|HARD. (aside). This fellow's formal, modest||85|
SIR CHAS. And you never grasped her hand, or made any protestations!
MARL. As heaven is my witness, I came down in
|obedience to your commands. I saw the lady||90|
|SIR CHAS. I'm astonished at the air of sincer||95|
HARD. And I'm astonished at the deliberate intrepidity of his assurance.
SIR CHAS. I dare pledge my life and honor upon
HARD. Here comes my daughter, and I would stake my happiness upon her veracity.
Enter MISS HARDCASTLE.
HARD. Kate, come hither, child. Answer us sincerely, and without reserve; has Mr. Marlow made
|you any professions of love and affection?||105|
MISS HARD. The question is very abrupt, sir. But since you require unreserved sincerity, I think he has.
HARD. (to SIR CHARLES). You see.
|SIR CHAS. And pray, madam, have you and||110|
MISS HARD. Yes, sir, several.
HARD. (to SIR CHARLES). You see.
SIR CHAS. But did he profess any attachment?
|MISS HARD. A lasting one.||115|
SIR CHAS. Did he talk of love?
MISS HARD. Much, sir.
SIR CHAS. Amazing! And all this formally?
MISS HARD. Formally.
|HARD. Now, my friend, I hope you are satis||120|
SIR CHAS. And how did he behave, madam?
MISS HARD. As most professed admirers do -- said some civil things of my face, talked much of his
|want of merit, and the greatness of mine; men||125|
SIR CHAS. Now I'm perfectly convinced, indeed. I know his conversation among women to be modest
|and submissive. This forward, canting, rant||130|
MISS HARD. Then what, sir, if I should convince you to your face of my sincerity? If you and my
|papa, in about half an hour, will place your||135|
SIR CHAS. Agreed. And if I find him what you describe, all my happiness in him must have an end.
|MISS HARD. And if you don't find him what||140|
Scene changes to the back of the garden.
HAST. What an idiot am I, to wait here for a fellow who probably takes a delight in mortifying me. He never intended to be punctual, and I'll wait no longer. What do I see? It is he, and perhaps with
|news of my Constance.||5|
Enter TONY, booted and spattered.
HAST. My honest Squire! I now find you a man of your word. This looks like friendship.
TONY. Ay, I'm your friend, and the best friend you have in the world, if you knew but all. This
|riding by night, by the bye, is cursedly tiresome.||10|
HAST. But how? where did you leave your fellow travellers? Are they in safety? Are they housed?
|TONY. Five and twenty miles in two hours||15|
HAST. Well, but where have you left the ladies?
|I die with impatience.||20|
TONY. Left them! Why, where should I leave them but where I found them?
HAST. This is a riddle.
TONY. Riddle me this, then. What's that goes
|round the house, and round the house, and never||25|
HAST. I'm still astray.
TONY. Why, that's it, mon. I have led them astray. By jingo, there's not a pond or slough
|within five miles of the place but they can tell||30|
HAST. Ha! ha! ha! I understand; you took them in a round, while they supposed themselves going forward. And so you have at last brought them
TONY. You shall hear. I first took them down Feather-bed Lane, where we stuck fast in the mud. I then rattled them crack over the stones of Up-and- down Hill. I then introduced them to the gibbet on
|Heavy-tree Heath; and from that, with a cir||40|