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Mrs. M. There, sir, an attack upon my language ! what do you think of that?—an aspersion upon my parts of speech! was ever such a brute! Sure, if I reprehend any thing in this world, it is the use of my oracular tongue, and a nice derangement of epitaphs.
Capt. Abs. He deserves to be hanged and quartered! let me see--same ridiculous vanity
Mrs. M. You need not read it again, sir!
Capt. Abs. I beg pardon, ma'am-does also lay her open to the grossest deceptions from flattery and preteuded admiration--an impodent coxcomb—so that I have a scheme to see you shortly, with the old Hurridan's consent, and even to make her a go-between in our interviews.Was ever such assurance !
Mrs. M. Did you ever hear any thing like it?He'll, elude my vigilance, will be ?-yes, yes!-ba! ha! he's very likely to enter these doors !--we'll try who can plot best!
Capt. Abs. So we will, ma'am-50 we will.-Ha! ba! ha! a conceited pappy! ha! ha! ha!..Well, but Mrs. Malaprop, as the girl seems so infatuated hy this fellow, suppose you were to wink at her corresponding with him for a little time-let her even plot an elopement with him—then do you convive at her escape-while I, just in the nick, will have the fellow laid by the heels, and fairly coolrive to carry her off in his stead.
Mrs. M. I am delighted with the scheme; never was any thing better perpetrated.
Capt. Abs. But, pray, could I not see the lady for a few minates now? --I should like to try her temper
Mrs. M. Why, I don't know-I doubt she is not prepared for a visit of this kind. There is a decorum in these matters.,
Cupt. Abs. O Lord, she won't mind me !-only tell her, Beverley,
Mrs. M. Sir!
Mrs. M. What did you say of Beverley ?
Capt. Abs. Ob, I was going to propose that you should tell her, by way of jest, that it was Beverley who was below--she'd come down fast enough thenha! ha! ha!
Mrs. M, 'Twould be a trick she well deservesbesides, you know the fellow tells her he'll get my consent to see herha! ha!--Let him if he can, I say again.–Lydia,"come down here ! [Calling] He'll wake me a go-between in their interviews !-ha! ha! ba!- Come dowa, I say, Lydia !-] don't wonder at your laughing-ba! ha! ha! bis impudence is truly ridiculous.
Capt. Abs. 'Tis very ridiculous, upon my soul, ma'am! ha! ha! ha!
Mrs. M. The little hassy won't hear. -Well, I'll go and tell ber at once who it is-she sball know that captain Absolate is como to wait on her. And I'll make her beliave as becomes a young woman.
Cupt. Abs. As you please, ma'am.
Mrs. M. For the present, captain, your servantAb, you've not done laughing yet, I see-elude my vigilance ! yes, yes-Ha! ha! ha!
[Exit. Capt. Abs. Ha! ba! ha! one would lbiok, now, that I might throw off all disguise at once, and seize my prize with security—but such is Lydia's caprice, that to undeceive, were propably to lose her. I'll see whether she knows me. [Walks aside, und seems engaged in looking at the
Enter LYDIA. Lydia. Wbat a scene am I now to go through! surely nothing can be more dreadful than to be obliged to listen to the loathsome addresses of a stranger to one's heart.--I have heard of girls persecuted, as I ain, who have appealed, in behalf of their favoured lover, to the generosity of bis rival : suppose I were to try it—there stands the hated rival-an officer, too! -bat ob, how uplike my Beverley! I wonder be
don't begin-Iruly, he seems a very negligent wooer! -quite at his ease, apon my word !--I'll speak first Mr. Absolute ! Capt. Abs. Ma'am.
[Turns round. Lydia. O heavens ! Beverley !
Capt. Abs. Hash!-kush, my life !-softly! be not surprised !
Lydia. I am so astonished! and so terrified ! and so overjoyed !- for beaven's sake, how came you here?
Capt. Abs. Briefly-I bave deceived your aunt-I was informed that my new rival was to visit here this evening, and, contriving to have bim kept away, have passed myself on her for captain Absolute.
Lydia. Oh, charming !-And she really takes you for young Absolute ?
