BOOK XI. CONTAINING ABOUT THREE DAYS.
6. Chapter vi. In which the mistake of the landlord...
"I betray your ladyship!" quoth the landlord; "no (and then he swore
several very hearty oaths); I would sooner be cut into ten thousand
pieces. I hate all treachery. I! I never betrayed any one in my life
yet, and I am sure I shall not begin with so sweet a lady as your
ladyship. All the world would very much blame me if I should, since it
will be in your ladyship's power so shortly to reward me. My wife can
witness for me, I knew your ladyship the moment you came into the
house: I said it was your honour, before I lifted you from your horse,
and I shall carry the bruises I got in your ladyship's service to the
grave; but what signified that, as long as I saved your ladyship? To
be sure some people this morning would have thought of getting a
reward; but no such thought ever entered into my head. I would sooner
starve than take any reward for betraying your ladyship."
"I promise you, sir," says Sophia, "if it be ever in my power to
reward you, you shall not lose by your generosity."
"Alack-a-day, madam!" answered the landlord; "in your ladyship's
power! Heaven put it as much into your will! I am only afraid your
honour will forget such a poor man as an innkeeper; but, if your
ladyship should not, I hope you will remember what reward I
refused--refused! that is, I would have refused, and to be sure it may
be called refusing, for I might have had it certainly; and to be sure
you might have been in some houses;--but, for my part, would not
methinks for the world have your ladyship wrong me so much as to
imagine I ever thought of betraying you, even before I heard the good
"What news, pray?" says Sophia, something eagerly.
"Hath not your ladyship heard it, then?" cries the landlord; "nay,
like enough, for I heard it only a few minutes ago; and if I had never
heard it, may the devil fly away with me this instant if I would have
betrayed your honour! no, if I would, may I--" Here he subjoined
several dreadful imprecations, which Sophia at last interrupted, and
begged to know what he meant by the news.--He was going to answer,
when Mrs Honour came running into the room, all pale and breathless,
and cried out, "Madam, we are all undone, all ruined, they are come,
they are come!" These words almost froze up the blood of Sophia; but
Mrs Fitzpatrick asked Honour who were come?--"Who?" answered she,
"why, the French; several hundred thousands of them are landed, and we
shall be all murdered and ravished."