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and this arose from Mr. Allworthy. That good man, when he found by the departure of Sophia (for neither that, nor the cause of it, could be concealed from him), the great aversion which she had for his nephew, began to be seriously concerned that he had been deceived into carrying matters so far. He by no means concurred with the opinion of those parents, who think it as immaterial to consult the inclinations of their children in the affair of marriage, as to solicit the good pleasure of their servants when they intend to take a journey; and who are, by law or decency at least, with-held often from using absolute force. On the contrary, as he esteemed the institution to be of the most sacred kind, he thought every preparatory caution necessary, to preserve it holy and
, inviolate; and very wisely concluded, that the surest way to effect this, was by laying the foundation in previous affection.
Blihil indeed soon cured his uncle of all anger on the score of deceit, by many vows and protestations that he had been deceived himselt, with which the many declarations of Western very well tallied; but now to persuade Allworthy to consent to the renewing his addresses, was a matter of such apparent difficulty, that the very appearance was sufficient to have deterred a less enterprising genius; but this young gentleman so well knew his own talents, that nothing within the province of cunning seemed to him hard to be atchieved.
Here then he represented the violence of his own affection, and the hopes of subduing aversion in the lady by perseverance. lle begged that, in an affair on which depended all his future repose, he might at least be at liberty to try all fair means for success. Heaven forbid, he said, that he should ever think of prevailing by any other than the most gentle methods ! Besides,
Sir,' said he, if they fail, you may thien (which
'will be surely time enough) deny your consent.' He urged the great and eager desire which Mr. Western had for the match ; and lastly, he made great use of the name of Jones, to whom he imputed all that had happenedl; and from whom, he said, to preserve so valuable a young lady, was even an act of charity.
All these arguments were well seconded by Thwackum, who dwelt a little stronger on the authority of parents than Mr. Blihil himself had done. lle ascribed the measures which Mr. Blifil was desirous to take, to christian motives; and though, says he, the good young gentleman hath men
tioned charity last, I am almost convinced, it is ' his first and principal consideration.'
Square, possibly, had he been present, would have sung to the same tune, though in a different key, and would have discovered much moral fitness in the proceeding; but he was now gone to Bath for the recovery of his health.
Allworthy, though not without reluctance, at last yielded to the desires of his nephew. He said, he would accompany him to London, where he might be at liberty to use every honest endeavour to gain the lady ; But I declare,' said he, ‘I will ' never give my consent to any absolute force
being put on her inclinations, nor shall you ever * have her, unless she can be brought freely to compliance
Thus did the affection of Allworthy for his nephew betray the superior understanding to be triumphed over by the inferior; and thus is the prudence of the best of heads often defeated by the tenderness of the best of hearts.
Blitil having obtained this unhoped for acquiescence in hļs uncle, rested not till he carried his purpose into execution. And as no immediate business required Mr. Allworthy's presence in the country, and little preparation is necessary to men for a journey, they set out the very next day, and
arrived in town that evening, when Mr. Jones, as we have seen, was diverting himself with Partridge, at the play.
The morning after his arrival, Mr. Blifil waited on Mr. Western, by whom he was most kindly and graciously received, and from whom he had every possible assurance (perhaps more than was possible) that he should very shortly be as happy as Sophia could make him; nor would the 'squire suffer the young gentleman to return to his uncle, till he had, almost against his will, carried him to his sister.
In which Mfr. Western pays a l'isit to his Sister,
in Company with M1r. Blifil. MRS. Western was reading a lecture on prudence, and matrimonial polítics, to her niece, when her brother and Blifil broke in with less ceremony than the laws of visiting require. Sophia no sooner saw Blifil, than she turned pale, and almost lost the use of all her faculties; but her aunt, on the contrary, waxed red, and having all her faculties at command, began to exert her tongue on the 'squire,
• Brother,' said she, 'I am astonished at your ! behaviour; will you never learn any regard to de
corum? Will you still look upon every apartment as your own, or as belonging to one of your country tenants? Do you think yourself at liberty to invade the privacies of women of condition, with'out the least decency or notice? Why, what
a pox! is the matter now?' quoth the 'squire; • one would think I had caught you ať— None of your brutality, Sir, I beseech you,' answered she, You have surprised my poor niece so, , ' that she can hardly, I see, support herself. 'Go, my dear, retire, and endeavour to recruit ' your spirits; for I see you have occasion.' At
which words, Sophia, who never received a more welcome command, hastily withdrew.
