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'count of the furniture: for indeed there was very ' little in it. An old woman, who seemed coeval ' with the building, and greatly resembled her ' whom Chamont mentions in the Orphan, re'ceived us at the gate, and in a howl scarce human, and to me unintelligible, welcomed her master home. In short, the whole scene was so gloomy and melancholy, that it threw my spirits into the lowest dejection; which my husband ? discerning, instead of relieving, increased by two ,' or three malicious observations. “There are good “houses, Madam,” says he, “as you find, in other
places besides England; but perhaps you had “ rather be in a dirty lodging at Bath.”
Happy, my dear, is the wounan, who, in any 'state of life, hath a cheerful good-natured com
panion to support and comfort her; but why do I "rellect on happy situations only to aggravate my own misery! my companion, tar from clearing up the gloom of solitude, soon convinced me, that I 'must have been wretched with him in any place, ' and in any condition. In a word, he was a surly 'fellow, a character perhaps you have never seen: ' for indeed no woman ever sees it exemplified, but 'in a father, a brother, or a husband; and though you have a father, he is not of that character. This surly fellow had formerly appeared to me the very reverse, and so he did still to every other person. Good heaven! how is it possible for a man to 'maintain a constant lie in his appearance abroad ‘and in company, and to content himself with shewing disagreeable truth only at home? Here, niy dear, they make themselves amends for the
uneasy restraint which they put on their tempers ' in the world; for I have observed, the more merry ' and gay and good-humoured my husband hath at any time been in company, the more sullen and morose he was sure to become at our next private meeting. Ilow shall I describe his barbarity: To my fondness he was cold and insensible. My
little comical ways, which you, my Sophy, and ' which others have called so agreeable, he treated ! with contempt. In my most serious moments
he sung and whistled ; and whenever I was thoroughly dejected and miserable, he was angry, ' and abused me: for though he was never pleased ' with my good humour, nor ascribed it to my sa'tisfaction in him, yet my low spirits always of· fended him, and those he imputed to my repent‘ance of having (as he said) married an Irishman.
* You will easily conceive, my dear Graveairs (I ' ask your pardon, I really forgot myself,) that 'when a woman makes an imprudent match in the sense of the world; that is, when she is not an arrant prostitute to pecuniary interest, she must ' necessarily have some inclination and affection ' for her man. You will as easily believe that this 'affection may possibly be lessened ; nay, I do assure you, contempt will wholly eradicate it. This coutempt I now began to entertain for my husband, whom I now discovered to be-- I must use 'the expression - an arrant blockhead. Perhaps you will wonder I did not make this discovery long before ; but women will suggest a thousand excuses to themselves for the folly of those they Slike: besides, give me leave to tell you, it requires
a most penetrating eye to discern a fool through 'the disguises of gaiety and good-breeding.
It will be easily imagined, that when I once despised my husband, as I confess to you I svon did, I must consequently dislike his company; ' and indeed I had the happiness of being very little
troubled with it; for our house was now most * elegantly furnished, our cellars well stocked, and
dogs and horses provided in great abundance. * As my gentleman therefore entertained his neigh' bours with great hospitality; so his neiglibours * resorted to him with great alacrity; and sports • and drinking consumed so much of his time,
that a small part of his conversation, that is to say, of his ill-humours, fell to my share.
Happy would it have been for me, if I could as easily' have avoided all other disagreeable company; but alas! I was confined to some which constantly tormented me; and the more, as I saw no prospect of being relieved from them. These companions were my own racking thoughts, which plagued, and in a manner haunted me night and day. In this situation I passed through a scene, the horrors of which can neither he painted nor imagined. Think, my dear, figure, if you can, to yourself what I must have undergone. I became a mother by the man I scorned, hated, and detested. I went through all the agonies and ' “miseries of a lying-in (ten times more painful in such a circumstance, than the worst labour can be, when one endures it for a man one loves), in a desert, or rather indeed a scene of riot and ' revel, without a friend, without a companion, or ' without any of those agreeable circumstances ' which often alleviate, and perhaps sometimes more than compensate, the sufferings of our sex at that season.
CHAP. VI. In which the Mistake of the Landlord throws
Sophia into a dreadful Consternation. MRS. Fitzpatrick was proceeding in her narrative, when she was interrupted by the entrance of dinner, greatly to the concern of Sophia : for the misfortunes of her friend had raised her anxiety, and left her no appetite, but what Mrs. Fitzpatrick was to satisfy by her relation.
The landlord now attended with a plate under his arm, and with the same respect in his countenance and address, which he would have put on, had the ladies arrived in a coach and six.
The married lady seemed less affected with her own misfortunes than was her cousin ; for the former eat very heartily, whereas the latter could hardly swallow a morsel. Sophia likewise shewed more concern and sorrow in her countenance than appeared in the other lady; who having observed these symptoms in her friend, begged her to be comforted, saying, 'perhaps all may yet end better *than either you or I expect.”
Our landlord thought he had now an opportunity to open his mouth, and was resolved not to omit it. I am sorry, Madam,' cries he, 'that your lady
ship can't eat; for to be sure you must be hungry after so long fasting. I hope your ladyship is not
uneasy at any thing, for, as Madam there says, ‘all may end better than any body expects. A gentleman who was here just now, brought excel' lent news; and perhaps some folks who have
given other folks the slip, may get to London • before they are overtaken; and if they do, I 'make no doubt, but they will find people who 'will be very ready to receive them.'
All persons under the apprehension of danger convert whatever they see and hear into the objects of that apprehension. Sophia therefore immediately concluded from the foregoing speech, that she was known and pursued by her father. She was now struck with the utmost consternation, and for a few minutes deprived of the power of speech; which she no sooner recovered, than she desired the landlord to send his servants out of the room, and then addressing herself to him, said; 'I perceive, Sir, you know who we are; but I beseech you; --- nay, I am convinced, if you have any
, compassion or goodness, you will not betray us.
'I betray your ladyship! quoth the landlord ; no (and then he swore several very hearty oaths); 'I would sooner be cut into ten thousand pieces. 'I hate all treachery. I! I never betrayed any ond
in my life yet, and I ain sure I shall not begin 'with so sweet a lady as your ladyship. All the 'world would very much blame me if I should,
since it will be in your ladyship's power so shortly 'to reward me. My wife can witness for me, I 'knew your ladyship the moment you came into 'the house: I said it was your honour, before I lifted you
from your horse, and I shall carry the bruises I got in your ladyship's service to the grave; but what signified that, as long as I saved your ladyship? To be sure some people this morning would have thought of getting a reward; but no such thought ever entered into my head. I would sooner starve than take any reward for betraying your ladyship.'
'I promise you, Sir,' says Sophia, 'if it be ever ‘in my power to reward you, you shall not lose by your generosity.'
Alack-a-day, Madam!' answered the landlord, in
your ladyship’s power! heaven put it as much ' into your will. I am only afraid your honour will forget such a poor man as an innkeeper; but if
your ladyship should not, I hope you will re* member what reward I refused — refused ! that is, I would have refused, and to be sure it may be called refusing; for I might have had it certainly; and to be sure you might have been in some houses; — but for my part, would not methinks for the world have your ladyship wrong me so much, as to imagine I ever thought of be'traying you, even before I heard the good news.' • What news, pray?' says Sophia, something
* Hath not your ladyship heard it, then?' cries the landlord, .nay, like enough: for I heard it "only a few minutes ago; and if I had never heard ' it, may the devil fly away with me this instant, • it I would have betrayed your honour; no, if I
would, may I-' Here he subjoined several dread