The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling


THE HISTORY OF TOM JONES, A FOUNDLING



By Henry Fielding















CONTENTS



THE HISTORY OF TOM JONES, A FOUNDLING.







BOOK I. — CONTAINING AS MUCH OF THE
BIRTH OF THE FOUNDLING AS IS NECESSARY OR PROPER TO ACQUAINT THE READER
WITH IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS HISTORY.



Chapter i. — The introduction to the work,
or bill of fare to the feast.



Chapter ii. — A short description of squire
Allworthy, and a fuller account of Miss Bridget Allworthy, his sister.



Chapter iii. — An odd accident which befel
Mr Allworthy at his return home. The decent behaviour of Mrs Deborah
Wilkins, with some proper animadversions on bastards.



Chapter iv. — The reader's neck brought
into danger by a description; his escape; and the great condescension of
Miss Bridget Allworthy.



Chapter v. — Containing a few common
matters, with a very uncommon observation upon them.



Chapter vi. — Mrs Deborah is introduced
into the parish with a simile. A short account of Jenny Jones, with the
difficulties and discouragements which may attend young women in the
pursuit of learning.



Chapter vii. — Containing such grave
matter, that the reader cannot laugh once through the whole chapter,
unless peradventure he should laugh at the author.



Chapter viii. — A dialogue between Mesdames
Bridget and Deborah; containing more amusement, but less instruction, than
the former.



Chapter ix. — Containing matters which will
surprize the reader.



Chapter x. — The hospitality of Allworthy;
with a short sketch of the characters of two brothers, a doctor and a
captain, who were entertained by that gentleman.



Chapter xi. — Containing many rules, and
some examples, concerning falling in love: descriptions of beauty, and
other more prudential inducements to matrimony.



Chapter xii. — Containing what the reader
may, perhaps, expect to find in it.



Chapter xiii. — Which concludes the first
book; with an instance of ingratitude, which, we hope, will appear
unnatural.







BOOK II. — CONTAINING SCENES OF
MATRIMONIAL FELICITY IN DIFFERENT DEGREES OF LIFE; AND VARIOUS OTHER
TRANSACTIONS DURING THE FIRST TWO YEARS AFTER THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN CAPTAIN
BLIFIL AND MISS BRIDGET ALLWORTHY.



Chapter i. — Showing what kind of a history
this is; what it is like, and what it is not like.



Chapter ii. — Religious cautions against
showing too much favour to bastards; and a great discovery made by Mrs
Deborah Wilkins.



Chapter iii. — The description of a
domestic government founded upon rules directly contrary to those of
Aristotle.



Chapter iv. — Containing one of the most
bloody battles, or rather duels, that were ever recorded in domestic
history.



Chapter v. — Containing much matter to
exercise the judgment and reflection of the reader.



Chapter vi. — The trial of Partridge, the
schoolmaster, for incontinency; the evidence of his wife; a short
reflection on the wisdom of our law; with other grave matters, which those
will like best who understand



Chapter vii. — A short sketch of that
felicity which prudent couples may extract from hatred: with a short
apology for those people who overlook imperfections in their friends.



Chapter viii. — A receipt to regain the
lost affections of a wife, which hath never been known to fail in the most
desperate cases.



Chapter ix. — A proof of the infallibility
of the foregoing receipt, in the lamentations of the widow; with other
suitable decorations of death, such as physicians, &c., and an epitaph
in the true stile.







BOOK III. — CONTAINING THE MOST
MEMORABLE TRANSACTIONS WHICH PASSED IN THE FAMILY OF MR ALLWORTHY, FROM
THE TIME WHEN TOMMY JONES ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN, TILL HE ATTAINED
THE AGE OF NINETEEN. IN THIS BOOK



Chapter i. — Containing little or nothing.



Chapter ii. — The heroe of this great
history appears with very bad omens. A little tale of so LOW a kind that
some may think it not worth their notice. A word or two concerning a
squire, and more relating to a gamekeeper and a schoolmaster.



Chapter iii. — The character of Mr Square
the philosopher, and of Mr Thwackum the divine; with a dispute concerning——



Chapter iv. — Containing a necessary
apology for the author; and a childish incident, which perhaps requires an
apology likewise.



Chapter v. — The opinions of the divine and
the philosopher concerning the two boys; with some reasons for their
opinions, and other matters.



Chapter vi. — Containing a better reason
still for the before-mentioned opinions.



Chapter vii. — In which the author himself
makes his appearance on the stage.



Chapter viii. — A childish incident, in
which, however, is seen a good-natured disposition in Tom Jones.



Chapter ix. — Containing an incident of a
more heinous kind, with the comments of Thwackum and Square.



Chapter x. — In which Master Blifil and
Jones appear in different lights.







BOOK IV. — CONTAINING THE TIME OF A
YEAR.



Chapter i. — Containing five pages of
paper.



Chapter ii. — A short hint of what we can
do in the sublime, and a description of Miss Sophia Western.



Chapter iii. — Wherein the history goes
back to commemorate a trifling incident that happened some years since;
but which, trifling as it was, had some future consequences.



Chapter iv. — Containing such very deep and
grave matters, that some readers, perhaps, may not relish it.



Chapter v. — Containing matter accommodated
to every taste.



Chapter vi. — An apology for the
insensibility of Mr Jones to all the charms of the lovely Sophia; in which
possibly we may, in a considerable degree, lower his character in the
estimation of those men of wit and



Chapter vii. — Being the shortest chapter
in this book.



Chapter viii. — A battle sung by the muse
in the Homerican style, and which none but the classical reader can taste.



Chapter ix. — Containing matter of no very
peaceable colour.



Chapter x. — A story told by Mr Supple, the
curate. The penetration of Squire Western. His great love for his
daughter, and the return to it made by her.



Chapter xi. — The narrow escape of Molly
Seagrim, with some observations for which we have been forced to dive
pretty deep into nature.



Chapter xii. — Containing much clearer
matters; but which flowed from the same fountain with those in the
preceding chapter.



Chapter xiii. — A dreadful accident which
befel Sophia. The gallant behaviour of Jones, and the more dreadful
consequence of that behaviour to the young lady; with a short digression
in favour of the female sex. —



Chapter xiv. — The arrival of a surgeon.—His
operations, and a long dialogue between Sophia and her maid.







BOOK V. — CONTAINING A PORTION OF
TIME SOMEWHAT LONGER THAN HALF A YEAR.



Chapter i. — Of the SERIOUS in writing, and
for what purpose it is introduced.



Chapter ii. — In which Mr Jones receives
many friendly visits during his confinement; with some fine touches of the
passion of love, scarce visible to the naked eye.



Chapter iii. — Which all who have no heart
will think to contain much ado about nothing.



Chapter iv. — A little chapter, in which is
contained a little incident.



Chapter v. — A very long chapter,
containing a very great incident.



Chapter vi. — By comparing which with the
former, the reader may possibly correct some abuse which he hath formerly
been guilty of in the application of the word love.



Chapter vii. — In which Mr Allworthy
appears on a sick-bed.



Chapter viii. — Containing matter rather
natural than pleasing.



Chapter ix. — Which, among other things,
may serve as a comment on that saying of Aeschines, that “drunkenness
shows the mind of a man, as a mirrour reflects his person.”



Chapter x. — Showing the truth of many
observations of Ovid, and of other more grave writers, who have proved
beyond contradiction, that wine is often the forerunner of incontinency.



Chapter xi. — In which a simile in Mr
Pope's period of a mile introduces as bloody a battle as can possibly be
fought without the assistance of steel or cold iron.



Chapter xii. — In which is seen a more
moving spectacle than all the blood in the bodies of Thwackum and Blifil,
and of twenty other such, is capable of producing.







BOOK VI. — CONTAINING ABOUT THREE
WEEKS.



Chapter i. — Of love.



Chapter ii. — The character of Mrs Western.
Her great learning and knowledge of the world, and an instance of the deep
penetration which she derived from those advantages.



Chapter iii. — Containing two defiances to
the critics.



Chapter iv. — Containing sundry curious
matters.



Chapter v. — In which is related what
passed between Sophia and her aunt.



Chapter vi. — Containing a dialogue between
Sophia and Mrs Honour, which may a little relieve those tender affections
which the foregoing scene may have raised in the mind of a good-natured
reader.



Chapter vii. — A picture of formal
courtship in miniature, as it always ought to be drawn, and a scene of a
tenderer kind painted at full length.



Chapter viii. — The meeting between Jones
and Sophia.



Chapter ix. — Being of a much more
tempestuous kind than the former.



Chapter x. — In which Mr Western visits Mr
Allworthy.



Chapter xi. — A short chapter; but which
contains sufficient matter to affect the good-natured reader.



Chapter xii. — Containing love-letters,
&c.



Chapter xiii. — The behaviour of Sophia on
the present occasion; which none of her sex will blame, who are capable of
behaving in the same manner. And the discussion of a knotty point in the
court of conscience.



Chapter xiv. — A short chapter, containing
a short dialogue between Squire Western and his sister.







BOOK VII. — CONTAINING THREE DAYS.



Chapter i. — A comparison between the world
and the stage.



Chapter ii. — Containing a conversation
which Mr Jones had with himself.



Chapter iii. — Containing several
dialogues.



Chapter iv. — A picture of a country
gentlewoman taken from the life.



Chapter v. — The generous behaviour of
Sophia towards her aunt.



Chapter vi. — Containing great variety of
matter.



Chapter vii. — A strange resolution of
Sophia, and a more strange stratagem of Mrs Honour.



Chapter viii. — Containing scenes of
altercation, of no very uncommon kind.



Chapter ix. — The wise demeanour of Mr
Western in the character of a magistrate. A hint to justices of peace,
concerning the necessary qualifications of a clerk; with extraordinary
instances of paternal madness and



Chapter x. — Containing several matters,
natural enough perhaps, but low.



Chapter xi. — The adventure of a company of
soldiers.



Chapter xii. — The adventure of a company
of officers.



Chapter xiii. — Containing the great
address of the landlady, the great learning of a surgeon, and the solid
skill in casuistry of the worthy lieutenant.



Chapter xiv. — A most dreadful chapter
indeed; and which few readers ought to venture upon in an evening,
especially when alone.



Chapter xv. — The conclusion of the
foregoing adventure.







BOOK VIII. — CONTAINING ABOUT TWO
DAYS.



Chapter i. — A wonderful long chapter
concerning the marvellous; being much the longest of all our introductory
chapters.



Chapter ii. — In which the landlady pays a
visit to Mr Jones.



Chapter iii. — In which the surgeon makes
his second appearance.



Chapter iv. — In which is introduced one of
the pleasantest barbers that was ever recorded in history, the barber of
Bagdad, or he in Don Quixote, not excepted.



Chapter v. — A dialogue between Mr Jones
and the barber.



Chapter vi. — In which more of the talents
of Mr Benjamin will appear, as well as who this extraordinary person was.



Chapter vii. — Containing better reasons
than any which have yet appeared for the conduct of Partridge; an apology
for the weakness of Jones; and some further anecdotes concerning my
landlady.



Chapter viii. — Jones arrives at
Gloucester, and goes to the Bell; the character of that house, and of a
petty-fogger which he there meets with.



Chapter ix. — Containing several dialogues
between Jones and Partridge, concerning love, cold, hunger, and other
matters; with the lucky and narrow escape of Partridge, as he was on the
very brink of making a fatal



Chapter x. — In which our travellers meet
with a very extraordinary adventure.



Chapter xi. — In which the Man of the Hill
begins to relate his history.



Chapter xii. — In which the Man of the Hill
continues his history.



Chapter xiii. — In which the foregoing
story is farther continued.



Chapter xiv. — In which the Man of the Hill
concludes his history.



Chapter xv. — A brief history of Europe;
and a curious discourse between Mr Jones and the Man of the Hill.







BOOK IX. — CONTAINING TWELVE HOURS.



Chapter i. — Of those who lawfully may, and
of those who may not, write such histories as this.



Chapter ii. — Containing a very surprizing
adventure indeed, which Mr Jones met with in his walk with the Man of the
Hill.



Chapter iii. — The arrival of Mr Jones with
his lady at the inn; with a very full description of the battle of Upton.



Chapter iv. — In which the arrival of a man
of war puts a final end to hostilities, and causes the conclusion of a
firm and lasting peace between all parties.



Chapter v. — An apology for all heroes who
have good stomachs, with a description of a battle of the amorous kind.



Chapter vi. — A friendly conversation in
the kitchen, which had a very common, though not very friendly,
conclusion.



Chapter vii. — Containing a fuller account
of Mrs Waters, and by what means she came into that distressful situation
from which she was rescued by Jones.







BOOK X. — IN WHICH THE HISTORY GOES
FORWARD ABOUT TWELVE HOURS.



Chapter i. — Containing instructions very
necessary to be perused by modern critics.



Chapter ii. — Containing the arrival of an
Irish gentleman, with very extraordinary adventures which ensued at the
inn.



Chapter iii. — A dialogue between the
landlady and Susan the chamber-maid, proper to be read by all inn-keepers
and their servants; with the arrival, and affable behaviour of a beautiful
young lady; which may teach



Chapter iv. — Containing infallible
nostrums for procuring universal disesteem and hatred.



Chapter v. — Showing who the amiable lady,
and her unamiable maid, were.



Chapter vi. — Containing, among other
things, the ingenuity of Partridge, the madness of Jones, and the folly of
Fitzpatrick.



Chapter vii. — In which are concluded the
adventures that happened at the inn at Upton.



Chapter viii. — In which the history goes
backward.



Chapter ix. — The escape of Sophia.







BOOK XI. — CONTAINING ABOUT THREE
DAYS.



Chapter i. — A crust for the critics.



Chapter ii. — The adventures which Sophia
met with after her leaving Upton.



Chapter iii. — A very short chapter, in
which however is a sun, a moon, a star, and an angel.



Chapter iv. — The history of Mrs
Fitzpatrick.



Chapter v. — In which the history of Mrs
Fitzpatrick is continued.



Chapter vi. — In which the mistake of the
landlord throws Sophia into a dreadful consternation.



Chapter vii. — In which Mrs Fitzpatrick
concludes her history.



Chapter viii. — A dreadful alarm in the
inn, with the arrival of an unexpected friend of Mrs Fitzpatrick.



Chapter ix. — The morning introduced in
some pretty writing. A stagecoach. The civility of chambermaids. The
heroic temper of Sophia. Her generosity. The return to it. The departure
of the company, and their



Chapter x. — Containing a hint or two
concerning virtue, and a few more concerning suspicion.







BOOK XII. — CONTAINING THE SAME
INDIVIDUAL TIME WITH THE FORMER.



Chapter i. — Showing what is to be deemed
plagiarism in a modern author, and what is to be considered as lawful
prize.



Chapter ii. — In which, though the squire
doth not find his daughter, something is found which puts an end to his
pursuit.



Chapter iii. — The departure of Jones from
Upton, with what passed between him and Partridge on the road.



Chapter iv. — The adventure of a
beggar-man.



Chapter v. — Containing more adventures
which Mr Jones and his companion met on the road.



Chapter vi. — From which it may be inferred
that the best things are liable to be misunderstood and misinterpreted.



Chapter vii. — Containing a remark or two
of our own and many more of the good company assembled in the kitchen.



Chapter viii. — In which fortune seems to
have been in a better humour with Jones than we have hitherto seen her.



Chapter ix. — Containing little more than a
few odd observations.



Chapter x. — In which Mr Jones and Mr
Dowling drink a bottle together.



Chapter xi. — The disasters which befel
Jones on his departure for Coventry; with the sage remarks of Partridge.



Chapter xii. — Relates that Mr Jones
continued his journey, contrary to the advice of Partridge, with what
happened on that occasion.



Chapter xiii. — A dialogue between Jones
and Partridge.



Chapter xiv. — What happened to Mr Jones in
his journey from St Albans.



BOOK XIII. — CONTAINING THE SPACE
OF TWELVE DAYS.



Chapter i. — An Invocation.



Chapter ii. — What befel Mr Jones on his
arrival in London.



Chapter iii. — A project of Mrs
Fitzpatrick, and her visit to Lady Bellaston.



Chapter iv. — Which consists of visiting.



Chapter v. — An adventure which happened to
Mr Jones at his lodgings, with some account of a young gentleman who
lodged there, and of the mistress of the house, and her two daughters.



Chapter vi. — What arrived while the
company were at breakfast, with some hints concerning the government of
daughters.



Chapter vii. — Containing the whole humours
of a masquerade.



Chapter viii. — Containing a scene of
distress, which will appear very extraordinary to most of our readers.



Chapter ix. — Which treats of matters of a
very different kind from those in the preceding chapter.



Chapter x. — A chapter which, though short,
may draw tears from some eyes.



Chapter xi. — In which the reader will be
surprized.



Chapter xii. — In which the thirteenth book
is concluded.







BOOK XIV. — CONTAINING TWO DAYS.



Chapter i. — An essay to prove that an
author will write the better for having some knowledge of the subject on
which he writes.



Chapter ii. — Containing letters and other
matters which attend amours.



Chapter iii. — Containing various matters.



Chapter iv. — Which we hope will be very
attentively perused by young people of both sexes.



Chapter v. — A short account of the history
of Mrs Miller.



Chapter vi. — Containing a scene which we
doubt not will affect all our readers.



Chapter vii. — The interview between Mr
Jones and Mr Nightingale.



Chapter viii. — What passed between Jones
and old Mr Nightingale; with the arrival of a person not yet mentioned in
this history.



Chapter ix. — Containing strange matters.



Chapter x. — A short chapter, which
concludes the book.







BOOK XV. — IN WHICH THE HISTORY
ADVANCES ABOUT TWO DAYS.



Chapter i. — Too short to need a preface.



Chapter ii. — In which is opened a very
black design against Sophia.



Chapter iii. — A further explanation of the
foregoing design.



Chapter iv. — By which it will appear how
dangerous an advocate a lady is when she applies her eloquence to an ill
purpose.



Chapter v. — Containing some matters which
may affect, and others which may surprize, the reader.



Chapter vi. — By what means the squire came
to discover his daughter.



Chapter vii. — In which various misfortunes
befel poor Jones.



Chapter viii. — Short and sweet.



Chapter ix. — Containing love-letters of
several sorts.



Chapter x. — Consisting partly of facts,
and partly of observations upon them.



Chapter xi. — Containing curious, but not
unprecedented matter.



Chapter xii. — A discovery made by
Partridge.







BOOK XVI.



Chapter i. — Of prologues.



Chapter ii. — A whimsical adventure which
befel the squire, with the distressed situation of Sophia.



Chapter iii. — What happened to Sophia
during her confinement.



Chapter iv. — In which Sophia is delivered
from her confinement.



Chapter v. — In which Jones receives a
letter from Sophia, and goes to a play with Mrs Miller and Partridge.



Chapter vi. — In which the history is
obliged to look back.



Chapter vii. — In which Mr Western pays a
visit to his sister, in company with Mr Blifil.



Chapter viii. — Schemes of Lady Bellaston
for the ruin of Jones.



Chapter ix. — In which Jones pays a visit
to Mrs Fitzpatrick.



Chapter x. — The consequence of the
preceding visit.







BOOK XVII.



Chapter i. — Containing a portion of
introductory writing.



Chapter ii. — The generous and grateful
behaviour of Mrs Miller.



Chapter iii. — The arrival of Mr Western,
with some matters concerning the paternal authority.



Chapter iv. — An extraordinary scene
between Sophia and her aunt.



Chapter v. — Mrs Miller and Mr Nightingale
visit Jones in the prison.



Chapter vi. — In which Mrs Miller pays a
visit to Sophia.



Chapter vii. — A pathetic scene between Mr
Allworthy and Mrs Miller.



Chapter viii. — Containing various matters.



Chapter ix. — What happened to Mr Jones in
the prison.







BOOK XVIII.



Chapter i. — A farewel to the reader.



Chapter ii. — Containing a very tragical
incident.



Chapter iii. — Allworthy visits old
Nightingale; with a strange discovery that he made on that occasion.



Chapter iv. — Containing two letters in
very different stiles.



Chapter v. — In which the history is
continued.



Chapter vi. — In which the history is
farther continued



Chapter vii. — Continuation of the history.



Chapter viii. — Further continuation.



Chapter ix. — A further continuation.



Chapter x. — Wherein the history begins to
draw towards a conclusion.



Chapter xi. — The history draws nearer to a
conclusion.



Chapter xii. — Approaching still nearer to
the end.



Chapter the last.










To the Honourable



GEORGE LYTTLETON, ESQ;



One of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.



Sir,



Notwithstanding your constant refusal, when I have asked leave to prefix
your name to this dedication, I must still insist on my right to desire
your protection of this work.



To you, Sir, it is owing that this history was ever begun. It was by your
desire that I first thought of such a composition. So many years have
since past, that you may have, perhaps, forgotten this circumstance: but
your desires are to me in the nature of commands; and the impression of
them is never to be erased from my memory.



Again, Sir, without your assistance this history had never been completed.
Be not startled at the assertion. I do not intend to draw on you the
suspicion of being a romance writer. I mean no more than that I partly owe
to you my existence during great part of the time which I have employed in
composing it: another matter which it may be necessary to remind you of;
since there are certain actions of which you are apt to be extremely
forgetful; but of these I hope I shall always have a better memory than
yourself.



Lastly, It is owing to you that the history appears what it now is. If
there be in this work, as some have been pleased to say, a stronger
picture of a truly benevolent mind than is to be found in any other, who
that knows you, and a particular acquaintance of yours, will doubt whence
that benevolence hath been copied? The world will not, I believe, make me
the compliment of thinking I took it from myself. I care not: this they
shall own, that the two persons from whom I have taken it, that is to say,
two of the best and worthiest men in the world, are strongly and zealously
my friends. I might be contented with this, and yet my vanity will add a
third to the number; and him one of the greatest and noblest, not only in
his rank, but in every public and private virtue. But here, whilst my
gratitude for the princely benefactions of the Duke of Bedford bursts from
my heart, you must forgive my reminding you that it was you who first
recommended me to the notice of my benefactor.



And what are your objections to the allowance of the honour which I have
sollicited? Why, you have commended the book so warmly, that you should be
ashamed of reading your name before the dedication. Indeed, sir, if the
book itself doth not make you ashamed of your commendations, nothing that
I can here write will, or ought. I am not to give up my right to your
protection and patronage, because you have commended my book: for though I
acknowledge so many obligations to you, I do not add this to the number;
in which friendship, I am convinced, hath so little share: since that can
neither biass your judgment, nor pervert your integrity. An enemy may at
any time obtain your commendation by only deserving it; and the utmost
which the faults of your friends can hope for, is your silence; or,
perhaps, if too severely accused, your gentle palliation.



In short, sir, I suspect, that your dislike of public praise is your true
objection to granting my request. I have observed that you have, in common
with my two other friends, an unwillingness to hear the least mention of
your own virtues; that, as a great poet says of one of you, (he might
justly have said it of all three), you


     Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.


If men of this disposition are as careful to shun applause, as others are
to escape censure, how just must be your apprehension of your character
falling into my hands; since what would not a man have reason to dread, if
attacked by an author who had received from him injuries equal to my
obligations to you!



And will not this dread of censure increase in proportion to the matter
which a man is conscious of having afforded for it? If his whole life, for
instance, should have been one continued subject of satire, he may well
tremble when an incensed satirist takes him in hand. Now, sir, if we apply
this to your modest aversion to panegyric, how reasonable will your fears
of me appear!



Yet surely you might have gratified my ambition, from this single
confidence, that I shall always prefer the indulgence of your inclinations
to the satisfaction of my own. A very strong instance of which I shall
give you in this address, in which I am determined to follow the example
of all other dedicators, and will consider not what my patron really
deserves to have written, but what he will be best pleased to read.



Without further preface then, I here present you with the labours of some
years of my life. What merit these labours have is already known to
yourself. If, from your favourable judgment, I have conceived some esteem
for them, it cannot be imputed to vanity; since I should have agreed as
implicitly to your opinion, had it been given in favour of any other man's
production. Negatively, at least, I may be allowed to say, that had I been
sensible of any great demerit in the work, you are the last person to
whose protection I would have ventured to recommend it.



From the name of my patron, indeed, I hope my reader will be convinced, at
his very entrance on this work, that he will find in the whole course of
it nothing prejudicial to the cause of religion and virtue, nothing
inconsistent with the strictest rules of decency, nor which can offend
even the chastest eye in the perusal. On the contrary, I declare, that to
recommend goodness and innocence hath been my sincere endeavour in this
history. This honest purpose you have been pleased to think I have
attained: and to say the truth, it is likeliest to be attained in books of
this kind; for an example is a kind of picture, in which virtue becomes,
as it were, an object of sight, and strikes us with an idea of that
loveliness, which Plato asserts there is in her naked charms.



Besides displaying that beauty of virtue which may attract the admiration
of mankind, I have attempted to engage a stronger motive to human action
in her favour, by convincing men, that their true interest directs them to
a pursuit of her. For this purpose I have shown that no acquisitions of
guilt can compensate the loss of that solid inward comfort of mind, which
is the sure companion of innocence and virtue; nor can in the least
balance the evil of that horror and anxiety which, in their room, guilt
introduces into our bosoms. And again, that as these acquisitions are in
themselves generally worthless, so are the means to attain them not only
base and infamous, but at best incertain, and always full of danger.
Lastly, I have endeavoured strongly to inculcate, that virtue and
innocence can scarce ever be injured but by indiscretion; and that it is
this alone which often betrays them into the snares that deceit and
villainy spread for them. A moral which I have the more industriously
laboured, as the teaching it is, of all others, the likeliest to be
attended with success; since, I believe, it is much easier to make good
men wise, than to make bad men good.



For these purposes I have employed all the wit and humour of which I am
master in the following history; wherein I have endeavoured to laugh
mankind out of their favourite follies and vices. How far I have succeeded
in this good attempt, I shall submit to the candid reader, with only two
requests: First, that he will not expect to find perfection in this work;
and Secondly, that he will excuse some parts of it, if they fall short of
that little merit which I hope may appear in others.



I will detain you, sir, no longer. Indeed I have run into a preface, while
I professed to write a dedication. But how can it be otherwise? I dare not
praise you; and the only means I know of to avoid it, when you are in my
thoughts, are either to be entirely silent, or to turn my thoughts to some
other subject.



Pardon, therefore, what I have said in this epistle, not only without your
consent, but absolutely against it; and give me at least leave, in this
public manner, to declare that I am, with the highest respect and
gratitude,—



Sir,



Your most obliged,



Obedient, humble servant,



HENRY FIELDING.




















THE HISTORY OF TOM JONES, A FOUNDLING.




















BOOK I. — CONTAINING AS MUCH OF THE BIRTH OF THE FOUNDLING AS IS
NECESSARY OR PROPER TO ACQUAINT THE READER WITH IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS
HISTORY.




















Chapter i. — The introduction to the work, or bill of fare to the
feast.



An author ought to consider himself, not as a gentleman who gives a
private or eleemosynary treat, but rather as one who keeps a public
ordinary, at which all persons are welcome for their money. In the former
case, it is well known that the entertainer provides what fare he pleases;
and though this should be very indifferent, and utterly disagreeable to
the taste of his company, they must not find any fault; nay, on the
contrary, good breeding forces them outwardly to approve and to commend
whatever is set before them. Now the contrary of this happens to the
master of an ordinary. Men who pay for what they eat will insist on
gratifying their palates, however nice and whimsical these may prove; and
if everything is not agreeable to their taste, will challenge a right to
censure, to abuse, and to d—n their dinner without controul.



To prevent, therefore, giving offence to their customers by any such
disappointment, it hath been usual with the honest and well-meaning host
to provide a bill of fare which all persons may peruse at their first
entrance into the house; and having thence acquainted themselves with the
entertainment which they may expect, may either stay and regale with what
is provided for them, or may depart to some other ordinary better
accommodated to their taste.



As we do not disdain to borrow wit or wisdom from any man who is capable
of lending us either, we have condescended to take a hint from these
honest victuallers, and shall prefix not only a general bill of fare to
our whole entertainment, but shall likewise give the reader particular
bills to every course which is to be served up in this and the ensuing
volumes.



The provision, then, which we have here made is no other than Human
Nature
. Nor do I fear that my sensible reader, though most luxurious
in his taste, will start, cavil, or be offended, because I have named but
one article. The tortoise—as the alderman of Bristol, well learned
in eating, knows by much experience—besides the delicious calipash
and calipee, contains many different kinds of food; nor can the learned
reader be ignorant, that in human nature, though here collected under one
general name, is such prodigious variety, that a cook will have sooner
gone through all the several species of animal and vegetable food in the
world, than an author will be able to exhaust so extensive a subject.



An objection may perhaps be apprehended from the more delicate, that this
dish is too common and vulgar; for what else is the subject of all the
romances, novels, plays, and poems, with which the stalls abound? Many
exquisite viands might be rejected by the epicure, if it was a sufficient
cause for his contemning of them as common and vulgar, that something was
to be found in the most paltry alleys under the same name. In reality,
true nature is as difficult to be met with in authors, as the Bayonne ham,
or Bologna sausage, is to be found in the shops.



But the whole, to continue the same metaphor, consists in the cookery of
the author; for, as Mr Pope tells us—


    “True wit is nature to advantage drest;
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well exprest.”


The same animal which hath the honour to have some part of his flesh eaten
at the table of a duke, may perhaps be degraded in another part, and some
of his limbs gibbeted, as it were, in the vilest stall in town. Where,
then, lies the difference between the food of the nobleman and the porter,
if both are at dinner on the same ox or calf, but in the seasoning, the
dressing, the garnishing, and the setting forth? Hence the one provokes
and incites the most languid appetite, and the other turns and palls that
which is the sharpest and keenest.



In like manner, the excellence of the mental entertainment consists less
in the subject than in the author's skill in well dressing it up. How
pleased, therefore, will the reader be to find that we have, in the
following work, adhered closely to one of the highest principles of the
best cook which the present age, or perhaps that of Heliogabalus, hath
produced. This great man, as is well known to all lovers of polite eating,
begins at first by setting plain things before his hungry guests, rising
afterwards by degrees as their stomachs may be supposed to decrease, to
the very quintessence of sauce and spices. In like manner, we shall
represent human nature at first to the keen appetite of our reader, in
that more plain and simple manner in which it is found in the country, and
shall hereafter hash and ragoo it with all the high French and Italian
seasoning of affectation and vice which courts and cities afford. By these
means, we doubt not but our reader may be rendered desirous to read on for
ever, as the great person just above-mentioned is supposed to have made
some persons eat.



Having premised thus much, we will now detain those who like our bill of
fare no longer from their diet, and shall proceed directly to serve up the
first course of our history for their entertainment.




















Chapter ii. — A short description of squire Allworthy, and a fuller
account of Miss Bridget Allworthy, his sister.



In that part of the western division of this kingdom which is commonly
called Somersetshire, there lately lived, and perhaps lives still, a
gentleman whose name was Allworthy, and who might well be called the
favourite of both nature and fortune; for both of these seem to have
contended which should bless and enrich him most. In this contention,
nature may seem to some to have come off victorious, as she bestowed on
him many gifts, while fortune had only one gift in her power; but in
pouring forth this, she was so very profuse, that others perhaps may think
this single endowment to have been more than equivalent to all the various
blessings which he enjoyed from nature. From the former of these, he
derived an agreeable person, a sound constitution, a solid understanding,
and a benevolent heart; by the latter, he was decreed to the inheritance
of one of the largest estates in the county.



This gentleman had in his youth married a very worthy and beautiful woman,
of whom he had been extremely fond: by her he had three children, all of
whom died in their infancy. He had likewise had the misfortune of burying
this beloved wife herself, about five years before the time in which this
history chuses to set out. This loss, however great, he bore like a man of
sense and constancy, though it must be confest he would often talk a
little whimsically on this head; for he sometimes said he looked on
himself as still married, and considered his wife as only gone a little
before him, a journey which he should most certainly, sooner or later,
take after her; and that he had not the least doubt of meeting her again
in a place where he should never part with her more—sentiments for
which his sense was arraigned by one part of his neighbours, his religion
by a second, and his sincerity by a third.



He now lived, for the most part, retired in the country, with one sister,
for whom he had a very tender affection. This lady was now somewhat past
the age of thirty, an aera at which, in the opinion of the malicious, the
title of old maid may with no impropriety be assumed. She was of that
species of women whom you commend rather for good qualities than beauty,
and who are generally called, by their own sex, very good sort of women—as
good a sort of woman, madam, as you would wish to know. Indeed, she was so
far from regretting want of beauty, that she never mentioned that
perfection, if it can be called one, without contempt; and would often
thank God she was not as handsome as Miss Such-a-one, whom perhaps beauty
had led into errors which she might have otherwise avoided. Miss Bridget
Allworthy (for that was the name of this lady) very rightly conceived the
charms of person in a woman to be no better than snares for herself, as
well as for others; and yet so discreet was she in her conduct, that her
prudence was as much on the guard as if she had all the snares to
apprehend which were ever laid for her whole sex. Indeed, I have observed,
though it may seem unaccountable to the reader, that this guard of
prudence, like the trained bands, is always readiest to go on duty where
there is the least danger. It often basely and cowardly deserts those
paragons for whom the men are all wishing, sighing, dying, and spreading,
every net in their power; and constantly attends at the heels of that
higher order of women for whom the other sex have a more distant and awful
respect, and whom (from despair, I suppose, of success) they never venture
to attack.



Reader, I think proper, before we proceed any farther together, to
acquaint thee that I intend to digress, through this whole history, as
often as I see occasion, of which I am myself a better judge than any
pitiful critic whatever; and here I must desire all those critics to mind
their own business, and not to intermeddle with affairs or works which no
ways concern them; for till they produce the authority by which they are
constituted judges, I shall not plead to their jurisdiction.




















Chapter iii. — An odd accident which befel Mr Allworthy at his
return home. The decent behaviour of Mrs Deborah Wilkins, with some proper
animadversions on bastards.



I have told my reader, in the preceding chapter, that Mr Allworthy
inherited a large fortune; that he had a good heart, and no family. Hence,
doubtless, it will be concluded by many that he lived like an honest man,
owed no one a shilling, took nothing but what was his own, kept a good
house, entertained his neighbours with a hearty welcome at his table, and
was charitable to the poor, i.e. to those who had rather beg than work, by
giving them the offals from it; that he died immensely rich and built an
hospital.



And true it is that he did many of these things; but had he done nothing
more I should have left him to have recorded his own merit on some fair
freestone over the door of that hospital. Matters of a much more
extraordinary kind are to be the subject of this history, or I should
grossly mis-spend my time in writing so voluminous a work; and you, my
sagacious friend, might with equal profit and pleasure travel through some
pages which certain droll authors have been facetiously pleased to call The
History of England
.



Mr Allworthy had been absent a full quarter of a year in London, on some
very particular business, though I know not what it was; but judge of its
importance by its having detained him so long from home, whence he had not
been absent a month at a time during the space of many years. He came to
his house very late in the evening, and after a short supper with his
sister, retired much fatigued to his chamber. Here, having spent some
minutes on his knees—a custom which he never broke through on any
account—he was preparing to step into bed, when, upon opening the
cloathes, to his great surprize he beheld an infant, wrapt up in some
coarse linen, in a sweet and profound sleep, between his sheets. He stood
some time lost in astonishment at this sight; but, as good nature had
always the ascendant in his mind, he soon began to be touched with
sentiments of compassion for the little wretch before him. He then rang
his bell, and ordered an elderly woman-servant to rise immediately, and
come to him; and in the meantime was so eager in contemplating the beauty
of innocence, appearing in those lively colours with which infancy and
sleep always display it, that his thoughts were too much engaged to
reflect that he was in his shirt when the matron came in. She had indeed
given her master sufficient time to dress himself; for out of respect to
him, and regard to decency, she had spent many minutes in adjusting her
hair at the looking-glass, notwithstanding all the hurry in which she had
been summoned by the servant, and though her master, for aught she knew,
lay expiring in an apoplexy, or in some other fit.



It will not be wondered at that a creature who had so strict a regard to
decency in her own person, should be shocked at the least deviation from
it in another. She therefore no sooner opened the door, and saw her master
standing by the bedside in his shirt, with a candle in his hand, than she
started back in a most terrible fright, and might perhaps have swooned
away, had he not now recollected his being undrest, and put an end to her
terrors by desiring her to stay without the door till he had thrown some
cloathes over his back, and was become incapable of shocking the pure eyes
of Mrs Deborah Wilkins, who, though in the fifty-second year of her age,
vowed she had never beheld a man without his coat. Sneerers and prophane
wits may perhaps laugh at her first fright; yet my graver reader, when he
considers the time of night, the summons from her bed, and the situation
in which she found her master, will highly justify and applaud her
conduct, unless the prudence which must be supposed to attend maidens at
that period of life at which Mrs Deborah had arrived, should a little
lessen his admiration.



When Mrs Deborah returned into the room, and was acquainted by her master
with the finding the little infant, her consternation was rather greater
than his had been; nor could she refrain from crying out, with great
horror of accent as well as look, “My good sir! what's to be done?”
Mr Allworthy answered, she must take care of the child that evening, and
in the morning he would give orders to provide it a nurse. “Yes,
sir,” says she; “and I hope your worship will send out your
warrant to take up the hussy its mother, for she must be one of the
neighbourhood; and I should be glad to see her committed to Bridewell, and
whipt at the cart's tail. Indeed, such wicked sluts cannot be too severely
punished. I'll warrant 'tis not her first, by her impudence in laying it
to your worship.” “In laying it to me, Deborah!”
answered Allworthy: “I can't think she hath any such design. I
suppose she hath only taken this method to provide for her child; and
truly I am glad she hath not done worse.” “I don't know what
is worse,” cries Deborah, “than for such wicked strumpets to
lay their sins at honest men's doors; and though your worship knows your
own innocence, yet the world is censorious; and it hath been many an
honest man's hap to pass for the father of children he never begot; and if
your worship should provide for the child, it may make the people the
apter to believe; besides, why should your worship provide for what the
parish is obliged to maintain? For my own part, if it was an honest man's
child, indeed—but for my own part, it goes against me to touch these
misbegotten wretches, whom I don't look upon as my fellow-creatures.
Faugh! how it stinks! It doth not smell like a Christian. If I might be so
bold to give my advice, I would have it put in a basket, and sent out and
laid at the churchwarden's door. It is a good night, only a little rainy
and windy; and if it was well wrapt up, and put in a warm basket, it is
two to one but it lives till it is found in the morning. But if it should
not, we have discharged our duty in taking proper care of it; and it is,
perhaps, better for such creatures to die in a state of innocence, than to
grow up and imitate their mothers; for nothing better can be expected of
them.”



There were some strokes in this speech which perhaps would have offended
Mr Allworthy, had he strictly attended to it; but he had now got one of
his fingers into the infant's hand, which, by its gentle pressure, seeming
to implore his assistance, had certainly out-pleaded the eloquence of Mrs
Deborah, had it been ten times greater than it was. He now gave Mrs
Deborah positive orders to take the child to her own bed, and to call up a
maid-servant to provide it pap, and other things, against it waked. He
likewise ordered that proper cloathes should be procured for it early in
the morning, and that it should be brought to himself as soon as he was
stirring.



Such was the discernment of Mrs Wilkins, and such the respect she bore her
master, under whom she enjoyed a most excellent place, that her scruples
gave way to his peremptory commands; and she took the child under her
arms, without any apparent disgust at the illegality of its birth; and
declaring it was a sweet little infant, walked off with it to her own
chamber.



Allworthy here betook himself to those pleasing slumbers which a heart
that hungers after goodness is apt to enjoy when thoroughly satisfied. As
these are possibly sweeter than what are occasioned by any other hearty
meal, I should take more pains to display them to the reader, if I knew
any air to recommend him to for the procuring such an appetite.




















Chapter iv. — The reader's neck brought into danger by a
description; his escape; and the great condescension of Miss Bridget
Allworthy.



The Gothic stile of building could produce nothing nobler than Mr
Allworthy's house. There was an air of grandeur in it that struck you with
awe, and rivalled the beauties of the best Grecian architecture; and it
was as commodious within as venerable without.



It stood on the south-east side of a hill, but nearer the bottom than the
top of it, so as to be sheltered from the north-east by a grove of old
oaks which rose above it in a gradual ascent of near half a mile, and yet
high enough to enjoy a most charming prospect of the valley beneath.



In the midst of the grove was a fine lawn, sloping down towards the house,
near the summit of which rose a plentiful spring, gushing out of a rock
covered with firs, and forming a constant cascade of about thirty feet,
not carried down a regular flight of steps, but tumbling in a natural fall
over the broken and mossy stones till it came to the bottom of the rock,
then running off in a pebly channel, that with many lesser falls winded
along, till it fell into a lake at the foot of the hill, about a quarter
of a mile below the house on the south side, and which was seen from every
room in the front. Out of this lake, which filled the center of a
beautiful plain, embellished with groups of beeches and elms, and fed with
sheep, issued a river, that for several miles was seen to meander through
an amazing variety of meadows and woods till it emptied itself into the
sea, with a large arm of which, and an island beyond it, the prospect was
closed.



On the right of this valley opened another of less extent, adorned with
several villages, and terminated by one of the towers of an old ruined
abby, grown over with ivy, and part of the front, which remained still
entire.



The left-hand scene presented the view of a very fine park, composed of
very unequal ground, and agreeably varied with all the diversity that
hills, lawns, wood, and water, laid out with admirable taste, but owing
less to art than to nature, could give. Beyond this, the country gradually
rose into a ridge of wild mountains, the tops of which were above the
clouds.



It was now the middle of May, and the morning was remarkably serene, when
Mr Allworthy walked forth on the terrace, where the dawn opened every
minute that lovely prospect we have before described to his eye; and now
having sent forth streams of light, which ascended the blue firmament
before him, as harbingers preceding his pomp, in the full blaze of his
majesty rose the sun, than which one object alone in this lower creation
could be more glorious, and that Mr Allworthy himself presented—a
human being replete with benevolence, meditating in what manner he might
render himself most acceptable to his Creator, by doing most good to his
creatures.



Reader, take care. I have unadvisedly led thee to the top of as high a
hill as Mr Allworthy's, and how to get thee down without breaking thy
neck, I do not well know. However, let us e'en venture to slide down
together; for Miss Bridget rings her bell, and Mr Allworthy is summoned to
breakfast, where I must attend, and, if you please, shall be glad of your
company.



The usual compliments having past between Mr Allworthy and Miss Bridget,
and the tea being poured out, he summoned Mrs Wilkins, and told his sister
he had a present for her, for which she thanked him—imagining, I
suppose, it had been a gown, or some ornament for her person. Indeed, he
very often made her such presents; and she, in complacence to him, spent
much time in adorning herself. I say in complacence to him, because she
always exprest the greatest contempt for dress, and for those ladies who
made it their study.



But if such was her expectation, how was she disappointed when Mrs
Wilkins, according to the order she had received from her master, produced
the little infant? Great surprizes, as hath been observed, are apt to be
silent; and so was Miss Bridget, till her brother began, and told her the
whole story, which, as the reader knows it already, we shall not repeat.



Miss Bridget had always exprest so great a regard for what the ladies are
pleased to call virtue, and had herself maintained such a severity of
character, that it was expected, especially by Wilkins, that she would
have vented much bitterness on this occasion, and would have voted for
sending the child, as a kind of noxious animal, immediately out of the
house; but, on the contrary, she rather took the good-natured side of the
question, intimated some compassion for the helpless little creature, and
commended her brother's charity in what he had done.



Perhaps the reader may account for this behaviour from her condescension
to Mr Allworthy, when we have informed him that the good man had ended his
narrative with owning a resolution to take care of the child, and to breed
him up as his own; for, to acknowledge the truth, she was always ready to
oblige her brother, and very seldom, if ever, contradicted his sentiments.
She would, indeed, sometimes make a few observations, as that men were
headstrong, and must have their own way, and would wish she had been blest
with an independent fortune; but these were always vented in a low voice,
and at the most amounted only to what is called muttering.



However, what she withheld from the infant, she bestowed with the utmost
profuseness on the poor unknown mother, whom she called an impudent slut,
a wanton hussy, an audacious harlot, a wicked jade, a vile strumpet, with
every other appellation with which the tongue of virtue never fails to
lash those who bring a disgrace on the sex. — A consultation was now
entered into how to proceed in order to discover the mother. A scrutiny
was first made into the characters of the female servants of the house,
who were all acquitted by Mrs Wilkins, and with apparent merit; for she
had collected them herself, and perhaps it would be difficult to find such
another set of scarecrows.



The next step was to examine among the inhabitants of the parish; and this
was referred to Mrs Wilkins, who was to enquire with all imaginable
diligence, and to make her report in the afternoon.



Matters being thus settled, Mr Allworthy withdrew to his study, as was his
custom, and left the child to his sister, who, at his desire, had
undertaken the care of it.




















Chapter v. — Containing a few common matters, with a very uncommon
observation upon them.



When her master was departed, Mrs Deborah stood silent, expecting her cue
from Miss Bridget; for as to what had past before her master, the prudent
housekeeper by no means relied upon it, as she had often known the
sentiments of the lady in her brother's absence to differ greatly from
those which she had expressed in his presence. Miss Bridget did not,
however, suffer her to continue long in this doubtful situation; for
having looked some time earnestly at the child, as it lay asleep in the
lap of Mrs Deborah, the good lady could not forbear giving it a hearty
kiss, at the same time declaring herself wonderfully pleased with its
beauty and innocence. Mrs Deborah no sooner observed this than she fell to
squeezing and kissing, with as great raptures as sometimes inspire the
sage dame of forty and five towards a youthful and vigorous bridegroom,
crying out, in a shrill voice, “O, the dear little creature!—The
dear, sweet, pretty creature! Well, I vow it is as fine a boy as ever was
seen!”



These exclamations continued till they were interrupted by the lady, who
now proceeded to execute the commission given her by her brother, and gave
orders for providing all necessaries for the child, appointing a very good
room in the house for his nursery. Her orders were indeed so liberal,
that, had it been a child of her own, she could not have exceeded them;
but, lest the virtuous reader may condemn her for showing too great regard
to a base-born infant, to which all charity is condemned by law as
irreligious, we think proper to observe that she concluded the whole with
saying, “Since it was her brother's whim to adopt the little brat,
she supposed little master must be treated with great tenderness. For her
part, she could not help thinking it was an encouragement to vice; but
that she knew too much of the obstinacy of mankind to oppose any of their
ridiculous humours.”



With reflections of this nature she usually, as has been hinted,
accompanied every act of compliance with her brother's inclinations; and
surely nothing could more contribute to heighten the merit of this
compliance than a declaration that she knew, at the same time, the folly
and unreasonableness of those inclinations to which she submitted. Tacit
obedience implies no force upon the will, and consequently may be easily,
and without any pains, preserved; but when a wife, a child, a relation, or
a friend, performs what we desire, with grumbling and reluctance, with
expressions of dislike and dissatisfaction, the manifest difficulty which
they undergo must greatly enhance the obligation.



As this is one of those deep observations which very few readers can be
supposed capable of making themselves, I have thought proper to lend them
my assistance; but this is a favour rarely to be expected in the course of
my work. Indeed, I shall seldom or never so indulge him, unless in such
instances as this, where nothing but the inspiration with which we writers
are gifted, can possibly enable any one to make the discovery.




















Chapter vi. — Mrs Deborah is introduced into the parish with a
simile. A short account of Jenny Jones, with the difficulties and
discouragements which may attend young women in the pursuit of learning.



Mrs Deborah, having disposed of the child according to the will of her
master, now prepared to visit those habitations which were supposed to
conceal its mother.



Not otherwise than when a kite, tremendous bird, is beheld by the
feathered generation soaring aloft, and hovering over their heads, the
amorous dove, and every innocent little bird, spread wide the alarm, and
fly trembling to their hiding-places. He proudly beats the air, conscious
of his dignity, and meditates intended mischief.



So when the approach of Mrs Deborah was proclaimed through the street, all
the inhabitants ran trembling into their houses, each matron dreading lest
the visit should fall to her lot. She with stately steps proudly advances
over the field: aloft she bears her towering head, filled with conceit of
her own pre-eminence, and schemes to effect her intended discovery.



The sagacious reader will not from this simile imagine these poor people
had any apprehension of the design with which Mrs Wilkins was now coming
towards them; but as the great beauty of the simile may possibly sleep
these hundred years, till some future commentator shall take this work in
hand, I think proper to lend the reader a little assistance in this place.



It is my intention, therefore, to signify, that, as it is the nature of a
kite to devour little birds, so is it the nature of such persons as Mrs
Wilkins to insult and tyrannize over little people. This being indeed the
means which they use to recompense to themselves their extreme servility
and condescension to their superiors; for nothing can be more reasonable,
than that slaves and flatterers should exact the same taxes on all below
them, which they themselves pay to all above them.



Whenever Mrs Deborah had occasion to exert any extraordinary condescension
to Mrs Bridget, and by that means had a little soured her natural
disposition, it was usual with her to walk forth among these people, in
order to refine her temper, by venting, and, as it were, purging off all
ill humours; on which account she was by no means a welcome visitant: to
say the truth, she was universally dreaded and hated by them all.



On her arrival in this place, she went immediately to the habitation of an
elderly matron; to whom, as this matron had the good fortune to resemble
herself in the comeliness of her person, as well as in her age, she had
generally been more favourable than to any of the rest. To this woman she
imparted what had happened, and the design upon which she was come thither
that morning. These two began presently to scrutinize the characters of
the several young girls who lived in any of those houses, and at last
fixed their strongest suspicion on one Jenny Jones, who, they both agreed,
was the likeliest person to have committed this fact.



This Jenny Jones was no very comely girl, either in her face or person;
but nature had somewhat compensated the want of beauty with what is
generally more esteemed by those ladies whose judgment is arrived at years
of perfect maturity, for she had given her a very uncommon share of
understanding. This gift Jenny had a good deal improved by erudition. She
had lived several years a servant with a schoolmaster, who, discovering a
great quickness of parts in the girl, and an extraordinary desire of
learning—for every leisure hour she was always found reading in the
books of the scholars—had the good-nature, or folly—just as
the reader pleases to call it—to instruct her so far, that she
obtained a competent skill in the Latin language, and was, perhaps, as
good a scholar as most of the young men of quality of the age. This
advantage, however, like most others of an extraordinary kind, was
attended with some small inconveniences: for as it is not to be wondered
at, that a young woman so well accomplished should have little relish for
the society of those whom fortune had made her equals, but whom education
had rendered so much her inferiors; so is it matter of no greater
astonishment, that this superiority in Jenny, together with that behaviour
which is its certain consequence, should produce among the rest some
little envy and ill-will towards her; and these had, perhaps, secretly
burnt in the bosoms of her neighbours ever since her return from her
service.



Their envy did not, however, display itself openly, till poor Jenny, to
the surprize of everybody, and to the vexation of all the young women in
these parts, had publickly shone forth on a Sunday in a new silk gown,
with a laced cap, and other proper appendages to these.



The flame, which had before lain in embryo, now burst forth. Jenny had, by
her learning, increased her own pride, which none of her neighbours were
kind enough to feed with the honour she seemed to demand; and now, instead
of respect and adoration, she gained nothing but hatred and abuse by her
finery. The whole parish declared she could not come honestly by such
things; and parents, instead of wishing their daughters the same,
felicitated themselves that their children had them not.



Hence, perhaps, it was, that the good woman first mentioned the name of
this poor girl to Mrs Wilkins; but there was another circumstance that
confirmed the latter in her suspicion; for Jenny had lately been often at
Mr Allworthy's house. She had officiated as nurse to Miss Bridget, in a
violent fit of illness, and had sat up many nights with that lady; besides
which, she had been seen there the very day before Mr Allworthy's return,
by Mrs Wilkins herself, though that sagacious person had not at first
conceived any suspicion of her on that account: for, as she herself said,
“She had always esteemed Jenny as a very sober girl (though indeed
she knew very little of her), and had rather suspected some of those
wanton trollops, who gave themselves airs, because, forsooth, they thought
themselves handsome.”



Jenny was now summoned to appear in person before Mrs Deborah, which she
immediately did. When Mrs Deborah, putting on the gravity of a judge, with
somewhat more than his austerity, began an oration with the words, “You
audacious strumpet!” in which she proceeded rather to pass sentence
on the prisoner than to accuse her.



Though Mrs Deborah was fully satisfied of the guilt of Jenny, from the
reasons above shewn, it is possible Mr Allworthy might have required some
stronger evidence to have convicted her; but she saved her accusers any
such trouble, by freely confessing the whole fact with which she was
charged.



This confession, though delivered rather in terms of contrition, as it
appeared, did not at all mollify Mrs Deborah, who now pronounced a second
judgment against her, in more opprobrious language than before; nor had it
any better success with the bystanders, who were now grown very numerous.
Many of them cried out, “They thought what madam's silk gown would
end in;” others spoke sarcastically of her learning. Not a single
female was present but found some means of expressing her abhorrence of
poor Jenny, who bore all very patiently, except the malice of one woman,
who reflected upon her person, and tossing up her nose, said, “The
man must have a good stomach who would give silk gowns for such sort of
trumpery!” Jenny replied to this with a bitterness which might have
surprized a judicious person, who had observed the tranquillity with which
she bore all the affronts to her chastity; but her patience was perhaps
tired out, for this is a virtue which is very apt to be fatigued by
exercise.



Mrs Deborah having succeeded beyond her hopes in her inquiry, returned
with much triumph, and, at the appointed hour, made a faithful report to
Mr Allworthy, who was much surprized at the relation; for he had heard of
the extraordinary parts and improvements of this girl, whom he intended to
have given in marriage, together with a small living, to a neighbouring
curate. His concern, therefore, on this occasion, was at least equal to
the satisfaction which appeared in Mrs Deborah, and to many readers may
seem much more reasonable.



Miss Bridget blessed herself, and said, “For her part, she should
never hereafter entertain a good opinion of any woman.” For Jenny
before this had the happiness of being much in her good graces also.



The prudent housekeeper was again dispatched to bring the unhappy culprit
before Mr Allworthy, in order, not as it was hoped by some, and expected
by all, to be sent to the house of correction, but to receive wholesome
admonition and reproof; which those who relish that kind of instructive
writing may peruse in the next chapter.




















Chapter vii. — Containing such grave matter, that the reader cannot
laugh once through the whole chapter, unless peradventure he should laugh
at the author.



When Jenny appeared, Mr Allworthy took her into his study, and spoke to
her as follows: “You know, child, it is in my power as a magistrate,
to punish you very rigorously for what you have done; and you will,
perhaps, be the more apt to fear I should execute that power, because you
have in a manner laid your sins at my door.



“But, perhaps, this is one reason which hath determined me to act in
a milder manner with you: for, as no private resentment should ever
influence a magistrate, I will be so far from considering your having
deposited the infant in my house as an aggravation of your offence, that I
will suppose, in your favour, this to have proceeded from a natural
affection to your child, since you might have some hopes to see it thus
better provided for than was in the power of yourself, or its wicked
father, to provide for it. I should indeed have been highly offended with
you had you exposed the little wretch in the manner of some inhuman
mothers, who seem no less to have abandoned their humanity, than to have
parted with their chastity. It is the other part of your offence,
therefore, upon which I intend to admonish you, I mean the violation of
your chastity;—a crime, however lightly it may be treated by
debauched persons, very heinous in itself, and very dreadful in its
consequences.



“The heinous nature of this offence must be sufficiently apparent to
every Christian, inasmuch as it is committed in defiance of the laws of
our religion, and of the express commands of Him who founded that
religion.



“And here its consequences may well be argued to be dreadful; for
what can be more so, than to incur the divine displeasure, by the breach
of the divine commands; and that in an instance against which the highest
vengeance is specifically denounced?



“But these things, though too little, I am afraid, regarded, are so
plain, that mankind, however they may want to be reminded, can never need
information on this head. A hint, therefore, to awaken your sense of this
matter, shall suffice; for I would inspire you with repentance, and not
drive you to desperation.



“There are other consequences, not indeed so dreadful or replete
with horror as this; and yet such, as, if attentively considered, must,
one would think, deter all of your sex at least from the commission of
this crime.



“For by it you are rendered infamous, and driven, like lepers of
old, out of society; at least, from the society of all but wicked and
reprobate persons; for no others will associate with you.



“If you have fortunes, you are hereby rendered incapable of enjoying
them; if you have none, you are disabled from acquiring any, nay almost of
procuring your sustenance; for no persons of character will receive you
into their houses. Thus you are often driven by necessity itself into a
state of shame and misery, which unavoidably ends in the destruction of
both body and soul.



“Can any pleasure compensate these evils? Can any temptation have
sophistry and delusion strong enough to persuade you to so simple a
bargain? Or can any carnal appetite so overpower your reason, or so
totally lay it asleep, as to prevent your flying with affright and terror
from a crime which carries such punishment always with it?



“How base and mean must that woman be, how void of that dignity of
mind, and decent pride, without which we are not worthy the name of human
creatures, who can bear to level herself with the lowest animal, and to
sacrifice all that is great and noble in her, all her heavenly part, to an
appetite which she hath in common with the vilest branch of the creation!
For no woman, sure, will plead the passion of love for an excuse. This
would be to own herself the mere tool and bubble of the man. Love, however
barbarously we may corrupt and pervert its meaning, as it is a laudable,
is a rational passion, and can never be violent but when reciprocal; for
though the Scripture bids us love our enemies, it means not with that
fervent love which we naturally bear towards our friends; much less that
we should sacrifice to them our lives, and what ought to be dearer to us,
our innocence. Now in what light, but that of an enemy, can a reasonable
woman regard the man who solicits her to entail on herself all the misery
I have described to you, and who would purchase to himself a short,
trivial, contemptible pleasure, so greatly at her expense! For, by the
laws of custom, the whole shame, with all its dreadful consequences, falls
intirely upon her. Can love, which always seeks the good of its object,
attempt to betray a woman into a bargain where she is so greatly to be the
loser? If such corrupter, therefore, should have the impudence to pretend
a real affection for her, ought not the woman to regard him not only as an
enemy, but as the worst of all enemies, a false, designing, treacherous,
pretended friend, who intends not only to debauch her body, but her
understanding at the same time?”



Here Jenny expressing great concern, Allworthy paused a moment, and then
proceeded: “I have talked thus to you, child, not to insult you for
what is past and irrevocable, but to caution and strengthen you for the
future. Nor should I have taken this trouble, but from some opinion of
your good sense, notwithstanding the dreadful slip you have made; and from
some hopes of your hearty repentance, which are founded on the openness
and sincerity of your confession. If these do not deceive me, I will take
care to convey you from this scene of your shame, where you shall, by
being unknown, avoid the punishment which, as I have said, is allotted to
your crime in this world; and I hope, by repentance, you will avoid the
much heavier sentence denounced against it in the other. Be a good girl
the rest of your days, and want shall be no motive to your going astray;
and, believe me, there is more pleasure, even in this world, in an
innocent and virtuous life, than in one debauched and vicious.



“As to your child, let no thoughts concerning it molest you; I will
provide for it in a better manner than you can ever hope. And now nothing
remains but that you inform me who was the wicked man that seduced you;
for my anger against him will be much greater than you have experienced on
this occasion.”



Jenny now lifted her eyes from the ground, and with a modest look and
decent voice thus began:—



“To know you, sir, and not love your goodness, would be an argument
of total want of sense or goodness in any one. In me it would amount to
the highest ingratitude, not to feel, in the most sensible manner, the
great degree of goodness you have been pleased to exert on this occasion.
As to my concern for what is past, I know you will spare my blushes the
repetition. My future conduct will much better declare my sentiments than
any professions I can now make. I beg leave to assure you, sir, that I
take your advice much kinder than your generous offer with which you
concluded it; for, as you are pleased to say, sir, it is an instance of
your opinion of my understanding.”—Here her tears flowing
apace, she stopped a few moments, and then proceeded thus:—“Indeed,
sir, your kindness overcomes me; but I will endeavour to deserve this good
opinion: for if I have the understanding you are so kindly pleased to
allow me, such advice cannot be thrown away upon me. I thank you, sir,
heartily, for your intended kindness to my poor helpless child: he is
innocent, and I hope will live to be grateful for all the favours you
shall show him. But now, sir, I must on my knees entreat you not to
persist in asking me to declare the father of my infant. I promise you
faithfully you shall one day know; but I am under the most solemn ties and
engagements of honour, as well as the most religious vows and
protestations, to conceal his name at this time. And I know you too well,
to think you would desire I should sacrifice either my honour or my
religion.”



Mr Allworthy, whom the least mention of those sacred words was sufficient
to stagger, hesitated a moment before he replied, and then told her, she
had done wrong to enter into such engagements to a villain; but since she
had, he could not insist on her breaking them. He said, it was not from a
motive of vain curiosity he had inquired, but in order to punish the
fellow; at least, that he might not ignorantly confer favours on the
undeserving.



As to these points, Jenny satisfied him by the most solemn assurances,
that the man was entirely out of his reach; and was neither subject to his
power, nor in any probability of becoming an object of his goodness.



The ingenuity of this behaviour had gained Jenny so much credit with this
worthy man, that he easily believed what she told him; for as she had
disdained to excuse herself by a lie, and had hazarded his further
displeasure in her present situation, rather than she would forfeit her
honour or integrity by betraying another, he had but little apprehensions
that she would be guilty of falsehood towards himself.



He therefore dismissed her with assurances that he would very soon remove
her out of the reach of that obloquy she had incurred; concluding with
some additional documents, in which he recommended repentance, saying,
“Consider, child, there is one still to reconcile yourself to, whose
favour is of much greater importance to you than mine.”




















Chapter viii. — A dialogue between Mesdames Bridget and Deborah;
containing more amusement, but less instruction, than the former.



When Mr Allworthy had retired to his study with Jenny Jones, as hath been
seen, Mrs Bridget, with the good housekeeper, had betaken themselves to a
post next adjoining to the said study; whence, through the conveyance of a
keyhole, they sucked in at their ears the instructive lecture delivered by
Mr Allworthy, together with the answers of Jenny, and indeed every other
particular which passed in the last chapter.



This hole in her brother's study-door was indeed as well known to Mrs
Bridget, and had been as frequently applied to by her, as the famous hole
in the wall was by Thisbe of old. This served to many good purposes. For
by such means Mrs Bridget became often acquainted with her brother's
inclinations, without giving him the trouble of repeating them to her. It
is true, some inconveniences attended this intercourse, and she had
sometimes reason to cry out with Thisbe, in Shakspeare, “O, wicked,
wicked wall!” For as Mr Allworthy was a justice of peace, certain
things occurred in examinations concerning bastards, and such like, which
are apt to give great offence to the chaste ears of virgins, especially
when they approach the age of forty, as was the case of Mrs Bridget.
However, she had, on such occasions, the advantage of concealing her
blushes from the eyes of men; and De non apparentibus, et non
existentibus eadem est ratio
—in English, “When a woman is
not seen to blush, she doth not blush at all.”



Both the good women kept strict silence during the whole scene between Mr
Allworthy and the girl; but as soon as it was ended, and that gentleman
was out of hearing, Mrs Deborah could not help exclaiming against the
clemency of her master, and especially against his suffering her to
conceal the father of the child, which she swore she would have out of her
before the sun set.



At these words Mrs Bridget discomposed her features with a smile (a thing
very unusual to her). Not that I would have my reader imagine, that this
was one of those wanton smiles which Homer would have you conceive came
from Venus, when he calls her the laughter-loving goddess; nor was it one
of those smiles which Lady Seraphina shoots from the stage-box, and which
Venus would quit her immortality to be able to equal. No, this was rather
one of those smiles which might be supposed to have come from the dimpled
cheeks of the august Tisiphone, or from one of the misses, her sisters.



With such a smile then, and with a voice sweet as the evening breeze of
Boreas in the pleasant month of November, Mrs Bridget gently reproved the
curiosity of Mrs Deborah; a vice with which it seems the latter was too
much tainted, and which the former inveighed against with great
bitterness, adding, “That, among all her faults, she thanked Heaven
her enemies could not accuse her of prying into the affairs of other
people.”



She then proceeded to commend the honour and spirit with which Jenny had
acted. She said, she could not help agreeing with her brother, that there
was some merit in the sincerity of her confession, and in her integrity to
her lover: that she had always thought her a very good girl, and doubted
not but she had been seduced by some rascal, who had been infinitely more
to blame than herself, and very probably had prevailed with her by a
promise of marriage, or some other treacherous proceeding.



This behaviour of Mrs Bridget greatly surprised Mrs Deborah; for this
well-bred woman seldom opened her lips, either to her master or his
sister, till she had first sounded their inclinations, with which her
sentiments were always consonant. Here, however, she thought she might
have launched forth with safety; and the sagacious reader will not perhaps
accuse her of want of sufficient forecast in so doing, but will rather
admire with what wonderful celerity she tacked about, when she found
herself steering a wrong course.



“Nay, madam,” said this able woman, and truly great
politician, “I must own I cannot help admiring the girl's spirit, as
well as your ladyship. And, as your ladyship says, if she was deceived by
some wicked man, the poor wretch is to be pitied. And to be sure, as your
ladyship says, the girl hath always appeared like a good, honest, plain
girl, and not vain of her face, forsooth, as some wanton husseys in the
neighbourhood are.”



“You say true, Deborah,” said Miss Bridget. “If the girl
had been one of those vain trollops, of which we have too many in the
parish, I should have condemned my brother for his lenity towards her. I
saw two farmers' daughters at church, the other day, with bare necks. I
protest they shocked me. If wenches will hang out lures for fellows, it is
no matter what they suffer. I detest such creatures; and it would be much
better for them that their faces had been seamed with the smallpox; but I
must confess, I never saw any of this wanton behaviour in poor Jenny: some
artful villain, I am convinced, hath betrayed, nay perhaps forced her; and
I pity the poor wretch with all my heart.”



Mrs Deborah approved all these sentiments, and the dialogue concluded with
a general and bitter invective against beauty, and with many compassionate
considerations for all honest plain girls who are deluded by the wicked
arts of deceitful men.




















Chapter ix. — Containing matters which will surprize the reader.



Jenny returned home well pleased with the reception she had met with from
Mr Allworthy, whose indulgence to her she industriously made public;
partly perhaps as a sacrifice to her own pride, and partly from the more
prudent motive of reconciling her neighbours to her, and silencing their
clamours.



But though this latter view, if she indeed had it, may appear reasonable
enough, yet the event did not answer her expectation; for when she was
convened before the justice, and it was universally apprehended that the
house of correction would have been her fate, though some of the young
women cryed out “It was good enough for her,” and diverted
themselves with the thoughts of her beating hemp in a silk gown; yet there
were many others who began to pity her condition: but when it was known in
what manner Mr Allworthy had behaved, the tide turned against her. One
said, “I'll assure you, madam hath had good luck.” A second
cryed, “See what it is to be a favourite!” A third, “Ay,
this comes of her learning.” Every person made some malicious
comment or other on the occasion, and reflected on the partiality of the
justice.



The behaviour of these people may appear impolitic and ungrateful to the
reader, who considers the power and benevolence of Mr Allworthy. But as to
his power, he never used it; and as to his benevolence, he exerted so
much, that he had thereby disobliged all his neighbours; for it is a
secret well known to great men, that, by conferring an obligation, they do
not always procure a friend, but are certain of creating many enemies.



Jenny was, however, by the care and goodness of Mr Allworthy, soon removed
out of the reach of reproach; when malice being no longer able to vent its
rage on her, began to seek another object of its bitterness, and this was
no less than Mr Allworthy, himself; for a whisper soon went abroad, that
he himself was the father of the foundling child.



This supposition so well reconciled his conduct to the general opinion,
that it met with universal assent; and the outcry against his lenity soon
began to take another turn, and was changed into an invective against his
cruelty to the poor girl. Very grave and good women exclaimed against men
who begot children, and then disowned them. Nor were there wanting some,
who, after the departure of Jenny, insinuated that she was spirited away
with a design too black to be mentioned, and who gave frequent hints that
a legal inquiry ought to be made into the whole matter, and that some
people should be forced to produce the girl.



These calumnies might have probably produced ill consequences, at the
least might have occasioned some trouble, to a person of a more doubtful
and suspicious character than Mr Allworthy was blessed with; but in his
case they had no such effect; and, being heartily despised by him, they
served only to afford an innocent amusement to the good gossips of the
neighbourhood.



But as we cannot possibly divine what complection our reader may be of,
and as it will be some time before he will hear any more of Jenny, we
think proper to give him a very early intimation, that Mr Allworthy was,
and will hereafter appear to be, absolutely innocent of any criminal
intention whatever. He had indeed committed no other than an error in
politics, by tempering justice with mercy, and by refusing to gratify the
good-natured disposition of the mob,[*] with an object for their
compassion to work on in the person of poor Jenny, whom, in order to pity,
they desired to have seen sacrificed to ruin and infamy, by a shameful
correction in Bridewell.


  [*]Whenever this word occurs in our writings, it intends persons
without virtue or sense, in all stations; and many of the highest
rank are often meant by it.


So far from complying with this their inclination, by which all hopes of
reformation would have been abolished, and even the gate shut against her
if her own inclinations should ever hereafter lead her to chuse the road
of virtue, Mr Allworthy rather chose to encourage the girl to return
thither by the only possible means; for too true I am afraid it is, that
many women have become abandoned, and have sunk to the last degree of
vice, by being unable to retrieve the first slip. This will be, I am
afraid, always the case while they remain among their former acquaintance;
it was therefore wisely done by Mr Allworthy, to remove Jenny to a place
where she might enjoy the pleasure of reputation, after having tasted the
ill consequences of losing it.



To this place therefore, wherever it was, we will wish her a good journey,
and for the present take leave of her, and of the little foundling her
child, having matters of much higher importance to communicate to the
reader.




















Chapter x. — The hospitality of Allworthy; with a short sketch of
the characters of two brothers, a doctor and a captain, who were
entertained by that gentleman.



Neither Mr Allworthy's house, nor his heart, were shut against any part of
mankind, but they were both more particularly open to men of merit. To say
the truth, this was the only house in the kingdom where you was sure to
gain a dinner by deserving it.



Above all others, men of genius and learning shared the principal place in
his favour; and in these he had much discernment: for though he had missed
the advantage of a learned education, yet, being blest with vast natural
abilities, he had so well profited by a vigorous though late application
to letters, and by much conversation with men of eminence in this way,
that he was himself a very competent judge in most kinds of literature.



It is no wonder that in an age when this kind of merit is so little in
fashion, and so slenderly provided for, persons possessed of it should
very eagerly flock to a place where they were sure of being received with
great complaisance; indeed, where they might enjoy almost the same
advantages of a liberal fortune as if they were entitled to it in their
own right; for Mr Allworthy was not one of those generous persons who are
ready most bountifully to bestow meat, drink, and lodging on men of wit
and learning, for which they expect no other return but entertainment,
instruction, flattery, and subserviency; in a word, that such persons
should be enrolled in the number of domestics, without wearing their
master's cloathes, or receiving wages.



On the contrary, every person in this house was perfect master of his own
time: and as he might at his pleasure satisfy all his appetites within the
restrictions only of law, virtue, and religion; so he might, if his health
required, or his inclination prompted him to temperance, or even to
abstinence, absent himself from any meals, or retire from them, whenever
he was so disposed, without even a sollicitation to the contrary: for,
indeed, such sollicitations from superiors always savour very strongly of
commands. But all here were free from such impertinence, not only those
whose company is in all other places esteemed a favour from their equality
of fortune, but even those whose indigent circumstances make such an
eleemosynary abode convenient to them, and who are therefore less welcome
to a great man's table because they stand in need of it.



Among others of this kind was Dr Blifil, a gentleman who had the
misfortune of losing the advantage of great talents by the obstinacy of a
father, who would breed him to a profession he disliked. In obedience to
this obstinacy the doctor had in his youth been obliged to study physic,
or rather to say he studied it; for in reality books of this kind were
almost the only ones with which he was unacquainted; and unfortunately for
him, the doctor was master of almost every other science but that by which
he was to get his bread; the consequence of which was, that the doctor at
the age of forty had no bread to eat.



Such a person as this was certain to find a welcome at Mr Allworthy's
table, to whom misfortunes were ever a recommendation, when they were
derived from the folly or villany of others, and not of the unfortunate
person himself. Besides this negative merit, the doctor had one positive
recommendation;—this was a great appearance of religion. Whether his
religion was real, or consisted only in appearance, I shall not presume to
say, as I am not possessed of any touchstone which can distinguish the
true from the false.



If this part of his character pleased Mr Allworthy, it delighted Miss
Bridget. She engaged him in many religious controversies; on which
occasions she constantly expressed great satisfaction in the doctor's
knowledge, and not much less in the compliments which he frequently
bestowed on her own. To say the truth, she had read much English divinity,
and had puzzled more than one of the neighbouring curates. Indeed, her
conversation was so pure, her looks so sage, and her whole deportment so
grave and solemn, that she seemed to deserve the name of saint equally
with her namesake, or with any other female in the Roman kalendar.



As sympathies of all kinds are apt to beget love, so experience teaches us
that none have a more direct tendency this way than those of a religious
kind between persons of different sexes. The doctor found himself so
agreeable to Miss Bridget, that he now began to lament an unfortunate
accident which had happened to him about ten years before; namely, his
marriage with another woman, who was not only still alive, but, what was
worse, known to be so by Mr Allworthy. This was a fatal bar to that
happiness which he otherwise saw sufficient probability of obtaining with
this young lady; for as to criminal indulgences, he certainly never
thought of them. This was owing either to his religion, as is most
probable, or to the purity of his passion, which was fixed on those things
which matrimony only, and not criminal correspondence, could put him in
possession of, or could give him any title to.



He had not long ruminated on these matters, before it occurred to his
memory that he had a brother who was under no such unhappy incapacity.
This brother he made no doubt would succeed; for he discerned, as he
thought, an inclination to marriage in the lady; and the reader perhaps,
when he hears the brother's qualifications, will not blame the confidence
which he entertained of his success.



This gentleman was about thirty-five years of age. He was of a middle
size, and what is called well-built. He had a scar on his forehead, which
did not so much injure his beauty as it denoted his valour (for he was a
half-pay officer). He had good teeth, and something affable, when he
pleased, in his smile; though naturally his countenance, as well as his
air and voice, had much of roughness in it: yet he could at any time
deposit this, and appear all gentleness and good-humour. He was not
ungenteel, nor entirely devoid of wit, and in his youth had abounded in
sprightliness, which, though he had lately put on a more serious
character, he could, when he pleased, resume.



He had, as well as the doctor, an academic education; for his father had,
with the same paternal authority we have mentioned before, decreed him for
holy orders; but as the old gentleman died before he was ordained, he
chose the church military, and preferred the king's commission to the
bishop's.



He had purchased the post of lieutenant of dragoons, and afterwards came
to be a captain; but having quarrelled with his colonel, was by his
interest obliged to sell; from which time he had entirely rusticated
himself, had betaken himself to studying the Scriptures, and was not a
little suspected of an inclination to methodism.



It seemed, therefore, not unlikely that such a person should succeed with
a lady of so saint-like a disposition, and whose inclinations were no
otherwise engaged than to the marriage state in general; but why the
doctor, who certainly had no great friendship for his brother, should for
his sake think of making so ill a return to the hospitality of Allworthy,
is a matter not so easy to be accounted for.



Is it that some natures delight in evil, as others are thought to delight
in virtue? Or is there a pleasure in being accessory to a theft when we
cannot commit it ourselves? Or lastly (which experience seems to make
probable), have we a satisfaction in aggrandizing our families, even
though we have not the least love or respect for them?



Whether any of these motives operated on the doctor, we will not
determine; but so the fact was. He sent for his brother, and easily found
means to introduce him at Allworthy's as a person who intended only a
short visit to himself.



The captain had not been in the house a week before the doctor had reason
to felicitate himself on his discernment. The captain was indeed as great
a master of the art of love as Ovid was formerly. He had besides received
proper hints from his brother, which he failed not to improve to the best
advantage.




















Chapter xi. — Containing many rules, and some examples, concerning
falling in love: descriptions of beauty, and other more prudential
inducements to matrimony.



It hath been observed, by wise men or women, I forget which, that all
persons are doomed to be in love once in their lives. No particular season
is, as I remember, assigned for this; but the age at which Miss Bridget
was arrived, seems to me as proper a period as any to be fixed on for this
purpose: it often, indeed, happens much earlier; but when it doth not, I
have observed it seldom or never fails about this time. Moreover, we may
remark that at this season love is of a more serious and steady nature
than what sometimes shows itself in the younger parts of life. The love of
girls is uncertain, capricious, and so foolish that we cannot always
discover what the young lady would be at; nay, it may almost be doubted
whether she always knows this herself.



Now we are never at a loss to discern this in women about forty; for as
such grave, serious, and experienced ladies well know their own meaning,
so it is always very easy for a man of the least sagacity to discover it
with the utmost certainty.



Miss Bridget is an example of all these observations. She had not been
many times in the captain's company before she was seized with this
passion. Nor did she go pining and moping about the house, like a puny,
foolish girl, ignorant of her distemper: she felt, she knew, and she
enjoyed, the pleasing sensation, of which, as she was certain it was not
only innocent but laudable, she was neither afraid nor ashamed.



And to say the truth, there is, in all points, great difference between
the reasonable passion which women at this age conceive towards men, and
the idle and childish liking of a girl to a boy, which is often fixed on
the outside only, and on things of little value and no duration; as on
cherry-cheeks, small, lily-white hands, sloe-black eyes, flowing locks,
downy chins, dapper shapes; nay, sometimes on charms more worthless than
these, and less the party's own; such are the outward ornaments of the
person, for which men are beholden to the taylor, the laceman, the
periwig-maker, the hatter, and the milliner, and not to nature. Such a
passion girls may well be ashamed, as they generally are, to own either to
themselves or others.



The love of Miss Bridget was of another kind. The captain owed nothing to
any of these fop-makers in his dress, nor was his person much more
beholden to nature. Both his dress and person were such as, had they
appeared in an assembly or a drawing-room, would have been the contempt
and ridicule of all the fine ladies there. The former of these was indeed
neat, but plain, coarse, ill-fancied, and out of fashion. As for the
latter, we have expressly described it above. So far was the skin on his
cheeks from being cherry-coloured, that you could not discern what the
natural colour of his cheeks was, they being totally overgrown by a black
beard, which ascended to his eyes. His shape and limbs were indeed exactly
proportioned, but so large that they denoted the strength rather of a
ploughman than any other. His shoulders were broad beyond all size, and
the calves of his legs larger than those of a common chairman. In short,
his whole person wanted all that elegance and beauty which is the very
reverse of clumsy strength, and which so agreeably sets off most of our
fine gentlemen; being partly owing to the high blood of their ancestors,
viz., blood made of rich sauces and generous wines, and partly to an early
town education.



Though Miss Bridget was a woman of the greatest delicacy of taste, yet
such were the charms of the captain's conversation, that she totally
overlooked the defects of his person. She imagined, and perhaps very
wisely, that she should enjoy more agreeable minutes with the captain than
with a much prettier fellow; and forewent the consideration of pleasing
her eyes, in order to procure herself much more solid satisfaction.



The captain no sooner perceived the passion of Miss Bridget, in which
discovery he was very quick-sighted, than he faithfully returned it. The
lady, no more than her lover, was remarkable for beauty. I would attempt
to draw her picture, but that is done already by a more able master, Mr
Hogarth himself, to whom she sat many years ago, and hath been lately
exhibited by that gentleman in his print of a winter's morning, of which
she was no improper emblem, and may be seen walking (for walk she doth in
the print) to Covent Garden church, with a starved foot-boy behind
carrying her prayer-book.



The captain likewise very wisely preferred the more solid enjoyments he
expected with this lady, to the fleeting charms of person. He was one of
those wise men who regard beauty in the other sex as a very worthless and
superficial qualification; or, to speak more truly, who rather chuse to
possess every convenience of life with an ugly woman, than a handsome one
without any of those conveniences. And having a very good appetite, and
but little nicety, he fancied he should play his part very well at the
matrimonial banquet, without the sauce of beauty.



To deal plainly with the reader, the captain, ever since his arrival, at
least from the moment his brother had proposed the match to him, long
before he had discovered any flattering symptoms in Miss Bridget, had been
greatly enamoured; that is to say, of Mr Allworthy's house and gardens,
and of his lands, tenements, and hereditaments; of all which the captain
was so passionately fond, that he would most probably have contracted
marriage with them, had he been obliged to have taken the witch of Endor
into the bargain.



As Mr Allworthy, therefore, had declared to the doctor that he never
intended to take a second wife, as his sister was his nearest relation,
and as the doctor had fished out that his intentions were to make any
child of hers his heir, which indeed the law, without his interposition,
would have done for him; the doctor and his brother thought it an act of
benevolence to give being to a human creature, who would be so plentifully
provided with the most essential means of happiness. The whole thoughts,
therefore, of both the brothers were how to engage the affections of this
amiable lady.



But fortune, who is a tender parent, and often doth more for her favourite
offspring than either they deserve or wish, had been so industrious for
the captain, that whilst he was laying schemes to execute his purpose, the
lady conceived the same desires with himself, and was on her side
contriving how to give the captain proper encouragement, without appearing
too forward; for she was a strict observer of all rules of decorum. In
this, however, she easily succeeded; for as the captain was always on the
look-out, no glance, gesture, or word escaped him.



The satisfaction which the captain received from the kind behaviour of
Miss Bridget, was not a little abated by his apprehensions of Mr
Allworthy; for, notwithstanding his disinterested professions, the captain
imagined he would, when he came to act, follow the example of the rest of
the world, and refuse his consent to a match so disadvantageous, in point
of interest, to his sister. From what oracle he received this opinion, I
shall leave the reader to determine: but however he came by it, it
strangely perplexed him how to regulate his conduct so as at once to
convey his affection to the lady, and to conceal it from her brother. He
at length resolved to take all private opportunities of making his
addresses; but in the presence of Mr Allworthy to be as reserved and as
much upon his guard as was possible; and this conduct was highly approved
by the brother.



He soon found means to make his addresses, in express terms, to his
mistress, from whom he received an answer in the proper form, viz.: the
answer which was first made some thousands of years ago, and which hath
been handed down by tradition from mother to daughter ever since. If I was
to translate this into Latin, I should render it by these two words, Nolo
Episcopari
: a phrase likewise of immemorial use on another occasion.



The captain, however he came by his knowledge, perfectly well understood
the lady, and very soon after repeated his application with more warmth
and earnestness than before, and was again, according to due form,
rejected; but as he had increased in the eagerness of his desires, so the
lady, with the same propriety, decreased in the violence of her refusal.



Not to tire the reader, by leading him through every scene of this
courtship (which, though in the opinion of a certain great author, it is
the pleasantest scene of life to the actor, is, perhaps, as dull and
tiresome as any whatever to the audience), the captain made his advances
in form, the citadel was defended in form, and at length, in proper form,
surrendered at discretion.



During this whole time, which filled the space of near a month, the
captain preserved great distance of behaviour to his lady in the presence
of the brother; and the more he succeeded with her in private, the more
reserved was he in public. And as for the lady, she had no sooner secured
her lover than she behaved to him before company with the highest degree
of indifference; so that Mr Allworthy must have had the insight of the
devil (or perhaps some of his worse qualities) to have entertained the
least suspicion of what was going forward.




















Chapter xii. — Containing what the reader may, perhaps, expect to
find in it.



In all bargains, whether to fight or to marry, or concerning any other
such business, little previous ceremony is required to bring the matter to
an issue when both parties are really in earnest. This was the case at
present, and in less than a month the captain and his lady were man and
wife.



The great concern now was to break the matter to Mr Allworthy; and this
was undertaken by the doctor.



One day, then, as Allworthy was walking in his garden, the doctor came to
him, and, with great gravity of aspect, and all the concern which he could
possibly affect in his countenance, said, “I am come, sir, to impart
an affair to you of the utmost consequence; but how shall I mention to you
what it almost distracts me to think of!” He then launched forth
into the most bitter invectives both against men and women; accusing the
former of having no attachment but to their interest, and the latter of
being so addicted to vicious inclinations that they could never be safely
trusted with one of the other sex. “Could I,” said he, “sir,
have suspected that a lady of such prudence, such judgment, such learning,
should indulge so indiscreet a passion! or could I have imagined that my
brother—why do I call him so? he is no longer a brother of mine——”



“Indeed but he is,” said Allworthy, “and a brother of
mine too.”



“Bless me, sir!” said the doctor, “do you know the
shocking affair?”



“Look'ee, Mr Blifil,” answered the good man, “it hath
been my constant maxim in life to make the best of all matters which
happen. My sister, though many years younger than I, is at least old
enough to be at the age of discretion. Had he imposed on a child, I should
have been more averse to have forgiven him; but a woman upwards of thirty
must certainly be supposed to know what will make her most happy. She hath
married a gentleman, though perhaps not quite her equal in fortune; and if
he hath any perfections in her eye which can make up that deficiency, I
see no reason why I should object to her choice of her own happiness;
which I, no more than herself, imagine to consist only in immense wealth.
I might, perhaps, from the many declarations I have made of complying with
almost any proposal, have expected to have been consulted on this
occasion; but these matters are of a very delicate nature, and the
scruples of modesty, perhaps, are not to be overcome. As to your brother,
I have really no anger against him at all. He hath no obligations to me,
nor do I think he was under any necessity of asking my consent, since the
woman is, as I have said, sui juris, and of a proper age to be
entirely answerable only, to herself for her conduct.”



The doctor accused Mr Allworthy of too great lenity, repeated his
accusations against his brother, and declared that he should never more be
brought either to see, or to own him for his relation. He then launched
forth into a panegyric on Allworthy's goodness; into the highest encomiums
on his friendship; and concluded by saying, he should never forgive his
brother for having put the place which he bore in that friendship to a
hazard.



Allworthy thus answered: “Had I conceived any displeasure against
your brother, I should never have carried that resentment to the innocent:
but I assure you I have no such displeasure. Your brother appears to me to
be a man of sense and honour. I do not disapprove the taste of my sister;
nor will I doubt but that she is equally the object of his inclinations. I
have always thought love the only foundation of happiness in a married
state, as it can only produce that high and tender friendship which should
always be the cement of this union; and, in my opinion, all those
marriages which are contracted from other motives are greatly criminal;
they are a profanation of a most holy ceremony, and generally end in
disquiet and misery: for surely we may call it a profanation to convert
this most sacred institution into a wicked sacrifice to lust or avarice:
and what better can be said of those matches to which men are induced
merely by the consideration of a beautiful person, or a great fortune?



“To deny that beauty is an agreeable object to the eye, and even
worthy some admiration, would be false and foolish. Beautiful is an
epithet often used in Scripture, and always mentioned with honour. It was
my own fortune to marry a woman whom the world thought handsome, and I can
truly say I liked her the better on that account. But to make this the
sole consideration of marriage, to lust after it so violently as to
overlook all imperfections for its sake, or to require it so absolutely as
to reject and disdain religion, virtue, and sense, which are qualities in
their nature of much higher perfection, only because an elegance of person
is wanting: this is surely inconsistent, either with a wise man or a good
Christian. And it is, perhaps, being too charitable to conclude that such
persons mean anything more by their marriage than to please their carnal
appetites; for the satisfaction of which, we are taught, it was not
ordained.



“In the next place, with respect to fortune. Worldly prudence,
perhaps, exacts some consideration on this head; nor will I absolutely and
altogether condemn it. As the world is constituted, the demands of a
married state, and the care of posterity, require some little regard to
what we call circumstances. Yet this provision is greatly increased,
beyond what is really necessary, by folly and vanity, which create
abundantly more wants than nature. Equipage for the wife, and large
fortunes for the children, are by custom enrolled in the list of
necessaries; and to procure these, everything truly solid and sweet, and
virtuous and religious, are neglected and overlooked.



“And this in many degrees; the last and greatest of which seems
scarce distinguishable from madness;—I mean where persons of immense
fortunes contract themselves to those who are, and must be, disagreeable
to them—to fools and knaves—in order to increase an estate
already larger even than the demands of their pleasures. Surely such
persons, if they will not be thought mad, must own, either that they are
incapable of tasting the sweets of the tenderest friendship, or that they
sacrifice the greatest happiness of which they are capable to the vain,
uncertain, and senseless laws of vulgar opinion, which owe as well their
force as their foundation to folly.”



Here Allworthy concluded his sermon, to which Blifil had listened with the
profoundest attention, though it cost him some pains to prevent now and
then a small discomposure of his muscles. He now praised every period of
what he had heard with the warmth of a young divine, who hath the honour
to dine with a bishop the same day in which his lordship hath mounted the
pulpit.




















Chapter xiii. — Which concludes the first book; with an instance of
ingratitude, which, we hope, will appear unnatural.



The reader, from what hath been said, may imagine that the reconciliation
(if indeed it could be so called) was only matter of form; we shall
therefore pass it over, and hasten to what must surely be thought matter
of substance.



The doctor had acquainted his brother with what had past between Mr
Allworthy and him; and added with a smile, “I promise you I paid you
off; nay, I absolutely desired the good gentleman not to forgive you: for
you know after he had made a declaration in your favour, I might with
safety venture on such a request with a person of his temper; and I was
willing, as well for your sake as for my own, to prevent the least
possibility of a suspicion.”



Captain Blifil took not the least notice of this, at that time; but he
afterwards made a very notable use of it.



One of the maxims which the devil, in a late visit upon earth, left to his
disciples, is, when once you are got up, to kick the stool from under you.
In plain English, when you have made your fortune by the good offices of a
friend, you are advised to discard him as soon as you can.



