Part 12 out of 18
began to call for his morning draught, and to summon his horses in
order to renew his pursuit, than Mr Supple began his dissuasives,
which the host so strongly seconded, that they at length prevailed,
and Mr Western agreed to return home; being principally moved by one
argument, viz., that he knew not which way to go, and might probably
be riding farther from his daughter instead of towards her. He then
took leave of his brother sportsman, and expressing great joy that the
frost was broken (which might perhaps be no small motive to his
hastening home), set forwards, or rather backwards, for Somersetshire;
but not before he had first despatched part of his retinue in quest of
his daughter, after whom he likewise sent a volley of the most bitter
execrations which he could invent.
The departure of Jones from Upton, with what passed between him and
Partridge on the road.
At length we are once more come to our heroe; and, to say truth, we
have been obliged to part with him so long, that, considering the
condition in which we left him, I apprehend many of our readers have
concluded we intended to abandon him for ever; he being at present in
that situation in which prudent people usually desist from enquiring
any farther after their friends, lest they should be shocked by
hearing such friends had hanged themselves.
But, in reality, if we have not all the virtues, I will boldly say,
neither have we all the vices of a prudent character; and though it is
not easy to conceive circumstances much more miserable than those of
poor Jones at present, we shall return to him, and attend upon him
with the same diligence as if he was wantoning in the brightest beams
Mr Jones, then, and his companion Partridge, left the inn a few
minutes after the departure of Squire Western, and pursued the same
road on foot, for the hostler told them that no horses were by any
means to be at that time procured at Upton. On they marched with heavy
hearts; for though their disquiet proceeded from very different
reasons, yet displeased they were both; and if Jones sighed bitterly,
Partridge grunted altogether as sadly at every step.
When they came to the cross-roads where the squire had stopt to take
counsel, Jones stopt likewise, and turning to Partridge, asked his
opinion which track they should pursue. "Ah, sir," answered Partridge,
"I wish your honour would follow my advice." "Why should I not?"
replied Jones; "for it is now indifferent to me whither I go, or what
becomes of me." "My advice, then," said Partridge, "is, that you
immediately face about and return home; for who that hath such a home
to return to as your honour, would travel thus about the country like
a vagabond? I ask pardon, _sed vox ea sola reperta est_."
"Alas!" cries Jones, "I have no home to return to;--but if my friend,
my father, would receive me, could I bear the country from which
Sophia is flown? Cruel Sophia! Cruel! No; let me blame myself!--No;
let me blame thee. D--nation seize thee--fool--blockhead! thou hast
undone me, and I will tear thy soul from thy body."--At which words he
laid violent hands on the collar of poor Partridge, and shook him more
heartily than an ague-fit, or his own fears had ever done before.
Partridge fell trembling on his knees, and begged for mercy, vowing he
had meant no harm--when Jones, after staring wildly on him for a
moment, quitted his hold, and discharged a rage on himself, that, had
it fallen on the other, would certainly have put an end to his being,
which indeed the very apprehension of it had almost effected.
We would bestow some pains here in minutely describing all the mad
pranks which Jones played on this occasion, could we be well assured
that the reader would take the same pains in perusing them; but as we
are apprehensive that, after all the labour which we should employ in
painting this scene, the said reader would be very apt to skip it
entirely over, we have saved ourselves that trouble. To say the truth,
we have, from this reason alone, often done great violence to the
luxuriance of our genius, and have left many excellent descriptions
out of our work, which would otherwise have been in it. And this
suspicion, to be honest, arises, as is generally the case, from our
own wicked heart; for we have, ourselves, been very often most
horridly given to jumping, as we have run through the pages of
Suffice it then simply to say, that Jones, after having played the
part of a madman for many minutes, came, by degrees, to himself; which
no sooner happened, than, turning to Partridge, he very earnestly
begged his pardon for the attack he had made on him in the violence of
his passion; but concluded, by desiring him never to mention his
return again; for he was resolved never to see that country any more.
Partridge easily forgave, and faithfully promised to obey the
injunction now laid upon him. And then Jones very briskly cried out,
"Since it is absolutely impossible for me to pursue any farther the
steps of my angel--I will pursue those of glory. Come on, my brave
lad, now for the army:--it is a glorious cause, and I would willingly
sacrifice my life in it, even though it was worth my preserving." And
so saying, he immediately struck into the different road from that
which the squire had taken, and, by mere chance, pursued the very same
through which Sophia had before passed.
Our travellers now marched a full mile, without speaking a syllable to
each other, though Jones, indeed, muttered many things to himself. As
to Partridge, he was profoundly silent; for he was not, perhaps,
perfectly recovered from his former fright; besides, he had
apprehensions of provoking his friend to a second fit of wrath,
especially as he now began to entertain a conceit, which may not,
perhaps, create any great wonder in the reader. In short, he began now
to suspect that Jones was absolutely out of his senses.
At length, Jones, being weary of soliloquy, addressed himself to his
companion, and blamed him for his taciturnity; for which the poor man
very honestly accounted, from his fear of giving offence. And now this
fear being pretty well removed, by the most absolute promises of
indemnity, Partridge again took the bridle from his tongue; which,
perhaps, rejoiced no less at regaining its liberty, than a young colt,
when the bridle is slipt from his neck, and he is turned loose into
As Partridge was inhibited from that topic which would have first
suggested itself, he fell upon that which was next uppermost in his
mind, namely, the Man of the Hill. "Certainly, sir," says he, "that
could never be a man, who dresses himself and lives after such a
strange manner, and so unlike other folks. Besides, his diet, as the
old woman told me, is chiefly upon herbs, which is a fitter food for a
horse than a Christian: nay, landlord at Upton says that the
neighbours thereabouts have very fearful notions about him. It runs
strangely in my head that it must have been some spirit, who, perhaps,
might be sent to forewarn us: and who knows but all that matter which
he told us, of his going to fight, and of his being taken prisoner,
and of the great danger he was in of being hanged, might be intended
as a warning to us, considering what we are going about? besides, I
dreamt of nothing all last night but of fighting; and methought the
blood ran out of my nose, as liquor out of a tap. Indeed, sir,
_infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem_."
"Thy story, Partridge," answered Jones, "is almost as ill applied as
thy Latin. Nothing can be more likely to happen than death to men who
go into battle. Perhaps we shall both fall in it--and what then?"
"What then?" replied Partridge; "why then there is an end of us, is
there not? when I am gone, all is over with me. What matters the cause
to me, or who gets the victory, if I am killed? I shall never enjoy
any advantage from it. What are all the ringing of bells, and
bonfires, to one that is six foot under ground? there will be an end
of poor Partridge." "And an end of poor Partridge," cries Jones,
"there must be, one time or other. If you love Latin, I will repeat
you some fine lines out of Horace, which would inspire courage into a
`_Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori
Mors et fugacem persequitur virum
Nec parcit imbellis juventae
Poplitibus, timidoque tergo._'"
"I wish you would construe them," cries Partridge; "for Horace is a
hard author, and I cannot understand as you repeat them."
"I will repeat you a bad imitation, or rather paraphrase, of my own,"
said Jones; "for I am but an indifferent poet:
`Who would not die in his dear country's cause? Since, if base fear
his dastard step withdraws, From death he cannot fly:--One common
grave Receives, at last, the coward and the brave.'"
"That's very certain," cries Partridge. "Ay, sure, _Mors omnibus
communis:_ but there is a great difference between dying in one's bed
a great many years hence, like a good Christian, with all our friends
crying about us, and being shot to-day or to-morrow, like a mad dog;
or, perhaps, hacked in twenty pieces with the sword, and that too
before we have repented of all our sins. O Lord, have mercy upon us!
to be sure the soldiers are a wicked kind of people. I never loved to
have anything to do with them. I could hardly bring myself ever to
look upon them as Christians. There is nothing but cursing and
swearing among them. I wish your honour would repent: I heartily wish
you would repent before it is too late; and not think of going among
them.--Evil communication corrupts good manners. That is my principal
reason. For as for that matter, I am no more afraid than another man,
not I; as to matter of that. I know all human flesh must die; but yet
a man may live many years, for all that. Why, I am a middle-aged man
now, and yet I may live a great number of years. I have read of
several who have lived to be above a hundred, and some a great deal
above a hundred. Not that I hope, I mean that I promise myself, to
live to any such age as that, neither.--But if it be only to eighty or
ninety. Heaven be praised, that is a great ways off yet; and I am not
afraid of dying then, no more than another man; but, surely, to tempt
death before a man's time is come seems to me downright wickedness and
presumption. Besides, if it was to do any good indeed; but, let the
cause be what it will, what mighty matter of good can two people do?
and, for my part, I understand nothing of it. I never fired off a gun
above ten times in my life; and then it was not charged with bullets.
And for the sword, I never learned to fence, and know nothing of the
matter. And then there are those cannons, which certainly it must be
thought the highest presumption to go in the way of; and nobody but a
madman--I ask pardon; upon my soul I meant no harm; I beg I may not
throw your honour into another passion."
"Be under no apprehension, Partridge," cries Jones; "I am now so well
convinced of thy cowardice, that thou couldst not provoke me on any
account." "Your honour," answered he, "may call me coward, or anything
else you please. If loving to sleep in a whole skin makes a man a
coward, _non immunes ab illis malis sumus_. I never read in my grammar
that a man can't be a good man without fighting. _Vir bonus est quis?
Qui consulta patrum, qui leges juraque servat_. Not a word of
fighting; and I am sure the scripture is so much against it, that a
man shall never persuade me he is a good Christian while he sheds
The adventure of a beggar-man.
Just as Partridge had uttered that good and pious doctrine, with which
the last chapter concluded, they arrived at another cross-way, when a
lame fellow in rags asked them for alms; upon which Partridge gave him
a severe rebuke, saying, "Every parish ought to keep their own poor."
Jones then fell a-laughing, and asked Partridge, "if he was not
ashamed, with so much charity in his mouth, to have no charity in his
heart. Your religion," says he, "serves you only for an excuse for
your faults, but is no incentive to your virtue. Can any man who is
really a Christian abstain from relieving one of his brethren in such
a miserable condition?" And at the same time, putting his hand in his
pocket, he gave the poor object a shilling.
"Master," cries the fellow, after thanking him, "I have a curious
thing here in my pocket, which I found about two miles off, if your
worship will please to buy it. I should not venture to pull it out to
every one; but, as you are so good a gentleman, and so kind to the
poor, you won't suspect a man of being a thief only because he is
poor." He then pulled out a little gilt pocket-book, and delivered it
into the hands of Jones.
Jones presently opened it, and (guess, reader, what he felt) saw in
the first page the words Sophia Western, written by her own fair hand.
He no sooner read the name than he prest it close to his lips; nor
could he avoid falling into some very frantic raptures,
notwithstanding his company; but, perhaps, these very raptures made
him forget he was not alone.
While Jones was kissing and mumbling the book, as if he had an
excellent brown buttered crust in his mouth or as if he had really
been a book-worm, or an author who had nothing to eat but his own
works, a piece of paper fell from its leaves to the ground, which
Partridge took up, and delivered to Jones, who presently perceived it
to be a bank-bill. It was, indeed, the very bill which Western had
given his daughter the night before her departure; and a Jew would
have jumped to purchase it at five shillings less than £100.
