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hope, Mr. Faulkland, as there are three of us come on
purpose for the game, you won't be so cantankerous as to
spoil the party by sitting out.

Abs. O pray, Faulkland, fight to oblige Sir Lucius.
Faulk. Nay, if Mr. Acres is so bent on the matter-

Acres. No, no, Mr. Faulkland;-I 'll bear my disappointment like a Christian.-Look'ee, Sir Lucius, there's no occasion at all for me to fight; and if it is the same to you, I'd as lieve let it alone.

Sir Luc. Observe me, Mr. Acres—I must not be trifled with. You have certainly challenged somebody--and you came here to fight him. Now, if that gentleman is willing to represent him-I can't see, for my soul, why it isn't just the same thing.

Acres. Why no—Sir Lucius—I tell you, 'tis one Beverley I've challenged—a fellow, you see, that dare not show his face — If he were here, I'd make him give up his pretensions directly !

Abs. Hold, Bob—let me set you right—there is no such man as Beverley in the case. The person who assumed that name is before you; and as his pretensions are the same in both characters, he is ready to support them in whatever way you please.

Sir Luc. Well, this is lucky.—Now you have an opportunity

Acres. What, quarrel with my dear friend Jack Absolute ? -not if he were fifty Beverleys ! Zounds ! Sir Lucius, you would not have me so unnatural.

Sir Luc. Upon my conscience, Mr. Acres, your valour has oozed away with a vengeance !

Acres. Not in the least! Odds backs and abettors ! I 'll be your second with all my heart—and if you should get a quietus, you may command me entirely. I'll get you snug lying in the Abbey here; or pickle you, and send you over to Blunderbuss Hall, or any thing of the kind, with the greatest pleasure.

Sir Luc. Pho! pho! you are little better than a coward.

Acres. Mind, gentlemen, he calls me a coward ; coward was the word, by my valour!

Sir Luc. Well, sir ?

Acres. Look'ee, Sir Lucius, 'tisn't that I mind the word coward-coward may be said in joke.—But if you had called me a poltroon, odds daggers and balls

Sir Luc. Well, sir ?

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Acres. I should have thought you a very ill-bred man. Sir Luc. Pho! you are beneath my notice.

Abs. Nay, Sir Lucius, you can't have a better second than my friend Acres—He is a most determined dog-called in the country, Fighting Bob.—He generally kills a man a week—don't you, Bob ?

Acres. Ay, at home !

Sir Luc. Well then, captain, 'tis we must begin—so come out, my little counsellor-[Draws his sword]—and ask the gentleman, whether he will resign the lady, without forcing you to proceed against him ?

Abs. Come on then, sir—[Draws] ; since you won't let it be an amicable suit, here 's my reply.

Enter SIR ANTHONY ABSOLUTE, DAVID, MRS. MALAPROP,

LYDIA, and JULIA

Dav. Knock 'em all down, sweet Sir Anthony; knock down my master in particular; and bind his hands over to their good behaviour !

Sir Anth. Put up, Jack, put up, or I shall be in a frenzy -how came you in a duel, sir ?

Abs. Faith, sir, that gentleman can tell you better than I; 'twas he called on me, and you know, sir, I serve his majesty.

Sir Anth. Here's a pretty fellow; I catch him going to cut a man's throat, and he tells me, he serves his majesty! -Zounds ! sirrah, then how durst you draw the king's sword against one of his subjects ?

Abs. Sir, I tell you! that gentleman called me out, without explaining his reasons ?

Sir Anth. Gadl sir, how came you to call my son out, without explaining your reasons.

Sir Luc. Your son, sir, insulted me in a manner which my honour could not brook.

Sir Anth. Zounds | Jack, how durst you insult the gentleman in a manner which his honour could not brook ?

Mrs. Mal. Come, come, let's have no honour before ladies-Captain Absolute, come here--How could you intimidate us so ?—Here 's Lydia has been terrified to death for you.

Abs. For fear I should be killed, or escape, ma'am ?

Mrs. Mal. Nay, no delusions to the past-Lydia is convinced ; speak, child.

Sir Luc. With your leave, ma'am, I must put in a word here; I believe I could interpret the young lady's silence. Now mark

Lyd. What is it you mean, sir ?

Sir Luc. Come, come, Delia, we must be serious now this is no time for trifling.

Lyd. 'Tis true, sir ; and your reproof bids me offer this gentleman my hand, and solicit the return of his affections.

Abs. 01 my little angel, say you sok-Sir Lucius-I perceive there must be some mistake here, with regard to the affront which you affirm I have given you. I can only say, that it could not have been intentional.

