Henry Fielding.

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to be carried without a horse.

**If I may presume to give my advice," sayy
Partridge, "this portmanteau, with everything in
it, except a few shirts, should be left behind.
Those I shall be easily able to carry for you, and
the rest of your clothes will remain very safe
locked up in my house."

This method was no sooner proposed than
agreed to ; and then the barber departed, in order
to prepare everything for his intended expedi-


Containing better reasons than any which have yet appeared
for the conduct of Partridge; an apology for the weak-
ness of Jones; and some further anecdotes concerning
my landlady.

THOUGH Partridge was one of the most
superstitious of men, he would hardly
perhaps have desired to accompany
Jones on his expedition merely from the omens
of the joint-stool and white mare, if his prospect
had been no better than to have shared the
plunder gained in the field of battle. In fact,
when Partridge came to ruminate on the relation
he had heard from Jones, he could not reconcile
to himself that Mr. Allworthy should turn his son
(for so he most firmly believed him to be) out
of doors, for any reason which he had heard as-
signed. He concluded, therefore, that the whole
was a fiction, and that Jones, of whom he had
often from his correspondents heard the wildest
character, had in reality run away from his
father. It came into his head, therefore, that if
he could prevail with the young gentleman to re-
turn back to his father, he should by that means
render a service to Allworthy, which would oblit-
erate all his former anger; nay, indeed, he con-
ceived that very anger was counterfeited, and that
Allworthy had sacrificed him to his own reputa-



tion. And this suspicion indeed he well accounted
for, from the tender behavior of that excellent
man to the foundling child; from his great sever-
ity to Partridge, who, knowing himself to be in-
nocent, could not conceive that any other should
think him guilty; lastly, from the allowance which
he had privately received long after the annuity
.had been publicly taken from him, and which he
looked upon as a kind of smart-money, or rather
by way of atonement for injustice; for it is very
uncommon, I believe, for men to ascribe the ben-
efactions they receive to pure charity, when they
can possibly impute them to any other motive.
If he could by any means therefore jDcrsuade the
young gentleman to return home, he doubted not
but that he should again be received into the favor
of Allworthy, and well rewarded for his pains;
nay, and should be again restored to his native
country; a restoration which Ulysses himself
never wished more heartily than poor Partridge.
As for Jones, he was well satisfied with the
truth of what the other had asserted, and be-
lieved that Partridge had no other inducements
but love to him, and zeal for the cause; a blam-
able want of caution and diffidence in the veracity
of others, in which he was highly worthy of cen-
sure. To say the truth, there are but two ways
by which men become possessed of this excellent
quality. The one is from long experience, and
the other is from nature; which last, I presume,
is often meant by genius, or great natural parts;
and it is infinitely the better of the two, not only
as we are masters of it much earlier in life, but


as it is much more infallible and conclusive ; for a
man who hath been imposed on by ever so many,
may still hope to find others more honest ; where-
as he who receives certain necessary admonitions
from within, that this is impossible, must have
very httle understanding indeed, if he ever ren-
ders himself liable to be once deceived. As Jones
had not this gift from nature, he was too young
to have gained it by experience; for at the diffi-
dent wisdom which is to be acquired this way,
we seldom arrive till very late in life; which is
perhaps the reason why some old men are apt
to despise the understandings of all those who are
a little younger than themselves.

Jones spent most part of the day in the com-
pany of a new acquaintance. This was no other
than the landlord of the house, or rather the hus-
band of the landlady. He had but lately made
his descent down-stairs, after a long fit of the
gout, in which distemper he was generally con-
fined to his room during one half of the year ; and
during the rest, he walked about the house,
smoked his pipe, and drank his bottle with his
friends, without concerning himself in the least
with any kind of business. He had been bred,
as they call it, a gentleman ; that is, bred up to do
nothing; and had spent a very small fortune,
which he inherited from an industrious farmer
his uncle, in hunting, horse-racing, and cock-fight-
ing, and had been married by my landlady for
certain purposes, which he had long since desisted
from answering; for which she hated him
heartily. But as he was a surly kind of fellow.


so she contented herself with frequently upbraid-
ing him by disadvantageous comparisons with her
first husband, whose praise she had eternally in
her mouth ; and as she was for the most part mis-
tress of the profit, so she was satisfied to take
upon herself the care and government of the fam-
ily, and, after a long successless struggle, to suf-
fer her husband to be master of himself.

