BOOK V. CONTAINING A PORTION OF TIME SOMEWHAT LONGER THAN HALF A YEAR.
5. Chapter v. A very long chapter, containing a very great incident.
A very long chapter, containing a very great incident.
But though this victorious deity easily expelled his avowed enemies
from the heart of Jones, he found it more difficult to supplant the
garrison which he himself had placed there. To lay aside all allegory,
the concern for what must become of poor Molly greatly disturbed and
perplexed the mind of the worthy youth. The superior merit of Sophia
totally eclipsed, or rather extinguished, all the beauties of the poor
girl; but compassion instead of contempt succeeded to love. He was
convinced the girl had placed all her affections, and all her prospect
of future happiness, in him only. For this he had, he knew, given
sufficient occasion, by the utmost profusion of tenderness towards
her: a tenderness which he had taken every means to persuade her he
would always maintain. She, on her side, had assured him of her firm
belief in his promise, and had with the most solemn vows declared,
that on his fulfilling or breaking these promises, it depended,
whether she should be the happiest or most miserable of womankind. And
to be the author of this highest degree of misery to a human being,
was a thought on which he could not bear to ruminate a single moment.
He considered this poor girl as having sacrificed to him everything in
her little power; as having been at her own expense the object of his
pleasure; as sighing and languishing for him even at that very
instant. Shall then, says he, my recovery, for which she hath so
ardently wished; shall my presence, which she hath so eagerly
expected, instead of giving her that joy with which she hath flattered
herself, cast her at once down into misery and despair? Can I be such
a villain? Here, when the genius of poor Molly seemed triumphant, the
love of Sophia towards him, which now appeared no longer dubious,
rushed upon his mind, and bore away every obstacle before it.
At length it occurred to him, that he might possibly be able to make
Molly amends another way; namely, by giving her a sum of money. This,
nevertheless, he almost despaired of her accepting, when he
recollected the frequent and vehement assurances he had received from
her, that the world put in balance with him would make her no amends
for his loss. However, her extreme poverty, and chiefly her egregious
vanity (somewhat of which hath been already hinted to the reader),
gave him some little hope, that, notwithstanding all her avowed
tenderness, she might in time be brought to content herself with a
fortune superior to her expectation, and which might indulge her
vanity, by setting her above all her equals. He resolved therefore to
take the first opportunity of making a proposal of this kind.