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nicated to her father, not to bring her any answer. He was, moreover, not a little pleased, to find he had so warm an advocate to Mr. Allworthy himself in this good woman, who was, in reality, one of the worthiest creatures in the world.

must be a mistress,' said Mrs. Miller: but | found him; to which happy alteration nocome, come; I know more than you ima- thing so much contributed as the kind ungine;' (for indeed Partridge had blabbed dertaking of Mrs. Miller to deliver his letall,) and I have heard more than you know. ter to Sophia, which he despaired of finding Matters go better, I promise you, than you any means to accomplish; for when Black think; and I would not give Blifil sixpence George produced the last from Sophia, he for all the chance which he hath of the lady.' informed Partridge, that she had strictly 'Indeed, my dear friend, indeed,' answer-charged him, on pain of having it commued Jones, 'you are an entire stranger to the cause of my grief. If you was acquainted with the story, you would allow my case admitted of no comfort. I apprehend no danger from Blifil. I have undone myself.' -Don't despair,' replied Mrs. Miller; 'you know not what a woman can do; and if any thing be in my power, I promise you I will do it to serve you. It is my duty. My son, my dear Mr. Nightingale, who is so kind to tell me he hath obliga- | tions to you on the same account, knows it is my duty. Shall I go to the lady myself? I will say any thing to her you would have

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'Thou best of women,' cries Jones, taking her by the hand, 'talk not of obligations to me; but, as you have been so kind to mention it, there is a favour which perhaps may be in your power. I see you are acquainted with the lady, (how you came by your information I know not,) who sits, indeed, very near my heart. If you could contrive to deliver this,' (giving her a paper from his pocket, 'I shall for ever acknowledge your goodness.'

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Give it me,' said Mrs. Miller. If see it not in her own possession before I sleep, may my next sleep be my last. Comfort yourself, my good young man! be wise enough to take warning from past follies, and I warrant all shall be well, and I shall yet see you happy with the most charming young lady in the world; for I so hear from every one she is.'

After about an hour's visit from the lady, (for Nightingale had been with him much longer,) they both took their leave, promising to return to him soon; during which, Mrs. Miller said, she hoped to bring him some good news from his mistress, and Mr. Nightingale promised to inquire into the state of Mr. Fitzpatrick's wound, and likewise to find out some of the persons who were present at the rencounter.

The former of these went directly in quest of Sophia, whither we likewise shall now attend her.

CHAPTER VI.

In which Mrs. Miller pays a visit to Sophia. ACCESS to the young lady was by no means difficult; for as she lived now on a perfect friendly footing with her aunt, she was at full liberty to receive what visitants she pleased.

Sophia was dressing, when she was acquainted that there was a gentlewoman below to wait on her. As she was neither afraid, nor ashamed, to see any of her own sex, Mrs. Miller was immediately admitted.

not the pleasure to know you, madam.'No, madam,' answered Mrs. Miller, 'and I must beg pardon for intruding upon you. But when you know what has induced me to give you this trouble, I hope-' 'Pray, what is your business, madam?" said Sophia, with a little emotion. Madam, we are not alone,' replied Mrs. Miller, in a low voice. 'Go out, Betty,' said Sophia.

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Courtesies, and the usual ceremonies 'Believe me, madam,' said he, 'I do not between women who are strangers to each speak the common cant of one in my un-other, being passed, Sophia said, 'I have happy situation. Before this dreadful accident happened, I had resolved to quit a life of which I was become sensible of the wickedness as well as folly. I do assure you, notwithstanding the disturbances I have unfortunately occasioned in your house, for which I heartily ask your pardon, I am not an abandoned profligate. Though I have been hurried into vices, I do not approve a vicious character; nor will I ever, from this moment, deserve it.' Mrs. Miller expressed great satisfaction in these declarations, in the sincerity of which she averred she had an entire faith; and now, the remainder of the conversation passed in the joint attempts of that good woman and Mr. Nightingale to cheer the dejected spirits of Mr. Jones, in which they so far succeeded, as to leave him much better comforted and satisfied than they

When Betty was departed, Mrs. Miller said, 'I was desired, madam, by a very unhappy young gentleman, to deliver you this letter.' Sophia changed colour when she saw the direction, well knowing the hand; and, after some hesitation, said, 'I could not conceive, madam, from your appearance, that your business had been of such a nature. Whomsoever you brought this letter from, I shall not open it. I should be sorry to entertain an unjust suspicion

of any one; but you are an utter stranger unalterable fidelity to Sophia, of which, he to me.'

