페이지 이미지

make with the au found he hai

make my Hibernian believe that he was corresponding, not with the aunt, but with the niece: for, though not over rich, I found he had too much pride and delicacy, to sacrifice the feelings of a gentleman to the necessities of his fortune.



Scene I.Captain Absolute's Lodgings.

Captain ABSOLUTE und Fag. Fag. Sir, while I was there, Sir Anthony came in. I told him you had sent me to inquire after his health, and to know if he was at leisure to see you.

Capt. Abs. And what did he say on hearing I was at Bath?

Fag. Sir, in my life, I never saw an elderly gentleman more astonished !

Capt. Abs. Well, sir, and what did you say?

Fag. Oh, I lied, sir--I forget the precise lie, but you may depend on't, he got no truth from me.--Yet, with submission, for fear of blunders in future, I should be glad to fix what has brought us to Bath, in order that we may lie a little consistently.-Sir Anthony's servants were curious, sir, very curious indeed.

Capt. Abs. You have said nothing to them?

Fag. Oh, not a word, sir-not a word.-Mr. Thomas, indeed, the coachman (whom I take to be the discreetest of whips) .

Capt. Abs. 'Sdeath !-you rascal! you have not trusted him!

Fag. Oh, no, sir-no-no-not a syllable, upon my veracity !-He was, indeed, a little inquisitive; but I was sly, sir-devilish sly! My master (said I) honest Thomas (you know, sir, one says honest to one's inferiors) is come to Bath to recruit-yes, sir-I said to recruit-and whether for men, money, or constitution, you know, sir, is nothing to him, nor any one else.

Capt. Abs. Well-recruit will do—let it be so—

Fag. Oh, sir, recruit will do surprisingly-indeed, to give the thing an air, I told Thomas, that your honour had already inlisted five disbanded chairmen, seven minority waiters, and thirteen billiard markers.

Capt. Abs. You blockhead, never say more than is necessary.

Fay. I beg pardon, sir-I beg pardon—But with submission, a lie is nothing, unless one supports it.Sir, whenever I draw on my invention for a good current lie, I always forge endorsements as well as the


Capt. Abs. Well, take care you don't hurt your credit,' by offering too much security. Is Mr. Faulkland returned?

Fag. He is above, sir, changing his dress..

Capt. Abs. Can you tell whether he has been informed of Sir Anthony's and Miss Melville's arrival?

Fag. I fancy not, sir; he has seen no one since he came in, but his gentleman, who was with him at Bristol.-I think, sir, I hear Mr. Faulkland coming down

Capt. Abs. Go, tell him, I am here.

Fag. Yes, sir—[Going.] I beg pardon, sir, but should Sir Anthony call, you will do me the favour to remember, that we are recruiting, if you please.

Capt. Abs. Well, well. “

Fag. And in tenderness to my character, if your honour could bring in the chairmen and waiters, I shall esteem it as an obligation ;-for though I never scruple a lie to serve my master, yet it hurts one's conscience to be found out.

: [Exit. Capt. Abs. Now for my whimsical friend—If he does

not know that his mistress is here, I'll tease him a little before I tell him

Enter Fag.
Fag. Mr. Faulkland, sir.

[Exit. Enter FAULKLAND. Capt. Abs. Faulkland, you're welcome to Bath again : you are punctual in your return.

Faulk. Yes; I had nothing to detain me, when I had finished the business I went on. Well, what news since I left you? How stand matters between you and Lydia ?

Capt. Abs. 'Faith, much as they were; I have not seen her since our quarrel; however, I expect to be recalled every hour.

Faulk. Why don't you persuade her to go off with you at once?

Capt. Abs. What, and lose two-thirds of her fortune ? You forget that, my friend.—No, no, I could have brought her to that long ago.

Faulk. Nay, then, you trifle too long if you are sure of her, propose to the aunt, in your own character, and write to Sir Anthony, for his consent.

Capt. Abs. Softly, softly, for though I am convinced my little Lydia would elope with me as Ensign Beverley, yet am I by no means certain that she would take me with the impediment of our friends' consent, a regular humdrum wedding, and the reversion of a good fortune on my side; well, but Faulkland, you'll dine with us to. day at the hotel ?

Faulk. Indeed, I cannot; I am not in spirits to be of such a party.

Capt. Abs. By heavens! I shall forswear your company. You are the most teasing, captious, incorrigible lover!-Do, love like a man.

Faulk. Ah! Jack, your heart and soul are not like mine, fixed immutably on one only object. You throw

[ocr errors]

for a large stake, but, losing—you could stake, and throw again :--but I have set my sum of happiness on this cast, and not to succeed, were to be stripped of all.

Capt. Abs. But, for heaven's sake! what grounds for apprehension can your whimsical brain conjure up at present?

Faulk. What grounds for apprehension, did you say? Heavens! are there not a thousand ! I fear for her spirits -her health-her life-0! Jack, when delicate and feeling souls are separated, there is not a feature in the sky, not a movement of the elements, not an aspiration of the breeze, but hints some cause for a lover's apprehension !

Capt. Abs. Ay, but we may choose whether we will take the hint or not.—So then, Faulkland, if you were convinced that Julia were well, and in spirits, you would be entirely content ?

Faulk. I should be happy beyond measure-I am anxious only for that.

Capt. Abs. Then cure your anxiety at once-Miss Melville is in perfect health, and is at this moment in Bath.

Faulk. Nay, Jack-don't trifle with me.

Capt. Abs. She is arrived here, with my father, within this hour.

Faulk. Can you be serious

Capt. Abs. I thought you knew Sir Anthony better, than to be surprised at a sudden whim of this kind.Seriously then, it is as I tell you—upon my honour.

Faulk. My dear Jack now nothing on earth can give me a moment's uneasiness.

Enter Fag.
Fag. Sir, Mr. Acres, just arrived, is below.

Capt. Abs. Stay, Faulkland, this Acres lives within a mile of Sir Anthony, and he shall tell you how your

mistress has been ever since you left her.-Fag, show the gentleman up.

[Exit Fag. Faulk. What, is he much acquainted in the family?

Capt. Abs. Oh, very intimate: he is likewise a rival of mine-that is, of my other self's, for he does not think his friend, Captain Absolute, ever saw the lady in question ;-and it is ridiculous enough to hear him complain to me of one Beverley, a concealed, sculking rival, who Faulk. Hush !-He's here!

Enter ACRES. Acres. Hah! my dear friend, noble Captain, and honest Jack, how dost thou ? just arrived, 'faith, as you see. -Sir, your humble servant. Warm work on the roads, Jack-odds whips and wheels! I've travelled like a comet, with a tail of dust all the way, as long as the Mall.

Capt. Abs. Ah! Bob, you are indeed an eccentric planet, but we know your attraction hither-give me leave to introduce Mr. Faulkland to you ; Mr. Faulk. land, Mr. Acres.

Acres. Sir, I am most heartily glad to see you: sir, I solicit your connections.-Hey, Jack-what, this is Mr. Faulkland, who

Capt. Abs. Ay, Bob, Miss Melville's Mr. Faulkland. Acres. Ah! Mr. Faulkland, you are indeed a happy

man !

Faulk. I have not seen Miss Melville yet, sir, I hope she enjoyed full health and spirits in Devonshire ?

Acres. Never knew her better in my life, sir,-never better.-Odd's blushes and blooms ! she has been as healthy as the German Spa.

Faulk. Indeed !—I did hear that she had been a little indisposed.

Acres. False, false, sir—only said to vex you: quite the reverse, I assure you.

« 이전계속 »