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Sir. L. Never fear.
Acr. 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 of your ride sight-'twill be very hard if it don't succeed on the left!
Acr. 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 any harm at all. Acr. Clean through me!-a ball or two clean through me!
Sir L. Ay-may they, and it is much the genteelest attitude into the bargain.
Acr. Look'ee! 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 they don't mean to disappoint us-Hah!no, faith-I think I see them coming. Acr. Hey!-what! coming!
Sir L. Ay-Who are those yonder getting over the stile?
Acr. There are two of them indeed! -well-let them come-hey, Sir Lucius! we-we-we-we-won't run. Sir L. Run!
Acr. No-I say we won't run, by my valour!
Sir L. What the devil's the matter with you?
Acr. Nothing-nothing-my dear friend-my dear Sir Lucius-but II-I don't feel quite so bold, somehow, as I did.
Sir L. O fie!-consider your honour. Acr. Ay-true-my honour-Do, Sir Lucius, edge in a word or two every now and then about my honour. Sir L. (Looking.) Well, here they're coming. Acr. Sir Lucius-if I wa'n'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.
Acr. 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.
Acr. O mercy!-now-that I was safe at Clod-Hall! or could be shot before I was aware!
Enter Faulkland and Absolute.
Sir L. Gentlemen, your most obedient. Hah!-what, Captain Absolute! So, I suppose, sir, you are come here, just like myself to do a kind office, first for your friend-then to proceed to business on your own account.
Acr. What, Jack!-my dear Jack!my dear friend!
C. Abs. Heark'ee, Bob, Beverley's at hand.
Sir L. Well, Mr. Acres-I don't blame your saluting the gentleman civilly. So, Mr. Beverley, (To Faulkland.) if you'll choose your weapons, the captain and I will measure the ground.
Faulkl. My weapons, sir.
Acr. Odds life! Sir Lucius, I'm not going to fight Mr. Faulkland; these are my particular friends.
Sir L. What, sir, did not you come here to fight Mr. Acres?
Faulkl. Not I, upon my word, sir.
Sir L. Well, now, that's mighty provoking! But I 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.
C. Abs. O pray, Faulkland, fight to oblige Sir Lucius.
Faulkl. Nay, if Mr. Acres is so bent on the matter
Acr. 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 L. Observe me, Mr. Acres-I must not be trifled with. You have certainly challenged somebody-and you came here to find 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.
Acr. 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.
C. 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 L. Well, this is lucky.-Now you have an opportunity
Acr. 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 L. Upon my conscience, Mr. Acres, your valour has oozed away with a vengeance!
Acr. 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 L. Pho! pho! you are little better than a coward.
Acr. Mind, gentlemen, he calls me a coward; coward was the word, by my valour.
Sir L. Well, sir?
Acr. Look'ee, Sir Lucius, 'tisn't that I mind the word coward-coward may be said in joke. But if you had called me poltroon, odds daggers and balls Sir L. Well, sir?
Acr. I should have thought you a very ill-bred man.
Sir L. Pho! you are beneath my notice.
gentleman, whether he will resign the lady, without forcing you to proceed against him?
C. Abs. Come on then, sir—(Draws.) since you won't let it be an amicable suit, here's my reply.
Enter Sir Anthony and David. Dav. Knock'em all down, sweet Sir Anthony; knock down my master in particular-and bind his hands over to their good behaviour!
A. Abs. Put up, Jack, put up, or I shall be in phrensy-how came you in a duel, sir?
C. Abs. Faith, sir, that gentleman can tell you better than I: 'twas he called on me, and you know, sir, I serve his majesty.
A. Abs. 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?
C. Abs. Sir, I tell you, that gentleman called me out, without explaining his reasons.
A. Abs. 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.
A. Abs. Zounds! Jack, how durst you insult the gentleman in a manner which his honour could not brook?
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.
