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ACT III.

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Abs. Languish! What, the Languishes of WorSCENE I.-The North Parade.

cestershire

Sir Anth. Worcestershire ! No. Did you neEnter ABSOLUTE.

ver meet Mrs Malaprop and her niece, Miss Lan. Abs. 'Tis just as Fag told me, indeed. Whim- guish, who came into our country just before you sical enough, faith! My father wants to force were last ordered to your regiment ? me to marry the very girl I am plotting to run Abs. Malaprop ! Languish! I don't remember away with. He must not know of my connection ever to have heard the names before. Yet, stay! with her yet a while. He has too summary a I think I do recollect something. Languish! method of proceeding in these matters. However, Languish! She squints, don't she? A little redI'll read my recantation instantly. My conver haired girl? sion is something sudden, indeed ; but I can as Sir Anth. Squints ! A red-haired girl! şure liiin it is very sincere. So, so, here be comes. Zounds! no. He looks plaguy gruff.

[Steps aside.

Abs. Then I must have forgot; it cann't be

the same person. Enter Sir ANTHONY.

Sir Anth. Jack! Jack ! what think you of Sir Anth. No : I'll die sooner than forgive blooming, love-breathing seventeen ? him ! Die, did I say? I'll live these fifty years to Abs. As to that, sir, I am quite indifferent. plague him. At our last meeting, his iinpudence if I can please you in the matter, 'tis all I de had almost put me out of temper. An obstinate, sire. passionate, self-willed boy! Who can he take Sir Anth. Nay, but, Jack, such eyes ! such after ? This is my return for getting him before all eyes ! so innocently wild ! so bashfully irresohis brothers and sisters ! for putting him, attwelve lute! not a glance but speaks and kindles some years old, into a marching regiment, and allowing thought of love! Then, Jack, her cheeks! her him fifty pounds a-year, besides his pay, ever cheeks, Jack ! so deeply blushing at the insinuasince ! But I have done with him; he's any body's tions of her tell-tale eyes ! Then, Jack, her lips ! son for me. I never will see him more ; never, 0, Jack, lips smiling at their own discretion; and, never, never, never !

if not smiling, more sweetly pouting; more loveAbs. Now for a penitential face.

ly in sullenness! Sir Anth. Fellow, get out of my way!

Abs. That's she, indeed. Well done, old genAbs. Sir, you see a penitent before you.

tleman.

(Aside. Sir Anth. I see an impudent scoundrel before Sir Anth. Then, Jack, her neck ! O, Jack !

Jack ! Abs. A sincere penitent. I come, sir, to ac Abs. And which is to be mine, sir ; the niece knowledge my error, and to submit entirely to or the aunt?

Sir Anth. Why, you unfeeling, insensible pupSir Anth. What's that ?

py, I despise you! when I was of your age, such Abs. I have been revolving, and reflecting, and a description would have made me fly like a considering on your past goodness, and kindness, rocket ! "The aunt indeed! Odds life!' when I and condescension to me.

ran away with your mother, I would not have Sir Anth. Well, sir?

touched any thing old or ugly to gain an empire. Abs. I have been likewise weighing and balan Abs. Not to please your father, sir! cing what you were pleased to mention concern Sir Anth. To please my father! Zounds! ing duty, and obedience, and authority.

not to please -Oh, my father -Odso! Sir Anth. Well, puppy!

yes, yes; if my father, indeed, had desired Abs. Why, then, sir, the result of my reflec- that's quite another matter. Though he was not tions is, a resolution to sacrifice every inclination the indulgent father that I am, Jack. of my own to your satisfaction.

