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The History of Tom Jones, a foundling by Henry Fielding

Part 8 out of 18

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careful) to conceal what he had done; that his house, his furniture,
his gardens, his table, his private hospitality, and his public
beneficence, all denoted the mind from which they flowed, and were all
intrinsically rich and noble, without tinsel, or external ostentation;
that he filled every relation in life with the most adequate virtue;
that he was most piously religious to his Creator, most zealously
loyal to his sovereign; a most tender husband to his wife, a kind
relation, a munificent patron, a warm and firm friend, a knowing and a
chearful companion, indulgent to his servants, hospitable to his
neighbours, charitable to the poor, and benevolent to all mankind.
Should I add to these the epithets of wise, brave, elegant, and indeed
every other amiable epithet in our language, I might surely say,

_--Quis credet? nemo Hercule! nemo;
Vel duo, vel nemo;_

and yet I know a man who is all I have here described. But a single
instance (and I really know not such another) is not sufficient to
justify us, while we are writing to thousands who never heard of the
person, nor of anything like him. Such _rarae aves_ should be remitted
to the epitaph writer, or to some poet who may condescend to hitch him
in a distich, or to slide him into a rhime with an air of carelessness
and neglect, without giving any offence to the reader.

In the last place, the actions should be such as may not only be
within the compass of human agency, and which human agents may
probably be supposed to do; but they should be likely for the very
actors and characters themselves to have performed; for what may be
only wonderful and surprizing in one man, may become improbable, or
indeed impossible, when related of another.

This last requisite is what the dramatic critics call conversation of
character; and it requires a very extraordinary degree of judgment,
and a most exact knowledge of human nature.

It is admirably remarked by a most excellent writer, that zeal can no
more hurry a man to act in direct opposition to itself, than a rapid
stream can carry a boat against its own current. I will venture to
say, that for a man to act in direct contradiction to the dictates of
his nature, is, if not impossible, as improbable and as miraculous as
anything which can well be conceived. Should the best parts of the
story of M. Antoninus be ascribed to Nero, or should the worst
incidents of Nero's life be imputed to Antoninus, what would be more
shocking to belief than either instance? whereas both these being
related of their proper agent, constitute the truly marvellous.

Our modern authors of comedy have fallen almost universally into the
error here hinted at; their heroes generally are notorious rogues, and
their heroines abandoned jades, during the first four acts; but in the
fifth, the former become very worthy gentlemen, and the latter women
of virtue and discretion: nor is the writer often so kind as to give
himself the least trouble to reconcile or account for this monstrous
change and incongruity. There is, indeed, no other reason to be
assigned for it, than because the play is drawing to a conclusion; as
if it was no less natural in a rogue to repent in the last act of a
play, than in the last of his life; which we perceive to be generally
the case at Tyburn, a place which might indeed close the scene of some
comedies with much propriety, as the heroes in these are most commonly
eminent for those very talents which not only bring men to the
gallows, but enable them to make an heroic figure when they are there.

Within these few restrictions, I think, every writer may be permitted
to deal as much in the wonderful as he pleases; nay, if he thus keeps
within the rules of credibility, the more he can surprize the reader
the more he will engage his attention, and the more he will charm him.
As a genius of the highest rank observes in his fifth chapter of the
Bathos, "The great art of all poetry is to mix truth with fiction, in
order to join the credible with the surprizing."

For though every good author will confine himself within the bounds of
probability, it is by no means necessary that his characters, or his
incidents, should be trite, common, or vulgar; such as happen in every
street, or in every house, or which may be met with in the home
articles of a newspaper. Nor must he be inhibited from showing many
persons and things, which may possibly have never fallen within the
knowledge of great part of his readers. If the writer strictly
observes the rules above-mentioned, he hath discharged his part; and
is then intitled to some faith from his reader, who is indeed guilty
of critical infidelity if he disbelieves him.

For want of a portion of such faith, I remember the character of a
young lady of quality, which was condemned on the stage for being
unnatural, by the unanimous voice of a very large assembly of clerks
and apprentices; though it had the previous suffrages of many ladies
of the first rank; one of whom, very eminent for her understanding,
declared it was the picture of half the young people of her

Chapter ii.

In which the landlady pays a visit to Mr Jones.

When Jones had taken leave of his friend the lieutenant, he
endeavoured to close his eyes, but all in vain; his spirits were too
lively and wakeful to be lulled to sleep. So having amused, or rather
tormented, himself with the thoughts of his Sophia till it was open
daylight, he called for some tea; upon which occasion my landlady
herself vouchsafed to pay him a visit.

This was indeed the first time she had seen him, or at least had taken
any notice of him; but as the lieutenant had assured her that he was
certainly some young gentleman of fashion, she now determined to show
him all the respect in her power; for, to speak truly, this was one of
those houses where gentlemen, to use the language of advertisements,
meet with civil treatment for their money.

She had no sooner begun to make his tea, than she likewise began to
discourse:--"La! sir," said she, "I think it is great pity that such a
pretty young gentleman should under-value himself so, as to go about
with these soldier fellows. They call themselves gentlemen, I warrant
you; but, as my first husband used to say, they should remember it is
we that pay them. And to be sure it is very hard upon us to be obliged
to pay them, and to keep 'um too, as we publicans are. I had twenty of
'um last night, besides officers: nay, for matter o' that, I had
rather have the soldiers than officers: for nothing is ever good
enough for those sparks; and I am sure, if you was to see the bills;
la! sir, it is nothing. I have had less trouble, I warrant you, with a
good squire's family, where we take forty or fifty shillings of a
night, besides horses. And yet I warrants me, there is narrow a one of
those officer fellows but looks upon himself to be as good as arrow a
squire of 500 a year. To be sure it doth me good to hear their men
run about after 'um, crying your honour, and your honour. Marry come
up with such honour, and an ordinary at a shilling a head. Then
there's such swearing among 'um, to be sure it frightens me out o' my
wits: I thinks nothing can ever prosper with such wicked people. And
here one of 'um has used you in so barbarous a manner. I thought
indeed how well the rest would secure him; they all hang together; for
if you had been in danger of death, which I am glad to see you are
not, it would have been all as one to such wicked people. They would
have let the murderer go. Laud have mercy upon 'um; I would not have
such a sin to answer for, for the whole world. But though you are
likely, with the blessing, to recover, there is laa for him yet; and
if you will employ lawyer Small, I darest be sworn he'll make the
fellow fly the country for him; though perhaps he'll have fled the
country before; for it is here to-day and gone to-morrow with such
chaps. I hope, however, you will learn more wit for the future, and
return back to your friends; I warrant they are all miserable for your
loss; and if they was but to know what had happened--La, my seeming! I
would not for the world they should. Come, come, we know very well
what all the matter is; but if one won't, another will; so pretty a
gentleman need never want a lady. I am sure, if I was you, I would see
the finest she that ever wore a head hanged, before I would go for a
soldier for her.--Nay, don't blush so" (for indeed he did to a violent
degree). "Why, you thought, sir, I knew nothing of the matter, I
warrant you, about Madam Sophia."--"How," says Jones, starting up, "do
you know my Sophia?"--"Do I! ay marry," cries the landlady; "many's
the time hath she lain in this house."--"With her aunt, I suppose,"
says Jones. "Why, there it is now," cries the landlady. "Ay, ay, ay, I
know the old lady very well. And a sweet young creature is Madam
Sophia, that's the truth on't."--"A sweet creature," cries Jones; "O

Angels are painted fair to look like her.
There's in her all that we believe of heav'n,
Amazing brightness, purity, and truth,
Eternal joy and everlasting love.

"And could I ever have imagined that you had known my Sophia!"--"I
wish," says the landlady, "you knew half so much of her. What would
you have given to have sat by her bed-side? What a delicious neck she
hath! Her lovely limbs have stretched themselves in that very bed you
now lie in."--"Here!" cries Jones: "hath Sophia ever laid here?"--"Ay,
ay, here; there, in that very bed," says the landlady; "where I wish
you had her this moment; and she may wish so too for anything I know
to the contrary, for she hath mentioned your name to me."--"Ha!" cries
he; "did she ever mention her poor Jones? You flatter me now: I can
never believe so much."--"Why, then," answered she, "as I hope to be
saved, and may the devil fetch me if I speak a syllable more than the
truth, I have heard her mention Mr Jones; but in a civil and modest
way, I confess; yet I could perceive she thought a great deal more
than she said."--"O my dear woman!" cries Jones, "her thoughts of me I
shall never be worthy of. Oh, she is all gentleness, kindness,
goodness! Why was such a rascal as I born, ever to give her soft bosom
a moment's uneasiness? Why am I cursed? I, who would undergo all the
plagues and miseries which any daemon ever invented for mankind, to
procure her any good; nay, torture itself could not be misery to me,
did I but know that she was happy."--"Why, look you there now," says
the landlady; "I told her you was a constant lovier."--"But pray,
madam, tell me when or where you knew anything of me; for I never was
here before, nor do I remember ever to have seen you."--"Nor is it
possible you should," answered she; "for you was a little thing when I
had you in my lap at the squire's."--"How, the squire's?" says Jones:
"what, do you know that great and good Mr Allworthy then?"--"Yes,
marry, do I," says she: "who in the country doth not?"--"The fame of
his goodness indeed," answered Jones, "must have extended farther than
this; but heaven only can know him--can know that benevolence which it
copied from itself, and sent upon earth as its own pattern. Mankind
are as ignorant of such divine goodness, as they are unworthy of it;
but none so unworthy of it as myself. I, who was raised by him to such
a height; taken in, as you must well know, a poor base-born child,
adopted by him, and treated as his own son, to dare by my follies to
disoblige him, to draw his vengeance upon me. Yes, I deserve it all;
for I will never be so ungrateful as ever to think he hath done an act
of injustice by me. No, I deserve to be turned out of doors, as I am.
And now, madam," says he, "I believe you will not blame me for turning
soldier, especially with such a fortune as this in my pocket." At
which words he shook a purse, which had but very little in it, and
which still appeared to the landlady to have less.

My good landlady was (according to vulgar phrase) struck all of a heap
by this relation. She answered coldly, "That to be sure people were
the best judges what was most proper for their circumstances. But
hark," says she, "I think I hear somebody call. Coming! coming! the
devil's in all our volk; nobody hath any ears. I must go down-stairs;
if you want any more breakfast the maid will come up. Coming!" At
which words, without taking any leave, she flung out of the room; for
the lower sort of people are very tenacious of respect; and though
they are contented to give this gratis to persons of quality, yet they
never confer it on those of their own order without taking care to be
well paid for their pains.

Chapter iii.

In which the surgeon makes his second appearance.

Before we proceed any farther, that the reader may not be mistaken in
imagining the landlady knew more than she did, nor surprized that she
knew so much, it may be necessary to inform him that the lieutenant
had acquainted her that the name of Sophia had been the occasion of
the quarrel; and as for the rest of her knowledge, the sagacious
reader will observe how she came by it in the preceding scene. Great
curiosity was indeed mixed with her virtues; and she never willingly
suffered any one to depart from her house, without enquiring as much
as possible into their names, families, and fortunes.

She was no sooner gone than Jones, instead of animadverting on her
behaviour, reflected that he was in the same bed which he was informed
had held his dear Sophia. This occasioned a thousand fond and tender
thoughts, which we would dwell longer upon, did we not consider that
such kind of lovers will make a very inconsiderable part of our
readers. In this situation the surgeon found him, when he came to
dress his wound. The doctor perceiving, upon examination, that his
pulse was disordered, and hearing that he had not slept, declared that
he was in great danger; for he apprehended a fever was coming on,
which he would have prevented by bleeding, but Jones would not submit,
declaring he would lose no more blood; "and, doctor," says he, "if you
will be so kind only to dress my head, I have no doubt of being well
in a day or two."

"I wish," answered the surgeon, "I could assure your being well in a
month or two. Well, indeed! No, no, people are not so soon well of
such contusions; but, sir, I am not at this time of day to be
instructed in my operations by a patient, and I insist on making a
revulsion before I dress you."

