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my head about Heyder Alley, or Ally Cawn, than about Ally Croaker. Sir, my service to you.
Hast. So that, with eating above stairs, and drinking below, with receiving your friends within, and amusing them without, you lead a good pleasant bustling life of it.
Hard. I do stir about a good deal, that's certain. Half the differences of the parish are adjusted in this very parlour.
Mar. [After drinking] And you have an argument in your cup, old gentleman, better than any in Westminster-hall.
Hard. Ay, young gentleman, that, and a little philosophy.
Mar. [ Aside] Well, this is the first time I ever heard of an innkeeper's philosophy.
Hast. So then, like an experienced general, you attack them on every quarter. If you find their reason manageable, you attack it with your philosophy; if you find they have no reason, you attack them with this. Here's your health, my philosopher. [Drinks. ]
Hard. Good, very good, thank you; ha! ha! Your generalship puts me in mind of Prince Eugene, when he fought the Turks at the battle of Belgrade. You shall hear.
Mar. Instead of the battle of Belgrade, I think it's almost time to talk about supper. What has your philosophy got in the house for supper.
Hard. For supper, Sir! [ Aside.] Was ever such a request to a man in his own house!
Mar. Yes, Sir, supper, Sir; I begin to feel an appetite. I shall make devilish work to-night in the larder, I promise you.
Hard. [ Aside] Such a brazen dog sure never my eyes beheld. [To him] Why really, Sir, as for supper, I can't well tell. My Dorothy, and the cookmaid, settle these things between them. I leave these kind of things entirely to them.
Mar. You do, do you?
Hard. Entirely. By-the-bye, I believe they are in actual consultation upon what's for supper this moment in the kitchen.
Mar. Then I beg they'll admit me as one of their privy council. It's a way I have got. When I travel, I always choose to regulate my own supper. Let the cook be called. No offence, I hope, Sir.
Hard. O no, Sir, none in the least : yet I don't know how; our Bridget, the cook-maid, is not very, communicative upon these occasions. Should we send for her, she might scold us all out of the house.
Hast. Let's see the list of the larder then. I ask it as a favour. I always match my appetite to my bill of fare.
Mar. [To Hardcastle, who looks at them with surprise] Sir, he's very right, and it's my way too.
Hard. Sir, you have a right to command here. Here, Roger, bring us the bill of fare for to-night's supper. I believe it's drawn out. Your manner, Mr. Hastings, puts me in mind of my uncle, Colonel Wallop. It was a saying of his, that no man was sure of his supper till he had eaten it.
Hast. [Aside] All upon the high ropes ! His unclea Colonel! we shall soon hear of his mother being a justice of peace. But let's hear the bill of fare.
Mar. [Perusing] What's here : For the first course; for the second course ; for the dessert. The devil, Sir, do you think we have brought down the whole Joiners' Company, or the Corporation of Bedford, to eat up such a supper? Two or three little things, clean and comfortable, will do.
Hast. But, let's hear it.
Mar. [Reading] For the first course at the top, a pig and pruin sauce.
Hast. Damn your pig, I say.
Hard. And yet, gentlemen, to men that are hun. gry, pig, with pruin sauce, is very good eating.
Mar. At the bottom, a calve's tongue and brains. · Hast. Let your brains be knocked out, my good Sir; I don't like them.
Mar. Or you may clap them on a plate by themselves. I do.
Hard. [ Aside] Their impudence confounds me. [To them] Gentlemen, you are my guests, make what alterations you please. Is there any thing else you wish to retrench or alter, gentlemen ?
Mar. Item. A pork pie, a boiled rabbit and sau. sages, a florentine, a shaking pudding, and a dish of tiff-taff-taffety cream!
Hast. Confound your made dishes! I shall be as much at a loss in this house as at a green and yellow dinner at the French ambassador's table. I'm for plain eating.
Hard. I'm sorry, gentlemen, that I have nothing you like; but if there be any thing you have a particular fancy to
Mar. Why, really, Sir, your bill of fare is so exa quisite, that any one part of it is full as good as ano. ther. Send us what you please. So much for supper. And now to see that our beds are air'd, and properly taken care of...
Hard. I entreat you'll leave all that to me. You shall not stir a step.
Mar. Leave that to you! I protest, Sir, you must excuse me, I always look to these things myself.
Hard. I must insist, Sir, you'll make yourself easy on that head.
Mar. You see I'm resolved on it. [ Aside] A very troublesome fellow this, as ever I met with.
Hard. Well, Sir, I'm resolvd at least to attend you. [Aside] This may be modern modesty, but I never saw any thing look so like old-fashioned impudence.
[Exeunt Marlow and Hardcastle. Hast. So I find this fellow's civilities begin to grow troublesome. But who can be angry at those assiduities which are meant to please him ? Ha! what do I see? Miss Neville, by all that's happy!
Enter Miss Neville. Miss Nev. My dear Hastings ! To what unexpected - good fortune, to what accident, am I to ascribe this happy meeting?
Hast. Rather let me ask the same question, as I could never have hoped to meet my dearest Constance at an inn.
Miss Nev. An inn! sure you mistake! my aunt, my guardian, lives here. What could induce you to think this house an inn?
Hast. My friend, Mr. Marlow, with whom I came down, and I, have been sent here as to an inn, I assure you. A young fellow, whom we accidentally met at a house hard by, directed us hither.
Miss Nev. Certainly it must be one of my hopeful cousin's tricks, of whom you have heard me talk so often; ha! ha! ha! ha!
Hast. He whom your aunt intends for you? He of whom I have such just apprehensions ?
Miss Nev. You have nothing to fear from him, I assure you. You'd adore him if you knew how hear, tily he despises me. My aunt knows it too, and has undertaken to court me for him, and actually begins to think she has made a conquest.
Hast. Thou dear dissembler! You must know, my Constance, I have just seized this happy opportunity of my friend's visit here to get admittance into the fa. mily. The horses that carried us down are now fatigued with the journey, but they'll soon be refresh