BOOK VI. CONTAINING ABOUT THREE WEEKS.
2. Chapter ii. The character of Mrs Western.
The squire, though perhaps he had never read Machiavel, was, however,
in many points, a perfect politician. He strongly held all those wise
tenets, which are so well inculcated in that Politico-Peripatetic
school of Exchange-alley. He knew the just value and only use of
money, viz., to lay it up. He was likewise well skilled in the exact
value of reversions, expectations, &c., and had often considered the
amount of his sister's fortune, and the chance which he or his
posterity had of inheriting it. This he was infinitely too wise to
sacrifice to a trifling resentment. When he found, therefore, he had
carried matters too far, he began to think of reconciling them; which
was no very difficult task, as the lady had great affection for her
brother, and still greater for her niece; and though too susceptible
of an affront offered to her skill in politics, on which she much
valued herself, was a woman of a very extraordinary good and sweet
Having first, therefore, laid violent hands on the horses, for whose
escape from the stable no place but the window was left open, he next
applied himself to his sister; softened and soothed her, by unsaying
all he had said, and by assertions directly contrary to those which
had incensed her. Lastly, he summoned the eloquence of Sophia to his
assistance, who, besides a most graceful and winning address, had the
advantage of being heard with great favour and partiality by her aunt.
The result of the whole was a kind smile from Mrs Western, who said,
"Brother, you are absolutely a perfect Croat; but as those have their
use in the army of the empress queen, so you likewise have some good
in you. I will therefore once more sign a treaty of peace with you,
and see that you do not infringe it on your side; at least, as you are
so excellent a politician, I may expect you will keep your leagues,
like the French, till your interest calls upon you to break them."