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SCENE IV.-ACRES' Lodgings
ACRES, as just dressed, and DAVID
are quite another
poenariat we areature, believe me, master, by the mass an any luck we shall see the Devon monkerony in all the print-shops in Bath!
Acres. Dress does make a difference, David.
Dav. '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.—OonsI'll hold a gallon, there an't a dog in the house but would bark, and I question whether Phillis would wag a hair of her tail !
Acres. Ay, David, there's nothing like polishing.
Dav. So I says of your honour's boots ; but the boy never heeds me!
Acres. But, David, has Mr. De-la-grace been here ? I must rub up my balancing, and chasing, and boring.
Dav. I'll call again, sir.
Acres. Domand see if there are any letters for me at the post-office.
Dav. I will.-By the mass, I can't help looking at your head - If I hadn't been by at the cooking, I wish I may die if I should have known the dish again myself !
[Exit Acres. [Practising a dancing step.] Sink, slide-coupee.Confound the first inventors of cotillons ! say 1—they are as bad as algebra to us country gentlemen-I can walk a minuet easy enough when I am forced and I have been accounted a good stick in a country-dance.—Odds jigs and tabors ! I never valued your cross-over to couple—figure in-right and left—and I'd foot it with e'er a captain in the county 1-but these outlandish heathen allemandes and cotillons are quite beyond me l-I shall never prosper at 'em, that 's sure—mine are true-born English legs—they don't understand their curst French lingo their pas this, and pas that, and pas t'other ! - damn mel my feet don't like to be called paws! no, 'tis certain I have most Antigallican toes!
Serv. Here is Sir Lucius O'Trigger to wait on you, sir. Acres. Show him in.
Enter SIR LUCIUS O'TRIGGER
Sir Luc. Mr. Acres, I am delighted to embrace you. Acres. My dear Sir Lucius, I kiss your hands.
Sir Luc. Pray, my friend, what has brought you so suddenly to Bath ?
Acres. Faith! I have followed Cupid's Jack-a-lantern, and find myself in a quagmire at last.-In short, I have been very ill-used, Sir Lucius.--I don't choose to mention names, but look on me as on a very ill-used .gentleman.
Sir Luc. Pray what is the case ?-I ask no names.
Acres. Mark me, Sir Lucius, I fall as deep as need be in love with a young lady-her friends take my part-I follow her to Bath-send word of my arrival ; and receive answer, that the lady is to be otherwise disposed of. This, Sir Lucius, I call being ill-used.
Sir Luc. Very ill, upon my conscience.- Pray, can you divine the cause of it ?
Acres. Why, there's the matter ; she has another lover, one Beverley, who, I am told, is now in Bath.-Odds slanders and lies ! he must be at the bottom of it.
Sir Luc. A rival in the case, is there ?—and you think he has supplanted you unfairly ?
Acres. Unfairly 1 to be sure he has. He never could have done it fairly.
Sir Luc. Then sure you know what is to be done !
Acres. What ! fight him !
Sir Luc. Now, I think he has given you the greatest provocation in the world. Can a man commit a more heinous offence against another than to fall in love with the same woman? Oh, by my soull it is the most unpardonable breach of friendship.
Acres. Breach of friendship! ay, ay; but I have no acquaintance with this man, I never saw him in my life.
Sir Luc. That's no argument at all-he has the less right then to take such a liberty.
Acres, Gad, that's true- I grow full of anger, Sir Lucius ! -I fire apace! Odds hilts and blades ! I find a man may have a deal of valour in him, and not know it ! But couldn't I contrive to have a little right of my side ?
Sir Luc. What the devil signifies right, when your honour is concerned! Do you think Achilles, or my little Alexander the Great, ever inquired where the right lay ? No, by my soul, they drew their broad-swords, and left the lazy sons of peace to settle the justice of it.
Acres. Your words are a grenadier's march to my heart ! I believe courage must be catching! I certainly do feel a kind of valour rising as it were- -a kind of courage, as I may say.-Odds flints, pans, and triggers! I'll challenge him directly.
