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will put a stop, at once, to all confusion or mis-) just such another affair on my own hands. There understanding that might arise between you. is a gay captain here, who put a jest on me late
Acres. Aye, we fight to prevent any misunder-ly, at the expence of my country, and I only want standing.
to fall in with the gentleman, to call him out. Sir Luc. Now, I'll leave you to fix your own Acres. By my valour, I should like to see you time. Take my advice, and you'll decide it this fight first! Odds lite ! I should like to see you evening, if you can; then let the worst come of kill him, if it was only to get a little lesson. it, 'twill be off your mind to-morrow.
Sir Luc. I shall be very proud of instructing Acres. Very true.
you. Well, for the present—but remember Sir Luc. So I shall see nothing more of you, now, when you meet your antagonist, do every unless it be by letter, till the evening. I would thing in a mild and agreeable manner. do myself the honour to carry your message ; courage be as keen, but, at the same time, as but, to tell you a secret, I believe I shall have polished as your sword. [Exeunt severally.
AC T IV.
SCENE I.--Acres' lodgings.
What, shall I disgrace my ancestors? Think of
that, David; think what it would be to disgrace Enter ACRES and DAVID.
my ancestors! David. Then, by the mass, sir, I would do no David. Under favour, the surest way of not such thing !-ne'er a sir Lucius O'Trigger in the disgracing them, is to keep as long as you can kingdom should make me fight, when I wa’n’t so out of their company. Look'e now, master, to minded. Oons! what will the old lady say, when go to them in such haste, with an ounce of lead she hears o't?
in your brains! I should think might as well be Acres. Ah! L'avid, if you had heard sir Lu- let alone. Our ancestors are very good kind of cius! Odds sparks and flames! he would have folks; but they are the last people I should roused
choose to have a visiting acquaintance with. David. Not he, indeed. I hates such blood Acres. But, David, now, you don't think there thirsty cormorants. Look'ee, master, if you'd is such very, very, very, very great danger! wanted a bout at boxing, quarter-staff, or short hey? Odds life ! people often fight without any staff, I should never be the man to bid you cry, mischief done! off: But for your curst sharps and snaps, I never David. By the mass, I think 'tis ten to one knew any good come of them.
against you !-Oons ! here to meet some lionAcres. But my honour, David, my honour! I headed fellow, I warrant, with his damned must be very careful of my honour.
double-barrelled swords, and cut-and-thrust Duvid. Aye, by the mass ! and I would be ve- pistols ! lord bless us ! it makes me tremble to ry careful of it; and I think, in return, my honour think o't!-- Those be such desperate bloodycouldn't do less than to be very careful of me. minded weapons! Well, I never could abide
Acres. Odds blades, David ! po gentleman will them! from a child I never could fancy them! ever risk the loss of his honour !
suppose there a'n't been so merciless a beast David. I say, then, it would be but civil in in the world as your loaded pistol ! honour never to risk the loss of a gentleman Acres, Zounds! I won't be afraid Odds fire Look'ee, master, this honour seems to me to be a and fury! you shan't make me afraid.—Here marvellous false friend! aye, truly, a very cour is the challenge, and I have sent for my dear tier-like servant !-Put the case : I was a gentle friend Jack Absolute to carry it for me. man (which, thank God! no one can say of me); David. Aye, in the name of mischief, let him well, my honour makes me quarrel with another be the inessenger.---For my part, I wouldn't lend gentleman of my acquaintance. So, we fight. a hand to it for the best horse in your stable. (Pleasant enough that!) Boh! I kill him! (the By the mass ! it don't look like another letter ! more's my luck). Now, pray, who gets the pro- It is, as I may say, a designing and maliciousfit of it? Why, my honour -But, put the case, looking letter; and I warrant smells of gunpowthat he kills me! -By the mass ! I go to the der like a soldier's pouch !---Oons! I wouldı’t worms, and my honour whips over to my ene swear it may’nt go off!