Jones persisted obstinately in his refusal, and the doctor at last
yielded; telling him at the same time that he would not be answerable
for the ill consequence, and hoped he would do him the justice to
acknowledge that he had given him a contrary advice; which the patient
promised he would.

The doctor retired into the kitchen, where, addressing himself to the
landlady, he complained bitterly of the undutiful behaviour of his
patient, who would not be blooded, though he was in a fever.

"It is an eating fever then," says the landlady; "for he hath devoured
two swinging buttered toasts this morning for breakfast."

"Very likely," says the doctor: "I have known people eat in a fever;
and it is very easily accounted for; because the acidity occasioned by
the febrile matter may stimulate the nerves of the diaphragm, and
thereby occasion a craving which will not be easily distinguishable
from a natural appetite; but the aliment will not be concreted, nor
assimilated into chyle, and so will corrode the vascular orifices, and
thus will aggravate the febrific symptoms. Indeed, I think the
gentleman in a very dangerous way, and, if he is not blooded, I am
afraid will die."

"Every man must die some time or other," answered the good woman; "it
is no business of mine. I hope, doctor, you would not have me hold him
while you bleed him. But, hark'ee, a word in your ear; I would advise
you, before you proceed too far, to take care who is to be your

"Paymaster!" said the doctor, staring; "why, I've a gentleman under my
hands, have I not?"

"I imagined so as well as you," said the landlady; "but, as my first
husband used to say, everything is not what it looks to be. He is an
arrant scrub, I assure you. However, take no notice that I mentioned
anything to you of the matter; but I think people in business oft
always to let one another know such things."

"And have I suffered such a fellow as this," cries the doctor, in a
passion, "to instruct me? Shall I hear my practice insulted by one who
will not pay me? I am glad I have made this discovery in time. I will
see now whether he will be blooded or no." He then immediately went
upstairs, and flinging open the door of the chamber with much
violence, awaked poor Jones from a very sound nap, into which he was
fallen, and, what was still worse, from a delicious dream concerning

"Will you be blooded or no?" cries the doctor, in a rage. "I have told
you my resolution already," answered Jones, "and I wish with all my
heart you had taken my answer; for you have awaked me out of the
sweetest sleep which I ever had in my life."

"Ay, ay," cries the doctor; "many a man hath dozed away his life.
Sleep is not always good, no more than food; but remember, I demand of
you for the last time, will you be blooded?"--"I answer you for the
last time," said Jones, "I will not."--"Then I wash my hands of you,"
cries the doctor; "and I desire you to pay me for the trouble I have
had already. Two journeys at 5s. each, two dressings at 5s. more, and
half a crown for phlebotomy."--"I hope," said Jones, "you don't intend
to leave me in this condition."--"Indeed but I shall," said the other.
"Then," said Jones, "you have used me rascally, and I will not pay you
a farthing."--"Very well," cries the doctor; "the first loss is the
best. What a pox did my landlady mean by sending for me to such
vagabonds!" At which words he flung out of the room, and his patient
turning himself about soon recovered his sleep; but his dream was
unfortunately gone.

Chapter iv.

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

The clock had now struck five when Jones awaked from a nap of seven
hours, so much refreshed, and in such perfect health and spirits, that
he resolved to get up and dress himself; for which purpose he unlocked
his portmanteau, and took out clean linen, and a suit of cloaths; but
first he slipt on a frock, and went down into the kitchen to bespeak
something that might pacify certain tumults he found rising within his

Meeting the landlady, he accosted her with great civility, and asked,
"What he could have for dinner?"--"For dinner!" says she; "it is an
odd time a day to think about dinner. There is nothing drest in the
house, and the fire is almost out."--"Well, but," says he, "I must
have something to eat, and it is almost indifferent to me what; for,
to tell you the truth, I was never more hungry in my life."--"Then,"
says she, "I believe there is a piece of cold buttock and carrot,
which will fit you."--"Nothing better," answered Jones; "but I should
be obliged to you, if you would let it be fried." To which the
landlady consented, and said, smiling, "she was glad to see him so
well recovered;" for the sweetness of our heroe's temper was almost
irresistible; besides, she was really no ill-humoured woman at the
bottom; but she loved money so much, that she hated everything which
had the semblance of poverty.

Jones now returned in order to dress himself, while his dinner was
preparing, and was, according to his orders, attended by the barber.

This barber, who went by the name of Little Benjamin, was a fellow of
great oddity and humour, which had frequently let him into small
inconveniencies, such as slaps in the face, kicks in the breech,
broken bones, &c. For every one doth not understand a jest; and those
who do are often displeased with being themselves the subjects of it.
This vice was, however, incurable in him; and though he had often
smarted for it, yet if ever he conceived a joke, he was certain to be
delivered of it, without the least respect of persons, time, or place.

He had a great many other particularities in his character, which I
shall not mention, as the reader will himself very easily perceive
them, on his farther acquaintance with this extraordinary person.

Jones being impatient to be drest, for a reason which may be easily
imagined, thought the shaver was very tedious in preparing his suds,
and begged him to make haste; to which the other answered with much
gravity, for he never discomposed his muscles on any account,
"_Festina lente_, is a proverb which I learned long before I ever
touched a razor."--"I find, friend, you are a scholar," replied Jones.
"A poor one," said the barber, "_non omnia possumus omnes._"--"Again!"
said Jones; "I fancy you are good at capping verses."--"Excuse me,
sir," said the barber, "_non tanto me dignor honore_." And then
proceeding to his operation, "Sir," said he, "since I have dealt in
suds, I could never discover more than two reasons for shaving; the
one is to get a beard, and the other to get rid of one. I conjecture,
sir, it may not be long since you shaved from the former of these
motives. Upon my word, you have had good success; for one may say of
your beard, that it is _tondenti gravior_."--"I conjecture," says
Jones, "that thou art a very comical fellow."--"You mistake me widely,
sir," said the barber: "I am too much addicted to the study of
philosophy; _hinc illae lacrymae_, sir; that's my misfortune. Too much
learning hath been my ruin."--"Indeed," says Jones, "I confess,
friend, you have more learning than generally belongs to your trade;
but I can't see how it can have injured you."--"Alas! sir," answered
the shaver, "my father disinherited me for it. He was a
dancing-master; and because I could read before I could dance, he took
an aversion to me, and left every farthing among his other
children.--Will you please to have your temples--O la! I ask your
pardon, I fancy there is _hiatus in manuscriptis_. I heard you was
going to the wars; but I find it was a mistake."--"Why do you conclude
so?" says Jones. "Sure, sir," answered the barber, "you are too wise a
man to carry a broken head thither; for that would be carrying coals
to Newcastle."

"Upon my word," cries Jones, "thou art a very odd fellow, and I like
thy humour extremely; I shall be very glad if thou wilt come to me
after dinner, and drink a glass with me; I long to be better
acquainted with thee."

"O dear sir!" said the barber, "I can do you twenty times as great a
favour, if you will accept of it."--"What is that, my friend?" cries
Jones. "Why, I will drink a bottle with you if you please; for I
dearly love good-nature; and as you have found me out to be a comical
fellow, so I have no skill in physiognomy, if you are not one of the
best-natured gentlemen in the universe." Jones now walked downstairs
neatly drest, and perhaps the fair Adonis was not a lovelier figure;
and yet he had no charms for my landlady; for as that good woman did
not resemble Venus at all in her person, so neither did she in her
taste. Happy had it been for Nanny the chambermaid, if she had seen
with the eyes of her mistress, for that poor girl fell so violently in
love with Jones in five minutes, that her passion afterwards cost her
many a sigh. This Nanny was extremely pretty, and altogether as coy;
for she had refused a drawer, and one or two young farmers in the
neighbourhood, but the bright eyes of our heroe thawed all her ice in
a moment.

When Jones returned to the kitchen, his cloth was not yet laid; nor
indeed was there any occasion it should, his dinner remaining _in
statu quo_, as did the fire which was to dress it. This disappointment
might have put many a philosophical temper into a passion; but it had
no such effect on Jones. He only gave the landlady a gentle rebuke,
saying, "Since it was so difficult to get it heated he would eat the
beef cold." But now the good woman, whether moved by compassion, or by
shame, or by whatever other motive, I cannot tell, first gave her
servants a round scold for disobeying the orders which she had never
given, and then bidding the drawer lay a napkin in the Sun, she set
about the matter in good earnest, and soon accomplished it.

This Sun, into which Jones was now conducted, was truly named, as
_lucus a non lucendo_; for it was an apartment into which the sun had
scarce ever looked. It was indeed the worst room in the house; and
happy was it for Jones that it was so. However, he was now too hungry
to find any fault; but having once satisfied his appetite, he ordered
the drawer to carry a bottle of wine into a better room, and expressed
some resentment at having been shown into a dungeon.

The drawer having obeyed his commands, he was, after some time,
attended by the barber, who would not indeed have suffered him to wait
so long for his company had he not been listening in the kitchen to
the landlady, who was entertaining a circle that she had gathered
round her with the history of poor Jones, part of which she had
extracted from his own lips, and the other part was her own ingenious
composition; for she said "he was a poor parish boy, taken into the
house of Squire Allworthy, where he was bred up as an apprentice, and
now turned out of doors for his misdeeds, particularly for making love
to his young mistress, and probably for robbing the house; for how
else should he come by the little money he hath; and this," says she,
"is your gentleman, forsooth!"--"A servant of Squire Allworthy!" says
the barber; "what's his name?"--"Why he told me his name was Jones,"
says she: "perhaps he goes by a wrong name. Nay, and he told me, too,
that the squire had maintained him as his own son, thof he had
quarrelled with him now."--"And if his name be Jones, he told you the
truth," said the barber; "for I have relations who live in that
country; nay, and some people say he is his son."--"Why doth he not go
by the name of his father?"--"I can't tell that," said the barber;
"many people's sons don't go by the name of their father."--"Nay,"
said the landlady, "if I thought he was a gentleman's son, thof he was
a bye-blow, I should behave to him in another guess manner; for many
of these bye-blows come to be great men, and, as my poor first husband
used to say, never affront any customer that's a gentleman."

Chapter v.

A dialogue between Mr Jones and the barber.

This conversation passed partly while Jones was at dinner in his
dungeon, and partly while he was expecting the barber in the parlour.
And, as soon as it was ended, Mr Benjamin, as we have said, attended
him, and was very kindly desired to sit down. Jones then filling out a
glass of wine, drank his health by the appellation of _doctissime
tonsorum_. "_Ago tibi gratias, domine_" said the barber; and then
looking very steadfastly at Jones, he said, with great gravity, and
with a seeming surprize, as if he had recollected a face he had seen
before, "Sir, may I crave the favour to know if your name is not
Jones?" To which the other answered, "That it was."--"_Proh deum atque
hominum fidem_!" says the barber; "how strangely things come to pass!
Mr Jones, I am your most obedient servant. I find you do not know me,
which indeed is no wonder, since you never saw me but once, and then
you was very young. Pray, sir, how doth the good Squire Allworthy? how
doth _ille optimus omnium patronus_?"--"I find," said Jones, "you do
indeed know me; but I have not the like happiness of recollecting
you."--"I do not wonder at that," cries Benjamin; "but I am surprized
I did not know you sooner, for you are not in the least altered. And
pray, sir, may I, without offence, enquire whither you are travelling
this way?"--"Fill the glass, Mr Barber," said Jones, "and ask no more
questions."--"Nay, sir," answered Benjamin, "I would not be
troublesome; and I hope you don't think me a man of an impertinent
curiosity, for that is a vice which nobody can lay to my charge; but I
ask pardon; for when a gentleman of your figure travels without his
servants, we may suppose him to be, as we say, _in casu incognito_,
and perhaps I ought not to have mentioned your name."--"I own," says
Jones, "I did not expect to have been so well known in this country as
I find I am; yet, for particular reasons, I shall be obliged to you if
you will not mention my name to any other person till I am gone from
hence."--"_Pauca verba_," answered the barber;" and I wish no other
here knew you but myself; for some people have tongues; but I promise
you I can keep a secret. My enemies will allow me that virtue."--"And
yet that is not the characteristic of your profession, Mr Barber,"
answered Jones. "Alas! sir," replied Benjamin, "_Non si male nunc et
olim sic erit_. I was not born nor bred a barber, I assure you. I have
spent most of my time among gentlemen, and though I say it, I
understand something of gentility. And if you had thought me as worthy
of your confidence as you have some other people, I should have shown
you I could have kept a secret better. I should not have degraded your
name in a public kitchen; for indeed, sir, some people have not used
you well; for besides making a public proclamation of what you told
them of a quarrel between yourself and Squire Allworthy, they added
lies of their own, things which I knew to be lies."--"You surprize me
greatly," cries Jones. "Upon my word, sir," answered Benjamin, "I tell
the truth, and I need not tell you my landlady was the person. I am
sure it moved me to hear the story, and I hope it is all false; for I
have a great respect for you, I do assure you I have, and have had
ever since the good-nature you showed to Black George, which was
talked of all over the country, and I received more than one letter
about it. Indeed, it made you beloved by everybody. You will pardon
me, therefore; for it was real concern at what I heard made me ask
many questions; for I have no impertinent curiosity about me: but I
love good-nature and thence became _amoris abundantia erga te_."

