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and then, to be sure,
But there's no love lost between
Mrs. H. A mere sprinkling, Tony, upon the flame, only to make it burn brighter.
Miss N. Cousin Tony promises to give us more of his company at home. Indeed he shan't leave us any more. It won't leave us, cousin Tony, will it ?
Tony. Oh, it's a pretty creature. No, I'd sooner leave my horse in a pound, than leave you
Mrs. H. Pretty innocence !
Tony. I'm sure I always loved cousin Con's hazle eyes, and her pretty long fingers, that she twists this way and that, over the haspicholls, like a parcel of bobbins.
Mrs. H. Ah, he would charm the bird from the tree. I never was so happy before. My boy takes after his father, poor Mr. Lumpkin, exactly. The jewels, my dear Con, shall be yours incontinently. You shall have them. Isn't he a sweet boy, my dear ? You shall be married tomorrow, and we'll put off the rest of his education, like Dr. Drowsey's sermons, till a fitter opportunity.
Enter DIGGORY, L. Dig. Where's the Squire ? I have got a letter for your worship.
Tony. Give it to my mamma. She reads all my letters first.
Dig. I had orders to deliver it into your own hands.
[Exit, L. Tony. I could wish to know, though.
[ Turning the letter and gazing on it. Miss N. (Aside. Undone, undone! A letter to him from Hastings I know the hand. If my aunt sees it, we are ruined forever. I'll keep her employed a little if I can. (To Mrs. Hardcastle.] But I have not told you, madam, of my cousin's smart answer just now to Mr.
Marlow. We so laughed.--You must know, madamthis way a little, for he must not hear us. (They confer.
Tony. [Still gazing.] A damned cramp piece of penmanship as ever I saw in my life. I can read your printhand very well. But here there are such handles, and shanks, and dashes, that one can scarce tell the head from the tail. “ To Anthony Lumpkin, Esquire.” It's very odd, I can read the outside of my letters, where my own name is, well
enough. But when I come to open it, it's all-buzz. That's hard, very hard ; for the inside of the letter is always the cream of the correspondence.
Mrs. H. Ha! ha! ha! Very well, very well. And so my son was too hard for the philosopher ?
Miss N. Yes, madam; but you must hear the rest, madam. A little more this way, or he may hear us. You'll hear how he puzzled him again.
Mrs. H. He seems strangely puzzled now himself, methinks.
Tony. (Still gazing.) A damned up-and-down hand, as if it was disguised in liquor. (Rcading.] “ Dear Sir." Ay, that's that. Then there's an M, and a T, and an S, but whether the next be an izzard or an R, confound me, I cannot tell.
Mrs. H. What's that, my dear? Can I give you any assistance ?
Miss N. Pray, aunt, let me read it. Nobody reads a cramp hand better than I. [Twitching the letter from him. Do you
know who it is from? Tony. Can't tell, except from Dick Ginger, the feeder.
Miss N. Ay, so it is. [Pretending to read. “Dear Squire. Hoping that you're in health, as I am at this present. The gentlemen of the Shake-bag club has cut the gentlemen of the Goose-green quite out of feather. The oddsum-odd battle-um-long fighting-um"--Here, here, it's all about cocks and fightings; it's of no consequence--here, put it up, put
up. (Thrusting the crumpled letter upon him. Tony. But I tell you, miss, it's of all the consequence in the world. I would not lose the rest of it for a guinea. Here, mother, do you make it out. Of no consequence !
(Giving Mrs. Hardcastle the letter. Mrs. H. How's this ! [Reads.] “ Dear Squire, I am now waiting for Miss Neville, with a post-chaise and pair, at
the bottom of the garden, but I find my horses yet unable to perform the journey. I expect you'll assist us with a pair of fresh horses, as you promised. Dispatch is necessary, as the hag (ay, the hag,) your mother will otherwise suspect us. Yours,
Hastings." Grant me patience! I shall run distracted! My rage chokes me !
Miss N. I hope, madam, you'll suspend your resentment for a few moments, and not impute to me any impertinence or sinister design that belongs to another.
