Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAP. IV. Containing infallible Nostrums for procuring uni

versal Disesteem and Hatred. The lady had no sooner laid herself on her pillow, than the waiting-woman returned to the kitchen to regale with some of those dainties which her mistress had refused.

The company, at her entrance, shewed her the same respect which they had before paid to her mistress, by rising; but she forgot to imitate her, by desiring them to sit down again. Indeed, it was scarce possible they should have done so; for she placed her chair in such a posture, as to occupy

almost the whole fire. She then ordered a chicken to be broiled that instant, declaring, if it was not ready in a quarter of an hour, she would not stay for it. Now, though the said chicken was then at roost in the stable, and required the several ceremonies of catching, killing, and picking, before it was brought to the gridiron, my landlady would nevertheless have undertaken to do all within the time; but the guest being unfortunately admitted behind the scenes must have been witness to the Fourberie; the poor woman was therefore obliged to confess that she had none in the house; but, Madam,' said she, “I ' can get any kind of mutton in an instant from the butcher's.'

'Do you think, then,' answered the waitinggentlewoman, “that I have the stomach of a horse, to eat mutton at this time of night? Sure you people that keep inns imagine your betters are like yourselves. Indeed, I expect to get nothing • at this wretched place. I wonder my lady would

stop at it. I suppose none but tradesmen and 'graziers ever call here. The landlady fired at this indignity offered to her house; however, she

6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6

suppressed her temper, and contented herself with saying, Very good quality frequented it, she * thanked heaven!' 'Don't tell me,' cries the other, ' of quality! I believe I know more of people of quality than such as you.—But, prithee, without troubling me with any your impertinence, do tell me what I can have for supper; for though 'I cannot eat horse-flesh, I am really hungry.' Why truly, Madam,’answered the landlady, ‘you could not take me again at such a disadvantage; ' for I must confess, I have nothing in the house, ' unless a cold piece of beef, which indeed a gen'tleman's footman and the post-boy have almost

cleared to the bone.' Woman,' said Mrs. Abigail (so for shortness we will call her), “I intreat

you not to make me sick. If I had fasted a a 'month, I could not eat what had been touched ' by the fingers of such fellows: Is there nothing

neat or decent to be had in this horrid place?' * What think you of some eggs and bacon, Ma'dam?' said the landlady. Are your eggs new ' laid: are you certain they were laid to-day? and ' let me have the bacon cut very nice and thin; · for I can't endure any thing that's gross. ' Prithee, try if you can do a little tolerably for once, and don't think you have a farmer's wife, or some of those creatures in the house.' - The landlady began then to handle her knife; but the other stopt her, saying, 'Good woman, I must ' insist upon your first washing your hands; for I

am extremely nice, and have been always used ' from my cradle to have every thing in the most 'elegant manner.

The landlady, who governed herself with much difficulty, began now the necessary preparations ; for as to Susan, she was utterly rejected, and with such disdain, that the poor wench was as hard put to it to restrain her hands from violence, as her mistress had been to hold her tongue. This indeed

[ocr errors]

6

a

[ocr errors]

.

6

Susan did not entirely; for though she literally kept it within her teeth, yet there it muttered many marry-come-ups, as good flesh and blood as yourself; with other such indignant phrases.

While the supper was preparing, Mrs. Abigail began to lament she had not ordered a fire in the parlour; :but, she said, that was now too late.

However, said she, “I have novelty to recom'mend a kitchen; for I do not believe I ever cat ' in one before.' Then turning to the post-boys, she asked them, “Why they were not in the stable ' with their horses? If I must eat my hard fare here, Vadam,' cries she to the landlady, 'I beg 'the kitchen may be kept clear, that I may not "be surrounded with all the blackguards in town; as for you, Sir,' says she to Partridge, “you look somewhat like a gentleman, and may sit still if you please; I don't desire to disturb any body 'but mob.'