Abs. I dare say not, sir. Sir Anth. Why now, you talk sense-absolute Sir Anth. But, Jack, you are not sorry to find

I never heard any thing more sensible your mistress is so beautiful? in my life. Confound you ! you shall be Jack Abs. Sir, I repeat it, if I please you in this again!

affair, 'tis all I desire. Not that I think a woAbs. I am happy in the appellation,

man the worse for being handsome; but, sir, if Sir Anth. Why, then, Jack, my dear Jack, I you please to recollect, you before hinted somewill now inform you who the lady really is.. thing about a hump or two, one eye, and a few Nothing but your passion and violence, you silly more graces of that kind. Now, without being fellow, prevented my telling you at first. Pre very nice, I own I should rather choose a wife pare, Jack, for wonder and rapture-prepare ! of mine to have the usual number of limbs, and What think you of Miss Lydia Languish? a limited quantity of back: and though one eye

me.

your will.

sense.

may be very agreeable, yet, as the prejudice has | make me thus happy, let me not think that I always run in favour of two, I would not wish to discovered something of coldness in your first affect a singularity in that article.

salutation ! Sir Anth. What a phlegmatic sot it is! Why,

Faulk. 'Twas but your fancy, Julia. I was sirrah, you're an anchorite! a vile, insensible rejoiced to see you-to see you in such health. stock! You a soldier! you're a walking block, Sure I had no cause for coldness ? fit only to dust the company's regimentais on ! Julia. Nay, then, I see you have taken someOdds life ! I've a great mind to marry the girl thing ill. You must not conceal from me what myself!

it is. Abs. I am entirely at your disposal, sir; if you Faulk. Well then-shall I own to you that should think of addressing Miss Languish your- my joy at hearing of your health and arrival self, I suppose you would have me marry the here, by your neighbour Acres, was somewhat aunt ; or, if you should change your mind, and damped by his dwelling much on the high spirits take the old lady, 'tis the same to me, I'll marry you had enjoyed in Devonshire--on your mirth, the niece.

your singing, dancing, and I know not what !Sir Anth. Upon my word, Jack, thou’rt either for such is my temper, Julia, that I should rea very great hypocrite, or -but come, I know gard every mirthful moment in your absence as a your indifference on such a subject must be all a treason to constancy : The mutual tear that steals lie-I'm sure it must come, now—damn your down the cheek of parting lovers is a compact, demure face ! Come, confess, Jack; you have that no smile shall live there till they ineet been lying, ha'n't you? You have been playing again. the hypocrite, hey? I'll never forgive you, if you

Julia. Must I never cease to tax my Faulkha'n't been lying, and playing the hypocrite.

land with this teasing, minute caprice? Can the Abs. I'm sorry, sir, that the respect and duty idle reports of a silly boor weigh in your breast which I bear to you should be so mistaken, against my tried affection? Sir Anth. Hang your respect and duty! But

Faulk. They have no weight with me, Julia : come along with me; I'll write a note to Mrs Ma- No, no ; I am happy if you have been so. Yet laprop, and you shall visit the lady directly. Her only say that you did not sing with mirth; say eyes shall be the Promethian torch to you that you thought of Faulkland in the dance! Come along! I'll never forgive you if you don't

Julia. I never can be happy in your absence ! come back stark mad with rapture and impa- If I wear a countenance of content, it is to shew tience if you don't, egad, I'll marry the girl that my mind holds no doubt of my Faulkland's myself!

(Exeunt. | truth. If I seemed sad, it were to make malice

triumph, and say that I had fixed my heart on SCENE II.-JULIA's Dressing-Room.

one who left me to lament his roving, and my Enter FAULKLAND.

own credulity: Believe me, Faulkland, I mean

not to upbraid you when I say, that I have often Faulk. They told me Julia would return di- dressed sorrow in smiles, lest my friends should rectly; I wonder she is not yet come ! How mean

guess whose unkindness had caused my tears. does this captious, unsatisfied temper of mine ap

Faulk. You were ever all goodness to me! 0, pear to my cooler judgment! Yet I know not I am a brute, when I but admit a doubt of your that I indulge it in any other point: but on this

true constancy! one subject, and to this one subject, whom I think

Julia. If ever, without such cause from you, as I love beyond my life, I am ever ungenerously I will not suppose possible, you find my attection fretful ani madly capricious! I am conscious of veering but a point, may I become a proverbial it; yet I cannot correct myself! What tender, scoff for levity and base ingratitude ! honest joy sparkled in her eyes when we met !

