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M:ss Hardcastle. But if I shortly convince you of his modesty, that he has only the fauits thai will pass off with time, and the virtues that will improve with age, I hope you'll forgive him.
The girl would actually make one run mad! I tell you Til not be convinced. I am convinced. He has scarce been three hours in the house, and he has already encroached on all my prerogatives. You may like his impudence, and call it modesty. But my sonin-law, madam, must have very different qualifications.
You shall not have half the time, for I have thoughts of turning him out this very hour.
Miss Hardcastle. Give me that hour then, and I hope to satisfy you.
Well, an hour let it be then. But I'll have no trifling with your father. All fair and open, do you mind me.
Miss Hardcastle. I hope, Sir, you have ever found that I considered your commands as my pride; for your kindness is such, that my duty as yet has been inclination.' [Exeunt. ACT THE FOURTH.
Enter Hastings and Miss Neville.
^ToU surprise me! Sir Charles Marlow expected
Then, my Constance, all must be compleated before he arrives. He knows me; and should he find one here, would discover my name, and perhaps my t designs, to the rest of the family.
Miss Neville, The jewels, I hope, are safe.
Yes, yes. I have sent them to Marlow, who keeps* the keys of our baggage. In the mean time, I'll go to prepare matters for our elopement. I have the 'squire's promise of a fresh pair of horses; and, if I should not see him again, will write him farther directions.
Well! success attend you. In the mean time I'll go amuse my aunt with the old pretence of a violent passion for my cousin. [Etrit..
Vol. II. <Z
Enter Marlow, followed by a Servant.
I wonder what Hastings could mean by sending me so valuable a thing as a casket to keep for him, when he knows the only place I have is the seat of a postcoach at an inn-door. Have you deposited the casket with the landlady, as I ordered you? Have you put it into her own hands?
Yes, your honor.
She said she'd keep it safe, did she?
Yes, she said she'd keep it safe enough ; she ask'd me how I came by it? and she said she had a great mind to make me give an account of myself.
Ha! ha! ha! They're safe however. What an unaccountable set of beings have we got amongst! This little bar-maid though runs in my head most strangely, and drives out the absurdities of all the rest of the family. She's mine, she must be mine, or I'm greatly mistaken.
Enter Hastings. »
Bless me! I quite forgot to tell her that I intended to prepare at the bottom of the garden. Marlow here, and in spirits too!
Give me joy, George! Crown me, shadow me with laurels! Well, George, after all, we modest fellows don't wan't for success among the women.
Some women you mean. But what success has your honor's modesty been crowned with now, that it grows so insolent upon us?
Didn't you see the tempting, brisk, lovely, little thing, that runs about the house, with a bunch of keys to its girdle?
Hastings. Well, and what then?
She's mine, you rogue you. Such fire, such motion, such eyes, such lips but, egad! she would
not let me kiss them though.
But are you so sure, so very sure of her t
Why, man, she talk'd of shewing me her work above stairs, and I am to approve the pattern.
But how can you, Charles, go about to rob a woman of her honor?
Pshaw! pshaw! We all know the honor of the bar-maid of an inn. I don't intend to rob her, take my word for it; there's nothing in this house I shan't honestly pay for.
Hastings. I believe the girl has virtue.
And if she has, I should be the last man in the world that would attempt to corrupt it.
You have taken care, I hope, of the casket I Sent you to lock up? It's in safety?
Yes, yes. It's safe enough. I have taken care of it. But how could you think the seat of a post-coach j at an inn-door a place of safety? Ah ! numbskull I I have taken better precautions for you than you did for yourself——I have'
I have sent it to the landlady to keep for you.
To the landlady!
I did. She's to be answerable for its forth-coming, you know.
Yes, she'll bring it forth with a witness.
Wasn't I right? I believe you'll allow that I acted prudently upon this occasion?
("Aside.) He must not see my uneasiness. Marloiv.
You seem a little disconcerted though, methinks: Sure nothing has happened?