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The History of Tom Jones, a foundling by Henry Fielding

Part 18 out of 18

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possible, the very words he used."--"Why, sir, Mr Blifil sent me to
find out the persons who were eye-witnesses of this fight. He said, he
feared they might be tampered with by Mr Jones, or some of his
friends. He said, blood required blood; and that not only all who
concealed a murderer, but those who omitted anything in their power to
bring him to justice, were sharers in his guilt. He said, he found you
was very desirous of having the villain brought to justice, though it
was not proper you should appear in it." "He did so?" says
Allworthy.--"Yes, sir," cries Dowling; "I should not, I am sure, have
proceeded such lengths for the sake of any other person living but
your worship."--"What lengths, sir?" said Allworthy.--"Nay, sir,"
cries Dowling, "I would not have your worship think I would, on any
account, be guilty of subornation of perjury; but there are two ways
of delivering evidence. I told them, therefore, that if any offers
should be made them on the other side, they should refuse them, and
that they might be assured they should lose nothing by being honest
men, and telling the truth. I said, we were told that Mr Jones had
assaulted the gentleman first, and that, if that was the truth, they
should declare it; and I did give them some hints that they should be
no losers."--"I think you went lengths indeed," cries
Allworthy.--"Nay, sir," answered Dowling, "I am sure I did not desire
them to tell an untruth;----nor should I have said what I did, unless
it had been to oblige you."--"You would not have thought, I believe,"
says Allworthy, "to have obliged me, had you known that this Mr Jones
was my own nephew."--"I am sure, sir," answered he, "it did not become
me to take any notice of what I thought you desired to
conceal."--"How!" cries Allworthy, "and did you know it then?"--"Nay,
sir," answered Dowling, "if your worship bids me speak the truth, I am
sure I shall do it.--Indeed, sir, I did know it; for they were almost
the last words which Madam Blifil ever spoke, which she mentioned to
me as I stood alone by her bedside, when she delivered me the letter I
brought your worship from her."--"What letter?" cries Allworthy.--"The
letter, sir," answered Dowling, "which I brought from Salisbury, and
which I delivered into the hands of Mr Blifil."--"O heavens!" cries
Allworthy: "Well, and what were the words? What did my sister say to
you?"--"She took me by the hand," answered he, "and, as she delivered
me the letter, said, `I scarce know what I have written. Tell my
brother, Mr Jones is his nephew--He is my son.--Bless him,' says she,
and then fell backward, as if dying away. I presently called in the
people, and she never spoke more to me, and died within a few minutes
afterwards."--Allworthy stood a minute silent, lifting up his eyes;
and then, turning to Dowling, said, "How came you, sir, not to deliver
me this message?" "Your worship," answered he, "must remember that you
was at that time ill in bed; and, being in a violent hurry, as indeed
I always am, I delivered the letter and message to Mr Blifil, who told
me he would carry them both to you, which he hath since told me he
did, and that your worship, partly out of friendship to Mr Jones, and
partly out of regard to your sister, would never have it mentioned,
and did intend to conceal it from the world; and therefore, sir, if
you had not mentioned it to me first, I am certain I should never have
thought it belonged to me to say anything of the matter, either to
your worship or any other person."

We have remarked somewhere already, that it is possible for a man to
convey a lie in the words of truth; this was the case at present; for
Blifil had, in fact, told Dowling what he now related, but had not
imposed upon him, nor indeed had imagined he was able so to do. In
reality, the promises which Blifil had made to Dowling were the
motives which had induced him to secrecy; and, as he now very plainly
saw Blifil would not be able to keep them, he thought proper now to
make this confession, which the promises of forgiveness, joined to the
threats, the voice, the looks of Allworthy, and the discoveries he had
made before, extorted from him, who was besides taken unawares, and
had no time to consider of evasions.

Allworthy appeared well satisfied with this relation, and, having
enjoined on Dowling strict silence as to what had past, conducted that
gentleman himself to the door, lest he should see Blifil, who was
returned to his chamber, where he exulted in the thoughts of his last
deceit on his uncle, and little suspected what had since passed

As Allworthy was returning to his room he met Mrs Miller in the entry,
who, with a face all pale and full of terror, said to him, "O! sir, I
find this wicked woman hath been with you, and you know all; yet do
not on this account abandon the poor young man. Consider, sir, he was
ignorant it was his own mother; and the discovery itself will most
probably break his heart, without your unkindness."

"Madam," says Allworthy, "I am under such an astonishment at what I
have heard, that I am really unable to satisfy you; but come with me
into my room. Indeed, Mrs Miller, I have made surprizing discoveries,
and you shall soon know them."

The poor woman followed him trembling; and now Allworthy, going up to
Mrs Waters, took her by the hand, and then, turning to Mrs Miller,
said, "What reward shall I bestow upon this gentlewoman, for the
services she hath done me?--O! Mrs Miller, you have a thousand times
heard me call the young man to whom you are so faithful a friend, my
son. Little did I then think he was indeed related to me at all.--Your
friend, madam, is my nephew; he is the brother of that wicked viper
which I have so long nourished in my bosom.--She will herself tell you
the whole story, and how the youth came to pass for her son. Indeed,
Mrs Miller, I am convinced that he hath been wronged, and that I have
been abused; abused by one whom you too justly suspected of being a
villain. He is, in truth, the worst of villains."

The joy which Mrs Miller now felt bereft her of the power of speech,
and might perhaps have deprived her of her senses, if not of life, had
not a friendly shower of tears come seasonably to her relief. At
length, recovering so far from her transport as to be able to speak,
she cried, "And is my dear Mr Jones then your nephew, sir, and not the
son of this lady? And are your eyes opened to him at last? And shall I
live to see him as happy as he deserves?" "He certainly is my nephew,"
says Allworthy, "and I hope all the rest."--"And is this the dear good
woman, the person," cries she, "to whom all this discovery is
owing?"--"She is indeed," says Allworthy.--"Why, then," cried Mrs
Miller, upon her knees, "may Heaven shower down its choicest blessings
upon her head, and for this one good action forgive her all her sins,
be they never so many!"

Mrs Waters then informed them that she believed Jones would very
shortly be released; for that the surgeon was gone, in company with a
nobleman, to the justice who committed him, in order to certify that
Mr Fitzpatrick was out of all manner of danger, and to procure his
prisoner his liberty.

Allworthy said he should be glad to find his nephew there at his
return home; but that he was then obliged to go on some business of
consequence. He then called to a servant to fetch him a chair, and
presently left the two ladies together.

Mr Blifil, hearing the chair ordered, came downstairs to attend upon
his uncle; for he never was deficient in such acts of duty. He asked
his uncle if he was going out, which is a civil way of asking a man
whither he is going: to which the other making no answer, he again
desired to know when he would be pleased to return?--Allworthy made no
answer to this neither, till he was just going into his chair, and
then, turning about, he said--"Harkee, sir, do you find out, before my
return, the letter which your mother sent me on her death-bed."
Allworthy then departed, and left Blifil in a situation to be envied
only by a man who is just going to be hanged.

Chapter ix.

A further continuation.

Allworthy took an opportunity, whilst he was in the chair, of reading
the letter from Jones to Sophia, which Western delivered him; and
there were some expressions in it concerning himself which drew tears
from his eyes. At length he arrived at Mr Western's, and was
introduced to Sophia.

When the first ceremonies were past, and the gentleman and lady had
taken their chairs, a silence of some minutes ensued; during which the
latter, who had been prepared for the visit by her father, sat playing
with her fan, and had every mark of confusion both in her countenance
and behaviour. At length Allworthy, who was himself a little
disconcerted, began thus: "I am afraid, Miss Western, my family hath
been the occasion of giving you some uneasiness; to which, I fear, I
have innocently become more instrumental than I intended. Be assured,
madam, had I at first known how disagreeable the proposals had been, I
should not have suffered you to have been so long persecuted. I hope,
therefore, you will not think the design of this visit is to trouble
you with any further solicitations of that kind, but entirely to
relieve you from them."