Sir Luc. Ah, my little friend, if I had Blunderbuss Hall here, I could show you a range of ancestry, in the O'Trigger line, that would furnish the new room; every one of whom had killed his man -For though the mansion-house and dirty acres have slipped through my fingers, I thank Heaven our honour and the family pictures are as fresh as
Acres. 0, Sir Lucius ! I have had ancestors too kevery man of 'em colonel or captain in the militia 1-Odds balls and barrels ! say no more- -I'm braced for it. The thunder of your words has soured the milk of human kindness in my breast ; --Zounds! as the man in the play says, I could do such deeds!
Sir Lục. Come, come, there must be no passion at all in the case these things should always be done civilly.
Acres. I must be in a passion, Sir Lucius—I must be in a rage.—Dear Sir Lucius, let me be in a rage, if you love
Come, here's pen and paper.- [Sits, down to write.) I would the ink were red | Indite,—I say indite --How shall I begin ? Odds bullets and blades ! I'll write a good bold hand, however.
Sir Luc. Pray compose yourself.
Acres. Come-now, shall I begin with an oath ? Do, Sir Lucius, let me begin with a damme.
Sir Luc. Pho! pho! do the thing decently, and like a Christian. Begin now-Sir
Acres. That's too civil by half.
Sir Luc. Let me see, ay, King's-Mead-Fields will doin King's-Mead-Fields.
Acres. So, that's done-Well, I'll fold it up presently : my own crest-a hand and dagger shall be the seal.
Sir Luc. You see now this little explanation will put a stop at once to all confusion or misunderstanding that might arise between you.
Acres. Ay, we fight to prevent any misunderstanding.
Sir Luc. Now, I'll leave you to fix your own time.Take my advice, and you'll decide it this evening if you can; then let the worst come of it, 'twill be off your mind to-morrow.
Acres. Very true.
Sir Luc. So I shall see nothing more of you, unless it be by letter, till the evening. “I would do myself the honour to carry your message ; but, to tell you a secret, I believe I shall have just such another affair on my own hands. There is gay-captain here, who put a jest on me lately, at the expense of my country, and I only want to fall in with the gentleman, to call him out.
Acres. By my valour, I should like to see you fight first I Odds life ! I should like to see you kill him if it was only to get a little lesson.
Sir Luc. I shall be very proud of instructing you.Well for the present--but remember now, when you meet your antagonist, do everything in a mild and agreeable manner.-Let your courage be as keen, but at the same time as polished, as your sword. [Exeunt severally
SCENE I. LACRES" Lodgings
ACRES and DAVID
Dav. Then, by the maşs, sir ! I would do no such thing -ne'er a Sir Lucius O’Trigger in the kingdom should make me fight, when I wa'n't so minded. Oons ! what will the old lady say, when she hears o't?
Acres. Ah! David, if you had heard Sir Lucius la Odds sparks and flames i he would have roused your valour.
Dav. Not he, indeed. I hate such bloodthirsty cormorants. Look'ee, master, if you'd wanted a bout at boxing, quarterstaff, or short-staff, I should never be the man to bid you cry off: but for your curst. sharps and snaps, never knew any good come of 'em.
Acres, But my honour, David, my honour ! I must be very careful of my honour.
Dav. Ay by the mass and I would be very careful of it; and I think in return my honour couldn't do less than to be very careful of me.
Acres. Odds blades ! David, no gentleman will ever risk the loss of his honour !
Dav. I say then, it would be but civil in honour never to risk the loss of a gentleman.-Look'ee, master, this honour seems to me to be a marvellous false friend : 'ay, truly, a very courtier-like servant.--Put the case, I was a gentleman (which, thank God, no one can say of me); well, my honour makes me quarrel with another gentleman of my acquaintance.-S0—we fight. (Pleasant enough that !) Boh K-I kill him the more's my luck I) now, pray who gets the profit of it ?-Why, my honour. But put the case that he kills me l-by the mass ! I go to the worms, and my honour whips over to my enemy.
Acres. No, David-in that case kOdds crowns and laurels ! your honour follows you to the grave.
Dav. Now, that 's just the place where I could make a shift to do without it.
Acres. Zounds ! David, you are a coward 1-It doesn't become my valour to listen to you. What, shall I disgrace my ancestors ?—Think of that, David-think what it would be to disgrace my ancestors !