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Mrs Mal. Well; don't let your simplicity be away with an ensign! In money, sundry times, mposed on.
twelve pound twelve---gowns, five--hats, ruffles, Lucy. No, madam.
caps, &c.---numberless! From the said ensign, Mrs Mal. So, coine to me presently, and I'll within this last month, six guineas and a half---give you another letter to sir Lucius; but mind, About a quarter's pay! Item. From Mrs MalaLucy, if ever you betray what you are intrusted prop, for betraying the young people to ber-with (unless it be other people's secrets to me when I found matters were likely to be discoveryou forfeit my malevolence for ever; and your ed---two guineas, and a black padusoy: Item. being a simpleton shall be no excuse for your lo- From Mr Acres, for carrying divers letters--cality.
[Erit Mrs Mal which I never delivered---two guineas, and a pair Lucy. Ha, ha, ha! So, my dear simplicity, let of buckles. Item, From sir Lucius O Trigger, me give you a little respite-[Altering her man- three crowns, two gold pocket-pieces, and a silner.]-let girls in my station be as fond as they ver snuff-box! Well done, simplicity! Yet I was please of appearing expert, and knowing in their forced to make my Hibernian believe, that he trusts; commend me to a mask of silliness, and a was corresponding, not with the aunt, but with pair of sharp eyes for my own interest under it! the niece: for, though not over-rich, I found he Let me see! to what account have I turned my had too much pride and delicacy to sacritice the simplicity lately--(Looks at a paper.}- For abet- feelings of a gentleman to the necessities of his ring Miss Lydia Lauguish in a design of running 1 fortune.
SCENE I.--Captain ABSOLUTE's Lodgings. Fug. O, sir, recruit will do surprisingly-in
deed, to give the thing an air, I told Thomas, that Enter CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE and Fag.
your honour had already inlisted five disbanded
chạirmen, seven minority waiters, and thirteen Fag. Sir, while I was there, sir Anthony came billiard markers. in: I told him, you had sent me to inquire after Abs. You blockhead, never say more than is his health, and to know if he was at leisure to see necessary! you.
Fug. I beg pardon, sir, I beg pardon; but, Abs. And what did he say, on hearing I was at with submission, a lie is nothing unless one supBath?
ports it. Sir, whenever I draw on my invention Fag. Sir, in my life I never saw an elderly for a good current lie, I always forge indorsegentleman more astonished; he started back two ments as well as the bill. or three paces, rapt out a dozen interjectural Abs. Well, take care you don't hurt your creoaths, and asked, what the devil had brought you dit, hy offering too much security - Is Mr Faulkhere?
land returned? Abs. Well, sir, and what did you say?
Fag. He is above, sir, changing his dress. Fug. O, I lied, sir ; I forget the precise lie: Abs. Can you tell whether he bas been inbut you may depend on't, he got no truth from formed of sir Authony's and Miss Melville's arme. Yet, with submission, for fear of blunders rival? in future, I should be glad to fix what has brought Fag. I fancy not, sir; he has seen no one since us to Bath: in order that we may lie a little con- he came in, but his gentleman, who was with him sistently. Sir Anthony's servants were curious, at Bristol. I think, sir, I hear Mr Fauikland sir; very curious indeed,
coming down. Abs. You have said nothing to them ?
Abs. Go, tell him, I am here. Fay. (), not a word, sir; not a word. Mr Fag. Yes, sir. [Going] I beg pardon, sir; Thoinas, indeed, the coachman (whom I take to but should sir Anthony call, you will do me the be the discreetest of whips)
favour to remember, that we are recruiting, if Abs. 'Sdeath! You rascal! You have not trust- you please? ed him?
