BOOK X. IN WHICH THE HISTORY GOES FORWARD ABOUT TWELVE HOURS.
6. Chapter vi. Containing, among other things...
Containing, among other things, the ingenuity of Partridge, the
madness of Jones, and the folly of Fitzpatrick.
It was now past five in the morning, and other company began to rise
and come to the kitchen, among whom were the serjeant and the
coachman, who, being thoroughly reconciled, made a libation, or, in
the English phrase, drank a hearty cup together.
In this drinking nothing more remarkable happened than the behaviour
of Partridge, who, when the serjeant drank a health to King George,
repeated only the word King; nor could he be brought to utter more;
for though he was going to fight against his own cause, yet he could
not be prevailed upon to drink against it.
Mr Jones, being now returned to his own bed (but from whence he
returned we must beg to be excused from relating), summoned Partridge
from this agreeable company, who, after a ceremonious preface, having
obtained leave to offer his advice, delivered himself as follows:--
"It is, sir, an old saying, and a true one, that a wise man may
sometimes learn counsel from a fool; I wish, therefore, I might be so
bold as to offer you my advice, which is to return home again, and
leave these horrida bella, these bloody wars, to fellows who are
contented to swallow gunpowder, because they have nothing else to eat.
Now, everybody knows your honour wants for nothing at home; when
that's the case, why should any man travel abroad?"
"Partridge," cries Jones, "thou art certainly a coward; I wish,
therefore, thou wouldst return home thyself, and trouble me no more."
"I ask your honour's pardon," cries Partridge; "I spoke on your
account more than my own; for as to me, Heaven knows my circumstances
are bad enough, and I am so far from being afraid, that I value a
pistol, or a blunderbuss, or any such thing, no more than a pop-gun.
Every man must die once, and what signifies the manner how? besides,
perhaps I may come off with the loss only of an arm or a leg. I assure
you, sir, I was never less afraid in my life; and so, if your honour
is resolved to go on, I am resolved to follow you. But, in that case,
I wish I might give my opinion. To be sure, it is a scandalous way of
travelling, for a great gentleman like you to walk afoot. Now here are
two or three good horses in the stable, which the landlord will
certainly make no scruple of trusting you with; but, if he should, I
can easily contrive to take them; and, let the worst come to the
worst, the king would certainly pardon you, as you are going to fight
in his cause."