BOOK I. CONTAINING AS MUCH OF THE BIRTH OF THE FOUNDLING AS IS NECESSARY OR PROPER TO ACQUAINT THE READER WITH IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS HISTORY.
2. Chapter ii. A short description of squire Allworthy...
A short description of squire Allworthy, and a fuller account of Miss
Bridget Allworthy, his sister.
In that part of the western division of this kingdom which is commonly
called Somersetshire, there lately lived, and perhaps lives still, a
gentleman whose name was Allworthy, and who might well be called the
favourite of both nature and fortune; for both of these seem to have
contended which should bless and enrich him most. In this contention,
nature may seem to some to have come off victorious, as she bestowed
on him many gifts, while fortune had only one gift in her power; but
in pouring forth this, she was so very profuse, that others perhaps
may think this single endowment to have been more than equivalent to
all the various blessings which he enjoyed from nature. From the
former of these, he derived an agreeable person, a sound constitution,
a solid understanding, and a benevolent heart; by the latter, he was
decreed to the inheritance of one of the largest estates in the
This gentleman had in his youth married a very worthy and beautiful
woman, of whom he had been extremely fond: by her he had three
children, all of whom died in their infancy. He had likewise had the
misfortune of burying this beloved wife herself, about five years
before the time in which this history chuses to set out. This loss,
however great, he bore like a man of sense and constancy, though it
must be confest he would often talk a little whimsically on this head;
for he sometimes said he looked on himself as still married, and
considered his wife as only gone a little before him, a journey which
he should most certainly, sooner or later, take after her; and that he
had not the least doubt of meeting her again in a place where he
should never part with her more--sentiments for which his sense was
arraigned by one part of his neighbours, his religion by a second, and
his sincerity by a third.