Abs. Well, well. Fug. O, no, sir; no, no; not a syllable, upon Fug. And, in tenderness to my character, if my veracity! He was, indeed, a little inquisitive, your honour could bring in the chairmen and but I was sly, sir, devilish sly!My master (said waiters, I should esteem it as an obligation; for, I), honest Thomas, (you know, sir, one says ho- though I never scruple a lie to serve my master, pest to one's inferiors) is come to Bath to recruit yet it hurts one's conscience to be found out. -Yes, sir, I said, tó recruit; and whether for
Exit. men, money, or constitution, you know, sir, is Abs. Now for my whimsical friend if he does pothing to him, nor any one else.
not know that his mistress is here, I'll teaze him Abs. Well, recruit will do; let it be som a little before I tell him
whom only I value mine. 0, Jack! when deli
cate and feeling souls are separated, there is not Faulkland, you're welcome to Bath again! you a feature in the sky, not a movement of the eleare punctual in your return.
ments, not an aspiration of the breeze, but hints Faulk. Yes; I had nothing to detain me, when some cause for a lover's apprehension ! I had finished the business I went on. Well, Abs. Ay, but we may chuse whether we will what news since I left you? How stand matters take the hint or not. So then, Faulkland, if you between you and Lydia ?
were convinced that Julia were well and in spiAbs. Faith, much as they were; I have not rits, you would be entirely content? seen her since our quarrel; however, I expect to Faulk. I should be happy beyond measure-I be recalled every hour.
am anxious only for that. Faulk. Why don't you persuade her to go off Abs. Then, to cure your anxiety at once-Miss with you at once?
Melville is in perfect health, and is at this moAbs. What, and lose two-thirds of her fortune ment in Bath. You forget that, my friend. No, no, I could Faulk. Nay, Jack-don't trifle with me. bave brought her to that long ago.
Abs. She is arrived here, with any father, within Faulk. Nay, then, you trifle too long-if you this hour. are sure of her, propose to the aunt in your own Faulk. Can you be serious ? character, and write to sir Anthony for his con- Abs. I thought you knew sir Anthony better sent.
than to be surprised at a sudden whim of this Abs. Softly, softly; for though I am convinced kind. Seriously, then, it is as I tell you—upon my little Lydia would elope with me as ensign my honour. Beverley, yet am I by no means certain that she Faulk. My dear friend !-Hollo, Du Peigne ! would take me with the impediment of our my hat--my dear Jack---now, nothing on earth friends' consent, a regular humdrum wedding, can give me a moment's uneasiness. and the reversion of a good fortune on my side: No, no; I must prepare her gradually for the dis
Enter Fag. covery, and make myself necessary to her, before Fag. Sir, Mr Acres, just arrived, is below. I risk it. Well, but Faulkland, you'll dine with Abs. Stay, Faulkland, this Acres lives within us to-day at the hotel ?
a mile of sir Anthony, and he shall tell you how Faulk. Indeed, I cannot; I am not in spirits to your mistress has been ever since you left her.be of such a party.
Fag, shew the gentleman up.
[Exit Fag. Abs. By heavens! I shall forswear your com- Faulk. What, is he much acquainted in the fapany. You are the most teasing, captious, in- mily? corrigible lover! Do love like a man.
Abs. 0, very intimate: I insist on your not Faulk. I own I am untit for company. going : besides, his character will divert you.
Abs. Am not I a lover, ay, and a romantic one Faulk. Well, I should like to ask him a few too? Yet, do I carry every where with me such questions. a confounded farrago of doubts, fears, hopes, dbs. He is likewise a rival of mine that is of wishes, and all the flimsy furniture of a country my other self's, for he does not think bis friend miss's brain?
captain Absolute ever saw the lady in question; Faulk. Ah, Jack ! your heart and soul are not, and it is ridiculous enough to hear bim complain like mine, fixed immutably on one only object. to me of one Beverley, a concealed, sculking riYou throw for a large stake; but losing-you val, who could stake, and throw again : but I have set my Faulk. Hush ! he's here. suin of happiness on this cast, and not to succeed, were to be stript of all.
