BOOK XI. CONTAINING ABOUT THREE DAYS.
10. Chapter x. Containing a hint or two concerning virtue...
Containing a hint or two concerning virtue, and a few more concerning
Our company, being arrived at London, were set down at his lordship's
house, where, while they refreshed themselves after the fatigue of
their journey, servants were despatched to provide a lodging for the
two ladies; for, as her ladyship was not then in town, Mrs Fitzpatrick
would by no means consent to accept a bed in the mansion of the peer.
Some readers will, perhaps, condemn this extraordinary delicacy, as I
may call it, of virtue, as too nice and scrupulous; but we must make
allowances for her situation, which must be owned to have been very
ticklish; and, when we consider the malice of censorious tongues, we
must allow, if it was a fault, the fault was an excess on the right
side, and which every woman who is in the self-same situation will do
well to imitate. The most formal appearance of virtue, when it is only
an appearance, may, perhaps, in very abstracted considerations, seem
to be rather less commendable than virtue itself without this
formality; but it will, however, be always more commended; and this, I
believe, will be granted by all, that it is necessary, unless in some
very particular cases, for every woman to support either the one or
A lodging being prepared, Sophia accompanied her cousin for that
evening; but resolved early in the morning to enquire after the lady
into whose protection, as we have formerly mentioned, she had
determined to throw herself when she quitted her father's house. And
this she was the more eager in doing from some observations she had
made during her journey in the coach.
Now, as we would by no means fix the odious character of suspicion on
Sophia, we are almost afraid to open to our reader the conceits which
filled her mind concerning Mrs Fitzpatrick; of whom she certainly
entertained at present some doubts; which, as they are very apt to
enter into the bosoms of the worst of people, we think proper not to
mention more plainly till we have first suggested a word or two to our
reader touching suspicion in general.