ACT IV
Scene III.
 

SCANDAL, ANGELICA, JENNY.

ANGELICA
Ha! I saw him wink and smile. I fancy 'tis a trick--I'll try.--I would disguise to all the world a failing which I must own to you: I fear my happiness depends upon the recovery of Valentine. Therefore I conjure you, as you are his friend, and as you have compassion upon one fearful of affliction, to tell me what I am to hope for--I cannot speak--but you may tell me, tell me, for you know what I would ask?

SCANDAL
So, this is pretty plain. Be not too much concerned, madam; I hope his condition is not desperate. An acknowledgment of love from you, perhaps, may work a cure, as the fear of your aversion occasioned his distemper.

ANGELICA
[Aside.] Say you so; nay, then, I'm convinced. And if I don't play trick for trick, may I never taste the pleasure of revenge.--Acknowledgment of love! I find you have mistaken my compassion, and think me guilty of a weakness I am a stranger to. But I have too much sincerity to deceive you, and too much charity to suffer him to be deluded with vain hopes. Good nature and humanity oblige me to be concerned for him; but to love is neither in my power nor inclination, and if he can't be cured without I suck the poison from his wounds, I'm afraid he won't recover his senses till I lose mine.

SCANDAL
Hey, brave woman, i'faith--won't you see him, then, if he desire it?

ANGELICA
What signify a madman's desires? Besides, 'twould make me uneasy: --if I don't see him, perhaps my concern for him may lessen. If I forget him, 'tis no more than he has done by himself; and now the surprise is over, methinks I am not half so sorry as I was.

SCANDAL
So, faith, good nature works apace; you were confessing just now an obligation to his love.

ANGELICA
But I have considered that passions are unreasonable and involuntary; if he loves, he can't help it; and if I don't love, I can't help it; no more than he can help his being a man, or I my being a woman: or no more than I can help my want of inclination to stay longer here. Come, Jenny.