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Simp. Madam, madam, I assure you--

Mrs. S. 'Tis a clear case, Mr. Simpson: I shall uow leave the affair with


relatives. Simp. 'Tis a clear case there is a plot among you to drive me wild, and

Enter FOSTER, R.
Fos, Mr. Simpson.
Simp. Well, Foster, what the devil do


want? Fos. Mr. Tradely, sir, has called to receive back his securities.

Simp. Mr. Bromley has them.

Brom. I left them with you when I went out this morning

Simp. True. [Takes out Bromley's pocket-book; Mrs. Simpson regards it with looks of rage. Here they are, Foster; take a receipt for them. Here, Bromley, take your pocket-book.

Erit Foster, R. Mrs. S. Snatches it from him. His pocket-book ?-Biomley's ?

Simp. Yes : and what then?
Mrs. S. Really, the book is not yours?

Simp. And what if it were ? but 'tis Bromley's, I tell you.

Mrs. S. [Running into his arms, My dear, dear, dear Bittle husband: this is the happiest moment of my

life. Mrs. F. (Aside.] 'Tis as I suspected. Simp. Then you were but jesting with me, after all !

Mrs. S. [To Mrs. Fitzallan.] Oh, ma'am, I scarcely know how to apologise to you; but the circumstances, I trust, will be sufficient to--[Running again to Simpson.] My poor, poor, dear injured little Simpson !

Simp. Zounds! but this is as much & puzzle to me as l'other.

Brom. [Aside.] I perceive the mistake, and 'tis all over with me.

Mrs. F. [Aside.] Poor Mrs. Bromley !

Mrs. S. And can you pardon me all the torments I have inflicted on you ?

Simp. Why, you have laid it on pretty thick, my dear, that's certain; but what has all this war been about?

Mrs. S. (Returns the pocket-book to Bromley.] Just let

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me return Mr. Bromley his property. 'Tis an elegant little book, indeed; I commend your taste, sir.

Brom. (Embarrassed. Oh, ma'am 'tis nothing—'tis simple-extremely simple.

Mrs. S. Certainly, it requires a careful examination to discover all the beauties it contains.

Mrs. F. [Severely, and with emphasis.] Mr. Bromley has been at unwarrantable pains in procuring its ornaments.

Simp. Wel, there's no accounting for tastes; but it seems to me that there's nothing very extraordinary in a red Morocco case with a gold clasp.

Mrs. S. My love, we must not always judge by the exterior.

Simp. (Mocking her.] By the exterior! Are they beginning their riddles again?

Brom. Alas ! my dear friend, to me it is none ; prehend it but too well.—[To Mrs. Fitzallan.) But to you, madam, how shall I address myself? I confess that, unknown to you, I dared to procure a copy


your por trait; and


indiscretion Mrs. F. (As she takes the book from him, which he presents.] The offence, Mr. Bromley, might warrant a harsh

I com

er term.

Simp. Ha! a thought strikes me. -Allow me, ma'am, to ask whether or not you reside in Harley street ?

Mrs. F. I do, sir.

Simp. Mahogany door, gorgon's-head knocker, five steps, lamp with reflectors, and sixty-four spikes in the iron railing?

Mrs. F. You have been very minute, sir, in your oh. servations

Simp. I had plenty of time to take an exact account, I assure you, I having twice enjoyed the honour, madam, of standing sentry at your door, waiting for this gentleman, and shivering in the wind, like the sails in the seasong.-{To Bromley, half angry.) And am I, for ever, sir, to be the victim of your irregularities ? 'Twas the same thing at school, ladies ; if an orchard was robbed, suspicion was sure to light on me; and while Mr. Inno cence, there, was quietly devouring the fruit, I was receiving the pur.ishment.

Mrs. S. (Taking his hand.] My poor Simpson !

Mrs. F. | To Bromley.) So far as your indiscretion affects me, sir, I pardon you—deeply as it might have injured me in the opinion of this lady; but unfortunately for you,


yet remains Broin. Do not overwhelm me with the anger-the contempt—which my conduct merits. Your beauty was the light that dazzled and misled me, yet believe me

Simp. Say no more, Bromley. You may believe him, ma’am;

and I can assure you there is not in London a more affectionate husband-[Half aside,] notwithstanding nis aptness to be dazzled, as he calls it, by stray lights. DIrs. S. But what can we say to poor Mrs. Bromley?

Brom. I will avow all to her; the only explanation in the power of an offending husband, is the confession of his error: -Heavens! she comes.

Enter Mrs. BROMLEY, L. Mrs. B. Well, Mr. Simpson, do you still refuse to ask pardon for your misconduct ?

Simp. Ah! ma'am ; matters have taken a strange turn since you quitted the room.

Brom. Ah! my Anna, you are far from suspecting who is the real offender; it is–

Mrs. F. (Eagerly. It is Captain Walsingham.
Mrs. B. With astonishment.] Captain Walsingham !

Brom. [Aside.] A woman for ever for helping one out of a scrape!

Mrs. F. Yes, the person I mentioned to you ing. It is for him the portrait was copied.

Simp. And thus it is that innocent people are often made to suffer for the offences of such wicked wights. As for that Captain Walsingham--with whom Bromley and I are very well acquainted—I have a little account with him, which shall be settled in private. He shall not have it to say that I quietly took charge of this day's cargo of plagues and torments, which ought to have been consigned to him.

Mrs. B. But how.came it, when he was mentioned this morning, that you remained silent ?

Simp. To say the truth, I am not so proud of his acyun lance as to boast of it. A married man, who is so

this morn

easily “dazzled by stray lights," is not exactly the pe son to associate with-Eh, Bromley ?

Mrs. B. [To Mrs. Fitzallan] But by what means did the portrait

Mrs. F. [Mysteriously, and in an under tone.) Hush!

Mrs. B. Aye-I understand :-(Aside. That poor dear Mrs. Simpson! they make her helieve just what they please!

Mrs. S. [Aside. That dear good Mrs. Bromley-did she but know

Mrs. B. And now, Charles, I have a little surprise for you. Unknown to you I have sat for my portrait ; accept it as the token of


confidence in your fidelity ; it may serve as a little lesson to Mr. Simpson.

Brom. [Deeply affected.] Your portrait !--Never, never shall it quit me.-—-[ Aside. And she's unconscious.—Oh! " Anna, the reproaches of an offended woman are soon " forgotten; her sweetness, her unsuspecting love, which " alone can reclaim a wandering heart, are remembered « for ever.

Mrs. B. [In an under tone, and looking towards Simpson.) Be merciful, my love."

Simp. [ Taking Bromley aside.] Bromley, that present comes just in time ; there's a vacant place in the pocketbook.

Brom. A little indulgence, Simp. You must ask it at other hands than mine.[Brings Bromley forward, looking cautiously, at the same time, at the other characters. Ladies and gentlemen, no doubt you have detected some little deficiencies in my partner's private accounts-the firm is responsible to you ---we are now winding up matters with you for the evening—we have done our best to answer your claims for amusement in full—if the balance appears against us, pray, grant a little indulgence to the firm of Simpson -and-Co.


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