Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a foundling

12. Chapter xii. In which the Man of the Hill continues... (continued)

"It was at present my fortune to be destitute of that great evil, as it is apprehended to be by several writers, who I suppose were overburthened with it, namely, money."--"With submission, sir," said Partridge, "I do not remember any writers who have called it malorum; but irritamenta malorum. Effodiuntur opes, irritamenta malorum"--"Well, sir," continued the stranger, "whether it be an evil, or only the cause of evil, I was entirely void of it, and at the same time of friends, and, as I thought, of acquaintance; when one evening, as I was passing through the Inner Temple, very hungry, and very miserable, I heard a voice on a sudden hailing me with great familiarity by my Christian name; and upon turning about, I presently recollected the person who so saluted me to have been my fellow-collegiate; one who had left the university above a year, and long before any of my misfortunes had befallen me. This gentleman, whose name was Watson, shook me heartily by the hand; and expressing great joy at meeting me, proposed our immediately drinking a bottle together. I first declined the proposal, and pretended business, but as he was very earnest and pressing, hunger at last overcame my pride, and I fairly confessed to him I had no money in my pocket; yet not without framing a lie for an excuse, and imputing it to my having changed my breeches that morning. Mr Watson answered, `I thought, Jack, you and I had been too old acquaintance for you to mention such a matter.' He then took me by the arm, and was pulling me along; but I gave him very little trouble, for my own inclinations pulled me much stronger than he could do.

"We then went into the Friars, which you know is the scene of all mirth and jollity. Here, when we arrived at the tavern, Mr Watson applied himself to the drawer only, without taking the least notice of the cook; for he had no suspicion but that I had dined long since. However, as the case was really otherwise, I forged another falsehood, and told my companion I had been at the further end of the city on business of consequence, and had snapt up a mutton-chop in haste; so that I was again hungry, and wished he would add a beef-steak to his bottle."--"Some people," cries Partridge, "ought to have good memories; or did you find just money enough in your breeches to pay for the mutton-chop?"--"Your observation is right," answered the stranger, "and I believe such blunders are inseparable from all dealing in untruth.--But to proceed--I began now to feel myself extremely happy. The meat and wine soon revived my spirits to a high pitch, and I enjoyed much pleasure in the conversation of my old acquaintance, the rather as I thought him entirely ignorant of what had happened at the university since his leaving it.

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