forfeit that portion of my paltry wealth? -- that burden on the wings of love?
ABS. O, come to me -- rich only thus -- in loveliness. -- Bring no portion to me but thy love -- 'twill be generous in you, Lydia -- for well you 190 know, it is the only dower your poor Beverley can repay.
LYD. How persuasive are his words! -- how charming will poverty be with him!
ABS. Ah! my soul, what a life will we then 195 live! Love shall be our idol and support! We will worship him with a monastic strictness; abjuring all worldly toys, to center every thought and action there. -- Proud of calamity, we will enjoy the wreck of wealth; while the surrounding gloom of ad 200 versity shall make the flame of our pure love show doubly bright. -- By heav'ns! I would fling all goods of fortune from me with a prodigal hand to enjoy the scene where I might clasp my Lydia to my bosom, and say, the world affords no smile to 205 me -- but here. (Embracing her.) ----- (Aside.) If she holds out now the devil is in it!
LYD. Now could I fly with him to the Antipodes! but my persecution is not yet come to a crisis.
Enter MRS. MALAPROP, listening.
MRS. MAL. (aside). I am impatient to know 210 how the little hussy deports herself.
ABS. So pensive, Lydia! -- is then your warmth abated?
MRS. MAL. [aside]. Warmth abated! -- So! she has been in a passion, I suppose. 215
LYD. No -- nor never can while I have life.
MRS. MAL. [aside]. An ill-tempered little devil! -- She'll be in a passion all her life -- will she?
LYD. Think not the idle threats of my ridiculous aunt can ever have any weight with me. 220
MRS. MAL. [aside]. Very dutiful, upon my word!
LYD. Let her choice be Captain Absolute, but Beverley is mine.
MRS. MAL. [aside]. I am astonished at her assurance! -- to his face -- this is to his face! 225
ABS. Thus then let me enforce my suit.
MRS. MAL. [aside]. Aye -- poor young man! -- down on his knees entreating for pity! -- I can contain no longer. -- [Aloud.] Why, thou vixen! -- I have overheard you. 230
ABS. (aside). O, confound her vigilance!
MRS. MAL. Captain Absolute -- I know not how to apologize for her shocking rudeness.
ABS. (aside). So -- all's safe, I find. -- [Aloud.]
I have hopes, madam, that time will bring the 235 young lady -----
MRS. MAL. O, there's nothing to be hoped for from her! She's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of Nile.
LYD. Nay, madam, what do you charge me 240 with now?
MRS. MAL. Why, thou unblushing rebel -- didn't you tell this gentleman to his face that you loved another better? -- didn't you say you never would be his? 245
LYD. No, madam -- I did not.
MRS. MAL. Good heav'ns! what assurance! -- Lydia, Lydia, you ought to know that lying don't become a young woman! -- Didn't you boast that Beverley -- that stroller Beverley -- possessed 250 your heart? -- Tell me that, I say.
LYD. 'Tis true, ma'am, and none but Beverley -----
MRS. MAL. Hold -- hold, Assurance! -- you shall not be so rude.
ABS. Nay, pray Mrs. Malaprop, don't stop 255 the young lady's speech: -- she's very welcome to talk thus -- it does not hurt me in the least, I assure you.
MRS. MAL. You are too good, Captain -- too amiably patient -- but come with me, miss. -- 260 Let us see you again soon, Captain. -- Remember what we have fixed.
ABS. I shall, ma'am.
MRS. MAL. Come, take a graceful leave of the gentleman. 265
LYD. May every blessing wait on my Beverley, my loved Bev -----
MRS. MAL. Hussy! I'll choke the word in your throat! -- come along -- come along.
Exeunt severally, BEVERLEY [ ABSOLUTE] kissing his hand lo LYDlA- MRS. MALAPROP stopping her from speaking.
ACRES and DAVID.
ACRES as just dressed.
ACRES. Indeed, David -- do you think I become it so?
DAV. You are quite another creature, believe me, master, by the Mass! an'1 we've any luck we shall see the Devon monkeyrony in all the print-shops 5 in Bath!
ACRES. Dress does make a difference, David.____________________
SCENE IV. s.d.]O102 SCENE V (inadvertently retaining here the Larpent MS. numbering, though the printed text has merged the first two scenes of the MS. into SCENE 1).