And as you must be convinced, that I should not fear to support a real injury—you shall now see that I am not ashamed to atone for an inadvertency-I ask your pardon.-But for this lady, while honoured with her approbation, I will support my claim against any man whatever.

Sir Anth. Well said, Jack, and I'll stand by you, my boy.

Acres. Mind, I give up all my claim-I make no pretensions to anything in the world ; and if I can't get a wife without fighting for her, by my valour! I'll live a bachelor.

Sir Luc. Captain, give me your hand : an affront handsomely acknowledged becomes an obligation; and as for the lady, if she chooses to deny her own hand-writing, here

[Takes out letters Mrs. Mal. O, he will dissolve my mystery Sir Lucius, perhaps there's some mistake-perhaps I can illuminate

Sir Luc. Pray, old gentlewoman, don't interfere where you have no business.—Miss Languish, are you my Delia, or not? Lyd. Indeed, Sir Lucius, I am not.

[Walks aside with CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE Mrs. Mal. Sir Lucius O'Trigger-ungrateful as you are -I own the soft impeachment-pardon my blushes, I am Delia. Sir Lục. You Delia pho ! pho ! be easy.

Mrs. Mal. Why, thou barbarous Vandyke—those letters are mine— When you are more sensible of my benignity“ perhaps I may be brought to encourage your addresses.

Sir Luc. Mrs. Malaprop, I am extremely sensible of your condescension ; "and whether you or Lucy have put this trick on me, I am equally beholden to you.—And, to show you I am not ungrateful, Captain Absolute, since you have

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taken that lady from me, I'll give you my Delia into the bargain.

Abs. I am much obliged to you, Sir Lucius ; but here 's my friend, Fighting Bob, unprovided for.

Sir Luc. Hah! little Valour-here, will you make your fortune ?

Acres. Odds wrinkles ! No.-But give me your hand, Sir Lucius, forget and forgive; but if ever I give you a chance of pickling me again, say Bob Acres is a dunce, that's all.

Sir Anth. Come, Mrs. Malaprop, don't be cast down—you are in your bloom yet. Mrs. Mal. O Sir Anthony--men are all barbarians.

[All retire but JULIA and FAULKLAND Jul. (A side.] He seems dejected and unhappy-not sullen; there was some foundation, however, for the tale he told me

-O woman! how true should be your judgment, when your resolution is so weak !

Faulk. Julia |-how can I sue for what I so little deserve ? I dare not presume--yet Hope is the child of Penitence.

Jul. Oh! Faulkland, you have not been more faulty in your unkind treatment of me, than I am now in wanting inclination to resent it. As my heart honestly bids me place my weakness to the account of love, I should be ungenerous not to admit the same plea for yours.

Faulk. NOW I shall be blest indeed 1

Sir Anth. (Coming forward.] What's going on here 2-So you have been quarrelling too, I warrant! Come, Julia, I never interfered before ; but let me have a hand in the matter at last.-All the faults I have ever seen in my friend Faulkland seemed to proceed from what he calls the delicacy and warmth of his affection for you—There, marry him directly, Julia ; you 'll find he'll mend surprisingly !

[The rest come forward Sir Luc. Come, now, I hope there is no dissatisfied person, but what is content; for as I have been disappointed myself, it will be very hard if I have not the satisfaction of seeing other people succeed better.

Acres. You are right, Sir Lucius.—So, Jack, I wish you joy-Mr. Faulkland the same.—Ladies,come now, to show you I'm neither vexed nor angry, odds tabors and pipes ! I'll order the fiddles in half an hour to the New Rooms—and I insist on your all meeting me there.

Sir Anth. 'Gad! sir, I like your spirit; and at night we

single lads will drink a health to the young couples, and a husband to Mrs. Malaprop.

Faulk. Our partners are stolen from us, Jack-I hope to be congratulated by each other—yours for having checked in time the errors of an ill-directed imagination, which might have betrayed an innocent heart; and mine, for having, by her gentleness and candour, reformed the unhappy temper of one, who by it made wretched whom he loved most, and tortured the heart he ought to have adored.

Abs. Well, Jack, we have both tasted the bitters, as well as the sweets of love ; with this difference only, that you always prepared the bitter cup for yourself, while ILyd. Was always obliged to me for it, hey! Mr. Modesty ?

-But, come, no more of thatour happiness is now as unalloyed as general.

Jul. Then let us study to preserve it so ; and while Hope pictures to us a flattering scene of future bliss, let us deny its pencil those colours which are too bright to be lasting.

-When hearts deserving happiness would unite their fortunes, Virtue would crown them with an unfading garland of modest hurtless flowers ; but ill-judging Passion will force the gaudier rose into the wreath, whose thorn offends them when its leaves are dropped !

(Exeunt omnes

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