BOOK II. CONTAINING SCENES OF MATRIMONIAL FELICITY IN DIFFERENT DEGREES OF LIFE; AND VARIOUS OTHER TRANSACTIONS DURING THE FIRST TWO YEARS AFTER THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN CAPTAIN BLIFIL AND MISS BRIDGET ALLWORTHY.
4. Chapter iv. Containing one of the most bloody battles...
Containing one of the most bloody battles, or rather duels, that were
ever recorded in domestic history.
For the reasons mentioned in the preceding chapter, and from some
other matrimonial concessions, well known to most husbands, and which,
like the secrets of freemasonry, should be divulged to none who are
not members of that honourable fraternity, Mrs Partridge was pretty
well satisfied that she had condemned her husband without cause, and
endeavoured by acts of kindness to make him amends for her false
suspicion. Her passions were indeed equally violent, whichever way
they inclined; for as she could be extremely angry, so could she be
altogether as fond.
But though these passions ordinarily succeed each other, and scarce
twenty-four hours ever passed in which the pedagogue was not, in some
degree, the object of both; yet, on extraordinary occasions, when the
passion of anger had raged very high, the remission was usually
longer: and so was the case at present; for she continued longer in a
state of affability, after this fit of jealousy was ended, than her
husband had ever known before: and, had it not been for some little
exercises, which all the followers of Xantippe are obliged to perform
daily, Mr Partridge would have enjoyed a perfect serenity of several
Perfect calms at sea are always suspected by the experienced mariner
to be the forerunners of a storm, and I know some persons, who,
without being generally the devotees of superstition, are apt to
apprehend that great and unusual peace or tranquillity will be
attended with its opposite. For which reason the antients used, on
such occasions, to sacrifice to the goddess Nemesis, a deity who was
thought by them to look with an invidious eye on human felicity, and
to have a peculiar delight in overturning it.
As we are very far from believing in any such heathen goddess, or from
encouraging any superstition, so we wish Mr John Fr----, or some other
such philosopher, would bestir himself a little, in order to find out
the real cause of this sudden transition from good to bad fortune,
which hath been so often remarked, and of which we shall proceed to
give an instance; for it is our province to relate facts, and we shall
leave causes to persons of much higher genius.