BOOK IV. CONTAINING THE TIME OF A YEAR.
14. Chapter xiv. The arrival of a surgeon.
This discourse had an effect on Sophia's countenance, which would not
perhaps have escaped the observance of the sagacious waiting-woman,
had she once looked her mistress in the face, all the time she was
speaking: but as a looking-glass, which was most commodiously placed
opposite to her, gave her an opportunity of surveying those features,
in which, of all others, she took most delight; so she had not once
removed her eyes from that amiable object during her whole speech.
Mrs Honour was so intirely wrapped up in the subject on which she
exercised her tongue, and the object before her eyes, that she gave
her mistress time to conquer her confusion; which having done, she
smiled on her maid, and told her, "she was certainly in love with this
young fellow."--"I in love, madam!" answers she: "upon my word, ma'am,
I assure you, ma'am, upon my soul, ma'am, I am not."--"Why, if you
was," cries her mistress, "I see no reason that you should be ashamed
of it; for he is certainly a pretty fellow."--"Yes, ma'am," answered
the other, "that he is, the most handsomest man I ever saw in my life.
Yes, to be sure, that he is, and, as your ladyship says, I don't know
why I should be ashamed of loving him, though he is my betters. To be
sure, gentlefolks are but flesh and blood no more than us servants.
Besides, as for Mr Jones, thof Squire Allworthy hath made a gentleman
of him, he was not so good as myself by birth: for thof I am a poor
body, I am an honest person's child, and my father and mother were
married, which is more than some people can say, as high as they hold
their heads. Marry, come up! I assure you, my dirty cousin! thof his
skin be so white, and to be sure it is the most whitest that ever was
seen, I am a Christian as well as he, and nobody can say that I am
base born: my grandfather was a clergyman,[*] and would have been very
angry, I believe, to have thought any of his family should have taken
up with Molly Seagrim's dirty leavings."
[*] This is the second person of low condition whom we have recorded
in this history to have sprung from the clergy. It is to be hoped
such instances will, in future ages, when some provision is made for
the families of the inferior clergy, appear stranger than they can
be thought at present.