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Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 by Henry Fielding

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_Of writing lives in general, and particularly of Pamela, with a word
by the bye of Colley Cibber and others_

_Of Mr Joseph Andrews, his birth, parentage, education, and great
endowments, with a word or two concerning ancestors_

_Of Mr Abraham Adams the curate, Mrs Slipslop the chambermaid, and

_What happened after their journey to London_

_The death of Sir Thomas Booby, with the affectionate and mournful
behaviour of his widow, and the great purity of Joseph Andrews_

_How Joseph Andrews writ a letter to his sister Pamela_

_Sayings of wise men. A dialogue between the lady and her maid; and
a panegyric, or rather satire, on the passion of love, in the sublime

_In which, after some very fine writing, the history goes on, and
relates the interview between the lady and Joseph; where the latter
hath set an example which we despair of seeing followed by his sex in
this vicious age_

_What passed between the lady and Mrs Slipslop; in which we prophesy
there are some strokes which every one will not truly comprehend at
the first reading_

_Joseph writes another letter; his transactions with Mr Peter Pounce,
&c., with his departure from Lady Booby_

_Of several new matters not expected_

_Containing many surprizing adventures which Joseph Andrews met with
on the road, scarce credible to those who have never travelled in a

_What happened to Joseph during his sickness at the inn, with the
curious discourse between him and Mr Barnabas, the parson of the

_Being very full of adventures which succeeded each other at the inn_

_Showing how Mrs Tow-wouse was a little mollified; and how officious
Mr Barnabas and the surgeon were to prosecute the thief: with a
dissertation accounting for their zeal, and that of many other
persons not mentioned in this history_

_The escape of the thief. Mr Adams's disappointment. The arrival of
two very extraordinary personages, and the introduction of parson
Adams to parson Barnabas_

_A pleasant discourse between the two parsons and the bookseller,
which was broke off by an unlucky accident happening in the inn,
which produced a dialogue between Mrs Tow-wouse and her maid of no
gentle kind._

_The history of Betty the chambermaid, and an account of what
occasioned the violent scene in the preceding chapter_


_Of Divisions in Authors_

_A surprizing instance of Mr Adams's short memory, with the
unfortunate consequences which it brought on Joseph_

_The opinion of two lawyers concerning the same gentleman, with Mr
Adams's inquiry into the religion of his host_

_The history of Leonora, or the unfortunate jilt_

_A dreadful quarrel which happened at the inn where the company
dined, with its bloody consequences to Mr Adams_

_Conclusion of the unfortunate jilt_

_A very short chapter, in which parson Adams went a great way_

_A notable dissertation by Mr Abraham Adams; wherein that gentleman
appears in a political light_

_In which the gentleman discants on bravery and heroic virtue, till
an unlucky accident puts an end to the discourse_

_Giving an account of the strange catastrophe of the preceding
adventure, which drew poor Adams into fresh calamities; and who the
woman was who owed the preservation of her chastity to his victorious

_What happened to them while before the justice. A chapter very full
of learning_

_A very delightful adventure, as well to the persons concerned as to
the good-natured reader_

_A dissertation concerning high people and low people, with Mrs
Slipslop's departure in no very good temper of mind, and the evil
plight in which she left Adams and his company_




There are few amusements more dangerous for an author than the
indulgence in ironic descriptions of his own work. If the irony is
depreciatory, posterity is but too likely to say, "Many a true word is
spoken in jest;" if it is encomiastic, the same ruthless and ungrateful
critic is but too likely to take it as an involuntary confession of
folly and vanity. But when Fielding, in one of his serio-comic
introductions to _Tom Jones_, described it as "this prodigious work," he
all unintentionally (for he was the least pretentious of men)
anticipated the verdict which posterity almost at once, and with
ever-increasing suffrage of the best judges as time went on, was about
to pass not merely upon this particular book, but upon his whole genius
and his whole production as a novelist. His work in other kinds is of a
very different order of excellence. It is sufficiently interesting at
times in itself; and always more than sufficiently interesting as his;
for which reasons, as well as for the further one that it is
comparatively little known, a considerable selection from it is offered
to the reader in the last two volumes of this edition. Until the present
occasion (which made it necessary that I should acquaint myself with
it) I own that my own knowledge of these miscellaneous writings was by
no means thorough. It is now pretty complete; but the idea which I
previously had of them at first and second hand, though a little
improved, has not very materially altered. Though in all this hack-work
Fielding displayed, partially and at intervals, the same qualities which
he displayed eminently and constantly in the four great books here
given, he was not, as the French idiom expresses it, _dans son
assiette_, in his own natural and impregnable disposition and situation
of character and ability, when he was occupied on it. The novel was for
him that _assiette_; and all his novels are here.

Although Henry Fielding lived in quite modern times, although by family
and connections he was of a higher rank than most men of letters, and
although his genius was at once recognised by his contemporaries so soon
as it displayed itself in its proper sphere, his biography until very
recently was by no means full; and the most recent researches, including
those of Mr Austin Dobson--a critic unsurpassed for combination of
literary faculty and knowledge of the eighteenth century--have not
altogether sufficed to fill up the gaps. His family, said to have
descended from a member of the great house of Hapsburg who came to
England in the reign of Henry II., distinguished itself in the Wars of
the Roses, and in the seventeenth century was advanced to the peerages
of Denbigh in England and (later) of Desmond in Ireland. The novelist
was the grandson of John Fielding, Canon of Salisbury, the fifth son of
the first Earl of Desmond of this creation. The canon's third son,
Edmond, entered the army, served under Marlborough, and married Sarah
Gold or Gould, daughter of a judge of the King's Bench. Their eldest son
was Henry, who was born on April 22, 1707, and had an uncertain number
of brothers and sisters of the whole blood. After his first wife's
death, General Fielding (for he attained that rank) married again. The
most remarkable offspring of the first marriage, next to Henry, was his
sister Sarah, also a novelist, who wrote David Simple; of the second,
John, afterwards Sir John Fielding, who, though blind, succeeded his
half-brother as a Bow Street magistrate, and in that office combined an
equally honourable record with a longer tenure.

Fielding was born at Sharpham Park in Somersetshire, the seat of his
maternal grandfather; but most of his early youth was spent at East
Stour in Dorsetshire, to which his father removed after the judge's
death. He is said to have received his first education under a parson of
the neighbourhood named Oliver, in whom a very uncomplimentary tradition
sees the original of Parson Trulliber. He was then certainly sent to
Eton, where he did not waste his time as regards learning, and made
several valuable friends. But the dates of his entering and leaving
school are alike unknown; and his subsequent sojourn at Leyden for two
years--though there is no reason to doubt it--depends even less upon
any positive documentary evidence. This famous University still had a
great repute as a training school in law, for which profession he was
intended; but the reason why he did not receive the even then far more
usual completion of a public school education by a sojourn at Oxford or
Cambridge may be suspected to be different. It may even have had
something to do with a curious escapade of his about which not very much
is known--an attempt to carry off a pretty heiress of Lyme, named
Sarah Andrew.

Even at Leyden, however, General Fielding seems to have been unable or
unwilling to pay his son's expenses, which must have been far less there
than at an English University; and Henry's return to London in 1728-29
is said to have been due to sheer impecuniosity. When he returned to
England, his father was good enough to make him an allowance of L200
nominal, which appears to have been equivalent to L0 actual. And as
practically nothing is known of him for the next six or seven years,
except the fact of his having worked industriously enough at a large
number of not very good plays of the lighter kind, with a few poems and
miscellanies, it is reasonably enough supposed that he lived by his pen.
The only product of this period which has kept (or indeed which ever
received) competent applause is _Tom Thumb, or the Tragedy of
Tragedies_, a following of course of the _Rehearsal_, but full of humour
and spirit. The most successful of his other dramatic works were the
_Mock Doctor_ and the _Miser_, adaptations of Moliere's famous pieces.
His undoubted connection with the stage, and the fact of the
contemporary existence of a certain Timothy Fielding, helped suggestions
of less dignified occupations as actor, booth-keeper, and so forth; but
these have long been discredited and indeed disproved.

In or about 1735, when Fielding was twenty-eight, we find him in a new,
a more brilliant and agreeable, but even a more transient phase. He had
married (we do not know when or where) Miss Charlotte Cradock, one of
three sisters who lived at Salisbury (it is to be observed that
Fielding's entire connections, both in life and letters, are with the
Western Counties and London), who were certainly of competent means, and
for whose alleged illegitimacy there is no evidence but an unsupported
fling of that old maid of genius, Richardson. The descriptions both of
Sophia and of Amelia are said to have been taken from this lady; her
good looks and her amiability are as well established as anything of the
kind can be in the absence of photographs and affidavits; and it is
certain that her husband was passionately attached to her, during their
too short married life. His method, however, of showing his affection
smacked in some ways too much of the foibles which he has attributed to
Captain Booth, and of those which we must suspect Mr Thomas Jones would
also have exhibited, if he had not been adopted as Mr Allworthy's heir,
and had not had Mr Western's fortune to share and look forward to. It is
true that grave breaches have been made by recent criticism in the very
picturesque and circumstantial story told on the subject by Murphy, the
first of Fielding's biographers. This legend was that Fielding, having
succeeded by the death of his mother to a small estate at East Stour,
worth about L200 a year, and having received L1500 in ready money as his
wife's fortune, got through the whole in three years by keeping open
house, with a large retinue in "costly yellow liveries," and so forth.
In details, this story has been simply riddled. His mother had died long
before; he was certainly not away from London three years, or anything
like it; and so forth. At the same time, the best and soberest judges
agree that there is an intrinsic probability, a consensus (if a vague
one) of tradition, and a chain of almost unmistakably personal
references in the novels, which plead for a certain amount of truth, at
the bottom of a much embellished legend. At any rate, if Fielding
established himself in the country, it was not long before he returned
to town; for early in 1736 we find him back again, and not merely a
playwright, but lessee of the "Little Theatre" in the Haymarket. The
plays which he produced here--satirico-political pieces, such as
_Pasquin_ and the _Historical Register_--were popular enough, but
offended the Government; and in 1737 a new bill regulating theatrical
performances, and instituting the Lord Chamberlain's control, was
passed. This measure put an end directly to the "Great Mogul's Company,"
as Fielding had called his troop, and indirectly to its manager's career
as a playwright. He did indeed write a few pieces in future years, but
they were of the smallest importance.

After this check he turned at last to a serious profession, entered
himself of the Middle Temple in November of the same year, and was
called three years later; but during these years, and indeed for some
time afterwards, our information about him is still of the vaguest
character. Nobody doubts that he had a large share in the _Champion_, an
essay-periodical on the usual eighteenth-century model, which began to
appear in 1739, and which is still occasionally consulted for the work
that is certainly or probably his. He went the Western Circuit, and
attended the Wiltshire Sessions, after he was called, giving up his
contributions to periodicals soon after that event. But he soon returned
to literature proper, or rather made his _debut_ in it, with the
immortal book now republished. The _History of the Adventures of Joseph
Andrews, and his Friend Mr Abraham Adams_, appeared in February 1742,
and its author received from Andrew Millar, the publisher, the sum of
L183, 11s. Even greater works have fetched much smaller sums; but it
will be admitted that _Joseph Andrews_ was not dear.

