Being arrived at the place, he handed the ladies from the coach, and then, for the first time, observed that the duenna was lame, a circumstance of which he did not scruple to take the advantage; for they had scarce alighted, and drunk a glass of wine, when he advised his sister to enjoy a walk in the garden; and although the attendant made shift to keep them almost always in view, they enjoyed a detached conversation, in which Peregrine learned new balance 1400 that the true cause of her being left behind at Brussels, whilst her husband proceeded to Spa, was his dread of the company and familiarities of that place, to which his jealousy durst not expose her; and that she had lived three weeks in a convent at Lisle, from which she was delivered by his own free motion, because indeed he could no longer exist without her company; and, lastly, our lover understood that her governante was a mere dragon, who had been recommended to him by a Spanish merchant, whose wife she attended to her dying day; but she very much questioned whether or not her fidelity was proof enough against money and strong waters. Peregrine assured her the experiment should be tried before parting; and they agreed to pass the night at Versailles, provided his endeavours should succeed.   Having exercised themselves in this manner, until his duenna’s spirits were pretty much exhausted, that she might be the be the better disposed to recruit them with a glass of liqueur, they returned to their apartment, and the cordial was recommended and received in a bumper; but as it did not produce such a visible alteration as the sanguine hopes of Pickle had made him expect, and the old gentlewoman observed that it began to be late, and that the gates would be shut in a little time, he filled up a parting glass, and pledged her in equal quantity. Her blood was too much chilled to be warmed even by this extraordinary dose, which made immediate innovation in the brain of our youth, who, in the gaiety of his imagination, overwhelmed this she-Argus with such profusion of gallantry, that she was more intoxicated with his expressions than with the spirits she had drunk. When in the course of toying he dropped a purse into her bosom, she seemed to forget how the night wore, and, with the approbation of her new balance 1300 charge, assented to his proposal of having something for supper.   This was a great point which our adventurer had gained; and yet he plainly perceived that the governante mistook his meaning, by giving herself credit for all the passion he had professed. As this error could be rectified by no other means than those of plying her with the bottle, until her distinguishing faculties should be overpowered, he promoted a quick circulation. She did him justice, without any manifest signs of inebriation, so long, that his own eyes began to reel in the sockets, and he found that before his scheme could be accomplished, he should be effectually unfitted for all the purposes of love. He therefore had recourse to his valet-de-chambre, who understood the hint as soon as it was given, and readily undertook to perform the part of which his master had played the prelude. This affair being settled to his satisfaction, and the night at odds with morning, he took an opportunity of imparting to the ear of this aged dulcinea a kind whisper, importing a promise of visiting her when his sister should be retired to her own chamber, and an earnest desire of leaving her door unlocked.   This agreeable intimation being communicated, he conveyed a caution of the same nature to Mrs. Hornbeck, as he led her to her apartment; and darkness and silence no sooner prevailed in the house, than he and his trusted squire set out on their different voyages. Everything would have succeeded according to their wish, had not the valet-de-chambre suffered himself to fall asleep at the side of his inamorata, and, in the agitation of a violent dream, exclaimed in a voice so unlike that of her supposed adorer, that she distinguished the difference at once. Waking him with a pinch and a loud shriek, she threatened to prosecute him new balance for a rape, and reviled him with all the epithets her rage and disappointment could suggest.   The Frenchman, finding himself detected, behaved with great temper and address: be begged she would compose herself, on account of her own reputation, which was extremely dear to him; protesting that he had a most inviolable esteem for her person. His representations had weight with the duenna, who, upon recollection, comprehended the whole affair, and thought it would be her interest to bring matters to an accommodation. She therefore admitted the apologies of her bed-fellow, provided he would promise to atone by marriage for the injury she had sustained; and in this particular he set her heart at ease by repeated vows, which he uttered with surprising volubility, though without any intention to perform the least title of their contents.   Peregrine, who had been alarmed by her exclamation, and ran to the door with a view of interposing according to the emergency of the case, overhearing the affair thus compromised, returned to his mistress, who was highly entertained with an account of what had passed, foreseeing that for the future she should be under no difficulty or restriction from the severity of her guard.   Chapter 60   Hornbeck is informed of his Wife’s Adventure with Peregrine, for whom he prepares a Stratagem, which is rendered ineffectual by the Information of Pipes The Husband is ducked for his Intention, and our Hero apprehended by the Patrol.   There was another person, however, still ungained; and that was no other than her footman, whose secrecy our hero attempted to secure in the morning by a handsome present, which he received with many professions of gratitude and devotion to his service; yet this complaisance was nothing but a cloak used to disguise the design he harboured of making his master acquainted with the whole transaction. Indeed this lacquey had been hired, not only as a spy upon his mistress, but also as a check on the conduct of the governante, with promise of ample reward if ever he should discover any sinister or suspicious practices in the course of her behaviour. As for the footman whom they had brought from England, he was retained in attendance upon the person of his master, whose confidence he had lost by advising him to gentle methods of reclaiming his lady, when her irregularities had subjected her to his wrath.   The Flemish valet, in consequence of the office he had undertaken, wrote to Hornbeck by the first post, giving an exact detail of the adventure at Versailles, with such a description of the pretended brother as left the husband no room to think he could be any other person than his first dishonourer; and exasperated him to such a degree, that he resolved to