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all of whom employ the whole artillery of kissing, flattering, bribing, and every other weapon which is to be found in the whole armoury of love against them.
Betty, who was but one-and-twenty, had now lived three years in this dangerous situation, during which she had escaped pretty well. An ensign of foot was the first person who made an impression on her heart; he did indeed raise a flame in her, which required the care of a surgeon to cool.
While she burnt for him, several others burnt for her. Officers of the army, young gentlemen travelling the western circuit, inoffensive squires, and some of graver character, were set afire by her charms !
At length, having perfectly recovered the effects of her first unhappy passion, she seemed to have vowed a state of perpetual chastity. She was long deaf to all the sufferings of her lovers, till one day, at a neighbouring fair, the rhetoric of John the hostler, with a new straw hat, and a pint of wine, made a second conquest over her.
She did not, however, feel any of those flames on this occasion, which had been the consequence of her former amour; nor indeed those other ill effects, which prudent young women very justly apprehend, from too absolute an indulgence to the pressing endearments of their lovers. This latter, perhaps, was a little owing to her not being entirely constant to John, with whom she permitted Tom Whipwell the stage-coachman, and now and then a handsome young traveller, to share her favours.
Mr. Tow-wouse had for some time cast the languishing eyes of affection on this young maiden. He had laid hold on every opportunity of saying tender things to her, squeezing her by the hand, and sometimes kissing her lips: for as the violence of his passion had considerably abated to Mrs. Tow-wouse; so like water, which is
stopped from its usual current in one place, it naturally sought a vent in another. Mrs. Tow-wouse is thought to have perceived this abatement, and probably it added very little to the natural sweetness of her temper; for though she was as true to her husband as the dial to the sun, she was rather more desirous of being shone on, as being more capable of feeling his warmth.
Ever since Joseph's arrival, Betty had conceived an extraordinary liking to him, which discovered itself more and more, as he grew better and better; till that fatal evening, when, as she was warming his bed, her passion grew to such a height, and so perfectly mastered both her modesty and her reason, that, after many fruitless hints and sly insinuations, she at last threw down the warmingpan, and embracing him with great eagerness, swore he was the handsomest creature she had ever seen.
Joseph in great confusion leapt from her, and told her, he was sorry to see a young woman cast off all regard to modesty ; but she had gone too far to recede, and grew so very indecent that Joseph was obliged, contrary to his inclination, to use some violence to her; and, taking her in his arms, he shut her out of the room, and locked the door.
How ought man to rejoice, that his chastity is always in his own power; that if he hath sufficient strength of mind, he hath always a competent strength of body to defend himself, and cannot, like a poor weak woman, be ravished against his will !
Betty was in the most violent agitation at this disappointment. Rage and lust pulled her heart, as with two strings, two different ways; one moment she thought of stabbing Joseph; the next, of taking him in her arms, and devouring him with kisses; but the latter passion was far more prevalent. Then she thought of revenging his refusal on herself; but whilst she was engaged in this
102 THE ADVENTURES OF JOSEPH ANDREWS.
meditation, happily death presented himself to her in so many shapes of drowning, hanging, poisoning, &c., that her distracted mind could resolve on none. In this perturbation of spirit, it accidentally occurred to her memory, that her master's bed was not made; she therefore went directly to his room; where he happened at that time to be engaged at his bureau. As soon as she saw him, she attempted to retire: but he called her back, and, taking her by the hand, squeezed her so tenderly, at the same time whispering so many soft things into her ears, and then pressed her so closely with his kisses, that the vanquished fair one, whose passions were already raised, and which were not so whimsically capricious that one man only could lay them, though, perhaps, she would have rather preferred that one; the vanquished fair one quietly submitted, I say, to her master's will, who had just attained the accomplishment of his bliss, when Mrs. Tow-wouse unexpectedly entered the room, and caused all that confusion which we have before seen, and which it is not necessary, at present, to take any farther notice of; since, without the assistance of a single hint from us, every reader of any speculation, or experience, though not married himself, may easily conjecture, that it concluded with the discharge of Betty, the submission of Mr. Tow-wouse, with some things to be performed on his side by way of gratitude for his wife's goodness in being reconciled to him, with many hearty promises never to offend any more in the like manner; and lastly, his quietly and contentedly bearing to be reminded of his transgressions, as a kind of penance, once or twice a-day, during the residue of his life.
AND HIS FRIEND
MR. ABRAHAM ADAMS.
Of divisions in authors.
THERE are certain mysteries or secrets in all trades, from the highest to the lowest ; from that of prime-ministering, to this of authoring, which are seldom discovered, unless to members of the same calling. Among those used by us, gentlemen of the latter occupation, I take this of dividing our works into Books and Chapters, to be none of the least considerable. Now, for want of being truly acquainted with this secret, common readers imagine, that by this art of dividing, we mean only to swell our works to a much larger bulk than they would otherwise be extended to. These several places therefore in our paper, which are filled with our books and chapters, are understood as so much buckram, stays, and staytape in a tailor's bill, serving only to make up the sum total, com
monly found at the bottom of our first page, and of his last.
But in reality the case is otherwise, and in this, as well as all other instances, we consult the advantage of our reader, not our own; and indeed many notable uses arise to him from this method ; for, first, those little spaces between our chapters may be looked upon as an inn or resting-place where he may stop and take a glass, or any other refreshment, as it pleases him. Nay, our fine readers will, perhaps, be scarce able to travel farther than through one of them in a day. As to those vacant pages which are placed between our books, they are to be regarded as those stages, where in long journeys, the traveller stays some time to repose himself, and consider of what he hath seen in the parts he hath already passed through; a consideration which I take the liberty to recommend a little to the reader ; for however swift his capacity may be, I would not advise him to travel through these pages too fast; for if he doth, he may probably miss the seeing some curious productions of nature, which will be observed by the slower and more accurate reader. A volume without any such places of rest, resembles the opening of wilds or seas, which tires the eye and fatigues the spirit when entered upon.
Secondly, what are the contents prefixed to every chapter, but so many inscriptions over the gates of inns (to continue the same metaphor) informing the reader what entertainment he is to expect, which, if he like not, he may travel on to the next; for, in biography, as we are not tied down to an exact concatenation equally with other historians; so a chapter or two (for instance this I am now writing) may be often passed over without any injury to the whole. And in these inscriptions I have been as faithful as possible, not imitating the celebrated Montaigne, who promises you one thing and gives you