BOOK X. IN WHICH THE HISTORY GOES FORWARD ABOUT TWELVE HOURS.
2. Chapter ii. Containing the arrival of an Irish gentleman...
Susan, from the account she had received of Mrs Waters, made not the
least doubt but that she was the very identical stray whom the right
owner pursued. As she concluded, therefore, with great appearance of
reason, that she never could get money in an honester way than by
restoring a wife to her husband, she made no scruple of assuring the
gentleman that the lady he wanted was then in the house; and was
presently afterwards prevailed upon (by very liberal promises, and
some earnest paid into her hands) to conduct him to the bedchamber of
It hath been a custom long established in the polite world, and that
upon very solid and substantial reasons, that a husband shall never
enter his wife's apartment without first knocking at the door. The
many excellent uses of this custom need scarce be hinted to a reader
who hath any knowledge of the world; for by this means the lady hath
time to adjust herself, or to remove any disagreeable object out of
the way; for there are some situations in which nice and delicate
women would not be discovered by their husbands.
To say the truth, there are several ceremonies instituted among the
polished part of mankind, which, though they may, to coarser
judgments, appear as matters of mere form, are found to have much of
substance in them, by the more discerning; and lucky would it have
been had the custom above mentioned been observed by our gentleman in
the present instance. Knock, indeed, he did at the door, but not with
one of those gentle raps which is usual on such occasions. On the
contrary, when he found the door locked, he flew at it with such
violence, that the lock immediately gave way, the door burst open, and
he fell headlong into the room.
He had no sooner recovered his legs than forth from the bed, upon his
legs likewise, appeared--with shame and sorrow are we obliged to
proceed--our heroe himself, who, with a menacing voice, demanded of
the gentleman who he was, and what he meant by daring to burst open
his chamber in that outrageous manner.