BOOK I. CONTAINING AS MUCH OF THE BIRTH OF THE FOUNDLING AS IS NECESSARY OR PROPER TO ACQUAINT THE READER WITH IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS HISTORY.
9. Chapter ix. Containing matters which will surprize the reader.
Containing matters which will surprize the reader.
Jenny returned home well pleased with the reception she had met with
from Mr Allworthy, whose indulgence to her she industriously made
public; partly perhaps as a sacrifice to her own pride, and partly
from the more prudent motive of reconciling her neighbours to her, and
silencing their clamours.
But though this latter view, if she indeed had it, may appear
reasonable enough, yet the event did not answer her expectation; for
when she was convened before the justice, and it was universally
apprehended that the house of correction would have been her fate,
though some of the young women cryed out "It was good enough for her,"
and diverted themselves with the thoughts of her beating hemp in a
silk gown; yet there were many others who began to pity her condition:
but when it was known in what manner Mr Allworthy had behaved, the
tide turned against her. One said, "I'll assure you, madam hath had
good luck." A second cryed, "See what it is to be a favourite!" A
third, "Ay, this comes of her learning." Every person made some
malicious comment or other on the occasion, and reflected on the
partiality of the justice.
The behaviour of these people may appear impolitic and ungrateful to
the reader, who considers the power and benevolence of Mr Allworthy.
But as to his power, he never used it; and as to his benevolence, he
exerted so much, that he had thereby disobliged all his neighbours;
for it is a secret well known to great men, that, by conferring an
obligation, they do not always procure a friend, but are certain of
creating many enemies.
Jenny was, however, by the care and goodness of Mr Allworthy, soon
removed out of the reach of reproach; when malice being no longer able
to vent its rage on her, began to seek another object of its
bitterness, and this was no less than Mr Allworthy, himself; for a
whisper soon went abroad, that he himself was the father of the