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and hospitality, sir. [To Hastings.] I have been thinking, George, of changing our travelling dresses in the morning, I am grown confoundedly ashamed of mine.
Hard. I beg, Mr. Marlow, you'll use no ceremony in this house.
Hast. I fancy, George, you're right: the first blow is half the battle. I intend opening the campaign with the white and gold.
Hard. Mr. Marlow - Mr. Hastings-gentlemenpray be under no restraint in this house. This is Liberty-hall
, gentlemen. You may do just as you please here.
Mar. Yet, George, if we open the campaign too fiercely at first, we may want ammunition before it is
I think to reserve the embroidery to secure a retreat.
Hard. Your talking of a retreat, Mr. Marlow, puts me in mind of the Duke of Marlborough, when he went to besiege Denain. He first summoned the garrison
Mar. Aye, and we'll summons your garrison old boy.
Hard. He first summoned the garrison, which might consist of about five thousand men
Hast. What a strange fellow is this.
Hard. I say, gentlemen, as I was telling you, he summoned the garrison, which might consist of about five thousand men
Mar Well, but suppose
Hard. Which might consist of abovt five thousand men, well appointed with stores, ammunition, and other implements of war. Now, says the Duke of Marlborough, to George Brooks, that stood next to him-You must have heard of George Brooks; I'll pawn my dukedom, says he, but I take that garrison without spilling a drop of blood. So
Mar. Whạt, my good friend, if you give us a glass
of punch in the mean time, it would help us to carry on the siege with vigour.
Hard. Punch, sir!
Mar. Yes, sir, punch. A glass of warm punch, after our journey, will be comfortable. This is Liberty-hall, you know.
Enter Roger with a Cup. Hard. Here's
sir. Mar. [Aside.] So this fellow, in his Liberty-hall, will only let us have just what he pleases.
Hard. [Taking the Cup.] I hope you'll find it to your mind. I have prepar’d it with my own hands, and I believe you'll own the ingredients are tolerable. Will you be so good as to pledge me, sir ? Here, Mr. Mar. low, here is to our better acquaintance. [Drinks.
Mar. (Aside.] A very impudent fellow this! but he's a character, and I'll humour him a little. Sir, my service to you.
[Drinks. Hast. [Aside.] I see this fellow wants to give us his company, and forgets that he's an inn-keeper, before he has learned to be a gentleman.
Mar. From the excellence of your cup, my old friend, I suppose you have a good deal of business in this part of the country. Warm work, now and then at elections, I suppose.
Hard. No, sir, I have long given that work over. Hast. So, then you have no turn for politics, I find..
Hard. Since that, I no more trouble my head about Hydar Ally, or Ally Cawn, than about Ally Croaker.. Sir, my service to you.
Hast. So that, with eating above stairs, and drinking below, with receiving your friends within, and amusing them without, you lead a good pleasant bustling life of it.
Hard. I do stir about a good deal, that's certain. Half the differences of the parish are adjusted in this very parlour.
Mar. (After drinking.) And you have an argument in your cup, old gentleman, better than any in Westminster-hall.
Hard. Ay, young gentleman, that, and a little philosophy.
Mar. [Aside.] Well, this is the first time I ever heard of an innkeeper's philosophy.
Hast. So then, like an experienced general, you attack them on every quarter. If you find their reason manageable, you attack it with your philosophy; if you find they have no reason, you attack them with ihis. Here's your health, my philosopher. [Drinks.
Hard. Good, very good, thank you ; ha! ha! Your generalship puts me in mind of Prince Eugene, when he foughi the Turks at the battle of Belgrade. You shall hear.
Mar. Instead of the battle of Belgrade, I think it's almost time to talk about supper. What has your philosophy got in the house for supper ? Hard. For
supper, sir ! [Aside.] Was ever such a request to a man in his own house!
Mar. Yes, sir, supper, sir ; I begin to feel an appetite. I shall make devilish work to-night in the larder, I promise you.
Hard, [Aside.] Such a brazen dog sure never my eyes beheld [To Marlow.) Why really, sir, as for sup. per, I can't well tell. My Dorothy, and the cookmaid, settle thése things between them. I leave these kind of things entirely to them.
Mar. You do, do yoų ?
Hard. Entirely. By-the-bye, I believe they are in actual consultation upon what's for supper this moment in the kitchen.
Mar. Then I beg they'll admit me as one of their privy council. It's a way I have got.
When I trayel, I always chuse to regulate my own supper. Let The cook be called. No offence, I hope, sir.
Hard, O no, sir, none in the least : yet I don't
know how; our Bridget, the cook-maid, is not very communicative upon these occasions. Should we send for her, she might scold us all out of the house,
Hast. Let's see the list of the larder then. I ask it as a favour. I always match my appetite to my bill of fare.
Mar. (To HARDCASTLE, who looks at them with Surprise.] Sir, he's very right, and it's my way too.
Hard. Sir, you have a right to command here. Here, Roger, bring us the bill of fare for to-night's supper. I believe it's drawn out. Your manner, Mr. Hastings, puts me in mind of my uncle, Colonel Gunthorp. It was a saying of his, that no man was sure of his supper till he had eaten it.
Enter Roger. Hast. (Aside. All upon the high ropes ! His uncle a Colonel! we shall soon hear of his mother being a justice of peace. But let's hear the bill of fare.
Mar. [Perusing. ] What's here? For the first course, for the second course; for the dessert. The devil, sir, do you think we have brought down the whole joiner's company, or the corporation of Bedford ; two or three little things, clean and comfortable, will do.
Hast. But, let's hearit.
Mar. [Reading.] For the first course at the top, a pig's face and prune sauce.; Hast. Damn your pig, I say. Mar. Damn your prune sauce, say I.
Hard. And yet, gentlemen, to men that are hungry, pig, with prune sauce, is very good eating. But gentlemen, you are my guests, make what alterations you please. Is there any thing else you wish to retrench or alter, gentlemen?
Mar. Why really, sir, your bill of fare is so exquisite, that any one part of it is full as good as another. Send us what you please. So much for supper. And
now to see that our beds are air’d, and properly taken
Hard. I entreat you'll leave all that to me. You shall not stir a step.
Mar. Leave that to you ! I protest, sir, you must excuse me, I always look to these things myself.
Hard, I must insist, sir, you'll make yourself easy on that head,
Mar. You see I'm resolved on it. (Aside.] A very troublesome fellow this, as ever I met with.
Hard. Well, sir, I'm resolved at least to attend you. [Aside.] This may be modern modesty, but I never saw any thing look so like old-fashioned impudence.
[Exeunt Marlow and HARDCASTLE, Hast. So, I find this fellow's civilities begin to grow troublesome. But who can be angry at those assiduities which are meant to please him? Ha! what do I see! Miss Neville, by all that's happy!
Enter Miss NEVILLE. Miss Nec. Hastings ! To what unexpected good fortune, to what accident, am I to ascribe this happy meeting?
Hast. Let me ask the same question, as I could never have hoped to meet my dearest Constance at an inn. Miss Nev. An inn ! Sure
my aunt, my guardian, lives here. What could induce you to think this house an inn ?
Hast. My friend, Mr. Marlow, with whom I came down, and I, have been sent here as to an inn, I assure you. A young fellow, whom we accidently met at a house hard by, directed us hither.
Miss Nev. Certainly it must be one of my hopeful cousin's tricks, of whom you have heard me talk so often; ha! ha! ha! ha!
Hast. He whom your aunt intends for you? He of whom I have such just apprehensions ?
Miss Nev. You have nothing to fear from him, I assure you. You'd adore him if you knew how hcar.