BOOK V. CONTAINING A PORTION OF TIME SOMEWHAT LONGER THAN HALF A YEAR.
10. Chapter x. Showing the truth of many observations of Ovid...
It hath been observed, that Fortune seldom doth things by halves. To
say truth, there is no end to her freaks whenever she is disposed to
gratify or displease. No sooner had our heroe retired with his Dido,
Speluncam Blifil dux et divinus eandem
the parson and the young squire, who were taking a serious walk,
arrived at the stile which leads into the grove, and the latter caught
a view of the lovers just as they were sinking out of sight.
Blifil knew Jones very well, though he was at above a hundred yards'
distance, and he was as positive to the sex of his companion, though
not to the individual person. He started, blessed himself, and uttered
a very solemn ejaculation.
Thwackum expressed some surprize at these sudden emotions, and asked
the reason of them. To which Blifil answered, "He was certain he had
seen a fellow and wench retire together among the bushes, which he
doubted not was with some wicked purpose." As to the name of Jones, he
thought proper to conceal it, and why he did so must be left to the
judgment of the sagacious reader; for we never chuse to assign motives
to the actions of men, when there is any possibility of our being
The parson, who was not only strictly chaste in his own person, but a
great enemy to the opposite vice in all others, fired at this
information. He desired Mr Blifil to conduct him immediately to the
place, which as he approached he breathed forth vengeance mixed with
lamentations; nor did he refrain from casting some oblique reflections
on Mr Allworthy; insinuating that the wickedness of the country was
principally owing to the encouragement he had given to vice, by having
exerted such kindness to a bastard, and by having mitigated that just
and wholesome rigour of the law which allots a very severe punishment
to loose wenches.
The way through which our hunters were to pass in pursuit of their
game was so beset with briars, that it greatly obstructed their walk,
and caused besides such a rustling, that Jones had sufficient warning
of their arrival before they could surprize him; nay, indeed, so
incapable was Thwackum of concealing his indignation, and such
vengeance did he mutter forth every step he took, that this alone must
have abundantly satisfied Jones that he was (to use the language of
sportsmen) found sitting.