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Hard. Tut! boy, a trifle; you take it too gravely. An hour or two's laughing with my daughter will set all to rights again. She'll never like you the worse for it. [bation.

Mar. Sure, sir, nothing has passed between us but the most profound respect on my side, and the most distant reserve on hers. You don't think, sir, that my impudence has been passed upon all the rest of the family.

Hard. Impudence! No, I don't say that-nos quite impudence. Girls like to be played with, and rumpled too, sometimes. But she has told no tales, I assure you.

Mar. Dear, sir, I protest, sir

Hard. I see no reason why you should not be joined as fast as the parson can tie you.

Mar. But why won't you hear me? By all that's just and true, I never gave Miss Hardcastle the slightest mark of my attachment, or even the most distant hint to suspect me of affection. We had but one interview, and that was formal, modest, and uninteresting.

Hard. This fellow's formal, modest impudence is beyond bearing. (Aside.)

Sir C. And you never grasped her hand, or made any protestations.

Hard. Here comes my daughter, and I would stake my happiness upon her veracity. Enter MISS HARDCASTLE.

Mar. As heaven is my witness, I came down in obedience to your commands. I saw the lady without emotion, and parted without reluctance. I hope you'll exact no further proofs of my duty, nor prevent me from leaving a house in which I suffer so many mortifications. [Exit.

Sir C. I'm astonished at the air of sincerity with which he parted.

Kate, come hither, child. Answer us sincerely, and without reserve. Has Mr. Marlow made you any professions of love and affection?

Miss H. The question is very abrupt, sir; but since you require unreserved sincerity, I think he has.

Hard. And I'm astonished at the deliberate intrepidity of his assurance. [truth. Sir C. I dare pledge my life and honour upon his

Hard (To Sir C.) You see.

Sir C. And pray, madam, have you and my son had more than one interview? Miss H. Yes, sir; several.

Mar. Sir, I shall be always proud of her appro-fident he never sat for the picture. IIard. Approbation is but a cold word, Mr. Marlow; if I am not deceived, you have something more than approbation thereabouts. You take me? Mar. Really, sir, I have not that happiness. Hard. Come, boy, I'm an old fellow, and know what's what, as well as you that are younger. I. know what has passed between you; but, mum.

Hard. (To Sir C.) You see.

Sir C. But did he profess any attachment?
Miss H. A lasting one.

Sir C. Did he talk of love?
Miss H. Much, sir?

Sir C. Amazing! and all this formally?
Miss H. Formally

Hard. Now, my friend, I hope you are satisfied.
Sir C. And how did he behave, madam?

Miss H. As most professed admirers do. Said some civil things of my face, talked much of his want of merit, and the greatness of mine; mentioned his heart, gave a short tragedy speech, and ended with pretended rapture.

Sir C. Now I'm perfectly convinced; indeed, I know his conversation among women to be modest and submissive. This forward, canting, ranting manner, by no means describes him, and I'm con

Hast. What an idiot am I, to wait here for a fellow, who probably takes a delight in mortifying me. He never intended to be punctual, and I'll wait no longer. What do I see? It is he, and per

Mar. May I die, sir, if I everHard. I tell you, she don't dislike you; and as haps, with news of my Constance. I'm sure you like herEnter TONY, booted, &c. My honest 'squire! I now find you a man of your word. This looks like friendship.

Tony. Ay, I'm your friend, and the best friend you have in the world, if you knew but all. This riding by night, by-the-by, is cursedly tiresome. It has shook me worse than the basket of a stage coach.

Miss H. Then, what, sir, if I should convince you to your face of my sincerity? If you and my papa, in about half-an-hour, will place yourselves behind that screen, you shall hear him declare his passion to me in person.

Sir C Agreed; and if I find him what you decribe, all my happiness in him must have an end. [Exit with Hard. Miss H. And if you don't find him what I describe, I fear my happiness must never have a beginning.

SCENE IL-The Back of the Garden.

Ilast. But how? where did you leave your fellowtravellers? Are they in safety? Are they housed?

Tony. Five-and-twenty miles in two hours and a half is no such bad driving. The poor beasts have smoked for it. Rabbit me! but I'd rather ride forty miles after a fox, than ten with such varment. Ilast. Well, but where have you left the ladies? I die with impatience.

