Fanny Burney, Evelina : Vol. 1, Ch. 25

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M. Du Bois, not understanding him, only said, "plait-il, Monsieur?"

 "No, nor dish me neither," answered the Captain; "but, be that as
 it may,
what signifies our parleying here? If you've any thing to propose,
speak at once; if not, why let us go on our journey without more ado."

 "Parbleu, je n'entends rien, moi!" cried M. Du Bois, shrugging up his
shoulders, and looking very dismal.

Mrs. Mirvan then advanced to him, and said in French, that she was sure the Captain had not any intention to affront him, and begged he would desist from a dispute which could only be productive of mutual misunderstanding, as neither of them knew the language of the other.

 This sensible remonstrance had the desired effect; and M. Du Bois,
 making a
bow to every one except the Captain, very wisely gave up the point,
and took leave.

We then hoped to proceed quietly on our journey; but the turbulent Captain would not yet permit us. He approached Madame Duval with an exulting air, and said, "Why, how's this, Madame? what, has your champion deserted you? why, I thought you told me, that you old gentlewomen had it all your own way among them French sparks?"

"As to that, Sir," answered she, "it's not of no consequence what you thought; for a person who can behave in such a low way, may think what he pleases for me, for I sha'n't mind."

 "Why then, Mistress, since you must needs make so free," cried he,
 "please to
tell me the reason you took the liberty for to ask any of your
followers into my coach without my leave? Answer me to that."

"Why, then, pray, Sir," returned she, "tell me the reaon why you took the liberty to treat the gentleman in such an unpolite way, as to take and pull him neck and heels out? I'm sure he hadn't done nothing to affront you, nor nobody else; and I don't know what great hurt he would have done you, by just sitting still in the coach; he would not have eat it."

 "What, do you think, then, that my horses have nothing to do but
 to carry
about your snivelling Frenchmen? If you do, Madam, I must make bold
to tell you, you are out, for I'll see 'em hang'd first."

"More brute you, then! For they've never carried nobody half so good."

"Why, look'ee, Madam, if you must needs provoke me, I'll tell you a piece of my mind; you must know, I can see as far into a millstonew as another man; and so, if you thought for to fob me off with another one of your smirking French puppies for a son-in-law, why you'll find yourself in a hobblew, that's all."

"Sir, you're a-but I won't say what;-but I protest I hadn't no such a thought, no more hadn't Monsieur Du Bois."

"My dear," said Mrs. Mirvan, "we shall be very late."

 "Well, well," answered he, "get away then; off with you as fast as
 you can,
it's high time. As to Molly, she's fine lady enough in all conscience;
I want none of your French chaps to make her worse."

 And so saying he mounted his horse and we drove off. And I could
 not but
think, with regret, of the different feelings we experienced upon
leaving London, to what had belonged to our entering it.

 During the journey Madame Duval was so very violent against the
 Captain, that
she obliged Mrs. Mirvan to tell her, that, when in her presence,
she must beg her to choose some other subject of discourse.

 We had a most affectionate reception from Lady Howard, whose
 kindness and
hospitality cannot fail of making every body happy who is disposed
so to be.

 Adieu, my dearest Sir. I hope, though I have hitherto neglected
 to mention
it, that you have always remembered me to whoever has made any inquiry
concerning me.

X [w] see as far into a millstone

Understand as well as anybody.

X [w] hobble

A sticky situation, but since Mirvan and Madame Duval often exchange threats of legal action or arrest, it retains overtones of restraint.