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The Pilgrim's Progress, and a sprig of rue !
Such dire encroachments to prevent in time,
SCENE I. -A Street. Enter THOMAS; he crosses the Slage; FAG follows, looking after
ht. . Fag. What! Thomas ! sure 'tis he ?-What! Thomas ! Thomas!
Thos. Hey !-Odd's life! Mr. Fag!--give us your hand, my old fellow-servant.
Fag. Excuse my glove, Thomas :--I'm devilish glad to see you, my lad. Why, my prince of charioteers, you look as hearty ! but who the deuce thought of seeing you in Bath?
Thos. Sure, master, Madam Julia, Harry, Mrs. Kate, and the postilion, be all come.
Thos. Ay, master thought another fit of the gout was coming to make him a visit ;-so he'd a mind to gi't the slip, and whip! we were all off at an hour's warning.
Fag. Ay, ay, hasty in everything, or it would not be Sir Anthony Absolute !
* Pointing to Tragedy.
Thos. But tell us, Mr. Fag, how does young master? Odd!
Fag. No.--Well, honest Thomas, I must puzzle you no farther :-briefly then-Captain Absolute and Ensign Beverley are one and the same person.
7 kos. The devil they are !
Fag. So it is indeed, Thomas; and the ensign half of my master being on guard at present—the captain has nothing to do with me.
Thos. So, so !--What, this is some freak, I warrant !-Do tell us, Mr. Fag, the meaning o't--you know I ha' trusted you.
Fag. You'll be secret, Thomas ?
Fag. Why then the cause of all this is-Love,-Love, Thomas, who (as yo!i may get read to you) has been a masquerader ever since the days of Jupiter.
Thos. Ay, ay ;-I guessed there was a lady in the case :but pray, why does your master pass only for ensign ?-Now if he had shammel general indeed
Fag. Ah! Thomas, there lies the mystery oʻthe matter. Hark'ee, Thomas, my master is in love with a lady of a very singular taste: a lady who likes him better as a half-pay ensign tlan if she knew he was son and heir to Sir Anthony Absolute, a baronet of three thousand a year.
Tros. That is an odd taste indeed !But has she got the stuff, Mr. Fag? Is she rich, hey?
Fag. Rich !—Why, I believe she owns half the stocks ! Zounds! Thomas, she could pay the national debt as easily as I could my washerwoman! She has a lapdog that eats out of gold, --she feeds her parrot with small pearls,--and all her thread-papers are made of bank-notes !
Thos. Bravo, faith !-Odd! I warrant she has a set of thousands at least :-but does she draw kindly with the captain ? Fag. As fond as pigeons. Thos. May one hear her name? Fag. Miss Lydia Languish.--But there is an old tough aunt
in the way; though, by-the-by, she has never seen my master.me for we got acquainted with miss while on a visit in Gloucestershire.
Thos. Well—I wish they were once harnessed together in matrimony.-But pray, Mr. Fag, what kind of a place is this Bath ?-1 ha' heard a deal of it—here's a morto merrymaking, hey?
Fag. Pretty well, Thomas, pretty well—'tis a good lounge; in the morning we go to the pump-room (though neither my master nor I drink the waters); after breakfast we saunter on the parades, or play a game at billiards ; at night we dance ; but damn the place, I'm tired of it: their regular hours stupify me-not a fiddle nor a card after eleven !-However, Mr. Faulkland's gentle.nan and I keep it up a little in private partiesPll introduce you there, Thomas---you'll like him much.
Thos. Sure I know Mr. Du-Peigne-you know his master is to marry Madam Julia.
Fug. I had forgot.—But, Thomas, you must polish a littleindeed you must.—Here now—this wig !—What the devil do you do with a wig, Thomas ?-None of the London whips of of any degree of ton wear wigs now.
Thos. More's the pity! more's the pity! I say.- Odd's life ! when I heard how the lawyers and doctors had took to their own hair, I thought how 'twould go next :-odd rabbit it ! when the fashion had got foot on the bar, I guessed 'twould mount to the box !—but 'tis all out of character, believe me, Mr. Fag: and look'ee, I'll never gi' up mine—the lawyers and doctors may do as they will. Fag. Well
, Thomas, we'll not quarrel about that. Thos. Why, bless you, the gentlemen of the professions ben't all of a mind—for in our village now, thoff Jack Gauge, the exciseman, has ta’en to his carrots, there's little Dick the farrier swears he'll never forsake his bob, though all the college should appear with their own heads !