Capt. Abs. Ob, she's convinced of it. Lydia. Ha! ba! ha! I can't forbear laughing, to think how her sagacity is over-reacbed.
Capt. Abs. But we trifle with our precious moments such another opportunity may not occur--then let me now conjure my kind, my condescending angel, to fix the time when I may rescue her from undeserving persecution, and, with a licensed warmth, plead for my reward.
Lydia. Will you then, Beverley, consent to forfeit that portion of my paltry wealth?--that burden on the wings of love?
Capt. Abs. Oh, come to me-rich only thus-in loveliness !- Bring no portion to me but thy love'twill be generous in you, Lydia--for well you know, it is the only dower your poor Beverley can repay.
Lydia. How persaasive are his words ! -how charming will poverty be with him!
Capt. Abs. By heavens, I would fling all goods of fortune from me with a prodigal band, to enjoy the scene where I might clasp my Lydia to my bosom, and say, the world affords no smile to me but here.
[Embracing her. Lydia. Now could I fly with bim to the Autipodes
- but my persecution is not yet come to a crisis.
Enter Mrs. MALAPROP, listening. Mrs. M. I am impatient to know how the little bussy deports herself.
[Aside. Capt. Abs. So pensive, Lydia !--is then your warmth abated ?
Mrs. M. Warmth abated ?-so!--she bas been in a passion, I suppose. Lydia. No-nor ever can, while I have life.
Mrs. M. Ad ill-temper'd little devil!-She'll be in a passion all ber life, will she ?
Lydia. Let her choice be captain Absolute, but Beverley is mine.
Mrs. M. I am astonished at her assurance !-to his face-this to his face ! Capt. Abs. Thus, then, let me enforce my suit.
[Kneeling Mrs. M. Ay—poor young man !-down on bis knees, entreating for pits! I can contain no longer. -Why, thou vixen!-I bave overheard you.
Capt. Abs. Oh, confound ber vigilance! [Aside.
Mrs. M. Captain Absolute“I know not how to apologize for her slocking. rudeness.
Capt. Abs. Somall's safe, I find. [Aside] I have hopes, madam, that time will bring the young lady
Mrs. M. O, there's nothing to be hoped for from her! she's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of Nile.
Lydia. Nay, madam, what do you charge me with now?
Mrs. M. Wby, thoa anblasbing rebel—did'nt you tell this gentleman to his face, that you loved another betler?-didn't you say you never would be bis?
Lydia. No, madam, I did not.
Mrs. M. Good heavens, what assorance !--Lydia, Lydia, you ought to know that lying don't become a young woman!-Didn't you boast that Beverley--that stroller, Beverley—possessed your heart? Tell me that, I say.
Lydia. 'Tis true, ma'am, and none but Beverley—
Mrs. M. Hold!-hold, assurance !--you shall not be so rude.
Capt. Abs. Nay, pray, Mrs. Malaprop, don't stop. the young lady's speech :-she's very welcome to talk thus it does not hurt me in the least, I assure you.
Mrs. M. You are too good, captain—too amiably patient :-bot come with me, miss_let us see you again soon, captain-remember what we have fixed.
Capt. Abs. I shall, ma'am.
Mrs. M. Come, take a graceful leave of the gentleman.
Lydia. May every blessing wait on my Beverley,
SCENE IV. ACRES' Lodgings.
Acres. Indeed, David-dress does make a difference, David.
Devid. 'Tis all in all, I think-difference! why, an' you were to go now to Clod Hall, I am certain the old lady wouldn't know you: master Butler wouldn't believe his own eyes, and Mrs. Pickle would cry, 'Lard presarve me!' our dairy maid would come giggling to the door, and I warrant Dolly Tester, your honour's favourite, would blush like my waistcoat-Oons ! I'll bold a gallon, there an't a dog in the house but would bark, and I question whether Pbillis would wag a hair of her tail!
Acres. Ay, David, there's nothing like polishing.
David. So I says of your honour's boots; but the boy never beeds me!
Acres. But, David, bas Mr. De la Grace been here? I must rub ep my balancing, and chasing, and boring
David. I'll call again, sir.