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CHAPTER XVI.

Being the last. In which this true history is brought to

a happy conclusion. Fanny was very little behind her Joseph in the duty she expressed towards her parents, and the joy she evidenced in discovering them. Gammer Andrews kissed her, and said, She was heartily glad to see her; but for her part, she could never love any one better than Joseph. Gaffer Andrews testified no remarkable emotion: he blessed and kissed her, but complained bitterly that he wanted his pipe, not having had a whiff that morning.

Mr. Booby, who knew nothing of his aunt's fondness, imputed her abrupt departure to her pride, and disdain of the family into which he was married; he was therefore desirous to be gone with the utmost celerity; and now, having congratulated Mr. Wilson and Joseph on the discovery, he saluted Fanny, called her sister, and introduced her as such to Pamela, who behaved with great decency on the occasion.

He now sent a message to his aunt, who returned, that she wished him a good journey, but was too disordered to see any company: he therefore prepared to set out, having invited Mr. Wilson to his house; and Pamela and Joseph both so insisted on his complying, that he at last consented, having first obtained a messenger from Mr. Booby, to acquaint his wife with the news; whicb, as he knew it would render her completely happy, he could not prevail on himself to delay a moment in acquainting her with. ..

The company were ranged in this manner: the two

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old people, with their two daughters, rode in the coach ;
the squire, Mr. Wilson, Joseph, parson Adams, and the
pedlar, proceeded on horseback.
In their way, Joseph informed his father of his in-
tended match with Fanny; to which, though he ex-
pressed some reluctance at first, on the eagerness of his
son's instances he consented; saying, if she was so
good a creature as she appeared, and he described
her, he thought the disadvantages of birth and fortune
might be compensated. He however insisted on the
match being deferred till he had seen his mother; in
which Joseph perceiving him positive, with great duty
obeyed him, to the great delight of parson Adams, who
by these means saw an opportunity of fulfilling the
church forms, and marrying his parishioners without
a license. -
Mr. Adams greatly exulting on this occasion (for
such ceremonies were matters of no small moment with
him), accidentally gave spurs to his horse, which the
generous beast disdaining, for he was of high mettle,
and had been used to more expert riders than the
gentleman who at present bestrode him, for whose
horsemanship he had perhaps some contempt, imme-
diately ran away full speed, and played so many antic
tricks, that he tumbled the parson from his back; which
Joseph perceiving, came to his relief.
This accident afforded infinite merriment to the ser-
vants, and no less frighted poor Fanny, who beheld
him as he passed by the coach; but the mirth of the
one and terror of the other were soon determined, when
the parson declared he had received no damage.
The horse having freed himself from his unworthy
rider, as he probably thought him, proceeded to make
the best of his way; but was stopped by a gentleman
and his servants, who were travelling the opposite way,

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and were now at a little distance from the coach. They soon met; and as one of the servants delivered Adams his horse, his master hailed him, and Adams looking up, presently recollected he was the justice of peace before whom he and Fanny had made their appearance. The parson presently saluted him very kindly; and the justice informed him, that he had found the fellow who attempted to swear against him and the young woman the very next day, and had committed him to Salisbury gaol, where he was charged with many robberies. Many compliments having passed between the parson and the justice, the latter proceeded on his journey; and the former having with some disdain refused Joseph's offer of changing horses, and declared he was as able a horseman as any in the kingdom, remounted his beast; and now the company again proceeded, and happily arrived at their journey's end, Mr. Adams, by good luck rather than by good riding, escaping a second fall. The company, arriving at Mr. Booby's house, were all received by him in the most courteous and entertained in the most splendid manner, after the custom of the old English hospitality, which is still preserved in some very few families in the remote parts of England. They all passed that day with the utmost satisfaction; it being perhaps impossible to find any set of people more solidly and sincerely happy. Joseph and Fanny found means to be alone upwards of two hours, which were the shortest but the sweetest imaginable. In the morning, Mr. Wilson proposed to his son to make a visit with him to his mother; which, notwithstanding his dutiful inclinations, and a longing desire he had to see her, a little concerned him, as he must be obliged to leave his Fanny; but the goodness of Mr. Booby relieved him; for he proposed to send his own coach and six for Mrs. Wilson, whom Pamela so very earnestly invited, that Mr. Wilson at length agreed with the entreaties of Mr. Booby and Joseph, and suffered the coach to go empty for his wife.

On Saturday night the coach returned with Mrs. Wilson, who added one more to this happy assembly. The reader may imagine much better and quicker too than I can describe, the many embraces and tears of joy which succeeded her arrival. It is sufficient to say, she was easily prevailed with to follow her husband's example, in consenting to the match.

On Sunday Mr. Adams performed the service at the squire's parish church, the curate of which very kindly exchanged duty, and rode twenty miles to the Lady Booby's parish so to do; being particularly charged not to omit publishing the banns, being the third and last time.

At length the happy day arrived, which was to put Joseph in the possession of all his wishes. He arose, and dressed himself in a neat but plain suit of Mr. Booby's, which exactly fitted him; for he refused all finery; as did Fanny likewise, who could be prevailed on by Pamela to attire herself in nothing richer than a white dimity nightgown. Her shift indeed, which Pamela presented her, was of the finest kind, and had an edging of lace round the bosom. She likewise equipped her with a pair of fine white thread stockings, which were all she would accept; for she wore one of her own short round-eared caps, and over it a little straw hat, lined with cherrycoloured silk, and tied with a cherry-coloured riband. In this dress she came forth from her chamber, blushing and breathing sweets; and was by Joseph, whose eyes sparkled fire, led to church, the whole family attending, where Mr. Adams performed the ceremony; at which nothing was so remarkable, as the extraordinary and

unaffected modesty of Fanny, unless the true Christian piety of Adams, who publicly rebuked Mr. Booby and Pamela for laughing in so sacred a place, and on so solemn an occasion. Our parson would have done no less to the highest prince on earth; for though he paid all submission and deference to his superiors in other matters, where the least spice of religion intervened he immediately lost all respect of persons. It was his maxim, that he was a servant of the Highest, and could not, without departing from his duty, give up the least article of his honour, or of his cause, to the greatest earthly potentate. Indeed, he always asserted, that Mr. Adams at church with his surplice on, and Mr. Adams without that ornament, in any other place, were two very different persons.

When the church rites were over, Joseph led his blooming bride back to Mr. Booby's (for the distance was so very little they did not think proper to use a coach); the whole company attended them likewise on foot; and now a most magnificent entertainment was provided, at which parson Adams demonstrated an appetite surprising, as well as surpassing every one present. Indeed the only persons who betrayed any deficiency on this occasion, were those on whose account the feast was provided. They pampered their imaginations with the much more exquisite repast which the approach of night promised them; the thoughts of which filled both their minds, though with different sensations; the one all desire, while the other had her wishes tempered with fears.

At length, after a day passed with the utmost merriment, corrected by the strictest decency; in which, however, parson Adams, being well filled with ale and pudding, had given a loose to more facetiousness than was usual to him; the happy, the blessed moment ar

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