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SIR ANTHONY ABSOLUTE.
Scene 1.-A Street at Bath.
COACHMAN crosses the stage.--Enter Fag, looking after
him. WHAT! Thomas! Sure 'tis he!– What! Thomas ! Thomas !
Coachm. 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?
Coachm. Sure, Master, Madan Julia, Harry, Mrs. Kate, and the postillion, be all come.
Coachm. Ay: master thought another fit of the gout was coming to make him a visit, so he'd a mind to g'it the slip, and whip! we were all off at an hour's warning
Fag. Ay, ay; hasty in every thing, or it would not be Sir Anthony Absolute. Coachm. But tell us, Mr. Fag, how does young
Master? Odd, Sir Anthony will stare, to see the Captain here!
Fug. I do not serve Captain Absolute now.
Fag. At present, I am employed by Ensign Beverley.
Coachm. I doubt, Mr. Fag, you han't changed for the better.
Fag. I have not changed, Thomas.
Fag. No. Well, honest Thomas, I must puzzle you no further ;-briefly then-Captain Absolute and Ensign Beverley are one and the same person.
Coachm. But, pray, why does your master pass only for ensign ?- now, if he had shammed general, indeed
Fag. Ah, Thomas ! there lies the mystery o’the matter !-Harkye, 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, than if she knew he was son and heir to Sir Anthony Absolute, a baronet of three thousand a year.
Coachm. That is an odd taste, indeed! but has she got the stuff, Mr. Fag? is she rich, eh?
Fag. Rich! why, I believe, she owns half the stocks!
Z- -s, 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 !
Coachm. 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.
Fag. Miss Lydia Languish.—But there is an old tough annt in the way—though, by the by, she has never seen my master- for he got acquainted with Miss while on a visit in Gloucestershire.
Coachm. Well, I wish they were once harnessed together in matrimony. But, pray, Mr. Fag, what kind
of a place is this Bath? I ha' heard a great deal of it;-here's a mort o' merry making, eh?
Fag. Pretty well, Thomas, pretty well—'tis a good lounge-but dan the place, I'm tired of it; their regular hours stupify me-not a fiddle or a card after eleven! however, Mr. Faulkland's gentleman and I keep it up a little in private parties;- I'll introduce you there, Thomas, you'll like him much.-But, Thomas, you must polish a little-indeed you must:-Here, now, this wig! what, the devil, do you do with a wig, Thomas? none of the London whips, of any degree of ton, wear wigs now.
Coachm. More's the pity, more's the pity, I sayOdds 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 lookye, I'll never gi' up mine, the lawyers and doctors may do as they will.
Fag. Well, Thomas, we'll not quarrel about that.
Coachm. Why, bless you, the gentlemen of they 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 nis bob, though all the college should appear with their own heads!
Fag. Indeed! well said, Dick! but hold, markmark, Thomas !
Coachm. 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.
Coachm. Odd, he's giving her money !-Well, Mr. Fag
Fag. Good b'ye, Thomas; I have an appointment in Gyde's porch this evening at eight; meet me there, and we'll make a little party.
Scene II.-A Dressing Room in Mrs. MALAPROP's
Lydia LANGUISH sitting on a sofa, with a book in her
hand.-Lucy, as just returned from a message. Lucy. Indeed, ma'am, I traversed half the town in search of it: I don't believe there's a circulating library in Bath I han't been at.
Lydia. And could not you get“ The Reward of Constancy?"
Lucy. No, indeed, ma'am.
Lucy. Ma'am, as ill luck would have it, Mr. Bull said, Miss Sukey Saunter had just fetched it away.
Lydia. Heigho! Did you inquire for“ The Delicate Distress ?"
Lucy. Or, " The Memoirs of Lady Woodford ?" Yes, indeed, ma'am, I asked every where 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 wan't fit for a Christian to read.
Lydia. Heigho! 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 kloak, and from her pockets.] This is “ The Man of