Act II

SCENE I.—St. James’s Park

Enter Lady Fanciful and Mademoiselle.

Lady F. Well, I vow, mademoiselle, I am strangely impatient to know who this confident fellow is.

Enter Heartfree. Look! there’s Heartfree. But, sure, it can’t be him; he’s a professed woman-hater. Yet who knows what my wicked eyes may have done?

Madem. Il nous approche, matam.

Lady F. Yes, ’tis he; now will he be most intolerably cavalier, though he should be in love with me.

Heart. Madam, I’m your humble servant. I perceive you have more humility and good-nature than I thought you had.

Lady F. What you attribute to humility and good-nature, sir, may, perhaps, be only due to curiosity. I had a mind to know who ’twas had ill manners enough to write that letter.

[Throwing him the letter.

Heart. Well, and now I hope you are satisfied?

Lady F. I am so, sir; good b’ye.

Heart. Nay, hold there! though you have done your business, I haven’t done mine: by your ladyship’s leave, we must have one moment’s prattle together. Have you a mind to be the prettiest woman about town or not? How she stares upon me! What, this passes for an impertinent question with you now, because you think you are so already?

Lady F. Pray, sir, let me ask you a question in my turn: by what right do you pretend to examine me?

Heart. By the same right that the strong govern the weak, because I have you in my power; for you cannot get so quickly to your coach, but I shall have time enough to make you hear everything I have to say to you.

Lady F. These are strange liberties you take, Mr. Heartfree.

Heart. They are so, madam, but there’s no help for it; for, know, that I have a design upon you.

Lady F. Upon me, sir?

Heart. Yes, and one that will turn to your glory and my comfort, if you will be but a little wiser than you use to be.

Lady F. Very well, sir.

Heart. Let me see: your vanity, madam, I take to be about some eight degrees higher than any woman’s in the town, let t’other be who she will; and my indifference is naturally about the same pitch. Now, could you find the way to turn this indifference into fire and flame, methinks, your vanity ought to be satisfied: and this, perhaps, you might bring about upon pretty reasonable terms.

Lady F. And, pray, at what rate would this indifference be bought off, if one should have so depraved an appetite to desire it?

Heart. Why, madam, to drive a quaker’s bargain, and make but one word with you, if I do part with it, you must lay down your affectation.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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