The advantage, however, of presenting a survey of an author's life
uninterrupted by criticism is so clear, that what has to be said about
_Joseph_ may be conveniently postponed for the moment. Immediately after
its publication the author fell back upon miscellaneous writing, and in
the next year (1743) collected and issued three volumes of
_Miscellanies_. In the two first volumes the only thing of much interest
is the unfinished and unequal, but in part powerful, _Journey from this
World to the Next_, an attempt of a kind which Fontenelle and others,
following Lucian, had made very popular with the time. But the third
volume of the _Miscellanies_ deserved a less modest and gregarious
appearance, for it contained, and is wholly occupied by, the wonderful
and terrible satire of _Jonathan Wild_, the greatest piece of pure irony
in English out of Swift. Soon after the publication of the book, a great
calamity came on Fielding. His wife had been very ill when he wrote the
preface; soon afterwards she was dead. They had taken the chance, had
made the choice, that the more prudent and less wise student-hero and
heroine of Mr Browning's _Youth and Art_ had shunned; they had no doubt
"sighed deep, laughed free, Starved, feasted, despaired," and we need
not question, that they had also "been happy."

Except this sad event and its rather incongruous sequel, Fielding's
marriage to his wife's maid Mary Daniel--a marriage, however, which did
not take place till full four years later, and which by all accounts
supplied him with a faithful and excellent companion and nurse, and his
children with a kind stepmother--little or nothing is again known of
this elusive man of genius between the publication of the _Miscellanies_
in 1743, and that of _Tom Jones_ in 1749. The second marriage itself in
November 1747; an interview which Joseph Warton had with him rather more
than a year earlier (one of the very few direct interviews we have); the
publication of two anti-Jacobite newspapers (Fielding was always a
strong Whig and Hanoverian), called the _True Patriot_ and the
_Jacobite's Journal_ in 1745 and the following years; some indistinct
traditions about residences at Twickenham and elsewhere, and some, more
precise but not much more authenticated, respecting patronage by the
Duke of Bedford, Mr Lyttelton, Mr Allen, and others, pretty well sum up
the whole.

_Tom Jones_ was published in February (a favourite month with Fielding
or his publisher Millar) 1749; and as it brought him the, for those
days, very considerable sum of L600 to which Millar added another
hundred later, the novelist must have been, for a time at any rate,
relieved from his chronic penury. But he had already, by Lyttelton's
interest, secured his first and last piece of preferment, being made
Justice of the Peace for Westminster, an office on which he entered with
characteristic vigour. He was qualified for it not merely by a solid
knowledge of the law, and by great natural abilities, but by his
thorough kindness of heart; and, perhaps, it may also be added, by his
long years of queer experience on (as Mr Carlyle would have said) the
"burning marl" of the London Bohemia. Very shortly afterwards he was
chosen Chairman of Quarter Sessions, and established himself in Bow
Street. The Bow Street magistrate of that time occupied a most singular
position, and was more like a French Prefect of Police or even a
Minister of Public Safety than a mere justice. Yet he was ill paid.
Fielding says that the emoluments, which before his accession had but
been L500 a year of "dirty" money, were by his own action but L300 of
clean; and the work, if properly performed, was very severe.

That he performed it properly all competent evidence shows, a foolish,
inconclusive, and I fear it must be said emphatically snobbish story of
Walpole's notwithstanding. In particular, he broke up a gang of
cut-throat thieves, which had been the terror of London. But his tenure
of the post was short enough, and scarcely extended to five years. His
health had long been broken, and he was now constantly attacked by gout,
so that he had frequently to retreat on Bath from Bow Street, or his
suburban cottage of Fordhook, Ealing. But he did not relax his literary
work. His pen was active with pamphlets concerning his office; _Amelia_,
his last novel, appeared towards the close of 1751; and next year saw
the beginning of a new paper, the _Covent Garden Journal_, which
appeared twice a week, ran for the greater part of the year, and died in
November. Its great author did not see that month twice again. In the
spring of 1753 he grew worse; and after a year's struggle with ill
health, hard work, and hard weather, lesser measures being pronounced
useless, was persuaded to try the "Portugal Voyage," of which he has
left so charming a record in the _Journey to Lisbon_. He left Fordhook
on June 26, 1754, reached Lisbon in August, and, dying there on the 8th
of October, was buried in the cemetery of the Estrella.

Of not many writers perhaps does a clearer notion, as far as their
personality goes, exist in the general mind that interests itself at all
in literature than of Fielding. Yet more than once a warning has been
sounded, especially by his best and most recent biographer, to the
effect that this idea is founded upon very little warranty of scripture.
The truth is, that as the foregoing record--which, brief as it is, is a
sufficiently faithful summary--will have shown, we know very little
about Fielding. We have hardly any letters of his, and so lack the best
by far and the most revealing of all character-portraits; we have but
one important autobiographic fragment, and though that is of the highest
interest and value, it was written far in the valley of the shadow of
death, it is not in the least retrospective, and it affords but dim and
inferential light on his younger, healthier, and happier days and ways.
He came, moreover, just short of one set of men of letters, of whom we
have a great deal of personal knowledge, and just beyond another. He was
neither of those about Addison, nor of those about Johnson. No intimate
friend of his has left us anything elaborate about him. On the other
hand, we have a far from inconsiderable body of documentary evidence, of
a kind often by no means trustworthy. The best part of it is contained
in the letters of his cousin, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and the
reminiscences or family traditions of her grand-daughter, Lady Louisa
Stuart. But Lady Mary, vivacious and agreeable as she is, had with all
her talent a very considerable knack of writing for effect, of drawing
strong contrasts and the like; and it is not quite certain that she saw
very much of Fielding in the last and most interesting third of his
life. Another witness, Horace Walpole, to less knowledge and equally
dubious accuracy, added decided ill-will, which may have been due partly
to the shrinking of a dilettante and a fop from a burly Bohemian; but I
fear is also consequent upon the fact that Horace could not afford to
despise Fielding's birth, and knew him to be vastly his own superior in
genius. We hear something of him again from Richardson; and Richardson
hated him with the hatred of dissimilar genius, of inferior social
position, and, lastly, of the cat for the dog who touzles and worries
her. Johnson partly inherited or shared Richardson's aversion, partly
was blinded to Fielding's genius by his aggressive Whiggery. I fear,
too, that he was incapable of appreciating it for reasons other than
political. It is certain that Johnson, sane and robust as he was, was
never quite at ease before genius of the gigantic kind, either in dead
or living. Whether he did not like to have to look up too much, or was
actually unable to do so, it is certain that Shakespeare, Milton,
Swift, and Fielding, those four Atlantes of English verse and prose, all
affected him with lukewarm admiration, or with positive dislike, for
which it is vain to attempt to assign any uniform secondary cause,
political or other. It may be permitted to hint another reason. All
Johnson's most sharp-sighted critics have noticed, though most have
discreetly refrained from insisting on, his "thorn-in-the-flesh," the
combination in him of very strong physical passions with the deepest
sense of the moral and religious duty of abstinence. It is perhaps
impossible to imagine anything more distasteful to a man so buffeted,
than the extreme indulgence with which Fielding regards, and the easy
freedom, not to say gusto, with which he depicts, those who succumb to
similar temptation. Only by supposing the workings of some subtle
influence of this kind is it possible to explain, even in so capricious
a humour as Johnson's, the famous and absurd application of the term
"barren rascal" to a writer who, dying almost young, after having for
many years lived a life of pleasure, and then for four or five one of
laborious official duty, has left work anything but small in actual
bulk, and fertile with the most luxuriant growth of intellectual

Partly on the _obiter dicta_ of persons like these, partly on the still
more tempting and still more treacherous ground of indications drawn
from his works, a Fielding of fantasy has been constructed, which in
Thackeray's admirable sketch attains real life and immortality as a
creature of art, but which possesses rather dubious claims as a
historical character. It is astonishing how this Fielding of fantasy
sinks and shrivels when we begin to apply the horrid tests of criticism
to his component parts. The _eidolon_, with inked ruffles and a towel
round his head, sits in the Temple and dashes off articles for the
_Covent Garden Journal_; then comes Criticism, hellish maid, and reminds
us that when the _Covent Garden Journal_ appeared, Fielding's wild oats,
if ever sown at all, had been sown long ago; that he was a busy
magistrate and householder in Bow Street; and that, if he had towels
round his head, it was probably less because he had exceeded in liquor
than because his Grace of Newcastle had given him a headache by wanting
elaborate plans and schemes prepared at an hour's notice. Lady Mary,
apparently with some envy, tells us that he could "feel rapture with his
cook-maid." "Which many has," as Mr Ridley remarks, from Xanthias
Phoceus downwards; but when we remember the historic fact that he
married this maid (not a "cook-maid" at all), and that though he always
speaks of her with warm affection and hearty respect, such "raptures" as
we have of his clearly refer to a very different woman, who was both a
lady and a beautiful one, we begin a little to shake our heads. Horace
Walpole at second-hand draws us a Fielding, pigging with low companions
in a house kept like a hedge tavern; Fielding himself, within a year or
two, shows us more than half-undesignedly in the _Voyage to Lisbon_ that
he was very careful about the appointments and decency of his table,
that he stood rather upon ceremony in regard to his own treatment of his
family, and the treatment of them and himself by others, and that he was
altogether a person orderly, correct, and even a little finikin. Nor is
there the slightest reasonable reason to regard this as a piece of
hypocrisy, a vice as alien from the Fielding of fancy as from the
Fielding of fact, and one the particular manifestation of which, in this
particular place, would have been equally unlikely and unintelligible.

It may be asked whether I propose to substitute for the traditional
Fielding a quite different person, of regular habits and methodical
economy. Certainly not. The traditional estimate of great men is rarely
wrong altogether, but it constantly has a habit of exaggerating and
dramatising their characteristics. For some things in Fielding's career
we have positive evidence of document, and evidence hardly less certain
of probability. Although I believe the best judges are now of opinion
that his impecuniosity has been overcharged, he certainly had
experiences which did not often fall to the lot of even a cadet of good
family in the eighteenth century. There can be no reasonable doubt that
he was a man who had a leaning towards pretty girls and bottles of good
wine; and I should suppose that if the girl were kind and fairly
winsome, he would not have insisted that she should possess Helen's
beauty, that if the bottle of good wine were not forthcoming, he would
have been very tolerant of a mug of good ale. He may very possibly have
drunk more than he should, and lost more than he could conveniently pay.
It may be put down as morally ascertained that towards all these
weaknesses of humanity, and others like unto them, he held an attitude
which was less that of the unassailable philosopher than that of the
sympathiser, indulgent and excusing. In regard more especially to what
are commonly called moral delinquencies, this attitude was so decided
as to shock some people even in those days, and many in these. Just when
the first sheets of this edition were passing through the press, a
violent attack was made in a newspaper correspondence on the morality of
_Tom Jones_ by certain notorious advocates of Purity, as some say, of
Pruriency and Prudery combined, according to less complimentary
estimates. Even midway between the two periods we find the admirable
Miss Ferrier, a sister of Fielding's own craft, who sometimes had
touches of nature and satire not far inferior to his own, expressing by
the mouth of one of her characters with whom she seems partly to agree,
the sentiment that his works are "vanishing like noxious exhalations."
Towards any misdoing by persons of the one sex towards persons of the
other, when it involved brutality or treachery, Fielding was pitiless;
but when treachery and brutality were not concerned, he was, to say the
least, facile. So, too, he probably knew by experience--he certainly
knew by native shrewdness and acquired observation--that to look too
much on the wine when it is red, or on the cards when they are
parti-coloured, is ruinous to health and fortune; but he thought not
over badly of any man who did these things. Still it is possible to
admit this in him, and to stop short of that idea of a careless and
reckless _viveur_ which has so often been put forward. In particular,
Lady Mary's view of his childlike enjoyment of the moment has been, I
think, much exaggerated by posterity, and was probably not a little
mistaken by the lady herself. There are two moods in which the motto is
_Carpe diem_, one a mood of simply childish hurry, the other one where
behind the enjoyment of the moment lurks, and in which the enjoyment of
the moment is not a little heightened by, that vast ironic consciousness
of the before and after, which I at least see everywhere in the
background of Fielding's work.