Every profession of friendship easily gains credit with the miserable;
it is no wonder therefore, if Jones, who, besides his being miserable,
was extremely open-hearted, very readily believed all the professions
of Benjamin, and received him into his bosom. The scraps of Latin,
some of which Benjamin applied properly enough, though it did not
savour of profound literature, seemed yet to indicate something
superior to a common barber; and so indeed did his whole behaviour.
Jones therefore believed the truth of what he had said, as to his
original and education; and at length, after much entreaty, he said,
"Since you have heard, my friend, so much of my affairs, and seem so
desirous to know the truth, if you will have patience to hear it, I
will inform you of the whole."--"Patience!" cries Benjamin, "that I
will, if the chapter was never so long; and I am very much obliged to
you for the honour you do me."

Jones now began, and related the whole history, forgetting only a
circumstance or two, namely, everything which passed on that day in
which he had fought with Thwackum; and ended with his resolution to go
to sea, till the rebellion in the North had made him change his
purpose, and had brought him to the place where he then was.

Little Benjamin, who had been all attention, never once interrupted
the narrative; but when it was ended he could not help observing, that
there must be surely something more invented by his enemies, and told
Mr Allworthy against him, or so good a man would never have dismissed
one he had loved so tenderly, in such a manner. To which Jones
answered, "He doubted not but such villanous arts had been made use of
to destroy him."

And surely it was scarce possible for any one to have avoided making
the same remark with the barber, who had not indeed heard from Jones
one single circumstance upon which he was condemned; for his actions
were not now placed in those injurious lights in which they had been
misrepresented to Allworthy; nor could he mention those many false
accusations which had been from time to time preferred against him to
Allworthy: for with none of these he was himself acquainted. He had
likewise, as we have observed, omitted many material facts in his
present relation. Upon the whole, indeed, everything now appeared in
such favourable colours to Jones, that malice itself would have found
it no easy matter to fix any blame upon him.

Not that Jones desired to conceal or to disguise the truth; nay, he
would have been more unwilling to have suffered any censure to fall on
Mr Allworthy for punishing him, than on his own actions for deserving
it; but, in reality, so it happened, and so it always will happen; for
let a man be never so honest, the account of his own conduct will, in
spite of himself, be so very favourable, that his vices will come
purified through his lips, and, like foul liquors well strained, will
leave all their foulness behind. For though the facts themselves may
appear, yet so different will be the motives, circumstances, and
consequences, when a man tells his own story, and when his enemy tells
it, that we scarce can recognise the facts to be one and the same.

Though the barber had drank down this story with greedy ears, he was
not yet satisfied. There was a circumstance behind which his
curiosity, cold as it was, most eagerly longed for. Jones had
mentioned the fact of his amour, and of his being the rival of Blifil,
but had cautiously concealed the name of the young lady. The barber,
therefore, after some hesitation, and many hums and hahs, at last
begged leave to crave the name of the lady, who appeared to be the
principal cause of all this mischief. Jones paused a moment, and then
said, "Since I have trusted you with so much, and since, I am afraid,
her name is become too publick already on this occasion, I will not
conceal it from you. Her name is Sophia Western."

"_Proh deum atque hominum fidem_! Squire Western hath a daughter grown
a woman!"--"Ay, and such a woman," cries Jones, "that the world cannot
match. No eye ever saw anything so beautiful; but that is her least
excellence. Such sense! such goodness! Oh, I could praise her for
ever, and yet should omit half her virtues!"--"Mr Western a daughter
grown up!" cries the barber: "I remember the father a boy; well,
_Tempus edax rerum_."

The wine being now at an end, the barber pressed very eagerly to be
his bottle; but Jones absolutely refused, saying, "He had already
drank more than he ought: and that he now chose to retire to his room,
where he wished he could procure himself a book."--"A book!" cries
Benjamin; "what book would you have? Latin or English? I have some
curious books in both languages; such as _Erasmi Colloquia, Ovid de
Tristibus, Gradus ad Parnassum;_ and in English I have several of the
best books, though some of them are a little torn; but I have a great
part of Stowe's Chronicle; the sixth volume of Pope's Homer; the third
volume of the Spectator; the second volume of Echard's Roman History;
the Craftsman; Robinson Crusoe; Thomas a Kempis; and two volumes of
Tom Brown's Works."

"Those last," cries Jones, "are books I never saw, so if you please
lend me one of those volumes." The barber assured him he would be
highly entertained, for he looked upon the author to have been one of
the greatest wits that ever the nation produced. He then stepped to
his house, which was hard by, and immediately returned; after which,
the barber having received very strict injunctions of secrecy from
Jones, and having sworn inviolably to maintain it, they separated; the
barber went home, and Jones retired to his chamber.

Chapter vi.

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

In the morning Jones grew a little uneasy at the desertion of his
surgeon, as he apprehended some inconvenience, or even danger, might
attend the not dressing his wound; he enquired of the drawer, what
other surgeons were to be met with in that neighbourhood. The drawer
told him, there was one not far off; but he had known him often refuse
to be concerned after another had been sent before him; "but, sir,"
says he, "if you will take my advice, there is not a man in the
kingdom can do your business better than the barber who was with you
last night. We look upon him to be one of the ablest men at a cut in
all this neighbourhood. For though he hath not been her above three
months, he hath done several great cures."

The drawer was presently dispatched for Little Benjamin, who being
acquainted in what capacity he was wanted, prepared himself
accordingly, and attended; but with so different an air and aspect
from that which he wore when his basin was under his arm, that he
could scarce be known to be the same person.

"So, tonsor," says Jones, "I find you have more trades than one; how
came you not to inform me of this last night?"--"A surgeon," answered
Benjamin, with great gravity, "is a profession, not a trade. The
reason why I did not acquaint you last night that I professed this
art, was, that I then concluded you was under the hands of another
gentleman, and I never love to interfere with my brethren in their
business. _Ars omnibus communis_. But now, sir, if you please, I will
inspect your head, and when I see into your skull, I will give my
opinion of your case."

Jones had no great faith in this new professor; however, he suffered
him to open the bandage and to look at his wound; which as soon as he
had done, Benjamin began to groan and shake his head violently. Upon
which Jones, in a peevish manner, bid him not play the fool, but tell
him in what condition he found him. "Shall I answer you as a surgeon,
or a friend?" said Benjamin. "As a friend, and seriously," said Jones.
"Why then, upon my soul," cries Benjamin, "it would require a great
deal of art to keep you from being well after a very few dressings;
and if you will suffer me to apply some salve of mine, I will answer
for the success." Jones gave his consent, and the plaister was applied

"There, sir," cries Benjamin: "now I will, if you please, resume my
former self; but a man is obliged to keep up some dignity in his
countenance whilst he is performing these operations, or the world
will not submit to be handled by him. You can't imagine, sir, of how
much consequence a grave aspect is to a grave character. A barber may
make you laugh, but a surgeon ought rather to make you cry."

"Mr Barber, or Mr Surgeon, or Mr Barber-surgeon," said Jones. "O dear
sir!" answered Benjamin, interrupting him, "_Infandum, regina, jubes
renovare dolorem_. You recall to my mind that cruel separation of the
united fraternities, so much to the prejudice of both bodies, as all
separations must be, according to the old adage, _Vis unita fortior_;
which to be sure there are not wanting some of one or of the other
fraternity who are able to construe. What a blow was this to me, who
unite both in my own person!" "Well, by whatever name you please to be
called," continued Jones, "you certainly are one of the oddest, most
comical fellows I ever met with, and must have something very
surprizing in your story, which you must confess I have a right to
hear."--"I do confess it," answered Benjamin, "and will very readily
acquaint you with it, when you have sufficient leisure, for I promise
you it will require a good deal of time." Jones told him, he could
never be more at leisure than at present. "Well, then," said Benjamin,
"I will obey you; but first I will fasten the door, that none may
interrupt us." He did so, and then advancing with a solemn air to
Jones, said: "I must begin by telling you, sir, that you yourself have
been the greatest enemy I ever had." Jones was a little startled at
this sudden declaration. "I your enemy, sir!" says he, with much
amazement, and some sternness in his look. "Nay, be not angry," said
Benjamin, "for I promise you I am not. You are perfectly innocent of
having intended me any wrong; for you was then an infant: but I shall,
I believe, unriddle all this the moment I mention my name. Did you
never hear, sir, of one Partridge, who had the honour of being reputed
your father, and the misfortune of being ruined by that honour?" "I
have, indeed, heard of that Partridge," says Jones, "and have always
believed myself to be his son." "Well, sir," answered Benjamin, "I am
that Partridge; but I here absolve you from all filial duty, for I do
assure you, you are no son of mine." "How!" replied Jones, "and is it
possible that a false suspicion should have drawn all the ill
consequences upon you, with which I am too well acquainted?" "It is
possible," cries Benjamin, "for it is so: but though it is natural
enough for men to hate even the innocent causes of their sufferings,
yet I am of a different temper. I have loved you ever since I heard of
your behaviour to Black George, as I told you; and I am convinced,
from this extraordinary meeting, that you are born to make me amends
for all I have suffered on that account. Besides, I dreamt, the night
before I saw you, that I stumbled over a stool without hurting myself;
which plainly showed me something good was towards me: and last night
I dreamt again, that I rode behind you on a milk-white mare, which is
a very excellent dream, and betokens much good fortune, which I am
resolved to pursue unless you have the cruelty to deny me."

"I should be very glad, Mr Partridge," answered Jones, "to have it in
my power to make you amends for your sufferings on my account, though
at present I see no likelihood of it; however, I assure you I will
deny you nothing which is in my power to grant."

"It is in your power sure enough," replied Benjamin; "for I desire
nothing more than leave to attend you in this expedition. Nay, I have
so entirely set my heart upon it, that if you should refuse me, you
will kill both a barber and a surgeon in one breath."

Jones answered, smiling, that he should be very sorry to be the
occasion of so much mischief to the public. He then advanced many
prudential reasons, in order to dissuade Benjamin (whom we shall
hereafter call Partridge) from his purpose; but all were in vain.
Partridge relied strongly on his dream of the milk-white mare.
"Besides, sir," says he, "I promise you I have as good an inclination
to the cause as any man can possibly have; and go I will, whether you
admit me to go in your company or not."

Jones, who was as much pleased with Partridge as Partridge could be
with him, and who had not consulted his own inclination but the good
of the other in desiring him to stay behind, when he found his friend
so resolute, at last gave his consent; but then recollecting himself,
he said, "Perhaps, Mr Partridge, you think I shall be able to support
you, but I really am not;" and then taking out his purse, he told out
nine guineas, which he declared were his whole fortune.

