BOOK XIII. CONTAINING THE SPACE OF TWELVE DAYS.
4. Chapter iv. Which consists of visiting.
We mention these minute matters for the sake of some country ladies of
our acquaintance, who think it contrary to the rules of modesty to
bend their knees to a man.
The company were hardly well settled, before the arrival of the peer
lately mentioned, caused a fresh disturbance, and a repetition of
These being over, the conversation began to be (as the phrase is)
extremely brilliant. However, as nothing past in it which can be
thought material to this history, or, indeed, very material in itself,
I shall omit the relation; the rather, as I have known some very fine
polite conversation grow extremely dull, when transcribed into books,
or repeated on the stage. Indeed, this mental repast is a dainty, of
which those who are excluded from polite assemblies must be contented
to remain as ignorant as they must of the several dainties of French
cookery, which are served only at the tables of the great. To say the
truth, as neither of these are adapted to every taste, they might both
be often thrown away on the vulgar.
Poor Jones was rather a spectator of this elegant scene, than an actor
in it; for though, in the short interval before the peer's arrival,
Lady Bellaston first, and afterwards Mrs Fitzpatrick, had addressed
some of their discourse to him; yet no sooner was the noble lord
entered, than he engrossed the whole attention of the two ladies to
himself; and as he took no more notice of Jones than if no such person
had been present, unless by now and then staring at him, the ladies
followed his example.
The company had now staid so long, that Mrs Fitzpatrick plainly
perceived they all designed to stay out each other. She therefore
resolved to rid herself of Jones, he being the visitant to whom she
thought the least ceremony was due. Taking therefore an opportunity of
a cessation of chat, she addressed herself gravely to him, and said,
"Sir, I shall not possibly be able to give you an answer to-night as
to that business; but if you please to leave word where I may send to
Jones had natural, but not artificial good-breeding. Instead therefore
of communicating the secret of his lodgings to a servant, he
acquainted the lady herself with it particularly, and soon after very