Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker: Ch. 46

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I found the count standing in the kitchen with the parson of the parish, and expressing much impatience to see his protector, whom as yet he had scarce found time to thank for the essential service he had done him and the countess. — The daughter passing at the same time with a glass of water, monsieur de Melville could not help taking notice of her figure, which was strikingly engaging. — 'Ay (said the parson), she is the prettiest girl, and the best girl in all my parish: and if I could give my son an estate of ten thousand a year, he should have my consent to lay it at her feet. If Mr Grieve had been as solicitious about getting money, as he has been in performing all the duties of a primitive Christian, he would not have hung so long upon his hands.' 'What is her name?' said I. 'Sixteen years ago (answered the vicar) I christened her by the names of Seraphina Melvilia.' 'Ha! what! how! (cried the count eagerly) sure, you said Seraphina Melvilia.' 'I did (said he); Mr Grieve told me those were the names of two noble persons abroad, to whom he had been obliged for more than life.'

The count, without speaking another syllable, rushed into the parlour, crying, 'This is your god-daughter, my dear.' Mrs Grieve, then seizing the countess by the hand, exclaimed with great agitation, 'O madam! O sir! — I am — I am your poor Elinor. — This is my Seraphina Melvilia O child! these are the count and countess of Melville, the generous the glorious benefactors of thy once unhappy parents.'

The countess rising from her scat threw her arms about the neck of the amiable Seraphina, and clasped her to her breast with great tenderness, while she herself was embraced by the weeping mother. This moving scene was completed by the entrance of Grieve himself, who falling on his knees before the count, 'Behold (said he) a penitent, who at length can look upon his patron without shrinking.' 'Ah, Ferdinand! (cried he, raising and folding him in his arms) the playfellow of my infancy — the companion of my youth! — Is it to you then I am indebted for my life?' 'Heaven has heard my prayer (said the other), and given me an opportunity to prove myself not altogether unworthy of your clemency and protection.' He then kissed the hand of the countess, while monsieur de Melville saluted his wife and lovely daughter, and all of us were greatly affected by this pathetic recognition.

In a word, Grieve was no other than Ferdinand count Fathom, whose adventures were printed many years ago. Being a sincere convert to virtue, he had changed his name, that he might elude the enquiries of the count, whose generous allowance he determined to forego, that he might have no dependence but upon his own industry and moderation. He had accordingly settled in this village as a practitioner in surgery and physic, and for some years wrestled with all the miseries of indigence, which, however, he and his wife had borne with the most exemplary resignation. At length, by dint of unwearied attention to the duties of his profession, which he exercised with equal humanity and success, he had acquired tolerable share of business among the farmers and common people, which enabled him to live in a decent manner. He had been scarce ever seen to smile; was unaffectedly pious; and all the time he could spare from the avocations of his employment, he spent in educating his daughter, and in studying for his own improvement. In short, the adventurer Fathom was, under the name of Grieve, universally respected among the commonalty of this district, as a prodigy of learning and virtue. These particulars I learned from the vicar, when we quitted the room, that they might be under no restraint in their mutual effusions. I make no doubt that Grieve will be pressed to leave off business, and re-unite himself to the count's family; and as the countess seemed extremely fond of his daughter, she will, in all probability, insist upon Seraphina's accompanying her to Scotland.

Having paid our compliments to these noble persons, we returned to the 'squire's, where we expected an invitation to pass the night, which was wet and raw; but it seems, 'squire Burdock's hospitality reached not so far for the honour of Yorkshire; we therefore departed in the evening, and lay at an inn, where I caught cold.