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The History of Tom Jones, a foundling by Henry Fielding

Part 7 out of 18

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Besides all these views, which to some scrupulous persons may seem to
savour too much of malevolence, he had one prospect, which few readers
will regard with any great abhorrence. And this was the estate of Mr
Western; which was all to be settled on his daughter and her issue;
for so extravagant was the affection of that fond parent, that,
provided his child would but consent to be miserable with the husband
he chose, he cared not at what price he purchased him.

For these reasons Mr Blifil was so desirous of the match that he
intended to deceive Sophia, by pretending love to her; and to deceive
her father and his own uncle, by pretending he was beloved by her. In
doing this he availed himself of the piety of Thwackum, who held, that
if the end proposed was religious (as surely matrimony is), it
mattered not how wicked were the means. As to other occasions, he used
to apply the philosophy of Square, which taught, that the end was
immaterial, so that the means were fair and consistent with moral
rectitude. To say truth, there were few occurrences in life on which
he could not draw advantage from the precepts of one or other of those
great masters.

Little deceit was indeed necessary to be practised on Mr Western; who
thought the inclinations of his daughter of as little consequence as
Blifil himself conceived them to be; but as the sentiments of Mr
Allworthy were of a very different kind, so it was absolutely
necessary to impose on him. In this, however, Blifil was so well
assisted by Western, that he succeeded without difficulty; for as Mr
Allworthy had been assured by her father that Sophia had a proper
affection for Blifil, and that all which he had suspected concerning
Jones was entirely false, Blifil had nothing more to do than to
confirm these assertions; which he did with such equivocations, that
he preserved a salvo for his conscience; and had the satisfaction of
conveying a lie to his uncle, without the guilt of telling one. When
he was examined touching the inclinations of Sophia by Allworthy, who
said, "He would on no account be accessary to forcing a young lady
into a marriage contrary to her own will;" he answered, "That the real
sentiments of young ladies were very difficult to be understood; that
her behaviour to him was full as forward as he wished it, and that if
he could believe her father, she had all the affection for him which
any lover could desire. As for Jones," said he, "whom I am loth to
call villain, though his behaviour to you, sir, sufficiently justifies
the appellation, his own vanity, or perhaps some wicked views, might
make him boast of a falsehood; for if there had been any reality in
Miss Western's love to him, the greatness of her fortune would never
have suffered him to desert her, as you are well informed he hath.
Lastly, sir, I promise you I would not myself, for any consideration,
no, not for the whole world, consent to marry this young lady, if I
was not persuaded she had all the passion for me which I desire she
should have."

This excellent method of conveying a falsehood with the heart only,
without making the tongue guilty of an untruth, by the means of
equivocation and imposture, hath quieted the conscience of many a
notable deceiver; and yet, when we consider that it is Omniscience on
which these endeavour to impose, it may possibly seem capable of
affording only a very superficial comfort; and that this artful and
refined distinction between communicating a lie, and telling one, is
hardly worth the pains it costs them.

Allworthy was pretty well satisfied with what Mr Western and Mr Blifil
told him: and the treaty was now, at the end of two days, concluded.
Nothing then remained previous to the office of the priest, but the
office of the lawyers, which threatened to take up so much time, that
Western offered to bind himself by all manner of covenants, rather
than defer the happiness of the young couple. Indeed, he was so very
earnest and pressing, that an indifferent person might have concluded
he was more a principal in this match than he really was; but this
eagerness was natural to him on all occasions: and he conducted every
scheme he undertook in such a manner, as if the success of that alone
was sufficient to constitute the whole happiness of his life.

The joint importunities of both father and son-in-law would probably
have prevailed on Mr Allworthy, who brooked but ill any delay of
giving happiness to others, had not Sophia herself prevented it, and
taken measures to put a final end to the whole treaty, and to rob both
church and law of those taxes which these wise bodies have thought
proper to receive from the propagation of the human species in a
lawful manner. Of which in the next chapter.

Chapter vii.

A strange resolution of Sophia, and a more strange stratagem of Mrs

Though Mrs Honour was principally attached to her own interest, she
was not without some little attachment to Sophia. To say truth, it was
very difficult for any one to know that young lady without loving her.
She no sooner therefore heard a piece of news, which she imagined to
be of great importance to her mistress, than, quite forgetting the
anger which she had conceived two days before, at her unpleasant
dismission from Sophia's presence, she ran hastily to inform her of
the news.

The beginning of her discourse was as abrupt as her entrance into the
room. "O dear ma'am!" says she, "what doth your la'ship think? To be
sure I am frightened out of my wits; and yet I thought it my duty to
tell your la'ship, though perhaps it may make you angry, for we
servants don't always know what will make our ladies angry; for, to be
sure, everything is always laid to the charge of a servant. When our
ladies are out of humour, to be sure we must be scolded; and to be
sure I should not wonder if your la'ship should be out of humour; nay,
it must surprize you certainly, ay, and shock you too."--"Good Honour,
let me know it without any longer preface," says Sophia; "there are
few things, I promise you, which will surprize, and fewer which will
shock me."--"Dear ma'am," answered Honour, "to be sure, I overheard my
master talking to parson Supple about getting a licence this very
afternoon; and to be sure I heard him say, your la'ship should be
married to-morrow morning." Sophia turned pale at these words, and
repeated eagerly, "To-morrow morning!"--"Yes, ma'am," replied the
trusty waiting-woman, "I will take my oath I heard my master say
so."--"Honour," says Sophia, "you have both surprized and shocked me
to such a degree that I have scarce any breath or spirits left. What
is to be done in my dreadful situation?"--"I wish I was able to advise
your la'ship," says she. "Do advise me," cries Sophia; "pray, dear
Honour, advise me. Think what you would attempt if it was your own
case."--"Indeed, ma'am," cries Honour, "I wish your la'ship and I
could change situations; that is, I mean without hurting your la'ship;
for to be sure I don't wish you so bad as to be a servant; but because
that if so be it was my case, I should find no manner of difficulty in
it; for, in my poor opinion, young Squire Blifil is a charming, sweet,
handsome man."--"Don't mention such stuff," cries Sophia. "Such
stuff!" repeated Honour; "why, there. Well, to be sure, what's one
man's meat is another man's poison, and the same is altogether as true
of women."--"Honour," says Sophia, "rather than submit to be the wife
of that contemptible wretch, I would plunge a dagger into my
heart."--"O lud! ma'am!" answered the other, "I am sure you frighten
me out of my wits now. Let me beseech your la'ship not to suffer such
wicked thoughts to come into your head. O lud! to be sure I tremble
every inch of me. Dear ma'am, consider, that to be denied Christian
burial, and to have your corpse buried in the highway, and a stake
drove through you, as farmer Halfpenny was served at Ox Cross; and, to
be sure, his ghost hath walked there ever since, for several people
have seen him. To be sure it can be nothing but the devil which can
put such wicked thoughts into the head of anybody; for certainly it is
less wicked to hurt all the world than one's own dear self; and so I
have heard said by more parsons than one. If your la'ship hath such a
violent aversion, and hates the young gentleman so very bad, that you
can't bear to think of going into bed to him; for to be sure there may
be such antipathies in nature, and one had lieverer touch a toad than
the flesh of some people."--

Sophia had been too much wrapt in contemplation to pay any great
attention to the foregoing excellent discourse of her maid;
interrupting her therefore, without making any answer to it, she said,
"Honour, I am come to a resolution. I am determined to leave my
father's house this very night; and if you have the friendship for me
which you have often professed, you will keep me company."--"That I
will, ma'am, to the world's end," answered Honour; "but I beg your
la'ship to consider the consequence before you undertake any rash
action. Where can your la'ship possibly go?"--"There is," replied
Sophia, "a lady of quality in London, a relation of mine, who spent
several months with my aunt in the country; during all which time she
treated me with great kindness, and expressed so much pleasure in my
company, that she earnestly desired my aunt to suffer me to go with
her to London. As she is a woman of very great note, I shall easily
find her out, and I make no doubt of being very well and kindly
received by her."--"I would not have your la'ship too confident of
that," cries Honour; "for the first lady I lived with used to invite
people very earnestly to her house; but if she heard afterwards they
were coming, she used to get out of the way. Besides, though this lady
would be very glad to see your la'ship, as to be sure anybody would be
glad to see your la'ship, yet when she hears your la'ship is run away
from my master--" "You are mistaken, Honour," says Sophia: "she looks
upon the authority of a father in a much lower light than I do; for
she pressed me violently to go to London with her, and when I refused
to go without my father's consent, she laughed me to scorn, called me
silly country girl, and said, I should make a pure loving wife, since
I could be so dutiful a daughter. So I have no doubt but she will both
receive me and protect me too, till my father, finding me out of his
power, can be brought to some reason."

"Well, but, ma'am," answered Honour, "how doth your la'ship think of
making your escape? Where will you get any horses or conveyance? For
as for your own horse, as all the servants know a little how matters
stand between my master and your la'ship, Robin will be hanged before
he will suffer it to go out of the stable without my master's express
orders." "I intend to escape," said Sophia, "by walking out of the
doors when they are open. I thank Heaven my legs are very able to
carry me. They have supported me many a long evening"--"Yes, to be
sure," cries Honour, "I will follow your la'ship through the world;
but your la'ship had almost as good be alone: for I should not be able
to defend you, if any robbers, or other villains, should meet with
you. Nay, I should be in as horrible a fright as your la'ship; for to
be certain, they would ravish us both. Besides, ma'am, consider how
cold the nights are now; we shall be frozen to death."--"A good brisk
pace," answered Sophia, "will preserve us from the cold; and if you
cannot defend me from a villain, Honour, I will defend you; for I will
take a pistol with me. There are two always charged in the
hall."--"Dear ma'am, you frighten me more and more," cries Honour:
"sure your la'ship would not venture to fire it off! I had rather run
any chance than your la'ship should do that."--"Why so?" says Sophia,
smiling; "would not you, Honour, fire a pistol at any one who should
attack your virtue?"--"To be sure, ma'am," cries Honour, "one's virtue
is a dear thing, especially to us poor servants; for it is our
livelihood, as a body may say: yet I mortally hate fire-arms; for so
many accidents happen by them."--"Well, well," says Sophia, "I believe
I may ensure your virtue at a very cheap rate, without carrying any
arms with us; for I intend to take horses at the very first town we
come to, and we shall hardly be attacked in our way thither. Look'ee,
Honour, I am resolved to go; and if you will attend me, I promise you
I will reward you to the very utmost of my power."

This last argument had a stronger effect on Honour than all the
preceding. And since she saw her mistress so determined, she desisted
from any further dissuasions. They then entered into a debate on ways
and means of executing their project. Here a very stubborn difficulty
occurred, and this was the removal of their effects, which was much
more easily got over by the mistress than by the maid; for when a lady
hath once taken a resolution to run to a lover, or to run from him,
all obstacles are considered as trifles. But Honour was inspired by no
such motive; she had no raptures to expect, nor any terrors to shun;
and besides the real value of her clothes, in which consisted a great
part of her fortune, she had a capricious fondness for several gowns,
and other things; either because they became her, or because they were
given her by such a particular person; because she had bought them
lately, or because she had had them long; or for some other reasons
equally good; so that she could not endure the thoughts of leaving the
poor things behind her exposed to the mercy of Western, who, she
doubted not, would in his rage make them suffer martyrdom.

