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Hardcastle has chosen Marlow as husband for her, but she is immediately worried that their interview will be overly formal and dull. Mr. Hardcastle considers this a virtue, and in fact insists to her that Marlow is, while generous, brave, and handsome, best known for being reserved. He leaves to prepare the servants, and Kate laments that she might have to spend her life with a boring man. She begins to wonder whether she might be able to find a way to be happy even in such a marriage or whether she can change him, but stops herself from thinking too far ahead.