Chapter 4.LXXXVIII.

It was like the momentary contest in the moist eye-lids of an April morning, 'Whether Bridget should laugh or cry.'

She snatch'd up a rolling-pin—'twas ten to one, she had laugh'd—

She laid it down—she cried; and had one single tear of 'em but tasted of bitterness, full sorrowful would the corporal's heart have been that he had used the argument; but the corporal understood the sex, a quart major to a terce at least, better than my uncle Toby, and accordingly he assailed Mrs. Bridget after this manner.

I know, Mrs. Bridget, said the corporal, giving her a most respectful kiss, that thou art good and modest by nature, and art withal so generous a girl in thyself, that, if I know thee rightly, thou would'st not wound an insect, much less the honour of so gallant and worthy a soul as my master, wast thou sure to be made a countess of—but thou hast been set on, and deluded, dear Bridget, as is often a woman's case, 'to please others more than themselves—'

Bridget's eyes poured down at the sensations the corporal excited.

—Tell me—tell me, then, my dear Bridget, continued the corporal, taking hold of her hand, which hung down dead by her side,—and giving a second kiss—whose suspicion has misled thee?

Bridget sobb'd a sob or two—then open'd her eyes—the corporal wiped 'em with the bottom of her apron—she then open'd her heart and told him all.