Friday, February 12, 2010

Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews

Henry Fielding, Josepeh Andrews, Ed. Martin C. Battestin, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1961

…from the rude and often hilarious conjunction of Richardson’s feminine sensibilities and Fieldint’s robust masculinity, the modern novel was born. (v)

Whereas Fielding was tall and hale, with a lusty, open-hearted zest for life and a sharpness of vision that could penetrate its masks and gaudy surfaces, Richardson was short and round in stature, shy and fastidious and a little inclined to a quiet pomposity. He preferred the salon and the society of the ladies, whose hearts he understood (or so they liked to think) better than they did themselves. (v)

…at the tender age of ten he had written an anonymous letter to an elderly widow castigating her for being malicious gossip; and at thirteen he had taken to “ghost-writing” the love notes of the older girls of the neighborhood. (vi)

At times, indeed, as in Pamlea’s accounts of Mr. B.’s fruitless attempts to ravish her in her bed, the narrative becomes almost too vivid for comfort: it was all doubtless done, as Richardson impatiently insisted, in the cause of morality, but he had managed to evoke his scenes so graphically that he had teased and titillated his readers as much as he had chastened them. (vii)

In the country the villagers of Slough gathered at the smithy to hear her story read aloud, and they communally celebrated her marriage by ringing the church bells. “Like the snow, that lay last week, upon the earth all her products,” Richardson’s friend, Aaron Hill, wrote to the author not two months after the novel had appeared, “[Pamela] covers other image, with her own unbounded whiteness.” It was this claim—the “whiteness,” the moral purity, of Richardson’s Henry Fielding. Even the clergy, the custodians of the public morality, were broadcasting their approval: there was, for example, the exasperating case of Dr. Benjamin Slocock, who sounded Pamela’s praises from the pulpit of St. Saviour’s, Southwark, as if, it must have seemed to Fielding, Richardson had written not a mere romance after all, but another book of Scripture. And Alexander Pope, England’s greatest living poet and a man from who he might have expected better sense, had also been taken in by Pamlea’s “virtue”: the novel, he was reported about town as saying, “will do more good than many volumes of sermons.” (vii)

To Fielding, London had gone wild over an egregiously bad and pretentious book—a book morally contemptible and technically incompetent… Later, in 1748, Fielding would write his rival a warm and generous letter praising Clarissa, but Pamela was another matter entirely. It was bad morality and bad art. (x)

…so Shamela—her pen, even in bed, never out of hand—tells her story in the same epistolary fashion, but eschewing (with a vengeance!) her rival’s delicacy of phrase. (xii)

…by taking a hostile and sardonic view of Richardson’s triumphant virgin, seeing her chastity (so wonderfully profitable to her!) as artful rather than innocent. (xii)

Delighted to catch the prude staging a peep show, Fielding has turned Richardson’s drama into a bawdy game of cat and mouse—exchanging only the identity of the predator! Worst of all, of course, was the naïve moral assumption that underlies the novel and glares forth garishly from the subtitle: the notion that virtue is rewarded, not in the Christian here-after, but in the here and now, and with pounds and social position—a comfortable doctrine, Fielding observed in Tom Jones, “to which we have but one objection, namely, that it is not true.” A morality based on such mercenary motives was a kind of prostitution masquerading as virtuousness. (xiii)

In the midst of these distressing circumstances—in debt and neglected by his former friends among the Patriots, his wife ill and his daughter dying—Fielding late in 1741 labored, with incredible detachment, to write the first masterful comic novel in English: namely, Joseph Andrews. (xvii-xviii)

With one or two deliberate exceptions, such as Joseph’s two letters to his sister, there is no attempt to mimic the manner and style of Richardson’s book. Throughout the novel, Fielding speaks in his own voice. (xviii)

