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Mrs. Hardcastle. To be plain with you, my dear Constance, if I could find them you should have them. They're missing, I assure you. Lost for aught I know ; but we must have patience wherever they are.
Miss Neville. I'll not believe it; this is but a shallow pretence to deny me. I know they are too valuable to be so slightly kept, and as you are to answer for the loss—
Mrs. Hardcastle. Don't be alarm'd, Constance. If they be lost I must restore an equivalent. But my son knows they are missing, and not to be found.
That I can bear witness to. They are missing and not to be found, I'll take my oath on't.
Mrs. Hardcastle. You must learn resignation, my dear; for though we lose our fortune, yet we should not lose our patience. See me, how calm I am.
Miss Neville. Aye, people are generally calm at the misfortunes of others.
Mrs. Hardcastle. Now, I wonder'a girl of your good sense should waste a thought upon such trumpery. We shall soon find them ; and in the mean time you shall make use of my garnets till your jewels be found.
I detest garnets.
Mrs. Hardcastle. The most becoming things in the world to set off a clear complexion. You have often seen how well they 'look upon me. You shall have them. [Exit. Miss Neville.
I dislike them of all things. You shan't stir Was
ever any thing so provoking to mislay my own jewels, and force me to wear her trumpery.
Don't be a fool. If she gives you the garnets, take what you can get. The jewels are your own already. I have stolen them out of her bureau, and she does not know it. Fly to your spark, he'll tell you more ofthe matter. Leave me to manage her.
My dear cousin!
Vanish. She's here, and has missed them already. Zounds ; how she fidgets and spits about like a Catharine wheel.
Enter Mrs. Hardcastle. Mrs. Hardcastle. Confusion! Thieves! robbers! we are cheated", plundered, broke open, undone. , Tony.
What's the matter, what's the matter, mama? I hope nothing has happened to any of the good family.
Mrs. Hardcastle. We are robbed. My bureau has been broken open, the jewels taken out, and I'm undone.
Oh! is that all ? Ha! ha! ha! By the laws I never saw it better acted in my life. Ecod, I thought you was ruin'd in earnest, ha! ha ! ha!
Why, boy, I'm ruin'd in earnest. My bureau has been broken open, and all taken away.
Stick to that; ha! ha! ha! stick to that. I'll bear witness you know, call me to bear witness.
Mrs. Hardcastle. I tell you Tony, by all that's precious, the jewels are gone, and I shall be ruin'd for ever.
Sure I know they are gone, and I'm to say so.
Mrs. Hardcastle. My dearest Tony, but hear me. They're gone I say.
Tony. . By the laws, mamma, you make me for to laugh, ha! ha! I know who took them well enough, ha! ha! ha!
Mrs. Hardcastle. Was there ever such a blockhead, that can't tell the difference between jest and earnest? I tell you I'm not in jest, booby.
That's right, that's right: you must be in a bitter passion, and then nobody will suspect either of us. I'll bear witness that they are gone.
Mrs. Hardcastle. Was "there ever such a cross-grain'd brute, that won't hear me? Can you bear witness that you're no better than a fool? Was ever poor woman so beset with fools on one hand, and thieves on the other.
I can bear witness to that.
Mrs. 'Hardcastle. Bear witness again, you blockhead you, and I'll turn you out of the room directly. My poor niece, what will become of her! Do you laugh, you unfeeling brute, as if you enjoyed my distress?
I can bear witness to that.
Mrs. Hardcastle. Do you insult me, monster? I'll teach you to vex your mother, I will.
. I can bear M'itness to that.
[He runs off", she follows him.
Enter Miss Hardcastle and Maid.
Miss. Hardcastle. What an unaccountable creature is that brother of mine, to send them to the house as an inn, ha I ha! I don't wonder at his impudence.
But what is more madam, the young gentleman, as you passed by in your present dress, ask'd me if you were the bar-maid? He mistook you for the bar-maid, madam.
Miss Hardcastle. Did he? Then as I live I'm resolved to keep up the delusion. Tell me, Pimple, how do you like my present dress. Don't you think I look something like Cherry in the Beaux Stratagem.
It's the dress, madam, that every lady wears in the country, but when she visits or receives company.
Miss Hardcastle. And are you sure he does not remember my face or person?
Certain of it.
Miss Hardcastle. I vow, I thought so; for though we spoke for some time together, yet his fears were such that he never once looked up during the interview. Indeed, if he had, my bonnet would have kept him from seeing me.
But what do you hope from keeping him in his mistake.
In the first place I shall be seen, and that is no small advantage to a girl who brings her face to market. Then I shall perhaps make an acquaintance, and that's no small victory gained over one who never addresses any but the wildest of her sex. But my chief aim is to take my gentleman off his guard, and like an invisible champion of romance, examine the giant's force before I offer to combat.
But are you sure you can act your part, and disguise your voice so that he may mistake that as he has already mistaken your person?
Miss Hardcastle. Never fear me. I think I have got the true barcant—Did your honor call ?—Attend the Lion there.— Pipes and tobacco for the Angel.—The Lamb has been outrageous this half hour.
It will do, madam. But he's here. [Exit Maid. infer Marlow. Marloio.
What a bawling in every part of the house i I have scarce a moment's repose. If I go to the best