Joseph Andrews, Vol. 2
Henry Fielding

Part 1 out of 4

Produced by Charles Franks, Jonathan Ingram
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.








BOOK II.--continued.

_An interview between parson Adams and parson Trulliber._

_An adventure, the consequence of a new instance which parson Adams
gave of his forgetfulness._

_A very curious adventure, in which Mr Adams gave a much greater
instance of the honest simplicity of his heart, than of his experience
in the ways of this world._

_A dialogue between Mr Abraham Adams and his host, which, by the
disagreement in their opinions, seemed to threaten an unlucky
catastrophe, had it not been timely prevented by the return of
the lovers._


_Matter prefatory in praise of biography._

_A night scene, wherein several wonderful adventures befel Adams and
his fellow-travellers._

_In which the gentleman relates the history of his life._

_A description of Mr Wilson's way of living. The tragical adventure
of the dog, and other grave matters._

_A disputation on schools held on the road between Mr Abraham Adams
and Joseph; and a discovery not unwelcome to them both._

_Moral reflections by Joseph Andrews; with the hunting adventure, and
parson Adams's miraculous escape._

_A scene of roasting, very nicely adapted to the present taste and

_Which some readers will think too short and others too long._

_Containing as surprizing and bloody adventures as can be found in
this or perhaps any other authentic history._

_A discourse between the poet and the player; of no other use in this
history but to divert the reader._

_Containing the exhortations of parson Adams to his friend in
affliction; calculated for the instruction and improvement of the

_More adventures, which we hope will as much please as surprize
the reader._


_A curious dialogue which passed between Mr Abraham Adams and Mr
Peter Pounce, better worth reading than all the works of Colley
Cibber and many others._


_The arrival of Lady Booby and the rest at Booby-hall._

_A dialogue between Mr Abraham Adams and the Lady Booby._

_What passed between the lady and lawyer Scout._

_A short chapter, but very full of matter; particularly the arrival
of Mr Booby and his lady._

_Containing justice business; curious precedents of depositions, and
other matters necessary to be perused by all justices of the peace
and their clerks._

_Of which you are desired to read no more than you like._

_Philosophical reflections, the like not to be found in any light
French romance. Mr Booby's grave advice to Joseph, and Fanny's
encounter with a beau._

_A discourse which happened between Mr Adams, Mrs Adams, Joseph, and
Fanny, with some behaviour of Mr Adams which will be called by some
few readers very low, absurd, and unnatural._

_A visit which the polite Lady Booby and her polite friend paid to
the parson._

_The history of two friends, which may afford an useful lesson to
all those persons who happen to take up their residence in married

_In which the history is continued._

_Where the good-natured reader will see something which will give
him no great pleasure._

_The history, returning to the Lady Booby, gives some account of the
terrible conflict in her breast between love and pride, with what
happened on the present discovery._

_Containing several curious night-adventures, in which Mr Adams fell
into many hair-breadth scapes, partly owing to his goodness, and
partly to his inadvertency._

_The arrival of Gaffar and Gammar Andrews with another person not
much expected, and a perfect solution of the difficulties raised by
the pedlar._

_Being the last. In which this true history is brought to a happy



BOOK II.--continued.


_An interview between parson Adams and parson Trulliber._

Parson Adams came to the house of parson Trulliber, whom he found
stript into his waistcoat, with an apron on, and a pail in his hand,
just come from serving his hogs; for Mr Trulliber was a parson on
Sundays, but all the other six might more properly be called a farmer.
He occupied a small piece of land of his own, besides which he rented a
considerable deal more. His wife milked his cows, managed his dairy,
and followed the markets with butter and eggs. The hogs fell chiefly to
his care, which he carefully waited on at home, and attended to fairs;
on which occasion he was liable to many jokes, his own size being, with
much ale, rendered little inferior to that of the beasts he sold. He
was indeed one of the largest men you should see, and could have acted
the part of Sir John Falstaff without stuffing. Add to this that the
rotundity of his belly was considerably increased by the shortness of
his stature, his shadow ascending very near as far in height, when he
lay on his back, as when he stood on his legs. His voice was loud and
hoarse, and his accents extremely broad. To complete the whole, he had
a stateliness in his gait, when he walked, not unlike that of a goose,
only he stalked slower.

Mr Trulliber, being informed that somebody wanted to speak with him,
immediately slipt off his apron and clothed himself in an old
night-gown, being the dress in which he always saw his company at home.
His wife, who informed him of Mr Adams's arrival, had made a small
mistake; for she had told her husband, "She believed there was a man
come for some of his hogs." This supposition made Mr Trulliber hasten
with the utmost expedition to attend his guest. He no sooner saw Adams
than, not in the least doubting the cause of his errand to be what his
wife had imagined, he told him, "He was come in very good time; that he
expected a dealer that very afternoon;" and added, "they were all pure
and fat, and upwards of twenty score a-piece." Adams answered, "He
believed he did not know him." "Yes, yes," cried Trulliber, "I have seen
you often at fair; why, we have dealt before now, mun, I warrant you.
Yes, yes," cries he, "I remember thy face very well, but won't mention a
word more till you have seen them, though I have never sold thee a
flitch of such bacon as is now in the stye." Upon which he laid violent
hands on Adams, and dragged him into the hog-stye, which was indeed but
two steps from his parlour window. They were no sooner arrived there
than he cry'd out, "Do but handle them! step in, friend! art welcome to
handle them, whether dost buy or no." At which words, opening the gate,
he pushed Adams into the pig-stye, insisting on it that he should handle
them before he would talk one word with him.

Adams, whose natural complacence was beyond any artificial, was obliged
to comply before he was suffered to explain himself; and, laying hold on
one of their tails, the unruly beast gave such a sudden spring, that he
threw poor Adams all along in the mire. Trulliber, instead of assisting
him to get up, burst into a laughter, and, entering the stye, said to
Adams, with some contempt, "Why, dost not know how to handle a hog?" and
was going to lay hold of one himself, but Adams, who thought he had
carried his complacence far enough, was no sooner on his legs than he
escaped out of the reach of the animals, and cried out, "_Nihil habeo
cum porcis_: I am a clergyman, sir, and am not come to buy hogs."
Trulliber answered, "He was sorry for the mistake, but that he must
blame his wife," adding, "she was a fool, and always committed
blunders." He then desired him to walk in and clean himself, that he
would only fasten up the stye and follow him. Adams desired leave to dry
his greatcoat, wig, and hat by the fire, which Trulliber granted. Mrs
Trulliber would have brought him a basin of water to wash his face, but
her husband bid her be quiet like a fool as she was, or she would commit
more blunders, and then directed Adams to the pump. While Adams was thus
employed, Trulliber, conceiving no great respect for the appearance of
his guest, fastened the parlour door, and now conducted him into the
kitchen, telling him he believed a cup of drink would do him no harm,
and whispered his wife to draw a little of the worst ale. After a short
silence Adams said, "I fancy, sir, you already perceive me to be a
clergyman."--"Ay, ay," cries Trulliber, grinning, "I perceive you have
some cassock; I will not venture to caale it a whole one." Adams
answered, "It was indeed none of the best, but he had the misfortune to
tear it about ten years ago in passing over a stile." Mrs Trulliber,
returning with the drink, told her husband, "She fancied the gentleman
was a traveller, and that he would be glad to eat a bit." Trulliber bid
her hold her impertinent tongue, and asked her, "If parsons used to
travel without horses?" adding, "he supposed the gentleman had none by
his having no boots on."--"Yes, sir, yes," says Adams; "I have a horse,
but I have left him behind me."--"I am glad to hear you have one," says
Trulliber; "for I assure you I don't love to see clergymen on foot; it
is not seemly nor suiting the dignity of the cloth." Here Trulliber made
a long oration on the dignity of the cloth (or rather gown) not much
worth relating, till his wife had spread the table and set a mess of
porridge on it for his breakfast. He then said to Adams, "I don't know,
friend, how you came to caale on me; however, as you are here, if you
think proper to eat a morsel, you may." Adams accepted the invitation,
and the two parsons sat down together; Mrs Trulliber waiting behind her
husband's chair, as was, it seems, her custom. Trulliber eat heartily,
but scarce put anything in his mouth without finding fault with his
wife's cookery. All which the poor woman bore patiently. Indeed, she was
so absolute an admirer of her husband's greatness and importance, of
which she had frequent hints from his own mouth, that she almost carried
her adoration to an opinion of his infallibility. To say the truth, the
parson had exercised her more ways than one; and the pious woman had so
well edified by her husband's sermons, that she had resolved to receive
the bad things of this world together with the good. She had indeed been
at first a little contentious; but he had long since got the better;
partly by her love for this, partly by her fear of that, partly by her
religion, partly by the respect he paid himself, and partly by that
which he received from the parish. She had, in short, absolutely
submitted, and now worshipped her husband, as Sarah did Abraham, calling
him (not lord, but) master. Whilst they were at table her husband gave
her a fresh example of his greatness; for, as she had just delivered a
cup of ale to Adams, he snatched it out of his hand, and, crying out, "I
caal'd vurst," swallowed down the ale. Adams denied it; it was referred
to the wife, who, though her conscience was on the side of Adams, durst
not give it against her husband; upon which he said, "No, sir, no; I
should not have been so rude to have taken it from you if you had caal'd
vurst, but I'd have you know I'm a better man than to suffer the best he
in the kingdom to drink before me in my own house when I caale vurst."

As soon as their breakfast was ended, Adams began in the following
manner: "I think, sir, it is high time to inform you of the business of
my embassy. I am a traveller, and am passing this way in company with
two young people, a lad and a damsel, my parishioners, towards my own
cure; we stopt at a house of hospitality in the parish, where they
directed me to you as having the cure."--"Though I am but a curate,"
says Trulliber, "I believe I am as warm as the vicar himself, or perhaps
the rector of the next parish too; I believe I could buy them
both."--"Sir," cries Adams, "I rejoice thereat. Now, sir, my business
is, that we are by various accidents stript of our money, and are not
able to pay our reckoning, being seven shillings. I therefore request
you to assist me with the loan of those seven shillings, and also seven
shillings more, which, peradventure, I shall return to you; but if not,
I am convinced you will joyfully embrace such an opportunity of laying
up a treasure in a better place than any this world affords."