Whether the captain acted by this maxim, I will not positively determine:
so far we may confidently say, that his actions may be fairly derived from
this diabolical principle; and indeed it is difficult to assign any other
motive to them: for no sooner was he possessed of Miss Bridget, and
reconciled to Allworthy, than he began to show a coldness to his brother
which increased daily; till at length it grew into rudeness, and became
very visible to every one.



The doctor remonstrated to him privately concerning this behaviour, but
could obtain no other satisfaction than the following plain declaration:
“If you dislike anything in my brother's house, sir, you know you
are at liberty to quit it.” This strange, cruel, and almost
unaccountable ingratitude in the captain, absolutely broke the poor
doctor's heart; for ingratitude never so thoroughly pierces the human
breast as when it proceeds from those in whose behalf we have been guilty
of transgressions. Reflections on great and good actions, however they are
received or returned by those in whose favour they are performed, always
administer some comfort to us; but what consolation shall we receive under
so biting a calamity as the ungrateful behaviour of our friend, when our
wounded conscience at the same time flies in our face, and upbraids us
with having spotted it in the service of one so worthless!



Mr Allworthy himself spoke to the captain in his brother's behalf, and
desired to know what offence the doctor had committed; when the
hard-hearted villain had the baseness to say that he should never forgive
him for the injury which he had endeavoured to do him in his favour;
which, he said, he had pumped out of him, and was such a cruelty that it
ought not to be forgiven.



Allworthy spoke in very high terms upon this declaration, which, he said,
became not a human creature. He expressed, indeed, so much resentment
against an unforgiving temper, that the captain at last pretended to be
convinced by his arguments, and outwardly professed to be reconciled.



As for the bride, she was now in her honeymoon, and so passionately fond
of her new husband that he never appeared to her to be in the wrong; and
his displeasure against any person was a sufficient reason for her dislike
to the same.



The captain, at Mr Allworthy's instance, was outwardly, as we have said,
reconciled to his brother; yet the same rancour remained in his heart; and
he found so many opportunities of giving him private hints of this, that
the house at last grew insupportable to the poor doctor; and he chose
rather to submit to any inconveniences which he might encounter in the
world, than longer to bear these cruel and ungrateful insults from a
brother for whom he had done so much.



He once intended to acquaint Allworthy with the whole; but he could not
bring himself to submit to the confession, by which he must take to his
share so great a portion of guilt. Besides, by how much the worse man he
represented his brother to be, so much the greater would his own offence
appear to Allworthy, and so much the greater, he had reason to imagine,
would be his resentment.



He feigned, therefore, some excuse of business for his departure, and
promised to return soon again; and took leave of his brother with so
well-dissembled content, that, as the captain played his part to the same
perfection, Allworthy remained well satisfied with the truth of the
reconciliation.



The doctor went directly to London, where he died soon after of a broken
heart; a distemper which kills many more than is generally imagined, and
would have a fair title to a place in the bill of mortality, did it not
differ in one instance from all other diseases—viz., that no
physician can cure it.



Now, upon the most diligent enquiry into the former lives of these two
brothers, I find, besides the cursed and hellish maxim of policy above
mentioned, another reason for the captain's conduct: the captain, besides
what we have before said of him, was a man of great pride and fierceness,
and had always treated his brother, who was of a different complexion, and
greatly deficient in both these qualities, with the utmost air of
superiority. The doctor, however, had much the larger share of learning,
and was by many reputed to have the better understanding. This the captain
knew, and could not bear; for though envy is at best a very malignant
passion, yet is its bitterness greatly heightened by mixing with contempt
towards the same object; and very much afraid I am, that whenever an
obligation is joined to these two, indignation and not gratitude will be
the product of all three.




















BOOK II. — CONTAINING SCENES OF MATRIMONIAL FELICITY IN DIFFERENT
DEGREES OF LIFE; AND VARIOUS OTHER TRANSACTIONS DURING THE FIRST TWO YEARS
AFTER THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN CAPTAIN BLIFIL AND MISS BRIDGET ALLWORTHY.




















Chapter i. — Showing what kind of a history this is; what it is
like, and what it is not like.



Though we have properly enough entitled this our work, a history, and not
a life; nor an apology for a life, as is more in fashion; yet we intend in
it rather to pursue the method of those writers, who profess to disclose
the revolutions of countries, than to imitate the painful and voluminous
historian, who, to preserve the regularity of his series, thinks himself
obliged to fill up as much paper with the detail of months and years in
which nothing remarkable happened, as he employs upon those notable aeras
when the greatest scenes have been transacted on the human stage.



Such histories as these do, in reality, very much resemble a newspaper,
which consists of just the same number of words, whether there be any news
in it or not. They may likewise be compared to a stage coach, which
performs constantly the same course, empty as well as full. The writer,
indeed, seems to think himself obliged to keep even pace with time, whose
amanuensis he is; and, like his master, travels as slowly through
centuries of monkish dulness, when the world seems to have been asleep, as
through that bright and busy age so nobly distinguished by the excellent
Latin poet—


     Ad confligendum venientibus undique poenis,
Omnia cum belli trepido concussa tumultu
Horrida contremuere sub altis aetheris auris;
In dubioque fuit sub utrorum regna cadendum
Omnibus humanis esset, terraque marique.



Of which we wish we could give our readers a more adequate translation
than that by Mr Creech—


     When dreadful Carthage frighted Rome with arms,
And all the world was shook with fierce alarms;
Whilst undecided yet, which part should fall,
Which nation rise the glorious lord of all.


Now it is our purpose, in the ensuing pages, to pursue a contrary method.
When any extraordinary scene presents itself (as we trust will often be
the case), we shall spare no pains nor paper to open it at large to our
reader; but if whole years should pass without producing anything worthy
his notice, we shall not be afraid of a chasm in our history; but shall
hasten on to matters of consequence, and leave such periods of time
totally unobserved.



These are indeed to be considered as blanks in the grand lottery of time.
We therefore, who are the registers of that lottery, shall imitate those
sagacious persons who deal in that which is drawn at Guildhall, and who
never trouble the public with the many blanks they dispose of; but when a
great prize happens to be drawn, the newspapers are presently filled with
it, and the world is sure to be informed at whose office it was sold:
indeed, commonly two or three different offices lay claim to the honour of
having disposed of it; by which, I suppose, the adventurers are given to
understand that certain brokers are in the secrets of Fortune, and indeed
of her cabinet council.



My reader then is not to be surprized, if, in the course of this work, he
shall find some chapters very short, and others altogether as long; some
that contain only the time of a single day, and others that comprise
years; in a word, if my history sometimes seems to stand still, and
sometimes to fly. For all which I shall not look on myself as accountable
to any court of critical jurisdiction whatever: for as I am, in reality,
the founder of a new province of writing, so I am at liberty to make what
laws I please therein. And these laws, my readers, whom I consider as my
subjects, are bound to believe in and to obey; with which that they may
readily and cheerfully comply, I do hereby assure them that I shall
principally regard their ease and advantage in all such institutions: for
I do not, like a jure divino tyrant, imagine that they are my
slaves, or my commodity. I am, indeed, set over them for their own good
only, and was created for their use, and not they for mine. Nor do I
doubt, while I make their interest the great rule of my writings, they
will unanimously concur in supporting my dignity, and in rendering me all
the honour I shall deserve or desire.




















Chapter ii. — Religious cautions against showing too much favour to
bastards; and a great discovery made by Mrs Deborah Wilkins.



Eight months after the celebration of the nuptials between Captain Blifil
and Miss Bridget Allworthy, a young lady of great beauty, merit, and
fortune, was Miss Bridget, by reason of a fright, delivered of a fine boy.
The child was indeed to all appearances perfect; but the midwife
discovered it was born a month before its full time.



Though the birth of an heir by his beloved sister was a circumstance of
great joy to Mr Allworthy, yet it did not alienate his affections from the
little foundling, to whom he had been godfather, had given his own name of
Thomas, and whom he had hitherto seldom failed of visiting, at least once
a day, in his nursery.



He told his sister, if she pleased, the new-born infant should be bred up
together with little Tommy; to which she consented, though with some
little reluctance: for she had truly a great complacence for her brother;
and hence she had always behaved towards the foundling with rather more
kindness than ladies of rigid virtue can sometimes bring themselves to
show to these children, who, however innocent, may be truly called the
living monuments of incontinence.



The captain could not so easily bring himself to bear what he condemned as
a fault in Mr Allworthy. He gave him frequent hints, that to adopt the
fruits of sin, was to give countenance to it. He quoted several texts (for
he was well read in Scripture), such as, He visits the sins of the
fathers upon the children; and the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the
children's teeth are set on edge
,&c. Whence he argued the legality
of punishing the crime of the parent on the bastard. He said, “Though
the law did not positively allow the destroying such base-born children,
yet it held them to be the children of nobody; that the Church considered
them as the children of nobody; and that at the best, they ought to be
brought up to the lowest and vilest offices of the commonwealth.”



Mr Allworthy answered to all this, and much more, which the captain had
urged on this subject, “That, however guilty the parents might be,
the children were certainly innocent: that as to the texts he had quoted,
the former of them was a particular denunciation against the Jews, for the
sin of idolatry, of relinquishing and hating their heavenly King; and the
latter was parabolically spoken, and rather intended to denote the certain
and necessary consequences of sin, than any express judgment against it.
But to represent the Almighty as avenging the sins of the guilty on the
innocent, was indecent, if not blasphemous, as it was to represent him
acting against the first principles of natural justice, and against the
original notions of right and wrong, which he himself had implanted in our
minds; by which we were to judge not only in all matters which were not
revealed, but even of the truth of revelation itself. He said he knew many
held the same principles with the captain on this head; but he was himself
firmly convinced to the contrary, and would provide in the same manner for
this poor infant, as if a legitimate child had had fortune to have been
found in the same place.”



While the captain was taking all opportunities to press these and such
like arguments, to remove the little foundling from Mr Allworthy's, of
whose fondness for him he began to be jealous, Mrs Deborah had made a
discovery, which, in its event, threatened at least to prove more fatal to
poor Tommy than all the reasonings of the captain.



Whether the insatiable curiosity of this good woman had carried her on to
that business, or whether she did it to confirm herself in the good graces
of Mrs Blifil, who, notwithstanding her outward behaviour to the
foundling, frequently abused the infant in private, and her brother too,
for his fondness to it, I will not determine; but she had now, as she
conceived, fully detected the father of the foundling.



Now, as this was a discovery of great consequence, it may be necessary to
trace it from the fountain-head. We shall therefore very minutely lay open
those previous matters by which it was produced; and for that purpose we
shall be obliged to reveal all the secrets of a little family with which
my reader is at present entirely unacquainted; and of which the oeconomy
was so rare and extraordinary, that I fear it will shock the utmost
credulity of many married persons.




















Chapter iii. — The description of a domestic government founded upon
rules directly contrary to those of Aristotle.



My reader may please to remember he hath been informed that Jenny Jones
had lived some years with a certain schoolmaster, who had, at her earnest
desire, instructed her in Latin, in which, to do justice to her genius,
she had so improved herself, that she was become a better scholar than her
master.



Indeed, though this poor man had undertaken a profession to which learning
must be allowed necessary, this was the least of his commendations. He was
one of the best-natured fellows in the world, and was, at the same time,
master of so much pleasantry and humour, that he was reputed the wit of
the country; and all the neighbouring gentlemen were so desirous of his
company, that as denying was not his talent, he spent much time at their
houses, which he might, with more emolument, have spent in his school.



It may be imagined that a gentleman so qualified and so disposed, was in
no danger of becoming formidable to the learned seminaries of Eton or
Westminster. To speak plainly, his scholars were divided into two classes:
in the upper of which was a young gentleman, the son of a neighbouring
squire, who, at the age of seventeen, was just entered into his Syntaxis;
and in the lower was a second son of the same gentleman, who, together
with seven parish-boys, was learning to read and write.



The stipend arising hence would hardly have indulged the schoolmaster in
the luxuries of life, had he not added to this office those of clerk and
barber, and had not Mr Allworthy added to the whole an annuity of ten
pounds, which the poor man received every Christmas, and with which he was
enabled to cheer his heart during that sacred festival.



Among his other treasures, the pedagogue had a wife, whom he had married
out of Mr Allworthy's kitchen for her fortune, viz., twenty pounds, which
she had there amassed.



This woman was not very amiable in her person. Whether she sat to my
friend Hogarth, or no, I will not determine; but she exactly resembled the
young woman who is pouring out her mistress's tea in the third picture of
the Harlot's Progress. She was, besides, a profest follower of that noble
sect founded by Xantippe of old; by means of which she became more
formidable in the school than her husband; for, to confess the truth, he
was never master there, or anywhere else, in her presence.



Though her countenance did not denote much natural sweetness of temper,
yet this was, perhaps, somewhat soured by a circumstance which generally
poisons matrimonial felicity; for children are rightly called the pledges
of love; and her husband, though they had been married nine years, had
given her no such pledges; a default for which he had no excuse, either
from age or health, being not yet thirty years old, and what they call a
jolly brisk young man.



Hence arose another evil, which produced no little uneasiness to the poor
pedagogue, of whom she maintained so constant a jealousy, that he durst
hardly speak to one woman in the parish; for the least degree of civility,
or even correspondence, with any female, was sure to bring his wife upon
her back, and his own.



In order to guard herself against matrimonial injuries in her own house,
as she kept one maid-servant, she always took care to chuse her out of
that order of females whose faces are taken as a kind of security for
their virtue; of which number Jenny Jones, as the reader hath been before
informed, was one.



As the face of this young woman might be called pretty good security of
the before-mentioned kind, and as her behaviour had been always extremely
modest, which is the certain consequence of understanding in women; she
had passed above four years at Mr Partridge's (for that was the
schoolmaster's name) without creating the least suspicion in her mistress.
Nay, she had been treated with uncommon kindness, and her mistress had
permitted Mr Partridge to give her those instructions which have been
before commemorated.



But it is with jealousy as with the gout: when such distempers are in the
blood, there is never any security against their breaking out; and that
often on the slightest occasions, and when least suspected.



Thus it happened to Mrs Partridge, who had submitted four years to her
husband's teaching this young woman, and had suffered her often to neglect
her work, in order to pursue her learning. For, passing by one day, as the
girl was reading, and her master leaning over her, the girl, I know not
for what reason, suddenly started up from her chair: and this was the
first time that suspicion ever entered into the head of her mistress. This
did not, however, at that time discover itself, but lay lurking in her
mind, like a concealed enemy, who waits for a reinforcement of additional
strength before he openly declares himself and proceeds upon hostile
operations: and such additional strength soon arrived to corroborate her
suspicion; for not long after, the husband and wife being at dinner, the
master said to his maid, Da mihi aliquid potum: upon which the poor
girl smiled, perhaps at the badness of the Latin, and, when her mistress
cast her eyes on her, blushed, possibly with a consciousness of having
laughed at her master. Mrs Partridge, upon this, immediately fell into a
fury, and discharged the trencher on which she was eating, at the head of
poor Jenny, crying out, “You impudent whore, do you play tricks with
my husband before my face?” and at the same instant rose from her
chair with a knife in her hand, with which, most probably, she would have
executed very tragical vengeance, had not the girl taken the advantage of
being nearer the door than her mistress, and avoided her fury by running
away: for, as to the poor husband, whether surprize had rendered him
motionless, or fear (which is full as probable) had restrained him from
venturing at any opposition, he sat staring and trembling in his chair;
nor did he once offer to move or speak, till his wife, returning from the
pursuit of Jenny, made some defensive measures necessary for his own
preservation; and he likewise was obliged to retreat, after the example of
the maid.



This good woman was, no more than Othello, of a disposition


            To make a life of jealousy
And follow still the changes of the moon
With fresh suspicions—


With her, as well as him,


          —To be once in doubt,
Was once to be resolvd—


she therefore ordered Jenny immediately to pack up her alls and begone,
for that she was determined she should not sleep that night within her
walls.



Mr Partridge had profited too much by experience to interpose in a matter
of this nature. He therefore had recourse to his usual receipt of
patience, for, though he was not a great adept in Latin, he remembered,
and well understood, the advice contained in these words


Leve fit quod bene fertur onus


in English:


     A burden becomes lightest when it is well borne—


which he had always in his mouth; and of which, to say the truth, he had
often occasion to experience the truth.



Jenny offered to make protestations of her innocence; but the tempest was
too strong for her to be heard. She then betook herself to the business of
packing, for which a small quantity of brown paper sufficed, and, having
received her small pittance of wages, she returned home.



The schoolmaster and his consort passed their time unpleasantly enough
that evening, but something or other happened before the next morning,
which a little abated the fury of Mrs Partridge; and she at length
admitted her husband to make his excuses: to which she gave the readier
belief, as he had, instead of desiring her to recall Jenny, professed a
satisfaction in her being dismissed, saying, she was grown of little use
as a servant, spending all her time in reading, and was become, moreover,
very pert and obstinate; for, indeed, she and her master had lately had
frequent disputes in literature; in which, as hath been said, she was
become greatly his superior. This, however, he would by no means allow;
and as he called her persisting in the right, obstinacy, he began to hate
her with no small inveteracy.




















Chapter iv. — Containing one of the most bloody battles, or rather
duels, that were ever recorded in domestic history.



For the reasons mentioned in the preceding chapter, and from some other
matrimonial concessions, well known to most husbands, and which, like the
secrets of freemasonry, should be divulged to none who are not members of
that honourable fraternity, Mrs Partridge was pretty well satisfied that
she had condemned her husband without cause, and endeavoured by acts of
kindness to make him amends for her false suspicion. Her passions were
indeed equally violent, whichever way they inclined; for as she could be
extremely angry, so could she be altogether as fond.



But though these passions ordinarily succeed each other, and scarce
twenty-four hours ever passed in which the pedagogue was not, in some
degree, the object of both; yet, on extraordinary occasions, when the
passion of anger had raged very high, the remission was usually longer:
and so was the case at present; for she continued longer in a state of
affability, after this fit of jealousy was ended, than her husband had
ever known before: and, had it not been for some little exercises, which
all the followers of Xantippe are obliged to perform daily, Mr Partridge
would have enjoyed a perfect serenity of several months.



Perfect calms at sea are always suspected by the experienced mariner to be
the forerunners of a storm, and I know some persons, who, without being
generally the devotees of superstition, are apt to apprehend that great
and unusual peace or tranquillity will be attended with its opposite. For
which reason the antients used, on such occasions, to sacrifice to the
goddess Nemesis, a deity who was thought by them to look with an invidious
eye on human felicity, and to have a peculiar delight in overturning it.



As we are very far from believing in any such heathen goddess, or from
encouraging any superstition, so we wish Mr John Fr——, or some
other such philosopher, would bestir himself a little, in order to find
out the real cause of this sudden transition from good to bad fortune,
which hath been so often remarked, and of which we shall proceed to give
an instance; for it is our province to relate facts, and we shall leave
causes to persons of much higher genius.



Mankind have always taken great delight in knowing and descanting on the
actions of others. Hence there have been, in all ages and nations, certain
places set apart for public rendezvous, where the curious might meet and
satisfy their mutual curiosity. Among these, the barbers' shops have
justly borne the pre-eminence. Among the Greeks, barbers' news was a
proverbial expression; and Horace, in one of his epistles, makes
honourable mention of the Roman barbers in the same light.



Those of England are known to be no wise inferior to their Greek or Roman
predecessors. You there see foreign affairs discussed in a manner little
inferior to that with which they are handled in the coffee-houses; and
domestic occurrences are much more largely and freely treated in the
former than in the latter. But this serves only for the men. Now, whereas
the females of this country, especially those of the lower order, do
associate themselves much more than those of other nations, our polity
would be highly deficient, if they had not some place set apart likewise
for the indulgence of their curiosity, seeing they are in this no way
inferior to the other half of the species.



In enjoying, therefore, such place of rendezvous, the British fair ought
to esteem themselves more happy than any of their foreign sisters; as I do
not remember either to have read in history, or to have seen in my
travels, anything of the like kind.



This place then is no other than the chandler's shop, the known seat of
all the news; or, as it is vulgarly called, gossiping, in every parish in
England.



Mrs Partridge being one day at this assembly of females, was asked by one
of her neighbours, if she had heard no news lately of Jenny Jones? To
which she answered in the negative. Upon this the other replied, with a
smile, That the parish was very much obliged to her for having turned
Jenny away as she did.



Mrs Partridge, whose jealousy, as the reader well knows, was long since
cured, and who had no other quarrel to her maid, answered boldly, She did
not know any obligation the parish had to her on that account; for she
believed Jenny had scarce left her equal behind her.



“No, truly,” said the gossip, “I hope not, though I
fancy we have sluts enow too. Then you have not heard, it seems, that she
hath been brought to bed of two bastards? but as they are not born here,
my husband and the other overseer says we shall not be obliged to keep
them.”



“Two bastards!” answered Mrs Partridge hastily: “you
surprize me! I don't know whether we must keep them; but I am sure they
must have been begotten here, for the wench hath not been nine months gone
away.”



Nothing can be so quick and sudden as the operations of the mind,
especially when hope, or fear, or jealousy, to which the two others are
but journeymen, set it to work. It occurred instantly to her, that Jenny
had scarce ever been out of her own house while she lived with her. The
leaning over the chair, the sudden starting up, the Latin, the smile, and
many other things, rushed upon her all at once. The satisfaction her
husband expressed in the departure of Jenny, appeared now to be only
dissembled; again, in the same instant, to be real; but yet to confirm her
jealousy, proceeding from satiety, and a hundred other bad causes. In a
word, she was convinced of her husband's guilt, and immediately left the
assembly in confusion.



As fair Grimalkin, who, though the youngest of the feline family,
degenerates not in ferocity from the elder branches of her house, and
though inferior in strength, is equal in fierceness to the noble tiger
himself, when a little mouse, whom it hath long tormented in sport,
escapes from her clutches for a while, frets, scolds, growls, swears; but
if the trunk, or box, behind which the mouse lay hid be again removed, she
flies like lightning on her prey, and, with envenomed wrath, bites,
scratches, mumbles, and tears the little animal.



Not with less fury did Mrs Partridge fly on the poor pedagogue. Her
tongue, teeth, and hands, fell all upon him at once. His wig was in an
instant torn from his head, his shirt from his back, and from his face
descended five streams of blood, denoting the number of claws with which
nature had unhappily armed the enemy.



Mr Partridge acted for some time on the defensive only; indeed he
attempted only to guard his face with his hands; but as he found that his
antagonist abated nothing of her rage, he thought he might, at least,
endeavour to disarm her, or rather to confine her arms; in doing which her
cap fell off in the struggle, and her hair being too short to reach her
shoulders, erected itself on her head; her stays likewise, which were
laced through one single hole at the bottom, burst open; and her breasts,
which were much more redundant than her hair, hung down below her middle;
her face was likewise marked with the blood of her husband: her teeth
gnashed with rage; and fire, such as sparkles from a smith's forge, darted
from her eyes. So that, altogether, this Amazonian heroine might have been
an object of terror to a much bolder man than Mr Partridge.



He had, at length, the good fortune, by getting possession of her arms, to
render those weapons which she wore at the ends of her fingers useless;
which she no sooner perceived, than the softness of her sex prevailed over
her rage, and she presently dissolved in tears, which soon after concluded
in a fit.



That small share of sense which Mr Partridge had hitherto preserved
through this scene of fury, of the cause of which he was hitherto
ignorant, now utterly abandoned him. He ran instantly into the street,
hallowing out that his wife was in the agonies of death, and beseeching
the neighbours to fly with the utmost haste to her assistance. Several
good women obeyed his summons, who entering his house, and applying the
usual remedies on such occasions, Mrs Partridge was at length, to the
great joy of her husband, brought to herself.



As soon as she had a little recollected her spirits, and somewhat composed
herself with a cordial, she began to inform the company of the manifold
injuries she had received from her husband; who, she said, was not
contented to injure her in her bed; but, upon her upbraiding him with it,
had treated her in the cruelest manner imaginable; had tore her cap and
hair from her head, and her stays from her body, giving her, at the same
time, several blows, the marks of which she should carry to the grave.



The poor man, who bore on his face many more visible marks of the
indignation of his wife, stood in silent astonishment at this accusation;
which the reader will, I believe, bear witness for him, had greatly
exceeded the truth; for indeed he had not struck her once; and this
silence being interpreted to be a confession of the charge by the whole
court, they all began at once, una voce, to rebuke and revile him,
repeating often, that none but a coward ever struck a woman.



Mr Partridge bore all this patiently; but when his wife appealed to the
blood on her face, as an evidence of his barbarity, he could not help
laying claim to his own blood, for so it really was; as he thought it very
unnatural, that this should rise up (as we are taught that of a murdered
person often doth) in vengeance against him.



To this the women made no other answer, than that it was a pity it had not
come from his heart, instead of his face; all declaring, that, if their
husbands should lift their hands against them, they would have their
hearts' bloods out of their bodies.



After much admonition for what was past, and much good advice to Mr
Partridge for his future behaviour, the company at length departed, and
left the husband and wife to a personal conference together, in which Mr
Partridge soon learned the cause of all his sufferings.




















Chapter v. — Containing much matter to exercise the judgment and
reflection of the reader.



I believe it is a true observation, that few secrets are divulged to one
person only; but certainly, it would be next to a miracle that a fact of
this kind should be known to a whole parish, and not transpire any
farther.



And, indeed, a very few days had past, before the country, to use a common
phrase, rung of the schoolmaster of Little Baddington; who was said to
have beaten his wife in the most cruel manner. Nay, in some places it was
reported he had murdered her; in others, that he had broke her arms; in
others, her legs: in short, there was scarce an injury which can be done
to a human creature, but what Mrs Partridge was somewhere or other
affirmed to have received from her husband.



The cause of this quarrel was likewise variously reported; for as some
people said that Mrs Partridge had caught her husband in bed with his
maid, so many other reasons, of a very different kind, went abroad. Nay,
some transferred the guilt to the wife, and the jealousy to the husband.



Mrs Wilkins had long ago heard of this quarrel; but, as a different cause
from the true one had reached her ears, she thought proper to conceal it;
and the rather, perhaps, as the blame was universally laid on Mr
Partridge; and his wife, when she was servant to Mr Allworthy, had in
something offended Mrs Wilkins, who was not of a very forgiving temper.



But Mrs Wilkins, whose eyes could see objects at a distance, and who could
very well look forward a few years into futurity, had perceived a strong
likelihood of Captain Blifil's being hereafter her master; and as she
plainly discerned that the captain bore no great goodwill to the little
foundling, she fancied it would be rendering him an agreeable service, if
she could make any discoveries that might lessen the affection which Mr
Allworthy seemed to have contracted for this child, and which gave visible
uneasiness to the captain, who could not entirely conceal it even before
Allworthy himself; though his wife, who acted her part much better in
public, frequently recommended to him her own example, of conniving at the
folly of her brother, which, she said, she at least as well perceived, and
as much resented, as any other possibly could.



Mrs Wilkins having therefore, by accident, gotten a true scent of the
above story,—though long after it had happened, failed not to
satisfy herself thoroughly of all the particulars; and then acquainted the
captain, that she had at last discovered the true father of the little
bastard, which she was sorry, she said, to see her master lose his
reputation in the country, by taking so much notice of.



The captain chid her for the conclusion of her speech, as an improper
assurance in judging of her master's actions: for if his honour, or his
understanding, would have suffered the captain to make an alliance with
Mrs Wilkins, his pride would by no means have admitted it. And to say the
truth, there is no conduct less politic, than to enter into any
confederacy with your friend's servants against their master: for by these
means you afterwards become the slave of these very servants; by whom you
are constantly liable to be betrayed. And this consideration, perhaps it
was, which prevented Captain Blifil from being more explicit with Mrs
Wilkins, or from encouraging the abuse which she had bestowed on
Allworthy.



But though he declared no satisfaction to Mrs Wilkins at this discovery,
he enjoyed not a little from it in his own mind, and resolved to make the
best use of it he was able.



He kept this matter a long time concealed within his own breast, in hopes
that Mr Allworthy might hear it from some other person; but Mrs Wilkins,
whether she resented the captain's behaviour, or whether his cunning was
beyond her, and she feared the discovery might displease him, never
afterwards opened her lips about the matter.



I have thought it somewhat strange, upon reflection, that the housekeeper
never acquainted Mrs Blifil with this news, as women are more inclined to
communicate all pieces of intelligence to their own sex, than to ours. The
only way, as it appears to me, of solving this difficulty, is, by imputing
it to that distance which was now grown between the lady and the
housekeeper: whether this arose from a jealousy in Mrs Blifil, that
Wilkins showed too great a respect to the foundling; for while she was
endeavouring to ruin the little infant, in order to ingratiate herself
with the captain, she was every day more and more commending it before
Allworthy, as his fondness for it every day increased. This,
notwithstanding all the care she took at other times to express the direct
contrary to Mrs Blifil, perhaps offended that delicate lady, who certainly
now hated Mrs Wilkins; and though she did not, or possibly could not,
absolutely remove her from her place, she found, however, the means of
making her life very uneasy. This Mrs Wilkins, at length, so resented,
that she very openly showed all manner of respect and fondness to little
Tommy, in opposition to Mrs Blifil.



The captain, therefore, finding the story in danger of perishing, at last
took an opportunity to reveal it himself.



He was one day engaged with Mr Allworthy in a discourse on charity: in
which the captain, with great learning, proved to Mr Allworthy, that the
word charity in Scripture nowhere means beneficence or generosity.



“The Christian religion,” he said, “was instituted for
much nobler purposes, than to enforce a lesson which many heathen
philosophers had taught us long before, and which, though it might perhaps
be called a moral virtue, savoured but little of that sublime,
Christian-like disposition, that vast elevation of thought, in purity
approaching to angelic perfection, to be attained, expressed, and felt
only by grace. Those,” he said, “came nearer to the Scripture
meaning, who understood by it candour, or the forming of a benevolent
opinion of our brethren, and passing a favourable judgment on their
actions; a virtue much higher, and more extensive in its nature, than a
pitiful distribution of alms, which, though we would never so much
prejudice, or even ruin our families, could never reach many; whereas
charity, in the other and truer sense, might be extended to all mankind.”



He said, “Considering who the disciples were, it would be absurd to
conceive the doctrine of generosity, or giving alms, to have been preached
to them. And, as we could not well imagine this doctrine should be
preached by its Divine Author to men who could not practise it, much less
should we think it understood so by those who can practise it, and do not.



“But though,” continued he, “there is, I am afraid,
little merit in these benefactions, there would, I must confess, be much
pleasure in them to a good mind, if it was not abated by one
consideration. I mean, that we are liable to be imposed upon, and to
confer our choicest favours often on the undeserving, as you must own was
your case in your bounty to that worthless fellow Partridge: for two or
three such examples must greatly lessen the inward satisfaction which a
good man would otherwise find in generosity; nay, may even make him
timorous in bestowing, lest he should be guilty of supporting vice, and
encouraging the wicked; a crime of a very black dye, and for which it will
by no means be a sufficient excuse, that we have not actually intended
such an encouragement; unless we have used the utmost caution in chusing
the objects of our beneficence. A consideration which, I make no doubt,
hath greatly checked the liberality of many a worthy and pious man.”



Mr Allworthy answered, “He could not dispute with the captain in the
Greek language, and therefore could say nothing as to the true sense of
the word which is translated charity; but that he had always thought it
was interpreted to consist in action, and that giving alms constituted at
least one branch of that virtue.



“As to the meritorious part,” he said, “he readily
agreed with the captain; for where could be the merit of barely
discharging a duty? which,” he said, “let the word charity
have what construction it would, it sufficiently appeared to be from the
whole tenor of the New Testament. And as he thought it an indispensable
duty, enjoined both by the Christian law, and by the law of nature itself;
so was it withal so pleasant, that if any duty could be said to be its own
reward, or to pay us while we are discharging it, it was this.



“To confess the truth,” said he, “there is one degree of
generosity (of charity I would have called it), which seems to have some
show of merit, and that is, where, from a principle of benevolence and
Christian love, we bestow on another what we really want ourselves; where,
in order to lessen the distresses of another, we condescend to share some
part of them, by giving what even our own necessities cannot well spare.
This is, I think, meritorious; but to relieve our brethren only with our
superfluities; to be charitable (I must use the word) rather at the
expense of our coffers than ourselves; to save several families from
misery rather than hang up an extraordinary picture in our houses or
gratify any other idle ridiculous vanity—this seems to be only being
human creatures. Nay, I will venture to go farther, it is being in some
degree epicures: for what could the greatest epicure wish rather than to
eat with many mouths instead of one? which I think may be predicated of
any one who knows that the bread of many is owing to his own largesses.



“As to the apprehension of bestowing bounty on such as may hereafter
prove unworthy objects, because many have proved such; surely it can never
deter a good man from generosity. I do not think a few or many examples of
ingratitude can justify a man's hardening his heart against the distresses
of his fellow-creatures; nor do I believe it can ever have such effect on
a truly benevolent mind. Nothing less than a persuasion of universal
depravity can lock up the charity of a good man; and this persuasion must
lead him, I think, either into atheism, or enthusiasm; but surely it is
unfair to argue such universal depravity from a few vicious individuals;
nor was this, I believe, ever done by a man, who, upon searching his own
mind, found one certain exception to the general rule.” He then
concluded by asking, “who that Partridge was, whom he had called a
worthless fellow?”



“I mean,” said the captain, “Partridge the barber, the
schoolmaster, what do you call him? Partridge, the father of the little
child which you found in your bed.”



Mr Allworthy exprest great surprize at this account, and the captain as
great at his ignorance of it; for he said he had known it above a month:
and at length recollected with much difficulty that he was told it by Mrs
Wilkins.



Upon this, Wilkins was immediately summoned; who having confirmed what the
captain had said, was by Mr Allworthy, by and with the captain's advice,
dispatched to Little Baddington, to inform herself of the truth of the
fact: for the captain exprest great dislike at all hasty proceedings in
criminal matters, and said he would by no means have Mr Allworthy take any
resolution either to the prejudice of the child or its father, before he
was satisfied that the latter was guilty; for though he had privately
satisfied himself of this from one of Partridge's neighbours, yet he was
too generous to give any such evidence to Mr Allworthy.




















Chapter vi. — The trial of Partridge, the schoolmaster, for
incontinency; the evidence of his wife; a short reflection on the wisdom
of our law; with other grave matters, which those will like best who
understand them most.



It may be wondered that a story so well known, and which had furnished so
much matter of conversation, should never have been mentioned to Mr
Allworthy himself, who was perhaps the only person in that country who had
never heard of it.



To account in some measure for this to the reader, I think proper to
inform him, that there was no one in the kingdom less interested in
opposing that doctrine concerning the meaning of the word charity, which
hath been seen in the preceding chapter, than our good man. Indeed, he was
equally intitled to this virtue in either sense; for as no man was ever
more sensible of the wants, or more ready to relieve the distresses of
others, so none could be more tender of their characters, or slower to
believe anything to their disadvantage.



Scandal, therefore, never found any access to his table; for as it hath
been long since observed that you may know a man by his companions, so I
will venture to say, that, by attending to the conversation at a great
man's table, you may satisfy yourself of his religion, his politics, his
taste, and indeed of his entire disposition: for though a few odd fellows
will utter their own sentiments in all places, yet much the greater part
of mankind have enough of the courtier to accommodate their conversation
to the taste and inclination of their superiors.



But to return to Mrs Wilkins, who, having executed her commission with
great dispatch, though at fifteen miles distance, brought back such a
confirmation of the schoolmaster's guilt, that Mr Allworthy determined to
send for the criminal, and examine him viva voce. Mr Partridge,
therefore, was summoned to attend, in order to his defence (if he could
make any) against this accusation.



At the time appointed, before Mr Allworthy himself, at Paradise-hall, came
as well the said Partridge, with Anne, his wife, as Mrs Wilkins his
accuser.



And now Mr Allworthy being seated in the chair of justice, Mr Partridge
was brought before him. Having heard his accusation from the mouth of Mrs
Wilkins, he pleaded not guilty, making many vehement protestations of his
innocence.



Mrs Partridge was then examined, who, after a modest apology for being
obliged to speak the truth against her husband, related all the
circumstances with which the reader hath already been acquainted; and at
last concluded with her husband's confession of his guilt.



Whether she had forgiven him or no, I will not venture to determine; but
it is certain she was an unwilling witness in this cause; and it is
probable from certain other reasons, would never have been brought to
depose as she did, had not Mrs Wilkins, with great art, fished all out of
her at her own house, and had she not indeed made promises, in Mr
Allworthy's name, that the punishment of her husband should not be such as
might anywise affect his family.



Partridge still persisted in asserting his innocence, though he admitted
he had made the above-mentioned confession; which he however endeavoured
to account for, by protesting that he was forced into it by the continued
importunity she used: who vowed, that, as she was sure of his guilt, she
would never leave tormenting him till he had owned it; and faithfully
promised, that, in such case, she would never mention it to him more.
Hence, he said, he had been induced falsely to confess himself guilty,
though he was innocent; and that he believed he should have confest a
murder from the same motive.



Mrs Partridge could not bear this imputation with patience; and having no
other remedy in the present place but tears, she called forth a plentiful
assistance from them, and then addressing herself to Mr Allworthy, she
said (or rather cried), “May it please your worship, there never was
any poor woman so injured as I am by that base man; for this is not the
only instance of his falsehood to me. No, may it please your worship, he
hath injured my bed many's the good time and often. I could have put up
with his drunkenness and neglect of his business, if he had not broke one
of the sacred commandments. Besides, if it had been out of doors I had not
mattered it so much; but with my own servant, in my own house, under my
own roof, to defile my own chaste bed, which to be sure he hath, with his
beastly stinking whores. Yes, you villain, you have defiled my own bed,
you have; and then you have charged me with bullocking you into owning the
truth. It is very likely, an't please your worship, that I should bullock
him? I have marks enow about my body to show of his cruelty to me. If you
had been a man, you villain, you would have scorned to injure a woman in
that manner. But you an't half a man, you know it. Nor have you been half
a husband to me. You need run after whores, you need, when I'm sure—And
since he provokes me, I am ready, an't please your worship, to take my
bodily oath that I found them a-bed together. What, you have forgot, I
suppose, when you beat me into a fit, and made the blood run down my
forehead, because I only civilly taxed you with adultery! but I can prove
it by all my neighbours. You have almost broke my heart, you have, you
have.”



Here Mr Allworthy interrupted, and begged her to be pacified, promising
her that she should have justice; then turning to Partridge, who stood
aghast, one half of his wits being hurried away by surprize and the other
half by fear, he said he was sorry to see there was so wicked a man in the
world. He assured him that his prevaricating and lying backward and
forward was a great aggravation of his guilt; for which the only atonement
he could make was by confession and repentance. He exhorted him,
therefore, to begin by immediately confessing the fact, and not to persist
in denying what was so plainly proved against him even by his own wife.



Here, reader, I beg your patience a moment, while I make a just compliment
to the great wisdom and sagacity of our law, which refuses to admit the
evidence of a wife for or against her husband. This, says a certain
learned author, who, I believe, was never quoted before in any but a
law-book, would be the means of creating an eternal dissension between
them. It would, indeed, be the means of much perjury, and of much
whipping, fining, imprisoning, transporting, and hanging.



Partridge stood a while silent, till, being bid to speak, he said he had
already spoken the truth, and appealed to Heaven for his innocence, and
lastly to the girl herself, whom he desired his worship immediately to
send for; for he was ignorant, or at least pretended to be so, that she
had left that part of the country.



Mr Allworthy, whose natural love of justice, joined to his coolness of
temper, made him always a most patient magistrate in hearing all the
witnesses which an accused person could produce in his defence, agreed to
defer his final determination of this matter till the arrival of Jenny,
for whom he immediately dispatched a messenger; and then having
recommended peace between Partridge and his wife (though he addressed
himself chiefly to the wrong person), he appointed them to attend again
the third day; for he had sent Jenny a whole day's journey from his own
house.



At the appointed time the parties all assembled, when the messenger
returning brought word, that Jenny was not to be found; for that she had
left her habitation a few days before, in company with a recruiting
officer.



Mr Allworthy then declared that the evidence of such a slut as she
appeared to be would have deserved no credit; but he said he could not
help thinking that, had she been present, and would have declared the
truth, she must have confirmed what so many circumstances, together with
his own confession, and the declaration of his wife that she had caught
her husband in the fact, did sufficiently prove. He therefore once more
exhorted Partridge to confess; but he still avowing his innocence, Mr
Allworthy declared himself satisfied of his guilt, and that he was too bad
a man to receive any encouragement from him. He therefore deprived him of
his annuity, and recommended repentance to him on account of another
world, and industry to maintain himself and his wife in this.



There were not, perhaps, many more unhappy persons than poor Partridge. He
had lost the best part of his income by the evidence of his wife, and yet
was daily upbraided by her for having, among other things, been the
occasion of depriving her of that benefit; but such was his fortune, and
he was obliged to submit to it.



Though I called him poor Partridge in the last paragraph, I would have the
reader rather impute that epithet to the compassion in my temper than
conceive it to be any declaration of his innocence. Whether he was
innocent or not will perhaps appear hereafter; but if the historic muse
hath entrusted me with any secrets, I will by no means be guilty of
discovering them till she shall give me leave.



Here therefore the reader must suspend his curiosity. Certain it is that,
whatever was the truth of the case, there was evidence more than
sufficient to convict him before Allworthy; indeed, much less would have
satisfied a bench of justices on an order of bastardy; and yet,
notwithstanding the positiveness of Mrs Partridge, who would have taken
the sacrament upon the matter, there is a possibility that the
schoolmaster was entirely innocent: for though it appeared clear on
comparing the time when Jenny departed from Little Baddington with that of
her delivery that she had there conceived this infant, yet it by no means
followed of necessity that Partridge must have been its father; for, to
omit other particulars, there was in the same house a lad near eighteen,
between whom and Jenny there had subsisted sufficient intimacy to found a
reasonable suspicion; and yet, so blind is jealousy, this circumstance
never once entered into the head of the enraged wife.



Whether Partridge repented or not, according to Mr Allworthy's advice, is
not so apparent. Certain it is that his wife repented heartily of the
evidence she had given against him: especially when she found Mrs Deborah
had deceived her, and refused to make any application to Mr Allworthy on
her behalf. She had, however, somewhat better success with Mrs Blifil, who
was, as the reader must have perceived, a much better-tempered woman, and
very kindly undertook to solicit her brother to restore the annuity; in
which, though good-nature might have some share, yet a stronger and more
natural motive will appear in the next chapter.



These solicitations were nevertheless unsuccessful: for though Mr
Allworthy did not think, with some late writers, that mercy consists only
in punishing offenders; yet he was as far from thinking that it is proper
to this excellent quality to pardon great criminals wantonly, without any
reason whatever. Any doubtfulness of the fact, or any circumstance of
mitigation, was never disregarded: but the petitions of an offender, or
the intercessions of others, did not in the least affect him. In a word,
he never pardoned because the offender himself, or his friends, were
unwilling that he should be punished.



Partridge and his wife were therefore both obliged to submit to their
fate; which was indeed severe enough: for so far was he from doubling his
industry on the account of his lessened income, that he did in a manner
abandon himself to despair; and as he was by nature indolent, that vice
now increased upon him, by which means he lost the little school he had;
so that neither his wife nor himself would have had any bread to eat, had
not the charity of some good Christian interposed, and provided them with
what was just sufficient for their sustenance.



As this support was conveyed to them by an unknown hand, they imagined,
and so, I doubt not, will the reader, that Mr Allworthy himself was their
secret benefactor; who, though he would not openly encourage vice, could
yet privately relieve the distresses of the vicious themselves, when these
became too exquisite and disproportionate to their demerit. In which light
their wretchedness appeared now to Fortune herself; for she at length took
pity on this miserable couple, and considerably lessened the wretched
state of Partridge, by putting a final end to that of his wife, who soon
after caught the small-pox, and died.



The justice which Mr Allworthy had executed on Partridge at first met with
universal approbation; but no sooner had he felt its consequences, than
his neighbours began to relent, and to compassionate his case; and
presently after, to blame that as rigour and severity which they before
called justice. They now exclaimed against punishing in cold blood, and
sang forth the praises of mercy and forgiveness.



These cries were considerably increased by the death of Mrs Partridge,
which, though owing to the distemper above mentioned, which is no
consequence of poverty or distress, many were not ashamed to impute to Mr
Allworthy's severity, or, as they now termed it, cruelty.



Partridge having now lost his wife, his school, and his annuity, and the
unknown person having now discontinued the last-mentioned charity,
resolved to change the scene, and left the country, where he was in danger
of starving, with the universal compassion of all his neighbours.




















Chapter vii. — A short sketch of that felicity which prudent couples
may extract from hatred: with a short apology for those people who
overlook imperfections in their friends.



Though the captain had effectually demolished poor Partridge, yet had he
not reaped the harvest he hoped for, which was to turn the foundling out
of Mr Allworthy's house.



On the contrary, that gentleman grew every day fonder of little Tommy, as
if he intended to counterbalance his severity to the father with
extraordinary fondness and affection towards the son.



This a good deal soured the captain's temper, as did all the other daily
instances of Mr Allworthy's generosity; for he looked on all such
largesses to be diminutions of his own wealth.



In this, we have said, he did not agree with his wife; nor, indeed, in
anything else: for though an affection placed on the understanding is, by
many wise persons, thought more durable than that which is founded on
beauty, yet it happened otherwise in the present case. Nay, the
understandings of this couple were their principal bone of contention, and
one great cause of many quarrels, which from time to time arose between
them; and which at last ended, on the side of the lady, in a sovereign
contempt for her husband; and on the husband's, in an utter abhorrence of
his wife.



As these had both exercised their talents chiefly in the study of
divinity, this was, from their first acquaintance, the most common topic
of conversation between them. The captain, like a well-bred man, had,
before marriage, always given up his opinion to that of the lady; and
this, not in the clumsy awkward manner of a conceited blockhead, who,
while he civilly yields to a superior in an argument, is desirous of being
still known to think himself in the right. The captain, on the contrary,
though one of the proudest fellows in the world, so absolutely yielded the
victory to his antagonist, that she, who had not the least doubt of his
sincerity, retired always from the dispute with an admiration of her own
understanding and a love for his.



But though this complacence to one whom the captain thoroughly despised,
was not so uneasy to him as it would have been had any hopes of preferment
made it necessary to show the same submission to a Hoadley, or to some
other of great reputation in the science, yet even this cost him too much
to be endured without some motive. Matrimony, therefore, having removed
all such motives, he grew weary of this condescension, and began to treat
the opinions of his wife with that haughtiness and insolence, which none
but those who deserve some contempt themselves can bestow, and those only
who deserve no contempt can bear.



When the first torrent of tenderness was over, and when, in the calm and
long interval between the fits, reason began to open the eyes of the lady,
and she saw this alteration of behaviour in the captain, who at length
answered all her arguments only with pish and pshaw, she was far from
enduring the indignity with a tame submission. Indeed, it at first so
highly provoked her, that it might have produced some tragical event, had
it not taken a more harmless turn, by filling her with the utmost contempt
for her husband's understanding, which somewhat qualified her hatred
towards him; though of this likewise she had a pretty moderate share.



The captain's hatred to her was of a purer kind: for as to any
imperfections in her knowledge or understanding, he no more despised her
for them, than for her not being six feet high. In his opinion of the
female sex, he exceeded the moroseness of Aristotle himself: he looked on
a woman as on an animal of domestic use, of somewhat higher consideration
than a cat, since her offices were of rather more importance; but the
difference between these two was, in his estimation, so small, that, in
his marriage contracted with Mr Allworthy's lands and tenements, it would
have been pretty equal which of them he had taken into the bargain. And
yet so tender was his pride, that it felt the contempt which his wife now
began to express towards him; and this, added to the surfeit he had before
taken of her love, created in him a degree of disgust and abhorrence,
perhaps hardly to be exceeded.



One situation only of the married state is excluded from pleasure: and
that is, a state of indifference: but as many of my readers, I hope, know
what an exquisite delight there is in conveying pleasure to a beloved
object, so some few, I am afraid, may have experienced the satisfaction of
tormenting one we hate. It is, I apprehend, to come at this latter
pleasure, that we see both sexes often give up that ease in marriage which
they might otherwise possess, though their mate was never so disagreeable
to them. Hence the wife often puts on fits of love and jealousy, nay, even
denies herself any pleasure, to disturb and prevent those of her husband;
and he again, in return, puts frequent restraints on himself, and stays at
home in company which he dislikes, in order to confine his wife to what
she equally detests. Hence, too, must flow those tears which a widow
sometimes so plentifully sheds over the ashes of a husband with whom she
led a life of constant disquiet and turbulency, and whom now she can never
hope to torment any more.



But if ever any couple enjoyed this pleasure, it was at present
experienced by the captain and his lady. It was always a sufficient reason
to either of them to be obstinate in any opinion, that the other had
previously asserted the contrary. If the one proposed any amusement, the
other constantly objected to it: they never loved or hated, commended or
abused, the same person. And for this reason, as the captain looked with
an evil eye on the little foundling, his wife began now to caress it
almost equally with her own child.



The reader will be apt to conceive, that this behaviour between the
husband and wife did not greatly contribute to Mr Allworthy's repose, as
it tended so little to that serene happiness which he had designed for all
three from this alliance; but the truth is, though he might be a little
disappointed in his sanguine expectations, yet he was far from being
acquainted with the whole matter; for, as the captain was, from certain
obvious reasons, much on his guard before him, the lady was obliged, for
fear of her brother's displeasure, to pursue the same conduct. In fact, it
is possible for a third person to be very intimate, nay even to live long
in the same house, with a married couple, who have any tolerable
discretion, and not even guess at the sour sentiments which they bear to
each other: for though the whole day may be sometimes too short for
hatred, as well as for love; yet the many hours which they naturally spend
together, apart from all observers, furnish people of tolerable moderation
with such ample opportunity for the enjoyment of either passion, that, if
they love, they can support being a few hours in company without toying,
or if they hate, without spitting in each other's faces.



It is possible, however, that Mr Allworthy saw enough to render him a
little uneasy; for we are not always to conclude, that a wise man is not
hurt, because he doth not cry out and lament himself, like those of a
childish or effeminate temper. But indeed it is possible he might see some
faults in the captain without any uneasiness at all; for men of true
wisdom and goodness are contented to take persons and things as they are,
without complaining of their imperfections, or attempting to amend them.
They can see a fault in a friend, a relation, or an acquaintance, without
ever mentioning it to the parties themselves, or to any others; and this
often without lessening their affection. Indeed, unless great discernment
be tempered with this overlooking disposition, we ought never to contract
friendship but with a degree of folly which we can deceive; for I hope my
friends will pardon me when I declare, I know none of them without a
fault; and I should be sorry if I could imagine I had any friend who could
not see mine. Forgiveness of this kind we give and demand in turn. It is
an exercise of friendship, and perhaps none of the least pleasant. And
this forgiveness we must bestow, without desire of amendment. There is,
perhaps, no surer mark of folly, than an attempt to correct the natural
infirmities of those we love. The finest composition of human nature, as
well as the finest china, may have a flaw in it; and this, I am afraid, in
either case, is equally incurable; though, nevertheless, the pattern may
remain of the highest value.



Upon the whole, then, Mr Allworthy certainly saw some imperfections in the
captain; but as this was a very artful man, and eternally upon his guard
before him, these appeared to him no more than blemishes in a good
character, which his goodness made him overlook, and his wisdom prevented
him from discovering to the captain himself. Very different would have
been his sentiments had he discovered the whole; which perhaps would in
time have been the case, had the husband and wife long continued this kind
of behaviour to each other; but this kind Fortune took effectual means to
prevent, by forcing the captain to do that which rendered him again dear
to his wife, and restored all her tenderness and affection towards him.




















Chapter viii. — A receipt to regain the lost affections of a wife,
which hath never been known to fail in the most desperate cases.



The captain was made large amends for the unpleasant minutes which he
passed in the conversation of his wife (and which were as few as he could
contrive to make them), by the pleasant meditations he enjoyed when alone.



These meditations were entirely employed on Mr Allworthy's fortune; for,
first, he exercised much thought in calculating, as well as he could, the
exact value of the whole: which calculations he often saw occasion to
alter in his own favour: and, secondly and chiefly, he pleased himself
with intended alterations in the house and gardens, and in projecting many
other schemes, as well for the improvement of the estate as of the
grandeur of the place: for this purpose he applied himself to the studies
of architecture and gardening, and read over many books on both these
subjects; for these sciences, indeed, employed his whole time, and formed
his only amusement. He at last completed a most excellent plan: and very
sorry we are, that it is not in our power to present it to our reader,
since even the luxury of the present age, I believe, would hardly match
it. It had, indeed, in a superlative degree, the two principal ingredients
which serve to recommend all great and noble designs of this nature; for
it required an immoderate expense to execute, and a vast length of time to
bring it to any sort of perfection. The former of these, the immense
wealth of which the captain supposed Mr Allworthy possessed, and which he
thought himself sure of inheriting, promised very effectually to supply;
and the latter, the soundness of his own constitution, and his time of
life, which was only what is called middle-age, removed all apprehension
of his not living to accomplish.



Nothing was wanting to enable him to enter upon the immediate execution of
this plan, but the death of Mr Allworthy; in calculating which he had
employed much of his own algebra, besides purchasing every book extant
that treats of the value of lives, reversions, &c. From all which he
satisfied himself, that as he had every day a chance of this happening, so
had he more than an even chance of its happening within a few years.



But while the captain was one day busied in deep contemplations of this
kind, one of the most unlucky as well as unseasonable accidents happened
to him. The utmost malice of Fortune could, indeed, have contrived nothing
so cruel, so mal-a-propos, so absolutely destructive to all his schemes.
In short, not to keep the reader in long suspense, just at the very
instant when his heart was exulting in meditations on the happiness which
would accrue to him by Mr Allworthy's death, he himself—died of an
apoplexy.



This unfortunately befel the captain as he was taking his evening walk by
himself, so that nobody was present to lend him any assistance, if indeed,
any assistance could have preserved him. He took, therefore, measure of
that proportion of soil which was now become adequate to all his future
purposes, and he lay dead on the ground, a great (though not a living)
example of the truth of that observation of Horace:


        Tu secanda marmora
Locas sub ipsum funus; et sepulchri
Immemor, struis domos.



Which sentiment I shall thus give to the English reader: “You
provide the noblest materials for building, when a pickaxe and a spade are
only necessary: and build houses of five hundred by a hundred feet,
forgetting that of six by two.”




















Chapter ix. — A proof of the infallibility of the foregoing receipt,
in the lamentations of the widow; with other suitable decorations of
death, such as physicians, &c., and an epitaph in the true stile.



Mr Allworthy, his sister, and another lady, were assembled at the
accustomed hour in the supper-room, where, having waited a considerable
time longer than usual, Mr Allworthy first declared he began to grow
uneasy at the captain's stay (for he was always most punctual at his
meals); and gave orders that the bell should be rung without the doors,
and especially towards those walks which the captain was wont to use.



All these summons proving ineffectual (for the captain had, by perverse
accident, betaken himself to a new walk that evening), Mrs Blifil declared
she was seriously frightened. Upon which the other lady, who was one of
her most intimate acquaintance, and who well knew the true state of her
affections, endeavoured all she could to pacify her, telling her—To
be sure she could not help being uneasy; but that she should hope the
best. That, perhaps the sweetness of the evening had inticed the captain
to go farther than his usual walk: or he might be detained at some
neighbour's. Mrs Blifil answered, No; she was sure some accident had
befallen him; for that he would never stay out without sending her word,
as he must know how uneasy it would make her. The other lady, having no
other arguments to use, betook herself to the entreaties usual on such
occasions, and begged her not to frighten herself, for it might be of very
ill consequence to her own health; and, filling out a very large glass of
wine, advised, and at last prevailed with her to drink it.



Mr Allworthy now returned into the parlour; for he had been himself in
search after the captain. His countenance sufficiently showed the
consternation he was under, which, indeed, had a good deal deprived him of
speech; but as grief operates variously on different minds, so the same
apprehension which depressed his voice, elevated that of Mrs Blifil. She
now began to bewail herself in very bitter terms, and floods of tears
accompanied her lamentations; which the lady, her companion, declared she
could not blame, but at the same time dissuaded her from indulging;
attempting to moderate the grief of her friend by philosophical
observations on the many disappointments to which human life is daily
subject, which, she said, was a sufficient consideration to fortify our
minds against any accidents, how sudden or terrible soever. She said her
brother's example ought to teach her patience, who, though indeed he could
not be supposed as much concerned as herself, yet was, doubtless, very
uneasy, though his resignation to the Divine will had restrained his grief
within due bounds.



“Mention not my brother,” said Mrs Blifil; “I alone am
the object of your pity. What are the terrors of friendship to what a wife
feels on these occasions? Oh, he is lost! Somebody hath murdered him—I
shall never see him more!”—Here a torrent of tears had the
same consequence with what the suppression had occasioned to Mr Allworthy,
and she remained silent.



At this interval a servant came running in, out of breath, and cried out,
The captain was found; and, before he could proceed farther, he was
followed by two more, bearing the dead body between them.



Here the curious reader may observe another diversity in the operations of
grief: for as Mr Allworthy had been before silent, from the same cause
which had made his sister vociferous; so did the present sight, which drew
tears from the gentleman, put an entire stop to those of the lady; who
first gave a violent scream, and presently after fell into a fit.



The room was soon full of servants, some of whom, with the lady visitant,
were employed in care of the wife; and others, with Mr Allworthy, assisted
in carrying off the captain to a warm bed; where every method was tried,
in order to restore him to life.



And glad should we be, could we inform the reader that both these bodies
had been attended with equal success; for those who undertook the care of
the lady succeeded so well, that, after the fit had continued a decent
time, she again revived, to their great satisfaction: but as to the
captain, all experiments of bleeding, chafing, dropping, &c., proved
ineffectual. Death, that inexorable judge, had passed sentence on him, and
refused to grant him a reprieve, though two doctors who arrived, and were
fee'd at one and the same instant, were his counsel.



These two doctors, whom, to avoid any malicious applications, we shall
distinguish by the names of Dr Y. and Dr Z., having felt his pulse; to
wit, Dr Y. his right arm, and Dr Z. his left; both agreed that he was
absolutely dead; but as to the distemper, or cause of his death, they
differed; Dr Y. holding that he died of an apoplexy, and Dr Z. of an
epilepsy.



Hence arose a dispute between the learned men, in which each delivered the
reasons of their several opinions. These were of such equal force, that
they served both to confirm either doctor in his own sentiments, and made
not the least impression on his adversary.



To say the truth, every physician almost hath his favourite disease, to
which he ascribes all the victories obtained over human nature. The gout,
the rheumatism, the stone, the gravel, and the consumption, have all their
several patrons in the faculty; and none more than the nervous fever, or
the fever on the spirits. And here we may account for those disagreements
in opinion, concerning the cause of a patient's death, which sometimes
occur, between the most learned of the college; and which have greatly
surprized that part of the world who have been ignorant of the fact we
have above asserted.



The reader may perhaps be surprized, that, instead of endeavouring to
revive the patient, the learned gentlemen should fall immediately into a
dispute on the occasion of his death; but in reality all such experiments
had been made before their arrival: for the captain was put into a warm
bed, had his veins scarified, his forehead chafed, and all sorts of strong
drops applied to his lips and nostrils.



The physicians, therefore, finding themselves anticipated in everything
they ordered, were at a loss how to apply that portion of time which it is
usual and decent to remain for their fee, and were therefore necessitated
to find some subject or other for discourse; and what could more naturally
present itself than that before mentioned?



Our doctors were about to take their leave, when Mr Allworthy, having
given over the captain, and acquiesced in the Divine will, began to
enquire after his sister, whom he desired them to visit before their
departure.



This lady was now recovered of her fit, and, to use the common phrase, as
well as could be expected for one in her condition. The doctors,
therefore, all previous ceremonies being complied with, as this was a new
patient, attended, according to desire, and laid hold on each of her
hands, as they had before done on those of the corpse.



The case of the lady was in the other extreme from that of her husband:
for as he was past all the assistance of physic, so in reality she
required none.



There is nothing more unjust than the vulgar opinion, by which physicians
are misrepresented, as friends to death. On the contrary, I believe, if
the number of those who recover by physic could be opposed to that of the
martyrs to it, the former would rather exceed the latter. Nay, some are so
cautious on this head, that, to avoid a possibility of killing the
patient, they abstain from all methods of curing, and prescribe nothing
but what can neither do good nor harm. I have heard some of these, with
great gravity, deliver it as a maxim, “That Nature should be left to
do her own work, while the physician stands by as it were to clap her on
the back, and encourage her when she doth well.”



So little then did our doctors delight in death, that they discharged the
corpse after a single fee; but they were not so disgusted with their
living patient; concerning whose case they immediately agreed, and fell to
prescribing with great diligence.



Whether, as the lady had at first persuaded her physicians to believe her
ill, they had now, in return, persuaded her to believe herself so, I will
not determine; but she continued a whole month with all the decorations of
sickness. During this time she was visited by physicians, attended by
nurses, and received constant messages from her acquaintance to enquire
after her health.



At length the decent time for sickness and immoderate grief being expired,
the doctors were discharged, and the lady began to see company; being
altered only from what she was before, by that colour of sadness in which
she had dressed her person and countenance.



The captain was now interred, and might, perhaps, have already made a
large progress towards oblivion, had not the friendship of Mr Allworthy
taken care to preserve his memory, by the following epitaph, which was
written by a man of as great genius as integrity, and one who perfectly
well knew the captain.


                              HERE LIES,
IN EXPECTATION OF A JOYFUL RISING,
THE BODY OF

CAPTAIN JOHN BLIFIL.

LONDON
HAD THE HONOUR OF HIS BIRTH,
OXFORD
OF HIS EDUCATION.

HIS PARTS
WERE AN HONOUR TO HIS PROFESSION
AND TO HIS COUNTRY:
HIS LIFE, TO HIS RELIGION
AND HUMAN NATURE.
HE WAS A DUTIFUL SON,
A TENDER HUSBAND,
AN AFFECTIONATE FATHER,
A MOST KIND BROTHER,
A SINCERE FRIEND,
A DEVOUT CHRISTIAN,
AND A GOOD MAN.

HIS INCONSOLABLE WIDOW
HATH ERECTED THIS STONE,
THE MONUMENT OF
HIS VIRTUES
AND OF HER AFFECTION.




















BOOK III. — CONTAINING THE MOST MEMORABLE TRANSACTIONS WHICH PASSED
IN THE FAMILY OF MR ALLWORTHY, FROM THE TIME WHEN TOMMY JONES ARRIVED AT
THE AGE OF FOURTEEN, TILL HE ATTAINED THE AGE OF NINETEEN. IN THIS BOOK



THE READER MAY PICK UP SOME HINTS CONCERNING THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN.




















Chapter i. — Containing little or nothing.



The reader will be pleased to remember, that, at the beginning of the
second book of this history, we gave him a hint of our intention to pass
over several large periods of time, in which nothing happened worthy of
being recorded in a chronicle of this kind.



In so doing, we do not only consult our own dignity and ease, but the good
and advantage of the reader: for besides that by these means we prevent
him from throwing away his time, in reading without either pleasure or
emolument, we give him, at all such seasons, an opportunity of employing
that wonderful sagacity, of which he is master, by filling up these vacant
spaces of time with his own conjectures; for which purpose we have taken
care to qualify him in the preceding pages.



For instance, what reader but knows that Mr Allworthy felt, at first, for
the loss of his friend, those emotions of grief, which on such occasions
enter into all men whose hearts are not composed of flint, or their heads
of as solid materials? Again, what reader doth not know that philosophy
and religion in time moderated, and at last extinguished, this grief? The
former of these teaching the folly and vanity of it, and the latter
correcting it as unlawful, and at the same time assuaging it, by raising
future hopes and assurances, which enable a strong and religious mind to
take leave of a friend, on his deathbed, with little less indifference
than if he was preparing for a long journey; and, indeed, with little less
hope of seeing him again.



Nor can the judicious reader be at a greater loss on account of Mrs
Bridget Blifil, who, he may be assured, conducted herself through the
whole season in which grief is to make its appearance on the outside of
the body, with the strictest regard to all the rules of custom and
decency, suiting the alterations of her countenance to the several
alterations of her habit: for as this changed from weeds to black, from
black to grey, from grey to white, so did her countenance change from
dismal to sorrowful, from sorrowful to sad, and from sad to serious, till
the day came in which she was allowed to return to her former serenity.



We have mentioned these two, as examples only of the task which may be
imposed on readers of the lowest class. Much higher and harder exercises
of judgment and penetration may reasonably be expected from the upper
graduates in criticism. Many notable discoveries will, I doubt not, be
made by such, of the transactions which happened in the family of our
worthy man, during all the years which we have thought proper to pass
over: for though nothing worthy of a place in this history occurred within
that period, yet did several incidents happen of equal importance with
those reported by the daily and weekly historians of the age; in reading
which great numbers of persons consume a considerable part of their time,
very little, I am afraid, to their emolument. Now, in the conjectures here
proposed, some of the most excellent faculties of the mind may be employed
to much advantage, since it is a more useful capacity to be able to
foretel the actions of men, in any circumstance, from their characters,
than to judge of their characters from their actions. The former, I own,
requires the greater penetration; but may be accomplished by true sagacity
with no less certainty than the latter.



As we are sensible that much the greatest part of our readers are very
eminently possessed of this quality, we have left them a space of twelve
years to exert it in; and shall now bring forth our heroe, at about
fourteen years of age, not questioning that many have been long impatient
to be introduced to his acquaintance.




















Chapter ii. — The heroe of this great history appears with very bad
omens. A little tale of so LOW a kind that some may think it not worth
their notice. A word or two concerning a squire, and more relating to a
gamekeeper and a schoolmaster.



As we determined, when we first sat down to write this history, to flatter
no man, but to guide our pen throughout by the directions of truth, we are
obliged to bring our heroe on the stage in a much more disadvantageous
manner than we could wish; and to declare honestly, even at his first
appearance, that it was the universal opinion of all Mr Allworthy's family
that he was certainly born to be hanged.



Indeed, I am sorry to say there was too much reason for this conjecture;
the lad having from his earliest years discovered a propensity to many
vices, and especially to one which hath as direct a tendency as any other
to that fate which we have just now observed to have been prophetically
denounced against him: he had been already convicted of three robberies,
viz., of robbing an orchard, of stealing a duck out of a farmer's yard,
and of picking Master Blifil's pocket of a ball.



The vices of this young man were, moreover, heightened by the
disadvantageous light in which they appeared when opposed to the virtues
of Master Blifil, his companion; a youth of so different a cast from
little Jones, that not only the family but all the neighbourhood resounded
his praises. He was, indeed, a lad of a remarkable disposition; sober,
discreet, and pious beyond his age; qualities which gained him the love of
every one who knew him: while Tom Jones was universally disliked; and many
expressed their wonder that Mr Allworthy would suffer such a lad to be
educated with his nephew, lest the morals of the latter should be
corrupted by his example.



An incident which happened about this time will set the characters of
these two lads more fairly before the discerning reader than is in the
power of the longest dissertation.



Tom Jones, who, bad as he is, must serve for the heroe of this history,
had only one friend among all the servants of the family; for as to Mrs
Wilkins, she had long since given him up, and was perfectly reconciled to
her mistress. This friend was the gamekeeper, a fellow of a loose kind of
disposition, and who was thought not to entertain much stricter notions
concerning the difference of meum and tuum than the young
gentleman himself. And hence this friendship gave occasion to many
sarcastical remarks among the domestics, most of which were either
proverbs before, or at least are become so now; and, indeed, the wit of
them all may be comprised in that short Latin proverb, “Noscitur
a socio;
” which, I think, is thus expressed in English, “You
may know him by the company he keeps.”



To say the truth, some of that atrocious wickedness in Jones, of which we
have just mentioned three examples, might perhaps be derived from the
encouragement he had received from this fellow, who, in two or three
instances, had been what the law calls an accessary after the fact: for
the whole duck, and great part of the apples, were converted to the use of
the gamekeeper and his family; though, as Jones alone was discovered, the
poor lad bore not only the whole smart, but the whole blame; both which
fell again to his lot on the following occasion.



Contiguous to Mr Allworthy's estate was the manor of one of those
gentlemen who are called preservers of the game. This species of men, from
the great severity with which they revenge the death of a hare or
partridge, might be thought to cultivate the same superstition with the
Bannians in India; many of whom, we are told, dedicate their whole lives
to the preservation and protection of certain animals; was it not that our
English Bannians, while they preserve them from other enemies, will most
unmercifully slaughter whole horse-loads themselves; so that they stand
clearly acquitted of any such heathenish superstition.



I have, indeed, a much better opinion of this kind of men than is
entertained by some, as I take them to answer the order of Nature, and the
good purposes for which they were ordained, in a more ample manner than
many others. Now, as Horace tells us that there are a set of human beings


           Fruges consumere nati,


“Born to consume the fruits of the earth;” so I make no manner
of doubt but that there are others


          Feras consumere nati,


“Born to consume the beasts of the field;” or, as it is
commonly called, the game; and none, I believe, will deny but that those
squires fulfil this end of their creation.



Little Jones went one day a shooting with the gamekeeper; when happening
to spring a covey of partridges near the border of that manor over which
Fortune, to fulfil the wise purposes of Nature, had planted one of the
game consumers, the birds flew into it, and were marked (as it is called)
by the two sportsmen, in some furze bushes, about two or three hundred
paces beyond Mr Allworthy's dominions.



Mr Allworthy had given the fellow strict orders, on pain of forfeiting his
place, never to trespass on any of his neighbours; no more on those who
were less rigid in this matter than on the lord of this manor. With regard
to others, indeed, these orders had not been always very scrupulously
kept; but as the disposition of the gentleman with whom the partridges had
taken sanctuary was well known, the gamekeeper had never yet attempted to
invade his territories. Nor had he done it now, had not the younger
sportsman, who was excessively eager to pursue the flying game,
over-persuaded him; but Jones being very importunate, the other, who was
himself keen enough after the sport, yielded to his persuasions, entered
the manor, and shot one of the partridges.



The gentleman himself was at that time on horse-back, at a little distance
from them; and hearing the gun go off, he immediately made towards the
place, and discovered poor Tom; for the gamekeeper had leapt into the
thickest part of the furze-brake, where he had happily concealed himself.



The gentleman having searched the lad, and found the partridge upon him,
denounced great vengeance, swearing he would acquaint Mr Allworthy. He was
as good as his word: for he rode immediately to his house, and complained
of the trespass on his manor in as high terms and as bitter language as if
his house had been broken open, and the most valuable furniture stole out
of it. He added, that some other person was in his company, though he
could not discover him; for that two guns had been discharged almost in
the same instant. And, says he, “We have found only this partridge,
but the Lord knows what mischief they have done.”



At his return home, Tom was presently convened before Mr Allworthy. He
owned the fact, and alledged no other excuse but what was really true,
viz., that the covey was originally sprung in Mr Allworthy's own manor.



Tom was then interrogated who was with him, which Mr Allworthy declared he
was resolved to know, acquainting the culprit with the circumstance of the
two guns, which had been deposed by the squire and both his servants; but
Tom stoutly persisted in asserting that he was alone; yet, to say the
truth, he hesitated a little at first, which would have confirmed Mr
Allworthy's belief, had what the squire and his servants said wanted any
further confirmation.



The gamekeeper, being a suspected person, was now sent for, and the
question put to him; but he, relying on the promise which Tom had made
him, to take all upon himself, very resolutely denied being in company
with the young gentleman, or indeed having seen him the whole afternoon.



Mr Allworthy then turned towards Tom, with more than usual anger in his
countenance, and advised him to confess who was with him; repeating, that
he was resolved to know. The lad, however, still maintained his
resolution, and was dismissed with much wrath by Mr Allworthy, who told
him he should have to the next morning to consider of it, when he should
be questioned by another person, and in another manner.



Poor Jones spent a very melancholy night; and the more so, as he was
without his usual companion; for Master Blifil was gone abroad on a visit
with his mother. Fear of the punishment he was to suffer was on this
occasion his least evil; his chief anxiety being, lest his constancy
should fail him, and he should be brought to betray the gamekeeper, whose
ruin he knew must now be the consequence.



Nor did the gamekeeper pass his time much better. He had the same
apprehensions with the youth; for whose honour he had likewise a much
tenderer regard than for his skin.



In the morning, when Tom attended the reverend Mr Thwackum, the person to
whom Mr Allworthy had committed the instruction of the two boys, he had
the same questions put to him by that gentleman which he had been asked
the evening before, to which he returned the same answers. The consequence
of this was, so severe a whipping, that it possibly fell little short of
the torture with which confessions are in some countries extorted from
criminals.



Tom bore his punishment with great resolution; and though his master asked
him, between every stroke, whether he would not confess, he was contented
to be flead rather than betray his friend, or break the promise he had
made.



The gamekeeper was now relieved from his anxiety, and Mr Allworthy himself
began to be concerned at Tom's sufferings: for besides that Mr Thwackum,
being highly enraged that he was not able to make the boy say what he
himself pleased, had carried his severity much beyond the good man's
intention, this latter began now to suspect that the squire had been
mistaken; which his extreme eagerness and anger seemed to make probable;
and as for what the servants had said in confirmation of their master's
account, he laid no great stress upon that. Now, as cruelty and injustice
were two ideas of which Mr Allworthy could by no means support the
consciousness a single moment, he sent for Tom, and after many kind and
friendly exhortations, said, “I am convinced, my dear child, that my
suspicions have wronged you; I am sorry that you have been so severely
punished on this account.” And at last gave him a little horse to
make him amends; again repeating his sorrow for what had past.



Tom's guilt now flew in his face more than any severity could make it. He
could more easily bear the lashes of Thwackum, than the generosity of
Allworthy. The tears burst from his eyes, and he fell upon his knees,
crying, “Oh, sir, you are too good to me. Indeed you are. Indeed I
don't deserve it.” And at that very instant, from the fulness of his
heart, had almost betrayed the secret; but the good genius of the
gamekeeper suggested to him what might be the consequence to the poor
fellow, and this consideration sealed his lips.



Thwackum did all he could to persuade Allworthy from showing any
compassion or kindness to the boy, saying, “He had persisted in an
untruth;” and gave some hints, that a second whipping might probably
bring the matter to light.



But Mr Allworthy absolutely refused to consent to the experiment. He said,
the boy had suffered enough already for concealing the truth, even if he
was guilty, seeing that he could have no motive but a mistaken point of
honour for so doing.



“Honour!” cryed Thwackum, with some warmth, “mere
stubbornness and obstinacy! Can honour teach any one to tell a lie, or can
any honour exist independent of religion?”



This discourse happened at table when dinner was just ended; and there
were present Mr Allworthy, Mr Thwackum, and a third gentleman, who now
entered into the debate, and whom, before we proceed any further, we shall
briefly introduce to our reader's acquaintance.




















Chapter iii. — The character of Mr Square the philosopher, and of Mr
Thwackum the divine; with a dispute concerning——



The name of this gentleman, who had then resided some time at Mr
Allworthy's house, was Mr Square. His natural parts were not of the first
rate, but he had greatly improved them by a learned education. He was
deeply read in the antients, and a profest master of all the works of
Plato and Aristotle. Upon which great models he had principally formed
himself; sometimes according with the opinion of the one, and sometimes
with that of the other. In morals he was a profest Platonist, and in
religion he inclined to be an Aristotelian.



But though he had, as we have said, formed his morals on the Platonic
model, yet he perfectly agreed with the opinion of Aristotle, in
considering that great man rather in the quality of a philosopher or a
speculatist, than as a legislator. This sentiment he carried a great way;
indeed, so far, as to regard all virtue as matter of theory only. This, it
is true, he never affirmed, as I have heard, to any one; and yet upon the
least attention to his conduct, I cannot help thinking it was his real
opinion, as it will perfectly reconcile some contradictions which might
otherwise appear in his character.



This gentleman and Mr Thwackum scarce ever met without a disputation; for
their tenets were indeed diametrically opposite to each other. Square held
human nature to be the perfection of all virtue, and that vice was a
deviation from our nature, in the same manner as deformity of body is.
Thwackum, on the contrary, maintained that the human mind, since the fall,
was nothing but a sink of iniquity, till purified and redeemed by grace.
In one point only they agreed, which was, in all their discourses on
morality never to mention the word goodness. The favourite phrase of the
former, was the natural beauty of virtue; that of the latter, was the
divine power of grace. The former measured all actions by the unalterable
rule of right, and the eternal fitness of things; the latter decided all
matters by authority; but in doing this, he always used the scriptures and
their commentators, as the lawyer doth his Coke upon Lyttleton, where the
comment is of equal authority with the text.



After this short introduction, the reader will be pleased to remember,
that the parson had concluded his speech with a triumphant question, to
which he had apprehended no answer; viz., Can any honour exist independent
on religion?



To this Square answered; that it was impossible to discourse
philosophically concerning words, till their meaning was first
established: that there were scarce any two words of a more vague and
uncertain signification, than the two he had mentioned; for that there
were almost as many different opinions concerning honour, as concerning
religion. “But,” says he, “if by honour you mean the
true natural beauty of virtue, I will maintain it may exist independent of
any religion whatever. Nay,” added he, “you yourself will
allow it may exist independent of all but one: so will a Mahometan, a Jew,
and all the maintainers of all the different sects in the world.”



Thwackum replied, this was arguing with the usual malice of all the
enemies to the true Church. He said, he doubted not but that all the
infidels and hereticks in the world would, if they could, confine honour
to their own absurd errors and damnable deceptions; “but honour,”
says he, “is not therefore manifold, because there are many absurd
opinions about it; nor is religion manifold, because there are various
sects and heresies in the world. When I mention religion, I mean the
Christian religion; and not only the Christian religion, but the
Protestant religion; and not only the Protestant religion, but the Church
of England. And when I mention honour, I mean that mode of Divine grace
which is not only consistent with, but dependent upon, this religion; and
is consistent with and dependent upon no other. Now to say that the honour
I here mean, and which was, I thought, all the honour I could be supposed
to mean, will uphold, much less dictate an untruth, is to assert an
absurdity too shocking to be conceived.”



“I purposely avoided,” says Square, “drawing a
conclusion which I thought evident from what I have said; but if you
perceived it, I am sure you have not attempted to answer it. However, to
drop the article of religion, I think it is plain, from what you have
said, that we have different ideas of honour; or why do we not agree in
the same terms of its explanation? I have asserted, that true honour and
true virtue are almost synonymous terms, and they are both founded on the
unalterable rule of right, and the eternal fitness of things; to which an
untruth being absolutely repugnant and contrary, it is certain that true
honour cannot support an untruth. In this, therefore, I think we are
agreed; but that this honour can be said to be founded on religion, to
which it is antecedent, if by religion be meant any positive law—”



“I agree,” answered Thwackum, with great warmth, “with a
man who asserts honour to be antecedent to religion! Mr Allworthy, did I
agree—?”



He was proceeding when Mr Allworthy interposed, telling them very coldly,
they had both mistaken his meaning; for that he had said nothing of true
honour.—It is possible, however, he would not have easily quieted
the disputants, who were growing equally warm, had not another matter now
fallen out, which put a final end to the conversation at present.




















Chapter iv. — Containing a necessary apology for the author; and a
childish incident, which perhaps requires an apology likewise.



Before I proceed farther, I shall beg leave to obviate some
misconstructions into which the zeal of some few readers may lead them;
for I would not willingly give offence to any, especially to men who are
warm in the cause of virtue or religion.



I hope, therefore, no man will, by the grossest misunderstanding or
perversion of my meaning, misrepresent me, as endeavouring to cast any
ridicule on the greatest perfections of human nature; and which do,
indeed, alone purify and ennoble the heart of man, and raise him above the
brute creation. This, reader, I will venture to say (and by how much the
better man you are yourself, by so much the more will you be inclined to
believe me), that I would rather have buried the sentiments of these two
persons in eternal oblivion, than have done any injury to either of these
glorious causes.



On the contrary, it is with a view to their service, that I have taken
upon me to record the lives and actions of two of their false and
pretended champions. A treacherous friend is the most dangerous enemy; and
I will say boldly, that both religion and virtue have received more real
discredit from hypocrites than the wittiest profligates or infidels could
ever cast upon them: nay, farther, as these two, in their purity, are
rightly called the bands of civil society, and are indeed the greatest of
blessings; so when poisoned and corrupted with fraud, pretence, and
affectation, they have become the worst of civil curses, and have enabled
men to perpetrate the most cruel mischiefs to their own species.



Indeed, I doubt not but this ridicule will in general be allowed: my chief
apprehension is, as many true and just sentiments often came from the
mouths of these persons, lest the whole should be taken together, and I
should be conceived to ridicule all alike. Now the reader will be pleased
to consider, that, as neither of these men were fools, they could not be
supposed to have holden none but wrong principles, and to have uttered
nothing but absurdities; what injustice, therefore, must I have done to
their characters, had I selected only what was bad! And how horribly
wretched and maimed must their arguments have appeared!



Upon the whole, it is not religion or virtue, but the want of them, which
is here exposed. Had not Thwackum too much neglected virtue, and Square,
religion, in the composition of their several systems, and had not both
utterly discarded all natural goodness of heart, they had never been
represented as the objects of derision in this history; in which we will
now proceed.



This matter then, which put an end to the debate mentioned in the last
chapter, was no other than a quarrel between Master Blifil and Tom Jones,
the consequence of which had been a bloody nose to the former; for though
Master Blifil, notwithstanding he was the younger, was in size above the
other's match, yet Tom was much his superior at the noble art of boxing.



Tom, however, cautiously avoided all engagements with that youth; for
besides that Tommy Jones was an inoffensive lad amidst all his roguery,
and really loved Blifil, Mr Thwackum being always the second of the
latter, would have been sufficient to deter him.



But well says a certain author, No man is wise at all hours; it is
therefore no wonder that a boy is not so. A difference arising at play
between the two lads, Master Blifil called Tom a beggarly bastard. Upon
which the latter, who was somewhat passionate in his disposition,
immediately caused that phenomenon in the face of the former, which we
have above remembered.



Master Blifil now, with his blood running from his nose, and the tears
galloping after from his eyes, appeared before his uncle and the
tremendous Thwackum. In which court an indictment of assault, battery, and
wounding, was instantly preferred against Tom; who in his excuse only
pleaded the provocation, which was indeed all the matter that Master
Blifil had omitted.



It is indeed possible that this circumstance might have escaped his
memory; for, in his reply, he positively insisted, that he had made use of
no such appellation; adding, “Heaven forbid such naughty words
should ever come out of his mouth!”



Tom, though against all form of law, rejoined in affirmance of the words.
Upon which Master Blifil said, “It is no wonder. Those who will tell
one fib, will hardly stick at another. If I had told my master such a
wicked fib as you have done, I should be ashamed to show my face.”



“What fib, child?” cries Thwackum pretty eagerly.



“Why, he told you that nobody was with him a shooting when he killed
the partridge; but he knows” (here he burst into a flood of tears),
“yes, he knows, for he confessed it to me, that Black George the
gamekeeper was there. Nay, he said—yes you did—deny it if you
can, that you would not have confest the truth, though master had cut you
to pieces.”



At this the fire flashed from Thwackum's eyes, and he cried out in triumph—“Oh!
ho! this is your mistaken notion of honour! This is the boy who was not to
be whipped again!” But Mr Allworthy, with a more gentle aspect,
turned towards the lad, and said, “Is this true, child? How came you
to persist so obstinately in a falsehood?”



Tom said, “He scorned a lie as much as any one: but he thought his
honour engaged him to act as he did; for he had promised the poor fellow
to conceal him: which,” he said, “he thought himself farther
obliged to, as the gamekeeper had begged him not to go into the
gentleman's manor, and had at last gone himself, in compliance with his
persuasions.” He said, “This was the whole truth of the
matter, and he would take his oath of it;” and concluded with very
passionately begging Mr Allworthy “to have compassion on the poor
fellow's family, especially as he himself only had been guilty, and the
other had been very difficultly prevailed on to do what he did. Indeed,
sir,” said he, “it could hardly be called a lie that I told;
for the poor fellow was entirely innocent of the whole matter. I should
have gone alone after the birds; nay, I did go at first, and he only
followed me to prevent more mischief. Do, pray, sir, let me be punished;
take my little horse away again; but pray, sir, forgive poor George.”



Mr Allworthy hesitated a few moments, and then dismissed the boys,
advising them to live more friendly and peaceably together.




















Chapter v. — The opinions of the divine and the philosopher
concerning the two boys; with some reasons for their opinions, and other
matters.



It is probable, that by disclosing this secret, which had been
communicated in the utmost confidence to him, young Blifil preserved his
companion from a good lashing; for the offence of the bloody nose would
have been of itself sufficient cause for Thwackum to have proceeded to
correction; but now this was totally absorbed in the consideration of the
other matter; and with regard to this, Mr Allworthy declared privately, he
thought the boy deserved reward rather than punishment, so that Thwackum's
hand was withheld by a general pardon.



Thwackum, whose meditations were full of birch, exclaimed against this
weak, and, as he said he would venture to call it, wicked lenity. To remit
the punishment of such crimes was, he said, to encourage them. He enlarged
much on the correction of children, and quoted many texts from Solomon,
and others; which being to be found in so many other books, shall not be
found here. He then applied himself to the vice of lying, on which head he
was altogether as learned as he had been on the other.



Square said, he had been endeavouring to reconcile the behaviour of Tom
with his idea of perfect virtue, but could not. He owned there was
something which at first sight appeared like fortitude in the action; but
as fortitude was a virtue, and falsehood a vice, they could by no means
agree or unite together. He added, that as this was in some measure to
confound virtue and vice, it might be worth Mr Thwackum's consideration,
whether a larger castigation might not be laid on upon the account.



As both these learned men concurred in censuring Jones, so were they no
less unanimous in applauding Master Blifil. To bring truth to light, was
by the parson asserted to be the duty of every religious man; and by the
philosopher this was declared to be highly conformable with the rule of
right, and the eternal and unalterable fitness of things.



All this, however, weighed very little with Mr Allworthy. He could not be
prevailed on to sign the warrant for the execution of Jones. There was
something within his own breast with which the invincible fidelity which
that youth had preserved, corresponded much better than it had done with
the religion of Thwackum, or with the virtue of Square. He therefore
strictly ordered the former of these gentlemen to abstain from laying
violent hands on Tom for what had past. The pedagogue was obliged to obey
those orders; but not without great reluctance, and frequent mutterings
that the boy would be certainly spoiled.



Towards the gamekeeper the good man behaved with more severity. He
presently summoned that poor fellow before him, and after many bitter
remonstrances, paid him his wages, and dismist him from his service; for
Mr Allworthy rightly observed, that there was a great difference between
being guilty of a falsehood to excuse yourself, and to excuse another. He
likewise urged, as the principal motive to his inflexible severity against
this man, that he had basely suffered Tom Jones to undergo so heavy a
punishment for his sake, whereas he ought to have prevented it by making
the discovery himself.



When this story became public, many people differed from Square and
Thwackum, in judging the conduct of the two lads on the occasion. Master
Blifil was generally called a sneaking rascal, a poor-spirited wretch,
with other epithets of the like kind; whilst Tom was honoured with the
appellations of a brave lad, a jolly dog, and an honest fellow. Indeed,
his behaviour to Black George much ingratiated him with all the servants;
for though that fellow was before universally disliked, yet he was no
sooner turned away than he was as universally pitied; and the friendship
and gallantry of Tom Jones was celebrated by them all with the highest
applause; and they condemned Master Blifil as openly as they durst,
without incurring the danger of offending his mother. For all this,
however, poor Tom smarted in the flesh; for though Thwackum had been
inhibited to exercise his arm on the foregoing account, yet, as the
proverb says, It is easy to find a stick, &c. So was it easy to find a
rod; and, indeed, the not being able to find one was the only thing which
could have kept Thwackum any long time from chastising poor Jones.



Had the bare delight in the sport been the only inducement to the
pedagogue, it is probable Master Blifil would likewise have had his share;
but though Mr Allworthy had given him frequent orders to make no
difference between the lads, yet was Thwackum altogether as kind and
gentle to this youth, as he was harsh, nay even barbarous, to the other.
To say the truth, Blifil had greatly gained his master's affections;
partly by the profound respect he always showed his person, but much more
by the decent reverence with which he received his doctrine; for he had
got by heart, and frequently repeated, his phrases, and maintained all his
master's religious principles with a zeal which was surprizing in one so
young, and which greatly endeared him to the worthy preceptor.



Tom Jones, on the other hand, was not only deficient in outward tokens of
respect, often forgetting to pull off his hat, or to bow at his master's
approach; but was altogether as unmindful both of his master's precepts
and example. He was indeed a thoughtless, giddy youth, with little
sobriety in his manners, and less in his countenance; and would often very
impudently and indecently laugh at his companion for his serious
behaviour.



Mr Square had the same reason for his preference of the former lad; for
Tom Jones showed no more regard to the learned discourses which this
gentleman would sometimes throw away upon him, than to those of Thwackum.
He once ventured to make a jest of the rule of right; and at another time
said, he believed there was no rule in the world capable of making such a
man as his father (for so Mr Allworthy suffered himself to be called).



Master Blifil, on the contrary, had address enough at sixteen to recommend
himself at one and the same time to both these opposites. With one he was
all religion, with the other he was all virtue. And when both were
present, he was profoundly silent, which both interpreted in his favour
and in their own.



Nor was Blifil contented with flattering both these gentlemen to their
faces; he took frequent occasions of praising them behind their backs to
Allworthy; before whom, when they two were alone, and his uncle commended
any religious or virtuous sentiment (for many such came constantly from
him) he seldom failed to ascribe it to the good instructions he had
received from either Thwackum or Square; for he knew his uncle repeated
all such compliments to the persons for whose use they were meant; and he
found by experience the great impressions which they made on the
philosopher, as well as on the divine: for, to say the truth, there is no
kind of flattery so irresistible as this, at second hand.



