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some of those little blemishes, quas humana parum cavit natura, they will raise our compassion rather than our abhorrence. Indeed, nothing can be of more moral use than the imperfections which are seen in examples of this kind; since such form a kind of surprise, more apt to affect and dweil upon our minds, than the faults of very vicious and wicked persons. The foibles and vices of men, in whom there is great mixture of good, become more glaring objects from the virtues which contrast them and show their deformity; and when we find such vices attended with their evil consequence to our favourite characters, we are not only taught to shun them for our own sake, but to hate them for the mischiefs they have already brought on those we love.
And now, my friend, having given you these few admonitions, we will, if you please, once more set forward with our history.
Now the little trembling
OW the little trembling hare, which the dread
of all her numerous enemies, and chiefly of that cunning, cruel, carnivorous animal man, had confined all the day to her lurking place, sports wantonly o'er the lawns; now on some hollow tree the owl, shrill chorister of the night, hoots forth notes which might charm the ears of some modern. connoisseurs in music; now in the imagination of the half-drunk clown, as he staggers through the church-yard, or rather charnel-yard, to his home, fear paints the bloody hobgoblin; now thieves and ruffians are awake, and honest watchmen fast asleep in plain English, it was now midnight; and the company at the inn, as well those who have been already mentioned in this history, as some others who arrived in the evening, were all in bed. Only Susan Chambermaid was now stirring, she
being obliged to wash the kitchen, before she retired to the arms of the fond expecting hostler.
In this posture were affairs at the inn, when a gentleman arrived there post. He immediately alighted from his horse, and coming up to Susan, inquired of her, in a very abrupt and confused manner, being almost out of breath with eagerness, Whether there was any lady in the house? The hour of night, and the behaviour of the man, who stared very wildly all the time, a little surprised Susan, so that she hesitated before she made any answer; upon which the gentleman, with redoubled eagerness, begged her to give him a true information, saying, He had lost his wife, and was come in pursuit of her. Upon my shoul,' cries he, 'I have been near catching her already in two or three places, if I had not found her gone just as I came up with her. If she be in the house, do carry me up in the dark and show her to me; and if she be gone away before me, do tell me which way I shall go after her to meet her, and upon my shoul I will make you the richest poor woman in the nation.' He then pulled out a handful of guineas, a sight which would have bribed persons of much greater consequence than this poor wench, to much worse purposes.
Susan, from the account she had received of Mrs. Waters, made not the least doubt but that she was the very identical stray whom the right owuer pursued. As she concluded, therefore, with great appearance of reason, that she never could get money. in an honester way than by restoring a wife to her husband, she made no scruple of assuring the gen. tleman, that the lady he wanted was then in the house; and was presently afterwards prevailed upon (by very liberal promises, and some carnest paid into her hands) to conduct him to the bed. chamber of Mrs. Waters.
It hath been a custom long established in the polite world, and that upon very solid and substan
tial reasons, that a husband shall never enter his wife's apartment without first knocking at the door. The many excellent uses of this custom need scarce be hinted to a reader who hath any knowledge of the world; for by this means the lady hath time to adjust herself, or to remove any disagreeable object out of the way; for there are some situations, in which nice and delicate women would not be discovered by their husbands.
To say the truth, there are several ceremonies instituted among the polished part of mankind, which, though they may, to coarser judgements, appear as matters of mere form, are found to have much of substance in them, by the more discerning; and lucky would it have been, had the custom above mentioned been observed by our gentleman in the present instance. Knock, indeed, he did at the door, but not with one of those gentle raps which is usual on such occasions. On the contrary, when he found the door locked, he flew at it with such violence, that the lock immediately gave way, the door burst open, and he fell headlong into the
He had no sooner recovered his legs, than forth from the bed, upon his legs likewise appearedwith shame and sorrow are we obliged to proceed→→→→ our hero himself, who, with a menacing voice, de manded of the gentleman who he was, and what he meant by daring to burst open his chamber in that outrageous manner.
The gentleman at first thought he had committed a mistake, and was going to ask pardon and retreat, when, on a sudden, as the moon shone very bright, he cast his eyes on stays, gowns, petticoats, caps, ribbons, stockings, garters, shoes, clogs, &c. all which lay in a disordered manner on the floor. All these operating on the natural jealousy of his temper, so enraged him, that he lost all power of speech; and, without returning any answer to Jones, he endeavoured to approach the bed.
Jones immediately interposing, a fierce conten-. tion arose, which soon proceeded to blows on both sides. And now Mrs. Waters (for we must confess she was in the same bed) being, I suppose, awakened from her sleep, and seeing two men fighting in "her bed-chamber, began to scream in the most violent manner, crying out murder! robbery!' and more frequently rape!' which last, some, perhaps, may wonder she should mention, who do not consider that these words of exclamation are used by ladies in a fright, as fa, la, la, ra, da, &c. are in music, only as the vehicles of sound, and without any fixed ideas.
Next to the lady's chamber was deposited the body of an Irish gentleman, who arrived too late at the inn to have been mentioned before. This gen. tleman was one of those whom the Irish call a calabalaro, or cavalier. He was a younger brother of a good family, and having no fortune at home, was obliged to look abroad in order to get one; for which purpose he was proceeding to Bath, to try his luck with cards and the women..
This young fellow lay in bed reading one of Mrs. Behn's novels; for he had been instructed by a friend, that he would find no more effectual method of recommending himself to the ladies, than the improving his understanding, and filling his mind with good literature. He no sooner, therefore, heard the violent uproar in the next room, than he leaped from his bolster, and taking his sword in one hand, and the candle which burnt by him in the other, he went directly to Mrs. Waters's chamber.
If the sight of another man in his shirt at first added some shock to the decency of the lady, it made her presently amends by considerably abating her fears; for no sooner had the calabalaro entered the room, than he cried out: Mr. Fitzpatrick, what the devil is the maning of this? Upon which
the other immediately answered, O, Mr. Macklachlan! I am rejoiced you are here.This villain hath debauched my wife, and is got into bed with her. What wife? cries Macklachlan, do not I know Mrs. Fitzpatrick very well, and don't I see. that the lady, whom the gentleman who stands here in his shirt is lying in bed with, is none of her?'
Fitzpatrick now perceiving, as well by the glimpse he had of the lady, as by her voice, which might have been distinguished at a greater distance than he now stood from her, that he had made a very unfortunate mistake, began to ask many pardons of the lady; and then turning to Jones, he said, I would have you take notice I do not ask your par don, for you have bate me; for which I am resolved to have your blood in the morning.'
Jones treated this menace with much contempt; and Mr. Mack lachlan answered, Indeed, Mr. Fitzpatrick, you may be ashamed of your own self, to disturb people at this time of night; if all the people in the inn were not asleep, you would have awakened them as you have me. The gentleman has served you very rightly. Upon my conscience, though I have no wife, if you had treated her so, I would have cut your throat.'
Jones was so confounded with his fears for his lady's reputation, that he knew neither what to say nor do; but the invention of women is, as hath been observed, much readier than that of men. She recollected that there was a communication between her chamber and that of Mr. Jones; relying, therefore, on his honour and her own assurance, she an swered, I know not what you mean, villains! I am wife to none of you. Help! rape! murder! rape !! And now the landlady coming into the room, Mrs. Waters fell upon her with the utmost virulence, saying, She thought herself in a sober inn, and not in a bawdy-house; but that a set of