The ingenious Mrs Honour having applied all her oratory to dissuade
her mistress from her purpose, when she found her positively
determined, at last started the following expedient to remove her
clothes, viz., to get herself turned out of doors that very evening.
Sophia highly approved this method, but doubted how it might be
brought about. "O, ma'am," cries Honour, "your la'ship may trust that
to me; we servants very well know how to obtain this favour of our
masters and mistresses; though sometimes, indeed, where they owe us
more wages than they can readily pay, they will put up with all our
affronts, and will hardly take any warning we can give them; but the
squire is none of those; and since your la'ship is resolved upon
setting out to-night, I warrant I get discharged this afternoon." It
was then resolved that she should pack up some linen and a night-gown
for Sophia, with her own things; and as for all her other clothes, the
young lady abandoned them with no more remorse than the sailor feels
when he throws over the goods of others, in order to save his own

Chapter viii.

Containing scenes of altercation, of no very uncommon kind.

Mrs Honour had scarce sooner parted from her young lady, than
something (for I would not, like the old woman in Quevedo, injure the
devil by any false accusation, and possibly he might have no hand in
it)--but something, I say, suggested itself to her, that by
sacrificing Sophia and all her secrets to Mr Western, she might
probably make her fortune. Many considerations urged this discovery.
The fair prospect of a handsome reward for so great and acceptable a
service to the squire, tempted her avarice; and again, the danger of
the enterprize she had undertaken; the uncertainty of its success;
night, cold, robbers, ravishers, all alarmed her fears. So forcibly
did all these operate upon her, that she was almost determined to go
directly to the squire, and to lay open the whole affair. She was,
however, too upright a judge to decree on one side, before she had
heard the other. And here, first, a journey to London appeared very
strongly in support of Sophia. She eagerly longed to see a place in
which she fancied charms short only of those which a raptured saint
imagines in heaven. In the next place, as she knew Sophia to have much
more generosity than her master, so her fidelity promised her a
greater reward than she could gain by treachery. She then
cross-examined all the articles which had raised her fears on the
other side, and found, on fairly sifting the matter, that there was
very little in them. And now both scales being reduced to a pretty
even balance, her love to her mistress being thrown into the scale of
her integrity, made that rather preponderate, when a circumstance
struck upon her imagination which might have had a dangerous effect,
had its whole weight been fairly put into the other scale. This was
the length of time which must intervene before Sophia would be able to
fulfil her promises; for though she was intitled to her mother's
fortune at the death of her father, and to the sum of 3000 left her
by an uncle when she came of age; yet these were distant days, and
many accidents might prevent the intended generosity of the young
lady; whereas the rewards she might expect from Mr Western were
immediate. But while she was pursuing this thought the good genius of
Sophia, or that which presided over the integrity of Mrs Honour, or
perhaps mere chance, sent an accident in her way, which at once
preserved her fidelity, and even facilitated the intended business.

Mrs Western's maid claimed great superiority over Mrs Honour on
several accounts. First, her birth was higher; for her great-grandmother
by the mother's side was a cousin, not far removed, to an Irish peer.
Secondly, her wages were greater. And lastly, she had been at London,
and had of consequence seen more of the world. She had always behaved,
therefore, to Mrs Honour with that reserve, and had always exacted of
her those marks of distinction, which every order of females preserves
and requires in conversation with those of an inferior order. Now as
Honour did not at all times agree with this doctrine, but would
frequently break in upon the respect which the other demanded, Mrs
Western's maid was not at all pleased with her company; indeed, she
earnestly longed to return home to the house of her mistress, where
she domineered at will over all the other servants. She had been
greatly, therefore, disappointed in the morning, when Mrs Western had
changed her mind on the very point of departure; and had been in what
is vulgarly called a glouting humour ever since.

In this humour, which was none of the sweetest, she came into the room
where Honour was debating with herself in the manner we have above
related. Honour no sooner saw her, than she addressed her in the
following obliging phrase: "Soh, madam, I find we are to have the
pleasure of your company longer, which I was afraid the quarrel
between my master and your lady would have robbed us of."--"I don't
know, madam," answered the other, "what you mean by we and us. I
assure you I do not look on any of the servants in this house to be
proper company for me. I am company, I hope, for their betters every
day in the week. I do not speak on your account, Mrs Honour; for you
are a civilized young woman; and when you have seen a little more of
the world, I should not be ashamed to walk with you in St James's
Park."--"Hoity toity!" cries Honour, "madam is in her airs, I protest.
Mrs Honour, forsooth! sure, madam, you might call me by my sir-name;
for though my lady calls me Honour, I have a sir-name as well as other
folks. Ashamed to walk with me, quotha! marry, as good as yourself, I
hope."--"Since you make such a return to my civility," said the other,
"I must acquaint you, Mrs Honour, that you are not so good as me. In
the country, indeed, one is obliged to take up with all kind of
trumpery; but in town I visit none but the women of women of quality.
Indeed, Mrs Honour, there is some difference, I hope, between you and
me."--"I hope so too," answered Honour: "there is some difference in
our ages, and--I think in our persons." Upon speaking which last
words, she strutted by Mrs Western's maid with the most provoking air
of contempt; turning up her nose, tossing her head, and violently
brushing the hoop of her competitor with her own. The other lady put
on one of her most malicious sneers, and said, "Creature! you are
below my anger; and it is beneath me to give ill words to such an
audacious saucy trollop; but, hussy, I must tell you, your breeding
shows the meanness of your birth as well as of your education; and
both very properly qualify you to be the mean serving-woman of a
country girl."--"Don't abuse my lady," cries Honour: "I won't take
that of you; she's as much better than yours as she is younger, and
ten thousand times more handsomer."

Here ill luck, or rather good luck, sent Mrs Western to see her maid
in tears, which began to flow plentifully at her approach; and of
which being asked the reason by her mistress, she presently acquainted
her that her tears were occasioned by the rude treatment of that
creature there--meaning Honour. "And, madam," continued she, "I could
have despised all she said to me; but she hath had the audacity to
affront your ladyship, and to call you ugly--Yes, madam, she called
you ugly old cat to my face. I could not bear to hear your ladyship
called ugly."--"Why do you repeat her impudence so often?" said Mrs
Western. And then turning to Mrs Honour, she asked her "How she had
the assurance to mention her name with disrespect?"--"Disrespect,
madam!" answered Honour; "I never mentioned your name at all: I said
somebody was not as handsome as my mistress, and to be sure you know
that as well as I."--"Hussy," replied the lady, "I will make such a
saucy trollop as yourself know that I am not a proper subject of your
discourse. And if my brother doth not discharge you this moment, I
will never sleep in his house again. I will find him out, and have you
discharged this moment."--"Discharged!" cries Honour; "and suppose I
am: there are more places in the world than one. Thank Heaven, good
servants need not want places; and if you turn away all who do not
think you handsome, you will want servants very soon; let me tell you

Mrs Western spoke, or rather thundered, in answer; but as she was
hardly articulate, we cannot be very certain of the identical words;
we shall therefore omit inserting a speech which at best would not
greatly redound to her honour. She then departed in search of her
brother, with a countenance so full of rage, that she resembled one of
the furies rather than a human creature.

The two chambermaids being again left alone, began a second bout at
altercation, which soon produced a combat of a more active kind. In
this the victory belonged to the lady of inferior rank, but not
without some loss of blood, of hair, and of lawn and muslin.

Chapter ix.

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

Logicians sometimes prove too much by an argument, and politicians
often overreach themselves in a scheme. Thus had it like to have
happened to Mrs Honour, who, instead of recovering the rest of her
clothes, had like to have stopped even those she had on her back from
escaping; for the squire no sooner heard of her having abused his
sister, than he swore twenty oaths he would send her to Bridewell.

Mrs Western was a very good-natured woman, and ordinarily of a
forgiving temper. She had lately remitted the trespass of a
stage-coachman, who had overturned her post-chaise into a ditch; nay,
she had even broken the law, in refusing to prosecute a highwayman who
had robbed her, not only of a sum of money, but of her ear-rings; at
the same time d--ning her, and saying, "Such handsome b--s as you
don't want jewels to set them off, and be d--n'd to you." But now, so
uncertain are our tempers, and so much do we at different times differ
from ourselves, she would hear of no mitigation; nor could all the
affected penitence of Honour, nor all the entreaties of Sophia for her
own servant, prevail with her to desist from earnestly desiring her
brother to execute justiceship (for it was indeed a syllable more than
justice) on the wench.

But luckily the clerk had a qualification, which no clerk to a justice
of peace ought ever to be without, namely, some understanding in the
law of this realm. He therefore whispered in the ear of the justice
that he would exceed his authority by committing the girl to
Bridewell, as there had been no attempt to break the peace; "for I am
afraid, sir," says he, "you cannot legally commit any one to Bridewell
only for ill-breeding."

In matters of high importance, particularly in cases relating to the
game, the justice was not always attentive to these admonitions of his
clerk; for, indeed, in executing the laws under that head, many
justices of peace suppose they have a large discretionary power, by
virtue of which, under the notion of searching for and taking away
engines for the destruction of the game, they often commit trespasses,
and sometimes felony, at their pleasure.

But this offence was not of quite so high a nature, nor so dangerous
to the society. Here, therefore, the justice behaved with some
attention to the advice of his clerk; for, in fact, he had already had
two informations exhibited against him in the King's Bench, and had no
curiosity to try a third.

The squire, therefore, putting on a most wise and significant
countenance, after a preface of several hums and hahs, told his
sister, that upon more mature deliberation, he was of opinion, that
"as there was no breaking up of the peace, such as the law," says he,
"calls breaking open a door, or breaking a hedge, or breaking a head,
or any such sort of breaking, the matter did not amount to a felonious
kind of a thing, nor trespasses, nor damages, and, therefore, there
was no punishment in the law for it."

Mrs Western said, "she knew the law much better; that she had known
servants very severely punished for affronting their masters;" and
then named a certain justice of the peace in London, "who," she said,
"would commit a servant to Bridewell at any time when a master or
mistress desired it."

"Like enough," cries the squire; "it may be so in London; but the law
is different in the country." Here followed a very learned dispute
between the brother and sister concerning the law, which we would
insert, if we imagined many of our readers could understand it. This
was, however, at length referred by both parties to the clerk, who
decided it in favour of the magistrate; and Mrs Western was, in the
end, obliged to content herself with the satisfaction of having Honour
turned away; to which Sophia herself very readily and cheerfully

Thus Fortune, after having diverted herself, according to custom, with
two or three frolicks, at last disposed all matters to the advantage
of our heroine; who indeed succeeded admirably well in her deceit,
considering it was the first she had ever practised. And, to say the
truth, I have often concluded, that the honest part of mankind would
be much too hard for the knavish, if they could bring themselves to
incur the guilt, or thought it worth their while to take the trouble.

Honour acted her part to the utmost perfection. She no sooner saw
herself secure from all danger of Bridewell, a word which had raised
most horrible ideas in her mind, than she resumed those airs which her
terrors before had a little abated; and laid down her place, with as
much affectation of content, and indeed of contempt, as was ever
practised at the resignation of places of much greater importance. If
the reader pleases, therefore, we chuse rather to say she
resigned--which hath, indeed, been always held a synonymous expression
with being turned out, or turned away.

Mr Western ordered her to be very expeditious in packing; for his
sister declared she would not sleep another night under the same roof
with so impudent a slut. To work therefore she went, and that so
earnestly, that everything was ready early in the evening; when,
having received her wages, away packed bag and baggage, to the great
satisfaction of every one, but of none more than of Sophia; who,
having appointed her maid to meet her at a certain place not far from
the house, exactly at the dreadful and ghostly hour of twelve, began
to prepare for her own departure.

