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The History of Tom Jones, a foundling by Henry Fielding

Part 5 out of 18

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ridicule; and vowed, though he once had the possession of her person,
that none but Square had ever been master of her heart.

Chapter vi.

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

The infidelity of Molly, which Jones had now discovered, would,
perhaps, have vindicated a much greater degree of resentment than he
expressed on the occasion; and if he had abandoned her directly from
that moment, very few, I believe, would have blamed him.

Certain, however, it is, that he saw her in the light of compassion;
and though his love to her was not of that kind which could give him
any great uneasiness at her inconstancy, yet was he not a little
shocked on reflecting that he had himself originally corrupted her
innocence; for to this corruption he imputed all the vice into which
she appeared now so likely to plunge herself.

This consideration gave him no little uneasiness, till Betty, the
elder sister, was so kind, some time afterwards, entirely to cure him
by a hint, that one Will Barnes, and not himself, had been the first
seducer of Molly; and that the little child, which he had hitherto so
certainly concluded to be his own, might very probably have an equal
title, at least, to claim Barnes for its father.

Jones eagerly pursued this scent when he had first received it; and in
a very short time was sufficiently assured that the girl had told him
truth, not only by the confession of the fellow, but at last by that
of Molly herself.

This Will Barnes was a country gallant, and had acquired as many
trophies of this kind as any ensign or attorney's clerk in the
kingdom. He had, indeed, reduced several women to a state of utter
profligacy, had broke the hearts of some, and had the honour of
occasioning the violent death of one poor girl, who had either drowned
herself, or, what was rather more probable, had been drowned by him.

Among other of his conquests, this fellow had triumphed over the heart
of Betty Seagrim. He had made love to her long before Molly was grown
to be a fit object of that pastime; but had afterwards deserted her,
and applied to her sister, with whom he had almost immediate success.
Now Will had, in reality, the sole possession of Molly's affection,
while Jones and Square were almost equally sacrifices to her interest
and to her pride.

Hence had grown that implacable hatred which we have before seen
raging in the mind of Betty; though we did not think it necessary to
assign this cause sooner, as envy itself alone was adequate to all the
effects we have mentioned.

Jones was become perfectly easy by possession of this secret with
regard to Molly; but as to Sophia, he was far from being in a state of
tranquillity; nay, indeed, he was under the most violent perturbation;
his heart was now, if I may use the metaphor, entirely evacuated, and
Sophia took absolute possession of it. He loved her with an unbounded
passion, and plainly saw the tender sentiments she had for him; yet
could not this assurance lessen his despair of obtaining the consent
of her father, nor the horrors which attended his pursuit of her by
any base or treacherous method.

The injury which he must thus do to Mr Western, and the concern which
would accrue to Mr Allworthy, were circumstances that tormented him
all day, and haunted him on his pillow at night. His life was a
constant struggle between honour and inclination, which alternately
triumphed over each other in his mind. He often resolved, in the
absence of Sophia, to leave her father's house, and to see her no
more; and as often, in her presence, forgot all those resolutions, and
determined to pursue her at the hazard of his life, and at the
forfeiture of what was much dearer to him.

This conflict began soon to produce very strong and visible effects:
for he lost all his usual sprightliness and gaiety of temper, and
became not only melancholy when alone, but dejected and absent in
company; nay, if ever he put on a forced mirth, to comply with Mr
Western's humour, the constraint appeared so plain, that he seemed to
have been giving the strongest evidence of what he endeavoured to
conceal by such ostentation.

It may, perhaps, be a question, whether the art which he used to
conceal his passion, or the means which honest nature employed to
reveal it, betrayed him most: for while art made him more than ever
reserved to Sophia, and forbad him to address any of his discourse to
her, nay, to avoid meeting her eyes, with the utmost caution; nature
was no less busy in counterplotting him. Hence, at the approach of the
young lady, he grew pale; and if this was sudden, started. If his eyes
accidentally met hers, the blood rushed into his cheeks, and his
countenance became all over scarlet. If common civility ever obliged
him to speak to her, as to drink her health at table, his tongue was
sure to falter. If he touched her, his hand, nay his whole frame,
trembled. And if any discourse tended, however remotely, to raise the
idea of love, an involuntary sigh seldom failed to steal from his
bosom. Most of which accidents nature was wonderfully industrious to
throw daily in his way.

All these symptoms escaped the notice of the squire: but not so of
Sophia. She soon perceived these agitations of mind in Jones, and was
at no loss to discover the cause; for indeed she recognized it in her
own breast. And this recognition is, I suppose, that sympathy which
hath been so often noted in lovers, and which will sufficiently
account for her being so much quicker-sighted than her father.

But, to say the truth, there is a more simple and plain method of
accounting for that prodigious superiority of penetration which we
must observe in some men over the rest of the human species, and one
which will serve not only in the case of lovers, but of all others.
From whence is it that the knave is generally so quick-sighted to
those symptoms and operations of knavery, which often dupe an honest
man of a much better understanding? There surely is no general
sympathy among knaves; nor have they, like freemasons, any common sign
of communication. In reality, it is only because they have the same
thing in their heads, and their thoughts are turned the same way.
Thus, that Sophia saw, and that Western did not see, the plain
symptoms of love in Jones can be no wonder, when we consider that the
idea of love never entered into the head of the father, whereas the
daughter, at present, thought of nothing else.

When Sophia was well satisfied of the violent passion which tormented
poor Jones, and no less certain that she herself was its object, she
had not the least difficulty in discovering the true cause of his
present behaviour. This highly endeared him to her, and raised in her
mind two of the best affections which any lover can wish to raise in a
mistress--these were, esteem and pity--for sure the most outrageously
rigid among her sex will excuse her pitying a man whom she saw
miserable on her own account; nor can they blame her for esteeming one
who visibly, from the most honourable motives, endeavoured to smother
a flame in his own bosom, which, like the famous Spartan theft, was
preying upon and consuming his very vitals. Thus his backwardness, his
shunning her, his coldness, and his silence, were the forwardest, the
most diligent, the warmest, and most eloquent advocates; and wrought
so violently on her sensible and tender heart, that she soon felt for
him all those gentle sensations which are consistent with a virtuous
and elevated female mind. In short, all which esteem, gratitude, and
pity, can inspire in such towards an agreeable man--indeed, all which
the nicest delicacy can allow. In a word, she was in love with him to

One day this young couple accidentally met in the garden, at the end
of the two walks which were both bounded by that canal in which Jones
had formerly risqued drowning to retrieve the little bird that Sophia
had there lost.

This place had been of late much frequented by Sophia. Here she used
to ruminate, with a mixture of pain and pleasure, on an incident
which, however trifling in itself, had possibly sown the first seeds
of that affection which was now arrived to such maturity in her heart.

Here then this young couple met. They were almost close together
before either of them knew anything of the other's approach. A
bystander would have discovered sufficient marks of confusion in the
countenance of each; but they felt too much themselves to make any
observation. As soon as Jones had a little recovered his first
surprize, he accosted the young lady with some of the ordinary forms
of salutation, which she in the same manner returned; and their
conversation began, as usual, on the delicious beauty of the morning.
Hence they past to the beauty of the place, on which Jones launched
forth very high encomiums. When they came to the tree whence he had
formerly tumbled into the canal, Sophia could not help reminding him
of that accident, and said, "I fancy, Mr Jones, you have some little
shuddering when you see that water."--"I assure you, madam," answered
Jones, "the concern you felt at the loss of your little bird will
always appear to me the highest circumstance in that adventure. Poor
little Tommy! there is the branch he stood upon. How could the little
wretch have the folly to fly away from that state of happiness in
which I had the honour to place him? His fate was a just punishment
for his ingratitude."--"Upon my word, Mr Jones," said she, "your
gallantry very narrowly escaped as severe a fate. Sure the remembrance
must affect you."--"Indeed, madam," answered he, "if I have any reason
to reflect with sorrow on it, it is, perhaps, that the water had not
been a little deeper, by which I might have escaped many bitter
heart-aches that Fortune seems to have in store for me."--"Fie, Mr
Jones!" replied Sophia; "I am sure you cannot be in earnest now. This
affected contempt of life is only an excess of your complacence to me.
You would endeavour to lessen the obligation of having twice ventured
it for my sake. Beware the third time." She spoke these last words
with a smile, and a softness inexpressible. Jones answered with a
sigh, "He feared it was already too late for caution:" and then
looking tenderly and stedfastly on her, he cried, "Oh, Miss Western!
can you desire me to live? Can you wish me so ill?" Sophia, looking
down on the ground, answered with some hesitation, "Indeed, Mr Jones,
I do not wish you ill."--"Oh, I know too well that heavenly temper,"
cries Jones, "that divine goodness, which is beyond every other
charm."--"Nay, now," answered she, "I understand you not. I can stay
no longer."--"I--I would not be understood!" cries he; "nay, I can't
be understood. I know not what I say. Meeting you here so
unexpectedly, I have been unguarded: for Heaven's sake pardon me, if I
have said anything to offend you. I did not mean it. Indeed, I would
rather have died--nay, the very thought would kill me."--"You surprize
me," answered she. "How can you possibly think you have offended
me?"--"Fear, madam," says he, "easily runs into madness; and there is
no degree of fear like that which I feel of offending you. How can I
speak then? Nay, don't look angrily at me: one frown will destroy me.
I mean nothing. Blame my eyes, or blame those beauties. What am I
saying? Pardon me if I have said too much. My heart overflowed. I have
struggled with my love to the utmost, and have endeavoured to conceal
a fever which preys on my vitals, and will, I hope, soon make it
impossible for me ever to offend you more."

Mr Jones now fell a trembling as if he had been shaken with the fit of
an ague. Sophia, who was in a situation not very different from his,
answered in these words: "Mr Jones, I will not affect to misunderstand
you; indeed, I understand you too well; but, for Heaven's sake, if you
have any affection for me, let me make the best of my way into the
house. I wish I may be able to support myself thither."

Jones, who was hardly able to support himself, offered her his arm,
which she condescended to accept, but begged he would not mention a
word more to her of this nature at present. He promised he would not;
insisting only on her forgiveness of what love, without the leave of
his will, had forced from him: this, she told him, he knew how to
obtain by his future behaviour; and thus this young pair tottered and
trembled along, the lover not once daring to squeeze the hand of his
mistress, though it was locked in his.

Sophia immediately retired to her chamber, where Mrs Honour and the
hartshorn were summoned to her assistance. As to poor Jones, the only
relief to his distempered mind was an unwelcome piece of news, which,
as it opens a scene of different nature from those in which the reader
hath lately been conversant, will be communicated to him in the next

Chapter vii.

In which Mr Allworthy appears on a sick-bed.

Mr Western was become so fond of Jones that he was unwilling to part
with him, though his arm had been long since cured; and Jones, either
from the love of sport, or from some other reason, was easily
persuaded to continue at his house, which he did sometimes for a
fortnight together without paying a single visit at Mr Allworthy's;
nay, without ever hearing from thence.

