Page images
PDF
EPUB

Faulk. Indeed, I cannot; I am not in spirits to Abs. 0, very intimate : I insist on your not gobe of such a party.

ing: besides, his character will divert you. Abs: By heavens! I shall forswear your com Faulk. Well, I should like to ask him a few pany. You are the most teasing, captious, in- questions. corrigible lover! Do love like a man.

Abs. He is likewise a rival of mine that is, of Fuulk. I own I am unfit for company.

my other self's, for he does not think his friend Abs. Am not I a lover, ay, and a romantic one Captain Absolute ever saw the lady in question ; too? Yet, do I carry every where with me such and it is ridiculous enough to hear bim complain a confounded farrago of doubts, fears, hopes, to me of one Beverley, a concealed, sculking rival, wishes, and all the flimsy furniture of a country whomiss's brain ?

Faulk. Hush ! he's here. Faulk. Ah, Jack! your heart and soul are not, like mine, fixed immutably on one only object.

Enter ACRES. You throw for a large stake, but losing-you could

Acres. Hah! my dear friend, noble captain, stake, and throw again : but I have set my sum and honest Jack, how dost thou ? just arrived, of happiness on this cast, and not to succeed, were faith, as you see. Sir, your humble servant. Warm to be stript of all.

work on the roads, Jack-Odds whips and wheels ! Abs. But, for Heaven's sake! what grounds I've travelled like a comet, with a tail of dust all for apprehension can your whimsical brain con the way, as long as the Mall. jure up at present ?

Aus. Ah ! Bob, you are indeed an eccentric Faulk. What grounds for apprehension, did planet ; but we know your attraction bitheryou say? fleavens ! are there not a thousand ? I Give me leave to introduce Mr Faulkland to you. fear for her spirits, her health, her life-My ab- Mr Faulkland, Mr Acres. sence may fret her; her anxiety for my return,

Acres. Sir, I am most heartily glad to see you: her fears for me, may oppress her gentle temper: Sir, I solicit your connexions.--Hey, Jack, what, And for her health-does not every hour bring this is Mr Faulkland, whome cause to be alarmed ? If it rains, some shower Abs. Ay, Bob, Miss Melville's Mr Faulkland. may even then have chilled her delicate frame ! Acres. Odso! she and your father can be but If the wind be keen, some rule blast may have just arrived before me-I suppose you have seen affected her! The heat of noon, the dews of the them. Ah! Mr Faulkland, you are indeed a hapevening, may endanger the life of her, for whom py man. only I value mine. 0, Jack ! when delicate and Faulk. I have not seen Miss Melville yet, sir ; feeling souls are separated, there is not a feature I hope she enjoyed full health and spirits in Dein the sky, not a movement of the elements, not vonshire ? an aspiration of the breeze, but hints some cause Acres. Never knew her better in my life, sir; for a lover's apprehension !

never better. Odds blushes and blooms! she has Abs. Ay, but we may chuse whether we will been as healthy as the German Spa. take the hint or not. So then, Faulkland, if you Faulk. Indeed! I did hear that she had been were convinced that Julia were well and in spi- a little indisposed. rits, you would be entirely content.

Acres. False, false, sir; only said to vex you: Fauik. I should be happy beyond measure-Iquite the reverse, I assure you. am anxious only for that.

Faulk. There, Jack, you see she has the adAbs. Then, to cure your anxiety at once-Miss | vantage of me; I had almost fretted myself ill. Melville is in perfect health, and is at this mo Abs. Now are you angry with your mistress for ment in Bath,

not having been sick! Faulk. Nay, Jack--don't trifle with me.

Faulk. No, no ; you misunderstand me : yet Abs. She is arrived here, with my father, within surely a little trifling indisposition is not an unthis hour.

natural consequence of absence from those we Faulk. Can you be serious ?

love. Now, confess, isn't there something unAbs. I thought you knew Sir Anthony better kind in this violent, robust, unfeeling health! than to be surprised at a sudden whim of this kind. Abs. 0, it was very unkind of her to be well in Seriously, then, it is as I tell you-upon my ho- your absence, to be sure !