Acres. Out, you poltroon !-you ha'n't the vaAcres. No, David---in that case ! Odds crowns lour of a grass-hopper. and laurels ! your honour follows you to the David. Well, I say no more ; 'twill be sad grave.
news, to be sure, at Clod Hall! but I have done. David. Now, that's just the place where I | How Phillis will howl when she hears of its could make a shift to do without it.
Aye, poor bitch, she little thinks what shooting Acres. Zounds! David, you are a coward! her master's going after ! And I warrant old It doesn't become my valour to listen to you. Crop, who has carried your honour, field and VOL. II.
road, these ten years, will curse the hour he was do tell him I am a devil of a fellow ! will you born.
[Whimpering. Jack? dcres. It won't do, David—I am determined Abs. To be sure I shall.-I'll say you are a to fight--so get along, you coward, while I'm in determined dog! hey, Bob? the mind,
Acres. Aye, do, do, do; and if that frightens
him, 'egad, perhaps he maya't come. So tell Enter Servant.
him I generally kill a man a-week; will you, Ser. Captain Absolute, sir.
Jack? Acres. O! shew hinn up. [Erit Servant. Abs. I will, I will ; I'll say you are called in
David. Well, Heaven send we be all alive the country, Fighting Bob. this time to-morrow!
Acres. Right, right; 'tis all to prevent misAcres. What's that ?-Don't provoke me, chief; for I don't want to take his life, if I clear David !
honour. David. Good bye, master. [Whimpering. Abs. No! that's very kind of you.
Acres. Get along, you cowardly, dastardly, Acres. Why, you don't wish me to kill him? croaking raven.
[Erit David. do you, Jack?
[Going. Abs. What's the matter, Bob?
Acres. True, true; þut stay-stay, JackAcres. A vile, sheep-hearted blockhead !If you may add, that you never saw me in such a I hadn't the valour of St George and the dragon rage before; a most devouring rage! to boot
Abs. I will, I will. Abs. But what did you want with me, Bob? Acres. Remember, Jack-a determined dog! Acres. O !-There--[Gives him the challenge.] Abs. Aye, aye ; Fighting Bob! Abs. “To ensign Beverley.' So, what's going
(Ereunt severalty. on now? [Aside.) Well, what's this? Acres. À challenge!
SCENE II.—Mrs Malaprop's lodgings. Abs. Indeed !-Why, you won't fight him,
MRS MALAPROP and LYDIA. will you, Bob?
Ačres. 'Egad, but I will, Jack.—Sir Lucius has Afrs Mal. Why, thou perverse one! tell me wrought me to it. He has left me full of rage, what you can object to him? Isn't he a handand I'll fight this evening, that so much good some man? tell me that.-A genteel man? a passion mayn't be wasted.
pretty figure of a man? Abs. But what have I to do with this?
Lydiu. She little thinks whom she is praising ! Acres. Why, as I think you know something (Aside.]--So is Beverley, madam. of this fellow, I want you to find him out for me, Mrs Mal. No caparisons, miss, if you please. and give him this mortal defiance.
-Caparisons don't become a young woman.-Abs. Well, give it to me, and trust me he gets No! captain Absolute is, indeed, a fine gentleit.
Acres. Thank you, my dear friend, my dear Lydia. Ay; the captain Absolute you have. Jack ; but it is giving you a great deal of scen.
Mrs Mal. Then, he's so well bred ; so full of Abs. Not in the least; I beg you won't men- alacrity, and adulation !--and has so much to say tion it.-No trouble in the world, I assure you. for himself :-in such gnod language, too !-His
Acres. You are very kind.—What it is to have physiognomy so grammatical:- Then, his presence a friend –You couldn't be my second-could is so noble : 1 protest, when I saw him, I thought
lof what Hamlet says in the play:– Hesperian Ávs. Why no, Bob, not in this affair ; it curls—the front of Job himself!-an eye, like would not be quite so proper.