The young gentleman, moreover, soon perceived how extremely grateful all
those panegyrics on his instructors were to Mr Allworthy himself, as they
so loudly resounded the praise of that singular plan of education which he
had laid down; for this worthy man having observed the imperfect
institution of our public schools, and the many vices which boys were
there liable to learn, had resolved to educate his nephew, as well as the
other lad, whom he had in a manner adopted, in his own house; where he
thought their morals would escape all that danger of being corrupted to
which they would be unavoidably exposed in any public school or
university.



Having, therefore, determined to commit these boys to the tuition of a
private tutor, Mr Thwackum was recommended to him for that office, by a
very particular friend, of whose understanding Mr Allworthy had a great
opinion, and in whose integrity he placed much confidence. This Thwackum
was fellow of a college, where he almost entirely resided; and had a great
reputation for learning, religion, and sobriety of manners. And these were
doubtless the qualifications by which Mr Allworthy's friend had been
induced to recommend him; though indeed this friend had some obligations
to Thwackum's family, who were the most considerable persons in a borough
which that gentleman represented in parliament.



Thwackum, at his first arrival, was extremely agreeable to Allworthy; and
indeed he perfectly answered the character which had been given of him.
Upon longer acquaintance, however, and more intimate conversation, this
worthy man saw infirmities in the tutor, which he could have wished him to
have been without; though as those seemed greatly overbalanced by his good
qualities, they did not incline Mr Allworthy to part with him: nor would
they indeed have justified such a proceeding; for the reader is greatly
mistaken, if he conceives that Thwackum appeared to Mr Allworthy in the
same light as he doth to him in this history; and he is as much deceived,
if he imagines that the most intimate acquaintance which he himself could
have had with that divine, would have informed him of those things which
we, from our inspiration, are enabled to open and discover. Of readers
who, from such conceits as these, condemn the wisdom or penetration of Mr
Allworthy, I shall not scruple to say, that they make a very bad and
ungrateful use of that knowledge which we have communicated to them.



These apparent errors in the doctrine of Thwackum served greatly to
palliate the contrary errors in that of Square, which our good man no less
saw and condemned. He thought, indeed, that the different exuberancies of
these gentlemen would correct their different imperfections; and that from
both, especially with his assistance, the two lads would derive sufficient
precepts of true religion and virtue. If the event happened contrary to
his expectations, this possibly proceeded from some fault in the plan
itself; which the reader hath my leave to discover, if he can: for we do
not pretend to introduce any infallible characters into this history;
where we hope nothing will be found which hath never yet been seen in
human nature.



To return therefore: the reader will not, I think, wonder that the
different behaviour of the two lads above commemorated, produced the
different effects of which he hath already seen some instance; and besides
this, there was another reason for the conduct of the philosopher and the
pedagogue; but this being matter of great importance, we shall reveal it
in the next chapter.




















Chapter vi. — Containing a better reason still for the
before-mentioned opinions.



It is to be known then, that those two learned personages, who have lately
made a considerable figure on the theatre of this history, had, from their
first arrival at Mr Allworthy's house, taken so great an affection, the
one to his virtue, the other to his religion, that they had meditated the
closest alliance with him.



For this purpose they had cast their eyes on that fair widow, whom, though
we have not for some time made any mention of her, the reader, we trust,
hath not forgot. Mrs Blifil was indeed the object to which they both
aspired.



It may seem remarkable, that, of four persons whom we have commemorated at
Mr Allworthy's house, three of them should fix their inclinations on a
lady who was never greatly celebrated for her beauty, and who was,
moreover, now a little descended into the vale of years; but in reality
bosom friends, and intimate acquaintance, have a kind of natural
propensity to particular females at the house of a friend—viz., to
his grandmother, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, niece, or cousin, when
they are rich; and to his wife, sister, daughter, niece, cousin, mistress,
or servant-maid, if they should be handsome.



We would not, however, have our reader imagine, that persons of such
characters as were supported by Thwackum and Square, would undertake a
matter of this kind, which hath been a little censured by some rigid
moralists, before they had thoroughly examined it, and considered whether
it was (as Shakespear phrases it) “Stuff o' th' conscience,”
or no. Thwackum was encouraged to the undertaking by reflecting that to
covet your neighbour's sister is nowhere forbidden: and he knew it was a
rule in the construction of all laws, that “Expressum facit
cessare tacitum.
” The sense of which is, “When a lawgiver
sets down plainly his whole meaning, we are prevented from making him mean
what we please ourselves.” As some instances of women, therefore,
are mentioned in the divine law, which forbids us to covet our neighbour's
goods, and that of a sister omitted, he concluded it to be lawful. And as
to Square, who was in his person what is called a jolly fellow, or a
widow's man, he easily reconciled his choice to the eternal fitness of
things.



Now, as both of these gentlemen were industrious in taking every
opportunity of recommending themselves to the widow, they apprehended one
certain method was, by giving her son the constant preference to the other
lad; and as they conceived the kindness and affection which Mr Allworthy
showed the latter, must be highly disagreeable to her, they doubted not
but the laying hold on all occasions to degrade and vilify him, would be
highly pleasing to her; who, as she hated the boy, must love all those who
did him any hurt. In this Thwackum had the advantage; for while Square
could only scarify the poor lad's reputation, he could flea his skin; and,
indeed, he considered every lash he gave him as a compliment paid to his
mistress; so that he could, with the utmost propriety, repeat this old
flogging line, “Castigo te non quod odio habeam, sed quod
AMEM. I chastise thee not out of hatred, but out of love.” And this,
indeed, he often had in his mouth, or rather, according to the old phrase,
never more properly applied, at his fingers' ends.



For this reason, principally, the two gentlemen concurred, as we have seen
above, in their opinion concerning the two lads; this being, indeed,
almost the only instance of their concurring on any point; for, beside the
difference of their principles, they had both long ago strongly suspected
each other's design, and hated one another with no little degree of
inveteracy.



This mutual animosity was a good deal increased by their alternate
successes; for Mrs Blifil knew what they would be at long before they
imagined it; or, indeed, intended she should: for they proceeded with
great caution, lest she should be offended, and acquaint Mr Allworthy. But
they had no reason for any such fear; she was well enough pleased with a
passion, of which she intended none should have any fruits but herself.
And the only fruits she designed for herself were, flattery and courtship;
for which purpose she soothed them by turns, and a long time equally. She
was, indeed, rather inclined to favour the parson's principles; but
Square's person was more agreeable to her eye, for he was a comely man;
whereas the pedagogue did in countenance very nearly resemble that
gentleman, who, in the Harlot's Progress, is seen correcting the ladies in
Bridewell.



Whether Mrs Blifil had been surfeited with the sweets of marriage, or
disgusted by its bitters, or from what other cause it proceeded, I will
not determine; but she could never be brought to listen to any second
proposals. However, she at last conversed with Square with such a degree
of intimacy that malicious tongues began to whisper things of her, to
which, as well for the sake of the lady, as that they were highly
disagreeable to the rule of right and the fitness of things, we will give
no credit, and therefore shall not blot our paper with them. The
pedagogue, 'tis certain, whipped on, without getting a step nearer to his
journey's end.



Indeed he had committed a great error, and that Square discovered much
sooner than himself. Mrs Blifil (as, perhaps, the reader may have formerly
guessed) was not over and above pleased with the behaviour of her husband;
nay, to be honest, she absolutely hated him, till his death at last a
little reconciled him to her affections. It will not be therefore greatly
wondered at, if she had not the most violent regard to the offspring she
had by him. And, in fact, she had so little of this regard, that in his
infancy she seldom saw her son, or took any notice of him; and hence she
acquiesced, after a little reluctance, in all the favours which Mr
Allworthy showered on the foundling; whom the good man called his own boy,
and in all things put on an entire equality with Master Blifil. This
acquiescence in Mrs Blifil was considered by the neighbours, and by the
family, as a mark of her condescension to her brother's humour, and she
was imagined by all others, as well as Thwackum and Square, to hate the
foundling in her heart; nay, the more civility she showed him, the more
they conceived she detested him, and the surer schemes she was laying for
his ruin: for as they thought it her interest to hate him, it was very
difficult for her to persuade them she did not.



Thwackum was the more confirmed in his opinion, as she had more than once
slily caused him to whip Tom Jones, when Mr Allworthy, who was an enemy to
this exercise, was abroad; whereas she had never given any such orders
concerning young Blifil. And this had likewise imposed upon Square. In
reality, though she certainly hated her own son—of which, however
monstrous it appears, I am assured she is not a singular instance—she
appeared, notwithstanding all her outward compliance, to be in her heart
sufficiently displeased with all the favour shown by Mr Allworthy to the
foundling. She frequently complained of this behind her brother's back,
and very sharply censured him for it, both to Thwackum and Square; nay,
she would throw it in the teeth of Allworthy himself, when a little
quarrel, or miff, as it is vulgarly called, arose between them.



However, when Tom grew up, and gave tokens of that gallantry of temper
which greatly recommends men to women, this disinclination which she had
discovered to him when a child, by degrees abated, and at last she so
evidently demonstrated her affection to him to be much stronger than what
she bore her own son, that it was impossible to mistake her any longer.
She was so desirous of often seeing him, and discovered such satisfaction
and delight in his company, that before he was eighteen years old he was
become a rival to both Square and Thwackum; and what is worse, the whole
country began to talk as loudly of her inclination to Tom, as they had
before done of that which she had shown to Square: on which account the
philosopher conceived the most implacable hatred for our poor heroe.




















Chapter vii. — In which the author himself makes his appearance on
the stage.



Though Mr Allworthy was not of himself hasty to see things in a
disadvantageous light, and was a stranger to the public voice, which
seldom reaches to a brother or a husband, though it rings in the ears of
all the neighbourhood; yet was this affection of Mrs Blifil to Tom, and
the preference which she too visibly gave him to her own son, of the
utmost disadvantage to that youth.



For such was the compassion which inhabited Mr Allworthy's mind, that
nothing but the steel of justice could ever subdue it. To be unfortunate
in any respect was sufficient, if there was no demerit to counterpoise it,
to turn the scale of that good man's pity, and to engage his friendship
and his benefaction.



When therefore he plainly saw Master Blifil was absolutely detested (for
that he was) by his own mother, he began, on that account only, to look
with an eye of compassion upon him; and what the effects of compassion
are, in good and benevolent minds, I need not here explain to most of my
readers.



Henceforward he saw every appearance of virtue in the youth through the
magnifying end, and viewed all his faults with the glass inverted, so that
they became scarce perceptible. And this perhaps the amiable temper of
pity may make commendable; but the next step the weakness of human nature
alone must excuse; for he no sooner perceived that preference which Mrs
Blifil gave to Tom, than that poor youth (however innocent) began to sink
in his affections as he rose in hers. This, it is true, would of itself
alone never have been able to eradicate Jones from his bosom; but it was
greatly injurious to him, and prepared Mr Allworthy's mind for those
impressions which afterwards produced the mighty events that will be
contained hereafter in this history; and to which, it must be confest, the
unfortunate lad, by his own wantonness, wildness, and want of caution, too
much contributed.



In recording some instances of these, we shall, if rightly understood,
afford a very useful lesson to those well-disposed youths who shall
hereafter be our readers; for they may here find, that goodness of heart,
and openness of temper, though these may give them great comfort within,
and administer to an honest pride in their own minds, will by no means,
alas! do their business in the world. Prudence and circumspection are
necessary even to the best of men. They are indeed, as it were, a guard to
Virtue, without which she can never be safe. It is not enough that your
designs, nay, that your actions, are intrinsically good; you must take
care they shall appear so. If your inside be never so beautiful, you must
preserve a fair outside also. This must be constantly looked to, or malice
and envy will take care to blacken it so, that the sagacity and goodness
of an Allworthy will not be able to see through it, and to discern the
beauties within. Let this, my young readers, be your constant maxim, that
no man can be good enough to enable him to neglect the rules of prudence;
nor will Virtue herself look beautiful, unless she be bedecked with the
outward ornaments of decency and decorum. And this precept, my worthy
disciples, if you read with due attention, you will, I hope, find
sufficiently enforced by examples in the following pages.



I ask pardon for this short appearance, by way of chorus, on the stage. It
is in reality for my own sake, that, while I am discovering the rocks on
which innocence and goodness often split, I may not be misunderstood to
recommend the very means to my worthy readers, by which I intend to show
them they will be undone. And this, as I could not prevail on any of my
actors to speak, I myself was obliged to declare.




















Chapter viii. — A childish incident, in which, however, is seen a
good-natured disposition in Tom Jones.



The reader may remember that Mr Allworthy gave Tom Jones a little horse,
as a kind of smart-money for the punishment which he imagined he had
suffered innocently.



This horse Tom kept above half a year, and then rode him to a neighbouring
fair, and sold him.



At his return, being questioned by Thwackum what he had done with the
money for which the horse was sold, he frankly declared he would not tell
him.



“Oho!” says Thwackum, “you will not! then I will have it
out of your br—h;” that being the place to which he always
applied for information on every doubtful occasion.



Tom was now mounted on the back of a footman, and everything prepared for
execution, when Mr Allworthy, entering the room, gave the criminal a
reprieve, and took him with him into another apartment; where, being alone
with Tom, he put the same question to him which Thwackum had before asked
him.



Tom answered, he could in duty refuse him nothing; but as for that
tyrannical rascal, he would never make him any other answer than with a
cudgel, with which he hoped soon to be able to pay him for all his
barbarities.



Mr Allworthy very severely reprimanded the lad for his indecent and
disrespectful expressions concerning his master; but much more for his
avowing an intention of revenge. He threatened him with the entire loss of
his favour, if he ever heard such another word from his mouth; for, he
said, he would never support or befriend a reprobate. By these and the
like declarations, he extorted some compunction from Tom, in which that
youth was not over-sincere; for he really meditated some return for all
the smarting favours he had received at the hands of the pedagogue. He
was, however, brought by Mr Allworthy to express a concern for his
resentment against Thwackum; and then the good man, after some wholesome
admonition, permitted him to proceed, which he did as follows:—



“Indeed, my dear sir, I love and honour you more than all the world:
I know the great obligations I have to you, and should detest myself if I
thought my heart was capable of ingratitude. Could the little horse you
gave me speak, I am sure he could tell you how fond I was of your present;
for I had more pleasure in feeding him than in riding him. Indeed, sir, it
went to my heart to part with him; nor would I have sold him upon any
other account in the world than what I did. You yourself, sir, I am
convinced, in my case, would have done the same: for none ever so sensibly
felt the misfortunes of others. What would you feel, dear sir, if you
thought yourself the occasion of them? Indeed, sir, there never was any
misery like theirs.”



“Like whose, child?” says Allworthy: “What do you mean?”



“Oh, sir!” answered Tom, “your poor gamekeeper, with all
his large family, ever since your discarding him, have been perishing with
all the miseries of cold and hunger: I could not bear to see these poor
wretches naked and starving, and at the same time know myself to have been
the occasion of all their sufferings. I could not bear it, sir; upon my
soul, I could not.” [Here the tears ran down his cheeks, and he thus
proceeded.] “It was to save them from absolute destruction I parted
with your dear present, notwithstanding all the value I had for it: I sold
the horse for them, and they have every farthing of the money.”



Mr Allworthy now stood silent for some moments, and before he spoke the
tears started from his eyes. He at length dismissed Tom with a gentle
rebuke, advising him for the future to apply to him in cases of distress,
rather than to use extraordinary means of relieving them himself.



This affair was afterwards the subject of much debate between Thwackum and
Square. Thwackum held, that this was flying in Mr Allworthy's face, who
had intended to punish the fellow for his disobedience. He said, in some
instances, what the world called charity appeared to him to be opposing
the will of the Almighty, which had marked some particular persons for
destruction; and that this was in like manner acting in opposition to Mr
Allworthy; concluding, as usual, with a hearty recommendation of birch.



Square argued strongly on the other side, in opposition perhaps to
Thwackum, or in compliance with Mr Allworthy, who seemed very much to
approve what Jones had done. As to what he urged on this occasion, as I am
convinced most of my readers will be much abler advocates for poor Jones,
it would be impertinent to relate it. Indeed it was not difficult to
reconcile to the rule of right an action which it would have been
impossible to deduce from the rule of wrong.




















Chapter ix. — Containing an incident of a more heinous kind, with
the comments of Thwackum and Square.



It hath been observed by some man of much greater reputation for wisdom
than myself, that misfortunes seldom come single. An instance of this may,
I believe, be seen in those gentlemen who have the misfortune to have any
of their rogueries detected; for here discovery seldom stops till the
whole is come out. Thus it happened to poor Tom; who was no sooner
pardoned for selling the horse, than he was discovered to have some time
before sold a fine Bible which Mr Allworthy gave him, the money arising
from which sale he had disposed of in the same manner. This Bible Master
Blifil had purchased, though he had already such another of his own,
partly out of respect for the book, and partly out of friendship to Tom,
being unwilling that the Bible should be sold out of the family at
half-price. He therefore deposited the said half-price himself; for he was
a very prudent lad, and so careful of his money, that he had laid up
almost every penny which he had received from Mr Allworthy.



Some people have been noted to be able to read in no book but their own.
On the contrary, from the time when Master Blifil was first possessed of
this Bible, he never used any other. Nay, he was seen reading in it much
oftener than he had before been in his own. Now, as he frequently asked
Thwackum to explain difficult passages to him, that gentleman
unfortunately took notice of Tom's name, which was written in many parts
of the book. This brought on an inquiry, which obliged Master Blifil to
discover the whole matter.



Thwackum was resolved a crime of this kind, which he called sacrilege,
should not go unpunished. He therefore proceeded immediately to
castigation: and not contented with that he acquainted Mr Allworthy, at
their next meeting, with this monstrous crime, as it appeared to him:
inveighing against Tom in the most bitter terms, and likening him to the
buyers and sellers who were driven out of the temple.



Square saw this matter in a very different light. He said, he could not
perceive any higher crime in selling one book than in selling another.
That to sell Bibles was strictly lawful by all laws both Divine and human,
and consequently there was no unfitness in it. He told Thwackum, that his
great concern on this occasion brought to his mind the story of a very
devout woman, who, out of pure regard to religion, stole Tillotson's
Sermons from a lady of her acquaintance.



This story caused a vast quantity of blood to rush into the parson's face,
which of itself was none of the palest; and he was going to reply with
great warmth and anger, had not Mrs Blifil, who was present at this
debate, interposed. That lady declared herself absolutely of Mr Square's
side. She argued, indeed, very learnedly in support of his opinion; and
concluded with saying, if Tom had been guilty of any fault, she must
confess her own son appeared to be equally culpable; for that she could
see no difference between the buyer and the seller; both of whom were
alike to be driven out of the temple.



Mrs Blifil having declared her opinion, put an end to the debate. Square's
triumph would almost have stopt his words, had he needed them; and
Thwackum, who, for reasons before-mentioned, durst not venture at
disobliging the lady, was almost choaked with indignation. As to Mr
Allworthy, he said, since the boy had been already punished he would not
deliver his sentiments on the occasion; and whether he was or was not
angry with the lad, I must leave to the reader's own conjecture.



Soon after this, an action was brought against the gamekeeper by Squire
Western (the gentleman in whose manor the partridge was killed), for
depredations of the like kind. This was a most unfortunate circumstance
for the fellow, as it not only of itself threatened his ruin, but actually
prevented Mr Allworthy from restoring him to his favour: for as that
gentleman was walking out one evening with Master Blifil and young Jones,
the latter slily drew him to the habitation of Black George; where the
family of that poor wretch, namely, his wife and children, were found in
all the misery with which cold, hunger, and nakedness, can affect human
creatures: for as to the money they had received from Jones, former debts
had consumed almost the whole.



Such a scene as this could not fail of affecting the heart of Mr
Allworthy. He immediately gave the mother a couple of guineas, with which
he bid her cloath her children. The poor woman burst into tears at this
goodness, and while she was thanking him, could not refrain from
expressing her gratitude to Tom; who had, she said, long preserved both
her and hers from starving. “We have not,” says she, “had
a morsel to eat, nor have these poor children had a rag to put on, but
what his goodness hath bestowed on us.” For, indeed, besides the
horse and the Bible, Tom had sacrificed a night-gown, and other things, to
the use of this distressed family.



On their return home, Tom made use of all his eloquence to display the
wretchedness of these people, and the penitence of Black George himself;
and in this he succeeded so well, that Mr Allworthy said, he thought the
man had suffered enough for what was past; that he would forgive him, and
think of some means of providing for him and his family.



Jones was so delighted with this news, that, though it was dark when they
returned home, he could not help going back a mile, in a shower of rain,
to acquaint the poor woman with the glad tidings; but, like other hasty
divulgers of news, he only brought on himself the trouble of contradicting
it: for the ill fortune of Black George made use of the very opportunity
of his friend's absence to overturn all again.




















Chapter x. — In which Master Blifil and Jones appear in different
lights.



Master Blifil fell very short of his companion in the amiable quality of
mercy; but he as greatly exceeded him in one of a much higher kind,
namely, in justice: in which he followed both the precepts and example of
Thwackum and Square; for though they would both make frequent use of the
word mercy, yet it was plain that in reality Square held it to be
inconsistent with the rule of right; and Thwackum was for doing justice,
and leaving mercy to heaven. The two gentlemen did indeed somewhat differ
in opinion concerning the objects of this sublime virtue; by which
Thwackum would probably have destroyed one half of mankind, and Square the
other half.



Master Blifil then, though he had kept silence in the presence of Jones,
yet, when he had better considered the matter, could by no means endure
the thought of suffering his uncle to confer favours on the undeserving.
He therefore resolved immediately to acquaint him with the fact which we
have above slightly hinted to the readers. The truth of which was as
follows:



The gamekeeper, about a year after he was dismissed from Mr Allworthy's
service, and before Tom's selling the horse, being in want of bread,
either to fill his own mouth or those of his family, as he passed through
a field belonging to Mr Western espied a hare sitting in her form. This
hare he had basely and barbarously knocked on the head, against the laws
of the land, and no less against the laws of sportsmen.



The higgler to whom the hare was sold, being unfortunately taken many
months after with a quantity of game upon him, was obliged to make his
peace with the squire, by becoming evidence against some poacher. And now
Black George was pitched upon by him, as being a person already obnoxious
to Mr Western, and one of no good fame in the country. He was, besides,
the best sacrifice the higgler could make, as he had supplied him with no
game since; and by this means the witness had an opportunity of screening
his better customers: for the squire, being charmed with the power of
punishing Black George, whom a single transgression was sufficient to
ruin, made no further enquiry.



Had this fact been truly laid before Mr Allworthy, it might probably have
done the gamekeeper very little mischief. But there is no zeal blinder
than that which is inspired with the love of justice against offenders.
Master Blifil had forgot the distance of the time. He varied likewise in
the manner of the fact: and by the hasty addition of the single letter S
he considerably altered the story; for he said that George had wired
hares. These alterations might probably have been set right, had not
Master Blifil unluckily insisted on a promise of secrecy from Mr Allworthy
before he revealed the matter to him; but by that means the poor
gamekeeper was condemned without having an opportunity to defend himself:
for as the fact of killing the hare, and of the action brought, were
certainly true, Mr Allworthy had no doubt concerning the rest.



Short-lived then was the joy of these poor people; for Mr Allworthy the
next morning declared he had fresh reason, without assigning it, for his
anger, and strictly forbad Tom to mention George any more: though as for
his family, he said he would endeavour to keep them from starving; but as
to the fellow himself, he would leave him to the laws, which nothing could
keep him from breaking.



Tom could by no means divine what had incensed Mr Allworthy, for of Master
Blifil he had not the least suspicion. However, as his friendship was to
be tired out by no disappointments, he now determined to try another
method of preserving the poor gamekeeper from ruin.



Jones was lately grown very intimate with Mr Western. He had so greatly
recommended himself to that gentleman, by leaping over five-barred gates,
and by other acts of sportsmanship, that the squire had declared Tom would
certainly make a great man if he had but sufficient encouragement. He
often wished he had himself a son with such parts; and one day very
solemnly asserted at a drinking bout, that Tom should hunt a pack of
hounds for a thousand pound of his money, with any huntsman in the whole
country.



By such kind of talents he had so ingratiated himself with the squire,
that he was a most welcome guest at his table, and a favourite companion
in his sport: everything which the squire held most dear, to wit, his
guns, dogs, and horses, were now as much at the command of Jones, as if
they had been his own. He resolved therefore to make use of this favour on
behalf of his friend Black George, whom he hoped to introduce into Mr
Western's family, in the same capacity in which he had before served Mr
Allworthy.



The reader, if he considers that this fellow was already obnoxious to Mr
Western, and if he considers farther the weighty business by which that
gentleman's displeasure had been incurred, will perhaps condemn this as a
foolish and desperate undertaking; but if he should totally condemn young
Jones on that account, he will greatly applaud him for strengthening
himself with all imaginable interest on so arduous an occasion.



For this purpose, then, Tom applied to Mr Western's daughter, a young lady
of about seventeen years of age, whom her father, next after those
necessary implements of sport just before mentioned, loved and esteemed
above all the world. Now, as she had some influence on the squire, so Tom
had some little influence on her. But this being the intended heroine of
this work, a lady with whom we ourselves are greatly in love, and with
whom many of our readers will probably be in love too, before we part, it
is by no means proper she should make her appearance at the end of a book.




















BOOK IV. — CONTAINING THE TIME OF A YEAR.




















Chapter i. — Containing five pages of paper.



As truth distinguishes our writings from those idle romances which are
filled with monsters, the productions, not of nature, but of distempered
brains; and which have been therefore recommended by an eminent critic to
the sole use of the pastry-cook; so, on the other hand, we would avoid any
resemblance to that kind of history which a celebrated poet seems to think
is no less calculated for the emolument of the brewer, as the reading it
should be always attended with a tankard of good ale—


     While—history with her comrade ale,
Soothes the sad series of her serious tale


For as this is the liquor of modern historians, nay, perhaps their muse,
if we may believe the opinion of Butler, who attributes inspiration to
ale, it ought likewise to be the potation of their readers, since every
book ought to be read with the same spirit and in the same manner as it is
writ. Thus the famous author of Hurlothrumbo told a learned bishop, that
the reason his lordship could not taste the excellence of his piece was,
that he did not read it with a fiddle in his hand; which instrument he
himself had always had in his own, when he composed it.



That our work, therefore, might be in no danger of being likened to the
labours of these historians, we have taken every occasion of interspersing
through the whole sundry similes, descriptions, and other kind of poetical
embellishments. These are, indeed, designed to supply the place of the
said ale, and to refresh the mind, whenever those slumbers, which in a
long work are apt to invade the reader as well as the writer, shall begin
to creep upon him. Without interruptions of this kind, the best narrative
of plain matter of fact must overpower every reader; for nothing but the
ever lasting watchfulness, which Homer has ascribed only to Jove himself,
can be proof against a newspaper of many volumes.



We shall leave to the reader to determine with what judgment we have
chosen the several occasions for inserting those ornamental parts of our
work. Surely it will be allowed that none could be more proper than the
present, where we are about to introduce a considerable character on the
scene; no less, indeed, than the heroine of this heroic, historical,
prosaic poem. Here, therefore, we have thought proper to prepare the mind
of the reader for her reception, by filling it with every pleasing image
which we can draw from the face of nature. And for this method we plead
many precedents. First, this is an art well known to, and much practised
by, our tragick poets, who seldom fail to prepare their audience for the
reception of their principal characters.



Thus the heroe is always introduced with a flourish of drums and trumpets,
in order to rouse a martial spirit in the audience, and to accommodate
their ears to bombast and fustian, which Mr Locke's blind man would not
have grossly erred in likening to the sound of a trumpet. Again, when
lovers are coming forth, soft music often conducts them on the stage,
either to soothe the audience with the softness of the tender passion, or
to lull and prepare them for that gentle slumber in which they will most
probably be composed by the ensuing scene.



And not only the poets, but the masters of these poets, the managers of
playhouses, seem to be in this secret; for, besides the aforesaid
kettle-drums, &c., which denote the heroe's approach, he is generally
ushered on the stage by a large troop of half a dozen scene-shifters; and
how necessary these are imagined to his appearance, may be concluded from
the following theatrical story:—



King Pyrrhus was at dinner at an ale-house bordering on the theatre, when
he was summoned to go on the stage. The heroe, being unwilling to quit his
shoulder of mutton, and as unwilling to draw on himself the indignation of
Mr Wilks (his brother-manager) for making the audience wait, had bribed
these his harbingers to be out of the way. While Mr Wilks, therefore, was
thundering out, “Where are the carpenters to walk on before King
Pyrrhus?” that monarch very quietly eat his mutton, and the
audience, however impatient, were obliged to entertain themselves with
music in his absence.



To be plain, I much question whether the politician, who hath generally a
good nose, hath not scented out somewhat of the utility of this practice.
I am convinced that awful magistrate my lord-mayor contracts a good deal
of that reverence which attends him through the year, by the several
pageants which precede his pomp. Nay, I must confess, that even I myself,
who am not remarkably liable to be captivated with show, have yielded not
a little to the impressions of much preceding state. When I have seen a
man strutting in a procession, after others whose business was only to
walk before him, I have conceived a higher notion of his dignity than I
have felt on seeing him in a common situation. But there is one instance,
which comes exactly up to my purpose. This is the custom of sending on a
basket-woman, who is to precede the pomp at a coronation, and to strew the
stage with flowers, before the great personages begin their procession.
The antients would certainly have invoked the goddess Flora for this
purpose, and it would have been no difficulty for their priests, or
politicians to have persuaded the people of the real presence of the
deity, though a plain mortal had personated her and performed her office.
But we have no such design of imposing on our reader; and therefore those
who object to the heathen theology, may, if they please, change our
goddess into the above-mentioned basket-woman. Our intention, in short, is
to introduce our heroine with the utmost solemnity in our power, with an
elevation of stile, and all other circumstances proper to raise the
veneration of our reader.—Indeed we would, for certain causes,
advise those of our male readers who have any hearts, to read no farther,
were we not well assured, that how amiable soever the picture of our
heroine will appear, as it is really a copy from nature, many of our fair
countrywomen will be found worthy to satisfy any passion, and to answer
any idea of female perfection which our pencil will be able to raise.



And now, without any further preface, we proceed to our next chapter.




















Chapter ii. — A short hint of what we can do in the sublime, and a
description of Miss Sophia Western.



Hushed be every ruder breath. May the heathen ruler of the winds confine
in iron chains the boisterous limbs of noisy Boreas, and the sharp-pointed
nose of bitter-biting Eurus. Do thou, sweet Zephyrus, rising from thy
fragrant bed, mount the western sky, and lead on those delicious gales,
the charms of which call forth the lovely Flora from her chamber, perfumed
with pearly dews, when on the 1st of June, her birth-day, the blooming
maid, in loose attire, gently trips it over the verdant mead, where every
flower rises to do her homage, till the whole field becomes enamelled, and
colours contend with sweets which shall ravish her most.



So charming may she now appear! and you the feathered choristers of
nature, whose sweetest notes not even Handel can excell, tune your
melodious throats to celebrate her appearance. From love proceeds your
music, and to love it returns. Awaken therefore that gentle passion in
every swain: for lo! adorned with all the charms in which nature can array
her; bedecked with beauty, youth, sprightliness, innocence, modesty, and
tenderness, breathing sweetness from her rosy lips, and darting brightness
from her sparkling eyes, the lovely Sophia comes!



Reader, perhaps thou hast seen the statue of the Venus de Medicis.
Perhaps, too, thou hast seen the gallery of beauties at Hampton Court.
Thou may'st remember each bright Churchill of the galaxy, and all the
toasts of the Kit-cat. Or, if their reign was before thy times, at least
thou hast seen their daughters, the no less dazzling beauties of the
present age; whose names, should we here insert, we apprehend they would
fill the whole volume.



Now if thou hast seen all these, be not afraid of the rude answer which
Lord Rochester once gave to a man who had seen many things. No. If thou
hast seen all these without knowing what beauty is, thou hast no eyes; if
without feeling its power, thou hast no heart.



Yet is it possible, my friend, that thou mayest have seen all these
without being able to form an exact idea of Sophia; for she did not
exactly resemble any of them. She was most like the picture of Lady
Ranelagh: and, I have heard, more still to the famous dutchess of
Mazarine; but most of all she resembled one whose image never can depart
from my breast, and whom, if thou dost remember, thou hast then, my
friend, an adequate idea of Sophia.



But lest this should not have been thy fortune, we will endeavour with our
utmost skill to describe this paragon, though we are sensible that our
highest abilities are very inadequate to the task.



Sophia, then, the only daughter of Mr Western, was a middle-sized woman;
but rather inclining to tall. Her shape was not only exact, but extremely
delicate: and the nice proportion of her arms promised the truest symmetry
in her limbs. Her hair, which was black, was so luxuriant, that it reached
her middle, before she cut it to comply with the modern fashion; and it
was now curled so gracefully in her neck, that few could believe it to be
her own. If envy could find any part of the face which demanded less
commendation than the rest, it might possibly think her forehead might
have been higher without prejudice to her. Her eyebrows were full, even,
and arched beyond the power of art to imitate. Her black eyes had a lustre
in them, which all her softness could not extinguish. Her nose was exactly
regular, and her mouth, in which were two rows of ivory, exactly answered
Sir John Suckling's description in those lines:—


      Her lips were red, and one was thin,
Compar'd to that was next her chin.
Some bee had stung it newly.


Her cheeks were of the oval kind; and in her right she had a dimple, which
the least smile discovered. Her chin had certainly its share in forming
the beauty of her face; but it was difficult to say it was either large or
small, though perhaps it was rather of the former kind. Her complexion had
rather more of the lily than of the rose; but when exercise or modesty
increased her natural colour, no vermilion could equal it. Then one might
indeed cry out with the celebrated Dr Donne:


     —Her pure and eloquent blood
Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought
That one might almost say her body thought.


Her neck was long and finely turned: and here, if I was not afraid of
offending her delicacy, I might justly say, the highest beauties of the
famous Venus de Medicis were outdone. Here was whiteness which no
lilies, ivory, nor alabaster could match. The finest cambric might indeed
be supposed from envy to cover that bosom which was much whiter than
itself.—It was indeed,


     Nitor splendens Pario marmore purius.

A gloss shining beyond the purest brightness of Parian marble.



Such was the outside of Sophia; nor was this beautiful frame disgraced by
an inhabitant unworthy of it. Her mind was every way equal to her person;
nay, the latter borrowed some charms from the former; for when she smiled,
the sweetness of her temper diffused that glory over her countenance which
no regularity of features can give. But as there are no perfections of the
mind which do not discover themselves in that perfect intimacy to which we
intend to introduce our reader with this charming young creature, so it is
needless to mention them here: nay, it is a kind of tacit affront to our
reader's understanding, and may also rob him of that pleasure which he
will receive in forming his own judgment of her character.



It may, however, be proper to say, that whatever mental accomplishments
she had derived from nature, they were somewhat improved and cultivated by
art: for she had been educated under the care of an aunt, who was a lady
of great discretion, and was thoroughly acquainted with the world, having
lived in her youth about the court, whence she had retired some years
since into the country. By her conversation and instructions, Sophia was
perfectly well bred, though perhaps she wanted a little of that ease in
her behaviour which is to be acquired only by habit, and living within
what is called the polite circle. But this, to say the truth, is often too
dearly purchased; and though it hath charms so inexpressible, that the
French, perhaps, among other qualities, mean to express this, when they
declare they know not what it is; yet its absence is well compensated by
innocence; nor can good sense and a natural gentility ever stand in need
of it.




















Chapter iii. — Wherein the history goes back to commemorate a
trifling incident that happened some years since; but which, trifling as
it was, had some future consequences.



The amiable Sophia was now in her eighteenth year, when she is introduced
into this history. Her father, as hath been said, was fonder of her than
of any other human creature. To her, therefore, Tom Jones applied, in
order to engage her interest on the behalf of his friend the gamekeeper.



But before we proceed to this business, a short recapitulation of some
previous matters may be necessary.



Though the different tempers of Mr Allworthy and of Mr Western did not
admit of a very intimate correspondence, yet they lived upon what is
called a decent footing together; by which means the young people of both
families had been acquainted from their infancy; and as they were all near
of the same age, had been frequent playmates together.



The gaiety of Tom's temper suited better with Sophia, than the grave and
sober disposition of Master Blifil. And the preference which she gave the
former of these, would often appear so plainly, that a lad of a more
passionate turn than Master Blifil was, might have shown some displeasure
at it.



As he did not, however, outwardly express any such disgust, it would be an
ill office in us to pay a visit to the inmost recesses of his mind, as
some scandalous people search into the most secret affairs of their
friends, and often pry into their closets and cupboards, only to discover
their poverty and meanness to the world.



However, as persons who suspect they have given others cause of offence,
are apt to conclude they are offended; so Sophia imputed an action of
Master Blifil to his anger, which the superior sagacity of Thwackum and
Square discerned to have arisen from a much better principle.



Tom Jones, when very young, had presented Sophia with a little bird, which
he had taken from the nest, had nursed up, and taught to sing.



Of this bird, Sophia, then about thirteen years old, was so extremely
fond, that her chief business was to feed and tend it, and her chief
pleasure to play with it. By these means little Tommy, for so the bird was
called, was become so tame, that it would feed out of the hand of its
mistress, would perch upon the finger, and lie contented in her bosom,
where it seemed almost sensible of its own happiness; though she always
kept a small string about its leg, nor would ever trust it with the
liberty of flying away.



One day, when Mr Allworthy and his whole family dined at Mr Western's,
Master Blifil, being in the garden with little Sophia, and observing the
extreme fondness that she showed for her little bird, desired her to trust
it for a moment in his hands. Sophia presently complied with the young
gentleman's request, and after some previous caution, delivered him her
bird; of which he was no sooner in possession, than he slipt the string
from its leg and tossed it into the air.



The foolish animal no sooner perceived itself at liberty, than forgetting
all the favours it had received from Sophia, it flew directly from her,
and perched on a bough at some distance.



Sophia, seeing her bird gone, screamed out so loud, that Tom Jones, who
was at a little distance, immediately ran to her assistance.



He was no sooner informed of what had happened, than he cursed Blifil for
a pitiful malicious rascal; and then immediately stripping off his coat he
applied himself to climbing the tree to which the bird escaped.



Tom had almost recovered his little namesake, when the branch on which it
was perched, and that hung over a canal, broke, and the poor lad plumped
over head and ears into the water.



Sophia's concern now changed its object. And as she apprehended the boy's
life was in danger, she screamed ten times louder than before; and indeed
Master Blifil himself now seconded her with all the vociferation in his
power.



The company, who were sitting in a room next the garden, were instantly
alarmed, and came all forth; but just as they reached the canal, Tom (for
the water was luckily pretty shallow in that part) arrived safely on
shore.



Thwackum fell violently on poor Tom, who stood dropping and shivering
before him, when Mr Allworthy desired him to have patience; and turning to
Master Blifil, said, “Pray, child, what is the reason of all this
disturbance?”



Master Blifil answered, “Indeed, uncle, I am very sorry for what I
have done; I have been unhappily the occasion of it all. I had Miss
Sophia's bird in my hand, and thinking the poor creature languished for
liberty, I own I could not forbear giving it what it desired; for I always
thought there was something very cruel in confining anything. It seemed to
be against the law of nature, by which everything hath a right to liberty;
nay, it is even unchristian, for it is not doing what we would be done by;
but if I had imagined Miss Sophia would have been so much concerned at it,
I am sure I never would have done it; nay, if I had known what would have
happened to the bird itself: for when Master Jones, who climbed up that
tree after it, fell into the water, the bird took a second flight, and
presently a nasty hawk carried it away.”



Poor Sophia, who now first heard of her little Tommy's fate (for her
concern for Jones had prevented her perceiving it when it happened), shed
a shower of tears. These Mr Allworthy endeavoured to assuage, promising
her a much finer bird: but she declared she would never have another. Her
father chid her for crying so for a foolish bird; but could not help
telling young Blifil, if he was a son of his, his backside should be well
flead.



Sophia now returned to her chamber, the two young gentlemen were sent
home, and the rest of the company returned to their bottle; where a
conversation ensued on the subject of the bird, so curious, that we think
it deserves a chapter by itself.




















Chapter iv. — Containing such very deep and grave matters, that some
readers, perhaps, may not relish it.



Square had no sooner lighted his pipe, than, addressing himself to
Allworthy, he thus began: “Sir, I cannot help congratulating you on
your nephew; who, at an age when few lads have any ideas but of sensible
objects, is arrived at a capacity of distinguishing right from wrong. To
confine anything, seems to me against the law of nature, by which
everything hath a right to liberty. These were his words; and the
impression they have made on me is never to be eradicated. Can any man
have a higher notion of the rule of right, and the eternal fitness of
things? I cannot help promising myself, from such a dawn, that the
meridian of this youth will be equal to that of either the elder or the
younger Brutus.”



Here Thwackum hastily interrupted, and spilling some of his wine, and
swallowing the rest with great eagerness, answered, “From another
expression he made use of, I hope he will resemble much better men. The
law of nature is a jargon of words, which means nothing. I know not of any
such law, nor of any right which can be derived from it. To do as we would
be done by, is indeed a Christian motive, as the boy well expressed
himself; and I am glad to find my instructions have borne such good fruit.”



“If vanity was a thing fit,” says Square, “I might
indulge some on the same occasion; for whence only he can have learnt his
notions of right or wrong, I think is pretty apparent. If there be no law
of nature, there is no right nor wrong.”



“How!” says the parson, “do you then banish revelation?
Am I talking with a deist or an atheist?”



“Drink about,” says Western. “Pox of your laws of
nature! I don't know what you mean, either of you, by right and wrong. To
take away my girl's bird was wrong, in my opinion; and my neighbour
Allworthy may do as he pleases; but to encourage boys in such practices,
is to breed them up to the gallows.”



Allworthy answered, “That he was sorry for what his nephew had done,
but could not consent to punish him, as he acted rather from a generous
than unworthy motive.” He said, “If the boy had stolen the
bird, none would have been more ready to vote for a severe chastisement
than himself; but it was plain that was not his design:” and,
indeed, it was as apparent to him, that he could have no other view but
what he had himself avowed. (For as to that malicious purpose which Sophia
suspected, it never once entered into the head of Mr Allworthy.) He at
length concluded with again blaming the action as inconsiderate, and
which, he said, was pardonable only in a child.



Square had delivered his opinion so openly, that if he was now silent, he
must submit to have his judgment censured. He said, therefore, with some
warmth, “That Mr Allworthy had too much respect to the dirty
consideration of property. That in passing our judgments on great and
mighty actions, all private regards should be laid aside; for by adhering
to those narrow rules, the younger Brutus had been condemned of
ingratitude, and the elder of parricide.”



“And if they had been hanged too for those crimes,” cried
Thwackum, “they would have had no more than their deserts. A couple
of heathenish villains! Heaven be praised we have no Brutuses now-a-days!
I wish, Mr Square, you would desist from filling the minds of my pupils
with such antichristian stuff; for the consequence must be, while they are
under my care, its being well scourged out of them again. There is your
disciple Tom almost spoiled already. I overheard him the other day
disputing with Master Blifil that there was no merit in faith without
works. I know that is one of your tenets, and I suppose he had it from
you.”



“Don't accuse me of spoiling him,” says Square. “Who
taught him to laugh at whatever is virtuous and decent, and fit and right
in the nature of things? He is your own scholar, and I disclaim him. No,
no, Master Blifil is my boy. Young as he is, that lad's notions of moral
rectitude I defy you ever to eradicate.”



Thwackum put on a contemptuous sneer at this, and replied, “Ay, ay,
I will venture him with you. He is too well grounded for all your
philosophical cant to hurt. No, no, I have taken care to instil such
principles into him—”



“And I have instilled principles into him too,” cries Square.
“What but the sublime idea of virtue could inspire a human mind with
the generous thought of giving liberty? And I repeat to you again, if it
was a fit thing to be proud, I might claim the honour of having infused
that idea.”—



“And if pride was not forbidden,” said Thwackum, “I
might boast of having taught him that duty which he himself assigned as
his motive.”



“So between you both,” says the squire, “the young
gentleman hath been taught to rob my daughter of her bird. I find I must
take care of my partridge-mew. I shall have some virtuous religious man or
other set all my partridges at liberty.” Then slapping a gentleman
of the law, who was present, on the back, he cried out, “What say
you to this, Mr Counsellor? Is not this against law?”



The lawyer with great gravity delivered himself as follows:—



“If the case be put of a partridge, there can be no doubt but an
action would lie; for though this be ferae naturae, yet being
reclaimed, property vests: but being the case of a singing bird, though
reclaimed, as it is a thing of base nature, it must be considered as nullius
in bonis
. In this case, therefore, I conceive the plaintiff must be
non-suited; and I should disadvise the bringing any such action.”



“Well,” says the squire, “if it be nullus bonus,
let us drink about, and talk a little of the state of the nation, or some
such discourse that we all understand; for I am sure I don't understand a
word of this. It may be learning and sense for aught I know: but you shall
never persuade me into it. Pox! you have neither of you mentioned a word
of that poor lad who deserves to be commended: to venture breaking his
neck to oblige my girl was a generous-spirited action: I have learning
enough to see that. D—n me, here's Tom's health! I shall love the
boy for it the longest day I have to live.”



Thus was the debate interrupted; but it would probably have been soon
resumed, had not Mr Allworthy presently called for his coach, and carried
off the two combatants.



Such was the conclusion of this adventure of the bird, and of the dialogue
occasioned by it; which we could not help recounting to our reader, though
it happened some years before that stage or period of time at which our
history is now arrived.




















Chapter v. — Containing matter accommodated to every taste.



“Parva leves capiunt animos—Small things affect light minds,”
was the sentiment of a great master of the passion of love. And certain it
is, that from this day Sophia began to have some little kindness for Tom
Jones, and no little aversion for his companion.



Many accidents from time to time improved both these passions in her
breast; which, without our recounting, the reader may well conclude, from
what we have before hinted of the different tempers of these lads, and how
much the one suited with her own inclinations more than the other. To say
the truth, Sophia, when very young, discerned that Tom, though an idle,
thoughtless, rattling rascal, was nobody's enemy but his own; and that
Master Blifil, though a prudent, discreet, sober young gentleman, was at
the same time strongly attached to the interest only of one single person;
and who that single person was the reader will be able to divine without
any assistance of ours.



These two characters are not always received in the world with the
different regard which seems severally due to either; and which one would
imagine mankind, from self-interest, should show towards them. But perhaps
there may be a political reason for it: in finding one of a truly
benevolent disposition, men may very reasonably suppose they have found a
treasure, and be desirous of keeping it, like all other good things, to
themselves. Hence they may imagine, that to trumpet forth the praises of
such a person, would, in the vulgar phrase, be crying Roast-meat, and
calling in partakers of what they intend to apply solely to their own use.
If this reason does not satisfy the reader, I know no other means of
accounting for the little respect which I have commonly seen paid to a
character which really does great honour to human nature, and is
productive of the highest good to society. But it was otherwise with
Sophia. She honoured Tom Jones, and scorned Master Blifil, almost as soon
as she knew the meaning of those two words.



Sophia had been absent upwards of three years with her aunt; during all
which time she had seldom seen either of these young gentlemen. She dined,
however, once, together with her aunt, at Mr Allworthy's. This was a few
days after the adventure of the partridge, before commemorated. Sophia
heard the whole story at table, where she said nothing: nor indeed could
her aunt get many words from her as she returned home; but her maid, when
undressing her, happening to say, “Well, miss, I suppose you have
seen young Master Blifil to-day?” she answered with much passion,
“I hate the name of Master Blifil, as I do whatever is base and
treacherous: and I wonder Mr Allworthy would suffer that old barbarous
schoolmaster to punish a poor boy so cruelly for what was only the effect
of his good-nature.” She then recounted the story to her maid, and
concluded with saying, “Don't you think he is a boy of noble spirit?”



This young lady was now returned to her father; who gave her the command
of his house, and placed her at the upper end of his table, where Tom (who
for his great love of hunting was become a great favourite of the squire)
often dined. Young men of open, generous dispositions are naturally
inclined to gallantry, which, if they have good understandings, as was in
reality Tom's case, exerts itself in an obliging complacent behaviour to
all women in general. This greatly distinguished Tom from the boisterous
brutality of mere country squires on the one hand, and from the solemn and
somewhat sullen deportment of Master Blifil on the other; and he began
now, at twenty, to have the name of a pretty fellow among all the women in
the neighbourhood.



Tom behaved to Sophia with no particularity, unless perhaps by showing her
a higher respect than he paid to any other. This distinction her beauty,
fortune, sense, and amiable carriage, seemed to demand; but as to design
upon her person he had none; for which we shall at present suffer the
reader to condemn him of stupidity; but perhaps we shall be able
indifferently well to account for it hereafter.



Sophia, with the highest degree of innocence and modesty, had a remarkable
sprightliness in her temper. This was so greatly increased whenever she
was in company with Tom, that had he not been very young and thoughtless,
he must have observed it: or had not Mr Western's thoughts been generally
either in the field, the stable, or the dog-kennel, it might have perhaps
created some jealousy in him: but so far was the good gentleman from
entertaining any such suspicions, that he gave Tom every opportunity with
his daughter which any lover could have wished; and this Tom innocently
improved to better advantage, by following only the dictates of his
natural gallantry and good-nature, than he might perhaps have done had he
had the deepest designs on the young lady.



But indeed it can occasion little wonder that this matter escaped the
observation of others, since poor Sophia herself never remarked it; and
her heart was irretrievably lost before she suspected it was in danger.



Matters were in this situation, when Tom, one afternoon, finding Sophia
alone, began, after a short apology, with a very serious face, to acquaint
her that he had a favour to ask of her which he hoped her goodness would
comply with.



Though neither the young man's behaviour, nor indeed his manner of opening
this business, were such as could give her any just cause of suspecting he
intended to make love to her; yet whether Nature whispered something into
her ear, or from what cause it arose I will not determine; certain it is,
some idea of that kind must have intruded itself; for her colour forsook
her cheeks, her limbs trembled, and her tongue would have faltered, had
Tom stopped for an answer; but he soon relieved her from her perplexity,
by proceeding to inform her of his request; which was to solicit her
interest on behalf of the gamekeeper, whose own ruin, and that of a large
family, must be, he said, the consequence of Mr Western's pursuing his
action against him.



Sophia presently recovered her confusion, and, with a smile full of
sweetness, said, “Is this the mighty favour you asked with so much
gravity? I will do it with all my heart. I really pity the poor fellow,
and no longer ago than yesterday sent a small matter to his wife.”
This small matter was one of her gowns, some linen, and ten shillings in
money, of which Tom had heard, and it had, in reality, put this
solicitation into his head.



Our youth, now, emboldened with his success, resolved to push the matter
farther, and ventured even to beg her recommendation of him to her
father's service; protesting that he thought him one of the honestest
fellows in the country, and extremely well qualified for the place of a
gamekeeper, which luckily then happened to be vacant.



Sophia answered, “Well, I will undertake this too; but I cannot
promise you as much success as in the former part, which I assure you I
will not quit my father without obtaining. However, I will do what I can
for the poor fellow; for I sincerely look upon him and his family as
objects of great compassion. And now, Mr Jones, I must ask you a favour.”



“A favour, madam!” cries Tom: “if you knew the pleasure
you have given me in the hopes of receiving a command from you, you would
think by mentioning it you did confer the greatest favour on me; for by
this dear hand I would sacrifice my life to oblige you.”



He then snatched her hand, and eagerly kissed it, which was the first time
his lips had ever touched her. The blood, which before had forsaken her
cheeks, now made her sufficient amends, by rushing all over her face and
neck with such violence, that they became all of a scarlet colour. She now
first felt a sensation to which she had been before a stranger, and which,
when she had leisure to reflect on it, began to acquaint her with some
secrets, which the reader, if he doth not already guess them, will know in
due time.



Sophia, as soon as she could speak (which was not instantly), informed him
that the favour she had to desire of him was, not to lead her father
through so many dangers in hunting; for that, from what she had heard, she
was terribly frightened every time they went out together, and expected
some day or other to see her father brought home with broken limbs. She
therefore begged him, for her sake, to be more cautious; and as he well
knew Mr Western would follow him, not to ride so madly, nor to take those
dangerous leaps for the future.



Tom promised faithfully to obey her commands; and after thanking her for
her kind compliance with his request, took his leave, and departed highly
charmed with his success.



Poor Sophia was charmed too, but in a very different way. Her sensations,
however, the reader's heart (if he or she have any) will better represent
than I can, if I had as many mouths as ever poet wished for, to eat, I
suppose, those many dainties with which he was so plentifully provided.



It was Mr Western's custom every afternoon, as soon as he was drunk, to
hear his daughter play on the harpsichord; for he was a great lover of
music, and perhaps, had he lived in town, might have passed for a
connoisseur; for he always excepted against the finest compositions of Mr
Handel. He never relished any music but what was light and airy; and
indeed his most favourite tunes were Old Sir Simon the King, St George he
was for England, Bobbing Joan, and some others.



His daughter, though she was a perfect mistress of music, and would never
willingly have played any but Handel's, was so devoted to her father's
pleasure, that she learnt all those tunes to oblige him. However, she
would now and then endeavour to lead him into her own taste; and when he
required the repetition of his ballads, would answer with a “Nay,
dear sir;” and would often beg him to suffer her to play something
else.



This evening, however, when the gentleman was retired from his bottle, she
played all his favourites three times over without any solicitation. This
so pleased the good squire, that he started from his couch, gave his
daughter a kiss, and swore her hand was greatly improved. She took this
opportunity to execute her promise to Tom; in which she succeeded so well,
that the squire declared, if she would give him t'other bout of Old Sir
Simon, he would give the gamekeeper his deputation the next morning. Sir
Simon was played again and again, till the charms of the music soothed Mr
Western to sleep. In the morning Sophia did not fail to remind him of his
engagement; and his attorney was immediately sent for, ordered to stop any
further proceedings in the action, and to make out the deputation.



Tom's success in this affair soon began to ring over the country, and
various were the censures passed upon it; some greatly applauding it as an
act of good nature; others sneering, and saying, “No wonder that one
idle fellow should love another.” Young Blifil was greatly enraged
at it. He had long hated Black George in the same proportion as Jones
delighted in him; not from any offence which he had ever received, but
from his great love to religion and virtue;—for Black George had the
reputation of a loose kind of a fellow. Blifil therefore represented this
as flying in Mr Allworthy's face; and declared, with great concern, that
it was impossible to find any other motive for doing good to such a
wretch.



Thwackum and Square likewise sung to the same tune. They were now
(especially the latter) become greatly jealous of young Jones with the
widow; for he now approached the age of twenty, was really a fine young
fellow, and that lady, by her encouragements to him, seemed daily more and
more to think him so.



Allworthy was not, however, moved with their malice. He declared himself
very well satisfied with what Jones had done. He said the perseverance and
integrity of his friendship was highly commendable, and he wished he could
see more frequent instances of that virtue.



But Fortune, who seldom greatly relishes such sparks as my friend Tom,
perhaps because they do not pay more ardent addresses to her, gave now a
very different turn to all his actions, and showed them to Mr Allworthy in
a light far less agreeable than that gentleman's goodness had hitherto
seen them in.




















Chapter vi. — An apology for the insensibility of Mr Jones to all
the charms of the lovely Sophia; in which possibly we may, in a
considerable degree, lower his character in the estimation of those men of
wit and gallantry who approve the heroes in most of our modern comedies.



There are two sorts of people, who, I am afraid, have already conceived
some contempt for my heroe, on account of his behaviour to Sophia. The
former of these will blame his prudence in neglecting an opportunity to
possess himself of Mr Western's fortune; and the latter will no less
despise him for his backwardness to so fine a girl, who seemed ready to
fly into his arms, if he would open them to receive her.



Now, though I shall not perhaps be able absolutely to acquit him of either
of these charges (for want of prudence admits of no excuse; and what I
shall produce against the latter charge will, I apprehend, be scarce
satisfactory); yet, as evidence may sometimes be offered in mitigation, I
shall set forth the plain matter of fact, and leave the whole to the
reader's determination.



Mr Jones had somewhat about him, which, though I think writers are not
thoroughly agreed in its name, doth certainly inhabit some human breasts;
whose use is not so properly to distinguish right from wrong, as to prompt
and incite them to the former, and to restrain and withhold them from the
latter.



This somewhat may be indeed resembled to the famous trunk-maker in the
playhouse; for, whenever the person who is possessed of it doth what is
right, no ravished or friendly spectator is so eager or so loud in his
applause: on the contrary, when he doth wrong, no critic is so apt to hiss
and explode him.



To give a higher idea of the principle I mean, as well as one more
familiar to the present age; it may be considered as sitting on its throne
in the mind, like the Lord High Chancellor of this kingdom in his court;
where it presides, governs, directs, judges, acquits, and condemns
according to merit and justice, with a knowledge which nothing escapes, a
penetration which nothing can deceive, and an integrity which nothing can
corrupt.



This active principle may perhaps be said to constitute the most essential
barrier between us and our neighbours the brutes; for if there be some in
the human shape who are not under any such dominion, I choose rather to
consider them as deserters from us to our neighbours; among whom they will
have the fate of deserters, and not be placed in the first rank.



Our heroe, whether he derived it from Thwackum or Square I will not
determine, was very strongly under the guidance of this principle; for
though he did not always act rightly, yet he never did otherwise without
feeling and suffering for it. It was this which taught him, that to repay
the civilities and little friendships of hospitality by robbing the house
where you have received them, is to be the basest and meanest of thieves.
He did not think the baseness of this offence lessened by the height of
the injury committed; on the contrary, if to steal another's plate
deserved death and infamy, it seemed to him difficult to assign a
punishment adequate to the robbing a man of his whole fortune, and of his
child into the bargain.



This principle, therefore, prevented him from any thought of making his
fortune by such means (for this, as I have said, is an active principle,
and doth not content itself with knowledge or belief only). Had he been
greatly enamoured of Sophia, he possibly might have thought otherwise; but
give me leave to say, there is great difference between running away with
a man's daughter from the motive of love, and doing the same thing from
the motive of theft.



Now, though this young gentleman was not insensible of the charms of
Sophia; though he greatly liked her beauty, and esteemed all her other
qualifications, she had made, however, no deep impression on his heart;
for which, as it renders him liable to the charge of stupidity, or at
least of want of taste, we shall now proceed to account.



The truth then is, his heart was in the possession of another woman. Here
I question not but the reader will be surprized at our long taciturnity as
to this matter; and quite at a loss to divine who this woman was, since we
have hitherto not dropt a hint of any one likely to be a rival to Sophia;
for as to Mrs Blifil, though we have been obliged to mention some
suspicions of her affection for Tom, we have not hitherto given the least
latitude for imagining that he had any for her; and, indeed, I am sorry to
say it, but the youth of both sexes are too apt to be deficient in their
gratitude for that regard with which persons more advanced in years are
sometimes so kind to honour them.



That the reader may be no longer in suspense, he will be pleased to
remember, that we have often mentioned the family of George Seagrim
(commonly called Black George, the gamekeeper), which consisted at present
of a wife and five children.



The second of these children was a daughter, whose name was Molly, and who
was esteemed one of the handsomest girls in the whole country.



Congreve well says there is in true beauty something which vulgar souls
cannot admire; so can no dirt or rags hide this something from those souls
which are not of the vulgar stamp.



The beauty of this girl made, however, no impression on Tom, till she grew
towards the age of sixteen, when Tom, who was near three years older,
began first to cast the eyes of affection upon her. And this affection he
had fixed on the girl long before he could bring himself to attempt the
possession of her person: for though his constitution urged him greatly to
this, his principles no less forcibly restrained him. To debauch a young
woman, however low her condition was, appeared to him a very heinous
crime; and the good-will he bore the father, with the compassion he had
for his family, very strongly corroborated all such sober reflections; so
that he once resolved to get the better of his inclinations, and he
actually abstained three whole months without ever going to Seagrim's
house, or seeing his daughter.



Now, though Molly was, as we have said, generally thought a very fine
girl, and in reality she was so, yet her beauty was not of the most
amiable kind. It had, indeed, very little of feminine in it, and would
have become a man at least as well as a woman; for, to say the truth,
youth and florid health had a very considerable share in the composition.



Nor was her mind more effeminate than her person. As this was tall and
robust, so was that bold and forward. So little had she of modesty, that
Jones had more regard for her virtue than she herself. And as most
probably she liked Tom as well as he liked her, so when she perceived his
backwardness she herself grew proportionably forward; and when she saw he
had entirely deserted the house, she found means of throwing herself in
his way, and behaved in such a manner that the youth must have had very
much or very little of the heroe if her endeavours had proved
unsuccessful. In a word, she soon triumphed over all the virtuous
resolutions of Jones; for though she behaved at last with all decent
reluctance, yet I rather chuse to attribute the triumph to her, since, in
fact, it was her design which succeeded.



In the conduct of this matter, I say, Molly so well played her part, that
Jones attributed the conquest entirely to himself, and considered the
young woman as one who had yielded to the violent attacks of his passion.
He likewise imputed her yielding to the ungovernable force of her love
towards him; and this the reader will allow to have been a very natural
and probable supposition, as we have more than once mentioned the uncommon
comeliness of his person: and, indeed, he was one of the handsomest young
fellows in the world.



As there are some minds whose affections, like Master Blifil's, are solely
placed on one single person, whose interest and indulgence alone they
consider on every occasion; regarding the good and ill of all others as
merely indifferent, any farther than as they contribute to the pleasure or
advantage of that person: so there is a different temper of mind which
borrows a degree of virtue even from self-love. Such can never receive any
kind of satisfaction from another, without loving the creature to whom
that satisfaction is owing, and without making its well-being in some sort
necessary to their own ease.



Of this latter species was our heroe. He considered this poor girl as one
whose happiness or misery he had caused to be dependent on himself. Her
beauty was still the object of desire, though greater beauty, or a fresher
object, might have been more so; but the little abatement which fruition
had occasioned to this was highly overbalanced by the considerations of
the affection which she visibly bore him, and of the situation into which
he had brought her. The former of these created gratitude, the latter
compassion; and both, together with his desire for her person, raised in
him a passion which might, without any great violence to the word, be
called love; though, perhaps, it was at first not very judiciously placed.



This, then, was the true reason of that insensibility which he had shown
to the charms of Sophia, and that behaviour in her which might have been
reasonably enough interpreted as an encouragement to his addresses; for as
he could not think of abandoning his Molly, poor and destitute as she was,
so no more could he entertain a notion of betraying such a creature as
Sophia. And surely, had he given the least encouragement to any passion
for that young lady, he must have been absolutely guilty of one or other
of those crimes; either of which would, in my opinion, have very justly
subjected him to that fate, which, at his first introduction into this
history, I mentioned to have been generally predicted as his certain
destiny.




















Chapter vii. — Being the shortest chapter in this book.



Her mother first perceived the alteration in the shape of Molly; and in
order to hide it from her neighbours, she foolishly clothed her in that
sack which Sophia had sent her; though, indeed, that young lady had little
apprehension that the poor woman would have been weak enough to let any of
her daughters wear it in that form.



Molly was charmed with the first opportunity she ever had of showing her
beauty to advantage; for though she could very well bear to contemplate
herself in the glass, even when dressed in rags; and though she had in
that dress conquered the heart of Jones, and perhaps of some others; yet
she thought the addition of finery would much improve her charms, and
extend her conquests.



Molly, therefore, having dressed herself out in this sack, with a new
laced cap, and some other ornaments which Tom had given her, repairs to
church with her fan in her hand the very next Sunday. The great are
deceived if they imagine they have appropriated ambition and vanity to
themselves. These noble qualities flourish as notably in a country church
and churchyard as in the drawing-room, or in the closet. Schemes have
indeed been laid in the vestry which would hardly disgrace the conclave.
Here is a ministry, and here is an opposition. Here are plots and
circumventions, parties and factions, equal to those which are to be found
in courts.



Nor are the women here less practised in the highest feminine arts than
their fair superiors in quality and fortune. Here are prudes and
coquettes. Here are dressing and ogling, falsehood, envy, malice, scandal;
in short, everything which is common to the most splendid assembly, or
politest circle. Let those of high life, therefore, no longer despise the
ignorance of their inferiors; nor the vulgar any longer rail at the vices
of their betters.



Molly had seated herself some time before she was known by her neighbours.
And then a whisper ran through the whole congregation, “Who is she?”
but when she was discovered, such sneering, gigling, tittering, and
laughing ensued among the women, that Mr Allworthy was obliged to exert
his authority to preserve any decency among them.




















Chapter viii. — A battle sung by the muse in the Homerican style,
and which none but the classical reader can taste.



Mr Western had an estate in this parish; and as his house stood at little
greater distance from this church than from his own, he very often came to
Divine Service here; and both he and the charming Sophia happened to be
present at this time.



Sophia was much pleased with the beauty of the girl, whom she pitied for
her simplicity in having dressed herself in that manner, as she saw the
envy which it had occasioned among her equals. She no sooner came home
than she sent for the gamekeeper, and ordered him to bring his daughter to
her; saying she would provide for her in the family, and might possibly
place the girl about her own person, when her own maid, who was now going
away, had left her.



Poor Seagrim was thunderstruck at this; for he was no stranger to the
fault in the shape of his daughter. He answered, in a stammering voice,
“That he was afraid Molly would be too awkward to wait on her
ladyship, as she had never been at service.” “No matter for
that,” says Sophia; “she will soon improve. I am pleased with
the girl, and am resolved to try her.”



Black George now repaired to his wife, on whose prudent counsel he
depended to extricate him out of this dilemma; but when he came thither he
found his house in some confusion. So great envy had this sack occasioned,
that when Mr Allworthy and the other gentry were gone from church, the
rage, which had hitherto been confined, burst into an uproar; and, having
vented itself at first in opprobrious words, laughs, hisses, and gestures,
betook itself at last to certain missile weapons; which, though from their
plastic nature they threatened neither the loss of life or of limb, were
however sufficiently dreadful to a well-dressed lady. Molly had too much
spirit to bear this treatment tamely. Having therefore—but hold, as
we are diffident of our own abilities, let us here invite a superior power
to our assistance.



Ye Muses, then, whoever ye are, who love to sing battles, and principally
thou who whilom didst recount the slaughter in those fields where Hudibras
and Trulla fought, if thou wert not starved with thy friend Butler, assist
me on this great occasion. All things are not in the power of all.



As a vast herd of cows in a rich farmer's yard, if, while they are milked,
they hear their calves at a distance, lamenting the robbery which is then
committing, roar and bellow; so roared forth the Somersetshire mob an
hallaloo, made up of almost as many squalls, screams, and other different
sounds as there were persons, or indeed passions among them: some were
inspired by rage, others alarmed by fear, and others had nothing in their
heads but the love of fun; but chiefly Envy, the sister of Satan, and his
constant companion, rushed among the crowd, and blew up the fury of the
women; who no sooner came up to Molly than they pelted her with dirt and
rubbish.



Molly, having endeavoured in vain to make a handsome retreat, faced about;
and laying hold of ragged Bess, who advanced in the front of the enemy,
she at one blow felled her to the ground. The whole army of the enemy
(though near a hundred in number), seeing the fate of their general, gave
back many paces, and retired behind a new-dug grave; for the churchyard
was the field of battle, where there was to be a funeral that very
evening. Molly pursued her victory, and catching up a skull which lay on
the side of the grave, discharged it with such fury, that having hit a
taylor on the head, the two skulls sent equally forth a hollow sound at
their meeting, and the taylor took presently measure of his length on the
ground, where the skulls lay side by side, and it was doubtful which was
the more valuable of the two. Molly then taking a thigh-bone in her hand,
fell in among the flying ranks, and dealing her blows with great
liberality on either side, overthrew the carcass of many a mighty heroe
and heroine.



Recount, O Muse, the names of those who fell on this fatal day. First,
Jemmy Tweedle felt on his hinder head the direful bone. Him the pleasant
banks of sweetly-winding Stour had nourished, where he first learnt the
vocal art, with which, wandering up and down at wakes and fairs, he
cheered the rural nymphs and swains, when upon the green they interweaved
the sprightly dance; while he himself stood fiddling and jumping to his
own music. How little now avails his fiddle! He thumps the verdant floor
with his carcass. Next, old Echepole, the sowgelder, received a blow in
his forehead from our Amazonian heroine, and immediately fell to the
ground. He was a swinging fat fellow, and fell with almost as much noise
as a house. His tobacco-box dropped at the same time from his pocket,
which Molly took up as lawful spoils. Then Kate of the Mill tumbled
unfortunately over a tombstone, which catching hold of her ungartered
stocking inverted the order of nature, and gave her heels the superiority
to her head. Betty Pippin, with young Roger her lover, fell both to the
ground; where, oh perverse fate! she salutes the earth, and he the sky.
Tom Freckle, the smith's son, was the next victim to her rage. He was an
ingenious workman, and made excellent pattens; nay, the very patten with
which he was knocked down was his own workmanship. Had he been at that
time singing psalms in the church, he would have avoided a broken head.
Miss Crow, the daughter of a farmer; John Giddish, himself a farmer; Nan
Slouch, Esther Codling, Will Spray, Tom Bennet; the three Misses Potter,
whose father keeps the sign of the Red Lion; Betty Chambermaid, Jack
Ostler, and many others of inferior note, lay rolling among the graves.



Not that the strenuous arm of Molly reached all these; for many of them in
their flight overthrew each other.



But now Fortune, fearing she had acted out of character, and had inclined
too long to the same side, especially as it was the right side, hastily
turned about: for now Goody Brown—whom Zekiel Brown caressed in his
arms; nor he alone, but half the parish besides; so famous was she in the
fields of Venus, nor indeed less in those of Mars. The trophies of both
these her husband always bore about on his head and face; for if ever
human head did by its horns display the amorous glories of a wife,
Zekiel's did; nor did his well-scratched face less denote her talents (or
rather talons) of a different kind.



No longer bore this Amazon the shameful flight of her party. She stopt
short, and, calling aloud to all who fled, spoke as follows: “Ye
Somersetshire men, or rather ye Somersetshire women, are ye not ashamed
thus to fly from a single woman? But if no other will oppose her, I myself
and Joan Top here will have the honour of the victory.” Having thus
said, she flew at Molly Seagrim, and easily wrenched the thigh-bone from
her hand, at the same time clawing off her cap from her head. Then laying
hold of the hair of Molly with her left hand, she attacked her so
furiously in the face with the right, that the blood soon began to trickle
from her nose. Molly was not idle this while. She soon removed the clout
from the head of Goody Brown, and then fastening on her hair with one
hand, with the other she caused another bloody stream to issue forth from
the nostrils of the enemy.



When each of the combatants had borne off sufficient spoils of hair from
the head of her antagonist, the next rage was against the garments. In
this attack they exerted so much violence, that in a very few minutes they
were both naked to the middle.



It is lucky for the women that the seat of fistycuff war is not the same
with them as among men; but though they may seem a little to deviate from
their sex, when they go forth to battle, yet I have observed, they never
so far forget, as to assail the bosoms of each other; where a few blows
would be fatal to most of them. This, I know, some derive from their being
of a more bloody inclination than the males. On which account they apply
to the nose, as to the part whence blood may most easily be drawn; but
this seems a far-fetched as well as ill-natured supposition.



Goody Brown had great advantage of Molly in this particular; for the
former had indeed no breasts, her bosom (if it may be so called), as well
in colour as in many other properties, exactly resembling an antient piece
of parchment, upon which any one might have drummed a considerable while
without doing her any great damage.



Molly, beside her present unhappy condition, was differently formed in
those parts, and might, perhaps, have tempted the envy of Brown to give
her a fatal blow, had not the lucky arrival of Tom Jones at this instant
put an immediate end to the bloody scene.



This accident was luckily owing to Mr Square; for he, Master Blifil, and
Jones, had mounted their horses, after church, to take the air, and had
ridden about a quarter of a mile, when Square, changing his mind (not
idly, but for a reason which we shall unfold as soon as we have leisure),
desired the young gentlemen to ride with him another way than they had at
first purposed. This motion being complied with, brought them of necessity
back again to the churchyard.



Master Blifil, who rode first, seeing such a mob assembled, and two women
in the posture in which we left the combatants, stopt his horse to enquire
what was the matter. A country fellow, scratching his head, answered him:
“I don't know, measter, un't I; an't please your honour, here hath
been a vight, I think, between Goody Brown and Moll Seagrim.”



“Who, who?” cries Tom; but without waiting for an answer,
having discovered the features of his Molly through all the discomposure
in which they now were, he hastily alighted, turned his horse loose, and,
leaping over the wall, ran to her. She now first bursting into tears, told
him how barbarously she had been treated. Upon which, forgetting the sex
of Goody Brown, or perhaps not knowing it in his rage—for, in
reality, she had no feminine appearance but a petticoat, which he might
not observe—he gave her a lash or two with his horsewhip; and then
flying at the mob, who were all accused by Moll, he dealt his blows so
profusely on all sides, that unless I would again invoke the muse (which
the good-natured reader may think a little too hard upon her, as she hath
so lately been violently sweated), it would be impossible for me to
recount the horse-whipping of that day.



Having scoured the whole coast of the enemy, as well as any of Homer's
heroes ever did, or as Don Quixote or any knight-errant in the world could
have done, he returned to Molly, whom he found in a condition which must
give both me and my reader pain, was it to be described here. Tom raved
like a madman, beat his breast, tore his hair, stamped on the ground, and
vowed the utmost vengeance on all who had been concerned. He then pulled
off his coat, and buttoned it round her, put his hat upon her head, wiped
the blood from her face as well as he could with his handkerchief, and
called out to the servant to ride as fast as possible for a side-saddle,
or a pillion, that he might carry her safe home.



Master Blifil objected to the sending away the servant, as they had only
one with them; but as Square seconded the order of Jones, he was obliged
to comply.



The servant returned in a very short time with the pillion, and Molly,
having collected her rags as well as she could, was placed behind him. In
which manner she was carried home, Square, Blifil, and Jones attending.



Here Jones having received his coat, given her a sly kiss, and whispered
her, that he would return in the evening, quitted his Molly, and rode on
after his companions.




















Chapter ix. — Containing matter of no very peaceable colour.



Molly had no sooner apparelled herself in her accustomed rags, than her
sisters began to fall violently upon her, particularly her eldest sister,
who told her she was well enough served. “How had she the assurance
to wear a gown which young Madam Western had given to mother! If one of us
was to wear it, I think,” says she, “I myself have the best
right; but I warrant you think it belongs to your beauty. I suppose you
think yourself more handsomer than any of us.”—“Hand her
down the bit of glass from over the cupboard,” cries another;
“I'd wash the blood from my face before I talked of my beauty.”—“You'd
better have minded what the parson says,” cries the eldest, “and
not a harkened after men voke.”—“Indeed, child, and so
she had,” says the mother, sobbing: “she hath brought a
disgrace upon us all. She's the vurst of the vamily that ever was a whore.”



“You need not upbraid me with that, mother,” cries Molly;
“you yourself was brought-to-bed of sister there, within a week
after you was married.”



“Yes, hussy,” answered the enraged mother, “so I was,
and what was the mighty matter of that? I was made an honest woman then;
and if you was to be made an honest woman, I should not be angry; but you
must have to doing with a gentleman, you nasty slut; you will have a
bastard, hussy, you will; and that I defy any one to say of me.”



In this situation Black George found his family, when he came home for the
purpose before mentioned. As his wife and three daughters were all of them
talking together, and most of them crying, it was some time before he
could get an opportunity of being heard; but as soon as such an interval
occurred, he acquainted the company with what Sophia had said to him.



Goody Seagrim then began to revile her daughter afresh. “Here,”
says she, “you have brought us into a fine quandary indeed. What
will madam say to that big belly? Oh that ever I should live to see this
day!”



Molly answered with great spirit, “And what is this mighty place
which you have got for me, father?” (for he had not well understood
the phrase used by Sophia of being about her person). “I suppose it
is to be under the cook; but I shan't wash dishes for anybody. My
gentleman will provide better for me. See what he hath given me this
afternoon. He hath promised I shall never want money; and you shan't want
money neither, mother, if you will hold your tongue, and know when you are
well.” And so saying, she pulled out several guineas, and gave her
mother one of them.



The good woman no sooner felt the gold within her palm, than her temper
began (such is the efficacy of that panacea) to be mollified. “Why,
husband,” says she, “would any but such a blockhead as you not
have enquired what place this was before he had accepted it? Perhaps, as
Molly says, it may be in the kitchen; and truly I don't care my daughter
should be a scullion wench; for, poor as I am, I am a gentlewoman. And
thof I was obliged, as my father, who was a clergyman, died worse than
nothing, and so could not give me a shilling of potion, to
undervalue myself by marrying a poor man; yet I would have you to know, I
have a spirit above all them things. Marry come up! it would better become
Madam Western to look at home, and remember who her own grandfather was.
Some of my family, for aught I know, might ride in their coaches, when the
grandfathers of some voke walked a-voot. I warrant she fancies she did a
mighty matter, when she sent us that old gownd; some of my family would
not have picked up such rags in the street; but poor people are always
trampled upon.—The parish need not have been in such a fluster with
Molly. You might have told them, child, your grandmother wore better
things new out of the shop.”



“Well, but consider,” cried George, “what answer shall I
make to madam?”



“I don't know what answer,” says she; “you are always
bringing your family into one quandary or other. Do you remember when you
shot the partridge, the occasion of all our misfortunes? Did not I advise
you never to go into Squire Western's manor? Did not I tell you many a
good year ago what would come of it? But you would have your own
headstrong ways; yes, you would, you villain.”



Black George was, in the main, a peaceable kind of fellow, and nothing
choleric nor rash; yet did he bear about him something of what the
antients called the irascible, and which his wife, if she had been endowed
with much wisdom, would have feared. He had long experienced, that when
the storm grew very high, arguments were but wind, which served rather to
increase, than to abate it. He was therefore seldom unprovided with a
small switch, a remedy of wonderful force, as he had often essayed, and
which the word villain served as a hint for his applying.



No sooner, therefore, had this symptom appeared, than he had immediate
recourse to the said remedy, which though, as it is usual in all very
efficacious medicines, it at first seemed to heighten and inflame the
disease, soon produced a total calm, and restored the patient to perfect
ease and tranquillity.



This is, however, a kind of horse-medicine, which requires a very robust
constitution to digest, and is therefore proper only for the vulgar,
unless in one single instance, viz., where superiority of birth breaks
out; in which case, we should not think it very improperly applied by any
husband whatever, if the application was not in itself so base, that, like
certain applications of the physical kind which need not be mentioned, it
so much degrades and contaminates the hand employed in it, that no
gentleman should endure the thought of anything so low and detestable.



The whole family were soon reduced to a state of perfect quiet; for the
virtue of this medicine, like that of electricity, is often communicated
through one person to many others, who are not touched by the instrument.
To say the truth, as they both operate by friction, it may be doubted
whether there is not something analogous between them, of which Mr Freke
would do well to enquire, before he publishes the next edition of his
book.



A council was now called, in which, after many debates, Molly still
persisting that she would not go to service, it was at length resolved,
that Goody Seagrim herself should wait on Miss Western, and endeavour to
procure the place for her eldest daughter, who declared great readiness to
accept it: but Fortune, who seems to have been an enemy of this little
family, afterwards put a stop to her promotion.




















Chapter x. — A story told by Mr Supple, the curate. The penetration
of Squire Western. His great love for his daughter, and the return to it
made by her.



The next morning Tom Jones hunted with Mr Western, and was at his return
invited by that gentleman to dinner.



The lovely Sophia shone forth that day with more gaiety and sprightliness
than usual. Her battery was certainly levelled at our heroe; though, I
believe, she herself scarce yet knew her own intention; but if she had any
design of charming him, she now succeeded.



Mr Supple, the curate of Mr Allworthy's parish, made one of the company.
He was a good-natured worthy man; but chiefly remarkable for his great
taciturnity at table, though his mouth was never shut at it. In short, he
had one of the best appetites in the world. However, the cloth was no
sooner taken away, than he always made sufficient amends for his silence:
for he was a very hearty fellow; and his conversation was often
entertaining, never offensive.



At his first arrival, which was immediately before the entrance of the
roast-beef, he had given an intimation that he had brought some news with
him, and was beginning to tell, that he came that moment from Mr
Allworthy's, when the sight of the roast-beef struck him dumb, permitting
him only to say grace, and to declare he must pay his respect to the
baronet, for so he called the sirloin.



When dinner was over, being reminded by Sophia of his news, he began as
follows: “I believe, lady, your ladyship observed a young woman at
church yesterday at even-song, who was drest in one of your outlandish
garments; I think I have seen your ladyship in such a one. However, in the
country, such dresses are


     Rara avis in terris, nigroque simillima cygno.


That is, madam, as much as to say, 'A rare bird upon the earth, and very
like a black swan.' The verse is in Juvenal. But to return to what I was
relating. I was saying such garments are rare sights in the country; and
perchance, too, it was thought the more rare, respect being had to the
person who wore it, who, they tell me, is the daughter of Black George,
your worship's gamekeeper, whose sufferings, I should have opined, might
have taught him more wit, than to dress forth his wenches in such gaudy
apparel. She created so much confusion in the congregation, that if Squire
Allworthy had not silenced it, it would have interrupted the service: for
I was once about to stop in the middle of the first lesson. Howbeit,
nevertheless, after prayer was over, and I was departed home, this
occasioned a battle in the churchyard, where, amongst other mischief, the
head of a travelling fidler was very much broken. This morning the fidler
came to Squire Allworthy for a warrant, and the wench was brought before
him. The squire was inclined to have compounded matters; when, lo! on a
sudden the wench appeared (I ask your ladyship's pardon) to be, as it
were, at the eve of bringing forth a bastard. The squire demanded of her
who was the father? But she pertinaciously refused to make any response.
So that he was about to make her mittimus to Bridewell when I departed.”



“And is a wench having a bastard all your news, doctor?” cries
Western; “I thought it might have been some public matter, something
about the nation.”



“I am afraid it is too common, indeed,” answered the parson;
“but I thought the whole story altogether deserved commemorating. As
to national matters, your worship knows them best. My concerns extend no
farther than my own parish.”



“Why, ay,” says the squire, “I believe I do know a
little of that matter, as you say. But, come, Tommy, drink about; the
bottle stands with you.”



Tom begged to be excused, for that he had particular business; and getting
up from table, escaped the clutches of the squire, who was rising to stop
him, and went off with very little ceremony.



The squire gave him a good curse at his departure; and then turning to the
parson, he cried out, “I smoke it: I smoke it. Tom is certainly the
father of this bastard. Zooks, parson, you remember how he recommended the
veather o' her to me. D—n un, what a sly b—ch 'tis. Ay, ay, as
sure as two-pence, Tom is the veather of the bastard.”



“I should be very sorry for that,” says the parson.



“Why sorry,” cries the squire: “Where is the mighty
matter o't? What, I suppose dost pretend that thee hast never got a
bastard? Pox! more good luck's thine? for I warrant hast a done a therefore
many's the good time and often.”



“Your worship is pleased to be jocular,” answered the parson;
“but I do not only animadvert on the sinfulness of the action—though
that surely is to be greatly deprecated—but I fear his
unrighteousness may injure him with Mr Allworthy. And truly I must say,
though he hath the character of being a little wild, I never saw any harm
in the young man; nor can I say I have heard any, save what your worship
now mentions. I wish, indeed, he was a little more regular in his
responses at church; but altogether he seems


     Ingenui vultus puer ingenuique pudoris.


That is a classical line, young lady; and, being rendered into English,
is, `a lad of an ingenuous countenance, and of an ingenuous modesty;' for
this was a virtue in great repute both among the Latins and Greeks. I must
say, the young gentleman (for so I think I may call him, notwithstanding
his birth) appears to me a very modest, civil lad, and I should be sorry
that he should do himself any injury in Squire Allworthy's opinion.”



“Poogh!” says the squire: “Injury, with Allworthy! Why,
Allworthy loves a wench himself. Doth not all the country know whose son
Tom is? You must talk to another person in that manner. I remember
Allworthy at college.”



“I thought,” said the parson, “he had never been at the
university.”



“Yes, yes, he was,” says the squire: “and many a wench
have we two had together. As arrant a whore-master as any within five
miles o'un. No, no. It will do'n no harm with he, assure yourself; nor
with anybody else. Ask Sophy there—You have not the worse opinion of
a young fellow for getting a bastard, have you, girl? No, no, the women
will like un the better for't.”



This was a cruel question to poor Sophia. She had observed Tom's colour
change at the parson's story; and that, with his hasty and abrupt
departure, gave her sufficient reason to think her father's suspicion not
groundless. Her heart now at once discovered the great secret to her which
it had been so long disclosing by little and little; and she found herself
highly interested in this matter. In such a situation, her father's
malapert question rushing suddenly upon her, produced some symptoms which
might have alarmed a suspicious heart; but, to do the squire justice, that
was not his fault. When she rose therefore from her chair, and told him a
hint from him was always sufficient to make her withdraw, he suffered her
to leave the room, and then with great gravity of countenance remarked,
“That it was better to see a daughter over-modest than over-forward;”—a
sentiment which was highly applauded by the parson.



There now ensued between the squire and the parson a most excellent
political discourse, framed out of newspapers and political pamphlets; in
which they made a libation of four bottles of wine to the good of their
country: and then, the squire being fast asleep, the parson lighted his
pipe, mounted his horse, and rode home.



When the squire had finished his half-hour's nap, he summoned his daughter
to her harpsichord; but she begged to be excused that evening, on account
of a violent head-ache. This remission was presently granted; for indeed
she seldom had occasion to ask him twice, as he loved her with such ardent
affection, that, by gratifying her, he commonly conveyed the highest
gratification to himself. She was really, what he frequently called her,
his little darling, and she well deserved to be so; for she returned all
his affection in the most ample manner. She had preserved the most
inviolable duty to him in all things; and this her love made not only
easy, but so delightful, that when one of her companions laughed at her
for placing so much merit in such scrupulous obedience, as that young lady
called it, Sophia answered, “You mistake me, madam, if you think I
value myself upon this account; for besides that I am barely discharging
my duty, I am likewise pleasing myself. I can truly say I have no delight
equal to that of contributing to my father's happiness; and if I value
myself, my dear, it is on having this power, and not on executing it.”



This was a satisfaction, however, which poor Sophia was incapable of
tasting this evening. She therefore not only desired to be excused from
her attendance at the harpsichord, but likewise begged that he would
suffer her to absent herself from supper. To this request likewise the
squire agreed, though not without some reluctance; for he scarce ever
permitted her to be out of his sight, unless when he was engaged with his
horses, dogs, or bottle. Nevertheless he yielded to the desire of his
daughter, though the poor man was at the same time obliged to avoid his
own company (if I may so express myself), by sending for a neighbouring
farmer to sit with him.




















Chapter xi. — The narrow escape of Molly Seagrim, with some
observations for which we have been forced to dive pretty deep into
nature.



Tom Jones had ridden one of Mr Western's horses that morning in the chase;
so that having no horse of his own in the squire's stable, he was obliged
to go home on foot: this he did so expeditiously that he ran upwards of
three miles within the half-hour.



Just as he arrived at Mr Allworthy's outward gate, he met the constable
and company with Molly in their possession, whom they were conducting to
that house where the inferior sort of people may learn one good lesson,
viz., respect and deference to their superiors; since it must show them
the wide distinction Fortune intends between those persons who are to be
corrected for their faults, and those who are not; which lesson if they do
not learn, I am afraid they very rarely learn any other good lesson, or
improve their morals, at the house of correction.



A lawyer may perhaps think Mr Allworthy exceeded his authority a little in
this instance. And, to say the truth, I question, as here was no regular
information before him, whether his conduct was strictly regular. However,
as his intention was truly upright, he ought to be excused in foro
conscientiae
; since so many arbitrary acts are daily committed by
magistrates who have not this excuse to plead for themselves.



Tom was no sooner informed by the constable whither they were proceeding
(indeed he pretty well guessed it of himself), than he caught Molly in his
arms, and embracing her tenderly before them all, swore he would murder
the first man who offered to lay hold of her. He bid her dry her eyes and
be comforted; for, wherever she went, he would accompany her. Then turning
to the constable, who stood trembling with his hat off, he desired him, in
a very mild voice, to return with him for a moment only to his father (for
so he now called Allworthy); for he durst, he said, be assured, that, when
he had alledged what he had to say in her favour, the girl would be
discharged.



The constable, who, I make no doubt, would have surrendered his prisoner
had Tom demanded her, very readily consented to this request. So back they
all went into Mr Allworthy's hall; where Tom desired them to stay till his
return, and then went himself in pursuit of the good man. As soon as he
was found, Tom threw himself at his feet, and having begged a patient
hearing, confessed himself to be the father of the child of which Molly
was then big. He entreated him to have compassion on the poor girl, and to
consider, if there was any guilt in the case, it lay principally at his
door.



“If there is any guilt in the case!” answered Allworthy
warmly: “Are you then so profligate and abandoned a libertine to
doubt whether the breaking the laws of God and man, the corrupting and
ruining a poor girl be guilt? I own, indeed, it doth lie principally upon
you; and so heavy it is, that you ought to expect it should crush you.”



“Whatever may be my fate,” says Tom, “let me succeed in
my intercessions for the poor girl. I confess I have corrupted her! but
whether she shall be ruined, depends on you. For Heaven's sake, sir,
revoke your warrant, and do not send her to a place which must unavoidably
prove her destruction.”