Enter ACRES. Abs. But, for Heaven's sake! what grounds Acres. Hab! my dear friend, noble captain, for apprehension can your whimsical brain con- and honest Jack, how dost thou ? just arrived, jure up at present?
faith, as you see. Sir, your humble servant. Faulk. What grounds for apprehension did Warm work on the roads, Jack-Odds whips and you say? Heavens! are there not a thousand ? I wheels! I've travelled like a comet, with a tail fear for her spirits, her health, her life-My ab- of dust all the way as long as the Mall. sence may fret her; her anxiety for my return, Abs. Ah! Bob, you are indeed an eccentric her fears for me, may oppress her gentle temper. planet; but we know your attraction hither And for her health-does not every hour bring Give me leave to introduce Mr Faulkland to me cause to be alarmed? If it rains, some shower you. Mr Faulkland, Mr Acres. may even then have chilled her delicate frame ! Acres. Sir, I am most heartily glad to see you : If the wind be keen, some rude blast may have Sir, I solicit your connexions.-Hey, Jack, what, affected her! The heat of noon, the dews of this is Mr Faulkland, whothe evening, may endanger the life of her, for Abs. Ay, Bob, Miss Melville's Mr Faulkland,
Acres. Odso! she and your father can be but | you see she has been all mirth and song—not a just arrived before me-- I suppose you have seen thought of me ! them. Ah! Mr Faulkland, you are indeed a Abs. Pho! man, is not music the food of love? happy man.
Faulk. Well, well, it may be so.—Pray, Mr Faulk. I have not seen Miss I.Ielville yet, sir; what's his damned name?-Do you rememI hope she enjoyed full health and spirits in De- ber what songs Miss Melville sung? vonshire?
Acres. Not I indeed. Acres. Never knew her better in my life, sir; Abs. Stay now, they were some pretty melannever better. Odds blushes and blooms! she choly purling-stream airs, I warrant; perhaps you has been as healthy as the German Spa. may recollect; did she sing— When absent from
Faulk. Indeed! I did hear that she had been my soul's delight? a little indisposed.
Acres. No, that wa'n't it. Acres. False, false, sir; only said to vex you : Abs. Or- Go, gentle gales ! - Go, gentle quite the reverse, I assure you.
(Sings. Faulk. There, Jack, you see she has the ad- Acres. O no! nothing like it. Odds ! now I vantage of ine; I bad almost fretted myself ill. recollect one of them— My heart's my own, my Abs. Now are you angry with your mistress will is free.'
(Sings. for not having been sick!
Faulk. Fool! fool that I am! to fix all my Faulk. No, no; you misunderstand me: yet happiness on such a trifler! 'Sdeath! to make surely, a little trilling indisposition is not an un- herself the pipe and ballad-monger of a circle ! natural consequence of absence from those we to sooth her light heart with catches and glees! love. Now, confess, isn't there something un- What can you say to this, sir? kind in this violent, robust, unfeeling health? Abs. Why, that I should be glad to hear my
Abs. 0, it was very unkind of her to be well mistress had been so merry, sir. in your absence, to be sure !
Faulk. Nay, nay, nay; I'm not sorry that she Acres. Good apartments, Jack.
has been happy-no, no; I am glad of that I Faulk. Well, sir, but you was saying, that Miss would not have had her sad or sick-yet, surely, Melville has been so exceedingly well-what, a sympathetic heart would have shewn itself even then, she has been merry and gay, I suppose ?- in the choice of a song-she might have been Always in spirits, hey?
tenperately healthy, and somehow, plaintively Acres. Merry! odds crickets, she has been the gay-but she has been dancing too, I doubt not? bell and spirit of the company wherever she has Acres. What does the gentleman say about been—so lively and entertaining! so full of wit dancing ? and humour !