• March, to threaten at command La station, Acres. Well, then, I must get my friend sir' like Barry Mercury, new' Something about Lucius. I shall have your good wishes, however, kissing--on a bill-however, the similitude struck Jack.
me directly. Abs. Whenever he meets you,
Lydia. How enraged she'll be presently when she discovers her inistake! ..
Aside. Enter Serdant.
Enter Serount. Ser. Sir Anthony Absolute is below, inquiring Ser. Sir Anthony and captain Absolute are for the captain.
below, madai. Abs. I'll come instantly.—Well, my little hero, Mr's Mal. Shew them up here. (Erit Servant.] success attend you.
(Going. Now, Lydia, I insist on your behaving as be Acres. Stay, stay, Jack! If Beverley should comes a young woman.-Shew your good breedask you what kind of a man your friend Acres is, ing, at least, though you have forgot your duty.
Lydia. Madam, I have told you my resolu Mrs Mal. Sir Anthony, shall we leave them tion !--I shall not only give him no encourage- together? Ah, you stubborn little vixen! inent, but I won't even speak to, or look at him.
[Aside to her. [Flings herself into a chair, with her face Sir Anth. Not yet, madam, not yet! what the from the door.]
devil are you at? unlock your jaws, sirrahı, orEnter Sir ANTHONY, and ABSOLUTE.
[Aside to him.
[ABSOLUTE draws near Lydia.] Sir Anth. Here we are, Mrs Malaprop, como Abs. Now Heaven send she may be too sullen to mitigate the frowns of unrelenting beauty; to look round! I must disguise my voice. [Aside. and difficulty enough I had to bring this tel- Speaks in a low hourse tone.] Will not Miss low.— I don't kuow what's the matter; but, if I Languish lend an ear to the mild accents of true had not held him by force, he'd have given me
love? Will not the slip
Sir Anth. What the devil ails the fellow Mrs Mal. You have infinite trouble, sir An- Why don't you speak out? not stand croaking thony, in the affair.—I am ashamed for the cause! | like a frog in a quinsey ! Lydia, Lydia, rise, I bescech you !- pay your re
Abs. The-themexcess of my awe, and my spects!
[Aside to her. my--my modesty, quite choak me! Sir Anth. I hope, madaın, that miss Languish Sir Anth. Ah, your modesty again! I'll tell has reflected on the worth of this gentleman, and you what, Jack, if you don't speak out directly, the regard due to her aunt's choice, and my alli- and glibly, too, I shall be in such a rage! Mrs ance.- Now, Jack, speak to her. [Aside to him. Malaprop, I wish the lady would favour us with
Abs. What the devil shall I do? (Aside.] You something more than a side front. see, sir, she won't even look at me, whilst you [Mrs MALAPROP seems to chide Lydia. are here. I knew she would not !-- I told you Abs. So all will out, I sec ! [Goes up to Lyso-Let me entreat you, sir, to leave us toge- DIA-speaks softly.] Be not surprised, my Lydia; ther!
suppress all surprise at present. [ABSOLUTE seems to expostulate with his Lydia. [Asiite.] Heavens ! 'tis Beverley's futher.]
voice! Sure he can't have imposed on sir AnLydia. [ Aside. I wonder I have not heard my thony, too! (Looks round by degrees, then starts aunt exclaim yet? sure she can't have looked at up.) Is this possible ! my Beverley! how can him ! —perhaps their regimentals are alike, this be, my Beverley? and she is something blind.
Abs. Ah, 'tis all over!
[ Aside. Sir Anth. I say, sir, I won't stir a foot, yet. Sir Anth. Beverley! the devil! Beverley!
Mrs Mal. I am sorry to say, sir Anthony, that What can the girl mean? This is my son, Jack my affluence over my niece is very small. -Turn Absolute. round, Lydia ; I blush for you! [Aside to her. Mrs Mal. For shame, hussy; for shame!
