페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Mr. Hastings, my admirer. They are never asunder. I believe you must have seen him when we lived in town.

Miss Hard. Never.

Miss Nev. He's a very singular character, I assure you. Among women of reputation and virtue he is the modestest man alive ; . but his acquaintance give him: a very different character among creatures of another stamp: you understand me.

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

Miss Nev. It's 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

[blocks in formation]

walk round the improvements. Allons ! Courage is necessary, as our affairs are critical. Miss Hard. “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 Fel. 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 school-masters puzzle their brain,

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

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

Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians,
Their qui's, and their quae's, and their quod's,
They're all but a parcel of pigeons.

Toroddle, toroddle, toroll. 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.
For 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,

And let us be merry and clever, Our hearts and our liquors are stout,

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 Fel. The 'squire has got spunk in him.

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

Third Fel. O damn any thing that's low, I cannot bear it.

Fourth Fel. The genteel thing is the genteel thing at any time. If so be that a gentleman bees in a concatenation accordingly.

Third Fel. 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,' or the minuet in ' Ariadne.'

Second Fel. 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 shew what it was to keep choice of company.

Second Fel. 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 Bett Bouncer and the miller's grey 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. Land. There be two gentlemen in a post-chaise at the door. They have lost their way upo' the forest ; and they are talking something about Mr. Hardcastle.

Tony. As sure as can be, one of them must be the gentleman that's coming down to court my sister. Do they seem to be Londoners ?

Land. 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 on 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. Marl. 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.

Hast. And all, Marlow, from that unaccountable reserve of

yours, that would not let us inquire more frequently on the way.

Marl. I own, Hastings, I am unwilling to lay myself under an obligation to every one I meet : and often stand the chance of an unmannerly answer.

Hast. 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 ?

Hast. Not in the least, Sir, but should thank you for information.

Tony. Nor the way you came ?
Hast. No, Sir, but if you can inform us

Tony. 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

Marl. 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.

Marl. That's not necessary toward 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-grain'd, old-fashion'd, whimsical fellow, with an ugly face; a daughter, and a pretty son ?

Hast. We have not seen the gentleman, but he has the family you mention.

Tony. The daughter, a tall, trapesing, trolloping, talkative maypole—the son, a pretty, well-bred, agreeable youth, that everybody is fond of.

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

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.

Hast. Unfortunate !

« 이전계속 »