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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 anything but joy. Yes, my dear friend, this union of our families will make our personal friendships hereditary; and though my daughter's fortune is but small
Sir C. Why, Dick, will you talk of fortune to me? My son is possessed of more than a competence already, and can want nothing but a good and virtuous girl to share his happiness, and increase it. If they like each other, as you say they do
Hard. If, man! I tell you, they do like each other; my daughter as good as told me so.
Sir C. But girls are apt to flatter themselves, you know.
Hurd. I saw him grasp her hand in the warmest manner myself; and here he comes to put you out of your ifs, I warrant him.
Mar. I come, sir, once more to ask pardon for my strange conduct. I can scarce reflect on my insolence without confusion.
Hard. Here comes my daughter, and I would stake my happiness upon her veracity.
Enter MISS HARDCASTLE.
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
Sir C. And pray, madam, have you and my son
Sir C. But did he profess any attachment?
Sir C. Did he talk of love?
Sir C. Amazing! and all this formally?
Hard. Now, my friend, I hope you are satisfied.
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.
Hard. Tut! boy, a trifle; you take it too gravely. Sir C. Now I'm perfectly convinced; indeed, I An hour or two's laughing with my daughter will know his conversation among women to be modest set all to rights again. She'll never like you the and submissive. This forward, canting, ranting worse for it. [bation. manner, by no means describes him, and I'm conMar. Sir, I shall be always proud of her appro-fident he never sat for the picture. Iard. 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.
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-not quite impudence. Girls like to be played with, and rumpled too, sometimes. But she has told no tales, I assure you.
Mar. May I die, sir, if I ever
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 II-The Back of the Garden.
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'й wait no longer. What do I see? It is he, and per
Hard. I tell you, she don't dislike you; and as haps, with news of my Constance. I'm sure you like her
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.
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.
Sir C. I'm astonished at the air of sincerity with which he parted.
Hard. And I'm astonished at the deliberate intrepidity of his assurance. [truth.
Sir C. I dare pledge my life and honour upon his
Enter 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.
Hast. 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.
Tony. Riddle me this, then. What's that goes round the house, and round the house, and never touches the house?
Hast. I'm still astray.
Tony. Why, that's it, mun. I have led them astray. By jingo! there's not a pond or slough
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
can so easily remove. A day or two longer, perhaps, might lessen your uneasiness, by shewing the little value of what you now think proper to regret. Mar. This girl every moment improves upon me. (Aside.) It must not be, madam. I have already trifled too long with my heart, and nothing can restore me to myself, but this painful effort of resolution.
Miss H. Then go, sir; I'll urge nothing more to detain you. Though my family be as good as hers you came down to visit, and my education, I hope, not inferior, what are these advantages without equal affluence? I must remain contented with the slight approbation of imputed merit; I must have only the mockery of your addresses, while all your serious aims are fixed on fortune. Enter HARDCASTLE and SIR CHARLES MARLOW from behind.
Mar. By heaven, madam, fortune was ever my smallest consideration. Your beauty first caught my eye; for who could see that without emotion? But every moment that I converse with you, steals in some new grace, heightens the picture, and gives it stronger expression. What, at first, seemed rustic plainness, now appears refined simplicity. What seemed forward assurance, now strikes me as the result of courageous innocence, and conscious virtue. I'm now determined to stay, madam, and I have too good an opinion of my father's discernment, when he sees you, to deny his approbation.
Miss H. Sir, I must entreat you'll desist. As our acquaintance began, so let it end, in indifference. I might have given an hour or two to levity, but, seriously, Mr. Marlow, do you think I could ever submit to a connexion where I must appear mercenary, and you imprudent? Do you think I could ever catch at the confident address of a secure admirer?
Mar. (Kneeling.) Does this look like security? Doos this look like confidence? No, madam; every moment that shews your merit, only serves to increase my diffidence and confusion. Here let me continue
Sir C. I can hold it no longer. (Coming forward.) Charles, Charles, how hast thou deceived me! Is this your indifference-your uninteresting conversation?
Hard. Your cold contempt-your formal interview? What have you to say now? Mar. That I'm all amazement! mean?
What can it Hard. It means that you can say and unsay things at pleasure; that you can address a lady in private, and deny it in public; that you have one story for us, and another for my daughter.
Mar. Daughter! this lady your daughter? Hard. Yes, sir; my only daughter-my Kate. Whose else should she be ?
Mar. Oh! the devil!
Miss H. Yes, sir; that very identical tall, squinting lady you were pleased to take me for. (Curtseying.) She that you addressed as the mild, modest, sentimental man of gravity; and the bold, forward, agreeable Rattle of the ladies' club. Ha, ha, ha!
Mar. Zounds! there's no bearing this.