The man, however, of whom we know so little, concerns us much less than
the author of the works, of which it only rests with ourselves to know
everything. I have above classed Fielding as one of the four Atlantes of
English verse and prose, and I doubt not that both the phrase and the
application of it to him will meet with question and demur. I have only
to interject, as the critic so often has to interject, a request to the
court to take what I say in the sense in which I say it. I do not mean
that Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, and Fielding are in all or even in most
respects on a level. I do not mean that the three last are in all
respects of the greatest names in English literature. I only mean that,
in a certain quality, which for want of a better word I have chosen to
call Atlantean, they stand alone. Each of them, for the metaphor is
applicable either way, carries a whole world on his shoulders, or looks
down on a whole world from his natural altitude. The worlds are
different, but they are worlds; and though the attitude of the giants is
different also, it agrees in all of them on the points of competence and
strength. Take whomsoever else we may among our men of letters, and we
shall find this characteristic to be in comparison wanting. These four
carry their world, and are not carried by it; and if it, in the language
so dear to Fielding himself, were to crash and shatter, the inquiry,
"_Que vous reste-t-il?_" could be answered by each, "_Moi!_"

The appearance which Fielding makes is no doubt the most modest of the
four. He has not Shakespeare's absolute universality, and in fact not
merely the poet's tongue, but the poet's thought seems to have been
denied him. His sphere is not the ideal like Milton's. His irony,
splendid as it is, falls a little short of that diabolical magnificence
which exalts Swift to the point whence, in his own way, he surveys all
the kingdoms of the world, and the glory or vainglory of them. All
Fielding's critics have noted the manner, in a certain sense modest, in
another ostentatious, in which he seems to confine himself to the
presentation of things English. They might have added to the
presentation of things English--as they appear in London, and on the
Western Circuit, and on the Bath Road.

But this apparent parochialism has never deceived good judges. It did
not deceive Lady Mary, who had seen the men and manners of very many
climes; it did not deceive Gibbon, who was not especially prone to
overvalue things English, and who could look down from twenty centuries
on things ephemeral. It deceives, indeed, I am told, some excellent
persons at the present day, who think Fielding's microcosm a "toylike
world," and imagine that Russian Nihilists and French Naturalists have
gone beyond it. It will deceive no one who has lived for some competent
space of time a life during which he has tried to regard his
fellow-creatures and himself, as nearly as a mortal may, _sub specie

As this is in the main an introduction to a complete reprint of
Fielding's four great novels, the justification in detail of the
estimate just made or hinted of the novelist's genius will be best and
most fitly made by a brief successive discussion of the four as they are
here presented, with some subsequent remarks on the _Miscellanies_ here
selected. And, indeed, it is not fanciful to perceive in each book a
somewhat different presentment of the author's genius; though in no one
of the four is any one of his masterly qualities absent. There is
tenderness even in _Jonathan Wild_; there are touches in _Joseph
Andrews_ of that irony of the Preacher, the last echo of which is heard
amid the kindly resignation of the _Journey to Lisbon_, in the sentence,
"Whereas envy of all things most exposes us to danger from others, so
contempt of all things best secures us from them." But on the whole it
is safe to say that _Joseph Andrews_ best presents Fielding's
mischievous and playful wit; _Jonathan Wild_ his half-Lucianic
half-Swiftian irony; _Tom Jones_ his unerring knowledge of human nature,
and his constructive faculty; _Amelia_ his tenderness, his _mitis
sapientia_, his observation of the details of life. And first of
the first.

_The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and his friend Mr
Abraham Adams_ was, as has been said above, published in February 1742.
A facsimile of the agreement between author and publisher will be given
in the second volume of this series; and it is not uninteresting to
observe that the witness, William Young, is none other than the asserted
original of the immortal Mr Adams himself. He might, on Balzac's plea in
a tolerably well-known anecdote, have demanded half of the L183, 11s. Of
the other origins of the book we have a pretty full account, partly
documentary. That it is "writ in the manner of Cervantes," and is
intended as a kind of comic epic, is the author's own statement--no
doubt as near the actual truth as is consistent with comic-epic theory.
That there are resemblances to Scarron, to Le Sage, and to other
practitioners of the Picaresque novel is certain; and it was inevitable
that there should be. Of directer and more immediate models or
starting-points one is undoubted; the other, though less generally
admitted, not much less indubitable to my mind. The parody of
Richardson's _Pamela_, which was little more than a year earlier (Nov.
1740), is avowed, open, flagrant; nor do I think that the author was so
soon carried away by the greater and larger tide of his own invention as
some critics seem to hold. He is always more or less returning to the
ironic charge; and the multiplicity of the assailants of Joseph's virtue
only disguises the resemblance to the long-drawn dangers of Pamela from
a single ravisher. But Fielding was also well acquainted with Marivaux's
_Paysan Parvenu_, and the resemblances between that book and _Joseph
Andrews_ are much stronger than Fielding's admirers have always been
willing to admit. This recalcitrance has, I think, been mainly due to
the erroneous conception of Marivaux as, if not a mere fribble, yet a
Dresden-Shepherdess kind of writer, good at "preciousness" and
patch-and-powder manners, but nothing more.

There was, in fact, a very strong satiric and ironic touch in the author
of _Marianne_, and I do not think that I was too rash when some years
ago I ventured to speak of him as "playing Fielding to his own
Richardson" in the _Paysan Parvenu_.

Origins, however, and indebtedness and the like, are, when great work is
concerned, questions for the study and the lecture-room, for the
literary historian and the professional critic, rather than for the
reader, however intelligent and alert, who wishes to enjoy a
masterpiece, and is content simply to enjoy it. It does not really
matter how close to anything else something which possesses independent
goodness is; the very utmost technical originality, the most spotless
purity from the faintest taint of suggestion, will not suffice to confer
merit on what does not otherwise possess it. Whether, as I rather think,
Fielding pursued the plan he had formed _ab incepto_, or whether he
cavalierly neglected it, or whether the current of his own genius
carried him off his legs and landed him, half against his will, on the
shore of originality, are questions for the Schools, and, as I venture
to think, not for the higher forms in them. We have _Joseph Andrews_ as
it is; and we may be abundantly thankful for it. The contents of it, as
of all Fielding's work in this kind, include certain things for which
the moderns are scantly grateful. Of late years, and not of late years
only, there has grown up a singular and perhaps an ignorant impatience
of digressions, of episodes, of tales within a tale. The example of this
which has been most maltreated is the "Man of the Hill" episode in _Tom
Jones_; but the stories of the "Unfortunate Jilt" and of Mr Wilson in
our present subject, do not appear to me to be much less obnoxious to
the censure; and _Amelia_ contains more than one or two things of the
same kind. Me they do not greatly disturb; and I see many defences for
them besides the obvious, and at a pinch sufficient one, that
divagations of this kind existed in all Fielding's Spanish and French
models, that the public of the day expected them, and so forth. This
defence is enough, but it is easy to amplify and reintrench it. It is
not by any means the fact that the Picaresque novel of adventure is the
only or the chief form of fiction which prescribes or admits these
episodic excursions. All the classical epics have them; many eastern and
other stories present them; they are common, if not invariable, in the
abundant mediaeval literature of prose and verse romance; they are not
unknown by any means in the modern novel; and you will very rarely hear
a story told orally at the dinner-table or in the smoking-room without
something of the kind. There must, therefore, be something in them
corresponding to an inseparable accident of that most unchanging of all
things, human nature. And I do not think the special form with which we
are here concerned by any means the worst that they have taken. It has
the grand and prominent virtue of being at once and easily skippable.
There is about Cervantes and Le Sage, about Fielding and Smollett, none
of the treachery of the modern novelist, who induces the conscientious
reader to drag through pages, chapters, and sometimes volumes which have
nothing to do with the action, for fear he should miss something that
has to do with it. These great men have a fearless frankness, and almost
tell you in so many words when and what you may skip. Therefore, if the
"Curious Impertinent," and the "Baneful Marriage," and the "Man of the
Hill," and the "Lady of Quality," get in the way, when you desire to
"read for the story," you have nothing to do but turn the page till
_finis_ comes. The defence has already been made by an illustrious hand
for Fielding's inter-chapters and exordiums. It appears to me to be
almost more applicable to his insertions.

And so we need not trouble ourselves any more either about the
insertions or about the exordiums. They both please me; the second class
has pleased persons much better worth pleasing than I can pretend to be;
but the making or marring of the book lies elsewhere. I do not think
that it lies in the construction, though Fielding's following of the
ancients, both sincere and satiric, has imposed a false air of
regularity upon that. The Odyssey of Joseph, of Fanny, and of their
ghostly mentor and bodily guard is, in truth, a little haphazard, and
might have been longer or shorter without any discreet man approving it
the more or the less therefor. The real merits lie partly in the
abounding humour and satire of the artist's criticism, but even more in
the marvellous vivacity and fertility of his creation. For the very
first time in English prose fiction every character is alive, every
incident is capable of having happened. There are lively touches in the
Elizabethan romances; but they are buried in verbiage, swathed in stage
costume, choked and fettered by their authors' want of art. The quality
of Bunyan's knowledge of men was not much inferior to Shakespeare's, or
at least to Fielding's; but the range and the results of it were cramped
by his single theological purpose, and his unvaried allegoric or typical
form. Why Defoe did not discover the New World of Fiction, I at least
have never been able to put into any brief critical formula that
satisfies me, and I have never seen it put by any one else. He had not
only seen it afar off, he had made landings and descents on it; he had
carried off and exhibited in triumph natives such as Robinson Crusoe,
as Man Friday, as Moll Flanders, as William the Quaker; but he had
conquered, subdued, and settled no province therein. I like _Pamela_; I
like it better than some persons who admire Richardson on the whole more
than I do, seem to like it. But, as in all its author's work, the
handling seems to me academic--the working out on paper of an
ingeniously conceived problem rather than the observation or evolution
of actual or possible life. I should not greatly fear to push the
comparison even into foreign countries; but it is well to observe
limits. Let us be content with holding that in England at least, without
prejudice to anything further, Fielding was the first to display the
qualities of the perfect novelist as distinguished from the romancer.

What are those qualities, as shown in _Joseph Andrews_? The faculty of
arranging a probable and interesting course of action is one, of course,
and Fielding showed it here. But I do not think that it is at any time
the greatest one; and nobody denies that he made great advances in this
direction later. The faculty of lively dialogue is another; and that he
has not often been refused; but much the same may be said of it. The
interspersing of appropriate description is another; but here also we
shall not find him exactly a paragon. It is in character--the chief
_differentia_ of the novel as distinguished not merely from its elder
sister the romance, and its cousin the drama, but still more from every
other kind of literature--that Fielding stands even here pre-eminent. No
one that I can think of, except his greatest successor in the present
century, has the same unfailing gift of breathing life into every
character he creates or borrows; and even Thackeray draws, if I may use
the phrase, his characters more in the flat and less in the round than
Fielding. Whether in Blifil he once failed, we must discuss hereafter;
he has failed nowhere in _Joseph Andrews_. Some of his sketches may
require the caution that they are eighteenth-century men and women; some
the warning that they are obviously caricatured, or set in designed
profile, or merely sketched. But they are all alive. The finical
estimate of Gray (it is a horrid joy to think how perfectly capable
Fielding was of having joined in that practical joke of the young
gentlemen of Cambridge, which made Gray change his college), while
dismissing these light things with patronage, had to admit that "parson
Adams is perfectly well, so is Mrs Slipslop." "They _were_, Mr
Gray," said some one once, "they were more perfectly well, and in a
higher kind, than anything you ever did; though you were a pretty
workman too."

