Page images

their thoughts. These are the studies of their graver hours, while for their amusements they have the vast circle of connoisseurship, painting, music, statuary, and natural philosophy, or rather unnatural, which deals in the wonderful, and knows nothing of nature, except her monsters and imperfections.

When Jones had spent the whole day in vain inquiries after Mrs. Fitzpatrick, he returned at last disconsolate to his apartment. Here, while he was venting his grief in private, he heard a violent uproar below stairs; and soon after a female voice begged him for heaven's sake to come and prevent murder. Jones, who was never backward on any occasion to help the distressed, immediately ran down stairs; when stepping into the dining room, whence all the noise issued, he beheld the young gentleman of wisdom and vertù just before-mentioned, pinned close to the wall by his footman, and a young woman standing by, wringing her hands, and crying out, “ He will be murdered, he ' will be murdered !' and indeed the poor gentleman seemed in some danger of being choked, when Jones flew hastily to his assistance, and rescued him just as he was breathing his last, from the unmerciful clutches of the enemy.

Though the fellow had received several kicks and cuft's from the little gentleman, who had more spirit than strength, he had made it a kind of scruple of conscience to strike his master, and would have contented himself with only choking him; but towards Jones he bore no such respect: he no sooner therefore found himself a little roughly handled by his new antagonist, than he gave him one of those punches in the guts, which, though the spectators at Broughton's amphitheatre, have such exquisite delight in seeing them, convey but very little pleasure in the feeling.

The lusty youth had no sooner received this blow, than he meditated a most grateful return; and now


ensued a combat between Jones and the footman, which was very fierce, but short; for this fellow was no more able to contend with Jones, than his master had before been to contend with him.

And now, fortune, according to her usual cus. tom, reversed the face of affairs. The former victor lay breathless on the ground, and the vanquished gentleman had recovered breath enough to thank Mr. Jones for his seasonable assistance; he received likewise the hearty thanks of the young woman present, who was indeed no other than Miss Nancy, the eldest daughter of the house.

The footman having now recovered his legs, shook his head at Jones, and with a sagacious look, cry’d, -'Od-n me, I'll have nothing more to * do with you; you have been upon the stage, or "I am d-nably mistaken:' And indeed we may forgive this his suspicion; for such was the agility and strength of our hero, that he was, perhaps, a match for one of the first-rate boxers, and could, with great ease, have beaten all the muffled *

graduates of Mr. Broughton's school.

The master foaming with wrath, ordered his man immediately to strip, to which the latter very readily agreed, on condition of receiving his wages. This condition was presently complied with, and the fellow was discharged.

* Lest posterity should be puzzled by this epithet, I think pro, per to explain it by an advertisement which was published Feb. 1, 1747.

N. B. Mr. Broughton proposes, with proper assistance, to open an academy at his house in the Hay-Market, for the instruction of those who are willing to be initiated in the mystery of boxing; where the whole theory and practice of that truly British art, with all the various stops, blows, cross-buttocks, fr. incident to combalants, will be fully taught and explained; and that persons of quality and distinction may not be deterred from entering into A course of those lectures, they will be given with the utmost tenderness and regard to the delicacy of the frame and constitution of the pupil, for which reason muffles are provided, that will effectually secure them from the inconveniency of black eyes, broken jaws, and bloody noses,

[ocr errors]

And now the young gentleman, whose name was Nightingale, very strenuously insisted, that his deliverer should take part of a bottle of wine with him; to which Jones, after much intreaty, consented, though more out of complaisance than inclination; for the uneasiness of his mind fitted him very little for conversation at this time. Miss Nancy likewise, who was the only female then in the house, her mamma and sister being both gone to the play, condescended to favour them with her company.

When the bottle and glasses were on the table, the gentleman began to relate the occasion of the preceding disturbance.

• I hope, Sir,' said he to Jones, you will not • from this accident conclude, that I make a custom of striking my servants, for I assure you this is the first time I have been guilty of it in my remembrance, and I have passed by many provoking faults in this very fellow, before he could provoke me to it; but when you hear what hath happened this evening, you will, I believe, think 'me excusable. I happened to come home several hours before niy usual time, when I found four gentlemen of the cloth at whist by my fire;and my Hoyle, Sir,--my best Hoyle, which cost

, , 'me a guinea, lying open on the table, with a quantity of porter spilt on one of the most material leaves of the whole book. This, you will

. allow, was provoking; but I said nothing till • the rest of the honest company were gone, and . then gave the fellow a gentle rebuke, who, in‘stead of expressing any concern, made me a pert

answer, “That servants must have their diver“sions as well as other people; that he was sorry “ for the accident which had happened to the “ book; but that several of his acquaintance had “ bought the same for a shilling; and that I might

stop as much in his wages, if I pleased:” I now gave him a severer reprimand than before, when

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]




the rascal had the insolence to-In short, he 'imputed my early coming home to In short, he cast a reflection- He mentioned the name of a young lady, in a manner- in such a manner that incensed me beyond all patience, and in my passion, I struck him.' Jones answered, “That he believed no person living would blame him; for my part,' said he, "I confess I should, on the last mentioned provocation, have done the same thing.'

Our company had not sat long before they were joined by the mother and daughter, at their return from the play. And now they all spent a very cheerful evening together; for all but Jones were heartily merry, and even he put on as much constrained mirth as possible. Indeed, half his natural flow of animal spirits, joined to the sweetness of his temper, was sufficient to make a most amiable companion; and notwithstanding the heaviness of his heart, so agreeable did he make himself on the present occasion, that, at their breaking up, the young gentleman earnestly desired his further acquaintance. Miss Nancy was well pleased with him; and the widow, quite charmed with her new lodger, invited him with the other, next morning to breakfast.

Jones on his part was no less satisfied. As for Miss Nancy, though a very little creature, she was extremely pretty, and the widow had all the charms which can adorn a woman near fifty. As she was one of the most innocent creatures in the world, so she was one of the most cheerful. She never thought, nor spoke, nor wished any ill, and had constantly that desire of pleasing, which may be called the happiest of all desires in this, that it scarce ever fails of attaining its ends, when not disgraced by affectation. In short, though her power was very small, she was in her heart one of the warmiest friends. She had been a most affectionate wife, and was a most fond and tender mother.

As our history doth not, like a newspaper, give great characters to people who never were heard of before, nor will ever be heard of again; the reader may hence conclude, that this excellent woman will hereafter appear to be of some importance in our history.

Nor was Jones a little pleased with the young gentleman himself, whose wine he had been drinking. He thought he discerned in him much good sense, though a little too much tainted with townfoppery; but what recommended him most to Jones were some sentiments of great generosity and humanity, which occasionally dropt from him; and particularly many expressions of the highest disinterestedness in the affair of love. On which subject the young gentleman delivered himself in a language which might have very well become an Arcadian shepherd of old, and which appeared very extraordinary when proceeding from the lips of a modern fine gentleman; but he was only one by imitation, and meant by nature for a much better character.



What arrived while the Company were at Breakfast, with some Hints concerning the Government of Daughters.

company brought together in the morning the same good inclinations towards each other, with which they had separated the evening before; but poor Jones was extremely disconsolate; for he had just received information from Partridge, that Mrs. Fitzpatrick had left her lodging; and that he could not learn whither she was gone. This news highly afflicted him, and his countenance, as well as his behaviour, in defiance of all

« PreviousContinue »