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Acres. Ay, David, there's nothing like polish Acres. Unfairly! to be sure he has. He neing.
ver could have done it fairly. Dadid. So I says of your honour's boots; but Sir Luc. Then, sure you know what is to be the boy never beeds me!
done ? Acres. But, David, has Mr De-la-grace been Acres. Not I, upon my soul ! here? I must rub up my balancing, and chasing, Sir Luc. We wear no swords here; but you and boring.
understand me? Dadid. I'll call again, sir.
Acres. What ! fight him? Acres. Demand see if there are any letters for Sir Luc. Ay, to be sure; what can I mean me at the post-office.
else? David. I will. By the mass, I can't help look Acres. But he has given me no provocation. ing at your head ! 'If I hadn't been by at the Sir Luc. Now, I think he has given you the cooking, I wish I may die if I should have known greatest provocation in the world. Can a man the dish again myself!
(Erit. commit a more heinous offence against another,
than to fall in love with the same woman? O, by ACRES comes forward, practising a dancing step. my soul! it is the most unpardonable breach of
Acres. Sink, slide-coupee-Confound the first friendship. inventors of cotillions, say I !-they are as bad as Acres. Breach of friendship! Ay, ay; but I algebra to us country gentlemen-I can walk a have no acquaintance with this man: I never saw minuet easy enough, when I am forced—and I him in my life. bave been accounted a good stick in a country Sir Luc. That's no argument at all; he has dance.Odds jiggs and tabors !-I never va- the less right, then, to take such a liberty. lued your cross-over to couple-figure in-right Acres. Gad! that's true I grow full of anger, and left-and I'd foot it with e'er a captain in Sir Lucius ! I fire apace ! Odds hilts and blades! the county !--but these outlandish heathen alle I find a man may have a deal of valour in him, and mandes and cotillions are quite beyond me!-- not know it ! But couldn't I contrive to have a shall never prosper at them, that's sure—mine little right of my side ? are true-born English legs—they don't understand Sir Luc. What the devil signifies right, when their curs'd French lingo!--their pas this, and pus your honour is concerned? Do you think Achilles, that, and pus t'other ! Damn me ! my feet don't or my little Alexander the Great, ever inquired like to be called paws ! no, 'tis certain I have most where the right lay ? No, by my soul! they drew antigallican toes!
their broad swords, and left the lazy sons of peace
to settle the justice of it. Enter Servart.
Acres. Your words are a grenadier's march to Serr. Here is Sir Lucius O'Trigger to wait on my heart ! I believe courage must be catching ! I
certainly do feel a kind of valour rising, as it Acres. Show him in.
were-a kind of courage, as I may say -Odds
flints, pans, and triggers! I'll challenge him diEnter Sir LUCIUS.
rectly. Sir Luc. Mr Acres, I am delighted to embrace Sir Luc. Ah, my little friend ! if I had Blun
derbuss-hall here—I could show you a range of you.
Acrés. My dear Sir Lucius, I kiss your bands. ancestry, in the O'Trigger line, that would fur
Sir Luc. Pray, my friend, what has brought wish the new room! every one of whom had kill. you so suddenly to Bath ?
ed his man! For though the mansion-house and Acres. Faith! I have followed Cupid's jack-a- dirty acres have slipt through my fingers, I thank lantern, and find myself in a quagmire at las: ! In Heaven, our honour and the family-pictures are short, I have been very ill-used, Sir Lucius. I don't as fresh as ever ! choose to mention names; but look on me as on Acres. O, Sir Lucius, I have had ancestors, too! a very ill-used gentleman.
