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nothing on earth could give him a moment's uneasiness I"
Acres. The gentleman wa’n't angry at my praising his mistress, was he?
Abs. A little jealous, I believe, Bob.
Acres. You don't say so ? Ha! ha! jealous of me that's a good joke.
Abs. There's nothing strange in that, Bob ; let me tell you, that sprightly grace and insinuating manner of yours will do some mischief among the girls here.
Acres. AħT**you joke-hal hal mischief-ha! ha! but you know I am not my own property; my dear Lydia has forestalled
me. She could never abide me in the country, because I used to dress so badly—but odds frogs and tambours ! I shan't take matters so here, now
know who's master. ' I shall straightway cashier the hunting-frock, and render my leather breeches incapable. My hair has been in training some time.)
Abs. Indeed !
Acres. Ay-and tho'ff the side curls are a little restive, my hind-part takes it very kindly.
Abs. Oh, you'll polish, I doubt not.
Acres. Absolutely, I propose so—then if I can find out this Ensign Beverley, odds triggers and flints ! I'll make him know the difference o't. ✓ Abs. Spoke like a man! But pray, Bob, I observe you have got an odd kind of a new method of swearing
Acres. Hal hal you've taken notice of it—'tis genteel, isn't it II didn't invent it myself though ; but a commander in our militia, a great scholar, I assure you, says that there is no meaning in the common oaths, and that nothing but their antiquity makes them respectable ; because, he says, the ancients would never stick to an oath or two, but would say, by Jove l or by Bacchus ! or by Mars 1 or by Venus ! or by Pallas ! according to the sentiment; so that to swear with propriety, says my little major, the oath should be an echo to the sense ; and this we call the oath referential or sentimental swearing-ha! ha! 'tis genteel, isn't it ?
Abs. Very genteel, and very new, indeed -and I dare say will supplant all other figures of imprecation.
Acres. Ay, ay, the best terms will grow obsolete.--Damns have had their day.
Fag. Sir, there is a gentleman below desires to see you.Shall I show him into the parlour ?
Abs. Ay—you may.
(Exit FAG Acres. You have business with Sir Anthony.-I expect a message from Mrs. Malaprop at my lodgings. I have sent also to my dear friend Sir Lucius O’Trigger. Adieu, Jack; we must meet at night, when you shall give me a dozen bumpers to little Lydia.
Abs. That I will with all my heart.--[Exit ACRES.] Now for a parental lecture-I hope he has heard nothing of the business that has brought me here-I wish the gout had held him fast in Devonshire, with all my soul !
Enter Sir ANTHONY ABSOLUTE
Sir, I am delighted to see you here ; looking so well ! your sudden arrival at Bath made me apprehensive for your health.
Sir Anth. Very apprehensive, I dare say, Jack.-What, you are recruiting here, hey? "Abs. Yes, sir, I am on duty.
Sir Anth. Well, Jack, I am glad to see you, though I did not expect it, for I was going to write to you on a little matter of business.--Jack, I have been considering that I grow old and infirm, and shall probably not trouble you long.
Abs. Pardon me, sir, I never saw you look more strong and hearty; and I pray frequently that you may continue
Sir Anth. I hope your prayers may be heard, with all my heart. Well then, Jack, I have been considering that I am so strong and hearty I may continue to plague you a long time. Now, Jack, I am sensible that the income of your commission, and what I have hitherto allowed you, is but a small pittance for a lad of your spirit,
Abs. Sir, you are very good.'
boy make some figure in the world. I have resolved, therefore, to fix you at once in a noble independence.
Abs. Sir, your kindness overpowers me-such generosity makes the gratitude of reason more lively than the sensations even of filial affection.
Sir Anth. I am glad you are so sensible of my attentionand you shall be master of a large estate in a few weeks.
Abs. Let my future life, sir, speak my gratitude; I cannot express the sense I have of your munificence.—Yet, sir, I presume you would not wish me to quit the army ? Sir Anth. Oh, that shall be as your wife chooses. Abs. My wife, sir ! Sir Anth. Ay, ay, settle that between you
settle that between you.
Abs. A wife, sir, did you say ?
Sir Anth. Odd so II mustn't forget her though.— Yes, Jack, the independence I was talking of is by a marriage the fortune is saddled with a wife—but I suppose that makes no difference.
Abs. Sir! sir 1 —you amaze me !
Sir Anth. Why, what the devil's the matter with the fool ? Just now you were all gratitude and duty.
Abs. I was, sir,—you talked to me of independence and a fortune, but not a word of a wife.
Sir Anth. Why—what difference does that make ? Odds life, sir ! if you have the estate, you must take it with the live stock on it, as it stands.
