Hardcastle (Squire), a jovial, prosy, but hospitable country gentleman of the old school. He loves to tell his long-winded stories about prince Eugene and the duke of Marlborough. He says, “I love everything that’s old—old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine” (act i. I), and he might have added, “old stories.”

Mrs. Hardcastle, a very “genteel” lady indeed. Mr. Hardcastle is her second husband, and Tony Lumpkin her son by her former husband. She is fond of “genteel” society, and the last fashions. Mrs. Hardcastle says, “There’s nothing in the world I love to talk of so much as London and the fashions, though I was never there myself” (act ii. I). Her mistaking her husband for a highwayman, and imploring him on her knees to take their watches, money, all they have got, but to spare their lives: “Here, good gentleman, whet your rage upon me, take my money, my life, but spare my child!” is infinitely comic (act iv.sc. I).

The princess, like Mrs. Hardcastle, was jolted to a jelly.—Lord Lennox: Celebrities, i.I.

Miss Hardcastle, the pretty, bright-eyed, lively daughter of squire Hardcastle. She is in love with young Marlow, and “stoops” to a pardonable deceit “to conquer” his bashfulness and win him.—Goldsmith: She Stoops to Conquer (1773).

Har’die (Mr.), a young lawyer, in the introduction of sir W. Scott’s Heart of Midlothian (1818).

Hardouin. Jean Hardouin, the jesuit, was librarian to Louis XIV. He doubted the truth of all received history; denied that the Ænéid was the work of Virgil, or the Odes of Horace the production of that poet. He placed no credence in medals and coins; regarded all councils before that of Trent as chimerical; and looked on all Jansenists as infidels (1646–1729).

Hardy (Mr.), father of Letitia. A worthy little fellow enough, but with the unfortunate gift of “foreseeing” everything (act v. sc. 4).

Letitia Hardy, his daughter, the fiancéc of Dor’icourt. A girl of great spirit and ingenuity, beautiful and clever. Doricourt dislikes her without knowing her, simply because he has been betrothed to her by his parents; but she wins him by stratagem. She first assumes the airs and manners of a raw country hoyden, and disgusts the fastidious man of fashion. She then appears at a masquerade, and wins him by her many attractions. The marriage is performed at midnight, and, till the ceremony is over, Doricourt has no suspicion that the fair masquerader is his affianced Miss Hardy. —Mrs. Cowley: The Belle’s Stratagem (1780).

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