BOOK V. CONTAINING A PORTION OF TIME SOMEWHAT LONGER THAN HALF A YEAR.
12. Chapter xii. In which is seen a more moving spectacle...
In which is seen a more moving spectacle than all the blood in the
bodies of Thwackum and Blifil, and of twenty other such, is capable of
The rest of Mr Western's company were now come up, being just at the
instant when the action was over. These were the honest clergyman,
whom we have formerly seen at Mr Western's table; Mrs Western, the
aunt of Sophia; and lastly, the lovely Sophia herself.
At this time, the following was the aspect of the bloody field. In one
place lay on the ground, all pale, and almost breathless, the
vanquished Blifil. Near him stood the conqueror Jones, almost covered
with blood, part of which was naturally his own, and part had been
lately the property of the Reverend Mr Thwackum. In a third place
stood the said Thwackum, like King Porus, sullenly submitting to the
conqueror. The last figure in the piece was Western the Great, most
gloriously forbearing the vanquished foe.
Blifil, in whom there was little sign of life, was at first the
principal object of the concern of every one, and particularly of Mrs
Western, who had drawn from her pocket a bottle of hartshorn, and was
herself about to apply it to his nostrils, when on a sudden the
attention of the whole company was diverted from poor Blifil, whose
spirit, if it had any such design, might have now taken an opportunity
of stealing off to the other world, without any ceremony.
For now a more melancholy and a more lovely object lay motionless
before them. This was no other than the charming Sophia herself, who,
from the sight of blood, or from fear for her father, or from some
other reason, had fallen down in a swoon, before any one could get to
Mrs Western first saw her and screamed. Immediately two or three
voices cried out, "Miss Western is dead." Hartshorn, water, every
remedy was called for, almost at one and the same instant.
The reader may remember, that in our description of this grove we
mentioned a murmuring brook, which brook did not come there, as such
gentle streams flow through vulgar romances, with no other purpose
than to murmur. No! Fortune had decreed to ennoble this little brook
with a higher honour than any of those which wash the plains of
Arcadia ever deserved.