The Old Bachelor "One Of Love's April-fools"

William Congreve

"One Of Love's April-fools"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Bellmour and Sharper are discussing the fitness of Belinda, Bellmour's love, as a wife. According to Sharper, she is too proud, too inconstant, too affected, and too witty, but Bellmour points out that she is wealthy, a very desirable feature in a wife that makes her undesirable qualities seem of little consequence. The two are joined by old Heartwell, a pretended woman-hater. Bellmour asks him what fine lady he has been putting out of countenance by telling her unpleasant truths about herself. He confesses that he has not been fawning over and flattering any light women. Bellmour remarks that if Heartwell had come a little earlier he could have argued about women with Vainlove. This remark causes Heartwell to say that Vainlove is one of love's April-fools, always on some pointless amatory errand and never accomplishing anything.


HEARTWELL
I confess I have not been sneering fulsome lies and nauseous flattery, fawning upon a little tawdry whore that will fawn upon me again, and entertain any puppy that comes, like a tumbler, with the same tricks over and over. For such I guess may have been your late employment.
BELLMOUR
Would thou hadst come a little sooner! Vainlove would have wrought thy conversion, and been a champion for the cause.
HEARTWELL
What, has he been here? That's one of love's April-fools, is always upon some errand that's to no purpose, ever embarking in adventures, yet never comes to harbor.