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Har Indeed! such a head in a side-box at the playhouse, would draw as many gazers as my Lady Mayoress at a city ball.
Mrs. H, I vow, since inoculation began, there is no such thing to be seen as a plain woman; so one must dress a little particular, or one may escape in a crowd.
Hast. But that can never be your case, madam, in any dress.
[Bowing. Mrs. H. Yet what signifies my dressing, when I have such a piece of antiquity by my side as Mr. Hardcasile ? All I can say will not argue down a single button from his clothes. I have often wanted him to throw off his great flaxen wig, and where he was bald, to plaster it over, like Captain Pately, with powder.
Hast. You are right, madam; for, as among the ladies, there are none ugly, so among the men, there are none old. Mrs. H. But what do you think his answer
was? Why, with his usual gothic vivacity, he said, I only wanted him to throw off his wig to convert it into a tete for my own wearing.
Hast. Intolerable! At your age you may wear what you please, and it must become you.
Mrs. H. Pray, Mr. Hastings, what do you take to be the most fashionable age about town?
Hast. Some time ago forty was all the mode ; but I'm told the ladies intend to bring up fifty for the ensuing winter.
Mrs. H. Seriously! Then I shall be too young for the fashion.
Hast. No lady begins to put on jewels now till she's past forty. For instance, Miss there, in a polite circle, would be considered as a child, a mere maker of samplers.
Mrs. H. And yet my niece thinks herself as much a woman, and is as fond of jewels as the oldest of us all.
Hast. Your niece, is she? And that young gentleman, a brother of yours, I should presume?
Mrs. H. My son, sir. They are contracted to each other. Observe their little sports. They quarrel and make it up again ten times a day, as if they were man and wife already. To them. Well, Tony, child, what
soft things are you saying to your cousin Constance this evening
Tony. I have been saying no soft things; but that it's very hard to be followed about so. Ecod, I've not a place in the house now that's left to myself but the stable.
Mrs. H. Never mind him, Con, my dear. He's in another story behind your back. Miss N. There's something generous in my cousin's
He falls out before faces to be forgiven in private.
Tony. That's a damned, confounded-crack,
Tony. If I'm a man, let me have my fortin. Ecod! I'll not be made a fool of any longer.
Mrs. H. Is this, ungrateful boy, all that I'm to get for the pains I've taken in your education ? Did not I work that waistcoat and those ruffles to make you look like a gentleman ?
Tony. Ecod! I tell you I'll not be made a fool of any longer.
Mrs. H. Wasn't it all for your good, viper? Wasn't it all for your good ?
Tony. I wish you'd let me and my good alone then. Snubbing this way, when I'm in spirits. If I'm to have any good let it come of itself; not to keep dingling it, dingling it into one so.
Mrs. H. That's false ; I never see you when you're in spirits. No, Tony, you then go to the alehouse or kennel. I'm never to be delighted with your agreeable, wild notes, unfeeling monster!
Tony. Ecod ! mamma, your own notes are the wildest of the two.
Mrs. H. Was ever the like! But I see he wants to break
heart, I see he does. Hast. Dear madam, permit me to lecture the young gentleman a little. I'm certain I can persuade him to his duty.
Mrs. H. Well! I must retire. Come, Constance, my love.
You see, Mr. Hastings, the wretchedness of my situation : was ever poor woman so plagued with a dear, sweet, pretty, provoking, undutiful boy!
Exeunt Mrs. Hardcastle and Miss Neville, R.
Tony. Don't mind her, let her cry. It's the comfort of her heart. I have seen her and sister cry over a book for an hour together, and they said they liked the book the more it made them cry.
Hast. Then you're no friend to the ladies, I find, my pretty young gentleinan ?
Tony. That's as I find’um.
Hast. Not to her of your mother's choosing, I dare answer? And yet she appears to be a pretty well-tempered girl.
Tony. That's because you don't know her as well as I. Ecod! I know every inch about her; and there's not a more cantanckerous toad in all Christendom.
Hast. [Aside.] Pretty encouragement this for lover!