-every man of them colonel or captain in the Sir Luc. Pray, what is the case ? I ask no militia? -Odds balls and barrels ! say no more
-I'm braced for it! The thunder of your words Acres. Mark me, Sir Lucius : I fall as deep as has soured the milk of human kindness in my need be in love with a young lady—her friends breast !--Zounds ! as the man in the play says, take my part-I follow her to Bath--send word 'I could do such deeds'of my arrival-and receive answer, that the lady Sir Luc. Come, come; there must be no pasis to be otherwise disposed of! This, Sir Lucius, sion at all in the case—these things should always I call being ill used.
be done civilly. Sir Luc. Very ill, upon my conscience ! Pray, Acres. I must be in a passion, Sir Lucius I can you divine the cause of it?
must be in a rage.-Dear Sir Lucius, let me be in Acres. Why, there's the matter; she has ano a rage, if you love me.-Come, here's pen and ther lover, one Beverley, who, I am told, is now paper. (Sits down to write.] I would the ink were in Bath.--Odds slanders and lies ! he must be at red Indite, I say, indite !-How shall I begin ? the bottom of it !
Odds bullets and blades ! I'll write a good bold Sir Luc. A rival in the case, is there? And you band, however. think he has supplanted you unfairly?
Sir Luc. Pray, compose yourself. 6
Acres. Come-now, shall I begin with an oath? will put a stop, at once, to all confusion or mis Do, Sir Lucius, let me begin with a damme ! understanding that might arise between you.
Sir Luc. Pho, pho! do the thing decently, and Acres. Ay, we fight to prevent any misunderlike a Christian. Begin now— Siri
standing Acres. That's too civil by half.
Sir Luc. Now, I'll leave you to fix your own Sir Luc. “To prevent the confusion that might time. Take my advice, and you'll decide it this arise'
evening, if you can; then let the worst come of Acres. Well
it, 'twill be off your mind to-morrow. Sir Luc. · From our both addressing the same Acres. Very true. lady'
Sir Luc. So I shall see nothing more of you, Acres. Ay; there's the reason—same lady'— unless it be by letter, till the evening. I would Well
do myself the honour to carry your message ; but, Sir Luc. ' I shall expect the honour of your to tell you a secret, I believe I shall have just company
such another affair on my own hands. There is Acres. Zounds! I'm not asking him to dinner! a gay captain here, who put a jest on me lately, Sir Luc. Pray,
at the expence of my country, and I only want Acres. Well, then— honour of your com to fall in with the gentleman, to call him out. pany'
Acres. By my valour, I should like to see you sir Luc. “ To settle our pretensions'
fight first ! Odds life! I should like to see you Acres. Well.
kill him, if it was only to get a little lesson. Sir Luc. Let me see ; ay, King's Mead-fields Sir Luc. I shall be very proud of instructing will do Min King's Mead-fields.'
you—Well, for the present—but remember Acres. So, that's done. -Well, I'll fold it up now, when you meet your antagonist, do every presently ; my own crest a hand and dagger | thing in a mild and agreeable manner. Let your shall be the seal.
courage be as keen, but, at the same time, as po Sir Luc. You see, now, this little explanation | lished as your sword. (Excunt severally,
well, my honour makes me quarrel with another SCENE I.-ACRES's Lodgings.
yentleman of my acquaintance. -So, we fight,
(Pleasant enough that !) Boh! I kill him! (the Enter ACRES and DAVID.
more's my luck.) Now, pray, who gets the proDavid. Then, by the mass, sir, I would do no fit of it? Why, my honour ! -But put the case such thing!-ne'er a Sir Lucius O’Trigger in the that he kills me! -By the mass ! I go to the kingdom should make me fight, when I wa’n’t so worms, and my honour whips over to my eneminded. Oons ! what will the old lady say, when my! she hears o't?
Acres. No, Davidmin that case! Odds crowns Acres. Ah! David, if you had heard Sir Lu. and laurels! your honour follows you to the cius ! Odds sparks and flames! he would have grave. roused your valour.