"Sir," said Sophia, with a little modest hesitation, "this behaviour
is most kind and generous, and such as I could expect only from Mr
Allworthy; but as you have been so kind to mention this matter, you
will pardon me for saying it hath, indeed, given me great uneasiness,
and hath been the occasion of my suffering much cruel treatment from
a father who was, till that unhappy affair, the tenderest and fondest
of all parents. I am convinced, sir, you are too good and generous to
resent my refusal of your nephew. Our inclinations are not in our own
power; and whatever may be his merit, I cannot force them in his
favour." "I assure you, most amiable young lady," said Allworthy, "I
am capable of no such resentment, had the person been my own son, and
had I entertained the highest esteem for him. For you say truly,
madam, we cannot force our inclinations, much less can they be
directed by another." "Oh! sir," answered Sophia, "every word you
speak proves you deserve that good, that great, that benevolent
character the whole world allows you. I assure you, sir, nothing less
than the certain prospect of future misery could have made me resist
the commands of my father." "I sincerely believe you, madam," replied
Allworthy, "and I heartily congratulate you on your prudent
foresight, since by so justifiable a resistance you have avoided
misery indeed!" "You speak now, Mr Allworthy," cries she, "with a
delicacy which few men are capable of feeling! but surely, in my
opinion, to lead our lives with one to whom we are indifferent must
be a state of wretchedness.----Perhaps that wretchedness would be
even increased by a sense of the merits of an object to whom we
cannot give our affections. If I had married Mr Blifil--" "Pardon my
interrupting you, madam," answered Allworthy, "but I cannot bear the
supposition.--Believe me, Miss Western, I rejoice from my heart, I
rejoice in your escape.--I have discovered the wretch for whom you
have suffered all this cruel violence from your father to be a
villain." "How, sir!" cries Sophia--"you must believe this surprizes
me."--"It hath surprized me, madam," answered Allworthy, "and so it
will the world.----But I have acquainted you with the real truth."
"Nothing but truth," says Sophia, "can, I am convinced, come from the
lips of Mr Allworthy.----Yet, sir, such sudden, such unexpected
news.----Discovered, you say----may villany be ever so!"--"You will
soon enough hear the story," cries Allworthy;--"at present let us not
mention so detested a name.--I have another matter of a very serious
nature to propose.--O! Miss Western, I know your vast worth, nor can
I so easily part with the ambition of being allied to it.--I have a
near relation, madam, a young man whose character is, I am convinced,
the very opposite to that of this wretch, and whose fortune I will
make equal to what his was to have been. Could I, madam, hope you
would admit a visit from him?" Sophia, after a minute's silence,
answered, "I will deal with the utmost sincerity with Mr Allworthy.
His character, and the obligation I have just received from him,
demand it. I have determined at present to listen to no such
proposals from any person. My only desire is to be restored to the
affection of my father, and to be again the mistress of his family.
This, sir, I hope to owe to your good offices. Let me beseech you,
let me conjure you, by all the goodness which I, and all who know
you, have experienced, do not, the very moment when you have released
me from one persecution, do not engage me in another as miserable and
as fruitless." "Indeed, Miss Western," replied Allworthy, "I am
capable of no such conduct; and if this be your resolution, he must
submit to the disappointment, whatever torments he may suffer under
it." "I must smile now, Mr Allworthy," answered Sophia, "when you
mention the torments of a man whom I do not know, and who can
consequently have so little acquaintance with me." "Pardon me, dear
young lady," cries Allworthy, "I begin now to be afraid he hath had
too much acquaintance for the repose of his future days; since, if
ever man was capable of a sincere, violent, and noble passion, such,
I am convinced, is my unhappy nephew's for Miss Western." "A nephew
of your's, Mr Allworthy!" answered Sophia. "It is surely strange. I
never heard of him before." "Indeed, madam," cries Allworthy, "it is
only the circumstance of his being my nephew to which you are a
stranger, and which, till this day, was a secret to me.--Mr Jones,
who has long loved you, he! he is my nephew!" "Mr Jones your nephew,
sir!" cries Sophia, "can it be possible?"--"He is, indeed, madam,"
answered Allworthy; "he is my own sister's son--as such I shall
always own him; nor am I ashamed of owning him. I am much more
ashamed of my past behaviour to him; but I was as ignorant of his
merit as of his birth. Indeed, Miss Western, I have used him
cruelly----Indeed I have."--Here the good man wiped his eyes, and
after a short pause proceeded--"I never shall be able to reward him
for his sufferings without your assistance.----Believe me, most
amiable young lady, I must have a great esteem of that offering which
I make to your worth. I know he hath been guilty of faults; but there
is great goodness of heart at the bottom. Believe me, madam, there
is." Here he stopped, seeming to expect an answer, which he presently
received from Sophia, after she had a little recovered herself from
the hurry of spirits into which so strange and sudden information had
thrown her: "I sincerely wish you joy, sir, of a discovery in which
you seem to have such satisfaction. I doubt not but you will have all
the comfort you can promise yourself from it. The young gentleman
hath certainly a thousand good qualities, which makes it impossible
he should not behave well to such an uncle."--"I hope, madam," said
Allworthy, "he hath those good qualities which must make him a good
husband.--He must, I am sure, be of all men the most abandoned, if a
lady of your merit should condescend--" "You must pardon me, Mr
Allworthy," answered Sophia; "I cannot listen to a proposal of this
kind. Mr Jones, I am convinced, hath much merit; but I shall never
receive Mr Jones as one who is to be my husband--Upon my honour I
never will."--"Pardon me, madam," cries Allworthy, "if I am a little
surprized, after what I have heard from Mr Western--I hope the
unhappy young man hath done nothing to forfeit your good opinion, if
he had ever the honour to enjoy it.--Perhaps, he may have been
misrepresented to you, as he was to me. The same villany may have
injured him everywhere.--He is no murderer, I assure you; as he hath
been called."--"Mr Allworthy," answered Sophia, "I have told you my
resolution. I wonder not at what my father hath told you; but,
whatever his apprehensions or fears have been, if I know my heart, I
have given no occasion for them; since it hath always been a fixed
principle with me, never to have married without his consent. This
is, I think, the duty of a child to a parent; and this, I hope,
nothing could ever have prevailed with me to swerve from. I do not
indeed conceive that the authority of any parent can oblige us to
marry in direct opposition to our inclinations. To avoid a force of
this kind, which I had reason to suspect, I left my father's house,
and sought protection elsewhere. This is the truth of my story; and
if the world, or my father, carry my intentions any farther, my own
conscience will acquit me." "I hear you, Miss Western," cries
Allworthy, "with admiration. I admire the justness of your
sentiments; but surely there is more in this. I am cautious of
offending you, young lady; but am I to look on all which I have
hitherto heard or seen as a dream only? And have you suffered so much
cruelty from your father on the account of a man to whom you have
been always absolutely indifferent?" "I beg, Mr Allworthy," answered
Sophia, "you will not insist on my reasons;--yes, I have suffered
indeed; I will not, Mr Allworthy, conceal----I will be very sincere
with you--I own I had a great opinion of Mr Jones--I believe--I know
I have suffered for my opinion--I have been treated cruelly by my
aunt, as well as by my father; but that is now past--I beg I may not
be farther pressed; for, whatever hath been, my resolution is now
fixed. Your nephew, sir, hath many virtues--he hath great virtues, Mr
Allworthy. I question not but he will do you honour in the world, and
make you happy."--"I wish I could make him so, madam," replied
Allworthy; "but that I am convinced is only in your power. It is that
conviction which hath made me so earnest a solicitor in his favour."
"You are deceived indeed, sir; you are deceived," said Sophia. "I
hope not by him. It is sufficient to have deceived me. Mr Allworthy,
I must insist on being pressed no farther on this subject. I should
be sorry--nay, I will not injure him in your favour. I wish Mr Jones
very well. I sincerely wish him well; and I repeat it again to you,
whatever demerit he may have to me, I am certain he hath many good
qualities. I do not disown my former thoughts; but nothing can ever
recal them. At present there is not a man upon earth whom I would
more resolutely reject than Mr Jones; nor would the addresses of Mr
Blifil himself be less agreeable to me."

