BOOK XVI. CONTAINING THE SPACE OF FIVE DAYS.
9. Chapter ix. In which Jones pays a visit...
To these ladies a man often recommends himself while he is commending
another woman; and, while he is expressing ardour and generous
sentiments for his mistress, they are considering what a charming
lover this man would make to them, who can feel all this tenderness
for an inferior degree of merit. Of this, strange as it may seem, I
have seen many instances besides Mrs Fitzpatrick, to whom all this
really happened, and who now began to feel a somewhat for Mr Jones,
the symptoms of which she much sooner understood than poor Sophia had
To say the truth, perfect beauty in both sexes is a more irresistible
object than it is generally thought; for, notwithstanding some of us
are contented with more homely lots, and learn by rote (as children to
repeat what gives them no idea) to despise outside, and to value more
solid charms; yet I have always observed, at the approach of
consummate beauty, that these more solid charms only shine with that
kind of lustre which the stars have after the rising of the sun.
When Jones had finished his exclamations, many of which would have
become the mouth of Oroondates himself, Mrs Fitzpatrick heaved a
deep sigh, and, taking her eyes off from Jones, on whom they had been
some time fixed, and dropping them on the ground, she cried, "Indeed,
Mr Jones, I pity you; but it is the curse of such tenderness to be
thrown away on those who are insensible of it. I know my cousin better
than you, Mr Jones, and I must say, any woman who makes no return to
such a passion, and such a person, is unworthy of both."
"Sure, madam," said Jones, "you can't mean----" "Mean!" cries Mrs
Fitzpatrick, "I know not what I mean; there is something, I think, in
true tenderness bewitching; few women ever meet with it in men, and
fewer still know how to value it when they do. I never heard such
truly noble sentiments, and I can't tell how it is, but you force one
to believe you. Sure she must be the most contemptible of women who
can overlook such merit."
The manner and look with which all this was spoke infused a suspicion
into Jones which we don't care to convey in direct words to the
reader. Instead of making any answer, he said, "I am afraid, madam, I
have made too tiresome a visit;" and offered to take his leave.