The eyes of Partridge sparkled at this news, which Jones now
proclaimed aloud; and so did (though with somewhat a different aspect)
those of the poor fellow who had found the book; and who (I hope from
a principle of honesty) had never opened it: but we should not deal
honestly by the reader if we omitted to inform him of a circumstance
which may be here a little material, viz. that the fellow could not
Jones, who had felt nothing but pure joy and transport from the
finding the book, was affected with a mixture of concern at this new
discovery; for his imagination instantly suggested to him that the
owner of the bill might possibly want it before he should be able to
convey it to her. He then acquainted the finder that he knew the lady
to whom the book belonged, and would endeavour to find her out as soon
as possible, and return it her.
The pocket-book was a late present from Mrs Western to her niece; it
had cost five-and-twenty shillings, having been bought of a celebrated
toyman; but the real value of the silver which it contained in its
clasp was about eighteen-pence; and that price the said toyman, as it
was altogether as good as when it first issued from his shop, would
now have given for it. A prudent person would, however, have taken
proper advantage of the ignorance of this fellow, and would not have
offered more than a shilling, or perhaps sixpence, for it; nay, some
perhaps would have given nothing, and left the fellow to his action of
trover, which some learned serjeants may doubt whether he could, under
these circumstances, have maintained.
Jones, on the contrary, whose character was on the outside of
generosity, and may perhaps not very unjustly have been suspected of
extravagance, without any hesitation gave a guinea in exchange for the
book. The poor man, who had not for a long time before been possessed
of so much treasure, gave Mr Jones a thousand thanks, and discovered
little less of transport in his muscles than Jones had before shown
when he had first read the name of Sophia Western.
The fellow very readily agreed to attend our travellers to the place
where he had found the pocket-book. Together, therefore, they
proceeded directly thither; but not so fast as Mr Jones desired; for
his guide unfortunately happened to be lame, and could not possibly
travel faster than a mile an hour. As this place, therefore, was at
above three miles' distance, though the fellow had said otherwise, the
reader need not be acquainted how long they were in walking it.
Jones opened the book a hundred times during their walk, kissed it as
often, talked much to himself, and very little to his companions. At
all which the guide exprest some signs of astonishment to Partridge;
who more than once shook his head, and cryed, Poor gentleman! _orandum
est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano._
At length they arrived at the very spot where Sophia unhappily dropt
the pocket-book, and where the fellow had as happily found it. Here
Jones offered to take leave of his guide, and to improve his pace; but
the fellow, in whom that violent surprize and joy which the first
receipt of the guinea had occasioned was now considerably abated, and
who had now had sufficient time to recollect himself, put on a
discontented look, and, scratching his head, said, "He hoped his
worship would give him something more. Your worship," said he, "will,
I hope, take it into your consideration that if I had not been honest
I might have kept the whole." And, indeed, this the reader must
confess to have been true. "If the paper there," said he, "be worth
£100, I am sure the finding it deserves more than a guinea. Besides,
suppose your worship should never see the lady, nor give it her--and,
though your worship looks and talks very much like a gentleman, yet I
have only your worship's bare word; and, certainly, if the right owner
ben't to be found, it all belongs to the first finder. I hope your
worship will consider of all these matters: I am but a poor man, and
therefore don't desire to have all; but it is but reasonable I should
have my share. Your worship looks like a good man, and, I hope, will
consider my honesty; for I might have kept every farthing, and nobody
ever the wiser." "I promise thee, upon my honour," cries Jones, "that
I know the right owner, and will restore it her." "Nay, your worship,"
answered the fellow, "may do as you please as to that; if you will but
give me my share, that is, one-half of the money, your honour may keep
the rest yourself if you please;" and concluded with swearing, by a
very vehement oath, "that he would never mention a syllable of it to
any man living."
"Lookee, friend," cries Jones, "the right owner shall certainly have
again all that she lost; and as for any farther gratuity, I really
cannot give it you at present; but let me know your name, and where
you live, and it is more than possible you may hereafter have further
reason to rejoice at this morning's adventure."
"I don't know what you mean by venture," cries the fellow; "it seems I
must venture whether you will return the lady her money or no; but I
hope your worship will consider--" "Come, come," said Partridge, "tell
his honour your name, and where you may be found; I warrant you will
never repent having put the money into his hands." The fellow, seeing
no hopes of recovering the possession of the pocket-book, at last
complied in giving in his name and place of abode, which Jones writ
upon a piece of paper with the pencil of Sophia; and then, placing the
paper in the same page where she had writ her name, he cried out,
"There, friend, you are the happiest man alive; I have joined your
name to that of an angel." "I don't know anything about angels,"
answered the fellow; "but I wish you would give me a little more
money, or else return me the pocket-book." Partridge now waxed wrath:
he called the poor cripple by several vile and opprobrious names, and
was absolutely proceeding to beat him, but Jones would not suffer any
such thing: and now, telling the fellow he would certainly find some
opportunity of serving him, Mr Jones departed as fast as his heels
would carry him; and Partridge, into whom the thoughts of the hundred
pound had infused new spirits, followed his leader; while the man, who
was obliged to stay behind, fell to cursing them both, as well as his
parents; "for had they," says he, "sent me to charity-school to learn
to write and read and cast accounts, I should have known the value of
these matters as well as other people."
Containing more adventures which Mr Jones and his companion met on the
Our travellers now walked so fast, that they had very little time or
breath for conversation; Jones meditating all the way on Sophia, and
Partridge on the bank-bill, which, though it gave him some pleasure,
caused him at the same time to repine at fortune, which, in all his
walks, had never given him such an opportunity of showing his honesty.
They had proceeded above three miles, when Partridge, being unable any
longer to keep up with Jones, called to him, and begged him a little
to slacken his pace: with this he was the more ready to comply, as he
had for some time lost the footsteps of the horses, which the thaw had
enabled him to trace for several miles, and he was now upon a wide
common, where were several roads.
He here therefore stopt to consider which of these roads he should
pursue; when on a sudden they heard the noise of a drum, that seemed
at no great distance. This sound presently alarmed the fears of
Partridge, and he cried out, "Lord have mercy upon us all; they are
certainly a coming!" "Who is coming?" cries Jones; for fear had long
since given place to softer ideas in his mind; and since his adventure
with the lame man, he had been totally intent on pursuing Sophia,
without entertaining one thought of an enemy. "Who?" cries Partridge,
"why, the rebels: but why should I call them rebels? they may be very
honest gentlemen, for anything I know to the contrary. The devil take
him that affronts them, I say; I am sure, if they have nothing to say
to me, I will have nothing to say to them, but in a civil way. For
Heaven's sake, sir, don't affront them if they should come, and
perhaps they may do us no harm; but would it not be the wiser way to
creep into some of yonder bushes, till they are gone by? What can two
unarmed men do perhaps against fifty thousand? Certainly nobody but a
madman; I hope your honour is not offended; but certainly no man who
hath _mens sana in corpore sano_----" Here Jones interrupted this
torrent of eloquence, which fear had inspired, saying, "That by the
drum he perceived they were near some town." He then made directly
towards the place whence the noise proceeded, bidding Partridge "take
courage, for that he would lead him into no danger;" and adding, "it
was impossible the rebels should be so near."
Partridge was a little comforted with this last assurance; and though
he would more gladly have gone the contrary way, he followed his
leader, his heart beating time, but not after the manner of heroes, to
the music of the drum, which ceased not till they had traversed the
common, and were come into a narrow lane.
And now Partridge, who kept even pace with Jones, discovered something
painted flying in the air, a very few yards before him, which fancying
to be the colours of the enemy, he fell a bellowing, "Oh Lord, sir,
here they are; there is the crown and coffin. Oh Lord! I never saw
anything so terrible; and we are within gun-shot of them already."
Jones no sooner looked up, than he plainly perceived what it was which
Partridge had thus mistaken. "Partridge," says he, "I fancy you will
be able to engage this whole army yourself; for by the colours I guess
what the drum was which we heard before, and which beats up for
recruits to a puppet-show."
"A puppet-show!" answered Partridge, with most eager transport. "And
is it really no more than that? I love a puppet-show of all the
pastimes upon earth. Do, good sir, let us tarry and see it. Besides, I
am quite famished to death; for it is now almost dark, and I have not
eat a morsel since three o'clock in the morning."
They now arrived at an inn, or indeed an ale-house, where Jones was
prevailed upon to stop, the rather as he had no longer any assurance
of being in the road he desired. They walked both directly into the
kitchen, where Jones began to enquire if no ladies had passed that way
in the morning, and Partridge as eagerly examined into the state of
their provisions; and indeed his enquiry met with the better success;
for Jones could not hear news of Sophia; but Partridge, to his great
satisfaction, found good reason to expect very shortly the agreeable
sight of an excellent smoaking dish of eggs and bacon.
In strong and healthy constitutions love hath a very different effect
from what it causes in the puny part of the species. In the latter it
generally destroys all that appetite which tends towards the
conservation of the individual; but in the former, though it often
induces forgetfulness, and a neglect of food, as well as of everything
else; yet place a good piece of well-powdered buttock before a hungry
lover, and he seldom fails very handsomely to play his part. Thus it
happened in the present case; for though Jones perhaps wanted a
prompter, and might have travelled much farther, had he been alone,
with an empty stomach; yet no sooner did he sit down to the bacon and
eggs, than he fell to as heartily and voraciously as Partridge
Before our travellers had finished their dinner, night came on, and as
the moon was now past the full, it was extremely dark. Partridge
therefore prevailed on Jones to stay and see the puppet-show, which
was just going to begin, and to which they were very eagerly invited
by the master of the said show, who declared that his figures were the
finest which the world had ever produced, and that they had given
great satisfaction to all the quality in every town in England.
The puppet-show was performed with great regularity and decency. It
was called the fine and serious part of the Provoked Husband; and it
was indeed a very grave and solemn entertainment, without any low wit
or humour, or jests; or, to do it no more than justice, without
anything which could provoke a laugh. The audience were all highly
pleased. A grave matron told the master she would bring her two
daughters the next night, as he did not show any stuff; and an
attorney's clerk and an exciseman both declared, that the characters
of Lord and Lady Townley were well preserved, and highly in nature.
Partridge likewise concurred with this opinion.
The master was so highly elated with these encomiums, that he could
not refrain from adding some more of his own. He said, "The present
age was not improved in anything so much as in their puppet-shows;
which, by throwing out Punch and his wife Joan, and such idle
trumpery, were at last brought to be a rational entertainment. I
remember," said he, "when I first took to the business, there was a
great deal of low stuff that did very well to make folks laugh; but
was never calculated to improve the morals of young people, which
certainly ought to be principally aimed at in every puppet-show: for
why may not good and instructive lessons be conveyed this way, as well
as any other? My figures are as big as the life, and they represent
the life in every particular; and I question not but people rise from
my little drama as much improved as they do from the great." "I would
by no means degrade the ingenuity of your profession," answered Jones,
"but I should have been glad to have seen my old acquaintance master
Punch, for all that; and so far from improving, I think, by leaving
out him and his merry wife Joan, you have spoiled your puppet-show."
The dancer of wires conceived an immediate and high contempt for
Jones, from these words. And with much disdain in his countenance, he
replied, "Very probably, sir, that may be your opinion; but I have the
satisfaction to know the best judges differ from you, and it is
impossible to please every taste. I confess, indeed, some of the
quality at Bath, two or three years ago, wanted mightily to bring
Punch again upon the stage. I believe I lost some money for not
agreeing to it; but let others do as they will; a little matter shall
never bribe me to degrade my own profession, nor will I ever willingly
consent to the spoiling the decency and regularity of my stage, by
introducing any such low stuff upon it."
"Right, friend," cries the clerk, "you are very right. Always avoid
what is low. There are several of my acquaintance in London, who are
resolved to drive everything which is low from the stage." "Nothing
can be more proper," cries the exciseman, pulling his pipe from his
mouth. "I remember," added he, "(for I then lived with my lord) I was
in the footman's gallery, the night when this play of the Provoked
Husband was acted first. There was a great deal of low stuff in it
about a country gentleman come up to town to stand for parliament-man;
and there they brought a parcel of his servants upon the stage, his
coachman I remember particularly; but the gentlemen in our gallery
could not bear anything so low, and they damned it. I observe, friend,
you have left all that matter out, and you are to be commended for
"Nay, gentlemen," cries Jones, "I can never maintain my opinion
against so many; indeed, if the generality of his audience dislike
him, the learned gentleman who conducts the show might have done very
right in dismissing Punch from his service."
The master of the show then began a second harangue, and said much of
the great force of example, and how much the inferior part of mankind
would be deterred from vice, by observing how odious it was in their
superiors; when he was unluckily interrupted by an incident, which,
though perhaps we might have omitted it at another time, we cannot
help relating at present, but not in this chapter.
From which it may be inferred that the best things are liable to be
misunderstood and misinterpreted.
A violent uproar now arose in the entry, where my landlady was well
cuffing her maid both with her fist and tongue. She had indeed missed
the wench from her employment, and, after a little search, had found
her on the puppet-show stage in company with the Merry Andrew, and in
a situation not very proper to be described.
Though Grace (for that was her name) had forfeited all title to
modesty; yet had she not impudence enough to deny a fact in which she
was actually surprized; she, therefore, took another turn, and
attempted to mitigate the offence. "Why do you beat me in this manner,
mistress?" cries the wench. "If you don't like my doings, you may turn
me away. If I am a w--e" (for the other had liberally bestowed that
appellation on her), "my betters are so as well as I. What was the
fine lady in the puppet-show just now? I suppose she did not lie all
night out from her husband for nothing."
The landlady now burst into the kitchen, and fell foul on both her
husband and the poor puppet-mover. "Here, husband," says she, "you see
the consequence of harbouring these people in your house. If one doth
draw a little drink the more for them, one is hardly made amends for
the litter they make; and then to have one's house made a bawdy-house
of by such lousy vermin. In short, I desire you would be gone
to-morrow morning; for I will tolerate no more such doings. It is only
the way to teach our servants idleness and nonsense; for to be sure
nothing better can be learned by such idle shows as these. I remember
when puppet-shows were made of good scripture stories, as Jephthah's
Rash Vow, and such good things, and when wicked people were carried
away by the devil. There was some sense in those matters; but as the
parson told us last Sunday, nobody believes in the devil now-a-days;
and here you bring about a parcel of puppets drest up like lords and
ladies, only to turn the heads of poor country wenches; and when their
heads are once turned topsy-turvy, no wonder everything else is so."
Virgil, I think, tells us, that when the mob are assembled in a
riotous and tumultuous manner, and all sorts of missile weapons fly
about, if a man of gravity and authority appears amongst them, the
tumult is presently appeased, and the mob, which when collected into
one body, may be well compared to an ass, erect their long ears at the
grave man's discourse.
On the contrary, when a set of grave men and philosophers are
disputing; when wisdom herself may in a manner be considered as
present, and administering arguments to the disputants; should a
tumult arise among the mob, or should one scold, who is herself equal
in noise to a mighty mob, appear among the said philosophers; their
disputes cease in a moment, wisdom no longer performs her ministerial
office, and the attention of every one is immediately attracted by the
Thus the uproar aforesaid, and the arrival of the landlady, silenced
the master of the puppet-show, and put a speedy and final end to that
grave and solemn harangue, of which we have given the reader a
sufficient taste already. Nothing indeed could have happened so very
inopportune as this accident; the most wanton malice of fortune could
not have contrived such another stratagem to confound the poor fellow,
while he was so triumphantly descanting on the good morals inculcated
by his exhibitions. His mouth was now as effectually stopt, as that of
quack must be, if, in the midst of a declamation on the great virtues
of his pills and powders, the corpse of one of his martyrs should be
brought forth, and deposited before the stage, as a testimony of his
Instead, therefore, of answering my landlady, the puppet-show man ran
out to punish his Merry Andrew; and now the moon beginning to put
forth her silver light, as the poets call it (though she looked at
that time more like a piece of copper), Jones called for his
reckoning, and ordered Partridge, whom my landlady had just awaked
from a profound nap, to prepare for his journey; but Partridge, having
lately carried two points, as my reader hath seen before, was
emboldened to attempt a third, which was to prevail with Jones to take
up a lodging that evening in the house where he then was. He
introduced this with an affected surprize at the intention which Mr
Jones declared of removing; and, after urging many excellent arguments
against it, he at last insisted strongly that it could be to no manner
of purpose whatever; for that, unless Jones knew which way the lady
was gone, every step he took might very possibly lead him the farther
from her; "for you find, sir," said he, "by all the people in the
house, that she is not gone this way. How much better, therefore,
would it be to stay till the morning, when we may expect to meet with
somebody to enquire of?"
This last argument had indeed some effect on Jones, and while he was
weighing it the landlord threw all the rhetoric of which he was master
into the same scale. "Sure, sir," said he, "your servant gives you
most excellent advice; for who would travel by night at this time of
the year?" He then began in the usual stile to trumpet forth the
excellent accommodation which his house afforded; and my landlady
likewise opened on the occasion----But, not to detain the reader with
what is common to every host and hostess, it is sufficient to tell him
Jones was at last prevailed on to stay and refresh himself with a few
hours' rest, which indeed he very much wanted; for he had hardly shut
his eyes since he had left the inn where the accident of the broken
head had happened.
As soon as Jones had taken a resolution to proceed no farther that
night, he presently retired to rest, with his two bedfellows, the
pocket-book and the muff; but Partridge, who at several times had
refreshed himself with several naps, was more inclined to eating than
to sleeping, and more to drinking than to either.
And now the storm which Grace had raised being at an end, and my
landlady being again reconciled to the puppet-man, who on his side
forgave the indecent reflections which the good woman in her passion
had cast on his performances, a face of perfect peace and tranquillity
reigned in the kitchen; where sat assembled round the fire the
landlord and landlady of the house, the master of the puppet-show, the
attorney's clerk, the exciseman, and the ingenious Mr Partridge; in
which company past the agreeable conversation which will be found in
the next chapter.
Containing a remark or two of our own and many more of the good
company assembled in the kitchen.
Though the pride of Partridge did not submit to acknowledge himself a
servant, yet he condescended in most particulars to imitate the
manners of that rank. One instance of this was, his greatly magnifying
the fortune of his companion, as he called Jones: such is a general
custom with all servants among strangers, as none of them would
willingly be thought the attendant on a beggar: for, the higher the
situation of the master is, the higher consequently is that of the man
in his own opinion; the truth of which observation appears from the
behaviour of all the footmen of the nobility.
But, though title and fortune communicate a splendor all around them,
and the footmen of men of quality and of estate think themselves
entitled to a part of that respect which is paid to the quality and
estate of their masters, it is clearly otherwise with regard to virtue
and understanding. These advantages are strictly personal, and swallow
themselves all the respect which is paid to them. To say the truth,
this is so very little, that they cannot well afford to let any others
partake with them. As these therefore reflect no honour on the
domestic, so neither is he at all dishonoured by the most deplorable
want of both in his master. Indeed it is otherwise in the want of what
is called virtue in a mistress, the consequence of which we have
before seen: for in this dishonour there is a kind of contagion,
which, like that of poverty, communicates itself to all who approach
Now for these reasons we are not to wonder that servants (I mean among
the men only) should have so great regard for the reputation of the
wealth of their masters, and little or none at all for their character
in other points, and that, though they would be ashamed to be the
footman of a beggar, they are not so to attend upon a rogue or a
blockhead; and do consequently make no scruple to spread the fame of
the iniquities and follies of their said masters as far as possible,
and this often with great humour and merriment. In reality, a footman
is often a wit as well as a beau, at the expence of the gentleman
whose livery he wears.
After Partridge, therefore, had enlarged greatly on the vast fortune
to which Mr Jones was heir, he very freely communicated an
apprehension, which he had begun to conceive the day before, and for
which, as we hinted at that very time, the behaviour of Jones seemed
to have furnished a sufficient foundation. In short, he was now pretty
well confirmed in an opinion that his master was out of his wits, with
which opinion he very bluntly acquainted the good company round the
With this sentiment the puppet-show man immediately coincided. "I
own," said he, "the gentleman surprized me very much, when he talked
so absurdly about puppet-shows. It is indeed hardly to be conceived
that any man in his senses should be so much mistaken; what you say
now accounts very well for all his monstrous notions. Poor gentleman!
I am heartily concerned for him; indeed he hath a strange wildness
about his eyes, which I took notice of before, though I did not
The landlord agreed with this last assertion, and likewise claimed the
sagacity of having observed it. "And certainly," added he, "it must be
so; for no one but a madman would have thought of leaving so good a
house to ramble about the country at that time of night."
The exciseman, pulling his pipe from his mouth, said, "He thought the
gentleman looked and talked a little wildly;" and then turning to
Partridge, "if he be a madman," says he, "he should not be suffered to
travel thus about the country; for possibly he may do some mischief.
It is a pity he was not secured and sent home to his relations."
Now some conceits of this kind were likewise lurking in the mind of
Partridge; for, as he was now persuaded that Jones had run away from
Mr Allworthy, he promised himself the highest rewards if he could by
any means convey him back. But fear of Jones, of whose fierceness and
strength he had seen, and indeed felt, some instances, had however
represented any such scheme as impossible to be executed, and had
discouraged him from applying himself to form any regular plan for the
purpose. But no sooner did he hear the sentiments of the exciseman
than he embraced that opportunity of declaring his own, and expressed
a hearty wish that such a matter could be brought about.
"Could be brought about!" says the exciseman: "why, there is nothing
"Ah! sir," answered Partridge, "you don't know what a devil of a
fellow he is. He can take me up with one hand, and throw me out at
window; and he would, too, if he did but imagine--"
"Pogh!" says the exciseman, "I believe I am as good a man as he.
Besides, here are five of us."
"I don't know what five," cries the landlady, "my husband shall have
nothing to do in it. Nor shall any violent hands be laid upon anybody
in my house. The young gentleman is as pretty a young gentleman as
ever I saw in my life, and I believe he is no more mad than any of us.
What do you tell of his having a wild look with his eyes? they are the
prettiest eyes I ever saw, and he hath the prettiest look with them;
and a very modest civil young man he is. I am sure I have bepitied him
heartily ever since the gentleman there in the corner told us he was
crost in love. Certainly that is enough to make any man, especially
such a sweet young gentleman as he is, to look a little otherwise than
he did before. Lady, indeed! what the devil would the lady have better
than such a handsome man with a great estate? I suppose she is one of
your quality folks, one of your Townly ladies that we saw last night
in the puppet-show, who don't know what they would be at."
The attorney's clerk likewise declared he would have no concern in the
business without the advice of counsel. "Suppose," says he, "an action
of false imprisonment should be brought against us, what defence could
we make? Who knows what may be sufficient evidence of madness to a
jury? But I only speak upon my own account; for it don't look well for
a lawyer to be concerned in these matters, unless it be as a lawyer.
Juries are always less favourable to us than to other people. I don't
therefore dissuade you, Mr Thomson (to the exciseman), nor the
gentleman, nor anybody else."
The exciseman shook his head at this speech, and the puppet-show man
said, "Madness was sometimes a difficult matter for a jury to decide:
for I remember," says he, "I was once present at a tryal of madness,
where twenty witnesses swore that the person was as mad as a March
hare; and twenty others, that he was as much in his senses as any man
in England.--And indeed it was the opinion of most people, that it was
only a trick of his relations to rob the poor man of his right."
"Very likely!" cries the landlady. "I myself knew a poor gentleman who
was kept in a mad-house all his life by his family, and they enjoyed
his estate, but it did them no good; for though the law gave it them,
it was the right of another."
"Pogh!" cries the clerk, with great contempt, "who hath any right but
what the law gives them? If the law gave me the best estate in the
country, I should never trouble myself much who had the right."
"If it be so," says Partridge, "_Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula
My landlord, who had been called out by the arrival of a horseman at
the gate, now returned into the kitchen, and with an affrighted
countenance cried out, "What do you think, gentlemen? The rebels have
given the duke the slip, and are got almost to London. It is certainly
true, for a man on horseback just now told me so."
"I am glad of it with all my heart," cries Partridge; "then there will
be no fighting in these parts."
"I am glad," cries the clerk, "for a better reason; for I would always
have right take place."
"Ay, but," answered the landlord, "I have heard some people say this
man hath no right."
"I will prove the contrary in a moment," cries the clerk: "if my
father dies seized of a right; do you mind me, seized of a right, I
say; doth not that right descend to his son; and doth not one right
descend as well as another?"
"But how can he have any right to make us papishes?" says the
"Never fear that," cries Partridge. "As to the matter of right, the
gentleman there hath proved it as clear as the sun; and as to the
matter of religion, it is quite out of the case. The papists
themselves don't expect any such thing. A popish priest, whom I know
very well, and who is a very honest man, told me upon his word and
honour they had no such design."
"And another priest, of my acquaintance," said the landlady, "hath
told me the same thing; but my husband is always so afraid of
papishes. I know a great many papishes that are very honest sort of
people, and spend their money very freely; and it is always a maxim
with me, that one man's money is as good as another's."
"Very true, mistress," said the puppet-show man, "I don't care what
religion comes; provided the Presbyterians are not uppermost; for they
are enemies to puppet-shows."
"And so you would sacrifice your religion to your interest," cries the
exciseman; "and are desirous to see popery brought in, are you?"
"Not I, truly," answered the other; "I hate popery as much as any man;
but yet it is a comfort to one, that one should be able to live under
it, which I could not do among Presbyterians. To be sure, every man
values his livelihood first; that must be granted; and I warrant, if
you would confess the truth, you are more afraid of losing your place
than anything else; but never fear, friend, there will be an excise
under another government as well as under this."
"Why, certainly," replied the exciseman, "I should be a very ill man
if I did not honour the king, whose bread I eat. That is no more than
natural, as a man may say: for what signifies it to me that there
would be an excise-office under another government, since my friends
would be out, and I could expect no better than to follow them? No,
no, friend, I shall never be bubbled out of my religion in hopes only
of keeping my place under another government; for I should certainly
be no better, and very probably might be worse."
"Why, that is what I say," cries the landlord, "whenever folks say who
knows what may happen! Odsooks! should not I be a blockhead to lend my
money to I know not who, because mayhap he may return it again? I am
sure it is safe in my own bureau, and there I will keep it."
The attorney's clerk had taken a great fancy to the sagacity of
Partridge. Whether this proceeded from the great discernment which the
former had into men, as well as things, or whether it arose from the
sympathy between their minds; for they were both truly Jacobites in
principle; they now shook hands heartily, and drank bumpers of strong
beer to healths which we think proper to bury in oblivion.
These healths were afterwards pledged by all present, and even by my
landlord himself, though reluctantly; but he could not withstand the
menaces of the clerk, who swore he would never set his foot within his
house again, if he refused. The bumpers which were swallowed on this
occasion soon put an end to the conversation. Here, therefore, we will
put an end to the chapter.
In which fortune seems to have been in a better humour with Jones than
we have hitherto seen her.
As there is no wholesomer, so perhaps there are few stronger, sleeping
potions than fatigue. Of this Jones might be said to have taken a very
large dose, and it operated very forcibly upon him. He had already
slept nine hours, and might perhaps have slept longer, had he not been
awakened by a most violent noise at his chamber-door, where the sound
of many heavy blows was accompanied with many exclamations of murder.
Jones presently leapt from his bed, where he found the master of the
puppet-show belabouring the back and ribs of his poor Merry-Andrew,
without either mercy or moderation.
Jones instantly interposed on behalf of the suffering party, and
pinned the insulting conqueror up to the wall: for the puppet-show man
was no more able to contend with Jones than the poor party-coloured
jester had been to contend with this puppet-man.
But though the Merry-Andrew was a little fellow, and not very strong,
he had nevertheless some choler about him. He therefore no sooner
found himself delivered from the enemy, than he began to attack him
with the only weapon at which he was his equal. From this he first
discharged a volley of general abusive words, and thence proceeded to
some particular accusations--"D--n your bl--d, you rascal," says he,
"I have not only supported you (for to me you owe all the money you
get), but I have saved you from the gallows. Did you not want to rob
the lady of her fine riding-habit, no longer ago than yesterday, in
the back-lane here? Can you deny that you wished to have her alone in
a wood to strip her--to strip one of the prettiest ladies that ever
was seen in the world? and here you have fallen upon me, and have
almost murdered me, for doing no harm to a girl as willing as myself,
only because she likes me better than you."
Jones no sooner heard this than he quitted the master, laying on him
at the same time the most violent injunctions of forbearance from any
further insult on the Merry-Andrew; and then taking the poor wretch
with him into his own apartment, he soon learned tidings of his
Sophia, whom the fellow, as he was attending his master with his drum
the day before, had seen pass by. He easily prevailed with the lad to
show him the exact place, and then having summoned Partridge, he
departed with the utmost expedition.
It was almost eight of the clock before all matters could be got ready
for his departure: for Partridge was not in any haste, nor could the
reckoning be presently adjusted; and when both these were settled and
over, Jones would not quit the place before he had perfectly
reconciled all differences between the master and the man.
When this was happily accomplished, he set forwards, and was by the
trusty Merry-Andrew conducted to the spot by which Sophia had past;
and then having handsomely rewarded his conductor, he again pushed on
with the utmost eagerness, being highly delighted with the
extraordinary manner in which he received his intelligence. Of this
Partridge was no sooner acquainted, than he, with great earnestness,
began to prophesy, and assured Jones that he would certainly have good
success in the end: for, he said, "two such accidents could never have
happened to direct him after his mistress, if Providence had not
designed to bring them together at last." And this was the first time
that Jones lent any attention to the superstitious doctrines of his
They had not gone above two miles when a violent storm of rain
overtook them; and, as they happened to be at the same time in sight
of an ale-house, Partridge, with much earnest entreaty, prevailed with
Jones to enter, and weather the storm. Hunger is an enemy (if indeed
it may be called one) which partakes more of the English than of the
French disposition; for, though you subdue this never so often, it
will always rally again in time; and so it did with Partridge, who was
no sooner arrived within the kitchen, than he began to ask the same
questions which he had asked the night before. The consequence of this
was an excellent cold chine being produced upon the table, upon which
not only Partridge, but Jones himself, made a very hearty breakfast,
though the latter began to grow again uneasy, as the people of the
house could give him no fresh information concerning Sophia.
Their meal being over, Jones was again preparing to sally,
notwithstanding the violence of the storm still continued; but
Partridge begged heartily for another mug; and at last casting his
eyes on a lad at the fire, who had entered into the kitchen, and who
at that instant was looking as earnestly at him, he turned suddenly to
Jones, and cried, "Master, give me your hand, a single mug shan't
serve the turn this bout. Why, here's more news of Madam Sophia come
to town. The boy there standing by the fire is the very lad that rode
before her. I can swear to my own plaister on his face."--"Heavens
bless you, sir," cries the boy, "it is your own plaister sure enough;
I shall have always reason to remember your goodness; for it hath
almost cured me."
At these words Jones started from his chair, and, bidding the boy
follow him immediately, departed from the kitchen into a private
apartment; for, so delicate was he with regard to Sophia, that he
never willingly mentioned her name in the presence of many people;
and, though he had, as it were, from the overflowings of his heart,
given Sophia as a toast among the officers, where he thought it was
impossible she should be known; yet, even there, the reader may
remember how difficultly he was prevailed upon to mention her surname.
Hard therefore was it, and perhaps, in the opinion of many sagacious
readers, very absurd and monstrous, that he should principally owe his
present misfortune to the supposed want of that delicacy with which he
so abounded; for, in reality, Sophia was much more offended at the
freedoms which she thought (and not without good reason) he had taken
with her name and character, than at any freedoms, in which, under his
present circumstances, he had indulged himself with the person of
another woman; and to say truth, I believe Honour could never have
prevailed on her to leave Upton without her seeing Jones, had it not
been for those two strong instances of a levity in his behaviour, so
void of respect, and indeed so highly inconsistent with any degree of
love and tenderness in great and delicate minds.