Suppose a stranger, who entered the chambers of a lawyer, being imagined
a client, when the lawyer was preparing his palm for the fee, should
pull out a writ against him. Suppose an apothecary, at the door of a
chariot containing some great doctor of eminent skill, should, instead
of directions to a patient, present him with a potion for himself.
Suppose a minister should, instead of a good round sum, treat my lord
----, or sir ----, or esq. ---- with a good broomstick. Suppose a civil
companion, or a led captain, should, instead of virtue, and honour, and
beauty, and parts, and admiration, thunder vice, and infamy, and
ugliness, and folly, and contempt, in his patron's ears. Suppose, when a
tradesman first carries in his bill, the man of fashion should pay it;
or suppose, if he did so, the tradesman should abate what he had
overcharged, on the supposition of waiting. In short--suppose what you
will, you never can nor will suppose anything equal to the astonishment
which seized on Trulliber, as soon as Adams had ended his speech. A
while he rolled his eyes in silence; sometimes surveying Adams, then his
wife; then casting them on the ground, then lifting them up to heaven.
At last he burst forth in the following accents: "Sir, I believe I know
where to lay up my little treasure as well as another. I thank G--, if I
am not so warm as some, I am content; that is a blessing greater than
riches; and he to whom that is given need ask no more. To be content
with a little is greater than to possess the world; which a man may
possess without being so. Lay up my treasure! what matters where a man's
treasure is whose heart is in the Scriptures? there is the treasure of a
Christian." At these words the water ran from Adams's eyes; and,
catching Trulliber by the hand in a rapture, "Brother," says he,
"heavens bless the accident by which I came to see you! I would have
walked many a mile to have communed with you; and, believe me, I will
shortly pay you a second visit; but my friends, I fancy, by this time,
wonder at my stay; so let me have the money immediately." Trulliber then
put on a stern look, and cried out, "Thou dost not intend to rob me?" At
which the wife, bursting into tears, fell on her knees and roared out,
"O dear sir! for Heaven's sake don't rob my master; we are but poor
people." "Get up, for a fool as thou art, and go about thy business,"
said Trulliber; "dost think the man will venture his life? he is a
beggar, and no robber." "Very true, indeed," answered Adams. "I wish,
with all my heart, the tithing-man was here," cries Trulliber; "I would
have thee punished as a vagabond for thy impudence. Fourteen shillings
indeed! I won't give thee a farthing. I believe thou art no more a
clergyman than the woman there" (pointing to his wife); "but if thou
art, dost deserve to have thy gown stript over thy shoulders for running
about the country in such a manner." "I forgive your suspicions," says
Adams; "but suppose I am not a clergyman, I am nevertheless thy brother;
and thou, as a Christian, much more as a clergyman, art obliged to
relieve my distress." "Dost preach to me?" replied Trulliber; "dost
pretend to instruct me in my duty?" "Ifacks, a good story," cries Mrs
Trulliber, "to preach to my master." "Silence, woman," cries Trulliber.
"I would have thee know, friend" (addressing himself to Adams), "I shall
not learn my duty from such as thee. I know what charity is, better than
to give to vagabonds." "Besides, if we were inclined, the poor's rate
obliges us to give so much charity," cries the wife. "Pugh! thou art a
fool. Poor's reate! Hold thy nonsense," answered Trulliber; and then,
turning to Adams, he told him, "he would give him nothing." "I am
sorry," answered Adams, "that you do know what charity is, since you
practise it no better: I must tell you, if you trust to your knowledge
for your justification, you will find yourself deceived, though you
should add faith to it, without good works." "Fellow," cries Trulliber,
"dost thou speak against faith in my house? Get out of my doors: I will
no longer remain under the same roof with a wretch who speaks wantonly
of faith and the Scriptures." "Name not the Scriptures," says Adams.
"How! not name the Scriptures! Do you disbelieve the Scriptures?" cries
Trulliber. "No; but you do," answered Adams, "if I may reason from your
practice; for their commands are so explicit, and their rewards and
punishments so immense, that it is impossible a man should stedfastly
believe without obeying. Now, there is no command more express, no duty
more frequently enjoined, than charity. Whoever, therefore, is void of
charity, I make no scruple of pronouncing that he is no Christian." "I
would not advise thee," says Trulliber, "to say that I am no Christian:
I won't take it of you; for I believe I am as good a man as thyself"
(and indeed, though he was now rather too corpulent for athletic
exercises, he had, in his youth, been one of the best boxers and
cudgel-players in the county). His wife, seeing him clench his fist,
interposed, and begged him not to fight, but show himself a true
Christian, and take the law of him. As nothing could provoke Adams to
strike, but an absolute assault on himself or his friend, he smiled at
the angry look and gestures of Trulliber; and, telling him he was sorry
to see such men in orders, departed without further ceremony.


_An adventure, the consequence of a new instance which parson Adams gave
of his forgetfulness._

When he came back to the inn he found Joseph and Fanny sitting together.
They were so far from thinking his absence long, as he had feared they
would, that they never once missed or thought of him. Indeed, I have
been often assured by both, that they spent these hours in a most
delightful conversation; but, as I never could prevail on either to
relate it, so I cannot communicate it to the reader.

Adams acquainted the lovers with the ill success of his enterprize. They
were all greatly confounded, none being able to propose any method of
departing, till Joseph at last advised calling in the hostess, and
desiring her to trust them; which Fanny said she despaired of her doing,
as she was one of the sourest-faced women she had ever beheld.

But she was agreeably disappointed; for the hostess was no sooner asked
the question than she readily agreed; and, with a curtsy and smile,
wished them a good journey. However, lest Fanny's skill in physiognomy
should be called in question, we will venture to assign one reason
which might probably incline her to this confidence and good-humour.
When Adams said he was going to visit his brother, he had unwittingly
imposed on Joseph and Fanny, who both believed he had meant his natural
brother, and not his brother in divinity, and had so informed the
hostess, on her enquiry after him. Now Mr Trulliber had, by his
professions of piety, by his gravity, austerity, reserve, and the
opinion of his great wealth, so great an authority in his parish, that
they all lived in the utmost fear and apprehension of him. It was
therefore no wonder that the hostess, who knew it was in his option
whether she should ever sell another mug of drink, did not dare to
affront his supposed brother by denying him credit.

They were now just on their departure when Adams recollected he had left
his greatcoat and hat at Mr Trulliber's. As he was not desirous of
renewing his visit, the hostess herself, having no servant at home,
offered to fetch it.

This was an unfortunate expedient; for the hostess was soon undeceived
in the opinion she had entertained of Adams, whom Trulliber abused in
the grossest terms, especially when he heard he had had the assurance to
pretend to be his near relation.

At her return, therefore, she entirely changed her note. She said,
"Folks might be ashamed of travelling about, and pretending to be what
they were not. That taxes were high, and for her part she was obliged to
pay for what she had; she could not therefore possibly, nor would she,
trust anybody; no, not her own father. That money was never scarcer, and
she wanted to make up a sum. That she expected, therefore, they should
pay their reckoning before they left the house."

Adams was now greatly perplexed; but, as he knew that he could easily
have borrowed such a sum in his own parish, and as he knew he would have
lent it himself to any mortal in distress, so he took fresh courage, and
sallied out all round the parish, but to no purpose; he returned as
pennyless as he went, groaning and lamenting that it was possible, in a
country professing Christianity, for a wretch to starve in the midst of
his fellow-creatures who abounded.

Whilst he was gone, the hostess, who stayed as a sort of guard with
Joseph and Fanny, entertained them with the goodness of parson
Trulliber. And, indeed, he had not only a very good character as to
other qualities in the neighbourhood, but was reputed a man of great
charity; for, though he never gave a farthing, he had always that word
in his mouth.

Adams was no sooner returned the second time than the storm grew
exceedingly high, the hostess declaring, among other things, that, if
they offered to stir without paying her, she would soon overtake them
with a warrant.

Plato and Aristotle, or somebody else, hath said, _that when the most
exquisite cunning fails, chance often hits the mark, and that by means
the least expected_. Virgil expresses this very boldly:--

_Turne, quod optanti divum promittere nemo
Auderet, volvenda dies, en! attulit ultro._

I would quote more great men if I could; but my memory not permitting
me, I will proceed to exemplify these observations by the following

There chanced (for Adams had not cunning enough to contrive it) to be at
that time in the alehouse a fellow who had been formerly a drummer in an
Irish regiment, and now travelled the country as a pedlar. This man,
having attentively listened to the discourse of the hostess, at last
took Adams aside, and asked him what the sum was for which they were
detained. As soon as he was informed, he sighed, and said, "He was sorry
it was so much; for that he had no more than six shillings and sixpence
in his pocket, which he would lend them with all his heart." Adams gave
a caper, and cry'd out, "It would do; for that he had sixpence himself."
And thus these poor people, who could not engage the compassion of
riches and piety, were at length delivered out of their distress by the
charity of a poor pedlar.

I shall refer it to my reader to make what observations he pleases on
this incident: it is sufficient for me to inform him that, after Adams
and his companions had returned him a thousand thanks, and told him
where he might call to be repaid, they all sallied out of the house
without any compliments from their hostess, or indeed without paying her
any; Adams declaring he would take particular care never to call there
again; and she on her side assuring them she wanted no such guests.


_A very curious adventure, in which Mr Adams gave a much greater
instance of the honest simplicity of his heart, than of his experience
in the ways of this world._

Our travellers had walked about two miles from that inn, which they had
more reason to have mistaken for a castle than Don Quixote ever had any
of those in which he sojourned, seeing they had met with such difficulty
in escaping out of its walls, when they came to a parish, and beheld a
sign of invitation hanging out. A gentleman sat smoaking a pipe at the
door, of whom Adams inquired the road, and received so courteous and
obliging an answer, accompanied with so smiling a countenance, that the
good parson, whose heart was naturally disposed to love and affection,
began to ask several other questions; particularly the name of the
parish, and who was the owner of a large house whose front they then had
in prospect. The gentleman answered as obligingly as before; and as to
the house, acquainted him it was his own. He then proceeded in the
following manner: "Sir, I presume by your habit you are a clergyman; and
as you are travelling on foot I suppose a glass of good beer will not be
disagreeable to you; and I can recommend my landlord's within as some of
the best in all this country. What say you, will you halt a little and
let us take a pipe together? there is no better tobacco in the kingdom."
This proposal was not displeasing to Adams, who had allayed his thirst
that day with no better liquor than what Mrs Trulliber's cellar had
produced; and which was indeed little superior, either in richness or
flavour, to that which distilled from those grains her generous husband
bestowed on his hogs. Having, therefore, abundantly thanked the
gentleman for his kind invitation, and bid Joseph and Fanny follow him,
he entered the alehouse, where a large loaf and cheese and a pitcher of
beer, which truly answered the character given of it, being set before
them, the three travellers fell to eating, with appetites infinitely
more voracious than are to be found at the most exquisite eating-houses
in the parish of St. James's.

The gentleman expressed great delight in the hearty and cheerful
behaviour of Adams; and particularly in the familiarity with which he
conversed with Joseph and Fanny, whom he often called his children; a
term he explained to mean no more than his parishioners; saying, "He
looked on all those whom God had intrusted to his care to stand to him
in that relation." The gentleman, shaking him by the hand, highly
applauded those sentiments. "They are, indeed," says he, "the true
principles of a Christian divine; and I heartily wish they were
universal; but, on the contrary, I am sorry to say the parson of our
parish, instead of esteeming his poor parishioners as a part of his
family, seems rather to consider them as not of the same species with
himself. He seldom speaks to any, unless some few of the richest of
us; nay, indeed, he will not move his hat to the others. I often laugh
when I behold him on Sundays strutting along the churchyard like a
turkey-cock through rows of his parishioners, who bow to him with as
much submission, and are as unregarded, as a set of servile courtiers
by the proudest prince in Christendom. But if such temporal pride is
ridiculous, surely the spiritual is odious and detestable; if such a
puffed--up empty human bladder, strutting in princely robes, justly
moves one's derision, surely in the habit of a priest it must raise
our scorn."