Faulk. Ah, Julia, that last word is grating to How delicate was the warmth of her expressions ! me! I would I had no title to your gratitude ! I was ashamed to appear less happy, though i| Search your heart, Julia ; perhaps, what you had come resolved to wear a face of coolness have mistaken for love, is but the warm effusion and upbraiding. Sir Anthony's presence pre- of a too thankful heart! vented my proposed expostulations : yet I must

Julia. For what quality must I love you? be satisfied that she has not been so very happy

Fuulk. For no quality! To regard me for any in my absence. She is coming ! Yes! Í know quality of mind or understanding, were only to the nimbleness of her tread, when she thinks her esteem me. And for person-I have often wishimpatient Faulkland counts the moments of her ed myself deformed, to be convinced that I owed stay.

no obligation there for any part of your affec

tion. Enter JULIA.

Julia. Where nature has bestowed a show of Julia. I had not hoped to see you again so nice attention in the features of a man, he should

laugh at it as misplaced. I have seen men, who, Faulk. Could I, Julia, be contented with my

in this vain article, perhaps, might rank above first welcome, restrained as we were by the pre- you ; but my heart has never asked my eyes if it sence of a third person?

were so or not, Julia. 0, Faulkland, when your kindness can

Faulk. Now this is not well from you, Julia;

soon.

I despise person in a man-yet, if you loved me | linked, instead, to some antique virago, whose as I wish, though I were an Æthiop, you'd think gnawing passions, and long-hoarded spleen, shall none so fair.

make me curse my folly half the day, and all the Julia. I see you are determined to be unkind. night.

(Exit. The contract which my poor father bound us in, gives you more than a lover's privilege.

SCENE III.- Mrs MALAPROP's Lodgings. Fuulk. Again, Julia, you raise ideas that feed and justify my doubts. I would not have been Enter Mrs MALAPROP, with a letter in her more free-no ! I am proud of my restraint.

hand, and Captain ABSOLUTE. Yet, yet-perhaps your high respect alone for Alrs Mal. Your being Sir Anthony's son, capthis solemn compact has fettered your inclina- tain, would itself be a sufficient accommodation; tions, which, else, had made a worthier choice. but, from the ingenuity of your appearance, I am How shall I be sure, had you remained unbound convinced you deserve the character here given in thought and promise, that I should still have of you. been the object of your persevering love?

of Abs. Permit me to say, madam, that, as I never Julia. Then try me now. Let 113 be free as yet have had the pleasure of seeing Miss Lanstrangers as to what is past: my heart will not guish, my principal inducement, in this affair, at feel more liberty.

present, is the honour of being allied to Mrs Faulk. There now! So hasty, Julia ! So anxi. Malaprop; of whose intellectual accomplishous to be free! If your love for me were fixed ments, elegant manners, and unaffected learning, and ardent, you would not lose your hold, even

no tongue is silent. though I wished it!

Mrs Mal, Sir, you do me infinite honour ! I Julia. Oh, you torture me to the heart ! I can- beg, captain, you'll be seated.-(Sit.}-Ah! few not bear it.

gentlemen, now-a-days, know how to value the Faulk, I do not mean to distress you. If I ineffectual qualities in a woman ! Few think how loved you less, I should never give you an uneasy a little knowledge becomes a gentlewoman! Men moment. But hear me. All my fretful doubts have no sense now, but for the worthless flower arise from this. Women are not used to weigh of beauty! and separate the motives of their affections: the Abs. It is but too true, indeed, madam; yet I cold dictates of prudence, gratitude, or filial du- fear our ladies should share the blame : they ty, may sometimes be mistaken for the pleadings think our admiration of beauty so great, that of the heart. I would not boast; yet let me knowledge in them would be superfluous. Thus, say, that I have neither age, person, or character, like garden trees, they seldom shew fruit, till to found dislike on; my fortune such as few la- time has robbed them of the more specious blosdies could be charged with indiscretion in the som. Few, like Mrs Malaprop and the orangematch. O, Julia! when love receives such coum tree, are rich in both at once! tenance from prudence, nice minds will be suspi Mírs Mal. Sir, you overpower me with goodcious of its birth.

