BOOK V. CONTAINING A PORTION OF TIME SOMEWHAT LONGER THAN HALF A YEAR.
10. Chapter x. Showing the truth of many observations of Ovid...
Showing the truth of many observations of Ovid, and of other more
grave writers, who have proved beyond contradiction, that wine is
often the forerunner of incontinency.
Jones retired from the company, in which we have seen him engaged,
into the fields, where he intended to cool himself by a walk in the
open air before he attended Mr Allworthy. There, whilst he renewed
those meditations on his dear Sophia, which the dangerous illness of
his friend and benefactor had for some time interrupted, an accident
happened, which with sorrow we relate, and with sorrow doubtless will
it be read; however, that historic truth to which we profess so
inviolable an attachment, obliges us to communicate it to posterity.
It was now a pleasant evening in the latter end of June, when our
heroe was walking in a most delicious grove, where the gentle breezes
fanning the leaves, together with the sweet trilling of a murmuring
stream, and the melodious notes of nightingales, formed altogether the
most enchanting harmony. In this scene, so sweetly accommodated to
love, he meditated on his dear Sophia. While his wanton fancy roamed
unbounded over all her beauties, and his lively imagination painted
the charming maid in various ravishing forms, his warm heart melted
with tenderness; and at length, throwing himself on the ground, by the
side of a gently murmuring brook, he broke forth into the following
"O Sophia, would Heaven give thee to my arms, how blest would be my
condition! Curst be that fortune which sets a distance between us. Was
I but possessed of thee, one only suit of rags thy whole estate, is
there a man on earth whom I would envy! How contemptible would the
brightest Circassian beauty, drest in all the jewels of the Indies,
appear to my eyes! But why do I mention another woman? Could I think
my eyes capable of looking at any other with tenderness, these hands
should tear them from my head. No, my Sophia, if cruel fortune
separates us for ever, my soul shall doat on thee alone. The chastest
constancy will I ever preserve to thy image. Though I should never
have possession of thy charming person, still shalt thou alone have
possession of my thoughts, my love, my soul. Oh! my fond heart is so
wrapt in that tender bosom, that the brightest beauties would for me
have no charms, nor would a hermit be colder in their embraces.
Sophia, Sophia alone shall be mine. What raptures are in that name! I
will engrave it on every tree."