BOOK VII. CONTAINING THREE DAYS.
5. Chapter v. The generous behaviour of Sophia...
The generous behaviour of Sophia towards her aunt.
Sophia kept silence during the foregoing speech of her father, nor did
she once answer otherwise than with a sigh; but as he understood none
of the language, or, as he called it, lingo of the eyes, so he was not
satisfied without some further approbation of his sentiments, which he
now demanded of his daughter; telling her, in the usual way, "he
expected she was ready to take the part of everybody against him, as
she had always done that of the b-- her mother." Sophia remaining
still silent, he cryed out, "What, art dumb? why dost unt speak? Was
not thy mother a d--d b-- to me? answer me that. What, I suppose you
despise your father too, and don't think him good enough to speak to?"
"For Heaven's sake, sir," answered Sophia, "do not give so cruel a
turn to my silence. I am sure I would sooner die than be guilty of any
disrespect towards you; but how can I venture to speak, when every
word must either offend my dear papa, or convict me of the blackest
ingratitude as well as impiety to the memory of the best of mothers;
for such, I am certain, my mamma was always to me?"
"And your aunt, I suppose, is the best of sisters too!" replied the
squire. "Will you be so kind as to allow that she is a b--? I may
fairly insist upon that, I think?"
"Indeed, sir," says Sophia, "I have great obligations to my aunt. She
hath been a second mother to me."
"And a second wife to me too," returned Western; "so you will take her
part too! You won't confess that she hath acted the part of the vilest
sister in the world?"
"Upon my word, sir," cries Sophia, "I must belie my heart wickedly if
I did. I know my aunt and you differ very much in your ways of
thinking; but I have heard her a thousand times express the greatest
affection for you; and I am convinced, so far from her being the worst
sister in the world, there are very few who love a brother better."