BOOK XV. IN WHICH THE HISTORY ADVANCES ABOUT TWO DAYS.
9. Chapter ix. Containing love-letters of several sorts.
Though Jones had no reason to imagine the lady to have been of the
vestal kind when his amour began; yet, as he was thoroughly ignorant
of the town, and had very little acquaintance in it, he had no
knowledge of that character which is vulgarly called a demirep; that
is to say, a woman who intrigues with every man she likes, under the
name and appearance of virtue; and who, though some over-nice ladies
will not be seen with her, is visited (as they term it) by the whole
town, in short, whom everybody knows to be what nobody calls her.
When he found, therefore, that Nightingale was perfectly acquainted
with his intrigue, and began to suspect that so scrupulous a delicacy
as he had hitherto observed was not quite necessary on the occasion,
he gave a latitude to his friend's tongue, and desired him to speak
plainly what he knew, or had ever heard of the lady.
Nightingale, who, in many other instances, was rather too effeminate
in his disposition, had a pretty strong inclination to tittle-tattle.
He had no sooner, therefore, received a full liberty of speaking from
Jones, than he entered upon a long narrative concerning the lady;
which, as it contained many particulars highly to her dishonour, we
have too great a tenderness for all women of condition to repeat. We
would cautiously avoid giving an opportunity to the future
commentators on our works, of making any malicious application and of
forcing us to be, against our will, the author of scandal, which never
entered into our head.