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of beauty. Ecod, she has two eyes as black as sloes, and cheeks as broad and red as a pulpit cushion. She'd make two of she.
Hast. Well, what say you to a friend that would take this bitter bargain off your hands?
Hast. Would you thank him that would take Miss Neville, and leave you to happiness and your dear Betsy?
Tony. Ay; but where is there such a friend, for who would take her?
Hast. I am he. If you but assist me, I'll engage to whip her off to France, and you shall never hear more of her.
Tony. Assist you! Ecod I will, to the last drop of my blood. I'll clap a pair of horses to your chaise that shall trundle you off in a twinkling, and may be get you a part of her fortin beside in jewels that you little dream of.
Hast. My dear 'Squire, this looks like a lad of spirit.
Tony. Come along, then, and you shall see more of my spirit before you have done with me.
"We are the boys
That fears no noise
Where the thundering cannons roar."
Enter HARDCASTLE, alone.
Hurd. What could my old friend Sir Charles mean by recommending his son as the modestest young man in town? To me he appears the most impudent piece of brass that ever spoke with a tongue. He has taken possession of the easy chair by the fire-side already. He took off his boots in the parlour, and desired me to see them taken care of. I'm desirous to know how his impudence affects my daughter. She will certainly be shocked at it.
Enter Miss HARDCASTLE, plainly dressed.
Hard. Well, my Kate, I see you have changed your dress, as I bid you; and yet, I believe, there was no great occasion. Miss Hard, I find such a pleasure, Sir, in obeying your com
mands, that I take care to observe them without ever debating their propriety.
Hard. And yet, Kate, I sometimes give you some cause, particularly when I recommended my modest gentleman to you as a lover to-day.
Miss Hard. You taught me to expect something extraordinary, and I find the original exceeds the description. He has quite
Hard. I was never so surprised in my life! confounded all my faculties!
Miss Hard. I never saw any thing like it: and a man of the world too!
Hard. Ay, he learned it all abroad what a fool was I, to think a young man could learn modesty by travelling. He might as soon learn wit at a masquerade.
Miss Hard. It seems all natural to him.
Hard. A good deal assisted by bad company and a French dancing-master.
Miss Hard. Sure you mistake, papa! A French dancingmaster could never have taught him that timid look - that awkward address - that bashful manner
Hard. Whose look? whose manner, child?
Miss Hard. Mr. Marlow's: his mauvaise honte, his timidity. struck me at first sight.
Hard. Then your first sight deceived you; for I think him one of the most brazen first sights that ever astonished my senses.
Miss Hard. Sure, Sir, you rally! I never saw any one so modest.
Hard. And can you be serious? I never saw such a bouncing, swaggering puppy since I was born. Bully Dawson was but a fool to him.
Miss Hard. Surprising! He met me with a respectful bow, a stammering voice, and a look fixed on the ground.
Hard. He met me with a loud voice, a lordly air, and a familiarity that made my blood freeze again.
Miss Hard. He treated me with diffidence and respect; censured the manners of the age; admired the prudence of girls that never laughed; tired me with apologies for being tiresome; then
left the room with a bow, and "Madam, I would not for the world detain you."
Hard. He spoke to me as if he knew me all his life before; asked twenty questions, and never waited for an answer; interrupted my best remarks with some silly pun; and when I was in my best story of the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, he asked me if I had not a good hand at making punch. Yes, Kate, he asked your father if he was a maker of punch!
Miss Hard. One of us must certainly be mistaken.
Hard. If he be what he has shown himself, I'm determined he shall never have my consent.
Miss Hard. And if he be the sullen thing I take him, he shall never have mine.
Hard. In one thing then we are agreed to reject him. Miss Hard. Yes: but upon conditions. For if you should find him less impudent, and I more presuming if you find him more respectful, and I more importunate - I don't know — the fellow is well enough for a man Certainly, we don't meet many such at a horse-race in the country.
Hard. If we should find him so
But that's impossible.
