BOOK XV. IN WHICH THE HISTORY ADVANCES ABOUT TWO DAYS.
2. Chapter ii. In which is opened...
As love, like fire, when once thoroughly kindled, is soon blown into a
flame, Sophia in a very short time compleated her conquest. Time now
flew away unperceived, and the noble lord had been two hours in
company with the lady, before it entered into his head that he had
made too long a visit. Though this circumstance alone would have
alarmed Sophia, who was somewhat more a mistress of computation at
present; she had indeed much more pregnant evidence from the eyes of
her lover of what past within his bosom; nay, though he did not make
any open declaration of his passion, yet many of his expressions were
rather too warm, and too tender, to have been imputed to complacence,
even in the age when such complacence was in fashion; the very reverse
of which is well known to be the reigning mode at present.
Lady Bellaston had been apprized of his lordship's visit at his first
arrival; and the length of it very well satisfied her, that things
went as she wished, and as indeed she had suspected the second time
she saw this young couple together. This business, she rightly I think
concluded, that she should by no means forward by mixing in the
company while they were together; she therefore ordered her servants,
that when my lord was going, they should tell him she desired to speak
with him; and employed the intermediate time in meditating how best to
accomplish a scheme, which she made no doubt but his lordship would
very readily embrace the execution of.