Acres. Good apartments, Jack. Faulk. My dear friend !-Hollo, Du Peigne ! Faulk. Well, sir, but you was saying that Miss my hat-my dear Jack-now, nothing on earth Melville has been so exceedingly well-what, can give me a moment's uneasiness.

then, she has been merry and gay, I suppose ?

Always in spirits, hey?
Enter FAG.

Acres. Merry ! odds crickets, she has been the Fug. Sir, Mr Acres, just arrived, is below. bell and spirit of the company wherever she has

Abs. Stay, Faulkland, this Acres lives within been-so lively and entertaining! so full of wit. a mile of Sir Anthony, and he shall tell you how and humour ! your mistress has been ever since you left her. - Faulk. There, Jack, there ! O, by my soul, Fag, shew the gentleman up. [Erit fag. there is an innate levity in woman, that nothing

Faulk. What, is he much acquainted in the fa can overcome! What! happy and I away? mily?

Abs. Have done : How foolish this is ! just VOL. IV.

2 R

nour.

now, you were only apprehensive for your mis- | anxious, silent, pensive, sedentary-my days hare tress's spirits.

been hours of care, my nights of watchfulness. Faulk. Why, Jack, have I been the joy and she has been all health ! spirit! laugh! song! spirit of the company?

dance !-Oh! damned, damned levity! Abs. No, indeed, you have not.

Abs. For Heaven's sake, Paulkland, don't ex. Faulk. Have I been lively and entertaining? pose yourself so ! Suppose she has danced, what Abs. 0, upon my word, I acquit you.

then? does not the ceremony of society often Faulk. Have I been full of wit and humour ? oblige

Abs. No, faith ; to do you justice, you have Faulk. Well, well, I'll contain myself-perhaps, been confoundedly stupid indeed.

as you say, for form sake. What, Mr Acres, you Acres. What's the matter with the gentleman ? were praising Miss Melville's manner of dancing

Abs. He is only expressing his great satisfaction a minuet, bey? at hearing that Julia has been so well and happy, Acres. O, I dare insure her for that, but what that's all-hey, Paulkland ?

I was going to speak of was her country-dancing : Faulk. Oh! I am rejoiced to hear it-yes, yes, Odds swimmings ! she has such an air with her! she has a happy disposition !

Fuulk. Now disappointment on her !-defend Acres. That she has indeed—then she is so ac- this, Absolute ! why don't you defend this ?complished, so sweet a voice, so expert at her Country-dances ! jigs and reels ! am I to blame harpsichord, such a mistress of flat and sharp- now ? A minuet I could have forgiven- I should squallante, rumblante, and quiverante !-there not have minded that– I say I should not have rewas this time month, odds minnums and crotch- garded a minuet ; but country-dances!-Zounds! ets ! bow she did chirup at Mrs Piano's concert! had she made one in a cotillion, I believe I could

Fuulk. There again, what say you to this ? you have forgiven that ; but to be monkey-led for a sec she has been all mirth and song—not a thought night ! to run the gauntlet through a string of of me !

amorous palming puppies ; to shew paces like a Abs. Pho! man! is not music the food of love? managed filly !--0, Jack, there never can be bat

Faulk. Well, well, it may be so.-Pray, Mr one man in the world, wbom a truly modest and -what's his damned name ?-Do you remem delicate woman ought to pair with in a countryber what songs Miss Melville sung?

dance; and even then, the rest of the couples Acres. Not I, indeed.

should be her great uncles and aunts ! Abs. Stay now, they were some pretty melan Abs. Ay, to be sure ! grandfathers and grandcholy purling-stream airs, I warrant; perhaps you mothers ! may recollect : did she sing— When absent from Faulk. If there be but one vicious mind in the my soul's delight ?

set, 'twill spread like a contagion : the action of Acres. No, that wa'n't it.

their pulse beats to the lascivious movenent of Abs. Or-Go, gentle gales !'— Go, gentle the jig; their quivering, warm-breathed sighs, gales !

[Sings, impregnate the very air; the atmosphere becomes Acres. O no! nothing like it. Odds ! now I electrical to love ; and each amorous spark darts recollect one of them- My heart's my own, my through every link of the chain !-I must leave will is free.'