David. Now, that's just the place where I David. Not he, indeed. I hates such blood could make a shift to do without it. thirsty cormorants. Look’ee, master, if you'd Acres. Zounds ! David, you are a coward! It wanted a bout at boxing, quarter-staff, or short doesn't become my valour to listen to you. What, staff, I should never be the man to bid you cry shall I disgrace my ancestors? Think of that, off; But for your curs'd sharps and snaps, I never David ; think what it would be to disgrace my knew any good come of them.
ancestors! Acres. But my honour, David, my honour! I David. Under favour, the surest way of not must be very careful of my honour.
disgracing them, is to keep as long as you can David. Ay, by the mass ! and I would be out of their company. Look’ee now, master, to very careful of it; and I think, in return, my ho- go to them in such baste, with an ounce of lead noúr couldn't do less than to be very careful of in your brains, I should think might as well be
let alone. Our ancestors are very good kind of Acres. Odds blades, David! no gentleman will folks ; but they are the lust people I shouid ever risk the loss of his honour !
choose to have
a visiting acquaintance with. David. I say, then, it would be but civil in ho Acres. But, David, now, you don't think there nour never to risk the loss of a gentleman is such very, very, very, very great danger! hey? Look'ee, master, this honour seems to me to be a Odds life! people often fight without any mismarvellous false friend ! ay, truly, a very cour-chief done! tier-like servant !--Put the case I was a gentle David. By the mass, I think 'tis ten to one man (which, thank God! no one can say of me;) against you !--Qons ! here you're to meet some
lion-headed fellow, I warrant, with his damned Abs. Well, give it to me, and trust me he double-barrelled swords, and cut-and-thrust pis- gets it. tols ! Lord bless us ! it makes me tremble to think Acres. Thank you, my dear friend, my dear o't! Those be such desperate bloody-minded Jack; but it is giving you a great deal of weapons! Well, I never could abide them ! from trouble. a child I never could fancy them! I suppose Abs. Not in the least ; I beg you won't menthere a'n't been so merciless a beast in the world tion it.-No trouble in the world, I assure you. as your loaded pistol !
Acres. You are very kind.- What it is to have Acres. Zounds! I won't be afraid Odds fire a friend !-You couldn't be my second could and fury! you sha'n't make me afraid Here you, Jack ? is the challenge, and I have sent for my dear Abs. Why, no, Bob, not in this affair ; it friend Jack Absolute to carry it for me.
would not be quite so proper. David. Ay, in the name of mischief, let him Acres. Well, then, I must get my friend Sir be the messenger.-For my part, I wouldn't lend Lucius. I shall have your good wishes, however, a hand to it for the best horse in your stable. By Jack. the mass ! it don't look like another letter ! It Abs. Whenever he meets you, believe me. is, as I may say, a designing and malicious-looking letter, and, I warrant, smells of gunpowder
Enter Servant. like a soldier's pouch !-Oons! I wouldn't swear Sero. Sir Anthony Absolute is below, inquiring it may’nt go off!
for the captain. Acres. Dut, you poltroon !--you ha’n’t the va
Abs. I'll come instantly.-Well, my little hero, lour of a grass-hopper.
success attend you.
(Going. David. Well, i say no more ; 'twill be sad
Acres. Stay, stay, Jack ! If Beverley should news, to be surc, at Clod-Hall! but I have done. ask you what kind of a man your friend Acres How Phillis will howl when she hears of it !
is, do tell him I am a devil of a fellow! will you, Ay, poor bitch, she little thinks what shooting Jack ? her master's going after! And I warrant old Abs. To be sure I shall.-I'll say you are a Crop, who has carried your honour, field and deterinined dog! hey, Bob? road, these ten years, will curse the hour he was
Acres. Ay, do, do, do; and if that frightens born.
[Ilhimpering; him, 'egad, perhaps he mayn't come. So tell Acres. It won't do, David-I am determined him I generally kill a man a-week; will you, to fight-so get along, you coward, while I'm in Jack? the mind.
Abs. I will, I will; I'll say you are called in Enter Servant.
the country, Fighting Bob.
Acres. Right, right; 'tis all to prevent misSero. Captain Absolute, sir.
chief; for I don't want to take his life, if I clear Acres. O! shew him up. (Exit Servant.
honour. David. Well, Heaven send we be all alive this Abs. No! that's very kind of you. time to-morrow !
Acres. Why, you don't wish me to kill him? Acres. What's that?-Don't provoke me, do
Jack ? David !
Abs. No, upon my soul, I do not. David. Good bye, master. (Whimpering. devil of a fellow, hey?
