She Stoops to Conquer

by

Oliver Goldsmith

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George Hastings Character Analysis

Fashionable, well-educated, and good-natured, Hastings is Marlow’s best friend and Constance’s suitor. Unlike Marlow, he is unconstrained in social situations and doesn’t take fashion too seriously. Hastings hopes to encourage Marlow to gain confidence so that he can build a real relationship with a woman he respects. Hastings is a romantic, willing to give up Constance’s fortune to marry her immediately. Desperate to elope with Constance while he has the chance, he enlists Tony’s help in deceiving Mrs. Hardcastle. Hastings name is suggestive of his character in that he wants to marry Constance with haste; he refuses to wait, even if it means that Constance forfeits her fortune.

George Hastings Quotes in She Stoops to Conquer

The She Stoops to Conquer quotes below are all either spoken by George Hastings or refer to George Hastings . 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

TONY. No offence; but question for question is all fair, you know. Pray, gentlemen, is not this same Hardcastle a cross-grained, old-fashioned, whimsical fellow, with an ugly face, a daughter, and a pretty son?

HASTINGS. We have not seen the gentleman; but he has the family you mention.

TONY. The daughter, a tall, trapesing, trolloping, talkative maypole; the son, a pretty, well-bred, agreeable youth, that everybody is fond of.

MARLOW. Our information differs in this. The daughter is said to be well-bred and beautiful; the son an awkward booby, reared up and spoiled at his mother's apron-string.

TONY. He-he-hem!—Then, gentlemen, all I have to tell you is, that you won't reach Mr. Hardcastle's house this night, I believe.

HASTINGS. Unfortunate!

TONY. It's a damn'd long, dark, boggy, dirty, dangerous way. Stingo, tell the gentlemen the way to Mr. Hardcastle's! (Winking upon the Landlord.) Mr. Hardcastle's, of Quagmire Marsh, you understand me.

Related Characters: Charles Marlow (speaker), George Hastings (speaker), Tony Lumpkin, Esquire (speaker), Kate Hardcastle, Hardcastle
Page Number: 8-9
Explanation and Analysis:

HASTINGS. You have lived very much among them. In truth, I have been often surprised, that you who have seen so much of the world, with your natural good sense, and your many opportunities, could never yet acquire a requisite share of assurance.

MARLOW. The Englishman's malady. But tell me, George, where could I have learned that assurance you talk of? My life has been chiefly spent in a college or an inn, in seclusion from that lovely part of the creation that chiefly teach men confidence. I don't know that I was ever familiarly acquainted with a single modest woman—except my mother—But among females of another class, you know—

HASTINGS. Ay, among them you are impudent enough of all conscience.

MARLOW. They are of us, you know.

Related Characters: Charles Marlow (speaker), George Hastings (speaker)
Related Symbols: Inns
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

HASTINGS. But in the company of women of reputation I never saw such an idiot, such a trembler; you look for all the world as if you wanted an opportunity of stealing out of the room.

MARLOW. Why, man, that's because I do want to steal out of the room. Faith, I have often formed a resolution to break the ice, and rattle away at any rate. But I don't know how, a single glance from a pair of fine eyes has totally overset my resolution. An impudent fellow may counterfeit modesty; but I'll be hanged if a modest man can ever counterfeit impudence.

HASTINGS. If you could but say half the fine things to them that I have heard you lavish upon the bar-maid of an inn, or even a college bed-maker—

MARLOW. Why, George, I can't say fine things to them; they freeze, they petrify me. They may talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some such bagatelle; but, to me, a modest woman, drest out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation.

Related Characters: Charles Marlow (speaker), George Hastings (speaker)
Related Symbols: Inns
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

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:

MARLOW. Perhaps so, madam. But I love to converse only with the more grave and sensible part of the sex. But I'm afraid I grow tiresome.

MISS HARDCASTLE. Not at all, sir; there is nothing I like so much as grave conversation myself; I could hear it for ever. Indeed, I have often been surprised how a man of sentiment could ever admire those light airy pleasures, where nothing reaches the heart.

MARLOW. It's——a disease——of the mind, madam. In the variety of tastes there must be some who, wanting a relish——for——um—a—um.

MISS HARDCASTLE. I understand you, sir. There must be some, who, wanting a relish for refined pleasures, pretend to despise what they are incapable of tasting.

MARLOW. My meaning, madam, but infinitely better expressed.

