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hands; for I am extremely nice, and have been always used from my cradle to have every thing in the most elegant manner."
The landlady, who governed herself with much dificulty, began now the necessary preparations; for as to Susan, she was utterly rejected, and with such disdain, that the poor wench was as hard put to it to restrain her hands from violence, as her mistress had been to hold her tongue. This indeed Susan did not entirely; for though she literally kept it within her teeth, yet there it muttered many marry-come-ups, as good flesh and blood as yourself;' with other such indignant phrases.
While the supper was preparing, Mrs. Abigail began to lament she had not ordered a fire in the parlour; but, she said, that was now too late. • However,' said she, I have novelty to recommend a kitchen; for I do not believe I ever eat in one before.' Then turning to the post-boys, she asked them, Why they were not in the stable with their horses? If I must eat my hard fare here, madam,' cries she to the landlady, I beg the kitchen may be kept clear, that I may not be surrounded with all the blackguards in town. As for you, sir,' says she to Partridge, you look somewhat like a gentleman, and may sit still, if you please; I don't desire to disturb any body but mob.'
Yes, yes, madam,' cries Partridge, I am a gentleman, I do assure you, and I am not so easily to be disturbed. Non semper vox casualis est verbo nominativus.' This Latin she took to be some affront, and answered, 'You may be a gentleman, sir; but you don't show yourself as one to talk Latin to a woman.' Partridge made a gentle reply, and coucluded with more Latin; upon which she tossed up her nose, and contented herself by abusing him with the name of a great scholar.
The supper being now on the table, Mrs. Abigail eat very heartily, for so delicate a person; and while a second course of the same was by order pre
paring, she said, And so, madam, you tell me your house is frequented by people of great quality?"
The landlady answered in the affirmative, saying, 'There were a great many very good quality and gentlefolks in it now. There's young Squire Allworthy, as that gentleman there knows."
And pray who is this young gentleman of quali ty, this young Squire Allworthy?" said Abigail.
Who should he be,' answered Partridge, but the son and heir of the great Squire Allworthy, of Somersetshire.'
Upon my word,' said she, you tell me strange news; for I know Mr. Allworthy of Somersetshire very well, and I know he hath no son alive."
The landlady pricked up her ears at this, and Partridge looked a little confounded. However, after a short hesitation, he answered, Indeed, ma. dam, it is true, every body doth not know him to be Squire Allworthy's son; for he was never married. to his mother; but his son he certainly is, and will be his heir too, as certainly as his name is Jones.' At that word, Abigail let drop the bacon, which she was conveying to her mouth, and cried out, You surprise me, sir! Is it possible Mr. Jones should be now in the house?'-- Quare non ? answered Partridge, it is possible, and it is certain.'
Abigail now made haste to finish the remainder of her meal, and then repaired back to her mistress, when the conversation passed, which may be read in the next chapter.
S in the month of June, the damask rose, which chance hath planted among the lilies, with their candid hue mixes his vermilion; or, as some playsome heifer in the pleasant month of May dif fuses her odoriferous breath over the flowery mea.
dows; or as, in the blooming month of April, the gentle, constant dove, perched on some fair bough, sits meditating on her mate; so, looking a hundred charms and breathing as many'sweets, her thoughts being fixed on her Tommy, with a heart as good and innocent as her face was beautiful; Sophia (for it was she herself) lay reclining her lovely head on her hand, when her maid entered the room, and, running directly to the bed, cried, Madam--madam ---who doth your ladyship think is in the house?' Sophia, starting up, cried, I hope my father hath not overtaken us.'No, madam, it is one worth a hundred fathers; Mr. Jones himself is here at this very instant. Mr. Jones!' says Sophia, possible! I cannot be so fortunate.' averred the fact, and was presently detached by her mistress to order him to be called; for she said she was resolved to see him immediately...