In Dr. Johnson’s Rasselas, Imlac, speaking from similar principles, insists that the poet’s business is “to remark general properties and large appearances,” not to “number the streaks of the tulip.” Thus Ben Jonson in his “humors” comedies will make a Volpone the very incarnation of avarice, and Hogarth’s rake will sum up his own kind. With the exception of the supreme achievement of Parson Adams, who is too much himself to stand for anyone else, all the characters in Joseph Andrews illustrate Fielding’s declaration: “I describe not men, but manners; not an individual, but a species.” …essential symbolic truth, stripped of the distracting camouflage that normally conceals it comfortably from our eyes, a truth that is more real, basically, than what daily passes by the name of reality. The apprehension and communication of this truth is one of the special functions of the artist. It is perhaps among the things that Fielding had in mind when he insisted that he was copying nature exactly. (xxi)

…Fielding, too, was concerned with the good man, his own views of human nature and morality closely reflecting the Pelagian doctrine of the latitudinarian divines whose works he read with care and admiration. Central to his definition of the moral man is his own version of a familiar benevolist concept: that of “good nature.” This, indeed, life and humanity to Heartfree, Tom Jones, Squire Allworthy, Captain Booth, Doctor Harrison, and, pre-eminantly, to Parson Adams. Basically, in contradiction of Hobbes and Calvinists, good nature is an innate predisposition to virtue—a full, innocent, open heart that responds empathically to the joys and griefs of mankind, and this so strongly that it impels us to translate sentiment into action, love into charity. (xxv)

…Fielding was not so naïve as to suppose that good nature is characteristic of the generality of men. It is a rare flower “that only grown in soils almost divine”; the saints of this world never abound. Like Alexander Pope, Fielding subscribed to the theory of a predominant passion to account for inherent differences among men: the avarice of Peter Pounce, for example, … (xxvi)

But Parson Adams is the supreme achievement of the novel, the best character that Fielding ever created and among the most memorable in any literature. (xxxii)

Now, a comic romance… differs from the serious romance in its fable and action, in this; that as in the one these are grave and solemn, so in the other they are light and ridiculous: it differs in its characters by introducing person of inferior rank, and consequently, of inferior manners, whereas the grave romance sets the highest before us: lastly, in its sentiments and diction, by preserving the ludicrous instead of the sublime. (Author’s Preface, 7-8)

…comic writer should of all others be the least excused for deviating from nature, since it may not be always so easy for a serious poet to meet with the great and admirable; but life everywhere furnishes an accurate observer with the ridiculous. (8)

As to the character of Adams, as it is the most glaring in the whole, so I conceive it is not to be found in any book now extant. It is designed a character of perfect simplicity; and as the goodness of his heart will recommend him to the good-natured, so I hope it will excuse me to the gentlemen of his cloth; for whom, while they are worthy of their sacred order, no man can possibly have a greater respect. They will therefore excuse me, notwithstanding the low adventures in which he is engaged, that I have made him a clergyman; since no other office could have given him so many opportunities of displaying his worthy inclinations. (Author’s Preface, 12)

It is a trite but true observation, that examples work more forcibly on the mind than precepts: and if this be just in what is odious and blameable, it is more strongly so in what is amiable and praiseworthy. (Opening Sentence, 13) … A good man therefore is a standing lesson to all his acquaintance, and of far greater use in that narrow circle than a good book. / But as it often happens that the best men are but little known, …the writer may be called in aid to spread the history father, … and so, … he may perhaps do a more extensive service to mankind than the person whose life originally afforded the pattern. (13)

I shall only add that this character of male chastity, though doubtless as desirable and becoming in one part of the human species as in the other, is almost the only virtue which the great Apologist hath not given himself for the sake of giving the example to his readers. [alerts us that an autobiographer may instruct us in the error of a certain way, whether he has made the error or not, and so there might be other reasons for deciding whether to err, like how practical is the moral error or how much fun it is.] (14)

And to his ancestors, we have searched with great diligence, but little success; being unable to trace them father than his great-grandfather, who, as an elderly person in the parish remembers to have heard his father say, was an excellent cudgel-player. Whether he had any ancestors before this, we must leave to the opinion of our curious reader, finding nothing of sufficient certainty to rely on. (15)

Stay, traveler, for underneath this pew
Lies fast asleep that merry man Andrew;
When the last day’s great sun shall gild the skies,
Then he shall from his tomb get up and rise.
Be merry while thou cast: for surely thou
Shalt shortly be as sad as he is now. (15)

