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SCENE I. - A chamber in an old-fashioned among us; but now, they travel faster than a house.
stage-coach. Its fopperies come down, not only
as inside passengers, but in the very basket. Enter MRS HARDCASTLE and MR HARDCASTLE Mrs Hard Ay, your times were fine times,
indeed: you have been telling us of them for Mrs Hard. I vow, Mr Hardcastle, you're very many a long year. Here we live in an old rumparticular. Is there a creature in the whole bling mansion, that looks for all the world like, country, but ourselves, that does not take a trip an inn, but that we never see company. Our best to town now and then, to rub off the rust a little! visitors are old Mrs Oddfish, the curate's whe There's the two Miss Hoggs, and our neighbour, and little Cripplegate, the lame dancing master; Mrs Grigsby, go to take a month's polishing eve and all our entertainment your old stories of ry winter.
Prince Eugene and the duke of Marlboroug. I Hord. Ay, and bring back vanity and affecta- hate such old-fashioned trumpery. tion to last them the whole year. I wonder Hard. And I love it. I love every thing that's why London cannot keep its own fools at home. old: old friends, old times, old manners, old In my time, the follies of the town crept slowly books, old wine; and, I believe, Dorothy, [To
king her hand.] you'll own I have been pretty geons expects me down every moment. There's fond of an old wife.
some fun going forward. Mrs Hard. Lord, Mr Hardcastle, you're for Hard. Ay—the ale-house, the old place: I erer at your Dorothy's, and your old wife's. You thought so. may be a Darby, but I'll be no Joan, I promise Mrs Hard. A low, paltry set of fellows. you. I'm not so old as you'd make me by more Tony. Not so low neither. There's Dick than one good year. Add twenty to twenty, and Muggins, the exciseman, Jack Slang, the horse make money of that.
doctor, Little Aminadab, that grinds the music Hard. Let me see-twenty added to twenty, box, and Tom Twist, that spins the pewter platmakes just fifty and seven.
Mrs Hard. Its false, Mr Hardcastle : I was Mrs Hard. Pray, my dear, disappoint them but twenty when I was brought to bed of Tony, for one night at least ! that I had by Mr Lumpkin, my first husband : Tony. As for disappointing them, I should not and he's not come to years of discretion yet. so much mind; but I can't abide to disappoint
Hard. Nor ever will, I dare answer for him. myself. Ay, you have taught him finely.
Mrs Hard. (Detaining him.) You shan't go. Mrs Hard. No matter, Tony Lumpkin has a Tony. I will, I tell you. good fortune. My son is not to live by his learn- Mrs Hard. I say, you shan't. ing. I don't think a boy wants much learning to Tony. We'll see which is strongest, you or I. spend fifteen hundred a year.
[Erit, hawling her out. Hard. Learning, quotha ! a mere composition Hard. Ay, there goes a pair that only spoil of tricks and mischief.
each other. But is not the whole age in a comMrs Hurd. Huinour, my dear: nothing but bination to drive sense and discretion out of humour. Come, Mr Hardcastle, you must allow doors? There's my pretty darling Kate; the fa the boy a little humour.
sbiops of the times have almost infected her, too. Hard. I'd sooner allow him an horse-pond. If By living a year or two in town, she is as burning the footmen's shoes, frighting the maids, fond of gauze, and French frippery, as the best worrying the kittens, be humour, he has it. It of them. was but yesterday he fastened my wig to the back of my chair, and when I went to make a
Enter Miss HARDCASTLE. bow, I popt my bald head in Mrs Frizzle's face. Blessings on my pretty innocence !--Drest
Mrs Hard. And am I to blame? The poor out as usual, my Kate. Goodness! What a hoy was always too sickly to do any good. A quantity of superfluous silk hast thou got about school would he his death. When he comes to thee, girl! I could never teach the fools of this be a little stronger, who knows what a year or age, that the indigent world could be clothed out two's Latin may do for him?
of the trimmings of the vain. Hard. Latin' for him! A cat and a fiddle. Miss Hard. You know our agreement, sir.No, no; the ale-house and the stable are the only You allow me the morning to receive and pay schools he'll ever go to.
visits, and to dress in my own manner; and, in Mrs Hard. Well, we must not snub the poor the evening, I put on my housewife's dress to boy now, for I believe we shan't have him long please you. among us. Any body that looks in his face may Hard. Well, remember, I insist on the terms see he's consumptive.
of our agreement; and, by the by, I believe I Hard. Ay, if growing too fat be one of the shall have occasion to try your obedience this symptoms.
very evening. Mrs Hard. He coughs sometimes.
