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afraid to open to our reader the conceits which filled her mind concerning Mrs. Fitzpatrick; of whom she certainly entertained at present some doubts; which, as they are very apt to enter into the bosoms of the worst of people, we think proper not to mention more plainly, till we have first suggested a word or two to our reader touching suspicion in general.
Of this there have always appeared to me to be two degrees. The first of these I chuse to derive from the heart, as the extreme velocity of its discernment seems to denote some previous inward impulse, and the rather, as this superlative degree often forms its own objects; sees what is not, and always more than really exists. This is that quicksighted penetration, whose hawk's eyes no symptom of evil can escape; which observes not only upon the actions, but upon the words and looks of men; and as it proceeds from the heart of the observer, so it dives into the heart of the observed, and there espies evil, as it were, in the first embryo; nay, sometimes before it can be said to be conceived. An admirable faculty, if it were infallible; but as this degree of perfection is not even claimed by more than one mortal being; so from the fallibility of such acute discernment have arisen many sad mischiefs, and most grievous heart-achs to innocence and virtue. I cannot help, therefore, regarding this vast quick-sightedness into evil, as a vicious excess, and as a very pernicious evil in itself. And I am the more inclined to this opinion, as I am afraid it always proceeds from a bad heart, for the reasons I have above mentioned, and for one more, namely, because I never knew it the property of a good one. Now from this degree of suspicion I entirely and absolutely acquit Sophia.
A second degree of this quality seems to arise from the head. This is, indeed, no other than the faculty of seeing what is before your eyes, and of
drawing conclusions from what you see. The former of these is unavoidable by those who have any eyes, and the latter is perhaps no less certain and necessary a consequence of our having any brains. This is altogether as bitter an enemy to guilt as the former is to innocence; nor can I see it in an unamiable light, even though, through human fallibility, it should be sometimes mistaken. For instance, if a husband should accidentally surprise his wife in the lap or in the embraces of some of those pretty young gentlemen who profess the art of cuckoldmaking, I should not highly, I think, blame him for concluding something more than what he saw, from the familiarities which he really had seen, and which we are at least favourable enough to, when we call them innocent freedoms. The reader will easily suggest great plenty of instances to himself; I shall add but one more, which, however unchristian it may be thought by some, I cannot help esteeming to be strictly justifiable; and this is a suspicion that a man is capable of doing what he hath done already, and that it is possible for one who hath been a villain once, to act the same part again. And, to confess the truth, of this degree of suspicion I believe Sophia was guilty. From this degree of suspicion she had, in fact, conceived an opinion, that her cousin was really not better than she should be.
The case, it seems, was this: Mrs. Fitzpatrick wisely considered, that the virtue of a young lady is, in the world, in the same situation with a poor hare, which is certain, whenever it ventures abroad, to meet its enemies; for it can hardly meet any other. No sooner therefore was she determined to take the first opportunity of quitting the protection of her hosband, than she resolved to cast herself under the protection of some other inan ; and whom could she so properly chuse to be her guardian as a person of quality, of fortune, of honour; and who, besides a gallant disposition which in
clines men to knight-errantry, that is, to be the champions of ladies in distress, had often declared a violent attachment to herself, and had already given her all the instances of it in his power ?
But as the law hath foolishly omitted this office of vice-husband, or guardian to an eloped lady; and as malice is apt to denominate him by a more disagreaable appellation; it was concluded that his lordship should perform all such kind offices to the lady in secret, and without publicly assuming the character of her protector. Nay, to prevent
person from seeing him in this light, it was agreed that the lady should proceed directly to Bath, and that his lordship should first go to London, and thence should go down to that place by the advice of his physicians.
Now all this Sophia very plainly understood, not from the lips or behaviour of Mrs. Fitzpatrick, but from the peer, who was infinitely less expert at retaining a secret, than was the good lady; and perhaps the exact secrecy which Mrs. Fitzpatrick had observed on this head in her narrative, served not a little to heighten those suspicions which were now risen in the mind of her cousin.
Sophia very easily found out the lady she sought; for indeed there was not a chairman in town to whom her house was not perfectly well known; and as she received, in return of her first message, a most pressing invitation, she immediately accepted it. Mrs. Fitzpatrick indeed die not desire her cousin to stay with her with more earnestness than civility required. Whether, she had discerned and resented the suspicion above mentioned, or from what other motive it arose, I cannot say; but certain it is, she was full as desirous of parting with Sophia, as Sophia herself could be of going.
The young lady, when she came to take leave of her cousin, could not avoid giving her a short hing of advice. She begged her, for heaven's sake,
to take care of herself, and to consider in how dangerous a situation she stood ; adding, she hoped some method would be found of reconciling her to her husband. You must remember, my
" * dear,' says she, “the maxim which my aunt
Western hath so often repeated to us both; That ' whenever the matrimonial alliance is broke, and
war declared between husband and wife, she can 'hardly make a disadvantageous peace for herself
on any conditions. These are my aunt's very ' words, and she hath had a great deal of expe‘rience in the world.' Mrs. Fitzpatrick, answered, with a contemptuous smile, Never fear me, child, ' take care of yourself"; for you are younger than
I. I will come and visit you in a few days ; but, ' dear Sophy, let me give you one piece of advice: leave the character of Graveairs in the country; for, believe me, it will sit very awkwardly upon you in this town.' Thus the two cousins parted, and Sophia repaired directly to lady Bellaston, where she found a most hearty, as well as a most polite welcome. The lady had taken a great fancy to her when she had seen her formerly with her aunt Western. She was indeed extremely glad to see her, and was no sooner acquainted with the reasons which induced her to leave the 'squire and fly to London, than she highly applauded her sense and resolution; and, after expressing the highest satisfaction in the opinion which Sophia had declared she entertained of her ladyship, by chusing her house for an asylum, she promised her all the protection which it was in her power to give
As we have now brought Sophia into safe hands, the reader will, I apprehend, be contented to deposit her there a while, and to look a little after other personages, and particularly poor Jones, whom we have left long enough to do penance for his past offences, which, as is the nature of vice, brought sufficient punishment upon him themselves.
Containing the same individual Time with the
Shewing what is to be deemed Plagiarism in a mo
dern Author, and what is to be considered as lawful Prize. THE learned reader must have observed, that in the course of this mighty work, I have often translated passages out of the best ancient Authors, without quoting the original, or without taking the least notice of the book from whence they were borrowed.
This conduct in writing is placed in a very proper light by the ingenious Abbé Bannier, in his Preface to his Mythology, a work of great erudition, and of equal judgement. “It will be easy,” says he, "for the reader to observe, that I have
frequently had greater regard to him, than to my “ own reputation: for an Author certainly pays “him a considerable compliment, when, for bis " sake, he suppresses learned quotations that