Partridge answered, "That his dependence was only on his future
favour; for he was thoroughly convinced he would shortly have enough
in his power. At present, sir," said he, "I believe I am rather the
richer man of the two; but all I have is at your service, and at your
disposal. I insist upon your taking the whole, and I beg only to
attend you in the quality of your servant; _Nil desperandum est Teucro
duce et auspice Teucro_": but to this generous proposal concerning the
money, Jones would by no means submit.

It was resolved to set out the next morning, when a difficulty arose
concerning the baggage; for the portmanteau of Mr Jones was too large
to be carried without a horse.

"If I may presume to give my advice," says Partridge, "this
portmanteau, with everything in it, except a few shirts, should be
left behind. Those I shall be easily able to carry for you, and the
rest of your cloaths will remain very safe locked up in my house."

This method was no sooner proposed than agreed to; and then the barber
departed, in order to prepare everything for his intended expedition.

Chapter vii.

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

Though Partridge was one of the most superstitious of men, he would
hardly perhaps have desired to accompany Jones on his expedition
merely from the omens of the joint-stool and white mare, if his
prospect had been no better than to have shared the plunder gained in
the field of battle. In fact, when Partridge came to ruminate on the
relation he had heard from Jones, he could not reconcile to himself
that Mr Allworthy should turn his son (for so he most firmly believed
him to be) out of doors, for any reason which he had heard assigned.
He concluded, therefore, that the whole was a fiction, and that Jones,
of whom he had often from his correspondents heard the wildest
character, had in reality run away from his father. It came into his
head, therefore, that if he could prevail with the young gentleman to
return back to his father, he should by that means render a service to
Allworthy, which would obliterate all his former anger; nay, indeed,
he conceived that very anger was counterfeited, and that Allworthy had
sacrificed him to his own reputation. And this suspicion indeed he
well accounted for, from the tender behaviour of that excellent man to
the foundling child; from his great severity to Partridge, who,
knowing himself to be innocent, could not conceive that any other
should think him guilty; lastly, from the allowance which he had
privately received long after the annuity had been publickly taken
from him, and which he looked upon as a kind of smart-money, or rather
by way of atonement for injustice; for it is very uncommon, I believe,
for men to ascribe the benefactions they receive to pure charity, when
they can possibly impute them to any other motive. If he could by any
means therefore persuade the young gentleman to return home, he
doubted not but that he should again be received into the favour of
Allworthy, and well rewarded for his pains; nay, and should be again
restored to his native country; a restoration which Ulysses himself
never wished more heartily than poor Partridge.

As for Jones, he was well satisfied with the truth of what the other
had asserted, and believed that Partridge had no other inducements but
love to him, and zeal for the cause; a blameable want of caution and
diffidence in the veracity of others, in which he was highly worthy of
censure. To say the truth, there are but two ways by which men become
possessed of this excellent quality. The one is from long experience,
and the other is from nature; which last, I presume, is often meant by
genius, or great natural parts; and it is infinitely the better of the
two, not only as we are masters of it much earlier in life, but as it
is much more infallible and conclusive; for a man who hath been
imposed on by ever so many, may still hope to find others more honest;
whereas he who receives certain necessary admonitions from within,
that this is impossible, must have very little understanding indeed,
if he ever renders himself liable to be once deceived. As Jones had
not this gift from nature, he was too young to have gained it by
experience; for at the diffident wisdom which is to be acquired this
way, we seldom arrive till very late in life; which is perhaps the
reason why some old men are apt to despise the understandings of all
those who are a little younger than themselves.

Jones spent most part of the day in the company of a new acquaintance.
This was no other than the landlord of the house, or rather the
husband of the landlady. He had but lately made his descent
downstairs, after a long fit of the gout, in which distemper he was
generally confined to his room during one half of the year; and during
the rest, he walked about the house, smoaked his pipe, and drank his
bottle with his friends, without concerning himself in the least with
any kind of business. He had been bred, as they call it, a gentleman;
that is, bred up to do nothing; and had spent a very small fortune,
which he inherited from an industrious farmer his uncle, in hunting,
horse-racing, and cock-fighting, and had been married by my landlady
for certain purposes, which he had long since desisted from answering;
for which she hated him heartily. But as he was a surly kind of
fellow, so she contented herself with frequently upbraiding him by
disadvantageous comparisons with her first husband, whose praise she
had eternally in her mouth; and as she was for the most part mistress
of the profit, so she was satisfied to take upon herself the care and
government of the family, and, after a long successless struggle, to
suffer her husband to be master of himself.

In the evening, when Jones retired to his room, a small dispute arose
between this fond couple concerning him:--"What," says the wife, "you
have been tippling with the gentleman, I see?"--"Yes," answered the
husband, "we have cracked a bottle together, and a very gentlemanlike
man he is, and hath a very pretty notion of horse-flesh. Indeed, he is
young, and hath not seen much of the world; for I believe he hath been
at very few horse-races."--"Oho! he is one of your order, is he?"
replies the landlady: "he must be a gentleman to be sure, if he is a
horse-racer. The devil fetch such gentry! I am sure I wish I had never
seen any of them. I have reason to love horse-racers truly!"--"That
you have," says the husband; "for I was one, you know."--"Yes,"
answered she, "you are a pure one indeed. As my first husband used to
say, I may put all the good I have ever got by you in my eyes, and see
never the worse."--"D--n your first husband!" cries he. "Don't d--n a
better man than yourself," answered the wife: "if he had been alive,
you durst not have done it."--"Then you think," says he, "I have not
so much courage as yourself; for you have d--n'd him often in my
hearing."--"If I did," says she, "I have repented of it many's the
good time and oft. And if he was so good to forgive me a word spoken
in haste or so, it doth not become such a one as you to twitter me. He
was a husband to me, he was; and if ever I did make use of an ill word
or so in a passion, I never called him rascal; I should have told a
lie, if I had called him rascal." Much more she said, but not in his
hearing; for having lighted his pipe, he staggered off as fast as he
could. We shall therefore transcribe no more of her speech, as it
approached still nearer and nearer to a subject too indelicate to find
any place in this history.

Early in the morning Partridge appeared at the bedside of Jones, ready
equipped for the journey, with his knapsack at his back. This was his
own workmanship; for besides his other trades, he was no indifferent
taylor. He had already put up his whole stock of linen in it,
consisting of four shirts, to which he now added eight for Mr Jones;
and then packing up the portmanteau, he was departing with it towards
his own house, but was stopt in his way by the landlady, who refused
to suffer any removals till after the payment of the reckoning.

The landlady was, as we have said, absolute governess in these
regions; it was therefore necessary to comply with her rules; so the
bill was presently writ out, which amounted to a much larger sum than
might have been expected, from the entertainment which Jones had met
with. But here we are obliged to disclose some maxims, which publicans
hold to be the grand mysteries of their trade. The first is, If they
have anything good in their house (which indeed very seldom happens)
to produce it only to persons who travel with great equipages. 2dly,
To charge the same for the very worst provisions, as if they were the
best. And lastly, If any of their guests call but for little, to make
them pay a double price for everything they have; so that the amount
by the head may be much the same.

The bill being made and discharged, Jones set forward with Partridge,
carrying his knapsack; nor did the landlady condescend to wish him a
good journey; for this was, it seems, an inn frequented by people of
fashion; and I know not whence it is, but all those who get their
livelihood by people of fashion, contract as much insolence to the
rest of mankind, as if they really belonged to that rank themselves.

Chapter viii.

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

Mr Jones and Partridge, or Little Benjamin (which epithet of Little
was perhaps given him ironically, he being in reality near six feet
high), having left their last quarters in the manner before described,
travelled on to Gloucester without meeting any adventure worth

Being arrived here, they chose for their house of entertainment the
sign of the Bell, an excellent house indeed, and which I do most
seriously recommend to every reader who shall visit this antient city.
The master of it is brother to the great preacher Whitefield; but is
absolutely untainted with the pernicious principles of Methodism, or
of any other heretical sect. He is indeed a very honest plain man,
and, in my opinion, not likely to create any disturbance either in
church or state. His wife hath, I believe, had much pretension to
beauty, and is still a very fine woman. Her person and deportment
might have made a shining figure in the politest assemblies; but
though she must be conscious of this and many other perfections, she
seems perfectly contented with, and resigned to, that state of life to
which she is called; and this resignation is entirely owing to the
prudence and wisdom of her temper; for she is at present as free from
any Methodistical notions as her husband: I say at present; for she
freely confesses that her brother's documents made at first some
impression upon her, and that she had put herself to the expense of a
long hood, in order to attend the extraordinary emotions of the
Spirit; but having found, during an experiment of three weeks, no
emotions, she says, worth a farthing, she very wisely laid by her
hood, and abandoned the sect. To be concise, she is a very friendly
good-natured woman; and so industrious to oblige, that the guests must
be of a very morose disposition who are not extremely well satisfied
in her house.

Mrs Whitefield happened to be in the yard when Jones and his attendant
marched in. Her sagacity soon discovered in the air of our heroe
something which distinguished him from the vulgar. She ordered her
servants, therefore, immediately to show him into a room, and
presently afterwards invited him to dinner with herself; which
invitation he very thankfully accepted; for indeed much less agreeable
company than that of Mrs Whitefield, and a much worse entertainment
than she had provided, would have been welcome after so long fasting
and so long a walk.

Besides Mr Jones and the good governess of the mansion, there sat down
at table an attorney of Salisbury, indeed the very same who had
brought the news of Mrs Blifil's death to Mr Allworthy, and whose
name, which I think we did not before mention, was Dowling: there was
likewise present another person, who stiled himself a lawyer, and who
lived somewhere near Linlinch, in Somersetshire. This fellow, I say,
stiled himself a lawyer, but was indeed a most vile petty-fogger,
without sense or knowledge of any kind; one of those who may be termed
train-bearers to the law; a sort of supernumeraries in the profession,
who are the hackneys of attorneys, and will ride more miles for
half-a-crown than a postboy.

During the time of dinner, the Somersetshire lawyer recollected the
face of Jones, which he had seen at Mr Allworthy's; for he had often
visited in that gentleman's kitchen. He therefore took occasion to
enquire after the good family there with that familiarity which would
have become an intimate friend or acquaintance of Mr Allworthy; and
indeed he did all in his power to insinuate himself to be such, though
he had never had the honour of speaking to any person in that family
higher than the butler. Jones answered all his questions with much
civility, though he never remembered to have seen the petty-fogger
before; and though he concluded, from the outward appearance and
behaviour of the man, that he usurped a freedom with his betters, to
which he was by no means intitled.

As the conversation of fellows of this kind is of all others the most
detestable to men of any sense, the cloth was no sooner removed than
Mr Jones withdrew, and a little barbarously left poor Mrs Whitefield
to do a penance, which I have often heard Mr Timothy Harris, and other
publicans of good taste, lament, as the severest lot annexed to their
calling, namely, that of being obliged to keep company with their

Jones had no sooner quitted the room, than the petty-fogger, in a
whispering tone, asked Mrs Whitefield, "If she knew who that fine
spark was?" She answered, "She had never seen the gentleman
before."--"The gentleman, indeed!" replied the petty-fogger; "a pretty
gentleman, truly! Why, he's the bastard of a fellow who was hanged for
horse-stealing. He was dropt at Squire Allworthy's door, where one of
the servants found him in a box so full of rain-water, that he would
certainly have been drowned, had he not been reserved for another
fate."--"Ay, ay, you need not mention it, I protest: we understand
what that fate is very well," cries Dowling, with a most facetious
grin.--"Well," continued the other, "the squire ordered him to be
taken in; for he is a timbersome man everybody knows, and was afraid
of drawing himself into a scrape; and there the bastard was bred up,
and fed, and cloathified all to the world like any gentleman; and
there he got one of the servant-maids with child, and persuaded her to
swear it to the squire himself; and afterwards he broke the arm of one
Mr Thwackum a clergyman, only because he reprimanded him for following
whores; and afterwards he snapt a pistol at Mr Blifil behind his back;
and once, when Squire Allworthy was sick, he got a drum, and beat it
all over the house to prevent him from sleeping; and twenty other
pranks he hath played, for all which, about four or five days ago,
just before I left the country, the squire stripped him stark naked,
and turned him out of doors."