Miss Hard. I protest, sw, I don't comprehend Hard. Yes, when his liquor goes the wrong your meaning.
Hard. Then, to be plain with you, Kate, I erMrs Hard. I'm actually afraid of his lungs. pect
young gentleman, I have chosen to be Hard. And truly so am I; for he sometimes your husband, from town this very day. I bave whoops like a speaking trumpet—[Tony hallooing his father's letter, in which he informis me his son behind the scenes.}-0 there he goes !--A very is set out, and that he intends to follow himself consumptive figure, truly !
Miss Hard. Indeed! I wish I had known Enter Tony, crossing the stage. something of this before! Bless me, how shall I Mrs Hard. Tony, where are you going, my behave? It is a thousand to one I shan't like him; charnier? Won't you give papa and I a little of our meeting will be so formal, and so like a thing your company, lovee?
of business, that I shall find no room for friendTony. I'm in haste, mother; I cannot stay. ship or esteem.
Mrs Hard. You shan't venture out this raw Hard. Depend upon it, child, I'll never conevening, my dear: You look most shockingly. troul your choice : but Mr Marlow, whom I
Tony. I can't stay, I tell you. The Three Pi- have pitched upon, is the son of my old friend
Sir Charles Marlow, of whom you have heard me happened among the canary birds, or the gold talk so often. The young, gentleman has been fishes. Has your brother or the cat been medbred a scholar, and is designed for an employ- dling? Or has the last novel been too moving ? ment in the service of his country. I am told Miss Hard. No; nothing of all this. I have he's a man of an excellent understanding. been threatened-I can scarce get it out, I have Miss Hard. Is he?
been threatened with a lover. Hard. Very generous.
Miss Nev, And his nameMiss Hard. I believe I shall like him,
Miss Hard. Is Marlow. Hard. Young and brave.
Miss Neo. Indeed! Miss Hard. I'm sure I shall like him.
Miss Hard. The son of sir Charles Marlow. Hard. And very handsome.
Miss Nev. As I live, the most intimate friend Miss Hard. My dear papa, say no more [kiss- of Mr Hastings, my admirer! They are never ing his hand.]; he's mine, l'll have him. asunder. I believe you must have seen biin
Hard. And, to crown all, Kate, he's one of when we lived in town. the most bashful and reserved young fellows in Miss Hard. Never. all the world.
Miss Neo. He's a very singular character, I Miss Hard. Eh! you have frozen me to death assure you. Among women of reputation and again. That word, reserved, has undone all the virtue, be is the modestest man alive; but bis rest of his accomplishments. A reserved lover, acquaintance give him a very different character it is said, always makes a suspicious husband. among creatures of another stamp: you under
Hard. On the contrary, modesty seldom re- stand me? sides in a breast that is not enriched with nobler Miss Hard. An odd character, indeed! I shall virtues. It was the very feature in his charac- never be able to manage him. What shall I do? ter that first struck me.
Pshaw, think no more of him, but trust to occurMiss Hard. He must have more striking fea- rences for success. But how goes on your own tures to catch me, I promise you. However, if affair, my dear? has my mother been courting you he be so young, so handsome, and so every thing, for my brother Tony, as usual ? as you mention, I believe he'll do still. I think Miss Nev. I have just come from one of our I'll have him.
agreeable tete-a-tetes. She has been saying a Hard. Ay, Kate, but there is still an obstacle. hundred tender things, and setting off her pretty It's more than an even wager he may not have monster as the very pink of perfection. you.
Miss Hard. And her partiality is such, that Miss Hard. My dear papa, why will you mor- she actually thinks him so. A fortune like yours tify one so ?-Well, if he refuses, instead of is no small' temptation. Besides, as she has the breaking my heart at his indifference, I'll only sole management of it, I'm not surprised to see break my glass for its flattery; set my cap, to her unwilling to let it go out of the family. some newer fashion, and look out for some less Miss Nev. A fortune like mine, which chiefly difficult admirer.
consists in jewels, is no such mighty temptation. Hard. Bravely resolved ! In the mean time, But, at any rate, if my dear Hastings be but conI'll go prepare the servants for his reception. As stant, I make no doubt to be too hard for her at we seldom see company, they want as much last. However, I let her suppose that I am in training as a company of recruits, the first day's love with her son, and she never once dreams muster.
