Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

no body need go to counsel for. Yet when a gentleman had in a manner adopted you thus as ' his own son, you might reasonably have expected some very considerable part, if not the whole ; nay, if you had expected the whole, I * should not have blamed you: for certainly all men are for getting as much as they can, and they are not to be blamed on that account.'

'Indeed you wrong me,' said Jones, “I should ' have been contented with very little : I never had

any view upon Mr. Allworthy's fortune; nay, I 'believe, I may truly say, I never once considered

I what he could or might give me. This I solemnly declare, if he had done a prejudice to his nephew ' in my favour, I would have undone it again. I 'had rather enjoy my own mind than the fortune ' of another man. What is the poor pride arising 'from a magnificent house, a numerous equipage, a splendid table, and from all the other advantages or appearances of fortune, compared to the warm, solid content, the swelling satisfaction, 'the thrilling transports, and the exulting triumphs, which a good mind enjoys, in the con

templation of a generous, virtuous, noble, bene"volent action? I envy not Blifii in the prospect

of his wealth ; nor shall I envy him in the posses'sion of it. I would not think myself a rascal

half an hour, to exchange situations. I believe, 'indeed, Mr. Blifil suspected me of the views you 'mention; and I suppose these suspicions, as they "arose from the baseness of his own heart, so they 'occasioned his baseness to me. But, I thank

heaven, I know, I feel,- I feel my innocence, 'my friend; and I would not part with that feel

ing for the world. — For as long as I know I ' have never done, nor even designed an injury to any being whatever,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Pone me pigris ubi nulla campis
Arbor æstira recreatur aura,
Quod latus mundi nebule, mulusque

Jupiter urget.
Pone, sub curru nimium propinqui
Solis in terra dominibus negata ;
Dulce ridentem Lalogen amabo,

Dulce loquentem.* He then filled a bumper of wine, and drank it off to the health of his dear Lalage; and filling Dowling's glass likewise up to the brim, insisted on his pledging him. Why then here's Miss Lalage's health with all my heart,' cries Dowling. I have heard her toasted often, I protest, though ' I never saw her; but they say she's extremely handsome.'

Though the Latin was not the only part of this speech which Dowling did not perfectly understand; yet there was somewhat in it, that made a very strong impression upon him. And though he endeavoured by winking; nodding, sneering, and grinning, to hide the impression from Jones (for we are as often ashamed of thinking right as of thinking wrong), it is certain he secretly approved as much of his sentiments as he understood, and really felt a very strong impulse of compassion for him. But we may possibly take some other opportunity of commenting upon this, especially if we should happen to meet Mr. Dowling any more in the course of our history. At present we are obliged to take our leave of that gentleman a little abruptly, in imitation of Mr.Jones; who was no

* Place me where never summer breeze

Unbinds the glebe, or warms the trees;

Where ever lowering clouds appear,
And angry Joxe deforms th’inclement year.

Place me bencath the burning ray,
Where rolls the rapid car of day;

Love and the nymph shall charm my toils,
The nymph who sweetly speaks, and sweetly smiles.

Mr. FRANCIS.

sooner informed, by Partridge, that his horses were ready, than he deposited his reckoniny, wished his companion a good night, mounted, and set forward towards Coventry, though the night was dark, and it just then began to rain very hard.

CHAP. XI. The Disasters which befel Jones on his Departure for Coventry; with the sage Remarks of Par

tridge. No road can be plainer than that from the place where they now were to Coventry; and though neither Jones nor Partridge, nor the guide, had ever travelled it before, it would have been almost impossible to have missed their way, had it not been for the two reasons mentioned in the conclusion of the last chapter.

These two circumstances, however, happening both unfortunately to intervene, our travellers deviated into a much less frequented track; and after riding fullsix miles, instead of'arriving at the stately spires of Coventry, they found themselves still in a very dirty lane, where they saw no symptoms of approaching the suburbs of a large city.

Jones now declared that they must certainly have lost their way; but this the guide insisted upon was impossible; a word which, in common conversation, is often used to signify not only improbable, but often what is really very likely, and, sometimes, what hath certainly happened: an hyperbolical violence like that which is so frequently offered to the words infinite and eternal; by the former of which it is usual to express a distance of half a yard, and by the latter, a duration of five minutes. And thus it is as usual to assert the impossibility of losing what is already actually lost. This was, in fact, the case at present: for notwithstanding all the confident assertions of the lad to the contrary, it is certain they were no more in the right road to Coventry, than the fraudulent, griping, cruel, canting miser is in the right road to heaven.

It is not, perhaps, easy for the reader, who hath never been in those circumstances, to imagine the horror with which darkness, rain, and wind, fill persons who have lost their way in the night; and who, consequently, have not the pleasant prospect of warm fires, dry clothes, and other refreshments, to support their minds in struggling with the inclemencies of the weather. A very imperfect idea of this horror will, however, serve sufficiently to account for the conceits which now filled the head of Partridge, and which we shall presently be obliged to open.

Jones grew more and more positive that they were out of their road; and the boy himself, at last, acknowledged he believed they were not in the right road to Coventry; though he aflirmed, at the same tinie, it was impossible they should have miss'd the way. But Partridge was of a different opinion. He said, “When they first set out he imagined some á mischief or other would happen. - Did not you observe, Sir,' said he to Jones, that old woman who'stood at the door just as you was taking horse? I wish you had given her a small matter, with all my heart; for she said then you might repent it; and at that very instant it began to rain,

and the wind hath continued rising ever since. • Whatever some people may think, I am very cer'tain it is in the power of witches to raise the wind · whenever they please. I lave seen it happen very often in my time: and if ever I saw a witch in all

a 'my life, that old woman was certainly one. I

thought so to myself at that very time; and if I · had had any halfpence in my pocket, I would ' have given her some: for to be sure it is always

good to be charitable to those sort of people, • for fear what may happen ; and many a person • hath lost his cattle by saving a halfpenny,'

6

[ocr errors]

6

6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Jones, though he was horridly vexed at the delay which this mistake was likely to occasion in his journey, could not help smiling at the superstition of his friend, whom an accident now greatly confirmed in his opinion. This was a tumble from his horse ; by which, however, he received no other injury than what the dirt conferred on his clothes.

Partridge had no sooner recovered his legs, than he appealed to his fall, as conclusive evidence of all he had asserted; but Jones, finding he was unhurt, answered with a smile : This witch of yours, ' Partridge, is a most ungrateful jade, and doth not, I find, distinguish her friends from others in her resentment. If the old lady had been angry ' with me for neglecting her, I don't see why she should tumble you from your horse, after all the respect you have expressed for her.'

It is ill jesting,' cries Partridge, 'with people ' who have power to do these things; for they are

often very malicious. I remember a farrier, who * provoked one of them, by asking her when the time she had bargained with the devil for would be out; and within three months from that very day one of his best cows was drowned. Nor was she satisfied with that; for a little time after?wards he lost a barrel of his best drink: for the

old witch pulled out the spigot, and let it run all over the cellar, the very first evening he had tapped it to make merry with some of his neighbours. In short, nothing ever thrived with him afterwards; for she worried the poor man so,

that he took to drinking; and in a year or two « his stock was seized, and he and his family are * now come to the parish.'

The guide, and perhaps his horse too, were both so attentive to this discourse, that, either through want of care, or by the malice of the witch, they were now both sprawling in the dirt.

Partridge entirely imputed this fall, as he had done his own, to the same cause. He told Nr.

« PreviousContinue »