(Sings. you— I own I am somewhat flurried; and that conFaulk. Fool! fool that I am! to fix all my founded looby has perceived it. (Going. happiness on such a trifler! 'Sdeath! to make Abs. Nay, but stay, Faulkland, and thank Ms herself the pipe and ballad-monger of a circle ! to Acres for his good news! soothe her light heart with catches and glees ! Fuulk. Damn his news! [Exit FAULK. What can you say to this, sir ?

Abs. Ha, ha, ha! poor Faulkland ! Five miAbs. Why, that I should be glad to hear my nutes since, nothing on earth could give him a mistress had been so merry, sir.

moment's uneasiness! Faulk. Nay, nay, nay ; I'm not sorry that she Acres. The gentleman was not angry at my has been happy-no, no ; I am glad of that„I praising his mistress ! was he? would not have had her sad or sick-yet, surely, Abs. A little jealous, I believe, Bob. a sympathetic heart would bave shewn itself even Acres. You don't say so ? Ha, ha! jealous of in the choice of a song—she might have been me ! that's a good joke! temperately healthy, and, somehow, plaintively Abs. There's nothing strange in that, Bob; let gay—but she has been dancing too, I doubt not! me tell you, that sprightly grace, and insinuating

Acres. What does the gentleman say about manner of yours, will do some mischief among dancing ?

the girls here! Abs. He says the lady we speak of dances as Acres. Ah, you joke! ha, ha, mischief! ha, ha! well as she sings.

but, you know, I am not my own property; my Acres. Ay, truly, does shemthere was at our dear Lydia has forestalled me! She could never last race ball

abide me in the country, because I used to dress Faulk. Hell and the devil! There ! there-I so badly; but odds frogs and tambours, I sha'n't told you so ! I told you so ! Oh! she thrives in take matters so here-now, ancient madam bas my absence !-Dancing ! tut her whole feelings no voice in it-I'll make my old clothes know have been in opposition with mine. I have been who's master-I shall straightway cashier the

hunting-frock, and render my leather breeches in. Abs. Pardon me, sir ! I never saw you look capable-My hair has been in training some time. more strong and hearty; and I pray fervently that Abs. Indeed !

you may continue so. Acres. Ay; and tho'ff the side curls are a lit Sir Anth. I hope your prayers may be heard tle restive, my hind-part takes it very kindly. with all my heart. Well, then, Jack, I have been Abs. 0, you'll polish, I doubt not.

considering that I am so strong and hearty, I may Acres. Absolutely I propose so—then, if I can continue to plague you a long time. Now, Jack, find out this Ensign Beverley, odds triggers and I am sensible that the income of your commission, flints ! I'll make him know the difference o't. and what I have hitherto allowed you, is but a Abs. Spoke like a man !-but pray, Bob, I ob- small pittance for a lad of your spirit

. serve you have got an odd kind of a new method Abs. Sir, you are very good. of swearing

Sir Anth. And it is my wish, while yet I live, Acres. Ha, ha! you've taken notice of it—'tis to have my boy make some figure in the world. genteel, is not it ?-I did not invent it myself I have resolve', therefore, to fix you at once in though ; but a commander in our militia, a great a noble independence. scholar, I assure you, says that there is no mean Abs. Sir, your kindness overpowers mc-such ing in the common oaths ; and that nothing but generosity makes the gratitude of reason more their antiquity makes them respectable; because, lively than the sensations even of filial affection. he says, the ancients would never stick to an oath Sir Anth. I am glad you are so sensible of my or two, but would say, by Jove ! or by Bacchus ! attention; and you shall be master of a large or by Mars ! or by Venus ! or by Pallas ! ac estate in a few weeks. cording to the sentiment ; so that, to swear with Abs. Let my future life, sir, speak my gratipropriety, says my little major, the oath should tude ; I cannot express the sense I have of your be an echo to the sense ; and this we call the oath munificence. Yet, sir, I presume you would not referential, or sentimental swearing, ha, ha, ha! wish me to quit the army? 'tis genteel, is not it?

Sir Anth. O, that shall be as your wife chooses. Abs. Very genteel, and very new, indeed; and, Abs. My wife, sir ! I dare say, will supplant all other figures of im Sir Anth. Ay, ay; settle that between you; precation.

settle that between you. Acres. Ay, ay, the best terms will grow obso

Abs. A wife, sir ! did you say? lete-Damns have had their day.

