BOOK VIII. CONTAINING ABOUT TWO DAYS.
7. Chapter vii. Containing better reasons than any...
Containing better reasons than any which have yet appeared for the
conduct of Partridge; an apology for the weakness of Jones; and some
further anecdotes concerning my landlady.
Though Partridge was one of the most superstitious of men, he would
hardly perhaps have desired to accompany Jones on his expedition
merely from the omens of the joint-stool and white mare, if his
prospect had been no better than to have shared the plunder gained in
the field of battle. In fact, when Partridge came to ruminate on the
relation he had heard from Jones, he could not reconcile to himself
that Mr Allworthy should turn his son (for so he most firmly believed
him to be) out of doors, for any reason which he had heard assigned.
He concluded, therefore, that the whole was a fiction, and that Jones,
of whom he had often from his correspondents heard the wildest
character, had in reality run away from his father. It came into his
head, therefore, that if he could prevail with the young gentleman to
return back to his father, he should by that means render a service to
Allworthy, which would obliterate all his former anger; nay, indeed,
he conceived that very anger was counterfeited, and that Allworthy had
sacrificed him to his own reputation. And this suspicion indeed he
well accounted for, from the tender behaviour of that excellent man to
the foundling child; from his great severity to Partridge, who,
knowing himself to be innocent, could not conceive that any other
should think him guilty; lastly, from the allowance which he had
privately received long after the annuity had been publickly taken
from him, and which he looked upon as a kind of smart-money, or rather
by way of atonement for injustice; for it is very uncommon, I believe,
for men to ascribe the benefactions they receive to pure charity, when
they can possibly impute them to any other motive. If he could by any
means therefore persuade the young gentleman to return home, he
doubted not but that he should again be received into the favour of
Allworthy, and well rewarded for his pains; nay, and should be again
restored to his native country; a restoration which Ulysses himself
never wished more heartily than poor Partridge.