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.
6. Chapter vi. The trial of Partridge, the schoolmaster...
And now Mr Allworthy being seated in the chair of justice, Mr
Partridge was brought before him. Having heard his accusation from the
mouth of Mrs Wilkins, he pleaded not guilty, making many vehement
protestations of his innocence.
Mrs Partridge was then examined, who, after a modest apology for being
obliged to speak the truth against her husband, related all the
circumstances with which the reader hath already been acquainted; and
at last concluded with her husband's confession of his guilt.
Whether she had forgiven him or no, I will not venture to determine;
but it is certain she was an unwilling witness in this cause; and it
is probable from certain other reasons, would never have been brought
to depose as she did, had not Mrs Wilkins, with great art, fished all
out of her at her own house, and had she not indeed made promises, in
Mr Allworthy's name, that the punishment of her husband should not be
such as might anywise affect his family.
Partridge still persisted in asserting his innocence, though he
admitted he had made the above-mentioned confession; which he however
endeavoured to account for, by protesting that he was forced into it
by the continued importunity she used: who vowed, that, as she was
sure of his guilt, she would never leave tormenting him till he had
owned it; and faithfully promised, that, in such case, she would never
mention it to him more. Hence, he said, he had been induced falsely to
confess himself guilty, though he was innocent; and that he believed
he should have confest a murder from the same motive.