"Doubtless," answered Adams, "your opinion is right; but I hope such
examples are rare. The clergy whom I have the honour to know maintain a
different behaviour; and you will allow me, sir, that the readiness
which too many of the laity show to contemn the order may be one reason
of their avoiding too much humility." "Very true, indeed," says the
gentleman; "I find, sir, you are a man of excellent sense, and am happy
in this opportunity of knowing you; perhaps our accidental meeting may
not be disadvantageous to you neither. At present I shall only say to
you that the incumbent of this living is old and infirm, and that it is
in my gift. Doctor, give me your hand; and assure yourself of it at his
decease." Adams told him, "He was never more confounded in his life than
at his utter incapacity to make any return to such noble and unmerited
generosity." "A mere trifle, sir," cries the gentleman, "scarce worth
your acceptance; a little more than three hundred a year. I wish it was
double the value for your sake." Adams bowed, and cried from the
emotions of his gratitude; when the other asked him, "If he was married,
or had any children, besides those in the spiritual sense he had
mentioned." "Sir," replied the parson, "I have a wife and six at your
service." "That is unlucky," says the gentleman; "for I would otherwise
have taken you into my own house as my chaplain; however, I have another
in the parish (for the parsonage-house is not good enough), which I will
furnish for you. Pray, does your wife understand a dairy?" "I can't
profess she does," says Adams. "I am sorry for it," quoth the gentleman;
"I would have given you half-a-dozen cows, and very good grounds to have
maintained them." "Sir," said Adams, in an ecstasy, "you are too
liberal; indeed you are." "Not at all," cries the gentleman: "I esteem
riches only as they give me an opportunity of doing good; and I never
saw one whom I had a greater inclination to serve." At which words he
shook him heartily by the hand, and told him he had sufficient room in
his house to entertain him and his friends. Adams begged he might give
him no such trouble; that they could be very well accommodated in the
house where they were; forgetting they had not a sixpenny piece among
them. The gentleman would not be denied; and, informing himself how far
they were travelling, he said it was too long a journey to take on foot,
and begged that they would favour him by suffering him to lend them a
servant and horses; adding, withal, that, if they would do him the
pleasure of their company only two days, he would furnish them with his
coach and six. Adams, turning to Joseph, said, "How lucky is this
gentleman's goodness to you, who I am afraid would be scarce able to
hold out on your lame leg!" and then, addressing the person who made him
these liberal promises, after much bowing, he cried out, "Blessed be the
hour which first introduced me to a man of your charity! you are indeed
a Christian of the true primitive kind, and an honour to the country
wherein you live. I would willingly have taken a pilgrimage to the Holy
Land to have beheld you; for the advantages which we draw from your
goodness give me little pleasure, in comparison of what I enjoy for your
own sake when I consider the treasures you are by these means laying up
for yourself in a country that passeth not away. We will therefore, most
generous sir, accept your goodness, as well the entertainment you have
so kindly offered us at your house this evening, as the accommodation of
your horses to-morrow morning." He then began to search for his hat, as
did Joseph for his; and both they and Fanny were in order of departure,
when the gentleman, stopping short, and seeming to meditate by himself
for the space of about a minute, exclaimed thus: "Sure never anything
was so unlucky; I had forgot that my house-keeper was gone abroad, and
hath locked up all my rooms; indeed, I would break them open for you,
but shall not be able to furnish you with a bed; for she has likewise
put away all my linen. I am glad it entered into my head before I had
given you the trouble of walking there; besides, I believe you will find
better accommodations here than you expected.--Landlord, you can provide
good beds for these people, can't you?" "Yes, and please your worship,"
cries the host, "and such as no lord or justice of the peace in the
kingdom need be ashamed to lie in." "I am heartily sorry," says the
gentleman, "for this disappointment. I am resolved I will never suffer
her to carry away the keys again." "Pray, sir, let it not make you
uneasy," cries Adams; "we shall do very well here; and the loan of your
horses is a favour we shall be incapable of making any return to." "Ay!"
said the squire, "the horses shall attend you here at what hour in the
morning you please;" and now, after many civilities too tedious to
enumerate, many squeezes by the hand, with most affectionate looks and
smiles at each other, and after appointing the horses at seven the next
morning, the gentleman took his leave of them, and departed to his own
house. Adams and his companions returned to the table, where the parson
smoaked another pipe, and then they all retired to rest.

Mr Adams rose very early, and called Joseph out of his bed, between whom
a very fierce dispute ensued, whether Fanny should ride behind Joseph,
or behind the gentleman's servant; Joseph insisting on it that he was
perfectly recovered, and was as capable of taking care of Fanny as any
other person could be. But Adams would not agree to it, and declared he
would not trust her behind him; for that he was weaker than he imagined
himself to be.

This dispute continued a long time, and had begun to be very hot, when a
servant arrived from their good friend, to acquaint them that he was
unfortunately prevented from lending them any horses; for that his groom
had, unknown to him, put his whole stable under a course of physic.

This advice presently struck the two disputants dumb: Adams cried out,
"Was ever anything so unlucky as this poor gentleman? I protest I am
more sorry on his account than my own. You see, Joseph, how this
good-natured man is treated by his servants; one locks up his linen,
another physics his horses, and I suppose, by his being at this house
last night, the butler had locked up his cellar. Bless us! how
good-nature is used in this world! I protest I am more concerned on his
account than my own." "So am not I," cries Joseph; "not that I am much
troubled about walking on foot; all my concern is, how we shall get out
of the house, unless God sends another pedlar to redeem us. But
certainly this gentleman has such an affection for you, that he would
lend you a larger sum than we owe here, which is not above four or five
shillings." "Very true, child," answered Adams; "I will write a letter
to him, and will even venture to solicit him for three half-crowns;
there will be no harm in having two or three shillings in our pockets;
as we have full forty miles to travel, we may possibly have occasion for

Fanny being now risen, Joseph paid her a visit, and left Adams to
write his letter, which having finished, he despatched a boy with it to
the gentleman, and then seated himself by the door, lighted his pipe,
and betook himself to meditation.

The boy staying longer than seemed to be necessary, Joseph, who with
Fanny was now returned to the parson, expressed some apprehensions that
the gentleman's steward had locked up his purse too. To which Adams
answered, "It might very possibly be, and he should wonder at no
liberties which the devil might put into the head of a wicked servant
to take with so worthy a master;" but added, "that, as the sum was so
small, so noble a gentleman would be easily able to procure it in the
parish, though he had it not in his own pocket. Indeed," says he, "if
it was four or five guineas, or any such large quantity of money, it
might be a different matter."

They were now sat down to breakfast over some toast and ale, when the
boy returned and informed them that the gentleman was not at home. "Very
well!" cries Adams; "but why, child, did you not stay till his return?
Go back again, my good boy, and wait for his coming home; he cannot be
gone far, as his horses are all sick; and besides, he had no intention
to go abroad, for he invited us to spend this day and tomorrow at his
house. Therefore go back, child, and tarry till his return home." The
messenger departed, and was back again with great expedition, bringing
an account that the gentleman was gone a long journey, and would not be
at home again this month. At these words Adams seemed greatly
confounded, saying, "This must be a sudden accident, as the sickness or
death of a relation or some such unforeseen misfortune;" and then,
turning to Joseph, cried, "I wish you had reminded me to have borrowed
this money last night." Joseph, smiling, answered, "He was very much
deceived if the gentleman would not have found some excuse to avoid
lending it.--I own," says he, "I was never much pleased with his
professing so much kindness for you at first sight; for I have heard the
gentlemen of our cloth in London tell many such stories of their
masters. But when the boy brought the message back of his not being at
home, I presently knew what would follow; for, whenever a man of fashion
doth not care to fulfil his promises, the custom is to order his
servants that he will never be at home to the person so promised. In
London they call it denying him. I have myself denied Sir Thomas Booby
above a hundred times, and when the man hath danced attendance for about
a month or sometimes longer, he is acquainted in the end that the
gentleman is gone out of town and could do nothing in the
business."--"Good Lord!" says Adams, "what wickedness is there in the
Christian world! I profess almost equal to what I have read of the
heathens. But surely, Joseph, your suspicions of this gentleman must be
unjust, for what a silly fellow must he be who would do the devil's work
for nothing! and canst thou tell me any interest he could possibly
propose to himself by deceiving us in his professions?"--"It is not for
me," answered Joseph, "to give reasons for what men do, to a gentleman
of your learning."--"You say right," quoth Adams; "knowledge of men is
only to be learned from books; Plato and Seneca for that; and those are
authors, I am afraid, child, you never read."--"Not I, sir, truly,"
answered Joseph; "all I know is, it is a maxim among the gentlemen of
our cloth, that those masters who promise the most perform the least;
and I have often heard them say they have found the largest vails in
those families where they were not promised any. But, sir, instead of
considering any farther these matters, it would be our wisest way to
contrive some method of getting out of this house; for the generous
gentleman, instead of doing us any service, hath left us the whole
reckoning to pay." Adams was going to answer, when their host came in,
and, with a kind of jeering smile, said, "Well, masters! the squire hath
not sent his horses for you yet. Laud help me! how easily some folks
make promises!"--"How!" says Adams; "have you ever known him do anything
of this kind before?"--"Ay! marry have I," answered the host: "it is no
business of mine, you know, sir, to say anything to a gentleman to his
face; but now he is not here, I will assure you, he hath not his fellow
within the three next market-towns. I own I could not help laughing when
I heard him offer you the living, for thereby hangs a good jest. I
thought he would have offered you my house next, for one is no more his
to dispose of than the other." At these words Adams, blessing himself,
declared, "He had never read of such a monster. But what vexes me most,"
says he, "is, that he hath decoyed us into running up a long debt with
you, which we are not able to pay, for we have no money about us, and,
what is worse, live at such a distance, that if you should trust us, I
am afraid you would lose your money for want of our finding any
conveniency of sending it."--"Trust you, master!" says the host, "that I
will with all my heart. I honour the clergy too much to deny trusting
one of them for such a trifle; besides, I like your fear of never paying
me. I have lost many a debt in my lifetime, but was promised to be paid
them all in a very short time. I will score this reckoning for the
novelty of it. It is the first, I do assure you, of its kind. But what
say you, master, shall we have t'other pot before we part? It will waste
but a little chalk more, and if you never pay me a shilling the loss
will not ruin me." Adams liked the invitation very well, especially as
it was delivered with so hearty an accent. He shook his host by the
hand, and thanking him, said, "He would tarry another pot rather for the
pleasure of such worthy company than for the liquor;" adding, "he was
glad to find some Christians left in the kingdom, for that he almost
began to suspect that he was sojourning in a country inhabited only by
Jews and Turks."

The kind host produced the liquor, and Joseph with Fanny retired into
the garden, where, while they solaced themselves with amorous discourse,
Adams sat down with his host; and, both filling their glasses, and
lighting their pipes, they began that dialogue which the reader will
find in the next chapter.


_A dialogue between Mr Abraham Adams and his host, which, by the
disagreement in their opinions, seemed to threaten an unlucky
catastrophe, had it not been timely prevented by the return of
the lovers._

"Sir," said the host, "I assure you you are not the first to whom our
squire hath promised more than he hath performed. He is so famous for
this practice, that his word will not be taken for much by those who
know him. I remember a young fellow whom he promised his parents to make
an exciseman. The poor people, who could ill afford it, bred their son
to writing and accounts, and other learning to qualify him for the
place; and the boy held up his head above his condition with these
hopes; nor would he go to plough, nor to any other kind of work, and
went constantly drest as fine as could be, with two clean Holland shirts
a week, and this for several years; till at last he followed the squire
up to London, thinking there to mind him of his promises; but he could
never get sight of him. So that, being out of money and business, he
fell into evil company and wicked courses; and in the end came to a
sentence of transportation, the news of which broke the mother's
heart.--I will tell you another true story of him. There was a neighbour
of mine, a farmer, who had two sons whom he bred up to the business.
Pretty lads they were. Nothing would serve the squire but that the
youngest must be made a parson. Upon which he persuaded the father to
send him to school, promising that he would afterwards maintain him at
the university, and, when he was of a proper age, give him a living. But
after the lad had been seven years at school, and his father brought him
to the squire, with a letter from his master that he was fit for the
university, the squire, instead of minding his promise, or sending him
thither at his expense, only told his father that the young man was a
fine scholar, and it was pity he could not afford to keep him at Oxford
for four or five years more, by which time, if he could get him a
curacy, he might have him ordained. The farmer said, 'He was not a man
sufficient to do any such thing.'--'Why, then,' answered the squire, 'I
am very sorry you have given him so much learning; for, if he cannot get
his living by that, it will rather spoil him for anything else; and your
other son, who can hardly write his name, will do more at ploughing and
sowing, and is in a better condition, than he.' And indeed so it proved;
for the poor lad, not finding friends to maintain him in his learning,
as he had expected, and being unwilling to work, fell to drinking,
though he was a very sober lad before; and in a short time, partly with
grief, and partly with good liquor, fell into a consumption, and
died.--Nay, I can tell you more still: there was another, a young woman,
and the handsomest in all this neighbourhood, whom he enticed up to
London, promising to make her a gentlewoman to one of your women of
quality; but, instead of keeping his word, we have since heard, after
having a child by her himself, she became a common whore; then kept a
coffeehouse in Covent Garden; and a little after died of the French
distemper in a gaol.--I could tell you many more stories; but how do you
imagine he served me myself? You must know, sir, I was bred a seafaring
man, and have been many voyages; till at last I came to be master of a
ship myself, and was in a fair way of making a fortune, when I was
attacked by one of those cursed guarda-costas who took our ships before
the beginning of the war; and after a fight, wherein I lost the greater
part of my crew, my rigging being all demolished, and two shots received
between wind and water, I was forced to strike. The villains carried off
my ship, a brigantine of 150 tons--a pretty creature she was--and put me,
a man, and a boy, into a little bad pink, in which, with much ado, we at
last made Falmouth; though I believe the Spaniards did not imagine she
could possibly live a day at sea. Upon my return hither, where my wife,
who was of this country, then lived, the squire told me he was so
pleased with the defence I had made against the enemy, that he did not
fear getting me promoted to a lieutenancy of a man-of-war, if I would
accept of it; which I thankfully assured him I would. Well, sir, two or
three years passed, during which I had many repeated promises, not only
from the squire, but (as he told me) from the lords of the admiralty. He
never returned from London but I was assured I might be satisfied now,
for I was certain of the first vacancy; and, what surprizes me still,
when I reflect on it, these assurances were given me with no less
confidence, after so many disappointments, than at first. At last, sir,
growing weary, and somewhat suspicious, after so much delay, I wrote to
a friend in London, who I knew had some acquaintance at the best house
in the admiralty, and desired him to back the squire's interest; for
indeed I feared he had solicited the affair with more coldness than he
pretended. And what answer do you think my friend sent me? Truly, sir,
he acquainted me that the squire had never mentioned my name at the
admiralty in his life; and, unless I had much faithfuller interest,
advised me to give over my pretensions; which I immediately did, and,
with the concurrence of my wife, resolved to set up an alehouse, where
you are heartily welcome; and so my service to you; and may the squire,
and all such sneaking rascals, go to the devil together."--"O fie!" says
Adams, "O fie! He is indeed a wicked man; but G-- will, I hope, turn his
heart to repentance. Nay, if he could but once see the meanness of this
detestable vice; would he but once reflect that he is one of the most
scandalous as well as pernicious lyars; sure he must despise himself to
so intolerable a degree, that it would be impossible for him to continue
a moment in such a course. And to confess the truth, notwithstanding the
baseness of this character, which he hath too well deserved, he hath in
his countenance sufficient symptoms of that _bona indoles_, that
sweetness of disposition, which furnishes out a good Christian."--"Ah,
master! master!" says the host, "if you had travelled as far as I have,
and conversed with the many nations where I have traded, you would not
give any credit to a man's countenance. Symptoms in his countenance,
quotha! I would look there, perhaps, to see whether a man had the
small-pox, but for nothing else." He spoke this with so little regard to
the parson's observation, that it a good deal nettled him; and, taking
the pipe hastily from his mouth, he thus answered: "Master of mine,
perhaps I have travelled a great deal farther than you without the
assistance of a ship. Do you imagine sailing by different cities or
countries is travelling? No.

"Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt.

"I can go farther in an afternoon than you in a twelvemonth. What, I
suppose you have seen the Pillars of Hercules, and perhaps the walls of
Carthage. Nay, you may have heard Scylla, and seen Charybdis; you may
have entered the closet where Archimedes was found at the taking of
Syracuse. I suppose you have sailed among the Cyclades, and passed the
famous straits which take their name from the unfortunate Helle, whose
fate is sweetly described by Apollonius Rhodius; you have passed the
very spot, I conceive, where Daedalus fell into that sea, his waxen
wings being melted by the sun; you have traversed the Euxine sea, I make
no doubt; nay, you may have been on the banks of the Caspian, and called
at Colchis, to see if there is ever another golden fleece." "Not I,
truly, master," answered the host: "I never touched at any of these
places."--"But I have been at all these," replied Adams. "Then, I
suppose," cries the host, "you have been at the East Indies; for there
are no such, I will be sworn, either in the West or the Levant."--"Pray
where's the Levant?" quoth Adams; "that should be in the East Indies by
right." "Oho! you are a pretty traveller," cries the host, "and not know
the Levant! My service to you, master; you must not talk of these things
with me! you must not tip us the traveller; it won't go here." "Since
thou art so dull to misunderstand me still," quoth Adams, "I will inform
thee; the travelling I mean is in books, the only way of travelling by
which any knowledge is to be acquired. From them I learn what I asserted
just now, that nature generally imprints such a portraiture of the mind
in the countenance, that a skilful physiognomist will rarely be
deceived. I presume you have never read the story of Socrates to this
purpose, and therefore I will tell it you. A certain physiognomist
asserted of Socrates, that he plainly discovered by his features that he
was a rogue in his nature. A character so contrary to the tenour of all
this great man's actions, and the generally received opinion concerning
him, incensed the boys of Athens so that they threw stones at the
physiognomist, and would have demolished him for his ignorance, had not
Socrates himself prevented them by confessing the truth of his
observations, and acknowledging that, though he corrected his
disposition by philosophy, he was indeed naturally as inclined to vice
as had been predicated of him. Now, pray resolve me--How should a man
know this story if he had not read it?" "Well, master," said the host,
"and what signifies it whether a man knows it or no? He who goes abroad,
as I have done, will always have opportunities enough of knowing the
world without troubling his head with Socrates, or any such fellows."
"Friend," cries Adams, "if a man should sail round the world, and anchor
in every harbour of it, without learning, he would return home as
ignorant as he went out." "Lord help you!" answered the host; "there was
my boatswain, poor fellow! he could scarce either write or read, and yet
he would navigate a ship with any master of a man-of-war; and a very
pretty knowledge of trade he had too." "Trade," answered Adams, "as
Aristotle proves in his first chapter of Politics, is below a
philosopher, and unnatural as it is managed now." The host looked
stedfastly at Adams, and after a minute's silence asked him, "If he was
one of the writers of the Gazetteers? for I have heard," says he, "they
are writ by parsons." "Gazetteers!" answered Adams, "what is that?" "It
is a dirty newspaper," replied the host, "which hath been given away all
over the nation for these many years, to abuse trade and honest men,
which I would not suffer to lye on my table, though it hath been offered
me for nothing." "Not I truly," said Adams; "I never write anything but
sermons; and I assure you I am no enemy to trade, whilst it is
consistent with honesty; nay, I have always looked on the tradesman as a
very valuable member of society, and, perhaps, inferior to none but the
man of learning." "No, I believe he is not, nor to him neither,"
answered the host. "Of what use would learning be in a country without
trade? What would all you parsons do to clothe your backs and feed your
bellies? Who fetches you your silks, and your linens, and your wines,
and all the other necessaries of life? I speak chiefly with regard to
the sailors." "You should say the extravagancies of life," replied the
parson; "but admit they were the necessaries, there is something more
necessary than life itself, which is provided by learning; I mean the
learning of the clergy. Who clothes you with piety, meekness, humility,
charity, patience, and all the other Christian virtues? Who feeds your
souls with the milk of brotherly love, and diets them with all the
dainty food of holiness, which at once cleanses them of all impure
carnal affections, and fattens them with the truly rich spirit of grace?
Who doth this?" "Ay, who, indeed?" cries the host; "for I do not
remember ever to have seen any such clothing or such feeding. And so, in
the mean time, master, my service to you." Adams was going to answer
with some severity, when Joseph and Fanny returned and pressed his
departure so eagerly that he would not refuse them; and so, grasping his
crabstick, he took leave of his host (neither of them being so well
pleased with each other as they had been at their first sitting down
together), and with Joseph and Fanny, who both expressed much
impatience, departed, and now all together renewed their journey.



_Matter prefatory in praise of biography._

Notwithstanding the preference which may be vulgarly given to the
authority of those romance writers who entitle their books "the History
of England, the History of France, of Spain, &c.," it is most certain
that truth is to be found only in the works of those who celebrate the
lives of great men, and are commonly called biographers, as the others
should indeed be termed topographers, or chorographers; words which
might well mark the distinction between them; it being the business of
the latter chiefly to describe countries and cities, which, with the
assistance of maps, they do pretty justly, and may be depended upon; but
as to the actions and characters of men, their writings are not quite so
authentic, of which there needs no other proof than those eternal
contradictions occurring between two topographers who undertake the
history of the same country: for instance, between my Lord Clarendon and
Mr Whitelocke, between Mr Echard and Rapin, and many others; where,
facts being set forth in a different light, every reader believes as he
pleases; and, indeed, the more judicious and suspicious very justly
esteem the whole as no other than a romance, in which the writer hath
indulged a happy and fertile invention. But though these widely differ
in the narrative of facts; some ascribing victory to the one, and others
to the other party; some representing the same man as a rogue, while
others give him a great and honest character; yet all agree in the scene
where the fact is supposed to have happened, and where the person, who
is both a rogue and an honest man, lived. Now with us biographers the
case is different; the facts we deliver may be relied on, though we
often mistake the age and country wherein they happened: for, though it
may be worth the examination of critics, whether the shepherd
Chrysostom, who, as Cervantes informs us, died for love of the fair
Marcella, who hated him, was ever in Spain, will any one doubt but that
such a silly fellow hath really existed? Is there in the world such a
sceptic as to disbelieve the madness of Cardenio, the perfidy of
Ferdinand, the impertinent curiosity of Anselmo, the weakness of
Camilla, the irresolute friendship of Lothario? though perhaps, as to
the time and place where those several persons lived, that good
historian may be deplorably deficient. But the most known instance of
this kind is in the true history of Gil Blas, where the inimitable
biographer hath made a notorious blunder in the country of Dr Sangrado,
who used his patients as a vintner doth his wine-vessels, by letting out
their blood, and filling them up with water. Doth not every one, who is
the least versed in physical history, know that Spain was not the
country in which this doctor lived? The same writer hath likewise erred
in the country of his archbishop, as well as that of those great
personages whose understandings were too sublime to taste anything but
tragedy, and in many others. The same mistakes may likewise be observed
in Scarron, the Arabian Nights, the History of Marianne and le Paisan
Parvenu, and perhaps some few other writers of this class, whom I have
not read, or do not at present recollect; for I would by no means be
thought to comprehend those persons of surprizing genius, the authors of
immense romances, or the modern novel and Atalantis writers; who,
without any assistance from nature or history, record persons who never
were, or will be, and facts which never did, nor possibly can, happen;
whose heroes are of their own creation, and their brains the chaos
whence all their materials are selected. Not that such writers deserve
no honour; so far otherwise, that perhaps they merit the highest; for
what can be nobler than to be as an example of the wonderful extent of
human genius? One may apply to them what Balzac says of Aristotle, that
they are a second nature (for they have no communication with the first;
by which, authors of an inferior class, who cannot stand alone, are
obliged to support themselves as with crutches); but these of whom I am
now speaking seem to be possessed of those stilts, which the excellent
Voltaire tells us, in his letters, "carry the genius far off, but with
an regular pace." Indeed, far out of the sight of the reader,

Beyond the realm of Chaos and old Night.

But to return to the former class, who are contented to copy nature,
instead of forming originals from the confused heap of matter in their
own brains, is not such a book as that which records the achievements of
the renowned Don Quixote more worthy the name of a history than even
Mariana's: for, whereas the latter is confined to a particular period of
time, and to a particular nation, the former is the history of the world
in general, at least that part which is polished by laws, arts, and
sciences; and of that from the time it was first polished to this day;
nay, and forwards as long as it shall so remain?

I shall now proceed to apply these observations to the work before us;
for indeed I have set them down principally to obviate some
constructions which the good nature of mankind, who are always forward
to see their friends' virtues recorded, may put to particular parts. I
question not but several of my readers will know the lawyer in the
stage-coach the moment they hear his voice. It is likewise odds but the
wit and the prude meet with some of their acquaintance, as well as all
the rest of my characters. To prevent, therefore, any such malicious
applications, I declare here, once for all, I describe not men, but
manners; not an individual, but a species. Perhaps it will be answered,
Are not the characters then taken from life? To which I answer in the
affirmative; nay, I believe I might aver that I have writ little more
than I have seen. The lawyer is not only alive, but hath been so these
four thousand years; and I hope G-- will indulge his life as many yet to
come. He hath not indeed confined himself to one profession, one
religion, or one country; but when the first mean selfish creature
appeared on the human stage, who made self the centre of the whole
creation, would give himself no pain, incur no danger, advance no money,
to assist or preserve his fellow-creatures; then was our lawyer born;
and, whilst such a person as I have described exists on earth, so long
shall he remain upon it. It is, therefore, doing him little honour to
imagine he endeavours to mimick some little obscure fellow, because he
happens to resemble him in one particular feature, or perhaps in his
profession; whereas his appearance in the world is calculated for much
more general and noble purposes; not to expose one pitiful wretch to the
small and contemptible circle of his acquaintance; but to hold the glass
to thousands in their closets, that they may contemplate their
deformity, and endeavour to reduce it, and thus by suffering private
mortification may avoid public shame. This places the boundary between,
and distinguishes the satirist from the libeller: for the former
privately corrects the fault for the benefit of the person, like a
parent; the latter publickly exposes the person himself, as an example
to others, like an executioner.

