Chapter 6


Our company brought together in the morning the same good inclinations towards each other, with which they had separated the evening before; but poor Jones was extremely disconsolate; for he had just received information from Partridge, that Mrs. Fitzpatrick had left her lodging, and that he could not learn whither she was gone. This news highly afflicted him, and his countenance, as well as his behaviour, in defiance of all his endeavours to the contrary, betrayed manifest indications of a disordered mind.

The discourse turned at present, as before, on love; and Mr. Nightingale again expressed many of those warm, generous, and disinterested sentiments upon this subject, which wise and sober men call romantic, but which wise and sober women generally regard in a better light. Mrs. Miller (for so the mistress of the house was called) greatly approved these sentiments; but when the young gentleman appealed to Miss Nancy, she answered only, “That she believed the gentleman who had spoke the least was capable of feeling most.”

This compliment was so apparently directed to Jones, that we should have been sorry had he passed it by unregarded. He made her indeed a very polite answer, and concluded with an oblique hint, that her own silence subjected her to a suspicion of the same kind: for indeed she had scarce opened her lips either now or the last evening.

“I am glad, Nanny,” says Mrs. Miller, “the gentleman hath made the observation; I protest I am almost of his opinion. What can be the matter with you, child? I never saw such an alteration. What is become of all your gaiety? Would you think, sir, I used to call her my little pratler? She hath not spoke twenty words this week.”

Here their conversation was interrupted by the entrance of a maid-servant, who brought a bundle in her hand, which, she said, “was delivered by a porter for Mr. Jones.” She added, “That the man immediately went away, saying, it required no answer.”

Jones expressed some surprize on this occasion, and declared it must be some mistake; but the maid persisting that she was certain of the name, all the women were desirous of having the bundle immediately opened; which operation was at length performed by little Betsy, with the consent of Mr. Jones: and the contents were found to be a domino, a mask, and a masquerade ticket.

Jones was now more positive than ever in asserting, that these things must have been delivered by mistake; and Mrs. Miller herself expressed some doubt, and said, “She knew not what to think.” But when Mr. Nightingale was asked, he delivered a very different opinion. “All I can conclude from it, sir,” said he, “is, that you are a very happy man; for I make no doubt but these were sent you by some lady whom you will have the happiness of meeting at the masquerade.”

Jones had not a sufficient degree of vanity to entertain any such flattering imagination; nor did Mrs. Miller herself give much assent to what Mr. Nightingale had said, till Miss Nancy having lifted up the domino, a card dropt from the sleeve, in which was written as follows:—

To Mr. Jones

The queen of the fairies sends you this;
Use her favours not amiss.

Mrs. Miller and Miss Nancy now both agreed with Mr. Nightingale; nay, Jones himself was almost persuaded to be of the same opinion. And as no other lady but Mrs. Fitzpatrick, he thought, knew his lodging, he began to flatter himself with some hopes, that it came from her, and that he might possibly see his Sophia. These hopes had surely very little foundation; but as the conduct of Mrs. Fitzpatrick, in not seeing him according to her promise, and in quitting her lodgings, had been very odd and unaccountable, he conceived some faint hopes, that she (of whom he had formerly heard a very whimsical character) might

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