But first she was obliged to give two painful audiences, the one to
her aunt, and the other to her father. In these Mrs Western herself
began to talk to her in a more peremptory stile than before: but her
father treated her in so violent and outrageous a manner, that he
frightened her into an affected compliance with his will; which so
highly pleased the good squire, that he changed his frowns into
smiles, and his menaces into promises: he vowed his whole soul was
wrapt in hers; that her consent (for so he construed the words, "You
know, sir, I must not, nor can, refuse to obey any absolute command of
yours") had made him the happiest of mankind. He then gave her a large
bank-bill to dispose of in any trinkets she pleased, and kissed and
embraced her in the fondest manner, while tears of joy trickled from
those eyes which a few moments before had darted fire and rage against
the dear object of all his affection.

Instances of this behaviour in parents are so common, that the reader,
I doubt not, will be very little astonished at the whole conduct of Mr
Western. If he should, I own I am not able to account for it; since
that he loved his daughter most tenderly, is, I think, beyond dispute.
So indeed have many others, who have rendered their children most
completely miserable by the same conduct; which, though it is almost
universal in parents, hath always appeared to me to be the most
unaccountable of all the absurdities which ever entered into the brain
of that strange prodigious creature man.

The latter part of Mr Western's behaviour had so strong an effect on
the tender heart of Sophia, that it suggested a thought to her, which
not all the sophistry of her politic aunt, nor all the menaces of her
father, had ever once brought into her head. She reverenced her father
so piously, and loved him so passionately, that she had scarce ever
felt more pleasing sensations, than what arose from the share she
frequently had of contributing to his amusement, and sometimes,
perhaps, to higher gratifications; for he never could contain the
delight of hearing her commended, which he had the satisfaction of
hearing almost every day of her life. The idea, therefore, of the
immense happiness she should convey to her father by her consent to
this match, made a strong impression on her mind. Again, the extreme
piety of such an act of obedience worked very forcibly, as she had a
very deep sense of religion. Lastly, when she reflected how much she
herself was to suffer, being indeed to become little less than a
sacrifice, or a martyr, to filial love and duty, she felt an agreeable
tickling in a certain little passion, which though it bears no
immediate affinity either to religion or virtue, is often so kind as
to lend great assistance in executing the purposes of both.

Sophia was charmed with the contemplation of so heroic an action, and
began to compliment herself with much premature flattery, when Cupid,
who lay hid in her muff, suddenly crept out, and like Punchinello in a
puppet-show, kicked all out before him. In truth (for we scorn to
deceive our reader, or to vindicate the character of our heroine by
ascribing her actions to supernatural impulse) the thoughts of her
beloved Jones, and some hopes (however distant) in which he was very
particularly concerned, immediately destroyed all which filial love,
piety, and pride had, with their joint endeavours, been labouring to
bring about.

But before we proceed any farther with Sophia, we must now look back
to Mr Jones.

Chapter x.

Containing several matters, natural enough perhaps, but low.

The reader will be pleased to remember, that we left Mr Jones, in the
beginning of this book, on his road to Bristol; being determined to
seek his fortune at sea, or rather, indeed, to fly away from his
fortune on shore.

It happened (a thing not very unusual), that the guide who undertook
to conduct him on his way, was unluckily unacquainted with the road;
so that having missed his right track, and being ashamed to ask
information, he rambled about backwards and forwards till night came
on, and it began to grow dark. Jones suspecting what had happened,
acquainted the guide with his apprehensions; but he insisted on it,
that they were in the right road, and added, it would be very strange
if he should not know the road to Bristol; though, in reality, it
would have been much stranger if he had known it, having never past
through it in his life before.

Jones had not such implicit faith in his guide, but that on their
arrival at a village he inquired of the first fellow he saw, whether
they were in the road to Bristol. "Whence did you come?" cries the
fellow. "No matter," says Jones, a little hastily; "I want to know if
this be the road to Bristol?"--"The road to Bristol!" cries the
fellow, scratching his head: "why, measter, I believe you will hardly
get to Bristol this way to-night."--"Prithee, friend, then," answered
Jones, "do tell us which is the way."--"Why, measter," cries the
fellow, "you must be come out of your road the Lord knows whither; for
thick way goeth to Glocester."--"Well, and which way goes to Bristol?"
said Jones. "Why, you be going away from Bristol," answered the
fellow. "Then," said Jones, "we must go back again?"--"Ay, you must,"
said the fellow. "Well, and when we come back to the top of the hill,
which way must we take?"--"Why, you must keep the strait road."--"But
I remember there are two roads, one to the right and the other to the
left."--"Why, you must keep the right-hand road, and then gu strait
vorwards; only remember to turn vurst to your right, and then to your
left again, and then to your right, and that brings you to the
squire's; and then you must keep strait vorwards, and turn to the

Another fellow now came up, and asked which way the gentlemen were
going; of which being informed by Jones, he first scratched his head,
and then leaning upon a pole he had in his hand, began to tell him,
"That he must keep the right-hand road for about a mile, or a mile and
a half, or such a matter, and then he must turn short to the left,
which would bring him round by Measter Jin Bearnes's."--"But which is
Mr John Bearnes's?" says Jones. "O Lord!" cries the fellow, "why,
don't you know Measter Jin Bearnes? Whence then did you come?"

These two fellows had almost conquered the patience of Jones, when a
plain well-looking man (who was indeed a Quaker) accosted him thus:
"Friend, I perceive thou hast lost thy way; and if thou wilt take my
advice, thou wilt not attempt to find it to-night. It is almost dark,
and the road is difficult to hit; besides, there have been several
robberies committed lately between this and Bristol. Here is a very
creditable good house just by, where thou may'st find good
entertainment for thyself and thy cattle till morning." Jones, after a
little persuasion, agreed to stay in this place till the morning, and
was conducted by his friend to the public-house.

The landlord, who was a very civil fellow, told Jones, "He hoped he
would excuse the badness of his accommodation; for that his wife was
gone from home, and had locked up almost everything, and carried the
keys along with her." Indeed the fact was, that a favourite daughter
of hers was just married, and gone that morning home with her husband;
and that she and her mother together had almost stript the poor man of
all his goods, as well as money; for though he had several children,
this daughter only, who was the mother's favourite, was the object of
her consideration; and to the humour of this one child she would with
pleasure have sacrificed all the rest, and her husband into the

Though Jones was very unfit for any kind of company, and would have
preferred being alone, yet he could not resist the importunities of
the honest Quaker; who was the more desirous of sitting with him, from
having remarked the melancholy which appeared both in his countenance
and behaviour; and which the poor Quaker thought his conversation
might in some measure relieve.

After they had past some time together, in such a manner that my
honest friend might have thought himself at one of his silent
meetings, the Quaker began to be moved by some spirit or other,
probably that of curiosity, and said, "Friend, I perceive some sad
disaster hath befallen thee; but pray be of comfort. Perhaps thou hast
lost a friend. If so, thou must consider we are all mortal. And why
shouldst thou grieve, when thou knowest thy grief will do thy friend
no good? We are all born to affliction. I myself have my sorrows as
well as thee, and most probably greater sorrows. Though I have a clear
estate of 100 a year, which is as much as I want, and I have a
conscience, I thank the Lord, void of offence; my constitution is
sound and strong, and there is no man can demand a debt of me, nor
accuse me of an injury; yet, friend, I should be concerned to think
thee as miserable as myself."

Here the Quaker ended with a deep sigh; and Jones presently answered,
"I am very sorry, sir, for your unhappiness, whatever is the occasion
of it."--"Ah! friend," replied the Quaker, "one only daughter is the
occasion; one who was my greatest delight upon earth, and who within
this week is run away from me, and is married against my consent. I
had provided her a proper match, a sober man and one of substance; but
she, forsooth, would chuse for herself, and away she is gone with a
young fellow not worth a groat. If she had been dead, as I suppose thy
friend is, I should have been happy."--"That is very strange, sir,"
said Jones. "Why, would it not be better for her to be dead, than to
be a beggar?" replied the Quaker: "for, as I told you, the fellow is
not worth a groat; and surely she cannot expect that I shall ever give
her a shilling. No, as she hath married for love, let her live on love
if she can; let her carry her love to market, and see whether any one
will change it into silver, or even into halfpence."--"You know your
own concerns best, sir," said Jones. "It must have been," continued
the Quaker, "a long premeditated scheme to cheat me: for they have
known one another from their infancy; and I always preached to her
against love, and told her a thousand times over it was all folly and
wickedness. Nay, the cunning slut pretended to hearken to me, and to
despise all wantonness of the flesh; and yet at last broke out at a
window two pair of stairs: for I began, indeed, a little to suspect
her, and had locked her up carefully, intending the very next morning
to have married her up to my liking. But she disappointed me within a
few hours, and escaped away to the lover of her own chusing; who lost
no time, for they were married and bedded and all within an hour. But
it shall be the worst hour's work for them both that ever they did;
for they may starve, or beg, or steal together, for me. I will never
give either of them a farthing." Here Jones starting up cried, "I
really must be excused: I wish you would leave me."--"Come, come,
friend," said the Quaker, "don't give way to concern. You see there
are other people miserable besides yourself."--"I see there are
madmen, and fools, and villains in the world," cries Jones. "But let
me give you a piece of advice: send for your daughter and son-in-law
home, and don't be yourself the only cause of misery to one you
pretend to love."--"Send for her and her husband home!" cries the
Quaker loudly; "I would sooner send for the two greatest enemies I
have in the world!"--"Well, go home yourself, or where you please,"
said Jones, "for I will sit no longer in such company."--"Nay,
friend," answered the Quaker, "I scorn to impose my company on any
one." He then offered to pull money from his pocket, but Jones pushed
him with some violence out of the room.

The subject of the Quaker's discourse had so deeply affected Jones,
that he stared very wildly all the time he was speaking. This the
Quaker had observed, and this, added to the rest of his behaviour,
inspired honest Broadbrim with a conceit, that his companion was in
reality out of his senses. Instead of resenting the affront,
therefore, the Quaker was moved with compassion for his unhappy
circumstances; and having communicated his opinion to the landlord, he
desired him to take great care of his guest, and to treat him with the
highest civility.

"Indeed," says the landlord, "I shall use no such civility towards
him; for it seems, for all his laced waistcoat there, he is no more a
gentleman than myself, but a poor parish bastard, bred up at a great
squire's about thirty miles off, and now turned out of doors (not for
any good to be sure). I shall get him out of my house as soon as
possible. If I do lose my reckoning, the first loss is always the
best. It is not above a year ago that I lost a silver spoon."

"What dost thou talk of a parish bastard, Robin?" answered the Quaker.
"Thou must certainly be mistaken in thy man."

"Not at all," replied Robin; "the guide, who knows him very well, told
it me." For, indeed, the guide had no sooner taken his place at the
kitchen fire, than he acquainted the whole company with all he knew or
had ever heard concerning Jones.

The Quaker was no sooner assured by this fellow of the birth and low
fortune of Jones, than all compassion for him vanished; and the honest
plain man went home fired with no less indignation than a duke would
have felt at receiving an affront from such a person.

The landlord himself conceived an equal disdain for his guest; so that
when Jones rung the bell in order to retire to bed, he was acquainted
that he could have no bed there. Besides disdain of the mean condition
of his guest, Robin entertained violent suspicion of his intentions,
which were, he supposed, to watch some favourable opportunity of
robbing the house. In reality, he might have been very well eased of
these apprehensions, by the prudent precautions of his wife and
daughter, who had already removed everything which was not fixed to
the freehold; but he was by nature suspicious, and had been more
particularly so since the loss of his spoon. In short, the dread of
being robbed totally absorbed the comfortable consideration that he
had nothing to lose.

