BOOK V. CONTAINING A PORTION OF TIME SOMEWHAT LONGER THAN HALF A YEAR.
7. Chapter vii. In which Mr Allworthy appears on a sick-bed.
Here a footman came hastily into the room, and said there was an
attorney from Salisbury who had a particular message, which he said he
must communicate to Mr Allworthy himself: that he seemed in a violent
hurry, and protested he had so much business to do, that, if he could
cut himself into four quarters, all would not be sufficient.
"Go, child," said Allworthy to Blifil, "see what the gentleman wants.
I am not able to do any business now, nor can he have any with me, in
which you are not at present more concerned than myself. Besides, I
really am--I am incapable of seeing any one at present, or of any
longer attention." He then saluted them all, saying, perhaps he should
be able to see them again, but he should be now glad to compose
himself a little, finding that he had too much exhausted his spirits
Some of the company shed tears at their parting; and even the
philosopher Square wiped his eyes, albeit unused to the melting mood.
As to Mrs Wilkins, she dropt her pearls as fast as the Arabian trees
their medicinal gums; for this was a ceremonial which that gentlewoman
never omitted on a proper occasion.
After this Mr Allworthy again laid himself down on his pillow, and
endeavoured to compose himself to rest.