Act IV - Scene viii

SCENE: St. James’s Park.

Araminta and Belinda meeting.

BELIN.  Lard, my dear, I am glad I have met you; I have been at the Exchange since, and am so tired—

ARAM.  Why, what’s the matter?

BELIN.  Oh the most inhuman, barbarous hackney-coach!  I am jolted to a jelly.  Am I not horribly touzed?  [Pulls out a pocket-glass.]

ARAM.  Your head’s a little out of order.

BELIN.  A little!  O frightful!  What a furious phiz I have!  O most rueful!  Ha, ha, ha.  O Gad, I hope nobody will come this way, till I have put myself a little in repair.  Ah! my dear, I have seen such unhewn creatures since.  Ha, ha, ha.  I can’t for my soul help thinking that I look just like one of ’em.  Good dear, pin this, and I’ll tell you—very well—so, thank you, my dear—but as I was telling you—pish, this is the untowardest lock—so, as I was telling you—how d’ye like me now?  Hideous, ha?  Frightful still?  Or how?

ARAM.  No, no; you’re very well as can be.

BELIN.  And so—but where did I leave off, my dear?  I was telling you—

ARAM.  You were about to tell me something, child, but you left off before you began.

BELIN.  Oh; a most comical sight: a country squire, with the equipage of a wife and two daughters, came to Mrs. Snipwel’s shop while I was there—but oh Gad! two such unlicked cubs!

ARAM.  I warrant, plump, cherry-cheeked country girls.

BELIN.  Ay, o’ my conscience, fat as barn-door fowl: but so bedecked, you would have taken ’em for Friesland hens, with their feathers growing the wrong way.  O such outlandish creatures!  Such Tramontanæ, and foreigners to the fashion, or anything in practice!  I had not patience to behold.  I undertook the modelling of one of their fronts, the more modern structure—

ARAM.  Bless me, cousin; why would you affront anybody so?  They might be gentlewomen of a very good family—

BELIN.  Of a very ancient one, I dare swear, by their dress.  Affront! pshaw, how you’re mistaken!  The poor creature, I warrant, was as full of curtsies, as if I had been her godmother.  The truth on’t is, I did endeavour to make her look like a Christian—and she was sensible of it, for she thanked me, and gave me two apples, piping hot, out of her under-petticoat pocket.  Ha, ha, ha: and t’other did so stare and gape, I fancied her like the front of her father’s hall; her eyes were the two jut-windows, and her mouth the great door, most hospitably kept open for the entertainment of travelling flies.

ARAM.  So then, you have been diverted.  What did they buy?

BELIN.  Why, the father bought a powder-horn, and an almanac, and a comb-case; the mother, a great fruz-towr, and a fat amber necklace; the daughters only tore two pairs of kid-leather gloves, with trying ’em on.  O Gad, here comes the fool that dined at my Lady Freelove’s t’other day.