Miss H. In which of your characters, sir, will you give use leave to address you? As the faltering gentleman, with looks on the ground, that speaks just to be heard, and hates hyprocrisy; or the loud, confident creature, that keeps it up with Mrs. Mantrap, and old Miss Biddy Buckskin, till three in the morning. Ha, ha, ha!
Mrs H. Oh! curse on my noisy head! I never at
tempted to be impudent yet, that I was not taken down. I must be gone.
Hard. By the hand of my body, but you shall not. I see it was all a mistake, and I am rejoiced to find it. You shall not, sir, I tell you. I know she'll forgive you. Won't you forgive him, Kate? We'll all forgive you. Take courage, man. (They retire, she tormenting him, to the back scene.) Enter MRS. HARDCASTLE and TONY. Mrs H. So, so, they're gone off. Let them go, I Hard. Who's gone? [care not. Mrs. H. My autiful niece and her gentleman, Mr. Hastings, from town; he who came down with our modest visitor here.
Sir C. Who, my honest George Hastings? As worthy a fellow as lives, and the girl could not have made a more prudent choice. [of the connexion. Hard. Then, by the hand of my body, I'm proud Enter HASTINGS and MISS NEVILLE. Mrs. H. What, returned so soon! I begin not to like it. (Aside.)
Hast. (To Hardcastle.) "For my late attempt to fly off with your niece, let my present confusion be my punishment. We are now come back, to appeal from your justice to your humanity. By her father's consent I first paid her my addresses, and our passions were first founded in duty.
Miss N. Since his death, I have been obliged to stoop to dissimulation to avoid oppression. In an hour of levity, I was ready to give up my fortune to secure my bolce. But I'm now recovered from the delusion, and hope from your tenderness what is denied me from a nearer connexion.
Hard. Be it what it will, I'm glad they're come back to reclain their due. Come hither, Tony, boy. Do you refuse this lady's hand, which I now offer you?
Tony. What signifies my refusing? You know I can't refuse her till I'm of age, father.
Hard. While I thought concealing your age, boy, was likely to conduce to your improvement, I concurred with your mother's desire to keep it secret. But since I find she turns it to a wrong use, I must now declare you have been of age these three months.
Tony. Of age! Am I of age, father?
Tony. Then you'll see the first use I'll make of my liberty. (Taking Miss Neville's hand.) Witness all men by these presents, that I, Anthony Lumpkin, esquire, of Blank-place, refuse you, Constantia Neville, spinster, of no place at all, for my true and lawful wife. So Constantia Neville may marry whom she pleases, and Tony Lumpkin is his own man again.
Sir C. O1 brave 'squire!
Mast. My worthy friend!
Mrs. H. My undutiful offspring. (Beats Tony off) Mar. Joy, my dear George; I give you joy sincerely; and, could I prevail upon my little tyrant here to be less arbitrary, I should be the happiest man alive, if you would return me the favour.
Hast. (To Miss Hardcastle.) Come, madam, you are now driven to the very last scene of all your contrivances. I know you like him, I'm sure he loves you, and you must and shall bave him.
Hard. (Joining their hands.) And I say so, too. And, Mr. Marlow, if she makes as good a wife as she has a daughter, I don't believe you'll ever repent your bargain. So now to supper. To-morrow we shall gather all the poor of the parish about us, and the mistakes of the night shall be crowned with a merry morning; so, boy, take her; and, as you have been mistaken in the mistress, my wish is, that you may never be mistaken in the wife.
A TRAGEDY, IN FIVE ACTS.-BY JOHN HOME.
Doug. "I CAN PROTECT THEE STILL."-Act V, scene 7.
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
LADY RANDOLPH ANNA
Oh! Douglas, Douglas! if departed ghosts
Enter LORD RANDOLPH.
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
To feed a passion which consumes thy life?
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:
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
Lady R. Oh! rake not up the ashes of my fathers:
But what avails it? can thy feeble pity
Anna. What means my noble mistress?
If I in early youth had lost a husband?
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,
Lord R. Straight to the camp,
Where every warrior on the tip-toe stands
Each who arrives, if he be come to tell
Lady R. Oh! may adverse winds,
Far from the coast of Scotland drive their fleet!
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,
Then shall our foes repent their bold invasion,
Yonder comes one whose love makes duty light.
Anna. Forgive the rashness of your Anna's love:
And warn you of the hours that you neglect,
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,
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:
These piteous tears, I'd throw my life away.
And in some cavern of the ocean lies
Anna. Oh! lady, most rever'd!
The tale wrapp'd up in your amazing words
Lady R. Alas! an ancient feud,
Of my misfortunes. Ruling fate decreed,
My brother's presence authoriz'd our marriage.
Had o'er us flown, when my lov'd lord was call'd
Thy onward path! although the earth should gape,
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,
In a few days, the dreadful tidings came
Lady R. In the first days
Of my distracting grief, I found myself
Till time should make my father's fortune mine.