with me.” “Pardon me, dear young lady,” cries Allworthy, “I begin now to be afraid he hath had too much acquaintance for the repose of his future days; since, if ever man was capable of a sincere, violent, and noble passion, such, I am convinced, is my unhappy nephew’s for Miss Western.” “A nephew of your’s, Mr.Allworthy!” answered Sophia. “It is surely strange. I never heard of him before.” “Indeed, madam,” cries Allworthy, “it is only the circumstance of his being my nephew to which you are a stranger, and which, till this day, was a secret to me.—Mr. Jones, who has long loved you, he! he is my nephew!” “Mr. Jones your nephew, sir!” cries Sophia, “can it be possible?”—“He is, indeed, madam,” answered Allworthy; “he is my own sister’s son—as such I shall always own him; nor am I ashamed of owning him. I am much more ashamed of my past behaviour to him; but I was as ignorant of his merit as of his birth. Indeed, Miss Western, I have used him cruelly—Indeed I have.”—Here the good man wiped his eyes, and after a short pause proceeded—“I never shall be able to reward him for his sufferings without your assistance.— Believe me, most amiable young lady, I must have a great esteem of that offering which I make to your worth. I know he hath been guilty of faults; but there is great goodness of heart at the bottom. Believe me, madam, there is.” Here he stopped, seeming to expect an answer, which he presently received from Sophia, after she had a little recovered herself from the hurry of spirits into which so strange and sudden information had thrown her: “I sincerely wish you joy, sir, of a discovery in which you seem to have such satisfaction. I doubt not but you will have all the comfort you can promise yourself from it. The young gentleman hath certainly a thousand good qualities, which makes it impossible he should not behave well to such an uncle.” —“I hope, madam,” said Allworthy, “he hath those good qualities which must make him a good husband.—He must, I am sure, be of all men the most abandoned, if a lady of your merit should condescend—” “You must pardon me, Mr. Allworthy,” answered Sophia; “I cannot listen to a proposal of this kind. Mr. Jones, I am convinced, hath much merit; but I shall never receive Mr. Jones as one who is to be my husband—Upon my honour I never will.”—“Pardon me, madam,” cries Allworthy, “if I am a little surprized, after what I have heard from Mr. Western—I hope the unhappy young man hath done nothing to forfeit your good opinion, if he had ever the honour to enjoy it.—Perhaps, he may have been misrepresented to you, as he was to me. The same villany may have injured him everywhere. —He is no murderer, I assure, you; as he hath been called.” “Mr. Allworthy,” answered Sophia, “I have told you my resolution. I wonder not at what my father hath told you; but, whatever his apprehensions or fears have been, if I know my heart, I have given no occasion for them; since it hath always been a fixed principle with me, never to have married without his consent. This, is I think the duty of a child to a parent; and this, I hope, nothing could ever have prevailed with me to swerve from. I do not indeed conceive that the authority of any parent can oblige us to marry in direct opposition to our inclinations. To avoid a force of this kind, which I had reason to suspect, I left my father’s house, and sought protection elsewhere. This is the truth of my story; and if the world, or my father, carry my intentions any farther, my own conscience will acquit me.” “I hear you, Miss Western,” cries Allworthy, “with admiration. I admire the justness of your sentiments; but surely there is more in this. I am cautions of offending you, young lady; but am I to look on all which I have hitherto heard or seen as a dream only? And have you suffered so much cruelty from your father on the account of a man to whom you have been always absolutely indifferent?” “I beg, Mr. Allworthy,” answered Sophia, “you will not insist on my reasons;—yes, I have suffered indeed; I will not Mr. Allworthy, conceal—I will be very sincere with you—I own I had a great opinion of Mr. Jones—I believe—I know I have suffered for my opinion—I have been treated cruelly by my aunt, as well as by my father; but that is now past—I beg I may not be farther pressed; for, whatever hath been, my resolution is now fixed. Your nephew, sir, hath many virtues—he hath great virtues, Mr. Allworthy. I question not but he will do you honour in the world, and make you happy.”—“I wish I could make him so, madam,” replied allworthy; “but that I am convinced is only in your power. It is that conviction which hath made me so earnest a solicitor in his favour.” “You are deceived; indeed, sir, you are deceived,” said Sophia. “Ihope not by him. It is sufficient to have deceived me. Mr. Allworthy, I must insist on being pressed no farther on this subject.I should be sorry—nay, I will; not injure him in your favour. I wish Mr. Jones very well. I sincerely wish him well; and I repeat it again to you, whatever demerit he may have to me, I am certain he hath many good qualities. I do not disown my former thoughts; but nothing can ever recal them. At present there is not a man upon earth whom I would more resolutely reject than Mr. Jones; nor would the addresses of Mr. Blifil himself be less agreeable to me.”

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