'If you will have patience, madam,' answered Mrs. Miller, I will acquaint you who I am, and how I came by that letter.' I have no curiosity, madam, to know any thing,' cries Sophia; but I must insist on your delivering that letter back to the person who gave it you.'

said, he hoped to convince her, if he had ever more the honour of being admitted to her presence; and that he could account for the letter to Lady Bellaston, in such a manner, that though it would not entitle him to her forgiveness, he hoped at least to obtain it from her mercy. And concluded with vowing, that nothing was ever less in his thoughts than to marry Lady Bellaston.

Though Sophia read the letter twice over with great attention, his meaning still remained a riddle to her; nor could her invention suggest to her any means to excuse Jones. She certainly remained very angry with him, though indeed Lady Bellaston took up so much of her resentment, that her gentle mind had but little left to bestow on any other person.

Mrs. Miller then fell upon her knees, and, in the most passionate terms, implored her compassion; to which Sophia answered: Sure, madam, it is surprising you should be so very strongly interested in the behalf of this person. I would not think, madam-'No, madam,' says Mrs. Miller, 'you shall not think any thing but the truth. I will tell you all, and you will not wonder that I am interested. He is the best natured creature that ever was born.' She then began and related the story of Mr. That lady was most unluckily to dine Henderson. After this she cried, This, this very day with her aunt Western, and, madam, this is his goodness; but I have in the afternoon, they were all three, by much more tender obligations to him. He appointment, to go together to the opera, hath preserved my child.' Here, after and thence to Lady Thomas Hatchet's shedding some tears, she related every drum. Sophia would have gladly been thing concerning that fact, suppressing only those circumstances which would have most reflected on her daughter, and concluded with saying, 'Now, madam, you shall judge whether I can ever do enough for so kind, so good, so generous a young man; and sure he is the best and worthiest of all human beings.'

excused from all, but she would not disoblige her aunt; and as to the arts of counterfeiting illness, she was so entirely a stranger to them, that it never once entered into her head. When she was dressed, therefore, down she went, resolved to encounter all the horrors of the day; and a most disagreeable one it proved; for Lady Bellaston took every opportunity very civilly and slily to insult her; to all which her dejection of spirits disabled her from making any return; and indeed, to confess the truth, she was at the very best but an indifferent mistress of repartee.

Another misfortune, which befel poor Sophia, was the company of Lord Fella

The alterations in the countenance of Sophia had hitherto been chiefly to her disadvantage, and had inclined her complexion to too great paleness; but she now waxed redder, if possible, than vermillion, and cried, I know not what to say; certainly what arises from gratitude cannot be blamed. But what service can my reading this letter do your friend, since I am re-mar, whom she met at the opera, and who solved never' Mrs. Miller fell again attended her to the drum. And though to her entreaties, and begged to be for- both places were too public to admit of any given, but she could not, she said, carry it particularities, and she was farther relieved back. Well, madam,' says Sophia, I by the music at the one place, and by the cannot help it, if you will force it upon cards at the other, she could not however me. Certainly you may leave it whether enjoy herself in his company; for there is I will or no.' What Sophia meant, or something of delicacy in women, which will whether she meant any thing, I will not pre- not suffer them to be even easy in the presume to determine; but Mrs. Miller actually sence of a man whom they know to have understood this as a hint, and presently lay-pretensions to them, which they are disining the letter down on the table, took her clined to favour. leave, having first begged permission to wait again on Sophia; which request had neither assent nor denial.

The letter lay upon the table no longer than till Mrs. Miller was out of sight; for then Sophia opened and read it.

Having in this chapter twice mentioned a drum, a word which our posterity, it is hoped, will not understand in the sense it is here applied, we shall, notwithstanding our present haste, stop a moment to describe the entertainment here meant, and the rather as we can in a moment describe it.

