BY RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN
A street in Bath.
Coachman crosses the stage. -- Enter FAG,
looking after him.
FAG. What! -- Thomas! -- Sure, 'tis he? -- What! -- Thomas! -- Thomas!
COACH. Hey! -- Odd's life!1 -- Mr. Fag! -- give us your hand, my old fellow-servant.
FAG. Excuse my glove, Thomas: -- I'm 5 dev'lish glad to see you, my lad: why, my prince of charioteers, you look as hearty! -- but who the deuce thought of seeing you in Bath!
COACH. Sure, Master, Madam Julia, Harry, Mrs. Kate, and the postilion be all come! 10
COACH. Aye! Master thought another fit of the gout was coming to make him a visit: -- so he'd a mind to gi't the slip, and whip! we were all off at an hour's warning. 15
FAG. Aye, aye! hasty in everything, or it would not be Sir Anthony Absolute!
COACH. But tell us, Mr. Fag, how does young master? Odd! Sir Anthony will stare to see the Captain here! 20
FAG. I do not serve Captain Absolute now.
COACH. Why sure!
FAG. At present I am employed by Ensign Beverley.
COACH. I doubt, Mr. Fag, you ha'n't changed 25 for the better.
FAG. I have not changed, Thomas.
COACH. No! why, didn't you say you had left young master?
FAG. No. -- Well, honest Thomas, I must 30 puzzle you no farther: -- briefly then -- Captain Absolute and Ensign Beverley are one and the same person.
COACH. The devil they are!
FAG. So it is indeed, Thomas; and the En 35 sign-half of my master being on guard at present the Captain has nothing to do with me.
COACH. So, so! -- What, this is some freak, I warrant! -- Do tell us, Mr. Fag, the meaning o't -- you know I ha' trusted you. 40
FAG. You'll be secret, Thomas?
COACH. As a coach-horse.
FAG. Why then the cause of all this is -- LOVE, Love, Thomas, who (as you may get read to you) has been a masquerader ever since the days of Ju 45 piter.
COACH. Aye, aye; -- I suessed there was a lady in the case: -- but pray, why does your master pass only for Ensign? -- Now if he had shammed General, indeed ---- 50
FAG. Ah! Thomas, there lies the mystery o' the matter.--Hark'ee, Thomas, my master is in love with a lady of a very singular taste: a lady who likes him better as a half-pay Ensign than if she knew he was son and heir to Sir Anthony Absolute, a 55 baronet of three thousand a-year!
COACH. That is an odd taste indeed! -- but has she got the stuff, Mr. Fag? is she rich, hey?
FAG. Rich! -- why, I believe she owns half the stocks! -- Z--ds!2 Thomas, she could pay the 60 national debt as easily as I could my washerwoman! -- She has a lap-dog that eats out of gold, -- she feeds her parrot with small pearls, -- and all her thread-papers3 are made of bank-notes!
COACH. Bravo! -- Faith! -- Odd! I warrant 65 she has a set of thousands4 at least. But does she draw kindly with the Captain?
FAG. As fond as pigeons.
COACH. May one hear her name?
FAG. Miss Lydia Languish. -- But there is an 70 old tough aunt in the way; -- though, by the by -- she has never seen my master -- for he got acquainted with Miss while on a visit in Gloucestershire.
COACH. Well -- I wish they were once bar 75 nessed together in matrimony. -- But pray, Mr. Fag, what kind of a place is this Bath? -- I ha' heard a deal of it -- here's a mort5 o' merry-making -- hey?
FAG. Pretty well, Thomas, pretty well -- 'tis a good lounge. ((Though at present we are, like 80____________________