Allworthy bid him immediately call a servant. Tom answered there was no
occasion; for he had luckily met them at the gate, and relying upon his
goodness, had brought them all back into his hall, where they now waited
his final resolution, which upon his knees he besought him might be in
favour of the girl; that she might be permitted to go home to her parents,
and not be exposed to a greater degree of shame and scorn than must
necessarily fall upon her. “I know,” said he, “that is
too much. I know I am the wicked occasion of it. I will endeavour to make
amends, if possible; and if you shall have hereafter the goodness to
forgive me, I hope I shall deserve it.”



Allworthy hesitated some time, and at last said, “Well, I will
discharge my mittimus.—You may send the constable to me.” He
was instantly called, discharged, and so was the girl.



It will be believed that Mr Allworthy failed not to read Tom a very severe
lecture on this occasion; but it is unnecessary to insert it here, as we
have faithfully transcribed what he said to Jenny Jones in the first book,
most of which may be applied to the men, equally with the women. So
sensible an effect had these reproofs on the young man, who was no
hardened sinner, that he retired to his own room, where he passed the
evening alone, in much melancholy contemplation.



Allworthy was sufficiently offended by this transgression of Jones; for
notwithstanding the assertions of Mr Western, it is certain this worthy
man had never indulged himself in any loose pleasures with women, and
greatly condemned the vice of incontinence in others. Indeed, there is
much reason to imagine that there was not the least truth in what Mr
Western affirmed, especially as he laid the scene of those impurities at
the university, where Mr Allworthy had never been. In fact, the good
squire was a little too apt to indulge that kind of pleasantry which is
generally called rhodomontade: but which may, with as much propriety, be
expressed by a much shorter word; and perhaps we too often supply the use
of this little monosyllable by others; since very much of what frequently
passes in the world for wit and humour, should, in the strictest purity of
language, receive that short appellation, which, in conformity to the
well-bred laws of custom, I here suppress.



But whatever detestation Mr Allworthy had to this or to any other vice, he
was not so blinded by it but that he could discern any virtue in the
guilty person, as clearly indeed as if there had been no mixture of vice
in the same character. While he was angry therefore with the incontinence
of Jones, he was no less pleased with the honour and honesty of his
self-accusation. He began now to form in his mind the same opinion of this
young fellow, which, we hope, our reader may have conceived. And in
balancing his faults with his perfections, the latter seemed rather to
preponderate.



It was to no purpose, therefore, that Thwackum, who was immediately
charged by Mr Blifil with the story, unbended all his rancour against poor
Tom. Allworthy gave a patient hearing to their invectives, and then
answered coldly: “That young men of Tom's complexion were too
generally addicted to this vice; but he believed that youth was sincerely
affected with what he had said to him on the occasion, and he hoped he
would not transgress again.” So that, as the days of whipping were
at an end, the tutor had no other vent but his own mouth for his gall, the
usual poor resource of impotent revenge.



But Square, who was a less violent, was a much more artful man; and as he
hated Jones more perhaps than Thwackum himself did, so he contrived to do
him more mischief in the mind of Mr Allworthy.



The reader must remember the several little incidents of the partridge,
the horse, and the Bible, which were recounted in the second book. By all
which Jones had rather improved than injured the affection which Mr
Allworthy was inclined to entertain for him. The same, I believe, must
have happened to him with every other person who hath any idea of
friendship, generosity, and greatness of spirit, that is to say, who hath
any traces of goodness in his mind.



Square himself was not unacquainted with the true impression which those
several instances of goodness had made on the excellent heart of
Allworthy; for the philosopher very well knew what virtue was, though he
was not always perhaps steady in its pursuit; but as for Thwackum, from
what reason I will not determine, no such thoughts ever entered into his
head: he saw Jones in a bad light, and he imagined Allworthy saw him in
the same, but that he was resolved, from pride and stubbornness of spirit,
not to give up the boy whom he had once cherished; since by so doing, he
must tacitly acknowledge that his former opinion of him had been wrong.



Square therefore embraced this opportunity of injuring Jones in the
tenderest part, by giving a very bad turn to all these before-mentioned
occurrences. “I am sorry, sir,” said he, “to own I have
been deceived as well as yourself. I could not, I confess, help being
pleased with what I ascribed to the motive of friendship, though it was
carried to an excess, and all excess is faulty and vicious: but in this I
made allowance for youth. Little did I suspect that the sacrifice of
truth, which we both imagined to have been made to friendship, was in
reality a prostitution of it to a depraved and debauched appetite. You now
plainly see whence all the seeming generosity of this young man to the
family of the gamekeeper proceeded. He supported the father in order to
corrupt the daughter, and preserved the family from starving, to bring one
of them to shame and ruin. This is friendship! this is generosity! As Sir
Richard Steele says, `Gluttons who give high prices for delicacies, are
very worthy to be called generous.' In short I am resolved, from this
instance, never to give way to the weakness of human nature more, nor to
think anything virtue which doth not exactly quadrate with the unerring
rule of right.”



The goodness of Allworthy had prevented those considerations from
occurring to himself; yet were they too plausible to be absolutely and
hastily rejected, when laid before his eyes by another. Indeed what Square
had said sunk very deeply into his mind, and the uneasiness which it there
created was very visible to the other; though the good man would not
acknowledge this, but made a very slight answer, and forcibly drove off
the discourse to some other subject. It was well perhaps for poor Tom,
that no such suggestions had been made before he was pardoned; for they
certainly stamped in the mind of Allworthy the first bad impression
concerning Jones.




















Chapter xii. — Containing much clearer matters; but which flowed
from the same fountain with those in the preceding chapter.



The reader will be pleased, I believe, to return with me to Sophia. She
passed the night, after we saw her last, in no very agreeable manner.
Sleep befriended her but little, and dreams less. In the morning, when Mrs
Honour, her maid, attended her at the usual hour, she was found already up
and drest.



Persons who live two or three miles' distance in the country are
considered as next-door neighbours, and transactions at the one house fly
with incredible celerity to the other. Mrs Honour, therefore, had heard
the whole story of Molly's shame; which she, being of a very communicative
temper, had no sooner entered the apartment of her mistress, than she
began to relate in the following manner:—



“La, ma'am, what doth your la'ship think? the girl that your la'ship
saw at church on Sunday, whom you thought so handsome; though you would
not have thought her so handsome neither, if you had seen her nearer, but
to be sure she hath been carried before the justice for being big with
child. She seemed to me to look like a confident slut: and to be sure she
hath laid the child to young Mr Jones. And all the parish says Mr
Allworthy is so angry with young Mr Jones, that he won't see him. To be
sure, one can't help pitying the poor young man, and yet he doth not
deserve much pity neither, for demeaning himself with such kind of
trumpery. Yet he is so pretty a gentleman, I should be sorry to have him
turned out of doors. I dares to swear the wench was as willing as he; for
she was always a forward kind of body. And when wenches are so coming,
young men are not so much to be blamed neither; for to be sure they do no
more than what is natural. Indeed it is beneath them to meddle with such
dirty draggle-tails; and whatever happens to them, it is good enough for
them. And yet, to be sure, the vile baggages are most in fault. I wishes,
with all my heart, they were well to be whipped at the cart's tail; for it
is pity they should be the ruin of a pretty young gentleman; and nobody
can deny but that Mr Jones is one of the most handsomest young men that
ever——”



She was running on thus, when Sophia, with a more peevish voice than she
had ever spoken to her in before, cried, “Prithee, why dost thou
trouble me with all this stuff? What concern have I in what Mr Jones doth?
I suppose you are all alike. And you seem to me to be angry it was not
your own case.”



“I, ma'am!” answered Mrs Honour, “I am sorry your
ladyship should have such an opinion of me. I am sure nobody can say any
such thing of me. All the young fellows in the world may go to the divil
for me. Because I said he was a handsome man? Everybody says it as well as
I. To be sure, I never thought as it was any harm to say a young man was
handsome; but to be sure I shall never think him so any more now; for
handsome is that handsome does. A beggar wench!—”



“Stop thy torrent of impertinence,” cries Sophia, “and
see whether my father wants me at breakfast.”



Mrs Honour then flung out of the room, muttering much to herself, of which
“Marry come up, I assure you,” was all that could be plainly
distinguished.



Whether Mrs Honour really deserved that suspicion, of which her mistress
gave her a hint, is a matter which we cannot indulge our reader's
curiosity by resolving. We will, however, make him amends in disclosing
what passed in the mind of Sophia.



The reader will be pleased to recollect, that a secret affection for Mr
Jones had insensibly stolen into the bosom of this young lady. That it had
there grown to a pretty great height before she herself had discovered it.
When she first began to perceive its symptoms, the sensations were so
sweet and pleasing, that she had not resolution sufficient to check or
repel them; and thus she went on cherishing a passion of which she never
once considered the consequences.



This incident relating to Molly first opened her eyes. She now first
perceived the weakness of which she had been guilty; and though it caused
the utmost perturbation in her mind, yet it had the effect of other
nauseous physic, and for the time expelled her distemper. Its operation
indeed was most wonderfully quick; and in the short interval, while her
maid was absent, so entirely removed all symptoms, that when Mrs Honour
returned with a summons from her father, she was become perfectly easy,
and had brought herself to a thorough indifference for Mr Jones.



The diseases of the mind do in almost every particular imitate those of
the body. For which reason, we hope, that learned faculty, for whom we
have so profound a respect, will pardon us the violent hands we have been
necessitated to lay on several words and phrases, which of right belong to
them, and without which our descriptions must have been often
unintelligible.



Now there is no one circumstance in which the distempers of the mind bear
a more exact analogy to those which are called bodily, than that aptness
which both have to a relapse. This is plain in the violent diseases of
ambition and avarice. I have known ambition, when cured at court by
frequent disappointments (which are the only physic for it), to break out
again in a contest for foreman of the grand jury at an assizes; and have
heard of a man who had so far conquered avarice, as to give away many a
sixpence, that comforted himself, at last, on his deathbed, by making a
crafty and advantageous bargain concerning his ensuing funeral, with an
undertaker who had married his only child.



In the affair of love, which, out of strict conformity with the Stoic
philosophy, we shall here treat as a disease, this proneness to relapse is
no less conspicuous. Thus it happened to poor Sophia; upon whom, the very
next time she saw young Jones, all the former symptoms returned, and from
that time cold and hot fits alternately seized her heart.



The situation of this young lady was now very different from what it had
ever been before. That passion which had formerly been so exquisitely
delicious, became now a scorpion in her bosom. She resisted it therefore
with her utmost force, and summoned every argument her reason (which was
surprisingly strong for her age) could suggest, to subdue and expel it. In
this she so far succeeded, that she began to hope from time and absence a
perfect cure. She resolved therefore to avoid Tom Jones as much as
possible; for which purpose she began to conceive a design of visiting her
aunt, to which she made no doubt of obtaining her father's consent.



But Fortune, who had other designs in her head, put an immediate stop to
any such proceeding, by introducing an accident, which will be related in
the next chapter.




















Chapter xiii. — A dreadful accident which befel Sophia. The gallant
behaviour of Jones, and the more dreadful consequence of that behaviour to
the young lady; with a short digression in favour of the female sex.



Mr Western grew every day fonder and fonder of Sophia, insomuch that his
beloved dogs themselves almost gave place to her in his affections; but as
he could not prevail on himself to abandon these, he contrived very
cunningly to enjoy their company, together with that of his daughter, by
insisting on her riding a hunting with him.



Sophia, to whom her father's word was a law, readily complied with his
desires, though she had not the least delight in a sport, which was of too
rough and masculine a nature to suit with her disposition. She had however
another motive, beside her obedience, to accompany the old gentleman in
the chase; for by her presence she hoped in some measure to restrain his
impetuosity, and to prevent him from so frequently exposing his neck to
the utmost hazard.



The strongest objection was that which would have formerly been an
inducement to her, namely, the frequent meeting with young Jones, whom she
had determined to avoid; but as the end of the hunting season now
approached, she hoped, by a short absence with her aunt, to reason herself
entirely out of her unfortunate passion; and had not any doubt of being
able to meet him in the field the subsequent season without the least
danger.



On the second day of her hunting, as she was returning from the chase, and
was arrived within a little distance from Mr Western's house, her horse,
whose mettlesome spirit required a better rider, fell suddenly to prancing
and capering in such a manner that she was in the most imminent peril of
falling. Tom Jones, who was at a little distance behind, saw this, and
immediately galloped up to her assistance. As soon as he came up, he leapt
from his own horse, and caught hold of hers by the bridle. The unruly
beast presently reared himself an end on his hind legs, and threw his
lovely burthen from his back, and Jones caught her in his arms.



She was so affected with the fright, that she was not immediately able to
satisfy Jones, who was very solicitous to know whether she had received
any hurt. She soon after, however, recovered her spirits, assured him she
was safe, and thanked him for the care he had taken of her. Jones
answered, “If I have preserved you, madam, I am sufficiently repaid;
for I promise you, I would have secured you from the least harm at the
expense of a much greater misfortune to myself than I have suffered on
this occasion.”



“What misfortune?” replied Sophia eagerly; “I hope you
have come to no mischief?”



“Be not concerned, madam,” answered Jones. “Heaven be
praised you have escaped so well, considering the danger you was in. If I
have broke my arm, I consider it as a trifle, in comparison of what I
feared upon your account.”



Sophia then screamed out, “Broke your arm! Heaven forbid.”



“I am afraid I have, madam,” says Jones: “but I beg you
will suffer me first to take care of you. I have a right hand yet at your
service, to help you into the next field, whence we have but a very little
walk to your father's house.”



Sophia seeing his left arm dangling by his side, while he was using the
other to lead her, no longer doubted of the truth. She now grew much paler
than her fears for herself had made her before. All her limbs were seized
with a trembling, insomuch that Jones could scarce support her; and as her
thoughts were in no less agitation, she could not refrain from giving
Jones a look so full of tenderness, that it almost argued a stronger
sensation in her mind, than even gratitude and pity united can raise in
the gentlest female bosom, without the assistance of a third more powerful
passion.



Mr Western, who was advanced at some distance when this accident happened,
was now returned, as were the rest of the horsemen. Sophia immediately
acquainted them with what had befallen Jones, and begged them to take care
of him. Upon which Western, who had been much alarmed by meeting his
daughter's horse without its rider, and was now overjoyed to find her
unhurt, cried out, “I am glad it is no worse. If Tom hath broken his
arm, we will get a joiner to mend un again.”



The squire alighted from his horse, and proceeded to his house on foot,
with his daughter and Jones. An impartial spectator, who had met them on
the way, would, on viewing their several countenances, have concluded
Sophia alone to have been the object of compassion: for as to Jones, he
exulted in having probably saved the life of the young lady, at the price
only of a broken bone; and Mr Western, though he was not unconcerned at
the accident which had befallen Jones, was, however, delighted in a much
higher degree with the fortunate escape of his daughter.



The generosity of Sophia's temper construed this behaviour of Jones into
great bravery; and it made a deep impression on her heart: for certain it
is, that there is no one quality which so generally recommends men to
women as this; proceeding, if we believe the common opinion, from that
natural timidity of the sex, which is, says Mr Osborne, “so great,
that a woman is the most cowardly of all the creatures God ever made;”—a
sentiment more remarkable for its bluntness than for its truth. Aristotle,
in his Politics, doth them, I believe, more justice, when he says, “The
modesty and fortitude of men differ from those virtues in women; for the
fortitude which becomes a woman, would be cowardice in a man; and the
modesty which becomes a man, would be pertness in a woman.” Nor is
there, perhaps, more of truth in the opinion of those who derive the
partiality which women are inclined to show to the brave, from this excess
of their fear. Mr Bayle (I think, in his article of Helen) imputes this,
and with greater probability, to their violent love of glory; for the
truth of which, we have the authority of him who of all others saw
farthest into human nature, and who introduces the heroine of his Odyssey,
the great pattern of matrimonial love and constancy, assigning the glory
of her husband as the only source of her affection towards him.[*]


  [*] The English reader will not find this in the poem; for the
sentiment is entirely left out in the translation.


However this be, certain it is that the accident operated very strongly on
Sophia; and, indeed, after much enquiry into the matter, I am inclined to
believe, that, at this very time, the charming Sophia made no less
impression on the heart of Jones; to say truth, he had for some time
become sensible of the irresistible power of her charms.




















Chapter xiv. — The arrival of a surgeon.—His operations, and a
long dialogue between Sophia and her maid.



When they arrived at Mr Western's hall, Sophia, who had tottered along
with much difficulty, sunk down in her chair; but by the assistance of
hartshorn and water, she was prevented from fainting away, and had pretty
well recovered her spirits, when the surgeon who was sent for to Jones
appeared. Mr Western, who imputed these symptoms in his daughter to her
fall, advised her to be presently blooded by way of prevention. In this
opinion he was seconded by the surgeon, who gave so many reasons for
bleeding, and quoted so many cases where persons had miscarried for want
of it, that the squire became very importunate, and indeed insisted
peremptorily that his daughter should be blooded.



Sophia soon yielded to the commands of her father, though entirely
contrary to her own inclinations, for she suspected, I believe, less
danger from the fright, than either the squire or the surgeon. She then
stretched out her beautiful arm, and the operator began to prepare for his
work.



While the servants were busied in providing materials, the surgeon, who
imputed the backwardness which had appeared in Sophia to her fears, began
to comfort her with assurances that there was not the least danger; for no
accident, he said, could ever happen in bleeding, but from the monstrous
ignorance of pretenders to surgery, which he pretty plainly insinuated was
not at present to be apprehended. Sophia declared she was not under the
least apprehension; adding, “If you open an artery, I promise you
I'll forgive you.” “Will you?” cries Western: “D—n
me, if I will. If he does thee the least mischief, d—n me if I don't
ha' the heart's blood o'un out.” The surgeon assented to bleed her
upon these conditions, and then proceeded to his operation, which he
performed with as much dexterity as he had promised; and with as much
quickness: for he took but little blood from her, saying, it was much
safer to bleed again and again, than to take away too much at once.



Sophia, when her arm was bound up, retired: for she was not willing (nor
was it, perhaps, strictly decent) to be present at the operation on Jones.
Indeed, one objection which she had to bleeding (though she did not make
it) was the delay which it would occasion to setting the broken bone. For
Western, when Sophia was concerned, had no consideration but for her; and
as for Jones himself, he “sat like patience on a monument smiling at
grief.” To say the truth, when he saw the blood springing from the
lovely arm of Sophia, he scarce thought of what had happened to himself.



The surgeon now ordered his patient to be stript to his shirt, and then
entirely baring the arm, he began to stretch and examine it, in such a
manner that the tortures he put him to caused Jones to make several wry
faces; which the surgeon observing, greatly wondered at, crying, “What
is the matter, sir? I am sure it is impossible I should hurt you.”
And then holding forth the broken arm, he began a long and very learned
lecture of anatomy, in which simple and double fractures were most
accurately considered; and the several ways in which Jones might have
broken his arm were discussed, with proper annotations showing how many of
these would have been better, and how many worse than the present case.



Having at length finished his laboured harangue, with which the audience,
though it had greatly raised their attention and admiration, were not much
edified, as they really understood not a single syllable of all he had
said, he proceeded to business, which he was more expeditious in
finishing, than he had been in beginning.



Jones was then ordered into a bed, which Mr Western compelled him to
accept at his own house, and sentence of water-gruel was passed upon him.



Among the good company which had attended in the hall during the
bone-setting, Mrs Honour was one; who being summoned to her mistress as
soon as it was over, and asked by her how the young gentleman did,
presently launched into extravagant praises on the magnanimity, as she
called it, of his behaviour, which, she said, “was so charming in so
pretty a creature.” She then burst forth into much warmer encomiums
on the beauty of his person; enumerating many particulars, and ending with
the whiteness of his skin.



This discourse had an effect on Sophia's countenance, which would not
perhaps have escaped the observance of the sagacious waiting-woman, had
she once looked her mistress in the face, all the time she was speaking:
but as a looking-glass, which was most commodiously placed opposite to
her, gave her an opportunity of surveying those features, in which, of all
others, she took most delight; so she had not once removed her eyes from
that amiable object during her whole speech.



Mrs Honour was so intirely wrapped up in the subject on which she
exercised her tongue, and the object before her eyes, that she gave her
mistress time to conquer her confusion; which having done, she smiled on
her maid, and told her, “she was certainly in love with this young
fellow.”—“I in love, madam!” answers she: “upon
my word, ma'am, I assure you, ma'am, upon my soul, ma'am, I am not.”—“Why,
if you was,” cries her mistress, “I see no reason that you
should be ashamed of it; for he is certainly a pretty fellow.”—“Yes,
ma'am,” answered the other, “that he is, the most handsomest
man I ever saw in my life. Yes, to be sure, that he is, and, as your
ladyship says, I don't know why I should be ashamed of loving him, though
he is my betters. To be sure, gentlefolks are but flesh and blood no more
than us servants. Besides, as for Mr Jones, thof Squire Allworthy hath
made a gentleman of him, he was not so good as myself by birth: for thof I
am a poor body, I am an honest person's child, and my father and mother
were married, which is more than some people can say, as high as they hold
their heads. Marry, come up! I assure you, my dirty cousin! thof his skin
be so white, and to be sure it is the most whitest that ever was seen, I
am a Christian as well as he, and nobody can say that I am base born: my
grandfather was a clergyman,[*] and would have been very angry, I believe,
to have thought any of his family should have taken up with Molly
Seagrim's dirty leavings.”


  [*] This is the second person of low condition whom we have recorded
in this history to have sprung from the clergy. It is to be hoped
such instances will, in future ages, when some provision is made for
the families of the inferior clergy, appear stranger than they can
be thought at present.


Perhaps Sophia might have suffered her maid to run on in this manner, from
wanting sufficient spirits to stop her tongue, which the reader may
probably conjecture was no very easy task; for certainly there were some
passages in her speech which were far from being agreeable to the lady.
However, she now checked the torrent, as there seemed no end of its
flowing. “I wonder,” says she, “at your assurance in
daring to talk thus of one of my father's friends. As to the wench, I
order you never to mention her name to me. And with regard to the young
gentleman's birth, those who can say nothing more to his disadvantage, may
as well be silent on that head, as I desire you will be for the future.”



“I am sorry I have offended your ladyship,” answered Mrs
Honour. “I am sure I hate Molly Seagrim as much as your ladyship
can; and as for abusing Squire Jones, I can call all the servants in the
house to witness, that whenever any talk hath been about bastards, I have
always taken his part; for which of you, says I to the footmen, would not
be a bastard, if he could, to be made a gentleman of? And, says I, I am
sure he is a very fine gentleman; and he hath one of the whitest hands in
the world; for to be sure so he hath: and, says I, one of the sweetest
temperedest, best naturedest men in the world he is; and, says I, all the
servants and neighbours all round the country loves him. And, to be sure,
I could tell your ladyship something, but that I am afraid it would offend
you.”—“What could you tell me, Honour?” says
Sophia. “Nay, ma'am, to be sure he meant nothing by it, therefore I
would not have your ladyship be offended.”—“Prithee tell
me,” says Sophia; “I will know it this instant.”—“Why,
ma'am,” answered Mrs Honour, “he came into the room one day
last week when I was at work, and there lay your ladyship's muff on a
chair, and to be sure he put his hands into it; that very muff your
ladyship gave me but yesterday. La! says I, Mr Jones, you will stretch my
lady's muff, and spoil it: but he still kept his hands in it: and then he
kissed it—to be sure I hardly ever saw such a kiss in my life as he
gave it.”—“I suppose he did not know it was mine,”
replied Sophia. “Your ladyship shall hear, ma'am. He kissed it again
and again, and said it was the prettiest muff in the world. La! sir, says
I, you have seen it a hundred times. Yes, Mrs Honour, cried he; but who
can see anything beautiful in the presence of your lady but herself?—Nay,
that's not all neither; but I hope your ladyship won't be offended, for to
be sure he meant nothing. One day, as your ladyship was playing on the
harpsichord to my master, Mr Jones was sitting in the next room, and
methought he looked melancholy. La! says I, Mr Jones, what's the matter? a
penny for your thoughts, says I. Why, hussy, says he, starting up from a
dream, what can I be thinking of, when that angel your mistress is
playing? And then squeezing me by the hand, Oh! Mrs Honour, says he, how
happy will that man be!—and then he sighed. Upon my troth, his
breath is as sweet as a nosegay.—But to be sure he meant no harm by
it. So I hope your ladyship will not mention a word; for he gave me a
crown never to mention it, and made me swear upon a book, but I believe,
indeed, it was not the Bible.”



Till something of a more beautiful red than vermilion be found out, I
shall say nothing of Sophia's colour on this occasion. “Ho—nour,”
says she, “I—if you will not mention this any more to me—nor
to anybody else, I will not betray you—I mean, I will not be angry;
but I am afraid of your tongue. Why, my girl, will you give it such
liberties?”—“Nay, ma'am,” answered she, “to
be sure, I would sooner cut out my tongue than offend your ladyship. To be
sure I shall never mention a word that your ladyship would not have me.”—“Why,
I would not have you mention this any more,” said Sophia, “for
it may come to my father's ears, and he would be angry with Mr Jones;
though I really believe, as you say, he meant nothing. I should be very
angry myself, if I imagined—“—“Nay, ma'am,”
says Honour, “I protest I believe he meant nothing. I thought he
talked as if he was out of his senses; nay, he said he believed he was
beside himself when he had spoken the words. Ay, sir, says I, I believe so
too. Yes, says he, Honour.—But I ask your ladyship's pardon; I could
tear my tongue out for offending you.” “Go on,” says
Sophia; “you may mention anything you have not told me before.”—“Yes,
Honour, says he (this was some time afterwards, when he gave me the
crown), I am neither such a coxcomb, or such a villain, as to think of her
in any other delight but as my goddess; as such I will always worship and
adore her while I have breath.—This was all, ma'am, I will be sworn,
to the best of my remembrance. I was in a passion with him myself, till I
found he meant no harm.”—“Indeed, Honour,” says
Sophia, “I believe you have a real affection for me. I was provoked
the other day when I gave you warning; but if you have a desire to stay
with me, you shall.”—“To be sure, ma'am,” answered
Mrs Honour, “I shall never desire to part with your ladyship. To be
sure, I almost cried my eyes out when you gave me warning. It would be
very ungrateful in me to desire to leave your ladyship; because as why, I
should never get so good a place again. I am sure I would live and die
with your ladyship; for, as poor Mr Jones said, happy is the man——”



Here the dinner bell interrupted a conversation which had wrought such an
effect on Sophia, that she was, perhaps, more obliged to her bleeding in
the morning, than she, at the time, had apprehended she should be. As to
the present situation of her mind, I shall adhere to a rule of Horace, by
not attempting to describe it, from despair of success. Most of my readers
will suggest it easily to themselves; and the few who cannot, would not
understand the picture, or at least would deny it to be natural, if ever
so well drawn.




















BOOK V. — CONTAINING A PORTION OF TIME SOMEWHAT LONGER THAN HALF A
YEAR.




















Chapter i. — Of the SERIOUS in writing, and for what purpose it is
introduced.



Peradventure there may be no parts in this prodigious work which will give
the reader less pleasure in the perusing, than those which have given the
author the greatest pains in composing. Among these probably may be
reckoned those initial essays which we have prefixed to the historical
matter contained in every book; and which we have determined to be
essentially necessary to this kind of writing, of which we have set
ourselves at the head.



For this our determination we do not hold ourselves strictly bound to
assign any reason; it being abundantly sufficient that we have laid it
down as a rule necessary to be observed in all prosai-comi-epic writing.
Who ever demanded the reasons of that nice unity of time or place which is
now established to be so essential to dramatic poetry? What critic hath
been ever asked, why a play may not contain two days as well as one? Or
why the audience (provided they travel, like electors, without any
expense) may not be wafted fifty miles as well as five? Hath any
commentator well accounted for the limitation which an antient critic hath
set to the drama, which he will have contain neither more nor less than
five acts? Or hath any one living attempted to explain what the modern
judges of our theatres mean by that word low; by which they have
happily succeeded in banishing all humour from the stage, and have made
the theatre as dull as a drawing-room! Upon all these occasions the world
seems to have embraced a maxim of our law, viz., cuicunque in arte sua
perito credendum est:
for it seems perhaps difficult to conceive that
any one should have had enough of impudence to lay down dogmatical rules
in any art or science without the least foundation. In such cases,
therefore, we are apt to conclude there are sound and good reasons at the
bottom, though we are unfortunately not able to see so far.



Now, in reality, the world have paid too great a compliment to critics,
and have imagined them men of much greater profundity than they really
are. From this complacence, the critics have been emboldened to assume a
dictatorial power, and have so far succeeded, that they are now become the
masters, and have the assurance to give laws to those authors from whose
predecessors they originally received them.



The critic, rightly considered, is no more than the clerk, whose office it
is to transcribe the rules and laws laid down by those great judges whose
vast strength of genius hath placed them in the light of legislators, in
the several sciences over which they presided. This office was all which
the critics of old aspired to; nor did they ever dare to advance a
sentence, without supporting it by the authority of the judge from whence
it was borrowed.



But in process of time, and in ages of ignorance, the clerk began to
invade the power and assume the dignity of his master. The laws of writing
were no longer founded on the practice of the author, but on the dictates
of the critic. The clerk became the legislator, and those very
peremptorily gave laws whose business it was, at first, only to transcribe
them.



Hence arose an obvious, and perhaps an unavoidable error; for these
critics being men of shallow capacities, very easily mistook mere form for
substance. They acted as a judge would, who should adhere to the lifeless
letter of law, and reject the spirit. Little circumstances, which were
perhaps accidental in a great author, were by these critics considered to
constitute his chief merit, and transmitted as essentials to be observed
by all his successors. To these encroachments, time and ignorance, the two
great supporters of imposture, gave authority; and thus many rules for
good writing have been established, which have not the least foundation in
truth or nature; and which commonly serve for no other purpose than to
curb and restrain genius, in the same manner as it would have restrained
the dancing-master, had the many excellent treatises on that art laid it
down as an essential rule that every man must dance in chains.



To avoid, therefore, all imputation of laying down a rule for posterity,
founded only on the authority of ipse dixit—for which, to say
the truth, we have not the profoundest veneration—we shall here
waive the privilege above contended for, and proceed to lay before the
reader the reasons which have induced us to intersperse these several
digressive essays in the course of this work.



And here we shall of necessity be led to open a new vein of knowledge,
which if it hath been discovered, hath not, to our remembrance, been
wrought on by any antient or modern writer. This vein is no other than
that of contrast, which runs through all the works of the creation, and
may probably have a large share in constituting in us the idea of all
beauty, as well natural as artificial: for what demonstrates the beauty
and excellence of anything but its reverse? Thus the beauty of day, and
that of summer, is set off by the horrors of night and winter. And, I
believe, if it was possible for a man to have seen only the two former, he
would have a very imperfect idea of their beauty.



But to avoid too serious an air; can it be doubted, but that the finest
woman in the world would lose all benefit of her charms in the eye of a
man who had never seen one of another cast? The ladies themselves seem so
sensible of this, that they are all industrious to procure foils: nay,
they will become foils to themselves; for I have observed (at Bath
particularly) that they endeavour to appear as ugly as possible in the
morning, in order to set off that beauty which they intend to show you in
the evening.



Most artists have this secret in practice, though some, perhaps, have not
much studied the theory. The jeweller knows that the finest brilliant
requires a foil; and the painter, by the contrast of his figures, often
acquires great applause.



A great genius among us will illustrate this matter fully. I cannot,
indeed, range him under any general head of common artists, as he hath a
title to be placed among those


       Inventas qui vitam excoluere per artes.
Who by invented arts have life improved.


I mean here the inventor of that most exquisite entertainment, called the
English Pantomime.



This entertainment consisted of two parts, which the inventor
distinguished by the names of the serious and the comic. The serious
exhibited a certain number of heathen gods and heroes, who were certainly
the worst and dullest company into which an audience was ever introduced;
and (which was a secret known to few) were actually intended so to be, in
order to contrast the comic part of the entertainment, and to display the
tricks of harlequin to the better advantage.



This was, perhaps, no very civil use of such personages: but the
contrivance was, nevertheless, ingenious enough, and had its effect. And
this will now plainly appear, if, instead of serious and comic, we supply
the words duller and dullest; for the comic was certainly duller than
anything before shown on the stage, and could be set off only by that
superlative degree of dulness which composed the serious. So intolerably
serious, indeed, were these gods and heroes, that harlequin (though the
English gentleman of that name is not at all related to the French family,
for he is of a much more serious disposition) was always welcome on the
stage, as he relieved the audience from worse company.



Judicious writers have always practised this art of contrast with great
success. I have been surprized that Horace should cavil at this art in
Homer; but indeed he contradicts himself in the very next line:


     Indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus;
Verum opere in longo fas est obrepere somnum.

I grieve if e'er great Homer chance to sleep,
Yet slumbers on long works have right to creep.



For we are not here to understand, as perhaps some have, that an author
actually falls asleep while he is writing. It is true, that readers are
too apt to be so overtaken; but if the work was as long as any of
Oldmixon, the author himself is too well entertained to be subject to the
least drowsiness. He is, as Mr Pope observes,


     Sleepless himself to give his readers sleep.


To say the truth, these soporific parts are so many scenes of serious
artfully interwoven, in order to contrast and set off the rest; and this
is the true meaning of a late facetious writer, who told the public that
whenever he was dull they might be assured there was a design in it.



In this light, then, or rather in this darkness, I would have the reader
to consider these initial essays. And after this warning, if he shall be
of opinion that he can find enough of serious in other parts of this
history, he may pass over these, in which we profess to be laboriously
dull, and begin the following books at the second chapter.




















Chapter ii. — In which Mr Jones receives many friendly visits during
his confinement; with some fine touches of the passion of love, scarce
visible to the naked eye.



Tom Jones had many visitors during his confinement, though some, perhaps,
were not very agreeable to him. Mr Allworthy saw him almost every day; but
though he pitied Tom's sufferings, and greatly approved the gallant
behaviour which had occasioned them; yet he thought this was a favourable
opportunity to bring him to a sober sense of his indiscreet conduct; and
that wholesome advice for that purpose could never be applied at a more
proper season than at the present, when the mind was softened by pain and
sickness, and alarmed by danger; and when its attention was unembarrassed
with those turbulent passions which engage us in the pursuit of pleasure.



At all seasons, therefore, when the good man was alone with the youth,
especially when the latter was totally at ease, he took occasion to remind
him of his former miscarriages, but in the mildest and tenderest manner,
and only in order to introduce the caution which he prescribed for his
future behaviour; “on which alone,” he assured him, “would
depend his own felicity, and the kindness which he might yet promise
himself to receive at the hands of his father by adoption, unless he
should hereafter forfeit his good opinion: for as to what had past,”
he said, “it should be all forgiven and forgotten. He therefore
advised him to make a good use of this accident, that so in the end it
might prove a visitation for his own good.”



Thwackum was likewise pretty assiduous in his visits; and he too
considered a sick-bed to be a convenient scene for lectures. His stile,
however, was more severe than Mr Allworthy's: he told his pupil, “That
he ought to look on his broken limb as a judgment from heaven on his sins.
That it would become him to be daily on his knees, pouring forth
thanksgivings that he had broken his arm only, and not his neck; which
latter,” he said, “was very probably reserved for some future
occasion, and that, perhaps, not very remote. For his part,” he
said, “he had often wondered some judgment had not overtaken him
before; but it might be perceived by this, that Divine punishments, though
slow, are always sure.” Hence likewise he advised him, “to
foresee, with equal certainty, the greater evils which were yet behind,
and which were as sure as this of overtaking him in his state of
reprobacy. These are,” said he, “to be averted only by such a
thorough and sincere repentance as is not to be expected or hoped for from
one so abandoned in his youth, and whose mind, I am afraid, is totally
corrupted. It is my duty, however, to exhort you to this repentance,
though I too well know all exhortations will be vain and fruitless. But liberavi
animam meam.
I can accuse my own conscience of no neglect; though it
is at the same time with the utmost concern I see you travelling on to
certain misery in this world, and to as certain damnation in the next.”



Square talked in a very different strain; he said, “Such accidents
as a broken bone were below the consideration of a wise man. That it was
abundantly sufficient to reconcile the mind to any of these mischances, to
reflect that they are liable to befal the wisest of mankind, and are
undoubtedly for the good of the whole.” He said, “It was a
mere abuse of words to call those things evils, in which there was no
moral unfitness: that pain, which was the worst consequence of such
accidents, was the most contemptible thing in the world;” with more
of the like sentences, extracted out of the second book of Tully's
Tusculan questions, and from the great Lord Shaftesbury. In pronouncing
these he was one day so eager, that he unfortunately bit his tongue; and
in such a manner, that it not only put an end to his discourse, but
created much emotion in him, and caused him to mutter an oath or two: but
what was worst of all, this accident gave Thwackum, who was present, and
who held all such doctrine to be heathenish and atheistical, an
opportunity to clap a judgment on his back. Now this was done with so
malicious a sneer, that it totally unhinged (if I may so say) the temper
of the philosopher, which the bite of his tongue had somewhat ruffled; and
as he was disabled from venting his wrath at his lips, he had possibly
found a more violent method of revenging himself, had not the surgeon, who
was then luckily in the room, contrary to his own interest, interposed and
preserved the peace.



Mr Blifil visited his friend Jones but seldom, and never alone. This
worthy young man, however, professed much regard for him, and as great
concern at his misfortune; but cautiously avoided any intimacy, lest, as
he frequently hinted, it might contaminate the sobriety of his own
character: for which purpose he had constantly in his mouth that proverb
in which Solomon speaks against evil communication. Not that he was so
bitter as Thwackum; for he always expressed some hopes of Tom's
reformation; “which,” he said, “the unparalleled
goodness shown by his uncle on this occasion, must certainly effect in one
not absolutely abandoned:” but concluded, “if Mr Jones ever
offends hereafter, I shall not be able to say a syllable in his favour.”



As to Squire Western, he was seldom out of the sick-room, unless when he
was engaged either in the field or over his bottle. Nay, he would
sometimes retire hither to take his beer, and it was not without
difficulty that he was prevented from forcing Jones to take his beer too:
for no quack ever held his nostrum to be a more general panacea than he
did this; which, he said, had more virtue in it than was in all the physic
in an apothecary's shop. He was, however, by much entreaty, prevailed on
to forbear the application of this medicine; but from serenading his
patient every hunting morning with the horn under his window, it was
impossible to withhold him; nor did he ever lay aside that hallow, with
which he entered into all companies, when he visited Jones, without any
regard to the sick person's being at that time either awake or asleep.



This boisterous behaviour, as it meant no harm, so happily it effected
none, and was abundantly compensated to Jones, as soon as he was able to
sit up, by the company of Sophia, whom the squire then brought to visit
him; nor was it, indeed, long before Jones was able to attend her to the
harpsichord, where she would kindly condescend, for hours together, to
charm him with the most delicious music, unless when the squire thought
proper to interrupt her, by insisting on Old Sir Simon, or some other of
his favourite pieces.



Notwithstanding the nicest guard which Sophia endeavoured to set on her
behaviour, she could not avoid letting some appearances now and then slip
forth: for love may again be likened to a disease in this, that when it is
denied a vent in one part, it will certainly break out in another. What
her lips, therefore, concealed, her eyes, her blushes, and many little
involuntary actions, betrayed.



One day, when Sophia was playing on the harpsichord, and Jones was
attending, the squire came into the room, crying, “There, Tom, I
have had a battle for thee below-stairs with thick parson Thwackum. He
hath been a telling Allworthy, before my face, that the broken bone was a
judgment upon thee. D—n it, says I, how can that be? Did he not come
by it in defence of a young woman? A judgment indeed! Pox, if he never
doth anything worse, he will go to heaven sooner than all the parsons in
the country. He hath more reason to glory in it than to be ashamed of it.”—“Indeed,
sir,” says Jones, “I have no reason for either; but if it
preserved Miss Western, I shall always think it the happiest accident of
my life.”—“And to gu,” said the squire, “to
zet Allworthy against thee vor it! D—n un, if the parson had unt his
petticuoats on, I should have lent un o flick; for I love thee dearly, my
boy, and d—n me if there is anything in my power which I won't do
for thee. Sha't take thy choice of all the horses in my stable to-morrow
morning, except only the Chevalier and Miss Slouch.” Jones thanked
him, but declined accepting the offer. “Nay,” added the
squire, “sha't ha the sorrel mare that Sophy rode. She cost me fifty
guineas, and comes six years old this grass.” “If she had cost
me a thousand,” cries Jones passionately, “I would have given
her to the dogs.” “Pooh! pooh!” answered Western;
“what! because she broke thy arm? Shouldst forget and forgive. I
thought hadst been more a man than to bear malice against a dumb creature.”—Here
Sophia interposed, and put an end to the conversation, by desiring her
father's leave to play to him; a request which he never refused.



The countenance of Sophia had undergone more than one change during the
foregoing speeches; and probably she imputed the passionate resentment
which Jones had expressed against the mare, to a different motive from
that from which her father had derived it. Her spirits were at this time
in a visible flutter; and she played so intolerably ill, that had not
Western soon fallen asleep, he must have remarked it. Jones, however, who
was sufficiently awake, and was not without an ear any more than without
eyes, made some observations; which being joined to all which the reader
may remember to have passed formerly, gave him pretty strong assurances,
when he came to reflect on the whole, that all was not well in the tender
bosom of Sophia; an opinion which many young gentlemen will, I doubt not,
extremely wonder at his not having been well confirmed in long ago. To
confess the truth, he had rather too much diffidence in himself, and was
not forward enough in seeing the advances of a young lady; a misfortune
which can be cured only by that early town education, which is at present
so generally in fashion.



When these thoughts had fully taken possession of Jones, they occasioned a
perturbation in his mind, which, in a constitution less pure and firm than
his, might have been, at such a season, attended with very dangerous
consequences. He was truly sensible of the great worth of Sophia. He
extremely liked her person, no less admired her accomplishments, and
tenderly loved her goodness. In reality, as he had never once entertained
any thought of possessing her, nor had ever given the least voluntary
indulgence to his inclinations, he had a much stronger passion for her
than he himself was acquainted with. His heart now brought forth the full
secret, at the same time that it assured him the adorable object returned
his affection.




















Chapter iii. — Which all who have no heart will think to contain
much ado about nothing.



The reader will perhaps imagine the sensations which now arose in Jones to
have been so sweet and delicious, that they would rather tend to produce a
chearful serenity in the mind, than any of those dangerous effects which
we have mentioned; but in fact, sensations of this kind, however
delicious, are, at their first recognition, of a very tumultuous nature,
and have very little of the opiate in them. They were, moreover, in the
present case, embittered with certain circumstances, which being mixed
with sweeter ingredients, tended altogether to compose a draught that
might be termed bitter-sweet; than which, as nothing can be more
disagreeable to the palate, so nothing, in the metaphorical sense, can be
so injurious to the mind.



For first, though he had sufficient foundation to flatter himself in what
he had observed in Sophia, he was not yet free from doubt of misconstruing
compassion, or at best, esteem, into a warmer regard. He was far from a
sanguine assurance that Sophia had any such affection towards him, as
might promise his inclinations that harvest, which, if they were
encouraged and nursed, they would finally grow up to require. Besides, if
he could hope to find no bar to his happiness from the daughter, he
thought himself certain of meeting an effectual bar in the father; who,
though he was a country squire in his diversions, was perfectly a man of
the world in whatever regarded his fortune; had the most violent affection
for his only daughter, and had often signified, in his cups, the pleasure
he proposed in seeing her married to one of the richest men in the county.
Jones was not so vain and senseless a coxcomb as to expect, from any
regard which Western had professed for him, that he would ever be induced
to lay aside these views of advancing his daughter. He well knew that
fortune is generally the principal, if not the sole, consideration, which
operates on the best of parents in these matters: for friendship makes us
warmly espouse the interest of others; but it is very cold to the
gratification of their passions. Indeed, to feel the happiness which may
result from this, it is necessary we should possess the passion ourselves.
As he had therefore no hopes of obtaining her father's consent; so he
thought to endeavour to succeed without it, and by such means to frustrate
the great point of Mr Western's life, was to make a very ill use of his
hospitality, and a very ungrateful return to the many little favours
received (however roughly) at his hands. If he saw such a consequence with
horror and disdain, how much more was he shocked with what regarded Mr
Allworthy; to whom, as he had more than filial obligations, so had he for
him more than filial piety! He knew the nature of that good man to be so
averse to any baseness or treachery, that the least attempt of such a kind
would make the sight of the guilty person for ever odious to his eyes, and
his name a detestable sound in his ears. The appearance of such
unsurmountable difficulties was sufficient to have inspired him with
despair, however ardent his wishes had been; but even these were
contruoled by compassion for another woman. The idea of lovely Molly now
intruded itself before him. He had sworn eternal constancy in her arms,
and she had as often vowed never to out-live his deserting her. He now saw
her in all the most shocking postures of death; nay, he considered all the
miseries of prostitution to which she would be liable, and of which he
would be doubly the occasion; first by seducing, and then by deserting
her; for he well knew the hatred which all her neighbours, and even her
own sisters, bore her, and how ready they would all be to tear her to
pieces. Indeed, he had exposed her to more envy than shame, or rather to
the latter by means of the former: for many women abused her for being a
whore, while they envied her her lover, and her finery, and would have
been themselves glad to have purchased these at the same rate. The ruin,
therefore, of the poor girl must, he foresaw, unavoidably attend his
deserting her; and this thought stung him to the soul. Poverty and
distress seemed to him to give none a right of aggravating those
misfortunes. The meanness of her condition did not represent her misery as
of little consequence in his eyes, nor did it appear to justify, or even
to palliate, his guilt, in bringing that misery upon her. But why do I
mention justification? His own heart would not suffer him to destroy a
human creature who, he thought, loved him, and had to that love sacrificed
her innocence. His own good heart pleaded her cause; not as a cold venal
advocate, but as one interested in the event, and which must itself deeply
share in all the agonies its owner brought on another.



When this powerful advocate had sufficiently raised the pity of Jones, by
painting poor Molly in all the circumstances of wretchedness; it artfully
called in the assistance of another passion, and represented the girl in
all the amiable colours of youth, health, and beauty; as one greatly the
object of desire, and much more so, at least to a good mind, from being,
at the same time, the object of compassion.



Amidst these thoughts, poor Jones passed a long sleepless night, and in
the morning the result of the whole was to abide by Molly, and to think no
more of Sophia.



In this virtuous resolution he continued all the next day till the
evening, cherishing the idea of Molly, and driving Sophia from his
thoughts; but in the fatal evening, a very trifling accident set all his
passions again on float, and worked so total a change in his mind, that we
think it decent to communicate it in a fresh chapter.




















Chapter iv. — A little chapter, in which is contained a little
incident.



Among other visitants, who paid their compliments to the young gentleman
in his confinement, Mrs Honour was one. The reader, perhaps, when he
reflects on some expressions which have formerly dropt from her, may
conceive that she herself had a very particular affection for Mr Jones;
but, in reality, it was no such thing. Tom was a handsome young fellow;
and for that species of men Mrs Honour had some regard; but this was
perfectly indiscriminate; for having being crossed in the love which she
bore a certain nobleman's footman, who had basely deserted her after a
promise of marriage, she had so securely kept together the broken remains
of her heart, that no man had ever since been able to possess himself of
any single fragment. She viewed all handsome men with that equal regard
and benevolence which a sober and virtuous mind bears to all the good. She
might indeed be called a lover of men, as Socrates was a lover of mankind,
preferring one to another for corporeal, as he for mental qualifications;
but never carrying this preference so far as to cause any perturbation in
the philosophical serenity of her temper.



The day after Mr Jones had that conflict with himself which we have seen
in the preceding chapter, Mrs Honour came into his room, and finding him
alone, began in the following manner:—“La, sir, where do you
think I have been? I warrants you, you would not guess in fifty years; but
if you did guess, to be sure I must not tell you neither.”—“Nay,
if it be something which you must not tell me,” said Jones, “I
shall have the curiosity to enquire, and I know you will not be so
barbarous to refuse me.”—“I don't know,” cries
she, “why I should refuse you neither, for that matter; for to be
sure you won't mention it any more. And for that matter, if you knew where
I have been, unless you knew what I have been about, it would not signify
much. Nay, I don't see why it should be kept a secret for my part; for to
be sure she is the best lady in the world.” Upon this, Jones began
to beg earnestly to be let into this secret, and faithfully promised not
to divulge it. She then proceeded thus:—“Why, you must know,
sir, my young lady sent me to enquire after Molly Seagrim, and to see
whether the wench wanted anything; to be sure, I did not care to go,
methinks; but servants must do what they are ordered.—How could you
undervalue yourself so, Mr Jones?—So my lady bid me go and carry her
some linen, and other things. She is too good. If such forward sluts were
sent to Bridewell, it would be better for them. I told my lady, says I,
madam, your la'ship is encouraging idleness.”—“And was
my Sophia so good?” says Jones. “My Sophia! I assure you,
marry come up,” answered Honour. “And yet if you knew all—indeed,
if I was as Mr Jones, I should look a little higher than such trumpery as
Molly Seagrim.” “What do you mean by these words,”
replied Jones, “if I knew all?” “I mean what I mean,”
says Honour. “Don't you remember putting your hands in my lady's
muff once? I vow I could almost find in my heart to tell, if I was certain
my lady would never come to the hearing on't.” Jones then made
several solemn protestations. And Honour proceeded—“Then to be
sure, my lady gave me that muff; and afterwards, upon hearing what you had
done”—“Then you told her what I had done?”
interrupted Jones. “If I did, sir,” answered she, “you
need not be angry with me. Many's the man would have given his head to
have had my lady told, if they had known,—for, to be sure, the
biggest lord in the land might be proud—but, I protest, I have a
great mind not to tell you.” Jones fell to entreaties, and soon
prevailed on her to go on thus. “You must know then, sir, that my
lady had given this muff to me; but about a day or two after I had told
her the story, she quarrels with her new muff, and to be sure it is the
prettiest that ever was seen. Honour, says she, this is an odious muff; it
is too big for me, I can't wear it: till I can get another, you must let
me have my old one again, and you may have this in the room on't—for
she's a good lady, and scorns to give a thing and take a thing, I promise
you that. So to be sure I fetched it her back again, and, I believe, she
hath worn it upon her arm almost ever since, and I warrants hath given it
many a kiss when nobody hath seen her.”



Here the conversation was interrupted by Mr Western himself, who came to
summon Jones to the harpsichord; whither the poor young fellow went all
pale and trembling. This Western observed, but, on seeing Mrs Honour,
imputed it to a wrong cause; and having given Jones a hearty curse between
jest and earnest, he bid him beat abroad, and not poach up the game in his
warren.



Sophia looked this evening with more than usual beauty, and we may believe
it was no small addition to her charms, in the eye of Mr Jones, that she
now happened to have on her right arm this very muff.



She was playing one of her father's favourite tunes, and he was leaning on
her chair, when the muff fell over her fingers, and put her out. This so
disconcerted the squire, that he snatched the muff from her, and with a
hearty curse threw it into the fire. Sophia instantly started up, and with
the utmost eagerness recovered it from the flames.



Though this incident will probably appear of little consequence to many of
our readers; yet, trifling as it was, it had so violent an effect on poor
Jones, that we thought it our duty to relate it. In reality, there are
many little circumstances too often omitted by injudicious historians,
from which events of the utmost importance arise. The world may indeed be
considered as a vast machine, in which the great wheels are originally set
in motion by those which are very minute, and almost imperceptible to any
but the strongest eyes.



Thus, not all the charms of the incomparable Sophia; not all the dazzling
brightness, and languishing softness of her eyes; the harmony of her
voice, and of her person; not all her wit, good-humour, greatness of mind,
or sweetness of disposition, had been able so absolutely to conquer and
enslave the heart of poor Jones, as this little incident of the muff. Thus
the poet sweetly sings of Troy—


      —Captique dolis lachrymisque coacti
Quos neque Tydides, nec Larissaeus Achilles,
Non anni domuere decem, non mille Carinae.

What Diomede or Thetis' greater son,
A thousand ships, nor ten years' siege had done
False tears and fawning words the city won.



The citadel of Jones was now taken by surprize. All those considerations
of honour and prudence which our heroe had lately with so much military
wisdom placed as guards over the avenues of his heart, ran away from their
posts, and the god of love marched in, in triumph.




















Chapter v. — A very long chapter, containing a very great incident.



But though this victorious deity easily expelled his avowed enemies from
the heart of Jones, he found it more difficult to supplant the garrison
which he himself had placed there. To lay aside all allegory, the concern
for what must become of poor Molly greatly disturbed and perplexed the
mind of the worthy youth. The superior merit of Sophia totally eclipsed,
or rather extinguished, all the beauties of the poor girl; but compassion
instead of contempt succeeded to love. He was convinced the girl had
placed all her affections, and all her prospect of future happiness, in
him only. For this he had, he knew, given sufficient occasion, by the
utmost profusion of tenderness towards her: a tenderness which he had
taken every means to persuade her he would always maintain. She, on her
side, had assured him of her firm belief in his promise, and had with the
most solemn vows declared, that on his fulfilling or breaking these
promises, it depended, whether she should be the happiest or most
miserable of womankind. And to be the author of this highest degree of
misery to a human being, was a thought on which he could not bear to
ruminate a single moment. He considered this poor girl as having
sacrificed to him everything in her little power; as having been at her
own expense the object of his pleasure; as sighing and languishing for him
even at that very instant. Shall then, says he, my recovery, for which she
hath so ardently wished; shall my presence, which she hath so eagerly
expected, instead of giving her that joy with which she hath flattered
herself, cast her at once down into misery and despair? Can I be such a
villain? Here, when the genius of poor Molly seemed triumphant, the love
of Sophia towards him, which now appeared no longer dubious, rushed upon
his mind, and bore away every obstacle before it.



At length it occurred to him, that he might possibly be able to make Molly
amends another way; namely, by giving her a sum of money. This,
nevertheless, he almost despaired of her accepting, when he recollected
the frequent and vehement assurances he had received from her, that the
world put in balance with him would make her no amends for his loss.
However, her extreme poverty, and chiefly her egregious vanity (somewhat
of which hath been already hinted to the reader), gave him some little
hope, that, notwithstanding all her avowed tenderness, she might in time
be brought to content herself with a fortune superior to her expectation,
and which might indulge her vanity, by setting her above all her equals.
He resolved therefore to take the first opportunity of making a proposal
of this kind.



One day, accordingly, when his arm was so well recovered that he could
walk easily with it slung in a sash, he stole forth, at a season when the
squire was engaged in his field exercises, and visited his fair one. Her
mother and sisters, whom he found taking their tea, informed him first
that Molly was not at home; but afterwards the eldest sister acquainted
him, with a malicious smile, that she was above stairs a-bed. Tom had no
objection to this situation of his mistress, and immediately ascended the
ladder which led towards her bed-chamber; but when he came to the top, he,
to his great surprize, found the door fast; nor could he for some time
obtain any answer from within; for Molly, as she herself afterwards
informed him, was fast asleep.



The extremes of grief and joy have been remarked to produce very similar
effects; and when either of these rushes on us by surprize, it is apt to
create such a total perturbation and confusion, that we are often thereby
deprived of the use of all our faculties. It cannot therefore be wondered
at, that the unexpected sight of Mr Jones should so strongly operate on
the mind of Molly, and should overwhelm her with such confusion, that for
some minutes she was unable to express the great raptures, with which the
reader will suppose she was affected on this occasion. As for Jones, he
was so entirely possessed, and as it were enchanted, by the presence of
his beloved object, that he for a while forgot Sophia, and consequently
the principal purpose of his visit.



This, however, soon recurred to his memory; and after the first transports
of their meeting were over, he found means by degrees to introduce a
discourse on the fatal consequences which must attend their amour, if Mr
Allworthy, who had strictly forbidden him ever seeing her more, should
discover that he still carried on this commerce. Such a discovery, which
his enemies gave him reason to think would be unavoidable, must, he said,
end in his ruin, and consequently in hers. Since therefore their hard
fates had determined that they must separate, he advised her to bear it
with resolution, and swore he would never omit any opportunity, through
the course of his life, of showing her the sincerity of his affection, by
providing for her in a manner beyond her utmost expectation, or even
beyond her wishes, if ever that should be in his power; concluding at
last, that she might soon find some man who would marry her, and who would
make her much happier than she could be by leading a disreputable life
with him.



Molly remained a few moments in silence, and then bursting into a flood of
tears, she began to upbraid him in the following words: “And this is
your love for me, to forsake me in this manner, now you have ruined me!
How often, when I have told you that all men are false and perjury alike,
and grow tired of us as soon as ever they have had their wicked wills of
us, how often have you sworn you would never forsake me! And can you be
such a perjury man after all? What signifies all the riches in the world
to me without you, now you have gained my heart, so you have—you
have—? Why do you mention another man to me? I can never love any
other man as long as I live. All other men are nothing to me. If the
greatest squire in all the country would come a suiting to me to-morrow, I
would not give my company to him. No, I shall always hate and despise the
whole sex for your sake.”—



She was proceeding thus, when an accident put a stop to her tongue, before
it had run out half its career. The room, or rather garret, in which Molly
lay, being up one pair of stairs, that is to say, at the top of the house,
was of a sloping figure, resembling the great Delta of the Greeks. The
English reader may perhaps form a better idea of it, by being told that it
was impossible to stand upright anywhere but in the middle. Now, as this
room wanted the conveniency of a closet, Molly had, to supply that defect,
nailed up an old rug against the rafters of the house, which enclosed a
little hole where her best apparel, such as the remains of that sack which
we have formerly mentioned, some caps, and other things with which she had
lately provided herself, were hung up and secured from the dust.



This enclosed place exactly fronted the foot of the bed, to which, indeed,
the rug hung so near, that it served in a manner to supply the want of
curtains. Now, whether Molly, in the agonies of her rage, pushed this rug
with her feet; or Jones might touch it; or whether the pin or nail gave
way of its own accord, I am not certain; but as Molly pronounced those
last words, which are recorded above, the wicked rug got loose from its
fastening, and discovered everything hid behind it; where among other
female utensils appeared—(with shame I write it, and with sorrow
will it be read)—the philosopher Square, in a posture (for the place
would not near admit his standing upright) as ridiculous as can possibly
be conceived.



The posture, indeed, in which he stood, was not greatly unlike that of a
soldier who is tied neck and heels; or rather resembling the attitude in
which we often see fellows in the public streets of London, who are not
suffering but deserving punishment by so standing. He had a nightcap
belonging to Molly on his head, and his two large eyes, the moment the rug
fell, stared directly at Jones; so that when the idea of philosophy was
added to the figure now discovered, it would have been very difficult for
any spectator to have refrained from immoderate laughter.



I question not but the surprize of the reader will be here equal to that
of Jones; as the suspicions which must arise from the appearance of this
wise and grave man in such a place, may seem so inconsistent with that
character which he hath, doubtless, maintained hitherto, in the opinion of
every one.



But to confess the truth, this inconsistency is rather imaginary than
real. Philosophers are composed of flesh and blood as well as other human
creatures; and however sublimated and refined the theory of these may be,
a little practical frailty is as incident to them as to other mortals. It
is, indeed, in theory only, and not in practice, as we have before hinted,
that consists the difference: for though such great beings think much
better and more wisely, they always act exactly like other men. They know
very well how to subdue all appetites and passions, and to despise both
pain and pleasure; and this knowledge affords much delightful
contemplation, and is easily acquired; but the practice would be vexatious
and troublesome; and, therefore, the same wisdom which teaches them to
know this, teaches them to avoid carrying it into execution.



Mr Square happened to be at church on that Sunday, when, as the reader may
be pleased to remember, the appearance of Molly in her sack had caused all
that disturbance. Here he first observed her, and was so pleased with her
beauty, that he prevailed with the young gentlemen to change their
intended ride that evening, that he might pass by the habitation of Molly,
and by that means might obtain a second chance of seeing her. This reason,
however, as he did not at that time mention to any, so neither did we
think proper to communicate it then to the reader.



Among other particulars which constituted the unfitness of things in Mr
Square's opinion, danger and difficulty were two. The difficulty therefore
which he apprehended there might be in corrupting this young wench, and
the danger which would accrue to his character on the discovery, were such
strong dissuasives, that it is probable he at first intended to have
contented himself with the pleasing ideas which the sight of beauty
furnishes us with. These the gravest men, after a full meal of serious
meditation, often allow themselves by way of dessert: for which purpose,
certain books and pictures find their way into the most private recesses
of their study, and a certain liquorish part of natural philosophy is
often the principal subject of their conversation.



But when the philosopher heard, a day or two afterwards, that the fortress
of virtue had already been subdued, he began to give a larger scope to his
desires. His appetite was not of that squeamish kind which cannot feed on
a dainty because another hath tasted it. In short, he liked the girl the
better for the want of that chastity, which, if she had possessed it, must
have been a bar to his pleasures; he pursued and obtained her.



The reader will be mistaken, if he thinks Molly gave Square the preference
to her younger lover: on the contrary, had she been confined to the choice
of one only, Tom Jones would undoubtedly have been, of the two, the
victorious person. Nor was it solely the consideration that two are better
than one (though this had its proper weight) to which Mr Square owed his
success: the absence of Jones during his confinement was an unlucky
circumstance; and in that interval some well-chosen presents from the
philosopher so softened and unguarded the girl's heart, that a favourable
opportunity became irresistible, and Square triumphed over the poor
remains of virtue which subsisted in the bosom of Molly.



It was now about a fortnight since this conquest, when Jones paid the
above-mentioned visit to his mistress, at a time when she and Square were
in bed together. This was the true reason why the mother denied her as we
have seen; for as the old woman shared in the profits arising from the
iniquity of her daughter, she encouraged and protected her in it to the
utmost of her power; but such was the envy and hatred which the elder
sister bore towards Molly, that, notwithstanding she had some part of the
booty, she would willingly have parted with this to ruin her sister and
spoil her trade. Hence she had acquainted Jones with her being
above-stairs in bed, in hopes that he might have caught her in Square's
arms. This, however, Molly found means to prevent, as the door was
fastened; which gave her an opportunity of conveying her lover behind that
rug or blanket where he now was unhappily discovered.



Square no sooner made his appearance than Molly flung herself back in her
bed, cried out she was undone, and abandoned herself to despair. This poor
girl, who was yet but a novice in her business, had not arrived to that
perfection of assurance which helps off a town lady in any extremity; and
either prompts her with an excuse, or else inspires her to brazen out the
matter with her husband, who, from love of quiet, or out of fear of his
reputation—and sometimes, perhaps, from fear of the gallant, who,
like Mr Constant in the play, wears a sword—is glad to shut his
eyes, and content to put his horns in his pocket. Molly, on the contrary,
was silenced by this evidence, and very fairly gave up a cause which she
had hitherto maintained with so many tears, and with such solemn and
vehement protestations of the purest love and constancy.



As to the gentleman behind the arras, he was not in much less
consternation. He stood for a while motionless, and seemed equally at a
loss what to say, or whither to direct his eyes. Jones, though perhaps the
most astonished of the three, first found his tongue; and being
immediately recovered from those uneasy sensations which Molly by her
upbraidings had occasioned, he burst into a loud laughter, and then
saluting Mr Square, advanced to take him by the hand, and to relieve him
from his place of confinement.



Square being now arrived in the middle of the room, in which part only he
could stand upright, looked at Jones with a very grave countenance, and
said to him, “Well, sir, I see you enjoy this mighty discovery, and,
I dare swear, take great delight in the thoughts of exposing me; but if
you will consider the matter fairly, you will find you are yourself only
to blame. I am not guilty of corrupting innocence. I have done nothing for
which that part of the world which judges of matters by the rule of right,
will condemn me. Fitness is governed by the nature of things, and not by
customs, forms, or municipal laws. Nothing is indeed unfit which is not
unnatural.”—“Well reasoned, old boy,” answered
Jones; “but why dost thou think that I should desire to expose thee?
I promise thee, I was never better pleased with thee in my life; and
unless thou hast a mind to discover it thyself, this affair may remain a
profound secret for me.”—“Nay, Mr Jones,” replied
Square, “I would not be thought to undervalue reputation. Good fame
is a species of the Kalon, and it is by no means fitting to neglect it.
Besides, to murder one's own reputation is a kind of suicide, a detestable
and odious vice. If you think proper, therefore, to conceal any infirmity
of mine (for such I may have, since no man is perfectly perfect), I
promise you I will not betray myself. Things may be fitting to be done,
which are not fitting to be boasted of; for by the perverse judgment of
the world, that often becomes the subject of censure, which is, in truth,
not only innocent but laudable.”—“Right!” cries
Jones: “what can be more innocent than the indulgence of a natural
appetite? or what more laudable than the propagation of our species?”—“To
be serious with you,” answered Square, “I profess they always
appeared so to me.”—“And yet,” said Jones, “you
was of a different opinion when my affair with this girl was first
discovered.”—“Why, I must confess,” says Square,
“as the matter was misrepresented to me, by that parson Thwackum, I
might condemn the corruption of innocence: it was that, sir, it was that—and
that—: for you must know, Mr Jones, in the consideration of fitness,
very minute circumstances, sir, very minute circumstances cause great
alteration.”—“Well,” cries Jones, “be that
as it will, it shall be your own fault, as I have promised you, if you
ever hear any more of this adventure. Behave kindly to the girl, and I
will never open my lips concerning the matter to any one. And, Molly, do
you be faithful to your friend, and I will not only forgive your
infidelity to me, but will do you all the service I can.” So saying,
he took a hasty leave, and, slipping down the ladder, retired with much
expedition.



Square was rejoiced to find this adventure was likely to have no worse
conclusion; and as for Molly, being recovered from her confusion, she
began at first to upbraid Square with having been the occasion of her loss
of Jones; but that gentleman soon found the means of mitigating her anger,
partly by caresses, and partly by a small nostrum from his purse, of
wonderful and approved efficacy in purging off the ill humours of the
mind, and in restoring it to a good temper.



She then poured forth a vast profusion of tenderness towards her new
lover; turned all she had said to Jones, and Jones himself, into ridicule;
and vowed, though he once had the possession of her person, that none but
Square had ever been master of her heart.




















Chapter vi. — By comparing which with the former, the reader may
possibly correct some abuse which he hath formerly been guilty of in the
application of the word love.



The infidelity of Molly, which Jones had now discovered, would, perhaps,
have vindicated a much greater degree of resentment than he expressed on
the occasion; and if he had abandoned her directly from that moment, very
few, I believe, would have blamed him.



Certain, however, it is, that he saw her in the light of compassion; and
though his love to her was not of that kind which could give him any great
uneasiness at her inconstancy, yet was he not a little shocked on
reflecting that he had himself originally corrupted her innocence; for to
this corruption he imputed all the vice into which she appeared now so
likely to plunge herself.



This consideration gave him no little uneasiness, till Betty, the elder
sister, was so kind, some time afterwards, entirely to cure him by a hint,
that one Will Barnes, and not himself, had been the first seducer of
Molly; and that the little child, which he had hitherto so certainly
concluded to be his own, might very probably have an equal title, at
least, to claim Barnes for its father.



Jones eagerly pursued this scent when he had first received it; and in a
very short time was sufficiently assured that the girl had told him truth,
not only by the confession of the fellow, but at last by that of Molly
herself.



This Will Barnes was a country gallant, and had acquired as many trophies
of this kind as any ensign or attorney's clerk in the kingdom. He had,
indeed, reduced several women to a state of utter profligacy, had broke
the hearts of some, and had the honour of occasioning the violent death of
one poor girl, who had either drowned herself, or, what was rather more
probable, had been drowned by him.



Among other of his conquests, this fellow had triumphed over the heart of
Betty Seagrim. He had made love to her long before Molly was grown to be a
fit object of that pastime; but had afterwards deserted her, and applied
to her sister, with whom he had almost immediate success. Now Will had, in
reality, the sole possession of Molly's affection, while Jones and Square
were almost equally sacrifices to her interest and to her pride.



Hence had grown that implacable hatred which we have before seen raging in
the mind of Betty; though we did not think it necessary to assign this
cause sooner, as envy itself alone was adequate to all the effects we have
mentioned.



Jones was become perfectly easy by possession of this secret with regard
to Molly; but as to Sophia, he was far from being in a state of
tranquillity; nay, indeed, he was under the most violent perturbation; his
heart was now, if I may use the metaphor, entirely evacuated, and Sophia
took absolute possession of it. He loved her with an unbounded passion,
and plainly saw the tender sentiments she had for him; yet could not this
assurance lessen his despair of obtaining the consent of her father, nor
the horrors which attended his pursuit of her by any base or treacherous
method.



The injury which he must thus do to Mr Western, and the concern which
would accrue to Mr Allworthy, were circumstances that tormented him all
day, and haunted him on his pillow at night. His life was a constant
struggle between honour and inclination, which alternately triumphed over
each other in his mind. He often resolved, in the absence of Sophia, to
leave her father's house, and to see her no more; and as often, in her
presence, forgot all those resolutions, and determined to pursue her at
the hazard of his life, and at the forfeiture of what was much dearer to
him.



This conflict began soon to produce very strong and visible effects: for
he lost all his usual sprightliness and gaiety of temper, and became not
only melancholy when alone, but dejected and absent in company; nay, if
ever he put on a forced mirth, to comply with Mr Western's humour, the
constraint appeared so plain, that he seemed to have been giving the
strongest evidence of what he endeavoured to conceal by such ostentation.



It may, perhaps, be a question, whether the art which he used to conceal
his passion, or the means which honest nature employed to reveal it,
betrayed him most: for while art made him more than ever reserved to
Sophia, and forbad him to address any of his discourse to her, nay, to
avoid meeting her eyes, with the utmost caution; nature was no less busy
in counterplotting him. Hence, at the approach of the young lady, he grew
pale; and if this was sudden, started. If his eyes accidentally met hers,
the blood rushed into his cheeks, and his countenance became all over
scarlet. If common civility ever obliged him to speak to her, as to drink
her health at table, his tongue was sure to falter. If he touched her, his
hand, nay his whole frame, trembled. And if any discourse tended, however
remotely, to raise the idea of love, an involuntary sigh seldom failed to
steal from his bosom. Most of which accidents nature was wonderfully
industrious to throw daily in his way.



All these symptoms escaped the notice of the squire: but not so of Sophia.
She soon perceived these agitations of mind in Jones, and was at no loss
to discover the cause; for indeed she recognized it in her own breast. And
this recognition is, I suppose, that sympathy which hath been so often
noted in lovers, and which will sufficiently account for her being so much
quicker-sighted than her father.



But, to say the truth, there is a more simple and plain method of
accounting for that prodigious superiority of penetration which we must
observe in some men over the rest of the human species, and one which will
serve not only in the case of lovers, but of all others. From whence is it
that the knave is generally so quick-sighted to those symptoms and
operations of knavery, which often dupe an honest man of a much better
understanding? There surely is no general sympathy among knaves; nor have
they, like freemasons, any common sign of communication. In reality, it is
only because they have the same thing in their heads, and their thoughts
are turned the same way. Thus, that Sophia saw, and that Western did not
see, the plain symptoms of love in Jones can be no wonder, when we
consider that the idea of love never entered into the head of the father,
whereas the daughter, at present, thought of nothing else.



When Sophia was well satisfied of the violent passion which tormented poor
Jones, and no less certain that she herself was its object, she had not
the least difficulty in discovering the true cause of his present
behaviour. This highly endeared him to her, and raised in her mind two of
the best affections which any lover can wish to raise in a mistress—these
were, esteem and pity—for sure the most outrageously rigid among her
sex will excuse her pitying a man whom she saw miserable on her own
account; nor can they blame her for esteeming one who visibly, from the
most honourable motives, endeavoured to smother a flame in his own bosom,
which, like the famous Spartan theft, was preying upon and consuming his
very vitals. Thus his backwardness, his shunning her, his coldness, and
his silence, were the forwardest, the most diligent, the warmest, and most
eloquent advocates; and wrought so violently on her sensible and tender
heart, that she soon felt for him all those gentle sensations which are
consistent with a virtuous and elevated female mind. In short, all which
esteem, gratitude, and pity, can inspire in such towards an agreeable man—indeed,
all which the nicest delicacy can allow. In a word, she was in love with
him to distraction.



One day this young couple accidentally met in the garden, at the end of
the two walks which were both bounded by that canal in which Jones had
formerly risqued drowning to retrieve the little bird that Sophia had
there lost.



This place had been of late much frequented by Sophia. Here she used to
ruminate, with a mixture of pain and pleasure, on an incident which,
however trifling in itself, had possibly sown the first seeds of that
affection which was now arrived to such maturity in her heart.



Here then this young couple met. They were almost close together before
either of them knew anything of the other's approach. A bystander would
have discovered sufficient marks of confusion in the countenance of each;
but they felt too much themselves to make any observation. As soon as
Jones had a little recovered his first surprize, he accosted the young
lady with some of the ordinary forms of salutation, which she in the same
manner returned; and their conversation began, as usual, on the delicious
beauty of the morning. Hence they past to the beauty of the place, on
which Jones launched forth very high encomiums. When they came to the tree
whence he had formerly tumbled into the canal, Sophia could not help
reminding him of that accident, and said, “I fancy, Mr Jones, you
have some little shuddering when you see that water.”—“I
assure you, madam,” answered Jones, “the concern you felt at
the loss of your little bird will always appear to me the highest
circumstance in that adventure. Poor little Tommy! there is the branch he
stood upon. How could the little wretch have the folly to fly away from
that state of happiness in which I had the honour to place him? His fate
was a just punishment for his ingratitude.”—“Upon my
word, Mr Jones,” said she, “your gallantry very narrowly
escaped as severe a fate. Sure the remembrance must affect you.”—“Indeed,
madam,” answered he, “if I have any reason to reflect with
sorrow on it, it is, perhaps, that the water had not been a little deeper,
by which I might have escaped many bitter heart-aches that Fortune seems
to have in store for me.”—“Fie, Mr Jones!” replied
Sophia; “I am sure you cannot be in earnest now. This affected
contempt of life is only an excess of your complacence to me. You would
endeavour to lessen the obligation of having twice ventured it for my
sake. Beware the third time.” She spoke these last words with a
smile, and a softness inexpressible. Jones answered with a sigh, “He
feared it was already too late for caution:” and then looking
tenderly and stedfastly on her, he cried, “Oh, Miss Western! can you
desire me to live? Can you wish me so ill?” Sophia, looking down on
the ground, answered with some hesitation, “Indeed, Mr Jones, I do
not wish you ill.”—“Oh, I know too well that heavenly
temper,” cries Jones, “that divine goodness, which is beyond
every other charm.”—“Nay, now,” answered she,
“I understand you not. I can stay no longer.”—“I—I
would not be understood!” cries he; “nay, I can't be
understood. I know not what I say. Meeting you here so unexpectedly, I
have been unguarded: for Heaven's sake pardon me, if I have said anything
to offend you. I did not mean it. Indeed, I would rather have died—nay,
the very thought would kill me.”—“You surprize me,”
answered she. “How can you possibly think you have offended me?”—“Fear,
madam,” says he, “easily runs into madness; and there is no
degree of fear like that which I feel of offending you. How can I speak
then? Nay, don't look angrily at me: one frown will destroy me. I mean
nothing. Blame my eyes, or blame those beauties. What am I saying? Pardon
me if I have said too much. My heart overflowed. I have struggled with my
love to the utmost, and have endeavoured to conceal a fever which preys on
my vitals, and will, I hope, soon make it impossible for me ever to offend
you more.”



Mr Jones now fell a trembling as if he had been shaken with the fit of an
ague. Sophia, who was in a situation not very different from his, answered
in these words: “Mr Jones, I will not affect to misunderstand you;
indeed, I understand you too well; but, for Heaven's sake, if you have any
affection for me, let me make the best of my way into the house. I wish I
may be able to support myself thither.”



Jones, who was hardly able to support himself, offered her his arm, which
she condescended to accept, but begged he would not mention a word more to
her of this nature at present. He promised he would not; insisting only on
her forgiveness of what love, without the leave of his will, had forced
from him: this, she told him, he knew how to obtain by his future
behaviour; and thus this young pair tottered and trembled along, the lover
not once daring to squeeze the hand of his mistress, though it was locked
in his.



Sophia immediately retired to her chamber, where Mrs Honour and the
hartshorn were summoned to her assistance. As to poor Jones, the only
relief to his distempered mind was an unwelcome piece of news, which, as
it opens a scene of different nature from those in which the reader hath
lately been conversant, will be communicated to him in the next chapter.




















Chapter vii. — In which Mr Allworthy appears on a sick-bed.



Mr Western was become so fond of Jones that he was unwilling to part with
him, though his arm had been long since cured; and Jones, either from the
love of sport, or from some other reason, was easily persuaded to continue
at his house, which he did sometimes for a fortnight together without
paying a single visit at Mr Allworthy's; nay, without ever hearing from
thence.



Mr Allworthy had been for some days indisposed with a cold, which had been
attended with a little fever. This he had, however, neglected; as it was
usual with him to do all manner of disorders which did not confine him to
his bed, or prevent his several faculties from performing their ordinary
functions;—a conduct which we would by no means be thought to
approve or recommend to imitation; for surely the gentlemen of the
Aesculapian art are in the right in advising, that the moment the disease
has entered at one door, the physician should be introduced at the other:
what else is meant by that old adage, Venienti occurrite morbo?
“Oppose a distemper at its first approach.” Thus the doctor
and the disease meet in fair and equal conflict; whereas, by giving time
to the latter, we often suffer him to fortify and entrench himself, like a
French army; so that the learned gentleman finds it very difficult, and
sometimes impossible, to come at the enemy. Nay, sometimes by gaining time
the disease applies to the French military politics, and corrupts nature
over to his side, and then all the powers of physic must arrive too late.
Agreeable to these observations was, I remember, the complaint of the
great Doctor Misaubin, who used very pathetically to lament the late
applications which were made to his skill, saying, “Bygar, me
believe my pation take me for de undertaker, for dey never send for me
till de physicion have kill dem.”



Mr Allworthy's distemper, by means of this neglect, gained such ground,
that, when the increase of his fever obliged him to send for assistance,
the doctor at his first arrival shook his head, wished he had been sent
for sooner, and intimated that he thought him in very imminent danger. Mr
Allworthy, who had settled all his affairs in this world, and was as well
prepared as it is possible for human nature to be for the other, received
this information with the utmost calmness and unconcern. He could, indeed,
whenever he laid himself down to rest, say with Cato in the tragical poem—


                               Let guilt or fear
Disturb man's rest: Cato knows neither of them;
Indifferent in his choice to sleep or die.


In reality, he could say this with ten times more reason and confidence
than Cato, or any other proud fellow among the antient or modern heroes;
for he was not only devoid of fear, but might be considered as a faithful
labourer, when at the end of harvest he is summoned to receive his reward
at the hands of a bountiful master.



The good man gave immediate orders for all his family to be summoned round
him. None of these were then abroad, but Mrs Blifil, who had been some
time in London, and Mr Jones, whom the reader hath just parted from at Mr
Western's, and who received this summons just as Sophia had left him.



The news of Mr Allworthy's danger (for the servant told him he was dying)
drove all thoughts of love out of his head. He hurried instantly into the
chariot which was sent for him, and ordered the coachman to drive with all
imaginable haste; nor did the idea of Sophia, I believe, once occur to him
on the way.



And now the whole family, namely, Mr Blifil, Mr Jones, Mr Thwackum, Mr
Square, and some of the servants (for such were Mr Allworthy's orders)
being all assembled round his bed, the good man sat up in it, and was
beginning to speak, when Blifil fell to blubbering, and began to express
very loud and bitter lamentations. Upon this Mr Allworthy shook him by the
hand, and said, “Do not sorrow thus, my dear nephew, at the most
ordinary of all human occurrences. When misfortunes befal our friends we
are justly grieved; for those are accidents which might often have been
avoided, and which may seem to render the lot of one man more peculiarly
unhappy than that of others; but death is certainly unavoidable, and is
that common lot in which alone the fortunes of all men agree: nor is the
time when this happens to us very material. If the wisest of men hath
compared life to a span, surely we may be allowed to consider it as a day.
It is my fate to leave it in the evening; but those who are taken away
earlier have only lost a few hours, at the best little worth lamenting,
and much oftener hours of labour and fatigue, of pain and sorrow. One of
the Roman poets, I remember, likens our leaving life to our departure from
a feast;—a thought which hath often occurred to me when I have seen
men struggling to protract an entertainment, and to enjoy the company of
their friends a few moments longer. Alas! how short is the most protracted
of such enjoyments! how immaterial the difference between him who retires
the soonest, and him who stays the latest! This is seeing life in the best
view, and this unwillingness to quit our friends is the most amiable
motive from which we can derive the fear of death; and yet the longest
enjoyment which we can hope for of this kind is of so trivial a duration,
that it is to a wise man truly contemptible. Few men, I own, think in this
manner; for, indeed, few men think of death till they are in its jaws.
However gigantic and terrible an object this may appear when it approaches
them, they are nevertheless incapable of seeing it at any distance; nay,
though they have been ever so much alarmed and frightened when they have
apprehended themselves in danger of dying, they are no sooner cleared from
this apprehension than even the fears of it are erased from their minds.
But, alas! he who escapes from death is not pardoned; he is only
reprieved, and reprieved to a short day.



“Grieve, therefore, no more, my dear child, on this occasion: an
event which may happen every hour; which every element, nay, almost every
particle of matter that surrounds us is capable of producing, and which
must and will most unavoidably reach us all at last, ought neither to
occasion our surprize nor our lamentation.



“My physician having acquainted me (which I take very kindly of him)
that I am in danger of leaving you all very shortly, I have determined to
say a few words to you at this our parting, before my distemper, which I
find grows very fast upon me, puts it out of my power.



“But I shall waste my strength too much. I intended to speak
concerning my will, which, though I have settled long ago, I think proper
to mention such heads of it as concern any of you, that I may have the
comfort of perceiving you are all satisfied with the provision I have
there made for you.



“Nephew Blifil, I leave you the heir to my whole estate, except only
£500 a-year, which is to revert to you after the death of your mother, and
except one other estate of £500 a-year, and the sum of £6000, which I have
bestowed in the following manner:



“The estate of £500 a-year I have given to you, Mr Jones: and as I
know the inconvenience which attends the want of ready money, I have added
£1000 in specie. In this I know not whether I have exceeded or fallen
short of your expectation. Perhaps you will think I have given you too
little, and the world will be as ready to condemn me for giving you too
much; but the latter censure I despise; and as to the former, unless you
should entertain that common error which I have often heard in my life
pleaded as an excuse for a total want of charity, namely, that instead of
raising gratitude by voluntary acts of bounty, we are apt to raise
demands, which of all others are the most boundless and most difficult to
satisfy.—Pardon me the bare mention of this; I will not suspect any
such thing.”



Jones flung himself at his benefactor's feet, and taking eagerly hold of
his hand, assured him his goodness to him, both now and all other times,
had so infinitely exceeded not only his merit but his hopes, that no words
could express his sense of it. “And I assure you, sir,” said
he, “your present generosity hath left me no other concern than for
the present melancholy occasion. Oh, my friend, my father!” Here his
words choaked him, and he turned away to hide a tear which was starting
from his eyes.



Allworthy then gently squeezed his hand, and proceeded thus: “I am
convinced, my child, that you have much goodness, generosity, and honour,
in your temper: if you will add prudence and religion to these, you must
be happy; for the three former qualities, I admit, make you worthy of
happiness, but they are the latter only which will put you in possession
of it.



“One thousand pound I have given to you, Mr Thwackum; a sum I am
convinced which greatly exceeds your desires, as well as your wants.
However, you will receive it as a memorial of my friendship; and whatever
superfluities may redound to you, that piety which you so rigidly maintain
will instruct you how to dispose of them.



“A like sum, Mr Square, I have bequeathed to you. This, I hope, will
enable you to pursue your profession with better success than hitherto. I
have often observed with concern, that distress is more apt to excite
contempt than commiseration, especially among men of business, with whom
poverty is understood to indicate want of ability. But the little I have
been able to leave you will extricate you from those difficulties with
which you have formerly struggled; and then I doubt not but you will meet
with sufficient prosperity to supply what a man of your philosophical
temper will require.



“I find myself growing faint, so I shall refer you to my will for my
disposition of the residue. My servants will there find some tokens to
remember me by; and there are a few charities which, I trust, my executors
will see faithfully performed. Bless you all. I am setting out a little
before you.”—



Here a footman came hastily into the room, and said there was an attorney
from Salisbury who had a particular message, which he said he must
communicate to Mr Allworthy himself: that he seemed in a violent hurry,
and protested he had so much business to do, that, if he could cut himself
into four quarters, all would not be sufficient.



“Go, child,” said Allworthy to Blifil, “see what the
gentleman wants. I am not able to do any business now, nor can he have any
with me, in which you are not at present more concerned than myself.
Besides, I really am—I am incapable of seeing any one at present, or
of any longer attention.” He then saluted them all, saying, perhaps
he should be able to see them again, but he should be now glad to compose
himself a little, finding that he had too much exhausted his spirits in
discourse.



Some of the company shed tears at their parting; and even the philosopher
Square wiped his eyes, albeit unused to the melting mood. As to Mrs
Wilkins, she dropt her pearls as fast as the Arabian trees their medicinal
gums; for this was a ceremonial which that gentlewoman never omitted on a
proper occasion.



After this Mr Allworthy again laid himself down on his pillow, and
endeavoured to compose himself to rest.




















Chapter viii. — Containing matter rather natural than pleasing.



Besides grief for her master, there was another source for that briny
stream which so plentifully rose above the two mountainous cheek-bones of
the housekeeper. She was no sooner retired, than she began to mutter to
herself in the following pleasant strain: “Sure master might have
made some difference, methinks, between me and the other servants. I
suppose he hath left me mourning; but, i'fackins! if that be all, the
devil shall wear it for him, for me. I'd have his worship know I am no
beggar. I have saved five hundred pound in his service, and after all to
be used in this manner.—It is a fine encouragement to servants to be
honest; and to be sure, if I have taken a little something now and then,
others have taken ten times as much; and now we are all put in a lump
together. If so be that it be so, the legacy may go to the devil with him
that gave it. No, I won't give it up neither, because that will please
some folks. No, I'll buy the gayest gown I can get, and dance over the old
curmudgeon's grave in it. This is my reward for taking his part so often,
when all the country have cried shame of him, for breeding up his bastard
in that manner; but he is going now where he must pay for all. It would
have become him better to have repented of his sins on his deathbed, than
to glory in them, and give away his estate out of his own family to a
misbegotten child. Found in his bed, forsooth! a pretty story! ay, ay,
those that hide know where to find. Lord forgive him! I warrant he hath
many more bastards to answer for, if the truth was known. One comfort is,
they will all be known where he is a going now.—`The servants will
find some token to remember me by.' Those were the very words; I shall
never forget them, if I was to live a thousand years. Ay, ay, I shall
remember you for huddling me among the servants. One would have thought he
might have mentioned my name as well as that of Square; but he is a
gentleman forsooth, though he had not cloths on his back when he came
hither first. Marry come up with such gentlemen! though he hath lived here
this many years, I don't believe there is arrow a servant in the house
ever saw the colour of his money. The devil shall wait upon such a
gentleman for me.” Much more of the like kind she muttered to
herself; but this taste shall suffice to the reader.



Neither Thwackum nor Square were much better satisfied with their
legacies. Though they breathed not their resentment so loud, yet from the
discontent which appeared in their countenances, as well as from the
following dialogue, we collect that no great pleasure reigned in their
minds.



About an hour after they had left the sick-room, Square met Thwackum in
the hall and accosted him thus: “Well, sir, have you heard any news
of your friend since we parted from him?”—“If you mean
Mr Allworthy,” answered Thwackum, “I think you might rather
give him the appellation of your friend; for he seems to me to have
deserved that title.”—“The title is as good on your
side,” replied Square, “for his bounty, such as it is, hath
been equal to both.”—“I should not have mentioned it
first,” cries Thwackum, “but since you begin, I must inform
you I am of a different opinion. There is a wide distinction between
voluntary favours and rewards. The duty I have done in his family, and the
care I have taken in the education of his two boys, are services for which
some men might have expected a greater return. I would not have you
imagine I am therefore dissatisfied; for St Paul hath taught me to be
content with the little I have. Had the modicum been less, I should have
known my duty. But though the Scriptures obliges me to remain contented,
it doth not enjoin me to shut my eyes to my own merit, nor restrain me
from seeing when I am injured by an unjust comparison.”—“Since
you provoke me,” returned Square, “that injury is done to me;
nor did I ever imagine Mr Allworthy had held my friendship so light, as to
put me in balance with one who received his wages. I know to what it is
owing; it proceeds from those narrow principles which you have been so
long endeavouring to infuse into him, in contempt of everything which is
great and noble. The beauty and loveliness of friendship is too strong for
dim eyes, nor can it be perceived by any other medium than that unerring
rule of right, which you have so often endeavoured to ridicule, that you
have perverted your friend's understanding.”—“I wish,”
cries Thwackum, in a rage, “I wish, for the sake of his soul, your
damnable doctrines have not perverted his faith. It is to this I impute
his present behaviour, so unbecoming a Christian. Who but an atheist could
think of leaving the world without having first made up his account?
without confessing his sins, and receiving that absolution which he knew
he had one in the house duly authorized to give him? He will feel the want
of these necessaries when it is too late, when he is arrived at that place
where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. It is then he will find in
what mighty stead that heathen goddess, that virtue, which you and all
other deists of the age adore, will stand him. He will then summon his
priest, when there is none to be found, and will lament the want of that
absolution, without which no sinner can be safe.”—“If it
be so material,” says Square, “why don't you present it him of
your own accord?” “It hath no virtue,” cries Thwackum,
“but to those who have sufficient grace to require it. But why do I
talk thus to a heathen and an unbeliever? It is you that taught him this
lesson, for which you have been well rewarded in this world, as I doubt
not your disciple will soon be in the other.”—“I know
not what you mean by reward,” said Square; “but if you hint at
that pitiful memorial of our friendship, which he hath thought fit to
bequeath me, I despise it; and nothing but the unfortunate situation of my
circumstances should prevail on me to accept it.”