Sir Anth. Ay, a wife; why, did not I mention

her before ? Enter Fag.

Abs. Not a word of her, sir. Fag. Sir, there is a gentleman below desires Sir Anth. Odd so !-I must not forget her to see you--Shall I shew him into the parlour ? though. Yes, Jack, the independence I was talkAbs. Ay; you may.

ing of, is by a marriage ; the fortune is saddled Acres. Well, I must be gone

with a wife; but, I suppose, that makes no differAbs. Stay; who is it, Fag? Fag. Your father, sir.

Abs. Sir, sir ?--you amaze me! Abs. You puppy, why did not you shew him Sir Anth. Why, what the devil's the matter up directly?

[Exit Fag. with the fool ? Just now, you were all gratitude Acres. You have business with Sir Anthony. I and duty. expect a message from Mrs Malaprop at my lodg Abs. I was, sir--you talked to me of indepenings. I have sent also to my dear friend Sir Lucius dence and a fortune, but not a word of a wife! O'Trigger. Adieu, Jack; we must meet at night, Sir Anth. Why, what difference does that

you shall give me a dozen bumpers to little make ! Odds life, sir ! if you have the estate, you Lydia.

must take it with the live stock on it, as it stands. Abs. That I will with all my heart. [Erit Abs. If my happiness is to be the price, I must Acres.] Now for a parental lecture. I hope he beg leave to decline the purchase. Pray, sir, has heard nothing of the business that has brought who is the lady ? me here. I wish the gout had held him fast in Sir Anth. What's that to you, sir?--Come, Devonshire, with all my soul !

give me your promise to love, and to marry her

directly. Enter Sir ANTHONY.

Abs. Sure, sir, this is not very reasonable, to Sir, I am delighted to see you here, and looking summon my affections for a lady I know nothing 60 well! your sudden arrival at Bath made me

of! apprehensive for your health.

Sir Anth. I am sure, sir, 'tis more unreasonaSir Anth. Very apprehensive, I dare say, Jack. ble in you to object to a lady you know nothing of. What ! you are recruiting here, hey?

Abs. Then, sir, I must tell you plainly, that my Abs. Yes, sir; I am on duty.

inclinations are fised on another-my heart is enSir Anth. Well, Jack, I am glad to see you, gaged to an angel ! though I did not expect it ; for I was going to Sir Anth. Then, pray, let it send an excuse. write to you on a little matter of business. Jack, It is very sorry—but business prevents its waiting I have been considering that I grow old and infirm, and shall probably not trouble you long.

Abs. But my vows are pledged to her.

ence ?

when

on her.

obey you.

Sir Anth. Let her foreclose, Jack ; let her me ; but get an atmosphere and a sun of your foreclose; they are not worth redeeming; besides, own! I'll strip you of your commission ; I'll lodą you have the angel's vows in exchange, I suppose; a five-and-threepence in the hands of trustees, so there can be no loss there.

and you shall live on the interest.—I'll disown you, Abs. You must excuse me, sir, if I tell you, once I'll disinherit you, I'll unget you ! and damn me, for all, that in this point I cannot obey you. if ever I call you Jack again! (Exit SIR ASTH.

Sir Anth. Hark'e, Jack ;-I have heard you Als. Mild, gentle, considerate father, I kiss for some time with patience-I have been cool- your hands. What a tender method of giving bis quite cool ; but take care-you know I am com- opinion in these matters Sir Anthony bas! I dare plaisance itself-when I am not thwarted ;-no not trust him with the truth. I wonder what old, one more easily led, when I have my own way ; wealthy hag it is that he wants to bestow on me! -but don't put me in a phrenzy.

- yet, he married, himself, for love! and was, Abs. Sir, I must repeat it-in this, I cannot in his youth, a bold intriguer, and a gay comps

nion ! Sir Anth. Now, damn me if ever I call you Jack

Enter FAG. again while I live? Abs. Nay, sir, but hear me.

