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fered to travel thus about the country; for possibly he may do some mischief. It is pity he was not secured, and sent home to his relations.'
Now some conceits of this kind were likewise lurking in the mind of Partridge: for as he was now persuaded that Jones had run away from Mr. Allworthy, he promised himself the highest rewards, if he could by any means convey him back. But fear of Jones, of whose fierceness and strength he had seen, and indeed felt, some instances, had how. ever represented any such scheme as impossible to be executed, and had discouraged him from apply. ing himself to form any regular plan for the purpose. But no sooner did he hear the sentiments of the exciseman, than he embraced that opportunity of declaring his own, and expressed a hearty wish that such a matter could be brought about.
Could be brought about!' says the exciseman; why, there is nothing easier.'
Ah! sir,' answered Partridge; you don't know what a devil of a fellow he is. He can take me up with one hand, and throw me out at a window; and he would too, if he did but imagine---'
Pugh! says the exciseman, I believe I am as good a man as he. Besides here are five of us.'
I don't know what five,' cries the landlady, my husband shall have nothing to do in it. Nor shall any violent hands be laid upon any body in my house. The young gentleman is as pretty a young gentleman as ever I saw in my life, and I believe he is no more mad than any of us. What do you tell of his having a wild look with his eyes? they are the prettiest eyes I ever saw, and he hath the prettiest look with them; and a very modest civil young man he is. I am sure I have bepitied him heartily ever since the gentleman there in the corner told us he was crossed in love. Certainly that is enough to make any man, especially such a sweet young gentleman as he is, to look a little otherwise than he did before. Lady, indeed! what the devil
would the lady have better than such a handsome man with a great estate? I suppose she is one of your quality folks, one of your Townly ladies that we saw last night in the puppet-show, who don't know what they would be at.'
The attorney's clerk likewise declared he would have no concern in the business, without the advice of counsel, Suppose,' says he, an action of false imprisonment should be brought against us, what defence could we make? Who knows what may be sufficient evidence of madness to a jury? But I only speak upon my own account; for it don't look well for a lawyer to be concerned in these matters, unless it be as a lawyer. Juries are always less favourable to us than to other people. I don't therefore dissuade you, Mr. Thompson' (to the exciseman), nor the gentleman, nor any body else.'
The exciseman shook his head at this speech, and the puppet-show man said, Madness was sometimes a difficult matter for a jury to decide: for I remem ber,' says he, I was once present at a trial of madness, where twenty witnesses swore that the person was as mad as a March hare; and twenty others, that he was as much in his senses, as any man in England.And indeed it was the opinion of most people, that it was only a trick of his relations to rob the poor man of his right.'
Very likely!' cries the landlady. knew a poor gentleman who was kept in a madhouse all his life by his family, and they enjoyed his estate; but it did them no good: for though the law gave it them, it was the right of another.'
Pugh' cries the clerk, with great contempt, who hath any right but what the law gives them? If the law gave me the best estate in the country, I should never trouble myself much who had the right.'
If it be so,' says Partridge, Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum.'
My landlord, who had been called out by the
arrival of a horseman at the gate, now returned into the kitchen, and with an affrighted countenance cried out, What do you think, gentlemen? The rebels have given the duke the slip, and are got almost to London. It is certainly true; for a man on horseback just now told me so."
I am glad of it with all my heart,' cries Partridge; then there will be no fighting in these parts.'
I am glad', cries the clerk, for a better reason; for I would always have right take place."
Ay, but,' answered the landlord, I have heard some people say this man hath no right.'
I will prove the contrary in a moment,' cries the clerk; if my father dies seised of a right; do you mind me, seised of a right, I say; doth not that right descend to his son; and doth not one right descend as well as another?"
But how can he have any right to make us papishes?" says the landlord.
Never fear that,' cries Partridge. As to the matter of right, the gentleman there hath proved it as clear as the sun; and as to the matter of religion, it is quite out of the case. The papists themselves don't expect any such thing. A popish priest, whom I know very well, and who is a very honest man, told me upon his word and honour they had no such design.'
And another priest, of my acquaintance,' said the landlady, hath told me the same thing. But my husband is always so afraid of papishes. I know a great many papishes that are very honest sort of people, and spend their money very freely; and it is always a maxim with me, that one man's money is as good as another's.'
Very true, mistress,' said the puppet-show man ; I don't care what religion comes, provided the presbyterians are not uppermost; for they are enemies to puppet-shows."
And so you would sacrifice your religion to your
interest,' cries the exciseman; and are desirous to see popery brought in, are you?"
Not I, truly,' answered the other; I hate popery as much as any man; but yet it is a comfort to one, that one should be able to live under it, which I could not do among presbyterians. To be sure every man values his livelihood first; that must be granted; and I warrant, if you would confess the truth, you are more afraid of losing your place than any thing else; but never fear, friend, there will be an excise under another government as well as under this.'
Why, certainly,' replied the exciseman, 'I should be a very ill, man, if I did not honour the king, whose bread I eat. That is no more than natural, as a man may say: for what signifies it to me that there would be an excise-office under another government, since my friends would be out, and I could expect no better than to follow them? No, no, friend, I shall never be bubbled out of my reli gion, in hopes only of keeping my place under another government; for I should certainly be no better, and very probably might be worse.'
Why, that is what I say,' cries the landlord, whenever folks say who knows what may happen? Odsooks! should I not be a blockhead to lend my money to I know not who, because mayhap he may return it again? I am sure it is safe in my own bureau, and there I will keep it.'
The attorney's clerk had taken a great fancy to the sagacity of Partridge. Whether this proceeded from the great discernment of which the former had into men, as well as things, or whether it arose. from the sympathy between their minds; for they were both truly Jacobites in principle: they now shook hands heartily, and drank bumpers of strong beer to healths which we think proper to bury in oblivion.
These healths were afterwards pledged by all sent, and even by my landlord himself, though
reluctantly; but he could not withstand the menaces of the clerk, who swore he would never set his foot within his house again if he refused. The bumpers which were swallowed on this occasion, soon put an end to the conversation. Here, therefore, we will put an end to the chapter.
S there is no wholesomer, so perhaps there are few stronger, sleeping potions than fatigue. Of this Jones might be said to have taken a very large dose, and it operated very forcibly upon him. He had already slept nine hours, and might, perhaps, have slept longer, had he not been awakened by a most violent noise at his chamber door, where the sound of many heavy blows was accompanied with many exclamations of murder. Jones presently leaped from his bed, where he found the master of the puppet-show belabouring the back and ribs of his poor Merry-Andrew, without either mercy or
Jones instantly interposed on behalf of the suf fering party, and pinned the insulting conqueror up to the wall: for the puppet-show man was no more able to contend with Jones, than the poor party. coloured jester had been to contend with this puppet-man.
But though the Merry-Andrew was a little fellow, and not very strong, he had, nevertheless, some choler about him. He, therefore, no sooner found. himself delivered from the enemy, than he began to attack him with the only weapon at which he was his equal. From this he first discharged a volley of general abusive words, and thence proceeded to some particular accusations- D--n your
bld, you rascal,' says he, I have not only supported you (for to me you owe all the money you