* To be sure, sister,' cries the 'squire, you are mad, when I have brought Mr. Blifil here to court her, to force her away.'
' Sure, brother,' says she, you are worse than ' mad, when you know in what situation affairs are,
to--I am sure, I ask Mr. Blitil pardon, but ' he knows very well to whom to impute so, disagreeable a reception. For my own part, I am sure, I shall always be very glad to see Mr. Blifil; but bis own good sense would not have suffered
him to proceed so abruptly, had you not com'pelled him to it.'
Blitil bowed and stammered, and looked like a fool; but Western, without giving him time to form a speech for the purpose, answered, “Well, well, I .am to blame if you will, I always am, certainly; 'but come, let the girl be fetched back again, or ' let Mr. Blifil go to her-lie's come up on purpose, and there is no time to be lost.'
• Brother,' cries Mrs. Western, Mr. Blifil, I am confident, understands himself better than to think of seeing my niece any more this morning, after what hath happened. Women are of a nice contexture; and our spirits, when disordered, are not to be recomposed in a moment. Had you suffered Mr. Blifil to have sent his compliments 'to my niece, and to have desired the favour of ' waiting on her in the afternoon, I should possibly ' have prevailed on her to have seen him; but now 'I despair of bringing about any such matter.'
. I am very sorry, Madam,' cried Blifil, that 'Mr. Western's extraordinary kindness to me, 'which I can never enough acknowiedge, should ' have occasioned- Indeed, Sir,' said she, interrupting hini, “you need make no apologies, ' we all know my brother so well.'
'I don't care what any body knows of me,' answered the 'squire;- but when must he come to
see her? for, consider, I tell you he is come up
on purpose, and so is Allworthy.' Brother,' said she, whatever message Mr. Blifil thinks proper to
. send to my niece, shall be delivered to her; and I suppose
she will want no instructions to make a proper answer. I am convinced she will not refuse to see Mr. Blifil at a proper time.'—'The devil she won't,' answered the squire.—'Odsbub !- Don't we know,- I say nothing, but some volk are wiser than all the world. If I might have had my will, she had not run away before: and now I expect to hear every moment she is guone again. For as great a fool as some volk think me, I know
very well she hates— 'No matter, brother,' replied Mrs. Western, “I will not hear my niece abused. It is a reflection on my family. She is
an honour to it; and she will be an honour to it, ! I promise you. I will pawn my whole reputation
. ‘in the world on her conduct. I shall be glad
to see you, brother, in the afternoon; for I have * somewhat of importance to mention to you. * At present, Nir. Blifil, as well as you, must excuse
me; for I am in haste to dress.'— Well, but,' said the 'squire, do appoint a time.”- - Indeed,' said she, “I can appoint no time. I tell you I will see
you in the afternoon.'- What the devil would you have me do?' cries the 'squire, turning to Blifil; 'I can no more turn her, than a beagle can
turn an old hare. Perhaps she will be in a better humour in the afternoon.'—- I am condemned, I sce, Sir, to misfortune,' answered Blifil, but I 'shall always own my obligations to you.' He then took a ceremonious leave of Mrs. Western, who was altogether as ceremonious on her part; and then they departed, the 'squire muttering to himsclf with an oath, that Blifil should see his daughter in the afternoon.
If Mr. Western was little pleased with this interview, Blifil was less. As to the former, he imputed the whole behaviour of his sister to her humour