페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

devil are you

pect !

Mrs. Mal. For shame, hussy! for shame! your head runs so on that fellow, that you have him always in your eyes !-beg Captain Absolute's pardon directly.

Lyd. I see no Captain Absolute, but my loved Beverley!

Sir Anth. Zounds! the girl's mad her brain's turned by reading.

Mrs. Mal. O' my conscience, I believe so !-What do you mean by Beverley, hussy ?-You saw Captain Absolute before to-day; there he is—your husband that shall be.

Lyd. With all my soul, ma'am--when I refuse my Bever: ley

Sir Anth. Oh! she's as mad as Bedlam !-or has this fellow been playing us a rogue's trick —Come here, sirrah, who the

? Abs. Faith, sir, I am not quite clear myself ; but I'll endeavour to recollect.

Sir Anth. Are you my son or not?--answer for your mother, you dog, if you won't for me.

Mrs. Mal. Ay, sir, who are you? O mercy! I begin to sus

Abs. (Aside.] Ye powers of impudence, befriend me ! [Aloud.] Sir Anthony, most assuredly I am your wife's son, and that I sincerely believe myself to be yours also, I hope my duty has always shown.—Mrs. Malaprop, I am your most respectful admirer, and shall be proud to add affectionate nephew. --I need not tell my Lydia, that she sees her faithful Beverley, who, knowing the singular generosity of her temper, assumed that name and station, which has proved a test of the most disinterested love, which he now hopes to enjoy in a more elevated character.

Lyd. So !-there will be no elopement after all ! [Sullenly. Sir Anth. Upon my soul, Jack, thou art a very impudent fellow ! to do you justice, I think I never saw a piece of more consummate assurance !

Abs. Oh, you flatter me, sir-you compliment—'tis my modesty you know, sir-my modesty that has stood in my way.

Sir Anth. Well, I am glad you are not the dull, insensible varlet you pretended to be, however I'm glad you have made a fool of your father, you dog~I am. So this was your penitence, your duty and obedience ! -I thought it was damned sudden !-- You never heard their names before, not you what, the Languishes of Worcestershire, hey--if you could please me in the affair it was all you desired !-Ah! you dissembling villain !

What !- [Pointing to LYDIA she squints, don't she I-a little redhaired girld-hey?—Why, you hypocritical young rascal !—I wonder you an't ashamed to hold up your head !

Abs. 'Tis with difficulty, sir.—I am confused-very much confused, as you must perceive.

Mrs. Mal. O Lud ! Sir Anthony !-a new light breaks in upon me!-hey !--- how! what ! captain, did you write the letters then P_Whatam I to thank you for the elegant compilation of an old weather-beaten she-dragon-hey!-O mercy was it you that reflected on my parts of speech?

Abs. Dear sir ! my modesty will be overpowered at last, if you don't assist me I shall certainly not be able to stand it !

Sir Anth. Come, come, Mrs. Malaprop, we must forget and forgive ;-odds life ! matters have taken so clever a turn all of a sudden, that I could find in my heart to be so good-humoured ! and so gallant ! hey! Mrs. Malaprop !

Mrs. Mal. Well, Sir Anthony, since you desire it, we will not anticipate the past !so mind, young peopleếour retrospection will be all to the future.

Sir Anth. Come, we must leave them together; Mrs. Malaprop, they long to fly into each other's arms, I warrant ! Jack-isn't the cheek as I said, hey ?-and the eye, you rogue ! -and the lip—hey? Come, Mrs. Malaprop, we'll not disturb their tenderness—theirs is the time of life for happiness ! Youth's the season made for joy--[Sings]-hey !-Odds life! I'm in such spirits,- I don't know what I could not do !-Permit me, ma'am-[Gives his hand to MRS. MALAPROP.) Tol-derol-'gad, I should like to have a little fooling myself-Tol-derol! de-rol.

[Exit, singing and handing MRS. MALAPROP.-LYDIA sits

sullenly in her chair. Abs. (Aside.) So much thought bodes me no good.—[Aloud.] So grave, Lydia !

Lyd. Sir!

Abs. (Aside.] So !egad! I thought as much !-that damned monosyllable has froze me !--[Aloud.] What, Lydia, now that we are as happy in our friends' consent, as in our mutual vowsLyd. Friends' consent indeed !

[Peevishly. Abs. Come, come, we must lay aside some of our romancea little and comfort may be endured after all. And for your fortune, the lawyers shall make such settlements as

Lyd. Lawyers! I hate lawyers !

Abs. Nay, then, we will not wait for their lingering forms, but instantly procure the licence, and

[ocr errors]

141 Lyd. The licence !-I hate licence !

Abs. Oh my love ! be not so unkind !-thus let me entreat

[Kneeling. Lyd. Psha !--what signifies kneeling, when you know I must have you ?

Abs. [Rising.] Nay, madame, there shall be no constraint upon your inclinations, I promise you.- If I have lost your heart-I resign the rest—[Aside.] 'Gad, I must try what a little spirit will do.

Lyd. (Rising:] Then, sir, let me tell you, the interest you had there was acquired by a mean, unmanly imposition, and deserves the punishment of fraud.—What, you have been treating me like a child !-humouring my romance ! and laughing, I suppose, at your success ! Abs. You wrong me, Lydia, you wrong me-only hear

Lyd. So, while I fondly imagined we were deceiving my relations, and flattered myself that I should outwit and incense them all—behold my hopes are to be crushed at once, by my aunt's consent and approbation-and I am myself the only dupe at last !-[Walking about in a heat.] But here, sir, here is the picture-Beverley's picture ! (taking a miniature from her bosom which I have worn, night and day, in spite of threats and entreaties !—There, sir ; [flings it to him] and be assured I throw the original from my heart as easily.

