BOOK XI. CONTAINING ABOUT THREE DAYS.
2. Chapter ii. The adventures which Sophia met with...
The adventures which Sophia met with after her leaving Upton.
Our history, just before it was obliged to turn about and travel
backwards, had mentioned the departure of Sophia and her maid from the
inn; we shall now therefore pursue the steps of that lovely creature,
and leave her unworthy lover a little longer to bemoan his ill-luck,
or rather his ill-conduct.
Sophia having directed her guide to travel through bye-roads, across
the country, they now passed the Severn, and had scarce got a mile
from the inn, when the young lady, looking behind her, saw several
horses coming after on full speed. This greatly alarmed her fears, and
she called to the guide to put on as fast as possible.
He immediately obeyed her, and away they rode a full gallop. But the
faster they went, the faster were they followed; and as the horses
behind were somewhat swifter than those before, so the former were at
length overtaken. A happy circumstance for poor Sophia; whose fears,
joined to her fatigue, had almost overpowered her spirits; but she was
now instantly relieved by a female voice, that greeted her in the
softest manner, and with the utmost civility. This greeting Sophia, as
soon as she could recover her breath, with like civility, and with the
highest satisfaction to herself, returned.
The travellers who joined Sophia, and who had given her such terror,
consisted, like her own company, of two females and a guide. The two
parties proceeded three full miles together before any one offered
again to open their mouths; when our heroine, having pretty well got
the better of her fear (but yet being somewhat surprized that the
other still continued to attend her, as she pursued no great road, and
had already passed through several turnings), accosted the strange
lady in a most obliging tone, and said, "She was very happy to find
they were both travelling the same way." The other, who, like a ghost,
only wanted to be spoke to, readily answered, "That the happiness was
entirely hers; that she was a perfect stranger in that country, and
was so overjoyed at meeting a companion of her own sex, that she had
perhaps been guilty of an impertinence, which required great apology,
in keeping pace with her." More civilities passed between these two
ladies; for Mrs Honour had now given place to the fine habit of the
stranger, and had fallen into the rear. But, though Sophia had great
curiosity to know why the other lady continued to travel on through
the same bye-roads with herself, nay, though this gave her some
uneasiness, yet fear, or modesty, or some other consideration,
restrained her from asking the question.