(Going. Acres. Get along, you cowardly, dastardly, Acres. True, true; but stay-stay, Jackcroaking raven.
you may add, that you never saw me in such a
rage before; a most devouring rage ! Enter ABSOLUTE.
Abs. I will, I will. Abs. What's the matter, Bob?
Acres. Remember, Jack-a determined dog ! Acres. A vile sheep.hearted blockhead !-If Abs. Ay, ay; Fighting Bob! I hadn't the valour of 'St George and the dragon
(Exeunt sederally. to boot
Abs. But what did you want with me, Bob? SCENE II.- MIrs MALAPROP's Lodgings.
NÍrs MALAPROP and LYDIA. on now? [Aside.) Well, what's this?
Mrs Mul. Why, thou perverse one! tell me Acres. A challenge.
what you can object to him? Isn't he a handAbs. Indeed !Why, you won't fight him, will some man? tell me that—A genteel man? a
pretty figure of a man? Acres. 'Egad, but I will, Jack-Sir Lucius has Lydia. She little thinks whom she is praising ! wrought me to it. He has left me full of rage, [Aside.)—So is Beverley, madam. and I'll fight this evening, that so much good Mrs Mal. No caparisons, miss, if you pleasc, passion mayn't be wasted.
-Caparisons don't become a young womanAbs. But what have I to do with this? No! Captain Absolute is, indeed, a fine gentle
Acres. Why, as I think you know something man! of this fellow, I want you to find him out for me, Lydia. Ay the Captain Absolute you have and give him this mortal defiance.
Mrs Alal. Then he's so well bred ; so full of and hasty predilection will be no bar to Jack's alacrity and adulation !--and has so much to say happiness.----Zounds, sirrah, why don't you for himself:-in such good language, too!-His speak !
(Aside to him. physiognomy so grammatical:- Then his pre Lydia. [Aside.] I think my lover seems as litsence is so noble : I protest, when I saw him, Itle inclined to conversation as myself.—How thought of what Hamlet says in the play strangely blind my aunt must be ! * Hesperian curls-the front of Job himself
Abs. Hem, hem ! Madam, hem ! [ABSOLUTE an eye like March, to threaten at conimand !-a attempts to speak, then returns to Sir ANTHONY.] station, like Harry Mercury, new'--Something Faith, sir, I'am so confounded ! and so, so conabout kissing-on a hill-however, the similitude fused! I told you I should be so, sir ; I knew it. struck me directly.
Thethe-tremor of my passion entirely takes Lydia. How enraged she'll be presently, when away my presence of mind. she discovers her mistake!
Sir Anth. But it don't take away your voice, Enter Servant.
fool, does it ? Go up, and speak to her directly!
(ABSOLUTE makes signs to Mrs MALAPROP Sero. Sir Anthony and Captain Absolute are to leave them together, below, madam.
Mrs Mal. Sir Anthony, shall we leave them to Mrs Mal. Shew them up here. (Exit Servant.] gether? Ah, you stubborn little vixen. Now, Lydia, I insist on your behaving as becomes
(Aside to her. a young woman.-
:-Shew your good breeding, at Sir Anth. Not yet, madam, not yet! What the least, though you have forgot your duty. devil are you at ? unlock your jaws, sirrah, orLydia. Madam, I have told you my resolution !
Aside to hit. -I shall not only give him no encouragement,
[ABSOLUTE draus near LYDIA. but I won't even speak to, or look at him.
Abs. Now Heaven send she may be too sullen [Flings herself into a chair, with her face to look round ! I must disguise my voice. (Aside. from the door.
Speaks in a low hourse tone. Will not Miss LanEnter Sir ANTHONY and ABSOLUTE.
guish lend an ear to the mild accents of true love?
Will nota Sir Anth. Here we are, Mrs Malaprop, come Sir Anth. What the devil ails the fellow? Why to mitigate the frowns of unrelenting beauty; and don't you speak out ? not stand croaking like a difficulty enough I had to bring this fellow.-1 frog in a quinsey ! don't know what's the matter ; but, if I had not Abs. The-the-excess of my awe, and myheld him by force, he'd have given me the slip. my-my modesty, quite choak me!
