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been so exceedingly well-what then she has been merry and gay, I suppose ?-Always in spirits-hey?

Acres. Merry, odds crickets ! she has been the belle and spirit of the company wherever she has been-so lively and entertaining ! so full of wit and humour !

Faulk. There, Jack, there. -Oh, by my soul! there is an innate levity in woman that nothing can overcome.--What! happy, and I away.!

Abs. Have done !-How foolish this is ! just now you were only apprehensive for your mistress' spirits.

Faulk. Why, Jack, have I been the joy and spirit of the company?

Abs. No, indeed, you have not.
Faulk. Have I been lively and entertaining ?
Abs. Oh, upon my word, I acquit you.
Faulk. Have I been full of wit and humour ?

Abs. No, faith, to do you justice, you have been confoundedly stupid indeed.

Acres. What's the matter with the gentleman ?

Abs. He is only expressing his great satisfaction at hearing that Julia has been so well and happy—that's all—hey, Faulkland?

Faulk. Oh ! I am rejoiced to hear it-yes, yes, she has a happy disposition !

Acres. That she has indeed-then she is so accomplished so sweet a voice—so expert at her harpsichord-such a mistress of flat and sharp, squallante, rumblante, and quiverante !There was this time month-odds minims and crotchets ! how she did chirrup at Mrs. Piano's concert !

Faulk. There again, what say you to this ? you see she has been all mirth and song—not a thought of me!

Abs. Pho! man, is not music the food of love?

Faulk. Well, well, it may be so.—Pray, Mr. -, what's his damned name ?-Do you remember what songs Miss Melville sung ?

Acres. Not I indeed.

Abs. Stay, now, they were some pretty melancholy purlingstream airs, I warrant; perhaps you may recollect;

did she sing, When absent from my soul's delight?

Acres. No, that wa’n't it.
Abs. Or, Go, gentle gales !

[Sings. Acres. Oh, no! nothing like it. Odds ! now I recollect one of them—My heart's my own, my will is free.

[Sings. Faulk. Fool fool that I am! to fix all my happiness on such a trifler! 'Sdeath! to make herself the pipe and ballad

wonger of a circle !. toʻsoothe her light heart with catches and glees !--What can you say to this, sir?

Abs. Why, that I should be glad to hear my mistress had been so merry, sir.

Faulk. Nay, nay, nay—I'm not sorry that she has been happy-no, no, I am glad of that I would not have had her sad or sick-yet surely a sympathetic heart would have shown itself even in the choice of a song--she might have been temperately healthy, and somehow, plaintively gay ;--but she has been dancing too, I doubt not !

Acres. What does the gentleman say about dancing ?
Abs. He says the lady we speak of dances as well as she sings.
Acres. Ay, truly, does she--there was at our last race ball-

Faulk. Hell and the devil ! There !-there--I told you so ! I told you so! Oh! she thrives in my absence ! Dancing ! But her whole feelings have been in opposition with mine ;-I have been anxious, silent, pensive, sedentary—my days have been hours of care, my nights of watchfulness. She has been all health ! spirit I laugh! song ! dance !-Oh! damned, damned levity!

Abs. For heaven's sake, Faulkland, don't expose yourself so !-Suppose she has danced, what then ?-does not the ceremony of society often oblige—

Faulk. Well, well, I'll contain myself-perhaps as you sayfor form sake.--What, Mr. Acres, you were praising Miss Melville's manner of dancing a minuet-hey?

Acres. Oh, I dare insure her for that—but what I was going to speak of was her country-dancing. Odds swimmings ! she has such an air with her !

Faulk. Now disappointment on her !-Defend this, Absolute ; why don't you defend this ?-Country-dances ! jigs and reels ! am I to blame now? A minuet I could have forgiven -I should not have minded that I say I should not have regarded a minuet—but country-dances !-Zounds ! had she made one in a cotillon-I believe I could have forgiven even that-but to be monkey-led for a night to run the gauntlet through a string of amorous palming puppies !—to show paces like a managed filly !-Oh, Jack, there never can be but one man in the world whom a truly modest and delicate woman vught to pair with in a country-dance; and, even then, the rest of the couples should be her great-uncles and aunts !

Abs. Ay, to be sure !-grandfathers and grandmothers ! Faulk. If there be but one vicious mind in the set, 'twill spread like a contagion--the action of their pulse heats to the


lascivious movement of the jig--their quivering, warm-breathed sighs impregnate the very air--the atmosphere becomes electrical to love, and each amorous spark darts through every link of the chain I must leave you—I own I am somewhat flurried —and that confounded looby has perceived it.

[Going Abs. Nay, but stay, Faulkland, and thank Mr. Acres for his : good news. Faulk. Damn his news !


. · Abs. Ha ! ha! ha! poor Faulkland five minutes since-t, “nothing on earth could give him a moment's uneasiness !"

Acres. The gentleman wa’n't angry at my praising his mistress, was he ?

Abs. A little jealous, I believe, Bob.

Acres. You don't say so? Ha! ha! jealous of me—that's a good joke.

Abs. There's nothing strange in that, Bob; let me tell you, that sprightly grace and insinuating manner of yours will do some mischief among the girls here.

