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Western himself, who, after having once or twice embraced his daughter, fell to hugging and kissing Jones. He called him the preserver of Sophia, and declared there was nothing, except her, or his estate, which he would not give him; but, upon recollection, he afterwards excepted his fox-hounds, .the Chevalier, and Miss Slouch (for so he called his favourite mare). All fears for Sophia being now removed, Jones became the object of the squire's consideration. “Come, my lad," says Western, d'off thy quoat * and wash thy feace; for att in a devilish pickle, * I promise thee. Come, come, wash thyself, and “shat go huome with me; and we'll zee to vind * thee another quoat.' Jones immediately complied, threw off his coat, went down to the water, and washed both his face and bosom ; for the latter was as much exposed and as bloody as the former. But though the water could clear off the blood, it could not remove the black and blue marks which Thwackum had imprinted on both his face and breast, and which, being discerned by Sophia, drew from her a sigh and a look full of inexpressible tenderness. Jones received this full in his eyes, and it had infinitely a stronger effect on him than all the contusions which he had received before. An effect, however, widely different; for so soft and balmy was it, that, had all his former blows been stabs, it would for some minutes have prevented his feeling their smart. The company now moved backwards, and soon arrived where Thwackum had got Mr. Blifil again on his legs. Here we cannot suppress a pious wish, that all quarrels were to be decided by those weapons only with which Nature, knowing what is proper for us, hath supplied us; and that cold iron was to be used in digging no bowels but those of the earth. Then would war, the pastime of monarchs, be almost inoffensive, and battles between great armies might be fought at the particular desire of several ladies of quality; who, together with the kings themselves, might be actual spectators of the conflict. Then might the field be this moment well strewed with human carcasses, and the next, the dead men, or infinitely the greatest part of them, might get up, like Mr. Bayes's troops, and march off either at the sound of a drum or fiddle, as should be previously agreed on. * I would avoid, if possible, treating this matter ludicrously, lest grave men and politicians, whom I know to be offended at a jest, may cry pish at it; but, in reality, might not a battle be as well decided by the greater number of broken heads, bloody noses, and black eyes, as by the greater heaps of mangled and murdered human bodies? Might not towns be contended for in the same manner P. Indeed, this may be thought too detrimental a scheme to the French interest, since they would thus lose the advantage they have over other nations in the superiority of their engineers; but when I consider the gallantry and generosity of that people, I am persuaded they would never decline putting themselves upon a par with their adversary; or, as the phrase is, making themselves his match. But such reformations are rather to be wished than hoped for: I shall content myself, therefore, with this short hint, and return to my narrative. Western began now to inquire into the original rise of this quarrel. To which neither Blifil nor Jones gave any answer; but Thwackum said surlily, * I believe the cause is not far off; if you beat the ‘ bushes well you may find her.'— Find her P replied Western: ‘what, have you been fighting for a * wench *-* Ask the gentleman in his waistcoat “there,' said Thwackum: ‘ he best knows.”—“Nay • then,’ cries Western, “it is a wench certainly.— * Ah, Tom, Tom, thou art a liquorish dog.—But ‘come, gentlemen, be all friends, and go home * with me, and make final peace over a bottle.”—“I ‘ask your pardon, sir,’ says Thwackum: “it is no ‘such slight matter for a man of my character to be “ thus injuriously treated, and buffeted by a boy, , “only because I would have done my duty, in en* deavouring to detect and bring to justice a wan‘ton harlot; but, indeed, the principal fault lies in “Mr. Allworthy and yourself; for if you put the ‘ laws in execution, as you ought to do, you will ‘soon rid the country of these vermin.” ‘I would as soon rid the country of foxes,’ cries Western. “I think we ought to encourage the re‘cruiting those numbers which we are every day * losing in the war.—But where is she Prithee, “Tom, show me.’ He then began to beat about, in the same language and in the same manner as if he had been beating for a hare; and at last cried out, ‘Sohol Puss is not far off. Here's her form, ‘ upon my soul; I believe I may cry stole away.” And indeed so he might; for he had now discovered the place whence the poor girl had, at the beginning of the fray, stolen away, upon as many feet as a hare generally uses in travelling. Sophia now desired her father to return home; saying, she found herself very faint, and apprehended a relapse. The squire immediately complied with his daughter's request (for he was the fondest of parents). He earnestly endeavoured to prevail with the whole company to go and sup with him; but Blifil and Thwackum absolutely refused; the former saying, there were more reasons than he could then mention, why he must decline this honour; and the latter declaring (perhaps rightly) that it was not proper for a person of his function to be seen at any place in his present condition.
272 THE HISTORY OF A FOUNDLING.
Jones was incapable of refusing the pleasure of being with his Sophia; so on he marched with squire Western and his ladies, the parson bringing up the rear. This had, indeed, offered to tarry with his brother Thwackum, professing his regard for the cloth would not permit him to depart; but Thwackum would not accept the favour, and, with no great civility, pushed him after Mr. Western.
Thus ended this bloody fray; and thus shall end the fifth book of this history.
Containing about three weeks,
IN our last book we have been obliged to deal pretty much with the passion of love; and in our succeeding book, shall be forced to handle this subject still more largely. It may not therefore in this place be improper to apply ourselves to the examination of that modern doctrine, by which certain philosophers, among many other wonderful discoveries, pretend to have found out, that there is no such passion in the human breast. Whether these philosophers be the same with that surprising sect, who are honourably mentioned by the late Dr. Swift, as having, by the mere force of genius alone, without the least assistance of any kind of learning, or even reading, discovered that profound and invaluable secret that there is no God; or whether they are not rather the same with those who some years since very much alarmed the world, WOL. VI, T