Tony. Left them! why, where should I leave them, but where I found them? Hast. This is a riddle.

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within five miles of the place, but they can tell the taste of.

Hast. Ha, ha, ha! I understand; you took them in a round, while they thought themselves going forward. And so you have at last brought them home again!

Tony. You shall hear. I first took them down Feather-bed-lane, where we stuck fast in the mud. I then rattled them crack over the stones, up-anddown hill. I then introduced them to the gibbet on Heavy-tree-heath; and from that, with a circumbendibus, I fairly lodged them in the horse-pond at the bottom of the garden.

Hast. But no accident, I hope?

Tony. No, no; only mother is confoundedly frightened. She thinks herself forty miles off. She's sick of the journey, and the cattle can scarce scrawl. So if your horses be ready, you may whip off with cousin, and I'll be bound that no soul here can budge a foot to follow you.

Hast. My dear friend, how can I be grateful? Tony. Ay, now it's dear friend, noble 'squire. Just now it was all idiot, cub, and run me through the guts. D-n your way of fighting, I say! After we take a knock, in this part of the country, we shake hands and be friends. But if you had run me through the guts, then I should be dead, and you might shake hands with the hangman.

Hast. The rebuke is just. But I must hasten to relieve Miss Neville; if you keep the old lady employed, I promise to take care of the young one.

[Exit. Tony. Never fear me. Here she comes. Vanish! She's got into the pond, and is draggled up to the waist like a mermaid.

Enter MRS. HARDCASTLE. Mrs. H. Oh! Tony, I'm killed! shook! battered to death! I shall never survive it. The last jolt against the quick-set hedge has done my business. Tony. Alack! mamma, it was all your own fault. You would be for running away by night, without knowing one inch of the way.

Mrs. H. I wish we were at home again. I never met so many accidents it so short a journey. Drench'd in the mud, overturned in a ditch, stuck fast in a slough, jolted to a jelly, and at last to lose our way! Whereabouts do you think we are, Tony?

Tony. By my guess, we should be upon Crackskull common, about forty miles from home.

Mrs. H. Oh, lud! oh, lud! the most notorious spot in all the country. We only want a robbery to make a complete night on't.

Tony. Don't be afraid, mamma, don't be afraid. Two of the five that kept here are hanged, and the other three may not find us. Don't be afraid. Is that a man gallopping behind us? No; it's only a tree. Don't be afraid.

Mrs. H. The fright will certainly kill me. Tony. Do you see anything like a black hat moving behind the thicket?

Mrs. H. Oh, death! [ma; don't be afraid. Tony. No, it's only a cow. Don't be afraid, mamMrs. H. As I'm alive, Tony, I see a man coming towards us. Ah! I'm sure on't. If he perceives us, we are undone.

Tony. Father-in-law, by all that's unlucky! come to take one of his night-walks. (Aside.) Ah! it's a highwayman with pistols as long as my arm. A d-d ill-looking fellow!

Mrs. H. Good heaven defend us! he approaches. Tony. Do you hide yourself in that thicket, and leave me to manage him. If there be any danger I'll cough and cry hem. When I cough be sure to keep close. (Mrs. H. hides behind a tree in the back scene.)

Enter HARDCASTLE. Hard. I'm mistaken, or I heard voices of people in want of help. Oh! Tony, is that you? I did not expect you so soon back. Are your mother and her charge in safety?

Tony. Very safe, sir, at my aunt Pedigree s. Hem Mrs. H. (From behind.). Ah, death! I find there's danger.

Hard. Forty miles in three hours! sure, that's too much, my youngster.

Tony. Stout horses and willing minds make short [boy no harm. journeys as they say. Hem! Mrs. H. (From behind.) Sure, he'll do the dear Hard. But I heard a voice here; I should be glad to know from whence it came.

Tony. It was I, sir, talking to myself, sir. I was saying, that forty miles in three hours was very Hem good going. Hem! As to be sure it was. I have got a sort of cold by being out in the air. We'll go in, if your please. Hem!

Hard. But if you talked to yourself, you did not answer yourself. I am certain I heard two voices, and am resolved (raising his voice) to find the other


Mrs. H. (Rushing forward.) Oh, lud; he'll murder my poor boy-my darling. Here, good gentleman, whet your rage upon me. Take my moneymy life, but spare that young gentleman; spare my child, if you have any mercy.