There are besides little circumstances to be considered; as the drapery
of a picture, which though fashion varies at different times, the
resemblance of the countenance is not by those means diminished. Thus I
believe we may venture to say Mrs Tow-wouse is coeval with our lawyer:
and, though perhaps, during the changes which so long an existence must
have passed through, she may in her turn have stood behind the bar at an
inn, I will not scruple to affirm she hath likewise in the revolution of
ages sat on a throne. In short, where extreme turbulency of temper,
avarice, and an insensibility of human misery, with a degree of
hypocrisy, have united in a female composition, Mrs Tow-wouse was that
woman; and where a good inclination, eclipsed by a poverty of spirit and
understanding, hath glimmered forth in a man, that man hath been no
other than her sneaking husband.

I shall detain my reader no longer than to give him one caution more of
an opposite kind: for, as in most of our particular characters we mean
not to lash individuals, but all of the like sort, so, in our general
descriptions, we mean not universals, but would be understood with many
exceptions: for instance, in our description of high people, we cannot
be intended to include such as, whilst they are an honour to their high
rank, by a well-guided condescension make their superiority as easy as
possible to those whom fortune chiefly hath placed below them. Of this
number I could name a peer no less elevated by nature than by fortune;
who, whilst he wears the noblest ensigns of honour on his person, bears
the truest stamp of dignity on his mind, adorned with greatness,
enriched with knowledge, and embellished with genius. I have seen this
man relieve with generosity, while he hath conversed with freedom, and
be to the same person a patron and a companion. I could name a commoner,
raised higher above the multitude by superior talents than is in the
power of his prince to exalt him, whose behaviour to those he hath
obliged is more amiable than the obligation itself; and who is so great
a master of affability, that, if he could divest himself of an inherent
greatness in his manner, would often make the lowest of his acquaintance
forget who was the master of that palace in which they are so
courteously entertained. These are pictures which must be, I believe,
known: I declare they are taken from the life, and not intended to
exceed it. By those high people, therefore, whom I have described, I
mean a set of wretches, who, while they are a disgrace to their
ancestors, whose honours and fortunes they inherit (or perhaps a greater
to their mother, for such degeneracy is scarce credible), have the
insolence to treat those with disregard who are at least equal to the
founders of their own splendor. It is, I fancy, impossible to conceive a
spectacle more worthy of our indignation, than that of a fellow, who is
not only a blot in the escutcheon of a great family, but a scandal to
the human species, maintaining a supercilious behaviour to men who are
an honour to their nature and a disgrace to their fortune.

And now, reader, taking these hints along with you, you may, if you
please, proceed to the sequel of this our true history.


_A night scene, wherein several wonderful adventures befel Adams and his

It was so late when our travellers left the inn or alehouse (for it
might be called either), that they had not travelled many miles before
night overtook them, or met them, which you please. The reader must
excuse me if I am not particular as to the way they took; for, as we are
now drawing near the seat of the Boobies, and as that is a ticklish
name, which malicious persons may apply, according to their evil
inclinations, to several worthy country squires, a race of men whom we
look upon as entirely inoffensive, and for whom we have an adequate
regard, we shall lend no assistance to any such malicious purposes.

Darkness had now overspread the hemisphere, when Fanny whispered Joseph
"that she begged to rest herself a little; for that she was so tired
she could walk no farther." Joseph immediately prevailed with parson
Adams, who was as brisk as a bee, to stop. He had no sooner seated
himself than he lamented the loss of his dear Aeschylus; but was a
little comforted when reminded that, if he had it in his possession, he
could not see to read.

The sky was so clouded, that not a star appeared. It was indeed,
according to Milton, darkness visible. This was a circumstance, however,
very favourable to Joseph; for Fanny, not suspicious of being overseen
by Adams, gave a loose to her passion which she had never done before,
and, reclining her head on his bosom, threw her arm carelessly round
him, and suffered him to lay his cheek close to hers. All this infused
such happiness into Joseph, that he would not have changed his turf for
the finest down in the finest palace in the universe.

Adams sat at some distance from the lovers, and, being unwilling to
disturb them, applied himself to meditation; in which he had not
spent much time before he discovered a light at some distance that
seemed approaching towards him. He immediately hailed it; but, to his
sorrow and surprize, it stopped for a moment, and then disappeared.
He then called to Joseph, asking him, "if he had not seen the light?"
Joseph answered, "he had."--"And did you not mark how it vanished?"
returned he: "though I am not afraid of ghosts, I do not absolutely
disbelieve them."

He then entered into a meditation on those unsubstantial beings; which
was soon interrupted by several voices, which he thought almost at his
elbow, though in fact they were not so extremely near. However, he could
distinctly hear them agree on the murder of any one they met; and a
little after heard one of them say, "he had killed a dozen since that
day fortnight."

Adams now fell on his knees, and committed himself to the care of
Providence; and poor Fanny, who likewise heard those terrible words,
embraced Joseph so closely, that had not he, whose ears were also open,
been apprehensive on her account, he would have thought no danger which
threatened only himself too dear a price for such embraces.

Joseph now drew forth his penknife, and Adams, having finished his
ejaculations, grasped his crab-stick, his only weapon, and, coming up to
Joseph, would have had him quit Fanny, and place her in the rear; but
his advice was fruitless; she clung closer to him, not at all regarding
the presence of Adams, and in a soothing voice declared, "she would die
in his arms." Joseph, clasping her with inexpressible eagerness,
whispered her, "that he preferred death in hers to life out of them."
Adams, brandishing his crabstick, said, "he despised death as much as
any man," and then repeated aloud--

"Est hic, est animus lucis contemptor et illum,
Qui vita bene credat emi quo tendis, honorem."

Upon this the voices ceased for a moment, and then one of them called
out, "D--n you, who is there?" To which Adams was prudent enough to make
no reply; and of a sudden he observed half-a-dozen lights, which seemed
to rise all at once from the ground and advance briskly towards him.
This he immediately concluded to be an apparition; and now, beginning to
conceive that the voices were of the same kind, he called out, "In the
name of the L--d, what wouldst thou have?" He had no sooner spoke than
he heard one of the voices cry out, "D--n them, here they come;" and
soon after heard several hearty blows, as if a number of men had been
engaged at quarterstaff. He was just advancing towards the place of
combat, when Joseph, catching him by the skirts, begged him that they
might take the opportunity of the dark to convey away Fanny from the
danger which threatened her. He presently complied, and, Joseph lifting
up Fanny, they all three made the best of their way; and without looking
behind them, or being overtaken, they had travelled full two miles, poor
Fanny not once complaining of being tired, when they saw afar off
several lights scattered at a small distance from each other, and at the
same time found themselves on the descent of a very steep hill. Adams's
foot slipping, he instantly disappeared, which greatly frightened both
Joseph and Fanny: indeed, if the light had permitted them to see it,
they would scarce have refrained laughing to see the parson rolling down
the hill; which he did from top to bottom, without receiving any harm.
He then hollowed as loud as he could, to inform them of his safety, and
relieve them from the fears which they had conceived for him. Joseph and
Fanny halted some time, considering what to do; at last they advanced a
few paces, where the declivity seemed least steep; and then Joseph,
taking his Fanny in his arms, walked firmly down the hill, without
making a false step, and at length landed her at the bottom, where Adams
soon came to them.

Learn hence, my fair countrywomen, to consider your own weakness, and
the many occasions on which the strength of a man may be useful to you;
and, duly weighing this, take care that you match not yourselves with
the spindle-shanked beaus and _petit-maîtres_ of the age, who, instead
of being able, like Joseph Andrews, to carry you in lusty arms through
the rugged ways and downhill steeps of life, will rather want to support
their feeble limbs with your strength and assistance.

Our travellers now moved forwards where the nearest light presented
itself; and, having crossed a common field, they came to a meadow, where
they seemed to be at a very little distance from the light, when, to
their grief, they arrived at the banks of a river. Adams here made a
full stop, and declared he could swim, but doubted how it was possible
to get Fanny over: to which Joseph answered, "If they walked along its
banks, they might be certain of soon finding a bridge, especially as by
the number of lights they might be assured a parish was near." "Odso,
that's true indeed," said Adams; "I did not think of that."

Accordingly, Joseph's advice being taken, they passed over two meadows,
and came to a little orchard, which led them to a house. Fanny begged of
Joseph to knock at the door, assuring him "she was so weary that she
could hardly stand on her feet." Adams, who was foremost, performed this
ceremony; and, the door being immediately opened, a plain kind of man
appeared at it: Adams acquainted him "that they had a young woman with
them who was so tired with her journey that he should be much obliged to
him if he would suffer her to come in and rest herself." The man, who
saw Fanny by the light of the candle which he held in his hand,
perceiving her innocent and modest look, and having no apprehensions
from the civil behaviour of Adams, presently answered, "That the young
woman was very welcome to rest herself in his house, and so were her
company." He then ushered them into a very decent room, where his wife
was sitting at a table: she immediately rose up, and assisted them in
setting forth chairs, and desired them to sit down; which they had no
sooner done than the man of the house asked them if they would have
anything to refresh themselves with? Adams thanked him, and answered he
should be obliged to him for a cup of his ale, which was likewise chosen
by Joseph and Fanny. Whilst he was gone to fill a very large jug with
this liquor, his wife told Fanny she seemed greatly fatigued, and
desired her to take something stronger than ale; but she refused with
many thanks, saying it was true she was very much tired, but a little
rest she hoped would restore her. As soon as the company were all
seated, Mr Adams, who had filled himself with ale, and by public
permission had lighted his pipe, turned to the master of the house,
asking him, "If evil spirits did not use to walk in that neighbourhood?"
To which receiving no answer, he began to inform him of the adventure
which they met with on the downs; nor had he proceeded far in the story
when somebody knocked very hard at the door. The company expressed some
amazement, and Fanny and the good woman turned pale: her husband went
forth, and whilst he was absent, which was some time, they all remained
silent, looking at one another, and heard several voices discoursing
pretty loudly. Adams was fully persuaded that spirits were abroad, and
began to meditate some exorcisms; Joseph a little inclined to the same
opinion; Fanny was more afraid of men; and the good woman herself began
to suspect her guests, and imagined those without were rogues belonging
to their gang. At length the master of the house returned, and,
laughing, told Adams he had discovered his apparition; that the
murderers were sheep-stealers, and the twelve persons murdered were no
other than twelve sheep; adding, that the shepherds had got the better
of them, had secured two, and were proceeding with them to a justice of
peace. This account greatly relieved the fears of the whole company; but
Adams muttered to himself, "He was convinced of the truth of apparitions
for all that."

