BOOK V. CONTAINING A PORTION OF TIME SOMEWHAT LONGER THAN HALF A YEAR.
12. Chapter xii. In which is seen a more moving spectacle...
Jones was rubbing Blifil's temples, for he began to fear he had given
him a blow too much, when the words, Miss Western and Dead, rushed at
once on his ear. He started up, left Blifil to his fate, and flew to
Sophia, whom, while all the rest were running against each other,
backward and forward, looking for water in the dry paths, he caught up
in his arms, and then ran away with her over the field to the rivulet
above mentioned; where, plunging himself into the water, he contrived
to besprinkle her face, head, and neck very plentifully.
Happy was it for Sophia that the same confusion which prevented her
other friends from serving her, prevented them likewise from
obstructing Jones. He had carried her half ways before they knew what
he was doing, and he had actually restored her to life before they
reached the waterside. She stretched out her arms, opened her eyes,
and cried, "Oh! heavens!" just as her father, aunt, and the parson
Jones, who had hitherto held this lovely burthen in his arms, now
relinquished his hold; but gave her at the same instant a tender
caress, which, had her senses been then perfectly restored, could not
have escaped her observation. As she expressed, therefore, no
displeasure at this freedom, we suppose she was not sufficiently
recovered from her swoon at the time.
This tragical scene was now converted into a sudden scene of joy. In
this our heroe was certainly the principal character; for as he
probably felt more ecstatic delight in having saved Sophia than she
herself received from being saved, so neither were the congratulations
paid to her equal to what were conferred on Jones, especially by Mr
Western himself, who, after having once or twice embraced his
daughter, fell to hugging and kissing Jones. He called him the
preserver of Sophia, and declared there was nothing, except her, or
his estate, which he would not give him; but upon recollection, he
afterwards excepted his fox-hounds, the Chevalier, and Miss Slouch
(for so he called his favourite mare).
All fears for Sophia being now removed, Jones became the object of the
squire's consideration.--"Come, my lad," says Western, "d'off thy
quoat and wash thy feace; for att in a devilish pickle, I promise
thee. Come, come, wash thyself, and shat go huome with me; and we'l
zee to vind thee another quoat."