But so matters fell out, and so I must relate them; and if any reader
is shocked at their appearing unnatural, I cannot help it. I must
remind such persons that I am not writing a system, but a history, and
I am not obliged to reconcile every matter to the received notions
concerning truth and nature. But if this was never so easy to do,
perhaps it might be more prudent in me to avoid it. For instance, as
the fact at present before us now stands, without any comment of mine
upon it, though it may at first sight offend some readers, yet, upon
more mature consideration, it must please all; for wise and good men
may consider what happened to Jones at Upton as a just punishment for
his wickedness with regard to women, of which it was indeed the
immediate consequence; and silly and bad persons may comfort
themselves in their vices by flattering their own hearts that the
characters of men are rather owing to accident than to virtue. Now,
perhaps the reflections which we should be here inclined to draw would
alike contradict both these conclusions, and would show that these
incidents contribute only to confirm the great, useful, and uncommon
doctrine, which it is the purpose of this whole work to inculcate, and
which we must not fill up our pages by frequently repeating, as an
ordinary parson fills his sermon by repeating his text at the end of
We are contented that it must appear, however unhappily Sophia had
erred in her opinion of Jones, she had sufficient reason for her
opinion; since, I believe, every other young lady would, in her
situation, have erred in the same manner. Nay, had she followed her
lover at this very time, and had entered this very alehouse the moment
he was departed from it, she would have found the landlord as well
acquainted with her name and person as the wench at Upton had appeared
to be. For while Jones was examining his boy in whispers in an inner
room, Partridge, who had no such delicacy in his disposition, was in
the kitchen very openly catechising the other guide who had attended
Mrs Fitzpatrick; by which means the landlord, whose ears were open on
all such occasions, became perfectly well acquainted with the tumble
of Sophia from her horse, &c., with the mistake concerning Jenny
Cameron, with the many consequences of the punch, and, in short, with
almost everything which had happened at the inn whence we despatched
our ladies in a coach-and-six when we last took our leaves of them.
Containing little more than a few odd observations.
Jones had been absent a full half-hour, when he returned into the
kitchen in a hurry, desiring the landlord to let him know that instant
what was to pay. And now the concern which Partridge felt at being
obliged to quit the warm chimney-corner, and a cup of excellent
liquor, was somewhat compensated by hearing that he was to proceed no
farther on foot, for Jones, by golden arguments, had prevailed with
the boy to attend him back to the inn whither he had before conducted
Sophia; but to this however the lad consented, upon condition that the
other guide would wait for him at the alehouse; because, as the
landlord at Upton was an intimate acquaintance of the landlord at
Gloucester, it might some time or other come to the ears of the latter
that his horses had been let to more than one person; and so the boy
might be brought to account for money which he wisely intended to put
in his own pocket.
We were obliged to mention this circumstance, trifling as it may seem,
since it retarded Mr Jones a considerable time in his setting out; for
the honesty of this latter boy was somewhat high--that is, somewhat
high-priced, and would indeed have cost Jones very dear, had not
Partridge, who, as we have said, was a very cunning fellow, artfully
thrown in half-a-crown to be spent at that very alehouse, while the
boy was waiting for his companion. This half-crown the landlord no
sooner got scent of, than he opened after it with such vehement and
persuasive outcry, that the boy was soon overcome, and consented to
take half-a-crown more for his stay. Here we cannot help observing,
that as there is so much of policy in the lowest life, great men often
overvalue themselves on those refinements in imposture, in which they
are frequently excelled by some of the lowest of the human species.
The horses being now produced, Jones directly leapt into the
side-saddle, on which his dear Sophia had rid. The lad, indeed, very
civilly offered him the use of his; but he chose the side-saddle,
probably because it was softer. Partridge, however, though full as
effeminate as Jones, could not bear the thoughts of degrading his
manhood; he therefore accepted the boy's offer: and now, Jones being
mounted on the side-saddle of his Sophia, the boy on that of Mrs
Honour, and Partridge bestriding the third horse, they set forwards on
their journey, and within four hours arrived at the inn where the
reader hath already spent so much time. Partridge was in very high
spirits during the whole way, and often mentioned to Jones the many
good omens of his future success which had lately befriended him; and
which the reader, without being the least superstitious, must allow to
have been particularly fortunate. Partridge was moreover better
pleased with the present pursuit of his companion than he had been
with his pursuit of glory; and from these very omens, which assured
the pedagogue of success, he likewise first acquired a clear idea of
the amour between Jones and Sophia; to which he had before given very
little attention, as he had originally taken a wrong scent concerning
the reasons of Jones's departure; and as to what happened at Upton, he
was too much frightened just before and after his leaving that place
to draw any other conclusions from thence than that poor Jones was a
downright madman: a conceit which was not at all disagreeable to the
opinion he before had of his extraordinary wildness, of which, he
thought, his behaviour on their quitting Gloucester so well justified
all the accounts he had formerly received. He was now, however, pretty
well satisfied with his present expedition, and henceforth began to
conceive much worthier sentiments of his friend's understanding.
The clock had just struck three when they arrived, and Jones
immediately bespoke post-horses; but unluckily there was not a horse
to be procured in the whole place; which the reader will not wonder at
when he considers the hurry in which the whole nation, and especially
this part of it, was at this time engaged, when expresses were passing
and repassing every hour of the day and night.
Jones endeavoured all he could to prevail with his former guide to
escorte him to Coventry; but he was inexorable. While he was arguing
with the boy in the inn-yard, a person came up to him, and saluting
him by his name, enquired how all the good family did in
Somersetshire; and now Jones casting his eyes upon this person,
presently discovered him to be Mr Dowling, the lawyer, with whom he
had dined at Gloucester, and with much courtesy returned the
Dowling very earnestly pressed Mr Jones to go no further that night;
and backed his solicitations with many unanswerable arguments, such
as, that it was almost dark, that the roads were very dirty, and that
he would be able to travel much better by day-light, with many others
equally good, some of which Jones had probably suggested to himself
before; but as they were then ineffectual, so they were still: and he
continued resolute in his design, even though he should be obliged to
set out on foot.
When the good attorney found he could not prevail on Jones to stay, he
as strenuously applied himself to persuade the guide to accompany him.
He urged many motives to induce him to undertake this short journey,
and at last concluded with saying, "Do you think the gentleman won't
very well reward you for your trouble?"
Two to one are odds at every other thing as well as at foot-ball. But
the advantage which this united force hath in persuasion or entreaty
must have been visible to a curious observer; for he must have often
seen, that when a father, a master, a wife, or any other person in
authority, have stoutly adhered to a denial against all the reasons
which a single man could produce, they have afterwards yielded to the
repetition of the same sentiments by a second or third person, who
hath undertaken the cause, without attempting to advance anything new
in its behalf. And hence, perhaps, proceeds the phrase of seconding an
argument or a motion, and the great consequence this is of in all
assemblies of public debate. Hence, likewise, probably it is, that in
our courts of law we often hear a learned gentleman (generally a
serjeant) repeating for an hour together what another learned
gentleman, who spoke just before him, had been saying.
Instead of accounting for this, we shall proceed in our usual manner
to exemplify it in the conduct of the lad above mentioned, who
submitted to the persuasions of Mr Dowling, and promised once more to
admit Jones into his side-saddle; but insisted on first giving the
poor creatures a good bait, saying, they had travelled a great way,
and been rid very hard. Indeed this caution of the boy was needless;
for Jones, notwithstanding his hurry and impatience, would have
ordered this of himself; for he by no means agreed with the opinion of
those who consider animals as mere machines, and when they bury their
spurs in the belly of their horse, imagine the spur and the horse to
have an equal capacity of feeling pain.
While the beasts were eating their corn, or rather were supposed to
eat it (for, as the boy was taking care of himself in the kitchen, the
ostler took great care that his corn should not be consumed in the
stable), Mr Jones, at the earnest desire of Mr Dowling, accompanied
that gentleman into his room, where they sat down together over a
bottle of wine.
In which Mr Jones and Mr Dowling drink a bottle together.
Mr Dowling, pouring out a glass of wine, named the health of the good
Squire Allworthy; adding, "If you please, sir, we will likewise
remember his nephew and heir, the young squire: Come, sir, here's Mr
Blifil to you, a very pretty young gentleman; and who, I dare swear,
will hereafter make a very considerable figure in his country. I have
a borough for him myself in my eye."
"Sir," answered Jones, "I am convinced you don't intend to affront me,
so I shall not resent it; but I promise you, you have joined two
persons very improperly together; for one is the glory of the human
species, and the other is a rascal who dishonours the name of man."
Dowling stared at this. He said, "He thought both the gentlemen had a
very unexceptionable character. As for Squire Allworthy himself," says
he, "I never had the happiness to see him; but all the world talks of
his goodness. And, indeed, as to the young gentleman, I never saw him
but once, when I carried him the news of the loss of his mother; and
then I was so hurried, and drove, and tore with the multiplicity of
business, that I had hardly time to converse with him; but he looked
so like a very honest gentleman, and behaved himself so prettily, that
I protest I never was more delighted with any gentleman since I was
"I don't wonder," answered Jones, "that he should impose upon you in
so short an acquaintance; for he hath the cunning of the devil
himself, and you may live with him many years, without discovering
him. I was bred up with him from my infancy, and we were hardly ever
asunder; but it is very lately only that I have discovered half the
villany which is in him. I own I never greatly liked him. I thought he
wanted that generosity of spirit, which is the sure foundation of all
that is great and noble in human nature. I saw a selfishness in him
long ago which I despised; but it is lately, very lately, that I have
found him capable of the basest and blackest designs; for, indeed, I
have at last found out, that he hath taken an advantage of the
openness of my own temper, and hath concerted the deepest project, by
a long train of wicked artifice, to work my ruin, which at last he
"Ay! ay!" cries Dowling; "I protest, then, it is a pity such a person
should inherit the great estate of your uncle Allworthy."
"Alas, sir," cries Jones, "you do me an honour to which I have no
title. It is true, indeed, his goodness once allowed me the liberty of
calling him by a much nearer name; but as this was only a voluntary
act of goodness, I can complain of no injustice when he thinks proper
to deprive me of this honour; since the loss cannot be more unmerited
than the gift originally was. I assure you, sir, I am no relation of
Mr Allworthy; and if the world, who are incapable of setting a true
value on his virtue, should think, in his behaviour to me, he hath
dealt hardly by a relation, they do an injustice to the best of men:
for I--but I ask your pardon, I shall trouble you with no particulars
relating to myself; only as you seemed to think me a relation of Mr
Allworthy, I thought proper to set you right in a matter that might
draw some censures upon him, which I promise you I would rather lose
my life than give occasion to."
"I protest, sir," cried Dowling, "you talk very much like a man of
honour; but instead of giving me any trouble, I protest it would give
me great pleasure to know how you came to be thought a relation of Mr
Allworthy's, if you are not. Your horses won't be ready this
half-hour, and as you have sufficient opportunity, I wish you would
tell me how all that happened; for I protest it seems very surprizing
that you should pass for a relation of a gentleman, without being so."
Jones, who in the compliance of his disposition (though not in his
prudence) a little resembled his lovely Sophia, was easily prevailed
on to satisfy Mr Dowling's curiosity, by relating the history of his
birth and education, which he did, like Othello.
------Even from his boyish years,
To th' very moment he was bad to tell:
the which to hear, Dowling, like Desdemona, did seriously incline;
He swore 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wonderous pitiful.
