She Stoops to Conquer

by

Oliver Goldsmith

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on She Stoops to Conquer can help.

Constance Neville Character Analysis

A young woman of marriageable age, Constance is kind, affectionate, and practical. Since the death of her father, her aunt—Mrs. Hardcastle, who wants Constance to marry her son Tony—has served as her guardian. Constance is in love with Hastings but does not want to marry without her aunt’s permission because this would mean forgoing the jewels she is supposed to inherit. She tries to deceive her aunt in various ways that she hopes will help her to escape her guardian’s control, but to no avail. Constance is a cultured and cultivated woman and therefore unlikely to be a good match for the rascally Tony. Her name suggests an association with the city, not the countryside, because (in French) “né” means “born” and “ville” means “town.” Thus, in the play’s dramatized opposition between the provincial and the cosmopolitan, Constance’s character is aligned with the cosmopolitan. Although Constance doesn’t want to marry Tony, she appreciates his good qualities. By the end of the play, she has secured her inheritance and is engaged to marry Hastings, just as she had hoped.

Constance Neville Quotes in She Stoops to Conquer

The She Stoops to Conquer quotes below are all either spoken by Constance Neville or refer to Constance Neville. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of She Stoops to Conquer published in 1991.
Act 1 Quotes

MARLOW. Yet, George, if we open the campaign too fiercely at first, we may want ammunition before it is over. I think to reserve the embroidery to secure a retreat.

HARDCASTLE. Your talking of a retreat, Mr. Marlow, puts me in mind of the Duke of Marlborough, when we went to besiege Denain. He first summoned the garrison——

MARLOW. Don't you think the ventre d'or waistcoat will do with the plain brown?

HARDCASTLE. He first summoned the garrison, which might consist of about five thousand men——

HASTINGS. I think not: brown and yellow mix but very poorly.

HARDCASTLE. I say, gentlemen, as I was telling you, be summoned the garrison, which might consist of about five thousand men——

MARLOW. The girls like finery.

HARDCASTLE. Which might consist of about five thousand men, well appointed with stores, ammunition, and other implements of war. Now, says the Duke of Marlborough to George Brooks, that stood next to him—you must have heard of George Brooks—I'll pawn my dukedom, says he, but I take that garrison without spilling a drop of blood. So——

MARLOW. What, my good friend, if you gave us a glass of punch in the mean time; it would help us to carry on the siege with vigour.

HARDCASTLE. Punch, sir! (Aside.) This is the most unaccountable kind of modesty I ever met with.

Related Characters: Charles Marlow (speaker), George Hastings (speaker), Hardcastle (speaker), Kate Hardcastle, Constance Neville
Related Symbols: Inns
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:

HASTINGS. (To HARDCASTLE.) For my late attempt to fly off with your niece let my present confusion be my punishment. We are now come back, to appeal from your justice to your humanity. By her father’s consent, I first paid her my addresses, and our passions were first founded in duty.

MISS NEVILLE. Since his death, I have been obliged to stoop to dissimulation to avoid oppression. In an hour of levity, I was ready to give up my fortune to secure my choice. But I am now recovered from the delusion, and hope from your tenderness what is denied me from a nearer connection.

MRS. HARDCASTLE. Pshaw, pshaw! this is all but the whining end of a modern novel.

Related Characters: Constance Neville (speaker), George Hastings (speaker), Mrs. Hardcastle (speaker), George Hastings
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire She Stoops to Conquer LitChart as a printable PDF.
She Stoops to Conquer PDF

