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Miss Hardcastle. He must have more striking features to catch me, I promise you. However, if he be so young, so handsome, and so every thing as you mention, I believe he'll do still. I think I'll have him.
Hardcastle. Aye, Kate, but there is still an obstacle. It's more than an even wager he may not have you.
Miss Hardcastle. My dear papa, why will you mortify one so? Well, if he refuses, instead of breaking my heart at his indifference, I'll only break my glass for its flattery. Set my cap to some newer fashion, and look out for some less difficult admirer.
Hardcastle. Bravely resolved! In the mean time I'll go prepare the servants for his reception; as we seldom see company they want as much training as a company of recruits the first day's muster.
Miss Hardcastle, (alone.) Lud, this news of papa's puts me all in a futter. Young, handsome; these he put last, but I put them foremost. Sensible, good-natur’d; I like all that. But then reserved and sheepish, that's much against him. Yet can't he be cured of his timidity, by being taught to be proud of his wife? Yes, and can't I—but I vow I'm disposing of the husband, before I have secured the lover.
Enter Miss NEVILLE.
Miss Hardcastle. I'm glad you're come, Neville, my dear. Tell me, Constance, how do I look this evening? Is there any
thing whimsical about me? Is it one of my well looking days, child ? am I in face to-day?
Miss Neville. Perfectly, my dear. Yet now I look again-bless me! sure no accident has happened among the canary birds or the gold fishes. Has your brother or the cat been meddling? or has the last novel been too moving?
Miss Hardcastle. No; nothing of all this. I have been threatened I can scarce get it out I have been threatened with a lover.
Miss Neville. And his name
Miss Hardcastle. Is Marlow.
Miss Neville. Indeed!
Miss Hardcastle. The son of Sir Charles Marlow.
Miss Neville. As I live, the most intimate friend of Mr. Hastings, my admirer. They are never asunder. I believe you must haye seen him when we lived in town.
Miss Hardcastle. Never.
Miss Neville. He's a very singular character, I assure you. Among women of reputation and virtue he is the modestest man alive; but his acquaintance give him a very different character among creatures of another stamp: you understand me.
Miss Hardcastle. An odd character indeed. I shall never be able to manage him. What shall I do? Pshaw, think no
more of him, but trust to occurrences for success. But how goes on your own affair, my dear? has my mother been courting you for my brother Tony, as usual?
Miss Neville. I have just come from one of our agreeable tête-a têtes. She has been saying a hundred tender things, and setting off her pretty monster as the very pink of perfection.
Miss Hardcastle. And her partiality is such, that she actually thinks
A fortune like yours is no small temptation. Besides, as she has the sole management of it, I'm not surprised to see her unwilling to let it go out of the family.
Miss Neville. A fortune like mine, which chiefly consists in jewels, is no such mighty temptation. But at any rate, if my dear Hastings be but constant, I make no doubt to be too hard for her at last. However, I let her suppose that I am in love with her son, and she never once dreams that my affections are fixed upon another.
Miss Hardcastle, My good brother holds out stoutly. I could almost love him for hating you so.
Miss Neville. It is a good-natur'd creature at bottom, and I'm sure would wish to see me married to any body but himself. But my aunt's bell rings for our afternoon's walk round the improvements. Allons! Courage is necessary as our affairs are critical.
SCENE, an Alehouse Room. Several shabby fellows, with punch and tobacco. Tony at the head of the table, a little higher than the rest ; a mallet in his hand.
First Fellow. Now, gentlemen, silence for a song. The 'squire is going to knock himself down for a song.
Tony. Then I'll sing you; gentleman, a song I made upon this alehouse, The Three Pigeons.
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
Gives genus a better discerning.
Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians ;
Toroddle, Toroddle, toroll. When methodist preachers come down,
A-preaching that drinking is sinful, I'll wager the rascals a crown,
They always preach best with a skinful.
For a slice of their scurvy religion,
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll. Then come put the jorum about,
And let us be merry and clever, Our hearts and our liquors are stout,
Here's the Three Jolly Pigeons for ever. Let some cry up woodcock or hare,
Your bustards, your ducks, and your widgeons ; But of all the gay birds in the air, Here's a health to the Three Jolly Pigeons.
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll:
Omnes. Bravo, bravo!
First Fellow. The 'squire has got spunk in him.
Second Fellow. I loves to hear him sing, bekeays he never gives us 119thing that's low.
Third Fellow. () damn any thing that's low, I cannot bear it.
Fourth Fellow. The genteel thing is the genteel thing at any time. If so be that a gentleman bees in a concatenation accordingly.
Third Fellow. I like the maxum of it, Master Muggins. What, though I am obligated to dance a bear, a man may be a gentleman for all that. May this be my poison if my bear ever dances but to the very genteelest of tunes : 6 Water Parted,” or “ The minuet in Ariadne."
Second Fellow. What a pity it is the 'squire is not come to his own. It would be well for all the publicans within ten miles round of him.