BOOK XIII. CONTAINING THE SPACE OF TWELVE DAYS.
3. Chapter iii. A project of Mrs Fitzpatrick...
Mrs Fitzpatrick made many apologies for an early, abrupt visit, at an
hour when, she said, "she should not have thought of disturbing her
ladyship, but upon business of the utmost consequence." She then
opened the whole affair, told all she had heard from Betty; and did
not forget the visit which Jones had paid to herself the preceding
Lady Bellaston answered with a smile, "Then you have seen this
terrible man, madam; pray, is he so very fine a figure as he is
represented? for Etoff entertained me last night almost two hours with
him. The wench I believe is in love with him by reputation." Here the
reader will be apt to wonder; but the truth is, that Mrs Etoff, who
had the honour to pin and unpin the Lady Bellaston, had received
compleat information concerning the said Mr Jones, and had faithfully
conveyed the same to her lady last night (or rather that morning)
while she was undressing; on which accounts she had been detained in
her office above the space of an hour and a half.
The lady indeed, though generally well enough pleased with the
narratives of Mrs Etoff at those seasons, gave an extraordinary
attention to her account of Jones; for Honour had described him as a
very handsome fellow, and Mrs Etoff, in her hurry, added so much to
the beauty of his person to her report, that Lady Bellaston began to
conceive him to be a kind of miracle in nature.
The curiosity which her woman had inspired was now greatly increased
by Mrs Fitzpatrick, who spoke as much in favour of the person of Jones
as she had before spoken in dispraise of his birth, character, and
When Lady Bellaston had heard the whole, she answered gravely,
"Indeed, madam, this is a matter of great consequence. Nothing can
certainly be more commendable than the part you act; and I shall be
very glad to have my share in the preservation of a young lady of so
much merit, and for whom I have so much esteem."
"Doth not your ladyship think," says Mrs Fitzpatrick eagerly, "that it
would be the best way to write immediately to my uncle, and acquaint
him where my cousin is?"