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· Brother,' cries the aunt, you need not shock my niece by such odious repetitions. Why will
you not leave every thing entirely to me? Well, * well; I wull, I wull,' said the 'squire.
· And now Mrs. Westeru, luckily for Sophia, put an end to the conversation, by ordering chairs to be called. I say luckily; for had it continued much longer, fresh matter of dissension would, most probably, have arisen between the brother and sister; between whom education and sex made the only difference; for both were equally violent, and equally positive; they had both a vast affection for Sophia, and both a sovereign contempt for each other.
In which Jones receives a Letter from Sophia, and
goes to a Play with Mrs. Miller and Partridge. The arrival of Black George in town, and the good offices which that grateful fellow liad promised to do for his old benefactor, greatly comforted Jones in the midst of all the anxiety and uneasiness which he had suffered on the account of Sophia; from whom, by the means of the said George, he received the following answer to his letter, which Sophia, to whom the use of pen, ink,
, and paper was restored with her liberty, wrote the very evening when she departed from her confinement:
SIR, * As I do not doubt your sincerity in what you write, you will be pleased to hear that some of my • afilictions are at an end, by the arrival of my
aunt Western, with whom I am at present, and * with whom I enjoy all the liberty I can desire,
'One promise my aunt hath insisted on my mak
ing, which is, that I will not see or converse with any person without her knowledge and consent. This promise I have most solemnly given, ' and shall most inviolably keep: and though she ' had not expressly forbidden me writing, yet that * must be an omission from forgetfulness; or this, perhaps, is included in the word conversing. However, as I cannot but consider this as a ' breach of her generous confidence in my honour, you cannot expect that I shall, after this, con'tinue to write myself, or to receive letters, with' out her knowledge. A promise is with me a very * sacred tbing, and to be extended to every thing understood from it, as well as to what is expressed by it; and this consideration may perhaps, on reflection, afford you some comfort.
But why should I mention a comfort to you of 'this kind? For though there is one thing in ' which I can never comply with the best of fa'thers, yet am I firmly resolved never to act in defiance of him, or to take any step of consc
quence without his consent. A firm persuasion ‘of this, must teach you to divert your thoughts ' from what fortune hath (perhaps) made impos'sible. This your own interest persuades you. “This may reconcile, I hope, Mr. Allworthy to ' you; and if it will, you have my injunctions to porrsue it. Accidents have laid some obligations on me, and your good intentions probably more. Fortune may, perhaps, be sometimes kinder to us both than at present. Believe this, that I shall ' always think of you as I think you deserve,
'I charge you write to me no more--at pre'sent at least; and accept this, which is now of
no service to me, which I know you must want, "and think you owe the trifle only to that fortune by which you found it.**
A child who hath just learnt his letters, would have spelt this letter out in less time than Jones took in reading it. The sensations it occasioned were a mixture of joy and griet'; somewhat like what divide the mind of a good man, when he peruses the will of his deceased friend, in which a large legacy, which his distresses make the more welcome, is bequeathed to him. Upon the whole, however, lie was more pleased than displeased; and indeed the reader may probably wonder that he was displeased at all; but the reader is not quite so much in love as was poor Jones; and love is a disease, which, though it may in some instances resemble a consumption (which it sometimes causes), in others proceeds in direct opposition to it, and particularly in this, that it never flatters itself, or sees any one symptom in a favourable light.
One thing gave him complete satisfaction, which was, that his mistress had regained her liberty, and was now with a lady where she might at least assure herself of a decent treatment. Another comfortable circumstance, was the reference which she made to her promise of never marrying any other man; for however disinterested he might imagine his passion, and notwithstanding all the generous overtures made in his letter, I very much question whether he could have heard more afilicting piece of news, than that Sophia was married to another, though the match had been never so great, and never so likely to end in making her completely happy. That refined degree of Platonic affection which is absolutely detached
Meaning, perhaps, the bank-bill for 1001.
from the flesh, and is, indeed, entirely and purely spiritual, is a gift confined to the female part of the creation; many of whom I have heard declare (and, doubtless, with great truth), that they would, with the utmost readiness, resign a lover to a rival, when such resignation was proved to be necessary for the temporal interest of such lover. Hence, therefore, I conclude, that this affection is in nature, though I cannot pretend to say I have ever seen an instance of it.
Mr. Jones having spent three hours in reading and kissing the aforesaid letter, and being, at last, in a state of good spirits, from the last mentioned considerations, he agreed to carry an appointment, which he had before made, into execution. This was, to attend Mrs. Miller, and her younger daughter, into the gallery at the playhouse, and to admit Mr. Partridge as one of the company. For as Jones had really that taste for humour which many affect, he expected to enjoy much entertainment in the criticisms of Partridge; from whom he expected the simple dictates of nature, unimproved, indeed, but likewise unadulterated by art.
In the first row then of the first gallery did Mr. Jones, Mrs. Miller, her youngest daughter, and Partridge, take their places. Partridge immediately declared, it was the finest place he had ever been in. When the first music was played, he said, “It was a wonder how so many fiddlers could
play at one time, without putting one another out.' While the fellow was lighting the upper candles, he cried out to Mrs. Miller, “Look, look, • Madam, the very picture of the man in the ' end of the common-prayer book, before the
gunpowder-treason service.' Nor could he help observing, with a sigh, when all the candles were lighted, That here were candles enow burnt in one night, to keep an honest poor family for a whole twelvemonth.' As soon as the play, which was Hamlet Prince
of Denmark, began, Partridge was all attention, nor did he break silence till the entrance of the ghost; upon which he asked Jones, What man * that was in the strange dress; something,' said lie, like what I have seen in a picture. Sure it
is not armour, is it?' Jones answered, That is 'the ghost.' To which Partridge replied with a smile, Persuade me to that, Sir, if you can. • Though I can't say I ever actually saw a ghost 'in my life, yet I am certain I should know one, . if I saw him, better than that comes to. No, é
no, Sir, ghosts don't appear in such dresses as 'that, neither.' In this mistake, which caused much laughter in the neighbourhood of Partridge, he was suffered to continue, till the scene between the ghost and Hamlet, when Partridge gave that credit to Mr. Garrick, which he had denied to Jones, and fell into so violent a trembling, that his knees knocked against each other. Jones asked him what was the matter, and whether he was afraid of the warrior upon the stage? O la! Sir,' said he, 'I perceive now it is what you
told I am not afraid of any thing; for I know it is but a play. And if it was really a ghost, it 'could do one no harm at such a distance, and 'in so much company; and yet if I was frighten'cd, I am not not the only person. Why, who, cries Jones, dost thou take to be such a coward * here besides thyself?' Nay, you may cail me 'coward if you will; but if that little man there upon the stage is not frightened, I never saw any man frightened in my life. Ay, ay; go along ' with you! Ay, to be sure! Who's fool then? Will you? Lud have mercy upon such foolhardiness ? -- Whatever happens it is good enough
Follow you? I'd follow the devil as soon. Nay, perhaps, it is the devil--for they say he can put on what likeness he pleases.-Oh! 'here he is again.--No farther ! No, you have gone far enough already; farther than I'd have