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to talk upon that subject from his own experience bettet than I should.
Wor. Well, I find at times, we must come to a point with you directly. It is now Monday, and Saturday being the market-day, is the appointed time for their execution ; therefore not an hour can be lost. I shall send for a chaise from Mapleton, and you shall both be off by six o'clock to-morrow morning, that you may if possible see Mr. Lovely by noon ; we will this very evenung draw up the petition ; Sir Thomas and I will sign it; and I am sure Mr. Lovely will take it immediately to the Judge, if possible; perhaps he will have to follow him some way through the circuit, though I dare say he'll soon overtake him.
Loveg. Indeed, Sir, you put too much upon me.
Wor. No, Sir, nor half enough. I know the defects of your disposition better than you know them yourself: your modesty and diffidence cramp your zeal, and limit your usefulness; how wrong you did in resisting the overtures of Mr. Lovely, to be his Sheriffs Chaplain, though he has certainly fixed on a very proper person, in appointing young Mr. Brightman to that office.
Loveg. Ah, Sir! if there had not been a Mr. Brightman in the case, I might have accepted the appointment: and you know how well he can perform the office.
Wor. I believe, whenever you are appointed to a Bishoprick, no man upon earth will say with a better conscience, "nolo episcopari," than yourself.
Loveg. Under such positive orders, I must obey; and, as I can return again to my station by the next Sunday, I am not inclined to urge another objection.
Far. O Sir, the Lord be praised ! the Lord be
* I will not be made a Bishop.
praised! I'll go home directly and tell Harry to get ready as fast as he can, and he shall tell Patty what we are about.
Poor girl ! she is ready to break her heart.
Wor. [To Mr. Lovegood.] But won't you drop us a short prayer before we part ? [Lovegood complies, and only uses the following collect :]
“Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help ; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy name, and, finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Wor. [After this short prayer.] Sir, you are never too long in prayer, but now you have been much too short.
Loveg. Yes, Sir, but time directed us to comprise much in a little ; and if God prevents,* or goes before us in all our doings, we cannot have a better guide ; and while we ask that all our works may be begun, continued, and ended in him, we can neither request, nor receive a greater blessing, and then we shall certainly glorify his holy name. [They all retire.]
* Such is the original meaning of the word, from prævenio, to be before.
MR. WORTHY AND FAMILY, MR. LOVEGOOD, AND HENRY
No other alteration in the plan settled in the former
Dialogue took place, than that by the humble request of Mrs. Sparkish, she might be permitted to take a part in the same chaise procured for Mr. Lovegood and Mr. H. Littleworth, by the benevolent Mr. Worthy, that she might know how far the present attempt to save her son's life might succeed; or else bathe him in her tears, before he was given over into the hands of the executioner for death.
On the return of Henry and Mr. Lovegood, they both went to Mr. Worthy's by his peculiar desire. Mrs. Sparkish alighted at her own house, as they passed through Mapleton to Brookfield Hall; they did not arrive till late on the Saturday afternoon; the Dialogue thus began :
Wor. [To Mr. Lovegood.] How do you do, my good Sir? [To Henry.] How are you, Mr. Henry? we have scarcely finished our tea; will
[They accept it; and while the tea was handed about, the conversation continued.]
Wor. We have followed you with many an anxious thought since you left us. I almost fear by your looks to ask what has been the result.
Loveg. Sir, I never was so agitated in all my life;
what I have seen this morning, and indeed all through, has almost overset me.
Wor. What, then have all of them been left to suffer?
Loveg. O no, Sir, Sam Blood alone was, and I think very deservedly, given over to death : he was a most desperate, hardened, bloody-minded man.
Wor. Our Judges are very merciful.— They will always save lives if they can ; though justice must not always sleep, or we should not be permitted to sleep in our beds.
Loveg. Sir, we have just proved that to be the case, as it respects poor Frolie and Sparkish. --But still, to see a fellow-creature hung up by the neck like a dog, as unfit to live ; what a mortifying event! what a proof of the fall !—The first man born into the world by natural generation was as bad as he could be.—A murderer of his righteous brother.
Mrs. Wor. But, Sir, we are solicitous to hear a more regular narration of these events.
Loveg. Madam, it begins to be late, and it is Saturday evening, and Mrs. Lovegood and the children will be anxious to see me as soon as may be."
Mrs. Wor. But, Sir, we will send word to Mrs. Lovegood that you are returned safe, though we would not wish to detain you long, while you give us a short detail of the result of your journey.
Loveg. Well, then, Mr. Henry, you must'assist me, if I omit any circumstances which are material:
Hen. Sir, I dare say you will remember most of them -I never shall forget what I have seen. If it had not been for the grace of God, William Frolic and I, 'who have been such sinners together, might have been hanged together on that very day on which Sam Blood was called to suffer.
Mrs. Wor. [To Mrs. Merryman.] My dear, won't
the story be too much for you, as your spirits are so weak ?
Mrs. Mer. O my dear Mr. Merryman ! how he used to say he always aimed at the worst first, because he was once so thoughtless himself: I think I shall be able to bear the story, and I beg it may not be shortened on my account.
Loveg. Why, madam, there was a deal of mercy intermixed with judgment: I hope the hearing of it may not be too much for you, though altogether, it has been almost too much for me. Wor. How long was it, after you set out, before
you reached Mr. Lovely?
Loveg. Not till near two o'clock. Those roads, you know, run badly, and it is too far for one stage, so that we were obliged to bait, or the poor horses would have suffered exceedingly.
Wor. And how did you find the dear creatures ?
Loveg. O Sir! we were almost as much overcome with joy when there, as we were afterwards with grief and suspense. Dear Mrs. Lovely was brought to bed of a fine boy the very day before he went. It seems this event took place rather sooner thau was expected, though the mother and the child are both in a fair way to do well. The dear young man was so overcome by this mercy, that he could do nothing but weep for joy.
Mrs. Wor. Why, I told her when she was in the family way, that I had no doubt but she would do well, as her mind was so much more at rest since their marriage.
Hen. But, oh! the joy of the neighbourhood on this event! It is amazing how much they are both beloved. Wor. And not without cause. His
very natural disposition prompts him to every thing that is kind; and since he has been blessed with the grace of God, and