"And very justly too, I protest," cries Dowling; "I would turn my own
son out of doors, if he was guilty of half as much. And pray what is
the name of this pretty gentleman?"

"The name o' un?" answered Petty-fogger; "why, he is called Thomas

"Jones!" answered Dowling a little eagerly; "what, Mr Jones that lived
at Mr Allworthy's? was that the gentleman that dined with us?"--"The
very same," said the other. "I have heard of the gentleman," cries
Dowling, "often; but I never heard any ill character of him."--"And I
am sure," says Mrs Whitefield, "if half what this gentleman hath said
be true, Mr Jones hath the most deceitful countenance I ever saw; for
sure his looks promise something very different; and I must say, for
the little I have seen of him, he is as civil a well-bred man as you
would wish to converse with."

Petty-fogger calling to mind that he had not been sworn, as he usually
was, before he gave his evidence, now bound what he had declared with
so many oaths and imprecations that the landlady's ears were shocked,
and she put a stop to his swearing, by assuring him of her belief.
Upon which he said, "I hope, madam, you imagine I would scorn to tell
such things of any man, unless I knew them to be true. What interest
have I in taking away the reputation of a man who never injured me? I
promise you every syllable of what I have said is fact, and the whole
country knows it."

As Mrs Whitefield had no reason to suspect that the petty-fogger had
any motive or temptation to abuse Jones, the reader cannot blame her
for believing what he so confidently affirmed with many oaths. She
accordingly gave up her skill in physiognomy, and hence-forwards
conceived so ill an opinion of her guest, that she heartily wished him
out of her house.

This dislike was now farther increased by a report which Mr Whitefield
made from the kitchen, where Partridge had informed the company, "That
though he carried the knapsack, and contented himself with staying
among servants, while Tom Jones (as he called him) was regaling in the
parlour, he was not his servant, but only a friend and companion, and
as good a gentleman as Mr Jones himself."

Dowling sat all this while silent, biting his fingers, making faces,
grinning, and looking wonderfully arch; at last he opened his lips,
and protested that the gentleman looked like another sort of man. He
then called for his bill with the utmost haste, declared he must be at
Hereford that evening, lamented his great hurry of business, and
wished he could divide himself into twenty pieces, in order to be at
once in twenty places.

The petty-fogger now likewise departed, and then Jones desired the
favour of Mrs Whitefield's company to drink tea with him; but she
refused, and with a manner so different from that with which she had
received him at dinner, that it a little surprized him. And now he
soon perceived her behaviour totally changed; for instead of that
natural affability which we have before celebrated, she wore a
constrained severity on her countenance, which was so disagreeable to
Mr Jones, that he resolved, however late, to quit the house that

He did indeed account somewhat unfairly for this sudden change; for
besides some hard and unjust surmises concerning female fickleness and
mutability, he began to suspect that he owed this want of civility to
his want of horses; a sort of animals which, as they dirty no sheets,
are thought in inns to pay better for their beds than their riders,
and are therefore considered as the more desirable company; but Mrs
Whitefield, to do her justice, had a much more liberal way of
thinking. She was perfectly well-bred, and could be very civil to a
gentleman, though he walked on foot. In reality, she looked on our
heroe as a sorry scoundrel, and therefore treated him as such, for
which not even Jones himself, had he known as much as the reader,
could have blamed her; nay, on the contrary, he must have approved her
conduct, and have esteemed her the more for the disrespect shown
towards himself. This is indeed a most aggravating circumstance, which
attends depriving men unjustly of their reputation; for a man who is
conscious of having an ill character, cannot justly be angry with
those who neglect and slight him; but ought rather to despise such as
affect his conversation, unless where a perfect intimacy must have
convinced them that their friend's character hath been falsely and
injuriously aspersed.

This was not, however, the case of Jones; for as he was a perfect
stranger to the truth, so he was with good reason offended at the
treatment he received. He therefore paid his reckoning and departed,
highly against the will of Mr Partridge, who having remonstrated much
against it to no purpose, at last condescended to take up his knapsack
and to attend his friend.

Chapter ix.

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

The shadows began now to descend larger from the high mountains; the
feathered creation had betaken themselves to their rest. Now the
highest order of mortals were sitting down to their dinners, and the
lowest order to their suppers. In a word, the clock struck five just
as Mr Jones took his leave of Gloucester; an hour at which (as it was
now mid-winter) the dirty fingers of Night would have drawn her sable
curtain over the universe, had not the moon forbid her, who now, with
a face as broad and as red as those of some jolly mortals, who, like
her, turn night into day, began to rise from her bed, where she had
slumbered away the day, in order to sit up all night. Jones had not
travelled far before he paid his compliments to that beautiful planet,
and, turning to his companion, asked him if he had ever beheld so
delicious an evening? Partridge making no ready answer to his
question, he proceeded to comment on the beauty of the moon, and
repeated some passages from Milton, who hath certainly excelled all
other poets in his description of the heavenly luminaries. He then
told Partridge the story from the Spectator, of two lovers who had
agreed to entertain themselves when they were at a great distance from
each other, by repairing, at a certain fixed hour, to look at the
moon; thus pleasing themselves with the thought that they were both
employed in contemplating the same object at the same time. "Those
lovers," added he, "must have had souls truly capable of feeling all
the tenderness of the sublimest of all human passions."--"Very
probably," cries Partridge: "but I envy them more, if they had bodies
incapable of feeling cold; for I am almost frozen to death, and am
very much afraid I shall lose a piece of my nose before we get to
another house of entertainment. Nay, truly, we may well expect some
judgment should happen to us for our folly in running away so by night
from one of the most excellent inns I ever set my foot into. I am sure
I never saw more good things in my life, and the greatest lord in the
land cannot live better in his own house than he may there. And to
forsake such a house, and go a rambling about the country, the Lord
knows whither, _per devia rura viarum_, I say nothing for my part; but
some people might not have charity enough to conclude we were in our
sober senses."--"Fie upon it, Mr Partridge!" says Jones, "have a
better heart; consider you are going to face an enemy; and are you
afraid of facing a little cold? I wish, indeed, we had a guide to
advise which of these roads we should take."--"May I be so bold," says
Partridge, "to offer my advice? _Interdum stultus opportuna
loquitur_"--"Why, which of them," cries Jones, "would you
recommend?"--"Truly neither of them," answered Partridge. "The only
road we can be certain of finding, is the road we came. A good hearty
pace will bring us back to Gloucester in an hour; but if we go
forward, the Lord Harry knows when we shall arrive at any place; for I
see at least fifty miles before me, and no house in all the
way."--"You see, indeed, a very fair prospect," says Jones, "which
receives great additional beauty from the extreme lustre of the moon.
However, I will keep the left-hand track, as that seems to lead
directly to those hills, which we were informed lie not far from
Worcester. And here, if you are inclined to quit me, you may, and
return back again; but for my part, I am resolved to go forward."

"It is unkind in you, sir," says Partridge, "to suspect me of any such
intention. What I have advised hath been as much on your account as on
my own: but since you are determined to go on, I am as much determined
to follow. _I prae sequar te_."

They now travelled some miles without speaking to each other, during
which suspense of discourse Jones often sighed, and Benjamin groaned
as bitterly, though from a very different reason. At length Jones made
a full stop, and turning about, cries, "Who knows, Partridge, but the
loveliest creature in the universe may have her eyes now fixed on that
very moon which I behold at this instant?" "Very likely, sir,"
answered Partridge; "and if my eyes were fixed on a good surloin of
roast beef, the devil might take the moon and her horns into the
bargain." "Did ever Tramontane make such an answer?" cries Jones.
"Prithee, Partridge, wast thou ever susceptible of love in thy life,
or hath time worn away all the traces of it from thy memory?"
"Alack-a-day!" cries Partridge, "well would it have been for me if I
had never known what love was. _Infandum regina jubes renovare
dolorem_. I am sure I have tasted all the tenderness, and sublimities,
and bitternesses of the passion." "Was your mistress unkind, then?"
says Jones. "Very unkind, indeed, sir," answered Partridge; "for she
married me, and made one of the most confounded wives in the world.
However, heaven be praised, she's gone; and if I believed she was in
the moon, according to a book I once read, which teaches that to be
the receptacle of departed spirits, I would never look at it for fear
of seeing her; but I wish, sir, that the moon was a looking-glass for
your sake, and that Miss Sophia Western was now placed before it." "My
dear Partridge," cries Jones, "what a thought was there! A thought
which I am certain could never have entered into any mind but that of
a lover. O Partridge! could I hope once again to see that face; but,
alas! all those golden dreams are vanished for ever, and my only
refuge from future misery is to forget the object of all my former
happiness." "And do you really despair of ever seeing Miss Western
again?" answered Partridge; "if you will follow my advice I will
engage you shall not only see her but have her in your arms." "Ha! do
not awaken a thought of that nature," cries Jones: "I have struggled
sufficiently to conquer all such wishes already." "Nay," answered
Partridge, "if you do not wish to have your mistress in your arms you
are a most extraordinary lover indeed." "Well, well," says Jones, "let
us avoid this subject; but pray what is your advice?" "To give it you
in the military phrase, then," says Partridge, "as we are soldiers,
`To the right about.' Let us return the way we came; we may yet reach
Gloucester to-night, though late; whereas, if we proceed, we are
likely, for aught I see, to ramble about for ever without coming
either to house or home." "I have already told you my resolution is to
go on," answered Jones; "but I would have you go back. I am obliged to
you for your company hither; and I beg you to accept a guinea as a
small instance of my gratitude. Nay, it would be cruel in me to suffer
you to go any farther; for, to deal plainly with you, my chief end and
desire is a glorious death in the service of my king and country." "As
for your money," replied Partridge, "I beg, sir, you will put it up; I
will receive none of you at this time; for at present I am, I believe,
the richer man of the two. And as your resolution is to go on, so mine
is to follow you if you do. Nay, now my presence appears absolutely
necessary to take care of you, since your intentions are so desperate;
for I promise you my views are much more prudent; as you are resolved
to fall in battle if you can, so I am resolved as firmly to come to no
hurt if I can help it. And, indeed, I have the comfort to think there
will be but little danger; for a popish priest told me the other day
the business would soon be over, and he believed without a battle." "A
popish priest!" cries Jones, "I have heard is not always to be
believed when he speaks in behalf of his religion." "Yes, but so far,"
answered the other, "from speaking in behalf of his religion, he
assured me the Catholicks did not expect to be any gainers by the
change; for that Prince Charles was as good a Protestant as any in
England; and that nothing but regard to right made him and the rest of
the popish party to be Jacobites."--"I believe him to be as much a
Protestant as I believe he hath any right," says Jones; "and I make no
doubt of our success, but not without a battle. So that I am not so
sanguine as your friend the popish priest." "Nay, to be sure, sir,"
answered Partridge, "all the prophecies I have ever read speak of a
great deal of blood to be spilt in the quarrel, and the miller with
three thumbs, who is now alive, is to hold the horses of three kings,
up to his knees in blood. Lord, have mercy upon us all, and send
better times!" "With what stuff and nonsense hast thou filled thy
head!" answered Jones: "this too, I suppose, comes from the popish
priest. Monsters and prodigies are the proper arguments to support
monstrous and absurd doctrines. The cause of King George is the cause
of liberty and true religion. In other words, it is the cause of
common sense, my boy, and I warrant you will succeed, though Briarius
himself was to rise again with his hundred thumbs, and to turn
miller." Partridge made no reply to this. He was, indeed, cast into
the utmost confusion by this declaration of Jones. For, to inform the
reader of a secret, which he had no proper opportunity of revealing
before, Partridge was in truth a Jacobite, and had concluded that
Jones was of the same party, and was now proceeding to join the
rebels. An opinion which was not without foundation. For the tall,
long-sided dame, mentioned by Hudibras--that many-eyed, many-tongued,
many-mouthed, many-eared monster of Virgil, had related the story of
the quarrel between Jones and the officer, with the usual regard to
truth. She had, indeed, changed the name of Sophia into that of the
Pretender, and had reported, that drinking his health was the cause
for which Jones was knocked down. This Partridge had heard, and most
firmly believed. 'Tis no wonder, therefore, that he had thence
entertained the above-mentioned opinion of Jones; and which he had
almost discovered to him before he found out his own mistake. And at
this the reader will be the less inclined to wonder, if he pleases to
recollect the doubtful phrase in which Jones first communicated his
resolution to Mr Partridge; and, indeed, had the words been less
ambiguous, Partridge might very well have construed them as he did;
being persuaded as he was that the whole nation were of the same
inclination in their hearts; nor did it stagger him that Jones had
travelled in the company of soldiers; for he had the same opinion of
the army which he had of the rest of the people.