Western had been long impatient for the event of this conference, and
was just now arrived at the door to listen; when, having heard the
last sentiments of his daughter's heart, he lost all temper, and,
bursting open the door in a rage, cried out--"It is a lie! It is a
d--n'd lie! It is all owing to that d--n'd rascal Jones; and if she
could get at un, she'd ha un any hour of the day." Here Allworthy
interposed, and addressing himself to the squire with some anger in
his look, he said, "Mr Western, you have not kept your word with me.
You promised to abstain from all violence."--"Why, so I did," cries
Western, "as long as it was possible; but to hear a wench telling such
confounded lies----Zounds! doth she think, if she can make vools of
other volk, she can make one of me?--No, no, I know her better than
thee dost." "I am sorry to tell you, sir," answered Allworthy, "it
doth not appear, by your behaviour to this young lady, that you know
her at all. I ask pardon for what I say: but I think our intimacy,
your own desires, and the occasion justify me. She is your daughter,
Mr Western, and I think she doth honour to your name. If I was capable
of envy, I should sooner envy you on this account than any other man
whatever."--"Odrabbit it!" cries the squire, "I wish she was thine,
with all my heart--wouldst soon be glad to be rid of the trouble o'
her." "Indeed, my good friend," answered Allworthy, "you yourself are
the cause of all the trouble you complain of. Place that confidence in
the young lady which she so well deserves, and I am certain you will
be the happiest father on earth."--"I confidence in her?" cries the
squire. "'Sblood! what confidence can I place in her, when she won't
do as I would ha' her? Let her gi' but her consent to marry as I would
ha' her, and I'll place as much confidence in her as wouldst ha'
me."--"You have no right, neighbour," answered Allworthy, "to insist
on any such consent. A negative voice your daughter allows you, and
God and nature have thought proper to allow you no more."--"A negative
voice!" cries the squire, "Ay! ay! I'll show you what a negative voice
I ha.--Go along, go into your chamber, go, you stubborn----." "Indeed,
Mr Western," said Allworthy, "indeed you use her cruelly--I cannot
bear to see this--you shall, you must behave to her in a kinder
manner. She deserves the best of treatment." "Yes, yes," said the
squire, "I know what she deserves: now she's gone, I'll shew you what
she deserves. See here, sir, here is a letter from my cousin, my Lady
Bellaston, in which she is so kind to gi' me to understand that the
fellow is got out of prison again; and here she advises me to take all
the care I can o' the wench. Odzookers! neighbour Allworthy, you don't
know what it is to govern a daughter."

The squire ended his speech with some compliments to his own sagacity;
and then Allworthy, after a formal preface, acquainted him with the
whole discovery which he had made concerning Jones, with his anger to
Blifil, and with every particular which hath been disclosed to the
reader in the preceding chapters.

Men over-violent in their dispositions are, for the most part, as
changeable in them. No sooner then was Western informed of Mr
Allworthy's intention to make Jones his heir, than he joined heartily
with the uncle in every commendation of the nephew, and became as
eager for her marriage with Jones as he had before been to couple her
to Blifil.

Here Mr Allworthy was again forced to interpose, and to relate what
had passed between him and Sophia, at which he testified great

The squire was silent a moment, and looked wild with astonishment at
this account.--At last he cried out, "Why, what can be the meaning of
this, neighbour Allworthy? Vond o'un she was, that I'll be sworn
to.----Odzookers! I have hit o't. As sure as a gun I have hit o' the
very right o't. It's all along o' zister. The girl hath got a
hankering after this son of a whore of a lord. I vound 'em together at
my cousin my Lady Bellaston's. He hath turned the head o' her, that's
certain--but d--n me if he shall ha her--I'll ha no lords nor
courtiers in my vamily."

Allworthy now made a long speech, in which he repeated his resolution
to avoid all violent measures, and very earnestly recommended gentle
methods to Mr Western, as those by which he might be assured of
succeeding best with his daughter. He then took his leave, and
returned back to Mrs Miller, but was forced to comply with the earnest
entreaties of the squire, in promising to bring Mr Jones to visit him
that afternoon, that he might, as he said, "make all matters up with
the young gentleman." At Mr Allworthy's departure, Western promised to
follow his advice in his behaviour to Sophia, saying, "I don't know
how 'tis, but d--n me, Allworthy, if you don't make me always do just
as you please; and yet I have as good an estate as you, and am in the
commission of the peace as well as yourself."

Chapter x.

Wherein the history begins to draw towards a conclusion.

When Allworthy returned to his lodgings, he heard Mr Jones was just
arrived before him. He hurried therefore instantly into an empty
chamber, whither he ordered Mr Jones to be brought to him alone.

It is impossible to conceive a more tender or moving scene than the
meeting between the uncle and nephew (for Mrs Waters, as the reader
may well suppose, had at her last visit discovered to him the secret
of his birth). The first agonies of joy which were felt on both sides
are indeed beyond my power to describe: I shall not therefore attempt
it. After Allworthy had raised Jones from his feet, where he had
prostrated himself, and received him into his arms, "O my child!" he
cried, "how have I been to blame! how have I injured you! What amends
can I ever make you for those unkind, those unjust suspicions which I
have entertained, and for all the sufferings they have occasioned to
you?" "Am I not now made amends?" cries Jones. "Would not my
sufferings, if they had been ten times greater, have been now richly
repaid? O my dear uncle, this goodness, this tenderness overpowers,
unmans, destroys me. I cannot bear the transports which flow so fast
upon me. To be again restored to your presence, to your favour; to be
once more thus kindly received by my great, my noble, my generous
benefactor."--"Indeed, child," cries Allworthy, "I have used you
cruelly."----He then explained to him all the treachery of Blifil, and
again repeated expressions of the utmost concern, for having been
induced by that treachery to use him so ill. "O, talk not so!"
answered Jones; "indeed, sir, you have used me nobly. The wisest man
might be deceived as you were; and, under such a deception, the best
must have acted just as you did. Your goodness displayed itself in the
midst of your anger, just as it then seemed. I owe everything to that
goodness, of which I have been most unworthy. Do not put me on
self-accusation, by carrying your generous sentiments too far. Alas!
sir, I have not been punished more than I have deserved; and it shall
be the whole business of my future life to deserve that happiness you
now bestow on me; for, believe me, my dear uncle, my punishment hath
not been thrown away upon me: though I have been a great, I am not a
hardened sinner; I thank Heaven, I have had time to reflect on my past
life, where, though I cannot charge myself with any gross villany, yet
I can discern follies and vices more than enough to repent and to be
ashamed of; follies which have been attended with dreadful
consequences to myself, and have brought me to the brink of
destruction." "I am rejoiced, my dear child," answered Allworthy, "to
hear you talk thus sensibly; for as I am convinced hypocrisy (good
Heaven! how have I been imposed on by it in others!) was never among
your faults, so I can readily believe all you say. You now see, Tom,
to what dangers imprudence alone may subject virtue (for virtue, I am
now convinced, you love in a great degree). Prudence is indeed the
duty which we owe to ourselves; and if we will be so much our own
enemies as to neglect it, we are not to wonder if the world is
deficient in discharging their duty to us; for when a man lays the
foundation of his own ruin, others will, I am afraid, be too apt to
build upon it. You say, however, you have seen your errors, and will
reform them. I firmly believe you, my dear child; and therefore, from
this moment, you shall never be reminded of them by me. Remember them
only yourself so far as for the future to teach you the better to
avoid them; but still remember, for your comfort, that there is this
great difference between those faults which candor may construe into
imprudence, and those which can be deduced from villany only. The
former, perhaps, are even more apt to subject a man to ruin; but if he
reform, his character will, at length, be totally retrieved; the
world, though not immediately, will in time be reconciled to him; and
he may reflect, not without some mixture of pleasure, on the dangers
he hath escaped; but villany, my boy, when once discovered is
irretrievable; the stains which this leaves behind, no time will wash
away. The censures of mankind will pursue the wretch, their scorn will
abash him in publick; and if shame drives him into retirement, he will
go to it with all those terrors with which a weary child, who is
afraid of hobgoblins, retreats from company to go to bed alone. Here
his murdered conscience will haunt him.--Repose, like a false friend,
will fly from him. Wherever he turns his eyes, horror presents itself;
if he looks backward, unavailable repentance treads on his heels; if
forward, incurable despair stares him in the face, till, like a
condemned prisoner confined in a dungeon, he detests his present
condition, and yet dreads the consequence of that hour which is to
relieve him from it. Comfort yourself, I say, my child, that this is
not your case; and rejoice with thankfulness to him who hath suffered
you to see your errors, before they have brought on you that
destruction to which a persistance in even those errors must have led
you. You have deserted them; and the prospect now before you is such,
that happiness seems in your own power." At these words Jones fetched
a deep sigh; upon which, when Allworthy remonstrated, he said, "Sir, I
will conceal nothing from you: I fear there is one consequence of my
vices I shall never be able to retrieve. O, my dear uncle! I have lost
a treasure." "You need say no more," answered Allworthy; "I will be
explicit with you; I know what you lament; I have seen the young lady,
and have discoursed with her concerning you. This I must insist on, as
an earnest of your sincerity in all you have said, and of the
stedfastness of your resolution, that you obey me in one instance. To
abide intirely by the determination of the young lady, whether it
shall be in your favour or no. She hath already suffered enough from
solicitations which I hate to think of; she shall owe no further
constraint to my family: I know her father will be as ready to torment
her now on your account as he hath formerly been on another's; but I
am determined she shall suffer no more confinement, no more violence,
no more uneasy hours." "O, my dear uncle!" answered Jones, "lay, I
beseech you, some command on me, in which I shall have some merit in
obedience. Believe me, sir, the only instance in which I could disobey
you would be to give an uneasy moment to my Sophia. No, sir, if I am
so miserable to have incurred her displeasure beyond all hope of
forgiveness, that alone, with the dreadful reflection of causing her
misery, will be sufficient to overpower me. To call Sophia mine is the
greatest, and now the only additional blessing which heaven can
bestow; but it is a blessing which I must owe to her alone." "I will
not flatter you, child," cries Allworthy; "I fear your case is
desperate: I never saw stronger marks of an unalterable resolution in
any person than appeared in her vehement declarations against
receiving your addresses; for which, perhaps, you can account better
than myself." "Oh, sir! I can account too well," answered Jones; "I
have sinned against her beyond all hope of pardon; and guilty as I am,
my guilt unfortunately appears to her in ten times blacker than the
real colours. O, my dear uncle! I find my follies are irretrievable;
and all your goodness cannot save me from perdition."

