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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 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. Mrs. M. Oh, he will dissolve my mystery !-Sir Lucius, perhaps, there's some mistake--perhaps I can illuminate
Sir L. Pray, old gentlewoman, don't interfere where you have no business.-Miss Languish, are you my Delia, or not? Lydia. Indeed, Sir Lucius, I am not.
(LYDIA and ABSOLUTE walk aside. Mrs. M. 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 easy.
Mrs. M. Why, thou barbarous Vandyke-those letters are mine-When you are more sensible of
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.
Capt. Abs. I am much obliged to you, Sir Lucius ; but here's
my friend, fighting Bob, unprovided for.
you are in
Sir L. 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
bloom yet. Mrs. M. O Sir Anthony !--men are all barbarians
[All retire but Julia and FAULKLAND. Julia. He seems dejected and unhappy—not sullen -there was some foundation, however, for the tale he told me~ woman ! how true should be your judg. ment, 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.
Julia. 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 bless'd indeed !
[Sir ANTHONY comes forward. 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 per son, 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.
Capt. 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 your. self, while I
Lydia. Was always obliged to me for it, hey! Mr. Modesty |--But come, no more of that–our happiness is now as unalloyed as general.
Julia. Then let us study to preserve it so: and while hope pictures to us a flattering scene of happiness, let us deny its pencil those colours, which are too bright to be lasting.–When hearts diffusing 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 most, when its leaves are dropp'd !