The physician now arrived, and began to inquire of the two disputants, how
we all did above-stairs? “In a miserable way,” answered
Thwackum. “It is no more than I expected,” cries the doctor:
“but pray what symptoms have appeared since I left you?”—“No
good ones, I am afraid,” replied Thwackum: “after what past at
our departure, I think there were little hopes.” The bodily
physician, perhaps, misunderstood the curer of souls; and before they came
to an explanation, Mr Blifil came to them with a most melancholy
countenance, and acquainted them that he brought sad news, that his mother
was dead at Salisbury; that she had been seized on the road home with the
gout in her head and stomach, which had carried her off in a few hours.
“Good-lack-a-day!” says the doctor. “One cannot answer
for events; but I wish I had been at hand, to have been called in. The
gout is a distemper which it is difficult to treat; yet I have been
remarkably successful in it.” Thwackum and Square both condoled with
Mr Blifil for the loss of his mother, which the one advised him to bear
like a man, and the other like a Christian. The young gentleman said he
knew very well we were all mortal, and he would endeavour to submit to his
loss as well as he could. That he could not, however, help complaining a
little against the peculiar severity of his fate, which brought the news
of so great a calamity to him by surprize, and that at a time when he
hourly expected the severest blow he was capable of feeling from the
malice of fortune. He said, the present occasion would put to the test
those excellent rudiments which he had learnt from Mr Thwackum and Mr
Square; and it would be entirely owing to them, if he was enabled to
survive such misfortunes.



It was now debated whether Mr Allworthy should be informed of the death of
his sister. This the doctor violently opposed; in which, I believe, the
whole college would agree with him: but Mr Blifil said, he had received
such positive and repeated orders from his uncle, never to keep any secret
from him for fear of the disquietude which it might give him, that he
durst not think of disobedience, whatever might be the consequence. He
said, for his part, considering the religious and philosophic temper of
his uncle, he could not agree with the doctor in his apprehensions. He was
therefore resolved to communicate it to him: for if his uncle recovered
(as he heartily prayed he might) he knew he would never forgive an
endeavour to keep a secret of this kind from him.



The physician was forced to submit to these resolutions, which the two
other learned gentlemen very highly commended. So together moved Mr Blifil
and the doctor toward the sick-room; where the physician first entered,
and approached the bed, in order to feel his patient's pulse, which he had
no sooner done, than he declared he was much better; that the last
application had succeeded to a miracle, and had brought the fever to
intermit: so that, he said, there appeared now to be as little danger as
he had before apprehended there were hopes.



To say the truth, Mr Allworthy's situation had never been so bad as the
great caution of the doctor had represented it: but as a wise general
never despises his enemy, however inferior that enemy's force may be, so
neither doth a wise physician ever despise a distemper, however
inconsiderable. As the former preserves the same strict discipline, places
the same guards, and employs the same scouts, though the enemy be never so
weak; so the latter maintains the same gravity of countenance, and shakes
his head with the same significant air, let the distemper be never so
trifling. And both, among many other good ones, may assign this solid
reason for their conduct, that by these means the greater glory redounds
to them if they gain the victory, and the less disgrace if by any unlucky
accident they should happen to be conquered.



Mr Allworthy had no sooner lifted up his eyes, and thanked Heaven for
these hopes of his recovery, than Mr Blifil drew near, with a very
dejected aspect, and having applied his handkerchief to his eye, either to
wipe away his tears, or to do as Ovid somewhere expresses himself on
another occasion


     Si nullus erit, tamen excute nullum,

If there be none, then wipe away that none,



he communicated to his uncle what the reader hath been just before
acquainted with.



Allworthy received the news with concern, with patience, and with
resignation. He dropt a tender tear, then composed his countenance, and at
last cried, “The Lord's will be done in everything.”



He now enquired for the messenger; but Blifil told him it had been
impossible to detain him a moment; for he appeared by the great hurry he
was in to have some business of importance on his hands; that he
complained of being hurried and driven and torn out of his life, and
repeated many times, that if he could divide himself into four quarters,
he knew how to dispose of every one.



Allworthy then desired Blifil to take care of the funeral. He said, he
would have his sister deposited in his own chapel; and as to the
particulars, he left them to his own discretion, only mentioning the
person whom he would have employed on this occasion.




















Chapter ix. — Which, among other things, may serve as a comment on
that saying of Aeschines, that “drunkenness shows the mind of a man,
as a mirrour reflects his person.”



The reader may perhaps wonder at hearing nothing of Mr Jones in the last
chapter. In fact, his behaviour was so different from that of the persons
there mentioned, that we chose not to confound his name with theirs.



When the good man had ended his speech, Jones was the last who deserted
the room. Thence he retired to his own apartment, to give vent to his
concern; but the restlessness of his mind would not suffer him to remain
long there; he slipped softly therefore to Allworthy's chamber-door, where
he listened a considerable time without hearing any kind of motion within,
unless a violent snoring, which at last his fears misrepresented as
groans. This so alarmed him, that he could not forbear entering the room;
where he found the good man in the bed, in a sweet composed sleep, and his
nurse snoring in the above mentioned hearty manner, at the bed's feet. He
immediately took the only method of silencing this thorough bass, whose
music he feared might disturb Mr Allworthy; and then sitting down by the
nurse, he remained motionless till Blifil and the doctor came in together
and waked the sick man, in order that the doctor might feel his pulse, and
that the other might communicate to him that piece of news, which, had
Jones been apprized of it, would have had great difficulty of finding its
way to Mr Allworthy's ear at such a season.



When he first heard Blifil tell his uncle this story, Jones could hardly
contain the wrath which kindled in him at the other's indiscretion,
especially as the doctor shook his head, and declared his unwillingness to
have the matter mentioned to his patient. But as his passion did not so
far deprive him of all use of his understanding, as to hide from him the
consequences which any violent expression towards Blifil might have on the
sick, this apprehension stilled his rage at the present; and he grew
afterwards so satisfied with finding that this news had, in fact, produced
no mischief, that he suffered his anger to die in his own bosom, without
ever mentioning it to Blifil.



The physician dined that day at Mr Allworthy's; and having after dinner
visited his patient, he returned to the company, and told them, that he
had now the satisfaction to say, with assurance, that his patient was out
of all danger: that he had brought his fever to a perfect intermission,
and doubted not by throwing in the bark to prevent its return.



This account so pleased Jones, and threw him into such immoderate excess
of rapture, that he might be truly said to be drunk with joy—an
intoxication which greatly forwards the effects of wine; and as he was
very free too with the bottle on this occasion (for he drank many bumpers
to the doctor's health, as well as to other toasts) he became very soon
literally drunk.



Jones had naturally violent animal spirits: these being set on float and
augmented by the spirit of wine, produced most extravagant effects. He
kissed the doctor, and embraced him with the most passionate endearments;
swearing that next to Mr Allworthy himself, he loved him of all men
living. “Doctor,” added he, “you deserve a statue to be
erected to you at the public expense, for having preserved a man, who is
not only the darling of all good men who know him, but a blessing to
society, the glory of his country, and an honour to human nature. D—n
me if I don't love him better than my own soul.”



“More shame for you,” cries Thwackum. “Though I think
you have reason to love him, for he hath provided very well for you. And
perhaps it might have been better for some folks that he had not lived to
see just reason of revoking his gift.”



Jones now looking on Thwackum with inconceivable disdain, answered,
“And doth thy mean soul imagine that any such considerations could
weigh with me? No, let the earth open and swallow her own dirt (if I had
millions of acres I would say it) rather than swallow up my dear glorious
friend.”


     Quis desiderio sit pudor aut modus
Tam chari capitis?
[*]

[*] “What modesty or measure can set bounds to our desire of so dear
a friend?” The word desiderium here cannot be easily translated.
It includes our desire of enjoying our friend again, and the grief
which attends that desire.



The doctor now interposed, and prevented the effects of a wrath which was
kindling between Jones and Thwackum; after which the former gave a loose
to mirth, sang two or three amorous songs, and fell into every frantic
disorder which unbridled joy is apt to inspire; but so far was he from any
disposition to quarrel, that he was ten times better humoured, if
possible, than when he was sober.



To say truth, nothing is more erroneous than the common observation, that
men who are ill-natured and quarrelsome when they are drunk, are very
worthy persons when they are sober: for drink, in reality, doth not
reverse nature, or create passions in men which did not exist in them
before. It takes away the guard of reason, and consequently forces us to
produce those symptoms, which many, when sober, have art enough to
conceal. It heightens and inflames our passions (generally indeed that
passion which is uppermost in our mind), so that the angry temper, the
amorous, the generous, the good-humoured, the avaricious, and all other
dispositions of men, are in their cups heightened and exposed.



And yet as no nation produces so many drunken quarrels, especially among
the lower people, as England (for indeed, with them, to drink and to fight
together are almost synonymous terms), I would not, methinks, have it
thence concluded, that the English are the worst-natured people alive.
Perhaps the love of glory only is at the bottom of this; so that the fair
conclusion seems to be, that our countrymen have more of that love, and
more of bravery, than any other plebeians. And this the rather, as there
is seldom anything ungenerous, unfair, or ill-natured, exercised on these
occasions: nay, it is common for the combatants to express good-will for
each other even at the time of the conflict; and as their drunken mirth
generally ends in a battle, so do most of their battles end in friendship.



But to return to our history. Though Jones had shown no design of giving
offence, yet Mr Blifil was highly offended at a behaviour which was so
inconsistent with the sober and prudent reserve of his own temper. He bore
it too with the greater impatience, as it appeared to him very indecent at
this season; “When,” as he said, “the house was a house
of mourning, on the account of his dear mother; and if it had pleased
Heaven to give him some prospect of Mr Allworthy's recovery, it would
become them better to express the exultations of their hearts in
thanksgiving, than in drunkenness and riots; which were properer methods
to encrease the Divine wrath, than to avert it.” Thwackum, who had
swallowed more liquor than Jones, but without any ill effect on his brain,
seconded the pious harangue of Blifil; but Square, for reasons which the
reader may probably guess, was totally silent.



Wine had not so totally overpowered Jones, as to prevent his recollecting
Mr Blifil's loss, the moment it was mentioned. As no person, therefore,
was more ready to confess and condemn his own errors, he offered to shake
Mr Blifil by the hand, and begged his pardon, saying, “His excessive
joy for Mr Allworthy's recovery had driven every other thought out of his
mind.”



Blifil scornfully rejected his hand; and with much indignation answered,
“It was little to be wondered at, if tragical spectacles made no
impression on the blind; but, for his part, he had the misfortune to know
who his parents were, and consequently must be affected with their loss.”



Jones, who, notwithstanding his good humour, had some mixture of the
irascible in his constitution, leaped hastily from his chair, and catching
hold of Blifil's collar, cried out, “D—n you for a rascal, do
you insult me with the misfortune of my birth?” He accompanied these
words with such rough actions, that they soon got the better of Mr
Blifil's peaceful temper; and a scuffle immediately ensued, which might
have produced mischief, had it not been prevented by the interposition of
Thwackum and the physician; for the philosophy of Square rendered him
superior to all emotions, and he very calmly smoaked his pipe, as was his
custom in all broils, unless when he apprehended some danger of having it
broke in his mouth.



The combatants being now prevented from executing present vengeance on
each other, betook themselves to the common resources of disappointed
rage, and vented their wrath in threats and defiance. In this kind of
conflict, Fortune, which, in the personal attack, seemed to incline to
Jones, was now altogether as favourable to his enemy.



A truce, nevertheless, was at length agreed on, by the mediation of the
neutral parties, and the whole company again sat down at the table; where
Jones being prevailed on to ask pardon, and Blifil to give it, peace was
restored, and everything seemed in statu quo.



But though the quarrel was, in all appearance, perfectly reconciled, the
good humour which had been interrupted by it, was by no means restored.
All merriment was now at an end, and the subsequent discourse consisted
only of grave relations of matters of fact, and of as grave observations
upon them; a species of conversation, in which, though there is much of
dignity and instruction, there is but little entertainment. As we presume
therefore to convey only this last to the reader, we shall pass by
whatever was said, till the rest of the company having by degrees dropped
off, left only Square and the physician together; at which time the
conversation was a little heightened by some comments on what had happened
between the two young gentlemen; both of whom the doctor declared to be no
better than scoundrels; to which appellation the philosopher, very
sagaciously shaking his head, agreed.




















Chapter x. — Showing the truth of many observations of Ovid, and of
other more grave writers, who have proved beyond contradiction, that wine
is often the forerunner of incontinency.



Jones retired from the company, in which we have seen him engaged, into
the fields, where he intended to cool himself by a walk in the open air
before he attended Mr Allworthy. There, whilst he renewed those
meditations on his dear Sophia, which the dangerous illness of his friend
and benefactor had for some time interrupted, an accident happened, which
with sorrow we relate, and with sorrow doubtless will it be read; however,
that historic truth to which we profess so inviolable an attachment,
obliges us to communicate it to posterity.



It was now a pleasant evening in the latter end of June, when our heroe
was walking in a most delicious grove, where the gentle breezes fanning
the leaves, together with the sweet trilling of a murmuring stream, and
the melodious notes of nightingales, formed altogether the most enchanting
harmony. In this scene, so sweetly accommodated to love, he meditated on
his dear Sophia. While his wanton fancy roamed unbounded over all her
beauties, and his lively imagination painted the charming maid in various
ravishing forms, his warm heart melted with tenderness; and at length,
throwing himself on the ground, by the side of a gently murmuring brook,
he broke forth into the following ejaculation:



“O Sophia, would Heaven give thee to my arms, how blest would be my
condition! Curst be that fortune which sets a distance between us. Was I
but possessed of thee, one only suit of rags thy whole estate, is there a
man on earth whom I would envy! How contemptible would the brightest
Circassian beauty, drest in all the jewels of the Indies, appear to my
eyes! But why do I mention another woman? Could I think my eyes capable of
looking at any other with tenderness, these hands should tear them from my
head. No, my Sophia, if cruel fortune separates us for ever, my soul shall
doat on thee alone. The chastest constancy will I ever preserve to thy
image. Though I should never have possession of thy charming person, still
shalt thou alone have possession of my thoughts, my love, my soul. Oh! my
fond heart is so wrapt in that tender bosom, that the brightest beauties
would for me have no charms, nor would a hermit be colder in their
embraces. Sophia, Sophia alone shall be mine. What raptures are in that
name! I will engrave it on every tree.”



At these words he started up, and beheld—not his Sophia—no,
nor a Circassian maid richly and elegantly attired for the grand Signior's
seraglio. No; without a gown, in a shift that was somewhat of the
coarsest, and none of the cleanest, bedewed likewise with some odoriferous
effluvia, the produce of the day's labour, with a pitchfork in her hand,
Molly Seagrim approached. Our hero had his penknife in his hand, which he
had drawn for the before-mentioned purpose of carving on the bark; when
the girl coming near him, cryed out with a smile, “You don't intend
to kill me, squire, I hope!”—“Why should you think I
would kill you?” answered Jones. “Nay,” replied she,
“after your cruel usage of me when I saw you last, killing me would,
perhaps, be too great kindness for me to expect.”



Here ensued a parley, which, as I do not think myself obliged to relate
it, I shall omit. It is sufficient that it lasted a full quarter of an
hour, at the conclusion of which they retired into the thickest part of
the grove.



Some of my readers may be inclined to think this event unnatural. However,
the fact is true; and perhaps may be sufficiently accounted for by
suggesting, that Jones probably thought one woman better than none, and
Molly as probably imagined two men to be better than one. Besides the
before-mentioned motive assigned to the present behaviour of Jones, the
reader will be likewise pleased to recollect in his favour, that he was
not at this time perfect master of that wonderful power of reason, which
so well enables grave and wise men to subdue their unruly passions, and to
decline any of these prohibited amusements. Wine now had totally subdued
this power in Jones. He was, indeed, in a condition, in which, if reason
had interposed, though only to advise, she might have received the answer
which one Cleostratus gave many years ago to a silly fellow, who asked
him, if he was not ashamed to be drunk? “Are not you,” said
Cleostratus, “ashamed to admonish a drunken man?”—To say
the truth, in a court of justice drunkenness must not be an excuse, yet in
a court of conscience it is greatly so; and therefore Aristotle, who
commends the laws of Pittacus, by which drunken men received double
punishment for their crimes, allows there is more of policy than justice
in that law. Now, if there are any transgressions pardonable from
drunkenness, they are certainly such as Mr Jones was at present guilty of;
on which head I could pour forth a vast profusion of learning, if I
imagined it would either entertain my reader, or teach him anything more
than he knows already. For his sake therefore I shall keep my learning to
myself, and return to my history.



It hath been observed, that Fortune seldom doth things by halves. To say
truth, there is no end to her freaks whenever she is disposed to gratify
or displease. No sooner had our heroe retired with his Dido, but


     Speluncam Blifil dux et divinus eandem
Deveniunt—



the parson and the young squire, who were taking a serious walk, arrived
at the stile which leads into the grove, and the latter caught a view of
the lovers just as they were sinking out of sight.



Blifil knew Jones very well, though he was at above a hundred yards'
distance, and he was as positive to the sex of his companion, though not
to the individual person. He started, blessed himself, and uttered a very
solemn ejaculation.



Thwackum expressed some surprize at these sudden emotions, and asked the
reason of them. To which Blifil answered, “He was certain he had
seen a fellow and wench retire together among the bushes, which he doubted
not was with some wicked purpose.” As to the name of Jones, he
thought proper to conceal it, and why he did so must be left to the
judgment of the sagacious reader; for we never chuse to assign motives to
the actions of men, when there is any possibility of our being mistaken.



The parson, who was not only strictly chaste in his own person, but a
great enemy to the opposite vice in all others, fired at this information.
He desired Mr Blifil to conduct him immediately to the place, which as he
approached he breathed forth vengeance mixed with lamentations; nor did he
refrain from casting some oblique reflections on Mr Allworthy; insinuating
that the wickedness of the country was principally owing to the
encouragement he had given to vice, by having exerted such kindness to a
bastard, and by having mitigated that just and wholesome rigour of the law
which allots a very severe punishment to loose wenches.



The way through which our hunters were to pass in pursuit of their game
was so beset with briars, that it greatly obstructed their walk, and
caused besides such a rustling, that Jones had sufficient warning of their
arrival before they could surprize him; nay, indeed, so incapable was
Thwackum of concealing his indignation, and such vengeance did he mutter
forth every step he took, that this alone must have abundantly satisfied
Jones that he was (to use the language of sportsmen) found sitting.




















Chapter xi. — In which a simile in Mr Pope's period of a mile
introduces as bloody a battle as can possibly be fought without the
assistance of steel or cold iron.



As in the season of rutting (an uncouth phrase, by which the vulgar
denote that gentle dalliance, which in the well-wooded[*] forest of
Hampshire, passes between lovers of the ferine kind), if, while the
lofty-crested stag meditates the amorous sport, a couple of puppies, or
any other beasts of hostile note, should wander so near the temple of
Venus Ferina that the fair hind should shrink from the place, touched with
that somewhat, either of fear or frolic, of nicety or skittishness, with
which nature hath bedecked all females, or hath at least instructed them
how to put it on; lest, through the indelicacy of males, the Samean
mysteries should be pryed into by unhallowed eyes: for, at the celebration
of these rites, the female priestess cries out with her in Virgil (who was
then, probably, hard at work on such celebration),


      —Procul, o procul este, profani;
Proclamat vates, totoque absistite luco.

—Far hence be souls profane,
The sibyl cry'd, and from the grove abstain.—DRYDEN.

[*] This is an ambiguous phrase, and may mean either a forest well
cloathed with wood, or well stript of it.



If, I say, while these sacred rites, which are in common to genus omne
animantium,
are in agitation between the stag and his mistress, any
hostile beasts should venture too near, on the first hint given by the
frighted hind, fierce and tremendous rushes forth the stag to the entrance
of the thicket; there stands he centinel over his love, stamps the ground
with his foot, and with his horns brandished aloft in air, proudly
provokes the apprehended foe to combat.



Thus, and more terrible, when he perceived the enemy's approach, leaped
forth our heroe. Many a step advanced he forwards, in order to conceal the
trembling hind, and, if possible, to secure her retreat. And now Thwackum,
having first darted some livid lightning from his fiery eyes, began to
thunder forth, “Fie upon it! Fie upon it! Mr Jones. Is it possible
you should be the person?”—“You see,” answered
Jones, “it is possible I should be here.”—“And
who,” said Thwackum, “is that wicked slut with you?”—“If
I have any wicked slut with me,” cries Jones, “it is possible
I shall not let you know who she is.”—“I command you to
tell me immediately,” says Thwackum: “and I would not have you
imagine, young man, that your age, though it hath somewhat abridged the
purpose of tuition, hath totally taken away the authority of the master.
The relation of the master and scholar is indelible; as, indeed, all other
relations are; for they all derive their original from heaven. I would
have you think yourself, therefore, as much obliged to obey me now, as
when I taught you your first rudiments.”—“I believe you
would,” cries Jones; “but that will not happen, unless you had
the same birchen argument to convince me.”—“Then I must
tell you plainly,” said Thwackum, “I am resolved to discover
the wicked wretch.”—“And I must tell you plainly,”
returned Jones, “I am resolved you shall not.” Thwackum then
offered to advance, and Jones laid hold of his arms; which Mr Blifil
endeavoured to rescue, declaring, “he would not see his old master
insulted.”



Jones now finding himself engaged with two, thought it necessary to rid
himself of one of his antagonists as soon as possible. He therefore
applied to the weakest first; and, letting the parson go, he directed a
blow at the young squire's breast, which luckily taking place, reduced him
to measure his length on the ground.



Thwackum was so intent on the discovery, that, the moment he found himself
at liberty, he stept forward directly into the fern, without any great
consideration of what might in the meantime befal his friend; but he had
advanced a very few paces into the thicket, before Jones, having defeated
Blifil, overtook the parson, and dragged him backward by the skirt of his
coat.



This parson had been a champion in his youth, and had won much honour by
his fist, both at school and at the university. He had now indeed, for a
great number of years, declined the practice of that noble art; yet was
his courage full as strong as his faith, and his body no less strong than
either. He was moreover, as the reader may perhaps have conceived,
somewhat irascible in his nature. When he looked back, therefore, and saw
his friend stretched out on the ground, and found himself at the same time
so roughly handled by one who had formerly been only passive in all
conflicts between them (a circumstance which highly aggravated the whole),
his patience at length gave way; he threw himself into a posture of
offence; and collecting all his force, attacked Jones in the front with as
much impetuosity as he had formerly attacked him in the rear.



Our heroe received the enemy's attack with the most undaunted intrepidity,
and his bosom resounded with the blow. This he presently returned with no
less violence, aiming likewise at the parson's breast; but he dexterously
drove down the fist of Jones, so that it reached only his belly, where two
pounds of beef and as many of pudding were then deposited, and whence
consequently no hollow sound could proceed. Many lusty blows, much more
pleasant as well as easy to have seen, than to read or describe, were
given on both sides: at last a violent fall, in which Jones had thrown his
knees into Thwackum's breast, so weakened the latter, that victory had
been no longer dubious, had not Blifil, who had now recovered his
strength, again renewed the fight, and by engaging with Jones, given the
parson a moment's time to shake his ears, and to regain his breath.



And now both together attacked our heroe, whose blows did not retain that
force with which they had fallen at first, so weakened was he by his
combat with Thwackum; for though the pedagogue chose rather to play solos
on the human instrument, and had been lately used to those only, yet he
still retained enough of his antient knowledge to perform his part very
well in a duet.



The victory, according to modern custom, was like to be decided by
numbers, when, on a sudden, a fourth pair of fists appeared in the battle,
and immediately paid their compliments to the parson; and the owner of
them at the same time crying out, “Are not you ashamed, and be d—n'd
to you, to fall two of you upon one?”



The battle, which was of the kind that for distinction's sake is called
royal, now raged with the utmost violence during a few minutes; till
Blifil being a second time laid sprawling by Jones, Thwackum condescended
to apply for quarter to his new antagonist, who was now found to be Mr
Western himself; for in the heat of the action none of the combatants had
recognized him.



In fact, that honest squire, happening, in his afternoon's walk with some
company, to pass through the field where the bloody battle was fought, and
having concluded, from seeing three men engaged, that two of them must be
on a side, he hastened from his companions, and with more gallantry than
policy, espoused the cause of the weaker party. By which generous
proceeding he very probably prevented Mr Jones from becoming a victim to
the wrath of Thwackum, and to the pious friendship which Blifil bore his
old master; for, besides the disadvantage of such odds, Jones had not yet
sufficiently recovered the former strength of his broken arm. This
reinforcement, however, soon put an end to the action, and Jones with his
ally obtained the victory.




















Chapter xii. — In which is seen a more moving spectacle than all the
blood in the bodies of Thwackum and Blifil, and of twenty other such, is
capable of producing.



The rest of Mr Western's company were now come up, being just at the
instant when the action was over. These were the honest clergyman, whom we
have formerly seen at Mr Western's table; Mrs Western, the aunt of Sophia;
and lastly, the lovely Sophia herself.



At this time, the following was the aspect of the bloody field. In one
place lay on the ground, all pale, and almost breathless, the vanquished
Blifil. Near him stood the conqueror Jones, almost covered with blood,
part of which was naturally his own, and part had been lately the property
of the Reverend Mr Thwackum. In a third place stood the said Thwackum,
like King Porus, sullenly submitting to the conqueror. The last figure in
the piece was Western the Great, most gloriously forbearing the vanquished
foe.



Blifil, in whom there was little sign of life, was at first the principal
object of the concern of every one, and particularly of Mrs Western, who
had drawn from her pocket a bottle of hartshorn, and was herself about to
apply it to his nostrils, when on a sudden the attention of the whole
company was diverted from poor Blifil, whose spirit, if it had any such
design, might have now taken an opportunity of stealing off to the other
world, without any ceremony.



For now a more melancholy and a more lovely object lay motionless before
them. This was no other than the charming Sophia herself, who, from the
sight of blood, or from fear for her father, or from some other reason,
had fallen down in a swoon, before any one could get to her assistance.



Mrs Western first saw her and screamed. Immediately two or three voices
cried out, “Miss Western is dead.” Hartshorn, water, every
remedy was called for, almost at one and the same instant.



The reader may remember, that in our description of this grove we
mentioned a murmuring brook, which brook did not come there, as such
gentle streams flow through vulgar romances, with no other purpose than to
murmur. No! Fortune had decreed to ennoble this little brook with a higher
honour than any of those which wash the plains of Arcadia ever deserved.



Jones was rubbing Blifil's temples, for he began to fear he had given him
a blow too much, when the words, Miss Western and Dead, rushed at once on
his ear. He started up, left Blifil to his fate, and flew to Sophia, whom,
while all the rest were running against each other, backward and forward,
looking for water in the dry paths, he caught up in his arms, and then ran
away with her over the field to the rivulet above mentioned; where,
plunging himself into the water, he contrived to besprinkle her face,
head, and neck very plentifully.



Happy was it for Sophia that the same confusion which prevented her other
friends from serving her, prevented them likewise from obstructing Jones.
He had carried her half ways before they knew what he was doing, and he
had actually restored her to life before they reached the waterside. She
stretched out her arms, opened her eyes, and cried, “Oh! heavens!”
just as her father, aunt, and the parson came up.



Jones, who had hitherto held this lovely burthen in his arms, now
relinquished his hold; but gave her at the same instant a tender caress,
which, had her senses been then perfectly restored, could not have escaped
her observation. As she expressed, therefore, no displeasure at this
freedom, we suppose she was not sufficiently recovered from her swoon at
the time.



This tragical scene was now converted into a sudden scene of joy. In this
our heroe was certainly the principal character; for as he probably felt
more ecstatic delight in having saved Sophia than she herself received
from being saved, so neither were the congratulations paid to her equal to
what were conferred on Jones, especially by Mr Western himself, who, after
having once or twice embraced his daughter, fell to hugging and kissing
Jones. He called him the preserver of Sophia, and declared there was
nothing, except her, or his estate, which he would not give him; but upon
recollection, he afterwards excepted his fox-hounds, the Chevalier, and
Miss Slouch (for so he called his favourite mare).



All fears for Sophia being now removed, Jones became the object of the
squire's consideration.—“Come, my lad,” says Western,
“d'off thy quoat and wash thy feace; for att in a devilish pickle, I
promise thee. Come, come, wash thyself, and shat go huome with me; and
we'l zee to vind thee another quoat.”



Jones immediately complied, threw off his coat, went down to the water,
and washed both his face and bosom; for the latter was as much exposed and
as bloody as the former. But though the water could clear off the blood,
it could not remove the black and blue marks which Thwackum had imprinted
on both his face and breast, and which, being discerned by Sophia, drew
from her a sigh and a look full of inexpressible tenderness.



Jones received this full in his eyes, and it had infinitely a stronger
effect on him than all the contusions which he had received before. An
effect, however, widely different; for so soft and balmy was it, that, had
all his former blows been stabs, it would for some minutes have prevented
his feeling their smart.



The company now moved backwards, and soon arrived where Thwackum had got
Mr Blifil again on his legs. Here we cannot suppress a pious wish, that
all quarrels were to be decided by those weapons only with which Nature,
knowing what is proper for us, hath supplied us; and that cold iron was to
be used in digging no bowels but those of the earth. Then would war, the
pastime of monarchs, be almost inoffensive, and battles between great
armies might be fought at the particular desire of several ladies of
quality; who, together with the kings themselves, might be actual
spectators of the conflict. Then might the field be this moment well
strewed with human carcasses, and the next, the dead men, or infinitely
the greatest part of them, might get up, like Mr Bayes's troops, and march
off either at the sound of a drum or fiddle, as should be previously
agreed on.



I would avoid, if possible, treating this matter ludicrously, lest grave
men and politicians, whom I know to be offended at a jest, may cry pish at
it; but, in reality, might not a battle be as well decided by the greater
number of broken heads, bloody noses, and black eyes, as by the greater
heaps of mangled and murdered human bodies? Might not towns be contended
for in the same manner? Indeed, this may be thought too detrimental a
scheme to the French interest, since they would thus lose the advantage
they have over other nations in the superiority of their engineers; but
when I consider the gallantry and generosity of that people, I am
persuaded they would never decline putting themselves upon a par with
their adversary; or, as the phrase is, making themselves his match.



But such reformations are rather to be wished than hoped for: I shall
content myself, therefore, with this short hint, and return to my
narrative.



Western began now to inquire into the original rise of this quarrel. To
which neither Blifil nor Jones gave any answer; but Thwackum said surlily,
“I believe the cause is not far off; if you beat the bushes well you
may find her.”—“Find her?” replied Western:
“what! have you been fighting for a wench?”—“Ask
the gentleman in his waistcoat there,” said Thwackum: “he best
knows.” “Nay then,” cries Western, “it is a wench
certainly.—Ah, Tom, Tom, thou art a liquorish dog. But come,
gentlemen, be all friends, and go home with me, and make final peace over
a bottle.” “I ask your pardon, sir,” says Thwackum:
“it is no such slight matter for a man of my character to be thus
injuriously treated, and buffeted by a boy, only because I would have done
my duty, in endeavouring to detect and bring to justice a wanton harlot;
but, indeed, the principal fault lies in Mr Allworthy and yourself; for if
you put the laws in execution, as you ought to do, you will soon rid the
country of these vermin.”



“I would as soon rid the country of foxes,” cries Western.
“I think we ought to encourage the recruiting those numbers which we
are every day losing in the war.—But where is she? Prithee, Tom,
show me.” He then began to beat about, in the same language and in
the same manner as if he had been beating for a hare; and at last cried
out, “Soho! Puss is not far off. Here's her form, upon my soul; I
believe I may cry stole away.” And indeed so he might; for he had
now discovered the place whence the poor girl had, at the beginning of the
fray, stolen away, upon as many feet as a hare generally uses in
travelling.



Sophia now desired her father to return home; saying she found herself
very faint, and apprehended a relapse. The squire immediately complied
with his daughter's request (for he was the fondest of parents). He
earnestly endeavoured to prevail with the whole company to go and sup with
him: but Blifil and Thwackum absolutely refused; the former saying, there
were more reasons than he could then mention, why he must decline this
honour; and the latter declaring (perhaps rightly) that it was not proper
for a person of his function to be seen at any place in his present
condition.



Jones was incapable of refusing the pleasure of being with his Sophia; so
on he marched with Squire Western and his ladies, the parson bringing up
the rear. This had, indeed, offered to tarry with his brother Thwackum,
professing his regard for the cloth would not permit him to depart; but
Thwackum would not accept the favour, and, with no great civility, pushed
him after Mr Western.



Thus ended this bloody fray; and thus shall end the fifth book of this
history.




















BOOK VI. — CONTAINING ABOUT THREE WEEKS.




















Chapter i. — Of love.



In our last book we have been obliged to deal pretty much with the passion
of love; and in our succeeding book shall be forced to handle this subject
still more largely. It may not therefore in this place be improper to
apply ourselves to the examination of that modern doctrine, by which
certain philosophers, among many other wonderful discoveries, pretend to
have found out, that there is no such passion in the human breast.



Whether these philosophers be the same with that surprising sect, who are
honourably mentioned by the late Dr Swift, as having, by the mere force of
genius alone, without the least assistance of any kind of learning, or
even reading, discovered that profound and invaluable secret that there is
no God; or whether they are not rather the same with those who some years
since very much alarmed the world, by showing that there were no such
things as virtue or goodness really existing in human nature, and who
deduced our best actions from pride, I will not here presume to determine.
In reality, I am inclined to suspect, that all these several finders of
truth, are the very identical men who are by others called the finders of
gold. The method used in both these searches after truth and after gold,
being indeed one and the same, viz., the searching, rummaging, and
examining into a nasty place; indeed, in the former instances, into the
nastiest of all places, A BAD MIND.



But though in this particular, and perhaps in their success, the
truth-finder and the gold-finder may very properly be compared together;
yet in modesty, surely, there can be no comparison between the two; for
who ever heard of a gold-finder that had the impudence or folly to assert,
from the ill success of his search, that there was no such thing as gold
in the world? whereas the truth-finder, having raked out that jakes, his
own mind, and being there capable of tracing no ray of divinity, nor
anything virtuous or good, or lovely, or loving, very fairly, honestly,
and logically concludes that no such things exist in the whole creation.



To avoid, however, all contention, if possible, with these philosophers,
if they will be called so; and to show our own disposition to accommodate
matters peaceably between us, we shall here make them some concessions,
which may possibly put an end to the dispute.



First, we will grant that many minds, and perhaps those of the
philosophers, are entirely free from the least traces of such a passion.



Secondly, that what is commonly called love, namely, the desire of
satisfying a voracious appetite with a certain quantity of delicate white
human flesh, is by no means that passion for which I here contend. This is
indeed more properly hunger; and as no glutton is ashamed to apply the
word love to his appetite, and to say he LOVES such and such dishes; so
may the lover of this kind, with equal propriety, say, he HUNGERS after
such and such women.



Thirdly, I will grant, which I believe will be a most acceptable
concession, that this love for which I am an advocate, though it satisfies
itself in a much more delicate manner, doth nevertheless seek its own
satisfaction as much as the grossest of all our appetites.



And, lastly, that this love, when it operates towards one of a different
sex, is very apt, towards its complete gratification, to call in the aid
of that hunger which I have mentioned above; and which it is so far from
abating, that it heightens all its delights to a degree scarce imaginable
by those who have never been susceptible of any other emotions than what
have proceeded from appetite alone.



In return to all these concessions, I desire of the philosophers to grant,
that there is in some (I believe in many) human breasts a kind and
benevolent disposition, which is gratified by contributing to the
happiness of others. That in this gratification alone, as in friendship,
in parental and filial affection, as indeed in general philanthropy, there
is a great and exquisite delight. That if we will not call such
disposition love, we have no name for it. That though the pleasures
arising from such pure love may be heightened and sweetened by the
assistance of amorous desires, yet the former can subsist alone, nor are
they destroyed by the intervention of the latter. Lastly, that esteem and
gratitude are the proper motives to love, as youth and beauty are to
desire, and, therefore, though such desire may naturally cease, when age
or sickness overtakes its object; yet these can have no effect on love,
nor ever shake or remove, from a good mind, that sensation or passion
which hath gratitude and esteem for its basis.



To deny the existence of a passion of which we often see manifest
instances, seems to be very strange and absurd; and can indeed proceed
only from that self-admonition which we have mentioned above: but how
unfair is this! Doth the man who recognizes in his own heart no traces of
avarice or ambition, conclude, therefore, that there are no such passions
in human nature? Why will we not modestly observe the same rule in judging
of the good, as well as the evil of others? Or why, in any case, will we,
as Shakespear phrases it, “put the world in our own person?”



Predominant vanity is, I am afraid, too much concerned here. This is one
instance of that adulation which we bestow on our own minds, and this
almost universally. For there is scarce any man, how much soever he may
despise the character of a flatterer, but will condescend in the meanest
manner to flatter himself.



To those therefore I apply for the truth of the above observations, whose
own minds can bear testimony to what I have advanced.



Examine your heart, my good reader, and resolve whether you do believe
these matters with me. If you do, you may now proceed to their
exemplification in the following pages: if you do not, you have, I assure
you, already read more than you have understood; and it would be wiser to
pursue your business, or your pleasures (such as they are), than to throw
away any more of your time in reading what you can neither taste nor
comprehend. To treat of the effects of love to you, must be as absurd as
to discourse on colours to a man born blind; since possibly your idea of
love may be as absurd as that which we are told such blind man once
entertained of the colour scarlet; that colour seemed to him to be very
much like the sound of a trumpet: and love probably may, in your opinion,
very greatly resemble a dish of soup, or a surloin of roast-beef.




















Chapter ii. — The character of Mrs Western. Her great learning and
knowledge of the world, and an instance of the deep penetration which she
derived from those advantages.



The reader hath seen Mr Western, his sister, and daughter, with young
Jones, and the parson, going together to Mr Western's house, where the
greater part of the company spent the evening with much joy and festivity.
Sophia was indeed the only grave person; for as to Jones, though love had
now gotten entire possession of his heart, yet the pleasing reflection on
Mr Allworthy's recovery, and the presence of his mistress, joined to some
tender looks which she now and then could not refrain from giving him, so
elevated our heroe, that he joined the mirth of the other three, who were
perhaps as good-humoured people as any in the world.



Sophia retained the same gravity of countenance the next morning at
breakfast; whence she retired likewise earlier than usual, leaving her
father and aunt together. The squire took no notice of this change in his
daughter's disposition. To say the truth, though he was somewhat of a
politician, and had been twice a candidate in the country interest at an
election, he was a man of no great observation. His sister was a lady of a
different turn. She had lived about the court, and had seen the world.
Hence she had acquired all that knowledge which the said world usually
communicates; and was a perfect mistress of manners, customs, ceremonies,
and fashions. Nor did her erudition stop here. She had considerably
improved her mind by study; she had not only read all the modern plays,
operas, oratorios, poems, and romances—in all which she was a
critic; but had gone through Rapin's History of England, Eachard's Roman
History, and many French Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire: to
these she had added most of the political pamphlets and journals published
within the last twenty years. From which she had attained a very competent
skill in politics, and could discourse very learnedly on the affairs of
Europe. She was, moreover, excellently well skilled in the doctrine of
amour, and knew better than anybody who and who were together; a knowledge
which she the more easily attained, as her pursuit of it was never
diverted by any affairs of her own; for either she had no inclinations, or
they had never been solicited; which last is indeed very probable; for her
masculine person, which was near six foot high, added to her manner and
learning, possibly prevented the other sex from regarding her,
notwithstanding her petticoats, in the light of a woman. However, as she
had considered the matter scientifically, she perfectly well knew, though
she had never practised them, all the arts which fine ladies use when they
desire to give encouragement, or to conceal liking, with all the long
appendage of smiles, ogles, glances, &c., as they are at present
practised in the beau-monde. To sum the whole, no species of disguise or
affectation had escaped her notice; but as to the plain simple workings of
honest nature, as she had never seen any such, she could know but little
of them.



By means of this wonderful sagacity, Mrs Western had now, as she thought,
made a discovery of something in the mind of Sophia. The first hint of
this she took from the behaviour of the young lady in the field of battle;
and the suspicion which she then conceived, was greatly corroborated by
some observations which she had made that evening and the next morning.
However, being greatly cautious to avoid being found in a mistake, she
carried the secret a whole fortnight in her bosom, giving only some
oblique hints, by simpering, winks, nods, and now and then dropping an
obscure word, which indeed sufficiently alarmed Sophia, but did not at all
affect her brother.



Being at length, however, thoroughly satisfied of the truth of her
observation, she took an opportunity, one morning, when she was alone with
her brother, to interrupt one of his whistles in the following manner:—



“Pray, brother, have you not observed something very extraordinary
in my niece lately?”—“No, not I,” answered
Western; “is anything the matter with the girl?”—“I
think there is,” replied she; “and something of much
consequence too.”—“Why, she doth not complain of
anything,” cries Western; “and she hath had the small-pox.”—“Brother,”
returned she, “girls are liable to other distempers besides the
small-pox, and sometimes possibly to much worse.” Here Western
interrupted her with much earnestness, and begged her, if anything ailed
his daughter, to acquaint him immediately; adding, “she knew he
loved her more than his own soul, and that he would send to the world's
end for the best physician to her.” “Nay, nay,” answered
she, smiling, “the distemper is not so terrible; but I believe,
brother, you are convinced I know the world, and I promise you I was never
more deceived in my life, if my niece be not most desperately in love.”—“How!
in love!” cries Western, in a passion; “in love, without
acquainting me! I'll disinherit her; I'll turn her out of doors, stark
naked, without a farthing. Is all my kindness vor 'ur, and vondness o'ur
come to this, to fall in love without asking me leave?”—“But
you will not,” answered Mrs Western, “turn this daughter, whom
you love better than your own soul, out of doors, before you know whether
you shall approve her choice. Suppose she should have fixed on the very
person whom you yourself would wish, I hope you would not be angry then?”—“No,
no,” cries Western, “that would make a difference. If she
marries the man I would ha' her, she may love whom she pleases, I shan't
trouble my head about that.” “That is spoken,” answered
the sister, “like a sensible man; but I believe the very person she
hath chosen would be the very person you would choose for her. I will
disclaim all knowledge of the world, if it is not so; and I believe,
brother, you will allow I have some.”—“Why, lookee,
sister,” said Western, “I do believe you have as much as any
woman; and to be sure those are women's matters. You know I don't love to
hear you talk about politics; they belong to us, and petticoats should not
meddle: but come, who is the man?”—“Marry!” said
she, “you may find him out yourself if you please. You, who are so
great a politician, can be at no great loss. The judgment which can
penetrate into the cabinets of princes, and discover the secret springs
which move the great state wheels in all the political machines of Europe,
must surely, with very little difficulty, find out what passes in the rude
uninformed mind of a girl.”—“Sister,” cries the
squire, “I have often warn'd you not to talk the court gibberish to
me. I tell you, I don't understand the lingo: but I can read a journal, or
the London Evening Post. Perhaps, indeed, there may be now and tan
a verse which I can't make much of, because half the letters are left out;
yet I know very well what is meant by that, and that our affairs don't go
so well as they should do, because of bribery and corruption.”—“I
pity your country ignorance from my heart,” cries the lady.—“Do
you?” answered Western; “and I pity your town learning; I had
rather be anything than a courtier, and a Presbyterian, and a Hanoverian
too, as some people, I believe, are.”—“If you mean me,”
answered she, “you know I am a woman, brother; and it signifies
nothing what I am. Besides—“—“I do know you are a
woman,” cries the squire, “and it's well for thee that art
one; if hadst been a man, I promise thee I had lent thee a flick long ago.”—“Ay,
there,” said she, “in that flick lies all your fancied
superiority. Your bodies, and not your brains, are stronger than ours.
Believe me, it is well for you that you are able to beat us; or, such is
the superiority of our understanding, we should make all of you what the
brave, and wise, and witty, and polite are already—our slaves.”—“I
am glad I know your mind,” answered the squire. “But we'll
talk more of this matter another time. At present, do tell me what man is
it you mean about my daughter?”—“Hold a moment,”
said she, “while I digest that sovereign contempt I have for your
sex; or else I ought to be angry too with you. There—I have made a
shift to gulp it down. And now, good politic sir, what think you of Mr
Blifil? Did she not faint away on seeing him lie breathless on the ground?
Did she not, after he was recovered, turn pale again the moment we came up
to that part of the field where he stood? And pray what else should be the
occasion of all her melancholy that night at supper, the next morning, and
indeed ever since?”—“'Fore George!” cries the
squire, “now you mind me on't, I remember it all. It is certainly
so, and I am glad on't with all my heart. I knew Sophy was a good girl,
and would not fall in love to make me angry. I was never more rejoiced in
my life; for nothing can lie so handy together as our two estates. I had
this matter in my head some time ago: for certainly the two estates are in
a manner joined together in matrimony already, and it would be a thousand
pities to part them. It is true, indeed, there be larger estates in the
kingdom, but not in this county, and I had rather bate something, than
marry my daughter among strangers and foreigners. Besides, most o' zuch
great estates be in the hands of lords, and I heate the very name of themmun.
Well but, sister, what would you advise me to do; for I tell you women
know these matters better than we do?”—“Oh, your humble
servant, sir,” answered the lady: “we are obliged to you for
allowing us a capacity in anything. Since you are pleased, then, most
politic sir, to ask my advice, I think you may propose the match to
Allworthy yourself. There is no indecorum in the proposal's coming from
the parent of either side. King Alcinous, in Mr Pope's Odyssey, offers his
daughter to Ulysses. I need not caution so politic a person not to say
that your daughter is in love; that would indeed be against all rules.”—“Well,”
said the squire, “I will propose it; but I shall certainly lend un a
flick, if he should refuse me.” “Fear not,” cries Mrs
Western; “the match is too advantageous to be refused.”
“I don't know that,” answered the squire: “Allworthy is
a queer b—ch, and money hath no effect o'un.” “Brother,”
said the lady, “your politics astonish me. Are you really to be
imposed on by professions? Do you think Mr Allworthy hath more contempt
for money than other men because he professes more? Such credulity would
better become one of us weak women, than that wise sex which heaven hath
formed for politicians. Indeed, brother, you would make a fine plenipo to
negotiate with the French. They would soon persuade you, that they take
towns out of mere defensive principles.” “Sister,”
answered the squire, with much scorn, “let your friends at court
answer for the towns taken; as you are a woman, I shall lay no blame upon
you; for I suppose they are wiser than to trust women with secrets.”
He accompanied this with so sarcastical a laugh, that Mrs Western could
bear no longer. She had been all this time fretted in a tender part (for
she was indeed very deeply skilled in these matters, and very violent in
them), and therefore, burst forth in a rage, declared her brother to be
both a clown and a blockhead, and that she would stay no longer in his
house.



The squire, though perhaps he had never read Machiavel, was, however, in
many points, a perfect politician. He strongly held all those wise tenets,
which are so well inculcated in that Politico-Peripatetic school of
Exchange-alley. He knew the just value and only use of money, viz., to lay
it up. He was likewise well skilled in the exact value of reversions,
expectations, &c., and had often considered the amount of his sister's
fortune, and the chance which he or his posterity had of inheriting it.
This he was infinitely too wise to sacrifice to a trifling resentment.
When he found, therefore, he had carried matters too far, he began to
think of reconciling them; which was no very difficult task, as the lady
had great affection for her brother, and still greater for her niece; and
though too susceptible of an affront offered to her skill in politics, on
which she much valued herself, was a woman of a very extraordinary good
and sweet disposition.



Having first, therefore, laid violent hands on the horses, for whose
escape from the stable no place but the window was left open, he next
applied himself to his sister; softened and soothed her, by unsaying all
he had said, and by assertions directly contrary to those which had
incensed her. Lastly, he summoned the eloquence of Sophia to his
assistance, who, besides a most graceful and winning address, had the
advantage of being heard with great favour and partiality by her aunt.



The result of the whole was a kind smile from Mrs Western, who said,
“Brother, you are absolutely a perfect Croat; but as those have
their use in the army of the empress queen, so you likewise have some good
in you. I will therefore once more sign a treaty of peace with you, and
see that you do not infringe it on your side; at least, as you are so
excellent a politician, I may expect you will keep your leagues, like the
French, till your interest calls upon you to break them.”




















Chapter iii. — Containing two defiances to the critics.



The squire having settled matters with his sister, as we have seen in the
last chapter, was so greatly impatient to communicate the proposal to
Allworthy, that Mrs Western had the utmost difficulty to prevent him from
visiting that gentleman in his sickness, for this purpose.



Mr Allworthy had been engaged to dine with Mr Western at the time when he
was taken ill. He was therefore no sooner discharged out of the custody of
physic, but he thought (as was usual with him on all occasions, both the
highest and the lowest) of fulfilling his engagement.



In the interval between the time of the dialogue in the last chapter, and
this day of public entertainment, Sophia had, from certain obscure hints
thrown out by her aunt, collected some apprehension that the sagacious
lady suspected her passion for Jones. She now resolved to take this
opportunity of wiping out all such suspicion, and for that purpose to put
an entire constraint on her behaviour.



First, she endeavoured to conceal a throbbing melancholy heart with the
utmost sprightliness in her countenance, and the highest gaiety in her
manner. Secondly, she addressed her whole discourse to Mr Blifil, and took
not the least notice of poor Jones the whole day.



The squire was so delighted with this conduct of his daughter, that he
scarce eat any dinner, and spent almost his whole time in watching
opportunities of conveying signs of his approbation by winks and nods to
his sister; who was not at first altogether so pleased with what she saw
as was her brother.



In short, Sophia so greatly overacted her part, that her aunt was at first
staggered, and began to suspect some affectation in her niece; but as she
was herself a woman of great art, so she soon attributed this to extreme
art in Sophia. She remembered the many hints she had given her niece
concerning her being in love, and imagined the young lady had taken this
way to rally her out of her opinion, by an overacted civility: a notion
that was greatly corroborated by the excessive gaiety with which the whole
was accompanied. We cannot here avoid remarking, that this conjecture
would have been better founded had Sophia lived ten years in the air of
Grosvenor Square, where young ladies do learn a wonderful knack of
rallying and playing with that passion, which is a mighty serious thing in
woods and groves an hundred miles distant from London.



To say the truth, in discovering the deceit of others, it matters much
that our own art be wound up, if I may use the expression, in the same key
with theirs: for very artful men sometimes miscarry by fancying others
wiser, or, in other words, greater knaves, than they really are. As this
observation is pretty deep, I will illustrate it by the following short
story. Three countrymen were pursuing a Wiltshire thief through Brentford.
The simplest of them seeing “The Wiltshire House,” written
under a sign, advised his companions to enter it, for there most probably
they would find their countryman. The second, who was wiser, laughed at
this simplicity; but the third, who was wiser still, answered, “Let
us go in, however, for he may think we should not suspect him of going
amongst his own countrymen.” They accordingly went in and searched
the house, and by that means missed overtaking the thief, who was at that
time but a little way before them; and who, as they all knew, but had
never once reflected, could not read.



The reader will pardon a digression in which so invaluable a secret is
communicated, since every gamester will agree how necessary it is to know
exactly the play of another, in order to countermine him. This will,
moreover, afford a reason why the wiser man, as is often seen, is the
bubble of the weaker, and why many simple and innocent characters are so
generally misunderstood and misrepresented; but what is most material,
this will account for the deceit which Sophia put on her politic aunt.



Dinner being ended, and the company retired into the garden, Mr Western,
who was thoroughly convinced of the certainty of what his sister had told
him, took Mr Allworthy aside, and very bluntly proposed a match between
Sophia and young Mr Blifil.



Mr Allworthy was not one of those men whose hearts flutter at any
unexpected and sudden tidings of worldly profit. His mind was, indeed,
tempered with that philosophy which becomes a man and a Christian. He
affected no absolute superiority to all pleasure and pain, to all joy and
grief; but was not at the same time to be discomposed and ruffled by every
accidental blast, by every smile or frown of fortune. He received,
therefore, Mr Western's proposal without any visible emotion, or without
any alteration of countenance. He said the alliance was such as he
sincerely wished; then launched forth into a very just encomium on the
young lady's merit; acknowledged the offer to be advantageous in point of
fortune; and after thanking Mr Western for the good opinion he had
professed of his nephew, concluded, that if the young people liked each
other, he should be very desirous to complete the affair.



Western was a little disappointed at Mr Allworthy's answer, which was not
so warm as he expected. He treated the doubt whether the young people
might like one another with great contempt, saying, “That parents
were the best judges of proper matches for their children: that for his
part he should insist on the most resigned obedience from his daughter:
and if any young fellow could refuse such a bed-fellow, he was his humble
servant, and hoped there was no harm done.”



Allworthy endeavoured to soften this resentment by many eulogiums on
Sophia, declaring he had no doubt but that Mr Blifil would very gladly
receive the offer; but all was ineffectual; he could obtain no other
answer from the squire but—“I say no more—I humbly hope
there's no harm done—that's all.” Which words he repeated at
least a hundred times before they parted.



Allworthy was too well acquainted with his neighbour to be offended at
this behaviour; and though he was so averse to the rigour which some
parents exercise on their children in the article of marriage, that he had
resolved never to force his nephew's inclinations, he was nevertheless
much pleased with the prospect of this union; for the whole country
resounded the praises of Sophia, and he had himself greatly admired the
uncommon endowments of both her mind and person.



To which I believe we may add, the consideration of her vast fortune,
which, though he was too sober to be intoxicated with it, he was too
sensible to despise.



And here, in defiance of all the barking critics in the world, I must and
will introduce a digression concerning true wisdom, of which Mr Allworthy
was in reality as great a pattern as he was of goodness.



True wisdom then, notwithstanding all which Mr Hogarth's poor poet may
have writ against riches, and in spite of all which any rich well-fed
divine may have preached against pleasure, consists not in the contempt of
either of these. A man may have as much wisdom in the possession of an
affluent fortune, as any beggar in the streets; or may enjoy a handsome
wife or a hearty friend, and still remain as wise as any sour popish
recluse, who buries all his social faculties, and starves his belly while
he well lashes his back.



To say truth, the wisest man is the likeliest to possess all worldly
blessings in an eminent degree; for as that moderation which wisdom
prescribes is the surest way to useful wealth, so can it alone qualify us
to taste many pleasures. The wise man gratifies every appetite and every
passion, while the fool sacrifices all the rest to pall and satiate one.



It may be objected, that very wise men have been notoriously avaricious. I
answer, Not wise in that instance. It may likewise be said, That the
wisest men have been in their youth immoderately fond of pleasure. I
answer, They were not wise then.



Wisdom, in short, whose lessons have been represented as so hard to learn
by those who never were at her school, only teaches us to extend a simple
maxim universally known and followed even in the lowest life, a little
farther than that life carries it. And this is, not to buy at too dear a
price.



Now, whoever takes this maxim abroad with him into the grand market of the
world, and constantly applies it to honours, to riches, to pleasures, and
to every other commodity which that market affords, is, I will venture to
affirm, a wise man, and must be so acknowledged in the worldly sense of
the word; for he makes the best of bargains, since in reality he purchases
everything at the price only of a little trouble, and carries home all the
good things I have mentioned, while he keeps his health, his innocence,
and his reputation, the common prices which are paid for them by others,
entire and to himself.



From this moderation, likewise, he learns two other lessons, which
complete his character. First, never to be intoxicated when he hath made
the best bargain, nor dejected when the market is empty, or when its
commodities are too dear for his purchase.



But I must remember on what subject I am writing, and not trespass too far
on the patience of a good-natured critic. Here, therefore, I put an end to
the chapter.




















Chapter iv. — Containing sundry curious matters.



As soon as Mr Allworthy returned home, he took Mr Blifil apart, and after
some preface, communicated to him the proposal which had been made by Mr
Western, and at the same time informed him how agreeable this match would
be to himself.



The charms of Sophia had not made the least impression on Blifil; not that
his heart was pre-engaged; neither was he totally insensible of beauty, or
had any aversion to women; but his appetites were by nature so moderate,
that he was able, by philosophy, or by study, or by some other method,
easily to subdue them: and as to that passion which we have treated of in
the first chapter of this book, he had not the least tincture of it in his
whole composition.



But though he was so entirely free from that mixed passion, of which we
there treated, and of which the virtues and beauty of Sophia formed so
notable an object; yet was he altogether as well furnished with some other
passions, that promised themselves very full gratification in the young
lady's fortune. Such were avarice and ambition, which divided the dominion
of his mind between them. He had more than once considered the possession
of this fortune as a very desirable thing, and had entertained some
distant views concerning it; but his own youth, and that of the young
lady, and indeed principally a reflection that Mr Western might marry
again, and have more children, had restrained him from too hasty or eager
a pursuit.



This last and most material objection was now in great measure removed, as
the proposal came from Mr Western himself. Blifil, therefore, after a very
short hesitation, answered Mr Allworthy, that matrimony was a subject on
which he had not yet thought; but that he was so sensible of his friendly
and fatherly care, that he should in all things submit himself to his
pleasure.



Allworthy was naturally a man of spirit, and his present gravity arose
from true wisdom and philosophy, not from any original phlegm in his
disposition; for he had possessed much fire in his youth, and had married
a beautiful woman for love. He was not therefore greatly pleased with this
cold answer of his nephew; nor could he help launching forth into the
praises of Sophia, and expressing some wonder that the heart of a young
man could be impregnable to the force of such charms, unless it was
guarded by some prior affection.



Blifil assured him he had no such guard; and then proceeded to discourse
so wisely and religiously on love and marriage, that he would have stopt
the mouth of a parent much less devoutly inclined than was his uncle. In
the end, the good man was satisfied that his nephew, far from having any
objections to Sophia, had that esteem for her, which in sober and virtuous
minds is the sure foundation of friendship and love. And as he doubted not
but the lover would, in a little time, become altogether as agreeable to
his mistress, he foresaw great happiness arising to all parties by so
proper and desirable an union. With Mr Blifil's consent therefore he wrote
the next morning to Mr Western, acquainting him that his nephew had very
thankfully and gladly received the proposal, and would be ready to wait on
the young lady, whenever she should be pleased to accept his visit.



Western was much pleased with this letter, and immediately returned an
answer; in which, without having mentioned a word to his daughter, he
appointed that very afternoon for opening the scene of courtship.



As soon as he had dispatched this messenger, he went in quest of his
sister, whom he found reading and expounding the Gazette to parson
Supple. To this exposition he was obliged to attend near a quarter of an
hour, though with great violence to his natural impetuosity, before he was
suffered to speak. At length, however, he found an opportunity of
acquainting the lady, that he had business of great consequence to impart
to her; to which she answered, “Brother, I am entirely at your
service. Things look so well in the north, that I was never in a better
humour.”



The parson then withdrawing, Western acquainted her with all which had
passed, and desired her to communicate the affair to Sophia, which she
readily and chearfully undertook; though perhaps her brother was a little
obliged to that agreeable northern aspect which had so delighted her, that
he heard no comment on his proceedings; for they were certainly somewhat
too hasty and violent.




















Chapter v. — In which is related what passed between Sophia and her
aunt.



Sophia was in her chamber, reading, when her aunt came in. The moment she
saw Mrs Western, she shut the book with so much eagerness, that the good
lady could not forbear asking her, What book that was which she seemed so
much afraid of showing? “Upon my word, madam,” answered
Sophia, “it is a book which I am neither ashamed nor afraid to own I
have read. It is the production of a young lady of fashion, whose good
understanding, I think, doth honour to her sex, and whose good heart is an
honour to human nature.” Mrs Western then took up the book, and
immediately after threw it down, saying—“Yes, the author is of
a very good family; but she is not much among people one knows. I have
never read it; for the best judges say, there is not much in it.”—“I
dare not, madam, set up my own opinion,” says Sophia, “against
the best judges, but there appears to me a great deal of human nature in
it; and in many parts so much true tenderness and delicacy, that it hath
cost me many a tear.”—“Ay, and do you love to cry then?”
says the aunt. “I love a tender sensation,” answered the
niece, “and would pay the price of a tear for it at any time.”—“Well,
but show me,” said the aunt, “what was you reading when I came
in; there was something very tender in that, I believe, and very loving
too. You blush, my dear Sophia. Ah! child, you should read books which
would teach you a little hypocrisy, which would instruct you how to hide
your thoughts a little better.”—“I hope, madam,”
answered Sophia, “I have no thoughts which I ought to be ashamed of
discovering.”—“Ashamed! no,” cries the aunt,
“I don't think you have any thoughts which you ought to be ashamed
of; and yet, child, you blushed just now when I mentioned the word loving.
Dear Sophy, be assured you have not one thought which I am not well
acquainted with; as well, child, as the French are with our motions, long
before we put them in execution. Did you think, child, because you have
been able to impose upon your father, that you could impose upon me? Do
you imagine I did not know the reason of your overacting all that
friendship for Mr Blifil yesterday? I have seen a little too much of the
world, to be so deceived. Nay, nay, do not blush again. I tell you it is a
passion you need not be ashamed of. It is a passion I myself approve, and
have already brought your father into the approbation of it. Indeed, I
solely consider your inclination; for I would always have that gratified,
if possible, though one may sacrifice higher prospects. Come, I have news
which will delight your very soul. Make me your confident, and I will
undertake you shall be happy to the very extent of your wishes.”
“La, madam,” says Sophia, looking more foolishly than ever she
did in her life, “I know not what to say—why, madam, should
you suspect?”—“Nay, no dishonesty,” returned Mrs
Western. “Consider, you are speaking to one of your own sex, to an
aunt, and I hope you are convinced you speak to a friend. Consider, you
are only revealing to me what I know already, and what I plainly saw
yesterday, through that most artful of all disguises, which you had put
on, and which must have deceived any one who had not perfectly known the
world. Lastly, consider it is a passion which I highly approve.”
“La, madam,” says Sophia, “you come upon one so
unawares, and on a sudden. To be sure, madam, I am not blind—and
certainly, if it be a fault to see all human perfections assembled
together—but is it possible my father and you, madam, can see with
my eyes?” “I tell you,” answered the aunt, “we do
entirely approve; and this very afternoon your father hath appointed for
you to receive your lover.” “My father, this afternoon!”
cries Sophia, with the blood starting from her face.—“Yes,
child,” said the aunt, “this afternoon. You know the
impetuosity of my brother's temper. I acquainted him with the passion
which I first discovered in you that evening when you fainted away in the
field. I saw it in your fainting. I saw it immediately upon your recovery.
I saw it that evening at supper, and the next morning at breakfast (you
know, child, I have seen the world). Well, I no sooner acquainted my
brother, but he immediately wanted to propose it to Allworthy. He proposed
it yesterday, Allworthy consented (as to be sure he must with joy), and
this afternoon, I tell you, you are to put on all your best airs.”
“This afternoon!” cries Sophia. “Dear aunt, you frighten
me out of my senses.” “O, my dear,” said the aunt,
“you will soon come to yourself again; for he is a charming young
fellow, that's the truth on't.” “Nay, I will own,” says
Sophia, “I know none with such perfections. So brave, and yet so
gentle; so witty, yet so inoffensive; so humane, so civil, so genteel, so
handsome! What signifies his being base born, when compared with such
qualifications as these?” “Base born? What do you mean?”
said the aunt, “Mr Blifil base born!” Sophia turned instantly
pale at this name, and faintly repeated it. Upon which the aunt cried,
“Mr Blifil—ay, Mr Blifil, of whom else have we been talking?”
“Good heavens,” answered Sophia, ready to sink, “of Mr
Jones, I thought; I am sure I know no other who deserves—”
“I protest,” cries the aunt, “you frighten me in your
turn. Is it Mr Jones, and not Mr Blifil, who is the object of your
affection?” “Mr Blifil!” repeated Sophia. “Sure it
is impossible you can be in earnest; if you are, I am the most miserable
woman alive.” Mrs Western now stood a few moments silent, while
sparks of fiery rage flashed from her eyes. At length, collecting all her
force of voice, she thundered forth in the following articulate sounds:



“And is it possible you can think of disgracing your family by
allying yourself to a bastard? Can the blood of the Westerns submit to
such contamination? If you have not sense sufficient to restrain such
monstrous inclinations, I thought the pride of our family would have
prevented you from giving the least encouragement to so base an affection;
much less did I imagine you would ever have had the assurance to own it to
my face.”



“Madam,” answered Sophia, trembling, “what I have said
you have extorted from me. I do not remember to have ever mentioned the
name of Mr Jones with approbation to any one before; nor should I now had
I not conceived he had your approbation. Whatever were my thoughts of that
poor, unhappy young man, I intended to have carried them with me to my
grave—to that grave where only now, I find, I am to seek repose.”
Here she sunk down in her chair, drowned in her tears, and, in all the
moving silence of unutterable grief, presented a spectacle which must have
affected almost the hardest heart.



All this tender sorrow, however, raised no compassion in her aunt. On the
contrary, she now fell into the most violent rage.—“And I
would rather,” she cried, in a most vehement voice, “follow
you to your grave, than I would see you disgrace yourself and your family
by such a match. O Heavens! could I have ever suspected that I should live
to hear a niece of mine declare a passion for such a fellow? You are the
first—yes, Miss Western, you are the first of your name who ever
entertained so grovelling a thought. A family so noted for the prudence of
its women”—here she ran on a full quarter of an hour, till,
having exhausted her breath rather than her rage, she concluded with
threatening to go immediately and acquaint her brother.



Sophia then threw herself at her feet, and laying hold of her hands,
begged her with tears to conceal what she had drawn from her; urging the
violence of her father's temper, and protesting that no inclinations of
hers should ever prevail with her to do anything which might offend him.



Mrs Western stood a moment looking at her, and then, having recollected
herself, said, “That on one consideration only she would keep the
secret from her brother; and this was, that Sophia should promise to
entertain Mr Blifil that very afternoon as her lover, and to regard him as
the person who was to be her husband.”



Poor Sophia was too much in her aunt's power to deny her anything
positively; she was obliged to promise that she would see Mr Blifil, and
be as civil to him as possible; but begged her aunt that the match might
not be hurried on. She said, “Mr Blifil was by no means agreeable to
her, and she hoped her father would be prevailed on not to make her the
most wretched of women.”



Mrs Western assured her, “That the match was entirely agreed upon,
and that nothing could or should prevent it. I must own,” said she,
“I looked on it as on a matter of indifference; nay, perhaps, had
some scruples about it before, which were actually got over by my thinking
it highly agreeable to your own inclinations; but now I regard it as the
most eligible thing in the world: nor shall there be, if I can prevent it,
a moment of time lost on the occasion.”



Sophia replied, “Delay at least, madam, I may expect from both your
goodness and my father's. Surely you will give me time to endeavour to get
the better of so strong a disinclination as I have at present to this
person.”



The aunt answered, “She knew too much of the world to be so
deceived; that as she was sensible another man had her affections, she
should persuade Mr Western to hasten the match as much as possible. It
would be bad politics, indeed,” added she, “to protract a
siege when the enemy's army is at hand, and in danger of relieving it. No,
no, Sophy,” said she, “as I am convinced you have a violent
passion which you can never satisfy with honour, I will do all I can to
put your honour out of the care of your family: for when you are married
those matters will belong only to the consideration of your husband. I
hope, child, you will always have prudence enough to act as becomes you;
but if you should not, marriage hath saved many a woman from ruin.”



Sophia well understood what her aunt meant; but did not think proper to
make her an answer. However, she took a resolution to see Mr Blifil, and
to behave to him as civilly as she could, for on that condition only she
obtained a promise from her aunt to keep secret the liking which her ill
fortune, rather than any scheme of Mrs Western, had unhappily drawn from
her.




















Chapter vi. — Containing a dialogue between Sophia and Mrs Honour,
which may a little relieve those tender affections which the foregoing
scene may have raised in the mind of a good-natured reader.



Mrs Western having obtained that promise from her niece which we have seen
in the last chapter, withdrew; and presently after arrived Mrs Honour. She
was at work in a neighbouring apartment, and had been summoned to the
keyhole by some vociferation in the preceding dialogue, where she had
continued during the remaining part of it. At her entry into the room, she
found Sophia standing motionless, with the tears trickling from her eyes.
Upon which she immediately ordered a proper quantity of tears into her own
eyes, and then began, “O Gemini, my dear lady, what is the matter?”—“Nothing,”
cries Sophia. “Nothing! O dear Madam!” answers Honour, “you
must not tell me that, when your ladyship is in this taking, and when
there hath been such a preamble between your ladyship and Madam Western.”—“Don't
teaze me,” cries Sophia; “I tell you nothing is the matter.
Good heavens! why was I born?”—“Nay, madam,” says
Mrs Honour, “you shall never persuade me that your la'ship can
lament yourself so for nothing. To be sure I am but a servant; but to be
sure I have been always faithful to your la'ship, and to be sure I would
serve your la'ship with my life.”—“My dear Honour,”
says Sophia, “'tis not in thy power to be of any service to me. I am
irretrievably undone.”—“Heaven forbid!” answered
the waiting-woman; “but if I can't be of any service to you, pray
tell me, madam—it will be some comfort to me to know—pray,
dear ma'am, tell me what's the matter.”—“My father,”
cries Sophia, “is going to marry me to a man I both despise and
hate.”—“O dear, ma'am,” answered the other,
“who is this wicked man? for to be sure he is very bad, or your
la'ship would not despise him.”—“His name is poison to
my tongue,” replied Sophia: “thou wilt know it too soon.”
Indeed, to confess the truth, she knew it already, and therefore was not
very inquisitive as to that point. She then proceeded thus: “I don't
pretend to give your la'ship advice, whereof your la'ship knows much
better than I can pretend to, being but a servant; but, i-fackins! no
father in England should marry me against my consent. And, to be sure, the
'squire is so good, that if he did but know your la'ship despises and
hates the young man, to be sure he would not desire you to marry him. And
if your la'ship would but give me leave to tell my master so. To be sure,
it would be more properer to come from your own mouth; but as your la'ship
doth not care to foul your tongue with his nasty name—“—“You
are mistaken, Honour,” says Sophia; “my father was determined
before he ever thought fit to mention it to me.”—“More
shame for him,” cries Honour: “you are to go to bed to him,
and not master: and thof a man may be a very proper man, yet every woman
mayn't think him handsome alike. I am sure my master would never act in
this manner of his own head. I wish some people would trouble themselves
only with what belongs to them; they would not, I believe, like to be
served so, if it was their own case; for though I am a maid, I can easily
believe as how all men are not equally agreeable. And what signifies your
la'ship having so great a fortune, if you can't please yourself with the
man you think most handsomest? Well, I say nothing; but to be sure it is a
pity some folks had not been better born; nay, as for that matter, I
should not mind it myself; but then there is not so much money; and what
of that? your la'ship hath money enough for both; and where can your
la'ship bestow your fortune better? for to be sure every one must allow
that he is the most handsomest, charmingest, finest, tallest, properest
man in the world.”—“What do you mean by running on in
this manner to me?” cries Sophia, with a very grave countenance.
“Have I ever given any encouragement for these liberties?”—“Nay,
ma'am, I ask pardon; I meant no harm,” answered she; “but to
be sure the poor gentleman hath run in my head ever since I saw him this
morning. To be sure, if your la'ship had but seen him just now, you must
have pitied him. Poor gentleman! I wishes some misfortune hath not
happened to him; for he hath been walking about with his arms across, and
looking so melancholy, all this morning: I vow and protest it made me
almost cry to see him.”—“To see whom?” says
Sophia. “Poor Mr Jones,” answered Honour. “See him! why,
where did you see him?” cries Sophia. “By the canal, ma'am,”
says Honour. “There he hath been walking all this morning, and at
last there he laid himself down: I believe he lies there still. To be
sure, if it had not been for my modesty, being a maid, as I am, I should
have gone and spoke to him. Do, ma'am, let me go and see, only for a
fancy, whether he is there still.”—“Pugh!” says
Sophia. “There! no, no: what should he do there? He is gone before
this time, to be sure. Besides, why—what—why should you go to
see? besides, I want you for something else. Go, fetch me my hat and
gloves. I shall walk with my aunt in the grove before dinner.”
Honour did immediately as she was bid, and Sophia put her hat on; when,
looking in the glass, she fancied the ribbon with which her hat was tied
did not become her, and so sent her maid back again for a ribbon of a
different colour; and then giving Mrs Honour repeated charges not to leave
her work on any account, as she said it was in violent haste, and must be
finished that very day, she muttered something more about going to the
grove, and then sallied out the contrary way, and walked, as fast as her
tender trembling limbs could carry her, directly towards the canal.



Jones had been there as Mrs Honour had told her; he had indeed spent two
hours there that morning in melancholy contemplation on his Sophia, and
had gone out from the garden at one door the moment she entered it at
another. So that those unlucky minutes which had been spent in changing
the ribbons, had prevented the lovers from meeting at this time;—a
most unfortunate accident, from which my fair readers will not fail to
draw a very wholesome lesson. And here I strictly forbid all male critics
to intermeddle with a circumstance which I have recounted only for the
sake of the ladies, and upon which they only are at liberty to comment.




















Chapter vii. — A picture of formal courtship in miniature, as it
always ought to be drawn, and a scene of a tenderer kind painted at full
length.



It was well remarked by one (and perhaps by more), that misfortunes do not
come single. This wise maxim was now verified by Sophia, who was not only
disappointed of seeing the man she loved, but had the vexation of being
obliged to dress herself out, in order to receive a visit from the man she
hated.



That afternoon Mr Western, for the first time, acquainted his daughter
with his intention; telling her, he knew very well that she had heard it
before from her aunt. Sophia looked very grave upon this, nor could she
prevent a few pearls from stealing into her eyes. “Come, come,”
says Western, “none of your maidenish airs; I know all; I assure you
sister hath told me all.”



“Is it possible,” says Sophia, “that my aunt can have
betrayed me already?”—“Ay, ay,” says Western;
“betrayed you! ay. Why, you betrayed yourself yesterday at dinner.
You showed your fancy very plainly, I think. But you young girls never
know what you would be at. So you cry because I am going to marry you to
the man you are in love with! Your mother, I remember, whimpered and
whined just in the same manner; but it was all over within twenty-four
hours after we were married: Mr Blifil is a brisk young man, and will soon
put an end to your squeamishness. Come, chear up, chear up; I expect un
every minute.”



Sophia was now convinced that her aunt had behaved honourably to her: and
she determined to go through that disagreeable afternoon with as much
resolution as possible, and without giving the least suspicion in the
world to her father.



Mr Blifil soon arrived; and Mr Western soon after withdrawing, left the
young couple together.



Here a long silence of near a quarter of an hour ensued; for the gentleman
who was to begin the conversation had all the unbecoming modesty which
consists in bashfulness. He often attempted to speak, and as often
suppressed his words just at the very point of utterance. At last out they
broke in a torrent of far-fetched and high-strained compliments, which
were answered on her side by downcast looks, half bows, and civil
monosyllables. Blifil, from his inexperience in the ways of women, and
from his conceit of himself, took this behaviour for a modest assent to
his courtship; and when, to shorten a scene which she could no longer
support, Sophia rose up and left the room, he imputed that, too, merely to
bashfulness, and comforted himself that he should soon have enough of her
company.



He was indeed perfectly well satisfied with his prospect of success; for
as to that entire and absolute possession of the heart of his mistress
which romantic lovers require, the very idea of it never entered his head.
Her fortune and her person were the sole objects of his wishes, of which
he made no doubt soon to obtain the absolute property; as Mr Western's
mind was so earnestly bent on the match; and as he well knew the strict
obedience which Sophia was always ready to pay to her father's will, and
the greater still which her father would exact, if there was occasion.
This authority, therefore, together with the charms which he fancied in
his own person and conversation, could not fail, he thought, of succeeding
with a young lady, whose inclinations were, he doubted not, entirely
disengaged.



Of Jones he certainly had not even the least jealousy; and I have often
thought it wonderful that he had not. Perhaps he imagined the character
which Jones bore all over the country (how justly, let the reader
determine), of being one of the wildest fellows in England, might render
him odious to a lady of the most exemplary modesty. Perhaps his suspicions
might be laid asleep by the behaviour of Sophia, and of Jones himself,
when they were all in company together. Lastly, and indeed principally, he
was well assured there was not another self in the case. He fancied that
he knew Jones to the bottom, and had in reality a great contempt for his
understanding, for not being more attached to his own interest. He had no
apprehension that Jones was in love with Sophia; and as for any lucrative
motives, he imagined they would sway very little with so silly a fellow.
Blifil, moreover, thought the affair of Molly Seagrim still went on, and
indeed believed it would end in marriage; for Jones really loved him from
his childhood, and had kept no secret from him, till his behaviour on the
sickness of Mr Allworthy had entirely alienated his heart; and it was by
means of the quarrel which had ensued on this occasion, and which was not
yet reconciled, that Mr Blifil knew nothing of the alteration which had
happened in the affection which Jones had formerly borne towards Molly.



From these reasons, therefore, Mr Blifil saw no bar to his success with
Sophia. He concluded her behaviour was like that of all other young ladies
on a first visit from a lover, and it had indeed entirely answered his
expectations.



Mr Western took care to way-lay the lover at his exit from his mistress.
He found him so elevated with his success, so enamoured with his daughter,
and so satisfied with her reception of him, that the old gentleman began
to caper and dance about his hall, and by many other antic actions to
express the extravagance of his joy; for he had not the least command over
any of his passions; and that which had at any time the ascendant in his
mind hurried him to the wildest excesses.



As soon as Blifil was departed, which was not till after many hearty
kisses and embraces bestowed on him by Western, the good squire went
instantly in quest of his daughter, whom he no sooner found than he poured
forth the most extravagant raptures, bidding her chuse what clothes and
jewels she pleased; and declaring that he had no other use for fortune but
to make her happy. He then caressed her again and again with the utmost
profusion of fondness, called her by the most endearing names, and
protested she was his only joy on earth.



Sophia perceiving her father in this fit of affection, which she did not
absolutely know the reason of (for fits of fondness were not unusual to
him, though this was rather more violent than ordinary), thought she
should never have a better opportunity of disclosing herself than at
present, as far at least as regarded Mr Blifil; and she too well foresaw
the necessity which she should soon be under of coming to a full
explanation. After having thanked the squire, therefore, for all his
professions of kindness, she added, with a look full of inexpressible
softness, “And is it possible my papa can be so good to place all
his joy in his Sophy's happiness?” which Western having confirmed by
a great oath, and a kiss; she then laid hold of his hand, and, falling on
her knees, after many warm and passionate declarations of affection and
duty, she begged him “not to make her the most miserable creature on
earth by forcing her to marry a man whom she detested. This I entreat of
you, dear sir,” said she, “for your sake, as well as my own,
since you are so very kind to tell me your happiness depends on mine.”—“How!
what!” says Western, staring wildly. “Oh! sir,”
continued she, “not only your poor Sophy's happiness; her very life,
her being, depends upon your granting her request. I cannot live with Mr
Blifil. To force me into this marriage would be killing me.”—“You
can't live with Mr Blifil?” says Western. “No, upon my soul I
can't,” answered Sophia. “Then die and be d—d,”
cries he, spurning her from him. “Oh! sir,” cries Sophia,
catching hold of the skirt of his coat, “take pity on me, I beseech
you. Don't look and say such cruel—Can you be unmoved while you see
your Sophy in this dreadful condition? Can the best of fathers break my
heart? Will he kill me by the most painful, cruel, lingering death?”—“Pooh!
pooh!” cries the squire; “all stuff and nonsense; all
maidenish tricks. Kill you, indeed! Will marriage kill you?”—“Oh!
sir,” answered Sophia, “such a marriage is worse than death.
He is not even indifferent; I hate and detest him.”—“If
you detest un never so much,” cries Western, “you shall ha'un.”
This he bound by an oath too shocking to repeat; and after many violent
asseverations, concluded in these words: “I am resolved upon the
match, and unless you consent to it I will not give you a groat, not a
single farthing; no, though I saw you expiring with famine in the street,
I would not relieve you with a morsel of bread. This is my fixed
resolution, and so I leave you to consider on it.” He then broke
from her with such violence, that her face dashed against the floor; and
he burst directly out of the room, leaving poor Sophia prostrate on the
ground.



When Western came into the hall, he there found Jones; who seeing his
friend looking wild, pale, and almost breathless, could not forbear
enquiring the reason of all these melancholy appearances. Upon which the
squire immediately acquainted him with the whole matter, concluding with
bitter denunciations against Sophia, and very pathetic lamentations of the
misery of all fathers who are so unfortunate to have daughters.



Jones, to whom all the resolutions which had been taken in favour of
Blifil were yet a secret, was at first almost struck dead with this
relation; but recovering his spirits a little, mere despair, as he
afterwards said, inspired him to mention a matter to Mr Western, which
seemed to require more impudence than a human forehead was ever gifted
with. He desired leave to go to Sophia, that he might endeavour to obtain
her concurrence with her father's inclinations.



If the squire had been as quicksighted as he was remarkable for the
contrary, passion might at present very well have blinded him. He thanked
Jones for offering to undertake the office, and said, “Go, go,
prithee, try what canst do;” and then swore many execrable oaths
that he would turn her out of doors unless she consented to the match.




















Chapter viii. — The meeting between Jones and Sophia.



Jones departed instantly in quest of Sophia, whom he found just risen from
the ground, where her father had left her, with the tears trickling from
her eyes, and the blood running from her lips. He presently ran to her,
and with a voice full at once of tenderness and terrour, cried, “O
my Sophia, what means this dreadful sight?” She looked softly at him
for a moment before she spoke, and then said, “Mr Jones, for
Heaven's sake how came you here?—Leave me, I beseech you, this
moment.”—“Do not,” says he, “impose so harsh
a command upon me—my heart bleeds faster than those lips. O Sophia,
how easily could I drain my veins to preserve one drop of that dear blood.”—“I
have too many obligations to you already,” answered she, “for
sure you meant them such.” Here she looked at him tenderly almost a
minute, and then bursting into an agony, cried, “Oh, Mr Jones, why
did you save my life? my death would have been happier for us both.”—“Happier
for us both!” cried he. “Could racks or wheels kill me so
painfully as Sophia's—I cannot bear the dreadful sound. Do I live
but for her?” Both his voice and looks were full of inexpressible
tenderness when he spoke these words; and at the same time he laid gently
hold on her hand, which she did not withdraw from him; to say the truth,
she hardly knew what she did or suffered. A few moments now passed in
silence between these lovers, while his eyes were eagerly fixed on Sophia,
and hers declining towards the ground: at last she recovered strength
enough to desire him again to leave her, for that her certain ruin would
be the consequence of their being found together; adding, “Oh, Mr
Jones, you know not, you know not what hath passed this cruel afternoon.”—“I
know all, my Sophia,” answered he; “your cruel father hath
told me all, and he himself hath sent me hither to you.”—“My
father sent you to me!” replied she: “sure you dream.”—“Would
to Heaven,” cries he, “it was but a dream! Oh, Sophia, your
father hath sent me to you, to be an advocate for my odious rival, to
solicit you in his favour. I took any means to get access to you. O speak
to me, Sophia! comfort my bleeding heart. Sure no one ever loved, ever
doated like me. Do not unkindly withhold this dear, this soft, this gentle
hand—one moment, perhaps, tears you for ever from me—nothing
less than this cruel occasion could, I believe, have ever conquered the
respect and awe with which you have inspired me.” She stood a moment
silent, and covered with confusion; then lifting up her eyes gently
towards him, she cried, “What would Mr Jones have me say?”—“O
do but promise,” cries he, “that you never will give yourself
to Blifil.”—“Name not,” answered she, “the
detested sound. Be assured I never will give him what is in my power to
withhold from him.”—“Now then,” cries he, “while
you are so perfectly kind, go a little farther, and add that I may hope.”—“Alas!”
says she, “Mr Jones, whither will you drive me? What hope have I to
bestow? You know my father's intentions.”—“But I know,”
answered he, “your compliance with them cannot be compelled.”—“What,”
says she, “must be the dreadful consequence of my disobedience? My
own ruin is my least concern. I cannot bear the thoughts of being the
cause of my father's misery.”—“He is himself the cause,”
cries Jones, “by exacting a power over you which Nature hath not
given him. Think on the misery which I am to suffer if I am to lose you,
and see on which side pity will turn the balance.”—“Think
of it!” replied she: “can you imagine I do not feel the ruin
which I must bring on you, should I comply with your desire? It is that
thought which gives me resolution to bid you fly from me for ever, and
avoid your own destruction.”—“I fear no destruction,”
cries he, “but the loss of Sophia. If you would save me from the
most bitter agonies, recall that cruel sentence. Indeed, I can never part
with you, indeed I cannot.”



The lovers now stood both silent and trembling, Sophia being unable to
withdraw her hand from Jones, and he almost as unable to hold it; when the
scene, which I believe some of my readers will think had lasted long
enough, was interrupted by one of so different a nature, that we shall
reserve the relation of it for a different chapter.




















Chapter ix. — Being of a much more tempestuous kind than the former.



Before we proceed with what now happened to our lovers, it may be proper
to recount what had past in the hall during their tender interview.



Soon after Jones had left Mr Western in the manner above mentioned, his
sister came to him, and was presently informed of all that had passed
between her brother and Sophia relating to Blifil.



This behaviour in her niece the good lady construed to be an absolute
breach of the condition on which she had engaged to keep her love for Mr
Jones a secret. She considered herself, therefore, at full liberty to
reveal all she knew to the squire, which she immediately did in the most
explicit terms, and without any ceremony or preface.



The idea of a marriage between Jones and his daughter, had never once
entered into the squire's head, either in the warmest minutes of his
affection towards that young man, or from suspicion, or on any other
occasion. He did indeed consider a parity of fortune and circumstances to
be physically as necessary an ingredient in marriage, as difference of
sexes, or any other essential; and had no more apprehension of his
daughter's falling in love with a poor man, than with any animal of a
different species.



He became, therefore, like one thunderstruck at his sister's relation. He
was, at first, incapable of making any answer, having been almost deprived
of his breath by the violence of the surprize. This, however, soon
returned, and, as is usual in other cases after an intermission, with
redoubled force and fury.



The first use he made of the power of speech, after his recovery from the
sudden effects of his astonishment, was to discharge a round volley of
oaths and imprecations. After which he proceeded hastily to the apartment
where he expected to find the lovers, and murmured, or rather indeed
roared forth, intentions of revenge every step he went.



As when two doves, or two wood-pigeons, or as when Strephon and Phyllis
(for that comes nearest to the mark) are retired into some pleasant
solitary grove, to enjoy the delightful conversation of Love, that bashful
boy, who cannot speak in public, and is never a good companion to more
than two at a time; here, while every object is serene, should hoarse
thunder burst suddenly through the shattered clouds, and rumbling roll
along the sky, the frightened maid starts from the mossy bank or verdant
turf, the pale livery of death succeeds the red regimentals in which Love
had before drest her cheeks, fear shakes her whole frame, and her lover
scarce supports her trembling tottering limbs.



Or as when two gentlemen, strangers to the wondrous wit of the place, are
cracking a bottle together at some inn or tavern at Salisbury, if the
great Dowdy, who acts the part of a madman as well as some of his
setters-on do that of a fool, should rattle his chains, and dreadfully hum
forth the grumbling catch along the gallery; the frighted strangers stand
aghast; scared at the horrid sound, they seek some place of shelter from
the approaching danger; and if the well-barred windows did admit their
exit, would venture their necks to escape the threatening fury now coming
upon them.



So trembled poor Sophia, so turned she pale at the noise of her father,
who, in a voice most dreadful to hear, came on swearing, cursing, and
vowing the destruction of Jones. To say the truth, I believe the youth
himself would, from some prudent considerations, have preferred another
place of abode at this time, had his terror on Sophia's account given him
liberty to reflect a moment on what any otherways concerned himself, than
as his love made him partake whatever affected her.



And now the squire, having burst open the door, beheld an object which
instantly suspended all his fury against Jones; this was the ghastly
appearance of Sophia, who had fainted away in her lover's arms. This
tragical sight Mr Western no sooner beheld, than all his rage forsook him;
he roared for help with his utmost violence; ran first to his daughter,
then back to the door calling for water, and then back again to Sophia,
never considering in whose arms she then was, nor perhaps once
recollecting that there was such a person in the world as Jones; for
indeed I believe the present circumstances of his daughter were now the
sole consideration which employed his thoughts.



Mrs Western and a great number of servants soon came to the assistance of
Sophia with water, cordials, and everything necessary on those occasions.
These were applied with such success, that Sophia in a very few minutes
began to recover, and all the symptoms of life to return. Upon which she
was presently led off by her own maid and Mrs Western: nor did that good
lady depart without leaving some wholesome admonitions with her brother,
on the dreadful effects of his passion, or, as she pleased to call it,
madness.



The squire, perhaps, did not understand this good advice, as it was
delivered in obscure hints, shrugs, and notes of admiration: at least, if
he did understand it, he profited very little by it; for no sooner was he
cured of his immediate fears for his daughter, than he relapsed into his
former frenzy, which must have produced an immediate battle with Jones,
had not parson Supple, who was a very strong man, been present, and by
mere force restrained the squire from acts of hostility.



