chapter  18
7 Pages

Chapter VI

The period at which my story is now arrived seemed as if it were the very crisis of the fortune of Mr Falkland. Incident followed upon incident in a kind of breathless succession. About nine o’clock the next morning an alarm was given that one of the chimnies of the house was on fire. No accident could be apparently more trivial; but presently it blazed with such fury, as to make it clear that some beam of the house, which in the first building had been improperly placed, had been reached by the flames. Some danger was apprehended for the whole edifice. The confusion was the greater, in consequence of the absence of the master, as well as of Mr Collins, the steward. While some of the domestics were employed / in endeavouring to extinguish the flames, it was thought proper that others should busy themselves in removing the most valuable moveables to a lawn in the garden. I took some command in the affair, to which indeed my station in the family seemed to entitle me, and for which I was thought qualified by my understanding and mental resources.