Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a foundling

7. Chapter vii. Containing the whole humours of a masquerade. (continued)

The mask walked hastily to the upper end of the innermost apartment before she spoke; and then, instead of answering him, sat down, and declared she was tired. Jones sat down by her, and still persisted in his entreaties; at last the lady coldly answered, "I imagined Mr Jones had been a more discerning lover, than to suffer any disguise to conceal his mistress from him." "Is she here, then, madam?" replied Jones, with some vehemence. Upon which the lady cried--"Hush, sir, you will be observed. I promise you, upon my honour, Miss Western is not here."

Jones, now taking the mask by the hand, fell to entreating her in the most earnest manner, to acquaint him where he might find Sophia; and when he could obtain no direct answer, he began to upbraid her gently for having disappointed him the day before; and concluded, saying, "Indeed, my good fairy queen, I know your majesty very well, notwithstanding the affected disguise of your voice. Indeed, Mrs Fitzpatrick, it is a little cruel to divert yourself at the expense of my torments."

The mask answered, "Though you have so ingeniously discovered me, I must still speak in the same voice, lest I should be known by others. And do you think, good sir, that I have no greater regard for my cousin, than to assist in carrying on an affair between you two, which must end in her ruin, as well as your own? Besides, I promise you, my cousin is not mad enough to consent to her own destruction, if you are so much her enemy as to tempt her to it."

"Alas, madam!" said Jones, "you little know my heart, when you call me an enemy of Sophia."

"And yet to ruin any one," cries the other, "you will allow, is the act of an enemy; and when by the same act you must knowingly and certainly bring ruin on yourself, is it not folly or madness, as well as guilt? Now, sir, my cousin hath very little more than her father will please to give her; very little for one of her fashion--you know him, and you know your own situation."

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