be supplyed with proper and ready answers, which the most fertile invention cannot supply in an instant. Besides, the sudden and violent impulse on the blood, occasioned by these surprizes, causes frequently such an alteration in the countenance, that the man is obliged to give evidence against himself. And such indeed were the alterations which the countenance of Blifil underwent from this sudden question, that we can scarce blame the eagerness of Mrs. Miller, who immediately cryed out, “Guilty, upon my honour! guilty, upon my soul!”

Mr. Allworthy sharply rebuked her for this impetuosity; and then turning to Blifil, who seemed sinking into the earth, he said, “Why do you hesitate, sir, at giving me an answer? You certainly must have employed him; for he would not, of his own accord, I believe, have undertaken such an errand, and especially without acquainting me.”

Blifil then answered, “I own, sir, I have been guilty of an offence, yet may I hope your pardon?”—“My pardon,” said Allworthy, very angrily.—“Nay, sir,” answered Blifil, “I knew you would be offended; yet surely my dear uncle will forgive the effects of the most amiable of human weaknesses. Compassion for those who do not deserve it, I own is a crime; and yet it is a crime from which you yourself are not entirely free. I know I have been guilty of it in more than one instance to this very person; and I will own I did send Mr. Dowling, not on a vain and fruitless inquiry, but to discover the witnesses, and to endeavour to soften their evidence. This, sir, is the truth; which, though I intended to conceal from you, I will not deny.”

“I confess,” said Nightingale, “this is the light in which it appeared to me from the gentleman’s behaviour.”

“Now, madam,” said Allworthy, “I believe you will once in your life own you have entertained a wrong suspicion, and are not so angry with my nephew as you was.”

Mrs. Miller was silent; for, though she could not so hastily be pleased with Blifil, whom she looked upon to have been the ruin of Jones, yet in this particular instance he had imposed upon her as well as upon the rest; so entirely had the devil stood his friend. And, indeed, I look upon the vulgar observation, “That the devil often deserts his friends, and leaves them in the lurch,” to be a great abuse on that gentleman’s character. Perhaps he may sometimes desert those who are only his cup acquaintance; or who, at most, are but half his; but he generally stands by those who are thoroughly his servants, and helps them off in all extremities, till their bargain expires.

As a conquered rebellion strengthens a government, or as health is more perfectly established by recovery from some diseases; so anger, when removed, often gives new life to affection. This was the case of Mr. Allworthy; for Blifil having wiped off the greater suspicion, the lesser, which had been raised by Square’s letter, sunk of course, and was forgotten; and Thwackum, with whom he was greatly offended, bore alone all the reflections which Square had cast on the enemies of Jones.

As for that young man, the resentment of Mr. Allworthy began more and more to abate towards him. He told Blifil, “He did not only forgive the extraordinary efforts of his good-nature, but would give him the pleasure of following his example.” Then, turning to Mrs. Miller with a smile which would have become an angel, he cryed, “What say you, madam? shall we take a hackney-coach, and all of us together pay a visit to your friend? I promise you it is not the first visit I have made in a prison.”

Every reader, I believe, will be able to answer for the worthy woman; but they must have a great deal of good-nature, and be well acquainted with friendship, who can feel what she felt on this occasion. Few, I hope, are capable of feeling what now passed in the mind of Blifil; but those who are, will acknowledge, that it was impossible for him to raise any objection to this visit. Fortune, however, or the gentleman lately mentioned above, stood his friend, and prevented his undergoing so great a shock; for at the very instant when the coach was sent for, Partridge arrived, and, having called Mrs. Miller from the company, acquainted her with the dreadful accident lately come to light; and hearing Mr. Allworthy’s intention, begged her to find some means of stopping him: “For,” says he, “the matter must at all hazards be kept a secret from him; and if he should now go, he will find Mr. Jones and his mother, who arrived just as I left him, lamenting over one another the horrid crime they have ignorantly committed.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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