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his cousin, her whole fortune is then at her own dis. posal.
Hard. Ay, but he's not of age, and she has not i thought proper to wait for his refusal.
Enter HASTINGS, and Miss Neville. · Mrs. Hard. [ Aside] What returned so soon, I be. gin 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 even to give up my fortune to secure my choice. But I am now recover'd from the delusion, and hope from your tenderness what is denied me from a nearer connection. · Mrs. Hard. Pshaw, pshaw! this is all but the whin. ing end of a modern novel.
Hard. Be it what it will, I'm glad they are 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 concur.
red 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 Char. O brave 'squire!
Mar. Joy, my dear George, I give you joy sincere. ly. 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 contri. vances. 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 crown'd with a merry morn
ing; so, boy, take her : and as you have been mis. taken in the mistress, my wish is, that you may never be mistaken in the wife.
WELL, having stoop'd to conquer with success,
Pretends to taste, at Operas cries caro,