C. Abs. For fear I should be killed, or escape, ma'am?
Mal. Nay, no delusions to the past C. Abs. Nay, Sir Lucius, you can't-Lydia is convinced; speak, child." have a better second than my friend Sir L. With your leave, ma'am, I Acres; he is a most determined dog- must put in a word here I believe I called in the country, Fighting Bob. could interpret the young lady's silence He generally kills a man a week-don't-Now markyou, Bob?
Acr. Ay-at home!
Sir L. Well then, captain, 'tis we must begin-so come out, my little counsellor (Draws his sword.)—and ask the
Lyd. What is it you mean, sir? Sir L. 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. C. Abs. 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 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.
A. Abs. Well said, Jack, and I'll stand by you, my boy.
Acr. 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.
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.)
Mal. (Aside.) Oh, he will dissolve my mystery!-Sir Lucius, perhaps there's some mistake-perhaps I can illumi
Sir L. 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.
(Lydia and Absolute walk aside.) Mal. Sir Lucius O'Trigger-ungrateful as you are-I own the soft impeachment-Pardon my blushes, I am Delia. Sir L. You Delia-pho! pho! be
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 L. Mrs. Malaprop, I am extremely sensible of your condescension, and whether you or Lucy have put this trick upon me, I am equally beholden to you. And, to show you I am not ungrateful, Captain Absolute,
since you have taken that lady from me, I'll give you my Delia into the bargain.
A. Abs. I am much obliged to you, Sir Lucius; but here's my friend, Fighting Bob, unprovided for.
Sir L. Hah! little Valour-here, will you make your fortune?
Acr. 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.
A. Abs. Come, Mrs. Malaprop, don't be cast down-you are in your bloom yet.
Mal. O Sir Anthony! Men are all barbarians.
(All retire but Julia and Faulkland.) Jul. (Aside.) 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!
Faulkl. Julia! how can I sue for what I so little deserve? I dare not presume-yet Hope is the child of Penitence.
Jul. O! 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.
Faulkl. Now I shall be blest indeed! (Sir Anthony comes forward.)
A. Abs. 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 affections for you. There, marry him directly, Julia; you'll find he'll mend surprisingly!
(The rest comes forward.)
Sir L. 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
Acr. 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. A. Abs. '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.
Faulkl. 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.
C. 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 I—
Lyd. Was always obliged to me for it, hey! Mr. Modesty? 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 thorns offend them, when its leaves are dropt!
FROM 1780 TILL THE PRESENT TIME.
There is no union here of hearts,
That finds not here an end. Were this frail world our only rest, Living or dying, none were blest. Beyond the flight of time,
Beyond this vale of death, There surely is some blessed clime, Where life is not a breath, Nor life's affections transient fire, Whose sparks fly upward to expire. There is a world above,
Where parting is unknown,
A whole eternity of love,
Form'd for the good alone;
And faith beholds the dying here
Till all are pass'd away,
As morning high and higher shines To pure and perfect day;
Nor sink those stars in empty night, They hide themselves in heaven's own light.
There is a calm for those who weep, A rest for weary Pilgrims found, They softly lie and sweetly sleep
Low in the ground.
The storm that wrecks the winter-sky
I long to lay this painful head
For Misery stole me at my birth,
On thy dear lap these limbs reclined,
Night is the time for rest:-
5 Stretch the tired limbs and lay the head 5 Upon our own delightful bed!
Night is the time for dreams :
The gay romance of life,
When truth that is, and truth that seems,
10 Blend in fantastic strife.
Ah! visions less beguiling far
Than waking dreams by day-light are.
Night is the time for toil:-
15 Intent to find the buried spoil,
Hark!-a strange sound affrights mine ear, My pulse, my brain runs wild,-I rave; Ah! who art thou whose voice I hear? I am The Grave!
Friend after friend departs:
Who hath not lost a friend?
Till all is ours that sages taught,
Like Brutus, midst his slumbering host,