But however well affected he might be to James or Charles, he was
still much more attached to Little Benjamin than to either; for which
reason he no sooner discovered the principles of his fellow-traveller
than he thought proper to conceal and outwardly give up his own to the
man on whom he depended for the making his fortune, since he by no
means believed the affairs of Jones to be so desperate as they really
were with Mr Allworthy; for as he had kept a constant correspondence
with some of his neighbours since he left that country, he had heard
much, indeed more than was true, of the great affection Mr Allworthy
bore this young man, who, as Partridge had been instructed, was to be
that gentleman's heir, and whom, as we have said, he did not in the
least doubt to be his son.

He imagined therefore that whatever quarrel was between them, it would
be certainly made up at the return of Mr Jones; an event from which he
promised great advantages, if he could take this opportunity of
ingratiating himself with that young gentleman; and if he could by any
means be instrumental in procuring his return, he doubted not, as we
have before said, but it would as highly advance him in the favour of
Mr Allworthy.

We have already observed, that he was a very good-natured fellow, and
he hath himself declared the violent attachment he had to the person
and character of Jones; but possibly the views which I have just
before mentioned, might likewise have some little share in prompting
him to undertake this expedition, at least in urging him to continue
it, after he had discovered that his master and himself, like some
prudent fathers and sons, though they travelled together in great
friendship, had embraced opposite parties. I am led into this
conjecture, by having remarked, that though love, friendship, esteem,
and such like, have very powerful operations in the human mind;
interest, however, is an ingredient seldom omitted by wise men, when
they would work others to their own purposes. This is indeed a most
excellent medicine, and, like Ward's pill, flies at once to the
particular part of the body on which you desire to operate, whether it
be the tongue, the hand, or any other member, where it scarce ever
fails of immediately producing the desired effect.

Chapter x.

In which our travellers meet with a very extraordinary adventure.

Just as Jones and his friend came to the end of their dialogue in the
preceding chapter, they arrived at the bottom of a very steep hill.
Here Jones stopt short, and directing his eyes upwards, stood for a
while silent. At length he called to his companion, and said,
"Partridge, I wish I was at the top of this hill; it must certainly
afford a most charming prospect, especially by this light; for the
solemn gloom which the moon casts on all objects, is beyond expression
beautiful, especially to an imagination which is desirous of
cultivating melancholy ideas."--"Very probably," answered Partridge;
"but if the top of the hill be properest to produce melancholy
thoughts, I suppose the bottom is the likeliest to produce merry ones,
and these I take to be much the better of the two. I protest you have
made my blood run cold with the very mentioning the top of that
mountain; which seems to me to be one of the highest in the world. No,
no, if we look for anything, let it be for a place under ground, to
screen ourselves from the frost."--"Do so," said Jones; "let it be but
within hearing of this place, and I will hallow to you at my return
back."--"Surely, sir, you are not mad," said Partridge.--"Indeed, I
am," answered Jones, "if ascending this hill be madness; but as you
complain so much of the cold already, I would have you stay below. I
will certainly return to you within an hour."--"Pardon me, sir," cries
Partridge; "I have determined to follow you wherever you go." Indeed
he was now afraid to stay behind; for though he was coward enough in
all respects, yet his chief fear was that of ghosts, with which the
present time of night, and the wildness of the place, extremely well

At this instant Partridge espied a glimmering light through some
trees, which seemed very near to them. He immediately cried out in a
rapture, "Oh, sir! Heaven hath at last heard my prayers, and hath
brought us to a house; perhaps it may be an inn. Let me beseech you,
sir, if you have any compassion either for me or yourself, do not
despise the goodness of Providence, but let us go directly to yon
light. Whether it be a public-house or no, I am sure if they be
Christians that dwell there, they will not refuse a little house-room
to persons in our miserable condition." Jones at length yielded to the
earnest supplications of Partridge, and both together made directly
towards the place whence the light issued.

They soon arrived at the door of this house, or cottage, for it might
be called either, without much impropriety. Here Jones knocked several
times without receiving any answer from within; at which Partridge,
whose head was full of nothing but of ghosts, devils, witches, and
such like, began to tremble, crying, "Lord, have mercy upon us! surely
the people must be all dead. I can see no light neither now, and yet I
am certain I saw a candle burning but a moment before.--Well! I have
heard of such things."--"What hast thou heard of?" said Jones. "The
people are either fast asleep, or probably, as this is a lonely place,
are afraid to open their door." He then began to vociferate pretty
loudly, and at last an old woman, opening an upper casement, asked,
Who they were, and what they wanted? Jones answered, They were
travellers who had lost their way, and having seen a light in the
window, had been led thither in hopes of finding some fire to warm
themselves. "Whoever you are," cries the woman, "you have no business
here; nor shall I open the door to any one at this time of night."
Partridge, whom the sound of a human voice had recovered from his
fright, fell to the most earnest supplications to be admitted for a
few minutes to the fire, saying, he was almost dead with the cold; to
which fear had indeed contributed equally with the frost. He assured
her that the gentleman who spoke to her was one of the greatest
squires in the country; and made use of every argument, save one,
which Jones afterwards effectually added; and this was, the promise of
half-a-crown;--a bribe too great to be resisted by such a person,
especially as the genteel appearance of Jones, which the light of the
moon plainly discovered to her, together with his affable behaviour,
had entirely subdued those apprehensions of thieves which she had at
first conceived. She agreed, therefore, at last, to let them in; where
Partridge, to his infinite joy, found a good fire ready for his

The poor fellow, however, had no sooner warmed himself, than those
thoughts which were always uppermost in his mind, began a little to
disturb his brain. There was no article of his creed in which he had a
stronger faith than he had in witchcraft, nor can the reader conceive
a figure more adapted to inspire this idea, than the old woman who now
stood before him. She answered exactly to that picture drawn by Otway
in his Orphan. Indeed, if this woman had lived in the reign of James
the First, her appearance alone would have hanged her, almost without
any evidence.

Many circumstances likewise conspired to confirm Partridge in his
opinion. Her living, as he then imagined, by herself in so lonely a
place; and in a house, the outside of which seemed much too good for
her, but its inside was furnished in the most neat and elegant manner.
To say the truth, Jones himself was not a little surprized at what he
saw; for, besides the extraordinary neatness of the room, it was
adorned with a great number of nicknacks and curiosities, which might
have engaged the attention of a virtuoso.

While Jones was admiring these things, and Partridge sat trembling
with the firm belief that he was in the house of a witch, the old
woman said, "I hope, gentlemen, you will make what haste you can; for
I expect my master presently, and I would not for double the money he
should find you here."--"Then you have a master?" cried Jones.
"Indeed, you will excuse me, good woman, but I was surprized to see
all those fine things in your house."--"Ah, sir," said she, "if the
twentieth part of these things were mine, I should think myself a rich
woman. But pray, sir, do not stay much longer, for I look for him in
every minute."--"Why, sure he would not be angry with you," said
Jones, "for doing a common act of charity?"--"Alack-a-day, sir!" said
she, "he is a strange man, not at all like other people. He keeps no
company with anybody, and seldom walks out but by night, for he doth
not care to be seen; and all the country people are as much afraid of
meeting him; for his dress is enough to frighten those who are not
used to it. They call him, the Man of the Hill (for there he walks by
night), and the country people are not, I believe, more afraid of the
devil himself. He would be terribly angry if he found you
here."--"Pray, sir," says Partridge, "don't let us offend the
gentleman; I am ready to walk, and was never warmer in my life. Do
pray, sir, let us go. Here are pistols over the chimney: who knows
whether they be charged or no, or what he may do with them?"--"Fear
nothing, Partridge," cries Jones; "I will secure thee from
danger."--"Nay, for matter o' that, he never doth any mischief," said
the woman; "but to be sure it is necessary he should keep some arms
for his own safety; for his house hath been beset more than once; and
it is not many nights ago that we thought we heard thieves about it:
for my own part, I have often wondered that he is not murdered by some
villain or other, as he walks out by himself at such hours; but then,
as I said, the people are afraid of him; and besides, they think, I
suppose, he hath nothing about him worth taking."--"I should imagine,
by this collection of rarities," cries Jones, "that your master had
been a traveller."--"Yes, sir," answered she, "he hath been a very
great one: there be few gentlemen that know more of all matters than
he. I fancy he hath been crost in love, or whatever it is I know not;
but I have lived with him above these thirty years, and in all that
time he hath hardly spoke to six living people." She then again
solicited their departure, in which she was backed by Partridge; but
Jones purposely protracted the time, for his curiosity was greatly
raised to see this extraordinary person. Though the old woman,
therefore, concluded every one of her answers with desiring him to be
gone, and Partridge proceeded so far as to pull him by the sleeve, he
still continued to invent new questions, till the old woman, with an
affrighted countenance, declared she heard her master's signal; and at
the same instant more than one voice was heard without the door,
crying, "D--n your blood, show us your money this instant. Your money,
you villain, or we will blow your brains about your ears."

"O, good heaven!" cries the old woman, "some villains, to be sure,
have attacked my master. O la! what shall I do? what shall I
do?"--"How!" cries Jones, "how!--Are these pistols loaded?"--"O, good
sir, there is nothing in them, indeed. O pray don't murder us,
gentlemen!" (for in reality she now had the same opinion of those
within as she had of those without). Jones made her no answer; but
snatching an old broad sword which hung in the room, he instantly
sallied out, where he found the old gentleman struggling with two
ruffians, and begging for mercy. Jones asked no questions, but fell so
briskly to work with his broad sword, that the fellows immediately
quitted their hold; and without offering to attack our heroe, betook
themselves to their heels and made their escape; for he did not
attempt to pursue them, being contented with having delivered the old
gentleman; and indeed he concluded he had pretty well done their
business, for both of them, as they ran off, cried out with bitter
oaths that they were dead men.

Jones presently ran to lift up the old gentleman, who had been thrown
down in the scuffle, expressing at the same time great concern lest he
should have received any harm from the villains. The old man stared a
moment at Jones, and then cried, "No, sir, no, I have very little
harm, I thank you. Lord have mercy upon me!"--"I see, sir," said
Jones, "you are not free from apprehensions even of those who have had
the happiness to be your deliverers; nor can I blame any suspicions
which you may have; but indeed you have no real occasion for any; here
are none but your friends present. Having mist our way this cold
night, we took the liberty of warming ourselves at your fire, whence
we were just departing when we heard you call for assistance, which, I
must say, Providence alone seems to have sent you."--"Providence,
indeed," cries the old gentleman, "if it be so."--"So it is, I assure
you," cries Jones. "Here is your own sword, sir; I have used it in
your defence, and I now return it into your hand." The old man having
received the sword, which was stained with the blood of his enemies,
looked stedfastly at Jones during some moments, and then with a sigh
cried out, "You will pardon me, young gentleman; I was not always of a
suspicious temper, nor am I a friend to ingratitude."

