BOOK I. CONTAINING AS MUCH OF THE BIRTH OF THE FOUNDLING AS IS NECESSARY OR PROPER TO ACQUAINT THE READER WITH IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS HISTORY.
6. Chapter vi. Mrs Deborah is introduced into the parish...
This confession, though delivered rather in terms of contrition, as it
appeared, did not at all mollify Mrs Deborah, who now pronounced a
second judgment against her, in more opprobrious language than before;
nor had it any better success with the bystanders, who were now grown
very numerous. Many of them cried out, "They thought what madam's silk
gown would end in;" others spoke sarcastically of her learning. Not a
single female was present but found some means of expressing her
abhorrence of poor Jenny, who bore all very patiently, except the
malice of one woman, who reflected upon her person, and tossing up her
nose, said, "The man must have a good stomach who would give silk
gowns for such sort of trumpery!" Jenny replied to this with a
bitterness which might have surprized a judicious person, who had
observed the tranquillity with which she bore all the affronts to her
chastity; but her patience was perhaps tired out, for this is a virtue
which is very apt to be fatigued by exercise.
Mrs Deborah having succeeded beyond her hopes in her inquiry, returned
with much triumph, and, at the appointed hour, made a faithful report
to Mr Allworthy, who was much surprized at the relation; for he had
heard of the extraordinary parts and improvements of this girl, whom
he intended to have given in marriage, together with a small living,
to a neighbouring curate. His concern, therefore, on this occasion,
was at least equal to the satisfaction which appeared in Mrs Deborah,
and to many readers may seem much more reasonable.
Miss Bridget blessed herself, and said, "For her part, she should
never hereafter entertain a good opinion of any woman." For Jenny
before this had the happiness of being much in her good graces also.
The prudent housekeeper was again dispatched to bring the unhappy
culprit before Mr Allworthy, in order, not as it was hoped by some,
and expected by all, to be sent to the house of correction, but to
receive wholesome admonition and reproof; which those who relish that
kind of instructive writing may peruse in the next chapter.