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I prevailed on your wife to join in the an act of justice for me to do. You are deceit, and we have not had a fit oppor. sensible, sir,” continued he, turning to me, tunity of undeceiving you till now. “of the obligations we both owe to Mr.
In the whole assembly now there ap- Jenkinson; and it is but just we should peared only two faces that did not glow both reward him for it. Miss Sophia will, with transport. Mr. Thornhill's assurance I am sure, make him very happy, and he had entirely forsaken him : he now saw shall have from me five hundred pounds the gulf of infamy and want before him, as her fortune; and upon this I am sure and trembled to take the plunge. He they can live very comfortably together. therefore fell on his knees before his uncle, Come, Miss Sophia, what say you to this and in a voice of piercing misery implored match of my making ? Will you have compassion. Sir William was going to him?” My poor girl seemed almost sinking spurn him away, but at my request he into her mother's arms at the hideous proraised him, and, after pausing a few mo. posal. “Have him, sir!” cried she faintly: ments, Thy vices, crimes, and ingrati- No, sir, never !"_“ What !” cried he tude,” cried he, “deserve no tenderness ; again,“ not have Mr. Jenkinson, your beneyet thou shalt not be entirely forsaken, - factor, a handsome young fellow, with a bare competence shall be supplied to five hundred pounds, and good expecsupport the wants of life, but not its follies. tations?”—“I beg, sir," returned she, This young lady, thy wife, shall be put in scarce able to speak, “that you'll desist, possession of a third part of that fortune and not make me so very wretched.' which once was thine, and from her ten- * Was ever such obstinacy known?” cried derness alone thou art to expect any ex. he again,
to refuse a man whom the traordinary supplies for the future.” He family have such infinite obligations to, was going to express his gratitude for such who has preserved your sister, and who kindness in a set speech; but the Baronet has five hundred pounds! What! not prevented him, by bidding him not aggra- have him !”—“No, sir, never !” replied vate his meanness, which was already but she, angrily; “I'd sooner die first.”.
-“ If too apparent.
He ordered him at the that be the case, then,” cried he, “if you same time to be gone, and from all his will not have him-I think I must have former domestics to choose one, such as he you myself.” And, so saying, he caught should think proper, which was all that her to his breast with ardour. “My loveshould be granted to attend him.
liest, my most sensible of girls,” cried he, As soon as he left us, Sir William very “how could you ever think your own politely stepped up to his new niece with Burchell could deceive you, or that Sir a smile, and wished her joy. His example William Thornhill could ever cease to was followed by Miss Wilmot and her admire a mistress that loved him for him. father. My wife, too, kissed her daughter self alone? I have for some years sought for with much affection; as, to use her own a woman, who, a stranger to my fortune, expression, she was now made an honest could think that I had merit as a man. woman of. Sophia and Moses followed After having tried in vain, even amongst in turn; and even our benefactor Jenkin. | the pert and the ugly, how great at last son desired to be admitted to that honour. must be my rapture to have made a conOur satisfaction seemed scarcely capable quest over such sense and such heavenly of increase. Sir William, whose greatest beauty. Then turning to Jenkinson : pleasure was in doing good, now looked “As I cannot, sir, part with this young round with a countenance open as the sun, lady myself, for she has taken a fancy to and saw nothing but joy in the looks of the cut of my face, all the recompense I all except that of my daughter Sophia, can make is to give you her fortune ; and who, for some reasons we could not com- you may call upon my steward to-morrow prehend, did not seem perfectly satisfied. for five hundred pounds." Thus we had "I think now,” cried he, with a smile, all our compliments to repeat, and Lady “that all the company except one or two Thornhill underwent the same round of seem perfectly happy. There only remains ceremony that her sister had done before,
In the meantime Sir William's gentleman would not refuse my assistance in making appeared to tell us that the equipages were all the company happy that morning. A ready to carry us to the inn, where every footman entered while we were speaking, thing was prepared for our reception. My to tell us that the messenger was returned ; wife and I led the van, and left those and as I was by this time ready, I went gloomy mansions of sorrow. The generous down, where I found the whole company Baronet ordered forty pounds to be distri- as merry as affluence and innocence could buted among the prisoners, and Mr. Wil- make them. However, as they were now mot, induced by his example, gave half preparing for a very solemn ceremony, that sum. We were received below by their laughter entirely displeased me. I the shouts of the villagers, and I saw and told them of the grave, becoming, and shook by the hand two or three of my sublime deportment they should assume honest parishioners, who were among the upon this mystical occasion, and read them number, They attended us to our inn, two homilies, and a thesis of my own comwhere a sumptuous entertainment was posing, in order to prepare them. Yet provided, and coarser provisions were they still seemed perfectly refractory and distributed in great quantities among the ungovernable. Even as we were going populace.
