BOOK XIII. CONTAINING THE SPACE OF TWELVE DAYS.
6. Chapter vi. What arrived...
Jones expressed some surprize on this occasion, and declared it must
be some mistake; but the maid persisting that she was certain of the
name, all the women were desirous of having the bundle immediately
opened; which operation was at length performed by little Betsy, with
the consent of Mr Jones: and the contents were found to be a domino, a
mask, and a masquerade ticket.
Jones was now more positive than ever in asserting, that these things
must have been delivered by mistake; and Mrs Miller herself expressed
some doubt, and said, "She knew not what to think." But when Mr
Nightingale was asked, he delivered a very different opinion. "All I
can conclude from it, sir," said he, "is, that you are a very happy
man; for I make no doubt but these were sent you by some lady whom you
will have the happiness of meeting at the masquerade."
Jones had not a sufficient degree of vanity to entertain any such
flattering imagination; nor did Mrs Miller herself give much assent to
what Mr Nightingale had said, till Miss Nancy having lifted up the
domino, a card dropt from the sleeve, in which was written as
To MR JONES.
The queen of the fairies sends you this;
Use her favours not amiss.
Mrs Miller and Miss Nancy now both agreed with Mr Nightingale; nay,
Jones himself was almost persuaded to be of the same opinion. And as
no other lady but Mrs Fitzpatrick, he thought, knew his lodging, he
began to flatter himself with some hopes, that it came from her, and
that he might possibly see his Sophia. These hopes had surely very
little foundation; but as the conduct of Mrs Fitzpatrick, in not
seeing him according to her promise, and in quitting her lodgings, had
been very odd and unaccountable, he conceived some faint hopes, that
she (of whom he had formerly heard a very whimsical character) might
possibly intend to do him that service in a strange manner, which she
declined doing by more ordinary methods. To say the truth, as nothing
certain could be concluded from so odd and uncommon an incident, he
had the greater latitude to draw what imaginary conclusions from it he
pleased. As his temper therefore was naturally sanguine, he indulged
it on this occasion, and his imagination worked up a thousand
conceits, to favour and support his expectations of meeting his dear
Sophia in the evening.