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Lucy. Well, you may laugh, but it is true, I assare you. [Going] But, Mr. Fag, tell your master not to be cast down by tbis.
Fag. Ob, be'll be so disconsolate !
Fug. Never fear-never fear.
SCENE I. The North Parade.
Enter CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE. Capt. Abs. 'Tis just as Fag told me, indeed !Whimsical enough, 'faith! My fatber wants to force me to narry the very girl I am plotting to run away with! He must not know of my connexion with her yet awhile. He has too summary a method of proceeding in these matters ; bowever, I'll read my recantation instantly. My conversion is something sudden indeed; but I can assore you, it is rery sin
-So, so, bere he comes – be looks plaguy grust!
(Steps aside. Enter SiR ANTHONY APSOLUTE. Sir Anth. No—I'll sooner die than forgive him ! Die, did I say? I'll live these fifty years, lo plague bim. At our last meeting, his impudence bad almost put me out of temper-An obstinate, passionate, self-willed boy! Who can be take after ? This is my return for getting him before all his brotbers and sisters; for putting bim, at twelve years old, into a
marching regiment, and allowing bim fifty pounds a year, besides bis pay, ever since! But I have done with him-he's anybody's son for me, I never will see him more-never-never-never-never.
Capt. Abs. Now for a penitential face !
Capt. Abs. A sincere penitent. I am come, sir, to acknowledge my error, and to submit entirely to your will.
Sir Anth. What's that ?
Capt. Abs. I have been revolving, and reflecting, and considering on your past goodness, and kindness, apd condescension to me.
Sir Anth. Well, sir?
Capt. Abs. I have been likewise weigbing, and balancing, what you were pleased to mention, concerning duty, and obedience, and authority. Sir Anth. Well, poppy?
Capt. Abs. Why, then, sir, the result of my reflections is, a resolution to sacrifice every inclination: of my own to your satisfaction.
Sir Anth. Why, now you talk sense, absolute sense ; I never heard any thing more sensible in my life. Confound you! you shall be Jack again.
Capt. Abs. I am happy in the appellation.
Sir Anth. Why then, Jack, my dear Jack, I will now inform you who the lady really is. Notbing but your passion and violence, you silly fellow, prevented me telling you at first. Prepare, Jack, for wonder and raptare-prepare. What think you of Miss • Lydia Languish ?
Capt. Abs. Languisb! What, the Languishes of Worcestershire.
Sir Anth. Worcestershire ! no. Did you never meet Mrs. Malaprop, and her niece, Miss Languish, who came into our country just before you were last
ordered to your regiment ?
Cupt. Abs. Malaprop! Languish! I don't remember ever to have heard the names before. Yet, stay, I think I do recollect something-Languish-Languish-She squints, don't she? -A little red-haired girl?
Sir Anth. Squints ! A red-haired girl! Z-ds! po!
Capt. Abs. Then I must bare forgot; it can't be the same person.
Sir Anth. Jack ! Jack ! what think you of blooming, love-breathing seventeen?
Capt. Abs. As to that, sir, I am quite indifferent ; if I can please you in the matter, 'tis all I desire.
Sir Anth. Nay, but Jack, sach eges! such eyes ! so innocently wild! so bashfully irresolute! Not a glance but speaks and kindles some thought of love ! Then, Jack, her cheeks ! ler cheeks, Jack! so Jeeply blushing at the insinuations of her tell-tale eyes! Then, Jack, her lips! 0, Jack, lips, smiling at their own discretion ! and if not smiling, more sweetly pouting—more lovely in sullenness! Then, Jack, her neck! 0, Jack! Jack!
Capt. Abs. And which is to be mine, sir, the nicoe or tbe aant? Sir Anth. Why, you anfeeling, insensible puppy,
I despise you. When I was of your age, such a description would have made me fly like a rocket! The auut, indeed! Odds life! when I ran away with your mother, I would not have touched any thing old or ugly to gain an empire. Capl. Abs. Not to please your father, sir?
Sir Anth. To please my father-2-ds! not to please --O, my father-Oddso !-yes, yes; if my father, indeed, had desired--that's quite another matter-Though he wasn't the iudulgent faiber that I am, Jack.
Capt. Abs. I dare say not, sir. Sir Anth. But, Jack, you are not sorry to find your mistress is so beautiful?
Cupt. Abs. Sir, I repeat it, if I please you in this affair, 'tis all I desire. Not that I think a woman the worse for being bandsomo; but, sir, if you please to recollect, you before binted something about a bump or two, one eye, and a few more graces of that kind now, without being very nice, I own I should rather choose a wife of mine to have the usual number of limbs, and a limited quantity of back; and, though one eye may be very agreeable, yet, as the prejudice has always run in favour of two, I would not wisb to affect a singularity in that article.
Sir Anth. What a pblegmatic sot it is! Why, sirralı, you are an ancborite! A vile, insensible stock! You soldier! you're a walking block, fit only to dust the company's regimentals on! Odds life, I're a great mind to marry the girl myself!
Capt. Abs. I am entirely at your disposal, sir; if you should think of addressing miss Languish yourself, 1 suppose you would have me marry the aunt; or, if you should change your mind, and take the old lady,-'tis the same to me, I'll marry the niece.
Sir Anth. Upon my word, Jack, thou’rt either a very great hypocrite, or—but, come, I know your indifference on such a subject must be all a lie, I'm sure it most-come, now, damn your demure face! come, confess, Jack, you bave been lying-ha'n't you? You have been playing the hypocrite, hey?—I'll never forgive you, if you ba'u't been lying and playing the hypocrite.
Capt. Abs. I'm sorry, sir, that the respect and duty which I bear to you should be so mistaken.
Sir Anth. Hang your respoct and daty! But, come along with me, I'll write a note to Mrs. Malaprop, and you shall visit the lady directly. Her eyes shall be the Promethean torch to you-come along, I'll never forgive you, if you don't come back, stark mad with rapture and impatience if you don't, 'egad, I'll marry the girl myself!