Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Mr. Hardcastle, a landed English gentleman. Sometimes grumpy, he is more often a hearty old squire with the habit of retelling the same jokes and stories to his guests. At first excited by the prospect of having Marlow as his son-in-law, he finds his patience severely strained by the apparent impudence of the young man, who is the son of Hardcastle’s old friend, Sir Charles Marlow. When he receives incivilities in return for his hospitality, the old gentleman loses his self-control and orders Marlow and his party from the house. Finally, however, he realizes that he is the victim of a hoax and willingly accepts the young man as Kate’s suitor.
Mrs. Hardcastle, his formidable wife. Her strongest desire, other than having her son Tony marry Constance Neville, is to have an annual social polishing in London. For a time, she manages to thwart the romance of Hastings and Constance. Seeing that they are in love, she tries to circumvent their plans by taking Constance to Aunt Pedigree’s. This stratagem fails when her undutiful son Tony merely drives them around Mrs. Hardcastle’s home for three hours, finally landing the unsuspecting old lady in a horsepond near her home. Finally, she is forced to acknowledge the fact that her beloved Tony has only one desire—to get his inheritance.
Tony Lumpkin, her son by her first marriage. He is a roistering young squire completely spoiled by his doting mother. In return for her parental laxness, the lazy, hard-drinking prankster,...
(The entire section is 651 words.)
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