…the young Andrews was at first employed in what the country they call “keeping birds.” …his voice being so extremely musical, that it rather allured the birds than terrified them, he was soon transplanted from the fields into the dog-kennel, where he was placed under the huntsman, and made what sportsmen term a “whipper-in.” For this place likewise the sweetness of his voice disqualified him; the dogs preferring the melody of his chiding to all the alluring notes of the huntsman… (15-16)

It was this gentleman, who having, as I have said, observed the singular devotion of young Andrews, had found means to question him concerning several particulars; as, how many books there were in the New Testament? which were they? How many chapters they contained? and such like; to all which, Mr. Adams privately said, he answered much better than Sir Thomas. (17)

…ever since he was in Sir Thomas’s family, he had employed all his hours of leisure in reading good books, that he had read the Bible, the Whole Duty of Man, and Thomas a Kempis; and that as often as he could, without being perceived, he had studied a great good book which lay open in the hall window, where he had read, “as how the devil carried away half a church in sermon-time… (18)

Mrs. Slipslop, the waiting-gentlewoman, being herself the daughter of a curate, preserved some respect for Adams: she professed great regard for his learning, and would frequently dispute with him on points of theology; but always insisted on a deference to be paid to her understanding, as she had been frequently at London, and knew more of the world than a country parson could pretend to. (19)

His lady, who had often said of him that Joey was the hand-somest and genteelest footman in the kingdom, but that it was pity he wanted spirit, began now to find that fault no longer; on the contrary, she was frequently head to cry out, “Ay, there is some life in this fellow.” She plainly saw the effects which the town-air hath on the soberest constitutions. (20)

At this time, an accident happened which put a stop to those agreeable walks, which probably would have soon puffed up the cheeks of Fame, and caused her to blow her brazen trumpet htrough the town; and this was no other than the death of Sir Thomas Booby, who, departing this life, left his disconsolate lady confined to her house, as closely as if she herself had been attacked by some violent disease. During the first six days the poor lady admitted none but Mrs. Slipslop, and three female ordered Joey, whom, for a good reason, we shall hereafter call JOSEPH, to bring up her tea-kettle. (22)

Mrs. Slipslop…She was not at this time remarkably handsome; being very short, and rather too corpulent in body, and somewhat red, with the addition of pimples in the face. Her nose was likewise rather too large, and her eyes too little; nor did she resemble a cow so much in her breath, as in two brown globes which she carried before her; one of her legs was also a little shorter than the other, which occasioned her to limp as she walked. This fair creature had long cast the eyes of affection on Joseph, … (25)

It is the observation of some ancient sage, whose name I have forgot, that passions operate differently on the human mind, as disease on the body, in proportion to the strength or weakness, soundness or rottenness, of the one and the other. (27)

“there is Betty the chamber-maid, I am almost convicted, is with child by him.”—“Ay!” says the lady, “then pray pay her her wages instantly. I will keep no such sluts in my family. (28)

Nay, the ladies themselves will, we hope, be induced, by considering the uncommon variety of charms which united in this young man’s person, to bridle their rampant passion for chastity… (30)

…and she often pulled him to her breast with a soft pressure, which, though perhaps it would not have squeezed an insect to death, caused more emotion in the heart of Joseph than the closest Cornish hug could have done. (40)

Timotheus, observing his livery, began to condole the loss of his master; who was, he said, his very particular and intimate acquaintance, with whom he had cracked many a merry bottle, ay many a dozen, in his time. He then remarked, that all those things were over now, all past, and just as if they had never been; and concluded with an excellent observation on the certainty of death… (41)

As wit is generally observed to love to reside in empty pockets, so the gentlemen whose ingenuity we have above remarked, as soon as he had parted with his money, began to grow wonderfully facetious. He made frequent allusions to Adam and Eve, and said many excellent things on figs, fig-leaves; (44)

