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a very fair-promising inn, where they all alighted; but so fatigued was Sophia, that, as she had sat her horse, during the last five or six miles, with great difficulty, so was she now incapable of dismounting from him without assistance. This the landlord, who had laid hold of her horse, presently perceiv ing, offered to lift her in his arms from her saddle; and she too readily accepted the tender of his service. Indeed, fortune seems to have resolved to put Sophia to the blush that day, and the second malicious attempt succeeded better than the first; for my landlord had no sooner received the young lady in his arms, than his feet, which the gout had lately very severely handled, gave way, and down he tumbled; but, at the same time, with no less. dexterity than gallantry, contrived to throw himself under his charming burden, so that he alone receiv. ed any bruise from the fall; for the great injury which happened to Sophia, was a violent shock given to her modesty, by an immoderate grin, which, at her rising from the ground, she observed in the countenance of most of the by-standers, This made her suspect what had really happened, and what we shall not here relate, for the indulg. ence of those readers who are capable of laughing at the offence given to a young lady's delicacy. Accidents of this kind we have never regarded in a comical light; nor will we scruple to say, that he must have a very inadequate idea of the modesty of a beautiful young woman, who would wish to sacrifice it to so paltry a satisfaction as can arise from laughter.
This fright and shock, joined to the violent fatigue. which both her mind and body had undergone, almost overcame the excellent constitution of Sophia, and she had scarce strength sufficient to totter into the inn, leaning on the arm of her maid. Here she was no sooner seated than she called for a glass of water; but Mrs. Honour, very judiciously, in my opinion, changed it into a glass of wine.
Mrs. Fitzpatrick hearing from Mrs. Honour, that Sophia had not been in bed during the last two nights, and observing her to look very pale and wan with her fatigue, earnestly entreated her to refresh herself with some sleep. She was yet a stranger to her history, or her apprehensions; but had she known both, she would have given the same advice; for rest was visibly necessary for her; and their long journey through by-roads so entirely removed all danger of pursuit, that she was herself perfectly easy on that account.
Sophia was easily prevailed to follow the counsel of her friend, which was heartily seconded by her maid. Mrs. Fitzpatrick likewise offered to bear her cousin company, which Sophia, with much complaisance, accepted.
The mistress was no sooner in bed, than the maid prepared to follow her example. She began to make many apologies to her sister Abigail for leaving her alone in so horrid a place as an inn; but the other stopped her short, being as well inclined to a nap as herself, and desired the honour of being her bed-fellow. Sophia's maid agreed to give her a share of her bed, but put in her claim to all the honour. So after many courtsies and compliments, to bed together went the waiting-women, as their mistresses had done before them.
It was usual with my landlord (as, indeed, it is with the whole fraternity) to inquire particularly of all coachmen, footmen, postboys, and others, into the names of all his guests; what their estate was, and where it lay. It cannot therefore be wondered at, that the many particular circumstances which attended our travellers, and especially their re tiring all to sleep at so extraordinary and unusual an hour as ten in the morning, should excite his curiosity. As soon, therefore, as the guides entered the kitchen, he began to examine who the ladies. were, and whence they came; but the guides, though they faithfully related all they knew, gave
him very little satisfaction. On the contrary, they rather inflamed his curiosity than extinguished it.
This landlord had the character, among all his neighbours, of being a very sagacious fellow. He was thought to see farther and deeper into things than any man in the parish, the parson himself not excepted. Perhaps his look had contributed not a little to procure him this reputation; for there was in this something wonderfully wise and significant, especially when he had a pipe in his mouth; which, indeed, he seldom was without. His beha. viour, likewise, greatly assisted in promoting the opinion of his wisdom. In his deportment he was solemn, if not sullen; and when he spoke, which was seldom, he always delivered himself in a slow voice; and though his sentences were short, they were still interrupted with many hums and ha's, ay, ay's, and other expletives: so that though he accompanied his words with certain explanatory gestures, such as shaking or nodding the head, or pointing with his fore-finger, he generally left his hearers to understand more than he expressed; nay, he commonly gave them the hint, that he knew much more than he thought proper to disclose. This last circumstance alone may, indeed, very well account for his character of wisdom; since men are strangely inclined to worship what they do not understand. A grand secret, upon which several imposers on mankind have totally relied for the success of their frauds.
