BOOK IV. CONTAINING THE TIME OF A YEAR.
12. Chapter xii. Containing much clearer matters
The diseases of the mind do in almost every particular imitate those
of the body. For which reason, we hope, that learned faculty, for whom
we have so profound a respect, will pardon us the violent hands we
have been necessitated to lay on several words and phrases, which of
right belong to them, and without which our descriptions must have
been often unintelligible.
Now there is no one circumstance in which the distempers of the mind
bear a more exact analogy to those which are called bodily, than that
aptness which both have to a relapse. This is plain in the violent
diseases of ambition and avarice. I have known ambition, when cured at
court by frequent disappointments (which are the only physic for it),
to break out again in a contest for foreman of the grand jury at an
assizes; and have heard of a man who had so far conquered avarice, as
to give away many a sixpence, that comforted himself, at last, on his
deathbed, by making a crafty and advantageous bargain concerning his
ensuing funeral, with an undertaker who had married his only child.
In the affair of love, which, out of strict conformity with the Stoic
philosophy, we shall here treat as a disease, this proneness to
relapse is no less conspicuous. Thus it happened to poor Sophia; upon
whom, the very next time she saw young Jones, all the former symptoms
returned, and from that time cold and hot fits alternately seized her
The situation of this young lady was now very different from what it
had ever been before. That passion which had formerly been so
exquisitely delicious, became now a scorpion in her bosom. She
resisted it therefore with her utmost force, and summoned every
argument her reason (which was surprisingly strong for her age) could
suggest, to subdue and expel it. In this she so far succeeded, that
she began to hope from time and absence a perfect cure. She resolved
therefore to avoid Tom Jones as much as possible; for which purpose
she began to conceive a design of visiting her aunt, to which she made
no doubt of obtaining her father's consent.
But Fortune, who had other designs in her head, put an immediate stop
to any such proceeding, by introducing an accident, which will be
related in the next chapter.