Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a foundling

3. Chapter iii. The departure of Jones from Upton... (continued)

Partridge easily forgave, and faithfully promised to obey the injunction now laid upon him. And then Jones very briskly cried out, "Since it is absolutely impossible for me to pursue any farther the steps of my angel--I will pursue those of glory. Come on, my brave lad, now for the army:--it is a glorious cause, and I would willingly sacrifice my life in it, even though it was worth my preserving." And so saying, he immediately struck into the different road from that which the squire had taken, and, by mere chance, pursued the very same through which Sophia had before passed.

Our travellers now marched a full mile, without speaking a syllable to each other, though Jones, indeed, muttered many things to himself. As to Partridge, he was profoundly silent; for he was not, perhaps, perfectly recovered from his former fright; besides, he had apprehensions of provoking his friend to a second fit of wrath, especially as he now began to entertain a conceit, which may not, perhaps, create any great wonder in the reader. In short, he began now to suspect that Jones was absolutely out of his senses.

At length, Jones, being weary of soliloquy, addressed himself to his companion, and blamed him for his taciturnity; for which the poor man very honestly accounted, from his fear of giving offence. And now this fear being pretty well removed, by the most absolute promises of indemnity, Partridge again took the bridle from his tongue; which, perhaps, rejoiced no less at regaining its liberty, than a young colt, when the bridle is slipt from his neck, and he is turned loose into the pastures.

As Partridge was inhibited from that topic which would have first suggested itself, he fell upon that which was next uppermost in his mind, namely, the Man of the Hill. "Certainly, sir," says he, "that could never be a man, who dresses himself and lives after such a strange manner, and so unlike other folks. Besides, his diet, as the old woman told me, is chiefly upon herbs, which is a fitter food for a horse than a Christian: nay, landlord at Upton says that the neighbours thereabouts have very fearful notions about him. It runs strangely in my head that it must have been some spirit, who, perhaps, might be sent to forewarn us: and who knows but all that matter which he told us, of his going to fight, and of his being taken prisoner, and of the great danger he was in of being hanged, might be intended as a warning to us, considering what we are going about? besides, I dreamt of nothing all last night but of fighting; and methought the blood ran out of my nose, as liquor out of a tap. Indeed, sir, infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem."

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