BOOK XIII. CONTAINING THE SPACE OF TWELVE DAYS.
3. Chapter iii. A project of Mrs Fitzpatrick...
A project of Mrs Fitzpatrick, and her visit to Lady Bellaston.
When Mrs Fitzpatrick retired to rest, her thoughts were entirely taken
up by her cousin Sophia and Mr Jones. She was, indeed, a little
offended with the former, for the disingenuity which she now
discovered. In which meditation she had not long exercised her
imagination before the following conceit suggested itself; that could
she possibly become the means of preserving Sophia from this man, and
of restoring her to her father, she should, in all human probability,
by so great a service to the family, reconcile to herself both her
uncle and her aunt Western.
As this was one of her most favourite wishes, so the hope of success
seemed so reasonable, that nothing remained but to consider of proper
methods to accomplish her scheme. To attempt to reason the case with
Sophia did not appear to her one of those methods: for as Betty had
reported from Mrs Honour, that Sophia had a violent inclination to
Jones, she conceived that to dissuade her from the match was an
endeavour of the same kind, as it would be very heartily and earnestly
to entreat a moth not to fly into a candle.
If the reader will please to remember that the acquaintance which
Sophia had with Lady Bellaston was contracted at the house of Mrs
Western, and must have grown at the very time when Mrs Fitzpatrick
lived with this latter lady, he will want no information, that Mrs
Fitzpatrick must have been acquainted with her likewise. They were,
besides, both equally her distant relations.
After much consideration, therefore, she resolved to go early in the
morning to that lady, and endeavour to see her, unknown to Sophia, and
to acquaint her with the whole affair. For she did not in the least
doubt, but that the prudent lady, who had often ridiculed romantic
love, and indiscreet marriages, in her conversation, would very
readily concur in her sentiments concerning this match, and would lend
her utmost assistance to prevent it.
This resolution she accordingly executed; and the next morning before
the sun, she huddled on her cloaths, and at a very unfashionable,
unseasonable, unvisitable hour, went to Lady Bellaston, to whom she
got access, without the least knowledge or suspicion of Sophia, who,
though not asleep, lay at that time awake in her bed, with Honour
snoring by her side.