BOOK VIII. CONTAINING ABOUT TWO DAYS.
8. Chapter viii. Jones arrives at Gloucester...
Jones arrives at Gloucester, and goes to the Bell; the character of
that house, and of a petty-fogger which he there meets with.
Mr Jones and Partridge, or Little Benjamin (which epithet of Little
was perhaps given him ironically, he being in reality near six feet
high), having left their last quarters in the manner before described,
travelled on to Gloucester without meeting any adventure worth
Being arrived here, they chose for their house of entertainment the
sign of the Bell, an excellent house indeed, and which I do most
seriously recommend to every reader who shall visit this antient city.
The master of it is brother to the great preacher Whitefield; but is
absolutely untainted with the pernicious principles of Methodism, or
of any other heretical sect. He is indeed a very honest plain man,
and, in my opinion, not likely to create any disturbance either in
church or state. His wife hath, I believe, had much pretension to
beauty, and is still a very fine woman. Her person and deportment
might have made a shining figure in the politest assemblies; but
though she must be conscious of this and many other perfections, she
seems perfectly contented with, and resigned to, that state of life to
which she is called; and this resignation is entirely owing to the
prudence and wisdom of her temper; for she is at present as free from
any Methodistical notions as her husband: I say at present; for she
freely confesses that her brother's documents made at first some
impression upon her, and that she had put herself to the expense of a
long hood, in order to attend the extraordinary emotions of the
Spirit; but having found, during an experiment of three weeks, no
emotions, she says, worth a farthing, she very wisely laid by her
hood, and abandoned the sect. To be concise, she is a very friendly
good-natured woman; and so industrious to oblige, that the guests must
be of a very morose disposition who are not extremely well satisfied
in her house.
Mrs Whitefield happened to be in the yard when Jones and his attendant
marched in. Her sagacity soon discovered in the air of our heroe
something which distinguished him from the vulgar. She ordered her
servants, therefore, immediately to show him into a room, and
presently afterwards invited him to dinner with herself; which
invitation he very thankfully accepted; for indeed much less agreeable
company than that of Mrs Whitefield, and a much worse entertainment
than she had provided, would have been welcome after so long fasting
and so long a walk.