Mr Allworthy had been for some days indisposed with a cold, which had
been attended with a little fever. This he had, however, neglected; as
it was usual with him to do all manner of disorders which did not
confine him to his bed, or prevent his several faculties from
performing their ordinary functions;--a conduct which we would by no
means be thought to approve or recommend to imitation; for surely the
gentlemen of the Aesculapian art are in the right in advising, that
the moment the disease has entered at one door, the physician should
be introduced at the other: what else is meant by that old adage,
_Venienti occurrite morbo?_ "Oppose a distemper at its first
approach." Thus the doctor and the disease meet in fair and equal
conflict; whereas, by giving time to the latter, we often suffer him
to fortify and entrench himself, like a French army; so that the
learned gentleman finds it very difficult, and sometimes impossible,
to come at the enemy. Nay, sometimes by gaining time the disease
applies to the French military politics, and corrupts nature over to
his side, and then all the powers of physic must arrive too late.
Agreeable to these observations was, I remember, the complaint of the
great Doctor Misaubin, who used very pathetically to lament the late
applications which were made to his skill, saying, "Bygar, me believe
my pation take me for de undertaker, for dey never send for me till de
physicion have kill dem."

Mr Allworthy's distemper, by means of this neglect, gained such
ground, that, when the increase of his fever obliged him to send for
assistance, the doctor at his first arrival shook his head, wished he
had been sent for sooner, and intimated that he thought him in very
imminent danger. Mr Allworthy, who had settled all his affairs in this
world, and was as well prepared as it is possible for human nature to
be for the other, received this information with the utmost calmness
and unconcern. He could, indeed, whenever he laid himself down to
rest, say with Cato in the tragical poem--

Let guilt or fear
Disturb man's rest: Cato knows neither of them;
Indifferent in his choice to sleep or die.

In reality, he could say this with ten times more reason and
confidence than Cato, or any other proud fellow among the antient or
modern heroes; for he was not only devoid of fear, but might be
considered as a faithful labourer, when at the end of harvest he is
summoned to receive his reward at the hands of a bountiful master.

The good man gave immediate orders for all his family to be summoned
round him. None of these were then abroad, but Mrs Blifil, who had
been some time in London, and Mr Jones, whom the reader hath just
parted from at Mr Western's, and who received this summons just as
Sophia had left him.

The news of Mr Allworthy's danger (for the servant told him he was
dying) drove all thoughts of love out of his head. He hurried
instantly into the chariot which was sent for him, and ordered the
coachman to drive with all imaginable haste; nor did the idea of
Sophia, I believe, once occur to him on the way.

And now the whole family, namely, Mr Blifil, Mr Jones, Mr Thwackum, Mr
Square, and some of the servants (for such were Mr Allworthy's orders)
being all assembled round his bed, the good man sat up in it, and was
beginning to speak, when Blifil fell to blubbering, and began to
express very loud and bitter lamentations. Upon this Mr Allworthy
shook him by the hand, and said, "Do not sorrow thus, my dear nephew,
at the most ordinary of all human occurrences. When misfortunes befal
our friends we are justly grieved; for those are accidents which might
often have been avoided, and which may seem to render the lot of one
man more peculiarly unhappy than that of others; but death is
certainly unavoidable, and is that common lot in which alone the
fortunes of all men agree: nor is the time when this happens to us
very material. If the wisest of men hath compared life to a span,
surely we may be allowed to consider it as a day. It is my fate to
leave it in the evening; but those who are taken away earlier have
only lost a few hours, at the best little worth lamenting, and much
oftener hours of labour and fatigue, of pain and sorrow. One of the
Roman poets, I remember, likens our leaving life to our departure from
a feast;--a thought which hath often occurred to me when I have seen
men struggling to protract an entertainment, and to enjoy the company
of their friends a few moments longer. Alas! how short is the most
protracted of such enjoyments! how immaterial the difference between
him who retires the soonest, and him who stays the latest! This is
seeing life in the best view, and this unwillingness to quit our
friends is the most amiable motive from which we can derive the fear
of death; and yet the longest enjoyment which we can hope for of this
kind is of so trivial a duration, that it is to a wise man truly
contemptible. Few men, I own, think in this manner; for, indeed, few
men think of death till they are in its jaws. However gigantic and
terrible an object this may appear when it approaches them, they are
nevertheless incapable of seeing it at any distance; nay, though they
have been ever so much alarmed and frightened when they have
apprehended themselves in danger of dying, they are no sooner cleared
from this apprehension than even the fears of it are erased from their
minds. But, alas! he who escapes from death is not pardoned; he is
only reprieved, and reprieved to a short day.

"Grieve, therefore, no more, my dear child, on this occasion: an event
which may happen every hour; which every element, nay, almost every
particle of matter that surrounds us is capable of producing, and
which must and will most unavoidably reach us all at last, ought
neither to occasion our surprize nor our lamentation.

"My physician having acquainted me (which I take very kindly of him)
that I am in danger of leaving you all very shortly, I have determined
to say a few words to you at this our parting, before my distemper,
which I find grows very fast upon me, puts it out of my power.

"But I shall waste my strength too much. I intended to speak
concerning my will, which, though I have settled long ago, I think
proper to mention such heads of it as concern any of you, that I may
have the comfort of perceiving you are all satisfied with the
provision I have there made for you.

"Nephew Blifil, I leave you the heir to my whole estate, except only
£500 a-year, which is to revert to you after the death of your mother,
and except one other estate of £500 a-year, and the sum of £6000,
which I have bestowed in the following manner:

"The estate of £500 a-year I have given to you, Mr Jones: and as I
know the inconvenience which attends the want of ready money, I have
added £1000 in specie. In this I know not whether I have exceeded or
fallen short of your expectation. Perhaps you will think I have given
you too little, and the world will be as ready to condemn me for
giving you too much; but the latter censure I despise; and as to the
former, unless you should entertain that common error which I have
often heard in my life pleaded as an excuse for a total want of
charity, namely, that instead of raising gratitude by voluntary acts
of bounty, we are apt to raise demands, which of all others are the
most boundless and most difficult to satisfy.--Pardon me the bare
mention of this; I will not suspect any such thing."

Jones flung himself at his benefactor's feet, and taking eagerly hold
of his hand, assured him his goodness to him, both now and all other
times, had so infinitely exceeded not only his merit but his hopes,
that no words could express his sense of it. "And I assure you, sir,"
said he, "your present generosity hath left me no other concern than
for the present melancholy occasion. Oh, my friend, my father!" Here
his words choaked him, and he turned away to hide a tear which was
starting from his eyes.

Allworthy then gently squeezed his hand, and proceeded thus: "I am
convinced, my child, that you have much goodness, generosity, and
honour, in your temper: if you will add prudence and religion to
these, you must be happy; for the three former qualities, I admit,
make you worthy of happiness, but they are the latter only which will
put you in possession of it.

"One thousand pound I have given to you, Mr Thwackum; a sum I am
convinced which greatly exceeds your desires, as well as your wants.
However, you will receive it as a memorial of my friendship; and
whatever superfluities may redound to you, that piety which you so
rigidly maintain will instruct you how to dispose of them.

"A like sum, Mr Square, I have bequeathed to you. This, I hope, will
enable you to pursue your profession with better success than
hitherto. I have often observed with concern, that distress is more
apt to excite contempt than commiseration, especially among men of
business, with whom poverty is understood to indicate want of ability.
But the little I have been able to leave you will extricate you from
those difficulties with which you have formerly struggled; and then I
doubt not but you will meet with sufficient prosperity to supply what
a man of your philosophical temper will require.

"I find myself growing faint, so I shall refer you to my will for my
disposition of the residue. My servants will there find some tokens to
remember me by; and there are a few charities which, I trust, my
executors will see faithfully performed. Bless you all. I am setting
out a little before you."--

Here a footman came hastily into the room, and said there was an
attorney from Salisbury who had a particular message, which he said he
must communicate to Mr Allworthy himself: that he seemed in a violent
hurry, and protested he had so much business to do, that, if he could
cut himself into four quarters, all would not be sufficient.

"Go, child," said Allworthy to Blifil, "see what the gentleman wants.
I am not able to do any business now, nor can he have any with me, in
which you are not at present more concerned than myself. Besides, I
really am--I am incapable of seeing any one at present, or of any
longer attention." He then saluted them all, saying, perhaps he should
be able to see them again, but he should be now glad to compose
himself a little, finding that he had too much exhausted his spirits
in discourse.

Some of the company shed tears at their parting; and even the
philosopher Square wiped his eyes, albeit unused to the melting mood.
As to Mrs Wilkins, she dropt her pearls as fast as the Arabian trees
their medicinal gums; for this was a ceremonial which that gentlewoman
never omitted on a proper occasion.

After this Mr Allworthy again laid himself down on his pillow, and
endeavoured to compose himself to rest.

Chapter viii.

Containing matter rather natural than pleasing.

Besides grief for her master, there was another source for that briny
stream which so plentifully rose above the two mountainous cheek-bones
of the housekeeper. She was no sooner retired, than she began to
mutter to herself in the following pleasant strain: "Sure master might
have made some difference, methinks, between me and the other
servants. I suppose he hath left me mourning; but, i'fackins! if that
be all, the devil shall wear it for him, for me. I'd have his worship
know I am no beggar. I have saved five hundred pound in his service,
and after all to be used in this manner.--It is a fine encouragement
to servants to be honest; and to be sure, if I have taken a little
something now and then, others have taken ten times as much; and now
we are all put in a lump together. If so be that it be so, the legacy
may go to the devil with him that gave it. No, I won't give it up
neither, because that will please some folks. No, I'll buy the gayest
gown I can get, and dance over the old curmudgeon's grave in it. This
is my reward for taking his part so often, when all the country have
cried shame of him, for breeding up his bastard in that manner; but he
is going now where he must pay for all. It would have become him
better to have repented of his sins on his deathbed, than to glory in
them, and give away his estate out of his own family to a misbegotten
child. Found in his bed, forsooth! a pretty story! ay, ay, those that
hide know where to find. Lord forgive him! I warrant he hath many more
bastards to answer for, if the truth was known. One comfort is, they
will all be known where he is a going now.--`The servants will find
some token to remember me by.' Those were the very words; I shall
never forget them, if I was to live a thousand years. Ay, ay, I shall
remember you for huddling me among the servants. One would have
thought he might have mentioned my name as well as that of Square; but
he is a gentleman forsooth, though he had not cloths on his back when
he came hither first. Marry come up with such gentlemen! though he
hath lived here this many years, I don't believe there is arrow a
servant in the house ever saw the colour of his money. The devil shall
wait upon such a gentleman for me." Much more of the like kind she
muttered to herself; but this taste shall suffice to the reader.

Neither Thwackum nor Square were much better satisfied with their
legacies. Though they breathed not their resentment so loud, yet from
the discontent which appeared in their countenances, as well as from
the following dialogue, we collect that no great pleasure reigned in
their minds.

