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Longh. No, no, it is quite another affair I Vexation.
tell you. Nev. You must explain yourself, then; for Affectation. I have mentioned the most difficult points, and those that are commonly agitated in the schools in our times.
Longh. I should have told you my business Vexation. an hour ago, if you would have heard me. Nev. Pronounce then.
The affair I want to consult Intreating. Speech was given to man on Affeciation. I have had purpose, that by it he might express his thoughts; thoughts of marrying a young lady, who is and as the thoughts are the images of things, so very handsome, and much to my liking. I have words are the images of our thoughts. Make asked her father's consent, and he has granted use therefore of words to explain to me your it. Only I am afraidthoughts
Long. Plague on this everlasting talker. Who Impatience is like to be the wiser for him, if he will not so much as hear what one has to say to him? I'll go to Dr. Doubty. Perhaps he will be more reasonable.And, very fortunately, here he comes. I will consult him at once. -Dr. Doubty, I beg your wise advice about a matter of great concern to me.
Doubty. Be pleased, good Mr. Longhead, to Affectation alter your phraseology. Our philosophy directs to of learning. give out no decisive propositions; but to speak of all things with uncertainty; and always to suspend our judgment. Therefore you ought not to say I beg your advice," but I seem to beg it."
Longh. I seem! What signifies talking of seems; when I am here on the spot with you? Doubt. That is nothing to the purpose. You Affectation.
Affectation. Doubt. I dont know that you have had thoughts of marrying.
Longh. But I tell it you.
Doubt. That may be, or it may not be.
Longh. The young lady I had made choice of, is very young, and very handsome.
may imagine a thousand things, in which there
Longh. Sure, Dr. Doubty, you are disposed to be merry. Here am I : there are you here is no seem; no uncertainty; nothing doubtful; but all as plain as the nose on your face. Let us, for shame, drop these whims, and talk of my business. You must know, Dr. Doubty, that I have had thoughts of marrying, and should be glad of your opinion and advice.
Doubt. That may be, or it may not be. Langh. Do you think, I shall do wisely in marrying her?
Doubt. You may do wisely, for aught I know, or you may do unwisely, for aught I know. Longh. I am very much in love with the young lady.
Doubt. That is not impossible.
Longh. But, as she is much younger than me, I am afraid of, you know what.
Doubt. You may be afraid, for aught I
Longh. Do you think I should run the hazard of being a cuckold, if I should marry her? Affectation. Doubt. There is no natural impossibility in
it. But if you should, you may, perhaps, not be the first, nor the last. But all things are uncertain.
Longh. But what would you do, if you were in my place, Dr. Doubty?
Doubt. It is uncertain, as all things are.
Ah!-oh!-eh!What, beat a Complaint.
Longh. Be pleased, Dr. Doubty, [mimicing Mimicry. the Doctor] to alter your phraseology. philosophy directs you to give out no decisive propositions, but to speak of all things with uncertainty, and always to suspend your judgment. Therefore, you ought not to say,-"I have been beaten," but I seem to have been beaten."
Doubt. I will have you prosecuted with the utmost rigor of the law.
Longh. I wash my hands of it.
Doubt. I will shew the marks of the blows I have received from you.
[Enter CAPTAIN PINKUM, with two swords in one hand, and a cane in the other.]
Pinkum. Mr. Longhead, I am your most obedient, most humble servant.
Longh. Sir, your servant.
Anxiety. Indiff'rence Vexation.
Longh. You may imagine a thousand things Indiff'rence in which there is no reality.
Doubt. I will go directly to a magistrate, and Anger, have a warrant for you. [Exit Doubty.] Longh. There is no natural impossibility in it. Indiff'rence
Longh. Why, Sir, it is with regret that I failed you; but
Pink. Oh! Sir, there's no harm as we shall order matters.
Longh. I am sorry it so happens but some little scruples chanced to come into my mind about the difference between our ages, which, you know, is pretty considerable. And I put off the marriage for a little time, only that I might consider of it, and advise with my friends. And now, that the day is past, I think it may be better for us both, that it be let alone altogether.
Pink. Sir, as you please. You know it is not an object of any consequence. But, Sir, what, I have done myself the honour of waiting on you for, is only to beg the favour of you, Sir, to choose which you please of these two swords. Affirming. They are both good, I assure you, Sir, and as fairly matched as I could. If my judgment deserves any regard, you need not hesitate long. Either of them is very fit for a gentleman to be run through with.
Pink. Sir, I have the honour of waiting on you, to let you know, that, as you was pleased to disappoint us yesterday, which was the day fixed by yourself for your marriage with my sister, you and I must settle that affair in an honourable way.
Long. Sir, I don't understand you.
Pink. O, Sir, I wonder at that. The thing is not hard to be understood. It is no more than this, Sir, that if a gentleman promises a lady marriage, and, especially, if he fixes the day and fails of performing his contract, the relations, of the lady (whose character and fortune in life are injured by it, you know, Sir) generally think it proper to commence a prosecution against the gentleman; and the law gives, in those cases, heavy damages. My father had thoughts of prosecuting you, Sir, as he wrote to you. But as law is tedious,
we choose rather, Sir, upon second thoughts, to vindicate the honour of our family in a more expeditious way. Therefore, if you please, Sir, I will endeavour to whip you through the lungs in the neatest manner now practised in the army. And I offer you your choice of one of these two swords, to defend yourself with. This, you must own, Sir, is treating you genteely. For, you know, I could run you through the body now, without giving you the opportunity of defending yourself. Please, Sir, to make your choice. Longh. Sir, your humble servant. I shall make no such choice, I assure you.
Pink. Sir-you must, if you please, fight me. You shall have fair play, upon my honour.
Longh. Sir, I have nothing to say to you, [Going] Sir, your humble servant.
Pink. O dear Sir, [stopping him] you must excuse me for stopping you. But you and I are not to part, till one or t'other drops, I assure you,
Longh. Mercy on us! Was ever such a bloodyminded fellow !
Pink. Sir, I really have a little business upon my hands; so that I must beg you will give me leave to run you through as soon as possible.
Longh. But I don't intend that you shall run me through at all. For I will have nothing to say to you.
Pink. If you mean, Sir, that you won't fight me, I must do myself the honour of telling you, that you are in a little mistake, Sir. For the order of such things is this, Sir. First, a gentleman hap- Explaining. pens to affront another gentleman or a family, as you have done ours, Sir. Next, the gentleman affronted, or some one of the family, in order to vindicate their honour, challenges to single combat, the gentleman who did the injury, as I have done you, Sir. Then the gentleman who did the injury, perhaps, refuses to fight. The other proceeds