Hard. My wife, as I'm a Christian! From whence can she come? or what does she mean? Mrs. H. (Kneeling.) Take compassion on us, good Mr. Highwayman. Take our money, our watches We will never all we have, but spare our lives. bring you to justice; indeed, we won't, good Mr. Highwayman.

Hard. I believe the woman's out of her senses, What, Dorothy, don't you know me?

Mrs. H. Mr. Hardcastle, as I'm alive! My fears blinded me. But who, my dear, could have expected to meet you here, in this frightful place, so far from home? What has brought you to follow us?

Hard. Sure, Dorothy, you have not lost your wits. So far from home, when you are within forty yards of your own door. (To Tony.) This is one of your old tricks, you graceless rogue, you! (To Mrs. H.) Don't you know the gate, and the mulberry-tree? and don't you remember the horse-pond, my dear?

Mrs. H. Yes, I shall remember the horse-pond as long as I live; I have caught my death in it. (To Tony.) And is it to you, you graceless varlet, I owe all this? I'll teach you to abuse your mother, I will. Tony. Ecod! mother, all the parish say you have spoiled me, and so you may take the fruits on't. Mrs. H. I'll spoil you, I will. (Beats him off.) Hard. Ha, ha, ha! [Exit. SCENE III-A Parlour. Enter SIR CHARLES MARLOW, and MISS


Sir C. What a situation am I in! If what you say appears, I shall then find a guilty son. If what he says be true, I shall then lose one that, of all others, I most wished for a daughter.

Miss H. I am proud of your approbation, and to shew I merit it, if you place yourselves as I directed, you shall hear his explicit declaration. But he comes.

Sir C. I'll to your father, and keep him to the appointment. [Exit. Enter MARLOW. Mar. Though prepared for setting out, I come once more to take leave; nor did I till this mo ment, know the pain I feel in the separation.

Miss H. (In her own natural manner.) I believe these sufferings cannot be very great, sir, which you

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Doug. "I CAN PROTECT THEE STILL."-Act V, scene 7.

Persons Represented.

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SCENE L-The four of Castle, surrounded with

Enter LADY RANDOLPH through the castle gates. Lady R. Ye woods and wilds, whose melancholy gloom

Accords with my soul's sadness, and draws forth
The voice of sorrow from my bursting heart,
Farewell awhile: I will not leave you long;
For in your shades I deem some spirit dwells,
Who, from the chiding stream, or groaning oak,
Still hears and answers to Matilda's moan.


Oh! Douglas, Douglas! if departed ghosts
Be e'er permitted to review this world,
Within the circle of that wood thou art,
And with the passion of immortals hear'st
My lamentation: hear'st thy wretched wife
Weep for her husband slain, her infant lost.
My brother's timeless death I seem to mourn;
Who perish'd with thee on this fatal day.
Oh! disregard me not; though I am call'd
Another's now, my heart is wholly thine.
Incapable of change, affection lies
Buried, my Douglas, in a bloody grave.
But Randolph comes, whom fate has made my lord,
To chide my anguish, and defraud the dead.



Lady R. What pow'r directed thy unconscious tongue

Lord R. Again these weeds of woe! say, dost To speak as thou hast done? to name

thou well,

To feed a passion which consumes thy life?
The living claim some duty; vainly thou
Bestow'st thy cares upon the silent dead.

Lady R. Silent, alas! is he for whom I mourn: Childless, without memorial of his name,

He only now in my remembrance lives.

Anna. I know not:

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Lady R. No, thou shalt not be silent. I'll trust thy faithful love, and thou shalt be,

Lord R. Time that wears out the trace of deepest Henceforth, th' instructed partner of my woes.


Has past o'er thee in vain.

Sure, thou art not the daughter of Sir Malcolm: Strong was his rage, eternal his resentment:

For when thy brother fell, he smil'd to hear
That Douglas' son in the same field was slain.

Lady R. Oh! rake not up the ashes of my fathers:
Implacable resentment was their crime,
And grievous has the expiation been.

But what avails it? can thy feeble pity
Roll back the flood of never-ebbing time?
Compel the earth and ocean to give up
Their dead alive?