Constance Neville Character Timeline in She Stoops to Conquer

The timeline below shows where the character Constance Neville appears in She Stoops to Conquer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Kate’s cousin, Constance Neville, enters, and Kate asks her how she thinks she looks today. Constance asks why... (full context)
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Kate asks Constance whether her mother is still trying to convince her to marry Tony, and Constance says... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Constance continues, telling Kate she hopes that her true love, Hastings, will not give up on... (full context)
Act 2
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...says that his other motive in visiting the Hardcastles was to facilitate Hastings’s courtship of Constance. Marlow knows that the Hardcastles will welcome Hastings because he is his friend, and, in... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
...the innkeeper, Marlow talks to Hastings about what they ought to wear when they meet Constance and Kate. Hardcastle continually tries to redirect their attention by telling a story about his... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Hastings is left alone, and Constance enters the room. Hastings is overjoyed to see her but asks what she is doing... (full context)
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
...great opportunity. Once the horses have rested a bit, he wants to elope with her. Constance says she is reluctant to leave behind the jewels she inherited from her uncle, but... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Hastings tells Constance that if Marlow learns that he is in Hardcastle’s house and not an inn, he... (full context)
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
Marlow notices Constance, and Hastings tells Marlow that, by a lucky accident, Constance and Kate are both at... (full context)
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
...eloquent in his life and he is impressing Kate. Finally, Hastings says that he and Constance will let Kate and Marlow talk alone. Marlow panics and begs Hastings to stay, but... (full context)
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
...enjoys his conversation, but Marlow can bear his embarrassment no longer and pretends to see Constance beckoning to them. He then leaves. Alone, Kate laughs to herself at his incredible shyness.... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
Tony and Constance enter, followed by Hastings and Mrs. Hardcastle. Constance flirts with Tony, but he tells her... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
...most fashionable age. Mrs. Hardcastle says she will be too young to be fashionable. Indicating Constance, Hastings says she would be considered little more than a child in fashionable society. Mrs.... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Mrs. Hardcastle points out the way Constance and Tony flirt, telling Hastings that they will be married. She calls to Tony to... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...obligations. Mrs. Hardcastle, seeming to think this is a good idea, announces that she and Constance must retire. The two women exit, Mrs. Hardcastle lamenting her son’s treatment of her, leaving... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
...in women. Tony answers that he is not interested in a tricky, unattractive girl like Constance. He tells Hastings that his type is very different: he likes the black eyes and... (full context)
Act 3
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Tony enters, holding a box of Constance’s jewels. Hastings enters and asks Tony if he has been pretending to love Constance so... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
Tony sees Mrs. Hardcastle and Constance approaching and tells Hastings to run off. Hastings exits, and Constance and Mrs. Hardcastle enter,... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Tony draws his mother aside and tells her that the only way to shut Constance up is to tell her the jewels are lost. Mrs. Hardcastle thinks this is a... (full context)
Act 4
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Hastings and Constance enter. Constance tells Hastings that Hardcastle has received a letter from Sir Charles saying that... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Tony and Constance enter. Tony says it’s a shame that Mrs. Hardcastle has gotten Constance’s jewels back, but... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
...for Tony, but Tony tells Diggory to give it to Mrs. Hardcastle to read aloud. Constance recognizes Hastings’ handwriting on the note. She tries to distract Mrs. Hardcastle, telling her a... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...its contents. In it, Hastings requests Tony’s help getting well-rested horses so that he and Constance can elope. He also refers to Mrs. Hardcastle as a hag. Yelling at both Tony... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
Left alone, Constance berates Tony for showing his mother the letter. Hastings enters and berates Tony as well.... (full context)
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
A servant enters and tells Constance that Mrs. Hardcastle wants her to come to the carriage immediately. Marlow and Hastings continue... (full context)
Act 5
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Hastings hears from a servant that Constance’s carriage has driven off. The servant also reports that Sir Charles has arrived, and he... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
...and is overjoyed to see him when he arrives. Hastings asks Tony where he left Constance and Mrs. Hardcastle. Tony jokes with him that he left them where he found them,... (full context)
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Constance and Hastings enter. Hastings encourages Constance to run off with him immediately, but Constance says... (full context)
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Mrs. Hardcastle and Tony enter the room. Mrs. Hardcastle says that Constance and Hastings have run off. Sir Charles exclaims that he knows Hastings to be an... (full context)
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
To Mrs. Hardcastle’s displeasure, Constance and Hastings enter at that moment. They approach Hardcastle and lay their case before him,... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Mrs. Hardcastle scoffs at Constance and Tony, but Hardcastle asks Tony whether he in fact refuses to marry his cousin.... (full context)
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...is shocked and happy. He says that he will not marry his cousin, which frees Constance to marry Hastings and keep her fortune. Mrs. Hardcastle is discontented, but all the other... (full context)