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O, my dear uncle! I find my follies are irretriev' able; and all your goodness cannot save me from perdition.'
A servant now acquainted them, that Mr. Western was below stairs; for his eagerness to see Jones could not wait till the afternoon. Upon which Jones, whose eyes were full of tears, beggel his uncle to entertain Western a few minutes, till he a little recovered himself; to which the good man consented, and having ordered Mr. Western to be shewn into a parlour, went down to him.
Mrs. Viller nosooner heard that Jones was alone, (for she has not yet seen him since his release from prison), than she came eagerly into the room, and advancing towards Jones, wished him heartily joy of his new-found uncle, and his happy reconciliation ; adding, “I wish I could give you joy “ on another account, my dear child; but any
thing so inexorable I ner r saw.”
Jones, with some appearance of surprise, askech her what she meant. Why then,' says she, “I have been with your young lady, and have ex
plained all matters to her, as they were told me ' by my son Nightingale. She can have no longer any
doubt about the letter; of that I am certain; for I told her my son Nightingale was ready to take his oath, if she pleased, that it was ' all his own invention, and the letter of his indit
ing. I told her the very reason of sending the * letter ought to recemmend you to her the more, ' as it was all upon her account, and a plain proof,
that you was resolved to quit all your profligacy. • for the future; that you had never been guilty of a single instance of infidelity to her since your
seeing her in town: I am afraid I went too far 'there; but heaven forgive me: I hope your fu
ture behaviour will be my justification. I am sure · I have said all I can; but all to no purpose. She remains inflexible. She says, she had forgiven many faults on account of youth; but expressed
such detestation of the character of a libertine, that she absolutely silenced me. I often attempted to excuse you; but the justness of her accu"sation flew in my face. Upon my honour, she is a lovely woman, and one of the sweetest and most sensible creatures lever saw. I could have almost kissed her for one expression she made use of. ' It was a sentiment worthy of Seneca, or of a
bishop.' “ I once fancied, Madam,” said she, “I “had discovered great goodness of heart in Mr. “ Jones; aud for that I own I had a sincere esteem; “ but an entire profligacy of manners will corrupt " the best heart in the world; and all which a “good-natured libertine can expect, is, that we “ should mix some grains of pity with our con“tempt and abhorrence." "She is an angelic crea'ture, that is the truth on't--'O, Mrs. Miller! answered Jones, 'can I bear to think I have lost - such an angel! ‘Lost! no,' cries Mrs. Miller; 'I hope you have not lost her yet. Resolve to leave • such vicious courses, and you may yet have
hopes; nay, if she should remain inexorable, there ' is another young lady, a sweet pretty young ‘lady, and a swinging fortune, who is absolutely dying for love of you. I heard of it this very morning, and I told it to Miss Western; nay, 1 ó went a little beyond the truth again; for I told her you had refused her; but indeed I knew you would refuse her.-And here I must give you a little comfort; when I mentioned the young
lady's name, who is no other than the pretty • widow Hunt, I thought she turned pale; but when * I said you had refused her, I will be sworn her ' face was all over scarlet in an instant; and these 'were her very words, “ I will not deny but that "I believe he has some affection for me."
Here the conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Western, who could no longer be kept
out of the room even by the authority of Allworthy himself; though this, as we have often seen, had a wonderful power over him.
Western immediately went up to Jones, crying out, My old friend Tom, I am glad to see tliee, ' with all my heart. All past must be forgotten. I could not intend any affront to thee, because, as
, · Allworthy here knows, nay, dost know it thyself, 'I took thee for another person; and where a body
a ' means no harm, what signifies a hasty word or "two? One cliristian must forget and forgive ano• ther.' 'I hope, Sir,' said Jones, 'I shall never ' forget the many obligations I have had to you; ' but as for any offence towards me, I declare I am an utter stranger. A’t,' says Western, then give me thy fist; a't as hearty an honest cock as any in the kingdom. Come along with me; I'll carry thee to thy mistress this moment.' Here Allworthy interposed; and the 'squire being unable to prevail either with the uncle or nephew, was, after some litigation, obliged to consent to delay introducing Jones to Sophia till the afternoon; at which time Allworthy, as well in compassion to Jones, as in compliance with the eager desires of Western, was prevailed upon to promise to attend at the tea-table.