Sir Anth. May I not fatter myself, that Miss your head ruus so on that fellow, that you have Languish will assign what cause of dislike she can him always in your eyes; beg captain Absolute's have to my son !—Why don't you begin, Jack ?- pardon directly. Speak, you puppy-spcak! [Aside to him. Lydia. I see no captain Absolute, but
loAirs Mal. It is impossible, sir Anthony, she ved Beverley! can have any.--She will not say she has. Sir Anth. Zounds, the girl's mad! her brain's Answer, hussy! why don't you answer? turned by reading !
(Aside to her. Mrs Mal. O' my conscience, I believe so! Sir Anth. Then, madam, I trust that a childish What do you mean by Beverley, hussy? You and hasty predilection will be no bar to Jack's saw captain Absolute before today; there he is; happiness. --Zounds, sirrah, why don't you your husband that shall be. speak?
[Aside to him. Lydia. With all my soul, madam! when I reLydia. (Aside.] I think my lover seems as lit- fuse my Beverleytle inclined to conversation as myself.--How Sir Anth. O, she's as mad as Bedlam ! or strangely blind my aunt must be!
has this fellow been playing us a rogue's trick ? Abs. Ílem, hein! Madam, hem! [ABSOLUTE Come here, sirrah; who ihe devil are you? attempts to speak, then returns to Sir ANTHO Abs. Faith, sir, I am not quite clear myself; NY.] Faith, sir, I am 30 confounded ! and so, so but I'll endeavour to recoilect. confused! I told you I should be so, sir; I knew Sir Anth. Are you my son, or not? Answer it. The-the-iremor of my passion entirely for your mother, you dog, if you won't for me. takes away my presence of mind.
Mrs Mal. Ay, sir, who are you? O mercy, I Sir Anth. But it don't take away your voice, begin to suspect ! fool, does it? Go up, and speak to her directly! Abs. Ye powers of impudence, befriend me! [ABSOLUTE makes signs to Mrs MalaPROP [Aside.] Sir Anthony, most assuredly I am your to leave them together.]
wife's son; and that I sincerely believe myself
to be yours also, I hope my duty has always | Hey! Odd's life! I'm in such spirits ; I don't shewn.' Mrs Malaprop, I am your most respect know what I could not do! Permit me, madam. ful admirer, and shall be proud to add affec-[Gives his hand to Mrs MALAPROP.— Sings.] tionate nephew. I need not tell my Lydia, that Tol-de-rol! Egad, I should like to have a little she sees her faithful Beverley, who, knowing the fooling myself. Tol-de-rol! derolsingular generosity of her temper, assumed that [Erit, singing and handing MRS MALAPROP. name, and a station, which has proved a test of
[Lydia sits sullenly in her chair. the most disinterested love, which he now hopes Abs. So much thought bodes me no good. to enjoy in a more elevated character.
Aside. Lydia. So, there will be no elopement after So grave, Lydia ! all ?
(Sullenly. Lydia. Sir! Sir Anth. Upon my soul, Jack, thou art a Abs. So! Egad, I thought as much! that very impudent fellow! to do you justice, I damned monosyllable bas froze me! [Aside.) think I never saw a piece of inore consummate What, Lydia, now that we are as happy in our assurance !
friends' consent, as in our mutual vowsAbs. 0, you flatter me, sir ! you compliment Lydia. Friends' consent, indeed! [Peevishly. ---'tis my modesty, you know, sir; my modesty Abs. Come, come; we must lay aside some of that has stood in my way.
our romance--a little wealth and comfort may Sir Anth. Well, I am glad you are not the be endured after all. And, for your fortune, the dull, insensible varlet you pretended to be, how- lawyers shall make such settlements asever; I am glad you have made a fool of
your Lydia. Lawyers ! I hate lawyers ! father, you dog, I am: So this was your peni Àós. Nay, then, we will not wait for their tence, your duty, and obedience! I thought it lingering forms, but instantly procure the licence, was damned sudden! You never heard their andnames before, not you! What, the Languishes of Lydia. The licence! I hate licence ! Worcestershire, hey? If you could please me in Abs. O, my love! be not so unkind ! thus, let the affair, 'twas all you desired! Ah, vou dissem- me intreat
[Kneeling. bling villain! What! [ Pointing to Lydia.) she Lydia. Pshaw ! what signifies kneeling, when squints, don't she? a little red-haired girl!"hey? you must I must have you? Why, you hypocrital young rascal! I wonder you Abs. [Rising.] Nay, madam, there shall te are not ashamed to hold up your head !