breeding; he is the very pine-apple of politeness. Juliu. I know not whither your insinuations You are not ignorant, captain, that this giddy girl would tend: but as they seem pressing to insult has somehow contrived to fix her affections on a me, I will spare you the regret of having done beggarly, strolling, cve's-dropping ensign, whom so. I have given you no cause for this ! none of us have seen, and nobody knows any

[Exit in tears. thing of. Faulk. In tears ! Stay, Julia: stay but for a Abs. 0, I have heard the silly affair before. moment. The door is fastened! Julia; my soul I am not at all prejudiced against her on that ac--but for one moment: I hear her sobbing ! count. Sdeath! What a brute am I to use her tbus ! Mrs Mal. You are very good, and very consiYet stay. Ay; she is coming now: How little derate, captain. I am sure I have done every resolution there is in woman! How a few soft thing in my power, since I exploded the atfair ; words can turn them! No, faith! She is not co- long ago I laid my positive conjunctions on her, ming, either. Why, Julia ! my love ! say but that never to think on the fellow again. I have since you forgive me; come but to tell me that; now laid Sir Anthony's preposition before her; bui, I this is being too resentsul: stay! she is coming am sorry to say, she seems resolved to decline too; I thought she would: no steadiness in any every particle that I enjoin her. thing! Her going away must have been a mere Abs. It must be very distressing, indeed, matrick, then; she sha'n't see that I was hurt by it. dam. I'll affect indifference - Huns a tume hither disa

Mrs Mal. Oh! it gives me the hydrostatics to lens.)--No; zounds ! She is not coining! Nor such a degree ! I thought she had persisted from don't intend it, I suppose. This is not steadiness, corresponding with him; but, behold, this very but obstinacy." Yet I deserve it. What, after day, I bave interceded another letter from the so long an absence, to quarrel with her tender- fellow; I believe I have it in my pocket, ness! 'Twas barbarous and unmanly! I should Abs. 0, the devil ! my last note. (Aside. be a: haned to see her now. I'll wait till her Mrs Mal. Ay; here it is. just resentment is abated; and when I distress Abs. Ay; my note indeed! O the little traiber so again, may I lose her for ever! And be tress Lucy!

(Aside,

Mrs Mal. There; perhaps you may know the Abs. But, pray, could not I see the lady for a writing.

Gives him the letter. few minutes now? I should like to try her temAbs. I think I have seen the hand before; yes, per a little. I certainly must have seen this hand before Mrs Mal. Why, I don't know: I doubt she is

Mrs Mal. Nay ; but read it, captain. not prepared for a visit of this kind. There is a

Abs. [Reads.] — My soul's idol ; my adored decorum in these matters. Lydia !' very tender, indeed!

Abs. O Lord ! she won't mind me; only tell Mrs Mai. Tender! ay, and profane, too, o'her Beverleymy conscience!

Mrs Mal. Sir ?
Abs. “I am excessively alarmed at the intelli Abs. Gently, good tongue!

[Aside. gence you send me; the more so, as my new Mrs Mat. What did you say of Beverley? rival'

Abs. 0, I was going to propose that you should Mrs Mal. That's you, sir.

tell her, by way of jest, that it was Beverley who · Abs. • Has universally the character of being was below; she'd come down fast enough then an accomplished gentleman, and a man of ho- -ha, ha, ha! nour.' Well, that's handsome enough.

Mrs Mal. 'Twould be a trick she well deMrs Mal. O, the fellow has some design in serves; besides, you know the fellow tells her writing so.

he'll get my consent to her; ha, ha! Let him, if Abs. That he had; I'll answer for him, ma he can, I say again.--Lydia, come down here! dam.

