ACRES. You are very kind. -- What it is to 125 have a friend! -- You couldn't be my second -- could you, Jack?
ABS. Why no, Bob -- not in this affair -- it would not be quite so proper.
ACRES. Well then, I must get my friend Sir 130 Lucius. I shall have your good wishes, however, Jack.
ABS. Whenever he meets you, believe me.
SERV. Sir Anthony Absolute is below, inquiring for the Captain. 135
ABS. I'll come instantly. -- Well, my little hero, success attend you. (Going.)
ACRES. Stay -- stay, Jack. -- If Beverley should ask you what kind of a man your friend Acres is, do tell him I am a devil of a fellow -- will 140 you, Jack?
ABS. To be sure I shall. -- I'll say you are a determined dog -- hey, Bob?
ACRES. Aye, do, do -- and if that frightens him, 'egad, perhaps he mayn't come. So. tell him 145 I generally man a week -- will you, Jack?
ABS. I will, I will; I'll say you are called in the country 'Fighting Bob!'
ACRES. Right, fight -- 'tis all to prevent mischief; for I don't want to take his life if I clear my 150 honor.
ABS. No! -- that's very kind of you.
ACRES. Why, you don't wish me to kill him -- do you, Jack?
ABS. No, upon my soul, I do not. -- But a 155 devil of a fellow, hey? (Going.)
ACRES. True, true -- but stay -- stay, Jack -- you may add that you never saw me in such a rage before -- a most devouring rage!
ABS. I will, I will. 160
ACRES. Remember, Jack -- a determined dog!
ABS. Aye, aye, 'Fighting Bob!' Exeunt severally.
MRS. MALAPROP'S lodgings.
MRS. MALAPROP and LYDIA.
MRS. MAL. Why, thou perverse one! -- tell me what you can object to him? -- Isn't he a handsome man? -- tell me that. -- A genteel man? a pretty figure of a man?
LYD. (aside). She little thinks whom she is 5 praising! -- [Aloud.] So is Beverley, ma'am.
MRS. MAL. No caparisons, miss, if you please! -- Caparisons don't become a young woman. -- No! Captain Absolute is indeed a fine gentleman!
LYD. (aside). Aye, the Captain Absolute you 10 have seen.
MRS. MAL. Then he's so well bred; -- so full of alacrity, and adulation! -- and has so much to say for himself: -- in such good language, too! -- His physiognomy so grammatical! -- Then his pres 15 ence is so noble! -- I protest, when I saw him, I thought of what Hamlet says in the play:1 -- 'Hesperian curls! -- the front of Job himself! -- An eye, like March, to threaten at command! -- A station, like Harry Mercury, new' -- something 20 about kissing -- on a hill -- however, the similitude struck me directly.
LYD. (aside). How enraged she'll be presently when she discovers her mistake!
SERV. Sir Anthony and Captain Absolute25 are below, ma'am.
MRS. MAL. Show them up here. Exit Servant. Now, Lydia, I insist on your behaving as becomes a young woman. -- Show your good breeding at least, though you have forgot your duty. 30
LYD. Madam, I have told you my resolution; -- I shall not only give him no encouragement, but I won't even speak to, or look at him.
(Flings herself into a chair, with her face from the door.)
Enter SIR ANTHONY and ABSOLUTE. SIR ANTH. Here we are, Mrs. Malaprop, come to mitigate the frowns of unrelenting beauty -- 35 and difficulty enough I had to bring this fellow. -- I don't know what's the matter; but if I hadn't held him by force, he'd have given me the slip.
MRS. MAL. You have infinite trouble, Sir Anthony, in the affair. I am ashamed for the 40 cause! -- (Aside to her.) Lydia, Lydia, rise, I beseech you! -- pay your respects!
SIR ANTH. I hope, madam, that Miss Languish has reflected on the worth of this gentleman, and the regard due to her aunt's choice, and my 45 alliance. -- (Aside to him.) Now, Jack, speak to her!
ABS. (aside). What the d -- I shall I do! -- [Aloud.] You see, sir, she won't even look at me whilst you are here. -- I knew she wouldn't! -- I told you so. -- Let me entreat you, sir, to leave us together! 50
( ABSOLUTEseems to expostulate with his father.)
LYD. (aside). I wonder I ha'n't heard my aunt exclaim yet! Sure she can't have looked at him! Perhaps their regimentals are alike, and she is something blind.
SIR ANTH. I say, sir, I won't stir a foot yet! 55 MRS. MAL. I am sorry to say, Sir Anthony, that____________________