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The Vicar of Wakefield
The Vicar of Wakefield


‘I vow, my dear sir,’ returned he, ‘I am amazed at all this; nor can I understand what it means! I hope you don’t think your daughter’s late excursion with me had any thing criminal in it.’


‘Go,’ cried I, ‘thou art a wretch, a poor pitiful wretch, and every way a lyar; but your meanness secures you from my anger! Yet sir, I am descended from a family that would not have borne this! And so, thou vile thing, to gratify a momentary passion, thou hast made one poor creature wretched for life, and polluted a family that had nothing but honour for their portion.’


‘If she or you,’ returned he, ‘are resolved to be miserable, I cannot help it. But you may still be happy; and whatever opinion you may have formed of me, you shall ever find me ready to contribute to it. We can marry her to another in a short time, and what is more, she may keep her lover beside; for I protest I shall ever continue to have a true regard for her.’


I found all my passions alarmed at this new degrading proposal; for though the mind may often be calm under great injuries, little villainy can at any time get within the soul, and sting it into rage.—‘Avoid my sight, thou reptile,’ cried I, ‘nor continue to insult me with thy presence. Were my brave son at home, he would not suffer this; but I am old, and disabled, and every way undone.’


‘I find,’ cried he, ‘you are bent upon obliging me to talk in an harsher manner than I intended. But as I have shewn you what may be hoped from my friendship, it may not be improper to represent what may be the consequences of my resentment. My attorney, to whom your late bond has been transferred, threatens hard, nor do I know how to prevent the course of justice, except by paying the money myself, which, as I have been at some expences lately, previous to my intended marriage, is not so easy to be done. And then my steward talks of

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