blessing.”—“To be sure, ma’am,” says Slipslop. “But as he is,” answered the lady, “if he had a thousand more good qualities, it must render a woman of fashion contemptible even to be suspected of thinking of him; yes, I should despise myself for such a thought.”—“To be sure, ma’am,” said Slipslop. “And why to be sure?” replied the lady; “thou art always one’s echo. Is he not more worthy of affection than a dirty country clown, though born of a family as old as the flood? or an idle worthless rake, or little puisny beau of quality? And yet these we must condemn ourselves to, in order to avoid the censure of the world; to shun the contempt of others, we must ally ourselves to those we despise; we must prefer birth, title, and fortune, to real merit. It is a tyranny of custom, a tyranny we must comply with; for we people of fashion are the slaves of custom.”—“Marry come up!” said Slipslop, who now knew well which party to take. “If I was a woman of your ladyship’s fortune and quality, I would be a slave to nobody.”—“Me,” said the lady; “I am speaking if a young woman of fashion, who had seen nothing of the world, should happen to like such a fellow.—Me, indeed! I hope thou dost not imagine—”—“No, ma’am, to be sure,” cries Slipslop. “No! what no?” cried the lady. “Thou art always ready to answer before thou hast heard one. So far I must allow he is a charming fellow. Me, indeed! No, Slipslop, all thoughts of men are over with me. I have lost a husband who—but if I should reflect I should run mad. My future ease must depend upon forgetfulness. Slipslop, let me hear some of thy nonsense, to turn my thoughts another way. What dost thou think of Mr. Andrews?”—“Why, I think,” says Slipslop, “he is the handsomest, most properest man I ever saw; and if I was a lady of the greatest degree it would be well for some folks. Your ladyship may talk of custom, if you please: but I am confidous there is no more comparison between young Mr. Andrews and most of the young gentlemen who come to your ladyship’s house in London; a parcel of whippersnapper sparks: I would sooner marry our old parson Adams. Never tell me what people say, whilst I am happy in the arms of him I love. Some folks rail against other folks because other folks have what some folks would be glad of.”—“And so,” answered the lady, “if you was a woman of condition, you would really marry Mr. Andrews?”— “Yes, I assure your ladyship,” replied Slipslop, “if he would have me.”—“Fool, idiot!” cries the lady; “if he would have a woman of fashion! is that a question?”— “No, truly, madam,” said Slipslop, “I believe it would be none if Fanny was out of the way; and I am confidous, if I was in your ladyship’s place, and liked Mr. Joseph Andrews, she should not stay in the parish a moment. I am sure lawyer Scout would send her packing if your ladyship would but say the word.” This last speech of Slipslop raised a tempest in the mind of her mistress. She feared Scout had betrayed her, or rather that she had betrayed herself. After some silence, and a double change of her complexion, first to pale and then to red, she thus spoke: “I am astonished at the liberty you give your tongue. Would you insinuate that I employed Scout against this wench on account of the fellow?”—“La, ma’am,” said Slipslop, frighted out of her wits, “I assassinate such a thing!”—“I think you dare not,” answered the lady; “I believe my conduct may defy malice itself to assert so cursed a slander. If I had ever discovered any wantonness, any lightness in my behaviour; if I had followed the example of some whom thou hast, I believe, seen, in allowing myself indecent liberties, even with a husband; but the dear man who is gone” (here she began to sob), “was he alive again” (then she produced tears), “could not upbraid me with any one act of tenderness or passion. No, Slipslop, all the time I cohabited with him he never obtained even a kiss from me without my expressing reluctance in the granting it. I am sure he himself never suspected how much I loved him. Since his death, thou knowest, though it is almost six weeks (it wants but a day) ago, I have not admitted one visitor till this fool my nephew arrived. I have confined myself quite to one party of friends. And can such a conduct as this fear to be arraigned? To be accused, not only of a passion which I have always despised, but of fixing it on such an object, a creature so much beneath my notice!”—“Upon my word, ma’am,” says Slipslop, “I do not understand your ladyship; nor know I anything of the matter.”—“I believe indeed thou dost not understand me. Those are delicacies which exist only in superior minds; thy coarse ideas cannot comprehend them. Thou art a low creature, of the Andrews breed, a reptile of a lower order, a weed that grows in the common garden of the creation.”—“I assure your ladyship,” says Slipslop, whose passions were almost of as high an order as her lady’s, “I have no more to do with Common Garden than other folks. Really, your ladyship talks of servants as if they were not born of the Christian specious. Servants have flesh and blood as well as quality; and Mr. Andrews himself is a proof that they have as good, if not better. And for my own part, I can’t perceive my dears1 are coarser than other people’s; and I am sure, if Mr. Andrews was a dear of mine, I should not be ashamed of him in company with gentlemen; for whoever hath seen him in his new clothes must confess he looks

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