Jones being assured that he could have no bed, very contentedly betook
himself to a great chair made with rushes, when sleep, which had
lately shunned his company in much better apartments, generously paid
him a visit in his humble cell.

As for the landlord, he was prevented by his fears from retiring to
rest. He returned therefore to the kitchen fire, whence he could
survey the only door which opened into the parlour, or rather hole,
where Jones was seated; and as for the window to that room, it was
impossible for any creature larger than a cat to have made his escape
through it.

Chapter xi.

The adventure of a company of soldiers.

The landlord having taken his seat directly opposite to the door of
the parlour, determined to keep guard there the whole night. The guide
and another fellow remained long on duty with him, though they neither
knew his suspicions, nor had any of their own. The true cause of their
watching did, indeed, at length, put an end to it; for this was no
other than the strength and goodness of the beer, of which having
tippled a very large quantity, they grew at first very noisy and
vociferous, and afterwards fell both asleep.

But it was not in the power of liquor to compose the fears of Robin.
He continued still waking in his chair, with his eyes fixed stedfastly
on the door which led into the apartment of Mr Jones, till a violent
thundering at his outward gate called him from his seat, and obliged
him to open it; which he had no sooner done, than his kitchen was
immediately full of gentlemen in red coats, who all rushed upon him in
as tumultuous a manner as if they intended to take his little castle
by storm.

The landlord was now forced from his post to furnish his numerous
guests with beer, which they called for with great eagerness; and upon
his second or third return from the cellar, he saw Mr Jones standing
before the fire in the midst of the soldiers; for it may easily be
believed, that the arrival of so much good company should put an end
to any sleep, unless that from which we are to be awakened only by the
last trumpet.

The company having now pretty well satisfied their thirst, nothing
remained but to pay the reckoning, a circumstance often productive of
much mischief and discontent among the inferior rank of gentry, who
are apt to find great difficulty in assessing the sum, with exact
regard to distributive justice, which directs that every man shall pay
according to the quantity which he drinks. This difficulty occurred
upon the present occasion; and it was the greater, as some gentlemen
had, in their extreme hurry, marched off, after their first draught,
and had entirely forgot to contribute anything towards the said

A violent dispute now arose, in which every word may be said to have
been deposed upon oath; for the oaths were at least equal to all the
other words spoken. In this controversy the whole company spoke
together, and every man seemed wholly bent to extenuate the sum which
fell to his share; so that the most probable conclusion which could be
foreseen was, that a large portion of the reckoning would fall to the
landlord's share to pay, or (what is much the same thing) would remain

All this while Mr Jones was engaged in conversation with the serjeant;
for that officer was entirely unconcerned in the present dispute,
being privileged by immemorial custom from all contribution.

The dispute now grew so very warm that it seemed to draw towards a
military decision, when Jones, stepping forward, silenced all their
clamours at once, by declaring that he would pay the whole reckoning,
which indeed amounted to no more than three shillings and fourpence.

This declaration procured Jones the thanks and applause of the whole
company. The terms honourable, noble, and worthy gentleman, resounded
through the room; nay, my landlord himself began to have a better
opinion of him, and almost to disbelieve the account which the guide
had given.

The serjeant had informed Mr Jones that they were marching against the
rebels, and expected to be commanded by the glorious Duke of
Cumberland. By which the reader may perceive (a circumstance which we
have not thought necessary to communicate before) that this was the
very time when the late rebellion was at the highest; and indeed the
banditti were now marched into England, intending, as it was thought,
to fight the king's forces, and to attempt pushing forward to the

Jones had some heroic ingredients in his composition, and was a hearty
well-wisher to the glorious cause of liberty, and of the Protestant
religion. It is no wonder, therefore, that in circumstances which
would have warranted a much more romantic and wild undertaking, it
should occur to him to serve as a volunteer in this expedition.

Our commanding officer had said all in his power to encourage and
promote this good disposition, from the first moment he had been
acquainted with it. He now proclaimed the noble resolution aloud,
which was received with great pleasure by the whole company, who all
cried out, "God bless King George and your honour;" and then added,
with many oaths, "We will stand by you both to the last drops of our

The gentleman who had been all night tippling at the alehouse, was
prevailed on by some arguments which a corporal had put into his
hands, to undertake the same expedition. And now the portmanteau
belonging to Mr Jones being put up in the baggage-cart, the forces
were about to move forwards; when the guide, stepping up to Jones,
said, "Sir, I hope you will consider that the horses have been kept
out all night, and we have travelled a great ways out of our way."
Jones was surprized at the impudence of this demand, and acquainted
the soldiers with the merits of his cause, who were all unanimous in
condemning the guide for his endeavours to put upon a gentleman. Some
said, he ought to be tied neck and heels; others that he deserved to
run the gantlope; and the serjeant shook his cane at him, and wished
he had him under his command, swearing heartily he would make an
example of him.

Jones contented himself however with a negative punishment, and walked
off with his new comrades, leaving the guide to the poor revenge of
cursing and reviling him; in which latter the landlord joined, saying,
"Ay, ay, he is a pure one, I warrant you. A pretty gentleman, indeed,
to go for a soldier! He shall wear a laced wastecoat truly. It is an
old proverb and a true one, all is not gold that glisters. I am glad
my house is well rid of him."

All that day the serjeant and the young soldier marched together; and
the former, who was an arch fellow, told the latter many entertaining
stories of his campaigns, though in reality he had never made any; for
he was but lately come into the service, and had, by his own
dexterity, so well ingratiated himself with his officers, that he had
promoted himself to a halberd; chiefly indeed by his merit in
recruiting, in which he was most excellently well skilled.

Much mirth and festivity passed among the soldiers during their march.
In which the many occurrences that had passed at their last quarters
were remembered, and every one, with great freedom, made what jokes he
pleased on his officers, some of which were of the coarser kind, and
very near bordering on scandal. This brought to our heroe's mind the
custom which he had read of among the Greeks and Romans, of indulging,
on certain festivals and solemn occasions, the liberty to slaves, of
using an uncontrouled freedom of speech towards their masters.

Our little army, which consisted of two companies of foot, were now
arrived at the place where they were to halt that evening. The
serjeant then acquainted his lieutenant, who was the commanding
officer, that they had picked up two fellows in that day's march, one
of which, he said, was as fine a man as ever he saw (meaning the
tippler), for that he was near six feet, well proportioned, and
strongly limbed; and the other (meaning Jones) would do well enough
for the rear rank.

The new soldiers were now produced before the officer, who having
examined the six-feet man, he being first produced, came next to
survey Jones: at the first sight of whom, the lieutenant could not
help showing some surprize; for besides that he was very well dressed,
and was naturally genteel, he had a remarkable air of dignity in his
look, which is rarely seen among the vulgar, and is indeed not
inseparably annexed to the features of their superiors.

"Sir," said the lieutenant, "my serjeant informed me that you are
desirous of enlisting in the company I have at present under my
command; if so, sir, we shall very gladly receive a gentleman who
promises to do much honour to the company by bearing arms in it."

Jones answered: "That he had not mentioned anything of enlisting
himself; that he was most zealously attached to the glorious cause for
which they were going to fight, and was very desirous of serving as a
volunteer;" concluding with some compliments to the lieutenant, and
expressing the great satisfaction he should have in being under his

The lieutenant returned his civility, commended his resolution, shook
him by the hand, and invited him to dine with himself and the rest of
the officers.

Chapter xii.

The adventure of a company of officers.

The lieutenant, whom we mentioned in the preceding chapter, and who
commanded this party, was now near sixty years of age. He had entered
very young into the army, and had served in the capacity of an ensign
at the battle of Tannieres; here he had received two wounds, and had
so well distinguished himself, that he was by the Duke of Marlborough
advanced to be a lieutenant, immediately after that battle.

In this commission he had continued ever since, viz., near forty
years; during which time he had seen vast numbers preferred over his
head, and had now the mortification to be commanded by boys, whose
fathers were at nurse when he first entered into the service.

Nor was this ill success in his profession solely owing to his having
no friends among the men in power. He had the misfortune to incur the
displeasure of his colonel, who for many years continued in the
command of this regiment. Nor did he owe the implacable ill-will which
this man bore him to any neglect or deficiency as an officer, nor
indeed to any fault in himself; but solely to the indiscretion of his
wife, who was a very beautiful woman, and who, though she was
remarkably fond of her husband, would not purchase his preferment at
the expense of certain favours which the colonel required of her.

The poor lieutenant was more peculiarly unhappy in this, that while he
felt the effects of the enmity of his colonel, he neither knew, nor
suspected, that he really bore him any; for he could not suspect an
ill-will for which he was not conscious of giving any cause; and his
wife, fearing what her husband's nice regard to his honour might have
occasioned, contented herself with preserving her virtue without
enjoying the triumphs of her conquest.

This unfortunate officer (for so I think he may be called) had many
good qualities besides his merit in his profession; for he was a
religious, honest, good-natured man; and had behaved so well in his
command, that he was highly esteemed and beloved not only by the
soldiers of his own company, but by the whole regiment.

The other officers who marched with him were a French lieutenant, who
had been long enough out of France to forget his own language, but not
long enough in England to learn ours, so that he really spoke no
language at all, and could barely make himself understood on the most
ordinary occasions. There were likewise two ensigns, both very young
fellows; one of whom had been bred under an attorney, and the other
was son to the wife of a nobleman's butler.

As soon as dinner was ended, Jones informed the company of the
merriment which had passed among the soldiers upon their march; "and
yet," says he, "notwithstanding all their vociferation, I dare swear
they will behave more like Grecians than Trojans when they come to the
enemy."--"Grecians and Trojans!" says one of the ensigns, "who the
devil are they? I have heard of all the troops in Europe, but never of
any such as these."

"Don't pretend to more ignorance than you have, Mr Northerton," said
the worthy lieutenant. "I suppose you have heard of the Greeks and
Trojans, though perhaps you never read Pope's Homer; who, I remember,
now the gentleman mentions it, compares the march of the Trojans to
the cackling of geese, and greatly commends the silence of the
Grecians. And upon my honour there is great justice in the cadet's

"Begar, me remember dem ver well," said the French lieutenant: "me ave
read them at school in dans Madam Daciere, des Greek, des Trojan, dey
fight for von woman--ouy, ouy, me ave read all dat."

"D--n Homo with all my heart," says Northerton; "I have the marks of
him on my a-- yet. There's Thomas, of our regiment, always carries a
Homo in his pocket; d--n me, if ever I come at it, if I don't burn it.
And there's Corderius, another d--n'd son of a whore, that hath got me
many a flogging."

"Then you have been at school, Mr Northerton?" said the lieutenant.

"Ay, d--n me, have I," answered he; "the devil take my father for
sending me thither! The old put wanted to make a parson of me, but
d--n me, thinks I to myself, I'll nick you there, old cull; the devil
a smack of your nonsense shall you ever get into me. There's Jemmy
Oliver, of our regiment, he narrowly escaped being a pimp too, and
that would have been a thousand pities; for d--n me if he is not one
of the prettiest fellows in the whole world; but he went farther than
I with the old cull, for Jimmey can neither write nor read."

