Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a foundling

3. Chapter iii. A very short chapter...

A very short chapter, in which however is a sun, a moon, a star, and an angel.

The sun (for he keeps very good hours at this time of the year) had been some time retired to rest when Sophia arose greatly refreshed by her sleep; which, short as it was, nothing but her extreme fatigue could have occasioned; for, though she had told her maid, and perhaps herself too, that she was perfectly easy when she left Upton, yet it is certain her mind was a little affected with that malady which is attended with all the restless symptoms of a fever, and is perhaps the very distemper which physicians mean (if they mean anything) by the fever on the spirits.

Mrs Fitzpatrick likewise left her bed at the same time; and, having summoned her maid, immediately dressed herself. She was really a very pretty woman, and, had she been in any other company but that of Sophia, might have been thought beautiful; but when Mrs Honour of her own accord attended (for her mistress would not suffer her to be waked), and had equipped our heroine, the charms of Mrs Fitzpatrick, who had performed the office of the morning-star, and had preceded greater glories, shared the fate of that star, and were totally eclipsed the moment those glories shone forth.

Perhaps Sophia never looked more beautiful than she did at this instant. We ought not, therefore, to condemn the maid of the inn for her hyperbole, who, when she descended, after having lighted the fire, declared, and ratified it with an oath, that if ever there was an angel upon earth, she was now above-stairs.

Sophia had acquainted her cousin with her design to go to London; and Mrs Fitzpatrick had agreed to accompany her; for the arrival of her husband at Upton had put an end to her design of going to Bath, or to her aunt Western. They had therefore no sooner finished their tea than Sophia proposed to set out, the moon then shining extremely bright, and as for the frost she defied it; nor had she any of those apprehensions which many young ladies would have felt at travelling by night; for she had, as we have before observed, some little degree of natural courage; and this, her present sensations, which bordered somewhat on despair, greatly encreased. Besides, as she had already travelled twice with safety by the light of the moon, she was the better emboldened to trust to it a third time.

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