She Stoops to Conquer
Author(s): Oliver Goldsmith
The action of She Stoops to Conquer (1773) is largely confined to a night and a day in Squire Hardcastle's somewhat dilapidated country house: Young Marlow, on his way there to meet the bride his father has chosen for him, loses his way and arrives at the house assuming it is an inn. The prospect of meeting the genteel Miss Hardcastle terrifies the diffident youngster; but the serving-girl Kate - in fact, Miss Hardcastle, who chooses not to clarify the misunderstanding - immediately catches his fancy and cannot complain of a lack of ardour in her well-born suitor. After a series of trifling confusions and the inevitable eavesdropping-from-behind-a-screen, all is resolved so pleasingly that the comedy has been a favourite with amateur and professional companies and their audiences for over 230 years.