"You give your friend a very good character," said the lieutenant,
"and a very deserved one, I dare say. But prithee, Northerton, leave
off that foolish as well as wicked custom of swearing; for you are
deceived, I promise you, if you think there is wit or politeness in
it. I wish, too, you would take my advice, and desist from abusing the
clergy. Scandalous names, and reflections cast on any body of men,
must be always unjustifiable; but especially so, when thrown on so
sacred a function; for to abuse the body is to abuse the function
itself; and I leave to you to judge how inconsistent such behaviour is
in men who are going to fight in defence of the Protestant religion."

Mr Adderly, which was the name of the other ensign, had sat hitherto
kicking his heels and humming a tune, without seeming to listen to the
discourse; he now answered, "_O, Monsieur, on ne parle pas de la
religion dans la guerre_."--"Well said, Jack," cries Northerton: "if
_la religion_ was the only matter, the parsons should fight their own
battles for me."

"I don't know, gentlemen," said Jones, "what may be your opinion; but
I think no man can engage in a nobler cause than that of his religion;
and I have observed, in the little I have read of history, that no
soldiers have fought so bravely as those who have been inspired with a
religious zeal: for my own part, though I love my king and country, I
hope, as well as any man in it, yet the Protestant interest is no
small motive to my becoming a volunteer in the cause."

Northerton now winked on Adderly, and whispered to him slily, "Smoke
the prig, Adderly, smoke him." Then turning to Jones, said to him, "I
am very glad, sir, you have chosen our regiment to be a volunteer in;
for if our parson should at any time take a cup too much, I find you
can supply his place. I presume, sir, you have been at the university;
may I crave the favour to know what college?"

"Sir," answered Jones, "so far from having been at the university, I
have even had the advantage of yourself, for I was never at school."

"I presumed," cries the ensign, "only upon the information of your
great learning."--"Oh! sir," answered Jones, "it is as possible for a
man to know something without having been at school, as it is to have
been at school and to know nothing."

"Well said, young volunteer," cries the lieutenant. "Upon my word,
Northerton, you had better let him alone; for he will be too hard for

Northerton did not very well relish the sarcasm of Jones; but he
thought the provocation was scarce sufficient to justify a blow, or a
rascal, or scoundrel, which were the only repartees that suggested
themselves. He was, therefore, silent at present; but resolved to take
the first opportunity of returning the jest by abuse.

It now came to the turn of Mr Jones to give a toast, as it is called;
who could not refrain from mentioning his dear Sophia. This he did the
more readily, as he imagined it utterly impossible that any one
present should guess the person he meant.

But the lieutenant, who was the toast-master, was not contented with
Sophia only. He said, he must have her sir-name; upon which Jones
hesitated a little, and presently after named Miss Sophia Western.
Ensign Northerton declared he would not drink her health in the same
round with his own toast, unless somebody would vouch for her. "I knew
one Sophy Western," says he, "that was lain with by half the young
fellows at Bath; and perhaps this is the same woman." Jones very
solemnly assured him of the contrary; asserting that the young lady he
named was one of great fashion and fortune. "Ay, ay," says the ensign,
"and so she is: d--n me, it is the same woman; and I'll hold half a
dozen of Burgundy, Tom French of our regiment brings her into company
with us at any tavern in Bridges-street." He then proceeded to
describe her person exactly (for he had seen her with her aunt), and
concluded with saying, "that her father had a great estate in

The tenderness of lovers can ill brook the least jesting with the
names of their mistresses. However, Jones, though he had enough of the
lover and of the heroe too in his disposition, did not resent these
slanders as hastily as, perhaps, he ought to have done. To say the
truth, having seen but little of this kind of wit, he did not readily
understand it, and for a long time imagined Mr Northerton had really
mistaken his charmer for some other. But now, turning to the ensign
with a stern aspect, he said, "Pray, sir, chuse some other subject for
your wit; for I promise you I will bear no jesting with this lady's
character." "Jesting!" cries the other, "d--n me if ever I was more in
earnest in my life. Tom French of our regiment had both her and her
aunt at Bath." "Then I must tell you in earnest," cries Jones, "that
you are one of the most impudent rascals upon earth."

He had no sooner spoken these words, than the ensign, together with a
volley of curses, discharged a bottle full at the head of Jones, which
hitting him a little above the right temple, brought him instantly to
the ground.

The conqueror perceiving the enemy to lie motionless before him, and
blood beginning to flow pretty plentifully from his wound, began now
to think of quitting the field of battle, where no more honour was to
be gotten; but the lieutenant interposed, by stepping before the door,
and thus cut off his retreat.

Northerton was very importunate with the lieutenant for his liberty;
urging the ill consequences of his stay, asking him, what he could
have done less? "Zounds!" says he, "I was but in jest with the fellow.
I never heard any harm of Miss Western in my life." "Have not you?"
said the lieutenant; "then you richly deserve to be hanged, as well
for making such jests, as for using such a weapon: you are my
prisoner, sir; nor shall you stir from hence till a proper guard comes
to secure you."

Such an ascendant had our lieutenant over this ensign, that all that
fervency of courage which had levelled our poor heroe with the floor,
would scarce have animated the said ensign to have drawn his sword
against the lieutenant, had he then had one dangling at his side: but
all the swords being hung up in the room, were, at the very beginning
of the fray, secured by the French officer. So that Mr Northerton was
obliged to attend the final issue of this affair.

The French gentleman and Mr Adderly, at the desire of their commanding
officer, had raised up the body of Jones, but as they could perceive
but little (if any) sign of life in him, they again let him fall,
Adderly damning him for having blooded his wastecoat; and the
Frenchman declaring, "Begar, me no tush the Engliseman de mort: me
have heard de Englise ley, law, what you call, hang up de man dat tush
him last."

When the good lieutenant applied himself to the door, he applied
himself likewise to the bell; and the drawer immediately attending, he
dispatched him for a file of musqueteers and a surgeon. These
commands, together with the drawer's report of what he had himself
seen, not only produced the soldiers, but presently drew up the
landlord of the house, his wife, and servants, and, indeed, every one
else who happened at that time to be in the inn.

To describe every particular, and to relate the whole conversation of
the ensuing scene, is not within my power, unless I had forty pens,
and could, at once, write with them all together, as the company now
spoke. The reader must, therefore, content himself with the most
remarkable incidents, and perhaps he may very well excuse the rest.

The first thing done was securing the body of Northerton, who being
delivered into the custody of six men with a corporal at their head,
was by them conducted from a place which he was very willing to leave,
but it was unluckily to a place whither he was very unwilling to go.
To say the truth, so whimsical are the desires of ambition, the very
moment this youth had attained the above-mentioned honour, he would
have been well contented to have retired to some corner of the world,
where the fame of it should never have reached his ears.

It surprizes us, and so perhaps, it may the reader, that the
lieutenant, a worthy and good man, should have applied his chief care,
rather to secure the offender, than to preserve the life of the
wounded person. We mention this observation, not with any view of
pretending to account for so odd a behaviour, but lest some critic
should hereafter plume himself on discovering it. We would have these
gentlemen know we can see what is odd in characters as well as
themselves, but it is our business to relate facts as they are; which,
when we have done, it is the part of the learned and sagacious reader
to consult that original book of nature, whence every passage in our
work is transcribed, though we quote not always the particular page
for its authority.

The company which now arrived were of a different disposition. They
suspended their curiosity concerning the person of the ensign, till
they should see him hereafter in a more engaging attitude. At present,
their whole concern and attention were employed about the bloody
object on the floor; which being placed upright in a chair, soon began
to discover some symptoms of life and motion. These were no sooner
perceived by the company (for Jones was at first generally concluded
to be dead) than they all fell at once to prescribing for him (for as
none of the physical order was present, every one there took that
office upon him).

Bleeding was the unanimous voice of the whole room; but unluckily
there was no operator at hand; every one then cried, "Call the
barber;" but none stirred a step. Several cordials was likewise
prescribed in the same ineffective manner; till the landlord ordered
up a tankard of strong beer, with a toast, which he said was the best
cordial in England.

The person principally assistant on this occasion, indeed the only one
who did any service, or seemed likely to do any, was the landlady: she
cut off some of her hair, and applied it to the wound to stop the
blood; she fell to chafing the youth's temples with her hand; and
having exprest great contempt for her husband's prescription of beer,
she despatched one of her maids to her own closet for a bottle of
brandy, of which, as soon as it was brought, she prevailed on Jones,
who was just returned to his senses, to drink a very large and
plentiful draught.

Soon afterwards arrived the surgeon, who having viewed the wound,
having shaken his head, and blamed everything which was done, ordered
his patient instantly to bed; in which place we think proper to leave
him some time to his repose, and shall here, therefore, put an end to
this chapter.

Chapter xiii.

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

When the wounded man was carried to his bed, and the house began again
to clear up from the hurry which this accident had occasioned, the
landlady thus addressed the commanding officer: "I am afraid, sir,"
said she, "this young man did not behave himself as well as he should
do to your honours; and if he had been killed, I suppose he had but
his desarts: to be sure, when gentlemen admit inferior parsons into
their company, they oft to keep their distance; but, as my first
husband used to say, few of 'em know how to do it. For my own part, I
am sure I should not have suffered any fellows to _include_ themselves
into gentlemen's company; but I thoft he had been an officer himself,
till the serjeant told me he was but a recruit."

"Landlady," answered the lieutenant, "you mistake the whole matter.
The young man behaved himself extremely well, and is, I believe, a
much better gentleman than the ensign who abused him. If the young
fellow dies, the man who struck him will have most reason to be sorry
for it: for the regiment will get rid of a very troublesome fellow,
who is a scandal to the army; and if he escapes from the hands of
justice, blame me, madam, that's all."

"Ay! ay! good lack-a-day!" said the landlady; "who could have thoft
it? Ay, ay, ay, I am satisfied your honour will see justice done; and
to be sure it oft to be to every one. Gentlemen oft not to kill poor
folks without answering for it. A poor man hath a soul to be saved, as
well as his betters."

"Indeed, madam," said the lieutenant, "you do the volunteer wrong: I
dare swear he is more of a gentleman than the officer."

"Ay!" cries the landlady; "why, look you there, now: well, my first
husband was a wise man; he used to say, you can't always know the
inside by the outside. Nay, that might have been well enough too; for
I never _saw'd_ him till he was all over blood. Who would have thoft
it? mayhap, some young gentleman crossed in love. Good lack-a-day, if
he should die, what a concern it will be to his parents! why, sure the
devil must possess the wicked wretch to do such an act. To be sure, he
is a scandal to the army, as your honour says; for most of the
gentlemen of the army that ever I saw, are quite different sort of
people, and look as if they would scorn to spill any Christian blood
as much as any men: I mean, that is, in a civil way, as my first
husband used to say. To be sure, when they come into the wars, there
must be bloodshed: but that they are not to be blamed for. The more of
our enemies they kill there, the better: and I wish, with all my
heart, they could kill every mother's son of them."

"O fie, madam!" said the lieutenant, smiling; "_all_ is rather too
bloody-minded a wish."

