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me here, would discover my name, and perhaps my designs, to the rest of the family.
Miss Nev. The jewels, I hope, are safe?
Hast. Yes, yes. I have sent them to Marlow, who keeps the keys of our baggage. In the meantime, I'll go to prepare matters for our elopement.
Miss Nev. Well! success attend you. [Exeunt.
Enter Marlow, followed by a Servant.
Mar. I wonder what Hastings could mean by sending me so valuable a thing as a casket to keep for him, when he knows the only place I have is the seat of a post-coach at an inn door. Have you deposited the casket with the landlady, as I ordered you? Have you put it into her own hands?
Serv. Yes, your honour.
Mar. She said she'd keep it safe, did she?
Serv. Yes, she said she'd keep it safe enough: she ask'd me how I came by it? and she said she had a great mind to make me give an account of myself.
Mar. Ha! ha! ha! They're safe, however. What an unaccountable set of beings have we got amongst! This little barmaid though runs in my head most strangely, and drives out the absurdities of all the rest of the family: she's mine, she must be mine, or I'm greatly mistaken.
Hast. Marlow here, and in spirits too!
Mar. Give me joy, George! Crown me, shadow me with laurels! Well, George, after all, we modest felT lows don't want for success among the women.
Hast. Some women, you mean. But what success has your honour's modesty been crowned with now, that it grows so insolent upon us?
Mar. Didn't you see the tempting, brisk, lovely little thing, that runs about the house with a bunch of keys
to its girdle?
Hast. Well! and what then?
Mar. She's mine, you rogue you. Such fire, such
motion, such eyes, such lips but, egad! she would
not let me kiss them though.
Hast. But are you so sure, so very sure of her?
Mar. Why, man, she talk'd of showing me her work above stairs, and I'm to approve the pattern.
Hast. But how can you, Charles, go about to rob a woman of her honour?
Mar. Pshaw! pshaw! We all know the honour of the barmaid of an inn. I don't intend to rob her, take my word for it; there's nothing in this house I shan't honestly pay for.
Hast. I believe the girl has virtue.
Mar. And if she has, I should be the last man in the world that would attempt to corrupt it.
Hast. You have taken care, I hope, of the casket I sent you to lock up? It's in safety?
Mar. Yes, yes, it's safe enough. I have taken care of it. But how could you think the seat of a post-coach at an inn door a place of safety? Ah, numbskull! I have taken better precautions for you than you did for yourself I have——
Mar. I have sent it to the landlady to keep for you.
Mar. I did. She's to be answerable for its forthcoming, you know.
Hast. Yes, she'll bring it forth, with a witness.
Mar. Wasn't I right? I believe you'll allow that I acted prudently upon this occasion?
Hast. [Aside.] He must not see my uneasiness.
Mar. You seem a little disconcerted though, metbinks. Sure nothing has happened!
Hast. No, nothing. Never was in better spirits in all my life. And so you left it with the landlady, who, no doubt, very readily undertook the charge?
Mar. Rather too readily. For she not only kept the casket, but through her great precaution, was going to keep the messenger too. Ha! ha! ha!
Hast. Ha! ha! ha! They're safe, however.
Mar. As a guinea in a miser's purse.
Hast. [Aside.] So now all hopes of fortune are at an end, and we must set off without it.—[To Marlow.] Well, Charles, I'll leave you to your meditations on the pretty barmaid, and, Ha! ha! ha! if you are as successful for yourself as you have been for me
Mar. What then?
Hast. Why then I wish you joy with all my heart.
Hard. I no longer know my own house. It's turned all topsy-turvy. His servants have got drunk already. I'll bear it no longer;—and yet, from my respect for his father, I'll be calm.—[To Marlow.] Mr. Marlow, your servant. I'm your very humble servant.
Mar. Sir, your humble servant. [Aside.] What's to be the wonder now?
Hard. I believe, sir, you must be sensible, sir, that no man alive ought to be more welcome than your father's son, sir y I hope you think so?
Mar. I do from my soul, sir. I don't want much intreaty. I generally make my father's son welcome wherever he goes.
Hard. I believe you do, from my soul, sir. But though I say nothing to your own conduct, that of your servants is insufferable. Their manner of drinking is setting a very bad example in this house, I assurt you. #
Mar. I protest, my very good sir, that's no fault of mine. If they don't drink as they ought, they are to blame. I ordered them not to spare the cellar. I did, I assure you.—[To the side scene.] Here, let one of my servants come up.—[To Hardcastle.] My positive directions were, that as I did not drink myself, they should make up for my deficiencies below.
Hard. Then they had your orders for what they do! I'm satisfied!
Mar. They had, I assure you. You shall hear from one of themselves.
Enter Servant, drunk. You, Jeremy! come forward, sirrah! what were my orders? Were you not told to drink freely, and call for what you thought fit, for the good of the house?
Hard. [Aside.] I begin to lose my patience.
Jer. Please your honour, Liberty and Fleet Street for ever! Though I'm but a servant, I'm as good as another man. I'll drink for no man before supper, sir,
d me! Good liquor will sit upon a good supper,
but a good supper will not sit upon hiccup
upon my conscience, sir.
Mar. You see, my old friend, the fellow is as drunk as he can possibly be; I don't know what you'd have more, unless you'd have the poor devil soused in a beer-barrel.
Hard. Zounds! He'll drive me distracted if I contain myself any longer. Mr. Marlow, sir, I have submitted to your insolence for more than four hours, and I see no likelihood of its coming to an end. I'm now resolved to be master here, sir, and I desire that you and your drunken pack may leave my house directly. . .
Mar. Leave your house! Sure you jest, my good
friend? What, when I'm doing what I can to please you!
Hard. I tell you, sir, you don't please me; so I desire you'll leave my house.
Mar. Sure you cannot be serious; at this time of night, and such a night. You only mean to banter me?
Hard. I tell you, sir, I'm serious; and now that my passions are roused, I say this house is mine, sir—this house is mine, and I command you to leave it directly.
Mar. I sha'n't stir a step, I assure you. [In a serious tone.'] This your house, fellow! it's my house. This is my house. Mine while I choose to stay. What right have you to bid me leave this house, sir? I never met with such impudence, curse me, never in my whole life before.
Hard. Nor I, confound me if ever I did. To come to my house, to call for what he likes, to torn me out of my own chair, to insult the family, to order his servants to get drunk, and then to tell me, this house is mine, sir. By all that's impudent, it makes me laugh. Ha! ha! ha! Pray, sir, [Bantering.] as you take the house, what think you of taking the rest of the furniture? There's a pair of silver candlesticks, and there are a set of prints too. What think you of The Rake's Progress, for your own apartment?
Mar. Bring me your bill, I say; and Pll leave you and your infernal house directly.
Hard. Then there's a mahogany table, that you may •ee your own face in.
Mar. My bill, I say.
Hard. I had forgot the great chair, for your own particular slumbers, after a hearty meal.
Mar. Zounds! bring me my bill, I say, and let's hear no more on't.
Hard. Young man, young man, from your father's letter to me, I was taught to expect a well-bred modest man, as a visitor here, but now I find him no better than a coxcomb and a bully; but he will be down here presently, and shall hear more of it. [Exit,