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Oh! Julia, I am come to you with such an appetite for consolation! Lud, child! what's the matter with you? You have been crying! I'll be hanged if that Faulkland has not been tormenting you!
Jul. You mistake the cause of my uneasiness. Something has flurried me a little. Nothing that you can guess at. I would not accuse Faulkland to a sister. (Aside.)
Lyd. Ah! whatever vexations you may have, I can assure you mine surpass them. You know who Beverley proves to be?
Jul. I will now own to you, Lydia, that Mr. Faulkland had before informed me of the whole affair.
Lyd. So, then, I see I have been deceived by every one! but I don't care, I'll never have him.
Jul. Melancholy, indeed!
Lyd. How mortifying, to remember the dear, delicious shifts I used to be put to, to gain half a minute's conversation with this fellow! How often have I stolen forth in the coldest night in January, and found him in the garden stuck like a dripping statue! There would he kneel to me in the snow, and sneeze and cough, so pathetically! and, while the freezing blast numbed our joints, how warmly would he press me to pity his flame, and glow with mutual ardour! Ah! Julia, that was something like being in love!
Jul. If I were in spirits, Lydia, I should chide you only by laughing heartily at you; but it suits more the situation of my mind at present earnestly to entreat you, not to let a man, who loves you with sincerity, suffer that unhappiness from your caprice which I know too well caprice can inflict. Lyd. Oh, lud! what has brought my aunt here? Enter MRS. MALAPROP and DAVID. Mrs. M. So, so! here s fine work! here's fine suicide, paracide, and simulation, going on in the fields! and Sir Anthony not to be found to prevent the antistrophe! Imeaning of this? Jul. For heaven's sake! madam, what's the Mrs. M. That gentleman can tell you; 'twas he enveloped the affair to me.
Lyd. Oh, patience! Do, ma'am, for heaven's sake! tell us what is the matter!
Mrs. M. Why murder's the matter! slaughter's the matter! killing's the matter! But he can tell you the perpendiculars. (Pointing to David.)
Jul. Do speak, friend. (To David)
Dar. Lookye, my lady-by the mass! there's mischief going on. Folks don't use to meet for
amusement with fire-arms, firelocks, fire-engines. fire-screens, fire-office, and the devil knows what other crackers beside! This my lady, I say has an angry favour. To be sure, Captain Absolute,Jul. But who is engaged?
Dav. My poor master; under favour for mentioning him first. You know me, my lady-I am David-and my master of course is, or was, 'squire Acres, and Captain Absolute,-Then comes 'squire Faulkland. [prevent mischief.
Jul. Do, ma'am, let us instantly endeavour to Mrs. M. Oh, fle! it would be very inelegant in us: we should only participate things. [vent them. Lyd. Do, my dear aunt, let us hasten to preDav. Ah! do, Mrs. Aunt, save a few lives! they are desperately given, believe me. Above all, there is that blood-thirsty Philistine, Sir Lucius O'Trigger.
Mrs. M. Sir Lucius O'Trigger! O mercy! have they drawn poor, little, dear Sir Lucius into the scrape! (Aside.) Why, how you stand, girl! you have no more feeling than one of the Derbyshire putrefactions!
Lyd. What are we to do, madam?
Mrs. M. Why, fly with the utmost felicity, to be sure, to prevent mischief! Come, girls, this gentleman will exhort us. Come, sir, you're our envoy; lead the way, and we'll precede. You're sure you know the spot.
Dav. Oh! never fear; and ono good thing is, we shall find it out by the report of the pistols. All the Ladies. The pistols! Oh! let us fly. [Exeunt.
SCENE II.-Kings Mead-fields. Enter SIR LUCIUS, and ACRES, with pistols. Acres. By my valour, then, Sir Lucius, forty yards is a good distance. Ods levels and aims! I say, it is a good distance.
Sir L. It is for muskets, or small field pieces; upon my conscience, Mr. Acres, you must leave these things to me. Stay, now-I'll show you. (Measures paces along the stage.) There, Bow, that is a very pretty distance; a pretty gentleman's distance.
Acres. Zounds! we might as well fight in a sentry-box! I tell you, Sir Lucius, the farther he is off, the cooler I shall take my aim.
Sir L. 'Faith, then, I suppose you would aim at him best of all if he was out of sight!
