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you all particulars.--In one word, then (for I · will not tire you with circumstances), gold, the
common key to all padlocks, opened my door, • and set me at liberty.
• I now made haste to Dublin, where I immediately procured a passage to England; and was proceeding to Bath, in order to throw myself • into the protection of my aunt, or of your father, ‘or of any relation who would afford it me. My • husband overtook me last night, at the inn where * I lay, and which you left a few minutes before me; but I had the good luck to escape him, and
• to follow you.
' And thus, my dear, ends my history: a tragical
, one, I am sure, it is to myself; but, perhaps, I ought rather to apologize to you for its dulness.' Sophia heaved a deep sigh, and answered, “Indeed, Harriet, I pity you from my soul! But ' what could you expect? Why, why, would you marry an Irishman?
Upon my word,' replied her cousin, “your censure is unjust. There are, among the Irish, men of as much worth and honour as any among the English: nay, to speak the truth, generosity of spirit is rather more common among them. I ' have known some examples there, too, of good • husbands; and I believe these are not very plenty ' in England. 'Ask me, rather, what I could ex
pect when I married a fool; and I will tell you a 'solemn truth; I did not know him to be so.'• Can no man,' said Sophia, in a very low and altered voice, do you think, make a bad hus.band, who is not a fool?' 'That,' answered the other, is too general a negative; but none, I * believe, is so likely as a fool to prove so, Among 'my acquaintance, the silliest fellows are the worst 'husbands; and I will venture to assert, as a fact,
that a inan of sense rarely behaves, very ill to a 'wife, who deserves very well.'
A dreadful Alarm in the Inn, with the Arrival of
an uncxpected Friend of Mrs. Fitzpatrick. SOPHIA now, at the desire of her cousin, related
, - not what follows, but what hath gone before in this history: for which reason the reader will, I suppose, excuse me for not repeating it over again.
One remark, however, I cannot forbear making on her narrative, namely, that she made no more mention of Jones, from the beginning to the end, than if there had been no such person alive. This I will neither endeavour to account for, nor to excuse. Indeed, if this may be called a kind of dishonesty, it seems the more inexcusable, from the apparent openness and explicit sincerity of the other lady. — But so it was.
Just as Sophia arrived at the conclusion of her story, there arrived in the room, where the two ladies were sitting, a noise, not unlike, in loudness, to that of a pack of hounds just let out from their kennel ; nor, in shrillness, to cats, when caterwauling; or to screech owls; or, indeed, more like (for what animal can resemble a human voice?) to those sounds, which, in the pleasant mansions of that gate which seems to derive its name from a duplicity of tongues, issue from the mouths, and sometimes from the nostrils of those fair river nymphs, ycleped of old the Naïades; in the vulgar tongue translated oyster-wenches: for when, instead of the ancient libations of inilk and honey and oil, the rich distillation from the juniper-berry, or, perhaps, from malt, hath, by the early devotion of their votaries, been poured forth in great abundance, should any daring tongue with unhallowed license profane; i. e. depreciate the delicate fat Milton oyster, the plaice sound and firm, the flounder as much alive as when in the water, the shrimp as big as a prawn,
the fine cod alive but a few hours ago, or any other of the various treasures which those water-deities, who fish the sea and rivers, have committed to the care of the nymphs, the angry Naïades lift up their immortal voices, and the profane wretch is struck deaf for his impiety.