The moment Sophia was departed, Jones advanced in a very suppliant manner
to Mr Western, whom the parson held in his arms, and begged him to be
pacified; for that, while he continued in such a passion, it would be
impossible to give him any satisfaction.



“I wull have satisfaction o' thee,” answered the squire;
“so doff thy clothes. At unt half a man, and I'll lick thee
as well as wast ever licked in thy life.” He then bespattered the
youth with abundance of that language which passes between country
gentlemen who embrace opposite sides of the question; with frequent
applications to him to salute that part which is generally introduced into
all controversies that arise among the lower orders of the English gentry
at horse-races, cock-matches, and other public places. Allusions to this
part are likewise often made for the sake of the jest. And here, I
believe, the wit is generally misunderstood. In reality, it lies in
desiring another to kiss your a— for having just before threatened
to kick his; for I have observed very accurately, that no one ever desires
you to kick that which belongs to himself, nor offers to kiss this part in
another.



It may likewise seem surprizing that in the many thousand kind invitations
of this sort, which every one who hath conversed with country gentlemen
must have heard, no one, I believe, hath ever seen a single instance where
the desire hath been complied with;—a great instance of their want
of politeness; for in town nothing can be more common than for the finest
gentlemen to perform this ceremony every day to their superiors, without
having that favour once requested of them.



To all such wit, Jones very calmly answered, “Sir, this usage may
perhaps cancel every other obligation you have conferred on me; but there
is one you can never cancel; nor will I be provoked by your abuse to lift
my hand against the father of Sophia.”



At these words the squire grew still more outrageous than before; so that
the parson begged Jones to retire; saying, “You behold, sir, how he
waxeth wrath at your abode here; therefore let me pray you not to tarry
any longer. His anger is too much kindled for you to commune with him at
present. You had better, therefore, conclude your visit, and refer what
matters you have to urge in your behalf to some other opportunity.”



Jones accepted this advice with thanks, and immediately departed. The
squire now regained the liberty of his hands, and so much temper as to
express some satisfaction in the restraint which had been laid upon him;
declaring that he should certainly have beat his brains out; and adding,
“It would have vexed one confoundedly to have been hanged for such a
rascal.”



The parson now began to triumph in the success of his peace-making
endeavours, and proceeded to read a lecture against anger, which might
perhaps rather have tended to raise than to quiet that passion in some
hasty minds. This lecture he enriched with many valuable quotations from
the antients, particularly from Seneca; who hath indeed so well handled
this passion, that none but a very angry man can read him without great
pleasure and profit. The doctor concluded this harangue with the famous
story of Alexander and Clitus; but as I find that entered in my
common-place under title Drunkenness, I shall not insert it here.



The squire took no notice of this story, nor perhaps of anything he said;
for he interrupted him before he had finished, by calling for a tankard of
beer; observing (which is perhaps as true as any observation on this fever
of the mind) that anger makes a man dry.



No sooner had the squire swallowed a large draught than he renewed the
discourse on Jones, and declared a resolution of going the next morning
early to acquaint Mr Allworthy. His friend would have dissuaded him from
this, from the mere motive of good-nature; but his dissuasion had no other
effect than to produce a large volley of oaths and curses, which greatly
shocked the pious ears of Supple; but he did not dare to remonstrate
against a privilege which the squire claimed as a freeborn Englishman. To
say truth, the parson submitted to please his palate at the squire's
table, at the expense of suffering now and then this violence to his ears.
He contented himself with thinking he did not promote this evil practice,
and that the squire would not swear an oath the less, if he never entered
within his gates. However, though he was not guilty of ill manners by
rebuking a gentleman in his own house, he paid him off obliquely in the
pulpit: which had not, indeed, the good effect of working a reformation in
the squire himself; yet it so far operated on his conscience, that he put
the laws very severely in execution against others, and the magistrate was
the only person in the parish who could swear with impunity.




















Chapter x. — In which Mr Western visits Mr Allworthy.



Mr Allworthy was now retired from breakfast with his nephew, well
satisfied with the report of the young gentleman's successful visit to
Sophia (for he greatly desired the match, more on account of the young
lady's character than of her riches), when Mr Western broke abruptly in
upon them, and without any ceremony began as follows:—



“There, you have done a fine piece of work truly! You have brought
up your bastard to a fine purpose; not that I believe you have had any
hand in it neither, that is, as a man may say, designedly: but there is a
fine kettle-of-fish made on't up at our house.” “What can be
the matter, Mr Western?” said Allworthy. “O, matter enow of
all conscience: my daughter hath fallen in love with your bastard, that's
all; but I won't ge her a hapeny, not the twentieth part of a brass
varden. I always thought what would come o' breeding up a bastard like a
gentleman, and letting un come about to vok's houses. It's well vor un I
could not get at un: I'd a lick'd un; I'd a spoil'd his caterwauling; I'd
a taught the son of a whore to meddle with meat for his master. He shan't
ever have a morsel of meat of mine, or a varden to buy it: if she will ha
un, one smock shall be her portion. I'd sooner ge my esteate to the
zinking fund, that it may be sent to Hanover to corrupt our nation with.”
“I am heartily sorry,” cries Allworthy. “Pox o' your
sorrow,” says Western; “it will do me abundance of good when I
have lost my only child, my poor Sophy, that was the joy of my heart, and
all the hope and comfort of my age; but I am resolved I will turn her out
o' doors; she shall beg, and starve, and rot in the streets. Not one
hapeny, not a hapeny shall she ever hae o' mine. The son of a bitch was
always good at finding a hare sitting, an be rotted to'n: I little thought
what puss he was looking after; but it shall be the worst he ever vound in
his life. She shall be no better than carrion: the skin o'er is all he
shall ha, and zu you may tell un.” “I am in amazement,”
cries Allworthy, “at what you tell me, after what passed between my
nephew and the young lady no longer ago than yesterday.” “Yes,
sir,” answered Western, “it was after what passed between your
nephew and she that the whole matter came out. Mr Blifil there was no
sooner gone than the son of a whore came lurching about the house. Little
did I think when I used to love him for a sportsman that he was all the
while a poaching after my daughter.” “Why truly,” says
Allworthy, “I could wish you had not given him so many opportunities
with her; and you will do me the justice to acknowledge that I have always
been averse to his staying so much at your house, though I own I had no
suspicion of this kind.” “Why, zounds,” cries Western,
“who could have thought it? What the devil had she to do wi'n? He
did not come there a courting to her; he came there a hunting with me.”
“But was it possible,” says Allworthy, “that you should
never discern any symptoms of love between them, when you have seen them
so often together?” “Never in my life, as I hope to be saved,”
cries Western: “I never so much as zeed him kiss her in all my life;
and so far from courting her, he used rather to be more silent when she
was in company than at any other time; and as for the girl, she was always
less civil to'n than to any young man that came to the house. As to that
matter, I am not more easy to be deceived than another; I would not have
you think I am, neighbour.” Allworthy could scarce refrain laughter
at this; but he resolved to do a violence to himself; for he perfectly
well knew mankind, and had too much good-breeding and good-nature to
offend the squire in his present circumstances. He then asked Western what
he would have him do upon this occasion. To which the other answered,
“That he would have him keep the rascal away from his house, and
that he would go and lock up the wench; for he was resolved to make her
marry Mr Blifil in spite of her teeth.” He then shook Blifil by the
hand, and swore he would have no other son-in-law. Presently after which
he took his leave; saying his house was in such disorder that it was
necessary for him to make haste home, to take care his daughter did not
give him the slip; and as for Jones, he swore if he caught him at his
house, he would qualify him to run for the geldings' plate.



When Allworthy and Blifil were again left together, a long silence ensued
between them; all which interval the young gentleman filled up with sighs,
which proceeded partly from disappointment, but more from hatred; for the
success of Jones was much more grievous to him than the loss of Sophia.



At length his uncle asked him what he was determined to do, and he
answered in the following words:—“Alas! sir, can it be a
question what step a lover will take, when reason and passion point
different ways? I am afraid it is too certain he will, in that dilemma,
always follow the latter. Reason dictates to me, to quit all thoughts of a
woman who places her affections on another; my passion bids me hope she
may in time change her inclinations in my favour. Here, however, I
conceive an objection may be raised, which, if it could not fully be
answered, would totally deter me from any further pursuit. I mean the
injustice of endeavouring to supplant another in a heart of which he seems
already in possession; but the determined resolution of Mr Western shows
that, in this case, I shall, by so doing, promote the happiness of every
party; not only that of the parent, who will thus be preserved from the
highest degree of misery, but of both the others, who must be undone by
this match. The lady, I am sure, will be undone in every sense; for,
besides the loss of most part of her own fortune, she will be not only
married to a beggar, but the little fortune which her father cannot
withhold from her will be squandered on that wench with whom I know he yet
converses. Nay, that is a trifle; for I know him to be one of the worst
men in the world; for had my dear uncle known what I have hitherto
endeavoured to conceal, he must have long since abandoned so profligate a
wretch.” “How!” said Allworthy; “hath he done
anything worse than I already know? Tell me, I beseech you?” “No,”
replied Blifil; “it is now past, and perhaps he may have repented of
it.” “I command you, on your duty,” said Allworthy,
“to tell me what you mean.” “You know, sir,” says
Blifil, “I never disobeyed you; but I am sorry I mentioned it, since
it may now look like revenge, whereas, I thank Heaven, no such motive ever
entered my heart; and if you oblige me to discover it, I must be his
petitioner to you for your forgiveness.” “I will have no
conditions,” answered Allworthy; “I think I have shown
tenderness enough towards him, and more perhaps than you ought to thank me
for.” “More, indeed, I fear, than he deserved,” cries
Blifil; “for in the very day of your utmost danger, when myself and
all the family were in tears, he filled the house with riot and
debauchery. He drank, and sung, and roared; and when I gave him a gentle
hint of the indecency of his actions, he fell into a violent passion,
swore many oaths, called me rascal, and struck me.” “How!”
cries Allworthy; “did he dare to strike you?” “I am
sure,” cries Blifil, “I have forgiven him that long ago. I
wish I could so easily forget his ingratitude to the best of benefactors;
and yet even that I hope you will forgive him, since he must have
certainly been possessed with the devil: for that very evening, as Mr
Thwackum and myself were taking the air in the fields, and exulting in the
good symptoms which then first began to discover themselves, we unluckily
saw him engaged with a wench in a manner not fit to be mentioned. Mr
Thwackum, with more boldness than prudence, advanced to rebuke him, when
(I am sorry to say it) he fell upon the worthy man, and beat him so
outrageously that I wish he may have yet recovered the bruises. Nor was I
without my share of the effects of his malice, while I endeavoured to
protect my tutor; but that I have long forgiven; nay, I prevailed with Mr
Thwackum to forgive him too, and not to inform you of a secret which I
feared might be fatal to him. And now, sir, since I have unadvisedly
dropped a hint of this matter, and your commands have obliged me to
discover the whole, let me intercede with you for him.” “O
child!” said Allworthy, “I know not whether I should blame or
applaud your goodness, in concealing such villany a moment: but where is
Mr Thwackum? Not that I want any confirmation of what you say; but I will
examine all the evidence of this matter, to justify to the world the
example I am resolved to make of such a monster.”



Thwackum was now sent for, and presently appeared. He corroborated every
circumstance which the other had deposed; nay, he produced the record upon
his breast, where the handwriting of Mr Jones remained very legible in
black and blue. He concluded with declaring to Mr Allworthy, that he
should have long since informed him of this matter, had not Mr Blifil, by
the most earnest interpositions, prevented him. “He is,” says
he, “an excellent youth: though such forgiveness of enemies is
carrying the matter too far.”



In reality, Blifil had taken some pains to prevail with the parson, and to
prevent the discovery at that time; for which he had many reasons. He knew
that the minds of men are apt to be softened and relaxed from their usual
severity by sickness. Besides, he imagined that if the story was told when
the fact was so recent, and the physician about the house, who might have
unravelled the real truth, he should never be able to give it the
malicious turn which he intended. Again, he resolved to hoard up this
business, till the indiscretion of Jones should afford some additional
complaints; for he thought the joint weight of many facts falling upon him
together, would be the most likely to crush him; and he watched,
therefore, some such opportunity as that with which fortune had now kindly
presented him. Lastly, by prevailing with Thwackum to conceal the matter
for a time, he knew he should confirm an opinion of his friendship to
Jones, which he had greatly laboured to establish in Mr Allworthy.




















Chapter xi. — A short chapter; but which contains sufficient matter
to affect the good-natured reader.



It was Mr Allworthy's custom never to punish any one, not even to turn
away a servant, in a passion. He resolved therefore to delay passing
sentence on Jones till the afternoon.



The poor young man attended at dinner, as usual; but his heart was too
much loaded to suffer him to eat. His grief too was a good deal aggravated
by the unkind looks of Mr Allworthy; whence he concluded that Western had
discovered the whole affair between him and Sophia; but as to Mr Blifil's
story, he had not the least apprehension; for of much the greater part he
was entirely innocent; and for the residue, as he had forgiven and
forgotten it himself, so he suspected no remembrance on the other side.
When dinner was over, and the servants departed, Mr Allworthy began to
harangue. He set forth, in a long speech, the many iniquities of which
Jones had been guilty, particularly those which this day had brought to
light; and concluded by telling him, “That unless he could clear
himself of the charge, he was resolved to banish him his sight for ever.”



Many disadvantages attended poor Jones in making his defence; nay, indeed,
he hardly knew his accusation; for as Mr Allworthy, in recounting the
drunkenness, &c., while he lay ill, out of modesty sunk everything
that related particularly to himself, which indeed principally constituted
the crime; Jones could not deny the charge. His heart was, besides, almost
broken already; and his spirits were so sunk, that he could say nothing
for himself; but acknowledged the whole, and, like a criminal in despair,
threw himself upon mercy; concluding, “That though he must own
himself guilty of many follies and inadvertencies, he hoped he had done
nothing to deserve what would be to him the greatest punishment in the
world.”



Allworthy answered, “That he had forgiven him too often already, in
compassion to his youth, and in hopes of his amendment: that he now found
he was an abandoned reprobate, and such as it would be criminal in any one
to support and encourage. Nay,” said Mr Allworthy to him, “your
audacious attempt to steal away the young lady, calls upon me to justify
my own character in punishing you. The world who have already censured the
regard I have shown for you may think, with some colour at least of
justice, that I connive at so base and barbarous an action—an action
of which you must have known my abhorrence: and which, had you had any
concern for my ease and honour, as well as for my friendship, you would
never have thought of undertaking. Fie upon it, young man! indeed there is
scarce any punishment equal to your crimes, and I can scarce think myself
justifiable in what I am now going to bestow on you. However, as I have
educated you like a child of my own, I will not turn you naked into the
world. When you open this paper, therefore, you will find something which
may enable you, with industry, to get an honest livelihood; but if you
employ it to worse purposes, I shall not think myself obliged to supply
you farther, being resolved, from this day forward, to converse no more
with you on any account. I cannot avoid saying, there is no part of your
conduct which I resent more than your ill-treatment of that good young man
(meaning Blifil) who hath behaved with so much tenderness and honour
towards you.”



These last words were a dose almost too bitter to be swallowed. A flood of
tears now gushed from the eyes of Jones, and every faculty of speech and
motion seemed to have deserted him. It was some time before he was able to
obey Allworthy's peremptory commands of departing; which he at length did,
having first kissed his hands with a passion difficult to be affected, and
as difficult to be described.



The reader must be very weak, if, when he considers the light in which
Jones then appeared to Mr Allworthy, he should blame the rigour of his
sentence. And yet all the neighbourhood, either from this weakness, or
from some worse motive, condemned this justice and severity as the highest
cruelty. Nay, the very persons who had before censured the good man for
the kindness and tenderness shown to a bastard (his own, according to the
general opinion), now cried out as loudly against turning his own child
out of doors. The women especially were unanimous in taking the part of
Jones, and raised more stories on the occasion than I have room, in this
chapter, to set down.



One thing must not be omitted, that, in their censures on this occasion,
none ever mentioned the sum contained in the paper which Allworthy gave
Jones, which was no less than five hundred pounds; but all agreed that he
was sent away penniless, and some said naked, from the house of his
inhuman father.




















Chapter xii. — Containing love-letters, &c.



Jones was commanded to leave the house immediately, and told, that his
clothes and everything else should be sent to him whithersoever he should
order them.



He accordingly set out, and walked above a mile, not regarding, and indeed
scarce knowing, whither he went. At length a little brook obstructing his
passage, he threw himself down by the side of it; nor could he help
muttering with some little indignation, “Sure my father will not
deny me this place to rest in!”



Here he presently fell into the most violent agonies, tearing his hair
from his head, and using most other actions which generally accompany fits
of madness, rage, and despair.



When he had in this manner vented the first emotions of passion, he began
to come a little to himself. His grief now took another turn, and
discharged itself in a gentler way, till he became at last cool enough to
reason with his passion, and to consider what steps were proper to be
taken in his deplorable condition.



And now the great doubt was, how to act with regard to Sophia. The
thoughts of leaving her almost rent his heart asunder; but the
consideration of reducing her to ruin and beggary still racked him, if
possible, more; and if the violent desire of possessing her person could
have induced him to listen one moment to this alternative, still he was by
no means certain of her resolution to indulge his wishes at so high an
expense. The resentment of Mr Allworthy, and the injury he must do to his
quiet, argued strongly against this latter; and lastly, the apparent
impossibility of his success, even if he would sacrifice all these
considerations to it, came to his assistance; and thus honour at last
backed with despair, with gratitude to his benefactor, and with real love
to his mistress, got the better of burning desire, and he resolved rather
to quit Sophia, than pursue her to her ruin.



It is difficult for any who have not felt it, to conceive the glowing
warmth which filled his breast on the first contemplation of this victory
over his passion. Pride flattered him so agreeably, that his mind perhaps
enjoyed perfect happiness; but this was only momentary: Sophia soon
returned to his imagination, and allayed the joy of his triumph with no
less bitter pangs than a good-natured general must feel, when he surveys
the bleeding heaps, at the price of whose blood he hath purchased his
laurels; for thousands of tender ideas lay murdered before our conqueror.



Being resolved, however, to pursue the paths of this giant honour, as the
gigantic poet Lee calls it, he determined to write a farewel letter to
Sophia; and accordingly proceeded to a house not far off, where, being
furnished with proper materials, he wrote as follows:—


  “MADAM,

“When you reflect on the situation in which I write, I am sure your
good-nature will pardon any inconsistency or absurdity which my
letter contains; for everything here flows from a heart so full,
that no language can express its dictates.

“I have resolved, madam, to obey your commands, in flying for ever
from your dear, your lovely sight. Cruel indeed those commands are;
but it is a cruelty which proceeds from fortune, not from my Sophia.
Fortune hath made it necessary, necessary to your preservation, to
forget there ever was such a wretch as I am.

“Believe me, I would not hint all my sufferings to you, if I
imagined they could possibly escape your ears. I know the goodness
and tenderness of your heart, and would avoid giving you any of
those pains which you always feel for the miserable. O let nothing,
which you shall hear of my hard fortune, cause a moment's concern;
for, after the loss of you, everything is to me a trifle.

“O Sophia! it is hard to leave you; it is harder still to desire you
to forget me; yet the sincerest love obliges me to both. Pardon my
conceiving that any remembrance of me can give you disquiet; but if
I am so gloriously wretched, sacrifice me every way to your relief.
Think I never loved you; or think truly how little I deserve you;
and learn to scorn me for a presumption which can never be too
severely punished.—I am unable to say more.—May guardian angels
protect you for ever!”



He was now searching his pockets for his wax, but found none, nor indeed
anything else, therein; for in truth he had, in his frantic disposition,
tossed everything from him, and amongst the rest, his pocket-book, which
he had received from Mr Allworthy, which he had never opened, and which
now first occurred to his memory.



The house supplied him with a wafer for his present purpose, with which,
having sealed his letter, he returned hastily towards the brook side, in
order to search for the things which he had there lost. In his way he met
his old friend Black George, who heartily condoled with him on his
misfortune; for this had already reached his ears, and indeed those of all
the neighbourhood.



Jones acquainted the gamekeeper with his loss, and he as readily went back
with him to the brook, where they searched every tuft of grass in the
meadow, as well where Jones had not been as where he had been; but all to
no purpose, for they found nothing; for, indeed, though the things were
then in the meadow, they omitted to search the only place where they were
deposited; to wit, in the pockets of the said George; for he had just
before found them, and being luckily apprized of their value, had very
carefully put them up for his own use.



The gamekeeper having exerted as much diligence in quest of the lost
goods, as if he had hoped to find them, desired Mr Jones to recollect if
he had been in no other place: “For sure,” said he, “if
you had lost them here so lately, the things must have been here still;
for this is a very unlikely place for any one to pass by.” And
indeed it was by great accident that he himself had passed through that
field, in order to lay wires for hares, with which he was to supply a
poulterer at Bath the next morning.



Jones now gave over all hopes of recovering his loss, and almost all
thoughts concerning it, and turning to Black George, asked him earnestly
if he would do him the greatest favour in the world?



George answered with some hesitation, “Sir, you know you may command
me whatever is in my power, and I heartily wish it was in my power to do
you any service.” In fact, the question staggered him; for he had,
by selling game, amassed a pretty good sum of money in Mr Western's
service, and was afraid that Jones wanted to borrow some small matter of
him; but he was presently relieved from his anxiety, by being desired to
convey a letter to Sophia, which with great pleasure he promised to do.
And indeed I believe there are few favours which he would not have gladly
conferred on Mr Jones; for he bore as much gratitude towards him as he
could, and was as honest as men who love money better than any other thing
in the universe, generally are.



Mrs Honour was agreed by both to be the proper means by which this letter
should pass to Sophia. They then separated; the gamekeeper returned home
to Mr Western's, and Jones walked to an alehouse at half a mile's
distance, to wait for his messenger's return.



George no sooner came home to his master's house than he met with Mrs
Honour; to whom, having first sounded her with a few previous questions,
he delivered the letter for her mistress, and received at the same time
another from her, for Mr Jones; which Honour told him she had carried all
that day in her bosom, and began to despair of finding any means of
delivering it.



The gamekeeper returned hastily and joyfully to Jones, who, having
received Sophia's letter from him, instantly withdrew, and eagerly
breaking it open, read as follows:—


  “SIR,

“It is impossible to express what I have felt since I saw you. Your
submitting, on my account, to such cruel insults from my father,
lays me under an obligation I shall ever own. As you know his
temper, I beg you will, for my sake, avoid him. I wish I had any
comfort to send you; but believe this, that nothing but the last
violence shall ever give my hand or heart where you would be sorry
to see them bestowed.”



Jones read this letter a hundred times over, and kissed it a hundred times
as often. His passion now brought all tender desires back into his mind.
He repented that he had writ to Sophia in the manner we have seen above;
but he repented more that he had made use of the interval of his
messenger's absence to write and dispatch a letter to Mr Allworthy, in
which he had faithfully promised and bound himself to quit all thoughts of
his love. However, when his cool reflections returned, he plainly
perceived that his case was neither mended nor altered by Sophia's billet,
unless to give him some little glimpse of hope, from her constancy, of
some favourable accident hereafter. He therefore resumed his resolution,
and taking leave of Black George, set forward to a town about five miles
distant, whither he had desired Mr Allworthy, unless he pleased to revoke
his sentence, to send his things after him.




















Chapter xiii. — The behaviour of Sophia on the present occasion;
which none of her sex will blame, who are capable of behaving in the same
manner. And the discussion of a knotty point in the court of conscience.



Sophia had passed the last twenty-four hours in no very desirable manner.
During a large part of them she had been entertained by her aunt with
lectures of prudence, recommending to her the example of the polite world,
where love (so the good lady said) is at present entirely laughed at, and
where women consider matrimony, as men do offices of public trust, only as
the means of making their fortunes, and of advancing themselves in the
world. In commenting on which text Mrs Western had displayed her eloquence
during several hours.



These sagacious lectures, though little suited either to the taste or
inclination of Sophia, were, however, less irksome to her than her own
thoughts, that formed the entertainment of the night, during which she
never once closed her eyes.



But though she could neither sleep nor rest in her bed, yet, having no
avocation from it, she was found there by her father at his return from
Allworthy's, which was not till past ten o'clock in the morning. He went
directly up to her apartment, opened the door, and seeing she was not up,
cried, “Oh! you are safe then, and I am resolved to keep you so.”
He then locked the door, and delivered the key to Honour, having first
given her the strictest charge, with great promises of rewards for her
fidelity, and most dreadful menaces of punishment in case she should
betray her trust.



Honour's orders were, not to suffer her mistress to come out of her room
without the authority of the squire himself, and to admit none to her but
him and her aunt; but she was herself to attend her with whatever Sophia
pleased, except only pen, ink, and paper, of which she was forbidden the
use.



The squire ordered his daughter to dress herself and attend him at dinner;
which she obeyed; and having sat the usual time, was again conducted to
her prison.



In the evening the gaoler Honour brought her the letter which she received
from the gamekeeper. Sophia read it very attentively twice or thrice over,
and then threw herself upon the bed, and burst into a flood of tears. Mrs
Honour expressed great astonishment at this behaviour in her mistress; nor
could she forbear very eagerly begging to know the cause of this passion.
Sophia made her no answer for some time, and then, starting suddenly up,
caught her maid by the hand, and cried, “O Honour! I am undone.”
“Marry forbid,” cries Honour: “I wish the letter had
been burnt before I had brought it to your la'ship. I'm sure I thought it
would have comforted your la'ship, or I would have seen it at the devil
before I would have touched it.” “Honour,” says Sophia,
“you are a good girl, and it is vain to attempt concealing longer my
weakness from you; I have thrown away my heart on a man who hath forsaken
me.” “And is Mr Jones,” answered the maid, “such a
perfidy man?” “He hath taken his leave of me,” says
Sophia, “for ever in that letter. Nay, he hath desired me to forget
him. Could he have desired that if he had loved me? Could he have borne
such a thought? Could he have written such a word?” “No,
certainly, ma'am,” cries Honour; “and to be sure, if the best
man in England was to desire me to forget him, I'd take him at his word.
Marry, come up! I am sure your la'ship hath done him too much honour ever
to think on him;—a young lady who may take her choice of all the
young men in the country. And to be sure, if I may be so presumptuous as
to offer my poor opinion, there is young Mr Blifil, who, besides that he
is come of honest parents, and will be one of the greatest squires all
hereabouts, he is to be sure, in my poor opinion, a more handsomer and a
more politer man by half; and besides, he is a young gentleman of a sober
character, and who may defy any of the neighbours to say black is his eye;
he follows no dirty trollops, nor can any bastards be laid at his door.
Forget him, indeed! I thank Heaven I myself am not so much at my last
prayers as to suffer any man to bid me forget him twice. If the best he
that wears a head was for to go for to offer to say such an affronting
word to me, I would never give him my company afterwards, if there was
another young man in the kingdom. And as I was a saying, to be sure, there
is young Mr Blifil.” “Name not his detested name,” cries
Sophia. “Nay, ma'am,” says Honour, “if your la'ship doth
not like him, there be more jolly handsome young men that would court your
la'ship, if they had but the least encouragement. I don't believe there is
arrow young gentleman in this county, or in the next to it, that if your
la'ship was but to look as if you had a mind to him, would not come about
to make his offers directly.” “What a wretch dost thou imagine
me,” cries Sophia, “by affronting my ears with such stuff! I
detest all mankind.” “Nay, to be sure, ma'am,” answered
Honour, “your la'ship hath had enough to give you a surfeit of them.
To be used ill by such a poor, beggarly, bastardly fellow.”—“Hold
your blasphemous tongue,” cries Sophia: “how dare you mention
his name with disrespect before me? He use me ill? No, his poor bleeding
heart suffered more when he writ the cruel words than mine from reading
them. O! he is all heroic virtue and angelic goodness. I am ashamed of the
weakness of my own passion, for blaming what I ought to admire. O, Honour!
it is my good only which he consults. To my interest he sacrifices both
himself and me. The apprehension of ruining me hath driven him to despair.”
“I am very glad,” says Honour, “to hear your la'ship
takes that into your consideration; for to be sure, it must be nothing
less than ruin to give your mind to one that is turned out of doors, and
is not worth a farthing in the world.” “Turned out of doors!”
cries Sophia hastily: “how! what dost thou mean?” “Why,
to be sure, ma'am, my master no sooner told Squire Allworthy about Mr
Jones having offered to make love to your la'ship than the squire stripped
him stark naked, and turned him out of doors!” “Ha!”
says Sophia, “I have been the cursed, wretched cause of his
destruction! Turned naked out of doors! Here, Honour, take all the money I
have; take the rings from my fingers. Here, my watch: carry him all. Go
find him immediately.” “For Heaven's sake, ma'am,”
answered Mrs Honour, “do but consider, if my master should miss any
of these things, I should be made to answer for them. Therefore let me beg
your la'ship not to part with your watch and jewels. Besides, the money, I
think, is enough of all conscience; and as for that, my master can never
know anything of the matter.” “Here, then,” cries
Sophia, “take every farthing I am worth, find him out immediately,
and give it him. Go, go, lose not a moment.”



Mrs Honour departed according to orders, and finding Black George
below-stairs, delivered him the purse, which contained sixteen guineas,
being, indeed, the whole stock of Sophia; for though her father was very
liberal to her, she was much too generous to be rich.



Black George having received the purse, set forward towards the alehouse;
but in the way a thought occurred to him, whether he should not detain
this money likewise. His conscience, however, immediately started at this
suggestion, and began to upbraid him with ingratitude to his benefactor.
To this his avarice answered, That his conscience should have considered
the matter before, when he deprived poor Jones of his £500. That having
quietly acquiesced in what was of so much greater importance, it was
absurd, if not downright hypocrisy, to affect any qualms at this trifle.
In return to which, Conscience, like a good lawyer, attempted to
distinguish between an absolute breach of trust, as here, where the goods
were delivered, and a bare concealment of what was found, as in the former
case. Avarice presently treated this with ridicule, called it a
distinction without a difference, and absolutely insisted that when once
all pretensions of honour and virtue were given up in any one instance,
that there was no precedent for resorting to them upon a second occasion.
In short, poor Conscience had certainly been defeated in the argument, had
not Fear stept in to her assistance, and very strenuously urged that the
real distinction between the two actions, did not lie in the different
degrees of honour but of safety: for that the secreting the £500 was a
matter of very little hazard; whereas the detaining the sixteen guineas
was liable to the utmost danger of discovery.



By this friendly aid of Fear, Conscience obtained a compleat victory in
the mind of Black George, and, after making him a few compliments on his
honesty, forced him to deliver the money to Jones.




















Chapter xiv. — A short chapter, containing a short dialogue between
Squire Western and his sister.



Mrs Western had been engaged abroad all that day. The squire met her at
her return home; and when she enquired after Sophia, he acquainted her
that he had secured her safe enough. “She is locked up in chamber,”
cries he, “and Honour keeps the key.” As his looks were full
of prodigious wisdom and sagacity when he gave his sister this
information, it is probable he expected much applause from her for what he
had done; but how was he disappointed when, with a most disdainful aspect,
she cried, “Sure, brother, you are the weakest of all men. Why will
you not confide in me for the management of my niece? Why will you
interpose? You have now undone all that I have been spending my breath in
order to bring about. While I have been endeavouring to fill her mind with
maxims of prudence, you have been provoking her to reject them. English
women, brother, I thank heaven, are no slaves. We are not to be locked up
like the Spanish and Italian wives. We have as good a right to liberty as
yourselves. We are to be convinced by reason and persuasion only, and not
governed by force. I have seen the world, brother, and know what arguments
to make use of; and if your folly had not prevented me, should have
prevailed with her to form her conduct by those rules of prudence and
discretion which I formerly taught her.” “To be sure,”
said the squire, “I am always in the wrong.” “Brother,”
answered the lady, “you are not in the wrong, unless when you meddle
with matters beyond your knowledge. You must agree that I have seen most
of the world; and happy had it been for my niece if she had not been taken
from under my care. It is by living at home with you that she hath learnt
romantic notions of love and nonsense.” “You don't imagine, I
hope,” cries the squire, “that I have taught her any such
things.” “Your ignorance, brother,” returned she,
“as the great Milton says, almost subdues my patience.”[*]
“D—n Milton!” answered the squire: “if he had the
impudence to say so to my face, I'd lend him a douse, thof he was never so
great a man. Patience! An you come to that, sister, I have more occasion
of patience, to be used like an overgrown schoolboy, as I am by you. Do
you think no one hath any understanding, unless he hath been about at
court. Pox! the world is come to a fine pass indeed, if we are all fools,
except a parcel of round-heads and Hanover rats. Pox! I hope the times are
a coming when we shall make fools of them, and every man shall enjoy his
own. That's all, sister; and every man shall enjoy his own. I hope to zee
it, sister, before the Hanover rats have eat up all our corn, and left us
nothing but turneps to feed upon.”—“I protest, brother,”
cries she, “you are now got beyond my understanding. Your jargon of
turneps and Hanover rats is to me perfectly unintelligible.”—“I
believe,” cries he, “you don't care to hear o'em; but the
country interest may succeed one day or other for all that.”—“I
wish,” answered the lady, “you would think a little of your
daughter's interest; for, believe me, she is in greater danger than the
nation.”—“Just now,” said he, “you chid me
for thinking on her, and would ha' her left to you.”—“And
if you will promise to interpose no more,” answered she, “I
will, out of my regard to my niece, undertake the charge.”—“Well,
do then,” said the squire, “for you know I always agreed, that
women are the properest to manage women.”


  [*] The reader may, perhaps, subdue his own patience, if he searches
for this in Milton.]


Mrs Western then departed, muttering something with an air of disdain,
concerning women and management of the nation. She immediately repaired to
Sophia's apartment, who was now, after a day's confinement, released again
from her captivity.




















BOOK VII. — CONTAINING THREE DAYS.




















Chapter i. — A comparison between the world and the stage.



The world hath been often compared to the theatre; and many grave writers,
as well as the poets, have considered human life as a great drama,
resembling, in almost every particular, those scenical representations
which Thespis is first reported to have invented, and which have been
since received with so much approbation and delight in all polite
countries.



This thought hath been carried so far, and is become so general, that some
words proper to the theatre, and which were at first metaphorically
applied to the world, are now indiscriminately and literally spoken of
both; thus stage and scene are by common use grown as familiar to us, when
we speak of life in general, as when we confine ourselves to dramatic
performances: and when transactions behind the curtain are mentioned, St
James's is more likely to occur to our thoughts than Drury-lane.



It may seem easy enough to account for all this, by reflecting that the
theatrical stage is nothing more than a representation, or, as Aristotle
calls it, an imitation of what really exists; and hence, perhaps, we might
fairly pay a very high compliment to those who by their writings or
actions have been so capable of imitating life, as to have their pictures
in a manner confounded with, or mistaken for, the originals.



But, in reality, we are not so fond of paying compliments to these people,
whom we use as children frequently do the instruments of their amusement;
and have much more pleasure in hissing and buffeting them, than in
admiring their excellence. There are many other reasons which have induced
us to see this analogy between the world and the stage.



Some have considered the larger part of mankind in the light of actors, as
personating characters no more their own, and to which in fact they have
no better title, than the player hath to be in earnest thought the king or
emperor whom he represents. Thus the hypocrite may be said to be a player;
and indeed the Greeks called them both by one and the same name.



The brevity of life hath likewise given occasion to this comparison. So
the immortal Shakespear—


      —Life's a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more.


For which hackneyed quotation I will make the reader amends by a very
noble one, which few, I believe, have read. It is taken from a poem called
the Deity, published about nine years ago, and long since buried in
oblivion; a proof that good books, no more than good men, do always
survive the bad.


      From Thee[*] all human actions take their springs,
The rise of empires and the fall of kings!
See the vast Theatre of Time display'd,
While o'er the scene succeeding heroes tread!
With pomp the shining images succeed,
What leaders triumph, and what monarchs bleed!
Perform the parts thy providence assign'd,
Their pride, their passions, to thy ends inclin'd:
Awhile they glitter in the face of day,
Then at thy nod the phantoms pass away;
No traces left of all the busy scene,
But that remembrance says—The things have been!

[*] The Deity.



In all these, however, and in every other similitude of life to the
theatre, the resemblance hath been always taken from the stage only. None,
as I remember, have at all considered the audience at this great drama.



But as Nature often exhibits some of her best performances to a very full
house, so will the behaviour of her spectators no less admit the
above-mentioned comparison than that of her actors. In this vast theatre
of time are seated the friend and the critic; here are claps and shouts,
hisses and groans; in short, everything which was ever seen or heard at
the Theatre-Royal.



Let us examine this in one example; for instance, in the behaviour of the
great audience on that scene which Nature was pleased to exhibit in the
twelfth chapter of the preceding book, where she introduced Black George
running away with the £500 from his friend and benefactor.



Those who sat in the world's upper gallery treated that incident, I am
well convinced, with their usual vociferation; and every term of
scurrilous reproach was most probably vented on that occasion.



If we had descended to the next order of spectators, we should have found
an equal degree of abhorrence, though less of noise and scurrility; yet
here the good women gave Black George to the devil, and many of them
expected every minute that the cloven-footed gentleman would fetch his
own.



The pit, as usual, was no doubt divided; those who delight in heroic
virtue and perfect character objected to the producing such instances of
villany, without punishing them very severely for the sake of example.
Some of the author's friends cryed, “Look'e, gentlemen, the man is a
villain, but it is nature for all that.” And all the young critics
of the age, the clerks, apprentices, &c., called it low, and fell a
groaning.



As for the boxes, they behaved with their accustomed politeness. Most of
them were attending to something else. Some of those few who regarded the
scene at all, declared he was a bad kind of man; while others refused to
give their opinion, till they had heard that of the best judges.



Now we, who are admitted behind the scenes of this great theatre of Nature
(and no author ought to write anything besides dictionaries and
spelling-books who hath not this privilege), can censure the action,
without conceiving any absolute detestation of the person, whom perhaps
Nature may not have designed to act an ill part in all her dramas; for in
this instance life most exactly resembles the stage, since it is often the
same person who represents the villain and the heroe; and he who engages
your admiration to-day will probably attract your contempt to-morrow. As
Garrick, whom I regard in tragedy to be the greatest genius the world hath
ever produced, sometimes condescends to play the fool; so did Scipio the
Great, and Laelius the Wise, according to Horace, many years ago; nay,
Cicero reports them to have been “incredibly childish.” These,
it is true, played the fool, like my friend Garrick, in jest only; but
several eminent characters have, in numberless instances of their lives,
played the fool egregiously in earnest; so far as to render it a matter of
some doubt whether their wisdom or folly was predominant; or whether they
were better intitled to the applause or censure, the admiration or
contempt, the love or hatred, of mankind.



Those persons, indeed, who have passed any time behind the scenes of this
great theatre, and are thoroughly acquainted not only with the several
disguises which are there put on, but also with the fantastic and
capricious behaviour of the Passions, who are the managers and directors
of this theatre (for as to Reason, the patentee, he is known to be a very
idle fellow and seldom to exert himself), may most probably have learned
to understand the famous nil admirari of Horace, or in the English
phrase, to stare at nothing.



A single bad act no more constitutes a villain in life, than a single bad
part on the stage. The passions, like the managers of a playhouse, often
force men upon parts without consulting their judgment, and sometimes
without any regard to their talents. Thus the man, as well as the player,
may condemn what he himself acts; nay, it is common to see vice sit as
awkwardly on some men, as the character of Iago would on the honest face
of Mr William Mills.



Upon the whole, then, the man of candour and of true understanding is
never hasty to condemn. He can censure an imperfection, or even a vice,
without rage against the guilty party. In a word, they are the same folly,
the same childishness, the same ill-breeding, and the same ill-nature,
which raise all the clamours and uproars both in life and on the stage.
The worst of men generally have the words rogue and villain most in their
mouths, as the lowest of all wretches are the aptest to cry out low in the
pit.




















Chapter ii. — Containing a conversation which Mr Jones had with
himself.



Jones received his effects from Mr Allworthy's early in the morning, with
the following answer to his letter:—


  “SIR,

“I am commanded by my uncle to acquaint you, that as he did not
proceed to those measures he had taken with you, without the
greatest deliberation, and after the fullest evidence of your
unworthiness, so will it be always out of your power to cause the
least alteration in his resolution. He expresses great surprize at
your presumption in saying you have resigned all pretensions to a
young lady, to whom it is impossible you should ever have had any,
her birth and fortune having made her so infinitely your superior.
Lastly, I am commanded to tell you, that the only instance of your
compliance with my uncle's inclinations which he requires, is, your
immediately quitting this country. I cannot conclude this without
offering you my advice, as a Christian, that you would seriously
think of amending your life. That you may be assisted with grace so
to do, will be always the prayer of

“Your humble servant,

“W. BLIFIL.”



Many contending passions were raised in our heroe's mind by this letter;
but the tender prevailed at last over the indignant and irascible, and a
flood of tears came seasonably to his assistance, and possibly prevented
his misfortunes from either turning his head, or bursting his heart.



He grew, however, soon ashamed of indulging this remedy; and starting up,
he cried, “Well, then, I will give Mr Allworthy the only instance he
requires of my obedience. I will go this moment—but whither?—why,
let Fortune direct; since there is no other who thinks it of any
consequence what becomes of this wretched person, it shall be a matter of
equal indifference to myself. Shall I alone regard what no other—Ha!
have I not reason to think there is another?—one whose value is
above that of the whole world!—I may, I must imagine my Sophia is
not indifferent to what becomes of me. Shall I then leave this only friend—and
such a friend? Shall I not stay with her?—Where—how can I stay
with her? Have I any hopes of ever seeing her, though she was as desirous
as myself, without exposing her to the wrath of her father, and to what
purpose? Can I think of soliciting such a creature to consent to her own
ruin? Shall I indulge any passion of mine at such a price? Shall I lurk
about this country like a thief, with such intentions?—No, I
disdain, I detest the thought. Farewel, Sophia; farewel, most lovely, most
beloved—” Here passion stopped his mouth, and found a vent at
his eyes.



And now having taken a resolution to leave the country, he began to debate
with himself whither he should go. The world, as Milton phrases it, lay
all before him; and Jones, no more than Adam, had any man to whom he might
resort for comfort or assistance. All his acquaintance were the
acquaintance of Mr Allworthy; and he had no reason to expect any
countenance from them, as that gentleman had withdrawn his favour from
him. Men of great and good characters should indeed be very cautious how
they discard their dependents; for the consequence to the unhappy sufferer
is being discarded by all others.



What course of life to pursue, or to what business to apply himself, was a
second consideration: and here the prospect was all a melancholy void.
Every profession, and every trade, required length of time, and what was
worse, money; for matters are so constituted, that “nothing out of
nothing” is not a truer maxim in physics than in politics; and every
man who is greatly destitute of money, is on that account entirely
excluded from all means of acquiring it.



At last the Ocean, that hospitable friend to the wretched, opened her
capacious arms to receive him; and he instantly resolved to accept her
kind invitation. To express myself less figuratively, he determined to go
to sea.



This thought indeed no sooner suggested itself, than he eagerly embraced
it; and having presently hired horses, he set out for Bristol to put it in
execution.



But before we attend him on this expedition, we shall resort awhile to Mr
Western's, and see what further happened to the charming Sophia.




















Chapter iii. — Containing several dialogues.



The morning in which Mr Jones departed, Mrs Western summoned Sophia into
her apartment; and having first acquainted her that she had obtained her
liberty of her father, she proceeded to read her a long lecture on the
subject of matrimony; which she treated not as a romantic scheme of
happiness arising from love, as it hath been described by the poets; nor
did she mention any of those purposes for which we are taught by divines
to regard it as instituted by sacred authority; she considered it rather
as a fund in which prudent women deposit their fortunes to the best
advantage, in order to receive a larger interest for them than they could
have elsewhere.



When Mrs Western had finished, Sophia answered, “That she was very
incapable of arguing with a lady of her aunt's superior knowledge and
experience, especially on a subject which she had so very little
considered, as this of matrimony.”



“Argue with me, child!” replied the other; “I do not
indeed expect it. I should have seen the world to very little purpose
truly, if I am to argue with one of your years. I have taken this trouble,
in order to instruct you. The antient philosophers, such as Socrates,
Alcibiades, and others, did not use to argue with their scholars. You are
to consider me, child, as Socrates, not asking your opinion, but only
informing you of mine.” From which last words the reader may
possibly imagine, that this lady had read no more of the philosophy of
Socrates, than she had of that of Alcibiades; and indeed we cannot resolve
his curiosity as to this point.



“Madam,” cries Sophia, “I have never presumed to
controvert any opinion of yours; and this subject, as I said, I have never
yet thought of, and perhaps never may.”



“Indeed, Sophy,” replied the aunt, “this dissimulation
with me is very foolish. The French shall as soon persuade me that they
take foreign towns in defence only of their own country, as you can impose
on me to believe you have never yet thought seriously of matrimony. How
can you, child, affect to deny that you have considered of contracting an
alliance, when you so well know I am acquainted with the party with whom
you desire to contract it?—an alliance as unnatural, and contrary to
your interest, as a separate league with the French would be to the
interest of the Dutch! But however, if you have not hitherto considered of
this matter, I promise you it is now high time, for my brother is resolved
immediately to conclude the treaty with Mr Blifil; and indeed I am a sort
of guarantee in the affair, and have promised your concurrence.”



“Indeed, madam,” cries Sophia, “this is the only
instance in which I must disobey both yourself and my father. For this is
a match which requires very little consideration in me to refuse.”



“If I was not as great a philosopher as Socrates himself,”
returned Mrs Western, “you would overcome my patience. What
objection can you have to the young gentleman?”



“A very solid objection, in my opinion,” says Sophia—“I
hate him.”



“Will you never learn a proper use of words?” answered the
aunt. “Indeed, child, you should consult Bailey's Dictionary. It is
impossible you should hate a man from whom you have received no injury. By
hatred, therefore, you mean no more than dislike, which is no sufficient
objection against your marrying of him. I have known many couples, who
have entirely disliked each other, lead very comfortable genteel lives.
Believe me, child, I know these things better than you. You will allow me,
I think, to have seen the world, in which I have not an acquaintance who
would not rather be thought to dislike her husband than to like him. The
contrary is such out-of-fashion romantic nonsense, that the very
imagination of it is shocking.”



“Indeed, madam,” replied Sophia, “I shall never marry a
man I dislike. If I promise my father never to consent to any marriage
contrary to his inclinations, I think I may hope he will never force me
into that state contrary to my own.”



“Inclinations!” cries the aunt, with some warmth. “Inclinations!
I am astonished at your assurance. A young woman of your age, and
unmarried, to talk of inclinations! But whatever your inclinations may be,
my brother is resolved; nay, since you talk of inclinations, I shall
advise him to hasten the treaty. Inclinations!”



Sophia then flung herself upon her knees, and tears began to trickle from
her shining eyes. She entreated her aunt, “to have mercy upon her,
and not to resent so cruelly her unwillingness to make herself miserable;”
often urging, “that she alone was concerned, and that her happiness
only was at stake.”



As a bailiff, when well authorized by his writ, having possessed himself
of the person of some unhappy debtor, views all his tears without concern;
in vain the wretched captive attempts to raise compassion; in vain the
tender wife bereft of her companion, the little prattling boy, or frighted
girl, are mentioned as inducements to reluctance. The noble bumtrap, blind
and deaf to every circumstance of distress, greatly rises above all the
motives to humanity, and into the hands of the gaoler resolves to deliver
his miserable prey.



Not less blind to the tears, or less deaf to every entreaty of Sophia was
the politic aunt, nor less determined was she to deliver over the
trembling maid into the arms of the gaoler Blifil. She answered with great
impetuosity, “So far, madam, from your being concerned alone, your
concern is the least, or surely the least important. It is the honour of
your family which is concerned in this alliance; you are only the
instrument. Do you conceive, mistress, that in an intermarriage between
kingdoms, as when a daughter of France is married into Spain, the princess
herself is alone considered in the match? No! it is a match between two
kingdoms, rather than between two persons. The same happens in great
families such as ours. The alliance between the families is the principal
matter. You ought to have a greater regard for the honour of your family
than for your own person; and if the example of a princess cannot inspire
you with these noble thoughts, you cannot surely complain at being used no
worse than all princesses are used.”



“I hope, madam,” cries Sophia, with a little elevation of
voice, “I shall never do anything to dishonour my family; but as for
Mr Blifil, whatever may be the consequence, I am resolved against him, and
no force shall prevail in his favour.”



Western, who had been within hearing during the greater part of the
preceding dialogue, had now exhausted all his patience; he therefore
entered the room in a violent passion, crying, “D—n me then if
shatunt ha'un, d—n me if shatunt, that's all—that's all; d—n
me if shatunt.”



Mrs Western had collected a sufficient quantity of wrath for the use of
Sophia; but she now transferred it all to the squire. “Brother,”
said she, “it is astonishing that you will interfere in a matter
which you had totally left to my negotiation. Regard to my family hath
made me take upon myself to be the mediating power, in order to rectify
those mistakes in policy which you have committed in your daughter's
education. For, brother, it is you—it is your preposterous conduct
which hath eradicated all the seeds that I had formerly sown in her tender
mind. It is you yourself who have taught her disobedience.”—“Blood!”
cries the squire, foaming at the mouth, “you are enough to conquer
the patience of the devil! Have I ever taught my daughter disobedience?—Here
she stands; speak honestly, girl, did ever I bid you be disobedient to me?
Have not I done everything to humour and to gratify you, and to make you
obedient to me? And very obedient to me she was when a little child,
before you took her in hand and spoiled her, by filling her head with a
pack of court notions. Why—why—why—did I not overhear
you telling her she must behave like a princess? You have made a Whig of
the girl; and how should her father, or anybody else, expect any obedience
from her?”—“Brother,” answered Mrs Western, with
an air of great disdain, “I cannot express the contempt I have for
your politics of all kinds; but I will appeal likewise to the young lady
herself, whether I have ever taught her any principles of disobedience. On
the contrary, niece, have I not endeavoured to inspire you with a true
idea of the several relations in which a human creature stands in society?
Have I not taken infinite pains to show you, that the law of nature hath
enjoined a duty on children to their parents? Have I not told you what
Plato says on that subject?—a subject on which you was so
notoriously ignorant when you came first under my care, that I verily
believe you did not know the relation between a daughter and a father.”—“'Tis
a lie,” answered Western. “The girl is no such fool, as to
live to eleven years old without knowing that she was her father's
relation.”—“O! more than Gothic ignorance,”
answered the lady. “And as for your manners, brother, I must tell
you, they deserve a cane.”—“Why then you may gi' it me,
if you think you are able,” cries the squire; “nay, I suppose
your niece there will be ready enough to help you.”—“Brother,”
said Mrs Western, “though I despise you beyond expression, yet I
shall endure your insolence no longer; so I desire my coach may be got
ready immediately, for I am resolved to leave your house this very
morning.”—“And a good riddance too,” answered he;
“I can bear your insolence no longer, an you come to that. Blood! it
is almost enough of itself to make my daughter undervalue my sense, when
she hears you telling me every minute you despise me.”—“It
is impossible, it is impossible,” cries the aunt; “no one can
undervalue such a boor.”—“Boar,” answered the
squire, “I am no boar; no, nor ass; no, nor rat neither, madam.
Remember that—I am no rat. I am a true Englishman, and not of your
Hanover breed, that have eat up the nation.”—“Thou art
one of those wise men,” cries she, “whose nonsensical
principles have undone the nation; by weakening the hands of our
government at home, and by discouraging our friends and encouraging our
enemies abroad.”—“Ho! are you come back to your
politics?” cries the squire: “as for those I despise them as
much as I do a f—t.” Which last words he accompanied and
graced with the very action, which, of all others, was the most proper to
it. And whether it was this word or the contempt exprest for her politics,
which most affected Mrs Western, I will not determine; but she flew into
the most violent rage, uttered phrases improper to be here related, and
instantly burst out of the house. Nor did her brother or her niece think
proper either to stop or to follow her; for the one was so much possessed
by concern, and the other by anger, that they were rendered almost
motionless.



The squire, however, sent after his sister the same holloa which attends
the departure of a hare, when she is first started before the hounds. He
was indeed a great master of this kind of vociferation, and had a holla
proper for most occasions in life.



Women who, like Mrs Western, know the world, and have applied themselves
to philosophy and politics, would have immediately availed themselves of
the present disposition of Mr Western's mind, by throwing in a few artful
compliments to his understanding at the expense of his absent adversary;
but poor Sophia was all simplicity. By which word we do not intend to
insinuate to the reader, that she was silly, which is generally understood
as a synonymous term with simple; for she was indeed a most sensible girl,
and her understanding was of the first rate; but she wanted all that
useful art which females convert to so many good purposes in life, and
which, as it rather arises from the heart than from the head, is often the
property of the silliest of women.




















Chapter iv. — A picture of a country gentlewoman taken from the
life.



Mr Western having finished his holla, and taken a little breath, began to
lament, in very pathetic terms, the unfortunate condition of men, who are,
says he, “always whipt in by the humours of some d—n'd b—
or other. I think I was hard run enough by your mother for one man; but
after giving her a dodge, here's another b— follows me upon the
foil; but curse my jacket if I will be run down in this manner by any
o'um.”



Sophia never had a single dispute with her father, till this unlucky
affair of Blifil, on any account, except in defence of her mother, whom
she had loved most tenderly, though she lost her in the eleventh year of
her age. The squire, to whom that poor woman had been a faithful
upper-servant all the time of their marriage, had returned that behaviour
by making what the world calls a good husband. He very seldom swore at her
(perhaps not above once a week) and never beat her; she had not the least
occasion for jealousy, and was perfect mistress of her time; for she was
never interrupted by her husband, who was engaged all the morning in his
field exercises, and all the evening with bottle companions. She scarce
indeed ever saw him but at meals; where she had the pleasure of carving
those dishes which she had before attended at the dressing. From these
meals she retired about five minutes after the other servants, having only
stayed to drink “the king over the water.” Such were, it
seems, Mr Western's orders; for it was a maxim with him, that women should
come in with the first dish, and go out after the first glass. Obedience
to these orders was perhaps no difficult task; for the conversation (if it
may be called so) was seldom such as could entertain a lady. It consisted
chiefly of hallowing, singing, relations of sporting adventures, b—d—y,
and abuse of women, and of the government.



These, however, were the only seasons when Mr Western saw his wife; for
when he repaired to her bed, he was generally so drunk that he could not
see; and in the sporting season he always rose from her before it was
light. Thus was she perfect mistress of her time, and had besides a coach
and four usually at her command; though unhappily, indeed, the badness of
the neighbourhood, and of the roads, made this of little use; for none who
had set much value on their necks would have passed through the one, or
who had set any value on their hours, would have visited the other. Now to
deal honestly with the reader, she did not make all the return expected to
so much indulgence; for she had been married against her will by a fond
father, the match having been rather advantageous on her side; for the
squire's estate was upward of £3000 a year, and her fortune no more than a
bare £8000. Hence perhaps she had contracted a little gloominess of
temper, for she was rather a good servant than a good wife; nor had she
always the gratitude to return the extraordinary degree of roaring mirth,
with which the squire received her, even with a good-humoured smile. She
would, moreover, sometimes interfere with matters which did not concern
her, as the violent drinking of her husband, which in the gentlest terms
she would take some of the few opportunities he gave her of remonstrating
against. And once in her life she very earnestly entreated him to carry
her for two months to London, which he peremptorily denied; nay, was angry
with his wife for the request ever after, being well assured that all the
husbands in London are cuckolds.



For this last, and many other good reasons, Western at length heartily
hated his wife; and as he never concealed this hatred before her death, so
he never forgot it afterwards; but when anything in the least soured him,
as a bad scenting day, or a distemper among his hounds, or any other such
misfortune, he constantly vented his spleen by invectives against the
deceased, saying, “If my wife was alive now, she would be glad of
this.”



These invectives he was especially desirous of throwing forth before
Sophia; for as he loved her more than he did any other, so he was really
jealous that she had loved her mother better than him. And this jealousy
Sophia seldom failed of heightening on these occasions; for he was not
contented with violating her ears with the abuse of her mother, but
endeavoured to force an explicit approbation of all this abuse; with which
desire he never could prevail upon her by any promise or threats to
comply.



Hence some of my readers will, perhaps, wonder that the squire had not
hated Sophia as much as he had hated her mother; but I must inform them,
that hatred is not the effect of love, even through the medium of
jealousy. It is, indeed, very possible for jealous persons to kill the
objects of their jealousy, but not to hate them. Which sentiment being a
pretty hard morsel, and bearing something of the air of a paradox, we
shall leave the reader to chew the cud upon it to the end of the chapter.




















Chapter v. — The generous behaviour of Sophia towards her aunt.



Sophia kept silence during the foregoing speech of her father, nor did she
once answer otherwise than with a sigh; but as he understood none of the
language, or, as he called it, lingo of the eyes, so he was not satisfied
without some further approbation of his sentiments, which he now demanded
of his daughter; telling her, in the usual way, “he expected she was
ready to take the part of everybody against him, as she had always done
that of the b— her mother.” Sophia remaining still silent, he
cryed out, “What, art dumb? why dost unt speak? Was not thy mother a
d—d b— to me? answer me that. What, I suppose you despise your
father too, and don't think him good enough to speak to?”



“For Heaven's sake, sir,” answered Sophia, “do not give
so cruel a turn to my silence. I am sure I would sooner die than be guilty
of any disrespect towards you; but how can I venture to speak, when every
word must either offend my dear papa, or convict me of the blackest
ingratitude as well as impiety to the memory of the best of mothers; for
such, I am certain, my mamma was always to me?”



“And your aunt, I suppose, is the best of sisters too!”
replied the squire. “Will you be so kind as to allow that she is a b—?
I may fairly insist upon that, I think?”



“Indeed, sir,” says Sophia, “I have great obligations to
my aunt. She hath been a second mother to me.”



“And a second wife to me too,” returned Western; “so you
will take her part too! You won't confess that she hath acted the part of
the vilest sister in the world?”



“Upon my word, sir,” cries Sophia, “I must belie my
heart wickedly if I did. I know my aunt and you differ very much in your
ways of thinking; but I have heard her a thousand times express the
greatest affection for you; and I am convinced, so far from her being the
worst sister in the world, there are very few who love a brother better.”



“The English of all which is,” answered the squire, “that
I am in the wrong. Ay, certainly. Ay, to be sure the woman is in the
right, and the man in the wrong always.”



“Pardon me, sir,” cries Sophia. “I do not say so.”



“What don't you say?” answered the father: “you have the
impudence to say she's in the right: doth it not follow then of course
that I am in the wrong? And perhaps I am in the wrong to suffer such a
Presbyterian Hanoverian b— to come into my house. She may 'dite me
of a plot for anything I know, and give my estate to the government.”



“So far, sir, from injuring you or your estate,” says Sophia,
“if my aunt had died yesterday, I am convinced she would have left
you her whole fortune.”



Whether Sophia intended it or no, I shall not presume to assert; but
certain it is, these last words penetrated very deep into the ears of her
father, and produced a much more sensible effect than all she had said
before. He received the sound with much the same action as a man receives
a bullet in his head. He started, staggered, and turned pale. After which
he remained silent above a minute, and then began in the following
hesitating manner: “Yesterday! she would have left me her esteate
yesterday! would she? Why yesterday, of all the days in the year? I
suppose if she dies to-morrow, she will leave it to somebody else, and
perhaps out of the vamily.”—“My aunt, sir,” cries
Sophia, “hath very violent passions, and I can't answer what she may
do under their influence.”



“You can't!” returned the father: “and pray who hath
been the occasion of putting her into those violent passions? Nay, who
hath actually put her into them? Was not you and she hard at it before I
came into the room? Besides, was not all our quarrel about you? I have not
quarrelled with sister this many years but upon your account; and now you
would throw the whole blame upon me, as thof I should be the occasion of
her leaving the esteate out o' the vamily. I could have expected no better
indeed; this is like the return you make to all the rest of my fondness.”



“I beseech you then,” cries Sophia, “upon my knees I
beseech you, if I have been the unhappy occasion of this difference, that
you will endeavour to make it up with my aunt, and not suffer her to leave
your house in this violent rage of anger: she is a very good-natured
woman, and a few civil words will satisfy her. Let me entreat you, sir.”



“So I must go and ask pardon for your fault, must I?” answered
Western. “You have lost the hare, and I must draw every way to find
her again? Indeed, if I was certain”—Here he stopt, and Sophia
throwing in more entreaties, at length prevailed upon him; so that after
venting two or three bitter sarcastical expressions against his daughter,
he departed as fast as he could to recover his sister, before her equipage
could be gotten ready.



Sophia then returned to her chamber of mourning, where she indulged
herself (if the phrase may be allowed me) in all the luxury of tender
grief. She read over more than once the letter which she had received from
Jones; her muff too was used on this occasion; and she bathed both these,
as well as herself, with her tears. In this situation the friendly Mrs
Honour exerted her utmost abilities to comfort her afflicted mistress. She
ran over the names of many young gentlemen: and having greatly commended
their parts and persons, assured Sophia that she might take her choice of
any. These methods must have certainly been used with some success in
disorders of the like kind, or so skilful a practitioner as Mrs Honour
would never have ventured to apply them; nay, I have heard that the
college of chambermaids hold them to be as sovereign remedies as any in
the female dispensary; but whether it was that Sophia's disease differed
inwardly from those cases with which it agreed in external symptoms, I
will not assert; but, in fact, the good waiting-woman did more harm than
good, and at last so incensed her mistress (which was no easy matter) that
with an angry voice she dismissed her from her presence.




















Chapter vi. — Containing great variety of matter.



The squire overtook his sister just as she was stepping into the coach,
and partly by force, and partly by solicitations, prevailed upon her to
order her horses back into their quarters. He succeeded in this attempt
without much difficulty; for the lady was, as we have already hinted, of a
most placable disposition, and greatly loved her brother, though she
despised his parts, or rather his little knowledge of the world.



Poor Sophia, who had first set on foot this reconciliation, was now made
the sacrifice to it. They both concurred in their censures on her conduct;
jointly declared war against her, and directly proceeded to counsel, how
to carry it on in the most vigorous manner. For this purpose, Mrs Western
proposed not only an immediate conclusion of the treaty with Allworthy,
but as immediately to carry it into execution; saying, “That there
was no other way to succeed with her niece, but by violent methods, which
she was convinced Sophia had not sufficient resolution to resist. By
violent,” says she, “I mean rather, hasty measures; for as to
confinement or absolute force, no such things must or can be attempted.
Our plan must be concerted for a surprize, and not for a storm.”



These matters were resolved on, when Mr Blifil came to pay a visit to his
mistress. The squire no sooner heard of his arrival, than he stept aside,
by his sister's advice, to give his daughter orders for the proper
reception of her lover: which he did with the most bitter execrations and
denunciations of judgment on her refusal.



The impetuosity of the squire bore down all before him; and Sophia, as her
aunt very wisely foresaw, was not able to resist him. She agreed,
therefore, to see Blifil, though she had scarce spirits or strength
sufficient to utter her assent. Indeed, to give a peremptory denial to a
father whom she so tenderly loved, was no easy task. Had this circumstance
been out of the case, much less resolution than what she was really
mistress of, would, perhaps, have served her; but it is no unusual thing
to ascribe those actions entirely to fear, which are in a great measure
produced by love.



In pursuance, therefore, of her father's peremptory command, Sophia now
admitted Mr Blifil's visit. Scenes like this, when painted at large,
afford, as we have observed, very little entertainment to the reader.
Here, therefore, we shall strictly adhere to a rule of Horace; by which
writers are directed to pass over all those matters which they despair of
placing in a shining light;—a rule, we conceive, of excellent use as
well to the historian as to the poet; and which, if followed, must at
least have this good effect, that many a great evil (for so all great
books are called) would thus be reduced to a small one.



It is possible the great art used by Blifil at this interview would have
prevailed on Sophia to have made another man in his circumstances her
confident, and to have revealed the whole secret of her heart to him; but
she had contracted so ill an opinion of this young gentleman, that she was
resolved to place no confidence in him; for simplicity, when set on its
guard, is often a match for cunning. Her behaviour to him, therefore, was
entirely forced, and indeed such as is generally prescribed to virgins
upon the second formal visit from one who is appointed for their husband.



But though Blifil declared himself to the squire perfectly satisfied with
his reception; yet that gentleman, who, in company with his sister, had
overheard all, was not so well pleased. He resolved, in pursuance of the
advice of the sage lady, to push matters as forward as possible; and
addressing himself to his intended son-in-law in the hunting phrase, he
cried, after a loud holla, “Follow her, boy, follow her; run in, run
in; that's it, honeys. Dead, dead, dead. Never be bashful, nor stand shall
I, shall I? Allworthy and I can finish all matters between us this
afternoon, and let us ha' the wedding to-morrow.”



Blifil having conveyed the utmost satisfaction into his countenance,
answered, “As there is nothing, sir, in this world which I so
eagerly desire as an alliance with your family, except my union with the
most amiable and deserving Sophia, you may easily imagine how impatient I
must be to see myself in possession of my two highest wishes. If I have
not therefore importuned you on this head, you will impute it only to my
fear of offending the lady, by endeavouring to hurry on so blessed an
event faster than a strict compliance with all the rules of decency and
decorum will permit. But if, by your interest, sir, she might be induced
to dispense with any formalities—”



“Formalities! with a pox!” answered the squire. “Pooh,
all stuff and nonsense! I tell thee, she shall ha' thee to-morrow: you
will know the world better hereafter, when you come to my age. Women never
gi' their consent, man, if they can help it, 'tis not the fashion. If I
had stayed for her mother's consent, I might have been a batchelor to this
day.—To her, to her, co to her, that's it, you jolly dog. I tell
thee shat ha' her to-morrow morning.”



Blifil suffered himself to be overpowered by the forcible rhetoric of the
squire; and it being agreed that Western should close with Allworthy that
very afternoon, the lover departed home, having first earnestly begged
that no violence might be offered to the lady by this haste, in the same
manner as a popish inquisitor begs the lay power to do no violence to the
heretic delivered over to it, and against whom the church hath passed
sentence.



And, to say the truth, Blifil had passed sentence against Sophia; for,
however pleased he had declared himself to Western with his reception, he
was by no means satisfied, unless it was that he was convinced of the
hatred and scorn of his mistress: and this had produced no less reciprocal
hatred and scorn in him. It may, perhaps, be asked, Why then did he not
put an immediate end to all further courtship? I answer, for that very
reason, as well as for several others equally good, which we shall now
proceed to open to the reader.



Though Mr Blifil was not of the complexion of Jones, nor ready to eat
every woman he saw; yet he was far from being destitute of that appetite
which is said to be the common property of all animals. With this, he had
likewise that distinguishing taste, which serves to direct men in their
choice of the object or food of their several appetites; and this taught
him to consider Sophia as a most delicious morsel, indeed to regard her
with the same desires which an ortolan inspires into the soul of an
epicure. Now the agonies which affected the mind of Sophia, rather
augmented than impaired her beauty; for her tears added brightness to her
eyes, and her breasts rose higher with her sighs. Indeed, no one hath seen
beauty in its highest lustre who hath never seen it in distress. Blifil
therefore looked on this human ortolan with greater desire than when he
viewed her last; nor was his desire at all lessened by the aversion which
he discovered in her to himself. On the contrary, this served rather to
heighten the pleasure he proposed in rifling her charms, as it added
triumph to lust; nay, he had some further views, from obtaining the
absolute possession of her person, which we detest too much even to
mention; and revenge itself was not without its share in the
gratifications which he promised himself. The rivalling poor Jones, and
supplanting him in her affections, added another spur to his pursuit, and
promised another additional rapture to his enjoyment.



Besides all these views, which to some scrupulous persons may seem to
savour too much of malevolence, he had one prospect, which few readers
will regard with any great abhorrence. And this was the estate of Mr
Western; which was all to be settled on his daughter and her issue; for so
extravagant was the affection of that fond parent, that, provided his
child would but consent to be miserable with the husband he chose, he
cared not at what price he purchased him.



For these reasons Mr Blifil was so desirous of the match that he intended
to deceive Sophia, by pretending love to her; and to deceive her father
and his own uncle, by pretending he was beloved by her. In doing this he
availed himself of the piety of Thwackum, who held, that if the end
proposed was religious (as surely matrimony is), it mattered not how
wicked were the means. As to other occasions, he used to apply the
philosophy of Square, which taught, that the end was immaterial, so that
the means were fair and consistent with moral rectitude. To say truth,
there were few occurrences in life on which he could not draw advantage
from the precepts of one or other of those great masters.



Little deceit was indeed necessary to be practised on Mr Western; who
thought the inclinations of his daughter of as little consequence as
Blifil himself conceived them to be; but as the sentiments of Mr Allworthy
were of a very different kind, so it was absolutely necessary to impose on
him. In this, however, Blifil was so well assisted by Western, that he
succeeded without difficulty; for as Mr Allworthy had been assured by her
father that Sophia had a proper affection for Blifil, and that all which
he had suspected concerning Jones was entirely false, Blifil had nothing
more to do than to confirm these assertions; which he did with such
equivocations, that he preserved a salvo for his conscience; and had the
satisfaction of conveying a lie to his uncle, without the guilt of telling
one. When he was examined touching the inclinations of Sophia by
Allworthy, who said, “He would on no account be accessary to forcing
a young lady into a marriage contrary to her own will;” he answered,
“That the real sentiments of young ladies were very difficult to be
understood; that her behaviour to him was full as forward as he wished it,
and that if he could believe her father, she had all the affection for him
which any lover could desire. As for Jones,” said he, “whom I
am loth to call villain, though his behaviour to you, sir, sufficiently
justifies the appellation, his own vanity, or perhaps some wicked views,
might make him boast of a falsehood; for if there had been any reality in
Miss Western's love to him, the greatness of her fortune would never have
suffered him to desert her, as you are well informed he hath. Lastly, sir,
I promise you I would not myself, for any consideration, no, not for the
whole world, consent to marry this young lady, if I was not persuaded she
had all the passion for me which I desire she should have.”



This excellent method of conveying a falsehood with the heart only,
without making the tongue guilty of an untruth, by the means of
equivocation and imposture, hath quieted the conscience of many a notable
deceiver; and yet, when we consider that it is Omniscience on which these
endeavour to impose, it may possibly seem capable of affording only a very
superficial comfort; and that this artful and refined distinction between
communicating a lie, and telling one, is hardly worth the pains it costs
them.



Allworthy was pretty well satisfied with what Mr Western and Mr Blifil
told him: and the treaty was now, at the end of two days, concluded.
Nothing then remained previous to the office of the priest, but the office
of the lawyers, which threatened to take up so much time, that Western
offered to bind himself by all manner of covenants, rather than defer the
happiness of the young couple. Indeed, he was so very earnest and
pressing, that an indifferent person might have concluded he was more a
principal in this match than he really was; but this eagerness was natural
to him on all occasions: and he conducted every scheme he undertook in
such a manner, as if the success of that alone was sufficient to
constitute the whole happiness of his life.



The joint importunities of both father and son-in-law would probably have
prevailed on Mr Allworthy, who brooked but ill any delay of giving
happiness to others, had not Sophia herself prevented it, and taken
measures to put a final end to the whole treaty, and to rob both church
and law of those taxes which these wise bodies have thought proper to
receive from the propagation of the human species in a lawful manner. Of
which in the next chapter.




















Chapter vii. — A strange resolution of Sophia, and a more strange
stratagem of Mrs Honour.



Though Mrs Honour was principally attached to her own interest, she was
not without some little attachment to Sophia. To say truth, it was very
difficult for any one to know that young lady without loving her. She no
sooner therefore heard a piece of news, which she imagined to be of great
importance to her mistress, than, quite forgetting the anger which she had
conceived two days before, at her unpleasant dismission from Sophia's
presence, she ran hastily to inform her of the news.



The beginning of her discourse was as abrupt as her entrance into the
room. “O dear ma'am!” says she, “what doth your la'ship
think? To be sure I am frightened out of my wits; and yet I thought it my
duty to tell your la'ship, though perhaps it may make you angry, for we
servants don't always know what will make our ladies angry; for, to be
sure, everything is always laid to the charge of a servant. When our
ladies are out of humour, to be sure we must be scolded; and to be sure I
should not wonder if your la'ship should be out of humour; nay, it must
surprize you certainly, ay, and shock you too.”—“Good
Honour, let me know it without any longer preface,” says Sophia;
“there are few things, I promise you, which will surprize, and fewer
which will shock me.”—“Dear ma'am,” answered
Honour, “to be sure, I overheard my master talking to parson Supple
about getting a licence this very afternoon; and to be sure I heard him
say, your la'ship should be married to-morrow morning.” Sophia
turned pale at these words, and repeated eagerly, “To-morrow
morning!”—“Yes, ma'am,” replied the trusty
waiting-woman, “I will take my oath I heard my master say so.”—“Honour,”
says Sophia, “you have both surprized and shocked me to such a
degree that I have scarce any breath or spirits left. What is to be done
in my dreadful situation?”—“I wish I was able to advise
your la'ship,” says she. “Do advise me,” cries Sophia;
“pray, dear Honour, advise me. Think what you would attempt if it
was your own case.”—“Indeed, ma'am,” cries Honour,
“I wish your la'ship and I could change situations; that is, I mean
without hurting your la'ship; for to be sure I don't wish you so bad as to
be a servant; but because that if so be it was my case, I should find no
manner of difficulty in it; for, in my poor opinion, young Squire Blifil
is a charming, sweet, handsome man.”—“Don't mention such
stuff,” cries Sophia. “Such stuff!” repeated Honour;
“why, there. Well, to be sure, what's one man's meat is another
man's poison, and the same is altogether as true of women.”—“Honour,”
says Sophia, “rather than submit to be the wife of that contemptible
wretch, I would plunge a dagger into my heart.”—“O lud!
ma'am!” answered the other, “I am sure you frighten me out of
my wits now. Let me beseech your la'ship not to suffer such wicked
thoughts to come into your head. O lud! to be sure I tremble every inch of
me. Dear ma'am, consider, that to be denied Christian burial, and to have
your corpse buried in the highway, and a stake drove through you, as
farmer Halfpenny was served at Ox Cross; and, to be sure, his ghost hath
walked there ever since, for several people have seen him. To be sure it
can be nothing but the devil which can put such wicked thoughts into the
head of anybody; for certainly it is less wicked to hurt all the world
than one's own dear self; and so I have heard said by more parsons than
one. If your la'ship hath such a violent aversion, and hates the young
gentleman so very bad, that you can't bear to think of going into bed to
him; for to be sure there may be such antipathies in nature, and one had
lieverer touch a toad than the flesh of some people.”—



Sophia had been too much wrapt in contemplation to pay any great attention
to the foregoing excellent discourse of her maid; interrupting her
therefore, without making any answer to it, she said, “Honour, I am
come to a resolution. I am determined to leave my father's house this very
night; and if you have the friendship for me which you have often
professed, you will keep me company.”—“That I will,
ma'am, to the world's end,” answered Honour; “but I beg your
la'ship to consider the consequence before you undertake any rash action.
Where can your la'ship possibly go?”—“There is,”
replied Sophia, “a lady of quality in London, a relation of mine,
who spent several months with my aunt in the country; during all which
time she treated me with great kindness, and expressed so much pleasure in
my company, that she earnestly desired my aunt to suffer me to go with her
to London. As she is a woman of very great note, I shall easily find her
out, and I make no doubt of being very well and kindly received by her.”—“I
would not have your la'ship too confident of that,” cries Honour;
“for the first lady I lived with used to invite people very
earnestly to her house; but if she heard afterwards they were coming, she
used to get out of the way. Besides, though this lady would be very glad
to see your la'ship, as to be sure anybody would be glad to see your
la'ship, yet when she hears your la'ship is run away from my master—”
“You are mistaken, Honour,” says Sophia: “she looks upon
the authority of a father in a much lower light than I do; for she pressed
me violently to go to London with her, and when I refused to go without my
father's consent, she laughed me to scorn, called me silly country girl,
and said, I should make a pure loving wife, since I could be so dutiful a
daughter. So I have no doubt but she will both receive me and protect me
too, till my father, finding me out of his power, can be brought to some
reason.”



“Well, but, ma'am,” answered Honour, “how doth your
la'ship think of making your escape? Where will you get any horses or
conveyance? For as for your own horse, as all the servants know a little
how matters stand between my master and your la'ship, Robin will be hanged
before he will suffer it to go out of the stable without my master's
express orders.” “I intend to escape,” said Sophia,
“by walking out of the doors when they are open. I thank Heaven my
legs are very able to carry me. They have supported me many a long evening”—“Yes,
to be sure,” cries Honour, “I will follow your la'ship through
the world; but your la'ship had almost as good be alone: for I should not
be able to defend you, if any robbers, or other villains, should meet with
you. Nay, I should be in as horrible a fright as your la'ship; for to be
certain, they would ravish us both. Besides, ma'am, consider how cold the
nights are now; we shall be frozen to death.”—“A good
brisk pace,” answered Sophia, “will preserve us from the cold;
and if you cannot defend me from a villain, Honour, I will defend you; for
I will take a pistol with me. There are two always charged in the hall.”—“Dear
ma'am, you frighten me more and more,” cries Honour: “sure
your la'ship would not venture to fire it off! I had rather run any chance
than your la'ship should do that.”—“Why so?” says
Sophia, smiling; “would not you, Honour, fire a pistol at any one
who should attack your virtue?”—“To be sure, ma'am,”
cries Honour, “one's virtue is a dear thing, especially to us poor
servants; for it is our livelihood, as a body may say: yet I mortally hate
fire-arms; for so many accidents happen by them.”—“Well,
well,” says Sophia, “I believe I may ensure your virtue at a
very cheap rate, without carrying any arms with us; for I intend to take
horses at the very first town we come to, and we shall hardly be attacked
in our way thither. Look'ee, Honour, I am resolved to go; and if you will
attend me, I promise you I will reward you to the very utmost of my power.”



This last argument had a stronger effect on Honour than all the preceding.
And since she saw her mistress so determined, she desisted from any
further dissuasions. They then entered into a debate on ways and means of
executing their project. Here a very stubborn difficulty occurred, and
this was the removal of their effects, which was much more easily got over
by the mistress than by the maid; for when a lady hath once taken a
resolution to run to a lover, or to run from him, all obstacles are
considered as trifles. But Honour was inspired by no such motive; she had
no raptures to expect, nor any terrors to shun; and besides the real value
of her clothes, in which consisted a great part of her fortune, she had a
capricious fondness for several gowns, and other things; either because
they became her, or because they were given her by such a particular
person; because she had bought them lately, or because she had had them
long; or for some other reasons equally good; so that she could not endure
the thoughts of leaving the poor things behind her exposed to the mercy of
Western, who, she doubted not, would in his rage make them suffer
martyrdom.



The ingenious Mrs Honour having applied all her oratory to dissuade her
mistress from her purpose, when she found her positively determined, at
last started the following expedient to remove her clothes, viz., to get
herself turned out of doors that very evening. Sophia highly approved this
method, but doubted how it might be brought about. “O, ma'am,”
cries Honour, “your la'ship may trust that to me; we servants very
well know how to obtain this favour of our masters and mistresses; though
sometimes, indeed, where they owe us more wages than they can readily pay,
they will put up with all our affronts, and will hardly take any warning
we can give them; but the squire is none of those; and since your la'ship
is resolved upon setting out to-night, I warrant I get discharged this
afternoon.” It was then resolved that she should pack up some linen
and a night-gown for Sophia, with her own things; and as for all her other
clothes, the young lady abandoned them with no more remorse than the
sailor feels when he throws over the goods of others, in order to save his
own life.




















Chapter viii. — Containing scenes of altercation, of no very
uncommon kind.



Mrs Honour had scarce sooner parted from her young lady, than something
(for I would not, like the old woman in Quevedo, injure the devil by any
false accusation, and possibly he might have no hand in it)—but
something, I say, suggested itself to her, that by sacrificing Sophia and
all her secrets to Mr Western, she might probably make her fortune. Many
considerations urged this discovery. The fair prospect of a handsome
reward for so great and acceptable a service to the squire, tempted her
avarice; and again, the danger of the enterprize she had undertaken; the
uncertainty of its success; night, cold, robbers, ravishers, all alarmed
her fears. So forcibly did all these operate upon her, that she was almost
determined to go directly to the squire, and to lay open the whole affair.
She was, however, too upright a judge to decree on one side, before she
had heard the other. And here, first, a journey to London appeared very
strongly in support of Sophia. She eagerly longed to see a place in which
she fancied charms short only of those which a raptured saint imagines in
heaven. In the next place, as she knew Sophia to have much more generosity
than her master, so her fidelity promised her a greater reward than she
could gain by treachery. She then cross-examined all the articles which
had raised her fears on the other side, and found, on fairly sifting the
matter, that there was very little in them. And now both scales being
reduced to a pretty even balance, her love to her mistress being thrown
into the scale of her integrity, made that rather preponderate, when a
circumstance struck upon her imagination which might have had a dangerous
effect, had its whole weight been fairly put into the other scale. This
was the length of time which must intervene before Sophia would be able to
fulfil her promises; for though she was intitled to her mother's fortune
at the death of her father, and to the sum of £3000 left her by an uncle
when she came of age; yet these were distant days, and many accidents
might prevent the intended generosity of the young lady; whereas the
rewards she might expect from Mr Western were immediate. But while she was
pursuing this thought the good genius of Sophia, or that which presided
over the integrity of Mrs Honour, or perhaps mere chance, sent an accident
in her way, which at once preserved her fidelity, and even facilitated the
intended business.



Mrs Western's maid claimed great superiority over Mrs Honour on several
accounts. First, her birth was higher; for her great-grandmother by the
mother's side was a cousin, not far removed, to an Irish peer. Secondly,
her wages were greater. And lastly, she had been at London, and had of
consequence seen more of the world. She had always behaved, therefore, to
Mrs Honour with that reserve, and had always exacted of her those marks of
distinction, which every order of females preserves and requires in
conversation with those of an inferior order. Now as Honour did not at all
times agree with this doctrine, but would frequently break in upon the
respect which the other demanded, Mrs Western's maid was not at all
pleased with her company; indeed, she earnestly longed to return home to
the house of her mistress, where she domineered at will over all the other
servants. She had been greatly, therefore, disappointed in the morning,
when Mrs Western had changed her mind on the very point of departure; and
had been in what is vulgarly called a glouting humour ever since.



In this humour, which was none of the sweetest, she came into the room
where Honour was debating with herself in the manner we have above
related. Honour no sooner saw her, than she addressed her in the following
obliging phrase: “Soh, madam, I find we are to have the pleasure of
your company longer, which I was afraid the quarrel between my master and
your lady would have robbed us of.”—“I don't know,
madam,” answered the other, “what you mean by we and us. I
assure you I do not look on any of the servants in this house to be proper
company for me. I am company, I hope, for their betters every day in the
week. I do not speak on your account, Mrs Honour; for you are a civilized
young woman; and when you have seen a little more of the world, I should
not be ashamed to walk with you in St James's Park.”—“Hoity
toity!” cries Honour, “madam is in her airs, I protest. Mrs
Honour, forsooth! sure, madam, you might call me by my sir-name; for
though my lady calls me Honour, I have a sir-name as well as other folks.
Ashamed to walk with me, quotha! marry, as good as yourself, I hope.”—“Since
you make such a return to my civility,” said the other, “I
must acquaint you, Mrs Honour, that you are not so good as me. In the
country, indeed, one is obliged to take up with all kind of trumpery; but
in town I visit none but the women of women of quality. Indeed, Mrs
Honour, there is some difference, I hope, between you and me.”—“I
hope so too,” answered Honour: “there is some difference in
our ages, and—I think in our persons.” Upon speaking which
last words, she strutted by Mrs Western's maid with the most provoking air
of contempt; turning up her nose, tossing her head, and violently brushing
the hoop of her competitor with her own. The other lady put on one of her
most malicious sneers, and said, “Creature! you are below my anger;
and it is beneath me to give ill words to such an audacious saucy trollop;
but, hussy, I must tell you, your breeding shows the meanness of your
birth as well as of your education; and both very properly qualify you to
be the mean serving-woman of a country girl.”—“Don't
abuse my lady,” cries Honour: “I won't take that of you; she's
as much better than yours as she is younger, and ten thousand times more
handsomer.”



Here ill luck, or rather good luck, sent Mrs Western to see her maid in
tears, which began to flow plentifully at her approach; and of which being
asked the reason by her mistress, she presently acquainted her that her
tears were occasioned by the rude treatment of that creature there—meaning
Honour. “And, madam,” continued she, “I could have
despised all she said to me; but she hath had the audacity to affront your
ladyship, and to call you ugly—Yes, madam, she called you ugly old
cat to my face. I could not bear to hear your ladyship called ugly.”—“Why
do you repeat her impudence so often?” said Mrs Western. And then
turning to Mrs Honour, she asked her “How she had the assurance to
mention her name with disrespect?”—“Disrespect, madam!”
answered Honour; “I never mentioned your name at all: I said
somebody was not as handsome as my mistress, and to be sure you know that
as well as I.”—“Hussy,” replied the lady, “I
will make such a saucy trollop as yourself know that I am not a proper
subject of your discourse. And if my brother doth not discharge you this
moment, I will never sleep in his house again. I will find him out, and
have you discharged this moment.”—“Discharged!”
cries Honour; “and suppose I am: there are more places in the world
than one. Thank Heaven, good servants need not want places; and if you
turn away all who do not think you handsome, you will want servants very
soon; let me tell you that.”



Mrs Western spoke, or rather thundered, in answer; but as she was hardly
articulate, we cannot be very certain of the identical words; we shall
therefore omit inserting a speech which at best would not greatly redound
to her honour. She then departed in search of her brother, with a
countenance so full of rage, that she resembled one of the furies rather
than a human creature.



The two chambermaids being again left alone, began a second bout at
altercation, which soon produced a combat of a more active kind. In this
the victory belonged to the lady of inferior rank, but not without some
loss of blood, of hair, and of lawn and muslin.




















Chapter ix. — The wise demeanour of Mr Western in the character of a
magistrate. A hint to justices of peace, concerning the necessary
qualifications of a clerk; with extraordinary instances of paternal
madness and



filial affection.



Logicians sometimes prove too much by an argument, and politicians often
overreach themselves in a scheme. Thus had it like to have happened to Mrs
Honour, who, instead of recovering the rest of her clothes, had like to
have stopped even those she had on her back from escaping; for the squire
no sooner heard of her having abused his sister, than he swore twenty
oaths he would send her to Bridewell.



Mrs Western was a very good-natured woman, and ordinarily of a forgiving
temper. She had lately remitted the trespass of a stage-coachman, who had
overturned her post-chaise into a ditch; nay, she had even broken the law,
in refusing to prosecute a highwayman who had robbed her, not only of a
sum of money, but of her ear-rings; at the same time d—ning her, and
saying, “Such handsome b—s as you don't want jewels to set
them off, and be d—n'd to you.” But now, so uncertain are our
tempers, and so much do we at different times differ from ourselves, she
would hear of no mitigation; nor could all the affected penitence of
Honour, nor all the entreaties of Sophia for her own servant, prevail with
her to desist from earnestly desiring her brother to execute justiceship
(for it was indeed a syllable more than justice) on the wench.



But luckily the clerk had a qualification, which no clerk to a justice of
peace ought ever to be without, namely, some understanding in the law of
this realm. He therefore whispered in the ear of the justice that he would
exceed his authority by committing the girl to Bridewell, as there had
been no attempt to break the peace; “for I am afraid, sir,”
says he, “you cannot legally commit any one to Bridewell only for
ill-breeding.”



In matters of high importance, particularly in cases relating to the game,
the justice was not always attentive to these admonitions of his clerk;
for, indeed, in executing the laws under that head, many justices of peace
suppose they have a large discretionary power, by virtue of which, under
the notion of searching for and taking away engines for the destruction of
the game, they often commit trespasses, and sometimes felony, at their
pleasure.



But this offence was not of quite so high a nature, nor so dangerous to
the society. Here, therefore, the justice behaved with some attention to
the advice of his clerk; for, in fact, he had already had two informations
exhibited against him in the King's Bench, and had no curiosity to try a
third.



The squire, therefore, putting on a most wise and significant countenance,
after a preface of several hums and hahs, told his sister, that upon more
mature deliberation, he was of opinion, that “as there was no
breaking up of the peace, such as the law,” says he, “calls
breaking open a door, or breaking a hedge, or breaking a head, or any such
sort of breaking, the matter did not amount to a felonious kind of a
thing, nor trespasses, nor damages, and, therefore, there was no
punishment in the law for it.”



Mrs Western said, “she knew the law much better; that she had known
servants very severely punished for affronting their masters;” and
then named a certain justice of the peace in London, “who,”
she said, “would commit a servant to Bridewell at any time when a
master or mistress desired it.”



“Like enough,” cries the squire; “it may be so in
London; but the law is different in the country.” Here followed a
very learned dispute between the brother and sister concerning the law,
which we would insert, if we imagined many of our readers could understand
it. This was, however, at length referred by both parties to the clerk,
who decided it in favour of the magistrate; and Mrs Western was, in the
end, obliged to content herself with the satisfaction of having Honour
turned away; to which Sophia herself very readily and cheerfully
consented.



Thus Fortune, after having diverted herself, according to custom, with two
or three frolicks, at last disposed all matters to the advantage of our
heroine; who indeed succeeded admirably well in her deceit, considering it
was the first she had ever practised. And, to say the truth, I have often
concluded, that the honest part of mankind would be much too hard for the
knavish, if they could bring themselves to incur the guilt, or thought it
worth their while to take the trouble.



