BOOK XVI. CONTAINING THE SPACE OF FIVE DAYS.
2. Chapter ii. A whimsical adventure...
A whimsical adventure which befel the squire, with the distressed
situation of Sophia.
We must now convey the reader to Mr Western's lodgings, which were in
Piccadilly, where he was placed by the recommendation of the landlord
at the Hercules Pillars at Hyde Park Corner; for at the inn, which was
the first he saw on his arrival in town, he placed his horses, and in
those lodgings, which were the first he heard of, he deposited
Here, when Sophia alighted from the hackney-coach, which brought her
from the house of Lady Bellaston, she desired to retire to the
apartment provided for her; to which her father very readily agreed,
and whither he attended her himself. A short dialogue, neither very
material nor pleasant to relate minutely, then passed between them, in
which he pressed her vehemently to give her consent to the marriage
with Blifil, who, as he acquainted her, was to be in town in a few
days; but, instead of complying, she gave a more peremptory and
resolute refusal than she had ever done before. This so incensed her
father, that after many bitter vows, that he would force her to have
him whether she would or no, he departed from her with many hard words
and curses, locked the door, and put the key into his pocket.
While Sophia was left with no other company than what attend the
closest state prisoner, namely, fire and candle, the squire sat down
to regale himself over a bottle of wine, with his parson and the
landlord of the Hercules Pillars, who, as the squire said, would make
an excellent third man, and could inform them of the news of the town,
and how affairs went; for to be sure, says he, he knows a great deal,
since the horses of many of the quality stand at his house.
In this agreeable society Mr Western past that evening and great part
of the succeeding day, during which period nothing happened of
sufficient consequence to find a place in this history. All this time
Sophia past by herself; for her father swore she should never come out
of her chamber alive, unless she first consented to marry Blifil; nor
did he ever suffer the door to be unlocked, unless to convey her food,
on which occasions he always attended himself.