In the evening, when Jones retired to his room,
a small dispute arose between this fond couple
concerning him: — ''What," says the wife, ''you
have been tippling with the gentleman, I seel" —
"Yes," answered the husband, "we have cracked
a bottle together, and a very gentlemanlike man
he is, and hath a very pretty notion of horse-flesh.
Indeed, he is young, and hath not seen much of
the world ; for I believe he hath been at very few
horse-races." — "Oho! he is one of your order,
is he?" replies the landlady: "he must be a gen-
tleman to be sure, if he is a horse-racer. The
devil fetch such gentry ! I am sure I wish I had
never seen any of them. I have reason to love
horse-racers truly!" — "That you have," says the
husband; "for I was one, you know." — "Yes,"
answered she, "you are a pure one indeed. As
my first husband used to say, I may put all the
good I have ever got by you in my eyes, and see
never the worse." — "D — n your first husband!"
cries he. "Don't d — n a better man than your-
self," answered the wife: "if he had been alive,
you durst not have done it." — "Then you think,"
says he, "I have not so much courage as yourself;
for you have d — n'd him often in my hearing."


— "If I did," says she, "I have repented of it
many's the good time and oft. And if he was so
good to forgive me a word spoken in haste or so,
it doth not become such a one as you to twitter
me. He was a husband to me, he was; and if
ever I did make use of an ill word or so in a pas-
sion, I never called him rascal ; I should have told
a lie, if I had called him rascal." Much more she
said, but not in his hearing; for having lighted
his pipe, he staggered off as fast as he could. We
shall therefore transcribe no more of her speech,
as it approached still nearer and nearer to a sub-
ject too indelicate to find any place in this his-

Early in the morning Partridge appeared at
the bedside of Jones, ready equipped for the jour-
ney, with his knapsack at his back. This was his
own workmanship; for besides his other trades,
he was no indifferent tailor. He had already
put up his whole stock of linen in it, consisting
of four shirts, to which he now added eight for
Mr. Jones ; and then packing up the portmanteau,
he was departing with it towards his own house,
but was stopped in his way by the landlady, who
refused to suffer any removals till after the pay-
ment of the reckoning.

The landlady was, as we have said, absolute
governess in these regions; it was therefore nec-
essary to comply with her rules; so the bill was
presently writ out, which amounted to a much
larger sum than might have been expected, from
the entertainment which Jones had met with. But
here we are obliged to disclose some maxims,


which publicans hold to be the grand mysteries
of their trade. The first is, If they have any-
thing good in their house (which indeed very sel-
dom happens) to produce it only to persons who
travel with great equipages. Secondly, To charge
the same for the very worst provisions, as if they
were the best. And lastly, If any of their guests
call but for little, to make them pay a double price
for everything they have; so that the amount by
the head may be much the same.

The bill being made and discharged, Jones set
forward with Partridge, carrying his knapsack;
nor did the landlady condescend to wish him a
good journey; for this was, it seems, an inn fre-
quented by people of fashion; and I know not
whence it is, but all those who get their livelihood
by people of fashion, contract as much insolence
to the rest of mankind, as if they really belonged
to that rank themselves.


Jones arrives at Gloucester, and goes to the Bell; the charac-
ter of that house, and of a pettifogger which he there
meets with.

MR. JONES and Partridge, or Little Ben-
jamin (which epithet of Little was per-
haps given him ironically, he being in
reality near six feet high), having left their last
quarters in the manner before described, traveled
on to Gloucester without meeting any adventure
worth relating.

Being arrived here, they chose for their house
of entertainment the sign of the Bell, an excellent
house indeed, and which I do most seriously rec-
ommend to every reader who shall visit this an-
cient city. The master of it is brother to the
great preacher Whitefield; but is absolutely un-
tainted with the pernicious principles of Method-
ism, or of any other heretical sect. He is indeed
a very honest plain man, and, in my opinion, not
likely to create any disturbance either in church
or state. His wife hath, I believe, had much pre-
tension to beauty, and is still a very fine woman.
Her person and deportment might have made a
shining figure in the politest assemblies; but
though she must be conscious of this and many
other perfections, she seems perfectly contented
with, and resigned to, that state of life to which



she is called; and this resignation is entirely ow-
ing to the prudence and wisdom of her temper;
for she is at present as free from any Methodist-
ical notions as her husband: I say at present; for
she freely confesses that her brother's documents
made at first some impression upon her, and that
she had jDut herself to the expense of a long hood,
in order to attend the extraordinary emotions of
the Spirit; but having found, during an experi-
ment of three weeks, no emotions, she says, worth
a farthing, she very wisely laid by her hood, and
abandoned the sect. To be concise, she is a very
friendly good-natured woman ; and so industrious
to oblige, that the guests must be of a very mo-
rose disposition who are not extremely well satis-
fied in her house.

Mrs. Whitefield happened to be in the yard
when Jones and his attendant marched in. Her
sagacity soon discovered in the air of our hero
something which distinguished him from the vul-
gar. She ordered her servants, therefore, imme-
diately to show him into a room, and presently
afterwards invited him to dinner with herself;
which invitation he very thankfully accepted ; for
indeed much less agreeable company than that of
Mrs. Whitefield, and a much worse entertainment
than she had provided, would have been welcome
after so long fasting and so long a walk.

Besides Mr. Jones and the good governess of
the mansion, there sat down at table an attorney
of Salisbury, indeed the very same who had
brought the news of Mrs. Blifil's death to Mr.
Allworthy, and whose name, which I think we did


not before mention, was Dowling: there was like-
wise present another person, who styled himself
a lawyer, and who lived somewhere near Linlineh,
in Somersetshire. This fellow, I say, styled him-
self a lawyer, but was indeed a most vile petti-
fogger, without sense or knowledge of any kind;
one of those who may be termed train-bearers to
the law ; a sort of supernumeraries in the profes-
sion, who are the hackneys of attorneys, and will
ride more miles for half-a-crown than a postboy.

During the time of dinner, the Somersetshire
lawyer recollected the face of Jones, which he had
seen at Mr. Allworthy's; for he had often visited
in that gentleman's kitchen. He therefore took
occasion to inquire after the good family there
with that familiarity which would have become an
intimate friend or acquaintance of Mr. All-
worthy ; and indeed he did all in his power to in-
sinuate himself to be such, though he had never
had the honor of speaking to any person in that
family higher than the butler. Jones answered
all his questions with much civility, though he
never remembered to have seen the pettifogger
before; and though he concluded, from the out-
ward appearance and behavior of the man, that
he usurped a freedom with his betters, to which
he was by no means entitled.

As the conversation of fellows of this kind is
of all others the most detestable to men of any
sense, the cloth was no sooner removed than Mr.
Jones withdrew, and a little barbarously left poor
Mrs. Whitefield to do a penance, which I have
often heard Mr. Timothy Harris, and other pub-


licans of good taste, lament, as the severest lot
annexed to their calling, namely, that of being
obliged to keep company with their guests.

Jones had no sooner quitted the room, than
the pettifogger, in a whispering tone, asked
Mrs. Whitefield, ''If she knew who that fine spark
was?" She answered, "She had never seen the
gentleman before." — "The gentleman, indeed!"
replied the pettifogger; "a pretty gentleman,
truly! Why, he's the bastard of a fellow who
was hanged for horse-stealing. He was dropped
at Squire AUworthy's door, where one of the
servants found him in a box so full of rain-water,
that he would certainly have been drowned, had
he not been reserved for another fate." — ^'Ay,
ay, you need not mention it, I protest: we under-
stand what that fate is very well," cries Bowl-
ing, with a most facetious grin. — "Well," con-
tinued the other, "the squire ordered him to be
taken in; for he is a timbersome man everybody
knows, and was afraid of drawing himself into a
scrape; and there the bastard was bred up, and
fed, and clothified all to the world like any gen-
tleman ; and there he got one of the servant-maids
with child, and persuaded her to swear it to the
squire himself; and afterwards he broke the arm
of one Mr. Thwackum a clergyman, only because
he reprimanded him for following whores; and
afterwards he snapped a pistol at Mr. Blifil be-
hind his back; and once, when Squire Allworthy
was sick, he got a drum, and beat it all over the
house to prevent him from sleeping; and twenty
other pranks he hath played, for all which, about


four or five days ago, just before I left the coun-
try, the squire stripped him stark naked, and
turned him out of doors."