Abs. lie says the lady we speak of dances as Fazlk. There, Jack, there! O, by my soul, well as she sings. there is an innate levity in woman, that nothing Acres. Aye, truly, does she—there was at our can overcome! What! happy and I away? last race-ball
Abs. Have done : How foolish this is ! just Faulk. Hell and the devil! There ! there-I now, you were only apprehensive for your mis- told you so ! I told you so! Ob! she thrives in tress's spirits.
my absence !-Dancing! but her whole feelings Faulk. Why, Jacle, have I been the joy and have been in opposition with mine. I have been spirit of the company?
anxious, silent, pensive, sedentary-my days have Abs. No, indeed, you have not.
been hours of care, my nights of watchfulness. Faulk. Have I been lively and entertaining? She has been all health! spirit! laugh! song! Abs. 0, upon my word, I acquit you. dance !-Oh! damned, damned levity! Faulk. Have I been full of wit and humour? Abs. For Heaven's sake, Faulkland, don't es.
Abs. No, faith; to do you justice, you have pose yourself so! Suppose she has danced, what been confoundedly stupid indeed.
then does not the ceremony of society often Acres. What's the matter with the gentleman? | oblige
Abs. He is only expressing his great satisfac- Faulk. Well, well, I'll contain myself-pertion at hearing that Julia has been so well and haps, as you say, for form sake. What, Mr happy, that's all-hey, Faulkland?
Acres, you were praising Miss Melville's manner Faulk. Oh! I am rejoiced to hear it-yes, of dancing a minuet, hey? yes, she has a happy disposition !
Acres. O), I dare ensure her for that but what Acres. That she has indeed—then she is so ac- I was going to speak of was her country dancing: complished, so sweet a voice, so expert at her Odds swimmings ! she has such an air with her! harpsichord, such a mistress of flat and sharp- Faulk. Now disappointment on her!-defend squallante, rumblante, and quiverante !-there this, Absolute ! why don't you defend this ?was this time month, odds minnums and crotch- Country-dances ! jigs and reels! am I to blame ets! how she did chirup at Mrs Piano's concert! now? A minuet I could have forgiven-I should
Faulk. There again, what say you to this? not have minded that I say I should not have regarded a minuet; but country-dances!—Zounds!, their antiquity makes them respectable; because, had she made one in a cotillion, I believe I could he says, the ancients would never stick to an oath have forgiven that; but to be monkey-led for a or two, but would say, by Jove ! or by Bacchus ! night! to run the gauntlet through a string of or by Mars! or by Venus ! or by Pallas ! acamorous palming puppies ! to shew paces like a cording to the sentiinent; so that, to swear with managed filly !- Jack, there never can be but propriety, says my little major, the oath should one man in the world, whom a truly modest and be an echo to the sense; and this we call the delicate woman ought to pair with in a country- oath referential, or sentimental swearing, ha, ha, dance;
and even then, the rest of the couples ha ! 'tis genteel, is not it? should be her great uncles and aunts !
Abs. Very genteel, and very new, indeed; and, Abs. Ay, to be sure ! grandfathers and grand- I dare say, will supplant all other figures of immothers!
precation. Faulk. If there be but one vicious mind in the Acres. Ay, ay, the best terms will grow obsoset, 'twill spread like a contagion; the action of lete-Damns have had their day. their pulse beats to the lascivious movement of the jíg; their quivering, warm-breathed sighs,
Enter FAG. impregnate the very air; the atmosphere be- Fag. Sir, there is a gentlemen below desires comes electrical to love; and each amorous spark to see you—Shall I shew him into the parlour? darts through every link of the chain !—I must
Abs. Ay; you may. leave you own I am somewhat lurried; and Acres. Well, I must be gonethat confounded looby has perceived it. [Going. Abs. Stay; who is it, Fag?
Abs. Nay, but stay, Faukland, and thank Mr Fag. Your father, sir. Acres for his good news!
Abs. You puppy, why did not you shew him Faulk. Damn his news ! [Exit Faulk up directly?
