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DRAMATIS PERSONÆ
SIR CHARLES MARLOW. Mrs. HARDCASTLE.
Young Marlow (His son). Miss HARDCASTLE.
HARDCASTLE.

Miss NEVILLE.
HASTixos.

MAID.
TONY LUMPKIN.
DIGGORY.

Landlord, Servants, &c. &c.

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ACT I.
SCENE I. -A scene in an old-fashioned house.
Enter Mrs. HARDCASTLE and MR. HARDCASTLE.

Mrs. Hard. I vow, Mr. Hardcastle, you're very particular. Is there a creature in the whole country, z? but ourselves, that does not take a trip to town now

and then to rub off the rust a little? There's the two
Miss Hoggs, and our neighbour Mrs. Grigsby, go to
take a month's polishing every winter.

Hard. Ay, and bring back vanity and affectation to
last them the whole year. I wonder why London can-
not keep its own fools at home. In my time, the follies

A* —19

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travel

of the town crept slowly among us, but now they
faster than a stage-coach. Its fopperies come down,
not only as inside passengers, but in the

very

basket. M18. Hard. Ay, your times were fine times, indeed ; you have been telling us of them for many a long year. Here we live in an old rumbling mansion, that looks for all the world like an inn, but that we never see company. Our best visitors are old Mrs. Oddfish, the curate's wife, and little Cripplegate, the lame dancingmaster; and all our entertainment, your old stories of Prince Eugene and the Duke of Marlborongh. I hate such old-fashioned trumpery.' on me

Hard. And I love it. I love everything that's old : old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine; and, I believe, Dorothy (taking her hand], you'll own I have been pretty fond of an old wife. »

Mrs. Hard. Lord, Mr. Hardcastle, you're for ever at your Dorothys, and your old wives. You may be a Darby, but I'll be no Joan, I promise you, I'm not so, loid

as you'd make mo, by more than one good year. Add twenty to twenty, and make money of that.'

Hard. Let me see; twenty added to twenty, makes just fifty and seven.

Mrs. Hard. It's false, Mr. Hardcastle: I was but twenty when Tony, that I had by Mr. Lumpkin, my first husband, was born ; and he's not come to years of discretion yet.

Hard. Nor ever will, I dare answer for him. Ay, you have taught him finely.

Mrs. Hard. No matter, Tony Lumpkin has a good fortune. My son is not to live by his learning. I

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do don't think a boy wants much learning to spend fifteen hundred a year. haldone's

Hard. Learning, quotha! A mere composition of - 144 quifid, tricks and mischief.

Mrs. Hard. Humour, my dear: nothing but humour. Come, Mr. Hardcastle, you must allow the boy a little humour.

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{-21.16! Hard. I'd sooner allow him a horse-pond. (If burning the footman's

s shoes, frighting the maids, worrying the kittens bê humour, he has it. It was but yesterday he fastened my wig to the back of my chair, and when I!

pay

! went to make a bow, I popt my bald head in Mrs. Frizzle's face.

27to Mrs. Hard. And am I to blame? The poor boy was always too sickly to do any good. A school would be his death. When he comes to be a little stronger, who knows what a year or two's Latin may do for him ? /14 dien.

Hard. Latin for him! A cat and fiddle. No, no, the ale-house and the stable are the only schools he'll ever go to.

Mrs. Hard. Well, we must not snub the poor boy now,

for I believe we shan't have him long among us. Anybody that looks in his face may see he's consumptive.

Hard. Ay, if growing too at be one of the symptoms,

Mrs. Hard. He coughs sometimes.
Hard. Yes, when his liquor goes the wrong way.
Mrs. Hard. I'm actually afraid /of his lungs.

Hard. And truly so am I; for he sometimes whoops like a speaking trumpet.--[Tony hallooing behind the

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sumprids that looks in his face may see he's

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scenes.]--Oh, there he goes-a very consumptive figure, truly.

Enter Tony, crossing the stage. Mrs. Hard. Tony, where are you going, my charmer? Won't you give papa and me a little of your company, lovce 0%,

Tony. I'm in haste, mother; I cannot stay."

Mrs. Hard. You shan't venture out this raw evening, my dear; you look most shockingly.x Tony. I can't stay, I tell you. The Three Pigeons

I I some fun expects me down every going forward.on) was me 13448 prosens bar! Hard. Ay; the ale-house, the old place: I thought

1164 Mrs. Hard. A low, paltry set of fellows.

Tony. Not so low neither. There's Dick Muggins the excisemản, Jack Slang the horse-doctor, little Aminadab that grinds the music-box, and Tom Twist that spins the pewter platter.

Mrs. Hard. Pray, my dear, disappoint them for one night at least.

Tony. As for disappointing them, I should not so much mind; but I can't abide to a

disappoint myself.
Mrs. Hard. [Detaining him.] You shan't go.
Tony. I will, I tell you.
Mrs. Hard. I say you

shan't.
Tony. We'll see which is the strongest, you or I!

[Exit, hauling her out.

HARDCASTLE, solus. Hard, Ay, there goes a pair that only spoil each

other. But is not the whole age in a combination to drive sense and discretion out of doors ? There's my pretty darling Kate; the fashions of the times have almost infected her too. By living a year or two in town, she is as fond of gauze, and French frippery, as the best of them.

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į Enter Miss HARDCASTLE. Hard. Blessings on my pretty innocence ! Drest out as usual, my Kate. Goodness! What a quantity of superfluous silk hast thou got about thee, girl ! I . could never teach the fools of this age that the indigent world could be clothed out of the trimmings of the vain.“

Miss Hard. You know our agreement, sir. wiado

allow me the morning to receive and pay visits, and to dress in my own manner ; 'and in the evening, I put on my housewife's dress to please you.

Hard. Well, remember I insist on the terms of our agreement; and, by the bye, I believe I shall have occasion to try your obedience this very evening.

Miss Hard. I protest, sir, I don't comprehend your meaning.

Hard. Then, to be plain with you, Kate, I expect the young gentleman I have chosen to be your husband from town this very day. I have his father's letter, in which he informs me his son is set out, and that he intends to follow himself shortly after.

Miss Hard. Indeed! I wish I had known something of this before. Bless me, how shall I behave? It's a thousand to one I shan't like him ; our meeting will be

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