BOOK XVI. CONTAINING THE SPACE OF FIVE DAYS.
5. Chapter v. In which Jones receives a letter...
Little more worth remembering occurred during the play, at the end of
which Jones asked him, "Which of the players he had liked best?" To
this he answered, with some appearance of indignation at the question,
"The king, without doubt." "Indeed, Mr Partridge," says Mrs Miller,
"you are not of the same opinion with the town; for they are all
agreed, that Hamlet is acted by the best player who ever was on the
stage." "He the best player!" cries Partridge, with a contemptuous
sneer, "why, I could act as well as he myself. I am sure, if I had
seen a ghost, I should have looked in the very same manner, and done
just as he did. And then, to be sure, in that scene, as you called it,
between him and his mother, where you told me he acted so fine, why,
Lord help me, any man, that is, any good man, that had such a mother,
would have done exactly the same. I know you are only joking with me;
but indeed, madam, though I was never at a play in London, yet I have
seen acting before in the country; and the king for my money; he
speaks all his words distinctly, half as loud again as the
other.--Anybody may see he is an actor."
While Mrs Miller was thus engaged in conversation with Partridge, a
lady came up to Mr Jones, whom he immediately knew to be Mrs
Fitzpatrick. She said, she had seen him from the other part of the
gallery, and had taken that opportunity of speaking to him, as she had
something to say, which might be of great service to himself. She then
acquainted him with her lodgings, and made him an appointment the next
day in the morning; which, upon recollection, she presently changed to
the afternoon; at which time Jones promised to attend her.
Thus ended the adventure at the playhouse; where Partridge had
afforded great mirth, not only to Jones and Mrs Miller, but to all who
sat within hearing, who were more attentive to what he said, than to
anything that passed on the stage.
He durst not go to bed all that night, for fear of the ghost; and for
many nights after sweated two or three hours before he went to sleep,
with the same apprehensions, and waked several times in great horrors,
crying out, "Lord have mercy upon us! there it is."