Illustration of Kate Hardcastle in high society attire on the left, and dressed as a barmaid on the right

She Stoops to Conquer

by Oliver Goldsmith

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"Ask Me No Questions, And I'll Tell You No Lies"

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Context: When Tony Lumpkin learns that Mr. Hastings very much wants to elope with Miss Neville, the niece of his mother, Mrs. Hardcastle, he is delighted; for he has been resisting his mother's efforts to make a match between himself and the young lady. To assist matters, he pilfers Miss Neville's jewels, which his mother has kept locked up. He runs in with the jewels and offers them to Hastings as a means of financing the elopement. The popular version of the quotation is given above.


TONY
And here's something to bear your charges by the way–(giving the casket)–your sweetheart's jewels. Keep them; and hang those, I say, that would rob you of one of them.
HASTINGS
But how have you procured them from your mother?
TONY
Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no fibs. I procured them by the rule of the thumb. If I had not a key to every drawer in mother's bureau, how could I go to the alehouse so often as I do? An honest man may rob himself of his own at any time.

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