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Scene XVIII.

ANGELICA, VALENTINE.

VALENTINE
Madam, you need not be very much afraid, for I fancy I begin to come to myself.

ANGELICA
Ay, but if I don't fit you, I'll be hanged. [Aside.]

VALENTINE
You see what disguises love makes us put on. Gods have been in counterfeited shapes for the same reason; and the divine part of me, my mind, has worn this mask of madness and this motley livery, only as the slave of love and menial creature of your beauty.

ANGELICA
Mercy on me, how he talks! Poor Valentine!

VALENTINE
Nay, faith, now let us understand one another, hypocrisy apart. The comedy draws toward an end, and let us think of leaving acting and be ourselves; and since you have loved me, you must own I have at length deserved you should confess it.

ANGELICA
[Sighs.] I would I had loved you--for heav'n knows I pity you, and could I have foreseen the bad effects, I would have striven; but that's too late. [Sighs.]

VALENTINE
What sad effects?--what's too late? My seeming madness has deceived my father, and procured me time to think of means to reconcile me to him, and preserve the right of my inheritance to his estate; which otherwise, by articles, I must this morning have resigned. And this I had informed you of to-day, but you were gone before I knew you had been here.

ANGELICA
How! I thought your love of me had caused this transport in your soul; which, it seems, you only counterfeited, for mercenary ends and sordid interest.

VALENTINE
Nay, now you do me wrong; for if any interest was considered it was yours, since I thought I wanted more than love to make me worthy of you.

ANGELICA
Then you thought me mercenary. But how am I deluded by this interval of sense to reason with a madman?

VALENTINE
Oh, 'tis barbarous to misunderstand me longer.

William Congreve