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room, there I find my host and his story. If I fly to the gallery, there we have my hostess with her courtesy down to the ground. I have at last got a moment to myself, and now for recollection.
[ Walks and muses. Miss Hardcastle. Did you call, Sir? Did your honor call?
(Musing.) As for Miss Hardcastle, she's too grave and sentimental for me.
[She still filaces herself before him, he turning away.
No, child, (musing.) Besides, from the glimpse I had of her, I think she squints.
Miss Hardcastle. I'm sure, Sir, I heard the bell ring.
No, no. (musing.) I have pleased my father, however, by coming down, and I'll to-morrow please myself by returning.
[Taking out his tablets, and fierusing.
I tell you, no.
Miss Hardcastle. I should be glad to know, Sir. We have such a parcel of servants.
No, no, I tell you. (Luoks full in her face) Yes, child, I think I did call. I wanted—I wanted—I vow, child, you are vastly handsome.
Never saw a more sprightly malicious eye. Yes, yes, my dear, I did call. Have you got any of your— a—what d'ye call it, in the house.
Miss Hardcastle. No, Sir, we have been out of that these ten days.
One may call in this house, I find, to very little purpose. Suppose I should call for a taste, just by way of trial, of the nectar of your lips; perhaps I might be disappointed in that too..
Miss Hardcastle. Nectar! nectar! That's a liquor there's no call for in these parts. French, I suppose. We keep no French wines here, Sir.
Of true English growth, I assure you.
Miss Hardcastle. Then it's odd I should not know it. We brew all sorts of wines in this house, and I have lived here these eighteen years.
Eighteen years! Why one would think, child, you kept the bar before you was born. How old are you?
0 ! Sir, I must not tell my age. They say women and music should never be dated.
To guess at this distance you can't be much above Forty (afiproaching.") Yet nearer I don't think so much (afiproaching.) By coming close to some women they look younger still; but when we come very close indeed—(attemfiting to kiss her.)
Miss Hardcastle, Pray, Sir, keep your distance. One would think you wanted to know one's age as they do horses, by mark of mouth.
1 protest, child, you use me extremely ill. If you keep me at this distance, how is it possible you and I can ever be acquainted?
* Miss Hardcastle.
And who wants to be acquainted with you? I want no such acquaintance, not I. I'm sure you did not treat Miss Hardcastle, that was here awhile ago, in this obstropalous manner. I'll warrant me, before her you look'd dash'd, and kept bowing to the ground, and talk'd, for all the world, as if you was before a justice of peace.
(Aside) Egad! she has hit it sure enough. (To her) In awe of her, child? Ha ! ha! ha! A mere aukward squinting thing: no, no. I find you don't know me. I laugh'd, and rallied her a little; but I was unwilling to be too severe. No, I could not be too severe, curse me!
Miss Hardcastle. O ! then, Sir, you are a favorite I find among the ladies?
Yes, my dear, a great favorite. And yet, hang me, I don't see what they find in me to follow. At the ladies club in town I'm called their agreeable Rattle. Rattle, child, is not my real name, but one I'm known by. My name is Solomons. Mr. Solofnons, my dear, at your service. (Offering to salute her.)
Miss Hardcastle. Hold, Sir; you are introducing me to your club, not to yourself. And you're so great a favorite there, you say?
Yes, my dear. There's Mrs. Mantrap, lady Betty Blackleg, the Countess of Sligo, Mrs. Langhorns, old Miss Biddy Buckskin, and your humble servant, keep up the spirit of the place.
Yes, as merry as cards, supper, wine, and old women can make us.
(Aside.) Egad ! I don't quite like this chit. She looks knowing, methinks. You laugh, child?
Miss Hardcastle. I can't but laugh to think what time they all have for minding their work or their family.
(Aside.) All's well; she don't laugh at me. ( 7*« her) Do you ever work, chHd?
Miss Hardcastle. Aye, sure. There's not a screen or a quilt in the whole house but what can bear witness to that.
Odso! then you must shew me your embroidery. I embroider and draw patterns myself a little. If you want a judge of your work, you must apply to me.
[Seizing her hand.
Miss Hardcastle. Aye, but the colors do not look well by candle-light. You shall see all in the morning. [Struggling.
And why not now, my angel? Such beauty fires
beyond the power of resistance. Pshaw ! the father
here! My old luck: I never nick'd seven, that I did not throw ames ace three times following.
Enter Hardcastle, who stands in surfirize.
So, madam. So I find this is your modest lover. This is your humble admirer, that kept his eyes fixed on the ground, and only adored at humble distance. Kate, Kate, art thou not asham'd to deceive your father so?
Miss Hardcastle. Never trust me, dear papa, but he's still the modest man I first took him for; you'll be convinc'd of it as well as I. 1
By the hand of my body I believe his impudence is infectious! Didn't I see him seize your hand? Didn't I see him hawl you about like a milk-maid? and now you talk of his respect and his modesty, forsooth!