Mr Dowling was indeed very greatly affected with this relation; for he
had not divested himself of humanity by being an attorney. Indeed,
nothing is more unjust than to carry our prejudices against a
profession into private life, and to borrow our idea of a man from our
opinion of his calling. Habit, it is true, lessens the horror of those
actions which the profession makes necessary, and consequently
habitual; but in all other instances, Nature works in men of all
professions alike; nay, perhaps, even more strongly with those who
give her, as it were, a holiday, when they are following their
ordinary business. A butcher, I make no doubt, would feel compunction
at the slaughter of a fine horse; and though a surgeon can feel no
pain in cutting off a limb, I have known him compassionate a man in a
fit of the gout. The common hangman, who hath stretched the necks of
hundreds, is known to have trembled at his first operation on a head:
and the very professors of human blood-shedding, who, in their trade
of war, butcher thousands, not only of their fellow-professors, but
often of women and children, without remorse; even these, I say, in
times of peace, when drums and trumpets are laid aside, often lay
aside all their ferocity, and become very gentle members of civil
society. In the same manner an attorney may feel all the miseries and
distresses of his fellow-creatures, provided he happens not to be
concerned against them.
Jones, as the reader knows, was yet unacquainted with the very black
colours in which he had been represented to Mr Allworthy; and as to
other matters, he did not shew them in the most disadvantageous light;
for though he was unwilling to cast any blame on his former friend and
patron; yet he was not very desirous of heaping too much upon himself.
Dowling therefore observed, and not without reason, that very ill
offices must have been done him by somebody: "For certainly," cries
he, "the squire would never have disinherited you only for a few
faults, which any young gentleman might have committed. Indeed, I
cannot properly say disinherited: for to be sure by law you cannot
claim as heir. That's certain; that nobody need go to counsel for. Yet
when a gentleman had in a manner adopted you thus as his own son, you
might reasonably have expected some very considerable part, if not the
whole; nay, if you had expected the whole, I should not have blamed
you: for certainly all men are for getting as much as they can, and
they are not to be blamed on that account."
"Indeed you wrong me," said Jones; "I should have been contented with
very little: I never had any view upon Mr Allworthy's fortune; nay, I
believe I may truly say, I never once considered what he could or
might give me. This I solemnly declare, if he had done a prejudice to
his nephew in my favour, I would have undone it again. I had rather
enjoy my own mind than the fortune of another man. What is the poor
pride arising from a magnificent house, a numerous equipage, a
splendid table, and from all the other advantages or appearances of
fortune, compared to the warm, solid content, the swelling
satisfaction, the thrilling transports, and the exulting triumphs,
which a good mind enjoys, in the contemplation of a generous,
virtuous, noble, benevolent action? I envy not Blifil in the prospect
of his wealth; nor shall I envy him in the possession of it. I would
not think myself a rascal half an hour, to exchange situations. I
believe, indeed, Mr Blifil suspected me of the views you mention; and
I suppose these suspicions, as they arose from the baseness of his own
heart, so they occasioned his baseness to me. But, I thank Heaven, I
know, I feel--I feel my innocence, my friend; and I would not part
with that feeling for the world. For as long as I know I have never
done, nor even designed, an injury to any being whatever,
_Pone me pigris ubi nulla campis
Arbor aestiva recreatur aura,
Quod latus mundi nebulae, malusque
Pone sub curru nimium propinqui
Solis in terra dominibus negata;
Dulce ridentem Lalagen amabo,
[*] Place me where never summer breeze
Unbinds the glebe, or warms the trees:
Where ever-lowering clouds appear,
And angry Jove deforms th' inclement year.
Place me beneath the burning ray,
Where rolls the rapid car of day;
Love and the nymph shall charm my toils,
The nymph who sweetly speaks, and sweetly smiles.
He then filled a bumper of wine, and drunk it off to the health of his
dear Lalage; and, filling Dowling's glass likewise up to the brim,
insisted on his pledging him. "Why, then, here's Miss Lalage's health
with all my heart," cries Dowling. "I have heard her toasted often, I
protest, though I never saw her; but they say she's extremely
Though the Latin was not the only part of this speech which Dowling
did not perfectly understand; yet there was somewhat in it that made a
very strong impression upon him. And though he endeavoured by winking,
nodding, sneering, and grinning, to hide the impression from Jones
(for we are as often ashamed of thinking right as of thinking wrong),
it is certain he secretly approved as much of his sentiments as he
understood, and really felt a very strong impulse of compassion for
him. But we may possibly take some other opportunity of commenting
upon this, especially if we should happen to meet Mr Dowling any more
in the course of our history. At present we are obliged to take our
leave of that gentleman a little abruptly, in imitation of Mr Jones;
who was no sooner informed, by Partridge, that his horses were ready,
than he deposited his reckoning, wished his companion a good night,
mounted, and set forward towards Coventry, though the night was dark,
and it just then began to rain very hard.
The disasters which befel Jones on his departure for Coventry; with
the sage remarks of Partridge.
No road can be plainer than that from the place where they now were to
Coventry; and though neither Jones, nor Partridge, nor the guide, had
ever travelled it before, it would have been almost impossible to have
missed their way, had it not been for the two reasons mentioned in the
conclusion of the last chapter.
These two circumstances, however, happening both unfortunately to
intervene, our travellers deviated into a much less frequented track;
and after riding full six miles, instead of arriving at the stately
spires of Coventry, they found themselves still in a very dirty lane,
where they saw no symptoms of approaching the suburbs of a large city.
Jones now declared that they must certainly have lost their way; but
this the guide insisted upon was impossible; a word which, in common
conversation, is often used to signify not only improbable, but often
what is really very likely, and, sometimes, what hath certainly
happened; an hyperbolical violence like that which is so frequently
offered to the words infinite and eternal; by the former of which it
is usual to express a distance of half a yard, and by the latter, a
duration of five minutes. And thus it is as usual to assert the
impossibility of losing what is already actually lost. This was, in
fact, the case at present; for, notwithstanding all the confident
assertions of the lad to the contrary, it is certain they were no more
in the right road to Coventry, than the fraudulent, griping, cruel,
canting miser is in the right road to heaven.
It is not, perhaps, easy for a reader, who hath never been in those
circumstances, to imagine the horror with which darkness, rain, and
wind, fill persons who have lost their way in the night; and who,
consequently, have not the pleasant prospect of warm fires, dry
cloaths, and other refreshments, to support their minds in struggling
with the inclemencies of the weather. A very imperfect idea of this
horror will, however, serve sufficiently to account for the conceits
which now filled the head of Partridge, and which we shall presently
be obliged to open.
Jones grew more and more positive that they were out of their road;
and the boy himself at last acknowledged he believed they were not in
the right road to Coventry; though he affirmed, at the same time, it
was impossible they should have mist the way. But Partridge was of a
different opinion. He said, "When they first set out he imagined some
mischief or other would happen.--Did not you observe, sir," said he to
Jones, "that old woman who stood at the door just as you was taking
horse? I wish you had given her a small matter, with all my heart; for
she said then you might repent it; and at that very instant it began
to rain, and the wind hath continued rising ever since. Whatever some
people may think, I am very certain it is in the power of witches to
raise the wind whenever they please. I have seen it happen very often
in my time: and if ever I saw a witch in all my life, that old woman
was certainly one. I thought so to myself at that very time; and if I
had had any halfpence in my pocket, I would have given her some; for
to be sure it is always good to be charitable to those sort of people,
for fear what may happen; and many a person hath lost his cattle by
saving a halfpenny."
Jones, though he was horridly vexed at the delay which this mistake
was likely to occasion in his journey, could not help smiling at the
superstition of his friend, whom an accident now greatly confirmed in
his opinion. This was a tumble from his horse; by which, however, he
received no other injury than what the dirt conferred on his cloaths.
Partridge had no sooner recovered his legs, than he appealed to his
fall, as conclusive evidence of all he had asserted; but Jones finding
he was unhurt, answered with a smile: "This witch of yours, Partridge,
is a most ungrateful jade, and doth not, I find, distinguish her
friends from others in her resentment. If the old lady had been angry
with me for neglecting her, I don't see why she should tumble you from
your horse, after all the respect you have expressed for her."
"It is ill jesting," cries Partridge, "with people who have power to
do these things; for they are often very malicious. I remember a
farrier, who provoked one of them, by asking her when the time she had
bargained with the devil for would be out; and within three months
from that very day one of his best cows was drowned. Nor was she
satisfied with that; for a little time afterwards he lost a barrel of
best-drink: for the old witch pulled out the spigot, and let it run
all over the cellar, the very first evening he had tapped it to make
merry with some of his neighbours. In short, nothing ever thrived with
him afterwards; for she worried the poor man so, that he took to
drinking; and in a year or two his stock was seized, and he and his
family are now come to the parish."
The guide, and perhaps his horse too, were both so attentive to this
discourse, that, either through want of care, or by the malice of the
witch, they were now both sprawling in the dirt.
Partridge entirely imputed this fall, as he had done his own, to the
same cause. He told Mr Jones, "It would certainly be his turn next;
and earnestly entreated him to return back, and find out the old
woman, and pacify her. We shall very soon," added he, "reach the inn;
for though we have seemed to go forward, I am very certain we are in
the identical place in which we were an hour ago; and I dare swear, if
it was daylight, we might now see the inn we set out from."
Instead of returning any answer to this sage advice, Jones was
entirely attentive to what had happened to the boy, who received no
other hurt than what had before befallen Partridge, and which his
cloaths very easily bore, as they had been for many years inured to
the like. He soon regained his side-saddle, and by the hearty curses
and blows which he bestowed on his horse, quickly satisfied Mr Jones
that no harm was done.
Relates that Mr Jones continued his journey, contrary to the advice of
Partridge, with what happened on that occasion.
They now discovered a light at some distance, to the great pleasure of
Jones, and to the no small terror of Partridge, who firmly believed
himself to be bewitched, and that this light was a Jack-with-a-lantern,
or somewhat more mischievous.
But how were these fears increased, when, as they approached nearer to
this light (or lights as they now appeared), they heard a confused
sound of human voices; of singing, laughing, and hallowing, together
with a strange noise that seemed to proceed from some instruments; but
could hardly be allowed the name of music! indeed, to favour a little
the opinion of Partridge, it might very well be called music
It is impossible to conceive a much greater degree of horror than what
now seized on Partridge; the contagion of which had reached the
post-boy, who had been very attentive to many things that the other
had uttered. He now, therefore, joined in petitioning Jones to return;
saying he firmly believed what Partridge had just before said, that
though the horses seemed to go on, they had not moved a step forwards
during at least the last half-hour.
Jones could not help smiling in the midst of his vexation, at the
fears of these poor fellows. "Either we advance," says he, "towards
the lights, or the lights have advanced towards us; for we are now at
a very little distance from them; but how can either of you be afraid
of a set of people who appear only to be merry-making?"
"Merry-making, sir!" cries Partridge; "who could be merry-making at
this time of night, and in such a place, and such weather? They can be
nothing but ghosts or witches, or some evil spirits or other, that's
"Let them be what they will," cries Jones, "I am resolved to go up to
them, and enquire the way to Coventry. All witches, Partridge, are not
such ill-natured hags as that we had the misfortune to meet with
"O Lord, sir," cries Partridge, "there is no knowing what humour they
will be in; to be sure it is always best to be civil to them; but what
if we should meet with something worse than witches, with evil spirits
themselves?----Pray, sir, be advised; pray, sir, do. If you had read
so many terrible accounts as I have of these matters, you would not be
so fool-hardy.----The Lord knows whither we have got already, or
whither we are going; for sure such darkness was never seen upon
earth, and I question whether it can be darker in the other world."
