Act V - Scene x
Bellmour, Belinda, Araminta, and Vainlove.
VAIN. Oh, ’twas frenzy all: cannot you forgive it? Men in madness have a title to your pity. [To Araminta.]
ARAM. Which they forfeit, when they are restored to their senses.
VAIN. I am not presuming beyond a pardon.
ARAM. You who could reproach me with one counterfeit, how insolent would a real pardon make you! But there’s no need to forgive what is not worth my anger.
BELIN. O’ my conscience, I could find in my heart to marry thee, purely to be rid of thee—at least thou art so troublesome a lover, there’s hopes thou’lt make a more than ordinary quiet husband. [To Bellmour.]
BELL. Say you so? Is that a maxim among ye?
BELIN. Yes: you fluttering men of the mode have made marriage a mere French dish.
BELL. I hope there’s no French sauce. [Aside.]
BELIN. You are so curious in the preparation, that is, your courtship, one would think you meant a noble entertainment—but when we come to feed, ’tis all froth, and poor, but in show. Nay, often, only remains, which have been I know not how many times warmed for other company, and at last served up cold to the wife.
BELL. That were a miserable wretch indeed, who could not afford one warm dish for the wife of his bosom. But you timorous virgins form a dreadful chimæra of a husband, as of a creature contrary to that soft, humble, pliant, easy thing, a lover; so guess at plagues in matrimony, in opposition to the pleasures of courtship. Alas! courtship to marriage, is but as the music in the play-house, until the curtain’s drawn; but that once up, then opens the scene of pleasure.
BELIN. Oh, foh,—no: rather courtship to marriage, as a very witty prologue to a very dull play.