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Marl. Oh, the devil!
Miss Hard. Yes, Sir, that very identical tall squinting lady you were pleased to take me for (courtesying); 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!
Marl. Zounds! there 's no bearing this; it 's worse than death!
Miss Hard. In which of your characters, Sir, will you give us leave to address you? As the faltering gentleman, with looks on the ground, that speaks just to be heard, and hates hypocrisy; or the loud confident creature, that keeps it up with Mr. Mantrap, and old Miss Biddy Buckskin, till three in the morning? — Ha! ha! ha!
Marl. 0, curse on my noisy head! I never attempted 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, Tony.
Mrs. Hard. My dutiful niece and her gentleman, Mr. Hastings, from town. He who came down with our modest visitor here.
Sir Chas. Who, my honest George Hastings ? As warthy a fellow as lives, and the girl could not have made a more prudent choice.
Hard. Then, by the hand of my body, I 'm proud of the connexion.
Mrs. Hard. Well, if he has taken away the lady, he has not taken her fortune; that remains in this family to console us for her loss.
Hard. Sure, Dorothy, you would not be so mercenary?
Hard. But you know if your son, when of age, refuses to marry his cousin, her whole fortune is then at her own disposal.
Mrs. Hurd. Ay, but he's not of age, and she has not thought proper to wait for his refusal.
Enter Hastings and Miss NEVILLE. Mrs. Hard. (Aside.) What, returned so soon! I begin not to like it.
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 Nev. 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 choice: but I am now recovered from the delusion, and hope from your tenderness wbat is denied me from a nearer connexion.
Mrs. Hard. Pshaw, pshaw! this is all but the whining end of a modern novel.
Hard. Be it what it will, I'm glad they ’re come back to reclaim their due. Come hither, Tony, boy. Do you refuse this lady's hand whom 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, spinsier, of no place at all, for my true and lawful wife. So Constance Neville may marry whom she pleases, and Tony Lumpkin is his own man again.
Sir Chas. O brave 'Squire!
Marl. 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 have 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.
[ Exeunt omnes.
BY J. CRADOCK, ESQ.
Why should not I in the great world appear?
Then hoiks to jigs and pastimes ev'ry night
S CE N E
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. Sourby (the Grumbler).
MR. SAUNDERS. Clarissa (in love with Octavio).
Miss HELME. Jenny (her Maid).
Enter SCAMPER (Sourby's servant) to Sourby, and his intended.
wife's maid JENNY. Scam. Sir, a gentleman would speak with you.
Jenny. Good! Here comes Scamper; he 'll manage you , I 'll warrant me.
[Aside. Sour. Who is it?
Scam. He says his name is Monsieur Ri — Ri – Stay, Sir, I'll go and ask him again.
Sour. (Pulling him by the ears) Take that, sirrah, by the way. Scam. Abi! Ahi!
[Exit. Jenny. Sir, you have torn off his hair, so that he must now have a wig: you have pulled his ears off; but there are none of them to be had for money.