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her open to the grossest deceptions from flat'tery and pretended admiration ;'--an impudent
Enter Lydia. coxcomb! - so that I have a scheme to see you 6 shortly with the old harridan's consent, and Lydia. What a scene am I now to go through!
even to make her a go-between in our inter- Surely nothing can be more dreadful, than to be • view.' Was ever such assurance !
obliged to listen to the loathsome addresses of a Mrs Mal. Did you ever hear any thing like stranger to one's heart. I have heard of girls, it? He'll elude my vigilance, will he--yes, yes! persecuted as I am, who have appealed in behalf Ha, ha! he's very likely to enter these doors of their favoured lover, to the generosity of his We'll try who can plot best!
rival: suppose I were to try it--there stands the Abs. So we will, madam; so we will. Ha, ha, bated rival-an officer, too! But O how unlike ha! a conceited puppy, ha, ha, ha! Well, but, my Beverley! I wonder he don't begin; truly, Mrs Malaprop, as the girl seems so infatuated by he seems a very negligent wooer! Quite at his this fellow, suppose you were to wink at her cor- ease, upon my word! I'll speak first; Mr Abs responding with him for a little time let her solute ! even plot an elopement with him—then do you Abs. Madam.
[Turns round. connive at her escape---while I, just in the nick, Lydia. O Heavens ! Beverley! will have the fellow laid by the heels, and fairly Åbs. Hush ! hush, my life! softly! be not surcontrive to carry her off in his stead!
prised! Mrs Mal. I am delighted with the scheme ! Lydia. I am so astonished ! and so terrified ! never was any thing better perpetrated ! and so overjoyed !- for Heaven's sake! how
Abs. But, pray, could not I see the lady for a came you here? few minutes, now? I should like to try her tem- Äbs. Briefly I have deceived your auntper a little.
I was informed, that my new rival was to visit Mrs Mal. Why, I don't know ; I doubt she is here this evening; and, contriving to have hina not prepared for a visit of this kind. There is a kept away, have passed myself on her for capdecorum in these matters.
tain Absolute. Abs. O'Lord ! she won't mind me; only tell Lydia. O charming ! And she really takes her Beverley
young Absolute ? Mrs Mal. Sir !
Abs. 0, she's convinced of it! Abs. Gently, good tongue !
[Aside. Lydia. Ha, ha, ha! I can't forbear laughing, Mrs Mal. What did you say of Peverley? to think how her sagacity is over-reached ! Abs. 0, I was going to propose that you should Abs. But we trifle with our precious moments tell her, by way of jest, that it was Beverley who -such another opportunity may not occurwas below; she'd come down fast enough then then let me now conjure my kind, my condes -ha, ha, ha!
cending angel, to fix the time when I may resMrs Mal. Twould be a trick she well de cuc her from undeserving persecution, and, with serves; besides, you know the fellow tells her a licensed warmth, plead for my reward. he'll get my consent to her ; ha, ha! Let him if
Lydia. Will you, then; Beverley, consent to he can, I say again. Lydia, come down here !- forfeit that portion of my paltry wealth? that [Calling.}--He'll make me a go-between in their burden on the wings of love? interviews ! Ha, ha, ha! Come down, I say, Ly- Abs. 0, come to me-rich only thus in lovedia! I don't wonder at your laughing; hä, ha, liness!
—Bring no portion to me but thy love ha! His impudence is truly ridiculous. 'twill be generous in you, Lydia—for well you
Abs. 'Tis very ridiculous, upon my soal, ma- know, it is the only dower your poor Beverley dam! ha, ha, ha!
can repay. Mrs Mal. The little hassy won't hear. Well, Lydia. How persuasive are his words !-how I'll go and tell her at once who it is; she shall charming will poverty be with him ! know that captain Absolute is come to wait on Abs. Ah! my soul, what a life will we then her. And I'll make her behave as becomes a live! Lore shall be our idol and support! we young woman.
will worship him with a monastic strictness ; ab Abs. As you please, madam.
juring all worldly toys, to centre every thought Mrs Mal. For the present, captain, your ser- and action there! Proud of calamity, we will vant. Ah! you've not done laughing yet, I see; enjoy the wreck of wealth; while the surroundelude my vigilance ! yes, yes; ha, ha, ha! ing gloom of adversity shall make the flame of
[Exit Mrs Mal. our pure love show doubly bright. By Heavens ! Abs. Ha, ha, ha! One would think, now, that I would fing all goods of fortune from me with I might throw off all disguise at once, and seize a prodigal hand, to enjoy the scene where I might my prize with security; but such is Lydia's ca- clasp my Lydia to my bosom, and say, the world price, that to undeceive were probably to lose affords no smile to me—but here Einbrer her. I'll see whether she knows me.
cing her.] If she holds out now, the devil is in (Walks aside, and seems engaged in looking it!