A servant now acquainted them that Mr Western was below-stairs; for
his eagerness to see Jones could not wait till the afternoon. Upon
which Jones, whose eyes were full of tears, begged his uncle to
entertain Western a few minutes, till he a little recovered himself;
to which the good man consented, and, having ordered Mr Western to be
shewn into a parlour, went down to him.

Mrs Miller no sooner heard that Jones was alone (for she had not yet
seen him since his release from prison) than she came eagerly into the
room, and, advancing towards Jones, wished him heartily joy of his
new-found uncle and his happy reconciliation; adding, "I wish I could
give you joy on another account, my dear child; but anything so
inexorable I never saw."

Jones, with some appearance of surprize, asked her what she meant.
"Why then," says she, "I have been with your young lady, and have
explained all matters to her, as they were told to me by my son
Nightingale. She can have no longer any doubt about the letter; of
that I am certain; for I told her my son Nightingale was ready to take
his oath, if she pleased, that it was all his own invention, and the
letter of his inditing. I told her the very reason of sending the
letter ought to recommend you to her the more, as it was all upon her
account, and a plain proof that you was resolved to quit all your
profligacy for the future; that you had never been guilty of a single
instance of infidelity to her since your seeing her in town: I am
afraid I went too far there; but Heaven forgive me! I hope your future
behaviour will be my justification. I am sure I have said all I can;
but all to no purpose. She remains inflexible. She says, she had
forgiven many faults on account of youth; but expressed such
detestation of the character of a libertine, that she absolutely
silenced me. I often attempted to excuse you; but the justness of her
accusation flew in my face. Upon my honour, she is a lovely woman, and
one of the sweetest and most sensible creatures I ever saw. I could
have almost kissed her for one expression she made use of. It was a
sentiment worthy of Seneca, or of a bishop. `I once fancied madam.'
and she, `I had discovered great goodness of heart in Mr Jones; and
for that I own I had a sincere esteem; but an entire profligacy of
manners will corrupt the best heart in the world; and all which a
good-natured libertine can expect is, that we should mix some grains
of pity with our contempt and abhorrence.' She is an angelic creature,
that is the truth on't." "O, Mrs Miller!" answered Jones, "can I bear
to think that I have lost such an angel?" "Lost! no," cries Mrs
Miller; "I hope you have not lost her yet. Resolve to leave such
vicious courses, and you may yet have hopes, nay, if she would remain
inexorable, there is another young lady, a sweet pretty young lady,
and a swinging fortune, who is absolutely dying for love of you. I
heard of it this very morning, and I told it to Miss Western; nay, I
went a little beyond the truth again; for I told her you had refused
her; but indeed I knew you would refuse her. And here I must give you
a little comfort; when I mentioned the young lady's name, who is no
other than the pretty widow Hunt, I thought she turned pale; but when
I said you had refused her, I will be sworn her face was all over
scarlet in an instant; and these were her very words: `I will not deny
but that I believe he has some affection for me.'"

Here the conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Western, who
could no longer be kept out of the room even by the authority of
Allworthy himself; though this, as we have often seen, had a wonderful
power over him.

Western immediately went up to Jones, crying out, "My old friend Tom,
I am glad to see thee with all my heart! all past must be forgotten; I
could not intend any affront to thee, because, as Allworthy here
knows, nay, dost know it thyself, I took thee for another person; and
where a body means no harm, what signifies a hasty word or two? One
Christian must forget and forgive another." "I hope, sir," said Jones,
"I shall never forget the many obligations I have had to you; but as
for any offence towards me, I declare I am an utter stranger." "A't,"
says Western, "then give me thy fist; a't as hearty an honest cock as
any in the kingdom. Come along with me; I'll carry thee to thy
mistress this moment." Here Allworthy interposed; and the squire being
unable to prevail either with the uncle or nephew, was, after some
litigation, obliged to consent to delay introducing Jones to Sophia
till the afternoon; at which time Allworthy, as well in compassion to
Jones as in compliance with the eager desires of Western, was
prevailed upon to promise to attend at the tea-table.

The conversation which now ensued was pleasant enough; and with which,
had it happened earlier in our history, we would have entertained our
reader; but as we have now leisure only to attend to what is very
material, it shall suffice to say that matters being entirely adjusted
as to the afternoon visit Mr Western again returned home.

Chapter xi.

The history draws nearer to a conclusion.

When Mr Western was departed, Jones began to inform Mr Allworthy and
Mrs Miller that his liberty had been procured by two noble lords, who,
together with two surgeons and a friend of Mr Nightingale's, had
attended the magistrate by whom he had been committed, and by whom, on
the surgeons' oaths, that the wounded person was out of all manner of
danger from his wound, he was discharged.

One only of these lords, he said, he had ever seen before, and that no
more than once; but the other had greatly surprized him by asking his
pardon for an offence he had been guilty of towards him, occasioned,
he said, entirely by his ignorance who he was.

Now the reality of the case, with which Jones was not acquainted till
afterwards, was this:--The lieutenant whom Lord Fellamar had employed,
according to the advice of Lady Bellaston, to press Jones as a
vagabond into the sea-service, when he came to report to his lordship
the event which we have before seen, spoke very favourably of the
behaviour of Mr Jones on all accounts, and strongly assured that lord
that he must have mistaken the person, for that Jones was certainly a
gentleman; insomuch that his lordship, who was strictly a man of
honour, and would by no means have been guilty of an action which the
world in general would have condemned, began to be much concerned for
the advice which he had taken.

Within a day or two after this, Lord Fellamar happened to dine with
the Irish peer, who, in a conversation upon the duel, acquainted his
company with the character of Fitzpatrick; to which, indeed, he did
not do strict justice, especially in what related to his lady. He said
she was the most innocent, the most injured woman alive, and that from
compassion alone he had undertaken her cause. He then declared an
intention of going the next morning to Fitzpatrick's lodgings, in
order to prevail with him, if possible, to consent to a separation
from his wife, who, the peer said, was in apprehensions for her life,
if she should ever return to be under the power of her husband. Lord
Fellamar agreed to go with him, that he might satisfy himself more
concerning Jones and the circumstances of the duel; for he was by no
means easy concerning the part he had acted. The moment his lordship
gave a hint of his readiness to assist in the delivery of the lady, it
was eagerly embraced by the other nobleman, who depended much on the
authority of Lord Fellamar, as he thought it would greatly contribute
to awe Fitzpatrick into a compliance; and perhaps he was in the right;
for the poor Irishman no sooner saw these noble peers had undertaken
the cause of his wife than he submitted, and articles of separation
were soon drawn up and signed between the parties.