Honour acted her part to the utmost perfection. She no sooner saw herself
secure from all danger of Bridewell, a word which had raised most horrible
ideas in her mind, than she resumed those airs which her terrors before
had a little abated; and laid down her place, with as much affectation of
content, and indeed of contempt, as was ever practised at the resignation
of places of much greater importance. If the reader pleases, therefore, we
chuse rather to say she resigned—which hath, indeed, been always
held a synonymous expression with being turned out, or turned away.



Mr Western ordered her to be very expeditious in packing; for his sister
declared she would not sleep another night under the same roof with so
impudent a slut. To work therefore she went, and that so earnestly, that
everything was ready early in the evening; when, having received her
wages, away packed bag and baggage, to the great satisfaction of every
one, but of none more than of Sophia; who, having appointed her maid to
meet her at a certain place not far from the house, exactly at the
dreadful and ghostly hour of twelve, began to prepare for her own
departure.



But first she was obliged to give two painful audiences, the one to her
aunt, and the other to her father. In these Mrs Western herself began to
talk to her in a more peremptory stile than before: but her father treated
her in so violent and outrageous a manner, that he frightened her into an
affected compliance with his will; which so highly pleased the good
squire, that he changed his frowns into smiles, and his menaces into
promises: he vowed his whole soul was wrapt in hers; that her consent (for
so he construed the words, “You know, sir, I must not, nor can,
refuse to obey any absolute command of yours”) had made him the
happiest of mankind. He then gave her a large bank-bill to dispose of in
any trinkets she pleased, and kissed and embraced her in the fondest
manner, while tears of joy trickled from those eyes which a few moments
before had darted fire and rage against the dear object of all his
affection.



Instances of this behaviour in parents are so common, that the reader, I
doubt not, will be very little astonished at the whole conduct of Mr
Western. If he should, I own I am not able to account for it; since that
he loved his daughter most tenderly, is, I think, beyond dispute. So
indeed have many others, who have rendered their children most completely
miserable by the same conduct; which, though it is almost universal in
parents, hath always appeared to me to be the most unaccountable of all
the absurdities which ever entered into the brain of that strange
prodigious creature man.



The latter part of Mr Western's behaviour had so strong an effect on the
tender heart of Sophia, that it suggested a thought to her, which not all
the sophistry of her politic aunt, nor all the menaces of her father, had
ever once brought into her head. She reverenced her father so piously, and
loved him so passionately, that she had scarce ever felt more pleasing
sensations, than what arose from the share she frequently had of
contributing to his amusement, and sometimes, perhaps, to higher
gratifications; for he never could contain the delight of hearing her
commended, which he had the satisfaction of hearing almost every day of
her life. The idea, therefore, of the immense happiness she should convey
to her father by her consent to this match, made a strong impression on
her mind. Again, the extreme piety of such an act of obedience worked very
forcibly, as she had a very deep sense of religion. Lastly, when she
reflected how much she herself was to suffer, being indeed to become
little less than a sacrifice, or a martyr, to filial love and duty, she
felt an agreeable tickling in a certain little passion, which though it
bears no immediate affinity either to religion or virtue, is often so kind
as to lend great assistance in executing the purposes of both.



Sophia was charmed with the contemplation of so heroic an action, and
began to compliment herself with much premature flattery, when Cupid, who
lay hid in her muff, suddenly crept out, and like Punchinello in a
puppet-show, kicked all out before him. In truth (for we scorn to deceive
our reader, or to vindicate the character of our heroine by ascribing her
actions to supernatural impulse) the thoughts of her beloved Jones, and
some hopes (however distant) in which he was very particularly concerned,
immediately destroyed all which filial love, piety, and pride had, with
their joint endeavours, been labouring to bring about.



But before we proceed any farther with Sophia, we must now look back to Mr
Jones.




















Chapter x. — Containing several matters, natural enough perhaps, but
low.



The reader will be pleased to remember, that we left Mr Jones, in the
beginning of this book, on his road to Bristol; being determined to seek
his fortune at sea, or rather, indeed, to fly away from his fortune on
shore.



It happened (a thing not very unusual), that the guide who undertook to
conduct him on his way, was unluckily unacquainted with the road; so that
having missed his right track, and being ashamed to ask information, he
rambled about backwards and forwards till night came on, and it began to
grow dark. Jones suspecting what had happened, acquainted the guide with
his apprehensions; but he insisted on it, that they were in the right
road, and added, it would be very strange if he should not know the road
to Bristol; though, in reality, it would have been much stranger if he had
known it, having never past through it in his life before.



Jones had not such implicit faith in his guide, but that on their arrival
at a village he inquired of the first fellow he saw, whether they were in
the road to Bristol. “Whence did you come?” cries the fellow.
“No matter,” says Jones, a little hastily; “I want to
know if this be the road to Bristol?”—“The road to
Bristol!” cries the fellow, scratching his head: “why,
measter, I believe you will hardly get to Bristol this way to-night.”—“Prithee,
friend, then,” answered Jones, “do tell us which is the way.”—“Why,
measter,” cries the fellow, “you must be come out of your road
the Lord knows whither; for thick way goeth to Glocester.”—“Well,
and which way goes to Bristol?” said Jones. “Why, you be going
away from Bristol,” answered the fellow. “Then,” said
Jones, “we must go back again?”—“Ay, you must,”
said the fellow. “Well, and when we come back to the top of the
hill, which way must we take?”—“Why, you must keep the
strait road.”—“But I remember there are two roads, one
to the right and the other to the left.”—“Why, you must
keep the right-hand road, and then gu strait vorwards; only remember to
turn vurst to your right, and then to your left again, and then to your
right, and that brings you to the squire's; and then you must keep strait
vorwards, and turn to the left.”



Another fellow now came up, and asked which way the gentlemen were going;
of which being informed by Jones, he first scratched his head, and then
leaning upon a pole he had in his hand, began to tell him, “That he
must keep the right-hand road for about a mile, or a mile and a half, or
such a matter, and then he must turn short to the left, which would bring
him round by Measter Jin Bearnes's.”—“But which is Mr
John Bearnes's?” says Jones. “O Lord!” cries the fellow,
“why, don't you know Measter Jin Bearnes? Whence then did you come?”



These two fellows had almost conquered the patience of Jones, when a plain
well-looking man (who was indeed a Quaker) accosted him thus: “Friend,
I perceive thou hast lost thy way; and if thou wilt take my advice, thou
wilt not attempt to find it to-night. It is almost dark, and the road is
difficult to hit; besides, there have been several robberies committed
lately between this and Bristol. Here is a very creditable good house just
by, where thou may'st find good entertainment for thyself and thy cattle
till morning.” Jones, after a little persuasion, agreed to stay in
this place till the morning, and was conducted by his friend to the
public-house.



The landlord, who was a very civil fellow, told Jones, “He hoped he
would excuse the badness of his accommodation; for that his wife was gone
from home, and had locked up almost everything, and carried the keys along
with her.” Indeed the fact was, that a favourite daughter of hers
was just married, and gone that morning home with her husband; and that
she and her mother together had almost stript the poor man of all his
goods, as well as money; for though he had several children, this daughter
only, who was the mother's favourite, was the object of her consideration;
and to the humour of this one child she would with pleasure have
sacrificed all the rest, and her husband into the bargain.



Though Jones was very unfit for any kind of company, and would have
preferred being alone, yet he could not resist the importunities of the
honest Quaker; who was the more desirous of sitting with him, from having
remarked the melancholy which appeared both in his countenance and
behaviour; and which the poor Quaker thought his conversation might in
some measure relieve.



After they had past some time together, in such a manner that my honest
friend might have thought himself at one of his silent meetings, the
Quaker began to be moved by some spirit or other, probably that of
curiosity, and said, “Friend, I perceive some sad disaster hath
befallen thee; but pray be of comfort. Perhaps thou hast lost a friend. If
so, thou must consider we are all mortal. And why shouldst thou grieve,
when thou knowest thy grief will do thy friend no good? We are all born to
affliction. I myself have my sorrows as well as thee, and most probably
greater sorrows. Though I have a clear estate of £100 a year, which is as
much as I want, and I have a conscience, I thank the Lord, void of
offence; my constitution is sound and strong, and there is no man can
demand a debt of me, nor accuse me of an injury; yet, friend, I should be
concerned to think thee as miserable as myself.”



Here the Quaker ended with a deep sigh; and Jones presently answered,
“I am very sorry, sir, for your unhappiness, whatever is the
occasion of it.”—“Ah! friend,” replied the Quaker,
“one only daughter is the occasion; one who was my greatest delight
upon earth, and who within this week is run away from me, and is married
against my consent. I had provided her a proper match, a sober man and one
of substance; but she, forsooth, would chuse for herself, and away she is
gone with a young fellow not worth a groat. If she had been dead, as I
suppose thy friend is, I should have been happy.”—“That
is very strange, sir,” said Jones. “Why, would it not be
better for her to be dead, than to be a beggar?” replied the Quaker:
“for, as I told you, the fellow is not worth a groat; and surely she
cannot expect that I shall ever give her a shilling. No, as she hath
married for love, let her live on love if she can; let her carry her love
to market, and see whether any one will change it into silver, or even
into halfpence.”—“You know your own concerns best, sir,”
said Jones. “It must have been,” continued the Quaker, “a
long premeditated scheme to cheat me: for they have known one another from
their infancy; and I always preached to her against love, and told her a
thousand times over it was all folly and wickedness. Nay, the cunning slut
pretended to hearken to me, and to despise all wantonness of the flesh;
and yet at last broke out at a window two pair of stairs: for I began,
indeed, a little to suspect her, and had locked her up carefully,
intending the very next morning to have married her up to my liking. But
she disappointed me within a few hours, and escaped away to the lover of
her own chusing; who lost no time, for they were married and bedded and
all within an hour. But it shall be the worst hour's work for them both
that ever they did; for they may starve, or beg, or steal together, for
me. I will never give either of them a farthing.” Here Jones
starting up cried, “I really must be excused: I wish you would leave
me.”—“Come, come, friend,” said the Quaker,
“don't give way to concern. You see there are other people miserable
besides yourself.”—“I see there are madmen, and fools,
and villains in the world,” cries Jones. “But let me give you
a piece of advice: send for your daughter and son-in-law home, and don't
be yourself the only cause of misery to one you pretend to love.”—“Send
for her and her husband home!” cries the Quaker loudly; “I
would sooner send for the two greatest enemies I have in the world!”—“Well,
go home yourself, or where you please,” said Jones, “for I
will sit no longer in such company.”—“Nay, friend,”
answered the Quaker, “I scorn to impose my company on any one.”
He then offered to pull money from his pocket, but Jones pushed him with
some violence out of the room.



The subject of the Quaker's discourse had so deeply affected Jones, that
he stared very wildly all the time he was speaking. This the Quaker had
observed, and this, added to the rest of his behaviour, inspired honest
Broadbrim with a conceit, that his companion was in reality out of his
senses. Instead of resenting the affront, therefore, the Quaker was moved
with compassion for his unhappy circumstances; and having communicated his
opinion to the landlord, he desired him to take great care of his guest,
and to treat him with the highest civility.



“Indeed,” says the landlord, “I shall use no such
civility towards him; for it seems, for all his laced waistcoat there, he
is no more a gentleman than myself, but a poor parish bastard, bred up at
a great squire's about thirty miles off, and now turned out of doors (not
for any good to be sure). I shall get him out of my house as soon as
possible. If I do lose my reckoning, the first loss is always the best. It
is not above a year ago that I lost a silver spoon.”



“What dost thou talk of a parish bastard, Robin?” answered the
Quaker. “Thou must certainly be mistaken in thy man.”



“Not at all,” replied Robin; “the guide, who knows him
very well, told it me.” For, indeed, the guide had no sooner taken
his place at the kitchen fire, than he acquainted the whole company with
all he knew or had ever heard concerning Jones.



The Quaker was no sooner assured by this fellow of the birth and low
fortune of Jones, than all compassion for him vanished; and the honest
plain man went home fired with no less indignation than a duke would have
felt at receiving an affront from such a person.



The landlord himself conceived an equal disdain for his guest; so that
when Jones rung the bell in order to retire to bed, he was acquainted that
he could have no bed there. Besides disdain of the mean condition of his
guest, Robin entertained violent suspicion of his intentions, which were,
he supposed, to watch some favourable opportunity of robbing the house. In
reality, he might have been very well eased of these apprehensions, by the
prudent precautions of his wife and daughter, who had already removed
everything which was not fixed to the freehold; but he was by nature
suspicious, and had been more particularly so since the loss of his spoon.
In short, the dread of being robbed totally absorbed the comfortable
consideration that he had nothing to lose.



Jones being assured that he could have no bed, very contentedly betook
himself to a great chair made with rushes, when sleep, which had lately
shunned his company in much better apartments, generously paid him a visit
in his humble cell.



As for the landlord, he was prevented by his fears from retiring to rest.
He returned therefore to the kitchen fire, whence he could survey the only
door which opened into the parlour, or rather hole, where Jones was
seated; and as for the window to that room, it was impossible for any
creature larger than a cat to have made his escape through it.




















Chapter xi. — The adventure of a company of soldiers.



The landlord having taken his seat directly opposite to the door of the
parlour, determined to keep guard there the whole night. The guide and
another fellow remained long on duty with him, though they neither knew
his suspicions, nor had any of their own. The true cause of their watching
did, indeed, at length, put an end to it; for this was no other than the
strength and goodness of the beer, of which having tippled a very large
quantity, they grew at first very noisy and vociferous, and afterwards
fell both asleep.



But it was not in the power of liquor to compose the fears of Robin. He
continued still waking in his chair, with his eyes fixed stedfastly on the
door which led into the apartment of Mr Jones, till a violent thundering
at his outward gate called him from his seat, and obliged him to open it;
which he had no sooner done, than his kitchen was immediately full of
gentlemen in red coats, who all rushed upon him in as tumultuous a manner
as if they intended to take his little castle by storm.



The landlord was now forced from his post to furnish his numerous guests
with beer, which they called for with great eagerness; and upon his second
or third return from the cellar, he saw Mr Jones standing before the fire
in the midst of the soldiers; for it may easily be believed, that the
arrival of so much good company should put an end to any sleep, unless
that from which we are to be awakened only by the last trumpet.



The company having now pretty well satisfied their thirst, nothing
remained but to pay the reckoning, a circumstance often productive of much
mischief and discontent among the inferior rank of gentry, who are apt to
find great difficulty in assessing the sum, with exact regard to
distributive justice, which directs that every man shall pay according to
the quantity which he drinks. This difficulty occurred upon the present
occasion; and it was the greater, as some gentlemen had, in their extreme
hurry, marched off, after their first draught, and had entirely forgot to
contribute anything towards the said reckoning.



A violent dispute now arose, in which every word may be said to have been
deposed upon oath; for the oaths were at least equal to all the other
words spoken. In this controversy the whole company spoke together, and
every man seemed wholly bent to extenuate the sum which fell to his share;
so that the most probable conclusion which could be foreseen was, that a
large portion of the reckoning would fall to the landlord's share to pay,
or (what is much the same thing) would remain unpaid.



All this while Mr Jones was engaged in conversation with the serjeant; for
that officer was entirely unconcerned in the present dispute, being
privileged by immemorial custom from all contribution.



The dispute now grew so very warm that it seemed to draw towards a
military decision, when Jones, stepping forward, silenced all their
clamours at once, by declaring that he would pay the whole reckoning,
which indeed amounted to no more than three shillings and fourpence.



This declaration procured Jones the thanks and applause of the whole
company. The terms honourable, noble, and worthy gentleman, resounded
through the room; nay, my landlord himself began to have a better opinion
of him, and almost to disbelieve the account which the guide had given.



The serjeant had informed Mr Jones that they were marching against the
rebels, and expected to be commanded by the glorious Duke of Cumberland.
By which the reader may perceive (a circumstance which we have not thought
necessary to communicate before) that this was the very time when the late
rebellion was at the highest; and indeed the banditti were now marched
into England, intending, as it was thought, to fight the king's forces,
and to attempt pushing forward to the metropolis.



Jones had some heroic ingredients in his composition, and was a hearty
well-wisher to the glorious cause of liberty, and of the Protestant
religion. It is no wonder, therefore, that in circumstances which would
have warranted a much more romantic and wild undertaking, it should occur
to him to serve as a volunteer in this expedition.



Our commanding officer had said all in his power to encourage and promote
this good disposition, from the first moment he had been acquainted with
it. He now proclaimed the noble resolution aloud, which was received with
great pleasure by the whole company, who all cried out, “God bless
King George and your honour;” and then added, with many oaths,
“We will stand by you both to the last drops of our blood.”



The gentleman who had been all night tippling at the alehouse, was
prevailed on by some arguments which a corporal had put into his hands, to
undertake the same expedition. And now the portmanteau belonging to Mr
Jones being put up in the baggage-cart, the forces were about to move
forwards; when the guide, stepping up to Jones, said, “Sir, I hope
you will consider that the horses have been kept out all night, and we
have travelled a great ways out of our way.” Jones was surprized at
the impudence of this demand, and acquainted the soldiers with the merits
of his cause, who were all unanimous in condemning the guide for his
endeavours to put upon a gentleman. Some said, he ought to be tied neck
and heels; others that he deserved to run the gantlope; and the serjeant
shook his cane at him, and wished he had him under his command, swearing
heartily he would make an example of him.



Jones contented himself however with a negative punishment, and walked off
with his new comrades, leaving the guide to the poor revenge of cursing
and reviling him; in which latter the landlord joined, saying, “Ay,
ay, he is a pure one, I warrant you. A pretty gentleman, indeed, to go for
a soldier! He shall wear a laced wastecoat truly. It is an old proverb and
a true one, all is not gold that glisters. I am glad my house is well rid
of him.”



All that day the serjeant and the young soldier marched together; and the
former, who was an arch fellow, told the latter many entertaining stories
of his campaigns, though in reality he had never made any; for he was but
lately come into the service, and had, by his own dexterity, so well
ingratiated himself with his officers, that he had promoted himself to a
halberd; chiefly indeed by his merit in recruiting, in which he was most
excellently well skilled.



Much mirth and festivity passed among the soldiers during their march. In
which the many occurrences that had passed at their last quarters were
remembered, and every one, with great freedom, made what jokes he pleased
on his officers, some of which were of the coarser kind, and very near
bordering on scandal. This brought to our heroe's mind the custom which he
had read of among the Greeks and Romans, of indulging, on certain
festivals and solemn occasions, the liberty to slaves, of using an
uncontrouled freedom of speech towards their masters.



Our little army, which consisted of two companies of foot, were now
arrived at the place where they were to halt that evening. The serjeant
then acquainted his lieutenant, who was the commanding officer, that they
had picked up two fellows in that day's march, one of which, he said, was
as fine a man as ever he saw (meaning the tippler), for that he was near
six feet, well proportioned, and strongly limbed; and the other (meaning
Jones) would do well enough for the rear rank.



The new soldiers were now produced before the officer, who having examined
the six-feet man, he being first produced, came next to survey Jones: at
the first sight of whom, the lieutenant could not help showing some
surprize; for besides that he was very well dressed, and was naturally
genteel, he had a remarkable air of dignity in his look, which is rarely
seen among the vulgar, and is indeed not inseparably annexed to the
features of their superiors.



“Sir,” said the lieutenant, “my serjeant informed me
that you are desirous of enlisting in the company I have at present under
my command; if so, sir, we shall very gladly receive a gentleman who
promises to do much honour to the company by bearing arms in it.”



Jones answered: “That he had not mentioned anything of enlisting
himself; that he was most zealously attached to the glorious cause for
which they were going to fight, and was very desirous of serving as a
volunteer;” concluding with some compliments to the lieutenant, and
expressing the great satisfaction he should have in being under his
command.



The lieutenant returned his civility, commended his resolution, shook him
by the hand, and invited him to dine with himself and the rest of the
officers.




















Chapter xii. — The adventure of a company of officers.



The lieutenant, whom we mentioned in the preceding chapter, and who
commanded this party, was now near sixty years of age. He had entered very
young into the army, and had served in the capacity of an ensign at the
battle of Tannieres; here he had received two wounds, and had so well
distinguished himself, that he was by the Duke of Marlborough advanced to
be a lieutenant, immediately after that battle.



In this commission he had continued ever since, viz., near forty years;
during which time he had seen vast numbers preferred over his head, and
had now the mortification to be commanded by boys, whose fathers were at
nurse when he first entered into the service.



Nor was this ill success in his profession solely owing to his having no
friends among the men in power. He had the misfortune to incur the
displeasure of his colonel, who for many years continued in the command of
this regiment. Nor did he owe the implacable ill-will which this man bore
him to any neglect or deficiency as an officer, nor indeed to any fault in
himself; but solely to the indiscretion of his wife, who was a very
beautiful woman, and who, though she was remarkably fond of her husband,
would not purchase his preferment at the expense of certain favours which
the colonel required of her.



The poor lieutenant was more peculiarly unhappy in this, that while he
felt the effects of the enmity of his colonel, he neither knew, nor
suspected, that he really bore him any; for he could not suspect an
ill-will for which he was not conscious of giving any cause; and his wife,
fearing what her husband's nice regard to his honour might have
occasioned, contented herself with preserving her virtue without enjoying
the triumphs of her conquest.



This unfortunate officer (for so I think he may be called) had many good
qualities besides his merit in his profession; for he was a religious,
honest, good-natured man; and had behaved so well in his command, that he
was highly esteemed and beloved not only by the soldiers of his own
company, but by the whole regiment.



The other officers who marched with him were a French lieutenant, who had
been long enough out of France to forget his own language, but not long
enough in England to learn ours, so that he really spoke no language at
all, and could barely make himself understood on the most ordinary
occasions. There were likewise two ensigns, both very young fellows; one
of whom had been bred under an attorney, and the other was son to the wife
of a nobleman's butler.



As soon as dinner was ended, Jones informed the company of the merriment
which had passed among the soldiers upon their march; “and yet,”
says he, “notwithstanding all their vociferation, I dare swear they
will behave more like Grecians than Trojans when they come to the enemy.”—“Grecians
and Trojans!” says one of the ensigns, “who the devil are
they? I have heard of all the troops in Europe, but never of any such as
these.”



“Don't pretend to more ignorance than you have, Mr Northerton,”
said the worthy lieutenant. “I suppose you have heard of the Greeks
and Trojans, though perhaps you never read Pope's Homer; who, I remember,
now the gentleman mentions it, compares the march of the Trojans to the
cackling of geese, and greatly commends the silence of the Grecians. And
upon my honour there is great justice in the cadet's observation.”



“Begar, me remember dem ver well,” said the French lieutenant:
“me ave read them at school in dans Madam Daciere, des Greek, des
Trojan, dey fight for von woman—ouy, ouy, me ave read all dat.”



“D—n Homo with all my heart,” says Northerton; “I
have the marks of him on my a— yet. There's Thomas, of our regiment,
always carries a Homo in his pocket; d—n me, if ever I come at it,
if I don't burn it. And there's Corderius, another d—n'd son of a
whore, that hath got me many a flogging.”



“Then you have been at school, Mr Northerton?” said the
lieutenant.



“Ay, d—n me, have I,” answered he; “the devil take
my father for sending me thither! The old put wanted to make a parson of
me, but d—n me, thinks I to myself, I'll nick you there, old cull;
the devil a smack of your nonsense shall you ever get into me. There's
Jemmy Oliver, of our regiment, he narrowly escaped being a pimp too, and
that would have been a thousand pities; for d—n me if he is not one
of the prettiest fellows in the whole world; but he went farther than I
with the old cull, for Jimmey can neither write nor read.”



“You give your friend a very good character,” said the
lieutenant, “and a very deserved one, I dare say. But prithee,
Northerton, leave off that foolish as well as wicked custom of swearing;
for you are deceived, I promise you, if you think there is wit or
politeness in it. I wish, too, you would take my advice, and desist from
abusing the clergy. Scandalous names, and reflections cast on any body of
men, must be always unjustifiable; but especially so, when thrown on so
sacred a function; for to abuse the body is to abuse the function itself;
and I leave to you to judge how inconsistent such behaviour is in men who
are going to fight in defence of the Protestant religion.”



Mr Adderly, which was the name of the other ensign, had sat hitherto
kicking his heels and humming a tune, without seeming to listen to the
discourse; he now answered, “O, Monsieur, on ne parle pas de la
religion dans la guerre
.”—“Well said, Jack,”
cries Northerton: “if la religion was the only matter, the
parsons should fight their own battles for me.”



“I don't know, gentlemen,” said Jones, “what may be your
opinion; but I think no man can engage in a nobler cause than that of his
religion; and I have observed, in the little I have read of history, that
no soldiers have fought so bravely as those who have been inspired with a
religious zeal: for my own part, though I love my king and country, I
hope, as well as any man in it, yet the Protestant interest is no small
motive to my becoming a volunteer in the cause.”



Northerton now winked on Adderly, and whispered to him slily, “Smoke
the prig, Adderly, smoke him.” Then turning to Jones, said to him,
“I am very glad, sir, you have chosen our regiment to be a volunteer
in; for if our parson should at any time take a cup too much, I find you
can supply his place. I presume, sir, you have been at the university; may
I crave the favour to know what college?”



“Sir,” answered Jones, “so far from having been at the
university, I have even had the advantage of yourself, for I was never at
school.”



“I presumed,” cries the ensign, “only upon the
information of your great learning.”—“Oh! sir,”
answered Jones, “it is as possible for a man to know something
without having been at school, as it is to have been at school and to know
nothing.”



“Well said, young volunteer,” cries the lieutenant. “Upon
my word, Northerton, you had better let him alone; for he will be too hard
for you.”



Northerton did not very well relish the sarcasm of Jones; but he thought
the provocation was scarce sufficient to justify a blow, or a rascal, or
scoundrel, which were the only repartees that suggested themselves. He
was, therefore, silent at present; but resolved to take the first
opportunity of returning the jest by abuse.



It now came to the turn of Mr Jones to give a toast, as it is called; who
could not refrain from mentioning his dear Sophia. This he did the more
readily, as he imagined it utterly impossible that any one present should
guess the person he meant.



But the lieutenant, who was the toast-master, was not contented with
Sophia only. He said, he must have her sir-name; upon which Jones
hesitated a little, and presently after named Miss Sophia Western. Ensign
Northerton declared he would not drink her health in the same round with
his own toast, unless somebody would vouch for her. “I knew one
Sophy Western,” says he, “that was lain with by half the young
fellows at Bath; and perhaps this is the same woman.” Jones very
solemnly assured him of the contrary; asserting that the young lady he
named was one of great fashion and fortune. “Ay, ay,” says the
ensign, “and so she is: d—n me, it is the same woman; and I'll
hold half a dozen of Burgundy, Tom French of our regiment brings her into
company with us at any tavern in Bridges-street.” He then proceeded
to describe her person exactly (for he had seen her with her aunt), and
concluded with saying, “that her father had a great estate in
Somersetshire.”



The tenderness of lovers can ill brook the least jesting with the names of
their mistresses. However, Jones, though he had enough of the lover and of
the heroe too in his disposition, did not resent these slanders as hastily
as, perhaps, he ought to have done. To say the truth, having seen but
little of this kind of wit, he did not readily understand it, and for a
long time imagined Mr Northerton had really mistaken his charmer for some
other. But now, turning to the ensign with a stern aspect, he said,
“Pray, sir, chuse some other subject for your wit; for I promise you
I will bear no jesting with this lady's character.” “Jesting!”
cries the other, “d—n me if ever I was more in earnest in my
life. Tom French of our regiment had both her and her aunt at Bath.”
“Then I must tell you in earnest,” cries Jones, “that
you are one of the most impudent rascals upon earth.”



He had no sooner spoken these words, than the ensign, together with a
volley of curses, discharged a bottle full at the head of Jones, which
hitting him a little above the right temple, brought him instantly to the
ground.



The conqueror perceiving the enemy to lie motionless before him, and blood
beginning to flow pretty plentifully from his wound, began now to think of
quitting the field of battle, where no more honour was to be gotten; but
the lieutenant interposed, by stepping before the door, and thus cut off
his retreat.



Northerton was very importunate with the lieutenant for his liberty;
urging the ill consequences of his stay, asking him, what he could have
done less? “Zounds!” says he, “I was but in jest with
the fellow. I never heard any harm of Miss Western in my life.”
“Have not you?” said the lieutenant; “then you richly
deserve to be hanged, as well for making such jests, as for using such a
weapon: you are my prisoner, sir; nor shall you stir from hence till a
proper guard comes to secure you.”



Such an ascendant had our lieutenant over this ensign, that all that
fervency of courage which had levelled our poor heroe with the floor,
would scarce have animated the said ensign to have drawn his sword against
the lieutenant, had he then had one dangling at his side: but all the
swords being hung up in the room, were, at the very beginning of the fray,
secured by the French officer. So that Mr Northerton was obliged to attend
the final issue of this affair.



The French gentleman and Mr Adderly, at the desire of their commanding
officer, had raised up the body of Jones, but as they could perceive but
little (if any) sign of life in him, they again let him fall, Adderly
damning him for having blooded his wastecoat; and the Frenchman declaring,
“Begar, me no tush the Engliseman de mort: me have heard de Englise
ley, law, what you call, hang up de man dat tush him last.”



When the good lieutenant applied himself to the door, he applied himself
likewise to the bell; and the drawer immediately attending, he dispatched
him for a file of musqueteers and a surgeon. These commands, together with
the drawer's report of what he had himself seen, not only produced the
soldiers, but presently drew up the landlord of the house, his wife, and
servants, and, indeed, every one else who happened at that time to be in
the inn.



To describe every particular, and to relate the whole conversation of the
ensuing scene, is not within my power, unless I had forty pens, and could,
at once, write with them all together, as the company now spoke. The
reader must, therefore, content himself with the most remarkable
incidents, and perhaps he may very well excuse the rest.



The first thing done was securing the body of Northerton, who being
delivered into the custody of six men with a corporal at their head, was
by them conducted from a place which he was very willing to leave, but it
was unluckily to a place whither he was very unwilling to go. To say the
truth, so whimsical are the desires of ambition, the very moment this
youth had attained the above-mentioned honour, he would have been well
contented to have retired to some corner of the world, where the fame of
it should never have reached his ears.



It surprizes us, and so perhaps, it may the reader, that the lieutenant, a
worthy and good man, should have applied his chief care, rather to secure
the offender, than to preserve the life of the wounded person. We mention
this observation, not with any view of pretending to account for so odd a
behaviour, but lest some critic should hereafter plume himself on
discovering it. We would have these gentlemen know we can see what is odd
in characters as well as themselves, but it is our business to relate
facts as they are; which, when we have done, it is the part of the learned
and sagacious reader to consult that original book of nature, whence every
passage in our work is transcribed, though we quote not always the
particular page for its authority.



The company which now arrived were of a different disposition. They
suspended their curiosity concerning the person of the ensign, till they
should see him hereafter in a more engaging attitude. At present, their
whole concern and attention were employed about the bloody object on the
floor; which being placed upright in a chair, soon began to discover some
symptoms of life and motion. These were no sooner perceived by the company
(for Jones was at first generally concluded to be dead) than they all fell
at once to prescribing for him (for as none of the physical order was
present, every one there took that office upon him).



Bleeding was the unanimous voice of the whole room; but unluckily there
was no operator at hand; every one then cried, “Call the barber;”
but none stirred a step. Several cordials was likewise prescribed in the
same ineffective manner; till the landlord ordered up a tankard of strong
beer, with a toast, which he said was the best cordial in England.



The person principally assistant on this occasion, indeed the only one who
did any service, or seemed likely to do any, was the landlady: she cut off
some of her hair, and applied it to the wound to stop the blood; she fell
to chafing the youth's temples with her hand; and having exprest great
contempt for her husband's prescription of beer, she despatched one of her
maids to her own closet for a bottle of brandy, of which, as soon as it
was brought, she prevailed on Jones, who was just returned to his senses,
to drink a very large and plentiful draught.



Soon afterwards arrived the surgeon, who having viewed the wound, having
shaken his head, and blamed everything which was done, ordered his patient
instantly to bed; in which place we think proper to leave him some time to
his repose, and shall here, therefore, put an end to this chapter.




















Chapter xiii. — Containing the great address of the landlady, the
great learning of a surgeon, and the solid skill in casuistry of the
worthy lieutenant.



When the wounded man was carried to his bed, and the house began again to
clear up from the hurry which this accident had occasioned, the landlady
thus addressed the commanding officer: “I am afraid, sir,”
said she, “this young man did not behave himself as well as he
should do to your honours; and if he had been killed, I suppose he had but
his desarts: to be sure, when gentlemen admit inferior parsons into their
company, they oft to keep their distance; but, as my first husband used to
say, few of 'em know how to do it. For my own part, I am sure I should not
have suffered any fellows to include themselves into gentlemen's
company; but I thoft he had been an officer himself, till the serjeant
told me he was but a recruit.”



“Landlady,” answered the lieutenant, “you mistake the
whole matter. The young man behaved himself extremely well, and is, I
believe, a much better gentleman than the ensign who abused him. If the
young fellow dies, the man who struck him will have most reason to be
sorry for it: for the regiment will get rid of a very troublesome fellow,
who is a scandal to the army; and if he escapes from the hands of justice,
blame me, madam, that's all.”



“Ay! ay! good lack-a-day!” said the landlady; “who could
have thoft it? Ay, ay, ay, I am satisfied your honour will see justice
done; and to be sure it oft to be to every one. Gentlemen oft not to kill
poor folks without answering for it. A poor man hath a soul to be saved,
as well as his betters.”



“Indeed, madam,” said the lieutenant, “you do the
volunteer wrong: I dare swear he is more of a gentleman than the officer.”



“Ay!” cries the landlady; “why, look you there, now:
well, my first husband was a wise man; he used to say, you can't always
know the inside by the outside. Nay, that might have been well enough too;
for I never saw'd him till he was all over blood. Who would have
thoft it? mayhap, some young gentleman crossed in love. Good lack-a-day,
if he should die, what a concern it will be to his parents! why, sure the
devil must possess the wicked wretch to do such an act. To be sure, he is
a scandal to the army, as your honour says; for most of the gentlemen of
the army that ever I saw, are quite different sort of people, and look as
if they would scorn to spill any Christian blood as much as any men: I
mean, that is, in a civil way, as my first husband used to say. To be
sure, when they come into the wars, there must be bloodshed: but that they
are not to be blamed for. The more of our enemies they kill there, the
better: and I wish, with all my heart, they could kill every mother's son
of them.”



“O fie, madam!” said the lieutenant, smiling; “all
is rather too bloody-minded a wish.”



“Not at all, sir,” answered she; “I am not at all
bloody-minded, only to our enemies; and there is no harm in that. To be
sure it is natural for us to wish our enemies dead, that the wars may be
at an end, and our taxes be lowered; for it is a dreadful thing to pay as
we do. Why now, there is above forty shillings for window-lights, and yet
we have stopt up all we could; we have almost blinded the house, I am
sure. Says I to the exciseman, says I, I think you oft to favour us; I am
sure we are very good friends to the government: and so we are for
sartain, for we pay a mint of money to 'um. And yet I often think to
myself the government doth not imagine itself more obliged to us, than to
those that don't pay 'um a farthing. Ay, ay, it is the way of the world.”



She was proceeding in this manner when the surgeon entered the room. The
lieutenant immediately asked how his patient did. But he resolved him only
by saying, “Better, I believe, than he would have been by this time,
if I had not been called; and even as it is, perhaps it would have been
lucky if I could have been called sooner.”—“I hope, sir,”
said the lieutenant, “the skull is not fractured.”—“Hum,”
cries the surgeon: “fractures are not always the most dangerous
symptoms. Contusions and lacerations are often attended with worse
phaenomena, and with more fatal consequences, than fractures. People who
know nothing of the matter conclude, if the skull is not fractured, all is
well; whereas, I had rather see a man's skull broke all to pieces, than
some contusions I have met with.”—“I hope,” says
the lieutenant, “there are no such symptoms here.”—“Symptoms,”
answered the surgeon, “are not always regular nor constant. I have
known very unfavourable symptoms in the morning change to favourable ones
at noon, and return to unfavourable again at night. Of wounds, indeed, it
is rightly and truly said, Nemo repente fuit turpissimus. I was
once, I remember, called to a patient who had received a violent contusion
in his tibia, by which the exterior cutis was lacerated, so that there was
a profuse sanguinary discharge; and the interior membranes were so
divellicated, that the os or bone very plainly appeared through the
aperture of the vulnus or wound. Some febrile symptoms intervening at the
same time (for the pulse was exuberant and indicated much phlebotomy), I
apprehended an immediate mortification. To prevent which, I presently made
a large orifice in the vein of the left arm, whence I drew twenty ounces
of blood; which I expected to have found extremely sizy and glutinous, or
indeed coagulated, as it is in pleuretic complaints; but, to my surprize,
it appeared rosy and florid, and its consistency differed little from the
blood of those in perfect health. I then applied a fomentation to the
part, which highly answered the intention; and after three or four times
dressing, the wound began to discharge a thick pus or matter, by which
means the cohesion—But perhaps I do not make myself perfectly well
understood?”—“No, really,” answered the
lieutenant, “I cannot say I understand a syllable.”—“Well,
sir,” said the surgeon, “then I shall not tire your patience;
in short, within six weeks my patient was able to walk upon his legs as
perfectly as he could have done before he received the contusion.”—“I
wish, sir,” said the lieutenant, “you would be so kind only to
inform me, whether the wound this young gentleman hath had the misfortune
to receive, is likely to prove mortal.”—“Sir,”
answered the surgeon, “to say whether a wound will prove mortal or
not at first dressing, would be very weak and foolish presumption: we are
all mortal, and symptoms often occur in a cure which the greatest of our
profession could never foresee.”—“But do you think him
in danger?” says the other.—“In danger! ay, surely,”
cries the doctor: “who is there among us, who, in the most perfect
health, can be said not to be in danger? Can a man, therefore, with so bad
a wound as this be said to be out of danger? All I can say at present is,
that it is well I was called as I was, and perhaps it would have been
better if I had been called sooner. I will see him again early in the
morning; and in the meantime let him be kept extremely quiet, and drink
liberally of water-gruel.”—“Won't you allow him
sack-whey?” said the landlady.—“Ay, ay, sack-whey,”
cries the doctor, “if you will, provided it be very small.”—“And
a little chicken broth too?” added she.—“Yes, yes,
chicken broth,” said the doctor, “is very good.”—“Mayn't
I make him some jellies too?” said the landlady.—“Ay,
ay,” answered the doctor, “jellies are very good for wounds,
for they promote cohesion.” And indeed it was lucky she had not
named soup or high sauces, for the doctor would have complied, rather than
have lost the custom of the house.



The doctor was no sooner gone, than the landlady began to trumpet forth
his fame to the lieutenant, who had not, from their short acquaintance,
conceived quite so favourable an opinion of his physical abilities as the
good woman, and all the neighbourhood, entertained (and perhaps very
rightly); for though I am afraid the doctor was a little of a coxcomb, he
might be nevertheless very much of a surgeon.



The lieutenant having collected from the learned discourse of the surgeon
that Mr Jones was in great danger, gave orders for keeping Mr Northerton
under a very strict guard, designing in the morning to attend him to a
justice of peace, and to commit the conducting the troops to Gloucester to
the French lieutenant, who, though he could neither read, write, nor speak
any language, was, however, a good officer.



In the evening, our commander sent a message to Mr Jones, that if a visit
would not be troublesome, he would wait on him. This civility was very
kindly and thankfully received by Jones, and the lieutenant accordingly
went up to his room, where he found the wounded man much better than he
expected; nay, Jones assured his friend, that if he had not received
express orders to the contrary from the surgeon, he should have got up
long ago; for he appeared to himself to be as well as ever, and felt no
other inconvenience from his wound but an extreme soreness on that side of
his head.



“I should be very glad,” quoth the lieutenant, “if you
was as well as you fancy yourself, for then you could be able to do
yourself justice immediately; for when a matter can't be made up, as in
case of a blow, the sooner you take him out the better; but I am afraid
you think yourself better than you are, and he would have too much
advantage over you.”



“I'll try, however,” answered Jones, “if you please, and
will be so kind to lend me a sword, for I have none here of my own.”



“My sword is heartily at your service, my dear boy,” cries the
lieutenant, kissing him; “you are a brave lad, and I love your
spirit; but I fear your strength; for such a blow, and so much loss of
blood, must have very much weakened you; and though you feel no want of
strength in your bed, yet you most probably would after a thrust or two. I
can't consent to your taking him out tonight; but I hope you will be able
to come up with us before we get many days' march advance; and I give you
my honour you shall have satisfaction, or the man who hath injured you
shan't stay in our regiment.”



“I wish,” said Jones, “it was possible to decide this
matter to-night: now you have mentioned it to me, I shall not be able to
rest.”



“Oh, never think of it,” returned the other: “a few days
will make no difference. The wounds of honour are not like those in your
body: they suffer nothing by the delay of cure. It will be altogether as
well for you to receive satisfaction a week hence as now.”



“But suppose,” says Jones, “I should grow worse, and die
of the consequences of my present wound?”



“Then your honour,” answered the lieutenant, “will
require no reparation at all. I myself will do justice to your character,
and testify to the world your intention to have acted properly, if you had
recovered.”



“Still,” replied Jones, “I am concerned at the delay. I
am almost afraid to mention it to you who are a soldier; but though I have
been a very wild young fellow, still in my most serious moments, and at
the bottom, I am really a Christian.”



“So am I too, I assure you,” said the officer; “and so
zealous a one, that I was pleased with you at dinner for taking up the
cause of your religion; and I am a little offended with you now, young
gentleman, that you should express a fear of declaring your faith before
any one.”



“But how terrible must it be,” cries Jones, “to any one
who is really a Christian, to cherish malice in his breast, in opposition
to the command of Him who hath expressly forbid it? How can I bear to do
this on a sick-bed? Or how shall I make up my account, with such an
article as this in my bosom against me?”



“Why, I believe there is such a command,” cries the
lieutenant; “but a man of honour can't keep it. And you must be a
man of honour, if you will be in the army. I remember I once put the case
to our chaplain over a bowl of punch, and he confessed there was much
difficulty in it; but he said, he hoped there might be a latitude granted
to soldiers in this one instance; and to be sure it is our duty to hope
so; for who would bear to live without his honour? No, no, my dear boy, be
a good Christian as long as you live; but be a man of honour too, and
never put up an affront; not all the books, nor all the parsons in the
world, shall ever persuade me to that. I love my religion very well, but I
love my honour more. There must be some mistake in the wording the text,
or in the translation, or in the understanding it, or somewhere or other.
But however that be, a man must run the risque, for he must preserve his
honour. So compose yourself to-night, and I promise you you shall have an
opportunity of doing yourself justice.” Here he gave Jones a hearty
buss, shook him by the hand, and took his leave.



But though the lieutenant's reasoning was very satisfactory to himself, it
was not entirely so to his friend. Jones therefore, having revolved this
matter much in his thoughts, at last came to a resolution, which the
reader will find in the next chapter.




















Chapter xiv. — A most dreadful chapter indeed; and which few readers
ought to venture upon in an evening, especially when alone.



Jones swallowed a large mess of chicken, or rather cock, broth, with a
very good appetite, as indeed he would have done the cock it was made of,
with a pound of bacon into the bargain; and now, finding in himself no
deficiency of either health or spirit, he resolved to get up and seek his
enemy.



But first he sent for the serjeant, who was his first acquaintance among
these military gentlemen. Unluckily that worthy officer having, in a
literal sense, taken his fill of liquor, had been some time retired to his
bolster, where he was snoring so loud that it was not easy to convey a
noise in at his ears capable of drowning that which issued from his
nostrils.



However, as Jones persisted in his desire of seeing him, a vociferous
drawer at length found means to disturb his slumbers, and to acquaint him
with the message. Of which the serjeant was no sooner made sensible, than
he arose from his bed, and having his clothes already on, immediately
attended. Jones did not think fit to acquaint the serjeant with his
design; though he might have done it with great safety, for the halberdier
was himself a man of honour, and had killed his man. He would therefore
have faithfully kept this secret, or indeed any other which no reward was
published for discovering. But as Jones knew not those virtues in so short
an acquaintance, his caution was perhaps prudent and commendable enough.



He began therefore by acquainting the serjeant, that as he was now entered
into the army, he was ashamed of being without what was perhaps the most
necessary implement of a soldier; namely, a sword; adding, that he should
be infinitely obliged to him, if he could procure one. “For which,”
says he, “I will give you any reasonable price; nor do I insist upon
its being silver-hilted; only a good blade, and such as may become a
soldier's thigh.”



The serjeant, who well knew what had happened, and had heard that Jones
was in a very dangerous condition, immediately concluded, from such a
message, at such a time of night, and from a man in such a situation, that
he was light-headed. Now as he had his wit (to use that word in its common
signification) always ready, he bethought himself of making his advantage
of this humour in the sick man. “Sir,” says he, “I
believe I can fit you. I have a most excellent piece of stuff by me. It is
not indeed silver-hilted, which, as you say, doth not become a soldier;
but the handle is decent enough, and the blade one of the best in Europe.
It is a blade that—a blade that—in short, I will fetch it you
this instant, and you shall see it and handle it. I am glad to see your
honour so well with all my heart.”



Being instantly returned with the sword, he delivered it to Jones, who
took it and drew it; and then told the serjeant it would do very well, and
bid him name his price.



The serjeant now began to harangue in praise of his goods. He said (nay he
swore very heartily), “that the blade was taken from a French
officer, of very high rank, at the battle of Dettingen. I took it myself,”
says he, “from his side, after I had knocked him o' the head. The
hilt was a golden one. That I sold to one of our fine gentlemen; for there
are some of them, an't please your honour, who value the hilt of a sword
more than the blade.”



Here the other stopped him, and begged him to name a price. The serjeant,
who thought Jones absolutely out of his senses, and very near his end, was
afraid lest he should injure his family by asking too little. However,
after a moment's hesitation, he contented himself with naming twenty
guineas, and swore he would not sell it for less to his own brother.



“Twenty guineas!” says Jones, in the utmost surprize: “sure
you think I am mad, or that I never saw a sword in my life. Twenty
guineas, indeed! I did not imagine you would endeavour to impose upon me.
Here, take the sword—No, now I think on't, I will keep it myself,
and show it your officer in the morning, acquainting him, at the same
time, what a price you asked me for it.”



The serjeant, as we have said, had always his wit (in sensu praedicto)
about him, and now plainly saw that Jones was not in the condition he had
apprehended him to be; he now, therefore, counterfeited as great surprize
as the other had shown, and said, “I am certain, sir, I have not
asked you so much out of the way. Besides, you are to consider, it is the
only sword I have, and I must run the risque of my officer's displeasure,
by going without one myself. And truly, putting all this together, I don't
think twenty shillings was so much out of the way.”



“Twenty shillings!” cries Jones; “why, you just now
asked me twenty guineas.”—“How!” cries the
serjeant, “sure your honour must have mistaken me: or else I mistook
myself—and indeed I am but half awake. Twenty guineas, indeed! no
wonder your honour flew into such a passion. I say twenty guineas too. No,
no, I mean twenty shillings, I assure you. And when your honour comes to
consider everything, I hope you will not think that so extravagant a
price. It is indeed true, you may buy a weapon which looks as well for
less money. But——”



Here Jones interrupted him, saying, “I will be so far from making
any words with you, that I will give you a shilling more than your demand.”
He then gave him a guinea, bid him return to his bed, and wished him a
good march; adding, he hoped to overtake them before the division reached
Worcester.



The serjeant very civilly took his leave, fully satisfied with his
merchandize, and not a little pleased with his dexterous recovery from
that false step into which his opinion of the sick man's light-headedness
had betrayed him.



As soon as the serjeant was departed, Jones rose from his bed, and dressed
himself entirely, putting on even his coat, which, as its colour was
white, showed very visibly the streams of blood which had flowed down it;
and now, having grasped his new-purchased sword in his hand, he was going
to issue forth, when the thought of what he was about to undertake laid
suddenly hold of him, and he began to reflect that in a few minutes he
might possibly deprive a human being of life, or might lose his own.
“Very well,” said he, “and in what cause do I venture my
life? Why, in that of my honour. And who is this human being? A rascal who
hath injured and insulted me without provocation. But is not revenge
forbidden by Heaven? Yes, but it is enjoined by the world. Well, but shall
I obey the world in opposition to the express commands of Heaven? Shall I
incur the Divine displeasure rather than be called—ha—coward—scoundrel?—I'll
think no more; I am resolved, and must fight him.”



The clock had now struck twelve, and every one in the house were in their
beds, except the centinel who stood to guard Northerton, when Jones softly
opening his door, issued forth in pursuit of his enemy, of whose place of
confinement he had received a perfect description from the drawer. It is
not easy to conceive a much more tremendous figure than he now exhibited.
He had on, as we have said, a light-coloured coat, covered with streams of
blood. His face, which missed that very blood, as well as twenty ounces
more drawn from him by the surgeon, was pallid. Round his head was a
quantity of bandage, not unlike a turban. In the right hand he carried a
sword, and in the left a candle. So that the bloody Banquo was not worthy
to be compared to him. In fact, I believe a more dreadful apparition was
never raised in a church-yard, nor in the imagination of any good people
met in a winter evening over a Christmas fire in Somersetshire.



When the centinel first saw our heroe approach, his hair began gently to
lift up his grenadier cap; and in the same instant his knees fell to blows
with each other. Presently his whole body was seized with worse than an
ague fit. He then fired his piece, and fell flat on his face.



Whether fear or courage was the occasion of his firing, or whether he took
aim at the object of his terror, I cannot say. If he did, however, he had
the good fortune to miss his man.



Jones seeing the fellow fall, guessed the cause of his fright, at which he
could not forbear smiling, not in the least reflecting on the danger from
which he had just escaped. He then passed by the fellow, who still
continued in the posture in which he fell, and entered the room where
Northerton, as he had heard, was confined. Here, in a solitary situation,
he found—an empty quart pot standing on the table, on which some
beer being spilt, it looked as if the room had lately been inhabited; but
at present it was entirely vacant.



Jones then apprehended it might lead to some other apartment; but upon
searching all round it, he could perceive no other door than that at which
he entered, and where the centinel had been posted. He then proceeded to
call Northerton several times by his name; but no one answered; nor did
this serve to any other purpose than to confirm the centinel in his
terrors, who was now convinced that the volunteer was dead of his wounds,
and that his ghost was come in search of the murderer: he now lay in all
the agonies of horror; and I wish, with all my heart, some of those actors
who are hereafter to represent a man frighted out of his wits had seen
him, that they might be taught to copy nature, instead of performing
several antic tricks and gestures, for the entertainment and applause of
the galleries.



Perceiving the bird was flown, at least despairing to find him, and
rightly apprehending that the report of the firelock would alarm the whole
house, our heroe now blew out his candle, and gently stole back again to
his chamber, and to his bed; whither he would not have been able to have
gotten undiscovered, had any other person been on the same staircase, save
only one gentleman who was confined to his bed by the gout; for before he
could reach the door to his chamber, the hall where the centinel had been
posted was half full of people, some in their shirts, and others not half
drest, all very earnestly enquiring of each other what was the matter.



The soldier was now found lying in the same place and posture in which we
just now left him. Several immediately applied themselves to raise him,
and some concluded him dead; but they presently saw their mistake, for he
not only struggled with those who laid their hands on him, but fell a
roaring like a bull. In reality, he imagined so many spirits or devils
were handling him; for his imagination being possessed with the horror of
an apparition, converted every object he saw or felt into nothing but
ghosts and spectres.



At length he was overpowered by numbers, and got upon his legs; when
candles being brought, and seeing two or three of his comrades present, he
came a little to himself; but when they asked him what was the matter? he
answered, “I am a dead man, that's all, I am a dead man, I can't
recover it, I have seen him.” “What hast thou seen, Jack?”
says one of the soldiers. “Why, I have seen the young volunteer that
was killed yesterday.” He then imprecated the most heavy curses on
himself, if he had not seen the volunteer, all over blood, vomiting fire
out of his mouth and nostrils, pass by him into the chamber where Ensign
Northerton was, and then seizing the ensign by the throat, fly away with
him in a clap of thunder.



This relation met with a gracious reception from the audience. All the
women present believed it firmly, and prayed Heaven to defend them from
murder. Amongst the men too, many had faith in the story; but others
turned it into derision and ridicule; and a serjeant who was present
answered very coolly, “Young man, you will hear more of this, for
going to sleep and dreaming on your post.”



The soldier replied, “You may punish me if you please; but I was as
broad awake as I am now; and the devil carry me away, as he hath the
ensign, if I did not see the dead man, as I tell you, with eyes as big and
as fiery as two large flambeaux.”



The commander of the forces, and the commander of the house, were now both
arrived; for the former being awake at the time, and hearing the centinel
fire his piece, thought it his duty to rise immediately, though he had no
great apprehensions of any mischief; whereas the apprehensions of the
latter were much greater, lest her spoons and tankards should be upon the
march, without having received any such orders from her.



Our poor centinel, to whom the sight of this officer was not much more
welcome than the apparition, as he thought it, which he had seen before,
again related the dreadful story, and with many additions of blood and
fire; but he had the misfortune to gain no credit with either of the
last-mentioned persons: for the officer, though a very religious man, was
free from all terrors of this kind; besides, having so lately left Jones
in the condition we have seen, he had no suspicion of his being dead. As
for the landlady, though not over religious, she had no kind of aversion
to the doctrine of spirits; but there was a circumstance in the tale which
she well knew to be false, as we shall inform the reader presently.



But whether Northerton was carried away in thunder or fire, or in whatever
other manner he was gone, it was now certain that his body was no longer
in custody. Upon this occasion the lieutenant formed a conclusion not very
different from what the serjeant is just mentioned to have made before,
and immediately ordered the centinel to be taken prisoner. So that, by a
strange reverse of fortune (though not very uncommon in a military life),
the guard became the guarded.




















Chapter xv. — The conclusion of the foregoing adventure.



Besides the suspicion of sleep, the lieutenant harboured another and worse
doubt against the poor centinel, and this was, that of treachery; for as
he believed not one syllable of the apparition, so he imagined the whole
to be an invention formed only to impose upon him, and that the fellow had
in reality been bribed by Northerton to let him escape. And this he
imagined the rather, as the fright appeared to him the more unnatural in
one who had the character of as brave and bold a man as any in the
regiment, having been in several actions, having received several wounds,
and, in a word, having behaved himself always like a good and valiant
soldier.



That the reader, therefore, may not conceive the least ill opinion of such
a person, we shall not delay a moment in rescuing his character from the
imputation of this guilt.



Mr Northerton then, as we have before observed, was fully satisfied with
the glory which he had obtained from this action. He had perhaps seen, or
heard, or guessed, that envy is apt to attend fame. Not that I would here
insinuate that he was heathenishly inclined to believe in or to worship
the goddess Nemesis; for, in fact, I am convinced he never heard of her
name. He was, besides, of an active disposition, and had a great antipathy
to those close quarters in the castle of Gloucester, for which a justice
of peace might possibly give him a billet. Nor was he moreover free from
some uneasy meditations on a certain wooden edifice, which I forbear to
name, in conformity to the opinion of mankind, who, I think, rather ought
to honour than to be ashamed of this building, as it is, or at least might
be made, of more benefit to society than almost any other public erection.
In a word, to hint at no more reasons for his conduct, Mr Northerton was
desirous of departing that evening, and nothing remained for him but to
contrive the quomodo, which appeared to be a matter of some difficulty.



Now this young gentleman, though somewhat crooked in his morals, was
perfectly straight in his person, which was extremely strong and well
made. His face too was accounted handsome by the generality of women, for
it was broad and ruddy, with tolerably good teeth. Such charms did not
fail making an impression on my landlady, who had no little relish for
this kind of beauty. She had, indeed, a real compassion for the young man;
and hearing from the surgeon that affairs were like to go ill with the
volunteer, she suspected they might hereafter wear no benign aspect with
the ensign. Having obtained, therefore, leave to make him a visit, and
finding him in a very melancholy mood, which she considerably heightened
by telling him there were scarce any hopes of the volunteer's life, she
proceeded to throw forth some hints, which the other readily and eagerly
taking up, they soon came to a right understanding; and it was at length
agreed that the ensign should, at a certain signal, ascend the chimney,
which communicating very soon with that of the kitchen, he might there
again let himself down; for which she would give him an opportunity by
keeping the coast clear.



But lest our readers, of a different complexion, should take this occasion
of too hastily condemning all compassion as a folly, and pernicious to
society, we think proper to mention another particular which might
possibly have some little share in this action. The ensign happened to be
at this time possessed of the sum of fifty pounds, which did indeed belong
to the whole company; for the captain having quarrelled with his
lieutenant, had entrusted the payment of his company to the ensign. This
money, however, he thought proper to deposit in my landlady's hand,
possibly by way of bail or security that he would hereafter appear and
answer to the charge against him; but whatever were the conditions,
certain it is, that she had the money and the ensign his liberty.



The reader may perhaps expect, from the compassionate temper of this good
woman, that when she saw the poor centinel taken prisoner for a fact of
which she knew him innocent, she should immediately have interposed in his
behalf; but whether it was that she had already exhausted all her
compassion in the above-mentioned instance, or that the features of this
fellow, though not very different from those of the ensign, could not
raise it, I will not determine; but, far from being an advocate for the
present prisoner, she urged his guilt to his officer, declaring, with
uplifted eyes and hands, that she would not have had any concern in the
escape of a murderer for all the world.



Everything was now once more quiet, and most of the company returned again
to their beds; but the landlady, either from the natural activity of her
disposition, or from her fear for her plate, having no propensity to
sleep, prevailed with the officers, as they were to march within little
more than an hour, to spend that time with her over a bowl of punch.



Jones had lain awake all this while, and had heard great part of the hurry
and bustle that had passed, of which he had now some curiosity to know the
particulars. He therefore applied to his bell, which he rung at least
twenty times without any effect: for my landlady was in such high mirth
with her company, that no clapper could be heard there but her own; and
the drawer and chambermaid, who were sitting together in the kitchen (for
neither durst he sit up nor she lie in bed alone), the more they heard the
bell ring the more they were frightened, and as it were nailed down in
their places.



At last, at a lucky interval of chat, the sound reached the ears of our
good landlady, who presently sent forth her summons, which both her
servants instantly obeyed. “Joe,” says the mistress, “don't
you hear the gentleman's bell ring? Why don't you go up?”—“It
is not my business,” answered the drawer, “to wait upon the
chambers—it is Betty Chambermaid's.”—“If you come
to that,” answered the maid, “it is not my business to wait
upon gentlemen. I have done it indeed sometimes; but the devil fetch me if
ever I do again, since you make your preambles about it.” The bell
still ringing violently, their mistress fell into a passion, and swore, if
the drawer did not go up immediately, she would turn him away that very
morning. “If you do, madam,” says he, “I can't help it.
I won't do another servant's business.” She then applied herself to
the maid, and endeavoured to prevail by gentle means; but all in vain:
Betty was as inflexible as Joe. Both insisted it was not their business,
and they would not do it.



The lieutenant then fell a laughing, and said, “Come, I will put an
end to this contention;” and then turning to the servants, commended
them for their resolution in not giving up the point; but added, he was
sure, if one would consent to go the other would. To which proposal they
both agreed in an instant, and accordingly went up very lovingly and close
together. When they were gone, the lieutenant appeased the wrath of the
landlady, by satisfying her why they were both so unwilling to go alone.



They returned soon after, and acquainted their mistress, that the sick
gentleman was so far from being dead, that he spoke as heartily as if he
was well; and that he gave his service to the captain, and should be very
glad of the favour of seeing him before he marched.



The good lieutenant immediately complied with his desires, and sitting
down by his bed-side, acquainted him with the scene which had happened
below, concluding with his intentions to make an example of the centinel.



Upon this Jones related to him the whole truth, and earnestly begged him
not to punish the poor soldier, “who, I am confident,” says
he, “is as innocent of the ensign's escape, as he is of forging any
lie, or of endeavouring to impose on you.”



The lieutenant hesitated a few moments, and then answered: “Why, as
you have cleared the fellow of one part of the charge, so it will be
impossible to prove the other, because he was not the only centinel. But I
have a good mind to punish the rascal for being a coward. Yet who knows
what effect the terror of such an apprehension may have? and, to say the
truth, he hath always behaved well against an enemy. Come, it is a good
thing to see any sign of religion in these fellows; so I promise you he
shall be set at liberty when we march. But hark, the general beats. My
dear boy, give me another buss. Don't discompose nor hurry yourself; but
remember the Christian doctrine of patience, and I warrant you will soon
be able to do yourself justice, and to take an honourable revenge on the
fellow who hath injured you.” The lieutenant then departed, and
Jones endeavoured to compose himself to rest.




















BOOK VIII. — CONTAINING ABOUT TWO DAYS.




















Chapter i. — A wonderful long chapter concerning the marvellous;
being much the longest of all our introductory chapters.



As we are now entering upon a book in which the course of our history will
oblige us to relate some matters of a more strange and surprizing kind
than any which have hitherto occurred, it may not be amiss, in the
prolegomenous or introductory chapter, to say something of that species of
writing which is called the marvellous. To this we shall, as well for the
sake of ourselves as of others, endeavour to set some certain bounds, and
indeed nothing can be more necessary, as critics[*] of different
complexions are here apt to run into very different extremes; for while
some are, with M. Dacier, ready to allow, that the same thing which is
impossible may be yet probable,[**] others have so little historic or
poetic faith, that they believe nothing to be either possible or probable,
the like to which hath not occurred to their own observation.


  [*] By this word here, and in most other parts of our work, we mean
every reader in the world.
[**] It is happy for M. Dacier that he was not an Irishman.


First, then, I think it may very reasonably be required of every writer,
that he keeps within the bounds of possibility; and still remembers that
what it is not possible for man to perform, it is scarce possible for man
to believe he did perform. This conviction perhaps gave birth to many
stories of the antient heathen deities (for most of them are of poetical
original). The poet, being desirous to indulge a wanton and extravagant
imagination, took refuge in that power, of the extent of which his readers
were no judges, or rather which they imagined to be infinite, and
consequently they could not be shocked at any prodigies related of it.
This hath been strongly urged in defence of Homer's miracles; and it is
perhaps a defence; not, as Mr Pope would have it, because Ulysses told a
set of foolish lies to the Phaeacians, who were a very dull nation; but
because the poet himself wrote to heathens, to whom poetical fables were
articles of faith. For my own part, I must confess, so compassionate is my
temper, I wish Polypheme had confined himself to his milk diet, and
preserved his eye; nor could Ulysses be much more concerned than myself,
when his companions were turned into swine by Circe, who showed, I think,
afterwards, too much regard for man's flesh to be supposed capable of
converting it into bacon. I wish, likewise, with all my heart, that Homer
could have known the rule prescribed by Horace, to introduce supernatural
agents as seldom as possible. We should not then have seen his gods coming
on trivial errands, and often behaving themselves so as not only to
forfeit all title to respect, but to become the objects of scorn and
derision. A conduct which must have shocked the credulity of a pious and
sagacious heathen; and which could never have been defended, unless by
agreeing with a supposition to which I have been sometimes almost
inclined, that this most glorious poet, as he certainly was, had an intent
to burlesque the superstitious faith of his own age and country.



But I have rested too long on a doctrine which can be of no use to a
Christian writer; for as he cannot introduce into his works any of that
heavenly host which make a part of his creed, so it is horrid puerility to
search the heathen theology for any of those deities who have been long
since dethroned from their immortality. Lord Shaftesbury observes, that
nothing is more cold than the invocation of a muse by a modern; he might
have added, that nothing can be more absurd. A modern may with much more
elegance invoke a ballad, as some have thought Homer did, or a mug of ale,
with the author of Hudibras; which latter may perhaps have inspired much
more poetry, as well as prose, than all the liquors of Hippocrene or
Helicon.



The only supernatural agents which can in any manner be allowed to us
moderns, are ghosts; but of these I would advise an author to be extremely
sparing. These are indeed, like arsenic, and other dangerous drugs in
physic, to be used with the utmost caution; nor would I advise the
introduction of them at all in those works, or by those authors, to which,
or to whom, a horse-laugh in the reader would be any great prejudice or
mortification.



As for elves and fairies, and other such mummery, I purposely omit the
mention of them, as I should be very unwilling to confine within any
bounds those surprizing imaginations, for whose vast capacity the limits
of human nature are too narrow; whose works are to be considered as a new
creation; and who have consequently just right to do what they will with
their own.



Man therefore is the highest subject (unless on very extraordinary
occasions indeed) which presents itself to the pen of our historian, or of
our poet; and, in relating his actions, great care is to be taken that we
do not exceed the capacity of the agent we describe.



Nor is possibility alone sufficient to justify us; we must keep likewise
within the rules of probability. It is, I think, the opinion of Aristotle;
or if not, it is the opinion of some wise man, whose authority will be as
weighty when it is as old, “That it is no excuse for a poet who
relates what is incredible, that the thing related is really matter of
fact.” This may perhaps be allowed true with regard to poetry, but
it may be thought impracticable to extend it to the historian; for he is
obliged to record matters as he finds them, though they may be of so
extraordinary a nature as will require no small degree of historical faith
to swallow them. Such was the successless armament of Xerxes described by
Herodotus, or the successful expedition of Alexander related by Arrian.
Such of later years was the victory of Agincourt obtained by Harry the
Fifth, or that of Narva won by Charles the Twelfth of Sweden. All which
instances, the more we reflect on them, appear still the more astonishing.



Such facts, however, as they occur in the thread of the story, nay,
indeed, as they constitute the essential parts of it, the historian is not
only justifiable in recording as they really happened, but indeed would be
unpardonable should he omit or alter them. But there are other facts not
of such consequence nor so necessary, which, though ever so well attested,
may nevertheless be sacrificed to oblivion in complacence to the
scepticism of a reader. Such is that memorable story of the ghost of
George Villiers, which might with more propriety have been made a present
of to Dr Drelincourt, to have kept the ghost of Mrs Veale company, at the
head of his Discourse upon Death, than have been introduced into so solemn
a work as the History of the Rebellion.



To say the truth, if the historian will confine himself to what really
happened, and utterly reject any circumstance, which, though never so well
attested, he must be well assured is false, he will sometimes fall into
the marvellous, but never into the incredible. He will often raise the
wonder and surprize of his reader, but never that incredulous hatred
mentioned by Horace. It is by falling into fiction, therefore, that we
generally offend against this rule, of deserting probability, which the
historian seldom, if ever, quits, till he forsakes his character and
commences a writer of romance. In this, however, those historians who
relate public transactions, have the advantage of us who confine ourselves
to scenes of private life. The credit of the former is by common notoriety
supported for a long time; and public records, with the concurrent
testimony of many authors, bear evidence to their truth in future ages.
Thus a Trajan and an Antoninus, a Nero and a Caligula, have all met with
the belief of posterity; and no one doubts but that men so very good, and
so very bad, were once the masters of mankind.



But we who deal in private character, who search into the most retired
recesses, and draw forth examples of virtue and vice from holes and
corners of the world, are in a more dangerous situation. As we have no
public notoriety, no concurrent testimony, no records to support and
corroborate what we deliver, it becomes us to keep within the limits not
only of possibility, but of probability too; and this more especially in
painting what is greatly good and amiable. Knavery and folly, though never
so exorbitant, will more easily meet with assent; for ill-nature adds
great support and strength to faith.



Thus we may, perhaps, with little danger, relate the history of Fisher;
who having long owed his bread to the generosity of Mr Derby, and having
one morning received a considerable bounty from his hands, yet, in order
to possess himself of what remained in his friend's scrutore, concealed
himself in a public office of the Temple, through which there was a
passage into Mr Derby's chambers. Here he overheard Mr Derby for many
hours solacing himself at an entertainment which he that evening gave his
friends, and to which Fisher had been invited. During all this time, no
tender, no grateful reflections arose to restrain his purpose; but when
the poor gentleman had let his company out through the office, Fisher came
suddenly from his lurking-place, and walking softly behind his friend into
his chamber, discharged a pistol-ball into his head. This may be believed
when the bones of Fisher are as rotten as his heart. Nay, perhaps, it will
be credited, that the villain went two days afterwards with some young
ladies to the play of Hamlet; and with an unaltered countenance heard one
of the ladies, who little suspected how near she was to the person, cry
out, “Good God! if the man that murdered Mr Derby was now present!”
manifesting in this a more seared and callous conscience than even Nero
himself; of whom we are told by Suetonius, “that the consciousness
of his guilt, after the death of his mother, became immediately
intolerable, and so continued; nor could all the congratulations of the
soldiers, of the senate, and the people, allay the horrors of his
conscience.”



But now, on the other hand, should I tell my reader, that I had known a
man whose penetrating genius had enabled him to raise a large fortune in a
way where no beginning was chaulked out to him; that he had done this with
the most perfect preservation of his integrity, and not only without the
least injustice or injury to any one individual person, but with the
highest advantage to trade, and a vast increase of the public revenue;
that he had expended one part of the income of this fortune in discovering
a taste superior to most, by works where the highest dignity was united
with the purest simplicity, and another part in displaying a degree of
goodness superior to all men, by acts of charity to objects whose only
recommendations were their merits, or their wants; that he was most
industrious in searching after merit in distress, most eager to relieve
it, and then as careful (perhaps too careful) to conceal what he had done;
that his house, his furniture, his gardens, his table, his private
hospitality, and his public beneficence, all denoted the mind from which
they flowed, and were all intrinsically rich and noble, without tinsel, or
external ostentation; that he filled every relation in life with the most
adequate virtue; that he was most piously religious to his Creator, most
zealously loyal to his sovereign; a most tender husband to his wife, a
kind relation, a munificent patron, a warm and firm friend, a knowing and
a chearful companion, indulgent to his servants, hospitable to his
neighbours, charitable to the poor, and benevolent to all mankind. Should
I add to these the epithets of wise, brave, elegant, and indeed every
other amiable epithet in our language, I might surely say,


      —Quis credet? nemo Hercule! nemo;
Vel duo, vel nemo;



and yet I know a man who is all I have here described. But a single
instance (and I really know not such another) is not sufficient to justify
us, while we are writing to thousands who never heard of the person, nor
of anything like him. Such rarae aves should be remitted to the
epitaph writer, or to some poet who may condescend to hitch him in a
distich, or to slide him into a rhime with an air of carelessness and
neglect, without giving any offence to the reader.



In the last place, the actions should be such as may not only be within
the compass of human agency, and which human agents may probably be
supposed to do; but they should be likely for the very actors and
characters themselves to have performed; for what may be only wonderful
and surprizing in one man, may become improbable, or indeed impossible,
when related of another.



This last requisite is what the dramatic critics call conversation of
character; and it requires a very extraordinary degree of judgment, and a
most exact knowledge of human nature.



It is admirably remarked by a most excellent writer, that zeal can no more
hurry a man to act in direct opposition to itself, than a rapid stream can
carry a boat against its own current. I will venture to say, that for a
man to act in direct contradiction to the dictates of his nature, is, if
not impossible, as improbable and as miraculous as anything which can well
be conceived. Should the best parts of the story of M. Antoninus be
ascribed to Nero, or should the worst incidents of Nero's life be imputed
to Antoninus, what would be more shocking to belief than either instance?
whereas both these being related of their proper agent, constitute the
truly marvellous.



Our modern authors of comedy have fallen almost universally into the error
here hinted at; their heroes generally are notorious rogues, and their
heroines abandoned jades, during the first four acts; but in the fifth,
the former become very worthy gentlemen, and the latter women of virtue
and discretion: nor is the writer often so kind as to give himself the
least trouble to reconcile or account for this monstrous change and
incongruity. There is, indeed, no other reason to be assigned for it, than
because the play is drawing to a conclusion; as if it was no less natural
in a rogue to repent in the last act of a play, than in the last of his
life; which we perceive to be generally the case at Tyburn, a place which
might indeed close the scene of some comedies with much propriety, as the
heroes in these are most commonly eminent for those very talents which not
only bring men to the gallows, but enable them to make an heroic figure
when they are there.



Within these few restrictions, I think, every writer may be permitted to
deal as much in the wonderful as he pleases; nay, if he thus keeps within
the rules of credibility, the more he can surprize the reader the more he
will engage his attention, and the more he will charm him. As a genius of
the highest rank observes in his fifth chapter of the Bathos, “The
great art of all poetry is to mix truth with fiction, in order to join the
credible with the surprizing.”



For though every good author will confine himself within the bounds of
probability, it is by no means necessary that his characters, or his
incidents, should be trite, common, or vulgar; such as happen in every
street, or in every house, or which may be met with in the home articles
of a newspaper. Nor must he be inhibited from showing many persons and
things, which may possibly have never fallen within the knowledge of great
part of his readers. If the writer strictly observes the rules
above-mentioned, he hath discharged his part; and is then intitled to some
faith from his reader, who is indeed guilty of critical infidelity if he
disbelieves him.



For want of a portion of such faith, I remember the character of a young
lady of quality, which was condemned on the stage for being unnatural, by
the unanimous voice of a very large assembly of clerks and apprentices;
though it had the previous suffrages of many ladies of the first rank; one
of whom, very eminent for her understanding, declared it was the picture
of half the young people of her acquaintance.




















Chapter ii. — In which the landlady pays a visit to Mr Jones.



When Jones had taken leave of his friend the lieutenant, he endeavoured to
close his eyes, but all in vain; his spirits were too lively and wakeful
to be lulled to sleep. So having amused, or rather tormented, himself with
the thoughts of his Sophia till it was open daylight, he called for some
tea; upon which occasion my landlady herself vouchsafed to pay him a
visit.



This was indeed the first time she had seen him, or at least had taken any
notice of him; but as the lieutenant had assured her that he was certainly
some young gentleman of fashion, she now determined to show him all the
respect in her power; for, to speak truly, this was one of those houses
where gentlemen, to use the language of advertisements, meet with civil
treatment for their money.



She had no sooner begun to make his tea, than she likewise began to
discourse:—“La! sir,” said she, “I think it is
great pity that such a pretty young gentleman should under-value himself
so, as to go about with these soldier fellows. They call themselves
gentlemen, I warrant you; but, as my first husband used to say, they
should remember it is we that pay them. And to be sure it is very hard
upon us to be obliged to pay them, and to keep 'um too, as we publicans
are. I had twenty of 'um last night, besides officers: nay, for matter o'
that, I had rather have the soldiers than officers: for nothing is ever
good enough for those sparks; and I am sure, if you was to see the bills;
la! sir, it is nothing. I have had less trouble, I warrant you, with a
good squire's family, where we take forty or fifty shillings of a night,
besides horses. And yet I warrants me, there is narrow a one of those
officer fellows but looks upon himself to be as good as arrow a squire of
£500 a year. To be sure it doth me good to hear their men run about after
'um, crying your honour, and your honour. Marry come up with such honour,
and an ordinary at a shilling a head. Then there's such swearing among
'um, to be sure it frightens me out o' my wits: I thinks nothing can ever
prosper with such wicked people. And here one of 'um has used you in so
barbarous a manner. I thought indeed how well the rest would secure him;
they all hang together; for if you had been in danger of death, which I am
glad to see you are not, it would have been all as one to such wicked
people. They would have let the murderer go. Laud have mercy upon 'um; I
would not have such a sin to answer for, for the whole world. But though
you are likely, with the blessing, to recover, there is laa for him yet;
and if you will employ lawyer Small, I darest be sworn he'll make the
fellow fly the country for him; though perhaps he'll have fled the country
before; for it is here to-day and gone to-morrow with such chaps. I hope,
however, you will learn more wit for the future, and return back to your
friends; I warrant they are all miserable for your loss; and if they was
but to know what had happened—La, my seeming! I would not for the
world they should. Come, come, we know very well what all the matter is;
but if one won't, another will; so pretty a gentleman need never want a
lady. I am sure, if I was you, I would see the finest she that ever wore a
head hanged, before I would go for a soldier for her.—Nay, don't
blush so” (for indeed he did to a violent degree). “Why, you
thought, sir, I knew nothing of the matter, I warrant you, about Madam
Sophia.”—“How,” says Jones, starting up, “do
you know my Sophia?”—“Do I! ay marry,” cries the
landlady; “many's the time hath she lain in this house.”—“With
her aunt, I suppose,” says Jones. “Why, there it is now,”
cries the landlady. “Ay, ay, ay, I know the old lady very well. And
a sweet young creature is Madam Sophia, that's the truth on't.”—“A
sweet creature,” cries Jones; “O heavens!”


  Angels are painted fair to look like her.
There's in her all that we believe of heav'n,
Amazing brightness, purity, and truth,
Eternal joy and everlasting love.


“And could I ever have imagined that you had known my Sophia!”—“I
wish,” says the landlady, “you knew half so much of her. What
would you have given to have sat by her bed-side? What a delicious neck
she hath! Her lovely limbs have stretched themselves in that very bed you
now lie in.”—“Here!” cries Jones: “hath
Sophia ever laid here?”—“Ay, ay, here; there, in that
very bed,” says the landlady; “where I wish you had her this
moment; and she may wish so too for anything I know to the contrary, for
she hath mentioned your name to me.”—“Ha!” cries
he; “did she ever mention her poor Jones? You flatter me now: I can
never believe so much.”—“Why, then,” answered she,
“as I hope to be saved, and may the devil fetch me if I speak a
syllable more than the truth, I have heard her mention Mr Jones; but in a
civil and modest way, I confess; yet I could perceive she thought a great
deal more than she said.”—“O my dear woman!” cries
Jones, “her thoughts of me I shall never be worthy of. Oh, she is
all gentleness, kindness, goodness! Why was such a rascal as I born, ever
to give her soft bosom a moment's uneasiness? Why am I cursed? I, who
would undergo all the plagues and miseries which any daemon ever invented
for mankind, to procure her any good; nay, torture itself could not be
misery to me, did I but know that she was happy.”—“Why,
look you there now,” says the landlady; “I told her you was a
constant lovier.”—“But pray, madam, tell me when or
where you knew anything of me; for I never was here before, nor do I
remember ever to have seen you.”—“Nor is it possible you
should,” answered she; “for you was a little thing when I had
you in my lap at the squire's.”—“How, the squire's?”
says Jones: “what, do you know that great and good Mr Allworthy
then?”—“Yes, marry, do I,” says she: “who in
the country doth not?”—“The fame of his goodness indeed,”
answered Jones, “must have extended farther than this; but heaven
only can know him—can know that benevolence which it copied from
itself, and sent upon earth as its own pattern. Mankind are as ignorant of
such divine goodness, as they are unworthy of it; but none so unworthy of
it as myself. I, who was raised by him to such a height; taken in, as you
must well know, a poor base-born child, adopted by him, and treated as his
own son, to dare by my follies to disoblige him, to draw his vengeance
upon me. Yes, I deserve it all; for I will never be so ungrateful as ever
to think he hath done an act of injustice by me. No, I deserve to be
turned out of doors, as I am. And now, madam,” says he, “I
believe you will not blame me for turning soldier, especially with such a
fortune as this in my pocket.” At which words he shook a purse,
which had but very little in it, and which still appeared to the landlady
to have less.



My good landlady was (according to vulgar phrase) struck all of a heap by
this relation. She answered coldly, “That to be sure people were the
best judges what was most proper for their circumstances. But hark,”
says she, “I think I hear somebody call. Coming! coming! the devil's
in all our volk; nobody hath any ears. I must go down-stairs; if you want
any more breakfast the maid will come up. Coming!” At which words,
without taking any leave, she flung out of the room; for the lower sort of
people are very tenacious of respect; and though they are contented to
give this gratis to persons of quality, yet they never confer it on those
of their own order without taking care to be well paid for their pains.




















Chapter iii. — In which the surgeon makes his second appearance.



Before we proceed any farther, that the reader may not be mistaken in
imagining the landlady knew more than she did, nor surprized that she knew
so much, it may be necessary to inform him that the lieutenant had
acquainted her that the name of Sophia had been the occasion of the
quarrel; and as for the rest of her knowledge, the sagacious reader will
observe how she came by it in the preceding scene. Great curiosity was
indeed mixed with her virtues; and she never willingly suffered any one to
depart from her house, without enquiring as much as possible into their
names, families, and fortunes.



She was no sooner gone than Jones, instead of animadverting on her
behaviour, reflected that he was in the same bed which he was informed had
held his dear Sophia. This occasioned a thousand fond and tender thoughts,
which we would dwell longer upon, did we not consider that such kind of
lovers will make a very inconsiderable part of our readers. In this
situation the surgeon found him, when he came to dress his wound. The
doctor perceiving, upon examination, that his pulse was disordered, and
hearing that he had not slept, declared that he was in great danger; for
he apprehended a fever was coming on, which he would have prevented by
bleeding, but Jones would not submit, declaring he would lose no more
blood; “and, doctor,” says he, “if you will be so kind
only to dress my head, I have no doubt of being well in a day or two.”



“I wish,” answered the surgeon, “I could assure your
being well in a month or two. Well, indeed! No, no, people are not so soon
well of such contusions; but, sir, I am not at this time of day to be
instructed in my operations by a patient, and I insist on making a
revulsion before I dress you.”



Jones persisted obstinately in his refusal, and the doctor at last
yielded; telling him at the same time that he would not be answerable for
the ill consequence, and hoped he would do him the justice to acknowledge
that he had given him a contrary advice; which the patient promised he
would.



The doctor retired into the kitchen, where, addressing himself to the
landlady, he complained bitterly of the undutiful behaviour of his
patient, who would not be blooded, though he was in a fever.



“It is an eating fever then,” says the landlady; “for he
hath devoured two swinging buttered toasts this morning for breakfast.”



“Very likely,” says the doctor: “I have known people eat
in a fever; and it is very easily accounted for; because the acidity
occasioned by the febrile matter may stimulate the nerves of the
diaphragm, and thereby occasion a craving which will not be easily
distinguishable from a natural appetite; but the aliment will not be
concreted, nor assimilated into chyle, and so will corrode the vascular
orifices, and thus will aggravate the febrific symptoms. Indeed, I think
the gentleman in a very dangerous way, and, if he is not blooded, I am
afraid will die.”



“Every man must die some time or other,” answered the good
woman; “it is no business of mine. I hope, doctor, you would not
have me hold him while you bleed him. But, hark'ee, a word in your ear; I
would advise you, before you proceed too far, to take care who is to be
your paymaster.”



“Paymaster!” said the doctor, staring; “why, I've a
gentleman under my hands, have I not?”



“I imagined so as well as you,” said the landlady; “but,
as my first husband used to say, everything is not what it looks to be. He
is an arrant scrub, I assure you. However, take no notice that I mentioned
anything to you of the matter; but I think people in business oft always
to let one another know such things.”



“And have I suffered such a fellow as this,” cries the doctor,
in a passion, “to instruct me? Shall I hear my practice insulted by
one who will not pay me? I am glad I have made this discovery in time. I
will see now whether he will be blooded or no.” He then immediately
went upstairs, and flinging open the door of the chamber with much
violence, awaked poor Jones from a very sound nap, into which he was
fallen, and, what was still worse, from a delicious dream concerning
Sophia.



“Will you be blooded or no?” cries the doctor, in a rage.
“I have told you my resolution already,” answered Jones,
“and I wish with all my heart you had taken my answer; for you have
awaked me out of the sweetest sleep which I ever had in my life.”



“Ay, ay,” cries the doctor; “many a man hath dozed away
his life. Sleep is not always good, no more than food; but remember, I
demand of you for the last time, will you be blooded?”—“I
answer you for the last time,” said Jones, “I will not.”—“Then
I wash my hands of you,” cries the doctor; “and I desire you
to pay me for the trouble I have had already. Two journeys at 5s. each,
two dressings at 5s. more, and half a crown for phlebotomy.”—“I
hope,” said Jones, “you don't intend to leave me in this
condition.”—“Indeed but I shall,” said the other.
“Then,” said Jones, “you have used me rascally, and I
will not pay you a farthing.”—“Very well,” cries
the doctor; “the first loss is the best. What a pox did my landlady
mean by sending for me to such vagabonds!” At which words he flung
out of the room, and his patient turning himself about soon recovered his
sleep; but his dream was unfortunately gone.




















Chapter iv. — In which is introduced one of the pleasantest barbers
that was ever recorded in history, the barber of Bagdad, or he in Don
Quixote, not excepted.



The clock had now struck five when Jones awaked from a nap of seven hours,
so much refreshed, and in such perfect health and spirits, that he
resolved to get up and dress himself; for which purpose he unlocked his
portmanteau, and took out clean linen, and a suit of cloaths; but first he
slipt on a frock, and went down into the kitchen to bespeak something that
might pacify certain tumults he found rising within his stomach.



Meeting the landlady, he accosted her with great civility, and asked,
“What he could have for dinner?”—“For dinner!”
says she; “it is an odd time a day to think about dinner. There is
nothing drest in the house, and the fire is almost out.”—“Well,
but,” says he, “I must have something to eat, and it is almost
indifferent to me what; for, to tell you the truth, I was never more
hungry in my life.”—“Then,” says she, “I
believe there is a piece of cold buttock and carrot, which will fit you.”—“Nothing
better,” answered Jones; “but I should be obliged to you, if
you would let it be fried.” To which the landlady consented, and
said, smiling, “she was glad to see him so well recovered;”
for the sweetness of our heroe's temper was almost irresistible; besides,
she was really no ill-humoured woman at the bottom; but she loved money so
much, that she hated everything which had the semblance of poverty.



Jones now returned in order to dress himself, while his dinner was
preparing, and was, according to his orders, attended by the barber.



This barber, who went by the name of Little Benjamin, was a fellow of
great oddity and humour, which had frequently let him into small
inconveniencies, such as slaps in the face, kicks in the breech, broken
bones, &c. For every one doth not understand a jest; and those who do
are often displeased with being themselves the subjects of it. This vice
was, however, incurable in him; and though he had often smarted for it,
yet if ever he conceived a joke, he was certain to be delivered of it,
without the least respect of persons, time, or place.



He had a great many other particularities in his character, which I shall
not mention, as the reader will himself very easily perceive them, on his
farther acquaintance with this extraordinary person.



Jones being impatient to be drest, for a reason which may be easily
imagined, thought the shaver was very tedious in preparing his suds, and
begged him to make haste; to which the other answered with much gravity,
for he never discomposed his muscles on any account, “Festina
lente
, is a proverb which I learned long before I ever touched a
razor.”—“I find, friend, you are a scholar,”
replied Jones. “A poor one,” said the barber, “non
omnia possumus omnes.
”—“Again!” said Jones;
“I fancy you are good at capping verses.”—“Excuse
me, sir,” said the barber, “non tanto me dignor honore.”
And then proceeding to his operation, “Sir,” said he, “since
I have dealt in suds, I could never discover more than two reasons for
shaving; the one is to get a beard, and the other to get rid of one. I
conjecture, sir, it may not be long since you shaved from the former of
these motives. Upon my word, you have had good success; for one may say of
your beard, that it is tondenti gravior.”—“I
conjecture,” says Jones, “that thou art a very comical fellow.”—“You
mistake me widely, sir,” said the barber: “I am too much
addicted to the study of philosophy; hinc illae lacrymae, sir;
that's my misfortune. Too much learning hath been my ruin.”—“Indeed,”
says Jones, “I confess, friend, you have more learning than
generally belongs to your trade; but I can't see how it can have injured
you.”—“Alas! sir,” answered the shaver, “my
father disinherited me for it. He was a dancing-master; and because I
could read before I could dance, he took an aversion to me, and left every
farthing among his other children.—Will you please to have your
temples—O la! I ask your pardon, I fancy there is hiatus in
manuscriptis
. I heard you was going to the wars; but I find it was a
mistake.”—“Why do you conclude so?” says Jones.
“Sure, sir,” answered the barber, “you are too wise a
man to carry a broken head thither; for that would be carrying coals to
Newcastle.”



“Upon my word,” cries Jones, “thou art a very odd
fellow, and I like thy humour extremely; I shall be very glad if thou wilt
come to me after dinner, and drink a glass with me; I long to be better
acquainted with thee.”



“O dear sir!” said the barber, “I can do you twenty
times as great a favour, if you will accept of it.”—“What
is that, my friend?” cries Jones. “Why, I will drink a bottle
with you if you please; for I dearly love good-nature; and as you have
found me out to be a comical fellow, so I have no skill in physiognomy, if
you are not one of the best-natured gentlemen in the universe.”
Jones now walked downstairs neatly drest, and perhaps the fair Adonis was
not a lovelier figure; and yet he had no charms for my landlady; for as
that good woman did not resemble Venus at all in her person, so neither
did she in her taste. Happy had it been for Nanny the chambermaid, if she
had seen with the eyes of her mistress, for that poor girl fell so
violently in love with Jones in five minutes, that her passion afterwards
cost her many a sigh. This Nanny was extremely pretty, and altogether as
coy; for she had refused a drawer, and one or two young farmers in the
neighbourhood, but the bright eyes of our heroe thawed all her ice in a
moment.



When Jones returned to the kitchen, his cloth was not yet laid; nor indeed
was there any occasion it should, his dinner remaining in statu quo,
as did the fire which was to dress it. This disappointment might have put
many a philosophical temper into a passion; but it had no such effect on
Jones. He only gave the landlady a gentle rebuke, saying, “Since it
was so difficult to get it heated he would eat the beef cold.” But
now the good woman, whether moved by compassion, or by shame, or by
whatever other motive, I cannot tell, first gave her servants a round
scold for disobeying the orders which she had never given, and then
bidding the drawer lay a napkin in the Sun, she set about the matter in
good earnest, and soon accomplished it.



