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Hardcastle. Ay; the alehouse, the old place; I control your choice; but Mr. Marlow, whom I have thought so.

Mrs. Hardcastle. A low, paltry set of fellows.

pitched upon, is the son of my old friend, Sir Charles Marlow, of whom you have heard me

Tony. Not so low neither. There's Dick Mug-talk so often. The young gentleman has been gins the exciseman, Jack Slang the horse doctor, bred a scholar, and is designed for an employment little Aminidab that grinds the music box, and in the service of his country. I am told he's a Tom Twist that spins the pewter platter. man of an excellent understanding. Miss Hardcastle. Is he? Hardcastle. Very generous.

Mrs. Hardcastle. Pray, my dear, disappoint them for one night at least.

Tony. As for disappointing them, I should not so much mind; but I can't abide to disappoint myself.

go.

Mrs. Hardcastle [detaining him]. You shan't

Tony. I will, I tell you.

say you shan't.

Mrs. Hardcastle. Tony. We'll see which is strongest, you or I. [Exit, hauling her out. Hardcastle [alone]. Ay, there goes a pair that only spoil each other. But is not the whole age in a combination to drive sense and discretion out of doors? There's my pretty darling Kate! the fashions of the times have almost infected her too. By living a year or two in town, she's as fond of gauze and French frippery as the best of them.

Enter MISS HARDCASTLE.

Hardcastle. Blessings on my pretty innocence! dressed out as usual, my Kate. Goodness! What a quantity of superfluous silk hast thou got about thee, girl! I could never teach the fools of this age, that the indigent world could be clothed out of the trimmings of the vain.

Miss Hardcastle. You know our agreement, sir. You allow me the morning to receive and pay visits, and to dress in my own manner; and in the evening I put on my housewife's dress to please you.

Miss Hardcastle. I believe I shall like him.
Hardcastle. Young and brave.

Miss Hardcastle. I'm sure I shall like him.
Hardcastle. And very handsome.

Miss Hardcastle. My dear papa, say no more, [kissing his hand] he's mine; I'll have him.

Hardcastle. And to crown all, Kate, he's one of the most bashful and reserved young fellows in all the world.

Miss Hardcastle. Eh! you have frozen me to death again. That word reserved has undone all the rest of his accomplishments. A reserved lover, it is said, always makes a suspicious husband.

Hardcastle. On the contrary, modesty seldom resides in a breast that is not enriched with nobler virtues. It was the very feature in his character that first struck me.

Miss Hardcastle. He must have more striking features to catch me, I promise you. However, if he be so young, so handsome, and so every thing as you mention, I believe he'll do still. I think I'll have him.

Hardcastle. Ay, Kate, but there is still an obstacle. It's more than an even wager he may not have you.

Miss Hardcastle. My dear papa, why will you mortify one so? Well, if he refuses, instead of breaking my heart at his indifference, I'll only break my glass for its flattery, set my cap to some newer fashion, and look out for some less difficult admirer. Hardcastle. Well, remember I insist on the Hardcastle. Bravely resolved! In the mean time terms of our agreement; and by the by, I believe II'll go prepare the servants for his reception: as we shall have occasion to try your obedience this very seldom see company, they want as much training evening. as a company of recruits the first day's muster.

Miss Hardcastle. I protest, sir, I don't comprehend your meaning.

Hardcastle. Then to be plain with you, Kate, I expect the young gentleman I have chosen to be your husband from town this very day. I have his father's letter, in which he informs me his son is set out, and that he intends to follow himself shortly after.

Miss Hardcastle. Indeed! I wish I had known something of this before. Bless me, how shall I behave? It's a thousand to one I shan't like him; our meeting will be so formal, and so like a thing of business, that I shall find no room for friendship

or esteem.

Hardcastle. Depend upon it, child, I never will

[Exit.

Miss Hardcastle [alone]. Lud, this news of papa's puts me all in a flutter. Young, handsome; these he put last; but I put them foremost. Sensible, good natured; I like all that. But then reserved and sheepish, that's much against him. Yet can't he be cured of his timidity, by being taught to be proud of his wife? Yes; and cant I-But I vow I'm disposing of the husband before I have secured the lover.

