« PreviousContinue »
Tony, That's as thereafter may be.
Miss Nev. My dear aunt, if you knew how it would oblige me.
Mrs. Hard. A parcel of old-fathioned rose and tablecut things. They would make you look like the court of king Solomon at a puppet-fhew. Besides, I believe can't readily come at them. They may be missing for aught I know to the contrary.
Tony. (Apari 10-Mrs. Hardcastle) Then why don't you tell her so at once, as she's so longing for them. Tell her they're loft. . It's the only way to quiet her. Say they're loft, and call me to bear witness.
Mrs. Hard. (Apart to Tony) You know, my dear, I'm only keeping them for you. So if I say they're gone, you'll bear me witness, will you? Hel he! he!
Tony. Never fear me. Ecod ! I'll say I saw them taken out with my own eyes.
Miss Nev. I desire them but for a day, madam. Just to be permitted to thew them as relics, and then they may be lock'd up again.
Mrs. Hard. To be plain with you, my dear Constance; if I could find them, you should have them. They're missing, I assure you. Loft, for aught I know ; but we must have patience wherever they are.
Miss Nev. I'll not believe it ; this is but a shallow pretence to deny me. I know they're too valuable to be so slightly kept, and as you are to answer for the loss.
Mrs. Hard. Don't be alarm’d, Constance. If they be loft, I must restore an equivalent. But my son knows they are missing, and not to be found.
Tony. That I can bear witness to. They are missing, and not to be found, I'll take
Mrs. Hard. You must learn resignation, my dear ; for tho'we lose our fortune, yet we should not lose our patience. See me, how calm I
Miss Ney. Ay, people are generally calm at the mis. fortunes of others. Mrs.
' Hard. Now, I wonder a girl of your good sense should waste a thought upon fuch trumpery
We thall soon find them; and, in the mean time, you shall make use of my garnets till your jewels be found.
Miss Nev. I deteft garnets.
Mrs. Hard. The most becoming things in the world to set off a clear complexion. You have often seen how well they look upon me. You shall have them. (Exit.
Miss Nev. I dislike them of all things. You fhan't ftir. - Was ever any thing fo provoking to mislay my own jewels, and force' me to wear her trumpery.
Tony. Don't be a fool. If she gives you the garnets, take what you can get. The jewels are your own already. I have stolen them out of her bureau, and she does not know it. Fly to your spark, he'll tell you more of the matter. Leave me to manage her.
Miss Nev. My dear coufin.
Tony Vanish.' She's here, and has missed them already. Zounds ! how she fidgets and spits about like a catharine wheel.
Enter Mrs. HARDCAST:€.
Mrs. Hard. Confusion ! thieves ! robbers ! we are cheated, plundered, broke open, undone.
Tony. What's the matter, what's the matter, mamma ? I hope nothing has happpened io any of the good family! !
Mrs. Hard. We are robbed. My bureau' has been broke
open, the jewels taken out, and I'm undone. Tony. Oh! is that all? Ha! ha! ha! By the laws I never saw it better acted in my life. Ecod, I thought you was ruin'd in earnest, ha, ha, ha.
Mrs. Hard. Why, boy, I am ruin'd in earnest. My bureau has been broke open, and all raken away.
Tony. Stick to that; ha, ha, ha, stick to that. I'll bear witness, you know ; call me to bear witness.
Mrs. Hard. I tell you, Tony, by all that's precious, the jewels are gone, and I shall be ruin'd for ever,
Tony. Sure I know they're gone, and I am to say so. Mrs. Hard. My deareft Tony, but hear me. They're gone, I say. • Tony. By the laws,' mamma, you make me for to laugh, ha! ha! I know who took them welkenough, ha ! ha! ha!
Mrs. Hard. Was there ever such a blockhead, that can't tell the difference between jest and earnest. I tell you I'm not in jest, booby.
Tony. That's right, that's right : you must be in a bitter paflion, and then nobody will suspect either of us. I'll bear witness that they are gone.
Mrs. Hurd. Was there ever such a crofs-grain'd brute, that won't hear me ! Can you bear witness that you're no better than a fool ? Was ever poor woman so beset with fools on one hand, and thieves on the other? Tony. I can!
bear witness to that. Mrs. Hurd. Bear witness again, you blockhead you, and I'll turn you out of the room directly. My poor niece, what will become of her! Do you laugh, you unfeeling brute, as if you enjoyed my diftres ?
Tony. I can bear witness to that.
monster ? I'll teach you to vex your mother, I will. Tony. I can bear witness to that.
[He runs off, she follows him. Enter Miss HARDCASTLE and Main.
Miss Hard. What an unaccountable creature is that brother of mine, to send them to the house as an inn, ha! ha! I don't wonder at his impudence.
Maid. But what is more, madam, the young gentle: man, as you passed by in your present dress, alk'd me if you were the bar-maid ? He mistook you for the barmaid, madani.
Miss Hard. Did he? Then, as I live, I'm resolved to keep up the delusion. Tell me, Pimple, how do
you like my present dress? Don't you think I look fomething like Chierry in the Beaux Stratagem?
Maid. It's the dress, madam, that every lady wears in the country, but when she visits, or receives company.
Miss Hard. And are you sure he does not remember my face or person?
Maid. Certain of it.
Miss Hard. I vow, I thought so; for though we spoke for some time together, yet his fears were such, that he never once looked up during the interview. Indeed, if he had, my bonnet would have kept him from seeing me.
Maid. But what do you hope from keeping him in his miftake?
Miss Hard. In the first place, I shall be seen, and that is no small advantage to a girl who brings her face to ma ket. Then I shall perhaps make an acquaintance,
and that's no finall victory gained over one who never addresles
chief aim is to take my gentleman off his guard, and, like an invisible champion of romance, examine the giant's force before I offer to combat. Maid. But are you
act guise your voice, so that he may miftake that, as he has already mistaken your person? Miss Hard. Never fear me. I think I have got the bar-cant. Did
honour call ?. Attend the Lion there. ----Pipes and tobacco for the Angel. The Lamb has been outrageous this half hour. Mait. It will do, Madam. But he's here. [Exit Maid.
your part, and dilo
Mar. What a bawling in every part of the house. I have scarca a moment's 'repose. If I go to the best room, there I find my host and his story. If I fly to the gallery, there we have ny hostels with her curtesy down to the ground. I have at last got a monient to inyfelf, and now for recollection.
[Walks and muses. Aliss Hard. Did you call, sir? Did your honour call ?
Mır. (Mufirg) As for Miss Hardcastle, she's too grave and fentimental for me. Miss Hurd. Did your 'honour call ?
[She still places herself before hiin, he turning arvap. Mar. No child. (mufing) Besides from the glinpfe I had of her, I think the squints.
Mifs Hard. I'm sure, sir, I heard the bell ring.
Mar. No, no. (mufing) I have pleased my father, however, by coming down, and I'll to-njorrow pleafe myself by returning.
[Taking out bis tablets, and peruang.