Tony. I have seen her since the heighth of that. She has as many tricks as a hare in a thicket, or a colt the first day's breaking
Hast. To me she appears sensible and silent.
But when she's with her playmates, she's as loud as a hog in a gate.
Hast. Well, but you must allow her a little beauty. Yes, you must allow her some beauty.
Tony. Bandbox! She's all a made up thing, mun. Ah! could you but see Bet Bouncer of these parts, you might then talk of beauty. Ecod ! she has two eyes as black as sloes, and cheeks as broad and red as a pulpit cushion. She would make two of she.
Hast. Well, what say you to a friend, that would take this bitter bargain off your hands?
Hast. Would you thank him, that would take Miss Neville, and leave you to happiness and your dear Betsey ?
Tony. Ay; but where is there such a friend, for who would take her ? Hast. I am he. If
but assist me, I'll engage to whip her off to France, and you shall never hear more of her.
Tony. Assist you? Ecod, I will to the last drop of my blood. I'll clap a pair of horses to your chaise, that shall trundle you off in a twinkling, and may be get you
part of her fortin beside, in jewels, that you little dream of.
Hast. My dear squire, this looks like a lad of spirit.
Tony. Come along, then, and you shall see more of my spirit before
[Exeunt. - Tony singing, R.
END OF ACT II.
SCENE I.-A Room in Hardcastle's House,
Enter HARDCASTLE, L. Hard. What could my old friend, Sir Charles, mean by recommending his son as the modestest young man in town? To me he appears the most impudent piece of brass that ever spoke with a tongue. He has taken possession of the easy chair by the fireside already. He took off his boots in the parlor, and desired me to see them taken care of. I'm desirous to know how his impudence affects my daughter. She will certainly be shocked at it.
Enter Miss HARDCASTLE, plainly dressed, R. Well, my Kate, I see you have changed your dress as I bid you : and
yet, I believe, there was no great occasion. Miss H. I find such a pleasure, sir, in obeying your commands, that I take care to observe them without ever debating their propriety.
Hard. And yet, Kate, I sometimes give you some cause, particularly when I recommended my modest gentleman to you as a lover to-day.
Miss H. You taught me to expect something extraordinary, and I find the original exceeds the description.
Hard. I was never so surprised in all my life! He has quite confounded all my faculties!
Miss H. I never saw anything like it : and a man of the world too ?
Hard. Ay, he learned it all abroad. What a fool was 1, to think a young man could learn modesty by travelling. He might as soon learn wit at a masquerade.
Miss H. It seems all natural to him.
Hard. A good deal assisted by bad company and a French dancing-master.
Miss H. Sure you mistake, papa! A French dancingmaster could never have taught him that timid look-that awkward address-that bashful manner
Hard. Whose look ? whose manner, child ?
Miss H. Mr. Marlow's: his mauvaise honte, his timidity, struck me at the first sight.
Hard. Then your first sight deceived you; for I think him one of the most brazen first-sights that ever astonished my senses.
Miss H. Sure, sir, you rally? I never saw any one so modest.
Hard. And can you be serious ? I never saw such a bouncing swaggering puppy, since I was born. Bully Dawson was but a fool to him.
Miss H. Surprising! He met me with a respectful bow, a stammering voice, and a look fixed on the ground.
Hard. He met me with a loud voice, a lordly air, and a familiarity that froze me to death.
Miss H. He treated me with diffidence and respect; censured the manners of the age; admired the prudence of the girl that never laughed ; tired me with apologies for being tiresome; then left the room with a bow, and, Madam, I would not detain you." (Mimicking Marlow.
Hard. He spoke to me as if he knew me all his life before. Asked twenty questions, and never waited for an answer. Interrupted my best remarks with some silly pun, and when I was talking of the Duke of Marlborough and my friend Brooks, he asked if I was not a good hand at making punch. Yes, Kate, he asked your father if he was not a maker of punch!
Miss H. One of us must certainly be mistaken. Hard. In one thing, however, we are agreed—to reject him.
Miss H. Yes. But upon conditions. For if you should