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This news determined the opinion of the wise man, and he resolved to make his court to the young lady, when she arose; for he had now, he said, discovered that she was no other than Madam Jenny Cameron herself.
THE sun (for he keeps very good hours at this. time of the year) had been some time retired to rest, when Sophia arose, greatly refreshed by her sleep; which, short as it was, nothing but her extreme fatigue could have occasioned; for though she had told her maid, and, perhaps, herself too, that she was perfectly easy when she left Upton, yet it is certain her mind was a little affected with that malady which is attended with all the restless. symptoms of a fever, and is, perhaps, the very dis temper which physicians mean (if they mean any thing) by the fever on the spirits.
Mrs. Fitzpatrick likewise left her bed at the same time; and, having summoned her maid, immediately dressed herself. She was really a very pretty woman, and, had she been in any other company but that of Sophia, might have been thought beautiful; but when Mrs. Honour of her own accord attended (for her mistress would not suffer her to be waked), and had equipped our heroine, the charms of Mrs. Fitzpatrick, who had performed the office of the morning-star, and had preceded greater glories, shared the fate of that star, and were totally eclipsed the moment those glories shone forth.
Perhaps Sophia never looked more beautiful than she did at this instant. We ought not, therefore, to condemn the maid of the inn for her hyperbole, who, when she descended, after having lighted the fire, declared, and ratified it with an oath, that if
ever there was an angel upon earth, she was now above stairs.
Sophia had acquainted her cousin with her design to go to London; and Mrs. Fitzpatrick had agreed to accompany her; for the arrival of her husband at Upton had put an end to her design of going to Bath, or to her aunt Western. They had therefore no sooner finished their tea, than Sophia proposed to set out, the moon then shining extremely bright; and as for the frost, she defied it; nor had she any of those apprehensions which many young ladies would have felt at travelling by night; for she had, as we have before observed, some little degree of natural courage; and this her present sensations, which bordered somewhat on despair, greatly increased. Besides, as she had already travelled twice with safety, by the light of the moon, she was the better emboldened to trust to it a third time.
The disposition of Mrs. Fitzpatrick was more timo. rous; for though the greater terrors had conquered the less, and the presence of her husband had driven her away at so unseasonable an hour from Upton; yet, being now arrived at a place where she thought herself safe from his pursuit, these lesser terrors of I know not what, operated so strongly, that she earnestly entreated her cousin to stay till the next morning, and not expose herself to the dangers of travelling by night.
Sophia, who was yielding to an excess, when she could neither laugh nor reason her cousin out of these apprehensions, at last gave way to them. Per haps, indeed, had she known of her father's arrival at Upton, it might have been more difficult to have persuaded her; for as to Jones, she had, I am afraid, no great horror at the thoughts of being overtaken by him; nay, to confess the truth, I be lieve she rather wished it than feared it: though I might honestly enough have concealed this wish from the reader, as it was one of those secret spon
taneous emotions of the soul, to which the reason is often a stranger.
When our young ladies had determined to remain all that evening in their inn, they were attended by the landlady, who desired to know what their lady. ships would be pleased to eat. Such charms were there in the voice, in the manner, and in the affable deportment of Sophia, that she ravished the land. lady to the highest degree; and that good woman concluding that she had attended Jenny Cameron, became in a moment a staunch Jacobite, and wished heartily well to the young Pretender's cause, from the great sweetness and affability with which she had been treated by his supposed mistress.
The two cousins began now to impart to each other their reciprocal curiosity, to know what extraordinary accidents on both sides occasioned this so strange and unexpected meeting. At last Mrs. Fitzpatrick, having obtained of Sophia a promise of communicating likewise in her turn, began to relate what the reader, if he is desirous to know her history, may read in the ensuing chapter.
FITZPATRICK, after a silence of a few moments, fetching a deep sigh, thus began: It is natural to the unhappy to feel a secret concern in recollecting those periods of their lives which have been most delightful to them. The remembrance of past pleasures affects us with a kind of tender grief, like what we suffer for departed friends; and the ideas of both may be said to haunt our imaginations.
For this reason, I never reflect without sorrow on those days (the happiest far of my life) which we spent together, when both were under the care
of my aunt Western. Alas! why are Miss Grave
You remember, I other by no other
airs and Miss Giddy no more? am sure, when we knew each names. Indeed, you gave the latter appellation with too much cause. I have since experienced how much I deserved it. You, my Sophia, was always my superior in every thing, and I heartily hope you will be so in your fortune. I shall never forget the wise and matronly advice you once gave me, when I lamented being disappointed of a ball, though you could not be then fourteen years old. O, my Sophy, how blest must have been my situa tion, when I could think such a disappointment a misfortune; and when, indeed, it was the greatest I had ever known!"
And yet, my dear Harriet,' answered Sophia, 'it was then a serious matter with you. Comfort yourself therefore with thinking, that whatever you now lament, may hereafter appear as trifling and contemptible as a ball would at this time.'
Alas, my Sophia!' replied the other lady, 'you yourself will think otherwise of my present situation; for greatly must that tender heart be altered, if my misfortunes do not draw many a sigh, nay, many a tear, from you. The knowledge of this should perhaps deter me from relating what I am convinced will so much affect you.' Here Mrs. Fitzpatrick stopped, till, at the repeated entreaties of Sophia, she thus proceeded:--
Though you must have heard much of my mar. riage, yet, as matters may probably have been misre presented, I will set out from the very commence. ment of my unfortunate acquaintance with my present husband; which was at Bath, soon after you left my aunt, and returned home to your father.
'Among the gay young fellows, who were at this season at Bath, Mr. Fitzpatrick was one. He was handsome, degagé, extremely gallant, and in his dress exceeded most others. In short, my dear, if you were unluckily to see him now I could describe
him no better than by telling you he was the very reverse of every thing' which he is; for he hath rusticated himself so long, that he is become an ab. solute wild Irishman. But to proceed in my story; the qualifications which he then possessed so well recommended him, that though the people of quality at that time lived separate from the rest of the company, and excluded them from all their parties, Mr.. Fitzpatrick found means to gain admittance. It was perhaps no easy matter to avoid him; for he required very little or no invitation; and as, being handsome and genteel, he found it no very difficult matter to ingratiate himself with the ladies; so, he having frequently drawn his sword, the men did not care publicly to affront him. Had it not been for some such reason, I believe he would have been soon expelled by his own sex; for surely he had no strict title to be preferred to the English gentry; nor did they seem inclined to show him any extraor dinary favour. They all abused him behind his back, which might probably proceed from envy; for by the women he was well received, and very par ticularly distinguished by them.
My aunt, though no person of quality herself, as she had always lived about the court, was enrolled in that party: for by whatever means you get into the polite circle, when you are once there, it is sufficient merit for you that you are there. This observation, young as you were, you could scarce avoid making from my aunt, who were free, or reserved, with all people, just as they had more or less of this merit.
And this merit, I believe, it was, which principally recommended Mr. Fitzpatrick to her favour; in which he so well succeeded, that he was always one of her private parties. Nor was he backward in returning such distinction: for he soon grew so very particular in his behaviour to her, that the scandal-club first began to take notice of it, and the better disposed persons made a match between