Chapter I

The word "critic" is Greek and denotes "Judgment." Most critics are slanderers since they only find fault with the books and authors they read. There have, however, been some fine critics—for instance, the ancient critics Aristotle and Horace, or the French critics Dacier and Bossu. Critics need to have mercy, and not condemn an entire work if they only find fault with one part of it.

Chapter II

On the road to London, Sophia and Mrs. Honour meet up with another young lady and her maid on horseback. They exchange compliments and civilities. As daylight breaks, Sophia recognizes that the lady is her cousin Harriet, the wife of Fitzpatrick. They eventually arrive at an inn, where Sophia can barely muster the strength to dismount from her horse. The landlord attempts to help her, but they both fall over backwards, to the amusement of all on-lookers. This landlord convinces himself that Sophia and Harriet are "Rebel Ladies," and that Sophia is in fact Jenny Cameron, whom the Whigs allege is the lover of the Jacobite leader Bonnie Prince Charlie. The landlord does not support the Jacobites, but when he hears that the rebels are making headway in London, he decides to flatter Sophia and Harriet in the hopes that they will later reward him. The landlady cannot believe that Sophia is a gentlewoman since she is courteous to people of all classes.

Chapter III

Mrs. Fitzpatrick would be deemed beautiful if she were not with Sophia, who looks more radiant now than ever before. Harriet has agreed to accompany Sophia to London. The landlady has become a "staunch Jacobite" since Sophia, who she also believes to be Jenny Cameron, has treated her with such deference. Sophia and Harriet agree to relate their histories in turn.

Chapter IV

Mrs. Fitzpatrick reminisces about the days when she and Sophia lived at their Aunt Western's house. She was "Miss Giddy" while Sophia was "Miss Graveairs." She tells Sophia that she met her husband in Bath on a trip with their aunt. Her husband, although he had no title, was the envy of all the men because he was much admired by the ladies. He was one of the favorites of Mrs. Western, with whom he shamelessly flirted. He flirted with Harriet too, however, and eventually revealed that he was only feigning interest in her aunt in order to win Harriet's love. Flattered, Harriet agreed to marry him, much to the fury of Mrs. Western, who departed immediately from Bath. Harriet laments to Sophia that she based her opinion of Mr. Fitzpatrick on the opinions of others.

Chapter V

Mrs. Fitzpatrick continues her story. Mr. Fitzpatrick wanted to return to his native Ireland after the wedding, but she did not care to leave England. One day she discovered a letter lying on the floor, from which she learned that her husband had married her only for her money. When she confronted him, however, he mollified her by means of caresses and protestations of love. In Ireland, she grew more and more depressed, and her husband attempted to drag her down further with snide remarks. She became pregnant by him—the man she "scorned, hated, and detested."

Chapter VI

Distraught from her cousin's story, Sophia has lost her appetite. Harriet has not. The landlady interrupts their conversation to impart some "good News." Mrs. Honour suddenly bursts in, shouting "they are come, they are come!" Sophia thinks Honour means her father. She is secretly relieved to discover that it is the Jacobite rebels who have arrived.