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Dig. Ecod, I thank your worship, I'll make a shift to stay my stomach with a slice of cold beef in the pantry.
Hară. 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 a laughing, as if you
made the company
Dig. Then, ecod, your worship must not tell the story of old Grouse in the gun-room; I can't help laughing at that-he! he! he!—for the soul of me. We have laughed at that these twenty years—ha! ha! ha!
Hard. Ha! ha! ha! The story is a good one. Well, honest Diggory, you may laugh at that—but still remember to be attentive. Suppose one of the company should call for a glass of wine, how will you behave ? A glass of wine, sir, if you please. [To Diggory.] Eh, why don't you move ?
Dig. Ecod, your worship, I never have courage till I see the eatables and drinkables brought upon the table, and then I'm as bauld as a lion.
Hard. What, will nobody move?
Hard. You numskulls ! and so, while, like your betters, you are quarrelling for places, the guests must be starved ? Oh, you dunces! I find I must begin all over again. But don't I hear a coach drive into the yard ! To your posts, you blockheads! I'll go in the meantime, and give my old friend's son a hearty welcome at the gate. (Exit, L.
Dig. Zounds! my place is gone clean out of my head. Roger. I know that my place is everywhere. 1st Ser. Where the devil is mine?
2d Ser. My place is to be no where at all; so I ze go about
business. (Exeunt Servants, running about frightened, different
ways. Enter Servant, with candles, showing in Marlow and
HASTINGS, L. Ser. Welcome, gentlemen, very welcome. Hast. After the disappointments of the day, welcome
teach the fools of this age, that the indigent world could be clothed out of the trimmings of the vain.
Miss H. 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.
Hard. Well, remember I insist on the terms of our agreement; and, by-the-by, I believe I shall have occasion to try your obedience this very evening.
Miss H. I protest, sir, I don't comprehend your meaning.
Hard. 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 H. Indeed! I wish I had known something of this before. Bless me, how shall I behave ? 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.
Hard. Depend upon it, child, I'll never control your choice; but Mr. Marlow, whom I have pitched upon,
is the son of
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.
Miss H. Is he?
handsome. Miss H. My dear papa, say no more. (Kissing his hand.] He's mine, I'll have him.
Hard. And to crown all, Kate, he's one of the most bashful and reserved young fellows in all the world.
Miss H. Eh! you have frozen me to death again. That word reserved has undone all the rest of his ac. complishments. A reserved lover, it is said, always makes a suspicious husband.
Hard. 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 H. He must have more striking features to catch me, I promise you. However, if he be so young, so handsome, and so everything, as you mention, I believe he'll do still. I think I'll have him.
Hard. Ay, Kate, but there is still an obstacle. It's more than an even wager
not have you. Miss H. My dear papa, why will you mortify one so ? Well
, if he refuse, 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.
Hard. Bravely resolved ! In the meantime, I'll go prepare the servants for his reception; as we seldom see company, they want as much training as a company of recruits, the first day's muster.
[Exit, L. Miss H. 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 can't 1-but I vow I am disposing of the husband before I have secured the lover,
Enter Miss NEVILLE, R. I'm glad you're come, my dear. Tell me, Constance, how do I look this evening? Is there anything whimsical about me? Is it one of my well-looking days, child ? Am I in face to-day ?
Miss N. Perfectly, my dear. Yet now I look againbless 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 H. No; nothing of all this. I have been threatened—I can scarce get it out--I have been threatened with a lover.
Miss N. And his name-
Miss N. Indeed.
Miss N. As I live, the most intimate friend of Mr. Hastings, my admirer. They are never asunder. I believe you must have seen him when we lived in town.
Miss H. Never.
Miss N. 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 H. 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 N. I have just come from one of our agreeable tête-a-têtes. She has been saying a hundred tender things, and setting off her pretty monster as the very pink of perfection.
Miss H. 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 N. 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 H. My good brother holds out stoutly. I could almost love him for hating you so.
Miss N. 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 !
Allons! Courage is necessary, as our affairs are critical. Miss H. Would it were bed-time, and all were well!
SCENE II.-An Alchouse 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. All. Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah, bravo !
1st Fel. Now, gentleman, silence for a song. The squire is going to knock himself down for a song. All. Ay, a song, a song.
Tony. Then l'il sing you, gentlemen, a song I made upon this alehouse, the Three Pigeons.
Let schoolinasters puzzle their brain,
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
Gives genus a better discerning.
Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians ;
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.
When hypocrite preacher's come down
A preaching that drinking is sinful,
They always preach best with a skinful. !
For a slice of such scurvy religion,
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.
Then come, put the jorum about,
And let us be merry and clever;
Here's the Three Jolly Pigeons forever.
Your bustards, your ducks, and your widgeons ;
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.
1st Fel. The Squire has got spunk in him.
2d Fel. I loves to hear him sing, bekase he never gives us nothing that's low.