"Be thankful then," cries Jones, "to that Providence to which you owe
your deliverance: as to my part, I have only discharged the common
duties of humanity, and what I would have done for any fellow-creature
in your situation."--"Let me look at you a little longer," cries the
old gentleman. "You are a human creature then? Well, perhaps you are.
Come pray walk into my little hutt. You have been my deliverer

The old woman was distracted between the fears which she had of her
master, and for him; and Partridge was, if possible, in a greater
fright. The former of these, however, when she heard her master speak
kindly to Jones, and perceived what had happened, came again to
herself; but Partridge no sooner saw the gentleman, than the
strangeness of his dress infused greater terrors into that poor fellow
than he had before felt, either from the strange description which he
had heard, or from the uproar which had happened at the door.

To say the truth, it was an appearance which might have affected a
more constant mind than that of Mr Partridge. This person was of the
tallest size, with a long beard as white as snow. His body was
cloathed with the skin of an ass, made something into the form of a
coat. He wore likewise boots on his legs, and a cap on his head, both
composed of the skin of some other animals.

As soon as the old gentleman came into his house, the old woman began
her congratulations on his happy escape from the ruffians. "Yes,"
cried he, "I have escaped, indeed, thanks to my preserver."--"O the
blessing on him!" answered she: "he is a good gentleman, I warrant
him. I was afraid your worship would have been angry with me for
letting him in; and to be certain I should not have done it, had not I
seen by the moon-light, that he was a gentleman, and almost frozen to
death. And to be certain it must have been some good angel that sent
him hither, and tempted me to do it."

"I am afraid, sir," said the old gentleman to Jones, "that I have
nothing in this house which you can either eat or drink, unless you
will accept a dram of brandy; of which I can give you some most
excellent, and which I have had by me these thirty years." Jones
declined this offer in a very civil and proper speech, and then the
other asked him, "Whither he was travelling when he mist his way?"
saying, "I must own myself surprized to see such a person as you
appear to be, journeying on foot at this time of night. I suppose,
sir, you are a gentleman of these parts; for you do not look like one
who is used to travel far without horses?"

"Appearances," cried Jones, "are often deceitful; men sometimes look
what they are not. I assure you I am not of this country; and whither
I am travelling, in reality I scarce know myself."

"Whoever you are, or whithersoever you are going," answered the old
man, "I have obligations to you which I can never return."

"I once more," replied Jones, "affirm that you have none; for there
can be no merit in having hazarded that in your service on which I set
no value; and nothing is so contemptible in my eyes as life."

"I am sorry, young gentleman," answered the stranger, "that you have
any reason to be so unhappy at your years."

"Indeed I am, sir," answered Jones, "the most unhappy of
mankind."--"Perhaps you have had a friend, or a mistress?" replied the
other. "How could you," cries Jones, "mention two words sufficient to
drive me to distraction?"--"Either of them are enough to drive any man
to distraction," answered the old man. "I enquire no farther, sir;
perhaps my curiosity hath led me too far already."

"Indeed, sir," cries Jones, "I cannot censure a passion which I feel
at this instant in the highest degree. You will pardon me when I
assure you, that everything which I have seen or heard since I first
entered this house hath conspired to raise the greatest curiosity in
me. Something very extraordinary must have determined you to this
course of life, and I have reason to fear your own history is not
without misfortunes."

Here the old gentleman again sighed, and remained silent for some
minutes: at last, looking earnestly on Jones, he said, "I have read
that a good countenance is a letter of recommendation; if so, none
ever can be more strongly recommended than yourself. If I did not feel
some yearnings towards you from another consideration, I must be the
most ungrateful monster upon earth; and I am really concerned it is no
otherwise in my power than by words to convince you of my gratitude."

Jones, after a moment's hesitation, answered, "That it was in his
power by words to gratify him extremely. I have confest a curiosity,"
said he, "sir; need I say how much obliged I should be to you, if you
would condescend to gratify it? Will you suffer me therefore to beg,
unless any consideration restrains you, that you would be pleased to
acquaint me what motives have induced you thus to withdraw from the
society of mankind, and to betake yourself to a course of life to
which it sufficiently appears you were not born?"

"I scarce think myself at liberty to refuse you anything after what
hath happened," replied the old man. "If you desire therefore to hear
the story of an unhappy man, I will relate it to you. Indeed you judge
rightly, in thinking there is commonly something extraordinary in the
fortunes of those who fly from society; for however it may seem a
paradox, or even a contradiction, certain it is, that great
philanthropy chiefly inclines us to avoid and detest mankind; not on
account so much of their private and selfish vices, but for those of a
relative kind; such as envy, malice, treachery, cruelty, with every
other species of malevolence. These are the vices which true
philanthropy abhors, and which rather than see and converse with, she
avoids society itself. However, without a compliment to you, you do
not appear to me one of those whom I should shun or detest; nay, I
must say, in what little hath dropt from you, there appears some
parity in our fortunes: I hope, however, yours will conclude more

Here some compliments passed between our heroe and his host, and then
the latter was going to begin his history, when Partridge interrupted
him. His apprehensions had now pretty well left him, but some effects
of his terrors remained; he therefore reminded the gentleman of that
excellent brandy which he had mentioned. This was presently brought,
and Partridge swallowed a large bumper.

The gentleman then, without any farther preface, began as you may read
in the next chapter.

Chapter xi.

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

"I was born in a village of Somersetshire, called Mark, in the year
1657. My father was one of those whom they call gentlemen farmers. He
had a little estate of about 300 a year of his own, and rented
another estate of near the same value. He was prudent and industrious,
and so good a husbandman, that he might have led a very easy and
comfortable life, had not an arrant vixen of a wife soured his
domestic quiet. But though this circumstance perhaps made him
miserable, it did not make him poor; for he confined her almost
entirely at home, and rather chose to bear eternal upbraidings in his
own house, than to injure his fortune by indulging her in the
extravagancies she desired abroad.

"By this Xanthippe" (so was the wife of Socrates called, said
Partridge)--"by this Xanthippe he had two sons, of which I was the
younger. He designed to give us both good education; but my elder
brother, who, unhappily for him, was the favourite of my mother,
utterly neglected his learning; insomuch that, after having been five
or six years at school with little or no improvement, my father, being
told by his master that it would be to no purpose to keep him longer
there, at last complied with my mother in taking him home from the
hands of that tyrant, as she called his master; though indeed he gave
the lad much less correction than his idleness deserved, but much
more, it seems, than the young gentleman liked, who constantly
complained to his mother of his severe treatment, and she as
constantly gave him a hearing."

"Yes, yes," cries Partridge, "I have seen such mothers; I have been
abused myself by them, and very unjustly; such parents deserve
correction as much as their children."

Jones chid the pedagogue for his interruption, and then the stranger

"My brother now, at the age of fifteen, bade adieu to all learning,
and to everything else but to his dog and gun; with which latter he
became so expert, that, though perhaps you may think it incredible, he
could not only hit a standing mark with great certainty, but hath
actually shot a crow as it was flying in the air. He was likewise
excellent at finding a hare sitting, and was soon reputed one of the
best sportsmen in the country; a reputation which both he and his
mother enjoyed as much as if he had been thought the finest scholar.

"The situation of my brother made me at first think my lot the harder,
in being continued at school: but I soon changed my opinion; for as I
advanced pretty fast in learning, my labours became easy, and my
exercise so delightful, that holidays were my most unpleasant time;
for my mother, who never loved me, now apprehending that I had the
greater share of my father's affection, and finding, or at least
thinking, that I was more taken notice of by some gentlemen of
learning, and particularly by the parson of the parish, than my
brother, she now hated my sight, and made home so disagreeable to me,
that what is called by school-boys Black Monday, was to me the whitest
in the whole year.

"Having at length gone through the school at Taunton, I was thence
removed to Exeter College in Oxford, where I remained four years; at
the end of which an accident took me off entirely from my studies; and
hence, I may truly date the rise of all which happened to me
afterwards in life.

"There was at the same college with myself one Sir George Gresham, a
young fellow who was intitled to a very considerable fortune, which he
was not, by the will of his father, to come into full possession of
till he arrived at the age of twenty-five. However, the liberality of
his guardians gave him little cause to regret the abundant caution of
his father; for they allowed him five hundred pounds a year while he
remained at the university, where he kept his horses and his whore,
and lived as wicked and as profligate a life as he could have done had
he been never so entirely master of his fortune; for besides the five
hundred a year which he received from his guardians, he found means to
spend a thousand more. He was above the age of twenty-one, and had no
difficulty in gaining what credit he pleased.

"This young fellow, among many other tolerable bad qualities, had one
very diabolical. He had a great delight in destroying and ruining the
youth of inferior fortune, by drawing them into expenses which they
could not afford so well as himself; and the better, and worthier, and
soberer any young man was, the greater pleasure and triumph had he in
his destruction. Thus acting the character which is recorded of the
devil, and going about seeking whom he might devour.

"It was my misfortune to fall into an acquaintance and intimacy with
this gentleman. My reputation of diligence in my studies made me a
desirable object of his mischievous intention; and my own inclination
made it sufficiently easy for him to effect his purpose; for though I
had applied myself with much industry to books, in which I took great
delight, there were other pleasures in which I was capable of taking
much greater; for I was high-mettled, had a violent flow of animal
spirits, was a little ambitious, and extremely amorous.

"I had not long contracted an intimacy with Sir George before I became
a partaker of all his pleasures; and when I was once entered on that
scene, neither my inclination nor my spirit would suffer me to play an
under part. I was second to none of the company in any acts of
debauchery; nay, I soon distinguished myself so notably in all riots
and disorders, that my name generally stood first in the roll of
delinquents; and instead of being lamented as the unfortunate pupil of
Sir George, I was now accused as the person who had misled and
debauched that hopeful young gentleman; for though he was the
ringleader and promoter of all the mischief, he was never so
considered. I fell at last under the censure of the vice-chancellor,
and very narrowly escaped expulsion.

"You will easily believe, sir, that such a life as I am now describing
must be incompatible with my further progress in learning; and that in
proportion as I addicted myself more and more to loose pleasure, I
must grow more and more remiss in application to my studies. This was
truly the consequence; but this was not all. My expenses now greatly
exceeded not only my former income, but those additions which I
extorted from my poor generous father, on pretences of sums being
necessary for preparing for my approaching degree of batchelor of
arts. These demands, however, grew at last so frequent and exorbitant,
that my father by slow degrees opened his ears to the accounts which
he received from many quarters of my present behaviour, and which my
mother failed not to echo very faithfully and loudly; adding, `Ay,
this is the fine gentleman, the scholar who doth so much honour to his
family, and is to be the making of it. I thought what all this
learning would come to. He is to be the ruin of us all, I find, after
his elder brother hath been denied necessaries for his sake, to
perfect his education forsooth, for which he was to pay us such
interest: I thought what the interest would come to,' with much more
of the same kind; but I have, I believe, satisfied you with this

"My father, therefore, began now to return remonstrances instead of
money to my demands, which brought my affairs perhaps a little sooner
to a crisis; but had he remitted me his whole income, you will imagine
it could have sufficed a very short time to support one who kept pace
with the expenses of Sir George Gresham.

"It is more than possible that the distress I was now in for money,
and the impracticability of going on in this manner, might have
restored me at once to my senses and to my studies, had I opened my
eyes before I became involved in debts from which I saw no hopes of
ever extricating myself. This was indeed the great art of Sir George,
and by which he accomplished the ruin of many, whom he afterwards
laughed at as fools and coxcombs, for vying, as he called it, with a
man of his fortune. To bring this about, he would now and then advance
a little money himself, in order to support the credit of the
unfortunate youth with other people; till, by means of that very
credit, he was irretrievably undone.