Aside. at the pictures.
Lydia. Now could I fly with him to the Antipodes! but my persecution is not yet come to a Lydia. May every blessing wait on my Bevercrisis.
ley, my loved Bev Enter Mrs Malaprop, listening.
Mrs Mal. Hussy! I'll choak the word in your
throat !-Come along, come along ! Mrs Mal. I am impatient to know how the Exeunt severally-Absolute kissing his little hussy deports herself.
hand to Lydia-Mrs MalaPROP stopAbs. So pensive, Lydia!-Is, then, your warmth ping her from speaking. abated?
Mrs Mal. Warmth abated !-so, she has been SCENE IV.-ACRes's lodgings. in a passion, I suppose? Lydia. No-nor ever can while I have life.
ACRES and David.-ACRES as just dressed. Mrs Mal. An ill-tempered little devil ! She'll Acres. Indeed, David ! do you think I become be in a passion all her life will she?
it so? Lydia. Think not the idle threats of my ridi- David. You are quite another creature, believe culous aunt can ever have any weight with me. me, master, by the mass ! an' we've any luck, we
Mrs Mal. Very dutiful, upon my word ! shall see the Devon monkerony in all the print
Lydia. Let her choice be captain Absolute, shops in Bath! but Beverley is mine.
Acres. Dress does make a difference, David. Mrs Mal. I am astonished at her assurance ! David. 'l'is all in all, I think--difference ! To his face !- this is to his face !
why, an' you were to go now to Clod-Hall, I am Abs. Thus, then, let me enforce my suit. certain the old lady wouldn't know you : master
[Kneeling. Butler wouldn't believe his own eyes; and Mrs Mrs Mar. Aye, poor young man !-down on Pickle would cry, · Lard preserve me !: our daihis knees intreating for pity! I can contain ry-maid would come giggling to the door; and I no longer.-Why, thou vixen! I have overheard warrant Dolly Tester, your honour's favourite, you !
would blush like my waistcoat! Oons! I'll Abs. 0, confound her vigilance ! (Aside. hold a gallon, there an't a dog in the house but
Mrs Mal. Captain Absolute, I know not how would bark, and I question whether Phillis would to apologize for her shocking rudeness.
wag a hair of her tail ! Abs. Šo-all's safe, I find. (Aside. I have Acres. Aye, David, there's nothing like polishhopes, madam, that time will bring the young la- ing: dy
David. So I says of your honour's boots ; but Mrs Mal. O, there's nothing to be hoped for the boy never heeds me! from her-she's as headstrong as an allegory on Acres. But, David, has Mr De-la-grace been the banks of Nile !
here? I must rub up my balancing, and chasing, Lydia. Nay, madam; what do you charge me and boring. with, now?
David. I'll call again, sir. Mrs Mal. Why, thou unblushing rebel ! did Acres. Do--and see if there are any letters for not you tell this gentleman, to his face, that you me at the post-office. loved another better? did not you say you never David. I will. By the mass, I can't help lookwould be his?
ing at your head! If I hadn't been by at the Lydia. No, madam, I did not.
cooking, I wish I may die if I should have known Mrs Mal. Good Heavens ! what assurance ! the dish again myself!
[Erit. Lydia, Lydia, you ought to know, that lying don't become a young woman! Did not you boast, Acres comes forward, practising a dancing step. that Beverley—that stroller Beverley, possessed your heart? Tell me that, I say!
Acres. Sink, slidecoupee-Confound the first Lydia. 'Tis true, madam, and none but Be- inventors of cotillons, say 1!—they are as bad as verley
algebra to us country gentlemen--I can walk a Mrs Mal. Hold! hold, assurance ! you shall minuet easy enough, when I am forced-and I not be so rude.
have been accounted a good stick in a countryAbs. Nay; pray, Mrs Malaprop, don't stop the dance.-Odds jiggs and tabors !-I never vayoung lady's speech : she's very welcome to talk lued your cross-over to couple--figure in---right thus it does not hurt me in the least, I assure and left--and I'd foot it with e'er a captain in you.
the county !--but these outlandish heathen alleMrs Mal. You are too good, captain—too ami-mandes and cotillons are quite beyond me! I ably patient-but come with me, miss. Let shall never prosper at them, that's sure-mine us see you again soon, captain-remember what are true-born English legs—they don't understand we have fixed.
their curst French lingo!--their pas this, and pas Abs. I shall, madam.
that, and pas t'other ! --Damn me! my feet don't. Mrs Mal. Come, take a graceful leave of the like to be called paws! no, 'tis certain I have gentleinan.
most antigallican toes !
or my little Alexander the Great, ever inquired
where the right lay? No, by my soul! they drew Ser. Here is sir Lucius O’Trigger to wait on their broad swords, and left the lazy sons of
peace to settle the justice of it. Acres. Shew him in.
