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Belin. Any where, sir : put me any where, to avoid this impending storm.
[Goes into the Chair. Sir J. [Skutting the Chair.] This is lucky. I am safe now. Let my lady come as soon as she will.
. . Re-enter Lady Restless, R. Lady R. I only wanted to say one word, sir.
Enter BLANDFORD, L. Bland. Sir John, I am obliged to intrude: I am told my daughter is here.
Lady R. There ! he has heard it all.
Bland. I have heard that Belinda came to your house, on what business I do not know. I hope, Sir John, that you do not harbour the girl, to disturb the peace and happiness of a father.
Sir J. That imputation, Sir-
Lady R. I know he does. He has ruined your daughter ; he has injured you, sir, as well as me, in the most essential point.
Sir J. She raves ; she is mad. If you listen to her Enter SIR WILLIAM BLANDFORD and BEVERLEY, R.
Bland. I am glad you are come, Sir William. This is inore than I expected.
Sir J. And more than I expected. There, madam, there is your favourite again!
Bev. My visit is public, sir. I come to demand, in the presence of this company, an explanation of the mischief you have done me.
Sir J. You need not be so public, sir. The closet is ready for you: Tattle will turn the key, and you will there be very safe.
Lady R. How can you persist in such a fallacy? He knows, he perfectly well knows, it was an accident; a mere blunder of the servant, entirely unknown to me.
Sir J. She was privy to the whole.
Bland. This is beside my purpose. I came hither in quest of my daughter: a father demands her. Is she here? Is she in the house?
Sir J. In this house, sir ? Qur families never visited. I am not acquainted with her.
Lady R. He is acquainted with her. I saw him clasp her in his arms.
Bland. In his arms! When ? Where? Tell me all. Lady R. Yes, now let him give an account of himself.
Sir J. When you have accounted for your actions, madam
Lady R. Render an account to the lady's father, sir.
Bland. Yes, to her father. Account with me, sir. When and where was all this?
Lady R. This very day, at noon, in the Park.
Bev. But in the eyes of the whole world : I know Belinda: I can acquit her.
Sir J. And I proclaim her innocence. We can both acquit her.
[Goes up to BEVERLEY. Lady Ř. You are both In a plot: both combined.
Sir J. It was all harmless : all inoffensive. Was not it, Mr. Beverley?
Bev. Yes, all, all.
Sir W. If you all talk together, we shall never understand. · Bev, I understand it all. Mr. Blandford, you met Belinda in the Park this morning?
Bland. I did, sir.
Bev. You accosted her violently: the harshness of your language overpowered her spirits: she was ready to faint: Sir John was passing by: she was going to drop down : Sir John assisted her : that is the whole of the story. Injured as I am, I must do justice to Belinda's character. She may treat me with the caprice and pride of insolent beauty ; but her virtue claims respect.
Sir J. There now; there! that is tbe whole of the story.
Lady R. The whole of the story! no, Sir John: you shall suppress nothing: you could receive a picture from her.
Sir J. You, madam, could receive a picture ; and you, Mr. Beverley, could present it.
Lady R. Mr. Beverley, you hear this!
Bev. I can justify you, madam. I gave your lady no picture, Sir John,
Sir J. She had it in her hand. I saw her print her kisses on it, and in that moment I seized it from her.
Bev. Belinda dropped it in the Park, when she was taken ill; I had just given it to her. Your lady found it there.
Lady R. I found it on that very spot.
Sir J. I found you locked up in her cabinet ; concealed in private.
Lady R. But with no bad intent.
Bev. Your jealousy, Sir John, has fixed an imputation upon me, who have not deserved it: and your suspicions, madam, have fallen, like a blasting mildew, upon a lady, whose name was never before sullied by the breath of calumny.
Sir W. The affair is clear, as to your daughter, Mr. Blandford. I am satisfied, and now we need not intrude any longer upon this family.
Enter BellMONT and CLARISSA, L. Walk in, George: every thing is right : your fears may now go to rest.
Lady R, I shall not stay another night in this house. Time will explain every thing. Call my chairmen, there. Sir John has it his own way at present. You have settled this among yourselves. I shall now go to my brother. Sir John, I have no more to say at present.
Sir J. You shall not go: you shall not quit this house till I consent.
Lady R. Very well, sir: I must be your prisoner, must I ?
Sir J. It is mine to command here. No loose escapes this night, no assignations, no intrigues to disgrace me.