They now sat chearfully round the fire, till the master of the house,
having surveyed his guests, and conceiving that the cassock, which,
having fallen down, appeared under Adams's greatcoat, and the shabby
livery on Joseph Andrews, did not well suit with the familiarity
between them, began to entertain some suspicions not much to their
advantage: addressing himself therefore to Adams, he said, "He
perceived he was a clergyman by his dress, and supposed that honest man
was his footman." "Sir," answered Adams, "I am a clergyman at your
service; but as to that young man, whom you have rightly termed honest,
he is at present in nobody's service; he never lived in any other
family than that of Lady Booby, from whence he was discharged, I assure
you, for no crime." Joseph said, "He did not wonder the gentleman was
surprized to see one of Mr Adams's character condescend to so much
goodness with a poor man."--"Child," said Adams, "I should be ashamed
of my cloth if I thought a poor man, who is honest, below my notice or
my familiarity. I know not how those who think otherwise can profess
themselves followers and servants of Him who made no distinction,
unless, peradventure, by preferring the poor to the rich.--Sir," said
he, addressing himself to the gentleman, "these two poor young people
are my parishioners, and I look on them and love them as my children.
There is something singular enough in their history, but I have not now
time to recount it." The master of the house, notwithstanding the
simplicity which discovered itself in Adams, knew too much of the world
to give a hasty belief to professions. He was not yet quite certain
that Adams had any more of the clergyman in him than his cassock. To
try him therefore further, he asked him, "If Mr Pope had lately
published anything new?" Adams answered, "He had heard great
commendations of that poet, but that he had never read nor knew any of
his works."--"Ho! ho!" says the gentleman to himself, "have I caught
you? What!" said he, "have you never seen his Homer?" Adams answered,
"he had never read any translation of the classicks." "Why, truly,"
reply'd the gentleman, "there is a dignity in the Greek language which
I think no modern tongue can reach."--"Do you understand Greek, sir?"
said Adams hastily. "A little, sir," answered the gentleman. "Do you
know, sir," cry'd Adams, "where I can buy an Aeschylus? an unlucky
misfortune lately happened to mine." Aeschylus was beyond the
gentleman, though he knew him very well by name; he therefore,
returning back to Homer, asked Adams, "What part of the Iliad he
thought most excellent?" Adams returned, "His question would be
properer, What kind of beauty was the chief in poetry? for that Homer
was equally excellent in them all. And, indeed," continued he, "what
Cicero says of a complete orator may well be applied to a great poet:
'He ought to comprehend all perfections.' Homer did this in the most
excellent degree; it is not without reason, therefore, that the
philosopher, in the twenty-second chapter of his Poeticks, mentions him
by no other appellation than that of the Poet. He was the father of the
drama as well as the epic; not of tragedy only, but of comedy also; for
his Margites, which is deplorably lost, bore, says Aristotle, the same
analogy to comedy as his Odyssey and Iliad to tragedy. To him,
therefore, we owe Aristophanes as well as Euripides, Sophocles, and my
poor Aeschylus. But if you please we will confine ourselves (at least
for the present) to the Iliad, his noblest work; though neither
Aristotle nor Horace give it the preference, as I remember, to the
Odyssey. First, then, as to his subject, can anything be more simple,
and at the same time more noble? He is rightly praised by the first of
those judicious critics for not chusing the whole war, which, though he
says it hath a complete beginning and end, would have been too great
for the understanding to comprehend at one view. I have, therefore,
often wondered why so correct a writer as Horace should, in his epistle
to Lollius, call him the Trojani Belli Scriptorem. Secondly, his
action, termed by Aristotle, Pragmaton Systasis; is it possible for the
mind of man to conceive an idea of such perfect unity, and at the same
time so replete with greatness? And here I must observe, what I do not
remember to have seen noted by any, the Harmotton, that agreement of
his action to his subject: for, as the subject is anger, how agreeable
is his action, which is war; from which every incident arises and to
which every episode immediately relates. Thirdly, his manners, which
Aristotle places second in his description of the several parts of
tragedy, and which he says are included in the action; I am at a loss
whether I should rather admire the exactness of his judgment in the
nice distinction or the immensity of his imagination in their variety.
For, as to the former of these, how accurately is the sedate, injured
resentment of Achilles, distinguished from the hot, insulting passion
of Agamemnon! How widely doth the brutal courage of Ajax differ from
the amiable bravery of Diomedes; and the wisdom of Nestor, which is the
result of long reflection and experience, from the cunning of Ulysses,
the effect of art and subtlety only! If we consider their variety, we
may cry out, with Aristotle in his 24th chapter, that no part of this
divine poem is destitute of manners. Indeed, I might affirm that there
is scarce a character in human nature untouched in some part or other.
And, as there is no passion which he is not able to describe, so is
there none in his reader which he cannot raise. If he hath any superior
excellence to the rest, I have been inclined to fancy it is in the
pathetic. I am sure I never read with dry eyes the two episodes where
Andromache is introduced in the former lamenting the danger, and in the
latter the death, of Hector. The images are so extremely tender in
these, that I am convinced the poet had the worthiest and best heart
imaginable. Nor can I help observing how Sophocles falls short of the
beauties of the original, in that imitation of the dissuasive speech of
Andromache which he hath put into the mouth of Tecmessa. And yet
Sophocles was the greatest genius who ever wrote tragedy; nor have any
of his successors in that art, that is to say, neither Euripides nor
Seneca the tragedian, been able to come near him. As to his sentiments
and diction, I need say nothing; the former are particularly remarkable
for the utmost perfection on that head, namely, propriety; and as to
the latter, Aristotle, whom doubtless you have read over and over, is
very diffuse. I shall mention but one thing more, which that great
critic in his division of tragedy calls Opsis, or the scenery; and
which is as proper to the epic as to the drama, with this difference,
that in the former it falls to the share of the poet, and in the latter
to that of the painter. But did ever painter imagine a scene like that
in the 13th and 14th Iliads? where the reader sees at one view the
prospect of Troy, with the army drawn up before it; the Grecian army,
camp, and fleet; Jupiter sitting on Mount Ida, with his head wrapt in a
cloud, and a thunderbolt in his hand, looking towards Thrace; Neptune
driving through the sea, which divides on each side to permit his
passage, and then seating himself on Mount Samos; the heavens opened,
and the deities all seated on their thrones. This is sublime! This is
poetry!" Adams then rapt out a hundred Greek verses, and with such a
voice, emphasis, and action, that he almost frightened the women; and
as for the gentleman, he was so far from entertaining any further
suspicion of Adams, that he now doubted whether he had not a bishop in
his house. He ran into the most extravagant encomiums on his learning;
and the goodness of his heart began to dilate to all the strangers. He
said he had great compassion for the poor young woman, who looked pale
and faint with her journey; and in truth he conceived a much higher
opinion of her quality than it deserved. He said he was sorry he could
not accommodate them all; but if they were contented with his fireside,
he would sit up with the men; and the young woman might, if she
pleased, partake his wife's bed, which he advised her to; for that they
must walk upwards of a mile to any house of entertainment, and that not
very good neither. Adams, who liked his seat, his ale, his tobacco, and
his company, persuaded Fanny to accept this kind proposal, in which
sollicitation he was seconded by Joseph. Nor was she very difficultly
prevailed on; for she had slept little the last night and not at all
the preceding; so that love itself was scarce able to keep her eyes
open any longer. The offer, therefore, being kindly accepted, the good
woman produced everything eatable in her house on the table, and the
guests, being heartily invited, as heartily regaled themselves,
especially parson Adams. As to the other two, they were examples of the
truth of that physical observation, that love, like other sweet things,
is no whetter of the stomach.

Supper was no sooner ended, than Fanny at her own request retired, and
the good woman bore her company. The man of the house, Adams, and
Joseph, who would modestly have withdrawn, had not the gentleman
insisted on the contrary, drew round the fireside, where Adams (to use
his own words) replenished his pipe, and the gentleman produced a bottle
of excellent beer, being the best liquor in his house.

The modest behaviour of Joseph, with the gracefulness of his person, the
character which Adams gave of him, and the friendship he seemed to
entertain for him, began to work on the gentleman's affections, and
raised in him a curiosity to know the singularity which Adams had
mentioned in his history. This curiosity Adams was no sooner informed of
than, with Joseph's consent, he agreed to gratify it; and accordingly
related all he knew, with as much tenderness as was possible for the
character of Lady Booby; and concluded with the long, faithful, and
mutual passion between him and Fanny, not concealing the meanness of her
birth and education. These latter circumstances entirely cured a
jealousy which had lately risen in the gentleman's mind, that Fanny was
the daughter of some person of fashion, and that Joseph had run away
with her, and Adams was concerned in the plot. He was now enamoured of
his guests, drank their healths with great chearfulness, and returned
many thanks to Adams, who had spent much breath, for he was a
circumstantial teller of a story.

Adams told him it was now in his power to return that favour; for his
extraordinary goodness, as well as that fund of literature he was master
of,[A] which he did not expect to find under such a roof, had raised in
him more curiosity than he had ever known. "Therefore," said he, "if it
be not too troublesome, sir, your history, if you please."

[A] The author hath by some been represented to have made a blunder
here: for Adams had indeed shown some learning (say they), perhaps
all the author had; but the gentleman hath shown none, unless his
approbation of Mr Adams be such: but surely it would be preposterous
in him to call it so. I have, however, notwithstanding this
criticism, which I am told came from the mouth of a great orator in
a public coffee-house, left this blunder as it stood in the first
edition. I will not have the vanity to apply to anything in this
work the observation which M. Dacier makes in her preface to her
Aristophanes: _Je tiens pour une maxime constante, qu'une beauté
mediocré plait plus généralement qu'une beauté sans défaut._ Mr
Congreve hath made such another blunder in his Love for Love, where
Tattle tells Miss Prue, "She should admire him as much for the
beauty he commends in her as if he himself was possessed of it."

The gentleman answered, he could not refuse him what he had so much
right to insist on; and after some of the common apologies, which are
the usual preface to a story, he thus began.


_In which the gentleman relates the history of his life._

Sir, I am descended of a good family, and was born a gentleman. My
education was liberal, and at a public school, in which I proceeded so
far as to become master of the Latin, and to be tolerably versed in the
Greek language. My father died when I was sixteen, and left me master of
myself. He bequeathed me a moderate fortune, which he intended I should
not receive till I attained the age of twenty-five: for he constantly
asserted that was full early enough to give up any man entirely to the
guidance of his own discretion. However, as this intention was so
obscurely worded in his will that the lawyers advised me to contest the
point with my trustees, I own I paid so little regard to the
inclinations of my dead father, which were sufficiently certain to me,
that I followed their advice, and soon succeeded, for the trustees did
not contest the matter very obstinately on their side. "Sir," said
Adams, "may I crave the favour of your name?" The gentleman answered his
name was Wilson, and then proceeded.

I stayed a very little while at school after his death; for, being a
forward youth, I was extremely impatient to be in the world, for which I
thought my parts, knowledge, and manhood thoroughly qualified me. And to
this early introduction into life, without a guide, I impute all my
future misfortunes; for, besides the obvious mischiefs which attend
this, there is one which hath not been so generally observed: the first
impression which mankind receives of you will be very difficult to
eradicate. How unhappy, therefore, must it be to fix your character in
life, before you can possibly know its value, or weigh the consequences
of those actions which are to establish your future reputation!

A little under seventeen I left my school, and went to London with no
more than six pounds in my pocket; a great sum, as I then conceived; and
which I was afterwards surprized to find so soon consumed.

The character I was ambitious of attaining was that of a fine gentleman;
the first requisites to which I apprehended were to be supplied by a
taylor, a periwig-maker, and some few more tradesmen, who deal in
furnishing out the human body. Notwithstanding the lowness of my purse,
I found credit with them more easily than I expected, and was soon
equipped to my wish. This I own then agreeably surprized me; but I have
since learned that it is a maxim among many tradesmen at the polite end
of the town to deal as largely as they can, reckon as high as they can,
and arrest as soon as they can.

The next qualifications, namely, dancing, fencing, riding the great
horse, and music, came into my head: but, as they required expense and
time, I comforted myself, with regard to dancing, that I had learned a
little in my youth, and could walk a minuet genteelly enough; as to
fencing, I thought my good-humour would preserve me from the danger of a
quarrel; as to the horse, I hoped it would not be thought of; and for
music, I imagined I could easily acquire the reputation of it; for I had
heard some of my schoolfellows pretend to knowledge in operas, without
being able to sing or play on the fiddle.

Knowledge of the town seemed another ingredient; this I thought I should
arrive at by frequenting public places. Accordingly I paid constant
attendance to them all; by which means I was soon master of the
fashionable phrases, learned to cry up the fashionable diversions, and
knew the names and faces of the most fashionable men and women.

Nothing now seemed to remain but an intrigue, which I was resolved to
have immediately; I mean the reputation of it; and indeed I was so
successful, that in a very short time I had half-a-dozen with the finest
women in town.

At these words Adams fetched a deep groan, and then, blessing himself,
cried out, "Good Lord! what wicked times these are!"

Not so wicked as you imagine, continued the gentleman; for I assure you
they were all vestal virgins for anything which I knew to the contrary.
The reputation of intriguing with them was all I sought, and was what I
arrived at: and perhaps I only flattered myself even in that; for very
probably the persons to whom I showed their billets knew as well as I
that they were counterfeits, and that I had written them to myself.
"Write letters to yourself!" said Adams, staring. O sir, answered the
gentleman, it is the very error of the times. Half our modern plays have
one of these characters in them. It is incredible the pains I have
taken, and the absurd methods I employed, to traduce the character of
women of distinction. When another had spoken in raptures of any one, I
have answered, "D--n her, she! We shall have her at H----d's very soon."
When he hath replied, "He thought her virtuous," I have answered, "Ay,
thou wilt always think a woman virtuous, till she is in the streets; but
you and I, Jack or Tom (turning to another in company), know better." At
which I have drawn a paper out of my pocket, perhaps a taylor's bill,
and kissed it, crying at the same time, "By Gad I was once fond of her."

