Chapter 7


Our cavaliers now arrived at that temple, where Heydegger, the great Arbiter Deliciarum, the great high- priest of pleasure, presides; and, like other heathen priests, imposes on his votaries by the pretended presence of the deity, when in reality no such deity is there.

Mr. Nightingale, having taken a turn or two with his companion, soon left him, and walked off with a female, saying, “Now you are here, sir, you must beat about for your own game.”

Jones began to entertain strong hopes that his Sophia was present; and these hopes gave him more spirits than the lights, the music, and the company; though these are pretty strong antidotes against the spleen. He now accosted every woman he saw, whose stature, shape, or air, bore any resemblance to his angel. To all of whom he endeavoured to say something smart, in order to engage an answer, by which he might discover that voice which he thought it impossible he should mistake. Some of these answered by a question, in a squeaking voice, Do you know me? Much the greater number said, I don’t know you, sir, and nothing more. Some called him an impertinent fellow; some made him no answer at all; some said, Indeed I don’t know your voice, and I shall have nothing to say to you; and many gave him as kind answers as he could wish, but not in the voice he desired to hear.

Whilst he was talking with one of these last (who was in the habit of a shepherdess) a lady in a domino came up to him, and slapping him on the shoulder, whispered him, at the same time, in the ear, “If you talk any longer with that trollop, I will acquaint Miss Western.”

Jones no sooner heard that name, than, immediately quitting his former companion, he applied to the domino, begging and entreating her to show him the lady she had mentioned, if she was then in the room.

The mask walked hastily to the upper end of the innermost apartment before she spoke; and then, instead of answering him, sat down, and declared she was tired. Jones sat down by her, and still persisted in his entreaties: at last the lady coldly answered, “I imagined Mr. Jones had been a more discerning lover, than to suffer any disguise to conceal his mistress from him.” “Is she here, then, madam?” replied Jones, with some vehemence. Upon which the lady cries—“Hush, sir, you will be observed. I promise you, upon my honour, Miss Western is not here.”

Jones, now taking the mask by the hand, fell to entreating her in the most earnest manner, to acquaint him where he might find Sophia: and when he could obtain no direct answer, he began to upbraid her gently for having disappointed him the day before; and concluded, saying, “Indeed, my good fairy queen, I know your majesty very well, notwithstanding the affected disguise of your voice. Indeed, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, it is a little cruel to divert yourself at the expense of my torments.”

The mask answered, “Though you have so ingeniously discovered me, I must still speak in the same voice, lest I should be known by others. And do you think, good sir, that I have no greater regard for my cousin, than to assist in carrying on an affair between you two, which must end in her ruin, as well as your own? Besides, I promise you, my cousin is not mad enough to consent to her own destruction, if you are so much her enemy as to tempt her to it.”

“Alas, madam!” said Jones, “you little know my heart, when you call me an enemy of Sophia.”

“And yet to ruin any one,” cries the other, “you will allow, is the act of an enemy; and when by the same act you must knowingly and certainly bring ruin on yourself, is it not folly or madness, as well as guilt? Now, sir, my cousin hath very little more than her father will please to give her; very little for one of her fashion—you know him, and you know your own situation.”

Jones vowed he had no such design on Sophia, “That he would rather suffer the most violent of deaths than sacrifice her interest to his desires.” He said, “he knew how unworthy he was of her, every way,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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