Acres. Your words are a grenadier's march to
my heart! I believe courage must be catching! Enter Sir Lucius.
I certainly do feel a kind of valour rising as it Sir Luc. Mr Acres, I am delighted to embrace were—a kind of courage, as I may say- -Odds you.
flints, pans, and triggers! I'll challenge him diAcres. My dear sir Lucius, I kiss your hands. rectly.
Sir Luc. Pray, my friend, what has brought Sir Luc. Ah, my little friend ! if I had Blunyou so suddenly to Bath?
derbuss-hall here—I could show you a range of Acres. Faith! I have followed Cupid's jack-a- ancestry, in the OʻTrigger line, that would furlantern, and find myself in a quagmire at last! nish the new room! every one of whom had In short, I have been very ill-used, sir Lucius. killed his man! For though the mansion-house I don't choose to mention names; but look on and dirty acres have slipt through my fingers, I me as on a very ill-used gentleman.
thank Heaven, our honour, and the family-picSir Luc. Pray, what is the case? I ask no tures, are as fresh as ever! names.
Acres. O, sir Lucius, I have had ancestors, Acres. Mark sir Lucius: I fall as deep as too!-every man of them colonel or captain in need be in love with a young lady--her friends the militia! -Odds balls and barrels say no take my part-I follow her to Bath--send word more—I'm braced for it!—The thunder of your of my arrival—and receive answer, that the lady words has soured the milk of human kindness in is to be otherwise disposed of! This, sir Lucius, my breast !
-Zounds! as the man in the play I call being ill-used.
says, “I could do such deeds Sir Luc, Very ill, upon my conscience ! Pray, Sir Luc. Come, come; there must be no pascan you divine the cause of it?
sion at all in the case—these things should alAcres. Why, there's the matter; she has ano ways be done civilly. ther lover, one Beverley, who, I am told, is now Acres. I must be in a passion, sir Lucius—I in Bath.-Odds slanders and lies ! he must be at must be in a rage.--Dear sir Lucius, let me be the bottom of it!
in a rage, if you love me.-Come, here's pen and Sir Luc. A rival in the case, is there? And paper. [Sits down to write.] I would the ink were you think he has supplanted you unfairly? red !-Indite, I say indite !-How shall I begin!
Acres. Unfairly! to be sure he has. He ne- Odds bullets and blades! I'll write a good bold ver could have done it fairly.
hand, however. Sir Luc. Then, sure you know what is to be Sir Luc. Pray, compose yourself. done?
Acres. Coine-now, shall I begin with an oath? Acres. Not I, upon my soul!
Do, sir Lucius, let me begin with a damine! Sir Luc. We wear no swords here; but you Sir Luc. Pho, pho! do the thing decently, and understand me?
like a Christian. Begin now— SirAcres. What ! fight him?
Acres. That's too civil by half. Sir Luc. Aye, to be sure; what can I mean Sir Luc. *To prevent the confusion that might else?
6 arise Acres. But he has given me no provocation. Acres. Well
Sir Luc. Now, I think he has given you the Sir Luc. ' From our both addressing the same greatest provocation in the world. Can a man ladycommit a more heinous offence against another, Acres. Aye; there's the reason—same ladythan to fall in love with the same woman? 0,Wellby my soul! it is the most unpardonable breach Sir Luc. 'I shall expect the honour of your of friendship.
company; Acres. Breach of friendship! Aye, aye; but I Acres. Zounds! I'm not asking him to dinner! have no acquaintance with this man. I never Sir Luc. Pray, be easy. saw him in my life.