Lady R. Such inhuman treatment ! I am glad there are witnesses of your behaviour.
[Walks away. Bland. I am sorry to see all this confusion ; but since my daughter is not here
Lady R. He knows where she is, and so you will find.
Sir J. (Coming forward.] Your daughter is innocent, sir, I give you my honour. Where should she be in this house? Lady Restless has occasioned all this mischief. She formed a story to palliate her own misconduct. To her various artifices you are a stranger ; but in a few days you may depend that I have full proof, and in a little time every thing will
Re-enter Belinda from the Chair. Lady R. Who has proof now? There, there! in his house all the time! , Bland. What do I see?
Bev. Belinda here !
[Aside. Lady R. What say you now, Mr. Beverley ? Now, Mr. Blandford, there; ocular demonstration for you!
Sir W. George, take Clarissa as soon as you will. Mr. Blandford, you will excuse me, if I now decline any further treaty with you.
Bland. This abrupt behaviour, Sir William
Sir W. I am satisfied, sir. I am resolved. Clarissa, you have my approbation : my son is at your service, Here, George, take her and be happy.
Bell. [Taking her hand.] To you, from this moment, I dedicate all my future days.
Bland. Very well: take your own way. I can still protect my daughter. • Bev. And she deserves your protection : my dear Belinda, explain all this : I know it is in your power.
Belin. This generous behaviour, sir, recalls me to new life. You, I am now convinced, have been accused by my Lady Restless without foundation. Whatever turn her ladyship's unhappy self-tormenting fancy may give to my conduct, it may provoke a smile, but will excite no other passion.
Lady R. Mighty fine! what brought you to this house?
Belin. To be a witness of your folly, madam, and Sir John's into the bargain.
Bell. That I can vouch: Sir John can fill his mind with vain chimeras, with as apt a disposition as his lady, Beverley has been represented in the falsest colours
Lady R. That I admit: Sir John invented the story. Bev. And Belinda, madam, has been cruelly slan
Sir J. She has so : that I admit.
Belin. And my desire to see all this cleared up, brought me to this house, madam. Now you see what has made this confusion.
Lady R. O, I expected these airs ! You may discuss the point where you please: I will hear no more upon the subject.
[Exit, L. Bland. Madąm, the subject must be settled.
[Follows her, Sir J. You have a right to insist upon it: the whole shall be explained this moment.' Sir William, you are a dispassionate man, give us your assistance. [Exit, k, Sir W. With all my heart. George, you are no longer concerned in this business, and I am glad of it.
Exit with BeLLMONT, L. Cla. To BeVERLEY.] Now, brother, now is your time: your difficulties are all removed. Sir John suspected you without reason: my Lady Restless did the same to Belinda : you are both in love, and now may do each other justice. I can satisfy my Lady Restless and your father.
[Exit, L. Bev. I see, I see my rashness,
[Aside. Belin. I have been terribly deceived. E aside. Bev. If she would but forgive my folly! [Aside.
Belin. Why does not he open his mind to me? I can't speak first.
[Aside. Bev. What apology can I make her ? [Aside.] Belinda!
Belin. Charming! he begins. [Aside, and smiling.
Bev. [Approaching.] Belinda no answer?--Belinda! Belin. Mr. Beverley!
[Smiles aside. Bev. Don't you think you have been very cruel to me, Belinda ?
[Advancing towards her. Belin. Don't you think you have been barbarous to me?
[Without looking at him. Bev. I have: I grant it. Can you find in your heart to forgive me?
Belin. [Without looking at him.] You have kept me on the rack this whole day, and can you wonder that I feel myself unhappy?
Bev. I am to blame: I acknowledge it. If you knew how my own heart reproaches me, you would spare yourself the trouble. With tears in my eyes I now speak to you : I acknowledge all my errors.
Belin. (Looking at him.] Those are not tears, Mr. Beverley.
[Smiling. Bev. They are ; you see that they are. • Belin. Ab! you men can command tears.
Bev. My life! my angel! [Kissing her hand ] Do you forgive me?
Belin. No; I hate you. (Looks pleased at him. · Bev. Now, I don't believe that. (Kisses her cheek.] Do you hate me, Belinda ?
· Belin. How could you let an extravagance of temper get the better of you? You know the sincerity of my affection. Oh, Mr. Beverley! was it not ungenerous ?