Page images
PDF
EPUB

6

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

asked her, 'what she thought of the ladies lately • arrived ?' « Think of them?' said the wife, 'why

what should I think of them?' 'I know,'answered , . he, “what I think. The guides tell strange stories. 'One pretends to be come from Gloucester, and the other from Upton; and neither of them, for what I can find, can tell whither they are going. • But what people ever travel across the country ' from Upton hither, especially to London? And

one of the maid-scrvants, before she alighted * from her horse, asked, if this was not the London • Road ? Now I have put all these circumstances

together, and whom do you think I have found 'them out to be?' 'Nay,' answered she, ' you • know I never pretend to guess at your disco' veries.'-' It is a good girl

, replied he, chuck

, ing her under the chin; “I must own you have "always submitted to my knowledge of these 'matters. Why then, depend upon it; mind what I say,--depend upon it, they are certainly some of the rebel ladies, who, they say, travel with • the

young Chevalier; and have taken a round' about way to escape the duke's army.'

' Husband,' quoth the wife, ' you have certainly ' hit it; for one of them is drest as fine as any

princess; and, to be sure, she looks for all the • world like one. But yet, when I consider one

thing.'-'When you consider,' cries the land. lord contemptuously - Come, pray let's hear

what you consider. ' Why it is,'answered the wife, that she is too humble to be any very great • lady: for while our Betty was warming the bed, • she called her nothing but child, and my dear, ' and sweetheart; and when Betty offered to pull

off her shoes and stockings, she would not suffer ' her, saying, she would not give her the trouble.'

Pugh!' answered the husband, that is nothing. * Dost think, because you have seen some great • ladies rude and uncivil to persons below them,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

that none of them know how to behave themselves

when they come before their interiors? I think I “know people of fashion when I see them. I think

I do. Did not she call for a glass of water when she came in? Another sort of women would have * called for a dram; you know they would. If she 'be not a woman of very great quality, sell me for ' a fool; and, I believe, those who buy me will ' have a bad bargain. Now, would a woman of

. her quality travel without a footman, unless upon some such extraordinary occasiou?' Nay, to be sure, husband,' cries she, “you know these matters better than I, or most folk.' 'I think I do know * something,' said he. “To be sure,' answered the wife, “the poor little heart looked so piteous, when

she sat down in the chair, I protest I could not * help having a compassion for her, almost as much as if she had been a poor body. But what's to be done, husband? If an she be a rebel, I suppose you

intend to betray her up to the court. Well, she's a sweet-tempered, good-humoured lady, be ‘she what she will, and I shall hardly refrain from

crying when I hear she is hanged or beheaded.' * Pooh!' answered the husband.---- But, as to 'what's to be done it is not so easy a matter to de

termine. I hope, before she goes away, we shall ' have the news of a battle: for if the Chevalier * should get the better, she may gain us interest at

court, and make our fortunes without betraying * her.'

Why, that's true,' replied the wife; and * I heartily hope she will have it in her power. Certainly she's a sweet good lady; it would go horribly against me to have her come to any harm." * Pooh,' cries the landlord, women are always so ' tender-hearted. Why, you would not harbour ' rebels, would you?' No, certainly,’answered the wife; ‘and as for betraying her, come what will on't, nobody can blame us, It is what any body < would do in our case.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

<

6

[ocr errors]

While our politic landlord, who had not, we see, undeservedly the reputation of great wisdom among his neighbours, was engaged in debating this matter with himself (for he paid little attention to the opinion of his wife,) news arrived that the rebels had given the duke the slip, and had got a day's march towards London; and soon after arrived a famous Jacobite 'squire, who, with great joy in his countenance, shook the landlord by the hand, saying, all's our own, boy, ten thousand honest Frenchmen are landed in Suf• folk.

Old England for ever! ten thousand French, my brave lad! I am going to tap away directly.'

This news determined the opinion of the wise man, and he resolved to make his court to the young lady, when she arose; for he had now (he said) discovered that she was no other than Madam Jenny Cameron herself.

[ocr errors]

CHAP. III. A very short Chapter, in which however is a Sun,

a Moon, a Star, and an Angel. The sun (for he keeps very good hours at this time of the year) had been some time retired to rest, when Sophia arose greatly refreshed by her sleep; which, short as it was, nothing but her extreme fatigue could have occasioned; for though she had told her maid, and perhaps herself too, that she was perfectly easy when she left Upton; yet it is certain her mind was a little affected with that malady which is attended with all the restless symptoms of a fever, and is perhaps the very distemper which physicians mean (if they mean any thing) by the fever on the spirits.

Mrs. Fitzpatrick likewise left her bed at the same time; and having summoned her maid, im

VOL. VII.

mediately dressed herself. She was really a very pretty woman, and had she been in any other company but that of Sophia, might have been thought beautiful; but when Mrs. Honour of her own accord attended (for her mistress would not suffer her to be waked), and had equipped our heroine, the charms of Mrs. Fitzpatrick, who had performed the office of the morning-star, and had preceded greater glories, shared the fate of that star, and were totally eclipsed the moment those glories shone forth.

Perhaps' Sophia never looked more beautiful than she did at this instant. We ought not, therefore, to condemn the maid of the inn for her hyberbole, who when she descended, after having lighted the fire, declared, and ratified it with an oath, that if ever there was an angel upon earth, she was now above stairs.

Sophia had acquainted her cousin with her design to go to London; and Mrs. Fitzpatrick had agreed to accompany her; for the arrival of her husband at Upton had put an end to her design of going to Bath, or to her aunt Western. They had therefore no sooner finished their tea, than Sophia proposed to set out, the moon then shining extremely bright, and as for the frost she defied it; nor had she any of those apprehensions which many young ladies would have felt at travelling by night; for she had, as we have before observed, some little degree of natural courage; and this her

present sensations, which bordered somewhat on despair, greatly encreased. Besides, as she had already travelled twice with safety, by the light of the moon, she was the better emboldened to trust to it a third time.

The disposition of Mrs. Fitzpatrick was more timorous; for though the greater terrors had conquered the less, and the presence of her husband had driven her away at so unseasonable an hour from Upton; yet bung now arrived at a place where she

thought herself, safe from his pursuit, these lesser terrors of I know not what, operated so strongly, that she earnestly entreated her cousin to stay till the next morning, and not expose herself to the dangers of travelling by night.

Sophia, who was yielding to an excess, when she could neither laugh nor reason her cousin out of these apprehensions, at last gave way to them. Perhaps, indeed, had she known of her father's arrival at Upton, it might have been more difficult to have persuaded her; for as to Jones, she had, I am afraid, no great horror at the thoughts of being overtaken by him; nay, to confess the truth, I believe she rather wished than feared it; though I might honestly enough have concealed this wish from the reader, as it was one of those secret spontaneous emotions of the soul, to which the reason is often a stranger.

When our young ladies had determined to remain all that evening in their inn, they were attended by the landlady, who desired to know what their ladyships would be pleased to eat. Such charms were there in the voice, in the manner, and in the affable deportment of Sophia, that she ravished the landlady to the highest degree; and that good woman concluding that she had attended Jenny Cameron, became in a moment a staunch Jacobite, and wished heartily well to the young Pretender’s cause, from the great sweetness and affability with which she had been treated by his supposed mistress.

The two cousins began now to impart to each other their reciprocal curiosity, to know what extraordinary accidents on both sides occasioned this so strange and unexpected meeting. At last Mrs. Fitzpatrick, having obtained of Sophia a promise of communicating likewise in her turn, began to relate what the reader, if he is desirous to know her history, may read in the ensuing chapter.

« PreviousContinue »