…the surgeon, who was more than half drest, apprehending that the coach had been overturned and some gentleman or lady hurt. As soon as the wench had informed him at his window that it wa a poor foot-passenger who had been stripped of all he had, and almost murdered, he chid her for disturbing him so early, slipped off his clothes again… (45)

…the maid entered the room. “Who’s there? Betty?” “Yes, madam.” “Where’s your master?” “He’s without, madam; he hath sent me for a shirt to lend a poor naked man, who hath been robbed and murdered.” “Touch one, if you dare, you slut,” said Mrs. Tow-wouse; “your master is a pretty sort of a man to take in naked vagabonds, and clothe them with him own clothes. (46)

…he scare saw any hopes of his recovery.—“Here’s a pretty kettle of fish,” cries Mrs. Tow-wouse, “you have brought upon us! (46)

Adams informed Joseph of the occasion of this journey which he was making to London, namely, to publish three volumes of sermons; being encouraged, he said, by an advertisement lately set forth by a society of booksellers, who proposed to purchase any copies offered to them, at a price to be settled by two persons; (55)

…quoth the surgeon: “what can they be writ upon? I remember, when I was a boy, I used to read one Tillotson’s sermons; and, I am sure, if a man practiced half so much as is in one of those sermons, he will go to heaven.” “Doctor,” cried Barnabas, “you have a profane way of talking, for which I must reprove you. A man can never have his duty too frequently inculcated into him. And as for Tillotson, to be sure he was a good writer, and said things very well: but comparisons are odious; another man may write as well as he. (63)

“Sir, I do not care absolutely to deny engaging in what my friend Mr. Barnabas recommends; but sermons are mere drugs. The trade is so vastly stocked with them, that really, unless they come out with the name of Whitfield or Wesley, or some other such great man, as a bishop, or those sort of people, I don’t care to touch; unless now it was a sermon preached on the ‘30th of January,’ or we could say in the title-page, published at the ‘earnest requirement’ of the congregation, or the inhabitants; but, truly, for a dry piece of sermons, I had rather be excused. (66)

“Sir,” answered Adams, “if Mr. Whitfield had carried his doctrine no farther than you mention, I should have remained, as I once was, his well-wisher. I am, myself, as great an enemy to the luxury and splendour of the clergy as he can be. … For can anything be more derogatory to the honour of God than for men to imagine that the all-wise Being will hereafter say to the good and virtuous, ‘Notwithstanding the purity of thy life, notwithstanding that constant rule of the virtue and goodness in which you walked upon earth, still, as thou didst not believe everything in the true orthodox manner, thy want of faith shall condemn thee’? (67)

Mr. Tow-wouse had for some time cast the languishing eyes of affection on this young maiden. He had laid hold on every opportunity of saying tender tings to her, squeezing her by the hand, and sometimes kissing her lips; for, as the violence of his passion had considerably abated to Mrs. Tow-wouse, so, like water, which is stopt from its usual current in one place, it naturally sought a vent in another. Mrs. Tow-wouse is thought to have perceived this abatement, and probably it added very little to the natural sweetness of her temper; for though she was as true to her husband as the dial to the sun, she was rather more desirous of being shone on, as being more capable of feeling his warmth. (71)… but he called her back, and, taking her by the hand, squeezed her so tenderly, at the pressed her so closely with his kisses, that the vanquished fair one, qhose passions were already raised, and which were not so whimsically capricious that one man only could lay them, though, perhaps, she would have rather preferred that one—the vanquished fair one quietly submitted, I say, to her master’s will, who had just attained the accomplishment of his bliss when Mrs. Tow-wouse unexpectedly entered the room, (72)

How ought man to rejoice that his chastity is always in his own power; that, if he hath sufficient strength of mind, he hath always a competent strength of body to defend himself, and cannot, like a poor weak woman, be ravished against his will! (71)

Secondly, what are the contents prefixed to every chapter but so many inscriptions over the gates of inns (to continue the same metaphor), informing the reader what entertainment he is to expect, which if he likes not, he may travel on to the next; for, in biography, as we are not tied down to an exact concatenation equally with other historians, so a chapter or two (for instance, this I am now writing) may be often passed over without any injury to the whole. And in these inscriptions I have been as faithful as possible, not imitating the celebrated Montaigne, who promises you one thing and gives you another; nor some title-page authors, who promise a great deal and produce nothing at all. (74)

