Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a foundling

11. Chapter xi. In which the reader will be surprized. (continued)

After a short pause, Jones, with faultering accents, said--"I see, madam, you are surprized."--"Surprized!" answered she; "Oh heavens! Indeed, I am surprized. I almost doubt whether you are the person you seem."--"Indeed," cries he, "my Sophia, pardon me, madam, for this once calling you so, I am that very wretched Jones, whom fortune, after so many disappointments, hath, at last, kindly conducted to you. Oh! my Sophia, did you know the thousand torments I have suffered in this long, fruitless pursuit."--"Pursuit of whom?" said Sophia, a little recollecting herself, and assuming a reserved air.--"Can you be so cruel to ask that question?" cries Jones; "Need I say, of you?" "Of me!" answered Sophia: "Hath Mr Jones, then, any such important business with me?"--"To some, madam," cries Jones, "this might seem an important business" (giving her the pocket-book). "I hope, madam, you will find it of the same value as when it was lost." Sophia took the pocket-book, and was going to speak, when he interrupted her thus:--"Let us not, I beseech you, lose one of these precious moments which fortune hath so kindly sent us. O, my Sophia! I have business of a much superior kind. Thus, on my knees, let me ask your pardon."--"My pardon!" cries she; "Sure, sir, after what is past, you cannot expect, after what I have heard."--"I scarce know what I say," answered Jones. "By heavens! I scarce wish you should pardon me. O my Sophia! henceforth never cast away a thought on such a wretch as I am. If any remembrance of me should ever intrude to give a moment's uneasiness to that tender bosom, think of my unworthiness; and let the remembrance of what passed at Upton blot me for ever from your mind."

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