no constraint upon your inclinations, I promise Abs. 'Tis with difficulty, sir ;
I am confused you. If I have lost your heart, I resign the rest. ---very much confused, as you must perceive. Gad, I must try what a little spirit will dn. Mrs Mal. O, lud, sir Anthony !'a new light
[Aside. breaks in upon me! hey! how! what! Captain, Lydia. [Rising.) Then, sir, let me tell you, did you write the letters, then? What, am I to the interest you had there was acquired by a thank you for the elegant compilation of an old, mean, unmanly imposition, and deserves the pu• weather-beaten she-dragon,' hey? O mercy! nishment of fraud. What, you have been treatwas it you that reflected on my parts of speech? ing me like a child! humouring my romance
Abs. Dear sir, my modesty will be overpower- and laughing, I suppose, at vour success? ed, at last, if you don't assist me. I shall cer Abs. You wrong me, Lydia, you wrong me; tainly not be able to stand it!
only hearSir Anth. Come, come, Mrs. Malaprop, we Lydia. So, while I fondly imagined we were we must forget and forgive; odd's life ! natters deceiving my relations, and fattered myself that have taken so clever a turn all of a sudden, that I should outwit and incense them all — behold, I could find in my heart, to be so good-humour-iny hopes are to be crushed at once, by my ed! and so gallant-bey! Mrs Malaprop? aunt's consent and approbation; and I am, myself,
Mrs Mal. Well, sir Anthony, since you desire the only dupe, at last! [Walking about in a heat.] it, we will vot anticipate the past; so mind, But, here, sir; here is the picture; Beverler's young people—vur retrospection will be all to picture! [Taking a miniature from her bosom.] the future.
which I have worn, night and day, in spite of Sir Anth. Come, we must leave them toge- threats and entreaties. There, sir, [ Flings it to ther. Mrs Malaprop, they long to fly into cach him, and be assured I throw the original from other's arins, I warrant. Jack, is not the cheek as my hcart as easily. I said, hey? and the eye, you rogue ! and the Abs. Nay, nay, madam; we will not differ as lip: hey? Come, Mrs Malaprop, we'll not dis- to that-lere, [Taking out a picture.] here is turb their tendernesstheir's is the time of life Miss Lydia Languish. What a difference! aye, for happiness (Sings.].
there is the heavenly assenting smile, that first
gave soul and spirit to my hopes ! those are the Youth's the season made for joy.
lips, which sealed a vow, as yet scarce dry in Cupid's calendar ; and there, the half resentiul
blush, that would have checked the ardour of blood of the Absolutes was always impatient ! my thanks—Well
, all that's past—all over, in- Ha, ha, ha! poor little Lydia! "Why, you've deed. There, madam! in beauty, that copy is frightened her, you dog, you have, not equal to you; but, in my mind, it's merit over Abs. By all that's good, sir the original, in being still the same, is such-that Sir Anth. Zounds! say no more, I tell you. -I cannot find in my heart to part with it. Mrs Malaprop shall make your peace. You must
(Puts it up again. make his peace, Mrs Malaprop : you must tell Lydia. [Softening.] 'Tis your own doing, sir. her 'tis Jack's way; tell her 'tis all our ways-it I, I, I suppose you are perfectly satisfied ? runs in the blood of our family! Come away,
Abs. 0, most certainly! sure, now, this is Jack-Ha, ha, ha! Mrs Malaprop-a young vilmuch better than being in love-ha, ha, ha! lain !
