BOOK VII. CONTAINING THREE DAYS.
13. Chapter xiii. Containing the great address of the landlady...
Containing the great address of the landlady, the great learning of a
surgeon, and the solid skill in casuistry of the worthy lieutenant.
When the wounded man was carried to his bed, and the house began again
to clear up from the hurry which this accident had occasioned, the
landlady thus addressed the commanding officer: "I am afraid, sir,"
said she, "this young man did not behave himself as well as he should
do to your honours; and if he had been killed, I suppose he had but
his desarts: to be sure, when gentlemen admit inferior parsons into
their company, they oft to keep their distance; but, as my first
husband used to say, few of 'em know how to do it. For my own part, I
am sure I should not have suffered any fellows to include themselves
into gentlemen's company; but I thoft he had been an officer himself,
till the serjeant told me he was but a recruit."
"Landlady," answered the lieutenant, "you mistake the whole matter.
The young man behaved himself extremely well, and is, I believe, a
much better gentleman than the ensign who abused him. If the young
fellow dies, the man who struck him will have most reason to be sorry
for it: for the regiment will get rid of a very troublesome fellow,
who is a scandal to the army; and if he escapes from the hands of
justice, blame me, madam, that's all."
"Ay! ay! good lack-a-day!" said the landlady; "who could have thoft
it? Ay, ay, ay, I am satisfied your honour will see justice done; and
to be sure it oft to be to every one. Gentlemen oft not to kill poor
folks without answering for it. A poor man hath a soul to be saved, as
well as his betters."
"Indeed, madam," said the lieutenant, "you do the volunteer wrong: I
dare swear he is more of a gentleman than the officer."