Acres. No, Sir Lucius; but I should think forty, or eight-and-thirty yards
Sir L. Pho! pho! nonsense! three or four feet between the mouths of your pistols is as good as a mile.
Acres. Ods bullets, no! by my valour there is no merit in killing him so near! Do, my dear Sir Lucius, let me bring him down at a long shot: a long shot, Sir Lucius, if you love me!
Sir L. Well: the gentleman's friend and I must settle that. But tell me now, Mr. Acres, in case of an accident, is there any little will or commission I could execute for you?
Acres. I am much obliged to you, Sir Lucius; but I don't understand
Sir L. Why, you may think there's no being shot at without a little risk; and, if an unlucky bullet should carry a quietus with it-I say, it will be no time then to be bothering you about family Acres. A quietus! [matters.
Sir L. For instance, now; if that should be the case, would you choose to be pickled, and seut home? or would it be the same to you to lie here in the Abbey? I'm told there is very snug lying in the Abbey.
Acres. Pickled! Snug lying in the Abbey! Ods tremors! Sir Lucius, don't talk so!
Sir L. I suppose, Mr. Acres, you were never engaged in an affair of this kind before?
Acres. No, Sir Lucius, never before.
Sir L. Ah! that's a pity; there's nothing like being used to a thing. Pray, how would you receive the gentleman's shot?
Acres. Ods files! I've practised that; there, Sir Lucius, there-(puts himself into an attitude)-a sidefront, eh? Od, I'll make myself small enough; I'll stand edgeways.
Sir L. Now, you're quite out; for if you stand so when I take my aim-(Levelling at him.) Acres. Zounds, Sir Lucius! are you sure it is not Sir L. Never fear. fcocked? Acres. But-but-you don't know; it may go off of its own head!
Sir L. Pho! be easy. Well, now, if I hit you in the body, my bullet has a double chance; for if it misses a vital part on your right side, 'twill be very hard if it don't succeed on the left.
Acres. A vital part!
Sir L. But there; fix yourself so- (placing him) -let him see the broadside of your full front; there now a ball or two may pass clean through your body, and never do you any harm at all. Acres. Clean through me! a ball or two clean through me!
Sir L. Ay, may they; and it is much the genteelest attitude in the bargain.
Acres. Lookye, Sir Lucius. I'd just as lieve be shot in an awkward posture, as a genteel one; so, by my valour! I will stand edgeways. Sir. L. (Looking at his watch.) Sure, mean to disappoint us; ha! no faith. see them coming.
they don't I think I Acres. Eh! what! coming![the stile? Sir L. Ay, who are those yonder, getting over Acres. There are two of them indeed! well, let them come; hey, Sir Lucius! we-we-we-weSir L. Run! Iwon't run.
Acres. No, I say, we won't run, by my valour! Sir L. What the devil's the matter with you? Acres. Nothing, nothing, my dear friend; my dear Sir Lucius: but I-I-I don't feel quite so bold somehow as I did.
Sir L. O fie! consider your honour.
Acre. Ay true; my honour; do, Sir Lucius, edge in a word or two, every now and then, about my honour.
Sir L. Well, here they're coming. (Looking.) Acres. Sir Lucius, if I wasn't with you I should almost think I was afraid. If my valour should leave me! valour will come and go.
Sir L. Then pray keep it fast while you have it. Acres. Sir Lucius; I doubt it is going; yes, my valour is certainly going, it is sneaking off! I feel it oozing out as it were, at the palms of my hands. Sir L. Your honour, your honour-Here they are. Acres. Oh, that I was safe at Clod Hall! or could be shot before I was aware!
Enter FAULKLAND and CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE. Sir L. Gentlemen, your most obedient; ha, what, Captain Absolute. So, I suppose, sir, you are come here, just like myself, to do a kind of office, first for your friend, then to proceed to business on your own account? [friend! Acres. What Jack! my dear Jack! my dear Capt. A. Harkye, Bob, Beverley's at hand. Sir L. Wel', Mr. Acres. I don't blame your saluting the gentleman civilly. So. Mr. Beverley, (to Faul land) if you choose your weapons, the Captain and I will measure the ground.
Faulk. My weapons, sir!