Acres. Ah! you joke-ha! ha! mischief-ha! ha! but you: 1 know I am not my own property, my dear Lydia has forestalled

She could never abide me in the country, because I used to dress so badly--but odds frogs and tambours! I shan't take: matters so here, now ancient madam has no voice in it: I'll make my old clothes know who's master, I shall straightway. cashier the hunting-frock, and render my leather breeches incapable. My hair has been in training some time.

Abs. Indeed !

Acres. Ay—and tho'ff the side curls are a little restive, my: hind-part takes it very kindly. Abs. Oh, you'll polish, I doubt not.

Acres. Absolutely I propose so—then if I can find out this Ensign Beverley, odds triggers and flints ! I'll make him know the difference o't.

Abs. Spoke like a man! But pray, Bob, I observe you have got an odd kind of a new method of swearing

Acres. Ha ! ha! you've taken notice of it'tis genteel, isn't it !—I didn't invent it myself though; but a commander in our militia, a great scholar, I assure you, says that there is no meaning in the common oaths, and that nothing but their antiquity makes them respectable ;—because, he says, the ancients would never stick to an oath or two, but would say, by Jove ! or by Bacchus ! or by Mars ! or by Venus ! or by Pallas, according to the sentiment: so that to swear with propriety, says my little

not expect it, for I was going to write to you though I did

major, the oath should be an echo to the sense; and this we call the oath referential or sentimental swearingha! ha! 'tis genteel, isn't it?

Abs. Very genteel, and very new, indeed and I dare say will supplant all other figures of imprecation.

Acres. Ay, ay, the best terms will grow obsolete.-Damus have had their day.

Re-enter FAG.
Fag. Sir, there is a gentleman below desires to see you.-
Shall I show him into the parlour ?

Abs. Ay-you may.
Acres. Well, I must be gone-
Abs. Stay; who is it, Fag?
Fag. Your father, sir.
Abs. You puppy, why didn't you show him up directly?

[Exit FAG. Acres. You have business with Sir Anthony.-I expect a message from Mrs. Malaprop at my lodgings. I have sent also to my dear friend, Sir Lucius O'Trigger. Adieu, Jack ! we must meet at night, when you shall give me a dozen bumpers to little Lydia.

Abs. That I will with all my heart.-[Exit ACRES.] Now for a parental lecture--I hope he has heard nothing of the business that has brought me here-I wish the gout had held him fast in Devonshire, with all my soul !

Enter SIR ANTHONY ABSOLUTE. Sir, I am delighted to see you here ; looking so wi! your sudden arrival at Bath made me apprehensive for your health.

Sir Anth. Very apprehensive, I dare say, Jack.-What, you are recruiting here, hey ?

Abs. Yes, sir, I am on duty.
Sir Anth. Well, Jack, I am glad to see you,

a little matter of business. — Jack, I have been considering that I grow old and infirm, and shall probably not trouble you long.

Abs. Pardon me, sir, I never saw you look more strong and hearty; and I pray frequently that you may continue so.

Sir Anth. I hope your prayers may be heard, with all my heart. Well then, Jack, I have been considering that I am so strong and hearty I may continue to plague you a long time. Now, Jack, I am sensible that the income of your commission, and what I have hitherto allowed you, is but a small pittance for a lad of your spirit


Abs. Sir, you are very good.

Sir Anth. And it is my wish, while yet I live, to have my boy make some figure in the world. I have resolved, therefore, to fix you at once in a noble independence.

Abs. Sir, your kindness overpowers me—such generosity makes the gratitude of reason more lively than the sensations even of filial affection.

Sir Anth. I am glad you are so sensible of my attentionand you shall be master of a large estate in a few weeks.

Abs. Let my future life, sir, speak my gratitude; I cannot express the sense I have of your munificence.--Yet, sir, I presume you would not wish me to quit the army?

Sir Anth. Oh, that shall be as your wife chooses.
Abs. My wife, sir !

Sir Anth. Ay, ay, settle that between you—settle that be. tween you.

Abs, A wife, sir, did you say?
Sir Anth. Ay, a wife—why, did not I mention her before ?
Abs. Not a word of her, sir.

Sir Anth. Odd so !-I mustn't forget her, though.— Yes, Jack, the independence I was talking of is by a marriage-the fortune is saddled with a wife—but I suppose that makes no difference.

Abs. Sir! sir !-you amaze me !

Sir Anth. Why, what the devil's the matter with the fool ? Just now you were all gratitude and duty.

Abs. I was, sir--you talked to me of independence and a fortune, but not a word of a wife.

Sir Anth. Why, what difference does that make? Odds life, sir ! if you have the estate, you must take it with the live stock ca it, as it stands.

Abs. If my happiness is to be the price, I must beg leave to decline the purchase.—Pray, sir, who is the lady?

Sir Anth. What's that to you, sir ?_Come, give me you promise to love, and to marry her directly.

Abs. Sure, sir, this is not very reasonable, to summon my affections for a lady I know nothing of !

Sir Anth. I am sure, sir, 'tis more unreasonable in you to object to a lady you know siothing of. Abs. Then, sir, I must tell you plainly that my

inclinations are fixed on another-my heart is engaged to an angel.

Sir Anth. Then pray let it send an excuse. It is very sorry -but business prevents its waiting on her. Abs. But my vows are pledged to her.


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