BOOK VIII. CONTAINING ABOUT TWO DAYS.
5. Chapter v. A dialogue between Mr Jones and the barber.
Every profession of friendship easily gains credit with the miserable;
it is no wonder therefore, if Jones, who, besides his being miserable,
was extremely open-hearted, very readily believed all the professions
of Benjamin, and received him into his bosom. The scraps of Latin,
some of which Benjamin applied properly enough, though it did not
savour of profound literature, seemed yet to indicate something
superior to a common barber; and so indeed did his whole behaviour.
Jones therefore believed the truth of what he had said, as to his
original and education; and at length, after much entreaty, he said,
"Since you have heard, my friend, so much of my affairs, and seem so
desirous to know the truth, if you will have patience to hear it, I
will inform you of the whole."--"Patience!" cries Benjamin, "that I
will, if the chapter was never so long; and I am very much obliged to
you for the honour you do me."
Jones now began, and related the whole history, forgetting only a
circumstance or two, namely, everything which passed on that day in
which he had fought with Thwackum; and ended with his resolution to go
to sea, till the rebellion in the North had made him change his
purpose, and had brought him to the place where he then was.
Little Benjamin, who had been all attention, never once interrupted
the narrative; but when it was ended he could not help observing, that
there must be surely something more invented by his enemies, and told
Mr Allworthy against him, or so good a man would never have dismissed
one he had loved so tenderly, in such a manner. To which Jones
answered, "He doubted not but such villanous arts had been made use of
to destroy him."
And surely it was scarce possible for any one to have avoided making
the same remark with the barber, who had not indeed heard from Jones
one single circumstance upon which he was condemned; for his actions
were not now placed in those injurious lights in which they had been
misrepresented to Allworthy; nor could he mention those many false
accusations which had been from time to time preferred against him to
Allworthy: for with none of these he was himself acquainted. He had
likewise, as we have observed, omitted many material facts in his
present relation. Upon the whole, indeed, everything now appeared in
such favourable colours to Jones, that malice itself would have found
it no easy matter to fix any blame upon him.