Chapter 7


It is the observation of some antient sage, whose name I have forgot, that passions operate differently on the human mind, as diseases on the body, in proportion to the strength or weakness, soundness or rottenness, of the one and the other.

We hope, therefore, a judicious reader will give himself some pains to observe, what we have so greatly laboured to describe, the different operations of this passion of love in the gentle and cultivated mind of the Lady Booby, from those which it effected in the less polished and coarser disposition of Mrs. Slipslop.

Another philosopher, whose name also at present escapes my memory, hath somewhere said, that resolutions taken in the absence of the beloved object are very apt to vanish in its presence; on both which wise sayings the following chapter may serve as a comment.

No sooner had Joseph left the room in the manner we have before related than the lady, enraged at her disappointment, began to reflect with severity on her conduct. Her love was now changed to disdain, which pride assisted to torment her. She despised herself for the meanness of her passion, and Joseph for its ill success. However, she had now got the better of it in her own opinion, and determined immediately to dismiss the object. After much tossing and turning in her bed, and many soliloquies, which if we had no better matter for our reader we would give him, she at last rung the bell as above mentioned, and was presently attended by Mrs. Slipslop, who was not much better pleased with Joseph than the lady herself.

“Slipslop,” said Lady Booby, “when did you see Joseph?” The poor woman was so surprised at the unexpected sound of his name at so critical a time, that she had the greatest difficulty to conceal the confusion she was under from her mistress; whom she answered, nevertheless, with pretty good confidence, though not entirely void of fear of suspicion, that she had not seen him that morning. “I am afraid,” said Lady Booby, “he is a wild young fellow.”—“That he is,” said Slipslop, “and a wicked one too. To my knowledge he games, drinks, swears, and fights eternally; besides, he is horribly indicted to wenching.”—“Ay!” said the lady, “I never heard that of him.”—“O madam!” answered the other, “he is so lewd a rascal, that if your ladyship keeps him much longer, you will not have one virgin in your house except myself. And yet I can’t conceive what the wenches see in him, to be so foolishly fond as they are; in my eyes, he is as ugly a scarecrow as I ever upheld.”—“Nay,” said the lady, “the boy is well enough.”—“La! ma’am,” cried Slipslop, “I think him the ragmaticallest fellow in the family.”—“Sure, Slipslop,” says she, “you are mistaken: but which of the women do you most suspect?”—“Madam,” says Slipslop, “there is Betty the chambermaid, I am almost convicted, is with child by him.”—“Ay!” says the lady, “then pray pay her her wages instantly. I will keep no such sluts in my family. And as for Joseph, you may discard him too.”—“Would your ladyship have him paid off immediately?” cries Slipslop, “for perhaps, when Betty is gone he may mend: and really the boy is a good servant, and a strong healthy luscious boy enough.”—“This morning,” answered the lady with some vehemence. “I wish, madam,” cries Slipslop, “your ladyship would be so good as to try him a little longer.”—“I will not have my commands disputed,” said the lady; “sure you are not fond of him yourself?”—“I, madam!” cried Slipslop, reddening, if not blushing, “I should be sorry to think your ladyship had any reason to respect me of fondness for a fellow; and if it be your pleasure, I shall fulfil it with as much reluctance as possible.”—“As little, I suppose you mean,” said the lady; “and so about it instantly.” Mrs. Slipslop went out, and the lady had scarce taken two turns before she fell to knocking and ringing with great violence. Slipslop, who did not travel post haste, soon returned, and was countermanded as to Joseph, but ordered to send Betty about her business without delay. She went out a second time with much greater alacrity than before; when the lady began immediately to accuse herself of want of resolution, and to apprehend the return of her affection, with its pernicious consequences; she therefore applied herself again to the bell, and re-summoned Mrs. Slipslop into her presence; who again returned, and was told by her mistress that she had considered better of the matter, and was absolutely resolved to turn away Joseph; which she ordered her to do immediately. Slipslop, who knew the violence of her lady’s temper, and would not venture her place for any Adonis or Hercules in the universe, left

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.