Yes, parson Adams is perfectly well, and so is Mrs Slipslop. But so are
they all. Even the hero and heroine, tied and bound as they are by the
necessity under which their maker lay of preserving Joseph's
Joseph-hood, and of making Fanny the example of a franker and less
interested virtue than her sister-in-law that might have been, are
surprisingly human where most writers would have made them sticks. And
the rest require no allowance. Lady Booby, few as are the strokes given
to her, is not much less alive than Lady Bellaston. Mr Trulliber,
monster and not at all delicate monster as he is, is also a man, and
when he lays it down that no one even in his own house shall drink when
he "caaled vurst," one can but pay his maker the tribute of that silent
shudder of admiration which hails the addition of one more everlasting
entity to the world of thought and fancy. And Mr Tow-wouse is real, and
Mrs Tow-wouse is more real still, and Betty is real; and the coachman,
and Miss Grave-airs, and all the wonderful crew from first to last. The
dresses they wear, the manners they exhibit, the laws they live under,
the very foods and drinks they live upon, are "past like the shadows on
glasses"--to the comfort and rejoicing of some, to the greater or less
sorrow of others. But _they_ are there--alive, full of blood, full of
breath as we are, and, in truth, I fear a little more so. For some
purposes a century is a gap harder to cross and more estranging than a
couple of millenniums. But in their case the gap is nothing; and it is
not too much to say that as they have stood the harder test, they will
stand the easier. There are very striking differences between Nausicaa
and Mrs Slipslop; there are differences not less striking between Mrs
Slipslop and Beatrice. But their likeness is a stranger and more
wonderful thing than any of their unlikenesses. It is that they are
all women, that they are all live citizenesses of the Land of Matters
Unforgot, the fashion whereof passeth not away, and the franchise
whereof, once acquired, assures immortality.


_The text of this issue in the main follows that of the standard or
first collected edition of 1762. The variants which the author
introduced in successive editions during his lifetime are not
inconsiderable; but for the purposes of the present issue it did not
seem necessary or indeed desirable to take account of them. In the case
of prose fiction, more than in any other department of literature, it is
desirable that work should be read in the form which represents the
completest intention and execution of the author. Nor have any notes
been attempted; for again such things, in the case of prose fiction, are
of very doubtful use, and supply pretty certain stumbling-blocks to
enjoyment; while in the particular case of Fielding, the annotation,
unless extremely capricious, would have to be disgustingly full. Far be
it at any rate from the present editor to bury these delightful
creations under an ugly crust of parallel passages and miscellaneous
erudition. The sheets, however, have been carefully read in order to
prevent the casual errors which are wont to creep into frequently
reprinted texts; and the editor hopes that if any such have escaped him,
the escape will not be attributed to wilful negligence. A few obvious
errors, in spelling of proper names, &c., which occur in the 1762
version have been corrected: but wherever the readings of that version
are possible they have been preferred. The embellishments of the edition
are partly fanciful and partly "documentary;" so that it is hoped both
classes of taste may have something to feed upon._


As it is possible the mere English reader may have a different idea of
romance from the author of these little[A] volumes, and may consequently
expect a kind of entertainment not to be found, nor which was even
intended, in the following pages, it may not be improper to premise a
few words concerning this kind of writing, which I do not remember to
have seen hitherto attempted in our language.

[A] _Joseph Andrews_ was originally published in 2 vols. duodecimo.

The EPIC, as well as the DRAMA, is divided into tragedy and comedy.
HOMER, who was the father of this species of poetry, gave us a pattern
of both these, though that of the latter kind is entirely lost; which
Aristotle tells us, bore the same relation to comedy which his Iliad
bears to tragedy. And perhaps, that we have no more instances of it
among the writers of antiquity, is owing to the loss of this great
pattern, which, had it survived, would have found its imitators equally
with the other poems of this great original.

And farther, as this poetry may be tragic or comic, I will not scruple
to say it may be likewise either in verse or prose: for though it wants
one particular, which the critic enumerates in the constituent parts of
an epic poem, namely metre; yet, when any kind of writing contains all
its other parts, such as fable, action, characters, sentiments, and
diction, and is deficient in metre only, it seems, I think, reasonable
to refer it to the epic; at least, as no critic hath thought proper to
range it under any other head, or to assign it a particular name
to itself.

Thus the Telemachus of the archbishop of Cambray appears to me of the
epic kind, as well as the Odyssey of Homer; indeed, it is much fairer
and more reasonable to give it a name common with that species from
which it differs only in a single instance, than to confound it with
those which it resembles in no other. Such are those voluminous works,
commonly called Romances, namely, Clelia, Cleopatra, Astraea, Cassandra,
the Grand Cyrus, and innumerable others, which contain, as I apprehend,
very little instruction or entertainment.

Now, a comic romance is a comic epic poem in prose; differing from
comedy, as the serious epic from tragedy: its action being more extended
and comprehensive; containing a much larger circle of incidents, and
introducing a greater variety of characters. It differs from the serious
romance in its fable and action, in this; that as in the one these are
grave and solemn, so in the other they are light and ridiculous: it
differs in its characters by introducing persons of inferior rank, and
consequently, of inferior manners, whereas the grave romance sets the
highest before us: lastly, in its sentiments and diction; by preserving
the ludicrous instead of the sublime. In the diction, I think,
burlesque itself may be sometimes admitted; of which many instances
will occur in this work, as in the description of the battles, and some
other places, not necessary to be pointed out to the classical reader,
for whose entertainment those parodies or burlesque imitations are
chiefly calculated.

But though we have sometimes admitted this in our diction, we have
carefully excluded it from our sentiments and characters; for there it
is never properly introduced, unless in writings of the burlesque kind,
which this is not intended to be. Indeed, no two species of writing can
differ more widely than the comic and the burlesque; for as the latter
is ever the exhibition of what is monstrous and unnatural, and where our
delight, if we examine it, arises from the surprizing absurdity, as in
appropriating the manners of the highest to the lowest, or _e converso_;
so in the former we should ever confine ourselves strictly to nature,
from the just imitation of which will flow all the pleasure we can this
way convey to a sensible reader. And perhaps there is one reason why a
comic writer should of all others be the least excused for deviating
from nature, since it may not be always so easy for a serious poet to
meet with the great and the admirable; but life everywhere furnishes an
accurate observer with the ridiculous.

I have hinted this little concerning burlesque, because I have often
heard that name given to performances which have been truly of the comic
kind, from the author's having sometimes admitted it in his diction
only; which, as it is the dress of poetry, doth, like the dress of men,
establish characters (the one of the whole poem, and the other of the
whole man), in vulgar opinion, beyond any of their greater excellences:
but surely, a certain drollery in stile, where characters and sentiments
are perfectly natural, no more constitutes the burlesque, than an empty
pomp and dignity of words, where everything else is mean and low, can
entitle any performance to the appellation of the true sublime.

And I apprehend my Lord Shaftesbury's opinion of mere burlesque agrees
with mine, when he asserts, There is no such thing to be found in the
writings of the ancients. But perhaps I have less abhorrence than he
professes for it; and that, not because I have had some little success
on the stage this way, but rather as it contributes more to exquisite
mirth and laughter than any other; and these are probably more wholesome
physic for the mind, and conduce better to purge away spleen,
melancholy, and ill affections, than is generally imagined. Nay, I will
appeal to common observation, whether the same companies are not found
more full of good-humour and benevolence, after they have been sweetened
for two or three hours with entertainments of this kind, than when
soured by a tragedy or a grave lecture.

But to illustrate all this by another science, in which, perhaps, we
shall see the distinction more clearly and plainly, let us examine the
works of a comic history painter, with those performances which the
Italians call Caricatura, where we shall find the true excellence of the
former to consist in the exactest copying of nature; insomuch that a
judicious eye instantly rejects anything _outre_, any liberty which the
painter hath taken with the features of that _alma mater_; whereas in
the Caricatura we allow all licence--its aim is to exhibit monsters,
not men; and all distortions and exaggerations whatever are within its
proper province.

Now, what Caricatura is in painting, Burlesque is in writing; and in the
same manner the comic writer and painter correlate to each other. And
here I shall observe, that, as in the former the painter seems to have
the advantage; so it is in the latter infinitely on the side of the
writer; for the Monstrous is much easier to paint than describe, and the
Ridiculous to describe than paint.

And though perhaps this latter species doth not in either science so
strongly affect and agitate the muscles as the other; yet it will be
owned, I believe, that a more rational and useful pleasure arises to us
from it. He who should call the ingenious Hogarth a burlesque painter,
would, in my opinion, do him very little honour; for sure it is much
easier, much less the subject of admiration, to paint a man with a nose,
or any other feature, of a preposterous size, or to expose him in some
absurd or monstrous attitude, than to express the affections of men on
canvas. It hath been thought a vast commendation of a painter to say his
figures seem to breathe; but surely it is a much greater and nobler
applause, that they appear to think.

But to return. The Ridiculous only, as I have before said, falls within
my province in the present work. Nor will some explanation of this word
be thought impertinent by the reader, if he considers how wonderfully it
hath been mistaken, even by writers who have professed it: for to what
but such a mistake can we attribute the many attempts to ridicule the
blackest villanies, and, what is yet worse, the most dreadful
calamities? What could exceed the absurdity of an author, who should
write the comedy of Nero, with the merry incident of ripping up his
mother's belly? or what would give a greater shock to humanity than an
attempt to expose the miseries of poverty and distress to ridicule? And
yet the reader will not want much learning to suggest such instances
to himself.

Besides, it may seem remarkable, that Aristotle, who is so fond and free
of definitions, hath not thought proper to define the Ridiculous.
Indeed, where he tells us it is proper to comedy, he hath remarked that
villany is not its object: but he hath not, as I remember, positively
asserted what is. Nor doth the Abbe Bellegarde, who hath written a
treatise on this subject, though he shows us many species of it, once
trace it to its fountain.

The only source of the true Ridiculous (as it appears to me) is
affectation. But though it arises from one spring only, when we consider
the infinite streams into which this one branches, we shall presently
cease to admire at the copious field it affords to an observer. Now,
affectation proceeds from one of these two causes, vanity or hypocrisy:
for as vanity puts us on affecting false characters, in order to
purchase applause; so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavour to avoid
censure, by concealing our vices under an appearance of their opposite
virtues. And though these two causes are often confounded (for there is
some difficulty in distinguishing them), yet, as they proceed from very
different motives, so they are as clearly distinct in their operations:
for indeed, the affectation which arises from vanity is nearer to truth
than the other, as it hath not that violent repugnancy of nature to
struggle with, which that of the hypocrite hath. It may be likewise
noted, that affectation doth not imply an absolute negation of those
qualities which are affected; and, therefore, though, when it proceeds
from hypocrisy, it be nearly allied to deceit; yet when it comes from
vanity only, it partakes of the nature of ostentation: for instance, the
affectation of liberality in a vain man differs visibly from the same
affectation in the avaricious; for though the vain man is not what he
would appear, or hath not the virtue he affects, to the degree he would
be thought to have it; yet it sits less awkwardly on him than on the
avaricious man, who is the very reverse of what he would seem to be.

From the discovery of this affectation arises the Ridiculous, which
always strikes the reader with surprize and pleasure; and that in a
higher and stronger degree when the affectation arises from hypocrisy,
than when from vanity; for to discover any one to be the exact reverse
of what he affects, is more surprizing, and consequently more
ridiculous, than to find him a little deficient in the quality he
desires the reputation of. I might observe that our Ben Jonson, who of
all men understood the Ridiculous the best, hath chiefly used the
hypocritical affectation.

Now, from affectation only, the misfortunes and calamities of life, or
the imperfections of nature, may become the objects of ridicule. Surely
he hath a very ill-framed mind who can look on ugliness, infirmity, or
poverty, as ridiculous in themselves: nor do I believe any man living,
who meets a dirty fellow riding through the streets in a cart, is
struck with an idea of the Ridiculous from it; but if he should see the
same figure descend from his coach and six, or bolt from his chair with
his hat under his arm, he would then begin to laugh, and with justice.
In the same manner, were we to enter a poor house and behold a wretched
family shivering with cold and languishing with hunger, it would not
incline us to laughter (at least we must have very diabolical natures if
it would); but should we discover there a grate, instead of coals,
adorned with flowers, empty plate or china dishes on the sideboard, or
any other affectation of riches and finery, either on their persons or
in their furniture, we might then indeed be excused for ridiculing so
fantastical an appearance. Much less are natural imperfections the
object of derision; but when ugliness aims at the applause of beauty, or
lameness endeavours to display agility, it is then that these
unfortunate circumstances, which at first moved our compassion, tend
only to raise our mirth.

The poet carries this very far:--

None are for being what they are in fault,
But for not being what they would be thought.

Where if the metre would suffer the word Ridiculous to close the first
line, the thought would be rather more proper. Great vices are the
proper objects of our detestation, smaller faults, of our pity; but
affectation appears to me the only true source of the Ridiculous.

But perhaps it may be objected to me, that I have against my own rules
introduced vices, and of a very black kind, into this work. To which I
shall answer: first, that it is very difficult to pursue a series of
human actions, and keep clear from them. Secondly, that the vices to be
found here are rather the accidental consequences of some human frailty
or foible, than causes habitually existing in the mind. Thirdly, that
they are never set forth as the objects of ridicule, but detestation.
Fourthly, that they are never the principal figure at that time on the
scene: and, lastly, they never produce the intended evil.

Having thus distinguished Joseph Andrews from the productions of romance
writers on the one hand and burlesque writers on the other, and given
some few very short hints (for I intended no more) of this species of
writing, which I have affirmed to be hitherto unattempted in our
language; I shall leave to my good-natured reader to apply my piece to
my observations, and will detain him no longer than with a word
concerning the characters in this work.

And here I solemnly protest I have no intention to vilify or asperse any
one; for though everything is copied from the book of nature, and scarce
a character or action produced which I have not taken from my I own
observations and experience; yet I have used the utmost care to obscure
the persons by such different circumstances, degrees, and colours, that
it will be impossible to guess at them with any degree of certainty; and
if it ever happens otherwise, it is only where the failure characterized
is so minute, that it is a foible only which the party himself may laugh
at as well as any other.

As to the character of Adams, as it is the most glaring in the whole, so
I conceive it is not to be found in any book now extant. It is designed
a character of perfect simplicity; and as the goodness of his heart
will recommend him to the good-natured, so I hope it will excuse me to
the gentlemen of his cloth; for whom, while they are worthy of their
sacred order, no man can possibly have a greater respect. They will
therefore excuse me, notwithstanding the low adventures in which he is
engaged, that I have made him a clergyman; since no other office could
have given him so many opportunities of displaying his worthy




_Of writing lives in general, and particularly of Pamela; with a word by
the bye of Colley Cibber and others._

It is a trite but true observation, that examples work more forcibly on
the mind than precepts: and if this be just in what is odious and
blameable, it is more strongly so in what is amiable and praiseworthy.
Here emulation most effectually operates upon us, and inspires our
imitation in an irresistible manner. A good man therefore is a standing
lesson to all his acquaintance, and of far greater use in that narrow
circle than a good book.

But as it often happens that the best men are but little known, and
consequently cannot extend the usefulness of their examples a great way;
the writer may be called in aid to spread their history farther, and to
present the amiable pictures to those who have not the happiness of
knowing the originals; and so, by communicating such valuable patterns
to the world, he may perhaps do a more extensive service to mankind than
the person whose life originally afforded the pattern.

In this light I have always regarded those biographers who have recorded
the actions of great and worthy persons of both sexes. Not to mention
those antient writers which of late days are little read, being written
in obsolete, and as they are generally thought, unintelligible
languages, such as Plutarch, Nepos, and others which I heard of in my
youth; our own language affords many of excellent use and instruction,
finely calculated to sow the seeds of virtue in youth, and very easy to
be comprehended by persons of moderate capacity. Such as the history of
John the Great, who, by his brave and heroic actions against men of
large and athletic bodies, obtained the glorious appellation of the
Giant-killer; that of an Earl of Warwick, whose Christian name was Guy;
the lives of Argalus and Parthenia; and above all, the history of those
seven worthy personages, the Champions of Christendom. In all these
delight is mixed with instruction, and the reader is almost as much
improved as entertained.

But I pass by these and many others to mention two books lately
published, which represent an admirable pattern of the amiable in either
sex. The former of these, which deals in male virtue, was written by the
great person himself, who lived the life he hath recorded, and is by
many thought to have lived such a life only in order to write it. The
other is communicated to us by an historian who borrows his lights, as
the common method is, from authentic papers and records. The reader, I
believe, already conjectures, I mean the lives of Mr Colley Cibber and
of Mrs Pamela Andrews. How artfully doth the former, by insinuating that
he escaped being promoted to the highest stations in Church and State,
teach us a contempt of worldly grandeur! how strongly doth he inculcate
an absolute submission to our superiors! Lastly, how completely doth he
arm us against so uneasy, so wretched a passion as the fear of shame!
how clearly doth he expose the emptiness and vanity of that phantom,

What the female readers are taught by the memoirs of Mrs Andrews is so
well set forth in the excellent essays or letters prefixed to the second
and subsequent editions of that work, that it would be here a needless
repetition. The authentic history with which I now present the public is
an instance of the great good that book is likely to do, and of the
prevalence of example which I have just observed: since it will appear
that it was by keeping the excellent pattern of his sister's virtues
before his eyes, that Mr Joseph Andrews was chiefly enabled to preserve
his purity in the midst of such great temptations. I shall only add that
this character of male chastity, though doubtless as desirable and
becoming in one part of the human species as in the other, is almost the
only virtue which the great apologist hath not given himself for the
sake of giving the example to his readers.


_Of Mr Joseph Andrews, his birth, parentage, education, and great
endowments; with a word or two concerning ancestors._

Mr Joseph Andrews, the hero of our ensuing history, was esteemed to be
the only son of Gaffar and Gammer Andrews, and brother to the
illustrious Pamela, whose virtue is at present so famous. As to his
ancestors, we have searched with great diligence, but little success;
being unable to trace them farther than his great-grandfather, who, as
an elderly person in the parish remembers to have heard his father say,
was an excellent cudgel-player. Whether he had any ancestors before
this, we must leave to the opinion of our curious reader, finding
nothing of sufficient certainty to rely on. However, we cannot omit
inserting an epitaph which an ingenious friend of ours hath

Stay, traveller, for underneath this pew
Lies fast asleep that merry man Andrew:
When the last day's great sun shall gild the skies,
Then he shall from his tomb get up and rise.
Be merry while thou canst: for surely thou
Shalt shortly be as sad as he is now.

The words are almost out of the stone with antiquity. But it is needless
to observe that Andrew here is writ without an _s_, and is, besides, a
Christian name. My friend, moreover, conjectures this to have been the
founder of that sect of laughing philosophers since called

To waive, therefore, a circumstance which, though mentioned in
conformity to the exact rules of biography, is not greatly material, I
proceed to things of more consequence. Indeed, it is sufficiently
certain that he had as many ancestors as the best man living, and,
perhaps, if we look five or six hundred years backwards, might be
related to some persons of very great figure at present, whose ancestors
within half the last century are buried in as great obscurity. But
suppose, for argument's sake, we should admit that he had no ancestors
at all, but had sprung up, according to the modern phrase, out of a
dunghill, as the Athenians pretended they themselves did from the earth,
would not this autokopros[A] have been justly entitled to all the
praise arising from his own virtues? Would it not be hard that a man who
hath no ancestors should therefore be rendered incapable of acquiring
honour; when we see so many who have no virtues enjoying the honour of
their forefathers? At ten years old (by which time his education was
advanced to writing and reading) he was bound an apprentice, according
to the statute, to Sir Thomas Booby, an uncle of Mr Booby's by the
father's side. Sir Thomas having then an estate in his own hands, the
young Andrews was at first employed in what in the country they call
keeping birds. His office was to perform the part the ancients assigned
to the god Priapus, which deity the moderns call by the name of Jack o'
Lent; but his voice being so extremely musical, that it rather allured
the birds than terrified them, he was soon transplanted from the fields
into the dog-kennel, where he was placed under the huntsman, and made
what the sportsmen term whipper-in. For this place likewise the
sweetness of his voice disqualified him; the dogs preferring the melody
of his chiding to all the alluring notes of the huntsman, who soon
became so incensed at it, that he desired Sir Thomas to provide
otherwise for him, and constantly laid every fault the dogs were at to
the account of the poor boy, who was now transplanted to the stable.
Here he soon gave proofs of strength and agility beyond his years, and
constantly rode the most spirited and vicious horses to water, with an
intrepidity which surprized every one. While he was in this station, he
rode several races for Sir Thomas, and this with such expertness and
success, that the neighbouring gentlemen frequently solicited the knight
to permit little Joey (for so he was called) to ride their matches. The
best gamesters, before they laid their money, always inquired which
horse little Joey was to ride; and the bets were rather proportioned by
the rider than by the horse himself; especially after he had scornfully
refused a considerable bribe to play booty on such an occasion. This
extremely raised his character, and so pleased the Lady Booby, that she
desired to have him (being now seventeen years of age) for her
own footboy.

[A] In English, sprung from a dunghill.

Joey was now preferred from the stable to attend on his lady, to go on
her errands, stand behind her chair, wait at her tea-table, and carry
her prayer-book to church; at which place his voice gave him an
opportunity of distinguishing himself by singing psalms: he behaved
likewise in every other respect so well at Divine service, that it
recommended him to the notice of Mr Abraham Adams, the curate, who took
an opportunity one day, as he was drinking a cup of ale in Sir Thomas's
kitchen, to ask the young man several questions concerning religion;
with his answers to which he was wonderfully pleased.


_Of Mr Abraham Adams the curate, Mrs Slipslop the chambermaid, and

Mr Abraham Adams was an excellent scholar. He was a perfect master of
the Greek and Latin languages; to which he added a great share of
knowledge in the Oriental tongues; and could read and translate French,
Italian, and Spanish. He had applied many years to the most severe
study, and had treasured up a fund of learning rarely to be met with in
a university. He was, besides, a man of good sense, good parts, and good
nature; but was at the same time as entirely ignorant of the ways of
this world as an infant just entered into it could possibly be. As he
had never any intention to deceive, so he never suspected such a design
in others. He was generous, friendly, and brave to an excess; but
simplicity was his characteristick: he did, no more than Mr Colley
Cibber, apprehend any such passions as malice and envy to exist in
mankind; which was indeed less remarkable in a country parson than in a
gentleman who hath passed his life behind the scenes,--a place which
hath been seldom thought the school of innocence, and where a very
little observation would have convinced the great apologist that those
passions have a real existence in the human mind.

His virtue, and his other qualifications, as they rendered him equal to
his office, so they made him an agreeable and valuable companion, and
had so much endeared and well recommended him to a bishop, that at the
age of fifty he was provided with a handsome income of twenty-three
pounds a year; which, however, he could not make any great figure with,
because he lived in a dear country, and was a little encumbered with a
wife and six children.

It was this gentleman, who having, as I have said, observed the singular
devotion of young Andrews, had found means to question him concerning
several particulars; as, how many books there were in the New Testament?
which were they? how many chapters they contained? and such like: to all
which, Mr Adams privately said, he answered much better than Sir Thomas,
or two other neighbouring justices of the peace could probably
have done.

Mr Adams was wonderfully solicitous to know at what time, and by what
opportunity, the youth became acquainted with these matters: Joey told
him that he had very early learnt to read and write by the goodness of
his father, who, though he had not interest enough to get him into a
charity school, because a cousin of his father's landlord did not vote
on the right side for a churchwarden in a borough town, yet had been
himself at the expense of sixpence a week for his learning. He told him
likewise, that ever since he was in Sir Thomas's family he had employed
all his hours of leisure in reading good books; that he had read the
Bible, the Whole Duty of Man, and Thomas a Kempis; and that as often as
he could, without being perceived, he had studied a great good book
which lay open in the hall window, where he had read, "as how the devil
carried away half a church in sermon-time, without hurting one of the
congregation; and as how a field of corn ran away down a hill with all
the trees upon it, and covered another man's meadow." This sufficiently
assured Mr Adams that the good book meant could be no other than Baker's

The curate, surprized to find such instances of industry and application
in a young man who had never met with the least encouragement, asked
him, If he did not extremely regret the want of a liberal education, and
the not having been born of parents who might have indulged his talents
and desire of knowledge? To which he answered, "He hoped he had profited
somewhat better from the books he had read than to lament his condition
in this world. That, for his part, he was perfectly content with the
state to which he was called; that he should endeavour to improve his
talent, which was all required of him; but not repine at his own lot,
nor envy those of his betters." "Well said, my lad," replied the curate;
"and I wish some who have read many more good books, nay, and some who
have written good books themselves, had profited so much by them."

Adams had no nearer access to Sir Thomas or my lady than through the
waiting-gentlewoman; for Sir Thomas was too apt to estimate men merely
by their dress or fortune; and my lady was a woman of gaiety, who had
been blest with a town education, and never spoke of any of her country
neighbours by any other appellation than that of the brutes. They both
regarded the curate as a kind of domestic only, belonging to the parson
of the parish, who was at this time at variance with the knight; for the
parson had for many years lived in a constant state of civil war, or,
which is perhaps as bad, of civil law, with Sir Thomas himself and the
tenants of his manor. The foundation of this quarrel was a modus, by
setting which aside an advantage of several shillings _per annum_ would
have accrued to the rector; but he had not yet been able to accomplish
his purpose, and had reaped hitherto nothing better from the suits than
the pleasure (which he used indeed frequently to say was no small one)
of reflecting that he had utterly undone many of the poor tenants,
though he had at the same time greatly impoverished himself.

Mrs Slipslop, the waiting-gentlewoman, being herself the daughter of a
curate, preserved some respect for Adams: she professed great regard for
his learning, and would frequently dispute with him on points of
theology; but always insisted on a deference to be paid to her
understanding, as she had been frequently at London, and knew more of
the world than a country parson could pretend to.

She had in these disputes a particular advantage over Adams: for she was
a mighty affecter of hard words, which she used in such a manner that
the parson, who durst not offend her by calling her words in question,
was frequently at some loss to guess her meaning, and would have been
much less puzzled by an Arabian manuscript.

Adams therefore took an opportunity one day, after a pretty long
discourse with her on the essence (or, as she pleased to term it, the
incence) of matter, to mention the case of young Andrews; desiring her
to recommend him to her lady as a youth very susceptible of learning,
and one whose instruction in Latin he would himself undertake; by which
means he might be qualified for a higher station than that of a footman;
and added, she knew it was in his master's power easily to provide for
him in a better manner. He therefore desired that the boy might be left
behind under his care.

"La! Mr Adams," said Mrs Slipslop, "do you think my lady will suffer any
preambles about any such matter? She is going to London very concisely,
and I am confidous would not leave Joey behind her on any account; for
he is one of the genteelest young fellows you may see in a summer's day;
and I am confidous she would as soon think of parting with a pair of her
grey mares, for she values herself as much on one as the other." Adams
would have interrupted, but she proceeded: "And why is Latin more
necessitous for a footman than a gentleman? It is very proper that you
clergymen must learn it, because you can't preach without it: but I have
heard gentlemen say in London, that it is fit for nobody else. I am
confidous my lady would be angry with me for mentioning it; and I shall
draw myself into no such delemy." At which words her lady's bell rung,
and Mr Adams was forced to retire; nor could he gain a second
opportunity with her before their London journey, which happened a few
days afterwards. However, Andrews behaved very thankfully and gratefully
to him for his intended kindness, which he told him he never would
forget, and at the same time received from the good man many admonitions
concerning the regulation of his future conduct, and his perseverance in
innocence and industry.


_What happened after their journey to London._

No sooner was young Andrews arrived at London than he began to scrape an
acquaintance with his party-coloured brethren, who endeavoured to make
him despise his former course of life. His hair was cut after the newest
fashion, and became his chief care; he went abroad with it all the
morning in papers, and drest it out in the afternoon. They could not,
however, teach him to game, swear, drink, nor any other genteel vice the
town abounded with. He applied most of his leisure hours to music, in
which he greatly improved himself; and became so perfect a connoisseur
in that art, that he led the opinion of all the other footmen at an
opera, and they never condemned or applauded a single song contrary to
his approbation or dislike. He was a little too forward in riots at the
play-houses and assemblies; and when he attended his lady at church
(which was but seldom) he behaved with less seeming devotion than
formerly: however, if he was outwardly a pretty fellow, his morals
remained entirely uncorrupted, though he was at the same time smarter
and genteeler than any of the beaus in town, either in or out of livery.

His lady, who had often said of him that Joey was the handsomest and
genteelest footman in the kingdom, but that it was pity he wanted
spirit, began now to find that fault no longer; on the contrary, she was
frequently heard to cry out, "Ay, there is some life in this fellow."
She plainly saw the effects which the town air hath on the soberest
constitutions. She would now walk out with him into Hyde Park in a
morning, and when tired, which happened almost every minute, would lean
on his arm, and converse with him in great familiarity. Whenever she
stept out of her coach, she would take him by the hand, and sometimes,
for fear of stumbling, press it very hard; she admitted him to deliver
messages at her bedside in a morning, leered at him at table, and
indulged him in all those innocent freedoms which women of figure may
permit without the least sully of their virtue.

But though their virtue remains unsullied, yet now and then some small
arrows will glance on the shadow of it, their reputation; and so it fell
out to Lady Booby, who happened to be walking arm-in-arm with Joey one
morning in Hyde Park, when Lady Tittle and Lady Tattle came accidentally
by in their coach. "Bless me," says Lady Tittle, "can I believe my eyes?
Is that Lady Booby?"--"Surely," says Tattle. "But what makes you
surprized?"--"Why, is not that her footman?" replied Tittle. At which
Tattle laughed, and cried, "An old business, I assure you: is it
possible you should not have heard it? The whole town hath known it this
half-year." The consequence of this interview was a whisper through a
hundred visits, which were separately performed by the two ladies[A] the
same afternoon, and might have had a mischievous effect, had it not been
stopt by two fresh reputations which were published the day afterwards,
and engrossed the whole talk of the town.

[A] It may seem an absurdity that Tattle should visit, as she actually
did, to spread a known scandal: but the reader may reconcile this by
supposing, with me, that, notwithstanding what she says, this was
her first acquaintance with it.

But, whatever opinion or suspicion the scandalous inclination of
defamers might entertain of Lady Booby's innocent freedoms, it is
certain they made no impression on young Andrews, who never offered to
encroach beyond the liberties which his lady allowed him,--a behaviour
which she imputed to the violent respect he preserved for her, and which
served only to heighten a something she began to conceive, and which
the next chapter will open a little farther.


_The death of Sir Thomas Booby, with the affectionate and mournful
behaviour of his widow, and the great purity of Joseph Andrews._

At this time an accident happened which put a stop to those agreeable
walks, which probably would have soon puffed up the cheeks of Fame, and
caused her to blow her brazen trumpet through the town; and this was no
other than the death of Sir Thomas Booby, who, departing this life, left
his disconsolate lady confined to her house, as closely as if she
herself had been attacked by some violent disease. During the first six
days the poor lady admitted none but Mrs. Slipslop, and three female
friends, who made a party at cards: but on the seventh she ordered Joey,
whom, for a good reason, we shall hereafter call JOSEPH, to bring up her
tea-kettle. The lady being in bed, called Joseph to her, bade him sit
down, and, having accidentally laid her hand on his, she asked him if he
had ever been in love. Joseph answered, with some confusion, it was time
enough for one so young as himself to think on such things. "As young as
you are," replied the lady, "I am convinced you are no stranger to that
passion. Come, Joey," says she, "tell me truly, who is the happy girl
whose eyes have made a conquest of you?" Joseph returned, that all the
women he had ever seen were equally indifferent to him. "Oh then," said
the lady, "you are a general lover. Indeed, you handsome fellows, like
handsome women, are very long and difficult in fixing; but yet you
shall never persuade me that your heart is so insusceptible of
affection; I rather impute what you say to your secrecy, a very
commendable quality, and what I am far from being angry with you for.
Nothing can be more unworthy in a young man, than to betray any
intimacies with the ladies." "Ladies! madam," said Joseph, "I am sure I
never had the impudence to think of any that deserve that name." "Don't
pretend to too much modesty," said she, "for that sometimes may be
impertinent: but pray answer me this question. Suppose a lady should
happen to like you; suppose she should prefer you to all your sex, and
admit you to the same familiarities as you might have hoped for if you
had been born her equal, are you certain that no vanity could tempt you
to discover her? Answer me honestly, Joseph; have you so much more sense
and so much more virtue than you handsome young fellows generally have,
who make no scruple of sacrificing our dear reputation to your pride,
without considering the great obligation we lay on you by our
condescension and confidence? Can you keep a secret, my Joey?" "Madam,"
says he, "I hope your ladyship can't tax me with ever betraying the
secrets of the family; and I hope, if you was to turn me away, I might
have that character of you." "I don't intend to turn you away, Joey,"
said she, and sighed; "I am afraid it is not in my power." She then
raised herself a little in her bed, and discovered one of the whitest
necks that ever was seen; at which Joseph blushed. "La!" says she, in an
affected surprize, "what am I doing? I have trusted myself with a man
alone, naked in bed; suppose you should have any wicked intentions upon
my honour, how should I defend myself?" Joseph protested that he never
had the least evil design against her. "No," says she, "perhaps you may
not call your designs wicked; and perhaps they are not so."--He swore
they were not. "You misunderstand me," says she; "I mean if they were
against my honour, they may not be wicked; but the world calls them so.
But then, say you, the world will never know anything of the matter; yet
would not that be trusting to your secrecy? Must not my reputation be
then in your power? Would you not then be my master?" Joseph begged her
ladyship to be comforted; for that he would never imagine the least
wicked thing against her, and that he had rather die a thousand deaths
than give her any reason to suspect him. "Yes," said she, "I must have
reason to suspect you. Are you not a man? and, without vanity, I may
pretend to some charms. But perhaps you may fear I should prosecute you;
indeed I hope you do; and yet Heaven knows I should never have the
confidence to appear before a court of justice; and you know, Joey, I am
of a forgiving temper. Tell me, Joey, don't you think I should forgive
you?"--"Indeed, madam," says Joseph, "I will never do anything to
disoblige your ladyship."--"How," says she, "do you think it would not
disoblige me then? Do you think I would willingly suffer you?"--"I don't
understand you, madam," says Joseph.--"Don't you?" said she, "then you
are either a fool, or pretend to be so; I find I was mistaken in you. So
get you downstairs, and never let me see your face again; your pretended
innocence cannot impose on me."--"Madam," said Joseph, "I would not have
your ladyship think any evil of me. I have always endeavoured to be a
dutiful servant both to you and my master."--"O thou villain!" answered
my lady; "why didst thou mention the name of that dear man, unless to
torment me, to bring his precious memory to my mind?" (and then she
burst into a fit of tears.) "Get thee from my sight! I shall never
endure thee more." At which words she turned away from him; and Joseph
retreated from the room in a most disconsolate condition, and writ that
letter which the reader will find in the next chapter.


_How Joseph Andrews writ a letter to his sister Pamela._


"DEAR SISTER,--Since I received your letter of your good lady's death,
we have had a misfortune of the same kind in our family. My worthy
master Sir Thomas died about four days ago; and, what is worse, my poor
lady is certainly gone distracted. None of the servants expected her to
take it so to heart, because they quarrelled almost every day of their
lives: but no more of that, because you know, Pamela, I never loved to
tell the secrets of my master's family; but to be sure you must have
known they never loved one another; and I have heard her ladyship wish
his honour dead above a thousand times; but nobody knows what it is to
lose a friend till they have lost him.

"Don't tell anybody what I write, because I should not care to have
folks say I discover what passes in our family; but if it had not been
so great a lady, I should have thought she had had a mind to me. Dear
Pamela, don't tell anybody; but she ordered me to sit down by her
bedside, when she was in naked bed; and she held my hand, and talked
exactly as a lady does to her sweetheart in a stage-play, which I have
seen in Covent Garden, while she wanted him to be no better than he
should be.

"If madam be mad, I shall not care for staying long in the family; so I
heartily wish you could get me a place, either at the squire's, or some
other neighbouring gentleman's, unless it be true that you are going to
be married to parson Williams, as folks talk, and then I should be very
willing to be his clerk; for which you know I am qualified, being able
to read and to set a psalm.

"I fancy I shall be discharged very soon; and the moment I am, unless I
hear from you, I shall return to my old master's country-seat, if it be
only to see parson Adams, who is the best man in the world. London is a
bad place, and there is so little good fellowship, that the next-door
neighbours don't know one another. Pray give my service to all friends
that inquire for me. So I rest

"Your loving brother,


As soon as Joseph had sealed and directed this letter he walked
downstairs, where he met Mrs. Slipslop, with whom we shall take this
opportunity to bring the reader a little better acquainted. She was a
maiden gentlewoman of about forty-five years of age, who, having made a
small slip in her youth, had continued a good maid ever since. She was
not at this time remarkably handsome; being very short, and rather too
corpulent in body, and somewhat red, with the addition of pimples in the
face. Her nose was likewise rather too large, and her eyes too little;
nor did she resemble a cow so much in her breath as in two brown globes
which she carried before her; one of her legs was also a little shorter
than the other, which occasioned her to limp as she walked. This fair
creature had long cast the eyes of affection on Joseph, in which she had
not met with quite so good success as she probably wished, though,
besides the allurements of her native charms, she had given him tea,
sweetmeats, wine, and many other delicacies, of which, by keeping the
keys, she had the absolute command. Joseph, however, had not returned
the least gratitude to all these favours, not even so much as a kiss;
though I would not insinuate she was so easily to be satisfied; for
surely then he would have been highly blameable. The truth is, she was
arrived at an age when she thought she might indulge herself in any
liberties with a man, without the danger of bringing a third person into
the world to betray them. She imagined that by so long a self-denial she
had not only made amends for the small slip of her youth above hinted
at, but had likewise laid up a quantity of merit to excuse any future
failings. In a word, she resolved to give a loose to her amorous
inclinations, and to pay off the debt of pleasure which she found she
owed herself, as fast as possible.

With these charms of person, and in this disposition of mind, she
encountered poor Joseph at the bottom of the stairs, and asked him if he
would drink a glass of something good this morning. Joseph, whose
spirits were not a little cast down, very readily and thankfully
accepted the offer; and together they went into a closet, where, having
delivered him a full glass of ratafia, and desired him to sit down, Mrs.
Slipslop thus began:--

"Sure nothing can be a more simple contract in a woman than to place her
affections on a boy. If I had ever thought it would have been my fate, I
should have wished to die a thousand deaths rather than live to see that
day. If we like a man, the lightest hint sophisticates. Whereas a boy
proposes upon us to break through all the regulations of modesty, before
we can make any oppression upon him." Joseph, who did not understand a
word she said, answered, "Yes, madam."--"Yes, madam!" replied Mrs.
Slipslop with some warmth, "Do you intend to result my passion? Is it
not enough, ungrateful as you are, to make no return to all the favours
I have done you; but you must treat me with ironing? Barbarous monster!
how have I deserved that my passion should be resulted and treated with
ironing?" "Madam," answered Joseph, "I don't understand your hard words;
but I am certain you have no occasion to call me ungrateful, for, so far
from intending you any wrong, I have always loved you as well as if you
had been my own mother." "How, sirrah!" says Mrs. Slipslop in a rage;
"your own mother? Do you assinuate that I am old enough to be your
mother? I don't know what a stripling may think, but I believe a man
would refer me to any green-sickness silly girl whatsomdever: but I
ought to despise you rather than be angry with you, for referring the
conversation of girls to that of a woman of sense."--"Madam," says
Joseph, "I am sure I have always valued the honour you did me by your
conversation, for I know you are a woman of learning."--"Yes, but,
Joseph," said she, a little softened by the compliment to her learning,
"if you had a value for me, you certainly would have found some method
of showing it me; for I am convicted you must see the value I have for
you. Yes, Joseph, my eyes, whether I would or no, must have declared a
passion I cannot conquer.--Oh! Joseph!"

As when a hungry tigress, who long has traversed the woods in fruitless
search, sees within the reach of her claws a lamb, she prepares to leap
on her prey; or as a voracious pike, of immense size, surveys through
the liquid element a roach or gudgeon, which cannot escape her jaws,
opens them wide to swallow the little fish; so did Mrs. Slipslop prepare
to lay her violent amorous hands on the poor Joseph, when luckily her
mistress's bell rung, and delivered the intended martyr from her
clutches. She was obliged to leave him abruptly, and to defer the
execution of her purpose till some other time. We shall therefore return
to the Lady Booby, and give our reader some account of her behaviour,
after she was left by Joseph in a temper of mind not greatly different
from that of the inflamed Slipslop.


_Sayings of wise men. A dialogue between the lady and her maid; and a
panegyric, or rather satire, on the passion of love, in the
sublime style._

It is the observation of some antient sage, whose name I have forgot,
that passions operate differently on the human mind, as diseases on the
body, in proportion to the strength or weakness, soundness or
rottenness, of the one and the other.

We hope, therefore, a judicious reader will give himself some pains to
observe, what we have so greatly laboured to describe, the different
operations of this passion of love in the gentle and cultivated mind of
the Lady Booby, from those which it effected in the less polished and
coarser disposition of Mrs Slipslop.

Another philosopher, whose name also at present escapes my memory, hath
somewhere said, that resolutions taken in the absence of the beloved
object are very apt to vanish in its presence; on both which wise
sayings the following chapter may serve as a comment.

No sooner had Joseph left the room in the manner we have before related
than the lady, enraged at her disappointment, began to reflect with
severity on her conduct. Her love was now changed to disdain, which
pride assisted to torment her. She despised herself for the meanness of
her passion, and Joseph for its ill success. However, she had now got
the better of it in her own opinion, and determined immediately to
dismiss the object. After much tossing and turning in her bed, and many
soliloquies, which if we had no better matter for our reader we would
give him, she at last rung the bell as above mentioned, and was
presently attended by Mrs Slipslop, who was not much better pleased with
Joseph than the lady herself.

"Slipslop," said Lady Booby, "when did you see Joseph?" The poor woman
was so surprized at the unexpected sound of his name at so critical a
time, that she had the greatest difficulty to conceal the confusion she
was under from her mistress; whom she answered, nevertheless, with
pretty good confidence, though not entirely void of fear of suspicion,
that she had not seen him that morning. "I am afraid," said Lady Booby,
"he is a wild young fellow."--"That he is," said Slipslop, "and a
wicked one too. To my knowledge he games, drinks, swears, and fights
eternally; besides, he is horribly indicted to wenching."--"Ay!" said
the lady, "I never heard that of him."--"O madam!" answered the other,
"he is so lewd a rascal, that if your ladyship keeps him much longer,
you will not have one virgin in your house except myself. And yet I
can't conceive what the wenches see in him, to be so foolishly fond as
they are; in my eyes, he is as ugly a scarecrow as I ever
upheld."--"Nay," said the lady, "the boy is well enough."--"La! ma'am,"
cries Slipslop, "I think him the ragmaticallest fellow in the
family."--"Sure, Slipslop," says she, "you are mistaken: but which of
the women do you most suspect?"--"Madam," says Slipslop, "there is Betty
the chambermaid, I am almost convicted, is with child by him."--"Ay!"
says the lady, "then pray pay her her wages instantly. I will keep no
such sluts in my family. And as for Joseph, you may discard him
too."--"Would your ladyship have him paid off immediately?" cries
Slipslop, "for perhaps, when Betty is gone he may mend: and really the
boy is a good servant, and a strong healthy luscious boy enough."--
"This morning," answered the lady with some vehemence. "I wish, madam,"
cries Slipslop, "your ladyship would be so good as to try him a little
longer."--"I will not have my commands disputed," said the lady; "sure
you are not fond of him yourself?"--"I, madam!" cries Slipslop,
reddening, if not blushing, "I should be sorry to think your ladyship
had any reason to respect me of fondness for a fellow; and if it be your
pleasure, I shall fulfil it with as much reluctance as possible."--"As
little, I suppose you mean," said the lady; "and so about it instantly."
Mrs. Slipslop went out, and the lady had scarce taken two turns before
she fell to knocking and ringing with great violence. Slipslop, who did
not travel post haste, soon returned, and was countermanded as to
Joseph, but ordered to send Betty about her business without delay. She
went out a second time with much greater alacrity than before; when the
lady began immediately to accuse herself of want of resolution, and to
apprehend the return of her affection, with its pernicious consequences;
she therefore applied herself again to the bell, and re-summoned Mrs.
Slipslop into her presence; who again returned, and was told by her
mistress that she had considered better of the matter, and was
absolutely resolved to turn away Joseph; which she ordered her to do
immediately. Slipslop, who knew the violence of her lady's temper, and
would not venture her place for any Adonis or Hercules in the universe,
left her a third time; which she had no sooner done, than the little god
Cupid, fearing he had not yet done the lady's business, took a fresh
arrow with the sharpest point out of his quiver, and shot it directly
into her heart; in other and plainer language, the lady's passion got
the better of her reason. She called back Slipslop once more, and told
her she had resolved to see the boy, and examine him herself; therefore
bid her send him up. This wavering in her mistress's temper probably put
something into the waiting-gentlewoman's head not necessary to mention
to the sagacious reader.

Lady Booby was going to call her back again, but could not prevail with
herself. The next consideration therefore was, how she should behave to
Joseph when he came in. She resolved to preserve all the dignity of the
woman of fashion to her servant, and to indulge herself in this last
view of Joseph (for that she was most certainly resolved it should be)
at his own expense, by first insulting and then discarding him.