This letter did very little service to his cause; for it consisted of little more than A drum, then, is an assembly of wellconfessions of his own unworthiness, and dressed persons of both sexes, most of whom bitter lamentations of despair, together play at cards, and the rest do nothing at with the most solemn protestations of his fall; while the mistress of the house per

forms the part of the landlady at an inn;
and, like the landlady of an inn, prides her-
self in the number of her guests, though she
doth not always, like her, get any thing
by it.

No wonder, then, as so much spirits must be required to support any vivacity in these scenes of dulness, that we hear persons of fashion eternally complaining of the want of them; a complaint confined entirely to upper life. How insupportable must we imagine this round of impertinence to have been to Sophia at this time; how difficult must she have found it to force the appearance of gayety into her looks, when her mind dictated nothing but the tenderest sorrow, and when every thought was charged with tormenting ideas.

Night, however, at last restored her to her pillow, where we will leave her to sooth her melancholy at least, though incapable, we fear, of rest, and shall pursue our history, which, something whispers us, is now arrived at the eve of some great event.

CHAPTER VII.

A pathetic scene between Mr. Allworthy and Mrs.

Miller.

MRS. Miller had a long discourse with Mr. Allworthy, at his return from dinner, in which she acquainted him with Jones's having unfortunately lost all which he was pleased to bestow on him at their separation; and with the distresses to which that loss had subjected him; of all which she had received a full account from the faithful retailer Partridge. She then explained the obligations she had to Jones: not that she was entirely explicit with regard to her daughter; for though she had the utmost confidence in Mr. Allworthy, and though there could be no hopes of keeping an affair secret, which was unhappily known to more than half a dozen, yet she could not prevail with herself to mention those circumstances which reflected most on the chastity of poor Nancy: but smothered that part of her evidence as cautiously as if she had been before a judge, and the girl was now on her trial for the murder of a bastard.

Allworthy said, there were few characters so absolutely vicious as not to have the least mixture of good in them. However,' says he, 'I cannot deny but that you had some obligations to the fellow, bad as he is, and I shall therefore excuse what hath passed already, but insist you never mention his name to me more; for I promise you, it was upon the fullest and plainest evidence that resolved to take the measures I have taken.'-Well, sir,' says she, 'I make not the least doubt, but time will

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show all matters in their true and natura colours, and that you will be convinced this poor young man deserves better of you than some other folks that shall be nameless.'

'I will not hear any reflections on my 'Madam,' cries Allworthy, a little ruffled, nephew; and if ever you say a word more of that kind, I will depart from your house that instant. He is the worthiest and best of men; and I once more repeat it to you, he hath carried his friendship to this man to a blameable length, by too long concealing facts of the blackest die. The ingratitude of the wretch to this good young man is what I most resent; for, madam, I have the greatest reason to imagine he had favour, and to have disinherited him.' laid a plot to supplant my nephew in my

little frightened, (for though Mr. Allworthy
'I am sure, sir,' answered Mrs. Miller, a
had the utmost sweetness and benevolence
in his smiles, he had great terror in his
frowns,) 'I shall never speak against any
gentleman you are pleased to think well of.
I am sure, sir, such behaviour would very
little become me, especially when the gen-
you must not be angry with me, you must
tleman is your nearest relation; but, sir,
wretch. Sure I may call him so now, though.
not indeed, for my good wishes to this poor
once you would have been angry with me, if
I had spoke of him with the least disrespect.
How often have I heard you call him your
son? How often have you prattled to me
of him with all the fondness of a parent?
Nay, sir, I cannot forget the many tender
expressions, the many good things you
have told me of his beauty, and his parts,
and his virtues; of his good-nature and
generosity. I am sure, sir, I cannot forget
them; for I find them all true.
perienced them in my own cause. They
I have ex-
have preserved my family. You must par-
don my tears, sir, indeed you must. When
I consider the cruel reverse of fortune
which this poor youth, to whom I am so
much obliged, hath suffered; when I con-
sider the loss of your favour, which I know
he valued more than his life, I must, I must
lament him. If you had a dagger in your
hand, ready to plunge into my heart, I must
loved, and I shall ever love.'
lament the misery of one whom you have

this speech, but it seemed not to be with
Allworthy was pretty much moved with
anger; for after a short silence, taking Mrs.
Miller by the hand, he said very affection-
ately to her: 'Come, madam, let us con-
sider a little about your daughter. I cannot
blame you for rejoicing in a match which
promises to be advantageous to her; but
you know this advantage, in a great mea-
sure, depends on the father's reconciliation.
I know Mr. Nightingale very well, and

have formerly had concerns with him; I will make him a visit, and endeavour to serve you in this matter. I believe he is a worldly man; but as this is an only son, and the thing is now irretrievable, perhaps he may in time be brought to reason. I promise you, I will do all I can for you.

