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front, hey ?-Odd, 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. Z-ds, Sir Lucius! are you sure it is not cocked?
Sir L. Never fear.
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 of 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 me see the broad side of your full front-therenow 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 into 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 edge ways.
Sir L. (Looking at his watch.] Sure they don't mean to disappoint us--hah! no, 'faith-I think I see them coming.
Acres. Hey !-what !-coming!
Sir L. Ay, who are those yonder, getting over the stile?
Acres. There are two of them, indeed ! well—let them come—hey, Sir Lucius ! --we--wewe-we-won't run.
Sir L. Run!
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. .
Acres. Ay, true-my honour-do, Sir Lucius, edge in a word or two, every now and then, about my hopour.
Sir L. Well, here they're coming. (Looking.
Acres. Sir Lucius, if I wan'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 va. lour 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, mercy !-now, 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-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?
Acres. What, Jack !-my dear Jack !--my dear friend!
Capt. Abs. Harkye, 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 choose your weapons, the Captain and I will measure the ground. .
Faulk. My weapons, sir! . .
Acres. 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 ?
Faulk. 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 cantanckerous as to spoil the party, by sitting out. · Capt. Abs. Oh 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-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 trified 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!
Capt. 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
Acres. What, quarrel with my dear friend, Jack Absolute !—not if he were fifty Beverleys! 2—ds! 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 ! 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 a 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.
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 joke-But if you had called me a poltroon, odds daggers and balls
Sir L. Well, sir?
Acres. -I should have thought you a very ill-bred man,
Sir L. Pho! you are beneath my notice.
Capt. 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 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. Abs. Come then, sir; [Draws.] since you won't let it be an amicable suit, here's my reply.
Enter Sir ANTHONY, David, and the Women.
David. 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 phrenzy-how came you in a duel, sir ?
Capt. 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
Majestyrd against of you, that
Majesty!-2–ds! sirrah, then how durst you draw the . King's sword against one of his subjects ?
Capt. Abs. 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. Z-ds, 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.
Capt. Abs. For fear I should be killed, or escape, ma'am ?
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 interpret the young lady's silence-Now mark
Lydia. What is it you mean, sir? Sir L. Come, come, Delia, we must be serious now this is no time for trifling.
I ydia. 'Tis true, sir; and your reproof bids me offer this gentleman my hand, and solicit the return of his affections.
Capt. Abs. Oh, my little angel, say you so ? —Sir Lu. cius, 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 inadvertencyI ask your pardon.-But for this lady, while honoured