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Pray, child, answer me one question. What are you, and what may your business in this house be?
A relation of the family, Sir.
What, a poor relation ?
Yes, Sir. A poor relation appointed to keep the keys, and to see that the guests want nothing in my power to give them.
That is, you act as the bar-maid of this inn.
Inn. O law-What brought that in your head ? One of the best families in the county keep an inn! Ha! ha! ha! old Mr. Hardcastle's house an inn!
Mr. Hardcastle's house! Is this Mr. Hardcastle's house, child ?
Whose else should it be?
So then all's out, and I have been damnably ime posed on. O, confound my stupid head, I shall be laugh'd at over the whole town. I shall be stuck
пр in caricatura in all the print-shops. The Dullissimo Maccaroni. To mistake this house of all others for an inn, and my father's old friend for an inn-keeper! What a swaggering puppy must he take me for? What a silly puppy do I find myself? There again, may I be hanged, my dear, but I mistoek you for the bar-maid.
Dear me! dear me! I'm sure there's nothing in my behaviour to put me upon a level with one of
Nothing, my dear, nothing. But I was in for a list of blunders, and could not help making you a subscriber. Mystupidity saw every thing the wrong way. I mistook your assiduity for assurance, and your simplicity for allurement. But its over-This house I no more shew my face in.
I hope, Sir, I have done nothing to disoblige you. I'm sure I should be sorry to affront any gentleman who has been so polite, and said so many civil things to me. I'm sure I should be sorry (pretending to cry) if he left the family upon my account. I'm sure I should be sorry, people said any thing amiss, since I have no fortune but
(Aside.) By Heaven, she weeps. This is the first mark oftenderness I ever had from a modest woman, and it touches me. (To her) Excuse me, my lovely girl, you are the only part of the family I leave with reluctance. But to be plain with you, the difference of our birth, fortune and education makes an honourable connection impossible; and I can never harbour a thought of seducing simplicity that trusted in my honour, of bringing ruin upon one, whose only fault was being too lovely.
(Aside.) Generous man! I now begin to admire him. (To him.) But I am sure my family is as good as Miss Hardcastle's, and though I'm poor,
that's no great misfortune to a contented mind, and, until this moment, I never thought that it was bad to want fortune,
And why now, my pretty simplicity ?
Because it puts me at a distance from one, that if I had a thousand pounds I would give it all too.
(Aside.) This simplicity bewitches me, so that if I stay I'm undone. I must make one bold effort, and leave her. (To her) Your partiality in my
favour, my dear, touches me most sensibly, and were I to live for myself alone, I could easily fix my choice. But I owe too much to the opinion of the world, too much to the authority of a father, so that I can scarcely speak it-it affects me. Farewell.
I never knew half his merit till now. He shall not
go, if I have power or art to detain him. I'll still preserve the character in which I stooped to conquer, but will undeceive my papa, who, perhaps, may laugh him out of his resolution. [Exit.
Enter Tony, Miss NEVILLE.
Aye, you may steal for yourselves the next time. I have done my duty. She has got the jewels again, that's a sure thing; but she believes it was all a mistake of the servants.
But, my dear cousin, sure you won't forsakė us in this distress. If she in the least suspects that I am going off, I shall certainly be locked up, or sent to my aunt Pedigree's, which is ten times
To be sure, aunts of all kinds are damn'd bad things. But what can I do? I have got you a pair of horses that will fly like Whistlejacket, and I'm sure you
but I have courted you nicely before her face. Here she comes, we must court a bit or two more, for fear she should suspect us.
[They retire, and seem to fondle.