Mrs. H. (Courtesying very low. Fine spoken madam, you are most miraculously polite and engaging, and quite the very pink of courtesy and circumspection, madam! (Changing her tone.] And you, you great ill-fashioned oaf, with scarce sense enough to keep your mouth shut-were you, too, joined against me? But I'll defeat all your plots in a moment. As for you, madam, since you have got a pair of fresh horses ready, it would be cruel to disappoint them. So, if you please, instead of running away with your spark, prepare, this very moment, to run off with
Your old aunt Pedigree will keep you secure, I'll warrant me. You, too, sir, may mount your horse, and guard us upon the way. Here, Thomas, Roger, Diggory ! I'll show you that I wish you better than you selves.
(Exit, R. Miss N. So now I'm completely ruined. Tony. Ay, that's a sure thing.
Miss N. What better could be expected from being connected with such a stupid fool, and after all the nods and signs I made him !
Tony. By the laws, miss, it was your own cleverness, and not my stupidity, that did your
business. You were so nice and so busy with your Shake-bags, and Goosegreens, that I thought you could never be making believe.
Enter HASTINGS, L. Hast. So, sir, I find by my servant, that you have shown my letter, and betrayed us. Was this well done, young gentleman ?
Tony. Here's another. Ask miss there who betrayed you. Ecod, it was her doing, not mine.
Enter MARLOW, R. Mar. So, I have been finely used here among you. Rendered contemptible, driven into ill-manners, despised, insulted, laughed at.
Tony. Here's another. We shall have old Bedlam broke loose presently.
Miss N. And there, sir, is the gentleman to whom we all owe every obligation.
Mur. What can I say to him, a mere booby, an idiot, whose ignorance and age are a protection.
Hast. A poor, contemptible booby, that would but disgrace correction.
Miss N. Yet with cunning and malice enough to make himself merry with all our embarrassments.
Hast. An insensible cub!
Tony. Baw! dam'me, but I'll fight you both, one after the other-with baskets.
Mar. As for him, he's below resentment. But your conduct, Mr. Hastings, requires an explanation. You knew of my mistakes, yet would not undeceive me.
Hast. Tortured as I am with any own disappointments, is this a time for explanations? It is not friendly, Mr. Marlow.
Mar. But, sir
Miss N. Mr. Marlow, we never kept on your mistake, till it was too late to undeceive you. Be pacified.
Enter DIGGORY, L. Dig. My mistress desires you'll get ready immediately, madam. The horses are putting to. Your hat and things are in the next room. We are to go thirty miles before morning.
[Exit, L. Miss N. Well, well, I'll come presently. Oh, Mr. Marlow, if you knew what a scene of constraint and illnature lies before me, I'm sure it would convert your resentment into pity.
Mar. I'm so distracted with a variety of passions, that I don't know what I do. Forgive me, madam. George, forgive me. You know my hasty temper, and should not exasperate it.
Hast. The torture of my situation is my only excuse.
Miss N. Well, my dear Hastings, if you have that esteem for me that I think that I am sure—you have, your constancy for three years will but increase the happiness of our future connection. If
Mrs. H. [Within.] Miss Neville, Constance—why, Constance, I say.
Miss N. I'm coming. Well, constancy. Remember, constancy is the word.
[Exit, L Mar. ( To Tony.) You see now, young gentleman, the effects of your folly. What might be amusement to you, is here disappointment, and even distress.
Tony. [From a reverie.] Ecod, I have hit it. It's here. Your hands. Yours, and yours, my poor Sulky. My boots there, ho! Meet me two hours hence at the bottom of the garden; and if you don't find Tony Lumpkin a more good-natured fellow than you thought for, I'n give you leave to take my best horse, and Bet Bouncer into the bargain.
END OF ACT IV.
Scene I.-A Room in Hardcastle's House. Enter Sır CHARLES Marlow and HARDCASTLE, R. Hard. Ha! ha! ha! The peremptory tone in which he sent forth his sublime commands !
Sir C. And the reserve with which I suppose he treated all your advances !
Hard. And yet he might have seen something in me above a common innkeeper, too.
Sir C. Yes, Dick, but he mistook you for an uncommon innkeeper, ha! ha! ha!
Hard. Well, I'm in too good spirits to think of any thing but joy. Yes, my dear friend, this union of our