Fitzpatrick, who had been so well satisfied by Mrs Waters concerning
the innocence of his wife with Jones at Upton, or perhaps, from some
other reasons, was now become so indifferent to that matter, that he
spoke highly in favour of Jones to Lord Fellamar, took all the blame
upon himself, and said the other had behaved very much like a
gentleman and a man of honour; and upon that lord's further enquiry
concerning Mr Jones, Fitzpatrick told him he was nephew to a gentleman
of very great fashion and fortune, which was the account he had just
received from Mrs Waters after her interview with Dowling.

Lord Fellamar now thought it behoved him to do everything in his power
to make satisfaction to a gentleman whom he had so grossly injured,
and without any consideration of rivalship (for he had now given over
all thoughts of Sophia), determined to procure Mr Jones's liberty,
being satisfied, as well from Fitzpatrick as his surgeon, that the
wound was not mortal. He therefore prevailed with the Irish peer to
accompany him to the place where Jones was confined, to whom he
behaved as we have already related.

When Allworthy returned to his lodgings, he immediately carried Jones
into his room, and then acquainted him with the whole matter, as well
what he had heard from Mrs Waters as what he had discovered from Mr

Jones expressed great astonishment and no less concern at this
account, but without making any comment or observation upon it. And
now a message was brought from Mr Blifil, desiring to know if his
uncle was at leisure that he might wait upon him. Allworthy started
and turned pale, and then in a more passionate tone than I believe he
had ever used before, bid the servant tell Blifil he knew him not.
"Consider, dear sir," cries Jones, in a trembling voice. "I have
considered," answered Allworthy, "and you yourself shall carry my
message to the villain. No one can carry him the sentence of his own
ruin so properly as the man whose ruin he hath so villanously
contrived." "Pardon me, dear sir," said Jones; "a moment's reflection
will, I am sure, convince you of the contrary. What might perhaps be
but justice from another tongue, would from mine be insult; and to
whom?--my own brother and your nephew. Nor did he use me so
barbarously--indeed, that would have been more inexcusable than
anything he hath done. Fortune may tempt men of no very bad
dispositions to injustice; but insults proceed only from black and
rancorous minds, and have no temptations to excuse them. Let me
beseech you, sir, to do nothing by him in the present height of your
anger. Consider, my dear uncle, I was not myself condemned unheard."
Allworthy stood silent a moment, and then, embracing Jones, he said,
with tears gushing from his eyes, "O my child! to what goodness have I
been so long blind!"

Mrs Miller entering the room at that moment, after a gentle rap which
was not perceived, and seeing Jones in the arms of his uncle, the poor
woman in an agony of joy fell upon her knees, and burst forth into the
most ecstatic thanksgivings to heaven for what had happened; then,
running to Jones, she embraced him eagerly, crying, "My dearest
friend, I wish you joy a thousand and a thousand times of this blest
day." And next Mr Allworthy himself received the same congratulations.
To which he answered, "Indeed, indeed, Mrs Miller, I am beyond
expression happy." Some few more raptures having passed on all sides,
Mrs Miller desired them both to walk down to dinner in the parlour,
where she said there were a very happy set of people assembled--being
indeed no other than Mr Nightingale and his bride, and his cousin
Harriet with her bridegroom.

Allworthy excused himself from dining with the company, saying he had
ordered some little thing for him and his nephew in his own apartment,
for that they had much private business to discourse of; but would not
resist promising the good woman that both he and Jones would make part
of her society at supper.

Mrs Miller then asked what was to be done with Blifil? "for indeed,"
says she, "I cannot be easy while such a villain is in my
house."--Allworthy answered, "He was as uneasy as herself on the same
account." "Oh!" cries she, "if that be the case, leave the matter to
me, I'll soon show him the outside out of my doors, I warrant you.
Here are two or three lusty fellows below-stairs." "There will be no
need of any violence," cries Allworthy; "if you will carry him a
message from me, he will, I am convinced, depart of his own accord."
"Will I?" said Mrs Miller; "I never did anything in my life with a
better will." Here Jones interfered, and said, "He had considered the
matter better, and would, if Mr Allworthy pleased, be himself the
messenger. I know," says he, "already enough of your pleasure, sir,
and I beg leave to acquaint him with it by my own words. Let me
beseech you, sir," added he, "to reflect on the dreadful consequences
of driving him to violent and sudden despair. How unfit, alas! is this
poor man to die in his present situation." This suggestion had not the
least effect on Mrs Miller. She left the room, crying, "You are too
good, Mr Jones, infinitely too good to live in this world." But it
made a deeper impression on Allworthy. "My good child," said he, "I am
equally astonished at the goodness of your heart, and the quickness of
your understanding. Heaven indeed forbid that this wretch should be
deprived of any means or time for repentance! That would be a shocking
consideration indeed. Go to him, therefore, and use your own
discretion; yet do not flatter him with any hopes of my forgiveness;
for I shall never forgive villany farther than my religion obliges me,
and that extends not either to our bounty or our conversation."

Jones went up to Blifil's room, whom he found in a situation which
moved his pity, though it would have raised a less amiable passion in
many beholders. He cast himself on his bed, where he lay abandoning
himself to despair, and drowned in tears; not in such tears as flow
from contrition, and wash away guilt from minds which have been
seduced or surprized into it unawares, against the bent of their
natural dispositions, as will sometimes happen from human frailty,
even to the good; no, these tears were such as the frighted thief
sheds in his cart, and are indeed the effects of that concern which
the most savage natures are seldom deficient in feeling for

It would be unpleasant and tedious to paint this scene in full length.
Let it suffice to say, that the behaviour of Jones was kind to excess.
He omitted nothing which his invention could supply, to raise and
comfort the drooping spirits of Blifil, before he communicated to him
the resolution of his uncle that he must quit the house that evening.
He offered to furnish him with any money he wanted, assured him of his
hearty forgiveness of all he had done against him, that he would
endeavour to live with him hereafter as a brother, and would leave
nothing unattempted to effectuate a reconciliation with his uncle.

Blifil was at first sullen and silent, balancing in his mind whether
he should yet deny all; but, finding at last the evidence too strong
against him, he betook himself at last to confession. He then asked
pardon of his brother in the most vehement manner, prostrated himself
on the ground, and kissed his feet; in short he was now as remarkably
mean as he had been before remarkably wicked.

Jones could not so far check his disdain, but that it a little
discovered itself in his countenance at this extreme servility. He
raised his brother the moment he could from the ground, and advised
him to bear his afflictions more like a man; repeating, at the same
time, his promises, that he would do all in his power to lessen them;
for which Blifil, making many professions of his unworthiness, poured
forth a profusion of thanks; and then, he having declared he would
immediately depart to another lodging, Jones returned to his uncle.

Among other matters, Allworthy now acquainted Jones with the discovery
which he had made concerning the 500 bank-notes. "I have," said he,
"already consulted a lawyer, who tells me, to my great astonishment,
that there is no punishment for a fraud of this kind. Indeed, when I
consider the black ingratitude of this fellow toward you, I think a
highwayman, compared to him, is an innocent person."