Acres. Well, then— honour of your compaSir Luc. That's no argument at all; he hasnythe less right, then, to take such a liberty. Sir Luc. “ To settle our pretensions
Acres. Gad! that's true, I grow full of anger, Acres, Well. sir Lucius ! I fire apace! Odds hilts and blades! Sir Luc. Let me see; aye, King's Mead-field I find a man may have a deal of valour in him, will do- - in King's Mead-fields. and not know it! But couldn't I contrive to Acres. So that's done. -Well, I'll fold it up have a little right of my side?
presently; my own crest—a hand and dagger Sir Luc. What the devil signifies right, when sball be the seal. your honour is concerned? Do you think Achilles, Sir Luc. You see, dow, this little explanation
will put a stop, at once, to all confusion or mis- just such another affair on my own hands. There understanding that might arise between you. is a gay captain here, who put a jest on me late
Acres. Aye, we fight to prevent any misunder- ly, at the expence of my country, and I only want standing.
to fall in with the gentleman, to call him out. Sir Luc. Now, I'll leave you to fix your own Acres. By my valour, I should like to see you time. Take my advice, and you'll decide it this fight first! Odds lite ! I should like to see you evening, if you can; then let the worst come of kill him, if it was only to get a little lesson. it, 'twill be off your mind to-morrow.
Sir Luc. I shall be very proud of instructing Acres. Very true.
you. Well, for the present—but remember Sir Luc. So I shall see nothing more of you, now, when you meet your antagonist, do every unless it be by letter, till the evening. I would thing in a mild and agreeable manner. do myself the honour to carry your message ; courage be as keen, but, at the same time, as but, to tell you a secret, I believe I shall have polished as your sword. [Ereunt severally.
SCENE I.-ACRES' lodgings.
What, shall I disgrace my ancestors ? Thiuk of
that, David; think what it would be to disgrace Enter ACRES and David.
my ancestors ! David. Then, by the mass, sir, I would do no David. Under favour, the surest way of poc such thing !-ne'er a sir Lucius O’Trigger in the disgracing them, is to keep as long as you can kingdom should make me fight, when I wa'n't so out of their company. Look'e now, master, to minded. Oons ! what will the old lady say, when go to them in such haste, with an ounce of lead she hears o't?
in your brains ! I should think might as well be Acres. Ah! David, if you had heard sir Lu- let alone. Our ancestors are very good kind of cius! Odds sparks and flames ! he would have folks; but they are the last people I should valour.
choose to have a visiting acquaintance with. David. Not he, indeed. I hates such blood- Acres. But, David, now, you don't think there thirsty cormorants. Look'ee, master, if you'd is such very, very, very, very great danger! wanted a bout at boxing, quarter-staff, or short hey? Odds life ! people often fight without any staff, I should never be the man to bid you cry, mischief done! off: But for your curst sharps and snaps,
I never David. By the mass, I think 'tis ten to one knew any good come of them.
against you !-Oons! here to meet some lionAcres. But my honour, David, my honour! I headed fellow, I warrant, with his damned must be very careful of my honour.
double-barrelled swords, and cut-and-thrust David. Aye, by the mass ! and I would be ve- pistols ! lord bless us ! it makes me tremble to ry careful of it; and I think, in return, my bonour think o't!—Those be such desperate bloodycouldn't do less than to be very careful of me. minded weapons! Well, I never could abide
Acres. Odds blades, David ! no gentleman will them! from a child I never could fancy them ! ever risk the loss of his honour !
I suppose there a'n't been so merciless a bcast David. I say, then, it would be but civil in in the world as your loaded pistol ! honour never to risk the loss of a gentleman- Acres. Zounds! I won't be afraid Odds fire Look'ee, master, this honour seems to me to be a and fury! you shan't make me afraid.- -Here marvellous false friend! aye, truly, a very cour- is the challenge, and I have sent for my dear tier-like servant !-Put the case : I was a gentle friend Jack Absolute to carry it for ine. man (which, thank God! no one can say of me); David. Aye, in the name of mischief, let him well, my honour makes me quarrel with another be the inessenger.---For my part, I wouldn't lend gentleman of my acquaintance. -So, we fight. a hand to it for the best horse in your stable. (Pleasant enough that!) Boh! I kill him! (the By the mass ! it don't look like another letter! more's my luck). Now, pray, who gets the pro- It is, as I may say, a designing and maliciousfit of it? Why, my honour -But, put the case, looking letter; and I warrant smells of gunpowthat he kills me!-By the mass ! I go to the der like a soldier's pouch !--Oons! I wouldn't worms, and my honour whips over to my ene- swear it may'nt go off!
Acres. Out, you poltroon ! —you ha’n’t the va'Acres
. No, David---in that case ! Odds crowns lous of a grass-hopper. and laurels ! your honour follows you to the David. Well, I say no more ; 'twill be sad grave.
news, to be sure, at Clod Hall ! but I have done. David. Now, that's just the place where I How Phillis will howl when she hears of it! could make a shift to do without it.