Enter MISS NEVILLE

Miss Hardcastle. I'm glad you're come, Neville, my dear. Tell me, Constance, how do I look this evening? Is there any thing whimsical about

me? Is it one of my well-looking days, child? Am I in face to-day?

Miss Neville. Perfectly, my dear. Yet now I look again-bless me!-sure no accident has happened among the canary birds or the gold fishes. Has your brother or the cat been meddling? or has the last novel been too moving?

Miss Hardcastle. No; nothing of all this. I have been threatened-I can scarce get it out-I

have been threatened with a lover.

Miss Neville. And his name

Miss Hardcastle. Is Marlow.
Miss Neville.

Indeed!

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Miss Hardcastle. An odd character indeed. I shall never be able to manage him. What shall I do? Pshaw, think no more of him, but trust to occurrences for success. But how goes on your own affair, my dear? has my mother been courting you for my brother Tony as usual?

Miss Neville. I have just come from one of our agreeable tête-à-têtes. She has been saying a hundred tender things, and setting off her pretty monster as the very pink of perfection.

Miss Hardcastle. And her partiality is such, that she actually thinks him so. A fortune like yours is no small temptation. Besides, as she has the sole management of it, I'm not surprised to see her unwilling to let it go out of the family.

Miss Neville. A fortune like mine, which chiefly consists in jewels, is no such mighty temptation. But, at any rate, if my dear Hastings be but constant, I make no doubt to be too hard for her at last. However, I let her suppose that I am in love with her son; and she never once dreams that my affections are fixed upon another.

Miss Hardcastle. My good brother holds out stoutly. I could almost love him for hating you so.

Miss Neville. It is a good-natured creature at bottom, and I'm sure would wish to see me married to any body but himself. But my aunt's bell rings for our afternoon's walk round the improvements. Allons! Courage is necessary, as our affairs are critical.

Miss Hardcastle. "Would it were bed-time, and all were well." [Exeunt.

SCENE-AN ALEHOUSE ROOM. Several shabby Fellows with punch and tobacco. TONY at the head of the table, a little higher than the rest, a mallet in his hand.

Omnes. Hurrea! hurrea! hurrea! bravo!

First Fellow. Now, gentlemen, silence for a song. The 'Squire is going to knock himself down for a song.

Omnes. Ay, a song, a song!

Tony. Then I'll sing you, gentlemen, a song I made upon this alehouse, the Three Pigeons.

SONG.

Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain,

Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning,

Gives genus a better discerning.
Let them brag of their heathenish gods,

Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians,
Their quis, and their quas, and their quods,
They're all but a parcel of pigeons.

Toroddle, toroddle, torall.

When methodist preachers come down,
A-preaching that drinking is sinful,
I'll wager the rascals a crown,

They always preach best with a skinful.
But when you come down with your pence,
For a slice of their scurvy religion,

I'll leave it to all men of sense,

But you, my good friend, are the pigeon.
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.

Then come put the jorum about,

Our hearts and our liquors are stout,

And let us be merry and clever,

Here's the Three Jolly Pigeons for ever. Let some cry up woodcock or hare,

Your bustards, your ducks, and your widgeons; But of all the gay birds in the air, Here's a health to the Three Jolly Pigeons." Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.

Omnes. Bravo! bravo!

First Fellow. The 'Squire has got spunk in him.

Second Fellow. I loves to hear him sing, bekeays he never gives us nothing that's low.

Third Fellow. O damn any thing that's low, I can not bear it.

Fourth Fellow. The genteel thing is the genteel thing at any time: if so be that a gentleman bees in a concatenation accordingly.

Third Fellow. I like the maxum of it, Master Muggins. What, though I am obligated to dance a bear, a man may be a gentleman for all that. May this be my poison, if my bear ever dances but

to the very genteelest of tunes; "Water Parted," and often stand the chance of an unmannerly anor "The minuet in Ariadne."

Second Fellow. What a pity it is the 'Squire is not come to his own. It would be well for all the publicans within ten miles round of him.

Tony. Ecod, and so it would, Master Slang. I'd then show what it was to keep choice of com

pany.

