Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker: Ch. 55

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A young gentleman, the express image of that rascal Wilson, went up to ask her to dance a minuet; and his sudden appearance shocked her so much, that she fainted away — I call Wilson a rascal, because, if he had been really a gentleman, with honourable intentions, he would have, ere now, appeared in his own character — I must own, my blood boils with indignation when I think of that fellow's presumption; and Heaven confound me if I don't — But I won't be so womanish as to rail — Time will, perhaps, furnish occasion — Thank God, the cause of Liddy's disorder remains a secret. The lady directress of the ball, thinking she was overcome by the heat of the place, had her conveyed to another room, where she soon recovered so well, as to return and join in the country dances, in which the Scotch lasses acquit themselves with such spirit and agility, as put their partners to the height of their mettle. I believe our aunt, Mrs Tabitha, had entertained hopes of being able to do some execution among the cavaliers at this assembly. She had been several days in consultation with milliners and mantua-makers, preparing for the occasion, at which she made her appearance in a full suit of damask, so thick and heavy, that the sight of it alone, at this season of the year, was sufficient to draw drops of sweat from any man of ordinary imagination — She danced one minuet with our friend Mr Mitchelson, who favoured her so far, in the spirit of hospitality and politeness; and she was called out a second time by the young laird of Ballymawhawple, who, coming in by accident, could not readily find any other partner; but as the first was a married man, and the second payed no particular homage to her charms, which were also over-looked by the rest of the company, she became dissatisfied and censorious — At supper, she observed that the Scotch gentlemen made a very good figure, when they were a little improved by travelling; and therefore it was pity they did not all take the benefit of going abroad. She said the women were awkward, masculine creatures; that, in dancing, they lifted their legs like so many colts; that they had no idea of graceful motion, and put on their clothes in a frightful manner; but if the truth must be told, Tabby herself was the most ridiculous figure, and the worst dressed of the whole assembly. The neglect of the male sex rendered her malcontent and peevish; she now found fault with every thing at Edinburgh, and teized her brother to leave the place, when she was suddenly reconciled to it on a religious consideration — There is a sect of fanaticks, who have separated themselves from the established kirk, under the name of Seceders — They acknowledge no earthly head of the church, reject lay-patronage, and maintain the methodist doctrines of the new birth, the new light, the efficacy of grace, the insufficiency of works, and the operations of the spirit. Mrs Tabitha, attended by Humphry Clinker, was introduced to one of their conventicles, where they both received much edification; and she has had the good fortune to come acquainted with a pious Christian, called Mr Moffat, who is very powerful in prayer, and often assists her in private exercises of devotion.

I never saw such a concourse of genteel company at any races in England, as appeared on the course of Leith — Hard by, in the fields called the Links, the citizens of Edinburgh divert themselves at a game called golf, in which they use a curious kind of bats, tipt with horn, and small elastic balls of leather, stuffed with feathers, rather less than tennis balls, but of a much harder consistence — This they strike with such force and dexterity from one hole to another, that they will fly to an incredible distance. Of this diversion the Scots are so fond, that when the weather will permit, you may see a multitude of all ranks, from the senator of justice to the lowest tradesman, mingled together in their shirts, and following the balls with the utmost eagerness. Among others, I was shewn one particular set of golfers, the youngest of whom was turned of fourscore — They were all gentlemen of independent fortunes, who had amused themselves with this pastime for the best part of a century, without having ever felt the least alarm from sickness or disgust; and they never went to bed, without having each the best part of a gallon of claret in his belly. Such uninterrupted exercise, co-operating with the keen air from the sea, must, without all doubt, keep the appetite always on edge, and steel the constitution against all the common attacks of distemper.