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(Reading time: 5 - 10 minutes)
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The Vicar of Wakefield
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The Vicar of Wakefield - 16 - Oliver Goldsmith - Web Novel

The family use art, which is opposed with, still greater

  

Whatever might have been Sophia’s sensations, the rest of the family was easily consoled, for Mr Burchell’s absence by the company of our landlord, whose visits now became more frequent and longer. Though he had been disappointed in procuring my daughters the amusements of the town, as he designed, he took every opportunity of supplying them with those little recreations which our retirement would admit of. He usually came in the morning, and while my son and I followed our occupations abroad, he sat with the family at home, and amused them by describing the town, with every part of which he was particularly acquainted. He could repeat all the observations that were retailed in the atmosphere of the playhouses, and had all the good things of the high wits by rote long before they made way into the jest-books. The intervals between conversation were employed in teaching my daughters piquet, or sometimes in setting my two little ones to box to make them sharp, as he called it: but the hopes of having him for a son-in-law, in some measure blinded us to all his imperfections. It must be owned that my wife laid a thousand schemes to entrap him, or, to speak it more tenderly, used every art to magnify the merit of her daughter. If the cakes at tea eat short and crisp, they were made by Olivia: if the gooseberry wine was well knit, the gooseberries were of her gathering: it was her fingers which gave the pickles their peculiar green; and in the composition of a pudding, it was her judgment that mix’d the ingredients. Then the poor woman would sometimes tell the ‘Squire, that she thought him and Olivia extremely of a size, and would bid both stand up to see

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