She Stoops To Conquer – Monologue (Mr. Hardcastle)

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A monologue from the play by Oliver Goldsmith

Act 3, Scene 1


What could my old friend Sir Charles mean by recommending his son as the modestest young man in town? To me he appears the most impudent piece of brass that ever spoke with a tongue.

He has taken possession of the easy chair by the fire-side already. He took off his boots in the parlour, and desired me to see them taken care of. I’m desirous to know how his impudence affects my daughter.

She will certainly be shocked at it. […] I was never so surprised in my life! He has quite confounded all my faculties! Ay, he learned it all abroad—what a fool was I, to think a young man could learn modesty by travelling.

He might as soon learn wit at a masquerade. A good deal assisted by bad company and a French dancing-master. Whose look? whose manner, child?

Then your first sight deceived you; for I think him one of the most brazen first sights that ever astonished my senses. And can you be serious? I never saw such a bouncing, swaggering puppy since I was born.

Bully Dawson was but a fool to him. He met me with a loud voice, a lordly air, and a familiarity that made my blood freeze again. He spoke to me as if he knew me all his life before;

asked twenty questions, and never waited for an answer; interrupted my best remarks with some silly pun; and when I was in my best story of the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene,

he asked if I had not a good hand at making punch. Yes, Kate, he asked your father if he was a maker of punch!

Read the play here

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