E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Heroine of the Belles Stratagem, by Mrs. Cowley. She is a young lady of fortune destined to marry Doricourt. She first assumes the air of a raw country hoyden and disgusts the fastidious man of fashion; then she appears at a masquerade and wins him. The marriage is performed at midnight, and Doricourt does not know that the masquerader and hoyden are the same Miss Hardy till after the ceremony is over.
HARDY (The), i.e. brave or daring, hence the phrase, hardi comme un lion.
(1) William Douglas, defender of Berwick (died 1302).
(2) Philippe III. of France, le Hardi (1245, 12701285).
(3) Philippe II., Duc de Bourgogne, le Hardi (1342, 13631382).