"Good Heaven!" says Jones, "is it possible?--I am shocked beyond
measure at this news. I thought there was not an honester fellow in
the world.----The temptation of such a sum was too great for him to
withstand; for smaller matters have come safe to me through his hand.
Indeed, my dear uncle, you must suffer me to call it weakness rather
than ingratitude; for I am convinced the poor fellow loves me, and
hath done me some kindnesses, which I can never forget; nay, I believe
he hath repented of this very act; for it is not above a day or two
ago, when my affairs seemed in the most desperate situation, that he
visited me in my confinement, and offered me any money I wanted.
Consider, sir, what a temptation to a man who hath tasted such bitter
distress, it must be, to have a sum in his possession which must put
him and his family beyond any future possibility of suffering the

"Child," cries Allworthy, "you carry this forgiving temper too far.
Such mistaken mercy is not only weakness, but borders on injustice,
and is very pernicious to society, as it encourages vice. The
dishonesty of this fellow I might, perhaps, have pardoned, but never
his ingratitude. And give me leave to say, when we suffer any
temptation to atone for dishonesty itself, we are as candid and
merciful as we ought to be; and so far I confess I have gone; for I
have often pitied the fate of a highwayman, when I have been on the
grand jury; and have more than once applied to the judge on the behalf
of such as have had any mitigating circumstances in their case; but
when dishonesty is attended with any blacker crime, such as cruelty,
murder, ingratitude, or the like, compassion and forgiveness then
become faults. I am convinced the fellow is a villain, and he shall be
punished; at least as far as I can punish him."

This was spoken with so stern a voice, that Jones did not think proper
to make any reply; besides, the hour appointed by Mr Western now drew
so near, that he had barely time left to dress himself. Here therefore
ended the present dialogue, and Jones retired to another room, where
Partridge attended, according to order, with his cloaths.

Partridge had scarce seen his master since the happy discovery. The
poor fellow was unable either to contain or express his transports. He
behaved like one frantic, and made almost as many mistakes while he
was dressing Jones as I have seen made by Harlequin in dressing
himself on the stage.

His memory, however, was not in the least deficient. He recollected
now many omens and presages of this happy event, some of which he had
remarked at the time, but many more he now remembered; nor did he omit
the dreams he had dreamt the evening before his meeting with Jones;
and concluded with saying, "I always told your honour something boded
in my mind that you would one time or other have it in your power to
make my fortune." Jones assured him that this boding should as
certainly be verified with regard to him as all the other omens had
been to himself; which did not a little add to all the raptures which
the poor fellow had already conceived on account of his master.

Chapter xii.

Approaching still nearer to the end.

Jones, being now completely dressed, attended his uncle to Mr
Western's. He was, indeed, one of the finest figures ever beheld, and
his person alone would have charmed the greater part of womankind; but
we hope it hath already appeared in this history that Nature, when she
formed him, did not totally rely, as she sometimes doth, on this merit
only, to recommend her work.

Sophia, who, angry as she was, was likewise set forth to the best
advantage, for which I leave my female readers to account, appeared so
extremely beautiful, that even Allworthy, when he saw her, could not
forbear whispering Western, that he believed she was the finest
creature in the world. To which Western answered, in a whisper,
overheard by all present, "So much the better for Tom;--for d--n me if
he shan't ha the tousling her." Sophia was all over scarlet at these
words, while Tom's countenance was altogether as pale, and he was
almost ready to sink from his chair.

The tea-table was scarce removed before Western lugged Allworthy out
of the room, telling him he had business of consequence to impart, and
must speak to him that instant in private, before he forgot it.

The lovers were now alone, and it will, I question not, appear strange
to many readers, that those who had so much to say to one another when
danger and difficulty attended their conversation, and who seemed so
eager to rush into each other's arms when so many bars lay in their
way, now that with safety they were at liberty to say or do whatever
they pleased, should both remain for some time silent and motionless;
insomuch that a stranger of moderate sagacity might have well
concluded they were mutually indifferent; but so it was, however
strange it may seem; both sat with their eyes cast downwards on the
ground, and for some minutes continued in perfect silence.

Mr Jones during this interval attempted once or twice to speak, but
was absolutely incapable, muttering only, or rather sighing out, some
broken words; when Sophia at length, partly out of pity to him, and
partly to turn the discourse from the subject which she knew well
enough he was endeavouring to open, said--

"Sure, sir, you are the most fortunate man in the world in this
discovery." "And can you really, madam, think me so fortunate," said
Jones, sighing, "while I have incurred your displeasure?"--"Nay, sir,"
says she, "as to that you best know whether you have deserved it."
"Indeed, madam," answered he, "you yourself are as well apprized of
all my demerits. Mrs Miller hath acquainted you with the whole truth.
O! my Sophia, am I never to hope for forgiveness?"--"I think, Mr
Jones," said she, "I may almost depend on your own justice, and leave
it to yourself to pass sentence on your own conduct."--"Alas! madam,"
answered he, "it is mercy, and not justice, which I implore at your
hands. Justice I know must condemn me.--Yet not for the letter I sent
to Lady Bellaston. Of that I most solemnly declare you have had a true
account." He then insisted much on the security given him by
Nightingale of a fair pretence for breaking off, if, contrary to their
expectations, her ladyship should have accepted his offer; but confest
that he had been guilty of a great indiscretion to put such a letter
as that into her power, "which," said he, "I have dearly paid for, in
the effect it has upon you." "I do not, I cannot," says she, "believe
otherwise of that letter than you would have me. My conduct, I think,
shews you clearly I do not believe there is much in that. And yet, Mr
Jones, have I not enough to resent? After what past at Upton, so soon
to engage in a new amour with another woman, while I fancied, and you
pretended, your heart was bleeding for me? Indeed, you have acted
strangely. Can I believe the passion you have profest to me to be
sincere? Or, if I can, what happiness can I assure myself of with a
man capable of so much inconstancy?" "O! my Sophia," cries he, "do not
doubt the sincerity of the purest passion that ever inflamed a human
breast. Think, most adorable creature, of my unhappy situation, of my
despair. Could I, my Sophia, have flattered myself with the most
distant hopes of being ever permitted to throw myself at your feet in
the manner I do now, it would not have been in the power of any other
woman to have inspired a thought which the severest chastity could
have condemned. Inconstancy to you! O Sophia! if you can have goodness
enough to pardon what is past, do not let any cruel future
apprehensions shut your mercy against me. No repentance was ever more
sincere. O! let it reconcile me to my heaven in this dear bosom."
"Sincere repentance, Mr Jones," answered she, "will obtain the pardon
of a sinner, but it is from one who is a perfect judge of that
sincerity. A human mind may be imposed on; nor is there any infallible
method to prevent it. You must expect, however, that if I can be
prevailed on by your repentance to pardon you, I will at least insist
on the strongest proof of its sincerity." "Name any proof in my
power," answered Jones eagerly. "Time," replied she; "time alone, Mr
Jones, can convince me that you are a true penitent, and have resolved
to abandon these vicious courses, which I should detest you for, if I
imagined you capable of persevering in them." "Do not imagine it,"
cries Jones. "On my knees I intreat, I implore your confidence, a
confidence which it shall be the business of my life to deserve." "Let
it then," said she, "be the business of some part of your life to shew
me you deserve it. I think I have been explicit enough in assuring
you, that, when I see you merit my confidence, you will obtain it.
After what is past, sir, can you expect I should take you upon your

