this is a suspicion that a man is capable of doing what he hath done already, and that it is possible for one who hath been a villain once to act the same part again. And, to confess the truth, of this degree of suspicion I believe Sophia was guilty. From this degree of suspicion she had, in fact, conceived an opinion that her cousin was really not better than she should be.

The case, it seems, was this: Mrs. Fitzpatrick wisely considered that the virtue of a young lady is, in the world, in the same situation with a poor hare, which is certain, whenever it ventures abroad, to meet its enemies; for it can hardly meet any other. No sooner therefore was she determined to take the first opportunity of quitting the protection of her husband, than she resolved to cast herself under the protection of some other man; and whom could she so properly choose to be her guardian as a person of quality, of fortune, of honour; and who, besides a gallant disposition which inclines men to knight-errantry, that is, to be the champions of ladies in distress, had often declared a violent attachment to herself, and had already given her all the instances of it in his power?

But, as the law hath foolishly omitted this office of vice-husband, or guardian to an eloped lady, and as malice is apt to denominate him by a more disagreeable appellation, it was concluded that his lordship should perform all such kind offices to the lady in secret, and without publickly assuming the character of her protector. Nay, to prevent any other person from seeing him in this light, it was agreed that the lady should proceed directly to Bath, and that his lordship should first go to London, and thence should go down to that place by the advice of his physicians.

Now all this Sophia very plainly understood, not from the lips or behaviour of Mrs. Fitzpatrick, but from the peer, who was infinitely less expert at retaining a secret than was the good lady; and perhaps the exact secrecy which Mrs. Fitzpatrick had observed on this head in her narrative, served not a little to heighten those suspicions which were now risen in the mind of her cousin.

Sophia very easily found out the lady she sought; for indeed there was not a chairman in town to whom her house was not perfectly well known; and, as she received, in return of her first message, a most pressing invitation, she immediately accepted it. Mrs. Fitzpatrick, indeed, did not desire her cousin to stay with her with more earnestness than civility required. Whether she had discerned and resented the suspicion above-mentioned, or from what other motive it arose, I cannot say; but certain it is, she was full as desirous of parting with Sophia as Sophia herself could be of going.

The young lady, when she came to take leave of her cousin, could not avoid giving her a short hint of advice. She begged her, for heaven’s sake, to take care of herself, and to consider in how dangerous a situation she stood; adding, she hoped some method would be found of reconciling her to her husband. “You must remember, my dear,” says she, “the maxim which my aunt Western hath so often repeated to us both; that whenever the matrimonial alliance is broke, and war declared between husband and wife, she can hardly make a disadvantageous peace for herself on any conditions. These are my aunt’s very words, and she hath had a great deal of experience in the world.” Mrs. Fitzpatrick answered, with a contemptuous smile, “Never fear me, child, take care of yourself; for you are younger than I. I will come and visit you in a few days; but, dear Sophy, let me give you one piece of advice; leave the character of Graveairs in the country, for, believe me, it will sit very awkwardly upon you in this town.”

Thus the two cousins parted, and Sophia repaired directly to Lady Bellaston, where she found a most hearty, as well as a most polite, welcome. The lady had taken a great fancy to her when she had seen her formerly with her aunt Western. She was indeed extremely glad to see her, and was no sooner acquainted with the reasons which induced her to leave the squire and to fly to London, than she highly applauded her sense and resolution; and after expressing the highest satisfaction in the opinion which Sophia had declared she entertained of her ladyship, by chusing her house for an asylum, she promised her all the protection which it was in her power to give.

As we have now brought Sophia into safe hands, the reader will, I apprehend, be contented to deposit her there a while, and to look a little after other personages, and particularly poor Jones, whom we have

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