Fag. Assuredly, sir, your father is wrath to a Sir Anth. Sir, I won't hear a word—not a word degree : he comes down stairs eight or ten steps —not one word ! so give me your promise by a at a time, muttering, growling, and thumping the nod-and I'll tell you what, Jack- I mean, you

banisters all the way : 1, and the cook's dog, stand dog-if you don't, by

bowing at the door-rap! he gives me a stroke Abs. What, sir, promise to link myself to some

on the head with his cane, bids me carry that to mass of ugliness ? to

my master ; then, kicking the poor turnspit into Sir Anih. Zounds, sirrah ! the lady shall be the area, damns us all, for a puppy triumvirate ! as ugly as I choose : she shall have a hump on -Upon my credit, sir, were I in your place, and each shoulder ; she shall be as crooked as the found my father such very bad company, I should crescent ; her one eye shall roll like the bull's in certainly drop his acquaintance. Cox's museum; she shall have a skin like a mum Abs. Cease your impertinence, sir, at present my; and the beard of a Jew :-she shall be all-Did you come in for nothing more? -Stand out this, sirrah !-yet, I will make you ogle her all of the way.

[Pushes him aside, and exit. day, and sit up all night to write sonnets on her Fug. So, Sir Anthony trims my master : He beauty.

is afraid to reply to his father, then vents his Abs. This is reason and moderation, indeed! spleen on poor Fag !- When one is vexed by one

Sir Anth. None of your sneering, puppy! no person, to revenge one's self on another, who grinning, jackanapes !

happens to come in the way—is the vilest inAbs. Indeed, sir, I never was in a worse humoar justice ! Ah! i shews the worst temper—the for mirth in my life.

basest Sir Anth. 'Tis false, sir; I know you are laughing in your sleeve; I know you'll grin when I am

Enter Errand Boys

Boy. Mr Fag! Mr Fag! your master calls you. Abs. Sir, I hope I know my duty better.

Fug. Well, you little dirty puppy, you need noe Sir Anth. None of your passion, sir ; none of bawl so !—The meanest disposition ! theyour violence, if you please-It won't do with me, Boy. Quick, quick, Mr Fag. Í promise you,

Fug. Quick, quick, you impudent jackanapes! Abs. Indeed, sir, I never was cooler in my am I to be commanded by you, too! you little life.

impertinent, insolent, kitchen-bredSir Anth. 'Tis a confounded lie !—I know you

[Erit, kicking and beating his are in a passion in your hcart; I know you are, you hypocritical young dog! but it won't do.

SCENE II.- The North Parade.
Abs. Nay, sir, upon my word !
Sir Anth. So you will fly out ? can't you be

Enter Lucy.
cool, like me? What the devil good can passion
do ?-Passion is of no service, you impudent, in Lucy. So-I shall

have another rival to add to solent, overbearing reprobate ! There, you sneer my mistress's list-Captain Absolute. —How. again !-Don't provoke me!--but you rely upon ever, I shall not enter his name till my purse has the mildness of my temper—you do, you dog! received notice in form. Poor Acres is dismissyou play upon the meekness of my disposition ! ed !--Well, I have done him a last friendly ofYet, take care-the patience of a saint may be fice, in letting him know that Beverley was here overcome at last !--but mark! I give you six before him. Sir Lucius is generally more punchours and a half to consider of this: if you then tual, when he expects to hear from his dear Dalia, agree, without any condition, to do every thing as he calls her : I wonder he's not here !-I have on earth that I choose, why-confound you ! I a little scruple of conscience from this deceit; may in time forgive you-If not, zounds, don't though I should not be paid so well, if my hero enter the same hemisphere with me! don't dare knew that Delia was near fifty, and her own mis. to breath the same air, or use the same light with tress.

gone, sirrah !

me ?

so.

do a dirty action. If I did not want money, I Enter Sir LUCIUS O’TRIGGER.

would steal your inistress and her fortune with a Sir Luc. Hah! my little ambassadress—Upon great deal of pleasure. However, my pretty girl, any conscience, I have been looking for you; I (Gives her money,] here's a little something to buy have been on the south parade this half hour. you a ribband; and meet me in the evening, and