Fag. Indeed! well said, Dick !—but hold-mark! mark ! Thomas.
Thos. Zooks! 'tis the captain.—Is that the lady with him ?
Fag. No no, that is Madam Lucy, my master's mistress's maid. They lodge at that house-but I must after him to tell him the news.
Thos. Odd! he's giving her money !_Well, Mr. Fag-
porch this evening at eight; meet me there, and we'll make a little party.
(Exeuni severuil)'. SCENE II.-A Dressing room in Mrs. MALAPROP's Lodgingr. LYDIA sitting on a sofa, with a book in her hand. Lucy, as just
returned from a message.
Lyd. And could not you get The Reward of Constancy ?
have it, Mr. Bull said Miss Sukey Saunter had just fetched it away.
Lyd. Heigh-ho! Did you inquire for The Delicate Distress?
Lucy. Or, The Memoirs of Lady Woodford? Yes, indeed, ma'am. I asked everywhere for it; and I might have brought it from Mr. Frederick's, but Lady Slattern Lounger, who had just sent it home, had so soiled and dog's-eared it, it wa’n't fit for a Christian to read.
Lyd. Heigh-ho !—Yes, I always know when Lady Slattern has been before me. She has a most observing thumb; and, I believe, cherishes her nails for the convenience of making marginal notes.-Well, child, what have you brought me ?
Lucy. Oh! here, ma'am.-[Taking books from under her cloak, and from her pockets.] This is The Gordian Knot,-and this Peregrine Pickle. Here are The Tears of Sensibility, and Humphrey Clinker. This is The Memoirs of a Lady of Quality, written by herself, and here the second volume of The Senti mental Journey
Lyd. Heigh-ho !What are those books by the glass ?
Lucy. The great one is only The Whole Duty of Man, where
Lyd. Very well-give me the sal volatile.
Lyd. Hold !-here's some one coming-quick ! see who it is [Exit Lucy.] Surely, I heard my cousin Julia's voice.
Enter JULIA. Lyd. My dearest Julia, how delighted am I !--[Embrace.] How unexpected was this happiness!
Jul. True, Lydia--and our pleasure is the greater. But what has been the matter ?-you were denied to me at first !
Lyd. Ah, Julia, I have a thousand things to tell you !-But first inform me what has conjured you to Bath Is Sir Anthony here? Tul. He is— :-we are arrived within this hour and I
suppose he will be here to wait on Mrs. "Malaprop as soon as he is dressed.
Lyd. Then before we are interrupted, let me impart to you some of my distress !-I know your gentle nature will sympathize with me, though your prudence may condemn me ! My letters have informed you of my whole connection with Beverley; but I have lost him, Julia ! My aunt has discovered our intercourse by a note she intercepted, and has confined me ever since! Yet, would you believe it? she has absolutely fallen in love with a' tall Irish baronet she met one night since we have si been here; at Lady Macshuffle's rout.
Jul. You jest, Lydia !
Lyd. No, upon my word.—She really carries on a kind of a correspondence with him, under a feigned name though, till she chooses to be known to him ;—but it is a Delia or a Celia, I assure you.
Jul. Then, surely, she is now more indulgent to her niece.
Since she has discovered her own frailty, she is become more suspicious of mine." - T 1. must inform you of another plague !-That odious Acres is to be in Bath to-day; so that I protest I shall be teased out of all: spirits !
Jul. Come, come, Lydia, hope for the best-Sir Anthony shall use his interest with Mrs. Malaprop.
-yd. But you have not heard the worst. Unfortunately I had quarrelled with my poor Beverley, just before my aunt made the discovery, and I have not seen him since to make
Jul. What was his offence ? Lyd. Nothing at all !—But, I don't know how it was, as often as we had been together, we had never had a quarrel, and, somehow, I was afraid he would never give me an opportunity. So, last Thursday, I wrote a letter to myself, to inform myself that Beverley was at that time paying his addresses to another woman I signed it your friend unknown, showed it