BOOK X. IN WHICH THE HISTORY GOES FORWARD ABOUT TWELVE HOURS.
5. Chapter v. Showing who the amiable lady...
While they were thus discoursing, Mrs Honour returned and discharged
her commission, by bidding the landlady immediately wake Mr Jones, and
tell him a lady wanted to speak with him. The landlady referred her to
Partridge, saying, "he was the squire's friend: but, for her part, she
never called men-folks, especially gentlemen," and then walked
sullenly out of the kitchen. Honour applied herself to Partridge; but
he refused, "for my friend," cries he, "went to bed very late, and he
would be very angry to be disturbed so soon." Mrs Honour insisted
still to have him called, saying, "she was sure, instead of being
angry, that he would be to the highest degree delighted when he knew
the occasion." "Another time, perhaps, he might," cries Partridge;
"but non omnia possumus omnes. One woman is enough at once for a
reasonable man." "What do you mean by one woman, fellow?" cries
Honour. "None of your fellow," answered Partridge. He then proceeded
to inform her plainly that Jones was in bed with a wench, and made use
of an expression too indelicate to be here inserted; which so enraged
Mrs Honour, that she called him jackanapes, and returned in a violent
hurry to her mistress, whom she acquainted with the success of her
errand, and with the account she had received; which, if possible, she
exaggerated, being as angry with Jones as if he had pronounced all the
words that came from the mouth of Partridge. She discharged a torrent
of abuse on the master, and advised her mistress to quit all thoughts
of a man who had never shown himself deserving of her. She then ripped
up the story of Molly Seagrim, and gave the most malicious turn to his
formerly quitting Sophia herself; which, I must confess, the present
incident not a little countenanced.
The spirits of Sophia were too much dissipated by concern to enable
her to stop the torrent of her maid. At last, however, she interrupted
her, saying, "I never can believe this; some villain hath belied him.
You say you had it from his friend; but surely it is not the office of
a friend to betray such secrets." "I suppose," cries Honour, "the
fellow is his pimp; for I never saw so ill-looked a villain. Besides,
such profligate rakes as Mr Jones are never ashamed of these matters."