About an hour after they had left the sick-room, Square met Thwackum
in the hall and accosted him thus: "Well, sir, have you heard any news
of your friend since we parted from him?"--"If you mean Mr Allworthy,"
answered Thwackum, "I think you might rather give him the appellation
of your friend; for he seems to me to have deserved that title."--"The
title is as good on your side," replied Square, "for his bounty, such
as it is, hath been equal to both."--"I should not have mentioned it
first," cries Thwackum, "but since you begin, I must inform you I am
of a different opinion. There is a wide distinction between voluntary
favours and rewards. The duty I have done in his family, and the care
I have taken in the education of his two boys, are services for which
some men might have expected a greater return. I would not have you
imagine I am therefore dissatisfied; for St Paul hath taught me to
be content with the little I have. Had the modicum been less, I
should have known my duty. But though the Scriptures obliges me to
remain contented, it doth not enjoin me to shut my eyes to my own
merit, nor restrain me from seeing when I am injured by an unjust
comparison."--"Since you provoke me," returned Square, "that injury is
done to me; nor did I ever imagine Mr Allworthy had held my friendship
so light, as to put me in balance with one who received his wages. I
know to what it is owing; it proceeds from those narrow principles
which you have been so long endeavouring to infuse into him, in
contempt of everything which is great and noble. The beauty and
loveliness of friendship is too strong for dim eyes, nor can it be
perceived by any other medium than that unerring rule of right, which
you have so often endeavoured to ridicule, that you have perverted
your friend's understanding."--"I wish," cries Thwackum, in a rage, "I
wish, for the sake of his soul, your damnable doctrines have not
perverted his faith. It is to this I impute his present behaviour, so
unbecoming a Christian. Who but an atheist could think of leaving the
world without having first made up his account? without confessing his
sins, and receiving that absolution which he knew he had one in the
house duly authorized to give him? He will feel the want of these
necessaries when it is too late, when he is arrived at that place
where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. It is then he will find
in what mighty stead that heathen goddess, that virtue, which you and
all other deists of the age adore, will stand him. He will then summon
his priest, when there is none to be found, and will lament the want
of that absolution, without which no sinner can be safe."--"If it be
so material," says Square, "why don't you present it him of your own
accord?" "It hath no virtue," cries Thwackum, "but to those who have
sufficient grace to require it. But why do I talk thus to a heathen
and an unbeliever? It is you that taught him this lesson, for which
you have been well rewarded in this world, as I doubt not your
disciple will soon be in the other."--"I know not what you mean by
reward," said Square; "but if you hint at that pitiful memorial of our
friendship, which he hath thought fit to bequeath me, I despise it;
and nothing but the unfortunate situation of my circumstances should
prevail on me to accept it."

The physician now arrived, and began to inquire of the two disputants,
how we all did above-stairs? "In a miserable way," answered Thwackum.
"It is no more than I expected," cries the doctor: "but pray what
symptoms have appeared since I left you?"--"No good ones, I am
afraid," replied Thwackum: "after what past at our departure, I think
there were little hopes." The bodily physician, perhaps, misunderstood
the curer of souls; and before they came to an explanation, Mr Blifil
came to them with a most melancholy countenance, and acquainted them
that he brought sad news, that his mother was dead at Salisbury; that
she had been seized on the road home with the gout in her head and
stomach, which had carried her off in a few hours. "Good-lack-a-day!"
says the doctor. "One cannot answer for events; but I wish I had been
at hand, to have been called in. The gout is a distemper which it is
difficult to treat; yet I have been remarkably successful in it."
Thwackum and Square both condoled with Mr Blifil for the loss of his
mother, which the one advised him to bear like a man, and the other
like a Christian. The young gentleman said he knew very well we were
all mortal, and he would endeavour to submit to his loss as well as he
could. That he could not, however, help complaining a little against
the peculiar severity of his fate, which brought the news of so great
a calamity to him by surprize, and that at a time when he hourly
expected the severest blow he was capable of feeling from the malice
of fortune. He said, the present occasion would put to the test those
excellent rudiments which he had learnt from Mr Thwackum and Mr
Square; and it would be entirely owing to them, if he was enabled to
survive such misfortunes.

It was now debated whether Mr Allworthy should be informed of the
death of his sister. This the doctor violently opposed; in which, I
believe, the whole college would agree with him: but Mr Blifil said,
he had received such positive and repeated orders from his uncle,
never to keep any secret from him for fear of the disquietude which it
might give him, that he durst not think of disobedience, whatever
might be the consequence. He said, for his part, considering the
religious and philosophic temper of his uncle, he could not agree with
the doctor in his apprehensions. He was therefore resolved to
communicate it to him: for if his uncle recovered (as he heartily
prayed he might) he knew he would never forgive an endeavour to keep a
secret of this kind from him.

The physician was forced to submit to these resolutions, which the two
other learned gentlemen very highly commended. So together moved Mr
Blifil and the doctor toward the sick-room; where the physician first
entered, and approached the bed, in order to feel his patient's pulse,
which he had no sooner done, than he declared he was much better; that
the last application had succeeded to a miracle, and had brought the
fever to intermit: so that, he said, there appeared now to be as
little danger as he had before apprehended there were hopes.

To say the truth, Mr Allworthy's situation had never been so bad as
the great caution of the doctor had represented it: but as a wise
general never despises his enemy, however inferior that enemy's force
may be, so neither doth a wise physician ever despise a distemper,
however inconsiderable. As the former preserves the same strict
discipline, places the same guards, and employs the same scouts,
though the enemy be never so weak; so the latter maintains the same
gravity of countenance, and shakes his head with the same significant
air, let the distemper be never so trifling. And both, among many
other good ones, may assign this solid reason for their conduct, that
by these means the greater glory redounds to them if they gain the
victory, and the less disgrace if by any unlucky accident they should
happen to be conquered.

Mr Allworthy had no sooner lifted up his eyes, and thanked Heaven for
these hopes of his recovery, than Mr Blifil drew near, with a very
dejected aspect, and having applied his handkerchief to his eye,
either to wipe away his tears, or to do as Ovid somewhere expresses
himself on another occasion

_Si nullus erit, tamen excute nullum,_

If there be none, then wipe away that none,

he communicated to his uncle what the reader hath been just before
acquainted with.

Allworthy received the news with concern, with patience, and with
resignation. He dropt a tender tear, then composed his countenance,
and at last cried, "The Lord's will be done in everything."

He now enquired for the messenger; but Blifil told him it had been
impossible to detain him a moment; for he appeared by the great hurry
he was in to have some business of importance on his hands; that he
complained of being hurried and driven and torn out of his life, and
repeated many times, that if he could divide himself into four
quarters, he knew how to dispose of every one.

Allworthy then desired Blifil to take care of the funeral. He said, he
would have his sister deposited in his own chapel; and as to the
particulars, he left them to his own discretion, only mentioning the
person whom he would have employed on this occasion.

Chapter ix.

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

The reader may perhaps wonder at hearing nothing of Mr Jones in the
last chapter. In fact, his behaviour was so different from that of the
persons there mentioned, that we chose not to confound his name with

When the good man had ended his speech, Jones was the last who
deserted the room. Thence he retired to his own apartment, to give
vent to his concern; but the restlessness of his mind would not suffer
him to remain long there; he slipped softly therefore to Allworthy's
chamber-door, where he listened a considerable time without hearing
any kind of motion within, unless a violent snoring, which at last his
fears misrepresented as groans. This so alarmed him, that he could not
forbear entering the room; where he found the good man in the bed, in
a sweet composed sleep, and his nurse snoring in the above mentioned
hearty manner, at the bed's feet. He immediately took the only method
of silencing this thorough bass, whose music he feared might disturb
Mr Allworthy; and then sitting down by the nurse, he remained
motionless till Blifil and the doctor came in together and waked the
sick man, in order that the doctor might feel his pulse, and that the
other might communicate to him that piece of news, which, had Jones
been apprized of it, would have had great difficulty of finding its
way to Mr Allworthy's ear at such a season.

When he first heard Blifil tell his uncle this story, Jones could
hardly contain the wrath which kindled in him at the other's
indiscretion, especially as the doctor shook his head, and declared
his unwillingness to have the matter mentioned to his patient. But as
his passion did not so far deprive him of all use of his
understanding, as to hide from him the consequences which any violent
expression towards Blifil might have on the sick, this apprehension
stilled his rage at the present; and he grew afterwards so satisfied
with finding that this news had, in fact, produced no mischief, that
he suffered his anger to die in his own bosom, without ever mentioning
it to Blifil.

The physician dined that day at Mr Allworthy's; and having after
dinner visited his patient, he returned to the company, and told them,
that he had now the satisfaction to say, with assurance, that his
patient was out of all danger: that he had brought his fever to a
perfect intermission, and doubted not by throwing in the bark to
prevent its return.

This account so pleased Jones, and threw him into such immoderate
excess of rapture, that he might be truly said to be drunk with
joy--an intoxication which greatly forwards the effects of wine; and
as he was very free too with the bottle on this occasion (for he drank
many bumpers to the doctor's health, as well as to other toasts) he
became very soon literally drunk.

Jones had naturally violent animal spirits: these being set on float
and augmented by the spirit of wine, produced most extravagant
effects. He kissed the doctor, and embraced him with the most
passionate endearments; swearing that next to Mr Allworthy himself, he
loved him of all men living. "Doctor," added he, "you deserve a statue
to be erected to you at the public expense, for having preserved a
man, who is not only the darling of all good men who know him, but a
blessing to society, the glory of his country, and an honour to human
nature. D--n me if I don't love him better than my own soul."

"More shame for you," cries Thwackum. "Though I think you have reason
to love him, for he hath provided very well for you. And perhaps it
might have been better for some folks that he had not lived to see
just reason of revoking his gift."

Jones now looking on Thwackum with inconceivable disdain, answered,
"And doth thy mean soul imagine that any such considerations could
weigh with me? No, let the earth open and swallow her own dirt (if I
had millions of acres I would say it) rather than swallow up my dear
glorious friend."

_Quis desiderio sit pudor aut modus
Tam chari capitis?_[*]

[*] "What modesty or measure can set bounds to our desire of so dear
a friend?" The word _desiderium_ here cannot be easily translated.
It includes our desire of enjoying our friend again, and the grief
which attends that desire.

The doctor now interposed, and prevented the effects of a wrath which
was kindling between Jones and Thwackum; after which the former gave a
loose to mirth, sang two or three amorous songs, and fell into every
frantic disorder which unbridled joy is apt to inspire; but so far was
he from any disposition to quarrel, that he was ten times better
humoured, if possible, than when he was sober.

To say truth, nothing is more erroneous than the common observation,
that men who are ill-natured and quarrelsome when they are drunk, are
very worthy persons when they are sober: for drink, in reality, doth
not reverse nature, or create passions in men which did not exist in
them before. It takes away the guard of reason, and consequently
forces us to produce those symptoms, which many, when sober, have art
enough to conceal. It heightens and inflames our passions (generally
indeed that passion which is uppermost in our mind), so that the angry
temper, the amorous, the generous, the good-humoured, the avaricious,
and all other dispositions of men, are in their cups heightened and

And yet as no nation produces so many drunken quarrels, especially
among the lower people, as England (for indeed, with them, to drink
and to fight together are almost synonymous terms), I would not,
methinks, have it thence concluded, that the English are the
worst-natured people alive. Perhaps the love of glory only is at the
bottom of this; so that the fair conclusion seems to be, that our
countrymen have more of that love, and more of bravery, than any other
plebeians. And this the rather, as there is seldom anything
ungenerous, unfair, or ill-natured, exercised on these occasions: nay,
it is common for the combatants to express good-will for each other
even at the time of the conflict; and as their drunken mirth generally
ends in a battle, so do most of their battles end in friendship.

But to return to our history. Though Jones had shown no design of
giving offence, yet Mr Blifil was highly offended at a behaviour which
was so inconsistent with the sober and prudent reserve of his own
temper. He bore it too with the greater impatience, as it appeared to
him very indecent at this season; "When," as he said, "the house was a
house of mourning, on the account of his dear mother; and if it had
pleased Heaven to give him some prospect of Mr Allworthy's recovery,
it would become them better to express the exultations of their hearts
in thanksgiving, than in drunkenness and riots; which were properer
methods to encrease the Divine wrath, than to avert it." Thwackum, who
had swallowed more liquor than Jones, but without any ill effect on
his brain, seconded the pious harangue of Blifil; but Square, for
reasons which the reader may probably guess, was totally silent.