(Calling.]-He'll make me a go-between in their Mrs Mal. But go on, sir ; you'll see present interviews ! Ha, ha, ha! Come down, I say, Lyly.

dia! I don't wonder at your laughing; ha, ha, Abs." As for the old weather-beaten she-dra- ha! His impudence is truly ridiculous. gon who guards you,'—Who can he mean by Abs. 'Tis very ridiculous, upon my soul, mathat?

dam! ha, ha, ha! Mrs Mal. Me, sir: me: he means me there : Mrs Mal. The little hussy won't hear. Well, what do you think, now? But go on a little fur- I'll go and tell her at once who it is; she shall ther.

know that Captain Absolute is come to wait on Abs. Impudent scoundrel. It shall go hard her. And I'll make her behave as becomes a but I will elude her vigilance, as I am told that young woman. the same ridiculous vanity which makes her Abs. As you please, madam. dress up her coarse features, and deck her dull Mrs Mat. For the present, captain, your serchat with hard words which she don't under vant. Ah! you've not done laughing yet, i see: stand'

elude my vigilance ! yes, yes; ha, ha, ha! Mrs Mal. There, sir! an attack upon my lan

[Exit Mrs Mal. guage! What do you think of that? An asper Abs. Ha, ha, ha! One would think, now, that sion upon my parts of speech ! Was ever such a I might throw off all disguise at once, and seize brute! Sure, if I reprehend any thing in this my prize with security ; but such is Lydia's caworld, it is the use of my oracular tongue, and a price, that to undeceive were probably to lose nice derangement of epitaphs !

her. I'll see whether she knows me. Abs. He deserves to be hanged and quartered ! (Walks aside, and seems engaged in looking Let me see-same ridiculous vanity'

at the pictures. Mrs Mal. You nee not read it again, sir.

Enter LYDIA. Abs. I beg pardon, madam— does also lay her open to the grossest deceptions from flat Lydia. What a scene am I now to go through! tery and pretended admiration ;-an impudent Surely nothing can be more dreadful than to be coxcomb ! - so that I have a scheme to see you obliged to listen to the loathsome addresses of a shortly with the old harridan's consent, and even stranger to one's heart. i have heard of girls, to make her a go-between in our interview.'- persecuted as I am, who have appealed, in behalf Was ever such assurance !

of their favoured lover, to the generosity of his Mrs Mal. Did you ever hear any thing like rival; suppose I were to try it—there stands the it? Ile'll elude my vigilance, will be-yes, yes ! hated rival-an officer, too! But O how unlike Ha, ha! he's very likely to enter these doors ! my Beverley! I wonder he don't begin; truly, We'll try who can plot best!

he seems a very negligent wooer! Quite at his Abs. So we will, madam; so we will. Ha, ha, ease, upon my word! I'll speak first.—Mr Abha! a conceited puppy, ha, ha, ha! Well, but, solute! Mrs Malaprop, as the girl seems so infatuated by Abs.

Madam.

(Turns round. this fellow, suppose you were to wink at her cor Lydia. O Heavens! Beverley! responding with him for a little time-let her Abs. Hush ! hush, my life! softly! be not sureven plot an elopement with him—then do you prised ! connive at her escape-while I, just in the nick, Lydia. I am so astonished ! and so terrified ! will have the fellow laid by the heels, and fairly and so overjoyed !-for Heaven's sake! how contrive to carry her off in his stead!

came you here? Mrs Mul. I am delighted with the scheme ! Abs. Briefly - I have deceived your auntnever was any thing better perpetrated ! I was informed that my new rival was to visit

here this evening; and, contriving to have him Abs. 0, confound her vigilance ! Aside kept away, have passed myself on her for Cap Mrs Mul. Captain Absolute, I know not bov tain Absolute.

to apologize for her shocking rudeness. Lydia. O charming! -and she really takes Abs. Šo-all's safe, I find. (Aside.)—I have you for young Absolute?

hopes, madam, that time will bring the young Abs. 0, she's convinced of it!

lady Lydia. Ha, ha, ha! I cann't forbear laughing Mrs Mul. O, there's nothing to be hoped for to think how her sagacity is over-reached ! from her-she's as headstrong as an allegory on Abs. But we trifle with our precious moments the banks of Nile !