Virgil hath given us his poem in twelve book, an argument of his modesty; for by that, doubtless, he would insinuate that he pretends to no more than half the merit of the Greek; for the same reason, our Milton went originally no farther than ten; till, being puffed up by the praise of his friends, he put himself on the same footing with the Roman poet. (74)

… “to ride and tie” : a method of traveling much used by persons who have but one horse between them, and is thus performed. The two travelers set out together, one on horseback outgoes him on foot, the custom is, that, when he arrives at the distance agreed on, he is to dismount, tie the horse to some gate, tree, post, or other ting, and then proceed on foot; when the other comes up to the horse, he unties him, mounts, and gallops on, … (76)

Leonora was the daughter of a gentleman of fortune; she was tall and well-shaped, with a sprightliness in her countenance which often attracts beyond more regular features joined with an insipid air; nor is this kind of beauty less apt to deceive than allure; the good humour which it indicates being often mistaken for good nature, and the vivacity for true understanding. … she inclined so attentive an ear to every compliment of Horatio, that she often smiled even when it was too delicate for her comprehension. … Leonora, whose fondness for him was now as visible to an indifferent person in their company as his for her. / “I never knew any of these forward sluts come to good” (says the lady who refused Joseph’s entrance into the coach), “nor shall I wonder at anything she doth in the sequel.” (84-85)

…the horse which Mr. Adams had borrowed of his clerk had so violent a propensity to kneeling, that one would have thought it had been his trade as well as his master’s; nor would he always give any notice of such his intention; he was often found on his knees when the rider least expected it. This foible, however, was of no great inconvenience to the parson, who was accustomed to it; and, as his legs almost touched the ground when he bestrode the beast, had but a little way to fall, and threw himself forward on such occasions with so much dexterity that he never received any mischief; (98)

…Adams dealt him so sound a compliment over his face with his fist, that the blood immediately gushed out of his nose in a stream. The host, being unwilling to be outdone in courtesy, especially by a person of Adams’s figure, returned the favour with so much gratitude, that the parson’s nostrils began to look a little redder than usual. (99)

He then went up to Adams, and telling him he looked like the ghost of Othello, bid him “not shake his gory locks at him” (100)

“Yes, and so handsome a young fellow,” cries Slipslop; “the woman must have no compulsion in her; I believe she is more of a Turk than a Christian; I am certain, if she had any Christian woman’s blood in her veins, the sight of such a young fellow must have warmed it. (104)

I am not much traveled in the history of modern times, that is to say, these last thousand years; but those who are can, I make no question, furnish you with parallel instances.” (114)

…nor could she prevent herself from asking a thousand questions, which would have assured but Adams, who never saw farther into people than they desired to let him, of the truth of a passion she endeavoured to conceal. (121-122)

The justice, who was just returned from a fox-chase, and had not yet finished his dinner, ordered them to carry the prisoners into the stable, whither they were attended by all the servants in the house, and all the people in the neighbourhood, who flocked together to see them… The justice, now being in the height of his mirth and his cups, bethought himself of the prisoners; and, telling his company he believed they should have good sport in their examination, he ordered them into his presence. They had no sooner entered the room than he began to revile them, … (122)

