MISS NEV. I'm coming! Well, constancy. Remember, constancy is the word. Exit.
HAST. My heart! How can I support this! To be so near happiness, and such happiness! 520
MARL. (to TONY). You see now, young gentleman, the effects of your folly. What might be amusement to you is here disappointment, and even distress.
TONY (from a reverie). Ecod, I have hit it. It's here! Your hands. Yours, and yours, my 525 poor Sulky. My boots there, ho! Meet me two hours hence at the bottom of the garden; and if you don't find Tony Lumpkin a more good-natured fellow than you thought for, I'll give you leave to take my best horse, and Bet Bouncer into the bar 530 gain. Come along. My boots, ho! Exeunt.
Scene continues. [The house.]
Enter HASTINGS and Servant.
HAST. You saw the old lady and Miss Neville drive off, you say?
SERV. Yes, your honor. They went off in a post- coach, and the young Squire went on horseback. They're thirty miles off by this time. 5
HAST. Then all my hopes are over.
SERV. Yes, sir. Old Sir Charles is arrived. He and the old gentleman of the house have been laughing at Mr. Marlow's mistake this half hour. They are coming this way. [Exit.] 10
HAST. Then I must not be seen. So now to my fruitless appointment at the bottom of the garden. This is about the time. Exit.
Enter SIR CHARLES MARLOWand HARDCASTLE.
HARD. Ha! ha! ha! The peremptory tone in which he sent forth his sublime commands! 15
SIR CHAS. And the reserve with which I suppose he treated all your advances.
HARD. And yet he might have seen something in me above a common innkeeper, too.
SIR CHAS. Yes, Dick, but he mistook you for 20 an uncommon innkeeper, ha! ha! ha!
HARD. Well, I'm in too good spirits to think of anything but joy. Yes, my dear friend, this union of our families will make our personal friendships hereditary; and though my daughter's fortune is 25 but small --
SIR CHAS. Why, Dick, will you talk of fortune to me? My son is possessed of more than a competence already, and can want nothing but a good and virtuous girl to share his happiness and increase it. 30 If they like each other, as you say they do --
HARD.If, man! I tell you they do like each other. My daughter as good as told me so.
SIR CHAS. But girls are apt to flatter themselves, you know. 35
HARD. I saw him grasp her hand in the warmest manner myself; and here he comes to put you out of your ifs, I warrant him.
MARL. I come, sir, once more, to ask pardon for my strange conduct. I can scarce reflect on my 40 insolence without confusion.
HARD. Tut, boy, a trifle. You take it too gravely. An hour or two's laughing with my daughter will set all to rights again. She'll never like you the worse for it. 45
MARL. Sir, I shall be always proud of her approbation.
HARD. Approbation is but a cold word, Mr. Marlow; if I am not deceived, you have something more than approbation thereabouts. You take 50 me?
MARL. Really, sir, I have not that happiness.
HARD. Come, boy, I'm an old fellow, and know what's what as well as you that are younger. I know what has passed between you; but mum. 55
MARL. Sure, sir, nothing has passed between us but the most profound respect on my side, and the most distant reserve on hers. You don't think, sir, that my impudence has been passed upon all the rest of the family? 60
HARD. Impudence! No, I don't say that -- not quite impudence -- though girls like to be played with, and rumpled a little, too, sometimes. But she has told no tales, I assure you.
MARL. I never gave her the slightest cause. 65
HARD. Well, well, I like modesty in its place well enough; but this is over-acting, young gentleman. You may be open. Your father and I will like you the better for it.
MARL. May I die, sir, if I ever -- 70
HARD. I tell you she don't dislike you; and as I am sure you like her --
MARL. Dear sir -- I protest, sir --
HARD. I see no reason why you should not be joined as fast as the parson can tie you. 75
MARL. But hear me, sir --
HARD. Your father approves the match; I admire it; every moment's delay will be doing mischief; so --
MARL. But why won't you hear me? By all that's just and true, I never gave Miss Hardcastle the 80 slightest mark of my attachment, or even the most distant hint to suspect me of affection. We had but one interview, and that was formal, modest, and uninteresting.____________________