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pretence to deny me. I know they're too valuable to be so slightly kept, and as you are to answer for the loss
Mrs. Hard. Don't be alarm’d, Constance. If they be lost, I must restore an equivalent. But my son knows they are missing, and not to be found.
Tony. That I can bear witness to. They are missing, and not to be found, I'll take my oath on't.
Mrs. Hard. You must learn resignation, my dear; for though we lose our fortune, yet we should not lose our patience. See me, how calm I am.
Miss Nev. Ay, people are generally calm at the misfortunes of others.
Mrs. Hard. Now, I wonder a girl of your good sense should waste thought upon such trumpery. We shall soon find them; and, in the mean time, you shall make use of my garnets till your jewels be found.
Miss Nev. I detest garnets.
Mrs. Hard. The most becoming things in the world to set off a clear complexion. You have often seen how well they looked upon me. You shall have them.
[Exit. Miss Nev. I dislike them of all things. You shan't stir-Was ever any thing so provoking, to mislay my own jewels, and force me to wear trumpery.
Tony. Don't be a fool. If she gives you the garnets, take what you can get. The jewels are your own already. I have stolen them out of her bureau, and she does not know it. Fly to your spark, he'll tell you more of the matter.
Leave me to manage her.
Miss Nev. My dear cousin. ·
Tony. Vanish. She's here, and has missed them already. Zounds! how she fidgets and spits about like a Catharine wheel!
Enter Mrs. HARDCASTLE.
Mrs. Hard. Confusion ! thieves ! robbers! We are cheated, plundered, broke open, undone.
Tony. What's the matter, what's the matter, mamma? I hope nothing has happened to any of the good family!
Mrs. Hard. We are robbed. My bureau has been broke open, the jewels taken out, and I'm undone.
Tony. Oh! is that all? Ha! ha! ha! By the laws, I never saw it better acted in my life. Ecod, I thought you was ruin'd in earnest, ha! ha! ha!
Mrs. Hard. Why, boy, I am ruined in earnest, My bureau has been broke open, and all taken away.
Tony. Stick to that; ha! ha! ha! stick to that; I'll bear witness, you know; call me to bear wit
Mrs. Hard. I tell you, Tony, by all that's precious the jewels are gone, and I shall be ruin'd for ever.
Tony. Sure I know they're gone, and I am to say
Mrs.Hard. My dearest Tony, but hear me. They're gone, I say.
Tony. By the laws, mamma, you make me for to laugh, ha! ha! I know who took them well enough, ha! ha! ha!
Mrs. Hard. Was there ever such a blockhead, that can't tell the difference between jest and earnest. I tell you I'm not in jest, booby.
Tony. That's right, that's right: You must be in a bitter passion, and then nobody will suspect either of us.
I'll bear witness that they are gone. Mrs. Hard. Was there ever such a cross-grain'd brute, that won't hear me! Can you bear witness that you're no better than a fool ? Was ever poor wo
man so beset with fools on the one hand, and thieves on the other.
Tony. I can bear witness to that.
you, and I'll turn you out of the room directly. My poor niece, what will become of her! Do you laugh, you unfeeling brute, as if you enjoy'd my distress?
Tony. I can bear witness to that.
Mrs. Hard. Do you insult, me, monster? I'll teach you to vex your mother, I will. Here, thieves, thieves, thieves, thieves !
[He runs off, she follows him. Enter Miss HARDCASTLE and MAID. Miss Hard. What an unaccountable creature is that brother of mine, to send them to the house as an inn, ha! ha! I don't wonder at his impudence.
Maid. But what is more, madam, the young gentleman, as you passed by in your present dress, ask'd me if you were the barmaid ? He mistook you for the barmaid, madam.
Miss Hard. Did he? Then as I live I'm resolv'd to keep up the delusion. Tell me, Dolly, how do you like my present dress. Don't
think I look something like Cherry in the Beaux Stratagem?
Maid. It's the dress, madam, that every lady wears in the country, but when she visits or receives company.
Miss Hard. And are you sure he does not remember my
face or person? Maid. Certain of it,
Miss Hard. I vow I thought so; for though we spoke for some time together, yet his fears were such, that he never once looked up during the interview.
Maid. But what do you hope from keeping him in his mistake.
Miss Hard. In the first place, I shall be seen, and that is no small advantage to a girl who brings her
face to market. Then I shall perhaps make an acquaintance, and that's no small victory gained over one, who never addresses any but the wildest of her
But my chief aim is to take my gentleman off his guard, and, like an invisible champion of romance, examine the giant's force before I offer to combat.
Maid. But are you sure you can act your part, and disguise your voice, so that he
mistake that, as he has already mistaken your person?
Miss Hard. Never fear me, I think I have got the true bar cant-Did your honour call ?-Attend the Lion there~~Pipes and tobacco for the Angel The Lamb has been outrageous this half hour, Maid. It will do, madam. But he's here.
[Erit MAID. Enter MARLOW, Mar. What a bawling in every part of the house ! I have scarce a moment's repose. If I go to the best room, there I find my Host and his story. If I fly to the gallery, there we have my Hostess with her courtesy down to the ground. I have at last got a moment to myself, and now for recollection. [Walks and muses. Miss Hard. Did you call,
honour call ?
Mar. [Musing.] As for Miss Hardcastle, she's too grave and sentimental for me. Miss Hard, Did your honour call ?
[She still places herself before him, he turning away. Mar. No, child. [Musing.) Besides, from the glimpse I had of her, I think she squints.
Miss Hard. I'm sure, sir, I heard the bell ring.
Mar. No, no, [Musing.] I have pleased my father, however, by coming down, and I'll to-morrow please myself by returning.
[Taking out his Tablets, and perusing. Miss Hard. Perhaps the other gentleman called,
Mar. No, no, I tell you. [Looks full in her Face.) Yes, child, I think I did call. I wanted I wanted
-I vow, child, you are vastly handsome.
Mar. Never saw a more sprightly malicious eye.Yes, yes, my dear, I did call. Have you got any of your-
what dy'e call it, in the house ? Miss Hard. No, sir, we have been out of that these ten days.
Mar. One may call in this house, I find, to very little purpose. Suppose I should call for a taste, just by way of trial, of the nectar of your lips ; perhaps I might be disappointed in that too.
Miss Hard. Nectar! nectar! that's a liquor there's no call for in these parts. French I suppose. We keep no French wines here, sir.
Mar. Of true English growth, I assure you.
Miss Hard. Then it's odd I should not know it. We brew all sorts of wines this house, and I have lived here these eighteen years.
Mar. Eighteen years ! Why one would think, child, you kept the bar before you were born. How old are
Miss Hard. O, sir, I must not tell my age. They say women and music should never be dated.
Mar. To guess at this distance, you can't be much above forty. (Approaching.] Yet nearer, I don't think so much. (Approaching.] By coming close to some women they look younger still ; but when we come very close indeed
[Attempting to kiss her. Miss Hard. Pray, sir, keep your distance. One would think
wanted to know one's age as they do horses, by mark of mouth.
Mar. I protest, child, you use me extremely ill. If you keep me at this distance, how is it possible you and I can be ever acquainted ?
Miss Hard. And who wants to be acquainted with you? I want no such acquaintance, not I. I'm sure