They had not gone above a mile before a most violent storm of rain obliged them to take shelter in an inn, or rather alehouse, where Adams immediately procured himself a good fire, a toast and ale, and a pipe, and began to smoke with a great content, utterly forgetting everything that had happened. … She presently engaged the eyes of the host, his wife, the maid of the house, and the young fellow who was their guide; they all conceived they had never seen anything half so handsome: and indeed, reader, if thou art of an amorous hue, I advise thee to skip over the next paragraph; which, to render our history perfect, we are obliged to set down, … Fanny was now in the nineteenth year of her age; she was tall, and delicately shaped; but not one of those slender young women who seem rather intended to hand up in the hall of an anatomist than for any other purpose. On the contrary, she was so plump that she seemed bursting through her tight stays, especially in the part which confined her swelling breasts. Nor did her hips wan the assistance of a hoop to extend them. The exact shape of her arms denoted the form of the limbs which she concealed; and though they were a little reddened by her labour, yet, if her sleeve slipt above her elbow, or her handkerchief discovered any part of her neck, a whiteness appeared which the finest Italian paint would be unable to reach. Her hair was of a chestnut brown, and nature had been extremely lavish to her of it, which she had cut, and on Sundays used to curls down her neck in the modern fashion. Her forehead was high, her eyebrows arched, and rather full than otherwise. Her eyes black and sparkling; her nose just inclining to the opinion of the ladies, too pouting. Her teeth were white, but not exactly even. The small-pox had left one only mark on her chin, … (128-129)

Adams had been ruminating all this time on a passage in Aeschylus, without attending in the least to the voice, though one of the most melodious that every was heard; when, casting his eyes on Fanny, he cried out, “Bless us, you look extremely pale!” “Pale! Mr. Adams,” says she; “O Jesus!” and fell backwards in her chair. Adams jumped up, flung his Aeschylus into the fire, and fell a-roaring to the people of the house for help. … her beloved eyes, and heard her with the softest accent whisper, “Are you Joseph Andrews?” “Art thou my Fanny?” he answered eagerly; and, pulling her to his heart, he imprinted numberless kisses on her lips, without considering who were present. / If prudes are offended at the lusciousness of this picture, they may take their eyes off from it, and survey Parson Adams dancing about the room in a rapture of joy. … he cast his eyes towards the fire, where Aeschylus lay expiring; and immediately rescued the poor remains, to wit, the sheepskin covering, of his dear friend, which was the work of his own covering, of his dear friend, which was the work of his own hands, and had been his inseparable companion for upwards of thirty years. (130-131)

High people signify no other than people of fashion, and low people those of no fashion. …nothing more was originally meant by a person of fashion than a person who drest himself in the fashion of the times; and the word really and truly signifies mo more at this day. (132)

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. (137)

… “knowledge of men is only to be learnt from books; Plato and Seneca for that; (150)

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 irregular pace.” (158)

…I declare here, once for all, I describe not me, but manners; not an individual, but a species. … 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 libeler: (159)

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. (167)

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 gentlemen 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. (168)

In the morning I arose, took my great sick, 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, dressed 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. (172)

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 myelf to my room for a month. At the end of which, having had leisure to reflect, I resolved to quit all further conversation with beaus and smarts f 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 father on such an odious subject, went on thus: I was no sooner perfectly resorted 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. (173)

…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, who are, in reality, the worst-bred part of mankind. (183).

…I had sufficiently seen that the pleasures of the world are chiefly folly, and the business of it mostly knavery; and both nothing better than vanity: the men of pleasure tearing one another to pieces from the emulation of spending money, and men of business from envy in getting it. My happiness consisted entirely in my wife, whom I loved with an inexpressible fondness, which was perfectly returned; and my prospects were no other than to provide for our growing family; … We soon put our small fortune, now reduced under three thousand pounds, into money, with part of which we purchased this little place, whither we retired soon after her delivery, from a world full of bustle, noise, hatred, envy, and ingratitude, to ease, quiet, and love. We have here lived almost twenty years, with little other conversation than our own, most of the neighborhood taking us for very strange people; the squire of the parish representing me as a madman, and the parson as a Presbyterian; because I will not hunt with the one nor drink with the other. … I have the best of wives, the three pretty children, for whom I have the true tenderness of a parent; but no blessings are pure in this world. Within three years of my arrival children, for whom I have the true tenderness of a parent; but no blessings are pure in this world. Within three years of my arrival here I lost my eldest son. (here he sighed bitterly.) “Sir,” says Adams, “we must submit to Providence, and consider death as common to all.” We must submit, indeed, answered the gentleman; and if he had died, I could have borne the loss with patience; but alas! sir, he was stolen away from my door by some wicked traveling people whom they call “gypsies”, nor could I ever, with the most diligent search, recover him. (189)