Acres. Ods life! Sir Lucius, I'm not going to fight Mr. Faulkland; these are my particular friends. Sir L. What, sir, did you not come here to fight Faulk. Not I, upon my word, sir. [Mr Acres? Sir L. Well, now, that's mighty provoking! But I hope, Mr. Faukland, 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. Capt. A. Oh, pray, Faulkland, fight to oblige Sir Lucius. [matter.
Faulk. Nay, if Mr. Acres is so bent on the Acres. No, no, Mr. Faulkland, I'll bear my disappointment like a Christian. Lookye, 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 L. 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 shew his face. If he were here, I'd make him give up his pretensions directly!
Capt. A. 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. [opportunity
Sir L. Well, this is lucky. Now you have an Acres. What, quarrel with my dear friend, Jack Absolute! not if he were fifty Beverleys! Zounds! Sir Lucius, you would not have me be so unnatural! Sir L. Upon my conscience, Mr. Acres, your valour has oozed away with a vengeance!
Acres. Not in the least! ods 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 anything of the kind, with the greatest pleasure. [coward
Sir L. Pho! pho! you are little better than a Acres. Mind, gentlemen, he calls me a coward; coward was the word, by my valour.
Sir L. Well, sir?
Acres. Lookye, Sir Lucius, 'tisn't that I mind the word coward. Coward may be said in a joke. But if you had called me a poltroon, ods daggers Sir L. Well, sir? [and ballsAcres. I should have thought you a very ill-bred Sir L. Pho! you are beneath my notice. [man. Copt. A. 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?
Sir L. 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?
Capt A. Come on then, sir, (draws) since you won't let it be an amicable suit, here's my reply.
Enter SIR ANTHONY, DAVID, and the Ladies. Dar. 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?
Capt. A. 'Faith, sir, that gentlenian 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! sirrab, then how durst you draw the king's sword against one of his subjects?
Capt. A. Sir, I tell you, that gentleman called me out, without explaining his reasons.
Sir Anth. 'Gad, sir! how came you to call my son out, without explaining your reasons?
Sir L. 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. M. 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. [ma'am. Capt. A. For fear I should be killed, or escape, Mrs. M. Nay, no delusions to the past-Lydia is convinced: speak, child.
Sir L. With your leave, ma'am, I must put in a word here; I believe I could interrupt the young lady's silence. Now mark.
Lgd. What is it you mean, sir?
Sir L. Come, come, Dalia, 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.
Capt. A. Oh! my little angel, say you so? 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 fail 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 bation, I will support my claim against any man whatever. [my boy. Sir Anth. Well said, Jack, and I'll stand by you, Acres. Mind, I give up all my claim; I make no pretensions to any thing in the world; and if I can't get a wife without fighting for her, by my valour! I'll live a bachelor.
but here's my friend, fighting Bob, unprovided for.
Sir L. Ah! little valour-here, will you make your fortune?
Acres. Ods 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. M. O, Sir Anthony! men are all barbarians! (All retire but Julia and Faulkland.)
Jul. 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, that 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. (Sir Anthony comes forward.)
Faulk. Now I shall be blest indeed.
Sir Anth. What's going on here? 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 L. Come now, I hope there is no dissatisfied person but what is content; for as I have been disappro-appointed myself, it will be very hard if I have not the satisfaction of seeing other people succeed better.
Sir L. 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. M. Oh! he will dissolve my mystery! Sir Lucius, perhaps there is some mistake. Perhaps I can illuminate
Sir L. Pray, old gentlewoman, don't interfere where you have no business. Miss Languish, are you my Dalia, or not?
Lyd. Indeed, Sir Lucius, I am not. (Lydia and Absolute walk aside.)
Mr. M. Sir Lucius O'Trigger-ungrateful as you are-I own the soft impeachment-pardon my camelion blushes-I am Delia.
Sir L. You Dalia-pho! pho! be easy. Mrs. M. Why, thou barbarous Vandyke-those letters are min. When you are more sensible of my benignity. perhaps I may be brought to encourage your addresses.
Sir L. Mrs. Malaprop, I am extremely sensible of your condescension, and whether you or Lucy have put this trick upon me, I am equally beho'den to you. And to shew you I am not ungrateful, Captain Absolute, since you have taken that lady from me, I'll give you my Dalia into the bargain.