He replied, "Don't believe me upon my word; I have a better security,
a pledge for my constancy, which it is impossible to see and to
doubt." "What is that?" said Sophia, a little surprized. "I will show
you, my charming angel," cried Jones, seizing her hand and carrying
her to the glass. "There, behold it there in that lovely figure, in
that face, that shape, those eyes, that mind which shines through
these eyes; can the man who shall be in possession of these be
inconstant? Impossible! my Sophia; they would fix a Dorimant, a Lord
Rochester. You could not doubt it, if you could see yourself with any
eyes but your own." Sophia blushed and half smiled; but, forcing
again her brow into a frown--"If I am to judge," said she, "of the
future by the past, my image will no more remain in your heart when I
am out of your sight, than it will in this glass when I am out of the
room." "By heaven, by all that is sacred!" said Jones, "it never was
out of my heart. The delicacy of your sex cannot conceive the
grossness of ours, nor how little one sort of amour has to do with
the heart." "I will never marry a man," replied Sophia, very gravely,
"who shall not learn refinement enough to be as incapable as I am
myself of making such a distinction." "I will learn it," said Jones.
"I have learnt it already. The first moment of hope that my Sophia
might be my wife taught it me at once; and all the rest of her sex
from that moment became as little the objects of desire to my sense
as of passion to my heart." "Well," says Sophia, "the proof of this
must be from time. Your situation, Mr Jones, is now altered, and I
assure you I have great satisfaction in the alteration. You will now
want no opportunity of being near me, and convincing me that your
mind is altered too." "O! my angel," cries Jones, "how shall I thank
thy goodness! And are you so good to own that you have a satisfaction
in my prosperity?----Believe me, believe me, madam, it is you alone
have given a relish to that prosperity, since I owe to it the dear
hope----O! my Sophia, let it not be a distant one.--I will be all
obedience to your commands. I will not dare to press anything further
than you permit me. Yet let me intreat you to appoint a short trial.
O! tell me when I may expect you will be convinced of what is most
solemnly true." "When I have gone voluntarily thus far, Mr Jones,"
said she, "I expect not to be pressed. Nay, I will not."--"O! don't
look unkindly thus, my Sophia," cries he. "I do not, I dare not press
you.--Yet permit me at least once more to beg you would fix the
period. O! consider the impatience of love."--"A twelvemonth,
perhaps," said she. "O! my Sophia," cries he, "you have named an
eternity."--"Perhaps it may be something sooner," says she; "I will
not be teazed. If your passion for me be what I would have it, I
think you may now be easy."--"Easy! Sophia, call not such an exulting
happiness as mine by so cold a name.----O! transporting thought! am I
not assured that the blessed day will come, when I shall call you
mine; when fears shall be no more; when I shall have that dear, that
vast, that exquisite, ecstatic delight of making my Sophia
happy?"--"Indeed, sir," said she, "that day is in your own
power."--"O! my dear, my divine angel," cried he, "these words have
made me mad with joy.----But I must, I will thank those dear lips
which have so sweetly pronounced my bliss." He then caught her in his
arms, and kissed her with an ardour he had never ventured before.

At this instant Western, who had stood some time listening, burst into
the room, and, with his hunting voice and phrase, cried out, "To her,
boy, to her, go to her.----That's it, little honeys, O that's it!
Well! what, is it all over? Hath she appointed the day, boy? What,
shall it be to-morrow or next day? It shan't be put off a minute
longer than next day, I am resolved." "Let me beseech you, sir," says
Jones, "don't let me be the occasion"----"Beseech mine a----," cries
Western. "I thought thou hadst been a lad of higher mettle than to
give way to a parcel of maidenish tricks.----I tell thee 'tis all
flimflam. Zoodikers! she'd have the wedding to-night with all her
heart. Would'st not, Sophy? Come, confess, and be an honest girl for
once. What, art dumb? Why dost not speak?" "Why should I confess,
sir," says Sophia, "since it seems you are so well acquainted with my
thoughts?"----"That's a good girl," cries he, "and dost consent then?"
"No, indeed, sir," says Sophia, "I have given no such consent."---"And
wunt not ha un then to-morrow, nor next day?" says Western.--"Indeed,
sir," says she, "I have no such intention." "But I can tell thee,"
replied he, "why hast nut; only because thou dost love to be
disobedient, and to plague and vex thy father." "Pray, sir," said
Jones, interfering----"I tell thee thou art a puppy," cries he. "When
I vorbid her, then it was all nothing but sighing and whining, and
languishing and writing; now I am vor thee, she is against thee. All
the spirit of contrary, that's all. She is above being guided and
governed by her father, that is the whole truth on't. It is only to
disoblige and contradict me." "What would my papa have me do?" cries
Sophia. "What would I ha thee do?" says he, "why, gi' un thy hand this
moment."--"Well, sir," says Sophia, "I will obey you.--There is my
hand, Mr Jones." "Well, and will you consent to ha un to-morrow
morning?" says Western.--"I will be obedient to you, sir," cries
she.--"Why then to-morrow morning be the day," cries he. "Why then
to-morrow morning shall be the day, papa, since you will have it so,"
says Sophia. Jones then fell upon his knees, and kissed her hand in an
agony of joy, while Western began to caper and dance about the room,
presently crying out--"Where the devil is Allworthy? He is without
now, a talking with that d--d lawyer Dowling, when he should be
minding other matters." He then sallied out in quest of him, and very
opportunely left the lovers to enjoy a few tender minutes alone.

But he soon returned with Allworthy, saying, "If you won't believe me,
you may ask her yourself. Hast nut gin thy consent, Sophy, to be
married to-morrow?" "Such are your commands, sir," cries Sophia, "and
I dare not be guilty of disobedience." "I hope, madam," cries
Allworthy, "my nephew will merit so much goodness, and will be always
as sensible as myself of the great honour you have done my family. An
alliance with so charming and so excellent a young lady would indeed
be an honour to the greatest in England." "Yes," cries Western, "but
if I had suffered her to stand shill I shall I, dilly dally, you might
not have had that honour yet a while; I was forced to use a little
fatherly authority to bring her to." "I hope not, sir," cries
Allworthy, "I hope there is not the least constraint." "Why, there,"
cries Western, "you may bid her unsay all again if you will. Dost
repent heartily of thy promise, dost not, Sophia?" "Indeed, papa,"
cries she, "I do not repent, nor do I believe I ever shall, of any
promise in favour of Mr Jones." "Then, nephew," cries Allworthy, "I
felicitate you most heartily; for I think you are the happiest of men.
And, madam, you will give me leave to congratulate you on this joyful
occasion: indeed, I am convinced you have bestowed yourself on one who
will be sensible of your great merit, and who will at least use his
best endeavours to deserve it." "His best endeavours!" cries Western,
"that he will, I warrant un.----Harkee, Allworthy, I'll bet thee five
pounds to a crown we have a boy to-morrow nine months; but prithee
tell me what wut ha! Wut ha Burgundy, Champaigne, or what? for, please
Jupiter, we'll make a night on't." "Indeed, sir," said Allworthy, "you
must excuse me; both my nephew and I were engaged before I suspected
this near approach of his happiness."--"Engaged!" quoth the squire,
"never tell me.--I won't part with thee to-night upon any occasion.
Shalt sup here, please the lord Harry." "You must pardon me, my dear
neighbour!" answered Allworthy; "I have given a solemn promise, and
that you know I never break." "Why, prithee, who art engaged to?"
cries the squire.----Allworthy then informed him, as likewise of the
company.----"Odzookers!" answered the squire, "I will go with thee,
and so shall Sophy! for I won't part with thee to-night; and it would
be barbarous to part Tom and the girl." This offer was presently
embraced by Allworthy, and Sophia consented, having first obtained a
private promise from her father that he would not mention a syllable
concerning her marriage.

Chapter the last.

In which the history is concluded.

Young Nightingale had been that afternoon, by appointment, to wait on
his father, who received him much more kindly than he expected. There
likewise he met his uncle, who was returned to town in quest of his
new-married daughter.

This marriage was the luckiest incident which could have happened to
the young gentleman; for these brothers lived in a constant state of
contention about the government of their children, both heartily
despising the method which each other took. Each of them therefore now
endeavoured, as much as he could, to palliate the offence which his
own child had committed, and to aggravate the match of the other. This
desire of triumphing over his brother, added to the many arguments
which Allworthy had used, so strongly operated on the old gentleman
that he met his son with a smiling countenance, and actually agreed to
sup with him that evening at Mrs Miller's.

As for the other, who really loved his daughter with the most
immoderate affection, there was little difficulty in inclining him to
a reconciliation. He was no sooner informed by his nephew where his
daughter and her husband were, than he declared he would instantly go
to her. And when he arrived there he scarce suffered her to fall upon
her knees before he took her up, and embraced her with a tenderness
which affected all who saw him; and in less than a quarter of an hour
was as well reconciled to both her and her husband as if he had
himself joined their hands.

In this situation were affairs when Mr Allworthy and his company
arrived to complete the happiness of Mrs Miller, who no sooner saw
Sophia than she guessed everything that had happened; and so great was
her friendship to Jones, that it added not a few transports to those
she felt on the happiness of her own daughter.

There have not, I believe, been many instances of a number of people
met together, where every one was so perfectly happy as in this
company. Amongst whom the father of young Nightingale enjoyed the
least perfect content; for, notwithstanding his affection for his son,
notwithstanding the authority and the arguments of Allworthy, together
with the other motive mentioned before, he could not so entirely be
satisfied with his son's choice; and, perhaps, the presence of Sophia
herself tended a little to aggravate and heighten his concern, as a
thought now and then suggested itself that his son might have had that
lady, or some other such. Not that any of the charms which adorned
either the person or mind of Sophia created the uneasiness; it was the
contents of her father's coffers which set his heart a longing. These
were the charms which he could not bear to think his son had
sacrificed to the daughter of Mrs Miller.