along to church, to which I led the way, After supper, as my spirits were ex- all gravity had quite forsaken them, and I hausted by the alternation of pleasure and was often tempted to turn back in indignapain which they had sustained during the tion. In church a new dilemma arose, day, I asked permission to withdraw; which promised no easy solution. This and, leaving the company in the midst of was, which couple should be married first : their mirth, as soon as I found myself | my son's bride warmly insisted that Lady alone, I poured out my heart in gratitude Thornhill (that was to be) should take the to the Giver of joy as well as of sorrow, lead ; but this the other refused with equal and then slept undisturbed till morning. ardour, protesting she would not be guilty
of such rudeness for the world. The CHAPTER XXXII.
argument was supported for some time The Conclusion.
between both, with equal obstinacy and The next morning, as soon as I awaked, good breeding. But, as I stood all this I found my eldest son sitting by my bed time with my book ready, I was at last side, who came to increase my joy with quite tired of the contest; and, shutting another turn of fortune in my favour. First | it, “I perceive,” cried I, “that none of having released me from the settlement you have a mind to be married, and I think that I had made the day before in his we had as good go back again ; for I supfavour, he let me know that my merchant, pose there will be no business done here who had failed in town, was arrested at to-day.” This at once reduced them to Antwerp, and there had given up effects reason. The Baronet and his lady were to a much greater amount than what was first married, and then my son and his due to his creditors. My boy's generosity lovely partner. pleased me almost as much as this un- I had previously, that morning, given looked-for good fortune ; but I had some orders that a coach should be sent for my doubts whether I ought, in justice, to honest neighbour Flamborough and his accept his offer. While I was pondering family; by which means, upon our return upon this Sir William entered the room, to the inn, we had the pleasure of finding to whom I communicated my doubts. the two Miss Flamboroughs alighted beHis opinion was that, as my son was fore us. Mr. Jenkinson gave his hand to already possessed of a very affluent fortune the eldest, and my son Moses led up the by his marriage, I might accept his offer other (and I have since found, that he without any hesitation. His business, has taken a real liking to the girl, and my however, was to inform me, that as he had consent and bounty he shall have, when. the night before sent for the licences, and ever he thinks proper to demand them). expected them every hour, he hoped that I We were no sooner returned to the inn,
but numbers of my parishioners, hearing who proposed that the company should of my success, came to congratulate me ; sit indiscriminately, every gentleman by but, among the rest, were those who rose his lady. This was received with great apto rescue me, and whom I formerly re- probation by all, excepting my wife, who, buked with such sharpness. I told the I could perceive, was not perfectly satis. story to Sir William, my son-in-law, who fied, as she expected to have had the pleawent out and reproved them with great sure of sitting at the head of the table, and severity ; but finding them quite disheart. carving all the meat for all the company. ened by his harsh reproof, he gave them But, notwithstanding this, it is impossible half a guinea apiece to drink his health, to describe our good humour. 'I can't and raise their dejected spirits.
say whether we had more wit among us Soon after this we were called to a very now than usual ; but I am certain we had genteel entertainment, which was dressed more laughing, which answered the end by Mr. Thornhill's cook. - And it may not
One jest I particularly rebé improper to observe with respect to member: old Mr. Wilmot drinking to that gentleman, that he now resides, in Moses, whose head was turned another quality of companion, at a relation's house, way, my son replied, “ Madam, I thank being very well liked, and seldom sitting you." Upon which the old gentleman, at the side-table, except when there is no winking upon the rest of the company, room at the other; for they make no observed that he was thinking of his misstranger of him. His time is pretty much tress. At which jest I thought the two taken up in keeping his relation, who is a Miss Flamboroughs would have died with little melancholy, in spirits, and in learn- laughing. As soon as dinner was over, ing to blow the French horn. My eldest according to my old custom, I requested daughter, however, still remembers him that the table might be taken away to have with regret; and she has even told me, the pleasure of seeing all my family asthough I make a great secret of it, that sembled once more by a cheerful fire-side. when he reforms, she may be brought to My two little ones sat upon each knee, relent. But to return, for I am not apt the rest of the company by their partners. to digress thus : when we were to sit down I had nothing now on this side of the grave to dinner our ceremonies were going to be to wish for : all my cares were over ; my renewed. The question was, whether my pleasure was unspeakable. It now only eldest daughter, as being a matron, should remained, that my gratitude in good for. not sit above the two young brides ; but the tune should exceed my former submission debate was cut short by my son George, in adversity.
END OF THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD).