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his lively imagination painted the charming maid in various ravishing forms, his warm heart melted with tenderness; and at length, throwing himself on the ground, by the side of a gently murmuring brook, he broke forth into the following ejaculation : “O Sophia, would Heaven give thee to my arms, “how blest would be my condition | Curst be that “...fortune which sets a distance between us. Was I “but possessed of thee, one only suit of rags thy * whole estate, is there a man on earth whom I “would envy! How contemptible would the brightest Circassian beauty, drest in all the jewels of the Indies, appear to my eyes! But why do I mention another woman Could I think my eyes capable * of looking at any other with tenderness, these hands “should tear them from my head. No, my Sophia, * if cruel fortune separates us for ever, my soul shall ‘doat on thee alone. The chastest constancy will I * ever preserve to thy image. Though I should never ‘ have possession of thy charming person, still shalt ‘ thou alone have possession of my thoughts, my “love, my soul. Oh my fond heart is so wrapt in “ that tender bosom, that the brightest beauties * would for me have no charms, nor would a hermit ‘ be colder in their embraces. Sophia, Sophia alone “shall be mine. What raptures are in that name ! “I will engrave it on every tree.” At these words he started up, and beheld—not his Sophia—no, nor a Circassian maid richly and elegantly attired, for the grand seignior's seraglio. No', without a gown, in a shift that was somewhat of the coarsest, and none of the cleanest, bedeved likewise with some odoriferous effluvia, the produce of the day's labour, with a pitchfork in her hand, Molly Seagrim approached. Our hero had his F. in his hand, which he had drawn for the efore-mentioned purpose of carving on the bark; when the girl, coming near him, cried out with a smile, ‘You don't intend to kill me, squire, I
‘hope l'— Why should you think I would kill “you ?' answered Jones. “Nay, replied she, “after “ your cruel usage of me when I saw you last, kill‘ing me would, perhaps, be too great kindness “for me to expect.” Here ensued a parley, which, as I do not think myself obliged to relate it, I shall omit. It is sufficient that it lasted a full quarter of an hour, at the conclusion of which they retired into the thickest part of the grove. Some of my readers may be inclined to think this event unnatural. However, the fact is true; and perhaps may be sufficiently accounted for by suggesting, that Jones probably thought one woman' better than none, and Molly as probably imagined two men to be better than one. Besides the beforementioned motive assigned to the present behaviour of Jones, the reader will be likewise pleased to recollect in his favour, that he was not at this time perfect master of that wonderful power of reason, which so well enables grave and wise men to subdue their unruly passions, and to decline any of these prohibited amusements. Wine now had totally subdued this power in Jones. He was, indeed, in a condition, in which, if reason had interposed, though only to advise, she might have received the answer which one Cleostratus gave many years ago to a silly fellow, who asked him, if he was not ashamed to be drunk? “Are not you,' said Cleostratus,’ ‘ashamed to admonish a drunken man o'— To say the truth, in a court of justice, drunkenness must not be an excuse, yet in a court of conscience it is greatly so; and therefore Aristotle, who commends the laws of Pittacus, by which drunken men received double punishment for their crimes, allows there is more of policy than justice in that law. Now, if there are any transgressions pardonable from drunkenness, they are certainly such as Mr. Jones was at present guilty of; on which head I could pour forth a vast profusion of learning, if I imagined it would either entertain my reader, or teach him any thing more than he knows already. For his sake therefore I shall keep my learning to myself, and return to my history.
It hath been observed, that Fortune seldom doth things by halves. To say truth, there is no end to her freaks whenever she is disposed to gratify or displease. No sooner had our hero retired with his Dido, but
Speluncan Blifil dux et divinus eandem
the parson and the young squire, who were taking a serious walk, arrived at the stile which leads into the grove, and the latter caught a view of the lovers just as they were sinking out of sight. . ,
Blifil knew Jones very well, though he was at
above a hundred yards' distance, and he was as positive to the sex of his companion, though not to the .
individual person. He started, blessed himself, and uttered a very solemn ejaculation. Thwackum expressed some surprise at these sudden emotions, and asked the reason of them. To which Blifil answered, “He was certain he had ‘seen a fellow and a wench retire together among * the bushes, which he doubted not was with some “wicked purpose.” As to the name of Jones, he thought proper to conceal it, and why he did so, must be left to the judgement of the sagacious reader; for we never choose to assign motives to the actions of men, when there is any possibility of of our being mistaken. * The parson, who was not only strictly chaste in his own person, but a great enemy to the opposite vice in all others, fired at this information. He desired Mr. Blifil to conduct him immediately to the place, which as he approached he breathed forth vengeance mixed with lamentations; nor did he re
frain from casting some oblique reflexions on Mr. Allworthy; insinuating that the wickedness of the country was principally owing to the encouragement he had given to vice, by having exerted such kindness to a bastard, and by having mitigated that just and wholesome rigour of the law which allots a very severe punishment to loose wenches. he way through which our hunters were to pass in pursuit of their game was so beset with briers, that it greatly obstructed their walk, and caused, besides, such a rustling, that Jones had sufficient warning of their arrival before they could surprise him; nay, indeed, so incapable was Thwackum of concealing his indignation, and such vengeance did he mutter forth every step he took, that this alone must have abundantly satisfied Jones that he was (to use the language of sportsmen) found sitting.
In which a simile in Mr. Pope's period of a mile introduces as bloody a battle as can possibly be fought without the assistance of steel or cold iron,
As in the season of rutting (an uncouth phrase, by which the vulgar denote that gentle dalliance, which, in the well-wooded” forest of Hampshire, passes between lovers of the ferine kind), if, while the lofty-crested stag meditates the amorous sport, a couple of puppies, or any other beasts of hostile note, should wander so near the temple of Venus Ferina that the fair hind should shrink from the place, touched with that somewhat, either of fear or frolic, of nicety or skittishness, with which nature hath bedecked all females, or hath at least instructed them how to put it on ; lest, through the inde
* This is an ambiguous phrase, and may mean either a forest well clothed with wood, or well stript of it.
licacy of males, the Samian mysteries should be pried into by unhallowed eyes;– for, at the celebration of these rites, the female priestess cries out with her in Virgil (who was then, probably, hard at work on such celebration),
— Procul, O procul este, profani;
— Far hence be souls profane,
If, I say, while these sacred rites, which are in common to genus omne animantium, are in agitation between the stag and his mistress, any hostile beasts should venture too near, on the first hint given by the frighted hind fierce and tremendous rushes forth the stag to the entrance of the thicket; there stands he sentinel over his love, stamps the ground with his foot, and with his horns brandished aloft in air, proudly provokes the apprehended foe to combat. Thus, and more terrible, when he perceived the enemy's approach, leaped forth our hero. Many a step advanced he forwards, in order to conceal the trembling hind, and, if possible, to secure her retreat. And now Thwackum, having first darted some livid lightning from his fiery eyes, began to thunder forth, “Fie upon it! Fie upon it! Mr. Jones. “Is it possible you should be the person 2' – “You * See,” answered Jones, ‘it is possible I should be * here.’ — ‘And who,” said Thwackum, “ is that ‘wicked slut with you?”—“If I have any wicked “slut with me,’ cries Jones, ‘it is possible I shall * not let you know who she is.’ — ‘I command you ‘to tell me immediately,’ says Thwackum; “and I would not have you imagine, young man, that ‘ your age, though it hath somewhat abridged the ‘purpose of tuition, hath totally taken away the ‘authority of the master. The relation of the master ‘and scholaris indelible; as,indeed, all other relations #.