Capt. A. I am much obliged to you, Sir Lucius;
Acres. You are right, Sir Lucius-So Jack, I wish you joy. Mr. Faulkland, the same. Ladies, come now, to shew 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 good husband to Mrs. Malaprop.
Faulk. Our partners are stolen from us, JackI hope, to be congratulated by each other; your's 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.
Capt. A. True, Faulkland, 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 I
Lyd. Was always obliged to me for it, eh? Mr. Modest 4! But come no more of that; our 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 dropt! [Exeunt.
Juno. I'll take the law. (To Jupiter.) My proctor, with a summons,
Shall cite you, sir, t'appear at Doctors' Commons. Jup. Let him; but first I'll chase from heaven yon varlet.
Juno. What, for detecting you and your vile harlot!
Or into cows metamorphose them.
Jup. Peace, termagant. I swear by Styx, our
Chall hurl him to the earth. Nay, never wonder, "ve sworn it, gods.
Apollo. Hold, hold, have patience,
Papa. No bowels for your own relations!
Be by your friends advised,
The world will think you mad.
His roaring bucks, when drunk, Then break the lamps, beat watchmen, And stagger to some punk?
Jup. You saucy scoundrel; there, sir. (Strikes him.) Come, disorder,
own, Phoebus, down to earth, we'll hear no further: oll, thunders, roll; blue lightnings flash about him. he blab shall find our sky can do without him. Thunder and lightning.) Jupiter darts a bolt at him; he falls; Jupiter re-assumes his throne, and the gods ail ascend together, singing the initial chorus; "Jove in his chair," &c.
DENE II-A champaign Country, with a distant lage. Violent storm of thunder and lightning. A Sepherd sleeping in the field is roused by it, and runs frightened, leaving his cloak and guitar behind
POLLO, as cast from heaven, falls to the earth, with rude shock, and lies for awhile stunned.
Apol. Zooks! what a crush! a pretty decent
nd usage, Mr. Jove: sweet sir, your humble. ell, down I am; no bones broke, though sore
ere doom'd to stay. What can I do? turn shopherd(Puts on the cloak, &c.) lucky thought. In this disguise, Apollo o more, but Pol the swain, some flock I'll follow. or doubt I, with my voice, guitar, and person, mong the nymphs to kick up some diversion. Enter SILENO
Sil. Whom have we here? a sightly clown! and sturdy:
um; plays, I see, upon the hurdy-gurdy.
eems out of place; a stranger; all in tatters;
I hire him; he'll divert my wife and daughters. hence, and what ert thou, boy?
Apo. An orphan lad, sir.
Pol, is my name; a shepherd once my dad, sir,
Why, I'm the master you could best apply to.
Fal, lal, la. With thre crowns, your standing wages, You shall daintily be fed: Bacon, beans, salt beef, cabbages, Buttermilk, and oaten bread.
Fal, lal, la Come, strike hands, you'll live in clover, When we get you once at home; And when daily labour's over,
We will dance to your sirum-strum.
Apo. I strike hands, I take your offer, Farther and I may jare worse; Yooks, I can no longer suffer Hungry guts and empty purse.
Fal, lal, la.
Fal, lal, la.
Do strike hands; 'tis kind I offer; Apo. I strike hands, and take your offer; Sil. Farther seeking you'll fare worse; Apo. Father on I may fare worse. Sil. Pity such a lad should suffer, Apo. Zooks, I can no longer suffer, Sil. Hungry guts and empy purse. Apo. Hungry guts and empty purse. Fal, lal, la.
If ever they be idle;
Must hold a steady bridle;
And there they trip,
And this and that way sille. Giddy maids,
Poor silly jades,
All after men are gadding; They flirt pell-mell,
Their rain to swell,
To coxcomb, coxcomb adding: To ev'ry fop
SCENE III.-Sileno's Farm-house.
Daph. But, Nysa, how goes on 'Squire Midas's courtship? [worship. Brought me from him a purse; but the conditionsNysa. Your sweet Damætas, pimp to his great I've cur'd him, I believe, of such commissions. Daph. The moon-calf! This must blast him with my father.
Nysa. Right; so we're rid of the two frights to-
Mysis. Hey-day! what mare's nest's found? For ever grinning:
Ye rantipoles; is't thus you mind your spinning?
Their co k-a-hoop,
And set their mothers madding.