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When Allworthy returned to his lodgings, lie immediately carried Jones into his room, and then acquainted him with the whole matter, as well what he had heard from Mrs. Waters, as what he had discovered from Mr. Dowling.
Jones expressed great astonishment and no less concern at ihis account; but without making any comment or observation upon it. And now a message was brought from Mr. Blifil, desiring to know if his uncle was at leisure, that he might wait upon him. Allworthy started and turned pale, and then in a more passionate tone than I believe he had ever used before, bid the servant tell Blisil he knew him not. ‘Consider, dear Sir,'—-cries Jones, in a trembling voice.— I have considered,' answered Allworthy, “and you yourself shall carry my message 'to the villain. -No one can carry him the sentence of his own ruin so properly, as the man whose ruin he hath so villanousiy contrived.:—* Pardon me, dear Sir,' said Jones; • a moment's
a reflection will, I am sure, convince you of the contrary. What might perhaps be but justice ' from another tongue, would from mine be insult;
and to whom?- My own brother, and your nephew.---- Nor did he use me so barbarously.
Indeed that would have been more inexcusable 'than any thing he hath done. Fortune may tempt ! men of no very bad dispositions to injustice; but 'insults proceed only from black and rancorous minds, and have no temptations to excuse them.
Let me beseech you, Sir, to do nothing by ' him in the present height of your anger. Con
sider, my dear uncle, I was not myself condemned 'unheard.' Allworthy stood silent a moment, and then embracing Jones, he said, with tears gushing from his eyes, '() my child! to what goodness have I been so long blind !
Mrs. Miller entering the room at that moment, after a gentle rap, which was not perceived, and seeing Jones in the arms of his uncle, the poor
woman, in an agony of joy, fell upon her knees, and burst forth into the most ecstatic thanksgivings to heaven, for what had happened. -Then running to Jones, she embraced him eagerly, crying, My dearest friend, I wish you joy a thoi' sand and a thousand times of this blest day.' And next Mr. Allworthy himself received the same congratulations. To which he answered, “Indeed, in
deed, Mrs. Miller, I am beyond expression happy.' Some few more raptures having passed on all sides, Mrs. Miller desired them both to walk down to dinner in the parlour, where she said there were a very happy set of people assembled; being indeed no other than Mr. Nightingale and his bride, and his cousin Ilarris with her bridegroom.
Allworthy excused himself from dining with the company, saying he had ordered some little thing for him and his nephew in his own apartment; for that they had much private business to discourse of, but could not resist promising the good woman, that both he and Jones would make part of her society at supper.
Mrs. Miller then asked what was to be done with Blifil? 'for indeed,' says she, 'I cannot be easy
while such a villain is in my house.'--Allworthy answered, “Ile was as uneasy as herself on the same account.' 'O!' cries she, 'if that be the case, leave the matter to me; I'll soon shew him the outside of my doors, I warrant you." Here are two or three lusty fellows below stairs.' "There
will be no need of any violence,' cries Allworthy; ‘if you will carry him a message from me, he will,
a 'I am convinced, depart of his own accord.' "Will 'I? said Mrs. Miller, I never did any thing in
my life with a better will.? Here Jones intertered, and said, “ He had considered the matter better, ' and would, if Mr. Allworthy pleased, be himself • the messenger.' 'I know,' says he, 'already enough of your pleasure, Sir, and I beg leave to acquaint him with it by my own words. Let me
'bescech you, Sir,' added he, 'to reflect on the 'dreadful consequences of driving him to violent ' and sudden despair. How unfit, alas ! is this poor
man to die in his present situation. This suggestion had not the least effect on Mrs. Miller. She left the room, crying, you are too good, Vr. Jones, • intinitely too good to live in this world.' But it made a deeper impression on Allworthy. My 'good child,' said lie, “I am equally astonished at ' the goodness of your licart, and the quickness of your understanding. Heaven indeed forbid that this wretch should be deprived of any means or ' time for repentance. That would be a shocking
consideration indeed. Go to him therefore, and use your own discretion; yet do not flatter him ' with any hopes of my forgiveness; for I never ‘shall forgive villany farther than my religion obliges me, and that extends not either to our bounty or our conversation.'