[Pushes him out. there's some spirit in this! What signifies break Mrs Mal. O, sir Anthony ! O tie, captain ! ing some scores of solemn promises : all that is of
[E.reunt severally. no consequence, you know. To be sure people will say, that Miss did not know her own mind
SCENE IV.--The North Parade. but never mind that; or, perhaps, they may be ill-natured enough to hint, that the gentleman
Enter Sır LUCIUS O'TRIGGER. grew tired of the lady and forsookher-but Sir Luc. I wonder where this captain Absodon't let that fret you.
lute hides himself! Upon my conscience! these Lydia. There's no bearing this insolence. officers are always in one's way in love affairs :
[Bursts into tears. I remember I might have married lady Dorothy
Carmine, if it had not been for a little rogue of Enter Mrs MalaPROP and SIR ANTHONY.
a major, who ran away with her before she could Mrs Mal. (Entering.) Come, we must inter- get a sight of me! And I wonder, too, what it is rupt your billing and cooing a while.
the ladies can see in them to be so fond of them! Lydiu. This is worse than your treachery and Unless it be a touch of the old serpent in them, déceit, you base ingrate !
(Sobbing. that makes the little creatures be caught, like Sir Anth. What the devil's the matter now? ripers, with a bit of red cloth. Hah! isn't this Zounds, Mrs Malaprop, this is the oddest billing the captain coming? faith it is ! There is a proand cooing I ever heard ! but what the deuce is bability of succeeding about that fellow, that is the meaning of it? I am quite astonished ! mighty provoking! Who the devil is he talking Abs. Ask the lady, sir.
[Steps aside. Mrs Mul. O, mercy, I am quite analysed for
Enter CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE. my part! Why, Lydia, what is the reason of this?
Abs. To what fine purpose I have been plotLydia. Ask the gentleman, madam.
ting! a noble reward for all my schemes, upon Sir Anth. Zounds! I shall be in a phrenzy! my soul ! a little gypsey! I did not think her rowhy, Jack, you are not come out to be any one mance could have made her so damned absurd else, are you?
either. 'Sdeath, I never was in a worse humour Mrs Mal. Aye, sir, there's no more trick, is in my life! I cou'd cut my own throat, or any there? you are not like Cerberus, three gentle- other person's, with the greatest pleasure in the men at once, are you?
world! Abs. You'll not let me speak- I say the lady Sir Luc. O, faith, I'm in the luck of it! I necan account for this much better than I can. ver could have found him in a sweeter temper
Lydia. Madain, you once commanded me ne for my purpose; to be sure, I'm just come in the ver to think of Beverley again ; there is the man; nick ! now to enter into conversation with him, I now obey you : for, from this moment, I re and so quarrel genteely. nounce him for ever.
(Sir Lucius goes up to ABSOLUTE. Airs Mal. O mercy and miracles! what a With regard to that matter, captain, I inust beg turn here is ! why, sure captain, you haven't be leave to differ in opinion with you. haved disrespectfully to my niece?
Abs. Upon my word, then, you must be a very Sir Anth. Ha, ha, ha! Ha, ha, ha! now I see subtle disputant; because, sir, I happened just it! Ha, ha, ha! cow I see it! You have been then to be giving no opinion at ali. too lively, Jack.
Sir Luc. That's no reason. For, give me leave Abs. Nay, sir, upon my word!
to tell you, a man may think an untruth as well Sir Anth. Come, no lying, Jack. I'm sure as speak one. 'twas so.
Abs. Very true, sir; but if a man never utters Mrs Mal. O Lud! Sir Anthony ! O fie, Cap- his thoughts, I should think they might stand a tain !
chance of escaping controversy. Abs. Upon my soul, madam
Sir Luc. Then, sir, you differ in opinion with Sir Anih. Come, no excuses, Jack! why, me, which amounts to the same thing. your father, you rogue, was so before you : the Abs. Hark'e, sir Lucius; if I had not before