Sir Charles Marlow after arrival, shares a hearty laugh with Hastings over Marlow’s confusion. Marlow, besides apologising, declares his reluctance in forming any connection with Kate since there has been no purposeful conversation. This surprises Mr. Hardcastle, who has been an active witness of Marlow’s amorous advancements towards his daughter. As Marlow leaves, Kate arrives and assures them of solving the mystery soon.
It is from an interview between Marlow and Kate that the two old men, stationed at a place behind the screen, watch Marlow’s colourful character and get along to arrange their wedding.
Now, the events revolving around Hastings and Constance develop at an equally interesting manner. Tony informs Hastings, who is waiting in the garden for Constance, how he has deliberately made his mother and Constance drive all over in confounding circles to convince them they are far off. Mrs. Hardcastle’s apprehension further intensifies as she mistakes her husband for a “highway man.” Hastings and Constance decide not to elope, but rather to seek Mr. Hardcastle’s permission to marry. In the end, all problems end as Kate discloses her true identity to Marlow and Mr. Hardcastle reveals that Tony is “of age” – an advantage that allows him to reject Constance readily.
Act 5 seems to follow the general trend of sentimental comedy in uniting all the estranged lovers and solving the reigning problems. But it is definitely not so. For, Kate’s deliberate scheme in exposing Marlow’s hypocrisy and Tony’s open declaration of refusing to marry Constance, aids in upholding Goldsmith’s views of living life according to one’s wishes rather than the way one observes, thereby making the conclusion of this romantic comedy essentially exciting and enjoyable.
The Two Epilogues
In the first epilogue, Kate asserts how she has “stooped to conquer with success” thereby referring to her winning of Marlow’s heart as well as the success of the play. In the second epilogue, Tony declares how he would gain prosperity in the world by “bringing his lively spirit to London, where he will show the world what good taste is,” thus reminding the audience how “good taste” is a product of liveliness and not morality.
ASSIGNMENT :IN WHAT WAYS IS TONY LUMPKIN A HERO IN THE