This Sun, into which Jones was now conducted, was truly named, as lucus
a non lucendo
; for it was an apartment into which the sun had scarce
ever looked. It was indeed the worst room in the house; and happy was it
for Jones that it was so. However, he was now too hungry to find any
fault; but having once satisfied his appetite, he ordered the drawer to
carry a bottle of wine into a better room, and expressed some resentment
at having been shown into a dungeon.



The drawer having obeyed his commands, he was, after some time, attended
by the barber, who would not indeed have suffered him to wait so long for
his company had he not been listening in the kitchen to the landlady, who
was entertaining a circle that she had gathered round her with the history
of poor Jones, part of which she had extracted from his own lips, and the
other part was her own ingenious composition; for she said “he was a
poor parish boy, taken into the house of Squire Allworthy, where he was
bred up as an apprentice, and now turned out of doors for his misdeeds,
particularly for making love to his young mistress, and probably for
robbing the house; for how else should he come by the little money he
hath; and this,” says she, “is your gentleman, forsooth!”—“A
servant of Squire Allworthy!” says the barber; “what's his
name?”—“Why he told me his name was Jones,” says
she: “perhaps he goes by a wrong name. Nay, and he told me, too,
that the squire had maintained him as his own son, thof he had quarrelled
with him now.”—“And if his name be Jones, he told you
the truth,” said the barber; “for I have relations who live in
that country; nay, and some people say he is his son.”—“Why
doth he not go by the name of his father?”—“I can't tell
that,” said the barber; “many people's sons don't go by the
name of their father.”—“Nay,” said the landlady,
“if I thought he was a gentleman's son, thof he was a bye-blow, I
should behave to him in another guess manner; for many of these bye-blows
come to be great men, and, as my poor first husband used to say, never
affront any customer that's a gentleman.”




















Chapter v. — A dialogue between Mr Jones and the barber.



This conversation passed partly while Jones was at dinner in his dungeon,
and partly while he was expecting the barber in the parlour. And, as soon
as it was ended, Mr Benjamin, as we have said, attended him, and was very
kindly desired to sit down. Jones then filling out a glass of wine, drank
his health by the appellation of doctissime tonsorum. “Ago
tibi gratias, domine
” said the barber; and then looking very
steadfastly at Jones, he said, with great gravity, and with a seeming
surprize, as if he had recollected a face he had seen before, “Sir,
may I crave the favour to know if your name is not Jones?” To which
the other answered, “That it was.”—“Proh deum
atque hominum fidem
!” says the barber; “how strangely
things come to pass! Mr Jones, I am your most obedient servant. I find you
do not know me, which indeed is no wonder, since you never saw me but
once, and then you was very young. Pray, sir, how doth the good Squire
Allworthy? how doth ille optimus omnium patronus?”—“I
find,” said Jones, “you do indeed know me; but I have not the
like happiness of recollecting you.”—“I do not wonder at
that,” cries Benjamin; “but I am surprized I did not know you
sooner, for you are not in the least altered. And pray, sir, may I,
without offence, enquire whither you are travelling this way?”—“Fill
the glass, Mr Barber,” said Jones, “and ask no more questions.”—“Nay,
sir,” answered Benjamin, “I would not be troublesome; and I
hope you don't think me a man of an impertinent curiosity, for that is a
vice which nobody can lay to my charge; but I ask pardon; for when a
gentleman of your figure travels without his servants, we may suppose him
to be, as we say, in casu incognito, and perhaps I ought not to
have mentioned your name.”—“I own,” says Jones,
“I did not expect to have been so well known in this country as I
find I am; yet, for particular reasons, I shall be obliged to you if you
will not mention my name to any other person till I am gone from hence.”—“Pauca
verba
,” answered the barber;” and I wish no other here
knew you but myself; for some people have tongues; but I promise you I can
keep a secret. My enemies will allow me that virtue.”—“And
yet that is not the characteristic of your profession, Mr Barber,”
answered Jones. “Alas! sir,” replied Benjamin, “Non
si male nunc et olim sic erit
. I was not born nor bred a barber, I
assure you. I have spent most of my time among gentlemen, and though I say
it, I understand something of gentility. And if you had thought me as
worthy of your confidence as you have some other people, I should have
shown you I could have kept a secret better. I should not have degraded
your name in a public kitchen; for indeed, sir, some people have not used
you well; for besides making a public proclamation of what you told them
of a quarrel between yourself and Squire Allworthy, they added lies of
their own, things which I knew to be lies.”—“You
surprize me greatly,” cries Jones. “Upon my word, sir,”
answered Benjamin, “I tell the truth, and I need not tell you my
landlady was the person. I am sure it moved me to hear the story, and I
hope it is all false; for I have a great respect for you, I do assure you
I have, and have had ever since the good-nature you showed to Black
George, which was talked of all over the country, and I received more than
one letter about it. Indeed, it made you beloved by everybody. You will
pardon me, therefore; for it was real concern at what I heard made me ask
many questions; for I have no impertinent curiosity about me: but I love
good-nature and thence became amoris abundantia erga te.”



Every profession of friendship easily gains credit with the miserable; it
is no wonder therefore, if Jones, who, besides his being miserable, was
extremely open-hearted, very readily believed all the professions of
Benjamin, and received him into his bosom. The scraps of Latin, some of
which Benjamin applied properly enough, though it did not savour of
profound literature, seemed yet to indicate something superior to a common
barber; and so indeed did his whole behaviour. Jones therefore believed
the truth of what he had said, as to his original and education; and at
length, after much entreaty, he said, “Since you have heard, my
friend, so much of my affairs, and seem so desirous to know the truth, if
you will have patience to hear it, I will inform you of the whole.”—“Patience!”
cries Benjamin, “that I will, if the chapter was never so long; and
I am very much obliged to you for the honour you do me.”



Jones now began, and related the whole history, forgetting only a
circumstance or two, namely, everything which passed on that day in which
he had fought with Thwackum; and ended with his resolution to go to sea,
till the rebellion in the North had made him change his purpose, and had
brought him to the place where he then was.



Little Benjamin, who had been all attention, never once interrupted the
narrative; but when it was ended he could not help observing, that there
must be surely something more invented by his enemies, and told Mr
Allworthy against him, or so good a man would never have dismissed one he
had loved so tenderly, in such a manner. To which Jones answered, “He
doubted not but such villanous arts had been made use of to destroy him.”



And surely it was scarce possible for any one to have avoided making the
same remark with the barber, who had not indeed heard from Jones one
single circumstance upon which he was condemned; for his actions were not
now placed in those injurious lights in which they had been misrepresented
to Allworthy; nor could he mention those many false accusations which had
been from time to time preferred against him to Allworthy: for with none
of these he was himself acquainted. He had likewise, as we have observed,
omitted many material facts in his present relation. Upon the whole,
indeed, everything now appeared in such favourable colours to Jones, that
malice itself would have found it no easy matter to fix any blame upon
him.



Not that Jones desired to conceal or to disguise the truth; nay, he would
have been more unwilling to have suffered any censure to fall on Mr
Allworthy for punishing him, than on his own actions for deserving it;
but, in reality, so it happened, and so it always will happen; for let a
man be never so honest, the account of his own conduct will, in spite of
himself, be so very favourable, that his vices will come purified through
his lips, and, like foul liquors well strained, will leave all their
foulness behind. For though the facts themselves may appear, yet so
different will be the motives, circumstances, and consequences, when a man
tells his own story, and when his enemy tells it, that we scarce can
recognise the facts to be one and the same.



Though the barber had drank down this story with greedy ears, he was not
yet satisfied. There was a circumstance behind which his curiosity, cold
as it was, most eagerly longed for. Jones had mentioned the fact of his
amour, and of his being the rival of Blifil, but had cautiously concealed
the name of the young lady. The barber, therefore, after some hesitation,
and many hums and hahs, at last begged leave to crave the name of the
lady, who appeared to be the principal cause of all this mischief. Jones
paused a moment, and then said, “Since I have trusted you with so
much, and since, I am afraid, her name is become too publick already on
this occasion, I will not conceal it from you. Her name is Sophia Western.”



Proh deum atque hominum fidem! Squire Western hath a
daughter grown a woman!”—“Ay, and such a woman,”
cries Jones, “that the world cannot match. No eye ever saw anything
so beautiful; but that is her least excellence. Such sense! such goodness!
Oh, I could praise her for ever, and yet should omit half her virtues!”—“Mr
Western a daughter grown up!” cries the barber: “I remember
the father a boy; well, Tempus edax rerum.”



The wine being now at an end, the barber pressed very eagerly to be his
bottle; but Jones absolutely refused, saying, “He had already drank
more than he ought: and that he now chose to retire to his room, where he
wished he could procure himself a book.”—“A book!”
cries Benjamin; “what book would you have? Latin or English? I have
some curious books in both languages; such as Erasmi Colloquia, Ovid de
Tristibus, Gradus ad Parnassum;
and in English I have several of the
best books, though some of them are a little torn; but I have a great part
of Stowe's Chronicle; the sixth volume of Pope's Homer; the third volume
of the Spectator; the second volume of Echard's Roman History; the
Craftsman; Robinson Crusoe; Thomas a Kempis; and two volumes of Tom
Brown's Works.”



“Those last,” cries Jones, “are books I never saw, so if
you please lend me one of those volumes.” The barber assured him he
would be highly entertained, for he looked upon the author to have been
one of the greatest wits that ever the nation produced. He then stepped to
his house, which was hard by, and immediately returned; after which, the
barber having received very strict injunctions of secrecy from Jones, and
having sworn inviolably to maintain it, they separated; the barber went
home, and Jones retired to his chamber.




















Chapter vi. — In which more of the talents of Mr Benjamin will
appear, as well as who this extraordinary person was.



In the morning Jones grew a little uneasy at the desertion of his surgeon,
as he apprehended some inconvenience, or even danger, might attend the not
dressing his wound; he enquired of the drawer, what other surgeons were to
be met with in that neighbourhood. The drawer told him, there was one not
far off; but he had known him often refuse to be concerned after another
had been sent before him; “but, sir,” says he, “if you
will take my advice, there is not a man in the kingdom can do your
business better than the barber who was with you last night. We look upon
him to be one of the ablest men at a cut in all this neighbourhood. For
though he hath not been her above three months, he hath done several great
cures.”



The drawer was presently dispatched for Little Benjamin, who being
acquainted in what capacity he was wanted, prepared himself accordingly,
and attended; but with so different an air and aspect from that which he
wore when his basin was under his arm, that he could scarce be known to be
the same person.



“So, tonsor,” says Jones, “I find you have more trades
than one; how came you not to inform me of this last night?”—“A
surgeon,” answered Benjamin, with great gravity, “is a
profession, not a trade. The reason why I did not acquaint you last night
that I professed this art, was, that I then concluded you was under the
hands of another gentleman, and I never love to interfere with my brethren
in their business. Ars omnibus communis. But now, sir, if you
please, I will inspect your head, and when I see into your skull, I will
give my opinion of your case.”



Jones had no great faith in this new professor; however, he suffered him
to open the bandage and to look at his wound; which as soon as he had
done, Benjamin began to groan and shake his head violently. Upon which
Jones, in a peevish manner, bid him not play the fool, but tell him in
what condition he found him. “Shall I answer you as a surgeon, or a
friend?” said Benjamin. “As a friend, and seriously,”
said Jones. “Why then, upon my soul,” cries Benjamin, “it
would require a great deal of art to keep you from being well after a very
few dressings; and if you will suffer me to apply some salve of mine, I
will answer for the success.” Jones gave his consent, and the
plaister was applied accordingly.



“There, sir,” cries Benjamin: “now I will, if you
please, resume my former self; but a man is obliged to keep up some
dignity in his countenance whilst he is performing these operations, or
the world will not submit to be handled by him. You can't imagine, sir, of
how much consequence a grave aspect is to a grave character. A barber may
make you laugh, but a surgeon ought rather to make you cry.”



“Mr Barber, or Mr Surgeon, or Mr Barber-surgeon,” said Jones.
“O dear sir!” answered Benjamin, interrupting him, “Infandum,
regina, jubes renovare dolorem
. You recall to my mind that cruel
separation of the united fraternities, so much to the prejudice of both
bodies, as all separations must be, according to the old adage, Vis
unita fortior
; which to be sure there are not wanting some of one or
of the other fraternity who are able to construe. What a blow was this to
me, who unite both in my own person!” “Well, by whatever name
you please to be called,” continued Jones, “you certainly are
one of the oddest, most comical fellows I ever met with, and must have
something very surprizing in your story, which you must confess I have a
right to hear.”—“I do confess it,” answered
Benjamin, “and will very readily acquaint you with it, when you have
sufficient leisure, for I promise you it will require a good deal of time.”
Jones told him, he could never be more at leisure than at present. “Well,
then,” said Benjamin, “I will obey you; but first I will
fasten the door, that none may interrupt us.” He did so, and then
advancing with a solemn air to Jones, said: “I must begin by telling
you, sir, that you yourself have been the greatest enemy I ever had.”
Jones was a little startled at this sudden declaration. “I your
enemy, sir!” says he, with much amazement, and some sternness in his
look. “Nay, be not angry,” said Benjamin, “for I promise
you I am not. You are perfectly innocent of having intended me any wrong;
for you was then an infant: but I shall, I believe, unriddle all this the
moment I mention my name. Did you never hear, sir, of one Partridge, who
had the honour of being reputed your father, and the misfortune of being
ruined by that honour?” “I have, indeed, heard of that
Partridge,” says Jones, “and have always believed myself to be
his son.” “Well, sir,” answered Benjamin, “I am
that Partridge; but I here absolve you from all filial duty, for I do
assure you, you are no son of mine.” “How!” replied
Jones, “and is it possible that a false suspicion should have drawn
all the ill consequences upon you, with which I am too well acquainted?”
“It is possible,” cries Benjamin, “for it is so: but
though it is natural enough for men to hate even the innocent causes of
their sufferings, yet I am of a different temper. I have loved you ever
since I heard of your behaviour to Black George, as I told you; and I am
convinced, from this extraordinary meeting, that you are born to make me
amends for all I have suffered on that account. Besides, I dreamt, the
night before I saw you, that I stumbled over a stool without hurting
myself; which plainly showed me something good was towards me: and last
night I dreamt again, that I rode behind you on a milk-white mare, which
is a very excellent dream, and betokens much good fortune, which I am
resolved to pursue unless you have the cruelty to deny me.”



“I should be very glad, Mr Partridge,” answered Jones, “to
have it in my power to make you amends for your sufferings on my account,
though at present I see no likelihood of it; however, I assure you I will
deny you nothing which is in my power to grant.”



“It is in your power sure enough,” replied Benjamin; “for
I desire nothing more than leave to attend you in this expedition. Nay, I
have so entirely set my heart upon it, that if you should refuse me, you
will kill both a barber and a surgeon in one breath.”



Jones answered, smiling, that he should be very sorry to be the occasion
of so much mischief to the public. He then advanced many prudential
reasons, in order to dissuade Benjamin (whom we shall hereafter call
Partridge) from his purpose; but all were in vain. Partridge relied
strongly on his dream of the milk-white mare. “Besides, sir,”
says he, “I promise you I have as good an inclination to the cause
as any man can possibly have; and go I will, whether you admit me to go in
your company or not.”



Jones, who was as much pleased with Partridge as Partridge could be with
him, and who had not consulted his own inclination but the good of the
other in desiring him to stay behind, when he found his friend so
resolute, at last gave his consent; but then recollecting himself, he
said, “Perhaps, Mr Partridge, you think I shall be able to support
you, but I really am not;” and then taking out his purse, he told
out nine guineas, which he declared were his whole fortune.



Partridge answered, “That his dependence was only on his future
favour; for he was thoroughly convinced he would shortly have enough in
his power. At present, sir,” said he, “I believe I am rather
the richer man of the two; but all I have is at your service, and at your
disposal. I insist upon your taking the whole, and I beg only to attend
you in the quality of your servant; Nil desperandum est Teucro duce et
auspice Teucro
”: but to this generous proposal concerning the
money, Jones would by no means submit.



It was resolved to set out the next morning, when a difficulty arose
concerning the baggage; for the portmanteau of Mr Jones was too large to
be carried without a horse.



“If I may presume to give my advice,” says Partridge, “this
portmanteau, with everything in it, except a few shirts, should be left
behind. Those I shall be easily able to carry for you, and the rest of
your cloaths will remain very safe locked up in my house.”



This method was no sooner proposed than agreed to; and then the barber
departed, in order to prepare everything for his intended expedition.




















Chapter vii. — Containing better reasons than any which have yet
appeared for the conduct of Partridge; an apology for the weakness of
Jones; and some further anecdotes concerning my landlady.



Though Partridge was one of the most superstitious of men, he would hardly
perhaps have desired to accompany Jones on his expedition merely from the
omens of the joint-stool and white mare, if his prospect had been no
better than to have shared the plunder gained in the field of battle. In
fact, when Partridge came to ruminate on the relation he had heard from
Jones, he could not reconcile to himself that Mr Allworthy should turn his
son (for so he most firmly believed him to be) out of doors, for any
reason which he had heard assigned. He concluded, therefore, that the
whole was a fiction, and that Jones, of whom he had often from his
correspondents heard the wildest character, had in reality run away from
his father. It came into his head, therefore, that if he could prevail
with the young gentleman to return back to his father, he should by that
means render a service to Allworthy, which would obliterate all his former
anger; nay, indeed, he conceived that very anger was counterfeited, and
that Allworthy had sacrificed him to his own reputation. And this
suspicion indeed he well accounted for, from the tender behaviour of that
excellent man to the foundling child; from his great severity to
Partridge, who, knowing himself to be innocent, could not conceive that
any other should think him guilty; lastly, from the allowance which he had
privately received long after the annuity had been publickly taken from
him, and which he looked upon as a kind of smart-money, or rather by way
of atonement for injustice; for it is very uncommon, I believe, for men to
ascribe the benefactions they receive to pure charity, when they can
possibly impute them to any other motive. If he could by any means
therefore persuade the young gentleman to return home, he doubted not but
that he should again be received into the favour of Allworthy, and well
rewarded for his pains; nay, and should be again restored to his native
country; a restoration which Ulysses himself never wished more heartily
than poor Partridge.



As for Jones, he was well satisfied with the truth of what the other had
asserted, and believed that Partridge had no other inducements but love to
him, and zeal for the cause; a blameable want of caution and diffidence in
the veracity of others, in which he was highly worthy of censure. To say
the truth, there are but two ways by which men become possessed of this
excellent quality. The one is from long experience, and the other is from
nature; which last, I presume, is often meant by genius, or great natural
parts; and it is infinitely the better of the two, not only as we are
masters of it much earlier in life, but as it is much more infallible and
conclusive; for a man who hath been imposed on by ever so many, may still
hope to find others more honest; whereas he who receives certain necessary
admonitions from within, that this is impossible, must have very little
understanding indeed, if he ever renders himself liable to be once
deceived. As Jones had not this gift from nature, he was too young to have
gained it by experience; for at the diffident wisdom which is to be
acquired this way, we seldom arrive till very late in life; which is
perhaps the reason why some old men are apt to despise the understandings
of all those who are a little younger than themselves.



Jones spent most part of the day in the company of a new acquaintance.
This was no other than the landlord of the house, or rather the husband of
the landlady. He had but lately made his descent downstairs, after a long
fit of the gout, in which distemper he was generally confined to his room
during one half of the year; and during the rest, he walked about the
house, smoaked his pipe, and drank his bottle with his friends, without
concerning himself in the least with any kind of business. He had been
bred, as they call it, a gentleman; that is, bred up to do nothing; and
had spent a very small fortune, which he inherited from an industrious
farmer his uncle, in hunting, horse-racing, and cock-fighting, and had
been married by my landlady for certain purposes, which he had long since
desisted from answering; for which she hated him heartily. But as he was a
surly kind of fellow, so she contented herself with frequently upbraiding
him by disadvantageous comparisons with her first husband, whose praise
she had eternally in her mouth; and as she was for the most part mistress
of the profit, so she was satisfied to take upon herself the care and
government of the family, and, after a long successless struggle, to
suffer her husband to be master of himself.



In the evening, when Jones retired to his room, a small dispute arose
between this fond couple concerning him:—“What,” says
the wife, “you have been tippling with the gentleman, I see?”—“Yes,”
answered the husband, “we have cracked a bottle together, and a very
gentlemanlike man he is, and hath a very pretty notion of horse-flesh.
Indeed, he is young, and hath not seen much of the world; for I believe he
hath been at very few horse-races.”—“Oho! he is one of
your order, is he?” replies the landlady: “he must be a
gentleman to be sure, if he is a horse-racer. The devil fetch such gentry!
I am sure I wish I had never seen any of them. I have reason to love
horse-racers truly!”—“That you have,” says the
husband; “for I was one, you know.”—“Yes,”
answered she, “you are a pure one indeed. As my first husband used
to say, I may put all the good I have ever got by you in my eyes, and see
never the worse.”—“D—n your first husband!”
cries he. “Don't d—n a better man than yourself,”
answered the wife: “if he had been alive, you durst not have done
it.”—“Then you think,” says he, “I have not
so much courage as yourself; for you have d—n'd him often in my
hearing.”—“If I did,” says she, “I have
repented of it many's the good time and oft. And if he was so good to
forgive me a word spoken in haste or so, it doth not become such a one as
you to twitter me. He was a husband to me, he was; and if ever I did make
use of an ill word or so in a passion, I never called him rascal; I should
have told a lie, if I had called him rascal.” Much more she said,
but not in his hearing; for having lighted his pipe, he staggered off as
fast as he could. We shall therefore transcribe no more of her speech, as
it approached still nearer and nearer to a subject too indelicate to find
any place in this history.



Early in the morning Partridge appeared at the bedside of Jones, ready
equipped for the journey, with his knapsack at his back. This was his own
workmanship; for besides his other trades, he was no indifferent taylor.
He had already put up his whole stock of linen in it, consisting of four
shirts, to which he now added eight for Mr Jones; and then packing up the
portmanteau, he was departing with it towards his own house, but was stopt
in his way by the landlady, who refused to suffer any removals till after
the payment of the reckoning.



The landlady was, as we have said, absolute governess in these regions; it
was therefore necessary to comply with her rules; so the bill was
presently writ out, which amounted to a much larger sum than might have
been expected, from the entertainment which Jones had met with. But here
we are obliged to disclose some maxims, which publicans hold to be the
grand mysteries of their trade. The first is, If they have anything good
in their house (which indeed very seldom happens) to produce it only to
persons who travel with great equipages. 2dly, To charge the same for the
very worst provisions, as if they were the best. And lastly, If any of
their guests call but for little, to make them pay a double price for
everything they have; so that the amount by the head may be much the same.



The bill being made and discharged, Jones set forward with Partridge,
carrying his knapsack; nor did the landlady condescend to wish him a good
journey; for this was, it seems, an inn frequented by people of fashion;
and I know not whence it is, but all those who get their livelihood by
people of fashion, contract as much insolence to the rest of mankind, as
if they really belonged to that rank themselves.




















Chapter viii. — Jones arrives at Gloucester, and goes to the Bell;
the character of that house, and of a petty-fogger which he there meets
with.



Mr Jones and Partridge, or Little Benjamin (which epithet of Little was
perhaps given him ironically, he being in reality near six feet high),
having left their last quarters in the manner before described, travelled
on to Gloucester without meeting any adventure worth relating.



Being arrived here, they chose for their house of entertainment the sign
of the Bell, an excellent house indeed, and which I do most seriously
recommend to every reader who shall visit this antient city. The master of
it is brother to the great preacher Whitefield; but is absolutely
untainted with the pernicious principles of Methodism, or of any other
heretical sect. He is indeed a very honest plain man, and, in my opinion,
not likely to create any disturbance either in church or state. His wife
hath, I believe, had much pretension to beauty, and is still a very fine
woman. Her person and deportment might have made a shining figure in the
politest assemblies; but though she must be conscious of this and many
other perfections, she seems perfectly contented with, and resigned to,
that state of life to which she is called; and this resignation is
entirely owing to the prudence and wisdom of her temper; for she is at
present as free from any Methodistical notions as her husband: I say at
present; for she freely confesses that her brother's documents made at
first some impression upon her, and that she had put herself to the
expense of a long hood, in order to attend the extraordinary emotions of
the Spirit; but having found, during an experiment of three weeks, no
emotions, she says, worth a farthing, she very wisely laid by her hood,
and abandoned the sect. To be concise, she is a very friendly good-natured
woman; and so industrious to oblige, that the guests must be of a very
morose disposition who are not extremely well satisfied in her house.



Mrs Whitefield happened to be in the yard when Jones and his attendant
marched in. Her sagacity soon discovered in the air of our heroe something
which distinguished him from the vulgar. She ordered her servants,
therefore, immediately to show him into a room, and presently afterwards
invited him to dinner with herself; which invitation he very thankfully
accepted; for indeed much less agreeable company than that of Mrs
Whitefield, and a much worse entertainment than she had provided, would
have been welcome after so long fasting and so long a walk.



Besides Mr Jones and the good governess of the mansion, there sat down at
table an attorney of Salisbury, indeed the very same who had brought the
news of Mrs Blifil's death to Mr Allworthy, and whose name, which I think
we did not before mention, was Dowling: there was likewise present another
person, who stiled himself a lawyer, and who lived somewhere near
Linlinch, in Somersetshire. This fellow, I say, stiled himself a lawyer,
but was indeed a most vile petty-fogger, without sense or knowledge of any
kind; one of those who may be termed train-bearers to the law; a sort of
supernumeraries in the profession, who are the hackneys of attorneys, and
will ride more miles for half-a-crown than a postboy.



During the time of dinner, the Somersetshire lawyer recollected the face
of Jones, which he had seen at Mr Allworthy's; for he had often visited in
that gentleman's kitchen. He therefore took occasion to enquire after the
good family there with that familiarity which would have become an
intimate friend or acquaintance of Mr Allworthy; and indeed he did all in
his power to insinuate himself to be such, though he had never had the
honour of speaking to any person in that family higher than the butler.
Jones answered all his questions with much civility, though he never
remembered to have seen the petty-fogger before; and though he concluded,
from the outward appearance and behaviour of the man, that he usurped a
freedom with his betters, to which he was by no means intitled.



As the conversation of fellows of this kind is of all others the most
detestable to men of any sense, the cloth was no sooner removed than Mr
Jones withdrew, and a little barbarously left poor Mrs Whitefield to do a
penance, which I have often heard Mr Timothy Harris, and other publicans
of good taste, lament, as the severest lot annexed to their calling,
namely, that of being obliged to keep company with their guests.



Jones had no sooner quitted the room, than the petty-fogger, in a
whispering tone, asked Mrs Whitefield, “If she knew who that fine
spark was?” She answered, “She had never seen the gentleman
before.”—“The gentleman, indeed!” replied the
petty-fogger; “a pretty gentleman, truly! Why, he's the bastard of a
fellow who was hanged for horse-stealing. He was dropt at Squire
Allworthy's door, where one of the servants found him in a box so full of
rain-water, that he would certainly have been drowned, had he not been
reserved for another fate.”—“Ay, ay, you need not
mention it, I protest: we understand what that fate is very well,”
cries Dowling, with a most facetious grin.—“Well,”
continued the other, “the squire ordered him to be taken in; for he
is a timbersome man everybody knows, and was afraid of drawing himself
into a scrape; and there the bastard was bred up, and fed, and cloathified
all to the world like any gentleman; and there he got one of the
servant-maids with child, and persuaded her to swear it to the squire
himself; and afterwards he broke the arm of one Mr Thwackum a clergyman,
only because he reprimanded him for following whores; and afterwards he
snapt a pistol at Mr Blifil behind his back; and once, when Squire
Allworthy was sick, he got a drum, and beat it all over the house to
prevent him from sleeping; and twenty other pranks he hath played, for all
which, about four or five days ago, just before I left the country, the
squire stripped him stark naked, and turned him out of doors.”



“And very justly too, I protest,” cries Dowling; “I
would turn my own son out of doors, if he was guilty of half as much. And
pray what is the name of this pretty gentleman?”



“The name o' un?” answered Petty-fogger; “why, he is
called Thomas Jones.”



“Jones!” answered Dowling a little eagerly; “what, Mr
Jones that lived at Mr Allworthy's? was that the gentleman that dined with
us?”—“The very same,” said the other. “I
have heard of the gentleman,” cries Dowling, “often; but I
never heard any ill character of him.”—“And I am sure,”
says Mrs Whitefield, “if half what this gentleman hath said be true,
Mr Jones hath the most deceitful countenance I ever saw; for sure his
looks promise something very different; and I must say, for the little I
have seen of him, he is as civil a well-bred man as you would wish to
converse with.”



Petty-fogger calling to mind that he had not been sworn, as he usually
was, before he gave his evidence, now bound what he had declared with so
many oaths and imprecations that the landlady's ears were shocked, and she
put a stop to his swearing, by assuring him of her belief. Upon which he
said, “I hope, madam, you imagine I would scorn to tell such things
of any man, unless I knew them to be true. What interest have I in taking
away the reputation of a man who never injured me? I promise you every
syllable of what I have said is fact, and the whole country knows it.”



As Mrs Whitefield had no reason to suspect that the petty-fogger had any
motive or temptation to abuse Jones, the reader cannot blame her for
believing what he so confidently affirmed with many oaths. She accordingly
gave up her skill in physiognomy, and hence-forwards conceived so ill an
opinion of her guest, that she heartily wished him out of her house.



This dislike was now farther increased by a report which Mr Whitefield
made from the kitchen, where Partridge had informed the company, “That
though he carried the knapsack, and contented himself with staying among
servants, while Tom Jones (as he called him) was regaling in the parlour,
he was not his servant, but only a friend and companion, and as good a
gentleman as Mr Jones himself.”



Dowling sat all this while silent, biting his fingers, making faces,
grinning, and looking wonderfully arch; at last he opened his lips, and
protested that the gentleman looked like another sort of man. He then
called for his bill with the utmost haste, declared he must be at Hereford
that evening, lamented his great hurry of business, and wished he could
divide himself into twenty pieces, in order to be at once in twenty
places.



The petty-fogger now likewise departed, and then Jones desired the favour
of Mrs Whitefield's company to drink tea with him; but she refused, and
with a manner so different from that with which she had received him at
dinner, that it a little surprized him. And now he soon perceived her
behaviour totally changed; for instead of that natural affability which we
have before celebrated, she wore a constrained severity on her
countenance, which was so disagreeable to Mr Jones, that he resolved,
however late, to quit the house that evening.



He did indeed account somewhat unfairly for this sudden change; for
besides some hard and unjust surmises concerning female fickleness and
mutability, he began to suspect that he owed this want of civility to his
want of horses; a sort of animals which, as they dirty no sheets, are
thought in inns to pay better for their beds than their riders, and are
therefore considered as the more desirable company; but Mrs Whitefield, to
do her justice, had a much more liberal way of thinking. She was perfectly
well-bred, and could be very civil to a gentleman, though he walked on
foot. In reality, she looked on our heroe as a sorry scoundrel, and
therefore treated him as such, for which not even Jones himself, had he
known as much as the reader, could have blamed her; nay, on the contrary,
he must have approved her conduct, and have esteemed her the more for the
disrespect shown towards himself. This is indeed a most aggravating
circumstance, which attends depriving men unjustly of their reputation;
for a man who is conscious of having an ill character, cannot justly be
angry with those who neglect and slight him; but ought rather to despise
such as affect his conversation, unless where a perfect intimacy must have
convinced them that their friend's character hath been falsely and
injuriously aspersed.



This was not, however, the case of Jones; for as he was a perfect stranger
to the truth, so he was with good reason offended at the treatment he
received. He therefore paid his reckoning and departed, highly against the
will of Mr Partridge, who having remonstrated much against it to no
purpose, at last condescended to take up his knapsack and to attend his
friend.




















Chapter ix. — Containing several dialogues between Jones and
Partridge, concerning love, cold, hunger, and other matters; with the
lucky and narrow escape of Partridge, as he was on the very brink of
making a fatal



discovery to his friend.



The shadows began now to descend larger from the high mountains; the
feathered creation had betaken themselves to their rest. Now the highest
order of mortals were sitting down to their dinners, and the lowest order
to their suppers. In a word, the clock struck five just as Mr Jones took
his leave of Gloucester; an hour at which (as it was now mid-winter) the
dirty fingers of Night would have drawn her sable curtain over the
universe, had not the moon forbid her, who now, with a face as broad and
as red as those of some jolly mortals, who, like her, turn night into day,
began to rise from her bed, where she had slumbered away the day, in order
to sit up all night. Jones had not travelled far before he paid his
compliments to that beautiful planet, and, turning to his companion, asked
him if he had ever beheld so delicious an evening? Partridge making no
ready answer to his question, he proceeded to comment on the beauty of the
moon, and repeated some passages from Milton, who hath certainly excelled
all other poets in his description of the heavenly luminaries. He then
told Partridge the story from the Spectator, of two lovers who had agreed
to entertain themselves when they were at a great distance from each
other, by repairing, at a certain fixed hour, to look at the moon; thus
pleasing themselves with the thought that they were both employed in
contemplating the same object at the same time. “Those lovers,”
added he, “must have had souls truly capable of feeling all the
tenderness of the sublimest of all human passions.”—“Very
probably,” cries Partridge: “but I envy them more, if they had
bodies incapable of feeling cold; for I am almost frozen to death, and am
very much afraid I shall lose a piece of my nose before we get to another
house of entertainment. Nay, truly, we may well expect some judgment
should happen to us for our folly in running away so by night from one of
the most excellent inns I ever set my foot into. I am sure I never saw
more good things in my life, and the greatest lord in the land cannot live
better in his own house than he may there. And to forsake such a house,
and go a rambling about the country, the Lord knows whither, per devia
rura viarum
, I say nothing for my part; but some people might not have
charity enough to conclude we were in our sober senses.”—“Fie
upon it, Mr Partridge!” says Jones, “have a better heart;
consider you are going to face an enemy; and are you afraid of facing a
little cold? I wish, indeed, we had a guide to advise which of these roads
we should take.”—“May I be so bold,” says
Partridge, “to offer my advice? Interdum stultus opportuna
loquitur
”—“Why, which of them,” cries Jones,
“would you recommend?”—“Truly neither of them,”
answered Partridge. “The only road we can be certain of finding, is
the road we came. A good hearty pace will bring us back to Gloucester in
an hour; but if we go forward, the Lord Harry knows when we shall arrive
at any place; for I see at least fifty miles before me, and no house in
all the way.”—“You see, indeed, a very fair prospect,”
says Jones, “which receives great additional beauty from the extreme
lustre of the moon. However, I will keep the left-hand track, as that
seems to lead directly to those hills, which we were informed lie not far
from Worcester. And here, if you are inclined to quit me, you may, and
return back again; but for my part, I am resolved to go forward.”



“It is unkind in you, sir,” says Partridge, “to suspect
me of any such intention. What I have advised hath been as much on your
account as on my own: but since you are determined to go on, I am as much
determined to follow. I prae sequar te.”



They now travelled some miles without speaking to each other, during which
suspense of discourse Jones often sighed, and Benjamin groaned as
bitterly, though from a very different reason. At length Jones made a full
stop, and turning about, cries, “Who knows, Partridge, but the
loveliest creature in the universe may have her eyes now fixed on that
very moon which I behold at this instant?” “Very likely, sir,”
answered Partridge; “and if my eyes were fixed on a good surloin of
roast beef, the devil might take the moon and her horns into the bargain.”
“Did ever Tramontane make such an answer?” cries Jones.
“Prithee, Partridge, wast thou ever susceptible of love in thy life,
or hath time worn away all the traces of it from thy memory?”
“Alack-a-day!” cries Partridge, “well would it have been
for me if I had never known what love was. Infandum regina jubes
renovare dolorem
. I am sure I have tasted all the tenderness, and
sublimities, and bitternesses of the passion.” “Was your
mistress unkind, then?” says Jones. “Very unkind, indeed, sir,”
answered Partridge; “for she married me, and made one of the most
confounded wives in the world. However, heaven be praised, she's gone; and
if I believed she was in the moon, according to a book I once read, which
teaches that to be the receptacle of departed spirits, I would never look
at it for fear of seeing her; but I wish, sir, that the moon was a
looking-glass for your sake, and that Miss Sophia Western was now placed
before it.” “My dear Partridge,” cries Jones, “what
a thought was there! A thought which I am certain could never have entered
into any mind but that of a lover. O Partridge! could I hope once again to
see that face; but, alas! all those golden dreams are vanished for ever,
and my only refuge from future misery is to forget the object of all my
former happiness.” “And do you really despair of ever seeing
Miss Western again?” answered Partridge; “if you will follow
my advice I will engage you shall not only see her but have her in your
arms.” “Ha! do not awaken a thought of that nature,”
cries Jones: “I have struggled sufficiently to conquer all such
wishes already.” “Nay,” answered Partridge, “if
you do not wish to have your mistress in your arms you are a most
extraordinary lover indeed.” “Well, well,” says Jones,
“let us avoid this subject; but pray what is your advice?”
“To give it you in the military phrase, then,” says Partridge,
“as we are soldiers, `To the right about.' Let us return the way we
came; we may yet reach Gloucester to-night, though late; whereas, if we
proceed, we are likely, for aught I see, to ramble about for ever without
coming either to house or home.” “I have already told you my
resolution is to go on,” answered Jones; “but I would have you
go back. I am obliged to you for your company hither; and I beg you to
accept a guinea as a small instance of my gratitude. Nay, it would be
cruel in me to suffer you to go any farther; for, to deal plainly with
you, my chief end and desire is a glorious death in the service of my king
and country.” “As for your money,” replied Partridge,
“I beg, sir, you will put it up; I will receive none of you at this
time; for at present I am, I believe, the richer man of the two. And as
your resolution is to go on, so mine is to follow you if you do. Nay, now
my presence appears absolutely necessary to take care of you, since your
intentions are so desperate; for I promise you my views are much more
prudent; as you are resolved to fall in battle if you can, so I am
resolved as firmly to come to no hurt if I can help it. And, indeed, I
have the comfort to think there will be but little danger; for a popish
priest told me the other day the business would soon be over, and he
believed without a battle.” “A popish priest!” cries
Jones, “I have heard is not always to be believed when he speaks in
behalf of his religion.” “Yes, but so far,” answered the
other, “from speaking in behalf of his religion, he assured me the
Catholicks did not expect to be any gainers by the change; for that Prince
Charles was as good a Protestant as any in England; and that nothing but
regard to right made him and the rest of the popish party to be Jacobites.”—“I
believe him to be as much a Protestant as I believe he hath any right,”
says Jones; “and I make no doubt of our success, but not without a
battle. So that I am not so sanguine as your friend the popish priest.”
“Nay, to be sure, sir,” answered Partridge, “all the
prophecies I have ever read speak of a great deal of blood to be spilt in
the quarrel, and the miller with three thumbs, who is now alive, is to
hold the horses of three kings, up to his knees in blood. Lord, have mercy
upon us all, and send better times!” “With what stuff and
nonsense hast thou filled thy head!” answered Jones: “this
too, I suppose, comes from the popish priest. Monsters and prodigies are
the proper arguments to support monstrous and absurd doctrines. The cause
of King George is the cause of liberty and true religion. In other words,
it is the cause of common sense, my boy, and I warrant you will succeed,
though Briarius himself was to rise again with his hundred thumbs, and to
turn miller.” Partridge made no reply to this. He was, indeed, cast
into the utmost confusion by this declaration of Jones. For, to inform the
reader of a secret, which he had no proper opportunity of revealing
before, Partridge was in truth a Jacobite, and had concluded that Jones
was of the same party, and was now proceeding to join the rebels. An
opinion which was not without foundation. For the tall, long-sided dame,
mentioned by Hudibras—that many-eyed, many-tongued, many-mouthed,
many-eared monster of Virgil, had related the story of the quarrel between
Jones and the officer, with the usual regard to truth. She had, indeed,
changed the name of Sophia into that of the Pretender, and had reported,
that drinking his health was the cause for which Jones was knocked down.
This Partridge had heard, and most firmly believed. 'Tis no wonder,
therefore, that he had thence entertained the above-mentioned opinion of
Jones; and which he had almost discovered to him before he found out his
own mistake. And at this the reader will be the less inclined to wonder,
if he pleases to recollect the doubtful phrase in which Jones first
communicated his resolution to Mr Partridge; and, indeed, had the words
been less ambiguous, Partridge might very well have construed them as he
did; being persuaded as he was that the whole nation were of the same
inclination in their hearts; nor did it stagger him that Jones had
travelled in the company of soldiers; for he had the same opinion of the
army which he had of the rest of the people.



But however well affected he might be to James or Charles, he was still
much more attached to Little Benjamin than to either; for which reason he
no sooner discovered the principles of his fellow-traveller than he
thought proper to conceal and outwardly give up his own to the man on whom
he depended for the making his fortune, since he by no means believed the
affairs of Jones to be so desperate as they really were with Mr Allworthy;
for as he had kept a constant correspondence with some of his neighbours
since he left that country, he had heard much, indeed more than was true,
of the great affection Mr Allworthy bore this young man, who, as Partridge
had been instructed, was to be that gentleman's heir, and whom, as we have
said, he did not in the least doubt to be his son.



He imagined therefore that whatever quarrel was between them, it would be
certainly made up at the return of Mr Jones; an event from which he
promised great advantages, if he could take this opportunity of
ingratiating himself with that young gentleman; and if he could by any
means be instrumental in procuring his return, he doubted not, as we have
before said, but it would as highly advance him in the favour of Mr
Allworthy.



We have already observed, that he was a very good-natured fellow, and he
hath himself declared the violent attachment he had to the person and
character of Jones; but possibly the views which I have just before
mentioned, might likewise have some little share in prompting him to
undertake this expedition, at least in urging him to continue it, after he
had discovered that his master and himself, like some prudent fathers and
sons, though they travelled together in great friendship, had embraced
opposite parties. I am led into this conjecture, by having remarked, that
though love, friendship, esteem, and such like, have very powerful
operations in the human mind; interest, however, is an ingredient seldom
omitted by wise men, when they would work others to their own purposes.
This is indeed a most excellent medicine, and, like Ward's pill, flies at
once to the particular part of the body on which you desire to operate,
whether it be the tongue, the hand, or any other member, where it scarce
ever fails of immediately producing the desired effect.




















Chapter x. — In which our travellers meet with a very extraordinary
adventure.



Just as Jones and his friend came to the end of their dialogue in the
preceding chapter, they arrived at the bottom of a very steep hill. Here
Jones stopt short, and directing his eyes upwards, stood for a while
silent. At length he called to his companion, and said, “Partridge,
I wish I was at the top of this hill; it must certainly afford a most
charming prospect, especially by this light; for the solemn gloom which
the moon casts on all objects, is beyond expression beautiful, especially
to an imagination which is desirous of cultivating melancholy ideas.”—“Very
probably,” answered Partridge; “but if the top of the hill be
properest to produce melancholy thoughts, I suppose the bottom is the
likeliest to produce merry ones, and these I take to be much the better of
the two. I protest you have made my blood run cold with the very
mentioning the top of that mountain; which seems to me to be one of the
highest in the world. No, no, if we look for anything, let it be for a
place under ground, to screen ourselves from the frost.”—“Do
so,” said Jones; “let it be but within hearing of this place,
and I will hallow to you at my return back.”—“Surely,
sir, you are not mad,” said Partridge.—“Indeed, I am,”
answered Jones, “if ascending this hill be madness; but as you
complain so much of the cold already, I would have you stay below. I will
certainly return to you within an hour.”—“Pardon me,
sir,” cries Partridge; “I have determined to follow you
wherever you go.” Indeed he was now afraid to stay behind; for
though he was coward enough in all respects, yet his chief fear was that
of ghosts, with which the present time of night, and the wildness of the
place, extremely well suited.



At this instant Partridge espied a glimmering light through some trees,
which seemed very near to them. He immediately cried out in a rapture,
“Oh, sir! Heaven hath at last heard my prayers, and hath brought us
to a house; perhaps it may be an inn. Let me beseech you, sir, if you have
any compassion either for me or yourself, do not despise the goodness of
Providence, but let us go directly to yon light. Whether it be a
public-house or no, I am sure if they be Christians that dwell there, they
will not refuse a little house-room to persons in our miserable condition.”
Jones at length yielded to the earnest supplications of Partridge, and
both together made directly towards the place whence the light issued.



They soon arrived at the door of this house, or cottage, for it might be
called either, without much impropriety. Here Jones knocked several times
without receiving any answer from within; at which Partridge, whose head
was full of nothing but of ghosts, devils, witches, and such like, began
to tremble, crying, “Lord, have mercy upon us! surely the people
must be all dead. I can see no light neither now, and yet I am certain I
saw a candle burning but a moment before.—Well! I have heard of such
things.”—“What hast thou heard of?” said Jones.
“The people are either fast asleep, or probably, as this is a lonely
place, are afraid to open their door.” He then began to vociferate
pretty loudly, and at last an old woman, opening an upper casement, asked,
Who they were, and what they wanted? Jones answered, They were travellers
who had lost their way, and having seen a light in the window, had been
led thither in hopes of finding some fire to warm themselves. “Whoever
you are,” cries the woman, “you have no business here; nor
shall I open the door to any one at this time of night.” Partridge,
whom the sound of a human voice had recovered from his fright, fell to the
most earnest supplications to be admitted for a few minutes to the fire,
saying, he was almost dead with the cold; to which fear had indeed
contributed equally with the frost. He assured her that the gentleman who
spoke to her was one of the greatest squires in the country; and made use
of every argument, save one, which Jones afterwards effectually added; and
this was, the promise of half-a-crown;—a bribe too great to be
resisted by such a person, especially as the genteel appearance of Jones,
which the light of the moon plainly discovered to her, together with his
affable behaviour, had entirely subdued those apprehensions of thieves
which she had at first conceived. She agreed, therefore, at last, to let
them in; where Partridge, to his infinite joy, found a good fire ready for
his reception.



The poor fellow, however, had no sooner warmed himself, than those
thoughts which were always uppermost in his mind, began a little to
disturb his brain. There was no article of his creed in which he had a
stronger faith than he had in witchcraft, nor can the reader conceive a
figure more adapted to inspire this idea, than the old woman who now stood
before him. She answered exactly to that picture drawn by Otway in his
Orphan. Indeed, if this woman had lived in the reign of James the First,
her appearance alone would have hanged her, almost without any evidence.



Many circumstances likewise conspired to confirm Partridge in his opinion.
Her living, as he then imagined, by herself in so lonely a place; and in a
house, the outside of which seemed much too good for her, but its inside
was furnished in the most neat and elegant manner. To say the truth, Jones
himself was not a little surprized at what he saw; for, besides the
extraordinary neatness of the room, it was adorned with a great number of
nicknacks and curiosities, which might have engaged the attention of a
virtuoso.



While Jones was admiring these things, and Partridge sat trembling with
the firm belief that he was in the house of a witch, the old woman said,
“I hope, gentlemen, you will make what haste you can; for I expect
my master presently, and I would not for double the money he should find
you here.”—“Then you have a master?” cried Jones.
“Indeed, you will excuse me, good woman, but I was surprized to see
all those fine things in your house.”—“Ah, sir,”
said she, “if the twentieth part of these things were mine, I should
think myself a rich woman. But pray, sir, do not stay much longer, for I
look for him in every minute.”—“Why, sure he would not
be angry with you,” said Jones, “for doing a common act of
charity?”—“Alack-a-day, sir!” said she, “he
is a strange man, not at all like other people. He keeps no company with
anybody, and seldom walks out but by night, for he doth not care to be
seen; and all the country people are as much afraid of meeting him; for
his dress is enough to frighten those who are not used to it. They call
him, the Man of the Hill (for there he walks by night), and the country
people are not, I believe, more afraid of the devil himself. He would be
terribly angry if he found you here.”—“Pray, sir,”
says Partridge, “don't let us offend the gentleman; I am ready to
walk, and was never warmer in my life. Do pray, sir, let us go. Here are
pistols over the chimney: who knows whether they be charged or no, or what
he may do with them?”—“Fear nothing, Partridge,”
cries Jones; “I will secure thee from danger.”—“Nay,
for matter o' that, he never doth any mischief,” said the woman;
“but to be sure it is necessary he should keep some arms for his own
safety; for his house hath been beset more than once; and it is not many
nights ago that we thought we heard thieves about it: for my own part, I
have often wondered that he is not murdered by some villain or other, as
he walks out by himself at such hours; but then, as I said, the people are
afraid of him; and besides, they think, I suppose, he hath nothing about
him worth taking.”—“I should imagine, by this collection
of rarities,” cries Jones, “that your master had been a
traveller.”—“Yes, sir,” answered she, “he
hath been a very great one: there be few gentlemen that know more of all
matters than he. I fancy he hath been crost in love, or whatever it is I
know not; but I have lived with him above these thirty years, and in all
that time he hath hardly spoke to six living people.” She then again
solicited their departure, in which she was backed by Partridge; but Jones
purposely protracted the time, for his curiosity was greatly raised to see
this extraordinary person. Though the old woman, therefore, concluded
every one of her answers with desiring him to be gone, and Partridge
proceeded so far as to pull him by the sleeve, he still continued to
invent new questions, till the old woman, with an affrighted countenance,
declared she heard her master's signal; and at the same instant more than
one voice was heard without the door, crying, “D—n your blood,
show us your money this instant. Your money, you villain, or we will blow
your brains about your ears.”



“O, good heaven!” cries the old woman, “some villains,
to be sure, have attacked my master. O la! what shall I do? what shall I
do?”—“How!” cries Jones, “how!—Are
these pistols loaded?”—“O, good sir, there is nothing in
them, indeed. O pray don't murder us, gentlemen!” (for in reality
she now had the same opinion of those within as she had of those without).
Jones made her no answer; but snatching an old broad sword which hung in
the room, he instantly sallied out, where he found the old gentleman
struggling with two ruffians, and begging for mercy. Jones asked no
questions, but fell so briskly to work with his broad sword, that the
fellows immediately quitted their hold; and without offering to attack our
heroe, betook themselves to their heels and made their escape; for he did
not attempt to pursue them, being contented with having delivered the old
gentleman; and indeed he concluded he had pretty well done their business,
for both of them, as they ran off, cried out with bitter oaths that they
were dead men.



Jones presently ran to lift up the old gentleman, who had been thrown down
in the scuffle, expressing at the same time great concern lest he should
have received any harm from the villains. The old man stared a moment at
Jones, and then cried, “No, sir, no, I have very little harm, I
thank you. Lord have mercy upon me!”—“I see, sir,”
said Jones, “you are not free from apprehensions even of those who
have had the happiness to be your deliverers; nor can I blame any
suspicions which you may have; but indeed you have no real occasion for
any; here are none but your friends present. Having mist our way this cold
night, we took the liberty of warming ourselves at your fire, whence we
were just departing when we heard you call for assistance, which, I must
say, Providence alone seems to have sent you.”—“Providence,
indeed,” cries the old gentleman, “if it be so.”—“So
it is, I assure you,” cries Jones. “Here is your own sword,
sir; I have used it in your defence, and I now return it into your hand.”
The old man having received the sword, which was stained with the blood of
his enemies, looked stedfastly at Jones during some moments, and then with
a sigh cried out, “You will pardon me, young gentleman; I was not
always of a suspicious temper, nor am I a friend to ingratitude.”



“Be thankful then,” cries Jones, “to that Providence to
which you owe your deliverance: as to my part, I have only discharged the
common duties of humanity, and what I would have done for any
fellow-creature in your situation.”—“Let me look at you
a little longer,” cries the old gentleman. “You are a human
creature then? Well, perhaps you are. Come pray walk into my little hutt.
You have been my deliverer indeed.”



The old woman was distracted between the fears which she had of her
master, and for him; and Partridge was, if possible, in a greater fright.
The former of these, however, when she heard her master speak kindly to
Jones, and perceived what had happened, came again to herself; but
Partridge no sooner saw the gentleman, than the strangeness of his dress
infused greater terrors into that poor fellow than he had before felt,
either from the strange description which he had heard, or from the uproar
which had happened at the door.



To say the truth, it was an appearance which might have affected a more
constant mind than that of Mr Partridge. This person was of the tallest
size, with a long beard as white as snow. His body was cloathed with the
skin of an ass, made something into the form of a coat. He wore likewise
boots on his legs, and a cap on his head, both composed of the skin of
some other animals.



As soon as the old gentleman came into his house, the old woman began her
congratulations on his happy escape from the ruffians. “Yes,”
cried he, “I have escaped, indeed, thanks to my preserver.”—“O
the blessing on him!” answered she: “he is a good gentleman, I
warrant him. I was afraid your worship would have been angry with me for
letting him in; and to be certain I should not have done it, had not I
seen by the moon-light, that he was a gentleman, and almost frozen to
death. And to be certain it must have been some good angel that sent him
hither, and tempted me to do it.”



“I am afraid, sir,” said the old gentleman to Jones, “that
I have nothing in this house which you can either eat or drink, unless you
will accept a dram of brandy; of which I can give you some most excellent,
and which I have had by me these thirty years.” Jones declined this
offer in a very civil and proper speech, and then the other asked him,
“Whither he was travelling when he mist his way?” saying,
“I must own myself surprized to see such a person as you appear to
be, journeying on foot at this time of night. I suppose, sir, you are a
gentleman of these parts; for you do not look like one who is used to
travel far without horses?”



“Appearances,” cried Jones, “are often deceitful; men
sometimes look what they are not. I assure you I am not of this country;
and whither I am travelling, in reality I scarce know myself.”



“Whoever you are, or whithersoever you are going,” answered
the old man, “I have obligations to you which I can never return.”



“I once more,” replied Jones, “affirm that you have
none; for there can be no merit in having hazarded that in your service on
which I set no value; and nothing is so contemptible in my eyes as life.”



“I am sorry, young gentleman,” answered the stranger, “that
you have any reason to be so unhappy at your years.”



“Indeed I am, sir,” answered Jones, “the most unhappy of
mankind.”—“Perhaps you have had a friend, or a mistress?”
replied the other. “How could you,” cries Jones, “mention
two words sufficient to drive me to distraction?”—“Either
of them are enough to drive any man to distraction,” answered the
old man. “I enquire no farther, sir; perhaps my curiosity hath led
me too far already.”



“Indeed, sir,” cries Jones, “I cannot censure a passion
which I feel at this instant in the highest degree. You will pardon me
when I assure you, that everything which I have seen or heard since I
first entered this house hath conspired to raise the greatest curiosity in
me. Something very extraordinary must have determined you to this course
of life, and I have reason to fear your own history is not without
misfortunes.”



Here the old gentleman again sighed, and remained silent for some minutes:
at last, looking earnestly on Jones, he said, “I have read that a
good countenance is a letter of recommendation; if so, none ever can be
more strongly recommended than yourself. If I did not feel some yearnings
towards you from another consideration, I must be the most ungrateful
monster upon earth; and I am really concerned it is no otherwise in my
power than by words to convince you of my gratitude.”



Jones, after a moment's hesitation, answered, “That it was in his
power by words to gratify him extremely. I have confest a curiosity,”
said he, “sir; need I say how much obliged I should be to you, if
you would condescend to gratify it? Will you suffer me therefore to beg,
unless any consideration restrains you, that you would be pleased to
acquaint me what motives have induced you thus to withdraw from the
society of mankind, and to betake yourself to a course of life to which it
sufficiently appears you were not born?”



“I scarce think myself at liberty to refuse you anything after what
hath happened,” replied the old man. “If you desire therefore
to hear the story of an unhappy man, I will relate it to you. Indeed you
judge rightly, in thinking there is commonly something extraordinary in
the fortunes of those who fly from society; for however it may seem a
paradox, or even a contradiction, certain it is, that great philanthropy
chiefly inclines us to avoid and detest mankind; not on account so much of
their private and selfish vices, but for those of a relative kind; such as
envy, malice, treachery, cruelty, with every other species of malevolence.
These are the vices which true philanthropy abhors, and which rather than
see and converse with, she avoids society itself. However, without a
compliment to you, you do not appear to me one of those whom I should shun
or detest; nay, I must say, in what little hath dropt from you, there
appears some parity in our fortunes: I hope, however, yours will conclude
more successfully.”



Here some compliments passed between our heroe and his host, and then the
latter was going to begin his history, when Partridge interrupted him. His
apprehensions had now pretty well left him, but some effects of his
terrors remained; he therefore reminded the gentleman of that excellent
brandy which he had mentioned. This was presently brought, and Partridge
swallowed a large bumper.



The gentleman then, without any farther preface, began as you may read in
the next chapter.




















Chapter xi. — In which the Man of the Hill begins to relate his
history.



“I was born in a village of Somersetshire, called Mark, in the year
1657. My father was one of those whom they call gentlemen farmers. He had
a little estate of about £300 a year of his own, and rented another estate
of near the same value. He was prudent and industrious, and so good a
husbandman, that he might have led a very easy and comfortable life, had
not an arrant vixen of a wife soured his domestic quiet. But though this
circumstance perhaps made him miserable, it did not make him poor; for he
confined her almost entirely at home, and rather chose to bear eternal
upbraidings in his own house, than to injure his fortune by indulging her
in the extravagancies she desired abroad.



“By this Xanthippe” (so was the wife of Socrates called, said
Partridge)—“by this Xanthippe he had two sons, of which I was
the younger. He designed to give us both good education; but my elder
brother, who, unhappily for him, was the favourite of my mother, utterly
neglected his learning; insomuch that, after having been five or six years
at school with little or no improvement, my father, being told by his
master that it would be to no purpose to keep him longer there, at last
complied with my mother in taking him home from the hands of that tyrant,
as she called his master; though indeed he gave the lad much less
correction than his idleness deserved, but much more, it seems, than the
young gentleman liked, who constantly complained to his mother of his
severe treatment, and she as constantly gave him a hearing.”



“Yes, yes,” cries Partridge, “I have seen such mothers;
I have been abused myself by them, and very unjustly; such parents deserve
correction as much as their children.”



Jones chid the pedagogue for his interruption, and then the stranger
proceeded.



“My brother now, at the age of fifteen, bade adieu to all learning,
and to everything else but to his dog and gun; with which latter he became
so expert, that, though perhaps you may think it incredible, he could not
only hit a standing mark with great certainty, but hath actually shot a
crow as it was flying in the air. He was likewise excellent at finding a
hare sitting, and was soon reputed one of the best sportsmen in the
country; a reputation which both he and his mother enjoyed as much as if
he had been thought the finest scholar.



“The situation of my brother made me at first think my lot the
harder, in being continued at school: but I soon changed my opinion; for
as I advanced pretty fast in learning, my labours became easy, and my
exercise so delightful, that holidays were my most unpleasant time; for my
mother, who never loved me, now apprehending that I had the greater share
of my father's affection, and finding, or at least thinking, that I was
more taken notice of by some gentlemen of learning, and particularly by
the parson of the parish, than my brother, she now hated my sight, and
made home so disagreeable to me, that what is called by school-boys Black
Monday, was to me the whitest in the whole year.



“Having at length gone through the school at Taunton, I was thence
removed to Exeter College in Oxford, where I remained four years; at the
end of which an accident took me off entirely from my studies; and hence,
I may truly date the rise of all which happened to me afterwards in life.



“There was at the same college with myself one Sir George Gresham, a
young fellow who was intitled to a very considerable fortune, which he was
not, by the will of his father, to come into full possession of till he
arrived at the age of twenty-five. However, the liberality of his
guardians gave him little cause to regret the abundant caution of his
father; for they allowed him five hundred pounds a year while he remained
at the university, where he kept his horses and his whore, and lived as
wicked and as profligate a life as he could have done had he been never so
entirely master of his fortune; for besides the five hundred a year which
he received from his guardians, he found means to spend a thousand more.
He was above the age of twenty-one, and had no difficulty in gaining what
credit he pleased.



“This young fellow, among many other tolerable bad qualities, had
one very diabolical. He had a great delight in destroying and ruining the
youth of inferior fortune, by drawing them into expenses which they could
not afford so well as himself; and the better, and worthier, and soberer
any young man was, the greater pleasure and triumph had he in his
destruction. Thus acting the character which is recorded of the devil, and
going about seeking whom he might devour.



“It was my misfortune to fall into an acquaintance and intimacy with
this gentleman. My reputation of diligence in my studies made me a
desirable object of his mischievous intention; and my own inclination made
it sufficiently easy for him to effect his purpose; for though I had
applied myself with much industry to books, in which I took great delight,
there were other pleasures in which I was capable of taking much greater;
for I was high-mettled, had a violent flow of animal spirits, was a little
ambitious, and extremely amorous.



“I had not long contracted an intimacy with Sir George before I
became a partaker of all his pleasures; and when I was once entered on
that scene, neither my inclination nor my spirit would suffer me to play
an under part. I was second to none of the company in any acts of
debauchery; nay, I soon distinguished myself so notably in all riots and
disorders, that my name generally stood first in the roll of delinquents;
and instead of being lamented as the unfortunate pupil of Sir George, I
was now accused as the person who had misled and debauched that hopeful
young gentleman; for though he was the ringleader and promoter of all the
mischief, he was never so considered. I fell at last under the censure of
the vice-chancellor, and very narrowly escaped expulsion.



“You will easily believe, sir, that such a life as I am now
describing must be incompatible with my further progress in learning; and
that in proportion as I addicted myself more and more to loose pleasure, I
must grow more and more remiss in application to my studies. This was
truly the consequence; but this was not all. My expenses now greatly
exceeded not only my former income, but those additions which I extorted
from my poor generous father, on pretences of sums being necessary for
preparing for my approaching degree of batchelor of arts. These demands,
however, grew at last so frequent and exorbitant, that my father by slow
degrees opened his ears to the accounts which he received from many
quarters of my present behaviour, and which my mother failed not to echo
very faithfully and loudly; adding, `Ay, this is the fine gentleman, the
scholar who doth so much honour to his family, and is to be the making of
it. I thought what all this learning would come to. He is to be the ruin
of us all, I find, after his elder brother hath been denied necessaries
for his sake, to perfect his education forsooth, for which he was to pay
us such interest: I thought what the interest would come to,' with much
more of the same kind; but I have, I believe, satisfied you with this
taste.



“My father, therefore, began now to return remonstrances instead of
money to my demands, which brought my affairs perhaps a little sooner to a
crisis; but had he remitted me his whole income, you will imagine it could
have sufficed a very short time to support one who kept pace with the
expenses of Sir George Gresham.



“It is more than possible that the distress I was now in for money,
and the impracticability of going on in this manner, might have restored
me at once to my senses and to my studies, had I opened my eyes before I
became involved in debts from which I saw no hopes of ever extricating
myself. This was indeed the great art of Sir George, and by which he
accomplished the ruin of many, whom he afterwards laughed at as fools and
coxcombs, for vying, as he called it, with a man of his fortune. To bring
this about, he would now and then advance a little money himself, in order
to support the credit of the unfortunate youth with other people; till, by
means of that very credit, he was irretrievably undone.



“My mind being by these means grown as desperate as my fortune,
there was scarce a wickedness which I did not meditate, in order for my
relief. Self-murder itself became the subject of my serious deliberation;
and I had certainly resolved on it, had not a more shameful, though
perhaps less sinful, thought expelled it from my head.”—Here
he hesitated a moment, and then cried out, “I protest, so many years
have not washed away the shame of this act, and I shall blush while I
relate it.” Jones desired him to pass over anything that might give
him pain in the relation; but Partridge eagerly cried out, “Oh,
pray, sir, let us hear this; I had rather hear this than all the rest; as
I hope to be saved, I will never mention a word of it.” Jones was
going to rebuke him, but the stranger prevented it by proceeding thus:
“I had a chum, a very prudent, frugal young lad, who, though he had
no very large allowance, had by his parsimony heaped up upwards of forty
guineas, which I knew he kept in his escritore. I took therefore an
opportunity of purloining his key from his breeches-pocket, while he was
asleep, and thus made myself master of all his riches: after which I again
conveyed his key into his pocket, and counterfeiting sleep—though I
never once closed my eyes, lay in bed till after he arose and went to
prayers—an exercise to which I had long been unaccustomed.



“Timorous thieves, by extreme caution, often subject themselves to
discoveries, which those of a bolder kind escape. Thus it happened to me;
for had I boldly broke open his escritore, I had, perhaps, escaped even
his suspicion; but as it was plain that the person who robbed him had
possessed himself of his key, he had no doubt, when he first missed his
money, but that his chum was certainly the thief. Now as he was of a
fearful disposition, and much my inferior in strength, and I believe in
courage, he did not dare to confront me with my guilt, for fear of worse
bodily consequences which might happen to him. He repaired therefore
immediately to the vice-chancellor, and upon swearing to the robbery, and
to the circumstances of it, very easily obtained a warrant against one who
had now so bad a character through the whole university.



“Luckily for me, I lay out of the college the next evening; for that
day I attended a young lady in a chaise to Witney, where we staid all
night, and in our return, the next morning, to Oxford, I met one of my
cronies, who acquainted me with sufficient news concerning myself to make
me turn my horse another way.”



“Pray, sir, did he mention anything of the warrant?” said
Partridge. But Jones begged the gentleman to proceed without regarding any
impertinent questions; which he did as follows:—



“Having now abandoned all thoughts of returning to Oxford, the next
thing which offered itself was a journey to London. I imparted this
intention to my female companion, who at first remonstrated against it;
but upon producing my wealth, she immediately consented. We then struck
across the country, into the great Cirencester road, and made such haste,
that we spent the next evening, save one, in London.



“When you consider the place where I now was, and the company with
whom I was, you will, I fancy, conceive that a very short time brought me
to an end of that sum of which I had so iniquitously possessed myself.



“I was now reduced to a much higher degree of distress than before:
the necessaries of life began to be numbered among my wants; and what made
my case still the more grievous was, that my paramour, of whom I was now
grown immoderately fond, shared the same distresses with myself. To see a
woman you love in distress; to be unable to relieve her, and at the same
time to reflect that you have brought her into this situation, is perhaps
a curse of which no imagination can represent the horrors to those who
have not felt it.”—“I believe it from my soul,”
cries Jones, “and I pity you from the bottom of my heart:” he
then took two or three disorderly turns about the room, and at last begged
pardon, and flung himself into his chair, crying, “I thank Heaven, I
have escaped that!”



“This circumstance,” continued the gentleman, “so
severely aggravated the horrors of my present situation, that they became
absolutely intolerable. I could with less pain endure the raging in my own
natural unsatisfied appetites, even hunger or thirst, than I could submit
to leave ungratified the most whimsical desires of a woman on whom I so
extravagantly doated, that, though I knew she had been the mistress of
half my acquaintance, I firmly intended to marry her. But the good
creature was unwilling to consent to an action which the world might think
so much to my disadvantage. And as, possibly, she compassionated the daily
anxieties which she must have perceived me suffer on her account, she
resolved to put an end to my distress. She soon, indeed, found means to
relieve me from my troublesome and perplexed situation; for while I was
distracted with various inventions to supply her with pleasures, she very
kindly—betrayed me to one of her former lovers at Oxford, by whose
care and diligence I was immediately apprehended and committed to gaol.



“Here I first began seriously to reflect on the miscarriages of my
former life; on the errors I had been guilty of; on the misfortunes which
I had brought on myself; and on the grief which I must have occasioned to
one of the best of fathers. When I added to all these the perfidy of my
mistress, such was the horror of my mind, that life, instead of being
longer desirable, grew the object of my abhorrence; and I could have
gladly embraced death as my dearest friend, if it had offered itself to my
choice unattended by shame.



“The time of the assizes soon came, and I was removed by habeas
corpus to Oxford, where I expected certain conviction and condemnation;
but, to my great surprize, none appeared against me, and I was, at the end
of the sessions, discharged for want of prosecution. In short, my chum had
left Oxford, and whether from indolence, or from what other motive I am
ignorant, had declined concerning himself any farther in the affair.”



“Perhaps,” cries Partridge, “he did not care to have
your blood upon his hands; and he was in the right on't. If any person was
to be hanged upon my evidence, I should never be able to lie alone
afterwards, for fear of seeing his ghost.”



“I shall shortly doubt, Partridge,” says Jones, “whether
thou art more brave or wise.”—“You may laugh at me, sir,
if you please,” answered Partridge; “but if you will hear a
very short story which I can tell, and which is most certainly true,
perhaps you may change your opinion. In the parish where I was born—”
Here Jones would have silenced him; but the stranger interceded that he
might be permitted to tell his story, and in the meantime promised to
recollect the remainder of his own.



Partridge then proceeded thus: “In the parish where I was born,
there lived a farmer whose name was Bridle, and he had a son named
Francis, a good hopeful young fellow: I was at the grammar-school with
him, where I remember he was got into Ovid's Epistles, and he could
construe you three lines together sometimes without looking into a
dictionary. Besides all this, he was a very good lad, never missed church
o' Sundays, and was reckoned one of the best psalm-singers in the whole
parish. He would indeed now and then take a cup too much, and that was the
only fault he had.”—“Well, but come to the ghost,”
cries Jones. “Never fear, sir; I shall come to him soon enough,”
answered Partridge. “You must know, then, that farmer Bridle lost a
mare, a sorrel one, to the best of my remembrance; and so it fell out that
this young Francis shortly afterward being at a fair at Hindon, and as I
think it was on—, I can't remember the day; and being as he was,
what should he happen to meet but a man upon his father's mare. Frank
called out presently, Stop thief; and it being in the middle of the fair,
it was impossible, you know, for the man to make his escape. So they
apprehended him and carried him before the justice: I remember it was
Justice Willoughby, of Noyle, a very worthy good gentleman; and he
committed him to prison, and bound Frank in a recognisance, I think they
call it—a hard word compounded of re and cognosco; but
it differs in its meaning from the use of the simple, as many other
compounds do. Well, at last down came my Lord Justice Page to hold the
assizes; and so the fellow was had up, and Frank was had up for a witness.
To be sure, I shall never forget the face of the judge, when he began to
ask him what he had to say against the prisoner. He made poor Frank
tremble and shake in his shoes. `Well you, fellow,' says my lord, `what
have you to say? Don't stand humming and hawing, but speak out.' But,
however, he soon turned altogether as civil to Frank, and began to thunder
at the fellow; and when he asked him if he had anything to say for
himself, the fellow said, he had found the horse. `Ay!' answered the
judge, `thou art a lucky fellow: I have travelled the circuit these forty
years, and never found a horse in my life: but I'll tell thee what,
friend, thou wast more lucky than thou didst know of; for thou didst not
only find a horse, but a halter too, I promise thee.' To be sure, I shall
never forget the word. Upon which everybody fell a laughing, as how could
they help it? Nay, and twenty other jests he made, which I can't remember
now. There was something about his skill in horse-flesh which made all the
folks laugh. To be certain, the judge must have been a very brave man, as
well as a man of much learning. It is indeed charming sport to hear trials
upon life and death. One thing I own I thought a little hard, that the
prisoner's counsel was not suffered to speak for him, though he desired
only to be heard one very short word, but my lord would not hearken to
him, though he suffered a counsellor to talk against him for above
half-an-hour. I thought it hard, I own, that there should be so many of
them; my lord, and the court, and the jury, and the counsellors, and the
witnesses, all upon one poor man, and he too in chains. Well, the fellow
was hanged, as to be sure it could be no otherwise, and poor Frank could
never be easy about it. He never was in the dark alone, but he fancied he
saw the fellow's spirit.”—“Well, and is this thy story?”
cries Jones. “No, no,” answered Partridge. “O Lord have
mercy upon me! I am just now coming to the matter; for one night, coming
from the alehouse, in a long, narrow, dark lane, there he ran directly up
against him; and the spirit was all in white, and fell upon Frank; and
Frank, who was a sturdy lad, fell upon the spirit again, and there they
had a tussel together, and poor Frank was dreadfully beat: indeed he made
a shift at last to crawl home; but what with the beating, and what with
the fright, he lay ill above a fortnight; and all this is most certainly
true, and the whole parish will bear witness to it.”



The stranger smiled at this story, and Jones burst into a loud fit of
laughter; upon which Partridge cried, “Ay, you may laugh, sir; and
so did some others, particularly a squire, who is thought to be no better
than an atheist; who, forsooth, because there was a calf with a white face
found dead in the same lane the next morning, would fain have it that the
battle was between Frank and that, as if a calf would set upon a man.
Besides, Frank told me he knew it to be a spirit, and could swear to him
in any court in Christendom; and he had not drank above a quart or two or
such a matter of liquor, at the time. Lud have mercy upon us, and keep us
all from dipping our hands in blood, I say!”



“Well, sir,” said Jones to the stranger, “Mr Partridge
hath finished his story, and I hope will give you no future interruption,
if you will be so kind to proceed.” He then resumed his narration;
but as he hath taken breath for a while, we think proper to give it to our
reader, and shall therefore put an end to this chapter.




















Chapter xii. — In which the Man of the Hill continues his history.



“I had now regained my liberty,” said the stranger; “but
I had lost my reputation; for there is a wide difference between the case
of a man who is barely acquitted of a crime in a court of justice, and of
him who is acquitted in his own heart, and in the opinion of the people. I
was conscious of my guilt, and ashamed to look any one in the face; so
resolved to leave Oxford the next morning, before the daylight discovered
me to the eyes of any beholders.



“When I had got clear of the city, it first entered into my head to
return home to my father, and endeavour to obtain his forgiveness; but as
I had no reason to doubt his knowledge of all which had past, and as I was
well assured of his great aversion to all acts of dishonesty, I could
entertain no hopes of being received by him, especially since I was too
certain of all the good offices in the power of my mother; nay, had my
father's pardon been as sure, as I conceived his resentment to be, I yet
question whether I could have had the assurance to behold him, or whether
I could, upon any terms, have submitted to live and converse with those
who, I was convinced, knew me to have been guilty of so base an action.



“I hastened therefore back to London, the best retirement of either
grief or shame, unless for persons of a very public character; for here
you have the advantage of solitude without its disadvantage, since you may
be alone and in company at the same time; and while you walk or sit
unobserved, noise, hurry, and a constant succession of objects, entertain
the mind, and prevent the spirits from preying on themselves, or rather on
grief or shame, which are the most unwholesome diet in the world; and on
which (though there are many who never taste either but in public) there
are some who can feed very plentifully and very fatally when alone.



“But as there is scarce any human good without its concomitant evil,
so there are people who find an inconvenience in this unobserving temper
of mankind; I mean persons who have no money; for as you are not put out
of countenance, so neither are you cloathed or fed by those who do not
know you. And a man may be as easily starved in Leadenhall-market as in
the deserts of Arabia.



“It was at present my fortune to be destitute of that great evil, as
it is apprehended to be by several writers, who I suppose were
overburthened with it, namely, money.”—“With submission,
sir,” said Partridge, “I do not remember any writers who have
called it malorum; but irritamenta malorum. Effodiuntur
opes, irritamenta malorum
”—“Well, sir,”
continued the stranger, “whether it be an evil, or only the cause of
evil, I was entirely void of it, and at the same time of friends, and, as
I thought, of acquaintance; when one evening, as I was passing through the
Inner Temple, very hungry, and very miserable, I heard a voice on a sudden
hailing me with great familiarity by my Christian name; and upon turning
about, I presently recollected the person who so saluted me to have been
my fellow-collegiate; one who had left the university above a year, and
long before any of my misfortunes had befallen me. This gentleman, whose
name was Watson, shook me heartily by the hand; and expressing great joy
at meeting me, proposed our immediately drinking a bottle together. I
first declined the proposal, and pretended business, but as he was very
earnest and pressing, hunger at last overcame my pride, and I fairly
confessed to him I had no money in my pocket; yet not without framing a
lie for an excuse, and imputing it to my having changed my breeches that
morning. Mr Watson answered, `I thought, Jack, you and I had been too old
acquaintance for you to mention such a matter.' He then took me by the
arm, and was pulling me along; but I gave him very little trouble, for my
own inclinations pulled me much stronger than he could do.



“We then went into the Friars, which you know is the scene of all
mirth and jollity. Here, when we arrived at the tavern, Mr Watson applied
himself to the drawer only, without taking the least notice of the cook;
for he had no suspicion but that I had dined long since. However, as the
case was really otherwise, I forged another falsehood, and told my
companion I had been at the further end of the city on business of
consequence, and had snapt up a mutton-chop in haste; so that I was again
hungry, and wished he would add a beef-steak to his bottle.”—“Some
people,” cries Partridge, “ought to have good memories; or did
you find just money enough in your breeches to pay for the mutton-chop?”—“Your
observation is right,” answered the stranger, “and I believe
such blunders are inseparable from all dealing in untruth.—But to
proceed—I began now to feel myself extremely happy. The meat and
wine soon revived my spirits to a high pitch, and I enjoyed much pleasure
in the conversation of my old acquaintance, the rather as I thought him
entirely ignorant of what had happened at the university since his leaving
it.



“But he did not suffer me to remain long in this agreeable delusion;
for taking a bumper in one hand, and holding me by the other, `Here, my
boy,' cries he, `here's wishing you joy of your being so honourably
acquitted of that affair laid to your charge.' I was thunderstruck with
confusion at those words, which Watson observing, proceeded thus: `Nay,
never be ashamed, man; thou hast been acquitted, and no one now dares call
thee guilty; but, prithee, do tell me, who am thy friend—I hope thou
didst really rob him? for rat me if it was not a meritorious action to
strip such a sneaking, pitiful rascal; and instead of the two hundred
guineas, I wish you had taken as many thousand. Come, come, my boy, don't
be shy of confessing to me: you are not now brought before one of the
pimps. D—n me if I don't honour you for it; for, as I hope for
salvation, I would have made no manner of scruple of doing the same
thing.'



“This declaration a little relieved my abashment; and as wine had
now somewhat opened my heart, I very freely acknowledged the robbery, but
acquainted him that he had been misinformed as to the sum taken, which was
little more than a fifth part of what he had mentioned.



“`I am sorry for it with all my heart,' quoth he, `and I wish thee
better success another time. Though, if you will take my advice, you shall
have no occasion to run any such risque. Here,' said he, taking some dice
out of his pocket, `here's the stuff. Here are the implements; here are
the little doctors which cure the distempers of the purse. Follow but my
counsel, and I will show you a way to empty the pocket of a queer cull
without any danger of the nubbing cheat.'”



“Nubbing cheat!” cries Partridge: “pray, sir, what is
that?”



“Why that, sir,” says the stranger, “is a cant phrase
for the gallows; for as gamesters differ little from highwaymen in their
morals, so do they very much resemble them in their language.



“We had now each drank our bottle, when Mr Watson said, the board
was sitting, and that he must attend, earnestly pressing me at the same
time to go with him and try my fortune. I answered he knew that was at
present out of my power, as I had informed him of the emptiness of my
pocket. To say the truth, I doubted not from his many strong expressions
of friendship, but that he would offer to lend me a small sum for that
purpose, but he answered, `Never mind that, man; e'en boldly run a levant'
[Partridge was going to inquire the meaning of that word, but Jones
stopped his mouth]: `but be circumspect as to the man. I will tip you the
proper person, which may be necessary, as you do not know the town, nor
can distinguish a rum cull from a queer one.”



“The bill was now brought, when Watson paid his share, and was
departing. I reminded him, not without blushing, of my having no money. He
answered, `That signifies nothing; score it behind the door, or make a
bold brush and take no notice.—Or—stay,' says he; `I will go
down-stairs first, and then do you take up my money, and score the whole
reckoning at the bar, and I will wait for you at the corner.' I expressed
some dislike at this, and hinted my expectations that he would have
deposited the whole; but he swore he had not another sixpence in his
pocket.



“He then went down, and I was prevailed on to take up the money and
follow him, which I did close enough to hear him tell the drawer the
reckoning was upon the table. The drawer past by me up-stairs; but I made
such haste into the street, that I heard nothing of his disappointment,
nor did I mention a syllable at the bar, according to my instructions.



“We now went directly to the gaming-table, where Mr Watson, to my
surprize, pulled out a large sum of money and placed it before him, as did
many others; all of them, no doubt, considering their own heaps as so many
decoy birds, which were to intice and draw over the heaps of their
neighbours.



“Here it would be tedious to relate all the freaks which Fortune, or
rather the dice, played in this her temple. Mountains of gold were in a
few moments reduced to nothing at one part of the table, and rose as
suddenly in another. The rich grew in a moment poor, and the poor as
suddenly became rich; so that it seemed a philosopher could nowhere have
so well instructed his pupils in the contempt of riches, at least he could
nowhere have better inculcated the incertainty of their duration.



“For my own part, after having considerably improved my small
estate, I at last entirely demolished it. Mr Watson too, after much
variety of luck, rose from the table in some heat, and declared he had
lost a cool hundred, and would play no longer. Then coming up to me, he
asked me to return with him to the tavern; but I positively refused,
saying, I would not bring myself a second time into such a dilemma, and
especially as he had lost all his money and was now in my own condition.
`Pooh!' says he, `I have just borrowed a couple of guineas of a friend,
and one of them is at your service.' He immediately put one of them into
my hand, and I no longer resisted his inclination.



“I was at first a little shocked at returning to the same house
whence we had departed in so unhandsome a manner; but when the drawer,
with very civil address, told us, `he believed we had forgot to pay our
reckoning,' I became perfectly easy, and very readily gave him a guinea,
bid him pay himself, and acquiesced in the unjust charge which had been
laid on my memory.



“Mr Watson now bespoke the most extravagant supper he could well
think of; and though he had contented himself with simple claret before,
nothing now but the most precious Burgundy would serve his purpose.



“Our company was soon encreased by the addition of several gentlemen
from the gaming-table; most of whom, as I afterwards found, came not to
the tavern to drink, but in the way of business; for the true gamesters
pretended to be ill, and refused their glass, while they plied heartily
two young fellows, who were to be afterwards pillaged, as indeed they were
without mercy. Of this plunder I had the good fortune to be a sharer,
though I was not yet let into the secret.



“There was one remarkable accident attended this tavern play; for
the money by degrees totally disappeared; so that though at the beginning
the table was half covered with gold, yet before the play ended, which it
did not till the next day, being Sunday, at noon, there was scarce a
single guinea to be seen on the table; and this was the stranger as every
person present, except myself, declared he had lost; and what was become
of the money, unless the devil himself carried it away, is difficult to
determine.”



“Most certainly he did,” says Partridge, “for evil
spirits can carry away anything without being seen, though there were
never so many folk in the room; and I should not have been surprized if he
had carried away all the company of a set of wicked wretches, who were at
play in sermon time. And I could tell you a true story, if I would, where
the devil took a man out of bed from another man's wife, and carried him
away through the keyhole of the door. I've seen the very house where it
was done, and nobody hath lived in it these thirty years.”



Though Jones was a little offended by the impertinence of Partridge, he
could not however avoid smiling at his simplicity. The stranger did the
same, and then proceeded with his story, as will be seen in the next
chapter.




















Chapter xiii. — In which the foregoing story is farther continued.



“My fellow-collegiate had now entered me in a new scene of life. I
soon became acquainted with the whole fraternity of sharpers, and was let
into their secrets; I mean, into the knowledge of those gross cheats which
are proper to impose upon the raw and unexperienced; for there are some
tricks of a finer kind, which are known only to a few of the gang, who are
at the head of their profession; a degree of honour beyond my expectation;
for drink, to which I was immoderately addicted, and the natural warmth of
my passions, prevented me from arriving at any great success in an art
which requires as much coolness as the most austere school of philosophy.



“Mr Watson, with whom I now lived in the closest amity, had
unluckily the former failing to a very great excess; so that instead of
making a fortune by his profession, as some others did, he was alternately
rich and poor, and was often obliged to surrender to his cooler friends,
over a bottle which they never tasted, that plunder that he had taken from
culls at the public table.



“However, we both made a shift to pick up an uncomfortable
livelihood; and for two years I continued of the calling; during which
time I tasted all the varieties of fortune, sometimes flourishing in
affluence, and at others being obliged to struggle with almost incredible
difficulties. To-day wallowing in luxury, and to-morrow reduced to the
coarsest and most homely fare. My fine clothes being often on my back in
the evening, and at the pawn-shop the next morning.



“One night, as I was returning pennyless from the gaming-table, I
observed a very great disturbance, and a large mob gathered together in
the street. As I was in no danger from pickpockets, I ventured into the
croud, where upon enquiry I found that a man had been robbed and very ill
used by some ruffians. The wounded man appeared very bloody, and seemed
scarce able to support himself on his legs. As I had not therefore been
deprived of my humanity by my present life and conversation, though they
had left me very little of either honesty or shame, I immediately offered
my assistance to the unhappy person, who thankfully accepted it, and,
putting himself under my conduct, begged me to convey him to some tavern,
where he might send for a surgeon, being, as he said, faint with loss of
blood. He seemed indeed highly pleased at finding one who appeared in the
dress of a gentleman; for as to all the rest of the company present, their
outside was such that he could not wisely place any confidence in them.



“I took the poor man by the arm, and led him to the tavern where we
kept our rendezvous, as it happened to be the nearest at hand. A surgeon
happening luckily to be in the house, immediately attended, and applied
himself to dressing his wounds, which I had the pleasure to hear were not
likely to be mortal.



“The surgeon having very expeditiously and dextrously finished his
business, began to enquire in what part of the town the wounded man
lodged; who answered, `That he was come to town that very morning; that
his horse was at an inn in Piccadilly, and that he had no other lodging,
and very little or no acquaintance in town.'



“This surgeon, whose name I have forgot, though I remember it began
with an R, had the first character in his profession, and was
serjeant-surgeon to the king. He had moreover many good qualities, and was
a very generous good-natured man, and ready to do any service to his
fellow-creatures. He offered his patient the use of his chariot to carry
him to his inn, and at the same time whispered in his ear, `That if he
wanted any money, he would furnish him.'



“The poor man was not now capable of returning thanks for this
generous offer; for having had his eyes for some time stedfastly on me, he
threw himself back in his chair, crying, `Oh, my son! my son!' and then
fainted away.



“Many of the people present imagined this accident had happened
through his loss of blood; but I, who at the same time began to recollect
the features of my father, was now confirmed in my suspicion, and
satisfied that it was he himself who appeared before me. I presently ran
to him, raised him in my arms, and kissed his cold lips with the utmost
eagerness. Here I must draw a curtain over a scene which I cannot
describe; for though I did not lose my being, as my father for a while
did, my senses were however so overpowered with affright and surprize,
that I am a stranger to what passed during some minutes, and indeed till
my father had again recovered from his swoon, and I found myself in his
arms, both tenderly embracing each other, while the tears trickled a-pace
down the cheeks of each of us.



“Most of those present seemed affected by this scene, which we, who
might be considered as the actors in it, were desirous of removing from
the eyes of all spectators as fast as we could; my father therefore
accepted the kind offer of the surgeon's chariot, and I attended him in it
to his inn.



“When we were alone together, he gently upbraided me with having
neglected to write to him during so long a time, but entirely omitted the
mention of that crime which had occasioned it. He then informed me of my
mother's death, and insisted on my returning home with him, saying, `That
he had long suffered the greatest anxiety on my account; that he knew not
whether he had most feared my death or wished it, since he had so many
more dreadful apprehensions for me. At last, he said, a neighbouring
gentleman, who had just recovered a son from the same place, informed him
where I was; and that to reclaim me from this course of life was the sole
cause of his journey to London.' He thanked Heaven he had succeeded so far
as to find me out by means of an accident which had like to have proved
fatal to him; and had the pleasure to think he partly owed his
preservation to my humanity, with which he profest himself to be more
delighted than he should have been with my filial piety, if I had known
that the object of all my care was my own father.



“Vice had not so depraved my heart as to excite in it an
insensibility of so much paternal affection, though so unworthily
bestowed. I presently promised to obey his commands in my return home with
him, as soon as he was able to travel, which indeed he was in a very few
days, by the assistance of that excellent surgeon who had undertaken his
cure.



“The day preceding my father's journey (before which time I scarce
ever left him), I went to take my leave of some of my most intimate
acquaintance, particularly of Mr Watson, who dissuaded me from burying
myself, as he called it, out of a simple compliance with the fond desires
of a foolish old fellow. Such sollicitations, however, had no effect, and
I once more saw my own home. My father now greatly sollicited me to think
of marriage; but my inclinations were utterly averse to any such thoughts.
I had tasted of love already, and perhaps you know the extravagant
excesses of that most tender and most violent passion.”—Here
the old gentleman paused, and looked earnestly at Jones; whose
countenance, within a minute's space, displayed the extremities of both
red and white. Upon which the old man, without making any observations,
renewed his narrative.



“Being now provided with all the necessaries of life, I betook
myself once again to study, and that with a more inordinate application
than I had ever done formerly. The books which now employed my time solely
were those, as well antient as modern, which treat of true philosophy, a
word which is by many thought to be the subject only of farce and
ridicule. I now read over the works of Aristotle and Plato, with the rest
of those inestimable treasures which antient Greece had bequeathed to the
world.



“These authors, though they instructed me in no science by which men
may promise to themselves to acquire the least riches or worldly power,
taught me, however, the art of despising the highest acquisitions of both.
They elevate the mind, and steel and harden it against the capricious
invasions of fortune. They not only instruct in the knowledge of Wisdom,
but confirm men in her habits, and demonstrate plainly, that this must be
our guide, if we propose ever to arrive at the greatest worldly happiness,
or to defend ourselves, with any tolerable security, against the misery
which everywhere surrounds and invests us.



“To this I added another study, compared to which, all the
philosophy taught by the wisest heathens is little better than a dream,
and is indeed as full of vanity as the silliest jester ever pleased to
represent it. This is that Divine wisdom which is alone to be found in the
Holy Scriptures; for they impart to us the knowledge and assurance of
things much more worthy our attention than all which this world can offer
to our acceptance; of things which Heaven itself hath condescended to
reveal to us, and to the smallest knowledge of which the highest human wit
unassisted could never ascend. I began now to think all the time I had
spent with the best heathen wri