The first appearance has done my business. I'm seldom deceived in that.
Miss Hard. And yet there may be many good qualities under that first appearance.
Hard. Ay, when a girl finds a fellow's outside to her taste, she then sets about guessing the rest of his furniture. With her, a smooth face stands for good sense, and a genteel figure for every virtue.
Miss Hard. I hope, Sir, a conversation begun with a compliment to my good sense, won't end with a sneer at my understanding?
Hard. Pardon me, Kate. But if young Mr. Brazen can find the art of reconciling contradictions, he may please us both, perhaps.
Miss Hard. And as one of us must be mistaken, what if we go to make farther discoveries?
Hard. Agreed. But depend on 't I'm in the right.
Enter TONY, running in with a casket.
Tony. Ecod! I have got them. Here they are. My cousin Con's necklaces, bobs and all. My mother shan't cheat the poor souls out of their fortin neither. O! my genus, is that you?
Hast. My dear friend, how have you managed with your mother? I hope you have amused her with pretending love for your cousin, and that you are willing to be reconciled at last? Our horses will be refreshed in a short time, and we shall soon be ready to set off.
Tony. And here's something to bear your charges by the way (giving the casket); your sweetheart's jewels. Keep them and hang those, I say, that would rob you of one of them.
Hast. But how have you procured them from your mother? Tony. Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no fibs. I procured them by the rule of thumb. If I had not a key to every drawer in mother's bureau, how could I go to the alehouse so often as I do? An honest man may rob himself of his own at any time. Hast. Thousands do it every day. But to be plain with you, Miss Neville is endeavouring to procure them from her aunt this very instant. If she succeeds, it will be the most delicate way at least of obtaining them.
Tony. Well, keep them, till you know how it will be. But I know how it will be well enough; she 'd as soon part with the only sound tooth in her head.
Hast. But I dread the effects of her resentment, when she finds she has lost them.
Tony. Never you mind her resentment, leave me to manage that. I don't value her resentment the bounce of a cracker.
Zounds! here they are. Morice! prance! [Exit HASTINGS.
TONY, Mrs. HARDCASTLE, and Miss NEVILLE. Mrs. Hard. Indeed, Constance, you amaze me. Such a girl as you want jewels! It will be time enough for jewels, my
dear, twenty years hence, when your beauty begins to want repairs.
Miss Nev. But what will repair beauty at forty, will certainly improve it at twenty, Madam.
Mrs. Hard. Yours, my dear, can admit of none. tural blush is beyond a thousand ornaments. Besides, child, jewels are quite out at present. Don't you see half the ladies of our acquaintance, my lady Kill-day-light, and Mrs. Crump, and the rest of them, carry their jewels to town, and bring nothing but paste and marcasites back.
Miss Nev. But who knows, Madam, but somebody that shall be nameless would like me best with all my little finery about me?
Mrs. Hard. Consult your glass, my dear, and then see if with such a pair of eyes you want any better sparklers. What do you think, Tony, my dear? does your cousin Con want any jewels jo your eyes to set off her beauty?
Tony. That's as thereafter may be.
Miss Nev. My dear aunt, if you knew how it would oblige me. Mrs. Hard. A parcel of old-fashioned rose and table cut things. They would make you look like the court of King Solomon at a puppet-show. Besides, I believe, I can't readily come at them. They may be missing, for aught I know to the contrary.
Tony. (Apart to Mrs. Hardcastle.) Then why don't you tell her so at once, as she 's so longing for them? Tell her they're lost. It's the only way to quiet her. Say they're lost, and call me to bear witness.
Tony.) You know, my dear, I'm
Mrs. Hard. (Apart to only keeping them for you. me witness, will you? He! he! he! Tony. Never fear me.
with my own eyes.
Ecod! I'll say I saw them taken out
Miss Nev. I desire them but for a day, Madam. Just to be permitted to show them as relics, and then they may be locked up again.
Mrs. Hard. To be plain with you, could find them you should have them.
my dear Constance, if I
They're missing, I as