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Tony. Ecod, and so it would, Master Slang. I'd then shew what it was to keep choice company.
Second Fellow. O he takes after his own father for that. To be sure old ’squire Lumpkin was the finest gentleman I ever set my eyes on. For winding the straight horn, or beating the thicket for a hare, or a wench, he never had his fellow. It was a saying in the place, that he kept the best horses, dogs, and girls in the whole county.
Tony. Ecod, and when I'm of age, I'll be no bastard, I promise you. I have been thinking of Bett Bouncer and the miller's grey mare to begin with. But come, my boys, drink about and be merry, for you pay no reckoning. Well Stingo, what's the matter?
Landlord, There be two gentlemen in a post-chaise at the door They have lost their way upo'.the forest; and they are talking something about Mr. Hardcastle.
Tony. As sure as can be, one of them must be the gentleinan that's coming down to court my sister. Do they seem to be Londoners ?
Landlord. I believe they may. They look woundily like Frenchmen.
Tony. Then desire them to step this way, and I'll set them right in a twinkling. (Exit Landlord.) Gentlemen, as they mayn't be good enough company for you, step down for a moment, and I'll be with you in the squeezing of a lemon.
Tony (alone) Father-in-law has been calling me whelp and hound. this half year. Now, if I pleased, I could be so revenged upon the old grumbletonian. But then I'm afraid-afraid of what! I shall soon be worth fifteen hundred a year, and let him frighten me out of that if
Enter LANDLORD, conducting Marlow and
Marlow. What a tedious uncomfortable day have we had of it! We were told it was but forty miles across the country, and we have come above threescore.
Hastings. And all, Marlow, from that unaccountable reserve of yours, that would not let us inquire more frequenta ly on the way.
Marlow. I own, Hastings, I am unwilling to lay myself under an obligation to every one I meet ; and often stand the chance of an unmannerly answer.
Hastings. At present however we are not likely to receive any
Tony. No offence, gentlemen. But I'm told you havć been enquiring for one Mr. Hardcastle in these parts. Do you know what part of the
country you are in ?
for in-.. formation.
Tony. Nor the way you came ?
Tony. Why, gentlemen, if you know neither the road you are going, nor where you are, nor the road you came, the first thing I have to inform you is, that-you have lost your way.
Tony. Pray, gentlemen, may I be so bold as to ask the place from whence you came ?
Marlow. That's not necessary towards directing us where we are to go.
Tony. No offence; but question for question is all fair, you know. Pray, gentleman, is not this same Hardcastle a cross-grain'd, old-fashion'd, whimsical fellow, with an ugly face; a daughter, and a pretty son?
Hastings. We have not seen the gentleman, but he has the family you mention.
Tony. The daughter a tall, trapesing, trolloping, talkative maypole—the son, a pretty, well-bred, agreeable youth, that every body is fond of.
Marlow. Our information differs in this. The daughter is said to be well-bred and beautiful ; the son, an aukward booby, reared up and spoiled at his mother's apronstring
Tony. He-he-hem !—Then, gentlemen, all I have to tell you is, that you won't reach Mr. Hardcastle's house this night, I believe.
Tony. It's a damn'd long, dark, boggy, dirty, dangerou's way. Stingo, tell the gentlemen the way to Mr. Hardcastle's! (Winking upon the Landlord.) Mr. Hardcastle's, of Quagmire Marsh, you understand me?
Landlord. Master Hardcastle's! Lock-a-daisy, my masters, you're come a deadly deal wrong! When you came to the bottom of the hill, you should have cross'd down Squash-Lane.
Marlow. Cross down Squash-lane.
Landlord. Then you were to keep straight forward, 'till you came to four roads.
Marlow, Come to where four roads meet!
Tony. Aye ; but you must be sure to take only one of them.
Marlow. O Sir, you're facetious.
Tony. Then keeping to the right, you are to go side-ways till you come upon Crack-skull common : there you must look sharp for the track of the wheel, and go forward, 'till you come to farmer Murrain's barn. Coming to the farmer's barn you are to turn to the right,
and then to the left, and then to the right about again, till you find out the oid mill.
Marlow. Zounds, man! we could as soon find out the longitude !
Hastings. What's to be done, Marlow?
Marlow. This house promises but a poor reception; though perhaps the landlord can accommodate us.
Landlord, Alack, master, we have but one spare bed in the whole house.
Tony. And to my knowledge, that's taken up by three lodgers already. ( After a pause, in which the rest seem dis
concerted. I have hit it. Don't you think, Stingo, our landlady could accommodate the gentlemen by the fireside, with three chairs and a bolster ?
Tony. You do, do you then let me see-what-if you go on a mile further, to the Buck's Head; the old Buck's Head on the hill, one of the best inns in the whole country?
Hastings. Oho! so we have escaped an adventure for this night, however