Returns Sandy saying that he finds his facility in French proves entire adequate to our purposes, has the direction of a bank that he may visit the morn, intelligence concerning our onward travel, and has bespoke dinner.
My dear, says I, sure you might set up as a courier.
With a gloomy sigh he says, he may yet be oblig’d to. I fear he remains in doubts as to how he may be receiv’d upon his return to R- House.
We are somewhat chear’d by a very excellent dinner with some very fine wine.
We talk a little about the journey – 'twill be somewhat slow, but 'twill doubtless be best for Docket. And indeed, says Sandy with another gloomy sigh, we do not have any urgency that would require greater haste.
(Sure I myself could quite desire to be transport’d instantaneously to my darlings and my belov’d child, as if by that magic ring in my tale in the Oriental manner, but alas, 'twas but a vain imagining. And sure I should not wish imperil Docket’s health. So I will concede to a leisurely progress.)
In due course comes round time to go to bed. I go into the dressing-room so that Sophy may undress me and put on my nightgown – I have sent Docket off to bed already. Sophy remarks that these French fellows are a very saucy lot. So 'tis give out, says I, have a great conceit of their charms.
After I have dispatcht her to her own bed, I go into our bedchamber and observe that Sandy has dispos’d himself at the very far edge.
Really, Mr MacD-, says I, I can assure you that your virtue is in no danger from me.
(Tho’ indeed his conduct at the villa was so unwont’d that I have been in some concern that he may of a sudden desire undertake philosophickal and scientifick exploration of the female oeconomy.)
He says rather crossly that he entire assum’d that to be the case, but does not wish to crowd me.
I climb in at the opposite side, say good night in firm tones and desire him to extinguish the candle.
Sure I thought I was tir’d and would go sleep extreme expeditious, but find 'tis not the case. I am in somewhat of a fret about the journey. I toss about somewhat and after a little while I hear a whisper from Sandy’s side of the bed: C-, are you awake?
Yes, says I rather cross, and I confide so are you.
He sighs and says, sure he knows not whether he should return.
Why should you not? I ask.
Dearest C-, I left G- on quite the worst of terms, why should I suppose he would forgive me?
But you would wish him to?
Surely you do not suppose I am merely in anxiety over losing a most excellent place!
Well, my dear, there were certain passages at the villa, gave me somewhat to wonder.
There is a lengthy silence, but I do not suppose it is because Sandy has gone fall asleep.
At length he says, sure 'twas very agreeable, but I find did not prove what I thought it might.
La, says I, do you go tell me 'twas a philosophickal experiment?
Not entirely, says Sandy, and there is a little further silence. I daresay, he goes on, you will laugh most immoderate at me and tell me I am an entire fool, and indeed I do not think I could deny the charge. But I have been trying to convince myself that matters 'twixt G- and myself were in the nature of an entire prudential arrangement -
I bury my face in the pillow so that he does not hear me giggle.
- two fellows of the disposition, find one another mutually agreeable, have quite out of the common opportunity to indulge their inclinations provid’d they practice reasonable discretion –
O, really, Sandy, says I, 'twas quite obvious you were besott’d with one another: at least, to me who knew the inwardness of matters 'twixt the pair of you.
Sure I was - am - quite besott’d, he responds, as who would not be? He goes expatiate for some considerable time upon Milord’s excellent qualities of character and his entire superiority to himself.
I endeavour not to sigh.
My dear, says I, at length, as he shows no signs of coming to an expeditious halt in his self-accusations, he would not quarrel with you so did he not have the very warmest feelings towards you. Has ever been in considerable anxiety about you running yourself into danger. He cannot help but be gratefull that I remov’d one that put you in great peril, even does he, I daresay, go accuse himself of great carelessness in leaving that pistol with me.
Indeed, says Sandy, said somewhat of the kind, especial as he suppos’d you only intend’d to fright the fellow with it.
Poo, says I, I had desir’d Captain P- to give me a little instruction in marksmanship whilst I was staying with 'em in Northamptonshire, I was not like to think that Mr R- O- would be discourag’d by a mere gesture.