Wine had not so totally overpowered Jones, as to prevent his
recollecting Mr Blifil's loss, the moment it was mentioned. As no
person, therefore, was more ready to confess and condemn his own
errors, he offered to shake Mr Blifil by the hand, and begged his
pardon, saying, "His excessive joy for Mr Allworthy's recovery had
driven every other thought out of his mind."

Blifil scornfully rejected his hand; and with much indignation
answered, "It was little to be wondered at, if tragical spectacles
made no impression on the blind; but, for his part, he had the
misfortune to know who his parents were, and consequently must be
affected with their loss."

Jones, who, notwithstanding his good humour, had some mixture of the
irascible in his constitution, leaped hastily from his chair, and
catching hold of Blifil's collar, cried out, "D--n you for a rascal,
do you insult me with the misfortune of my birth?" He accompanied
these words with such rough actions, that they soon got the better of
Mr Blifil's peaceful temper; and a scuffle immediately ensued, which
might have produced mischief, had it not been prevented by the
interposition of Thwackum and the physician; for the philosophy of
Square rendered him superior to all emotions, and he very calmly
smoaked his pipe, as was his custom in all broils, unless when he
apprehended some danger of having it broke in his mouth.

The combatants being now prevented from executing present vengeance on
each other, betook themselves to the common resources of disappointed
rage, and vented their wrath in threats and defiance. In this kind of
conflict, Fortune, which, in the personal attack, seemed to incline to
Jones, was now altogether as favourable to his enemy.

A truce, nevertheless, was at length agreed on, by the mediation of
the neutral parties, and the whole company again sat down at the
table; where Jones being prevailed on to ask pardon, and Blifil to
give it, peace was restored, and everything seemed _in statu quo_.

But though the quarrel was, in all appearance, perfectly reconciled,
the good humour which had been interrupted by it, was by no means
restored. All merriment was now at an end, and the subsequent
discourse consisted only of grave relations of matters of fact, and of
as grave observations upon them; a species of conversation, in which,
though there is much of dignity and instruction, there is but little
entertainment. As we presume therefore to convey only this last to the
reader, we shall pass by whatever was said, till the rest of the
company having by degrees dropped off, left only Square and the
physician together; at which time the conversation was a little
heightened by some comments on what had happened between the two young
gentlemen; both of whom the doctor declared to be no better than
scoundrels; to which appellation the philosopher, very sagaciously
shaking his head, agreed.

Chapter x.

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

Jones retired from the company, in which we have seen him engaged,
into the fields, where he intended to cool himself by a walk in the
open air before he attended Mr Allworthy. There, whilst he renewed
those meditations on his dear Sophia, which the dangerous illness of
his friend and benefactor had for some time interrupted, an accident
happened, which with sorrow we relate, and with sorrow doubtless will
it be read; however, that historic truth to which we profess so
inviolable an attachment, obliges us to communicate it to posterity.

It was now a pleasant evening in the latter end of June, when our
heroe was walking in a most delicious grove, where the gentle breezes
fanning the leaves, together with the sweet trilling of a murmuring
stream, and the melodious notes of nightingales, formed altogether the
most enchanting harmony. In this scene, so sweetly accommodated to
love, he meditated on his dear Sophia. While his wanton fancy roamed
unbounded over all her beauties, and his lively imagination painted
the charming maid in various ravishing forms, his warm heart melted
with tenderness; and at length, throwing himself on the ground, by the
side of a gently murmuring brook, he broke forth into the following

"O Sophia, would Heaven give thee to my arms, how blest would be my
condition! Curst be that fortune which sets a distance between us. Was
I but possessed of thee, one only suit of rags thy whole estate, is
there a man on earth whom I would envy! How contemptible would the
brightest Circassian beauty, drest in all the jewels of the Indies,
appear to my eyes! But why do I mention another woman? Could I think
my eyes capable of looking at any other with tenderness, these hands
should tear them from my head. No, my Sophia, if cruel fortune
separates us for ever, my soul shall doat on thee alone. The chastest
constancy will I ever preserve to thy image. Though I should never
have possession of thy charming person, still shalt thou alone have
possession of my thoughts, my love, my soul. Oh! my fond heart is so
wrapt in that tender bosom, that the brightest beauties would for me
have no charms, nor would a hermit be colder in their embraces.
Sophia, Sophia alone shall be mine. What raptures are in that name! I
will engrave it on every tree."

At these words he started up, and beheld--not his Sophia--no, nor a
Circassian maid richly and elegantly attired for the grand Signior's
seraglio. No; without a gown, in a shift that was somewhat of the
coarsest, and none of the cleanest, bedewed likewise with some
odoriferous effluvia, the produce of the day's labour, with a
pitchfork in her hand, Molly Seagrim approached. Our hero had his
penknife in his hand, which he had drawn for the before-mentioned
purpose of carving on the bark; when the girl coming near him, cryed
out with a smile, "You don't intend to kill me, squire, I hope!"--"Why
should you think I would kill you?" answered Jones. "Nay," replied
she, "after your cruel usage of me when I saw you last, killing me
would, perhaps, be too great kindness for me to expect."

Here ensued a parley, which, as I do not think myself obliged to
relate it, I shall omit. It is sufficient that it lasted a full
quarter of an hour, at the conclusion of which they retired into the
thickest part of the grove.

Some of my readers may be inclined to think this event unnatural.
However, the fact is true; and perhaps may be sufficiently accounted
for by suggesting, that Jones probably thought one woman better than
none, and Molly as probably imagined two men to be better than one.
Besides the before-mentioned motive assigned to the present behaviour
of Jones, the reader will be likewise pleased to recollect in his
favour, that he was not at this time perfect master of that wonderful
power of reason, which so well enables grave and wise men to subdue
their unruly passions, and to decline any of these prohibited
amusements. Wine now had totally subdued this power in Jones. He was,
indeed, in a condition, in which, if reason had interposed, though
only to advise, she might have received the answer which one
Cleostratus gave many years ago to a silly fellow, who asked him, if
he was not ashamed to be drunk? "Are not you," said Cleostratus,
"ashamed to admonish a drunken man?"--To say the truth, in a court of
justice drunkenness must not be an excuse, yet in a court of
conscience it is greatly so; and therefore Aristotle, who commends the
laws of Pittacus, by which drunken men received double punishment for
their crimes, allows there is more of policy than justice in that law.
Now, if there are any transgressions pardonable from drunkenness, they
are certainly such as Mr Jones was at present guilty of; on which head
I could pour forth a vast profusion of learning, if I imagined it
would either entertain my reader, or teach him anything more than he
knows already. For his sake therefore I shall keep my learning to
myself, and return to my history.

It hath been observed, that Fortune seldom doth things by halves. To
say truth, there is no end to her freaks whenever she is disposed to
gratify or displease. No sooner had our heroe retired with his Dido,

_Speluncam_ Blifil _dux et divinus eandem

the parson and the young squire, who were taking a serious walk,
arrived at the stile which leads into the grove, and the latter caught
a view of the lovers just as they were sinking out of sight.

Blifil knew Jones very well, though he was at above a hundred yards'
distance, and he was as positive to the sex of his companion, though
not to the individual person. He started, blessed himself, and uttered
a very solemn ejaculation.

Thwackum expressed some surprize at these sudden emotions, and asked
the reason of them. To which Blifil answered, "He was certain he had
seen a fellow and wench retire together among the bushes, which he
doubted not was with some wicked purpose." As to the name of Jones, he
thought proper to conceal it, and why he did so must be left to the
judgment of the sagacious reader; for we never chuse to assign motives
to the actions of men, when there is any possibility of our being

The parson, who was not only strictly chaste in his own person, but a
great enemy to the opposite vice in all others, fired at this
information. He desired Mr Blifil to conduct him immediately to the
place, which as he approached he breathed forth vengeance mixed with
lamentations; nor did he refrain from casting some oblique reflections
on Mr Allworthy; insinuating that the wickedness of the country was
principally owing to the encouragement he had given to vice, by having
exerted such kindness to a bastard, and by having mitigated that just
and wholesome rigour of the law which allots a very severe punishment
to loose wenches.

The way through which our hunters were to pass in pursuit of their
game was so beset with briars, that it greatly obstructed their walk,
and caused besides such a rustling, that Jones had sufficient warning
of their arrival before they could surprize him; nay, indeed, so
incapable was Thwackum of concealing his indignation, and such
vengeance did he mutter forth every step he took, that this alone must
have abundantly satisfied Jones that he was (to use the language of
sportsmen) found sitting.

Chapter xi.

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

As in the season of _rutting_ (an uncouth phrase, by which the vulgar
denote that gentle dalliance, which in the well-wooded[*] forest of
Hampshire, passes between lovers of the ferine kind), if, while the
lofty-crested stag meditates the amorous sport, a couple of puppies,
or any other beasts of hostile note, should wander so near the temple
of Venus Ferina that the fair hind should shrink from the place,
touched with that somewhat, either of fear or frolic, of nicety or
skittishness, with which nature hath bedecked all females, or hath at
least instructed them how to put it on; lest, through the indelicacy
of males, the Samean mysteries should be pryed into by unhallowed
eyes: for, at the celebration of these rites, the female priestess
cries out with her in Virgil (who was then, probably, hard at work on
such celebration),

_--Procul, o procul este, profani;
Proclamat vates, totoque absistite luco._

--Far hence be souls profane,
The sibyl cry'd, and from the grove abstain.--DRYDEN.

[*] This is an ambiguous phrase, and may mean either a forest well
cloathed with wood, or well stript of it.

If, I say, while these sacred rites, which are in common to _genus
omne animantium,_ are in agitation between the stag and his mistress,
any hostile beasts should venture too near, on the first hint given by
the frighted hind, fierce and tremendous rushes forth the stag to the
entrance of the thicket; there stands he centinel over his love,
stamps the ground with his foot, and with his horns brandished aloft
in air, proudly provokes the apprehended foe to combat.

Thus, and more terrible, when he perceived the enemy's approach,
leaped forth our heroe. Many a step advanced he forwards, in order to
conceal the trembling hind, and, if possible, to secure her retreat.
And now Thwackum, having first darted some livid lightning from his
fiery eyes, began to thunder forth, "Fie upon it! Fie upon it! Mr
Jones. Is it possible you should be the person?"--"You see," answered
Jones, "it is possible I should be here."--"And who," said Thwackum,
"is that wicked slut with you?"--"If I have any wicked slut with me,"
cries Jones, "it is possible I shall not let you know who she is."--"I
command you to tell me immediately," says Thwackum: "and I would not
have you imagine, young man, that your age, though it hath somewhat
abridged the purpose of tuition, hath totally taken away the authority
of the master. The relation of the master and scholar is indelible;
as, indeed, all other relations are; for they all derive their
original from heaven. I would have you think yourself, therefore, as
much obliged to obey me now, as when I taught you your first
rudiments."--"I believe you would," cries Jones; "but that will not
happen, unless you had the same birchen argument to convince
me."--"Then I must tell you plainly," said Thwackum, "I am resolved to
discover the wicked wretch."--"And I must tell you plainly," returned
Jones, "I am resolved you shall not." Thwackum then offered to
advance, and Jones laid hold of his arms; which Mr Blifil endeavoured
to rescue, declaring, "he would not see his old master insulted."