"My mind being by these means grown as desperate as my fortune, there
was scarce a wickedness which I did not meditate, in order for my
relief. Self-murder itself became the subject of my serious
deliberation; and I had certainly resolved on it, had not a more
shameful, though perhaps less sinful, thought expelled it from my
head."--Here he hesitated a moment, and then cried out, "I protest, so
many years have not washed away the shame of this act, and I shall
blush while I relate it." Jones desired him to pass over anything that
might give him pain in the relation; but Partridge eagerly cried out,
"Oh, pray, sir, let us hear this; I had rather hear this than all the
rest; as I hope to be saved, I will never mention a word of it." Jones
was going to rebuke him, but the stranger prevented it by proceeding
thus: "I had a chum, a very prudent, frugal young lad, who, though he
had no very large allowance, had by his parsimony heaped up upwards of
forty guineas, which I knew he kept in his escritore. I took therefore
an opportunity of purloining his key from his breeches-pocket, while
he was asleep, and thus made myself master of all his riches: after
which I again conveyed his key into his pocket, and counterfeiting
sleep--though I never once closed my eyes, lay in bed till after he
arose and went to prayers--an exercise to which I had long been

"Timorous thieves, by extreme caution, often subject themselves to
discoveries, which those of a bolder kind escape. Thus it happened to
me; for had I boldly broke open his escritore, I had, perhaps, escaped
even his suspicion; but as it was plain that the person who robbed him
had possessed himself of his key, he had no doubt, when he first
missed his money, but that his chum was certainly the thief. Now as he
was of a fearful disposition, and much my inferior in strength, and I
believe in courage, he did not dare to confront me with my guilt, for
fear of worse bodily consequences which might happen to him. He
repaired therefore immediately to the vice-chancellor, and upon
swearing to the robbery, and to the circumstances of it, very easily
obtained a warrant against one who had now so bad a character through
the whole university.

"Luckily for me, I lay out of the college the next evening; for that
day I attended a young lady in a chaise to Witney, where we staid all
night, and in our return, the next morning, to Oxford, I met one of my
cronies, who acquainted me with sufficient news concerning myself to
make me turn my horse another way."

"Pray, sir, did he mention anything of the warrant?" said Partridge.
But Jones begged the gentleman to proceed without regarding any
impertinent questions; which he did as follows:--

"Having now abandoned all thoughts of returning to Oxford, the next
thing which offered itself was a journey to London. I imparted this
intention to my female companion, who at first remonstrated against
it; but upon producing my wealth, she immediately consented. We then
struck across the country, into the great Cirencester road, and made
such haste, that we spent the next evening, save one, in London.

"When you consider the place where I now was, and the company with
whom I was, you will, I fancy, conceive that a very short time brought
me to an end of that sum of which I had so iniquitously possessed

"I was now reduced to a much higher degree of distress than before:
the necessaries of life began to be numbered among my wants; and what
made my case still the more grievous was, that my paramour, of whom I
was now grown immoderately fond, shared the same distresses with
myself. To see a woman you love in distress; to be unable to relieve
her, and at the same time to reflect that you have brought her into
this situation, is perhaps a curse of which no imagination can
represent the horrors to those who have not felt it."--"I believe it
from my soul," cries Jones, "and I pity you from the bottom of my
heart:" he then took two or three disorderly turns about the room, and
at last begged pardon, and flung himself into his chair, crying, "I
thank Heaven, I have escaped that!"

"This circumstance," continued the gentleman, "so severely aggravated
the horrors of my present situation, that they became absolutely
intolerable. I could with less pain endure the raging in my own
natural unsatisfied appetites, even hunger or thirst, than I could
submit to leave ungratified the most whimsical desires of a woman on
whom I so extravagantly doated, that, though I knew she had been the
mistress of half my acquaintance, I firmly intended to marry her. But
the good creature was unwilling to consent to an action which the
world might think so much to my disadvantage. And as, possibly, she
compassionated the daily anxieties which she must have perceived me
suffer on her account, she resolved to put an end to my distress. She
soon, indeed, found means to relieve me from my troublesome and
perplexed situation; for while I was distracted with various
inventions to supply her with pleasures, she very kindly--betrayed me
to one of her former lovers at Oxford, by whose care and diligence I
was immediately apprehended and committed to gaol.

"Here I first began seriously to reflect on the miscarriages of my
former life; on the errors I had been guilty of; on the misfortunes
which I had brought on myself; and on the grief which I must have
occasioned to one of the best of fathers. When I added to all these
the perfidy of my mistress, such was the horror of my mind, that life,
instead of being longer desirable, grew the object of my abhorrence;
and I could have gladly embraced death as my dearest friend, if it had
offered itself to my choice unattended by shame.

"The time of the assizes soon came, and I was removed by habeas corpus
to Oxford, where I expected certain conviction and condemnation; but,
to my great surprize, none appeared against me, and I was, at the end
of the sessions, discharged for want of prosecution. In short, my chum
had left Oxford, and whether from indolence, or from what other motive
I am ignorant, had declined concerning himself any farther in the

"Perhaps," cries Partridge, "he did not care to have your blood upon
his hands; and he was in the right on't. If any person was to be
hanged upon my evidence, I should never be able to lie alone
afterwards, for fear of seeing his ghost."

"I shall shortly doubt, Partridge," says Jones, "whether thou art more
brave or wise."--"You may laugh at me, sir, if you please," answered
Partridge; "but if you will hear a very short story which I can tell,
and which is most certainly true, perhaps you may change your opinion.
In the parish where I was born--" Here Jones would have silenced him;
but the stranger interceded that he might be permitted to tell his
story, and in the meantime promised to recollect the remainder of his

Partridge then proceeded thus: "In the parish where I was born, there
lived a farmer whose name was Bridle, and he had a son named Francis,
a good hopeful young fellow: I was at the grammar-school with him,
where I remember he was got into Ovid's Epistles, and he could
construe you three lines together sometimes without looking into a
dictionary. Besides all this, he was a very good lad, never missed
church o' Sundays, and was reckoned one of the best psalm-singers in
the whole parish. He would indeed now and then take a cup too much,
and that was the only fault he had."--"Well, but come to the ghost,"
cries Jones. "Never fear, sir; I shall come to him soon enough,"
answered Partridge. "You must know, then, that farmer Bridle lost a
mare, a sorrel one, to the best of my remembrance; and so it fell out
that this young Francis shortly afterward being at a fair at Hindon,
and as I think it was on--, I can't remember the day; and being as he
was, what should he happen to meet but a man upon his father's mare.
Frank called out presently, Stop thief; and it being in the middle of
the fair, it was impossible, you know, for the man to make his escape.
So they apprehended him and carried him before the justice: I remember
it was Justice Willoughby, of Noyle, a very worthy good gentleman; and
he committed him to prison, and bound Frank in a recognisance, I think
they call it--a hard word compounded of _re_ and _cognosco_; but it
differs in its meaning from the use of the simple, as many other
compounds do. Well, at last down came my Lord Justice Page to hold the
assizes; and so the fellow was had up, and Frank was had up for a
witness. To be sure, I shall never forget the face of the judge, when
he began to ask him what he had to say against the prisoner. He made
poor Frank tremble and shake in his shoes. `Well you, fellow,' says my
lord, `what have you to say? Don't stand humming and hawing, but speak
out.' But, however, he soon turned altogether as civil to Frank, and
began to thunder at the fellow; and when he asked him if he had
anything to say for himself, the fellow said, he had found the horse.
`Ay!' answered the judge, `thou art a lucky fellow: I have travelled
the circuit these forty years, and never found a horse in my life: but
I'll tell thee what, friend, thou wast more lucky than thou didst know
of; for thou didst not only find a horse, but a halter too, I promise
thee.' To be sure, I shall never forget the word. Upon which everybody
fell a laughing, as how could they help it? Nay, and twenty other
jests he made, which I can't remember now. There was something about
his skill in horse-flesh which made all the folks laugh. To be
certain, the judge must have been a very brave man, as well as a man
of much learning. It is indeed charming sport to hear trials upon life
and death. One thing I own I thought a little hard, that the
prisoner's counsel was not suffered to speak for him, though he
desired only to be heard one very short word, but my lord would not
hearken to him, though he suffered a counsellor to talk against him
for above half-an-hour. I thought it hard, I own, that there should be
so many of them; my lord, and the court, and the jury, and the
counsellors, and the witnesses, all upon one poor man, and he too in
chains. Well, the fellow was hanged, as to be sure it could be no
otherwise, and poor Frank could never be easy about it. He never was
in the dark alone, but he fancied he saw the fellow's spirit."--"Well,
and is this thy story?" cries Jones. "No, no," answered Partridge. "O
Lord have mercy upon me! I am just now coming to the matter; for one
night, coming from the alehouse, in a long, narrow, dark lane, there
he ran directly up against him; and the spirit was all in white, and
fell upon Frank; and Frank, who was a sturdy lad, fell upon the spirit
again, and there they had a tussel together, and poor Frank was
dreadfully beat: indeed he made a shift at last to crawl home; but
what with the beating, and what with the fright, he lay ill above a
fortnight; and all this is most certainly true, and the whole parish
will bear witness to it."

The stranger smiled at this story, and Jones burst into a loud fit of
laughter; upon which Partridge cried, "Ay, you may laugh, sir; and so
did some others, particularly a squire, who is thought to be no better
than an atheist; who, forsooth, because there was a calf with a white
face found dead in the same lane the next morning, would fain have it
that the battle was between Frank and that, as if a calf would set
upon a man. Besides, Frank told me he knew it to be a spirit, and
could swear to him in any court in Christendom; and he had not drank
above a quart or two or such a matter of liquor, at the time. Lud have
mercy upon us, and keep us all from dipping our hands in blood, I

"Well, sir," said Jones to the stranger, "Mr Partridge hath finished
his story, and I hope will give you no future interruption, if you
will be so kind to proceed." He then resumed his narration; but as he
hath taken breath for a while, we think proper to give it to our
reader, and shall therefore put an end to this chapter.

Chapter xii.

In which the Man of the Hill continues his history.

"I had now regained my liberty," said the stranger; "but I had lost my
reputation; for there is a wide difference between the case of a man
who is barely acquitted of a crime in a court of justice, and of him
who is acquitted in his own heart, and in the opinion of the people. I
was conscious of my guilt, and ashamed to look any one in the face; so
resolved to leave Oxford the next morning, before the daylight
discovered me to the eyes of any beholders.

"When I had got clear of the city, it first entered into my head to
return home to my father, and endeavour to obtain his forgiveness; but
as I had no reason to doubt his knowledge of all which had past, and
as I was well assured of his great aversion to all acts of dishonesty,
I could entertain no hopes of being received by him, especially since
I was too certain of all the good offices in the power of my mother;
nay, had my father's pardon been as sure, as I conceived his
resentment to be, I yet question whether I could have had the
assurance to behold him, or whether I could, upon any terms, have
submitted to live and converse with those who, I was convinced, knew
me to have been guilty of so base an action.

"I hastened therefore back to London, the best retirement of either
grief or shame, unless for persons of a very public character; for
here you have the advantage of solitude without its disadvantage,
since you may be alone and in company at the same time; and while you
walk or sit unobserved, noise, hurry, and a constant succession of
objects, entertain the mind, and prevent the spirits from preying on
themselves, or rather on grief or shame, which are the most
unwholesome diet in the world; and on which (though there are many who
never taste either but in public) there are some who can feed very
plentifully and very fatally when alone.

"But as there is scarce any human good without its concomitant evil,
so there are people who find an inconvenience in this unobserving
temper of mankind; I mean persons who have no money; for as you are
not put out of countenance, so neither are you cloathed or fed by
those who do not know you. And a man may be as easily starved in
Leadenhall-market as in the deserts of Arabia.

"It was at present my fortune to be destitute of that great evil, as
it is apprehended to be by several writers, who I suppose were
overburthened with it, namely, money."--"With submission, sir," said
Partridge, "I do not remember any writers who have called it
_malorum_; but _irritamenta malorum_. _Effodiuntur opes, irritamenta
malorum_"--"Well, sir," continued the stranger, "whether it be an

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