Oh, says Sandy and there is a brief silence before he goes on to argue that, whatever warmth of feelings there may have been on Milord’s side, these are doubtless quite extinguisht by his own ill behaviour. He dares say that does he return to R- House he will find his belongings tidyly packt up and ready for him to take away, doubtless any arrears of his salary paid into the bank -
Well, my dear, says I, if 'tis so, tho’ give me leave to doubt it quite extremely, I have now an excellent fine guest-chamber in my own house and you may come stay there until you have got upon your feet and into a new place.
Sandy says something very low that I do not hear clearly.
What? says I.
Did I so, he says, I fear I should be endeavouring prevail upon you to go plead like Portia to restore me to favour. His voice breaks and I hear him go muffle a sob in the pillow.
Dearest Sandy, says I, slithering across to put an arm about him, you know there is nothing I should more happyly be about, for I would be entire like to suppose that Milord’s heart would already be inclining to the matter.
Sandy goes cling to me weeping. I stroke his hair and murmur soothingly, for I do not think rational argument is desir’d upon this occasion.
His sobs begin dye down, but I become conscious, from the closeness of our bodies as I hold him, that this outpouring of emotion and, I confide, the mere effect of animal warmth, brings about a condition that he must find exceeding embarrassing. I begin wriggle away, but he pulls me closer and far from showing horrify’d, commences upon kissing my neck.
I go be somewhat more emphatick in my endeavours to move away, taking a thought that I do not have any spunges to hand, for had not suppos’d would have any requirement for 'em, and in the end, am oblig’d to push him to release myself from the embrace.
Dearest Sandy, says I, 'twill not do. I daresay 'twould convey a momentary comforting distraction did we proceed in the matter, but I confide that 'twould be follow’d by remorsefull self-reproach. (I do not say, and 'twould be most immense tedious to have to listen to that.) You are in a most unwont’d state of turmoil. 'Twould be entire wrong did I suppose this was any tribute to my own charms.
'Tis, I add, an entire different matter from offering assistance in scientifick understanding.
There is a pause and stillness, and Sandy sits up. D—n, he says, sure I think you have the right of it, do I let myself think upon the matter rather than follow blind instinct. 'Twas entire giving myself over to the urgings of my p---k, and, dearest C-, I think that you go show kind more truly by not conceding to indulge this sudden lust. For I confide that 'tis not even as tho’ there is some mutual desire in the matter –
Why, says I, I daresay I might have found some pleasure in the act (tho’ sure I have some doubts that I should, with a fellow that has no prior knowledge of women, and is in a somewhat desperate state of emotions), but sure I do not find myself consum’d with furor uterinus towards you.
I am most exceeding reliev’d to hear that, says Sandy, for indeed, I fear I would have been using you as a means rather than as an end.
La, says I, I confide that you are feeling a deal better and more yourself do you go think about f------g in the light of universal law; and thump him upon the arm.
Dearest sibyl, he says, putting his arm around me, can you ever forgive me?
I groan loudly and punch him in the ribs. Let us have no such talk, says I, and let us endeavour go sleep.
We retreat to our opposite sides of the bed and, I know not how 'tis with him, but indeed I myself fall into a most agreeable restorative slumber, from which I do not awaken until comes Sophy with my chocolate.
I sit up and take the cup from her and observe that Sandy has already risen. Sophy says that Mr MacD- was up betimes and has breakfast’d, and has now gone about upon business.
'Tis well, says I. Let us be about dressing, and you might bespeak somewhat in the way of breakfast for me.
So when I go into the parlour there is already a most agreeable aroma of coffee, and some nice little rolls, and I make a fine breakfast upon 'em.
Once I have finisht I stretch, and consider that 'twould be agreeable to walk out a little and see the place, but I take a considerable concern that did I walk out with only Sophy for company, the pair of us would be quite mightyly pester’d and 'twould be no pleasure to us.
I do not feel in a mood to scribble, so pick up Tristram Shandy that I still have not got far into, until Sandy’s return.
He looks in good spirits, says he has discharg’d all necessary business, and confides we may depart the morrow.
He then comes over, takes and kisses my hand, and says, o, wisest of all silly creatures. I kick him.