Mrs Mal. You have infinite trouble, Sir An Sir Anth. Ah, your modesty again ! I'll tell thony, in the affair.--I am ashamed for the cause ! you what, Jack, if you don't speak out directly, Lydia, Lydia, rise, I beseech you !-pay your re- and glibly, too, I shall be in such a rage ! Mrs spects !
Aside to her. Malaprop, I wish the lady would favour us with Sir Anth. I hope, madam, that Miss Languish something more than a side front. has reflected on the worth of this gentleman, and [Mrs MALAPROP seems to chide LYDIA. the regard due to her aunt's choice, and my alli Abs. So all will out, I see! (Goes up to LYDIA ance. Now, Jack, speak to her. (Aside to him. --speaks softly.) Be not surprised, my Lydia ; sup
Abs. What the devil shall I do ? (Aside.] You press all surprise at present. sce, sir, she won't even look at me, whilst you are Lydia. (Àside.) Heavens ! 'tis Beverley's voice! here. I knew she would not ! I told you som Sure he can't have imposed on Sir Anthony too! Let me entreat you, sir, to leave us together! (Looks round by degrees, then sturts up.] Is this [ABSOLUTE seems to expostulate with his father. possible ! my Beverley ! how can this be, my Be
Lydia. ( Aside.) I wonder I have not heard my verley ? aunt exclaim yet ! sure she can't have looked at Abs. Ah, 'tis all over !
(Aside. him ! -perhaps their regimentals are alike, Sir Anth. Beverley! the devil! Beverley ! and she is something blind.
What can the girl mean? This is my son, Jack Sir Anth. I say, sir, I won't stir a foot yet. Absolute, Mrs Mul. I am sorry to say, Sir Anthony,
that Mrs Mal. For shame, hussy: for shame! your my affluence over my niece is very small. — Turn head runs so on that fellow, that you have him round, Lydia ; I blush for you! [Aside to her always in your eyes. Beg Captain Absolute's par
Sir Anth. May I not flatter myself that Miss don directly. Languish will assign what cause of dislike she can Lydia. I see no Captain Absolute, but my loved have to my son !-Why don't you begin, Jack? Beverley ! -Speak, you puppy-speak! [Aside to him. Sir Anth. Zounds, the girl's mad! her brain's
atrs Mal. It is impossible, Sir Anthony, she turned by reading can have any.
Mrs Mal. O my conscience, I believe so! Answer, hussy! why don't you answer? What do you mean by Beverley, hussy? You saw
(Aside to her. Captain Absolute before to-day; there he is; your Sir Anth. Then, madam, I trust that a childish husband that shall be.
Lydia. With all my soul, madam ! when I re- | Mrs Malaprop, they long to fly into each other's fuse my Beverley
arms, I warrant. Jack, is not the cheek as I said, Sir Anth. O, she's as mad as Bedlam! or has hey ? and the eye, you rogue ! and the lip! hey? this fellow been playing us a rogue's trick? Come Come, Mrs Malaprop, we'll not disturb their tenhere, sirrah ; who the devil are you ?
derness—their's is the time of life for happiness. Abs. Faith, sir, I am not quite clear myself; but (Sings.] I'll endeavour to recollect.
Youth's the season made for joy. Sir Anth. Are you my son, or not? Answer for your mother, you dog, if you won't for me. Hey! Odd's life! I'm in such spirits, I don't
Mrs Mul. Ay, sir, who are you ? O mercy, I know what I could not do! Permit me, madam. begin to suspect !
(Gives his hand to Mrs MALAPROP. -Sings. Abs. Ye powers of impudence, befriend me! | Tol-de-rol. Egad, I should like to have a little (Aside.] Sir Anthony, most assuredly I am your fooling myself. Tol-de-rol! de-rolwife's son ; and that I sincerely believe myself to (Exit, singing and handing Mrs MALAPROP. be yours also, I hope my duty has always shewn.
