Imagens das páginas

• it to the squire himself; and afterwards he broke • the arm of one Mr. Thwackum a clergyman, only “bccause he reprimanded him for following whores; “ and afterwards he snapt a pistol at Mr. Blifil be“hind 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 coun“try, 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 Pettifogger; ‘why, * he is called Thomas Jones.’ ‘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 deceit“ful countenance I ever saw ; for sure his looks pro“mise 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.” Pettifogger 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, o #. 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 re‘putation of a man who never injured me? I pro‘mise 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 pettifogger 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 henceforwards conceived so ill an opinion of her guest, that she heartily wished him out of her housc. 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 par‘lour, 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 saees, 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 pettifogger 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 disserent from that with which she had received him at dinner, that it a little surprised 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 evening.

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 hero 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 circumstanoe 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. his 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,


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.

HE shadows began now to descend larger fromthe 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 2 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 judgement should hap“pen to us for our folly in running away so by “might 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 a going to face an “enemy; and are you afraid of facing a little cold 2 “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 stul‘tus 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 re“solved to go forward.”

« AnteriorContinuar »