-such another opportunity may not occur Lydia. Nay, madam ; what do you charge me then let me now conjure my kind, my condes with now? cending angel to fix the time when I may res Mrs Mal. Why, thou unblushing rebel ! did cue her from undeserving persecution, and, with not you tell this gentleman, to his face, that you a licenced warmth, plead for my reward. loved another better ! did not you say you never

Lydia. Will you, then, Beverley, consent to would be his ? forfeit that portion of my paltry wealth ? that Lydia. No, madam, I did not. burden on the wings of love?

Mrs Mal. Good Heavens! what assurance ! Abs. 0, come to me-rich only thug-in love Lydia, Lydia, you ought to know that lying don't liness ! Bring no portion to me but thy love become a young woman! Did not you boast that 'twill be generous in you, Lydia--for well you Beverley—that stroller Beverley, possessed your know it is the only dower your poor Beverley can heart? Tell me that, I say ! repay.

Lydia. 'Tis true, madam, and none but BeverLydia. How persuasive are his words !-how ley! charming will poverty be with him ! (Aside. Mrs Mal. Hold ! hold, assurance ! you shall

Abs. Ah! my soul, what a life will we then not be so rude. live! Love shall be our idol and support! we Abs. Nay, pray, Mrs Malaprop, don't stop the will worship him with a monastic strictness; ab- young lady's speech : she's very welcome to talk juring all worldly toys, to centre every thought thus it does not hurt me in the least, I assure and action there! Proud of calamity, we will you. enjoy the wreck of wealth ; while the surround Mrs Mal. You are too good, captain—too amiing gloom of adversity shall make the flame of ably patient, but come with me, miss. —Let our pure love shew doubly bright. By Heavens! us see you again soon, captain-remember what I would fling all goods of fortune from me with we have fixed. a prodigal hand, to enjoy the scene where I might Abs. I shall, madam. clasp my Lydia to my bosom, and say, the world Mrs Mal. Come, take a graceful leave of the affords no smile to me-but here -[Embra- gentleman. cing her.) If she holds out now, the devil is in Lydiu. May every blessing wait on my Beverit!

ley, my loved BevLydia. Now could I fly with him to the Anti Mrs Mal. Hussy! I'll choak the word in your podes! but my persecution is not yet come to a throat !-Come along, come along ! crisis.

[Exeunt severally-ABSOLUTE kissing his

hand to LYDIA-Mrs MALAPROP stop Enter Mrs MALAPROP, listening.

ping her from speaking. Mrs Mal. I am impatient to know how the little hussy deports herself.

(Aside. SCENE IV.-ACRES's Lodgings. Abs. So pensive, Lydia !-Is, then, your warmth abated ?

Acres and DAVID.-ACRES, as just dressed. Mrs Mal. Warmth abated !-so she has been Acres. Indeed, David ! do you think I become in a passion, I suppose ?

it so? Lydia. No-nor ever can, while I have life. David. You are quite another creature, believe

Mrs Mal. An ill-tempered little devil ! She'll me, master, by the mass ! an’ we've any luck, we be in a passion all her life -will she?

shall see the Devon monkerony in all the printLydia. Think not the idle threats of my ridi- shops in Bath. culous aunt can ever have any weight with me. Acres. Dress does make a difference, David.

Mrs Mal. Very dutiful, upon my word! David. 'Tis all in all, I think--difference! why,

Lydia. Let her choice be Captain Absolute, but an' you were to go now to Clod-Hall, I am cerBeverley is mine.

tain the old lady wouldn't know you; Master ButMrs Mal. I am astonished at her assurance ! ler wouldn't believe his own eyes ; and Mrs PicTo his face !--this to his face !

kle would cry, · Lard preserve me! our dairy Abs. Thus, then, let me enforce my suit. maid would come giggling to the door; and I

[Kneeling. warrant Dolly Tester, your honour's favourite, Mrs Mah Ay, poor young man !-down on would blush like my waistcoat ! - Dons ! Fii his knees entreating for pity! -- I can contain hold a gallon, there an't a dog in the house but no longer. Why, thou vixen ! I have overheard would bark; and I question whether Phillis would

wag a hair of her tail !

you !

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