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Hardcastle. Learning, quotha! A mere composition of tricks and mischief.

Mrs. Hardcastle. Humor, my dear : nothing but humor. Come Mr. Hardcastle, you must allow the boy a little humor.

Hardcastle. I'd sooner allow him an horsepond. If burning the footman's shoes, frightening the maids, and worrying the kittens be humor, he has it. It was but yesterday he fastened my wig to the back of my chair, and when I went to make a bow I popt my bald head in Mrs. Frizzle's face.

Mrs. Hardcastle. And am I to blame? The poor boy was always too sickly to do any good. A school would be his death. When he comes to be a little stronger who knows what a year or two's Latin may do for him !

Hardcastle. Latin for him. A cat and fiddle. No, no, the alehouse and the stable are the only schools he'll ever

go to.

Mrs. Hardcastle. Well, we must not snub the poor boy now, for I believe we shan't have him long among us. Any body that looks in his face may see he's consumptive.


Aye, if growing too fat be one of the symptoms.

Mrs. Hardcastle.
He coughs sometimes.

Yes, when his liquor goes the wrong way.

Mrs. Hardcastle. I'm actually afraid of his lungs.

Hardcastle. And truly so am I ; for he sometimes whoops like a speaking trumpet-( Tony hallooing behind the scenes) -Othere he goes a very consumptive figure, truly.

Enter Tony, crossing the stage.

Mrs. Hardcastle. Tony, where are you going, my charmer? Won't you give papa and I a little of your company, lovee ?

I'm in haste, mother, I cannot stay.

Mrs. Hardcastle. You shan't venture out this raw evening, my dear : You look most shockingly.

Tony. I can't stay, I tell you. The three pigeons expects me down every moment. There's some fun going forward.

Hardcastle. Aye; the ale-house; the old place; I thought se.

Mrs. Hardcastle. A low, paltry set of fellows.

Tony. Not so low neither. There's Dick Muggins, the exciseman, Jack Slang, the horse doctor, little adab, that grinds the music box, and Tom Twist, that spins the pewter platter,

Mrs. Hardcastle. Pray, my dear, disappoint them for one night at least.

Tony. As for disappointing them I should not so much, mind; but I can't abide to disappoint myself.

Mrs. Hardcastle. /

(Detaining him.) You shan't go.


I will, I tell you.

Mrs. Hardcastle.
I say you

We'll see which is the strongest, you or I.

[Exit, hauling her out.

Hardcastle, ( solus.) Aye, there goes a pair that only spoil each other. But is not the whole age in a combination to drive sense and discretion out of doors ? There's my pretty darling Kate! the fashions of the times have almost infected her too. By living a year or two in town, she is as fond of gauze and French frippery as the best of them.


Hardcastle. Blessings on my pretty innocence! drest out as usual, my Kate. Goodness! What a quantity of superfluous silk hast thou got about thee, girl! I could never teach the fools of this age, that the indigent world could be cloathed out of the trimmings of the vain.

Miss Hardcastle. You know our agreement, Sir. You allow me the morning to receive and pay visits, and to dress in my own manner; and in the evening I put on my housewife's dress to please you.

Hardcastle. Well, remember I insist on the terms of our agreement; and, by the bye, I believe I shall have occasion to try your obedience this very evening.

Miss Hardcastle. I protest, Sir, I don't comprehend your meaning.

Hardcastle. Then to be plain with you, Kate, I expect the young gentleman I have chosen to be your husband from town this very day. I have his father's letter, in which he informs me his son is set out, and that he intends to follow himself shortly after.

Miss Hardcastle. 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.

Hardcastle. Depend upon it, child, I never will control 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 Hardcastle.

Is he?


Very generous.

Miss Hardcastle. I believe I shall like him.


Young and brave.

Miss Hardcastle. I'm sure I shall like him.

Hardcastle. And very handsome.

Miss Hardcastle.

My dear papa, say no more, (kissing his hands) he's mine, I'll have him.

Hardcastle. And, to crown all, Kate, he's one of the most bashful and reserved young fellows in all the world.

Miss Hardcastle.

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.

Hardcastle. 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. Vol. II.


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