"Not at all, sir," answered she; "I am not at all bloody-minded, only
to our enemies; and there is no harm in that. To be sure it is natural
for us to wish our enemies dead, that the wars may be at an end, and
our taxes be lowered; for it is a dreadful thing to pay as we do. Why
now, there is above forty shillings for window-lights, and yet we have
stopt up all we could; we have almost blinded the house, I am sure.
Says I to the exciseman, says I, I think you oft to favour us; I am
sure we are very good friends to the government: and so we are for
sartain, for we pay a mint of money to 'um. And yet I often think to
myself the government doth not imagine itself more obliged to us, than
to those that don't pay 'um a farthing. Ay, ay, it is the way of the

She was proceeding in this manner when the surgeon entered the room.
The lieutenant immediately asked how his patient did. But he resolved
him only by saying, "Better, I believe, than he would have been by
this time, if I had not been called; and even as it is, perhaps it
would have been lucky if I could have been called sooner."--"I hope,
sir," said the lieutenant, "the skull is not fractured."--"Hum," cries
the surgeon: "fractures are not always the most dangerous symptoms.
Contusions and lacerations are often attended with worse phaenomena,
and with more fatal consequences, than fractures. People who know
nothing of the matter conclude, if the skull is not fractured, all is
well; whereas, I had rather see a man's skull broke all to pieces,
than some contusions I have met with."--"I hope," says the lieutenant,
"there are no such symptoms here."--"Symptoms," answered the surgeon,
"are not always regular nor constant. I have known very unfavourable
symptoms in the morning change to favourable ones at noon, and return
to unfavourable again at night. Of wounds, indeed, it is rightly and
truly said, _Nemo repente fuit turpissimus_. I was once, I remember,
called to a patient who had received a violent contusion in his tibia,
by which the exterior cutis was lacerated, so that there was a profuse
sanguinary discharge; and the interior membranes were so divellicated,
that the os or bone very plainly appeared through the aperture of the
vulnus or wound. Some febrile symptoms intervening at the same time
(for the pulse was exuberant and indicated much phlebotomy), I
apprehended an immediate mortification. To prevent which, I presently
made a large orifice in the vein of the left arm, whence I drew twenty
ounces of blood; which I expected to have found extremely sizy and
glutinous, or indeed coagulated, as it is in pleuretic complaints;
but, to my surprize, it appeared rosy and florid, and its consistency
differed little from the blood of those in perfect health. I then
applied a fomentation to the part, which highly answered the
intention; and after three or four times dressing, the wound began to
discharge a thick pus or matter, by which means the cohesion--But
perhaps I do not make myself perfectly well understood?"--"No,
really," answered the lieutenant, "I cannot say I understand a
syllable."--"Well, sir," said the surgeon, "then I shall not tire your
patience; in short, within six weeks my patient was able to walk upon
his legs as perfectly as he could have done before he received the
contusion."--"I wish, sir," said the lieutenant, "you would be so kind
only to inform me, whether the wound this young gentleman hath had the
misfortune to receive, is likely to prove mortal."--"Sir," answered
the surgeon, "to say whether a wound will prove mortal or not at first
dressing, would be very weak and foolish presumption: we are all
mortal, and symptoms often occur in a cure which the greatest of our
profession could never foresee."--"But do you think him in danger?"
says the other.--"In danger! ay, surely," cries the doctor: "who is
there among us, who, in the most perfect health, can be said not to be
in danger? Can a man, therefore, with so bad a wound as this be said
to be out of danger? All I can say at present is, that it is well I
was called as I was, and perhaps it would have been better if I had
been called sooner. I will see him again early in the morning; and in
the meantime let him be kept extremely quiet, and drink liberally of
water-gruel."--"Won't you allow him sack-whey?" said the
landlady.--"Ay, ay, sack-whey," cries the doctor, "if you will,
provided it be very small."--"And a little chicken broth too?" added
she.--"Yes, yes, chicken broth," said the doctor, "is very
good."--"Mayn't I make him some jellies too?" said the landlady.--"Ay,
ay," answered the doctor, "jellies are very good for wounds, for they
promote cohesion." And indeed it was lucky she had not named soup or
high sauces, for the doctor would have complied, rather than have lost
the custom of the house.

The doctor was no sooner gone, than the landlady began to trumpet
forth his fame to the lieutenant, who had not, from their short
acquaintance, conceived quite so favourable an opinion of his physical
abilities as the good woman, and all the neighbourhood, entertained
(and perhaps very rightly); for though I am afraid the doctor was a
little of a coxcomb, he might be nevertheless very much of a surgeon.

The lieutenant having collected from the learned discourse of the
surgeon that Mr Jones was in great danger, gave orders for keeping Mr
Northerton under a very strict guard, designing in the morning to
attend him to a justice of peace, and to commit the conducting the
troops to Gloucester to the French lieutenant, who, though he could
neither read, write, nor speak any language, was, however, a good

In the evening, our commander sent a message to Mr Jones, that if a
visit would not be troublesome, he would wait on him. This civility
was very kindly and thankfully received by Jones, and the lieutenant
accordingly went up to his room, where he found the wounded man much
better than he expected; nay, Jones assured his friend, that if he had
not received express orders to the contrary from the surgeon, he
should have got up long ago; for he appeared to himself to be as well
as ever, and felt no other inconvenience from his wound but an extreme
soreness on that side of his head.

"I should be very glad," quoth the lieutenant, "if you was as well as
you fancy yourself, for then you could be able to do yourself justice
immediately; for when a matter can't be made up, as in case of a blow,
the sooner you take him out the better; but I am afraid you think
yourself better than you are, and he would have too much advantage
over you."

"I'll try, however," answered Jones, "if you please, and will be so
kind to lend me a sword, for I have none here of my own."

"My sword is heartily at your service, my dear boy," cries the
lieutenant, kissing him; "you are a brave lad, and I love your spirit;
but I fear your strength; for such a blow, and so much loss of blood,
must have very much weakened you; and though you feel no want of
strength in your bed, yet you most probably would after a thrust or
two. I can't consent to your taking him out tonight; but I hope you
will be able to come up with us before we get many days' march
advance; and I give you my honour you shall have satisfaction, or the
man who hath injured you shan't stay in our regiment."

"I wish," said Jones, "it was possible to decide this matter to-night:
now you have mentioned it to me, I shall not be able to rest."

"Oh, never think of it," returned the other: "a few days will make no
difference. The wounds of honour are not like those in your body: they
suffer nothing by the delay of cure. It will be altogether as well for
you to receive satisfaction a week hence as now."

"But suppose," says Jones, "I should grow worse, and die of the
consequences of my present wound?"

"Then your honour," answered the lieutenant, "will require no
reparation at all. I myself will do justice to your character, and
testify to the world your intention to have acted properly, if you had

"Still," replied Jones, "I am concerned at the delay. I am almost
afraid to mention it to you who are a soldier; but though I have been
a very wild young fellow, still in my most serious moments, and at the
bottom, I am really a Christian."

"So am I too, I assure you," said the officer; "and so zealous a one,
that I was pleased with you at dinner for taking up the cause of your
religion; and I am a little offended with you now, young gentleman,
that you should express a fear of declaring your faith before any

"But how terrible must it be," cries Jones, "to any one who is really
a Christian, to cherish malice in his breast, in opposition to the
command of Him who hath expressly forbid it? How can I bear to do this
on a sick-bed? Or how shall I make up my account, with such an article
as this in my bosom against me?"

"Why, I believe there is such a command," cries the lieutenant; "but a
man of honour can't keep it. And you must be a man of honour, if you
will be in the army. I remember I once put the case to our chaplain
over a bowl of punch, and he confessed there was much difficulty in
it; but he said, he hoped there might be a latitude granted to
soldiers in this one instance; and to be sure it is our duty to hope
so; for who would bear to live without his honour? No, no, my dear
boy, be a good Christian as long as you live; but be a man of honour
too, and never put up an affront; not all the books, nor all the
parsons in the world, shall ever persuade me to that. I love my
religion very well, but I love my honour more. There must be some
mistake in the wording the text, or in the translation, or in the
understanding it, or somewhere or other. But however that be, a man
must run the risque, for he must preserve his honour. So compose
yourself to-night, and I promise you you shall have an opportunity of
doing yourself justice." Here he gave Jones a hearty buss, shook him
by the hand, and took his leave.

But though the lieutenant's reasoning was very satisfactory to
himself, it was not entirely so to his friend. Jones therefore, having
revolved this matter much in his thoughts, at last came to a
resolution, which the reader will find in the next chapter.

Chapter xiv.

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

Jones swallowed a large mess of chicken, or rather cock, broth, with a
very good appetite, as indeed he would have done the cock it was made
of, with a pound of bacon into the bargain; and now, finding in
himself no deficiency of either health or spirit, he resolved to get
up and seek his enemy.

But first he sent for the serjeant, who was his first acquaintance
among these military gentlemen. Unluckily that worthy officer having,
in a literal sense, taken his fill of liquor, had been some time
retired to his bolster, where he was snoring so loud that it was not
easy to convey a noise in at his ears capable of drowning that which
issued from his nostrils.

However, as Jones persisted in his desire of seeing him, a vociferous
drawer at length found means to disturb his slumbers, and to acquaint
him with the message. Of which the serjeant was no sooner made
sensible, than he arose from his bed, and having his clothes already
on, immediately attended. Jones did not think fit to acquaint the
serjeant with his design; though he might have done it with great
safety, for the halberdier was himself a man of honour, and had killed
his man. He would therefore have faithfully kept this secret, or
indeed any other which no reward was published for discovering. But as
Jones knew not those virtues in so short an acquaintance, his caution
was perhaps prudent and commendable enough.

He began therefore by acquainting the serjeant, that as he was now
entered into the army, he was ashamed of being without what was
perhaps the most necessary implement of a soldier; namely, a sword;
adding, that he should be infinitely obliged to him, if he could
procure one. "For which," says he, "I will give you any reasonable
price; nor do I insist upon its being silver-hilted; only a good
blade, and such as may become a soldier's thigh."

The serjeant, who well knew what had happened, and had heard that
Jones was in a very dangerous condition, immediately concluded, from
such a message, at such a time of night, and from a man in such a
situation, that he was light-headed. Now as he had his wit (to use
that word in its common signification) always ready, he bethought
himself of making his advantage of this humour in the sick man. "Sir,"
says he, "I believe I can fit you. I have a most excellent piece of
stuff by me. It is not indeed silver-hilted, which, as you say, doth
not become a soldier; but the handle is decent enough, and the blade
one of the best in Europe. It is a blade that--a blade that--in short,
I will fetch it you this instant, and you shall see it and handle it.
I am glad to see your honour so well with all my heart."

Being instantly returned with the sword, he delivered it to Jones, who
took it and drew it; and then told the serjeant it would do very well,
and bid him name his price.

The serjeant now began to harangue in praise of his goods. He said
(nay he swore very heartily), "that the blade was taken from a French
officer, of very high rank, at the battle of Dettingen. I took it
myself," says he, "from his side, after I had knocked him o' the head.
The hilt was a golden one. That I sold to one of our fine gentlemen;
for there are some of them, an't please your honour, who value the
hilt of a sword more than the blade."

Here the other stopped him, and begged him to name a price. The
serjeant, who thought Jones absolutely out of his senses, and very
near his end, was afraid lest he should injure his family by asking
too little. However, after a moment's hesitation, he contented himself
with naming twenty guineas, and swore he would not sell it for less to
his own brother.

"Twenty guineas!" says Jones, in the utmost surprize: "sure you think
I am mad, or that I never saw a sword in my life. Twenty guineas,
indeed! I did not imagine you would endeavour to impose upon me. Here,
take the sword--No, now I think on't, I will keep it myself, and show
it your officer in the morning, acquainting him, at the same time,
what a price you asked me for it."

The serjeant, as we have said, had always his wit (_in sensu
praedicto_) about him, and now plainly saw that Jones was not in the
condition he had apprehended him to be; he now, therefore,
counterfeited as great surprize as the other had shown, and said, "I
am certain, sir, I have not asked you so much out of the way. Besides,
you are to consider, it is the only sword I have, and I must run the
risque of my officer's displeasure, by going without one myself. And
truly, putting all this together, I don't think twenty shillings was
so much out of the way."

