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may easily believe, forgot their mistress; and the parson, after having expressed much astonishment, in Latin, to himself
, at length likewise abandoned all farther thoughts of the young lady, and jogging on at a distance behind, began to meditate a portion of doctrine for the ensuing Sunday.
The 'squire who owned the hounds was highly pleased with the arrival of his brother 'squire and sportsman: for all men approve merit in their own way, and no man was more expert in the field than Mr. Western, nor did any other better know how to encourage the dogs with his voice, and to animate the hunt with his holla.
Sportsmen, in the warmth of a chace, are too much engaged to attend to any manner of ceremony, nay, even to the offices of humanity: for if
any of them meet with an accident by tumbling into a ditch, or into a river, the rest pass on regardless, and generally leave him to his fate; during this time, therefore, the two 'squires, though often close to each other, interchanged not a single word. The master of the hunt, however, often saw and approved the great judgement of the stranger in drawing the dogs when they were at a falt, and hence conceived a very higha opinion of his understanding, as the number of his attendants inspired no small reverence to his quality. As soon therefore as the sport was ended by the death of the little animal which had occasioned it, the two ’squires met, and in all 'squire-like greeting, saluted each other.
The conversation was entertaining cnough, and what we may perhaps relate in an appendix, or on some other occasion ; but as it nowise concerns this history, we cannot prevail on ourselves to give it a place here. It concluded with a second chace, and that with an invitation to dinner. This being accepted, was followed by a hearty bout of drinking, which ended in as hearty a nap on the part of 'squire Western.
Our ’squire was by no means a match either for his host, or for parson Supple, at his cups that
, evening; for which the violent fatigue of mind as well as body that he had undergone, may very well account, without the least derogation from his honour. He was indeed, according to the vulgar phrase, whistle-drunk; for before he had swallowed the third bottle, he became so entirely overpowered, that though he was not carried off to bed till long after, the parson considered him as absent, and having acquainted the other 'squire with all relating to Sophia, he obtained his promise of seconding those arguments which he intended to urge the next morning for Mr. Western's return.
No sooner therefore had the good 'squire shaken off his evening, and began to call for his morning draught, and to summon his horses in order to renew his pursuit, than Mr. Supple began his dissuasives, which the host so strongly seconded, that they at length prevailed, and Mr. Western agreed to return home; being principally moved by one argument, viz. That he knew not which way to go, and might probably be riding farther from his daughter instead of towards her. He then took leave of his brother sportsman, and expressing great joy that the frost was broken (which might perhaps be no small motive to his hastening home) set forwards, or rather backwards, for Somersetshire; but not before he had first dispatched part of his retinue in quest of his daughter, after whom he likewise sent à volley of the most bitter execrations wbich he could invent.
CHAP. III. The Departure of Jones from l'pton, with what
passed between him and Partridge on the Road. AT length we are once more come to our hero; and, to say truth, we have been obliged to part with him so long, that, considering the condition in which we left him, I apprehend many of our readers have concluded we intended to abandon him for ever; he being at present in that situation in which prudent people usually desist from inquiring any farther after their friends, lest they shouddi be shocked by hearing such friends had hanged themselves.
But, in reality, if we liave not all the virtues, I will boldly say, neither have we all the vices of a prudent character; and though it is not easy to conceive circumstances much more miserable than those of poor Jones at present, we shall return to him, and attend upon him with the same diligence as if he was wantoning in the brightest beans of fortune.
Mr. Jones, then, and his companion Partridge, left the inn a few minutes after the departure of ’squire Western, and pursued the same road on foot, for the hostler told them, that no horses were by any means to be at that time procured at Upton. On they marched with heavy hearts; for though their disquiet proceeded from very different reasons, yet displeased they were both; and if Jones sighed bitterly, Partridge grunted altogether as sadly at every step.
When they came to the cross-roads where the squire had stopt to take counsel, Jones stopt likewise, and turning to Partridge, asked his opinion which track they should pursue. “Ah, Sir,' answered Partridge, 'I wish your honour would fol' low my advice. "Why should I not ?? replied
' ' Jones; for it is now indifferent to me whither I
go, or what becomes of me.' 'My advice, then, said Partridge, ‘is, that you inmediately face about
' and return home; for who that hath such a home 'to return to, as your honour, would travel thus
about the country like a vagabond? I ask par'don, sed vox ea sola reperta est.'. Alas !' cries Jones, I have no home to return
! 'to; ---- but it my friend, my father, would receive me, could I bear the country from which Sophia
• is flown-Cruel Sophia! Cruel! No. Let me blame
myself—No, let me blame thee. D-nation-seize 'thee, fool, blockhead! thou hast undone me, and
, ‘I will tear thy soul froni thy body.'---At which words he laid violent hands on the collar of
poor Partridge, and shook him more heartily thah an ague fit, or his own fears had ever done before.
Partridge fell trembling on his knees, and begged for mercy, vowing he had meant no harm-when Jones, after staring wildly on him for a moment, quitted his hold, and discharged a rage on himself, that, had it fallen on the other, would certainly have put an end to his being, which indeed the very apprehension of it had almost effected.
We would bestow some pains here in minutely describing all the nad pranks which Jones played on this occasion, could we be well assured that the reader would take the same pains in perusing them; but as we are apprehensive that, aiter all the labour which we should employ in painting this scene, the said reader would be very apt to skip it entirely over, we have saved ourselves that trouble. To say the truth, we have, from this reason alone, often done great violence to the luxuriance of our genius, and have left many excellent descriptions out of our work, which would otherwise have been in it. And this suspicion, to be honest, arises, as is generally the case, froin our own wicked heart; for we have, ourselves, been very often most horridly given to jumping, as we have run through the pages of voluminous historians.
Suffice it then simply to say, that Jones, after having played the part of a madman for many minutes, came, by degrees, to himself; which no sooner happened, than, turning to Partridge, he very earnestly begged his pardon for the attack he had made on him in the violence of his passion; but concluded, by desiring him never to mention his return again; for he was resolved never to see that country any more.
Partridge easily forgave, and faithfully promised to obey the injunction now laid upon him. . And then Jones very briskly cried out : Since it ' is absolutely impossible for me to pursue any ' farther the steps of my angel--I will
my angel--I will pursue those ' of glory. Come on, my brave lad, now for the army : It is a glorious cause, and I would willingly sacrifice my life in it, even though it was ' worth my preserving. And so saying, he immediately struck into the different road from that which the 'squire had taken, and, by mere chance, pursued the very same through which Sophia had before passed.
Our travellers now marched a full mile, without speaking a syllable to each other, though Jones, indeed, muttered many things to himself. As to Partridge, he was profoundly silent; for he was not, perhaps, perfectly recovered from his former fright; besides, he had apprehensions of provoking his friend to a second fit of wrath, especially as he now began to entertain a conccit, which may not, perhaps, create any great wonder in the reader. In short, he began now to suspect that Jone was absolutely out of his senses.
At length, Jones, being weary of soliloquy, addressed himself to his companion, and blamed him for his taciturnity; for which the poor man very honestly accounted, from his fear of giving offence. And now this fear being pretty well removed, by the most absolute promises of indemnity, Partridge again took the bridle from his tongue; which, perhaps, rejoiced no less at regaining its liberty, than a young colt, when the bridle is slipt from his neck, and he is turned loose into the pastures.
As Partridge was inhibited from that topic which would have first suggested itself, he fell upon
that which was next uppermost in his mind, namely, the Man of the Hill, Certainly, Sir,' says he, ' that could never be a man, who dresses himself, * and lives after such a strange manner, and so