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People may court very well after they have been a-bed together.'
As lord Fellamar was very well assured, that he was meant by lady Bellaston, so never having heard nor suspected a word of Blifil, he made no doubt of his being meant by the father. Coming up therefore to the 'squire, he said, “Though I have not the
honour, Sir, of being personally known to you; ‘yet, as I find I have the happiness to have my pro‘posals accepted, let me intercede, Sir, in behalf
of the young lady, that she may not be more so·licited at this time.'
• You intercede, Sir !' said the 'squire, 'why, who the devil are you
'Sir, I am lord Fellamar,' answered he, and am ' the happy man, whom I hope you have done the honour of accepting for a son-in-law.'
* You are a son of a b--; replied the 'squire, ' for all your laced coat. You my son-in-law, and • be d-nd to you !
* I shall take more from you, Sir, than from any man,' answered the lord; but I must inform you, that I am not used to hear such language without resentment.'
* Resent my a-,'quoth the 'squire. 'Don't think · I am afraid of such a fellow as thee art! because hast got a spit there dangling at thy side. Lay by your spit, and I'll give thee enough of
meddling with what doth not belong to thee.-• I'll teach you to father-in-law me. I'll lick thy • jacket.'
' It's very well, Sir,' said my lord, I shall make no disturbance before the ladies. I am very well satisfied. Your humble servant, Sir; lady Bellaston, your most obedient.'
His lordship was no sooner gone, than lady Bellaston coming up to Mr. Western, said, “Bless me, • Sir, what have you done? You know not whom
you have affronted; he is a nobleman of the first • rank and fortune, and yesterday made proposals
'to your daughter; and such as I am sure you must accept with the highest pleasure.'
* Answer for yourself, lady cousin,' said the 'squire, ‘I will have nothing to do with any of • your lords. My daughter shall have an honest
country gentleman; I have pitched upon one for • ler,-and she shall ha’un. - I am sorry for the * trouble she hath given your ladyship with all my. ( • heart.' Lady Bellaston made a civil speech upon the word trouble; to which the 'squire answered,
Why, that's kind, -and I would do as much for 'your ladyship. To be sure relations should do for one another. So I wish your ladyship a good night.- -Come, Madam, you must go along with me by fair means, or I'll have you carried • down to the coach.'
Sophia said, she would attend him without force; but begged to go in a chair, for she said she should not be able to ride any other way.
· Prithce,' cries the 'squire, 'wout unt persuade me canst not ride in a coach, wouldst? That's a pretty thing surely. No, no, I'll never let thee out of
my sight any more till art married, that I ' promise thee.' Sophia told him, she saw he was resolved to break her heart. “O break thy heart ' and be d-n'd,' quoth he, 'if a good husband will 'break it. I don't value a brass varden, not a half
penny of any undutiful b- upon earth. He then took violent hold of her hand; upon which the parson once more interfered, begging him to use gentle methods. At that the 'squire thundered out a curse, and bid the parson hold his tongue, saying, “At’nt in pulpit now? when art a got up there • I never mind what dost say; but I won't be priest
ridden, nor taught how to behave myself by thee. * I wish your ladyship a good-night. Come along,
, Sophy; be a good girl, and all shall be well. Shat ha un, d-n me, shat ha un.'
Mrs. Honour appeared below stairs, and with a low curtesy to the 'squire, offered to attend her
mistress; but he pushed her away, saying, 'Hold, • Madam, hold, you come no more near my house.' · And will you take my maid away from me?' said Sophia. “Yes, indeed, Madam, will I,' cries the ’squire : you need not fear being without a ser'vant; I will get you another maid, and a better 'maid than this, who, I'd lay five pounds to a
crown, is no more a maid than my grannum. 'No, no, Sophy, she shall contrive no more escapes ' I promise you.' He then packed up his daughter and the parson into the hackney coach, after which he mounted himself, and ordered it to drive to his lodgings. In the way thither he suffered Sophia to be quiet, and entertained himself with reading a lecture to the parson on good manners, and a proper behaviour to his betters.
It is possible he might not so easily have carried off his daughter from lady Bellaston, had that good lady desired to have detained her; but in reality, she was not a little pleased with the confinement into which Sophia was going; and as her project with lord Fellamar had failed of success, she was well contented that other violent methods were now going to be used in favour of another man.
By what Means the 'Squire came to discover his
Daughter. THOUGH the reader, in many histories, - is obliged to digest much more unaccountable appearances than this of Mr. Western, without any satisfaction at all; yet, as we dearly love to oblige him whenever it is in our power, we shall now proceed to shew by what method the 'squire discovered where his daughter was.
In the third chapter, then, of the preceding book, we gave a hint (for it is not our custom to unfold at any time more than is necessary for the occasion), that Mrs. Fitzpatrick, who was very desirous of reconciling her uncle and aunt Western, thought she had a probable opportunity, by the service, of preserving Sophia from committing the same crime which had drawn on herself the anger of her family. After much deliberation therefore, she resolved to inform her aunt Western where her cousin was, and accordingly she writ the following letter, which we shall give the reader at length, for more reasons than one,
'HONOURED MADAM, · The occasion of my writing this will perhaps • make a letter of mine agreeable to my dear aunt, ' for the sake of one of her nieces, though I have little reason to hope it will be so on the account of another.
Without more apology, as I was coming to ' throw my unhappy self at your feet, I met, by * the strangest accident in the world, my cousin
Sophy, whose history you are better acquainted ' with than myself, though, alas ! I know infi
nitely too much ; enough indeed to satisfy me, * that unless she is immediately prevented, she is in danger of running into the same fatal mischief, which, by foolishly and ignorantly refusing your most wise and prudent advice, I have • unfortunately broughton myself.
"In short, I have seen the man, nay, I was most part of yesterday in his company, and a charm
ing young fellow I promise you he is. By what 'accident he came acquainted with me is too * tedious to tell you now; but I have this morning 'changed my lodging's to avoid him, lest he should .by my means discover ny cousin; for he doth ' not yet know where she is, and it is advisable he 'should not, till my uncle hath secured her. 'No time therefore is to be lost; and I need only 'inform you, that she is now with lady Bellaston, ' whom I have seen, and who hath, I find, a design
' of concealing her from her family. You know, 'Madam, she is a strange woman; but nothing *could misbecome me more, than to presume to
give any hint to one of your great understanding ' and great knowledge of the world, besides barely · informing you of the matter of fact. - 'I hope, Madam, the care which I have shiewn ' on this occasion for the good of my family, will
recommend me again to the favour of a lady who ' hath always exeried so much zeal for the honour • and true interest of us all, and that it may be a 'meaus of restoring me to your friendship, which ' hath made so great a part of my former, and is so necessary to my future happiness. I am, . With the utmost respect,
Cand most obcdicnt
Mrs. Western was now at her brother's house, where she had resided ever since the ílight of Sophia, in order to administer comfort to the poor squire in his afiliction. Of this comfort, which she doled out to him in daily portions, we have formerly given a specimen.
Slie was now standing with her back to the fire, and, with a pinch of snufl
' in her hand, was dealing forth this daily allowance of confort to the squire, while he smoked liis afternoon pipe, when she received the above letter; which she had no sooner read than she delivered it to him, saying, * There, Sir, there is an account of*your lost sheep. *Fortune hath again restored her to you, and if you will be governed by my advice, it is possible Jou may yet preserve her.