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her to be attentive. Suppose one of the company. should call for a glass of wine, how will you behave? A glass of wine, Sir, if you please, (To Diggory)— Eh, why don't you move?
Ecod, your worship, I never have courage till I see the eatables and drinkables brought upo' the table, and then I'm as bauld as a lion.
Hardcastle. What, will nobody move?
First Servant. I'm not to leave this place.
Second Servant. I'm sure it's no place of mine.
Third Servant. Nor mine, for sartain.
Wauns, and I'm sure it canna be mine.
You numbskulls! and so while, like your betters, you are quarrelling for places, the guests must be starved. O you dunces I I find I must begin all over again—But don't I hear a coach drive into the yard? To your posts, you blockheads. I'll go in the mean time and give my old friend's son a hearty reception at the gate. [Exit Hardcastle.
By the elevens, my place is gone quite out of my head.
I know that my place is to be every where.
First Servant. Where the devil is mine?
Second Servant. My place is to be no where at all; and so ize go about my business. [Exeunt servants, running about as if frighted, different ways.
Enter Servant, with Candles, shelving in Marlow and Hastings.
Welcome, gentlemen, very welcome! This way". Hastings.
After the disappointments of the day, welcome once more, Charles, to the comforts of a clean room and a good fire. Upon my word, a very well-looking house ; antique but creditable.
The usual fate of a large mansion. Having first ruined the master by good housekeeping, it at last comes to levy contributions as an inn.
As you say, we passengers are to be taxed to pay all these fineries. I have often seen a good sideboard or a marble chimney-piece, though not actually put in the bill, inflame a reckoning confoundedly.
Travellers, George, must pay in all places. The only difference is, that in good inns you pay dearly for luxuries ; in bad inns you are fleeced and starved.
You have lived pretty much among them. In truth I have been often surprised, that you, who have seen so much of the world, with your natural good sense, and your many opportunities, could never yet acquire a requisite share of assurance.
The Englishman's malady. But tell nie, George, where could I have learned that assurance you talk of? My life has been chiefly spent in a college or an inn, in seclusion from that lovely part of the creation that chiefly teach men confidence. I don't know that I was ever familiarly acquainted with a single modest woman—except my mother—But among females of another class you know—
Aye, among them you are impudent enough of all conscience.
Marlow. They are of us, you know.
But in the company of women of reputation I never saw such an idiot, such a trembler; you look for all the world as if you wanted an opportunity of stealing out of the room.
Why, man, that's because I do want to steal out of the room. Faith, I have often formed a resolution to break the ice, and rattle away at any rate. But I don't know how, a single glance from a pair of fine eyes has totally overset my resolution. An impudent fellow may counterfeit modesty: but I'll be hanged if a modest man can ever counterfeit impudence.
If you could but say half the fine things to them, that I have heard you lavish upon the bar-maid of an inn, or even a college bed-maker—
Why, George, I can't say fine things to them: they freeze, they petrify me. They may talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some such bagatelle, but to me, a modest woman, drest out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation.
Ha! ha! ha! At this rate, man, how can you ever expect to marry I
Never, unless as among kings and princes, my bride were to be courted by proxy. If indeed like an eastern bridegroom, one were to be introduced to a wife he never saw before, it might be endured. But to go through all the terrors of a formal courtship, together with the episode of aunts, grandmothers, and cousins, and at last to blunt out the broad staring question of, madam, will you marry me? No, no, that's a strain much above me, I assure you.
I pity you. But how do you intend behaving to the lady you are come down to visit at the request of your fcther?
As I behave to all other ladies. Bow very low. Answer yes or no to all her demands. But for the rest I don't think I shall venture to look in her face till I see my father's again.
I'm surprised that one who is so warm a friend can be so cool a lover.
To be explicit, my dear Hastings, my chief inducement down was to be instrumental in forwarding your happiness, not my own. Miss Neville loves you, the family don't know you, as my friend you are sure of a reception, and let honor do the rest.
My dear ivlarlow! But I'll suppress the emotion; Were I a wretch, meanly seeking to carry off a fortune, you should be the last man in the world I would apply to for assistance. But Miss Neville's person is all I ask, and that is mine, both from her deceased father's, consent, and her own inclination.
Happy man! You have talents and art to captivate any woman. I'm doom'd to adore the sex, and yet to converse with the only part of it I despise. This stammer in my address, and this aukward prepossessing visage of mine, can never permit me to soar above the reach of a milliner's 'prentice, or one of the duchesses •f Drury-lane. Pshaw! this fellow here to interrupt usi
Gentlemen, once more you are heartily welcomei Which is Mr. Marlow! Sir, you are heartily weleome. It's not my way, you see, to receive my friends with my back to the fire. I like to give them a hearty reception in the old style at my gate. I like to see their horses and trunks taken care of.
Marlow, (Aside.) He has got our names from the servants already. (To him) We approve your caution and hospitality, Sir. (To Hastings) I have been thinking, George, of changing our travelling dresses in the morning. I am grown confoundedly ashamed of mine.