LYDIA sits sullenly in her chair. Mrs Malaprop, I am your most respectful admirer, Abs. So much thought bodes me no good. and shall be proud to add affectionate nephew.-I
(Aside. need not tell my Lydia that she sees her faithful So grave, Lydia ! Beverley, who, knowing the singular generosity of
Lydia. Sir! her temper, assumed that name, and a station Abs. So ! Egad, I thought as much ! that which has proved a test of the most disinterested damned monosyllable has froze me ! [Aside.)love, which he now hopes to enjoy in a more ele. What, Lydia, now that we are as happy in our vated character.
friends' consent, as in our mutual vowsLydia. So there will be no elopement after Lydia. Friends' consent, indeed ! (Peevishly. all ?
(Sullenly. Abs. Come, come ; we must lay aside some of Sir Anth. Upon my soul, Jack, thou art a very our romance--a little wealth and comfort may be impudent fellow! To do you justice, I think I endured after all. And for your fortune, the never saw a piece of more consummate assurance ! lawyers shall make such settlements as
Abs. 0, you flatter me, sir ! your compliment Lydia. Lawyers ! I hate lawyers ! -'tis my modesty, you know, sir ; my modesty Abs. Nay, then, we will not wait for their linthat has stood in my way;
gering forms, but instantly procure the licence, Sir Anth. Well, I am glad you are not the dull, andinsensible varlet you pretended to be, however ; Lydia. The licence ! I hate a licence. I am glad you have made a fool of your father, you Abs. 0, my love ! be not so unkind! thus, let dog, I am: So this was your penitence, your duty, me entreat
[Kneeling. and obedience ! I thought it was damned sudden! Lydia. Pshaw! what signifies kneeling, when You never heard their names before, not you! you know I must have you. What, the Languishes of Worcestershire, hey? Abs. (Rising.) Nay, madam, there shall be no If you could please me in the affair, 'twas all you constraint upon your inclinations, I promise you. desired! Ah, you dissembling villain! What ! If I have lost your heart, I resign the rest. 'Gad, [Pointing to LYDIA) she squints, don't she ? a I must try what a little spirit will do. [ Aside. little red-haired girl! hey? Why, you hypocritical Lydiu. (Rising.) Then, sir, let me tell you, young rascal ! I wonder you are not ashamed to the interest you had there was acquired by a hold up your head !
mean, unmanly imposition, and deserves the puAbs. 'Tis with difficulty, sir ; I am confused nishment of fraud. What, you have been treat-very much confused, as you must perceive. ing me like a child ! humouring my romance, and
Mrs Mal. O lud, Sir Anthony !'a new light laughing, I suppose, at your success ? breaks in upon me! Hey! How! what ! Captain, Abs. You wrong me, Lydia, you wrong me ; did you write the letters, then ? What, am I to only hearthank you for the elegant compilation of an old, Lydia. So, while I fondly imagined we were weather-beaten she-dragon,' 'hey? O mercy! deceiving my relations, and flattering myself that was it you that reflected on my parts of speech? I should outwit and incense them all.--behold,
Abs. Dear sir, my modesty will be overpower- my hopes are to be crushed at once, by my aunt's ed at last, if you don't assist me. I shall certain- consent and approbation, and I am, myself
, the ly not be able to stand it !
only dupe, at last! (IPalking about in a heat.) Sir Anth. Come, come, Mrs Malaprop, we But, here, sir ; here is the picture ; Beverley's must forget and forgive: odd's life ! matters have picture ! [Taking u miniature from her bosom, taken so clever a turn all of a sudden, that I could which I have worn night and day, in spite of find in my heart to be so good-humoured ! and threats and entreaties. There, sir, (Fiings it 10 80 gallant-hey! Mrs Malaprop ?
him, and be assured I throw the original from Mrs Mal. Well, Sir Anthony, since you desire my heart as easily. it, we will not anticipate the past ; so mind, young Abs. Nay, nay, madam; we will not differ as people our retrospection will be all to the to that—Here, [Taking out a pictures] here is future.
Miss Lydia Languish. What a difference ! ay, Sir Anth. Come, we must leave them together. 'there is the leavenly assenting smile, that first