[Erit. that my affections are fixed upon another. Miss Hard. Lad! this news of papa's puts me Miss Hard. My good brother holds out stoutall in a flutter. Young, handsoine ! these he put ly. I could almost love him for hating you so. last; but I put them foremost. Sensible, good- Miss Neo. It is a good natured creature at natured; I like all that. But then reserved, and bottom, and I'm sure would wish to see me marsheepish! that's much against himn. Yet can't he ried to any body but himself. But my aunt's be cured of his timidity, by being taught to be bell rings for our afternoon's walk round the improud of his wife? Yes, and can't I-But I vow provements
. Allons! Courage is necessary, as our I'm disposing of the husband, before I have affairs are critical. secured the lover.
Miss Hard. Would it were bed time, and all were well!
Exeunt. Enter Miss NEVILLE.
SCENE II.-An alehouse room. I'm glad you're come, Neville, my dear. Tell me, Constance, how do I look this evening! Is Several shabby fellows, with punch and tobacco. there any thing whimsical about me? Is it one
Tony at the head of the table, a little higher of my well looking days, child ? Am I in face
than the rest : A mallet in his hand. to day?
Miss Nev. Perfectly, my dear. Yet now I Omnes. Hurrea, hurrea, hurrea! bravo! look again-bless me!--sure no accident has 1st Fel. Now, gentlemen, silence for a song. The 'Squire is going to knock himself down for a winding the streight horn, or beating a thicket song.
for a hare, or a wench, he never had his felÖmnes. Ay, a song, a song !
low. It was a saying in the place, that he kept Tony. Then I'll sig you, gentlemen, a song the best horses, dogs, and girls, in the whole I made upon this ale-house, the Three Pigeons. county.
Tony. Ecod, and when I'm of age, I'll be no SONG,
bastard, I promise you. I have been thinking of
Bett Bouncer and the miller's grey mare to beLet school-masters puzzle their brain,
gin with. But coine, my boys, drink about and With grammar, and nonsense, and learning; be merry, for you pay no reckoning. Well Good liquor, I stontly maintain,
Stingo, what's the matter :
chaise at the door. They have lost their way Toroddle, toroddle, toroll! upon the forest; and they are talking something
about Mr Hardcastle. When Methodist preachers come down,
Tony. As sure as can be, one of them must be A preaching that drinking is sinful,
the gentleman that's coming down to court my I l wager the rascals a crown,
sister. Do they seem to be Londoners ? They always preach best with a skinful. Land. I believe they may. They look wounBut when you come down with your pence,
dily like Frenchmen. For a slice of their scurdy religion,
Tony. Then desire them to step this way, and I'll leave it to all men of sense,
I'll set them right in a twinkling. [Erit LandBut you my good friends are the Pigeon. lord.] Gentlemen, as they may'nt be good enough Toroddle, toroddle, toroll ! company for you, step down for a moment, and
I'll be with you in the squeezing of a lemon. Then come, put the jorum about,
[Ereunt Mob. And let us be merry and clever,
Father-in-law has been calling me whelp, Our hearts and our liquors are stout,
and hound, this half year. Now, if I pleased, I Here's the Three Jolly Pigeons for ever! could be so revenged upon the old grumbletouian! Let some cry up woodcock or hare,
But, then, I'ın afraid-afraid of what! I shall Your bustards, your ducks, and your widgeons; soon be worth fifteen hundred a year, and let But of all the birds in the air,
him frighten me out of that, if he can. Here's a health to the Three Jolly Pigeons ! Toroddle, toroddle, toroll !
Enter LANDLORD, conducting Marlow and
HASTINGS. Omnes. Bravo, bravo! 1st Fel. The 'Squire has got spunk in him. Mar. What a tedious uncomfortable day hare
2d Fel. I loves to hear him sing, bekeays he we had of it! We were told it was but forty miles never gives us nothing that's low.
across the country, and we have come above 3d Fel. O, damn any thing that's low! I can- threescore. not bear it.
Hast. And all, Marlow, from that unaccount4th Fel. The genteel thing is the genteel thing able reserve of yours, that would not let us inat any time. If so be that a gentleman bees in quire more frequently on the way. a concatenation accordingly.
Mar. I own, Hastings, I am unwilling to lay 3d Fel. I like the maxum of it, Master Mug- myself under an obligation to every one I ineet; gins. What though I am obligated to dance a and often stand the chance of an unmannerly bear, a man may be a gentleman for all that. May this be my poison, if my bear ever dances Hast. At present, however, we are not likely but to the very genteelest of tunes ! Water to receive any answer. Parted, or the minuet in Ariadne.
