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shook and tumbled all her things to no purpose, the bill was not to be found: and she was at last fully persuaded that she had lost it from her pocket, when she had the inisfortune of tumbling from her horse in the dark lane, as before recorded. A fact that seemed the more probable, as she now recollected some discomposure in her pockets which had happened at that time, and the great difficulty with which she had drawn forth her handkerchief the very instant before her fall, in order to relieve the distress of Mrs. Fitzpatrick.
Misfortunes of this kind, whatever inconveniencies they may be attended with, are incapable of subduing a mind in which there is any strength, without the assistance of avarice. Sophia, therefore, though nothing could be worse timed than this accident, at such a season, immediately got the better of her concern, and, with her wonted serenity and chearfulness of countenance, returned to her company. His lordship conducted the ladies into the vehicle, as he did :ikewise Mrs. Honour, who, after many civilities, and more dear Madams, at last yielded to the well-bred importunities of her sister Abigail, and submitted to be complimented with the first ride in the coach; in which indeed she would afterwards have been contented to have pursued her whole journey, had not her mistress, after several fruitless intimations, at length forced her to take her turn on horseback,
The coach now having received its company, began to move forwards, attended by many servants, and by two led captains, who had before rode with his lordship, and who would have been dismissed from the vehicle upon a much less worthy occasion, than was this of accommodating two ladies. In this they acted only as gentlemen; but they were ready at any time to have performed the office of a footman, or indeed would have condescended lower, for the honour of his lordship's company, and for the convenience of his table.
My landlord was so pleased with the present he had received from Sophia, that he rather rejoiced in, than regretted his bruise, or his scratches. The reader will perhaps be curious to know the quantum of this present; but we cannot satisfy his curiosity. Whatever it was, it satisfied the landlord for his bodily hurt; but he lamented he had not known before how little the lady valued her money; '
• For to be sure,' says he, one might ' have charged every article double, and she would have made no cavil at the reckoning.'
His wife however was far from drawing this conclusion; whether she really felt any injury done to her husband more than he did himself, I will not say; certain it is, she was much less satisfied with the generosity of Sophia. «Indeed,' cries she, “my ' dear, the lady knows better how to dispose of her
money than you imagine. She might very well 'think we should not put up such a business with‘out soine satisfaction, and the law would have cost her an infinite deal more than this matter, which I wonder you would take.' You are always so bloodily wise,' quoth the husband: 'It would have cost her more, would it? dost fancy I don't know that as well as thee? but would any of that more, or so much, have come into our pockets? Indeed, if son Tom the lawyer had been alive, I could have been glad to have put such a pretty business into his hands. He would have got a good picking out of it; but I have no rela‘tion now who is a lawyer, and why should I go to law for the benefit of strangers Nay, to be sure,' answered she, 'you inust know best.' 'I 'believe I do,' replied he. 'I fancy when money ' is to be got, I can smell it out as well as another. • Every body, let me tell you, would not have ' talked people out of this. Mind that, I say;
every body would not have cajoled this out of ' her, mind that.' The wife then joined in the applause of her husband's sagacity; and thus
ended the short dialogue between them on this occasion.
We will therefore take our leave of these good people, and attend his lordship and his fair companions, who made such good expedition, that they performed a journey of ninety miles in two days, and on the second evening 'arrived in London, without having encountered any one adventure on the road worthy the dignity of this history to relate. Our pen, therefore, shall imitate the expedition which it describes, and our history shall keep pace with the travellers who are its subject. Good writers will indeed do well to imitate the ingenious traveller. in this instance, who always proportions his stay at any place, to the beauties, elegancies, and curiosities which it affords. At Eshur, at Stowe, at Wilton, at Estbury, and at Prior's Park, days are too short for the ravished imagination; while we admire the wonderous power of art in improving nature. In some of these, art chiefly engages our admiration; in others, nature and art contend for our applause; but in the last, the former seems to triumph. Here nature appears in her richest attire, and art, dressed with the modestest simplicity, attends her benignant mistress. Here nature indeed pours forth the choicest treasures which she hath lavished on this world; and here human nature presents you with an object which can be exceeded only in the other.
The same taste, the same imagination, which luxuriously riots in these elegant scenes, can be amused with objects of far inferior note. The woods, the rivers, the lawns of Devon and of Dorset, attract the eye of the ingenious traveller, and retard his pace, which delay he afterwards compensates by swiftly scouring over the gloomy heath of Bagshot, or that pleasant plain which extends itself westward from Stockbridge, where no other object than one single treç only in sixteen miles presents itself to the view, unless the clouds, in compassion to our tired spirits, kindly open their variegated mansions to our prospect.
Not so travels the money-meditating tradesman, the sagacious justice, the dignified doctor, the warm-clad grazier, with all the numerous offspring of wealth and dulness. On they jog, with equal pace, through the verdant meadows, or over the barren heath, their horses measuring four miles and a half per hour with the utmost exactness; the eyes of the beast and of his master being alike directed forwards, and employed in contemplating the same objects in the same manner. With equal rapture the good rider surveys the proudest boasts of the architect, and those fair buildings, with which some unknown name hath adorned the rich cloathing town; where heaps of bricks are piled up as a kind of monument, to shew that heaps of money have been piled there before.
And now, reader, as we are in haste to attend our heroine, we will leave to. thy sagacity to apply all this to the Læotian writers, and to those Authors who are their opposites. This thou wilt be abundantly able to perform without our aid. Bestir thyself therefore on this occasion ; for though we will always lend thee proper assistance in difficult places, as we do not, like some others, expect thee to use the arts of divination to discover our meaning; yet we shall not indulge thy laziness where nothing but thy own attention is required; for thou art highly mistaken if thou dost imagine that we intended, when we began this great work, to leave thy sagacity nothing to do; or that, without sometimes exercising this talent, thou wilt be able to travel through our pages with any pleasure or profit to thyself.
CHAP. X. Containing a Hint or two concerning Virtue, and
a few more concerning Suspicion. OUR
company being arrived at London, were set down at his lordship's house, where, while they refreshed themselves after the fatigue of their journey, servants were dispatched to provide a lodging for the two ladies; for as her ladyship was not then in town, Mrs. Fitzpatrick would by no meaus consent to accept a bed in the mansion
of the peer.
Some readers will, perhaps, condemn this extraordinary delicacy, as I may call it, of virtue, as too nice and scrupulous; but we must make allowances for her situation, which must be owned to have been very ticklish; and when we consider the malice of censorious tongues, we must allow, if it was a fault, the fault was an excess on the right side, and which every woman who is in the self-same situation will do well to imitate. The most formal appearance of virtue, when it is only an appearance, may perhaps, in very abstracted considerations, seem to be rather less commendable than virtue itself without this formality; but it will however be always more commended; and this, I believe, will be granted by all, that it is necessary, unless in some very particular cases, for every woman to support either the one or the other,
A lodging being prepared, Sophia accompanied her cousin for that evening; but resolved early in the morning to inquire after the lady, into whose protection, as we have formerly mentioned, she had determined to throw herself, when she quitted her father's house. And this she was the more eager in doing, from some observations she had made during her journey in the coach.
Now as we could by no means fix the odious character of suspicion on Sophia, we are almost