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social disposition, and willing to have partakers in his happiness, the beer was ordered to flow very liberally into the kitchen; so that before eleven in the evening, there was not a single person sober in the house, except only Mrs. Western herself, and the charming Sophia.
Early in the morning a messenger was dispatched to summon Mr. Blifil; for though the 'squire imagined that young gentleman had been much less acquainted, than he really was, with the former averson of his daughter; as he had not, however, yet received her consent, he longed ¡mpatiently to communicate it to him, not doubting but that the intended bride herself would confirm it with her lips. As to the wedding, it had the evening before been fixed, by the male parties, to be celebrated on the next morning save one.
Breakfast was now set forth in the parlour, where Mr. Blifil attended, and where the 'squire and his sister likewise were assembled; and now Sophia was ordered to be called.
O, Shakespeare ! had I thy pen! O, Hogarth! had I thy pencil ! then would I draw the picture of the poor serving-man, who, with pale countenance, staring eyes, chattering teeth, faltering tongue, and trembling limbs,
(E’en such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
And would have told him, half his Troy was burn'd) entered the room, and declared, — That Madam Sophia was not to be found.
Not to be found! cries the 'squire, starting from his chair; '' Zounds and d-nation! Blood • and fury! Where, when, how, what- Not to • be found! Where?"
'La! Brother,' said Mrs. Western, with true political coldness, ‘you are always throwing your
self into such violent passions for nothing. My ' niece, I suppose, is only walked out into the gar* den. I protest you are grown so unreasonable, " that it is impossible to live in the house with you.
Nay, nay,' answered the 'squire, returning as suddenly to himself
, as he had gone from himself; * if that be all the matter, it signifies not much 'but, upon my soul, my mind misgave me, when • the fellow said she was not to be found.' He then gave orders for the bell to be rung in the garden, and sat himself contentedly down,
No two things could be more the reverse of each other than were the brother and sister, in most instances; particularly in this, That as the brother never foresaw any thing at a distance, but was most sagacious in immediately seeing every thing the moment it had happened; so the sister eternally foresaw at a distance, but was not so quicksighted to objects before her eyes. Of both these the reader may have observed examples; and, indeed, both their several talents were excessive; for as the sister often foresaw what never came to pass, $0 the brother often saw much more than was actually the truth.
This was not however the case at present. The same report was brought from the garden, as before had been brought from the chamber, that Madam Sophia was not to be found,
The 'squire himself now sallied forth, and began to roar forth the name of Sophia as loudly, and in as hoarse a voice, as whilome did Hercules that of Hylas; and as the poet tells us, that the whole shore echoed back the name of that beautiful youth ; so did the house, the garden, and all the neighbouring fields resound nothing but the name of Sophia, in the hoarse voices of the men, and in the shrill pipes of the women ; while echo seemed so pleased to repeat the beloved sound, that if there is really such a person, I believe Ovid hath belied her sex,
Nothing reigned for a long time but confusion; till at last the squire having sutliciently spent his breath, returned to the parlour, where he found Mrs. Western and Mr. Blifil, and threw himself, with the utmost dejection in his countenance, into
a great chair.
Here Mrs. Western began to apply the following consolation :
“ Brother, I am sorry for what hath happened; " and that my niece should have behaved herself “ in a manner so unbecoming her family; but it “is all your own doings, and you have nobody to “thank but yourself. You know she hath been "educated always in a manner directly contrary to
my advice, and now you see the consequence. “ Have I not a thousand times argued with you
about giving my niece her own will? But you “know I never could prevail upon you ; and when
I had taken so much pains to eradicate her headstrong opinions, and to rectify your errors in poli
cy, you know she was taken out of my hands; so “ that I have nothing to answer for. Had I been
trusted entirely with the care of her education, 110 such accident as this had ever befallen you;
so that you must comfort yourseif by thinking it “ was all your own doing; and indeed, what else “could be expected from such indulgence?”“Zounds ! Sister,” answered he,
you are “enough to make one mad. Have I indulged her? “ Have I given her her will ?---It was no longer
ago than last night that I threatened, if she dis
obeyed me, to confine her to her chamber upon “ bread and water, as long as she lived. — You “would provoke the patience of Job.”
“Did ever mortal hear the like?" replied she. “ Brother, if I had not the patience of fifty Jobs, you would make me forget all decency " and decorum. Why would you interfere? Did I “not beg you, did I not intreat you, to leave the whole conduct to me? You have defeated all the
operations of the campaign by one false step. “Would any man in his senses have provoked a
daughter by such threats as these ? 'How often “have I told you, that English women are not to “ be treated like Ciracessian* slaves. We have the
protection of the world; we are to be won by gentle means only, and not to be hectored, and bullied, and beat into compliance. I thank heaven, no Salique law governs here. Brother, you have a roughness in your manner which no
woman but myself would bear. I do not wonder “ my niece was frightened and terrified into taking “this measure; and to speak honestly, I think my “niece will be justified to the world for what she “ hath done. I repeat it to you again, brother,
I “ you must comfort yourself by rememb'ring that " it is all your own fault. How ofteii have I ad“ vised --" Here Western rose hastily from his chair, and, venting two or three horrid imprecations, ran out of the room.
When he was departed, his sister expressed more bitterness (if possible) against him, than she had done while he was present; for the truth of which she appealed to Mr. Blifil
, who, with great complacence, acquiesced entirely in all she said; but excused all the faults of Mr. Western, “as they must be considered,' he said, “to have proceeded from the too inordinate fondness of a father, which inust be allowed the name of an amiable 'weakness.' 'So much the more inexcusable,' an
' swered the lady; ‘for whom doth he ruin by his • fondness, but his own child? To which "Blifil immediately agreed.
Mrs. Western then began to express great confusion on the account of Mr. Blifil, and of the usage which he had received from a family to which he intended so much honour. On this subject she
• Possibly Circassian.
treated the folly of her niece with great severity; but concluded with throwing the whole on her brother, who, she said, was inexcusable to have proceeded so far without better assurances of his daughter's consent; ‘But he was (says she) always * ota violent, headstrong temper; and I can scarce
forgive myself for all the advice I have thrown away upon him.'
After much of this kind of conversation, which, perhaps, would 110t greatly entertain the reader, was it here particularly related, Mr. Blisil took his leave, and returned home, not highly pleased with his disappointment; which, however, the philosophy which he had acquired from Square, and the religion infused into him by Thwackum, together with somewhat else, taught him to bear, rather better than more passionate loyers bear, these kinds of evils.
The Escape of Sophia. IT is pow time to look after Sophia; whom the reader, it he loves her half so well as I do, will rejoice to find escaped from the clutches of her sionate father, and from those of her dispassionate lover.
Twelve times did the iron register of time beat on the sonorous bell-metal, summoning the ghosts to rise, and walk their nightly round. - In plainer language, it was twelve o'clock, and all the family, as we have said, lay buried in drink and sleep, except only Mrs. Western, who was deeply engaged in reading a political pamphlet, and except our heroine, who now softly stole down stairs, and having unbarred and unlocked one of the house, doors, sallied forth, and hastened to the place of appointment.