BOOK V. CONTAINING A PORTION OF TIME SOMEWHAT LONGER THAN HALF A YEAR.
5. Chapter v. A very long chapter, containing a very great incident.
Square no sooner made his appearance than Molly flung herself back in
her bed, cried out she was undone, and abandoned herself to despair.
This poor girl, who was yet but a novice in her business, had not
arrived to that perfection of assurance which helps off a town lady in
any extremity; and either prompts her with an excuse, or else inspires
her to brazen out the matter with her husband, who, from love of
quiet, or out of fear of his reputation--and sometimes, perhaps, from
fear of the gallant, who, like Mr Constant in the play, wears a
sword--is glad to shut his eyes, and content to put his horns in his
pocket. Molly, on the contrary, was silenced by this evidence, and
very fairly gave up a cause which she had hitherto maintained with so
many tears, and with such solemn and vehement protestations of the
purest love and constancy.
As to the gentleman behind the arras, he was not in much less
consternation. He stood for a while motionless, and seemed equally at
a loss what to say, or whither to direct his eyes. Jones, though
perhaps the most astonished of the three, first found his tongue; and
being immediately recovered from those uneasy sensations which Molly
by her upbraidings had occasioned, he burst into a loud laughter, and
then saluting Mr Square, advanced to take him by the hand, and to
relieve him from his place of confinement.