carriage to his lordship, that all delays would be dangerous; and that the only way to succeed was to press the match forward with such rapidity, that the young lady should have no time to reflect, and be obliged to consent, while she scarce knew what she did. In which manner, she said, one-half of the marriages among people of condition were brought about. A fact very probably true, and to which I suppose is

wards exists among so many happy couples.

Many were the acknowledgments which the poor woman made to Allworthy for this kind and generous offer, nor could she refrain from taking this occasion again to ex-owing the mutual tenderness which afterpress her gratitude towards Jones, 'to whom,' said she, I owe the opportunity of giving you, sir, this present trouble.' Allworthy gently stopped her; but he was too good a man to be really offended with the effects of so noble a principle as now actuated Mrs. Miller; and indeed, had not this new affair inflamed his former anger against Jones, it is possible he might have been a little softened towards him, by the report of an action which malice itself could not have derived from an evil motive.

Mr. Allworthy and Mrs. Miller had been above an hour together, when their conversation was put an end to by the arrival of Blifil, and another person, which other person was no less than Mr. Dowling, the attorney, who was now become a great favourite with Mr. Blifil, and whom Mr. Allworthy, at the desire of his nephew, had made his steward; and had likewise recommended him to Mr. Western, from whom the attorney received a promise of being promoted to the same office upon the first vacancy; and, in the mean time, was employed in transacting some affairs which the squire then had in London in relation to a mortgage.

This was the principal affair which then brought Mr. Dowling to town; therefore he took the same opportunity to charge himself with some money for Mr. Allworthy, and to make a report to him of some other business; in all which, as it was of much too dull a nature to find any place in this history, we will leave the uncle, nephew, and their lawyer, concerned, and resort to other matters.

CHAPTER VIII.

Containing various matters. BEFORE we return to Mr. Jones, we will take one more view of Sophia.

Though that young lady had brought her aunt into great good humour by those soothing methods which we have before related, she had not brought her in the least to abate of her zeal for the match with Lord Fellamar. This zeal was now inflamed by Lady Bellaston, who had told her the preceding evening, that she was well satisfied, from the conduct of Sophia, and from her

A hint of the same kind was given by the same lady to Lord Fellamar; and both these so readily embraced the advice, that the very next day was, at his lordship's request, appointed by Mrs. Western for a private interview between the young parties. This was communicated to Sophia by her aunt, and insisted upon in such high terms, that, after having urged every thing she possibly could invent against it, without the least effect, she at last agreed to give the highest instance of complaisance which any young lady can give, and consented to see his lordship.

As conversations of this kind afford no great entertainment, we shall be excused from reciting the whole that passed at this interview; in which, after his lordship had made many declarations of the most pure and ardent passion, to the silent, blushing Sophia, she at last collected all the spirits she could raise, and, with a trembling low voice, said, 'My lord, you must be yourself conscious whether your former behaviour to me hath been consistent with the professions you now make.'-'Is there,' answered he, no way by which I can atone for madness? What I did, I am afraid, must have too plainly convinced you, that the violence of love had deprived me of my senses.'- Indeed, my lord,' said she, it is in your power to give me a proof of an affection which I much rather wish to encourage, and to which I should think myself more beholden.'-' Name it, madam,' said my lord, very warmly. 'My lord,' says she, looking down upon her fan, 'I know you must be sensible how uneasy this pretended passion of yours hath made me. Can you be so cruel as to call it pretended?' says he. Yes, my lord,' answered Sophia, 'all professions of love to those whom we persecute, are most insulting pretences. This pursuit of yours is to me a most cruel persecution; nay, it is taking a most ungenerous advantage of my unhappy situation.'