“Yes, yes, Madam,' cries Partridge, 'I am a gen‘tleman, I do assure you, and I am not so easily to 'be disturbed. Non semper vor casualis est verbo

nominativus.' This Latin she took to be some affront, and answered, You may be a gentleman, ' Sir; but you don't shew yourself as one, to talk · Latin to a woman.' Partridge made a gentle reply, and concluded with more Latin ; upon which she tossed up her 'nose, and contented herself by abusing him with the name of a great scholar. .

The supper being now on the table, Mrs. Abigail eat very heartily, for so delicate a person; and while a second course of the same was by her order preparing, she said, “And so, Madam, you

tell me your house is frequented by people of 'great quality ?'

The landlady answered in the affirmative, saying, “There were a great many very good quality ' and gentlefolks in it now. There's young 'squire Allworthy, as that gentleman there knows.'

6

6

6

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

And
pray

who is this young gentleman of quality, this young 'squire Allworthy?' said Abigail.

• Who should he be,' answered Partridge, but - the son and heir of the great 'squire Allworthy, of Somersetshire.'

Upon my word,' said she, “you tell me strange news; for I know Mr.Allworthy of Somersetshire very well, and I know he hath no son alive.'

The landlady pricked up her ears at this, and Partridge looked a little confounded. However, after a short hesitation, he answered, Indeed,

Madam, it is true, every body doth not know ' him to be 'squire Allworthy's son; for he was never married to his mother, but his son le certainly is, and will be his heir too, as certainly as his name is Jones. At that word, Abigail let drop the bacon, which she was conveying to her mouth, and cried out, You surprise me, Sir. Is ' it possible Mr. Jones should be now in the house? *Quare non ?? answered Partridge, it is possible, and it is certain.

Abigail now made haste to finisli the remainder of her meal, and then repaired "back to her mistress, when the conversation passed, which may. be read in the next chapter.

l

[ocr errors]

CHAP. V. Shewing who the amiable Lady, and her unamiable

Maid were. As in the month of June, the damask rose, which chance hath planted among the lilies, with their candid hue mixes his vermilion; or, as some playsome heifer in the pleasant month of May diffuses her odoriferous breath over the flowery meadows; or as, in the blooming month of April, the gentle, constant dove, perched on some fair bough, sits meditating on her mate; so, looking a hundred charms and breathing as many sweets, her thoughts being fixed on her Tommy, with a heart as good and innocent as her face was beautiful; Sophia (for it was she herself) lay reclining her lovely head on her hand, when her maid entered the room, and, running directly to the bed, cried, • Madam— Madam — who doth your ladyship • think is in the house?' Sophia, starting up, cried, 'I hope my father hath not overtaken us.' 'No,

Madam, it is one worth a hundred fathers; Mr. 'Jones himself is here at this very instant.' 'Mr.

Jones!' says Sophia, 'it is impossible! I cannot be so fortunate. Her maid averred the fact, and was presently detached by her mistress to order him to be called; for she said she was resolved to see him immediately.

Mrs. Honour had no sooner left the kitchen in the manner we have before seen, than the landlady fell severely upon her. The poor woman had indeed been loading her heart with foul language for some time, and now it scoured out of her mouth, as filth doth from a mud cart, when the board which confines it is removed. Partridge likewise shovelled in his share of calumny, and (what may surprise the reader) not only bespattered the maid, but attempted to sully the lily-white character of Sophia herself. “Never a barrel the better herring,' cries he. “Noscitur à socio, is a true saying. It must

be confessed indeed, that the lady in the fine gar'ments is the civiller of the two; but I warrant nei'ther of them are a bit better than they should be.

a ' A couple of Bath trulls, I'll answer for them; your

quality don't ride about at this time o’night with'out servants.' 'Sbodlikins, and that's true, cries the landlady, you have certainly hit upon the

very matter; for quality don't come into a house without bespeaking a supper, whicther they eat or no.' While they were thus discoursing, Mrs. Honour

a

6

6

6

6

« PreviousContinue »