-- My master shall know this -- and if he don't call him out -- I will.
LUCY. Ha! ha! ha! you gentlemen's gentlemen are so hasty. -- That letter was from Mrs. Malaprop, simpleton. -- She is taken with Sir Lucius's 105 address.
FAG. How! what tastes some people have! -- Why, I suppose I have walked by her window an hundred times. -- But what says our young lady? Any message to my master? 110
LUCY. Sad news, Mr. Fag! -- A worse rival than Acres! -- Sir Anthony Absolute has proposed his son.
FAG. What, Captain Absolute?
LUCY. Even so. -- I overheard it all.
FAG. Ha! ha! ha! --very good, faith. -- 115 Good-bye, Lucy, I must away with this news.
LUCY. Well -- you may laugh -- but it is true, I assure you. (Going.) But -- Mr. Fag -- tell your master not to be cast down by this.
FAG. O, he'll be so disconsolate! 120
LUCY. And charge him not to think of qnarrelling with young Absolute.
FAG. Never fear! -- never fear!
LUCY. Be sure -- bid him keep up his spirits.
FAG. We will -- we will. Exeunt severally. 125
The Nortk Parade.
ABS. 'Tis just as Fag told me, indeed. -- Whimsical enough, faith! My father wants to force me to marry the very girl I am plotting to run away with! -- He must not know of my connection with her yet awhile. -- He has too summary a method of pro 5 ceeding in these matters -- ((and Lydia shall not yet lose her hopes of an elopement.)) However, I'll read my recantation instantly. -- My conversion is something sudden, indeed -- but I can assure him it is very sincere. -- So, so -- here he comes, 10 -- He looks plaguy gruff. (Steps aside.)
Enter SIR ANTHONY.
[SIR ANTH.] No -- I'll die sooner than forgive him. -- Die, did I say? I'll live these fifty years to plague him. -- At our last meeting, his impudence had almost put me out of temper. -- An ob 15 stinate, passionate, self-willed boy! --- Who can he take after? This is my return for getting him before all his brothers and sisters! -- for putting him, at twelve years old, into a marching regiment, and allowing him fifty pounds a-year, beside his pay 20 ever since! -- But I have done with him; -- he's anybody's son for me. -- I never will see him more, -- never -- never -- never -- never!
ABS. Now for a penitential face.
SIR ANTH. Fellow, get out of my way. 25
ABS. Sir, you see a penitent before you.
SIR ANTH. I see an impudent scoundrel before me.
ABS. A sincere penitent. -- I am come, sir, to acknowledge my error, and to submit entirely to your will. 30
SIR ANTH. What's that?
ABS. I have been revolving, and reflecting, and considering on your past goodness, and kindness, and condescension to me.
SIR ANTH. Well, sir? 35
ABS. I have been likewise weighing and balancing what you were pleased to mention concerning duty, and obedience, and authority.
SIR ANTH. Well, puppy?
ABS. Why then, sir, the result of my reflec 40 tions is -- a resolution to sacrifice every inclination of my own to your satisfaction.
SIR ANTH. Why, now you talk sense -- absolute sense -- I never heard anything more sensible in my life. -- Confound you, you shall be Jack45 again!
ABS. I am happy in the appellation.
SIR ANTH. Why then, Jack, my dear Jack, I will now inform you -- who the lady really is. -- Nothing but your passion and violence, you silly 50 fellow, prevented my telling you at first. Prepare, Jack, for wonder and rapture! -- prepare! ----- What think you of Miss Lydia Languish?
ABS. Languish! What, the Languishes of Worcestershire? 55
SIR ANTH. Worcestershire! No. Did you never meet Mrs. Malaprop and her niece, Miss Languish, who came into our country just before you were last ordered to your regiment?
ABS. Malaprop! Languish! I don't remem 60 ber ever to have heard the names before. Yet, stay -- I think I do recollect something. ----- Languish! Languish! She squints, don't she? -- A little, red- haired girl?
SIR ANTH. Squints? -- A red-haired girl! -- 65 Z-----ds, no!
ABS. Then I must have forgot; it can't be the same person.
SIR ANTH. Jack! Jack! what think you of blooming, love-breathing seventeen? 70
ABS. As to that, sir, I am quite indifferent. -- If I can please you in the matter, 'tis all I desire.
SIR ANTH. Nay, but Jack, such eyes! such eyes! so innocently wild! so bashfully irresolute! Not a glance but speaks and kindles some thought of 75 love! Then, Jack, her cheeks! her cheeks, Jack! so deeply blushing at the insinuations of her tell-tale____________________