''And very justly too, I protest," cries Bowl-
ing; "I would turn my own son out of doors, if
he was guilty of half as much. And pray what is
the name of this pretty gentleman f"

"The name o' unf" answered Pettifogger;
**why, he is called Thomas Jones."

"Jones!" answered Dowling a little eagerly;
"what, Mr. Jones that lived at Mr. AUworthy's?
was that the gentleman that dined with us I" —
"The very same," said the other. "I have heard'
of the gentleman," cries Bowling, "often; but I
never heard any ill character of him." — "And I
am sure," says Mrs. Whitefield, "if half what
this gentleman hath said be true, Mr. Jones hath
the most deceitful countenance I ever saw; for
sure his looks promise something very different;
and I must say, for the little I have seen of him,
he is as civil a well-bred man as you would wish to
converse with."

Pettifogger calling to mind that he had not
been sworn, as he usually was, before he gave his
evidence, now bound what he had declared with
so many oaths and imprecations that the land-
lady's ears were shocked, and she put a stop to
his swearing, by assuring him of her belief. Upon
which he said, "I hope, madam, you imagine I
would scorn to tell such things of any man, unless
I knew them to be true. "What interest have I
in taking away the reputation of a man who never
injured me? I promise you every syllable of


what I have said is fact, and the whole country
knows it."

As Mrs. Whitefield had no reason to suspect
that the pettifogger had any motive or tempta-
tion to ahuse Jones, the reader cannot blame her
for believing what he so confidently affirmed with
many oaths. She accordingly gave up her skill
in physiognomy, and henceforward conceived so
ill an opinion of her guest, that she heartily
wished him out of her house.

This dislike was now further increased by a
report which Mr. Whitefield made from the
kitchen, where Partridge had informed the com-
pany, "That though he carried the knapsack, and
contented himself with staying among servants,
while Tom Jones (as he called him) was regaling
in the parlor, he was not his servant, but only a
friend and companion, and as good a gentleman
as Mr. Jones himself."

Dowling sat all this while silent, biting his fin-
gers, making faces, grinning, and looking wonder-
fully arch; at last he opened his lips, and pro-
tested that the gentleman looked like another sort
of man. He then called for his bill with the
utmost haste, declared he must be at Hereford
that evening, lamented his great hurry of busi-
ness, and wished he could divide himself into
twenty pieces, in order to be at once in twenty

The pettifogger now likewise departed, and
then Jones desired the favor of Mrs. Whitefield 's
company to drink tea with him; but she refused,
and with a manner so different from that with


which she had received him at dinner, that it a
little surprised him. And now he soon perceived
her behavior totally changed; for instead of that
natural affability which we have before cele-
brated, she wore a constrained severity on her
countenance, which was so disagreeable to Mr.
Jones, that he resolved, however late, to quit the
house that evening.

He did indeed account somewhat unfairly for
this sudden change; for besides some hard and
unjust surmises concerning female fickleness and
mutability, he began to suspect that he owed this
want of civility to his want of horses; a sort of
animals which, as they dirty no sheets, are
thought in inns to pay better for their beds than
their riders, and are therefore considered as the
more desirable company; but Mrs. Whitefield, to
do her justice, had a much more liberal way of
thinking. She was perfectly well-bred, and could
be very civil to a gentleman, though he walked on
foot. In reality, she looked on our hero as a
sorry scoundrel, and therefore treated him as
such, for which not even Jones himself, had he
known as much as the reader, could have blamed
her ; nay, on the contrary, he must have approved
her conduct, and have esteemed her the more for
the disrespect shown towards himself. This is
indeed a most aggravating circumstance, which
attends depriving men unjustly of their reputa-
tion ; for a man who is conscious of having an ill
character, cannot justly be angry with those who
neglect and slight him; but ought rather to de-
spise such as affect his conversation, unless where



a perfect intimacy must have convinced them that
their friend's character hath been falsely and in-
juriously aspersed.