Second Fellow. O he takes after his own father for that. To be sure old 'Squire Lumpkin was the finest gentleman I ever set my eyes on. For winding the straight horn, or beating a thicket for a hare, or a wench, he never had his fellow. It was a saying in the place, that he kept the best horses, dogs, and girls, in the whole county.

Tony. Ecod, and when I'm of age, I'll be no bastard, I promise you. I have been thinking of Bet Bouncer and the miller's gray mare to begin with. But come, my boys, drink about and be merry, for you pay no reckoning. Well, Stingo, what's the matter?

Enter LANDLORD.

swer.

Hastings. At present, however, we are not likely to receive any answer.

Tony. No offence, gentlemen. But I'm told you have been inquiring for one Mr. Hardcastle in these parts. Do you know what part of the country you are in?

Hastings. Not in the least, sir, but should thank you for information.

Tony. Nor the way you came?

Hastings. No, sir; but if you can inform usTony. Why, gentlemen, if you know neither the road you are going, nor where you are, nor the road you came, the first thing I have to inform you is, that-you have lost your way.

Marlow. We wanted no ghost to tell us that. Tony. Pray, gentlemen, may I be so bold as to ask the place from whence you came?

Marlow. That's not necessary towards directing us where we are to go.

Tony. No offence; but question for question is all fair, you know.-Pray, gentlemen, is not this same Hardcastle a cross-grained, old-fashioned,

and a pretty son?

Landlord. There be two gentlemen in a post-whimsical fellow, with an ugly face, a daughter, chaise at the door. They have lost their way upo' the forest; and they are talking something about Mr. Hardcastle.

Hastings.. We have not seen the gentleman; but he has the family you mention.

Tony. The daughter, a tall, trapesing, trollop

Tony. As sure as can be, one of them must be the gentleman that's coming down to court my sis-ing, talkative maypole-the son, a pretty, wellter. Do they seem to be Londoners?

Landlord. I believe they may. They look woundily like Frenchmen.

Tony. Then desire them to step this way, and I'll set them right in a twinkling. [Exit Landlord.] Gentlemen, as they mayn't be good enough company for you, step down for a moment, and I'll be with you in the squeezing of a lemon.

[Exeunt Mob.

Tony. [alone.] Father-in-law has been calling me whelp and hound this half-year. Now if I pleased, I could be so revenged upon the old grumbletonian. But then I'm afraid-afraid of what? I shall soon be worth fifteen hundred a-year, and let him frighten me out of that if he can.

Enter LANDLORD, conducting MARLOW and HASTINGS.

Marlow. What a tedious uncomfortable day have we had of it! We were told it was but forty miles across the country, and we have come above threescore.

Hastings. And all, Marlow, from that unaccountable reserve of yours, that would not let us inquire more frequently on the way.

Marlow. I own, Hastings, I am unwilling to lay myself under an obligation to every one I meet,

bred, agreeable youth, that every body is fond of?

Marlow. Our information differs in this. The daughter is said to be well-bred, and beautiful; the son an awkward booby, reared up and spoiled at his mother's apron-string.

Tony. He-he-hem!-Then, gentlemen, all I have to tell you is, that you won't reach Mr. Hardcastle's house this night, I believe.

Hastings. Unfortunate!

Tony. It's a damned long, dark, boggy, dirty, dangerous way. Stingo, tell the gentlemen the way to Mr. Hardcastle's! [Winking upon the Landlord.] Mr. Hardcastle's, of Quagmire Marsh, you understand me.

Landlord. Master Hardcastle's! Lack-a-daisy, my masters, you're come a deadly deal wrong! When you came to the bottom of the hill, you should have crossed down Squash-Lane.

Marlow. Cross down Squash Lane!

Landlord. Then you were to keep straight for-ward, till you came to four roads.

Marlow. Come to where four roads meet! Tony. Ay, but you must be sure to take only one of them.

Marlow. O, sir, you're facetious.

Tony. Then keeping to the right, you are to go sideways, till you come upon Crack-skull Common: there you must look sharp for the track of

the wheel, and go forward till you come to Farmer Murrain's barn. Coming to the farmer's barn, you are to turn to the right, and then to the left, and then to the right about again, till you find out the old mill.

Marlow. Zounds, man! we could as soon find out the longitude!