Such was the noise which now burst from one of the rooms below; and soon the thunder, which long had rattled at a distance, began to approach nearer and nearer, till, having ascended by degrees up stairs, it at last entered the apartment where the ladies were. In short, to drop all metaphor and figure, Mrs. Honour having scolded violently below stairs, and continued the same all the way up, came into her mistress in a most outrageous passion, crying out, “What doth your ladyship think? Would you imagine, that this impudent villain, 'the master of this house, hath had the impudence to tell me, nay, to stand it out to my face, that your ladyship is that nasty, stinking wh-re (Jenny Cameron they call her), that runs about the country with the Pretender? Nay, the lying, saucy villain had the assurance to tell me, that 'your ladyship had owned yourself to be so: but • I have clawed the rascal; I have left the marks
of my nails in his impudent face. My lady! says ! I, you saucy scoundrel: my lady is meat for no pretenders. She is a young lady of as good fashion, and family, and fortune, as any in Somerasetshire. Did you never hear of the great 'squire 'Western, sirrah? She is his only daughter; she ‘is, and heiress to all his great estate. My lady to be called a nasty Scotch wh-re by such a varlet~ To be sure, I wish I had knocked his • brains out with the punch-bowl.'
The principal uneasiness with which Sophia was affected on this occasion, Honour had herself caused, by having in her passion discovered who she was. However as this mistake of the landlord sufficiently accounted for those passages which So
phia had before mistaken, she acquired some ease on that account; nor could she, upon the whole, forbear smiling. This enraged Honour, and she cried, “Indeed, Madam, I did not think your lady• ship would have made a laughing matter of it. * To be called whore by such an impudent low • rascal. Your ladyship may be angry with me, for
aught I know, for taking your part, since prof• fered service, they say, stinks; but to be sure I 'could never bear to hear a lady of mine called whore - Nor will I bear it. I am sure your ladyship is as virtuous a lady as ever sat foot on Eng. • lish ground, and I will claw any villain's eyes out
I • who dares for to offer to presume for to say the least word to the contrary. Nobody ever could say
the least ill of the character of any lady that ever I waited upon.'
Hinc illa Lachrymæ; in plain truth, Honour had as much love for her mistress as most servants have, that is to say -- But besides this, her pride obliged her to support the character of the lady she waited on; for she thought her own was in a very close manner connected with it. In proportion as the character of her mistress was raised, hers likewise, as she conceived, was raised with it; and, on the contrary, she thought the one could not be lowered without the other.
On this subject, reader, I must stop a moment, to tell thee a story. "The famous Nell Gwynn, stepping one day, from a house where she had made a short visit, into her coach, saw a great mob assembled, and her footman all bloody and dirty; the fellow being asked by his inistress the reason of his being in that condition, answered, 6 I have been fighting, Madam, with an impudent
rascal who called your ladyship a wh--re. You 'blockhead, replied Mrs. Gwynn, 'at this rate
you must fight every day of your life; why, you 'fool, all the world knows it.' 'Do they ? cries the fellow, in a muttering voice, after he had shut
the coach-door, they shan't call me a whore's • footman for all that.'
Thus the passion of Mrs. Honour appears natural enough, even if it were to be no otherwise accounted for; but, in reality, there was another cause of her anger; for which we must beg leave to remind our reader of a circumstance mentioned in the above simile. There are indeed certain liquors, which being applied to our passions, or to fire, produce effects the very reverse of those produced by water, as they serve to kindle and intlane, rather than to extinguish. Among these, the generous liquor called punch, is one. It was not therefore without reason, that the learned Dr. Cheney used to call drinking punch, pouring liquid fire down your throat.
Now, Mrs. Honour had unluckily poured so much of this liquid fire down her throat, that the smoke of it began to ascend into her pericranium, and blinded the eyes of reason, which is there supposed to keep her residence, while the fire itself from the stomach easily reached the heart, and there inflamed the noble passion of pride. So that, upon the whole, we shall cease to wonder at the violent rage of the waiting-woman; though at first sight we must confess the cause seems inadequate to the effect.
Sophia and her cousin both did all in their power to extinguish these flames which had roared so loudly all over the house. They at length prevailed; or, to carry the metaphor one step farther, the fire having consumed all the fuel which the language affords, to wit, every reproachful term in it, at last went out of its own accord,
But though tranquillity was restored above stairs, it was not so below; where my landlady, highly resenting the injury done to the beauty of her husband, by the flesh-spades of Mrs. Honour, called aloud for revenge and justice. As to the poor man, who had principally suffered in the en