it is imHer maid
Mrs. Honour had no sooner left the kitchen in the manner we have before seen, than the landlady fell severely upon her. The poor woman had, indeed, been loading her heart with foul language for some time, and now it scoured out of her mouth, as filth doth from a mud-cart, when the board which confines it is removed. Partridge, likewise, shovelled in his share of calumny, and (what may surprise the reader) not only hespattered the maid, but attempted to sully the lily-white character of Sophia herself. Never a barrel the better herring,' cries he. Noscitur à socio, is a true say. ing. It must be confessed, indeed, that the lady in the fine garments is the civiller of the two; but I warrant neither of them are a bit better than they should be. A couple of Bath trulls, I'll answer for them; your quality don't ride about at this time o' night without servants.' Sbodikins, and that's true,' cries the landlady; you have certainly hit upon the very matter; for quality don't come into a house without bespeaking a supper, whether they
eat or no.'
While they were thus discoursing, Mrs. Honour returned, and discharged her commission, by bidding the landlady immediately wake Mr. Jones, and tell him a lady wanted to speak with him. The landady referred her to Partridge, saying, he was the squire's friend; but, for her part, she never called men-folks, especially gentlemen,' and then walked sullenly out of the kitchen. Honour applied herself to Partridge; but he refused: for my friend,' cries he went to bed very late, and he would be very angry to be disturbed so soon.' Mrs. Honour insisted still to have him called, saying, She was sure, instead of being angry, that he would be to the highest degree delighted when he knew the occasion. Another time, perhaps he might,' cries Partridge; but non omnia possumus omnes: One woman is enough at once for a reasonable man' 'What do you mean by one woman, fellow?" cries Ho. nour. None of your fellow,' answered Partridge. He then proceeded to inform her plainly, that Jones was in bed with a wench, and made use of an expres sion too indelicate to be here inserted: which so enraged Mrs. Honour, that she called him Jackanapes, and returned in a violent hurry to her mistress, whom she acquainted with the success of her errand, and with the account she had received; which, if possi ble, she exaggerated, being as angry with Jones, as if he had pronounced all the words that came from the mouth of Partridge. She discharged a torrent of abuse on the master, and advised her mistress to quit all thoughts of a man who had never shown himself deserving of her. She then ripped up the story of Molly Seagrim, and gave the most malicious turn to his formerly quitting Sophia herself; which, I must confess, the present incident not a little countenanced.
The spirits of Sophia were too much dissipated by concern, to enable her to stop the torrent of her maid. At last, however, she interrupted her, say. ing, I never can believe this; some villain hath
belied him. You say you had it from his friend; but surely it is not the office of a friend to betray such secrets. I suppose,' cries Honour, the fellow is his pimp; for I never saw so ill-looked a vilJain. Besides, such profligate rakes as Mr. Jones are never ashamed of these matters.'
To say the truth, this behaviour of Partridge was a little inexcusable; but he had not slept off the effect of the dose which he swallowed the evening before; which had, in the morning, received the addition of above a pint of wine, or, indeed, rather of malt spirits; for the perry was by no means puré. Now that part of his head which Nature designed for the reservoir of drink, being very shallow, a small quantity of liquor overflowed it, and opened the sluices of his heart; so that all the secrets there deposited run out. These sluices were, indeed, naturally very ill-secured. To give the best-natured turn we can to his disposition, he was a very honest man; for as he was the most inquisitive of mortals, and eternally prying into secrets of others; so he very faithfully paid them by communicating, in return, every thing within his knowledge.
While Sophia, tormented with anxiety, knew not what to believe, nor what resolution to take, Susan arrived with the sack-whey. Mrs. Honour immediately advised her mistress, in a whisper, to pump. this wench, who, probably, could inform her of the truth. Sophia approved it and began, as follows: Come hither, child; now answer me truly what I am going to ask you, and I promise you I will very well reward you. Is there a young gentleman in, this house, a handsome young gentleman, that Here Sophia blushed, and was confounded. A young gentleman,' cries Honour, that came hither in company with that saucy rascal who is now in the kitchen? Susan answered, There was.'--' Do you know any thing of any lady?" continues Sophia; any lady? I don't ask you whether she is handsome or no; perhaps she is not, that's nothing to