BOOK X. IN WHICH THE HISTORY GOES FORWARD ABOUT TWELVE HOURS.
5. Chapter v. Showing who the amiable lady...
Sophia now trembled and turned pale. Mrs Honour begged her to be
comforted, and not to think any more of so worthless a fellow. "Why
there," says Susan, "I hope, madam, your ladyship won't be offended;
but pray, madam, is not your ladyship's name Madam Sophia Western?"
"How is it possible you should know me?" answered Sophia. "Why that
man, that the gentlewoman spoke of, who is in the kitchen, told about
you last night. But I hope your ladyship is not angry with me."
"Indeed, child," said she, "I am not; pray tell me all, and I promise
you I'll reward you." "Why, madam," continued Susan, "that man told us
all in the kitchen that Madam Sophia Western--indeed I don't know how
to bring it out."--Here she stopt, till, having received encouragement
from Sophia, and being vehemently pressed by Mrs Honour, she proceeded
thus:--"He told us, madam, though to be sure it is all a lie, that
your ladyship was dying for love of the young squire, and that he was
going to the wars to get rid of you. I thought to myself then he was a
false-hearted wretch; but, now, to see such a fine, rich, beautiful
lady as you be, forsaken for such an ordinary woman; for to be sure so
she is, and another man's wife into the bargain. It is such a strange
unnatural thing, in a manner."
Sophia gave her a third guinea, and, telling her she would certainly
be her friend if she mentioned nothing of what had passed, nor
informed any one who she was, dismissed the girl, with orders to the
post-boy to get the horses ready immediately.
Being now left alone with her maid, she told her trusty waiting-woman,
"That she never was more easy than at present. I am now convinced,"
said she, "he is not only a villain, but a low despicable wretch. I
can forgive all rather than his exposing my name in so barbarous a
manner. That renders him the object of my contempt. Yes, Honour, I am
now easy; I am indeed; I am very easy;" and then she burst into a
violent flood of tears.
After a short interval spent by Sophia, chiefly in crying, and
assuring her maid that she was perfectly easy, Susan arrived with an
account that the horses were ready, when a very extraordinary thought
suggested itself to our young heroine, by which Mr Jones would be
acquainted with her having been at the inn, in a way which, if any
sparks of affection for her remained in him, would be at least some
punishment for his faults.