BOOK XVI. CONTAINING THE SPACE OF FIVE DAYS.
7. Chapter vii. In which Mr Western pays a visit...
In which Mr Western pays a visit to his sister, in company with Mr
Mrs Western was reading a lecture on prudence, and matrimonial
politics, to her niece, when her brother and Blifil broke in with less
ceremony than the laws of visiting require. Sophia no sooner saw
Blifil than she turned pale, and almost lost the use of all her
faculties; but her aunt, on the contrary, waxed red, and, having all
her faculties at command, began to exert her tongue on the squire.
"Brother," said she, "I am astonished at your behaviour; will you
never learn any regard to decorum? Will you still look upon every
apartment as your own, or as belonging to one of your country tenants?
Do you think yourself at liberty to invade the privacies of women of
condition, without the least decency or notice?"----"Why, what a pox
is the matter now?" quoth the squire; "one would think I had caught
you at--"--"None of your brutality, sir, I beseech you," answered
she.----"You have surprized my poor niece so, that she can hardly, I
see, support herself.----Go, my dear, retire, and endeavour to recruit
your spirits; for I see you have occasion." At which words Sophia, who
never received a more welcome command, hastily withdrew.
"To be sure, sister," cries the squire, "you are mad, when I have
brought Mr Blifil here to court her, to force her away."
"Sure, brother," says she, "you are worse than mad, when you know in
what situation affairs are, to----I am sure I ask Mr Blifil's pardon,
but he knows very well to whom to impute so disagreeable a reception.
For my own part, I am sure I shall always be very glad to see Mr
Blifil; but his own good sense would not have suffered him to proceed
so abruptly, had you not compelled him to it."
Blifil bowed and stammered, and looked like a fool; but Western,
without giving him time to form a speech for the purpose, answered,
"Well, well, I am to blame, if you will, I always am, certainly; but
come, let the girl be fetched back again, or let Mr Blifil go to
her.----He's come up on purpose, and there is no time to be lost."