Abs. Nay, nay, ma'am, we will not differ as to that.--Here, (taking out a picture] here is Miss Lydia Languish.—What a difference !-ay, there is the heavenly assenting smile that first gave soul and spirit to my hopes !—those are the lips which sealed a vow, as yet scarce dry in Cupid's calendar! and there the half-resentful blush, that would have checked the ardour of my thanks !-Well, all that's past ?—all over indeed !—There, madame-in beauty, that copy is not equal to you, but in my mind its merit over the original, in being still the same, is such --that-I cannot find in my heart to part with it.

[Puts it up again. Lyd. [Softening.] 'Tis your own doing, sir-I, I, I suppose you are perfectly satisfied.

Abs. O, most certainly-sure, now, this is much better than being in love !-ha! ha! ha!--there's some spirit in this !What signifies breaking some scores of solemn promises :--all that's of no consequence, you know.—To be sure people will say, that miss don't know her own mind-but never mind that! Or, perhaps, they may be ill-natured enough to hint, that the gentleman grew tired of the lady and forsook her but don't let that fret you.

Lyd. There is no bearing his insolence. [Bursts into tears.

Re-enter MRS. MALAPROP and SIR ANTHONY ABSOLUTE. Mrs. Mal. Come, we must interrupt your billing and cooing awhile.

Lyd. This is worse than your treachery and deceit, you base ingrate!

Sobbing: Sir Anth. What the devil's the matter now?-Zounds ! Mrs. Malaprop, this is the oddest billing and cooing I ever heard ! —but what the deuce is the meaning of it?--I am quite astonished !

Abs. Ask the lady, sir.

Mrs. Mal. O mercy!- I'm quite analyzed, for my part ! Why, Lydia, what is the reason of this ?

Lyd. Ask the gentleman, ma'am.

Sir Anth. Zounds! I shall be in a frenzy "Why, Jack, you are not come out to be any one else, are you?

Mrs. Mal. Ay, sir, there's no more trick, is there ?-you-are not like Cerberus, three gentlemen at once, are you?

Abs. You'll not let me speak--I say the lady can account for this much better than I can.

Lyd. Ma'am, you once commanded me never to think of Beverley again-there is the man-I now obey you : for, from this moment, I renounce him for ever.

(Exit. Mrs. Mal. O mercy! and miracles ! what a turn here iswhy sure, captain, you haven't behaved disrespectfully to my niece ?

Sir Anth. Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!—now I see it. Ha! ha! ha!-now I see it-you have been too lively, Jack.

Abs. Nay, sir, upon my word
Sir Anth. Come, no lying, Jack--I'm sure 'twas so.
Mrs. Mal. O Lud! Sir Anthony !-0 fy, captain!
Abs. Upon my soul, ma'am

Sir Anth. Come, no excuse, Jack ; why, your father, you rogue, was so before you :-the blood of the Absolutes was always impatient.-Ha! ha! ha! poor little Lydia! why, you've frightened her, you dog, you have.

Abs. By all that's good, sir

Sir Anth. Zounds! say no more, I tell you-Mrs. Malaprop shall make your peace. You must make his peace, Mrs. Malaprop :-you must tell her 'tis Jack's way-tell her 'tis all our ways—it runs in the blood of our family!--Come away, JackHa! ha! ha! Mrs. Malaprop--a young villain !

[Pushing him out

1

Mrs. Mal. 0! Sir Anthony!-O fy, captain !

[Exeunt severally SCENE III.-The North Parade.

Enter Sir LUCIUS O’TRIGGER. Sir Luc. I wonder where this Captain Absolute hides himself! Upon my conscience ! these officers are always in one's way in love affairs :-I remember I might have married Lady Dorothy Carmine, if it had not been for a little rogue of a major, who ran away with her before she could get a sight of me! And I wonder too what it is the ladies can see in them to be so fond of them--unless it be a touch of the old serpent in 'em, that makes the little creatures be caught, like vipers, with a bit of red cloth. Ha! isn't this the captain coming ?-faith it is !—There is a probability of succeeding about that fellow, that is mighty provoking! Who the devil is he talking to?

(Steps aside. Enter CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE. Abs. (Aside.] To what fine purpose I have been plotting! a noble reward for all my schemes, upon my soul !-a little gipsy!

- I did not think her romance could have made her so damned absurd either. 'Sdeath, I never was in a worse humour in my life !—I could cut my own throat, or any other person's, with the greatest pleasure in the world!

Sir Luc, Oh, faith! I'm in the luck of it. I never could have found him in a sweeter temper for my purpose-to-be sure I'm just come in the nick! Now to enter into conversation with him, and so quarrel genteelly.—[Goes up to CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE.] With regard to that matter, captain, I must beg leave to differ in opinion with you.

Abs. Upon my word, then, you must be a very subtle disputant :-because, sir, I happened just then to be giving no opinion at all.

Sir Luc. That's no reason. For give me leave to tell you, a man may think an untruth as well as speak one.

Abs. Very true, sir ; but if a man never utters his thoughts, I should think they might stand a chance of escaping controversy.

Sir Luc. Then, sir, you differ in opinion with me, which amounts to the same thing.

Abs. Hark'ee, Sir Lucius; if I had not before known you to be a gentleman, upon my soul, I should not have discovered it at this interview: for what you can drive at, unless you mean to q iarrel with me, I cannot conceive!

« 이전계속 »