"Twenty shillings!" cries Jones; "why, you just now asked me twenty
guineas."--"How!" cries the serjeant, "sure your honour must have
mistaken me: or else I mistook myself--and indeed I am but half awake.
Twenty guineas, indeed! no wonder your honour flew into such a
passion. I say twenty guineas too. No, no, I mean twenty shillings, I
assure you. And when your honour comes to consider everything, I hope
you will not think that so extravagant a price. It is indeed true, you
may buy a weapon which looks as well for less money. But----"

Here Jones interrupted him, saying, "I will be so far from making any
words with you, that I will give you a shilling more than your
demand." He then gave him a guinea, bid him return to his bed, and
wished him a good march; adding, he hoped to overtake them before the
division reached Worcester.

The serjeant very civilly took his leave, fully satisfied with his
merchandize, and not a little pleased with his dexterous recovery from
that false step into which his opinion of the sick man's
light-headedness had betrayed him.

As soon as the serjeant was departed, Jones rose from his bed, and
dressed himself entirely, putting on even his coat, which, as its
colour was white, showed very visibly the streams of blood which had
flowed down it; and now, having grasped his new-purchased sword in his
hand, he was going to issue forth, when the thought of what he was
about to undertake laid suddenly hold of him, and he began to reflect
that in a few minutes he might possibly deprive a human being of life,
or might lose his own. "Very well," said he, "and in what cause do I
venture my life? Why, in that of my honour. And who is this human
being? A rascal who hath injured and insulted me without provocation.
But is not revenge forbidden by Heaven? Yes, but it is enjoined by the
world. Well, but shall I obey the world in opposition to the express
commands of Heaven? Shall I incur the Divine displeasure rather than
be called--ha--coward--scoundrel?--I'll think no more; I am resolved,
and must fight him."

The clock had now struck twelve, and every one in the house were in
their beds, except the centinel who stood to guard Northerton, when
Jones softly opening his door, issued forth in pursuit of his enemy,
of whose place of confinement he had received a perfect description
from the drawer. It is not easy to conceive a much more tremendous
figure than he now exhibited. He had on, as we have said, a
light-coloured coat, covered with streams of blood. His face, which
missed that very blood, as well as twenty ounces more drawn from him
by the surgeon, was pallid. Round his head was a quantity of bandage,
not unlike a turban. In the right hand he carried a sword, and in the
left a candle. So that the bloody Banquo was not worthy to be compared
to him. In fact, I believe a more dreadful apparition was never raised
in a church-yard, nor in the imagination of any good people met in a
winter evening over a Christmas fire in Somersetshire.

When the centinel first saw our heroe approach, his hair began gently
to lift up his grenadier cap; and in the same instant his knees fell
to blows with each other. Presently his whole body was seized with
worse than an ague fit. He then fired his piece, and fell flat on his

Whether fear or courage was the occasion of his firing, or whether he
took aim at the object of his terror, I cannot say. If he did,
however, he had the good fortune to miss his man.

Jones seeing the fellow fall, guessed the cause of his fright, at
which he could not forbear smiling, not in the least reflecting on the
danger from which he had just escaped. He then passed by the fellow,
who still continued in the posture in which he fell, and entered the
room where Northerton, as he had heard, was confined. Here, in a
solitary situation, he found--an empty quart pot standing on the
table, on which some beer being spilt, it looked as if the room had
lately been inhabited; but at present it was entirely vacant.

Jones then apprehended it might lead to some other apartment; but upon
searching all round it, he could perceive no other door than that at
which he entered, and where the centinel had been posted. He then
proceeded to call Northerton several times by his name; but no one
answered; nor did this serve to any other purpose than to confirm the
centinel in his terrors, who was now convinced that the volunteer was
dead of his wounds, and that his ghost was come in search of the
murderer: he now lay in all the agonies of horror; and I wish, with
all my heart, some of those actors who are hereafter to represent a
man frighted out of his wits had seen him, that they might be taught
to copy nature, instead of performing several antic tricks and
gestures, for the entertainment and applause of the galleries.

Perceiving the bird was flown, at least despairing to find him, and
rightly apprehending that the report of the firelock would alarm the
whole house, our heroe now blew out his candle, and gently stole back
again to his chamber, and to his bed; whither he would not have been
able to have gotten undiscovered, had any other person been on the
same staircase, save only one gentleman who was confined to his bed by
the gout; for before he could reach the door to his chamber, the hall
where the centinel had been posted was half full of people, some in
their shirts, and others not half drest, all very earnestly enquiring
of each other what was the matter.

The soldier was now found lying in the same place and posture in which
we just now left him. Several immediately applied themselves to raise
him, and some concluded him dead; but they presently saw their
mistake, for he not only struggled with those who laid their hands on
him, but fell a roaring like a bull. In reality, he imagined so many
spirits or devils were handling him; for his imagination being
possessed with the horror of an apparition, converted every object he
saw or felt into nothing but ghosts and spectres.

At length he was overpowered by numbers, and got upon his legs; when
candles being brought, and seeing two or three of his comrades
present, he came a little to himself; but when they asked him what was
the matter? he answered, "I am a dead man, that's all, I am a dead
man, I can't recover it, I have seen him." "What hast thou seen,
Jack?" says one of the soldiers. "Why, I have seen the young volunteer
that was killed yesterday." He then imprecated the most heavy curses
on himself, if he had not seen the volunteer, all over blood, vomiting
fire out of his mouth and nostrils, pass by him into the chamber where
Ensign Northerton was, and then seizing the ensign by the throat, fly
away with him in a clap of thunder.

This relation met with a gracious reception from the audience. All the
women present believed it firmly, and prayed Heaven to defend them
from murder. Amongst the men too, many had faith in the story; but
others turned it into derision and ridicule; and a serjeant who was
present answered very coolly, "Young man, you will hear more of this,
for going to sleep and dreaming on your post."

The soldier replied, "You may punish me if you please; but I was as
broad awake as I am now; and the devil carry me away, as he hath the
ensign, if I did not see the dead man, as I tell you, with eyes as big
and as fiery as two large flambeaux."

The commander of the forces, and the commander of the house, were now
both arrived; for the former being awake at the time, and hearing the
centinel fire his piece, thought it his duty to rise immediately,
though he had no great apprehensions of any mischief; whereas the
apprehensions of the latter were much greater, lest her spoons and
tankards should be upon the march, without having received any such
orders from her.

Our poor centinel, to whom the sight of this officer was not much more
welcome than the apparition, as he thought it, which he had seen
before, again related the dreadful story, and with many additions of
blood and fire; but he had the misfortune to gain no credit with
either of the last-mentioned persons: for the officer, though a very
religious man, was free from all terrors of this kind; besides, having
so lately left Jones in the condition we have seen, he had no
suspicion of his being dead. As for the landlady, though not over
religious, she had no kind of aversion to the doctrine of spirits; but
there was a circumstance in the tale which she well knew to be false,
as we shall inform the reader presently.

But whether Northerton was carried away in thunder or fire, or in
whatever other manner he was gone, it was now certain that his body
was no longer in custody. Upon this occasion the lieutenant formed a
conclusion not very different from what the serjeant is just mentioned
to have made before, and immediately ordered the centinel to be taken
prisoner. So that, by a strange reverse of fortune (though not very
uncommon in a military life), the guard became the guarded.

Chapter xv.

The conclusion of the foregoing adventure.

Besides the suspicion of sleep, the lieutenant harboured another and
worse doubt against the poor centinel, and this was, that of
treachery; for as he believed not one syllable of the apparition, so
he imagined the whole to be an invention formed only to impose upon
him, and that the fellow had in reality been bribed by Northerton to
let him escape. And this he imagined the rather, as the fright
appeared to him the more unnatural in one who had the character of as
brave and bold a man as any in the regiment, having been in several
actions, having received several wounds, and, in a word, having
behaved himself always like a good and valiant soldier.

That the reader, therefore, may not conceive the least ill opinion of
such a person, we shall not delay a moment in rescuing his character
from the imputation of this guilt.

Mr Northerton then, as we have before observed, was fully satisfied
with the glory which he had obtained from this action. He had perhaps
seen, or heard, or guessed, that envy is apt to attend fame. Not that
I would here insinuate that he was heathenishly inclined to believe in
or to worship the goddess Nemesis; for, in fact, I am convinced he
never heard of her name. He was, besides, of an active disposition,
and had a great antipathy to those close quarters in the castle of
Gloucester, for which a justice of peace might possibly give him a
billet. Nor was he moreover free from some uneasy meditations on a
certain wooden edifice, which I forbear to name, in conformity to the
opinion of mankind, who, I think, rather ought to honour than to be
ashamed of this building, as it is, or at least might be made, of more
benefit to society than almost any other public erection. In a word,
to hint at no more reasons for his conduct, Mr Northerton was desirous
of departing that evening, and nothing remained for him but to
contrive the quomodo, which appeared to be a matter of some

Now this young gentleman, though somewhat crooked in his morals, was
perfectly straight in his person, which was extremely strong and well
made. His face too was accounted handsome by the generality of women,
for it was broad and ruddy, with tolerably good teeth. Such charms did
not fail making an impression on my landlady, who had no little relish
for this kind of beauty. She had, indeed, a real compassion for the
young man; and hearing from the surgeon that affairs were like to go
ill with the volunteer, she suspected they might hereafter wear no
benign aspect with the ensign. Having obtained, therefore, leave to
make him a visit, and finding him in a very melancholy mood, which she
considerably heightened by telling him there were scarce any hopes of
the volunteer's life, she proceeded to throw forth some hints, which
the other readily and eagerly taking up, they soon came to a right
understanding; and it was at length agreed that the ensign should, at
a certain signal, ascend the chimney, which communicating very soon
with that of the kitchen, he might there again let himself down; for
which she would give him an opportunity by keeping the coast clear.

But lest our readers, of a different complexion, should take this
occasion of too hastily condemning all compassion as a folly, and
pernicious to society, we think proper to mention another particular
which might possibly have some little share in this action. The ensign
happened to be at this time possessed of the sum of fifty pounds,
which did indeed belong to the whole company; for the captain having
quarrelled with his lieutenant, had entrusted the payment of his
company to the ensign. This money, however, he thought proper to
deposit in my landlady's hand, possibly by way of bail or security
that he would hereafter appear and answer to the charge against him;
but whatever were the conditions, certain it is, that she had the
money and the ensign his liberty.

The reader may perhaps expect, from the compassionate temper of this
good woman, that when she saw the poor centinel taken prisoner for a
fact of which she knew him innocent, she should immediately have
interposed in his behalf; but whether it was that she had already
exhausted all her compassion in the above-mentioned instance, or that
the features of this fellow, though not very different from those of
the ensign, could not raise it, I will not determine; but, far from
being an advocate for the present prisoner, she urged his guilt to his
officer, declaring, with uplifted eyes and hands, that she would not
have had any concern in the escape of a murderer for all the world.

Everything was now once more quiet, and most of the company returned
again to their beds; but the landlady, either from the natural
activity of her disposition, or from her fear for her plate, having no
propensity to sleep, prevailed with the officers, as they were to
march within little more than an hour, to spend that time with her
over a bowl of punch.

Jones had lain awake all this while, and had heard great part of the
hurry and bustle that had passed, of which he had now some curiosity
to know the particulars. He therefore applied to his bell, which he
rung at least twenty times without any effect: for my landlady was in
such high mirth with her company, that no clapper could be heard there
but her own; and the drawer and chambermaid, who were sitting together
in the kitchen (for neither durst he sit up nor she lie in bed alone),
the more they heard the bell ring the more they were frightened, and
as it were nailed down in their places.

At last, at a lucky interval of chat, the sound reached the ears of
our good landlady, who presently sent forth her summons, which both
her servants instantly obeyed. "Joe," says the mistress, "don't you
hear the gentleman's bell ring? Why don't you go up?"--"It is not my
business," answered the drawer, "to wait upon the chambers--it is
Betty Chambermaid's."--"If you come to that," answered the maid, "it
is not my business to wait upon gentlemen. I have done it indeed
sometimes; but the devil fetch me if ever I do again, since you make
your preambles about it." The bell still ringing violently, their
mistress fell into a passion, and swore, if the drawer did not go up
immediately, she would turn him away that very morning. "If you do,
madam," says he, "I can't help it. I won't do another servant's
business." She then applied herself to the maid, and endeavoured to
prevail by gentle means; but all in vain: Betty was as inflexible as
Joe. Both insisted it was not their business, and they would not do

The lieutenant then fell a laughing, and said, "Come, I will put an
end to this contention;" and then turning to the servants, commended
them for their resolution in not giving up the point; but added, he
was sure, if one would consent to go the other would. To which
proposal they both agreed in an instant, and accordingly went up very
lovingly and close together. When they were gone, the lieutenant
appeased the wrath of the landlady, by satisfying her why they were
both so unwilling to go alone.

They returned soon after, and acquainted their mistress, that the sick
gentleman was so far from being dead, that he spoke as heartily as if
he was well; and that he gave his service to the captain, and should
be very glad of the favour of seeing him before he marched.

The good lieutenant immediately complied with his desires, and sitting
down by his bed-side, acquainted him with the scene which had happened
below, concluding with his intentions to make an example of the

Upon this Jones related to him the whole truth, and earnestly begged
him not to punish the poor soldier, "who, I am confident," says he,
"is as innocent of the ensign's escape, as he is of forging any lie,
or of endeavouring to impose on you."

The lieutenant hesitated a few moments, and then answered: "Why, as
you have cleared the fellow of one part of the charge, so it will be
impossible to prove the other, because he was not the only centinel.
But I have a good mind to punish the rascal for being a coward. Yet
who knows what effect the terror of such an apprehension may have?
and, to say the truth, he hath always behaved well against an enemy.
Come, it is a good thing to see any sign of religion in these fellows;
so I promise you he shall be set at liberty when we march. But hark,
the general beats. My dear boy, give me another buss. Don't discompose
nor hurry yourself; but remember the Christian doctrine of patience,
and I warrant you will soon be able to do yourself justice, and to
take an honourable revenge on the fellow who hath injured you." The
lieutenant then departed, and Jones endeavoured to compose himself to



Chapter i.

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

As we are now entering upon a book in which the course of our history
will oblige us to relate some matters of a more strange and surprizing
kind than any which have hitherto occurred, it may not be amiss, in
the prolegomenous or introductory chapter, to say something of that
species of writing which is called the marvellous. To this we shall,
as well for the sake of ourselves as of others, endeavour to set some
certain bounds, and indeed nothing can be more necessary, as
critics[*] of different complexions are here apt to run into very
different extremes; for while some are, with M. Dacier, ready to
allow, that the same thing which is impossible may be yet
probable,[**] others have so little historic or poetic faith, that they
believe nothing to be either possible or probable, the like to which
hath not occurred to their own observation.

[*] By this word here, and in most other parts of our work, we mean
every reader in the world.
[**] It is happy for M. Dacier that he was not an Irishman.

First, then, I think it may very reasonably be required of every
writer, that he keeps within the bounds of possibility; and still
remembers that what it is not possible for man to perform, it is
scarce possible for man to believe he did perform. This conviction
perhaps gave birth to many stories of the antient heathen deities (for
most of them are of poetical original). The poet, being desirous to
indulge a wanton and extravagant imagination, took refuge in that
power, of the extent of which his readers were no judges, or rather
which they imagined to be infinite, and consequently they could not be
shocked at any prodigies related of it. This hath been strongly urged
in defence of Homer's miracles; and it is perhaps a defence; not, as
Mr Pope would have it, because Ulysses told a set of foolish lies to
the Phaeacians, who were a very dull nation; but because the poet
himself wrote to heathens, to whom poetical fables were articles of
faith. For my own part, I must confess, so compassionate is my temper,
I wish Polypheme had confined himself to his milk diet, and preserved
his eye; nor could Ulysses be much more concerned than myself, when
his companions were turned into swine by Circe, who showed, I think,
afterwards, too much regard for man's flesh to be supposed capable of
converting it into bacon. I wish, likewise, with all my heart, that
Homer could have known the rule prescribed by Horace, to introduce
supernatural agents as seldom as possible. We should not then have
seen his gods coming on trivial errands, and often behaving themselves
so as not only to forfeit all title to respect, but to become the
objects of scorn and derision. A conduct which must have shocked the
credulity of a pious and sagacious heathen; and which could never have
been defended, unless by agreeing with a supposition to which I have
been sometimes almost inclined, that this most glorious poet, as he
certainly was, had an intent to burlesque the superstitious faith of
his own age and country.

But I have rested too long on a doctrine which can be of no use to a
Christian writer; for as he cannot introduce into his works any of
that heavenly host which make a part of his creed, so it is horrid
puerility to search the heathen theology for any of those deities who
have been long since dethroned from their immortality. Lord
Shaftesbury observes, that nothing is more cold than the invocation of
a muse by a modern; he might have added, that nothing can be more
absurd. A modern may with much more elegance invoke a ballad, as some
have thought Homer did, or a mug of ale, with the author of Hudibras;
which latter may perhaps have inspired much more poetry, as well as
prose, than all the liquors of Hippocrene or Helicon.

The only supernatural agents which can in any manner be allowed to us
moderns, are ghosts; but of these I would advise an author to be
extremely sparing. These are indeed, like arsenic, and other dangerous
drugs in physic, to be used with the utmost caution; nor would I
advise the introduction of them at all in those works, or by those
authors, to which, or to whom, a horse-laugh in the reader would be
any great prejudice or mortification.

As for elves and fairies, and other such mummery, I purposely omit the
mention of them, as I should be very unwilling to confine within any
bounds those surprizing imaginations, for whose vast capacity the
limits of human nature are too narrow; whose works are to be
considered as a new creation; and who have consequently just right to
do what they will with their own.

Man therefore is the highest subject (unless on very extraordinary
occasions indeed) which presents itself to the pen of our historian,
or of our poet; and, in relating his actions, great care is to be
taken that we do not exceed the capacity of the agent we describe.

Nor is possibility alone sufficient to justify us; we must keep
likewise within the rules of probability. It is, I think, the opinion
of Aristotle; or if not, it is the opinion of some wise man, whose
authority will be as weighty when it is as old, "That it is no excuse
for a poet who relates what is incredible, that the thing related is
really matter of fact." This may perhaps be allowed true with regard
to poetry, but it may be thought impracticable to extend it to the
historian; for he is obliged to record matters as he finds them,
though they may be of so extraordinary a nature as will require no
small degree of historical faith to swallow them. Such was the
successless armament of Xerxes described by Herodotus, or the
successful expedition of Alexander related by Arrian. Such of later
years was the victory of Agincourt obtained by Harry the Fifth, or
that of Narva won by Charles the Twelfth of Sweden. All which
instances, the more we reflect on them, appear still the more

Such facts, however, as they occur in the thread of the story, nay,
indeed, as they constitute the essential parts of it, the historian is
not only justifiable in recording as they really happened, but indeed
would be unpardonable should he omit or alter them. But there are
other facts not of such consequence nor so necessary, which, though
ever so well attested, may nevertheless be sacrificed to oblivion in
complacence to the scepticism of a reader. Such is that memorable
story of the ghost of George Villiers, which might with more propriety
have been made a present of to Dr Drelincourt, to have kept the ghost
of Mrs Veale company, at the head of his Discourse upon Death, than
have been introduced into so solemn a work as the History of the

To say the truth, if the historian will confine himself to what really
happened, and utterly reject any circumstance, which, though never so
well attested, he must be well assured is false, he will sometimes
fall into the marvellous, but never into the incredible. He will often
raise the wonder and surprize of his reader, but never that
incredulous hatred mentioned by Horace. It is by falling into fiction,
therefore, that we generally offend against this rule, of deserting
probability, which the historian seldom, if ever, quits, till he
forsakes his character and commences a writer of romance. In this,
however, those historians who relate public transactions, have the
advantage of us who confine ourselves to scenes of private life. The
credit of the former is by common notoriety supported for a long time;
and public records, with the concurrent testimony of many authors,
bear evidence to their truth in future ages. Thus a Trajan and an
Antoninus, a Nero and a Caligula, have all met with the belief of
posterity; and no one doubts but that men so very good, and so very
bad, were once the masters of mankind.

But we who deal in private character, who search into the most retired
recesses, and draw forth examples of virtue and vice from holes and
corners of the world, are in a more dangerous situation. As we have no
public notoriety, no concurrent testimony, no records to support and
corroborate what we deliver, it becomes us to keep within the limits
not only of possibility, but of probability too; and this more
especially in painting what is greatly good and amiable. Knavery and
folly, though never so exorbitant, will more easily meet with assent;
for ill-nature adds great support and strength to faith.

Thus we may, perhaps, with little danger, relate the history of
Fisher; who having long owed his bread to the generosity of Mr Derby,
and having one morning received a considerable bounty from his hands,
yet, in order to possess himself of what remained in his friend's
scrutore, concealed himself in a public office of the Temple, through
which there was a passage into Mr Derby's chambers. Here he overheard
Mr Derby for many hours solacing himself at an entertainment which he
that evening gave his friends, and to which Fisher had been invited.
During all this time, no tender, no grateful reflections arose to
restrain his purpose; but when the poor gentleman had let his company
out through the office, Fisher came suddenly from his lurking-place,
and walking softly behind his friend into his chamber, discharged a
pistol-ball into his head. This may be believed when the bones of
Fisher are as rotten as his heart. Nay, perhaps, it will be credited,
that the villain went two days afterwards with some young ladies to
the play of Hamlet; and with an unaltered countenance heard one of the
ladies, who little suspected how near she was to the person, cry out,
"Good God! if the man that murdered Mr Derby was now present!"
manifesting in this a more seared and callous conscience than even
Nero himself; of whom we are told by Suetonius, "that the
consciousness of his guilt, after the death of his mother, became
immediately intolerable, and so continued; nor could all the
congratulations of the soldiers, of the senate, and the people, allay
the horrors of his conscience."

But now, on the other hand, should I tell my reader, that I had known
a man whose penetrating genius had enabled him to raise a large
fortune in a way where no beginning was chaulked out to him; that he
had done this with the most perfect preservation of his integrity, and
not only without the least injustice or injury to any one individual
person, but with the highest advantage to trade, and a vast increase
of the public revenue; that he had expended one part of the income of
this fortune in discovering a taste superior to most, by works where
the highest dignity was united with the purest simplicity, and another
part in displaying a degree of goodness superior to all men, by acts
of charity to objects whose only recommendations were their merits, or
their wants; that he was most industrious in searching after merit in
distress, most eager to relieve it, and then as careful (perhaps too

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