Abs. If my happiness is to be the price, I must beg leave to decline the purchase.-Pray, sir, who is the lady?
Sir Anth. What's that to you, sir ? — Come, give me your promise to love, and to marry her directly.
Abs. Sure, sir, this is not very reasonable, to summon my Caffe affections for a lady I know nothing of I
Sir Anth. I am sure, sir, 'tis more unreasonable in you to object to a lady you know nothing of.
Abs. Then, sir, I must tell you plainly that my inclinations are fixed on another-my heart is engaged to an angel.
Sir Anth. Then pray let it send an excuse. sorry—but business prevents its waiting on her.
Abs. But my vows are pledged to her..
It is very
are not worth redeeming; besides, you have the angel's vows in exchange, I suppose ; so there can be no loss there.
Abs. You must excuse me, sir, if I tell you, once for all, that in this point I cannot obey you.
Sir Anth. Hark'ee, Jack ;-I have heard you for some time with patience-I have been cool-quite cool ; but take care-you know I am compliance itself—when I am not thwarted ; - no one more easily led-when I have my own way ;-but don't put me in a frenzy.
Abs. Sir, I must repeat it-in this I cannot obey you.
Sir Anth. Now damn mel if ever I call you Jack again while I live.
Abs. Nay, sir, but hear me.
Sir Anth. Sir, I won't hear a word-not a word ! not one word I so give me your promise by a nod—and I'll tell you what, Jack-I mean, you dog,-if you don't by
Abs. What, sir, promise to link myself to some mass of ugliness I to
Sir Anth. Zounds ! sirrah! the lady shall be as ugly as I choose? she shall have a hump on each shoulder ; she shall be as crooked as the crescent; her one eye shall roll like the bull's in Cox's Museum; she shall have a skin like a mummy, and the beard of a Jew—she shall be all this, sirrah |-yet I will make you ogle her all day, and sit up all night to write sonnets on her beauty.
Abs. This is reason and moderation indeed !
Sir Anth. None of your sneering, puppy! no grinning, jackanapes !
Abs. Indeed, sir, I never was in a worse humour for mirth in my life.
Sir Anth. 'Tis false, sir, I know you are laughing in your sleeve; I know you'll grin when I am gone, sirrah !
Abs. Sir, I hope I know my duty better.
Sir Anth. None of your passion, sir ! none of your violence, if you please 1-It won't do with me, I promise you.
Abs. Indeed, sir, I never was cooler in my life.
Sir Anth. 'Tis a confounded lie 1-I know you are in a passion in your heart; I know you are, you hypocritical young dog! but it won't do.
Abs. Nay, sir, upon my word
Sir Anth. So you will fly out! can't you be cool like me ? What the devil good can passion do ?—Passion is of
no service, you impudent, insolent, overbearing reprobate ! --There, you sneer again I don't provoke me but you rely upon the mildness of my temper--you do, you dog, you play upon the meekness of my disposition - Yet take care—the patience of a saint may be overcome at last ! -but mark! I give you six hours and a half to consider of this: if you then agree, without any condition, to do everything on earth that I choose, why—confound you ! I may in time forgive you—If not, zounds ! don't enter the same hemisphere with me! don't dare to breathe the same air, or use the same light with me; but get an atmosphere and a sun of your own! I'll strip you of your commission; I'll lodge a five-and-threepence in the hands of trustees, and you shall live on the interest.-I'll disown you, I'll disinherit you, I'll unget you! and damn me! if ever I call you Jack again !
[Exit Abs. Mild, gentle, considerate father-I kiss your hands ! -What a tender method of giving his opinion in these matters Sir Anthony has ! I dare not trust him with the truth. I wonder what old wealthy hag it is that he wants to bestow on me k-Yet he married himself for love ! and was in his youth a bold intriguer, and a gay companion !
Fag. Assuredly, sir, your father is wroth to a degree; he comes down stairs eight or ten steps at a time--muttering, growling, and thumping the banisters all the way: I and the cook's dog stand bowing at the door-rap! he gives me a stroke on the head with his cane; bids me carry that to my master; then kicking the poor turnspit into the area, damns us all for a puppy triumvirate Upon my credit, sir, were I in your place, and found my father such very bad company, I should certainly drop his acquaintance.
Abs. Cease your impertinence, sir, at present.-Did you come in for nothing more ?-Stand out of the way!
[Pushes him aside, and exit Fag. So ! Sir Anthony trims my master : he is afraid to reply to his father-then vents his spleen on poor Fag! -When one is vexed by one person, to revenge one's self on another, who happens to come in the way, is the vilest injustice ! Ah! it shows the worst temper--the þaşest