Jones now finding himself engaged with two, thought it necessary to
rid himself of one of his antagonists as soon as possible. He
therefore applied to the weakest first; and, letting the parson go, he
directed a blow at the young squire's breast, which luckily taking
place, reduced him to measure his length on the ground.

Thwackum was so intent on the discovery, that, the moment he found
himself at liberty, he stept forward directly into the fern, without
any great consideration of what might in the meantime befal his
friend; but he had advanced a very few paces into the thicket, before
Jones, having defeated Blifil, overtook the parson, and dragged him
backward by the skirt of his coat.

This parson had been a champion in his youth, and had won much honour
by his fist, both at school and at the university. He had now indeed,
for a great number of years, declined the practice of that noble art;
yet was his courage full as strong as his faith, and his body no less
strong than either. He was moreover, as the reader may perhaps have
conceived, somewhat irascible in his nature. When he looked back,
therefore, and saw his friend stretched out on the ground, and found
himself at the same time so roughly handled by one who had formerly
been only passive in all conflicts between them (a circumstance which
highly aggravated the whole), his patience at length gave way; he
threw himself into a posture of offence; and collecting all his force,
attacked Jones in the front with as much impetuosity as he had
formerly attacked him in the rear.

Our heroe received the enemy's attack with the most undaunted
intrepidity, and his bosom resounded with the blow. This he presently
returned with no less violence, aiming likewise at the parson's
breast; but he dexterously drove down the fist of Jones, so that it
reached only his belly, where two pounds of beef and as many of
pudding were then deposited, and whence consequently no hollow sound
could proceed. Many lusty blows, much more pleasant as well as easy to
have seen, than to read or describe, were given on both sides: at last
a violent fall, in which Jones had thrown his knees into Thwackum's
breast, so weakened the latter, that victory had been no longer
dubious, had not Blifil, who had now recovered his strength, again
renewed the fight, and by engaging with Jones, given the parson a
moment's time to shake his ears, and to regain his breath.

And now both together attacked our heroe, whose blows did not retain
that force with which they had fallen at first, so weakened was he by
his combat with Thwackum; for though the pedagogue chose rather to
play _solos_ on the human instrument, and had been lately used to
those only, yet he still retained enough of his antient knowledge to
perform his part very well in a _duet_.

The victory, according to modern custom, was like to be decided by
numbers, when, on a sudden, a fourth pair of fists appeared in the
battle, and immediately paid their compliments to the parson; and the
owner of them at the same time crying out, "Are not you ashamed, and
be d--n'd to you, to fall two of you upon one?"

The battle, which was of the kind that for distinction's sake is
called royal, now raged with the utmost violence during a few minutes;
till Blifil being a second time laid sprawling by Jones, Thwackum
condescended to apply for quarter to his new antagonist, who was now
found to be Mr Western himself; for in the heat of the action none of
the combatants had recognized him.

In fact, that honest squire, happening, in his afternoon's walk with
some company, to pass through the field where the bloody battle was
fought, and having concluded, from seeing three men engaged, that two
of them must be on a side, he hastened from his companions, and with
more gallantry than policy, espoused the cause of the weaker party. By
which generous proceeding he very probably prevented Mr Jones from
becoming a victim to the wrath of Thwackum, and to the pious
friendship which Blifil bore his old master; for, besides the
disadvantage of such odds, Jones had not yet sufficiently recovered
the former strength of his broken arm. This reinforcement, however,
soon put an end to the action, and Jones with his ally obtained the

Chapter xii.

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

The rest of Mr Western's company were now come up, being just at the
instant when the action was over. These were the honest clergyman,
whom we have formerly seen at Mr Western's table; Mrs Western, the
aunt of Sophia; and lastly, the lovely Sophia herself.

At this time, the following was the aspect of the bloody field. In one
place lay on the ground, all pale, and almost breathless, the
vanquished Blifil. Near him stood the conqueror Jones, almost covered
with blood, part of which was naturally his own, and part had been
lately the property of the Reverend Mr Thwackum. In a third place
stood the said Thwackum, like King Porus, sullenly submitting to the
conqueror. The last figure in the piece was Western the Great, most
gloriously forbearing the vanquished foe.

Blifil, in whom there was little sign of life, was at first the
principal object of the concern of every one, and particularly of Mrs
Western, who had drawn from her pocket a bottle of hartshorn, and was
herself about to apply it to his nostrils, when on a sudden the
attention of the whole company was diverted from poor Blifil, whose
spirit, if it had any such design, might have now taken an opportunity
of stealing off to the other world, without any ceremony.

For now a more melancholy and a more lovely object lay motionless
before them. This was no other than the charming Sophia herself, who,
from the sight of blood, or from fear for her father, or from some
other reason, had fallen down in a swoon, before any one could get to
her assistance.

Mrs Western first saw her and screamed. Immediately two or three
voices cried out, "Miss Western is dead." Hartshorn, water, every
remedy was called for, almost at one and the same instant.

The reader may remember, that in our description of this grove we
mentioned a murmuring brook, which brook did not come there, as such
gentle streams flow through vulgar romances, with no other purpose
than to murmur. No! Fortune had decreed to ennoble this little brook
with a higher honour than any of those which wash the plains of
Arcadia ever deserved.

Jones was rubbing Blifil's temples, for he began to fear he had given
him a blow too much, when the words, Miss Western and Dead, rushed at
once on his ear. He started up, left Blifil to his fate, and flew to
Sophia, whom, while all the rest were running against each other,
backward and forward, looking for water in the dry paths, he caught up
in his arms, and then ran away with her over the field to the rivulet
above mentioned; where, plunging himself into the water, he contrived
to besprinkle her face, head, and neck very plentifully.

Happy was it for Sophia that the same confusion which prevented her
other friends from serving her, prevented them likewise from
obstructing Jones. He had carried her half ways before they knew what
he was doing, and he had actually restored her to life before they
reached the waterside. She stretched out her arms, opened her eyes,
and cried, "Oh! heavens!" just as her father, aunt, and the parson
came up.

Jones, who had hitherto held this lovely burthen in his arms, now
relinquished his hold; but gave her at the same instant a tender
caress, which, had her senses been then perfectly restored, could not
have escaped her observation. As she expressed, therefore, no
displeasure at this freedom, we suppose she was not sufficiently
recovered from her swoon at the time.

This tragical scene was now converted into a sudden scene of joy. In
this our heroe was certainly the principal character; for as he
probably felt more ecstatic delight in having saved Sophia than she
herself received from being saved, so neither were the congratulations
paid to her equal to what were conferred on Jones, especially by Mr
Western himself, who, after having once or twice embraced his
daughter, fell to hugging and kissing Jones. He called him the
preserver of Sophia, and declared there was nothing, except her, or
his estate, which he would not give him; but upon recollection, he
afterwards excepted his fox-hounds, the Chevalier, and Miss Slouch
(for so he called his favourite mare).

All fears for Sophia being now removed, Jones became the object of the
squire's consideration.--"Come, my lad," says Western, "d'off thy
quoat and wash thy feace; for att in a devilish pickle, I promise
thee. Come, come, wash thyself, and shat go huome with me; and we'l
zee to vind thee another quoat."

Jones immediately complied, threw off his coat, went down to the
water, and washed both his face and bosom; for the latter was as much
exposed and as bloody as the former. But though the water could clear
off the blood, it could not remove the black and blue marks which
Thwackum had imprinted on both his face and breast, and which, being
discerned by Sophia, drew from her a sigh and a look full of
inexpressible tenderness.

Jones received this full in his eyes, and it had infinitely a stronger
effect on him than all the contusions which he had received before. An
effect, however, widely different; for so soft and balmy was it, that,
had all his former blows been stabs, it would for some minutes have
prevented his feeling their smart.

The company now moved backwards, and soon arrived where Thwackum had
got Mr Blifil again on his legs. Here we cannot suppress a pious wish,
that all quarrels were to be decided by those weapons only with which
Nature, knowing what is proper for us, hath supplied us; and that cold
iron was to be used in digging no bowels but those of the earth. Then
would war, the pastime of monarchs, be almost inoffensive, and battles
between great armies might be fought at the particular desire of
several ladies of quality; who, together with the kings themselves,
might be actual spectators of the conflict. Then might the field be
this moment well strewed with human carcasses, and the next, the dead
men, or infinitely the greatest part of them, might get up, like Mr
Bayes's troops, and march off either at the sound of a drum or fiddle,
as should be previously agreed on.

I would avoid, if possible, treating this matter ludicrously, lest
grave men and politicians, whom I know to be offended at a jest, may
cry pish at it; but, in reality, might not a battle be as well decided
by the greater number of broken heads, bloody noses, and black eyes,
as by the greater heaps of mangled and murdered human bodies? Might
not towns be contended for in the same manner? Indeed, this may be
thought too detrimental a scheme to the French interest, since they
would thus lose the advantage they have over other nations in the
superiority of their engineers; but when I consider the gallantry and
generosity of that people, I am persuaded they would never decline
putting themselves upon a par with their adversary; or, as the phrase
is, making themselves his match.

But such reformations are rather to be wished than hoped for: I shall
content myself, therefore, with this short hint, and return to my

Western began now to inquire into the original rise of this quarrel.
To which neither Blifil nor Jones gave any answer; but Thwackum said
surlily, "I believe the cause is not far off; if you beat the bushes
well you may find her."--"Find her?" replied Western: "what! have you
been fighting for a wench?"--"Ask the gentleman in his waistcoat
there," said Thwackum: "he best knows." "Nay then," cries Western, "it
is a wench certainly.--Ah, Tom, Tom, thou art a liquorish dog. But
come, gentlemen, be all friends, and go home with me, and make final
peace over a bottle." "I ask your pardon, sir," says Thwackum: "it is
no such slight matter for a man of my character to be thus injuriously
treated, and buffeted by a boy, only because I would have done my
duty, in endeavouring to detect and bring to justice a wanton harlot;
but, indeed, the principal fault lies in Mr Allworthy and yourself;
for if you put the laws in execution, as you ought to do, you will
soon rid the country of these vermin."

"I would as soon rid the country of foxes," cries Western. "I think we
ought to encourage the recruiting those numbers which we are every day
losing in the war.--But where is she? Prithee, Tom, show me." He then
began to beat about, in the same language and in the same manner as if
he had been beating for a hare; and at last cried out, "Soho! Puss is
not far off. Here's her form, upon my soul; I believe I may cry stole
away." And indeed so he might; for he had now discovered the place
whence the poor girl had, at the beginning of the fray, stolen away,
upon as many feet as a hare generally uses in travelling.

Sophia now desired her father to return home; saying she found herself
very faint, and apprehended a relapse. The squire immediately complied
with his daughter's request (for he was the fondest of parents). He
earnestly endeavoured to prevail with the whole company to go and sup
with him: but Blifil and Thwackum absolutely refused; the former
saying, there were more reasons than he could then mention, why he
must decline this honour; and the latter declaring (perhaps rightly)
that it was not proper for a person of his function to be seen at any
place in his present condition.

Jones was incapable of refusing the pleasure of being with his Sophia;
so on he marched with Squire Western and his ladies, the parson
bringing up the rear. This had, indeed, offered to tarry with his
brother Thwackum, professing his regard for the cloth would not permit
him to depart; but Thwackum would not accept the favour, and, with no
great civility, pushed him after Mr Western.