This was not, however, the case of Jones; for
as he was a perfect stranger to the truth, so he
was with good reason offended at the treatment
he received. He therefore paid his reckoning and
departed, highly against the will of Mr. Partridge,
who having remonstrated much against it to no
purpose, at last condescended to take up his knap-
sack and to attend his friend.


Containing several dialogues between Jones and Partridge,
concerning love, cold, hunger, and other matters; with
the lucky and narrow escape of Partridge, as he was
on the very brink of making a fatal discovery to his

THE shadows began now to descend larger
from the high mountains; the feathered
creation had betaken themselves to their
rest. Now the highest order of mortals were
sitting down to their dinners, and the lowest or-
der to their suppers. In a word, the clock struck
five just as Mr. Jones took his leave of Glouces-
ter; an hour at which (as it was now mid-winter)
the dirty fingers of Night would have drawn her
sable curtain over the universe, had not the moon
forbid her, who now, with a face as broad and as
red as those of some jolly mortals, who, like her,
turn night into day, began to rise from her bed,
where she had slumbered away the day, in order
to sit up all night. Jones had not traveled far
before he paid his compliments to that beautiful
planet, and, turning to his companion, asked him
if he had ever beheld so delicious an evening?
Partridge making no ready answer to his ques-
tion, he proceeded to comment on the beauty of
the moon, and repeated some passages from Mil-
ton, who hath certainly excelled all other poets



in his description of the heavenly luminaries. He
then told Partridge the story from the Spectator,
of two lovers who had agreed to entertain them-
selves when they were at a great distance from
each other, by repairing, at a certain fixed hour,
to look at the moon; thus pleasing themselves
with the thought that they were both employed
in contemplating the same object at the same time.
"Those lovers," added he, "must have had souls
truly capable of feeling all the tenderness of the
sublimest of all human passions." — "Very prob-
ably," cries Partridge: "but I envy them more,
if they had bodies incapable of feeling cold; for
I am almost frozen to death, and am very much
afraid I shall lose a piece of my nose before we
get to another house of entertainment. Nay,
truly, we may well expect some judgment should
happen to us for our folly in running away so by
night from one of the most excellent inns I ever
set my foot into. I am sure I never saw more
good things in my life, and the greatest lord in
the land cannot live better in his own house than
he may there. And to forsake such a house, and
go a rambling about the country, the Lord knows
whither, per devia rura viarum, I say nothing for
my part ; but some people might not have charity
enough to conclude we were in our sober senses."
— "Fie upon it, Mr. Partridge!" says Jones,
"have a better heart; consider you are going to
face an enemy; and are you afraid of facing a
little cold? I wish, indeed, we had a guide to
advise which of these roads we should take." —
"May I be so bold," says Partridge, "to offer


my advice? Interdum stultus opportutia loqui-
tur." — ''Why, which of them," cries Jones,
''would you recommend?" — "Truly neither of
them, ' ' answered Partridge. ' ' The only road we
can be certain of finding, is the road we came.
A good hearty pace will bring us back to Glouces-
ter in an hour; but if we go forward, the Lord
Harry knows when we shall arrive at any place ;
for I see at least fifty miles before me, and no
house in all the way." — "You see, indeed, a very
fair prospect," says Jones, "which receives great
additional beauty from the extreme luster of the
moon. However, I will keep the left-hand track,
as that seems to lead directly to those hills, which
we were informed lie not far from Worcester.
And here, if you are inclined to quit me, you may,
and return back again; but for my part, I am
resolved to go forward."

"It is unkind in you, sir," says Partridge, "to
suspect me of any such intention. What I have
advised hath been as much on your account as on
my own: but since you are determined to go on,
I am as much determined to follow. / prce sequar

They now traveled some miles without speaking
to each other, during which suspense of discourse
Jones often sighed, and Benjamin groaned as bit-
terly, though from a very different reason. At
length Jones made a full stop, and turning about,

Online LibraryHenry FieldingThe works of Henry Fielding (Volume 2) → online text (page 35 of 41)