O Love, what monstrous tricks dost thou play with thy votaries of both
sexes! How dost thou deceive them, and make them deceive themselves!
Their follies are thy delight! Their sighs make thee laugh, and their
pangs are thy merriment!

Not the great Rich, who turns men into monkeys, wheel-barrows, and
whatever else best humours his fancy, hath so strangely metamorphosed
the human shape; nor the great Cibber, who confounds all number, gender,
and breaks through every rule of grammar at his will, hath so distorted
the English language as thou dost metamorphose and distort the
human senses.

Thou puttest out our eyes, stoppest up our ears, and takest away the
power of our nostrils; so that we can neither see the largest object,
hear the loudest noise, nor smell the most poignant perfume. Again, when
thou pleasest, thou canst make a molehill appear as a mountain, a
Jew's-harp sound like a trumpet, and a daisy smell like a violet. Thou
canst make cowardice brave, avarice generous, pride humble, and cruelty
tender-hearted. In short, thou turnest the heart of man inside out, as a
juggler doth a petticoat, and bringest whatsoever pleaseth thee out
from it. If there be any one who doubts all this, let him read the
next chapter.


_In which, after some very fine writing, the history goes on, and
relates the interview between the lady and Joseph; where the latter hath
set an example which we despair of seeing followed by his sex in this
vicious age._

Now the rake Hesperus had called for his breeches, and, having well
rubbed his drowsy eyes, prepared to dress himself for all night; by
whose example his brother rakes on earth likewise leave those beds in
which they had slept away the day. Now Thetis, the good housewife, began
to put on the pot, in order to regale the good man Phoebus after his
daily labours were over. In vulgar language, it was in the evening when
Joseph attended his lady's orders.

But as it becomes us to preserve the character of this lady, who is the
heroine of our tale; and as we have naturally a wonderful tenderness for
that beautiful part of the human species called the fair sex; before we
discover too much of her frailty to our reader, it will be proper to
give him a lively idea of the vast temptation, which overcame all the
efforts of a modest and virtuous mind; and then we humbly hope his good
nature will rather pity than condemn the imperfection of human virtue.


Nay, the ladies themselves will, we hope, be induced, by considering the
uncommon variety of charms which united in this young man's person, to
bridle their rampant passion for chastity, and be at least as mild as
their violent modesty and virtue will permit them, in censuring the
conduct of a woman who, perhaps, was in her own disposition as chaste
as those pure and sanctified virgins who, after a life innocently spent
in the gaieties of the town, begin about fifty to attend twice _per
diem_ at the polite churches and chapels, to return thanks for the grace
which preserved them formerly amongst beaus from temptations perhaps
less powerful than what now attacked the Lady Booby.

Mr Joseph Andrews was now in the one-and-twentieth year of his age. He
was of the highest degree of middle stature; his limbs were put together
with great elegance, and no less strength; his legs and thighs were
formed in the exactest proportion; his shoulders were broad and brawny,
but yet his arm hung so easily, that he had all the symptoms of strength
without the least clumsiness. His hair was of a nut-brown colour, and
was displayed in wanton ringlets down his back; his forehead was high,
his eyes dark, and as full of sweetness as of fire; his nose a little
inclined to the Roman; his teeth white and even; his lips full, red, and
soft; his beard was only rough on his chin and upper lip; but his
cheeks, in which his blood glowed, were overspread with a thick down;
his countenance had a tenderness joined with a sensibility
inexpressible. Add to this the most perfect neatness in his dress, and
an air which, to those who have not seen many noblemen, would give an
idea of nobility.

Such was the person who now appeared before the lady. She viewed him
some time in silence, and twice or thrice before she spake changed her
mind as to the manner in which she should begin. At length she said to
him, "Joseph, I am sorry to hear such complaints against you: I am told
you behave so rudely to the maids, that they cannot do their business in
quiet; I mean those who are not wicked enough to hearken to your
solicitations. As to others, they may, perhaps, not call you rude; for
there are wicked sluts who make one ashamed of one's own sex, and are as
ready to admit any nauseous familiarity as fellows to offer it: nay,
there are such in my family, but they shall not stay in it; that
impudent trollop who is with child by you is discharged by this time."

As a person who is struck through the heart with a thunderbolt looks
extremely surprised, nay, and perhaps is so too--thus the poor Joseph
received the false accusation of his mistress; he blushed and looked
confounded, which she misinterpreted to be symptoms of his guilt, and
thus went on:--

"Come hither, Joseph: another mistress might discard you for these
offences; but I have a compassion for your youth, and if I could be
certain you would be no more guilty--Consider, child," laying her hand
carelessly upon his, "you are a handsome young fellow, and might do
better; you might make your fortune." "Madam," said Joseph, "I do assure
your ladyship I don't know whether any maid in the house is man or
woman." "Oh fie! Joseph," answered the lady, "don't commit another crime
in denying the truth. I could pardon the first; but I hate a lyar."
"Madam," cries Joseph, "I hope your ladyship will not be offended at my
asserting my innocence; for, by all that is sacred, I have never offered
more than kissing." "Kissing!" said the lady, with great discomposure of
countenance, and more redness in her cheeks than anger in her eyes; "do
you call that no crime? Kissing, Joseph, is as a prologue to a play. Can
I believe a young fellow of your age and complexion will be content with
kissing? No, Joseph, there is no woman who grants that but will grant
more; and I am deceived greatly in you if you would not put her closely
to it. What would you think, Joseph, if I admitted you to kiss me?"
Joseph replied he would sooner die than have any such thought. "And
yet, Joseph," returned she, "ladies have admitted their footmen to such
familiarities; and footmen, I confess to you, much less deserving them;
fellows without half your charms--for such might almost excuse the
crime. Tell me therefore, Joseph, if I should admit you to such freedom,
what would you think of me?--tell me freely." "Madam," said Joseph, "I
should think your ladyship condescended a great deal below yourself."
"Pugh!" said she; "that I am to answer to myself: but would not you
insist on more? Would you be contented with a kiss? Would not your
inclinations be all on fire rather by such a favour?" "Madam," said
Joseph, "if they were, I hope I should be able to controul them, without
suffering them to get the better of my virtue." You have heard, reader,
poets talk of the statue of Surprize; you have heard likewise, or else
you have heard very little, how Surprize made one of the sons of Croesus
speak, though he was dumb. You have seen the faces, in the
eighteen-penny gallery, when, through the trap-door, to soft or no
music, Mr. Bridgewater, Mr. William Mills, or some other of ghostly
appearance, hath ascended, with a face all pale with powder, and a shirt
all bloody with ribbons;--but from none of these, nor from Phidias or
Praxiteles, if they should return to life--no, not from the inimitable
pencil of my friend Hogarth, could you receive such an idea of surprize
as would have entered in at your eyes had they beheld the Lady Booby
when those last words issued out from the lips of Joseph. "Your virtue!"
said the lady, recovering after a silence of two minutes; "I shall never
survive it. Your virtue!--intolerable confidence! Have you the assurance
to pretend, that when a lady demeans herself to throw aside the rules of
decency, in order to honour you with the highest favour in her power,
your virtue should resist her inclination? that, when she had conquered
her own virtue, she should find an obstruction in yours?" "Madam," said
Joseph, "I can't see why her having no virtue should be a reason against
my having any; or why, because I am a man, or because I am poor, my
virtue must be subservient to her pleasures." "I am out of patience,"
cries the lady: "did ever mortal hear of a man's virtue? Did ever the
greatest or the gravest men pretend to any of this kind? Will
magistrates who punish lewdness, or parsons who preach against it, make
any scruple of committing it? And can a boy, a stripling, have the
confidence to talk of his virtue?" "Madam," says Joseph, "that boy is
the brother of Pamela, and would be ashamed that the chastity of his
family, which is preserved in her, should be stained in him. If there
are such men as your ladyship mentions, I am sorry for it; and I wish
they had an opportunity of reading over those letters which my father
hath sent me of my sister Pamela's; nor do I doubt but such an example
would amend them." "You impudent villain!" cries the lady in a rage; "do
you insult me with the follies of my relation, who hath exposed himself
all over the country upon your sister's account? a little vixen, whom I
have always wondered my late Lady Booby ever kept in her house. Sirrah!
get out of my sight, and prepare to set out this night; for I will order
you your wages immediately, and you shall be stripped and turned away."
"Madam," says Joseph, "I am sorry I have offended your ladyship, I am
sure I never intended it." "Yes, sirrah," cries she, "you have had the
vanity to misconstrue the little innocent freedom I took, in order to
try whether what I had heard was true. O' my conscience, you have had
the assurance to imagine I was fond of you myself." Joseph answered, he
had only spoke out of tenderness for his virtue; at which words she
flew into a violent passion, and refusing to hear more, ordered him
instantly to leave the room.

He was no sooner gone than she burst forth into the following
exclamation:--"Whither doth this violent passion hurry us? What
meannesses do we submit to from its impulse! Wisely we resist its first
and least approaches; for it is then only we can assure ourselves the
victory. No woman could ever safely say, so far only will I go. Have I
not exposed myself to the refusal of my footman? I cannot bear the
reflection." Upon which she applied herself to the bell, and rung it
with infinite more violence than was necessary--the faithful Slipslop
attending near at hand: to say the truth, she had conceived a suspicion
at her last interview with her mistress, and had waited ever since in
the antechamber, having carefully applied her ears to the keyhole during
the whole time that the preceding conversation passed between Joseph
and the lady.


_What passed between the lady and Mrs Slipslop; in which we prophesy
there are some strokes which every one will not truly comprehend at the
first reading._

"Slipslop," said the lady, "I find too much reason to believe all thou
hast told me of this wicked Joseph; I have determined to part with him
instantly; so go you to the steward, and bid him pay his wages."
Slipslop, who had preserved hitherto a distance to her lady--rather out
of necessity than inclination--and who thought the knowledge of this
secret had thrown down all distinction between them, answered her
mistress very pertly--"She wished she knew her own mind; and that she
was certain she would call her back again before she was got half-way
downstairs." The lady replied, she had taken a resolution, and was
resolved to keep it. "I am sorry for it," cries Slipslop, "and, if I had
known you would have punished the poor lad so severely, you should never
have heard a particle of the matter. Here's a fuss indeed about
nothing!" "Nothing!" returned my lady; "do you think I will countenance
lewdness in my house?" "If you will turn away every footman," said
Slipslop, "that is a lover of the sport, you must soon open the coach
door yourself, or get a set of mophrodites to wait upon you; and I am
sure I hated the sight of them even singing in an opera." "Do as I bid
you," says my lady, "and don't shock my ears with your beastly
language." "Marry-come-up," cries Slipslop, "people's ears are sometimes
the nicest part about them."

The lady, who began to admire the new style in which her
waiting-gentlewoman delivered herself, and by the conclusion of her
speech suspected somewhat of the truth, called her back, and desired to
know what she meant by the extraordinary degree of freedom in which she
thought proper to indulge her tongue. "Freedom!" says Slipslop; "I don't
know what you call freedom, madam; servants have tongues as well as
their mistresses." "Yes, and saucy ones too," answered the lady; "but I
assure you I shall bear no such impertinence." "Impertinence! I don't
know that I am impertinent," says Slipslop. "Yes, indeed you are," cries
my lady, "and, unless you mend your manners, this house is no place for
you." "Manners!" cries Slipslop; "I never was thought to want manners
nor modesty neither; and for places, there are more places than one; and
I know what I know." "What do you know, mistress?" answered the lady. "I
am not obliged to tell that to everybody," says Slipslop, "any more than
I am obliged to keep it a secret." "I desire you would provide
yourself," answered the lady. "With all my heart," replied the
waiting-gentlewoman; and so departed in a passion, and slapped the door
after her.

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