Max Harkaway is a crusty old squire with a heart of gold, especially when it comes to his niece, Grace. Grace Harkaway loves her uncle unreservedly, and tolerates his moods with equanimity. Grace must choose between marrying an elderly gentleman (and keep her estate), and a young dandy (and lose her fortune). Max is worried that Grace will be unhappy marrying for money. Here we see the contrast between Max’s gruffness, as he tries to steer her towards a more suitable match, and Grace’s assurance and tenderheartedness.