Aye, poor bitch, she little thinks what shooting Acres. Zounds ! David, you are a coward! her master's going after ! And I warrant old It doesn't become my valour to listen to you. Crop, who has carried your honour, field and "VOL. II.
road, these ten years, will curse the hour he was do tell him I am a devil of a fellow! will you born.
[ll'himpering: Jack? dcres. It won't do, David-I am determined Abs. To be sure I shall.—I'll say you are a to fight--so get along, you coward, while I'm in determined dog! hey, Bob? the mind.
Acres. Aye, do, do, do; and if that frightens
him, 'egad, perhaps he maya't come. So tell Enter Servant.
him I generally kill a man a-week; will you, Ser. Captain Absolute, sir.
Jack? Acres. O! shew him up. [Erit Servant. Abs. I will, I will; I'll say you are called in
Duvid, Well, Heaven send we be all alive the country, Fighting Bob. this time to-morrow!
Acres. Right, right; 'tis all to prevent misAcres. What's that ?-Don't provoke me, chief; for I don't want to take his life, if I clear David! David. Good bye, master.
Whimpering Abs. No! that's very kind of you. Acres. Get along, you cowardly, dastardly, Acres. Why, you don't wish me to kill him? croaking raven.
[Erit David. do you, Jack?
Abs. No, upon my soul, I do not. But a Enter ABSOLUTE.
devil of a fellow, hey? Abs. What's the matter, Bob?
Acres. True, true; but stay-stay, JackAcres. A vile, sheep-hearted blockhead !—If you may add, that you never saw me in such a I hadn't the valour of St George and the dragon rage before; a most devouring rage ! to boot
Abs. I will, I will. Abs. But what did you want with me, Bob? Acres. Remember, Jack-a determined dog! Arres. 0 !-There---[Gives him the challenge.] Abs. Aye, aye ; Fighting Bob! Abs. • To ensign Beverley.' So, what's going
(Ereunt severally. on now ? [ Aside. Well, what's this? Acres. À challenge!
SCENE II.-MRS MALAPROP's lodgings. dbs. Indeed !- Why, you won't fight him, will you, Bob?
Mrs MALAPROP and Lydia. Acres. 'Egad, but I will, Jack.--Sir Lucius has Mrs Mal. Why, thou perverse one! tell me wrought mc to it. He has left me full of rage, what you can object to him? Isn't he a handand I'll fight this evening, that so much good some man? tell me that.-A genteel man? a passion mayn't he wasted.
pretty figure of a man? Abs. But what have I to do with this?
Lydia. She little thinks whom she is praising ! dicres. Why, as I think you know something [Aside.]--So is Beverley, madam. of this fellow, I want you to find him out for me, Mrs Mal. No caparisons, miss, if you please. and give him this mortal defiance.
--Caparisons don't become a young woman.Abs. Well, give it to me, and trust me he gets No! captain Absolute is, indeed, a fine gentleit.
man! Acres. Thank you, my dear friend, my dear Lydia. Ay; the captain Absolute you have Jack ; but it is giving you a great deal of seen.
[ Aside. trouble.
Mrs Mal. Then, he's so well bred; so full of Abs. Not in the least; I beg you won't men- alacrity, and adulation !-and bas so much to say tion it.-No trouble in the world, I assure you. for himself :-in such good language, too !-His
Aeres. You are very kind.- What it is to have physiognomy so grammatical:- Then, his presence a friend !-You couldn't be my second—could is so noble: I protest, when I saw him, I thought
of what Hamlet says in the play :- Hesperian Abs. Why no, Bob, not in this affair ; it.curls--the front of Job bimself!-an eye, like would not be quite so proper.
• March, to threaten at command !-a station, Acres. Well, ihen, I must get my friend sir · like Ilarry Mercury, new-' Something about Lucius. I shali have your good wishes, however, kissing—on a bill-however, the similitude struck Jack.
me directly. Abs. Whenever he meets you, believe me. Lydia. How enraged she'll be presently when
she discovers her inistake!
[ Aside Enter Sercant.
Enter Servant. Ser. Sir Anthony Absolute is below, inquiring Ser. Sir Anthony and captain Absolute are for the captain.
below, madain. Abs. I'll come instantly.–Well, my little hero, Mrs Mal. Shew them up here. [Erit Servant.) success attend you.
[Going. Now, Lydia, I insist on your behaving as beAcres. Stay, stay, Jack! If Beverley should comes a young woman.-shew your good breedask you what kind of a man your friend Acres is, ing, at least, though you have forgot your duty.