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(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)
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The Vicar of Wakefield
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The Vicar of Wakefield - 07 - Oliver Goldsmith - Web Novel

A town wit described. The dullest fellows may learn to be comical for a night or two

  

When the morning arrived on which we were to entertain our young landlord, it may be easily supposed what provisions were exhausted to make an appearance. It may also be conjectured that my wife and daughters expanded their gayest plumage upon this occasion. Mr Thornhill came with a couple of friends, his chaplain, and feeder. The servants, who were numerous, he politely ordered to the next ale-house: but my wife, in the triumph of her heart, insisted on entertaining them all; for which, by the bye, our family was pinched for three weeks after. As Mr Burchell had hinted to us the day before, that he was making some proposals of marriage, to Miss Wilmot, my son George’s former mistress, this a good deal damped the heartiness of his reception: but accident, in some measure, relieved our embarrasment; for one of the company happening to mention her name, Mr Thornhill observed with an oath, that he never knew any thing more absurd than calling such a fright a beauty: ‘For strike me ugly,’ continued he, ‘if I should not find as much pleasure in choosing my mistress by the information of a lamp under the clock at St Dunstan’s.’ At this he laughed, and so did we:—the jests of the rich are ever successful. Olivia too could not avoid whispering, loud enough to be heard, that he had an infinite fund of humour. After dinner, I began with my usual toast, the Church; for this I was thanked by the chaplain, as he said the church was the only mistress of his affections.—‘Come tell us honestly, Frank,’ said the ‘Squire, with his usual archness, ‘suppose the church, your present mistress, drest in lawnsleeves, on one hand, and Miss Sophia, with no lawn about

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