"Proceed, if you please, but do not swear any more," said Adams.

Sir, said the gentleman, I ask your pardon. Well, sir, in this course of
life I continued full three years.--"What course of life?" answered
Adams; "I do not remember you have mentioned any."--Your remark is just,
said the gentleman, smiling; I should rather have said, in this course
of doing nothing. I remember some time afterwards I wrote the journal of
one day, which would serve, I believe, as well for any other during the
whole time. I will endeavour to repeat it to you.

In the morning I arose, took my great stick, and walked out in my green
frock, with my hair in papers (a groan from Adams), and sauntered about
till ten. Went to the auction; told lady ---- she had a dirty face;
laughed heartily at something captain ---- said, I can't remember what,
for I did not very well hear it; whispered lord ----; bowed to the duke
of ----; and was going to bid for a snuff-box, but did not, for fear I
should have had it.

From 2 to 4, drest myself. _A groan._
4 to 6, dined. _A groan._
6 to 8, coffee-house.
8 to 9, Drury-lane playhouse.
9 to 10, Lincoln's Inn Fields.
10 to 12, Drawing-room. _A great groan._

At all which places nothing happened worth remark.

At which Adams said, with some vehemence, "Sir, this is below the life
of an animal, hardly above vegetation: and I am surprized what could
lead a man of your sense into it." What leads us into more follies than
you imagine, doctor, answered the gentleman--vanity; for as contemptible
a creature as I was, and I assure you, yourself cannot have more
contempt for such a wretch than I now have, I then admired myself, and
should have despised a person of your present appearance (you will
pardon me), with all your learning and those excellent qualities which I
have remarked in you. Adams bowed, and begged him to proceed. After I
had continued two years in this course of life, said the gentleman, an
accident happened which obliged me to change the scene. As I was one day
at St James's coffee-house, making very free with the character of a
young lady of quality, an officer of the guards, who was present,
thought proper to give me the lye. I answered I might possibly be
mistaken, but I intended to tell no more than the truth. To which he
made no reply but by a scornful sneer. After this I observed a strange
coldness in all my acquaintance; none of them spoke to me first, and
very few returned me even the civility of a bow. The company I used to
dine with left me out, and within a week I found myself in as much
solitude at St James's as if I had been in a desart. An honest elderly
man, with a great hat and long sword, at last told me he had a
compassion for my youth, and therefore advised me to show the world I
was not such a rascal as they thought me to be. I did not at first
understand him; but he explained himself, and ended with telling me, if
I would write a challenge to the captain, he would, out of pure charity,
go to him with it. "A very charitable person, truly!" cried Adams. I
desired till the next day, continued the gentleman, to consider on it,
and, retiring to my lodgings, I weighed the consequences on both sides
as fairly as I could. On the one, I saw the risk of this alternative,
either losing my own life, or having on my hands the blood of a man with
whom I was not in the least angry. I soon determined that the good which
appeared on the other was not worth this hazard. I therefore resolved to
quit the scene, and presently retired to the Temple, where I took
chambers. Here I soon got a fresh set of acquaintance, who knew nothing
of what had happened to me. Indeed, they were not greatly to my
approbation; for the beaus of the Temple are only the shadows of the
others. They are the affectation of affectation. The vanity of these is
still more ridiculous, if possible, than of the others. Here I met with
smart fellows who drank with lords they did not know, and intrigued with
women they never saw. Covent Garden was now the farthest stretch of my
ambition; where I shone forth in the balconies at the playhouses,
visited whores, made love to orange-wenches, and damned plays. This
career was soon put a stop to by my surgeon, who convinced me of the
necessity of confining myself to my room for a month. At the end of
which, having had leisure to reflect, I resolved to quit all farther
conversation with beaus and smarts of every kind, and to avoid, if
possible, any occasion of returning to this place of confinement. "I
think," said Adams, "the advice of a month's retirement and reflection
was very proper; but I should rather have expected it from a divine than
a surgeon." The gentleman smiled at Adams's simplicity, and, without
explaining himself farther on such an odious subject, went on thus: I
was no sooner perfectly restored to health than I found my passion for
women, which I was afraid to satisfy as I had done, made me very uneasy;
I determined, therefore, to keep a mistress. Nor was I long before I
fixed my choice on a young woman, who had before been kept by two
gentlemen, and to whom I was recommended by a celebrated bawd. I took
her home to my chambers, and made her a settlement during cohabitation.
This would, perhaps, have been very ill paid: however, she did not
suffer me to be perplexed on that account; for, before quarter-day, I
found her at my chambers in too familiar conversation with a young
fellow who was drest like an officer, but was indeed a city apprentice.
Instead of excusing her inconstancy, she rapped out half-a-dozen oaths,
and, snapping her fingers at me, swore she scorned to confine herself to
the best man in England. Upon this we parted, and the same bawd
presently provided her another keeper. I was not so much concerned at
our separation as I found, within a day or two, I had reason to be for
our meeting; for I was obliged to pay a second visit to my surgeon. I
was now forced to do penance for some weeks, during which time I
contracted an acquaintance with a beautiful young girl, the daughter of
a gentleman who, after having been forty years in the army, and in all
the campaigns under the Duke of Marlborough, died a lieutenant on
half-pay, and had left a widow, with this only child, in very distrest
circumstances: they had only a small pension from the government, with
what little the daughter could add to it by her work, for she had great
excellence at her needle. This girl was, at my first acquaintance with
her, solicited in marriage by a young fellow in good circumstances. He
was apprentice to a linendraper, and had a little fortune, sufficient to
set up his trade. The mother was greatly pleased with this match, as
indeed she had sufficient reason. However, I soon prevented it. I
represented him in so low a light to his mistress, and made so good an
use of flattery, promises, and presents, that, not to dwell longer on
this subject than is necessary, I prevailed with the poor girl, and
conveyed her away from her mother! In a word, I debauched her.--(At
which words Adams started up, fetched three strides across the room, and
then replaced himself in his chair.) You are not more affected with this
part of my story than myself; I assure you it will never be sufficiently
repented of in my own opinion: but, if you already detest it, how much
more will your indignation be raised when you hear the fatal
consequences of this barbarous, this villanous action! If you please,
therefore, I will here desist.--"By no means," cries Adams; "go on, I
beseech you; and Heaven grant you may sincerely repent of this and many
other things you have related!"--I was now, continued the gentleman, as
happy as the possession of a fine young creature, who had a good
education, and was endued with many agreeable qualities, could make me.
We lived some months with vast fondness together, without any company or
conversation, more than we found in one another: but this could not
continue always; and, though I still preserved great affection for her,
I began more and more to want the relief of other company, and
consequently to leave her by degrees--at last whole days to herself. She
failed not to testify some uneasiness on these occasions, and complained
of the melancholy life she led; to remedy which, I introduced her into
the acquaintance of some other kept mistresses, with whom she used to
play at cards, and frequent plays and other diversions. She had not
lived long in this intimacy before I perceived a visible alteration in
her behaviour; all her modesty and innocence vanished by degrees, till
her mind became thoroughly tainted. She affected the company of rakes,
gave herself all manner of airs, was never easy but abroad, or when she
had a party at my chambers. She was rapacious of money, extravagant to
excess, loose in her conversation; and, if ever I demurred to any of her
demands, oaths, tears, and fits were the immediate consequences. As the
first raptures of fondness were long since over, this behaviour soon
estranged my affections from her; I began to reflect with pleasure that
she was not my wife, and to conceive an intention of parting with her;
of which, having given her a hint, she took care to prevent me the pains
of turning her out of doors, and accordingly departed herself, having
first broken open my escrutore, and taken with her all she could find,
to the amount of about £200. In the first heat of my resentment I
resolved to pursue her with all the vengeance of the law: but, as she
had the good luck to escape me during that ferment, my passion
afterwards cooled; and, having reflected that I had been the first
aggressor, and had done her an injury for which I could make her no
reparation, by robbing her of the innocence of her mind; and hearing at
the same time that the poor old woman her mother had broke her heart on
her daughter's elopement from her, I, concluding myself her murderer
("As you very well might," cries Adams, with a groan), was pleased that
God Almighty had taken this method of punishing me, and resolved quietly
to submit to the loss. Indeed, I could wish I had never heard more of
the poor creature, who became in the end an abandoned profligate; and,
after being some years a common prostitute, at last ended her miserable
life in Newgate.--Here the gentleman fetched a deep sigh, which Mr Adams
echoed very loudly; and both continued silent, looking on each other for
some minutes. At last the gentleman proceeded thus: I had been perfectly
constant to this girl during the whole time I kept her: but she had
scarce departed before I discovered more marks of her infidelity to me
than the loss of my money. In short, I was forced to make a third visit
to my surgeon, out of whose hands I did not get a hasty discharge.

I now forswore all future dealings with the sex, complained loudly that
the pleasure did not compensate the pain, and railed at the beautiful
creatures in as gross language as Juvenal himself formerly reviled them
in. I looked on all the town harlots with a detestation not easy to be
conceived, their persons appeared to me as painted palaces, inhabited by
Disease and Death: nor could their beauty make them more desirable
objects in my eyes than gilding could make me covet a pill, or golden
plates a coffin. But though I was no longer the absolute slave, I found
some reasons to own myself still the subject, of love. My hatred for
women decreased daily; and I am not positive but time might have
betrayed me again to some common harlot, had I not been secured by a
passion for the charming Sapphira, which, having once entered upon, made
a violent progress in my heart. Sapphira was wife to a man of fashion
and gallantry, and one who seemed, I own, every way worthy of her
affections; which, however, he had not the reputation of having. She was
indeed a coquette _achevée_. "Pray, sir," says Adams, "what is a
coquette? I have met with the word in French authors, but never could
assign any idea to it. I believe it is the same with _une sotte,_
Anglicè, a fool." Sir, answered the gentleman, perhaps you are not much
mistaken; but, as it is a particular kind of folly, I will endeavour to
describe it. Were all creatures to be ranked in the order of creation
according to their usefulness, I know few animals that would not take
place of a coquette; nor indeed hath this creature much pretence to
anything beyond instinct; for, though sometimes we might imagine it was
animated by the passion of vanity, yet far the greater part of its
actions fall beneath even that low motive; for instance, several absurd
gestures and tricks, infinitely more foolish than what can be observed
in the most ridiculous birds and beasts, and which would persuade the
beholder that the silly wretch was aiming at our contempt. Indeed its
characteristic is affectation, and this led and governed by whim only:
for as beauty, wisdom, wit, good-nature, politeness, and health are
sometimes affected by this creature, so are ugliness, folly, nonsense,
ill-nature, ill-breeding, and sickness likewise put on by it in their
turn. Its life is one constant lie; and the only rule by which you can
form any judgment of them is, that they are never what they seem. If it
was possible for a coquette to love (as it is not, for if ever it
attains this passion the coquette ceases instantly), it would wear the
face of indifference, if not of hatred, to the beloved object; you may
therefore be assured, when they endeavour to persuade you of their
liking, that they are indifferent to you at least. And indeed this was
the case of my Sapphira, who no sooner saw me in the number of her
admirers than she gave me what is commonly called encouragement: she
would often look at me, and, when she perceived me meet her eyes, would
instantly take them off, discovering at the same time as much surprize
and emotion as possible. These arts failed not of the success she
intended; and, as I grew more particular to her than the rest of her
admirers, she advanced, in proportion, more directly to me than to the
others. She affected the low voice, whisper, lisp, sigh, start, laugh,
and many other indications of passion which daily deceive thousands.
When I played at whist with her, she would look earnestly at me, and at
the same time lose deal or revoke; then burst into a ridiculous laugh
and cry, "La! I can't imagine what I was thinking of." To detain you no
longer, after I had gone through a sufficient course of gallantry, as I
thought, and was thoroughly convinced I had raised a violent passion in
my mistress, I sought an opportunity of coming to an eclaircissement
with her. She avoided this as much as possible; however, great assiduity
at length presented me one. I will not describe all the particulars of
this interview; let it suffice that, when she could no longer pretend
not to see my drift, she first affected a violent surprize, and
immediately after as violent a passion: she wondered what I had seen in
her conduct which could induce me to affront her in this manner; and,
breaking from me the first moment she could, told me I had no other way
to escape the consequence of her resentment than by never seeing, or at
least speaking to her more. I was not contented with this answer; I
still pursued her, but to no purpose; and was at length convinced that
her husband had the sole possession of her person, and that neither he
nor any other had made any impression on her heart. I was taken off from
following this _ignis fatuus_ by some advances which were made me by the
wife of a citizen, who, though neither very young nor handsome, was yet
too agreeable to be rejected by my amorous constitution. I accordingly
soon satisfied her that she had not cast away her hints on a barren or
cold soil: on the contrary, they instantly produced her an eager and
desiring lover. Nor did she give me any reason to complain; she met the
warmth she had raised with equal ardour. I had no longer a coquette to
deal with, but one who was wiser than to prostitute the noble passion of
love to the ridiculous lust of vanity. We presently understood one
another; and, as the pleasures we sought lay in a mutual gratification,
we soon found and enjoyed them. I thought myself at first greatly happy
in the possession of this new mistress, whose fondness would have
quickly surfeited a more sickly appetite; but it had a different effect
on mine: she carried my passion higher by it than youth or beauty had
been able. But my happiness could not long continue uninterrupted. The
apprehensions we lay under from the jealousy of her husband gave us
great uneasiness. "Poor wretch! I pity him," cried Adams. He did indeed
deserve it, said the gentleman; for he loved his wife with great
tenderness; and, I assure you, it is a great satisfaction to me that I
was not the man who first seduced her affections from him. These
apprehensions appeared also too well grounded, for in the end he
discovered us, and procured witnesses of our caresses. He then
prosecuted me at law, and recovered £3000 damages, which much distressed
my fortune to pay; and, what was worse, his wife, being divorced, came
upon my hands. I led a very uneasy life with her; for, besides that my
passion was now much abated, her excessive jealousy was very
troublesome. At length death rid me of an inconvenience which the
consideration of my having been the author of her misfortunes would
never suffer me to take any other method of discarding.

