BOOK XV. IN WHICH THE HISTORY ADVANCES ABOUT TWO DAYS.
7. Chapter vii. In which various misfortunes befel poor Jones.
Jones, instead of applying himself directly to take off the edge of
Mrs Honour's resentment, as a more experienced gallant would have
done, fell to cursing his stars, and lamenting himself as the most
unfortunate man in the world; and presently after, addressing himself
to Lady Bellaston, he fell to some very absurd protestations of
innocence. By this time the lady, having recovered the use of her
reason, which she had as ready as any woman in the world, especially
on such occasions, calmly replied: "Sir, you need make no apologies, I
see now who the person is; I did not at first know Mrs Honour: but now
I do, I can suspect nothing wrong between her and you; and I am sure
she is a woman of too good sense to put any wrong constructions upon
my visit to you; I have been always her friend, and it may be in my
power to be much more hereafter."
Mrs Honour was altogether as placable as she was passionate. Hearing,
therefore, Lady Bellaston assume the soft tone, she likewise softened
hers.----"I'm sure, madam," says she, "I have been always ready to
acknowledge your ladyship's friendships to me; sure I never had so
good a friend as your ladyship----and to be sure, now I see it is your
ladyship that I spoke to, I could almost bite my tongue off for very
mad.--I constructions upon your ladyship--to be sure it doth not
become a servant as I am to think about such a great lady--I mean I
was a servant: for indeed I am nobody's servant now, the more
miserable wretch is me.--I have lost the best mistress----" Here
Honour thought fit to produce a shower of tears.--"Don't cry, child,"
says the good lady; "ways perhaps may be found to make you amends.
Come to me to-morrow morning." She then took up her fan which lay on
the ground, and without even looking at Jones walked very majestically
out of the room; there being a kind of dignity in the impudence of
women of quality, which their inferiors vainly aspire to attain to in
circumstances of this nature.
Jones followed her downstairs, often offering her his hand, which she
absolutely refused him, and got into her chair without taking any
notice of him as he stood bowing before her.