BOOK XVIII. CONTAINING ABOUT SIX DAYS.
13. Chapter the last. In which the history is concluded.
Notwithstanding this little restraint, he was so pleased with the
chearfulness and good-humour of the company, that he insisted on their
meeting the next day at his lodgings. They all did so; and the lovely
Sophia, who was now in private become a bride too, officiated as the
mistress of the ceremonies, or, in the polite phrase, did the honours
of the table. She had that morning given her hand to Jones, in the
chapel at Doctors'-Commons, where Mr Allworthy, Mr Western, and Mrs
Miller, were the only persons present.
Sophia had earnestly desired her father that no others of the company,
who were that day to dine with him, should be acquainted with her
marriage. The same secrecy was enjoined to Mrs Miller, and Jones
undertook for Allworthy. This somewhat reconciled the delicacy of
Sophia to the public entertainment which, in compliance with her
father's will, she was obliged to go to, greatly against her own
inclinations. In confidence of this secrecy she went through the day
pretty well, till the squire, who was now advanced into the second
bottle, could contain his joy no longer, but, filling out a bumper,
drank a health to the bride. The health was immediately pledged by all
present, to the great confusion of our poor blushing Sophia, and the
great concern of Jones upon her account. To say truth, there was not a
person present made wiser by this discovery; for Mrs Miller had
whispered it to her daughter, her daughter to her husband, her husband
to his sister, and she to all the rest.
Sophia now took the first opportunity of withdrawing with the ladies,
and the squire sat in to his cups, in which he was, by degrees,
deserted by all the company except the uncle of young Nightingale, who
loved his bottle as well as Western himself. These two, therefore, sat
stoutly to it during the whole evening, and long after that happy hour
which had surrendered the charming Sophia to the eager arms of her
Thus, reader, we have at length brought our history to a conclusion,
in which, to our great pleasure, though contrary, perhaps, to thy
expectation, Mr Jones appears to be the happiest of all humankind; for
what happiness this world affords equal to the possession of such a
woman as Sophia, I sincerely own I have never yet discovered.