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'Most lovely, most adorable charmer, do not accuse me,' cries he, of taking an ungenerous advantage, while I have no thoughts but what are directed to your honour and interest, and while I have no view, no hope, no ambition, but to throw

ent behaviour from you.' Here my lord interfered on behalf of the young lady, but to no purpose; the aunt proceeded, till Sophia pulled out her handherchief, threw herself into a chair, and burst into a vio

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The remainder of the conversation between Mrs. Western and his lordship, till the latter withdrew, consisted of bitter lamentations on his side, and on hers, of the strongest assurances that her niece should and would consent to all he wished. ‘Indeed, my lord,' says she, the girl hath had a foolish education, neither adapted to her fortune, nor her family. Her father, I am sorry to say it, is to blame for every thing. The girl hath silly country notions of bashfulness. Nothing else, my lord, upon my honour: I am convinced she hath a good understanding at the bottom, and will be brought to reason.'

This last speech was made in the absence of Sophia; for she had some time before left the room, with more appearance of passion than she had ever shown on any occasion; and now his lordship, after many expressions of thanks to Mrs. Western, many ardent professions of passion which nothing could conquer, and many assurances of perseverance, which Mrs. Western highly encouraged, took his leave for this time.

myself, honour, fortune, every thing at your feet. My lord,' says she, it is that fortune, and those honours, which gave you the advantage of which I complain. These are the charms which have seduced my relations, but to me they are things in-lent fit of tears. different. If your lordship will merit my gratitude, there is but one way.'-Pardon me, divine creature,' said he, 'there can be none. All I can do for you is so much your due, and will give me so much pleasure, that there is no room for your gratitude.'-'Indeed, my lord,' answered she, 'you may obtain my gratitude, my good opinion, every kind thought and wish which it is in my power to bestow; nay, you may obtain them with ease; for sure to a generous mind it must be easy to grant my request. Let me beseech you then, to cease a pursuit, in which you can never have any success. For your own sake, as well as mine, I entreat this favour; for sure you are too noble to have any pleasure in tormenting an unhappy creature. What can your lordship propose but uneasiness to yourself, by a perseverance, which, upon my honour, upon my soul, cannot, shall not, prevail with me, whatever distresses you may drive me to.' Here my lord fetched a deep sigh, and then said, 'Is it then, madam, that I am so unhappy to be the object of your dislike and scorn? or will you pardon me if I suspect there is some other?' Here he hesitated; and Sophia answered, with some spirit, My iord, I shall not be accountable to you for the reasons of my conduct. I am obliged to your lordship for the generous offer you have made: I own it is be- The reader must then know, that the yond either my deserts or expectations; maid, who at present attended on Sophia, yet I hope, my lord, you will not insist on was recommended by Lady Bellaston, with my reasons, when I declare I cannot ac- whom she had lived for some time in the cept it,' Lord Fellamar returned much to capacity of a comb-brush; she was a very this, which we do not perfectly understand, sensible girl, and had received the strictest and perhaps it could not all be strictly re-instructions to watch her young lady very conciled either to sense or grammar, but he concluded his ranting speech with saying, That if she had pre-engaged herself to any gentleman, however unhappy it would make him, he should think himself bound in honour to desist.' Perhaps my lord laid too much emphasis on the word gentleman; for we cannot else well account for the indignation with which he inspired Sophia, who, in her answer, seemed greatly to resent some affront he had given her.

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While she was speaking, with her voice more raised than usual, Mrs. Western came into the room, the fire glaring in her cheeks, and the flames bursting from her eyes. I am ashamed,' says she, my lord, of the reception which you have met with. I assure your lordship we are all sensible of the honour done us; and I must tell you, Miss Western, the family expects a differ

Before we relate what now passed between Mrs. Western and Sophia, it may he proper to mention an unfortunate accident which had happened, and which had occasioned the return of Mrs. Western, with so much fury as we have seen.

carefully. These instructions, we are sorry to say, were communicated to her by Mrs. Honour, into whose favour Lady Bellaston had now so ingratiated herself, that the violent affection which the good waitingwoman had formerly borne to Sophia, was entirely obliterated by that great attachment which she had to her new mistress.

Now, when Mrs. Miller was departed, Betty, (for that was the name of the girl,) returning to her young lady, found her very attentively engaged in reading a long letter; and the visible emotions which she betrayed on that occasion might have well accounted for some suspicions which the girl entertained; but indeed they had yet a stronger foundation, for she had overheard the whole scene which passed between Sophia and Mrs. Miller.

Mrs. Western was acquainted with all

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