ACT II

SCENE-AN OLD-FASHIONED HOUSE.

Enter HARDCASTLE, followed by three or four awkward

servants.

Hardcastle. Well, I hope you are perfect in the

Hastings. What's to be done, Marlow? Marlow. This house promises but a poor re-table exercise I have been teaching you these three ception; though perhaps the landlord can accom- days. You all know your posts and your places, and can show that you have been used to good

modate us.
Landlord. Alack, master, we have but one company, without ever stirring from home.
spare bed in the whole house.

Tony. And to my knowledge, that's taken up by three lodgers already. [After a pause, in which the rest seem disconcerted.] I have hit it. Don't you think, Stingo, our landlady could accommodate the gentlemen by the fire-side, withthree chairs and a bolster?

Omnes. Ay, ay.

Hardcastle. When company comes, you are not to pop out and stare, and then run in again, like frighted rabbits in a warren.

Omnes. No, no.

Hardcastle. You, Diggory, whom I have taken from the barn, are to make a show at the side-table; and you, Roger, whom I have advanced from

Hastings. I hate sleeping by the fire-side.
Marlow. And I detest your three chairs and a the plough, are to place yourself behind my chair.
But you're not to stand so, with your hands in

bolster.

Tony. You do, do you?-then, let me sce-your pockets. Take your hands from your pockwhat if you go on a mile farther, to the Buck's ets, Roger; and from your head, you blockhead Head; the old Buck's head on the hill, one of the you. See how Diggory carries his hands. They're best inns in the whole county?

Hastings. O ho! so we have escaped an adventure for this night, however.

Landlord [apart to Tony.] Sure, you ben't sending them to your father's as an inn, be you? Tony. Mum, you fool you. Let them find that out. [To them.] You, have only to keep on straight forward, till you come to a large old house by the road side. You'll see a pair of large horns over the door. That's the sign. Drive up the yard, and call stoutly about you.

a little too stiff indeed, but that's no great matter, Diggory. Ay, mind how I hold them. I learned to hold my hands this way, when I was upon drill for the militia. And so being upon drill—

Hardcastle. You must not be so talkative, Diggory. You must be all attention to the guests. You must hear us talk, and not think of talking; you must see us drink, and not think of drinking; you must see us cat and not think of eating.

Diggory. By the laws, your worship, that's parfectly unpossible. Whenever Diggory sees

Hastings. Sir, we are obliged to you. The yeating going forward, ecod he's always wishing servants can't miss the way?

Tony. No, no: but I tell you, though, the landlord is rich, and going to leave off business; so he wants to be thought a gentleman, saving your presence, he he! he! He'll be for giving you his company; and, ecod, if you mind him, he'll persuade you that his mother was an alderman, and his aunt a justice of peace.

Landlord. A troublesome old blade, to be sure; but a keeps as good wines and beds as any in the whole country.

Marlow. Well, if he supplies us with these, we shall want no further connexion. We are to turn to the right, did you say?

for a mouthful himself.

Hardcastle. Blockhead! Is not a belly-full in the kitchen as good as a belly-full in the parlour? Stay your stomach with that reflection.

Diggory. Ecod, I thank your worship, I'll make a shift to stay my stomach with a slice of cold beef in the pantry.

Hardcastle. Diggory, you are too talkative.Then, if I happen to say a good thing, or tell a good story at table, you must not all burst out alaughing, as if you made part of the company.

Diggory. Then ecod your worship must not tell the story of ould Grouse in the gun-room: I can't help laughing at that-he! he! he!--for the

Tony. No, no; straight forward. I'll just step soul of me. We have laughed at that these twenmyself, and show you a piece of the way. [Toty years-ha! ha! ha! the Landlord.] Mum!

Hardcastle. Ha! ha! ha! The story is a good Landlord. Ah, bless your heart, for a sweet, one. Well, honest Diggory, you may laugh at pleasant-damn'd mischievous son of a whore.that-but still remember to be attentive. Suppose Exeunt. one of the company should call for a glass of wine,

you know

how will you behave? A glass of wine, sir, if you lovely part of the creation that chiefly teach men please-[to Diggory]-eh, why don't you move? confidence. I don't know that I was ever familiarly Diggory. Ecod, your worship, I never have cou-acquainted with a single modest woman, except rage till I see the eatables and drinkables brought my mother-But among females of another class upo' the table, and then I'm as bauld as a lion. Hardcastle. What, will nobody move? First Servant. I'm not to leave this place. Second Servant. I'm sure it's no place of mine. Third Servant. Nor mine, for sartin.