Jones went up to Biifil's room, whom he found in a situation which moved bis pity, though it would have raised a less amiable passion in many beholders. He cast himself on his bed, where he lay abandoning himself to despair, and drowned in tears; not in such tears as flow from contrition, and wash away guilt from minds which have been seduced or surprised into it unawares, against the bent of their natural dispositions, as will sometimes happen from human frailty, even to the good; no, these tears were such as the frighted thief sheds in his cart, and are indeed the effects of that concern which the most savage natures are seldom deficient in feeling for themselves.
It would be unpleasant and tedious to paint this scene in full length. Let it suflice to say, that the behaviour of Jones was kind to excess. He onit
Ile ted nothing which his invention could supply, to raise and comfort the drooping spirits of Blisil, before he communicated to hin the resolution of his uncle, that he must quit the house that cvening. Ile offered to furnish him with any money he wanted; assured bim of his hearty forgiveness of all he had done against him, that he would endeavour to live with him hereafter as a brother, and would leave nothing unattempted to effectuate a reconciliation with his uncle.
Blifil was at first sullen and silent, balancing in his mind whether he should yet deny all; but finding at last the evidence too strong against him, he betook himself at last to confession. He then asked pardon of his brother in the most vehement manner, prostrated himself on the ground, and kissed his feet; in short, he was now as remarkably mean, as he had been before remarkably wicked.
Jones could not so far check bis disdain, but that it a little discovered itself in his countenance at this extreme servility. He raised his brother the inoment he could from the ground, and advised him to bear his afilictions more like a man; repeating, at the same time, his promises, that he would do all in his power to lessen them; for which Blisil, making many professions of his unworthiness, poured forth a profusion of thanks; and then he having declared he would immediately depart to another lodging, Jones returned to his uncle.
Among other matters, Allworthy now acquainted Jones with the discovery which he made concerning the 5001. Bank-notes. 'I have,' said he, ' already consulted a lawyer, who tells me, to my great astonishment, that there is no punishment for a fraud of this kind. Indeed, when I consider the black ingratitude of this fellow toward 'you, I think a highwayman, compared to him, is an innocent person.'
'Good heaven!' says Jones, is it possible ? I am shocked beyond measure at this news.
I * thought there was not an honester fellow in the ' world. ------The temptation of such a sum was toa great for him to withstand; for smaller matters
! have come safe to me through his hand. Indeed,
my dear uncle, you must suffer me to call it ' weakness rather than ingratitude; for I am convinced the poor fellow loves me, and hath done me some kindnesses, which I can never forget; nay, I believe he hath repented of this very act; · ' for it is not above a day or two ago, when my * affairs seemed in the most desperate situation, • that he visited me in my confinement, and offered me any money I wanted. Consider, Sir, what a temptation to a man who hath tasted such bitter distress, it must be, to have a sum in his possession, which must put him and his family beyond any future possibility of suffering the like.'
Child,' cries Allworthy, you carry this for'giving temper too far. Such mistaken mercy is
not only weakness, but borders on injustice, and ' is very pernicious to society, as it encourages 'vice. The dishonesty of this fellow, I might,
perhaps have pardoned, but never bis ingrati'tude, And give me leave to say, when we sufler any temptation to atone for dishonesty itself we are as candid and merciful as we ought to be; ‘and so far I confess I have gone; for I have ' often pitied the fate of a highwayman, when I I have been on the grand jury; and have more 'than once applied to the judge on the behalf of ' such as have had any mitigating circumstances ' in their case; but when dishonesty is attended ' with any blacker crime, such as cruelty, murder,
ingratitude, or the like, compassion and forgiveness then become faults. I am convinced the
fellow is a villain, and he shall be punished; at ' least as far as I can punish him.'
This was spoke with so stern a voice, that Jones did not think proper to inake any reply; besides, the hour appointed by Mr. Western now drew so near, that he had barely time left to dress himself, Here therefore ended the present dialogue, and Jones retired to another room, where Partridge attended, according to order, with his clothes,