The beautiful young lady the Morning now rose from her bed, and with a countenance blooming with fresh youth and sprightliness, like Miss ___ (Whoever the reader pleases. –F.), with soft dews hanging on her pouting lips, began to take her early walk over the eastern hills; and presently after, that gallant person the sun stole softly from his wife’s chamber to pay his addresses to her; when the gentlemen asked his guest if he would walk forth and survey his little garden, which he readily agreed to, and Joseph at the same time awaking from a sleep in which he had been two hours buried, went with them. No parterres, no fountains, no statues, embellished this little garden. Its only ornament was a short walk, shaded on each side by a filbert-hedge, with a small alcove at one end, whither in hot weather the gentleman and his wife used to retire, and divert themselves with their children, who played in this little spot, here was variety of fruit and everything useful for the kitchen, … In fair seasons, I seldom pass less than six hours of the twenty-four in this place, where I am not idle; and by these means I have been able to preserve my health ever since my arrival here, without assistance from physic. Hither I generally repair at the dawn, and exercise myself whilst my wife dresses her children and prepares our breakfast; after which we are seldom asunder during the residue of the day; for, when the weather will not permit them to accompany me here, I am usually within with them; for I am neither ashamed of conversing with my wife, nor of playing with my children: to say the truth, I do not perceive that inferiority of understanding which the levity of rakes, the dullness of men of business, or the austerity of the learned, would persuade us of in women. (191)

…quoth Adams, “I prefer a private school, where boys may be kept in innocence and ignorance; for, according to that fine passage in the play of Cato, the only English tragedy I ever read, (195)

Adams continued his subject till they came to one of the beautifullest spots of ground in the universe. It was a kind of natural amphitheatre, formed by the winding of a small rivulet, which was planted with thick woods, and the trees rose gradually… (196)

This is what they commonly call “traveling”; which, with the help of the tutor, who was fixed on to attend him, she easily succeeded in. He made in three years the tour of Europe, as they term it, and returned home well furnished with French clothes, phrases, and servants, with a hearty, contempt for his own country; especially what had any savour of the plain spirit and honesty of our ancestors. (206)

Joke the third was served up by one of the waiting-men, who had been ordered to convey a quantity of gin into Mr. Adams’s ale, which he declaring to be the best liquor he ever drank, but rather too rich of the malt, contributed again to their laughter. (207)

…hunger is better than a French cook. (213)

Hitherto, Fortune seemed to incline the victory on the travellers’ side, when, according to her custom, she began to show the field, or rather chamber, of battle, flew directly at Joseph, and, darting his head into his stomach (for he was a stout fellow, and an expert boxer), almost staggered him, but Joseph, stepping one leg back, did with his left hand so chuck him under the chin that he reeled. The youth was pursuing his blow with his right hand when he received from one of the servants such a stroke with a cudgel on his temples, that it instantly deprived him of sense, and he measured his length on the ground. (219)

“and as to what you believe, or they believe, I care not a fig, no not a fart. (234)

…he zeed Joseph lunging to Layer Scout, and out of the path which ledes thru the said felde, and there he zede Joseph Andrews with a nife cut one hassle-twig, of the value, as he belives, of 3 half pence, or there-abouts; (247)

--I have lost a husband who—but if I should reflect, I should run mad. –My future ease must depend upon forgetfulness. Slipslip, let me hear some of thy nonsense, to turn my thoughts another way. (254)

For my own part, if ever I marry, I am resolved to enter into an agreement with my wife, that in all disputes (especially about trifles) that party who is most convinced they are right shall always surrender the victory: by which means we shall both be forward to give up the cause. (273)

When the church rites were over, Joseph led his blooming bride back to Mr. Booby’s (for the distance was so very little, they did not think proper to use a coach)… Parson Adams demonstrated an appetite surprising, as well as surpassing, everyone present. Indeed the only persons who betrayed any deficiency on this occasion were those on whose account the feast was provided. They pampered their imaginations with the much more exquisite repast which the approach of night promised them; (297)


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