Thus ended this bloody fray; and thus shall end the fifth book of this



Chapter i.

Of love.

In our last book we have been obliged to deal pretty much with the
passion of love; and in our succeeding book shall be forced to handle
this subject still more largely. It may not therefore in this place be
improper to apply ourselves to the examination of that modern
doctrine, by which certain philosophers, among many other wonderful
discoveries, pretend to have found out, that there is no such passion
in the human breast.

Whether these philosophers be the same with that surprising sect, who
are honourably mentioned by the late Dr Swift, as having, by the mere
force of genius alone, without the least assistance of any kind of
learning, or even reading, discovered that profound and invaluable
secret that there is no God; or whether they are not rather the same
with those who some years since very much alarmed the world, by
showing that there were no such things as virtue or goodness really
existing in human nature, and who deduced our best actions from pride,
I will not here presume to determine. In reality, I am inclined to
suspect, that all these several finders of truth, are the very
identical men who are by others called the finders of gold. The method
used in both these searches after truth and after gold, being indeed
one and the same, viz., the searching, rummaging, and examining into a
nasty place; indeed, in the former instances, into the nastiest of all
places, A BAD MIND.

But though in this particular, and perhaps in their success, the
truth-finder and the gold-finder may very properly be compared
together; yet in modesty, surely, there can be no comparison between
the two; for who ever heard of a gold-finder that had the impudence or
folly to assert, from the ill success of his search, that there was no
such thing as gold in the world? whereas the truth-finder, having
raked out that jakes, his own mind, and being there capable of tracing
no ray of divinity, nor anything virtuous or good, or lovely, or
loving, very fairly, honestly, and logically concludes that no such
things exist in the whole creation.

To avoid, however, all contention, if possible, with these
philosophers, if they will be called so; and to show our own
disposition to accommodate matters peaceably between us, we shall here
make them some concessions, which may possibly put an end to the

First, we will grant that many minds, and perhaps those of the
philosophers, are entirely free from the least traces of such a

Secondly, that what is commonly called love, namely, the desire of
satisfying a voracious appetite with a certain quantity of delicate
white human flesh, is by no means that passion for which I here
contend. This is indeed more properly hunger; and as no glutton is
ashamed to apply the word love to his appetite, and to say he LOVES
such and such dishes; so may the lover of this kind, with equal
propriety, say, he HUNGERS after such and such women.

Thirdly, I will grant, which I believe will be a most acceptable
concession, that this love for which I am an advocate, though it
satisfies itself in a much more delicate manner, doth nevertheless
seek its own satisfaction as much as the grossest of all our

And, lastly, that this love, when it operates towards one of a
different sex, is very apt, towards its complete gratification, to
call in the aid of that hunger which I have mentioned above; and which
it is so far from abating, that it heightens all its delights to a
degree scarce imaginable by those who have never been susceptible of
any other emotions than what have proceeded from appetite alone.

In return to all these concessions, I desire of the philosophers to
grant, that there is in some (I believe in many) human breasts a kind
and benevolent disposition, which is gratified by contributing to the
happiness of others. That in this gratification alone, as in
friendship, in parental and filial affection, as indeed in general
philanthropy, there is a great and exquisite delight. That if we will
not call such disposition love, we have no name for it. That though
the pleasures arising from such pure love may be heightened and
sweetened by the assistance of amorous desires, yet the former can
subsist alone, nor are they destroyed by the intervention of the
latter. Lastly, that esteem and gratitude are the proper motives to
love, as youth and beauty are to desire, and, therefore, though such
desire may naturally cease, when age or sickness overtakes its object;
yet these can have no effect on love, nor ever shake or remove, from a
good mind, that sensation or passion which hath gratitude and esteem
for its basis.

To deny the existence of a passion of which we often see manifest
instances, seems to be very strange and absurd; and can indeed proceed
only from that self-admonition which we have mentioned above: but how
unfair is this! Doth the man who recognizes in his own heart no traces
of avarice or ambition, conclude, therefore, that there are no such
passions in human nature? Why will we not modestly observe the same
rule in judging of the good, as well as the evil of others? Or why, in
any case, will we, as Shakespear phrases it, "put the world in our own

Predominant vanity is, I am afraid, too much concerned here. This is
one instance of that adulation which we bestow on our own minds, and
this almost universally. For there is scarce any man, how much soever
he may despise the character of a flatterer, but will condescend in
the meanest manner to flatter himself.

To those therefore I apply for the truth of the above observations,
whose own minds can bear testimony to what I have advanced.

Examine your heart, my good reader, and resolve whether you do believe
these matters with me. If you do, you may now proceed to their
exemplification in the following pages: if you do not, you have, I
assure you, already read more than you have understood; and it would
be wiser to pursue your business, or your pleasures (such as they
are), than to throw away any more of your time in reading what you can
neither taste nor comprehend. To treat of the effects of love to you,
must be as absurd as to discourse on colours to a man born blind;
since possibly your idea of love may be as absurd as that which we are
told such blind man once entertained of the colour scarlet; that
colour seemed to him to be very much like the sound of a trumpet: and
love probably may, in your opinion, very greatly resemble a dish of
soup, or a surloin of roast-beef.

Chapter ii.

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

The reader hath seen Mr Western, his sister, and daughter, with young
Jones, and the parson, going together to Mr Western's house, where the
greater part of the company spent the evening with much joy and
festivity. Sophia was indeed the only grave person; for as to Jones,
though love had now gotten entire possession of his heart, yet the
pleasing reflection on Mr Allworthy's recovery, and the presence of
his mistress, joined to some tender looks which she now and then could
not refrain from giving him, so elevated our heroe, that he joined the
mirth of the other three, who were perhaps as good-humoured people as
any in the world.

Sophia retained the same gravity of countenance the next morning at
breakfast; whence she retired likewise earlier than usual, leaving her
father and aunt together. The squire took no notice of this change in
his daughter's disposition. To say the truth, though he was somewhat
of a politician, and had been twice a candidate in the country
interest at an election, he was a man of no great observation. His
sister was a lady of a different turn. She had lived about the court,
and had seen the world. Hence she had acquired all that knowledge
which the said world usually communicates; and was a perfect mistress
of manners, customs, ceremonies, and fashions. Nor did her erudition
stop here. She had considerably improved her mind by study; she had
not only read all the modern plays, operas, oratorios, poems, and
romances--in all which she was a critic; but had gone through Rapin's
History of England, Eachard's Roman History, and many French _Mémoires
pour servir à l'Histoire_: to these she had added most of the
political pamphlets and journals published within the last twenty
years. From which she had attained a very competent skill in politics,
and could discourse very learnedly on the affairs of Europe. She was,
moreover, excellently well skilled in the doctrine of amour, and knew
better than anybody who and who were together; a knowledge which she
the more easily attained, as her pursuit of it was never diverted by
any affairs of her own; for either she had no inclinations, or they
had never been solicited; which last is indeed very probable; for her
masculine person, which was near six foot high, added to her manner
and learning, possibly prevented the other sex from regarding her,
notwithstanding her petticoats, in the light of a woman. However, as
she had considered the matter scientifically, she perfectly well knew,
though she had never practised them, all the arts which fine ladies
use when they desire to give encouragement, or to conceal liking, with
all the long appendage of smiles, ogles, glances, &c., as they are at
present practised in the beau-monde. To sum the whole, no species of
disguise or affectation had escaped her notice; but as to the plain
simple workings of honest nature, as she had never seen any such, she
could know but little of them.

By means of this wonderful sagacity, Mrs Western had now, as she
thought, made a discovery of something in the mind of Sophia. The
first hint of this she took from the behaviour of the young lady in
the field of battle; and the suspicion which she then conceived, was
greatly corroborated by some observations which she had made that
evening and the next morning. However, being greatly cautious to avoid
being found in a mistake, she carried the secret a whole fortnight in
her bosom, giving only some oblique hints, by simpering, winks, nods,
and now and then dropping an obscure word, which indeed sufficiently
alarmed Sophia, but did not at all affect her brother.

Being at length, however, thoroughly satisfied of the truth of her
observation, she took an opportunity, one morning, when she was alone
with her brother, to interrupt one of his whistles in the following

"Pray, brother, have you not observed something very extraordinary in my
niece lately?"--"No, not I," answered Western; "is anything the matter
with the girl?"--"I think there is," replied she; "and something of
much consequence too."--"Why, she doth not complain of anything,"
cries Western; "and she hath had the small-pox."--"Brother," returned
she, "girls are liable to other distempers besides the small-pox, and
sometimes possibly to much worse." Here Western interrupted her with
much earnestness, and begged her, if anything ailed his daughter, to
acquaint him immediately; adding, "she knew he loved her more than his
own soul, and that he would send to the world's end for the best
physician to her." "Nay, nay," answered she, smiling, "the distemper
is not so terrible; but I believe, brother, you are convinced I know
the world, and I promise you I was never more deceived in my life, if
my niece be not most desperately in love."--"How! in love!" cries
Western, in a passion; "in love, without acquainting me! I'll
disinherit her; I'll turn her out of doors, stark naked, without a
farthing. Is all my kindness vor 'ur, and vondness o'ur come to this,
to fall in love without asking me leave?"--"But you will not,"
answered Mrs Western, "turn this daughter, whom you love better than
your own soul, out of doors, before you know whether you shall approve
her choice. Suppose she should have fixed on the very person whom you
yourself would wish, I hope you would not be angry then?"--"No, no,"
cries Western, "that would make a difference. If she marries the man I
would ha' her, she may love whom she pleases, I shan't trouble my head
about that." "That is spoken," answered the sister, "like a sensible
man; but I believe the very person she hath chosen would be the very
person you would choose for her. I will disclaim all knowledge of the
world, if it is not so; and I believe, brother, you will allow I have
some."--"Why, lookee, sister," said Western, "I do believe you have as
much as any woman; and to be sure those are women's matters. You know
I don't love to hear you talk about politics; they belong to us, and
petticoats should not meddle: but come, who is the man?"--"Marry!"
said she, "you may find him out yourself if you please. You, who are
so great a politician, can be at no great loss. The judgment which can
penetrate into the cabinets of princes, and discover the secret
springs which move the great state wheels in all the political
machines of Europe, must surely, with very little difficulty, find out
what passes in the rude uninformed mind of a girl."--"Sister," cries
the squire, "I have often warn'd you not to talk the court gibberish
to me. I tell you, I don't understand the lingo: but I can read a
journal, or the _London Evening Post._ Perhaps, indeed, there may be
now and tan a verse which I can't make much of, because half the
letters are left out; yet I know very well what is meant by that, and
that our affairs don't go so well as they should do, because of
bribery and corruption."--"I pity your country ignorance from my
heart," cries the lady.--"Do you?" answered Western; "and I pity your
town learning; I had rather be anything than a courtier, and a
Presbyterian, and a Hanoverian too, as some people, I believe,
are."--"If you mean me," answered she, "you know I am a woman,
brother; and it signifies nothing what I am. Besides--"--"I do know
you are a woman," cries the squire, "and it's well for thee that art
one; if hadst been a man, I promise thee I had lent thee a flick long
ago."--"Ay, there," said she, "in that flick lies all your fancied
superiority. Your bodies, and not your brains, are stronger than ours.
Believe me, it is well for you that you are able to beat us; or, such
is the superiority of our understanding, we should make all of you
what the brave, and wise, and witty, and polite are already--our
slaves."--"I am glad I know your mind," answered the squire. "But
we'll talk more of this matter another time. At present, do tell me
what man is it you mean about my daughter?"--"Hold a moment," said
she, "while I digest that sovereign contempt I have for your sex; or
else I ought to be angry too with you. There--I have made a shift to
gulp it down. And now, good politic sir, what think you of Mr Blifil?
Did she not faint away on seeing him lie breathless on the ground? Did
she not, after he was recovered, turn pale again the moment we came up
to that part of the field where he stood? And pray what else should be
the occasion of all her melancholy that night at supper, the next
morning, and indeed ever since?"--"'Fore George!" cries the squire,
"now you mind me on't, I remember it all. It is certainly so, and I am
glad on't with all my heart. I knew Sophy was a good girl, and would
not fall in love to make me angry. I was never more rejoiced in my
life; for nothing can lie so handy together as our two estates. I had
this matter in my head some time ago: for certainly the two estates
are in a manner joined together in matrimony already, and it would be
a thousand pities to part them. It is true, indeed, there be larger
estates in the kingdom, but not in this county, and I had rather bate
something, than marry my daughter among strangers and foreigners.
Besides, most o' zuch great estates be in the hands of lords, and I
heate the very name of _themmun_. Well but, sister, what would you
advise me to do; for I tell you women know these matters better than
we do?"--"Oh, your humble servant, sir," answered the lady: "we are
obliged to you for allowing us a capacity in anything. Since you are
pleased, then, most politic sir, to ask my advice, I think you may
propose the match to Allworthy yourself. There is no indecorum in the
proposal's coming from the parent of either side. King Alcinous, in Mr
Pope's Odyssey, offers his daughter to Ulysses. I need not caution so
politic a person not to say that your daughter is in love; that would
indeed be against all rules."--"Well," said the squire, "I will
propose it; but I shall certainly lend un a flick, if he should refuse
me." "Fear not," cries Mrs Western; "the match is too advantageous to
be refused." "I don't know that," answered the squire: "Allworthy is a
queer b--ch, and money hath no effect o'un." "Brother," said the lady,
"your politics astonish me. Are you really to be imposed on by
professions? Do you think Mr Allworthy hath more contempt for money
than other men because he professes more? Such credulity would better
become one of us weak women, than that wise sex which heaven hath
formed for politicians. Indeed, brother, you would make a fine plenipo
to negotiate with the French. They would soon persuade you, that they
take towns out of mere defensive principles." "Sister," answered the
squire, with much scorn, "let your friends at court answer for the
towns taken; as you are a woman, I shall lay no blame upon you; for I
suppose they are wiser than to trust women with secrets." He
accompanied this with so sarcastical a laugh, that Mrs Western could
bear no longer. She had been all this time fretted in a tender part
(for she was indeed very deeply skilled in these matters, and very
violent in them), and therefore, burst forth in a rage, declared her
brother to be both a clown and a blockhead, and that she would stay no
longer in his house.