I now bad adieu to love, and resolved to pursue other less dangerous and
expensive pleasures. I fell into the acquaintance of a set of jolly
companions, who slept all day and drank all night; fellows who might
rather be said to consume time than to live. Their best conversation was
nothing but noise: singing, hollowing, wrangling, drinking, toasting,
sp--wing, smoaking were the chief ingredients of our entertainment. And
yet, bad as these were, they were more tolerable than our graver scenes,
which were either excessive tedious narratives of dull common matters of
fact, or hot disputes about trifling matters, which commonly ended in a
wager. This way of life the first serious reflection put a period to;
and I became member of a club frequented by young men of great
abilities. The bottle was now only called in to the assistance of our
conversation, which rolled on the deepest points of philosophy. These
gentlemen were engaged in a search after truth, in the pursuit of which
they threw aside all the prejudices of education, and governed
themselves only by the infallible guide of human reason. This great
guide, after having shown them the falsehood of that very ancient but
simple tenet, that there is such a being as a Deity in the universe,
helped them to establish in his stead a certain rule of right, by
adhering to which they all arrived at the utmost purity of morals.
Reflection made me as much delighted with this society as it had taught
me to despise and detest the former. I began now to esteem myself a
being of a higher order than I had ever before conceived; and was the
more charmed with this rule of right, as I really found in my own nature
nothing repugnant to it. I held in utter contempt all persons who wanted
any other inducement to virtue besides her intrinsic beauty and
excellence; and had so high an opinion of my present companions, with
regard to their morality, that I would have trusted them with whatever
was nearest and dearest to me. Whilst I was engaged in this delightful
dream, two or three accidents happened successively, which at first much
surprized me;--for one of our greatest philosophers, or rule-of-right
men, withdrew himself from us, taking with him the wife of one of his
most intimate friends. Secondly, another of the same society left the
club without remembering to take leave of his bail. A third, having
borrowed a sum of money of me, for which I received no security, when I
asked him to repay it, absolutely denied the loan. These several
practices, so inconsistent with our golden rule, made me begin to
suspect its infallibility; but when I communicated my thoughts to one of
the club, he said, "There was nothing absolutely good or evil in itself;
that actions were denominated good or bad by the circumstances of the
agent. That possibly the man who ran away with his neighbour's wife
might be one of very good inclinations, but over-prevailed on by the
violence of an unruly passion; and, in other particulars, might be a
very worthy member of society; that if the beauty of any woman created
in him an uneasiness, he had a right from nature to relieve
himself;"--with many other things, which I then detested so much, that I
took leave of the society that very evening and never returned to it
again. Being now reduced to a state of solitude which I did not like, I
became a great frequenter of the playhouses, which indeed was always my
favourite diversion; and most evenings passed away two or three hours
behind the scenes, where I met with several poets, with whom I made
engagements at the taverns. Some of the players were likewise of our
parties. At these meetings we were generally entertained by the poets
with reading their performances, and by the players with repeating their
parts: upon which occasions, I observed the gentleman who furnished our
entertainment was commonly the best pleased of the company; who, though
they were pretty civil to him to his face, seldom failed to take the
first opportunity of his absence to ridicule him. Now I made some
remarks which probably are too obvious to be worth relating. "Sir," says
Adams, "your remarks if you please." First then, says he, I concluded
that the general observation, that wits are most inclined to vanity, is
not true. Men are equally vain of riches, strength, beauty, honours, &c.
But these appear of themselves to the eyes of the beholders, whereas the
poor wit is obliged to produce his performance to show you his
perfection; and on his readiness to do this that vulgar opinion I have
before mentioned is grounded; but doth not the person who expends vast
sums in the furniture of his house or the ornaments of his person, who
consumes much time and employs great pains in dressing himself, or who
thinks himself paid for self-denial, labour, or even villany, by a title
or a ribbon, sacrifice as much to vanity as the poor wit who is desirous
to read you his poem or his play? My second remark was, that vanity is
the worst of passions, and more apt to contaminate the mind than any
other: for, as selfishness is much more general than we please to allow
it, so it is natural to hate and envy those who stand between us and the
good we desire. Now, in lust and ambition these are few; and even in
avarice we find many who are no obstacles to our pursuits; but the vain
man seeks pre-eminence; and everything which is excellent or
praiseworthy in another renders him the mark of his antipathy. Adams now
began to fumble in his pockets, and soon cried out, "O la! I have it not
about me." Upon this, the gentleman asking him what he was searching
for, he said he searched after a sermon, which he thought his
masterpiece, against vanity. "Fie upon it, fie upon it!" cries he, "why
do I ever leave that sermon out of my pocket? I wish it was within five
miles; I would willingly fetch it, to read it you." The gentleman
answered that there was no need, for he was cured of the passion. "And
for that very reason," quoth Adams, "I would read it, for I am confident
you would admire it: indeed, I have never been a greater enemy to any
passion than that silly one of vanity." The gentleman smiled, and
proceeded--From this society I easily passed to that of the gamesters,
where nothing remarkable happened but the finishing my fortune, which
those gentlemen soon helped me to the end of. This opened scenes of life
hitherto unknown; poverty and distress, with their horrid train of duns,
attorneys, bailiffs, haunted me day and night. My clothes grew shabby,
my credit bad, my friends and acquaintance of all kinds cold. In this
situation the strangest thought imaginable came into my head; and what
was this but to write a play? for I had sufficient leisure: fear of
bailiffs confined me every day to my room: and, having always had a
little inclination and something of a genius that way, I set myself to
work, and within a few months produced a piece of five acts, which was
accepted of at the theatre. I remembered to have formerly taken tickets
of other poets for their benefits, long before the appearance of their
performances; and, resolving to follow a precedent which was so well
suited to my present circumstances, I immediately provided myself with a
large number of little papers. Happy indeed would be the state of
poetry, would these tickets pass current at the bakehouse, the
ale-house, and the chandler's shop: but alas! far otherwise; no taylor
will take them in payment for buckram, canvas, stay-tape; nor no bailiff
for civility money. They are, indeed, no more than a passport to beg
with; a certificate that the owner wants five shillings, which induces
well-disposed Christians to charity. I now experienced what is worse
than poverty, or rather what is the worst consequence of poverty--I mean
attendance and dependance on the great. Many a morning have I waited
hours in the cold parlours of men of quality; where, after seeing the
lowest rascals in lace and embroidery, the pimps and buffoons in
fashion, admitted, I have been sometimes told, on sending in my name,
that my lord could not possibly see me this morning; a sufficient
assurance that I should never more get entrance into that house.
Sometimes I have been at last admitted; and the great man hath thought
proper to excuse himself, by telling me he was tied up. "Tied up," says
Adams, "pray what's that?" Sir, says the gentleman, the profit which
booksellers allowed authors for the best works was so very small, that
certain men of birth and fortune some years ago, who were the patrons of
wit and learning, thought fit to encourage them farther by entering into
voluntary subscriptions for their encouragement. Thus Prior, Rowe, Pope,
and some other men of genius, received large sums for their labours from
the public. This seemed so easy a method of getting money, that many of
the lowest scribblers of the times ventured to publish their works in
the same way; and many had the assurance to take in subscriptions for
what was not writ, nor ever intended. Subscriptions in this manner
growing infinite, and a kind of tax on the publick, some persons,
finding it not so easy a task to discern good from bad authors, or to
know what genius was worthy encouragement and what was not, to prevent
the expense of subscribing to so many, invented a method to excuse
themselves from all subscriptions whatever; and this was to receive a
small sum of money in consideration of giving a large one if ever they
subscribed; which many have done, and many more have pretended to have
done, in order to silence all solicitation. The same method was likewise
taken with playhouse tickets, which were no less a public grievance; and
this is what they call being tied up from subscribing. "I can't say but
the term is apt enough, and somewhat typical," said Adams; "for a man of
large fortune, who ties himself up, as you call it, from the
encouragement of men of merit, ought to be tied up in reality." Well,
sir, says the gentleman, to return to my story. Sometimes I have
received a guinea from a man of quality, given with as ill a grace as
alms are generally to the meanest beggar; and purchased too with as much
time spent in attendance as, if it had been spent in honest industry,
might have brought me more profit with infinitely more satisfaction.
After about two months spent in this disagreeable way, with the utmost
mortification, when I was pluming my hopes on the prospect of a
plentiful harvest from my play, upon applying to the prompter to know
when it came into rehearsal, he informed me he had received orders from
the managers to return me the play again, for that they could not
possibly act it that season; but, if I would take it and revise it
against the next, they would be glad to see it again. I snatched it from
him with great indignation, and retired to my room, where I threw myself
on the bed in a fit of despair. "You should rather have thrown yourself
on your knees," says Adams, "for despair is sinful." As soon, continued
the gentleman, as I had indulged the first tumult of my passion, I began
to consider coolly what course I should take, in a situation without
friends, money, credit, or reputation of any kind. After revolving many
things in my mind, I could see no other possibility of furnishing myself
with the miserable necessaries of life than to retire to a garret near
the Temple, and commence hackney-writer to the lawyers, for which I was
well qualified, being an excellent penman. This purpose I resolved on,
and immediately put it in execution. I had an acquaintance with an
attorney who had formerly transacted affairs for me, and to him I
applied; but, instead of furnishing me with any business, he laughed at
my undertaking, and told me, "He was afraid I should turn his deeds into
plays, and he should expect to see them on the stage." Not to tire you
with instances of this kind from others, I found that Plato himself did
not hold poets in greater abhorrence than these men of business do.
Whenever I durst venture to a coffeehouse, which was on Sundays only, a
whisper ran round the room, which was constantly attended with a
sneer--That's poet Wilson; for I know not whether you have observed it,
but there is a malignity in the nature of man, which, when not weeded
out, or at least covered by a good education and politeness, delights in
making another uneasy or dissatisfied with himself. This abundantly
appears in all assemblies, except those which are filled by people of
fashion, and especially among the younger people of both sexes whose
birth and fortunes place them just without the polite circles; I mean
the lower class of the gentry, and the higher of the mercantile world,


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