Jones put forwards as fast as he could, notwithstanding all these
hints and cautions, and poor Partridge was obliged to follow; for
though he hardly dared to advance, he dared still less to stay behind
At length they arrived at the place whence the lights and different
noises had issued. This Jones perceived to be no other than a barn,
where a great number of men and women were assembled, and diverting
themselves with much apparent jollity.
Jones no sooner appeared before the great doors of the barn, which
were open, than a masculine and very rough voice from within demanded,
who was there?--To which Jones gently answered, a friend; and
immediately asked the road to Coventry.
"If you are a friend," cries another of the men in the barn, "you had
better alight till the storm is over" (for indeed it was now more
violent than ever;) "you are very welcome to put up your horse; for
there is sufficient room for him at the end of the barn."
"You are very obliging," returned Jones; "and I will accept your offer
for a few minutes, whilst the rain continues; and here are two more
who will be glad of the same favour." This was accorded with more
good-will than it was accepted: for Partridge would rather have
submitted to the utmost inclemency of the weather than have trusted to
the clemency of those whom he took for hobgoblins; and the poor
post-boy was now infected with the same apprehensions; but they were
both obliged to follow the example of Jones; the one because he durst
not leave his horse, and the other because he feared nothing so much
as being left by himself.
Had this history been writ in the days of superstition, I should have
had too much compassion for the reader to have left him so long in
suspense, whether Beelzebub or Satan was about actually to appear in
person, with all his hellish retinue; but as these doctrines are at
present very unfortunate, and have but few, if any believers, I have
not been much aware of conveying any such terrors. To say truth, the
whole furniture of the infernal regions hath long been appropriated by
the managers of playhouses, who seem lately to have laid them by as
rubbish, capable only of affecting the upper gallery; a place in which
few of our readers ever sit.
However, though we do not suspect raising any great terror on this
occasion, we have reason to fear some other apprehensions may here
arise in our reader, into which we would not willingly betray him; I
mean that we are going to take a voyage into fairy-land, and introduce
a set of beings into our history, which scarce any one was ever
childish enough to believe, though many have been foolish enough to
spend their time in writing and reading their adventures.
To prevent, therefore, any such suspicions, so prejudicial to the
credit of an historian, who professes to draw his materials from
nature only, we shall now proceed to acquaint the reader who these
people were, whose sudden appearance had struck such terrors into
Partridge, had more than half frightened the post-boy, and had a
little surprized even Mr Jones himself.
The people then assembled in this barn were no other than a company of
Egyptians, or, as they are vulgarly called, gypsies, and they were now
celebrating the wedding of one of their society.
It is impossible to conceive a happier set of people than appeared
here to be met together. The utmost mirth, indeed, shewed itself in
every countenance; nor was their ball totally void of all order and
decorum. Perhaps it had more than a country assembly is sometimes
conducted with: for these people are subject to a formal government
and laws of their own, and all pay obedience to one great magistrate,
whom they call their king.
Greater plenty, likewise, was nowhere to be seen than what flourished
in this barn. Here was indeed no nicety nor elegance, nor did the keen
appetite of the guests require any. Here was good store of bacon,
fowls, and mutton, to which every one present provided better sauce
himself than the best and dearest French cook can prepare.
Aeneas is not described under more consternation in the temple of
_Dum stupet obtutuque haeret defixus in uno_,
than was our heroe at what he saw in this barn. While he was looking
everywhere round him with astonishment, a venerable person approached
him with many friendly salutations, rather of too hearty a kind to be
called courtly. This was no other than the king of the gypsies
himself. He was very little distinguished in dress from his subjects,
nor had he any regalia of majesty to support his dignity; and yet
there seemed (as Mr Jones said) to be somewhat in his air which
denoted authority, and inspired the beholders with an idea of awe and
respect; though all this was perhaps imaginary in Jones; and the truth
may be, that such ideas are incident to power, and almost inseparable
There was somewhat in the open countenance and courteous behaviour of
Jones which, being accompanied with much comeliness of person, greatly
recommended him at first sight to every beholder. These were, perhaps,
a little heightened in the present instance, by that profound respect
which he paid to the king of the gypsies, the moment he was acquainted
with his dignity, and which was the sweeter to his gypseian majesty,
as he was not used to receive such homage from any but his own
The king ordered a table to be spread with the choicest of their
provisions for his accommodation; and, having placed himself at his
right hand, his majesty began to discourse with our heroe in the
"Me doubt not, sir, but you have often seen some of my people, who are
what you call de parties detache: for dey go about everywhere; but me
fancy you imagine not we be so considrable body as we be; and may be
you will be surprize more when you hear de gypsy be as orderly and
well govern people as any upon face of de earth.
"Me have honour, as me say, to be deir king, and no monarch can do
boast of more dutiful subject, ne no more affectionate. How far me
deserve deir good-will, me no say; but dis me can say, dat me never
design anyting but to do dem good. Me sall no do boast of dat neider:
for what can me do oderwise dan consider of de good of dose poor
people who go about all day to give me always de best of what dey get.
Dey love and honour me darefore, because me do love and take care of
dem; dat is all, me know no oder reason.
"About a tousand or two tousand year ago, me cannot tell to a year or
two, as can neider write nor read, dere was a great what you call--a
volution among de gypsy; for dere was de lord gypsy in dose days; and
dese lord did quarrel vid one anoder about de place; but de king of de
gypsy did demolish dem all, and made all his subject equal vid each
oder; and since dat time dey have agree very well; for dey no tink of
being king, and may be it be better for dem as dey be; for me assure
you it be ver troublesome ting to be king, and always to do justice;
me have often wish to be de private gypsy when me have been forced to
punish my dear friend and relation; for dough we never put to death,
our punishments be ver severe. Dey make de gypsy ashamed of demselves,
and dat be ver terrible punishment; me ave scarce ever known de gypsy
so punish do harm any more."
The king then proceeded to express some wonder that there was no such
punishment as shame in other governments. Upon which Jones assured him
to the contrary; for that there were many crimes for which shame was
inflicted by the English laws, and that it was indeed one consequence
of all punishment. "Dat be ver strange," said the king; "for me know
and hears good deal of your people, dough me no live among dem; and me
have often hear dat sham is de consequence and de cause too of many of
your rewards. Are your rewards and punishments den de same ting?"
While his majesty was thus discoursing with Jones, a sudden uproar
arose in the barn, and as it seems upon this occasion:--the courtesy
of these people had by degrees removed all the apprehensions of
Partridge, and he was prevailed upon not only to stuff himself with
their food, but to taste some of their liquors, which by degrees
entirely expelled all fear from his composition, and in its stead
introduced much more agreeable sensations.
A young female gypsy, more remarkable for her wit than her beauty, had
decoyed the honest fellow aside, pretending to tell his fortune. Now,
when they were alone together in a remote part of the barn, whether it
proceeded from the strong liquor, which is never so apt to inflame
inordinate desire as after moderate fatigue; or whether the fair gypsy
herself threw aside the delicacy and decency of her sex, and tempted
the youth Partridge with express solicitations; but they were
discovered in a very improper manner by the husband of the gypsy, who,
from jealousy it seems, had kept a watchful eye over his wife, and had
dogged her to the place, where he found her in the arms of her
To the great confusion of Jones, Partridge was now hurried before the
king; who heard the accusation, and likewise the culprit's defence,
which was indeed very trifling; for the poor fellow was confounded by
the plain evidence which appeared against him, and had very little to
say for himself. His majesty, then turning towards Jones, said, "Sir,
you have hear what dey say; what punishment do you tink your man
Jones answered, "He was sorry for what had happened, and that
Partridge should make the husband all the amends in his power: he
said, he had very little money about him at that time;" and, putting
his hand into his pocket, offered the fellow a guinea. To which he
immediately answered, "He hoped his honour would not think of giving
him less than five."
This sum, after some altercation, was reduced to two; and Jones,
having stipulated for the full forgiveness of both Partridge and the
wife, was going to pay the money; when his majesty, restraining his
hand, turned to the witness and asked him, "At what time he had
discovered the criminals?" To which he answered, "That he had been
desired by the husband to watch the motions of his wife from her first
speaking to the stranger, and that he had never lost sight of her
afterwards till the crime had been committed." The king then asked,
"if the husband was with him all that time in his lurking-place?" To
which he answered in the affirmative. His Egyptian majesty then
addressed himself to the husband as follows: "Me be sorry to see any
gypsy dat have no more honour dan to sell de honour of his wife for
money. If you had de love for your wife, you would have prevented dis
matter, and not endeavour to make her de whore dat you might discover
her. Me do order dat you have no money given you, for you deserve
punishment, not reward; me do order derefore, dat you be de infamous
gypsy, and do wear pair of horns upon your forehead for one month, and
dat your wife be called de whore, and pointed at all dat time; for you
be de infamous gypsy, but she be no less de infamous whore."
The gypsies immediately proceeded to execute the sentence, and left
Jones and Partridge alone with his majesty.
Jones greatly applauded the justice of the sentence: upon which the
king, turning to him, said, "Me believe you be surprize: for me
suppose you have ver bad opinion of my people; me suppose you tink us
all de tieves."
"I must confess, sir," said Jones, "I have not heard so favourable an
account of them as they seem to deserve."
"Me vil tell you," said the king, "how the difference is between you
and us. My people rob your people, and your people rob one anoder."
Jones afterwards proceeded very gravely to sing forth the happiness of
those subjects who live under such a magistrate.
Indeed their happiness appears to have been so compleat, that we are
aware lest some advocate for arbitrary power should hereafter quote
the case of those people, as an instance of the great advantages which
attend that government above all others.
And here we will make a concession, which would not perhaps have been
expected from us, that no limited form of government is capable of
rising to the same degree of perfection, or of producing the same
benefits to society, with this. Mankind have never been so happy, as
when the greatest part of the then known world was under the dominion
of a single master; and this state of their felicity continued during
the reigns of five successive princes.[*] This was the true aera of
the golden age, and the only golden age which ever had any existence,
unless in the warm imaginations of the poets, from the expulsion from
Eden down to this day.
[*] Nerva, Trajan, Adrian, and the two Antonini.
In reality, I know but of one solid objection to absolute monarchy.
The only defect in which excellent constitution seems to be, the
difficulty of finding any man adequate to the office of an absolute
monarch: for this indispensably requires three qualities very
difficult, as it appears from history, to be found in princely
natures: first, a sufficient quantity of moderation in the prince, to
be contented with all the power which is possible for him to have.
2ndly, Enough of wisdom to know his own happiness. And, 3rdly,
Goodness sufficient to support the happiness of others, when not only
compatible with, but instrumental to his own.
Now if an absolute monarch, with all these great and rare
qualifications, should be allowed capable of conferring the greatest
good on society; it must be surely granted, on the contrary, that
absolute power, vested in the hands of one who is deficient in them
all, is likely to be attended with no less a degree of evil.
