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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 so formal, and so like a thing of business, that I shall find no room for friendship or esteem.
Hard. Depend upon it, child, I'll never controul your choice ; but Mr. Marlow, whom I have pitched upon, is the son of my old friend, Sir Charles Marlow, of whom you have heard me talk so often. The young gentleman has been bred a scholar, and is designed for an employment in the service of his country. I am told he's a man of an excellent understanding.
Miss Hard. Is he ? Hard. Very generous. Miss Hard, I believe I shall like him. Hard. Young and brave. Miss Hard. I'm sure I shall like him. Hard. And very handsome. Miss Hard. My dear papa, say no more [kissing his hand] he's mine, I'll have him.
Hard. And, to crown all, Kate, he's one of the most bashful and reserved young fellows in all the world.
Miss Hard. Eh! you have frozen me to death again. That word reserved, has undone all the rest of his accomplishments. A reserved lover, it is said, always makes a suspicious husband.
Hard. On the contrary, modesty seldom resides in a breast that is not enriched with nobler virtues. It was the very feature in his character that first struck me.
Miss Hard. He must have more striking features to catch me, I promise you. However, if he be so young, so handsome, and so every thing, as you mention, I believe he'll do still. I think I'll have him.
Hard. Ay, Kate, but there is still an obstacle. It's more than an even wager he may not have you.
Miss Hard. My dear papa, why will you mortify one so ?—Well, if he refuses, instead of breaking my heart at his indifference, I'll only break my glass for its flattery ; set my cap to some newer fashion, and look out for some less difficult admirer.
Hard. Bravely resolved !. In the mean time I'll go prepare the servants for his reception ; as we seldom see company, they want as much training as a company of recruits, the first day's muster.
[Exit. Miss Hard. Lud, this news of papa's, puts me all in a flutter. Young, handsome; these he put last; but I put them foremost. Sensible, good-natured ; I like all that. But then reserved, and sheepishi, that's much against him. Yet can't he be cured of his timidity, by being taught to be proud of his wife ? Yes, and can't I But I vow I'm disposing of the husband, before I have secured the lover.
Enter Miss Neville. Miss Hard. I'm glad you're come, Neville, my dear. Tell me, Constance, how do I look this evening? Is there any thing whimsical about me? Is it one of my well looking days, child ? Am I in face to day?
Miss Nev. Perfectly, my dear. Yet now I look again-bless me!--sure no accident has happened among the canary birds or the gold fishes. Has your brother or the cat been meddling? Or has the last novel been too moving ?
Miss Hard. No; nothing of all this. I have been threatened-I can scarce get it out I have been threatened with a lover.
Miss Nev. And his name
Miss Nev. As I live, the most intimate friend of Mr. Hastings, my admirer. They are never asunder. I believe you must have seen him when we lived in town.
Miss Hard. Never.
Miss Nev. He's a very singular character, I assure you. Among women of reputation and virtue, he is the modestest man alive; but his acquaintance give him a very different character among creatures of another stamp: you understand me.
Miss Hard. An odd character, indeed. I shall never be able to manage him. What shall I do? Pshaw, think no more of him, but trust to occurrences for success. But how goes on your own affair, my dear, has my mother been courting you for my brother Tony, as usual ?
Miss Nev. I have just come from one of our agreeable tete-a-tetes. She has been saying a hundred tender things, and setting off her pretty monster as the very pink of perfection.
Miss Hard. And her partiality is such, that she actually thinks him so. A fortune like yours is no small temptation. Besides, as she has the sole management of it, I'm not surprised to see her unwilling to let it go out of the family.
Miss Neu. A fortune like mine, which chiefly consists in jewels, is no such mighty temptation. But at any rate if my dear Hastings be but constant, I make no doubt to be too hard for her at last. However, I let her suppose that I am in love with her son, and she never once dreams that my affections are fixed upon another.
Miss Hard. My good brother holds out stoutly. I could almost love him for hating you so.
Nev. It is a good natured creature at bottom, and I'm sure would wish to see me married to any body but himself. But my aunt's bell rings for our afternoon's walk round the improvements. Allons, Courage is necessary as our affairs are critical.
Miss Hard. Would it were bed time and all were well,
[Exeunt. SCENE II.
An Alehouse Room. Several shabby fellows, with Punch and
Tobacco. TONY at the head of the Table, a little higher than the rest : A mallet in his hand. Omnes. Hurrea, hurrea, hurrea, bravo.
1st Fel. Now, gentlemen, silence for a song. The 'Squire is going to knock himself down for a song.
Omnes. Ay, a song, a song.
Tony. Then I'll sing you, gentlemen, à song I made upon this ale-house, the Three Pigeons.
... SON G. Let school-masters puzzle their brain, · With grammar, and nonsense, and learning ; Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Give Genus a better discerning. .. Let them brag of their Heathenish Gods,
Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians : · Their Quis, and their Quæs, and their Quods, They're all but a parcel of Pigeons.
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.
When Methodist preachers come down,
A preaching that drinking is sinful,
They always preach best with a skinful.
For a slice of their scurvy religion,