The Vicar of Wakefield - 28 - Oliver Goldsmith - Web Novel
Happiness and misery rather the result of prudence than of virtue in this life. Temporal evils or felicities being regarded by heaven as things merely in themselves trifling and unworthy its care in the distribution
I had now been confined more than a fortnight, but had not since my arrival been visited by my dear Olivia, and I greatly longed to see her. Having communicated my wishes to my wife, the next morning the poor girl entered my apartment, leaning on her sister’s arm. The change which I saw in her countenance struck me. The numberless graces that once resided there were now fled, and the hand of death seemed to have molded every feature to alarm me. Her temples were sunk, her forehead was tense, and a fatal paleness sate upon her cheek.
‘I am glad to see thee, my dear,’ cried I; ‘but why this dejection Livy? I hope, my love, you have too great a regard for me, to permit disappointment thus to undermine a life which I prize as my own. Be chearful child, and we yet may see happier days.’
‘You have ever, sir,’ replied she, ‘been kind to me, and it adds to my pain that I shall never have an opportunity of sharing that happiness you promise. Happiness, I fear, is no longer reserved for me here; and I long to be rid of a place where I have only found distress. Indeed, sir, I wish you would make a proper submission to Mr Thornhill; it may, in some measure, induce him to pity you, and it will give me relief in dying.’
‘Never, child,’ replied I, ‘never will I be brought to acknowledge my daughter a prostitute; for tho’ the world may look upon your offence with scorn, let it be mine to regard it as a mark of credulity, not of guilt. My dear, I am no way miserable in this place, however dismal it may seem, and be assured that while you continue to bless me by living, he shall never have my consent to make you more wretched by marrying another.’
After the departure of my daughter, my fellow prisoner, who was by at this interview,