Lucy. (Speaking simply.) O gemini ! and I have I'll give you an answer to this. So, hussy, take been waiting for your worship here on the north ! a kiss before-land, to put you in mind. Sir Luc. Faith!-may be, that was the reason

(Kisses her. we did not meet; and it is very comical too, how Lury. O lud, Sir Lucius ! I never sced such a you could go out, and I not see you-for I was gemman! My lady won't like you if you are so only taking a nap at the parade coffee house, and impudent. I chose the window, on purpose that I might not Sir Luc. Faith, she will, Lucy ; that same miss you.

pho! what's the name of it ?-modesty-—is a quaLucy. My stars ! Now, I would wager a six-lity in a lover more praised by the women than pence I went by while you were asleep!

liked ; so, if your mistress asks you whether Sir Sir Luc. Sure enough it must have been so Lucius ever gave you a kiss, tell her fifty, my dear. and I never dreamt it was so late till I waked. Lucy. What, would you have me tell her a lie ? Well, but my little girl, have you got nothing for Sir Luc. Ah, then, you baggage, I'll make it

a truth presently. Lucy. Yes, but I have—I've got a letter for Lucy. For shame, now! here is some one coyou in my pocket.

ming. Sir Lur. O, faith, I guessed you were not come Sir Luc. O, faith, I'll quiet your conscience ! empty-handed! Well; let me see what the dear

(Secs Fag. Exit, humming a tune. creature says. Lucy. There, Sir Lucius. [Gives him a letter.

Enter FAG. Sir Luc. (Reads ] “Sir— There is often a sud Pag. So, so, madam ! I humbly beg pardon. den incentive impulse in love, that has a greater Lucy. O lud ! now, Mr Fag--you flurry one induction than years of domestic combination : such was the commotion I felt at the first super Fag. Come, come, Lucy; here's no one by— Huous view of Sir Lucius O’Trigger.” Very pretty, so a little less simplicity, with a grain or two upon my word. “

emale punctuation forbids me more sincerity, if you please. You play false with to say inore; yet, let me add, that it will give me us, madam. I saw you give the baronet a letter. joy infallible to find Sir Lucius worthy the last My master shall know this ; and if he don't call criterion of my affections.

DELIA.” him out, I will. Upon my conscience, Lucy, your lady is a great Lucy. Ha, ha, ha! you gentlemen's gentlemen mistress of language ! Faith, she's quite the queen are so hasty. That letter was from Mrs Malaprop, of the dictionary ! for the devil a word dare re simpleton. She is taken with Sir Lucius's adfuse coming at her call-though one would

dress. think it was quite out of hearing,

Fag. How ! what tastes some people have ! Lucy. Ay, sir, a lady of her experience. Why, I suppose I have walked by her window an Sir Luc. Experience ! what, at seventeen ! hundred times. But what says your young lady?

Lucy. O, true, sir—but then she reads so—my Any message to my master : stars ! how she will read off hand !

Lucy. Sad news, Mr Fag ! A worse rival than Sir Luc. Faith, she must be very deep read to Acres ! Sir Anthony Absolute bas proposed his write this way, though she is rather an arbitrary son. writer, too; for here are a great many poor words Fag. What ! Captain Absolute ? pressed into the service of this note, that would Lucy. Even so-1 overheard it all. get their habeas corpus from any court in Chris Fag. Ha, ha, ha! very good, faith ! Good bye, endom.

Lucy ; I must away with this news. Lucy. Ah, Sir Lucius ! If you were to hear how Lucy. Well ; you may laugh; but it is true, I she talks of you !

assure you. (Going.) But, Mr Fag, tell your masSir Luc. O, tell her I'll make her the best hus ter not to be cast down by this. band in the world, and Lady O'Trigger into the Fag. O, he'll be so disconsolate ! bargain! But we must get the old gentlewoman's Lucy. And charge him not to think of quarrelconsent, and do every thing fairly:

ling with young Absolute. Lucy. Nay, Sir Lucius ; I thought you was Fag. Never fear! never fear ! not rich enough to be so nice !

Lucy. Be sure ; bid him keep up his spirits, Sir Luc. Upon my word, young woman, you

Fag. We will

-we will have hit it: I am so poor, that I cannot afford to

(Ereunt severally

« PreviousContinue »