BOOK XIV. CONTAINING TWO DAYS.
8. Chapter viii. What passed between Jones and old Mr Nightingale...
The reader will, I fancy, allow that Fortune could not have culled out
a more improper person for Mr Jones to attack with any probability of
success; nor could the whimsical lady have directed this attack at a
more unseasonable time.
As money then was always uppermost in this gentleman's thoughts, so
the moment he saw a stranger within his doors it immediately occurred
to his imagination, that such stranger was either come to bring him
money, or to fetch it from him. And according as one or other of these
thoughts prevailed, he conceived a favourable or unfavourable idea of
the person who approached him.
Unluckily for Jones, the latter of these was the ascendant at present;
for as a young gentleman had visited him the day before, with a bill
from his son for a play debt, he apprehended, at the first sight of
Jones, that he was come on such another errand. Jones therefore had no
sooner told him that he was come on his son's account than the old
gentleman, being confirmed in his suspicion, burst forth into an
exclamation, "That he would lose his labour." "Is it then possible,
sir," answered Jones, "that you can guess my business?" "If I do guess
it," replied the other, "I repeat again to you, you will lose your
labour. What, I suppose you are one of those sparks who lead my son
into all those scenes of riot and debauchery, which will be his
destruction? but I shall pay no more of his bills, I promise you. I
expect he will quit all such company for the future. If I had imagined
otherwise, I should not have provided a wife for him; for I would be
instrumental in the ruin of nobody." "How, sir," said Jones, "and was
this lady of your providing?" "Pray, sir," answered the old gentleman,
"how comes it to be any concern of yours?"--"Nay, dear sir," replied
Jones, "be not offended that I interest myself in what regards your
son's happiness, for whom I have so great an honour and value. It was
upon that very account I came to wait upon you. I can't express the
satisfaction you have given me by what you say; for I do assure you
your son is a person for whom I have the highest honour.--Nay, sir, it
is not easy to express the esteem I have for you; who could be so
generous, so good, so kind, so indulgent to provide such a match for
your son; a woman, who, I dare swear, will make him one of the
happiest men upon earth."