The brides were both very pretty women; but so totally were they
eclipsed by the beauty of Sophia, that, had they not been two of the
best-tempered girls in the world, it would have raised some envy in
their breasts; for neither of their husbands could long keep his eyes
from Sophia, who sat at the table like a queen receiving homage, or,
rather, like a superior being receiving adoration from all around her.
But it was an adoration which they gave, not which she exacted; for
she was as much distinguished by her modesty and affability as by all
her other perfections.

The evening was spent in much true mirth. All were happy, but those
the most who had been most unhappy before. Their former sufferings and
fears gave such a relish to their felicity as even love and fortune,
in their fullest flow, could not have given without the advantage of
such a comparison. Yet, as great joy, especially after a sudden change
and revolution of circumstances, is apt to be silent, and dwells
rather in the heart than on the tongue, Jones and Sophia appeared the
least merry of the whole company; which Western observed with great
impatience, often crying out to them, "Why dost not talk, boy? Why
dost look so grave? Hast lost thy tongue, girl? Drink another glass of
wine; sha't drink another glass." And, the more to enliven her, he
would sometimes sing a merry song, which bore some relation to
matrimony and the loss of a maidenhead. Nay, he would have proceeded
so far on that topic as to have driven her out of the room, if Mr
Allworthy had not checkt him, sometimes by looks, and once or twice by
a "Fie! Mr Western!" He began, indeed, once to debate the matter, and
assert his right to talk to his own daughter as he thought fit; but,
as nobody seconded him, he was soon reduced to order.

Notwithstanding this little restraint, he was so pleased with the
chearfulness and good-humour of the company, that he insisted on their
meeting the next day at his lodgings. They all did so; and the lovely
Sophia, who was now in private become a bride too, officiated as the
mistress of the ceremonies, or, in the polite phrase, did the honours
of the table. She had that morning given her hand to Jones, in the
chapel at Doctors'-Commons, where Mr Allworthy, Mr Western, and Mrs
Miller, were the only persons present.

Sophia had earnestly desired her father that no others of the company,
who were that day to dine with him, should be acquainted with her
marriage. The same secrecy was enjoined to Mrs Miller, and Jones
undertook for Allworthy. This somewhat reconciled the delicacy of
Sophia to the public entertainment which, in compliance with her
father's will, she was obliged to go to, greatly against her own
inclinations. In confidence of this secrecy she went through the day
pretty well, till the squire, who was now advanced into the second
bottle, could contain his joy no longer, but, filling out a bumper,
drank a health to the bride. The health was immediately pledged by all
present, to the great confusion of our poor blushing Sophia, and the
great concern of Jones upon her account. To say truth, there was not a
person present made wiser by this discovery; for Mrs Miller had
whispered it to her daughter, her daughter to her husband, her husband
to his sister, and she to all the rest.

Sophia now took the first opportunity of withdrawing with the ladies,
and the squire sat in to his cups, in which he was, by degrees,
deserted by all the company except the uncle of young Nightingale, who
loved his bottle as well as Western himself. These two, therefore, sat
stoutly to it during the whole evening, and long after that happy hour
which had surrendered the charming Sophia to the eager arms of her
enraptured Jones.

Thus, reader, we have at length brought our history to a conclusion,
in which, to our great pleasure, though contrary, perhaps, to thy
expectation, Mr Jones appears to be the happiest of all humankind; for
what happiness this world affords equal to the possession of such a
woman as Sophia, I sincerely own I have never yet discovered.

As to the other persons who have made any considerable figure in this
history, as some may desire to know a little more concerning them, we
will proceed, in as few words as possible, to satisfy their curiosity.

Allworthy hath never yet been prevailed upon to see Blifil, but he
hath yielded to the importunity of Jones, backed by Sophia, to settle
200 a-year upon him; to which Jones hath privately added a third.
Upon this income he lives in one of the northern counties, about 200
miles distant from London, and lays up 200 a-year out of it, in order
to purchase a seat in the next parliament from a neighbouring borough,
which he has bargained for with an attourney there. He is also lately
turned Methodist, in hopes of marrying a very rich widow of that sect,
whose estate lies in that part of the kingdom.

Square died soon after he writ the before-mentioned letter; and as to
Thwackum, he continues at his vicarage. He hath made many fruitless
attempts to regain the confidence of Allworthy, or to ingratiate
himself with Jones, both of whom he flatters to their faces, and
abuses behind their backs. But in his stead, Mr Allworthy hath lately
taken Mr Abraham Adams into his house, of whom Sophia is grown
immoderately fond, and declares he shall have the tuition of her

Mrs Fitzpatrick is separated from her husband, and retains the little
remains of her fortune. She lives in reputation at the polite end of
the town, and is so good an economist, that she spends three times
the income of her fortune, without running into debt. She maintains a
perfect intimacy with the lady of the Irish peer; and in acts of
friendship to her repays all obligations she owes her husband.

Mrs Western was soon reconciled to her niece Sophia, and hath spent
two months together with her in the country. Lady Bellaston made the
latter a formal visit at her return to town, where she behaved to
Jones as a perfect stranger, and, with great civility, wished him joy
on his marriage.

Mr Nightingale hath purchased an estate for his son in the
neighbourhood of Jones, where the young gentleman, his lady, Mrs
Miller, and her little daughter reside, and the most agreeable
intercourse subsists between the two families.

As to those of lower account, Mrs Waters returned into the country,
had a pension of 60 a-year settled upon her by Mr Allworthy, and is
married to Parson Supple, on whom, at the instance of Sophia, Western
hath bestowed a considerable living.

Black George, hearing the discovery that had been made, ran away, and
was never since heard of; and Jones bestowed the money on his family,
but not in equal proportions, for Molly had much the greatest share.

As for Partridge, Jones hath settled 50 a-year on him; and he hath
again set up a school, in which he meets with much better
encouragement than formerly, and there is now a treaty of marriage on
foot between him and Miss Molly Seagrim, which, through the mediation
of Sophia, is likely to take effect.

We now return to take leave of Mr Jones and Sophia, who, within two
days after their marriage, attended Mr Western and Mr Allworthy into
the country. Western hath resigned his family seat, and the greater
part of his estate, to his son-in-law, and hath retired to a lesser
house of his in another part of the country, which is better for
hunting. Indeed, he is often as a visitant with Mr Jones, who, as well
as his daughter, hath an infinite delight in doing everything in their
power to please him. And this desire of theirs is attended with such
success, that the old gentleman declares he was never happy in his
life till now. He hath here a parlour and ante-chamber to himself,
where he gets drunk with whom he pleases: and his daughter is still as
ready as formerly to play to him whenever he desires it; for Jones
hath assured her that, as, next to pleasing her, one of his highest
satisfactions is to contribute to the happiness of the old man; so,
the great duty which she expresses and performs to her father, renders
her almost equally dear to him with the love which she bestows on

Sophia hath already produced him two fine children, a boy and a girl,
of whom the old gentleman is so fond, that he spends much of his time
in the nursery, where he declares the tattling of his little
grand-daughter, who is above a year and a half old, is sweeter music
than the finest cry of dogs in England.

Allworthy was likewise greatly liberal to Jones on the marriage, and
hath omitted no instance of shewing his affection to him and his lady,
who love him as a father. Whatever in the nature of Jones had a
tendency to vice, has been corrected by continual conversation with
this good man, and by his union with the lovely and virtuous Sophia.
He hath also, by reflection on his past follies, acquired a discretion
and prudence very uncommon in one of his lively parts.

To conclude, as there are not to be found a worthier man and woman,
than this fond couple, so neither can any be imagined more happy. They
preserve the purest and tenderest affection for each other, an
affection daily encreased and confirmed by mutual endearments and
mutual esteem. Nor is their conduct towards their relations and
friends less amiable than towards one another. And such is their
condescension, their indulgence, and their beneficence to those below
them, that there is not a neighbour, a tenant, or a servant, who doth
not most gratefully bless the day when Mr Jones was married to his


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