Tony. No offence, gentlemen. But I'm told 2d Fel. What a pity it is the 'squire is not you have been inquiring for one Mr Hardcastle, come to his own! It would be well for all the in these parts. Do you know what part of the publicans within ten miles round of him.
country you are in? Tony. Ecod, and so it would, Master Slang. Hast. Not in the least, sir; but should thank I'd then shew what it was to keep choice of com- you for information. pany.
Tony. Nor the way you came? 2d Fel. O he takes after his own father for Hast. No, sir; but if you can inform usthat. To be sure, old 'squire Lumpkin was the Tony. Why, gentlemen, if you know neither finest gentleman I ever set my eyes on. For the road you are going, nor where you are, nor
the road you came, the first thing I have to in- Hast. What's to be done, Marlow? form you is, that—You have lost your way.
Mar. This house promises but a poor recepMar. We wanted no ghost to tell us that! tion; though, perhaps, the landlord can accom
Tony. Pray, gentlemen, may I be so bold as modate us. to ask the place from whence you came?
Land. Alack, master, we have but one spare Mar. That's not necessary towards directing bed in the whole house. us where we are to go.
Tony. And, to my knowledge, that's taken up Tony. No offence : but question for question by three lodgers already. [After a pause, in which is all fair, you know. Pray, gentlemen, is not the rest seen disconcerted.]'I have hit it. Don't this same Hardcastle a cross-grained, old fashion- you think, Stingo, our landlady could accommoed, whimsical fellow, with an ugly face, a daugh- date the gentlemen by the fireside, with three ter, and a pretty son?
chairs and a bolster? Hast. We have not seen the gentleman, but Hast. I hate sleeping by the fireside. he has the family you mention.
Mar. And I detest your three chairs and a Tony. The daughter, a tall trapesing, trollop- bolster. ing, talkative maypole- - The son, a pretty,
Tony. You do, do you t-then let me seewell-bred, agreeable youth, that every body is what-if you go on a mile further, to the Buck's fond of.
Head; the old Buck's Head on the hill, one of Mar. Our information differs in this. The the best inos in the whole country? daughter is said to be well-bred and beautiful ; Hast. Oho! so we have escaped an adventure the son, an awkward booby, reared up, and spoil- for this night, however, ed at his mother's apron-string.
Land. (Apart to Tony.] Sure, you be'nt sendTony. He-he-hem -Then, gentlemen, all I ing them to your father's as an inn, be you? have to tell you is, that you won't reach Mr Tony. Mum, you fool you! Let them find that Hardcastle's house this night, I believe. out. [To them.] You have only to keep on streight Hast. Unfortunate!
forward, till you come to a large old house by Tony. It's a damned long, dark, boggy, dirty, the road side. You'll see a pair of large horns dangerous way. Stingo, tell the gentlemen the over the door. That's the sign. Drive up the way to Mr Hardcastle's ;-[Winking upon the yard, and call stoutly about you. landlord.) Mr Hardcastle's, of Quagmire Marsh; Hast, Sir, we are obliged to you. The seryou understand me?
vants can't miss the way? Land. Master Hardcastle's! Lock-a-daisy, my Tony. No, no : But I tell you, though, the masters, you're come a deadly deal wrong! When landlord is rich, and going to leave off business ; you came to the bottom of the hill, you should so he wants to be thought a gentleman, saving have crossed down Squash-lane.
your presence, he, he, he! He'll be for giving Mar. Cross down Squash-lane !
you his company, and, ecod, if you mind him, he'll Land. Then you were to keep straight for- persuade you that his mother was an alderman, ward, 'till you came to four roads.
and his aunt a justice of peace ! Mar. Come to where four roads meet !
Land. A troublesome old blade, to be sure; Tony. Ay; but you must be sure to take only but a keeps as good wines and beds as any in the one of them.
whole country. Mar. O sir, you're facetious.
Mar. Well, if he supplies us with these, we Tony. Then keeping to the right, you are to go shall want no further connexion. We are to turn sideways till you come upon Crack-skull com- to the right, did you say? mon: there you must look sharp for the track of Tony. No, no; straight forward. I'll just step the wheel, and go forward, till you come to far- myself, and shew you a piece of the way. [To mer Murrain's barn. Coming to the farmer's the landlord.) Mum! barn, you are to turn to the right, and then to Land. Ah, bless your heart, for a sweet, pleathe left, and then to the right about again, till sant-damned mischievous son of a whore ! you find out the old mill
[Ereunt. Mar. Zounds, man! we could as soon find out the longitude!