So great was the surprize and joy which these two cousins conceived at this meeting (for they had formerly been most intimate acquaintance and friends, and had long lived together with their aunt Western), that it is impossible to recount half the congratulations which passed between them, before either asked a very natural question of the other, namely, whither she was going?

This at last, however, came first from Mrs. Fitzpatrick; but, easy and natural as the question may seem, Sophia found it difficult to give it a very ready and certain answer. She begged her cousin therefore to suspend all curiosity till they arrived at some inn, “which I suppose,” says she, “can hardly be far distant; and, believe me, Harriet, I suspend as much curiosity on my side; for, indeed, I believe our astonishment is pretty equal.”

The conversation which passed between these ladies on the road was, I apprehend, little worth relating; and less certainly was that between the two waiting-women; for they likewise began to pay their compliments to each other. As for the guides, they were debarred from the pleasure of discourse, the one being placed in the van, and the other obliged to bring up the rear.

In this posture they travelled many hours, till they came into a wide and well-beaten road, which, as they turned to the right, soon brought them to 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 hold of her horse, presently perceiving, 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 received 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 countenances of most of the bye-standers. This made her suspect what had really happened, and what we shall not here relate, for the indulgence 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 two last 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 bye-roads so entirely removed all danger of pursuit, that she was herself perfectly easy on that account.

Sophia was easily prevailed on 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 complacence, 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 stopt her short, being as well inclined to a nap as herself, and desired the honour of being her bedfellow. Sophia’s maid agreed to give her a share of her bed, but put in her claim to all the honour. So, after

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