The squire, though perhaps he had never read Machiavel, was, however,
in many points, a perfect politician. He strongly held all those wise
tenets, which are so well inculcated in that Politico-Peripatetic
school of Exchange-alley. He knew the just value and only use of
money, viz., to lay it up. He was likewise well skilled in the exact
value of reversions, expectations, &c., and had often considered the
amount of his sister's fortune, and the chance which he or his
posterity had of inheriting it. This he was infinitely too wise to
sacrifice to a trifling resentment. When he found, therefore, he had
carried matters too far, he began to think of reconciling them; which
was no very difficult task, as the lady had great affection for her
brother, and still greater for her niece; and though too susceptible
of an affront offered to her skill in politics, on which she much
valued herself, was a woman of a very extraordinary good and sweet

Having first, therefore, laid violent hands on the horses, for whose
escape from the stable no place but the window was left open, he next
applied himself to his sister; softened and soothed her, by unsaying
all he had said, and by assertions directly contrary to those which
had incensed her. Lastly, he summoned the eloquence of Sophia to his
assistance, who, besides a most graceful and winning address, had the
advantage of being heard with great favour and partiality by her aunt.

The result of the whole was a kind smile from Mrs Western, who said,
"Brother, you are absolutely a perfect Croat; but as those have their
use in the army of the empress queen, so you likewise have some good
in you. I will therefore once more sign a treaty of peace with you,
and see that you do not infringe it on your side; at least, as you are
so excellent a politician, I may expect you will keep your leagues,
like the French, till your interest calls upon you to break them."

Chapter iii.

Containing two defiances to the critics.

The squire having settled matters with his sister, as we have seen in
the last chapter, was so greatly impatient to communicate the proposal
to Allworthy, that Mrs Western had the utmost difficulty to prevent
him from visiting that gentleman in his sickness, for this purpose.

Mr Allworthy had been engaged to dine with Mr Western at the time when
he was taken ill. He was therefore no sooner discharged out of the
custody of physic, but he thought (as was usual with him on all
occasions, both the highest and the lowest) of fulfilling his

In the interval between the time of the dialogue in the last chapter,
and this day of public entertainment, Sophia had, from certain obscure
hints thrown out by her aunt, collected some apprehension that the
sagacious lady suspected her passion for Jones. She now resolved to
take this opportunity of wiping out all such suspicion, and for that
purpose to put an entire constraint on her behaviour.

First, she endeavoured to conceal a throbbing melancholy heart with
the utmost sprightliness in her countenance, and the highest gaiety in
her manner. Secondly, she addressed her whole discourse to Mr Blifil,
and took not the least notice of poor Jones the whole day.

The squire was so delighted with this conduct of his daughter, that he
scarce eat any dinner, and spent almost his whole time in watching
opportunities of conveying signs of his approbation by winks and nods
to his sister; who was not at first altogether so pleased with what
she saw as was her brother.

In short, Sophia so greatly overacted her part, that her aunt was at
first staggered, and began to suspect some affectation in her niece;
but as she was herself a woman of great art, so she soon attributed
this to extreme art in Sophia. She remembered the many hints she had
given her niece concerning her being in love, and imagined the young
lady had taken this way to rally her out of her opinion, by an
overacted civility: a notion that was greatly corroborated by the
excessive gaiety with which the whole was accompanied. We cannot here
avoid remarking, that this conjecture would have been better founded
had Sophia lived ten years in the air of Grosvenor Square, where young
ladies do learn a wonderful knack of rallying and playing with that
passion, which is a mighty serious thing in woods and groves an
hundred miles distant from London.

To say the truth, in discovering the deceit of others, it matters much
that our own art be wound up, if I may use the expression, in the same
key with theirs: for very artful men sometimes miscarry by fancying
others wiser, or, in other words, greater knaves, than they really
are. As this observation is pretty deep, I will illustrate it by the
following short story. Three countrymen were pursuing a Wiltshire
thief through Brentford. The simplest of them seeing "The Wiltshire
House," written under a sign, advised his companions to enter it, for
there most probably they would find their countryman. The second, who
was wiser, laughed at this simplicity; but the third, who was wiser
still, answered, "Let us go in, however, for he may think we should
not suspect him of going amongst his own countrymen." They accordingly
went in and searched the house, and by that means missed overtaking
the thief, who was at that time but a little way before them; and who,
as they all knew, but had never once reflected, could not read.

The reader will pardon a digression in which so invaluable a secret is
communicated, since every gamester will agree how necessary it is to
know exactly the play of another, in order to countermine him. This
will, moreover, afford a reason why the wiser man, as is often seen,
is the bubble of the weaker, and why many simple and innocent
characters are so generally misunderstood and misrepresented; but what
is most material, this will account for the deceit which Sophia put on
her politic aunt.

Dinner being ended, and the company retired into the garden, Mr
Western, who was thoroughly convinced of the certainty of what his
sister had told him, took Mr Allworthy aside, and very bluntly
proposed a match between Sophia and young Mr Blifil.

Mr Allworthy was not one of those men whose hearts flutter at any
unexpected and sudden tidings of worldly profit. His mind was, indeed,
tempered with that philosophy which becomes a man and a Christian. He
affected no absolute superiority to all pleasure and pain, to all joy
and grief; but was not at the same time to be discomposed and ruffled
by every accidental blast, by every smile or frown of fortune. He
received, therefore, Mr Western's proposal without any visible
emotion, or without any alteration of countenance. He said the
alliance was such as he sincerely wished; then launched forth into a
very just encomium on the young lady's merit; acknowledged the offer
to be advantageous in point of fortune; and after thanking Mr Western
for the good opinion he had professed of his nephew, concluded, that
if the young people liked each other, he should be very desirous to
complete the affair.

Western was a little disappointed at Mr Allworthy's answer, which was
not so warm as he expected. He treated the doubt whether the young
people might like one another with great contempt, saying, "That
parents were the best judges of proper matches for their children:
that for his part he should insist on the most resigned obedience from
his daughter: and if any young fellow could refuse such a bed-fellow,
he was his humble servant, and hoped there was no harm done."

Allworthy endeavoured to soften this resentment by many eulogiums on
Sophia, declaring he had no doubt but that Mr Blifil would very gladly
receive the offer; but all was ineffectual; he could obtain no other
answer from the squire but--"I say no more--I humbly hope there's no
harm done--that's all." Which words he repeated at least a hundred
times before they parted.

Allworthy was too well acquainted with his neighbour to be offended at
this behaviour; and though he was so averse to the rigour which some
parents exercise on their children in the article of marriage, that he
had resolved never to force his nephew's inclinations, he was
nevertheless much pleased with the prospect of this union; for the
whole country resounded the praises of Sophia, and he had himself
greatly admired the uncommon endowments of both her mind and person.

To which I believe we may add, the consideration of her vast fortune,
which, though he was too sober to be intoxicated with it, he was too
sensible to despise.

And here, in defiance of all the barking critics in the world, I must
and will introduce a digression concerning true wisdom, of which Mr
Allworthy was in reality as great a pattern as he was of goodness.

True wisdom then, notwithstanding all which Mr Hogarth's poor poet may
have writ against riches, and in spite of all which any rich well-fed
divine may have preached against pleasure, consists not in the
contempt of either of these. A man may have as much wisdom in the
possession of an affluent fortune, as any beggar in the streets; or
may enjoy a handsome wife or a hearty friend, and still remain as wise
as any sour popish recluse, who buries all his social faculties, and
starves his belly while he well lashes his back.

To say truth, the wisest man is the likeliest to possess all worldly
blessings in an eminent degree; for as that moderation which wisdom
prescribes is the surest way to useful wealth, so can it alone qualify
us to taste many pleasures. The wise man gratifies every appetite and
every passion, while the fool sacrifices all the rest to pall and
satiate one.

It may be objected, that very wise men have been notoriously
avaricious. I answer, Not wise in that instance. It may likewise be
said, That the wisest men have been in their youth immoderately fond
of pleasure. I answer, They were not wise then.

Wisdom, in short, whose lessons have been represented as so hard to
learn by those who never were at her school, only teaches us to extend
a simple maxim universally known and followed even in the lowest life,
a little farther than that life carries it. And this is, not to buy at
too dear a price.

Now, whoever takes this maxim abroad with him into the grand market of
the world, and constantly applies it to honours, to riches, to
pleasures, and to every other commodity which that market affords, is,
I will venture to affirm, a wise man, and must be so acknowledged in
the worldly sense of the word; for he makes the best of bargains,
since in reality he purchases everything at the price only of a little
trouble, and carries home all the good things I have mentioned, while
he keeps his health, his innocence, and his reputation, the common
prices which are paid for them by others, entire and to himself.