The conversation which now ensued was pleasant enough ; and with which, had it happened earlier in our history,' we would have entertained our reader; but as we have now leisure only to attend to what is very material, it shall suffice to say, that matters being entirely adjusted as to the afternoon visit, Mr. Western again returned home.
CHAP. XI. The History drau's nearer to a Conclusion. WHEN Mr. Western was departed, Joncs began to inform Vr. Allworthy and Mrs. Miller, that his liberty had been procured by two noble lords, who, together with two surgeons, and a friend of Mr. Nightingale's, had attended the magistrate by whom he had been committed, and by whom, on the surgeon's oaths, that the wounded person was out of all manner of danger from his wound, he was discharged.
One only of these lords, he said, he had ever seen before, and that no more than once; but the other had greatly surprised him, by asking his pardon for an offence he had been guilty of towards him, occasioned, he said, entirely by his ignorance who he was.
Now the reality of the case, with which Jones was not acquainted till afterwards, was this:--The lieutenant whom lord Fellamar had employed, according to the advice of lady Bellaston, to press Jones, as a vagabond, into the sea-service, when he came to report to his lordship the event which we have before seen, spoke very favourably of the behaviour of Mr. Jones on all accounts, and strongly assured that lord, that he must have mistaken the person, for that Jones was certainly a gentleman; insomuch that his lordship, who was strictly a man of honour, and would by no means have been guilty of an action which the world in general would have condemned, began to be much concerned for the advice which he had taken.
Within a day or two after this, lord Fellamar happened to dine with the Irish peer, who, in a conversation upon the duel, acquainted his company with the character of Fitzpatrick; to which indecd he did not do strict justice, especially in what related to his lady. He said, she was the most innocent, the most injured woman alive, and that from compassion alone he had undertaken her: cause. He then declared an intention of going the next morning to Fitzpatrick's lodgings, in order to prevail with him, if possible, to consent to a separation from his wife, who, the peer said, was
in apprehensions for her life, if she should ever return to be under the power of her husband. Lord Fellamar agreed to go with him, that he might satisfy himself more concerning Jones, and the circumstances of the duel; for he was by no means easy concerning the part he had acted. The moment his lordship gave a hint of his readiness to assist in the delivery of the lady, it was eagerly embraced by the other nobleman, who depended much on the authority of lord Fellamar, as he thought it would greatly contribute to awe Fitzpatrick into a compliance; and perhaps he was in the right; for the poor Irishman no sooner saw these noble peers had undertaken the cause of his wife, than he submitted, and articles of separation were soon drawn up, and signed between the parties.
Fitzpatrick had been so well satisfied by Mrs, Waters concerning the innocence of his wife with Jones at Upton, or perhaps, from some other reasons, was now become so indifferent to that matter, that he spoke highly in favour of Jones to lord Fellamar, took all the blame upon himself, and said the other had behaved very much like a gentleman, and a man of honour; and upon that lord's further inquiry concerning Mr. Jones, Fitzpatrick told him, he was nephew to a gentleman of very great fashion and fortune, which was the account he had just received from Mrs. Waters, after her interview with Dowling
Lord Fellamar now thought it beloved him to do every thing in his power to make satisfaction to a gentleman whom he had so grossly injured, and without any consideration of rivalship (for he had now given over all thoughts of Sophia), determined to procure Mr. Jones's liberty, being satisfied, as well from Fitzpatrick as his surgeon, that the wound was not mortal. He therefore prevailed with the Irish peer to accompany him to the place where Jones was confined, to whom he behaved as we have already related.