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Miss Neville. But, my dear coufin, sure you won't forsake us in this distress. If the in the least suspects that I am going off, I shall certainly be-locked up, or sent to my aunt Pedigree's, which is ten times worse.
Tony. To be sure, aunts of all kinds are damn'd bad things. But what can I do? I have got you a pair of horses that will fly like Whistlejacket, and I'm sure you can't say but I have courted you nicely be-, fore her face. Here she comes, we must court a bit or two more, for fear she should suspect us. ·
[They retire, and seem to fondie.
Enter Mrs. HardCASTLE.
Mrs. HARDCASTLE. Well, I was greatly fluttered, to be sure. But my son tells me it was all a mistake of the servants. I Man't be cafy however, till they are fairly married, and then let her keep her own fortune. But what do I see! fondling together, as I'm alive. I never saw Tony so sprightly before. Ah! have I caught you, my pretty doves! What, billing, exchanging stolen glances, and broken murmurs. Ah!
TONY. As for murmurs, mother, we grumble a little now and then, to be sure. But there's no love loft between us.
Mrs. HARDCASTle. A mere sprinkling, Tony, upon the flame, only to make it burn brighter,
Miss Neville. Cousin Tony promises to give us more of his company at home. Indeed, he shan't leave us any more. It won't leave us, cousin Tony, will it?
Tony. 0! it's a pretty creature. No, I'd sooner leave my horse' in a pound, than leave you when you smile upon one so. Your laugh makes you so becoming.
Miss Neville. Agreeable coufin! Who can help admiring that natural humour, that pleasant, broad, red, thoughtless, (patting his cheek) ah! it's a bold face.
Mrs. HARDCASTLE. Pretty innocence!
Tony. I'm sure I always lov'd coufin Con's hazle eyes, . and her pretty long fingers, that the twists this way. and that, over the hafpicholls, like a parcel of bobbins.
Mrs. HARDCASTLE.. Ah, he would charm the bird from the tree. I was never fo happy before. My boy takes after his father, poor Mr. Lumpkin, exactly. The jewels, my dear Con, shall be yours incontiently. You fall have them. Isn't he a sweet boy, my dear?
You shall be married to-morrow, and we'll put off the rest of his education, like Dr. Drowsy's fermons, to a fitter opportunity.
DIGGORY. Where's the 'squire ? I have got a letter for your.. worship.
Miss Neville. ( Afide) Undone ! undone! A letter to him from Hastings. I know the hand. If my aunt sees it we are ruined for ever. I'll keep her employ'd a little if I can. (To Mrs. Hardcastle) But I have not told you, madam, of my cousin's smart answer just now to Mr. Marlow. We so laugh'd- You must know, madam,- This way a little, for he must not hear us.
Tony. . (Still gazing) A damn'd cramp piece of penman. ship, as ever I saw in my life. I can read your print hand very well. But here there are such han. dles, and thanks, and dashes, that one can scarce tell the head from the tail. “ To Anthony Lump“ kin, esquire.” It's very odd, I can read the outfide of my letters, where my own name is, well enough. But when I come to open it, it's allbuzz. That's hard, very hard; for the inside of . the letter is always the cream of the correspon. dence.
Tony. (Still gazing) A damn'd up and down hand, as if it was disguised in liquor. (Reading) Dear Sir, Aye, that's that. Then there's an M, and a T, and an S, but whether the next be an izzard or an R, confound me, I cannot tell.
Mrs. HARDCASTLE. What's that, my dear. Can I give you any affiftance?
Miss Neville. Pray, aunt, let me read it. No body reads a cramp hand better than I. (twitching the letter from ber) Do you know who it is from ?
Miss Neville. Aye, so it is, (pretending to read) Dear 'squire, hoping that you're in health, as I am at this present.
The gentlemen of the Shake-bag club has cut the gentlemen of Goose-green quite out of feather. The odds- um-odd battle- um-long fighting-um-here, here, it's all about cocks and fighting; it's of no consequence, here, put it up, put it up. (Tbrufling the crumpled letter upon him.
Tony. But I tell yon, miss, it's of all the consequence in the world. I would not lose the rest of it for a guinea. Here, mother, do you make it out. ' Of no consequence! [Giving Mrs. Hardcastle the letter.
Mrs. HARDCASTLE. How's this! (reads) “Dear 'Iguire, I'm now " waiting for Miss Neville, with a post-chaise and “ pair, at the bottom of the garden, but I find my “ horses yet unable to perform the journey. I ex.“pect you'll assist us with a pair of fresh horses, as
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