In short, our own religion furnishes us with adequate ideas of the
blessing, as well as curse, which may attend absolute power. The
pictures of heaven and of hell will place a very lively image of both
before our eyes; for though the prince of the latter can have no power
but what he originally derives from the omnipotent Sovereign in the
former, yet it plainly appears from Scripture that absolute power in
his infernal dominions is granted to their diabolical ruler. This is
indeed the only absolute power which can by Scripture be derived from
heaven. If, therefore, the several tyrannies upon earth can prove any
title to a Divine authority, it must be derived from this original
grant to the prince of darkness; and these subordinate deputations
must consequently come immediately from him whose stamp they so
To conclude, as the examples of all ages shew us that mankind in
general desire power only to do harm, and, when they obtain it, use it
for no other purpose; it is not consonant with even the least degree
of prudence to hazard an alteration, where our hopes are poorly kept
in countenance by only two or three exceptions out of a thousand
instances to alarm our fears. In this case it will be much wiser to
submit to a few inconveniencies arising from the dispassionate
deafness of laws, than to remedy them by applying to the passionate
open ears of a tyrant.
Nor can the example of the gypsies, though possibly they may have long
been happy under this form of government, be here urged; since we must
remember the very material respect in which they differ from all other
people, and to which perhaps this their happiness is entirely owing,
namely, that they have no false honours among them, and that they look
on shame as the most grievous punishment in the world.
A dialogue between Jones and Partridge.
The honest lovers of liberty will, we doubt not, pardon that long
digression into which we were led at the close of the last chapter, to
prevent our history from being applied to the use of the most
pernicious doctrine which priestcraft had ever the wickedness or the
impudence to preach.
We will now proceed with Mr Jones, who, when the storm was over, took
leave of his Egyptian majesty, after many thanks for his courteous
behaviour and kind entertainment, and set out for Coventry; to which
place (for it was still dark) a gypsy was ordered to conduct him.
Jones having, by reason of his deviation, travelled eleven miles
instead of six, and most of those through very execrable roads, where
no expedition could have been made in quest of a midwife, did not
arrive at Coventry till near twelve. Nor could he possibly get again
into the saddle till past two; for post-horses were now not easy to
get; nor were the hostler or post-boy in half so great a hurry as
himself, but chose rather to imitate the tranquil disposition of
Partridge; who, being denied the nourishment of sleep, took all
opportunities to supply its place with every other kind of
nourishment, and was never better pleased than when he arrived at an
inn, nor ever more dissatisfied than when he was again forced to leave
Jones now travelled post; we will follow him, therefore, according to
our custom, and to the rules of Longinus, in the same manner. From
Coventry he arrived at Daventry, from Daventry at Stratford, and from
Stratford at Dunstable, whither he came the next day a little after
noon, and within a few hours after Sophia had left it; and though he
was obliged to stay here longer than he wished, while a smith, with
great deliberation, shoed the post-horse he was to ride, he doubted
not but to overtake his Sophia before she should set out from St
Albans; at which place he concluded, and very reasonably, that his
lordship would stop and dine.
And had he been right in this conjecture, he most probably would have
overtaken his angel at the aforesaid place; but unluckily my lord had
appointed a dinner to be prepared for him at his own house in London,
and, in order to enable him to reach that place in proper time, he had
ordered a relay of horses to meet him at St Albans. When Jones
therefore arrived there, he was informed that the coach-and-six had
set out two hours before.
If fresh post-horses had been now ready, as they were not, it seemed
so apparently impossible to overtake the coach before it reached
London, that Partridge thought he had now a proper opportunity to
remind his friend of a matter which he seemed entirely to have
forgotten; what this was the reader will guess, when we inform him
that Jones had eat nothing more than one poached egg since he had left
the alehouse where he had first met the guide returning from Sophia;
for with the gypsies he had feasted only his understanding.
The landlord so entirely agreed with the opinion of Mr Partridge, that
he no sooner heard the latter desire his friend to stay and dine, than
he very readily put in his word, and retracting his promise before
given of furnishing the horses immediately, he assured Mr Jones he
would lose no time in bespeaking a dinner, which, he said, could be
got ready sooner than it was possible to get the horses up from grass,
and to prepare them for their journey by a feed of corn.
Jones was at length prevailed on, chiefly by the latter argument of
the landlord; and now a joint of mutton was put down to the fire.
While this was preparing, Partridge, being admitted into the same
apartment with his friend or master, began to harangue in the
"Certainly, sir, if ever man deserved a young lady, you deserve young
Madam Western; for what a vast quantity of love must a man have, to be
able to live upon it without any other food, as you do? I am positive
I have eat thirty times as much within these last twenty-four hours as
your honour, and yet I am almost famished; for nothing makes a man so
hungry as travelling, especially in this cold raw weather. And yet I
can't tell how it is, but your honour is seemingly in perfect good
health, and you never looked better nor fresher in your life. It must
be certainly love that you live upon."
"And a very rich diet too, Partridge," answered Jones. "But did not
fortune send me an excellent dainty yesterday? Dost thou imagine I
cannot live more than twenty-four hours on this dear pocket-book?"
"Undoubtedly," cries Partridge, "there is enough in that pocket-book
to purchase many a good meal. Fortune sent it to your honour very
opportunely for present use, as your honour's money must be almost out
by this time."
"What do you mean?" answered Jones; "I hope you don't imagine that I
should be dishonest enough, even if it belonged to any other person,
besides Miss Western----"
"Dishonest!" replied Partridge, "heaven forbid I should wrong your
honour so much! but where's the dishonesty in borrowing a little for
present spending, since you will be so well able to pay the lady
hereafter? No, indeed, I would have your honour pay it again, as soon
as it is convenient, by all means; but where can be the harm in making
use of it now you want it? Indeed, if it belonged to a poor body, it
would be another thing; but so great a lady, to be sure, can never
want it, especially now as she is along with a lord, who, it can't be
doubted, will let her have whatever she hath need of. Besides, if she
should want a little, she can't want the whole, therefore I would give
her a little; but I would be hanged before I mentioned the having
found it at first, and before I got some money of my own; for London,
I have heard, is the very worst of places to be in without money.
Indeed, if I had not known to whom it belonged, I might have thought
it was the devil's money, and have been afraid to use it; but as you
know otherwise, and came honestly by it, it would be an affront to
fortune to part with it all again, at the very time when you want it
most; you can hardly expect she should ever do you such another good
turn; for _fortuna nunquam perpetuo est bona_. You will do as you
please, notwithstanding all I say; but for my part, I would be hanged
before I mentioned a word of the matter."
"By what I can see, Partridge," cries Jones, "hanging is a matter _non
longe alienum a Scaevolae studiis_." "You should say _alienus_," says
Partridge,--"I remember the passage; it is an example under _communis,
alienus, immunis, variis casibus serviunt_." "If you do remember it,"
cries Jones, "I find you don't understand it; but I tell thee, friend,
in plain English, that he who finds another's property, and wilfully
detains it from the known owner, deserves, _in foro conscientiae_, to
be hanged, no less than if he had stolen it. And as for this very
identical bill, which is the property of my angel, and was once in her
dear possession, I will not deliver it into any hands but her own,
upon any consideration whatever, no, though I was as hungry as thou
art, and had no other means to satisfy my craving appetite; this I
hope to do before I sleep; but if it should happen otherwise, I charge
thee, if thou would'st not incur my displeasure for ever, not to shock
me any more by the bare mention of such detestable baseness."
"I should not have mentioned it now," cries Partridge, "if it had
appeared so to me; for I'm sure I scorn any wickedness as much as
another; but perhaps you know better; and yet I might have imagined
that I should not have lived so many years, and have taught school so
long, without being able to distinguish between _fas et nefas_; but it
seems we are all to live and learn. I remember my old schoolmaster,
who was a prodigious great scholar, used often to say, _Polly matete
cry town is my daskalon_. The English of which, he told us, was, That
a child may sometimes teach his grandmother to suck eggs. I have lived
to a fine purpose, truly, if I am to be taught my grammar at this time
of day. Perhaps, young gentleman, you may change your opinion, if you
live to my years: for I remember I thought myself as wise when I was a
stripling of one or two and twenty as I am now. I am sure I always
taught _alienus_, and my master read it so before me."
There were not many instances in which Partridge could provoke Jones,
nor were there many in which Partridge himself could have been hurried
out of his respect. Unluckily, however, they had both hit on one of
these. We have already seen Partridge could not bear to have his
learning attacked, nor could Jones bear some passage or other in the
foregoing speech. And now, looking upon his companion with a
contemptuous and disdainful air (a thing not usual with him), he
cried, "Partridge, I see thou art a conceited old fool, and I wish
thou art not likewise an old rogue. Indeed, if I was as well convinced
of the latter as I am of the former, thou should'st travel no farther
in my company."
The sage pedagogue was contented with the vent which he had already
given to his indignation; and, as the vulgar phrase is, immediately
drew in his horns. He said, he was sorry he had uttered anything which
might give offence, for that he had never intended it; but _Nemo
omnibus horis sapit_.
As Jones had the vices of a warm disposition, he was entirely free
from those of a cold one; and if his friends must have confest his
temper to have been a little too easily ruffled, his enemies must at
the same time have confest, that it as soon subsided; nor did it at
all resemble the sea, whose swelling is more violent and dangerous
after a storm is over than while the storm itself subsists. He
instantly accepted the submission of Partridge, shook him by the hand,
and with the most benign aspect imaginable, said twenty kind things,
and at the same time very severely condemned himself, though not half
so severely as he will most probably be condemned by many of our good
Partridge was now highly comforted, as his fears of having offended
were at once abolished, and his pride completely satisfied by Jones
having owned himself in the wrong, which submission he instantly
applied to what had principally nettled him, and repeated in a
muttering voice, "To be sure, sir, your knowledge may be superior to
mine in some things; but as to the grammar, I think I may challenge
any man living. I think, at least, I have that at my finger's end."
If anything could add to the satisfaction which the poor man now
enjoyed, he received this addition by the arrival of an excellent
shoulder of mutton, that at this instant came smoaking to the table.
On which, having both plentifully feasted, they again mounted their
horses, and set forward for London.
What happened to Mr Jones in his journey from St Albans.
They were got about two miles beyond Barnet, and it was now the dusk
of the evening, when a genteel-looking man, but upon a very shabby
horse, rode up to Jones, and asked him whether he was going to London;
to which Jones answered in the affirmative. The gentleman replied, "I
should be obliged to you, sir, if you will accept of my company; for
it is very late, and I am a stranger to the road." Jones readily
complied with the request; and on they travelled together, holding
that sort of discourse which is usual on such occasions.
Of this, indeed, robbery was the principal topic: upon which subject
the stranger expressed great apprehensions; but Jones declared he had
very little to lose, and consequently as little to fear. Here
Partridge could not forbear putting in his word. "Your honour," said
he, "may think it a little, but I am sure, if I had a hundred-pound
bank-note in my pocket, as you have, I should be very sorry to lose
it; but, for my part, I never was less afraid in my life; for we are
four of us, and if we all stand by one another, the best man in
England can't rob us. Suppose he should have a pistol, he can kill but
one of us, and a man can die but once.--That's my comfort, a man can
die but once."
Besides the reliance on superior numbers, a kind of valour which hath
raised a certain nation among the moderns to a high pitch of glory,