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gone for all the king's dominions.' Jones offered to speak, but Partridge cried, “ Hush, hush, dear 'Sir, don't you hear him!' And during the whole speech of the ghost, he sat with his eyes fixed partly on the ghost, and partly on Ilamlet, and with his mouth open; the same passions which succeeded each other in Hamlet, succeeding likewise in him.

When the scene was over, Jones said, “Why, Partridge, you exceed my expectations. You enjoy the play more than I conceived possible.' Nay, Sir,' answered Partridge, “if you are not ' afraid of the devil, I can't help it; but to be sure, it is natural to be surprised at such things, though I know there is nothing in them : not ' that it was the ghost that surprised me, neither; • for I should have known that to have been only a man in a strange dress; but when I saw the * little man so frightened himself, it was that which took hold of me.' · And dost thou imagine, then, Partridge, cries Jones, that he was really

frightened ?' Nay, Sir,” said Partridge, "did ‘not you yourself observe afterwards, when he ' found it was his own father's spirit, and how he

was murdered in the garden, how his fear for‘sook him by degrees, and he was struck dumb • with sorrow, as it were, just as I should have 'been, had it been my own case.-But hush! O * la! what noise is that? There he is again.

Well, to be certain, though I know there is nothing at all in it, I am glad I am not down ‘ yonder, where those men are.' Then turning his eyes again upon Ilamlet," Ay, you may draw

your sword; what signifies a sword against the power of the devil ?'

During the second act, Partridge made very few remarks. He greatly admired the fineness of the dresses ; nor could he help observing upon the king's countenance. Well,' said he, how people

“ ó may be deceived by faces ? Nulla fides fronti is, 'I find, a true saying. Who would think, by

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' looking in the king's face, that he had ever com‘mitted a nurder?' He then inquired after the ghost; but Jones, who intended he should be surprised, gave him no other satisfaction, than that

he might possibly see him again soon, and in a flash of fire.'

Partridge sat in fearful expectation of this; and now, when the ghost made his next appearance, Partridge cried out, “There, Sir, now; what say you now? is he frightened now or no? As much frightened as you think me, and, to be sure, no body can help some fears. I would not be in so “bad a condition as what's his name, 'squire Ham' let, is there, for all the world. Bless me! what's ' become of the spirit? As I am a living soul, I * thought I saw him sink into the earth. “In' deed, you saw right,' answered Jones. •Well,

• 'well,' cries Partridge, “I know it is only a play; ' and besides, if there was any thing in all this, • Madam Miller would not laugh so; for as to

you, Sir, you would not be afraid, I believe, if 'the devil was here in person.-- There, there—Ay, 'no wonder you are in such a passion; shake the

vile wicked wretch to pieces. If she was my own ·mother, I should serve her so. To be sure, all duty to a mother is forfeited by such wicked doings. -Ay, go about your business, I hate ' the sight of you.

Our critic was now pretty silent till the play, which Hamlet introduces before the king. This he did not at first understand, till Jones explained it to him; but he no sooner entered into the spirit of it, than he began to bless himself that he had never committed murder. Then turning to Mrs. Miller, he asked her, “If she did not imagine the

king looked as if he was touched; though he is, said he, “a good actor, and doth all he can to hide

it. Well, I would not have so much to answer · for, as that wicked man there hath, to sit upon “a much higher chair than he sits upon. No

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'wonder he run away; for your sake I'll never 'trust an innocent face again.

The grave-digging scene next engaged the attention of Partridge, who expressed much surprise at the number of skulls thrown

upon

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stage. To which Jones answered, “That it was one of the

most famous burial-places about town. No 'wonder then,' cries Partridge, that the place is

haunted. But I never saw in my life a worse * grave-digger. I had a sexton, when I was clerk, • that should have dug three graves while he is digging one. The fellow handles a spade as if

it was the first time he had ever had one in his 'hand. Ay, ay, you may sing. You had

You had rather 'sing than work, I believe.'—Upon Hamlet's taking up the skull, he cried out, Well! it is strange

to see how fearless some men are: I never could • bring myself to touch any thing belonging to a *dead man, on any account.---He seemed fright‘ened enough too at the ghost, I thought. Nemo omnibus horis sapit.'

