BOOK VII. CONTAINING THREE DAYS.
8. Chapter viii. Containing scenes of altercation...
Here ill luck, or rather good luck, sent Mrs Western to see her maid
in tears, which began to flow plentifully at her approach; and of
which being asked the reason by her mistress, she presently acquainted
her that her tears were occasioned by the rude treatment of that
creature there--meaning Honour. "And, madam," continued she, "I could
have despised all she said to me; but she hath had the audacity to
affront your ladyship, and to call you ugly--Yes, madam, she called
you ugly old cat to my face. I could not bear to hear your ladyship
called ugly."--"Why do you repeat her impudence so often?" said Mrs
Western. And then turning to Mrs Honour, she asked her "How she had
the assurance to mention her name with disrespect?"--"Disrespect,
madam!" answered Honour; "I never mentioned your name at all: I said
somebody was not as handsome as my mistress, and to be sure you know
that as well as I."--"Hussy," replied the lady, "I will make such a
saucy trollop as yourself know that I am not a proper subject of your
discourse. And if my brother doth not discharge you this moment, I
will never sleep in his house again. I will find him out, and have you
discharged this moment."--"Discharged!" cries Honour; "and suppose I
am: there are more places in the world than one. Thank Heaven, good
servants need not want places; and if you turn away all who do not
think you handsome, you will want servants very soon; let me tell you
Mrs Western spoke, or rather thundered, in answer; but as she was
hardly articulate, we cannot be very certain of the identical words;
we shall therefore omit inserting a speech which at best would not
greatly redound to her honour. She then departed in search of her
brother, with a countenance so full of rage, that she resembled one of
the furies rather than a human creature.
The two chambermaids being again left alone, began a second bout at
altercation, which soon produced a combat of a more active kind. In
this the victory belonged to the lady of inferior rank, but not
without some loss of blood, of hair, and of lawn and muslin.