of this and your Araminta.

SHARP.  Lost!  Pray heaven thou hast not lost thy wits.  Here, here, she’s thy own, man, signed and sealed too.  To her, man—a delicious melon, pure and consenting ripe, and only waits thy cutting up: she has been breeding love to thee all this while, and just now she’s delivered of it.

VAIN.  ’Tis an untimely fruit, and she has miscarried of her love.

SHARP.  Never leave this damned ill-natured whimsey, Frank?  Thou hast a sickly, peevish appetite; only chew love and cannot digest it.

VAIN.  Yes, when I feed myself.  But I hate to be crammed.  By heaven, there’s not a woman will give a man the pleasure of a chase: my sport is always balked or cut short.  I stumble over the game I would pursue.  ’Tis dull and unnatural to have a hare run full in the hounds’ mouth, and would distaste the keenest hunter.  I would have overtaken, not have met, my game.

SHARP.  However, I hope you don’t mean to forsake it; that will be but a kind of mongrel cur’s trick.  Well, are you for the Mall?

VAIN.  No; she will be there this evening.  Yes, I will go too, and she shall see her error in—

SHARP.  In her choice, I-gad.  But thou canst not be so great a brute as to slight her.

VAIN.  I should disappoint her if I did not.  By her management I should think she expects it.

     All naturally fly what does pursue:

     ’Tis fit men should be coy when women woo.