Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a foundling

9. Chapter ix. In which Jones pays a visit...

In which Jones pays a visit to Mrs Fitzpatrick.

The reader may now, perhaps, be pleased to return with us to Mr Jones, who, at the appointed hour, attended on Mrs Fitzpatrick; but before we relate the conversation which now past it may be proper, according to our method, to return a little back, and to account for so great an alteration of behaviour in this lady, that from changing her lodging principally to avoid Mr Jones, she had now industriously, as hath been seen, sought this interview.

And here we shall need only to resort to what happened the preceding day, when, hearing from Lady Bellaston that Mr Western was arrived in town, she went to pay her duty to him, at his lodgings at Piccadilly, where she was received with many scurvy compellations too coarse to be repeated, and was even threatened to be kicked out of doors. From hence, an old servant of her aunt Western, with whom she was well acquainted, conducted her to the lodgings of that lady, who treated her not more kindly, but more politely; or, to say the truth, with rudeness in another way. In short, she returned from both, plainly convinced, not only that her scheme of reconciliation had proved abortive, but that she must for ever give over all thoughts of bringing it about by any means whatever. From this moment desire of revenge only filled her mind; and in this temper meeting Jones at the play, an opportunity seemed to her to occur of effecting this purpose.

The reader must remember that he was acquainted by Mrs Fitzpatrick, in the account she gave of her own story, with the fondness Mrs Western had formerly shewn for Mr Fitzpatrick at Bath, from the disappointment of which Mrs Fitzpatrick derived the great bitterness her aunt had expressed toward her. She had, therefore, no doubt but that the good lady would as easily listen to the addresses of Mr Jones as she had before done to the other; for the superiority of charms was clearly on the side of Mr Jones; and the advance which her aunt had since made in age, she concluded (how justly I will not say), was an argument rather in favour of her project than against it.

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