Related Characters: Charles Marlow (speaker), Kate Hardcastle (speaker), George Hastings (speaker)
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:
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George Hastings Character Timeline in She Stoops to Conquer

The timeline below shows where the character George Hastings 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
...Constance tells Kate that she knows Marlow, as he is the best friend of Mr. Hastings, Constance’s admirer. She says that Marlow is odd: he is very shy around modest, respectable... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
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Constance continues, telling Kate she hopes that her true love, Hastings, will not give up on marrying her and eventually she will escape the pressure she... (full context)
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Marlow and Hastings enter the room with the landlord. Marlow complains about the difficult journey. Hastings counters that... (full context)
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Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
Tony intercedes in Marlow’s and Hastings’s conversation, asking if they know where they are. When they tell him they are looking... (full context)
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Tony pretends to think for a moment, then tells Marlow and Hastings that they are only a mile away from one of the best inns in the... (full context)
Act 2
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Hastings says that Marlow has spent so much time travelling that it is surprising he lacks... (full context)
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Hastings ask Marlow how he plans to court and marry a woman if he cannot bring... (full context)
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Marlow 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... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Class and Geography Theme Icon
Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
...generous and welcoming host. Ignoring Hardcastle, whom he believes is the innkeeper, Marlow talks to Hastings about what they ought to wear when they meet Constance and Kate. Hardcastle continually tries... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
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...reads off the list of fancy dishes he planned to feed his guests. Marlow and Hastings scoff at this list, saying they like plain foods when travelling. Finally, the two young... (full context)
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Courtship and Love Theme Icon
Hastings is left alone, and Constance enters the room. Hastings is overjoyed to see her but... (full context)
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Hastings says that Marlow’s visit has given them a great opportunity. Once the horses have rested... (full context)
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Hastings tells Constance that if Marlow learns that he is in Hardcastle’s house and not an... (full context)
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Marlow notices Constance, and Hastings tells Marlow that, by a lucky accident, Constance and Kate are both at the inn... (full context)
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...she will act very restrained and modest, just as she imagines Marlow expects her to. Hastings introduces Kate and Marlow, but Marlow looks uncomfortable and says nothing. Finally, Kate speaks, saying... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
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Tony and Constance enter, followed by Hastings and Mrs. Hardcastle. Constance flirts with Tony, but he tells her to leave him alone... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
...Hardcastle complains about Hardcastle’s old-fashioned insistence on continuing to wear a wig. She also asks Hastings what the most fashionable age is. Hastings answers that forty was recently in fashion, but... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
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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 ask what seductive things he... (full context)
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...him back from illnesses. Tony says she forced medicines on him that he didn’t need. Hastings tells Mrs. Hardcastle that he will try to talk some sense into Tony about his... (full context)
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Tony sings a little song to himself, then tells Hastings not to worry about Mrs. Hardcastle’s distress. Hastings asks if Tony has no interest in... (full context)
Act 3
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Tony enters, holding a box of Constance’s jewels. Hastings enters and asks Tony if he has been pretending to love Constance so that Mrs.... (full context)
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Tony sees Mrs. Hardcastle and Constance approaching and tells Hastings to run off. Hastings exits, and Constance and Mrs. Hardcastle enter, discussing the jewels. Mrs.... (full context)
Mistakes and Deceptions Theme Icon
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...can take the garnets on top of her jewels, which he has already given to Hastings. He tells Constance to run to Hastings. Constance is overjoyed. (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... (full context)
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Marlow enters with a servant. He says he can’t imagine what Hastings was thinking, giving him a box of valuables to look after when he knows they... (full context)
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Hastings enters the room, flustered by all his preparations for the elopement. He notices Marlow’s good... (full context)
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Hastings asks Marlow if he stashed the box of jewels somewhere safe as he asked him... (full context)
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...they were mislaid by a servant and suspects nothing. He says that he has helped Hastings to prepare horses for the elopement. As Mrs. Hardcastle enters, he and Constance continue to... (full context)
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Parents and Children Theme Icon
Fashions and Tastes Theme Icon
...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 funny story... (full context)
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Mrs. Hardcastle reads the letter and is shocked and furious at its contents. In it, Hastings requests Tony’s help getting well-rested horses so that he and Constance can elope. He also... (full context)
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Left alone, Constance berates Tony for showing his mother the letter. Hastings enters and berates Tony as well. Marlow enters and begins to vent his anger at... (full context)
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...tells Constance that Mrs. Hardcastle wants her to come to the carriage immediately. Marlow and Hastings continue to argue. Constance begs them to stop, and they do, Marlow apologizing for his... (full context)
Act 5
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Hastings hears from a servant that Constance’s carriage has driven off. The servant also reports that... (full context)
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Hastings is still waiting for Tony in the garden. Hastings doubts that Tony would show up... (full context)
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Constance and Hastings enter. Hastings encourages Constance to run off with him immediately, but Constance says she is... (full context)
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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 honorable man,... (full context)
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To Mrs. Hardcastle’s displeasure, Constance and Hastings enter at that moment. They approach Hardcastle and lay their case before him, saying that... (full context)
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...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 characters rejoice and... (full context)