Chapter 9


It was almost morning when Joseph Andrews, whose eyes the thoughts of his dear Fanny had opened, as he lay fondly meditating on that lovely creature, heard a violent knocking at the door over which he lay. He presently jumped out of bed, and, opening the window, was asked if there were no travellers in the house? and presently, by another voice, if two men and a woman had not taken up there their lodging that night? Though he knew not the voices, he began to entertain a suspicion of the truth—for indeed he had received some information from one of the servants of the squire’s house of his design—and answered in the negative. One of the servants, who knew the host well, called out to him by his name just as he had opened another window, and asked him the same question; to which he answered in the affirmative. O ho! said another, have we found you? and ordered the host to come down and open his door. Fanny, who was as wakeful as Joseph, no sooner heard all this than she leaped from her bed, and, hastily putting on her gown and petticoats, ran as fast as possible to Joseph’s room, who then was almost drest. He immediately let her in, and, embracing her with the most passionate tenderness, bid her fear nothing, for he would die in her defence. “Is that a reason why I should not fear,” says she, “when I should lose what is dearer to me than the whole world?” Joseph, then kissing her hand, said, “He could almost thank the occasion which had extorted from her a tenderness she would never indulge him with before.” He then ran and waked his bedfellow Adams, who was yet fast asleep, notwithstanding many calls from Joseph; but was no sooner made sensible of their danger than he leaped from his bed, without considering the presence of Fanny, who hastily turned her face from him, and enjoyed a double benefit from the dark, which, as it would have prevented any offence, to an innocence less pure, or a modesty less delicate, so it concealed even those blushes which were raised in her.

Adams had soon put on all his clothes but his breeches, which, in the hurry, he forgot; however, they were pretty well supplied by the length of his other garments; and now, the house-door being opened, the captain, the poet, the player, and three servants came in. The captain told the host that two fellows, who were in his house, had run away with a young woman, and desired to know in which room she lay. The host, who presently believed the story, directed them, and instantly the captain and poet, justling one another, ran up. The poet, who was the nimblest, entering the chamber first, searched the bed, and every other part, but to no purpose; the bird was flown, as the impatient reader, who might otherwise have been in pain for her, was before advertised. They then enquired where the men lay, and were approaching the chamber, when Joseph roared out, in a loud voice, that he would shoot the first man who offered to attack the door. The captain enquired what fire-arms they had; to which the host answered, he believed they had none; nay, he was almost convinced of it, for he had heard one ask the other in the evening what they should have done if they had been overtaken, when they had no arms; to which the other answered, they would have defended themselves with their sticks as long as they were able, and God would assist a just cause. This satisfied the captain, but not the poet, who prudently retreated downstairs, saying, it was his business to record great actions, and not to do them. The captain was no sooner well satisfied that there were no fire-arms than, bidding defiance to gunpowder, and swearing he loved the smell of it, he ordered the servants to follow him, and, marching boldly up, immediately attempted to force the door, which the servants soon helped him to accomplish. When it was opened, they discovered the enemy drawn up three deep; Adams in the front, and Fanny in the rear. The captain told Adams that if they would go all back to the house again they should be civilly treated; but unless they consented he had orders to carry the young lady with him, whom there was great reason to believe they had stolen from her parents; for, notwithstanding her disguise, her air, which she could not conceal, sufficiently discovered her birth to be infinitely superior to theirs. Fanny, bursting into tears, solemnly assured him he was mistaken; that she was a poor helpless foundling, and had no relation in the world which she knew of; and, throwing herself on her knees, begged that he would not attempt to take her from her friends, who, she was convinced, would die before they would lose her; which Adams confirmed with words not far from amounting to an oath. The captain swore he had no leisure to talk, and, bidding them thank themselves for what happened, he ordered the servants to fall on, at the same time endeavouring to pass by Adams, in order to lay hold on Fanny; but the parson, interrupting him, received a blow from one of them, which, without considering whence it came, he returned to the captain, and gave him so

  By PanEris using Melati.

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