Anna. What means my noble mistress?
Lady R. Didst thou not ask what had my sor-
rows been,

If I in early youth had lost a husband?
In the cold bosom of the earth is lodg'd,

Lord R. Thy grief wrests to its purposes my Mangled with wounds, the husband of my youth;


I never ask'd of thee that ardent love,

Which in the breasts of Fancy's children burns,
Decent affection and complacent kindness
Were all I wish'd for; but I wish'd in vain :
Hence, with the less regret my eyes behold
The storm of war that gathers o'er this land:
If I should perish by the Danish sword,
Matilda would not shed one tear the more.
Lady R. Thou dost not think so: woeful as I am,
I love thy merit, and esteem thy virtues.
But whither goest thou now?

Lord R. Straight to the camp,

Where every warrior on the tip-toe stands
Of expectation, and impatient asks

Each who arrives, if he be come to tell
The Danes are landed.

Lady R. Oh! may adverse winds,

Far from the coast of Scotland drive their fleet!
And every soldier of both hosts return

In peace and safety to his pleasant home!

Lord R. Thou speak'st a woman's, hear a warrior's wish:

Right from their native land, the stormy north,
May the wind blow, till every keel be fix'd
Immoveable in Caledonia's strand!

Then shall our foes repent their bold invasion,
And roving armies shun the fatal shore.
Lady, farewell: I leave thee not alone;

Yonder comes one whose love makes duty light.

Enter ANNA.


Anna. Forgive the rashness of your Anna's love:
Urg'd by affection, I have thus presumed
To interrupt your solitary thoughts;

And warn you of the hours that you neglect,
And lose in sadness.

Lady R. So to lose my hours

Is all the use I wish to make of time.

Anna. To blame thee, lady, suits not with my


But sure I am, since death first prey'd on man,
Never did sister thus a brother mourn.
What had your sorrows been if you had lost,
In early youth, the husband of your heart?
Lady R. Oh!

Anna. Have I distress'd you with officious love, And ill-tim'd mention of your brother's fate? Forgive me, lady; humble tho' I am,

The mind I bear partakes not of my fortune:
So fervently I love you, that to dry

These piteous tears, I'd throw my life away.

And in some cavern of the ocean lies
My child and his.

Anna. Oh! lady, most rever'd!

The tale wrapp'd up in your amazing words
Deign to unfold.

Lady R. Alas! an ancient feud,
Hereditary evil, was the source

Of my misfortunes. Ruling fate decreed,
That my brave brother should in battle save
The life of Douglas' son, our house's foe:
The youthful warriors vow'd eternal friendship.
To see the vaunted sister of his friend,
Impatient Douglas to Balarmo came,
Under a borrow'd name.-My heart he gain'd;
Nor did I long refuse the hand he begg'd:

My brother's presence authoriz'd our marriage.
Three weeks, three little weeks, with wings of


Had o'er us flown, when my lov'd lord was call'd
To fight his father's battles: and with him,
In spite of all my tears did Malcolm go.
Scarce were they gone, when my stern sire was told
That the false stranger was Lord Douglas' son.
Frantic with rage, the baron drew his sword,
And question'd me. Alone, forsaken, faint,
Kneeling beneath his sword, falt'ring, I took
An oath equivocal, that I ne'er would
Wed one of Douglas' name. Sincerity!
Thou first of virtues, let no mortal leave

Thy onward path! although the earth should gape,
And from the gulf of hell destruction cry,

To take dissimulation's winding way.

Anna. Alas! how few of woman's fearful kind Durst own a truth so hardy!

Lady R. The first truth

Is easiest to avow. This moral learn,
This precious moral from my tragic tale.-

In a few days, the dreadful tidings came
That Douglas and my brother both were slain.
Anna. My dearest lady! many a tale of tears
I've listen'd to; but never did I hear
A tale so sad as this.

Lady R. In the first days

Of my distracting grief, I found myself
As women wish to be who love their lords.
But who durst tell thy father? The good priest
Who join'd our hands, my brother's ancient tutor.
With his lov'd Malcolm, in the battle fell:
They two alone were privy to the marriage.
On silence and concealment I resolv'd,

Till time should make my father's fortune mine.
That very night on which my son was born,
My nurse, the only confidant I had,

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