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Mrs. HARDCASTLE. It's false, Mr. Hardcastle: I was but twenty when I was brought to bed of Tony, that I had by Mr. Lumpkin, my first husband; and he's not come to years of difcretion yet.
HARDCASTLE. Nor ever will, I dare answer for him. Aye, you have taught him finely.
Mrs. HARDCASTLE. No matter, Tony Lumpkin has a good fortune. My son is not to live by his learning. I don't think a boy wants much learning to spend fifteen hundred a year.
HARDCASTLE. Learning, quotha! A mere composition of tricks and mischief.
Mrs. HAR'DCASTLE. Humour, my dear: nothing but humour. Come, Mr. Hardcastle, you must allow the boy a little hu
HARDCASTLE. I'd sooner allow him an horse-pond. If burning the footmens hoes, frighting the maids, and worrying the kittens, be humour, he has it. It was but yesterday he fastened my wig to the back of my chair, and when I went to make a bow, I popt my bald head in Mrs. Frizzle's face.
Mrs. HARDCASTLE. And am I to blame? The poor boy was always too fickly to do any good. A school would be his
death. When he comes to be a little stronger, who knows what a year or two's Latin may do for him?
HARDCASTLE. Latin for him! A cat and fiddle. No, no, the alehouse and the stable are the only schools he'll ever go to.
Mrs. HARDCASTLE. Well, we must not snub the poor boy now, for I believe we shan't have him long among us. Any body that looks in his face may see he's consumptive.
HARDCASTLE. Aye, if growing too fat be one of the symptoms.
HARDCASTLE. And truly so am I; for he sometimes whoops like a speaking trumpet- (Tony hallooing behind the scenes) – there he goes-A very consumptive figure, truly.
Enter Tony, crossing the Stage.
Mrs. HARDCASTLE. Tony, where are you going, my charmer? Won't you give papa and I a little of
your company, lovee?
Tony. I can't stay, I tell you. The three pigeons expects me down every moment. There's some fun going forward.
Mrs. HARDCASTLE. Pray, my dear, disappoint them for one night at least.
Tony. As for disappointing them I hould not so much mind; but I can't abide to disappoint myself.
[Exit, hauling her out.
HARDCASTLE, folus. Aye, 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 is as fond of gauze, and French frippery, as the best of them.
Enter Miss HARDCASTLE.
HARDCASTLE. Blessings on my pretty innocence! drest out as usual, my Kate. Goodness! What a quantity of fuperfluous filk haft thou got about thee, girl! I could never teach the fools of this age, that the indigent world could be cloathed 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.
HARDCASTle. Well, remember I insist on the terms of our agrement; and, by the bye, I believe I shall have occafion to try your obedience this very evening.
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 busband 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 fomething of this before. Bless me, how shall I behave? It's a thoufand to one I Man't like him ; our meeting will be so formal, and so like a thing of business, that I shall find no room for friendihip or esteem.
HARDCASTLE. Depend upon it, child, I'll never controul your choice ; but Mr. Marlow, whom I have pitched upon, is the son of my old friend, Sir Charles Marlow, of whom you have heard me talk so often. The young gentleman has been bred a scholar, and is designed for an employment in the service of his country, I am told he's a man of an excellent understanding,