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Sir Lucius. For instance, now—if that should be the case—would you choose to be pickled and sent honne ?-or would it be the same to you to lie here in the Abbey ?—I'm told there is very snug lying in the Abbey.
Acres. Pickled !-Snug lying in the Abbey !--Odds tremors ! Sir Lucius, don't talk so !
Sir Lucius. I suppose, Mr. Acres, you never were engaged in an affair of this kind before ?
Acres. No, Sir Lucius, never before.
Sir Lucius. Ah! that's a pity !—there's nothing like being used to a thing ---Pray now, how would you receive the gentleman's shot?
Acres. Odds files !—I've practised that~-there, Sir Luciusthere. -[Puts himself in an attitude.] A side front, hey? Odd, I'll make myself small enough : I'll stand edgeways.
Sir Lucius. Now—you're quite out-for if you stand so when I takie my aim
[Levelling at him. Acres. Zounds! Sir Lucius—are you sure it is not cocked ? Sir Lucius. Never fear. Acres. But-but-you don't know-it may go off of its own head !
Sir Lucius. Pho! be easy.-Well, now if I hit you in the body, my bullet has a double chance-for if it misses a vital part of your right side'twill be very hard if it don't succeed on the left ! Acres. A vital part ! Sir Lucius. But, there—fix yourself so—[Placing him]-let him
see the broadside of your full front-there--now a ball or two may pass clean through your body, and never do any harm at all.
Acres. Clean through me!-a ball or two clean through me!
Sir Lucius. Ay-may they—and it is much the genteelest attitude into the bargain.
Acres. Look’ee ! Sir Lucius—I'd just as lieve be shot in an awkward posture as a genteel one; so, by my valour! I will stand edgeways.
Sir Lucius. [Looking at his watch.] Sure they don't mean to disappoint us- -Hah!-no, faith-I think I see them coming.
Acres. Hey !-what !-coming !--
Acres. There are two of them indeed !-well— let them come-hey, Sir Lucius !-we-we-we-we-won't run.
Sir Lucius. Run!
Acres. Nothing—nothing—my dear friend—my dear Sir Luciusbut I-I-I don't feel quite so bold, somehow, as I did.
Sir Lucius. O fy !-consider your honour.
Acres. Ay—true—my honour. Do, Sir Lucius, edge in a word or two every now and then about my honour. Sir Lucius. Well, here they're coming.
[Looking. Acres. Sir Lucius—if I wa'n't with you, I should almost think I was afraid.- If my valour should leave me !—Valour will come and go. Sir Lucius. Then pray keep it fast, while you have it. Acres. Sir Lucius—I doubt it is going--yes—my valour is cer
tainly going !-it is sneaking off !—I feel it oozing out as it were at the palms of my hands !
Sir Lucius. Your honour-your honour.--Here they are.
Acres. O mercy !- -that I was safe at Clod-Hall! or could be shot before I was aware !
Enter FAULKLAND and CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE.
Sir Lucius. Gentlemen, your most obedient.--Hah!-what, Captain Absolute !-So, I suppose, sir, you are come here, just like myself—to do a kind office, first for your friend—then to proceed to business on your own account.
Acres. What, Jack !-my dear Jack !--my dear friend!
Sir Lucius. Well, Mr. Acres—I don't blame you saluting the gentleman civilly.—[To FAULKLAND.] So, Mr. Beverley, if you'll choose your weapons, the captain and I will measure the ground.
Faulk. My weapons, sir !
Acres. Odds life! Sir Lucius, I'm not going to fight Mr. Faulkland ; these are my particular friends.
Sir Lucius. What, sir, do you not come here to fight Mr. Acres ?
. Mr. Faulkland, as there are three of us come on purpose for the gan you won't
be so cantanckerous as to spoil the party by sitting out. Abs. O pray, Faulkland, fight to oblige Sir Lucius. Faulk. Nay, if Mr. Acres is so bent on the matter
Acres. No, no, Mr. Faulkland ;--I'll bear my disappointment like a Christian.—Look’ee, Sir Lucius, there's no occasion at all for me to fight; and if it is the same to you, I'd as lieve let it alone.
Sir Lucius. Observe me, Mr. Acres—I must not be trifled with. You have certainly challenged somebody—and you came here to fight him. Now, if that gentleman is willing to represent him-I can't see, for my soul, why it isn't just the same thing.
Acres. Why no-Sir Lucius-I tell you, 'tis one Beverley I've challenged—a fellow, you see, that dare not show his face !- If he were here, I'd make him give up his pretensions directly !
Abs. Hold, Bob—let me set you right-there is no such man as Beverley in the case. The person who assumed that name is before you ; and as his pretensions are the same in both characters, he is ready to support them in whatever way you please.
Sir Lucius. Well, this is lucky.-Now you have an opportunity
Acres. What, quarrel with my dear friend Jack Absolute ?--Not if he were fifty Beverleys! Zounds! Sir Lucius, you would not have me so unnatural.
Sir Lucius. Upon my conscience, Mr. Acres, your valour has oozed away with a vengeance !
Acres. Not in the least! Odds backs and abettors! second with all my heart—and if you should get a quietus, you may commanā me entirely. I'll get you snug lying in the Abbey here ; or
I'll be your
pickle you, and send you over to Blunderbuss-Hall, or anything of the kind, with the greatest pleasure.
Sir Lucius. Pho! pho! you are little better than a coward.
Acres. Mind, gentlemen, he calls me a coward ; coward was the word, by my valour !
Sir Lucius. Well, sir?
Acres. Look'ee, Sir Lucius, 'tisn't that I mind the word cowardcoward may be said in joke-But if you had called me a poltroon, odds daggers and balls
Sir Lucius. Well, Sir ?
Abs. Nay, Sir Lucius, you can't have a better second than my friend Acres—he is a most determined dog-called in the country Fighting Bob.—He generally kills a man a week—don't
Bob? Acres. Ay—at home!
Sir Lucius. Well, then, captain, 'tis we must begin—so come out, my little counsellor—[Draws his sword]—and ask the gentleman, whether he will resign the lady, without forcing you to proceed against him?
Abs. Come on then, sir—[Draws]; since you won't let it be an amicable suit, here's my reply.
SAMSON ON HIS LOSS OF SIGHT.
And almost life itself, if it be true
The devil was piqued such saintship to behold,
Roused by the Prince of Air, the whirlwinds sweep
Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks,
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay,
Some scruple rose, but thus he eased his thought,
The tempter saw his time, the work he plied ;
Behold, Sir Balaam, now a man of spirit,
A nymph of quality admires our knight ;
In Britain's senate he a seat obtains,
CRSION OF HAMLET'S SOLILOQUY.
To smoke, or not to smoke, that is the question :-