From this moderation, likewise, he learns two other lessons, which
complete his character. First, never to be intoxicated when he hath
made the best bargain, nor dejected when the market is empty, or when
its commodities are too dear for his purchase.

But I must remember on what subject I am writing, and not trespass too
far on the patience of a good-natured critic. Here, therefore, I put
an end to the chapter.

Chapter iv.

Containing sundry curious matters.

As soon as Mr Allworthy returned home, he took Mr Blifil apart, and
after some preface, communicated to him the proposal which had been
made by Mr Western, and at the same time informed him how agreeable
this match would be to himself.

The charms of Sophia had not made the least impression on Blifil; not
that his heart was pre-engaged; neither was he totally insensible of
beauty, or had any aversion to women; but his appetites were by nature
so moderate, that he was able, by philosophy, or by study, or by some
other method, easily to subdue them: and as to that passion which we
have treated of in the first chapter of this book, he had not the
least tincture of it in his whole composition.

But though he was so entirely free from that mixed passion, of which
we there treated, and of which the virtues and beauty of Sophia formed
so notable an object; yet was he altogether as well furnished with
some other passions, that promised themselves very full gratification
in the young lady's fortune. Such were avarice and ambition, which
divided the dominion of his mind between them. He had more than once
considered the possession of this fortune as a very desirable thing,
and had entertained some distant views concerning it; but his own
youth, and that of the young lady, and indeed principally a reflection
that Mr Western might marry again, and have more children, had
restrained him from too hasty or eager a pursuit.

This last and most material objection was now in great measure
removed, as the proposal came from Mr Western himself. Blifil,
therefore, after a very short hesitation, answered Mr Allworthy, that
matrimony was a subject on which he had not yet thought; but that he
was so sensible of his friendly and fatherly care, that he should in
all things submit himself to his pleasure.

Allworthy was naturally a man of spirit, and his present gravity arose
from true wisdom and philosophy, not from any original phlegm in his
disposition; for he had possessed much fire in his youth, and had
married a beautiful woman for love. He was not therefore greatly
pleased with this cold answer of his nephew; nor could he help
launching forth into the praises of Sophia, and expressing some wonder
that the heart of a young man could be impregnable to the force of
such charms, unless it was guarded by some prior affection.

Blifil assured him he had no such guard; and then proceeded to
discourse so wisely and religiously on love and marriage, that he
would have stopt the mouth of a parent much less devoutly inclined
than was his uncle. In the end, the good man was satisfied that his
nephew, far from having any objections to Sophia, had that esteem for
her, which in sober and virtuous minds is the sure foundation of
friendship and love. And as he doubted not but the lover would, in a
little time, become altogether as agreeable to his mistress, he
foresaw great happiness arising to all parties by so proper and
desirable an union. With Mr Blifil's consent therefore he wrote the
next morning to Mr Western, acquainting him that his nephew had very
thankfully and gladly received the proposal, and would be ready to
wait on the young lady, whenever she should be pleased to accept his

Western was much pleased with this letter, and immediately returned an
answer; in which, without having mentioned a word to his daughter, he
appointed that very afternoon for opening the scene of courtship.

As soon as he had dispatched this messenger, he went in quest of his
sister, whom he found reading and expounding the _Gazette_ to parson
Supple. To this exposition he was obliged to attend near a quarter of
an hour, though with great violence to his natural impetuosity, before
he was suffered to speak. At length, however, he found an opportunity
of acquainting the lady, that he had business of great consequence to
impart to her; to which she answered, "Brother, I am entirely at your
service. Things look so well in the north, that I was never in a
better humour."

The parson then withdrawing, Western acquainted her with all which had
passed, and desired her to communicate the affair to Sophia, which she
readily and chearfully undertook; though perhaps her brother was a
little obliged to that agreeable northern aspect which had so
delighted her, that he heard no comment on his proceedings; for they
were certainly somewhat too hasty and violent.

Chapter v.

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

Sophia was in her chamber, reading, when her aunt came in. The moment
she saw Mrs Western, she shut the book with so much eagerness, that
the good lady could not forbear asking her, What book that was which
she seemed so much afraid of showing? "Upon my word, madam," answered
Sophia, "it is a book which I am neither ashamed nor afraid to own I
have read. It is the production of a young lady of fashion, whose good
understanding, I think, doth honour to her sex, and whose good heart
is an honour to human nature." Mrs Western then took up the book, and
immediately after threw it down, saying--"Yes, the author is of a very
good family; but she is not much among people one knows. I have never
read it; for the best judges say, there is not much in it."--"I dare
not, madam, set up my own opinion," says Sophia, "against the best
judges, but there appears to me a great deal of human nature in it;
and in many parts so much true tenderness and delicacy, that it hath
cost me many a tear."--"Ay, and do you love to cry then?" says the
aunt. "I love a tender sensation," answered the niece, "and would pay
the price of a tear for it at any time."--"Well, but show me," said
the aunt, "what was you reading when I came in; there was something
very tender in that, I believe, and very loving too. You blush, my
dear Sophia. Ah! child, you should read books which would teach you a
little hypocrisy, which would instruct you how to hide your thoughts a
little better."--"I hope, madam," answered Sophia, "I have no thoughts
which I ought to be ashamed of discovering."--"Ashamed! no," cries the
aunt, "I don't think you have any thoughts which you ought to be
ashamed of; and yet, child, you blushed just now when I mentioned the
word loving. Dear Sophy, be assured you have not one thought which I
am not well acquainted with; as well, child, as the French are with
our motions, long before we put them in execution. Did you think,
child, because you have been able to impose upon your father, that you
could impose upon me? Do you imagine I did not know the reason of your
overacting all that friendship for Mr Blifil yesterday? I have seen a
little too much of the world, to be so deceived. Nay, nay, do not
blush again. I tell you it is a passion you need not be ashamed of. It
is a passion I myself approve, and have already brought your father
into the approbation of it. Indeed, I solely consider your
inclination; for I would always have that gratified, if possible,
though one may sacrifice higher prospects. Come, I have news which
will delight your very soul. Make me your confident, and I will
undertake you shall be happy to the very extent of your wishes." "La,
madam," says Sophia, looking more foolishly than ever she did in her
life, "I know not what to say--why, madam, should you suspect?"--"Nay,
no dishonesty," returned Mrs Western. "Consider, you are speaking to
one of your own sex, to an aunt, and I hope you are convinced you
speak to a friend. Consider, you are only revealing to me what I know
already, and what I plainly saw yesterday, through that most artful of
all disguises, which you had put on, and which must have deceived any
one who had not perfectly known the world. Lastly, consider it is a
passion which I highly approve." "La, madam," says Sophia, "you come
upon one so unawares, and on a sudden. To be sure, madam, I am not
blind--and certainly, if it be a fault to see all human perfections
assembled together--but is it possible my father and you, madam, can
see with my eyes?" "I tell you," answered the aunt, "we do entirely
approve; and this very afternoon your father hath appointed for you to
receive your lover." "My father, this afternoon!" cries Sophia, with
the blood starting from her face.--"Yes, child," said the aunt, "this
afternoon. You know the impetuosity of my brother's temper. I
acquainted him with the passion which I first discovered in you that
evening when you fainted away in the field. I saw it in your fainting.
I saw it immediately upon your recovery. I saw it that evening at
supper, and the next morning at breakfast (you know, child, I have
seen the world). Well, I no sooner acquainted my brother, but he
immediately wanted to propose it to Allworthy. He proposed it
yesterday, Allworthy consented (as to be sure he must with joy), and
this afternoon, I tell you, you are to put on all your best airs."
"This afternoon!" cries Sophia. "Dear aunt, you frighten me out of my
senses." "O, my dear," said the aunt, "you will soon come to yourself
again; for he is a charming young fellow, that's the truth on't."
"Nay, I will own," says Sophia, "I know none with such perfections. So
brave, and yet so gentle; so witty, yet so inoffensive; so humane, so
civil, so genteel, so handsome! What signifies his being base born,
when compared with such qualifications as these?" "Base born? What do
you mean?" said the aunt, "Mr Blifil base born!" Sophia turned
instantly pale at this name, and faintly repeated it. Upon which the
aunt cried, "Mr Blifil--ay, Mr Blifil, of whom else have we been
talking?" "Good heavens," answered Sophia, ready to sink, "of Mr
Jones, I thought; I am sure I know no other who deserves--" "I
protest," cries the aunt, "you frighten me in your turn. Is it Mr
Jones, and not Mr Blifil, who is the object of your affection?" "Mr
Blifil!" repeated Sophia. "Sure it is impossible you can be in
earnest; if you are, I am the most miserable woman alive." Mrs Western
now stood a few moments silent, while sparks of fiery rage flashed
from her eyes. At length, collecting all her force of voice, she
thundered forth in the following articulate sounds:

"And is it possible you can think of disgracing your family by allying
yourself to a bastard? Can the blood of the Westerns submit to such
contamination? If you have not sense sufficient to restrain such
monstrous inclinations, I thought the pride of our family would have
prevented you from giving the least encouragement to so base an
affection; much less did I imagine you would ever have had the
assurance to own it to my face."

"Madam," answered Sophia, trembling, "what I have said you have
extorted from me. I do not remember to have ever mentioned the name of
Mr Jones with approbation to any one before; nor should I now had I
not conceived he had your approbation. Whatever were my thoughts of
that poor, unhappy young man, I intended to have carried them with me
to my grave--to that grave where only now, I find, I am to seek
repose." Here she sunk down in her chair, drowned in her tears, and,
in all the moving silence of unutterable grief, presented a spectacle
which must have affected almost the hardest heart.

All this tender sorrow, however, raised no compassion in her aunt. On
the contrary, she now fell into the most violent rage.--"And I would
rather," she cried, in a most vehement voice, "follow you to your
grave, than I would see you disgrace yourself and your family by such
a match. O Heavens! could I have ever suspected that I should live to
hear a niece of mine declare a passion for such a fellow? You are the
first--yes, Miss Western, you are the first of your name who ever
entertained so grovelling a thought. A family so noted for the
prudence of its women"--here she ran on a full quarter of an hour,
till, having exhausted her breath rather than her rage, she concluded
with threatening to go immediately and acquaint her brother.

Sophia then threw herself at her feet, and laying hold of her hands,
begged her with tears to conceal what she had drawn from her; urging
the violence of her father's temper, and protesting that no
inclinations of hers should ever prevail with her to do anything which
might offend him.

Mrs Western stood a moment looking at her, and then, having
recollected herself, said, "That on one consideration only she would
keep the secret from her brother; and this was, that Sophia should
promise to entertain Mr Blifil that very afternoon as her lover, and
to regard him as the person who was to be her husband."

Poor Sophia was too much in her aunt's power to deny her anything
positively; she was obliged to promise that she would see Mr Blifil,
and be as civil to him as possible; but begged her aunt that the match
might not be hurried on. She said, "Mr Blifil was by no means
agreeable to her, and she hoped her father would be prevailed on not
to make her the most wretched of women."

Mrs Western assured her, "That the match was entirely agreed upon, and
that nothing could or should prevent it. I must own," said she, "I
looked on it as on a matter of indifference; nay, perhaps, had some

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