BOOK VI. CONTAINING ABOUT THREE WEEKS.
9. Chapter ix. Being of a much more tempestuous kind...
As when two doves, or two wood-pigeons, or as when Strephon and
Phyllis (for that comes nearest to the mark) are retired into some
pleasant solitary grove, to enjoy the delightful conversation of Love,
that bashful boy, who cannot speak in public, and is never a good
companion to more than two at a time; here, while every object is
serene, should hoarse thunder burst suddenly through the shattered
clouds, and rumbling roll along the sky, the frightened maid starts
from the mossy bank or verdant turf, the pale livery of death succeeds
the red regimentals in which Love had before drest her cheeks, fear
shakes her whole frame, and her lover scarce supports her trembling
Or as when two gentlemen, strangers to the wondrous wit of the place,
are cracking a bottle together at some inn or tavern at Salisbury, if
the great Dowdy, who acts the part of a madman as well as some of his
setters-on do that of a fool, should rattle his chains, and dreadfully
hum forth the grumbling catch along the gallery; the frighted
strangers stand aghast; scared at the horrid sound, they seek some
place of shelter from the approaching danger; and if the well-barred
windows did admit their exit, would venture their necks to escape the
threatening fury now coming upon them.
So trembled poor Sophia, so turned she pale at the noise of her
father, who, in a voice most dreadful to hear, came on swearing,
cursing, and vowing the destruction of Jones. To say the truth, I
believe the youth himself would, from some prudent considerations,
have preferred another place of abode at this time, had his terror on
Sophia's account given him liberty to reflect a moment on what any
otherways concerned himself, than as his love made him partake
whatever affected her.
And now the squire, having burst open the door, beheld an object which
instantly suspended all his fury against Jones; this was the ghastly
appearance of Sophia, who had fainted away in her lover's arms. This
tragical sight Mr Western no sooner beheld, than all his rage forsook
him; he roared for help with his utmost violence; ran first to his
daughter, then back to the door calling for water, and then back again
to Sophia, never considering in whose arms she then was, nor perhaps
once recollecting that there was such a person in the world as Jones;
for indeed I believe the present circumstances of his daughter were
now the sole consideration which employed his thoughts.