British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview

bowing to the ground, and talked, for all the world, as if you was before a justice of peace.

MARL. (aside). Egad, she has hit it, sure enough.

(To her.) In awe of her, child? Ha! ha! 375
ha! A mere awkward, squinting thing! No, no. I find you don't know me. I laughed and rallied her a little; but I was unwilling to be too severe. No, I could not be too severe, curse me!

MISS HARD. O! then, sir, you are a favorite, 380
I find, among the ladies!

MARL. 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,1 I'm called their

agreeable Rattle. Rattle, child, is not my real 385
name, but one I'm known by. My name is Solomons. Mr. Solomons, my dear, at your service.

(Offering to salute her.)

MISS HARD. Hold, sir, you are introducing me to your club, not to yourself. And you're so great

a favorite there, you say? 390

MARL. Yes, my dear. There's Mrs. Mantrap, Lady Betty Blackleg, the Countess of Sligo, Mrs. Langhorns, old Miss Biddy Buckskin,2 and your humble servant, keep up the spirit of the place.

MISS HARD. Then it's a very merry place, 395
I suppose?

MARL. Yes, as merry as cards, suppers, wine, and old women can make us.

MISS HARD. And their agreeable Rattle, ha! ha!

ha! 400

MARL. (aside). Egad! I don't quite like this chit. She looks knowing, methinks. You laugh, child?

MISS HARD. I can't but laugh to think what time they all have for minding their work or their family.

MAID. (aside). All's well; she don't laugh 405
at me. (To her.) Do you ever work, child?

MISS HARD. Ay, sure. There's not a screen or a quilt in the whole house but what can bear witness to that.

MARL. Odso! then you must show me your 410
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.)

Enter HARDCASTLE, who stands in surprise.

MISS HARD. Ay, but the colors don't look well by

candlelight. You shall see all in the morning. 415

(Struggling.)

MARL. And why not now, my angel? Such beauty fires beyond the power of resistance. -- Pshaw! the father here! My old luck: I never nicked seven that I did not throw ames ace three times following.3

Exit MARLOW.

HARD. So, madam! So I find this is your 420
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 ashamed to deceive your father so?

MISS HARD. Never trust me, dear papa, 425
but he's still the modest man I first took him for; you'll be convinced of it as well as I.

HARD. 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 haul you about like 430
a milkmaid? And now you talk of his respect and his modesty, forsooth!

MISS HARD. But if I shortly convince you of his modesty, that he has only the faults that will pass

off with time, and the virtues that will im­ 435
prove with age, I hope you'll forgive him.

HARD. The girl would actually make one run mad! I tell you I'll not be convinced. I am convinced. He has scarcely been three hours in the

house, and he has already encroached on all 440
my prerogatives. You may like his impudence, and call it modesty. But my son-in-law, madam, must have very different qualifications.

MISS HARD. Sir, I ask but this night to convince

you. 445

HARD. You shall not have half the time, for I have thoughts of turning him out this very hour.

MISS HARD. Give me that hour, then, and I hope to satisfy you.

HARD. Well, an hour let it be then. But 450
I'll have no trifling with your father. All fair and open, do you mind me?

MISS HARD. 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 455
been inclination. Exeunt.


ACT IV

[SCENE I]

[The house.]

Enter HASTINGSand MISS NEVILLE.

HAST. You surprise me! Sir Charles Marlow expected here this night? Where have you had your information?

MISS NEV. You may depend upon it. I just saw

____________________
388]O1-O4 were; 05 are.
413]OO stage direction for Hardcastle's entrance follows Exit Marlow( l. 419).
1
The 'Female Coterie,' a fashionable London dub in Albemarle Street.
2
A pointed reference to Miss Rachael Lloyd, a prominent member of the 'Ladies' Club in town,' was toned down by altering 'Miss Rachael Buckskin' [Larpent MS. reading] to 'Miss Biddy Buckskin' in the first printed edition. (See Morqan, p. 977, footnotes.)
3
'I never had good luck without having the worst possible luck on top of it.' ( Marlow's terms refer to winning and losing throws of the dice.)

-785-

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