Little more worth remembering occurred during the play; at the end of which Jones asked him, • Which of the players he had liked best?' To this he answered, with some appearance of indignation at the question, ‘The king, without doubt.' 'In* deed, Mr. Partridge,' says Mrs. Miller, "you are ' not of the same opinion with the town; for they are all agreed, that Hamlet is acted by the best player who ever was on the stage.' 'He the best * player ! cries Partridge, with a contemptuous sneer, “Why, I could act as well as he myself. I ' am sure if I had seen a ghost, I should have ' looked in the very same manner, and done just

as he did. And then, to be sure, in that scene, ' as you called it, between him and his mother, where you told me he acted so fine, why, Lord help me, any man, that is any good man, that ' had such a mother, would have done exactly the 'same. I know you are only joking with me;

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'but, indeed, Madam, though I was never at a ‘play in London, yet I have seen acting before in the country; and the king for my money; he 'speaks all his words distinctly, half as loud again as the other. -Any body may see he is an actor.'

While Mrs. Miller was thus engaged in conversation with Partridge, a lady came up to Mr. Jones, whom he immediately knew to be Mrs. Fitzpatrick. She said, she had seen him from the other part

of the gallery, and had taken that opportunity of speaking to him, as she had something to say, which might be of great service to himself. She then acquainted him with her lodgings, and made him an appointment the next day in the morning; which, upon recollection, she presently changed to the afternoon; at which time Jones promised to attend her.

Thus ended the adventure at the playhouse ; where Partridge had afforded great mirth, nto only to Jones and Mrs. Miller, but to all who sat within hearing; who were more attentive to what he said, than to any thing that passed on the stage.

He durst not go to bed all that night, for fear of the ghost; and for many nights after sweated two or three hours before he went to sleep, with the same apprehensions, and waked several times in great horrors, crying out, “ Lord have mercy upon us! there it is. '

CHAP. VI.

In which the History is obliged to look back, It is almost impossible for the best parent to observe an exact impartiality to his children, even though no superior merit should bias his affection; but sure a parent can hardly be blamed, when that superiority determines his preference.

As I regard all the personages of this history in the light of my children; so I must confess the same inclination of partiality to Sophia; and for that I hope the reader will allow me the same excuse, from the superiority of her character.

This extraordinary tenderness which I have for my heroine, never suffers me to quit her any long time without the utmost reluctance. I could now, therefore, return impatiently to inquire what hath happened to this lovely creature since her departure from her father's, but that I am obliged first to pay a short visit to Mr. Blifil.

Mr. Western, in the first confusion into which his mind was cast, upon the sudden news he received of his daughter, and in the first hurry to go after her, had not once thought of sending any account of the discovery to Blifil. He had not gone far, however, before he recollected himself, and accordingly stopt at the very first inn he came to, and dispatched away a messenger to acquaint Blifil with his having found Sophia, and with his firm resolution to marry her to him immediately, if he would come up after him to town.

As the love which Blifil had for Sophia was of that violent kind, which nothing but the loss of her fortune, or some such accident, could lessen, his inclination to the match was not at all altered by her liaving run away, though he was obliged to lay this to his own account. He very readily, therefore, embraced this offer. Indeed, he now proposed the gratification of a very strong passion besides avarice, by marrying this young lady, and this was hatred; for he concluded that matrimony afforded an equal opportunity of satisfying either hatred or love; and this opinion is very probably verified by much experience. To say the truth, if we are to judge by the ordinary behaviour of married persons to each other, we shall perhaps be apt to conclude, that the generality seek the indulgence of the former passion only, in their union of every thing but of hearts. There was one difficulty, however, in his way,

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