This polite person now taking his wife aside, asked her, what she thought of the ladies lately arrived?'-... Think of them,' said the wife, why, what should I think of them ?'---' I know,' answered he, what I think. The guides tell strange stories. One pretends to be come from Gloucester, and the other from Upton; and neither of them, for what I can find, can tell whither they are going. But what people ever travel across the country from Upton hither, especially to London? And one of
the maid-servants, before she alighted from her horse, asked, if this was not the London road? Now I have put all these circumstances together, and whom do you think I have found them out to be Nay,' answered she, you know I never pretend to guess at your discoveries- It is a good girl,' replied he, chucking her under the chin; I must own you have always submitted to my knowledge of these matters. Why, then, depend upon it; mind what I say, depend upon it, they are cer tainly some of the rebel ladies, who, they say, travel with the young Chevalier; and have taken a roundabout way to escape the duke's army.'
Husband,' quoth the wife, you have certainly hit it; for one of them is dressed as fine as any princess; and, to be sure, she looks for all the world like one. But yet, when I consider one thing When you consider,' cries the landlord. contemptuously. Come, pray let's hear what you consider. Why it is,' answered the wife, that she is too humble to be any very great lady; for while our Betty was warming the bed, she called her nothing but child, and my dear, and sweetheart; and when Betty offered to pull off her shoes and stockings, she would not suffer her, saying, she would not give her the trouble.'
Pugh!' answered the husband, that is nothing. Dost think, because you have seen some great ladies rude and uncivil to persons below them, that none of them know how to behave themselves when they come before their inferiors? I think I know people of fashion when I see them. I think I do. Did not she call for a glass of water when she came in? Another sort of women would have called for a
dram; you know they would. If she be not a wonian of very great quality, sell me for a fool; and, I believe, those who buy me will have a bad bargain. Now, would a woman of her quality travel without a footman, unless upon some such extraordinary occasion? Nay, to be sure, hus
band, cries she, you know these matters better than I, or most folk. I think I do know some. thing,' said he. To be sure,' answered the wife, "the poor little heart looked so piteous, when she sat down in the chair, I protest I could not help having a compassion for her, almost as much as if she had been a poor body. But what's to be done, husband? If an she be a rebel, I suppose you intend to betray her up to the court. Well, she's a sweet-tempered, good-humoured lady, be she what she will, and I shall hardly refrain from crying when I hear she is hanged or beheaded.'' Pugh!' answered the husband. But, as to what's to be done, it is not so easy a matter to determine. I hope, before she goes away, we shall have the news. of a battle for if the Chevalier should get the better, she may gain us interest at court, and make our fortunes without betraying her.' Why, that's true, replied the wife; and I heartily hope she will have it in her power. Certainly she's a sweet good lady; it would go horribly against me to have her come to any harm.'-Pugh!" cries the landlord, women are always so tender-hearted. Why, you would not harbour rebels, would you? No, certainly,' answered the wife; and as for betraying her, come what will on't, nobody can blame us. It is what any body would do in our case.'
While our politic landlord, who had not, we see, undeservedly the reputation of great wisdom among his neighbours, was engaged in debating this mat ter with himself (for he paid little attention to the opinion of his wife), news arrived that the rebels had given the duke the slip, and had got a day's march towards London; and soon after arrived a famous Jacobite 'squire, who, with great joy in his countenance, shook the landlord by the hand, saying, All's our own, boy; ten thousand honest Frenchmen are landed in Suffolk. Old England for ever! ten thousand French, my brave lad! I am going to tap away directly.'