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me canst not: ride in a coach, wouldst? That's a pretty thing, surely. No, no, I'll never let thee out of my sight any more till art married, that I promise thee. Sophia told him, she saw he was resolved to break her heart. O break thy heart, and be d--n'd,' quoth he, if a good husband will break it. I don't value a brass varden, not an halfpenny of any undu. tiful bupon earth.' He then took violently hold of her hand; upon which the parson once more interfered, begging him to use gentle methods. At that the 'squire thundered out a curse, and bid: the parsou hold his tongue, saying, At'n't in pulpit now? When art a got up there, I never mind what dost say; but I won't be priest-ridden, nor taught how to behave myself by thee. I wish your ladyship a good night. Come along, Sophy; be a good girl, and all shall be well. Shat ha' un, den me, shat ha'un.
Mrs. Honour appeared below stairs, and with a low curtesy to the 'squire, offered to attend her mistress; but he pushed her away, saying, 'Hold, madam, hold; you come no more near my house.'
And will you take my maid away from me? said, Sophia. Yes, indeed, madam, will I,' cries/the 'squire: you need not fear being without a servant;" I will get you another maid, and a better maid than this, who, I'd lay five pounds to a crown, is no more a maid than my grannum. No, no, Sophy; she shall contrive no more escapes, I promise you.' He then packed up his daughter and the parson into the hackney-coach; after which he mounted himself, and ordered it to drive to his lodgings. In the way thither, he suffered Sophia to be quiet, and enter tained himself with reading a lecture to the parson on good manners, and a proper behaviour to his
It is possible he might not so easily have carried off his daughter from Lady Bellaston, had that good lady desired to have detained her; but, in reality, she was not a little pleased with the confinement
into which Sophia was going; and, as her project with Lord Fellamar had failed of success, she was well contented that other violent methods were now going to be used in favour of another man.
THOUGH the reader, in many histories, is obliged to digest much more unaccountable appearances than this of Mr. Western, without any satisfaction at all; yet, as we dearly love to oblige him whenever it is in our power, we shall now proceed to show by what method the 'squire discovered where his daughter was.
In the third chapter, then, of the preceding book, we gave a hint (for it is not our custom to unfold at any time more than is necessary for the occasion), that Mrs. Fitzpatrick, who was very desirous of reconciling herself to her uncle and aunt Western, thought she had a probable opportunity, by the service of preserving Sophia from committing the same crime which had drawn on herself the anger of her family. After much deliberation, therefore, she resolved to inform her aunt Western where her cousin was, and accordingly she writ the following letter, which we shall give the reader at length, for more reasons than one.
The occasion of my writing this will perhaps make a letter of mine agreeable to iny dear aunt, for the sake of one of her nieces; though I have little reason to hope it will be so on the account of another.
Without more apology, as I was coming to throw my unhappy self at your feet, I met, by the strangest accident in the world, my cousin Sophy, whose his. tory you are better acquainted with than myself;
though, alas! I know infinitely too much; enough, indeed, to satisfy me, that, unless she is immediately prevented, she is in danger of running into the same fatal mischief, which, by foolishly and igno. rantly refusing your most wise and prudent advice, I have unfortunately brought on myself.
In short, I have seen the man; nay, I was most part of yesterday in his company, and a charming young fellow, I promise you, he is. By what accident he came acquainted with me is too tedious to tell you now; but I have this morning changed my lodgings to avoid him, lest he should by my means discover my cousin; for he doth not yet know where she is, and it is advisable he should not, till my uncle hath secured her. No time, therefore, is to be lost; and I need only inform you, that she is now with Lady Bellaston, whom I have seen, and who hath, I find, a design of concealing her from her family. You know, madam, she is a strange woman; but nothing could misbecome me more than to presume to give any hint to one of your great un. derstanding and great knowledge of the world, besides barely informing you of the matter of fact.
I hope, madam, the care which I have shown on this occasion for the good of my family, will recommend me again to the favour of a lady who hath always exerted so much zeal for the honour and true interest of us all; and that it may be a means of restoring me to your friendship, which hath made so great a part of my former, and is so necessary to my future, happiness. I am,
With the utmost respect,
your most dutiful obliged niece,
and most obedient humble servant,
Mrs. Western was now at her brother's house, where she had resided ever since the flight of Sophia, in order to administer comfort to the poor 'squire in
his affliction. Of this comfort, which she doled out to him in daily portions, we have formerly given a specimen.
She was now standing with her back to the fire, and, with a pinch of snuff in her hand, was dealing forth this daily allowance of comfort to the 'squire, while he smoked his afternoon pipe, when she received the above letter; which she had no sooner read, than she delivered it to him, saying, There, sir, there is an account of your lost sheep. Fortune hath again restored her to you; and if you will be governed by my advice, it is possible you may yet preserve her?
The 'squire had no sooner read the letter, than he leaped from his chair, threw his pipe into the fire, and gave a loud huzza for joy. He then summoned his servants, called for his boots, and ordered the Chevalier and several other horses to be saddled, and that Parson Supple should be immediately sent for. Having done this he turned to his sister, caught her in his arms, and gave her a close embrace, say. ing, Zounds! yon don't seem pleased; one would imagine you was sorry I have found the girl.'
Brother,' answered she, the deepest politicians, who see to the bottom, discover often a very differ. ent aspect of affairs, from what swims on the surface. It is true, indeed, things do look rather less. desperate than they did formerly in Holland, when Lewis the Fourteenth was at the gates of Amster. dam; but there is a delicacy required in this mat ter, which you will pardon me, brother, if I suspect you want. There is a decorum to be used with a woman of figure, such as Lady Bellaston, brother, which requires a knowledge of the world superior, I am afraid, to yours.'
Sister,' cries the 'squire, I know you have no opinion of my parts; but I'll show you on this occa sion who is a fool. Knowledge, quotha! I have not been in the country so long without having some knowledge of warrants, and the law of the land. I
know I may take my own wherever I can find it. Show me my own daughter, and if I don't know how to come at her, I'll suffer you to call me a fool as long as I live. There be justices of peace in London, as well as in other places.'
I protest,' cries she, you make me tremble for the event of this matter, which, if you will proceed by my advice, you may bring to so good an issue, Do you really imagine, brother, that the house of a woman of figure is to be attacked by warrants and brutal justices of the peace? I will inform you how to proceed. As soon as you arrive in town, and have got yourself into a decent dress (for indeed, brother, you have none at present fit to appear in), you must send your compliments to Lady Bellaston, and de sire leave to wait on her...When you are admitted to her presence, as you certainly will be, and have told her your story, and have made proper use of my name (for I think you just know one another only by sight, though you are relations), I am confident she will withdraw her protection from my niece, who hath certainly imposed upon her. This is the only method.---Justices of peace, indeed! do you imagine any such event can arrive to a woman of figure in a civilized nation?"
D-n their figures,' cries the 'squire ; ' a pretty civilized nation, truly, where women are above the law. And what must I stand sending a parcel of compliments to a confounded whore, that keeps away a daughter. from her own natural father? I tell you, sister, I am not so ignorant as you think me. I know you would have women above the law; but it is all a lie; I heard his lordship say at size, that no one is above the law. But this of yours is Hanover law, I suppose.'
• Mr. Western,' said she, I think you daily im. prove in ignorance. I protest you are grown an ar
•Nomore a bear than yourself, sister Western,' said the 'squire. Pox! you may talk of your civility au