[Erit Fag. Abs. Ha, ha, ha! poor Faulkland! Five mi- Acres. You have business with sir Anthony. nutes since, nothing on earth could give him a I expect a message from Mrs Malaprop at my moment's uneasiness!
lodgings. I have sent also to my dear friend sir Acres. The gentleman was not angry at my Lucius O Trigger. Adieu, Jack; we must meet praising his mistress ! was he?
at night, when you shall give me a dozen bumAbs. A little jealous, I believe, Bob.
pers to little Lydia. Acres. You don't say so ? Ha, ha! jealous of Abs. That I will with all my heart. [Exit me! that's a good joke!
Acres.] Now for a parental lecture. I hope he Abs. There's nothing strange in that, Lob; le: has beard nothing of the business that has brought me tell you, that sprightly grace, and insinuating me here. I wish the gout had held him fast in manner of yours, will do some mischief among Devonshire, with all my soul ! the girls here! Acres. Ah, you joke! ha, ha, mischief! ha,
Enter Sir ANTHONY. ha! but, you know, I am not my own property; Sir, I am delighted to see you here ; and looking my dear Lydia has forestalled me! She could so we!l ! your sudden arrival at Bath made me never abide me in the country, because I used to apprehensive for your health. dress so badly; but odds frogs and tambours, Sir Anth. Very apprehensive, I dare say, Jack.. I shan't take inatters so here--now, ancient ma- What! you are recruiting here, hey? dam has no voice in it-I'll make my old clothes Abs. Yes, sir; I am on duty. know who's master-I shall straightway cashier Bir Anth. Well, Jack, I am glad to see you, the hunting-frock, and render my leather breeches though I did not expect it; for I was going to incapable--My hair has been in training some write to you on a little matter of business. Jack, time.
I have been considering that I grow old and inAbs. Indeed!
firm, and shall probably not trouble you long. Acres. Aye; and tho'ff the side curls are a lit- Abs. Pardon me, sir! I never saw you look tle restive, iny hind-part takes it very kindly. more strong and hearty; and I pray fervently Abs. 0, you'll polish, I doubt not.
that you may continue so. Acres. Absolutely I propose so-then, if I can Sir Anth. I hope your prayers may be heard, find out this ensign Beverley, odds triggers and with all my heart. Well, then, Jack, I have Aints! I'li make bim koow the difference o't. been considering that I am so strong and hearty,
Abs. Spoke like a man !-but pray, Bob, I ob- I may continue to plague you a long time. Now, serve you have got an odd kind of a new method Jack, I am sensible that the income of your of swearing
commission, and what I have hitherto allowed Acres. Ha, ba ! you've taken notice of it'tis you, is but a small pittance for a lad of your genteel, is not it?-1 did not invent it myself spirit. though; but a coinmander in our militia, a great Abs. Sir, you are very good. scholar, I assure you, says that there is no mean- Sir Anth And it is my wish, while yet I live, ing in the common oaths; and that nothing but to have my boy make some figure in the world. I have resolved, therefore, to fix you at once in for some time with patience~ I have been coola noble independence.
quite cool; but take care-you know I am comAbs. Sir, your kindness overpowers me-such plaisance itself-when I am not thwarted ;-no generosity makes the gratitude of reason more one more easily led, when I have my own way; lively than the sensations even of filial affection. -but don't put me in a phrenzy.
Sir Anth, I am glad you are so sensible of my Abs. Sir, I must repeat it-in this, I cannot attention; and you shall be master of a large obey you. estate in a few weeks.
Sir Anth. Now, damn me if ever I call you Abs. Let iny future life, sir, speak my grati- Jack again while I live!" tude; I cannot express the sense I have of your Abs. Nay, sir, but hear me. munificence. Yet, sir, I presume you would not
Sir Anth. Sir, I won't hear a word-not a wish me to quit the army?
word- not one word ! so give me your promise Sir Anth. O, that shall be as your wife by a nod-and I'll tell you what, Jack-I mean, chooses.
you dog—if you don't, byAbs. My wife, sir !