Hastings. Ay, among them you are impudent enough of all conscience.

Marlow. They are of us, you know.

Hastings. But in the company of women of

Diggory. Wauns, and I'm sure it canna be reputation I never saw such an idiot, such a tremmine.

bler; you look for all the world as if you wanted an
opportunity of stealing out of the room.
Marlow. Why, man, that's because I do want

Hardcastle. You numskulls! and so while, like your betters, you are quarreling for places, the guests must be starved. O you dunces! I find I to steal out of the room. Faith, I have often formmust begin all over again-But don't I hear a ed a resolution to break the ice, and rattle away at coach drive into the yard? To your posts, you any rate. But I don't know how, a single glance block heads. I'll go in the mean time and give my from a pair of fine eyes has totally overset my resoold friend's son a hearty reception at the gate. lution. An impudent fellow may counterfeit mo[Exit Hardcastle. desty, but I'll be hanged if a modest man can Diggory. By the elevens, my place is gone quite ever counterfeit impudence. out of my head.

Roger. I know that my place is to be every

where.

Hastings. If you could but say half the fine things to them that I have heard you lavish upon the bar-maid of an inn, or even a college bed-maker. First Servant. Where the devil is mine? Marlow. Why, George, I can't say fine things Second Servant. My place is to be nowhere at to them; they freeze, they petrify me. They may all; and so I'ze go about my business. [Exeunt talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some Servants, running about as if frighted, different such bagatelle; but to me, a modest woman, dressed out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation.

ways.

Enter SERVANT with candles, showing in MARLOW and

HASTINGS.

Servant. Welcome, gentlemen, very welcome! This way.

Hastings. Ha! ha! ha! At this rate, man, how can you ever expect to marry?

Marlow. Never, unless, as among kings and princes, my bride were to be courted by proxy. If, Hastings. After the disappointments of the day, indeed, like an eastern bridegroom, one were to be welcome once more, Charles, to the comforts of a introduced to a wife he never saw before, it might clean room and a good fire. Upon my word, a be endured. But to go through all the terrors of a very well-looking house; antique but creditable. formal courtship, together with the episode of Marlow. The usual fate of a large mansion. aunts, grandmothers, and cousins, and at last to Having first ruined the master by good house-keep-blunt out the broad staring question of, Madam, ing, it at last comes to levy contributions as an inn. will you marry me? No, no, that's a strain much Hastings. As you say, we passengers are to be above me, I assure you. taxed to pay all these fineries. I have often seen a good sideboard, or a marble chimney-piece, though not actually put in the bill, inflame a reckoning confoundedly,

Marlow. Travellers, George, must pay in all places; the only difference is, that in good inns you pay dearly for luxuries, in bad inns you are fleeced and starved.

Hastings. I pity you. But how do you intend behaving to the lady you are come down to visit at the request of your father?

Marlow. As I behave to all other ladies. Bow very low, answer yes or no to all her demandsBut for the rest, I don't think I shall venture to look in her face till I see my father's again.

Hastings. I'm surprised that one who is so warm a friend can be so cool a lover.

Miss

Hastings. You have lived very much among them. In truth, I have been often surprised, that Marlow. To be explicit, my dear Hastings, my you who have seen so much of the world, with your chief inducement down was to be instrumental in natural good sense, and your many opportunities, forwarding your happiness, not my own. could never yet acquire a requisite share of assur-Neville loves you, the family don't know you! as my friend you are sure of a reception, and let honour do the rest.

ance.

Marlow. The Englishman's malady. But tell me, George, where could I have learned that as- Hastings. My dear Marlow! But I'll suppress surance you talk of? My life has been chiefly the emotion. Were I a wretch, meanly seeking to spent in a college or an inn, in seclusion from that carry off a fortune, you should be the last man in

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