BOOK XVIII. CONTAINING ABOUT SIX DAYS.
2. Chapter ii. Containing a very tragical incident.
"Sure," cries Jones, "Fortune will never have done with me till she
hath driven me to distraction. But why do I blame Fortune? I am myself
the cause of all my misery. All the dreadful mischiefs which have
befallen me are the consequences only of my own folly and vice. What
thou hast told me, Partridge, hath almost deprived me of my senses!
And was Mrs Waters, then--but why do I ask? for thou must certainly
know her--If thou hast any affection for me, nay, if thou hast any
pity, let me beseech thee to fetch this miserable woman back again to
me. O good Heavens! incest----with a mother! To what am I reserved!"
He then fell into the most violent and frantic agonies of grief and
despair, in which Partridge declared he would not leave him; but at
last, having vented the first torrent of passion, he came a little to
himself; and then, having acquainted Partridge that he would find this
wretched woman in the same house where the wounded gentleman was
lodged, he despatched him in quest of her.
If the reader will please to refresh his memory, by turning to the
scene at Upton, in the ninth book, he will be apt to admire the many
strange accidents which unfortunately prevented any interview between
Partridge and Mrs Waters, when she spent a whole day there with Mr
Jones. Instances of this kind we may frequently observe in life, where
the greatest events are produced by a nice train of little
circumstances; and more than one example of this may be discovered by
the accurate eye, in this our history.
After a fruitless search of two or three hours, Partridge returned
back to his master, without having seen Mrs Waters. Jones, who was in
a state of desperation at his delay, was almost raving mad when he
brought him his account. He was not long, however, in this condition
before he received the following letter:
"Since I left you I have seen a gentleman, from whom I have learned
something concerning you which greatly surprizes and affects me; but
as I have not at present leisure to communicate a matter of such
high importance, you must suspend your curiosity till our next
meeting, which shall be the first moment I am able to see you. O, Mr
Jones, little did I think, when I past that happy day at Upton, the
reflection upon which is like to embitter all my future life, who it
was to whom I owed such perfect happiness. Believe me to be ever
sincerely your unfortunate