Abs. What, sir, promise to link myself to some Sir Anth. Ay, ay; settle that between you; mass of ugliness? tosettle that between you.
Sir Anth. Zounds, sirrah! the lady shall be Abs. A wife, sir ! did you say ?
as ugly as I choose: she shall have a hump on Sir Anth. Ay, a wife; why, did not I men- each shoulder; she shall be as crooked as the tion her before?
crescent; her one eye shall roll like the bull's in Abs. Not a word of her, sir.
Cox's museum; she shall have a skin like a mamSir Anth. Odd so !-I must not forget her my; and the beard of a Jew she shall be all though. Yes, Jack, the independence I was this, sirrah!-yet, I will make you ogle her all talking of, is by a marriage; the fortune is day, and sit up all night to write sonnets on her saddled with a wife; but, I suppose, that makes beauty. no difference?
Abs. This is reason and moderation, indeed ! Abs. Sir, sir --you amaze me !
Sir Anth. None of your sneering, puppy! no Sir Anth. Why, what the devil's the matter grinning, jackanapes ! with the fool? Just now, you were all gratitude Abs. Indeed, sir, I never was in a worse huand duty.
mour for mirth in my life. Abs. I was, sir—ycu talked to me of indepen
Sir Anth. Tis false, sir ; I know you are dence and a fortune, but not a word of a wife ! laughing in your sleeve; I know you'll grin when
Sir Anth. Why, what difference does that I am gone, sirrah ! make? Odds life, sir ! if you have the estate, Abs. Sir, I hope I know my duty better. you must take it with the live stock on it, as it Sir Anth. None of your passion, sir; none of stands.
your violence, if you please-It won't do with Abs. If my happiness is to be the price, I must me, I promise you. beg leave to decline the purchase. Pray, sir, Abs. Indeed, sir, I never was cooler in my who is the lady?
life. Sir Anth. What's that to you, sir -Come, Sir Anth. 'Tis a confounded lie !—I know you give me your promise to love, and to marry her are in a passion in your heart; I krow you are, directly.
you hypocritical young dog! but it won't do. Abs. Sure, sir, this is not very reasonable, to Abs. Nay, sir, upon my word! summon my affections for a lady I know nothing Sir Anth. So you will fly out? can't you be of!
cool, like me? What the devil good can passion Sir Anth. I am sure, sir, 'tis more unreason- do ?-Passion is of no service; you impudent, inable in you to object to a lady you know nothing solent, overbearing reprobate! There, you sneer of.
again !- don't provoke me!-but you rely upon Abs. Then, sir, I must tell you plainly, that the mildness of my temper-you do, you dog! my inclinations are fixed on another-my heart you play upon the meekness of my disposition ! is engaged to an angel !
Yet, take care-the patience of a saint may be Sir Anth. Then, pray, let it send an excuse. overcome at last !- but mark! I give you six It is very sorry—but business prevents its wait- hours and a half to consider of th's: if you then ing on her.
agree, without any condition, to do every thing Abs. But my vows are pledged to her, on earth that I choose, why-confound you! I
Sir Anth. Let her foreclose, Jack; let her may in time forgive you—if not, zounds, don't foreclose; they are not worth redeeming; be enter the same hemisphere with me! don't dare sides, you have the angel's vows in exchange, 1 to breathe the same air, or use the same light suppose ; so there can be no loss there.
with me; but get an atmosphere and a sun of Abs. You must excuse me, sir, if I tell you, your own! I'll strip you of your commission; l'IL once for all, that in this point I cannot obey you. lodge a five-and-threepence in the hands of trusSir Anth. Hark'e, Jack ;-] have heard you tees, and you shall live on the interest.—I'll dis