12. Chapter xii. Approaching still nearer to the end.
But he soon returned with Allworthy, saying, "If you won't believe me,
you may ask her yourself. Hast nut gin thy consent, Sophy, to be
married to-morrow?" "Such are your commands, sir," cries Sophia, "and
I dare not be guilty of disobedience." "I hope, madam," cries
Allworthy, "my nephew will merit so much goodness, and will be always
as sensible as myself of the great honour you have done my family. An
alliance with so charming and so excellent a young lady would indeed
be an honour to the greatest in England." "Yes," cries Western, "but
if I had suffered her to stand shill I shall I, dilly dally, you might
not have had that honour yet a while; I was forced to use a little
fatherly authority to bring her to." "I hope not, sir," cries
Allworthy, "I hope there is not the least constraint." "Why, there,"
cries Western, "you may bid her unsay all again if you will. Dost
repent heartily of thy promise, dost not, Sophia?" "Indeed, papa,"
cries she, "I do not repent, nor do I believe I ever shall, of any
promise in favour of Mr Jones." "Then, nephew," cries Allworthy, "I
felicitate you most heartily; for I think you are the happiest of men.
And, madam, you will give me leave to congratulate you on this joyful
occasion: indeed, I am convinced you have bestowed yourself on one who
will be sensible of your great merit, and who will at least use his
best endeavours to deserve it." "His best endeavours!" cries Western,
"that he will, I warrant un.----Harkee, Allworthy, I'll bet thee five
pounds to a crown we have a boy to-morrow nine months; but prithee
tell me what wut ha! Wut ha Burgundy, Champaigne, or what? for, please
Jupiter, we'll make a night on't." "Indeed, sir," said Allworthy, "you
must excuse me; both my nephew and I were engaged before I suspected
this near approach of his happiness."--"Engaged!" quoth the squire,
"never tell me.--I won't part with thee to-night upon any occasion.
Shalt sup here, please the lord Harry." "You must pardon me, my dear
neighbour!" answered Allworthy; "I have given a solemn promise, and
that you know I never break." "Why, prithee, who art engaged to?"
cries the squire.----Allworthy then informed him, as likewise of the
company.----"Odzookers!" answered the squire, "I will go with thee,
and so shall Sophy! for I won't part with thee to-night; and it would
be barbarous to part Tom and the girl." This offer was presently
embraced by Allworthy, and Sophia consented, having first obtained a
private promise from her father that he would not mention a syllable
concerning her marriage.